Heart Treasures Boutique

Throughout the years, I have pursued several home business opportunities. My favorite by far has been my own Heart Treasures Boutique. I enjoy crafting and my boutique gives me a creative outlet that I can share with others. When I lived in Okinawa, Japan I started doing craft fairs on the military base we were stationed at. I made a lot of Diaper Cakes, Baby Quilts, and a few other things. For a year or two, I was the go to person that people ordered Diaper Cakes from! When I lived in Minot, North Dakota, I continued to do to craft fairs. I still made Diaper Cakes but also added Hair Bows and Bow Holders. It was in North Dakota that I established my the business name of “Heart Treasures Boutique.” I already had this blog which is “Heart Treasures” and you know (if you have been following me for awhile) that “Heart Treasures” comes from the Bible verse: Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I thought that the same theme could be applicable for my business as well and a reminder that everything I do should be to please the Lord.

In the past four + years of living in New Mexico, I never really pursued my boutique business. The craft fairs that I heard of were way too expensive for me to have a table at and I could not really find an interest in the Diaper Cakes and Hair Bows like I had in other locations. I still kept all of my supplies and made gifts on occasion for people.

One thing that is popular here is vendor shops. There are several shops in town where vendors rent a small space inside a larger shop and put their inventory items in that space. This past March, my dad and niece came to visit and I took them to one of my favorite vendor shops (Main Street Crafter’s Mall) that also has an awesome sandwich shop (The Lunch Box). We were walking through the store after lunch and I came across an empty space that was available for rent. I talked to the staff and decided that day that I was going to start renting that space! It was a spur of the moment decision for sure!

My dad helped me build a shelving unit to put in the space while he was in town!

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After my dad and niece left, I started working on the booth more. I loved the black but painted the trim to lighten it up a bit. I also pulled out my racks and hooks from storage and installed them in the booth.

When my new sign arrived, I was so excited!

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It took me a few weeks to get inventory in place. I worked hard making bows and bow holders, sewing blankets and burp cloths (new additions to my business), and collecting items and books from around the house that have been waiting for a purpose (most of the books are brand new!). I am continually working on new items to add to the inventory. I also rearranged the booth several times before I was satisfied with the set up!

These are the latest photos I took of my booth!

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I am so excited to see how this endeavor plays out. It is a dream in the future to have a store front gift shop (after we retire from the military and intend to live in the same place for longer than a few years). This is a small step towards that dream. It is nice to have everything that stays in one location! That is much easier than carting everything to and from a craft fair!

If you are interested, I would love for you to like and share my business Facebook page:

Heart Treasures Boutique

If you live in the Clovis, New Mexico area, stop by the Main Street Crafter’s Mall! Check out my booth as well as the other great booths (as well as booths available for rent)!

How To Turn Outdated Catalogs Into Gift Bags

Have you ever wondered what to do with the stack of outdated business catalogs that you have accumulated? You do not want to throw them away because they cost you money, most of the information is still valid, and you are sure you can use them somehow. Then, you end up ordering the updated catalogs and never give your old ones a second glance… until you decide to bite the bullet and trash them.

Over the years of having a direct sales business as a Norwex Independent Sales Consultant, I have heard of several good ideas on what to do with the outdated catalogs. For example, you can put a sticker on the front with contact information and stating that new catalogs are available. Then, you can give them out to customers or put them on magazine tables in waiting rooms (with permission). However, the best idea I have heard of so far is making them into gift bags. This saves you money by not having to buy bags and by allowing you to use the catalogs instead of trashing them. The bags advertise your business. The bags are perfect for carrying product you are giving away (door prizes, host gifts, etc.). You could even use them as a replacement for your host envelopes.

There are various videos on YouTube showing how to make gift bags using wrapping paper. I made my catalog gift bag after watching several of those videos and experimenting. Here are some instructions and photos of how I make them.

  • Take your catalog apart by removing the staples holding it together. Keep the pages intact so it is two connected pages.

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  • Fold half of the page to just over the center fold.

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  • Then, fold the other half to just over the center. Tape together. 16143045_10211943410249737_2356405967451893669_n

To create the base:

  • Fold up the bottom. Then, fold in the corners. (Like you would do if wrapping a gift with wrapping paper).

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  • Fold the sides of the base together. Overlap slightly.

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  • Tape the base where all folds meet. This is essential to make sure the base is secure.

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  • Open up the bag and smooth out any creases the best that you can.

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To create the handles:

  • Cut the two connected pages in half you you have two separate pages.

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  • Then fold the page in half and cut so you have two halves.

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  • Roll each of the halves into strips about 1 inch wide (or whatever your preference). Make sure you have good creases as you roll so that your handle are flat not round.

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  • Secure rolled strips with tape.

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  • Attach strips to the inside of the bag on both sides. You can use tape but I prefer staples.

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Filling the bag:

  • Choose what you want to put into the bag! Do not forget your product information, host pamphlet, and/or whatever is applicable for the occasion!

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  • Fill the bag! If you want a closed bag, skip making the handles and just fold down the bag and tape shut. 16002990_10211943406289638_7875223174700228436_n

The size of the bag is going to depend on the size of your catalog. If it is too small, you can tape pages together at the beginning to create the size that you need. Also, these bags are not going to hold a lot of weight so keep that in mind when filling them.

How do you use your outdated business catalogs? Comment below! I would love to hear your ideas!

Erin Condren Notebooks

I jumped on the Erin Condren bandwagon last year after several friends raved about their planners. I browsed through several of them and spent a lot of time on the EC website before finally deciding to take the plunge!

I have already reviewed the Erin Condren LifePlanner and Teacher Lesson Planner. More recently I purchased two Erin Condren Notebooks. I use both of them for different purposes. The base price for a notebook is $20.00.

You choose your cover design and coil color. There are so many covers to choose from and they all are removable so that you can change them out whenever you want! Several of them have color variations so you can pick your favorite color scheme. Seasonal covers are often added to the collection various times of year. All of them have the option of personalizing with name or other information. The covers that have metallic designs are an additional $5.00. As always, the covers are laminated so that wet erase markers can be used on them. There are 4 coil colors to choose from. I have always picked the platinum coil because it matches the most covers if I decide to change my cover. Several of my friends have said that their colored coils started chipping pretty quickly. The gold, black, and rose coils are an additional $10.00.

You choose size: 7 x 9 inches or 8.5 x 11 inches for an additional $5.00. Then you choose layout: Classic Lined (neutral), Productivity (colorful), or Dot Grid (colorful).

One of my notebooks I am using for sermon notes and prayer requests (size: 7 x 9 inches). customized my cover with my name and favorite scripture reference:

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And I chose the classic lined layout:

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The other notebook I am trying to be more creative with (size: 8.5 x 11 inches). I am using it for journaling, lists, plans, coloring, scrapbooking, etc. This is the first time I have chosen a cover with the metallic look (blue and platinum) and I absolutely love it! This is by far my favorite cover that I have purchased so far! I chose the dot grid layout for this notebook. The photos below will show the various ways I have utilized some of the pages.

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Daily Journaling & Scrapbooking:

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2017 Goals:

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Organization Projects/Checklist:

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Decluttering Tracker:

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Yearly Tracker (using a printable I purchased online):

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Debt Tracker:

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Blog Post Ideas/Checklist:

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I use an assortment of Erin Condren stickers, The Happy Planner stickers (Hobby Lobby), and the washi tape that I have picked up in various stores like Hobby Lobby or Target. Erin Condren has several sticker books ($15.00) and sticker pages ($3.00-$10.00) to choose from.

So far I love my notebooks! The paper is thick like it is in the planners. The customizable covers and sticker assortments available make notebooking fun whatever purpose you are using them for!

I understand that the purchasing an Erin Condren planner or notebook is an investment. It is somewhat costly but I believe that the quality is worth it (more so for the planners vs the notebooks). I most likely will not be purchasing another notebook until I runout of paper in the ones that I have. Even then, I would only purchase them if there was a significant sale/discount on them. I still really like them though!

If you are interested in trying an Erin Condren planner, you can use my referral code to get $10.00 off your first purchase. By doing so, you help me earn credit towards my Erin Condren purchases. After you sign up, you will get your own referral link to share with your friends! Click the following link:

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It is also important to note that there is a long processing time for orders. When you browse the website, there are expected ship dates listed but they are subject to change. When you pay for expedited shipping, you are paying for the actual shipping time not the processing time. So do not expect to receive your order within the same week even if you pay extra for shipping. Keeping all this in mind, I place my orders a month or so in advance of when I actually need to start using them, especially when it comes to ordering anything that is personalized.

*****

More Erin Condren Reviews:

Erin Condren LifePlanner

Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner

*****

Do you have an Erin Condren notebook? I would LOVE to see photos of how you use it!

(Be sure to edit out any personal information before posting photos).

Erin Condren Teacher’s Lesson Planner

I jumped on the Erin Condren bandwagon last year after several friends raved about their planners. I browsed through several of them and spent a lot of time on the EC website before finally deciding to take the plunge!

The Erin Condren Teacher’s Lesson Planner was the first EC planner I ever bought. No, I am not a full time teacher. I am a substitute teacher but that does not involve making lesson plans. So why did I get the lesson planner? Glad you asked!

The main reason why I got it was because it is 8.5 x 11 inches which is bigger than the Erin Condren LifePlanner  (7 x 9 inches). There are many customizable options that allows you to make it your own. The base price for this planner is $55.00. Some of the customization options will add to the price.

Like the LifePlanner, the first thing you do is choose your cover design and coil color. There are so many covers to choose from and they all are removable so that you can change them out whenever you want! Several of them have color variations so you can pick your favorite color scheme. Seasonal covers are often added to the collection various times of year. All of them have the option of personalizing with name or other information. The covers that have metallic designs are an additional $5.00. There are 3 coil colors to choose from. I have always picked the platinum coil because it matches the most covers if I decide to change my cover. Several of my friends have said that their colored coils started chipping pretty quickly. The gold and rose coils are an additional $10.00.

Here is the original cover that I ordered:

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The heart cover below is a seasonal cover that was available last year around Valentine’s Day that I bought a month or so after I received my planner. Interchangeable covers cost $8.00-$13.00 when buying them separate from a planner.

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At the time, I also had a lot of responsibility in many areas of life and I wanted a planner that would help me organize all of those areas!

As you continue through the planner you have several pages that are specifically for teachers. I covered the pages that did not apply to me with various printables that I found online. Some of the teacher pages, I did not cover but modified them to meet my needs. There is a 2 page spread of Holidays and Dates to remember. A 2 page spread for keeping track of birthdays. Several pages of absentee logs (I used these for keeping notes). Several pages of graph paper. Then, you have a 2 page spread of plan your year boxes to use as you choose. I used them to keep track of my substitute teaching jobs and paychecks:

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You can choose between colorful or neutral color schemes for the planner. The colorful has colored tabs and the Neutral has black tabs. I chose the colorful scheme.

One thing that I absolutely love about the lesson planner is that you can choose your start month. This is perfect for those who buy planners mid year or for teachers who need to start their planning in July or August.

Here is my January:

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And here is my July:

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I use an assortment of Erin Condren stickers and the washi tape that I have picked up in various stores like Hobby Lobby or Target. Erin Condren has several sticker books ($15.00) and sticker pages ($3.00-$10.00) to choose from. There are customizable event stickers ($2.00-$4.00). I also love the dot stickers ($4.00). The date dot stickers add a pop of color to the neutral scheme or coordinates with the colorful scheme. I like the daily dots for color coding recurring events like dance classes.

Between each month, there is a note page and a quote page.

After the monthly calendars, there are many lesson plan pages. Here is where I got creative to plan my various areas of life! Instead of class subjects, I created categories: Family & Household, Subbing & PAC (Parent Committee), Church & CBS (Bible Study), Blog & Books (Reviews), Norwex Team, and Saturday/Sunday. I started out the year using color coding with different colored pens… but that did not last long! I wish there was an option to have more lesson pages. Having more would be helpful for year round homeschoolers, teachers who have summer school, or people like me who use them year round for other purposes.

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Following the lesson plans are the checklist pages. 7 come with the base price, 14 for $5.00, 21 for 7.50, or 28 for $10.00. I used these pages for keeping track of my Norwex team and other lists I thought of throughout the year.

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Behind the checklist pages there are event sticker sheets, Keep It Together Folder, Sheet Protectors, and a Plan For It Pouch. You can choose how many sheet protectors you want. 1 comes with the base price, 2 for 1.50, or 3 for $3.00. I wish I could have more than 3 sheet protectors. Between my Norwex business, school, and church, I always had more flyers than sheet protectors! These were an awesome way of keeping important pages together in one place allowing me to refer to them quickly whenever needed!

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Overall, I really like my planner! I wish there was an option to have more lesson pages. Having more would be helpful for year round homeschoolers, teachers who have summer school, or people like me who use them year round for other purposes.  This planner definitely meets my organizational need as well as encourages my creative outlet!

I understand that the purchasing an Erin Condren planner is an investment. It is somewhat costly but I believe that the quality is worth it. There are less expensive lesson planners out there but I have not found one that is comparable to this one. I searched high and low for the perfect teacher planner when I homeschooled but I never found one that met all my needs. This one would have been awesome!

If you are interested in trying an Erin Condren planner, you can use my referral code to get $10.00 off your first purchase. By doing so, you help me earn credit towards my Erin Condren purchases. After you sign up, you will get your own referral link to share with your friends! Click the following link:

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It is also important to note that there is a long processing time for orders. When you browse the website, there are expected ship dates listed but they are subject to change. When you pay for expedited shipping, you are paying for the actual shipping time not the processing time. So do not expect to receive your order within the same week even if you pay extra for shipping. Keeping all this in mind, I place my orders a month or so in advance of when I actually need to start using them, especially when it comes to ordering anything that is personalized.

*****

More Erin Condren Reviews:

Erin Condren LifePlanner

Erin Condren Notebooks

*****

Do you have an Erin Condren planner? I would LOVE to see photos of your decorated monthly and weekly spreads!

(Be sure to edit out any personal information before posting photos).

Erin Condren LifePlanner

I jumped on the Erin Condren bandwagon last year after several friends raved about their planners. I browsed through several of them and spent a lot of time on the EC website before finally deciding to take the plunge!

The LifePlanner is what Erin Condren is known for. It is 7 x 9 inches and has many customizable options that allows you to make it your own. The base price for this planner is $55.00. Some of the customization options will add to the price.

First, you choose your cover design and coil color. There are so many covers to choose from and they all are removable so that you can change them out whenever you want!  Several of them have color variations so you can pick your favorite color scheme. Seasonal covers are often added to the collection various times of year. All of them have the option of personalizing with name or other information. The covers that have metallic designs are an additional $5.00. There are 4 coil colors to choose from. I have always picked the platinum coil because it matches the most covers if I decide to change my cover. Several of my friends have said that their colored coils started chipping pretty quickly. The gold, black, and rose coils are an additional $10.00.

Here is the outer cover of my LifePlanner. I chose not to have it personalized this time:15940895_10211878922797591_1167106922123676010_n

And here is the inside of the cover, which is perfect for jotting down notes with a wet erase pen (set of 4- $10.00). The back cover of course corresponds with the front and is also removable and laminated:

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As you continue through the planner you have a 2 page spread of 16 mini monthly dated calendars. Then you have a 2 page spread of 12 blank boxes to use as you choose. I use them to list all of the birthdays and anniversaries I need to remember. It makes it easier for me to have them all in one place! I hold together all of the months that have passed with an Erin Condran elastic band (set of 3- $7.00). I use one to keep my whole planner held together as well!

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Between each month, there is a lined note page and a watercolor quote page.  This is the spread between January and February. 16106034_10211878932237827_7727129935987594933_n

You can also choose between colorful or neutral color schemes for the planner. The colorful has colored tabs and the Neutral has black tabs. I chose the neutral but as you can see above there are still splashes of color throughout.

You also choose your weekly spread: horizontal, vertical, and hourly. This time I chose hourly:

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Before the weekly spreads, there is a monthly spread. Here is my January:

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I use an assortment of Erin Condren stickers and the washi tape that I have picked up in various stores like Hobby Lobby or Target. Erin Condren has several sticker books ($15.00) and sticker pages ($3.00-$10.00) to choose from. There are customizable event stickers ($2.00-$4.00). I also love the dot stickers ($4.00). The date dot stickers add a pop of color to the neutral scheme or coordinates with the colorful scheme. I like the daily dots for color coding recurring events like dance classes.

The planner also comes with a Keep It Together Folder, Plan For It Pouch, Four Event Sticker Sheets, and a Snap In bookmark.

Overall, I really like my planner! I anticipated needing my hourly weekly spread much more than I actually do. Depending on how much I actually use the weekly spreads this year will depend on if I choose it again next year. I am interested in trying the vertical spread at some point. This planner definitely meets my organizational need as well as encourages my creative outlet!

I understand that the purchasing an Erin Condren planner is an investment. It is somewhat costly but I believe that the quality is worth it. There are less expensive planners out there that are comparable. So it ends up being a personal decision as to what you prefer.

If you are interested in trying an Erin Condren planner, you can use my referral code to get $10.00 off your first purchase. By doing so, you help me earn credit towards my Erin Condren purchases. After you sign up, you will get your own referral link to share with your friends! Click the following link:

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-12-10-27-am

It is also important to note that there is a long processing time for orders. When you browse the website, there are expected ship dates listed but they are subject to change. When you pay for expedited shipping, you are paying for the actual shipping time not the processing time. So do not expect to receive your order within the same week even if you pay extra for shipping. Keeping all this in mind, I place my orders a month or so in advance of when I actually need to start using them, especially when it comes to ordering anything that is personalized.

*****

More Erin Condren Reviews:

Erin Condren Notebooks

Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner

*****

Do you have an Erin Condren planner? I would LOVE to see photos of your decorated monthly and weekly spreads!

(Be sure to edit out any personal information before posting photos).

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

This book is published by Tyndale and is in their Living Expressions Collection. It is hardback and has over 100 pages. Each two page spread has different themes. Throughout the book there are prayers, scripture, writing prompts, journaling lines, and designs for coloring. There are pops of color on almost every page. Scripture quotes are from the New Living Translation (NLT).

I love journals and coloring so I was excited to have the opportunity to review this book. I forgot that I requested it several weeks ago, so I was pleasantly surprised to receive it in the mail! I am not disappointed! I have a couple of adult coloring books that sit in a basket by my bed for when I have some free time (not very often). I usually find the coloring pages relaxing but difficult to finish in a timely manor due to size or detailed design. This book is a smaller journal size and I think that the pages could easily be colored in a short amount of time. Some coloring pages are simplistic and others are more detailed. There are several already colored pages as well. This book will be a good addition to a daily devotional time. It would also be perfect for gifts!

Here are some photos of a few of my favorite two page spreads in the journal:

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You can see several coloring and journaling ideas on the Tyndale Living Expressions Collection Pinterest Board!

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Tyndale provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

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Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal
By Tyndale Momentum

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My Vision Board

As some of you may know, I am a Independent Sales Consultant with NORWEX. This past weekend, I attended the Norwex Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas. I had an amazing experience connecting with new friends who share the same passions. We learned so much about the Norwex company from a global perspective and great tips, tools, and steps that will help us be successful in our businesses. There are several things that I want to share with my blogging community that I think are great tools for any home business or of great importance to every day life (whether or not you are familiar with Norwex). So, I will be blogging about them on occasion this month!

For those of you who have never heard of Norwex, the Norwex mission statement is as follows:Mission_Statement_Web_Design

One of the things we heard over and over at the conference, is to dream big and set goals. I am sure that these two things are mentioned at any direct sales business conference but these apply to anyone in any situation. If we have dreams and goals for our lives, then we will actively pursue them. We will work harder to accomplish the things we want to accomplish. During one of the sessions I attended, the speaker suggested creating a “Vision Board.” Basically, something that you will see every day that will be an encouraging reminder of why you do what you do and a reminder of the goals you have. You do not have to have a business to create a vision board. Maybe you have a family goal, or a workout goal, or a vacation goal. A vision board could be created for pretty much any type of dream or goal you have. Right now, my goal is to be successful in my Norwex business so that I can provide financial “extras” I want for my family.

I have a large bulletin board already mounted in my office/guest room. I decorated it in a similar way for both of my exchange students that we had. I just left it a blank canvas for them to do what they wanted with it. First, I chose wrapping paper and ribbon that matches the theme I am going for. In this case, blue and green since they are the colors of the Norwex logo. I cut the paper to fit the board and stapled it only around the edges (you can use a knife to trim the edges after you staple the paper). It does not have to be perfect because the ribbon will cover any imperfections on the edges! Then, I cut the ribbon to create a border. I use a 1 inch ribbon because I know it will cover up the staples. I use flat push pins to pin down the ribbon. This allows for easy change if I decide I want a different color at some point. Then I cut several other pieces of ribbon and pin them in a crisscross pattern. I weave them over and under the other ribbons. I used regular push pins to pin where the ribbons cross. This gives me something to hang things on. You can use all the same types of pins or mix them up!

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After the foundation of the board was complete, I started adding things that I thought would be encouraging for me to see every day!

My name badge from conference:

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My immediate financial goals:

[Side Note: In case you are wondering, I over estimate for trips in case there are financial set backs such as car trouble, airline delays, extra hotel expenses, etc. If I have money left over from a trip, it transfers over to the next financial goal. So if we only spend $750 on our Iowa trip then the left over $250 will go towards our Tennessee trip.]

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Lyrics from my all time favorite hymn:

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My Career Plan:

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I am a Sales Leader and my goals this year are to work towards Executive Sales Leader and Senior Executive Sales Leader:

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And some other little things to complete the project!

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I did leave some room because I am planning to add the Norwex mission statement and a family photo since they are the reason I am pursuing my business goals. With this type of set up, I can continue to be creative by adding or changing out things like ribbon color or Enviro cloth color. There is plenty of room to do whatever I want to do with it!

Do you have a vision board?

I would LOVE to hear about yours! Comment below!

Send photos to have the opportunity to be featured on my blog!

hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

*****

Want to know more about NORWEX? Feel free to message me at the email address above or check out my business website:

www.alysasawyer.norwex.biz

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Experimenting With Cookie Decorating!

My oldest daughter (almost 9 years old) and I went to a cookie decorating class in December! We had so much fun learning how to decorate cookies with royal icing! Before now, I have always used a powder sugar glaze on my sugar cookies. Now, I am loving the look of the royal icing.

Here are the cookies I decorated at the class:

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Here are several other photos of Christmas cookies I decorated since the class:12345561_10208275397351707_9197156553318296614_n

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And these are character cookies that I was just experimenting with. Chewbacca is my favorite! My husband wanted me to try and duplicate his patch and that obviously needs a lot of practice.

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It has been fun! I will post more photos whenever I experiment again. There are a ton of Pinterest ideas that I want to try!