Tag Archives: chloe and isabel

As We End 2015…

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I feel like I blinked and missed 2015! It went by so fast.

As I look back and reflect, I realized that the last two years, writing my end of the year blog was easy to do since I wrote everyday. I could remember everything because I wrote so often. It was like a journal

This year, I feel like I have gaps since I stopped writing.  So, I tried to come up with a list of my highlights from 2015 and here they are, in no particular order…

  • DJ off to college – more than 4 hours away – and loving it and doing so well. I am so proud of him!
  • ME – starting grad school – it will take awhile but when I am done I will have a MS in Restorative Practices which I find fascinating!
  • Starting the winter of 2015 with A LOT of snow, and ending the winter of 2015 with the warmest December on record!
  • Finding myself working with two independent sales companies, Chloe and Isabel jewelry and Jamberry nails.
  • My dad in and out of the hospital and rehabilitation centers (fortunately doing much better now.)
  • My grandmother turning 100 years old and celebrating with family from all over the country.
  • Lots of time spent with our extended family, which is always time well spent 🙂

High points and low points throughout the year, but that is what makes life interesting I guess!

I am looking forward to an eventful 2106 and I wish everyone a healthy, prosperous and happy year filled with love and compassion.

My Vision Board

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If you follow me – or my blog – you would know that I “dabble” in a lot of different things. This goes beyond my career of being a teacher. That and being a mom are the two greatest jobs I could have and I love both of them but even with a full time job , (I work summers too,) and part time photography gigs, there isn’t much “fun money” for the extra things we like to do.  With DJ in college and me in grad school those extras don’t happen as often as we’d like.

In January of last year, I became an independent consultant for chloe and isabel jewelry. Their jewelry is really pretty and I love wearing it and selling it. Some months were definitely better than others and I wish I could find more of a demand for it because I know that I could sell a lot more. I found it hard to get hostesses and I know that I am not aggressive enough – and that is something I need to work on this year. It is great “fun money” though and it let me do things like dinners out , manicures, pedicures and that sort of thing that I’d have otherwise felt guilty spending money on.

A friend of mine sells Jamberry nail wraps and recently, we did a small vendor event together. She and the other vendor were pretty successful but mine had only one sale. We talked about it a bit and realized that “consumables” are the reason why. If you like the nail wraps, you will want to order more. With the jewelry, no matter how beautiful it is, there is only so much a person will order. I am not giving up chloe and isabel. I plan to keep working the business but decided to also venture into the Jamberry world and become a rep for them too.  They go along well side by side actually – pretty rings on a well manicure hand!!

One of the first things I was asked to do by my lead consultant with Jamberry was to create a vision board. I didn’t know what that was but it is not much more than making a list of things I hope to get or accomplish in the future. Right now, I am keeping my vision to one year. My vision board includes:

  • Paying for grad school
  • DJ’s tuition
  • A vacation
  • Girls’ Nights Out
  • Date Nights
  • More charity work

So my first step – to hold some parties! They can be in person or online. Hostesses can live close by or across the country (and with Jamberry – around the world!) The hostess rewards for both companies are amazing and I would love to help people earn free stuff – because getting stuff for free is one of my favorite things!

Check out both my sites and let me know what you think! Let me know in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you!

https://clairesinclair.jamberry.com

https://www.chloeandisabel.com/boutique/clairesinclair

You can also follow my facebook pages to find out about big sales and specials. Just give it a like!!

https://www.facebook.com/Chloe-and-Isabel-with-Claire-Sinclair-818706738175643/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/clairesinclairjamberry/?fref=ts

Adding a Little More to My Plate…

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I got upset with myself when I realized how infrequently I wrote my on blog this year. I had been so faithful, writing everyday for over two years and then, just fell flat. Maybe it was a more hectic schedule? I finished two grad school classes in that time. I am still teaching Kindergarten, I volunteer a few days a month at an art gallery in town that sells the artwork of adults with special needs. I have been doing more photography work and still  I am still trying to work my Chloe and Isabel jewelry business…(this has started to fall to the wayside – not my intention, just not finding the interest from others although, still trying….)

SO, what did I decide to do?

Take on yet ANOTHER venture!! Where am I finding the time? I probably am not, but I am going to try it. After attending a vendor event with my jewelry, and not selling anywhere near as much as the other vendors, I began rethinking what they had that I didn’t and we realized what it was. They sell, “consumables.” Makeup and Jamberry nail wraps. They always run out, so people come back for more. Makes sense. I guess there is only so much jewelry you can own, (although I am sure there are some that would disagree!)

So, with the help of my friend Beth, I have started my Jamberry adventure and have become an independent consultant for them. The wraps are cute, stylish and fast and easy to apply. Easy and fast were the key words for me.

As a kid, I was a nail biter and because of my insecurities about Neurofibromitosis and my self image, I am not a big fan of showing my hands but I need to break out of this. I know it – and this is a step in the right direction….I hope.

Check out Jamberry nail wraps. They are cheaper than the cost of a regular manicure and you get at least one manicure/pedicure with each set you order. They sell them in adult and kid sizes too. Try a set and let me know what you think.

https://clairesinclair.jamberry.com/us/en/shop/party/home/81a586f7-38b3-456d-9936-909338237d98

Now, I have to run.  Off to take photos at a charity breakfast with Santa! This should get me into the holiday spirit – even if it is 65 degrees on December 12th in New Jersey!!

Giving Back and Having Fun While Doing It

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What a fun-filled weekend! It began on Friday night, when I joined a friend at a Rent Party concert, one of my favorite local organizations, which helps to feed hungry children in our own community.

Saturday, I ran in another Muck Fest, along with several teachers from my school. This has become an annual event for us now.  This was our fifth race as a team and each year we have more and more fun doing it. The race isn’t a hard one – I have to get over a fear of heights I never knew I had, but other than that, the obstacles are fun, dirty and mucky and we laugh through the entire race. The entire race, which is held in various locations across the country, raises money for MS.  Our team collected close to $1000 this year.

Sunday, several local women and I got together to hold a vendor event. We are donating a percentage of our proceeds to Rent Party/Back Pack Pals. It was a pretty successful day.  I am still taking orders that will benefit the cause and will keep it going for a few more days.

The weekend ended with an end of the year soccer BBQ and pool party at the home of one of Drew’s teammates.  Dave and DJ left early to head to Boston for DJ’s freshmen orientation. Hard to believe this is possible! Sometimes I don’t feel old enough to be the mom of a college student, but I guess I am since this is actually happening!

Back on Track

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Today, I got a bit sad and even disappointed with myself when I realized just how long it has been since I have actually written.  I went to our public library, where I met with the head librarian of the children’s room.  Months ago, we had talked about starting a program this summer that could encourage kindness and paying it forward.

We both seemed to have lost track of time and finally got a chance to meet this afternoon.  She introduced me to another librarian there and when she began to tell her about my kindness blog, I realized just how far off track I had fallen. Writing everyday, gave me structure and routine.  I did it even when I had little to say.  Giving myself some slack has made me way too relaxed and although I have been very busy with school and helping DJ get ready for graduation and prepared for college, I felt a little badly about it today.  Guilty even.  A lot has happened in these weeks where I didn’t write. Nothing life changing for us, nothing catastrophic – but we’ve been ever so busy.

There was a weapon brought to Drew AND DJ’s school last week and I still haven’t been able to comprehend just what a tragedy it could have been. This might have to be a blog in itself – when I am ready to think about it more clearly.

This is a month I should be writing! A month to remember all of the firsts in DJ’s life with graduation and college awaiting him. A month where we lost a very important member of our community to brain cancer. A month where a good friend of ours was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I have decided to take a class and see if I am ready to pursue my Masters Degree.  If it goes smoothly, I will be busier than I already am, but the result will be worth it! I had my best month yet with my chloe and isabel jewelry business and if I can keep that up – I can help to pay for some courses!!

Yesterday a ladybug landed on me while I was driving. I know to some people that is considered to be lucky.  The first thing I thought of when it landed was how how I’d incorporate it into my blog. So many little things so many big things….I am going to make another attempt at it.

I need to be writing – maybe not everyday, but I need to write. It grounds me, centers me and keeps me focused.

Our Staycation

staycation

On April 3, I decided that I would not be writing daily on my blog. It is funny, some nights, I go to bed thinking that I forgot to do something for the day! It got to be such a habit for me.

I have still written several times this month and posted stories of kindness. I still read other bloggers entries and when I am feeling inspired or whimsical, like tonight, I sit down and write.

Tonight ends our Spring Break.  Back to reality tomorrow morning when that alarm goes off at 6am. Back to schedules and routines.  I got used to being at home.  We had a “staycation” this year.  No trip for us.  Drew was lucky enough to be invited to Great Wolf Lodge with the family of one of his good friends. DJ was busy with baseball.

Drew started the week off on a high note with his Spartan Race.  The weather was gorgeous and we knew if the whole week could be like that, it wouldn’t matter that we were staying home and not going anywhere.  Well, it wasn’t.  We had torrential rain on Monday and SNOW flurries two days!

At least it forced me to get some Spring Cleaning done – nowhere near as much as I had hoped to do, but some. The Veterans came and picked up a lot of “stuff” that was cluttering up the rooms.  I always joke that the house feels lighter after a donation pick up.

I was lucky enough to get to celebrate my best friend’s birthday by taking her to lunch. I did some collections for the Prom Dress Drive and for the local food pantry.  Dave and I used some gift cards we had been saving for awhile, and got to see a movie and have lunch.

I got to experience everyone’s vacations through Facebook. When I realized that DJ’s Spring break won’t ever fall at the same time as ours, it motivated me to look into a trip over our holiday break from school. Maybe it is something to strive for.  Looks like I need to sell a lot more jewelry!! 🙂 🙂

“Popping Up”

As most of you know, I have become a merchandiser for Chloe + Isabel Jewelry. Basically that’s a fancy way of saying, I sell jewelry at home parties!!  Although with the internet I also can sell online!  At c+i, we call at party a “Pop Up.”  I have had two small pop ups so far. One with my best friend Kelly for a bunch of her friends.  It was supposed to be huge, but a big ice storm in January kept that from happening.  It still did really well though even with only a few guests. Then, about two weeks ago, a coworker of mine decided to hold a party for the teachers at our school.  Another small party but another success! Tonight, I am doing my first “Big”  Pop-Up.  It is at my house and an open house.  I invited lots of people from all areas of my life.  I am hoping to get a lot of parties booked from it.  My goal is two parties a month. If I can get more – awesome, but I am trying to keep it realistic and start out small. Tonight, the cards seemed to be stacked against me.  First, the party was scheduled to be at my dad’s house.  A much bigger home than mine that could fit many more people.  With him only home from the rehab center for a day, that wasn’t really a possibility anymore so now, we have moved it to my little home.  There may be a lot of us, but we will be cozy.  I will make it work.  It also happens to be the coldest day of the year.  Temperatures were at zero this morning.  Very cold for New Jersey! So, fingers are crossed that tonight is another success.  I have amazing friends and even if no one buys anything, I love that I am getting the word out there about chloe + isabel.  My goal tonight is to book at least one in home party. I’d love to get more, but again….start small. If you are in the area, stop by.  I’d love to show you the merchandise. Get out of the cold, grab a drink and some snacks. Come socialize and look at pretty jewelry.  It will be fun no matter what the outcome. Anyone reading this that is not in the area that would love to earn free jewelry without having to do a thing….contact me.  The stuff is gorgeous and chloe + isabel make it very easy to get it for nothing!!  Plus, there’s not much better than shopping in your pajamas.

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http://www.chloeandisabel.com/boutique/clairesinclair#53324

The Liebster Award

The photo prompt for today is Space and I really wasn’t sure how to approach it today.  I decided to go with a very messy picture of my writing space. The place I sit everyday as I write my blog.  It is cluttered and it is crowded but I know where everything is, (usually.) Since I chose to show my writing space, I decided to share the blog I have been working on for a few days now.

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I was recently nominated for a Liebster Award.  What is a Liebster Award you might ask????

liebster award

The Liebster Award is given from one blogger to another in appreciation of what they offer to readers and the blogging community. If the blogger has less than 200 followers, they fit the criteria. It’s a great way to discover new blogs and give your favorite bloggers a virtual hug.

Here are some background and rules.

Step One: You’re nominated.

Step Two: You decide whether or not you’d like to accept the award.

Step Three: You follow the nomination rules.

Step Four: Enjoy your victory! It’s so nice to be acknowledged!

Here are the Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you. (Thank you so much, MaryBeth at Maple Brown Sugar, for the award! It’s  a wonderful way to start my 2015 blog.)

Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.

List 11 Random Facts about yourself.

Nominate up to 11 bloggers if possible.

Provide your nominees with a list of 11 questions.

Remember to check with the nominees first to make sure they would like to participate. (Some are pending and will be added if necessary.)

All of these blogs are ones I read and enjoy regularly. I think you will, too! Please give them a try and a big round of cyber applause.

And here are the questions that were posed to me:

1. What kind of music do you listen to? I like all sorts of music.  Pretty much everything except heavy metal.  I have a soft spot for Barry Manilow (and right after I wrote this, I saw that he is coming to our area in June!!!)
2. What books and/or movies have stuck with you and affected you personally? I am not sure if I would say that it affected my personally, but I read “The Help” before seeing the movie and it was one of those books that i never wanted to end.  “Sarah’s Key” was another.
3. Why did you decide to start blogging? I started blogging January 1, 2013 with the goal to spread kindness by writing every single day for a year.  Shortly after, my mom and sister both died unexpectedly within 4 weeks of each other and my blog changed becoming more of a personal journey for me. I still write every single day – two years later.
4. What activities, besides blogging, do you participate in? I am a pretty busy person. I am a mom and wife. I teach Kindergarten full time, do photography part time, (very part time) and have just begun a new business as a merchandiser for Chloe and Isabel Jewelry – shop with me!! http://www.chloeandisabel.com/boutique/clairesinclair   Their jewelry is gorgeous and you don’t even have to live nearby since we can do it all online 🙂
5. What would your 16-year old self say about what your life is like now? Well, since I met my husband at the age of 17, I am going to cheat a bit on this one and use that age instead.  I knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was in the 4th grade so that is not a surprise.  Dave, (my husband) became my best friend as soon as we met, so I could not have imagined my life without him.  I did expect to have more than two children – and never the mom to two boys.  I was always such a girly girl! I wanted to live in the same town I grew up in and teach there too and I do, so, really, I didn’t expect it to be much different than it actually is.
6. What’s a typical day in your life like?  Wake up 6 am.  Leave for my 3 minute drive to work at 7:15. Teach until 3:30 stay at school till 4:30 then home.  Usually an exercise class 2 or 3 days a week, dinner with the family, television, write my blog and bed by 10pm only to start all over the next day.
7. What celebrity, athlete and/or cultural figure, dead or alive, famous or infamous, would you want to invite over for dinner and talk to? Tough one.  So many but I think I would like to spend time with Prince William and Duchess Kate.  They have such a wonderful perspective on life and their charitable endeavors make me wish that I could do so much more.
8. If you could change one thing about your life, what would that be? To be a bit more financially stable.  I  wish we didn’t have to worry about money but we do, but we still do things we love with the people we love and that is what is most important.
9. What dreams do you plan to conquer next? I don’t have a lot of “dreams.” I have a great husband, terrific kids, amazing friends.  I love my job, love working with children.  I am pretty content with the way things are. I guess if I am going to ‘conquer’ something, it would be to rock my new business with chloe + isabel.
10. Name five pet peeves. 1. Hearing people eat/chew/slurp.  2. Wet socks. 3. Wet sleeves. 4. The “R” word 5. Selfies with “fish lips.”
11. What place would you most like to travel to? I would like to go back to Italy and spend more time there.  Dave and I were there on a cruise before our kids were born and I’d love to choose a few of the favorite places that we visited and go back – especially Venice!

11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

Not to much is a secret – especially after writing this blog, but here goes…

1. My first car out of college was a Toyota Celica convertible, light blue with a dark blue top.  My dad finally sold that car last year! TWENTY years later!

2. My father, brother, sister and I, all went to American University in Washington, DC.

3. I am terrified of horror films especially Nightmare on Elm Street and the first day of college, my roommate had a life size poster of Freddy Kreuger hanging over my bed when I got there!

4. My mother-in-law gave me an Ab-Roller for my birthday THE DAY AFTER I gave birth to my first child.

5. One of my guilty pleasures is mixing movie theater, buttered popcorn with a box of Snowcaps.

6. I hate being cold and will often sleep with my sweatpants tucked into my socks – not the most attractive look but functional and warm in our cold house!

7. I have more than one tattoo.

8. I was not chosen for the cheerleading team in high-school because I was told I “was not peppy enough” which is quite ironic if you know me today!!

9. I had Lasik eye surgery almost 10 years ago and still have 20/20 vision, although I need to wear reading glasses since I turned 40.

10. I take 14 vitamins and supplements every single day.

11. Once, while at a Best Buddies of America fundraiser, I tripped over Arnold Schwarzenegger’s foot, (totally my fault) but he did help me up. 🙂

And finally….questions for my nominees:

1. What do you rant most over?

2. Why did you start blogging?

3. Do you have an idol, who is it and why?

4. What is the best advice you have ever received?

5. Where is the farthest you have traveled?

6. If you could be living anywhere in the world, where would it be?

7. What is your favorite indulgence?

8. What are your pet peeves?

9. What are your favorite television shows?

10. Do you have any tattoos and if so, what are they?

11. Do you have any regrets?

Thanks again to MaryBeth for nominating me.  I can’t wait to hear from my own nominees.  And here they are….more will be added as I get permission from them.

1. Life Stories, by Tammy Palazzo Dandino

2. How to Overthink Almost Everything by Kim Miller

3. Five Plus Banana Splits by Julia Jones

Have fun!

My Gear

When I saw the photo prompt for today, My Gear, I knew right away that I would take a photo of my camera equipment.  I don’t have a lot of it, but what I have, I love!

Then, I got home from work and sitting at my front door was a box with “chloe + isabel” written across it.  MY NEW GEAR!!  My starter kit from c+i! I was like a little kid at Christmas! I ripped open the box and unwrapped each of those pieces and then browsed through the catalog.  I have been playing around with it trying to figure out how to best display the pieces.  I am going to have to learn some design strategies now! Something I have never excelled in but will discover how to now!

Immediately I changed my mind and decided that I’d photograph this instead.

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My friend Lidia has even offered me a chance to share it with others at her studio on Saturday.  I am so grateful for that! I hope others like it as much as I do and want to host parties where they can get their own free jewelry.  The jewelry is better than I even expected it to be and I cannot wait to begin to share it!

Think It Over

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Today’s photo prompt is Think Over which I thought was perfect for today.  As I think about the past few days and my decision to start something new working for chloe + isabel. I am getting more and more excited about it.  It won’t become a huge money maker for us, but it can be those little extras that we sometimes do without.  I spoke with my lead merchandiser on the phone and by the end of our call, it felt like we were old friends.  I am excited to be working for a company with such a wonderful community.

Another thing we sat and had to Think Over today was our decision to watch our favorite college football team get slaughtered during their bowl game.  Ugh.  Devastating to be on the losing end but we were lucky enough to get to watch the game with our best friends.  This photo is of our Emmy Lou who I believe is “thinking over” our normally quiet house that was overrun with company today!!

Great fun for us….something Emmy Lou will need some getting used to!