Letter writing month (February) is past, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t challenge yourself to write some letters! I made both a full page spread and an A5 spread with places to note the start date, end date, make notes, as well as to label each letter sent–either with the sent date or who you sent the letter to.

Challenge yourself to send them consecutively, or just challenge yourself to send them throughout the course of a year. Make the challenge your own. Either way, just have fun!

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Letter Challenge FullLetter Challenge – Full

Letter Challenge A5Letter Challenge – A5

DSC_0589I was in need of a simple pill holder for work: something for my desk drawer with easily identifiable compartments to hold various pills–for headaches, nausea, etc. I wanted it to be cheap, fast and easy. It’s not meant to be carried in my purse and doesn’t really need to take much of a beating, so a cheaper pill holder/compartment would work just fine–I didn’t need anything fancy from Walgreens or CVS. So I used some supplies already on hand (scrapbook paper and Glossy Accents) and a pill holder from The Dollar Tree.

DSC_0591I got lucky with the pill holder I picked out–there was a bit of a lip inside and made a great place to label each compartment. This way, the outside of the box was plastic and protected.

DSC_0590I started out by taking an index card and cutting a template to fit the inside of the lid of the pill holder. Once it snuggly fit, I tapped the lid until it fell out and used it as a template to cut my chosen scrapbook paper. (In this case, I used Gorjuss girl paper.) I cut out a piece of scrapbook paper for each compartment.

DSC_0593In keeping with the quick and simple theme, I used a ballpoint pen (I did a smear test with Glossy Accent) and just wrote the medication going in the compartment–nothing fancy! I labeled each compartment, but you could just decorate each lid with scrapbook paper, without the labels if you wanted.

DSC_0594After labeling each compartment, I made sure they were facing the right way. I put some Glossy Accents in the inside of the lid, laid the paper inside (being careful to avoid causing any air bubbles that would show once the lid was closed), then sealed the entire back in more Glossy Accents.

DSC_0597 Now remember, this pill case is from a Dollar Store so it’s not the highest quality OR the most stable. So I jerry-rigged it with some washi tape!

DSC_0601 Here’s a better view of how much tape I used to make sure it stayed while it dried. I own way too much washi tape–I wasn’t worried about wasting it. I was more worried about the tape coming undone in the middle of the night. I did this project right before bed so it could set during the night.

PillsHere’s how it came out! You can see how great the top looks because we did all our magic on the inside.

Pills Travel tip: Since this box is from the Dollar Tree, it’s not really equipped to travel in your book bag or overnight case. The lids easily pop open. Since I made the case for my desk at work, I just needed to get it safely from home to work without the pills popping out. I put a couple of strips of washi on them, which easily peeled off when I got work and tucked it safely into my desk!

Cake NecklaceA good friend who had moved away many years ago had her birthday this month. I made her one of my cards (Yes, I’m still stuck on the same Tim Holtz technique I learned back in August!) and an anchor necklace with some California sand in it.

Cake Necklace I love this birthday cake stamp, but I think I’m going to have to invest in another set or two if I am going to keep sending out birthday cards. Do people want to get the same birthday cake card, albeit with different colors, from me every single year? Probably not.

Cake NecklaceMy sister purchased these cute little glass anchor vials and let me play with a couple of them. I thought it was perfect to hold some California sand in it for my friend, who no longer lives in California. Just a little bit of home away from home!
Cake NecklaceHere is a photo of the anchor with a quarter for size reference–I love how delicate and small it is!

Here’s something that has been a huge help to me on my financial journal, and just in general: check registers! I don’t write checks that often (although I still use one or two a month!), so I use check registers faster than I get them. It made a lot of sense for me to make my own and I’ve gotten a whole lot of use out of them. I hope you do, too!

Check Registers
Check Register – Lined

Check Registers
Check Register – Green – A5

Check Registers
Check Register – Blue – A5

Check Registers
Check Register – Purple – A5

Check Registers
Check Register – Rose – A5

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Last year I re-discovered the website swap-bot.com, a great website for swapping. I also discovered swapping one of my new favorite things: ATC’s–artist trading cards. It’s like little pieces of art and even better, they’re easy to store. They fit in baseball sleeves so I have a great album set up for my collection, which I’ll have to share!

I love creating ATC’s because you get to share your art with others, and sometimes you get the challenge of creating art you wouldn’t have necessarily thought of. This is one of those challenges. The challenge for this swap was to make an ATC using only straight lines. I pulled out a ruler, some colored pens and make an ATC!

And man, what a challenge it was! I don’t consider myself “artistic,” despite the meaning of ATC, I consider myself crafty, so to make something from scratching like this with just pens and a blank piece of paper. It’s so intimidating! I do like what I ended up with, though, and I hope my partner likes it, too.

One of my credit cards offers free FICO scores, so I whipped up some pages to keep track of them. I hope you can use these, too!

A5 - FICO
FICO Score – A5

A5 - FICO - shaded
FICO Score – Shaded – A5

A5 - FICO - no border
FICO Score – no border – A5

A5 - FICO - no border - shaded
FICO Score – no border – shaded – A5

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Well, I’m still chippin’ away! My goal for February is to pay down a big chunk of debt on my credit card, and while I’m not there yet, I have paid most of my bills for the month, and we’re only halfway through the month. I am hoping to take a couple of huge wacks at it in order to make my goal, but for now, I am slowly chipping away at it. I’ll let you know if I made it or not once the end of the month arrives!!

I am still on the fence about sharing my specific debt numbers, I already feel so exposed sharing what step I’m on and what I’m working on paying off (for example, you know I’m officially on Baby Step Two and working on paying off credit card number three). I am hoping to find a debt calculator online so I can tell you what percentage I am — for example, if it’s totally maxed out, that would be 100%. If it’s halfway paid off, then that would be 50%, so I can at least give you an idea of how far along I am on paying it off.

At the end of the day, what counts is I am working on credit card number three, and I am seeing it go down and only down! (The only time it goes up is once a month when interest is calculated.) As you know, I was frustrated by the slow progress of January because I had to stop my debt paydown and complete Baby Step One, so I’m just ready to really see a lot of progression in February, even if it is a short month. I’m in a unique position to throw a lot at it, and I am determined to do what I can, as fast as I can. It’s still going to take a while, but I am going to make a big difference as fast as I can just the same!

Did I mention I’m still on No Spend February? I’m doing really well with that! I haven’t been shopping and have only paid bills, bought gas, things that are necessary and not frivolous. I have something fun coming up at the end of March that was scheduled months ago so if the momentum goes passed February, well, then I’m just going to let it! Because I want to kick as much debt in the butt as I can while I’m motivated to. I tend to have an all-or-nothing attitude, and if I am on a roll with not spending, I need to ride that wave as long as I possibly can. Is anyone else like that? Does anyone else struggle with the all or nothing mentality?

I hope you’re doing well with your spending. Let me know if you have any tips or tricks to getting your finances in order.

Here’s something I thought was fun: I took those Savings Jar and turned them into Journaling Jars! So, in a break from sharing some finance downloads (don’t worry, they’ll be plenty more!), here are two Journaling Jars I created. At first, I totally “emptied” out the jar. I thought it would make a great page “fill” with ephemera, like postage stamps or magazine cut outs, or to draw a scene in. The second thing I did was create a jar with lines because I am a journaler by nature and who wouldn’t want to journal inside the jar?

Journaling Jar - Full
Empty Journaling Jar

Lined Journaling Jar - Full
Lined Journaling Jar

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I had a couple of verses that really meant a lot to me during January’s Sweet Blessings Scripture Writing Plan, which i’m continuing for February because I enjoy it so much.

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Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

This verse came during a week I was having a rough time following my financial plan. I have explained in previous posts I felt like my savings “set me back” in my financial goals (I know it didn’t, but it just felt that way) but this verse made me realize that this job I’ve been in, that I feel like God lead me to, that God put me in a better financial situation, has finally given me hope. I have hope for a better financial situation, hope for being debt free, and hope for a future that I didn’t consider even a year ago.

 

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Psalm 37:8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; Do not fret–it leads only to evil.

This verse came during an exceptionally difficult week at work, when I felt like everything was going to fall apart. I’m still fighting that fear, but I’m also holding on to hope that God’s plan is bigger than my fears. I have it pinned up next to my bed, as well as taped up at work to remind me to “be the better person,” in my mother’s words.

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I purchased supplies to make what I knew were going to be wonderful earrings full of sand from a local beach. And when I say “full,” they could be filled easily with sand that falls in your shoe when you take a quick walk on the beach. They’re so dainty and light, I love them so! I’ve already been asked to make a pair for someone’s birthday and can’t wait to make some for gifts for a couple friends.

I love the meaning of carrying something local with you — it’s not just any sand, it’s from home.