Thursday, January 23, 2014

Encouragement Project: January Cards

I was so excited to get the first 4 encouragement cards sent out this month! Not only did I get some calligraphy practice in there, but it felt so good to write down my thoughts, and encourage others. I hope the ladies that receive this month's encouragements love them and enjoy them as much as I did.

I may or may not write them in gold from now on. What can I say? I'm obsessed and it's so beautiful in person.

If you would like to sign up to receive encouragements from me written in calligraphy, or to read more about my 2014 encouragement project - click here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New in the Shop: Soon to be Mrs. Stationery

I love patterns and one of the popular items in the Leen Machine shop is the Soon to be Mrs. stationery. I'm excited to add 5 new stationery and notepads for the recently engaged, bride to be!

Check them out!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Envelope System

The first time I heard about the envelope system was from Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace class and I scoffed at the idea. You can find out more about the envelope system here. I changed my mind after I read Nancy Ray's Financial Series - Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, Part 5 - and I got so motivated.

How did it go and how did I do? Let's review my envelopes:

  1. Gas envelope - the easiest to keep up with. Having cash definitely helped me not go over. 
  2. Groceries envelope - an envelope that made me nervous but made me very aware to only get the necessities. It stopped the throwing of things in the grocery cart, just because I could. I went under budget every time, it felt amazing and I got enough food to feed us for the week.
  3. Fun money envelope - originally intended for fun, this is the wild card envelope and turned into the catch-all of all the random expenses that popped up. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it the entire month with this envelope BUT I DID. Expenses included: 
      • one Starbucks frappuccino
      • getting a Christmas present for our church Angel tree
      • getting dog medicine - I was not happy this cut into my fun money but I was determined not to swipe my card
      • multiple small donations to Salvation Army - it was the holiday season and I always felt guilty walking by without donating
      • small, random purchases
      • a couple times getting fast food
  4. Christmas envelope - surprisingly, this was so much easier. It helped that I didn't buy a lot of stuff. Instead, I ended up making things for family and friends. 

The only time I swiped my debit card was to get our neighbor a gift card for helping us throughout the year. It was spontaneous and it was somewhat painful to break out my debit card, but it was for someone who really deserved it so I made ONE exception. 

What I learned and why I'm continuing to do it:
  • I cannot tell my money where to go when it's on a debit card.
  • It's a little bit easier to NOT eat or stop by restaurants because my funds are limited. It's also easier to remind myself I have food at home and to remember the ridiculous amount of money I wasted stopping by restaurants out of convenience - the main reason I began with the envelope system.
  • It taught me discipline and showed me that I can control money, not the other way around.

Monday, January 13, 2014

New in the Shop: Baby Announcements & Shower Invitations

Even though some of these designs have been ready for some time, they are finally available in the Leen Machine Shop. I hope to add more in the coming year.

Make sure to check out the rest of the new Baby Announcements and Shower Invitations!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014 Goals

I feel slightly odd posting my goals because for some reason, I want to hold them close. These goals are pretty personal to me and I had them written down way back in November. My focus when writing these goals was simple - make what MATTERS happen. It's funny because after I wrote all of it down, nowhere did I write anything about money. It showed me loud and clear that though I worry about money from time to time (who doesn't, right?), it is not in my top priority.


  1. Build myself up. Take a watercolor class. Read encouraging books. Run. Workout. Do more of what makes me happy. Invest in myself. It starts with me and I've noticed the more I build myself up, the better I feel and the stronger I am fighting negative thoughts daily. 
  2. Give Back. Every single month, I want to volunteer my time and also give a donation to a worthy cause. Currently, the charity I donate to is Pencils of Promise and day job permitting, I hope to volunteer at Harvest Hope, local food bank. 
  3. Slow Down. Spend time with my family and friends. Spend more time away from the computer and my phone. 
  4. Create a Business that serve others and help others celebrate life's biggest moments. I want to create a business that is also more in line with who I am and things I love - simplicity, color, patterns.
  5. Connect With Others. Put myself out there. Speak my mind and compliment others. Get to know them and their stories. 
  6. Create a Sacred Home. Our home is where we spend the most time in. It contains our loved ones. Love, time and care should be put into it. 
  7. Travel to Banff, Canada - this has actually changed for the better but more on that later. Go to Influence and Making Things Happen conference - not sure how I will make these two happen, but we'll see! 
  8. Bless Others. Inspire and encourage others. Brighten their day and do more random acts of kindness.
  9. Spend time with God daily. Read, journal and take a few moments daily to check in with him.
  10. Simplify. Get rid of physical and mental clutter.