Friday, December 19, 2014

A handwritten note is the best gift

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BIC® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Since the invention of the interwebs and the ease of computers I know I don't send as many handwritten notes or even address as many cards as I used to.

I remember a few years ago when I was in Washington DC, one of the things that stuck out the most to me when looking at those historical documents was how amazing their handwriting was.

I have never really liked my handwriting and lets be honest, it's just easier sometimes to send a quick text or e-mail of thanks.  I do try to make it a point to send out as many handwritten notes as I can because I think that it's a lost art.

Some of my favorite recipes are those written in my mother's handwriting and I always love it when someone takes the time to add a personalized message to a card that I receive. My favorite part of the Christmas season is receiving holiday cards from friends and family. It doesn't have to be much, but I always love seeing a sweet note scribbled at the bottom of a card or by their picture.

My youngest son recently had a student teacher in his class from the beginning of the year, until last week.  She graduates this week and is no longer in the class, but she certainly made her mark on those kids.  I made sure that I included a nice handwritten thank you card for her along with her gift.

Speaking of teacher gifts, tis the season!  It doesn't take much, but I recently downloaded this awesome digital pdf booklet from BIC Mark-It™ permanent markers full of great ideas and endless inspiration for use with their 44 vibrant {and awesomely named} long lasting colored permanent markers.

Here are a few great gift ideas for those teachers in your life. You may not want to meet them at the movies, but they would probably appreciate the extra movie ticket for one of their friends. Trust me, I know teachers love those handwritten notes, especially those of appreciation for all of their hard work.

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It's also the season for baked goods and holiday parties.  How much fun would it be to use #margaritagreen or #prarieberry as your signature colors this holiday season?

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I am a big fan of hand lettering and wish that I was better at it.  When I see a Christmas card handwritten in gorgeous font with scribbles and circlicues, it's the first card I open.  Guess the only way to get better at it is to practice am I right?!  I love this tag envelope from Big Flourish

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Which #BICMerryMarking color is your favorite? #platinumsilver would look amazing on your Christmas cards and holiday gift tags don't you think?

There are lots of ideas for this season so get the booklet of merry marking and a coupon to start marking.

One of my favorite instagram feeds is that of Valerie Wieners.  She makes the most awesome hand lettering in the margins of her Bible.  I nominate Valerie to participate in BIC's Month of Merry Marking. I also nominate my friend Louise Gleeson from Late Night Plays because she draws the most beautiful pictures with words that I can only imagine what she would make with BIC Mark-It™ permanent markers and finally, I nominate you, my reader to see what doodles you can doodle, what words you can write, what gifts you can make during BIC's Month of Merry Marking.

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Dry erase notes-perfect handmade gift for under $5!


While on the hunt for a gift idea that a group of elementary school kids could make, but that wasn't too expensive, I ran across an idea for a dry erase plate from House of Smiths.  


I found the square plate at Wal Mart for $3.50.  I used my Silhouette machine to cut out two different pieces of vinyl and I bought a dry erase marker.  I always have Velcro® brand products on hand, because lets be honest, they are a staple in crafting.


I attached the dry erase marker to the back with Velcro® brand sticky back and used a plate stand from The Dollar Store to rest the plate on.


It makes a great inexpensive gift that is quite practical and will match any decor.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Washi tape box update


I know I'm not the only one that loves pretty packages.  I love seeing them under the Christmas tree, I love receiving them, and I love giving them. However, I'm not always that good about making all of my packages pretty.  I usually get the gift I'm giving wrapped but can't seem to take the time to finish off the package...to add that pretty final step to wrapping the gift, but it makes all the difference don't you think?


This year, I received an order of plain white boxes from Jam Paper and decided to use washi tape that I had on hand to give those plain white boxes a little umph.


I really like the contrast of the grey and white and love how easy it was to take these boxes from drab to fab.

What is your favorite way to wrap a package?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Make your rewards credit card work for you

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chase Ultimate Rewards for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Several years ago I did a months long blog series called Living Well on Less. I shared with you how my family of five lives well and is debt free on one income.  We have no debt {other than our home} and pay off our credit card in full at the end of the month.

And yes, I said credit card {not plural}.  We only have one card that we use: a Chase Freedom card. Because we only use one credit card, we did a lot of research to find the card that would work for us. And by work, I mean in the "work it" sense of the word. We needed a card that provided a personalized experience to fit our needs. A card that rewarded us based on what we were already buying.

We've all heard people say they use their credit card to get airline miles. But I use my card and get airline miles, movie tickets, Christmas presents for the kids, cash, you name it.  I'm not tied down by what some credit card thinks that I want.

Chase Ultimate Rewards is a rewards program available to Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire, and Ink from Chase cardholders. When you use your card, you earn points on every purchase and then those points can be redeemed for your choice of rewards.  And yes, that can even mean cash directly deposited into your account. During the holidays, Chase also offers extra incentives to cardholders with Ultimate Rewards, really helping you to stretch every dollar!

If you want to, you can redeem your rewards for travel.  You can chose any flight without black out dates or restrictions. How sweet is that?!

Throughout the year and especially during the holiday season, Chase rewards us when we do our everyday shopping. Have you made a purchase at Amazon, Nordstrom, Lowe's or Groupon recently?

I have. At all three stores and I received 5% cash back because I used my Chase Freedom card.
Every three months there is a new 5% rewards category.  I get alerted via text and opt into those bonuses every quarter. The best part is, there is no annual fee for my Chase Freedom credit card!

Starting being rewarded today!
Visit UltimateRewards.com to learn more.

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