Dear Erin…From Sara

It’s time for “Dear Erin” Monday!  This is your opportunity to write Erin Condren a letter, letting her know what you love about her planner, and/or her products, and how they bless your life!  If you would like to submit a letter, please use the link above for submitting a blog post!  I can’t wait to hear from all of you!!  Today we feature a letter from Sara…

Dear Erin,
I absolutely love my planner. I love that we can use it right out of the box and its so colorful, or if we want to, we can decorate. I love that you listen to your customers and make changes/updates that people want to see. I love the versatility of it– some people use it as their calendar, some as a fitness journal, baby schedule-tracker, etc– or it can be all of these things in one book! We all took the same book– and I have not seen any 2 that are alike. Mine is my right hand man (or woman– I think she’s a lady)– I don’t go anywhere or make any plans without consulting [her]. And don’t get me started on the customization! From changing fonts and colors and making the poor designer go in and choose a different color for each letter on my cover, and YOU DIDN’T CHARGE ME EXTRA! I love the milestone codes (something you don’t have to do), and I personally have not had an issue that did not get resolved quickly and to everyone’s satisfaction (I paid the $5 to upload a pic to the back of my previous LP, and when it arrived the pic was not there– I reported the error, and expecting my $5 back, I was given a $25 credit! Way more than generous!) Mistakes happen– we are only human. We ALL make mistakes. You make things right, going above and beyond. There may be kinks in the system to work out, but that’s fine. Practice makes perfect. Keep your head held high, and keep on keepin’ on. We will be here, supporting you and rockin’ out your awesome goodies.

But we do need tabs on the address book. I’m just sayin’. Ladies like pockets and tabs.

What To Do With March 2014

I just saw some chatter in the Erin Condren Fan Club regarding the monthly spread for March 2014.  Here is 1/2 of the monthly spread in all of its festive green goodness!  Look closely at the bottom left corner.

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This cannot be happening!!  Itty, bitty, teeny, tiny boxes….4 days worth??  NO!!!!

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When I first got my planner and saw this, I promptly went to work and made some changes.  I immediately used my Bic whiteout tape and covered the lines that divided the boxes as well as the numbers 30 & 31.  This gave me full size boxes for March 23 & 24.  Don’t mind how messy those boxes look.  I had a disagreement with some uncooperative Washi tape, and it tore my pages just a bit.  No worries, I can live with it.

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After I redeemed the squares for March 23 & 24, I went back up to the top left of my monthly spread and used the first 2 boxes, and wrote in a 30 in the Sunday box and a 31 in the Monday box, and finished out my month.

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This works for me.

I went through the rest of my planner and found the same issue in November 2014, only it affects just one box, instead of two.  I do hope they will do something different in the 2015 planners.  Having just a 1/2 box for a day will NEVER work for me!

Oh! What A Week…in Action

“What is going on this weekend?” my daughter asked as she rounded the corner into the office.

“Everything is on the fridge,” I answered, and she made an immediate about-face to go and look.

I could feel the smug, smile, smartly on my face.  This is going to work.  I nodded my head gently and put my focus back on my computer.

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Oh! What a Week sits proudly on our small fridge, in the middle of the heart of our home.  I can’t tell you how many countless times I looked at it this week, loving the colors, loving the space, loving the lines and columns.  It has plenty of space for me to write BIG, so everyone can read it while we sit at the breakfast table!

I asked each family member how many times they looked at it this week…Husband – 6 times; Son – 3 times; Daughter – 4 times; Son – 2 times.  I am happy that they all looked at it at least once!!

I couldn’t wait till Sunday to start filling out the next sheet!

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The weekly spread is so colorful and cheerful, I wanted to grab my Sharpies and just get it going!  I love that I get to use my Sharpies.  They are vibrant and cheerful, just like I want our life to be!  Each color has a purpose…Pink for me, orange for hubby, blue for son1, yellow for daughter, green for son2, purple for family!

As we all looked at it one night during supper, my daughter exclaimed “Oh! It’s color coded?  OHHHH, I GET IT!!”…yes my dear daughter, everything that pertains to you is written in YELLOW, the color you’ve had since you were a baby, your favorite color in the world, the color I’ve always used to mark things that applied to YOU!!  I’m so glad you”get it”.  Sometimes children puzzle me!

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The Sharpies do bleed through some, as I mentioned before, but not enough to mark on the following page, so it is not a problem at all.  I love that I get to use all my fun, bright colors!!  I know.  I already said that!

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I keep my Sharpies on the side of the fridge in this little cup.  It has a magnet and plenty of space for around 8 Sharpies, 6 highlighters, and a 4 color Bic pen.  These are my staple writing tools for the things I use on my fridge.

I suppose this would be considered my “command center”.  I hope it does command the attention of my family.  I hope they will learn to look at the “Oh! What a Week” every single day.  I hope they will learn to add things to it!

I think we made good progress this week, and I am all ready for next week!

Paisley ~n~ Pink

Love, love, love this cover!!

Paisley can never go wrong!  Pink can never go wrong!

This cover was designed by Ronna and the colors are Peony (Pink) for the background, and white for the Paisley design.

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Photo by Ronna Watts

I love the simplicity of this cover.  The Paisley looks delicate against the Peony, yet it is crisp and clear and gentle and sweet and girly and pretty and unique and beautiful!!

Thank you Ronna for sharing your cover design with all of us!

~Kristy

“ENJOY” the Chocolate…Gift Bag

Let’s talk about these gift bags. They did not reach out and grab me, as I have not placed an order for one yet. I really wasn’t that sure what they were supposed to be for, as I couldn’t imagine giving someone a gift in a drab brown bag, with a big massive Erin Condren logo on it. I just couldn’t marry that idea and feel like it would produce any good results.

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Photo by Connie Martinez

But then Connie took the plunge, and ordered a small gift bag, and posted pictures of it in the Erin Condren Fan Club group on FB. And the pictures caught my eye. The Life Planner fits perfectly into the small gift bag, and the bag itself is sturdy and has space for more than just the planner. I asked her to give me details, and here is what she said…

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Photo by Connie Martinez

“They are lined with a type of vinyl…I poured water on the outside and it did not leak through…burlap feel…6 inch drop handles…comes with tissue paper…you chose one of 8 colors (red, purple, bright blue, orange, hot pink, yellow, green, and metallic gold)…gold is metallic, not flat…plenty of room for Washi, pens, Life Planner, and more…large 31 zipper pouch fits nicely…will work as a small purse.”

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Photo by Connie Martinez

Hmm…with all of that info, I think I might need to order one of these bags! I saw someone else mention that they would be good for grocery bags. Now, I can marry that idea! I’ll have to look up the large version of this bag and see what the dimensions are.

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Photo by Connie Martinez

I will seriously be considering this bag of chocolate goodness. It’s definitely rustic, which fits right in with my country home and country lifestyle. And I do love the message on the bag…ENJOY!

Tell me if you have one of these gift bags. What do you use it for? Would you order one again? What do you like best about it?

Can’t wait to hear from you!! ~Kristy

Can We Scream HAPPY?

I don’t think any other planner screams HAPPY as loudly as this one does!  Party Pops on white brings a huge smile to my face EVERY time I see it!!  The large letters down the side are so clean and crisp, and the polka dots are so cheerful.  It’s like having a party in your hands every single day!

I looked up “happy” on dictionary.com– joyous, joyful, blithe, cheerful, merry, contented, gay, blissful, satisfied…this Erin Condren planner is all of these things!

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Photo by Kathy Stevens

How can it be possible that a planner can inspire such a feeling of happiness?  It seems a little odd, actually.  Planners have to-do lists, schedules, appointments, things that generally bring some element of stress into our lives.  But there is something special about the Erin Condren planner.  It is fun and colorful!  We forget that we are plotting work and action for ourselves because it’s so much fun to write in it, to color coordinate our pens, and to decorate a bit with stickers and Washi tape!  We forget that the chores are, well, chores, because we are anticipating that moment of checking off our little box, and feeling the satisfaction of completing a task!

I love this Party Pops cover!  And I am so thankful I found a planner that is so much fun to use and that brings such joy into my life!

Note-Worthy

The note pages in the Erin Condren Life Planner can be bursting with life, as is the case with Teresa’s page below!  What a fabulous idea to keep a visual reminder of all the things that make you happy, all the things that bring a smile to your face, and all the things that find a spot under the affectionate heading – “Favorites”!!

A page like this is always a visual feast for the eyes, and each glance will highlight something different, and often just the thing you needed to see on “that” particular day!  It can be created all at once, or it can start with just one word in the middle, and as inspiration comes, other words can be added, doodles and drawings created, spreading out in circles, like the rings consuming a small pond after a stone is tossed into the middle.

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Photo by Teresa Barron

What will your first word be? How many ripples will be in your pond of favorites?  How many of you will use this space in your planner for creating something that will exercise your smile?  Bring some happy into your day!

Create a page  that leaves you feeling content and energized!  Words are a powerful thing, capable of changing your outlook on a bleak day!  Invest in your smile potential…because when you invest in you, that invests in everyone around you!!

Do something special with a note page in your planner!

And we ALL want to see what you do!  ~Kristy

Marvelous Mistake

When this clipboard arrived, it was hard to be upset that something about it wasn’t quite right!

The pattern is Fleur Feliz, the colors, Dark Red and Black.

With those colors, the result would only be striking and super classy looking! But instead of having a white area, overlaying the pattern in a milky square, providing space for writing on the clipboard with a dry erase marker, something happened in the production, and the result was this amazing white outlining around the pattern.  It looks like a mist of silver settled on the clipboard, or that the curves and turns of the Fleur Feliz were draped delicately with lace.

“It is gorgeous”… “Wow, that looks amazing”… “Oh, I like it like that better!”  Everybody was amazed when they saw the photo.  Oh, if only all of the mistakes were this wonderful!!

I personally think it looks “absolutely stunning”!!  And if it were mine, I wouldn’t mind at all, if I had to leave my dry erase markers at home!!

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Photo by Kristen Martin

My Week December 9-15 (Kristy)

A new week begins tomorrow (actually today because it’s after midnight right now while I’m typing this!).  I thought I would share how I use my weekly pages.  My weeks generally start off being fairly empty.  But by the end of the week, I have filled up all the spaces with appointments, activities, photos, stickers, and journaling!  I love that my planner can also serve as a scrapbook, mini photo album, and just a daily record of life!  I can’t wait to have years and years worth of these sitting on my bookshelf!

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I’ll share how I use my spaces, starting on the left side.

1.  Weekly Goals & Notes…
A.  The first thing I put in this section is my Flylady info.  This reminds me which Zone we are in for the week.  I am not hardcore about this yet, but I want to get better at following the cleaning schedule laid out for each Zone.  I just use a blank event sticker and write the Zone number with a Sharpie.
B.  Next is a space for my Weekly To-Do list.  Anything that needs to be done during the week, but isn’t specific to a day or time goes in this list.  By the end of the week, this area will be full, if not overflowing.  Because this space is rather small, if a to-do is specific to a time and/or day, I will just put it on that particular day, and not add it to this list.
C.  Menu-This is something new I’m trying.  I saw it done in someone else’s planner and loved the idea of having the meals be flexible.  Inevitably, when I plan a certain meal for a certain night, something comes up and I have to swap meals.  This allows me to meal plan, so I know what we are going to eat, and I know what to shop for, but it also allows me to fix what works for that particular evening, and/or to fix something that I feel like fixing that night!  I think this is going to be the end of my menu planning failures!  I’m excited to give it a try!

2.  Monday…
A.  Tomorrow looks like a free day so far.  I have so much work to do around the house, I just haven’t written it down yet!  The lines at the bottom have been designated for my business to-do’s.  Tomorrow I have a couple calls to make.  I don’t feel like I need the printed words that are under the boxes and above the lines.  They are in my way, and I don’t use the lined space as suggested, so I have actually gone through my entire planner and used Bic white-out tape and covered all those words.

3.  Tuesday…
Pizza-This is no longer applicable to my schedule.  I was doing a Pizza hot lunch at the school once a month, but it got canceled due to school kitchen issues.  I will find a cute sticker to cover this since the event stickers don’t remove easily.
Michelle-I have a friend coming over in the afternoon sometime.  If I knew a specific time, I would have that written down beside her name.
There is a Zumba class at 5:30pm Tuesday.  We *might* check it out.  Not sure yet!
Daryl, who is “orange”, has a training class Tuesday night.  I usually try to write any appointments that pertain to certain family members, in “their” color.  We each have a color that we have been using for years, so its second nature for me to see “orange” and immediately know it’s something for hubby.

4.  Wednesday…
I always put my birthday stickers at the very beginning of the day, the top of the sticker lined up with the top of the “morning” box.
My youngest has a club meeting Wednesday night.  The sticker color “green”, immediately tells me who is involved!

And that is how the week progresses!  I do use the “morning”, “day”, and “night” sections for their intended purpose…to keep track of activities that happen in the morning, during the day, and at night.  On Saturday, I will be reminding everyone in the Erin Condren Fan Club, that is participating in the Secret Santa exchange, to be sure they have mailed their gifts.  December 14 is the deadline, so people receive their package by Christmas!  I am also a lover of little check boxes, and as the week progresses, many more of these will be added for events and activities that need to be accomplished.

At the beginning of the week, I don’t do too much “decorating” because I preserve my space first for the necessary items that must be accomplished during the week.  At the end of each day, if I have space, I then will print photos on Avery labels and/or find stickers that inspire or motivate me, or are appropriate for the month or activity that happened during that day.

The end result is a week that is bursting with activity, color, and a life record that sparks many memories!  I often find my teenage children paging through my planner, looking at the tiny pictures and remembering the activities with smiles on their faces.  Nothing is better than that!! ~Kristy

Paisley on Chocolate

Paisley is definitely one of my top 3 favorite Erin Condren cover designs.  And actually, I have not seen a Paisley cover yet that I didn’t like!  This one especially caught my eye because I have always loved Chocolate and Pink together!

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Photo by Lindsay Noche

I spoke with Lindsay Noche so I could let you all know exactly what colors she chose to make this stunning cover!

This is the multi Paisley design, on a Chocolate background.  Her name, “Lindsay Noche” is printed in Light Pink, and the verse is printed in Tan.  I am still working on learning all of the names for the fonts that EC uses in their designs.  I don’t know the specific name for this font just yet!

This color combination is so delicious I could see myself using it sometime in the future!  Thank you Lindsay for sharing your planner with us! ~Kristy