Blogger Takeover: Planner Folio Organization with Claudia Bach @chicagomomplans

Claudia Bach is the admin of one of the largest, most active and fastest growing planning communities on Facebook, Bullet Journal Junkies, which currently has 145K members.  As a longtime member of the planning community, Claudia has had the honor of being on various design teams and speaking at several planner conferences and events, including Go Wild hosted by Wild for Planners. Claudia lives in Naperville, IL with her husband and 13-year-old daughter Lindsey, who is following in her mom’s footsteps as a planner girl. Claudia can be found on Instagram at instagram.com/chicagomomplans

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Blogger Takeover: Desk Organization With @FleurDille

Anna Cobbs is a speech pathologist, blogger, and full-time mom to 3 and 5 year old daughters. Like every mom, she wears many hats and navigates a jam-packed schedule. When she’s not switching gears from mom to business owner to wife to friend, Anna is coming up with clever ways to stay organized and is so excited to share some of those today!

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DIY Shibori Design

By now you may have noticed that shibori is having a MAJOR moment (and we’re kind of obsessed!) What you may not have known is that DIYing your own shibori is actually much simpler than you may think! Our design team got their crafting fix and created the stunning patterns seen on our own shibori products…and now we’re sharing how they did it with you!

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Floral Stitches makes its mark!

Seen all over the world and throughout history, embroidery is a trend I’ve personally admired for years. I just love that we were able to recreate this age-old art with digital “stitching” to mimic the classic woven style of needle point. Our lead designer, Aby, worked with me to properly depict this stunning artistry…and FLORAL STITCHES was born!
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BLOGGER TAKEOVER: How To Style A Home Office with Simply Organized

11986566_10207596590693100_2614692584096918254_n Samantha is a professional organizer, small business owner, NAPO member, and writer of the blog Simply Organized. It is a mix of organization projects, DIYs, and inspiration with the goal of simplifying and taking the stress out of getting organized.

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You may recall in August I posted an update about my home office. I shared the before and after of my very own cluttered, exhausted, end of summer work space. At the time, I thought I would take part in a popular online challenge this Fall to makeover one room in my home. That room being the office. Although I had the best of intentions, and still plan to update this space, I’m sad to report that time wasn’t on my side to join the challenge. These things happen and I’m not disappointed in the least. It will come together when its meant to be and look forward to sharing when it does.

In the meantime, however, there was no reason why I couldn’t invest in pretty artwork to brighten the space!

I’ve been talking about my new Erin Condren planner since making the move to one this summer. Her planners are bright, colorful, well-designed and full of inspiring messages. When I was looking at the new deluxe monthly planners (they are oversized, you guys – like my old DIY version!), I had no idea she also has fine art prints available. Scattered throughout her planners are motivating messages…

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Of course she would offer prints to inspire you in your home / work spaces. These two in particular are what sold me…

 

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If there’s any message I can pass on to my daughter, it’s that she can design a life she is totally in love with. I love the gold metallic! I also fell in love with the coral and pink colors in the bundle of flowers.

In looking around my office, I decided to purchase 4 prints total…

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Her white framing is gorgeous! My prints came ready to hang, which is a nice benefit when you’re too busy to run around finding frames. Framing is not my strong point!…

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The gold metallic is stunning…

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I hung 2 of the prints above my computer, where I see them daily…

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These prints would make beautiful holiday gifts!

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I added the other 2 prints to the empty space near my office shelving. So in love with these!…

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Artwork, prints and framing on the walls changes everything!

The watercolor print is delicate and beautiful…

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Erin Condren’s prints are available for purchase on their own (for as little as $18) or you can have the framing added to your order. They come in a variety of patterns, designs and quotes. She collaborated with Marco Fine Arts to bring this collection to life and everything from materials and packaging are made right here in the USA.

These prints will transfer to my new home office decor perfectly too. I’m planning a much brighter home office with less hefty furniture. In the meantime, I’m excited to have some new added color and inspiration here in my office space…

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I’m taking a little break from client work this week and heading to Nashville to visit friends. Can not wait! I’ve never been to Nashville and haven’t seen my girlfriend in nearly 3 years. I’ll share some photos on FB and will be doing some blog updates while I have the down time. Playing catch up with the client gallery! Hope you’re having a great week!

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Design DIY: How to Build a Gallery Wall

Y’all – interior design can often seem intimidating, but I’m here to tell you, it’s not! What I love most is the ability to incorporate multiple themes, patterns, and textures that are seemingly very different, yet combine to create a balanced and beautiful picture. You don’t need an entirely cohesive design theme to style a stunning space!

Speaking of pictures, one of the cutest and easiest ways to add interest and variation to your decor is by creating a gallery wall! It’s a great way pull in various colors and wood finishes to incorporate a wider range of furniture and design elements. In a nutshell, when it’s not so matchy-matchy, you’ll find more incorporate pieces you already own with a few new items to add some life!

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What You’ll Need:

– nails

– hammer

– Phillip’s head screwdriver

– level

– tape measure

– pencil & eraser

– blue painter’s tape

– TakeNote™ Notebook or journal to jot down dimensions

Pick Your Prints

By far the hardest part is picking which prints are your favorite- there’s just so many sophisticated styles to choose from! While there is no right or wrong way to choose your prints, I recommend picking a common design theme or color to create a cohesive yet diverse look. One of the most versatile combinations are the neutral black and white designs such as scribbles, prismatic, and mid century circles neutral.

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Assign Your Anchor(s)
The key component of a gorgeous gallery wall are its anchors, the largest and most focal prints of the layout. All other prints will work around the 1 or more “centerpieces” of the gallery, so it’s important to choose anchors that include colors and elements from the majority of all the other prints to keep it looking unified.
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Pick Your Frames
As we were designing our art prints collection, I wanted to make sure that the frames we offered were timeless so that they could be hung and rehung in any space at any time and still look fabulous! The contemporary modern lines are quite chic, and in a white or black matte finish, are great compliments to the artwork, and to each other! I personally would pick the frames that best coordinate with the print, that way, if you decide to rehang them individually, they still look just as lovely on their own. If you’d prefer a more classic aesthetic, I recommend keeping them all the same finish.
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Set Your Scheme

Now’s the fun part: set your scheme! Roughly map out the size of your wall on a clean floor space and get to work assigning a spot for each print. Balance is key: play with different orientations and layouts, keeping in mind frame color (if they are varied) and size. It’s a bit like a real-life game of Tetris- the goal is to find a scheme that fits every frame in a (fairly) symmetrical way. Once you’ve got it down, snap a photo for reference when hanging!

Display Your Design

Take this part slow – it will prevent you from having to re-hang prints if your placement is off! Start with the anchors, the largest prints, and work your way outward. You can choose to outline your prints in pencil and painter’s tape, or you can simply rely on your photo to guide you.

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And voilà! You’ve transformed your space into something totally unique that you’ll love coming home to day after day.😄

Want more of the inside scoop on all things Erin Condren? Sign up for VIP Black Friday access to receive more info on promotions & products!

Art Prints by Erin Condren & Marco Fine Arts

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I can’t believe the day is finally here… I’m so proud to announce the launch of art prints by Erin Condren! Ever since partnering with Marco Fine Arts, a fine arts printing company of the highest quality and reputation, I’ve dreamed of diving into the interior design space. Today, my long-term goal has become a reality: to bring the same colorful and motivational designs from your desktop to your decor!

Not only is it thrilling to see our designs as the true pieces of art that they are, it feels fantastic to know that through this partnership, we’re bringing our customers the finest quality art prints available. Ever since partnering with Al Marco of Marco Fine Arts, we’ve been able to vertically integrate our processes to keep costs at a minimum without sacrificing quality- and it’s all made right her in the good ‘ol USA! From the archival paper we print on, to the contemporary-cool wooden frame and everything in between, each component is a display of the finest craftsmanship in the biz- and boy, aren’t these babies beautiful!

Here’s a bite-sized breakdown of just how awesome these art prints really are:

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Archival Paper

In the printing world, there are two types of paper: there’s archival…and then there’s everything else! Kidding, but in all seriousness, when a print is exposed to all sorts of light, temperature, and humidity the paper quality really does matter. Archival paper, and particularly the matte white paper we print on, allows the vibrancy and integrity of the artwork to really pop, and prevents it from fading or wrinkling over time.

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Rich Finish Wooden Frame

While I am certainly no expert on interior design, one thing I’ve learned is that contemporary styles are seriously versatile, making our frames the perfect addition to any aesthetic. Not only does their angular profile pair well with a ton of style themes, the gesso coating gives the moulding a rich, smooth finish that’s seriously sleek and unobtrusive, letting the beauty of the print do all the talking.

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Acrylic Cover & Dust Protector

Two words: shatter-proof! I don’t know about y’all, but living in earthquake country along with a busy home filled with two teens and a dog, a shatter-proof print is exactly what I look for when filling my walls. The acrylic cover does just that, while also protecting the print itself from any wear and tear. On the backside, an acid-free dust cover provides a custom finish.

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Hardware Instant gratification is the name of the game: when I order an item, I want to be able to enjoy it right away! All of our prints are fitted with hardware necessary for hanging, so as soon as it arrives, your art is ready to be displayed. Now if only picking the actual prints were this easy!

Not quite sure how everything should hang? Stay tuned for our upcoming post on how to create a gallery wall!

How to Apply NEW Nail Wraps!

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I’m obsessed with nail art these days and LOVE following the incredible work of nail artists on social media! However, for those of us that don’t have the tools or the talent, I absolutely love the brilliant invention of nail wraps (stickers!!!). We’ve partnered with NCLA who has some amazing collaborations with Beyoncé & Hello Kitty, so, I was incredibly honored to be collaborating with them for my first collection of wraps! The application process is really meant for DIY-ers and takes some practice to make perfect!

Here are a few hints to help you with an accent nail or full set of fashionable nails:

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What you’ll need:

  • Nail wraps in your favorite design – mini nail file included!
  • Base coat/Top Coat (not included with nail wraps)
  • Tweezers/Dowel (optional, also not included)

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1. First, clean and file your nails as you normally would before applying polish. Any nail shape will work, however, I recommend keeping them square to make the design really pop and to eliminate how much you need to trim them to fit!

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2. Apply a clear base coat (NCLA has a great option, but any clear base coat will work!) onto clean, dry nails, and LET DRY. I can’t stress this part enough- without a fully dry base, the stickers may slide and won’t adhere properly.

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3. Depending on the width of your nail beds, you may need to trim your nail wraps (don’t worry about the length, we’ll get to that in a moment). Should you need a trim, simply measure the excess against your nails and use cuticle scissors to cut them to size.

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4. Next, apply the round side of the nail wrap against the cuticle. Stretch from the bottom upward and outward until you have the perfect fit!

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5. Air bubbles? Don’t stress! Press firmly from the cuticle in an upward motion until the wrap is completely flat.

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6. Lastly, use a nail file to remove any excess by filing in a downward motion. Apply a coat of clear polish for a flawless finish!

Ready to ‘nail it’ with nail wraps? Shop all five designs here!

*Don’t worry if you forget these instructions when you get the wraps. They come with a full set of easy to follow instructions as well.

Dare to flair with NEW metallic pins!

When I walked into my kids’ high school registration, I felt like I’d stepped back in time to the 80’s with all the buttons and fashion pins! The fabulous flair pins I used to decorate my denim jacket in high school have made a HUGE COMEBACK, we had so much fun recreating the look in our signature style. Available in multiple metallics and two super-cute designs, adding flair to your favorite bag or jacket will earn you serious style points! (Pun intended).

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#Pinning Pockets Long hair can sometimes conceal your pins, so as an alternative, you may want to let them live on your lapel. Front and center, these beauties make a serious statement!

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Collar Candy Turn up the toughness by adding a little flair to your collar! Just a few pins placed around your neckline turn a normal jacket into edgy outerwear.

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Bag Bling Jazz up a backpack, tote bag, or carry-all clutch by adding a few strategically placed pins! Arrange them in an order for a patterned, put-together effect. or stick them at random for a funky, fresh look.

 

BLOGGER TAKEOVER: Nail Art with Nail Allie, Nina Nailed It & Wondrously Polished

I have always been a sucker for a flashy mani, but as of lately I am TOTALLY digging the EC Nail Art trend. It all began when I asked my local nail salon to imitate some of my fave cover designs and I was stunned by their ability to recreate these patterns so closely, and on such a small scale! I began lusting over a few artists on Instagram who have done amazing work and I knew we had to find a way to collaborate. After sending them each a LifePlanner™ Stylized Organizer (to keep their busy lives and mani pedis in check!) they each recreated their own favorite designs and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the final product. These three girls are some of the most talented artists I’ve ever seen and while they have all found inspiration in our designs, the inspiration truly is all around us! I hope their work amazes you as much as it has me, and inspires you to design your next mani around your favorite design… Stay tuned as might just have some nail news coming your way soon!

1. Lindsey @WondrouslyPolished

Hello, all! My name is Lindsey and I run and create over on a little nail art blog called Wondrously Polished. I work full time as a civil engineer, then come home and spend my evenings dreaming up new nail art designs and doing my best to stay fit and healthy. While I have always been a stationary and planner lover (I recall a pretty sweet Lisa Frank planner growing up!), it wasn’t until the last few years that I really got into utilizing a paper planner again. A friend of mine shared a photo of her beautiful new Erin Condren LifePlanner™ and I knew immediately that I had to have one for myself.

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Up until getting my first LP, I had been trying to get by with writing notes, to dos, and random appointments on scraps of paper and just hoping I would remember where I put THAT specific scrap of paper! Not entirely efficient, and with big blogging, fitness, and life goals in mind, I needed something that could keep up with me. 

My first LP was this awesome photo floral cover and I LOVED it. As an artist (albeit in an odd medium), I am always on the lookout for new ways to find inspiration. My favorite thing to paint is fun prints and patterns and I think we all know that the EC covers are all about that! To celebrate this year’s LifePlanner™ and all the beautiful new covers, I figured I’d draw inspiration from the new cover I chose, Blossom. 

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And since I can’t control myself, I figured I’d do another look inspired by the new cactus print because, well, it’s fabulous.

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While both of these designs are a bit more advanced, if you want to give them a go yourself, you’ll need a base polish (like the black or pink shade I’ve used), some craft acrylic paint (or nail polish), and a detailing brush. You can also use a matte top coat like I have to really make the details stand out. 

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Follow me on social media or my blog for more! Or @wondrouslypolished on Instagram and Facebook.

2. Nina @NinaNailedIt

Hi, my name is Nina! While I’m a full-time nail artist, I’m also a full-time 11th grade English teacher and a total stationery nerd. My LifePlanner™ is the perfect representation of me, right down to the Instagram handle, @NinaNailedIt.

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It was so easy to be inspired by my planner because of the lovely color palette and geometric design. It’s the perfect back to school manicure and planner just in time to impress my students and keep me organized!

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3. Nail Allie – @NailAllie

When I first spotted the floral watercolor planner cover option for the LifePlanner™, I just knew that it was the one for me! It combines my love of flowers and watercolor art and I felt that it would look great all year round. Not only does this design look wonderful as a planner cover, but it also works well as a nail design!

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To recreate the watercolor floral pattern on my nails, I began by applying two coats of a white polish. Then, I gathered a few pink, purple, orange, yellow, green, and blue polishes for the watercolor flowers. To mimic the watercolor effect, I first put a small amount of polish on a piece of aluminum foil and mixed each color with acetone. This helped to thin out each of the polishes which made them less opaque. When painting on the thinner gray lines of the more detailed flowers, I decided to use acrylic paint instead of nail polish. This is because acrylic paint tends to dry a bit slower than nail polish, which allowed me more time to paint the smaller details of each flower.

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I finished the design by applying a matte top coat. I just loved carrying around my planner while sporting my matching nails!

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