Blogger Takeover: Tips for Work from Home Mamas with Erin Ruoff of @hi_lovely

Hi, I’m Erin, a typical work from home mom. Mama by day and business owner and blogger squeezed in everywhere there’s time. If you see me out and about during the week I usually look like a hot mess. Top knot, coffee in one hand, toddler in the other, iPhone dinging and a very hurried look on my face. Although it looks like I’m probably going crazy or extremely in over my head, it’s actually an organized chaos. And we thrive on it.

 

Having a schedule is crucial for us, but summer has made life a little more difficult for working from home. Erin Condren keeps me ahead on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis. Here are my tips so you don’t go insane or get burnt out on working from home.

1: Create a schedule. WRITE IT DOWN. Lay it all out there: school times, meals, nap, errands, and work. I take every Sunday to map my week out in the LifePlanner. It’s a tremendous help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2: Write down the month’s extra appointments and activities. This will help you when people ask things of you, girls nights out, date nights, etc. This all goes in my Deluxe Monthly Planner.

3: To-do lists. My husband truly gets credit for this one. Daily to-do lists are crucial in anyone’s life. I don’t clutter my planner days with little tasks, but I do us the notes in the Luxe Planner for it. (Order the extra note pages, trust me!)

4: Create a designated area for work. Mine was upstairs in our playroom/my closet and I’d get distracted with clothes…. So I switched to kitchen. I love my kitchen table. So much natural light and readily available snacks!

5: Have fun with your planners and lists. The menial tasks seem a little more fun when you use stickers and fun colored pens/markers. I have my schedule organized by colors, silly to some but fun for me!

6: Turn it off every day. For yourself and the kids. Set a time to take 15-30 minutes and put the phone and computer down and just play. Maybe in the morning for you, afternoon for the kids and at night with your spouse. Dance parties are our favorite down-time fun!

7: Pat yourself on the back and reward yourself occasionally. Whether it be a vacation or just a trip to get a quick pedicure, take that time to relax and refresh. You do some serious work in a day. You deserve it. If you thrive in organized chaos like me or are a super, organized person already, these tips will help you get though the craziest summer days or the back-to-school grind. Now go buy yourself dome EC stickers and bright markers, because they always make me happy!      

My Erin Condren Must Haves:  Deluxe Monthly Planner, LifePlanner, Sticker Set, LifePlanner Starter Set, Dual Tip Markers, Journal (for all the lists!) and Gratitude Journal Erin Ruoff – @hi_lovely

Photography Credit: Keilany K Photography
www.keilanyk.com/

Blogger Takeover: Back to School with Jen Dufore

Ever since I can remember, the back-to-school time was my favorite time of year. Picking out crisp new notebooks, inky new pens, bright un-doodled-upon folders, a Trapper-Keeper (am I dating myself?), and other fun accessories was the highlight of early August. I’m guessing if you’re reading this blog, you might know this feeling. Are you feeling it right now? I hope so, because Erin Condren is here to make our year more fun, organized, and colorful.

It’s been many a few years since I was in school, but thankfully, I get to experience the back-to-school excitement again…through my kids. All three of my children head back to school in just a couple of weeks, and I’m so excited to share how they’ll be getting things done so they can have some fun!

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My name is Jen, and I have three kids, Macy (2nd Grader), Matt (1st Grader), and Michael (Pre-K). While only the older two are just starting to get actual assignments, they all watch mom play with stickers plan our days out here at home, and I want them to start developing the crucial habits of staying on top of their schedules and tasks. I want them to know that the goal isn’t to fill out the planner, the goal is to accomplish whatever it is you want to accomplish, and the planner is a tool that can help along the way. And “help” is a spectrum from a creative outlet to a systematic task list! No rules here. They are free to experiment to see what feels best to them.

Onto the supplies! I am super excited about the new products. I’ve saved the best for last…so make yourself comfortable!

First up is the new Personalized Planning Notepad. This has a striking resemblance to the weekly layout of the Horizontal LifePlanner, but with the ease of a notepad. With 25 sheets, one of these per semester will get you all the way through the year! Mine is not personalized, but you can add your name (or anything else you want) to the top.

As a mom, I love the idea of using this as kind of an at-a-glance for the week. Important things I need to remember, big projects, reminders of special days, and more. The box under the day could be for a date, the weather high and low, or a theme day of the week.

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The space is so open that it could really be for any purpose. This would make a great chore chart, pre-planning worksheet, or even weekly goals list. Or, your oldest child can borrow it and use it whatever way she likes. Stickers, of course.Next up are these ADORABLE notecards! The Woven Wonder pattern lines the top of each card. They come hole punched with a ring for easy assembly. I love the laminated covers to keep the cards protected, and as a bonus, you can use the wet erase markers on them!

Notecards are so versatile. Even at my kids’ ages, they can range from letter sounds to sight words to multiplication tables.

My preschooler LOVES reading (with us) and is trying to string together sounds, so I filled this one with simple words. He is having so much fun practicing!

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I think the thing they were MOST excited about is the new Lunch Tote collection! These are the same design as previous years, but noticeably larger. The new design measures 12x12x6, so they can hold containers, ice packs, and a drink easily while still zipping.

My kids aren’t quite old enough to have free reign over the color of some of their supplies (school lists dictate folder color), so they can’t use these fun Designer Pocket Folders, but I CAN! I snagged these to keep track of general school info so that it’s easy to find throughout the year. Oh, how I wish I had these in college!

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I haven’t done a lot of deskpad planning, because I don’t have a desk where I plan. I sit at the kitchen table with all of my planning supplies and take over until it’s time for someone to eat around here. Nonetheless, you can easily hang this Metallic Monthly Deskpad up on a wall for your family to see. It helps keep everyone on the same page to have a central family calendar. A big, roomy space for monthly events plus a nice wide sidebar covers pretty much everything you need for a month at a glance.

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Of course it wouldn’t be an Erin Condren product without some stickers nearby. I love pretty things, but I’m a functional planner, and these stickers are EXACTLY what I love for my personal planning! Fortunately, you can find both decorative and function (and a blend) in the vast selection on the Erin Condren website, but this one really nails it for the monthly planning.

Excited to be able to use this CELEBRATE sticker this month! We celebrate our 13th anniversary. That’s 13 years he’s been putting up with my planning. 😉 We plan to celebrate with some football practice. All in all, I’m excited to have all of this space for the whole family to see! As our kids have gotten older, I’m realizing how important it is for them to know what’s happening, too.

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Another larger calendar alternative is the Inspirational Quote Calendar. It’s smaller than the Metallic Monthly Deskpad and comes in at a lower price point, but brings signature EC quotes to the table. This one runs January – December 2019. I love that it’s a big more compact. This would also make a GREAT gift!

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Last but not least, the Academic Planners and their accessories! These undated, coiled Academic Planners would have been my dream come true in school. Same coil options as the LifePlanners and Notebooks – Platinum, Black, Gold, and Rose Gold. All beautiful!

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Each Academic Planner runs for 12 months, with the flexibility to start whichever month of the year you choose because it’s undated. Date Dots can fill in the dates for you, or you can simply write them in. In the beginning of the planner is a 12-sheet projects and exams section. Spaces for description, class, details, deadlines, and of course, a checkbox for when it’s complete. The Academic Calendar has two sections that can be used as a margin and main space, blocks to separate schedule from homework, important daily reminders, or any other combination of content you might like. It also has a designated to do area for each weekday.

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And of course, stickers at the end! It’s SUCH a fun planner for a student! Makes me almost want to go back to school. Almost. 😉 My kids are THRILLED and jumped right in!

I’m not sure whether they liked the planner or the stickers more… But they sure had fun decorating! The patches were a HUGE hit! They fought the most over the patches. Thankfully, there were plenty to go around!

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My middle guy is doing SUCH a great job writing, and he loves all of the space to practice. Even if he’s not writing down assignments, he can still log reading and write about his day, which they’re encouraged to do in first grade. I’d say their first sibling planner party was a hit!

A few more fun accessories round out the Back to School selection and I may be taking some of these for myself!

Tabbed Sticky Notes are the perfect size. I left my kids notes to find the next time they open their planners! I definitely took these for my own LifePlanner™ and Deluxe Monthly Planner. So many options for these from extra notes to reminders. Love this addition to the accessories list!

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The rounded pop-up page flags are adorable. They do stick up just a hair, so be mindful of where you place them on the page. They’re also VERY sticky, so once you place them, they’re not moving anywhere!

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The Sticker Storage Box also has a new design! All the new stickers and accessories fit nicely in the sticker storage box! There’s a magnetic closure too.

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WHEW! Are you ready for school? I know we are! Thanks so much for joining me in this review of the fun new products Erin Condren has to offer students and other school supply lovers. I’m feeling ready for the year to begin! I’d love to hear which ones you love most!

Sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions with the LifePlanner™

Check out our favorite productivity tips for setting- and achieving- your goals in 2018.

 Setting resolutions is about more than making a wish on New Years Eve. Resolutions are a beautiful reminder that January 1st is a clean slate and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to- and we’re firm believers that this philosophy extends year round. It’s never too late to set resolutions and start keeping them!

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Grateful for Our Fans: Erin Surprises Military Wife!

In honor of an adopting an “attitude of gratitude” this Thanksgiving week, I’d like to share a story that highlights one of the biggest blessings in my life: YOU all, (or should i say, “Y’ALL”) the EC fans!

Though it’s been over ten years since I started this business, I am still blown away by just how amazing our fans truly are. I regularly receive letters, e-mails, and stories from all sorts of people explaining how much their organizational items have helped them, and on the days when I am feeling particularly stressed, I am reminded by these fans why my work is important and valuable.

So when a blogger by the named of Haute in Texas wrote me saying her friend and neighbor Melissa, a military wife and lifetime Erin Condren fan, deserved to be honored for all that she does, it was a no-brainer! We surprised her at the location of our soon-to-be retail store at The Domain, in Austin, TX, and her reaction is everything I hoped for!

 Needless to say, is is the energy and strength of women like Melissa (and all of our fans) that push me and my team to keep creating. Meeting Melissa, her daughter, and husband that serves our country was honestly one of the greatest highlights of this year. I am eternally grateful to them and all of you who have appreciated and supported my entrepreneurial journey. It’s been a rollercoaster at times, thanks for being along for the ride!

Fri-DIY: Sticker Book Cake Toppers

When it comes to DIY projects, one fact seems to always hold true: the cutest crafts are usually the simplest! Even if you aren’t the world’s best baker, these custom cake toppers will bring a heartwarming, homemade touch to even the most basic of boxed brownies. The best part? They are stunningly simple to make – and the options are almost endless!

What You’ll Need:

– Assorted wooden sticks (we used toothpicks, craft sticks, and dowels)

– Your choice of sticker books

– String for sticker banner (optional)

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Depending on your party theme or the occasion, we’ve got a TON of sticker books with the sweetest stickers to choose from! Whichever you choose, you will need duplicate stickers to wrap both sides of your wooden sticks, so keep that in mind. Most of our books come with duplicate stickers or at least duplicate shapes for easy attachment.

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Next, simply peel your sticker, attach it to one side of your stick (we used toothpicks for cupcakes and dowels for the cake) and carefully adhere the duplicate sticker to the back, securing the stick in place. Voila!

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To take your cake decorating to the next level, you can even try fastening a banner using two sticks and a piece of string! Simply decide on your banner length, tie a section of string to two sticks, and attach the “flags” in the same manner you used to attach the stickers to your sticks. For this girly themed celebration, we used our designer sticker book edition 2 with metallic accents for the flags, and our monthly sticker book butterflies and flowers for extra decorations. Pretty genius, right?

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No time for baking in your busy schedule? We won’t spill your secret! Grab some cupcakes from your local grocery and spell out something sweet with letters from our Cool for School sticker book.

Stickers are a steal right now! Shop any LifePlanner™ or Teacher’s Lesson Planner, get a free classic sticker book on us.