Bangs or NO bangs? That is the question.

Bang Intervention 1

There are certainly more important decisions to be made in life, but I think most will agree that choosing whether or not to cut bangs is not an easy one. It’s no secret that I’m swayed by current fashion trends and get tired of the same look. I’ve had a zillion hair changes in just the past few years and I never really sweated the decisions. Bleach the tips platinum? Sure, why not? Cut it short? Yes, please! Try life as a blonde? Sure, let’s do it! But when it came to cutting bangs, I just couldn’t pull the trigger.

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I actually bought “fake bangs” from VogueWigs.com just to try them out for a while. My family thought it was soooo creepy that I had bangs in my car, just in case I felt like clipping them in on my way to the office. I often asked other people to try them on to give me perspective and even went so far as putting them on my friend’s dog.

Bang Intervention 2

After what seemed like years of deliberating, I finally decided to go for it. It has taken months to get used to the “fringe” that hangs in my eyes and there are days that I feel like I have a hair helmut on! I’m not one to fuss over my hair during the day, but bangs need constant attention or they split, curl up and especially on rainy days, just stick to my forehead. I must say, I was happy to see Taylor Swift in her adorable bangs on The Grammys, but I’m still not sure this is the right look for me.

Bang Intervention 2

While at dinner with my “besties” recently, my friend came clean and said, “I’m just not loving this new look on you!” I really appreciate her honesty and she was not being rude or a mean girl, she just said she missed my eyebrows and expressions that are covered by my forehead fringe. SOOOOO, here I am again perplexed: Grow out my bangs? Or keep cutting them? My husband is really over the debate, so I thought I could just vent to y’all reading the blog!

Tips + Tricks for Spring Break Travel

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Spring is here and so is SPRING BREAK! Whether you’re traveling with your kids, creating your own “spring break” or jetting off for a quick weekend getaway, make sure to make the most of your packing with my tried and true travel tips and tricks! The best part is you probably have these already at home.

  • My favorite tip has to be using good old Press ‘N’ Seal wrap to store jewelry. This ensures that it doesn’t snag on clothes, tangle with other jewelry or get all messed up during your travels!

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  • Another favorite trick is to store bobby pins in an old mint tin, like a tic tac box. If you’re anything like me, your bobby pins just happen to disappear no matter where you store them. This ensures they are contained and easily dispensed. (Plus if you have young kids, it keeps them out of harm’s way.)
  • Another genius (if I do say so myself) tip is to store liquid toiletries in contact lens cases. If you’re flying, then you know how limited you are when it comes to packing toiletries. Skip the large lotion and just squirt out a small amount to take with you in the easy & portable contact lens case.
  •   An easy and compartmentalized way to store earrings is in a pill box! You can coordinate your jewelry for each day of your trip as well as guarantee you won’t lose a back in your loose bag.
  •  Always pack extra ziplock bags for last minute storage for wet bathing suits, dirty clothes or whatever you don’t want mixing with your other luggage! This way you can stay in the pool until the very last minute!
  • Speaking of packing last minute…if you’re using any hot hair tools, don’t wait for them to cool, simply pack an oven mitt and easily slide your hot iron into the oven mitt so you can get on the road.
  •  And of course, don’t forget your NEW TakeNote™ Journal for note taking on-the-go and recording all the amazing things you encounter on your travels!

Watch the video below for my entire list of packing tips, from an interview I did on Fox 11 last year!

Happy Travels!

 

May covers IN BLOOM

I knew I wanted to design a floral collection for spring, something that would celebrate the beauty of mother earth and one of my favorite holidays, Mother’s Day. There is no greater inspiration for all things in bloom than a trip to the L.A. Flower District.

 Flower Mart 1

If you’ve never been, I highly suggest you take a field trip to the wholesale flower market near you. It has always been such a creative charge for me to be on the road before sunrise and drive to Downtown L.A.  (off of 6th & Wall Street) to breathe in the beautiful blooms before most of the city is even awake.

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Dozens of vendors display the most gorgeous varieties of fresh cut florals, precious potted succulents, and even  my current favorite, the fiddle leaf fig tree. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking for, but the smell of gardenias and tuberose got my creative juices flowing and I felt the rush of inspiration go through me!

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Row after row, I found the most interesting variations and started to get the vision in my mind of how these bouquets could be photographed to live on forever in our spring collection of everything from LifePlanner™ covers to phone cases. With a packed car, I headed back to the studio and divided the blooms into buckets of color stories.

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After a full day of photographing curated bouquets and every bloom individually, we did not want these beauties to go to waste. You should have SEEN (and heard!) the stampede when we announced to our creative team that the “EC Flower Shop” was giving away free blooms!

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I’m so proud of how this collection came together and hope you will enjoy it as much as I do! Look out for these beauties available for sale later this week!

Inspiring through Writing

 

Have y’all been hearing about this new trend called bullet journaling? I have to confess I rely on some of my younger team members to fill me in on latest trends, and while some I admittedly don’t get, this is one I can really get into. I did some digging to learn more of what this trend entails and was loving this quote that embodies the process:

“Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up into your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.” – Jack London   notebook_post   Once I started my research, I was blown away. Essentially, you can make bullet journaling as intricate or as simple as you want. If you want to keep it clean and minimalist, use their system of numbering pages, utilizing simple bullet points and titling by date. If you love adding extras: washi tape, Polaroid photos, coil clips & more, do that too! Watch how to get started and grab a journal to enhance your productivity! Plus enjoy these inspiring articles that get me super excited to use my new journal!

  • how writing goals down can empower you (via  NPR. )
  • list of things to use your notebooks for (via HubPages.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m grabbing my NEW TakeNote™ Journal (on sale!) and am going to jot a few things down.  

Easter at Club Condren

So, we’ve covered entertaining and table decor for the Easter holiday (if you haven’t read that blog post, catch up here), but what about the activities and festivities for the actual day?

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My family is big on traditions and it all stems from my amazing parents who always loved entertaining for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, my dad would dress like the Easter Bunny and wake us up for the annual hunt and “game show” he invented. (original contestants shown above!)  He’s gotten more elaborate (and a bit more formal in his tuxedo) now that there are grandchildren and each year he has some silly surprise in store….along with mandatory bunny ears to be worn by all!

Easter Traditions 2

A couple years ago he crafted an elaborate scavenger hunt that the grandkids had to follow and find clues to discover the “golden eggs.” No matter what new twist, he always sticks to tradition with a game he created when I was young, called “Bunny or Money.” He hides hundreds of plastic eggs that are filled with jelly beans and tiny sweets, but many of the eggs have coins and sometime dollar bills. After all the eggs are found, each player has to count their “bank” and decide if they want to be conservative and KEEP their cash, OR take a gamble and trade in their findings for what might be a greater prize under one of the eggs on the table. There is always an unassuming egg with a sole can of cat food inside or other less-than pleasant prizes to make selecting all the more risky! It’s all played in good fun and my dad makes sure to instill in the kids the ideas of decision making, living with your choices (even if they’re the wrong ones) and everyone has a lot of fun and too much chocolate!

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I can’t wait to celebrate this Sunday & will be sure to post a pic or two with my peeps. Wishing you & yours a most “egg”celent celebration! Happy Easter!

Blogger Takeover: Planning your days, Three ways with Bloguettes

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Deciding on the LifePlanner™ layout that’s right for you can be a difficult task! With all three signature layouts on sale (at 40% off!!!!), now is the time to try one out and discover what the buzz is all about!

Our friends over at Bloguettes helped us out by explaining how each layout works for their unique personalities and preferences based on their job. All three agreed that with busy days filled with meetings, events and miscellaneous office duties, keeping a planner is essential to staying on track and mapping out the week ahead. How they approached their planning was totally varied, however. Read on to see how the different layouts can be utilized and get inspired to get organized!

Lorena (Co-Founder): Horizontal LifePlanner™ 

As one of the cofounders of Bloguettes, every day is different! I chose this particular layout because it’s very open and doesn’t restrict my writing as there is ample room to write any add-ins that may come up within the day, as is always the case. The color of the planner is really what caught my eye. It’s visually appealing and let’s be honest, no one likes to stare at a boring planner! I was able to use my Erin Condren stickers to highlight my daily to-dos on the sides of my weekly view pages, adding another pretty visual to what needed to be accomplished within the day.  I also used colorful EC pens to further systemize my week and categorize my appointments with color coding. I am so excited to confidently take on 2016 with my Erin Condren plannee! Bloguettes 4  Sakura (Co-Founder & Brand Director): Hourly LifePlanner™   

My role at Bloguettes is Creative Brand Director (as well as a Co-Founder). That means everything & anything that is being published by the company must reflect our brand aesthetic and look visually pleasing. My days are always jam-packed with meetings with different company department teams. If I’m not in a meeting, I’m busy shooting YouTube videos, stock photos, you name it! That’s why I need a planner that has a time slot for every 30 minutes. Every planner works differently for everyone, but this specific Erin Condren planner works perfectly with my crazy day-to-day schedule!

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Shanna (Editor): Vertical LifePlanner™

As an editor, I handle everything related to the blog. We have at least one blog post going live every day, which means keeping track of the posting schedule is super important. My particular layout was incredibly helpful for my type of work! Each day is split into three separate chunks. I used the top segment for blog posts, the middle for work (meetings, to-do items, reminders…etc), and the last portion for my personal agenda. It made things a lot more organized and having three specific sections allowed me to quickly glance at it throughout the day and know exactly what to do. There were also lined sections on the sides and bottom of the planner that let me write additional to-do lists or add motivational quotes when I need a spark of inspiration.

My number one trick when using the planner was sticky notes! Blog posts have a tendency to get switched around so writing blog post titles on sticky notes makes it easier to lift & stick items wherever I need to. It’s a lot better than having to erase, or worse, scratch out, entries. Basically, using sticky notes keeps my planner from looking like a hot mess!

Are you feeling inspired!? If you need more help choosing between layouts, check out our lookbook and flip through the pages of each. Don’t vacillate for too long or you’ll miss out on the sale and they’ll be all gone!

St. Patrick’s Day #tbt

TBT St Pat 1

We are throwing it back to that time we filmed a silly Harlem shake video for our Youtube channel. Can’t believe that was 3 years ago!!

Notice the special (cardboard cut out) appearance by “the Biebs” in the background. I’ll be seeing J.B. this weekend with my daughter at Staples center!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and green-filled St. Patrick’s Day full of good LUCK & love!

p.s. If you haven’t heard….you may just find some extra luck over on our site (hint hint it’s a SALE!)

Life lessons learned on the basketball court

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I found this information on TrueSport.org and agree with every word:

The literature on youth sport stresses the positive effects of participation in learning the important life skills of goal setting and time management combined with enjoyment; the development of a strong sense of morality; and the development of an appreciation of diversity.

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Studies have shown that children playing sports are more likely to exhibit:

• higher grades • greater personal confidence and self-esteem • greater connections with school • stronger peer relationships • more academically oriented friends • greater family attachment and more frequent interactions with parents • more restraint in avoiding risky behavior; and • greater involvement in volunteer work

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As a UCLA grad, this quote from Legendary basketball coach, John Wooden, always resonated with me.
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A daughter of a college baseball & women’s softball coach, I have been “coached” through my entire life, not only in sports, but also as a parent and a business owner. My business partner has told me that one of my greatest qualities is that I’m “coachable,” listen intently and apply my experiences to the overall improvement of my “game.”

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My daughter is in 8th grade and it’s her last year to play in our city league. When asked to be an assistant coach, I jumped at the opportunity! It has been an incredible few months, practicing each week with these girls and getting psyched for game days. In just the few hours we are together each week, I have watched this team mature in leaps and bounds (or should I say, REbounds) and their confidence has skyrocketed. I’ve even learned so much more about this fantastic game from our head coach (another fabulous, multi-tasking mom) who played college basketball for Florida State.

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Sometimes it’s tough to add more to a busy schedule, but I am so glad I found a way to fit this in. We are currently seeded #1 going into the playoffs, but win or lose, this experience has been priceless and the memories will surely last a lifetime.

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Let’s get CRAFTY!

Happy National Craft Month!

We’re celebrating our crafty community all month long with a fun limited edition bundle & dedicated social posts that are all about DIY.

But enough about me, let’s talk about you….

From getting creative with your compliment cards to using washi tape to create stunning envelopes, turning our gift wrap into wine and gift bags and so much more…we’re LOVING to see what you’ve been doing.

Make sure to continue to tag us on social so we can pin you to our Pinterest board dedicated to DIYers like you!

Be happy & get crafty!