Blogger Takeover: Planner Workshop with Willowcrest Lane

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Norah Pritchard of Willowcrest Lane started blogging as a way to share her life and loves, to stay connected to a community, and to always continue to learn from others. Her blog focuses on ways to make life more organized, more beautiful, and more fun!

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When I first started my blog, Willowcrest Lane, some of my very first posts were about planning. I wrote about the planners I use and why planning has brought me peace. Let me tell you about some of the crazy looks I got about that. People were like, “Out of all the things to write about, you wrote about your planner?”

But as I stood in front of a sold out crowd of 66 kick butt planner women, I thought, “I have found my people!”

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Using my paper planner is one way that I actively try to live a purposeful, balanced life, and I wanted to share that message and meet other women with similar visions.

With that thought, I decided to host a Planner Workshop to gather a community of women in Rochester, NY, the new planners and the pro-planners alike, to share what using a paper planner can do for our lives.

I shared an Instagram recap of the event here, where you can see all the fun candid photos of the day under the hashtag #willowcrestlaneplans.

We met on a sunny Sunday afternoon at the bright, airy Rochester Brainery, where my friend, Jocelyn, from Lemonjam Photography, captured what it looks like to plan, create, and inspire.

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So often, women can get a little lost in the daily grind of working and taking care of those we love, which we do so well, almost too well. It can be easy to become so busy in our roles that we forget to celebrate ourselves for the amazing women that we are.  My goals for planning the workshop were to bring a roomful of inspiring planner ladies together, spoil us all a little, and have a beautiful time celebrating the peace that comes from planning a purposeful life.

Planning an event like this was so much fun! I wanted to make sure that our time together made everyone feel appreciated, so I put some extra fun details like the name tag board, the planner inspiration board, and the paper flower backdrop together to make our time together special. Picture4 The excited buzz when the doors opened could be felt throughout the afternoon. As the planner ladies came in, my guest speakers and I welcomed them with big hugs and even bigger swag bags! We had some amazingly generous sponsors that made us all feel the planner love. I’ve been sharing about them all month on my Instagram, so everyone had an idea of how amazing they were. We couldn’t wait to get them and start planning! They were stuffed full of stickers and beautiful washi tapes from 12 different shops! Picture5 We mingled and showed off planners and our favorite supplies, and then it was time for the guest panel to talk for a few minutes about what planning means to them. My friends, Rachel, Claudia, and Katie are planner pros, and I couldn’t wait for them to share their stories and tips. We covered things like memory keeping, planning for peace of mind, and how to overcome the fear of a blank page. I am so thankful to have met each of these ladies, and share the day with them. Picture 6 Then, it was time for some serious fun with our planners. But first, pastries!  We noshed and talked, before settling down to the workshop tables to plan. Picture7 Each of the workshop tables held a farmhouse centerpiece that my husband makes in our Etsy shop. We loaded it full of sweet treats for the ladies to snack on while they planned. Next to the centerpieces was a very special surprise package from none other than Erin Condren!  

The Erin Condren team sent each table a bundle of their most fun planner accessories and some pieces from their brand new back-to-school line. Each guest got to try out the beautiful new watercolor sticker books, washi, and colored pens, as well as some of her brand new back-to-school line!

Each table oohed and aahed over the pretty supplies, and started planning right away with the stickers, washi, and pens. I chatted with the teachers at the event about how cute the new pencils, erasers, and journals were. I think I know what to get my boys’ teachers for gifts this year!

I am so thankful to the Erin Condren team for supporting this event and spoiling us all with so many of her products.

Along with all the swag bags and table accessories, the raffle tables were loaded with amazing raffle prizes. I worked for weeks with different brands to offer some fabulous raffle prizes. It was so much fun to watch my husband, Tom, and my best planner friend, Rachel, picking the winners.  

The door prize, the highly coveted Erin Condren luxe LifePlanner™, was the last drawing. The room got quiet with anticipation, and I could feel the thrill when I pulled the ticket. The room erupted into cheers and clapping when the winner was called! How lucky!

I am thankful to be surrounded by such inspirational, motivated ladies. I plan for many reasons: to be more productive, a way for myself and my family to stay organized and find balance, as a creative outlet, and now as a way to connect with my community in this journey to living the best life we can. I can’t wait to plan the next one!

Looking for more about planning and events? Follow Erin Condren on Facebook for more info on workshops & conferences!

BLOGGER TAKEOVER: Summer Travel with Life in Wanderlust

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Kana, the author of Life in Wanderlust, is a Japanese American Travel Blogger and Instagrammer. She recently made the choice to leave the corporate world in favor of a year of travel and exploration. Her blog is a source of inspiration and honest travel tips for anyone who’s been bitten by the travel bug!

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As a long-time traveler and recent Travel Instagrammer & Blogger, a question I frequently get is: “What apps do you use to plan or organize your trips?”

The short answer is: None.

As tech-savvy as I am, there’s a huge void in my life when I don’t physically write things down. My several Erin Condren Life Planners™ throughout the years can attest to that. I’ve experienced several different apps that were supposedly going to make my travel experience easier. List apps, plan apps, packing apps, of which all of them have collected dust-bunnies on my phone. I enjoy the convenience of what technology has brought to travel just as much as the next person but I just can’t prep or plan without a pen and paper.

Now my longer answer: I use notebooks and lists to plan my trips!

I know planning a trip can be stressful. For example, New York City. The amount of things to do and places to eat are completely overwhelming. But I’m here to help ease that process for you! Here is my tried and true method for planning a trip efficiently once your destination and accommodations are decided:
1. Research: Go to Yelp, the destination’s Travel Bureau or your favorite Travel Blogger for recommendations.
2. Jot down places you’re interested in: Once you find some places, jot them down on your notebook. Don’t forget to check their hours and days of operation. You don’t want to arrive somewhere for it to be closed; been there, done that! I color-coordinate everything and these party pops markers markers are perfect as they don’t bleed through the page.    

3. Prioritize places you’re interested in: Chances are, you jotted down too many places and won’t have time to go to all of them. Number them by priority and see what shortened list you come up with.

4. Create a rough schedule: With that shortened list, flip over to the back side of the snap-in travel dashboard and start planning the days out. I’m obsessed with this dashboard because it’s erasable in case you want to modify things and of course, you can reuse it!  

5. Make reservations if necessary: If places take reservations, make them. You can thank me later.

6. Start packing: Truth be told, packing is my least favorite part of traveling. I despise the “I wonder if I forgot something” stage as you’re driving away from the house; am I the only one? In the past, I made checklists for myself but with the frontside of the snap-in travel dashboard, it’s not as stressful! It lists all the essentials! I love that it’s erasable so you can use it over and over; plus it’s environmentally friendly!

7. BONUS – make an info page: This is really up to you but I personally love having all of my confirmation numbers for flights, hotels, rental cars, all on paper. You could lose your phone or run out of battery when you need that information. Can we take a moment to appreciate the perforated pages on these journals? I take my page out and keep it in my purse.

What summer travel plans do you have in the works? Shop the entire travel collection to find everything you need to jetset in style!

Geaux Wild Conference in NOLA!

When I was first approached to keynote the inaugural Geaux Wild conference in New Orleans, I was SO excited. One of our company initiatives this year is to get out and meet as many of our fabulous fans as possible, so this made for an easy decision in sponsoring the conference, and bringing our fab marketing team on the road for the party!

We all met at LAX, and of course we won the most stylish luggage at the airport award. We’re asked quite often if we are going to carry luggage again, and we may…. we just have a few other exciting projects to conquer before revisiting that realm.

We landed in New Orleans and embraced the humidity as we drove to the hotel. We could not have prepared for our arrival in our wildest dreams. The hotel lobby was filled with hundreds of attendees who welcomed us with so much joy. These amazing women all use their planners to manage their lives in a different way, and it was incredible to hear the different stories of how we help them stay organized.  After a few selfies and hugs, we headed to our rooms.

That night we headed out to Peche for an amazing seafood dinner and cocktails. We enjoyed Bourbon Street, O’Brien’s, and we were even caught in a flash storm.  We seriously were soaked to the bones, and arrived back at the hotel like drowned rats! The lobby was again filled with amazing fans that wanted to meet us all, and we were happy to hug, chat, and take ‘mascara running down our faces’ selfies with them.

Geaux Wild day 1, was incredible. We were blown away with the professionalism of the conference, the charge of energy in a room of 450 smart women, and we realized that we had found our people! Planner Nerds Unite! We enjoyed the day listening to the various speakers, meeting so many of our customers and fans in person (beats email communication any day), and answering questions about our products.

Friday evening was very special. A handful of girls that we have worked with for years were also attending the conference. We knew we had to do something special to show our appreciation of their hard work, and to finally get to know them, outside of an email inbox. We planned an intimate dinner at Emeril’s and together, we all celebrated our journey, made personal connections, and toasted to future endeavors. It was a very special evening. I even shared my engagement story to #foxyhilary (I saw online somewhere that he had his own hashtag… ha!), we lamented the challenges that we’ve faced as a growing business, and shared a ‘Cheers!’ tradition (we’ll save that for another blog post!) and we ate, drank, celebrated, and gave party favors to all!

Saturday was also fantastic. This was the day of my keynote speech and I was blown away by the support and warmth I felt from the room of over 400 like-minded, beautiful, strong women. Also, shoutout to Jen Dufore who spoke before me, your speech was AMAZING! It was such an inspiring afternoon, and the party was just getting started.

We were still on a high from the keynote, but had a lot of work to do to prepare for the grand finale…. PlanJama! We set up a lounge to view the new LifePlanner™ collection, blew up massive balloons, added our products to the tables, and set up a meet and greet area. We headed out for a quick dinner and then raced back to our rooms to put on our matching mid-century circle PJ’s that were made especially for this event!

We arrived at Planjama and the party was in full swing. We spent the night dancing, mingling, taking selfies, and greeting all of the attendees. It was SO much fun and I can officially say – all parties should require pajamas.

We were a little slow getting up on Sunday… we packed, ate one last amazing New Orleans meal (obvi), grabbed beignets from Café Du Monde, and headed to the airport.

Thank you so much to the Geaux Wild organizers for having us and making us feel so welcome. We were truly touched to meet each and every attendee at the conference, and we’re looking forward to taking our party on the road again soon!

Let’s Party: Au Fudge Press Event

You don’t need to ask me twice to throw a party… so when my team came up with the brilliant idea to host a press event showcasing our new LifePlanner™, I was immediately sold. We reserved a serene space at the amazing new restaurant, Au Fudge in West Hollywood and began the party prep. We knew there had to be food, flowers and FUN, and so there was just that. Mixed summertime blooms in bright corals, pinks and yellows brought the LifePlanner™ party to life one pop of color at a time.

As the intimate group of influencers started to trickle in, the room began to beam with excitement and chatter of which layout each attendee had chosen. We pre-printed each gal’s book to ensure she was ready to rock her new LifePlanner™ look upon arrival.

We even set up a DIY decorating desk for attendee’s to stage a snapchat or start filling out their new book!

Planning is hard work, so we made sure all attendees we’re fueled up for a long day of chatting and planning with light bites and sweet treats. Mini waffles and tea sandwiches made for a delightfully delicious afternoon.

All that was left was for our guests to go home and start planning. It was such a pleasant afternoon showcasing our new LifePlanner™ collection and getting to know a few of the gals we work with and appreciate so dearly. We can definitely say the event was a success and we can’t wait for the next!

Are you interested in working with us? Please email our team at social.media@erincondren.com!

BLOGGER TAKEOVER: City Girl Gone Mom

danielle lucia schafferDanielle Schaffer, the author of Citygirlgonemom.com, a lifestyle blog for the modern day mom with mini’s.  She has moved coast to coast twice with her Navy dentist husband and now resides in San Diego with her four little ones and two dogs.  The life of a parent is in constant motion and Danielle’s blog is a one-stop-shop for a parent who is looking for a fresh outlook on what is trending.

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I have always loved getting a hand written note in the mail.  The feel of the paper, the pretty stationary, the anticipation of whats inside.  I think we can all agree that when we get a stack of newsletters and countless catalogues, it brings a smile to our faces when a personalized letter comes our way.  It’s also a bit more promising when someone takes the time to write you a note in our ever-increasing digital world.

I have written about the importance of manners in our home for both the boys and the girls and the personal, thoughtful gesture of a hand written note is part of it.  My children also need to work on their writing and what better way to start than with personalized thank you notes by Erin Condren.

I can’t lie, I have tried a thank you note via email and it just can’t compete with the hand written note.  I felt like it was the easy way out and it certainly wasn’t personal enough.  Emily Post would certainly be disappointed at my attempt.  Would you like your note seen on a desk or simply deleted like all the other emails we get?

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What I love most about Erin Condren’s note cards is the various styles and how personal each set can be.  My kids were so excited to have their very own set of cards to express their gratitude.  I told my kids to write just three sentences and if they want to write more they can and they should.

As a mom of four children I dedicated a cabinet for all of my stationary needs.  We keep our paper, note cards, stickers, stamps, envelopes all in one place so that there is never an excuse not show gratitude.  I want my kids to distinguish themselves by always using a pen and paper.  I tell them that their efforts in a hand written note shows they can invest the time to acknowledge their friends and loved ones.


Tips For Meaningful Thank You Notes With Kids
      • Make time for it!  Nothing worse than being rushed through the thank you note process.  Don’t let snacks and cheesy hands be part of it.
      • Gather your supplies– Pull out all your stickers and stamps and colorful pens.  If you as a parent make it exciting, they too will feel the same way.
      • Teach your littles sincerity- Don’t let your kids say thank you Joey for the toy.  Have them elaborate and be descriptive.  “I love the toy you bought because its my favorite color and makes my baby brother laugh.”
      • Help them write–  If you have little ones that can’t write yet, please write for them.  Let them color or do the stamp part of the note.  Have them also help with the stamp.  Teaching these habits early, will help them later on.
      • Acts of Kindness- I love to send a fun postcard when friends and family members are not expecting it.  Have them participate in this act of kindness.

Additional items that work for our busy family is the  desk calendar that shows month at a glance and I always need to stock up on gift labels for both the kids & I.

 

 

 

Thank you Erin Condren for designing note cards and stationery that have personality and warmth, that an email truly does not.  Click here for your $10.00 off your first purchase!

Erin Condren would like to give one CGGM reader $100.00 to shop on her website. Follow both @citygirlgonemom and @erincondren on Instagram and post one photo of your kids with the hashtag #ECthanks.

Winner announced in one week!  GOODLUCK!