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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Lunch Tote Lovin’ for Back To School!

Let’s face it: some days, packing a lunch for yourself or your kiddos is an exercise in creativity. Even if your pantry is looking a little bare, nothing spices up a played-out PB&J quite like a tote-ally adorable lunch tote! Suddenly, lunching just became a lot more lively.

Let’s digest a few reasons to love your lunch tote:

Neoprene = easy to clean! We’ve always loved the stretchy, sturdiness of neoprene for our carry-all clutches, which is why we stuck with this marvelous material for our lunch totes! In addition to being dishwasher/washing machine safe for easy cleaning, neoprene is also great for temperature control, meaning your snacks will stay within a certain temperature range- pretty cool!   

Expandable accommodates all your eats! Don’t let the first glance fool you- these lunch totes were made for serious snackers! The bottom expands, as does the material, making it easy to pack all the essentials without bruising your banana.

 Secure Snacking With a Velcro Tab! There’s no crying over spilled milk when it comes to these tough totes- we made sure of it! The zipper extends all the way across the top, along with a velcro tab below the handles for added support.  

Personalize to Your Taste! Keep it minimalist with a monogram, or go quippy with a fun, food-inspired quote! Any way you slice it, your personalized (or non-personalized) tote can be tailored to your taste.

We want to see what sorts of snacks you’ve been packing in these terrific totes! Snap a photo & tag us on Instagram for a chance to be featured.

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!

How To Decorate Your LifePlanner™ with Just Washi Tape

If you consider yourself a crafter of any kind, you are probably already familiar with the wonderful accessory that is washi tape! If not, prepare to be inspired: this do-it-all DIY must-have is absolutely perfect for decorating your LifePlanner™– even if you aren’t exactly the next Pinterest professional. Using classic washi tape and our designer sticker sheets, we’re going to show you a few simple techniques to turn your LifePlanner™ into a work of (washi) art!

What You Need:

washi tape and/or designer sticker sheets

– ruler (your free gift with every LifePlanner™ purchase!)

– scissors

pen or marker (optional)
Design Option 1: Borders

Creating fancy frames for your monthly or weekly calendar is a gorgeous way to add personality and excitement to your LifePlanner™ – particularly if you chose the neutral interior and are looking to add pops of color or metallic highlights! However, we found the designer sticker sheets just as easy to mix and match with a colorful interior. Watercolor against the goldenrod theme of August is simply stunning!

Begin by selecting your washi or sticker sheet (we used metallic asterisk washi tape in gold for the monthly calendar and watercolor for our weekly selections). Using your ruler, measure the perimeter lengths of your borders and mark your washi tape or sticker sheet to cut the right lengths.

As an added tip, you can also use the pre-ruled lines on the back of your designer sticker sheets as a guideline. Whether you want to add borders to just the goals section, mark a super-special day, or outline an entire week is totally up to you and your creativity!

Design Option 2: Day Flags

Fun, colorful flags are a staple in our designer sticker books, but you can create your own using just washi! Simply cut a triangle section of washi or sticker sheets, then snip a triangle portion from one of the ends. Pro tip: don’t toss the triangle section- you can repurpose it for use in the next two design options!

 

Design Option 3: Banners

Who doesn’t love a darling banner, particularly when it’s in your LifePlanner™?! This decor staple is even more delightful as a planner design, and is super simple to create. First, grab your favorite pen or marker (we love using our Party Pops markers) to draw the string of your banner. Then, using the triangle portions you cut earlier or small triangles you cut just eyeballing it, attach your teeny-tiny flags to their “string,” and ta-da! A beautiful banner for a weekend of festivities.

Design Option 4: Shapes

It may seem terribly obvious, but one of the easiest and most versatile design options for your planner are shapes of all kinds! To take it a step further, you can invest in hole punchers that create even more unique shapes- like our classic asterisk, a heart, or even a pineapple!

Want more LifePlanner decorating inspiration? Follow us on Pinterest! 

EC Nails: Matching Planner Manis!

Over the years, my obsession with nail art has grown- but it hasn’t always been this way! Believe it or not, even with my love for color, I used to keep my fingers bare. Yet I was so amazed by a photo I saw on Instagram by @willpaintnailsforfood that I simply had to give the whole nail art thing a go- and wow, am I hooked! Meghan, my Instagram nail artist muse, had created a fun and funky paisley design to match the cover of her LifePlanner™, and I was so inspired and intrigued!

For this year’s launch, I knew it was time to give some of my favorite covers a little nail art nod of approval. After all, what’s more fun than a matching mani & LifePlanner™ to make planning that much prettier?

I started with my all-time favorite shade, turquoise, then let my nail artist (who is a genius, by the way) go wild with gold foil! I love the way she used the negative, white space of the nail to accentuate the minimalist elegance of the luxe LifePlanner™ – it’s safe to say she “nailed” it.

The next planner-inspired mani I chose was meant to match the original rose gold metallic LifePlanner™. The look was really feminine and chic, and I knew the combo of rose gold and lavender background color would look lovely as a nail design!  

Now this is something I didn’t even know was possible: marble nails! How anyone discovered this is beyond me, but I’m so glad they did! It’s the perfect way to blend color and texture to create an effect that is as unique as it is beautiful- exactly what I look for in every design we create!

While it would be totally overdramatic to say that that “nail art changed my life,” it did make me realize what a world of fun and creativity was waiting at my fingertips! They may be tiny canvases, but I’ve come to see my nails as little artistic expressions of personality that deserve to be decorated and celebrated.

Show us how you’re matching your nails to your LifePlanner™, notebook or journal! by tagging us on Instagram! Who knows, it may just be this week’s #FanFriday challenge…

FriDIY: Little Tikes Car for My Niece

Being an Auntie is one of my proudest roles and of course, I am occasionally guilty of going overboard on gifts for my nieces and nephews. Twelve years ago, when my twin nieces were born I bought TWO Little Tikes cars and decked them out with DAISIES! The gifts were such a hit, so when my brother and his wife were surprised with a baby girl named ROSE, (after two boys) I knew exactly what to do for her first birthday….make a “Rose Royce!”

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I bought fake roses at Michael’s and used a hot glue gun to stick them on the roof of the car. I believe everything is better when personalized, so I used a paint marker (also from Michael’s) to write her name in fancy lettering and added polka dot details to the side door.
slack-imgs.comI found a mini license plate at Toys R Us with peel and stick numbers that called out her birthday on the back. (sorry, forgot to get a photo of that!)
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The gift was once again a huge hit and we couldn’t get Rose to leave her car for the rest of the party! The best thing about this gift is that she didn’t grow out of it for a couple years. Two years later Rose was still taking her “Rose Royce” for a ride around the neighborhood and at the ball park during her brother’s baseball games!

Want to see more DIY projects, product sneak peeks and exciting news around the EC office? Follow us on Instagram!

Moving Day – Moving Into Your New Planner!

When we think of “Moving Day”, most people dread the thought! However, there is something so wonderful (and even therapeutic!) about MOVING IN to a new LifePlanner™. If you are a #plannernerd like I am, you too can appreciate the feeling of a blank canvas and an entirely new “journey” that awaits. 

Choosing a cover is always tough for me. I’m trendy and I like to switch things up depending on the season, the event I’m going to or the outfit I’m wearing… I love that our covers are interchangeable!

I love to add special photos (with a CoilClip™ Connector!) that are nostalgic and spark wonderful memories throughout my LifePlanner™. I transferred this one from my old planner, I’m just not ready to part with this memory!

I recently saw a greeting card that said, “Facebook did not need to remind me that it was your birthday!” The LifePlanners™ comes with 4 sheets of colorful stickers that help to highlight birthdays and other special events. I also love to add “bling” to my book with designer stickers that can decorate and inspire….

 The idea of a PERPETUAL calendar is so that you can keep one book year after year that holds all the important birthdays and events that never change. However, I must confess that I actually ENJOY rewriting these special dates year after year in the new Perpetual Calendar. Can anyone else relate? Ha!

Even after years of planning and organizing, I still get a thrill each time I start a new planner. What’s your favorite part of “moving day?” Share your thoughts with us on social!

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!

Take Your Dog to Work Day!

We’re all wags and wiggles over here… it’s National Take Your Dog to Work Day!

If you’re anything like us, your love for your canine companions extends beyond the four walls of your home. Our dogs were invited for a day at the office to celebrate this special occasion, which got us thinking: how could we customize some of our favorite EC items to honor our furry friends?

‘Bark Book’ Notebooks, Journals & Notepads

Personalizing a LifePlanner™, TakeNote™ journal, notebook, or notepad with your pup’s name and photo is a great way to keep them close to your heart, even when you’re far from home! They are also a great way to keep track of your puppy’s growth month-to-month, as well as milestones (puppy’s first day at the beach!) and everything in between. Your ‘bark book’ can also be used to keep vital information, such as a feeding and walking schedule when you’re away.  

‘Bone Appetit’ Acrylic Box

There is no better way to show your love for man’s best friend than with a delicious treat! We personalized an acrylic box with a dog-inspired saying that is both fun and functional for your home. It’s especially exciting to think outside of the box and personalize it with a quippy quote to make it your own! After all, everyone wants to be the person their dog thinks they are 😉 Best of all, because the box is entirely acrylic, cleaning is a breeze- just wipe and go!

‘Flying Fido’ Dog Carrier Luggage Tag

When traveling with your pets, the term “precious cargo” doesn’t do it justice! Ensure your fur babies arrive safely (and in style, of course) with luggage tags that hold all of their vital information. We customized ours using the create your own design on the GO! ID tags and simply uploaded our favorite photo for a truly unique tag. There’s always something exciting going on around the EC office! For a sneak peak inside our colorful world, follow us on Instagram.

Color Guide to Your 2017 LifePlanner™

This year’s wash of watercolors in our colorful classic interior is arguably our prettiest palette ever! Not like I’m biased, or anything 😉 Seriously y’all, the monthly shades we selected coordinate perfectly with the seasons. Rich gemtones during the holidays, light & airy pastels for spring, & classic combos like Sapphire in July and Magenta in February round out a color scheme we’re crazy for!


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Now if these shades aren’t swoon-worthy, we don’t know what is! Shop 2017 LifePlanner™ and behold the beauty for yourself.