BLOGGER TAKEOVER: Teacher of the Year Becca Foxwell!

Becca-Foxwell-Headshot-205x300Becca Foxwell is not only the 2016 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, she’s the blogger behind foxwellforest.com, an education-based blog chronicling the adventures of teaching in a first grade classroom.

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When I started teaching first grade seven years ago, I knew I was beginning a great adventure, but I had no idea of all that would be in store.

 

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Throughout my life I have been blessed to have teachers who invested in me, believed in my best, and helped give my dreams the wings to soar. Teachers who left Forever Fingerprints on my life and now inspire me to leave Forever Fingerprints on the hearts of my students. When it comes down to it, I think that teaching is truly all about changed lives, changing lives. True life change comes through relationships, and I am so blessed that I get to spend my days investing in and making a difference in the lives of my students. They are the best part of my job! They challenge me, inspire me, and daily cause me to be the best teacher that I can be. Each one of my students holds such a special place in my heart and the Forever Fingerprints they leave on my life have changed me as well.

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Last December, a new teaching adventure began when I was named the 2016 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year. My responsibilities take me all around the state as I have the privilege of speaking to others about the amazing profession of which I am so blessed to be a part! Starting in January 2017 I will be the Pennsylvania representative for the National Teacher of the Year competition and will be traveling around the country for different engagements throughout the year.

My Erin Condren LifePlanner™ has been a lifesaver as I have had to balance my teaching schedule, my traveling schedule for Teacher of the Year events, and my personal schedule. Even though I love technology, when it comes to organizing my life I need to be able to see and physically touch my calendar. When I was named Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year I knew I was going to need an effective tool that would help me streamline everything so that I could still have time to focus on the important relationships and things in life. I love Erin Condren’s mantra “Let’s get it done so we can have some fun!” Time is our most precious commodity. Erin Condren’s planner is a must have tool that I use to manage my time so that I can work smarter and not harder!

While there are many life planner options, the one that I love the best is the vertical planner. It allows me to see all of the 3 main areas of my week at one glance.

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  • Top Row is for my teaching/school dates–meetings, deadlines, student birthdays, school functions, etc.
  • Middle Row is for my personal dates–doctors appointment, date nights with my hubby (a weekly favorite!), hair cuts (yes please! Does anyone else besides me just love getting your hair cut?) church activities, time with friends and family, etc.
  • Bottom Row is for my teacher of the year responsibilities–speaking engagements, phone calls, newsletter/blog deadlines, etc.

The awesome thing is that you can make your LifePlanner™ fit your needs! Some ideas on how to use the 3 rows in the vertical planner are:

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  • Bottom Row: Meals for the Week
  • Middle Row: Home Schedule
  • Top Row: Work Schedule
  • Top Row: Morning Schedule
  • Middle Row: Afternoon Schedule
  • Bottom Row: Evening Schedule
  • Top Row: Work Schedule
  • Middle Row: Kids/Sports Schedule
  • Bottom Row: Exercise Schedule

Truly the possibilities are endless!

I also LOVE that you can personalize your planner and change the covers of your planners. While I loved my “and so the adventure begins” planner cover last year, this year I decided to put my theme for Teacher of the Year “Leaving Forever Fingerprints” on the cover. I can’t tell you how much I love how it turned out! Isn’t it pretty?!

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All of the accessories and options that Erin Condren has to accompany our planners are so beautiful and inspiring!

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As a teacher I adore the colorful pens, stickers, and dashboards!

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Thank you Erin Condren for designing such organized and practical, yet beautiful and inspirational planners! I’d be lost without mine! Click here for $10 off your first purchase!

Inside EC Spotlight: Photographer Carol Reach

In addition to being an all-star mom, her southern charm and years of photography experience make her an invaluable addition to our team. Her images capture the heart and soul of our brand, which is why we felt she deserved a featured post on our blog- along with a Q&A to inspire all our fellow photographer friends!

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Q:  Carol! Can you explain just how and when you agreed to join the EC team!?

A:  Waaaay back in 2004, Erin realized her growing business would need professional photos for the website, marketing, etc.  Since I am married to Erin’s brother and was already working as a commercial photographer, it was natural for her to come to me when she needed product photos. We’ve always worked well together and have a great time and productive creative sessions, so as the business has grown bigger, I just keep shooting more and more.  Now, I shoot exclusively for EC, as well as shoot video and create stopmotion videos for them as well.

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Q:  What does your typical day-to-day look like at the office?

A:  I come in and set up for whatever product or campaign we have on the schedule for that day and then go with the flow of the creative team. It’s a collaborative process here with Erin and the amazingly talented designers, and we all go back and forth until we get the right vision and shot.  We have brainstorming meetings and spend a lot of planning and prepping.

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Q:  Do you have a favorite EC photoshoot/campaign that resonates with you?

A:  The Holiday 2014 “Auntie Claus” campaign will always be in my top favorites.   It involved EVERYONE. And by that, I mean everyone with a desk in this office and also my family and Mom! The work team spent endless hours creating the products, wallpapering the walls, and decking out the mantle and tree with the design of the season and voilà! we had the Jolly Jester (design) theme extreme! My mom happened to be visiting so she became team seamstress making Erin’s skirt, scarf & my daughter’s nightgown.   My husband brought the kids for the shoot so I could focus on the photography. We weren’t sure if my daughter would make the “naughty” or “nice” list that day (only a two year old!) but everyone cooperated beautifully and it turned out to be a ton of fun for all!

Q:  What inspired you to be a photographer?

A:  I was always creative when I was little: drawing, painting, & sewing with my mom and during my free time.  My dad taught me all about his camera and gave me my first one in the 2nd grade.  I won a photo contest in the 4th grade and that definitely sparked an interest in photography.  I kind of forgot about it for a while until my best friend took a photo class in high school and I thought, “Hey wait, I want to do more of that, too!” Looking back I can see that I took A LOT of photos over the years (way before iphones and Instagram). I just loved it and couldn’t get enough. When I went to college I majored in Fine Arts with a concentration in Photography.  When I moved to California for more school, I started shooting portraits and weddings, then on to commercial & products.

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Q:  What is the Erin Condren product you couldn’t live without?

A:  I LOVE my “Oh What a Week!” Schedule Pad for my busy family of 5, which I fill out weekly (corresponding to my rose gold, vertical LifePlanner™).  My kids love seeing our week’s activities.  I’m also an EC notebook junkie. I keep different ones for blog, marketing, video, etc. Hmm, I can’t say which product I love the most – they are all absolute necessities for keeping order around here!

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Spring Cleaning: Desk Decor

Spring is here and I’m itching to get cleaning! Today’s blog post is all about what you can do to clean up your workspace and infuse it with some adorable (and easy!) touches that will help you stay organized and look polished and stylish! I took over one of our desks in the office for a total makeover and absolutely loved the results & am ready to show you how to recreate them on your desk!

First up : one of our new motivational acrylic blocks is the perfect paperweight. It does double duty by providing essential function while also inspiring and adding stunning metallic detailing to your desk decor!

While you may use your quote acrylic block as more of a functional tool, display a favorite photo or memory on your desk on a chic acrylic block! (How gorgeous is this wedding snapshot from our social media maven?!)

A medium acrylic tray is the perfect way to hold your desk accessories, office knick knacks and other miscellaneous items. Avoid adding clutter to your desktop and show some personal style with a gorgeous patterned tray.

 A rose gold mint julep cup is a trendy way to store loose pens or other supplies (also obsessed with the rose gold scissors from Anthropologie!) Any mug or cup will do to wrangle these loose items, but I went with the rose theme. If you can’t tell I’m kind of obsessed.

A clear acrylic file folder holder from the container store is the perfect way to keep file folders organized. I mixed and matched geode folders in different color ways for a system that organized documents related to different departments.

Flowers get expensive and and are hard to maintain, so I like to choose longer-lasting plants like this adorable succulent. Not only does it match the color scheme of the overall desk, but it barely needs any attention and it is too cute. Spring Cleaning Desk Decor 7 Of course the key to keeping it all together is a LifePlanner™ or TakeNote™ Notebook. (Pictured is the stunning new In Bloom Rose Gold NoteBook!) A carry-all clutch is the perfect way to transport your book and protect it from any wear and tear from home to the office.

The final product! It’s really that easy! Now I’m inspired to tackle mine….Spring Cleaning Desk Decor 9