Blogger Takeover: Simply Leopard

Coloring has been a major trend throughout the past year with sales of printed books going up as a result and Amazon featuring bestselling “adult” coloring books on their recommended list. Whether this is something you do to wind down at the end of the day, a tool to keep your hands and thoughts occupied in times of stress or a fun activity you can do with your children, we are LOVING it & had to create a coloring book with our patterns to join in on the fun!

Read on to see how Stacy of @SimpyLeopard uses her EC Coloring Book (and stunning colored pencils) and how coloring fits into her busy schedule!


Hi Everyone! My name is Stacy Shepherd, founder and creator of Simply Leopard. I’m a lifestyle blogger, freelance journalist, pure barre and Pilates addict, and soon to be elementary school teacher – just a few more tests and classes to go! I’ve been keeping my busy schedule organized with Erin Condren since 2009 – their amazing LifePlanner™ Stylized Organizer has gotten me through both undergraduate and graduate school. Now, I rely on their hourly LifePlanner™ to organize everything from my blog and social media posts, to my lesson plans and tutoring sessions.

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Lately, with my hours planned to a tee, I’ve been needing something to relax after being constantly on the go. That’s where Erin Condren’s brand spanking new Creative Color Coloring Book comes in. I know, a coloring book? Isn’t that something you give to your elementary school students during play time? Typically yes, but not this coloring book. This coloring book, filled with chic designs like palm prints, pineapples, and fun motivational sayings, is the perfect way to escape from a busy day for a little alone time.

 


I’ve been hearing a lot about “adult coloring books” in the last few months. I’ve seen them in the grocery store, on the news, and on my Pinterest boards. Although these guys have been popping up everywhere lately, I’ve yet to see one of these coloring books done quite like Erin Condren’s. The Creative Color Coloring Book is mature, playful, and just the right amount of girly. Oh, and the best part? The pages are removable so you can frame or hangup your artwork when you’re done. One other idea I had with the finished pages is to make them into little stationary pieces and mail them to your friends, just because.

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It’s easy to say that when I opened up the coloring book and the Creative Color Colored Pencils, I was filled with instant nostalgia for my childhood. The colored pencils come in 12 beautiful shades – from purple, to deep green, and light pink. And if colored pencils aren’t your thing, there’s the Erin Condren Live Life in Color Rollerball Pens that I used when filling in the words. These coloring books are adorable, and perfect for all mommies, students, and professionals out there that need to find a healthy way to wind down and relax after a stressful day. I mean, what’s more fun then channeling your inner five year old and coloring the night away? Before you know it, hours will have flown by and you will feel relaxed and ready to conquer the next day!

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 I love sharing and meeting new ladies! You can find me on my blog, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest! Come say hello!

Teacher Tee: #ECootd

My parents were both teachers and I really always thought I would go into the field of education too. I had such fun mingling with some true mentors as we photographed our new TEACHER TEE at our local elementary school. I couldn’t resist hamming it up in my sassy plaid skirt that made me feel like a school girl again!  

Our fun apple inspired teacher quote (which was hand-drawn by one of our super talented designers, Aby!) can be seen across our new teacher products, including the limited edition teacher tee.  While supplies last, all orders of $100+ will receive a teacher tee for free!

*TOV maxi skirt is from my fave boutique in Palm Springs (@wilstiles)

A peek at the NEW Teacher’s Lesson Planner!

Teachers have always been near and dear to my heart. My mom & dad were both teachers and many of my besties from grade school went into the field of education. A few years ago, some of my teacher friends were complaining about how few choices they had for lesson planners and classroom decor…. “all we have to choose from are covered in googly-eyed apples and dancing rulers!” It was then that I knew my team could help…EC Teacher’s Lesson Planner to the rescue!

Each year we launch a new edition and here are just a few “sneak peeks” inside! We updated the inside pages, refreshed the designs, added more pages for notes in between the months and added more options (like metallic!) After all, these gals are stylish and inspirational, so should their Lesson Planners be!

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I’m so excited about this newest edition of the Teacher’s Lesson Planner – I love listening to customer feedback, having focus groups with my friends and getting to the bottom of exactly what changes can be made to make it even better. I hope you agree, but I think this year may be the golden* (wink) or even the rosy* (wink wink) year for the #ECTLP!

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Check out our latest video debuting the newest version of the Teacher’s Lesson Planner!

FROM CONCEPT TO COVER: DESIGN INSPIRATION!

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Inspiration is all around us! Our designs, both monthly covers and classic favorites, are always inspired by a blend of things. Sometimes I’ll see a fashion trend like rose gold, lace or butterflies and create a unique interpretation for the EC collection. I love to take photos of fashionable window displays or tear inspiration from a magazine and have creative collaborations with my fabulous design team.

Our very talented lead graphic designer, Aby, shared some of her favorite personal projects and how they go from an idea in her head to the cover of your LifePlanner™! I ambushed her over coffee last week and thought the community would love to know how she works!
 

Q: Aby! Do tell…what are some of your favorite patterns that you’ve designed?

A: I definitely have a soft spot for the watercolors. Hmm, so I’d say the new Watercolor Floral, Watercolor Shine, Butterfly and (non-watercolor) Lace!

Q: How do you go from an idea to a full-fledged design and how do you ensure that it’s on brand with the other products on the site?

A: After working here for almost 4 years, I have a strong sense of what direction we are looking to go with the brand based on what’s in style for the season and then I try to put my own twist on it. Butterflies were something that you were super passionate about and after seeing the awesome pictures of your kids hatching butterflies from 10 years ago, inspiration took flight (pardon the pun!) I took that idea and hand-drew the butterflies you see on the cover, but overlay them with a watercolor palette to make it a bit different.    aby inspiration 4 Q: Are you inspired by things in your own life that you see in these designs? A: I definitely don’t even realize how much certain things affect me. “Watercolor Shine” for example, has a specific color gradient that is strikingly similar to one of my favorite scarves. I didn’t look at that scarf and model it after the pattern per se, but one day when I was wearing it, I realized how much it had impacted me subconsciously when I went to design that cover.

 Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A: Getting to work with such innovative people, doing something I love every single day and ending up with beautiful designs that I had a hand in creating that make thousands of people happy. It’s amazing!

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 Q: Finally, what layout of the LifePlanner™ do you use and which cover?

A: I have a Rose Gold Horizontal LifePlanner™ (I designed that layout as my ideal planner, so I HAVE to use it) with a Butterfly cover! Though I am loving our NEW April Watercolor Drops cover, shown above.

 

WHAT WE’VE GOT PLANNED….

 

Crazy to think it’s been three years since I last was blogging! I’m so excited for this new look and feel that reflects the changes (not just to my hair!) and improvements we’ve made as a company, and can’t wait for all that’s in store!

From sneak peeks into photo shoots, current fashion trends that inspire, guest blogger features & my tried-and-true entertaining and organizing tips, our revamped blog will be a unique mix of content: pop culture, entertaining, organization, motivational quotes, fashion, DIY projects and more! I am so excited to be able to create a colorful space to celebrate my favorite things and give a peek into the chaos of my day-to-day life.

Come join me on this next adventure….

EC