First look at the NEW (hardbound!) notebook!

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I’m so excited to share this sneak peek with y’all! I’ve had a vision of a stylish HARDBOUND notebook for a while now, and I am so happy to see this idea come to life! This sleek, stylish, satin finish book is is the perfect addition to the EC collection.

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Floral Stitches makes its mark!

Seen all over the world and throughout history, embroidery is a trend I’ve personally admired for years. I just love that we were able to recreate this age-old art with digital “stitching” to mimic the classic woven style of needle point. Our lead designer, Aby, worked with me to properly depict this stunning artistry…and FLORAL STITCHES was born!
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BLOGGER TAKEOVER: Planning to Succeed in 2017

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Shannon H. Sullivan is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and plant-based cook, creator of the popular health coaching program Your Balanced Lifestyle, and web host/producer on Youtube where she posts weekly videos that inspire healthy eating and living. She lives in sunny Florida with her husband and Maltese, Mickey.

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Can you believe 2017 is right around the corner?! I don’t know about you, but I love to set new goals for each new year. The start of a new year, in my opinion, is the perfect opportunity to plan, organize, and specify my desires and intentions.

Over the years I’ve learned a few tips that help me when I plan and set new goals. I share this same process with my one-on-one clients when I begin my health coaching program. You want this to be a fun experience and something you can look forward to – so set goals that make you feel excited and challenged, but also goals that are within your reach! I tell my clients that small, manageable steps toward your goals are much more sustainable than making huge, drastic changes right away.

Every time I start creating new goals I first make sure to have a brand new notebook on hand. There’s something special about having a fresh, clean notebook that makes me super inspired to begin writing new dreams and intentions. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way right? 😉

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I chose the Erin Condren Notebook because it’s extremely customizable. You can choose your own interchangeable cover design (and personalization!), size, and the interior layout. The layouts come in three different styles – Productivity (my personal fave…because LISTS!), Classic Lined, and Dot Grid. Each Notebook also includes one sheet of flag stickers, which I love to use so I can organize sections and highlight special events.

When I write goals, I love to dig deep by asking myself, “What will achieving this goal do for me? What will be different in my life?” This allows me to gain insight into what the goal will actually DO for me – that way I won’t lose focus once it becomes difficult to maintain. I can be reminded of how it makes me feel, as well as my original vision – the reason behind why I started.

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After I write three big goals, I then hold myself accountable by jotting down a few weekly goals at the beginning of every week in my Erin Condren Life Planner. This helps me stay on track toward meeting my long-term goals for the year.

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I also like to set a theme for the new year by choosing one word that resonates with me and the tone I’d like to set for the entire year. Once I choose my word, I write it on the inside cover of my Life Planner. The covers are interchangeable, so you can switch them up and coordinate them with each season! I also love how the inside of each cover has a special spot where you can write down things you want to remind yourself of throughout the year. I like to write my word here because it helps me stay focused on the overall feeling I want to capture that year.

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I keep track of my daily schedule in my LifePlanner and use a List Notepad to track my daily to-do list.

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One of my resolutions is to take care of myself by making healthy food at home, so I especially love the Snap-in Meal Planner Dashboard. This meal planner snaps into my LifePlanner and helps me stay on top of my dinner plans for each week. I keep a grocery list on the back so I know what foods/ingredients I need to purchase at the end of each week. The Wet-Erase Markers make it easy for me to wipe off the board once I need to plan for the new week!

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I hope these tips inspire you to make 2017 your best year yet!

xx Shannon

Cactus Themed Boho Bridal Shower

With wedding season in full swing, it seems that every weekend there’s another happy couple to celebrate. In my experience, the girl-time shared before a wedding can sometimes be even more fun than the big day- especially when the bridal shower or bachelorette party has a cute & clever theme!

This adorable bridal bash was hosted by the cousin of the bride. Using our new cactus design as inspiration, Lily put together a party fit for the ultimate boho bride (named Kale) and I think it’s safe to say this soirée was a huge success!

When guests entered, they were instructed to get creative with the guestbook (a TakeNote notebook with dot grid pages let the feelings flow!) Combined with a spread of our designer stickers and sticker sheets, party pops markers, and a polaroid zip printer, it made it easy for friends and family to leave special messages & photos for the bride. It truly created a one-of-a-kind memory book the bride will hold onto long after she tosses her bouquet!

Another darling detail were the cactus cookies and other sweet treats passed around on acrylic trays! These make for an awesome gift for weddings and showers alike. The interchangeable inserts ensure that the bride and groom will be able to serve up snacks through any season or occasion.

The prettiest placemats kept the theme going and made for some seriously stylish table settings! Bright floral arrangements in various vases matched the cactus design perfectly, and an acrylic photo block featured a snapshot of the soon-to-be newlyweds!

Last but not least, sweet succulents made for excellent favors for the guests to take home! “Let love grow” cactus gift labels added a personal, pretty touch to the planters.

Want more behind-the-scenes looks at my life outside of the office? Follow me on Instagram!

Making Memories – Eighth Grade Gift

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One of my favorite projects at my kids’ school is the annual 8th Grade “gift” that is presented to each 3rd grader at our school. It seems like just yesterday that my twin 3rd graders came home BEAMING about their special day with the “big kids.” Now my kids are in 8th grade and I think they may have enjoyed their part even more this time around. I thought it would be fun to post the details in case you want to present this idea to your teacher or principal.

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Here’s how it works: Every 3rd grader is given an “All About Me” questionnaire (click here to download). This helps the 8th grader get ideas for a story that relates back to the 3rd grader that he/she will be matched up with.  The 8th graders write a story for credit in their Language Arts class and attach photos or drawings that make it more fun to read at the 3rd grade reading level.  Our Hermosa Beach Education Foundation donated the funds to have the books bound into a colorful assortment that looked so nice on the tables on presentation day.

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The day of the event, I volunteered with a few other moms to bring cookies and juice to the outdoor auditorium at our school. It was a precious gathering of students and it was amazing to see the size difference between all the 3rd and 8th graders together! (Just look at my son’s legs in this photo!)

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They found a quiet spot to read the stories aloud to their 3rd grade buddies and I must say, I got a little teary-eyed! It really is such a wonderful memory for all, hope you can make this happen at your school too.

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.

Blogger Takeover: Wildflowers & Marbles

Well hello from down south! My name is Jennifer Mackintosh. I’m a busy mom of 5 kids, a blogger, homeschooler to my 5 kids (yep! from preschool to high school!), a speaker, laundry aficionado, a wine and coffee devotee, and a planner addict- thus…a huge Erin Condren fan! 

Nine years ago I decided to start blogging! At the time, blogging was this new, exciting format that everyone was eager to try. I started writing about homeschooling, how my faith informed my days, planning, and organizing – just the core values of my life. I really wanted to show the beauty within our ordinary day – and how pretty the practical can be!

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When I started blogging, I only had two kiddos…and in trying to come up with a catchy blog name I began to think about my day. That morning my daughter brought me a fistful of wildflowers, and I had (once again) washed a pocketful of marbles in my son’s laundry. Wildflowers & Marbles. Practical and pretty.  

 

In the years since I started blogging I’ve had three more children, expanded my blog, started speaking at homeschool conferences and remodeled my home. Blogging became a way that I could connect with other moms and share about all the ordinary, practical things in my life – like planning, organizing, making home and homeschooling – and how those things can be both beautiful and necessary to contain the chaos! I love how days, when they are considered, allow for margin – that unplanned space around the edges of the day. Planning allows me to react less, and live more.

 

I found Erin Condren a few years ago – almost by accident! I was searching for a better planner and came across a review of an Erin Condren LifePlanner™. I bought my first LifePlanner™ and fell in love – it met all the practical needs of my day, was flexible enough to roll with our craziness, and did it all in such a pretty way! Since then, I’ve developed a real love for Erin Condren products because they perfectly combine my very real practical daily needs without ever forgetting that practical can be pretty. It’s an extraordinary marriage and you’ll find Erin Condren all over my desk, home and homeschool – and I still live out of my LifePlanner™! 

 

I use notebooks as a planning tool for myself and as my commonplace book for collecting quotes from favorite books, and I use the Teacher Planner to keep up with all of my homeschool record keeping and the plans & booklists for our Morning Basket time (we spend about an hour every day reading aloud together – all the ages/grades – it’s a great common time for beginning the day!).

 I use the file folders to help corral all the paper stuff in record keeping, and in the last year I have fallen in love with the Erin Condren acrylic (plus they’re having a big sale on the whole category!)

Those acrylic clipboards are fabulous (and the colors just POP!). Each of my kids has a clipboard to hold that child’s weekly lesson plans, and since they’re all customizable, every child gets a favorite color with a favorite quote – no more lost lesson plans because they easily stand out! I mean, who doesn’t color code their kids? I love using my own set of clipboards above my desk to contain my goals and project lists – make your walls work for you!

I use the acrylic boxes for just about everything – to contain pens, desk supplies, craft supplies, and my favorite use: my recipe box

 

The acrylic trays help me contain small collections and I love the interchangeable inserts – I use one acrylic tray to hold my personal reading and homeschool stack, and I love using one in my laundry room for holding odds and ends on the dryer (the little rubber feet on the tray keep it in place perfectly)! 
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I love encouraging and sharing – especially when it comes to planning and organizing! You can find me in a few other places around the web besides my blog! I’m on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest! I’d love it if you stopped by – wave hello if you do!

#MotivationalMonday

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While we try to infuse each & every day with inspiration, Motivational Monday has quickly become a favorite weekday tradition. There are so many powerful quotes out there that even narrowing it down to one a week is a difficult task!

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Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out my instagram account @erincondren and enjoy a new #motivationalmonday post to kickstart your week! (I’ve included some of my favorites here!) stress We’ve had such an awesome response to the quotes that we’ve even turned some into  LifePlanner™ & TakeNote™ Notebook covers!halffull This week’s quote was inspired by my recent interview withBusiness Insider  that truly reminded me of how far I’ve come, the goals I have achieved and those still in REACH. (not to mention, my maiden name is actually REACH!) If you’re a big fan of this quote, like I am, check out our downloadable digital wallpaper section on our website so you can use it to remind you to reach your own goals. (Plus see this blog post on setting SMART goals.)

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Have your own favorite quote that motivates & inspires? Email blog@erincondren.com and perhaps your quote will be designed by our talented team and posted to inspire others!

Sneak Peek: NEW TakeNote™ Notebooks & Journals

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New times Two!

We are just so excited about the launch of our new TakeNote™ Notebooks and TakeNote™ Journals (updated: launch date 3/24/16!) & wanted to give our blog readers an inside look at what is so special.

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First of all, did someone say METALLIC?! Our TakeNote™ Notebooks are now available in Metallic Gold, Platinum & Rose Gold which is so stunning.

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The coil is absolutely one of my favorite things; my team keeps teasing me because I consistently refer to it as “the most adorable little coil in the world” at meetings, but it really is! This smaller coil elevates this book to sleek and sophisticated, plus it fits easily in your bag. (See the difference between the new Notebook coil and the larger LifePlanner coil that supports a much bigger book.)

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And with a new lower price point, why just pick one? You can use an 8.5″x11″ lined Notebook at the office or in the classroom, and keep a smaller 7″x9″ dot grid journal at your bedside for freeform writing and doodles.

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In addition to coiled TakeNote™ Notebooks, we have NEW bound TakeNote™ Journals! These 7″x9″ precious journals are just fab! The covers feature a decadent satin finish with a smooth, matte laminate and are available with personalized classic designs and metallic quotes!

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Did I mention we have both perforated college-ruled lined pages as well as a NEW dot grid layout in both books?! TWO cute!

So what’s the difference between our Notebooks and Journals? Really it’s all in the way we bind them. The Personalized Journals are bound like a book. The pages and cover are glued together at the spine with a strong and flexible thermal glue, making the slim design of the Journals a bit more portable for a gal-on-the-go. The Notebooks have a sturdy plated coil that come in Platinum, Gold or Rose Gold and loop the pages together securely. You can use the coil to snap in accessories and further customize your Notebook with dividers and more!

There are so many ways to use these Notebooks & Journals. Whether you take the lined option to class or work meeting, or slip a dot grid journal into your carry-on bag for traveling or songwriting on the go… there is bound (pun intended) to be a book that fits your busy life!

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As if this all weren’t enough we’ve got new rollerball pens, new sticky accessories for stylish storage, new Good to Go™ Metallic divider sets and SO much more! Want all the nitty gritty details, page by page? Make sure to check out our detailed videos below…