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.

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!

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.

Erin Condren & DonorsChoose.org

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We’re honored to announce that we will be partnering with DonorsChoose.org during this year’s Back to School season.  For every Teacher’s Lesson Planner sold now through August 31st, we will be donating $1 to projects of YOUR choosing.  At the beginning of September, we will open up a nomination period in which we will ask you, our customers, to nominate projects on the DonorsChoose.org platform that you think are deserving of being funded.  The Erin Condren staff will then select projects from those nominations and other projects near and dear to our hearts to fund using the money raised.  

We selected DonorsChoose.org based off of feedback we heard from our customer base and because we love that they make it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need.  Ultimately, they are helping move us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.

Stay tuned to our blog and social channels for more information on how to nominate projects in September.  We’re so excited to hear from you, and make a difference in classrooms across the country!


$1 of the purchase price from the sale of each Teacher’s Lesson Planner sold in the continental United States will be contributed to DonorsChoose.org. This contribution is not tax deductible by purchasers. The promotion shall last until 8/31/2016, and will have a guaranteed minimum contribution amount of $25,000.

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)

We Love Teachers: Teach For America Partnership!

I truly have the utmost respect for Teachers. As I’ve mentioned, both my parents were educators and have been the most incredible role models to me and THOUSANDS of students they have influenced over the decades they spent in the classroom. It’s one of the toughest jobs and also one of the most important careers since they are shaping our youth around the world. Teachers are typically challenged with over crowded classrooms and limited resources, yet they somehow find the energy and passion to approach each day with a positive attitude that will inspire children in their formative years. Creating an inspirational Lesson Planner has been a dream of mine for many years. I was thrilled to collaborate with focus groups on this project and I’m extremely proud of how the planner continues to evolve year after year.

Last year I was feeling very “Oprah-like” as we surprised many schools with Teacher’s Lesson Planners for their entire staff! Teachers give so much of themselves day after day to our youth, it felt good to give something in return. Teachers4 This year we are taking our philanthropic efforts one step further. Teach For America is an organization that I have admired for many years and we’ve been determined to find a way to collaborate and help with their efforts nationwide. TFA is on a mission to enlist, develop, and mobilize as many as possible of our nation’s most promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence. This is a tough challenge with obstacles such as racism, outdated policies, lack of resources, and much more. To make things right we must come together as students, teachers, principals, activists, social entrepreneurs, politicians, and all others to disrupt the causes of injustice and create solutions.

I am proud to say that EC can help with this mission by donating $1 from every single Teacher’s Lesson Planner sold to Teach For America in support of their work with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty.

You can help us give back to our nation’s highest-need kids in classrooms across the country by spreading the word to all the teachers you know! To learn more about Teach For America, visit their website: www.teachforamerica.org.

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Teach For America

25 Broadway, 12th Floor

New York, NY 10004

$1 of the purchase price from the sale of each Teacher Lesson Planner sold in the continental United States will be contributed to TEACH FOR AMERICA. This contribution is not tax deductible by purchasers. The promotion shall last until 5/31/2016.