Erin Condren: A Game Changer!

Do you ever feel completely disorganized?
That no matter how hard you try to plan ahead to keep up with your busy day-to-day life,  something always seems to be forgotten or missed? And how every new year, you go out and buy a new planner with the hopes that this year will be better because you have a different planner this time?
Yet, you find yourself not using it because it just doesn’t have everything you need it to have after all?
 And flipping through mundane black and white pages just bores you to tears, which makes you less inclined to keep it updated?
A little confession…….that was me. I NEVER used to be this neat and organized. My life was a disorganized mess!
Until the day I discovered a planner that would literally change my life from chaotic disorder to complete organization!
The little miracle that saved me from my stressful and disorganized life and transformed me into a more peaceful and completely organized “life planning” guru is the Erin Condren LifePlanner.
I didn’t think it was possible that one little planner could shift my cluttered, disarrayed life into an orderly, systematic and organized one. I didn’t believe it…because I had tried so many times before to no avail.
This is not your average planner.  Sure, it has a calendar like every other planner, but it’s so much more than that.
I actually look forward to using my planner and I can tell you that has never happened before.
Being organized for the first time in my life has created a calm I never knew existed because I don’t stress anymore about missing or forgetting anything.
The EC LifePlanner layout has everything I need to plan accordingly, but beyond that, it’s also visually pleasing and actually brings a smile to my face when I use it.
Who knew that scheduling, planning and coordinating daily life could actually be fun?
Not me!
Have you ever found something that made you so happy that you just couldn’t keep it to yourself?

Well, my friends, it may seem small to some of you, but I can find a little ray of sunshine every day in my Erin Condren LifePlanner.

Yes.

A planner.

Doesn’t that seem silly?

Maybe…to some…

I believe we should cherish the little things in life. And my Erin Condren LifePlanner may seem like a “little thing” to some, but to me it is so much more!

When I sent an email to the Erin Condren social media squad, I never thought I’d hear back. I sent it with the hope that they would read my blog and hear my story. That that story might pique their interest and I’d be able to use it to help another person dealing with some of the same things I am.  Or maybe it could simply help introduce someone not familiar with Erin Condren to a new and innovative planner that they could use in their everyday lives.

So, I reached out. I sent the email, and lo and behold, I got a response from a woman named Samantha!!

Holy Hades!

I couldn’t wrap my brains around the fact that my little blog could catch the attention of someone at such a large company.

But, it did.

“Samantha”  told me to make my choices for a new planner and she would send me a “Happy Package” full of EC goodies.

Rose Gold and MidCentury circles and Vertical vs. Horizontal, Oh My!

I was giddy with excitement and this is what I was talking about before. This planner can bring such a smile to my face!

So, I waited.

And I waited.

Just two days felt like an eternity, but it showed up and that orange box made me Squeee!!

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I called Doodle One in and we went to “Unboxing” this new found glory in a perfectly packaged box.

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There was a note.

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They always include little freebies on the top of their packages, but this was personal. A handwritten note. It was from Sam. We were on nickname terms and I laughed out loud at the concept.

So, I opened it and she had sent two boxes of their amazing colored pencils for my kids.

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What?

Yes, y’all. She sent two boxes of the most perfectly designed colored pencils for my Doodle’s!

Plus, some stickers!

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I was, again, just in awe of her ability to touch my heart.

Sam sent me what they call the “Wellness Package”.

It included their AMAZING wet erase markers (I had no idea there was even such a thing, but they write like a dream and only wipe off easily with a wet paper towel)

A “Wellness Journal” to keep up with general body wellness. It’s not just specified to weight loss. It chronicles hydration and an overall body conscious way of living.

Their “Designer Sticker Book” that is so pretty I don’t think I can even use the stickers! They are gold, platinum and rose gold foiled with such perfection that they look like works of art.

A set of their “Do It All Dots” that go in your planner to stylize even the most mundane of daily duties.

Two, Count Um, TWO dashboards!

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One that you can use weekly to organize meal planning to make that task a breeze and one that included the cutest sticky notes you can imagine. All highlighted with their signature water color background. They are so useful, I’ll probably run out and have to buy my own. (Which I’ll do in a heartbeat!!)

And finally, a cover to use until  the personalized one that I picked out could be made. Because the platinum foiling process takes so long to prepare, Sam just couldn’t wait to send it to me!!

And y’all, this cover was beautiful. Perfectly foiled and laminated in a very sturdy, yet still visually pleasing format.

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Then it happened.

I came to the bottom of my package and angels sung and birds chirped and whales gave a mating call…

My Planner.

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I felt like holding it up like Simba and singing “The Circle of Liiiffee”…

From cover to cover I stared. My daughter thinking I was crazy the whole time.

I couldn’t open it up.

I wanted to savor the moment and smell the fresh paper smell and feel the infinite possibilities that perfect planning can do to your life.

But, I finally did.

The front cover has a whiteboard that works with any dry erase markers or the phenomenal wet erase markers.

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The first page is vellum. I didn’t know what vellum was, but now I know I want it in my life. It is gorgeous. Marked with a colorful pattern of their “MidCentury Circles”.

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And then I dove in. Head first with eyes wide open. It has a two-page layout of 2016 and 2017 and then it has a two-page layout of boxes, color coordinated for each month. I think I’m going to use this as a “Goals” page to set monthly goals for myself.

Then the planner itself starts and the watercolor theme immediately stands out. It is strong, yet feminine. A perfect choice for a new style.

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The months are still color coded this year, but with an elegant watercolors. Less polka dots and boxes. She truly captured the essence of every different personality. For, with the soft colors, one could add pizzazz with stickers or just let the simple beauty of the planner speak for itself. I, myself, am a little in the middle. I love stickers, but I am understated in my design choices. But, EC knew that and designed her LifePlanner for each personality accordingly.

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The months are followed by note pages: Lined, Graph and Blank. Again, with the customizing, EC. Oh, how you know thee!!

Then follows the folder pocket that serves the purpose of just that. A two-sided folder to be a catch all for all of your receipts, bills and so forth. It’s sturdy, yet not industrialized looking.

And yay! A zippered pouch at the end that you can move to wherever you’d like in your planner. Filled with goodies like the coil clip to snap it into place, a sticker book sample and compliment cards that I’ve already used for Chris’ sweet nurse that helped us so wonderfully.

So, do you want one?

I bet you do and I have a code to help you get $10 off.

So, take the plunge.

The design is always top notch and the personal touches they add just add a little something that can’t be explained.

This year is the year that I caught the planning bug. I got caught off guard. I joined a community of planners that is both exclusive and all inclusive. All members are full of love and compassion.

We all know that we are all fighting our own battles. But, we rally and hold hands and just love one another in a way that feels so fulfilling.

I have a lot going on in my life right now. From kids to homeschool to a husband fighting cancer. This planner gives me the light I need to get me through my most gloomy of days. I can pace the halls of the darkest hospitals and my light won’t be extinguished.

Yes, a planner can do that. Yes, a planner does that.

And that planner is the Erin Condren LifePlanner.

Get your own personal ray of sunshine.

Allow yourself to be enlightened and changed for the better.

See how something that some may call a “little thing” can make such an enormous and positive impact on your life.

With Love,

Al

P.S Here’s your $10 off code!!

https://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/allisonpadgett0625

P.P.S Take a look around and find what tickles your fancy!!

http://www.erincondren.com

XOXO…

**Some editing and some writing credit goes to Suzanne B. Horton who makes my sun shine and my moon glow**

The Tieks Company Makes Me Smile..

I want to use my voice to raise awareness for a company that few know of, but a lot of people need to hear about. Tieks. Tieks. Tieks!

I have read a few reviews of these awesome flats for women, but I have yet to place one on my foot. EVERY review has said these shoes are amazing. That they last all day and beyond. That they feel like clouds on your feet and they make occupations in which standing on your feet is mandatory a simple endeavor.

I reached out to the Tieks company because I had some questions as a homeschool Mama. Would these flats work on a daily basis for someone who not only teaches, but keeps her own kids in check? That was what I wanted to know. I got an email in response! An email explaining how the shoes would work for a homeschool Mama, a paramedic off duty and someone with a thousand things on their plate. So many things, that shoes are the last thing that should be on their mind.

I am in no way affiliated with Tieks, nor have I purchased (yet) a pair of their flats (or have I been asked to review them). What I’m trying to tell all of you homeschool Mama’s and all of you out there simply searching for a company that cares, this is it! They care. They think what you have to say is important and actually value you as a customer, even before you’ve become one!

So, go to http://www.tieks.com, and experience a new kind of company. A company with employees that take time to listen to the public. A company that might actually be a throwback to past times when one could have an “experience” shopping, not just go through the motions and let the shopping experience you.

Hi, My name is Allison and I’m a Secular Homeschooler. Is there anybody out there?

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Hello, everyone. My name is Allison. I am a secular homeschooler and couldn’t feel more alone. In my search for curricula, to my search for homeschool groups, I feel as if us secular Mama’s are few and far between. I’ve read books. I’ve scoured the internet, but I still feel alone. My only foundation seems to be my family and my lovely, homeschool warrior, Joan at The Back Pack, who understands my struggle. She listens and laughs and actually feels like a friend. I found her website in a search on the internet and I feel like she’s the island in this ocean of uncertainty that I was searching for. So, parched and hungry for knowledge, I climbed onto her island and listened to her journey in secular homeschooling. Who knew it was so different? Who knew we were so few? It’s not that I don’t think there’s a place for Christ in our home. It’s just that I don’t feel there’s a place for religion in our homeschool.

That being said, I am waiting anxiously for my books to arrive. Joan has been more than patient on me and the IRS. (My tax return being paramount in this undertaking)

Can one find a homeschool group that isn’t judgemental? I judge not, lest I still feel judged. Can one find a few homeschool friends that don’t think that the fact that we don’t have a memory verse everyday is a complete blasphemy? We do have character verse or quotes every week. This week was a Japanese Proverb that stated, “Fall down seven times, Stand up eight.” I thought this was a great proverb for my children to learn. Especially, Doodle 2 with his experience with bullies.

So, my point of this blog post today isn’t to plug The Back Pack. (I still am no way affiliated with them, I just happen to love the way they conduct business and the way they’ve fought for homeschooler’s, whether secular or otherwise) My point is to ask the question of why. Why can’t, we as homeschool Mama’s and Dad’s, unite as one team? Why can we not go on the same field trips or visit the same parks together? I am not anti-religion, in any way shape or form. But, I’m feeling as if the local homeschool groups feel as if I am. If I don’t incorporate Christ in my everyday lessons, I am an outcast. If I do, I am one of them. Accepted in the natural flow of what is homeschool.

The biggest part of my choice to homeschool was the safety and well being of my Doodles. Isn’t that why we all decided to take this hard, treacherous, unknown path? Isn’t that why we all decided that public school wasn’t the right place?

I was brought up to love my neighbor. To do unto others as they have done to me. Why in this journey, am I finding resistance in the very place that I thought I’d feel comfort. I am not an outsider. I am not an Anti-Christian. In fact, this journey has brought me closer to God, in many ways and now I wonder why. I’m not wrong, but, as I stated before, who am I to judge? I’m not. But is anyone else, either?

Do Homeschooler’s get Snow Days?

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Here I sit, downloading new worksheets for sight word fluency while watching the snow/sleet/annoyance fall outside the window and listening to Doodle 2’s live commentary of Terraria. (Some sort of IPad game that is like Minecraft, but thankfully not Minecraft) The question of the day is, do homeschooler’s get snow days? We do have a few things that we could’ve done today. Did we do them? Nope. Do I really give a damn? Nope. They woke up late, they’ve played outside for a total of 25 minutes, got cold and came inside ill as hornets and now they’re actually getting along and helping each other with their games. Ahhh…. So why in the hell am I scouring Pinterest for worksheets? The honest answer is that I don’t know what else to do. Since I’m a newbie with little to no resources, I think every waking minute that I’m not teaching, I’m looking for something to teach. The obsession continues. Maybe one day I’ll be able to look back at these days of constant resource gathering with jolly laughter. I’m the squirrel preparing for winter of homeschooling printable freebies. A pdf. document hoarder. Soon they’ll do a show about me. Crazy Homeschool Mama Loses Control When Her Laptop Crashes…Coming up next on TLC.

So, the answer to today’s question has two answers. Yes and no. Yes, my homeschooled children get snow days. No, this homeschool Mama isn’t getting one.