Saturday, March 28, 2015

Erin Condren Planner

Erin Condren ROCKS!

I have been searching for the perfect planner my whole life. Really? Really. I'm not a digital, keep-it-on-the-computer kinda gal. I want something to hold in my hands. Then I started making my own journals, but that didn't really translate into Planner Land. So I thought, "I'll just design my own labyrinth planner for next year." And as I was googling planner companies to print it, I found Erin Condren. Lemme just say, my search has ended. And I don't have to DIY one. Oh happy day!

There is so much to love about this planner; the choices of covers, the customization, the colours, the sturdy tabs, the layout. She has a ready made planner that I ordered on a Tuesday and received on that Thursday. And here's the awesomely festive package:

Ooooh, stickers and extras!

Here's the planner:
The ruler on the left is removable to keep
your place in the planner. Very convenient!

And the very festive back:

There are so many choices of covers and you can customize them, so it takes a bit of time between ordering and getting your planner. I wanted my planner right away since it was already March. However, it came with a coupon to get a free cover to customize. That arrived about 10 days later:

I put my full name on the cover. I'm never going to find Halimah on a souvenir coffee mug or key chain. It's really cool to see it in print!

Here's the thing about the covers: they're removable. So you can rip off one and put another one on. So, so cool! They're very sturdy, too. 

There are all sorts of accessories you can get to go along with your planner. I didn't go wild, but I did get the pen holder. I like Papermate mechanical pencils, and this holds it perfectly. Totally worth $2.50!

Full, 2-page month:
No stupid lines in the months! Each month has its own
colour. Love the positive quotes for each month, too.
 Each week:

What do I love about the days/weeks pages? Let me count the ways:
1. No skimping on Saturday and Sunday. Each day gets a full day.
2. No lines. And no pre-written times of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with no space before or after. Which brings me to:
3. Equal time given to morning, daytime and evening. Easy enough to customize, but so convenient.
4. The monthly tabs are STURDY. No chance of ripping. Also, love the different colours for each month.

On to the rest of the planner! Notes tab at the end of the calendar has lined note pages:

And blank:

2016 and 2017 calendar:

Stickers! Birthday, doctor's appointment, etc.
You also have the option of customizing your own. 
And then pretty blank stickers, too. Which I've been using:

Another page of blank stickers. They are repositionable, too.

Double-sided pocket folder!

And this little gem comes with the planner:
Perpetual calendar: Keep birthdays, anniversaries, special dates in this little book
& just transfer into your next planner next year. As they say on Pinterest, GENIUS!
Also has a page for important numbers and an address page.
 This was an extra that I ordered:
It is screaming for a yellow smiley face. [Sherlock reference].
It has a whole childcare category that I just switched to pets.

So cheerful & festive!
 At the very back, there's a clear, resealable pouch that I'm keeping stamps, stickers, & address labels in. 

I was keeping coloured pens in here, but they made the planner a bit lumpy & bulky.

Now, for some people, it's on the pricey side for a planner; $50. However, I googled a coupon, so I got $10 off. Now that I've bought one, I can offer a $10 coupon as well. All you have to do is sign up and you'll get an email with a coupon. (FYI, this is an affiliate link). S&H is $9.95 so it come to $50. Still, that's less than a dollar a week for the year. Also, they come out with the new 2016 in July, so if you wait til then, you'll get the rest of 2015 with that. I am counting down the days until I can get my 2016 to use as a separate work planner. If I were teaching, I would totally get the teacher planner they have; so awesome. They also have spiral notebooks that they've just revamped and customizable note pads. So much FUN!

A Coupla Tweaks
Being Labyrinth Gal, I wanted a labyrinth on here. They have a place on all the covers to upload a picture, and I may do that for next year. I decided to do something other than my usual, beloved Cretan/Classical labyrinth, so I chose a different design. I thought I'd put a photo or something in the center: 
printed out the labyrinth & put it under a transparency
sheet. I traced over with gold dimensional paint. 
 Waiting for it to dry:

Here it is:
Totally underwhelming & too busy.
 Back to glow-in-the-dark with my favourite labyrinth:
Still too busy.
 With scrapbook paper:
It works . . . but THIS IS BROWN! [Devil Wears Prada reference].
 Time to get crafty:
With the help of Claudine Hellmuth paints.
I used gel medium to glue the labyrinth onto the paper. Then I used double-sided tape to secure it onto the cover:

A couple other tweaks with the planner. I wish that there were a blank page in between months. I do monthly goals and I also divide my year up into quarters for goal-setting. [I have to thank the awesome Belinda Rosenblum for teaching me to do that. "When are you going to do that by, Hali?" It's not a goal until you schedule it.] 

So what I did was scan and print the last page of each quarter, in this case, Q2, end of June: 

And then I inserted the page. [I put packing tape along the edge of the spiral side of the page.Then  I used a 1/8th hole punch to make the holes for the spiral, going along the spiral holes on the scanned copy. I then used scissors to cut to the holes to slip the page in.] Here it is:
Now I have a blank page to list goals. I'll probably gesso the page
on the right so I can paint over top it or I'll cover it up with a collage.
I used sticky tabs at the top of the pages to mark the quarters.
It's cool that it's spiral so that I can add pages. You can also get coil clips from the Erin Condren website that just stick on to whatever you want to add. 

The only other tweak I would do is to get a black and white version for art journalers, so that I could colour it myself. I also think that a B&W option would appeal to guys. I was on the phone with John Morgan this week and he said, "Guess what I'm doing." I said, "What?" And he said, "Ordering an Erin Condren planner." I was all excited. "Really?!" He said, "Yeah. Not for me. It's too girly. It's a gift." Hahahaha

OK, so I was inspired to organize all my Erin Condren accoutrements into a new pencil bag which was labeled "make up bag:"

It's got 3 zippered sections:
Not pictured are my coloured pencils in the left-hand compartment.
Middle compartment has glue stick, scissors, sticky tabs, etc.
Coloured pens on the right, which don't bleed thru the page.
So that's my bloggy review of Erin Condren. My sister said that her approach to planners was to buy whatever was on sale at Marshall's or TJ Maxx in December. I tried not to show my horror. I'm not very good at that, tho. She told me I need to "shut up about the planner and the beagle." Hahahaha  I guess you're either a planner person or not! 

Again, you can click HERE to sign up for a $10 off coupon.  :-) 

And here's the beagle:
Because he's so CUTE!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dogs On The Inside

Gracie's Guardians and Ring Dog Rescue are teaming up to present a screening of the documentary "Dogs on the Inside" with proceeds to benefit both groups and our efforts to assist pit bulls and outdoor dogs in the Richmond, Virginia area. 

The documentary follows the relationship between prison inmates and formerly abused, stray dogs, each working towards a second chance at life. Both groups will also be present with merchandise and educational material. The Byrd Theater concession stand will be open for refreshments. 

Tickets are available at the door (cash or check) and will be available in advance at select locations which will be announced in the next week or so. 

WHAT: Screening of "Dogs on the Inside" ...(
WHEN: Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at 1:30pm
WHERE: The Byrd Theater, 2908 West Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23221
COST: $10 (Tickets for sale at the door and at other locations to be announced in the next week or so)


"Filmmakers Brean Cunningham’s and Douglas Seirup’s approach is straightforward, but the prisoners’ desire to make a better life for the dogs — and themselves — is what will stick in your memory and your heart." - Toronto Star 

"Dogs on the Inside is a heartwarming documentary, showing the audience just how easy it is for an emotionally crippled person to lose themselves in the doe-eyed innocence of an animal. Both parties seek the same type of companionship, and the results are moving. And as movie goers, Dogs on the Inside is just as easy to fall for as we watch the chemistry and admiration bloom." - Addison Wiley

Monday, March 23, 2015

Doggie Monday

More warmish days, and the dogs spend more time outside. Here are a few pix thru the kitchen window:

See the thought bubble over his head?

Yup. He's going to jump!

See this photo of Reggie? He came trotting into the office covered in leaves and dead grass. I was thinking, "What is he doing to get so filthy?" Keep this in mind as we scroll thru the next few photos. 

Reggie & Buddy play every day:

In the meantime, Bingo:
Back to playing:

"Hey, lookit."
*sniff*   *sniff*

In the meantime, Bingo:

And later, Buddy:

Here's a shot NOT out the window:
Buddy loves to play with the gum tree balls.
On a photography note: rule of thirds, down on
their level, natural light. Nailed it!
Bingo- the-Sphinx:

Aaaaaand back to pix out the kitchen window:

Doing yoga; Snoopy Pose:

And on to Cat Pose:

I don't often get all three dogs in the same photo. They were all having a romp, but Bingo's got a sorta "you kids go and play in the yard, Imma sit on the porch" attitude.

Here's Reggie:

Happy boy!

Bingo & Buddy:

Oh, the toy debris in my the dogs' yard!

This was one of those "natural-organic-unbleached-cotton" blahbitty blah toys:


It's toast.

Stuffing everywhere!

I haven't managed to capture it, but Buddy will run under Reggie sometimes. It's very funny to watch!

"Enough toy, let's play!"

Remember that photo at the beginning of the post? This is Part 1 of the answer.

Captured the ferociousness of a beagle!

"Let me pause to dig."

"Lemme inspect your digging."

This reminds me of the first week I got Reggie, when he caught a rabbit in the yard and ate it. I did not take a photo of that. You're welcome.

Part 2 of why Reggie is covered in yard:

"Oh, hey," you may be thinking. "No boudoir pix? Nothing inside the house?" Okay. I shall oblige. Here we are in the office on a cold-ish day:  

Buddy all nesty on what is affectionally referred to as the Throw Up Rug. 
Because, as you may recall, he threw up on it shortly after I got it. Good times.

Nestled up against Bingo:

And one more, because this is the source of a lot of roo-rooing & woofin' it up: