Tag Archives: Fab Finds

My Erin Condren Life Planner Review

wpid-20150522_155319-1.jpgI’ve been living by an agenda or pocket calendar for years now.  It’s the only thing that has kept me somewhat sane all these years with being a single working mama.  My son used to be involved in everything!  Soccer, Martial Arts, Tutoring, etc.  I had to keep it all written down or I’d very easily forget.  I have been hearing all the hype about the Erin Condren Life Planner and I was very skeptical.  What makes a planner so interesting that she can charge over $50 for one when I can spend $1 at Dollar Tree.  I bought a discounted one that she had for $30 and decided to try it out.

  • It’s extremely durable.  Each cover front and back are laminated and it’s thick too!  It won’t fray, easily bend, or tear apart.
  • The covers are removable.  While I could care less about this feature, those who have money to spend can switch out their covers for holiday designs, custom designs, the season, etc.
  • The coil/binding is like 5x stronger than a regular let’s say notebook coil you’d find on a .99 notebook.  You cannot bend it, squeeze it, or damage it.  I guess you could if you really tried.  But again, its durable.
  • There is a pocket in the back to hold loose papers in, bills, or anything you want to keep on hand.
  • It comes with colorful stickers that can stand out amongst the chaos of your week to highlight special events, appointments, or birthdays.
  • The sheets are reinforced as you can see hopefully from the weekly view picture below.  This makes them a little harder to fall out or tear out easily.
  • I love the plastic zipper pouch it comes with.  It’s a little small and doesn’t hold much, but its a nice feature
  • I love how positive her planners are.  They come with verses of encouragement, words of wisdom, and sayings that inspire.
  • They are super colorful!  Not just black and white like cheapy planners so you’re more apt to use it.  It’s fun!
  • There is a spot for everything.  I used to clutter my pocket calendar up with sticky notes. This planner has a sidebar for notes, lists, shopping lists, anything you want to write there.  At the bottom, there is a spot for menu planning, excercise routines, or anything else you want to put there.
  • There is a monthly calendar view
  • There is a weekly view and each day is separated into Morning, Day, Night sections.
  • It comes with a really thick ruler that hooks onto the coils and acts as a place holder for the week that you are currently in.  I have to say the lamination or design of this ruler is not one of my favorites and honestly its poorly made.  The corners are coming unglued and its bubbling up in the middle.  It is easy to pop in and out of the coil though.
  • It comes with a loose Perpetual Calendar & Contacts.  What I love about this is you can write them down once and move them into new planners each year as you get them.    A lot of planners have these as actual pages that you’d have to tear out.  This is a little book you just put in the next planner and store in your folder.
  • It comes with a few samples of labels, 2 funky paperclips, and a coupon card for $10 off your next purchase.
  • There is a note section in the back and I LOVE this because there is a lot of lines.  It also has pages that are completely blank with no lines and are just decorative.  I use this area for blogging agenda and grocery lists.
  • Erin Condren takes great pride in her products.  She is a genius for buying into the trend of offering carriers, notepads, pens, stickers, budget book, exchangeable covers.  In my opinion, she’s a smart chica.  But she does take pride in how they appear to her customers and I feel this is what keeps people coming back.  It comes in a white box made specifically to hold her product.  The outside of the box even has Damask scroll work in beautiful colors.  Inside is neatly wrapped with brightly colored tissue paper.  Open the box and I swear angels start singing in perfect harmony HAHA!
  • She also takes into consideration all of the suggestions she receives from her buyers.  Her designs are updated using these suggestions annually.  I love how she takes down her products for a short period to surprise her buyers with the latest designs.  Ugh I have to wait until  June 1st and it killing me!!

Overall, I’m pleased!  I will be ordering another life planner when she finally has them on her website.  I love the fact that I can put my family name or my own name or quote on the front cover and it really makes it my own.  I don’t buy into the “prettying” up my planner like I see on You Tube.  I’m talking HUNDREDS of videos showing how to “decorate your planner” OMG you gals are NUTS!  Who has time to spend 30 min with stickers, washi tape, little money stickers for payday, trash can stickers for trash day. Come on, my time is better spent elsewhere.  LOLwpid-20150522_153336.jpgwpid-20150522_153400.jpg



  • Go to Dollar Tree and buy the colorful elastic headbands to keep your planner closed.  Erin Condren sells these for over $6 for 3.  I got 6 plus 2 thick headbands for $1 (as seen above)
  • I bought Sharpie’s fine tip pens in a variety pack.  They were $12 and I split them with my fiance each taking one of each color.
  • I don’t use stickers, just the ones that came with the planner.  You can find them on Etsy or through the E.C. website, but expect to pay over $5 for like 20 stickers.  It’s crazy
  • I keep my pens, mini postit notes, and whiteout tape in a makeup case I got from Ipsy.  It all fits perfectly versus buying one overpriced online.
  • I got a case from Ross to hold everything together like a bag.  E.C. charges $35 and I got mine for $14.99.  All you need is a cheap tablet case.
  • Side Note: I use this planner in conjunction with my Home Management Binder.  Together its an unbeatable and effective system to manage your time and your home. 

PLEASE NOTE: this is my personal review on product I purchased only and what works for ME.

My Addiction

CAST IRON!!!  OMG where have these been all my life?  Well, here, there, and everywhere, but I never knew how good food tastes cooking with them.  I can go on and on, but they are really easy to maintain, easy to cook on, and the food comes out incredible.  I have one for small one for eggs, one for biscuits, one I cook only meat in, and one I cook one pot meals or veggies in.  I have yet to get my Dutch Oven I’ve been begging for, but hey I’ll get there. lol I also never cooked on a gas stove until this past February too! 11178302_10205660179856635_5511573412609164171_n I belong to the Cast Iron Group on Facebook and see all the time people posting pictures of their INSANE cast iron collection or cast iron finds.  I’m so jealous, but I know if I had that many I would never use all of them. I’m just happy with the few I have and I will never ever ever go back to regular cheapy pans again.

I also checkout Marshalls and TJMaxx because I see cast iron there all the time.  I scored two smaller pans for less than $15 total.

The Organizing Fool I’ve Become!

So lately I’ve been getting addicted to YouTube.  I watch it almost daily.  I found this woman who is a new  mama, is a teacher, and a thrift store junkie.  Doitonadime is her name on YouTube and she is amazing!  I’ve learned so many tips and tricks from her.  I’ve used a lot of her techniques in my home.  She shops primarily at Dollar Tree and Goodwill using decor, bins, baskets, gadgets, and useful items to organize her home, streamline her home/cleaning/family, and make things just plain easy.  On one of her videos she does a home tour.  Check that out!!  Her home is gorgeous! and almost all is DIY or thrift store bargains.

I’ve copied some of her videos and have done the following this past weekend:

  • Organized under my sink
  • Organized my junk drawer
  • Organized my fridge (including lined my shelves with pretty placemats)
  • Created a Life Station on my kitchen counter like she does on the side of her fridge (bills/home management binder/office essentials)
  • Created a coffee station (im an addict so this makes sense for me)
  • Purged my closets
  • Organized my bathroom cabinets
  • Added decor to my home from Goodwill
  • Use a lot of products she did reviews for from Dollar Tree

I also search on Pinterest too for neat ideas.  I want to try covering the front doors of my fridge with pretty patterned contact paper.  I’ll post pics of that when I find paper I like.

Clutter in our lives creates unnecessary chaos and makes you feel overwhelmed when you look around your home.  By organizing and spending as little money as possible doing it, makes me feel I’ve basically got my shit together!  and that my friend……is GOLD as a single mama! =)

***pictures of what I’ve done so far -coming soon!

Porch Redo: Recycle and Reuse!

So I donated a lot of household items this past weekend.  The guy I donated to was so thankful for what I donated (see my Connections! Connections! post) and learning that we are both divorced recently, we got to chatting. He offered to help me create an outdoor space and also give me a bedframe.  To make a long story short, he noticed while gathering my stuff that my mattresses were on the floor and my balcony was bare.  I think he felt bad because of how hard I work and that I have no quiet space of my own
Continue reading Porch Redo: Recycle and Reuse!