Studio C Planner Giveaway Winners

20150813_174450

Thank you to all of those who commented and shared this post as well as followed the blog! Your efforts mean a lot.

Here are the SIX WINNERS of the Studio C Planner giveaway:

  • mlepeeps
  • laurielvt
  • Mamma Muse Me
  • Heather S
  • DJ
  • Lici Lee

Thanks again to Studio C for this giveaway! It was so much fun! And congrats to the winners!

Visiting Colorado | Part 3

Going over some older blog posts from this past year, I realized I never quite finished posting about our trip to Colorado. This was partially because I had decided to take a break from blogging before I could finish. When you’re not feelin’ it, you’re not feelin’ it and probably shouldn’t force inspiration.

I wanted to share the last set of photos from the trip in order to finish the story here on the blog! We had such a great time and hope to return one day. It’s beautiful there! And looking at all that snow in the pictures when we had 100 degree weather today makes me yearn for an escape!

20150213_115623

20150214_104332

20150214_102418

Where we stayed in Keystone, Colorado, had a huge ice skating rink. We put on our skates and got to skate after breakfast every morning. Of course, I’m a huge chicken and went super slow so I wouldn’t fall down. Every once in a while you’d hear the ice crack a little and settle, which was interesting (but perfectly safe!). And then you’d skate over cracks like in the picture above. I wasn’t nervous at all…Actually the cracks didn’t bother me so much as thinking about falling did.

Brandie and David skating

20150214_103621

Caught him after skating some laps around the rink!

20150213_120116

20150214_105946

The best Bloody Mary I’ve ever had, made by our awesome friend!

20150213_133325

20150213_133732

The view of the mountains were always so gorgeous.

20150214_174939

20150216_172503

Selfies with the siblings!

20150215_140835

20150215_140846

Making our way up the mountain to The Great Divide. It just continued to get more windy and snowy as we climbed.

IMG_20150215_160305

A little windblown with snow flakes in my hair at one of our stops along the way.

20150215_141602

David and the great divide

20150215_141639

At The Great Divide! So windy. So snowy. So cold. So worth it.

20150215_141644

IMG_20150215_162238

My mom all bundled up! She cracked me up wrapping that blanket around her head, but it really was that freezing!

20150215_145117

20150215_145212

324

20150216_171246

So, one morning on one of our last days there, a snow storm came through. I happened to look out and saw this wall of snow coming towards us. I had definitely never seen snow happen like that before! Just a few minutes later it was everywhere!

20150216_171448

Looking back on these pictures brings back memories of a wonderful (and much needed) vacation. I’m so thankful for that trip and only hope to experience Colorado’s beauty again!

Tucking Summer Away

Fallen Leaves

If you’ve been coming to my blog for a while (and if you have, you’re pretty awesome!), then you might know I have a thing for Fall. In the last few years, around the end of July or beginning of August, I’ve been rushing to get to my favorite season. Last year, towards the end of the Summer, when I had gotten a taste of Summer tomatoes for the first time, oddly enough, that’s when I realized I hadn’t appreciated Summer at all. I wasn’t present with the season until it was too late.

I’d like to say I got a little better this Summer season with enjoying it a little more in my own ways. We got the chance to go boating, saw a few fun historical sites, put my toes into the ocean, and even had some more of those summer tomatoes. If I’m being honest, I haven’t had the same strong urge (although a small one) to bring out my Fall decor (although that may happen next weekend!) or to see the trees change and watch the leaves fall.

While I am definitely a Fall girl, I’m carefully beginning to tuck Summer away, knowing I was a little more present for this one and appreciated the beauty it possesses. The leaves are beginning to change and litter the lawn, and there’s no denying that my favorite season is right around the corner.

Planner Accessories + GIVEAWAY & Coupon Codes | Planner Week

The way we use planners has definitely evolved over the last few years, if I do say so myself. I’ve noticed for a lot of people it’s about keeping motivated to use the planner. What better way to do that than some adorable accessories? I’ve found it’s a good way to keep yourself involved with your planner by decorating your planner pages with stickers and washi tape or by simply using cute post-it notes. Here are some examples of how I use fun accessories to spruce up my planning and keep things interesting!

Stickers:

Okay, in the beginning, stickers were one of those things that I thought was a waste of money (it’s still not far from the truth…) and thought I would never decorate my planner with stickers. Oh, how wrong I was! I’ve since learned that using stickers (and washi tape, for that matter) can help add personality and flair to a page. It has the ability to help those who are crafty, and even those who are not, feel like they’re doing something creative. It’s a simple form of self-expression, which I believe is so important as humans. Elle Fowler uses stickers on her weekly spreads not just for planning, but as a way of scrapbooking as well, which I think is an awesome idea (if you have the funds to buy all those stickers, that is). I’ve been using stickers mostly on my month-at-a-glance pages, but that’s about to change when I get into my Plum Paper Planner at the beginning of next year.

Sweet Kawaii Design Blog Stickers

Sweet Kawaii Design, I have fallen in love with you! How stinkin’ adorable are these blog and Fall themed stickers?! I’m stocking up for next year to use these in my PPP, and I simply cannot wait! I gush every time I look at these, which I really didn’t know was possible to do that over stickers, but that’s before I met Sweet Kawaii Design stickers, so…Also, I have a coupon code for you guys to get 10% off in her shop and I’m pretty excited about it because if you love stickers, you have to see what else is in her shop!

Coupon Code: LETSBEFRIENDS (10% off)

Sweet Kawaii Design Fall Designs

Sweet Kawaii Design Fall Colors

And because I couldn’t wait to use these stickers, I found out the first day of Autumn next year and used my very first stickers in the new planner!

Sweet Kawaii Design Sticker

Then there’s the stickers I find in craft stores, such as Michael’s or A.C. Moore. If I ever find anything I like, I most definitely use a coupon. You can pull up 40% off coupons for these stores anytime.  You’ll notice that I have a lot of seasonal stickers!

Stickers 1

Stickers 2

Stickers 3

Stickers 4

Sticker Storage:

sticker storage

sticker storage 2

Not gonna lie – totally stole this idea from Elle Fowler. I just started using an accordion file to store my stickers. This one came from the Target Dollar Spot and was only $1!

Washi Tape:

Also in the beginning, I didn’t understand the whole washi tape thing and why you would need it. I didn’t want to waste my money on it and actually thought it was for kids (don’t hate me for that one, please!). And again, how wrong I was! Adults, especially those who decorate their planner love and I mean love love love their washi tape. People have built some serious collections of washi tape to use in their planners! Personally, I don’t want a huge collection, just the ones I know I’ll use for certain “projects” (read: themed pages), but I have noticed I’ve collected quite a bit over the last year. Etsy is a really great place to find washi you wouldn’t otherwise find.

washi tape collection

Washi Tape 2

Washi Tape 3

Washi 4

Pens:

Ask any writer, planner, or lover of office supplies, and you’d be surprised how serious they are about their pens. There’s always a designated pen for something. When it comes to planning, some people color code (I used to but no longer), or stick to one specific pen. If I’m not using a colored pen then I’m using a black ball point pen. But I don’t like plain jane ball point pens. There has to be some sort of personality to it. I’ve always been drawn to office supplies that are different.

pens

pens 2

When I saw this Gem Pen from Juneberry Cottage, I knew I had to add it to my collection. How adorable! I currently use this one for my blogging planner. They also have a ton of cute planner goods in their shop, which I recommend checking out. Juneberry Cottage was so kind and gave me a coupon code for my readers for 15% off their purchase!

Coupon Code: BRANDIESELLERS (no minimum and expires October 10, 2015)

Next, I use my Le Pen pens currently for my Filofax. If I want to use a black ball point pen, I use my gold Kate Spade pens. And lastly, I’ll be using a black Staedtler pen for my Plum Paper Planner next year.

Sticky Notes:

sticky notes

Sticky notes are so handy to jot down ideas, lists, or extra details as you plan. I’ve loved sticky notes ever since I was a kid and was so happy to have an excuse to buy them again. I absolutely love all the different options out there! I know plenty of planner lovers who not only hoard washi, but also sticky notes. It’s just what we do. Sticky and washi never go bad.

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Giveaway

Because I love my readers and planner freaks so much, I’m doing a little Target Dollar Spot giveaway. One winner will get this adorable notepad and sticky note set!

GIVEAWAY RULES:

  • be a subscriber to brandie-sellers.com
  • comment on this post about what are some of your favorite planning accessories or what would you like to start using?

Giveaway ends on September 4th.

Good luck everyone!

Planner Meet Up | Planner Week

A few months back, I went to a planner meeting. No, this wasn’t a meeting for PA (Planners Anonymous) where we’re trying to change our ways. This group enables the rest in the group to keep your collection going, get those awesome pens that perfectly fits your planner, try out those new inserts, hoard post-it’s, and so on. While we’re all busy enabling each other, I’d have to say that they’re some of the nicest people I’ve gotten to befriend over the internet. It’s always nice to share a common bond with a group of people, after all. Especially when it comes to planners. You realize your obsession isn’t that weird, and thank goodness there’s multiple groups online who can relate to you. In fact, when I got into planners a few years ago, I was surprised by how many people were in these “underground” planner obsessed groups!

When I started my journey and decided to get my first Filofax, I found philofaxy.com. I couldn’t remember how I found it, other than to say that maybe I was doing research on a specific Filofax I had my eye on. Then a year later I was part of a Philofaxy group, ogling fellow members collections of Filofax’s and getting advice for my own.

We found out that Mr. Philofaxy was making a trip across the pond from France with his wife and would be doing meet ups across the country. Since I had joined the group, the thought of a meet up sounded like fun to me! To sit around and talk with people about planners, who loved them just as much as I do, and to see everyone’s collections in person (a standard practice in meet ups)? Yes, please! When I found out that they would be coming close to my area I knew I had to go. Then Mr. Philofaxy asked for my help to plan it, which I appreciated his confidence in letting me do so! Together, we worked out the details, and finally the day arrived! I couldn’t wait to meet everyone and see which planners people brought to show off!

Planner Collection | brandie-sellers.com

I brought all five of my planners with me in a tote bag: Lilac and Mint Large Kikki-K, Anitque Rose Personal Finsbury Filofax, Brown Compact Regency Filofax, and Duck Egg Compact Patent Filofax. I’ll note here that I don’t plan on buying anymore or selling the ones I have. I think I’ve found what is known as “planner peace”.

planner meet up

planner meet up 2

I definitely met some awesome people there! It was everything I expected it to be. We had so much fun chit-chatting about planning like you wouldn’t believe! These people did not really feel like strangers to me at all!

Mr. Philofaxy

At the end of the meeting, we put all of our planners on this shelf and took a picture. Captured this one right in time of Mr. Philofaxy with all the planners!

all the planners

meet up 3

We had an awesome server who took pictures of our group with all of our phones!

After meet ups, usually the group goes to any nearby stationary shop to pick up planner goods. And a few of us did just that!

Kate Spade Gold Pens | brandie-sellers.com

I had been eyeing this Kate Spade gold pen set for quite a while and finally decided to pick them up to remember the day by.

IMG_20150620_174429

Afterwards, myself and one other new found planner friend, got to hang out with Mr. Philofaxy, and gab some more about planners over some Starbucks.

meet up 4

It was a great time had by all, and the downpour as we were leaving getting us drenched with rain was totally worth it! Hopefully we can meet again!

Plum Paper Planner First Impressions Review + Coupon Code | Planner Week

When it comes to planners, I’ve been a Filofax kind of girl with a side of Kikki-K for a year and a half now. I’ve seen the Erin Condren planners and thought they were cute, but for a while I didn’t get the hype, especially with the $50-$75 price point. To me, paying that much for a Filofax was an investment since you could change out the inserts year after year. Paying that much for an EC seemed like a one time use waste of money (I’ve since seem them in person and realize the value and quality the product is and have been converted!). That was until I watched quite a few Elle Fowler “plan with me” videos, where she decorates her EC vertical Life Planner with a bunch of stickers. It looked like so much fun and suddenly I found myself wanting to decorate a planner with a bunch of stickers like she was! It seemed like the best of both worlds of planning and having a creative outlet all in one.

I couldn’t imagine jumping into an EC and handing over that money. What if I didn’t like the layout? If you’re a serious planner, you know that the layout of your week-at-a-glance is so important and personal. Layouts have the ability to make or break your planning habits. If you don’t like a layout and not feeling inspired by it, chances are you’re not going to use that planner.

Somewhere along the line, I heard about Plum Paper Planner (PPP for short). I had watched some review videos on it and saw that you could not only customize it quite a bit, but there’s a layout choice that is similar the the Erin Condren vertical Life Planner with the “Morning, Afternoon, Evening” set up. The best part is that I saw that it was way cheaper than the EC, plus I searched the internet for a coupon code and got 10% off my order (which was a great motivator to try the product out, if I’m being honest!). I thought about it long and hard and decided that this would be my planner for the 2016 year and ordered it early since I wanted to be ahead of the New Year rush and it takes 4-6 weeks to get to you with the customization.

Plum Paper Planner First Impressions Review | brandie-sellers.com

I ordered the Regular Planner and decided to put my initials on the front cover as well as a quote. In the area where the quote is, you can also have them put your name. I would advise to read the tab Item Details where you will find specific ordering information for customization just to be sure you get what you want.

PPP front cover

PPP year-at-a-glance

PPP monthly tabs

One of my favorite things about this planner (as well as the EC and Studio C planners) is the colorful tabs and the color running throughout the planner!

PPP montly tab

Each month is separated by the colorful tabs, followed by a page of notes.

PPP Notes

PPP Month-at-a-glance

After the notes page, you see the month-at-a-glance with holidays noted. On the left, there’s an area for birthdays, monthly events, and notes.

PPP weekly

In the PPP when looking at the week-at-a-glance, if the month is ending that week, it will be gray. The new month will be a different color. The week-at-a-glance colors coordinate with the monthly tab color.

PPP week

PPP week 2

PPP week 3

Home add on

After you’ve picked out your planner and layout, don’t forget to look at the Add Ons section to see if there are any extras that might be useful to you. I decided to get My Home planning section that includes pages such as things to remember, monthly goals, monthly bills, projects, to do, shopping lists, etc.

PPP Things To Remember

PPP My Bills

PPP Monthly Cleaning List

PPP To Do

PPP Shopping List

PPP Gift List

PPP Monthly Goals and Passwords

Monthly Expenses

PPP Important Contacts

PPP Special Dates

I love this colorful section for special dates!

PPP For Keeps pocket

The last page is the calendar for 2017. On the opposite page is a double sided pocket to keep loose papers or sticky notes in.

Overall, I love the way this planner is presented and how it feels in the hands. I’m basically chomping at the bit for 2016 to come so I can use it (although there’s really no need to rush the end of the year further)! I do plan on collecting some stickers until then and will hopefully doing some sticker hauls for you guys. I also plan on doing another review on this planner after I get started using it in the new year, so stay tuned for that!

Plum Paper was very kind to give my readers a coupon code for 10% off your order (a one time use code) if you choose to give this planner a try.

Coupon Code: SELLERS10

If you’ve tried this planner, I’d love to hear how you like it!

What’s Your Planner Type? | Planner Week + GIVEAWAY & Coupon Code (closed)

What's your planner type | brandie-sellers.com

Timehop reminded me that three years ago this week was when I wished to be more organized after watching “Organized Jen’s” video on how she keeps a Filofax planner (she’s re-branded and now Called Pretty Neat Living). A few months later I had put together my first planner in order to try it out and to see if I would even need one or if I would even keep up with it.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I both needed it and kept up with it, and also fell in love with the idea of planners. I became planner obsessed. I love looking at planners in stores or seeing how other people organize or decorate theirs on Youtube. There’s been quite a surge within the last year of “planner lovers” emerging and watching these niche videos. I work in a doctor’s office as an appointment coordinator, so I get to see all the different ways people plan and keep track of their schedules. I have even been known to ask them to show me the inside of their planner (a blank page, of course)! When you’re into planners like I am, you also do your own bit of research to see what’s out there. I’ve also heard that when it comes to choosing a planner, it can be overwhelming at the options. At the end of the day, it comes down to trial and error and figuring out what system works for you. That said, I’ve compiled some options to hopefully help you out in selecting your next planner, if this is you. If you’re just here for the planner photos – you’re welcome! 

pocket calendar

The Pocket Calendar: This is a great one if you don’t have much going on but might want to keep track of events or appointments and be straightforward and simple with your agenda. “Dr. Whoever, 9:00″. It’s thin and portable so you can carry it anywhere with you in your purse. And there are always a variety of designs to choose from in various stores like Office Depot, Staples, Target, etc…

Day Minder Monthly

Month-At-A-Glance Planners: This is basically a bigger version of the pocket planner but with more space to write. There’s also a space on the right to keep track of monthly to-do’s.

time planner

The Time Slot Planner: If you find you’re a little bit more busy and like to have a bit more structure or you enjoy time management, you might like planners with time slots. Its a way to keep track of the day and at which hour your next task will take place. Inserts are available for six ring binder systems as well, if you like this set up, but may want something more customizable, which we’ll get into.

Studio C planner | brandie-sellers.com

Academic Planner With Monthly and Weekly Views: There are a ton of planners out there of this format, so choosing one that fits your personality is so much fun. They are usually June – July of the following year. The month-at-a-glance is wonderful for jotting down basic info, while the week-at-a-glance pages lets you write many more details, and you might even make a short to-do list within these pages. See my review on this planner here and be sure enter the giveaway to win one of these Studio C planners pictures above at the end of this post!

Erin Condren Planner | brandie-sellers.com

Erin Condren Life Planner: If you plan (ha!) on becoming part of the planner community and get super serious about your planner venture, Erin Condren is a name to know, or EC for short. These planners have shot up in popularity as the planner community has grown over the last few years. Shown above, I found the horizontal version of the EC Life Planner at Staples, which I was excited to see it’s now being sold in stores (previously sold exclusively online, at least to my knowledge). This way, I could touch and feel it – you know, use all of my senses because that’s what women do when we shop – and see the quality this planner is. I have to say that when I finally got to hold one in my hands, I understood why people go crazy for these planners and spend the money just because of the pure quality it possesses. It’s a sturdy planner with colorful designs, colorful tabs, and great paper quality.This planner will cost you a pretty penny (ballpark of $50-75), but it’s also customizable when ordering online (such as changing font or adding a photo, for example), which may also determine your price you pay at the end.

EC planner | brandie-sellers.com

The Erin Condren planner also comes with extras in the back, like label stickers, a few pockets, and scrap paper in the back. There’s also a vertical version, which is similar to the Plum Paper Planner below.

Plum Paper Planner | brandie-sellers.com

Plum Paper Planner: If you want the EC vertical Life Planner look without spending quite as much money, there’s the Plum Paper Planner, or PPP for short. The company is found on Etsy and the planner is very customizable. I recommend reading the “item details” to understand the ordering process fully, as it can be a little confusing to some. There are different layouts to choose from (such as Family Planner, Student Planner, Teacher Planner, and Regular Planners). In the Regular planner you can choose the “morning, afternoon, evening” layout of your weekly spread, as that is similar to the EC planner. Once you have your planner layouts picked out, you can add sections to your planner (such as “Home” that include financial, to-do lists, and bills sections), then choose to add your name or a quite to the front cover as well as your initials. You can also choose which month to start with, which is a unique feature. Since the planner is so customizable, it takes 4-6 weeks processing and delivery time.

If you’re interested in checking this planner out and trying it for yourself, Plum Planner has given my readers a one time use coupon code for 10% off your order!

coupon code: SELLERS10

six ring binder planners | brandie-sellers.com

Six Ring Binder Systems: This has been my personal system I’ve chosen over the last year and a half. I started with the Filofax then moved to the Kikki-K version. All of which were investments, so think about that when choosing your planner – what kind of investment do you want to make? There are, of course, cheaper versions of these, such as Day Timer or Franklin Covey, which you can find at Staples or Office Depot. When choosing your six ring binder, be aware that there are different sizes. In the Filofax world, A5 (size 4 in Day Timer) is the largest, followed by Personal (size 3 in the Day Timer), Compact, and Pocket. In the Kikki-K world, it’s Large (A5 version to Filofax), and Medium (Personal version to Filofax). So keep in mind how much space you’ll need. Sometimes it’s trial and error with starting out with the Personal size but realizing you need more room to write or more space to carry papers, so you upgrade to the A5. If you do find you invest in one of these planners and it doesn’t work for you, there’s a hot market for selling these in groups on Facebook or eBay.

inserts | brandie-sellers.com

Inserts For Your Six Ring Planner: When picking out inserts, it’s a personal decision in how you plan to use your planner. Filofax has a good range to choose from as well as Day Timer (note: Franklin Covey inserts do not match/fit into the Day Timer inserts). Philofaxy also has wonderful printable inserts as well if you’re not finding what you need and feeling crafty. Piaric are great paper quality inserts and you order through her Facebook page (here’s her website in case her order process has changed: piaric.com). Just do a google search or looking through Etsy and you’ll find a ton of different style and design options for your six ring planner.

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Studio C has offered do a giveaway for my readers who will win one of their planners! Three winners will be chosen.

Giveaway Rules:

  • be a subscriber to brandie-sellers.com
  • comment on this post about what planner system you think will work for you. If you’re already using a planner, tell us what you’re using!

Extra Points:

This giveaway will run until September 1st. Thank you to Studio C for this giveaway and good luck to all who enter!

NEEDTOBREATHE in Concert + Currently Stuck In My Head

Last year while listening to Pandora, I discovered the band NEEDTOBREATHE, and I seem to only fall more deeply in love with their music. One day while at work, I was talking with my office manager how I’d love to go to one of their shows and she said that they were actually coming into town soon! We probably couldn’t buy the tickets fast enough. The date was set to see them and I couldn’t believe another one of my concert wishes was coming true!

brandie-sellers.com

Brandie and Lisa

NEEDTOBREATHE | brandie-sellers.com

20150811_214118

20150811_215023

20150811_215101

{caught a shot of their shadows on the wall if you can’t tell what that is}

NEEDTOBREAHTE | brandie-sellers.com

{All the bands that opened up for NEEDTOBREATHE came out to sing “Brother“. I just love that song right now!}

IMG_20150812_133601

{Also, I just had to get this concert tee to show my support. How cute is that pocket?! It’s honestly the most unique concert shirt I’ve ever seen yet so stylish and simple.}

So lately, I’ve actually discovered a few of their songs that I’m listening to on repeat and wanted to share with you all. Enjoy!

The Rosewell Plantation Ruins

the rosewell ruins

About six years ago I was introduced to these beautiful ruins, hidden behind thick woods and back roads. Instantly, it was love. I’ve been back a good handful of times since I was first shown this skeleton of a mansion and each time it still manages to impress me.

The mansion began being built in 1725 by the Mann Page family and was quite the luxurious home, not to mention the largest in Virginia, at the time. Then in 1916, the house met it’s demise in a fiery blaze said to be caused by one of the 17 fireplaces in the home. Rather than restore the mansion, it has been stabilized (and every time I go back, more brick has fallen away and more weeds have grown inside) and used for archeology. It’s rumored that the grounds are rather haunted and that they have tried to rebuild, but the bricks are removed by ghosts!

It’s quite sad to stand there in the midst of this rather huge shell of a home and know that it once was filled with life and will never be nothing more than decaying rubble. Rosewell was once known for it’s elaborate parties and celebrations. While the grounds still get to experience special occasions every now and then, such as weddings, I’m sure there are quite a few of us who appreciate the ruins that would love to just once walk around in the home before it was touched by fire.

Rosewell sign

visitors center

This is the little visitors center, carefully tucked away between woods and bean fields, off a dirt road. It’s $4 to visit Rosewell, in cash. Inside you can find a few artifacts and a short video on the history of the home.

dirt road

bean fields

rosewell road

rosewell road 2

brandie-sellers.com

rosewell 3

fields

rosewell 4

rosewell 5

rosewell 6

Rosewell 9

rosewell 10

rosewell 11

IMG_20150815_160518

Rosewell 12

Rosewell 14

rosewell 13

rosewell 15

david

rosewell 16

rosewell 17

rosewell 18

rosewell 19

It’s said that Thomas Jefferson was friends with John Page, who once lived here, and even may have written a draft of the Declaration of Independence there as well. If you ever find yourself in Williamsburg, Virginia, you may want to venture to the town of Gloucester, to experience this delicate piece of history. The grounds are so peaceful and beautiful, that I can’t help but want to go back nearly every summer.