Planners

That Time I Won An Erin Condren Giveaway

Once upon a February, I won an Erin Condren gift card giveaway on Instagram hosted by Jen Mackintosh. I do have a thing for planners, and I had been living vicariously through Jen’s EC posts on her blog for a while. I was rather shocked but quite excited that I had won (I tend to never win, haha).

I browsed the Erin Condren site for an entire week, overthinking what exactly I wanted and how I was going to use it. I had a very nice discussion with a customer service rep on Facebook to have some of my questions answered, and finally settled on what I was going to purchase with my gift card.

Here’s all that came in my box of goodies:

Erin Condren Teacher Planner
I have wanted this planner for a very long time, and it was the one non-negotiable item in my cart. Every time I took different things in and out, the ECTP stayed in. I’m using a different planner for this current school year, and next school year I’ll be busting out the ECTP. I’ll need to do some modifying of a few of the pages, as the planner was designed for a non-homeschooling teacher.

The Latin says per aspera ad astra – through hardships, to the stars. And my name, which is being covered up by a coil clip. I really like that saying, and it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to a “life motto” or anything like that.
The lesson planning section of the ECTP – I can’t wait for the next school year!
Each planner comes with a carry-all pouch as well. I added the snap-in dashboard – this one is the to-do variety. The coil clip above will be used to put the pouch into the planner.
Some stickers that came with the ECTP
And they’re metallic!

Erin Condren LifePlanner
This planner is a simple calendar year planner that doesn’t have any specific purpose for it. It runs the calendar year, and my plan is to use date dots to modify it for 2018-2019, although I’m not sure if I will start it when the next school year begins or not. I’ve also been wanting to try one of these LifePlanners for a while and I’m thrilled I can do so (without having to choose between this one and the teacher planner).

I couldn’t choose between “floating florals” and this design – “mid-century circles” so I had one design for each planner. I also kept the same Latin phrase and my name.
I went with the colorful horizontal layout.
Stickers at the back of the ECLP. Again, they’re metallic (and awesome). Both the LifePlanner and the Teacher Planner have several pages of stickers; not just the ones in the pictures!

Dot Grid Hardbound Notebook
I read an article discussing physicist Richard Feynman’s “notebook method”. I thought that was a brilliant idea and decided to get a dot grid notebook as a notebook of “things I don’t know”. I’m currently reading a rather hard book for me (Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom) and have been using the notebook to make notes to myself, look things up, and whatnot.

The bookmark on the top of the page is a magnetic bookmark I ordered to match the journal. It comes with a ribbon bookmark. I also plan on being in two different sections of the notebook so two bookmarks should be quite handy.

PetitePlanner Gratitude Journal
Peanut really wanted an EC academic planner, but after looking through the images online decided it wouldn’t quite work out for her. She did decide that a gratitude journal would be more her speed though.

Peanut was very excited to see that the gratitude journal came with stickers, as well! She added the pen(cil) loop.

Floating Florals Carry-all Clutch
I also wanted a little tote to keep one of the planners in and decided that I would get one to fit the LifePlanner.

Nice and cozy!

Lots of Dots
I purchased some stickers to use for modifying the planners – the date dots to get the LifePlanner on the calendar I need, and colorful dots for highlighting important dates in them. I have an embarrassingly large sticker stash already, but I lacked functional ones. These ones fit the bill!
Designer and Date Dots | Colorful Circles

The stickers on the far right side were included because this order was my first order with EC.

Writing Utensils
The wet erase markers will work well on the covers – the insides of the covers have little areas to record notes, thoughts, reminders, events, etc. They’ll also be great for the snap-in dashboards. The pencils and pens are just simply fun.
Wet Erase Markers | Dual-tip markers | Pencils

One of the pencils is being used for Peanut’s gratitude journal – you can see the pencil in the loop in the picture of the journal.

Bookmarks and pen holders
I selected a magnetic bookmark for the dot grid notebook, and a set of three clip in bookmarks for the teacher planner. The binder I set up for myself for this school year has me working in about 3 different sections at once and so those clip-in bookmarks will be perfect. I split the pack of three pen holders with Peanut – one for her gratitude journal, and one for each of my planners; you can see them in the pictures above.
Magnetic Bookmark | Snap-in Bookmarks | Pen holders

Snap-in to-do list dashboards
I have one for the teacher planner and one for the LifePlanner.

Extra cover for the teacher planner 
I decided to get an extra cover (front and back) for the teacher planner so I can mix it up as I feel like it. You can see it in the first picture of the post, behind the ECTP. I put some public domain images of space on the extra covers that go with the whole “through hardships, to the stars” train of thought.


Should anyone want to get on board the EC train, I have a link for $10 off your first order as well as coupons for 20% off that were sent to me in my goodie box available for sharing. I’d put the link for the $10 off here except it has my last name in it and I’m not too comfortable having that directly available on my blog like that. 🙂

Thank you again, Jen and Erin Condren! I can’t wait to use these great planners!

Charlotte Mason · Habits

Good Habits Start With You

As we slowly get on the right page with regards to habit-training, one thing I’m noticing is just how bad my habits are. I am seeing exactly what Charlotte Mason was talking about when she compared habits to wheel ruts. I have some good habits, but I have a plethora of really bad habits that were so automatic, I had no clue they were even there.

One of my children is extremely good at negotiating. Like, “if only the bar exam was available to minors” good. I prided myself on withstanding the little lawyer but upon closer inspection, I will have to plead guilty on that charge.

The habit I want to teach the kids first is obedience, because that (to me) is the one habit that all the others rest on. Not to mention, when we are walking near lakes and other bodies of water; obedience is crucial if they want to stay dry. If I ask my little lawyer to take a shower, the response comes back that they’re busy and will do it later. I, thinking I’m SOOOO good, say “OK!” and then later never happens.

Do you see which habit is starting to form? I thought I was being flexible but it turns out I was training my little lawyer to 1) always negotiate and 2) bank on the fact that I have 4 other kids, a dog, a house, a husband, a life – and that I will end up distracted in some way, shape, or form.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with a kid telling me they want to finish up [whatever they’re working on] and then go shower. But to simply say “I’ll do it later!” – that’s not cool. It’s actually bleeding over into all aspects of life, including school. Now school is becoming more of a struggle than it used to be, because I’ve allowed my little lawyer to negotiate. My lawyer would prefer to do school RIGHT before bed, at that point I’m running on fumes and my eyes are tired and I just want to read a book without someone going “MOM MOM MOMOMOMOMOMOMOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!” for the 900th time.

Ahem.

After I had that little epiphany, I started looking at my other habits. I have some pretty sloppy ones – and then I wonder why the kids don’t do the things that I would like them to do – because they aren’t seeing me do the same things!

The adage “you can’t give what you don’t have” is tossed around a lot in terms of making sure your Mama (and Papa) cups are full – get good sleep, eat good food, etc. But in terms of character and habits that aren’t easy to teach step-by-step like putting away silverware; the kids need to be inspired by something. Or in most cases, someone. There’s plenty of great literature out there, but if a kid lives with someone who, for the most part; has their act together and can model things like attention (to the kids, and to their spouse), orderliness, etc – they’ll do the same thing.

Nature abhors a vacuum. If you don’t teach and model desirable habits – less than desirable ones will take their place.