First Look: Marbell Binder by Franklin Covey

28 November 2014

Hope everyone had a lovely week. For those who celebrated, was your Thanksgiving full of gratitude and yummy turkey? I know mine was. I'm still stuffed!

Anyway, as promised, here's a first look at the Marbell binder by Franklin Covey (FC). It's an older model and one you might be lucky to find on eBay or maybe from another planner enthusiast like I did. The product tag tucked into one of the pockets dates this binder back to 2005.

Return of the Aurora + Hello, Marbell

07 November 2014

I had an Aurora a while back. It was around the time I had first discovered Filofax and so I wasn't really looking for another Franklin Covey binder. It was more of an impulse buy and I soon decided to part ways with it after days of neglect. I have since been looking for another to replace it and having made the jump back to Franklin Covey compact size inserts and planners, I was even more desperate to find one. It had all the features I liked in an FC binder--1.25" gold rings, beautiful, unstructured leather. But the Aurora was an elusive little thing. For me, at least, having had no luck at all on eBay and with no one willing to part with theirs. Until recently, that is, when someone from the Franklin Covey Addicts Facebook group was willing to help a girl out.

First Look: French Seam Binder by Franklin Covey (Japan)

31 October 2014

Last week, I had mentioned some changes and that I was in the process of downsizing my planner for 2015. After being in an A5 this year, I've learned (hopefully for good this time) the size is just too big for me. I also mentioned that Compact Franklin Covey (FC) inserts would be the more ideal size of inserts I'd like to use and gave you a quick look at my newly acquired binder--the French Seam binder by Franklin Covey Japan. The French Seam would be equivalent to the Tailor binders which were sold here in the US and that are no longer available. According to its website, FC Japan has brought one of its popular planners back with a just a few design changes. As promised, here's a more closer first look.

2015 Planner Prep: Change is in The Air

24 October 2014

Sorry for the little hiccup last week that resulted in no post. I'm back now. :)

Around this time, every year, I start thinking about my current planner set up and whether or not there are things that need changing. With this seasons new line of planners and all the 2015 diaries now available, I can't help myself. I've been in an A5 for all of this year and I've quite enjoyed it. However, lately, I've been asking myself if I really need all that space. On most days (because there are those super busy days) the answer is NO. Don't get me wrong, having the space--both ring and writing--whether I use it or not, is awesome. But, I'm starting to find that the size might be too big for my needs and have been contemplating making another change.

Happy National Handbag Day + What's In My Bag

10 October 2014

Today marks the second annual National Handbag Day. As a lover of bags, I thought it'd be fun to switch gears a bit and do a quick What's In My Bag post. I've always enjoyed watching these kinds of videos on YouTube or reading these kinds of posts on other blogs. If there's anything that tickles my fancy as much as peeking into other peoples planners does, it's seeing what everyone carries in their day-to-day bag. Here's a quick look at what's in mine.

1. The Bag: Zuma Woven Satchel by Urban Expressions
I've been a longtime fan of Urban Expressions. They're well known for their eco and animal friendly, fashionable handbags. Each bag is 100% certified vegan so they're great for the environment. They're also quite affordable, and beautifully designed which is awesome for my wallet and wardrobe. Despite being non-leather, their bags are made very well. You don't get that cheap, flimsy, pleather feel like you would in some other non-leather brands and I absolutely love the attention to details. Overall, definitely worth adding to the bag rotation. Both super cute, and super functional (hello, detachable adjustable shoulder strap!) it's the perfect bag for carrying all my on-the-go essentials.

So What's Inside?
I'm currently a mother of two boys, both under the age of 5, so the stuff I carry in my bag is going to reflect my lifestyle. No, my bag isn't always this organized. No, you're not going to find anything extremely exciting. One thing's for sure, now that my youngest is 7 months old and nearing the 1 year mark, we no longer need to lug around a ton of things when we're out like we did when he was much younger. This means I'm finally out of the big ol'diaper bag and in a normal purse. And I so missed my purses. Mamas, you feel me, right? Anyway, here we go.

2. Sweet Pea Double Zip Beauty Organizer by Orla Kiely for Target. I recently purchased this to use as a pencil case after trying out every type of pencil/cosmetic/accessory pouch available out there. The double compartments allow me to fit a ton of things. It holds several of my go-to pens and markers with plenty of room to spare for things like page flags, washi tape, and stickers. Now I have all my planning essentials with me wherever I go. I like it so much, I've even considered purchasing another to use as an actual cosmetic bag.

3. Cosmetic/First-Aid/Random Stuff Pouch. I wish I could tell you what brand this is or where it's from or tell you how well organized everything is inside (it's not). I can tell you that, for its size, it carries a whole lot of stuff! It's my traveling medicine cabinet/toiletry drawer and everything in between.

4. Creme Brulee Traveler's Notebook from Chic Sparrow. I swear, I fall in love with this notebook more and more every day. If you recall, it's what ended my quest for the perfect on-the-go planner. It currently holds several notebooks for jotting down various notes/info and a monthly calendar. Just love it. Love, love, LOVE...

5. HUGGIES Wipes Clutch. Pretty self-explanatory. This also doubles as a diaper clutch. Told you. Not very exciting.

6. Colorblock Legacy Zippy Wallet by Coach. An oldie, but a goodie. Both a wallet and wristlet, it's perfect for taking with you on quickie errands. Tons of interior pockets with room for my cell phone, too. I absolutely love the wristlet function which is extremely helpful when toting around small children. My 7 month old loves it, too, hence the chewed up end of the wrist strap. Pretty good excuse for getting a new one, right? :)

Not photographed is my usual water bottle, bag(s) of munchies, keys, sunglasses, cell phone, and a random toy that my oldest has stuck in there for safe keeping. And that's pretty much it! With two little ones, I try to stick to the essentials and not over pack my handbags. I don't need to be weighed down anymore than I already am.

Okay, so, I've shown you what's inside my bag. Comment below, or tag me (@yayforfridays) on Instagram and show me what's inside yours. Don't forget to hit that "follow" button while you're at it. Happy National Handbag Day! And a very Happy Friday to you, too!

First Look: Crème Brûlée Traveler's Notebook by Chic Sparrow

03 October 2014

Okay, can we seriously just take a minute to look at and appreciate the loveliness that is this notebook? No, it's not made out of real crème brûlée (wouldn't that just be yum though?). But, it does live up to its name because it looks absolutely scrumptious!

I got this handmade beauty from Jennifer Harvey. Her Etsy shop--Chic Sparrow--is where you can find hand crafted traveler's notebooks that she makes using different leathers in all sorts of colors and sizes. This particular one is the Narrow Crème Brûlée Leather Traveler's Notebook which holds the same size refills as the original Midori Traveler's Notebook (MTN). It's also available in "Dark Chocolate" (your mouth watering yet?), and a color called "Black Beauty" that I noticed wasn't available when I placed my order, so could be new. There is also a Wide version of the Crème Brûlée which holds large (8.25" x 5") Cahier notebooks by Moleskine or any bound notebook with the same measurements.

My Crème Brûlée arrived rather quickly, snug in its own little cream cotton bag. The leather smell is what hit me first. Pure heaven. I love the smell of brand new leather. And the feel? Ah-mazing! Smooth on the outside, and ruggedly raw on the inside. It's thick enough to give you that bit of structure, yet it's also very pliable. It feels great in my hands. And I'm sure it'll only become more buttery soft with time and love. ♥ Included in the notebook are four elastic bands, perfect for storing several notebooks so that they sit nicely inside without any overhang, smooth finished edges, and a black elastic band to hold it all together. I requested two page marker strings as there was no mention of them being included in the item details, but was happy to receive a total of four which is more than I need. Everything looked neat and professionally done.





I've always been a big fan of the MTN and owned both a regular and pocket size at one point. All beautiful in their own way, but this one...this one's truly special. I absolutely love the fact that it was hand crafted and that someone put their time and effort into making something so beautiful. It makes this Traveler's Notebook more special than any of the ones I've owned.

My previous MTN's were purchased with the intention to journal in them, but they soon were neglected and re-homed when I realized that I just suck at journaling. It's just something that I never picked up on and probably never will. So, I figured I needed another purpose (read: excuse) to purchase the Crème Brûlée.

You guys, I think I may have found the ideal on-the-go planner! This is the perfect size to take with me everywhere. Portable enough without being too small or too big and heavy when filled. I thought that maybe a smaller ring-bound planner was what I needed, but I see it clearly now. The traveler's notebook will be perfect for jotting down ideas and information on the fly. There won't be any rings to get in the way when writing, and I don't need to worry about it being jostled around in my bag because there's nothing more beautiful than a worn out leather notebook. I can't wait for this baby to get all dinged up. It'll wear its battle scars beautifully, I'm sure.

My ongoing quest may have finally come to an end. Now, the fun part begins--filling'er up! Excuse me, but, I've got a beautiful leather notebook to set up. Happy Friday!

Return of The Malibu + The Quest Continues

26 September 2014

I once purchased a Malibu by Day Timer a while back after reading a blog post that had me quite interested. I did a quick review on that one which you can read here. I don't know exactly what it was about this planner, whether it was the plum color I had chosen or the fact that, at the time, I was completely blinded by the Malden. Whatever the reason, I just wasn't crazy about it. In my search for the perfect on-the-go planner and companion to my Van der Spek, and after hearing the rave reviews on the Malibus from various users, and after discovering that my beloved inserts would fit perfectly in them, I decided to give the Malibu another chance. Plus, I was kind of curious to see this particular color in person.

October Filofax Photo-a-Day Challenge

19 September 2014

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I can't believe I'm posting this years last Filofax Photo-a-Day Challenge. Is it really nearly October already? As in only 3 more months to go before the end of the year? I just can't believe it. Wasn't I just posting January's Photo-a-Day like, yesterday?! Sheesh.

Anyway, here it is. The last challenge of the year. And a week and a half early, too, so that you'll have time to spread the love via your fave social media, and still have plenty of time left over to print the prompts out, and/or write them down in your planners. That way, when the first of the month comes to nip you in the butt when you aren't looking (because it will), you'll be ready. Remember, planner lovers of all kinds and of all brands are welcome to participate. Ring-bounders, wire-bounders, disc-bounders, Midoris, Faux Doris, Gillios, Van der Spekkies, Franklin Covey addicts, Filofaxers, the Kate Spaders, the kikki.K crew, and the no namers...all are welcome to join. And if I've missed anyone, I didn't mean to. You're welcome here, too! If you're brand new to the challenge, you can find the rules here or simply send me an e-mail at yayforfridays@gmail.com with your questions and I'll be more than happy to help. I like getting mail. :)

If you haven't done so already, don't forget to follow me on Instagram (@yayforfridays) where I will be posting my photos for the challenge. Now, get those planners camera ready, and let your creative juices flow. And while you're doing all that, don't forget to have fun! Happy snapping, everyone, and a very happy Friday to you as well!

First Look: Ava by Franklin Covey + An Ongoing Quest for the Perfect On-The-Go Planner

12 September 2014

A while back, there was a bit of a frenzy among members in the Franklin Covey Addicts Facebook group (yes, I follow way too many planner groups). Someone had found a seller on Amazon who was selling Ava binders at a crazy low price. These binders usually sell for $75 to $90 depending on the size, but due to certain "flaws" they had as a result of poor shipping, they were going for less than $30! I wasn't exactly sure what I had planned to do with this binder when I hit the "checkout" button, but here she is.

This is a Franklin Covey (FC) compact size binder which is equivalent to a personal size in a Filofax only larger to accommodate the wider FC inserts. The "Teal" color is a gorgeous deep blue. Very pretty. The Ava is also available in a Plum, and Charcoal color and in the larger Classic size which is equivalent to an A5.

I was very relieved that the damage on the binder was minimal. In fact, mine arrived almost perfect, save for a small dent on the back cover. Barely noticeable.

The leather on this binder has a nice pebbly feel to it. It is pliable, but definitely somewhat structured due to some kind of material used in between the leather that helps the binder keep its shape. It has a super long (love!), adjustable (love!) belted/buckled (don't love) strap with a magnetic popper. The interior is lined with a white geometric-like patterned fabric which is not too busy. Definitely a nice break from your typical all leather planner if that's something you might be looking for. On your left, you get one elasticated leather pen loop which is quite generous, a rather short secretarial pocket, 4 card slots, and 1 window/ID pocket. On the right, another secretarial pocket with a zippered compartment. The rings measure at 1".

Anyway, so why the binder? Well, with the compact Finsbury out of the running in my ongoing quest for the perfect on-the-go planner, I thought that I'd give this binder a go. Yes, I went from 15 mm (less than an inch) to 1 inch rings. And, yes, what is "compact" in the Filofax world is totally different in FC land. I know this. So what was I thinking? Well, I've heard of others using both their A5's and personal size planners in conjunction with one another so, I figured, why not me? I could take everything from my main planner, split my sections among the two planners keeping the things I needed with me while out and about in the Ava, and the rest at home. Problem solved, right? Quest over? Of course not! I soon realized that the Ava was just way too big for what I needed which, in reality, isn't a whole lot.

I blame the enablers, really. Or maybe it was the thrilling possibility of finally getting to use my favorite Franklin Covey inserts--as is--that spurred me on. There wouldn't be any trimming necessary. Just pop them in and be on my merry way. Or maybe I'm just a crazy planner lady. :) So, yes, the Ava will most likely be making her way back to where she came from.

Anyway, are you a Franklin Covey addict? Which FC binder are you currently crushing and why? Leave your comments below and as always, thanks for visiting. Have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend.

Fins Fail: Back to The Drawing Board

05 September 2014

With the A5 Van der Spek (VDS) as my main planner, I've been considering something more portable that I could use while on the go. Though surprisingly lightweight for an A5, I still think the VDS somewhat awkward to lug around while running errands and such. With its 35 mm rings, it's fairly chunky. Add to this the typical on-the-go essentials for both my 6 month old and toddler, plus my usual purse things, and you've got one pretty heavy bag already. I know a lot of people who carry their A5's (or similar) around with them with no problem, but it's just not going to happen for me. So, I've been looking around at all my options and finally decided to try out a compact size Filofax for the first time. Enter the compact Finsbury.

Finding Planner Peace: Oh, Van der Spek, How Do I Love Thee?

29 August 2014

Let me count the ways...

1. Beautiful and functional. For my Van der Spek (VDS), I chose to go with the brown Ostrich print (232) for the outside and dark blue nappa leather for the inside. You can definitely feel the raised bumps printed onto the leather, but it's still quite lovely to touch. And the Nappa? Smooth like buttah! I also went with matching dark blue stitching throughout the binder which has a subtle contrasting effect against the brown exterior. Throw in some gold toned hardware (rings and the popper) and you have, what I think, is one gorgeous binder! I am a firm believer that your planner should be both functional AND aesthetically pleasing. Some might argue that function is more important, but I say, why can't you have both?

I particularly love the little details like the tag sewn in with the company's name on it and the little leather flap that keeps the zipper pull on the back pocket hidden so as not to get in the way. It's the little things that count, I tell ya! ♥

2. Big, golden, replaceable rings. I have yet to have any issues with the rings. The mechanism appears to be very sturdy and strong. No misalignments or gaps and they close tight with a satisfying snap! Ah, like music to my ears. :) At 35 mm, they are also quite big. Did I also mention that they were golden? And let's not forget the most important thing about them--they're replaceable! Though perfect now, they may not always be. Accidents happen and time goes by. It's very reassuring to know that I can order another set when and if they ever do need replacing.

3. Two pen loops. Part leather, and part elastic. And they actually fit pens! Can you believe it? No more spending money on adhesive pen loops or hanging my pen onto anything or fashioning bull-dog clips and other things into makeshift pen holders. I did have the right side slightly enlarged when customizing my binder (yup, you can do that) to ensure that my fave 5 Color Uni-Style Fit Multi Pen would slide on through. But, the left side is your standard pen loop, and it fits my 3 color Hi-Tec-C Coleto with no problem.

4. Light weight. For an A5, this is simply just awesome! And a must, especially if you're one to carry your planner around with you everywhere. Mine stays in the house for the most part. But, if I had to, I wouldn't hesitate to throw this into my bag. The fact that it wasn't back breakingly heavy once it was filled totally floored me as I've had several leather A5's in the past that were nowhere near as light as my VDS. Ever tried hauling a stuffed A5 Malden around before? You have? Well bless your back because, as much as I loved my Malden, it never left my desk. Never.

5. Top notch customer service. This really should have been number 1 on my list because, if it weren't for the Van der Spek team, my beautiful planner wouldn't even exist. I received excellent customer service from the moment I began the ordering process. Petra, the planner genie, is just wonderful, answering all your questions and even working with you to make all your planner wishes come true. You want to customize your planner to ensure your favorite inserts will fit? Want to switch up the interior set-up altogether? Do you long for 30 mm rings in a personal size planner? Petra can make it happen! Or at least try her best to. And, If you've seen exactly how these planners are made and the amount of work that's put into each and every one, you'll see just how special they truly are. Which brings me to...

6. One-of-a-kind. Okay, so my planner may not be the only A5 VDS with these exact color combinations (though I have yet to see my binders twin anywhere...) so, no, it may not be one-of-a-kind in that sense. But, what I do mean by one-of-a-kind is that these planners are not mass produced. Because they're custom made I'm sure that it's completely possible to create a truly unique planner. The color combinations alone are numerous and members of the Van der Spek Organiser Fans Facebook group have been quite creative in putting together color combos. I have yet to see a VDS that didn't wow me.

Anyway, it's been about 5 months (give or take) since my Van der Spek came into my life and changed my entire outlook on planners. I've used many different kinds of organizers before so I am very happy to say that, with my VDS, I've finally found planner peace. All the boxes on my "planner must haves" list have been checked off and I am one happy camper. Or, rather, one happy planner. :) I've also noticed that I've stopped looking for "something better". No more scrolling through endless pages of planner listings on eBay or lurking around the various planner sale groups I follow on Facebook. Instead, I find that I spend more time actually using my planner. Like, really using it and enjoying the heck out of it and focusing more on getting things done than worrying about whether my rings have gone kaput. Let's just say that my VDS won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

How about you? Are you still searching for your planner peace, or have you already found it? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Till next time!

First Look: The Electric-Blue-But-Looks-Sorta-Purple Finsbury

22 August 2014

When I learned that Filofax was bringing back the Finsbury range this season in an "Electric Blue" color, and after finding out that a good friend and fellow plannerd of mine had recently purchased one for herself, I just had to see it in person. I had a Finsbury before that I quite liked so was already familiar with this particular Filofax. But, it wasn't the actual planner that I was dying to see, but rather this "Electric Blue" that seemed to call my name every time photos of it popped up on the web. Fortunately for me, my friend was kind enough to let me borrow hers for a day before moving into it so that I could see this new color for myself. "I ab-so-LUTELY love it!" she practically squeals over the phone. "But, I hate to tell you, it's not really blue."

The Thrilling 30's + "Yay for Birthdays!" Giveaway Winners

15 August 2014

Last week, I posted a giveaway to celebrate my birthday (2 more days!). The prize: a 2015 17-Month Agenda by Ban.dō (get a first look here). I have two to giveaway, one in each style, and have picked two readers at random using random.org. As promised, I'm back to announce the lucky winners. So, without further ado, the winners are... *drum roll, please*

Antonia Tillman AND Lindsay Gutierrez

Congrats! Please, contact me within 24 hours at yayforfridays@gmail.com to claim your agenda.

If you're wondering, I'll be turning 32 this weekend. Yup. In my 20's I dreaded the thought of hitting the 30's. Looking back now, I don't know what I was so afraid of. Maybe the idea of getting older scared (still scares?) me. So far, my 30's have been awesome. I've been blessed with an amazing family, and I've also got my health which I am very thankful for. I couldn't ask for anything more, really. I can only hope that the rest of my 30's will be just as great.

Anyway, thanks so much to all who participated in the giveaway and for all the kind early birthday wishes. And now to kick start my b-day weekend with something sweet. You only turn 32 once, right? Here's to fun giveaways, August birthdays, the thrilling 30's, and a fantastic Friday to all!

First Look: 2015 Ban.dō 17-Month Agenda + "Yay for Birthdays!" Giveaway [CLOSED]

08 August 2014

Ban.dō is a Los Angeles based company specializing in über cute gifts and accessories. Their merchandise is inspired by "all things fun" (think bright colors, and funky/fun patterns). So, when I saw on my Instagram feed that they were carrying agendas, I just had to see for myself. You know me, planners and pretty paper gets me every time!

This is the 2015 17-Month Agenda that runs from August 2014 to December 2015. That means you can start using it now instead of having to wait till next year. Awesome. The agenda measures at 8.5 in. x 5.5 in. and is a pretty thick book with a nice glossy hard cover. Everything is kept closed with an elastic band. I love the mint and gold combo!

Bye-Bye, July. Hello, August!

01 August 2014

July's Filofax Photo-a-Day Challenge is a wrap, and I just wanted to say...

Really, you guys are!

I had fun and I hope you did, too. Missed it this time? Sit tight, because the challenge returns again in October. In the meantime, you can use the hashtag #fflovephotoaday on social media sites like Instagram or Twitter to view all the fun planner photos from July's challenge and from previous challenges as well.

Can you believe another month has come and gone? Just the other day, Monster asked me if there were pumpkins yet as we drove by an empty commercial lot on our way home where a pumpkin patch is set up every year around October. I felt like it was only yesterday that we were at that pumpkin patch, trying to calm our 2-year-old down from a huge melt down because he didn't want to leave. There were big, fat tears involved, some screaming, some kicking. Major FUN (and a major headache)! It dawned on me then just how fast this year is going by. Honestly, where is that darn pause button when you need it? And now, here we are at the beginning of a new month. August is quite special to me though because both The Husband and I celebrate our birthdays this month. In a couple of weeks, I'll be another year older. Eek!

Anyway, a happy Friday to all and here's to a fantastic weekend. See you next week. I see good things ahead... :)

Bye-bye, July. Hello, August!

DIY Fish Life Mapping Inserts: Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

11 July 2014

The first time I stumbled upon DIY Fish's Life Mapping Inserts (LMI), I turned right the other way and went about my business. Nope. Definitely not for me, I thought. Besides, I was perfectly happy with my current system of monthly + weekly pages and, quite frankly, her inserts intimidated the heck out of me. But, I recently came upon them again in the plannersphere and, being someone who is always down to try anything that could possibly help make my life more organized and easy, I decided to give her a try. After several blogs and photos, and countless YouTube videos later, I was intrigued and soon found myself purchasing a trial set of her inserts for August (from here). Among the many versions and styles to choose from, I went with the A5 LMI V02.2/2.1 which includes the monthly spreads, weekly pages, Day-on-2-page, and Day-on-1-page diaries all in a neat little bundle for me to play around with.

Now, I won't go into detail on what the actual Life Mapping system is about as I am still learning about them myself. You can read more about it on Fish's blog where she explains the system with photos and lots of helpful tutorials. Fish herself is wonderful and was kind enough to answer all my questions. There is also loads of information around the web and a very helpful group on Facebook (DIYFish Life Mapping Community!) that you can join and stalk for days like I did trying to accumulate as much information as I could from other users.

What I like about the system so far is the idea of having my monthly, weekly, even my daily pages, all in front of me. No more flipping back and forth between my weekly and my monthly calendars which is something that happens a lot with my current system. If everything works out as I imagine it to, this might even affect the entire set-up of my planner. But, that's me getting ahead of myself. I've only just printed the inserts out, cut and hole punched them, but have yet to really look at them and set them up for next month. I'm looking forward to jumping in and seeing what all the hype is about.

If you're a die hard fan of DIY Fish's Life Mapping inserts, I'd love to know how you are using them. Any tips and/or advice will be greatly appreciated! I'll keep you all posted on how the trial goes. Is it August yet?

July Filofax Photo-a-Day Challenge

20 June 2014

First, let me start by apologizing for the lack of posts here. I am slooowwwly working on getting back my blogging groove so, please, bear with me.

If you haven't noticed, I've been in a very Summery mood lately. With the beautiful weather we've been having here in southern Cali, I can't help myself. All this sunshine has been getting to me (in a good kind of way) and is rubbing off on my blog--the new look, July's Photo-a-Day Challenge...

Are you ready? For another challenge, that is. See? I told you July would be here before you know it. Snuck up on me much too quick if you ask me.

As always, I like to get the prompts to you as early as possible so that you can prepare yourself for another snap happy month of planner goodness. And so that you can also have plenty of time to share and spread the word with friends and fellow plannerds. Newbies are welcome and so are all planner kinds. If this is your first time (hi!) instructions on how to play are available on the blogs navigation. I am also more than happy to answer any questions you might have so leave a comment below or contact me via e-mail at yayforfridays@gmail.com. I'll be playing on Instagram (@yayforfridays) so if you haven't already added me and said "hello", do it!

Remember, play nice, be creative and, above all else, have fun! Happy snapping and I hope that wherever you are, the sun's shining down on you, too.

First Look: Van der Spek Custom Organizer

09 May 2014

Van der Spek (VdS) is a company that produces planners and other leather goods. I heard very little about them until I joined the Van der Spek Organiser Fans Facebook group out of curiosity. Of course, being the Plannerd that I am, once I saw some of the gorgeous photos of VdS planners posted in the group, I was immediately hooked. I was particularly drawn to the idea of designing my own organizer which happens to be one of the products that Van der Spek offers--a specially made, customizable planner. Seriously? Yes, please!
With the help of Petra Van der Spek whose family owns and runs the company, I began the ordering process. It was fairly easy thanks to her awesome customer service. She was very kind, informative, and responded to my e-mails very quickly considering what a busy woman she is. Probably the most difficult thing in the entire process was the actual choosing of the leathers and customization options. One could easily get carried away or, in my case, overwhelmed with it all. There are a multitude of leathers to choose from in different colors, prints, and textures. Depending on the size of your planner, there is also ring size and hardware color (silver or gold) to decide on, as well as what color stitching you'd like to use to put everything together. And if you're willing to shell out just a bit more for your planner, you can also add things like an extra pen loop, a zippered pocket, leather flyleaf, and/or even configure your planners interior pocket layout. Now, do you see why I was a bit overwhelmed?

From The Bottom of My Heart

01 May 2014

A big thanks to all those who participated in April's Filofax Photo-a-Day Challenge. I had a blast, and I hope you did, too. The next challenge is scheduled for July. And seeing as how fast time's been flying by, that'll be here before you know it. Stay tuned!

April Filofax Photo-a-Day Challenge

21 March 2014

Can you believe we're nearly four months into 2014? It feels like only yesterday we were wishing everyone a happy new year. Time sure is flying!
And speaking of time, it's time for yet another Filofax Photo-a-Day Challenge! Are you tired of these yet? I hope not, because I love seeing everyones photos. With April just around the corner, I thought I'd go ahead and post the months prompts now so that you'd have plenty of heads up. Jot them down in the your planners, print them out, or post them onto your favorite social network like Twitter or Instagram (or BOTH) to spread the word.
If this is your first time playing the challenge, then welcome! If you've never done a photo-a-day challenge before, or one that was so specific, no worries. Newbies can simply click >> here << to read up on everything that one needs to know to participate. Remember, the challenge is open to all planner lovers regardless of what brand you're using. So, if you're not currently using a Filofax or even a ring-bound planner, you're still welcome to join in. I'd love to see what you're using. I'll be playing on Instagram (@yayforfridays) so, if you haven't already, you can follow me there.
With that said, bring on the yummy planner pics! Have fun, be creative and, as always, happy snapping!

January Filofax Photo-a-Day Challenge Instagram Giveaway: Favorites + Winner!

31 January 2014

I'd like to first start off by thanking all those who participated in this months Filofax Photo-a-Day Challenge and contributing all those lovely and, not to mention, creative Filofax and planner photos. It's always a treat getting to peek into everyones planners, and see how they're used on a daily basis.

And now, onto the Instagram giveaway! As a refresher, here are the general rules and guidelines of the giveaway:

  • The photos will be chosen from the first days prompt, "Hello, 2014!" and pulled using the hashtag #yayforfrigiveaway.
  • The giveaway is open to all Instagram users in the US participating in January's Filofax Photo-a-Day Challenge.
  • The winner will receive a brand new open top craft tote by Mackinac Moon--perfect for storing all those stationery/craft/planning tools we all love!

I should also mention that it was very hard narrowing down all those yummy photos to just these few. But, it had to be done. So, without further ado, here are ten of my favorites (in no real particular order), and from these, the winner, chosen by Random.org using their number generator.

Instagram: @bluebrymfn Instagram: @ohlovelyqs
Instagram: @peaceloveblythe Instagram: @gypsyblue13
Instagram: @filophilia Instagram: @lilliesandsilk
Instagram: @npbradshaw Instagram: @princesscheleb
Instagram: @sewmuchcrafting Instagram: @island808girl

And the winner of the January 2014 Filofax Photo-a-Day Challenge Instagram Giveaway is--drum roll, please (I've always wanted to say that!)--@filophilia.

Instagram: @filophilia

I spy a Malden! ♥ What a "cozy" way to bring in the new year. Congratulations! If you haven't already, please, e-mail me at yayforfridays@gmail.com to claim your prize! Thanks again to everyone who played. The Filofax Photo-a-Day Challenge will return in April so watch this space. It'll be here before you know it!

* Photos presented in this post belong not to "Yay, for Fridays!" but to their rightful owners, and are used for the sole purpose of the giveaway.

Filofax Fridays: The A5 Itch

17 January 2014

Yep, I've done it again! Succumbed to the "A5 itch" and purchased this red Domino. Now, why on earth would I do that when my personal size Filofaxes have been working out just fine? Why mess with a good thing? And, we all know how my previous attempts at upgrading from a personal to an A5 worked out. They didn't! Yet, here we are. But, I have my reasons. You know, to help you better understand where I'm coming from. And partly to make me feel better. Okay, mostly to make me feel better.

  • With baby #2 on the way, the extra planning space will be very helpful.
  • As a stay-at-home mom, my work centers around my family and the home. So, for the most part, my Filofax rarely leaves the house. Therefore, portability wouldn't really be an issue with the A5 like I thought it would be as I probably wouldn't be taking it anywhere with me.
  • I wanted it.

Those are pretty reasonable justifications as to why I needed another Filofax, right? Right?

Ch-Ch-Changes!

03 January 2014

As you may have already noticed, there have been quite a few changes around here. Coming back from a brief hiatus, and with the arrival of the new year, I felt a bit of "new" was necessary. Whether you've been around or you've just stumbled upon this blog for the very first time, here's just a few things you might like to know.

  • Probably one of the biggest changes I made was the title of my blog. Originally, Fridays, I'm in Love, I decided to go with Yay, for Fridays! instead as it matched with my blogs address and all the other accounts linked to this blog. My Instagram, for example, and other various social networks associated with Yay, for Fridays! are all under the same name. Hope this doesn't confuse anybody, but now everything's streamlined, organized, and easy to find. Just how I like it.
  • The About section listed in the menu above is where you can find more information about the blog as well as some tid-bits about me, Carla. If you're new here--hi! *waves animatedly* It's very nice to meet you. :)
  • The Features & Topics section is where you'll find a list of specific topics and ongoing features here on the blog. You might find this helpful when looking for a specific post. Keep in mind that my blog is still growing and forever changing, so this list will change, too, as posts and new topics are added. Also, don't forget to subscribe and come back often to see what's new.
  • If you're interested in participating in the Filofax Photo-a-Day Challenge and would like more information on how to play, simply click on the option in the above menu. There you'll find all you'll need to get started.
  • The idea of pinning blog images to sites like Pinterest has been, to some bloggers, a delightful tool to help promote blog content and, in turn, increase traffic. For others, it's been a pain in the butt, what with privacy and copyright issues and all. It's a dilemma for anyone who posts anything anywhere online, really. I've thought about the whole "pinning" thing for awhile myself, my main concern being photos of my children and loved ones. In the end, I've decided that if you feel the need to share something you found interesting on my blog via Pinterest, go right on ahead. Most of the images featured on Yay, for Fridays! that are okay for pinning will have a "Pin It" button upon scrolling your browsers cursor over them. Those without said button are usually personal photos. For the most part, I try and keep my personal life and photos to a minimum, and I know I can't control every person and evil doer that views this site, but I do ask that you ever-so-kindly respect these posts by not pinning/sharing these images elsewhere. I also ask that you get my permission BEFORE using any of my photos on your own blog/website, and give credit where credit is due by linking back to my blog.
  • Last, but not least, you can contact me at yayforfridays@gmail.com should you have any questions or simply want to say "hi". You can also find me elsewhere by clicking on the different social network buttons to your right under "Follow Yay, for Fridays!" or under the Contact section in the menu above. I'd love to hear from you. :)

As always, thanks for reading. I do hope you stick around.