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 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 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!