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!