Introducing: Planner Pointers, NEW Planner Products, and a $20 Taylored Expressions Giveaway! woot!

Let's cut to the chase, shall we? Get to the good stuff? Save the best for... first?! The fine folks at Taylored Expressions are celebrating the launch of their new Clearly Planned line of stamps, dies, planners, and accessories. WOOT! How exciting!

I used a Taylored Expressions bow die and their yummy felt to create my planner clip. The center is a sequin from Little Things from Lucy's Cards.

And they're generously offering you, my blog chums, a chance at $20 to spend in their shop! Interested? Go ahead. Take a peek. I'll wait...      Yeah, I thought so. ;) I mean look at how ca-utte this Sneak a Peek set is! Huzzah!

Do you see how the owl is peeking in from the side of my calendar? (I colored his belly with colored pencils.)

I had such fun stamping with this! As well as Time Will Tell...

And Chit Chat...

Isn't this new line divine? And there a bunch more where these came from. There is a stamp order in my future. If you can say the same, you'll want to enter the:

Taylored Expression $20 Shopping Spree Giveaway (open to all!)

To enter, please do any (or all) of the following:
1. Comment on this post. I always love a hello from you. Even if I have to bribe one out of you. ;) Please include an email with your comment if you choose option 1. Thanks!

2. Comment on my coordinating Instagram post (the one mentioning the giveaway, posted on 8/19).
3. Comment on my coordinating FaceBook post (the one mentioning the giveaway, posted on 8/19).
4. Shoot me a quick email at with "TE Planner Giveaway" in the subject line.

You have until Monday, August 22 to enter. Good luck!

Introducing: Planner Pointers

I've had this idea for a blog series rolling around the ol' noggin since before I launched my planner line in 2015. I guess I've just lacked the proper, ahem, planning to make it a reality. Until now! Once a month, I'm going to share a look inside my planner and a pointer (or pointers) of some sort. Tips and tricks I like to apply to my planner. With Taylored Expressions launching their awesome new Clearly Planned collection, it seems the prime time to get this party started.

August Planner Pointer #1: Include Photos

There are so many ways this can be done. I'll share several, I'm sure. But I'll focus on this cute framed approach today.

These bitty frames (opening measures 1 5/16" x 1 5/16" [bitty!]) were die cut using the new Taylored Expressions Little Bits Mini Frame 1 die, which is measured to fit in the Simple Stories A5 Carpe Diem calendar boxes perfectly!

My glittered frames were cut from adhesive-backed glitter paper by Cosmo Cricket. This approach is awesome, because the cuts are instantly stickers, so even if you don't use them right away, you can cut a bunch, stash 'em in your planner, and use 'em as needed. Nice!

If you don't have this die but want to give this look a try, you can try cutting a rectangle to the size of your space to fill and then punching a square opener from there. With this die only costing $6, I'm all for going the easy route, but I didn't want to exclude those who may not have access to a die cutting machine.

Photo Prep

These pics are bitty. To prepare them, I used the photo collage function in my Project Life App on my phone to create an August sampling of images. One thing I can't tell you is why it all looks evenly spaced in my app but always saves and prints as shown below (not even). If you have any advice in this department, I'm all ears (eyes?). Thanks!

I then printed and added the frames to a few, intentionally spacing them throughout the calendar spread (instead of framing several days in a row). I like the balance this offers.

Planner Pointer #2: Planner Stamping

Not gonna lie. The idea scared me a bit. I mean, there's no going back on a stamp. Well... that's sort of true. You can always cover the crap. But if you don't consider yourself a stamp champ, try this quick tip:

Cut a piece of cardstock to fit your planner space, stamp on it, and adhere it to your calendar. Do this a few times until you're more comfortable with your stamps, ink, and stamping in general. Or use cute sticky notes that you can then stick in, like the new Sticky Situation Taylored Expressions notes. There are currently four styles to choose from. I went with this cutie (#3)!

If you do stamp directly on your calendar and, boo!, an impression doesn't fully apply, try touching it up with a pen. That's what I did on my Aug. 21 hearts. Instant drop shadow (is that what that's called?)!

And with stamping, it's important to embrace imperfection. If they look too perfect, they lose their "stamped" charm. And that charm is a very on-trend look in planners.

Finally, if you're using a new ink or stamp in your planner for the first time, find a scrap to do a test stamp on first. IMPORTANT: The scrap should be planner paper (an old page, a page in the back, an area you know you'll cover anyway). Stamps stamp differently, depending on the surface. This includes different paper weights and finishes. That's what's going on below--test stamping in the back of my planner. Which lead me to realize I prefer the stamped off look for my numbers.

Stamping Off: Ink stamp, stamp on scrap, DO NOT re-ink, and stamp again on finished project. It creates a lighter look.

Why stamp?

So many reasons. My favorite: uniformity. My handwriting is all over the place. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I... don't! Stamps don't change games on you mid process. Look how many times I was able to fit in ONE bitty box without the box feeling cluttered or messy! There's no way it would look this uniform if I had scratched chicken all over it. ;)

Think Ink

The difference between a meh and oh yeah! with stamping often comes down to two things--the quality of the stamp (you typically get what you pay for) and the quality of your ink. I can't say enough good things about the Taylored Expressions ink The Oreo black hybrid ink I used stamped cleanly every time (unless I made a bonehead move beyond the ink's control--I mean, it's not superhero ink).

Yes, Taylored Expressions is kindly throwing $20 your way, but this is not why I say this about their ink. They did send me the stamps and ink to use, but the post is not financially sponsored in any way. I just dig this ink (and not just because it's named Oreo!) and am happy to share. Plus, they come in bitty pads that I'm able to easily pack and take with me when planning/stamping on the go. Get me a glass of milk, and this deal is sealed!

That's it for my first Planner Pointers post. What did you think? Helpful? Too long? Too detailed? Not detailed enough? Stick to one pointer each post? I'm all for suggestions. This is a brand new endeavor for me, and I want to make it a good one. To do that I'd love your help. I have so many ideas I'm excited to share, but I want to go about it the right way. Think a video would help? As much as I hate to admit this, I am a bit on the thinned-skin side, so if this is a big fat thumb's down for you all together, perhaps you spare me the comment. But constructive feedback is absolutely appreciated. Thanks, friends. And happy planning!!