Saturday, August 24, 2013

Keeping the family Erin Condren Style

As a working mum with 3 school aged children, staying (or should I say trying to stay) organised is very important. Like all schools, I am continually being bombarded with notes home about assignments that are due, fundraising events, meetings etc etc etc. and after years of having various methods of trying to keep it all on track, I think I have finally come up with a system that works for me...for now! 

Over the years I have had family calendars, tried entering everything onto my iPhone with reminders, bought countless apps but the one item that seems to have worked the best has been my Erin Condren Life Planner. I purchased one last year for the 2013 calendar year, and I have to say, I do not think a week has gone by without me writing in it. Not only are they beautiful (which I think is half the reason I use it so much...because it's pretty) but the layout works really well for me. 

Monthly layout
Weekly Layout

As I love my 2013 planner so much, I was so excited when Erin launched the 2013-14 planners, and as I am already receiving cake orders for 2014 I thought I would purchase the 18 month and start using my new planner. Shipping from the US is expensive costing $39.95, so rather than just buying a planner, I went all out and bought a FUNctional family chore chart, note pads and the Oh what a week planner...and here is my review on the products, and how I make them work for my family.

I am loving the weekly schedule pad! It is like a desk pad, that each week I write out our families appointments, assignments that are due etc then I rip off the page, and bluetac it onto the wall in the kitchen, which I have tried to set up as much of a command centre as I can in such a small space. 

Below the weekly schedule is the FUNctional Family system where the boys chores are written and the spare note pad is for shopping lists and other notes. The boys work well from this, and get great reward from ticking off their allocated task. I purchased the additional reward cards, and while I haven't really got them working as well as they could, I am sure we will get into a bit of a groove soon.

So here is how I make all 3 products work together....My Life Planner is the starting point, all of my appointments are written in the monthly section first, then at the beginning of the week I transfer the appointments into the weekly section. I sit with my planner and transfer the necessary items onto the Oh what a weekly schedule, and with our schedule in mind I plan out the boys chores for the week. So if I know we are out on Tuesday, I won't give them any jobs to do that day. I also leave the set the table, and dishwasher days empty, and just ask whoever is available to do these jobs when needed - then I write their initial in so they get credit for the job.

Unfortunately, I was missing my little bookmark, thankfully I can just use the one from last year. 
I also want to recognise how awesome they are...instead of just receiving my order, I  received 2 weekly schedule pads, and 2 lots of personalised stickers with little notes saying "Ooops, our goof is your gift" so I can forgive a missing bookmark!

The notebook adhered to the inside back cover.
I also have to say, after having the 12 month planner, and opting for the 18 month this time, I am not a huge fan of the 18 month planner, it is just that little bit too bulky for my liking, so as I didn't receive my planner until August I will continue using my old one until the end of the month, and I have torn out the July and August months just to reduce the bulk a little. I have also ripped half of the note pages off the note pad so that is less bulky at the back, and these are on my desk at home so they didn't go to waste, and next year I will just stick to 12 months.

Our Family Command Centre (note the weekly menu planner on the pantry door)

I love ALL of Erin's products and how fun and colourful they are! I am such a huge fan and I can definitely see why she has such a cult following. In a world that is driven by technology (and I have to admit, I am a huge tech fan), it is fantastic to see a company that can make the old fashioned paper planner fun and popular again.

Here is a link for you to receive a $10 credit toward your erin condren order! $10 CREDIT

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Babushka Doll Cake

I created this cake for a client's Babushka themed baby shower. She knew she was expecting a boy, and gave me the beautiful colour pallet of pale teal, blue, yellow and latte. The cake was carved from chocolate mud cake before being crumb coated in chocolate ganache and covered in fondant.
To cover the cake, I firstly added the latte colour around the base of the doll and trimmed the top to the shape required (slightly sloping up at the front). I then added the teal head colour, and again trimmed it to fit perfectly against the latte bottom. Then it was just a matter of adding the belly colours, face and the final details. I quilted the belly and added little blossoms, then hand painted the white daisies over the head.

Upon delivering this little cake, I discovered that the client had actually gone into early labour and already had the beautiful baby boy that day, so the shower had to be cancelled :-( Thankfully Mum and Bub were both well (even though he was 4 weeks early), and they now plan on freezing the cake and using it for his Christening.

Happy Baking!