Unboxing: Erin Condren Wedding Planner

Is it bad that I knew what wedding planner I wanted months (and months and months) before my darling fiancĂ© popped the question? If so, whatever, I don’t care, because I have had my heart set on the Erin Condren Wedding Planner, and I’m so thrilled I have one in my hands!

Thankfully having overly high expectations did not ruin the eventual arrival of the planner; it is absolutely wonderful and makes the (surprisingly stressful) planning process a lot more fun. I also think it’ll make a really cute keepsake at the end of all of this.

In classic Erin Condren style, the planner came in an absolutely gorgeous box. Annoyingly it arrived on a day I wasn’t at home, so I had to wait an agonizing 24 hours (yep, drama queen) until it was re-routed to work.

img_8937

Everything about this is just too much. I love the thought and care that goes into some decent wrapping, especially when you’ve forked out the big bucks for a luxury product.

As with all Erin Condren planners, you can customize the cover. I had picked out the fireworks style for a while – I wanted something sparkly and fun, but not too girly (so no flowers). Of course you can purchase any other cover any time, but I’m happy to stick with this one, especially since we’re planning for our wedding to take place on 30 December, right around New Years 🙂


The inserts are great – the cover page made me extremely excited. There is a tab for each month of the year (which, luckily for me, was calendar year – but you can pick the starting month and whether you need 12 or 24 months).

And then for the serious stuff – places for lists!! The tips and suggested schedules are really helpful, since there are more moving parts than you’d even think with a wedding, and it was a great trigger to remember to do certain things, or at least write down they’re needed for later.

 And it wouldn’t be an Erin Condren without a tonne of stickers to come with it! There was a promotion on where you got three sets of stickers with your planner, plus it came with customised wedding related stickers at the back.


So planning my wedding has been so much more sticker-filled fun than I even thought! While this planner does set you back a pretty penny, I do think it will make a really fun memento of the process. I’ve filled pages with collages of images I liked from bridal magazines (like a real-life Pinterest!) and collected together the various paper paraphernalia from bridal expos so that it’s all in the one place. I brainstormed venues and thank you cards, and tracked our engagement gifts. And I even filled out the budget section, and started tracking the money out (although I’ll be setting up a proper and comprehensive spreadsheet to that effect – numbers move and change, and you need all the help you can get to avoid a wedding blow out).

This wedding planner has been a source of so much fun to me – and I’m so happy I went for it! I’m excited to keep filling it up with ideas and inspiration 🙂

 

Fabulous Fitness Options

Fitness is a constant passion of mine. It has taken many forms in my life – yoga, boot camps, pilates, boxing, personal training, running, triathlons… while I never stick with one thing for ages, I’m always doing something. I’ve had more gym memberships than I can count, and sign up to at least try most fitness fads. I don’t believe fitness has to take just one form, and I wanted to share some of my favourite fitness paths I’ve followed.

0b8beabaf38a0936b2eac015024ffeeb

1. Personal Training

This is by far my very favourite way to train – one on one. If you need to eliminate excuses and bust out the most sweat for every second of your work out, a personal trainer is one of the best investments you can make. I began personal training in September last year with an awesome guy who really paid attention to my limits (broken knees mean many ‘normal’ moves are outside my abilities, and my PT wrote me some great programs to focus on all the things I could do), and helped me get really close to some of my fitness goals, such as doing a pull-up. I’m now seeing my cousin and doing more high intensity boxing PT once a week, and it’s totally kicking my butt. Where a normal boxing class usually means you can slack off a little when the instructor isn’t looking, there is no moment they aren’t looking and you are forced to perform. It’s amazing. In my time doing PT, I’ve dropped 3kg and 4% body fat, and really see some serious muscle definition in my arms.

Of course, it can be one of the more expensive ways to train, so it depends on your priorities for fitness. Currently I do a trade with my cousin of an hour of tutoring for an hour of PT, which is working great for everybody, and is a great way to keep your spend low. If PT is something you’re interested in, be creative and you never know what options are out there for you!

2. ClassPass

ClassPass has been pretty controversial recently. ClassPass was officially a start-up kicking off in the USA, giving you an avenue to try out different classes all over your city without committing to a particular membership or studio. It was insanely priced at $100/month for unlimited classes, and you may have seen some of the media releases from a few months ago where the CEO came out saying the model was unsustainable, and they were switching to $100/month for 10 classes. This model allows you 3 visits to a particular gym in a month, and a total of 10 classes across the various gyms and fitness centres that are available. My colleague and I go to Box & Bike every Monday – normally a casual drop in class is $20, and of course with ClassPass, it comes down to $10. We also hit a different boxing class on Wednesday mornings, and try out different yoga classes around Perth.

ClassPass partners well with a normal gym routine, as you minimise the stale factor of going to the same gym every week. It also allows you to try out something new without having to commit and commit big – a lot of the boutique fitness classes available on ClassPass can cost upwards of $30/class for drop in, and even their memberships can really set you back. You can put your ClassPass membership on hold for $15/month, which entitles you to one class and is perfect if you’re travelling for a period of time.

3. Sweat with Kayla

The most affordable of my suggestions so far – the Sweat with Kayla app only costs $20/month for a subscription, and is an amazing program, if you’re willing to commit to it. The app is beautifully designed, and builds in a timer to keep you moving and not resting for too long, and gives you a weekly planner, plus weekly meal plans and shopping lists to help you with a holistic approach to health. Minimal equipment is required, so you could make this work at home with no gym membership after a quick trip to the Target or KMart fitness section. However, it is self-motivated, so you should be realistic with yourself as to whether you’d stick with it.

4. Swimming

My friend and I have picked up the habit of going swimming every Friday morning before work, and it is a revelation. Swimming is a great toning exercise, and is super easy on your joints, which is perfect for people like me with bad knees. Water also has a phenomenal healing effect, and starting the day being totally immersed in the pool is such a clarifying experience, especially when you get to see the sun rise over the pool. A swim pass to most public pools only sets you back around $5 – $6, less if you buy in bulk.

5. Yoga

I’ve sampled Bikram yoga, ashtanga yoga, vinyasa yoga, free yoga, very expensive yoga, yoga by candlelight, yin yoga, and they’re all super great and have their own benefits. My favourite has been some yoga studios I’ve found through ClassPass, which have super luxe studios with beautiful bathrooms and shower products you can use. An hour of yoga before or after work (or just before or after starting your day), is one of the best things you can do for your body. You literally feel your body lengthen as the stretches cause your muscles to loosen and all the tension melt away. You also have the opportunity to quiet the mind, which isn’t common in other forms of exercise – where normally you’re gritting your teeth and cheering yourself on, yoga requires you to empty the mind, and concentrate on your breath. This process is so meditative, and allows you to let go physically and mentally of the stresses you carry with you.

A unique yoga experience at home can be had with following YouTube channels like Yoga with Adrienne (she is such a babe). Or you can adopt the practice my neighbour and I began, dubbed yogatinis – where we have a martini then pretend to do yoga before lying down on our mats and tipsily jabber about our lives. Cleansing in its own way.

As you can probably see, I truly believe that fitness should be a hobby and be enjoyable – you shouldn’t need to bully yourself into enjoying loving your body and teaching it to be stronger. Whatever version you adopt, or switch between, should just be another avenue for seeking joy.

Skin Overhaul Part II

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my 2017 journey to fabulous, glowing skin, hopefully in time for my wedding, but mainly in time for loving my face more. Since that update, the every-amazing Wedding Skincare Consultant has added a few more items to my arsenal that I must share.

To recap:

Each morning consists of cleansing with Clinique’s liquid facial soap in mild, a solid all over spritz of Serozinc by La Roche-Posay, a smear of Hydroluron by Indeed Labs and a moisturise with whatever product is the current target of my empties campaign.

The evenings are similar – kicking off with removing my makeup with Clinique’s Take the Day Off balm, cleansing with Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Cream Cleanser, spritz of Serozinc, Hydroluron and moisturise.

However, it does not stop there! I’ve been informed I’ll be receiving a monthly update to this regime, giving me enough time to slowly build in new products to the basic list above. I was also warned that, after the steps I’m about to share with you below, I’ve graduated from the cheap and affordable elements of skin care to the forking out of big bucks for big reward. I’ll be adjusting my budget accordingly, but if the early results are anything to go by, it will be worth it.

So, the latest additions to the skincare journey await!

Stage Five: Acid Exfoliating

I know. Acid. Exfoliating. On your face. I saw the message and was like ‘um, what’. I always thought exfoliating = little gritty bits rubbing my face. And I thought that acid = really bad. However, there is a whole step to skin perfection dedicated to acid exfoliating that has been welcomed into my routine.

The aim of acid exfoliating is to prevent and get rid of pimples, as well as evening out skin tone, and helping with pimple scars and marks (I didn’t even realise how many of these little jerks I had scattered all over my face until I manned up and actually looked at myself in the mirror). It helps to refine your pores, brighten your  complexion and decongest your skin. And you don’t even have to use it every day!

The product I was instructed to purchase was the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme, available at Target for around $25, Priceline and even on Asos:

nip_fab-glycolic_fix_night_pads-extreme-web_1

In this tub is 60 wipes that look similar to those round pads you buy to help remove makeup. Acid exfoliating is to take place twice a week (I’ve picked Mondays and Thursdays as acid days, for no particular reason whatsoever) in the evenings, after cleansing and before Serozinc. I’ve updated my little post-it on my bathroom mirror to reflect the following stages of the evening skincare regime: Take Off the Day, Neutrogena cleanse, acid exfoliation, Serozinc, Hydroluron, Moisturise, hit the hay.

I haven’t been using this for long enough to give you an update. However, this skincare journey has been going for about 2 months now, and my breakouts are significantly less often, my skin is noticeably softer and clearer, and I just feel more dewy and hydrated. I also noticed when I used the Nip + Fab pad that, despite having taken off my make up and cleansed, grime still came away with the pad. This definitely highlighted to me how gross your poor face can get, and how much care and love it needs.

Stage Six: SPFs

I’m a horrible human and don’t often apply SPFs unless I’m actually going for a walk / to the beach / spending an extended period of time outside. The point of difference coming from my WSC was that not only do you minimise skin cancer risks, sun exposure makes you more prone to pimple scarring and the scars are more difficult to remove. So, SPF was purchased!

You can of course purchase moisturisers that contain SPFs. However, I was instructed you want a minimum of SPF 30, and UVA and UVB protection. Accordingly, I am waiting to finish work to go cash in some credit card points to purchase Clinique’s Super City Block (retailing at around $40AUD from most providers), which offers 30 or 40 SPF.

clq_6gen_402x464

The alternative suggestion was La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios. It comes in 50SPF and is available at Priceline for about $29AUD.

654921_xlarge

I’ve opted for this route because I have quite a few moisturisers that I’m working my way through, and didn’t want to let them continue to rot for longer. The SPF is to be applied daily after moisturising.

I’d love to discuss skin care tips and techniques! I believe that coming up next is Retinols – god knows what those are, but I’m sure in a few months’ time I’ll be singing their praises. Until then, I’m religiously obeying the biblical teachings of the WSC.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Recently, I thought I’d make something for an upcoming afternoon tea party. However, as I did not plan it out 47 years in advance, I naturally totally panicked and couldn’t think of a single thing that wouldn’t require 3 days of preparation, hours of rising and baking time. In short, it was impossible.

And then I remembered that there are so many things you can make without baking!! So I embarked on creating the greatest, easiest, and fanciest-looking afternoon treat of all time: chocolate covered strawberries. And to help you through any similar future panics of your own, I shared my step-by-step process so you too can get gazes of wonder from friends, without the preceding panic.

img_9076

Ingredients:

  • strawberries (many)
  • dark chocolate (I went for Cadbury baking chocolate for the extra deliciousness)
  • white chocolate (for drizzling)

Items you will need:

  • sink (and maybe colander) to wash your strawberries
  • tray and baking paper to lay down your dipped strawberries
  • chocolate melting device – I did the double-boil method over the stove, but the microwave works just as well
  • if you do use a questionable double-boil as I did, oven mitts should be handy to help remove the bowl from the heat
  • fork for stirring melted chocolate
  • a bag to drizzle the white chocolate – I re-purposed a sandwich bag, but a freezer bag or proper icing bag, or literally any bag, will do the job
  • cute tray to display your very attractive strawberries

How to do it:

  • Wash your strawberries, and make sure they are thoroughly dried.
  • Set up trays with baking paper.
  • Melt your dark chocolate. I used the following precarious set up, involving a pot filled with water on my stove, and a shallow bowl that kind of balanced on top. I had the chocolate broken up into small pieces and in the bowl from the beginning, so that the melting process was a bit slower. As the bowl heated up, I’d occasionally remove it from the heat to give the chocolate a stir. It’s stealthy – the melting happens faster than it looks, so it’s better to regularly remove from the heat and stir to avoid burning, than let it go too long.
img_9067

(This photograph is from a little later in the process, but you get the vibe. It’s questionable at best, but it worked!)

  • When the chocolate is melted, remove from heat. Dip the (dried) strawberries into the chocolate, rolling around to ensure excellent coverage. Lay in straight rows on the baking paper (this makes the white chocolate drizzle a little easier later on).

img_9068

  • Once you’ve dipped all your strawberries, pop the trays in the fridge to speed up the setting process.
  • Repeat step 3 above, but this time with white chocolate!
  • Remove your trays of dipped strawberries from the fridge – chocolate sets fast, so they should be fine by now.
  • Pour the melted white chocolate into a bag – you can use a proper icing bag, freezer bag, I used a sandwich zip lock bag – any bag that you can tip the chocolate into a corner of the bag. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to snip a very tiny bit of the corner off – this will be your spout for drizzling the white chocolate.

img_9070

  • Drizzle the white chocolate along the rows of strawberries.

img_9072

  • Pop trays back into fridge to allow the white chocolate to set. Suck remaining white chocolate from the spout of the bag (my personal favourite step).
  • Once the chocolate is fully set, remove strawberries from fridge and carefully peel away from the baking paper. Lay out on a pretty tray or plate, and boom. Best. Dessert. Ever.

 

 

Empties

Otherwise dubbed (by me, anyway) as the life changing magic of using things up, the hashtag empties is one of the most soothing things on Instagram. I am obsessed with decluttering (and it’s counterpart, recluttering), but I often feel a deep sense of dissatisfaction with the degree of waste I see that accumulated in my life. This is why I’ve always favoured selling my things online; not only is it a nice side hustle, but I feel like the item is purchased because it is being used, not just being sent to rot in a Salvation Army store somewhere. 

This unfortunately doesn’t apply to beauty products. My poor mum has been the victim of many a well-intentioned clean out. As has the rubbish bin. But I am very proud to declare that today, I actually created my very own empty – I used up a Garnier hydrating face moisturiser all the way to the final gooey scoop.


And what is such a declaration without a photo to back it up? There it is, in all its glory, an extremely empty moisturiser container. 

I cannot even explain to you the sense of satisfaction that that container did not go to waste. When I was reaching the final dregs, I did resist the urge to just spread the stuff on every inch of my body, just to be done with the darn thing. But I reminded myself it was a game; a test of the deeper effects of delayed gratification and satisfaction in true consuming, not just waste. 

Of course, this is far from the only moisturiser in my cupboard. I can now move on to working my way through the next poor tub of goo, slowly but surely getting every drop and maximising it’s value. 

It’s weird – but I encourage you to scroll through the #empties on Instagram. Embrace the feeling of properly using something up, of pushing through the sense of boredom with what you have to learn to appreciate that you have it at all. Reflect on the joy or lack thereof it brought you when it’s done. And then say goodbye. 

While there is so much joy in a fresh start, there is great sense of self-discipline and achievement in seeing something to the end. And I believe that holds true, whether for a life altering path, or a small tub of moisturiser. And hey, you have to start that journey somewhere, right? 

Doing the hard things 

2017 is a precursor year for us. It’s full of preparatory steps – waiting on permanent residency status. Visas. Being engaged (I know – have I mentioned it yet? Shoved my diamond in your face? The excitement still hasn’t worn off), which is inherently a preparatory statement. Not settling in for the long haul. Being apart for a while. Planning (and saving for) a wedding, or two. 

There’s many many hard things coming up. I find myself awake at night, stressing about the many iterations the paths might take. Even more, I find myself awake at night, stressing about how it will be hard. Just hard. Just a lot of hard hard things, requiring a lot of gutsing through and not giving up and commitment and stress and bashing into the brick wall of hard every day, over and over and over. 

And that’s okay. I’ve done hard. I believe in hard. I also know hard is relative – and while I sometimes think my current life is hard (you know, get up, go to the gym, go to work, complain, repeat – wow, I’m a hero), I know it’s about to get a lot harder. I just wanted to acknowledge to myself that it’s okay that it’s going to be hard and I’m going to be scared. I’m going to want to rewind five years. And then I’m going to put on my brave pants and face the day and say a grateful word and start again. 

Pipsticks Unboxing

As you may have gathered, I have an obsession with subscription boxes. The passion likely stems from my love of receiving mail, and my massive adoration of surprises, as well as utterly unnecessary but very pretty things. Amongst many other fabulous presents (including a diamond ring and a DSLR … yep, I’m bragging but I’m outrageously lucky and I want the world to know it), I received a six-month subscription to the fabulous sticker subscription service, Pipsticks.

Pipsticks is based in the US, and is a monthly subscription of a surprise assortment of adorable stickers. My first envelope arrived, and I wanted to share the joy.

Each subscription arrives in a stupid cute envelope:


And is stuffed full of stickers:


Some of my absolute favourite stickers are ones that sparkle and say hilarious things, and there are an abundance of both in this kit:


The little subscription newsletter is seriously too adorable:


(I love being in the club!!)

And included in your envelope is a decorate-it-yourself postcard. I’m itching to get decorating and send it off – all I need is a pen pal! 

The only downside to Pipsticks is for those of us who live outside of the USA, it takes a little longer to ship. Otherwise, I adore everything about this little subscription – everything is usable, everything is next level cute, and the regular flow of stickers make me less of a hoarder since I know my collection is just going to grow. I’m already hanging out for next month – daily trips to the post box anyone?? 

Skin Overhaul

It was a typical Melbourne day in December, and I was walking through my own real life version of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, going with my high school girlfriends to get our nails done in preparation for my best friend’s wedding that weekend. We had had every conversation under the sun, and still didn’t run out of things to talk about. And after talking boys, and reunions, and gossip, and weddings, and mothers in law, and dreams, we arrived at skin care. And praise the damn lord. The bride to be had the clearest skin on the planet, and I wanted in. Another girl spoke up, talking at great length about the intricacies of balanced and careful skin care, and we all got on board, ready to commence our skincare journeys, to say goodbye to caked layers of foundation and the seventeen-year-old-self shame of another red angry pimple exploding its way into the middle of my face.

I felt my skin had become exceptionally terrible since working full time, sitting in the harsh fluourescents and the constant air conditioning and the makeup and the bad food (probably all also attributable to the ever-growing flub around my bod). I gave my friend licence to instruct me what to do and when to do it, and now that I’m also wearing a pretty diamond on my left hand, she has been appointed official Wedding Skincare Consultant.

The goal: that I can walk down the aisle with skin so glowing it doesn’t need makeup.

The process: was kickstarted with many many text messages. I’ve shared the bespoke program designed by my ever-excellent Wedding Skincare Consultant below.

Stage One: Make-up be gone

We began with the fact that I am impossibly lazy and often don’t bother to remove my makeup at night (I know, I know, I’m awful). I was instructed to purchase Clinique’s Take The Day Off cleansing balm.

clinique_take_the_day_off_cleansing_balm_125ml_1410609848

The balm is used every night when removing my makeup (since I wear makeup every day). I use two fingers to scoop up some of the balm, rub it between my two forefingers, then gently rub it into my face using a circular motion. It is an extremely unattractive process as my mascara ends up all over my face, but I’m reassured that unlike all my other useless makeup removers, it actually gets rid of the mascara and all of the foundation. The balm is really gentle, so my skin also feels like it’s being cared for, unlike the alcohol-based removers I’ve used in the past.

Stage Two: Cleansers

Like many girls I know, I love a good trip to Priceline, an impulsive purchase of a set of three cleansers / toners / moisturisers that are on sale and in cute packaging, only to use it for a few days and let the set gather dust in the back of my cupboard. I’ve never dedicated much time or effort to consider the ingredients and what will best complement and service my skin. My all-knowing Wedding Skincare Consultant prescribed two cleansers to begin the skincare journey to glowing perfection: the Clinique Facial Soap in mild (not the foaming one) for the morning, and Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Cream Cleanser for night.

The Clinique facial soap is also available in extra-mild, but I figured my skin could do with a bit of extra help. It is a gel cleanser, which I was informed is best for the morning or after exercising, when you’re looking for your face to feel fresh and hydrated. I was also under strict instructions to avoid any gel cleanser with foaming, as it contains bad alcohols for the skin and dries you right out, doing you no favours when it comes to the later stages of skincare journeys in hydrating. I’ve used the facial soap every morning when in the shower (probably cheating, but it was the only way I could think of to build using the cleanser into my daily routine so I didn’t forget or get lazy), and definitely feel that it is refreshing and like my skin is actually getting a proper wash. My only gripe is the container I got has a fault pump, so I need to unscrew the lid and tip it into my hand. Once I’ve used up a body wash that has about six drops left, I’m planning on pouring it into that. I’ve been surprised by how bloody annoying this fault is, but obviously it isn’t insurmountable. I’ll just be paying more attention next time I purchase.

The evenings are for the cream cleanser. Potential products included the Neutrogena mentioned above, the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser, L’Oreal Age Perfect Cleanser Milk, CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, Yes to Carrots Daily Cream Facial Cleanser or A’kin Pure Creamy Cleanser and Toner. My decision was based on the not particularly discerning process of selecting what was available in my closest Priceline. The purpose of selecting a cream cleanser for the evening was that (and I quote), ‘your skin has been out fighting the elements all day and it needs a hug and some loving in order to repair itself’. I use the Neutrogena cleanser after Taking Off The Day with my Clinique. The creaminess really does feel amazing after a long day, and I go to bed feeling like I’ve finally done my skin a favour.

Stage Three: Hydration

Now that I’d built the foundation of actually cleaning my face, we approached the more serious steps of addressing hydration. This is the real key to progressing in the skincar ejourney apparently – as no other issue can really be fixed until your skin is hydrated. The primary contributory factor to my failed skin is the pleasant office environment of too much air con and dry heat. This has caused my skin to lose all moisture and oils, then it has gone into overdrive producing more oil,. causing pimples. The dehydration can also be blamed for the fine lines all over my face (that plus the fact somehow I’m six months away from turning 27). I was prescribed Hydroluron by Indeed Labs, a serum that tackles dehydration.

hydraluron-serum_large

This product is super popular, so I wasn’t able to pick it up in any of the Pricelines in Perth CBD and instead ordered it online, most likely fuelling the reception’s thoughts that all I do all day is shop online. This serum locks in the hydration that comes from the moisturiser you have to apply afterwards. And I’m looking forward to saying goodbye to my annoying fine lines, and actually feeling like my skin likes me.

Stage four: Pimple zapping

Okay, I couldn’t actually think of the right title for this section. But this final product was purchased to help attacking the fact that pimples keep poking their way onto my face and making me feel irritated. Serozinc by La Roche-Posay is a toner that you spray on your face after cleansing, which helps skin heal and rejuvenate. I have ended up leaving mine in the kitchen since you can also spray on during the day if my skin is feeling hot or tired for some extra hydration over makeup – so now everytime I walk through the kitchen I see the blue bottle and give my skin a spritz.

la_roche_posay_serozinc_spray_150ml_1427888698

I have faithfully purchased every product, and committed to following my routine. I’m exceptionally proud of for the nights when I was too boozy to remove my contacts, but faithfully took off the day, thoroughly cleansed and moisturised. I never miss a morning cleanse, and generally I think I’m seeing some positive progress towards being that dreamy glowing bride I long for.

 

Keep an eye out for future stage installations and updates on my skincare journey!

Emily Ley Dapperdesk Planner Unboxing

From the second I saw the Emily Ley line of planners, mainly The Simplified Planner, on Instagram, I fell in love. The clean, crisp lay out, with tidy, well-organised font and luxe paper just spoke to me. The daily spread of half time/appointment-related information, and half to do list, with plenty of space, it’s perfectly with how I like to and choose to plan, and would alleviate the need for the more pain-staking approach of bullet journalling. The Simplified Planners were gorgeous, but I tend to prefer non-spiralbound style planners. So I sighed in relief that I was saving myself from another planner splurge, until I discovered the Dapperdesk range. 

Styled as more of a planner for him, the Dapperdesk planner is a leather-covered perfect bound planner, with all the same interiors as The Simplified Planner. I agonised for ages, but couldn’t justify the high price of shipping from US to Australia – so I was totally thrilled when my future in-laws generously splurged on the 2017 Dapperdesk planner for a very unique and special Christmas present.

Every little detail is so perfect that I had to share. The planner arrived in a gorgeous minimalist-style box. Be still my heart…


The soft brown leather with gold monogramming makes this one very classy planner. While the cute covers of The Simplified Planner are really fun, this style fits more with me generally, and will look really classy at work. 


The paper is an absolutely beautiful weight and quality, and I could take photos fast enough to get to the good part of writing. 

The inside covers are a lovely soft grey pattern.


And you can see the daily layout style in the picture below.


So clear and easy to populate! I find this layout really intuitive and gives a lot of options for the planner to function as a brain dump as well as something to actually help and assist. 

There are several lined pages at the back for notes. Despite keeping these to a minimum and reducing a lot of bulk with unnecessary introductory pages (again, so good), the planner is still chunky:


However the paper is absolutely stunning, and it felt really special to write on each page. 


What really works for me with the Emily Ley style planners is how you don’t feel a need to spend time decorating each page. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good stickering session as much as the next person, but I can find it impractical for my work and sometimes a beautiful layout does not necessarily go hand in hand with functionality.

So, that was a lot of pros! Beautiful quality, beautiful paper, beautiful presentation and beautiful layout.

The cons? This planner will set you back a cool $75USD + shipping (ouch). It is also quite large and bulky, so you either need to have a decent sized handbag, or know where this planner will be living permanently. I know some people find the hour-layout a bit restrictive and in that respect, it may not work for everyone in terms of customisation. 

But for me, this planner is about as close as it gets to perfect. I can already see myself coming back to this style year after year. 

I’d love your thoughts on the Emily Ley, and Dapperdesk in particular, planners.

Happy planning!