From Rings to Strings: Planning Trends

Like everything else, there are trends and classics when it comes to planning.  My original planner many, many years ago was a personal Filofax Finsbury in breast cancer pink.  This was about 15 years ago.  I fell out of paper planning and swung between a wing and a prayer, a little WHSmith diary and my phone for a while.

I rediscovered planners and the joy of using it to be creative via Instagram.  I promptly purchased a cherry red personal Finsbury and it was love. Then I began to see Erin Condren Life Planners.  Those became very popular fast.  I recently found a photo of my first ever UK Planner Addicts meet in Paperchase London.  It was then I saw how popular ring bound planners were.

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These are trends as I recall I’ve seen.

Filofax

This is a planner classic and I don’t think it will ever really disappear.  Various sizes are popular.  The Malden seems to be a particular favourite of many including me.  It’s lush leather and big rings make it so practical yet beautiful.  Filofax have released various other planner items, including the flex, clipbook and more recently their notebook with removable pages similar to the Happy Planner or Arc system.  I will always revert to a Filofax when rings call me.  For me the quality is good for the price bracket.

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Other Ringbound

In terms of other ring bound trends, other beautiful quality and more pricey options became desirable and still are.  These include Louis Vitton, Kate Spade, Gillio and Van der Spek.

Kikki K also began to feature in this market, with both personal and A5 offerings.

More recently Michael’s in the USA released a range of ring bound affordable planners which are nice.  

Also Carpe Diem – Simple Stories sell A4 planners which are more affordable.  Also Paperchase in the UK have a great range.  Webster’s  Pages also offer a more affordable version.  Also Dokibook are another more affordable range.

Coils

Erin Condren Life Planner is the one which Continues to be popular. Plum Paper planner was also very popular around the time ECLP first became popular.  However the ECLP has endured and has a loyal following. In the UK The Personal Planner offers the ability to customise in lots of ways. Bando is another popular planner and Kate Spade also offers a nice selection.  For 2018 I’m moving from an eclp to a Recollections spiral bound from Michael’s.  It gives me a similar layout but was over half the price.  A kind friend who lives in the USA but visits home in the UK regularly got it for me.

Disc Bound

Me and My Big Ideas – create 365 Happy Planner, is a sort of hybrid between a Filofax, having the flexibility to remove and add pages, with the feel of a coiled planner.  This has plastic discs on the spine.  The pages are cut in such a way that they can be removed, similar to the Arc system.  This planner has proved very popular and continues to be.  Available from mini to large, with it’s changeable covers and multiple insert packs available it is a good priced planner with lots of versatility.  The brand also offers lots of stickers that are very popular too.

Bound Books

The creation by Ryder Carroll of the Bullet Journal system means good quality notebooks such as the Leuchtturm 1917 and Moleskine have increased in popularity.  There are many other beautiful books, such as Scribbles That Matter,  Rhodia and Lemome to name a few.  The Leuchtturm remains the classic and most preferred it would seem.  Search Instagram to see some of the beautiful creations some make in these journals.  Another bound book that many love for planning is the Hobonichi Techo.  I don’t know much about these but they always look beautiful.  

Strings

The Travellers notebook has risen in popularity in 2017.  The original system was the Midori Traveler’s Notebook. The system of being able to add in and take out a variety of notebooks and other items such as dashboards and beautiful vellum papers is at present, the biggest planner trend.  There are a huge number of makers of stringed notebooks.  Popular at present in the UK are Foxy Fix , Chic Sparrow , Meadowgate Leather and Lyradori.   There are so many out there it’s mind bogging! 

 Michael’s have them in the USA and Webster’s Pages are another affordable option.  The range from micro to A5 and there are very many variants in between.  There are also many, many different places to get inserts, from those that are suitable for watercolour paintings to general notebooks.  The most popular is currently dot grid inserts and the most popular size seems to be a B6.  Slightly larger than a pocket sized.

Washi Tape

Washi tape is decorative paper tape that originated in Japan. It has been a popular embellishment for many years. There are so many designs available.  More recently it waved in popularity for those buying weekly sticker kits for planners such as the Erin Condren Life Planner,  as they often have “washi” stripes themed with the kit.  It is however a staple planner item and I have a large collection. My favourite Etsy stores for Wash are BonBonsKawaii and Jadies Crafts for foiled washi.

Planner Charms

Little trinket items that you hand from the top or bottom ring of a ring bound, or the strings or closing loop of a travellers notebook.  These vary greatly.  

Current trends on the front of the Traveller’s Notebook (TN) is a bow or floral clip.  Again, search Instagram or Etsy to see the variety.  My favourites are from Isabelle the Owl, Kawaii Studios,  Dotty Moo and The Punk Planner.

Paperclips

Again, hundreds! From Fimo to embroidered there are so many available to customise your planner,  These have been popular for about 18 months,  If you search Instagram you will find some planners rammed with many of these paperclips.  Each one a tiny work of art.  My favourite store is My Unicorn Planner.  In addition I’m a big fan of an Oli Clip,  a magnetic page marker.  Very strong magnets and come in a range of lovely designs.

Stickers

This has become epic. So many stores.  Many make a living from selling themed kits for the Erin Condren and Happy Planners.  There are a huge number of functional stickers available for anything you can probably think of…yes…even that! 

I am on design teams for Your World of Colour and Katie’s Sticker Company who both do kits.  Your World of Colour also has a huge range of functional stickers.  Check the “about me” on this blog or my Instagram bio for discount codes.

It’s easy to begin to understand why people never seem to find “planner peace” with so many things coming into play.  I personally find that Instagram is wonderful at helping you to feel like you want something else and to buy all the things!  No matter what I buy I will never have a pretty thing like that.  It is after all, a planner.  It’s main purpose is to make me feel organised (even if I’m not!)

I’ve not covered off planner pouches, bags, pens, stencils, pencils cases…  Just know there are, and will continue to be, a myriad of ways to spend your hard earned cash making your planner and your planning journey beautiful.

This is a planner stack from a recent UKPA meet again at Paperchase London. You can see the difference in the types of planners.

Recently I’ve seen prolific planner people moving back towards rings.  Maybe the TN thing is waning?  I’d really like to know what trends I missed out?  Being in the UK it’s UK/Europe biased.  Are there any trends I don’t know about?  I’d love to know.

Have a great day!

 

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Moving to a Traveler’s Notebook

Hi all, long time no blog!

Having spent a long time happily snuggled in my Filofax pocket Malden I thought planner peace was mine. Yet for the last two months I’ve been in a standard sized traveler’s notebook from the amazing Dibs at Inkbandits.

I know, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of the latest thing. But there were a few reasons I tried it out. Firstly weight. Even a pocket filofax can get heavy. The rings themselves weigh a bit. I chose the Inkbandits TN because it’s lovely soft, floppy and importantly light leather.

Secondly I like the ease of putting various books in and out. A finished book is also easier to store. I also use weekly inserts and I love that I can change those about and try different layouts easily. I’m currently in a bullet journal style diary from The Punk Planner. Another superb store for inserts is Ali at Crafty Ali Cat.  If you are looking for something, Ali is fab for custom orders. What this lady can’t do with paper isn’t worth knowing!

Thirdly I find the options to decorate better. I purchased a kit from Gemma over at Isabelle the Owl.  The theme is Mermaid and I adore it. Many stores are now doing TN specific items.

Finally I can still use my huge supply of stickers to decorate. Standard size mean I have a bit more space that I did in my pocket.  I get to use more of the fabulous functional stickers from Your World of Colour. (I have a discount code of Planitzoe for 15% off over £8 spend.)

My inserts are a week on two pages diary undated. A month on two pages for planning ahead. A book for various lists I like to have like wish list, order tracker etc. Finally I have a few pockets for stickers and things I need to carry around.

I have purchased Christmas planning inserts from Organise With Katie too. I normally set up a separate planner for Christmas.  However it makes sense to me to have them with me in my every day carry. The cover is the wider one so it will easily fit more books.

So that is my every day carry for now. I’d love to hear if you use a TN or are considering it. Have a great Autumn!

Zoe x

 

 

Exploring the Planner World

Hi All

My prompt to write this post was from a blogger group I am in on Facebook.  It was asking about the decline in the number of planner related blog posts.  It got me thinking about how I peruse the world of planners and my personal preferences.

I read little in the way of blogs, which is a shame.  There are some fantastic ones out there. If I do, it is usually as a result of seeing a link in a Facebook group or Instagram post.  I realised that I have a preference for Facebook planner related groups (I have a couple I frequent and a few I dip in and out of).  I also spend time every day on Instagram as I have a planner specific profile (@Planitzoe).  Here I follow Etsy stores I like and it also prompts me to them Google or search for items I am interested in which on occasion leads me to a blog or Pinterest.  Finally I also follow several YouTube planner accounts that post video’s regularly.

As a lady with a blog, I then started to think about what has stopped me begin a more regular blogger myself.  I enjoy writing, so why don;t I post at least once a week.  So my key thoughts were as follows.

Images – I personally feel that images are key to an interesting blog.  My preferred sensory cue is Visual and I am certainly drawn more to images (Instagram, YouTube) than just words.  This means I believe my blogs should all have good, interesting, clear and professional images in it.  I don’t have a great set up to take pictures, and find it easier to snap on my phone or iPad.  I have looked into apps that I can use on either to enhance them images but I never feel they are up to my personal standards.  I don’t get time to pull out the DSLR, I don’t own lights and being British rarely get enough natural light!  I’m not invested enough to buy light boxes etc.  So the thought of trying to take, edit and load suitable images is the time eater in my world and puts me off.

Subject matter – generally I write about things I think people want to read.  Sometimes these are not the things I want to talk about.  This is most likely lack of clarity on what I want my blog to be, for who and what purpose.  I feel that I need to re-purpose my blog to just what I want to ramble about planner related.  But, if it’s boring and nobody reads it, what is the point?!

ROI – to the point above, what should the return on my invested time be?  I know some people seem to blog purely for the opportunity to receive items to promote, but that’s not mu purpose.  I want to help people in the world of planners learn more about it.  Guide new people by sharing my learning.  Promote the pleasure of paper based planning in a world that is digital and virtual obsessed.  Finally to connect with like minded people and share in the pleasure of planning.

Frequency – this links in some ways to the images issue.  If I allowed myself to literally pop in and write a quick post without having to think about some of the above, I’m pretty sure I would post more often.

If you are still reading, congratulations and thank you!  You waded through a text heavy, image free, planner related ramble!  To this point, I would really appreciate your thoughts on this.

How do you indulge virtually in the planner world?

What are your thoughts on images?

What should a planner blog’s purpose be?

Which planner related blogs have you regular readership?

What subjects do you enjoy the most?

Ramble over, have an awesome week.  I hope your plans come to fruition and your rings stay gap free  😉

Zoe

New intentions are like New Year resolutions… (and exciting design team news)

I guess they are made to be broken?!  Ironically I should pop “blog posting” in my planner so I remember to keep you all updated.

So…the Planner Addicts 2016 Big Meet in Birmingham was amazing.  It was just SO nice to be able to meet many of the beautiful ladies I have been chatting with for so long.  Without exception everybody was even nicer in the flesh.  I even got a shameless selfie with Anna Brim (Mrs Brimbles).

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Anna Brim and I at the UKPA Big Meet 2016 in Birmingham

The day was organised beautifully by the planning team.  We even had a guest speaker, Kristina Karlsson of Kikki K giving us great tips for life. There was an epic planner stack and of course, cake and tea.  I was only sad I could not stay the night.  However next year somebody very close to me is on the planning team for the 2017 meet.  She will of course need her “wing man” with her all weekend to keep her on point….

In other news, I found out today I made the design team for Your World of Colour Etsy store for the lovely Carlyann Price.  As a sticker addict it’s awesome that I can help a new store get going and input ideas (I have lots) for new stickers.  I also can offer everybody a discount at the store of 15% when you spend £8 minimum with the code PLANITZOE15

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I also spent time today setting up my red Filofax Finsbury personal as a Christmas planner and moved into a gold Filofax Saffiano pocket for the Christmas period.  I guess I’m feeling festive. I will snap some pictures and share.

I’d love to know if you use a separate planner for the Christmas season, or even what is on your Christmas present list stationery related for yourselves?

Take care all

Zoe  x

 

 

 

UKPA Big Meet, ECLP & New Intentions

Wow – what a year so far.  It’s been a crazy few months for me, and unfortunately this blog ended up on the back burner for a while.  I was made redundant after 15 years at the same place.  I started a new job in July which has been a challenge and it involves a longer commute each way.  We have had to work out as a family how we need to alter our days to cover this.  I’m not 100% there, still trying new things, but I feel ready to pick this blog back up.

The main motivator is that I will be attending The UK Planner Addicts group Big Meet 2016.  It is the very first one and I was very lucky to get a ticket.  The event sold out in under 10 minutes!!  I am really excited about meeting new like minded friends.  Getting to look at all the different planners.  Buying lots of stickers from the Etsy stores present of course.  I hear the goody bag is epic too.  So it’s a great subject to blog about.  I will take stacks of photographs and share everything I can.  We also have a guest speaker attending, Kristina Karlsson the founder of Kikki K.wp-1474726470908.jpg

In other news I caved and got an Erin Condren Life Planner.  I now have an 18 month neutral vertical with classic coil, which I purchased from a planner group in the UK.  I also got a lovely cover for it.  I love it.  But the sticker obsession is real!  I’m still working out my style.  I know I’m not a fan of glossy stickers as they are hard to write on, more expensive and thicker.  My planner is already chunking up with each decorated week!  I tried a few no white space weeks and I just can’t cope with the visual aspect of that.  I need a bit of white or I can’t see the wood for the trees.  I still use a pocket Filofax for out and about and the ECLP stays at home.

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So that is a summary of where I am at.  Watch this space for UKPA Big Meet posts.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for plenty of Big Meet 2016 images, as that is where I intend to put everything on the day as we go along.  Let me know if you are going too, I’d love to meet fellow UKPA bloggers.

For the Love of Malden (all about my Filofax Pocket Malden planner)

Late last summer, I discovered that a pocket size Filofax worked beautifully for my needs.  Provided it was one of the ones with the 19mm rings, it holds everything I need and is small enough to carry with me.  I have always loved the look of the Malden range, and finally succumbed to ochre loveliness in November 2015 from the UK website Colemans.

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It was love at first unboxing.  It is made from beautiful soft leather, and the ochre colouring looks so classy.  It has the 19mm rings and came with cotton cream 2016 inserts.  I’m not such a fan of the Filofax inserts however, I find the paper a little thin for my liking.  I keep it in a cover with butterflies on made by the talented Joey from her Etsy store So Joey.

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So let’s crack on with it and walk through my set up…

Inside front

The Malden comes with three pockets inside the front cover and a zipped pocket.  In the largest one I keep heart check box stickers from Handcrafted by Sheree on Etsy, a project life card that says “Dream Big” and some clear ring reinforcements specifically for pocket size.  It is approximately 7cm deep so can hold reasonable sized items.

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The next pocket at approximately 6 cm deep has my NHS blood donor card (same size as a credit card) a couple of membership cards and some Panda sticky notes.  The third 5cm pocket holds first and second class postage stamps.  I currently don’t have anything in the 7cm deep zipped pocket.  I’m worried about marking the leather if I put anything in it, as it is not particularly deep.  I have attached a small metal Butterfly I found to the zip.

My dashboard is a laminated sheet of family photographs.  I also have a really cute charm attached to the second from bottom ring of a Kawaii toast with chocolate spread I bought from the lovely Ruth from her Etsy store Kawaii Studios.  The dividers are ones I made myself from papers I got from TKMaxx.  They are called Steampunk Botanica, a recollections signature special paper pad from Michaels.  I tend to keep small sticky notes on the reverse of my dividers for ease.  I have also recently added name tabs to each from Girl of All Work, purchased from the Suzy Stick It web site

Section 1 Calendars

My inserts are from Piaric in the US, and are on beautiful thick, smooth white paper.  The first page behind the divider is a 2016 calendar.

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On it I have circled family and friend’s birthday, one colour for each.  I did order the 2016 fold out year calendar, but have now removed it as I just do not use it.  I then have month on two page overviews for the year.

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I complete these ahead of time with things I know are due such as birthdays.  I then fill in something that happened that I might wish to remember once the date has passed, from my weekly pages.  I use a small bronze Butterfly paper clip to mark the current month.

Next is a laminated quote “charm is the ability to make someone else think that both of you are pretty wonderful” which I love.

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I then have the Filofax registration number in case of loss and the personal information pages.  This is paper clipped together with several past weekly pages.  It means I can open the weekly calendar to the current week.  I tend to file away used weeks in another pocket planner not in use, and keep about 4 weeks-worth only in the planner.  I have a summary on the monthly pages of key events so rarely need to refer back to the weekly pages.  I have the rest of 2016 weekly pages in the planner with me.deco week

Let’s discuss the delicate subject of decoration.  I love a decorated page.  It allows me to be creative and also encourages me to use the planner more if I enjoy looking at it.  However, in all honesty pocket size can become a little small to write in if it is sticker and washi heavy.  I recently acquired a Life Designer Planner that I use as a stay at home planner.  That gets decorated to the hilt.  Since I got that I stopped decorating my weekly pages in the pocket.  I do still punctuate with small stickers, but it is mainly a scribble in on the go, “to do” and appointment tracker.  I use the stay-at-home planner for recording events, TV shows, weekly food menu etc.  My photographs show two decorated weeks and a functional one.

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Section 2 Expenses

Each month when I am paid, I record the payment of bills and any funds transferred in here.  I also have a hole punch project life card on it reminding me what my regular transfers are.  I do not track every expenditure, just the big items each month to ensure I do them and they are timely.

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Section 3 Contacts

This section has taken time for me to get right.  Originally I has the A-Z dividers in, but I found this made the planner too thick.  I then had post-it tabs with the letters on I added myself to the contact pages.  However, this just looked ugly to me.  Now I have just the pages and no alphabet markers.  It’s still relatively easy to find the contacts as they are in alphabetical order.  I rarely use this section and I’m still in two minds if I really need it.  I also have a hole punched project life card on with a list of the names of our neighbours.  We only have 8 houses in the street and it is really handy at Christmas!

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Section 4 Lists

This section is hard to name.  It has information in it I need to refer to.  So it has a list of all the Disney movies my daughter currently has on DVD, as I always forget what we have.  It is useful when I’m out shopping if I see a bargain, or if I am asked at birthday or Christmas time what she wants.

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Next are my 2016 goals written down, a good visual reminder to keep me on track.  I then have a list of every True Blood episode.  I have the entire box set but it is taking a very long time to watch them.  I forget where I got to so I tick each episode off once I have watched it.  I’m only on season 3 and had them since Christmas 2014!

blood list

I have a list of every job I have seen Miss Rabbit do in Peppa Pig.  Yes, really!  It’s a challenge my husband and I set as we were trying to remember them all.  I only have 21, sure there are more!  Then a few pages of Filofax to do pages.

Section 5 Notes

General notes so the first page is Royal Mail prices.  Then various things such as a Filofax wish list, a list of pocket planners with 19mm rings from Filowiki, (THE place to learn about Filofaxes) some work notes and then family clothing sizes.  Behind the remaining blank notes pages, I have the folded London Underground map and folded work map both from Filofax.

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underground

map

Section 6 Stickers

The final thing in the rings is a top opening pocket with small functional stickers specifically for the pocket.  Small icons to satisfy my decorating need to a minimum.  This too has a small butterfly paper clip on the top to avoid any falling out.  My butterfly paper clips and many of these stickers are from BonbonsKawaii.

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Inside back cover pockets

I have a small note pad in the smaller top opening pocket and a spare laminated divider with some reusable Martha Stewart tear drop stickers on it in the 8cm deep pocket.

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I find the pen loop too small for my favoured Frixion pens, so it stays flat and unused.  I put my two pens, one black Frixion pen and a Frixion highlighter under the closure loop instead.  Finally, the pocket Malden is one of those fantastic planners that has a pocket running the full length behind it.  In here I have my AA recovery information.  This and the zip pocket is one of the reasons people often use it as a wallet.

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Pros and Cons

This works for me so well.  I own quite a few pocket sized Filofaxes, but have had no desire to move out of the Malden yet since I moved in back in November 2015.  I just love it, the feel, the smell, the fact it lays flat.  The sections work for me at present and it fits nicely even in the protective pouch in my handbags.  It looks classy and I’m not embarrassed to pull it out in public or at work.

Really the only down side is I find the leather can mark easily.  I really don’t like it scratched.  I don’t mind the general wear you get, such as the crease on the front by the spine where it lays open, but I found even a nail scratched across it can leave a mark.  This is why she lives in a cover, as things in my bag would certainly mark it.  Some people adore the way it wears.  I’ve even seen them with dark patches on them where the oils from your skin darken the leather on the closure loop or where it is held.  The protective case does make it a little bulkier, and if I use a non-leather Filofax pocket such as my hearts, I don’t use it.

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In summary, I don’t regret for a second spending the money on the Malden.  I agonised for over a year if it was worth the money.  I can hand on heart say it was the right decision for me to get it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you might have, so feel free to comment below.

P.s. I told you my handwriting was chicken scratch 😉

Planning Stickers from Callie Rose Co

I admit I probably spend far too much time either browsing Etsy for planner stickers, or browsing Instagram for sticker stores on Etsy I might like.  Over Easter, several of the stores I have marked as a favourite, offered great discounts.  It would have been rude not to take up the opportunity to try out some of those lovely stickers I have been eyeing up.

Callie Rose Co is a store I marked as favourite some time ago.  As a person that needs instant gratification, I tend to mainly order from UK Etsy stores as delivery tends to be faster.  I fell in love with her full box quotes.  My order arrived promptly and was packaged well.  It included a beautiful postcard sized business card on which Catherine had beautifully written my name.  I am always impressed by beautiful writing as the reluctant owner of chicken scratch writing.

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The first entries to my cart are both sets of the full box pastel motivational stickers.  Each sheet has 9 motivational quotes and are available for either horizontal and vertical Erin Condren sized boxes.  These are just £1.90 per sheet excluding shipping.  I am using a Life Designer Planner which has the same sized boxes as the Vertical Erin Condren Life Planner, as my stay at home planner.

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Next I chose the Spring Blossom Core sticker weekly kit.  This included full and half box blossom patterns, full sized ombre heart checklists, and lots of header stickers.  This was £4.50 excluding shipping which is a great price for everything you get.

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I also added some scalloped quarter appointment stickers which were £1.90 excluding shipping.

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The delivery cost within the UK for these was £1 and I used the Easter offer voucher for 25% off.  It is always worth following Etsy store owners Instagram accounts, as they do share special discount codes and offers there.

They look and feel lovely, and I can’t wait to decorate a week in them.  Such fresh and spring like colours are so cheery.  Nice clear, clean images and perfect cutting.  I already have my eye on the Pink Lemonade kit in the store and have the discount code sent with my order, burning a hole in my sticker pack.  There are also fab Harry Potter and Game of Thrones stickers for episode tracking available.  I will definitely be ordering again with Callie Rose Co on Etsy.

These stickers were purchased with my own money and these views are my own.