Layle Koncar's Blog Posts

Howdy friends, it's Layle, Marketing Director here at Simple Stories, & I'm back again with my monthly Carpe Diem planner blog feature!

In May I picked up our oldest son from college out of state after finishing his freshman year and we drove home for the summer.  During the LONG drive, we talked about lots of things, including music.  We were listening to a mash-up, a song created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, and it got me thinking.  If it works in music, why not apply it to a planner?  So this month I decided to do a 'mash-up' of sorts & mix the Carpe Diem Reset Girl collection with the new Carpe Diem collection, recently released in stores.  

A mash-up in music works when there are some common threads between two pieces of music.  The same thing applies to a planner mash-up, common threads.  So I started looking for elements across both collections that coordinated; I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome, I love the way it turned out!  :)

This month I'm using the new Floral Dot planner.  I love it!  The beautiful pattern on the outside is so feminine & cheery, then you open it up and it's classic and understated with the small black & white polka dots and ivory center.  The best part - it coordinates with just about anything!  

Two years ago when we released the first edition Carpe Diem planners, they had a black & white polka dot fabric interior.  After we released the 2nd edition without it, we had so many people request polka dots that we knew we'd incorporate them again, but in a fun & different way.  The polka dots are back, but smaller and spaced more closely together, randomnly.  

The pockets are hands down my favorite thing when approaching a new set up, and this month was no exception!

A mix of sticky notes, die cuts, pocket cards, self adhesive brads & clips were the perfect combination to mix both collections. 

From there I moved to the intro dashboard.  When I approach setting up a new month, these are the 2 areas I really focus on since I see them every time I open my planner, which believe it or not is on a daily basis!  

The Reset Girl scrapbook collection had a similar polka dot pattern throughout, so I used one of the 12x12 papers that had a touch of that pattern as the base for my dashboard so it woud coordinate with the inside of the planner.  I created a custom acetate dashboard to go on top of the patterned paper - 

They're super easy to make - I started with a 12x2 sheet of clear acetate and cut to size, then used an existing bookmark as a template to punch the holes.  

Since the acetate is pretty thick, I didn't use the Carpe Diem A5 punch, but I did use it to punch the paper layer of the dashboard - love how easy it is to punch all the holes at once vs using a heavy duty hole punch to punch all 6 holes individually like I had to do with the acetate layer.  

From there I took one of the Carpe Diem Planner Decals & adhered to the center of the dashboard.  For those of you that have been around the scrapbooking world for a while, they’re kind of like a giant rub-on!  A few more stickers to finish it off at the top and voila – a custom dashboard.

The July monthly spread was primarily a combination of stickers from both collections

I tried something a little different this month - I thought I'd give the Vertical Format Weekly Inserts a shot.  WOW.  When you're used to planning one way and completely change up the orientation, it definitely takes some getting used to!

The Mixed Media retailer trade show takes place here in Salt Lake City, Utah the middle of July, so lot's going on that week!  The washi from our Reset Girl collection was a great match with the new Carpe Diem stickers.

I'm teaching a Planners 101 class to retailers the day before the show starts.  A number of things I need to make sure I have with me for that class, so I put together a 'dry erase' to do list that I can use over & over again.  

I started with this fun Dashboard from the new Carpe Diem Dashboards & Cards pack, I thought it would make for a fun TO DO list.  It was a dashboard, so it already had holes pre-punched - I trimmed off the holes then inserted it into one of our 4x6 Vertical Pocket Pages.  The pocket pages are designed for our 6x8 SN@P! Binders, but the 2 holes on the pocket pages line up exactly with the top & bottom middle rings in standard A5 sized planners, so I just needed to punch the additional holes and it fit right in :) 

I used a wet erase marker to write directly on top of the pocket page, that way I can reuse the To Do list over and over again.  Through trial & error I've discovered that a wet erase marker works better than a dry erase, the dry erase tends to rub off with use.

So there you have it, my set up for July.  I really love how the mash-up turned out & I had a ball working with 2 different collections at once.  

Thanks for joining me this month!  Follow me on Instagram at to see more of my planners & travelers notebooks.  

Until next month, enjoy your summer :)










Howdy friends, it's Layle here, marketing director at Simple Stories, & I'm back again with my monthly Carpe Diem planner blog feature!

Last month I used the new Summer Days collection in the Coral planner.  To recap, here's what it looked like last month, you can see the full blog post here

I loved the look so much, I knew I wanted to continue with it for June.  At the same time, I wanted to switch things up a bit, so I did!

Same collection, but an entirely different look & feel by just switching things out in the pockets & the dashboard.  

I've moved into a different set of Monthly Inserts starting this month, but the border on the center of the inserts was a little darker than I wanted for June.  Fixed that quickly by cutting strips of patterned paper from the same collection, adhering along the edge and then repunching the holes.  A super easy way to get a coordinated look when you don't have the exact color or style washi that you need!  

I had fun this month with the 'month in review' page that's at the beginning of the daily & weekly inserts.  It's a great way to recap what you need to do - or did - for the month, all in one place.

I've been really into Traveler's Notebooks for the last year or so, so I decided to make one to add to my planner with the same theme

I just used a glue stick to apply the patterend paper to an existing Doc It Journal and then trimmed it down and added the volkswagen chipboard.  Did you know - our Doc It Journals fit perfectly in the back of your planner, they slide right in the pocket :)

So there you have it, my set up for June.  I love how diverse the Summer Days colletion is, it made it super easy to use in my planner again this month and to have it look completely different than last month!

Thanks for joining me this month!  Follow me on Instagram at to see more of my planners & travelers notebooks.  Until next month!



Howdy friends, it's Layle here, marketing director at Simple Stories, & I'm back again with my monthly Carpe Diem planner blog feature!

This month I've brought a little sunshine into my planner with the new Summer Days collection.  It's been a LONG, cold, wet winter here in Utah - we even had snow as late as April 25th.  I can't tell you how ready I am for warm weather and sunshine; adding summer to my planner will give me a little bit of that, even if the weather outside may not agree!

I started with the coral planner - the bright color brings a smile to my face & coordinates well with Summer Days.

I loaded up the pockets this month with lots of cards, die cuts & stickers.  The chipboard flamingo made for a great clip - you can't tell, but he's adhered to a long silver clip that tucks right into the pocket.  The pineapple in the collection - I just love it!  Not only does it make an appearance in the stickers & chipboard, but we loved it so much that we created a Silhouette cut file with it, too!  I used the cut file to create a dashboard - 

I used papers from Summer Days to cut the shapes, then adhered to another paper from the collection.  A quick punch with our A5 Punch - by the way, word on the street is that we'll have it to start shipping to retailers early June!! - and voila!

Next up I set out to make some more clips.  I took a few of the brads and removed the prongs by bending them back and forth.  

A glue dot adhered to the back of the brad was all it took to adhere to the back of an existing clip.  Because I used existing clips to do this, they're now 2 in 1 - a design on each side!

There are so many great icons & patterns in the Summer Days collection that I think I may use it in my planner for the next few months.  With that approach in mind, I limited the decor for the May spread primarily to flowers

I added a bit more sunshine to my weekly spreads by adhering a 'hello sunshine' sticker to the bottom of the bookmark, that way I have sunshine with me every day :)

Thanks for joining me this month!  Stay tuned for June when I use Summer Days again in my planner, but switch it up a bit!