I'm Kayla. A millennial obsessed with makeup, planner decorating, and board games. Working towards a more organized, simplified life one post at a time. #catlady


Five Things I Learned from Dog Sitting for Two Months

Now if I had to pick a team, I'm definitely team cat. But after two months of watching Cadence, Alex's parents' dog, it's hard not to have a soft spot for pups. It's been a few weeks now that she's returned home after their move to Virginia, but she's definitely left a lasting impression on me and taught me a few things I didn't expect...

1. Dogs truly know how to be happy. Like all the time. Cadence couldn't wait to go for a car ride, got excited at every turn, and wanted her head out of the window any chance she got. Happiness just spilled out of her and it's impossible not to get swept up in it.

2. Definitely get a dog before having kids. I know people say it, but I never knew how true it could be. A dog teaches you a lot more responsibility than cats do. 

3. Dogs keep you healthier. I went on so many walks, got myself out of the house, and enjoyed the fresh air so much more thanks to Cadence. Even if we were just hanging out in the backyard, she pushed me to get some air every once in a while.

4. You become weirdly obsessed with their bathroom habits and overall routine. I can't tell you how often I found myself saying, "Oh she definitely has to poo." Like my lord. And you know what, I felt proud knowing that information. She became my girl for two months and I learned her every like and dislike.

5. Older dogs are something special. Cadence is nearly a decade old and I loved having an older pup around. She's so smart, well trained, and listens. Definitely a must. Sure puppies are cute, but there's just something about a loyal dog who is more than happy to take a nap with you in the middle of the afternoon.

I miss this girl. I'm sure she's having a blast in Virginia exploring her new home, but I wouldn't mind if she came back to stay again...

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Travel Essentials

Another trip is right around the corner (Houston for PlannerCon Parties) and my brain is already telling me to pack. You'd think after travelling at least once a month for two years straight that nagging voice in my head would go away by now. But we are who we are.

I've become a bit of a packing pro over the years and have fine tuned the essentials I take with me every trip. There are a couple new additions to the mix since we started doing personal item only travel (we're midwest cheap at its best). 

Since we're rocking personal items only, I usually pack a small purse I can pull out later and use while exploring. Just big enough for a wallet and my phone. This brown one gets a lot of questions whenever I post it on Instagram. It's from a secondhand store and is the perfect little travel companion.

I was gifted these Sudio headphonesearlier this year from the company and they're a complete game changer. They're bluetooth, but also still have a headphone cord to plug into the screens on planes. Plus they're noise cancelling and hella cute. I definitely lucked out with this one.

There's always a water bottle (this one Oh, Hello Promo made for a client) and my vlogging camera in the mix. I recently added the new Erin Condren Accordion Pouch to the lineup as well to separate out toiletries. My pouch loving ways can't get over the genius idea to attach separate pouches together. GENIUS.

As far as planning tools go, I'll sometimes bring my to-do list planner, but more often than not I just bring a pocket traveler's notebook to write down ideas I have or things I don't want to forget to do when I get home. I store all my writing tools in my Erin Condren Planny Pack and attach it to the TN or a memory notebook if I've brought one. 

I started bringing a couple of thank you notes when I travel to leave for housekeeping or people we visit. It's a nice little gesture that doesn't take up any packing space but leaves a seriously great impression. How else am I going to get invited back?!

I keep cotton pads in a little jar and makeup wipes for super lazy days in a soap holder. That way they'll stay damp and I'm not bringing a huge package along with me or unnecessary plastic from a travel pack. 

With personal item only travel I had to get super creative with how I pack EVERYTHING. I found these little craft storage jars at the dollar store and use them to decant products into them. I'm super picky about my toothpaste and it doesn't come in a travel size so this is perfect! Evil genius status achieved.

The next time we travel with actual carry-ons or (heaven forbid) a CHECKED bag I won't know what to do with myself. You mean I can pack clothing OPTIONS!??! Now that's just crazy talk...

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Urban Decay the Ultimate Brush Off Set & Go Review

Urban Decay the Ultimate Brush Off Set & Go Review

The makeup fairies dropped off a package on my doorstep a few weeks ago and I've been playing around with the Urban Decay the Ultimate Brush Off Set & Go Powder* ever since. This summer I've been a bigger sweaty mess than normal, so setting powders have become quite common in my routine. And presto, a new powder just finds its way to my doorstep. The odds seem to be in my favor *buys a lottery ticket*

Let's talk packaging first because damn Urban Decay, you know how to design some crazy packaging. It's plastic, but sturdy and glossy and wonderful. At first I was on the fence about the brush built into the packaging, but it's an incredibly high quality, dense brush that definitely works. Personally if I'm feeling super high maintenance (and when am I not) I'll use a fluffier brush with the powder, but the built in one is great if you want to bake your powder or apply with a slightly heavier hand.

The brush locks in with a twist and the powder is separated by some plastic with holes. A lot of powder does seem to come through the holes rather than a regulated amount, but I just tap it off the brush and call it good. See, I'm not completely high-maintenance...

Urban Decay the Ultimate Brush Off Set & Go Review

It comes in a few different shades, but I find myself gravitating towards the universal shade out of habit. It's not cakey, lasts all day, and doesn't leave a weird shine in photos. I tend to use it a lot under my eyes to set my concealer, and it thankfully does not accentuate any of my wrinkles or lines. It's everything you want in a setting powder. 

Boom. Review done.

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My ThirdLove Experience | I Finally Caved to the Advertisements!

My ThirdLove Experience

It could just be my algorithm on Instagram and Facebook, but I've seen ads for ThirdLove bras for months. They're marketing team is seriously impressive and a few weeks ago I finally caved to the advertisements and decided to give them a go.

A bit of boob backstory. I'm very well endowed. I've always had a hard time finding bras that had a small enough number (in the 32-34 range) yet had a large enough cup size (I thought I wore a DD or DDD). They just didn't seem to exist in the "regular" bra world of Victoria's Secret. So I settled and wore camisoles over all of my bras to keep my boobs from tumbling out. Shoulder marks were commonplace. 

ThirdLove's return policy really sold it for me. You can wear the bras (and wash them!) for two months and still send them back. I took their sizing test and it suggested a 34 DDD (what they call an F), but they also offer you another size in the same style to try for free and send back the one that doesn't fit.

So I opted to try their 34E, 34F, and 34G just to really see what size I actually am. They arrived super quickly in a cute box and well packaged. Turns out I'm a 34G and haven't been wearing the right bra for nearly a decade.

I returned the other two sizes quick and easy and started shopping my actual bra size.

My ThirdLove Experience

The bras are super soft, the straps are larger to prevent slipping and marks, and I finally feel like I don't have to wear a camisole every day to make sure nothing's falling out. Plus I don't immediately feel like ripping my bra off after I come home from a long day. And the styles. As a big chested girl I'm lucky to find a bra in my size let alone a cute one. There are so many gorgeous options for a crazy range of sizes. This girl finally can wear cute bras!!!

So I'm a convert. I'm always so skeptical when it comes to those overly advertised products on Facebook, but caving to the ads definitely paid off in spades with this one.

If you're down to give them a try, click here for my referral code to save $15. I'll get credit towards future purchases and we can be bra buddies!
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Introducing the Oh, Hello Co. Retail Line

Guys. I sincerely thought I would never write a post like this. What feels like two years in the making has finally become a reality. Oh, Hello Stationery has officially launched its first line of retail products!!! Our collection is now available through Notions Marketing. If you're a shop, you can order the products from their wholesale site. If you're a customer, go to your favorite retailer and ask for them to carry our products.

I wanted to take what's so great about the brand and expand it into a functional and decorative collection anyone can use. From new planner girls to seasoned addicts, I can't wait for you to check out all of the new sheets and styles.

There are eleven sticker sets as well as a bunch of traveler's notebook starter packs. We even have some enamel pin bundles. It's been a crazy process trying to figure out how to prepare our products for retail and I swear I know more about UPCs than I ever would care to admit. But they're here. They're real. And it couldn't have happened without your support. A thousand thanks.

I'll keep you posted on where you can find the collection near you, but here are all of the sticker sets that are now available.

And there may or may not be an even BIGGER announcement coming your way in a week or two...

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Three Business Books that Changed How I Tackle My Business

Three Business Books that Changed How I Tackle My Business

Although I would love to go back to college and be a lifelong learner, there just isn't enough time (or money) in the day. So I've turned to business books to keep the learning going. They're easy to read on planes, during a spare tech free hour in the evenings, or in a waiting room. I've read my fair share over the past year, but there are a few that have really changed my perspective on how I approach my business.

This is the book that really changed things for me. It talks about building an operating system for small businesses and how to hold yourself accountable. It gives you actionable steps on how to develop goals and long term plans. Without this book, I doubt we'd have a team of seven employees or be looking for our first retail location. It put everything into perspective and really made me think about what I want for my business. It's meaty and filled with information, but it's one I've gone back to every few months since reading it nearly a year ago.

I just recently finished this book and love how it turns logical thinking on its head. It talks a lot about how logical ideas are not always the solution to business problems. It's important to think outside the box, try something new, and be open to failure in the pursuit of magical outcomes. I'm really not doing it justice. It's brilliant. Definitely read it.

This book popped onto my radar at the perfect time in my life. Owning your own business comes with a lot of obstacles, challenges, and letdowns. This book teaches you how to embrace those obstacles and see them as opportunities to improve, challenge yourself, and grow. These teachings have gotten me through situations I would have otherwise froze in. I'm much more open to risk and diving head first into challenges thanks to this book.

There are SO many great business books out there that have helped me in one way or another. These three have left the biggest impact on me and continue to shape my thinking and approach to my business. What are some of your favorite business/self help books?
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What I Actually Eat in a Day (Self-Employed)

What I Actually Eat in a Day (Self-Employed)

What I eat in a day posts weirdly fascinate me. Am I the only one? I couldn't possibly be since they pop up on YouTube and in blogs quite often, right? Well I thought it time that I threw myself into the mix...until I realized I eat like a five year old. I almost didn't post, but then I thought, "nah....let's keep it real here." So this is a realistic look at what I eat in a day. Now it's not EVERY day, but this day in particular looked something like this...

It started with a bowl of Trix cereal. I've been kinda obsessed ever since they brought the shapes back. I mean come on. A rainbow explosion first thing in the morning? Who could say no?

What I Actually Eat in a Day (Self-Employed)

I had a busy day of errands so I popped over to Starbucks for lunch. I hadn't given their grilled cheese a go and it's honestly quite delicious. Iced chai tea lattes are my lifeblood lately. I feel like I'm officially an adult, running on caffeine and not much else.

What I Actually Eat in a Day (Self-Employed)

I said I was going to keep it real with this post. For dinner I had another bowl of cereal. In my defense, it was a different type of cereal. I could have easily faked it and said we had one of our Hello Fresh or HomeChef meals, but let's be honest...I couldn't be bothered to make one. Not all days exclude any actual meals, but this particular day definitely wasn't my shiny moment in nutrition. So another bowl of cereal and a couple of hours of Stardew Co-Op with my friend Lauren and I called it a night.

How's that for honesty lol...
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10 Ideas for the Perfect Girls Night In

10 Ideas for the Perfect Girls Night In

Where all my introverts at?! *raises hand eagerly* I love a good night in rather than going through all of the effort to get ready and go out with friends. Plus the mid-westerner in me loves saving money. So gather your gal pals because these 10 girls night in activities are far superior to anything outside of the house.

1. Planner play date. Ughhhh what I wouldn't give to throw all of my planner supplies in a bag, head over to my friend's house and sit down for a good planner session. It's so relaxing to get your planning done (which you have to do anyway) next to someone else. Plus you can share supplies and gush over adorable stickers you've been hording.

2. 80's RomCom marathon. 80s John Cusack is a serious dreamboat. Set up a pillow filled viewing room and turn on Say Anything or any of the amazing movies that came out of the 80's. Make it a double or a triple feature!

3. Video games aren't just for the boys. Gather some gals and break out the Switch to play Overcooked or a racing game. I've done this a few times and it always ends in serious laughter. And it's always interesting to see how chill girls are on a team compared to a mixed team or just guys.

4. Wine and cheese pairing party. But seriously...meetup where we bring a wine and cheese pairing? Can that become a thing. Have your friends bring a cheese and a wine to go with it. You'll feel super fancy tasting wine and cheese together.

5. Cookie swaps don't have to just happen around the holidays. Each of your friends makes a few dozen of their favorite recipe, get together, and swap. Keep the fun going and have milk with your cookies and catch up. 

6. Follow a Bob Ross video. Unless you're some talented painter, this will end in horrible paintings and a ton of laughs. Wine's also a must.

7. Watch the Bachelor even if you're not into it. I go over to a friend's house every once in a while to watch the show and love it even though I don't know who is who. The drama is so over the top you can't help but love it. Plus there are so many commercials you can spend that time catching up.

8. Board games. Ah board games. My favorite way to get a group together. With so many amazing games out there I could go on for post after post, but I've always been a fan of cooperative games. Check out Escape the Temple if you're looking for a good one to play next.

9. Netflix movie pajama party. Netflix is starting to rival the Hallmark channel for cheesy love stories. Throw on your pajamas (even if it's in the middle of the day) and have your pals over for popcorn and love puns. Has anyone watching Falling INN love yet?!

10. Potluck meal. Have each one of your friends bring a different course to a meal over. Someone brings an appetizer, a salad, a main course, a side, a dessert, etc. You can pick a theme or have people bring their favorites in that category!

This month's Oh, Hello Box inspired this blog post! This month's theme is girls night in and if you need a jump start to your evening it's the perfect thing. Order yours before the end of September!
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How to Start a New Creative Habit

How to Start a New Creative Habit

As the summer winds down and my brain evilly reminds me that 'winter is coming,' I thought it a good time to test drive some new creative habits to keep me busy during the colder months. Sure you could just pop over to the store and strike up a new creative habit, but I find taking these few steps as the best way to start (and stick with) something new.

First and foremost, do your research. Whether you want to take up kitting or baking, watch some YouTube videos about your interest first. That way you aren't diving into something that you'll quickly jump back out of. When I started baking, I read a lot of blogs to see what recipes were the easiest to follow. That way I could have some creative successes under my belt right out of the gate rather than burning a bunch of cookies and losing hope.

Accountability is key when starting any new habit or hobby, so tell people about it! It's something new in your life so share it with your friends and family. Plus they'll likely ask you a few months down the road how it's going. Don't disappoint and stick with it!

Give yourself a timeline of how long you're going to try out the new habit before moving on to something else. If you find you just aren't cut out for hand lettering, move on to something else. But make sure you're giving yourself a few weeks to a solid month to try it before switching.

One of the easiest ways to start a new creative habit is to schedule it in your planner. That way it becomes a priority and not just something you talk about doing but never get around to it. I like to bake on Saturday mornings, that way I won't go months without creating something new and delicious. Find a day during the week or a two week schedule so you can actually do this new habit.

Don't forget to start slow. If you're like me you'll want to jump right in and buy everything under the sun for this new hobby. I can't tell you how many bins are in my basement full of hobbies I thought I would stick with. For real...I couldn't tell you...start small and work your way up if you find you enjoy the new habit. Start with a simple hand lettering set and expand your collection if it's something you actually enjoy. That way you aren't throwing away money you could be saving for a hobby you want to do in the future.

So whether it's baking, writing, painting, or whatever, pull out your planner and carve out some time. I always feel so calm and focused after I bake something and it ultimately helps me throughout my work week (plus I get delicious snacks!). A creative habit is a powerful tool!

What creative habit are you trying to start?
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A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo

One thing I mention but rarely go into detail about on this blog is our second company, Oh, Hello Promo. I thought it time to finally give you a look into the world of our other business, share the origin story, and some cool products we've worked on recently. 

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo

Now my husband Alex didn't plan on starting another business, but through our expansion of Oh, Hello Stationery, he learned a ton about manufacturing products. We added mugs, home goods, and other items to our store with our designs and soon companies wanted their logos on the same products. Oh, Hello Promo popped out of the need to have a place to send businesses that wasn't a stationery website. 

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo

That was about two years ago now and Promo is going stronger than ever. Alex runs the business full time while I run the stationery side of things. He has three employees and earns more than stationery does annually. He's truly found what he's meant to do. Alex cares about people, and it comes out in how he runs his business. 

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo

We've done so many cool projects over the past two years of Promo! These photos are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we've created with various companies.

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo

I'm a proud wife and business partner seeing everything that Alex has accomplished with his business. One successful small business seems like a fluke, but two? I think it's something we're both meant to be doing.

If you're interested in seeing more about the world of Oh, Hello Promo, just let me know! I'd be more than happy to share what we are getting up to!

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My Go-To Skincare Products

My Go-To Skincare Products

This girl's got dry skin. No matter what the weather is like outside my face is as dry as a desert and begging for moisture. I tend to use the same products all year around, but with more focus on overnight masks in the winter. These are my four favorite products that keep my skin clear and hydrated.

I can't tell you how many tubes of the Derma-E Hydrating Serum* I've thrown on my face in the past few years. It's an incredibly light serum that packs a moisture punch. I love how fast it sinks into my skin so it's great to use in the morning before I start my makeup routine. It's FAB.

Although I use the Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask like a crazy person in the winter, I still like to use it every two weeks or so to really pump up the hydration. My skin tends to get dull over time if I don't do a shot of serious moisture every once in a while. I take a small amount on my fingers and massage it into my skin after my evening routine is done. It feels thick, but works its magic throughout the night. Seriously good stuff.

My Go-To Skincare Products

Another mask that I can't get enough of is Glossier's moisturizing moon mask. You can find me in the bath with this stuff slathered on my face at least once a week. It's incredibly light, doesn't dry out or pull the skin, and leaves it feeling bouncy and refreshed. Plus a little goes a long way which is always a plus.

As for makeup removal I try to keep things gentle and not moisture-stripping (you're seeing a trend here eh?). The It Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup Balm is a makeup removing oil that doesn't leave my skin feeling tight or dry after using it. I apply it to dry skin, rub it around, and then add some water to foam it up. Rinse away and continue to the next step in my routine. Easy peasy. 

What are you favorite go-to skincare items?

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How to Balance Friendships When You Have a Hectic Lifestyle

How to Balance Friendships When You Have a Hectic Lifestyle

I think it's safe to say that everyone is busy in one way or another. People are constantly juggling work, health, hobbies, and a social life. It's tough work. So here's what you can do to balance friendships when you have a hectic lifestyle (aka everyone...)

Check in regularly even if you aren't able to schedule time to see them. I call my check in times "Text Tuesdays" to remind me to send my friends a text message to see what's new in their lives. A decent number of my friends live out of state so it's a great way to know what's going on with them. Even if it's just a quick, "Hey, you're one badass person," it's important to let them know I'm thinking about them.

Let worlds collide. Over the weekend I had a photo shoot for my business and I invited my friends to join the shoot with me. Sure it wasn't an ideal way to spend time with them, but I still got work done and got to hear about their lives. Two birds with one stone is sometimes the best way to accomplish it all. Try finding a way to combine your social life with your work life so that if you can't have undivided attention, at least you still get to see your friends.

Plan ahead if you and your friends have a busy schedule. Sometimes I have to plan things out a month in advance for our D&D squad to meet, but it's better than nothing. 

Schedule the next event at the current one so you don't find yourselves going months before seeing each other again. 

Make it a priority. I know that's easier said than done, but if you want to find time to have friendships, you have to make time. Maybe you have to skip a night binge watching Netflix to have a girl's night, but it's worth it to maintain your relationships. Trust me, from one introvert to another, it's worth it.

Sometimes your friendship maintenance will slip, and that's ok. The best of friends will understand that life can get crazy sometimes but you still care about them. So pick up your phone and shoot a friend a text to hang out next week. Even if it's just for an hour for coffee. You're going to need the caffeine anyway...
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