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




How I Plan to Live a More Intentional Life in 2019

How I Plan to Live a More Intentional Life in 2019

I've never been one for a word of the year, but this year felt different somehow. There has been so many changes going on in my business and personal life that it felt right to pick something to focus on in 2019. No silly new year's resolutions. Just one word to keep me focused on becoming my best self over the next year. INTENTION.

Just picking a word has me feeling different and more...well...intentional. It's always in the back of my mind as I go about my days. I find myself subconsciously asking, "How can I live my life with more intention today?" I teamed up with to do just that.

This year I want to be more intentional with my relationships. It's so easy to get caught up in my daily to do lists that I forget to reach out to friends or family that I don't see every day. I've scheduled in my planner to write a few letters every month to the people I care about and the all occasions card pack makes it super easy to have any type of card I may need on hand.

How I Plan to Live a More Intentional Life in 2019

I also want to take my blog and brand more seriously in the new year. As you guys know, I recently re-branded to better align with the Oh, Hello brand. I want to make more intentional decisions with my company. I picked up new stationery and business cards to celebrate the name change. It has me so excited to send out mail to brands I've worked with in the past to build better relationships with them. 

How I Plan to Live a More Intentional Life in 2019

Along with being more intentional with my brand, I want to send more thank you notes to people we work with this year. It's not only a nice thing to do, it's a good business practice to get into. It's so easy to just send a quick email and think it'll do the trick. But a handwritten card? It'll set you apart in the business world. Sometimes old school is the way to go.

This isn't a sponsored post, but I'm excited to take all of my new products and use them to become more intentional this year. It'll not only build my personal relationships, but my business ones as well. Win-win all around. My favorite kind.
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Details from My Studio

I'm fortunate that there's extra space in our home for me to have my own studio. It's completely changed how I work by providing me a place to leave set up and constantly ready for my next creative project. In the past I may not have taken advantage of creative moments because it was just too much work to bring out all my lights and set everything up. Now when the mood strikes, I hop over to my studio, flick a few lights on, and I'm ready to go.

I keep the space pretty open and free of clutter so there's room to work, but there are a few items here and there that really make the space my own. From the My Little Pony and Shopkins collections to my giant squishy watermelon, I wanted things that made me happy, but also looked pretty in the background of videos and photos.

So here's a little glimpse into my happy place. Let me know in the comments if you're interested in a full video tour of the studio!
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Free Downloadable: 25 List Prompts to Kick Off 2019 on the Right Foot

25 List Prompts to Kick Off 2019 on the Right Foot

With one week into the new year I hope you're all starting to write the date correctly again! That always seems to be the hardest thing for me to get right. Rather than focus too heavily on new year's resolutions this year, I wanted to pay more attention to my word of the year. It seems much more manageable and something I won't abandon come February. My word for the year is Intention. So in an effort to kick 2019 off on the right foot, I started a list insert in my traveler's notebook. I wanted a place to write down the things that matter to me most, that bring me joy, and that will help me live a more intentional life. 

Of course I had to share my list prompts with all of you! Download the PDF here to have 25 different list prompts to help you be more mindful in 2019. They'll help you sort out what matters to you most while eliminating anything in your life that doesn't serve you. Plus it'll be fun to look back at the start of 2020 (that felt weird!) to see how your thoughts have changed over the year.

So print off the list, find a notebook you've been hording, and set down to write out some lists to help you become more mindful in 2019. If you feel comfortable, share with me what's on some of your lists! Be sure to tag me on Instagram @ohhelloliving.

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How to Build a Brand Toolkit for Your Blog & Company

How to Build a Brand Toolkit for Your Blog & Company

One of the very first things I did before 2019 hit is to finally get my blog brand in order. The name change was just part of the larger picture to get a more cohesive brand identity. Now that all my back links have been fixed and redirects are in order, I thought I'd share with you how I built my brand toolkit to better convey what my blog is all about. It's honestly a lot easier than you think.

1. Define your brand's story or identity. What is your blog/company about? What's its mission? If someone were to describe your site in a few words, what would they be? What are things that interest you? I have a serious love for plants, minimalism, and modern design. I wanted all of those elements to come through in my new branding. My blog is all about making your life simply beautiful through planning, organization, and business tips. Sure I throw in the occasional board game review here or there, but the overall message is clear. 

2. Define your official brand name/logo. If you already have your name and logo, great! For me, Microscope Beauty just did not fit my brand's story or identity anymore so I needed to switch it up. I chose Oh, Hello Living because it coordinates well with my main company Oh, Hello Co., but also has more of a lifestyle feel to it. If you haven't figured out your name yet, take your brand's story and brainstorm some ideas that clearly embody your brand identity. Leave yourself room for growth with your name too. You don't want to call your blog "Cooking with Casey" when a few months down the line you might want to expand into book reviews. 

3. Explain your logo and how it should be used. Once you have your name and logo, give clear rules as to how that logo should be used. Oh, Hello Living for example is a straight across line of text. Decide now if you're ok with the text being broken up into separate lines, or if you want to be more strict with your brand. 

4. Brand color palette. This is definitely my favorite part of the brand toolkit process and the easiest one for me. Choose at least three colors that represent your brand. Have two main colors, and a few supporting colors as well. These colors you'll use across everything so make sure you pick ones that look good together and help share your brand's story and identity.

5. Fonts that fit your brand identity. While building your toolkit it's also super important to pick which fonts you're going to use to represent your brand. You don't want employees or yourself down the road getting willy nilly with the font. Choose a nice serif and sans-serif font and maybe one or two other options. That way you'll have a cohesive brand look across any platform.

6. Supporting visuals and information. Think of this as the mood board for your brand. Whether its tangible or digital, find images and elements that help to communicate your brand's story. The simplistic home drawings of my brand can be seen over all of my various platforms so you know you're on an Oh, Hello Living site when you're there. Using cohesive elements gives your audience a better understanding of your brand and makes it easier for them to recognize at a glance.

I recommend opening up Illustrator or even a Microsoft Word document and dragging different elements, fonts, and colors into one place so at the end of these steps, you have your brand toolkit all in one place. Print it off, pin it up somewhere so you can see, and get the year off on the right foot with a more cohesive brand.

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What's Inside the First Oh, Hello Box + WIN A BOX!

What's Inside the First Oh, Hello Box

The day has finally arrived. And it can only be outdone by the actual box release date. I've somehow managed to keep my spoiler-loving butt from spilling ALL the secrets about the contents of the first #ohhellobox. That is, until now. So let's dive into this packed box filled with items you won't find anywhere else on! 

When I decided to make the subscription box, I wanted it to be more than just stationery supplies. Sure I'll be sure to include pens and notepads galore, but there's also going to be a ton of lifestyle products coming your way. This first box is themed "Brunch Bunch" and has a gorgeous embroidered apron ($30) with adjustable neck and waist fabric. 

Each subscription box will contain an enamel pin ($7) designed exclusively for each box. So as you receive boxes, you'll be able to collect enamel pins from each one. And I posted a handy DIY enamel pin frame tutorial on YouTube so you can get prepared.

What's Inside the First Oh, Hello Box

This box truly represents where Oh, Hello has been and where it's going. I wanted to include a lot of products that represent who we are, but also start to shift to what I want Oh, Hello to become. So the stationery products are more abundant in this box, as a nod to Oh, Hello's history.

There's a pocket traveler's notebook ($37) with an exclusive cover design as well as a pocket dot grid insert ($4). It wouldn't be an Oh, Hello box without stickers! There are two custom sticker sheets ($6) as well as a bunch of die cuts ($4) of all the brunch bunch characters. 

On top of three sets of sticky notes ($9), you'll also receive our first ever keychain ($8). In the shape of an egg. It's keychain perfection.

What's Inside the First Oh, Hello Box

The first subscription box by me wouldn't be complete without a squishy ($5)!! It had to happen. Nothing brought me more joy than when a giant box packed full of donut squishies landed on my doorstep. 

What's Inside the First Oh, Hello Box

So there you have it. The first box is officially out in the world and will be available for purchase on January 5th. Boxes will be $44.95 plus a flat shipping rate. And as a thank you for supporting me and Oh, Hello I'm giving away a box to one of you!  

Don't forget to subscribe to the Oh, Hello Box Newsletter to stay up to date on launch dates and future boxes!

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Spaces Planner Review & Giveaway

Spaces Planner Review

Let me first start out by saying the Spaces Planner* is by far one of the strangest, most unique planners I've come across. Full stop. It has me so intrigued in so many ways, but also makes it alarmingly clear just how uncreative I am. Shall we?

Spaces Planner Review

The planner kindly has a page to describe the best ways to use the planner to help you start your spaces journey. And oh what a strange journey it will be.

Spaces Planner Review

I love a good overview page. There's room to jot down a few upcoming events or memories from each month in one place.

Spaces Planner Review

The planner itself is quite large and a lot longer than most "standard" sized planners. You can really see the size difference in the monthly spread as the boxes are a lot longer than most. I'm sure you could still go sticker crazy, but you'll want to gravitate away from functional stickers if it bugs you that they don't fit perfectly.

Spaces Planner Review

Now on to the weekly pages and what really sets this planner apart from the rest for me. Each week is divided into boxes. Some are labeled, but the majority of them are left blank for you to customize to your own needs. There's a handy little weekly list at the bottom for at the glance planning.

It's weird. But like, weird in a good way? I don't know. I've talked about this planner a few times now (including in the video I've linked below) and I still don't know how to feel about it. Hence why I'm giving it away to one of at the end of this post. Maybe you'll have more luck sorting out your emotions over this planner than I have.

Spaces Planner Review

Like I get it. If you think of your life in categories this could be fantastic. But I worry that the way I do my planning (heavy on the daily lists), this won't ever work for me. 

Spaces Planner Review

Plus the price has me a bit uneasy. It's a $48 planner without any of the customization options other planners in the same price range have. It seems quite expensive for what you're getting. 

I do love how unique it is, but it's the type of planner that will either work great for you or it won't. There's no maybe with this type of layout. I'm impressed with the commitment to a style, but it's just not my cup of tea.

Take a gander at this video where I show you the Spaces Planner along with two other planners you probably haven't heard of (unless you regularly read the blog).

If the Spaces Planner seems like something that might work for you or someone you know, enter my giveaway! It's open internationally to anyone over 18-years-old or with parental consent!

Are there any other planners you'd be interested in seeing a review for? Let me know in the comments!
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Introducing Oh, Hello Living

New name, who dis? I never know how to start posts like this so I'll settle for awkward and dive into the point of it...

After a lot of thought and consideration, I've said goodbye to MicroscopeBeauty and hello to a new chapter in my life. Quite literally "hello." Although things are definitely not perfect yet (I have so many broken back links and my old url won't forward to my new one), I'm still too excited to share this new transition.

So. Welcome to Oh, Hello Living. Not much will change besides the name. It just felt time to branch out, get a name that makes way more sense with my brand, and move on.

Here's hoping that the back links will get fixed and old domains will forward to the new one, but for now, I'm just going to keep doing my little happy dance and buy new business cards.
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Why Hiring an Assistant was the Best Thing for My Business

Why Hiring an Assistant was the Best Thing for My Business

Hiring my assistant Meghan is by far one of the best things I did for Oh, Hello in 2018. It took me far too long to take the plunge and commit to hiring someone part time to help me. Of course I should have done it years ago. Same ol' Kayla, always dragging her feet to do anything that will be good for her. 

Above all else, hiring an assistant gave me time to not work IN the business, but ON the business. Although I love scrolling on Instagram and managing fun activities like our yearly card swap, I found myself spending so much time just trying to stay afloat and get everything done. I wasn't doing anything to help my business grow. The assistant helped take some of the smaller things off my plate so I could focus on bigger projects, like the subscription box.

I've been working with just my husband so long that I forgot what it feels like to be able to bounce ideas off of someone else. She helps bring new ideas and insights to the table. A different perspective is always needed in small business, despite my paranoid little brain thinking otherwise.

At first I had a hard time delegating out projects to Meghan, but when we started travelling a bunch near the end of the year, everything changed. I relied on her to get sales going while we were on airplanes, she posted on social media, and kept everything running smoothly when I couldn't. 

I feel like a lot of these things now sound like no brainers. They could sound like that to you. Like, "Of course Kayla, having an assistant means you have HELP." But I genuinely didn't think I needed any until I hired an assistant and realized just how much time I was spending on things I didn't need to. Everything doesn't just rest on my shoulders anymore. Like Samwise Gamgee always says, "Share the load."

So if you're in a place where you're thinking about hiring an assistant. Do it. It's life changing. You'll find yourself with more time to expand your business and keep growing. And that's the whole point, right?
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How I'm Preparing My Business for 2019

How I'm Preparing My Business for 2019

It's very unlike me, but I'm eager for the new year to start. I'm excited. And I haven't felt like that in a really long time. With so many projects and plans for the 2019, here's how I'm preparing my business to start the new year off with a bang.

A few weeks ago I sat down and made a marketing plan for the entire year. I mapped out a year's worth of sales, promotions, and sales goals. This really helped me to visualize the entire year at once. It became obvious that some months were heavier with sales than others. I spaced everything out and have a clear road map for the year ahead.

I'm terrible at this, but I'm trying to get better at delegating more. I have a small but mighty staff that I've been passing off more projects to so I can focus on big picture things like our subscription box I mentioned in my last blog post. Plus a big goal for 2019 is to get into retail!

Despite being excited for all the work things next year, I'm also scheduling time off for self care and travel. I want to make sure I have time to recharge, shake off an burned out feelings, and seek creative inspiration.

I'm brainstorming. A lot. Like writing down any possible idea that pops into my head. I always brainstorm best right before I fall asleep, so I keep a notepad by my bed for scribbles in the dark I have to try and decipher the next morning. I've mastered the ability to not accidentally write over other ideas in the dark. Do you think that's a skill you can endorse on LinkedIn?

I'm also trying really hard to listen to ideas from other people. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I'm too close to my business. It's so valuable to listen to new ideas because they're seeing my business in a way that I physically can't, from the outside.

But above all else, I'm celebrating the victories of this year. 2018 marked the year of trying to slow down and appreciate accomplishments more. Take a second to breathe, look around at how far we've come, before moving on. As the year comes to a close I'm proud of what I've done, but excited to see what's next.
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How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

2018 has been a dozy of a year for me. From some serious highs to some even lower lows, the year has been one for the record books. And through it all I found myself to have fallen out of love with Oh, Hello. That truth made me miserable. Alex and I have worked tirelessly for over four years to craft our business and I just felt...exhausted. I started to question why I was even bothering. Things got pretty bleak there for a while, but luckily this is a happy story.

I went through a lot of personal mental health stuff in 2018. I want to dive into it in more detail later (because I think mental health deserves to be talked about no matter how good or bad), but it's not really the point of this story and it always has a way of overshadowing things anyway. Luckily I found solutions and the help that I needed so that as we entered autumn, I had a new positive outlook on things. It wasn't all doom and gloom. I had help both literally and metaphorically and I could finally breathe. I was ready to fall back in love with my business.
How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

Alex and I have talked about doing a subscription box for years. It always felt too risky, too much work when we already felt drawn thin. But one morning I woke up and it felt like time. And then I didn't sleep. For weeks. Every time I'd try a another idea would pop into my head, another box theme, another product. The idea storm became so bad that I sometimes crept into our guestroom to work in the middle of the night to let Alex sleep. I felt alive and invigorated for the first time since 2014 when I had the idea to start Oh, Hello. 

How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

The Oh, Hello Box was born. A box dedicated to self care, self love, and some fun thrown in. With so many subscription boxes out there I didn't want to just add to the noise. I wanted to create something simple, beautiful, and packed to the brim with high-quality products. Over $100 in lifestyle and planning items every month for under $50.

How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

I haven't felt this passionate about my business since its creation and I'm loving every thrilling and terrifying second of it. The first box launches on January 5th, and if you'd like to get more updates about the box there's a newsletter you can sign up to. 

I cannot wait to continue to share my business journey with you as well as box themes and products. It's going to be an amazing start to a new year.

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How I Pack for Travel

How I Pack for Travel

2018 was the year of travel and we still have one last trip to go before ringing in 2019! After forgetting quite a few things during the first trip I vowed to get my shit together to not run out of clean underwear again. Here's how I keep from under/over packing and forgetting things.

1. I made a list
It kinda seems like a no-brainer, but I needed a list I could revisit, revise, and reuse for each trip we went on. I used to just write things down fresh each time which led to a lot of mishaps and forgetting common things I thought for sure, "I wouldn't forget." 

So I opened up a word document, typed in all of the items Alex and I need to travel with. At the top of the list I put spaces to write where, when, and for how long we will be there. That way I can make sure to pack accurate amounts of clothing depending on trip length. Then I duplicated the list so there were two on the page. I printed it out on sticker paper and cut it out. Presto. Custom packing list I can put into whatever notebook I'm using at the time. I felt like a bloody genius and showed Alex the list way too many times. One time would have sufficed. But no. I kept shoving my creation in his face like a proud parent. But I digress....

2. I start early, but not TOO early
So the thing about me is I worry. Like a lot. I'm the type of person that'll pack a suitcase two weeks in advance out of anxiety and have to keep going back into the suitcase to grab things I need. This ultimately leads to me thinking something's in the suitcase when in fact I took it out five days ago and forgot. So I've trained myself to still pack early, but not so early that it causes issues. I try and start the initial packing stages about three days before we leave for a trip. That way  I can make sure I can clean anything I might need and have plenty of time.

3. I reference the list
I mean that's what a list's for, right? Since I do start packing a few days in advance, I can't pack everything at once. So I make sure to check the list regularly to know what I still have left to pack. There are always those last minute items you throw into a suitcase right before you leave. The list is great at making sure those aren't missed in the sleep-deprived early morning rush to get to the airport.

4. I bring the list for the return journey
Usually I'll just use the same list to make sure we bring everything back home that we left with. No forgotten cell phone chargers in hotel rooms for us.

5. I update the list
I realize that the point of this post is to go on and on about this list I made, but seriously. It's a huge help. Once we get back from a trip I'll revise the list to remove anything we didn't end up bringing and adding any items I hadn't thought of previously. That way when the next trip rolls around, I'm more prepared than ever before and my anxiety is being well managed.

Even if it's just a document you print off on computer paper and keep in a folder, having a regularly updated list can save you a lot of stress when it comes to packing for trips. Plus it's a great way to help pack for other people. Alex is much more carefree about travel than I am, so I like to pack his things ahead of time for him. The list helps to make sure we're both on the same page and I'm packing things I know he needs and he knows what's going into the suitcase. 

How do you pack for travel? What's your technique?
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How I've Been Using My Rifle Paper Co. Planner

How I've Been Using My Rifle Paper Co. Planner

This wouldn't be a planner, beauty, and lifestyle blog if I didn't go through a bi-weekly planner crisis right? Today's YouTube video goes into more detail about my current crisis and the planner setup I'm in, but a lot of the turmoil comes down to The Rifle Paper Co Planner putting a wrench in things again. 

I've used the Rifle Paper Co planners on and off for the past three years and they always seem to pop back into my life when I need it most. It's such a simple layout for a planner, but it's perfect if you have a ton of to do list items but not a lot of meetings or appointments. I had just started to feel at odds with my daily hourly layout when this gorgeous beauty landed on my doorstep. It was a like a sign from the gods that a planner shake-up was in order.

How I've Been Using My Rifle Paper Co. Planner

I'm currently using the planner similarly to how I have in the past, but I've added in some functional stickers to mark any timed events that I may have. Every Sunday I'll sit down and space out any to do items I need to get done the next week. I love having the entire weekly view visible at one time so if one day seems particularly heavy with things, I can always move them around to another day. It's also easy to see anything I missed from the day before that I still need to get done.

Check out today's video if you fancy seeing what other planners are currently in rotation!
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