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


May 2015 Favorites

We're keeping things simple with this month's favorites as I've been quite sick this week and couldn't get around to filming an actual video. Not to worry though as there are still quite a few products to talk about!

You all are well aware of my complete obsession with my Erin Condren Life Planner, but I recently got a new cover in the pattern "Watercolor Palette" that I've wanted as soon as it was released. I love the fact that you can change the covers so it's like a brand new planner! The 2015/2016 planners are set to launch in a few weeks and I am beyond excited to see the new layout. 

I recently featured my JORD Fieldcrest watch in a blog post, but I still can't get over how amazing it is. I rave on and on about it in that post so I won't ramble on here, but it's incredibly lightweight, minimalist, and just my style. I've also been completely obsessed with my new vlogging camera I got a few weeks ago. It's the Canon G7X and has made vlogging not only easier, but also prettier. The camera has a screen that flips up that makes it easy to see yourself as you vlog and the quality is fantastic. I think I might want to start doing weekly vlogs instead of just weekend ones, but this week's illness put the kibosh in that until next week. 

On to the beauty bits now. The beauty box ChrissyLilly sent me has been so well received that a lot of the products found their way into my favorites this month. Soap and Glory's Solar Powder is just as amazing as I thought it would be for someone who is fairly pale and not the best at contouring and bronzing. I'm also a sucker for vintage packaging. ChrissyLilly couldn't have been more right about the Max Factor X Blush in "Seductive Pink." The pigmentation is amazing and it's the perfect classic pink shade. Plus it lasts ages!

The obsession for pink nail polish took over this month. I've never been a pink polish girl, but I rarely wore anything else on my nails this month. My favorite has been butterLONDON's "Shop Girl". It's a soft beige creme color that looks so delicate on the nails while not being too in your face. My nail polish tends to chip like crazy, but this formula has some serious staying power.

I feel like I'm beating a dead horse constantly talking about the BareMinerals Complexion Rescue like I have and I promise to stop (eventually). It's just that good. From the soft, whipped consistency to the longevity of coverage, I'm sold and proud to constantly sing its praises. 

My final favorite of the month has to be the Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish. I think I've finally gotten out of my boring, flat hair rut and have found a lot of good products to make my hair do something. I love how this product smells and makes my hair just messy enough. Well done Bumble and Bumble.

What have your favorite products been for May?

xoxo Kayla 
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Makeup Steps I Can't Live Without

Makeup Steps I Can't Live Without

I've perfected the morning makeup routine down to a science. I wake up with around 30 minutes to get everything done (I do love my sleep) so there is no time for fuss or dilly daddling. There are a few makeup steps in the morning I just can't live without.

Ever since I found the Stila One Step Correct, priming my face every morning is a must. Even if I don't put a base on, having this layer of hydration and protection makes my skin so much happier. Plus this primer does an amazing job at getting rid of any minor redness I have in the mornings. I've purchased probably five of these in the past year and although the price is a bit shocking ($36 is absurd), I'd gladly pay it for the results.

I'm not one to fuss over a base every day, but I can't live without a bit of concealer to make me not look like the walking dead. My under eye circles, nose, and chin always need a bit of help regardless of how my skin is doing. Currently I really enjoy using the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer despite its somewhat odd smell. I also still really love the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and the Bobbi Brown Corrector

Back in the day I would have added eye shadow to this list of makeup steps I can't live without, but lately it's been more than normal for me to leave my lids bare. Yet it's an off day if I don't curl my lashes and apply mascara. Even if I do none of these other steps, those two are musts to make me feel like myself. I usually go for anything drugstore and have been using up the last of my Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara. It's an amazing option but I always like to explore with my mascaras. I'll definitely keep it in mind when I want a tried and true choice in my stash.

If you were to ask me what steps I couldn't live without a few months ago, I would have never considered filling in my brows to be one of those steps. But I've been converted and finally see what the fuss is all about when it comes to brows. Having nice, defined brows can really pull a face together and make it so much easier to not mess with all the other "extra" steps. I use the Anastasia Brow Wiz in "Soft Brown." but am considering going a shade darker for a little extra oomph. I love that it comes with a spoolie to sort out my always crazy morning brows. 

This last step I'm sure I could actually live without, but if I'm being picky I'd much rather not skip it. Lipstick is another one of those steps that has a way of making my face look more put together than it is. To be completely honest, I rarely reach for anything besides the select few gems in my MAC lipstick collection. Definitely on mornings when I'm running on even less time, my MAC babies get the job done time and time again.

I do love a full face of makeup and the process of bringing it all together, but I'm not one to give up some extra zzz's for it.

What are the steps in your makeup routine that you couldn't live without?

xoxo Kayla
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Current Favorite Lip Products

Although I'm currently stuck in bed with a weird combination of illnesses and not a drop of makeup on my face, these lip products have been my favorites for the past few weeks. Of course they are very "my lips but better" shades, but each is just different enough from the other in shade and consistency that they're the perfect five to switch between. 

ChrissyLilly knows me so well for sending the the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in "Nude-ist" for our beauty box swap. It's more like a stain than a lipstick and starts off wet but dries to a nice semi matte finish. The color is perfection as it's slightly darker than my actual lip shade. It's really easy to get a nice even line around the lips with the applicator and it has great lasting power.

Another product with the same weird wet to matte consistency is the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in "Lolita". This takes "Nude-ist" and darkens it about five shades to a very vampy-but-wearable color that I love wearing to the bar or out to a party (you know, the two I go to a year). It's a great evening shade after wearing "Nude-ist" during the day. 

The closest match to my actual lip color is the Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in "Rush." I love how hydrating and thick this lipstick is and it helps create a more uniform lip color. Plus it better defines the edges of my lips as they kind of just fade off weirdly without lipstick. It's long lasting and all around fantastic.

The last two are tried and true MAC lipsticks. "Plumful" I still can't get enough of. It's one of those my lips but with a twist that is so easy to wear but makes an impression. The purple/mauve tones are spot on. "See Sheer" is on the redder side with a hint of both some orange and mauve to make for an easy to wear shade that looks slightly different than my normal wheelhouse. Formulas are fantastic and application doesn't require a mirror. 

I'd love to get some new lipstick recommendations so tell me in the comments which ones you've been loving lately!

xoxo Kayla

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Exploring Michigan with JORD Fieldcrest

Watches have always seemed like such a luxury to me. I'd see someone wearing a beautiful watch and think, one day I'll have a watch that makes me feel like a million bucks. I recently acquired that unique watch and have been taking it on little adventures with me ever since.

Alex and I attended a wedding over the weekend near Port Huron, MI. It's his old stomping grounds and I've surprisingly never been there except to pass through to Canada. So we took the remainder of our day to try out a famous local chicken joint and have a chai latte at The Raven. It was one of those days where I just felt pretty, you know? And my gorgeous watch might have had something to do with it. As soon as people see it they immediately compliment it. I was probably complimented six times that day, all because of a watch.

When I first heard about JORD watches, I couldn't believe that they were made of wood. Say what?! Most of the watches I've had in the past have been bulky, heavy, and eventually ended up in some drawer ticking away the time to no one. Yet the Fieldcrest watch is so unbelievably light and I felt like I wasn't even wearing it. Plus the light wood has complimented every single outfit I own; really pulling everything together. 

Watches have a way of making me nostalgic to the days without social media and cell phones. Don't get me wrong, I love the internet probably more than the next person, but whenever I put on this watch I feel like I'm giving a nod of respect to years past.

Do you wear watches? What's your favorite accessory?

xoxo Kayla
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Ipsy Glam Bag | May 2015

It's been a good year since I last posted about Ipsy. I recently decided to restart my subscription in order to add a little variety into my beauty routine. These days I'm very set in my ways, so a subscription to bring in new brands and products into my life should be a lot of fun. 

This month's theme is "Jetsetter" and the subscription came with a lot of flight/travel ready products. My favorites already have to be the Oscar Blandi Texture & Volume Spray and theBalm's "Flirty" shadow. I'm definitely excited to try out the other few products though and report back!

Do you get Ipsy? What was in your month's bag?

xoxo Kayla
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Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

I honestly couldn't tell you what enticed me to pick up one of the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the first place, but boy was I surprised when I first applied it. The consistency is a weird'un and I'm still trying to figure out the best way to describe it to people who haven't used them. It's weird, but in the kind of way that makes you want to buy a second one immediately (which I did). 

So let's get to trying to explain exactly how these lip lacquers are weirder than the rest. When you first begin to apply the product with the classic doe foot applicator, this stuff is wet. The incredibly wetness makes it so you have just the right amount of time to coat your lips fully (or fail miserably) before it dries. And it doesn't budge when it's dry. The liquid consistency at the start gives you time to really line your lips and fill them in before it sets to a nice matte finish. The first few times I really struggled getting a clean line around my lips as I'm used to just slapping a MAC lipstick on and not really caring about the edges. This takes a bit more patience, but the pay off is definitely worth it.

The first shade I picked up is the darker one of the two, "Lolita." Although it looks somewhat harmless as a hand swatch, this baby packs some serious vamp power. It's by far the darkest product I own and on most occasions I just apply a really light layer to not go too crazy. It's the best "dark" shade I could imagine though as it still has that mauve quality that I look for in most (read: all) of my lip products.

In an effort to branch out a bit and move down the color spectrum a bit, I picked up "Berlin" almost seconds after first trying "Lolita" (the VIB sale was good to me). Ironically enough this one is the pinkest lip color I own. In one product line I managed to get two extremes. I personally would wear another lipstick on top of this one as I'm not crazy about how it looks matte, but the color payoff is insanely rich and vibrant. Definitely a spring/summer color if I've ever seen one.

I really wish the range had more "wearable" colors, but I also like the fact that they're a little bit more adventurous. They aren't the basic shades which I've grown so happy with, but they're a clever blend of wearable, but still make a statement.

Have you ever tried these before? What shades are your favorite?


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Plan with Me | Animals on Bikes Theme

Happy Wednesday and Happy Plan with Me Day! This week I went to a completely new color scheme and love how it turned out. I also used another one of my Michael's sticker books to snazz things up. When I saw the "Ride my Bike" sticker book I thought it was just silly enough to be perfect. Tons of animals riding bikes? That needs to go into my planner. I also feature this weekly set from KG Planner that inspired the entire weekly layout! 

I'm not crazy about the way the lighting turned out in this video and I'm still on the hunt for the perfect setup and lighting for these videos. There aren't tons of locations I can film these in my apartment so I have to get creative. Next week I'm switching things up even more and departing from the white table to see how that works out! I'm sure I'll find a good setup soon and we'll be set for the next hundred plan with me videos!

What's your planner spread this week?

xoxo Kayla
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Tips for Working with Brands

Let me start off this post by saying, I'm definitely not an expert when it comes to blogger/brand relationships as I've only done a handful myself. Like most/all advice posts, take it with a grain of salt and ultimately form your own opinions. But if you've never or only recently starting working with brands, these tips could come in a lot of help to make sure you are getting the most out of the collaboration.

  1. Create a disclaimer/update your current one so when you do start working with brands, they clearly understand how you handle partnerships. If you aren't sure how to write one, take a look at other, bigger bloggers' disclaimers and then recreate one for yourself. It also helps to better define your brand when it comes to collaborations.
  2. Be yourself when talking to brands. No brand wants you to be some cookie-cutter blogger doing the same thing. They contacted you for a reason, so let your personality shine through your emails and blog posts! 
  3. Know your worth and equally important, your blog's worth. It's easy to get swept up in the excitement of working with a brand, but don't let them push you around or dictate how you're going to write about their products. It's your blog at the end of the day, and there is value in that!
  4. It's ok to say no if you don't think a product is right for your brand and blog. There is a fine line between featuring products that make sense, and featuring things just because you got them as pr samples. Ask yourself if the products fit with your type of blog.
  5. Communicate with the brands throughout the whole process. Let them know when the products arrive, when you plan to write about the products, and do a follow up to thank them. I made this super handy sticker for the back of my planner to help me keep track of all the communication going in and out with each collaboration. Plus you should also provide them a link to your disclaimer so they know exactly how you handle pr samples. Open communication makes the brand feel like they're getting a good return on their investment and you look more professional.
  6. Stay honest in your reviews and communications about the brand and products. If you sincerely don't like the product, communicate that fact with the brand and/or your audience. Your disclaimer should clearly state that you give your honest opinions, whether or not they are good or bad. You may choose to not write a review if you know it's going to be negative, but you shouldn't feel afraid to write it if that's exactly how you feel.
  7. Understand that brand collaborations do not mean your blog is successful. A brand collaboration is great, but you shouldn't base your blog's value with how many you get. Sometimes you'll get two or three in a row, then nothing for months. That doesn't make or break your blog. Your blog is you and no amount of brand collaborations should change that fact.

As I said in the beginning of this post, it's up to you how you want to handle any aspect of your blog. There are so many grey areas in blogging, which make it exciting and confusing all at the same time. These are ways I've found to work for me when dealing with brands, and they may (or may not) work for you. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to value what you've created while making educated choices with brand collaborations. 

What are your tips for working with brands?

xoxo Kayla
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Current Hair Routine

For a girl whose hair looks relatively the same every day, I sure use a lot of products. My hair is that kind of stubborn thin but plentiful variety that products do literally nothing to. So when I find a product that can do anything to it, it's a fast favorite. Since my hair can only accomplish varying degrees of straight, I opt for that messy, undone look and these products help me do it. I definitely don't use them all in one day, but a mixture of them will get the job done.

One product I use more than all the rest is the Living proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment. This thick cream goes into the hair when it's still damp and provides a lot of volume and texture during the blow drying process. Suddenly my hair doesn't look so limp and lifeless any more. It doesn't last the entire day as my hair is super skilled at getting oily and falling flat, but it at least gives it the best chance I've ever seen.

Up next is a fairly new addition, but I've really been enjoying adding the Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish to my hair when it needs a bit of a revival. This is a great product to use when my hair inevitably falls flat throughout the day when using the Living proof product. It helps to mess up my locks even more for a perfect, "I've just walked around the city for hours" look. The Bb Thickening Hairspray and the Surf Spray both do similar things to my hair. The salt spray definitely does not give me beachy waves, but it does provide that grit and texture I always have my eye out for.

Bb Texture is probably my least used product out of my hair care lineup as I find it a bit difficult to use. It's a cream like the Living proof offering, but leaves my hair a bit crunchy and hard to manage if I use too much. I'm still trying to find that golden zone as I know this product could really help my hair game once I perfect it.

I picked up this deluxe sample of the Living Proof Instant Texture Mist during one order or another from Sephora. It's surprising what this little baby can do and whenever I use a Living proof product I'm always happily surprised with the results. It's yet another texture giving product, but this one does it in a more subtle way. It provides a little lift and just the right amount of volume, but doesn't have the "BAM!" power of the others. A good alternative if I've ever seen one.

I'm always on the look out for good texturizing products and anything to give me natural looking volume. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

xoxo Kayla
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Best Board Games | May 2015

Playing board games is one of my favorite ways to relax while having some social time with friends and family. It's so easy to bring out a board game and have some simple, cheap fun. I wanted to start a series to share my favorite board games with all of you! Each month I'll be talking you through 3-4 different games we've been enjoying for the past month. This month we've been all about Escape The Curse of the Temple, Mr. Jack, and the newly acquired Resistance. Each are quite different, but are good for a variety of different sized groups and skill levels. 

I hope you enjoy this new series! What board games have you been enjoying recently?

xoxo Kayla
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365 Days of Photos: 122-134

With the tulip festival last weekend I thought it best to just group two weeks worth of 365 photos into one post as to not bombard people with tons of photo heavy posts in one day. It's been a crazy couple of weeks, but Alex and I keep pushing through, checking things off our to do lists, and still managing to get some sleep every once in a while. 

[122] Beer [123] Fondue [124] 3D Printer [125] Wonton soup [126] Tree [127] Holland, MI Tulip Time Festival [128] Glode [129] The Princess Bride playing cards [130] 3D printed bird feeder [131] Local Flint resident [132] Lights [133] Lawn ornaments [134] Park
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This Week's Most Loved #65

There have been quite a few beauty bits joining the ranks in my collection lately. It's been a whirlwind of new products, testing things out, and falling in love. There are quite a few favorites this week and every single one is a new product I couldn't be happier to have in my collection.

The Sephora VIB sale was quite the hit for me this year with a lot of good products coming out of it. I usually have one or two loves and the rest are just ok, but this time around they were all wins. The Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish is as good as I had dreamed it would be, but smells even better than I could imagine. It provides just the right amount of grit and texture to my hair, but nothing too crazy. Just the right amount of "lived in" style that I crave. I'm sure I'll be purchasing the full size soon.

I' keeping with my promise to rant and rave about the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue until I'm blue in the face. I'm obsessed. It's the kind of base that just makes my skin look flawless, glowy, and perfect. It's one of those products I just feel good wearing. The kind that gives me a boost of confidence and makes me think, "man I look good." It's going to take a  miracle of a product to beat out this bad boy any time soon. A fast holy grail that I'm sure is going to stick around for quite a while.

For concealer I've really been enjoying using my new Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer. Although it smells a bit funny and doesn't last all day, the coverage it does provide is worth a reapplication later in the day. I don't usually have super long days and it lasts my entire work day (which is exactly what I need). The coverage is great and it doesn't look cakey or heavy under my eyes like other concealers do. It blends like a dream and the applicator is a doe foot with a very nice twist. Definitely worth checking out the next time you're near a Sephora.

The Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in "Lolita" is about two shades darker than I would have hoped, but I have been pleasantly surprised with how much I've fallen in love with it over the past few weeks. The consistency and formula of these liquid lipsticks are out of this world. They start of quite wet, but soon dry into a stain-like finish that lasts ages. I actually really enjoy the dark mauve of "Lolita," but you can definitely apply it with a light hand for something not so in your face.

The rest of my loves come from my good pal ChrissyLilly in Ireland. She was quite the doll and sent me over a lovely box of goodies with these three bits becoming fast favorites while I still test out the rest. The Max Factor Blush in "Seductive Pink" is my blush color. It's like this unicorn blend of peachy, pink tones that provide a gorgeous flush to the skin while lasting all day. The Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in "Nude-ist" is just as great as she led on and now I'm even more upset I don't have these brands close at hand. There's always ASOS though if I'm feeling the itch. I would buy all the shades up in a heartbeat. 

I've also really been enjoying how great the Soap and Glory Solar Powder looks on my skin. It's the perfect amount of bronzey glow without making me worry about being too heavy handed. It's so easy to get the perfect amount on a brush with the two shades. Plus it's just gorgeous. I fell like one lucky gal for knowing ChrissyLilly!

I've been on a makeup high these past few weeks with a lot of exciting things coming down the pipes. Makeup has a way of getting me excited to wake up in the mornings and play a little bit more. So many great products, so little time.

What have you been loving this week?
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Erin Condren Haul | May 2015

Erin Condren Haul

No matter how hard I try to avoid the pull of the Erin Condren website, I find myself back there every few weeks or so clicking away. When the deluxe notebooks came out with the option to put a 12-month calendar in them, I just couldn't resist getting one for Oh, Hello business. I've been wanting to separate out everything Oh, Hello from my main planner for quite a while as it just didn't seem to be working out very well. I've used the notebook for a good couple of weeks now and really have been enjoying the change of pace and the space to write ideas down. I'm still figuring out exactly how I want everything, but I'll definitely report back when I settle into it more.

I also picked up more sheets of the blank labels as I use them heavily in my blog content planning on the monthly spreads. They're perfect to keep a uniform look when planning out blog posts and they're just so much easier to buy then spend the time constantly making them. My order oddly enough came with a Wellness Journal I didn't order. I'm currently not doing any health or fitness tracking so it doesn't have much use to me at the moment.

I'm sure despite my best efforts I'll be placing another order soon!

xoxo Kayla
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International Beauty Box Swap with ChrissyLilly

I've never participated in a beauty box swap before and now I'm officially hooked. ChrissyLilly and I have become fast friends and we thought it would be the perfect idea to swap some beauty bits with each other! So we spent a while texting back and forth about brands and goodies we don't have that the other's country does and then we went shopping!

I couldn't be more ecstatic with all the goodies in my box. There was chocolate for days and a fun taste test between chips (the jury is still out on which one Alex and I prefer). But the beauty bits are of course my favorite. I've never tried Soap and Glory before and Chrissy definitely delivered. The Bourjois Velet lip products are freakin' amazing and the blush from Max Factor she popped in has been on my cheeks since the box arrived. 

What a fun way to experience some brands and goodies from another country while making it sort of like Christmas in May! I can't wait to do more of these in the future and you should definitely check out her blog and YouTube channel to see what I sent her!

Thanks again Chrissy!!

xoxo Kayla
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Top 5 Bases

Top 5 Foundations

Bases were some of the latest beauty categories I explored when I first got into makeup. Still to this day I struggle with finding the right shade, so I avoided it heavily during my teenage years. Over the past six months or so I've finally settled into a base groove that has really been working for me and the bases are flying into the beauty drawer!

The first adventure into tinted moisturizers began with a few drugstore options, but it finally clicked when I got the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. I've worn the crap out of this for a good year now and love the finish, SPF added, and the feel of it on my skin. The coverage is light to medium which is super impressive for a tinted moisturizer. If I'm looking for a lighter option, theBalm's BalmShelter is on par with NARS, but a bit thinner and more natural looking on the skin. Beyond that the two are basically twins in my eyes.

The love of my life just entered the scene about a month ago. The bareMinerals Complexion Rescue is out of this world and worth a try above all other bases I talk about in this post. It's amazing. The shade range is on point (I'm 05) and the texture is a mix between a gel and a whipped foundation consistency. It's a light leaning towards a medium coverage that is easily built up. It covers any redness or uneven skin like a pro and it feels so good on the skin. It's hydrating, but not oily and leaves this wonderful dewy finish. I can't talk about this enough (but I sure plan on trying to!).

For actual foundations two immediately came to mind when brainstorming about this post. An older favorite is NARS Sheer Glow. It's definitely not sheer and the heaviest coverage foundation in my collection, but it just gets better and better throughout the day. I love a base that looks good when first applied, but really amps up its game throughout the day. The shade range is a hard one to peg your right color, but if you do it's going to be a lovely experience.

A recent drugstore foundation that edges out the NARS offering is Covergirl's Ready Set Gorgeous. The shade range is much easier to match with and I love the finish so much more. It's dewy yet not too shiny on the skin and has really good lasting power. Definitely one to check out if looking for a more affordable option!

What are your favorite bases? Any I need to check out?

xoxo Kayla

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Oh, Hello Subscription | May 2015

Oh, Hello Subscription

Oh, Hello Subscription

It's safe to say that the May subscription had me the most excited to send out to subscribers' mailboxes. I worked with Vanessa from HautePinkFluff in secret for quite a while to surprise subscribers with a tassel in their subscriptions. And this is only the beginning. I have so many plans for the future to work with other Etsy shops to bring a more rounded, awesome planner subscription experience. Plus I'm constantly thinking about how to make the stickers and themes even better.

May's theme was "In Bloom" and featured a variety of stickers revolving around that central theme. The work icon stickers are my particular favorite and they'll be listed in the shop on Sunday along with the woodland creatures (both new releases in the subscription). I also included some plant watering reminders and a May Sampler Set as it's a shop favorite! 

There are some fun plans for the June subscription in the works which sold out within the first day! I never imagined they would have such a loyal following and be such a hit. I'm constantly trying to grow the number of subscriptions we produce so more planner addicts can join the fun. If you'd to get the July subscription, mark your planner for June 1st at 9 AM EST to not miss the launch!

xoxo Kayla
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How to Juggle a Business, Blog, Graduate School, and a Full Time Job

I'm one of those do it all kind of people regardless of if I have the time or energy to. I love a busy schedule and pushing myself to do everything I want to accomplish. Running a business, posting on this blog daily, going to graduate school, and working a full time job definitely is a juggling act. But I've found some ways to do it all and still have time for board games.

  1. Plan, plan, plan everything and anything. My Erin Condren Life Planner literally plans my life. I recently started using a separate one to keep track of everything Oh, Hello, but my main planner contains everything I need to know on a daily basis. I plan out blog posts in the monthly spreads, work meetings, daily life tasks, and when deliveries are going to arrive. I spend time with my planner every day and even more time with it on Sundays preparing for the next week. I've made my planner a hobby, so I'm keeping track of everything while still relaxing with decorating it.
  2. Make certain days when you do certain tasks. I always know that Saturday is a day for filming, blog photo taking, and preparing for the week ahead. Sunday is the overflow day if there are more videos and things to do. Sundays are also when I post new releases for Oh, Hello. Having days that I know exactly what I do on that day makes it so easy not to be overwhelmed with what I want to accomplish. 
  3. Take advantage of every free minute to write up a blog post, finish the last bit of homework, or call your friends and family. I rarely spend time aimlessly wandering the internet. I spend those extra minutes in my day between work and grad school working on any small task, rather than waiting and having a huge to do list to do at the end of the week.
  4. Spread out your to do list over a number of days. My to do lists are never set in stone. I always like to make a master weekly one that I know needs to be accomplished before the week is over, but I never set a specific date (unless it needs one). That way if I'm just having a meh kind of day I know that I won't be too behind the next day.
  5. Schedule time for me time and friends in your planner. I always set aside some evenings for a few board games or a bath. It's not hard to carve out just one hour in a busy day to have a little social interaction or some time to turn off my brain. Just as long as it's not every single day it doesn't make a huge impact on my productivity.
  6. Do what works for you. At the end of the day what works for me may not work for you. Graduate school may take up a lot more of your time and you may have to take a break from your blog for a semester. That's completely fine if you feel like you're doing the best that you can do. I personally love feeling super busy, but that may cause you anxiety. But always push yourself to do a little bit more than you think you can handle, and you'll be happily surprised at how much you can accomplish.
I think it's safe to say that being busy is my favorite hobby. If I ever find myself with some downtime I'm already thinking of new projects to work on. It may be an addiction! If you put your mind to it and take the time to really schedule your days for optimal productivity, you can do everything you want and more!

xoxo Kayla
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Morning Skincare

morning skincare routine

Skincare is one of the hardest things for me to keep up with. The mornings and nights are the times I find myself slacking, exhausted, and not interested in taking the time to clean my face. So a simple routine is a must to make sure I actually do it. I've found that three easy steps is the perfect amount to get my skin clean while making it as painless as possible.

When I'm in the shower I'll take a healthy pump of the REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk. This stuff is the creamiest, gentlest skincare I've ever used. It smells a bit odd, but good at the same time. I message the light lather all over my skin to get any last pesky bits of makeup off and rinse it out underneath the shower. Doing this step while washing my hair makes for almost certain that I'll actually do it. It's so much easier than having to wash my face outside the shower after.

No matter what my skincare routine is, the Body Shop's Vitamin E Hydrating Toner always find its way into it. It's the best, gentlest toner I've ever tried and really does get any remaining makeup off while toning my skin. A few swipes of this on a cotton pad and I'm good to go.

The Origins Ginzing Moisturizer has been around in my collection for a quite a while (not this pot exactly) and pops in and out of my routine with the weather. This is one I find myself reaching for in the summer months when I don't need tons of moisture, but enough to get me through the day. The orange citrus scent is also great to give me a wake up boost.

Nothing too crazy happens in my morning skincare routine, but it gets the job done! What does your morning skincare routine look like?

xoxo Kayla
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Holland, MI Tulip Time Festival

Holland, MI Tulip Time Festival

Holland, MI Tulip Time Festival

Holland, MI Tulip Time Festival

Holland, MI Tulip Time Festival

Holland, MI Tulip Time Festival

Holland, MI Tulip Time Festival

Holland, MI Tulip Time Festival

Holland, MI Tulip Time Festival

Holland, MI Tulip Time Festival

Holland, MI Tulip Time Festival

Although a weekend vlog will be up tomorrow (it's now up!)filled with all the awesome events of this weekend, I couldn't wait to share these amazing photos from the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, MI. I've never been to the festival in spite of living in Michigan my entire life and the first part of it on that side of the state. Alex's family invited us along and I still can't get over how much fun the day was.

We got to Holland right before the parade started, yet still managed to get a good view. The parade was definitely the longest I've ever seen, but halfway through we got some elephant ears and it made it all worthwhile. It was quite a cold day so I rocked an oversized jacket for most of the time and even had to go buy some pants from a local store when my shorts just became too impractical. No matter how hard I want it to be summer the weather just refuses to give it to me. 

My favorite part was definitely taking a bunch of photos in the tulips. So. Many. Photos. I got a new vlogging camera this weekend and wanted to test out its chops taking photos too. It's has a flip up screen so I felt like I was a vlogging pro (you'll see more Monday). I definitely would love to go again next year as we didn't get to see any windmills and visit the massive tulip fields. I always like leaving something left to be discovered. It makes the next trip that much more fun.

Be sure to check out the vlog tomorrow to see everything we got up to. There are so many more photos, but this summarizes an amazing day quite well.

Are there any festivals like this in your town/city?

xoxo Kayla

Edit: The vlog is available to watch!!
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5 Ways to Jazz Up Your Layout

5 Ways to Jazz Up Your Layout

It's around this time of year that I get tired of my blog's layout. I don't know what it is about the spring time that has me eager to switch things up and try something new. If you're getting that layout revamp itch, here are five ways to jazz up your layout.
  1. Revamp your sidebar with some of the widgets offered by blogger. Add one about popular posts, create categories with the labels on your posts for easier navigation. There are tons of options plus ways to add your own html coding.
  2. Check out Code it Pretty for tips and tutorials to add html coding to your blog. The top slideshow of images I learned how to do from Code it Pretty. She has tons of tutorials for all types of blogging platforms to achieve anything you want to do. She's also really good at getting back with you if you ever have questions or need help with something.
  3. Get Disqus for your comments. It's a much better comment system than the one offered through blogger. I love the fact that people can get emails when I respond to their comments. Before they would have to come back and check to see what I said. It's much easier to have conversations. It'll walk you through how to add the platform to your blog with some easy steps.
  4. Add YouTube videos to your sidebar if you're a Youtuber on top of blogging. It's super easy to pull the embed coding from the YouTube video and pop it into an html widget in the sidebar. Just make sure you adjust the height and width of the video to fit the dimensions of your sidebar!
  5. Add some color and mix things up. I personally love the look of my clean blog, but when I'm feeling crazy I'll update the header to include some seasonally appropriate decor. Contemplate throwing some more color into your blog with some bright pops in the sidebar.
If you're poking around in the layout of your blog just be careful. Nothing's worse than getting in too deep and not being able to revert back to how it originally was. These little tweaks are super easy to do and don't involve that much experience with coding. Plus they can easily be deleted without affecting the overall look of your blog. 

Let me know if you ever give any of these tips a shot! How do you jazz up your layout?

xoxo Kayla
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This Week in My Erin Condren Life Planner

There have been a lot of planner related things happening this week, but isn't that the case with me every week? I thought I'd start grouping together all the planner related goodies of the week in one easy to navigate post to help my fellow planner addicts get their fix. 

This week I shared how I use the notes section in my planner as well as got back into the plan with me videos. From now on, Wednesdays are Plan with Me days so you can see just how I layout my pages every week. Finally I've started to do a "planner update" every month to give you a walk around my planner and talk about what I've been doing differently, etc. I'm sure the topics of those videos will vary depending on what has been going on, but in this month's video I go in depth about how I use the monthly spreads for blog planning.

I've loved filming and talking about my planner and love even more that you have been enjoying it too! If there are any requests of videos you'd like to see, definitely send them along. How have you been using your planner this week?

xoxo Kayla
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Top 3 Concealers

Top 3 Concealers

Concealer is one of those beauty bits you just can't live without. I also personally have a strong opinion that you can't have too many. I've been growing my collection bit by bit and have found three that stand out as the best of the best.

My long time favorite concealer is of course the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in the shade "Vanilla." It was one of my first higher end purchases and I have since gone through a whole tube of this awesome stuff. It's thick, but still moisturizing and easy to blend into the skin. It has never creased on me and really does wonders to my under eye circles. I do find that I have to reapply throughout the day, but I always do when it comes to concealers. It's also great for blemishes and around the nose to brighten up the reddish parts.

The first high end product I ever purchased was the Bobbi Brown Corrector in "Light Bisque." This of course is a new container of it as I have since used that one. I love this for days where I don't want too much makeup on my face, but enough to make me look less like a walking zombie. It's creamy and just gets better and better when you warm it up with your fingers. The salmon color helps to eliminate purple discoloration and it just sits great on the skin. Plus this tiny pot lasts ages.

A new addition to my concealer collection and a fast favorite is the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer. I had a bit of trouble getting my proper shade, but I settled with "Light Neutral" and it's a perfect match. There's something about this concealer that makes it just a touch better than the other two. It's creamy, but also thin. It still covers everything I want it to, but without feeling heavy on the skin. It does have a weird scent, but works so well I can definitely get over that. It lasts longer than the other two do as well and only needs minimal touch ups throughout the day. High fives all around.

What concealers are your favorites?

xoxo Kayla
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