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


Why You Should Check Out Your Local Library

Why You Should Check Out Your Local Library

Poor libraries. I feel like they're being forgotten these days when they're really one of the greatest assets we still have access to. So an ode to the public library was in order. Since we've moved to our new home I've fully realized just how awesome libraries are. Here are a few reasons why you need to go check yours out.

  • They're free. Which seems like a no brainer, but free access to books is a big deal. I joined a book club a few months back and after spending $15 a piece on the first couple of books it became obvious that I couldn't keep that up. Sure I love owning books, but book club was going to get expensive and fast. Libraries have said books, for free. 
  • They'll have what you need or will find a way to get it for you. Sometimes they may not have the book I need for the next book club, but they can easily get it from another branch. I'm a huge fan of placing holds. It's so easy to go online, search what book I need, place a hold, and pick it up a few days later.
  • There are contests that get you free stuff. My library is currently doing a reading challenge that if you read five books in different genres then you can get coffee free from Dunkin' Donuts for a year. What?! Plus they have drawings for iPads and other awesome stuff every few months. My library also had a gingerbread building contest around Christmas. 
  • There are book sales for children's books and novels if you happen to like owning books. You'll get them at a seriously reduced price while helping out your library with funds. 
  • Want to get your kid out of the house and doing something? They have events constantly. Libraries are a fantastic place to find community events that are engaging but also focus on reading and education.
  • Video games. Tons of them. Love playing games or have kids that constantly want new ones? You can check them out from your library, play them all the way through, and not have to spend a penny.
Libraries are freakin' amazing. I basically have about three books checked out at any given time and am constantly finding more ways to use the library system. So go. Check yours out. See what they have to offer and get a library card. You won't regret it.
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10 Beauty Products for the Rest of My Life

I'm a creature of habit without a doubt. At restaurants once I find a meal I like, I'll order that religiously until they take it off the menu. The same has definitely become true with makeup these days as I streamline my collection and focus on quality over quantity. If I could only use ten products for the rest of my life, it would be easy to pick which ones.

The Stila One Step Correct is the primer to rule all primers for me. It's lightweight, works a lot like a moisturizer, and blends in quickly to leave a smooth surface to apply my base. Although I still absolutely love the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue, in the winter I just can't seem to get along with it as well. IT Cosmetic's Your Skin But Better CC Cream has been winning lately since I can mix and match different shades to get the perfect pale-but-not-too-pale finish. It's medium coverage without feeling heavy and still lets natural skin shine through. Plus it does an amazing job at sticking around for a huge chunk of the day.

For concealer I've have probably three or four that are all incredibly similar but the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer wins out if I'm letting my subconscious pick. It's lightweight but still covers my under eye circles and any blemishes that pop up. It also doesn't fade too badly throughout the day and I only need to touch up if I'm going out for the evening. Which literally never happens.

I'm still head over heels smitten with the IT Cosmetic's Brow Power. The pencil is bigger than the Anastasia Brow Wiz, but I prefer the larger nib for a quicker brow application. The spoolie on the other end is a must too. It's a no fuss product that has lasted me a lot longer than most brow products I've used. 

Blush isn't something I'm too picky about. It's probably the only item I couldn't give two figs over. But if I had to choose one to use for the rest of my life I'd likely pick theBalm's Frat Boy Blush. It's a fantastic peachy pink shade that shows up like a nice flush on the skin without being too far one way or another. It's pigmented and stays on the cheeks all day. It isn't going to take the world by storm with its revolutionary color or anything, but it's a solid blush that has lasted many a makeup clear out.

Eye shadow proved the most difficult to decide, but I surprised myself by deciding on the LORAC Pro Palette. It's all I've been wearing lately and I find the entire palette to be filled with great, compatible shades that are buttery and pigmented. Sure an eye shadow primer always helps, but this palette makes it a lot easier to skip that step and leave room for another product in my ten product lineup. 

To finish off the eye I'll usually tight line with the Stila Smudge Stick in "Damsel." The dark brown isn't as piercing as a black but I prefer it for a more natural, yet bold pop. This is by far the best eye liner I've ever used as it doesn't disappear from the tight line and lasts for ages. I've been stumbling upon some really great mascaras lately that could have easily been included, but I'm currently using Urban Decay's Perversion Mascara so it's all I can think about. It's great at thickening the lashes while lengthening and separating. Holds a curl without any issue. Everything you could want.

For lips anything I own by MAC would do, but "Twig" has replaced a lot of my old favorites lately. It's a fantastic, everyday brownish mauve that adds just the right amount of color to the lips without being high maintenance. I can't handle high maintenance with my makeup. The laziness is just too real.

I can't live without a finishing spray to end off a look. It's an obsession I know, but it feels so refreshing and my makeup does last longer with it. So win win. My favorite is without a doubt the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. It's so solid of a product I don't find myself straying or looking anywhere else for an alternative.

I'm pretty sure this post could have also been titled "My Everyday Makeup Routine," but I thought this one was more dramatic. Plus if I could only use ten products it wouldn't be hard to pick these gems out of a lineup any day.

What products make your top ten?
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A Collection of Collections

Ever since I was a little kid I've been collecting things. It started out with erasers. In kindergarten I stole some fast food shaped erasers from the classroom to start off my collection. Years later I would have thousands of different types, sizes, and shapes. Although my eraser collection has been since divided, donated, and used for Oh, Hello purposes, I'm still a collecting nut. These aren't even all of my collections represented. Let's not forget enamel pins and squishes shall we?

There's something so satisfying about collecting. About working towards a goal just for the sake of the process rather than the end result. Collections are glimpses into a person's passions, interests, and pasts. A lot of my collections I've had for years while a few are recent additions. I'm finally saying 'hello' to Hello Kitty.

I've started as many collections as I've quit, but the passion and love for the process hasn't left. I never feel in a hurry to collect more things either. I'm not out buying the newest Pez dispensers or scouring EBay for anything Rugrats themed. I'm more into an organic acquisition. If I stumble upon something that'll fit, I may pick it up. I'm not eager to 'complete' collections. After that then what's the point?

My favorite of all my little collections has to be my children's books. These were my favorites growing up and of course I stole them away to start my own collection. No good collection doesn't start with some innocent thievery right?

I'm definitely in the business of collecting collections. I'm curious to know what sort of things you collect!

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When You Can't Work at a Desk | My Work Bin

When You Can't Work at a Desk | My Work Bin

When You Can't Work at a Desk | My Work Bin

When You Can't Work at a Desk | My Work Bin

I learned pretty quickly when I started working at home that a desk just isn't my preferred work space. Honestly I don't know how I managed for the years I worked in an office. I'm the queen of the "bed desk" and find myself being more productive lounging. On any given day you can find my hanging out in our guest bedroom, working on a couch somewhere, or planted in our bed with my pajamas still on. One thing that always goes with me is my work bin.

Since I don't have a designated work space, my supplies have to travel with me. I carry this structured bin around everywhere like a security blanket. It contains anything I could possibly need on a regular basis.

Planners are a must to keep track of what I'm doing that particular day. I have my Erin Condren Life Planner and my to do list book from Rifle Paper Co. I occasionally keep my sticker accordion in the bin as well if I plan on updating my ECLP at any point during the day. I also tend to carry around the Erin Condren Monthly Planner that I use to keep track of mileage for Oh, Hello. When I return from running errands or any travel related to work I'll write down the details and mileage before getting back to bed desk-ing. 

I also like to have some extra pens and sticky notes on hand for any random notes I may need to take. I'm currently using these adorable breakfast food shaped ones. There's also a book tucked into the bin if I need to take a break. Right now I'm reading The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman for my neighborhood book club. If I'm moving from place to place I'll also pop in my laptop, charger, and mouse just to be able to carry things all at once. 

Depending on what I'm working on any given week, the contents of the bin vary. But I've found this a huge help to keep me from having to get up and locate things I may need around the house. It's a portable office that can travel wherever I feel like working on a particular day. I love the freedom, and my business loves how productive I am because of it.

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If You Take Your Blog Seriously, Others Will Too

If You Take Your Blog Seriously, Others Will Too


I'm in the process of really investing in this blog. For years it's been just a casual place to come to when I felt like writing. I don't want the passion behind the blog to change, but it feels like time to give it a true purpose. So I've been taking it more serious. I created a media kit, I've started to put value in what I'm doing, and projecting that outward.

My resolve to take my blog seriously has already been tested. I wouldn't necessarily say it went badly, but it definitely forced me once and for all to stand by my guns and not get pushed around just because in my head I consider my blog to be small. Brands contact me occasionally to send PR samples for consideration. More often than not they understand that it's just for consideration, not necessarily for a dedicated blog post unless we discuss that. I also have a disclaimer page made public so anyone interested in working together or anyone who reads my blog knows how I deal with partnerships. 

I decided with this particular brand that it was time to start taking myself seriously. I had already agreed to consider their products, but I decided to send along my media kit for their records and to mention that I now offer sponsored posts. They somewhat coldly declined a larger collaboration stating that the products they sent meant a review was expected. Not how I had hoped it would go in my efforts to put substantial growth behind my blog. Rather than caving like I probably would have in the past to appease them, I responded thoughtfully that I'd be giving my honest review regardless (just like my disclaimer states) of whether or not they wanted to sponsor a post and kindly hoped they would save my media kit for future reference.

So sure it didn't go exactly how I would have hoped and they probably won't consider me in the future as I'm not an "easy PR bump", but I didn't let a brand push me around. In the future I'll be sure to send my media kit and a clear link to my disclaimer at the beginning of a discussion. Although this relationship didn't work out, at least I can learn from the experience to work on a more professional level next time.

 That's one thing about blogging that no one ever talks about. It's always about getting big enough to get brands to notice you and send you free stuff, but people rarely talk about how to deal with brands on a professional level once they do notice. If you don't take what you're doing seriously, no one else will. At the end of the day, it's your name on the blog and your credibility. Sure to you it may feel like you're just sitting in your bed typing up your thoughts, but behind that act is a brand with followers and a reach brands value. 

Although it's off to a somewhat rocky start, I'm making an honest effort to stop seeing this blog as a silly little hobby and more of a force to be reckoned with. All thanks to you guys reading and supporting me I feel confident enough to continue to not be swayed to post positive reviews just because a company sent me something. 
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e.l.f. Products I'm Currently Loving

e.l.f. Products I'm Currently Loving

E.l.f. Cosmetics is one of those brands everyone seems to get into starting out. They're affordable which makes the gateway into beauty a lot more manageable during that incredibly awkward "how do I wear makeup" phase I know we all went through. Heck there are still days I don't have a clue what I'm doing. It's been ages since I've revisited the brand since I've set my sights on more expensive brands. The quality. Guys. Here are my favorites.

I'm a sucker for a good palette. I have my fair share of eyeshadow ones so I've been branching out to face ones lately. The Illuminating Palette has some gorgeous, subtle highlight and contour shades if you aren't too sure how to go about doing it but want to give it a shot. They're buildable and last a lot longer than I expected on the skin. There is a bit of shimmer to them all and I usually prefer matte, but I just can't get over the $6 price tag. The mirror is fabulously large as well.

Baked Highlighter in "Blush Gems" is a lovely shimmery shade I use more as a light blush than a highlighter. It provides a really nice glow to the skin and all of their baked products I find to be a lot more pigmented and easier to use.

Baked Eyeshadow Trio in "Brown Bonanza" and "Peach Please" are very similar in shade so if you're in the mood to try a new shadow, I'd say just get one or the other. This shade trio is right up my alley. It's basically Kayla's everyday makeup in a convenient little package. They do have to be built up on the lids, but a eyeshadow base makes the whole process a lot easier. They blend together well and I love that all the shades I could want on a day to day basis are in one spot.

Velvet Matte Lipstick in "Bold Berry" is my favorite discovery by e.l.f. I didn't even know it was considered a matte lipstick until I looked it up to link for this post. It's so hydrating and creamy. It doesn't dry out the lips and can be worn lightly or really built up to pack a punch of color. It fades nicely on the lips over time and is super easy to apply for being such a dark color. It's love. I need the entire range of these bad boys.

I'm seriously impressed with e.l.f.'s ability to produce surprisingly high quality products at amazingly reasonable prices. I must say I've gotten a little jaded by high end makeup and it's nice to return to my makeup beginnings with products anyone can afford. Good on you e.l.f.

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Erin Condren Seasonal Surprise Box Unboxing | Winter Edition #ECSurpriseBox

Subscriptions are one of those things I just have to try out. A mysterious surprise of a product category I already know and love? Sign me up. So when Erin Condren announced the launch of the new Seasonal Surprise Box I only lasted about an hour before hitting purchase. 

Let's lay out the details before diving into the good stuff. The subscription is a quarterly released box for $35, but contains over $85 worth of goodies. Each box is geared towards the holidays and season of the upcoming months. Plus it comes in a reversible box which is just too cool.

The products themselves are better than I could have ever expected. Everything inside is either a sneak peek of products yet to be released or exclusive subscription only goodies. Exclusive products are always a nice touch to make a subscription worth while and this box is packed with them. First are two exclusive monthly sticker sheets for February and March. A nice variety of stickers from St. Patrick's Day and Valentine's Day. There is also an exclusive Floral Ink Snap-in Dashboard to write daily to-dos or shopping lists. My favorite exclusive addition has to be the note cards for Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day. I'm a sucker for stationery and it's such a thoughtful thing to include to encourage subscribers to send out more snail mail to loved ones. 

The box also includes sneak peeks of future released products. The subscription feels like a special club to see new products before anyone else. The Lips Flair Pin got me particularly excited as I have quite the growing collection of enamel pins. I'm a proud owner of all the pins Erin Condren has produced so far so having this one before it goes on sale is an added bonus. There is also a new Coloring Book as well as Colorful Dual-Tip Markers included in the box. The Dual-Tip markers are my favorite markers Erin Condren has released yet. With a fine and medium point tip they're incredibly versatile and have a really great color range. 

The $25 coupon blew me away. With the box being $35, the coupon basically made it only $10. Something that definitely didn't have to be included in the box to make the subscription worth it, but a really awesome gesture to encourage subscribers to get more organized. As an extra bonus there is also four sheets of Heart Gift Labels. Perfect for snazzing up a Valentine's Day present to a sweetheart or making any gift a bit more special. 

As soon as I opened the lid of the subscription I knew it had me. I'll definitely be purchasing the next one after seeing the amazing variety of quality, unique products in this first one. No corners were cut and no expense spared to make this box and you can definitely tell. Products were carefully chosen and I felt beyond special opening the box and seeing all of these curated products just for me. 

If you missed out on this first subscription box, the next one is a must. 

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A New Pointless Obsession and Giveaway

Ever since I was little I've been known to have my weird hobbies. Fake food was a staple during playtime growing up and now I've found a way to bring it back full circle. I recently discovered the magical world of squishies and have dived head first into collecting them. I have about ten now and am positive a few more are coming in the mail any day now. They're cute, fun, and super duper squishy. What's not to love? In today's video I walk you through the first additions to my collection and try to make the whole thing seem normal. Plus I'm giving away to one of you a duplicate of the first squishy I ever got!

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New Maybelline New York Releases You Have to Try & Giveaway

*This post is sponsored by Maybelline. All opinions expressed are my own.

Maybelline has been my go to brand for mascara for years. Their formula rivals high-end brands at a fraction of the cost I can get behind. They've been doing amazingly well giving more affordable options so when I had the opportunity to try out a couple of their new products available this month, I jumped at the chance.

Maybelline New York The Colossal Big Shot Express Swatch

The Colossal Big Shot Express mascara does a fantastic job at separating my lashes while coating them generously with a somewhat dry formula. At first I wasn't sure about the drier consistency as I often find myself using quite wet formulas, but it made application so much easier. I tend to bumble around and get mascara at least one spot it doesn't belong, but the brush and formula made it fool-proof to keep product just on my lashes. The end result is a perfect mix of length and volume without leaning too far to either side. No clumping and it held the curl all day. My lashes are known for bringing down even the fanciest of mascaras to drooping lash levels but this mascara held its ground. It's a great every day mascara that I'd build up if I ever found myself going out at night. Pfffft granny status for life.

Maybelline New York The 24karat Nudes Palette

The 24karat Nudes Palette sparked my interest as a potential alternative/dupe for the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. I love the wide range of shades I wouldn't normally gravitate for, but the palette conveniently groups together flattering shades to take the guess work out of trying to match them together. It has a good mix of shimmer and matte that all swatch really well and are easy to build up. Of course I went for a smokey neutral eye mixing together four different shades on the right side of the palette. It's one of those palettes I don't think I'll get bored with quickly. There are enough options to choose from that it'll travel well too.

Maybelline New York Master Precise Liquid Ink Pen Eye Liner

The Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner was the only product I was somewhat hesitant about. I haven't had the best luck with liquid liners from the drugstore as they're tips are to bendy and always split after a couple of uses. Yet this liner did an amazing job creating a thin, bold line as I shakily tried to apply it. The point is firm, yet just flexible enough to form into any possible angle and by the end of application I felt confident enough to add a little flick at the end. I haven't touched liner in months and I definitely feel myself gravitating back to a cat eye. Who am I?!

Maybelline New York The 24karat Nudes Palette Eye Look

Maybelline New York The 24karat Nudes Palette Eye Look

Biggest pro is the price. I'm in saving mode this year as we're doing quite a lot of travelling. Drugstore makeup is going to make a resurgence in my life in 2017 and Maybelline has definitely set the bar high.

Maybelline was kind enough to send me two Colossal Big Shot Express mascaras so I'm giving one away to you! Giveaway is open internationally to anyone over 18-years-old or with parental consent. 

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New Year's Resolutions I Can Stick With

New Year's Resolutions I Can Stick With

So it's January 2nd. Are New Year's Resolutions still a thing? I'm definitely the type to have grandiose plans January 1 and abandon them by March. Yet this year I wanted to really commit to a couple of things I know hands down I can easily stick with. Start small and work my way up to the mega resolutions later on.

Thanks to some really awesome Christmas gifts I have all the tools in order to get started. Right off of my wishlist (this never happens) and better than I could have imagined, the Disney Collectible Postcards box is going to do a lot more than just sit pretty on my shelf. I lusted after these gorgeous cards showcasing how some of my favorite childhood movies came to life because I want to use them. Sure part of me wants to horde them and collect them all, but a postcard demands to be sent. I want to send all 100 of these gorgeous cards to people throughout the year. I used to write letters like crazy. I still do, but I wanted something to inspire me and encourage me to do it even more. These cards are amazing and I can't wait to share them with friends and family. 

Alex and I love to host events, so this next one would probably happen naturally. I want to expand my cooking and baking skills in 2017 and this seriously amazing appetizer cookbook will make it loads easier. It has 225 different appetizer recipes and each one has a photo. Done. Nothing will make me try a recipe more than a mouthwatering photo to go right alongside it. By the end of 2017 I want to cook at least two dozen of these recipes for various parties I'm sure we'll host throughout the year.

That's it. Those are my two goals for 2017. No fuss and no frills I just want to cook more and stay in touch with family and friends. 2017 feels like the year to strip down all the excess and get back to the things that bring me joy. 

What are your resolutions for 2017?

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