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


Planning Essentials I'm Bringing on a Cruise

We are leaving on our belated honeymoon/my sister's wedding cruise in just two days and I am not ready at all. We had the great pleasure of being a part of the Planner Boss Collective sale over the weekend and are still recovering. It's like getting married. You never believe what people tell you it's going to be like until it happens to you. We were blown away by the number of orders, but are facing a serious deadline that has caused a series of sleepless, work-filled nights. But I'm rambling.

Regardless of the workload situation, the cruise is happening in mere hours and luckily I started packing early. I don't plan on bringing a ton of planning supplies with me, but I do want to document the trip better than I have other trips in the past.

I'll be bringing my ECLP hourly, but stripped down to just the planner itself. I've removed all of the extra papers and stickers I had floating around in the back to make it lighter. I'm also bringing a small hardbound notebook because I'm sure being away from work will spark a mountain of new ideas.

I'm also giving the new Planny Pack a serious test out on this trip. It's going to be what carries the few stickers I'm bringing as well as a couple of pens. So far I'm quite the fan of the accessory, but it'll be nice to see how it fairs in an actual travel situation.

As for picking the kit I wanted to use for the week, it was a no brainer. The Novel Coffee has the perfect beach-themed weekly kit that I've already preplanned out so I don't have to bring unnecessary sheets with me.

If you want to see what other few sheets I'm planning on bringing with me, I've included close ups in today's video. The key for me is simplicity. Sure there might be a chance I need some obscure sticker to mark some unforeseeable event, but I much rather keep my travel stash small so I'm not toting around a ton of things I might need. I don't want my planning supplies to hinder the trip, but rather enhance the memory keeping of it.

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Why I No Longer Have a Designated Office Space

Why I No Longer Have a Designated Office Space

Over the weekend I moved all of my things out of the office space we have on the second floor of our house. I had been thinking about it for a while and finally decided to commit to no longer having a designated office space. And so far I've been loving it.

It all boils down to the fact that I just wasn't using the space. I would only trudge up the stairs to film a video every once and a while and didn't find myself lingering much longer after filming finished. It became a room to hold my knick-nacks and planner collection and not much else. It felt like I was taking the space for granted and wasn't using it to its fullest potential.

Plus I didn't need it.

I'm the type of person who much rather work at the dining room table, on the couch, or in bed. The majority of my scholarly and work accomplishments have been achieved while bed-desking. I wrote my entire thesis in bed, I started Oh, Hello snuggled under the blankets. I'm a much happier and more productive person when I have the ability to move from place to place and work wherever the mood strikes. I completely understand how office spaces are valuable and work wonders for people, but for me it's just not necessary. 

So I moved all of my supplies into the closet in the finished guest bedroom. The closet previously only housed a couple of spare pillows and an always empty laundry hamper. I find closets in guest bedrooms to be a bit pointless as most of the time guests will never ever use it. So I toted all of my things down the stairs and set up base. The move downstairs helped me to downsize my collection, really think about what mattered to me, and helped me to focus on organization.

We still aren't entirely sure what to use the upstairs space for since I basically up and vacated it out of the blue. It's the kind of space that will likely transition as our family grows, but currently we're contemplating moving up Alex's photography studio from the bowels of the basement. That way if he ever does photo shoots for anyone it'll be a much more enjoyable location. 

I'll likely do a full tour of my closet storage space once I'm finally settled in completely and if there's any sort of interest. I may add a small desk into our master bedroom at some point when I start work on finishing the decor in that room, but for now I'm quite content being a nomad in our house ready to work anywhere.

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How to Blog When You're Busy

How to Blog When You're Busy

Blogging while busy is one of those topics I get asked about a lot. So I'm sharing with you my tips and tricks to squeezing in time for the hobby while doing a million other things.

Create a schedule you can stick with. Sure it would be amazing if we could all blog seven days a week, but that's just not realistic for a normal schedule. Whether its three times a week or just once, pick a content schedule that works with your life.

Then actually stick with it. If you've made a promise to yourself to blog twice a week, then do it. Set aside time to take the photos and write up the posts no matter how hectic your days are. 

See it as a time to relax and not a chore. I always blog when I'm unwinding from the day. It's a nice break from my daily to do list and has always been a hobby and a way to relax for me. If blogging feels like a chore and just more work, maybe you shouldn't do it. Hobbies shouldn't feel like a hassle. 

Forgive yourself if you don't blog for a week. Sure it's best to be consistent if you want your blog to get traction, but you also still want to enjoy the hobby at the end of the day. There are weeks when I'm just too busy and I literally forget I have a blog. Rather than beating myself up over it and stressing myself out trying to whip up a few posts, I give myself a break. 

Take a bunch of photos at once so you don't have to keep setting up your camera equipment every time you want to write a post. It'll save you a lot of time and blogging won't feel like it takes up too much of your day.

Plan out posts ahead of time so you don't have to worry about thinking of what to write about when your brain is concentrating on a million other things. I you feel a bit of inspiration strike, take that time to write out all the ideas and posts you have just in case you do become too busy to find a few seconds to write.

Prioritize your life and determine if blogging fits in. Sometimes there really are other things that take higher priority than typing up some ramblings, and that's ok. If it's really that important to you, you'll be able to find the time to do it.

At the end of the day I feel happier and more accomplished because of my blog. It takes priority over a lot of other "relaxing" things during my day and I'm more than happy to let it. Blogging while I'm busy never feels like a chore. It shouldn't for you either.

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Oh, Hello's First Decorative Sticker Organizer

Oh, Hello's First Decorative Sticker Organizer

So I had this crazy idea a few month's ago to create a "yearbook" of sorts of all the designs we've created over the past year. Then I had an even crazier idea to make a bunch of them to sell. I'm currently knee deep in stickers trying to cut my way out of said crazy idea. It's definitely going to be worth it when they go live this Saturday at 2pm EST at under the featured section on the front page. But until that day, I'll be cutting my life away.

I've kept these babies pretty hush, hush for a while so I wanted to finally do a full flip-through and talk about them so when Saturday rolls around people are ready and knowledgeable about what they are and what's in them. 

It's projects like these that make me realize just how many designs Alex produces. There are 36 different sheets in this book all created by Alex. Plus after I finished the mock-up I remembered quite a few other designs I opted out of including. 

I think that's what makes Oh, Hello so unique. We design everything ourselves, in house. Sure it means our stickers take longer to create and we can't pump out popular designs at an alarming rate, but I don't think we'll ever change. It's what started this whole thing and although it can be a setback at times, it's something about us that I love.
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Treat Yo Self Beauty Products

Treat Yo Self Beauty Products

I'm a firm believer in treat-yo-self days. It's so easy to get wrapped up in daily tasks and the constant grind that it's important to stop, appreciate what you've accomplished, and give yourself a little treat for a job well done. Just today I bought a pair of strappy sandals I've been eyeing for ages as a treat for how hard I've been working on Oh, Hello stuff lately. Plus if you put a little pamper into your beauty routine you'll feel, and look, better. So it's a win, win.

Oddly enough when I started to gather items for this post I felt myself gravitating away from makeup bits to the lesser appreciated aspects of my beauty routine. Although I'm a huge fan of splurging on makeup every once and a while, I think skincare and hair care are two often overlooked categories in a treat-yo-self spree that definitely should have some light shone on them.

For hair care, nothing says pamper like the Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo. The best clarifying shampoo I've found to get all the grime and product out of hair to leave it squeaky clean. At first I felt insane for spending $25 on a shampoo, but I've only used it on Sundays for almost eight months and have barely used any of it. It's definitely going to last me for a very long time and the results will speak for themselves with this one.

The Urban Decay Meltdown Makeup Remover Dissolving Spray is another to add to the next treat-yo-self shopping list. It's like a setting spray, in reverse. Spritz a bit of this onto a cotton round and it wipes away almost all of your makeup. If I'm being picky I find that a little bit of waterproof mascara has a tendency to linger. It does way better than a lot of my other makeup removers and I always cleanse afterward anyway to make sure any pesky makeup is long gone. If you're one for a fuss free skincare routine, this is one to add to the lineup. 

For skincare I've really been enjoying this Derma-E Hydrating Serum. It's a brand I haven't really explored too much, but this serum is a winner. It's lightweight, soothing, and dissolves quickly into the skin while providing hydration to boot. It almost acts like a moisturizer without packing too much moisture. I always feel so luxurious using it.

Another skincare product that I couldn't live without is the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. If my skin is feeling tight or dry I use this once and I wake up with hydrated, dewy skin. It's seriously a miracle worker. Although it feels like a bit of a splurge whenever I purchase a new one, I'll do it every time for the investment in my skin and the results it gives. 

The IT Cosmetics Je Ne Sais Quoi Hydrating Color Awakening Lip Treatment is one of those products I couldn't believe the price of, but after just one usage I completely get the hype of higher end lip balms. This stuff makes all my other lip balm options pale in comparison. It hydrates my lips without feeling greasy or heavy, but stays on for a long time making sure they're protected from the crazy winds we've been having lately. It also provides a little pop of color on days I don't really want to bother with lipstick. 

Nothing feels like a treat-yo-self purchase quite like picking up a new makeup brush. If you're feeling the urge to spend some cash my current favorite is the IT Cosmetics #702 Brush. The bristles are the softest I've ever felt and so incredibly packed together that applying foundation is so easy. I can quickly buffer everything out and it leaves such a nice finish to the skin. The handle is heavy and the brush feels worth the investment.

So if you're feeling particularly spendy or want to celebrate an accomplishment with a little treat, these beauty products would be a fabulous place to start. What are some of your go-to treat-yo-self categories? 
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Holland Tulip Time Festival

Getting out of the house is really important for two people who work from home. So whenever there's an event or an opportunity to go explore, we take it. It's become a tradition of ours to head over to the Holland Tulip Festival every year. This year we were particularly interested in checking out the craft show. We've been setting up our own booth for upcoming shows and wanted to see how the pros do it. 

Of course it was freezing. It's always windy and cold during the festival and I have yet to be prepared and dress appropriately. Maybe next year I'll be adequately prepared. 

In keeping up with the promise I made to myself we brought the camera along and although freezing, took a lot of really fun photos. I always love sharing a camera with Alex. It's great to feed off of each other's ideas and see how we can both capture the same event or moment differently.

This photo is my particular favorite. I wish I could take credit for it, but Alex spent a good five minutes setting up the shot.

It's crazy to think that a year from now we may have our own booth at the Tulip Festival Craft Show. It's thinking about things like that, that make me realize just how far we've come as a company. And how far I've come as an introverted person to want to actually interact with people in real life. It's exciting to imagine people looking at our products and experiencing them in real life. Now here's hoping it's not freezing cold next year.
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IT Cosmetics Confidence in Your Glow & Giveaway

IT Cosmetics Confidence in Your Glow

Face palettes are having a bit of a moment in my life lately. There haven't been any eye shadow palettes that have excited me in quite a while, so I've moved on to the next best thing. Portability is a must with all the travelling we've been doing. It's definitely not glamorous travel. Lots of driving and across Michigan travel that no one should be envious of.  Regardless of my sad travel woes, I've been grabbing for easy, multi-purpose makeup like no other. That's where these fabulous IT Cosmetics Confidence in Your Glow bronzer palettes come in.

There are three shade options available in the range. "Instant Warm Glow" (right), "Instant Nude Glow" (middle), and "Instant Natural Glow" (left). They're all quite similar in pan, but have a very different look when swatched and applied. My favorite has to be "Instant Warm Glow" as it's the most flattering on the skin. I swirl my brush around the entire pan and apply to my cheek area although the product technically says it's a bronzer. The result is a very glowy flush that makes my complexion look brighter and healthier. It's a lovely mauve tone while "Instant Nude Glow" is much more peachy and better for summer months. 

The powder is buttery and smooth and a snap to apply. You could also use different sections of the pan for more of a highlight and bronzer so you don't have to carry around three different products, but I love the look of when they're all lightly mixed together. Plus I'm the queen of lazy makeup and nothing is more lazy than blending everything together and slapping it on your face.

These are definitely worth a look at when you're near a stand or counter next. It's a gorgeous product that's a breeze to use, incredible quality, and easily can be used for a variety of purposes.

I can't report on "Instant Natural Glow" because I'm giving it away to one of you! It's only been opened once to take a few photos of and is in perfect, gorgeous condition. The giveaway is open internationally for one week!

IT Cosmetics Confidence in Your Glow

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My Top 3 Favorite New Erin Condren Accessories

My Top 3 Favorite New Erin Condren Accessories

The day after an Erin Condren Launch always feels like the day after Christmas. Still overwhelmed by all the goodies and planning out what to do with everything once it arrives. I wanted to dedicate yesterday's post solely to the magic that is the colorful, vertical ECLP, but today it's all about the accessories.

I'm a sucker for stickers (surprise, surprise) so of course the Designer Sticker Book Edition 3 had to join my collection. I may or may not have every single one of the sticker books available. I'm both proud and ashamed. This one has a great mix of planner friendly stickers as well as a bunch of to/from label stickers for gifts. I just love how versatile EC products are for a bunch of different purposes.

My Top 3 Favorite New Erin Condren Accessories

I had no idea about these tall sticky notepads until this one showed up in my PR box. I'm officially obsessed. It has an adhesive tab on the back so you can place it anywhere in your planner, including on the ruler that comes with it. They're nice and tall and skinny to fit in the sidebar of the monthly view or on a weekly spread. Plus the adhesive on the sticky note extends almost half way down the sheet so it won't go anywhere when placed.

My Top 3 Favorite New Erin Condren Accessories

At first I thought the new Planny Pack was a bit of a gimmicky product, but now that I have experienced it first-hand I've completely changed my mind. It goes onto the planner easily, has a lot of space in the zipper pouch for pens, and there's even a back pocket for stickers or sticky notes. I'm looking forward to really putting it to the test when I go on the cruise in a few weeks.

There are tons of other new accessories out there for any type of planner gal, but I find these to be ones that I know I'll actually use rather than just horde in my collection. The entire launch is seriously impressive and my favorite one to date. Oh Erin Condren, you crafty planner queen you.
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2017-2018 Erin Condren Life Planner Colorful Vertical Review & Flipthrough

It's the happiest day on Earth. Erin Condren Launch Day! A package arrived on my doorstep yesterday filled with gorgeous planner goodies to share with you. So prepare you eyeballs for a lot of photos.

I received the 18-month colorful vertical and the first thing I noticed was paper quality. This planner is seriously thick with quality stock paper starting out and the coil doesn't have too much wiggle run for stickers. I'm sure that'll become an issue as I load things up with stickers, but I tend to jump back and forth between two planners and never really deal with planner bulge. I much rather have thicker, better paper than flimsy stuff. 

The colorful EC has this gorgeous petals pattern throughout; starting with the vellum page at the front of the book. I'm personally a huge fan of this new pattern style and actually switched from neutral to colorful because of it. Plus I have my issues with the neutral options this year. But that's another blog post.

The planner goes into the yearly overview and I'm making it my mission this planner to start using these pages. Since I work from home and don't have any kids, it's going to be a bit harder for me to find a good usage for them, but maybe I'll track sales and travel? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Another page I'm eager to try and use this go around is the twelve boxes for goals page. I think I'll be using mine to write down business accomplishments for each month. So I'll have a nice little record of everything we got up to after the year is over.

One of my absolute favorite features of the new planner is the note section before each month. In year's past it has been just a lined note page, but this year it's broken up in a much more useful way. The four circles up top can be for goals or events to highlight for the upcoming month. There are two lined sections below it for projects and things to remember. And the box at the bottom of the page I'm going to use to put a few Polaroid Zip photos at the end of every month.

The colors of the monthly views seriously pop. It's such a drastic change for me coming back from the neutral that I'm blown away by the vibrancy. Plus they took away the "goals" sidebar and left it just as notes. A subtle touch that I'm a big fan of. 

As for the weekly view, things are basically the same from last year's EC to the new colorful vertical. The watercolor top section is gone and replaced with more of the petal details in the coordinating month colors. They've kept the gorgeous script font and I find the print quality to be so much better than last year. All the words are crisp and clean.

Another fun feature added to this planner pops up in the notes pages in the back of the planner. EC included a few coloring pages! Such a nice touch that'll come in handy when I'm out and about waiting for an appointment or something. 

Even the stickers in the back of the planner got an upgrade to more quality, interesting stickers. These are loads better than the old labels with pre-written items on them, but I must admit I'll miss the "I Voted" one.

If you're disappointed that those labels are gone, they still included two sheets of similar stickers after the decorative pages. I love that these have a white space to write things in rather than just a block of color.

The quality of the 2017-2018 is seriously impressive and I find myself grabbing for the planner just to flip through it again and stare at all the nice features. I can't wait to get my hands on the hourly as well since it's my other favorite layout that I switch back and forth between depending on how busy I feel.

I posted a full review and flip-through of the planner if you haven't gotten enough. Plus a full accessories highlight post will be coming your way tomorrow. Don't forget to use this link if you want to save $10 off your first Erin Condren purchase. Happy Launch Day!
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Urban Decay Cosmetics Meltdown Makeup Remover & Rehab Makeup Prep Collection

Urban Decay Cosmetics Meltdown & Rehab Prep Collection

Urban Decay Cosmetics Meltdown & Rehab Prep Collection

Urban Decay Cosmetics Meltdown & Rehab Prep Collection

Urban Decay Cosmetics Meltdown & Rehab Prep Collection

Urban Decay is one of those brands that it's easy to love. They have amazing makeup products, a huge range to choose from, and they're just edgy enough to make you feel like a bad ass. So when they launched their Meltdown Makeup Remover and Rehab Makeup Prep collections, I was all in.

It seems like a lot of makeup brands are getting into the skincare game lately and vice versa. I'm digging it. The packaging is seriously gorgeous and high quality. There are tons of products in these two ranges and a lot of them are serious winners. Here's the rundown.

Let's talk Meltdown Makeup Remover range first. My favorite of the range that I've tried has to be the Cleansing Oil Stick. It's literally what it says on the tin. It kind of looks like a deoderant stick of sorts that you rub all over your face, add a bit of water, and massage all your makeup away. First application felt weird and unnatural, but after I saw the results I got over that quickly. It removes face makeup with no trouble at all and nearly gets all of the eye makeup. Enough anyway to suit my fancy as I often double cleanse anyway. It doesn't really have a scent to it (which I prefer) and washes away to leave skin feeling clean and not grimy.

The Dissolving Spray is like my favorite setting spray from the brand, but in reverse. You spray it onto a cotton ball and gently wipe away makeup. This is a good first step before moving into the Cleansing Oil Stick as it really helps to move waterproof eye makeup. It's super gentle and also doesn't really have much of a scent to it. 

The Lip Oil Stick helps to remove any seriously on there lipsticks, lip stains, and anything in between. Plus it helps to moisturize the lips which I desperately need after a long day wearing a bold lip or a lip pencil. The packaging is well thought out and you get a load of product in the tiny glass container. Definitely something to have on hand if you often go for a darker or matte lip.

The Rehab Makeup Prep is where things get interesting. First up is the Pretty Gritty Skin Polish which literally looks like sand in the bottle. Once water is and it becomes a seriously impressive exfoliate that isn't too harsh on the sensitive parts of my skin. It helps clear away dead skin and any remaining grime from the day before. I tend to need a pretty solid moisturizer after it since I have pretty dry skin, but that's always the case with exfoliate or mask products.

The Pore Refining Peel has to be my favorite from the range since I've never used a peel mask before and am pretty much addicted now. You apply the product to any problem areas, leave for ten minutes, and peel off. You can literally see dirt and grime from pores coming off your face. Disgusting yet oh so satisfying. It's surprisingly quite gentle on the skin for a mask and doesn't leave my skin feeling sensitive or raw.

The Hot Springs Hydrating Gel is a lightweight moisturizer-esque product that adds hydration into the skin, but leaves a really nice base to add makeup on top. At first I thought for sure that meant a silicone feel that I literally detest in primers, but it isn't! It leaves a silky smooth finish without that weird velvety feel of silicone. Score. Paired with my favorite primer I can noticeably see my foundation applying better and leaving a smoother, more natural finish.

Lip Love is a seriously decadent lip moisturizer that makes me forget instantly all those years of using Vaseline as to not spend too much money. I was never one for a higher end lip balm, but this is really converting me. It feels so luxurious on the lips while smelling divine and adding a ton of moisture. The tube is made of really nice, sturdy plastic so everything will stay safe if you throw it into a purse or bag. I think I'll probably need five more tubes.

Overall the Urban Decay skincare range is seriously impressive. I'm always a bit hesitant when a brand launches into a new product category they weren't originally in, but UD does it with class and ease. It's like they've been doing it all along. The range is really well priced for a higher-end brand and comes in a handful of dollars cheaper than comparable brands like Origins. If I had to pick just a few things to try from the range I'd definitely recommend the Cleansing Oil Stick, Pore Refining Peel, and Lip Love. Now excuse me while I go wash my face...again.
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Life Lately

With me making it my mission to start taking more photographs, I'm hoping these posts become a lot more frequent. It's one of my favorite ways to catch up on what's been going on outside the normal topics I blog about. 

We recently released our first batch of postcards and honestly I made them mostly for myself. I've been an avid postcard enthusiast for years and it feels so cool to have our designs on little snail mail slices of heaven. I already have a long list of people I'm sending them too because I'm too damn proud. 

My sticker stash has gotten seriously out of hand lately so I recently destashed it to a fraction of what it was in a two part video series. Two parts. It was just that long. I'm so much happier with my collection now and I have stickers I actually use and enjoy using. Plus it means I can do a ton of giveaways on my Facebook page and Instagram over the next few months to give all my destash goodies to people who could actually use them. 

Honestly no Life Lately post would be complete without a photo of Tardis. He always hangs around when I'm taking blog photos so I basically take a new shot of him every week or so. He's too dang dapper for his own good. I mean I even made him his own Instagram for pete's sake. 

Alex has been playing around a lot with sublimation lately and although I've loved everything he's been creating, the onesie he made as a custom order blew my mind. It was his first attempt at an all-over sublimation and it turned out amazing. The colors are so impressive and I can't believe just how far he's come in only a few months of sublimating. We're hard at work expanding into makeup bags and pencil cases and I'm heart-eye emoji-ing on a daily basis.

Over the weekend my sister got married! Although she's having her official wedding on a cruise we're taking at the end of May, they had the legal ceremony a month before with just family in attendance but of course I had to vlog it. Alex became ordained for the ordeal so he could preform the ceremony for them and I thought he did an amazing, thoughtful job. They wrote their own vows and Kristy used an Erin Condren card I gave her as a gift from my wedding. It was just a really nice night.

There's been so much going on over here lately that I'm glad for these posts to catch you guys up on things you may not have seen or known about. Plus they're always fun for me to look back on too. Win win.
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If You Wish You Had More Time for Something, Make Time

I've been thinking about this a lot lately on a personal level and figured if I'm experiencing it, I'm sure someone else is too. You hear it all the time about going to the gym and getting healthy, but "making the time" should be applied to a lot more than just working out.

I seriously enjoy photography. I love the challenge of setting up a shot, making sure the lighting is right, and capturing a moment in the exact way I've envisioned it. Even when the photo doesn't work out and I have to start over, it's exciting to see if I can accomplish it. Every time I pull out the camera to take blog photos I think, "Man, I should do this more often." And I should.

Whether you're actually busy or just feel that way, if you wish you had more time to do something, you can make the time. Watch one less episode on Netflix or skip watching Buzzfeed recipe videos on Instagram. Carve out a chunk of time in your schedule every week that's uninterrupted of other things, even if it's just for thirty minutes. There's always a way to squeeze out a few extra minutes in a day or a week to do something that brings you joy.

So I'm going to work on taking the time to do more photography. Flat-lay photography is kind of my thing, but I don't want to be a one-trick pony. I want to push myself to try new methods, new subjects, and new environments. I remember the first few weeks when I picked up a camera. I hadn't a clue what I was doing for high school newspaper class, but I took photos of anything and everything. Sure a lot of them were of flowers, but you have to start somewhere.

So this is your reminder to do more of the things you love. Knit more. Read more. Bake more. Sing more. Whatever it is that gives your life passion and excitement. Do more of it.
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