There’s just something about September that always makes it the fast month of the year for me. It doesn’t help that I always pack tons of things into it as the weather finally cools off and I find myself with a newfound sense of motivation (that motivation is now completely gone by the way).
If you want to hear all my verbal thoughts on these favorites, there’s a video to accompany this post at the bottom of the page. Now let’s dive in, shall we?
Beauty goes first because it only feels right. September was the month of a rekindled effort to get better at contouring. The only contouring product I happen to have is the NYX Contour Palettewhich I purchased when it came out a good year or so ago. Luckily the second shade on the bottom right does a decent enough trick as the rest are just too dark or orange-toned for my pale skin. It has been fun though trying to figure it all out, having some days where I look absolutely crazy and other days were you couldn’t even tell I did anything.
The Real Techniques Expert Face Brush has become my contour brush of choice since its thickly packed bristles make sure product is going where I want it to and not all over my face. The contour addiction is growing stronger as I have my eye on the pricey Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powders. Cheaper alternatives are needed so pop them in the comments.
My concealer routine has also gotten a bit of a shake-up this month as I’ve tested out a few new products. The IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealing Pot* has been the most intriguing because as soon as I got past the first layer of product, it completely changed. It went from somewhat stiff and dry to a totally different product. Now it’s much more slippery, hydrating, and seems like a great concealer for winter months where I’ll need something with more moisture as my skin feels like it’s going to flake off into dry bits. A pretty picture I know.
It felt about time again to repeat my absolute love and affection for MAC Cosmetic’s “Twig” Lipstick. I make a point to bring it up every other month or so because it’s by far my favorite lipstick. The perfect brownish mauve that looks so flattering on the lips without causing a fuss or being too out there. It’s such a wearable shade and I have to convince myself to give my other lipsticks some attention it’s just that good.
Planning wise September has been all about traveler’s notebooks. I have a few posts on the topic already so I won’t go into too much detail, but I finally get the hype. Plus I desperately needed something to keep my gorgeous Oh, Hello notebooks safe in. Now they’re safely wrapped up in leathery goodness and I feel so posh whenever I bring out my setup. A full look through will be coming soon.
Through my traveler’s notebook adventures I’ve discovered another usage for the Erin Condren skinny sticky notes. I like to cut the bottom quarter off so they’ll fit into my notebooks to use them as to do lists on top of my to do lists. No lie. They’re great for writing out photography shot lists or videos I want to get done so I’m not taking up a ton of space on the daily page in my notebook. There’s a close up of what I’m talking about in the video.
September also marked one year of being married to Alex and I’m still baffled it’s been an entire year already. I must be getting old. Plus the darling Gallifrey came into our lives this month and I still can’t get over him. Instagram can’t either.
With October just around the corner, it’s definitely time to start talking about 2018 planners. I’m already prepping for my “What Planner to Choose for 2018” series, but when this beauty landed on my doorstep it felt only right to give it its own feature on the site.
I’ve always loved the simplicity of the Ashley Shelly planner* while still having a ton of really clever, well thought out features. There are so many little details that really make this planner interesting. It’s designed with working women in mind and there are a lot of elements throughout that reflect that inspiration.
The thick, hard cover seems capable of standing up against a year’s worth of wear and tear. The entire planner measures about 7.25×9.25 so it’s a fairly standard size. On the inside cover there’s a handy pocket to store papers and important documents. A pocket is a must for me in a planner. It’s when you don’t have one that you realize how often you need to tuck a small piece of paper somewhere so you don’t lose it. There’s also a sheet of icon stickers in the planner’s color scheme. A nice touch, but I do wish they gave a bit more thought to the icon choices or created a more “fun” sheet.
There’s also a clear PVC pocket in the front that I somehow neglected to photograph. What a professional operation I’m running over here.
The edges of the cover are reinforced with metal so they won’t get dinged up easily over time. But my absolute favorite feature of Ashley Shelly planners is such a small detail. The corners are perforated so you can rip them off when you’re done with a section. Every page has one so over the year you’ll be able to quickly find your spot without the need of a bookmark. Clever.
The planner has the standard features you begin to expect in agendas. There’s a yearly overview page so you can stare at how fast time is passing while trying to figure out the best day for a dentist appointment in a future you have no clue about.
The monthly view is simple, but there are convenient lines to make jotting things down easy and fuss free.
Before each weekly page is a motivational spread to help you reset your mind and gear up for the next month ahead. I love this addition because it makes the planner seem more personal and interested in the user (without being creepy).
It reminds me a lot of the Erin Condren note pages while being more guided and exact. Although I love the freedom of the EC pages to do whatever I want, this helps to focus on certain areas without having to come up with them on my own. It’s a hub of sorts for all the information you need for the month ahead.
The weekly pages tie in the monthly word at the top of each page so you can keep it in mind as the month progresses. Each day there are eight slots for meetings and event information with a place to write in the time. The right side of each day has six to do list spots, a due today section, and a dinner section. I personally love the limited to do slots because it really makes you think about what’s most important for the day without overloading yourself with random to do items.
For a working gal planner, this layout makes a lot of sense. Plenty of room to jot down meetings and appointments with space for a few important items to get done. It’s thoughtful without having unnecessary bells and whistles you just don’t need in a work planner.
My biggest concern with this planner has always been the price. It’s $49.95 before shipping on the website and that leaves me a bit worried about just how simple it really is. Erin Condren planners start off in that range as well, but you can customize their covers and add more of a personal element. Although I really think this planner would work great for a lot of working women or people looking for a more simplistic planner, I don’t think the price really matches up with the product. $30 seems much more reasonable.
But I’ve been known to shell out my fair share of cash for planning supplies I know are just perfect for me. So if this planner is going to make you more organized with deadlines at work, it’s definitely worth it. Planning is such a personal experience and I know countless working gals that this planner would suit immensely.
What do you think about the Ashley Shelly planners? Worth the price?
When I decided to finally take the plunge into the world of traveler’s notebooks, I had no idea the jumbled, confusing mess I was getting myself into. Traveler’s notebooks are so customizable that it’s hard to really get a grasp on the what’s what of it all if you’re just getting started. So in today’s video (at the bottom of this post) I’m trying to tackle the basics and I’ll hash it out here if you want even more goodness.
So first things first, sizing. It feels like there’s literally every size under the sun that you can choose from, but it’s definitely best to poke around and see what’s available in sizes you’re interested in. Some sizes have a lot more inserts and products available for them than others so if you want to save yourself headaches later, stick to some of the popular ones. I used Foxy Fix’s and Chic Sparrow’sguide references to help me decide which one to go with. Honestly I really recommend the A6 size. It’s not too small or too big, has tons of inserts available, and fits in all sorts of purses. Plus we make seriously adorable notebooks for them so I’m totally biased.
Picking a size is difficult, but deciding on a cover is probably the hardest part. There are so many shops out there to choose from. There are fabric cover shops as well as leather ones. And the prices can vary drastically. So if you aren’t sure whether or not this is just a planner phase, don’t splurge for any of the bells and whistles and stick to the basics. This is the one I went for.
Once you get size and cover out of the way things get a lot easier and more fun. Now it’s all about the inserts and dashboards. I’ve been eyeing Sew Much Crafting and Yellow Paper House for actual planner inserts, but for now I’m sticking to dot grid notebooks for to do lists and such. It all depends on what you want to use your notebook for. As for dashboards, it’s all about the DIY. I snagged some of these dashboard inserts from Chic Sparrow so I can change out scrapbooking paper to suit my mood and the season.
I also finally understand the true purpose of die cut stickers. My extensive collection of The Novel Coffee die cutsare making themselves right at home in my dashboards and on my notebooks. A super easy way to add even more of a personal touch to things. LOVE IT.
I’m still getting the hang of this whole traveler’s notebook thing, but this is what I’ve uncovered so far. Definitely leave recommendations and suggestions in the comments!
Although Michigan seems to have not gotten the autumn memo yet, my brain is officially in fall mode. Despite having a to do list a mile long there are still five things I want to squeeze in as the days get a bit colder.
Eat my weight in cinnamon sugar doughnuts specifically from a local farm. I’ve heard rumor that the west side of Michigan is packed with places to go. Now I just have to decide on a place, or three.
Nothing says fall to me like getting lost in a corn maze. I’ll skip the spooky ones as I like my mazes on the scare-free side of things, but it’s so fun to get lost for a little bit. Plus they’re always designed in such cool shapes and usually include a puzzle or two.
While I’m shoving my face full of doughnuts, it’ll be nice to balance it all out by eating an apple fresh from the tree. This is a tradition Alex and I find ourselves doing regardless of our busy schedules. There’s just something about wandering around and picking that perfect apple to take a big bite out of.
So I realize a lot of my fall goals orbit around food, but I know who I am. I also would love to drink so many chai tea lattes with pumpkin spice that I end up turning a weird shade of orange because of it. Chai tea with pumpkin is by far more superior to the average pumpkin spiced latte. If you haven’t tried it, you need to.
I would also love to by one or five new chunky sweaters. I still have a few that I’ve owned for almost eight years now and it feels about time for a refresh. A nice grey or a beige would send my autumn loving heart a flutter.
What are some fall traditions that you just can’t get enough of?
There’s just something about fall that has new products plopping down on my doorstep. Summer always feels like a dormant beauty time for me as more often than not the makeup just slides off my face anyway. But makeup is finally not sweating off mere minutes after stepping outside so it’s now all about the new kids on the block. There are quite a few new goodies I’ve been testing out lately so this post is more of a heads up of upcoming rants or raves.
The best first, right? Anything IT Cosmetics sends my way I basically swoon to death over and these new launches are still giving me heart palpitations. The Miracle Water* is in quite the battle with my all time favorite Body Shop Vitamin E Toner so only time will truly tell which one comes out on top. The packaging is to die for and I’m obsessed with just how much product you get.
Influenster just recently sent me the new L’Oréal Pure Clay Cleanser* and I haven’t even opened the tube yet to have any thoughts on the matter beyond excitement. I’ve always loved a good ol’ fashion clay mask product so I’m curious to see how it works in cleanser form. Plus Influenster always seems to come through with some really cool free products so definitely go sign up.
There’s already a full post in the schedule as to whether or not “healthy” deodorants are effective and worth the extra few dollars. Testing out the Lavanilla Deodorant* has left me with a lot of mixed feelings on the whole subject that definitely deserves a good long, rambling post.
Along with the clay cleanser, Influenster sent along the Pure-Clay Mask* for review as well. Is it normal to be pumped to try something out based on the color alone? It seems like L’Oréal is trying to step up their game by adding some quality and substance to their packaging. It really feels like gone are the days of a huge divide between drugstore and high end. It’s kind of a muddy mix now.
Now the Secret Sauce* has treated me well thus far, but I still can’t decide if it’s worth the hefty price tag. Skincare products always take a bit longer for a full test out anyway since I want to see if there’s a true difference made in the look and appearance of my skin. I’ve loved what I’ve seen from this stuff so far, but I’m still balking at the price tag. I’ll let you know soon enough if you should start saving your pennies.
Let me know in the comments if there’s a product in particular you really want a review on!