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


January Favorites

January has to be my favorite month for favorites. Christmas gifts get dug into, the new year brings a new start, and I find myself with more time to do basically anything. So there are a TON of products this month that I'm downright loving.

Let's start with board games as they've become a full blown obsession in our household as of late. Bad day? Buy a board game. Good day? Buy a board game. The two we've been loving are Sushi Go Party and Photosynthesis. They're possibly the farthest from each other two board games can be. Sushi Go is a deck passing game where you're trying to score points for getting different types of sushi. Photosynthesis is all about growing trees. I'll be doing a full review video and blog post later this week, so I'll save all the details until then. Spoiler: it's amazeballs.

The Oh, Hello traveler's notebooks are taking over my life as we prep for their launch at the end of February. They're better than I could have ever expected and I've been snapping photos of them like crazy for weeks. Here's hoping the world loves them just as much as I do!

Of course I had to include my 2017 photo book in my favorites because you know just how obsessed I am. It's a serious issue. Pretty sure my 2018 book is going to be three times as large with how many photos I've already collected for it.

The 52 Lists Project book I got for Christmas has been getting put to use this month and I'm loving it. It's like a journal without the pressure of trying to write everyday. Plus it's been fun asking Alex the prompts and seeing his answers. My only problem with it is that I want to jump ahead and fill the whole thing out in one go.

 If you've been keeping up with my YouTube videos lately then you would have seen my new favorite way to wear my hair all thanks to my new Curling Iron. This is one of the best amazon purchases I've made in a long time (minus the 1920s flapper dress headed its way to me as I type this). It's such a high quality iron for the price and produces the most perfect, bouncy waves.

I forgot to include my new Target Bag in these photos, but I'll be doing a full post about it (and what's in my bag) next week. It's a gorgeous professional looking bag that has tons of storage space.

As for beauty bits I've been obsessed with the DERMA E Anti-Wrinkle Scrub. Still not 100% sure how the anti-wrinkle aspect comes in, but this is an amazing exfoliant that's still super gentle on my sensitive skin. It has little apricot seeds in it to help message away the dirt and grime from my skin without being harmful to the environment like those little exfoliant beads used to be. Win.

I've rediscovered the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue and can't remember why I stopped using it daily in the first place. It's the most dewy finish base around and beats out the IT Cosmetics CC cream in glow factor. It's super hydrating on the skin, but is just a tad too dark for my pale winter skin. Nothing a beauty blender and some seriously blending down the neck can't fix though!

After a huge debate I finally purchased the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder near the end of last year and I'm so happy (and still a little sticker shocked) with my purchase. It's the best sculpting/contour powder I've found for my skin tone. Literally everything else I've tried looks way too orange on the skin. This does have a hint of orange, but the grey brown shades stand out a whole lot more making this one amazing contour. 

The It Cosmetics Perfect Lighting Magic Wand has been an active part of my daily makeup routine as of late because of its ability to bring light back to my under eyes. Poor things are always dark and gloomy, but this helps to brighten everything up and make me look less like a vampire.

I walk you through all of these favorites in today's video. Plus take a peek at the bag that I'll be raving about next week.
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How A Blog Can Land You a Real Job

How A Blog Can Land You a Real Job

Still on the fence about whether or not blogging is for you? What if I told you that I've landed TONS of real, legit jobs because of my blog? From my marketing position at the University of Michigan to my various freelance jobs, my blog is a huge factor that sets me apart from other applicants. Your blog could help you land jobs.

  • Your blog will show consistency and dedication for something that you aren't required to do. It shows that you're dedicated to projects you pick up and can stick with something. A lot of employers want to know that if they hire you, you won't just abandon ship a few months later. A blog gives them piece of mind.
  • A blog shows that you're self starting and do things without being told to. You're a go-getter rather than sitting around waiting to be told to do certain tasks.
  • Plus a lot of employers would love the chance to see writing skills. A blog is an archive of your work so they're able to see your voice, editing skills, and writing style. All things that'll help you land the job above someone else.
  • Without really knowing it, employers will also see that you're responsive to comments which shows that you'll be great at responding to emails and others in a timely manner. They'll see you can run something all on your own.
  • Depending on what job you're trying to land, your blog will also show photography skills. A lot of creative jobs want you to be good at SO MANY THINGS. A blog is a great representation of everything you know. Social media skills, how to use platforms online, and how to take good photos. 
So polish up that old blog of yours or start a new one. The subject matter really doesn't matter to employers just as long as it shows just how amazing you are. Other applicants won't have this secret up their sleeves when applying for the same jobs.
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Planner Giveaway

I'm lucky enough to get sent quite a few planners to review. Since I'm only one person with only so many plans, I'm giving this Ashley Shelly planner to one of you! The giveaway is open internationally to anyone over 18-years-old who loves a good planner!

Good luck!
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How to Work From Home and Actually Get Stuff Done

How to Work From Home and Actually Get Stuff Done

Ironically enough I've procrastinated a bit on writing this post. Definitely NOT how to work from home and get things done. Do as I say and not as I do, right?! But in all seriousness, working from home is not all it's cracked up to be. Sure pajama days are frequent, but getting stuff done takes some serious focus and planning. And when there are adorable cats to be pet, it's even harder. So here's how to work from home and crack out that to do list at the same time.

  • Give yourself deadlines. It's so easy to slack and procrastinate on things if you're the one in charge of them, so give yourself deadlines and stick with them. I have new release deadlines, video deadlines, and tons of others to make sure I'm not watching Netflix all day.
  • Have a designated work space or area that you like to work in. I muddle this a bit since I enjoy working from bed so much, but I still have a designated desk space I go to when things get serious. This also helps to separate work from home life (something I'm eternally struggling with)
  • Have an end time so you aren't working from morning to night. It's important to live a regular life even though you work from home. Go outside, have a non-work related hobby, see friends. Plus if you know when your work day is over, then you know when you can tackle that pile of laundry or the dishes in the sink. It's so easy to get swept away by those things during the work day, so having an end time gives you a clear separation between work and home.
  • Take breaks throughout the day so you don't go stir crazy. This is a lot easier when you have a "real" job because they're assigned to you. I always try to take at least 30 minutes at lunch and another 30 in the afternoon to help get me through until 7pm when I stop working.
  • Figure out a routine for your average work week so there is consistency in your life and you have scheduled time for certain activities. This will help make sure you get everything you need to done because there will be a set time for everything. On Mondays I like to do orders, Tuesdays are for videos and blogging bits, and so on. This helps me to know generally what to expect every week so I can tweak it if there are meetings or events.

If you can work from home, definitely do it. It's completely changed my working life and if I can avoid going back to a desk job, I will. It comes with it's own challenges, but it's worth every single one.

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How to Find Your Planning Style

How to Find Your Planning Style

The planning world can be quite daunting whether you're new or have been planning for ages. Finding a planning style with all the options can seem a bit troublesome and I've tried my fair share. Here are my five tips to helping figure out what style will work best for you.

  1. Figure out what styles interest you. Are you attracted to no white space planning, bullet journals, color coding, lists, memory keeping? Write down every style you are remotely interested in.
  2. Try out all the styles you're interested in without spending any money. Print off mock planner spreads online, get an empty sheet of paper to try bullet journaling, and give everything a go. This will help you get a sense of what you actually like to do before investing money into it.
  3. Once you've narrowed things down to planning styles you're likely to adopt, watch videos and look at inspiration. That way you'll see the full range of what that particular style has to offer before taking the financial plunge.
  4. Start small with purchasing supplies and try to choose things that could be used in other planning styles if your interests change in the future. Try and DIY some of the more expensive materials when getting started just in case you aren't 100% positive.
  5. Consider combining some of the styles that interest you together to make a hybrid planning style. Maybe keep a notebook for daily list making and a planner for memory keeping. Or use a traveler's notebook to bullet journal while having color coded lists. A hybrid planning style is most likely the answer, but you have to figure out what you want to mix together first.

I talk more about these five points in today's video!
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Why You Should Make a Year in Review Photo Book

Why You Should Make a Year in Review Photo Book

It's not too late to make a year in review photo book of everything you got up to last year. I got my butt in gear and whipped together a book at the start of the year and I've already started making plans for my 2018 in review to be even better. There are a ton of reasons why you should take a few hours out of your day to gather all the photos from the last year and put them together.

Why You Should Make a Year in Review Photo Book

  1. The age of photo albums is dying. Some of my best memories with family are flipping through old photo albums, learning about our history, and hearing stories. Soon there won't be a time when family gathers around albums to talk share memories. I don't want our future kids to miss out on seeing the early years of their parents.
  2. It's a great way to reflect on everything that has happened in the past year. I have the hardest time celebrating the small victories, so putting them all into a book is a fantastic way to make sure to celebrate everything.
  3. If you tend to keep concert tickets and other memorabilia, you can add a pocket to the back of the book and stash all those little papers you've collected throughout the year.
  4. You can add in travel photos so you don't feel like you have to have a whole separate book or scrapbook to document the adventure. 
  5. I'm awful at scrapbooking. Plus the time commitment is just too much. This makes the whole process way easier.
I ordered my book through Shutterfly, but there are tons of options out there and coupons constantly. I've started a folder on my computer to pop in any photos from this year that I want to include in the next book. That way, twelve months from now I'm not trying to scrounge together photos.

I've already convinced my sister to make should too!
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Hunting for makeup inspiration

Yesterday's post was all about quitting this blogging thing since it didn't work out like I had hoped. Of course if you read that post then you know I'm still sticking around these parts. And yet my makeup inspiration has up and left me. Irony. Vowing to stay and keep fighting the good fight, yet having no inspiration for the thing that started it all.

It happens. Definitely if you're a beauty addict who's trying to cut back on the excessive shop-o-holic spending of her youth. If I had an unlimited beauty budget and no mortgage to pay I'm sure this would be a completely different post. But responsibilities make you more thoughtful in your purchases. And a lot less fun.

So I'm on the hunt for inspiration. I've got the itch to check out the drugstore makeup aisles again so any recommendations would be serious help. I haven't ventured down those aisles in years, so I don't even know where to start. Plus let me know where you find makeup inspo when you're feeling like you've been doing the same-old-same-old for much too long.

Thanks for all your sage wisdom!

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On Quitting

I started this blog in 2013 after having various blogs for five years before that. I had these cliche dreams of making it big in the beauty world, quitting my day job, and travelling around the world taking glamour shots on amazing trips. That's what all the big beauty bloggers were doing and I wanted to be just like them. This photo was taken a few days before I started this blog back in 2013. I had lofty dreams, ambitions, and far-fetched goals.

Fast forward five years and here I am. Not YouTube famous, not blog famous. My unrealistic dreams did not come true. And you know what? I'm still not quitting.

Sure I didn't become a fast success and the source for all things beauty. But I did become a much better writer, photographer, and content promoter than if I had never started this blog. MicroscopeBeauty and gotten me countless "real" jobs even if it hasn't sky-rocketed me to internet fame. It's also taught me to fight for everything I want. Starting a blog and throwing up a few posts isn't going to give you internet stardom. I've worked hard for every single like, follow, and comment I've gotten in the past five years.

This blog has been here for me through a lot of life changes. Starting Oh, Hello, getting married, quitting my "real" job to follow (another) silly dream. It'd be so easy to up and quit just because it didn't give to me what I wanted it to. But it's given me so much more instead.

Of course I'd love to get a call from some makeup brand whisking me away to Iceland or somewhere equally crazy. But I'm also happy being here, in bed, in my pajamas, doing the same thing I've done the past half decade. Because sometimes things don't work out like you hope they would, but they become something else entirely.

The girl in this photo didn't know what the next five years had in store for her, but I'm pretty sure if she did, she wouldn't have changed a thing.

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The Best Concealers for Every Problem

The Best Concealers for Every Problem

I collect concealers like I collect lipsticks. In absurd quantities. It's a constant battle keeping them all contained to one drawer in my makeup storage. But the obsession and subsequent culling efforts have led me to many great concealer discoveries for every problem my face likes to throw my way.

The Best Concealers for Every Problem

The bane of my existence and my most frequent problem. Depending on the amount of sleep I've gotten the night before, I tackle them with one or a combination of concealers. My go to is the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer since it's light weight, doesn't crease under the eyes, and lasts the bulk of my day. If that's jut not cutting it or if I'm looking for a bit more radiance, I add on the It Cosmetics Perfect Lighting Concealer in "Radiant Neutral". It leaves a much more dewy finish on the skin without looking shiny or drawing too much attention to my under eye area.

The Best Concealers for Every Problem

If my skin is being particularly dry and flaking, I reach for the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout in "Light" because it doesn't dry out my skin or look cakey. It's full coverage in the sense that it conceals any redness without looking awkward or obvious. In the warmer months I'll go for Urban Decay's All Nighter Waterproof Full Coverage Concealer since it's a bit drier on the skin. If you tend to have more oily skin this would be a great option all year round.

The Best Concealers for Every Problem

If there are any dull or dark patches on my face It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealing Pot is the unlikely solution. It's just too shiny under my eyes, but does wonders at cancelling out any dull spots by adding a nice radiance to the skin. It's super light weight, slippery almost in application. It doesn't have the greatest staying power, but does the trick for a handful of hours.

The Best Concealers for Every Problem

Do-it-all concealers just don't really exist, but if you're in the market for an all-around good concealer to tackle most of your problems, Urban Decay's Naked Skin Concealer or Kat Von D's Lock-It Concealer are both very comparable. The Kat Von D one finishes a bit drier on the skin while I find myself putting the Urban Decay offering all over my face on days I can't be bothered with more than one concealer (read: most days). It also seems to last a lot longer than all the other concealers in my collection. Plus it's the only one I've repurchased twice.

I'd love to hear your concealer recommendations for a gal with dry skin and pain in the butt dark circles. Send them my way!
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Everything I've Learned from Fellow Planner Addicts

Everything I've Learned from Fellow Planner Addicts

The planner community has changed a lot since I picked up my first Erin Condren Life Planner three years ago. There are so many groups, events, and styles of planning being shared that you can find any advice or inspiration that you're looking for. I've learned quite a lot over the years from my fellow planning gals.

  • No white space planning is gorgeous, but definitely  not for me
  • How to layer stickers on top of each other like the boss that I am
  • My monthly view can be used both for planning ahead, but also memory keeping
  • Happy mail makes everything better. And surprise happy mail is even more powerful
  • When you find a pen you love, don't share it, lend it, or have less than 10 backups of it
  • No two planner addicts plan the same way
  • Swag bags are essential for a successful event
  • They're almost always aspiring girl bosses. They're always bad asses
  • It's ok to change your planning style. Again and again and again
  • Most of us our introverts, but that doesn't stop us from attending planner meetups
  • Hording. Hording pens, hording stickers, hording Target Dollar Spot treasures
  • We make planning work for us no matter what we do or who we are
  • How to organize planning supplies to make it look like there isn't an obvious problem when there most definitely is (see the point about hording)
  • How to be kind and share the love through RAKs, good deeds, and friendship
The planner community has a spot for everyone. I'm constantly making new friends, finding new trends, and falling even farther down the planner rabbit hole. It's pretty dang great isn't it?

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My Biggest Organizational Tip

Don't wait for a mess. Declutter constantly. 

It's really just that simple. If I see a drawer or closet start to get out of hand, I don't wait for "spring cleaning" or a day where I suddenly feel inspired to clean my entire house of its junk. I just do it. I'm constantly opening up cabinets, tossing a few things, and shutting it again. It makes my house feel so much lighter than letting the stuff I no longer have a want or need for weight it down.

I'm sure there's a space in your home that could use a good reorganize. Give yourself 30 minutes today to tackle it. Even if it's just getting rid of anything you have no use for anymore. Just doing that will bring about a world of difference before you even start to organize what you have left.

Sure I love a good spring clean, but I also love a good any-day-of-the-week clean. Give it a shot!
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How “going with the flow” has helped my business grow

How “going with the flow” has helped my business grow

I have the pleasure of speaking at an upcoming planner conference in Chicago next month. Let's ignore the fact that I'm nervous beyond belief and not quite sure why I thought this whole thing was a good idea in the first place. Introvert nerves already flaring. Alex and I have been working on the speech and it's really had me thinking a lot about Oh, Hello. 

Anyone in real life would tell you I'm not the most flexible of humans. I like things a certain way and often have trouble when my perfectly stickered plans go array. Yet when it's come to my business, I've somehow managed to go with the flow. And I'm pretty positive that's the only reason we've been remotely successful. That and my husband's ridiculous ability to take changes, make mistakes, and get messy (I'm looking at you Ms. Frizzle).

Let's talk facts. Literally day one Oh, Hello had to adapt. I started the business thinking I'd make greeting cards. Then the idea of making stickers came knocking and Alex eagerly answered. As for me, I just wanted more stickers so if I had to make them myself I was game. Barely days old and suddenly my little business became something else completely. If I didn't go with the flow, Oh, Hello would have bed dead shortly after it's creation.

Now I'm still not the most open to change, but nothing good that's happened to me has happened because I stayed the same. And sure a lot of things haven't worked out. We bought way too many Darice sticker books thinking the trend would last, and it most definitely has not. That's a side-effect of taking risks.

Alex and I have learned to say yes a lot. Yes to new opportunities. Yes to new challenges. Yes to letting things go that didn't work like we had hoped. Yes to new...anything. Alex said yes to businesses wanting their branding on some of our products and now Oh, Hello Promo exists. I could write countless blog posts bragging about that boy's client list (IBM, Comcast!?!).

So I may not be the most flexible person in my every day life, but I try every day to be as flexible as possible in my work life. You never know what might happen, but you have to be open to the idea that it could end up terribly, or better yet, wonderful.
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How to Build a Family Calendar

Considering it's just me and Alex in our household, you would think we would have a fairly good grasp on what the other person is getting up to. Yet time and time again we find ourselves double booked. So this year I'm implementing a family calendar into our routine to avoid this missteps in planning. Here are the steps I took to set ours up that could work for you and your family to get more organized.

Of course the first thing you have to do is pick a calendar to use. The one I'm using from Bloom Daily Planners is frustratingly out of stock and I definitely should have checked before filming a whole video featuring it. Rookie mistake. I'm also a big fan of the Erin Condren Wall Calendar because of its handy pocket and giant sheet of stickers. Any calendar will really do though depending on your needs.

Next gather all the information you want to put on the calendar, but make sure it's things that at least one other person in your family needs to know about. So stuff like doctor appointments, class activities, travel, evening meetings, and so on. Plus while you're gathering all of that info, don't forget to round up less frequent event information you don't want to double book on accident. This includes things like weddings, six month teeth cleanings, and other stuff that you schedule so far in advance they can often get forgotten as time goes on.

If you have a larger family than just two people then I definitely recommend color coding. Either give each person a color or give event categories their own so that at quick glance you'll be able to see who and what is happening when.

Then put the calendar somewhere that everyone in your family has access to it so they can feel part of the planning process. Keep it low for younger kids and in a public space so that every day it's seen. And then update it often. Add new events, update it with changes of times, and keep it a living, breathing addition to the family. Add stickers, photos and momentos, and other fun elements to keep it engaging and something the whole family wants to look at.

As the year goes along, write down accomplishments and important things that have happened for different members of your family. That way as the year comes to an end, you'll have tons of information for you holiday letter, yearly photo book, or just as a keepsake of what everyone got up to that year.

I share all of these steps in today's YouTube video if you want more commentary on the whole process, but I'm excited to put my family calendar into action. Plus who doesn't love another excuse to use stickers?

Do you have a family calendar? How do you keep up with tons of activities for different members of your household?

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How to Create a Blog Post | My Blogging Process

How to Create a Blog Post

If starting up a blog is a goal for 2018 or you've had one for a while, it's always interesting to see how other people create and maintain their blog. Although I've been blogging for ten years I still find myself eagerly clicking on any post that contains blogging advice. So I thought it time to share my not-so-complicated pretty-straight-forward blogging process.

Before doing anything I always hunt around for inspiration for blogging topics. Ten years is a long time and a lot of posts so inspiration is key to keep things going. My favorite way to find inspiration is to look in genres that aren't related to what I like to blog about. It keeps things interesting, makes sure I'm not unintentionally copying, and always cultivates more exciting ideas. Instagram, Bloglovin', and magazines are my usual resources, but I try to keep myself as open as possible to new ideas whenever they may strike.

When a new blog post idea does hit me, I write it down in a notebook if I'm out and about. Then I always make sure to write out my thoughts in a word document so I don’t forget the premise of the blog post if I don’t write it for a few weeks. It's definitely not glamorous, but it makes writing a post so much easier if I already have all the talking points written down when the ideas are fresh.

Google Calendar is my favorite tool for blog post content scheduling. Although I'm a tangible planner girl at heart, Google makes it so easy to switch things around if plans change. Any new blog post ideas get a tentative spot in Google so I have a rough idea of when each post is going live.

Next is photos. I talk about my photo taking process a lot on the blog so if you want more information check out these posts, but I always make sure to take vertical and horizontal photo options. I like to alternate my photographs to keep the front page of my blog more engaging and certain photos work better with certain orientations.

By the time I get to the writing part of my posts, I basically already have it done. With my notes and photos as a guide, it's mostly just adding in links and making sure I'm not super boring! I'll either publish the post right away or schedule it to go up later. Then it's social media and post promotion to get as many people to see it as I can.

I'd love to hear your blogging process to see if there are any ideas I can adopt to make mine more efficient! Leave your thoughts in the comments!
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Planner Plans

A planner girl has to have her plans right? The new year has this weird unspoken way of making things seem new and fresh even if the only thing that's really changed is the date on the calendar. Regardless of the reasoning though I'm in full swing motivation mode and getting my planner in shape for the year ahead.

So my planner plans this year are quite similar to what I have done in the past, but with a key few shakeups along the way. The twelve box spread at the front of my Erin Condren Life Planner is more important to me than ever and Alex has even seen the value of it (He asked me to never stop doing it!). Every time an accomplishment or event happens for our two businesses, I write it down here. I started this habit for the last six months of 2017 and it had amazing spirit boosting results. It's so easy to get caught up in the every day stuff that we don't celebrate or successes along the way. Now we definitely will since they're all in one place. My month stickers are of course from my shop and I coordinate each month's color theme to the month sticker for a little added continuity.

I did gratitude journaling on and off in 2017 but I want to make it more of a focus in 2018. I started the Erin Condren version of a Gratitude Journal at the start of the year and still am not 100% sure if I like the different prompts from day to day, but I'm giving it the honest planner girl try.

This year I'm also starting up a family calendar to help Alex and I stay on the same page about upcoming events. More info (and a video!) on how I'm doing this soon!

I'm sure in true planner addict fashion I'll continue to switch things up here and there along the way, but this year has already started out on a strong foot and my planner setup has already made things so much easier (and a whole lot more reflective too).

What planner plans do you have for 2018?

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Sky Organics Bubble Box Subscription Review

Sky Organics Bubble Box Subscription Review

Baths are reserved in our household for very special occasions. Alex and I both enjoy a good bath, but we don't just pop in the tub any old day. I particularly like to make an event out of the whole thing. Candles, bubbles, and a whole evening with nothing planned. So when the first Sky Organics Bubble Box Subscription* landed on my doorstep a month ago, it's safe to say I was pretty jazzed about the whole ordeal. I've now had the pleasure of receiving two boxes and am here to report back on all the bubbly goodness. Get your credit cards ready because you definitely need this subscription in your life. And better yet, the past boxes are still available for purchase.

Twinkle Twinkle is the first of the two boxes and packed with four different bath time treats. There's a Pumpkin Apple Butter Bath Bomb packed with everything you love about autumn and I must say I for sure need this with winter raging hard outside my window. There's also a Candy Apple Bath Bomb that's super rich with a hint of caramel. My favorite of the box is the Oatmeal Milk & Honey Bubble Scoop because it looks just like ice cream! Tons of bubbles that are super silky and left my skin feeling so smooth. Alex is most excited about the Peppermint Shower Steamer. Pop this on the floor while you shower for seriously peppermint aromas. 

January's box theme is Champagne and has some serious love vibes. There's a Lavender Champagne Bath Bomb and a Love Potion Mini Bath Bomb. Plus a Strawberry Shake Bubble Scoop and a Lavender Luxury Shower Steamer. All of the light, citrus scents are really going to lift my spirits as I keep my sights on spring. This box is so unlike the first one which keeps the subscription interesting from month to month. I love that the item types stay the same, but the scents are so different.

Sky Organics Bubble Box Subscription Review

I've tried quite a few of the different bath bombs and scoops so far and love just how rich the bubbles are, how soft my skin feels afterward, and just how good they all smell. I left a few in our guest bathroom to tempt any guests to get a little luxurious and have a bath. Now I'm sure they'll never want to you might now want to do this if you have any unwanted inlaws poking around.

Sky Organics Bubble Box Subscription is $16.95 a month with the auto renew option making each of the four items around $4.25 each. That's about half the price of a lot of LUSH products available that do basically the same thing. Plus it's delivered to my door every month and I don't have to hunt down a LUSH store or make online orders? Sold. If you want to grab the past boxes, they're $19.25 on the website.

Although the holidays have passed, this would still make a super thoughtful gift to keep in mind for any upcoming birthdays or mother's day. It's not too early to plan ahead right?

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So You Want to be a Freelancer | My Freelance Journey

So You Want to be a Freelancer

Back near the end of 2017 I found myself suddenly a freelancer. It instantly became a change of pace I had never experienced before. New deadlines, tons of different responsibilities, and a juggling act I didn't initially consider. Now, a solid six months after getting my first freelance job, I'm sharing some of my insights with you.

Although I found my two freelance jobs in photography and social media on Instagram of all places, there are a ton of other platforms like Upwork you can seek out if you're looking for opportunities. However the best way I've found to get any business up and running is to talk to friends and family. Networking leads to more success in any field of work and it's definitely true for freelance. Say yes to anything that comes your way when you start out. Do data entry here, transcription writing there, until you find the niche you like to work in or get clients in fields you're interested in. 

My blog is how I got my two current freelance jobs. It shows dedication, consistency, and my photography and social media skills. So start one for whatever field you're interested in freelancing in. That way you have a running portfolio of sorts of all your skills and talents. It shows initiative from day one long before the job even got on your radar. Plus blogs are basically the best things ever anyway. But I'm biased.

My blog paired with my portfolio made me a prime candidate for interviews. I made mine here for free and it puts a more professional spin on the photos I take for my blog. I also have a freelance specific resume ready for any jobs that may pop up.

Freelance jobs will rarely just land at your feet. You have to seek them out through a lot of talking with people, searching online, and putting yourself out there. You never know when an opportunity will show up. It could be on Instagram like both of mine were, or it could be waiting for you at your next neighborhood party. 

If you have any specific freelance questions send them my way! 
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What I Got for Christmas | The Highlights

I definitely can't be the only one who thought Christmas flew by this year in a flash. We were so busy with Oh, Hello gift orders that Santa arrived before I knew it with a ton of amazing gifts in stow. I firmly believe that Santa tells all my friends and family what gifts I would like to get every year because they're so on point it's scary.

I received a ton of thoughtful gifts and couldn't include them all in this post as I'm sure that would get much too boring to hear about every single pair of (wonderfully perfect) socks I got, so I kept it to the highlights.

The board games have got to be some of my favorite gifts this year as it's the first year anyone has gotten them for me. I think people are finally accepting my quirky interests. Plus the Amazon wishlists everyone sent to each other this year meant a lot of A+ gift giving. I got an expansion to my favorite game Mysterium plus Mr. Jack as well as its expansion. Plus a gorgeous bookshelf to display them all (more info on that later). All these board games have me itching to do board game reviews on my YouTube Channel. Yay or nay?

I of course got TONS of Shopkins as they still are quite the obsession, but I also got Louise and Fox in Socks vinyl figurines to display in the Alex approved areas of our house. We often debate as to what is allowed in the common, public areas of the house. My childish interests are not on the approved list. 

My dad got me this hilarious coffee table book of the 101 Uses for a Mainecoon Cat that still has me cracking up days later.

I now own a gorgeous Smiley Face Spoon from Sur la Table and an even more perfect Mini Waffle Maker to make some seriously delectable desserts this year. I'm hungry just thinking about them.

My sister and brother-in-law kindly got me The 52 Lists Project book I've had on my wishlist for months. I've finally gotten over my fear of writing in it and am tackling the first list. It's a beautifully inspiring book with some fantastic photos that has my brain abuzz with new ideas. 

You can see me gush about everything in my most recent YouTube video!

Christmas this year kicked ass. The gifts were great of course, but the time spent with family could not have been more perfect. We baked cookies, watched all my favorite Christmas movies, and really relaxed. But now it's back to the grind of 2018!

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Favorite Planner Spreads From 2017

I'm pretty sure my brain is still in 2017. I can't believe the new year has come and gone and here we sit with hundreds of days of possibilities in front of us. I'm not huge on resolutions as I'm a bigger fan of goals, but I do plan on refocusing my efforts onto this blog in the coming months. It's brought me so much joy over the years and I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet!

What better way to ease back into the blogging routine than a photo heavy post of some of my favorite spreads from last year? I flipped through my 2017 planner recently for a video for my YouTube channel and a few spreads really stood out to me. This first one was a seriously gorgeous kit that I have since forgotten the shop who sold it. Good goin' me. It's one of the first spreads of my newly defined planner style that I'm still sticking with today.

In 2017 we took a glorious cruise vacation to celebrate my sister's wedding. It acted sort of like a honeymoon for Alex and I as well. This spread made me fall in love with adding photos into my planner all over again. Plus it inspired me to dig up all the photos I had from 2017 to make a good ol' photo book from Shutterfly. I'm pretty sure my grandma club card comes in the mail next week.

Weddings were rampant in 2017 as everyone we know has been getting hitched. I'm already prepared for the baby shower invites to start flooding my mailbox in 2018. No babies planned for us yet so I'll happily live vicariously through everyone else for the time being. This fall spread is one of my favorites Alex has designed lately, but it was also the week of a very fun wedding of a friend I've known since high school. We have since rekindled our friendship thanks to the wedding invite and now Alex and I have more couple friends! 

This spread had to be included because it features the debut of our second cat Gallifrey. He's approaching six months old and has been the perfect addition to our child-free family. He's a handful and a riot every single day.

2017 definitely had its ups and downs while I was living it, but now it just feels like really great memories. 2018 feels like it's going to be the best year I've had in ages so I'm ready to make it a reality. Now to hash out all of my goals to start 2018 off right.

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