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


I'm Finally Trying Glossier! (And Other Beauty Additions)

Guys. It's finally happening. I finally got off my butt and placed my first order at Glossier. Can I have my beauty blogging street cred back now? (Can you imagine if beauty blogging street cred was actually a thing?!) After a whirlwind of a weekend last week at the Chicago Planner Conference (watch the vlog if you haven't the foggiest clue of what I'm talking about), I decided to treat myself to some new beauty bits. Glossier was my first stop followed quickly after by Sephora.

I have yet to really test out any of these products so expect more posts and reviews in the future!

At Glossier I kept things simple. I went for their Phase Two set to test out three of their popular products while saving some extra cash by getting the bundle. I also picked up the Moisturizing Moon Mask after hearing The Anna Edit rave about it one too many times. Plus click here to save 10% off your Glossier order.

StriVectin also sent along their new Instant Wrinkle Blurring Primer. I'm getting the sense that they might start venturing into the makeup game. I love a lot of their skincare items so I can't wait to give this an honest go.

My pal Aimee from Lilac Pineapple Co is a couponing wizard at the drugstore and gifted me a TON of new drugstore bits to try out. I made it one of my beauty goals of 2018 to get back into drugstore so I'm definitely well on my way with all of these products.

I think I'm most excited about checking out this Magnif'Eyes Shadow Palette by Rimmel. They are one of my favorite drugstore brands and this palette sure looks impressive in the packaging. Now to find out if they're as great as the look...

Aimee gave me a few single shadows that look gorgeous as well plus a Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick that looks right up my alley. 

My Sephora order contained just two items, one of which is a repurchase. I'm still only about half way on my Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo but it's such a favorite I made sure to get a backup. Plus it helped me get to free shipping which is always a must.

The First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer spurred the Sephora purchase in the first place. I got a small sample of this a few months back and recently started testing it out. It's love. Heart-eyed emoji love. It's even started to replace my beloved Stila One Step Correct as my primer before foundation. It's just that good. More to come on this I'm sure.

So this girl has a lot of new products to slap on her face and report back. Let me know in the comments if there are any products in particular you want to see first!

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5 Things Blogging Has Taught Me

Whenever I find myself falling slightly out of love with blogging (key word slightly. I can't quit you blog!) I always like to think about what the last ten years have taught me. A blog is more than just its daily posts. There's a whole lot more to it than that...

1. Consistency. I've talked about how this blog has landed me actual jobs in the past and that's largely due to consistently posting. This blog has shown me that I'm not going to be an instant success overnight, but with a lot of hard work this space has truly become something.

2. Photography skills. Ironically enough I thought I was a pretty good photographer when I started this blog, but boy have I improved since then. With every post my skills have gotten better and better. Now I do freelance photography for other companies. All thanks to this piece of the internet.

3. Pride in my work. This goes along with the first point, but I'm so incredibly proud of Microscope Beauty. For the longest time I didn't feel comfortable sharing this blog with people in real life, but now I talk about it to anyone who will listen.

4. It’s ok to be different and have a weird hobby. What used to make me uncomfortable about beauty and lifestyle blogging is now such a defining trait. I love that what I'm into isn't super common or a popular hobby. And that's ok.

5. You don’t have to spend tons of money on new products to be a good blogger. I'm fortunate enough to every now and again have the opportunity to review pr samples, but for the longest time this blog ran on literally no spare money for new products. Instead of giving up I found other things to blog about to fill the gaps when there weren't new products. It helped me become a stronger writer, be able to brainstorm a bigger variety of posts, and improved my blog overall.

I'm pretty sure you all know now my complete and utter love for blogging. I sincerely think everyone should have one. So get to it!
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Planner Supplies Cart Tour

Planning supplies are the first things to get out of hand in my household. It's so easy to get swept up in washi, stickers, and countless planners one person could never use. So I try to keep my obsession corralled to one IKEA cart to make sure things don't spread across the entire house.

I think it's super important to have a designated area for supplies so you're not only able to find things, but you don't go overboard with things you probably won't use. These carts come in a bunch of different colors and are sold practically everywhere now. They're great because they can be pushed around from room to room, but are also portable enough to pop into a closet.

So in today's video I'm giving you a walk-through of all the bits and bobs I keep jammed onto this cart on a regular basis. My traveler's notebook supplies are kept elsewhere, so let me know if you want a tour of that stuff as well.

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Small Business Resources

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MintMONGOOSE Jewelry Subscription Review

MintMONGOOSE Jewelry Subscription Review

A few years ago I got rid of over 90% of my jewelry collection. Everything felt too childish, not me, and cluttered my brain just as much as it cluttered my beauty drawers. I've been slowly rebuilding my collection to include more timeless, stylish pieces. So when MintMOONGOOSE popped on my radar offering to send me a subscription to check out, I couldn't wait. Let someone else do all the work choosing the perfect pieces? Sold!

Each subscription comes with three jewelry pieces every month for $12.99 plus shipping and handling. They also offer a deluxe version for $22.99 that comes with four pieces of jewelry and two accessories. Definitely a fair price point considering how much jewelry from Forever21 and H&M costs these days. Plus I've always been a fan of surprises.

The jewelry picks are exactly my style. They're simple while still feeling high-quality and chic. The two tier necklace actually has the ability to split apart to become two separate necklaces. How cool is that?! I'm still pretty jazzed about it.

And I love that there are earrings. I don't think I've worn earrings in 10 years, but I've always kept the holes in my ears open just in case. I tried these gorgeous tassel earrings on and suddenly started to feel the allure again. Who knows...maybe I'm an earring person after all?

Use code MICROBEAUTY to get your first first box for just $5+s/h. It's a great way to try out the brand and has me already itching to sign up for another box.

Do you love subscriptions or just don't like surprises? Let me know in the comments!
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Great Programs & Apps for Your Small Business

Great Programs & Apps for Your Small Business

I'm a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel. Someone, somewhere has made something that can make your life easier. You just have to know where to look. This is definitely true when it comes to small business. Although I love social media, I don't love spending a ton of time promoting my business when I should be running it. So here are some of my favorite apps and programs that make my business life a whole lot easier.

  • Later. This is definitely my favorite program to use to post on Instagram and Facebook. It has a super easy to use interface that allows you to add a bunch of photos, plug them into a calendar, and write up captions for them. Plus there is a feature where you can see a preview of how they'll look in your profile feed. It doesn't auto post for you, so you'll have to download an app that notifies you when it's time to post. It's super easy to use and doesn't feel like a burden to post. It's free for 30 posts a month.
  • Planoly. This platform is strictly for Instagram and you have to pay to use it. It works just like Later does, but now has the capability to auto post for you (I have yet to check this feature out). Plus Planoly lets you respond to comments right in the browser. To me it's the beefier version of Later and takes a bit more time getting used to and figuring out all the bells and whistles. Let me know in the comments if you want a more detailed walk through. 
  • Tweetdeck. If you're on the twitter train, Tweetdeck is super easy to use and allows you to run multiple accounts and follow different hashtags all at the same time. It's owned by Twitter and and allows you to schedule tweets ahead of time.
  • Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a one stop shop for social media. It allows you to run a ton of social accounts in one place so you don't need to have multiple programs for different platforms. You have to pay to use it, but you're able to respond to comments and manage everything from one place. Definitely an option if you've stretched yourself a little to thin over a bunch of different accounts.
There are a ton of platforms and apps out there to help run social media smoother for your business, but these are the ones I'm most familiar with. If you'd like more specific walk-through's on any of these platforms, leave a comment below and I'll type up a more in-depth look.

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Treat Yo Self with Love Beauty and Planet

Love Beauty and Planet Shampoo Review

Happy Valentine's Day! I wanted to do a treat yo self post today in honor of the day of love, but really it started to become an ode to a new brand I've recently discovered. This isn't a sponsored post, but if you're reading this Love Beauty and Planet, I'm definitely down (wink wink).

Love Beauty and Planet is a new brand that focuses on looking good and doing good all at the same time. They're focused on sourcing ingredients responsibly, reducing waste, and helping the planet in the process. So you can feel good when you're pampering yourself. You're conscious of the environment while smelling super delicious. Win win.

The packaging of their products is high-quality and gorgeous. I immediately popped these into our guest bathroom after a few uses because I want guests to think we're way fancier than we actually are. Because these products are SUPER AFFORDABLE. The shampoo and conditioner are around $14 for both on amazon. The shampoo lathers up great and washes away easily without any build up or greasy feeling on the hair. The conditioner is light while being super nourishing. My hair doesn't feel weighed down or greasy throughout the day, something that happens to my hair often. There are a variety of different scents that focus on different hair concerns. 

There's also a body wash to match the Murumuru Butter and Rose scent that's just as luxurious to use. It lathers up super easily and doesn't leave my skin feeling like there's a residue or anything left behind. The scent isn't overbearing and doesn't linger noticeably throughout the day. Something I'm a huge fan of.

To me, Valentine's Day is just as much about showing yourself a little love as it is other people in your life. So start your day off with a nice long shower, buy yourself some chocolate, enjoy a nice warm bath in the evening with your favorite bath bomb (I love Sky Organics), and give yourself a truly pamper filled day.

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The Best Planners for Girlbosses

The Best Planners for Girlbosses

Whether you're busy running your own business or busy keeping track of a million things at once, it's hard being a girl boss. You need a planner that helps you stay on top of everything at once, while still being functional and cute at the same time. The video at the end of this post will go into a lot more detail about each of these planners, but I wanted to do a write-up still just in case you aren't following my YouTube channel yet. 

I talked about the Get to Work Book in yesterday's post if you want to see it in action and full of planner stickers, but I'm obsessed with this planner for working gals. It strips down any of the unnecessary fluff of most planners to give you exactly what you need. It has a gorgeous lined view weekly spread with room for top three priorities, space at the bottom for doodles, and tons of room for to do lists. 

Although I do love the Get to Work Book, I still can't get over my love affair with the Erin Condren Hourly Planner. It's the longest running layout in my life because the time sections are so helpful when my schedule is super busy, but can easily be ignored if I don't have set times for things. It's colorful to keep my life bright and fun, while still being practical. I also love the monthly note pages and the twelve boxes at the front of the planner to track work accomplishments. The planner just lends itself to busy schedules.

The Plum Paper Planner is a more affordable option to the ECLP, but it also has some seriously awesome add-ons and layouts. You can add tabs in to the back of your planner for anything from blogging to mileage tracking and more. They break down their add-ons into different categories to see exactly what they have to offer. It's super easy to get a really customized planner to suit any of your business/girl boss needs.

If you don't need a lot of customization, but do need tons of space to write things every day, the Simplified Planner is perfect for you. It's a daily planner rather than weekly, so there's tons of room each day to write meetings and to do lists. I love everything about this planner, but I just don't have enough scheduled events to justify using it to its fullest. It's definitely one to consider if your life is super hectic and you have to be a million places in a day.

If customization seems like exactly what you need, a traveler's notebook could be the perfect tool. It's the king of customization and you can add in notebooks for every project and category in your life. Oh, Hello Stationery is going to be releasing a line of notebook covers soon (like the one I show you in the video below), so don't forget to sign up to the newsletter if you want more information.

There are a TON of planners out there that could work for your girl boss needs, but these are my favorites for helping to get things done. What are your favorite planners?
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Planner Switch Up | Get to Work Book

I made it my mission in 2018 to actively try out different planners. Throw some stickers in them, pan in them for a few weeks, and see exactly what they have to offer when actively used. The Get to Work Book has been a fast favorite for me, so seemed like a great place to start.

From very first sticker this planner feels so natural to use after being in an Erin Condren planner for so long. Stickers fit great while the spread feels open and useful. Seriously every planner should have lines regardless of layout. Who could possibly write that straight all the time?

At first I wasn't sure how to use the bottom grid section, but as soon as I put a few photos down there I was sold. It's an amazing section for memory keeping, doodling, and adding a bit more fun while leaving the top section to be more structured. 

Overall I'm surprised at how easy it was to jump into another planner for a week. I love that the Get to Work Book allows me to still use my beloved stickers, but pushes me to tackle my daily events and to do lists a bit differently. Plus it's always super cool to see sticker layouts in non-EC planners.

What planner should I tackle next?

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What's in My Bag: Target A New Day Satchel

Now let me start this by saying, my bag is not a hot mess jammed full of receipts and tons of makeup. Sadly this post will not be an exposé on the dark and dirty secrets in my handbag. It's of course going to be about planners, because doesn't everything I talk about come back around to planners?

So the bag in question is this gorgeous beauty from Target's "A New Day" collection and is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a reasonably priced bag that looked more professional than a slouchy tote, but could still be jammed full of all the things I think I need to carry with me on a daily basis. You can get a better look at the bag in today's video located at the end of this post.

This bag can hold not one, but two of my traveler's notebooks. The smaller, A6 sized notebook from Oh, Hello Stationery is always in my handbags to track mileage for work, jot down notes, and store future blog post musings. The larger, B6 notebook gets popped in when I'm headed to a meeting and need to take notes, or a coffee shop where I feel a big brainstorming session coming on.

Of course there's my phone and wallet, but I usually always have a little mirror compact and whatever lipstick I've been wearing a lot lately. There's always a tube of the It Cosmetics Je ne sais quoi lip balm if my lips feel in need of moisture and some variety of hand cream. Right now I'm using the one that matches my favorite Elizabeth Arden White Tea Perfume.

The little pouch contains any feminine products I may need for my time of the month. I like keeping everything in a separate pouch (this one I got from Etsy ages ago) so I can just take it in and out of my bag for my period. Plus no one wants to use bottom-of-the-purse tampons.

We've been vlogging a lot more on our vlog channel so my Canon G7x and Manfrotto tripod are usually taking up a ton of space in the bag. The tripod is the best mini tripod I have ever used. Definitely worth picking up if you're in the market.

It's really a no-fuss practical list that still leaves quite a lot of room for any not-so-practical things I may pick up on my adventures outside. I'd love to hear if you keep anything strange or unusual in your bag. Or are you more of a practical essentials type of person?

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My First Therapy Session

When I decided to start going to therapy, I also decided to be as open and candid about my experience. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of your mental health. There's also nothing wrong with talking about taking care of your mental health either.

There are a ton of reasons why I decided to start going to therapy. The biggest one is that I'm an anxious person. I overthink things. I get nervous doing fairly simple things like talking on the phone. And I wanted to work on it. Therapy doesn't mean there's anything seriously wrong with you. Therapy means you want to work on yourself. It's like going to the gym, but for your mind.

So yesterday I went to my first session. I didn't do too much research into choosing a therapist because everyone I've talked to says you may jump around from therapist to therapist before landing with one you feel comfortable with. So I called a place and they suggested the lady I met with yesterday.

Luckily for me we really hit it off and after a few nervous minutes not sure what to talk about, I relaxed and felt really comfortable talking to her. The first session was all about getting to know me. My history, my relationship with my family, my work life, and anything really that seems to cause me anxiety.

And it was easy. It was so easy to just talk to a stranger about things I have a hard time talking to people I'm close with. I thought for sure I'd be cagey like I tend to be when things are about me, but her questions kept me talking. She also gave me feedback which I definitely needed. I worried it would just be me babbling on to someone jotting notes the whole time, but she gave feedback, understanding, and related to things I talked about.

After the fastest hour of my life I left feeling flush, but elated. The adrenaline was definitely there and wore of quickly leaving me a bit tired. But overall I felt surprisingly better. Nothing really had changed. She didn't give me any real advice or pointers, but just ranting on for 60 minutes and then leaving it all in the room helped. 

My first session has me excited for the next one. I'm eager to learn about my type of anxiety and how to work to handle difficult situations better. I'm eager to bitch about my problems. I'm eager to leave things behind and feel lighter. 

So if you're thinking about therapy, do it. Take it from someone who sat in her car to give herself a pep talk before going in, it's worth it. It's worth overcoming the stigma and the anxiety about going to actively work to improve your life. 
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How to Get the Most out of Your Planner's Monthly View

How to Get the Most out of Your Planner's Monthly View

For the longest time I just couldn't figure out how to use the monthly view in my planner. It just felt like overkill to all the planning I was doing in my weekly pages. I switched things up time and time again until I landed on this planning style. It's changed my monthly view game and I've been so happy with it that I just had to share.

I use my monthly view now to track these things:

  • Upcoming events
  • Project deadlines
  • Upcoming movie/book releases I'm interested in
  • Birthdays
  • Memory keeping

How to Get the Most out of Your Planner's Monthly View

It's that last one on the list that's really stepped things up for me. I tracked a lot of the other items previously, but my monthly view always looked empty and boring. So I started adding one or two things I got up to every day. That way, each box had something in it, regardless if it was just running errands.

I've also started to stick to a cohesive color scheme. I choose the dominate color of the month and add a little shade variation to keep things interesting. This is a great way to use up any leftover stickers from past weekly kits so that nothing is going to waste.

I'm in love with my monthly views. It's so fun to see the month fill up with memories, while still being a functional space to see what events are coming up so I don't overbook myself. I'd love to hear how you use your monthly spreads in your planner! Let me know in the comments!
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Photosynthesis Board Game Review and How to Play

Photosynthesis Board Game

Board games baby. A staple in our household and the perfect gift for any occasion. I'm FINALLY getting around to doing reviews of these bad boys starting with my current favorite: Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is a strategy board game for 2-4 players where you’re an arborist growing and harvesting trees trying to become the dominate species of the forest. Turns are marked by the revolution of the sun around the board and are tracked with the sun revolution counter on the side. Points are scored for trees harvested on various soil quality spaces. Only the large trees are able to be harvested for victory points.

Each player starts with a player board filled with seeds, and small, medium, and large trees. These are all available for purchase with light points throughout the game, but players start with a few items available to play right away.

The game starts with players taking turns putting two small trees on the outside ring of the game board. Each round of the game is marked by full revolutions of the sun around the board and each turn is marked by two phases.

Photosynthesis Board Game

The first phase is photosynthesis. Players gain light points based on the position of the sun at certain angles. They’re tracked on the player board and can be used to purchase seeds, trees, and planting in the next stage. Points are accumulated throughout the rounds and are based on tree size. Small trees get one light point, medium two, and large three. Points are lost if trees are blocking the light from getting to other trees. Small trees cast one shadow space, medium two, large three

Phase two is the life cycle phase. Starting with the first player, light points collected can be spent on different actions just as long as those actions occur on different spaces on the board.

a. Buy a tree or a seed and put in the available to use section

b. Take a tree or a seed and plant it using light points

c. Grow a tree where a see was planted, or grow a larger tree where a smaller tree is

d. Harvest a large tree and collect victory points based on soil quality

The game ends after three full revolutions (18 turns) of the sun around the board and whoever has the most victory points by the end of the game is the master of the forest!

Photosynthesis Board Game

The video I filmed to go along with today's blog post makes the whole explaining a board game thing make a lot more sense. So check that out at the bottom of this post.

This game is perfect for strategy game lovers who still want to be friends with people after the game is over. It's the type of game you want to talk about after it's long over. There are so many great mechanics in this game that keep things interesting and so well balanced. The player who gets to go first each turn CHANGES after each full sun revolution. So you may start out as the first player, but end the game as the last player. This makes your strategy have to switch as the game progresses and makes sure no one player can run away with the game. Whenever we've played it, it's hard to tell who's going to win until the victory points are added up at the end.

Plus the game is just gorgeous. Who doesn't love a forest full of bright, colorful trees?! And you don't have to take the trees apart after you're done playing. The box is set up to pop them all in, fully formed.

This game is so easy to learn and the replay-ability is definitely there since people determine where the trees go to affect other trees' light. I'm constantly thinking of new ways to approach this game. It's a favorite for sure and will make a great addition to your growing collection.
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5 Beauty Goals for 2018

Are we still interested in goals now that it's February? I've finally gotten around to figuring out some beauty goals for this year and if I don't share them, they'll probably not happen. 

  1. Try more from the drugstore. I don't know when my nose suddenly turned up, but I definitely need to revisit the makeup aisles of the drugstore and see what's new. So many drugstore brands are stepping up their game lately so quality has gone way up. Any suggestions on where to start? I haven't looked in probably two years!
  2. Clear out my stash of unnecessary products. Although I work my butt off to keep my collection as small as possible, it's started to spread. I've somehow started filling up a random drawer full of "maybe' beauty bits that definitely needs a sort through.
  3. Master false lashes. I've worn them a bit in the past, but just can't seem to master applying them correctly. I love the way they look and want to have this skill in my arsenal for when special events arise.
  4. Try Glossier. It's about time right? I have yet to venture into the world of Glossier, but a purchase is in my future. What things do I have to try?
  5. Wear more bold lips. And by this I mean wear any at all. I've gotten so comfortable with neutral lips that I'm missing a whole world of color. I already have the shade options, I just gotta do it.

They aren't the most revolutionary beauty goals for the year, but I want to shake things up and keep my makeup life interesting. Do you have any goals for 2018?

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