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OH, HELLO



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

9.12.2019

10 Ideas for the Perfect Girls Night In

10 Ideas for the Perfect Girls Night In

Where all my introverts at?! *raises hand eagerly* I love a good night in rather than going through all of the effort to get ready and go out with friends. Plus the mid-westerner in me loves saving money. So gather your gal pals because these 10 girls night in activities are far superior to anything outside of the house.

1. Planner play date. Ughhhh what I wouldn't give to throw all of my planner supplies in a bag, head over to my friend's house and sit down for a good planner session. It's so relaxing to get your planning done (which you have to do anyway) next to someone else. Plus you can share supplies and gush over adorable stickers you've been hording.

2. 80's RomCom marathon. 80s John Cusack is a serious dreamboat. Set up a pillow filled viewing room and turn on Say Anything or any of the amazing movies that came out of the 80's. Make it a double or a triple feature!

3. Video games aren't just for the boys. Gather some gals and break out the Switch to play Overcooked or a racing game. I've done this a few times and it always ends in serious laughter. And it's always interesting to see how chill girls are on a team compared to a mixed team or just guys.

4. Wine and cheese pairing party. But seriously...meetup where we bring a wine and cheese pairing? Can that become a thing. Have your friends bring a cheese and a wine to go with it. You'll feel super fancy tasting wine and cheese together.

5. Cookie swaps don't have to just happen around the holidays. Each of your friends makes a few dozen of their favorite recipe, get together, and swap. Keep the fun going and have milk with your cookies and catch up. 

6. Follow a Bob Ross video. Unless you're some talented painter, this will end in horrible paintings and a ton of laughs. Wine's also a must.

7. Watch the Bachelor even if you're not into it. I go over to a friend's house every once in a while to watch the show and love it even though I don't know who is who. The drama is so over the top you can't help but love it. Plus there are so many commercials you can spend that time catching up.

8. Board games. Ah board games. My favorite way to get a group together. With so many amazing games out there I could go on for post after post, but I've always been a fan of cooperative games. Check out Escape the Temple if you're looking for a good one to play next.

9. Netflix movie pajama party. Netflix is starting to rival the Hallmark channel for cheesy love stories. Throw on your pajamas (even if it's in the middle of the day) and have your pals over for popcorn and love puns. Has anyone watching Falling INN love yet?!

10. Potluck meal. Have each one of your friends bring a different course to a meal over. Someone brings an appetizer, a salad, a main course, a side, a dessert, etc. You can pick a theme or have people bring their favorites in that category!

This month's Oh, Hello Box inspired this blog post! This month's theme is girls night in and if you need a jump start to your evening it's the perfect thing. Order yours before the end of September!
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9.10.2019

How to Start a New Creative Habit

How to Start a New Creative Habit

As the summer winds down and my brain evilly reminds me that 'winter is coming,' I thought it a good time to test drive some new creative habits to keep me busy during the colder months. Sure you could just pop over to the store and strike up a new creative habit, but I find taking these few steps as the best way to start (and stick with) something new.

First and foremost, do your research. Whether you want to take up kitting or baking, watch some YouTube videos about your interest first. That way you aren't diving into something that you'll quickly jump back out of. When I started baking, I read a lot of blogs to see what recipes were the easiest to follow. That way I could have some creative successes under my belt right out of the gate rather than burning a bunch of cookies and losing hope.

Accountability is key when starting any new habit or hobby, so tell people about it! It's something new in your life so share it with your friends and family. Plus they'll likely ask you a few months down the road how it's going. Don't disappoint and stick with it!

Give yourself a timeline of how long you're going to try out the new habit before moving on to something else. If you find you just aren't cut out for hand lettering, move on to something else. But make sure you're giving yourself a few weeks to a solid month to try it before switching.

One of the easiest ways to start a new creative habit is to schedule it in your planner. That way it becomes a priority and not just something you talk about doing but never get around to it. I like to bake on Saturday mornings, that way I won't go months without creating something new and delicious. Find a day during the week or a two week schedule so you can actually do this new habit.

Don't forget to start slow. If you're like me you'll want to jump right in and buy everything under the sun for this new hobby. I can't tell you how many bins are in my basement full of hobbies I thought I would stick with. For real...I couldn't tell you...start small and work your way up if you find you enjoy the new habit. Start with a simple hand lettering set and expand your collection if it's something you actually enjoy. That way you aren't throwing away money you could be saving for a hobby you want to do in the future.

So whether it's baking, writing, painting, or whatever, pull out your planner and carve out some time. I always feel so calm and focused after I bake something and it ultimately helps me throughout my work week (plus I get delicious snacks!). A creative habit is a powerful tool!

What creative habit are you trying to start?
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9.05.2019

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo

One thing I mention but rarely go into detail about on this blog is our second company, Oh, Hello Promo. I thought it time to finally give you a look into the world of our other business, share the origin story, and some cool products we've worked on recently. 

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo

Now my husband Alex didn't plan on starting another business, but through our expansion of Oh, Hello Stationery, he learned a ton about manufacturing products. We added mugs, home goods, and other items to our store with our designs and soon companies wanted their logos on the same products. Oh, Hello Promo popped out of the need to have a place to send businesses that wasn't a stationery website. 

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo

That was about two years ago now and Promo is going stronger than ever. Alex runs the business full time while I run the stationery side of things. He has three employees and earns more than stationery does annually. He's truly found what he's meant to do. Alex cares about people, and it comes out in how he runs his business. 

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo

We've done so many cool projects over the past two years of Promo! These photos are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we've created with various companies.

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo

I'm a proud wife and business partner seeing everything that Alex has accomplished with his business. One successful small business seems like a fluke, but two? I think it's something we're both meant to be doing.

If you're interested in seeing more about the world of Oh, Hello Promo, just let me know! I'd be more than happy to share what we are getting up to!

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9.03.2019

My Go-To Skincare Products

My Go-To Skincare Products

This girl's got dry skin. No matter what the weather is like outside my face is as dry as a desert and begging for moisture. I tend to use the same products all year around, but with more focus on overnight masks in the winter. These are my four favorite products that keep my skin clear and hydrated.


I can't tell you how many tubes of the Derma-E Hydrating Serum* I've thrown on my face in the past few years. It's an incredibly light serum that packs a moisture punch. I love how fast it sinks into my skin so it's great to use in the morning before I start my makeup routine. It's FAB.

Although I use the Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask like a crazy person in the winter, I still like to use it every two weeks or so to really pump up the hydration. My skin tends to get dull over time if I don't do a shot of serious moisture every once in a while. I take a small amount on my fingers and massage it into my skin after my evening routine is done. It feels thick, but works its magic throughout the night. Seriously good stuff.

My Go-To Skincare Products

Another mask that I can't get enough of is Glossier's moisturizing moon mask. You can find me in the bath with this stuff slathered on my face at least once a week. It's incredibly light, doesn't dry out or pull the skin, and leaves it feeling bouncy and refreshed. Plus a little goes a long way which is always a plus.

As for makeup removal I try to keep things gentle and not moisture-stripping (you're seeing a trend here eh?). The It Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup Balm is a makeup removing oil that doesn't leave my skin feeling tight or dry after using it. I apply it to dry skin, rub it around, and then add some water to foam it up. Rinse away and continue to the next step in my routine. Easy peasy. 

What are you favorite go-to skincare items?

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8.29.2019

How to Balance Friendships When You Have a Hectic Lifestyle

How to Balance Friendships When You Have a Hectic Lifestyle

I think it's safe to say that everyone is busy in one way or another. People are constantly juggling work, health, hobbies, and a social life. It's tough work. So here's what you can do to balance friendships when you have a hectic lifestyle (aka everyone...)

Check in regularly even if you aren't able to schedule time to see them. I call my check in times "Text Tuesdays" to remind me to send my friends a text message to see what's new in their lives. A decent number of my friends live out of state so it's a great way to know what's going on with them. Even if it's just a quick, "Hey, you're one badass person," it's important to let them know I'm thinking about them.

Let worlds collide. Over the weekend I had a photo shoot for my business and I invited my friends to join the shoot with me. Sure it wasn't an ideal way to spend time with them, but I still got work done and got to hear about their lives. Two birds with one stone is sometimes the best way to accomplish it all. Try finding a way to combine your social life with your work life so that if you can't have undivided attention, at least you still get to see your friends.

Plan ahead if you and your friends have a busy schedule. Sometimes I have to plan things out a month in advance for our D&D squad to meet, but it's better than nothing. 

Schedule the next event at the current one so you don't find yourselves going months before seeing each other again. 

Make it a priority. I know that's easier said than done, but if you want to find time to have friendships, you have to make time. Maybe you have to skip a night binge watching Netflix to have a girl's night, but it's worth it to maintain your relationships. Trust me, from one introvert to another, it's worth it.

Sometimes your friendship maintenance will slip, and that's ok. The best of friends will understand that life can get crazy sometimes but you still care about them. So pick up your phone and shoot a friend a text to hang out next week. Even if it's just for an hour for coffee. You're going to need the caffeine anyway...
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8.27.2019

Habit Tracking for a More Intentional Life

Habit Tracking for a More Intentional Lifestyle

I'll admit it, I'm not the greatest when it comes to habit tracking or maintaining habits. Before I started tracking them in my planner I was downright awful. So trust me when I say that habit tracking, actual tracking, can make a world of difference to building and maintaining positive habits.

I've tried quite a few different methods over the years, but the sticker in the planner method seems to do the trick. My planner is always with me (security blanket much?) so it's a lot easier to see what habits I'm trying to track and work on improving them every day. Sure I'm still not perfect (I barely ate at home in the photo...), but it's more about awareness for me than anything else. The next day I can try to be better and whatnot. It's a process.

Now I've received advice about not having so many habits I'm tracking and I understand there is value in focusing on a few, but I personally love having a bunch. If I happen to have a crappy time with mindful eating on a particular day, I still can feel like I wasn't a complete and total failure. Having more things to track means I have more opportunities to succeed. 

As I've continued this process for a few months I've also noticed that some habits don't need to be checked off every day. I don't need to check my finances every day, but every few days works. I've started highlighting the dates that I want to make sure I do a certain habit that way I don't feel bad if it isn't all filled in. Plus some of the things I'm tracking I don't want filled in. Like anxiety for instance. I want to keep track of when I have higher amounts of anxiety, but if I go a month without marking a single day, that's definitely a win.

Like with all planner related things, it's best to find a method that works for you. Whether you track two or three things to make sure you're staying focused throughout the month, or tracking a whole butt load like me, you do you planner peeps.




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8.22.2019

Why You Should Try a Double Monthly Planner System

Why You Should Try a Double Monthly Planner System

Two months ago I took some pliers to my Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly in order to add another monthly view to each section in the hopes of some planner satisfaction (planner peace just doesn't exist...). I always think of the song "I can't get no (planner) satisfaction!" when it comes to planning. But that's a whole other tangent...

Ok back on point Kayla. Double monthly spreads. I needed a way to keep track of my blog posts and videos without them cluttering up my main monthly view. I don't use weekly views (I prefer to see the entire month at once) so I had to figure out a way to make it work. So why not two planner spreads? 

I'm in love. It works so well at keeping all of my content organized in a way that visually makes sense to me. I can easily flip from my main monthly view to the content and know exactly what's going on. It's all in the same planner so I'm not carrying around extra notebooks or calendars unnecessarily. Sure a larger monthly view could also do the trick, but honestly I like having them separate but similar. Plus it means two planner spreads to decorate which is always a plus.

A double monthly spread could work for you if you have a blog or regular content you're creating on a regular basis. Or if your family has a very busy sports schedule you could separate it all out in the second monthly view, and have a little icon to mark it in your main view. My content schedule never changes, so I know there will be posts on Tues/Thurs and videos on Wed/Fri so I don't need the reminder in my main view, but if you're just getting started it could be helpful so you aren't missing anything.

To me this solves the personal planner/work planner problem without the multiple planner situation. It can also function as a workout or health tracker. The sky's really the limit on the two monthly view planner. I'm just sayin'. It's pretty insane. 
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8.20.2019

5 Beauty Products I've Been Loving and You Will Too

5 Beauty Products I've Been Loving and You Will Too

So my last beauty post was like a year ago...Like I just didn't stop wearing makeup. Or new products. But apparently beauty posts went out the window when I changed the blog from MicroscopeBeauty to Oh, Hello Living. Well they're back my friends and what better way to dive right in than talk about some new products to my collection that I've been loving? Let's get our toes wet again with this whole beauty blog post thing...

5 Beauty Products I've Been Loving and You Will Too

I basically cannot live without Glossier's Boy Brow, so whenever I place an order to replenish my stash I've been slowly trying out other Glossier products. I figured I would try the Perfecting Skin Tint (I'm the shade G11) in my most recent order and I'm so happy I did. It's an incredibly lightweight formula that I love for days that I don't want to wear a ton of makeup but still want to even out my skin tone. It has somewhat of a satin finish that I've really been digging lately. In the summer months dewy skin just looks sweaty so this is a great, build-able option.

The vegan and cruelty-free brand Clove and Hallow recently popped up on my radar. Having absolutely no idea about the brand, I chose three products from the line and completely love each one. How often does that ever happen!? Definitely since I'm a grandma when it comes to new things. I went rouge with the Hydraglow* as I'm not usually one for highlights (goes back to that looking sweaty thing). It's amazing. Specifically I use it to highlight my shoulders and collar bone if I'm wearing a tank top or an outfit that shows off those areas. it provides this amazing shimmery glow that I'm completely obsessed with. It's incredibly easy to apply just a little bit so my heavy handed ways don't go overboard. 

I also snagged one of their lipsticks in the shade Desert Rose.* The formula is so smooth. It has the hydration of a lip balm and the pigmentation of a lipstick. Plus the packaging is gorgeous with a strong magnetic closure. Gotta love hearing that satisfying snap of the tube closing. 

5 Beauty Products I've Been Loving and You Will Too

The third product I picked up from Clove and Hallow is their Hydratint Blush in Georgia.* I'm having a moment with liquid blushes lately and this one is fantastic. I find that it's really easy to control how much pigmentation you want when it comes to a liquid blush. I apply a bit to my fingers, dab it to my cheeks, and blend out with the beauty blender I used to put on my foundation. It gives this gorgeous flush to the skin that I can't get enough of. I'm definitely going to have to go back for more shades!

Derma-E has become my go-to skincare brand as of late because there hasn't been a product that I haven't liked. It's also a 100% cruelty-free, vegan brand (blog post on my favorite brands maybe?!). Their serums are definitely some of my favorites, but I really have been liking their Vitamin C Renewing Moisturizer.* Vitamin C is great for adding vibrancy and life back to the skin and with the long nights and early mornings I've been pulling for my business lately, I need all the help I can get. I particularly enjoy how liquid-y their products tend to be as they sink into the skin super fast.

Phew. It feels good to be back on the beauty blogging wagon. I can definitely see a shift in my beauty and makeup style over the past year so I'm excited to show you the evolution. Gone are the days of poorly blended eye shadow (fingers crossed). It's all about natural skin and glow (but not sweaty!!).

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8.15.2019

My Weird Travel Quirks

My Weird Travel Quirks

One of the first things my husband accepted about me were my weird travel habits. I'm a strange, anxiety-filled duck when it comes to most things, but I get even weirder when it comes to travel. I honestly don't know why I'm still like this after travelling every month for the past two years. Yet here we are.  

I always bring a pillow. Like a full sized one. From our bed. Regardless of how limited we are on space, I somehow always manage to jam my pillow into the suitcase to bring along with me despite Alex's eye rolling.

I always have to have peanut butter M&Ms. I rarely eat them any other time, but when I'm travelling it's a must. Anyone else have a weird travel-only snack you just have to have?

Now this one has to be the planner girl in me, but I always pack early. We're talking a week early on average. I like to pick out the clothes I want to bring with me early so I don't wear them before we leave. Plus I'm constantly paranoid I'm going to forget something (like a hairbrush I'm constantly forgetting) so in my head packing early means I have more time to think about what I need. Without fail, no matter how often we travel, I still pack like I haven't traveled in years. 

Now so far these aren't too crazy, but I also always use Google maps to check what food will be around me. I'm weirdly paranoid that despite living in the 21st century and really only travelling domestically, I won't be able to find food. Like come on Kayla, there's a Starbucks around every corner. You're good. And yet about a week before we leave for a trip I find myself frantically googling food within walking distance of our hotel. Just in case I find myself starving to death.

Regardless of knowing where all the closest food sources are to the hotel, I still bring enough snacks to feed four people for a week. Without fail. Now that TSA requires you to take out snacks I look like I'm emptying a grocery cart every time I go to a security checkpoint. Apparently my fear of hunger knows no bounds.

What are some of your weird travel quirks? Make me feel less insane!

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8.13.2019

How to Start a Planner Instagram in 5 Easy Steps

How to Start a Planner Instagram in 5 Easy Steps

Any proper planner addict should have their own planner related Instagram profile. Whether or not you combine it with your "personal" account is up to you, but having a place to share your spreads and seek feedback is another element to the planner community. Don't have one yet? Here are five easy steps to get started.

1. Pick a planner related name. That way your Instagram can be found easier when other planner people are exploring for new feeds. Something like "planlikekim" or "kimplansalot" work! 

2. Post consistently. At first your feed won't get much traction, but if you post consistently once a day or every other day, your profile will start to gain more traction and exposure.

3. Use hashtags to help your posts get found. Be sure to mix them up from post to post so Instagram doesn't think you're spamming. Use hashtags like #plannercommunity, #planneraddict, #erincondren, and others depending on what planner you're using.

4. Bright lighting. I mean this one should probably be the only rule with Instagram posts. Keep your photos bright. The easiest way to do this is to put down a white piece of paper next to a window. Take photos of your planner in bright, natural light. No one wants to look at dark photos!

5. Follow fellow planner Instagrams and comment on their posts. The best way to gain a following is to become active in the community. Follow other planner Instagram accounts and comment on their posts. Engage with them and they'll undoubtedly engage with you! Being an active member of whatever community you're using Instagram for is imperative to having success in growing a following.

It's super easy to get your Instagram for your planning up and running! Let me know what your Instagram handle is in the comments so I can go follow you!

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8.08.2019

5 Reasons I Love the Day Designer Planner

5 Reasons I Love the Day Designer Planner

There's a full review blog post on The Day Designer planner a few posts back, but I wanted to share five reasons why I'm completely in love with this planner and how it's completely taken over my planning routine. It's a good'un.

5 Reasons I Love the Day Designer Planner

The next week at a glance at the bottom of the weekend page is something I didn't know my planning routine was missing. It's revolutionary. I love being able to see what's coming up in the next week. It helps with my end of the week anxiety over what's to come plus helps me get more prepared in the process. It makes the week feel much more manageable. 

5 Reasons I Love the Day Designer Planner

Back when I used a weekly planner, hourly layouts were my jam. So the daily hour slots to write in appointments are right up my alley. I added this planner back into my routine because I had a lot more appointments piling up that previous months. I wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything and I love how easy it is to mark when I have something with a time attached to it.

If I had a particularly unproductive day I love being able to just turn the page, let it go, and move on. Weekly views tend to pile up on me and make me feel like I'm not getting anything done. A daily planner makes it easy to put a crappy day in the past and get more done the next day.

I also really like the notes section on each page. It's another section that I didn't expect I would use as much as I do. I write packing lists, custom stickers I need to design, and random notes throughout the day. This planner just makes me feel like I don't have to be perfect. I can scribble things here and there and the next day I have a fresh, clean spread to tackle.

5 Reasons I Love the Day Designer Planner

Because I can just turn the page to a clean start every two days, the Day Designer lets me mix up my planning style. Sometimes I'll plan out my entire day down to the hour, other days I'll write a to do list and call it good. I love the flexibility.

Oh, Day Designer. Did I just write you a love letter? You bet I did.

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8.06.2019

Why You Should Create an Essentials List in Your Planner

Why You Should Create an Essentials List in Your Planner

First thing's first. You may be thinking, "What the heck is an essentials list anyway?!" It's a list of all of the essential tangible things in your life that if your house caught on fire, you'd try to save first if your family and pets were already safe. The items that bring you joy, that hold sentimental value, and matter to you above everything else. So why should you have one?

It helps you put your life into perspective. To really see what actually matters to you at the end of the day. You'll be surprised at what ends up on the list, but even more with what doesn't. And it makes you have this sense of freedom. Like you aren't tied to all the material crap that builds up in your house and overflows from closets (just me?!) You know exactly what matters to you at the end of the day and the rest doesn't matter.

It also helps you stop frivolous spending. You are so much more aware of the types of things that really matter to you that you'll think twice before making an impulse purchase in the dollar section of Target. My impulse purchases are almost non-existent now. I always think back to this list and ask myself, "Will what I want to buy end up going on my essentials list or not? And does it matter to me if it doesn't end up on the list?" Sometimes we all need to have a planner sticker shopping spree every now and again...we're human after all.

So sit down for ten to fifteen minutes and write up your essentials list. What would you pack into a van if you suddenly decided to abandon your current life and start a new one? What material things matter the most? I'd love to hear what ends up on your list in the comments if you're willing to share!
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8.01.2019

What to Do if You're the Youngest Person in Your Workplace

What to Do if You're the Youngest Person in Your Workplace

Now I know I work for myself, but stay with me here. My husband Alex and I are the youngest people in our neighborhood and work networks. When people discovered our ages a few months after meeting us, we could physically feel the air change in the room. Age is tied to experience and that's not necessarily always true. So here's what you can do to navigate being the youngest person in your workplace.

Put your work forward, not your age. We intentionally avoided telling neighbors and work colleagues our ages. For one, it shouldn't matter (even though it does), but two, we let our work speak for us. You're going to feel like you have something to prove, so prove it. Generations stereotype, so put your head down and break the classic "lazy" or "entitled" stereotypes will impressing your boss at work in the process.

Find things in common with your colleagues so they stop seeing your differences first. Do you like the same music as someone in your office? Did you grow up in the same small town? Find common interests to build a relationship beyond the superficial.

Don't take the age comments too seriously. A friend or work acquaintance will make a comment like, "Oh you're too young to know who that is" or "You weren't even born when that came out!" Oftentimes that's their insecurities being projected onto you. It's often hard for people to accept that someone younger is at the same point in life as they are. 

Avoid age references. The other side of the coin is just as true. No one wants their older age to be pointed out. Avoid the "you don't know what Snapchat is?!" comments. Trust me. That's now how you make friends.

There are going to be those people who just can't get over the age difference. It's unfortunate, but it's also not your problem. Be proud of your personal successes while not rubbing them in anyone's face. Work hard and be kind.
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7.30.2019

That One Time When I Was in a Shitty Relationship


The photo of adorable Gallifrey is here to keep things in perspective. My life and relationships now are stronger than ever. I'm happy. I have a husband and cats that love me. It's all good. But let's talk about that one time I was in that shitty relationship shall we?

There are so many things I wish I could go back and tell myself about that craptastic relationship in college. But I don't actually regret it. Sure I definitely wouldn't repeat it, but I learned a lot about myself, my worth, and the love I deserved. If time travel becomes a thing, I have a few things I'd tell myself (besides 'end it' of course).

Words and actions aren't the same thing. Just because they say one thing, doesn't mean it's true. 

Being in a bad relationship is more lonely than being alone. There's so much doubt and distrust in an unhealthy relationship that you spend more time wondering and worrying what they're up to than anything else. I felt constantly paranoid (and for good reason because he was definitely cheating on me) and unsure of myself. I felt crazy, jealous, and alone.

If it's work, it's not worth it. A relationship shouldn't beat you up mentally. It should make you feel like you've found something that's been missing. That you've found a missing piece of yourself that you didn't know you needed. It shouldn't hurt. It shouldn't be soul-crushing.

Leave the self doubt behind when you leave him behind. It took me way too long to regain the self-confidence I lost in that shitty relationship. I felt worthless, not sexy enough, not funny enough. Just not enough. My self worth got wrapped up and twisted into making him like me that I didn't even care if I liked myself.

I am the accumulation of all of my past experiences. That shitty relationship gave me what I needed to become a person I wanted to be. I learned to say 'no' and to fight for myself. It wasn't easy, and it didn't happen overnight, but I took how terrible I felt those brief months in that relationship and put it on the never-again list. I hope none of you experience a shitty relationship, but if you find yourself in one, have the courage to take yourself out of it sooner rather than later. You deserve better.

Yes you.

You deserve better. 

(Also I sincerely hope that shitty guy reads this post...just sayin')

*plays Lizzo's "Good as Hell" on repeat*
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7.25.2019

My Blog Post and YouTube Video Content Calendar

My Blog Content Calendar

From Google calendars to notebooks, I've tried quite a few ways over the years to keep track of my online content. Since blog posts and videos often change based on my mood and what's relevant, I need a system that can adapt and change with me. Of course Google Calendar is great for that, but I much rather use stickers. I mean...who wouldn't?

So lately I've been operating on a two monthly calendar system. I created my own frankenplanner with two monthly calendars back to back. The first is my main calendar to track travel and appointments, and the second is for content. That way I have everything in one place, but separate to keep things from getting too messy.

I stick with functional stickers and use the boxes with the white insides for blog posts and the shaded ones for videos. I put all of the stickers down at the start of the month and fill in posts and videos as I go along. Having all of the stickers down at the start of the month makes it easy for me to see where and when I need content. It also helps me coordinate blog posts to go along with videos. I use rectangle boxes to mark any travel or big events that will likely affect content.

If I decide to change up a post or a video after writing something down, I place another sticker on top of it. Sure I could use erasable pens or remove the sticker, but I find putting one on top of the other is the fastest and laziest approach. 

I'm sure my system will continue to change and adapt depending on my needs, but this method combines my love of stickers and desire to use a tangible planner into one happy solution.

How do you keep track of your content creation?
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7.24.2019

How I Use the Day Designer Planner

How I Use the Day Designer Planner

As far as daily planners go, the Day Designer has to be my favorite. It's my go-to planner when I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed with my schedule, have a lot of meetings, and don't want to overbook myself. It's gorgeous, heavy-duty, and has tons of space for to do lists and appointments.

How I Use the Day Designer Planner

Since I use the Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly as my main planner, I decided to keep the monthly view simple in this one. Some Mildliners to mark appointments and travel did the trick. That way I can quickly glance at the monthly view if necessary to see any big events or plans while working on my daily pages.

How I Use the Day Designer Planner

This ruler trick is one of my favorite new discoveries. Place a sticky note on the ruler to track a list throughout the entire week. Presto. Planner magic. 


The daily views have a timed section to write down meetings and scheduled events, plus a to do list area. The top section has places to write due and don't forget items as well as the day's top three.

How I Use the Day Designer Planner

The weekend's are on one page with a next week view at the bottom. This is super helpful to know what's coming up the following week that I can prepare for over the weekend.

The Day Designer is an amazing planner if you're quite busy and your day to day changes often. There's plenty of space to write to do lists, plan big projects, and schedule appointments. It has been a savior for me this past month.


Hear more about the planner as well as enter the giveaway to win one for yourself in the above video.
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7.18.2019

How to Make To Do Lists Like a Boss

How to Make To Do Lists Like a Boss

Now of course I wish to do lists contained only important items like "pet puppies" and "eat ice cream," but alas they do not. But in order to get to those two happiness boosting activities, we have to get all of the "meh" things out of the way. Here's how to make a to do list like a boss so you can get on to the things you rather be doing.

Keep it realistic. Your to do list needs to be realistic above everything else. You know how much time you have in the day to actually complete things on the list. Keeping your list realistic makes you feel more accomplished when you check things off rather than disheartened when you barely make a dent.

Limit the list to three top priorities and around six other items. This helps with keeping the list realistic. Have three things that HAVE to get done that day, and around six other action items that you'd like to complete as well. That way you aren't trying to eat the whole elephant so to speak and are taking it one bite at a time.

Don't micromanage yourself. Putting every step in the process may seem like a good idea, but you don't want to micromanage yourself. You know everything that goes into say, writing a blog post. You don't need to list each step along the way (take the photo, write the post, publish, share on social, etc), but can say "Blog Post" on the list instead. It'll keep your list visually manageable despite there actually being a few smaller steps for each item.

Take steps towards your bigger goals. If you have quarterly goals or bigger things you want to accomplish, try and put one thing on your list every day or every other day to help you work towards those goals. That way you're getting closer to the finish line without feeling rushed or overwhelmed at the scale of the project.

Cross things out. It feels oh so good to take a big line through a to do list item. That's while I'll never switch to digital to do lists. It's too dang satisfying to cross things off.

Transfer unfinished items from one day to the next. If you don't have as productive a day as you thought you would, don't sweat it. Transfer unfinished to do list items to the next day's list. That way you don't forget something that still needs to get done. Be kind to yourself. You aren't going to finish every single to do list every single day.

Of course if it helps you stay productive, add fun colors, stickers, and anything else to keep that list top of mind. 
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7.16.2019

10 Quick Tips to Having a Very Productive Week

10 Quick Tips to Having a Very Productive Week

Ah Mondays. They get a bad rep. Mostly because we don't prepare over the weekend to make sure it starts off on the right foot. If you're looking to have the most productive week yet, here are 10 quick things you can do to set yourself up for success.

Create a to do list the night before Monday. That way when you've dragged yourself into work the next morning, you know exactly what you need to do rather than messing about on Facebook for a few hours before finally settling down to work.

Prepare meals for breakfast and lunch so you're making healthier choices than a late afternoon trip to the vending machine. Having them pre-made makes it easy to just grab from the fridge and go in the morning too. Basically, do all the thinking the night before so you don't have to worry about anything bright and early Monday morning.

Finish your laundry. I can't tell you how many times I get halfway through the week and run out of underwear. Finish your laundry over the weekend so you aren't having to do it during the week when you're swamped with spontaneous events and nights out. Plus you'll have all of your favorite clothes.

Make sure your car has gas. Another one of those better safe than sorry tips. This list is pretty much an exposé of all of the dumb things I did when I had a desk job. So many Monday mornings I find myself in a car that's on E and rushing to the gas station, already late to work. Give yourself at least a fighting chance and make sure you have a half a tank or more.

Pack your bags for the next day. If you have plans to go to the gym, pack that bag the night before and put it by the door. Any lofty goals current you has will be immediately forgotten by future you if you don't make it as easy as possible.

Have an idea of what you want to wear in mind or picked out Sunday night. That way you'll look your best and start the week feeling great.

Charge all of your electronics. If you have a fitbit or Apple watch, make sure your devices are charged to kick the week of on the right foot (literally). 

Map out the week ahead so you have a sense of where you need to be and what you need to do. Have a lot of meetings on Tuesday? Push preparing for that big presentation to Wednesday so you won't be interrupted by meetings. 

Get to bed early. Turn off Netflix before eleven and you'll be bright-eyed the next morning. 

Drink a lot of water Monday morning. I mean, drink a lot of water period, but especially Monday morning. But you knew that, right?

What are some of the ways you prepare to have a very productive week?
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7.11.2019

5 Things I've Learned This Year


Halfway done with 2019 and it still feels like I'm just getting going. Isn't that always the case though? Despite still feeling like I'm in 2018, I've learned a few big lessons this year that feel worth sharing. Even if it's just for future Kayla to look back and think, "oh how quaint."

All things are difficult before they are easy. I've started a lot of new projects this year. I launched a subscription box, am deep into creating a coaching program, and am taking active steps towards a retail location. And it's hard. I have no freakin' clue what I'm doing most of the time. But things become easier the more you do them. The box process has become a well oiled machine after six months and I'm sure everything that's difficult now will become easy soon enough.

Anything can be accomplished with time and effort. This kind of goes with the first lesson. I never in a million years thought I'd be creating curriculum for an online coaching program. But with time and a whole lot of effort, even the most daunting thing (I'm looking at you retail store) can become a reality. 

I'm a social introvert. This year I joined the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce's ambassador program kind of on a whim. It's a whole lot more socializing than I originally expected, but I'm realizing that's ok. I'm still a hardcore homebody who loves to be alone with her husband and her cats. But I can also be that socialite attending networking events and grabbing coffee with strangers. 

That you can't always dip your toe in. This feels 100% true with the retail shop venture we're embarking on. It's definitely not something to just "try out." There are leases, commitments, and so many other factors that can't be half-assed. It's time to go all in on Oh, Hello.

Don't say 'no' to yourself for someone else. So often I find myself thinking, "oh there's no way they'll want to collab with me." I'm literally saying 'no' for them before I've even asked. So many times this year I've been pleasantly surprised by responses to emails and inquiries. You never know what they're going to say, so don't say it for them.

I'd love to say that I learned something small like how to clean the oven (I still don't know), but these past six months have been packed with some big "aha" lessons. How has the first half of 2019 been treating you?

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7.09.2019

My Top 5 Travel Tips


We talked about travel anxiety in a recent post, but I wanted to dive into the tricks I've learned along the way that has made travel a breeze. I travel about once a month and these tips make it possible.

Join every frequent flyer program you can find. No matter what airline I'm flying on, I make sure I'm part of their program to get points for the flights. That way, one day down the road I'll have enough points for free travel. It seems silly if you don't use the same airline that often, but over time it can really pay off. Plus the programs are free so what does it hurt?

Along the same lines of frequent flyers are credit card points. Depending on what card you have, you'll receive points from purchases. We run our entire business through our credit cards in order to get the most points possible. We use those to pay for flights and hotels for conferences and events. As long as you pay off your credit card balance in full every month, it's basically like the credit card company is paying for your travel.

Once you're actually traveling, pack Ziplock bags with you. I usually bring one gallon bag with a few sandwich bags inside. You never know when you'll need a ziplock bag. It's great to keep your liquids separate from other things in your bag if they happen to spill. Maybe you went swimming the night before your flight leaves and still have a wet swimsuit. They're great to have on hand, just in case.

I've personally never been very good at documenting a trip while I'm on it, so I recommend keeping daily adventure lists of what you get up to. Nothing too fancy, just a list of places you went, things you saw, and food you ate. That way when you get back home you won't have to remember all the details when you're trying to document the trip.

Although I'm a bit biased with this one, film it. Film the entire trip in one capacity or another. Even if it's just short clips on your phone, you'll love being able to look back and see better snippets than just posed photos. Phone storage is way better these days so you won't have to worry about using up your space.

Any other seasoned travelers out there? What are your top tips?
film it
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7.04.2019

What I Wish I Knew When I Started Decorative Planning


It's been five years. Five years of decorative planning. I've learned a lot over the past half decade (wut. why did I even say it that way? Now I can't get that out of my head...) and I have quite a lot of insight for younger me. 

Dear Kayla from 2014,

You don't need a ton of washi tape all at once. I mean, you'll soon find out you don't like it at all, but you definitely don't need 30+ rolls when you've only used a few inches of the first roll you purchased. Take things slow, figure out your planning style, and then invest in high quality products you'll use until they run out.

It's ok if your planning style changes. When I first started, I felt terrible when I suddenly didn't like the vertical planner I obsessed over for months before purchasing. Planner guilt is a real thing and you don't have to beat yourself up if the system no longer works for you.

Matte stickers are indeed better than glossy. Now, it does matter what type of matte paper we're talking about. That silky smooth type is king and beats out all other types. I know you're obsessed with glossy now, but you'll see.

You'll find other like-minded people. It may feel like you're a weirdo and no one relates to you, but soon enough you'll find your tribe of planner addicts and make a ton of lifelong friends. Just hold out and keep doing what you love.

One day, you'll finally figure out what to do with leftover stickers. I know you're frustrated by them now and don't know what to do with that giant stack, but you'll soon learn to combine like colors and do one color spreads. You'll feel stupid when that retaliation comes.

I know you take your spreads very seriously and what them to be Instagram perfect, but you'll realize (a little too late), that style of planning just doesn't work for you. Function over form because at the end of the day, that planner needs to help you not be a piece of crap more than it needs to look good.

Sincerely,
 Kayla from 2019

What are some things you wish you knew when you started decorative planning? 
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7.02.2019

How I Take Care of Over 30+ Different Houseplants


We recently hosted my 27th birthday at our house. Always having a flair for the dramatic, I wanted the theme to be "urban jungle." Of course it was met with a lot of confusion from friends who are most definitely not plant enthusiasts. As soon as they strolled through the front door it definitely sunk in. Over 30 gorgeous houseplants all stacked up right there in the living room (with a chair for plant selfies of course). 

Now people knew I enjoyed houseplants, but the party really brought the obsession to light. I get questions a lot online and in person about how I can keep so many (and different) plants alive. I gotta tell you, it really is super simple. I wish I had some super secret magic trick my great-great-grandmother passed down through the generations, but alas. No silver bullet plant growth tips here.

It's all about the water and sunlight. Which I mean, duh, but it's more than just pouring some water in and sticking a plant in front of a window. Plants, like people, are all different. Even ones in the same species have different needs. Plants I mean (well people too I guess!). I found my best plant success when I stopped listening to what the tags in the plants told me to do and started listening to the plant itself. (Insert plant whisperer imagery right here).

Sure I start off doing what the tag suggests, but I keep an eye on the plant to see if that's what it really wants. I always start my plant off in a location I hope it'll like and works with my decor, but more often than not the plant wants another spot. Over the next month or so if the plant doesn't get any new growth and starts looking sickly, I'll move it into more light or less light depending on where it is. 

As for water, I water all of my plants once a week but vary the amount of water that goes to each plant. Succulents and cacti get just a little to get the top soil a bit wet while the rest of the plants get water based on the size of their pots. All of my plants have a bed of rocks and sand at the bottom of their pots before the soil, so I never worry too much about over-watering them as they have a place to store that water away from the roots. The larger the pot, the more water as it dries out quicker. Plus the plants are usually larger in those pots and need more water anyway. I also recommend rotating your plants as they'll start to bend towards the light source over time.

It's honestly quite simple. Your plant will tell you if it's happy with new growth, and it will tell you if it's not with brown leaves and droopy looking branches. Plants are quite hearty creatures, but do demand a little attention now and again. I find that succulents and cacti are the hardest plants to keep happy as they don't show effects as quickly as other plants. So I tend to stick to the tropical or vine varieties that give me quicker satisfaction in seeing them grow.

Now you definitely don't need 30 plants, but one or two will make all the difference in a space. Start that urban jungle!
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6.27.2019

What's Missing from Your Planning Routine

What's Missing from Your Planning Routine

Whether you're a weekly planner, bullet journal-er, or avid to do list maker, don't forget to make sure this one particular thing is in your planning routine. Memory keeping.

For the longest time I avoided memory documenting because I thought I had to be good at scrapbooking (which I most definitely am not). It seemed like such an expensive hobby to get into to be any sort of good at it and it just wasn't what I wanted to spend my free time on (I rather be napping honestly). So I added a few photos here or there but didn't really do any memory keeping. I missed out on preserving a lot of awesome moments and now I'm here to make sure you don't miss out like I did.

What's Missing from Your Planning Routine

My first attempt at memory documenting happened when I went to Las Vegas for Go Wild. I literally had no plan whatsoever on how I wanted to do it. I kept it light, added things as the weekend went along, and it turned out better than I could have imagined. I became hooked and now it's a vital part of my planning routine especially to document travel like my recent trip to Washington state.

So why should you start? Because it's super easy. I just use the softbound notebooks from Erin Condren and paste down business cards, birthday cards, ticket stubs, and of course photos. My rule of thumb is if I have at least photos and one memento from an event, it's worth documenting.  

What's Missing from Your Planning Routine

It may seem silly to document little things like a baseball game now, but I know future me will appreciate the effort. One day I'll look back and easily remember the event and it'll be awesome to see me and Alex in our early years of marriage.

So whether you add some memory planning into your current planner on some note pages or you break out a whole new notebook, just start. Grab the scissors and glue and get to work. You'll become addicted to it in no time.
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