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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

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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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