Wednesday, July 1, 2015

L'Oréal Paris Smooth Intense Ultimate Straight

L'Oréal Paris Smooth Intense Ultimate Straight

**I received these products from Influenster for testing purposes

It's been ages since I've washed my hair with anything other than the OGX Thick & Full Biotin and Collagen Shampoo, but a switch every once in a while is always in order. L'Oréal's gorgeous rose gold packaging arrived at my doorstep at the perfect time. Although my hair is naturally straight, I wanted to see just how smooth and intense it could get with the Ultimate Straight Line.

Right off the bat I'll tell you that you don't need as many products as the line provides you. I'm always in favor of the less is more mentality when it comes to hair and too many products can really weigh you down. Yet beyond the number of products the line makes you feel like you need, this collection is amazing. They smell amazing, but I can't quite put my finger on exactly what the scent is. Grapefruit? Candy? It's delicious either way and the shampoo builds up into a nice lather.

I also really enjoyed the Straight Perfecting Balm. It worked more as a heat protectant for me than anything else, but my hair felt and looked shinier and smoother after use. No stray hairs flying all over the place like usual.

My hair felt clean after usage (always a good sign), but a little too flat for my liking. It's a hard balance to create a straightening product, that also still gives you volume and body. This range just couldn't do that for me. I find that volumizing shampoo work a lot better on my hair type than ones that boast about straight hair. I'm sure if your hair isn't as straight as mine this would be a great line to try, but for us straight hair girls it leaves me wanting more volume and grit.

It's definitely an affordable range to check out if you're in the market for some straightening gems, but straight hair girls should stay away in favor of volume and texture.

xoxo Kayla

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Favorite Board Games | June 2015

This month's board game post should be renamed to "an ode to Alex's favorite board games" because I realize all of these Alex can't get enough of! They're great games and are each different from each other. That's what I love about board games. You can never have too many as they're always so different!

Family Business is a card game that Alex has had for many, many years. He played avidly in high school drama and we've only recently started to play with our friends. You're the leader of a mob and you're trying to take out other mobs with contracts, hits, and other mob-like tactics. You're trying to keep your mobsters from dying and you win by being the last one standing. There are mob wars, Valentine's Day massacres, and a lot of wheeling and dealing with other players. It's a fairly simple card game that does take a bit of time to figure out what every card does. Once you get the basic gist of it, it's easy to fly through a round in 15-20 minutes. It's very family friendly for being about mobsters too!

Bang! is a more complicated card game that is a bit on the violent side (if card games can even be violent...) as it has guns and you're trying to shoot fellow players. You play one of four types of players, the sheriff, the deputy, the renegade, or an outlaw. Only the person playing the sheriff is revealed, so no one quite knows who you are playing. Each group is trying to win in a different way. The deputy and sheriff work together to take out the renegade and the outlaw/s, the outlaw/s want to kill the sheriff. The renegade wants to be the last one standing. It's an interesting game of relationships and trying to figure out who is on your side and who isn't while avoiding getting killed. There are character cards that give you different skills and attributes as well. The basic game plot is simple enough, but the cards make it a bit more complicated while increasing the replay-ability of the game. There are so many variables that you never know who is going to be which role, which character, or what supplies you're going to have. 

I should have had Alex come in to share his two cents about Comic Encounter. Alex's love for this game has no limits. He can't get enough an will constantly try to play it at least once during game nights. It's one of those games you can't really explain unless you're in the thick of it playing. I'll give it a go though to entice you to buy it immediately. It's more or less a card game with visual representation, but so much more. 

You play a random alien race who has special abilities unlike any other alien playing the game. You're inhabit five planets with your twenty space ships, and you're trying to colonize other planets in order to win. You colonize these planets through encounters. The encounters are determined randomly by a "destiny deck" and you can either attack the planet with your ships, help from other players who are allies, and numbered attack to gain control of it or "negotiate" with the player who "owns" the planet. You win by getting one of your ships on five different planets. But it's so much more complicated than that. Your alien's special power helps you out, but the other players have special powers too. Some are trying to lose their ships to win. Others play by becoming allies. Some never lose their ships. Some have one ship count for four ships. The combination of aliens in the game makes the game a completely different experience. You have to adapt depending on which alien you're encountering. It's awesome, complicated, and you'll never play the same game twice.

Board games are Alex and my way of relaxing, spending time with friends, and keeping our brains working in a different way. These three games are completely different, but wonderful in their own way. I can't wait to see what new games we pick up next!

What board games do you like to play?

xoxo Kayla

Monday, June 29, 2015

June 2015 Favorites + Erin Condren Life Planner Giveaway

June was one amazing month. I got engaged, saw my YouTube channel grow exponentially, got to get to know fellow planner addicts even more, got a P.O. Box, and loads of other amazing things. Filming this month's favorites video was such a blast to round up all the wonderful things that happened in June. 

Plus as a thank you for being so amazing and supporting everything I do, I'm giving away an 18-month Erin Condren Life Planner in the vertical layout! This giveaway is open internationally to everyone 18 years or older (or with parental consent) for three weeks. You'll be able to start planning right when it arrives as well as create your own cover! 

Thanks again for always being so awesome and good luck!

xoxo Kayla

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Join the #OhHelloSwap Planner Supplies & Stationery Swap

I'm super excited to be announcing my first ever Planner Supplies & Stationery Swap! If you love all things planning and stationery then you'll definitely want to join in on #OhHelloSwap. Fill out the form below and you'll be matched up with someone with similar (or different if that's your thing) planning/stationery tastes! You'll receive your partner's email to chat with them for a few weeks before gathering $20 worth of goodies to send to them!

The form will be open until July 10th and partners will be assigned a few days after that. All swap packages must be sent out by the end of the month.

Be sure to tag any posts about the swap with #OhHelloSwap and encourage your friends to join! It's going to be a lot of fun and I can't wait to see what everyone gets!

xoxo Kayla

Thursday, June 25, 2015

#AKBwedding: Our Venue & Setting the Date

Without giving too much away, we picked our venue this week!! Alex and I were pretty much in agreement as soon as we saw the space that this is where we want to get married, but we didn't want to jump the gun and not research other locations first. We've been engaged for a few weeks now and things just seemed too easy. So we took it slow, sought out opinions of family and friends, toured other venues, but still couldn't get this one out of our heads.

I want to save photos of the reception area itself for the big event, but the outside ceremony space was just too gorgeous not to share. I never wanted an outdoor wedding, but I as soon as I stepped outside to see that cute little gazebo, I started to sing a different tune. I'm still terrified of a thunderstorm on our wedding day, but the coordinator assured us of their many back up plans just in case. 

The idea that when you see your venue you'll just know couldn't be more true. The problem is that we saw this place first, so we didn't know whether or not we were just excited about the prospect of if this place was the one. We went with our guts though and know it's going to be magical. *Checks 'find venue' off the to do list*

Better yet we even settled on a date. I thought picking a date would be difficult, but I didn't think it would be more difficult than the venue. Plus we already knew we wanted it in September of 2016. It got complicated when we found out that Fridays and Sundays are cheaper. Days that we weren't even considering became an option. We talked a lot about the date and finally settled on September 4, 2015. Although it's a Sunday (which posed a concern for travelling family), it's the day before Labor Day. So we'll be getting a Sunday price on a day that kind of acts like a second Saturday. It almost feels like it was meant to be.

Here's hoping this good luck wedding planning streak continues all the way up to the moment Alex and I leave the reception that night. I do see where people can say that wedding planning can be stressful, but Alex has taken an approach to it that puts me at ease. He wants it to be the most special day of our lives, so why not get the fancier venue, go a little more extravagant here or there, and enjoy doing the process together? That man. I tell ya. I think I'll marry him.

Until next time,

xoxo Kayla

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Birthday Haul

Although my actual birthday was filled with work, a final in my grad class, and not too much fun, my birthday observed was a blast. The Saturday before a few of my closest friends went kayaking, ate some amazing food, and hopped around a few bars for some lemonade. It was a blast to hang out with everyone and take a day off without my phone and Etsy attached to my hip. 

I didn't want gifts from my friends as their presence was enough, but I did pick up a few goodies for myself. Besides the Sephora VIB NARS Birthday Gift I had to spoil myself with a few MAC lipsticks. I rarely buy these unless it's a holiday or my birthday. They're not overly expensive, but I like to think of it as a treat yo'self moment. I picked up "Crosswires" and "Twig" after doing more swatching comparing than I would like to admit. I've worn them since this photo and am in love. Two very different shades that have a skill of looking perfect in their own way.

I repurchased a few items that I'm starting to run out of when I ordered the VIB gift. You know the obsession with Stila One Step Correct, but I also got another tube of the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue as it's the only base I use these days. It's one of those products I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I ran out.

I'm currently in the process of making my bridesmaids their gifts to ask them to be in the wedding, so I had to purchase an extra China Glaze polish in "One Track Mind" as it's the closest I could find to our navy wedding colors.

I did happen to get a lovely giftcard to Panera and an awesome fox eraser from friends. A small birthday haul, just the way I like it. I definitely don't need any more stuff cluttering up my apartment!

Thanks again for all the wonderful birthday wishes!

xoxo Kayla

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Makeup to Wear to Work

Makeup to Wear to Work

Although I like to think of myself as the princess of stickers, I do still have a day job to keep after. I also don't like to fuss over my makeup in the morning and have developed a natural work makeup look that can be slapped on in ten minutes or less.

My base has to be comprised of my trio of superstars. I prime with the Stila One Step Correct, smooth on a decent coat of the bareMinearls Complexion Rescue, and cover up any evidence of lack of sleep with the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer. Flawless base status achieved. Add one of the three gorgeous blush shades from the Bobbi Brown Pink Cheek Palette (which I currently can't find anywhere on the interwebs) and my face is effortlessly done.

Brows make a huge difference in my work appearance (or my appearance just in general for that matter) so filling them in is a top priority. I'm still obsessed with my Anastasia Brow Wiz in "Soft Brown." It's as good as everyone says and the little spoolie on one end makes it so practical. For eyes any shade from the Stila in the Light Palette will do for a natural, yet put together look with just a few sweeps of a brush. Then tight line with Stila's Smudge Stick in "Damsel" if there is time (there usually isn't). I always have to curl my stick straight lashes, and right now I've been testing out the Covergirl Super Sizer mascara. It's alright, but not something to write home about.

The lip product changes up most frequently in this work makeup routine but the one I featured in the photo is Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet "Nude-ist." Mixing up the lip color makes it look like I'm doing my makeup slightly different every day, with little to no extra effort on my part.

I love this look for giving the illusion of sleep while having a nice, neutral face for work. Easy peasy.

What makeup do you usually wear to work?

xoxo Kayla