I'm Kayla. A 20-something obsessed with beauty, planner decorating, and baking.



2017 Ashley Shelly Aqua Glam Planner Review

2017 Ashley Shelly Aqua Glam Planner Review

2017 Ashley Shelly Aqua Glam Planner Review

2017 Ashley Shelly Aqua Glam Planner Review

2017 Ashley Shelly Aqua Glam Planner Review

2017 Ashley Shelly Aqua Glam Planner Review

2017 Ashley Shelly Aqua Glam Planner Review

2017 Ashley Shelly Aqua Glam Planner Review

2017 Ashley Shelly Aqua Glam Planner Review

Today kicks off a two week long planner review series. I just posted a huge, epic video reviewing tweleve different planners to help you decide which one will work best for you in 2017. First up is the Ashley Shelly Planner

This planner screams student. It's set up perfectly to help guide routines and habits while providing plenty of room for class schedules and to do lists. The weekly spread is perfect to write down homework assignments and upcoming events. The monthly view is lined which makes writing in overview information super simple and easy. 

One of the most interesting features of this planner is the page before each month. It gives you a space to write your ideas, negative things you want to avoid, a monthly bucket list, and ultimately helps you figure out how you want the next month to go. It reminds me a lot of how bullet journals operate without having to make the page yourself. Always nice for us artistically un-inclinded. 

Another awesome feature is the perferated bottom right corner that you can tear off after the week is over. It works as a handy built in bookmark as you use the planner. Plus the planners come with stickers which is always a bonus.

My biggest complaint is the price. At $50 it doesn't seem very price friendly for an audience that it seems perfect for. It's really hard to rationalize spending so much up front for a planner and definitely if you're in school trying to save money. But I'll say this for every expensive planner, if you really break it down it's pennies a day for the entire year to use something that works wonders for your organization. If it's going to make things easier for you in the long run and save you time and money, it's worthwhile.

I'm giving away this lovely planner to one of you! Be sure to enter the giveaway if you think this planner would work well for you or someone you know. 

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Another Sticker Giveaway

Oh, Hello Stationery Mrs. Claus's Bakery Weekly Kit

I had the great pleasure of teaming up with the lovely Ashley from Paper Pastels for this week's plan with me. I wanted to do something special to mark the occasion and so of course that meant another giveaway. I'm really on a roll lately...

Giveaway is open internationally to anyone 18-years-old or with parental consent. Be sure to check out Ashley's video to see how she used the same kit!
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Life Snapshots

Just a few of my favorite things from the last month or so.

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Oh, Hello Greeting Card Subscription Giveaway | December 2016

Oh, Hello Greeting Card Subscription

Last month I finally launched the greeting card subscription I've been wanting to create since Oh, Hello started back in 2014. Greeting cards were the first products our business ever created so it's been a blast getting back to our roots and creating things like this. It's only $8 a month or $7 if you sign up for the auto-renew option and all the cards are based around the season or holidays within the month. In honor of the first subscription I wanted to give one away! The giveaway is open internationally for one week so be sure to enter!

We sell these cards individually if there's one you just have to have! 
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Thanks again for your constant support of everything I do online!
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When Life Doesn't Knock You Down, But Tackles a Loved One Instead

It's one thing when life throws you some punches, it's another when they're suddenly directed at someone you love. It definitely causes a feeling of helplessness because you can only do so much. I'm currently in the midst of one of these life changes. I'm adjacent to life doing its twisting thing. No one has died fortunately, but it's an end of an era that didn't seem like it could end, and definitely not like it did. It's strange because I would almost prefer it to be happening to me because then I could actively do something about it. But I've learned over these past few months of watching the struggle how to help, even if they're small.

Find out what they need from you without asking. They have enough on their plate and don't need constant, "if you need anything from me" sentiments sent their way. That always feels like such a half-hearted way to help without having to do anything. Sleuth out the situation and see what kind of help you can be. A shoulder to cry on? A distraction from what's going on? A place to crash? Figure it out and then offer them clear, helpful assistance rather than a blanket statement anyone can give them.

Be there. So simple, so important. Even if there isn't a single thing you can do, just being there for the person is helpful. If they live far away, be more active in their life. Call. Write. Let them know that they aren't alone beyond sending a text.

Help make a plan. Or be a sounding board for them to bounce ideas off of. Ultimately it's their decision on how they get over the hurdle, but you can definitely be there to help them map out what to do next. 

Be a distraction if that's what they need. Take them out, come over for take-out. It goes along with being there, but sometimes they just don't want to think about the problem right away and you can be the one to keep their mind off of it.

Know that this too shall pass and bad days don't last forever. 

Things have already looked up in the situation I'm currently in and we're all getting through the change one day at a time. It's not what any of us wanted, but we're making the best of it. And that's really all you can do in the end anyway.

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Why You Should Tell People About Your Blog

Why You Should Tell People About Your Blog

For the longest time I was a strong advocate for keeping my online passions a secret. My blog stayed quiet for a good year before it started to slowly leak out into the real world. Now literally everything I do online I talk about, including this new children's Youtube channel I started. Although it's been a bit embarrassing at times when everyone knows about this blog and the content I produce on it, it's been much more rewarding than not. So here's why you should tell people about your blog, YouTube channel, Instagram, etc.

  • It's who you are, and you shouldn't hide something that makes you, you. When people didn't know about my blog it felt like I was hiding myself from them. I didn't feel like I could be anyone's true friend if I was just leaving out this huge part of my life because I was worried about what people might think.
  • It won't be as bad as you think. And if people are jerks, then they shouldn't be in your life if they can't support something you're interested in. When I shared my blog and channel with everyone there was a few jokes from some of the not-so-close guy Facebook friends. But the ones who made those jokes ended up being the ones randomly binge watching my videos and really enjoying my content.
  • It could help you land a job by showing dedication, consistency, writing skills, photography skills, and your ability to pursue something that doesn't have a monetary goal or driving force. I landed my first big job after college by including my blog in my resume. They were looking for someone who could write news articles and blog posts so what better way than to show them that very thing I was already doing?
  • If you tell people, it becomes more real. Before I told people about my online life, I myself didn't take it all too seriously. But when people I knew started looking out for posts and videos, I felt more responsible for the content I was creating. It felt nice to give what I was doing weight.
  • Because you should be proud of what you create and share it for the world! There's nothing like the absolute pointless feeling of writing to an empty room. Sharing your work makes it live and breathe and that's pretty fantastic.

If you're still unsure, take it slowly. You don't have to start sharing everything you do on Facebook, but tell a few close friends and see where that takes you.
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Christmas Decorating

When we moved into our home back in March I could barely contain my excitement to decorate for Christmas. Now that it's officially appropriate to do so since Christmas in July is only fun in theory, I went a bit crazy. There's still a lot I want to do, but for our first year I'm pretty happy with how festive everything is looking. I hope you enjoy the video and taking a poke around our home!

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A Bullet Journal Update

A Bullet Journal Update

I recently started bullet journaling in my Erin Condren journal and felt it time for a check in. Plot twist. It's not going well. I'm pretty sure the first time I even touched the journal in weeks was to take this photo. Yikes. I'd like to say that I think 2017 will be better, but I highly doubt that. Bullet journaling just isn't for me.

There are a few reasons actually. It's hard for me to keep up with something every single day. The good thing about planning is I can check what I need to accomplish, but I don't have to actively contribute to it on a daily basis. And if I'm having a particularly busy weekend I won't look at my planner at all. Bullet journaling demands a bit more attention than I'm able to get it.

I'm also not very artistically inclined. Sure I can design a sticker like a pro, but when it comes to putting paper and pen together it's a hot mess. If I were to truly pursue bullet journaling I'd have to develop a lot more talent than I currently have. I guess I could fumble through it and that be the journey itself, but I don't have a lot of spare time in my day to devote to something that just doesn't seem to be going well.

So my first bullet journal update is to say that I'm giving it a rest. I do have a few plans in the works for my organizational method for 2017 however that are definitely more my speed. Plus it includes some non-Erin Condren materials which is always a shock when it comes to me and planning.

Do you bullet journal? What do you include?

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What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

My makeup hording days seem like a distant memory and thank goodness because I don't think my current lifestyle could afford the addiction. Ever since we moved into this house I de-stashed immensely and have created what I like to call my "capsule makeup collection." Sure by some standards it's still quite a lot of makeup, but for a beauty addict this is nothing. I'm sure I could even narrow it down more if the mood struck me, but a capsule makeup collection can fit your needs any way you want. So here are my tips and tricks to getting everything you'll need out of a capsule makeup collection.

First up is lips. If they're your weakness like they are mine, pick around five you couldn't live without. A good nude shade, natural lip color shade, raspberry shade, red shade, and bonus shade. I honestly find myself only grabbing the MAC lipsticks on most days as they're formulas I love in shades that I can wear with anything.

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

My blush collection is probably five shades total, but you could really live with just one or two. I swear I could ditch my entire baby collection and just use Urban Decay's Afterglow Blush in "Video" until I'm scraping the sides for the last bits.

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

For base get yourself a good everyday one and a "special" occasion one. I use the BareMinerals Complexion Rescue on any given day of the week and break out the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation when I need more coverage. There are a few other favorites, but if you want to keep it simple these two will do the trick.

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

If you're really going for simplicity in your capsule collection, skip the eye shadow. More often than not I don't wear it anymore (color me uninspired) and focus on the brows and lashes instead. Eyebrows are my must-do no matter what level of makeup I'm wearing and the IT Cosmetics Brow Power beats out the rest of them in my book. I also find that if I tight line my lashes eye shadow isn't even missed. My favorite has to be any shade of the Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner. This one beats out all the rest hands down.

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

If your capsule makeup collection is void of eye shadow, be sure to have a good mascara to make up for it. My favorite high-end choice is the IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara, but anything by Maybelline is also great if you're on a capsule collection budget.

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

For concealer find one good product that ticks all the boxes. For me it's all about covering up the under-eye circles and I jump between Urban Decay's Naked Concealer and the NARS Creamy Concealer. Both very similar but if you want to narrow it down it would have to be Urban Decay for the win. 

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

If your capsule makeup collection has room for a primer, don't bother with anything but Stila's One Step Correct. So much hydration that I wear it as a moisturizer when I don't wear any other makeup. My skin craves this stuff and I've gone through probably a dozen bottles of it by this point. Liquid gold.

Ultimately pick makeup items that you know, love, and could happily use for the rest of your life. Sure I like dabbling in new releases, but I always come back to the main crew that has never let me down. Once you start digging through you'll collection you'll find it's super easy to narrow it down.

What makeup products would be in your capsule makeup collection?

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Our Wedding | The Highlights

Prepare yourself for the wedding posts. They're finally coming. It's been almost three months from the big day and it honestly felt like it didn't even happen until our wedding photos arrived just a few days ago. Everything came rushing back in one happy, emotional blur and we got to finally relive the day. It was downright magical.

So here are the highlights. My favorite parts and moments of that amazing blur of a day. My dad walking me down the aisle, the big kiss, officially being married, and dancing the night away. There are so many other, smaller moments I'll go into detail over in later posts, but I couldn't help but share these moments first. The wedding was a fairytale without a doubt. 

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Easy Blog Photography Hacks

As an accompaniment to my last post about how to make your blog photographs better, I wanted to give some easy blog photography hacks if you just aren't sure how to accomplish the photos you want. Quick and easy things to make the whole process easier. Get ready for all my super secret photography tips to be revealed.

First and foremost, the easiest way to not spend tons of money on equipment and lighting is to use natural light. We have quite a lot of equipment from Alex's wedding photography days, but I still find the large window in our bedroom to be the best source for natural, bright light. It gets the most sun in the afternoon which is when I like taking my photos. Picking a nice big window that gets light when you want to shoot photos will make your life so much easier.

I also use poster board for backgrounds so I don't have to worry about moving a white table or surface in. I have a stack of white poster board I picked up years ago that I use for everything. Plus if it gets dirty or I poke a ton of holes in it for enamel pin photography, I can just toss it. 

If you're really in need of lighting and can't afford to buy soft boxes, DIY your own lighting. Alex took a large lamp shade from IKEA that had a light bulb cord attachment and covered it with parchment paper to diffuse the light. He put a very bright bulb in and presto, make-shift light box. Sure it isn't as good as the real thing, but we used what we had on hand and it works in a pinch.

Blog photography shouldn't hold you back from having the blog you want. Try these tips and you'll be snapping pics like a pro!

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A Sephora Haul of My Holy Grails

A Sephora Haul of My Holy Grails

I've cut done my beauty spending substantially in 2016, but a recovering addict still can't pass up the Sephora VIB Sale. I rationalized that since I was running out of a lot of the products I use every day, I had to stock up during the sale. It basically turned into a holy grail products haul.

Up first is the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. I use this every time I do my makeup to finish everything off. It locks makeup in place and I can seriously tell the difference between when I do and do not use it. My makeup looks fresher, bolder, longer. There was a deal where you could get two for practically the price of one so of course I clicked away. They still have that two for one deal going on at Ulta.

I'm nearly out of my second tube of the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Gel Cream and it's my favorite base to wear on average, every day makeup days. It's lightweight, super blendable, and wears great throughout the day. It's the only base product I've repeatedly repurchased so that's always a positive sign.

Another product I've purchased too many times to count is the Stila One Step Correct. They changed their packaging so it was a pleasant surprise to open up a brand new styled product. I love the changes they made to make it feel a little more special and the product inside is just as good as ever. No other primer can compare to this in my book.

I needed a new beauty blender but didn't want to spend full price on a new, name brand one so I popped around the site looking for other options. I came upon the Gnome for the Holidays set and had to get it. Three different sized, really great sponges in adorable packaging? I'm all in. I love that there's a baby one for concealer too. I've only ever used just one sponge to do everything so it'll be nice to be able to have specific ones for different uses.

I somehow managed to talk myself into putting the IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara into my cart before checkout. Ever since I tried it I've become alarmingly obsessed with how full and long it makes my lashes. I've always been such a strong advocate of drugstore mascaras, but this one seriously cannot be beat. It's definitely become my absolute favorite mascara.

Now that I've gotten backups of all my staples I should be set for at least the next half of the year. Did you purchase anything from the sale? What are some of your beauty staples?
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