I'm Kayla. A 20-something obsessed with makeup, planner decorating, and board games. Working towards a more organized, simplified life one post at a time.

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Well...this is awkward.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Is this thing on? I think I may have completely forgotten how to blog. Is it like riding a bike? I was always rubbish at bicycles and have quite a few scars to prove it. Here's hoping I can get back into blogging better than I ever got back on a bike. Honestly I don't remember the last time I was even on a bike, but I digress.

So it's been a minute. A long minute. So the only way to really dive back into this thing is to tell you what's been going on in that very long minute. Prepare yourself for a whole lot of links.

I've been travelling for work, a lot. Since I work for myself that may sound a bit odd, but my husband and I (Alex, you remember him right?) have been travelling the planner conference circuit. The PlannerCon Parties circuit to be exact. We've been to Salt Lake City and Cleveland so far (click for links to vlogs) and have Charlotte, San Diego, and Honolulu (squeal!!) on the books. Plus there's a Wisconsin event thrown in there next month for good measure. It's been a whirlwind of an adventure so far and I have plans for a post all about travelling for work to really get into the deets.

Beyond travelling Alex's promotional business has really gotten off the ground. I've even started sticking my toe in and have my very first coffee and promotional chat on the schedule. The introvert in me is dying, but my girl boss exterior couldn't be more excited to take a crack at honest-to-god-in-person-sales. 

I think I've finally settled into a new planning style with my deluxe monthly setup and traveler's notebook. I've been going into intense detail about it on my YouTube channel where I haven't fallen off the posting bandwagon.

Time is going by at the speed of light. A week off of blogging has turned into months and here I am, awkwardly returning. So let's do this thing like it's been going on this whole time...shall we?
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Why I Left My Erin Condren Life Planner for the Deluxe Monthly

Why I Left My Erin Condren Life Planner for the Deluxe Monthly

I have very strong feelings about "planner peace." Frankly I don't think it exists, and this past month definitely proved that to me. Planning should adjust with your needs, your lifestyle, and what you have going on. So when I started to feel unhappy with my Erin Condren Life Planner hourly layout, I knew a switch was just around the corner.

About a year ago I really started to get into my groove with the monthly views. I found my style, how I like to set it up, and found myself leaving my planner open to that page more than the current weekly view. So when the new Deluxe Monthly Planner launched on the Erin Condren website, it felt like a sign.

I go into a lot of detail about why I made this switch in my latest video if you want to take a gander, but ultimately I've been SO happy with the switch. I still have to figure out exactly how to utilize all of the notes pages that come along with it.

Don't be afraid to switch things up if it's just not working for you. Honestly I was quite nervous to post this video. It's hard to admit when the norm isn't working for you, but I'm glad I did. Not all planners are going to be Instagram perfect, but they just have to be perfect for you.

I'll be sure to keep posting about my journey as it unfolds!
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5 Products You Need to Buy This Month

5 Products You Need to Buy This Month

There are some new loves (and an old favorite) in my makeup collection that just haven't gotten their time in the sun with a blog post yet. So here we are! Let's dive right in with the five products you need to buy (or at least swatch) this month.

Urban Decay's Born to Run Palettelanded on my doorstep on my birthday so it felt like a nice little gift from UD to me. It's quite possibly my favorite palette by them ever and I've given all the Naked palettes a go. It has that classic UD quality, but the color range has everything you could possibly need. There are a ton of neutral shades for everyday, but some great options if you're feeling a bit adventurous. Plus the packaging is high-quality and gorgeous.

5 Products You Need to Buy This Month

For all my fellow translucent pale people, contouring can be quite the struggle. I spent ages hunting around for a good, light contour option that wasn't too orange. Although the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder costs a pretty penny, it's one of the best makeup purchases I've ever made. Plus it's lasted me six months or more so far without really making a dent in it. It's the best for contouring if you aren't too sure of what you're doing, or need something on the cooler toned side of the spectrum. There's also some darker shades as well.

Every year for my birthday I pick up two new Mac Lipsticks to add to my collection and although I love the other shade I purchased, "Retro" had to be mentioned. It's this gorgeous burgundy red shade that isn't too much on the lips. And it truly makes me feel retro when I wear it. There's just something about the tones in it that are so 1950s.

5 Products You Need to Buy This Month

I've had a serious obsession with Glossier lately and you should too. They're makeup is perfection if you're wanting a no-makeup-makeup look. Everything is so natural and glowy that I have to stop myself from scooping up one of everything to try. My two current favorites are Boy Brow and Cloud Paint in "Dusk" and both are staples in my every day routine. Boy Brow is the most natural looking brow product ever and does wonders at darkening my brows while filling them in. It never looks like I have anything in them, but they always look full and amazing. The cloud paints are a bit odd at first to get used to, but I just dab the product onto my cheeks and blend it out with a small fluffy brush. Perfect finish every time. Save 10% on your first purchase with my affiliate link!

So if you find yourself near a Sephora or an Ulta this month, definitely pop in for a swatch or two. These five have shaken up my makeup routine and I'm loving every glowy, colorful second of it!

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Party Games for When You're Tired of Cards Against Humanity

Party Games for When You're Tired of Cards Against Humanity

Sure Cards Against Humanity is fun and all the first few times, but it's like limiting yourself to the checkers of party games. There are SO. MANY. OTHER. GAMES. out there my friends. Here are a few of my favorites.

Party Games for When You're Tired of Cards Against Humanity

Sleep in a Bucket is one of the newest games to our collection and a gives you everything you like about Cards Against Humanity, but lets you own up to your answers before the judge picks a winner. You're given a handful of "would you rather" cards and have to convince the judge that your card is the worst of the mix. There's no player limit and over 250 different terrible cards to choose from. One of my least favorite things about Cards Against Humanity is how little interaction and discussion that happens during the rounds. This game lets you talk it all out. Plus listening to people's reasoning why their card is the worst will sure to get some laughs.

One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a simple game for up to 10 players. Every player is given a secret role card that has special abilities. Players play out their roles secretly during the "night" phase and it's the villagers job to uncover who are the werewolves while the werewolves try to get the town off their scent. Plus there's a free app that makes the entire game super easy to follow along to. It's quick, fun, and family friendly. Plus there are a ton of different editions to choose from.

The Voting Game is one of our favorites. Cards are flipped over and players must vote on which other player they think the card relates to the most. Cards say anything from "most likely to get arrested" to "who gives the most awkward hugs". It's a fantastically light-hearted game that gets people talking and telling stories. You'll get to know the other players well and it's always fun to see how significant others vote. There are ways to win, but more often than not, we find ourselves playing just for laughs.

Party Games for When You're Tired of Cards Against Humanity

The Resistance is one of the oldest games in our collection, but still one of our favorites to bring out at parties. Everyone is given secret roles at the beginning of the game. The majority of players are on the good team, fighting in the resistance to thwart some evil foe. Some players are spies. The game is divided into five "missions" that have to pass in order for the resistance to win. Throughout the game the spies try to keep their identity secret while causing missions to fail. It's a game of deceit, lying to your friends, and wanting to play it again immediately after the first game ends. Things definitely get heated, in a good way!

If you get any game from this post, Sushi Go Party is the my top pick. For up to 8 players, Sushi Go Party is a larger version of Sushi Go but oh so much better. It's a card passing game where you're trying to collect different types of sushi to gain points. Each turn you take a card from your hand and place it in front of you. Then you pass your hand to the left, taking the cards from the player to your right. The round ends when there are no cards left to choose from or pass. Sushi Go Party let's you choose which items (with different point values and specials) you're playing with each game so there is a TON of replay-ability. It's fast paced and kid friendly. 

Monikers combines charades and pop-culture and makes it all a million times better. At the start of the game, all players are handed ten cards and pick five. Those five cards are collected from each player to make the game's deck. The rest are discarded. The player made deck is used throughout three different rounds. The first round, players can say or do anything besides saying the name on the card to get their team to guess the answer. The first round ends once all of the cards from the deck have been guessed by either team. Points on the cards are added up, and the cards are reshuffled together for round two. The second round teams can only use one word to guess the answer. The final round, teams have to act out the answers. What's so amazing about Monikers is that after the first round, everyone should know all of the answers on all of the cards. So each following round is spent trying to figure out which one of the cards their team mates are trying to get them to guess. It takes a lot of pressure off players while being super frustrating at the same time. And it's downright hilarious to watch.

Party Games for When You're Tired of Cards Against Humanity

If you're looking for something a bit more challenging for an eight player game night, Captain Sonar is a great option. I won't go into all of the rules and details here as it definitely could have an entire video and post about it. In Captain Sonar, four person teams are operating a submarine while trying to destroy the other team's sub. It's like battleship on steroids. Each player has a different role that they are doing simultaneously while trying to escape the other team and build up an offensive attack. I really recommend checking out this video from my favorite board game reviewers to get a better sense of how epic this game is. 

Guys. There are so many other games out there you can play when friends come over that are miles above Cards Against Humanity. You'll have way more fun on your next game night breaking out one of these amazingly crafted games. Trust me.

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6 Months of Therapy. Why I Keep Going

Oh mental health. It's a popular topic these days and I figured in light of everything going on I'd give you an update about me. If you're new to my therapy/mental health journey, I posted a video a few months ago discussing my process and decision to start therapy.

For the first few months, I attended an hour long therapy session once a week. I've since switched to once every two weeks to better fit my schedule and needs. It's so easy to go consistently because I have such a strong and supportive relationship with my therapist. It feels as if we're just two friends gabbing about life every session rather than it being a formal thing. It's so important to find someone you can really connect with.

For me, it took about two months before I really got comfortable with my therapist. It took time to tell her about my life, give her the ins and outs of my family, and warm up to the fact that we'd be talking about hard topics I usually avoided. It's only recently that I feel like we've really dove deep into the origins of my anxiety and panic attacks. 

The thing about therapy is that it takes time. Anxiety isn't something you can just "cure." It's something that adapts, changes, and hangs out with you for your entire life. I keep going because I've seen so much progress already, but the work isn't done yet.

I think I'll always continue therapy is some form for the rest of my life. It's amazing to have someone to talk to about things I don't want to bother my husband with, or with petty things that would inevitably bore anyone else I tell them to. It's a great feeling to have someone who will listen to you without fail, never just waiting for you to stop talking so it can be their turn.

My anxiety is definitely not gone, but it's manageable now. I've developed techniques and methods to deal with the hard days, and now there are even more good days. So that's why I keep going. To work towards more of those good days.

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What to Expect When You Attend Your First Planner Conference

What to Expect When You Attend Your First Planner Conference

We're a month out from the beginning of our tour de PlannerCon Parties. Oh, Hello's going to be hitting the road to go to every single one of the five different conferences from Salt Lake City to Honolulu. My charismatic husband Alex has been asked to be the MC at all of the events so we're packing up our bags, pouring a ton of extra cat food, and getting seriously excited.

I often get asked what it's like to attend a planner conference. Now they're all different in so many wonderful ways, but here's what you can usually expect.

There won't be that much time to plan, unless there's a designated planning time. More often than not, conferences are jam packed with speakers, workshops, and shopping time. Plus you'll likely make some new friends and choose to go out for drinks rather than plan. So definitely pack light in the planning department.

You'll leave with a ton of goodies generously donated by sponsors and small shops. Swag amounts will vary from conference to conference, but it's likely fellow attendees will bring things to give out as well.

Everyone is nervous, but open to making friends. Tons of people go to these events alone. Trust that everyone is there because they share the same passion as you, so it's super easy to strike up a conversation. Ask what planner they use!

The workshops are amazing and always taught by experienced, yet relate-able people. Sometimes you'll get to choose which workshops to attend, other times there's a set schedule for everyone.

People like to have others sign their planners. I still am shocked and flattered when someone asks me to sign their planner. It can happen to anyone! So feel free to ask a new friend to sign your planner or a special page in your traveler's notebook. It'll be like a yearbook page from the event!

Planner conferences are never the same. They can be small, intimate things or massive party things. Definitely do your research before selecting one to attend to make sure it's your style and speed. 

If you've been to planner conferences before, leave your advice and tips in the comments!

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Why Printable Inserts are a Must for Any Traveler's Notebook Addict

Why Printable Inserts are a Must for Any Traveler's Notebook Addict

I think it's safe to say I'm not the quickest to jump on a trend. I like to sit back, let the hype die down, then slowly dip a toe into the pool. But once I'm in, I'm in. This is definitely the case with anything planner related. It took me ages to get into the traveler's notebook world and now I even sell them I'm so obsessed! I finally started to dabble in printable traveler's notebook inserts recently and created a number of them for Oh, Hello. If you haven't tried them yet, you need to.

The biggest selling point for me is the nearly instant gratification. A printable can go from purchase to in my hands in as little as thirty minutes (or however fast my printer can print). That's amazing. Sure I still love a good tangible insert because the paper quality will inevitably be better than what I have at home, but I much rather just have the insert as soon as I decide I want it.

Plus it lets me feel like I'm being crafty, when in all reality, I can't craft to save my life. For someone who owns a stationery company, the majority of my creative skills reside on a computer. But printable inserts give me the illusion I'm being artistic by using a paper cutter and folding pages together. I'm happy to live with the lie.

I have quite a few favorite inserts as of late, but this project tracker has definitely gotten the most use. I've been tracking all of the new releases for Oh, Hello, but I already have some ideas in mind on how to use it for blog posts and YouTube videos as well. I can't wait to break into my daily hourly once it starts in July.

There are a ton of good shops that sell any type of printable you could possibly want. And you need to give it a go. Your traveler's notebook will thank you, in a not creepy "omg my planner is talking to me" sort of way...
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New Website Launch GIVEAWAY! got a serious face lift recently and the new site went live today! HOORAY! I'm so excited for you to take a peek at all of the new features including our amazing live preview for customizable products.

It's so exciting to see just how much our company has grown over the last four years. This website is  only the beginning of a mountain of changes and improvements we have in the works!

There are a TON of giveaways going on over on the Facebook Group all day long, but if you want to win all of these Erin Condren goodies in celebration of the new site, just fill out the entry form below!

Thanks so much for supporting me
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The Best Non-Planner Products from Erin Condren

The Best Non-Planner Products from Erin Condren

I know my way around the Erin Condren website. It's definitely not a fact I'm proud of, but over the years I've gone down the rabbit hole to discover some really awesome, non-planner related products that constantly keep me coming back for more. I came for the planners, but stayed for everything else.

The sherpa blankets are some of the softest blankets I've ever had the pleasure to caress an alarming amount. They'd make great gifts and there's even an option for customization. A blanket with my cats on it? Baller status I'm comin' for ya. The standard blankets are a bit pricey, but the customizable options make for really nice, personal gifts.

The art prints can also get a bit on the pricier side if you get a larger print, but they're 100% worth it. I've purchased a few different canvas prints as well as framed custom art and have not be disappointed. The quality is amazing, if anything is wrong with the item customer service responds so incredibly fast, and they're exactly what I wanted for the space. I have eyes on a few other pieces for a gallery wall in one of our guest rooms. *starts clicking around the site for the third time this week*

The Best Non-Planner Products from Erin Condren

Nothing makes me feel more stylish than these designer pocket folders. Sure I could easily roll up to my accountant with a plain manila folder, but these are just SO. MUCH. BETTER. Plus I know whatever paperwork I'm passing along won't get lost in the shuffle of boring folders. 

The Best Non-Planner Products from Erin Condren

The screen cleansing towelettes always find their way into an order if I'm just a few dollars short of free shipping. They're great for travel and on the go cleaning. I'm trying my best to treat me new laptop like royalty so it's handy to have these close by to wipe the touch screen every once in a while.

The Best Non-Planner Products from Erin Condren

But I've definitely saved the best for last. The enamel pins. Oh man. Still 100% obsessed with collecting them and EC delivers every few months with new pins to choose from. My jackets and bags are riddled with them and I'm constantly looking for more options to share flair. The collection has definitely grown, so let me know if you're interested in seeing a full post on everything.

I love supporting women owned businesses and women bosses getting it done. Plus it doesn't hurt when everything is too cute for words, right?

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What Happened in May

Let's talk about May. A beast of a month that I'm happy to say goodbye to, but loved the hectic rush of it all. So much happened and now I'm giving you all the deets. But first, a few favorites.

I've downsized my bag collection immensely over the past few weeks (I'm talking 15+ bags down to 3), and noticed a severe lack of a larger tote bag in my collection. Erin Condren to the rescue. I've been downright obsessed with this color pattern lately (midnight and cherry blossom) and have popped it on basically everything you can on the site. It's sturdy, larger than most tote bags, and cute as hell. 

There's a new favorite Etsy shop on my radar these days. I briefly met Cynthia from WontonInAMillion at PlannerCon San Francisco in March, and have fallen head over heels for her stuff. All of her characters are food and more than adorable. She's releasing a new line of enamel pins soon. My credit card's at the ready.

As for beauty bits, I've rediscovered my love for The Body Shop's Hawaiian Kukui Cream. My skin hasn't gotten the memo that it's no longer winter, so I've been in serious need for moisture. It's thick, but settles into the skin nicely overnight. I wouldn't recommend this during the day as it does get a bit greasy, but every time I use this the night before, my skin is super hydrated the next morning.

The DermaE Hydrating Serum has been my daily face savior for moisture. It's the only serum I like to use in the morning because it's super light and doesn't feel thick or heavy on the skin while adding tons of hydrating. Plus a little goes a long way so this bottle will last me ages.

Now that it's warmer my toes are starting to make their appearance which definitely calls for a refresh of nail polish. I find myself constantly reapplying Essie's "For the Twill of It" week after week. Such a cool, metallic spin to a classic blue/grey polish. In the right light it even looks purple.

There are a few other favorites I forgot to pop into these photos, so definitely check out the full video. Plus there is a TON of exciting travel news and planner conference info in the video as well!

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An Introvert's Guide to Networking

An Introvert's Guide to Networking

Just at the word "networking" I can hear my fellow introverts running for the hills full of blankets to hide under. Trust me, I get it. Nothing sounds less fun than going into a room full of people you don't know to meet a ton of them back to back. But if there's one thing I've learned over the past year that's changed my business mindset, it's networking.

At first I thought it was just one of those buzzwords people used before the internet. Like business cards, I thought it was probably dying out. Nope. So wrong. Most (read: all) of our promotional clients (more on this second business later) have come from networking events. Every time I talk about our traveler's notebooks people haven't a clue, but decide they definitely need one in their life.

Networking is magical. Us introverts need to suck it up and do it. For business sake.

Through our local chamber of commerce and promotional client base, we've had the opportunity to go to quite a few events over the past year. I convinced myself to go with Alex to the first few ones over the promise of free food, but continue to go because there is so much value in them. Of course they're still not easy for me and I often crash as soon as we get home from all the social interaction, but there's value in using up my outward energy on networking.

And it's not sleazy like the word sometimes feels. More often than not, it's just shaking the hand of someone, asking what they do for a living, telling them what I do, and then us both trying to figure out if the other has something that can help us. It's when you go to networking events trying to get everything out of it while giving nothing, that you have a rotten time and just leave with a few drinks.

If you find yourself with a networking event on the books and the introvert in you flares up and eggs you on to cancel, take a beat. Then invite someone to go with you. Alex is the main reason I've grown to love these events. We get to be a power team, using each other's strengths to meet new people, close deals, and spread the word to non-planner people about planners. So bring an extrovert with you to help get you warmed up with the first few interactions. Or baby step into networking by going to an event by someone you know. Nothing makes the process easier than having someone do warm introductions for you.

Our promotional business wouldn't have gotten off the ground without networking. Our stationery business continues to grow and expand because of it. So take the time, save up some extra "social" energy, and get out there.

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How to Maintain a Manageable Sticker Collection

How to Maintain a Manageable Sticker Collection

Now you definitely don't have to do this. Go crazy. Shower yourself in gorgeous stickers that planning dreams are made of and live your best life. But if clutter and just TOO. MUCH. STUFF. stresses you out like it does me, this one's for you. In all honesty though, I don't find it hard at all to keep my sticker stash to a healthy minimum. I follow these few steps pretty much subconsciously and never feel the overwhelming sticker chaos that's been known to happen to planner addicts from time to time.

 1. Avoid bored browsing on Etsy

Since my livelihood depends on you shopping online, I'm definitely not going to say don't do it. But buying a couple things from a new launch vs. browsing Etsy while bored are two different things. I only go on Etsy when I know one of my favorite shops is releasing something in particular I'm interested in. It's like going into Target without a list. You're sure to leave with a whole new bedroom set you don't need. Only shop for stickers with a purpose. It's the whole ignorance is bliss thing. What you don't know you "need", you don't need.

2. Have a couple destash friends

If you do happen to find yourself with too many stickers, it's best to have a friend (or five) you can destash your stickers to. They're likely to have a few other friends and so on until those stickers find a home where they'll be used and loved the most. 

3. Sort your stickers to get used up

 More often than not, your stash is bulky because there are a ton of sheets with just a few stickers left on them. I like to organize my stickers so my almost used up sheets are at the front so I see them more. Every week I make sure to flip through that stack when I'm decorating.

4. Buy weekly kits by the sheet rather than the full kit

Although weekly kits are cheaper to purchase as the full kit, it's actually more cost effective to just buy the sheets of stickers you know you'll actually use. Plus, weekly kits usually have more stickers than you'll ever need for one week's spread. Leftover stickers clutter your collection and often don't get used. Skip the full kit and go a la carte.

Keeping collections manageable doesn't mean denying yourself things that make you happy, but following these few tips can make sure you aren't holding on to things you really don't need. Planning shouldn't overwhelm you, but inspire you!

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