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OH, HELLO



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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12.12.2018

How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

2018 has been a dozy of a year for me. From some serious highs to some even lower lows, the year has been one for the record books. And through it all I found myself to have fallen out of love with Oh, Hello. That truth made me miserable. Alex and I have worked tirelessly for over four years to craft our business and I just felt...exhausted. I started to question why I was even bothering. Things got pretty bleak there for a while, but luckily this is a happy story.

I went through a lot of personal mental health stuff in 2018. I want to dive into it in more detail later (because I think mental health deserves to be talked about no matter how good or bad), but it's not really the point of this story and it always has a way of overshadowing things anyway. Luckily I found solutions and the help that I needed so that as we entered autumn, I had a new positive outlook on things. It wasn't all doom and gloom. I had help both literally and metaphorically and I could finally breathe. I was ready to fall back in love with my business.
How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

Alex and I have talked about doing a subscription box for years. It always felt too risky, too much work when we already felt drawn thin. But one morning I woke up and it felt like time. And then I didn't sleep. For weeks. Every time I'd try a another idea would pop into my head, another box theme, another product. The idea storm became so bad that I sometimes crept into our guestroom to work in the middle of the night to let Alex sleep. I felt alive and invigorated for the first time since 2014 when I had the idea to start Oh, Hello. 

How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

The Oh, Hello Box was born. A box dedicated to self care, self love, and some fun thrown in. With so many subscription boxes out there I didn't want to just add to the noise. I wanted to create something simple, beautiful, and packed to the brim with high-quality products. Over $100 in lifestyle and planning items every month for under $50.

How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

I haven't felt this passionate about my business since its creation and I'm loving every thrilling and terrifying second of it. The first box launches on January 5th, and if you'd like to get more updates about the box there's a newsletter you can sign up to. 

I cannot wait to continue to share my business journey with you as well as box themes and products. It's going to be an amazing start to a new year.

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12.10.2018

How I Pack for Travel

How I Pack for Travel

2018 was the year of travel and we still have one last trip to go before ringing in 2019! After forgetting quite a few things during the first trip I vowed to get my shit together to not run out of clean underwear again. Here's how I keep from under/over packing and forgetting things.

1. I made a list
It kinda seems like a no-brainer, but I needed a list I could revisit, revise, and reuse for each trip we went on. I used to just write things down fresh each time which led to a lot of mishaps and forgetting common things I thought for sure, "I wouldn't forget." 

So I opened up a word document, typed in all of the items Alex and I need to travel with. At the top of the list I put spaces to write where, when, and for how long we will be there. That way I can make sure to pack accurate amounts of clothing depending on trip length. Then I duplicated the list so there were two on the page. I printed it out on sticker paper and cut it out. Presto. Custom packing list I can put into whatever notebook I'm using at the time. I felt like a bloody genius and showed Alex the list way too many times. One time would have sufficed. But no. I kept shoving my creation in his face like a proud parent. But I digress....

2. I start early, but not TOO early
So the thing about me is I worry. Like a lot. I'm the type of person that'll pack a suitcase two weeks in advance out of anxiety and have to keep going back into the suitcase to grab things I need. This ultimately leads to me thinking something's in the suitcase when in fact I took it out five days ago and forgot. So I've trained myself to still pack early, but not so early that it causes issues. I try and start the initial packing stages about three days before we leave for a trip. That way  I can make sure I can clean anything I might need and have plenty of time.

3. I reference the list
I mean that's what a list's for, right? Since I do start packing a few days in advance, I can't pack everything at once. So I make sure to check the list regularly to know what I still have left to pack. There are always those last minute items you throw into a suitcase right before you leave. The list is great at making sure those aren't missed in the sleep-deprived early morning rush to get to the airport.

4. I bring the list for the return journey
Usually I'll just use the same list to make sure we bring everything back home that we left with. No forgotten cell phone chargers in hotel rooms for us.

5. I update the list
I realize that the point of this post is to go on and on about this list I made, but seriously. It's a huge help. Once we get back from a trip I'll revise the list to remove anything we didn't end up bringing and adding any items I hadn't thought of previously. That way when the next trip rolls around, I'm more prepared than ever before and my anxiety is being well managed.

Even if it's just a document you print off on computer paper and keep in a folder, having a regularly updated list can save you a lot of stress when it comes to packing for trips. Plus it's a great way to help pack for other people. Alex is much more carefree about travel than I am, so I like to pack his things ahead of time for him. The list helps to make sure we're both on the same page and I'm packing things I know he needs and he knows what's going into the suitcase. 

How do you pack for travel? What's your technique?
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12.07.2018

How I've Been Using My Rifle Paper Co. Planner

How I've Been Using My Rifle Paper Co. Planner

This wouldn't be a planner, beauty, and lifestyle blog if I didn't go through a bi-weekly planner crisis right? Today's YouTube video goes into more detail about my current crisis and the planner setup I'm in, but a lot of the turmoil comes down to The Rifle Paper Co Planner putting a wrench in things again. 

I've used the Rifle Paper Co planners on and off for the past three years and they always seem to pop back into my life when I need it most. It's such a simple layout for a planner, but it's perfect if you have a ton of to do list items but not a lot of meetings or appointments. I had just started to feel at odds with my daily hourly layout when this gorgeous beauty landed on my doorstep. It was a like a sign from the gods that a planner shake-up was in order.

How I've Been Using My Rifle Paper Co. Planner

I'm currently using the planner similarly to how I have in the past, but I've added in some functional stickers to mark any timed events that I may have. Every Sunday I'll sit down and space out any to do items I need to get done the next week. I love having the entire weekly view visible at one time so if one day seems particularly heavy with things, I can always move them around to another day. It's also easy to see anything I missed from the day before that I still need to get done.


Check out today's video if you fancy seeing what other planners are currently in rotation!
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12.05.2018

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

Let's talk about goals. I suck at them. I can't tell you the number of times I've written a blog post full of goals only to immediately forget about them as soon as I hit publish. Not to mention how many lists of goals I've written just to lose the list a week later. A change has to be made. No good business person (hell, no good person in general) can go through life without goals. 

The solution on how to make better goals became clear after seeing PlanwithLaken's YouTube video reviewing the Cultivate What Matters Planner. It hit me like a ton of bricks. This could be the tool to answer all of my goal setting problems. The holy grail to get my ass into goal-setting gear.

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

When my gorgeous planner arrived stickers greeted me. Always a good sign. A planner that has its own stickers knows what's up and who they're catering to. In my excitement I showed Alex the planner expecting him to be like, "Yeah, yeah. Another planner..." Shock is the only word to describe my reaction when he seemed genuinely interested in this one. I tentatively asked if he wanted to work on it together. He said yes...and I did cartwheels in my head.

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

Fast forward a few months and here we are now. Every week Alex and I meet to do a few more pages in the planner. I talk about this a lot more in the YouTube video below if you're interested in how it's impacted my relationship. I want to keep this post more review based. But seriously, it's been marriage-strengthening.

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

The first 40+ pages are all about figuring out who you are, what you think is holding you back, what matters to you, and why you're taking steps to make better goals. It's fabulous and difficult at the same time. Each page breaks things down in a clear, concise way, but the entire planner is designed in a way that you can easily set it down and pick it up based on your schedule.

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

Once you've completed the initial pages and have your goals, you move into the action plan stage. This is where you figure out the hows and whens of your goals. 

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

The planner helps you break down a large goal into smaller, bite-sized pieces. It takes something that can feel incredibly overwhelming and makes it seem doable.

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

My favorite part? It checks in on you. It doesn't just help you make some goals, pat you on the back, and says, "Good luck." Every month you can review how they're going, what progress has been made, what might need to change, and what happens next.

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

The monthly (and quarterly) check-ins are exactly the type of things I need to keep me accountable. It stays with you the entire year. 

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

There are a ton of other accessories and items on the website to look over if you're interested including this gorgeous goal-setting sticker book. I love it because it includes stickers you can use in your main planner to remind you to check back in on your goals. 

My biggest complaint about the planner is the coil and cover. I wish they were a bit more heavy-duty and sturdy. It's not the type of planner you tote around with you every day, but one you leave at home to check back in with a cup of tea and an evening free. 


I've enjoyed the process with Alex so far and can't wait to dive in deeper and start really developing our goals for 2019. It's the perfect time to snag yourself one of these Cultivate What Matters planners with the new year right around the corner. Maybe we'll finally be able to keep our New Year's Resolutions after all?

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11.26.2018

Golden Coil Planner Review | The Best Planner for Serious Customization

Golden Coil Planner Review

This year I've been on the hunt for planner companies I've never heard of. I wanted to bring you more than just another raving review over Erin Condren products. I wanted to provide you with tons of options in all price ranges to help you start 2019 right. My journey led me to Golden Coil Planners and it's like I found the mecca of customizational planners. 

Golden Coil Planner Review

The entire planner is customize-able. No lie. From personalizing your front page to picking your layout and adding in birthdays, you can design your planner from scratch. There's a set number of total pages for your planner, but you decide what those pages are.

Golden Coil Planner Review

There are options of pages you can add to the front of your planner before the monthly view begins.

Golden Coil Planner Review

There is a standard monthly view option (that starts on a Monday!). You choose which month your planner starts and ends on as well. So no waiting for the start of the year to dive right in.

Golden Coil Planner Review

There are over 18 different weekly spread layouts to choose from. I opted for this horizontal on one page and weekly to do list on the other since it's a layout I rarely see. You can choose anything from daily pages to standard weekly pages.

Golden Coil Planner Review

Now this is where things get really cool. Once you've picked your weekly style, you're able to fill up the rest of your remaining pages with TONS of add-ons. There are more than 35 different layouts to choose, from baby trackers to meal planning. You're able to choose how many of each page you want and create something completely unique.

Golden Coil Planner Review

Golden Coil Planner Review

Although the planner is around $60, it's a fair price considering you're creating a completely custom planner tailored just to you. The website is so incredibly easy to navigate and use. If you're picky with your planners, this could be a great solution to give you everything that you're looking for.

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11.05.2018

The Planner That's Sending Me into a Planner Crisis | inkWELL Press

inkWELL Press Planner Review

inkWell Press Planners. I've heard about them for years since getting seriously into the planning game, but couldn't truly understand what the fuss was about until I had one of their disc-bound planners in my hands. I get it now. Oh do I ever.

If you've been following my planner journey for a while, then you know I usually avoid disc-bound planners like the plague because they're usually flimsy and more trouble than they're worth. inkWELL solves all my woes by giving the planner a seriously thick cover. The discs stay firmly in place and I don't feel like everything is going to get beat up if I put the planner in a bag.
  
inkWELL Press Planner Review

This planner has a TON of awesome pages that give it a little extra something. This big events page is a favorite for writing down monthly accomplishments, but you can also use it as an overview of the big events coming down the pipe.

inkWELL Press Planner Review

inkWELL Press Planner Review

Goals are going to be a huge focus for me in 2019, so seeing a nice section to break down goals into categories has me very excited. Plus it helps you to break them down into quarters for serious productivity. 

inkWELL Press Planner Review

Throughout the entire planner is this gorgeous geometric hexagon theme that I cannot get enough of. It's simple, elegant, and a great place to write out plans and goals for each month. 

inkWELL Press Planner Review

Classic monthly view, but I love the little addition of the Top 5 to add a few items that need to get done that month.

inkWELL Press Planner Review

Now the weekly view. This is where things have me all sorts of confused. It's a fairly standard looking vertical layout with lines and three large boxes at the bottom for "Top 3" tasks/events. So simple, yet so effective. As soon as this planner arrived I set up a spread for the current week and used the bottom section to write appointments/meetings/events etc. and left the top section for a good ol' to do list. Obsessed.

I've fully come to accept that planner switching is the name of the game so I'm eager to introduce this planner into my rotation officially when it starts in 2019 to see if it works for my current lifestyle. That's the thing about planning my friends and you'll hear me say it over and over, planners need to change and adapt with you.

inkWELL Press Planner Review

inkWELL Press Planner Review

The back of the planner has some gift lists and travel pages, some notes pages and project pages, but I'll leave all the little remaining details left for you to discover on your own. 

The Pros: It's gorgeous, professional, and simple in all the right ways. It leaves a ton of room for customization, but you can still deck it out with stickers if that's your scene. It also has a lot of extra pages to eliminate the need for other planners or notebooks to track travel and gifting. On the website you can choose from a bunch of different layouts as well if the classic layout isn't for you.

The Cons: Honestly, I can't really find any. If you seriously hate discs than maybe that? But even this disc hater is coming around to the idea of it...The color scheme is a soft pastel so rainbow lovers may want more color, but at this point I'm just looking for cons for the sake of it. 

The Price: It varies. The planner I have is around $70 for all of the features. You're able to purchase the pages, cover, and discs separately to build your own planner. So depending on your planner needs your price could be more or less.

Who it's Good For: Everyone. It's a good all-around planner that could work for any age and lifestyle. If you're on a tight budget, this one probably isn't for you, but if you're planning on investing in a planner, this is a great option.
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11.02.2018

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

You ready my planner loving people?! Because we're kicking off weeks of planner reviews and videos leading up to the new year. It's planner season ya'll and I'm definitely ready to start sharing some unique and new planners with you!

So here's how it's going to go down. We're going to cover what's in each planner, pros, cons, price, and who each planner will work best for. There will be a few round up posts, but a whole lot of individual planner reviews. So be sure to sign up to the MicroscopeBeauty newsletter so you don't miss the perfect planner for you.

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

The Life & Apples Wellness Planner is strictly for motivation and health tracking. It's all about habits, healthy living, and exercise.

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

The hardcover notebook is set up with daily pages to track gratitude, daily affirmations, and notes. The notes section does give you room to write in events and things, but I'd honestly just keep this strictly health related and not muddle things with a reminder to do the laundry.

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

The second daily page is all about the meal planning. I love just how much room is given to write down all the details, rather than just a quick note about the name of the meal. This could also be a great way to calorie count if that's something you're currently doing.

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

At the bottom of the daily page you rate how well today went, and I honestly love this. I love the ability to clearly see on a number scale how the day was, but then turn the page and move past it. Plus there's a nice motivational quote on every page too.

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

After each week there's a handy weekly review to wrap everything up nicely before moving on to the next week. I love the mixture of gratitude and health because to me they both go hand and hand. If I'm feeling down, stressed, or unfocused, my health goes right along with it.

The Pros: The notebook is gorgeous, heavy duty and padded. It comes with two ribbons to mark daily pages and weekly reviews and a nice strap to secure the notebook closed. It could easily fit into an A5 Traveler's Notebook if you want to carry it around with other notebooks, but it's small enough to slip into a bag without much fuss. There's even a pen loop!

The Cons: It's not colorful or overly inspiring if (like me) you like bright quotes and fun patterns. It's straight to the point with no fuss. 

The Price: $25 and can be found on Amazon

Who it's Good For: If you want to take your health and fitness more seriously in 2019 or you have to track things for medical reasons, this is a great, affordable option. It's sleek and professional looking while still having a ton of room for information. If you find yourself not needing a huge planner on a regular basis, this could be a good option along with a few other inserts in a traveler's notebook  as well.

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10.18.2018

First Impressions | ft. Urban Decay, IT Cosmetics, and More


With all the travelling we've been doing lately I've had plenty of opportunities to put a lot of new makeup to the test. All-day wear tests, hot days, and long flights. So these are really more like second impressions, but that's not a very good blog post title...There are a lot of misses in this roundup and very few hits, so settle in and get your "do not buy" list ready.


The Urban Decay Elements Eyeshadow Palette* is downright gorgeous, but honestly not terribly practical for everyday use. The brown tones are gorgeous and of course UD quality, but the rest of the shades are more for special occasions rather than any ol' Tuesday. It's such a fun palette, but you'll be able to find a lot of the shades in other, more travel-friendly palettes. Save your pennies on this one unless you're in it for the wow factor of the palette itself.


I picked up the DevaCurl Wave Maker after I chopped my hair off again hoping it would help add curl and style to my new hairdo. It did absolutely nothing for my hair. I used barely any of the product the first few times to no avail, so I bumped up how much I was using. It left my hair feeling greasy and flat. Avoid this one for sure.

I'm obsessed with the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream so when they released the Oil Free Matte* version my interest peaked. I usually avoid matte bases like the plague as my skin is already a dry desert, but this cream didn't leave my skin looking dry or patchy. I do still prefer the original formula, but this is a great option if I ever step away from the dewy skin vibes. It's long lasting and can be built up for more coverage. 


I scooped up the Lancome Monsieur Big from a recommendation from The Anna Edit and I must say I'm not overly impressed. It lengthened my lashes, but I'm always on the hunt for bold, voluminous lashes over length. I've been pairing it with the IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara for to add some volume, but I won't be repurchasing this in the future.

IT Cosmetics recently reformulated their Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer* and I'm loving it. It's thick. Like very thick. And the shade range is MASSIVE so finding the right shade takes a lot of time and guesswork. But it seriously works at covering dark under eye circles. I definitely recommend setting it with a light powder to keep it in place and mattifying it a little bit, but if you struggle with looking like a dead zombie, this one's for you.


Even though the weather is getting colder in Michigan, with all the travel to warmer areas I've still needed a good facial sunscreen. The Derma E Sun Defense Mineral Oil-Free Sunscreen* has been fantastic at feeling light-weight on my face while giving me some extra protection. It also sinks into the skin quickly which is a definite must for me in the mornings as I run around constantly late.

Have you tried any new beauty bits lately? What have been your favorites?
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10.09.2018

Learning to Celebrate Small Accomplishments


It's one thing I suck at. Celebrating small accomplishments when you're running a small business is nearly impossible. You're always moving on to the next thing, planning out the next release, and constantly going, going, going.

It's safe to say that this is one of the biggest challenges I've faced working for myself and with my husband. We've become so engrossed in the next project that we rarely pause, look up, and see how far we've come.

The other week we had the opportunity to make promotional products for Milani Cosmetics through our promotional company we started a little over a year ago. It's one of those "pinch me" moments. Never in my life would I have ever thought we'd be making items for a makeup brand to give out to buyers of companies like Ulta. Like, what?! It wasn't until I took the time to shoot a few photos of the products for our Promo Facebook Page that I really stopped to realize what we had accomplished. And in that moment I kinda became quite sad. What other huge milestones did I not appreciate because we're always so focused on the next thing?

If there's one thing I improve on as we quickly approach a new year, I want it to be my ability to celebrate small accomplishments. To take even just a second to pat myself on the back, hi-five Alex, and be truly happy for everything we've done so far. We're nominated for Small Business of the Year through the Grand Rapids Chamber. It's a huge deal and I want to make it feel like one.

So no matter what you're doing in your life, make it your mission to celebrate a small accomplishment at least weekly. It can be something as small as finally folding that pile of laundry, but it's so important to give yourself recognition for the work you're doing. 

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10.05.2018

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review + New Product Launch

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

Prepare yourselves for a whole lot of photos my friends because these bad boys are so photogenic. 

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

It was only a matter of time before Erin Condren put their hat in the traveler's notebook ring. On October 9th they're launching their On-the-Go Folios*. There will be two color options to choose from for $20 with the option to add embossed initials for $5 more.

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

Each design comes with the signature asterisk on the cover of the faux leather material. 

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

The cover is sturdy, yet floppy and malleable. There are four elastics that look pretty strange when they're empty. Look at those poor elastics all sad waiting for notebooks full of ideas...

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

The covers can comfortably fit four Erin Condren Jot Your Thought journals. The notebooks run flush to the edges of the cover and it doesn't seem like you can do that much jump banding for more inserts.

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

I'm definitely most excited about the new petite planners that are being released alongside the folio. There are a ton of new options dropping, but the daily planner has my interest peaked.

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

The new petite planners come with a functional sticker sheet in the back packet just like the other editions.

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

If you're a sticker junkie there are a ton of new sets debuting as well. Although I'm not a huge fan of the puffy stickers they've been releasing lately, the more functional boxes are on my must use list.

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

There are also two new sets of washi tape! I wasn't joking guys. TONS of new products are coming our way over the next few weeks. Choose between the asterisks or the foil scallops that made their first appearance in the fall seasonal surprise box. 

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

There's also (I swear I'm almost done!) a new weekly schedule pad that I'm already planning on purchasing multiples of for holiday gifts. It's such a simple design, but the gold foiling accents add a level of class. 

Phew. We made it to the end! So my thoughts. If you have yet to try a traveler's notebook and have quite a few Erin Condren products, this could be a really great option to dip your toes into the world. It's at a fair price point, but doesn't come with a lot of bells and whistles (I'm talking pockets and a pen loop). It's a great solution to how to organize all the petite planners, but it seems like a product you'll grow out of after a few months once you figure out exactly what features you want in your notebook. 

I would love to see more adventurous pattern covers as well beyond just a rose gold and charcoal option. I'm lookin' at you rainbow hexagons! The daily petite planners are my definite favorite from the launch and I'm hoping they release more insert options over the next few months.

Oh, Erin Condren. You did it again didn't you....
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