SLIDER

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.


Follow on Bloglovin'

GET WEEKLY MICROSCOPEBEAUTY UPDATES

5.15.2018

The Best Place for Custom Invitations | Basic Invite

The Best Place for Custom Invitations | Basic Invite

This post is sponsored by Basic Invite, but all the gushy feels are my own!

We Bendas like to throw a good party. Every year we host an annual 4th of July party, a Friendsgiving feast in November, and a few themed parties along the way. Plus I'm a firm believer that mailed invitations should never die. So I'm constantly on the hunt for good invitation sites to make my life easier, build the hype for my upcoming event, while still still being affordable. Basic Invite ticks all the boxes.

The Best Place for Custom Invitations | Basic Invite

What I love most about Basic Invite is how absurdly easy it is to use the platform. So many other customizable invitation sites are clunky, hard to navigate, and difficult to use the built-in-design features. Basic Invite is what other sites should try to be like.

Beyond just being super easy to use, you can choose from over 40 different envelope colors and add foil to so many different invite options. Plus there are over 150 different color options to make sure the invite is perfect. But my favorite feature is the option to order a sample. I can't tell you how many times I've ordered invites just to have them be nothing like I hoped or riddled with spelling errors (this girl cannot spell!) And it's not going to cost an arm and a leg to get a sample either. 

The Best Place for Custom Invitations | Basic Invite

Basic Invite has invitations for practically every occasion, even ones I hadn't even thought of. Browsing through the categories has given me a ton of ideas for some future parties! With graduation season right around the corner, it's a great option for ordering graduation cards and graduation thank you cards in gorgeous styles and layouts that aren't outdated or overly done.

Want to send paper invitations but don't know where to start? Basic Invite also has an address capturing service that gives you a link to share on Facebook and other social media to request friends' and family’s addresses. The addresses are stored in your account and can be selected during the design process.

So it's time to plan that party you've been talking about. And right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51. Now to start designing my invitations for our 4th of July party!

No comments

5.10.2018

Planners that Fit Erin Condren Sized Stickers

Planners that Fit Erin Condren Sized Stickers

Who doesn't love a good planner sticker?! Search on Etsy and you'll find literally hundreds of thousands of them, most of which are sized to fit the always popular Erin Condren Life Planners. It can be frustrating not knowing whether or not standard sized stickers will work in your planner, so I've rounded up a few non-EC planners that the stickers still fit perfectly in.

Planners that Fit Erin Condren Sized Stickers

Planners that Fit Erin Condren Sized Stickers

First up is the Get to Work Book. I've written a full detailed review about this typography-filled beast a few months ago so definitely go check that out for more information, but the monthly view and weekly views both fit stickers perfectly. I even did a full sticker spread one week.

Planners that Fit Erin Condren Sized Stickers

Planners that Fit Erin Condren Sized Stickers

The Plum Paper Planner is another, more affordable option to the Erin Condren if you still want to get your sticker on. There's a full review on the blog as well.

The Limelife Planner is also another option! Their vertical spreads are the same width as Erin Condren boxes. Limelife and Plum Paper remind me a lot of each other, so definitely shop both sites to get the best deal.

Planners that Fit Erin Condren Sized Stickers

Although the Rifle Paper Co Agendas have a very different layout style, the monthly spread of the largest size also fits standard boxes. So you can deck out the monthly view with stickers will keeping the weekly to do lists clutter free.

Do you know of any other planners out there that fit EC sized stickers? Pop your recommendations in the comments!
No comments

5.09.2018

What's in My Husband's Planner | Planning for Men

Planning for Men

Now this took a lot of convincing on my part to get my husband Alex to let us take a peek into his planner. Since I've met him, he's been a hardcore Google Calendar user. He never forgot events, but he constantly forget to do list items and deadlines on projects. Enter the Oh, Hello Stationery Traveler's Notebook. He's finally found a system that works for him that makes sure he isn't missing deadlines or important to do items.

Planning for Men

In today's video he's showing you his entire setup, plus giving you a huge inside look into all of the inserts we're designing to compliment our notebooks. I always find it so fascinating seeing other people's planner setups and getting a look into a man's setup is even more interesting.


So grab a snack and settle in. Alex is putting it all out on the table.
No comments

5.03.2018

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview & GIVEAWAY

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

It's that time of year again my planner obsessed friends. The new 2018/2019 planners have just dropped (save $10 on your first order by clicking here) and although there aren't TONS of changes in store, the new additions feel like a purposeful tweak to make the already fantastic planner layouts just a little bit better. So here's what's new in this year's launch.

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

The 12 month page did away with the little corner flags and added these simple bars of color. I love using this page to track work accomplishments, so I usually just add month stickers to the top of the boxes. 

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

One of the biggest changes are with the monthly pages. Gone are those four little circles and column lists and say hello to a good ol' lined page. Personally I really liked the more structured note pages of last year's book, but I understand the need to switch things back to make the page more universal. Plus I can always just design this page like the circle ones anyway.

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

One of my favorite tiny additions is a little calendar for the next month at the bottom of the monthly view. So simple, but such a valuable detail.

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

For the hourly layout they've added darker lines to mark off the hour sections. There's been mixed reviews about this in the hourly planning community, but I tend to just cover up the times with stickers anyway so it shouldn't be a big change for me. If you're a simple planner though, this could be a really helpful feature to block of chunks of time.

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

In the back of the planners they've added a small contact page for important people's info. I'm obsessed with this addition as there are always a few people I need to remember their addresses or contact info when I'm out and about. Or it can be used to track pen pals!

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

The coloring pages are sticking around for next year but with some fun new designs. One word: llamas.

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

There are of course stickers in the back of their planners, but they've included this page of decorative stickers this year and I couldn't be happier. I'm so impressed with how well Erin Condren's company pays attention to trends and their audience. Give the people what they want, and all that.

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

As for accessories, everything is in that new Woven Wonders pattern that's throughout the planner. There are new rolls of washi tape, compliment cards, dashboards, and the thin sticky notes (great for to do lists on the sidebar of the weekly view).

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

They also have a new collection of sticky notes as well as a new sticker book. Check them all out on the main accessories page.

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

The most anticipated accessory of this release is the new Planner Folios. I go into more detail about how these work in the video below, but they're like the old school planner pouches, but with a sturdy front panel you can use to store stickers and other on-the-go supplies. Definitely a unique spin with a lot of room for customization.


Check out all the details and up close looks at the new releases in this video!

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

And now it's giveaway time! I'm giving away an 18-month hourly colorful along with a new sticker book, dashboard, bookmarks, and washi tape! Giveaway is open internationally for five days! Just enter in the rafflecopter giveaway below!


Happy launch day and good luck on the giveaway!
No comments

5.01.2018

5 Things You Need to Do To Start Working for Yourself

5 Things You Need to Do To Start Working for Yourself

Everyone dreams about working for themselves, but most people don't know how to take the first steps to making it a reality. Sadly I can't give you a clear road map of what to do when to make it happen for you, but I definitely can help you get thinking about certain things to lead you on the right path.

1. Figure out what you’re going to do.

Now this may seem a little "duh," but so many times people don't know what they're going to do if they start working for themselves. Look at your hobbies. Are there any things you do daily that you could potentially profit from? Are you a great photographer? Have great social media skills? Know how to knit? Write a list of everything you're good at and try to see if there are any overlaps. A lot of the time working for yourself turns out to be a mixture of a bunch of different odd jobs. I run my stationery business, have freelance marketing jobs, and do blogging and YouTube for money. Be prepared to do a bunch of different odd jobs.

2. Figure out how much you have to make in order to do it full time

This is where a lot of math comes in. Make a list of all of your life expenses from rent, eating out, to utilities each month. Don't forget to add in some savings and add 30% for a rough tax estimate. Take that number and multiply it by 12 to see how much you need to earn in one year. If you're doing freelance graphic design or something you can charge hourly for, take that monthly amount and divide it by 40 hours a week. That's how much you need to charge for your services per hour. Of course it's possible you wont' have clients or work for 40 hours a week, so adjust that hourly rate based on the hours you expect to work.


3. Figure out the legal stuff (file for an LLC, etc)

I cannot stress enough the importance of having an accountant or a financial adviser who works with small businesses. Most regular accountants won't know all the ins and outs of working for yourself, so be sure to shop around for one who has experience. Our accountant has helped us so much to figure out what we can write off, how to file quarterly taxes, and makes the whole process of dealing with money a lot less stressful.

Even if you're just doing something small on the side, still consult a professional to make sure you aren't paying an arm and a leg in taxes.

4. Setup a separate bank account and give yourself seed money

If you want to take working for yourself seriously, you have to start from the very beginning. Open up a business account and give yourself a starting loan. That way you're able to buy all the materials and supplies you need up front to make sure you're giving yourself the best chance to be successful. We gave ourselves $500 to get started to buy cutting machines, sticker paper, and envelopes. It felt weird at first, but we wouldn't have been able to get off the ground if we didn't set aside money just for the business in the beginning.

5. Research your field. A LOT

Before you up and quit your full time job to start working for yourself, you have to understand the ins and outs of the field you're getting into. If you want to be a freelance photographer, research when your peak times are so you aren't struggling to make ends meet during the off season. If you want to get into the sticker making business, look into what software you need and take classes or watch videos to learn it. Look at what other people usually charge for products or services. Read up on what struggles people in those lines of work face. Know exactly what you're getting yourself into before diving in head first.

Working for myself kind of just happened, and there are so many things I would do differently now. So take my advice before quitting your day job without a plan (and a few backup ones) in place.
No comments

4.24.2018

I Stopped Using Plastic Straws Two Months Ago | Why I Did It

I Stopped Using Plastic Straws Two Months Ago

Two months ago Alex and I decided to stop using plastic straws completely. We're always trying to find small ways that we can make an impact on the environment and this seemed like a no-brainer. Over 500 million straws are used DAILY (find out more stats and info) and we didn't want to be a part of that statistic anymore. Straws are incredibly difficult to break down and most types cannot be recycled. Plus tons of them end up in the oceans causing damage to wildlife. I'm not in the business of harming poor sea turtles.

Honestly I thought it would be a lot harder than it actually was. But it became obvious after the first day just how often plastic straws pop into our lives. And it's so easy just to say no thank you to a straw, or pass one back through a drive-thru window. I also keep track of just how many straws we've saved over the past 60 days. We've avoided using 70 straws so far. Not too bad.

Having drinks in the car did prove to be the most difficult thing to overcome. So we purchased these metal straws from Amazon and now drinking on the go is super easy. Plus I really like how cold the metal straws get. 

We also don't try to pressure other people to not use straws when we're out to eat. I don't want to become that person who shoves my opinions down other people's throats. But more times than not, people will skip out of using straws for that meal too.

Now I know it may not seem like we can save the oceans by not using straws, but it's definitely a start. It's so easy to feel like the problem is too big and that there's nothing little old me can do about it. But that's not true. I've saved 70 straws that could end up harming an animal or making the oceans worse. And that feels pretty damn good.

So give it a try. Even if it's just for a few days, say no to plastic straws. It's a whole lot easier than you think.

No comments

4.17.2018

Urban Decay Hi-Fi Shine Lip Gloss Review

Urban Decay Hi-Fi Shine Lip Gloss Review

Let's be honest, I never thought I'd be writing a post about lipglosses. I swore them off years ago once I left my preteens and tossed the sticky messes into the trash. Yet here we are. The Urban Decay Hi-Fi Shine Lipglosses* have me singing another tune.

These glosses are thick, super easy to apply, but with no sticky, goopy feeling in sight. The color payoff is great for a gloss, but they really shine when put over similar colored lipsticks. They also have a solid lasting power on the lips if you aren't eating or drinking too much.

Plus they're minty. Like Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie minty. Those just happen to be my all time favorite...and it's not just a brief minty flavor that leaves after a few minutes of wear. Oh no, it lasts the whole. dang. time.

I'm most impressed with the shade range. 16 different shades to choose from including metallic bright gold. Sure I personally don't have the courage to rock those deep purples in the line, but I'm glad they exist for those who do.

Urban Decay Hi-Fi Shine Lip Gloss Review

It's no surprise that the mauve options and pinky nudes are my faves. Pictured above (from left to right) is "Fuel," "Naked," and "Beso." I'm also a fan of "Rapture," "Obsessed," and "Midnight Cowgirl" that fall into the same color family. 

I'll have to look twice the next time I pass a collection of lip glosses in Sephora or the drugstore. Hell we can unlock our phone with facial recognition, it was about time lip glosses lost their stickiness and became full of glossy goodness.

No comments

4.11.2018

Things I Do to Help Manage My Anxiety

Things I Do to Help Manage My Anxiety

I have anxiety. Specifically diagnosed as high-functioning anxiety, but anxiety regardless. I'm trying to be as open I can about the entire process and have posted a video all about my journey so far, but there are a ton of questions about what exactly I do to manage it. 

First and foremost, I see a therapist once a week. I do plan on cutting it back to every two weeks, but starting therapy did serious wonders for my anxiety. I've noticed more than anything, it's helped me to become aware of the various stages of my anxiety that leads to panic attacks. Awareness helps me acknowledge what's happening sooner, to help me start to try and come back from it sooner. If you take anything away from this post, definitely consider going to therapy. 

When it comes to doing things at home though, I have a few tricks. When I feel myself being particularly anxious, I try to switch up what I'm doing. A lot of the time what I'm working on is giving me stress, so I try to take a break from what I'm working on to focus on something else and come back to it. Usually I'm able to work out of the mood rather than trying to force myself through it.

I also communicate to my husband Alex as soon as I start feeling the signs of a panic attack coming. He's my best defense for anxiety and the sooner he knows what's going on with me, the better. He helps distract me, tells me things will be ok, and works me through a panic attack if it does happen.

Social media plays a huge impact on my stress and anxiety levels. Although I can't avoid it completely because of my job, I don't look at it when I wake up or before I go to sleep. This helps to keep my mind from wandering to unhealthy places at two very anxiety-prone times of the day.

When a panic attack feels particularly imminent, I stop everything I'm doing, wrap myself up in a blanket, and watch a drama-free show (usually the Office). It's hard for me to just stop working and do this "lazy" action, but it helps me to avoid a panic attack that could ruin a good couple of days. I rather be "out of commission" for a few hours rather than a few days.

It's definitely a learning process. My anxiety and panic attacks are constantly changing and adapting and I'm always trying to find the best ways to deal with them in a healthy, thoughtful way. I'd love to hear what your methods are when you find yourself in a thought spiral.
No comments

3.29.2018

Why You Should Have Business Meetings Even if You Work for Yourself

Why You Should Have Business Meetings Even if You Work for Yourself

How cute is this photo of Alex and I from a recent shoot we did for our new traveler's notebooks?! It's too perfect not to use for today's post about business meetings. Even when it was just the two of us in our business, we found it more important than ever to have consistent business meetings. And when we didn't, it was obvious. Here's why you need to have them too.

  • Meetings help to keep you on track with what you should be working on. Especially if you're working with someone else, meeting every other week or so can really help you to focus on projects that have a bigger priority than others. It's the whole "out of sight, out of mind" situation. If you aren't meeting, you aren't talking about what's coming up, and then suddenly a deadline is upon you or you've missed it. Meetings help give you regular checkpoints to know what's happening.
  • They're also great tools to help you brainstorm new ideas. Setting aside specific time to talk about the growth of the business (even if it's just with yourself!) is so important. Plus if you do have someone else there, you can bounce ideas off of them for new products or designs.
  • Setting aside time for a meeting also puts you in a different mindset than a regular workday. There's just something about stopping whatever it is that you're doing to focus on specific ways to improve your business. After the meeting you'll feel more focused and motivated to get things done rather than listlessly wandering through the day hoping you're making progress.
  • Kind of along the lines as the last point, meetings help you take a break from the normal day to day stuff to focus on the big picture. So often Alex and I find ourselves only working IN our business, rather than ON it. Meetings help us to change gears and focus on bigger picture ideas like where we want to see our business in five years, rather than the orders we need to finish that day.

It's definitely a lot harder to have business meetings if you work alone, so try to find a group or someone who doesn't mind being a sounding board for your ideas. No matter your business, it's important to take the time to reflect on what you've been doing and plan out what to do next. When Alex and I don't meet, it's hard to get on the same page and know what the other person is up to. We've had way more success with short meetings once a week than we ever have going it alone. So pull out that planner and schedule some time to meet with yourself or your partners. It'll make a world of difference.


No comments

3.27.2018

The Best Daily Planners | KitLife, Day Designer, and Simplified

The Best Daily Planners

Daily planners are a necessity for my planning routine. They're the perfect tools to get down to the nitty-gritty of projects, write detailed to do lists, and keep you on track for everything you want to accomplish. Plus no matter how a particular day ends up going, you can always turn the page and start over. So whether you're not sure if you should add a daily planner to your lineup or are looking for a new primary planner, these three are my absolute favorites.

The Best Daily Planners

Up first is the Day Designer. This one is the largest of the three with a very sturdy cover and metal edges to stand up to wear and tear. It's an hourly/to do list combo (my favorite), but has a ton of added sections that the other two do not. There's space for gratitude, money spent, top three priorities, deadlines, etc.

It's great if you're looking for more structured planning in your life. But if you want space and freedom to plan your own way, this may not be the best choice. I love how much space there is for a daily to do list, but the hourly times (starts at 5 goes until 9) aren't that realistic to my daily schedule. You could definitely tweak the layout with stickers to customize the sections to your needs.

The Best Daily Planners

You'll definitely start to see a common theme between dailies with a few variations. The KitLife Planner is a smaller planner with a more flexible cover and standard coil. It has some solid weight to it, so definitely keep that in mind if you're planning on making a daily an everyday carry. The watercolor backgrounds change from month to month and there are a ton of helpful tips and tricks at the start of each month.

The simplicity of the spread is fantastic and leaves tons of room for customization. The top section is super roomy for to do lists (you could make two columns) and the hourly section is much more accurate to my life. I love the top three section to keep me focused on primary tasks. The wellness and gratitude sections can be used for marking those things, or covered up to track something else.

The Best Daily Planners

The daily I'm currently using is the Simplified Planner. It beat out the other two because it's the smallest, lightest, and had the most pops of color. Plus the layout is simpler than the others in all the ways that I wanted. It focuses on the main things I wanted from a daily planner: hourly slots to write meetings, a big to do list section, and a couple sections I can customize. I'll be sharing in a whole separate blog post how I've been laying it out to work for me.

Although I love the other planners, I find the KitLife one a bit too heavy to lug around with me on a daily basis while the Day Designer is just too big. Plus the Day Designer has a TON of things on each page I just won't use every day. They're all fantastic options depending on your needs.

What daily planner would you choose out of the three?
No comments

3.22.2018

How to Get Started on Really Big Projects

How to Get Started on Really Big Projects

When "just starting" seems like a daunting task even in itself. 

So this post is just as much for me as I think it is for all of you. If you read this blog post recently then you know I've taken on some pretty big projects. One of which I have never done before. I'm at the place where I have a million ideas swimming around in my head and I'm ready to start, but I just don't know where. So here's how I would tackle a really big project.

  1. Make lists, and lots of them. What supplies do you need? When are some solid deadlines for the project? what does the finished product look like? Once you have those, write down all the bigger items you have to get done to complete the big project (objectives). After that list, make more lists about sub-items that fall under the bigger items (tasks). Make a list for everything. Putting it all down on paper may not help with the overwhelming feelings, but it will help you to see exactly what needs to get done.
  2. Assemble a team if this project requires one. Take that list you made about all the jobs required for the project and figure out who will do best in which roll. Maybe you need to hire someone. Get started on this now so you won't get held up waiting for someone to get up to speed on any progress made in the future.
  3. Take your lists and find tasks you can delegate. There are always things that you can give to someone else to do while you work on bigger picture items. 
  4. Give yourself deadlines and checkpoints along the way based on the objectives list. Depending on your timetable, so things may need to be done before others. Put these deadlines down in your planner, and work back from them a week. Write down a primary deadline a week before it actually needs to be done so you aren't rushing to finish things up. Write down deadlines for all the bigger chunks of the project.
  5. Set yourself goals for success. When do you know that you've been successful on this project? Do you have to sell a certain number of things? Try to find a measurable goal to help you determine when you've done it.
  6. Now start. To me it's more than "just starting." It's setting yourself up so you can start on the right foot with the right mindset in place.

What do you do to get started on a really big project?

No comments

3.20.2018

Making Friends in Your Line of Work

Making Friends in Your Line of Work

When of the hardest things to do now that I work from home, is make new friends. Especially in such a weird career, finding people to talk to going through similar life experiences hasn't been easy. So whether you're a stay-at-home girlboss like me, or just need some inspiration making friends in your line of work, here's what I've found to make the whole process a whole lot easier.

It all goes back to this kindergarten method I talked about a while ago. Check out the main blog post if you want more details, but the gist goes something like: pretend you're a kindergartner again and make friends just like you used to. If you like someone, ask to have coffee or chat. It seems simple, because it is. A lot of my planner friends have become friends because I took the risk just and reached out to them on social media. 

If you aren't sure where exactly to "find" these friends, try attending events or meetups. There are tons of networking opportunities no matter what field you're in. It does take a bit of working finding some events (a Google search or two won't hurt), but it's always worth it to get into a room with like-minded people who already share at least one interest with you.

If someone gives you a business card with their contact info, always write them an email or reach out once you get home. This is probably one of our biggest trade secrets for Oh, Hello. Alex and I always reach out to people we've gotten business cards from. No matter if it was just in passing. You never know what can come from an email.

Once you've found one or two friends in your field, try to find some things in common outside of work. All my shop owner friends I've gotten to know beyond just what they do for a living. Ask about favorite books, tv shows, things they like to do on a Sunday afternoon. Soon you'll find so much more to talk about than just work.

This is definitely true in the business world, but respect some privacy to keep "trade secrets," secret. No one wants to feel like people are just being their friend to find out how to make it big on the internet or make their own stickers. There's this kind of unspoken bond between a lot of my shop friends to not ask too much about how we all do what we do, but if you are worried about crossing any lines, just ask. Set some clear boundaries from the beginning about what's off limits to protect your livelihood.

Work-based friendships are still friendships. So spread a little kindness by sending them thoughtful gifts that could make their life easier, or trade products that each of you make. Surprise acts like these can really strength a relationship and show each other that you value the friendship. 
No comments
© MICROSCOPE BEAUTY • Theme by Maira G.