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


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11.15.2017

Pipsticks Pro Club

Pipsticks Pro Club

As a serious sticker addict, Pipsticks is right up my alley. I've gotten their subscription in the past, but it's been a good year or so since my last delivery. This go around I got October's Pro Club Pack* and am obsessed with all of the changes the people over at Pipsticks have made since my last package.

The sticker selection has always been super fun. I find that I can use about 40%-50% of the stickers in my planner while the other ones go on happy mail or notes to friends. Pipsticks isn't designed specifically for planners, but I love being able to get a wide range of stickers to use for a lot of different purposes. There are a ton of unique stickers I've never seen before and it's cool that Pipsticks does the curating for me so I don't have to hunt down special finds myself.

The new pouch everything comes in is beyond perfect and a great way to keep stickers organized. Plus it helps keep things straight from month to month if you're like me and particular about keeping monthly subscriptions separate from each other. 

Each subscription comes with a pre-stamped postcard as well as a quote card that always makes for great decor or a good addition to a craft project. They offer a huge range of different sized sticker packs for adults or kids from $9.95 to $14.95. This would make a great gift for a sticker enthusiast in your life or a young'in just getting started with the sticker obsession. 

Use MICROSCOPEBEAUTY20 for 20% off any regular subscription purchase on the site! 

Have you tried Pipsticks before?
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11.13.2017

Wrapeez Reusable Gift Wrap

Wrapeez Reusable Gift Wrap Review

Wrapeez Reusable Gift Wrap Review

I've always been the type of person to have all my presents wrapped by the middle of November. The holidays are naturally stressful, so getting everything done as soon as possible means I can actually enjoy the "most wonderful time of the year." So when Wrapeez Reusable Gift Wrap* asked to send me some of their eco-friendly, reusable gift wrap, I couldn't pass up the opportunity for even faster wrapping.

Wrapeez has a variety of different sizes of stretchy fabric that can be used to wrap basically everything. Remember in school back in the day when we protected our books with stretchy book covers? This gift wrap is the exact same thing. It comes in two pieces you can stretch over a bunch of different sized presents. There's a little cinched part to act like a decorative bow too. 

The best thing about this gift wrap is that it's there for you in a pinch. There's always someone I forget during my holiday shopping and Wrapeez takes one less stress off as I quickly run to the store to find a thoughtful gift in five minutes or less. I don't have to worry about a quality wrapping paper job since I can just throw this gift wrap on in the car and be good to go. Lazy/forgetful people rejoice.

If you're trying to save money during the holidays, this could be a great alternative rather than buying wrapping paper that's just going to get thrown away. Plus you can show just how eco-conscious you are. Always a plus.
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11.10.2017

New Enamel Pin Additions


I'm notoriously hard to shop for despite feeling like I'm the exact opposite. Alex in particular goes on about wanting to give me thoughtful gifts instead of just contributing to my various collections. Yet I would be more than happy to get some shopkins, another plant or two, and a couple of new enamel pins. Enamel pins are the best. The perfect way to showcase your interests without having to tell someone, "Hey I really like cats" and small enough to be the perfect stocking stuffer. What's not to love?

My collection has grown a lot since we last spoke about it and I thought I'd wrap up this week with a little post about some of my favorite new additions.


I add pins to my board from the top down, so all of the pins at the bottom of photos tend to be the newest ones. I picked up this trio set from Erin Condren about a month ago and love what a quirky combination they make together. The grateful pin is also from Erin Condren and has inspired me to make a font pin for Oh, Hello that should be arriving before December hits!


I picked up this somewhat creepy reflective pin of John Green for Pizzamas this year. I think Pizzamas is sadly over so you can no longer get yourself this awkward creation, but I love having something that's so deep into a fandom I couldn't possibly begin to explain it.


My favorite new additions are all of these gorgeous plant pins from Begin Industries. They came into my life right around when I seriously started getting into plants so they're a lovely reminder of my new passion. They're hard enamel and such great quality. Plus Begin Industries has some other pins that are seriously unique and completely unlike what I've seen out there.

Now to convince everyone to just buy me Shopkins, plants, and pins for the holidays and I'll be one happy camper.
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11.09.2017

The Simplified Planner Review & Walk-Through

The Simplified Planner Review

Is it obvious yet that I'm doing reviews of all of my favorite planners first? The Emily Ley Simplified Planner* is one of those planners that is so gorgeous on the outside and makes me want to kick my butt into gear on the inside. It's perfect for busy women who want a professional planner that's still cute, has room for everything in their life, and makes them inspired when they use it. This is the planner to do just that.

The Simplified Planner Review

The Simplified Planner Review

The front cover is a nice, thick cardboard with a touch of foiling for added class. I don't mind if covers are made of cardboard material as long as the corners are reinforced like this one is. Throughout the year corners take the most damage and wear so it's ideal to have them protected with metal covers.

Gotta love a planner who understands the importance of stickers. There's a cute little sheet at the start along with a handy pocket to store receipts, paperwork, or even more stickers. The monthly tabs have a great color palette that's fun while still having a level of professional class. They're laminated so they'll hold up to a year's worth of use.

The Simplified Planner Review

The front of the planner has your standard holiday page and yearly overview, but my favorite is this 2018 Bucket List. I love that there's a designated place to write goals and plans for the year ahead, and check boxes so you can tick thing off as you do them. It makes me want to not only make some plans, but do them too.

The Simplified Planner Review

The monthly view is simple, but elegant. It sadly is just a little too small to fit standard sized sticker boxes, but little icons an decorative stickers can still be used to snazz up spreads.

The Simplified Planner Review

The Simplified Planner Review

The Simplified Planner Review

The Simplified Planner Review

It's the daily view that really sets this planner apart for me. Each page is one day with a hourly section on the left side starting at 6am and going to 9pm. The time range is a lot more functional than the one in Erin Condren planners and is perfect for writing meetings, kid's events, deadlines, etc. The right side has a roomy to do list to write everything that needs to get done that day. The bottom two sections are marked meals and notes, but the headers can easily be covered up with a sticker to be turned into other categories.

The Simplified Planner Review

On the weekend page there's a section for weekly prep that already has a few to do items written in. At first I wasn't so sure about this, but it's grown on me. I like having items to refocus my mind and prepare me for the week ahead.

This planner sends my functional mind fluttering. I love this layout for daily pages and if I had more meetings and hour based items, it would be my ideal planner. It just doesn't fit my current lifestyle enough to justify using it sadly. It would be an amazing planner for busy, working women, large families, or students.

So definitely give the Simplified Planner a look-over if you're hunting for a new work planner or a planner to hold everything in your life. This one could do the trick.
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11.08.2017

A Story About Plants


Over the weekend Alex's parents came to visit us in Grand Rapids. It's not often we see them, and Alex spent the majority of the long weekend trying his hardest to convince them to move closer to us. We spent evenings out on the town finding hidden gems, eating delicious food, and talking. It was a wonderful weekend that ended even better when Linda and Greg gifted me with a gorgeous orchid plant. 

I may have went on a little too much about my newfound love of plants during the first days of their visit. They wanted to show their support and interest in my new love affair by giving me a plant Greg in particular loves growing. When I got this orchid from Alex's parents it really meant something to me. It meant they cared about what I was into, that they wanted to support me, and that we had something in common. In-laws are hard no matter how good your relationship with them is and this orchid made my relationship with them just a little bit easier. It was an incredibly thoughtful gesture and although I'm terrified to kill this gorgeous, delicate beauty, I'm also proud in myself that people have confidence in me to not kill it.

Growing up and in college I was the typical plant-killing cliche. I over-watered. I under-watered. I completely forgot that I had any plants to begin with. I just wasn't in the right mindset to be a plant mom. Plus I did understand just how important they'd become to my mental happiness. 

Once we moved into our first how it became obvious that the decor was lacking. We're trying to build up a good nest-egg of savings and rather not spend it just yet on filling the house with furniture. But something had to be done to fill up the empty shelves. Plants. I already had one that survived the move, but it looked sad and lonely, so I bought another.

After a few months of gingerly carrying for a peace lily and seeing just how well it was doing, I bought yet another plant. And then another. Then three more in one go. Now I'm constantly telling myself to give it a few more weeks before plant purchases because before I know it I'll be living in a rain forest. At least then no one will notice our couches don't really match the decor...

Why does this matter at all to you? Because plants are important. Plants bring a little bit of the world outside, in. And on rainy, cloudy days with no sun in sight, that's incredibly important. Plus having something to tend to, nurture, and take care of really does lift the spirits. Something is counting on you to keep it alive and that makes you feel a little more self worth than you did without plants. Plants can also store memories. The first plant I didn't kill came from my grandpa's funeral. It's still alive years later and reminds me of him whenever I see it in the kitchen every morning. Now I have an orchid plant to remind me of my growing relationship with Alex's family.

It wasn't until the weather turned south this year that I realized how important plants are to my mental health. It rained for nearly two weeks straight and it really started to get to me. But all of the plants in our house brightened things up, gave me a calm environment, fresh air to breathe, and some perspective that the weather would get better. I can only imagine how much I'm going to need them in the dead of winter.

Without sounding too hippie-ish, nature is a part of us. So it only makes sense that plants brighten a room and improve a mood. Now to convince myself that I don't need five more before winter hits...



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11.07.2017

Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

Prepare yourselves for the heaviest photo-filled post to date. I just couldn't help myself. The Plum Paper Planner* is all that I can think about since unboxing it a week or so ago. It has me strongly considering saying goodbye to my Erin Condren to give it a whirl come January. That's a bold statement, I know.

What's so great about Plum Paper is just how customizable their planners are. Erin Condren has a ton of options, but Plum Paper has more. From 11 different layouts to choose from to add-ons galore, there really is a planner for everyone. I got the Vertical 3 Layout because I love the style of an hourly without the hours. Now let's get into the absurd amount of detail photos.

Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

The planner starts out with your standard yearly overview and has a spread for important dates. It has another page for ideas, plans and goals that would work great for my accomplishment tracking I like to do. I love that there are two separate pages so I don't have to choose between important dates or memory keeping. I can do both!

Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

The note pages before the monthly view remind me a LOT of the Erin Condren ones. The circles are on both and I like that the Plum Paper planner gives you prompts for the extra spots. If you don't want to use them for those categories they can easily be covered up with a sticker and used for something else. I already checked if my beloved habit tracker sticker can fit in the bottom section of this page and it most definitely does.

Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

The monthly view is pretty standard, but it fits Erin Condren sized stickers. Another reason I'm considering cheating on EC. It's so awesome to find so many planners that can fit our stickers that I'm really starting to be question my current planner setup.


Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

The weekly view is filled with easy to write on lines with a handy three-priority checklist at the bottom that can be used for meals, main to do list items, or online content scheduling. Plus the columns are just the tiniest bit bigger than standard sticker sizing. I'm not that picky though so I'll definitely be using stickers like crazy on these pages.


I opted to add some to do list pages dispersed throughout the planner because these could be really helpful to plan out monthly projects. Just write the project on the pink box and list all the tasks below it. I love the idea of seeing all the projects for the month on one page to. It's like a master monthly to do list.


The add-on feature is probably my most favorite thing about Plum Paper planners. There are so many different options to choose from and they come with their own tab at the back of the planner. I opted for the blog one to see what it had to offer.

Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

Plum Paper Planner Vertical 3 Layout Review with Blog Add-On

The blog add-on doesn't mess around and includes things I didn't even consider tracking. It's in-depth, easy to use, and makes keeping track of all the nitty-gritty details a whole lot more enjoyable.

Overall I'm mad at myself for not checking out Plum Paper sooner. You can start the planner on any month you want, get it without a coil to put it into any planner system you choose, and it's cheaper than Erin Condren planners even with a few add-ons (my planner was around $38 before shipping). My biggest complaint is that they don't have interchangeable covers. I'm sure I could cut slits in the current cover and switch it out with Erin Condren ones, but it would have been the cherry on top of this planner if that option was available.

I've already got my eye on a few more add-ons and am planning out how to use this planner in 2018. If you haven't checked out Plum Paper you definitely should. Don't be like me and wait ages to figure out how awesome it is!

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11.06.2017

How to Figure Out What You Want

How to Figure Out What You Want

Growing up I always had a plan. I knew what I would be doing, how to get there, and what I wanted to do along the way. That all changed when I became self-employed and started working from home. I feel like I've skipped a few steps and am now in this no-man's land without any clear idea of what to do next. It's caused a lot of stress and anxiety with a dash of listlessness thrown in for good measure. I just didn't know what I wanted anymore. Days started to blur together and I lost a lot of passion.

My brilliant husband Alex came to me one day after months of watching me just go through the motions. He asked to take me out to lunch to talk about what we wanted in life. I jumped at the chance for lunch at Panera and didn't realize how this one lunch date would completely change my outlook on things.

We both brought our own notebook and he asked me, "What would you do if you didn't have to work constantly and money wasn't a concern?" At first I wasn't sure, but soon the ideas started flowing.

I want to take more dance classes, focus on interior design, grow more plants, and take a cake decorating class. Just writing these wants down instantly changed my mood. It gave me things to focus on, goals to work towards, and things to look forward to. 

Plus I got to see what he would do. It taught me so much more about him, about what he values, and how to make our relationship even stronger.

So if you've found yourself on the other side of college without a road map you've followed for so many years previously, don't fret. Write down the things you want to do, whether it's travelling, opening your own bakery, what have you. Just getting your dreams and goals down on paper is a huge motivation booster. Then figure out what you have to do to get to those goals. 

I know it sounds simple, but why can't it be?
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11.03.2017

Get to Work Book Planner Review

Get to Work Book Planner Review

Of all the glorious planners I had my sights on for this year's ultimate planner mashup (more commonly known as the "Which Planner to Choose in 2018" video), the Get to Work Book was at the top of the list. This gorgeous calligraphy filled beauty oozed productivity in all the Instagram posts. In person it doesn't disappoint. It feels like a back-to-your-roots kind of planner focused on no-fuss, goal-oriented planning. On to the nitty-gritty.

Get to Work Book Planner Review

The cover is a high-quality matte black cardboard-like material and opens up to a 2018 at a glance spread. Great for project planning, event planning, or tracking monthly accomplishments. I've grown accustomed to this page in planners and look for it while scouting out new layouts. It's such a handy addition.

Get to Work Book Planner Review

Before each month there is a reflection and goal setting page. As someone who has a hard time making and tracking goals, I find this really helpful. It helps to work through goals to figure out whats most important to focus on.


The page right before the monthly view is what sent my heart a flutter over this planner in the first place. The typography and quotes are swoon worthy. Plus the "this month is all about" section at the bottom helps to set a focus to the month ahead. It's so thought out it's insane.

Get to Work Book Planner Review


Get to Work Book Planner Review

The monthly view is simple, but in the best kind of way. The grey tones really make plans and writing stand out so you can quickly look to see what's on the agenda without having the planner distract. This book is all about productivity and thought out design. I can get behind that for sure.

Another huge highlight of this planner? It fits Erin Condren standard size stickers. SCORE. The monthly view's boxes are 1.5 inches wide so you could snazz up the planner with a bit of color if that's more your style. 

Get to Work Book Planner Review

Get to Work Book Planner Review

Get to Work Book Planner Review

The weekly view keeps the productivity going with action items on the sidebar, three top priorities for every day, and a ton of space to write daily to do lists. It also fits standard sizes stickers perfectly. I don't think I could be more psyched about finding new planners that still work with my love of stickers. A few functional stickers here and a dash of decorative there and this planner will reach epic levels for me.

Get to Work Book Planner Review

The back section of the planner has some note pages, but also a few of these project pages to break down large tasks into more manageable objectives. Great for small business owners, students, or people who have projects for their work.

I have two complaints with this majestic beast. The tabs stick out past the cover. Their lamination is thick enough to likely stand up to wear and tear, but if you tend to throw planners into bags like I do, you may want to be a bit more careful with this one. Plus at $55 it's more expensive than even Erin Condren planners which are on the high end for a lot of people. The price definitely makes me stop and think a little harder on this one despite loving so much about it. If it's a planner you love and will use happily for an entire year, it's worth the investment.

The simplicity is a serious strength while the typography is motivating and gorgeous to look at. I find myself feeling more productive just holding this meaty planner. It's definitely one to consider if you're looking for something without too much fluff that you can add your own flair to.

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11.02.2017

Rifle Paper Co Planner Review | Large Format with Hard Cover and Spiral Binding

Rifle Paper Co Planner Review | Large Format with Hard Cover and Spiral Binding

The first of the many, many planner reviews is here! I'm starting with a planner I've used in the past in a smaller size and loved to pieces. So let's get into the nitty gritty of the 2018 Rifle Paper Co Lively Floral 17-Month Planner*

The layout of this planner can be found throughout all of the Rifle Paper Co planners, but what drew me to this planner in particular is the size. I love how big and in charge it looks on my desk for writing to do lists.

The cover is thick, hard, and seems like it will hold up to a year's worth of wear and tear pretty well. I do wish the corners had metal covers as those tend to get beat up over time, but the size of this planner leans more towards desk usage rather than a planner you carry around on a regular basis.

Rifle Paper Co Planner Review | Large Format with Hard Cover and Spiral Binding

One of the most interesting layout features on this planner is how all of the monthly views are located under one tab at the beginning of the planner rather than dispersed throughout. It's different (in a good way) to be able to flip through the entire year quickly rather than having to jump throughout the planner, but at the same time I don't find myself desperately needing this feature. I love it when I'm using this planner, but don't miss it when I'm not.


Before we get into the monthly views, the front of the planner has the basic pages you want in a planner but don't necessarily use too often. The 2019 overview is pretty standard without much fluff. I do wish there were more floral designs dispersed throughout beyond just the cover. Rifle Paper Co is known for their iconic designs so it would have been nice to get a few more.

Rifle Paper Co Planner Review | Large Format with Hard Cover and Spiral Binding

The important dates page could be used for big events or birthdays throughout the year, but I would probably use it for memory/accomplishment keeping. It's my favorite way to really get a lot of use out of these pages. Plus it's always so cool to look back on after just a few months.

Rifle Paper Co Planner Review | Large Format with Hard Cover and Spiral Binding

Rifle Paper Co Planner Review | Large Format with Hard Cover and Spiral Binding

The most exciting thing about the standard looking monthly view is the sizing of it. This planner fits Erin Condren sized stickers! It would be incredibly easy to add a bit of sticker addiction into these pages. There's a handy little notes sidebar for the monthly view as well.

Rifle Paper Co Planner Review | Large Format with Hard Cover and Spiral Binding

The weekly view is why I fell in love and used a smaller version of this planner last year. This is the best agenda I've found to use for to do lists. Sure bullet journals and traveler's notebooks are all the rage right now, but the simplicity and ease of using this for lists can't be beat. I love how it limits the number of items you can have each day (you get less lines as you go down in sizes) and how it focuses more on to do's rather than events.

Rifle Paper Co Planner Review | Large Format with Hard Cover and Spiral Binding

You could always add a sticker or two next to the date with any events or appointments you have, making this a great work planner. It worked wonders for my work-from-home life. There's definitely room for themes and stickers in this planner, but I would shy away from full weekly kits and coordinate some functional and decorative things instead.

Rifle Paper Co Planner Review | Large Format with Hard Cover and Spiral Binding

There's a incredibly roomy pocket in the back with a little ruler detailing on the side. The perfect place to stash some favorite stickers or save paperwork for a current project. 

For $34 this planner is simple, yet incredibly useful and functional for to do lists. It would be a fantastic planner for work or even for school to write down assignments and tests while using the monthly views for events. It's also the planner that started to shake up my confidence in using Erin Condren planner exclusively. It started to really go down hill when more planners arrived a few weeks ago. There's no fuss or expectations with it and that's what makes it so great. You could quickly jot down things you need to get done one week and then go sticker crazy the next. It lets you be you a lot more than other, popular planners.

Prepare your eyeballs for an avalanche of planner reviews coming to you soon! Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you don't miss a single one. 

What do you think of this planner? Too simple or with room to personalize?

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