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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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11.30.2016

A Bullet Journal Update

A Bullet Journal Update

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

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

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

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

Do you bullet journal? What do you include?

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11.29.2016

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

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

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

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

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

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

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

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

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

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

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

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

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

What You Need for a Capsule Makeup Collection

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

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

What makeup products would be in your capsule makeup collection?

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11.28.2016

Our Wedding | The Highlights









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

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


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11.22.2016

Easy Blog Photography Hacks


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

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

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

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

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

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11.21.2016

A Sephora Haul of My Holy Grails

A Sephora Haul of My Holy Grails

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now that I've gotten backups of all my staples I should be set for at least the next half of the year. Did you purchase anything from the sale? What are some of your beauty staples?
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11.19.2016

Erin Condren Holiday Bundles Review and GIVEAWAY!

Erin Condren Bundles Review

It's that wonderful time of year again: Erin Condren Bundle season. I'm always such a snob when they first come out thinking I don't need any because I'm already swimming in Erin Condren supplies, but as soon as I look at them I have to have them all. They're the perfect curated planning kits that make gift giving a serious snap. Plus I'm giving one of them away!

Erin Condren Sticker Savvy Bundle Review

There's a special place in my heart for the Sticker Savvy Bundle. If you're going to get any bundle from EC this season, it should be this one. It's jammed packed with sticker supplies, washi tape, and even cut-to-size sticker paper. Any sticker fanatic would flip over this bundle without a doubt. My particular favorites are the new Erin Condren sticker sheet packs. This comes with both the Alphabets and Illustrations and the Functional Flags packs. Definitely worth the price for how much you get.

Erin Condren Dashboard Dreams Bundle Review

The Dashboard Dreams Bundle is a great option if you know what planning style someone is into or want to introduce them to another style within planning. I personally am obsessed with using dashboards lately so this bundle is awesome to cover all your dashboard bases. Plus the canvas gift tote is actually pretty snazzy in person.

Erin Condren Gift Supplies

Erin Condren even has a Gift Giver Bundle to make gift giving so much easier. Their gift bags feel like the most luxurious bags I've ever touched and will sure to impress even the most persnickety mother-in-law around.


Erin Condren Glitter and Glam Bundle Review

Now on to the bundle I'm giving away! This Glitter and Glam Bundle is a smaller bundle that's great for planning pals or friends you may not know too well. The Jot Your Thought notebooks are always such high quality and a nice gift for all ages. Planner bands and pen holders are cute, but practical things most planning people won't think to get themselves. Plus I just love the foil stickers for that front section in the Erin Condren Planners for monthly tracking.

This giveaway is open internationally to any planner gal or guy over 18 or with parental consent! Want to try and win more planner goodies? There's also a sticker giveaway going on right now too!

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11.18.2016

How Not to Go Crazy Working From Home


From the outside, working from home seems so glamorous. You can wear pajamas all day long, choose your own hours, and go see a movie in the middle of the day. Sure, all of this is true, but I've found working from home to be a lot harder than I ever expected. Over the past year I've developed a few ways to not go completely insane.

First and foremost try and set clear working hours. This is probably the hardest thing for me to do since a lot of what I do for a living started out as my main hobby. It's so hard to turn off and do other things when before those other things were what my job is now. If I had my way I would work from the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep. That's definitely not healthy. No matter when you wake up or want to sleep, set definite working hours so you aren't constantly working and leave yourself no time for relaxing or breaks.

Along that same line, take breaks. Another thing I'm terrible at but something every other person who has a job gets to do. Take a lunch break. Take fifteen minutes to read a blog post or watch a YouTube video. Brains need time to reset and recharge before starting another task. I've found that although I hate taking breaks, I work better when I do. Things get done faster, and better when there are breaks sprinkled in.

Go outside. Take a walk around your neighborhood or take a break outside. Fresh air works wonders and helps you regroup. Sometimes Alex and I will go a good day and a half without going outside. We find ourselves getting stir crazy and snippy for no reason. We go for a nice 30 minute walk around our neighborhood and immediately feel better. 

Try and have a designated work space regardless if it's an office or you set up camp in a guest bedroom. I find I work best in bed, but working in the bed that we sleep in makes it really hard to separate work from the rest of our life. So I set up shop on our guest bedroom bed. I still get to work in a bed, but don't see our actual bedroom as my office. Even if it's just a small corner somewhere, having a place you go specifically to work can help keep the rest of your home from becoming work spaces.

Don't work from home. Sometimes the best thing to do is to not work from home. I go to Panera or a coffee shop and set up a mini office there. It gets me out of the house, puts me into a clear working zone, and helps to add some variety to the day. 

Working from home truly is the best thing that's ever happened to me work-wise, but it's not all sunshine and pajama filled rainbows. I actively have to work towards not going nuts and these tips definitely help me stay motivated and inspired.

Do you have any tips about working from home? If you don't work from home, is there anything you're curious about?


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11.17.2016

A Quick Little Sticker Giveaway


There's no regular blog post from me today, but in today's Planner Update I wanted to say thank you for your constant support. I've gotten quite a few new Bloglovin' and YouTube followers lately and it was about time I started giving back more. Plus with the holiday season fast approaching, there are going to be a lot more giveaways around these parts. As usual, the giveaway is open internationally to anyone over 18 or with parental consent. 


Good luck and thanks again! I'm so excited to share all the new content I've been cooking up.
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11.16.2016

Three Products to Try This Month

Three Products to Try This Month

It's been ages since my last product recommendation post so I thought it about time to grab some of my favorites that you just have to try before the month is through.

I was skeptical of Bumble and Bumble's Sunday Shampoo at first, but after the very first wash I knew the hype around this clarifying shampoo is definitely true. My hair has never felt cleaner than after using this. It lathers up amazingly well with just a tiny amount and my hair feels lighter, fresher, and free of dirt and grim after every use. It's perfect for infrequent washers and people who use a lot of product (hands up on both accounts from this girl) to keep your hair healthy and not too weighed down. A little goes a very long way so don't let the $25 price tag scare you. I'll be using this bottle for close to a year I'm sure. Throw it on your wishlist immediately.

You've heard me rave time and time again about the Urban Decay Afterglow Blush in "Video," but it's officially time you go give it a swatch. The perfect flush cheek color that'll compliment the colder months amazingly well. It can be worn every so lightly or built up to a stronger flush and it lasts all day. Blushes are hard to come by that can stand my swiping my face a little too often.

My final recommendation is the perfect foundation for all those holiday photos that are coming up. The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation is my go to when I know there are going to be a lot of photos as it mattifies the skin without being flat and cakey. It's more of a satin finish while reducing any sort of shine that may show up in photos. I have dry skin and find this incredibly hydrating and easy to wear. It doesn't show dry patches or look weird on the skin. It actually improves over time. It's definitely something I'm keeping close at hand for the holidays.

So whether you're finishing up your holiday wishlist or are just feeling kind of spendy, try these three products out this month.

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11.15.2016

Go Ahead, Steal My Holiday Wishlist Ideas


At first I thought compiling this list would be hard. For weeks Alex has been asking me what I want for Christmas and I've been coming up empty. Yet twenty minutes browsing some of my favorite shops and I have ten holiday wishlist items that you're totally allowed to steal for yourself.

I've had my eye on the MAC Liptensity Lipsticks (1) for quite a while now and have narrowed down the wish list to just two. With them next to each other they basically look the same, so any friends or family out there reading this, I'd be happy with either one. I've been over-googling swatches of both "Smoked Almond" and "Toast and Butter" for weeks.

Cute little decorations have been on my radar since moving into our new house and I just couldn't help but fall in love with this ceramic balloon dog bookend (2). How cute is it?! It would look great on another item I've been wanting lately or up in my office. I don't think I'd have any trouble finding it a home.

Despite my best efforts my minimalist makeup collection has been expanding lately. Enough so that I could use another acrylic storage unit (3) to organize my palettes and extra odds and ends. I love this brand in particular because they have tons of different coordinating sizes and setups. There's definitely an organizational unit for everyone.

This next wishlist item is very much on the practical side of things, but probably my most wanted thing. I've been contemplating floating shelves just like these (4) from Target for months now. I have three or four different locations in our house I want to use them to display all our fun travel items and collections. 

I'm still head over heels for enamel pins and this cat donut one (5) would be a great addition to my collection. My love of doughnuts and cats all wrapped up into one cute little package.

It's only around the holidays that I really get an itch for new LUSH products. I love the one with the rainbow on it, but couldn't seem to find it on the website. Of course I fell down the LUSH rabbit hole and ended up adding the Candy Mountain bubble bar (6) to my wishlist. A perfect mixture of vanilla and bubbles? I'll take twelve.

As a fan of letter writing and of Disney, this Art of Disney Postcard Set (7) would be the perfect gift. Sure it's a collectors item, but I'd still send them to friends and family to say hello. When it comes to stationery supplies I'm a strong believer in using what I've got rather than hording. I'd love every second of flipping through this set while hunting for the perfect one to send out. Disney fans and stationery fans would love this one.

Last year Alex got me this Corgi Calendar (8) and I loved having it on display in my office. The year's almost up so I could definitely use another one. Here's hoping 2017 is the year that an actual corgi will make their debut in our home!

We host a lot of dinner parties and events at our house so a cookbook dedicated to appetizers (9) is just what I need to keep our meals unique and entertaining. This particular book has over 225 recipes all with photos. I find photos to be super important to me when I'm trying a recipe for the first time so the fact that every single recipe in this book has one is downright amazing!

My last wishlist item is the most unique of the lot and would floor anyone on your wishlist. I'd love to get my home custom made into an ornament by the ever talented Oddly and Company. (10) She only does orders every once and a while so even getting on her schedule would be difficult, but one day I would love to have one to remember this home by. Her attention to detail is out of this world and all of her work turns out amazing. I may heavily stalk her Instagram.

So whether you're a friend or family member or mine, or just a nosy pal looking to add a few things to your own wishlist, these are the goodies that would make me flip with excitement this year. 




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11.14.2016

How to Make Your Blog Photos Better

How to Make Your Blog Photos Better

I think it's safe to say we all struggle with blog photography. Even the pros constantly say how it's the hardest part about blogging. From trying to get the right lighting to keeping photos engaging, I still struggle after nearly four years of doing this. So here are some of my tips and tricks on making blog photos better.

Starting out I never considered how important props are to a photo. Adding notebooks, dishes, color coordinated makeup, you name it. Even if it's not even what you're specifically talking about, adding extra elements into a photo can make it more engaging and interesting to look at. I have a bin filled with random makeup bits, nail polish, and stationery that I keep on hand where I usually take my blog photos. If I find anything out and about I'll pop it in the bin specifically for photography. You could easily use things you have around the house, but I find it just easier to use them specifically for blog photos. The Target Dollar Spot is my favorite place to find really cheap, cute accessories to add into photos. They constantly have dishes and stationery supplies.

If you're getting tired of your photographs, change up your background textures. I'm currently in a bright white background phase, but when I get tired of that I'll move into the kitchen for the hardwoods or a bathroom for interesting tile. Counter tops and blankets also make for a really interesting backdrop. Plus if you don't have any spare cash to buy some cute photo props, then this trick can really spice up you photographs. Combining props and background textures is also a really fun combo.

In a world filled with flat-lay photography, try changing the angle of your photograph. This photograph below is the exact same set up as the one above, but at a slightly lower angle. Just tipping the camera down slightly can create a completely different photo with different focal points. 

How to Make Your Blog Photos Better

Whenever I take my photos I always try a few different combinations so when in editing I can pick and choose which ones work best for the post I'm creating. I'll take a horizontal and a vertical photo for each post because just changing the orientation can completely change the photo. Vertical allows for a lot more to fit into the photo so it works better for posts about more products. Horizontal really draws the viewer in to get the details of what you're talking about. Next I take a straight-down flat-lay photo and then take a few more at different angles. I even go as far as to take a photo from the side just to see how it might look. As long as your main subject is in focus, you can really mess around with angles to get the best results.

There are tons of photography tips and tricks out there and I even have another one coming to debunk some of the preconceived notions about how to get good blog photos. The best thing you can do is keep snapping away and work on your skills. Photography really is all about the practice and you only get better with time.
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11.11.2016

Perfect Christmas Gifts for the Beauty Addict in Your Life

Perfect Christmas Gifts for the Beauty Addict in Your Life

Perfect Christmas Gifts for the Beauty Addict in Your Life

Perfect Christmas Gifts for the Beauty Addict in Your Life

Perfect Christmas Gifts for the Beauty Addict in Your Life

Prepare yourself for this one because it's shaping up to be a big'un. Gift guides tend to go that way when they're about things I'm a little too nuts over. Beauty bits top that list. So whether or not you're looking for some things to pop onto your list or need some help buying for a beauty addict in your life, I've got you covered.

For the newbie it's all about the palettes. Makeup can be pretty daunting to get into so a nice, quality palette can go a long way. Nothing trumps the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. Literally any would make even the mellowest beauty girl squeal with excitement. I jump around from favorite to favorite but right now I'm really digging the Naked 2 palette for its cooler tones and the Smokey palette for its wider range of options. If you aren't looking to spend a good chunk of change then there are always really cute ornament and mini stocking stuffer products like these from IT Cosmetics to appease the beauty beginner while not breaking the bank. 

For the makeup junkie you can't go wrong with getting them brushes or a new face palette. Since they're already addicted to makeup, these brush sets from IT Cosmetics are a great gift as they probably hate to have to wash their brushes constantly. Best way to solve that strife? Get more brushes. Between the All the Glitters Brush Set and the City Chic one, I prefer City Chic as it has a more unique set of brushes. If you're looking for a nice quality basic set All that Glitters is the one you should snag.

If they're addicted to makeup then they already have their fair share of eye shadow palettes. Face palettes on the other hand are finally getting their time in the sun. My particular favorite is the IT Cosmetics Je Ne Sais Quoi palette. I wrote a full review of it recently if you want more detailed information, but it has every product an addict will need to complete their look.

For the skincare lover nothing will excite them more than one of the new Body Shop At Home Facial masks. They have one to suit all skin types and needs, so ask a few questions of your skincare lover to find out exactly which one would be perfect for them. They're gorgeous glass containers with a ton of product so it really would be quite the luxurious gift. If you want full reviews of each of the masks I've written up a handy post.

For the hair obsessed if they don't own Bumble and Bumble's Sunday Shampoo you need to buy it for them immediately. Another product that's had a full review done on it, it's the best clarifying shampoo around. So if they're product lovers and really load up their hair throughout the week, this will work wonders at getting all the build-up out in a snap.

Most beauty addicts will have a pre-made wishlist already in waiting for big events like Christmas, but if you aren't sure what to get them or don't know how to access that always growing list of theirs, these items would sure to make them beyond excited. Plus the Sephora VIB Sale is going on right now so you can save 20% on most of these gifts!

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11.10.2016

The Little Moments | Life in Snapshots




I wanted to start taking more photos just for the sake of it. Photos of our life, adventures, and everyday shenanigans. I'm always taking photos of products and blog posts that I wanted more organic photos. I started snapping random shots and put them in this post to save and collect. Now I realize in the hypocrisy as I'm now starting a series with them, but I'll only be posting when I have a few photos in each draft worth publishing.

There may be thoughts and explanations attached to each post or it may just be a series of photos of what I've been up to lately. I won't be defining it too much, but I'd love to know what you'd like to see. 

The first photo is from a small shop called Art of the Table in the East Hills part of Grand Rapids. You can see more about it in this vlog

So here's to trying new things with this blog. Constantly switching up content and never really knowing what the heck I want to do with this space. I wouldn't be me if I ever felt satisfied.

What do you think about this new post style? What kind of snapshots would you like to see?


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11.09.2016

IT Cosmetics Je Ne Sais Quoi Face Palette


IT Cosmetics is one of those brands that took me ages to finally try. Of course I fell in love at first swatch and have been smitten ever since. I recently got the Je Ne Sais Quoi Face Palette as I've been having quite the thing for them lately. I think I'm set for five lifetimes in the eye shadow palette department so it's about time I moved on to another palette obsession.

The packaging itself is just gorgeous. I really sleek blush pink case that snaps shut with a push button at the front. There's something so satisfying about the quad look too that puts my detailed mind at ease.

As for the products within the palette, three out of four are fab. The Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder is a perfectly soft yellow shade to cancel out any discoloration and to set under eye concealer. It doesn't crease and isn't cakey. At first I thought for sure the Bronzer in "Sunshine" would be too orange for me, but I tend to apply bronzer with a light hand so it actually looks very flattering. If you like to pack the product on I would pass on it until the warmer months, but for light use it works perfectly well. My favorite of the entire palette is the Perfect Lighting Luminizer. The perfect champagne gold highlight that doesn't feel like I'm dumping piles of glitter on my face like other highlighters do. It's subtle, buildable, and provides just the right about of sheen. 

I must say I'm not crazy about the Bye Bye Pores Blush in "Je Ne Sais Quoi." It's just too bubble gum pink for my taste. Applied with a light hand it can work, but I tend to be a little crazy when it comes to my blush application so I need something that won't make me look like a clown if I go a little heavy.

At $42 I still think it's a really good deal for four different face products in one convenient palette. All of the shades can definitely be worked with and there isn't one I would really avoid. It's also fabulous to have everything you could possibly need in one location. I always forget something when I'm packing for travel so it's good to know I can pop this in my bag and be covered.

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11.08.2016

Going Back to the Beginning



When Oh, Hello started over two years ago, I originally thought it was going to be a stationery shop. It quickly snowballed into the sticker beast that it is today, but I've always had this lingering desire to return it, if only slightly, back to its roots. I toyed with the idea of creating a New Year's Resolution to add the stationery back into the business, but why what for that start of a new calendar year when I could do it now?

Over the past two weeks I've made stationery a priority. I've designed dozens of new greeting cards, updated the photos for all our existing cards, and began promoting our hidden gems better. And it feels great. It feels amazing to return to why I started Oh, Hello in the first place. I've been able to talk all of the sticker designs Alex has been creating for years and give them a second life. It's crazy the extent of our design archives so it's nice to be able to put them to good use.

I've even created a monthly greeting card subscription where subscribers will get five random, holiday relevant cards delivered every month. It's only $7 a month for the reoccurring subscription so it's a much more affordable monthly option than nearly all other subscriptions out there. At first I wasn't sure if I was going to do it, but decided to stop constantly second guessing myself and commit. You never know unless you try right?

I don't want to just stop with greeting cards. I want to full immerse myself into stationery and beef up Oh, Hello's product list even more. I'm talking notepads, sticky notes, and journals. Keep the enamel pins following too. These are the products that really make me excited about the future of the business. It would be ignorant to think stickers will last forever and it finally feels like I'm getting back to our roots. 

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11.07.2016

Gearing Up for the Holidays


The holidays are coming my friends and I'm in full-on get everything done mode. I've been gathering gifts for a few months now, but it's officially time to get serious. I've always been a fan of Christmas, but there's just something about owning my own home that has made me go nuts for it. Alex has to stop me practically every single day from putting up our Christmas tree, I'm just that excited. When the first snow hits Michigan, it's going up for sure. We usually see snow at this point in the year, so it's like the weather doesn't want me going into full on Christmas mode yet either.

Now is the time to start doing shopping research. I tend to buy things throughout the year, but stores start releasing or announcing sales around this time of the year. Sephora is doing their VIB sale in a few days, Black Friday is right around the corner, and sale catalogs are coming out. I've already started setting up my plan of attack, pre-filling my online shopping carts, and waiting patiently for the sales to start. I find this prep work makes sure I don't forget anyone and have ample time to really think about gift lists. 

The holiday season is also my favorite time to shop for myself. Sure I should be focusing on loved ones more, but the gifts with purchase and limited edition kits are too good to pass up. Plus there are always incredibly cute Christmas themed goodies like these ornaments from IT Cosmetics. Combining beauty with one of my favorite holidays? I'll take twenty. Stocking stuffers are a breeze to find and one of my favorite things to shop for.

How are you gearing up for the holidays? Are you a prepped and prepared planner like me or are you a last minute shopper?

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11.05.2016

Planner Addict Holiday Gift Guide and GIVEAWAY!



Let's stop denying it any longer. Christmas is coming my friends and we all need to get on the gift buying wagon before we've run out of time to get it all done. As per tradition I'm coming at you with a few holiday gift guides over the next few weeks. First up has to be planner related goodies. It's a passion so near and dear to my heart it had to be first. So pass this on as a not-so-gentle nudge to your friends and family or start making your list for the people in your life.

I find that Erin Condren Journals are my go-to gift when I haven't a clue what to give someone. I married into a sizable family and now have a lot of brother and sister-in-laws to shop for. I've made my life a billion times easier and have gotten customized journals for literally every single woman on Alex's side. They're personal enough that it seems like I put thought into the gift while making it so I don't have to stress out. I currently really love the dot grid option since it's great for bullet journaling!

If you know your planner addict is serious about their pre-planning, definitely get them the Erin Condren Sticky Notes. They're a super cute way to get future plans in place before the stickers come out. There are quite a few options besides the classic ones to choose from too if you're looking for some variety.

My Prima Planner Paperclips and other accessories are the perfect way to let your planner obsessed pal know that you understand them, without having to worry about accidentally getting them something they already have. There are tons of different things to choose from that are not only cute, but functional for a ton of different styles of planners.

If you want to get a planner gal something but don't necessarily want to get them a stereotypical planner related item, enamel pins are a great alternative! Pins are like stickers, but much more tangible, three dimensional, and wearable without looking like you're a preschool teacher. You can put enamel pins on tote bags, planner cases, and even on the coil of a planner! It's a great, non-traditional gift that's still relevant!

Although practical, pens make a great gift for the planner obsessed. If you want to really be a crowd pleasure than get a larger pack of the Papermate InkJoy Gel Pens. They're the best, smoothest, thickest pens I've ever tried. Plus I constantly have to make sure I get them back from people who ask to borrow a pen. If not these definitely "walk away." While you're at it, you're probably going to want to get a set for yourself.

Planner cases are by far the coolest gift you could give this year. They're excellent at keeping planners safe while having tons of room for extra supplies for on-the-go planning. Plus you can customize them so everyone on your list can feel extra fancy.

Magnetic bookmarks are a great finishing touch to a gift or perfect if you're on the hunt for cute stocking stuffers. My favorite shop is CraftedVan, but there are literally tons on Etsy that produce nice quality, unique bookmarks. Plus you can double dip and get some for book lovers on your list too!

If the planner addict in your life also happens to be seriously washi tape obsessed, then getting them an organizer (or two, or three) would make you the holiday hero. I love this three drawer unit because it has built in dividers that hold the washi tape in place so they don't slide around. It's also great for other planner supplies like bookmarks and paperclips. If you know they have a large collection, get them a few that they can stack on top of each other.

Just in case there's someone on your list that's into stationery but not overly into planning or too young to really get into it yet, these folders from Erin Condren are seriously luxurious. They're just a special little something to make school or work a touch more enjoyable. They're the best quality folders I've ever experienced and they make me want to get super organized. 

Phew. The perfect gifts for the planner addict all wrapped up into a nice blog post, video package. Now get to shopping before Christmas sneaks up on us!

To make the whole shopping experience a little bit easier, I'm giving away a few of the gift guide items! Giveaway is open internationally to anyone 18 and up or with parental consent! Use them to bulk up a gift or save them for yourself. No one will have to know!



Good luck!
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11.04.2016

What's In My Planning Bag

What's In My Planning Bag

I very rarely travel with my planner these days, but if I do I have my system down to a science. I keep all of supplies in an Erin Condren Carry All Clutch (cheaper option), including my planner itself.

Planner cases are super stretchy so you can really pack things in there. I keep my supplies separated from the actual planner to avoid unnecessary scratching and wear. Everything I tote around with me goes into another, smaller Erin Condren pouch that slides nicely into the case without any trouble.

On average I tend to keep a variety of different pens all serving different purposes. Isn't that always the case with planner addicts? A million and one pens all for a different use. I personally prefer black. I've dabbled with other colors in the past, but I'm a black writing utensil girl through and through. The fine point sharpie is to write on the laminated dashboards in my planner. The sharpie won't smudge or come off on its own so it's the perfect tool to write removable to do lists. In order to remove the sharpie from the dashboards I have a dry erase marker and a travel package of Kleenex. It's a snap to cover the sharpie with the dry erase marker and wipe everything off with a tissue. 

The sharpie pen is for writing on the planner itself. It doesn't bleed through between the pages so if I'm not writing on a sticker this is the only pen I'll use on the actual planner. It also works great on the stickers themselves. If I want a thicker stroke and bolder line on stickers it's all about the Papermate Ink Joy Gel pens. Damn are these fantastic pens. They do leave a shadow if written directly onto the planner, but I use them for literally everything hand written. 

As for other bits and bobs I always have a pair of scissors on hand mostly because I find I need them for random things throughout the day. I don't think I've ever actually used them for on-the-go planning purposes, but it's nice to have them just in case. I always have a few sheets of Blobby around too because he's just too cute to miss any opportunity to use one. 

I'm a no-fuss kind of on-the-go planner girl. Travel planning however is a different story...
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11.03.2016

An Intro To Bullet Journaling

An Intro To Bullet Journaling

I finally caved a few weeks ago and dove into the somewhat confusing world of bullet journaling. I spent a good couple of days poking around Pinterest boards learning more about the organizational style. I did just as much research trying to find the perfect, reasonably priced notebook to use before deciding on an Erin Condren dot-grid journal. I'm a sucker for a good Erin Condren journal and thought the larger style would work great for me as I fumble through my first few layouts.

While I was doing my research on bullet journaling there were a handful of layouts that really caught my eye. The main one that really persuaded me into giving this whole thing a go was a mood tracker. A whole year's worth of moods simplified into daily boxes. At an end of a year there would be a colorful spread of the year's moods. I had to do it. As soon as my journal arrived I quickly created the first layout, not too concerned with quality. I'm by no means going to devote a whole Instagram to my amazing spreads to have the world fawn over my artistry. I have little to no talent with pen and paper when it comes to creating anything of substance. I know over time my spreads will get better, but I really wanted to try bullet journaling just for me.

Ultimately I plan on using mine as more of a memory keeper and less of a planner so these types of tracking spreads will work perfectly. I want to track all the books I read and create a page to write down happy thoughts. After the end of every month I'll create a memory spread while working on doodles and hand lettering. 

I'm definitely just getting into the world of bullet journaling, but so far it's been a relaxing, creative journey. There is tons of room for personalization and creating a system of organization that works on a much more personal level than most planners. Sure it's a little daunting to stare at a blank page and try to decide what to make of it, but that's what makes it fun too. 

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11.01.2016

Our First Halloween



I've never had trick-or-treaters come to my house growing up. Not once in the span of my memory has anyone come to our door. So I was pretty dang excited for this year's Halloween to finally know what it's like to have little ghouls and goblins come to my door. I wasn't disappointed.

My Louise costume is my go-to when I'm in a costume pinch. We're in money saving mode for the holidays (as I'm sure everyone is) so we decided to just break out some vintage costumes rather than splurging on something new. Plus I doubt the kids even cared that we were in costume anyway.

Ever since we closed on our house back in March I couldn't wait for trick-or-treaters. The excitement got a little out of hand a few weeks out when I realized I hadn't a clue how much candy we might need. I talked to some seasoned neighbors about Halloween's past and got a lot of mixed responses. A lot of our close neighborhood friends also moved in this year so we all spent many evenings trying to decide how much to buy. We went as far as to try and do the math to figure out how many pieces we might need per average American household. We managed to have enough, plus some of the good stuff left over for ourselves.

To make the first Halloween in our house even better, my mom came with the two dogs. Alex and I are in hardcore "convince my parents to move to this side of the state" mode so it was so nice to have her there to help keep tally of kids. We really took the accurate trick-or-treater count seriously. Close to 200 hundred kids later we crashed on the couch in a sugar coma. Happy, hopped up on sugar, and ready for a scary movie to end a perfect Halloween night.

I was never crazy about Halloween in the past, but I can definitely seeing it become a family favorite when we have kids. Alex has already purchased a lot of on-sale decorations for next year. So from our spooktacular family to yours, I hope you had a very scary Halloween. 


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