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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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9.29.2017

September Favorites | Makeup, Planners, and Kittens


There's just something about September that always makes it the fast month of the year for me. It doesn't help that I always pack tons of things into it as the weather finally cools off and I find myself with a newfound sense of motivation (that motivation is now completely gone by the way). 

If you want to hear all my verbal thoughts on these favorites, there's a video to accompany this post at the bottom of the page. Now let's dive in, shall we?

Beauty goes first because it only feels right. September was the month of a rekindled effort to get better at contouring. The only contouring product I happen to have is the NYX Contour Palette which I purchased when it came out a good year or so ago. Luckily the second shade on the bottom right does a decent enough trick as the rest are just too dark or orange-toned for my pale skin. It has been fun though trying to figure it all out, having some days where I look absolutely crazy and other days were you couldn't even tell I did anything. 

The Real Techniques Expert Face Brush has become my contour brush of choice since its thickly packed bristles make sure product is going where I want it to and not all over my face. The contour addiction is growing stronger as I have my eye on the pricey Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powders. Cheaper alternatives are needed so pop them in the comments.

My concealer routine has also gotten a bit of a shake-up this month as I've tested out a few new products. The IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealing Pot* has been the most intriguing because as soon as I got past the first layer of product, it completely changed. It went from somewhat stiff and dry to a totally different product. Now it's much more slippery, hydrating, and seems like a great concealer for winter months where I'll need something with more moisture as my skin feels like it's going to flake off into dry bits. A pretty picture I know.

It felt about time again to repeat my absolute love and affection for MAC Cosmetic's "Twig" Lipstick. I make a point to bring it up every other month or so because it's by far my favorite lipstick. The perfect brownish mauve that looks so flattering on the lips without causing a fuss or being too out there. It's such a wearable shade and I have to convince myself to give my other lipsticks some attention it's just that good.

Planning wise September has been all about traveler's notebooks. I have a few posts on the topic already so I won't go into too much detail, but I finally get the hype. Plus I desperately needed something to keep my gorgeous Oh, Hello notebooks safe in. Now they're safely wrapped up in leathery goodness and I feel so posh whenever I bring out my setup. A full look through will be coming soon.

Through my traveler's notebook adventures I've discovered another usage for the Erin Condren skinny sticky notes. I like to cut the bottom quarter off so they'll fit into my notebooks to use them as to do lists on top of my to do lists. No lie. They're great for writing out photography shot lists or videos I want to get done so I'm not taking up a ton of space on the daily page in my notebook. There's a close up of what I'm talking about in the video.

September also marked one year of being married to Alex and I'm still baffled it's been an entire year already. I must be getting old. Plus the darling Gallifrey came into our lives this month and I still can't get over him. Instagram can't either.

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9.28.2017

Ashley Shelly 2018 Planner Review

Ashley Shelly 2018 Planner Review

With October just around the corner, it's definitely time to start talking about 2018 planners. I'm already prepping for my "What Planner to Choose for 2018" series, but when this beauty landed on my doorstep it felt only right to give it its own feature on the site. 

I've always loved the simplicity of the Ashley Shelly planner* while still having a ton of really clever, well thought out features. There are so many little details that really make this planner interesting. It's designed with working women in mind and there are a lot of elements throughout that reflect that inspiration.

Ashley Shelly 2018 Planner Review

The thick, hard cover seems capable of standing up against a year's worth of wear and tear. The entire planner measures about 7.25x9.25 so it's a fairly standard size. On the inside cover there's a handy pocket to store papers and important documents. A pocket is a must for me in a planner. It's when you don't have one that you realize how often you need to tuck a small piece of paper somewhere so you don't lose it. There's also a sheet of icon stickers in the planner's color scheme. A nice touch, but I do wish they gave a bit more thought to the icon choices or created a more "fun" sheet. 

There's also a clear PVC pocket in the front that I somehow neglected to photograph. What a professional operation I'm running over here.

Ashley Shelly 2018 Planner Review

The edges of the cover are reinforced with metal so they won't get dinged up easily over time. But my absolute favorite feature of Ashley Shelly planners is such a small detail. The corners are perforated so you can rip them off when you're done with a section. Every page has one so over the year you'll be able to quickly find your spot without the need of a bookmark. Clever.

Ashley Shelly 2018 Planner Review

The planner has the standard features you begin to expect in agendas. There's a yearly overview page so you can stare at how fast time is passing while trying to figure out the best day for a dentist appointment in a future you have no clue about.

Ashley Shelly 2018 Planner Review

The monthly view is simple, but there are convenient lines to make jotting things down easy and fuss free. 

Ashley Shelly 2018 Planner Review

Before each weekly page is a motivational spread to help you reset your mind and gear up for the next month ahead. I love this addition because it makes the planner seem more personal and interested in the user (without being creepy). 

Ashley Shelly 2018 Planner Review

It reminds me a lot of the Erin Condren note pages while being more guided and exact. Although I love the freedom of the EC pages to do whatever I want, this helps to focus on certain areas without having to come up with them on my own. It's a hub of sorts for all the information you need for the month ahead.

Ashley Shelly 2018 Planner Review

The weekly pages tie in the monthly word at the top of each page so you can keep it in mind as the month progresses. Each day there are eight slots for meetings and event information with a place to write in the time. The right side of each day has six to do list spots, a due today section, and a dinner section. I personally love the limited to do slots because it really makes you think about what's most important for the day without overloading yourself with random to do items. 

For a working gal planner, this layout makes a lot of sense. Plenty of room to jot down meetings and appointments with space for a few important items to get done. It's thoughtful without having unnecessary bells and whistles you just don't need in a work planner.

My biggest concern with this planner has always been the price. It's $49.95 before shipping on the website and that leaves me a bit worried about just how simple it really is. Erin Condren planners start off in that range as well, but you can customize their covers and add more of a personal element. Although I really think this planner would work great for a lot of working women or people looking for a more simplistic planner, I don't think the price really matches up with the product. $30 seems much more reasonable. 

But I've been known to shell out my fair share of cash for planning supplies I know are just perfect for me. So if this planner is going to make you more organized with deadlines at work, it's definitely worth it. Planning is such a personal experience and I know countless working gals that this planner would suit immensely.

What do you think about the Ashley Shelly planners? Worth the price? 

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9.27.2017

The Traveler's Notebook World is Confusing | Here's How I Figured it Out

The Traveler's Notebook World is Confusing | Here's How I Figured it Out

When I decided to finally take the plunge into the world of traveler's notebooks, I had no idea the jumbled, confusing mess I was getting myself into. Traveler's notebooks are so customizable that it's hard to really get a grasp on the what's what of it all if you're just getting started. So in today's video (at the bottom of this post) I'm trying to tackle the basics and I'll hash it out here if you want even more goodness.

So first things first, sizing. It feels like there's literally every size under the sun that you can choose from, but it's definitely best to poke around and see what's available in sizes you're interested in. Some sizes have a lot more inserts and products available for them than others so if you want to save yourself headaches later, stick to some of the popular ones. I used Foxy Fix's and Chic Sparrow's guide references to help me decide which one to go with. Honestly I really recommend the A6 size. It's not too small or too big, has tons of inserts available, and fits in all sorts of purses. Plus we make seriously adorable notebooks for them so I'm totally biased.

Picking a size is difficult, but deciding on a cover is probably the hardest part. There are so many shops out there to choose from. There are fabric cover shops as well as leather ones. And the prices can vary drastically. So if you aren't sure whether or not this is just a planner phase, don't splurge for any of the bells and whistles and stick to the basics. This is the one I went for.

Once you get size and cover out of the way things get a lot easier and more fun. Now it's all about the inserts and dashboards. I've been eyeing Sew Much Crafting and Yellow Paper House for actual planner inserts, but for now I'm sticking to dot grid notebooks for to do lists and such. It all depends on what you want to use your notebook for. As for dashboards, it's all about the DIY. I snagged some of these dashboard inserts from Chic Sparrow so I can change out scrapbooking paper to suit my mood and the season.

I also finally understand the true purpose of die cut stickers. My extensive collection of The Novel Coffee die cuts are making themselves right at home in my dashboards and on my notebooks. A super easy way to add even more of a personal touch to things. LOVE IT.

I'm still getting the hang of this whole traveler's notebook thing, but this is what I've uncovered so far. Definitely leave recommendations and suggestions in the comments!

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9.26.2017

5 Things I Want to Do This Autumn

5 Things I Want to Do This Autumn

Although Michigan seems to have not gotten the autumn memo yet, my brain is officially in fall mode. Despite having a to do list a mile long there are still five things I want to squeeze in as the days get a bit colder.

Eat my weight in cinnamon sugar doughnuts specifically from a local farm. I've heard rumor that the west side of Michigan is packed with places to go. Now I just have to decide on a place, or three.

Nothing says fall to me like getting lost in a corn maze. I'll skip the spooky ones as I like my mazes on the scare-free side of things, but it's so fun to get lost for a little bit. Plus they're always designed in such cool shapes and usually include a puzzle or two. 

While I'm shoving my face full of doughnuts, it'll be nice to balance it all out by eating an apple fresh from the tree. This is a tradition Alex and I find ourselves doing regardless of our busy schedules. There's just something about wandering around and picking that perfect apple to take a big bite out of.

So I realize a lot of my fall goals orbit around food, but I know who I am. I also would love to drink so many chai tea lattes with pumpkin spice that I end up turning a weird shade of orange because of it. Chai tea with pumpkin is by far more superior to the average pumpkin spiced latte. If you haven't tried it, you need to.

I would also love to by one or five new chunky sweaters. I still have a few that I've owned for almost eight years now and it feels about time for a refresh. A nice grey or a beige would send my autumn loving heart a flutter. 

What are some fall traditions that you just can't get enough of?
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9.25.2017

New Products I'm Testing


There's just something about fall that has new products plopping down on my doorstep. Summer always feels like a dormant beauty time for me as more often than not the makeup just slides off my face anyway. But makeup is finally not sweating off mere minutes after stepping outside so it's now all about the new kids on the block. There are quite a few new goodies I've been testing out lately so this post is more of a heads up of upcoming rants or raves.

The best first, right? Anything IT Cosmetics sends my way I basically swoon to death over and these new launches are still giving me heart palpitations. The Miracle Water* is in quite the battle with my all time favorite Body Shop Vitamin E Toner so only time will truly tell which one comes out on top. The packaging is to die for and I'm obsessed with just how much product you get. 

Influenster just recently sent me the new L'Oréal Pure Clay Cleanser* and I haven't even opened the tube yet to have any thoughts on the matter beyond excitement. I've always loved a good ol' fashion clay mask product so I'm curious to see how it works in cleanser form. Plus Influenster always seems to come through with some really cool free products so definitely go sign up.

There's already a full post in the schedule as to whether or not "healthy" deodorants are effective and worth the extra few dollars. Testing out the Lavanilla Deodorant* has left me with a lot of mixed feelings on the whole subject that definitely deserves a good long, rambling post.


Along with the clay cleanser, Influenster sent along the Pure-Clay Mask* for review as well. Is it normal to be pumped to try something out based on the color alone? It seems like L'Oréal is trying to step up their game by adding some quality and substance to their packaging. It really feels like gone are the days of a huge divide between drugstore and high end. It's kind of a muddy mix now.

Now the Secret Sauce* has treated me well thus far, but I still can't decide if it's worth the hefty price tag. Skincare products always take a bit longer for a full test out anyway since I want to see if there's a true difference made in the look and appearance of my skin. I've loved what I've seen from this stuff so far, but I'm still balking at the price tag. I'll let you know soon enough if you should start saving your pennies.

Let me know in the comments if there's a product in particular you really want a review on!
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9.22.2017

Getting Started with Traveler's Notebooks

Getting Started with Traveler's Notebooks

Getting Started with Traveler's Notebooks

Getting Started with Traveler's Notebooks

Getting Started with Traveler's Notebooks

I'm pretty much a grandma when it comes to most things. I rarely update phone apps out of fear of change, I like things the way I've always done them, and I'm awful at new things. So diving into the world of traveler's notebooks was a pretty huge step for me (I'm still patting myself on the back). Of course now I'm completely lost and haven't a clue what I'm doing, but I figured it's worth documenting the journey for any other grandma's out there wanting to try something new.

So first and foremost, you have to figure out what size you want. There are literal tons of different sizes. Plus you can choose between leather or cloth, pockets or no pockets, and the price starts to get a little nutso. Since Oh, Hello's notebook inserts are 4x5.75 inches I decided the logical size for me was A6 so they'd fit inside and I wouldn't have to fuss too much with finding inserts at least. I chose a middle-of-the-range leather notebook cover from Chic Sparrow (this one) without any pockets or extra accessories to keep the price down. Already if I were to purchase another one I would get pockets in the front. So worth it and I'm already saving up for my next purchase to get some. 

Inserts aren't too complicated if you aren't using your traveler's notebook for an actual planner. I'm using mine to replace my Rifle Paper Co planner for daily to do lists, house to do lists, and just general stuff I need to write down that I don't want muddling up my main planner. I'm still going to explore planner inserts a bit more to save you all the trouble of doing it yourself. I'll report back once I figure out what the hell is going on with it all. At the very least, know your planner size and cling to that for all you're worth.

As for the extra stuff, I've already gone a little crazy with a recent trip to Michael's for supplies. I filmed my first "Come Shopping with Me" video to document the occasion if you fancy a watch to see what I picked up. I'm excited to try and take all the bits and turn them into actual themes. Wish me luck.

I've been using mine for a handful of days and have discovered a few things. I love having all my various to do lists in one place, it's portable and can fit in all my bags, and convenient. I do however find myself fussing over every scuff and ding in the leather although I'm told "that's what leather does." Also, pockets are a must and I'm currently trying to figure out a way around them so I have a place to store all my adorable die cuts without having to actually use them. If that's not a grandma thing to do I'm not sure what is. 

If you're a traveler's notebook pro, leave any advice and shop recommendations in the comments as I continue exploring! Any newbies have any questions I can try and sleuth out answers for? I'm on it.

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9.21.2017

Life Lately | Cats, Planners, and The Usual


Although we're vlogging pretty regularly over on our vlog channel, a good ol' life updates post once and a while never hurt anyone. And with a new addition to the family and lots of new things in the world of planning and beauty, it felt about time.

Let's start with an update on our newest furry friend Gallifrey. I wrote an introduction post recently, but since he's a growing kitten a lot has already changed. He's become a lot more adventurous, has developed a very annoying 5am wake up routine for first breakfast, and Tardis and him fight like siblings (in a good way). I must say although getting him came out of the blue, he's the perfect addition to our family and just what we needed. He's perfect at making us take a moment, put down the stickers, and enjoy a little family time. Fur babes are good for that.


Guys. I own a traveler's notebook. I still haven't a clue what I'm doing with it, but my first intro post will be up tomorrow with what I've learned so far about the entire thing. Spoiler, I love it. I'm not giving up my Erin Condren Life Planner anytime soon, but this bad boy is already a great addition to the team and has me ignoring the Rifle Paper Co planner I used to go on about. This one is just so much more customizable, change-able, and smaller. But more on all of this tomorrow.


With fall in full force the beauty launches are rampant lately. I'm lucky enough to get some PR samples sent to my door occasionally including the new Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara. My thoughts? It's not worth the hype. The packaging is to die for, but the bristles are small and my lashes look great for a light-makeup every day look. But at least for me I don't see what all the boasting is about. Just thought you guys should know before shelling out some good money on a higher end mascara. The Perversion mascara by UD is loads better and another tube is already waiting in my Sephora cart for my next purchase. Plus it's a dollar cheaper, and that stuff matters to a penny-pincher like myself.

Besides the dud of mascara, there are a ton of new launches and exciting things to talk about on the blog. So prepare your eyes for some good old fashion makeup review posts. That's some old school MicroscopeBeauty for you.

Now I have to rush pack for an overnight trip across the state at Alex's parents' house. We're making an impromptu trip over since they won this sailing trip through a raffle or something. That seems like a totally Alex's parents thing to have happen. So off we go sailing in the middle of September. Where's my coat?!




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9.20.2017

Three Years of Oh, Hello Stationery Co.


Today marks the third anniversary of Oh, Hello Stationery Co.  What. How is that even possible. I still feel like I'm that same, unsure girl who opened her shop up back in 2014. But now the stakes are higher, the competition stiffer, and everything's a whole lot more complicated.

But I'm not that same girl from three years ago despite sometimes feeling like I still don't have a clue what I'm doing. So much has changed since then and it's crazy to actually think how far we've come with our business.


This photo showcases the first shop we ever sold our stationery in. It was a crepe place in downtown Flint and we sold about five cards, but it gave me the confidence to try and do more. We're now in two large retail stores and have craft shows booked up through the new year. We're trying new things regardless of setbacks. I think that's probably the biggest thing that's changed over three years. We, I, don't give up so easily.


A lot of thanks for our success goes to my always daring husband Alex. I'm basically one big chicken when it comes to trying new things and yet he's constantly taking whatever crazy idea I have and making it a reality. From building the most amazing card stands I've ever seen to helping us break into the traveler's notebook world (we're expanding!), I've never met someone so courageous in the face of possible failure. I sincerely hope you all can find someone like him to have in your life. It's world changing.

So here we are, three years in and still no clue what the next three years are going to be like. That's the thing about small business. You never truly know if it'll just stay small, grow, or shrink to nothing. I've learned so much about myself, about my relationship, and about who I want to become.

Now off I go to buy myself a celebratory cupcake and maybe a chai tea latte with pumpkin spice. You gotta celebrate the small victories, right?

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9.19.2017

How I Run Three YouTube Channels Without Going Crazy

How I Run Three YouTube Channels Without Going Crazy

Three YouTube channels is a bit excessive, I get that. And in my defense they are all very different. I'm more hoping to prove with this post that you can definitely start and maintain a YouTube channel if you've been thinking about it. Trust me, you can so do it.

Honestly a huge reason why I can keep up with my Microscope Beauty channel, our vlog channel, and the Oh, Hello Stationery channel is because they're so different. Together they cover all the bases of things I love. But beyond just enjoying the content I'm creating, there's a lot of scheduling and planning ahead involved.

So once we get over the "I do it for the love of it" thing, it really just comes down to content scheduling. I keep a very extensive Google Calendar system that has a bunch of different calendars for each of my channels. That way I can schedule what posts are coming up weeks in advance. Plus Google Calendar makes it so simple to just drag and drop content from day to day if I have to switch anything up. It also makes it a lot easier to see what content I'm posting where so I can try and do a coordinating blog post or make sure to write a newsletter or something. 

Once I know what I want to post about on each channel, I always do bulk filming days. Tuesdays are reserved for filming everything I need for the next week. Sure vlogging happens whenever, but if I haven't started a vlog for the week yet it's nice to have a solid day in mind to begin filming. 

Editing is the same thing. I'll take a few hours usually on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning to edit everything. Regardless if the video is going up a week later, I get all them made ahead of time. That way I can upload them and schedule them to go live so if other things pop up during the week, I won't forget to post. It's super important to finish the project rather than leaving it half done with the hopeful dream of getting it done later.

If I'm having a particularly busy week, I allow myself to take a break with one or more channels. It's completely ok not to post content consistently all the time. I don't recommend posting once a month, but taking a day or two off if things get hectic is completely fine.

If you take the time to plan ahead and really think about content and filming times, YouTube is a lot less daunting to tackle. So grab that planner that's close by and get to content scheduling. I can't wait to see what videos you come up with so leave links to your channels below!

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9.18.2017

Taking Skincare More Seriously | My Evening Routine

Evening Skincare Routine for Dry Skin

When summer rolls around I'm absolutely terrible with skincare. My dry skin loves all the added moisture and dewiness of a good hot day and I usually just settle for a quick cleanse and a moisturizer and I'm on my way. But as the weather changes my skin is already starting to tighten and raisin up again. Back to skincare I go.

Evening Skincare Routine for Dry Skin

I don't like to over complicate really anything in my life, but skincare is high on the list. If my face is clean and there is some moisture put back into it, I'm a happy camper. My routine hasn't changed much over the years, but I've repurchased nearly my entire routine a few times over. 

Ironically enough despite my lazy ways, I always double cleanse. I use Clinique's Take the Day of Cleansing Balm to really work the makeup off my face and follow up with The Body Shop's Vitamin C Cleansing Polish. If I skip one of these steps my makeup basically laughs at me as it clings to my skin. The cleansing balm removes everything while the polish cleans up and scrubs my skin. 

Next up is toner to remove any stubborn final bits of makeup and prime my skin for putting all the good stuff back into it. The Body Shop's Vitamin E Hydrating Toner is the only one I've used for literally years. Really shows what a bang up job I do as a beauty blogger trying new products! It's just so light on the skin, refreshing, and simple. 

Evening Skincare Routine for Dry Skin

Creams are next and Derma-E's Hydrating Serum has been my go to for six months or so. A lot of serums leave an annoying film behind that makes me feel like I completely undid all the cleansing work I had just finished. This one is water based so it feels delicate on the skin while hydrating. 

I dab on a bit of IT Cosmetic's Bye Bye Undereye Eye Cream in the hopes to slow down aging as much as possible. It's light (are we seeing a pattern here yet?), breathable, and sinks into the skin quickly so I can finish up and hop in bed. 

Depending on the need for moisture and hydration I bounce between two products for the final step. On regular ol' skincare days I use a bit of the Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins. Thick, rich, and creamy in all the right ways it slowly absorbs into the skin as I try to avoid scrolling through Instagram before going to bed. But if things are seriously dry and painful nothing helps more than the Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. The next morning my skin feels brand new and full of life. It's has that gorgeous, plump "I drank my weight in water" look that I'm always going for. 

It's about time I started taking my skincare routine more seriously as the cold, dry weather is headed my way. I'm even considering adding it to my habit tracker in my planner, it's just that serious.

What are some of your favorite hydrating skincare products? Any recommendations of other toners I should try?


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9.14.2017

How I Get Everything Done

How I Get Everything Done

If you're subscribed to the Microscope Beauty newsletter then it's pretty obvious just how much I find myself getting into on the internet. Currently I'm actively running three YouTube channels, trying to keep up with this blog, and then everything that goes along with running your own business. It's a lot, but it's also totally doable.

The biggest advice I can give anyone trying to squeeze the most out of their week is to have a consistent schedule. Not just when you're posting things online, but for getting them done too. My weeks always take the same general form. Mondays I work on orders and get caught up from whatever happened over the weekend. Tuesdays are devoted to filming anything and everything I want to post that week. Wednesdays are for Oh, Hello. The rest of the week I leave open to balance out the front half but tend to be filled with more orders, new releases, and editing videos and blog posts.

Schedules are key, but I also avoid pointless down time. Sure I take breaks and enjoy a bath every once and a while, but I also don't binge watch Netflix as my laptop sits closed next to me. I'm always working on something or another when the television is on or I'm in a long car ride. That "useless" time is only as useless as you let it be. Even brainstorming new content is a great use of time if you're waiting for an appointment or between classes. 

It also helps that my planner is surgically attached to me. It does the remembering so I don't have to and that makes the world of difference. So many non-planners in my life are constantly feeling overwhelmed or like they're forgetting things. Nothing a hefty to do list and a few adorable stickers can't solve. 

But no matter what, I try not to be too hard on myself if I can't get everything I want done in a day. Sometimes I'll take the week off of filming videos to focus on new releases. Other days I'll devote to writing tons of blog posts rather than making new releases. I allow myself to find a balance and forgive myself if some days it just doesn't work out. There's always tomorrow!

Take a look at how you spend your days and weeks. There's definitely some time in there somewhere that you can set aside for that YouTube channel or getting your blog back up and running. Maybe watch a few less cat videos? That definitely did the trick for me.
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9.13.2017

The Story of Our New Kitten! Meet Gallifrey



This gorgeous cat was definitely not planned. We woke up Sunday morning with no intention of bringing home a new member of the family. By the end of the day we both found ourselves laying on the floor swooning over the cutest little kitten. What a very crazy turn of events.

To be fair, Alex and I have been considering getting our six-year-old cat Tardis a friend for a few years now. So when one of our neighbors posted a week or so ago about having Maine Coon kittens available, we started to really think about it. We've both wanted a Maine Coon since we discovered the amazing breed about five years ago. They basically are the dogs of the cat world. Seriously google them. They're massive. 

It seemed like fate that out of the blue there happened to be a litter in our neighborhood. But we just didn't know if getting one was the right move for us. I'm sure you're aware by now that we're pretty cautious decision makers and enjoy extensive research for nearly every choice we make. We can't even decide where to eat without serious googling first.

We avoided our neighbors' house for about five days. We told the owners it just wasn't the right time for us and tried hard not to swoon over the photos of the kittens. One by one the litter found homes and we thought we managed to escape the allure. Then on Sunday Alex randomly suggested we just, "Go and see the last kitten. And at the very least make some new neighbor friends." So off we went.

We spent the majority of the time at the neighbors' getting to know them. Alex did all that he could to avoid looking at the kitten and I knew as soon as I walked into the door I wanted this little guy in my life. I'm a sucker for a good ol' kitty.

Fifty minutes later we started walking back to our house and knew it was over. By the time we reached our front door we were texting the owners that we wanted the last kitten they had left. We picked Gallifrey up about an hour later after shopping for supplies.

He's perfect. He's so playful, spunky, and already has Tardis chasing him around the house. The two have been getting along famously but I have yet to sang the perfect profile picture for their shared instagram account. Prepare your eyeballs for cuteness if you head over there for a looksie.

This week has been one blur of kitty cuddles and sleepless nights ever since. Who could possibly blog when there's such cuteness trying to electrocute itself on my laptop cord? 

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9.08.2017

On the Go Planning Supplies

On the Go Planning Supplies

On the rare occasion that I do leave the comfort of my bed for any extended period of time, I can't go anywhere without my planner. I'm the type of person that wouldn't know where I am going or what I am doing without my trusty sidekick. I manage to refrain from bringing every planner supply I own by sticking to a basic formula and focusing on the must-haves. 

No matter what I bring with me, I always carry it in my Oh, Hello Stationery Planner Case. They're way more affordable than the Erin Condren ones and are literally identical apart from the Oh, Hello ones being an inch or so bigger. I use that extra inch to pop in some back up pens just in case I lose any or they die. Plus the case acts as a guide to how much I can bring. If it can't fit inside the case, it's too much.

My planner pops right in there and then on to the more rotational bits.

On the Go Planning Supplies

I like to use the Erin Condren Planny-Pack to hold any colored pens I'm using or random bits so they're not flying around inside the larger planner case. Then I collect only the stickers I'll be likely to use depending on where I'm going. It's usually whatever kit I'm using that week and some coordinating colors for the next few monthly view months.

Lately I haven't been without one of the new Oh, Hello Traveler's Notebooks. They're the perfect size to pop literally anywhere. I've been using mine for all sorts of different notes from daily to do lists to shopping lists. They'll be live on the Oh, Hello website Sunday, September 10th in limited design quantities.

And that's it. Just a few things all zipped up nice and neat in a planner case. No fuss and no frills. Things change a bit if I'm travelling or going on a longer trip, but daily adventures don't require too much in the planning department.

What planning supplies do you bring with you on a daily basis?  

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9.06.2017

What's in My Planner



Since weekly plan with me videos fell to the wayside a few month's back (I explain it all in this blog post) I've started to really miss sharing what's new in my planner with you lovely lot. So introducing a new somewhat semi-regular post about what's been going on in my planner lately.

As soon as there was even the slightest hint of fall I switched my planner into full on autumn mode. I've been itching to do fall spreads for months now since we design for seasons and holidays anywhere from two to four months in advance. 


The hourly layout just speaks to me lately. And surprisingly enough I haven't felt the urge to hop back into the vertical even though I'm approaching the usual time that I would make the switch. It's when I'm feeling truly frazzled and stressed out that the hourly shines. Sure I still don't pay attention to most of the time slots, but having each day in one nice long block just clicks with me. 


I've also rekindled my love with putting photos into my spreads to keep the memory saving going strong. There has been a ton of events lately so it's been easy to throw in a photo every few days. And since I'm basically rubbish at doing anything with the photos I take, this at least connects them to a date and gives them life outside of my phone or laptop.

I feel like I've really settled into my hourly groove. I've got my spread layout down pat and can whip together a new week in no time flat. And honestly I don't miss the weekly plan with me videos. It's just so much more enjoyable to slap stickers down in a robe from the comfort of my bed than the hassle of setting up for a video.

What's been going on in your planner lately?

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9.05.2017

Erin Condren's Fall Seasonal Surprise Box Review

Erin Condren's Fall Seasonal Surprise Box Review

Are subscriptions no longer cool? I can't tell and I've never been one for being very trendy. I'm still obsessed with Erin Condren's seasonal surprise box and lucky for my wallet it only comes out once every few months or I'd be seriously broke. I've also reviewed all of the other boxes if you want to check those out.

Erin Condren's Fall Seasonal Surprise Box Review

I'm a bit biased about this box since fall is my favorite time of the year, but this subscription is seriously packed with goodness. Plus there are a ton of box exclusive items that make me feel oh so special. Like I'm part of the cool kid's planner club or something. There is an exclusive set of three new shades of the colorful dual-tip markers that I use primarily for my gratitude journal so I'm pumped to add them into the collection.

Erin Condren's Fall Seasonal Surprise Box Review

There's also a roll of thanksgiving-esque washi tape that I'm just not crazy about. I've gotten their washi tape in orders before and find it odd and difficult to work with. It feels more like actual paper with an adhesive back than washi tape. The enamel pin did get me pretty pumped though to add it to my always growing enamel pin board. They also included a few of their large gift stickers which are always gorgeous, but definitely items I forget when the time comes to wrap a gift.

Erin Condren's Fall Seasonal Surprise Box Review

The box just keeps on going. I feel like they're getting bigger every time with more and more delicious products. Products can be delicious right? The leaf planner cover is probably my favorite thing from the box as my planner has been craving a revamp. There's a skinny sticky note pack and an autumn themed dashboard. Plus a handful of greeting cards and a coupon code to save $10 off a coiled book. You can get $10 with this link too!

Phew. What a box. Sadly they're always sold out by the time they ship out to everyone, so you can't snag this one, but I highly recommend it for any planner addicts who are obsessed with Erin Condren products. It's the best way to get a bunch of items for a really reasonable price ($35). Keep a lookout for a giveaway coming soon of the products I'm not interested in!

What are your favorite products from this season's box? Did you order one?



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9.04.2017

One Year Later


Today marks one year of marriage. One year since the quickest day of my life flew by in a love-filled blur. When they say it goes fast, it truly does. This whole first year seemed to speed by and now here I am thinking back on what it's like to be one year in.

Being married now is better than it was yesterday and countless times more than on our wedding day. Every day is better than the one before. It's definitely something you can't really explain to people who haven't gone through it. This feeling of knowing you have a partner in crime by your side no matter what. Having a live-in best friend who just gets you. It's basically the best thing ever.


So today we're taking the day off. We've already rewatched our wedding videos and flipped through our photo albums. We started a yearly tradition of writing down what we've learned about marriage and each other and now all we have left to do is spend some quality time together. Plus eat a very gross looking year-old wedding cake. Wish me luck.

Years in the Benda household are packed full of change and excitement. I'm sure year two will be no different.



These are the two videos from that seriously awesome day. One is the professionally done one, but the other is our behind-the-scenes take on the entire day. Thanks so much for sharing in this with us!

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9.01.2017

The Good Stuff in August


August lingered in my life a lot longer than most months. It gave me plenty of time to discover some new favorites and seriously check things off my to do list, so I'm not complaining. 

I've been having one serious love affair with IT Cosmetics lately. After a huge PR package arrived (watch the vlog) the brand took over my collection as I've been giving everything a serious test. I recently shared my favorites from all the new launches, but two have stuck out more than the rest. The Bye Bye Lines Foundation is the best I've tried in a long time. More often than not I gravitate towards tinted moisturizers and BB/CC creams since foundations just don't give that light glow. This foundation finally ticks all the boxes. It's super hydrating and dewy on the skin while being about to be worn light our built up. Just gorgeous. The Brow Power Powder became a fast favorite as well because of just how easy it is to sweep onto the brows every day. Plus it's the perfect shade for my somewhere between light brown and dark brown hair.

My mascara drawer is packed full of currently-in-use mascaras these days, but they've all been letting me down. Nothing seems to do what it boasts it does except Urban Decay's Perversion Mascara. I'm sure I'm moments away from scraping the last bits out of the tube, but it's just so good at giving length while bringing some serious volume. Plus it holds a curl throughout the majority of the day despite my lashes demanding to return to their stick-straight ways.

After what felt like years in fashion hibernation, I'm getting the itch to expand my wardrobe again. I've added a few statement pieces here and there over the past month, but nothing quite like this poppy floral shirt from H&M. I wear it throughout my favorites video if you want to see it on, but it's so unlike anything I've worn in the past. And I love it. Poofy sleeves and a nice fit. Sold.

August packed itself full of work accomplishments, but designing and producing our first wholesale catalog tops the list. I still can't believe it exists in the real world now. Next on the to do list is to start hitting up retail spaces trying to get our products in them. No small feat but we're feeling pretty optimistic.

No favorites are complete without some planner stickers I've been crushing on lately. My bestie Meghan over at The Novel Coffee just released a seriously impressive line of font stickers. There's something like 26-28 different ones to choose from and I basically need them all in my life. Head on over there to check them out and use code "KAYLA" for 15% off if you find anything you just have to have.


What a crazy month that only jumpstarts the even crazier fall months. So much is on the horizon and I can't wait to share all the adventures with you.

What have you been loving in August?
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