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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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5.31.2018

An Introvert's Guide to Networking

An Introvert's Guide to Networking

Just at the word "networking" I can hear my fellow introverts running for the hills full of blankets to hide under. Trust me, I get it. Nothing sounds less fun than going into a room full of people you don't know to meet a ton of them back to back. But if there's one thing I've learned over the past year that's changed my business mindset, it's networking.

At first I thought it was just one of those buzzwords people used before the internet. Like business cards, I thought it was probably dying out. Nope. So wrong. Most (read: all) of our promotional clients (more on this second business later) have come from networking events. Every time I talk about our traveler's notebooks people haven't a clue, but decide they definitely need one in their life.

Networking is magical. Us introverts need to suck it up and do it. For business sake.

Through our local chamber of commerce and promotional client base, we've had the opportunity to go to quite a few events over the past year. I convinced myself to go with Alex to the first few ones over the promise of free food, but continue to go because there is so much value in them. Of course they're still not easy for me and I often crash as soon as we get home from all the social interaction, but there's value in using up my outward energy on networking.

And it's not sleazy like the word sometimes feels. More often than not, it's just shaking the hand of someone, asking what they do for a living, telling them what I do, and then us both trying to figure out if the other has something that can help us. It's when you go to networking events trying to get everything out of it while giving nothing, that you have a rotten time and just leave with a few drinks.

If you find yourself with a networking event on the books and the introvert in you flares up and eggs you on to cancel, take a beat. Then invite someone to go with you. Alex is the main reason I've grown to love these events. We get to be a power team, using each other's strengths to meet new people, close deals, and spread the word to non-planner people about planners. So bring an extrovert with you to help get you warmed up with the first few interactions. Or baby step into networking by going to an event by someone you know. Nothing makes the process easier than having someone do warm introductions for you.

Our promotional business wouldn't have gotten off the ground without networking. Our stationery business continues to grow and expand because of it. So take the time, save up some extra "social" energy, and get out there.

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5.29.2018

How to Maintain a Manageable Sticker Collection

How to Maintain a Manageable Sticker Collection

Now you definitely don't have to do this. Go crazy. Shower yourself in gorgeous stickers that planning dreams are made of and live your best life. But if clutter and just TOO. MUCH. STUFF. stresses you out like it does me, this one's for you. In all honesty though, I don't find it hard at all to keep my sticker stash to a healthy minimum. I follow these few steps pretty much subconsciously and never feel the overwhelming sticker chaos that's been known to happen to planner addicts from time to time.

 1. Avoid bored browsing on Etsy

Since my livelihood depends on you shopping online, I'm definitely not going to say don't do it. But buying a couple things from a new launch vs. browsing Etsy while bored are two different things. I only go on Etsy when I know one of my favorite shops is releasing something in particular I'm interested in. It's like going into Target without a list. You're sure to leave with a whole new bedroom set you don't need. Only shop for stickers with a purpose. It's the whole ignorance is bliss thing. What you don't know you "need", you don't need.

2. Have a couple destash friends

If you do happen to find yourself with too many stickers, it's best to have a friend (or five) you can destash your stickers to. They're likely to have a few other friends and so on until those stickers find a home where they'll be used and loved the most. 

3. Sort your stickers to get used up

 More often than not, your stash is bulky because there are a ton of sheets with just a few stickers left on them. I like to organize my stickers so my almost used up sheets are at the front so I see them more. Every week I make sure to flip through that stack when I'm decorating.

4. Buy weekly kits by the sheet rather than the full kit

Although weekly kits are cheaper to purchase as the full kit, it's actually more cost effective to just buy the sheets of stickers you know you'll actually use. Plus, weekly kits usually have more stickers than you'll ever need for one week's spread. Leftover stickers clutter your collection and often don't get used. Skip the full kit and go a la carte.

Keeping collections manageable doesn't mean denying yourself things that make you happy, but following these few tips can make sure you aren't holding on to things you really don't need. Planning shouldn't overwhelm you, but inspire you!


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5.15.2018

The Best Place for Custom Invitations | Basic Invite

The Best Place for Custom Invitations | Basic Invite

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

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

The Best Place for Custom Invitations | Basic Invite

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

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

The Best Place for Custom Invitations | Basic Invite

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

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

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

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5.10.2018

Planners that Fit Erin Condren Sized Stickers

Planners that Fit Erin Condren Sized Stickers

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

Planners that Fit Erin Condren Sized Stickers

Planners that Fit Erin Condren Sized Stickers

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

Planners that Fit Erin Condren Sized Stickers

Planners that Fit Erin Condren Sized Stickers

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

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

Planners that Fit Erin Condren Sized Stickers

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

Do you know of any other planners out there that fit EC sized stickers? Pop your recommendations in the comments!
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5.09.2018

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

Planning for Men

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

Planning for Men

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


So grab a snack and settle in. Alex is putting it all out on the table.
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5.03.2018

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview & GIVEAWAY

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

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

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

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

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

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

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

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

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

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

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

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

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

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

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

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

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

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

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

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

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

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


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

Erin Condren 2018/2019 Planner Overview

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


Happy launch day and good luck on the giveaway!
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5.01.2018

5 Things You Need to Do To Start Working for Yourself

5 Things You Need to Do To Start Working for Yourself

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

5. Research your field. A LOT

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

Working for myself kind of just happened, and there are so many things I would do differently now. So take my advice before quitting your day job without a plan (and a few backup ones) in place.
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