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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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10.18.2018

First Impressions | ft. Urban Decay, IT Cosmetics, and More


With all the travelling we've been doing lately I've had plenty of opportunities to put a lot of new makeup to the test. All-day wear tests, hot days, and long flights. So these are really more like second impressions, but that's not a very good blog post title...There are a lot of misses in this roundup and very few hits, so settle in and get your "do not buy" list ready.


The Urban Decay Elements Eyeshadow Palette* is downright gorgeous, but honestly not terribly practical for everyday use. The brown tones are gorgeous and of course UD quality, but the rest of the shades are more for special occasions rather than any ol' Tuesday. It's such a fun palette, but you'll be able to find a lot of the shades in other, more travel-friendly palettes. Save your pennies on this one unless you're in it for the wow factor of the palette itself.


I picked up the DevaCurl Wave Maker after I chopped my hair off again hoping it would help add curl and style to my new hairdo. It did absolutely nothing for my hair. I used barely any of the product the first few times to no avail, so I bumped up how much I was using. It left my hair feeling greasy and flat. Avoid this one for sure.

I'm obsessed with the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream so when they released the Oil Free Matte* version my interest peaked. I usually avoid matte bases like the plague as my skin is already a dry desert, but this cream didn't leave my skin looking dry or patchy. I do still prefer the original formula, but this is a great option if I ever step away from the dewy skin vibes. It's long lasting and can be built up for more coverage. 


I scooped up the Lancome Monsieur Big from a recommendation from The Anna Edit and I must say I'm not overly impressed. It lengthened my lashes, but I'm always on the hunt for bold, voluminous lashes over length. I've been pairing it with the IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara for to add some volume, but I won't be repurchasing this in the future.

IT Cosmetics recently reformulated their Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer* and I'm loving it. It's thick. Like very thick. And the shade range is MASSIVE so finding the right shade takes a lot of time and guesswork. But it seriously works at covering dark under eye circles. I definitely recommend setting it with a light powder to keep it in place and mattifying it a little bit, but if you struggle with looking like a dead zombie, this one's for you.


Even though the weather is getting colder in Michigan, with all the travel to warmer areas I've still needed a good facial sunscreen. The Derma E Sun Defense Mineral Oil-Free Sunscreen* has been fantastic at feeling light-weight on my face while giving me some extra protection. It also sinks into the skin quickly which is a definite must for me in the mornings as I run around constantly late.

Have you tried any new beauty bits lately? What have been your favorites?
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10.09.2018

Learning to Celebrate Small Accomplishments


It's one thing I suck at. Celebrating small accomplishments when you're running a small business is nearly impossible. You're always moving on to the next thing, planning out the next release, and constantly going, going, going.

It's safe to say that this is one of the biggest challenges I've faced working for myself and with my husband. We've become so engrossed in the next project that we rarely pause, look up, and see how far we've come.

The other week we had the opportunity to make promotional products for Milani Cosmetics through our promotional company we started a little over a year ago. It's one of those "pinch me" moments. Never in my life would I have ever thought we'd be making items for a makeup brand to give out to buyers of companies like Ulta. Like, what?! It wasn't until I took the time to shoot a few photos of the products for our Promo Facebook Page that I really stopped to realize what we had accomplished. And in that moment I kinda became quite sad. What other huge milestones did I not appreciate because we're always so focused on the next thing?

If there's one thing I improve on as we quickly approach a new year, I want it to be my ability to celebrate small accomplishments. To take even just a second to pat myself on the back, hi-five Alex, and be truly happy for everything we've done so far. We're nominated for Small Business of the Year through the Grand Rapids Chamber. It's a huge deal and I want to make it feel like one.

So no matter what you're doing in your life, make it your mission to celebrate a small accomplishment at least weekly. It can be something as small as finally folding that pile of laundry, but it's so important to give yourself recognition for the work you're doing. 

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10.05.2018

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review + New Product Launch

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

Prepare yourselves for a whole lot of photos my friends because these bad boys are so photogenic. 

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

It was only a matter of time before Erin Condren put their hat in the traveler's notebook ring. On October 9th they're launching their On-the-Go Folios*. There will be two color options to choose from for $20 with the option to add embossed initials for $5 more.

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

Each design comes with the signature asterisk on the cover of the faux leather material. 

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

The cover is sturdy, yet floppy and malleable. There are four elastics that look pretty strange when they're empty. Look at those poor elastics all sad waiting for notebooks full of ideas...

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

The covers can comfortably fit four Erin Condren Jot Your Thought journals. The notebooks run flush to the edges of the cover and it doesn't seem like you can do that much jump banding for more inserts.

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

I'm definitely most excited about the new petite planners that are being released alongside the folio. There are a ton of new options dropping, but the daily planner has my interest peaked.

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

The new petite planners come with a functional sticker sheet in the back packet just like the other editions.

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

If you're a sticker junkie there are a ton of new sets debuting as well. Although I'm not a huge fan of the puffy stickers they've been releasing lately, the more functional boxes are on my must use list.

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

There are also two new sets of washi tape! I wasn't joking guys. TONS of new products are coming our way over the next few weeks. Choose between the asterisks or the foil scallops that made their first appearance in the fall seasonal surprise box. 

Erin Condren On the Go Folio Review

There's also (I swear I'm almost done!) a new weekly schedule pad that I'm already planning on purchasing multiples of for holiday gifts. It's such a simple design, but the gold foiling accents add a level of class. 

Phew. We made it to the end! So my thoughts. If you have yet to try a traveler's notebook and have quite a few Erin Condren products, this could be a really great option to dip your toes into the world. It's at a fair price point, but doesn't come with a lot of bells and whistles (I'm talking pockets and a pen loop). It's a great solution to how to organize all the petite planners, but it seems like a product you'll grow out of after a few months once you figure out exactly what features you want in your notebook. 

I would love to see more adventurous pattern covers as well beyond just a rose gold and charcoal option. I'm lookin' at you rainbow hexagons! The daily petite planners are my definite favorite from the launch and I'm hoping they release more insert options over the next few months.

Oh, Erin Condren. You did it again didn't you....
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10.01.2018

2019 Ashley Shelly Planner Review & Giveaway

2019 Ashley Shelly Planner Review & Giveaway

If I were to do college all over again, this would be the planner I splurged on. It's the type of planner that just makes sense if you're in school. You'll see what I mean as we go along. Plus one of you lovely lot will win this planner! I've reviewed previous additions of this planner in the past, but for anyone new out there, let's get into all the details about the Ashley Shelly planner shall we?

2019 Ashley Shelly Planner Review & Giveaway

There's a nice sturdy pocket in the front and a few icon stickers in a snap seal pouch. Plus the coil has plenty of room if you're sticker obsessed and want to pack them in throughout the year. 

2019 Ashley Shelly Planner Review & Giveaway

The monthly spread is lined! I love a good lined monthly view and wish more planners threw in some faint lines to help us crooked writers out.

2019 Ashley Shelly Planner Review & Giveaway

2019 Ashley Shelly Planner Review & Giveaway

There are two pages at the start of every month to really help you focus on the days ahead. There are places for goals, bucket lists, and spots to get your mindset right before diving into the month ahead.

2019 Ashley Shelly Planner Review & Giveaway

It's the weekly spreads that really make this the perfect academic planner. On the left side there is space to write class times, work hours, and appointments. On the right side there is space for six to do list items (the perfect amount to get done in a day). There's a section to write anything that's due that day as well as record dinners. It's so simple, but so effective. I was a huge color-coordinator back in college and it would totally work in a planner like this to have different colors for work, clubs, school, and homework. 

If I were to go back and time and find myself in my freshman year of college, I would use the monthly spread to mark upcoming events, keep track of travel, and record important school dates. The weekly spread would be all about homework, sorority events, and work shifts. Splash a few stickers here and there and my stress levels would have been greatly reduced if this planner appeared in my life back in 2010.

Although I love this planner inside and out, it'll be more useful to one of you! The giveaway will go on for one week and is open internationally to anyone 18-years-old or with parental consent.

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