Weekend Links | 06.27.14

6.27 Links | Champagneandchambray.com

Hello hello, it’s finally Friday! Lucky me, I’ve got a half day. Our office seems to be a bit confused that the 4th of July is NEXT week, and that a half day may be better suited for that Thursday, rather than the Friday before, but whatever, I’ll take it. It’s Max’s birthday today (Happy Birthday Max!) so I think he’s got his heart set on some good ol’ fashion bbq tonight, which I’m 100% down with. Not sure where yet, I’ve been dying to try Green Street Smoked Meats, so maybe there, but Smoque is always a safe bet too! Then tomorrow we’ll be celebrating with friends who hopefully get him properly intoxicated since I assume once you turn 27, drinking becomes even more difficult, so nights like these come much less frequently.

You may notice that my Weekend Link image is a little different this week. I really want to make sure that all of my posts have sharing power, and the way I was formatting the images previously weren’t as sharable as I thought they could have been. Enter this new format, four little snippits from some of the links. So now you can pin that pretty image up there and then other people can find the links too, even if they’re not reading the blog. So don’t forget to pin por favor!

Chicago Reader’s Best Of  has been released. Read it, live it. (If you’re in Chicago that is. If you’re not, file it away for when you visit. If you don’t plan to visit, get outta here! Just kidding, stay, there is more non chicago-y stuff you might enjoy)

For my fellow shopaholics, ASOS has a big summer sale happening right now! So many adorable dresses up to 50% off, plus all sorts of other summery thangs!

Since we’re on the topic, Bauble Bar is also having a sitewide 20% off sale through Saturday, but they’re keeping it a secret. Use SUMMER at checkout to get the deal.

Recently I’ve been in love with Birdy this album. It’s from last year, but it’s def worth a listen, I’m willing to bet you’ll dig it too.

Another lady with killer power ballads? Adele, duh. Keep an eye out for 25 soon, without any warning!

Need a change in your space? Check out this awesome removable wallpaper from Chasing Paper.

Summer is sticky in most places. Which means braids are a godsend during these hot months. Try this twist on your everyday braid from the girls over at A Beautiful Mess.

Yogi friends, this is the bag for you. Also no, I haven’t done yoga yet even though it was a June goal, I suck real hard at accomplishing goals.

I wouldn’t much consider myself the baker in the family, my sister fills that role. But if I were said baker, I’d be making this ASAP! Toffee, give me toffee. Sidenote, ever had a toffee blizzard? Game changer people.

Ke$ha is back bitches. Homegirl is lookin’ so great on the cover of Teen Vogue, check out those freckles yo! Also speaking of freckles…she’s a beauty too!

Here’s a quick tip on how to use your AppleTV to stream Spotify through your TV speakers without mirroring. Booyah! Also, if you don’t own an AppleTV, go buy one now, best use of $99 ever.

That’s it for today, hope everyone has a kick ass weekend, I know I will since I’ll be spending it spoiling my guy!

L

Selfless – A new way to give back

SELFLESS
Since I hail from one of the snobbiest cities in the country (still haha-ing at this), it would make sense that I don’t like to share. But the thing is, I do! I do like to share, but I just don’t think I’m very good at it. What I mean by this is, I’m not good at helping people less fortunate than myself. In the past I would give a homeless person my pocket full of change, or buy some candy bars from the students going door to door to help send them to college, but that was really the extent. I haven’t really done too much volunteer work either. Basically, I’m terrible. But the silver lining here is that I’ve recognized this, and now that I’m making a decent living at a well paying job, it was time that I figure out a way to give back. I’d seen the commericals, we all have, for $1 a day, you can help change a child’s life. How many of you have called that number and donated? I’d bet a lot of money that a very large majority have not.

Enter Selfless. Selfless is a Chicago based organization started in 2009 that has developed an awesome way to help others while helping yourself. Does that really make the donations selfless? I just keep thinking about that episode of friends where Pheebs says that letting a bee sting her is selfless because he gets to look cool in front of all his other bee friends. But then it’s pointed out to her that the bee will now die after stinging her, making it a selfish act, rather than a selfless one. Well whatever, I think that Selfless is a genius idea that will get a lot more people helping out than they would have been before. Take me for example, might as well sign up to be their poster child!

The way it works is simple. Every month, you donate $9 to one of almost 30 different causes ranging from children’s hospitals to pet rescue to clean water to feeding the hungry, the list goes on and on. Check them all out here. 80% of your donation goes to the charity you chose. The other 20% goes to a 3rd party that runs their credit card processing fees and all the other things that go on behind the scenes that require monies, like keeping the website running and paying employees.

Once you decide which cause you want to donate to that month (I believe you can switch it up every month if you want to) you receive a digital Selfless card right away. They also mail you a physical one, but you gotta wait on the good ‘ol USPS to bring you that one. The other thing I like about the site is that it tells you x dollars can do this for your charity. They’ve set it up to really help you understand that your contribution plus however many others can do something very specific. I’m doing a terrible job at explaining that part. Here’s an example from the website.

Selfless

Ok, now you get it. From there, you can browse your Perks. Who doesn’t love a good perk? I mean that’s what I always say, perks on perks on perks! These range from bars and restaurants that you can get a free appetizer or 20% off your meal, or a week free at Equinox, or discounts at salons and spas, just really a ton of legit stuff. And they’re places that are popular in the city, not places you’ve never heard of, that’s the best part if you ask me. Most of the places you just have to show them the card on your phone (or the real one) and boom, you’re in. But some things are online, so on each perk it politely explains redemption directions.

On top of that, they host sponsored events throughout the city, like this weekend, the new Pearl Tavern is teaming up with Selfless for a Havana Nights themed party. I seriously would be going to this if we weren’t going to be in the ‘burbs for Max’s birthday, because, complementary drinks and oysters. Duh. In the past they’ve done Cubs rooftop parties or roofdeck yoga parties. I think they like having parties on decks, and so do I, so that works out pretty well for me.

So yes, $9 might not seem like a lot, but if Selfless can get people on board who weren’t normally looking to shell out their dough, then they’re at least bringing in more money to these causes than they were before. Worked on me. I honestly said to myself after I signed up, “Well shit, I should help out more often, this really makes me feel like a better person!” So, take a look, and think about if you can spare $108 a year, because most likely, you can, and you probably should! And make sure you share this with a friend, the more the merrier, even in the summer!

L

App Review: Makeup Genius

App Review: Makeup Genius

Last week I read about a L’Oreal’s new Makeup Genius app on Refinery29 and felt like it might be a game changer in the beauty field. I’m always looking out for apps and advancements around beauty because I think it’s a bit of an untapped market when it comes to emerging tech since it is such a “hands on” concept. So when I read about Makeup Genius, I had to check it out for myself.

First and most importantly, it’s free. The number of people I know that refuse to pay for an app is absurd. I look at apps as, is this going to make my life easier? Yes, ok, I’ll pay. Is this going to prevent me from having to look at stupid ads the whole time, Yes, ok, I’ll pay. I know a lot of people aren’t as liberal with app spending, but luckily this one is free.

The idea behind it is test driving makeup before you buy it. Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “oh yeah, I did that on my computer when I was 15 with a really sweet program I got for Christmas. I could even change my hair color!” Yeah, well, so did I. The difference is, that program looked pretty unrealistic. And this app is freaky accurate. It allows you to try on almost the whole line of L’oreal products including, eyeliner, shadow, blush, lipcolor, liner and gloss. The accuracy of whatever crazy algorithm they’re using is mezmerizing, you can move your face to the side, bring it closer and further, blink and move your mouth and it all sticks! It’s very close to seeming like you’re just looking in the mirror. Plus, whenever I try to test a drugstore makeup in the drugstore, I feel like I’m about to be arrested. That a bunch of cops are going to bust out and haul me off to jail for trying a new foundation on my wrist. It’s so frightening!

Anyway, the app scans your face really quickly when you first open it and then it’s off to the races! I could seriously play with this for hours. Most of the looks I create, I end up looking like a drag queen or a clown because I tend to just stick with mascara, top liner and a bit of blush/bronzer. So playing with this is more of an entertainment factor for me. But for others who generally wear L’Oreal products, it’s an awesome test kitchen. You can mix so many different things together for millions of potential looks. They also have pre-made looks that you can flip through. The option to add to cart is included, but no actual option to buy, you can just email the list to yourself. You can also take a selfie or video to send to friends. This is probably the best part, in my opinion. And isn’t that the only one that counts?

I think I read that Makeup Genius has been about 10 years in the making, so the fact that it is so accurate right out of the gate doesn’t surprise me. When you’re going to release something as sophisticated as this, you’re going to want to make sure it’s right off the bat, and they nailed it. So go download it, play with it, then make your boyfriend play with it so you can finally see what he’d look like in drag. Is that just me that is interested in seeing that? Ef.

L

Weekend Links | 6.20.14

WEEKEND LINKS 6|20

Well, we made it. Summer officially starts tomorrow. It was a beyond brutal winter here in Chicago, and for awhile I honestly didn’t think we’d ever see summer. The constant (and I mean CONSTANT) snow and negative temperatures were a new kind of evil I never hoped to meet.  There were a few times when I honestly thought, maybe this is it, the end of seasons as we once knew them. Winter now lasts 12 months out of the year, deal with it or move. I was prepared to move. But alas, accelerated global warming hasn’t gotten us yet. Let us celebrate with alcoholic drinks on patios and days spent soaking up skin cancer.

This weekend I surprisingly don’t have much planned.  Besides of course staring at my phone waiting for a text from one of my besties to tell me she’s on her way to the hospital to push a baby out of her lady parts. Her due date was yesterday so now it’s only a matter of time. I can’t wait to find out the sex so I can go HAM on Zulily and Baby Gap! Yeah you heard me, goin’ HAM on purchasing infant outfits. Welcome to the Secret Life of a Non-married 26 Year Old. Buying friends’ babies clothing instead of saving for the future. YOLO. Lot of millennial acronyms happening today.

Additionally, Max and I finished Fargo on FX this week, if you’re not watching it, stop reading this (don’t actually, just wait til you’re done) and go start. It is SO good. Billy Bob Thorton is so weird it’s like watching him play himself. But really, if you’ liked the movie, you’ll love he show. Only nine total episodes, so you could like, watch the whole series tomorrow!

Also, I’m really excited for some upcoming posts next week: a restaurant review, an awesome new app review, and I’ll be telling you about a really cool site for giving…and receiving. So make sure you check back to read more because they’re likely to be the best things you read all week. Don’t hold me to that though because if it’s not, all I can offer is a half hearted apology. Anyway, for now, here are you weekend links.

 

THE INTERNETS ARE A BEAUTIFUL THING.

Is it weird that a period party sounds awesome to me? Apparently not so much for this little pretweet betch. Watch this hilarious new ad for a period box company. Also, I hope I grow up to be a mom like that. Yes, one that pranks her daughters. I’m that person.

Another great ad, this time from Pantene. I feel like I apologize 500 times a day. Sorry, I’m done now! Damnit! Did it again. THAT was a terrible joke. Nothing to see here people, keep moving. 

Time to find that box of shit from when you were a kid, it might be worth something!

Here’s an excellent beachy wave tutorial from Alyson at Sequins & Things, perfect for the start of summer! I miss my long hair for mainly this reason. I love to look like I just got out of the sea at any point in the day.

This is literally my worst nightmare. Lit-er-al-ly. Like, in the actual literal sense. Well no, worst would be actual birds, or maybe geese. But this up most definitely up there.

Um, hello Private Party, where have you been all my life? This line of tees, tanks and crew neck sweatshirts is just too perfect. I want all of them, except the Beyonce ones, obvs. Specifically: Worst. Justin + Britney. So quiche.

Here, I got you this awesome hotdog recipe, you can thank me later. A recipe…for a hotdog? Yep. Read on.

OITNB and Law and Order crossover episode is here! Not really, but turns out legit every character on OITNB has been on some episode of Law and Order too…not even surprised. #bringbackstabler #svuforlife

Speaking of criminals, this gun wielding bad guy (arrested on weapons charges) is gettin’ a lot of fame for looking sexy rather than scary.

Because this post wouldn’t be complete without me bragging about how I’m from one of the snobbiest cities in the country. I didn’t realize getting a good education and turning that into a college degree and turning that into making a decent paycheck constituted as being a snob, but if that’s the case, I’ll take it. Also, suck it!

Have a good weekend ya’ll! And pretend you’re from Texas when you type, it’s fun!
L

Things I Will Never Understand

Things I Will Never Understand

Now, I like to consider myself a relatively smart individual. I think that I tend to understand most things, but there are a couple that I just will never get. These are those things. Disclaimer: A lot of these “things”  are actually types of people, because the human race is a real mixed bag if you ask me. And I understand that there are probably a lot of things that I do that people don’t understand, like eating pizza in a mug. Anywho, without further ado:

Snapchat.

The world’s obsession with Beyonce. Whhhhhhy?

People who ask a question before googling it. Googling will give you a much more thorough answer than I will. Plus, I’m just going to end up googling it to give you your answer anyway! Skip the middleman friends!

How weathermen get to keep their jobs after they’re wrong so many times.

Macarons. A cookie I can eat in one bite that costs $3…no thanks. Terrible ROI.

Paying for prestige brand nail polish when no one can tell if it’s Chanel or Wet n’ Wild when it’s on your nails!

Gladiator sandals.

People that pay actual, real life money to play things like Candy Crush.

Why everyone in the world is obsessed with the Fault in our Stars. I read it, it was pretty good, but that was it. Nothing could have prepared me for the craze that has ensued.

How I ALWAYS spend more money than intended when I walk in to Target. It happens every. single. time. And to add to that, people that walk out with just what they came for. You must be a drone of some sort.

People that choose to use apple maps over google maps.

Terrible commercials from big brands. Who approves these things!?

Cartoons made specifically for adults.

How I’m expected to do actual work after 3pm on a Friday.

People that don’t consume Chipotle at least once a week. Your life is not as fulfilled as it could be.

People that call into radio stations just to tell them they’re hanging out at the mall.

Professing love or hate on a bathroom stall door. It’s 2014 people. Let’s just stop.

Girls whose faces are five shades darker than their neck. Did you not notice that in the mirror before walking out the door?

People that win the lottery on more than one occasion! Just how?

The continued use of Comic Sans and Papyrus fonts in society.

Real Housewives of any city.

When you can’t get something to work, then someone else offers to help and it works right away. Murder me.

Savings accounts? What’re those?

People that don’t eat carbs. I know, I know,  the whole gluten-free thing, don’t really get that either.

 

Tell me, what are the things that you just will never understand?