January Monthly Mantra iPhone Wallpaper

Monthly Mantra Download - Champagne & Chambray

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Um ok, so it’s freezing outside. Beyond freezing. Beyond zero. Then sun is just there to tease us. But positive ‘tudes in the new year, right? So I’m just gonna roll with this disgusting display of temperature dipping going on in Chicago right now. Positive thinking for a negative number, it doesn’t even make sense! I love you Chicago, but you’re being a real bitch right now.

Anyway, since we’re on the topic of being positive, remember earlier in the week when we chatted about goals in the new year? If you recall, I decided this year I was going to try and jedi-mindtrick myself into being a better person.

So today I’m sharing my bit of inspiration for the first month of the year. Let’s call it my Monthly Mantra iPhone Wallpaper (for lack of a better name, I’m thinking about this one!). I didn’t have time to create a matching desktop version this week, but I didn’t want it to get so late into the month that you didn’t have anything to motivate and decorate, so we’ll just start the process off slow. Baby steps, people, baby steps.

When I consulted my almighty board of wisdom, I came across this Suzy Kassem quote and it really stuck with me. Doubt is probably one of my biggest enemies. So I prettied up the inspo and made it my lock screen wallpaper. Hopefully by the end of the month, doubt will be the last thing on my mind, and I’ll be doing new things I never thought I could…or would! I think it might even be working already, I’m going on my first yoga date with Max tonight, but I’m legit FREAKING out (even though it’s a class for beginners!), so if any seasoned yogis want to leave me some sage advice in the comments, it would be greatly appreciated!

|| To download the background for yourself, just click the image to download the full size version. ||


iPhone Tricks for All!

The Best iPhone Tricks & Tips | Champagne & Chambray

I’ve had the iPhone for awhile now, and because I’m a techy geek, I make sure I’m always following along with the live streams whenever apple comes out with a new product or operating system update, so I usually know all of the secrets when it comes to using your iPhone. But every now and again someone shows me something new and I’m blown away! So I today I wanted to share with you my favorite iPhone tricks. Some of them may seem like no brainers, but I promise you I tell people some of these things and they look at me like I just told them the secret to Busch’s Baked Beans (that dog is never going to tell!), so today I figured I’d share the ones I find most useful. Most of these are specific to iOS 7 so make sure you’re updated!

Iphone Tricks & Tips

1. Wish you could see the exact time you sent a specific text? For the longest time you couldn’t, but now you can, only it’s kind of hidden. While in a text thread, slide your finger to the left and timestamps for each message will appear.

2. Need to jump to the beginning of a page (text thread, safari article, email, whatever) real quick or just don’t feel like swiping up a million times? Touch the time up the the top of the screen and you’ll automatically be taken back to the top.

3. Trying to take a landscape photo but your finger can’t quite hit the home button? The side volume buttons work as a shutter too! And if you have your headphones plugged in, you can use the volume control on those too, which means no more arms in your selfies!

4. While we’re talking about taking pictures, are you wondering why everyone else’s phone pics turn out much clearer and sharper than yours? They’re probably using the AE/AF (auto exposure /auto focus) lock. Choose the subject in your photo that you want to be in focus and tap and hold until you see the lock turn on. You can also just give it a tap to focus without locking it in.

5. In a hurry to meet the crew at the bar but your phones low on battery? Switch it over to airplane mode and make sure it’s plugged into an actual wall outlet (not charging through the computer via USB) and it’ll charge muccch faster!

6. Sometimes I don’t care what people are thinking. But I still want my news. Open Safari, click on the bookmark tab down at the bottom (it’s the second from the right) and then tap the @, you’ll see all of the tweets from your Twitter feed that contain a link, booyah!

7. Rather than typing out a period and then a space to start a new sentence, just tap the space bar twice. When you’re typing an email on your phone, this honestly saves so much time, don’t knock it til ya try it.

8. You can easily set up predictive text for your email address (or anything else for that matter) in order to avoid having to type out the whole thing every time. Open Settings > General > Keyboard > Add New Shortcut. You can type in the first few letters or your own short code and whenever you type it, it will give you the option to finish it with a single tap. This also comes in really handy when you want to prank someone that left their phone unlocked. Change common words to random ones, it’s awesome, they have no idea what is going on.

9. Don’t want nosey eyes creeping on every text you get? You can change the settings so that a preview of the text doesn’t show up in the notification. In Settings > Notification Center > Messages scroll down and turn off the “Show Preview” slider.

10. I feel like this is my favorite tip and I’m the only one that uses it. When I’m laying in bed with my phone I’m not always holding it straight up, and a lot of the time it flips into horizontal mode, likely while I’m in the middle of typing something, woooof. Easy way to fix this is to pull up the notification center (just swipe up from the bottom of the screen) and tap the screen lock button (furthest to the right on the top row), this prevents the phone from switching back and forth between portrait and horizontal mode.

11. When you’re in a movie theater sometimes turning down the brightness isn’t enough. Under Settings > General > Accessibility, switch the slider on for Invert Colors. Combine that with turning down the brightness and you’ll never bother anyone ever again while you’re texting during the movie! I’ve even set mine up to invert when I triple click my home button for an even faster way to turn that brightness down. You can do this by scrolling to the bottom of the Accessibility page and clicking “Accessibility Shortcut” and choose “Invert Colors”.

Hope these tips were helpful! Do you have any  iPhone tricks that you use that I didn’t include here? Let me know in the comments below! I’m sure I’ll have another post in the coming months when I get the new iPhone 6 and can share all the new secrets of the new iOS as well!


App Review: VSCO Cam

As you many of you may know, I’m a huge fan of using my iPhone to capture my daily goings on. But sometimes the built in camera just isn’t enough and the filters on Insta are great, but in my opinion are a little too “trendy” for me. So for awhile I was using Camera+ which is a pretty good upgrade from the built in, but still wasn’t getting the job done like I wanted it to, I wanted more! So I found a new solution, enter VSCO Cam.

VSCO (Visual Supply Co) Cam has been around for about a year, but I’ve really only had it for the past six months or so, and really just realized its full potential after I drunkenly downloaded the entire set of filters for $5.99, whoops! Except not whoops, more like, Best. Drunk Move. Ever.

This app is simple. Everything is easy. But I will warn that when you first download VSCO Cam it definitely takes a little bit of getting used to. There are no labels on anything, just icons. So I recommend exploring for a bit when you first download it to get a feel for what it’s capable of.

I’ll start with the camera. I’ve recently started using VSCO as my main camera. The reason for this is that it’s much more extensive. I can touch to focus. I can turn on a grid and I can shoot in 1:1 ratio. Yes all of those things can be done in the iPhone camera. But I can also touch where I want focus my exposure, there is a new Tilt and Level feature that ensures I’m shooting my photos so that they’re properly aligned. I can turn on a mode for if I’m shooting in a darker setting or a brighter setting. Basically it gives you a lot more options to help make your shots that much better. So chic.

Then comes the part I love the most, the editing. There are a bunch of free filters to start off with. They don’t have cool names like Mayfair or Nashville, but their simple names (C2, F5, B6 etc) work just as great, if not better. You can flip over to the store and pick up a few more free ones, or purchase some. Like I said, I decided while drunkenly falling asleep in bed that I needed to have them all. I think they’re still the same price right now, 38 filters for 6 bucks. Not bad if you ask me, and unquestionably worth it in my opinion. It just gives you so many more options and I love options! From there, you can flip through your different filters to see what they look like on your image. Once you’ve decided on the right one, you can tap it again and up pops a slider on a 1-12 scale to let you decide if you want to pull back the intensity of the filter.

Now that you’ve got your filter, you can go even more in depth with your editing. All of your tools are icons like I mentioned earlier, so you have to tap them to see what they are. You start with your mainstays like exposure, contrast, saturation. But you also have your cropping options and your rotation options in here as well. Then it gets interesting by adding in temperature, fade, vignette (and not a gross vignette I’ll add), and tint. You can adjust shadows and highlights and sharpness and grain. And everything is done with an easy to use slider. Check out how different the same photo can look with the use of the different filters and editing tools. The top three are a pic my sister took while she was in Surrey, BC. She only used the tools, no filters needed. The others are mine, and I most def used filters.

I will throw in my two cents on what I think isn’t working for the app. Originally the creator had made a point to say that VSCO was made for editing and Instagram was made for sharing. But recently they’ve made a change and added “Grid” which is there not-so-great attempt at competing with Insta’s sharing capabilities. Unfortunately it’s just not doing it for me. No ability to like or comment. No way to see who is following you. It’s just not the experience I’m looking for when I’m trying to share my images. But honestly, it’s whatever, just don’t use it for sharing, use it for editing, what it was made for.

But when we get down to it, it’s essentially a light room on your camera. And it’s free. Does it get any better than that? Go download this right now or we can’t be friends anymore. Just kidding, we can, but my photos will most definitely look cooler than yours, so it’s really your call.