Friday Link Love 1.9.15

 

Hallelujah it’s Friday! Which means I’m ready to kick off my work boots and slip into my party pants! We’ve got a birthday party tonight at Whirleyball which is sure to be a blast!  As it so happens, I actually celebrated my own birthday there 15 or so years ago, I really hope my mad skills have stuck with me all this time. The rest of the weekend is unaccounted for, which means I’ll probably just hibernate on the couch in front of the fire avoiding the nightmare that is winter in Chicago. Party pants, shmarty pants, I’ll be wearing sweats. I hope whatever your plans are include wool socks and a little bit of Bailey’s in your coffee 😉

Without further ado, your Friday Link Love! (formerly Weekend Links)

Um, have you guys seen these new pictures of The Pillars of Creation that NASA released this week!? That’s just another name for the “the place stars are born”. Uh-mazing.

Speaking of space (since it’ll probably never happen again), I totally want to try this golden moon mural on the wall my bed is against – could be a pretty fun headboard replacement, right? Wax on…

Finally, an actual teenager gives his perspective on how teens view social media. I’m always trying to get the scoop on what ‘the kids’ are up to these days. Open Diary anyone?

A great talk by Gretchen Rubin on four ways to successfully adopt new habits. New years resolution makers, step right up.

In the event my monthly mantra wasn’t your style, download Cocorina’s r-rated motivational print. It’s fucking awesome! But seriously…it is.

You may have heard whipspers that Starbucks introduced a new drink to their menu earlier this week, and I’m here to tell you, the hype is real people. Flat white’s were my go-to coffee order when I was studying abroad in Sydney. Run and try one, it’ll change your life. I mean, honestly it probably won’t, but regardless, it’s pretty, pretty, pretty delicious.

I die for these surreal typographic posters by Pawel Nolbert – gimme gimme!

Science is saying you should buy experiences, not things. I’ve been saying this all my life. Science < Me.

If you’ll recall, one of my goals for 2015 was to get into a morning routine. See the ironic (am I using this wrong, Alanis really screwed me over here) reason you’re so tired all the time. Stop snoozin’ sista!

You’ve probably seen this list of 30 Things That Start to Happen When You’re Almost 30. #28 and #29 – ding ding ding!

I’m never one to pass on pizza (pizza is my boyfriend) but damn, these calzones look friggin’ delicious!

Here’s a really great roundup of all the female required reading from 2014. Study up buttercup. Just kidding, it’s not actually required, but taking a quick skim would probably be good for ya. Creatives, this one’s for you. But everyone else, you should read it to, super interesting. Behind the scenes is my favorite place to be sometimes.

Max and I just watched The Grand Budapest Hotel last week, and while the story wasn’t phenomenal, the art direction was. Take a look at how Wes Anderson’s cinematographer captured 10 amazing shots in some of his most beloved films.

Have a great weekend friends, see ya next week!
L

January Monthly Mantra iPhone Wallpaper

Monthly Mantra Download - Champagne & Chambray

image via

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. ||

L

6 Tips to Simplify Life in 2015

Every year I tell myself that I’m going to get my shit together at the start of the year. And somehow, for reasons clearly unknown to me, it never happens. I continue on my path of non-togetherness. Sure, I keep a Google calendar and pay my bills on time, but I’ve come up with six tech(ish) tips that I can do this month that will more than likely set me up for much smoother sailing in 2015. And I imagine if you do the same thing you’ll probably be in the same boat. It’s a good boat to be in, I checked.

6 Tips to Simplify Your Life In 2015

 

1. Reset All Your Passwords
You and I both know that the password gods really are out to ruin our lives. Every website has a different set of criteria for what constitutes a “secure” password. Your go-to password (I know, I know, you shouldn’t have one of these) might not work because it’s missing a capital letter or there aren’t enough characters. So you make up a new one then forget it, just kill me now. Use the new year as a time to go through ALL of your accounts and reset them: emails, banking sites, mobile apps, netflix, spotify, etc. With all the millions of security breaches that occured in 2014, this is more than likely something you should do, rather than just a helpful tip. Just make sure you write down the new passwords and keep them in a secure place. Or try using a password manager app like LastPass.

2. Get On The Cloud
If you’re like me, you probably have a couple different devices in your life. I’ve got my Macbook Air, my new MacMini, my iPhone and my Mac at work. That’s a lot of devices for one lady. And being able to access certain files and documents from any work station is a necessity for me. So I set up iCloud Drive. It let’s you access any files on any device. I just got this set up and it’s actually pretty awesome. If you’ve got devices from a different fruit, look into Google Drive or Dropbox (Apple users, this works great for you too if you’re not running Mavericks or iOS8 yet). In any event, marketplace is currently in what they’re calling a “race to zero”, which is basically a race to see who the first company will be to offer complete cloud storage options for free. Which means you should probably test out the different services and see which works best for you, rather than going strictly price based, since it’s likely your bill will be non-existent at some point.

You should also set up a space online as a secondary backup to wherever you’re currently keeping all your photos. You never know when your boyfriend will spill coffee on your laptop or when your backup hard drive decides to go AWOL. Just maybe keep those not-so-safe-for-work ones away from the cloud…you saw what happened to JLaw.

3. Sign up for Unroll.me
Awhile back I was so sick of all the bullshit emails (a lot of which I never signed up for) landing in my inbox. Then one day while perusing my news feed, my junior high locker partner (yep, you heard me correctly. Hi Justin!) posted a link about Unroll.me. Being the curious creature that I am, I checked it out, and I realized I’d happened upon a goldmine! Unroll.me allows you to unsubscribe from any emails you don’t want to receive anymore in ONE click!! F yeah! Plus you can choose to have all of the emails you DO still want to get, delivered to you in one single email, delivered at the time of your choice. Game changer!

While you’re at it, go through and delete and archive any emails you no longer need, they’re just taking up space in your inbox – believe me, a good purge feels great! Or ya know, just mark all as read and call it a day. (Don’t do that. Well, do it, but I’m not taking responsibility when you have no idea where anything is. But at least you’ll have a zero inbox!)

4. Create a Receipts Folder
Create a folder in your email called “Receipts”. By creating a folder like this, every time you receive a confirmation email from an online purchase of any sort, you can just move it over into this folder and you’ll have all your online purchases for the year in reverse chronological order. It’s helpful when looking for a specific receipt, but also comes in handy during tax season…I think? I really should figure out how to do my own taxes, huh? But that’s what dad’s are for, right?

5. Get your Phone in Order
This is a great idea to do at the start of the year, but honestly, I usually like to do this every month or so. Go through your phone and look at your apps. Do you use them all? Regularly? But seriously? Delete the apps you aren’t using at least once a month to clear up space. If you think you’ll die without it, remember Apple keeps your purchases on the cloud so it’s an easy one-tap download should you need it back. While you’re on the phone, go through your camera roll or albums and delete any photos or screenshots that you no longer deem necessary. Unlink any Spotify offline playlists that you no longer need as well. This should free up a good chunk of space for you to start the new year with, expelling the worry from your mind that you won’t have enough space to take pictures of the winter wonderland on its way.

6. Set Up Auto Bill Pay
This is something that I already have set up for some services while others I haven’t because I’m lazy, which technically doesn’t even make sense logically, but so it goes. Though really, it DOES makes sense to make use of this service if it’s offered. The only thing that I would suggest is keeping an eye on your bank account and the actual bills to make sure that what’s coming out of your account is actually what you owe. Yeah yeah, I know, if you still have to go in and look at it, doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Eh, not really. It ensures that you’re paying on time, and in the unlikely event that you are overcharged, you make a phone call. The other thing to be careful of though, is over drafting your account, if you’re worried that could happen to you, I’d probably just suggest paying month to month to be safe.

 

Now obviously not all of these are for everyone. Some people despise the cloud and other people would rather saw off their arm than let a robot pay a bill for them. But hey, beggars can’t be choosers. Or I guess in this case you can, take what you want from this post and go forth. Let’s have a regroup in about a year or so and see how this all worked out for ya! Or ya know, let me know what you think in the comments. Either way.

L

Happy New Year – and some 2015 Goals!

2015

Happy New Year friends – welcome to 2015! I took a few last days off from the blog to hit restart. This year was an interesting one for C&C, to say the least. I revived the blog earlier in the year because I realized that I was missing that ‘creative spark’ that I so desperately needed in my life, the 9-5 just wasn’t cutting it anymore. But then life got busy and messy and somehow other things continued to wiggle their way in to distract me from regularly posting, and then it seems I just sort of gave up…again. “No one’s reading anyway” I told myself as a way feel less guilty about the situation. But as the weeks and months continued, people began coming out of the woodwork asking when the blog would be back. People from all different parts of my life; girls, guys, young and old, they were missing my blog! Who woulda thought?! Not me, obviously. That was my wakeup call.

The holidays began to creep up and I knew that if I was going to make a comeback, the gift giving season was the time to do it. I think I may have been right. Regardless of the fact that I wasn’t posting gifts specifically for compensation from brands or that I wasn’t using affiliate links to make money off of anything people decided to buy, I still absolutely loved creating them for all of you. I had so many people let me know that they either gave or received gifts that they’d seen on the gift guides. That really made my heart happy! So basically what I’m trying to say is that while traffic and daily page views are all good and well, at the end of the day I’m just trying to please the people that do visit C&C on a regular basis, and it seems I’m doing that!

That being said, I’ve come up with some goals for the blog, as well as for myself in general. I’m hoping that a lot of these goals are able to provide me with some quality blog content too! Also, I’m not normally one for mantra’s or anything like that, but I thought maybe I’d try it out this year. Each month I’m going to choose a new line of inspiration to make sure I’m staying on track and staying positive. I’ll create a phone background and a computer background so that I’m continually seeing it and living it. I’ve heard about people who change their passwords to things like “go2thegym!” or “stop5moking” so that every time they type it, it’s a reminder. I think this will sort of work like that? We’ll see. I’ll be sharing the backgrounds on the blog in case maybe you feel like this is an absolutely brilliant idea, you do right? Keep an eye out for January’s soon! In the meantime, here’s a look at my goals for 2015. Don’t get all judgey on me for sharing, I know most people probably don’t care about reading about other people’s resolutions, but it keeps me honest by actually writing them down. They’re like, real now!

BLOG/BUSINESS GOALS

develop new branding for the blog
I’ve been thinking about this undertaking for awhile, and after a lotttttt of thinking about it, have come to the conclusion that it needs to happen, so keep an eye out for big changes this year.

learn to code
This is something that I know is almost becoming a necessity in my line of work. being able to design is great, but if you’re able to design AND code, watch out, double threat!

develop a workflow that actually works
Right now, the way that I work on things for the blog (and life) is a little hairy. Or a bit hairy. I need to develop a system that really lends itself to saving time and organization. It’ll happen, I have no doubt, it’s just a matter of dedicating the time to figure out WHAT that right way of doing things is.

collaborate with bloggers
this one’s as easy as it sounds. only, for some reason I’m hesitant to reach out. I need to grow a pair and start joining regular link ups and things like that. maybe even attend a blog conference this year. I just need to get into the mix, I know know know that it will help grow the blog, so I’d just be stupid not to.

take on more freelance clients
a dream of mine has always been to be my own boss. so if I can position myself to be in a position in which that’s actually a reality, let’s go! I need to start building up my portfolio outside of the office in order to take on more clients, so this will be an ongoing process this year, hopefully setting myself up for a 2016 goal to be: go freelance full time.

 

PERSONAL GOALS

get into a morning routine
I’ve always been a morning person, it’s just a matter of actually getting out of the bed that has to happen first. I really want to start making better use of my time, and that means waking up earlier to get to the gym so that I have time to work or relax when I get home in the evenings. I think it might take a bit of time (and maybe some warmer weather, this 0 degrees this morning didn’t bode well for day 1) but it’ll happen, at least it better!

read at least 20 books
you may have seen this goal when I posted about 15 books I plan on reading in 2015, but pretty clear cut, read 20 books girlfriend, find the time, make the time, whatever…just do it.

save $10k
I wouldn’t say that I’m a spender, but I also wouldn’t say I’m a saver. I think I land right in the middle on this one, but that’s all about to change! Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say ALL, but you catch my drift. I really want to keep a close eye on finances and start working within a budget and by the end of the year, have 10k in my savings account. Think it’s doable? We’ll see. I wonder what would happen if I just saved all the money I’d normally spend on Chipotle in a year and see what happened…

try new things
This is my catchall category. There are so many new things that I want and need to try but haven’t. Top of the list? Yoga. And new cocktails. And more restaurants. And the list goes on. Maybe 2015 will be the year I finally try a Dorito! Ha, good joke, that will never happen. But for reals, I really want to put myself out there and try things that normally I’d be too nervous or scared or lame to try.

let go of the past
a lot of life changes took place for me last year, whether it was to me personally, or to family or friends that then affected me. But regardless of what happened last year, I need to start realizing that every day is a new day, and you can’t dwell on things that happened to you. You just have to accept and move forward. And that’s my plan; fresh slates, real fresh slates.

take care of myself
This is my Achilles heel people. Every year I start off so good about eating healthy and going to the gym regularly, last year I lost almost 20 pounds by April. But then I get bored. Or lazy. Or something. And everything just kind of dies. And by December I’m all like, give me the cooooookies! This year, I’m not going to let that happen, I’m going to continue getting in exercise for the whole of the year, not just at the start. Thankfully the gym at Soho House is perfect and on my way to and from the office, so that should really help my situation. I’m going to make it a priority to only let healthy food into the apartment (Sorry Max, time to lock up the ice cream!). I’m going to get a reasonable amount of sleep most nights and I’m going to make sure I’m keeping myself accountable. I’ve got a lot of weddings this year I need to look good for! And you know, for myself too 🙂

 

What kind of goals or resolutions are you making for the new year? Share with me in the comments, I’d love to hear what other people are focusing on in 2015. 

L

15 Books to Read in 2015!

Happy Tuesday everyone! How’s that holiday hangover treating ya?  Hopefully everyone had a relaxing and stress-free Christmas. Max and I were lucky enough to be able to spend the holiday with both of our families, Christmas Eve with mine and Christmas Day with his, fancy, I know.  I was kinda sorta bummed that we didn’t have any snow, but I’m not going to lie and say I was upset about the 50 degree weather, it was amazing! Suck it California. Er well, I’m sure they had warmer weather than Chicago but I’m over it. Besides, tomorrow is new years eve, where the hell did that come from?

Anyway, with the new year in less than 48 hours, I’ve been putting together my list of books to read in 2015. I set a goal to read 20 books last year and I pretty much failed. I read 12. I was pretty good about reading in the beginning of the year, but then as soon as August hit, I tapped out. I could just punch myself because I really wanted to hit that goal but life kind of took over. But lucky for me, there’s a whole new year ahead that I can use to try and surpass what I hit this year. So below, check out my 15 books to read in 2015.

And just in case you’re a “one genre” kind of reader, fear not! This list has got memoirs, fiction, thrillers, history AND Amy Poehler, she gets her own genre because she’s amazing. Some of these are older and some aren’t even out yet, but I’m willing to bet they’re all going to end up on some best seller lists if they haven’t already. I say this because I think I can see the future. But I also haven’t read any of these yet, so maybe don’t judge too hard if they bomb…let’s see how this plays out.

15 Books To Read In 2015! - Champagne and Chambray

A Deadly Wandering by Matt Richtel – A brilliant, narrative-driven exploration of technology’s vast influence on the human mind and society, dramatically told through the lens of a tragic “texting-while-driving” car crash that claimed the lives of two rocket scientists in 2006. – Good Reads

 The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins – This thriller isn’t even on shelves yet (mid-January I believe) but it’s already drawing comparisons to Gone Girl and the Silent Wife, which by the way, I actually hated. But hopefully they just mean it involves murderous bitches and some seriously messed up shit.

 Yes Please by Amy Poehler – It’s a book written by Amy Poehler, what else do you need?

Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan – A memoir of a 20-something New York Post journalist who developed an autoimmune disease and literally lost her mind. Yep, like, for real, that can apparently happen. Watch out.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – This has been on my list for awhile and I haven’t been able to get to it yet, so I’m going to make sure it happens this year. I love a good WWII historical fiction book, I just can’t help myself! Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work.  – Good Reads

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – Ok, this is what it says in the description on Good Reads. Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE. So, I’m obviously going to read it NOW, how can you not?! It’s Young Adult, but sometimes I feel like a young adult so it’s ok. Plus the Wall Street Journal said that it appeals to the older crowd too!

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – I like books that start out with Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . This is a story about a murder in a Chinese American girl living in rural Ohio in the 70’s.

The Martian by Andy Weir – I wouldn’t normally be into this but Max is really into space so I figure I’d read it and learn a few things to impress him? Plus it’s getting great reviews and it’s becoming a movie with Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain.  ‘Apollo 13 meets Cast Away in this grippingly detailed, brilliantly ingenious man-vs-nature survival thriller, set on the surface of Mars.’ – Good Reads

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult – I’ve read a lot of Picoult’s books and I’ve only been disappointed once, so I’ll of course be picking up her new novel. It’s got mixed reviews on Goodreads, but it believe there are elephants involved, and I love elephants, so I’m giving it a shot!

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill –  A portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all. -Good Reads

The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero – Recommended to me by a friend (thanks Christer, maybe I’ll let this review be your guest post!), this book was written with the help of an actor who played in the “greatest worst movie ever”, if that makes any sense. I’ve watched the movie that this book is about and now I’m dying to read the book and get the behind the scenes of this amazingly terrible film. Also, James and Dave Franco are making a movie based on the book. So, yeah.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – I’m not normally one for history earlier than WWII, but this inspired-on-a-true-story following the final days of a young lady accused of two brutal murders in 1829 Iceland, seems too gripping to pass up.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt – This is an earlier novel from author of the aclaimed best-seller The Goldfinch, so I figure it’s probably worth picking up. I actually did pick it up almost 10 years ago and started it but never made it past the first 100 pages. I’ve still got my copy and I’m going to revive it this year.

People I Want to Punch in the Throat by Jen Mann – I picked this mainly for the title and the cupcake on the cover. It’s apparently written by a pretty witty blogger, so I’m gonna give it a shot even though I think the intended audience was suburban moms, of which I am neither. Livin’ on the edge over here!

The Son by Jo Nesbo – ‘An electrifying stand-alone novel set amid Oslo’s hierarchy of corruption, from which one very unusual young man is about to propel himself into a mission of brutal revenge.’ – Good Reads (Also my favorite crime writer, so I know this will be a good one!)

Let me know down in the comments if you’ve got your own list of books to read in 2015 – anything that I’ve got on mine? Have you read any of my picks already? Give me your thoughts so I can adjust my list accordingly, there’s always room for changes! I left spots for five others that will most definitely gain popularity in the new year too. I think my first book is definitely going to be Brain on Fire, if it’s anything like I’ve heard, I’ll have my first of the year finished in the first week. Overachievin’ like a boss!

L