Apps I Love


Welcome back friends!  Today I’m talking about apps.  Obviously, like most of you, my five most used apps are Spotify, Instagram, VSCO, Snapchat, and Messages.   These are all fantastic apps that I use every day, but they aren’t necessary apps that make my life easier or more well rounded.  Think about all the functional holes still left in your digital life.

 

OneNote.  OneNote is probably my favorite app of all time.  The best way to describe it is as a digital notebook.  Or notebooks, plural.  As someone who really loves traditional notebooks, I honestly did not expect to love OneNote as much as I do.  I have it downloaded on my phone, iPad, laptop, and desktop computer, because it syncs across all my devices.  No more lugging four different notebooks from your home, to car, to office, to car, to home…. Everything you need is updated and present whenever you need to access it.  The is amazing to say the least.  For very little effort, you can have your notes organized however you like best, right down to tags and color coded details.  For example, I have a blog notebook filled with ideas I’m currently working on, spreadsheets, and forms; and a personal notebook with travel itineraries, job applications, and Whole30 ideas.  It’s compatible will all MicrosoftOffice suites and continually finds new ways to surprise and delight me.

 

Slice.  As an avid online shopper, I love that Slice tracks all my packages and let’s me know when they are expected to arrive and even sends me a notification when they are delivered.  It syncs with your email, so you don’t have to do anything to update your current shipments!

 

Venmo.  I’m actually pretty surprised at how many people I know that don’t use Venmo.  Squaring up with people financially can be such a struggle these days, especially since I have cash on me approximately 1 out of 67 days.  The only thing I hate more than having to bug someone about money is owing someone money.  Luckily, Venmo makes paying your friends back so easy.  You can pay or charge someone instantly, and not have to worry about forgetting, having a check on you, etc.

 

Ted.  I absolutely love watching Ted talks.  Any time I have 20 minutes to spare, I usually watch the most recent one, or delve into the archives to find something cool.  Trying and learning new things is incredibly important to me, and Ted talks are a really easy way of exposing myself to something different.  This app is sleek and easy to navigate, which is all it really needs to be while delivering the talks to my iPad.

 

Google Trips.  As a lover of Google Flights, you can imagine how excited I was when I discovered Google Trips.  Google’s attempt at creating a one stop shop for travel planning scans your inbox to save all your reservations, and uses Google’s unlimited knowledge to help you plan your itineraries.  Best of all, you can use it without internet.  Hello, traveling abroad like you’ve never seen it before.

 

Do you guys have any ride or die apps I should try out?  Leave them in the comment section!

Have a great day!

xo, C

 

25 Things I’ve Learned by 25

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Welcome back everyone!  Today I wanted to share with you a few things I’ve learned in my 25 years.  A lot of them sound painstakingly cliche, but sometimes we can really only learn these obvious lessons by stumbling through a few mistakes by ourself.  I am by no means an expert on life, but I did take a rather unconventional path in growing up, which taught me a few lessons earlier (and a few lessons later) than other people may have learned them.

 

  1. Never underestimate the healing power of a long drive with good music. (And coffee).
  2. Buying real pajamas will change the way you sleep.  If you don’t want to pull the trigger on a new mattress, just buy yourself some real pajamas.  Having clothes that are designated for sleeping helps your body figure out what it’s supposed to do better than climbing into bed in the same kind of clothes (such as leggings) you wear to workout in.
  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  It’ll just clog your pores.
  4. Life’s best moments are spent outdoors.  Nothing can replace the power of sunshine, fresh air, and wildlife.
  5. No one is really your friend until they’ve seen every dark shadow inside you…  And stayed.  The thing that amazes me most in this entire world is that my best friend is still my best friend.  She is the most beautiful and kind soul I have ever met and I cannot believe she still loves me after knowing me during a part of my life when I wasn’t very lovable.  That is true friendship.
  6. Try not to beat yourself up for the person you were at 20.  There is no part of me that likes the person I was between my 19th and 21st birthdays.  It took me a while to forgive myself and to let that person go; because without some of those tough lessons I might not be the person I am today.
  7. Living your life by a time table will not make you happy.  Everyone lives life at their own pace, and you may end up being grateful that you weren’t married with a kid and 30 like you thought you would be.  Our own experiences shape us all differently, and at different times.
  8. Life is short, buy the shoes.
  9. Investing your time at a job that you love is infinitely more rewarding than working at a place you hate.  If you’re going to spend 8 hours per day/5 days per week there, shouldn’t you enjoy it?
  10. Love doesn’t have to be romantic love.  We live in a great big beautiful world filled to the brim of things ready and deserving of our love.  This lesson was one that I resisted a little bit, but I have fallen in love with so many things over the past few years and it has only inspired me to try more and more new things.
  11. You only have one body so treat it well.  This extends from exercising regularly and eating well to taking good care of your skin and always taking your makeup off at night (this part took me 24 years to master).
  12. You are not for everyone.  Whether they are friends or significant others, you are not compatible with everyone on the planet.  Sometimes they realize this before you, and that’s okay.  It’s always a blessing in disguise to not waste any more time with people who aren’t right for you.
  13. Not being right for everyone does not give you the excuse to treat people poorly.  I once had a coworker that I was never going to be friends with, just based on personalities and interests.  We still existed and worked together pleasantly and respectfully, and I consider my relationship with her one of my most successful for this reason.
  14. Cutting toxic people out of your life needs to be done sooner rather than later.  It can be hard, but your mental health is so important it’s not worth suffering around those people who negatively effective you.
  15. Travel as much as you can as far as you can.  Life is not meant to be lived in one place.  I have learned more about myself traveling than I ever did at home.
  16. Sometimes, you just have to leap without looking.  I am the most panicked, calculated, logical person I know; and you can bet I have made three pro/con lists, a flow chart, and a time table before I make any significant life change.  The best decisions I made were the ones where I threw this well planned process directly out the window and just went for it.
  17. Let people know that you appreciate them.  This is probably my most valued trait.  As a manager, thanking people for helping you and telling them things they have done well is the most amazing tool for getting more out of your employees.  It’s also something I like to incorporate into my personal life.  I think telling people what you love about them is such a strong and powerful tool to strengthen your relationships and sometimes it’s just what that person needed to turn a bad day around.
  18. It will work itself out.  I spent most of my early (and mid) twenties panicking about literally everything.  The only thing that made my panic worse was everyone telling me not to panic.  I’m a little bit of a control freak, so not knowing how to fix things was constantly stressing me out.  Luckily I’ve learned that some things just need time to work themselves out.
  19. Do what feels right.  My friends, coworkers, and family are beyond sick of hearing me say this, because it feels like a cop out sometimes.  But at the end of the day, you just have to trust your gut.  My brain will play devil’s advocate all day long bringing me back and forth between different outcomes, but I think you always know what’s right for you.  Sometimes you just have to buck up and do the hard thing.
  20. Take a walk.  Sometimes this means taking time to yourself in the middle of an argument before you send that angry email.  Sometimes it means stretching your legs to get that creative energy flowing again.  Whatever it ends up being, taking a walk always helps.
  21. Having financial security will take away so much stress from your life.  Most of us do not have as much saved as we would like, but having enough savings to handle an emergency car repair or medical bill will take away so much stress from your life.
  22. Cooking for yourself will help your physical, mental, and financial health.  Starting Whole30 this month, one of my main goals was to force myself to cook more.  I was honestly shocked at how much better I felt physically after even just one week.  Added bonuses were not racking up a $30 dinner three times per week and having a lot of relaxing time at home where I learned new cooking skills and new nutrition facts.
  23. Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.  I don’t like going to clubs.  In fact I can’t think of anything I want to do less.  It took me very little time after turning 21 to realize this, but it took me a little while longer to realize that I didn’t have to go.  You do you.  Spend your Saturday night with a face mask and a good book.  No one else gets to have an opinion on the way you live your life.
  24. If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.
  25. Starting over doesn’t have to be the end of the world.  Sometimes it’s refreshing to be able to wipe your slate clean and take the right steps to put yourself on a new path in a direction that’s right for you.

 

Do you guys have any lessons you’ve learned that you want to share?  Let me know in the comment section!

Hope you all have a wonderful day!
xo, C

Fourth of July Party Inspiration

On Friday I shared some of my favorite red, white, and blue outfits; but today I’m sharing some of my favorite Fourth of July party ideas!  Whether its bringing the perfect snack as a guest, or finding the perfect tablescape as a hostess, there’s an idea here for every occasion!

 

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Pinwheels

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Fruit & Brownie Kebabs

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Red, White, and Blue Sangria

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Berry Pies

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Fresh Cherry Limeade

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Sparkler Straws

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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S’mores Baskets

 

For more seasonal inspiration, make sure to follow along on Pinterest!

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great week!

xo, C

 

Best Desk Forward

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Most of us spend a valuable third of our days at our desks.  Whether it’s in a cubicle, the coveted corner office, or the comfort of your own home; you always want to be getting your best work done while you’re there.  For some people, this means having a workspace that is totally free of clutter.  For others, it might be a bright white space that serves as a clean canvas.  For me, I just like it to be as bright and fun as possible to inspire creativity while maintaining a bit of professionalism.  I have a theme of gold that runs consistently throughout, which I love, and as many colors as possible to brighten up my work zone.

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Scissors: Nate Berkus | Pens: Yoobi | Planner: Sugar Paper

I’m not sure it’s possible to be in love with a pair of scissors, but these gold shears totally captured my heart.  Nate Berkus and Threshold (in the office section of Target) have the most beautiful gold office supplies.  Over months of browsing the aisles and picking up piece by piece, they have finally come together to create a sleek look!

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Coasters: Indego Africa | Sticky Note Dispenser: Yoobi | Paperclips: Yoobi (purple, blue) | Mugs: Starbucks

I am always enamored with Starbucks’ mugs, especially when they come out by the dozens during the Holiday Season!  These two fit in with my gold accent theme perfectly, which makes for a perfect caffeine hit and a paper clip holder!  I also have another Starbucks mug filled with pens at my home desk!

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My laptop is my portable blog office.  I take it pretty much everywhere with me in my Street Level tote, since I never know when I’ll have an open lunch or unexpected downtime to chug away at some emails or posts.  I love this gold pencil pouch from Poppin (which perfectly coordinates with my stapler!) to tote around my favorite Yoobi pens!

Stapler: poppin | Pencil Pouch: poppin

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This school house lamp and gorgeous filing system add some of my favorite flair to the office!

Lamp: Threshold | Tabletop File: Nate Berkus | Hanging File Folders: Threshold

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These beautiful Indego Africa coasters were a J.Crew find a while ago.  They are all handmade in Africa by women striving to lift themselves and their families out of poverty and become empowered businesswomen.

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Sticky Notes: Kate Spade New York | Notebooks: poppin | Desktop Organizer: Nate Berkus | Pens: Yoobi | Highlighters: Bic | Pencils: Bic | Pens: Paper Mate

I usually have my iPad handy while I’m working, even when it’s on a laptop or a desktop.  It’s great to have another machine handy to play Spotify on when I have several different apps open on my computer, or to have another screen to keep reference with.  This Dabney Lee case my sister got me is awesome because it comes with a built in stand which is perfect for multitasking.

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Stapler: poppin | Notebooks: poppin | Pencil Pouch: poppin | Desktop Organizer: Nate Berkus | Scissors: Nate Berkus | Coasters: Indego Africa | Binders: Yoobi | Lamp: Threshold | Pens: Yoobi | Highlighters: Bic | Pencils: Bic | Pens: Paper Mate | Sticky Notes: Kate Spade New York | Notebooks: Target | Mugs: Starbucks | Expandable File: Threshold | Tabletop File: Nate Berkus | Hanging File Folders: Threshold | Planner: Sugar Paper | iPad Case: Dabney Lee | iPhone Case: Speck | Sticky Note Dispenser: Yoobi | Paperclips: Yoobi (purpleblue)

 

Where are your favorite places to shop for office supplies?  Let me know if there are any places I should check out for future additions!

Have a wonderful weekend!

xo, C

Black and Blue

New England Fall Outfit Photography Inspiration love this blue faux leather jacket for fall black flat chelsea boots for fall concert crossbody bag blue faux leather jacket quilted leather details Black and Blue fall outfit inspiration

Fun fact that you may not know about me: I go to a lot of concerts.  Last year I went to eighteen, and I have three coming up in the next month.  After lots of trial and error, I’ve developed a pretty good idea of what works for concert attire- especially during cold New England nights.

When you have to balance waiting outside in the cold with being suffocated by the body heat of a thousand other people, getting dressed can be a real struggle.  I try to avoid using coat check (unless I actually wore a parka), so a little white tee and a faux leather jacket make for a perfect combination.  This jacket is light enough that I can keep it on for most of the night and then just tie it around my waist easily, and a white tee never fails for any occasion.  I love how stretchy and comfortable these Topshop skinnies are, and a pair of black Chelsea boots are necessary for any concert- both stylish and practical.  These ones are incredibly comfortable and have become my go to shoe for anytime I leave the house lately!

Colored Faux Leather for Fall Blue Faux Leather Jacket Black Ripped Skinny Jeans Outfit Fall Outfit Black and Blue | The Sol Compass Quilted Details: Blue Faux Leather Jacket

Outfit Details – Jacket: New York & Company (now on sale! similar here) | Jeans: Topshop | Tee: J.Crew Factory | Boots: BC Footwear (similar style here, love these ones) | Bag: Fossil (bigger style here) | Earrings: Ralph Lauren (old, similar here, here, and here) | Necklace: Nadri (sold out, similar here) | Watch: Fossil | Bracelet: Lemon & Line

Thanks for reading, have a great week!
xo, C

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!  I hope you all had a successful week and are looking forward to the well-deserved weekend!  Today I’m rounding up some of my favorite finds on the internet over the past week, including sales, articles, and more!

January is my favorite time to shop for boots, because they are all on sale! Here are some of my favorites on sale at all different price points!

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one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten

Once I stocked up on boots (brown, gray, and black!), I wanted to make sure I took care of them so they would still look new next fall, enter this amazingly helpful Marie Claire article on leather care.

I’ll be consulting Who What Wear’s 30 Day Winter Wardrobe Challenge to help stay creative in my 2015 Style resolutions.

The lovely Grace Atwood launched her brand new website The Stripe!  The redesign is amazing and I love the vision she has her new venture.

Lauren Conrad’s 7 Days to Skinny Jeans program is back for 2015!

I love this article from Domaine about how to make your bathroom look more expensive!

Sale Alerts!

  • Extra 40% off sale styles at J.Crew with code SHOPNOW
  • 30% off full priced tops at Talbots (prices as marked, and lots added to sale, too!)
  • 20% off your entire purchase at Athleta (they never have sales like this, so definitely stock up!)
  • 40% off all weekend in stores and online at Banana Republic
  • 40% off full price styles and an extra 60% off sale styles at Ann Taylor with code SHOPBIG

Have a great weekend!

xo, C

Bargain Beauty Buys

It is so easy to overspend on beauty and wellness products.  Once I find something that works, I can be hesitant (nay, petrified) to try something new- especially if that something doesn’t come from a highly esteemed company.  Little by little, through some brave trial moments and lots of references through friends, I have been able to replace a large amount of my overpriced designer products for drugstore equivalents, which has been such a relief on my wallet and hasn’t had any negative effects on my hair or skin yet!

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My number one money saver is definitely my shampoo and conditioner.  I have a lot of very long hair, so I go through hair products at an alarming rate.  I always get my Pantene shampoo and conditioner at Target.  I adore the way it makes my hair look, feel, and smell!  They have a great selection of hair types and treatments, I personally use the Smooth + Sleek line!

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If you haven’t heard of YES TO yet, then you are missing out big time.  YES TO is a remarkable beauty product line for an abundance of reasons.  1) They don’t use any harsh chemicals in their products.  2) All of their products are cruelty free.  3) They consistently give back, donating a portion of every sale towards meals for kids around the globe.  4) They are all affordable! Yipee!  5) They also have a line of products for every different skin type.  Or, if you’re like me, a line of products for every need.  Because why not?

My personal picks: Coconut Protecting Hand and Cuticle Cream (my hands get so dry and cracked during the winter, this is a lifesaver!) Cucumbers Calming Night Cream (the best feeling is waking up and feeling my face after putting this on- so calm and soft!) And the Tomatoes Roller Ball Spot Stick (I don’t have as many full-face breakouts anymore (hooray for turning 23!), but when a pesky zit appears I always zap it with this right away!) Of course, different products work for different people and their various needs, so definitely check out the full line online here or the next time you’re in a Target store!

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I know everyone is familiar with Essie, but you may not be as familiar with their Apricot Cuticle Oil.  It’s 100% a must have.  It keeps your cuticles soft, strong, and under control without ever having to set foot in a nail salon!  Seriously.  If you’ve ever worried about your cuticles before, pick this up.

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I have a bottle of this Neutrogena hand cream in my purse at all times.  All times!  It is a miracle wrapped in a $4 bottle and I’m not even exaggerating.  I never thought I would love a Neutrogena product this much, but I really do.  (Only available in Target stores, but you can buy it online here).

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Makeup brushes can be really ridiculously expensive at conventional makeup stores.  Lucky for us, there is Sonia Kashuk’s brilliant line of affordable brushes at Target!  My amazing sister got me this super jazzy collection for Christmas (sold out online, but I’ve seen them in stores recently!)  Her brushes are so fun and effective that I never feel like I’m using a “bargain brush”.  She also makes great makeup bags, if you’re in the market!

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At any given time, I have about five tubes of Burt’s Bees lip balm in use.  One in my purse, one in my car, one at my desk, one next to my bed, and one in my pocket (which has made for some messy laundry loads, for sure!)  Lip balm application is definitely an addiction for me, but I can never stop and Burt’s Bees is by far my favorite every day product.

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This last one is a little bit of a cheat, since it’s only 50% a “drugstore” buy, but the two items I use go hand in hand so I feel it would be wrong not to include both of them.  On my nightstand, I have two bottles of lotion.  One of them is Aveeno’s Energizing Body Lotion, and the other is Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Sleep Body Lotion.  I’m very sensitive to scents, so I usually veer away from scented lotions during the day, as they can mix horribly with natural scents that surround me, but I adore these two products.  I use the Aveeno lotion in the morning to feel energized by the grapefruit and pomegranate scents, and the Bath and Body Works one at night, when the lavender and vanilla lure me into the sweetest and calmest of sleeps.  Admittedly, this is one of my sillier habits; but I stand by its effectiveness and definitely won’t be stopping anytime soon!

With the exception of the Bath and Body Works lotion, I have bought all of these at Target, but most of them are available at a majority of drugstores and grocery stores!  All images are linked back to where I got them from.

Do you have any reliable drugstore beauty products? Let me know! I’m always looking for new ones that come highly recommended!

xo, C

2015

I hope I’m not the only one who feels this way, but this morning I looked at my phone and was shocked to find that it was already January 6th!  The holiday season definitely got the worst of me, in terms of both slipping into unhealthy habits and also getting sick, so I definitely needed the last six days to get back on my feet before fully diving into the new year.

These days, I get the feeling that everyone is a cynic.  It’s more common to hate things like New Year’s Resolutions and Valentine’s Day than to embrace them, for fear of being a cliche yourself.  In my opinion, the post holiday season is the best time to get yourself back on track and working towards the things you value and aspire to, when they can all slip away so easily during the holidays.  The way I see it, January and February (and even March) are such slow months that there is really no better time to start getting yourself back into good habits.  If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: writing down our goals helps us commit to them. Instead of picking a vague resolution such as “be healthier” or “exercise more”, I find picking one particular goal with an action plan I can stick to will help me achieve an end destination is much more feasible and successful.  I picked four attainable goals (two health related and two fashion related) that I believe will lead me to a happier and healthier lifestyle.  So here are my goals and plans for 2015.

Continue reading “2015”

Recovery

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Good morning!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas yesterday!  With the glitz and glamour of the holiday season now mostly over, every day life can seem like a bit of a drag.  So- hopefully not in vain- I’m attempting to keep this week chic and exciting with some stylish help from this Old Navy coat!

I totally buy into the belief that a quality winter coat should be an investment piece.  But what about the days when you want to stand out or spice up your every day wardrobe?  Most of the people we encounter during the winter months only see our winter coats, so spicing it up now and then is a must!

Old Navy has an amazing selection of fun and exciting winter coats for a super affordable price, which makes it oh so tempting to grab a bunch and beef up your winter wardrobe!

I’m also crazy addicted to Naked juices.  They make for a great post-Christmas recovery drink when all of the Christmas cookies are making you feel lethargic.   Plus, they taste even better than eggnog. 🙂

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Outfit Details: Hat: Lord & Taylor | Coat: Old Navy (sold out, love this style and this one!) | Jeans: J.Crew Factory | Bag: Coach Factory (similar here and here) | Boots: Bandolino | Bracelet: J.Crew Factory (old, new version here) | Earrings: Kate Spade | Juice: Naked Juice | Nail Polish: Essie “Buy Me A Cameo”

xo, C