Hocus Pocus

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Halloween is fast approaching and if you’re still figuring out what to do for the evening, take a peak at suggestions below — and remember, as long as you have candy, you have succeeded! 

 Illustration by Grace Coddington via  Vogue.com

Illustration by Grace Coddington via Vogue.com

If you still haven’t found your costume: This T-Shirt + Jeans + Eyeliner = nailed it.

If you’re avoiding the crowds: This Movie + This Movie + This Snack = best night ever.

If you’re hosting a Halloween party: This Cider + These Pumpkins = classy and cool. 

Have fun! And Happy Halloween! 

Girl Gang

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Something I’ve been noticing recently: awesomely successful ladies supporting other awesomely successful ladies. 

 image via http://instagram.com/taylorswift

image via http://instagram.com/taylorswift

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Taylor Swift released her new album, 1989, yesterday (full disclosure: I listened, I loved).  And yes, there were copious amounts of adds on TV (I’m looking at you Target), and yes, there were reviews from every news outlet that ever was. But surprisingly, I heard about the album most on my Instagram and Twitter feeds. Lena Dunham, Lorde and Karlie Kloss were just a few of the fine ladies who took the time to share the love for their friend’s new album on social media.

And just last week, my feeds were filled with the likes of Mindy Kaling, Judy Bloome, Kat Dennings and more, celebrating the launch of Rookie Yearbook 3 by posting pictures of themselves with their copy. (And the week before that, it was for Lena Dunham’s book, Not That Kind Of Girl).

Thanks to the freedom and control that social media allows celebrities, this generation of women in the spotlight are doing things a little differently than their predecessors. Gone are the days where media outlets could construct narratives like Team Jolie Vs. Team Anniston. Instead, Lorde takes cooking classes with Taylor Swift, Lena Dunham visits Mindy Kaling on set, Tavi Gevinson and Kiernan Shipka get milkshakes together and Karlie Kloss brings cookies to everyone! Celebrities hanging out together isn’t exactly a new thing but, it’s this new breed of women who choose to share and support one and other that has us swooning.

Shine Theory says, “when you meet a woman who is intimidatingly witty, stylish, beautiful, and professionally accomplished, befriend her.  Surrounding yourself with the best people doesn’t make you look worse by comparison. It makes you better.” This is an ethos we can get behind. Instead of portraying women as cat-fight-ready divas who argue over everything from boyfriends to ‘Who Wore It Best’, this new wave of women is taking control by displaying a sense of community, friendship, generosity and support.  

One of the goals of Girl Gift Gather is to change the media’s representation of female relationships. Contrary to what ‘The Real Housewives of Wherever’ would have you believe, all of my relationships with women are positive, strong and supportive. It’s a small world for female CEO’s and it can be lonely at the top. The Lena Dunhams, Taylor Swifts and Tavi Gevinsons of the world are a breath of fresh air because they make the effort to share the fact that successful, powerful women don’t have to threaten one and other. Instead, they can offer a very specific kind of support: the support of someone who understands what you’re going through, the support of someone who can identify with your experience, the support of someone who knows what it means to run a room and be the only woman in it. This kind of backing is absolutely necessary in order to sustain the growth of successful women. We each need to know that we’re not waging the battle alone and that when we get to the top, there will be a family of women there waiting (with a glass of wine!) to celebrate us, not to push us back down. 

So here’s to the new Girl Gang. May we all channel our inner Swifty.

xx

Chelsey

 

Crossing the T’s, Dotting the I’s. Or, Business Resources for Beginners

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In early September, some unexpected events temporarily delayed our filming plans. So in between country walks and lakeside wanders, we found ourselves with the time, energy and motivation to really throw ourselves into the nitty-gritty of starting and running a viable business. We have now made it through the process of incorporating, and have been developing our business plan. Things that at first seemed painful and shallow and even a little bit boring to think about —  followers, likes, opens and re-tweets — have been reframed into a focus on how we can be of the most service, and how we can reach as many people as possible. We’re finding joy in the meticulous details. The process of re-examining our own understanding of what we want Girl Gift Gather to be has been incredibly clarifying and rewarding.

We have realized that Marie Forlio’s maxim that “everything is Googleable” is (for the most part) very true. However, Chelsey did spend some time at the local bookstore researching the old fashioned way.  

So, in the tradition of the entrepreneurs, creators and businesswomen who have come before us and shared their tips and tools to the confused and overwhelmed, we’re sharing our some of our favorite resources with you!

Brooklyn Law School 

This has been amazing! Brooklyn Law School has a program called the BLIP Clinic, where as a part of their schooling, students are led by a professor to help new entrepreneurs navigate the often difficult tasks of incorporation, intellectual property protection, structuring licensing agreements, web documentation, etc.. They also provide litigation support and general legal advice. It’s entirely free and it’s been an invaluable resource for us during this process. 

— Biz Ladies

Biz Ladies is a series on the Design*Sponge website. It’s a treasure trove of information for women looking for advice and help when it comes to the business world. It covers everything from business plans to creating compelling content. It also features profiles of inspiring female entrepreneurs. It’s a great weekly read and it’s been running for so long that there’s a post on almost every topic you could ever have a questions about. See the top 10 most popular posts here.

— Iconosquare:

Iconosquare works with your Instagram account to help you grow a social-rich media strategy, effectively interact with your community and measure your efforts with metrics. (So many metrics!) You can learn more about all of it’s many functions in this article.

— Bit.ly

Besides helping to make your links nice and short so you can optimize your 140 characters, Bit.ly tracks how many click-throughs a link gets and the source the clicks are coming from. It’s particularly helpful in understanding which of your Social Media platforms and posts are most impactful.

— Blog, Inc.

This book is an endless source of wisdom for people entering or working in the blogging industry. Whether your blog is your passion project or your full-time career, Joy Cho, offers tips and tools on design, content, pricing and advertising. It also includes great interviews with some of the most successful bloggers out there.

We are still figuring all this out, but we’re committed to being open and transparent with you about what we are learning and experiencing. Hopefully, we can serve as a lighthouse for other people going down similar paths and asking themselves similar questions.

xx

C+C

A Beautiful Weekend

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 image via  Kinfolk

image via Kinfolk

This week, a dear friend shared this NY Times video with us. We have been completely charmed by these wonderful Chilean women creating tradition, sharing stories and drinking tea. Our futures look pretty sweet….

Plus, NPR talks vocal fry, uptalk and lady voices as a part of their The Changing Lives of Women series. And speaking of women’s voices, In A World, written and directed by Lake Bell, was just released on Netflix!

A beautiful blog.

A beautiful magazine.

A beautiful woman.

Have a beautiful weekend! 

xx

NEW MOON IN SCORPIO + ECLIPSE

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Today is the Scorpio New Moon, and full disclosure, it is always my favorite New Moon of the year. Scorpio rules the real stuff…Life, death & rebirth. 

A great Scorpio mantra is from Tosha Silver, a hippy dippy astrologer who I am a bit in love with:

“Change me into One who can open gratefully to the New. Release me from the prison of old attachments, resentments and addictions that no longer serve. May I see myself as You see me, a radiant, beautiful soul. May I love and care for myself in every way. 

May I always know that I am enough and that there IS enough. Use me for the greatest good, You know the deepest needs of my heart . May I be a Force of Love and benefit on the planet. 

Let what wants to go, go. Let what wants to come, come. Let what wants to stay, stay. I am Yours, You are Mine, We are One, all is well.”

Happy Mooning!

Christina

To Roam and Ramble

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Part of enjoying this new, slow pace is taking the gifts that the world presents to me. So last week, when Michael was given a rare day off from graduate school and I found myself free from meetings and deadlines, we took a day to run away.

We weren’t really sure where to go or what to do, but we knew we wanted to get out of the city. There was talk of Storm King and Blue Hill at Stone Barn, but even those charming destinations limited us with their opening hours and entrance fees. We wanted to wander, we wanted to explore, we wanted to be free of plans and agendas. So we drove North, it’s Fall after all and watching the leaves turn is an absolute must (especially if you hail from the UK where the prominent colors are green and grey). 

After a little perusing online, we settled on Spooky Hollow. It’s nearly Halloween and it seemed like a fun and festive thing to do, plus, we could always keep driving up to Cold Springs if it wasn’t our cup of tea. 

We landed in the small town to find it was quiet and quaint, as was the neighboring Tarrytown. We were too late for the infamous cemetery and too early for dinner, so we drove some more until we reached the Rockefeller State Park Preserve.  The park is over 1,400 acres and includes the stunning Swan Lake. There are walking trails and horse riding trails and a variety of birds, deer and other woodland wildlife. We parked our car and started walking, only to return after a crisp sunset in the fields. 

It’s easy to forget the healing power of fresh air, a good walk and a leisurely chat. To roam and ramble with only the quiet hills and crunchy leaves around us was a much needed reminder.

xx

Chelsey

P.S. If you’re looking for to get out of the City, And North is my favorite website to discover places to eat, drink and shop as well as walks and parks to explore upstate. 

Time Is On My Side

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There’s something a little different about Fall in New York this time around (and no, we’re not talking about the tropical weather this week!). Instead of the usual hectic weekdays, indulgent evenings and over-scheduled weekends, we’re finding our lives moving at a markedly mellow pace. And it’s not just us, everyone we’ve spoken to has found this Autumn air particularly calming.

Sometimes a slow beat is difficult to adjust to. Being “busy” is so deeply ingrained into our culture and our identity that without it, we can feel unarmed. But, give it time. Being busy does not always mean being productive. And being overwhelmed by to-do list after to-do list does not necessarily mean we’re doing our best work (quite the opposite, usually). Moving a little slower allows us to get clear in our work and in our lives. What really needs to get done? And how can we complete it most effectively? If there’s time left over, perhaps instead of filling it with busywork, we can enjoy it by taking a walk, leaving work a little early or cooking dinner.

What if time was on our side (at least for the time being)? What if we just let the day unfold, instead of trying to squeeze every last obligation and duty into it? What if we even dared to enjoy it?

Think about it: slow mornings, early bedtimes, restful weekends. Though it may take a bit of getting used to, we promise it will be healing and restorative (especially in advance of the holiday season ahead). 

C+C