31 July 2013

How to study when you forgot how to study


It has been a loooong time since I needed to study (I know some of you want to punch me in the jaw right now).  And I think I forgot how to actually do it. No really - like I can't really remember where to start. What a luxury, no?

Goodness.

I am thinking about starting to study (nothing like preparing to prepare, huh?) for an industry-specific exam, and have been thinking a little bit about where to start with the ol' gotta-get-to-that-studying-thing.   I'm actually not just thinking about starting, for the record. I'm actually really going to start. Like right after I finish this blog post.  Ahem.

Ok, so here are the study tips I've come up with as a starting point:
  • Read the study material.  Yes.  We're headed back to basics, people, and I've got to read the material.  Thank you Kaplan for so generously providing a zillion pages of such content.
  • Index Cards. Back to Spanish with Señorita Lahr from junior year of high school.  I used to secretly love doing index cards, but having not done them for awhile, I'll have to re-train the brain in the art of index card making.
  • Study Buddy. Thankfully I have a buddy who is willing and actually excited to quiz me.  We are so hip.
Ok. What am I missing? Do you have any good study tips for me? Can I send someone to take the exam in my place? No? Illegal?

29 July 2013

SONGS FOR YOUR NOW // july 2013




My name is Cammie and I have a hard time keeping up with good music.  

My musical rut is comfortable and kind and full of songs I already know the harmonies to.  But how boring! I'm missing so much beautiful art.

I created this series to force help me to find new music that's worth my time and ears, without wasting it on songs that aren't even good.  Anybody with me?

So without further ado… here are your songs for now - JULY 2013.

26 July 2013

Broken




We're all just a little bit fragile, aren't we? 

People made of glass, navigating around broken shards that have made their way to the ground. 

You may not know the detail of someone's circumstances, but you can pretty well assume they're a little bit broken, just like you.

My making assumptions isn't helpful, but graciousness, kindness, gentleness are, because as I bend down with my dustpan to clean up that mess they made, some of those glass shards just might be mine.



This has been Five Minute Friday, a five minute writing prompt.  Check out what others have to say...

24 July 2013

Today I Met a Billionaire


I'm in Chicago with my dad for a couple of days, attending a marketing conference, with an absolute genius marketer in our industry.  Financial services isn't typically your most exciting crew, but I'm sure feeling inspired after re-focusing, and spending some time intaking (since undergrad I've realized what a mental-switch it is to go from input all day to output all day) today.  These away-from-the-office-times are super important for me (and probably everyone - but definitely me), and help me re-invigorate, get creative, re-energize.  

Our leader today, Scott Keffer, about two hours into the session, had us write down what we were committing to leaving with at the end of tomorrow's session.  The thing I'm committed to taking with me is ENERGY.  I've grown exhausted of regular days and administrative minutia and the day-in-day-out of professional life.  This infusion of new energy is just what the doctor ordered, and I'm so thankful my dad invited me to tag along.  It's inspiring to be around people who are doing a really great job at what they're doing, isn't it? These are some of the big guys in our industry, and I'm honored to be a fly on the wall.  

The gentleman we sat next to today (believe it or not) was actually the last legal occupant of the Watergate building before the infamous burglary. He was a grad student at the time, and was taking advantage of some free long distance telephone service late that night. He left with Frankie (?), the evening security guard, and the rest is history - quite literally.  I'm not much of a history buff (education is wasted on the young… I'd love to go back and learn all this!), but his story was such fun to hear.  

Robert Jordan, Howard Tullman, Me, Scott Keffer
(apologies for the image quality!)
Following the morning/early afternoon session, we were privileged to hear from billionaire entrepreneur Howard Tullman (check out his blog on Inc.!).  He's started and sold business after business (I think he said he starts then sells a business about every 3-5 years - YOWZA), and provided some insights into this technological world that were astonishing.  Did you know that Facebook (and Mark Zuckerburg personally, I'm sure) can now tell not only what we're searching for online, but WHO of the users of each device is actually surfing at any given time? Is that nuts?!  Also, did you know Apple is the merchant-keeper of more credit card information than any other enterprise? Look out, Paypal. Apple's about to burst on the e-pay scene.

Entrepreneurs are my jam. I love their courage, their creativity, and thirst for independence.  And tonight I'm writing a little bit and loving the view out my wall-width window of O'Hare airport and all its quirks, auto lights twinkling by, jets roaring in the sky.  Coffee's showing up at my hotel room early tomorrow morning (room service ahem), in preparation for what's sure to be another great day.

16 July 2013

The Only Way to Combat Laziness


Sometimes in the morning on weekends I like to lay in bed for awhile. I make myself the perfect cup of coffee, open up my blinds, turn on the tv, grab my MacBook, and hang out for awhile. It's a luxury that is quite unique to my current life-circumstances, and I'm ok with embracing it a bit.

This morning, though, as I was laying there, I started to get tempted with laziness.  I had made plans to head to a lululemon-sponsored (yay!) spinning class at a local spinning studio at 11:30, and started to question if I really felt (a sure-sign laziness was creeping in!) like going. What I felt like doing, of course, was to stay in bed, or head out to the porch to soak up a little Vitamin D, returning inside only to switch the laundry - washer to dryer, dryer to basket, washer to dryer, dryer to basket - perusing my newly-arrived Real Simple magazine.  These things are all ok, of course, and I value the importance of unscheduled margin, but you see, for me, when laziness creeps in, it's better to go to spinning. 

My laziness thermometer - or - how I can tell I'm about to choose lazy:
  1. I hear the words, "I don't feel like it…" rattling around in my head. I wonder if this is true for others: In general, my head makes better decisions than my heart.  
  2. What I'm about to choose in my laziness is the less-healthy of my options. Things that are good for us are often the less-attractive option, taking preparation, planning, thought, and good old fashioned work.  Laziness is often my issue if I'm leaning toward a less-healthy (staying in bed vs. hopping on that bike) option.
Here's the deal.  

The only way to combat lazy is to go ahead and DO THE THING you almost weren't going to do.  

Am I right? 

It's a muscle-memory kind of thing. The more you get used to doing the less-attractive thing, the more natural it becomes for your body and mind to do the thing.  Feel like ordering pizza even though you have the margin and ingredients to cook a healthy meal? Go ahead and cook the meal! Don't feel like hauling those bags full of old t-shirts, long-forgotten-sudoku puzzles, chipped dishes to Goodwill? Go ahead and run them over to your local donation spot.  It will be done, and you will have chosen the better thing.  Watching Pioneer Woman's show on Food Network while sipping  a steaming cup of Pikes Place sound slightly more appealing than hopping on an uncomfortable bike seat and subjecting yourself to an energetic, strict and honestly kind of mean cycling instructor?  Getting your blood pumping and quads sobbing is better. Hop in the car and get there. It's a little harder to get yourself to do,  and that is good. Hard. Healthy. Strong.

15 July 2013

The thing about blogging


The thing about blogging is that sometimes when life is happening, blogging isn't.  

I just wanted to pop in for a brief hello! I've missed this space this past week, and will be back tomorrow with fresh content!

09 July 2013

Doppelgänger



I get told once in awhile that I look like Julia Roberts (image via). I think it's the wide smile.  In other news: One time in sixth grade, a boy at the mall told me I had monkey lips. I have not yet recovered. 

I've also been told I look like this girl from Charmed.  What do you think?

Who are your Doppelgängers?

04 July 2013

Independence Is


I'm thankful for freedom, today. And for family. They rank right up there, and I'm thankful to be spending time with them today.

Happy Independence Day. I hope we don't take it for granted.

Can you help me source this image? I'd love to credit them appropriately.


03 July 2013

Vacation Reads for a Summer Getaway


I'm headed to the north woods this weekend for a family-gathering weekend filled with fun and time to breathe.  Reading for pleasure is a luxury for me, so I spend time putting together my reading list before I go.

Here are the books I'm taking along this time.

Blog, Inc. I started this book awhile back and haven't had time to get all the way through it. I'm looking forward to getting into the "meat" of the book. 
Carry On, Warrior I started this one awhile back, too.  My Type A personality is a little batty with the fact that these books are sitting unfinished.  Must remedy this weekend.
Design * Sponge at Home Because it's inspiring, and who doesn't need a little inspiration?

After this set of books, I'm out of new books to read! Any recommendations for great books for the rest of my summer getaways?

01 July 2013

Weekend Getaway Made Easy


We all have little tricks to help us get things done better, faster, stronger, right?

Recently I decided that packing is annoying and tedious (wait. that has been a fact since the beginning of time), and brainstormed some ways I could eliminate the tedium.  One thing that doesn't change no matter where I'm headed on a little getaway are cosmetics, so I decided to put together a little kit of extras of the things I use every day, and put them in a cute little pouch, ready for whatever destination is next.

Of course Target has their darling Up & Up line, and of course it comes in pink, so that is where we begin.  I also found a narrow but tall makeup bag at Target, which I'm using as the pouch to hold my goodies.

Here's what's in my Weekend Getaway Made Easy pouch:
  • Shampoo + Conditioner (I like to travel with the some variety I use at home so my hair doesn't freak out. No need to have a hair freak out on a getaway).
  • Toothbrush + Toothpaste
  • Disposable Travel Razor (so I can toss it when it's dull; no need for shaving cream s once I just use conditioner instead)
  • Contact Case + Contact Solution
  • Qtips + Eye Makeup Remover
  • Medicines (there are a couple I take each day; I toss a few pills in a tiny jar and off we go!)
When it's time to load the suitcase, I'll add my glasses, hairdryer, curling iron, brush, and makeup, and the cosmetics will be ready to fly.

What are your best tricks for making it easier to get away?