Popcosmo

a blog for everyone and their mothers

All

Kentucky Derby Tips & Tricks

All, EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

How to Navigate the Kentucky Derby @popcosmo.com “Derby” in Louisville is not just a day… it’s an experience. It lasts a few weeks and there are more events leading up to the Kentucky Derby that we can list here. Our first year in Louisville, we were surprised, amazed, and overwhelmed with the parties, events, balloons, fireworks and airshows. There are official events for the Kentucky Derby and plenty of unofficial ones.

My first year at Derby, I had a million questions and asked a million + 1 people for advice. Over the years, I questioned even more patient people about their tips and tricks for “doing Derby” and below is the advice I've gained from them + my experiences. Mastering the art of the Kentucky Derby is do-able, with a few tips & tricks.

If YOU have any tips you’d like to share, please do so in the comments.

The most asked question: what do I wear to the races?:

  • The bigger the better, the louder the better, the brighter the better! But comfort is key and so is something washable since the likelihood of a drink splashing on you is high due to hours spent around drinks and total number of drinks you will encounter throughout the day (regardless of whether or not you will be drinking). Add the fact that you might be eating a picnic lunch on your lap if you are sitting in an outdoor box seat, and you have a recipe for a messy day.
  • Prints and washable dresses are all good options, silk is best left for the jockeys, and warm weather fabrics are a must.
  • You are only allowed to bring in 12” bags this year, so we recommend a crossbody bag (you’ll want free hands).
  • You have long days ahead of you with lots of walking involved, so stick a pair of the most comfortable and blister-free flats Yosi Samra fold-up shoes or a pair of flip-flops in your bag (your feet will thank us) and you’ll look like you’ve been doing Derby for years. If you can’t bear to change, wear broken-in comfortable shoes, and bring bandaids.
  • Bring ponchos if there's an inkling of rain since you can't bring an umbrella. If you wear a clear one, your outfit will shine through. Check the weather before you go!!
  • Don't over-accessorize. If you have a flashy hat- keep your jewelry in check. Conservative hat- play up jewelry.
  • Do not try to get a spray tan a few days before Derby. You'll be waiting in line for hours.
  • Here's a post about what to wear to the Kentucky Derby.

On Fridays we wear pink: Oak’s Day is Friday and is the filly’s race. It is just as exciting as the Kentucky Derby. Schools cancel classes and it had been local’s day, but now it is no longer a Louisville secret and is getting to be just as crowded and festive as Derby Day. "Locals day" is being pushed back to Thursday as more people arrive for the weekend to celebrate. In the past few years, the tradition had been to wear pink to honor breast cancer research and survivors. You can get decked out in all pink (check  out a Oak's Day outfit idea) or wear touches of pink… and don’t think pink is just for the girls! Guys can sport a pink tie or dress in all pink too. Vineyard Vines has a fabulous men's Derby collections.

Fascinator v. Big hats: Obviously, personal preference. I'm a fascinator girl -- something about being able to turn my head and peripheral vision (go figure). But, if you’re sitting outdoors and the day is sunny, a big hat could come in handy. Regardless, bring sunscreen!! Whatever you wear, make sure it doesn’t pinch, or slip. If you forgot to bring a hat, run by Dee's and they'll make one for you to match your outfit.

Calling all party girls: If you can party all day and party all night and want to support charities, purchase tickets to the Julep Ball and the Barnstable Brown party and mingle with celebs who show up for Derby and Oaks.

Dawn at the Downs: Eat breakfast on Millionaire’s Row and watch Derby contenders working out. It’s a unique Kentucky Derby experience on the weekdays.

Can we get there from here?: Plan on spending a long time in the car and consider it part of the experience. Unless you arrive very early in the morning, and even if you do, you might be parking in someone’s yard, so bring cash. Unless you park at Churchill Downs, plan on a long walk to the track, and check out these parking maps for Derby week in advance.

Some options to avoid parking by Churchill Downs (which can be a nightmare): park near one of the many bus stops and bus into Churchill Downs, park in the lot near Cardinal Stadium, find a teenager to pick you up and drop you off, or rent a bus for a big group, or take Uber, which arrived this year.

Food, food and more food: At the track – If food is not included with your ticket, you can bring a box lunch, but be sure to check the rules about what is allowed to be brought in the gates.

  • Vendors come around with drinks- order several. That way you don't have to wait in long lines, and next time they pass, you will be ready for another.
  • Remember to hydrate with water too!

Around Town – Make reservations for hotels and dinners (before and after races) as soon as you know you’ll be attending. Good luck finding either at the last minute. But, if you don’t have reservations, find a Louisville food truck. {We love Grind burgers!} And since many homeowners head out-of-town for the Derby and rent their houses, you might find one on VRBO.com or airbnb.com at the last minute.

It's Bourbon country, baby!: As the home of Bourbon, get ready to drink a lot of it at the Derby (but please don't drink & drive!). And while here, visit the distilleries, which can even be family outings. Actually the official drink of the Oaks is the Oaks Lily which is made with vodka; but yes, the traditional drink of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby is a Mint Julep, which is made with bourbon. Although traditionally served in a silver cup, at the Derby (and Oaks), you’ll receive a commemorative glass cup with each order. Keep ‘em and start your collection.

Tickets & Seating: We suggest buying tickets directly from Churchill Downs. You’ll get a good description of your seat and the amenities. Pay attention to where your seat is located - your box seat may be in a section exposed to rain or sun all day long. If you want to play it safe, make sure you buy a “covered” seat. If you are trackside, you are not covered, but you’ll have a great view. Your seats (unless you are in suites indoors) are folding chairs. There are six in a box and your “box” is actually a metal bar, so you’ll know your neighbors quite well by the end of the day. The fun of Derby is seeing the outfits, the horses before the races, the horses walking to and from the Paddock, etc., so wandering around is not only highly encouraged, it is part of the experience.

The Ladies Room: No matter where you sit, you will have a great view. But the bathrooms are what set everyone apart. Drinking all day means... long lines in the ladies' room. But don’t be discouraged. The efficiency of the attendants is the best I’ve ever encountered. However, if you are headed to the infield, byot. (Bring your own toilet paper). We hear they've been known to run out. If you are in the suites, enjoy the semi-privacy and no long lines!

What is the Infield?: No tickets? No worries! You can always gain access to the infield. While Oaks Day may not be that crowded, Derby day will most definitely be packed. The infield is made up of a partying crowd that’s come to enjoy themselves. You’ll have access to the Paddock area as well, but since there is no limit to the number of tickets that are sold for the infield, prepare for crowds. And if it has rained, get ready for mud. And unless you secure a spot near the track, you might miss the races, but you can enjoy the party!

All bets are on!: If you aren’t an expert in betting, read the program. There is a little tutorial and key in the front. You don’t want to be  “that” girl holding up the line, you want to be talking about trifectas with the rest of the gang.

  • Bring $1 bills. Lots of them… the lines to the ATM are longer than the betting lines.
  • If you win, it's customary to tip the clerk. (Supposedly it brings you good luck!)
  • Betting on colors, names and birthdays is fine. You'd be surprised how many people beat the odds with these bets - but don't hold us to it.

Misc:

  • Bring a phone phone for photos and a backup battery because service is spotty, especially if you want to Instagram.
  • Show Louisville some love with the Louisville Love app for photos, if you have service!
  • Bring ibuprofen or aspirin. With noise, hats, cigar smoke, heat, etc., you have the perfect storm for headaches.
  • Fashion First Aid has a handy pack you can carry in your purse of essentials you might need for the day. We kinda think it would be handy for trips too! It'll cover hat problems, heel blisters, armpit stains and more in a handy package. (I'm pretty impressed by how they have a solution for just about any problem I have!)

After you've completed all your planning for the best weekend ever, the most important tip is to sit back, enjoy the races, and have some fun in Louisville! It's a fantastic city to explore apart from the races with amazing dining, wonderful parks, a beautiful river, and the friendliest people you ever did meet.

Many thanks to local friends Natalie, Ashley, Christy of The Bourbon Blush, and Shelley for their tips, & everyone else I've pestered over the years!

 

How to make a GIF… without Photoshop

All, BLOG TIPS, EXTRASKim & Chloe
How to Make a GIF without Photoshop

GIFs are all the rage, especially now that you can have GIFS on Pinterest, and there are tons of blog classes on how to make a GIF using Photoshop. But since Chloe is so proficient on Photoshop and the best I can do is turn it on, I haven't quite made it to a class. So when I found out about imgflip, I was dubious, but excited. I tried it out and was so impressed, that I wanted to share it with you! Get ready to learn how to make a GIF without Photoshop skills, y'all!

how to make GIFs

Here's how:

1. Take photos that you want to use to create your GIF or use graphics you've created. Save your images on your computer and make sure they are all the same size. Tip: If taking photos, the key to a successful GIF is to either use a tripod or have very steady hands. If you will be moving items to create a story, then definitely use a tripod since it's almost impossible to get your camera back in the same position, even if you have someone helping. We've found this to be true even when doing GIFS for fashion or style shoots. The less jiggle, the more successful your GIF will look.

2. Open up imgflip.

3. Click on the Images tab (top left).

4. Download your photos and arrange them in the order you want your story to be told to create your GIF. To remove a photo, simply drag it to the pink bar on the bottom that says "Drag images here to remove."

how to create GIFs

5. Once satisfied with your photos, set the width to 360 and height to 360 for a square photo (or 360 for the widest or highest), quality to 1, and click Private. Then click Generate GIF.

creating GIFS

6. Once downloaded, simply upload it to your blog like a regular photo (although after using it a few times, it will give you an image HTML which you can place on your website). Both are super-easy. And voilà, a GIF… and you didn't even need to learn Photoshop!

Creating the GIF is free, but the size is limited to 360 x 360, and supposedly there will be a watermark, and ad will be shown. To upgrade to the Pro version costs $9.95/mo. But as you can see, there is no watermark or ad in the one I created!

making a GIF without Photoshop

Have fun creating GIFs without Photoshop and leave your links to the ones you create in the comments below. We love creating and looking at them 'em!!

xo ~kim

Etc.

All, EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
ETC

floral bouquetvia Pinterest

Hello, hump day. I hope y’all are having a fab week and staying warm in this insane polar vortex. Wishing all my friends and family in Alabama and Georgia stay safe and warm!!!

This past weekend I stayed home, caught up on some school work, and got lost on the procrastination machine also known as the internet. This week, I'm back to school work, and so caught up that sometimes I glance up at my clock and wonder what I was doing for the past couple of hours. But, I'm looking forward to another weekend! Because last weekend, while I was browsing for inspiration on the internet I discovered some lovelies that I want to share with you lovelies. So without further delay…

+ who doesn’t love a good old fashion chocolate cookie? finding the best homemade recipe is hard, but the every girl has got you covered.

+ selfies are taking over the world. but are they making us critique ourselves in an unhealthy way? check out this video to learn how to discover what makes you beautiful.

+ I recently bought a new pair of jeans, and I am overly obsessed with them. they are boyfriend jeans with the perfect wash. but guess what. the price is affordable!  go buy a pair (or two or three) for yourself.

+ after attending the amazing cricut party in salt lake city, I have been brainstorming all of the crafts that I am going to make. I think the first thing on my list are something similar to these adorable gold scalloped cupcake liners. too cute.

+ with valentines day right around the corner it’s time to start thinking about what you are going to give your friends & family. check out these free photoshop brushes to start off creating your digital designs.

Stay warm, and let me know what you find when seeking inspiration!

xo ~chloe

New Year, New Blog Design

All, BLOG TIPS, EXTRASKim & Chloe
Blog Design

How to design the perfect blog layoutChloe and I are at it again… we can't seem to leave (almost) well enough alone and tweaked our blog design again. Maybe it's just the DIY-ers in us, maybe it's because we were on vacation and didn't have access to all our crafts, but one day, maybe it was a really snowy one, we just decided our website needed modifying. Again. Which got us thinking: what makes a blog design effective? What do we look for when we find a blog that makes us think gosh, our website needs updating yet again? Let's start at the top and work our way down, realizing this is what we like (i.e., tips) not hard and fast rules! Header: A header should be distinctive and express your personality and tell your reader who you are or what you do. If I had my way, Popcosmo would have one look and stay the same year to year. But that's me. Chloe, as a teen, is evolving and her taste is changing dramatically year to year. And since she is the designer, her opinion rules, so our header has changed frequently, but one element has stayed consistent: we've always had a heart somewhere in our logo. But we haven't been able to find a heart we like with this new logo!

Consistency is queen (behind creativity) even when your logo changes; but, if you're going to make a dramatic change, then more power to you. If you have a "signature," like our heart, then work around it. We tended to make a change when we rebrand, and then we tweaked the logo to and layout to better express us.

Also, popcosmo doesn't mean anything, we made sure that we mention that we "are a blog for moms, teens and everyone in-between" somewhere on our homepage. BOTH of these items (heart and tagline) are still being fiddled with by us, so check back to see how we resolve them :)

Here's our logo design evolution from our teen site to our present day mom/teen site above. The last two were designed by Chloe:How to design a logo Logo Design Logo Design

 

Navigation: Being able to access and navigate around a website should be easy. For instance, if it takes 3 click just to find a story, I'm leaving. Secondarily to reading what is on the landing page, you want your reader to be able to easily navigate through your site. There are typically 3 ways a reader will do this:

  • Menu - typically below the header or on the sidebar. Although they look great on the sidebar, Chloe designed ours below the header, which we both like the look of and the ease of for the reader. A simple drop-down menu is simple for the reader and instinctive when they are looking for where to go.
  • Search Bar - ours is above the fold on every page and critical since we have so many articles that go back more than a few pages
  • Highlighted Posts - We use WP plug-ins and saw a dramatic rise when we installed them. We also added some sections on the sidebar (those big black circles to your right) that weren't on the main menu (but are on the drop-down menu, i.e., Blog Tips). We also have our most popular posts highlighted on the sidebar. It seems a bit like overkill when I write this out, but each person reading a different story will see a different "popular" post or highlighted post and hopefully inspire them to linger longer.

Call to Action: Do you want your reader to sign up for emails or comment? Do you want them to pin a picture, G+, or follow you on Instagram? Then you have to ask very nicely, or hint very loudly, so we make sure our share buttons are prominent at the end of each story. I have to admit, we don't ask our readers to share enough (hey y'all, we love when you share, and we really love it when you follow us on Instagram or Twitter and especially when you leave a comment or share a DIY with us!) but the point is make sure you are asking your readers to do something when they visit you or they'll just pop by and leave.

Font and background:

Don't underestimate the power of design and font!  Chloe and I kid about it, but we'll absolutely pick a restaurant because of a cool font (hello Kitchen in Denver). Won't you leave a website that has a sloppy font and is impossible to read?

We do argue about centered fonts - I can't stand them, she loves them. So, this section is for her. Generally, script fonts are pretty but hard to read. 3-4 fonts should be plenty.  Since we are both font crazy, agreeing on fonts caused considerable arguments, but I think we've finally found a middle ground!

Sidebar: KISS. Yep, Keep It Simple, Stupid. We have so much information we'd love to put in our sidebar, but we just resist the urge. We don't run ads, so that's one thing that keeps it clean, but ads are $$$, so we are considering them. Just make sure they are kept to the same size or within the same block so it doesn't look cluttered. Another idea is to move your ads to the bottom of your sidebar or to the footer.

Happy Thanksgiving

Photos: The bigger the better. Yep, really. Well, sort of. Make them as wide as possible. Know your margins and make the width of your photos the same as your content. It's all about visual appeal and a photo that aligns with your copy is visually appealing. Of course, it can't always be the same width, so center them if they can't be as wide as your copy. If they are larger than your margins, then resize before importing to help with your website speed.

Here's why… you see the same photo above and below, but which looks better?

Happy Thanksgiving

Color: In this case, less is more. Generally, 3-4 colors make a pleasing web design palette and are visually appealing. But we've seen designs with more and less that also work. This is simply a style question of what best represents you, and is not jarring for your readers. Consider how much color will be in your photos / posts and make sure you won't overwhelm your reader, or conversely, that there will be enough color to interest your reader. But, don't forget about whitespace… it can be the difference between a good homepage and a great homepage. Whitespace separates blocks of information and can create balance on a page, which will give it uniformity without clutter.

Contact: Can your readers and brands reach you? Is your contact info on your homepage or readily apparent? Ours is on our advertising page, our press page, and who we are page. We want people to read about us to make sure it's a good fit, BUT we are considering adding an email icon to the homepage.

Consistency: Check the overall design for mood, consistency and balance. Consistency in design allows the eye to flow from one area to the next without distraction and enhances the reader's experience, which in the end, will make them want to come back. And isn't that what we all want?

Are there any web design tips you want to share? Or any web design quirks that drive you crazy? Or any web design advice you want to share with us?

xox ~Kim

 

 

 

 

Valentine's Day Date Dreamin'

All, BOOKS & MOVIES, EXTRASKim & Chloe
A WINTER'S TALE

Valentine's Day movie

Nothing, absolutely nothing, makes me happier than to get lost in a great book or movie. One that makes me forget where I am and what I'm doing. One that tells a love story in a unique way and touches me so deeply that I tear up a little, maybe even so much that I sniffle, and finally have to dig around for a tissue after when I can no longer pretend I have something in my eye. After watching the trailer for Winter's Tale, I've decided it's the romantic movie for my Valentine's Day date this year… and since it opens in theaters February 14th, I'm planning my perfect Valentine's dream night around it.

My dream Valentine's Day would be something like this…. it would begin with a flower delivery from from Lavender Hill saying, "Surprise, guess who's coming home tonight?" {My hubby commutes from the west, so this would be the perfect start to the perfect date, obviously!} I'd have his favorite drink to greet him, the only kitchen-ly duty I'm good at, and since he was a like a fish to water during our  bourbon tasting, I'd make him an old-fashioned. Then we'd head out to his choice of restaurants because he's the foodie. We have so many amazing restaurants in Louisville like Proof on Main or 610 Magnolia, that I'm happy anywhere he chooses as long as there is champagne involved.

A Winter's Tale Movie

But I'm in charge of entertainment. We both love a good tearjerker movie, so the highlight of the evening will be 2 hours of uninterrupted romantic escape at Winter's Tale. It's the perfect night to see a romantic movie about crossed destinies and romance through the ages. Plus, what a cast! I'm a huge fan of Colin Farrell, who is always the perfect mix of charming and witty. And it also stars Russell Crowe, consistently tough, and Jessica Brown Findlay, who we all might know better as Lady Sybil Crawley / Branson from Downton Abbey. An Oscar-worthy cast, right?!

I'm even pinning Valentine's ideas here to get ready. Follow along!

Winter's Tale Pinterest

And if all goes well, the night of romance may just be beginning when the movie ends….

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by WB Winter's Tale through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about WB Winter's Tale, all opinions are my own.

Really Cool Business Cards

All, BLOG TIPS, EXTRASKim & Chloe
creative business cards

You all know that I I adore designing websites and and logos and have really enjoyed being able to design them for other people. So it's no surprise that I'm obsessed with looking at other peoples websites. But what I love even more than websites is business cards. Perhaps it's because my mom always says that "you never get a second chance to make a first impression." And when it comes to introductions of your blog, website or business, this advice is also true, which is why I think my mom and I are obsessed with business cards. When someone hands me a card that feels good, looks good, and somehow captures their character or the character of their blog, then I am totally impressed. And what do I do when I'm impressed (besides gushing so much that I not only embarrass them but also make a fool of myself)? I scope out their website! And isn't that exactly what you want someone to do when you hand them your card? As we've probably mentioned, we were at the #CricutExplore event sponsored by Cricut earlier this week. We were humbled to be invited with so many top crafting bloggers and meet people we'd been reading. We received some cool business cards, just a few of which we'll share with you. I wish we could have gotten a card from everyone (and I wish I could have taken the entire week off and stayed for Alt so I could have seen and learned more)! Next year….

cool business cards

left: The Proper Pinwheel's card is packaged in a clear pillow enveloped with an included tiny DIY banner in her color scheme and glitter dots and paper shreds which makes you feel like you are unwrapping a present. Sort of like when you scroll through her blog, it's a real treat!

middle: the card by Say Yes is bright and cheery, just like the site. Three cheers for perfect branding!

right: ok, so Kori Clark not only drew the spot near where I used to live and had my Bat Mitzvah in Rosemary Beach, Florida (is it a small world or what?!) but has the perfect card to showcase her talent as an illustrator and stationery designer. Her card folds fold up, there are 2-sided cards with her beyond adorable drawings inside.

business cards from alt

left: creativity without spending a cent? Crème de la Craft created her cards from cereal boxes, which represents her blog, since it's tagline is "DIY projects made from everyday objects."

middle: Handmade Charlotte's card is chic and simple with a bright back. It's bold and stands out, which totally matches Charlottes playful, sweet and generous personality.

right: sometimes simplicity speaks for itself, as in Brooklyn wedding designer Michelle Edgemont's bold gold leaf foil star.

creative business cards

left: Caravan Shoppe made an interactive rocket. Need we say more from a brand that creates downloadable templates for  you to create fab paper products at home. Branding perfection!

middle: The Cricut Explore cuts, scores, draws and cleans your room. Well, it probably could do the latter since it seems like it can do just about anything. And since a regular shape card turns into an origami-like box that I'm displaying on my desk, I'd say not only is the Cricut Explore a piece of art, so is this business card.

right: So my mom might have a girl crush on Whippy Cake and her adorable retro style and fashion-forward hair, and trust me, you will too when you take a look at her blog. Her card is simple and refreshing… just like her!

really cool business cards

As you might have noticed, I've changed the look of our blog a few times lately and we are pretty close to being finalized with how we like it. Pretty close! Which means, you guessed it, I can start designing our new business cards on Minted. And I have plenty of inspiration thanks to my new friends.

xo ~chloe

5 Things on Repeat

All, EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
Five Things

5 Things Do you ever get the feeling that you just repeat yourself day in and day out? I do. Constantly. Sometimes, I feel as if I could simply record myself  and nobody would even notice I wasn't around. I'm still not sure if Chloe  feels like she repeats herself, and by the time we get halfway through the video we're both completely confused about we're even doing, but at least we had fun (as usual) making 5 Things on Repeat.

Watch for yourself and see what you think. And let us know if you have any phrases on repeat that drive you (or someone else) crazy.

 

 

Happy New Year!

All, EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
Happy New Year | popcosmo

2014

Wishing you all the happiest, healthiest, most fun & joyous New Year. Thank you ALL for being a part of our lives and sharing a precious part of your time with us. Your friendship, because it truly is, whether it's here on our website, on Twitter, through Bloglovin', Pinterest, Facebook, in real life or through comments mean the world to us and we look forward to seeing you all in 2014.

xoxox ~kim & chloe

 

How to Get Traffic to your Website from Instagram

All, BLOG TIPS, EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
How to get traffic from Instagram | Popcosmo

how to get traffic from Instagram Once we published our Instagram tips & tricks, we received lots of questions about Instagram, but the 2 that stood out were (a) what's the best way to get traffic to your website from Instagram without using a contest or giveaway & (b) how do I get my blog post pictures on Instagram? Here you go... our quick and simple answers with our tips to make the most of your Instagram!

The best way to get traffic to your blog posts is pretty common sense (but here area a few reminders):

1. A “sneak peak” or teaser picture. These pictures give your followers an insider look of an upcoming post or you could be working behind the scenes on your post. The goal? Curiosity! The next day we posted the finished product that we created with the items below, but aren't you dying to know what we made with napkins?! {Hint: who says Halloween can't be pink & green!}

2. Highlighting your most popular posts from the week or month on Instagram. Your readers might have missed a craft, outfit, or story and will be intrigued and want to check them out.

3. Last but not least, simply be yourself and create compelling and cohesive Instagram content. Your Instagram feed should have a unique style - this is our #1 tip! Create your own look and stick with it, just like you have your voice on your blog, you have your "look" or style on Instagram. Don't you always want to see the blog when you love the Instagram account? I do!

Besides the fact that Instagram is a compelling way to tell a visual story of your brand, just remember that it's a window into your website.

The other question that we are asked is “how the heck do I get a picture from my camera onto Instagram?” A lot of people pride themselves for solely taking iPhone pictures; however, if you want show your high quality work from a camera, fantastic. But please, don't tell everyone you take iPhone pics when you’re really using your super fancy DSLR - in other words, don't use "#nofilter". Ok? Ok. So here's how you get those fancy pics to Instagram:

1. Once you upload your pictures to your computer from your camera:

  • Email the picture you want to upload to yourself.
  • Then, open the picture on your phone from your mail app.
  • From there, just click the picture in your email and it will ask you what you want to do.
  • I typically save to camera roll and then open it up in one of my editing apps (click for an for editing app tutorial).  OR if you don't use editing apps, open Instagram and it will be in your Camera Roll.

If the picture file is too big, you may need to take a screen shot of the picture on your computer or your phone. This takes two seconds so it’s not a big deal!

2. Another way to post a blog picture onto your Instagram is after you’ve posted your picture on your blog,

  • Open your website on your phone.
  • Then click the image you want to use and save to camera roll.
  • Again, you'll simply need to open up Instagram or an editing app to access the photo.

Although it's another step to take in your daily blogging routine, Instagram is a fabulous way to drive traffic to your website with a quick visual peek into what you are doing... and tease your readers just enough so that they will be dying to check out what the rest of your post is all about. And we've found it draws in readers with everything from fashion posts, to DIY, to random stuff.

And hey, are you following us on Instagram @popcosmo!?

There 'ya go! Instagram those blog posts & let us know if you have any questions.

xox ~chloe

 

Striped Pumpkin

All, DIYKim & Chloe
Striped Pumpkin | popcosmo

Thanks to BuzzFeed (yeah, that BuzzFeed!) for featuring the 1st pumpkin on their front page and also for the super chic ladies at The Chic Site for sharing our interview with their readers. On The Chic Site, you can get the scoop on how we work together, what inspires us, and what leads to arguing {hey, we're human}! But back to pumpkins.... We're enjoying the ease and simplicity of decorated no-carve pumpkins this year! While our pink & green Lilly Pulitzer pumpkin is an option, we also wanted a more traditional black and orange pumpkin, but with a twist, so we decided on a striped pumpkin, which we think is more modern and striking. Plus, it's simple and finished in under and hour. The lure of the design, like the Lilly Pulitzer pumpkin, is that the only limit is your creativity. Like spiders? Use a spider ribbon or washi tape and embellish with spiders. Like skulls? Go crazy with them! It's all up to you. We kept it clean and simple with black, white & gold while letting the orange peek through... and you know how much we like hearts.

Striped Pumpkin

Supplies:

1 craft pumpkin (not pictured) carving knife pencil paint brush gold paint Modge Podge scissors gold glitter paper ribbon in black and white pattern {tip: choose a lightweight ribbon -works best- or a non-sheer patterned washi-style craft tape}

sriped pumpkin supplies

Instructions

1. With your pencil, mark the area where you will carve the top of the pumpkin. Use your craft knife to carve the top of the pumpkin.

step 1- carve pumpkin

2. Apply Modge Podge in a stripe down the length of the pumpkin where you will be placing your ribbon.

striped pumpkin step 2

3. Firmly press your ribbon against the Modge Podge and let sit a moment. Then place Modge Podge on top of the ribbon to glue it to the pumpkin (i.e., your ribbon will be glued to the pumpkin from the top and bottom). Let dry completely.

step 3

4. Paint the stem gold.

striped pumpkin step 4

5. Trace a heart to the size and shape of your liking on the back of your glitter paper. Cut out the heart shape, apply modge podge to the back, and apply to the pumpkin.

striped pumpkin step 5

6. Cover the hole inside with heavy paper, or, as we did - place it on a plate, and fill with candy.

7. Enjoy your simple carved striped pumpkin (or make it no carve if you don't want to fill it with candy)! Options: embellish the heart with letters, spiders, or whatever you and your family desire! We like candy, so we labelled it for Treats... chocolate is preferred!

Treat pumpkin

What type of pumpkins are you preparing for Halloween? Carved, no carve, decorated, painted...?

White Chocolate Peach Scones

All, EXTRAS, RECIPESKim & Chloe
White Chocolate Peach Scones 4

Another recipe from Kayla: Summer is pretty much over, which means a few things. First, there are a lot of peaches and secondly, school started. I decided to make the best of it and make a delicious breakfast before school using some of those delicious peaches. Scones are one of the fastest dishes to make, just combine the dry ingredients, add some butter and buttermilk, then fold in the peaches and chocolate. They bake for less than 15 minutes, so you can have your breakfast ready in under half an hour. If you would rather sleep a few extra minutes, just make the dough over the weekend or after school and bake it as you need it; the dough will probably last about four days in the refrigerator. These peach scones are a delicious way to start the day, and you'll never want to skip breakfast again! White Chocolate Peach Scones 5

Ingredients: 2 Cups Flour 1/3 Cup Dark Brown Sugar 1 T Baking Powder 1/2 tsp Salt 1/4 tsp Cinnamon 1/8 tsp Nutmeg Pinch Ginger 1 Stick Butter, Chilled & Cubed 3/4 Cup + 2 T Buttermilk 2 Peaches, Diced (1 1/2 Cups) 2/3 Cup White Chocolate Chips

Heat oven to 375F. Line a cookie tray with parchment.

Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Toss 2T of the mixture with the peaches. Set aside. Cut the butter into the flour, then add the buttermilk. Fold in the peaches mix and white chocolate.

Scoop the dough onto the prepared tray and bake for 12 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Makes 12, Recipe Adapted from sweetpeasandsaffron

For more delicious recipes by our Teen Chef, Kayla, check out her blog, The Nerdy Chef!

Internet Loves Lately

All, EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

Hi there, it's Kim and it's my turn this week for my Internet Loves Lately. Speaking of loves, it's my anniversary this weekend! An amazing 23 years ago, hubbie and I walked down that aisle to say, "I do" and although we have some wear and tear on us, we are still celebrating and will spend this weekend reminiscing, romancing, and running (our favorite thing to do together). That is, if he's feeling up to it - an injury has kept him on the sidelines for a few months, but here's hoping! And it's also the end of summer with Labor Day upon us. I'm definitely not celebrating the end of lazy days, although I do love a good schedule to make me feel productive and nothing gets me on schedule like kids in school. But this week's Internet Loves are all about what reminds me of summer as it slowly and stickily winds down.

What are you not quite ready to say good-bye to this summer?

Popcosmo | internet loves lately 8.30

{1} Ice Cream Sundae Pops Ice cream IS summer! Are these not the bomb? The absolute cherry on top? Better than any ice cream truck treat, but would have the kids running in from wherever they are!

{2} Purse So I have a purse and shoe fetish. And this mint green color makes me think of summer because of its adorable pastel shade. But there is nothing cutesy about it, it's pure lady and all glamour, especially since it's handmade, customizable, and from Paris by La Contrie. Bring on the heat.

{3} Surfboard Obviously the beach is the ultimate summer get-away, but if it's not in the cards, how about propping up a sparkly surfboard in a corner? This sparkly DIY project could take me away for few hours. Sort of. It would definitely get me in the beach party vibe every time I looked at it!

{4} Confetti Balloons Who doesn't love a balloon... a giant balloon? Doesn't it just make you think of little kids running around, or big ones smiling and skipping and having an outdoor party? That sounds like a summery good time to me, although if you want to hand me a giant confetti-filled balloon anytime of the year, I'll probably definitely take it!

{5} Cocktail Pops One or two or three bites of these say, "It's 5 o'clock somewhere!" And they'll cool you off. Have I mentioned how hot it is here?

 

 

Easiest Salad Recipe Ever

All, EXTRAS, RECIPESKim & Chloe

easy salad I am a foodie.

I know this sounds absolutely crazy, but if I had the option to own a super fancy purse or go out to eat for the next month, then I would probably choose to go out to eat. Call me insane, ‘cause I know it’s true.

However, I used to only really eat food that tasted good (i.e., unhealthy food). But wait, you say. Why does unhealthy food have to be the only food that tastes good? Well, you’re right. I used to think that unhealthy food was the only thing that actually tasted good. But guess what? I was wrong. Very wrong.

I have decided to go on a heathy streak and my Mom is SO happy... but we’ll see how long it actually lasts. This past week, I went to my Aunt and Uncle’s house and my Aunt and I made a her salad recipe together. This was no ordinary salad with tons of lettuce and croutons and all that "junk". It was a surprisingly delicious salad. Like I went out yesterday to the grocery store - by myself I might add - to buy all the ingredients.

This salad is the perfect mix of all things healthy, but it tastes like it could be a guilty pleasure. We’ll call it the “(not so) guilty pleasure salad.” That has a nice ring to it. ;)

But you can also call it the easiest salad recipe ever because not only does it taste great, but it’s SIMPLE to make! All you do is chop and dump.

Directions:

1. Chop cherry tomatoes, red and/or yellow peppers, and cucumbers. 2. Sprinkle some black olives and feta cheese on top. 3. Splash some olive oil and you’re donezo.

It’s that easy!

If you make this salad, be sure to tweet us or instagram us a picture! We promise you’ll love it!

xox, Chloe

News Flash!!

All, SHOPKim & Chloe
iPhone Collection #1

To celebrate the end of summer, ALL phone cases are now only $19.99! Hop over to the store lickety-split because when they sell out... they are gone, gone, gone! {At least until our new collection comes along  ;-) }

phone cases

 

 

 

Internet Loves Lately

All, EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

internet loves lately chloe {1} Don’t even get me started on my love on English Bulldogs. I. Am. Obsessed. I’m not going to deny the fact that I dream about owning one practically every night. I already have it’s name picked out and everything. *my birthday is coming up soon, hints, hints.* {photo via Pinterest}

{2} I saw this quote on Pinterest a few days ago and fell in love with it. It’s so simple yet rings so true to a lot of us! Also, how gorgeous is that typography?

{3} The J.Crew fall look book is out, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ve stalked it quite a few times already. Perfection. That is all.

{4} I was at an event a few nights ago and a friend quoted Little Miss Sunshine and I shamelessly admitted that I had never seen it. Being me (a fan of Toddlers & Tiaras- don't judge!), I had to watch it right away. It is now one of my all time favorites. I laughed (a lot) and cried (a little) which was a perfect mix of emotions in a light-hearted movie. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it. Now.

{5} Like I said, I went to an event a few days ago (I guess an inspiring one, haha). But, if you know me in real life / have read the blog long enough, you know how bad I am at crafts. In fact, I am terrible at crafts. But, I was feelin’ crafty one day and asked Geni (of Pink Owl (yay!) our photographer / event hostess ) if she needed a photo booth backdrop for her party. She enthusiastically said "yes!" and so I was locked into making a craft whether I wanted to or not. Surprisingly the backdrop turned out gorgeous & my non-crafty self is proud of it. *spoiler* tutorial coming up!

www.instagram.com/popcosmo or search @popcosmo on Instagram

Thanks for reading this week’s Internet Loves Lately! If you have any links that I MUST know about, then be sure to leave them in the comment section. Have a great weekend!

xox, Chloe

Twitter Lists: How to Declutter your Twitter Stream

All, BLOG TIPS, EXTRASKim & Chloe
Blog Tips

There is a very simple solution to declutter your Twitter stream... and it's sitting right in front of you. It's called a Twitter List. Yet you may be ignoring it. We were! But we've recently started using this 1 simple trick, and Twitter Lists have made our Twitter interactions so much more meaningful, and easier to follow. I can follow my SITS friends, my BlogHer friends, my hometown friends, and even other people's public lists. Why didn't I start using this simple trick sooner?! Twitter Tips

For those of you not familiar with Twitter Lists, I'll explain why they are so critical, plus I'm going to walk you through how to create them (it looks complicated, but it's simple!) both on Twitter and on HootSuite. What's nice is your Twitter list will automatically appear on the other social media site once you create it. So I recommend going to where you are most comfortable to create a list. Personally, I prefer creating a list on Twitter and populating it on HootSuite.

Twitter:

1. Click Me

2. Click the gear on the top right and highlight Lists from the dropdown menu

3. Click Create list

4. Name your list and describe your list (optional)

5. Click public or private

6. Click save list

twitter lists to make twitter manageable

7. To add people (a) in the following list or when you search for a friend (b) click on the person icon (c) click add to list.  Then check the name of the list to which you want to add them. That's it, they are added! Alternatively, you can search for people you want to add to your list and they can be added by clicking (d) add to list.

twitter lists

how to make a twitter list 1

 

HootSuite:

1. Add Stream (make sure you are in Twitter!)

2. Click Lists

how to use twitter lists

3. Select your Profile name (i.e., ours is Popcosmo)

4. (a) If you created your list in Twitter, you'll see the name of the list (ours is "Popcosmo Peeps") so click "Use Existing List" and  the name of the list you created OR (b) name your list, and optionally you can describe your list

5. Click public or private

6. Click Add Stream. Now you'll have a dedicated stream for those tweeps!

how to create a twitter list in hootsuite

7. To add people:

a. While you are in your stream, click the the ICON of the person (icon is to the left of the twitter name) of any twitter name in any stream. You can then simply click and drag them into your stream. You will know they are added when you see the big green plus sign in your stream. OR

b. Click the person icon in the grey box on the far right. Highlight your profile and see all those you follow. Click and drag the icon to your list and you'll know they are added when you see the big green plus sign. Hint: Click on your list to see who's in it while adding, instead of having to go to your stream.

What are Twitter Lists 3

How (and WHY) to Use Lists:

In Twitter: Click on Me and then Lists. Click on the list you want to see.

In HootSuite: You have a stream for your list!

The clutter is gone and all you should see is a stream from those people in your list. A list makes it so easy to ignore all those tweets that distract you from focusing on what you should be focusing on. {For me that means gaining hours of productivity!! No more looking at fashion photos while I should be writing or gazing longingly at your Instagrams!} With a Twitter list I can decide WHO I want to see in a stream and WHEN! All it takes a few minutes to set up a Twitter list and you've got a streamlined Tweet-erverse right at your fingertips.

Why does this matter? Once you start interacting and re-tweeting people, you'll start seeing them doing the same with you and Twitter becomes what it originally was when you only followed a few people: a conversation. It also becomes a wonderful resource for information. And it can become an invaluable asset for promoting your blog and sharing the information you have created. Twitter is give and take relationship, one which is hard to be in when there's so much "noise." Without the distraction of excess "noise" on Twitter, you can focus on those friends and people who you want to focus on, and start seeing the real benefits of Twitter.

Happy Tweeting!

Free Computer Background Images

All, DIY, EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
hello banner free desktop downloadable

It's been so long that I've done any free computer background images for you. It's time I created something besides phone cases, right? So I started drawing, but thought why not ask what you wanted? So, I turned to my Twitter friends and asked what words you wanted their computer to say to you all. {Hey, why not, soon our computers will be talking to us - since our phones already do, haha!} And after hearing what you said, I got inspired and started creating a few designs. Thanks for the inspiration, y'all! Enjoy your free computer background images and let me know what you might want next....

Here are the images you can select:

ONE:

freebie darlin' download

TWO:

banner freebie downloadable

THREE:

believe free downloadable

 

To download, click here:  HELLO  |  DARLIN'  |  BELIEVE |

Mac Instructions: In Safari, simply click and drag the photo to your desktop and right click. Scroll through choices and select "Set Desktop Picture".

Enjoy and let us know what you think in the comments below... & what would you like to see next time?

xox ~chloe

Link Love

All, EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
Internet Loves

Last week Chloe shared what was keeping her interest on the internet (besides her Latin course) and this week, it's my turn to share some Links I Love. From organizing & back to school, to fashion & beauty, to simply getting lost in another world, these are links I love and which caught my eye last week... and I am actually hunting one of them down this morning! Can you guess which one? links i love

{1} These cute shoes have what I'm looking for this fall: a pointy toe and flat comfort. Plus I cherish red shoes. And that feminine dip just gives a hint of Moroccan slipper sexiness, which I definitely wouldn't mind having in my life.

{2} I obsess over each and every Claire Vivier bag because each one is impeccably ideal. The stripes, the monograms, the leather. But this leopard foldover makes me think I wouldn't have to carefully select what to carry and what would stay home. And the statement it would make is "hear me roar." In a delicate, prim way.

{3} Keeping with my black and white fashion obsession lately, this phone case makes me soooo happy on many levels. It's actually a true dark navy, but since I can't see the difference between black and blue, I'm oblivious and delighted! Plus, I say y'all. Always have, always will whether New York, Colorado, or at home in the South. It's a southern-ism that I can't (and won't) knock, y'all.

{4} Essie nail polish is my obsession. Perhaps hanging this enchanting Essie print on the wall would stop me from buying more colors? Perhaps since I have all 3 colors it could remind me to choose from one I have instead of being lured by a clever name or a adorable color? Nah, I'll always be looking for the next best because Essie always has it, but I'd love to look at this print daily!

{5} I binge on Justified on Amazon Prime whenever I can find the time. Why?  Four words: addicting, adorable, accents, action.

{6}  These very simple and clever tape ideas show how tape can spice up your home, office and school supplies!

Happy weekend y'all! ~kim

Instagram Tips

All, BLOG TIPS, EXTRASKim & Chloe
instagram tips

Instagram has started to become my favorite social media platform. You might be asking yourselves how I like it better than Pinterest, and there is only one answer - it’s more personal. I feel like my personality can shine through more on Instagram, plus it’s kind of a game with the likes and comments :lol: . The only thing is, there are so many new editing apps that are created everyday, it’s hard to stay up to date with the cool things you can do.instagram ideas Most instagram tips will tell you how to take better pictures, how to show your personality, and how to use the filters. But no longer do the plain old Instagram filters suffice - you have to use an outside source. I’m all for it! I love me some editing. So I'm going to share my most recent Instagram find with you: I recently started using the VSCOcam app (available in the app store), and I love it. It replaces all the other complicated apps because it’s easy to use and it has some really cool features. So no complicated Instagram tips, just one big tip and how to use use my favorite tool!

Here’s a little peek on how I typically edit a picture....

instagram tips

This whole process takes about five minutes - that's including taking the picture itself. It’s not too slow which is why I love using just one app. I’ve heard of people using up to three separate apps per picture, but for me that just takes away from the insta in Instagram.

{1} Clearly you have to choose your picture. I usually take a bunch and then pick from the best one.  I have way too many pictures on my phone, but it just feels so wrong to delete them in case "who knows what" happens. And by that, I mean my little brother.

{2} I then open up my picture in VSCOcam.

{3} I love the filters that are already in this app. I almost always use the T1 filter  because I like the white wash it gives the photo. Choosing the filter is totally up to you, and remember: your personality should shine through! I also like G3 and M5.

{4} I then crop my photo so that it’s a square so I can make sure I will like it once I post it to Instagram. If you have a taller/wider picture and want white space on the edges, I recommend the app Whitagram, another one of my favorites.

{5} I then jack up the exposure, because I like the effect it gives the photo. Clearly this is where your originality starts to shine through, and your tastebuds do the choosin’.

{6} Depending on the picture, I either slide the temperature up or down. This feature either puts more color into your picture or takes some away. See how my photo is just... softer?

{7} Lastly, upload to Instagram! Follow us and check us out to see what I've been doing lately with our photos - I'd love to hear what you think!

I hope this helps you find your own style a little bit!  And I'd love to hear more...

How do you typically edit your pictures? Are you a fan of VSCOcam?

Internet Loves

All, EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
internet links we love

Hey y'all, it's Chloe and it's my turn to share my fave links I love this week. I spend waaaay too much time getting lost on my computer. Honestly, I don’t know where I would be without the internet; I could probably be found sitting in my room staring at the wall with nothing to do. That may or may not be an exaggeration. But lets just thank the technology gods that the internet is a thing I can enjoy... a lot. On to the links I love! link loves

1} I am a lover of all things cute. Clearly, this Danielle Kroll print is no exception. As an aspiring graphic artist I love all of her original, simplistic, colorful prints. Anyone wanna buy me a couple to make an art wall in my room? I’m taking offers.

2} Any DIY that has “easy” in the title is my kind of DIY. I wish I was crafty, but I usually get so frustrated when things don’t look as perfectly as I know they can I just give up. *pathetic* However, I do think I could manage to make this star block. I’m also diggin’ the neon paint.

3} Some of y’all don’t know this, but I am a wannabe photographer (check out our Instagram). Amy Stone is basically who I would like to become as a photographer. I love how she can make the most simple thing into something that looks like an amazing time.

4} Clearly, I am obsessed with PopCosmo cute phone cases, and so are those of you who see me carrying them. I mean they’re just too darn cute not to include. Wink-wink!

5} Apparently “twerking” is the new trendy dance move. This YouTube video basically sums up all of my feelings towards this dance - in elder’s points of view. I have tried twerking though, and no, I can not, nor will ever be able to, twerk. My butt just doesn’t move like that.