Popcosmo

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#ChicChat Recap | Number Two

BLOG TIPS, EXTRASKim & Chloe

This past Tuesday’s #ChicChat was all about originality. There are so many new blogs sprouting and it’s hard to stay original and create original content. Because of that, we decided we all needed to share some advice and insight relating to originality. Here are some tweets that really stuck out — in the best way possible. Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 8.08.45 PM

Question One What are your initial thoughts on blogs and originality? I think pretty much every blog has a lot of similarity. It’s passion and personality that sets them apart!” — @evegagnon1 “It’s SO hard to be 100% original unless you are a serious trendsetter - even then you grab inspiration from somewhere” — @The_RachelRoss “The worst think ever is when people copy other bloggers because they think people will like it. Originality is best!” — @citrusandstyle

Question Two Do you think originality is starting to lose meaning now that there are so many blogs? “I don’t think it has to. But you have to make the effort to be original.” — @ThePeachBellini “The more blogs there are the harder it is to come up with something new, but more blogs equal more voices and opinions.” — @CarrieOnBlogs “No, because every blogger has a written voice and their own authentic personality.” — @helloscarblog

Question Three How do you keep YOUR blog original? “I just try and think of what I want to read and haven’t yet!” — @CarrieOnBlogs “I get inspiration from others around me, but put my own spin on it!” — @citrusandstyle “Such a good question and yet so difficult to answer… hmmm” — @stylecontext “I write thanks that make ME happy, things that inspire ME, motivate ME and challenge ME.” — @helloscarblog

Question Four What blog do you think should win the “most original” superlative? “Atlantic Pacific by @BlairEadieBEE for sure.” —  @citrusandstyle “I’m truly not saying this just because she is here but I honestly think it should be @fashionnewcomer.” — @CarrieOnBlogs “I love @pbloverblog! Her posts are always so relatable.” — @petitepastels “So, I will go with @abeautifulmess with my girls Elsie and Emma.” — @helloscarblog “Not sure if @ManRepeller qualifies as a blog anymore, but they put out content I would never be able to think of myself!” — @twolilelephants 

Be sure to check out last week’s #ChicChat recap! Thanks for reading! xox, Chloe

FOMO

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

One of my bloggy besties, Caroline, from the blog Citrus and Style wrote a post recently that really resonated with me. It was basically talking about FOMO (fear of missing out) and how sometimes we have to make decisions based on what we need to do rather than what we want to do. As a senior in high school, going to a certain party or sporting event can seem uber important in the moment. If I don’t go, I might miss out on something big or exciting, I might not have a chance to flirt with the boy I’m crushing on at the moment or socialize with all my besties. However, sometimes it’s important to take a break from everything and just sit at home and catch up on Netflix and sleep. fomo

 

My mom and I have been talking a lot about how I can’t do everything. I can’t have a sleepover on Friday night and then stay out until 12 Saturday night. I’m at the point in my life where I have to make decisions on what I want to do and whether or not certain things are as important as they are in my mind. FOMO is real, especially with social media, and it’s hard to make these choices. But I’ve realized, through missing things, that sometimes a night alone at home is better than staying out late at a party. Even though, most of the time, it’s hard to make the choice to stay home, when I do I really love it. In fact, I’m writing this at 9 o’clock on a Saturday night. In bed. With Netflix open. And honestly? I’ve never been more content.

I was supposed to go to a concert that a band from school was playing in, but because I had a sleepover last night, my mom said I couldn’t go. Was I mad that my mom wouldn’t let me go? Absolutely. Am I missing something fun? Yep. Do I have a lot of FOMO right now? Not a lot, just a little. Am I ok staying home? You Betcha. So, moral of the story? Sometimes a night at home is better than a night out. Sometimes it’s ok to miss “the biggest party of the year” or “greatest concert of all times” or “best basketball game of the century.” FOMO is real, but staying home is fun too.

Do you have a problem with FOMO? Thanks for reading! xox, Chloe

#ChicChat Recap | Number One

BLOG TIPS, EXTRASKim & Chloe

Every Tuesday night from 9-9:30 Eastern time I host a twitter chat that talks about all things blog related called #ChicChat. In the past we have talked about things from the importance of Instagram to contacting brands to coming up with creative post topics. Every week the topic is different and we always end up learning something new or gaining a piece of insight. I decided that every Thursday, starting today, I’m going to post a #ChicChat recap. coffeephoto via

So, this past Tuesday’s topic was “Common Blogger Mistakes” which was recommended by Scarleth from Hello Scar. We’ve all made mistakes when it comes to blogging and learning from our own mistakes is often a way to build ourselves up and learn new things. I’m not really sure how I’ll format these posts down the road, but for now, I’m going to show the question that I asked and then share a few tweets from that specific question that sparked some interest.

Here we go…

Question 1: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made while blogging? “getting into the comparison game-you can't judge anyone's blog success the same way! We're all at different stages.” - @somemoredunsmor “Without fail, not promoting them enough. I will go to the ends of the earth for others' posts...but mine? Um…” - @theideologue “underestimating the time it takes to maintain a blog” - @ThePeachBellini 

Question 2: What’s a mistake that you see new bloggers making? “copying other bloggers that have original content and not giving credit where it's due.” - @helloscarblog “Not having a clear point of view or not focusing in on a target market.” - @GalleriadiGiani “Too much self-promotion on other's blogs & social pages. It can look like spam, even though the intentions are good.” - @teresalauraxo “using dry language to share things they're passionate about. The blogging craft is re: conveying authentic passion.” -  @theideologue

Question 3: What’s one piece of advice you wish someone told you before you started blogging? “blog like no one's watching! i think this would've helped me post more expressively and not be so self-conscious” - @stylecontext “start with a few posts already in your arsenal so you're ahead, it's so easy to get behind on posts” - @alwayshunterb “that no matter how long you've been blogging you'll still feel brand new. You'll still Learn every day” - @ThePeachBellini “all the little stuff-every network to join,photo size for pinterest,social media scheduling,etc.” - @somemoredunsmor

Question 4: Is there anything that you wish you could re-do or take back regarding your blog? “I wish it were my job! I wish that I were brave enough to take the leap and do what I love! #failtoplanPlantofail” - @ThePeachBellini “No regrets, it's all a learning experience” - @GalleryPlaceDes “I wouldn't have tried to sound like anyone else for so long. I would've accepted that my "voice" was/is a needed one.” - @theideologue “I feel like I should've done more research prior to starting a blog. 1 thing I don't regret is my blog name!” - @diningonstyle “i wish i would've picked a better name! something more fun and descriptive. i think it's too late now” - @stylecontext

So there we have it! A short little recap. If you’re interested in joining next weeks chat, but aren’t really sure where to start, be sure to read this post explaining what a twitter chat is!

Have you ever participated in a twitter chat? If so, what's your favorite one? xox, Chloe

Lanakin

BEAUTYKim & Chloe

Throughout my entire life, there’s only been one thing that I’ve been jealous of my brother for. It’s not that he’s smarter than me, that he has a better sense of style than me, or that his level of common sense definitely out ranks mine; it’s the fact that his eye lashes are so luscious. Ever since the day he was born, he’s had amazing eye lashes while mine have been on the more “stubby” side. It’s something that I’ve learned to live with and throughout my years living with him, I’ve learned that he will forever have the better genes in the eyelash department. _DSC0015

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_DSC0034-2 However I felt my luck in the lashes department start to change when Lanakin reached out to me asking if I wanted to test out their  eyelash lengthening formula. I was all ears/all lashes. Anything to make my eyelashes look more luscious and beautiful than my brother’s oh so perfect lashes is seriously right up my alley. These are just the before pictures, but in just a few short weeks I’ll be back with an update post letting you know how awesome my new and improved eyelashes turn out to be, and if it really is possible to pull through and have the best eyelashes in the undeclared sibling war.

If you’re interested in purchasing Lanakin, feel free to use our discount code to get 10% off your order! The code is POPCO10

Have you ever used anything to help your eyelashes grow? If so, I’d love to hear about your results! xox Chloe

Podcasts

BLOG TIPS, EXTRASKim & Chloe

_DSC0028Hello lovelies. I'm probably the furthest thing from a trendsetter. I'd definitely call myself a trend follower before I would dream of calling myself a trendsetter. I never know what "the next big thing" is going to be, and frankly I'm totally ok with letting other people do the figuring out. However, I totally called it that podcasts were on the rise. I knew they were going to be big, and they really are starting to be hot and trendy... at least I think they are. So go me for being ahead of the curve. For once. Pats on the back are well deserved in my book.

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As you know, I just got my wisdom teeth removed. I haven't been able to sleep so well with all the medicines that I have been taking, so I popped on a podcast and it was an instant soother. It was also an inspiration kickstarter. I love listening to the radio (i.e. some segments on NPR) but being able to choose the topic of the podcast makes it all the cooler. I decided to compile a list of podcasts that I've recently discovered regarding blogging and creative inspiration. I haven't listened to all of them and some of them I just downloaded like .02 seconds before writing this post so bare with me.

_DSC0035 Here's my list:

  • The Lively Show
  • How They Blog
  • Elise Gets Crafty
  • Smart Passive Income
  • After The Jump
  • Seanwes Podcast

I have an iPhone and simply downloaded these podcasts through the Podcast App on my phone. It was super simple and each of these podcasts listed are free which is an added bonus! Let me know if you listen to any of these podcasts or if you have any that you listen to currently that I should add to my list.

Also, just for the heck of it, let's play trend spotter. Do you know of anything that's going to be "the next big thing?" I'd love to hear it! xox, Chloe

Post Wisdom Teeth Removal | A Rambling

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

wisdometeethgraphicAs I write this, it’s 6am on a morning that I don’t have to be up for school. Parent-teacher conferences are a life-line from above, saving teenagers from having to do their homework last minute on a Sunday night after a very short break from school. So why am I up, you ask? Because yesterday I was lucky (jokes) enough to get my wisdom teeth out. I’m post wisdom teeth rambling, blame the drugs. For those of you who have yet to endure this life altering process, have no fear. It took, what felt like, five minutes. I got to the office, they injected me with some “blissful sleep meds” (as quoted by my doctor), and then I woke up and was wheel chaired to my car. I was planning on having my mom film a video of me, but I wasn’t funny, which was a huge bummer because I really wanted to be on the Ellen Show. I guess I can’t count on drugs bringing me to my fame and fortune.

Anyway, it’s 6 am of the morning after, and I was doing my hourly scroll through Instagram and came across a guy’s post (@seanwes and the link to his podcast is in his Insta bio). In it, he mentioned how he has a podcast that talks about all things creative. Because I had absolutely nothing better to do, and I’m interested in the spike of podcast content recently, I decided to take a listen. I started with one called “Topic Ideas So You Never Run Out of Things to Write About.” It honestly couldn’t have come at a better time, because lately, I’ve been feeling like blogging but I’ve also been feeling like I don’t have anything to blog about. Can I blame my Senioritis on this too??

wisdomteethgraphic2

So as I was listening — at the time I’m writing this, I’ve only listened to about 15 minutes worth, but it’s already that inspiring — I decided that I wanted to write a post every day for two weeks. Sometimes the posts might be crappy. Sometimes the posts might reveal how amazing of a creative soul I am (right?). Sometimes the posts might be flat-out dumb, but I think writing one post for fourteen days is totally do-able. I’m not putting a length requirement on. In fact, the only requirement is that I have to make (not find) a visual to go along with the post.

So there you have it, a promise from me to you that I’m going to actually be blogging again. Hopefully I’m not writing this in a drugged state of mind — back to my wisdom teeth — but even if I am I hope to keep this promise. And with that, I guess, I’ll ask if you have any post recommendations. Feel free to leave a recommendation or piece of inspiration (ie prom, awkward stories, DIY). If I end up using your  inspiration, and you want me to, I’ll link to your blog and social media sites so be sure to leave those in the comments! I'm just that kind of a soul.

Thanks for reading! xox, Chloe

Fitness Motivation

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

It’s officially December, and you know as well as I do what that means…. food. Actually, food in excess. Thanksgiving is basically foreshadowing the way we plan to eat in December. Every meal is treated like our last, I’m talking breakfast, lunch, and dinner equates to full fledged feasts. Now don’t get me wrong, I love food. In fact, I love food so much that it’s starting to become a problem. I feel like, this past week alone, I gained twenty pounds. I might be exaggerating but I did eat a lot. It’s not that I regret it, but I do want to stay fit and fab, so balance is definitely key.

A little known fact about me is that I was on a club swim team from first through ninth grade. I took a little break but I’m now officially back to swimming on my high school’s swim team and it feels fantastic. I’m now totally obsessed with working out and all things healthy (even though I do eat in excess sometimes… *cough after swim practice bonding meals cough*) so here’s what I’ve been loving lately relating to fitness and healthy habits.

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-Blogilates: it’s basically your own personal trainer. Casey makes videos at least once a week and they’re all fabulous. There are workouts for every part of your body, and some of my favorites include The Ultimate Body Workout, Lower Belly Flattener, and Perfect Legs Workout. The videos are super easy to follow and I totally recommend taking a few minutes everyday (right before I shower is the prime time for me) to do a little something positive for your body.

-lululemon has been on point lately. I know they had their see through legging scandal recently, but seriously go check out their new arrivals. They have some amazingly fab things. It’s like workout gear from the future. This tank is gorgeousthese socks are too cute, and these leggings are way too cool.

-Drinking water is so good for your health, but sometimes it feels like such an inconvenience. That’s why having a cute and cool water bottle is so important. I was searching through my cabinets the other day trying to find a good water bottle for swimming and I discovered an oxo one deep in the darkness. I took it to school and then to swimming and got more compliments on it than ever. It was flattering and I now drink a bunch of water.

So there you have it, three ways to increase your fitness motivation. I hope that helps you stay inspired and energized throughout this fattening month. Let me know if you have any healthy recipes… I love discovering new ones!

xox Chloe

oh app-y day

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

fave apps Life is like the App Store, there’s a million options you just have to know which ones to download. If you don’t think that metaphor makes sense then we can’t be friends, just sayin’. Just kidding. Well half kidding. Anyway. Moving on.

I recently upgraded from the old iPhone four (sans Siri) to the brand spanking new iPhone 5. The gold one. That has Siri. I’m feelin’ fab. Since I upgraded to a new phone I decided that I should also upgrade my apps. Out with the old (ie Temple Run and Angry Birds) and in with the new. Today I’m going to share my top three new favorite apps. I’m actually obsessed with them and you will be too. Ok ready? Here they are in no particular order…

1. Evil Apples: If you’re an Apples to Apples fanatic like me, then this game is a must download. I have my seventh period off and my friends and I all go to the same room to “do homework” which usually ends up in us playing a highly competitive game of Evil Apples. It’s basically Cards Against Humanity in app form. Seriously the bomb diggity. 2. Riffsy Keyboard: I found this app through Man Repeller and haven’t looked back since. It’s basically a Gif Keyboard. It works like emojis so the gifs are always at your beck and call. They’re almost too convenient if that’s possible. Go read this post to find out more! 3. Yik Yak: As you might know, I’m a senior in high school and I’m in the whole applying to college process. It’s stressful, and it’s not fun. My future is literally on my kitchen table. However, the idea of college is fun. My cousin told me about this app called Yik Yak and it’s basically anonymous Twitter for colleges. It’s hilarious and it gives a behind the scenes look at what the college students really think and feel about their college. I highly suggest downloading it even if it's just for the laughs.

What are your favorite apps as of late? I'd love to know so I can download them! xox Chloe

Bloggers Go Unplugged

BLOG TIPS, EXTRASKim & Chloe

unpluggedHappy September y'all. Isn't it crazy that we only have four more months of the year 2014. It has seriously flown by.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I'm going to be MIA for the week. Well not completely, but my bloggy besties and I were talking recently about how stressful blogging can be when life is whirling around you. I know for me these past few months have been absolutely insane, between interning in NYC, to moving across the country, to starting a new high school for my senior year. It's. Been. Crazy. I feel like I haven't had any time to just sit and relax and my blog friends are feeling the same way. We decided that we should start this little campaign so that we can remember that blogging is supposed to be fun and not feel like a chore. I will be posting sporadically throughout the week, because I love blogging too much to completely drop everything, but know that every post from here on out is written with a love of blogging. Also, you might have noticed my Instagram hiatus lately. I just haven't been enjoying posting so I didn't post. Sorry if you've missed me and I promise I'll be back soon.

Preptista, Citrus & Style, Stripes & Peonies, and The Blonde Prep will also be participating.

If you want to join in on this "Bloggers Go Unplugged" deal, then feel free to! We all need a little break sometimes. xox Chloe

Behind the Gram

EXTRAS, FASHION, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

These Behind the Gram posts have been popping up lately, and I decided to jump on the train before it left the station. This post is quite embarrassing, but please know that if you laugh you're laughing WITH me and not AT me. jcrewtop

What it looks like: omg, just went shopping and have to show off my new fabulously perfect shirt.

What really happened: yeah, this shirt is fabulously perfect and I wanted to show it off, but when I was shopping at the store I picked up a size below my size and then bought it without trying it on. I then proceeded to ask the guy at the checkout if it was final sale (it was) when I was buying it and I still bought it without trying it one (why?! i never do that!). My mom continued shopping around the store and I started freaking out that I bought the wrong size. I then asked a different sales person if I could try on a dress so that I could actually try on this shirt. It was a size too small. But, I accidentally ripped off the tag when I was taking it off after trying it on. I then went back to the sales guy and told him that I “accidently picked up the wrong size and the tag fell off and I don’t know how that happened but can I exchange this shirt for a size bigger.” Long story short, this shirt was a nightmare to buy but well worth it because I got an Instagram out of it and it's fabulous and it was on super sale.

nyc

What it looks like: four professional models on the loose in nyc. everyone beware because we feel more fabulous than we look.

What really happened: I saw someone post an Instagram in Lincoln Center that was super cute so I wanted to recreate the picture. I made Frannie, Caroline, and Sammy hunt for this wall. We then found it and made a random lady take a few pictures of us. The first time she took the pictures they didn’t turn out well so I asked her to take them again. She seemed annoyed, but I really needed her to get the shot. Also, this random dude (it wasn’t Bill Cunnigham, but I’m convinced it was someone on that caliber of awesome) was taking our picture too?

macaroons

What it looks like: hehe, just me being clever and messing around with my macaroons and the focus on my camera.

What really happened: The other interns and I went to Broadway Bites for lunch one day, I brought my lunch that day but still went because I wanted to bond with the other interns and get out of the office for half an hour. I was browsing around while the other girls were ordering their food and I found some macaroons. They were really expensive so I told the guy working the booth that “I’ll be back” so I could nicely leave without saying that his macaroons were too expensive for me. Then the other interns told me I should buy something so I went back to the macaroon guy and bought a macaroon. He remembered me and gave me one for free. I’m pretty he gave me a free one  because I looked good in my party pants because I had already gotten the FedEx guy to give me a reduced price on a package I had to ship earlier that day. I swear, THE PANTS ARE MAGIC. Also, I picked red and blue because America was playing in the World Cup that day and I wanted to seem festive.

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What it looks like: chloe here, reporting live from trendyville. I just happened to stumble in this coffee shop with fancy tiled floors. Also, I’m part of the Birks train so I’m cool.

What really happened: I had planned my whole day in nyc around finding a this one super trendy ice cream place. It was a 25 minute subway + walk from my apartment and it was at least 100 degrees out but I really wanted fancy ice cream. I had the address pulled up on my phone but I couldn’t find it anywhere! I was so frustrated and so hot. But on the way to the ice cream shop I stumbled across Lafayette. I bought a coffee just so I could take a picture of my feet on their floor. As I was paying for my coffee I accidentally pulled out a tampon and a guy was at the register, but I was so hot and so annoyed I couldn’t find my ice cream place that I didn’t even care. Then I took like 89052431 pictures because I had to make sure it was in focus. I then got out of there super fast because it was an awkward fest.

kicks

What it looks like: Just casually showing off my new kicks.

What really happened: my mom can’t really take pictures that well so I made her be my model. she had to lay on the floor and kick her feet up so we could take a cute picture of these shoes. Her back hurt that day so she was mad that she had to lay on the floor for 10 minutes while I tried to take the perfect shot. Also, we hung a huge white piece of paper right in front of our door because that’s where the best light was. I’m pretty sure our neighbors and mailman thought we were insane.

Hope you like this post! If you want me to do a round two then let me know! xox Chloe

How To Style Pictures On A White Background

BLOG TIPS, EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

I’ve been getting a few emails recently asking how I take styled pictures on a stark white background. White backgrounds, for a blogger, are so important in showing items. The white allows the items to “pop” off the screen. White backgrounds as so important. The only problem is that sometimes the white isn’t so white. Often times the white turns out more on the yellow or grey side. And it can be VERY annoying. changing backgrounds in photos to white Today I’m going to save the day and tell you how I take my pictures on a white background so the white turns out white.

1. I use a white poster board as a background. They are cheap, moveable, and perfect for the job. 2. I then place my poster board near a window and turn off all lights. Natural light is the only way to go. Sometimes I have to wait until the next day to take pictures if I run out of time. It’s worth the wait to have natural light, trust me. 3. I shoot my camera on manual mode. This means that I can pick how exposed I want my picture. I typically overexpose my pictures on white backgrounds so that the white will be brighter. Sometimes overexposing doesn’t work (if you’re shooting a white or light colored object) so you just have to play around with it! 4. Once I am finally happy with a picture (sometimes it takes 100 shots of the same exact scene just with different angles) I upload the pictures on my computer. I then pick the one that looks best at first, aka minimal editing. 5. I then upload the picture in Photoshop and work around with it. I ALWAYS fix the “levels,” so that’s my starting point. I then also play around with the brightness and exposure. It usually depends on the picture for the amount you choose to apply of each. It’s like makeup ladies, the amount depends on the occasion.

_DSC0026_DSC0017whitefruitBEFORE

the before

This is for "levels" in Photoshop. ARROW

LEVELS sometimes you just gotta place a poster board in the middle of your kitchen to get the best light (even if it makes your dad mad because "you have an entire basement and and an office to do your work")

white background after

the after!

So there you have it! It’s pretty simple, but it did take me forever to figure it out. Taking styled pictures on a white background isn't always a piece of cake, but once you learn the process and practice you'll figure it out! Sometimes I just can’t get it so I start the whole process over with different natural light. I swear, the amount of natural light (or time of day) can completely screw you over or help you out.

Please let me know if this helped you out! I’d love to see your white background photos so tag us in your photo on social media (@popcosmo).

xox, Chloe

@popcosmo on Instagram

Teen Blogger Showcase

BLOG TIPS, EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
preptista_

Earlier this month I attended Smart Girls Summit and had the amazing opportunity to meet some fabulous bloggers that are my age. One of the girls that I met was absolutely adorable and as sweet as can be so I decided to interview her for our Teen Blogger Showcase series. Meet Sammy. Like I said, Sammy is a sweetheart. She’s incredibly fashionable (duh, she has a fashion blog) and her Instagram game is always on point. Be sure to follow her blog and her Instagram, you won’t be sorry! xox, Chloe

preptista

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!

3 simple steps to make a round picture

All, BLOG TIPS, EXTRASKim & Chloe

Have you seen all those cute round avatars or round pictures on sidebars? It took me forever to make ours until I learned how simple it could be! So I'm sharing the simple way to make a round picture with you. The secret is... my favorite photo editing tool: PicMonkey - and if you aren't using it then I suggest you start. If you are, then you already know it rocks. (And no, they are not paying me to say this - but I'd say the same thing if they were! I just love them, plain & simple.) PicMonkey is a very simple photo editor and is quite intuitive. Chloe uses PhotoShop and loves it, but it's complicated to simple folk like me. And there are rumors of a rental fee now, so it doesn't seem like a great time for me to start learning it. chloe - 60's plain

Something I learned recently is that it is quite simple to take any online photo and and turn it into a round picture. I should have learned this a long time ago, but just wasn't experimenting enough! Not only can you make a round picture, but you can also make it look fun and funky in an instant.

Here's how: 1. Drag a picture to the PicMonkey editor.

2. In Basic Edits CROP the photo to make it square by simply making the actual size of equal length and width.

PicMonkey tips

How to use PicMonkey

3. in Frames under Rounded Corners, round them until you have formed a circle by dragging the corner radius to 222 degrees. Click "transparent corners." And then you have your round picture!

making pictures round

PicMonkey Tips & Tricks

To get funky with your round picture... goto Effects and play!

chloe - 60'stint

 

Well now, that's as easy as... 1, 2, 3! So what are you waiting for? Jazz up your photos and start making them round pictures! It's not hip to be square :)

Any questions? Leave them in the comments! Or do you have another way to make round pictures -- I'd love to hear!

Blog comments: why, how, and the #1 tip you have to know now

All, BLOG TIPS, EXTRASKim & Chloe
blog tips

I must confess, I've debated a while whether to write a post about blog comments. Seriously, everyone comments and everyone knows how to comment... right? {Obviously that's a rhetorical question or we wouldn't be here!} I finally decided to write this after (1) I realized that it took me a long time to learn what I've learned, and (2) I thought I knew the "1 tip you have to know now" and realized I was still making the mistake. Whoopsy-daisy!!  I thought to myself, and out loud to Chloe, "Well, if I'm making this mistake, at least I can save someone else a bit of frustration & trouble!"  Sooooo, here are our top blog comments tips!

blog comments

1. You can build a community just by commenting on other blogs.  If your comments are non-existent to sporadic, start sharing the love. Find some blogs you truly like and leave heartfelt comments. Not a simple "nice" or "cute" but a comment that adds to the post and shows you actually read it. If the blogger has time, is curious, and is interested in building relationships, they will pop over to your blog and likely leave a comment if they like your blog. I've built fantastic purely online relationships with people such as Jen of PinkWhen, Meghan of Meghan Silva, Alicia of Spashionista, and so many others simply by enjoying their blogs and leaving comments. Chloe has made great friends online through blogging. We can always count on our blog friends to check out our new posts, and we try my hardest to the same with them and so many other fab supporters of ours.

2. Don't ask people to follow you in your comments.  If people like your blog, they will follow you. If they don't, they won't. Asking them to follow is akin to following them around in real life and asking them to be your friend. Nobody would do that after kindergarten, so why do it online?

3. If you don't have something nice to say, then don't comment.  It's that simple. It's like seeing a friend in an outfit you don't like. If they don't truly want your opinion, you really don't have to give it to them. Mom's keen advice still holds true.

4. If a blogger asks a question, answer it. Unless you don't want to. I try to because it shows I read the post, but sometimes it's just a prompt for the blog reader. However, if you have something to say (see #1) then go ahead and leave your interesting and heartfelt comment!

And the #1 tip you must know:

5. Make sure your comment links back to your blog!! So simple, yet... We always visit every blog that leaves a comment on ours. Always. Well, ok, almost always. We alway try to visit, at least! Yet, I'd say that 50% of the blog comments leave links that are dead ends. Test yours. If you leave your name, but no link, it's difficult to reciprocate and visit you, and we all know what happens when something is difficult. It's not personal, but on to the next blog or comment, right?

If you are leaving a google/blogger link, make sure it links to your blog. If you are leaving a Disqus link... make sure it links to your blog. For instance, if your comment link to Twitter, then you are telling me to follow you on Twitter and not to visit your blog. That's fine, but you  might be wondering why people aren't visiting your blog after you went on a blog reading spree and left bunches of comments. Log in and check your settings and profile!! Almost every blog has a different type of commenting system - so test each system out AFTER you leave the comment! Click your link and see where it goes (you may need to log out to see.) If your comment doesn't show up right away (due to a spam filter) write the name of the blog down and visit later. Once you've checked all your comments for a week or so and they are linking back to you, you should be golden and receiving tons of comments back from all of your friends that you are visiting!

Questions people have asked me about blog comments:

Should I leave a signature (and how do I do it) with my blog name?  Sometimes we do, and sometimes we don't. If Popcosmo is highlighted when I leave a comment,and it's obvious that you can click on it to access our blog, then we typically don't leave a signature unless it's the first time we've visited that blog. If it's not highlighted, then do it! Plus, if you are not sure if the link goes directly to your blog, then do it. Once, you can confirm which commenting systems link back, you can stop leaving signatures. We don't like to be repetitive & redundant, haha.

How do I leave a signature? Obviously it's personal, but ours is: xox ~kim & chloe @ popcosmo.com  which is typed in as: xox ~kim & chloe @ <a href="http://www.popcosmo.com">popcosmo.com</a>  We used to have separate ones, but we are starting to become one person, it seems!

How exactly does commenting build a community? I should clarify that obviously 1 comment won't build a community. It takes time & you have to visit your list of blogs regularly! A great way to remember which blogs to visit is to build a list in Bloglovin' and set up a group for your commenting BFFs. Check it regularly and comment regularly and you'll see the love returned.  Let me know if you need help with Bloglovin' and I'll address that in another post!

Should I leave my email address? I never do, but if you have asked a question that you want to have answered and won't be returning to the blog to check the answer, then you should let the blogger know you'd like an email, but they might not always have time to respond! In Blogger, under Edit Profile, you have to check "Show my email address," in Disqus, I receive an email address. We have had plenty of conversations on our site when readers ask for information, especially pertaining to our DIY and Beauty posts. But, we've also responded to emails, they just take a lot longer.

I hope you found this helpful!

Do you have any questions about commenting or Bloglovin'? Let us know!

3 Ideas for Blog Post Titles that get Clicks

BLOG TIPS, EXTRASKim & Chloe
blog tips

blog post titles Now that you know how to create irresistible blog post titles that will rank in SEO and get your readers clicking, how do you actually come up with a cool and catchy title? What if you aren't the creative type who can use a keyword and turn it into a title treasure (as suggested in step 5 here)? Here are a few tips to take the guesswork out of creating blog post titles:

1. Numbers rule!

Just make a list. Seriously, who doesn't love a list, unless it's a list of things you have to do around the house, or the bane of my existence, the grocery list.

Everybody responds to

  • 5 Steps to ____
  • 6 Killer Resources for ___
  • 10 Surprising Secrets about ___
  • 7 Ways to ____
  • Top 10 lists

Your lists can be about anything, from fashion to ideas, to ways to wear something to brands you love, to reasons you should blog.

2. Lead the way

"How to" headlines have been some our most successful posts, such as "How to do a French Manicure Effortlessly", "How to shop for Vintage Clothes" and "Cake Pops - how to make the best ever". You see that a "how to" post or video can relate to almost any blog topic and can help a reader feel that you are on their side and we all face the same problems, which we do.

Examples include the basic How to, and progress to

  • How to ___, even if (describe the obstacle)
  • How to ____, like a (describe the goal) i.e., How to dress like Gwynneth Paltrow on a real girl's budget, or How to get in the college of your dreams with the SAT scores of your nightmares

These are posts where you are helping your reader solve a problem - we love these!

3. The Simple Life

Show your readers how your post is going to make their life more simple. Just think of the über-simplifier of them all: Real Simple magazine, which makes simple an art!

If you were writing about, let's say, blog writing, some topics might be:

  • Simplify your blog writing process
  • Take charge of your blog instead of it taking charge of you
  • Shortcuts to blogging
  • The Zen of Blogging
  • The blog checklist: simplifying your blog writing process
  • How to grow your blog audience in 5 minutes
  • Blog hacks; The Blog Cheat Sheet

You could substitute motorcycle repair or getting your baby to sleep or making kale chips and these could all apply (with some tweaks, of course)!

Still stumped? These posts have some great blog post titles and ideas to overcome writers block:

SITS Girls logallot Michelle Shaeffer The Future Buzz

One last super-secret killer tip that works every time, for us: if you have more than one great idea for a title and can't decide which would be better for SEO, then use one as a title and use the other as a Meta Keyword! This way, you get the benefit of both!!  And if you don't know what a Meta Keyword is and you are on WordPress, ask me about WordPress SEO by Yoast. And no, they didn't pay me to say that.

Happy Writing! XO, Kim and Chloe

 

How to create an irresistible blog title

BLOG TIPS, EXTRASKim & Chloe
blog tips

We all know that a catchy blog title can make you click, not only when you first publish your blog, but also when you promote on social media... it can help generate more clicks on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. But there is even more benefit to a blog title: your post can be read for years after your initial posting because of a catchy  & SEO friendly title. Yep, years. If your content is evergreen (meaning it isn't time sensitive) then year after year, your post can climb in Google rankings and keep getting clicks. how to create an irresistible blog title

So how do you craft a title that people can't resist AND google can't resist? Here are the steps I go through, but keep in mind we are no SEO experts, just bloggers! And although some may scoff, we are pretty happy that we had over 1 million pageviews in our 1st full year of blogging and most of our traffic now comes from Google searches. These are our 5 steps to creating an irresistible blog title:

1. The chicken or the egg? That is... the post or the title? For me it's a little of both: Chloe and I have an idea for a post and we write it first. Whoever writes the post creates a title, but knows it may change. You'll see why in Step 5. So, before you even start writing, think of what you (or your target demographic) would search for if you (or they) were doing a search for the post you are writing. Make that search your title.

Example for this post: how to craft a great blog title, how to write a blog title, blog post titles, writing blog titles, creating blog titles

2. We write our post around our (draft) title. Use your keywords in your post, especially towards the beginning of your first paragraph.

3. Use free resources. My can't-miss step that changed our blog from being visited to being highly trafficked: Google Keywords and the WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin. Once you are happy with your post, go to Google Keywords and type in your keywords. You'll get some great ideas for your post. Also type in your blog title. You might get more ideas or you might see that nobody is searching for your title, which means we take a 2nd look at our post topic. Sometimes we are ahead of our time with a topic (for instance, we might didn't get serious interest in how to make cake popshow to make american flag jean shorts,  how to wear boyfriend jeanshow to wear a denim vest, or decorating notebook covers for months), but sometimes we are simply using the wrong words.

Example for this post: keyword = blog title; titles = create a blog title, good blog titles, writing blog titles, steps to creating blog titles

4. While in Google Keywords, select keywords with these requirements and jot them down:

  • longtail keywords (3 or more words in a search term)
  • low competition
  • high searches (either local or global depending on your target demographics)

5. Write a catchy title. Now that you have a list of longtail keywords that are searched a lot, but don't have much competition, return to your post and use your favorite one to write a catchy title, using your creativity! Use your keywords in your title, but keep it concise, relevant and actionable. And use these new keywords in your post as well -- re-read your post and make sure it is relevant to your new title, and if not, make edits.

Once I decide on the keywords and title, I don't worry so much about my title being searched. My goal is that I want the keyword to be SEARCHED and my title to be CLICKED. I'm not sure if SEO gurus would agree (titles rank highly in Google algorithms), but as you scroll through search results, what are you going to click on? Yep, a title!

Voilá, the steps you have taken have just helped you craft a title that is both searchable and clickable, and will hopefully keep climbing in Google!

What are your steps to creating a blog title? 

Note: We were kind of nervous about writing this post since we are "just bloggers," not SEO experts!! But we have "friends who know things" who shared their tricks with us and we have read lots & lots & lots.... ok, ok, we're geeks. If you spot any misinformation, correct us. If you have more info, share it below!

 {UPDATE: 2nd in series published - 3 ideas for Blog Post Titles that get Clicks - (it has quick tips for #5: how to write a catchy title)}

 

 

What to wear to Kentucky Oaks

FASHIONKim & Chloe
kentucky oaks

For some people the beginning of May is all about flowers or Cinco de Mayo, but if you are into horses, mint juleps, big hats, bourbon, anything preppy, or just like parties in the South then you know it's Derby time. The Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby that is! In Louisville, Kentucky Derby doesn't just mean "the fastest 2 minutes in sports" it's also an entire month of festivities culminating in The Kentucky Oaks. It's the fillies race, or the lillies for the fillies, the Friday before the Kentucky Derby.

Oaks Day, as we locals (um, I've been here like 3 years already!) like to call it, is a day off from school for the kids and a day at the races for the parents! It's also a day that everyone, guys included, wears pink to show their support in the fight against breast cancer.

A day at Churchill Downs is a once in a lifetime experience with fun fashion, beautiful people, and gorgeous horses! And who doesn't love to put on a fascinator or big floppy hat and spend a day just watching the fashion show and a the best horses in the world?!

What to wear to Kentucky Derby

fascinator: Minuet Petit/ clutch: Prada/ dress: Tibi/ shoes: Ann Taylor

 Check back tomorrow for some Derby fashion, and let us know if you've been to Louisville for Oaks or Derby!

 

Senior Pictures

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
senior picture tips

Fast forward 20 years. Your daughter has entered high school and wants to see your yearbook and senior pictures, or your sweet 16 pictures! A wave of fear overcomes you as you carefully explain that they must have been destroyed in a hurricane! Thanks to Shannon, our guest blogger from Prep Avenue, you'll be spared embarrassment as she shares tips and tricks on how to take fantastic photos for Senior Pictures (Juniors, start taking tips now!) and Sweet 16 photos... or any other grand occasion pics. how to take good senior pictures

The last thing you want is to be humiliated. Senior pictures are something that last a lifetime. They get hung on multiple walls throughout your house, get placed in your senior yearbook for the whole school to see, printed on graduation announcements, carried around in your dad’s wallet, and if its up to your mom posted all over Facebook!

senior picture tips ideas

There are a couple tips and tricks I have learned from being a senior myself about the do’s and don’t of senior pictures, which would also apply to Sweet 16 photos or any other photos for a special occasion.

1. Do your homework- One of the smartest things you can do in preparation for your shoot is to make Pinterest your best friend. Do your research! Pinterest is the perfect place to get inspiration and ideas to show your photographer exactly what you’re aiming for. Printing off a few of your favorites, along with a list of suggestions will help your photographer make your experience the perfect Senior Shoot.

2. Stalk photographers- What I mean by stalk, is really look in to a variety of photographers. I found my photographer through Google but I looked at a number of websites before I found the perfect one for me. Most photographers have websites and blogs that allow you to look at their past work. This will help you decide if you like their “style”. I also learned the hard way to ask for a price list before you decide. Pictures are very expensive and some offer deals for the off -season.

3. Simplicity is key- I highly suggest not going overboard on the jewelry, hair, clothes, and especially the makeup. Bright, overwhelming patterns will take the emphasis off of you! It is important to bring 4 to 5 outfits with you so you can change based on the back- drop and setting.

4. Speak up- Do not be afraid to tell your photographer what you like or don’t like. Use your voice. If you don’t like the way they posed you for a picture, then share your suggestions. This is your shoot, you should get what you want.

5. Plan- The night before, plan out every outfit, down to the accessories. I also suggest trying the outfit on, especially if it contains something new that you have never worn before. Keep in mind hot pink polka dots don’t look great under white pants.

6. Know when to stop- Keep the make-up very simple. I suggest doing the same makeup routine you do everyday. Steer away from any bright or bold eye shadow colors. Remember, you want to show your children these photo’s one day! Think natural and neutral!

7. Practice makes perfect- As lame as this sounds it’s completely true. As embarrassing as it is, practice your poses in the mirror. This will give you more confidence and you will feel more comfortable when you’re posing in front of the camera. Another great idea is to look back at all your Facebook pictures. Find pictures that you really like of yourself and really study why you like it so much. This can help you figure out what poses look best on you.

8. Props- Good ole’ props! So I think there is a fine balance when using props. They can either make or break a picture. I decided to stay away from most props to avoid the cheesiness that often comes with senior pictures. I decided to bring my cruiser bike and a picture of myself when I was little. Other good ideas are:

Guitars Umbrellas Balloons Sport Equipment People! (As in best friends or siblings)

9. Weather.com- Be aware of the weather outside. It’s important to know what time of year you want your pictures taken. Most photographers really play off the seasons. There’s pluses and minus for all seasons, but know what kind of outfits you want to incorporate and go from there. The last think you want is to be standing outside in the height of winter with goose-bumps because you want a picture in your favorite dress!

10. BE YOURSELF- This is the most important tip. Know what makes you, well you. If you aren’t a guitar player, don’t pose with a guitar. These pictures are symbols of who you are today.

Look how my senior pictures turned out!

Say Cheese!

P.S. Although I have a tendency to get super awkward and stiff behind cameras, I have found it really helps if you just relax. Take a deep breath. The more relaxed you look, the more natural (and less cheesy) your pictures will come out!

 

How to Clean your Makeup Brushes

BEAUTYKim & Chloe
cleaning makeup brush

You know the drill, if you clean your face every day, (ahem- ideally twice a day) your skin will reward you by being clearer and brighter. Using dirty brushes puts old makeup, bacteria and dead skin cells *eww* back on your clean face, obviously defeating the purpose of washing! Plus, your makeup is not being applied as effectively as it can be.  But how often should you clean your makeup brushes? You should be wiping off excess makeup after every application. Try to clean makeup brushes once a week if you are using them everyday. If that's not do-able, then at least try for every other week or once a month. It helps prolong the life of your brushes and keeps the bristles clean and soft, and in turn, your brushes can provide years of use.

how to clean makeup brushes

 How to wash your brushes:

1. Wipe your brushes on a paper towel or towel to remove excess makeup.

2. Place lukewarm water in a bowl to the depth of the just below the top of the bristles. The water doesn't need to reach the top of the bristles nor any part of the brush and you definitely do not want water to touch the metal part of the brush or run down into the metal or wood parts.

3. Add just a few drops of baby shampoo,  mild shampoo, pure castile soap, or makeup brush cleaner as directed by the cleanser.

4. Dip the brush in cleanser and swirl for just a few seconds. The brush doesn't need to be saturated.

4. Remove some of the moisture on towel by dabbing on paper towel or towel.

5. Swirl brush in a bowl of plain water to rinse off cleanser.

6. Remove moisture from brush by squeezing between the towel or paper towel.

7. Reshape your brush, and let the bristles hang from the side of your sink so that one side doesn't rest against a flat surface. This helps prevent mildew on the brush.

Washing your face is only part of the picture of makeup application, remember to clean makeup brushes for clean, clear skin and streak free application!