Popcosmo

a blog for everyone and their mothers

holidays

Galentines Day

FASHIONKim & Chloe
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I've never had a Valentine, but I'm sure if I did I'd spend my day being spoiled with chocolate, roses in every color, and maybe a new piece of jewelry. It would be a day all about me, all about love, and all about, wait, did I already say "me?"I like to think that the reason I've never had a Valentine is because boys are intimidated by me and my good looks, but I think it's probably due to the fact that every time I get close to an attractive boy my brain fails me. I stutter, I blush, I get sweaty arm pits, and so on and so forth. I just don't have the ability to be smooth around attractive boys. It's my only* fault in life. *sarcasm

With Valentines Day right around the corner, yet a lack of an actual Valentine, I decided to host a little Galentines party (based on my favorite TV show, Parks and Recreation) with a few of my friends. We decided to make Valentines Day cards for our non-existant boyfriends, eat food (aka Costco cookies and Goldfish), and laugh at our inability to make eye contact with cute boys. Overall, it was a successful day and we had a lot of fun. If you don’t have a Valentines date, or even if you do, I highly suggest getting together with a bunch of girl friends and having a craft party. A little creativity is always fun and makes for good memories! I decided that I'd compile a list of a few cute Galentines Day crafts so that you can jumpstart your party hosting... you're welcome in advance. DIY heart pillow. Perfect for dreaming about holding a conversation with a cute boy. DIY watercolor heart cookies. Because food is a perfectly fine substation for a boyfriend. Food>Boys DIY Piñata love gram.  A great craft to make with a group of friends!

Here are a few pictures from our little party:

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I hope you have a LOVEly Valentines day, especially if no boys are involved ;) 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.

fitness-2

-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

Holiday Dresses

FASHIONKim & Chloe
holidaydresses

It’s hard to believe that another holiday season is amongst us. It seriously feels like I was just shoveling the snow off my sidewalk last week and like the red cups at Starbucks were just here. It’s so strange how days go by so slowly but when you stop and think about which month it actually is your mind gets uber confused and freaked out. I’m not the only one that thinks this, am I? Any way, since the holiday season is here it means that holiday parties are about to be taking over our planners and our social lives. I have zero complaints considering nothing makes me happier than the festiveness of the season and dressing fancier than usual. I decided to compile a list of my favorite holiday dresses for this season. I hope you find a favorite from this list and if not then just enjoy the visuals… I tried to make them somewhat entertaining.

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LOFT holiday dress dress5 dress4 dress2 dress3

black dress | polka dot dress | sweater dress | red dress | woven dress

let me know which dress is your favorite from these picks! xox Chloe

6 gifts I know my mom would love for Mother's Day

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and I’ve been brainstorming the perfect gift to get my wonderful mom this year. I think it’s so hard to buy my mom presents because she never hints at what she wants, and if she does, the item is way out of my price range. So the key to gifting a great present, for me at least, is to buy something that is either fun and cute or something that is practical and she’ll use all the time. I think all of the presents on the gift guide are something that are the perfect mix between practical and fun which make for a great present! This gift guide is probably my most favorite one that I’ve ever made and I totally wouldn’t mind snatching any of these presents for myself. And since my mom and I have the same taste (for the most part) I think she’d be happy with any of these gifts!

mother's day gift guide

1. A BAG that charges her phone!  A catch all bag that is made of buttery smooth leather. All moms need a big bag, and this one is cute to boot! Plus, there’s a built in phone charger since her phone is always dying! Double whammy, double the love!

2. Phone Case My mom is ALWAYS losing her phone. She has the old pink case, but I think it's time for an update, and a bright pink case means it's easier to spot when she sets it down on a shelf. In a store. And walks away. Only so we can go running back for it....

3. POUCH  To help keep my mom organized in her catch-all bag (i.e., glasses, credit card, keys) or to use when she doesn’t want to carry a big bag. It could even be an adorable cosmetic case.

4. CREAM Moms always love lotion. This is such a simple gift but it’ll last her all year long. Be sure to pick out a scent that she always says she loves!

5. FLOWERS The original mother’s day gift, and there is nothing wrong with that. Place your mom’s favorite flowers in a pretty vase and you’ve got a gorgeous gift!

6. CARD Last but not least, a card! My mom always says, "this is all I need." A handwritten note can go far so if you don’t have any extra money laying around (lookin’ at you teenagers) or you just want to give a note along with your gift. Your mom will be happy to know that you took time out of your day to write her a sweet little note!

I’d love to know what you’re getting your mom for Mother’s Day, let me know in the comments! And yeah Mom, now you know what I'm choosing from this year :) xo ~chloe

The World's Best Bourbon Slush Recipe

EXTRAS, RECIPESKim & Chloe

I'm not exaggerating when I say I'm about to share with you the recipe for the world's best bourbon slush: a mint julep slush. I hadn't even heard of a bourbon slush until this week when Chloe and I were hanging out with Christy and Missy making cute Derby fascinators and bow-ties... you know, the sort of thing you do around Kentucky Derby time in Louisville. Christy, of The Bourbon Blush and definitely in-the-know about all things bourbon, shared her morning of Derby routine, which of course included her sought after sweet tea bourbon slushy recipe. Not being a bourbon drinker until recently (I found one I love!) I was curious. So we chatted bourbon, slushies and Feast BBQ while pinning, gluing, and playing with feathers.

Feast BBQ is well-known around Louisville for having fabulous, sinful Bourbon Slushies (known as Bourbon Slush, Bourbon slushy, and Bourbon slushies - take your pick of spellings). They might possibly be the "best in the world," and this little secret is spreading like wildfire. The type of slushies rotates year round (Frozen Mexican Hot Chocolate with Bourbon Slushy anyone?) and in April the slushy was, fittingly, a Mint Julep Slushy in honor of  the Kentucky Derby. The recipe was published by Gilt so I whipped it up in no time at all, tasted and mmmm, delish!  Make up a batch of these slushies and I can pretty much guarantee that your guests will all be asking for the recipe. And the wildfire will keep spreading.

Mint Julep Slush Recipe

  • 4 oz. Bourbon
  • 6 oz. ice
  • 6 oz. brown sugar simple syrup (combine equal parts (1:1) sugar and water in a bottle and shake vigorously until sugar is completely dissolved)
  • 2-3 dashes of Fee Brothers Min & Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
  • Fresh Mint

1. Rub the inside of a glass with the mint. Typically Mint Juleps are served in silver julep cups, but these might more fitting in mason jars.

2. Blend everything together except for the mint.

3. Pour your slushy and garnish with mint and a straw.

And while we're talking Bourbon recipes, if you need something to snack on why not try Maker’s Mark Mint Julep cookies that are served right at the distillery.

Maker’s Mark Mint Julep Cookie Recipe 

Cookie:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely ground oats
  • 2 cups Andes Mint Chocolate Candy pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, sugar and eggs until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and mint chocolate candy pieces. Gradually add to butter mixture until incorporated. Scoop out with a two ounce scoop and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool and add bourbon fudge topping.

Bourbon Fudge Topping:

  • 2 cups melted chocolate chips (milk chocolate or semisweet, whichever you prefer)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Maker's Mark Bourbon

Melt chocolate in double boiler, remove from stove. Add sweetened condensed milk and bourbon and mix until incorporated. Top cooled cookies with warm fudge and enjoy.

Mint Julep Slush and Maker's Mark Mint Julep cookies seem like the perfect way to have Derby day anytime! Enjoy!

What I'd pack for a beach trip...

FASHIONKim & Chloe
beach trip

I'm heading out to colder climes for Spring Break because family comes first and I love my Dad. He's the best. But I wish I was headed off on a beach trip, and this is what I'd be packing in my bag. Maybe I should just hang one of Gray Malin's prints on my wall and that way I could be at the beach everyday, like I used to be when I live there…. spring break

sunnies /bathing suit top / dress / shoes (similar) / tote (similar - but ltd quantities!)/ camera / tee 
If you are heading on a beach trip soon, or just got back, tell me all about it in the comments below, so I can live vicariously. Please.
xo ~chloe

 

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

 

New Year's Resolutions {in Glitter Tights}

FASHIONKim & Chloe

Shimmer TightsAthleta shimmer glitter tights

My New Year's Resolution is to work out more & criticize myself less, but I haven't given't it much thought as I down champagne cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and holiday treats, because I have a few weeks left to indulge before I have to make good on the "more" part of the resolution. Obviously, I need some perspiration inspiration.

Yesterday, I was on my merry way, doing some last minute shopping, but a pile of sparkle and shimmer stopped me in my tracks like a deer before headlights. Gold or glittery, shiny objects have a tendency to do that to me, and I'd never seen workout glitter tights like these Athleta workout tights. Ever. Hmmm, they couldn't feel as good as they looked (could they)? I stepped over expecting the worse, you know: scratchy, thin, and no give. But they're soft and stretchy. My son, both companion and self-imposed shopping interventionist, pulled me along, reminding me I had a shopping agenda… which didn't include me. He pulled me along, sweetly, but firmly, as only a teen son can do. Refocused, I began talking with a salesperson about my list, but casually mentioned the glittery table up front and how cute those yoga / running pants were. She caught the glint in my eye revealing, "You aren't the only one who thinks so! We got them in yesterday and we're already sold out of 2 sizes." Altruism be darned, I ran off and grabbed a pair of glitter tights so fast my son's eyes  couldn't finish rolling before I paid for them. My New Year's resolution now includes sweating glitter.

Have you started thinking about New Year's Resolutions?

xo ~kim

 

Wrapping Pt. 2: "Snowglobe" Gift Tags

DIYKim & Chloe

So we've got our gifts wrapped in a cute wrapping (see our pompom gift wrap) and now it's time for gift tags. We chose to make tags inspired by snow globes. They are not actually snow globes, but these holiday tags totally remind us of them! Shake them up and watch the confetti (or whatever you choose to put inside them) move around. Here's how we made them. Step 1: Gather your supplies:

*we used plastic baggies, but you can use any clear covering such as vellum paper which will give them an "artsy" faded look. We think it would great over a black and white photo with gold glitter "snow"!

supplies for DIY gift tags

Step 2: Make confetti (use a hole punch) or make gold or silver pieces from tinsel or garland. You can also use glitter.snowglobe tags

Step 3: Cut a baggie and use one side as a "wrap" for your tag. You'll be folding it over the top of your tag, so the size baggie you'll need will depend on the size of your tag. We also used vellum paper which gives a completely different look and feel… and the glitter moves more freely without the static from the plastic.

how to make gift tags

Step 4: Make your gift tags or put names on store bought gift tags. We cut corners on our rectangular tags to make them look extra-special gift taggy. (That's a word, right?)

gift tags

Step 5: Use your tape (not pictured in the supplies, oops!) on the back of the gift tag to secure a layer of the baggie on all but one side of the gift tag. On the open side, insert pieces of tinsel, confetti, glitter, etc. Then close the final side and secure. The first photo below (Merry) is using vellum. The others are using plastic.

DIY confetti gift tags

shake it gift tags

make your own confetti gift tags

To attach your gift tag to your gift, be creative! We found these adorable mini clips and decided to spray paint them white to attach them to some gifts. Since the back of our tag isn't as gorgeous as the front, it could also be glued or taped to the gift wrap and the entire gift could be shaken (it's non-breakable!). Whatever you use, make sure your tag can move to show how the tinsel shimmers and shines!

snowglobe tags

That's it… simple, fast and fun. Enjoy!

http://popcosmo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/TAGS .jpeg

Ravishing Wrapping Pt. 1: Pom Pom Gift Wrap

DIYKim & Chloe

This pom pom gift wrap is our favorite of the year, which is no surprise considering it's Anthropologie inspired. It's so easy to do, but makes such a statement! And check back soon to see how we made our gift cards. They are so much fun and "snow globe" inspired… meaning just shake them up for a little fun. Now, on to the pom pom gift wrap! DIY Pom Pom Wrap

Step 1: Gather your supplies: a wrapped present, glue dots and pom poms in your choice of color. supplies for anthropologie pom pom wrapping paper

Step 2: Apply glue dots to your wrapped package. Wrapping in craft paper v. white paper or geometric paper is going to give a completely different feel to your finished pom pom gift wrap. Have fun deciding on your look.

Step 3: Apply pompoms to the glue dots and admire! I like a pattern, while Chloe likes random placement. We ended loving them both though. red anthro inspired gift wrap green anthro inspired gift wrap green pompom gift wrap anthroplogie pom pom gift wrap

We're not sure which is more fun… wrapping or unwrapping. Or coming up with ideas for making presents look cute! Have fun and don't forget to check back for our gift tag idea soon. We hope you love it as much as we do!

 

Under $20 Holiday Gift Guide + Massive Giveaway!

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
Under $20 Gift Guide | popcosmo

For our first edition of our holiday gift guide series we are giving you a few under $20 gifts as perfect stocking stuffers, gifts for your besties, or goodies to have on hand just in case. If you’re feeling extra generous, maybe even create a whole goodie basket of a few of these items. I know I would be ecstatic to receive any of these cute choices. Plus, they are totally Instagram worthy and will last a really long time. Am I right? xox ~chloe

Under $20 gift guide

notepad / stationery / essie polish / lip balm / hair flower / candle

EASY CANVAS GIVEAWAY:

Not only can you save some money on some superfantabulous gifts, but you can also WIN an amazing one for yourself (or for some friends & family) and decorate a whole wall (or a bunch of walls) with gallery wrapped canvases from Easy Canvas!

Easy Canvas gallery

Enter to win over $300 in a gallery wrapped canvases:

2 - 16x20" canvases + 1 - 11x14" canvas  + 3 - 8x10" canvases!

So what pictures would we print on canvas? Probably a bunch of our Instagram photos... or maybe some fun sayings... or maybe vacation pictures.... or holiday photos from over the years.... or gosh, the list of ideas just goes on and on! How about you??

Make sure you don't miss out on the Easy Canvas giveaway, and enter below now... the giveaway runs from December 2 - December 9 at 5 am CST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ECP Logo 

Holiday Screensavers

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

We are so ready for the holidays! I can't believe that this week is already Thanksgiving and Hanukkah and then Christmas! Wasn't it just Halloween?  While everyone is decorating trees and mantels, I'm ready to decorate my favorite spot in my room: my computer. My simple gift to you: holiday screensavers (or holiday backgrounds) whichever you prefer to call them. Enjoy! (Download instructions below.) BACKGROUND 1: Because we all need to spread a little, receive a little, and have a little in our lives every day!

Joy Holiday Desktop

BACKGROUND 2: Why choose? {inspired by the Kate Spade phone cases!}

Gold naughty and nice desktop background

BACKGROUND 3: I like to be both!

holiday desktop background {merry happy}

BACKGROUND 4: Confetti your season!

 Holiday Computer Background

TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE ----> JOY | NAUGHTY & NICE | MERRY HAPPY | CONFETTI

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

xox ~chloe

 

Check out what our friends have been up to with their fun holiday DIYS  & stay tuned to our Monday posts for an extra special Holiday Giveaway from Easy Canvas! It’s coming soon! Click each photo to be taken to the full story!

Dropcloth tree skirt1

Subway Art and Reindeer Names Tutorial at PinkWhen.com

big DIY christmas bow

http://popcosmo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Goldnaughty-copy .jpg

Red, White & Cute

FASHIONKim & Chloe
Blue & white 2

4th of july outfit

red white and blue

Blue & white

red white, and blue outfit

red white and blue - subtly

shirt: forgotten, but love! | pants: Forever 21 | shoes: Jack Rogers | nail polish: Essie Clambake | watch: Michael Kors | Necklace: Forever 21

Not only is this my 4th of July outfit, this is one of my fave outfits. I wear this as often as I can. Since the shirt is linen, it's one of those outfits I couln't just grab from the closet since the shirt gets rumpled pretty quickly, but I've found a solution. I bought a steamer. And it was only $20 and works amazingly well. No more dry cleaner, which will not only make me happy, since I always forget my clothes are there - it will make my mom deliriously happy. And did I mention the steamer was only $20. I may not even have to iron any more.

But back to this outfit - the reason I love it? It's easy, comfortable and goes anywhere, even if it's not the 4th of July. Which it is. Which is why my nails are red. And how about that nail color? And the name, which of course is why I pick colors. If only I was at a clambake -- which I've never been to but sounds almost as fun as s shrimp boil on a beach, which is always a blast and might be the southern version of a clambake?

Happy 4th to you - what are you doing to celebrate? and if you've been to a clambake, let me know what I'm missing!

Father's Day Ideas

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
father's day ideas

What inpsires your Father's Day Ideas? For us, it's all about what's been going on my husband's life and what he's "into" and, unfortunately, it's been a rough couple of weeks for my husband. He loves sports, watching, coaching, and playing. Lately, he hadn't had much time to play, but that had all been about to change when he joined a group of guys to play lacrosse weekly and get his weekend warrior on again. But it wasn't meant to be... his first time out on the field and he was on his way to the emergency room.  A few crutch-filled weeks later and life has once again settled into a routine. Albeit a much slower paced one.

father's day cards

image

So, next weekend, it's time to treat him like a king, even if his throne will be a couch and his court will be on the tv. We will be celebrating him. He deserves it, and not just because he's somewhat puppy-dog pitiful, but because he's truly a fantastic father who loves Chloe and Reis with all his heart. There are some fun Father's Day Ideas on the list and some necessities, because he always asks for things he needs and buys the things he wants. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around!?!fathers day ideas

 

1. Jack Spade watch $328 - classic and timely. Retro and modern. Just like him.

2. Coach Bag $568 - If you follow us on Instagram, you know he already received this bag as a "get well bag" recently. You might not know that he hasn't put it down yet. Only a slight exaggeration! He appreciates the practicality of the bag - it holds documents and computer by day, and clothes and overnight necessities on weekends.  I appreciate that it's supple leather and adds style. Highly recommended from him to anyone needing a practical and stylish all-around bag.

3. Collar Stays $20 - It's the little things that count. Like collars that don't flap and collars that don't bend. At least that what he says. These collar stays have a little magnet that keep the collar down whether it buttons or not, tie or no tie. And nobody is the wiser. Nifty little invention. And a very happy hubby.

4. Ribbed Tees $18-$29 - he's hot. As in literally too warm. These undershirts (or tees, depending on what color you buy) are like an AC under his corporate suit, and are fantastic under a dress shirt or alone since they are breathable, don't come untucked, and keep their shape in the wash.  Hubbie tested 2 styles and adores them!!

5. Home Depot Gift Card - Shhh, he's not at all handy, but hasn't come to terms with it yet. That's why a gift card to Home Depot is perfect. They'll steer him in the right direction and won't let him leave without giving him specific directions. Love 'ya Home Depot!

6. Knotz Cufflinks $9.50 - We all love colors and he likes being fashionable. With almost every color combo imaginable available, we like picking out these cufflinks and at less than $10 a pop, we have fun! He loves that they are easy to put on too.

And love you honey, Daddy, Dad & Happy Father's Day!

 

Valentine's Day Freebies

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
valentine's day screensaver

Happy Valentine's Day! One of our favorite holidays is Valentine's Day... not just because it involves hearts, pink + red, or love songs, but because it involves lots and lots of chocolate too. So we went a little crazy, and we hope you do too. Lots of love! Computer backgrounds / Desktop Wallpaper / Prints / Cards

Drag your favorite design to your desktop and follow your computer’s instructions to save as your computer background (typically under System Preferences) or print as cards or print and frame.

If you’re on Twitter we’d love for you to tweet us a picture of your new background (@popcosmo) and/or upload a picture to Instagram and tag us (@popcosmo)! We can’t wait to see your  backgrounds in action.

valentine's download

 

valentine's day screensaver

 

Valentine's day downloadable

 

February downloads

 

Valentine's downloads

 

Card or frameable print

free valentine screensavers

 

Folded Cards 

Print, cut, fold and share with someone special.

valentine freebie

 

valentine card

XOXO, hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Happy Holidays

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

Wishing you the best holiday ever, and we hope you have a safe vacation filled with family love. We'll be on our own little vacation, that you can follow on our Instagram (@popcosmo) or Twitter. We'll post new stories sporadically, while we are busy, busy catching up with friends and family, but we are so excited to share with you that we are working on a makeover for our site, to be revealed in 2013! Merry Merry, Happy Happy... and whatever you celebrate, we hope it's lovely!

~Kim, Chloe and the entire popcosmo family

Hanukah Latkes

EXTRAS, RECIPESKim & Chloe
Our teen chef, Kayla, from The Nerdy Chef, is back with an easy Hannukah Latke recipe for teens and anyone who wants a quick and easy recipe!
Honestly, I've already eaten my fair share of latkes. The little nuggets of potatoes are both creamy and crispy, and Hannukah is the best excuse to eat them. I've been inhaling them for a few weeks already, but it is finally socially acceptable to eat plates and plates of them. This recipe is unbelievably easy to make, so you will never use a box mix again! You simply peel and shred some potatoes, drain off the liquid, mix them with onions, eggs, and some matzo meal to bind the mixture, and fry to your heart's content. It is Hannukah, after all, so don't even bother trying to bake these. You have to fry latkes; one of the main rules of eating during Hannukah is to fry as much as possible to remember the oil that lasted for 8 days. This is one of my favorite holiday recipes, and I know that it will soon become one of yours, too.
chanukah recipe
2 lbs Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes, Peeled
1 Medium Yellow Onion, Quartered
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Matzo Meal
1 1/2 tsp Salt
Oil, for Frying
1. Grate the potatoes. Place in a clean towel over a medium bowl and squeeze to drain the water.
2. Using a food processor, pulse half the potatoes and onions until mostly smooth. Place in a large bowl and add the remaining potatoes. Combine the egg, matzo meal, and salt. Add to the potatoes and mix until cohesive.
3. Heat some oil in a large skillet. Press the potato mixture into small patties and fry until golden and cooked through.
4. Place on a paper towel lined plate until all of the batter is cooked, then place on a platter and serve. Enjoy!
Recipe Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

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

DIY Christmas Decorations

DIYKim & Chloe

DIY Christmas decorations make us smile. And who doesn't love easy DIY Christmas decorations that are gorgeous and unique, plus can be made from supplies you probably already have lying around the house?  But let me back up a step, and ramble a bit: I love my neighbors. They are amazingly nice, wonderfully welcoming, killer cooks, and throw some fabulous parties. To which they invite us. And feed us. And share their recipes. Plus, they excel in presenting the food at their parties and decorating for them, as well as making everyone feel at home, which is a true gift. So when I walked into their latest party and saw this extraordinary mantel decoration, I knew that they would share how they made it. Even though they saw something similar a few years ago and then took years to perfect the design and creation of it on their wall each year, they were thrilled to share how they made it with me... and you! See what I mean, I'm the luckiest neighbor in the world! Here's a breakdown step-by-step from the best neighbors in the world, you know who you are!

The only supplies you need are: 1/2" wide ribbon, lots of pretty ornaments with a wire looped back (see 3rd photo below for details), and a staple gun or strong stapler (depending on where it's being attached). The decoration pictured below hangs from a picture rod, but you could hang yours from anything that will allow you to staple or firmly attach the ribbon to the top and bottom. We think it could look awesome in a doorway or on a bookshelf or staircase... and great in blue and silver for Hanukah! 

DIY holiday decoration

1. Loop the ribbon over the top of the picture rod and staple to the ribbon, or staple directly to the piece it's being mounted to. 2. Then string ornaments on the ribbon in the color of your choice. You can lay the pattern out on the floor beforehand in the size of the space you intend to cover so that you know how many ornaments will be strung on each ribbon and how many ribbons to use for your optimal design.

DIY christmas decorations

The keys to success, according to our wonderful neighbors, is to (a) pull the ribbon as tight as possible when affixing it at the bottom (so it needs to be a strong ribbon that won't tear easily), and (b) make sure you use ornaments with the loops as pictured below. 3) Staple the ribbon at the bottom and cover with bows, garland, etc. to enhance the overall look.

DIY Christmas decorations

4) Once attached, adjust the spacing of the ornaments on each ribbon so that rows are evenly spaced across and down.

DIY christmas decorations

Step back and admire your amazing DIY Christmas decorations! 

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Let's Make Wrapping Paper

DIYKim & Chloe

With the holidays ahead, we were looking for some creative wrapping paper and noticed a continuing chalkboard trend everywhere: from our chalkboard frame, to chalkboard cards for the holidays, to wrapping paper we spotted on our fave shopping site RueLala. We started feeling the craft itch... and decided, "let's make wrapping paper." But you know us, it had to be easy. As in, do-it-blindfolded easy. Our DIY chalkboard wrapping paper is super-simple. All you need is a dark wrapping paper and chalk. You can either go fancy with white chalk markers or go low-brow with sidewalk chalk but we decided somewhere in between was best and used compressed charcoal white sticks. They are perfect for getting sharp lines, but still looking like chalk.

We created 3 different chalkboard wrapping papers, for 3 different looks.  Choose your own to create some erasable fun on your gifts!

make wrapping paper

The most authentic, and the most time consuming, simply because you have to paint on the chalkboard paint and let it dry. It's extremely simple though!

1. Collect items needed: marking tape, paintbrush, chalkboard paint, gift wrapped in sturdy wrapping paper (any color), chalk. 2. Mark area to be painted with chalkboard paint and paint 2 coats, letting each coat completely dry. 3. Peel tape and chalk your sentiments!

make wrapping paper

For this wrapping paper, we simply used black paper and white chalk. The drama says it all. A little red & green to top it off... if you must.

make holiday wrapping paper

Our craft paper was simple also! Just take white chalk and chalk it up to say whatever you want! A simple bow, or wrap in a color you prefer and TA-DA. Perfect present. 3 choices, 3 looks, and your own DIY wrapping paper. Enjoy!

Update: Be sure to check out our PomPom Gift Wrap and SnowGlobe Gift Tags!