Popcosmo

a blog for everyone and their mothers

New Kid

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

new kid Wow. I’m officially a senior in high school. Like seriously, how the heck did that happen? I literally still feel like I’m a second grader roaming the halls at my elementary school looking up at the “big kids” wondering what it feels like to rule the school. But guess what? I’m now one of those “big kid” and while I most definitely don’t rule the school, I do happen to like my new school. A lot. If you’ve been following PopCosmo for a while now, you might know that my high school years have been a little out of the ordinary. In short, I’m a five year high schooler that has attended three different schools. One teeny tiny private school, one online school, and now a huge public school. It has been awesome to see the differences in the teaching styles and the students, but I have to say, I think this latest school — the huge public school — is my favorite high school of all three. I just started yesterday but the people are super friendly (they talk to me haha), the teachers really know their stuff, and I have all the freedom I could want (aka I can leave for lunch and leave at the end of the day early because I don't have a last period class). However, I am a new kid so of course it’s going to take me a few weeks to adjust and really get to know the people in my classes, but I have to say, so far I love it. I was VERY excited about going back to “real school” from online school, but I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous. I was going to be a new kid senior year. I thought people wouldn’t really care to get to know me because they already had their friends, posses, and cliques. But I was open to talking to anyone and I think that really helped. I was thinking about writing a post on how to be a new kid, so let me know if that's something you'd be interested in reading... I have plenty of experience and plenty to write about. Anyway, I just thought I’d pop in and give y’all a little update. Sorry for the lack of posts around here lately, I’ve been busy adjusting to being a senior at a new school!

xox Chloe

Free Binder Covers

DIY, EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

Well, I promised that there would be new free binder covers out soon, and I’ve kept the promise by following up with more cute binder covers. I decided to keep it preppy with the color combos + stripes, because I think a lot of you will really like them… I know I love ‘em. We truly think that cute school supplies can make an entire school year more bearable, so we've got you covered when it comes to amping up the cuteness factor of those ugly and plain binders. But. they work for anything -- in fact, my mom is even using them around the house for things like take-out menus and papers for me and my brother. Hope you like this new design as much as the first set. Free binder covers for the win!

Also, if you use them be sure to post a picture on Twitter or Instagram and tag us @popcosmo and we will totes love you forever and ever. ;)

back to school and office supply binder cover templates
back to school and office supply binder cover templates
DIY binder covers
DIY binder covers
free downloadable binder insert | takeout menus
free downloadable binder insert | takeout menus
DIY binder covers for school and home
DIY binder covers for school and home

 

So all you need to do is drag and drop the image and place it on your desktop. Then open it in Word or Photoshop and add the text you would like! 

Thanks for reading!

xox Chloe

First Day Of School

FASHIONKim & Chloe

My last week of summer is officially coming to and end. I don’t know how the heck summer went by so fast; I seriously still feel like it’s June. But school is about to start and that means constant outfits that don’t just consist of exercise clothes. Also, I don’t know if you all know this, but I will be going back to real school which means I will be a new kid my senior year. This is the first year that I don’t have a uniform since 5th grade so I think my mornings will lead to very messy floors. Anyways, this is what I am planning on wearing my first day of school. I think it says “I want to look cute but not like I’m trying too hard.” Right? All I know for sure is that I like it so… ;)back to school outfit

shoes | jeans | top | backpack | nail polish | water bottle

What are you planning on wearing your first day of school? I’d love to hear!

xox Chloe

 

DIY Graphic Tee

DIY, FASHIONKim & Chloe

What's one item I could wear with everything? A graphic tee... every time I walk into J.Crew I want another one! But they are breaking the bank, so I turned to my trusty Cricut Explore, which had been getting dusty while we moved and I was away this summer. It's definitely time to start playing with it again since it is so versatile and makes the most complicated craft ridiculously easy! The best part? That's my handwriting. Mhmm. I officially have the coolest shirt around town - my own DIY graphic tee. diy graphic tee

tee: Gap | necklace: Ela Design Studio | sunnies: Ray-Ban

Supplies: T-shirt Cricut Iron-on Cricut Iron Ironing board Tea Towel or t-shirt

Feel free to use our .png file below! Then we can be twinsies with the same shirt ;) blah

Directions: 1. Cut Cricut Iron-On a little larger than the words you are printing and place it shiny side down on mat. Load into the Cricut and follow directions. 2. Be sure to check the box for "Iron On" so that your words will be backward. (This will make sure that when you actually iron on it will be in the right direction) 3. Peel the extra Iron-On material off of the transfer sheet and make sure that no little "extras" are still on your design. 4. Center the design on your shirt and iron onto shirt with a tea towel in between the iron and the Iron-On material. 5. Sit back and admire... then wear what's sure to become your DIY favorite graphic tee and rake in the compliments.

blahblahgraphic diy shirtblahblahshirt

Disclosure:  We are members of the Cricut Blogger Network and received product in exchange for review but as usual all opinions are 100% our own. 

Homemade Hibiscus Pomegranate Granola

EXTRAS, RECIPESKim & Chloe

Onli Homemade Granola As you might have noticed, we’ve been posting a lot of recipes lately! I don’t know if it’s just that we have a better kitchen in our new house in Denver, or if I’ve just been enjoying making my own food over going out. Whatever it is, I’m loving it. Onli Beverages was nice enough to send me a few drinks to try out and I decided to get creative with it. With my cousin Aly visiting, we made Onli flavored granola. Seriously? Yes, and this homemade granola is beyond delicious.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of oats 1 cup puffed rice 1/4 cup sliced almonds (or other nuts) 6-8 ounces of Onli Hibiscus Pomegranate Aronia 1 egg white 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 2 tablespoons honey (add more for sweeter granola) 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the oats, puffed rice, and almonds in a bowl. Mix everything else in another bowl. Then combine the two bowls into one. Stir it all until the liquid is absorbed. (You might need to add more oats or puffed rice to help) Lay all the granola on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Put your granola in the oven for 15 minutes, then stir and put it back in for another 15 minutes. (If you want it to be super crunchy, then you can put it in for longer).

Homemade Granola Ingredients Homemade Granola Homemade Granola | PopCosmo   Granola Recipe granola how to make granola | PopCosmo

This should make a batch for about three people so feel free to double or triple the recipe. We ate ours over yogurt and we've learned that we need to keep a constant supply on hand. Onli has a ton of flavors so we definitely want to experiment with the rest of them! If you try this recipe out be sure to tag us (@popcosmo) and @ONLIbeverages in the picture! We might be biased, but we think it's the best homemade granola you'll ever eat!

xox, Chloe

My trip to The Broadmoor

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
The Broadmoor

The Broadmoor Colorado This past weekend my family and I went for a nice weekend trip to The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, which is basically Colorado's answer to Sea Island (at least that's what it felt like to me). It was so fun to get away for a short little trip that was loaded with fun. The first night that we got there we just chilled in the hotel and then went for a fancy dinner. I didn’t get a picture of my meal but I got chilled avocado soup that was amazing and then quinoa with feta. It was too good to wait to take a picture of, so I just ate it! Then we went back to the hotel and crashed because it was late & we were all so sleepy.

The next morning we had to wake up super early because my mom planned a white water rafting trip for us. One thing you should know is that I’m not afraid of anything (really, I’ll try anything once) but the idea of white water rafting scared the heebeejeebees out of me. It honestly doesn't make any sense because I am a great swimmer (I was on a swim team the majority of my life) and I rowed crew for three years. But we had a blast with a fantastic guide! We got soaked, laughed, worked hard, paddled, went over boulders, and I conquered my fears. Yay!  Then we pigged out on pig at a BBQ place called Rudi’s (my Dad’s obsessed with it) and then felt enormously unfit as we toured the Olympic training center. I am inspired even more to get in shape.

Very, very early Sunday morning my parents woke my brother and I up for a surprise hot air balloon trip and lavish breakfast in a field, which was to be the highlight of the trip. About 5 minutes after we woke up we received a call that it had been cancelled due to bad weather which was a huge bummer. So we went back to sleep and spent Sunday just chilling, and enjoying an enjoying a sumptuous breakfast. On the way home, we convinced my Dad we needed to stop at some outlets, because what vacation is complete without a little shopping?

It was the perfect family weekend at The Broadmoor! Here are a few pictures to show you and not just tell you. There are quite a few so I hope you like ‘em!

What’s your favorite family trip that you've ever taken?

xox, Chloe

View from the bridge at the Broadmoorcolorado rafting trip with echo canyon white water rafting rafting in colorado going white water rafting from the broadmoorThe broadmoor in coloradoinstagram photo at the broadmoorthe broadmoorthe broadmoor breakfast

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.

tile

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

Try this T-shirt Tie Dye

DIY, FASHIONKim & Chloe
striped tie-dye

One of our favorite summer projects is tie-dying and as much as we love tie-dye, you know we like to keep it simple... which is why we are such huge fans of Tulip One-Step Tie-Dyes and have been using them for years for all of our projects (see tie-dye shorts and tie-dye beach sheet). We were ready to jump on the Tie Dye Your Summer bandwagon and once again turned to Tulip because they come with bottles that you simply fill with water and you're ready to go. Even gloves come in the box, plus some ideas. All you need is something to tie-dye and a cool idea! t-shirt tie-dye

Striped T-Shirt Tie Dye Prep cool tie-dye patterns 1. lay t-shirt flat and get rid of wrinkles 2. pleat the shirt from top to bottom (you can fold it in the middle if it's easier to handle it) 3. fold sleeves in last, pleating them as well, and tucking them under 4. you should have a flat pleated shirt 5. wrap rubber bands around at intervals, making sure the pleats stay intact 6. your t-shirt should look like a centipede when ready to tie-dye

Dotty T-Shirt Tie Dye Prep Spotted Tie-Dye 1. lay t-shirt flat 2. pinch sections of the t-shirt and wrap the rubber band tightly around. The larger the piece sticking out the top, the larger your circles will be and the more rubber bands you use, the bigger your white space around the circle will be. You could pinch both front and back, but we pinched the front and back together (i.e., the back of the shirt was in the rubber bands you see) and it looked fantastic while saved a bunch of steps.

Once you have your shirt(s) ready, wet them thoroughly. You could definitely do this step first, but we found it was easier to work with dry shirts. tie-dye steps

Gather the tie-dye supplies  - most of which will be in your Tulip One-Step Tie-dye kit + protection for whatever area you will be tie-dying in. We suggest tie-dying in the grass, if you can, since the area will be stained. Tulip tie-dye supplies

Add water to the color bottles you choose and you are ready to tie-dye! It couldn't be more simple, then add color to your shirts directly from the bottle.

tie-dying steps

Once the color has been applied, place them in a bag for 6 or more hours (we left ours in the bag overnight) because we're lazy like that. steps to tie-dye

Remove the shirts from the bags and rinse them in cold water until the water runs clear. It takes a while, but once the color is out, it's gone and your tee is colorfast. Follow the instructions for washing and drying and then enjoy your new shirts. how to make a striped tie-dyehow to make a spotted tie-dye

Voilà, one old tee that was stained turned into a new tee that looks amazingly cool and a new tee that looks much better than plain white! We might cut the neckline on the blue tie-dye t-shirt, but we really love how it turned out.

Follow I Love To Create for some fab & fun creative inspiration on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and their Blog. Perfect boredom busters! Get creating!

What are you thinking about tie-dying?

xo ~kim & chloe

 Thank you ILTC and Blueprint Social for sponsoring this post. All opinions are our own, as usual! 

Avocado Toast Recipe

EXTRAS, RECIPESKim & Chloe

I definitely wouldn’t consider myself  “trendy” in fashion, but when it comes to food that’s a whole different story. I like trendy food. It’s always fun and most of the time it tastes good and that’s all I can ask for when it comes to what I eat. When I was in New York City the hottest food was (is?) avocado toast. It was on every menu and popped up on my Instagram feed more times than I can count. My cousins and I decided to make it one weekend and I swear we ate so much of it that we weren’t hungry until the next day. It was that good. Actually, it was that amazing. Delicious, impeccable, flawless, etc. avocado toast recipe Avocado toast is a little bit of heaven spread on a piece of bread.

And here’s the perfect avocado toast recipe:

  • Slice two avocados and mash them in a bowl (we liked ours a little chunky but mash until you like the consistency).
  • Immediately add lime juice to your mashed ‘cado. This makes it taste amazing and keeps it from turning brown and gross.
  • Add salt, pepper, and red chili flakes to taste.
  • Toast a piece of bread (we used our gorgeous, fast, and no more "knife to get the bread out" Magimix toaster) -- I <3 my toaster. Seriously.)
  • Spread the ‘cado mixture on a piece of toast and add more chili flakes to the top

And there ya have it. Five simple steps to make the best toast ever. Avocado toast recipe

how to make avodaco toast Clear Magimix Toaster

Magimix Toaster

Life is better with clear toasters. I mean seriously, how cool is this Magimix toaster?!avocado toast

Let us know if you recreate this avocado toast recipe, and we’d love to see your pictures! Tag us on social media (@popcosmo)! xox Chloe

Free Downloadable Binder Covers

DIY, EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
downloadable binder covers

One of our all time most popular posts is our “Decorating Notebooks” post from a year ago. We thought that, since it’s still crazy popular, we should bring it back with better and bolder designs. I decided to create free downloadable binder covers for y’all and I hope you love them as much as I do. I can’t wait to use them this year for school! I’m planning on hopefully coming up with other designs, so if you aren’t head over heels with this set then be on the look out for different styles! Here’s how to create your own: 1.Click the link that says "download" and then download the "blank canvases” to your desktop 2.Upload them into Word, Pages, Photoshop, etc. 3.Use your favorite font to write your class name on the white part of the cover. (I used Antonio from Font Squirrel!) 4. Print!

free downloadable binder cover click here to download pink + blue + navy binder cover

binder cover free download click here to download pink + blue + yellow binder cover

binder cover downloadable click here to download pink + pink + pink binder cover

Really! It’s that simple. Let me know what other patterns and color combos you would like to see… polka dots? watercolor inspired stripes? pink and green? yellow and mint green?

If you do happen to use these free downloadable binder covers, we’d love to see how they look! Tag us on Instagram or Twitter (@popcosmo) and you just might be featured on a blog post!

xox Chloe

Aesthetic Phases / 1

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
bananas

I don’t know if I’m the only one who goes through aesthetic phases, but I surely can’t be, right? If you follow us on Pinterest (you better be) then you might notice how every few weeks our “mood” shifts. It’s not a dramatic "tectonic plate inducing earthquake" shift, it’s more of a “let’s switch one or two pillows on the couch and see the difference” shift. I guess that’s why I’m not really a “fashion person” (sue me). I like being able to switch it up on a moments notice, so that’s why  I stick to more basic and simple clothes. Anyway, all I’m trying to say is that what I like and the aesthetics that I like are constantly shifting and changing. I decided to create this little mini series thing where I would create a mood board of my current likes. I have absolutely no idea how often (if at all) I will be posting these mood boards, but as Miley Cyrus once said “it’s my blog I can do what I want to.” Err, at least I think she said something along those lines…

aesthetic phases / 1 photo / photo / photo / photo / photo / photo / photo / photo / photo / photo /photo / photo / photo  This mood board doesn't really have a name, but if I had to choose one I think it would be along the lines of "Jen Gotch is my girl crush" or "this is what feminism looks like to me" or "pink is cute and strong" or "this mood board may be better off nameless."

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think of this idea for a series! 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

Chocolate Bark Recipe

EXTRAS, RECIPESKim & Chloe
COVERPHOTO

I have this problem where I want to be healthy when it comes to food, but then I see chocolate and I eat it. It’s like my brain doesn’t work with me. But who am I kidding, chocolate is worth it. And this chocolate bark recipe? Yeah, it’s more than worth it. My brother and I always cook when we are bored and we decided to create our own chocolate bark combinations earlier this week after seeing some drool worthy combinations in the chocolate aisle of our grocery store. We had some crazy ideas in mind (think seaweed) but we decided to keep the combinations rather simple. And they’re all beyond amazing I might add.Here are the combinations we went for, but you can seriously add anything you want. That’s the beauty of this recipe. -Croissant Crumbs (try saying that in a French accent) -Peanuts and Banana Chips (Chocolate Chimp) -Popcorn (kettle corn would also be amazing) -Banana and Coconut (a tropical sweet) -Potato Chips (the perfect salty + sweet combo)

DIY Chocolate Bark

DIY chocolate bark ingredients

 

bananacoconut

banana peanut chocolate bark

potato chip bark

croissant chocolate bark

 

popcorn chocolate bark

Here’s what you do. It’s painfully easy.

  1. Melt a whole bunch of chocolate chips. We melted ours over a pot of boiling water so that we could make sure they didn't burn.
  2. Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper and then pour your melted chocolate onto the baking sheet.
  3. Evenly spread all your chocolate.
  4. Add toppings as desired. We placed ours in strips but you can create any pattern you want.
  5. Stick your chocolate in the fridge until it’s hard.
  6. EAT. (the best part)

I’d say the whole process takes about 30 minutes (not including the chocolate drying in the fridge.) It’s easy and delicious. A killer combo in my book.

If you make chocolate bark then we want to see! Tag us in any pictures that you post (@popcosmo).

 

xox, Chloe

My favorite Summer Books

BOOKS & MOVIES, EXTRASKim & Chloe
books to read

It's official: we are finally completely and totally moved into our new home! Moving definitely has its ups & downs and one of the brightest upsides, born out of necessity during my many seemingly endless weeks of being internet-free (a downside for me) has been rediscovering my love of reading, in actual book form. I've forgotten how absolutely addicted to books I had been... and how exciting it is to discover a new author. Just in case you're still looking for good summer books or beach reads, these are a few that have kept me up late into the night, wide awake in the middle of the night, and up in the wee hours of the morning. (If you saw the circles under my eyes, you'd know I was not exaggerating.) the interestings copy

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

From Amazon: "An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2013: This knowing, generous and slyly sly new novel follows a group of teenagers who meet at a summer camp for artsy teens in 1974 and survive as friends through the competitions and realities of growing up. How these five circle each other, come together and break apart, makes for plenty of hilarious scenes and plenty of heartbreaking ones, too. A compelling coming of age story about five privileged kids, this is also a pitch-perfect tale about a particular generation and the era that spawned it. --Sara Nelson"

Although it's been called "genius" by the Chicago Tribune and "wonderful" by Vanity Fair, my superlatives are more along the line of sleep-wrecking, thought-provoking and and discussion-inducing. I truly want to drop everything I have to do and start reading again... since I'm only on page 142/469, so I shouldn't be reviewing at all yet - but I can tell you I've woken up twice over the past 3 nights at 3 in the morning just to read what happens next, which is odd since it's not an action-filled book and each chapter doesn't end with a cliff-hanger. But the writer's style keeps my interest since the timeframe jumps from decade to decade and hints are given about what happens to characters. I will definitely be reading more of Meg Wolitzer's books.

summer readingThe Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

From The Boston Globe: “An engaging tale about art, cupidity, and a Faustian bargain . . . Shapiro convincingly depicts the rarefied art world that lionizes a chosen few and ignores the talented, scrabbling outsiders on the fringe. Shapiro is adept, too, at showing the white-hot heat of an artist engaged in creating a painting. She knows art history, painting techniques, and how forgers have managed through the centuries to dupe buyers into paying for fakes . . . Inventive and entertaining.”

The Goldfinch revived my love of art, but The Art Forger sealed it. It's a mystery wrapped up in a love story wrapped up in an art lesson. Again, I had to know what happened next, and any story that can keep me on my toes is a book that I will recommend.

 

Reconstructing Amelia Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

From Amazon: "...Kate's in the middle of the biggest meeting of her career when she gets the telephone call from... her daughter’s exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Amelia has been suspended, effective immediately, and Kate must come get her daughter—now. But Kate’s stress over leaving work quickly turns to panic when she arrives at the school and finds it surrounded by police officers, fire trucks, and an ambulance. By then it’s already too late for Amelia. And for Kate.

An academic overachiever despondent over getting caught cheating has jumped to her death. At least that’s the story Grace Hall tells Kate. And clouded as she is by her guilt and grief, it is the one she forces herself to believe. Until she gets an anonymous text: She didn’t jump. Reconstructing Amelia is about secret first loves, old friendships, and an all-girls club steeped in tradition. But, most of all, it’s the story of how far a mother will go to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she couldn’t save."

Having teens, I thought I needed to read this book. Do I really know my kids as well as I think I do? Could there be a "school life" that I know nothing about? It was a good book that made me want to keep an open avenue of communication with my kids and wonder about being a teen today.

Crazy-Rich-Asians Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

From People: "There's rich, there's filthy rich, and then there's crazy rich . . . A Pride and Prejudice-like send-up about an heir bringing his Chinese-American girlfriend home to meet his ancestor-obsessed family, the book hilariously skewers imperial splendor and the conniving antics of the Asians jet set."

Another book that's been on my reading list forever that I finally got around to reading! I loved it for the education about a culture I don't know about. It was a fun read.

 

 

 

 

On my bedside table to read next are The Heist by Daniel Silva and Flash Boys by Michael Lewis (a little yin & yang!) and at the rate I'm plowing through The Interestings, I'll be reading at least one of them this weekend.

What book recommendations do you have?

xo ~kim

 

 

 

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

Getting Fit + An Embarrassing Story

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
STORY

Who’s getting fit? I am. A little known fact about me is that I used to do triathlons. In fact, at 13 years old I became the youngest finisher of the New York City Triathlon. Another little known fact about me is that the reason I first got into the blogging world is through triathlons; I used to blog about every race and event that I competed in. What I’m trying to say is that I used to be fit and strong. Now I want to be as fit and strong as I was when I was thirteen (it’s crazy to think that I was thirteen five whole years ago — it seems like yesterday). Anyway, in New York I walked at least six miles everyday. And it felt great. Walking, for me, was a way to transition myself back into the fit lifestyle. Now that I’m home, and not in the walkable NYC anymore, I just want to go out and run and take group fitness classes all day long. So I have been. GO ME.

As most of you know (or should know) I can’t go out into public without somehow embarrassing myself. So I have a funny story for ya today…

Yesterday I took a circuit class with my mom and it was a fabulous workout. I’m so sore today which is great. Unfortunately my eye is a little sore too which is not so great. Insert story here:

The circuits of the class were rowing machines (I was on my high school’s crew team freshman year, sophomore year, and sophomore  year round two so that was no big deal for me), kettle bells, yoga mats for ab exercises, benches for dips, and resistance bands.

The first circuit that I started with yesterday was the resistance band thing. My mom and I were the only two in our circuit because everyone else in the class had spread out. Since I’m no pro when it comes to resistance bands, I (of course) picked up the one that is the hardest. I went to put my foot down so that I could do the proper arm lift-y things. Then…. the band snapped. And hit me. In the face. On the eye.

At first I was kind of stunned at what just happened. I mean A GIANT RUBBER BAND JUST SNAPPED ME IN THE EYE. Then I realized that that’s not supposed to happen. My mom of course witnessed the whole thing and was dying laughing. Then I started laughing and crying at the same time (because it really hurt but was really funny at the same time). So I now have a bruise around my eye (it’s not a black eye, fortunately).

Note to self: when starting a new workout class, start with the circuit that you actually know how to do.

Here’s how the class went as told by GIFs (btw I don’t care if you pronounce it with a g or a j, I’ll be your friend either way)…

Me walking into the class ready to rock it.

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When my mom tells me we should start with resistance bands.

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Then trying to figure out which band to use.

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Attempting to look fit with the chosen resistance band

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My mom’s reaction when the band snaps my face

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My reaction + some giggles

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After I got over the initial shock and actually realized what just happend

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Then realizing that I just gotta be me.

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I'm probably not the only person who's ever been snapped in the face with a resistance band, right? Wait... don't answer that.

I hope you enjoyed this post, it's a little different from the normal posts, but it's the real me. So like it or leave it ;)

xox, Chloe

Inspiring Pins

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

It’s a good thing I’m a blogger so that I can call my obsessive pinning “work.” I honestly think that I pin 100+ new things a day. I’m addicted. I was definitely one of those kids that collected magazines just so that on a rainy day I could cut out  pictures and  typography so that I could make mood boards. I think that’s why I have such a serious addiction to Pinterest. It’s just that pretty pictures make my heart beat fast. I’ve decided to create a little roundup of a few of my favorite inspiring pins that have recently caught my eye. If you’re needing some inspiration, then we’ve got you covered. These pictures are almost too perfect (kidding, there’s no such thing).

instagram piechart

Instagram Life Vs. Real Life (this pin hit the nail on the head)

outfit of the day pinterest pin

I’m OBSESSED with her outfit. It’s super stylish and looks amazingly comfortable at the same time. gimme

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Peach pie is my all time favorite summer dessert, and this one looks indescribably delicious.

beach

Someone please buy me a one way ticket to the nearest beach. 

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I’m not a cat purrson, but this cutie has me by my heartstrings.

If you like these inspiring pins, then be sure to follow us! Like I said before, I'm an obsessive pinner. You will always have something inspiring to look at on Pinterest if you follow us, and that's a promise!

xox Chloe

Apple, Brie, and Arugula Toast

EXTRAS, RECIPESKim & Chloe
brie/apple/arugula toast

I’m obsessed with cheese. It’s starting to become a problem.  When I order food at an Italian restaurant I always ask for parmesan cheese with a side of pasta. I don’t order “chips and queso” I order “queso and chips.” The first aisle I walk down in Costco is the cheese aisle because it’s simply the best. Embarrassingly enough, I sprinkle a little cheese on everything I eat; watermelon and feta do taste amazing together, I swear. Ever since I discovered brie though, I’ve realized that no other cheese compares. It’s creamy, it’s flavorful, and it tastes good for breakfast, snacks, lunch, appetizers and dinner. It’s just the perfect cheese. My mouth is literally watering as I type about it.

A few years ago I discovered the apple + brie combo and I can honestly say that it’s the best food combo to ever be invented. It’s better than chips and salsa, milkshakes and french fries, and cream cheese and lox. No exaggeration. Then, just recently, I realized that slapping the apple and brie onto a perfectly toasted piece of bread and adding a few pieces of arugula would be the best of the best. Apple, brie, and arugula toast is amazing. It is, it really is. I gobbled up the piece of toast pictured below like a caveman who walked the entire Bering Land Bridge without eating (that's probably impossible, but it made for a good simile).

So if you’re feeling a little hungry, you just want to make an amazing piece of toast, you want to show off your gourmet lunch to your friends at school, or you want to impress a family member with your mad cooking skills then stop reading this (after you comment, that is) and go do it. I promise you won’t regret it. Actually, you probably will regret it because you will want to make an entire loaf of bread’s worth. But it’s totally worth it. I'm not exaggerating when I say that apple, brie, and arugula toast is the best of the best.

All you have to do is slice an apple, slice some brie, and place a little bit (or a lot a bit, depending on your taste buds) of arugula on a perfectly toasted piece of bread. It's that simple. Dangerously simple as I like to say.

apple brie and arugula toast

apple/brie/arugula toast ingredients

magimix clear toaster

How sick is this clear Magimix toaster (c/o) that we used? I swear it makes the perfect golden brown piece of toast. Every. Darn. Time. And you can see through it. Plus (yeah there are more perks...) the toast pops up high enough that you don't have to worry about burnt finger tips.

apple_brie_arugula_toast

apple brie toast

apple, brie, arugula toast

If you do make this toast then be sure to post a picture of it and tag us (@popcosmo)!! We really want to see your creations!!

xox Chloe

Five Things I learned as a New York City intern

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

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picture via

hey, hey, hey!

Long time no talk, am I right? Well I'm back at it. Finally. Being a New York City intern is exhausting (and super amazing, educational, and fun at the same time) and I didn't have any time to blog. I'm writing this while sitting on my airplane on my way home from my month long adventure in New York City and I don't even know what to think. I had so much fun, got a little homesick, worked hard, and spent way too much money at way too many coffee shops.  And I learned a lot too. I decided that I should share a list of what I learned during the month of living on my own without my mom, dad, and brother.

Are ya ready?

If yes, then yay.

If not, then go grab a trendy coffee.

ONE: New Yorkers really do wear all black. It's like there's a constant funeral occurring in the city. I have to admit, I started dressing like a New Yorker and found that all black is awesome. Especially if a waiter/waitress spills your lunch all over you. Or if there's a random rain shower (I'd rather not be a part of a wet t-shirt contest, thank you). Or if you get really sunburnt and want to look less like a lobster and more like a chic upper east sider. Or if you're so tired and don't want to have to worry about what to wear to work. All of these lessons were learned from experience, mind you. Plus, if you wear all black then everything in your closet automatically matches.

All black is basically a win, win, win, win, win (etc.) situation. Yep, Mom, you were right.

TWO: New Yorkers abbreviate everything. Lulu Lemon is just Lulu.  Bed, Bath, and Beyond? It's just Bed Bath. The word dinner is just "din." And don't even bother saying definitely, totally, ridiculous and amazing in their entirety. They are simply, def, totes, ridic and amaze.

THREE: Soul Cycle is as amazing as people say it is. Thankfully I didn't try a class until my last day otherwise I would have blown my entire life savings on a spin class every night. Think dark rooms, screaming instructors, getting extremely sweaty, and loud music. Now that I type that it doesn't sound as appealing, but trust me, it was fab (see, I'm so New York).

FOUR: Food is really expensive. I thought that I would be totally fine with the amount of money that I brought along for my trip, but I was wrong. Fancy restaurants in Kentucky have meals that are anywhere from $12-$25. In New York City, a casual restaurant is the same, if not more expensive. It’s insane. But, all the food is so yummy. And the bagels really are better.

FIVE: New York City is the most inspiring place. I know you’ve probably heard it before, and you’re going to hear it again, but NYC is a place where motivated people make their dreams happen. Everyone has a twinkle in their eye and a pep in their step and it makes it that more fun to be a part of such an inspiring and motivated environment. I can definitely see myself getting my first job in the city after college.

So there ya go, five things I learned while in New York. I know they aren’t that crazy original, but whatevs. I hope you’re having a great summer, and if you have anything that you’ve learned this past month and feel the need to share it with me, then please comment below!!

xox Chloe

Smart Girls Conference Recap

BLOG TIPS, EXTRASKim & Chloe
smart girls conference

If you follow us on Twitter (if you don't, then go follow us!! you definitely want to join us for #ChicChat on Tuesdays at 9EST!) then you would know that last week I had the chance to attend the Smart Girls Conference in New York City. I was able to go on behalf of Dormify to help work the booth and spread the word about who we are (you know, the cutest college & dorm decor EVER!) and I also was able to hear the speakers, well, speak. There were some amazing people there, from Shiza Shahid, the CEO & Co-Founder of the Malala Fund to Carly Heitlinger, from The College Prepster. Everyone had a different insight into what it is like to be a powerful woman, and it was seriously so inspiring! I also love that The Smart Girls Conference embraces "the power of smarts & the power of sisterhood" supporting working together to make everyone stronger instead of competing against each other. I'm lucky to have a group of blog friends that feel the same way, and besides being encouraged by all the powerful women speaking, I also had the chance to meet some of these blog friends in real life for the first time. Like I mentioned in my recent post, meeting blog friends is so cool. They understand that it takes 100 shots to get the right Instagram picture, that wearing the right outfit really is very important, and they just get the blogger's life. Since I had so much fun I decided that I would just share a whole bunch of picture with you guys. I hope you enjoy!!

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Oh and in case you’re wondering, the girls pictured (aka the sweetest girls ever) are Sammy from The Preptista, Frannie from the Blonde Prep, Caroline from Citrus & Style, and Sloane from Sailing the Sea of Style.

Hope you had a great weekend too!

xo ~chloe