Popcosmo

a blog for everyone and their mothers

Cleaning Closets

FASHIONKim & Chloe
How to Clean your Closets

It's that time of year: the time for New Year's resolutions. I may not have come up with my life-altering, earth-shattering new resolution yet, but I have begun my annual week of cleaning closets. Some people may enjoy a good spring cleaning, but starting out the New Year with clothes I actually wear makes me feel like I'm starting the year off right.

cleaning closets via Harper's Bazaar

Now that I've been through all our closets, I need to make a decision of what to do with all these clothes that are piled up all over the house. Before my husband fusses, and before any of us start digging into the piles of discarded clothes (old habits die hard... I don't really need 3 oversized sweaters when 1 will do!)

Since I'm in a new town, I'm might "test" how well my clothes do in consignment shops by giving each a similar sweater and seeing how long it takes for it to sell, what percentage I receive, and how I'm paid. Perhaps I'll find a favorite consignment shop and most of my newer, less-worn wardrobe will be donated there each season.

how to donate clothes

via Harper's Bazaar

But there are also some alternatives I'm considering:

1. Take any pair of old jeans to Madewell, and receive 20% off a new jeans purchase. Note: some sites say this program expired in 2014, so check with your local store... it seems like they may continue the program!

2. J.Crew also has a denim drive: you bring in old jeans (they don't have to be J.Crew brand) through 1/31, and you'll receive 20% off a new pair.

3. Sell my good condition clothes by the bagful on ThredUp or LikeTwice.

4. Donate clothes to Nordstrom and feel good about the charity that receives the benefit of the sale of clothing on their website.

5. Donate to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or Dress for Success.

6. Host a clothing swap. One woman's old clothes are someone else's treasure!

Lots of ideas to for lots of clothes! Of course, Craigslist and eBay are always options, but with so many easy alternatives, I think I may be getting rid of my old clothes faster than ever.

XO ~kim

 

 

Ski Season Must-Haves

EXTRAS, FASHION, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

It's decidedly winter here in our new Colorado home, and as winter blows in I'm desperately in need of some new ski clothes and accessories to help keep me warm on our ski trip. I thought I was prepared for the Colorado cold, which is actually warmer than some of the winters I've encountered back east. Everyone raves about dry heat... I'll rave about dry cold! It still gets more than a bit chilly, but I'll be ready with these: Ski Clothes

1. ThermaCELL heated insoles. My feet are always freezing. Always! But, I can't rave enough about these remote control heated insoles to keep my feet warm -- especially when skiing (although I've been wearing them in my shoes for walks on frigid days). I love the tiny remote control to turn them on and off, because cold feet in the morning does not always mean cold feet in the middle of the afternoon. And I can also turn off the heat on my few many hot chocolate breaks.

2. Mittens. Because I've never seen any so cute as these, and yes, these are for me. The more mittens, the merrier, especially ones that look rugged but have modern insulation and waterproofing.

3. Glasses. "What," you say, "what do glasses have to do with winter?" Well, they will help me see the slopes at my feet and ahead if I actually wear progressives under my goggles. I ordered this pair from Firmoo, which has shockingly low prices (without progressives they are $39!). I love that they are clear, adore the price, and am amazed at the high quality for the price. I'll be wearing these daily, and at this price, may order another pair so I can change my glasses as often as I want.

4. Sweater. Something about fair isle screams "ski season" to me. I find the updated colors more wearable than typical fair isles of the past and a lot more hip.

5. Helmet. Although I shouldn't admit it, I hate helmets. So much so, that I've always refused to wear one. This year, I'm thinking it's time to start playing it safe, and I'm on the hunt for one that won't give me a headache. This one's cute... I'm heading out to try some on this week!

6. Ski jacket & pants: I'm not quite willing to admit I don't fit in my ski pants anymore. I'm just going to say that I need a new outfit because fashion dictates an update. I'm sure my husband will believe me. I almost do.

xo ~Kim

Moments for Me

RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
Me Time

This post was sponsored by fruitwater through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about fruitwater, all opinions are my own.

How to chill

It’s officially the holiday season, and I’m in decorating and gift-shopping mode. My head is saying “Woo-hoo, let’s go shopping, bake all day, and party all night!” but my body is already exhausted, and currently recovering from being sick. The struggle between moving forward and taking a break is so real to all of us, and I know I should find some time for myself and take the break I deserve, even if it’s just a few minutes to escape the swirling vortex of life in constant motion.

One way I chill and zone out is to listen to or watch something that makes me laugh. Like really laugh… the kind of laugh that embarrasses my kids because I can’t stop, can’t breathe, and can’t stem the flow of tears running down my face. I’m so glad I discovered the seriously hilarious Seriously Distracted, presented by fruitwater, a company that also believes we should take moments for ourselves! (Tune in Tuesdays on POPSUGAR to watch new episodes.) Along with watching and listening to funny shows, I thought of a few more ways I could slow down a bit and steal a moment for myself during this season:

  • Work out. Yep, it’s my #1 escape, a chance to relieve tension and let everything go. Plus, I know it’s good for me… and my sleep.
  • Take a photography class. Or any class, but right now I’m loving the photography class I take. My goal is simply to be able to take my camera off “automatic” and the challenge of learning a new skill is completely rewarding, even if my pics aren’t so hot!
  • If I’m not in a working out mood, I always go for a walk. Sometimes it’s to discover a new area of Denver, sometimes it’s just to enjoy the stream by our home and be outdoors.
  • Chill with a glass of sparkling fruitwater and savor every sip.
  • Get lost in a really good book or tv series. (If anyone wants, or has, suggestions, let me know!)
  • Escape with BFFs to another city for a long weekend of total me-ness. Hiking, good food, art, shopping, and honest conversations are my key to a complete mental reset.

By the way, stealing a moment for yourself can truly pay off! Follow fruitwater on Instagram at @fruitwaterbev and submit a photo showing the world how you make the most of your day by stealing a moment for yourself for your chance to win a $1,000 prize towards your next stolen moment! Make sure to include #stealamomentsweeps and #fruitwater in your Instagram submission.

I’d love to hear your favorite “me” escape too!

XO ~Kim

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

Creative Vibes

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

Hello, people of the internet. It appears as if, once again, I have disappeared down a dark hole. However, unlike the infamous Alice, I have yet to find the Mad Hatter. I have, on the other hand, gone mad. Not literally, but the stress of senior year finally got to me last week. Most of my college apps were finally ready to be submitted, my classes are feeling more complex, and I started my school’s swim team. It’s been a lot. Not that I’m complaining, I’m definitely not complaining. In fact, I love the business. I have things to do, things to conquer, people to mingle with. It’s awesome and exhilarating and I wouldn’t change it for the world. However, sometimes it’s necessary to take a break and take a moment for myself. My creative side has been lacking lately and Tumblr has been filing that hole for me... yay for creative vibes. I try to take at least ten minutes a day to rejuvenate myself creatively and Tumblr has been hitting the spot lately. Here are a few of my favorite pictures as of lately.

fate you do you winter rush cute desk Things will work out

Be sure to follow us and feel free to ask any questions — personal or whatever, I just get excited when I see the red notification on my dashboard! I hope you enjoyed these creative vibes! 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.

tumblr_mbalerAg3V1r9x8oqo1_500

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

the 1 tip you need to know about cashmere

FASHIONKim & Chloe
cashmere sweater tips

Finally it's fall, as in brrr... I can drink my homemade pumpkin spice lattés daily without funny looks because it was still 80 degrees outside, wear my boots, and pull on my fave cashmere sweaters. My confession is that although I can't wear wool (too itchy) and cotton doesn't keep me warm enough, I hesitated to wear my cashmere sweaters as often as I wanted. Why? Because cleaning them cost a fortune. Until I learned this tip! the best cashmere tip

The trick: wash your own cashmere in special cashmere wash or baby shampoo in cold water, but keep it inside out. Give it a very quick spin on the lowest heat possible in your dryer just to get rid of some excess water, not to dry it. Then lay it flat on a drying screen (or even a towel).  That's all - money saved, cashmere cleaned, sweaters getting the love they need.

Hmmm, with all the money I'll have left over from less dry cleaning, looks like I can do a little shopping! Here's what I've spied lately:

how to wash cashmere sweaters

1. turtleneck | 2. ribbed baseball sweater | 3. open cardigan | 4. grey | 5. white | 6. olive

My dream sweater is definitely, without a doubt, #4. Swooning. I'd wear it with a pencil skirt or skinny jeans. Or dressy skinny pants. Yeah, I think I'd wear it with everything.  Your dream sweater?

xo ~Kim

Friday, Finally

FASHIONKim & Chloe

Fridays have to be my favorite day of the week. The school day goes by so quickly and then it’s finally the weekend, aka the best two days of the week. Today after school I’m going vintage shopping with a few friends so we can find our Halloween costume for an event we’re volunteering at through the school. There are four of us and we’re going as the Scooby Doo gang, I’m being Velma and we have a Shaggy, a Freddy, and a Daphne. Each of us totally fits the characters so it’ll be fun to be all dressed up together! Then after we go shopping we’ll probably go out to eat and then head to our school’s poetry slam. There’s a slam once a month and it’s seriously one of the coolest things about my school. People compete with their poems and their poems are so poignant and interesting and it brings a level of respect and understanding that usually wouldn’t be there. Maybe one day I’ll have the courage to write and preform a poem but for now I’m comfortable in the audience just listening!

easyoutfit popcosmo|outfit chloegordon|popcosmopopcosmo

romper | jacket (similar) | shoes

PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHALYNNE IMAGING shaylynne imaging | colorado photographer

 

 

Update

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

Whew! We’ve rarely been posting on PopCosmo and for that we sincerely apologize. My mom has been crazy busy with life and dealing with the lives of two high schoolers, and I’ve been crazy busy as a Senior in high school. I have to say though, Senior year is so much fun. Being able to drive myself to after school events (ie sports games) and knowing that college is finally on the horizon makes high school so much easier. It’s been great.girls via

I just wanted to pop in an give you all a few updates on my life and what’s been happening. So here we go… 1. Homecoming is this Saturday and I’m super excited. I’m going with a bunch of friends so it’ll be nice and easy. Surprisingly enough, this is my first “real” Homecoming experience. My first high school didn’t have a football team and the Homecoming dance was kind of (read: very) lame. And obviously, my online school didn’t have a football team or a dance so there’s that. I’m still debating what dress I’m going to wear (I have two options) so we’ll see. 2. I went to a haunted corn maze this past weekend with a small group of friends and it was seriously so much fun. Well, the actual corn maze wasn’t fun because they had to shut it down for like two hours while my friends and I stood in line due to a few stupid people that attacked the workers with corn (yes, police and search parties were involved). By the time we could go through the maze it was like 12am and there were only three scarers left. We still had a blast though and I totally recommend going to one soon before the season is over! 3. I’ve been obsessed with going to the gym lately. I know this isn’t really earth shattering news, but the classes at the gym I go to are phenomenal. They have trendy cardio which is my favorite so I guess that’s why I’m diggin’ it so much.

That's all I have for now but I hope you all are having a great week! Let me know in the comments if you have any post recommendations — we’re in need of a kick in the booty with PopCosmo ;) 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

12 dream home office ideas to inspire creativity

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
dream home office

As I organize my desk, I think about all the knick-knacks I've collected over the years... and how they all meant something at the time. But right now, as I look around, all I see is clutter! I'm ready to do a clean sweep and organize for efficiency. But what style do I want? What style does my office lend itself to: open and airy, modern, rustic? To be honest, I'm not really sure. Without the furniture, I could go any direction, which leaves me in my paralyzed state of perpetual clutter. For now, I'll peruse gorgeous photos of a dream home office and pin, pin and pin some more. Eventually, the dream home office will make its way from my Pinterest page into my home. Right?

Which one is your favorite? Could you see one of these in your home?
xo~Kim

@popcosmo on Instagram

Choices, choices: phones and phone plans

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
Flowers

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored. All products mentioned and reviewed on this page are compliments of AT&T. All opinions of the products are my own.

Chloe and I have both been shopping for a new phone since this summer, and I'm shopping for less expensive phone plans for me, Chloe, and my son. My son is always begging me to try Windows operating systems and being desperate for a new phone, when AT&T contacted me about trying their service and one of their phones, I was more than happy to try both. I've been thinking about finding new phone plans for a while, but switching carriers is sort of like moving to a new home: you don't know what you have until you're in it and the devil is in the details. And I'm such a stickler for details that I just stay and stay and stay. But a chance to try it before you buy it... well, why not!?

I unpacked my AT&T GoPhone-compatible HTC Desire 610, GoPhone card, and a SIM Kit with unlimited talk, text and 2.5 GB of data for the month and proceeded to set-up my phone, and quickly unlearned all my preconceived notions about pre-paid phones.

AT&T GoPhone package

Misconception 1: this was not a cheap disposable phone! My phone was a super-nice smartphone. So nice, I'd often find my son on it. I found that it was easy to get through the set-up once I followed the instructions on the website. Unfortunately, the instructions on the phone left me hanging.  I entered my Google+ account when prompted and my entire Google history was connected. I played around on my phone and realized that being an Apple girl through and through left me with a steep learning curve, so I didn't think I'd be using my new phone for much more than, well, phone calls.

Misconception 2: I thought I'd use the phone for phone calls, and that would be it. A quick trip to New York opened my eyes to new possibilities. Somehow, and I'm a little frightened to figure out how, my phone knew my hotel. So instead of having to search for the hotel email and find the address and cross streets, etc., all the information was instantly on my phone as soon as I turned it on when we landed in NYC. Being the forgetful type, having the address always on my phone came in handy often during the weekend.

GoPhone

Misconception 3: Prepaid phones wouldn't have apps. My phone came preloaded with awesome apps and I could download tons more. I was able to use Google Maps so easily on this phone. My memory is always full on my iPhone, even when I buy more, so my maps don't work which has frustrated the heck out of me since I don't yet know my way around Denver and my maps typically get me 1/4 of the way to where I need to be. However, they worked like a charm on my HTC Desire 610. I love the coupon app loaded on the phone, since I never have coupons when I need them but always have my phone, and I'd use the AT&T DriveMode with my kids (I found it interfered with Google Maps).GoPhone Apps

All in all, I loved the phone I was provided, the service was exceptional and the photography was pretty good too. The biggest appeal was that there was never a dropped call & never a problem with establishing service. As I've said, I'm not sure I was the best person to put a non-Apple phone to the test since I haven't used anything since Apple products since, uh, forever. But using this phone showed me there's a whole 'nother world out there and my son is right: Apple isn't always the best. (case in point: iOS 8 + #Bendgate) But, if Apple fixes everything, I do like that I can insert the SIM card into any phone, because that learning curve was awful steep.

flowers

All in all, will I switch to AT&T GoPhone: maybe. Will we switch to our phone plans to AT&T: very high possibility. I'm looking into plans for the family. I like that I can just put the SIM card in any phone and be on the AT&T plan with NO contract! I'm a commitment-phone. I also like that the rate plans are flexible, and most have unlimited texting - if somebody is on vacation or traveling, I can up the amount. If we are all home, I can lower the amount.  You can view rate plans here.

What plans / phones are you using or do you recommend?

xo ~kim

 

Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe Hack: Taste Test

EXTRAS, RECIPESKim & Chloe

It's that time of year again: leaves are falling, sweaters are being pulled out of hiding, a fire or two has already been lit, and we are craving a Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte (or PSL, as it's affectionately known). But hearing how it's mostly syrup and has a whopping calorie count had us ready to make our own in our brand new Keurig 2.0 we were recently sent by the sweet Keurig folks. But finding a zillion Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe ideas already out there, Chloe and I got smart and decided to put those recipes to our (ahem) expert and very subjective PSL taste test. And the smell of them cooking even lured brother/son out to help us - yes, we had fun!

Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte Taste Test | Popcosmo.com

Keurig + pumpkin spice latte recipes

who has the best pumpkin spice lattes? | popcosmo the best pumpkin spiced lattes

We scored each recipe on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the lowest, for ease, cost, availability of ingredients, healthiness. The category for taste comparison to Starbuck's PSL was out of 10 since taste is the most important factor, after all. Once we devised our scoring and gathered our ingredients, we settled in for a hard day's work of sipping lattés... just for you. #WeLoveBlogging  Chloe tasted and tasted and tasted some more!

52 Kitchen Adventures SCORE = 19 ease: 5 cost: 4 ingredients: 3 healthiness: 3 taste: 4 Thick, a little chunky, and frothy. Would be better with whipped cream, but the flavor is perfection. Beware, pumpkin sludge might be at the bottom of your cup... a little gross.

The Kitchn SCORE= 21 ease: 4 cost: 2 ingredients: 2 healthiness: 3 taste: 10 We wish the directions were more specific, but the result was beyond amazing. The tastes reminds me of marshmallows on top of a pumpin pie and I would drink this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Eating Bird Food SCORE= 17 ease: 4 cost: 3 ingredients: 2 healthiness: 5 taste: 3 Too bitter but thinness was on point. The flavor is just a little too sharp for me.

The Original Starbucks PSL  SCORE=17 ease: 4 cost: 0 ingredients: 5 healthiness: 0 taste: 8 I know, weird that the original is only an 8. But it is what it is. The original sort of tastes like drinking a hot pumpkin smoothie to me, and now that I've made some at home, I've learned that I like being able to tweak my PSL how I want it.

And the winner was: The Kitchn Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe, and to be honest, it looks like I can save tons of calories and $$ this fall. Thanks to our Keurig 2.0, we can easily make the recipe for 1 or for 10 with the new pod system. Guess whose house is going to be smelling like a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte this fall? My brother is definitely happy!

  @popcosmo on Instagram

Check it out for free: "DIY Lifestyle Magazine"

DIYKim & Chloe
DIY Lifestyle Magazine

A huge thanks to DIY Lifestyle Magazine for featuring us in their September issue! Check them out on your iPad - they were kind enough to provide a free month to all our readers (yay!) - because who doesn't want to sit back and gather some DIY inspiration? Besides our articles, you'll find some fun ideas and might even know some other bloggers featured. For your free trial, download the magazine here: http://bit.ly/T2rMXd. Click on SUBSCRIBE and then CURRENT SUBSCRIBERS. Enter in promo code: septdiy1 to get the current issue for free; and do it soon because the coupon is only valid until October 18, 2014. Enjoy!Popcosmo in DIY Lifestyle Magazine

 

 

 

8 College Tour Tips & Tricks

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
College Tours

If you can't judge a book by it's cover, you can't judge a college by its brochure... although it sure would be a heck of lot easier and whole lot cheaper! But it's college tour time if you are a senior. If you're a junior, you may visit schools in the spring and start getting ideas about what type of school you are looking for to narrow down your options: big school v. small school; city school v. rural school; school with a campus or untraditional feel; etc. For me, when I was visiting schools, I kind of knew, at first, more what didn't feel right until I finally found the one school that just felt like "home." Since then, I've sort of been basing my idea of the perfect school around that one school. But here's a more defined list of college tour tips & tricks to help when you visit schools! College Tour Tips & Tricks

1. Always let the school know you are visiting, even if you aren't taking an official tour. Yes, they keep track of this stuff. Yes, it can really matter (depending on the school). Also, follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. But clean up your feeds first!

2. If you are taking a college tour, go to the website and sign up in advance. Don't just show up the day of and expect to join an official tour. College admissions are crazy busy, and tours are packed. Make the most of your visit and be sure to schedule an interview, wear something appropriate but comfortable, and meet with the admissions rep of the school you are interested in (i.e.,  Business School, Art School) so you don't have to return later. Also, check and see if there are any official tour dates with overnights coming up so you can get a feel for what the campus is really like and what the dorms, cafeteria and social life feel like when parents aren't around.

3. Get business cards from everyone you meet so you have them available when questions come up after your tour. And send thank you notes to those people. Handwritten ones on real thank you cards (we love the ones from Minted, they rock.)

4. During the tour, check out the cafeteria, gym, library, bookstore and bulletin boards. They have information you'll need for daily life - you won't be doing a drive-by, you'll be here for 4 years. Try to eat in the cafeteria and just sit back and listen to see what students are talking about, the more time you can spend on campus, the more of a "real" feel you'll get of what your life might be like. My mom says, "It's amazing how the weather and your mood that day can influence your decision, so we need to slow down and spend some quality time while we are here!" And yes, she's the one on the tour asking about safety, library hours, how many people have cars, what % are greek, etc. If you see us on a tour, run.

5. If you can sit in on a class in a subject area you are interested in, do. Find out about class size and whether or not students are able to get in classes they need for their major, especially a major you think you might be interested in at this point.

6. If you are interested in sports, talk to the coach of that sport. Interested in clubs or programs, visit them.

7. Another thing my mom always says: "Is this what you think college feels like?" If not, we move on.

8. Last, but definitely not least: take notes. You think you will remember everything, and maybe you will; but I couldn't. After tours were finished, everything was jumbled in my head and notes helped.

If you have any college tour tips to share, please do!

xo chloe

 

7 Best Household Products

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe
hedgehogs

As a mom who works from home, I spend a lot of time trying to simplify and better my home with products that do more for less. I'm all about spending less time doing things inside so I can spend more time outdoors doing the things I love, like working out, traveling, spending time with my family and generally avoiding the kitchen. I get so frustrated when I buy something and it doesn't work... like laundry detergent that cost less but doesn't clean, or paper towels that leave lint everywhere. Not a big deal, but just super-annoying when it necessitates a do-over. So, my list of the 7 best household products is purely subjective, but they do exactly what they are supposed to do extremely well.

household tips image via West Elm

1. Bona - I was a fan of another quick sweeping and mopping system for hardwoods, but the smell always, always gave me a headache. So much so that I was reluctant to try another brand. When I was reassured that Bona had no scent, I gave it a try. And I love it. I am absolutely in love with how clean and shiny it leaves my floors.

2. Towels - You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but I'm convinced you can judge a hotel by it's towels and sheets. And as I search for towels, I wanted 2 things: thickness and absorbency. Add 3 more and I'd have the ideal towel: colorfastness, organic and no shrinkage. I'm pretty close with my new towels from Lands' End. As you'll see from #3, I just went on a linen closet spree, but feel justified with the move!

3. Sheets - I've spent an absolute fortune on sheets and love the feel the crisp cotton and cool linen. I'm not much for a heavy flannel and always found that jersey was too skimpy and never held up like it was supposed to. But then I bought Lands' End Cotton Knit Bedding for my pickiest sleeper. And then for me, and then for every bed in the house. These are the only sheets we use now. They are heavy enough to be used in the winter, light enough to use in the summer, soft enough for my picky sleeper (and he is truly picky), and they never need ironing. Which pretty much makes them the perfect sheet.

4. Deo-Go - I was going to make a before and after picture of the t-shirts I tried this on, but didn't want to gross you out. And the photo would have. I took all my husband's tees and treated them with the sample Deo-Go sent me thinking "what do I have to lose." Well, we lost the underarm stains on even the oldest stains. I am amazed. And shocked. And pleased beyond belief. This stuff works. Get it.

5. Dryer Hedgehogs - We bought them because they were cute. We're keeping them because they work. I don't like dryer sheets because they are just putting chemicals on my clothes (yes, I'm one of those people), but I like them because they work. They reduce static and increase fluffiness. So I love these cute little hedgehogs because they cut down on the amount of dryer sheets I use and there is never any static cling, even on delicates when I use no dryer sheets. These two pets can stay!

6. Steamer - This might little steamer wins bang for the buck every time I use it, while saving me from most of the ironing I never like to do anyway. Who wouldn't like using a pink steamer! And can we say perfect graduation gift?

7. Scrub Daddy- I'm a Shark Tank addict but typically don't buy any products. But I saw this in a store after seeing it on Shark Tank, I decided why not give it a try. Our kitchen sink hasn't been without one since, and I may or may not have sent one to a few people. Use it cold on hard stains, use it hot for regular scrubbing, use the eyes to hold onto and the mouth for spoons. It fits in any size you need to clean. It's so much better than any sponge and the only thing that would have made it better is if I had invented it!

I'd love to hear your 7 best household products, or just your 1 favorite! Do you have a favorite vacuum cleaner or homemade cleaner you want to share?

xo ~kim

Back to School Outfit

FASHIONKim & Chloe

Back to school outfits are hard for me because I'm used to wearing uniforms.  This is the first time I haven’t had a uniform since 5th grade. In middle school my uniform consisted of a cotton t-shirt with my school’s name on it along with a pair of kaki shorts or pants. Then in 9th and 10th grade I had to wear a fancy collared shirt tucked into a fancy kilt. Then 10th grade round two and 11th grade I could basically wear my pajamas all day… online school for the win. However, now that I’m in 12th grade I finally have the freedom to wear whatever my little ‘ole heart desires. In fact, we basically have no dress code rules, except that we can’t wear spaghetti straps. Which happens to be fine by me. We can even wear open-toed shoes which is absolutely amazing. This idea of being able to wear whatever the heck I want is kind of awesome. I’m trying to not wear leggings to school until I absolutely have to, and so far my streak is going strong (even though I’ve only been to four days of school).

This is an outfit that I plan on wearing next week… just swap my never leave home without-it keep 'cause it keeps my cellphone charged tote for a backpack. It’s simple, it’s easy, and I think it’s pretty darn cute, especially the back of the top! And the price is right on the top and Mint Julep has tons of cute options on boots, tops, scarves... you name it. Let me know what you think in the comments below — I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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shaylnneimaging Fabulous photos by Shalynne Imaging. Go give her some love! xox Chloe

Summer's End and My Ideal Image

BEAUTYKim & Chloe
Summer's End

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ideal Image. All opinions are 100% mine. I can't believe it's the end of summer! It seems like just yesterday we were packing up the house and planning our big cross-country move. Now that summer's fun and our vacations *sigh* are over, I'm reassessing and doing my annual what needs a fall tune-up: the yard, the kitchen, the office, or...  me?

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I've been taking extra-special care of my skin since moving to Denver. Being outside for just a short time in the "mile-high city" can result in a serious burn and it's always sunny here. All of our activites are outdoors, which I love, and our vacations are especially centered around being outdoors. We bike everywhere, and have been taking long weekends to the mountains. We've been rafting, hiking, exploring and even getting back into running without the benefit of oxygen. Of course I wear my sunscreen and I even try to wear a hat and sunglasses too, but crow's feet and lines are creeping in faster than ever which had me noticing in my very few vacation photos I'm wearing sunglasses to hide the effects. Does anyone else avoid the camera or wear sunglasses? It's time to step in front of the camera & take off the sunglasses!

So I was excited when when Ideal Image contacted me to tell me about their Ideal Image Facial Rejuvenation services. They are offering 25% off Facial Rejuvenation for a limited time. I'd heard of their laser hair removal, and was interested to hear they offered Dysport, Ultherapy and Restylane. Ultherapy tightens and lifts loose skin around the neck and face, like a non-surgical facelift. Right now I'm interested in Restylane, a filler for deep wrinkles, and Dysport to help crow's feet. I still want to look exactly like me, but I guess you could say an "improved version" of me!

And wouldn't you know, this is one of the top 3 reasons people want facial rejuvenation. All 3 reasons are to look younger, have more confidence, and look like yourself, only better. I'm curious if any of these reasons appeal to you. If one (or more) does, click to request more information and let me know.

xo ~kim

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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

Links I love

EXTRAS, RANDOM STUFFKim & Chloe

internet linksphoto via

Whew. Going to school by day and homework by night has me missing out on all my daily internet perusing. But, I made time this weekend to catch up a little, and here are a few links I love from this week.

How cute is this hair style? I wish my hair was a little longer so I could wear it on the daily! This is what I've told myself this week at my new school because this gold foil print is the perfect reminder. We all know I'm crazy about all things gold and I love the simple font. Wouldn't it look cute in an ornate frame. Check out more designs by Michelle Hopper she's super talented! I'm so happy that at my new school I'm allowed to a carry water bottle and we have the coolest drink refilling stations! This lightweight Sigg Water Bottle is perfect because when it's full of water, I have plenty to drink, and when it's not full, it's easy to carry. I love all the colors & my mom likes that it's dishwasher safe, BPA free, and recyclable. Ban.do has bee killing it lately. I want everything. This fabulous keychain is a the top of my "must have" list right now. I'm always on the hunt for the latest and greatest of nail polish colors, and I think navy and grey are the "it colors" for fall.  I'm currently rocking the grey so I'm already on trend ;) Now that school's back in session I have to stay super organized. This cute planner will solve all my issues... I can just feel it.

Let me know your favorite links from this past week in the comments below! xox Chloe