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Upgrade and Organize Your Closet for Less Than $100

It has been years since I have given significant thought to the organization of my closet. Until I get the Vanderpump closet of my dreams, I needed an easy and preferably inexpensive way to make my closet feel more organized and, upgraded.

To make this simple, I used only two products to achieve this: shoe organizers from Amazon and Velvet Hangers also from Amazon

My shoes were piling up on each other! Unorganized and often not visible to me, I would have the hardest time keeping a proper inventory on my own shoe collection. Over the holidays I found this product from TrySmarter that changed everything! Let the pictures below speak for themselves.

Before And After : Shoe Closet Upgrade and Organization

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The Finished Look
The Finished Look

My second tip to keeping everything in order in your closet is to get slip free velvet hangers. They are a game changer. Say goodbye to things falling on the floor! They also have half the profile of the plastic hangers so for tighter spaces, they actually create more closet space and look more uniform. At $22 for 50 hangers, you can’t go wrong!  

Before And After : Hanger Upgrade

Both options gave me more space (to add more clothes!) – which was an added bonus to an upgraded aesthetic and organization!  I was able to fit double the number of shoes in the same amount of space!

So what are you waiting for? Tune into Spring and get to cleaning your closet. Once you have organized your closet, don’t forget to add these Spring Staples into your new wardrobe.



As a Bonus, the shoe organizer is great for kids shoes too!

Kids Shoe Storage
Kids Shoe Storage


5 ‘P’owerful Ways to Connect With Your Spouse

Please tell me I am not the only one who feels like sometimes life gets too busy…to the point that there are evenings when my husband and I are hardly able to chat in the evenings.  I have spoken with my chicks and my mom about this and it seems normal for life to cut into relationships — but honestly, no one likes to feel like they are not ‘connected’ to their spouse or significant other (SO).  Having been married for 13 years with two young children, it’s easy to let one busy evening become two nights in a row and then, before you know it, a week!

Here are some important reminders, the five ‘P’s, to keep your relationship on track and healthy:


Identify that you miss your spouse…this is an easy way to kick yourself back into gear. The best place to start is to communicate that longing. It helps get the wheels turning for you and for your SO. I tell my husband I miss him all the time, even when he is right in front of me. It lets him know that I am thinking about him and that time with him is a priority for me.

Secrets for winning at Relationships
Anil and Rina : Established in 2005

Remember, actions express priorities. So once you acknowledge that you miss each other, it is time to make a plan. We were so good about date nights in the beginning, but lately (in the last 3 years) not so much. This year, we want to find a way to get back to that place where we set aside time for each other. Making time to do things together (yes, without the kids and hustle of daily life) expresses priorities.


Remember those little things you did when you had fewer responsibilities? In our case, it was watch a lot of movies, NBA basketball games, and walking around new parts of town. Those activities are fun, flirty, and lighthearted. Don’t just go out to a fancy dinner — go to sports bar and catch the game again, like old times.  Play time together is just as important for adults as it is for kids. Remind each other of the easy, playful times amidst the weight of growing responsibilities with families.

Sonia and Badal Celebrating 10 Years!

Sonia and Badal Celebrating 10 Years!

Physical Contact

Do you know it only take 60 SECONDS of physical skin to skin contact to get the endorphins going?  Take that playfulness further by sneaking in moments to flirt at home. These moments can be an unexpected hug or kiss in the kitchen, a slight touch of the hand as you walk by. Making sure to remember that even the slightest physical contact with your spouse can make the body have a positive biological response.

Pillow Talk

This one is great. It ties in with #2, planning.  Each night, when the lights are out, it is nice to have a little recap. I tell my husband a quick story about the kids or myself. He will tell me something funny that happened at the office. We try to keep the exchange lighthearted (and phone free), to help us laugh together and end the day with a smile.  Having this brief re-connectivity can help be a reset and recharge button for the relationship. I actually think about pillow talk throughout out the day and look forward to that moment of peace when it is just the two of us.

** Bonus ‘P’: Poetry**

When I first met my husband he would write me lovely snippets in emails, on cards, and on napkins (anything he could get his hands on!) from time to time, sneaking in a romantic thought here an there really drew me to him.  Since that time, I have see many other relationships use this fun way to communicate with each other.  Check out some of my favorite love poems written by my uncle in his book, The Start Of Something Beautiful.  Maybe scoop up a copy for your honey for old times sake, or check out some of our other ideas for gifts.  Here is a sample from the book:

God Exists Poem

Hopefully, you can use some of these tips. When I am on the same page as my spouse, I move through my day with confidence and positivity. When we are ‘off’, it affects me, the kids, my work, etc.  Are you like that?  Drop me a comment below on what you do to connect with your spouse.




Life-Gramming with Snap Spectacles : To Buy or Not to Buy?

Come on ladies, we have all been there: whipping out our phones every second our children look cute at a party, school or on the playground. As fun as it is to capture these moments, tying up our hands and pointing a phone in their face can be a bittersweet experience. I have been waiting for an organic method to capturing memories in a real-time way for years and that moment is finally here, or so I thought!  

The Product: Snap Spectacles

Snap Inc. (formerly SnapChat) has come out with Spectacles. While other people have many reasons for wanting these (e.g. documenting intense adventures hiking on mountains or whitewater rafting), my purpose is singular: to find a more natural way to capture moments with my kids — not for social media, but for myself.  

The Spectacles have decent video and audio quality and a fairly minimal profile that makes it easy to use around the kids without ruining ‘the moment’. Although they only have sunglasses version out now, I suspect the next round of specs will have more nighttime and indoor friendly options.     

The glasses are really easy to use, it nice to not have to dig through your purse every time you want to capture something.  They stay paired with your phone at all time so you don’t need to wonder if you will get the shot when you hit the button on the frame (believe me I kept checking to see if it saved and it did every single time.) The shades run 90 minutes on a full charge (the minutes really stretch since it records 10-60 seconds at a time), which could be nice for adventures with the kids (like going to the the zoo, amusement parks, or even a walk at the park) except that ten seconds with kids on camera tends to feel like one, the ten second window seems to fly by.  Also, since the Snapchat app can take photos, I was disappointed that I could not take a picture with the specs, it only records videos. 

Check out more reviews and videos here:

I'm a Cool Mom - Right?!?!
I’m a Cool Mom – Right?!?!

BUT, in the end, I ended up returning my Spectacles because I found it annoying to not be able to have a continuous shot, even with a 60 second setting, the video gets broken up into six ten second clips when saved to your story.  Ten seconds and no photo option is just not going to work for me!  This device is so close to something I could and would use.  Maybe when they expand the recording options and create a clear lens frame I may be interested in trying this out again but for now, I will probably spend more time fiddling around with the spectacles rather than with the kids which would defeat my original intent for buying the glasses all together!  

I hope I was able to ease your curiosity of this device I know that I needed to try it to know for myself.  Anything else you have your eye on? Let me know, I will review it and keep you posted.



Chicks Picks: 

Loreal Elvive – Your Solution For Dry And Dull Hair

Ever since hair serums hit the market a decade ago, I have seen friends multipurpose them: for weight, for styling, for texture, on dry hair, and on wet hair. Hair serums were designed to assist with hair movement and to protect against the elements of everyday styling — this means that using them arbitrarily doesn’t optimize their use. But us chicks have found the ultimate hair tool. L’oreal Paris recently released the Elvive Extraordinary Serum in the United States to set the record straight on what a hair serum is supposed to do.

Using products according to the directions and knowing what is in the products you use is easier than ever.  The Elvive serum is a versatile serum but because it is not a very heavy oil, it doesn’t work that well for weight, I found that it works best on damp and freshly shampooed hair. It is designed to provide moisture and protection therefore applying it to clean hair will make all the difference.  Without adding more than a few drops, you can avoid too much weight and enjoy full, vibrant hair texture.

Before And After
Before And After
Before And After – The picture on the left is my hair without product and looks heavier and less voluminous, whereas the photo on the right is after using the Elvive serum.  The photos only tell part of the story since you cannot feel the difference.  The hair on the right is softer and lighter to the touch.

Having used a variety of serums myself, the blended botanical extracts and oils combined with the overall feel and smell is the perfect storm for my hair. I might have a lot of hair but it quickly turns dry and dull if I don’t protect it. But don’t take my word for it, check out the amazing reviews on Amazon.

If hair loss is something you deal with or if you are looking for more natural solutions to getting #HairGoals, check our post about the no-poo and inversion method!



**A sample of the product was given complimentary via Inflenster to Chicks And Salsa in exchange for this review, however the opinions held herein are all our own.**

You Are The Company You Keep : Why We Blog

It was a life lesson my parents tried to teach us at a young age: if you surround yourself with go-getters and motivated individuals, it would ‘rub’ off on you and make you that way.  We didn’t always understand what they meant – or if they just didn’t like our friends growing up – but the older we got, the more we understood. Surrounding yourself with like-minded and successful people can inspire motivation.  Success, learning, and networking is like an addiction — once you get a taste of what it is like to be ‘one-of-those-people’, you become empowered to continue to learn and create.

Getting a graduate degree was step one for us. We were surrounded by colleagues who were motivated to pursue further understanding and deeper thought. We began learning the importance of not just accomplishing a task, but enjoying the process of collaborating with peers. And it may sound silly, but our lifestyles as a whole began to shift; we started spending more time in coffee shops getting to know people and their passions rather than partying at bars and nightclubs where the discussions were more superficial.

Once Upon a Dollhouse
With Dani and Caitlin of Once Upon a Dollhouse

Most recently, we discovered blogging. Once we entered this sphere, we quickly recognized that this was largely a female-dominated industry filled with creative influencers, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists.  The desire to have these women ‘rub’ off on us was real.  We have always had a strong network of women in our lives, from our Mom to our five aunts to our cousins and  to our friends, it’s hard to ignore the magnetic energy that a room full of women can produce.

We didn’t know at the time what we were bringing to the table. We did know that we had something to offer.  In this past year, we have truly grown as individuals and as bloggers.  Joining groups where women were open to listening and sharing ideas (e.g. the Windy City Collective, Chicago Grammers, and Style Collective) has been meaningful and beneficial.  Somewhere along the way in these discussions, it did ‘rub ‘ off and we caught the bug to try something new and push ourselves professionally and creatively. This infectious transfer of motivation among women helps us to enjoy the blogging process and to have fun even when things seem hectic.

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We are getting a second chance in our thirties to redefine the next fifty years of our life. Although we don’t know what we are going to do with that opportunity yet, we do know that we will continue to grow.  We are truly grateful to the people we have met along the way who have been generous with their ideas and time – shout out to Annie Spano and the dolls from Once Upon A Dollhouse to name a few.  They inspired us to see a bigger picture and talk through a path with us chicks.

Blogging is about reciprocal influence by sharing who you are with the universe and letting the universe shape you. At Chicks and Salsa, we are trying to do just that one week at a time. Thanks for hopping along for the journey. Get out there, form connections, empower yourself and inspire others. Check out our Chicks And Salsa Chick Chat podcast to hear us think out loud about other things in life that motivate us!

Until next time,

Your Chicks,

Rina and Sonia