Saving + Shopping

How to buy a television

how to buy a television

So you’re shopping for a new television. Standing in front of a synchronized wall of blaring monitors, you enter a dizzying world of sensory overload that gives you everything except answers to your questions such as: Will this picture look as good in my home as it does here? What features will I really use? Why is it so hot in here, and why don’t these stores sell cake? When it comes to retail purchases, open minds lead to empty wallets. That’s why you need to know what you want before you get hypnotized by the TV wall. The following pointers can help you narrow down your search— if you want to know how to buy a television, read on.

Know Thy Room

While the science of plasma gas versus liquid crystal displays (LCDs) excites some, to many others it a bit of a snore. Here’s what you need to know: Both models offer great pictures. How to choose between them requires you to put on your decorator hat and think about your space. Plasma TVs tend to give a crisper, more consistent picture from different angles, but the glass is also more reflective. That makes them a better choice for wide spaces with limited natural light. If you watch a lot of TV in a sunny room or a smaller space, then the bright LCD TV picture with better anti-glare features will probably be a better choice. Important.

Know Thy Size

Unless you’ve got Mark Zuckerberg money coming out your hoodie, chances are you can’t afford to buy new TVs every year. So rather than incrementally sizing up, go with as big a size as you can comfortably fit within your space. You’ll save money and hassle in the long run. Important.

Ignore the Math

You shouldn’t need a PhD in math to buy a boob tube. Things like contrast ratios, viewing angles, and refresh rates are inconsistent among manufacturers, and the differences aren’t really perceptible to our naked eyes, so all those numbers end up being a distraction. Not a big deal.

Ignore Lifespans

A mere ten years ago we were choosing between tube TVs and those two-ton rear projection sets that swallowed up any room they rested in. Today it’s plasma, LCD, and 3D. Tomorrow it’ll be flying sets that make us dinner. That’s how fast the technology changes. So when you read that Plasma TVs last 100,000 hours and LCD TVs 60,000 hours, what the manufacturer is telling you is your TV can outlive you and that you’ll probably get a new one way before the old one dies. Don’t worry about it.

how to buy a television

3D, 4K, Oh My.

The idea of surrounding yourself with your TV content is pretty cool, but we’ve only scratched the surface of 3D possibility. So unless you’re a cinefile who can’t live without the limited 3D content currently available, you might want to wait a few years for more 3D content to come down the pike and for prices to drop down, which they will as manufacturers iterate on the technology. In the same sense, keep an eye on 4K TV technology that enhances HD. While you get an amazing picture, you currently have to pay through the nose for it. If you wait, the prices will come down will come down on those too. Might be important to you.

The case for Simple

A Smart TV comes with Internet capabilities that let Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu lovers watch their content without the use of another device. The trade-off is it costs more. A simpler “dumb” TV costs less and will likely have an HDMI port that you can connect a streaming media box to, adding many of those same capabilities. And it’s easier (cheaper) to swap out a streaming box than it is to replace your TV, so you might want to resist getting the TV that has more apps than your smart phone. It’s up to you.

Images borrowed from Libratone
Saving + Shopping / Style

Tech Trend: Rose Gold


Rose gold is quiet glamour, and I can’t get enough of it.

Rose gold is quiet glamour, and I can’t get enough of it. Made with regular gold, with a little copper thrown in just to dirty it up, It’s warm glow keeps you pretty in pink without resorting to anything close to a bubblegum hue. Trend, please go nowhere.

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Back to school week: Parental guidance edition

back to school parents

You didn’t think I’d forget you, did you? We covered mornings, locker decor, taking notes, and creating a homework station, and now it’s time to get your game on. Because everyone knows that kids don’t get back to school with new clothes and outfitted backpacks if parents aren’t organized.  So all of these items below are all about keeping you running like a well-oiled carpooling/lunch-making/teacher-compliment-ing machine. Be sure to read all 5 posts in this series!



1. The kids are back in school; now you can learn something new too: Pick up a new skillset on Skillshare.

2. Go for the natural look at drop-off with a Hipp x RGB nail polish shade that matches your skin tone. (and why has no one thought of this before??) $18.

3. Tempo pulls from your emails, contacts, calendar and documents to make one smart calendar. (iPhone only). FREE.

4. The UE Boom Bluetooth Speaker from Logitech is perfect perched on the kitchen counter while you make lunches in the morning. Blare My Chemical Romance as loud as you want… it turns into a speaker phone if you get a call.  $199.

5. Hamilton Beach’s Stay or Go Coffee Maker gets you and your co-parent ready for the morning commute or the carpool line. (There’s a carafe for saturdays). $63.

6. Ingenious Piccolo automatically sends you the best of your Facebook photos monthly. Starts at $10/month.

7. Smaller than a 3-hole punch, the Doxie Go scanner goes with you anywhere, no plugs or cables required. Once it’s back at your desk all your scans flood in.  Invaluable in the quest to go paperless. $188.

8. Every minivan warrior needs to stay hydrated. The thermos-of-the-moment is a glass Bkr with a brightly-colored silicone sweater. Pictured in Lush, $18.

9. Fall essential alert: New tote in an of-the-season color that feels new and classic at the same time. Thank you, Everlane. Pictured in Tangerine, $35.

10. I’m going to build an entire fall wardrobe around this Sailor drops wool silk scarf from Leif. Pictured in Grey, $120.

11. The mac-daddy of wireless routers, the Belkin N750 DB has dual-band speed (that’s enough bandwidth for your son the gamer, your husband the streamer, and your daughter the online shopper). Plus parental controls are built right in for safe surfing.

12. Whether it’s a playdate or a ditch-the-kids-romantic date, coordinating schedules is hard (and usually requires an annoying email chain).  Use Invy instead and streamline the process. (iPhone only). FREE.


All products and services are hand-picked by me. I am not compensated for my recommendations.

Carley K. is an amazon affiliate. 






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Back to school week: ‘Do your homework’ edition


When the kids get home from school, that’s when the fun starts… homework. It’s time to sit down in a well-lit space and crank.  Check out my favorite tech-cessories for getting it all done.  (Snack not pictured).

We’re talking back to school all this week— have you seen our posts about getting out the door stress-free, note-taking, and locker decor? Be sure to check back all week for more posts!


1. My Homework app (for iPhone, Android, Kindle and more), keeps the  quizzes, assignments, and papers all sorted and scheduled. FREE.

2. This hooter keeps your screens clean.

3. A little inspiration for over your desk from Help Ink.  Choose from tons of graphically gorgeous designs, and $1 of every $5 you spend goes to the charity of your choice. $39.

4. Stay grassy: This charging valet is a lawn for your gadgets, by Kikkerland. $24.

5. The Torino desk from CB2 lets you pose as a neat freak, while secretly hiding your stuff in a slide-open desktop. $499.

6. Forget thumbdrives: You need a rock-solid back up plan. Passport drives from Western Digital come in 500MB to 2 TB configurations, and they’re available in colors. Starting at $57.

7. T’Light is a multi-tasking desktop hero: It gives you some light to read by, and charges your smartphone. $169.

8. The Chrome Notebook by Samsung has no operating system, everything’s done through your browser. Read: it’s lightening fast for surfing the web. 11″ wifi starts at $219.

9. Jonathan Adler is always a hoot. Especially so for this brainy owl stuffed animal that come with its own calculator. Genius. $48.

10. You have to sit on it to get it: The Buoy stool from Turnstone is a wobbly, height-adjustable stool that’s great to pull up to a table and join the conversation.  Think exercise ball, but cuter. Tons of colors. $214.

11.Keep it together: This shark stapler helps you take a bite out of paper clutter.

12. This cable organizer looks like a Star Wars AT-AT walker and keeps your cables out-of-this-world organized. And bonus— you get to put it together. $35.99.


All products and services are hand-picked by me. I am not compensated for my recommendations.

Carley K. is an amazon affiliate. 




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Back to school week: Note-taking edition


This week I’m sharing all my favorite products for Back to School.  So far, we’ve covered mornings, and pimping one’s locker.  Today’s post is all about notes, which can make the difference between pass or fail.  I was one of those meticulous note-takers: Color coded, highlighted, bulleted… let’s just say I could have made a pretty penny selling those bad boys.  I only wish I had some of these digital tools when I was in school. Check back every day this week for more!

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