I can see clearly now the rain is gone

Apologies, kind readers, for my horrendous absence. Life just got in the way. It happens. You know when you’re part way through a semester (generally right before Thanksgiving Break) and you feel like you are about to have a mental break down. Well, I had my borderline mental breakdown at the beginning of the semester. Hey, at least I’m getting it out of the way! I’m coming into my fourth week of classes and I finally feel like it’s all starting to settle. My work schedule has been hammered out, I understand what my teachers expect, and I’m actually getting a lot of sleep. Life is good and back on track.

The thing that I’m most proud about it is how well I’ve been able to maintain my standards of healthy living, while trudging through the tumultuous muck that was this entire month. Chris and I have been making tasty dinners nearly every night. I’ve been eating more regularly on the weekend. I’ve been off the gluten for 22 days. I’ve been forcing myself to go to sleep before midnight. My yoga practice has deepened. The dark-ages are over and there is nowhere for me to go but up. Hello world, I’m back!

I don’t want to make this a lame post with zero health information, so I will share some very exciting news with you. Remember I mentioned the website Body Rock TV, and how the host (Zuzana) and videographer (Freddy) were separating? Well, sadly, they still are, but Zuzana has reappeared after taking two months off. Not going to lie, some people were really pushy about her wanting to come back. Hello: wouldn’t you be kind of reclusive if you were leaving your husband of four years? Well, pish-posh to them. She is working with a new company that uses really cool formats for their videos, and the clips remind me of her first videos that were shot on building tops; very edgy.  I’m excited to watch her reshape her body. Currently she’s been posting one workout a week, so I might try getting back on board – I know, I know, for the, what, 100th time?—and crank out some beastly workouts.

http://youtu.be/TTZ5Voqp7Ys

http://youtu.be/3kfZziDOp9U

Can I get a hot damn?!

 

So stay tuned. I promise to be more on top of my blogging game, now that life has thrown me a bone.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

PS: does anyone know what the new deal is with WordPress and Youtube videos. Can they no longer be visually embedded?

 

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Flax Attack!

In a recent post I encouraged you to add something “hippie-crunchy” to your diet. This little seed has been making his rounds in the food world. I’ve used it intermittently for quite some time, and I can say with conviction that it’s a great staple to add to your kitchen. Let me present, Mr. Flaxseed.

Flaxseeds (which are also used to make linseed oil) are deceptively healthy. They are a great source of fiber, micro-nutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also very affordable if you know where to shop for them, and who doesn’t love affordability? But I got to be frank for a minute. A great reason to take flax seed is to increase, regu, ahh, lar, erm, make it easier to, oh, what the hell, poop. It’ll clean out your insides like nobody’s business, but in a really gentle way. I promise. We don’t get much fiber in our diet, so this is a great, safe way to get things moving. And let’s be honest. Be you male or female: who doesn’t enjoy a satisfying, strain free poo? Moving along!

Because flax has gained a lot of popularity, many big companies have started pumping out bags, canisters, and packages of it for grocery and health store shelves. One caveat is that flax has to be consumed in particular way to make sure it’s effective, and unfortunately companies don’t tend to present it that way; surprise, surprise.
For starters, whole fla seed is not effective. It needs to be broken down to release the goodness inside or it’ll just pass through you. But stop! Don’t go out and buy a big ol’ bag of pre-ground flaxseed. Just like freshly squeezed juice should be consumed immediately (or at least within a few hours) flaxseeds will start to lose potency the longer they sit after being ground. In fact, if not consumed fast enough the ground flax—which is called flax meal—will turn rancid. If you buy pre-ground flaxseed who knows how long it has been sitting out for. This information is easy to find, so it grinds (hehe) my gears that companies would sell products that are essentially rotten. They’re lining their pockets and being wasteful. Not cool. So, word to the wise: don’t buy ground flaxseed. Instead buy flax that is intact. If there is a co-op or healthy living store in your area then buy it there in the bulk section. At City-Market I can get a pound for less than $2! Some companies at major stores sell whole flaxseed, but you’re going to pay a lot more for it.

“Jocellyn, why are you telling us to buy whole flaxseed when a paragraph ago you told us whole flaxseed isn’t useful?” True, it isn’t useful, but you can easily grind it yourself! Search around for a simple coffee grinder, pop a tablespoon in, and give it a few pulses. In seconds you’ll have fresh ground flaxseed that is very nutritious. Buy a teeny, weeny Tupperware container and store it in your freezer for up to 2 days. Have no fear if you don’t have a grinder. Another method you can use is soaking your flaxseed in one part flax and three parts water (I usually do one tablespoon of flax.) Do this before you go to bed and in the morning your seeds will have soaked up the water and started to secrete a gel. I admit, this isn’t my favorite way of consuming flax, but it’s just as effective. Because of the mild laxative effect, start out small with one tablespoon and gradually add more as your body becomes accustomed.

Things to do with your flax:

Sprinkle it on yogurt
Mix it into batters
Blend it into your smoothies

Use it as an egg replacer
Make little peanut butter, banana, and flax meal sandwiches

Use it as an egg substitute:

Flax goop

This is a nutritious egg substitution.
• 2 Tbsp. Finely ground flax seeds plus 3 Tbsp. water replaces one egg.
• Mix them together in a small bowl or mug, and let sit a couple of minutes until it becomes like jelly, then add as you would eggs

Flax goop has a nutty flavor that works fine in cookies, bars and brownies, and things like zucchini bread, but may not be what you want in cakes or lighter vanilla-flavored items.
It does help with browning, and it provides some omega-3 oils and fiber which we all like.” Click here for the article
Okay, you see my point. You can pretty much do anything with flax.

Peel away ❤
Jocellyn

 

Natural Skincare: Lip Exfoliate

Surprise! I said I wouldn’t write on Mondays, but I can squeeze in a quick post that I think is most important for these brutal winter days. All this cold/dry weather has been murdering my skin and kisser. My lips were so flaky that I started resembling the crack-head from Dave Chappelles skits.

Sexy can I, right? Thankfully, I remembered a home-made sugar scrub which is perfect for lips and it doesn’t involve any measuring!

 

Crack-Lips Be Gone

–          Put a few  pinches of sugar into a bowl. The bigger the sugar crystals the better. I’m a big fan of turbinado sugar, but since nasty lips are a serious, need to be handled now issue, regular table-sugar is fine.

–          Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the sugar. My lips really needed a  good sloughing, so I made my sugar to EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) favor the exfoliating sugar.

–          Add a touch of honey. Most people have honey that is s squeezable or dribble-able, but I have pure honey which is much thicker, though great for toast. I kept trying to warm and liquify it to add to the other ingredients, but it kept seizing up and forming a clump once it hit the cold EVOO.  Alas, I left the honey out. Aka: I ate that sugary clump when no one was looking; waste not, want not.

After everything has been mixed to your satisfaction, dab a finger in the mix and apply it to your top lip. Make like you’re brushing your teeth. Pretend you are smacking your lips together after you’ve put lipstick on. Rinse, add to the bottom lip, and repeat.  My lips were noticeably softer, less flaky, and I didn’t get irritated. Tonight I’m going to do one more round and see if I can get the last bits off, as I really like wearing lipstick and flakes+lipstick is a huge no-no.

 

Peel away (all those dead cells)

❤ Jocellyn

 

BREAKING NEWS!

I’m not done yet. I was about to click “publish” when mi amour ventured out to the living room to harass me. So, not sure if I mentioned this, butttt, I’m really obsessed with the Shit Girls Say videos…and the million parodies that follow; Shit Black Guys Say kind of (cue middle school flashback) “owns my heart.” Chris has been a willing passenger seat viewer, but tonight he introduced me to this gem. Eat your heart out.

 

 

Morning Yoga

I just watched this video this morning, and apparently it has been making rounds in the yoga world.  A lot of yoginis are up in arms about it, saying it objectifies women. There where the obvious arguments that it was using sex to sell. I personally think the person shooting avoided a lot of obvious crotch shots, and the few butt-cheek ones didn’t bother me. The difference between sensuality and sexuality is a fine line.  There were arguments that the disheveled bed with a male in it suggested something lewd. Okay, I’m totally whistle-blowing that one.  In case you haven’t slept with someone, the bed sheets are going to be messed up regardless of frisky business or restless nights. Sheets are not designed in a way that both can be satisfied!; Alas.   Many of the opinions are valid, aside from the sheet one, but in all honesty I like this video  more than the more recent Yoga Body Calendars by Jasper Johal. A little back info: before his yoga shots only featured a few bare breasts. Now practically all are pushed out for view, except for the famous Kathryn Budig’s.  I think the female body is a wonderful thing. I think the male body is a wonderful thing. But, like everyone, I have my opinions of when someone is trying to make an extra buck by selling sex.  When I think of what makes a yoga body powerful I think of muscles. Breasts kind of just hang there. It bothers me a little, but not enough to make me stand up and shout, and frankly not everything has to. Indifference is often touted as laziness, but at times it’s a perfectly fine emotion. What  are your thoughts? PS: I really do love the rest of his work, just not that “stuff.”

For me this came across as a fine example of a super strong and beautiful practice. It did, however, make me envious in a few ways.

1.) Envious that I don’t have a dedicated morning practice– I’m working on that this week!

2. ) Envious that my apartment isn’t that nice– Some day I’ll go J.K Rowling with a book and have a nice New York apartment  😉

3.) Envious bra companies don’t make cute lacy things for big breasted women– Breast reductions are kind of expensive.

Peel away ❤

Jocellyn

Sugar, Sugar how you get so fly?

 

This week keeps getting better and better. Yesterday I went to start my car…no luck! I think I have a broken V-belt which controls my power steering, brakes, A/C, and something else, and since I have an Audi it’s going to cost a butt load to fix. And I have to get my car towed. And no places are open on the weekend. And being a female I must be 100% on top of my knowledge game when I go in so I don’t get ripped off.  And Chris’s brother still cannot get this dumb virus off my computer. I’m really trying to keep it together, but please, someone throw me a bone. Deep breaths.  So while I’m stuck in the library waiting for my Dad to call me back about what to do, I decided to write today’s blog post on one of my favorite topics. Sugar—the white, grainy devil.

Credit: (Flickr) Darren Tunnicliff

Now, I’m not talking about the natural sugars found in fruits, but you probably already guessed that. I’m talk about the sugars added to our food.  Go find a seemingly healthy item you have in your house—maybe some Chobani Fruit Greek Yogurt—and read the nutrition label. You’ll find the grams of protein, sodium, fat, trans fat, etc., and what percentage of your daily value (if you are on a 2,000 calorie diet, remember) you’ve used up eating the food. Notice how sugar doesn’t have a daily value %.  I thought this was kind of funky, as the heightened amounts of refined sugar we eat in this country is such a problem.  I did some in-depth research (okay, Google searches) and found that the reason sugar does not have a daily value % is because refined sugar has zero nutritional value and isn’t necessary in our diet. But at the same time it surprises me that there isn’t a spot on the label that mentions this and also gives an idea of the maximum grams of sugar we should be eating a day.

Allow me to put on a tinfoil hat and crazy bug eyes and call out conspiracy. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if lobbyists for sugar companies are encouraging forcing whoever is in charge of labeling to keep this knowledge from the general population, so they can continue to fill our bellies with unnecessary gunk. If you think the USDA or FDA is looking out for your best interest then think again! Follow the money, baby.

Let’s not be completely hopeless. If the media won’t give accurate portrayals we find our own. If we have no coordination for most physical activities we search high and low until we find something that fits. So we aren’t going to sit here and suck on our thumb or wring our fingers over this sugar issue. We use Google! This was the most legitimate website I found that gives a straight forward, already converted into grams answer, as I don’t think in teaspoons.

Emily Main, the author of the story, writes, “The recommended sugar intake for adult women is 5 teaspoons (20 grams) of sugar per day, for adult men, it’s 9 teaspoons (36 grams) daily, and for children, it’s 3 teaspoons (12 grams) a day.” Tosca Reno, queen of the Eat Clean Diet, suggests eating snacks with less than 10 grams of added sugar (hard, but do-able.)

Now look at that item I told you to grab. Now back to me. Now back to the grams of sugar. Now back to me. Gasp. You’ve probably noticed that the grams of sugar are in the double digits. If you happened to have some flavored Greek Yogurt that has been touted as healthy you’ll probably see something like 23grams. Shock and awe of unhealthy proportions. Thankfully, most of our should be healthy but are really unhealthy sugar habits can be cleared up with a little bit of taste bud rewiring.

Yogurt- Start by buying plain (no, not vanilla, plain!) yogurt and adding your own fruit. Drizzle on a little bit of honey, which is still a sugar but more natural. If you have an awesome hand held blending stick then whip it all up. You won’t have to buy all those little containers, and most plain Greek yogurt has 9 grams of sugar per serving and the same amount of protein.

Tea and Coffee- My motto is if I cannot drink it straight then I shouldn’t venture down the rabbit hole. Find drinks that you only need to add a sprinkle of sweetener too.  Every so often it’s okay to have an indulgent drink of tea with milk and honey or Starbucks Coffee, but if it’s an everyday ordeal start cutting back.

Check Labels-  You now know the numbers, so be honest with yourself and decide if that snack you want is super necessary or something you can hold off on.

Check out this WebMD site on more interesting and eye opening information on sugar.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Eating healthy at school- Salad & other tips

I have the college luxury of being able to cook my own meals, but for 2 years I suffered eating dining hall food, so I understand what a pain it can be to enjoy what you’re eating, never mind eating healthy. Last year at my school—when I wasn’t eating meat—I asked if the dining hall (who claimed to be really open to conversation) could start serving healthier options for the meat-less. A pasta-lifestyle does not a healthy diet make. Let’s just say I was shocked at the push back I got from a certain head chef who “claimed” they cared about the health of her students. It was appalling and still makes my blood boil.  The cooks practically went out of their way to make healthy food unappealing.  Eating healthy doesn’t need to be overly expensive, per say, but it is a lot cheaper to feed everyone pizza and chicken nuggets than fresh food. It’s a sad truism in this country. It seemed Sodexo (the notorious food provider we had) was more interested in saving a buck, getting rebates from the junk snacks they were hocking at us, and being lazy in their chef prep skills. Thankfully, there are ways to navigate the pizza, fries, burgers, and soft-serve machine. One of the first things I started doing was incorporating a salad into my lunch and dinner. I allowed myself to eat what the main course was, but filling up with good for me foods  beforehand helped me cut down on the greasy, buttery, salty, laxative (mmmhmmm) laden food.

Can I make a salad? Or can I make a salad?!!

Now, salads can seem really boring, but once you get used to eating them I guarantee you’ll crave them. For starters, you need to make a real, healthy salad. Ditch the ice berg lettuce and try using the darker, leafy greens, as these are true super foods! Add in hard boiled eggs, cucumbers, baby corn, mushrooms, onions (bring gum), olives, etc. Sliced apples, mandarin oranges, and pears are a nice added touch. Nix the croutons, bacon bits, and cheese. If you want something sprinkled on top try dried cranberries or sliced nuts. And for Pete’s sake, no more calorie heavy dressings like ranch, Italian, or Catalina! Why undo all your hard work by slathering it in gunk? Instead drizzle on some balsamic vinegar and olive oil. You’ll feel fresh and light afterward, and since your stomach registers volumes you won’t be as ravenous.

At the same time,  accept the fact that your body will crave different things during different times of the year. A lot of it is weather dependent. Most people like eating salads, fruits, and raw vegetables during the hot summer months and warm, hearty foods during the winter. During the fall season you have to practically force a salad down my throat, but oddly enough, come winter, I’m back on the greens. We’re all wired differently, but I can safely say that most of us could use more salads in our lives.

Just as delicious!

Other tips:

Only get ice cream or a dessert one day of the week.

Even if it kills you, get up in time to have a sit down breakfast of eggs, oatmeal, milk, juice, yogurt, etc, whatever you want. Don’t be the student who’s always grabbing a bagel on the run; trust me, your waist will thank you.

Wean yourself off of sugary sodas and juices by starting each meal with at least one glass of water.

Grab fruit like bananas, oranges, and apples for mid-day snacks.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Look. Touch. Move

There, I came up with a much better name for the poorly titled blog post: mirror, mirror; touch my body; move it. I wouldn’t say it’s up there with Eat. Pray. Love, but I’m making small gains.

Today’s topic is all about healthy vanity and getting off the couch. Here’s a little back story. When I was 14 months old I was adopted from Haiti by a white family from a very white area. I think there may have been one other black girl, so from day one my parents have always doted over me. I admit that I was a damn cute baby—diaper ad baby cute—and adorable young one, so I’m sure my parents and peoples’ kind words weren’t lies, but I think being the only black girl encouraged them to make sure I knew I was beautiful, as I had no one else to really look up too. That being said, it was probably the catalyst to my vanity. I adored looking in mirrors when I was younger, and it is habit that I’ve carried into adult hood (it has slowed down the past few years.) But I believe it is something we should all do more of!

Typically, when we have body issues we avoid looking at ourselves and wear baggy shirts and pants to cover our insecurities. Ladies and gents, I encourage you to take off your clothes—even your skivvies—and look at yourself naked. Get to know your body: the places you dip, curve, bulge, pucker, or are bony. I guarantee you’ll find parts, possibly quirky ones, you absolutely adore. It’s kind of clichéd, but I think being naked is one of the most fabulous things, and if you’re lucky enough to be rooming with a  boyfriend/girlfriend, or have a single dorm room, then take advantage of it! On the flip side, you’ll also find places you don’t like, but you may make peace with them. I have 2 examples. For one I hated my breasts. Since age 7 I used to pray for boobs and one year it was as if the god (and you know how I love my various gods) of titties came down and was all “allakabam!” By high school I was a solid D; bathing suit shopping was– and still is– a nightmare. And for many big breasted women, you can probably agree with me that most big breasts are not like silicon enhanced ones. I’m not super saggy, but I wouldn’t say any porn agency would be casting me for “Huge, Perfect Melons 4—Grocery Adventures” But guess what: the more I started forcing myself to look at them the more I accepted their shape and realized they were fine. The same thing happened with this cellulite dimple I had. I used to hate it, but I realized that no matter how healthy I am it’ll always be there chilling on my left thigh, and I kind of like it.

Step two. Make like a body builder and touch your body. Flex your arm muscles, wimpy or bulbous, and see how they feel. Squeeze your calves. Feel your cheekies. Rub your tummy—trust me, it ain’t my favorite spot either, but looking and it and touching it has made me realize what diet and exercise habits change it negatively and positively. We’re tactile creatures, right?

Step three. Move your body. I’m talking about getting up and dancing. Try out different activities and figure out what ones work the best for your body type. Running is out of the question for me. I feel like a wheezing oaf and my knees constantly ache, but dancing and yoga class feel natural. So what if you have two left feet—experiment with swimming; have you ever heard of someone tripping while swimming?  I personally think everyone should try hula hooping. You’ll certainly learn how to move that body and get a surprising cardio workout! Check out Sharna Rose, a hoop celebrity. She’s kinda amazing.

Me hooping in 2010 during my raver days

Learn to love the little (or big) things about yourself. I get that we all go through small phases of hating our body, but try not to let it affect you for a long time. Are you upset because you’ve gained a few pounds? If you know your body well (and can be honest with your habits) maybe you are meant to put on a bit of weight. But if you know you have been slacking on your care then turn that discouragement into fuel to eat better or workout a little harder. There is definitely a sense of pride in understanding your body.  It’s the one thing we are stuck with for the rest of our lives, so I think we should owe it to ourselves to rise above hating it.

Peel Away<3

Jocellyn

…and another chapter begins.

Hello!

The last few days have been incredibly hectic, as I’ve been gearing up for back to school. In all honesty I haven’t been looking forward to it at all. Last semesters I was working about 20 hours a week and hard-core getting my academic grind on (3.82 GPA, baby), so it was quite nice to have a few weeks off. Even though I was working I thoroughly enjoyed not having to do homework and being able to sleep in the next morning. Ah, sweet bliss. However, the first day was not super. Last night my computer got a nasty Trojan virus, and Chris’s computer has been out of commission for the past week and a half! Not a great way to start the semester, but I suppose it was better than it happening knee deep in an intense assignment; Positive thinking, Jocellyn, positive thinking.

Since my schedule has become a little mind boggling, I’ve decided to make a schedule of days I’ll most definitely be writing on the blog, so ya’ll aren’t waiting with baited breath. With the way things are going right now it looks like I’ll  be able to get posts to out on Wednesday & Thursday. Sunday and Monday are definitely out of the question– sorry folks. Saturday I’ll most likely be able to post as well. No worries, I’m sure I will have less tome-like posts to send you all, so you can check in to see what’s up. I’ve had some new healthy regiments I’ve been undertaking and I cannot wait to let you know how they’re going. It’s the start of the semester, so make it a good one! Set positive intentions for yourself.

Some possibilities:

-Drink less alcohol. It’ll honestly be better for your body, your brain, your academics, and possibly your social life if the drinkers you hang around don’t have much ambition.

– Do your homework the day it’s assigned. This will keep you from rushing around on due date. I’m not an extreme procrastinator, but this is definitely an area of my life I could strengthen.

– Pick up a new fitness routine and be consistent. Go to Zumba once or twice a week. Try out some workout DVDs. Start swimming at the local Y. Don’t feel like you have to rush out 5 days a week or pull any two-a-days from the get-go. It’s better to be consistent and build from there than go all out for a month and give up.

– Incorporate something “crunchy” into your daily life. Flax or Chia seeds might not be that horrible. You just might adore Kombucha.  If you aren’t a heavy sweater (must be nice) try using a deodorant with minimal ingredients. Try to make your life as “clean” as possible where you can.

–  Cull the herd. In regular man “speak”, start “phasing” out people from your life who aren’t beneficial.  Why keep Chelsea around if she’s always making fun of you? Why hang out with Ray if you’re constantly getting caught up in his drunken antics, like picking him up from the drunk- tank?  It seems cruel, but it’ll give you more free time and peace of mind. It doesn’t mean you have to completely ignore them (although, with some you have to), but don’t feel like you have spend valuable time and energy on them.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Natural Beauty

Ladies & gents, I’ve fallen absolutely in love with this new skin care product I’ve “discovered”. Want to know my secret for damn-fine, baby-bottom soft skin? Coconut Oil! For a long time I’ve been using run of the mill products to clean my face. One day while we were on a brunch date, my facially flawless friend Madeline told me she’d been using Coconut Oil every few days for her face. I happened to have a tiny bit left over from using it to moisturize my hair, so I figured “why not try?” Of course, I was skeptical at first since it’s oily. At the time I was using conventional cold pressed oil, and although it made my skin feel nice I wasn’t 100% on the bandwagon.  I was perusing the internet when I found an article of someone insisting that organic, unrefined Coconut Oil was far superior for face care needs.  I’m easily hooked, so I dashed to City Market to find a jar. Enter Spectrum Brand Organic, Unrefined Coconut Oil.

The organic kind was only a dollar more than the conventional, and unlike cold-pressed oil which looks kind of “marble-y”, unrefined oil looks creamier. It also has a stronger smell, but it disappears within five minutes. A little certainly goes a long way! My skin has never felt softer and more luxurious. When I went home for Christmas my mother even noted my skin tone had evened up and took several scoops for herself. I do notice that every so often I get a tiny zit here or there, which didn’t happen on my ingredient-heavy Olay Cream, but they are a lot easier to dispatch! I’d rather get one pimple here and there using a one ingredient product, than never getting one with a chemically charged product. At $10 a jar this wasn’t a bad purchase, and since it doesn’t dry out my skin I don’t need nearly as much. Win-win.  If you do decide to buy this go with the fat, short jar over the tall, slim jar so it’s easier to scoop out. Since I’ve had such good luck with this natural cream, I’ve decided to try making a natural face cleanser as well. I want something that I can store in the refrigerator, and after a bit of searching stumbled upon this recipe by Maddie Rudd.

“Coconut Cleanser

A moisture-rich and nutritious treat for your face

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp glycerin (You can find vegetable glycerin at a healthy living store. You can also put it in a bottle with some water and spritz it on your hair! It’s especially nice for afro-wearin’ ladies)
  • 2 tsp water

Instructions

Melt ingredients together over very low heat. When liquid, remove from heat and beat as mixture cools. Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator to maintain thick consistency. Massage over face, rinse, pat dry.”

For a bit of added exfoliation I’m going to throw in some whole flaxseed. This is too exciting! Maybe once I finish my toner pads I’ll try making some of my own and same goes for my St. Ives exfoliate which has a few more uses.

Now, Peel away those impurities and dead skin flakes—yummy—with natural, safe, good for you products.

❤ Jocellyn

Buyer Beware: I do realize that I’m someone who has been blessed with pretty good skin. I’m not too dry, too oily, too acne prone, etc. Using just coconut oil on my skin hasn’t bothered/clogged my pores. If you think you have skin like me then go ahead and try this method. However, I’ve read many comments that coconut oil made the skin of acne prone people worse.You know your body better than I do, so you be the judge.

Reading Break

I’ve thoroughly whipped all your eyes into shape with these last few posts pushing 900-1,000+ words. So I’ll give you all a break. Here are some fun pictures from my Christmas break. I went through a lot to get these. I had to friend my sister on Facebook. You see, she used to always tattle on me as  wee one about my Myspace (haha, yeah, that site) life to my mother and get me in trouble.  I cannot really say I’ve let it go, but she took so many cute pictures of me and Chris, so allow me to gush for a few moments about how adorable my dude is 🙂

So here we are opening gifts. At my house we do Secret Santa. My mom got Chris, which was lucky for him. Notice the Mimosa glass in the background. It’s a family tradition. My parents finally decided last Thanksgiving that I was FINALLY old enough to partake in some holiday chugging sipping.

I got the one thing I really wanted: SHAKTI YOGA SHORTS! Honestly, these things are awesome. The sides are adjustable. They are cut in a way that you don’t need to get a bikini wax. You don’t get a camel toe– what more could a girl want?

“I’m with her.” Note: This never looks this good by the time we get to this pose in Ashtanga. Usually my knees are all bent and I’m all shaky waiting to die.

Now we take obligatory pictures under the tree!

My sister & my mom. Notice the intense family resemblance (hint: I’m adopted)

I think my massive bowl of Shrimp is justttt out of shot. Chris looks adorable here ❤

And now we kiss under the Mistletoe. We had two at my house, so double the fun!

Chilling in front of the heater with our morbidly obese– but happy– pug Max.  I was definitely gearing up to pass out in front of the heater.

 

Here is a random photo from New Years Eve. I’m trying to dance my way out of all the photos I was ruining. I generally take horrible candid photos where my mouth is all open and I’m slouching and my lips are lazy.

 

And last, but not least, me as a young one. I found this Christmas morning. I think I’m like twelve here. Look at that stance! I was so full of sass-itude.