I Shore Gots a Purty Mouth ;)

As you’ve probably noticed I’m black. Not Halle Berry black, like, really black. My severe cocoa complexion has really held me back from canon-balling into the makeup world. For starters, I really need to pile it on if I want everyone to even notice. Second, a lot of makeup people in the area have very little experience working with black skin, especially my shade of black, so they aren’t so great at finding me appropriate product (or they love to go over the top!) I’ve also never really had the luxury of hiding any imperfections with concealer. MAC is the only store I’ve found that carries foundation in my shade, but since I’ve been forced to be really cognizant of my skin, I don’t actually need it. Because of this, I keep my makeup to a minimal: some Bag Balm Vaseline for the lips (if it can make a cow’s udder soft and supple I’m certain it can work on me!), some mascara to open the eyes up, a dab of perfume, and some oil for the hair.

I started getting into lipstick last fall. There is something nostalgic about it. Mayhaps it’s the memories of sitting on the bathroom toilet and watching my mom apply it with precision? It’s oddly symbolic. It says, “I’m a woman; goodbye lip gloss.” It looks great in the bottom of a purse, and there is something authoritative and sexy about pulling it out of your bag to reapply mid conversation.

 

Two colors for days you want to be a little subtle

 

Red lips: swimming in the deep end. When you sport a red kisser you have to own it 100% or it’ll own you. You cannot look shy or awkward around town in red lips, or you’ll look like a girl playing in her mom’s makeup cabinet.  Do what I did and try it out somewhere where no one knows you (I was in Montreal.) Get a little comfortable and then show it off to your friends.

 

I admit, the orange color doesn’t get out much.

 

This is my favorite shade, and I wear it on a very regular basis.

 

Shimmery pink is so fun, but you need to be wearing the right outfit or you run the risk of looking a little, eh, “Adult Film.”

 

Behind the scenes

Are there any other lipstick lovers out there?

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Kale Chips: Shockingly Delish

I’ve tackled spinach for my salads, but when it comes to greens I generally have to take them either juiced, smoothied, or in some other indistinguishable form. I blame my grandmother who had a penchant for cooking spinach until it was goop—bleck! Plus, buying kale in stores can be overwhelming , because it comes in a pretty big bunch. I knew I wouldn’t get through all of it juicing, so I pulled up my healthy girl skivvies and branched out.

When it comes to most foods, the darker it is the more nutritious. Kale is one of those super greens that intimidates me, but I think after nearly a year and half of eating well, I might as well start forming a friendship with it. To make kale exciting I needed to keep the cooked version out of sight and mind and be inspired by, dare I say, junk food.

I’m not lying; kale chips are a-flippin-mazing! I’d seen them before in the co-op, but had written them off as a hippy-dippy counterpart that would never live up to the full amazingness of Ruffles or Cape Cod chips, like how the Newman’s version of peanut butter cups are inferior to Reese’s.

I was feeling bored in the morning, so I said “why not?!” I followed this easy recipe and 30 minutes later I was delighted by how crunchy, salty, though still pretty healthy these little green chips were. They are also super filling in a way potato chips are not. Note: prep time is much faster than 25 minutes!

It is a bit of a mind game at the beginning. Green is not a color you’re used to seeing as a chip, so you kind of have to go “it’s just a potato chip, it’s just a potato chip.” Since I used ½ the bunch of kale, these only cost $1.50 to make and I got to choose how much salt I wanted, and I really did go on the light side!

Needless to say, they didn’t survive the afternoon between me and Chris.

Jocellyn Seal of Approval!

Even the baked variety retains a lot of the benefits (source)

Massaging the olive oil covered kale was a lot of fun!

So crunchy! They sound just like a chip

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Sippin’ in Style

Truth: you gotta look cute when you’re going to the bar. For the past few years I’ve been slowly stock piling outfits I knew would come in handy when I turned 21. This number has been biding its time in the closet. I wore it a few nights ago and felt fantastic!

Top- United Colors of Benetton ❤ (GW $3.50)

Hot Shorts- American Apparel ($22)

Tights- No idea! Less than $3?

Leg Warmers- This random new good brand from the Goodwill ($3.50)

Boots- Chadwicks (GW $3.50)

Jacket- I bought this down south at a popular chain of stores we don’t have up here. If Forever21 and H&M had a baby, that would be this store ($40)

Necklace- B.a.d-a.s.s (GW $1.50)

Let’s work our way in, shall we? I love, love, love this jacket. This is the type of jacket you can wear with all black and look super tough, or you can wear it with a frilly pink top to balance out the daintiness. It’s not real leather, but its good fake leather. The ¾ length sleeve is unique, though not always so great in the winter.

I bought these jersey spandex hot shorts from American Apparel when I needed something comfy for a 9 hour rave.  Yes, the store is pricey for plain, cotton items, but honestly the clothes do last a long time. I have a jersey top I got there back in sophomore year of high school and it’s still looking good. I will say, however,  their super thin leggings are not worth the money. I ripped a pair a few months back. Thankfully, I had gotten them at the Goodwill, or else I would have been insanely surly for spending so much.  But back to the shorts, they are really comfy and if you throw on some tights you can take them from electronic festival to nighttime. The one thing about A.A clothes is they are realllllly unforgiving. One should never shop there after eating a burrito if one wants to walk out with any self esteem.

This top is pretty swell as well. It’s actually really long and just barely covers the cheekies. It has a slit up the side and is really fun to wear with leggings. I had to do a pretty intense tuck in job to make sure no bunching would show through the shorts (please don’t read this sentence as a standalone…) It likes to fall off my shoulder a lot. No need to buy a strapless bra! Just let the strap fall down as well. Shoulder is sexy!

 

As any New England-er knows, the weather can be a real hindrance to fashion.  Does one look cute or does one freeze? These leg warmers come in super handy on cold nights. I can wear them up high when I walk to the bar and scrunch them down before I go in.

One thing I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever wear out to the bars is heels. This great comedian Steve Byrne has a hilarious skit about girls going out to the bars in their stilettos. It ends with the club let out looking like a thriller music video because the girls cannot walk right in their shoes. Admit it, ladies, even our most comfy heels are really only comfy for 30 standing-minutes max, and unless you practice walking around drunk in your heels, you’ll probably look unnaturally robotic or just sloooopay! Plus, walking home with your heels in hand is just…disgraceful. Wear comfy boots that have a teensy bit of heel, but won’t leave you falling on your booty or sauntering like a new born giraffe.

 

(Not the skit about the shoes, but just as funny!)

 

I’m generally not into huge statement pieces. When I wear jewelry it’s usually small and humble.  But sometimes you have to bring out the big guns—pow!  I think this necklace speaks for itself.

 

 

Does anyone have a go to bar outfit that never lets them down?

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Beat the Bloat

Today we’re going to focus on healthy drinks.

So you have coconut water, water kefir, dairy kefir, kombucha, pure acai juice, fresh pressed vegetable juice, green smoothies, etcetera, etc. I’m not going to lie, I love the occasional kombucha, and I’m having a love affair with my juicer (sorry blender), but the real “super drink” you should be swallowing is much cheaper and easier to find. Yup, it’s good old water.

Water is absolutely amazing. It detoxes the body, makes your hair, nails and skin look fabulous, and nourishes cells. I mean, there is a reason you can go without food for weeks, but you cannot go without water for more than a few days. But, allow me to get off my soap box.  I admit drinking water can take some getting used to. Compared to all the fun flavored drinks we are surrounded by, water can seem a little ho-hum. So, I’m going to give everyone—ladies and gents—a purely vanity based reason to start chugging the clear stuff, because sometimes it’s the fear of looking bad that lights said fire under one’s cheekies.

Sick and tired of feeling bloated and paunchy? Ladies, want to see a defined waist that you are proud to swivel around at the beach in your itty-bitty, insanely overpriced bikini? Drink. Your. Water!

Okay, so bloating sucks, and before I started eating healthier I feel like I was in a constant state of bloat, carrying around a food baby that never seemed to go away. True, I think some of it had to do with the inflammation from eating all that wheat my body so greatly detested, but a lot of it had to do with eating really salty foods. Your body loves to retain salt. When you eat too much salt and not enough water you throw off a crucial balance. So, if you don’t drink enough water, when you do your body is going to grab onto it and not let it go! To counter that, despite seeming counterintuitive, drink more water! You’ll start flushing out toxins and sodium (hit the road bloat!) and your body won’t be so fearful (source).

Want proof? Okay, I have no photo evidence, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it: these past three days I’ve been drinking a lot of water and have slowly noticed my waist line moving in to create a mini-hour glass shape. This is good, because I have an insane aversion to sit-ups! Isn’t it amazing how simply drinking a little more water can cause such immediate effects?! The way you treat your insides will reflect on your outside. Lemme be blunt: eat like crap and you’re going to look like crap.

A refreshing morning pick-me-up

How does one take drinking water from being a healthy chore to a delicious, healthy chore? Easy, add some flavor! And I’m not taking about Crystal Light flavoring or that Mio junk. Think citrus. Go out and buy some lemons. Make four slices and pop it into a mason jar. The one I use is 24 ounces, so adjust accordingly. Add some filtered water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. By then you’ll have some lightly infused water that tastes great. Sip mindfully throughout the day. (I also know people who use limes or cucumbers, so try out different things!)

Check out this link for the amazing benefits of lemon water; I was truly shocked!

Things to watch out for:

Lemon water is acidic and can soften the enamel on your teeth. If this is something you think you’ll be doing on a regular basis, plunk down $2 on 100 straws and save your pearly whites. Also, don’t brush your teeth immediately afterward, because your teeth haven’t harden again. I think the benefits of drinking water this way far outweigh the cons, so just take the cheap, preventative measures.

It can be really tempting to jump on the food-rage bandwagon, and a lot of the drinks mentioned above do have great benefits. But sometimes we need to look for simplicity as we strive towards a healthier lifestyle!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Food Porn: The Best Kind of Porn

Lately I’ve been playing around with my camera. In my Food Gone Wild section I didn’t really give it enough credit. And then I started looking at reviews of it online, and I found out that for the size and price it’s a pretty impressive camera. I’ve been playing around with all the different aperture settings and making the best of the morning light. Here are some recent pictures that have been minimally edited.  I pray the kitchen in my next apartment has amazing lighting as well! I call this series, A Typical Morning– hehe

 

Recently I’ve been photographing a lot of citrus, because it looks so delicious with the right lightening. Well, eggs are also yellow (and delicious), so I thought I’d try my hand at shooting them as well. Look at that yolk! Shout out to Shadow Farms eggs for making me super happy every morning.

 

Greek Yogurt & Blueberries

As you can see, I go pretty heavy on the protein in the morning. Typically I have two eggs and a little cup of Greek yogurt with berries. For the weeks I buy my Udis gluten free toast, I would do eggs, a slice of bread, and a piece of fruit. Last night for dinner I wasn’t feeling very hungry, so I had a berry cup and a glass of red wine (pump up the antioxidants!) I couldn’t get through all the berries, so these were the leftovers. As you know, I’m a huge proponent of plain yogurt, be it Greek or regular, with fresh or frozen berries. That way you aren’t consuming the 20g-29g of sugar you would be getting with the fruit flavored kinds. Your waistline (or wherever you pack on the pounds) will thank you!

 

Breakfast of Champs!

 

Full Fridge.

For the first time since we signed our lease, Chris and I starved. Okay, I use the term starve lightly, of course (I’m not that first world insensitive…), but for someone who eats many mini meals a day, the one day of scrounging around for food was torture. Not to mention, I spent a lot of money buying three meals out. I was so excited to have a full fridge again! The lower section has essential been turned into my greens-for-juicing shelf! Those three kiwis are a little overripe, so I plan on making some kiwi sorbet. The smaller Mason jar is my green tea and lemon toner, which has been working phenomenally! The six pack of beer is actually cider. If you are gluten free (or a hater of beer, which everyone should be—yuck), cider is your best friend. As a Vermonter I was all about the locally made Woodchuck, but recently I’ve branched out to Angry Orchard. We like to stock the fridge with lots of produce!

 

Take some pictures of your food! If you are interested, leave a comment here or in my Food Gone Wild section and I’ll feature your pics with a link back to your blog!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

I Foresee a Brief Blogging Hiatus

Sorry, folks,

But exam season is upon us at Champlain College. Every year I try to tell myself I’m going to be a little more on top of it. Just like every summer I tell myself I’m going to have some fierce Gwen Stefani-esque abs.…Alas, it never happens.

I’m hunkered down in the library with a huge mason jar of water and lemon slices—so rustic and refreshing—toiling away at papers I should have started, like, not today. Why do my time management skills fly out the window come April?! Oh well, accepting my lack of appropriate planning and pushing forward.

If you don’t hear from me in the next week don’t be alarmed, for I am merely finishing out the school year, though I suspect I’ll be able to blog a little come Wednesday. Carry on my friends, through this insanely busy time.

Some brief tips

Lay off the Adderall!!! I mean it! This is especially true if you aren’t prescribed any. Take responsibility for your own actions (or, um, lack of?) and get your work done without the use prescription aid. Let’s say you manage to snag some from the mellow kid who sits behind you in math. What if he is on a higher dosage than you’re expecting? Then plan on being up all night and well into the next morning. Speaking from experience, there is a good chance your stomach will feel like crap, and you’ll look like a cracked out zombie during your presentation (the teeth grinding will be a major giveaway.) Not. Ever. Cute.

Remember to sleep. It’s tempting to pull all-nighters, but it’ll just make your next day harder. As much as it pains you, do what you can and get to bed at a (college) reasonable time. When I fall asleep before midnight, even if it’s only at 11:30, I sleep much better and actually wake up a lot earlier. If that’s pushing it, try to get before 1:30am at the latest!

Eat Mindfully!!! When you’re stressed and aren’t running on enough sleep, the unhealthy side seeks its opportunity to take over. It suddenly seems like a better idea to order lots of delivery food and snack on chips from the vending machine. Snickers and Red Bulls are a great energy jolt, right? Exam time is prime time to put on a few extra pounds, believe it or not! If you can find the time to go to the grocery store for a quick run, do so. Stock up on fruits, veggies, single serving Greek Yogurts, etc. Your insides and waist line will thank you after exam week is over.

Schedule a 5 minute break every hour. Get up and move around. Go to the bathroom. Step outside for a few minutes of cool air to rejuvenate your senses. Heck, even take some time to creep on Facebook—if  you know you have this small window of opportunity, you’ll be less likely to scroll through funny Memes and statuses before you realize you’ve wasted a half hour!

Good luck, my friends, on your academic endeavors! See you soon.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Things Every Gal Should Know How to Do- #419 Cook a Steak

Why leave all the fun cooking to the men. Why should they be the only gender schmoozing around the grill with a beer (or gluten-free friendly cider)? Ladies, it’s time to throw on our best outfits, let out a fierce belch, and show those men that we can be pretty and hard core. Let’s show those men we mean business!

Haha, okay. Silliness aside, a chick should know how to grill a steak. Don’t seize up; it’s just a bigger, thicker piece of meat. I admit I’ve only cooked steak twice, so I’m sure as hell not preparing to enter some down south BBQ competition, but I haven’t killed Chris or myself.

Through some heavy google-vestigation (honestly, Google, I rep you guys SO much you should be paying me!) it seems the most important thing to cooking a steak is to only flip it once. If the cut is thick just leave it alone for a few minutes. Update your e-mails; bang out a few pushups; ponder another glass of wine; flip; repeat. Don’t mess with it until you’re ready to commit!

On the topic of wine, check out this fancy bottle I got. The Burlington Wine Shop has become my new favorite destination. Not only do they have mini-tastings every Saturday (a perfect way for newbie wine-os to try out something besides, dare I say, Franzia and Barefoot*), but the wines range from 100% college affordable— $7.99 anyone?—to wealthy sugar-daddy style; Yeah, there is a $500+ mega bottle down there. Something tells me regular wine opener would not work. I really enjoyed this wine. It was initially $17.99 but on sale for $10.99. Even better, the store was having a FB 20% off promo. Not a bad steal, baby, not a bad steal!  I know nothing of this whole swirl, stir, and spit deal of wine connoisseurship, so in regular man speak I will say I could detect some coffee-esque undertones. Although I don’t encourage getting extremely plastered cooking, a few sips here and there really lightens the mood!

What I think I look like drinking wine in the kitchen

What it is actually like. Messy stove. Not enough counter space. Classy.

Okay, back to the meat:

As you can see, I like my steak a little bloody. Or, as my mom says, “I like my cow still mooing.” I used to be a well-done sort of girl, but I learned that the blood gives the beef a little bit of flavor. Go out and grab a meat thermometer if you want to ensure your steak is where you want it before slicing in.

Now, here’s where we get a tad bit healthier. We all know the term meat and potatoes, right? Well, it doesn’t mean you have to go all heavy cream and butter on your potatoes, which is totally fine for special occasions, but a little much on the regs. How about trying your hand at some baked yam fries? They are a great complex carb with minimal calories and lots of fiber. They are also full of minerals like iron, copper, potassium, and many more (source)! Check out this rather hilarious how-to on how to make some stellar, baked yam fries.

Summer is upon us, so start practicing your skills so when you are out you can impress a few people!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Ps: If you don’t have backyard to grill in (or a grill, for that matter) check it this awesome grill pan I have! Bed Bath and Beyond carries it, so watch out for those 20% savings coupons they’re always mailing out.

* Guilty as charged!

My Bathroom Has Officially Become My Second Kitchen…Kinda.

Yesterday at work I was cashing this woman out and she couldn’t stop gushing about my skin. Cocky much, but I get this quite often. What can I say—mamma and daddy gave me good complexion genes! However, my skin has gotten so much better ever since I started going sans chemicals. A few months back I wrote about how I ditched my chemical laden moisturizer, instead opting for some coconut oil. I still felt I needed something more and tried to make a homemade cleanser, but realized I didn’t love the consistency and how often I would have to make it. What was I to do? Well, I thought back to my slumber party days in elementary school when us lil’ ladies used to make masks with oatmeal and honey. Was it so 10 year old kitsch that I couldn’t apply (pardon the pun) it in my 20s? Of course not!  So, I went to work Youtubing and Googling until I found exactly what I was looking for: a super basic oatmeal cleanser.

Check out this quick 4 minute clip by the insanely adorable Bubzbeauty!  She’ll explain all the good-for you chemicals found in oatmeal.

I would make a slight change to how she washes her face, and this is especially crucial for anyone living in a place with old piping. See if you can get your hands on a really cheap food processor or even a coffee grinder. Dump a handful or two of oatmeal into it and blend away. The smaller pieces can go down the drain without worry of clogging, and you’ll still get the great exfoliating benefits. I store mine in this cute little honey jar. A little goes a long way—it takes about a month for me and Chris to go through it all. Not only do you not have to worry about storing it, but you won’t have to make a new batch every week (not that it takes more than a minute!) Just think, you’re paying a few dollars for close to a year’s worth of product!

The oatmeal, unlike the coconut oil, is perfect for every skin type. I hardly break out, and when I do the zits are a lot easier to take care of (I know, popping is wrong…but it happens!) Your face will go through a few ups and downs the first month you use it. Your skin is going “where are all the chemicals?!” and essentially detoxing. I beg of you to push through this period, as you would the awkward phase of a new haircut. Once you come out the other side your skin will be amazingly soft and clear! I’ve been “reviewing” this new facial lifestyle since January, and I’ve got to say I love the results.  Just as it matters what you put into your body, it matters what you put onto it as well. Minimally processed is the way to go, and you cannot get more minimal than this.

A few months back I also finished up my Clearasil cleansing pads, and I have been going without a toner for quite some time. I wanted something that was gentle, easy to make, and could be stored for more than week. So, this morning I decided to try out a green tea and lemon toner.  I boiled a green tea bag in a cup of water for five minutes. While that was bubbling away, I cut and juiced a lemon that was getting a little old. It’s currently cooling in the fridge. I’ll use it religiously this week and give a mini-review next Saturday!

I love the looks when people ask me what I do to keep my skin so wonderful, as I’m sure they expect me to mention this really expensive cleanser you can only get from some obscure company. Nope, just some good old Quaker Oats, a little bit of organic coconut oil, and (soon) some lemon and green tea toner. When you stop bombarding your body with all these different chemicals, it really starts to thrive.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

When wearing short skirts on blustery days, it’s imperative to wear cute undies!

Hello,

My name is Jocellyn and I’m a pink-o-holic…. But really, for all the time I spend professing my love for darks and neutrals*, I cannot deny that I occasionally indulge in my pink side. For example, I have two other dresses in this same-ish color, which is weird, because I wouldn’t classify myself as an “I love pink” kind of girl. Regardless, I won’t agonize over it because I look pretty spiffy if I do say so myself!

So what inspired this positively colorful outfit? An unnaturally warm 87 degree day! For starters, I love the cut of this dress; a little shorter in the back and a little longer in the front.  How a piece of clothing is cut is of the utmost importance. Whether you’re second-handing your closet or plunking down some serious dough on designer labels, if the cut isn’t there you won’t look a million buckaroos.

A belt is a must with a dress this cut, lest we ladies want to look like we’re sporting a baby bump! In the spirit of the spring day I left my brown belt in the closet and whipped out this mint green number I got back in high school. You know those purchases where you’re like “I’m not sure I’ll love it now, but I’ll definitely use it later,”? Yeah, make those purchases and smile a few months or years from now. What really pulled this whole outfit together was a scarf.

Chris’s mom got me this one and another from The Gap last year. Scarves like this should be worn down, like long luxurious hair.

I whip my hair back and forth!

But, but, but, they can be easily wrapped up for when you’re trying to hustle somewhere and don’t want it to get caught on something. You can do a basic wrap– like the first photo– or like the one below, which pumps up the volume.

 

If there is one wrap I’m not fond it, it would be the girth hitch. That’s when you take a scarf and fold it in half. The half with the loop goes on one side of your neck and the loose ends go on the other. You then shoot the loose ends though the hoop and tug it tightly around your neck. IMHO, it makes a gal (or guy) look like they’re off to hang themselves. But, to each their own!

Black and bright pink are on two different ends of the color spectrum, but it can take guts of steel to pull them off. Hold your head high and strut the streets in all your fashionable fabulousness.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

*No worries, I haven’t forgotten my neutral roots. I wore this the next day 😉

Yoga Mania! Flip It Upside Down!

Hello!

Last week I posted a yoga sequence for lovers of headstand. Alas, there where probably some people who couldn’t do a headstand.  Have no fear, here’s the tutorial on how to do one! Burst into the world of inversions with confidence and strength. It may not be so graceful at the beginning, but that will come with time and practice!

Namaste & Peel Away!

Jocellyn