Fashionable Chaos?

I was super excited when this super fashionable blogger from Europe liked my pink shirt post. Europeans in general are just so fashionably disheveled. When I went to France back in 2008—before the scarf craze took root over here—I loved how all the women (and men) looked like they rolled out of bed, threw on some clothes, a wooly neck accessory, walked out the door without a glance in the mirror, and looked like they were going to some fashion show. Ah, how it’s rarely the case in America. Oh, how we hem and haw over what to wear.  Not to mention they have this extreme penchant for wearing black from head to toe. I honestly love the look. It’s so ballsy, so bad ass, so I’ve always wanted to do so but have been afraid. Psh, I’m done being a slave to my mirror and my black on black fear.  Unfortunately all my black items were in the laundry, so I decided to go pseudo-monochromatic in the beige/grey family and play around with textures. You know, dipping my big toe in the waters of a new style!

You'd think I'd have a perma-hickey, because I'm always wearing scarves! In case you were wondering, yes, I am far to dark to hickey.

The things I went through to get these pants! Okay, so the Goodwill doesn’t have the best selection of pants, and when they do they get snapped up fast. I spotted these beauts on Monday, and after giving a stern lecture to the new boy we just hired who wears girls’ jeans, stating that he was by no means allowed to buy them, I placed them back on the rack and crossed my fingers.  Not only where they grey, and my favorite grey pants are one hem in the grave, they are also cut to hit perfectly on your shin; no more cuffing! My heart was heavy when I went to get them the next day. Some other size four girl—probably from the University of Vermont, pfft—had snagged them. Defeated, I went to work recovering the behemoth of a store, only to find them nestled in the men’s section. What a sneak that assumed UVM girl was! I took what was “rightfully” mine and indulgently imagined bumping into this mystery chick at a bar and her looking down at them in sadness…Okay, so I have a slightly vengeful streak

No surprise, but this entire outfit minus the stripped tank was all from the GW. The cardigan was from Gap. It has some tie attached to it, but I cut if off. The circle scarf was an awesome find, as they generally don’t pass through and I’m not a huge fan of regular scarves. I love how it has two different textures.

Don’t even get me started on these shoes! They’re so amazing. They give me the teensiest bit of lift, but are a breeze to walk in. They also show a little bit of toe cleavage, which I think is kind of cute.  And the belt is just bad ass: fashionable and can double as a weapon.

 

This is a cozy outfit. The colors don’t match perfectly, but I think that’s what appeals to me. Perhaps I should stop fussing over what I wear more often and employ the grab and go method.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

Ps: I actually adore my friend’s from UVM. Such kind people!

Pss: Thanks, Yasmin, for inspiring me from all the way over seas!

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get in my belly!

I go through phases when it comes to my meat consumption. Some weeks I eat it often and with gusto; Some months I hardly touch it; Some nights I crave a nice bleeding steak; Some afternoons I desire the simplicity of squeezing fresh lemon juice over chicken and garnishing it with some pepper. Instead of feeling like I need to eat X-amount of meat meals a week (or limit myself) I simply listen to what my body needs. This past week my body needed something nourishing– and a tad bit sweet, I admit.  I knew exactly what to make: lemon and brown sugar chicken.  As someone who has fiddled around (usually unsuccessfully) with brown sugar and garlic chicken—can you say sticky, icky pans?—I enjoy the pre-determined amounts this recipe has to offer. And since it’s baked in the oven I don’t have to open all my windows and brandish a dish towel at a wall of smoke creeping its way toward the smoke alarm. I found that when I first started cooking, I thoroughly enjoyed the allure of sautéing items on the stove and dancing around the kitchen with flourish and ease, bouncing back and forth between four pots and pan. Perhaps this summer I will be drawn back to my multitasking roots. But it is the end of the semester and motivation and energy is running on fumes. Learn to love the timer on the oven. A bonus, oven baked chicken is always juicy and cooked to perfection.

 

30 Minute Lemon Brown Sugar Chicken- Recipe found on the blog: Eat, Live, Run

serves 4

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

juice of two large lemons

1 T lemon zest

1 cup flour

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp sea salt

1.5 T canola oil

2 T brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

Using a meat mallet (or ice cream scoop), pound the chicken breasts thin. Set aside.

Combine the flour, paprika and sea salt in a cake or pie pan. Drop each chicken breast in the mixture and toss to coat completely.

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Drop each chicken breast in the oil and brown on both sides (should take only about four minutes). Remove chicken breasts and keep warm on a plate.

Pour the lemon juice in the pan and stir to deglaze. Put chicken breasts in a casserole dish and pour juice on top. Sprinkle with brown sugar and lemon zest.

In they go!

Bake for thirty minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165.”

Don’t get freaked out by this recipe in case you are missing a few items. Feel free to use olive oil or coconut oil in place of canola. If you don’t have any paprika lying around then use chili powder (I had to the other night, and couldn’t tell the difference from the other times I’d made the recipe.) If you don’t have some of these spices, and aren’t entirely jazzed about having to buy a big jar of it, find the cheap spice section in your store. There is a Latin brand called Badia Spices and you can generally find it in the international section. This is a great option if you don’t live by a store with a bulk section. They sell packets of spices for under a dollar. These are great in a pinch if you want to try a recipe but don’t think you’ll need an entire jar of a particular ingredient. Of course, these aren’t the highest quality (source), but they aren’t terrible either. I bought some paprika for 88 cents and was able to use it for three different recipes.

If there is anything you absolutely need for this recipe it is a zester. I don’t know how I lived without one. You’re able to easily take the peel off without getting all the bitter pith, which will happen if you try to use a vegetable peeler. A cheap lemon juicer will also save you time. No longer will you have to pick out those pesky seeds! Oh yeah, use more lemon than you think! Once it hits the pan you need to deglaze Mario Super-Speedy Andretti style or the juice will evaporate. #beentheredonethat

Gluten free: If you cannot eat flour, have no fear. Just use an all purpose gluten free flour. Sadly, these mixes are kind of pricey. If the recipe calls for 2 cups of flour use a little less than 1 cup. Honestly, you don’t need to use it all. Waste not, want not.  I suppose this trick can be applied to regular flour users as well!

Test drive this recipe! Maybe it’ll be something you add to your dinner rotation.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Getting Creative With Snacks

Snacking is an essential part of healthy eating. It’s not ideal or necessarily healthy to live off of 3 meals a day. You’ll ping pong back and forth between hunger that brings on a less than savory attitude and fullness that makes you want to first unbutton your pants and then pass out for a few hours. Instead, you slowly have to get used to always feeling content—i.e. never too full or too hungry. I admit it’s a hard line to walk. As a culture so used to feeling stuffed, it can be hard to stop before you reach that point. That’s why having an arsenal of snacks at your disposal is important. Make room in your purse and backpack for fruits (fresh and dried), sliced veggies, and healthy yogurt. These foods are easily transportable, but sometimes you want something a little more “decadent” for when you’re at home and can lounge around while noshing. This past week, in the comfort of my kitchen, I tried out a little mix-and-match that delivered tasty results.

Exhibit A

So, I love smoked salmon. Like, adore smoked salmon. It’s a little slippery, a little chewy, and a little salty. Plus it has your omega-3s and protein. If you’ve ever been at a party that serves smoked salmon, the fishy goodness is probably encasing a wad of cream cheese. As delicious as cream cheese is, it’s not something I want to add to my diet on a regular basis. And as delicious as raw salmon is on its own, I wanted something extra to help fill me up. And then it hit me: find something sweet! I perused my refrigerator and freezer until my fingers settled upon the bowl which was holding some frozen red grapes. I love, love, love freezing my red grapes, because it makes them at least 3x sweeter—think healthy “candy.” I wrapped the grape up in the salmon and popped it into my mouth. A-friggin-mazing.

Benefits of Smoked Salmon

Benefits of Red Grapes

Exhibit B

I settled on this delight yesterday during my 15 minute break at work. In my bag I had a jar of peanut butter, an apple, and some pitted dates. An apple didn’t seem that appetizing, and it’s too depressing to eat peanut butter off a knife. So, I told myself, why not slather some peanut butter on my dates, which had been perfectly warmed and gushy-fied from sitting in the car all afternoon? Heaven. The sweetness of the dates made me think of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sans the jelly which is usually filled with added sugars and the bread which is carb city.

An important aside, I strongly encourage everyone to develop a taste for natural peanut butter. Until recently I was stuck on the generic kind, which isn’t that much worse from you, but has a lot of added fats and chemicals that are unnecessary. Chris had always been a fan of the natural PB and would sanctimoniously hold his habits over mine. Oh, the shame I felt for many months. One random day I finally worked up the courage to try his stuff. It definitely wasn’t as sweet as what I’d been eating, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. After I few tries I was hooked on Teddie’s and haven’t looked back since. 

Natural VS Regular Peanut Butter

The Joys of Dates and Other Dried Fruits

Don’t be afraid to play mad scientist with your snacks. Who cares if it’s weird as long as it tastes great to you and is nourishing your body? I love fruits and veggies, but, not going to lie, sometimes even I get bored of chopped peppers and fuzzy, wuzzy Kiwis.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

And I said: Darling, I don’t drink bottled orange juice anymore

I’ve really been putting my juicer through the paces, and I gotta say: I love the results. I decided to share my 2 favorite recipes. One is super simple and even though the other sounds intimidating, it’s absolutely brilliant.

 

The classic- Orange juice.

You haven’t had orange juice until you’ve had fresh squeezed orange juice. Tropicana ain’t got nothing on it. When it’s fresh squeezed it tastes like your drinking an orange, which, duh, seems really obvious, but if you’ve only been drinking from concentrate your taste buds have been horribly deceived for years. If you (or your family—for all you mom & dad readers out there!) go through a lot of orange juice, I’d strongly consider buying a juicer just so you can make your own. At my co-op I can get 15 Valencia oranges (which are made for juicing) for a little less than $5. That’s 3 glasses of prime juice without all the added sugar. Plus it’s an absolute morning after must if your friend takes you out for a night of (several) drinks at the nice bars downtown…

Recipe

5 oranges

Cut in half and press over the citrus attachment of your juicer.

If you’re a texture person like me, you may not like the left over pulp. I know, I know pulp is amazing, but I just cannot stomach it. Have no fear! If you have a fine strainer pour it over a bowl and then pour the bowl back into our cup. Pulp problem solved in 30 seconds or less.

Sip deliberately.

 

Getting fancy—Beet and Company (I’ve also heard it referred to as “Miracle Drink.”)

With juicing you sooner or later have to move away from the “just fruit” recipes and dabble in the world of vegetables and greens. I feel like this is a great beginner drink for people whose taste buds are still hardwired for soda and bottled juice. I admit the first sip is a tad tart (I love all things tart), but power through and you’ll feel better afterwards.

(I found this recipe on Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog called GOOP.  I know she isn’t exactly the darling of Hollywood, but this drink is good, she practices ashtanga, and she “appears” to have a youthful glow. Yeah she’s the symbol of nepotism, and yeah she’d rather let her kids do crack than eat canned cheese…but if you’re so perfect raise your hand!—convincing? No? Just try the damn juice anyway!)

Recipe

2 Beets–When cutting beets wear an apron or shirt you don’t care about getting dirty. Those tasty buggers stain!

2 Large Carrots

1 Apple–The site suggested gala. I used either that or a pink lady. We bought an assorted bunch this week

1 inch slice of ginger

½ lemon juiced– If you have a citrus attachment for your blender than use it. If not you can use a manual citrus squeezer and stir it in afterward

This stuff is rocket fuel—as my poetry teacher would say.

Again, sip deliberately. This juice has a fair amount of heft to it and should be savored over a decent amount of time.Me thinks a juice fast might be in order this summer!

 

I don’t think I”ll be posting every juice recipe on here, but if you want to see what I drink on a day to day basis then check out my FB page for this site.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Butter Me Up

Life would be so boring if you always did everything the same. I mean, creating habits is important, but everyone should be willing to wiggle. Experiment with your wardrobe. Experiment with your workouts. Experiment in the bedroom. And, for the love of all things delicious, experiment in the kitchen! It’s a regular occurrence for me to see something online and decide I need to try it even if I have no clue what the end product will be.  A few weeks ago—I know, a little overdue—I was struck with this strong urge to go Indian. It had been ages since I had tasted the pillowy goodness of naan bread; enough was enough. I scoured the internet looking for an acceptable gluten free naan recipe. The bread was okay, though it didn’t live up to my expectation. The process of making it wasn’t extremely cathartic either, but all was not lost that day. I had decided to tackle not one but two kitchen feats. Earlier that morning, I made some ghee.

So what exactly is ghee? I didn’t really know much about it. But from the brief research I did, I learned it is a clarified butter that is extremely popular in Middle Eastern and Ayurvedic cook.  You use organic, cultured butter and let it melt (preferably in a cast iron) over heat. Within a few minutes the butter will start to crackle (and smell absolutely delicious) as the water floats to the top and creates a white foam and the milk solids sink to the bottom. The liquid in the middle will be a rich, clear yellow and the whole process smells heavenly. Visit this blog to see how I went about making this.

Ghee is a good butter alternative for people with high cholesterol: “Dr. Jay Glacer, in his book ”Body Renewal,” suggests that ghee is rich in natural antioxidants, composed mainly of short chain fatty acids, and its cholesterol fraction resists oxidation. This is important since cholesterol becomes harmful when it is broken down or oxidized by free radicals that lead to clogged arteries and heart problems. The short chain fatty acids present in ghee are metabolized and used for energy immediately by the liver and resist being stored in the body as fat. (Source)”  Ghee can also be stored on your shelf for up to six months—just make sure to keep it out of direct sunlight! Since it has a higher smoke point than butter, it’s great for stir frying and has a unique taste.

It didn’t take very long to make and I was able to find a good cultured, organic butter for around $4. You only have to skim the top layer off, so you barely waste any of the butter you buy, which was an initial concern I had. I admit I don’t use it often, but I really enjoyed learning about a new way of cooking and being successful on the first try. Are there any new recipes or techniques that you’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to try out? If so, set aside a specific day every week where you have more free time to try out new recipes or ones that are more elaborate. Thursdays are never dull in this apartment; Mondays are another story 😉

Peel Away Those Kitchen Insecurities and Expand Your Culinary Resume ❤

Jocellyn

Pink Makes People Smile

Bear with me, folks. This site is getting a much needed face lift. In my portfolio class we were complimenting and critiquing people’s WordPress blogs, and in the process I learned so much about this site. Gosh, I feel like a little 80 year old granny when it comes to this platform.  Since I’ve now figured out how to add additional tabs up top (amateur hour, I know), I’m even more excited to grow the fashion side of this blog because it’ll have its own special spot.  So, speaking of fashion, I have a fabulous new outfit to show off. And my Picasa finally updated itself and I got all these crazy new filters to play around with. Clearly, I’ve been living in the technological stone age  :-\

I’ve been wanting this really awesome coral-pink top at work. It’s a size 3x (22 plus) and I was waiting for it to go on sale so I could a.) Buy it for $1.75 b.) Give someone that size ample time to snag it (we don’t have to many plus size tops.) I moved in like a hungry shark the last day it was on sale.

For one, I love the color. People always tell me how lucky I am to have dark skin because most colors look great on me (FYI: I cannot, however, rock brown or moss green), but I generally stick to my neutral. The top was calling me, for some unbeknownst reason. I’m glad you called, lady, I’m glad you called.

 

It can be really difficult to find a baggy top. Generally, for it to look good, you need to buy a baggy top that is designed for someone your size. Sometimes, luck is on my side!

And from behind! Since I’m wearing a loose top, I of course have to balance out the bottom with something tight.

This top makes me wanna rock out!

How awesome are those sleeves?! They make me feel bad ass. Like, ‘Imma mess you up’ bad ass!

The final test of a great outfit: Can I pull off some yoga asana whenever my back feels the need to bend? This outfit gets two thumbs up!

And finally, my other awesome set of mala. These, I admit, I did not make. I saw them at Goodwill. I feel like whoever had them before had some potent, amazing energy.

Spring is officially here. Summer is biting at our ankles. Time to whip out those fun colors!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

Yoga Mania: Shoulder Squeeze

Allow me to introduce shoulder squeeze. This is one of my favorite arm balances. Some days it is off. Some days it has a fire that would rival Katniss Everdeen (hehe). I’m always finding ways to grow in this perch like posture. And, with a bit of practice, so can you! I have big hopes for this bundle of joy. Perhaps someday it’ll look like this. Until then: practice, practice, practice.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Yoga Mania: Hips Don’t Lie

Hey everyone!

After a sufficient stay in time out, my batteries were feeling revitalized enough to make this video. Hip opening can be very frustrating for people with tight hips. If you run, bike, ellipitcal (yup, I’m making it a verb), or even walk a lot, your hips will slowly start to tighten up. Just take it slowly, breath deeply, and give your body time to open up. Your stretch should feel good and have a little ‘bite’ to it. The kind of bite, like, when you’re kissing someone and they gently bite your lip, type of bite. But don’t let the bite progress to the level of gnawing. It ain’t hot in kissing, and it definitely isn’t hot or good for your yoga practice.

 

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn