Saturday

I love Saturdays. Not only is it the first day of the weekend, but it’s typically a day Chris and I spend window-shopping on Church Street. Thanks to the Presidents Day sales we did more shopping than perusing. We put on our cute outfits, linked arms, and sipped Starbucks Mocha’s as we shuffled in and out of stores. Disclaimer: I’m totally not a Starbucks cult member, but when you get a free gift card you consume those 400 calorie drinks with exponentially less guilt and shame.

I urge you to carve out some you time or couple time to do indulgent things. That might be getting a monthly massage, sitting alone at a coffee shop, taking naps with your beau (naps with a “snuggle-buggle” are so nice), or resting in a bubble bath with a glass of wine while watching some Netflix (don’t fall asleep; don’t drown; don’t electrocute yourself.)

Skirt- Pacsun $11. I’m excited to wear it out! I’m generally not one for loud prints, but I’m a huge fan of tribal designs and my squat sculpted derriere, so I like to whip out something flashy every now and then. Shake what yo mamma gave ya!

Shirt- Pacsun $4.98. Its a large mens top.  I love the bagginess. It’ll be great during Spring over some cute leggings or jeans cuffed up.

Hair oil- $24. This beauty business was having a out of business sale, and I scored a 30% on this big bottle. It’s not Moroccan oil, but it seemed similar. My ‘fro has been terribly dry lately!

Lipstick- $3.97.  4 shades from Urban Outfitters. Originally $18. I’m loving all the colors.Pucker up, sweeties.

As someone who buys a lot of stuff from Goodwill, it was nice to have a few brand new items. I also got some new mascara (lipstick and mascara are all a girl really needs, if any makeup be necessary) and this awesome, cheap leather watch (which is loudly ticking away on my bedside table.)  Rule #100: Retail therapy, much like Beer Tears  (or Wine Whines, in my case), and Ben and Jerry’s binges are perfectly acceptable if they only happen a few times a year.

Me and Alexa pre-Rusko.  She got me on the glitter band wagon and I’m personally loving this scarf-do I’ve got going on. Needless to say, as much as I still love Dubstep, Rusko was completely high-school packed, and I felt slightly embarrassed dressed up in brightly colored clothes like all the non-legal hooligans. Sigh, guess you gotta grow up a little sometimes.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

Quickies

In case you haven’t noticed, on my side bar I not only have a Twitter reel, but also a link

that says “Facebook Peel.” Click on it, people, and you’ll be brought to the Facebook page

I have set up to go along with this blog. It’ll be the place where I post quick updates, as I’m not

able to write a long entries for every day of the week. Pretty snazzy, eh?

 

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Location, Location, Location

I’ve come to terms with my quads, I enjoy squeezing my arms which have developed thanks to yoga, and during the Summer I often distract myself by playing with the bulge on my flexed calf. But there is an area I’m always a tad weary about. It’s my stomach. It is where I tend to store extra fat. I’m kind of a dude, actually, since women have a greater tendency to accumulate excess fat around their hips, thighs, and butt; Dear god, for once can’t that extra slice of cake go to my butt cheekies?  Alas. In fact, I get a little neurotic about my stomach area. Most days I do the whole bit where I stand in front of the mirror, pinch, and frown, turn to the side, and pinch again. Chris, being the dutiful boyfriend he is, will comment that he loves me no matter what, but it still doesn’t take away the concerns, which stem not only from aesthetic consideration, but also health factors. Unfortunately, where you hold your fat matters, and stomach fat can cause a whole mess of maladies.

Let’s break down the two layers of fat. The first is subcutaneous fat, which is just below the skin. Subcutaneous fat is the kind of fat people dislike for vanity reasons. But the fat doesn’t stop there. Moving into further layers of skin we reach visceral fat. Ew, it’s a word that sounds so similar to gristle (and it’s not to far off.)  And believe me, visceral fat should make you go “ewww” and “ahhh!” Visceral fat hugs your organs. And this isn’t a loving kind of hug. It’s the type of hug your big brother will give you that crushes your bones. It can affect your cholesterol levels and raise your blood pressure. Here are some of the other negative side effects excessive visceral fat can have on your body:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/belly-fat/WO00128

 

It gets a little trickier. Just like I discussed Skinny Fat several blog posts ago, sedentary men and women who are naturally thin may also be at risk of carrying visceral fat. Because it’s not as apparent as someone with a “beer belly”, a thin person wouldn’t know they carried any unless they were to undergo a high-tech MRI. But why go spend the money when you can realistically audit yourself with a few simple questions. Do I work out regularly? Do I eat healthy food? Do I practice portion control? If you don’t do any of the above and do fill yourself with greasy foods more than fruits, vegetables, etc., then there is a good chance you might carry some visceral fat. No more playing out of sight-out of mind!

Thankfully this post isn’t all doom and gloom. Like most diet related health issues, they can corrected with time and patience.  For one, practice portion control. This is much easier to do if you are able to cook your own meals or chose the food you eat at a dining hall rather than eating out a restaurant; don’t you just hate how the meals are too big for one sitting, but are two little if cut in half? Conspiracy, I tell ya!

Here is a good way to portion control your meals for your body size, because you use your own hand as a “yard stick.”

Proper Portion Sizes:

1 serving of lean protein= Palm of your hand

1 serving of complex carbs from whole grains: 1 cupped hand

1 serving of complex carbs from Fruits & Veggies: 2 cupped hands together

(Source: The Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno)

The next thing you need to do is get off your lovely behind and start working out. Sigh, this goes for me as well… I feel as if this goes without saying, but don’t, don’t, don’t for the love of all things common sense crash diet. In fact, studies have shown that crash dieting can encourage visceral fat. Exercise smart. If you feel that you really need to work on that area you have to push a little harder than someone who wants to maintain. Walking briskly and worth purpose (no feet dragging here!) for 30 minutes, six times a week will help stave of accumulation. Bring that walk to a jog, start lifting weights, and/or try out some HIIT and you’ll blast that gunk away!  And there are so many YouTube trainers out there with certifications and free workouts, so there’s no need to plunk down dollar bills on a gym membership.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to lose my stomach fat for vanity reasons. But at the same time I realize exercising and dieting in a safe, slow, and appropriate manner will also keep my unseen organs healthy, which is what really counts.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Look what I did last night! One giant step for me;one dying breath for visceral fat kind!

 

Links to check out

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/belly-fat/MC00054

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/belly-fat/WO00128/NSECTIONGROUP=2

http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/06/12/20/the-two-types-of-fat—-visceral-and-subcutaneous—-and-which-poses-the-greatest-risk-to-you.htm

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?

 

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.

 

 

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

…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.

Fresh to Death and Dressed to Digress

Happy New Years everyone!!!!

I skated into 2012. Literally. The streets were so icy in Burlington I had to walk almost a mile downhill on the grass. I was praying to all sorts of embarrassment gods to take pity on me. Apparently, it worked. Continuing on with the body image series, today I’m going to discuss dressing well and the immediate changes you’ll feel when you’re out and about in public.

I’m going to slap it down real hard and real fast. If you are 20 years old it is no longer appropriate to wear baggy boyfriend-esque sweats to class.

Credit: Collegefashion.net

Especially if it’s a 1230! Sweats are what you do Freshman year as you walk around town proudly displaying your college. I get it. The prints were cute and colorful, and, lyke, omg the teacher should be impressed I made it to my Friday class after a ragin’ Thirsty Thursday. Passive-aggressiveness aside, by sophomore year you should be trying to make yourself presentable for class. I wouldn’t say I’m a hardcore fashionista, I adore clothes but I’m way to0 broke to develop a designer habit that isn’t second hand (thank you Goodwill job), but I appreciate how good clothes and dressing well can make you look and feel great.

For starters, what you wear tells the world the level of respect you have for yourself. It sounds kind of harsh, but it’s true. You probably don’t feel too happy with yourself or your choices if your schlepping to class in sweat pants because you were too hung over to bother with clothes. And I totally understand the need to dress sexy sometimes—don’t all girls?—but there is a line, and a pretty obvious one at that, between classy sexy and trashy sexy. If your entire wardrobe is overly cleavage bearing tops then you’re sending a message that you only want to be known for you assets. And I can say this with confidence because, regrettably, in high school I was that girl and I couldn’t possibly figure out why boys couldn’t respect me outside of physical relationships. Well, I sure didn’t act or dress like I respected myself, so why should they? Cold hard truths. Have some respect for yourself!

Senior year: This dress should never have been bought!

What you wear also sets the mood. If you’re going to class in sweat pants you’re immediately in sleepy-time mode, which obviously isn’t conducive for learning. A teacher will  notice if you take the time to get dressed to come to their class. It shows them you care about how they perceive you in a pseudo-professional setting. Plus, you’re just prepping yourself for life after college where you actually have to dress professionally all the time. Don’t you think you’ll feel more confident going to job interviews if you’re already used to dressing to the nines compared to other people who are just getting the hang of it? You’ll look like you’ve been doing this your whole life and they’ll look like kids playing dress up in their parents slightly too large clothes.

The good news is, is that dressing respectably and fashionably doesn’t mean dressing in one particular way. You can still maintain your style. Here some tips.

Be honest with your body type: If you have stallion thighs, runners calves, and big hips then skinny jeans might not be your thing. The only reason my very non waif-like thighs get away with it is because I have zero pelvis. I think Chris has wider hips than I do! But at the same time I know that my calves (well, entire lower body) have absolutely no business being in ultra-skinny jeans like Cheap Monday’s. Even if the style is in, you won’t look hot if your body type isn’t meant for it.

Find your style and stick with it: I’m the type of gal that rarely strays from dark colors. I feel comfortable in then. People always tell me how lucky I am with my dark skin tone that I can wear yellows, oranges, and pinks without getting washed out, but I just don’t feel comfortable in them. Red is the brightest I go. If I had it my way I’d be living in France where everyone wears all black. I adore wild tribal prints, like the kind you find at Urban Outfitters, but whenever I wear them they just don’t seem me and I immediately feel uncomfortable. You can admire styles but not wear them.

Go Classy Comfy: So I admit I poop all over the sweat pant look, but that doesn’t mean I dislike comfort. I just have a (not so secret) weapon…LEGGINGS! I realize people are either for leggings or against them, but if you want comfort then a pair of thick black leggings with a cardigan and nice top will do the trick. Life gets even better if you add a warm circle scarf. But make sure you buy quality leggings. Those $12 ones are tempting, but will rip really fast. I’m a huge fan of leggings from Express. I got a pair for $30 when I was going into my senior year of high school and they’re still going strong almost 4 years later. Thick leggings also won’t be see-through. Woo, baby, I have seen so many thongs, butt cheeks, and embarrassing granny panties from girls who don’t realize they’re giving a free show; shame on their friends for not saying anything.

Sophia from Modern Family. Well, at least she has a very nice derriere

Wear clothes that fit: Don’t be trying to squeeze yourself into jeans that no longer fit you. You aren’t going to look sexy with a muffin top and you’ll be wildly self conscious. Donate snug clothing to second hand stores if they haven’t worked out in over a year. Do away with the  “maybe if I lose a few pounds I can slip into them again,” mentality, because if you don’t you’ll just feel worse. Besides, wouldn’t you want to treat yourself to new clothes after reshaping your body instead of slipping back into your old duds?

We've all been there. Let's not return!

With the New Year finally here go peel into your closet and decide what you still love or no longer need.

❤ Jocellyn