Living Room Facelift!

Normally I’m a craft klutz. My fingers are not nimble enough for knitting. I don’ have the precision for intricate design. I eyeball levels. I stare in awe at those awesome hex bracelets that have neon string running through the holes, creating an industrial and feminine, fun look. My parents never hung my art projects on the fridge. But just like there is a yoga fairy, the mystical ball of energy that sometimes allows you to do an asana you are struggling with just to prove that you can, before letting you return to flailing, I think there must also be a craft fairy. I imagine her being an older white woman with grey hair, a 1950s housewife voice, and crisp white button up. Just when I’m thought my living room could not look more rag-tag, she blew invisible glitter over the living room, allowing me to be struck by inspiration– but only for a few brief hours!

With all these new and exciting changes going on in my life, I decided it was time to move the living room around. In case you’re new, when I signed the lease for the apartment back in January, I was still seeing Chris. Our amicable breakup occurred at the end of the year, so we decided to see how living together would still go. Being the break up initiator, I decided to be the bigger person and settle into our well sized living room. During the first few weeks I procured two dividers to block the view of my bed, lest Chris’s friends see me in a rare display of open mouth sleeping. I slowly started to realize that Chris enjoyed spending his time with his friends in his room. Without even wanting it, the living room had essentially become my domain. If this had been a high income divorce, it would be like me getting the boat, the beach house, and the limo driver.  (Dear Chris, if you stumble upon this, feel free to come sit on the boat—aka the couch—anytime you want!)

Silliness aside, the most glaring issues in my glorified room and lounge was the cheap green 2 panel shutter I had been using for a divider, which was far less charming than the 3 panel white and wood one my upstairs neighbor had given me upon his departure. The nails I had weren’t strong enough to hang it on the wall, and I didn’t have enough scarves or belts to weave through the openings. Plus, it is right in line with the door, so I wanted something good looking for guests coming in. Being a writing major and poet lover, I do, however, have large collection of books; sadly, none of them are leather bound. With a little bit of finesse and common sense physics, I was able to fit at least half of my soft cover books into the slots of the shutter. When the weight of the books was too much, I covered the unused area with random pages ripped out of a poetry book I’m not particularly fond of. Come on, is this cool or what?!

A cute way to display my earrings on the other divider

I plan on continuing my text heavy motif throughout the living room. The coffee table  we had in our last apartment that was curb side rescue I plan on upcycling along these lines. I’m also going to cover the lower half of a wall with fun chalkboard paint to write down whatever I want. Perhaps I’ll even buy a bunch of throw pillows so guests can have comfy cheekies while they stun me with their chalk drawings, because, remember, I’m certainly no Picasso. Essentially, I want to find the same solace and excitement in my living room that I have in the kitchen, and it order to do that I need to make a few minor tweaks.

What room is your favorite? Do you take the time to decorate it?

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Cheap Appeal

I’m a stereotypical, middle-class college student. I don’t have the dough to completely furnish my apartment in fixtures from Ikea or kitsch, ironic wall decals from Urban Outfitters. I’ve got to get creative. And I totally toot my creativity when it comes along, because I was the girl who failed at arts and crafts during camp season. When my Martha Stewart shines the world must put on sunglasses!

Even if you don’t have a drug addiction problem, living in a very white room can be a little unsettling, and with accent walls out of the question in most apartments, you need to fill that space with something. I had no tapestries of Gaelic designs or posters of Dancing Grateful Dead Bears—which are ubiquitous in Burlington, VT—so I searched for picture books at The Goodwill. I found this really cool one about Vermonters who had generation’s worth of roots tying them to the land, which explains the 10 or so pictures of cute old people on my wall. I also snagged this book about love through the centuries. I think the human form is pretty delightful, so I like having all the naked pictures up on my wall (my mother was equally thrilled.) I will say, though, once I hit the 1970s the pictures got a little, erm, bushy.

 

I just cut out the pictures I liked, stuck tape to the four corners, and slapped them up on the wall at varying levels. If you really wanted to go all out you could purchase a bunch of different frames and put the pictures in them. I not sure I’ll want to peel the tape off all these photos and re-apply them at the new apartment, so it looks like I’ll have to  find some more picture books!

 

I also think records are a pretty cool addition. I know out there on the blogosphere some hardcore record lover is cursing me through the screen. Admit it, lover of scratchy, though charming sound quality, this record display is pretty dang cool. The Lover Boy album cover is my favorite. Lots of second hand shops carry records still in their folders, but you can also probably find boxes of scratched up records for 25 cents apiece. Have fun with it!

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.

 

 

New Year:: New Plans

New Year’s Resolution

I put on my sports bra, my leggings, and I sort of look like the girl who was running this past summer, but it’s all a beautiful and cruel illusion. Three back to back to back reps of that fitness list was NOT happening. The first go around took almost 6 minutes, and, really, is it that realistic to imagine myself moving for 20+ minutes when I haven’t done any cardio for months? I think not. I did the first round, thought I was going to puke (even Body Rock workouts have 10 second breaks every minute or so), laid on the floor for a few minutes as the world twirled above me, and contemplated defeated. We all have your weaknesses and honestly if I wasn’t blogging I probs would have given up—you guys keep me on my toes. I did today’s Random Abs workout (I really have no strength in that region) and mustered up the courage to try another round of the fitness list. The second time was much better. Maybe after a few more tries I’ll be well on my way to three reps.

 

…Which brings us to looking forward to New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve mentioned before that we generally make diet/body related goals and we usually let go of them come February. I’ve been really hitting you guys with these opening posts about diet and a bit of exercise, because they’re things I’m passionate about (well the food yes, not so much the exercise), but being healthy means also having a positive state of mind. What makes a person attractive is not only their body and how we perceive they treat it, but also their brain. Smart and even tempered people are sezzy, and thus many of my resolutions actually revolve around ways to better my brain and life.

Diet/Body/Exercise Based Changes

1.)    Get Gluten out of my diet: Honestly, I really need to do this. Since realizing I cannot eat it I’ve been being stupid and munching on it regardless. It’s not fair to my intestines, my poor hands (they always get so sore), or Chris who has to deal with me doubled over in pain. Step one: start checking labels. Step two: start making my own buns (they are my weakness.) Step three: sucking it the hell up. When I see other people who are in an obvious rut and only insist on digging themselves deeper I cringe, so I best not start being hypocritical.

2.)    Continue to refine my diet: I like this one because I’m not saying eat more this and less of that (except for the gluten.) Instead I’m leaving it open to add more veggies, reduce my Reese’s intake, and continue to try more recipes. I have big hopes and dreams for that kitchen.

3.)    Drink more water!: Okay, this is something I really need to do more. We can go weeks without food, but hardly a few days without water. For environmental reasons I’m normally anti- plastic bottle, but when I was home for Christmas my mom had bought me and Chris a huge pack of these mini orb water bottles. The spaceship shape is supposed to be appealing to kids and the smaller size is better suited for them. I had no issue swigging back 2-3 in a short time period. My brilliant idea: maybe if I reduce the size of my water bottles it’ll be less daunting and I’ll drink more. See, we often have the solutions to our problems, and they are often rather easy. We just need to face them and put our big girl panties and big boy boxer-briefs on.

4.)    Do more yoga: Self explanatory. I want to start working on having a better self practice and really start opening this right hip of mine up. Lotus here I come.

Other Resolutions:

1.)    Start reading before I go to bed:  Studies have shown that spending time watching T.V, browsing the internet, and texting friends before bed is horrible for our sleep cycles. It makes it much harder for us to go to bed and we end up staying up longer than we want or need to. With reading you are actively using your brain instead of randomly clicking; admit it college students and 20-somethings,  what sites do you really go on besides Facebook? Also, the lights in our computers and TVs are constantly pulsating, though, we just don’t realize it, and our eyes must work extra hard to focus. With this change I can finally stop complaining that I don’t have time to read. I already have several books in mind! Tomorrow I’m going to the library to borrow We Need to Talk about Kevin, which is going to be out in theaters the end of January. Below are the American & UK Trailers. I really hope it comes out in all places and not just artsy movie houses or I might be out of luck.

Ezra Miller plays Kevin and can I say CUUUUTIE? Those cheek bones, those full lips, that dark hair. I feel like a cougar in training all ready. I also want to get The Hunger Games. Apparently they were a really good series of books growing up that I never heard about, and the movie is coming out in a few months.

2.)    Learn a foreign language, sort of: Right now I’m battling between French or German. I did take French for 3 years, and I can read it okay, but I was never in love with it. They all spoke so fast anyway. Something about German speaks to me. It’s so fierce, so bold, and so guttural. Plus, my last name Harvey is derived from German Warlords.  Maybe I’ll put a poll up so you guys can decide, though I’ll probably go with German for the fun of it.

3.)    Submit work once a month to Literature Magazines: My poetry needs to start making its way into the world, and it clearly isn’t going to do that collecting dust on my desk.

4.)    Start Vloging: I love writing, but I really love talking. They called me Jabber Jaws when I was little. I’d love to make this place part blog/part video chats because sometimes it’s nice to absorb stories and ideas through your ears instead of your eyes. This also means I need to learn how to video edit. Any awesome suggestions on programs to use? I have a basic Toshiba laptop, so nothing to fancy here.

5.)    Become more DIY: One of my interests on StumbleUpon is DIY projects. I’m envious of people who can take something old and make it awesome and “new.” Sadly, aside from writing I’m really not artistic. My handwriting sucks. My mother didn’t even post my art pieces on the fridge. Boo. I’d love to learn basic sewing techniques so I could hem pants, make cool scarves and shirts, and put my Goodwill Discount to better use.

 

Well, I think that is a pretty extensive list. I imagined this post being tiny, but why should we short change our future hopes and dreams? Tell me about yours. I want to know what you plan on achieving this next year, and I hope I’ve inspired you to look beyond the body goals and typical resolutions we like to cling to year after year.

Now let’s peel back that last month on the Calendar and spring into the Near Year.

❤ Jocellyn