Fashion, Organization

horizontal vs. vertical storage in drawers

I used to fold my clothes and pile them on top of each other in my dresser drawers just like most of you do. It’s nice and neat after laundry day, but when you rummage through to find the shirt you need for Sunday brunch, there is no going back.

After doing some research on organization a year ago, my clothes have never been so easy to find! Like many of you, I used to have shirts that would get shoved to the bottom of the smorgasbord of fabrics stuffed in the drawer. But now that I fold and store my clothes horizontally rather than vertically in my drawers that problem is one of the past! What does horizontal clothing storage look like you ask? Take a look at some shots of my dresser drawers below!

I will admit, it took some getting used to and I had to retrain my brain when folding and putting away laundry, but after a month or two something clicked. I will never be able to go back to my old ways again.

It is important to note that there are certain items and fabrics that need to be hung. My dress pants and skirts along with a few dress shirts are hanging in my closet. In my pants drawer you will only find workout leggings, sweatpants, jeans, and shorts.

Now that I am able to see every shirt option and every pant/shorts option at all times, I no longer lose items or pull a shirt out of the bottom of the drawer only to find it wrinkled beyond wearability. I have even found that standing my shirts up and rolling my pants result in even fewer wrinkles and creases than before. Don’t believe me? Give it a try! (And let me know how you like or dislike it!)

Standard
Fashion, Hair

Tips for getting that good braid. Yas kween.

1. Practice, practice, practice – practice on yourself, practice on your friends, practice on your dog. Just practice! I learned how to French braid by practicing on my American Girl doll. (Shout out to Samantha). And I learned how to Dutch braid by mistake. Every time I tried to French braid my own hair, my hands were upside down and all turned around from me looking in the mirror, so naturally rather than bringing the braid from the outside in, I braided from the middle, out.

2. Loosen up! – loosen every braid once you have the hair tie secure. This makes your hair look thicker and makes your braid look fuller! For classic French braids, I only loosen the bottoms. For Dutch braids, I loosen the entire braid.

3. Another reminder to practice – it took about two years of braiding at slumber parties for me to finally get braids that were tight enough and even on a head. And that was just on my dolls and my friend’s heads! It took another two years on top of that for me to create tight, even braids on my own melon! Don’t let braids break you! You can do this!

4. Dirty little secret – second and third day hair is best for braids. Clean hair is slippery and doesn’t stay well when teased and tugged. Second day hair holds better in a braid and loosens beautifully (as pictured below).

  • Dutch braids are always a yes. I add them to as many hairstyles as I can.
  • French braids are my go to for active days, workouts, and days when my hair is greasy but it’s unacceptable to wear a baseball cap.
Standard
Food, Organization

How to keep your kitchen feeling fresh, calm, and clean

The kitchen is a sacred place. Food is a necessity, so shouldn’t your kitchen be a peaceful and inviting space? Whether you are the one doing the cooking, the eating, helping with the dishes, or all of the above, an ample amount of kitchen time is coming up with the holidays being just around the corner. So, here are some tips for keeping your kitchen feeling fresh, calm, and clean.

  • Tip #1: Keep the counters and table tops clear

The less you have sitting on the counter, the better. Put as much as you can away in cabinets. Leave out just a few necessary or decorative items along with any snacks or food. If you are someone who keeps mail, keys,wallets, etc. on the counter- stop! Find a drawer or cubby for these items and stop cluttering your precious counter space. What did it ever do to you?!

  • Tip #2: You can never have too much white

There is something about a white kitchen that just screams CLEAN (Or CLEAN ME depending on the day of the week). But when it is clean, there is no place I’d rather be. There is a freshness and pureness that comes along with the color white that you simply can’t replicate with other colors.

  • Tip #3: Plants!

Plants keep your kitchen feeling fresh. And literally freshen the air with oxygen – shout out to photosynthesis. Some plants even get rid of toxins! I am terribly poor at keeping plants alive, and as you can see in the pictures below, even I have plants! I have an orchid on my table and a hanging plant above my sink called philodendron. There is hope for everyone! You just have to find the easy, low maintenance plants if you’re anything like me.

  • Tip #4: Candles

I have a candle on the corner of my kitchen bench and on my kitchen counter at all times. I light them if I’m having company over or if I’m doing dishes/cleaning the kitchen. Candles can make even the craziest of atmospheres feel calm and fresh.

  • Tip #5: Bake, bake, bake

Nothing makes a kitchen as warm and relaxing as fresh baked cookies. Don’t know how to bake or don’t like to bake? Buy the cookie dough that is already made and throw it on a pan and into the oven. Set the timer, then watch and smell your kitchen transform!

  • Tip #6: The most obvious – clean up

Wipe down your counters as much as you can. I’m convinced that little elves live in my cabinets and spill sticky stuff on my counters every night. I’m sure they have friends at your house too. Take a second to wipe down your counters every day or two (depending on how the elves are feeling). Once the counters are clear, tell Alexa to tell your robot to clean the floors. If no robots show up to vacuum, use an old school broom and dust pan. Throw in some dance moves here and there. You’ll feel awesome and you’ll look great doing it. Side note – Swiffers and Swiffer wet jets are sent from heaven.

Remember, time spent preparing and sharing meals is of great value, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Having a clean and tidy kitchen is not more important than making memories with your loved ones. However, I find that keeping a clean kitchen helps relieve my stress when it’s time to cook. I’ve also found that I enjoy being in my kitchen when it is fresh and calm rather than avoiding it and grabbing takeout. So follow these tips and surprise yourself by inviting friends over for dinner and card games. Or, follow these tips and make your kitchen the place to be this holiday season even when it’s packed with uninvited extended family members and in-laws.

Standard
Fashion, Organization

tips for downsizing your wardrobe

Is your closet overflowing with clothes, shoes, and accessories? Do you have clothes that stay in the laundry room, on your floor, or on that random chair in your house because there is no more room in your dresser drawers? This is where our culture will tell you to buy more storage or get a bigger closet, but I will tell you that it is time to downsize your wardrobe (because I love you and want to help de-clutter your life). So, here are some tips for downsizing your wardrobe and choosing what stays and what goes.

  • Dedicate a day to go through every clothing item and accessory you own. Buy some of your favorite snacks, turn on an awesome playlist, get some coffee and mentally prepare yourself to let go.
  • Invite a friend over for emotional support if you’d like. Make sure its a good friend who can tell you the truth when you want to keep that dress with the sparkly chunky belt that even the spice girls wouldn’t wear. However, be cautious not to turn this time into a dress-up party and not get anything done.
  • DO NOT LOSE FOCUS. you can do this. Right away, you should be able to designate areas for keep, give away/donate, and maybe.
  • Try on any clothes that you haven’t worn in the past three months. How do you feel when you’re wearing that item? Do you feel confident? Do you feel self-conscious? Be honest with yourself.
  • When is the last time you wore that item? If it is in season at this time and you haven’t worn it since last season or the year before, get rid of it.
  • Is this item something you like but you have another similar item you usually wear instead? Get rid of it!
  • Is this item something you got from a vacation but it doesn’t fit or you don’t feel awesome in it? Get rid of it! You will always have memories without holding on to the t-shirt with the city name on it that you brought back.
  • Do not hang on to “fat clothes” or “skinny clothes”. Your wardrobe should be something that empowers you. Not something that makes you feel deficient. You are perfect just the way you are, and your clothes should show that off!
  • Do not keep any items from an ex. And do not feel pressured to keep something because it was a gift! It was the thought that counts. If you are worried about your grandma asking why you never wear the sweater vest she bought you, just let her know that it wasn’t flattering on you, but you were able to sell it and buy this cute (insert item) instead!
  • Only keep items that bring you joy. Your wardrobe belongs to you and no one else. Why would you want to wake up each morning and go through clothes that don’t fit right or make you feel like the boss babe that you are?
  • Once you have bagged up your donate/give away items, hang up and put away all of your keep items. Now, you may go through your maybe pile. Does there seem to be plenty of room for these clothes? Now that you’ve only kept the items that bring you joy, you should be able to quickly look through your maybe pile and see right away which items are keep and which are give away.
  • Be sure to give away/donate those items within a few days (if not that afternoon). This will keep you from going through the bags just to make sure you didn’t accidentally give away anything that you might regret. These items served their purpose while you had them and now they will belong to someone else. So send them away with a deep exhale.
  • Now that you are finished, take a look at your wardrobe. Take note of which items you feel most confident in. Remember that next time you are shopping. Yes, that model looks amazing in that romper, but you got rid of your rompers because they didn’t make you feel like the sexy human that you are! This doesn’t mean you should never branch out. Just a reminder not to spend your money on items that you won’t rock with confidence.

Once your closet is put back together and no longer looks like an overstock room for a department store, give yourself a high-five and relax in there like you’ve never done before. You will be amazed at how easy it is to pick out an outfit the next morning. You know that you only own clothes, shoes, and accessories that you are going to feel and look amazing in! How awesome is that?! Best of luck to all who give this a try. You got this! XOXO.

IMG_0568

Standard
Mental Health

Why you need to spend more time alone

We are living in a time where we are connected via social media to more people than ever before. Human beings long for human interactions, but we also require alone time (some more than others). So, why do you feel drained at the end of every day, even on your days off? Because even your alone time is being consumed with social interactions. Being constantly connected to other people can be demanding and draining, and I would argue that most of our social time is spent discussing meaningless topics anyways. Our generation obsesses over taking care of our external bodies, but we tend to completely neglect our eternal bodies (our souls). Alone time is extremely important for spiritual and emotional health. In a time with such high percentages of people with anxiety, depression, and mental health issues, I believe that now more than ever we should stress the importance of true alone time, along with more meaningful time spent together. This time should be taken without your phone (or at least with your phone on do not disturb). Below are some ideas and examples of what this alone time has looked like for me.

1. Meditation – I am new to this, but I highly recommend making this part of your routine. There is something so peaceful about stopping everything to just be. Whether you listen to a guided meditation, or you just listen to instrumental music/sounds, this is great alone time. Even meditating with someone can feel simultaneously like bonding time and alone time. Use this time to clear your mind, or pray. Warning: if you rush through your meditation just to check it off of your list, this is not helpful. I only mention this because I have done it and it was extremely counterproductive.

2. Journaling – This is very therapeutic. I keep a prayer journal, but I do not pressure myself to make an entry a day or any sort of requirement. I usually end up journaling when I am upset or anxious. When you force yourself to put into words how you are feeling, it allows you to process them in a way that you normally couldn’t. Don’t be afraid to spend time alone with your thoughts. If you don’t want anyone to see your journal then don’t keep one! Write out your prayers/thoughts/emotions on a piece of paper and burn it or throw it away when you are finished. This can also be a great strategy when journaling about a situation or person that you need to let go.

3. Time in Nature – This will look different for everyone. My alone time in nature varies from running to hiking to hammocking to surfing. No matter the activity you are doing in nature or if you are just laying still in the grass, one thing is consistent and that is God’s presence. God is begging for more time with us, and He loves to reveal Himself in nature. Spend some time alone with yourself, alone with God, in nature. Plant flowers, or take a walk. Notice the way that He carefully designed this earth. May it mirror how carefully he designed you.

4. Affirmations – If you do not already, get in the habit of showering yourself with words of encouragement. When you wake up every morning, look in the mirror and SAY OUT LOUD what you need to hear most. Tell yourself you are beautiful, you matter, you are patient, you can make a difference, your identity is found in Jesus, you will show God’s love to others. Remind yourself of these things and others even if you don’t believe them. Convince yourself of who you are by speaking to life who you wish to become. These types of exercises set the mood for the day. No matter what happens during the day, you are confident in who you are.

5. Reading – Spending time in God’s living Word is some of the best time you can set aside for yourself. Again, if it feels like a chore to check off your list, don’t do it. Pray for God to give you the hunger for His Word. Then, enjoy that time with Him when He does. No matter what you choose to read, you will find this alone time to be energizing and fulfilling. Take a moment after reading to reflect and process. Taking the time to set your phone aside to read a fantasy novel is great alone time (double points if you read outside and triple points if you read outside in a hammock). Start a book club with your friends. You will have alone time to read, and quality time to discuss the book! Take a bubble bath and read that book you never finished from last Summer. If you tell me you’re just not a reader, I’ll tell you you’re just lazy and haven’t found the right genre or book.

Set a time and plan ahead to have these moments with yourself. If you don’t plan for them, they will rarely present themselves to you. Set an alarm on your phone. Take a lunch break. Make it part of your morning or bedtime routine. Get in the habit of spending time getting to know and understanding yourself. Again, some people will require more alone time than others and that is okay. I dare you to take the time, to grow, to learn to fall in love with yourself, by yourself.

img_0143.png

 

Standard
Food

15 minute meal prep for beginners

Do you like the idea of meal prepping, but you’re not sure where to start? If you aren’t ready to commit 3-4 hours on a Sunday to meal prep for the week, I understand. Below I will share with you an easy meal prep I prepare when I just don’t have time. This meal is great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack throughout the day to keep you full. It is one of my favorite snacks to take to work. The protein keeps me full and energized. If I plan ahead and pack my meals and snacks rather than finding them from food trucks or vending machines when the hunger strikes, I have more energy, I am more productive, and I stay full longer.

Here are the easy, and simple ingredients for my meal prep for beginners:

  • A hard boiled egg (or two)
    • Not sure how to hard boil eggs? Now is a great time to learn.
  • Cheese
    • I used mini string cheese below. You can go the string cheese route, or mix and match your favorite cubes. Some of you will go for the “Babybel” cheese. I support that choice 100%.
  • Apple slices
    • I am not going to tell you which type of apple to buy. I am sure you already have your favorite. However, I will tell you to buy whole apples and slice them yourself rather than buying a bag of already sliced apples.
  • Grapes
    • Choose between red or green. You’ll be judged either way.
  • A classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You are never too old for this.
    • I prefer crunchy peanut butter. My favorite right now is “Peter Pan Simply Ground” thanks to my fiance.
    • I used to be strictly a grape jelly person, but now that I’ve branched out, I’ve discovered the sweet, sweet flavors of raspberry and blackberry jam. I suggest checking your farmer’s market for local and homemade jams. Nothing can beat homemade jelly/jam.
    • Type of bread is completely up to you. Pictured below, I used wheat bread. Feel free to use your favorite loaf of bread. Or, if you’d like to cut some carbs and have the time, make a handful of pb&j minis using your favorite crackers.

 

mealprep.jpg@jocelyn_drizzy

I know that some of you appreciate having an exact meal to shop for and create, while others of you will want to create your own version. So feel free to create your own combo using different fruits/veggies that are in season. I can’t help myself when dark cherries are in season. I add them to everything. Peaches are another good option if you’re tired of apples. I’ve also done this meal prep before with carrots and peanut butter instead of a pb&j (If you haven’t tried baby carrots dipped in peanut butter yet, you’re missing out). Walnuts, almonds, and dried cranberries are other great options to throw in. Mix and match until you find the meal that makes your taste buds sing. Comment below your favorite version of this protein packed meal!

Standard
Finances

5 budgeting tips for when the struggle is real

You’re finishing up college or are a recent graduate. You have your first “big girl/boy job” and you’re all on your own. You don’t make minimum wage anymore, but you may not be salaried either. So why is it that you have no left over money at the end of each month? The answer is simple: If you don’t tell your money where to go, you will be left wondering where it went. 

Here are five budgeting tips for when the struggle is too real:

1. Cut back on luxuries –

This one may seem simple, but it is often encouraged in our culture. I admit, there are times to “treat yo self”, but for a recent college graduate in debt, those times are few and far between. You might think, “but Jocelyn, you don’t understand, I NEED that pair of shoes”. Or, “I NEED a manicure once a month”. No you don’t. It’s that simple. If there are luxuries that you feel you can’t live without, maybe you should take the time to reflect on why you feel that need. In the mean time, paint your nails at home. Invite your friends over for a spa day. Paint your own nails or paint each others. Do mud masks at home. Take a picture of the shoes and buy them when you have Christmas money, birthday money, or get a bonus at work. I am not knocking treating yourself or taking care of your body, but if these are areas you find yourself overspending, evaluate them and see where you are willing to cut back.

2. Switch out an activity for another

Is there something you do with a significant other or with a friend that you could switch up for a free or less expensive activity? Rather than meeting up for pricey coffee, why don’t you meet at the park instead? Bring a dog and take a walk, or bring a blanket and hang out. Bad weather? Instead of going out for drinks or going shopping, invite your friends over to watch online tutorials on watercolor painting and give it a try. Not feeling artsy fartsy? Invite them over to watch yoga tutorials and give that a try. You get the point.

3. Make cooking at home fun

I am the first person to admit that I spend too much money on food. More often than not, eating out will cost more than buying groceries and eating in. There are exceptions, say, if you grab fast food instead of groceries from Whole Foods. But in general, to eat a well-balanced diet, it costs less to eat at home rather than eating out. Next time your friends suggest going to a hibachi or steak house, suggest grilling out at a house or having a potluck instead. Invite your significant other over to cook a meal together rather than going out to eat. Not sure what to cook? I’ll admit, I sometimes check the websites for delivery meal kits to see the planned meals for the week and then just copy those at home (meal prep blog post coming soon). Either way, there are unlimited recipes at the tip of your fingers begging to be cooked. Plan ahead, buy the groceries, and put that kitchen to use. You will feel better at the end of a meal you’ve worked hard to cook and cooking at home cuts a lot of salt, sugar, and oils/fats out of the meal. Plus, who doesn’t want to brag on their insta-story about being wifey/hubby material?

4. Set goals and save

It doesn’t seem as rewarding to save money when you don’t have a plan for the money you’ve saved. Make a plan, set goals. If you want to own a home by the time you’re 30, setting aside money when you’re 23 makes a lot more sense rather than buying another round of drinks at the bar. Set aside an emergency savings account, for actual emergencies. Do not touch that money unless it is a real emergency. Set up your bank account to auto draft a certain amount of money from your checking account to your savings account twice a month. Get a head start on paying back those student loans while the interest is at its lowest. Does your job offer a 401k? Contribute! Take advantage of company match as well. The money will be put aside before it is direct deposited, and you will never see it nor will you miss it. Don’t buy that designer purse or that authentic basketball jersey when you know you’re only $800 away from a down payment on a car. If you don’t set goals, you won’t be saving for them.

5. Create a spreadsheet

Tell your money where to go at the beginning of each month. This may seem overwhelming for some of you, but if you’re anything like me, you love a good spreadsheet. Google Sheets is my go-to for spreadsheets because it is so easy to access anywhere at any time. If you doubt you will remember to update an online spreadsheet, print one out and hang it on your fridge. Start with the last full month of expenses and create a spreadsheet of where your money went. Do not get discouraged, it can only get better from here. For the upcoming month, fill out a spreadsheet with how you plan to spend the money (your anticipated expenses). As the month goes on, put the actual costs in there as well and compare. This will show you where you spent more than predicted, where you are on tartget, and where you can cut back. There are a few templates already created on Google Sheets that I highly recommend (circled below).

budgetspreadsheet

There are plenty of other resources out there as well. What works for me may not work for you. Again, as long as you are telling your money where to go, you will not be wondering where it went.

Everyone’s path to mastering a budget will look different. Becoming disciplined in the art of budgeting at a younger age will greatly influence and benefit the rest of your adult life. Do not be discouraged when starting out. It will take time to find the right budget for you. Some months you will save all of your extra cash. Some months you will decorate your house, buy Christmas presents, or take a vacation. Not every month will look the same, but if you can anticipate these planned expenses, be sure to set savings goals for them. It will be a learning experience to find the right balance between saving and spending, but once you control your budget rather than it controlling you, you will experience freedom like never before.

Standard