3 Reasons Why You Should Not Be Wearing Sweatpants to Class

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Because you’re better than that. The End.

Alright, you know I’m just kidding, but you really are better than sweatpants and I’m going to give you a few reasons why.

 

There are so many more attractive options which are just as cozy.

Let’s just take yoga pants as an example. These aren’t the biggest fashion statement out there but they definitely make you look like you at least tried…a little. Plus designers are coming out with so many adaptations to yoga pants that you definitely don’t have to stick to the basic black legging.

Joggers are basically stylish sweatpants. I think they work great when you combine  an athleisure style and a hip hop flare. Wear joggers with a comfortable tank and your favorite sneakers, and you’ll look so edgy that no one will even know you just rolled out of bed.

Another great sweat pants substitution is palazzo pants. I like to think of these as oversized pajama pants which are acceptable – and even admired – in public. The great thing about palazzo pants is that they often come in big bright prints so a basic t-shirt is more than enough to pair with them.

 

 

Can you say T-Shirt Dress?

I know I’ve said this before, but a dress is simply less work. Only one item to put on. One item to coordinate. One item to have clean – because we all know that laundry has been piling up. Wearing a T-shirt dress to class is basically like coming in a night gown and pretending you actually got dressed. Just please don’t wear slippers. I have actually seen a girl do this before and no matter how late you stayed up partying, I mean studying the night before, slippers simply are not made to be worn outside.

 

 

You will feel better about yourself.

I know how it is to wake up at 7:30 AM cognizant of the fact that you have 30 minutes to shower, brush your teeth, get coffee, finish typing a paper, find your laptop (which was totally in your bed at 2AM when you were watching Gossip Girl but has now vanished), figure out how the hell to turn off your alarm clock, text your mom back (because if you take longer than 3 minutes to respond she thinks you were hit by a bus – Mean Girls style), and to top it all off you need to look halfway presentable. But trust me, if go through the day looking the same way you did at 7:30 in the morning then you will go through the whole day feeling like you did at 7:30 in the morning (which we just established is a not-so fabulous state). Start your day right. Wear a fashionable, yet comfy outfit. Pick up a pumpkin spice latte – with a few extra shots of espresso. And take on the world like the bad bitch that you are!

AlwaysJess

 

Burn Your Bras!


Okay let’s not start this off on the wrong note, I have not turned into a crazy woman who doesn’t believe in bras (I do have a Victoria’s Secret angel card for the record). I probably have about 10 too many, but you know what maybe some women just need 3 different bras for each day of the week…okay maybe not.

The point is, I have actually begun something of a bra-revolution. I often find myself forgoing a bra because I prefer the way my outfits look without them. Plus it’s extremely freeing to bare it all. And sometimes I don’t wear bras because I never got past that stage of childhood where you learn to dress yourself properly – but let’s just chalk it up to fashion and comfort.

Going braless will give you a new take on the idea of a casual outfit – especially when you skip things like petals and adhesive bras. These mechanisms – which I fondly refer to as sticky boobs – can range from sweet and simple, to not-so-sticky, to a total pain in the ass. Do with them what you will, but going au naturel is likely going to make you happiest.

That being said – I know that the reason I can go braless relatively easily is because I have rather small breasts. I honestly don’t know how comfortable a woman with a large bust would be with going braless for a day. As I’m sure you know, bandeaus are quite popular and can offer a feeling similar to going braless without forgoing all support. If there’s a chesty lady out there who occasionally leaves home without a bra please let us know what it’s like in the comments below.

And with that, I want to leave all of you braless ladies a final piece of advice: beware of overly air conditioned buildings.

My Fitness Tracker: Jawbone UP2

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The tech industry is booming! And recently fitness trackers have really been growing in popularity. These incredible little devices give you a new way to take care of yourself, whether you are training for a marathon or just trying to take the stairs instead of the elevator when you get to work. Prices range everywhere from $50 to $5000 so there’s absolutely something for everyone.

In January of this year GBF got me a Jawbone UP 2 and I wanted to give you all my impressions of this device so that if you’re looking for one you know exactly what you’re getting into.

 

What you’ll love…

With the UP2 you can input your height, weight, step goals, weight goals, meals consumed, workouts, etc. to get calculations on how many calories you burn and how close you’re getting to your goals. The app connected to this band is INCREDIBLE. There’s no major learning curve – so you can just charge up and get going. I’ve found that it’s helped to make me a lot more conscious with what I’m putting into my body because the app will score your meals on a scale of 1-10 and let you know if you need to be getting more fiber, protein, or if you need to back off the sugars. Let’s be real, it’s also cool to see your food scores every day and turn it into a competition with yourself.

UP2 communicates with you through small vibrations. You can set an alarm or have it tell you when you’ve been sitting too long. But don’t get any funny ideas – your Jawbone belongs on your wrist…not below the belt.

The band will also track your sleep patterns. Your little personal coach will let you know what you can do to get a better night’s sleep – like turning off electronics earlier (but let’s be real, I have a hard time listening to him…or her…?)

Mine is in a champagne color but it also comes in black, purple, blue, silver, and a black and champagne combo. Just a heads up, the champagne color will get dirty a little easier than the darker colors. If that’s a major concern for you then you should probably go for black. The UP2 is designed to look more like a bracelet than a computer on your arm, so there’s no screen but you do have little LED lights to let you know when you are in active mode or sleep mode.

This band costs only $100 so one smashed piggy bank should probably get you there.

 

What you won’t…

As much as I love this product I have had one major issue with it – the band. When I first got my UP2 I was always having a hard time clasping it on my wrist and then removing it to charge. Honestly I don’t think I ever got the job done in less than 25 minutes! This was especially disheartening because I looked online and the version that I have features an updated band design that is supposed to make clasping it easier and the band more secure….Nope. Mine was also always loose, no matter how much I tightened it.

It gets worse! There’s a loop on the band which helps to secure it which broke open! I honestly didn’t use the band in any kind of crazy activities it just cracked. So this happened a couple months ago, I called Jawbone, they were incredibly nice and sent me a replacement. And what do you know, this one broke in the exact same way yesterday. Along with my heart. So far, all I’ve done is put some superglue on it. I don’t think I will be calling for another replacement.

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Big picture….

I’m pretty disappointed – because with the exception of the loop breaking on me this band and the app that comes with it is everything I need in a fitness tracker. I love everything about it but it seems kind like a waste of money if it breaks every couple of months. Jawbone does have some other fitness trackers which I believe have different bands so, if you still want a taste of the Jawbone experience then try one of those – otherwise I wouldn’t really suggest the UP2 unless you want to waste a hundred bucks.

Until next time!

AlwaysJess

6 Tips To Surviving A Long Distance Relationship

Being in a relationship is tough, put a few thousand miles between you and your significant other and things become extensively more complicated. I know a lot of people who will swear up and down that they will never consider a long distance relationship but they are literally cutting themselves off from so much potential. Seriously, there are only so many people in your city. If you think you’ll hit the jackpot without venturing outside of it, you my friend are dead wrong.  Personally, I believe that everyone should experience a long distance relationship at least once in their lives. Many people assume that a long distance relationship is bound to be a TON of work, but I’ve found mine to be relatively easy and especially rewarding.

 

Establish a routine

My other half is living in Germany, so we have a 6 hour time difference which can make the simplest things – like phone calls – really  annoying. Thankfully we’ve learned to live around it. This is a sample of what a typical day looks like for us with German times on the left and American times on the right.

(Quick disclaimer I am going to be calling him GBF – short for German Boy Friend because he isn’t the type to be all over the internet and It was the first cute thing I could think to call him).

 

5:00AM/11:00PM – GBF wakes up and texts me good-morning even though I am just starting to get into bed

5:45AM/11:45PM – GBF calls me while he is driving to work and we talk about what I did that day and what he has scheduled

8:00AM/2:00 AM – GBF has arrives at work while we’ve been on the phone and probably checks a few emails, gets some tea, etc. This is usually around the time that I pass out on him

5:00PM/11:00 AM – GBF calls me as he is leaving work, up until this point I’ve probably just been lazing in bed, playing on pinterest, and texting people (don’t judge it’s summer!)

From there it varies a little day-to-day, sometimes we’ll talk all night until he falls asleep which is usually 10PM-12AM/4PM-6PM. Sometimes he wants to do more work when he gets home and our calls end around noon American time…..And when there is an FC Bayern Munich game on poor little Jess gets no attention. Unfortunately soccer trumps all else in Europe. It took us a little while to fall into this routine but now that we are here I absolutely love it. We both know when the other is awake and when they are going to call and we can plan other things in our life around these phone calls so that we aren’t missing out on time together.

 

Live for the video clips!

GBF and I have been using viber for phone calls, text messages, photos, and video clips. It’s a great app and I definitely recommend it for anyone who has international friends they want to keep in touch with. One of my favorite things about the app is the video clip feature. You can send videos up to 3 minutes long to the person you’re talking with. I use this obsessively because I am usually too lazy to type whatever I want to say (plus no one wants carpal tunnel by the age of 30!). GBF usually wakes up to several video chats from me and I occasionally get to wake up to 1 or 2 from him – and guys let me tell you it is the best feeling in the world to wake up and see someone you care about smiling back at you and telling you how much they’re missing you – even if it’s just through a little LED screen.

 

Do it together

Taking activities that normal couples can do on a regular basis and incorporating them into video calls is a great way to feel closer to your significant other. GBF and I have tried watching TV together (because The Bachelor is just as important as soccer), reading a book together (but he chose a very boring book and neither of us finished it), and exercise challenges – we basically challenged each other to work on our abs or lose a few pounds and sent progress photos every day. These were all tons of fun for both of us and gave us something new to talk about. My biggest piece of advice here is to not be too serious with any of it. For example, we both thought the book idea was going to be great but it was a total flop. I had also really wanted to cook the same dinners together over a video and then eat together too but that just didn’t fly. The point is that you don’t want to get hyped up over an idea, have it fail, and then cause unnecessary strain in your relationship.

 

Do IT!

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. The big IT. A little late night loving is something that you will seriously miss – so what other option do you have than to do it over the phone?!?! So time to get a little candid, I had tried phone sex a few times before GBF and it was horrible. Like bad romantic comedy scene horrible. No one knew what to say or what noises to make (I know TMI, but you get the point) it was downright awful and ended as soon as it started. Crazy thing is that the first time with GBF was utter perfection. It was unexpected, natural, comforting, and satisfying! I can’t say that every intimate phone call we’ve had since then has been equally enjoying but there are enough great times in there to outweigh the occasionally awkward ones. If you’re in a long distance relationship you should absolutely do this and learn to love it, but the thing that is going to make it the best is to let it develop naturally. Don’t go in with a plan otherwise there is a very strong chance it will live down to your expectations (no matter how low you set them).

 

See the big picture

While GBF and I can have a lot of fun together with our videos and conversations there are plenty of times in between when things are just hard. You get lonely. You see other couples together and envy them. You question why your soulmate lives on the other side of the planet. You have to remember the bigger picture. When I have negative thoughts like these in my head I try to think about the future. GBF and I have talked extensively about what we want out of a future together and it helps that I can remind myself that our current situation is temporary. I can fantasize about the life we will one day lead together, the places we’ll visit, the homes we’ll have, and the people we will become. And it makes it all a little more bearable.

Alternatively, I call GBF in a puddle of tears saying how much I miss him and that I’m quitting my life to come to Germany – and then he reminds me of these things. Either way, same results.

 

Promise yourself never to lie

This is the biggest thing. If you read this and take nothing else away know this point. In a long distance relationship, you and your other half rely completely on deliberate communication. Unless you only talk with video chats there is next to no non-verbal communication. So when you lie, even a little bit, you are breaking down the entire foundation of your relationship. You need to trust that he is openly communicating with you and he needs to trust you as well. If you don’t have communication in a long distance relationship you don’t have anything. GBF and I established this very early on in our relationship and I believe that it is the reason we’ve had it so easy. Now look, we’re human and you are too. Humans are immensely flawed! I’ve lied to GBF and he has lied to me – not often and not big lies but it has happened. However, just after telling a lie both of us has gone to the other and corrected it, and explained why we lied. Thus, reopening the communication between us. At some point in your long distance relationship you’re going to mess this one up, but you need to be aware of what’s going on and you need to ‘fess up when it happens.

 

So whether you’re just contemplating a long distance relationship or already committed in one I hope you can find these tips useful. Let me know if you guys would like to hear more about long distance or interracial relationships…..but probably not in such a serious format. I feel like this post was definitely more serious than usual and I’ll try to fix that in the future – because relationships are supposed to be FUN. Until next time…

AlwaysJess

I Mean Business!

Hello Ladies!

Today I pulled one highly neglected item out of my closet – my black blazer. I am generally super picky when it comes to blazers. For the longest time I was trying to find an incredible fitted blazer at an even more incredible price – unfortunately for me incredible really means it ain’t gonna happen! And it’s so frustrating! We’ve all done that thing where we have an image of a perfect piece in our heads and we search and search just to be let down time and time again. But my friends, we are mere humans who are flawed and nearsighted, and often times whatever you are looking for is just a little different than what you had imagined.  I feel like I just outlined my entire life story there!

Maybe it was my torso or maybe it was the jacket but all of the fitted blazers I had ever tried just weren’t working. So I went in a new direction – loose not fitted. I mean damn! we have boyfriend jeans, boyfriend tees, boyfriend pillows, you best believe I am going to embrace a boyfriend blazer! I love this one because it is fitted on the arms but it is loooong. On me it went down to the bottom of my romper shorts. (BEWARE! From behind you will look like you aren’t wearing pants!!!) While it flows away from your body it never feels cavernous.

I wore it with a blue plaid romper because I like mixing the fun style of the romper with the sharper business-y look of the blazer. My watch further accentuated the business elements of the outfit and I used the booties to pull in the black from the jacket and tie the whole look together. If you plan on trying an outfit like this, know that almost any kind of shoe can work but matching the color of your shoes to your jacket can help keep the outfit from looking mismatched.

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Romper: Abercrombie & Fitch // Blazer: Forever 21 // Shoes: BCBG // Watch: Michael Kors

That’s all for now, until next time! Happy Styling!

AlwaysJess

SOS: From Your Pores

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Ok ladies, it’s time that you all ask yourselves a very serious question. When was the last time you changed your face wash? And I don’t just mean buying a new bottle of the stuff you ran out of but actually changing the type of soap you put on you face every morning. Until this morning I have been a faithful user of Clinique’s 3 step face routine – unfortunately you can only bang an empty bottle against a bathroom counter so many times until you are forced to admit that it is in fact empty and a trip to the make-up counter is required.

As I was getting ready this morning –  in a much more annoyed fashion that usual – I started to really think about my morning face routine. Now don’t get me wrong, I friggin LOVE Clinique, but recently my skin hasn’t been exactly right, in fact it’s been a bit dry. I haven’t changed my routine for at least a solid year, so I was thinking oh it must be the weather, or the water I’m using is too hot….But rewind! I already had the problem sitting right there on the counter – I haven’t changed my face routine for a solid year!

The human body is amazing at adaptation, this includes everything from your hair follicles to your exercise routines to your pores. If you treat it the exact same for a long period of time it will eventually get used to the process. Think building a tolerance to alcohol, but instead with rose-scented soaps. The crazy thing is that I had been abiding by this law in other areas of my beauty routine. Every time I run out of a bottle of conditioner I get a new brand. Every couple of weeks I change my workout regimes. I even consider trying different types of products on my teeth! But when it came to my face my approach was this works and I definitely don’t want to risk a break out so let’s not change anything. WRONG

Your skin needs to be exposed to different care – otherwise you run the risk of being dried out and bewildered like me.

So ladies, please head my warning and as soon as that bottle runs out pick something else up. With that said, does anyone have a good suggestion on a new face wash. I think I’m wanting to go for something a little less harsh and a little more natural so I may be checking out Lush. Give me your suggestions!

AlwaysJess

Transitioning Out Of Winter

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Sweater Dress: H&M // Shoes: BCBG // Hat: Target // Scarf: Target

 

Hello Lovelies!

So, I was sitting in front of my closet the other day trying to decide what to wear and it hit me that winter is kind of over. Generally, it would still be cold and snowy at this time of year but the winter was so warm that it’s practically early spring weather already! This was hella amazing until I realized that the early mornings are still too frosty for me to want to get out of bed or try to look even a little cute.  I always have trouble dressing for these kind of days and I figured I probably wasn’t the only one – but I do have one outfit I want to share with you because I think it could help you all look great while still feeling toasty.

Fall/Winter of 2015 was definitely the season of the sweater dress. If I had gotten a nickel for every pin, blog, or instagram pic I saw incorporating one, I would definitely be going on a little shopping spree. A while back, I picked up this cute marbled, waffle knit sweater dress from H&M. Well I wear it as a sweater dress….but I’ve had a few people tell me that it’s maybe a little short for a dress. On the other hand, I’ve never had someone tell me I look bad in it!

To make it more reasonable for the season I always put thick tights underneath, or if I’m in a bind I layer up two pairs of regular stockings – because laundry is tough y’all. I’ve been wearing these chunky heeled ankle boots from BCBG with this. I prefer black boots with the black tights because it flows with the lines of your legs and makes them look longer. However, tall boots work great if it’s a particularly cold day.  And then, because it’s could outside be sure to finish it off with a great scarf, and a dainty bracelet for a little bling.

Now technically, you should also throw on a jacket because duh it’s cold! But I seem to have this like anti-jacket thing going on, like as soon as I put one on it magically ends up on the floor but what kind of girl would I be if I told you not to wear one. So put on your coats kids, don’t get sick!

AlwaysJess

Get Organized in 2016

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Being a total type A personality, everything around me needs to be in a perfect cohesion for me to be able to focus on the pertinent tasks of the day. Since it’s a little into the new semester I thought I’d help a few of you who may be a little less organized get there too. Be honest with yourself, you know you made some type of New Years’ resolution along those lines and you are already behind…so you’re welcome in advance

First things first, focus on your desk space. This one is crucial! Having a clean and clear desk is the equivalent to having a clean and clear mind every time you sit down to work at it – which had better be often. In my opinion, you don’t need some huge ass desk with more drawers, nooks, and crannies, than you care to count. Instead you should go for a minimalist approach, something with only one or two drawers – or if your really bold, none at all. The reason for this is that some people are just natural hoarders. In the moment, they think that they should keep this paper in case they need to refer to is again or that it’s best to hold on to this pen because it holds sentimental value. When in reality those things are likely to pile up in one drawer until they move to the next and then they are all over the top of your desk. Your work space is called your workspace for a reason, treat it as such – not as a storage unit.

I’ve taken this approach myself and it’s been so helpful. In the fall I bought myself a new desk. It’s plain, white, and simple. There’s no space for me to keep junk, so I simply don’t keep it. It keeps my sight lines clean so that I’m able to focus while watching YouTube videos writing papers. On top of that, it’s just really pretty to look at. Let’s be honest, would you rather sit down to a stack of papers everyday or a picturesque porcelain display???

The next thing you should do is make your bedroom a laptop free zone. I decided to do this at the same time that I moved my desk from the bedroom to the living room. On the one hand, it was always nice to be able to go straight to bed after a long night of studying or hop right up in the morning and start working on my blog…but on the other I would often end up taking small “naps” in between my work which caused some serious delays.

Naps is in quotes because I’m not sure if 4 hours of sleeping can really be considered napping.

 Additionally, it’s best for you to separate your living spaces. It’s definitely a part of some Feng shui/chi thing but without bringing ancient Chinese proverbs into this, it’s just good for your mental health. By saying that this space is completely designated for sleep, this one for working, this one for eating, and so on, you will naturally keep all those activities separated so that one does not conflict with the other.

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The last thing, and arguably the most important thing, for you to do is get a planner. So many people say that they schedule all their stuff on their phone or tablet but to me these devices should be used as supplements to your planner. First off, there’s the simple fact that writing things down helps you to remember them better. You’re way more likely to forget some note you tapped into your iPhone 3 days ago than something that sitting right in front of you on a page. And that brings me to my other point, you can have your entire week laid out for you. A lot of planners spread one week across two pages that face each other so when you open it you have an all-encompassing view of everything you need to do for the week. This absolutely trumps your phone notes because it simplifies planning for every day, not just the current day.

Being the New Year, my last one just ended and I picked up a new one! It’s a modified Day Designer from Anthropologie. I kind of feel like an idiot because I saw the original Day Designer was about $60 and then found this one on Anthropologie for $20. I thought they were the same so I ordered it but then a little more research showed that mine is an abridged version. Which is fine, it’s working great – next time I just won’t be so dumb as to think that I’m getting the same thing when I’m paying a third of the price.

There’s obviously way more that you can do to get organized and stay that way, but when you start trying to do too much everything can fall apart. So start out with these few small changes and I hope that you see them making a huge impact on your day to day life.

AlwaysJess

Thanksgiving Weekend!

Top: Like Mynded // Pants: Forever 21 // Booties: Target // Bandeau: American Eagle

Photgraphy: Ennesee Media Management

This year, our fall has been unseasonably warm. We did get a little snow last weekend, but none of it stuck and now I’m sitting here looking at 60° weather. Trust me when I say I’m not complaining!  However, the weather does throw a little monkey wrench into planning an outfit for Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of donning my typical sweater, I think I’m going to go for something a little….less, if you know what I mean!

Now, to be honest, I have a serious issue with wearing real pants. Like I need to call up a shrink and talk about the fact that I wear leggings 24/7. I promise you, Thanksgiving will be no different, but instead of normal leggings I am inclined to wear these slightly fancier ones with a fun zipper detail. Zippers that conveniently match the zippers on these adorable booties. Then throw on this cute wrap-top, and you have a complete look… (A complete look which might actually be from Labor Day or something that I never wrote a post for, but was too cute to not blog about. In case anyone’s interested I do have an A+ in Procrastinationn101 and I’m willing to tutor you!) So, even though this is definitely a warm weather outfit, throwing on a jacket will help you out! And who knows, tomorrow I may put up a real Thanksgiving outfit!

What are you guys actually planning to wear for Thursday’s all you can eat fest? Hopefully something big enough to hide the food baby! Let me know in the comments!

AlwaysJess

 

White on Black

Over the course of the summer, I found myself pulling the pieces of this outfit out of my closet over and over again. They’ve truly become staples to my wardrobe. Big floppy hats were the object of my obsession this year – and when you factor in the relentless summer sun they also become a necessity. When paired with high-waisted shorts, I was able to incorporate some of the retro themes that have been trending recently. And of course, I had to throw on my slouchy stripped tee. This black-and-white look was finished off with a simple wristlet and wedge sandals.

Hope you love it as much as I do!

Hat: Target //  Wristlet: Tory Burch //  Shoes: Chinese Laundry // Shorts: Forever 21 // Top: American Eagle

Photography: Ennesee Media Management

AlwaysJess