Friday, August 28, 2015

A quick update from Yasi

If you haven't noticed, we've been  a little off the grid lately, and I'm here to tell you that we proooobably won't be posting for the next week or so. I'm actually writing this from my seat on the plane! I'm about to take off for DC, then on to Madrid. Since we're just getting settled into our school routines, it might be a while before we're able to start doing outfit posts, etc., but all is well here at P&J! Can't wait to get back to blogging (and can't wait to be in Spain).

Yasi "My flight has already been delayed an hour and we're still waiting"

Saturday, August 22, 2015

5 Tips for Americans Traveling Abroad

I leave for Spain next Friday and I'm literally counting down the minutes. Lex and I have been talking about studying abroad for so long and we both know that the next few months are going to be absolutely incredible. Admittedly, I'm a little nervous- my entire program is in Spanish and I'll be doing a home stay, so I've really got to dive right in. Luckily, both Lexi and I are pretty well-traveled so going abroad isn't completely terrifying. When traveling outside the country (especially in Europe), there are a few things to keep in mind. 

1. Leave your preconceptions in the airport terminal. 
The French aren't rude, the Italians aren't perverts, the Brits don't have terrible teeth, and you're not going to be pickpocketed by every man, woman and child. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be aware of your surroundings, but try to go into your trip open-minded about the cultures in which you'll be immersed. The only things stereotypes will do is isolate you from the natives. 

2. Get off the beaten path. 
You might visit to every tourist site in a city and never really see it. Instead, go where the natives go- stop for a cup of coffee in a corner cafe, wander through little boutiques, and visit lesser-known historical sites. Ask a waiter or store clerk to tell you about their favorite places in the city because you'll have a much better experience if you explore like a local.

3. Learn to blend in. 
Yes, a pair of clunky tennis shoes would probably be comfortable for walking around, but you might as well wear a giant sign around your neck that says 'tourist'. A lot of American tourists decide that they need to wear athletic clothes every day, clutch backpacks tightly to their chest, stop to look at maps in the middle of the street, and speak very loudly. At that point, you may as well march down the street waving a giant American flag and singing yankee doodle. You can wear clothes that are comfortable and chic that will help you blend in- after all, you're trying to look like the average local looks on a normal day, not like you're running a marathon. I've found that a lot of those pickpocketing horror stories come from people who were wearing cargo shorts with crew socks and looking around as though they were clearly lost. Ialk with a little confidence (even when you have no idea what you're doing) and try to observe the customs of wherever you are, people will leave you alone. 

4. Do your research, but don't be obsessive. 
It's probably a good idea to write down the phone number and address of the nearest U.S. consulate in case of emergency, so just get a little notebook and make yourself a little travel guide and diary. Follow some blogs based in the city you're visiting, see if the NY Times has a '36 hours in' guide, and revisit some movies or books that are set there. Divide your notebook up into 'restaurants', 'museums', 'historical sites', 'shopping', and 'other', then identify a few places in each category that you might like to visit. Write down their hours and admission prices so you can plan a loose itinerary while you're there based on what you feel like doing. This leads me to my next point....

5. Learn to roll with things. 
There's really no point in making a strict schedule before you leave because you have no idea if you'll be in the mood to go to a museum for 3 hours early the day after you arrive. Until you're there, you don't know how you'll handle jet lag, what the weather will be like, etc. Instead of freaking out when (and I am saying when intentionally) you get lost because it throws off your agenda, just let yourself wander the streets of a foreign city and see if you find something that interests you. One of my favorite memories is getting completely lost at 1 in the morning in Paris with a friend and getting stuck in the pouring rain. Just take a deep breath, tell yourself that it is what it is, and enjoy whatever comes your way. 

That's my best advice! Traveling abroad is an incredible experience so enjoy every minute of it.

Yasi "5 days, 8 hours, 15 minutes until I leave for Spain!!" 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

do's and don'ts of back to college shopping

For many, the much-anticipated, possibly dreaded college move in day is right around the corner. I remember my own first move in day so distinctly- walking around campus 10 times trying to figure out where I was, making a million target runs because I kept realizing I needed more things, spending hours trying to find the best arrangement of the furniture. 

With two move-in days (and two move-out days) under my belt, I've got the hang of things. Here are some of my must-haves for college freshman. Here's my advice:

DO invest in your bed. With little to no extra space in which to have chairs/beanbags, your bed won't just be where you sleep- it'll be where you do homework, watch movies, eat dinner, hang out with friends, and about a million other things. Make a headboard! get multiple sheet sets, a nice mattress pad, a throw blanket and some extra pillows to make that twin xl as cozy as possible. 

DO loft your bed. Some beds have the option built in, some need risers, but do it regardless because you will need that space for storage. 

DO get a hamper that looks cute, has handles, and is washable. If you think you're actually going to separate your colors before getting to the laundry room and fold everything in a separate basket like your mom does at home you're kidding yourself. If you're like me, you might even have to carry that laundry down 4 flights of stairs to get to the laundry room so make it practical. 

DO order command hooks in bulk!!! You'll use them for everything. Literally everything.

DO keep your wall decor sophisticated. Get a cool tapestry, some fun prints, or use inexpensive frames to create a gallery wall. Cinder blocks are ugly and wall decor that reminds you of something you'd actually have at home will make it feel more, well, home-y.

DO clean your room. It will be disgusting. There will be weird spots on the floor and you won't even know where they came from. As John Lennon once said,"When I find myself in times of trouble, Swiffer WetJet comes to me."

DON'T leave all your toiletries in the bathroom. Your shampoo will disappear at an alarmingly fast rate and on those days when you oversleep and everyone is in the bathroom, it'll be a nightmare trying to get your stuff. Keep it in a caddy in your room so you can get ready at your desk in the morning and just take it to the bathroom for showers. 

DON'T underestimate how many outlets you'll need. It's all fun and games until you have 327 loose plugs and nowhere to put them. Powerstrips & surge protectors may be outlawed by your dorm and, not that I'm advocating breaking the rules, but you can hide them during inspections. 

DON'T plan everything out before you get there! The school provided information is deceiving because you will arrive and find that there is no good way to arrange your furniture, your closet door can't open up all the way without hitting your bed, your fridge has to sit on top of your desk, and you and your roommate are constantly elbowing each other. Stick with the basics (see below) and wait for the rest until you see what you have to work with. 

Good luck to all of you moving in! Hopefully this advice makes moving in a little easier. 

Yasi "No move in for me =) =)"

Monday, August 17, 2015

A bit of summertime diy-ing (and some shameless self promotion)

Hey biddies!
I don’t even know what it is about summer but I’m somehow both insanely busy and have nothing to do (hence the absence from the blog- never enough time to sit down and write a post or take photos).
Aaaanyway, I’ve been seeing these adorable bracelets around recently that are super colorful and made with these oversized beads. I managed to down the local artisan who was making them (after creepily asking a random girl at a coffee shop who was clearly terrified of me) only to find out they were going for $30 a piece. Sorry, but I'm a college student and nobody is dropping $30 on a beaded bracelet. I decided I'd invest some time instead to making one myself and was pretty happy with how it turned out! I made one for my mom too and after getting some compliments I decided to open an etsy shop.

Here it is! And I promise to be better about the blogging in the next few weeks. We’ve actually got some really exciting announcements coming up, so stay tuned.
Yasi “My 14 year old brother refused to model for the photos so they’re just eh”

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Summer Reading Favorites

I love reading, so I hate when I’m at school and hardly have time for leisure reading. However, that is what summer is for. I always work on a reading list second semester of school, and order the books off of Amazon as soon as I get home.
For the first half of the summer, I picked out four books that I thought were a diverse group. I tend to stick with YA books, because YA authors seem to be the best right now, and I find coming-of-age type of stories far more interesting than ~boring~ adult stories. Y’know?
Lexi's Summer Reading List Part 1: *Click on pictures for descriptions/ purchase options
1. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews
I found out about this book from the movie that comes out TODAY! It received rave reviews and won the two biggest prizes at Sundance Film Festival. This is way enough to spark my interest. It’s always fun to read a good book and get a good movie adaptation to go along with it.
2. Yes Please, by Amy Poehler
I always love reading a non-fiction piece by a favorite female comedian. Everyone loves Amy, and this book will having you laughing out loud (I found that out on a plane). It’s funny, witty, and smart.
3. Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
I picked this book mostly because of the title. I relate to it a lot. Also, Rainbow Rowell is one of the best YA authors out there right now. She writes complex, true to life stories filled with diverse characters. I’m obsessed with her writing. 
4. An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green
What can I say? I’m a sucker for John Green. I really enjoyed An Abundance of Katherines because they main character was not what you would expect. He is a socially awkward genius that doesn’t have many friends. Not your average protagonist if you ask me. It’s a fun story and an easy read. Bonus: If you haven’t read Paper Townsyou should get on that. It’s an incredible, exciting read! The movie, starring Nat Wolff, comes out July 24.
Enjoy the list! I would love to here your thoughts on the books and suggestions for further lists!
Xo, Lexi “I’m seriously addicted to books”

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Fall Essentials

Southern California is currently in the middle of a heat wave that has me fantasizing about sweater weather. Don't get me wrong- I love summer, I love the holidays, and spring is probably my favorite season of all, but there's something about cooler weather and changing leaves that just gets me. 

I like to keep my autumn wardrobe neutral- lots of creams, browns, and grays accented by fall colors like burnt orange, dark green and burgundy. My favorite part of fall fashion? Being able to wear leggings as pants every damn day. Textures. Velvets, knits, suedes, leathers- they add so much dimension to an outfit. Since I'm pretty much stuck inside in an attempt to stay cool, I've put together some of my favorite pieces for this fall. 

What looks are you most excited for this fall? Let us know in the comments!
Yasi "Be right back just spending all of my money on sweaters"

Thursday, August 13, 2015

My Experience at the fault in our stars premiere

** This was originally posted on our old blog, so the dates are slightly off. 

A year ago yesterday, I was in New York City sitting in a pen across the street from the Ziegfeld Theater. One of my best friend’s (let’s call her A) and I had read The Fault in Our Stars during our Freshman year at university and fell in love with the writing, story, and characters.
We followed the movie process closely, and found out the movie premiere was going to take place at the Ziegfeld Theatre on June 2nd, 2014. We never thought in a million years we would actually go, but it was a fun idea. We were so obsessed with the book, however, that we planned a trip to NYC (where I live part-time) so that we could see the movie together when it was released on June 6th.
We ended up in New York on May 31st, and planned on exploring the city until we saw the movie later on in the week. Everything changed the morning  of June 2nd, when we were eating breakfast and had the Today Show on the TV. The cast was being interviewed and talked about the premiere that would take place later on in the day. A and I looked at each other and simultaneously said, “We have to go.”
We literally left our breakfast on the table and ran out of my apartment. We walked quickly over to the other side of town until we reached the theatre on 54th street. When we arrived we saw the pens that had been set up across the street. People were already camping out in them. We went over and talked to a Mom that was there with her tween daughter and she informed us that they would be giving out wristbands to the red carpet/ movie to the first 300 people in the pens. In that moment, we decided we had to stay. When else would we ever get to have this experience?
So there we were, for 10 hours outside being treated like pigs in a pen, waiting for the premiere to start. They (the security guards/ FOX people) gave us one break to go to the bathroom/ get food. Eventually,  they moved us over to the carpet. By that time, we were all sweaty and smelly and gross. But, who cared? We were about to get the experience of a lifetime.
Even though A almost fainted, and there were like a billion tween girls that were screaming and pushing us and being so rude, we had an amazing time. This wasn’t just a movie premiere for us, it was a movie premiere for a movie that we were OBSESSED with. We had been following everything, and the fact that we were there, with the whole cast and crew, was absolutely incredible.
On the red carpet, we saw everyone. John Green stopped by and talked to each section of the red carpet. YES, Ansel is really hot in person. After all the celebs walked the red carpet, we were pushed inside to see the film. They put all of us crazy fans in the balcony area, and literally every single person involved in the movie sat below us. We got to watch the movie with everyone in the room. How cool is that?

Hank Green
John Green
Ansel Elgort
Ansel Elgort

Shailene Woodley

Nat Wolff

A and me in the theatre!
The inside of Ziegfeld Theatre
The Inside of Ziegfeld Theatre
June 2nd is a day I will remember forever.
Fun facts about the day:
1. I stood in line for the bathroom with Ansel’s girlfriend for 20 minutes (she’s beautiful)
2. A girl behind A and I sobbed the loudest I had ever heard for the last hour of the movie and we couldn’t hear a word of the movie
3. Hank Green got food from a hot dog stand outside the theatre after the movie
4. I got to thank Josh Boone, the director, in person!
5. I’m a film geek and got to see my favorite screenwriters in person!! (Scott Neustadter & Michael Weber)
Love your film buff,
*All photos are mine and were taken on my iPhone- that is why the quality is terrible (that and I was being pushed around by hundreds of people)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Finding your fitness routine

I’ve always been aware of my health, but I feel like now that I’m (sort of) an adult, I need to be more focused on it. When I was dancing/playing sports, I didn’t even have to think about working out. With the days of high school athletics behind me, I’ve found a pretty solid routine that works for me.
I learned very quickly that what works for one person does NOT work for everyone. I have friends that love swimming- I hate it. Swimming laps is probably my least favorite form of exercise and reminds me of lifeguard training in high school, a memory I try VERY hard to block out. I actually enjoy running, but I have friends that hate it. Now (when I’m home), I usually run 3 days a week, weight train 4 days a week, do 15 minutes of yoga a day, and toss in a couple of fun classes like barre, pilates, etc.
It took me a while to find a routine that worked, and in the process I learned a few things I thought I’d share with you:
1. Gear up appropriately. If you’re going to take up trail running, don’t go with a pair of 2 year old cross training shoes that are totally worn down because you will get injured (and shin splints are the worst). If you live someplace warm, make sure you have lightweight, breathable clothes and toss some ice in your baseball hat before heading out. If it's cold, make sure you have thermal clothes, running gloves, and a hat or ear warmers. It's an investment, but places like, TJ Maxx, and Target all have great discount options.
2. Fuel yourself properly. I take a HIIT class at 5:30 am 4 days a week, and even though I’m usually not hungry before I don’t do as well if I don’t eat. I like grabbing half a macrobar on the way out because it has a ton of protein and tastes good but doesn’t have any extra junk. Seriously, it’s gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and macrobiotic so it’s compatible with most dietary restrictions. Go for something light that has complex carbs and protein before your workout and something more substantial after you train. 
3. Take care of yourself before, during, and after training. Wear sunscreen if you’re going to be outside. Drink tons of water. Soak in epsom salts after a particularly tough workout. Stretch! Even if you don’t want to take the time to do some of this stuff, you’ll feel so much better if you do and that will help keep you motivated.
4. Make your workouts fun! Don’t force yourself to run if you hate running. Yeah, it’s good exercise, but so are a million other things. Try a hip hop class. Take tennis lessons. Create a great workout playlist. Your primary reason for working out should be that you enjoy it and it makes you feel good, not because you feel like you have to.
5. Take the bad days in stride. I don’t exactly spring out of bed at 4:50 every morning, but when I get to go up on weight in an exercise or I notice my running times going down, it gives me so much satisfaction. Yeah, there are days where I am silently (or very vocally) cursing my trainer throughout the entire session. Just remember that even professional athletes have bad days.
Hopefully that helps and gives you guys a bit of motivation! Share your best workout tips in the comments below.
Yasi “Writing this while still literally dripping sweat and now I’m going to sanitize my computer”

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Beating the Back-to-School Slump

Hey guys!
I don't know about you, but something about back to school makes me hit a sort of slump. For about a week I have insanely high energy- probably the fumes from the new notebooks and highlighters- and then I just crash. Halfway through the semester I usually realize that I've failed to accomplish any of the things I wanted to do. 
This year, I decided there was a lot of things I wanted to get done and I realized that I needed to plan early if I was going to accomplish them. Even though I’ve been a little lazy this week, I have tackled a few projects already (which I’ll be sharing on the blog) and am looking forward to more! Here are my tips for beating the summer slump and making the best of the season.
1. Make a list of your goals and keep them someplace visible. I decided I wanted to totally de-clutter and update my room so it looks perfect when I get back for winter break, so I set a reminder on my phone calendar. Every morning I wake up to a notification telling me to do those things, making it impossible to ignore.
2. Allow yourself some down time. Don’t convince yourself that you’re going to lose 40 pounds, remodel your kitchen, learn a new language, and travel to 7 countries. Just like with unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions, you’ll fall off the bandwagon and end up feeling defeated. Recognize that some r&r is necessary and you don’t have to be taking on big projects every day.
3. Find periods of time during which you’ll accomplish some things that have really been bothering you. It’s easy for something as small as a paint color you really hate ruin your day, so identify the things that generally put you in a bad mood and try to address them. Has your cluttered desk been driving you crazy? An exercise class you signed up for but still haven’t attended? Sometimes accomplishing one small thing gives me the confidence boost I need to move on to bigger tasks, so choose something manageable to start with.
4. Design a reward system for yourself as motivation. That new pair of shoes you’ve been wanting? The vacation you’ve been dying to take? Plan them and tell yourself that you’ll buy/do whatever it is as soon as you finish one of your goals!
5. FOCUS! I can’t stress this one enough. When you have a lot to do it’s easy to bounce from one task to another, but try dedicating yourself completely to one thing until you’re done. If you start cleaning out your closet, then start cleaning out the kitchen, then start on a gallery wall in your living room, you’ll probably just end up with a lot of half-finished projects.
6. Make it fun! You’ll be a lot more likely do paint your living room if you’re playing  music and have friends over to help. Watch a movie while you work on a DIY project, take a dance class instead of running around a track, or have some good friends over for a painting party and celebrate with a fun dinner.
Hope that gives you guys some inspiration! Let us know what your summer goals are in the comments below.
Yasi “I say after I spent several months doing nothing but watching netflix”

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sick Day Essentials

Last week I got back from a conference in Ohio and woke up the next day feeling like death was upon me. Sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, the works. Now that I’m starting to get over my cold, I thought I’d share my 11 sick-day essentials with you.

So what made the list? And more importantly, what’s with the random stuff like onions and turmeric? Let me explain.
The List:Low-Fat Milk, Turmeric, Raw Honey, Onion, Comfy Pajamas, Kleenex, Netflix, Airborne, Cute Mug, Herbal Tea, Bed (duh), and All-Fruit Popsicles.
Why?:The milk, turmeric, and honey go together. As weird as it sounds, it’s actually delicious- slightly spicy with a hint of sweetness- and seriously works wonders on a cold. Find out how to make it here. Just be sure to use low- or non-fat milk as the extra fat can create more mucus, which won’t help with a cough or runny nose.
The onion, you might ask? I distinctly remember this one awful cold I had in middle school. I was complaining about how stuffy I was, so my dad made me take a big bite of a raw onion. I absolutely hated it and I’m pretty sure my breath smelled for a month, but it instantly clears your sinuses.
All-fruit popsicles are a great way to soothe a sore throat without added sugar and preservatives that will just make you sicker, plus the fruit has antioxidants and vitamins that will help your body fight illness.
Hopefully these tips will help you fight any finals-induced colds! Let us know if you have any good immune-system boosters in the comments below.
Yasi “LITERALLY went through an entire box of tissues it's fine”