That Really Great Friend You Make in College

I’ve been taking little notes about what to put in this post for a couple weeks now. I wanted to say a lot of important things because I think it is an important topic. Winter break was kind of an emotional time for me because of what was to come when I went back to school. And I had really stressed myself out about trying to find a post-grad job while I was on winter break since it was when I had the most time. Of course, I leaned on my friends a bit get me through all of that.

So what’s my point? I feel like I really need to express how grateful I am for my friend Harrison.

In midst of all that breakdown I had I decided to start picking out things I was grateful for everyday. Who made it day one (and several days since…) You guess it, Harrison. He is so good to me and I leave every conversation with him feeling supported, loved, and confident.

Lets just give you some back story on him. We met in college and since we are in the same major which is quite small, we have had about a million classes together. We got close very very quickly but it was mostly just an in-class friendship. Still, as I am sure you can guess when you have a majority of your classes together (and study and do homework together) that is still a great deal of time. I grew to love grabbing Starbucks or a quick meal in between classes with him and was lost when that didn’t happen!

I have watched in grow up a lot in the few years I have known him. He was always a good person there is no denying that but the way he has grown to be so loving and compassionate is absolutely amazing. I have to say, the way he grew up I don’t think it would be outrageous for him to act like a brat. He has a lot in ways of “nice things” and when I first met him I thought that would define him. Perhaps some of the community service work he has done fostered some of that compassion I mentioned before but god I can’t say enough how great of a person he is.

I can go to him with anything – family issues, gossip, stress – anything. He’s always so supportive and reminds me that I am loved. As of late, I have realized that he is one of those great lifetime friends I made in college that I’ll be calling from 2,000 miles away when I’m 70 years old. Words quite literally cannot express how important he is to me. I would be lost without the support I get from him.

I am tempted to give you a million examples of things he has done for me. Maybe one day I will but I think maybe that is something I need his permission for. And also, I’m in public and would have tears in my eyes revisiting all those beautiful memories.

Harrison, I love you. You have never faltered from being one of the most caring, genuine, amazing friends I have had in my 21 years on this earth. Thank you for being there for me in the way you have and reminding me everyday that I am worthy. I hope that I can give you half of the love and support you have given me. Just, thank you. Thank you so much.

Here’s to the last semester together being the best one yet!


Until next time,
Journey as Janelle

Visiting Philadelphia… Airport terminal F

I’m currently one hour through a three-hour long layover to get back to Long Island, back to school. My love for MacArthur airport has left me with a permissible attitude towards layovers. While they may be a hassle, it is worth it to me since it means I land 20 minutes from my dorm room. Yeah, my school is not in any way shape or form New York City, I’m not that cool.

Anyway, I got some news while sitting in the terminal F food court eating salt and vinegar FRIES (Yeah, they were great) and watching shipping wars on my phone. The first two days of school are cancelled due to an impending nor’easter/blizzard. So can we just say…ugh! I mean I know I’m supposed to be super excited about it but in all likelihood I’m going to spend the next two days in my dorm room when I could have been soaking up more experience in Minnesota.

Also how freaking annoying is it that I leave MINNESOTA to escape semi more tolerable winters and find a blizzard! C’mon world, can’t this girl catch a break? I thought I could give the fleece lined leggings a break at least for a couple of days!

Hopefully, enough people will have come back to campus already that there are the obligatory snow day parties starting at about 2 pm. As it is my last semester of college I believe it is my job to insure I take advantage of these opportunities…. or there’s plan B.

I intend on doing multiple posts about this so I won’t spoil too much but I am in a very “purgy” type of mood. I’ve been dreaming of getting back to all my stuff so I can get rid of a bunch of it! I just want to be less cluttered and stop keeping clothes that I haven’t fit in for years. So part of me is fairly excited to have two days of no responsibility so I can jump right into organization mode. The overall goal is to go in each area (a drawer, a shelf, etc) and get rid of half of what is there. Obviously there will be times I won’t actually do that but when I think about it there are definitely a lot of places that I could!

Time to go back to shipping wars, I think. Thanks A&E for inundating Netflix with all of your shows that I love to hate.

Until next time,
Journey as Janelle

Plus-Size Swimwear

A few months back I booked a trip to Cancun, Mexico for spring break. It’s getting pretty close and I got my passport today so I thought it was a good time to go hunting for swimwear. A couple of these are almost certainly making it in my suitcase for the trip – others are more conservative than I would necessarily want. I figure the one good thing I have going for me in a swimsuit is boobs so I should really embrace that.

swimwear blog 4

This chevron-print beauty is only $54.60
I love the mesh panels and the price is great! Not sure about the tan lines this one would give, though. Definitely a more sporty pick which I do need. Lets be honest busty girls, sometimes those lovely accessories we have like to break out of their cage.

Swimwear blog 2

A sort of retro look for $89.99
This one is still cute and sexy but provides more coverage and camouflage for the belly. I like it but I don’t $90 like it. I still think it would be a great buy but out of my budget.

swimwear blog 6

Yes, that is GabiFresh in her own design for $68.60
This one is just precious and I’m almost positive I am going to buy it. Her whole line is amazing and you can find it here.
P.S. The website that is on, Swimsuits for All, has TONS of great plus-size suits.

Swimear blog 5

Another GabiFresh suit for $68.60
I think this one is just beautiful and perfect for Mexico but I’m hesitant to buy something with no tummy camouflage.

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I’m done gushing over her line after this one for $68.60
This one is real sexy and really really daring. We cannot deny that she looks fabulous, though. And my body type is pretty similar so I could potentially look like half as fab, right?! Again with the weird tan lines but whatever I think this look makes it worth it. Besides, who is seeing those tan lines when I get back to New York anyway.

Send me your picks! I’d love to see what you suggest – maybe I’ll end up buying them 🙂

Until next time,
Journey as Janelle

The College Series: Choosing a School

Because it is a subject fresh on my mind, I thought it a worthy cause to start a series about college. I even have a nifty list of specific topics for the series on a “sticky” on the desktop of my computer.

 As you can tell, I thought a good place to start would be how to choose a college. Here’s something that may not have occurred to you yet, there is no perfect school. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a school that will make you feel like it was perfect for you. I feel that way about mine (gotta keep a positive outlook!) But you will always have complaints about your four year digs.

   1. That whole learning thing…

Obviously, you are there to get an education. Your parents are right, that is the most important part. Sure, I know people who went to “party schools” and seem to be doing alright but that was way too big of a risk to take for me.

  1. Getting in

I am going to do a whole post on this but the main point here is to be realistic. I always dreamed of going to Brown for some reason (pretty sure someone on The OC went there). But I wasn’t going to get into an Ivy League school, plain and simple. College apps are spendy, apply to as many schools as you desire but maybe don’t waste money on Harvard if you aren’t Harvard material.

  1. Location, Location, Location

Hands down, the most important thing to me when picking a school was getting away from my hometown and all that entails. I wanted to see something new so I was pretty sure I was going to leave the Midwest for school. I ended up 1,000 miles from home and it was the best decision I could have made for myself.

There are certainly some trade-offs to going out-of-state for school, like for instance everything is more expensive… Your tuition, your housing, getting home for the holidays. And don’t even get me started on emergencies. When everyone goes home on a four day weekend you’ll be stuck in the dorm because a $500 flight is a massive waste of money. BUT, you get that whole independence thing down a lot faster than most. Especially if you are like me and went to school in a state where you knew no one.

  1. Moola

Whether you are going the student loan route or are lucky enough to have parents who can help you, money matters. Yes, there is financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc… but for the record those things are hard to get and time consuming. I don’t know anyone who has help other than from their school’s and the feds. I suggest searching for school’s based on their values. I found mine on Forbes’ list for “Best Value Colleges.”

  1. Like, your friends?

I’ll expand on this later but yes, you should be considering what you want out of your social life as well! There’s a reason this is last… it’s kind of the least important when you are talking about the initial search. Do your research here, figure out what school’s talk about when bragging. Their sports teams, clubs, greek life, etc. Make a list and pray the school your parents like has those those things.

College really is the best (hopefully, only) 4 years of your life, treat it like that.

Choosing a college

Photo Cred: New York Times

Until next time,
Journey as Janelle

Life Update

The world’s longest college winter break comes to a close next week. It’s a bittersweet time for me because when I get back to New York I have to finish school. I’ve dreaded my last semester like the plague. I like college and I like the safety net it entails. I’m terrified about having to start life as a grown up and finding a job and stress, stress, stress.

 But also because I like my internship and I don’t hate Minneapolis so it’s a bummer to be leaving. The people I work with are great and judge as you will but it is pretty satisfying having a real income.

 I’m already over-scheduled this semester between class, an independent study, being VP of my organization, my “senior design project,” two part time jobs, and a TA/Proctor position. What’s sad is I guarantee I forgot something on that list. Maybe one day I’ll include a picture of my google calendar so we can all have a good cry.

 I worry about that because it would be great to actually party and act my age this semester. I’m such a grandma going to bed by 11 pm 99% of the time. I want some of those night’s I’ll never remember!

 This week’s Rose:
I got my little brother a coding gig at my internship so he can having something valuable on his resume.

This week’s Thorn:
I was grumpy for 2 days in a row and I have no idea why.

Until next time,
Journey as Janelle

Fashion Friday: Skyway Inspired Workwear

I intern in Downtown Minneapolis, in a real life office building – office skyscraper. Minnesotans have come up with a great way of avoiding inclimate weather, the skyways. Bridges in the sky connecting towers together ensuring that we never have to splash in a puddle or suffer through clouds of cigarette smoke. My office is “skyway connected” and has glass walls. So needless to say, when I want a little distraction I am happy to people watch.

Skyway, Minneapolis, downtown, city, twin cities, st. paul, minnesota

In case you needed a skyway visual

I’ve recreated some of the best outfits I saw this week, here. And, as per usual, I will include similar plus-size options to recreate the look.

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 10.53.02 AMI actually saw this outfit on a curvy girl yesterday.She looked fabulous, powerful, and absolutely sexy.

$109.99 from Macy’s
$64.50 from Torrid

Pencil Skirt:
$54.95 from Lane Bryant

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$34.99 from ModCloth
$15.90 from Forever 21

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This one was a causal friday ensemble. Admittedly, she was a twig. But I genuinely think this could look great on anyone. I also think that you could recreate this look with things you already have! The things worth spending real money on in this outfit are the sweater and jeans. For the sake of one cheap outfit in this post, here’s this outfit all from Forever 21 (and still work appropriate)

Chambray Undershirt: $24.90, Sweater: $14, Jeans $9.90, Sneakers: $24.90, Statement Necklace: $12.90
(For the boot option, seek last week’s post )
Grand total: $86.60

Journey as Janelle

Death of a Shopaholic

Death of a shopaholic

I have been hearing about how irresponsible I am with money since I was old enough to have any – mostly from my dear old dad. At 21, I understand the value of a dollar…. I just choose to spend mine in ways that are less than necessary

Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where that didn’t matter? Where I could buy ANYTHING I want and go ANYWHERE, ANYTIME? *Clicks heels hoping to go “home” to Paris Hilton’s life. * Well this is reality, where my soon to be bachelors degree has left me with nearly 200k in student loan debt. Fun Right?

Considering graduation is only 5 months away and that those lovely people at Sallie Mae will be barking up my tree in about a year, I figure it is time to start living on a budget. One of my new year’s resolutions is to “declutter my life,” and that clutter I am talking about is primarily the fruit of my online shopping habit. I took a close look at my spending in the last year and the amount of $50+ charges from Forever 21 (online of course) is actually embarrassing.


Because when I shop, the world gets better.

So here it is folks, the challenge of this post. NO MORE SHOPPING! I do not need anything other than bare necessities, i.e. shampoo, toothpaste, groceries. Obviously, I am not going to stop applying deodorant or eating Greek yogurt in the morning in hopes of expanding my savings account.

I broke down a little budget for myself based on stretching a paycheck that I got for a week of work put in before Christmas. My birthday is April 1st, and the next time I will be allowing myself to shop frivolously.

Discounting the spending on things I cannot change (those necessities) stretching that budget out the next four months equates to spending…. *drumroll* $30.60 a WEEK!

For a girl who likes happy hour and going out to eat, this is going to be a tough one.

Wish me luck!

Journey as Janelle

2015 Golden Globes Fashion

To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t care less about award shows. That beings said, I care a whole lot about what celebs wear on the red carpet! Here are my top 5 looks (in no particular order).

GG- Teigan

Chrissy Teigan

GG - reese

Reese Witherspoon


gg - moore

Julianne Moore

GG - emma stone

Emma Stone

GG - dakota

Dakota Johnson

And after selecting these I learned I’m basically a ferret attracted to all things shiny.

Journey as Janelle

P.S. the only parts I did watch definitely included these two:

Golden Globes

(And yes, I did select that picture because it was shiny)