How You Will Make Friends In College If You’re Shy or Nervous

It’s actually easier to make friends in college if you could believe it, so if you’re shy like I was heading into university, I’m here to tell you this is the last thing you need to worry about! What makes college so great is everybody is new and looking to make friends, especially your freshman year (or even junior year, when many people transfer to a 4-year school from community college).

During my high school days and still a bit today, I have been a “shy” person, but college was the most exciting time for me simply because of how many people I got to meet and become friends with. For most people, it’s the first time they’re surrounded by peers they haven’t seen every day in hallways since pre-school. If you grew up like me in a small town, you are in for an adventure with thousands of others like you: living on their own for the first time and wanting to grow.

Right after my senior year of high school, I moved about 75-minutes south to a 4-year university where only 2 other kids from my high school ended up going too. Before I even got to school in September, I joined all the private Facebook groups my new graduating class had made online. I visited campus, took the tours, and ended up meeting my best friend on orientation day!

All you have to do is be open and friendly. Say hi to new people, ask them questions to get to know them and see what you have in common. Chances are, they are thinking the exact same thing as you. Even if there is awkward silence! If you’re thinking it, so are they, this is so awkward, I hope they don’t think I’m weird. Use that as a conversation starter to lighten the mood. We both know this is awkward so let’s skip to the good stuff, what do you do in your free time?

So if you’re moving to college and you’re nervous about how you’ll make new friends, don’t be! Here is your little pep talk, and you can check back here whenever you need the reminder. You’re stepping into the next best years of your life, whether it’s your frosh year or you’re transferring somewhere new. You are so far from alone, and you have nothing to be afraid of.

You get what you put into the world, so give it your best effort. If you like working out or playing sports, keep doing that and see who you meet along the way for like-minded friends. There are tons of options for clubs at college you can join, and those are a great way to meet new friends with similar passions. You could also check our sororities and fraternities for sisterhood or brotherhood, or maybe just know that’s a good backup if you don’t like any of the school clubs.

Talk to people before class too! Get to know those in your major, and the easiest way to do that is meeting your classmates. If they’re studying the same thing you are in college, then chances are you guys have something to talk about. What made them decide this major? What do they want to do with their degree? You probably have more in common than you think based on that. As a writing major, everyone around me seemed to love reading as much as I did, which was never the case in high school.

There is no reason to fear when you’re shy and moving to college. You will make friends and great memories, just stay open to all the new adventures and opportunities that come your way. You’re not alone, and you’re going to do great! In fact, you’re surrounding by people who are all in the same boat as you and you both already have something in common to talk about: so why did you choose this school? I bet they have a story there 😉


Your Destiny Is Defined by Your Mindset

Do you believe in fate/destiny?

Fate, like a supernatural power that defines a particular ending, is something I believe in, but not perhaps in the sense that this question intends. Have you ever heard that you get what you give? What about, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right”? Just like the fine print on every weight-loss program or your new gym membership, results vary depending on how much effort you put in. If you believe in yourself and in achieving your goals, that energy will come back to you, and you will succeed.

Mindset is everything, and I’ll say that over and over again. You have to believe in yourself and that your dreams are your destiny. When you believe in yourself, you are in control of your own fate and destiny. So I believe in fate and destiny because I believe in myself and I know I will achieve everything I strive to in my life.

I am continuing to work towards my big goals and reminding myself of what I am working towards every day. Once I start saying I can’t or thinking I’m not that kind of person, doubting myself and my destiny, that is when we lose control and our fate becomes failure. Challenge yourself to show up every single day positively you and working towards the life you want, and see how your dreams can become reality too.

Pack Your Bags Like a Flying Pro Without Checking a Bag

by: Danielle Ternyila

All these packing tips for your next flight should make your experience easier, and hopefully save you the hassle of checking a bag and waiting for it around the carousel instead of hurrying off to your vacation or meetings. I very rarely check a bag when I fly, and these tips should do the trick for you too!

Take note, not all airlines have the same dimension limitations for your luggage, so it’s important to review that to be sure you won’t have issues at the airport. If you’re flying international, make sure you check out any other differences in rules for traveling and what to pack. Depending on the length of your stay, you might have to pack up your clothes and shoes in your checked bag; I don’t think I have ever flown to Europe without checking a bag, but I will recommend picking up a cheap pack of socks and undies at Walmart that you can toss as you go instead of flying home all that dirty laundry too.

When you arrive to your airport, you will need to show ID to enter security, so have that stored somewhere easy for you to find. Have it ready when you approach the front of the line to save time, and make sure you screenshot your boarding pass in case you have any issues with Wi-Fi; you’ll want this handy and ready with your ID at TSA.

Personal Item

This is your underseat bag, it will go below the seat in front of you at your feet, so it will be easily accessible throughout the duration of your flight. This is my essential bag; it’s packed with all my snacks, my laptop and anything I plan to need on the flight. If there is something I’ll need on my flight that won’t fit in this back, for some reason, I make sure to take it out of my carry-on before I board so I have it available. The carry-on will be harder to access during the flight.

This is also the bag I like to pack a spare change of clothes in too. I’ll usually pack my cotton t-shirt and a versatile pair of joggers in case I need to use them as PJs or going out. I’ve never lost my luggage on a flight considering I never check bags, but I have had my carry-on bag checked on a few flights when there wasn’t room in the overhead, so I like to be extra cautious.

  • Wallet with your TSA-approved ID
  • Phone Charger
  • Headphones

If you have an iPhone with the pain-in-the-ass headphones with a different jack, make sure you bring a regular set of headphones if you want to use the TV on the plane too if there is one. Some airlines, like United, tend to have spare new ones available, but the quality of those can be temperamental.

  • Laptop and Charger or iPad if needed

If you don’t have TSA Pre-Check, you’ll be asked to take the laptop out of your bag to go through the security checkpoint in the US. Make sure this is easily accessible so you don’t have to unpack and repack everything in the airport!

  • Snacks
  • Gum
  • Empty Water Bottle

You can’t bring liquids over X ounces, but you can bring an empty bottle that you can fill later inside at a fountain to stay hydrated on the flight. Not all flights offer drinks, and some don’t serve until a ways into the flight. I like to have my own water when I get on the plane, so I just fill it up after I pass security.

  • Medications
  • One Outfit and Pajamas
  • Books/or anything else to keep you occupied during your flight

Make sure to put the personal item under the seat in front of you for your flight. There is limited space in the overhead bins, which is why everyone is only given one (if that, depending on your airline). I know for me there is nothing I hate more than when someone acts so entitled to take up multiple spaces in the overhead for no reason. Follow the rule, man. They’re there for a reason, and you aren’t special because you’re the only one on the plane who wishes for more feet space.


It’s important your carry-on bag fits the dimensions for your airline. The last thing you want to do is hold up the line because your bag didn’t fit in the overhead bin. Then it will end up getting checked, and you’ll have to wait for what is likely the last bag to come around the carousel. Plus, I sometimes think checking the bag at boarding makes it that much more likely to get lost in transit. Why risk it?

  • Shoes/sandals
  • Your purse/travel or laptop bag
  • One Outfit per Day (or more if you expect outfit changes!)
  • Hair products and makeup
  • Blanket Throw (for comfort and to keep from getting home sick in your hotel)
  • Toiletries/Liquids (in zip-loc bags, and make sure to check sizes!)

Handy list

I’ve picked up a few handy tricks along the way, starting with my portable squatty potty! You heard me right – if I’m being honest, bowel movements aren’t the same when I travel, so this is a nifty packing hack I’ve found along the way. It is a small fold-flat bench that only stands a few inches above ground, but it takes up less space than my laptop. It is also great when waiting for long periods of time, you can use it as a seat in a pinch at the airport; it’s a stool after all.

My Birdie, by She’s Birdie, is my favorite security piece I travel with; it’s compact and attracts minimal attention hanging as a keychain off my bag, but when I pull the cord, it lets out the most insane screeching noise with beeping and loud flashes. It gets everyone’s attention, which makes me feel safe in most places, knowing I can have all eyes on me within seconds if something were to happen. A homeless man got aggressive with me in Houston while I was sitting in front of my hotel on a bench back before I found the birdie. I bet it would have had that man far from me much quicker! (I got creative in that moment and tried to draw as much attention to us as possible and get louder so someone came to my rescue, then the hotel staff escorted me inside.)

An extra lock is good to have for your hotel if you are traveling on your own or just want to take some extra precaution. I purchased this one on Amazon that is small and easily portable but has worked for most doors I’ve come across. It fits over the door faceplate and locks it in place so it will not budge from the outside while you’re inside.

I love watching movies on the plane from my phone (I download them to my device before we fly to watch on airplane mode without wi-do!). This phone holder and other similar items are used to let your phone hang on the seat in front of you. Use this to watch movies all during your flight without having to hold it or wait until the light turns on and tray tables can come down. This has been one of my favorite flight investments so far, and it really was very cheap! It is convenient and makes my flight more enjoyable, so it’s worth it to me! If you prefer to read, you might prefer a magnetic bookmark to hold your spot on bumps or a mini light for late night flights when they turn the lights out.

Overall, I hope these packing and travel tips are helpful! This is my go-to list for packing without a checked bag. It takes time to master, and rolling your clothes makes for much more room in the luggage. Wear your biggest/heaviest clothes on the plane, and you should be set! Now, go have a great flight!

Comment below what other travel tips or information you want to hear more about on the blog.

Your Best Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day and More

For the first time ever, I remembered Valentine’s Day early enough to make dinner reservations at my favorite restaurant. Usually, my fiancé and I tend to overlook this holiday and end up with no reservations because everywhere is booked up. Lucky for you, that means we have gotten so creative in our date ideas for Valentine’s Day, and now I have a couple great ideas for you.

These date ideas don’t have to happen just on Valentine’s Day! You can go on a romantic date any day of the week, especially with some of these that are easy enough to do last minute at home. To me, the most important thing is spending quality time together, not money, so a lot of these date ideas are budget-friendly, and some even free!

Stay-In Movie Night

Pick something on your Netflix or Hulu account you’ve never watched before, or look about renting something new on your TV. Your movie night date for Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a new one too – think about picking an old favorite you want to introduce your lover to!

Long Walks

Long walks on the beach – who doesn’t like that? Well if you’re in a northern spot like me, it might be too cold for that, but that doesn’t mean your date for Valentine’s Day couldn’t be a short nearby hike or a loop around your block. Take a walk and enjoy nature with your loved one and enjoy each other’s company.

Spoil Your Love Pup!

I used to celebrate my old dog’s birthday on Valentine’s Day, but since she gained her angel wings, I still love to keep the tradition spoiling our boy now! A trip to the pet store is a fun way to celebrate the holiday of love and include your fur baby – in fact, you’re SPOILING that doggo of yours! Nothing more to put a smile on your face


Not sure what to look for? Me neither, but star gazing is a really great idea for a date when you’re looking to spend $0. It’s fun no matter your expertise to point out shapes in the sky and watch as it all shimmers and glistens above you. If you want to look like an expert, there are plenty of apps that help you identify constellations in the App Store on your phone.

Visit the Zoo

This was a fun date we had done a few years back, and we actually went with a group of friends. It was still so much fun, it was unique, and Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to only be about significant others – friends are significant too!

Don’t have a local zoo? Check out aquariums too!

Game Night

Chess and checkers are great 2-player games, but so are some of the old classics that are worth breaking out for a nostalgic Valentine’s date. I’m talking about Candy Land, Clue, Guess Who, Monopoly, Yahtzee, and Uno! If you have a deck of cards around, you could try out something new with tons of ideas online, or I recommend Palace, Rummy, War, or try Go Fish!

Breakfast for Dinner

If you never do this one at home, it is fun to change it up. Make your favorite breakfast/brunch foods for your at-home dinner date. My go-to is pancakes with chocolate chips, but you can do French toast with less ingredients or go basic with eggs and custom omelets with your favorite additions; my fav are sun dried tomato and mozzarella with onion!

Support a Local Fundraiser

Search online or your local community groups to find any fundraisers going on. Your money on the date will go to a good cause, and maybe you will win something depending on the event you go to. Why not try something new? How romantic.

Stop Making These Mistakes When You See a Service Dog

by: Danielle Ternyila

A loved one very close to me has a service dog, and I’m thankful every day he is there to keep her alive! He does so much to take care of her, and he makes it possible for her to go grocery shopping, walk the mall, and do things that you ordinarily can do on your own. Her service dog, quite simply, is just a wheelchair, so stop treating him like your neighbor’s pup and making these mistakes when you see a service dog:

You ask to pet him.

He’s working to keep my sister alive, he isn’t there for a petting zoo. You wouldn’t ask to pet a wheelchair!

9 out of 10 times someone asks this, the dog is always wearing a patch (or multiple) that says “Do Not Pet”. Don’t be an idiot, read the instructions before you speak!!

You let your children approach a service dog.

Why would you even risk letting a dog of any size bite your child? That’s all I picture when I see bystanders let their children run up to any dog they don’t know. You should never assume a dog is safe for children, and it is your responsibility to watch your children, not the service dog owners. They likely aren’t watching for 3 year olds running toward their dog from behind, and that dog might not react positively to a surprise squeeze on its butt while it’s working.

Now also remember, if you think this is some kind of pay day, unlike any other dog you might run into on the street, service dogs are well-documented and well-trained, and most often they wear many patches saying not to do what you/your child has done to the dog, making you liable and at fault. You will have a very hard time to defend your stupidity as a parent.

After all, the parents who let their kid get into the gorilla pen were basically persecuted by society for child endangerment.

You want to know his name.

It’s Nunya. Nunya fucking business! I know some service dog owners will immediately say terrible names when people ask to get them to stop. So if you don’t want your children asking why a dog is named “Pussy-muncher” or what “cock-meat” means, you better not ask such a dumb question, and especially don’t let your children ask. Besides, you wouldn’t ask what my grandpa calls his wheelchair. That’s just weird.

You interrupt the owner because they have a service dog.

When I was in line at the mall the other day, every one kept interrupting our conversation because they wanted to say something or ask about the dog. We kept forgetting what we were saying and just continued to be interrupted. It’s general etiquette not to interrupt strangers in a conversation, and no one ever stops my grandparents in a conversation just to say, “I like wheelchairs.”

You tell us he’s good looking or a good boy.

We are well aware, we spent enough time and money training him and did more research than you could imagine to pick him for the job. You, however, are not a good boy for budding into our lives. You would never compliment someone’s wheelchair.

You ask what kind of dog he is.

No one ever asks my grandpa what brand his wheelchair is. And rightfully so, it’s just medical equipment we have invested in to give him the best quality of life. You don’t need to know the breed, no matter how unique and special he looks. He’s a service dog, a medical necessity, that’s all that you need to know.

You ask why you can’t pet.

In short, if you take his attention away from his owner for 10 seconds or more for your guilty pleasure, he is distracted from his job. Anything could happen to my sister or any service dog’s owner in those few seconds, so no, we don’t need to tell you why you can’t pet. You wouldn’t ask if you could go for a ride in a wheelchair.

You ask if he will bite.

That’s not what his job is, but hey, you never know if the service dog you reach out to on the street is trained to protect and could react to someone coming into his space while he is on duty, or worse near his owner. You know what will bite though? That $500 fine you’ll be served for distracting or harassing a service dog. Interfering with a service dog’s ability to do its job in any way, whether you’re petting it, trying to ask the owner questions, or any of the above we’ve talked about today, is a crime that is taken seriously.

You don’t teach your children about service dogs.

I’m sure your child knows what’s acceptable behavior when someone is in a wheelchair, but it’s just as important they know what to do when they see a service dog, which I hope you learned from this blog today.

To the mothers and parents who have yanked their children away from a service dog, audibly scolded them for distracting a service dog, and genuinely do their best to educate them appropriately, we see you.

To the ones who disregard the patches, just say “kids will be kids”, or try to get us to educate your children for you, we also see you, and we don’t like you. When a service dog is on duty, he is not there to be an educational resource to you and your children; treat him just like you would a wheelchair, which would probably be to look the other way and ignore.

You ask for documentation or proof.

You’re mistaken if you think you have a right, as a fellow civilian or even business owner, to see documentation for a service dog. There is documentation that exists that we typically have on us, but legally you cannot inquire for this information, request proof, or ask to see them “demonstrate their task”. I mean, would you really ask my grandpa to show us what his wheelchair can do to enter the library?

You admit you have a fake service dog or wish you had one.

First, you should not wish upon yourself that you be so handicap you must rely on a four-legged animal to survive. That’s fucking ridiculous, pardon my French. Second: There is nothing we hate more than fake service dogs. If you don’t believe there are consequences to bringing your well-behaved pup out as if it’s just fun to ride around in a wheelchair, here’s a few scenarios you may not be thinking of when you consider bringing your dog out for fun in places he’s not welcome:

1. A service dog sees your dog in Walmart, and he is now attentive of the dog in his territory and not his owner, who could have a seizure and pass out while you’re walking by.

2. Your dog isn’t as behaved as you think he is, and he lunges at or attacks a service dog. A blind owner cannot help to protect your dog or pull him from yours.

3. Someone punches you in the face when they hear you in line say, “no, he’s just wearing a vest I got online because I can’t leave home without him”. Sorry, but I mean it when I say you will make enemies if you do this with your dog for any reason besides a medically-approved reason endorsed by a physician. Not your therapist.

4. In an unrelated service-dog scenario, an autistic child who is terrified of dogs sees your dog in the store and is now terrified and goes running through the store and parking lot to get away from your illegal shopping partner.

I genuinely could not put into words all the reasons you should never fake a service dog, and quite honestly, I have nothing nice to say about people who do this, so there is no better place to end this than here.

To recap:

You wouldn’t ask to pet a wheelchair, so don’t do any of these things when you see a service dog working. Be respectful to the owner by giving them their space, and if you really want to be a hero, then step in and say something when you see someone breaking one of these rules.

To the Wawa manager who saw a man approach our service dog aggressively and pulled him away from us to tell him what is appropriate when he sees a service dog, you the real MVP!

👌The Rules to Passing Leggings as Business Casual

by: Danielle Ternyila, personal stylist, Zyia Active Independent Rep

The one question on all our minds is if leggings are business casual, but the answer is a bit vague; I would say leggings can be business professional when worn appropriately. There are a few simple rules that can help guide how to wear leggings in the office or other business settings, but most important, the material and design of your leggings will really determine if they fit the business casual dress code.

I keep my rules to dressing leggings business casual as simple as I can, and I have developed some select favorite outfits to pair with them over my years working in the office setting. These tricks can be applied to create various outfits from your favorite leggings as business casual.

Cover The Booty

The office isn’t where you need to show off all your muscles and great assets, so my general rule of thumb is to keep the tops long. As long as I have my dairy-air covered and not causing distracted eyes, I feel comfortable wearing most of my leggings into the office, contingent on the following rules too. Fitted and short tops over a pair of leggings are a much more sporty casual look, which is what you want to avoid wearing leggings in the office. A long blouse or cardigan is much better suited for business casual style.

Basic Is Best, *usually

If you took a look through my own online legging boutique, you would agree there are so many patterns, styles, and trends that come with all of these beauties! You want to keep it simple for work leggings, though, so mesh or ventilated designs are not business casual-friendly leggings, for example. A solid material is best, such as the classic Black Light n Tight with its high-quality material and semi-matte appearance. Funky patterns, designs, and even some of the more unique and interesting colors, however, would not blend well with a business casual look.

That doesn’t mean basic has to be boring! I wouldn’t say everything has to be a solid color, and you could style some a unique pattern or color the right way to make it work. It all comes down to how you wear it, but these below could all look great and corporate-ready with something like an overdose sweater or cardigan and booties.

1. Light Teal Everglades Supreme legging are a fiercely stylish legging with an alligator print in a light teal color that pairs well with solid colors.

2. Distressed Blue Ankle Cinch legging looks incredible from the distressed vegan look and cinch style around the ankles; pair these with solids or print-pattern tops!

3. Sea Krait Deluxe Hi-Rise legging has a unique snake-like pattern with a blue base fabric providing a unique tint to the whole legging that can pair with many solid colors.

Quality Materials Are Key

There’s nothing less professional looking than a baggy pair of slightly see-through cotton leggings in the workplace, which makes this rule an important one for wearing leggings as business casual. My clothing brand verifies this with the squat test for all the newest leggings hitting the virtual shelves. The squat test checks for the durability in the fibers and ability to keep your undergarments concealed. No one wants to see your panties in the office, and you will regret it the day you drop your pen and have to bend over in those in front of everyone.

Consider these 3 favorites, especially, for your office attire needs:

1. Black Metallic Light n Tight legging or another metallic or solid color from the pocketless versions of the classic Light n Tight leggings in my shop.

2. Maroon Unity Leggings in the 7/8 length to come down to your ankle, or one of our newest editions to the matte, soft Unity line.

3. Black Fit N Free leggings are simple, classic leggings, or see other unique colors in the Fit n Free collection.

Pair With the Right Shoes

To pull off a business casual style with leggings, you need to make sure that outfit is being accompanied by the right shoes. What do I mean by that? Leave your sneakers, flip flops, sandals, and tennis shoes at home. You’ll be best dressed with a high boot or another business-friendly shoe with closed toes. I personally tend to limit wearing high heels with leggings to avoid looking too overly dressed or like I’m heading to the club after work, but with the right outfit, a pair of pumps can button up a business casual look.

Long Cardigans for the Win

My go-to styling tip for wearing leggings in the office is go for the long cardigan! My favorite is the Lounge Boyfriend Cardigan, which comes down half way my upper leg. When in doubt, a cardigan, drapey blouse like a Finesse Tank, and booties with a chunky necklace will do the trick anytime.

Darker Colors Are the Safer Choice

If your leggings are too bright or stand out a lot, you might start drawing the attention of your colleagues and HR, even if you’ve got everything else covered. Any shade of black, for instance, is going to look a lot more professional than the blossom pink you usually rock in the gym. It may look really great with the right outfit, but don’t draw excessive attention to yourself wearing colors that are better reserved for workouts, especially when you’re in something fitted like leggings.

Your office dress code might exclude the wear of sweats or yoga pants, but unless the company founded that in the last 4 years, I don’t think what we call leggings today would count as yoga pants. You do not want to attract the attention of HR by standing out, looking too casual or too sexy, but with these tips as a guide, I think you could find an appropriate business casual look in leggings. Don’t forget to wear a high-quality legging, like these solid black 7/8 length leggings in my activewear boutique. Seriously: You don’t want the office seeing your undergarments with a cheap pair! Who knows when you will have to bend over to refill the copy machine or pick up your pen.

Looking for answers to more business casual questions? Follow the Style Blog and subscribe.

Smart Casual vs. Business Casual: What to Know, What to Wear

Business casual is a form of attire we are pretty familiar with, but this new term “smart casual” may leave you a little confused. In reality, there are subtle differences between the business casual and smart casual styles, both often found in an office or professional setting, that make each their own unique style. Take a look at the details below on smart casual versus business casual to decide which you prefer or what is most appropriate for your professional settings.

So what is Smart Casual?

Smart casual is a balance between appropriate professionalism and leisurely attire; comfort is prioritized slightly higher with smart casual compared to business casual. For a smart casual dress code, you can relax a bit more than you normally would for an office look. This may also be a popular wardrobe choice for corporate events or conferences.

We ladies can get away with a lot more with smart casual than we normally could, whereas I would say this is not too different for men from business casual. The key is maintaining a clean and fresh look; your hair shouldn’t be made a mess and your shirt have stains. Smart casual is exactly that – you want to look smart, but casual about it. Example: Blazers over a relaxed tee, a cardigan with a lengthy skirt, or for men, a sport coat over their jeans and button down. Check out my recommendations below when it comes to getting dressed for smart casual!

What’s Business Casual?

Business casual is a more relaxed formal wear, but it is not quite sweatshirts and jeans either! Business casual is more polished than smart casual, and it probably has some more strict requirements in your office dress code. Some typical business casual styles include button-downs, collared blouses, dress slacks, and below-the-knee skirts.

Proper shoe wear includes closed-toe flats, high heels, or dress boots. You could be more creative with shoes when you’re working with a smart casual outfit versus the business casual, so sneakers and flip flops or wedged summer sandals would not be an appropriate option.

The Wardrobe Basics

Since smart casual and business casual styles are so similar, there are a few different staple items your closet should have. These can be styled various ways to accommodate your smart and business casual needs, and because of the design of these specific styles I’m featuring, they can also be used in so many other outfits, from casual and vacation to running errands and date nights.

Women’s Business and Smart Casual Staples

Everywhere Pants

These pants could work for both smart and business casual! They are the ideal pants for the office, weddings or parties, corporate events, or a casual Saturday off the clock. The no-roll waistband stabilizes the pants without adding bulk. They feature a tailored look that is very flattering on most bodies, and (my favorite) they are water- and wrinkle-resistant!

Unity Hi-Rise 7/8

A crisp matte pair of leggings with a multitude of solid color options are the perfect foundational piece to a smart casual look. The 7/8 length has a 24-inch inseam across all sizes and the most buttery soft and barely-there-feeling material you’ll find. These have an elegant, streamlined pocketless style that can be dressed up easily with a draping cardigan or a long untucked button-down blouse. Check out a few tips on how to style leggings appropriately for the workplace on the blog.

Wanderer T

This wrinkle-free and pet hair-resistant top is an upgraded version of the classic V neck t-shirt. The Wanderer is made of polyester (86%) and spandex (14%), so it is silky soft, sweat-wicking, and ventilating mesh is integrated into a stripe design for a unique and gorgeous look. This comes in a short or long sleeve length, and both are easy to layer for a simple office look, whether you pair it with the above Everywhere Pants or the Unity leggings with a blazer or cardigan!

Tribeca Skirt

Everyone loves a good sweater, but this adorable skirt brings all the warm fuzzy feels down for the ultimate smart or business casual outfit. Feel as comfy as you would in your favorite cozy sweater, and simply combine with a more casual top like the Wanderer T for smart casual or style it up for a more business-professional look with a matching sweater or a Parallel Tank and blazer.

Parallel Tank

The Parallel is a tank everyone needs in their closet; it is the most brilliant tank with optimal coverage, wide shoulder straps, and reinforced seams that are made to last! The black or white color are the 2 basic colors that can fit in any wardrobe, but consider adding a little more color with any of the various options in my boutique. I love to layer the lilac or brick red under a cardigan or blazer for the office, and the material is just ultra soft with the ribbed effect.

Men’s Staple Professional Items

Office Chinos

Feel at ease in your business casual wear with these posh-looking—but plush-feeling—dress Chinos. From the barely-visible hem to every chafe-free seam in between, these pants will be your new favorite for the office and more. Inseams vary from 30″ to 33″, some colors may have limited sizes left.

Ventilation Collar Polo

This crisp polo with sharp edges and details is more comfortable than you would expect with its light, breathable fabric made from nylon and spandex. The material won’t cling to your dog hair either, so it will always look fresh and clean when you get dressed.

Traveler Pants

Every business casual or smart casual wardrobe for men needs this pair of high-quality matte slacks finished with low-profile pockets, belt loops, burnished hardware, and a tailored fit that skims and slims your shape. Inseams vary from 31″ to 34″, which can be rolled and cuffed at the bottom for some added style.

Meridian 1/4 Zip Sweater

This comfy sweater is the ideal option for the office, and you can take it right out to the golf course after hours too! Find 2 concealed pockets inside the lined knit fabric that cuts at a flattering position on the waist. A fabric panel sits behind the smooth-gliding zipper to keep the cold feel off your skin.

Business Attire Q&A

Can business casual be jeans?

It is arguable that smart casual outfits can feature jeans, but a business casual dress code is not usually one for jeans. Jeans have historically been a no-no in the business casual setting, perhaps only reserved for “Casual Friday” at best, so I would say avoid mixing jeans with business casual outfits. However, you could pull off jeans in a smart casual outfit when appropriate; you can easily consult your employee dress code, or observe how others are often dressing.

At the end of the day, it is most important to look clean and professional, especially if you are wearing denim jeans; don’t show up in those old torn jeans with the holes or funky patterns. I would go for a solid dark colored jean, but I don’t actually own any jeans myself anymore. Navy Everywhere Pants do the trick for me and are far more comfortable than any denim pant I’ve tried!

Is business casual and/or smart casual the same as business attire?

Settings that call for a more professional business attire may include similar features to your business casual wardrobe, but you will still want to dress a little more buttoned up than that. A formal business meeting, corporate interview, or some offices may require a more refined look that probably prohibits jeans, open-toe shoes, t-shirts, leggings, and hats.

For women, business attire should include a blazer, while for men it should include a tie and jacket of sorts. I find it easier in these situations to wear a dress and style it up with a blazer and heels, but women’s Everywhere Pants and Tribeca Skirt or the men’s Office Chinos will easily do the trick (plus be way more comfortable than what everyone else in the boardroom will be wearing).

What should I wear for a job interview?

Be prepared to impress by dressing for success; in my opinion, it is important to be comfortable in what you are wearing so you are your most confident self, but I would also aim for a business casual look over smart casual. I don’t think you could ever be overdressed for a job interview, unless perhaps you try wearing a tuxedo to a fitness-coaching job interview, or well, a tuxedo to any job interview for that matter.

Lean on a blazer or a button-down to style your outfit for a job interview, especially in the office/corporate setting; it would be better to feel overdressed than underdressed no matter what. Remember to take a look around during your interview to what other folks are wearing in the office. That will be a great indicator on how to dress for the next interview or your first day on the job!

What is better to wear for a professional headshot?

A professional headshot is essential because you never know when you will need one. Take the time to dress up and look your best when you are getting your headshots done, but you can definitely go for a more smart casual look with some jeans down below for something like this. A great headshot should actually focus on your face/upper body, so it shouldn’t matter what you wear down below if you’re pointing the camera in the right direction. Opt for solid colors over patterns and a simple background that isn’t distracting; any white or solid-painted wall would be ideal. Remember to smile and stand confident (you’ll have better posture in the photo when you stand instead of sit!).

You don’t need to get your headshots done professionally, by the way. I had done my hair and makeup one day to celebrate my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, so I took that opportunity to get my professional headshot in while I was already looking my best; I luckily was able to have the event photographer snap a few photos of me while we were setting up for the party, but our phones today have such great camera qualities that you could easily have someone at home or in the office take a few photos for you. Try to use natural sunlight from windows to brighten your face or otherwise try to take the photo from the direction the light is pointing so your face is well lit.

Do you have a question about business style? Feel free to submit them here, or take the style quiz for a customized outfit recommendation based on your preferences and body type.

Interpreting Friends Who Don’t Drink Alcohol and What They Mean

You’ve probably been out with a friend or had them over with company and have participated in one of the most basic social interactions when alcohol is involved: you’ve offered them a drink, and your friend responds that they don’t drink. It’s a quick and simple fact, “No thanks, I don’t drink.” But you probably just don’t understand it all, especially if maybe this friend used to drink. The next thing you say here will define what kind of person you will be to that friend: a supporter or a shamer.

As one who used to drink and stopped now, I am amazed and disappointed in how easily society has put a negative connotation somehow around the idea of not drinking. It doesn’t concern us non-drinkers so much when strangers or the bartender looks at us funny as we order a water, but a true friend’s reaction is an important one, which is why you should be careful what you say next.

There were a few factors to why I personally decided to stop drinking. For one, I know it only harms my body and health, so I have chosen to cut it out entirely now. I prioritize my health highly, so I can’t fathom consuming the alcoholic sugar calories anymore. I also have gone through health changes that make it much less enjoyable for me to drink altogether. For your friend who has also stopped drinking, I know they have their own reason too. All my friends love drinking, and so I know it equally confuses them that I don’t, so I figured the least I could do is help de-code these behaviors from your friend that won’t drink.

There are really countless reasons a person would choose not to drink, and it’s no different than the choice people make to cut out other things too; lots of people don’t eat gluten, while others do not consume meat. We have vegetarians, vegans, and pescatarians, and there are lots of other things people choose to cut out of their diet often, from lactose in dairy to caffeine in their coffee. Those people, though, are not as harshly judged as the ones who don’t drink liquor, which is why this needs to be said:

Your friend that doesn’t want to drink has already made the decision, and that does not affect you.

If your friend doesn’t want to drink, that is not a “problem” you have to fix. They are not looking for a different alcoholic beverage, they’re not waiting for you to tell them how it tastes or makes you feel safe to drink it, and they aren’t going to have any less “fun” than you because of it.

When anyone turns down a drink, you really just have to say back, “Do you want some water then or a soda?” It’s all that simple.

Choosing not to drink happens for a lot of reasons, but no matter which it is, understanding and kindness is all they’re looking for. To instead offer them a non-alcoholic alternative, you are immediately showing them that you heard them, and you respect their choice. And trust me, water isn’t “boring” or “lame” to offer a guest either; if we aren’t drinking to get intoxicated, you can assume we would love to drink to hydrate instead!

Now, when your lifelong best friend who was wasted by your side throughout college at all the bars, concerts, and frat parties and for years suddenly says they don’t want that lifestyle anymore, I don’t blame you for feeling perhaps a little affected. You may think you’re losing a drinking buddy or wing man, but don’t start making assumptions and drawing conclusions without hearing the whole story.

You may also fear that this says something about your drinking habits, that your drinking partner is no longer a drinker at all. Do you fear they look down on you for it or judge you now? Their decision not to drink isn’t a reflection of you, and it’s especially not their way of saying they don’t want to hang out with you any more.

The important thing is to not cast negative judgement on them and disrespecting their decision, or you risk alienating them and losing the relationship altogether. Mean jokes, begging them to drink, or telling them they’re lame will tear that friendship apart, but you can ask if they’re open to talk about it to better understand why your friend is making this huge lifestyle change. If they are really your friend, they would love to tell you about it in a judgement-free space!

I love my friends dearly, but the moment they start cracking jokes about being the only sober one there, I immediately just wish I was home and hadn’t gone out to see them in the first place. Sometimes people will offer me other things, like a different beer or wine. I know my friends are just trying to be nice when they offer to make me something special or order a new cocktail for me, but I feel unheard and misunderstood when they do.

We are all human and we’re born to grow and change, evolve. If we drank once before, it doesn’t mean we always have to. We can party and go out without alcohol, and we can have fun without it.

To the friends who have always asked me what non-alcoholic drink I’d like instead, thank you 💕 for your understanding and kindness. I’m always down for a coffee or glass of water!

Holiday Shopping for Difficult People

by: Danielle Ternyila, stylist and Zyia Active Independent Rep

What makes a person difficult to shop for? They might have so many things already, be the person that buys what they want when they want it, or they might live a clutter-free and simple life. Some people hard to holiday shop for have hard-to-shop for passions, like golf and cigars; what else could you get them that would actually be a good gift that they haven’t received already?

The one thing all of these difficult people have in common is they all wake up and get dressed every day! Clothes are among the best gift ideas for the holidays because they will never go to waste, and even when they’re outgrown or go out of style, they can be donated to live on in another life. A gift that keeps on giving!

The trick to gifting clothing is snagging quality pieces that have a purpose! The best for colder regions up North, for example, would be winter coats, hoodies, and warm things that will surely be used for a few months after the holidays. If you live in warmer climate weathers, vice versa! You can also be thoughtful about their lifestyle, like someone who works from home might really get good use out of some new sweats! A friend who is regularly booking their next cruise or one who has a boat might benefit from a quality beach bag or the perfect outfit for a day at sea.

Shop small this season and explore the top gifts in my online boutique below. I know exactly what you can get that hard-to-shop-for loved one this Christmas and Holiday season!

Relaxation Sweats

*Collection includes women’s/men’s/kid’s, shorts, jogger sweats by inseam, sports bra, & hoodies!

  • For she who works from home
  • For he who games all day on the couch
  • For the friend who just wants to binge Netflix
  • For the one who never treats themselves to something cozy
  • For the whole family because you fell in love with all of the incredible matching sets and the many vibrant color options

Women’s Wanderer Long Sleeve T

*featured in November Founders Sale 2022 for limited time

  • For the woman snuggled up reading most of the time
  • For she who practices yoga, meditation, or enjoys fresh air outdoors
  • For the girl obsessed with her pets since these are incredibly cat hair- and dog fur-friendly! (It doesn’t cling and wipes right off)

Men’s Strong N Soft Short

*featured in November Founders Sale 2022 for limited time

  • For the man who is always hot
  • For the dad who likes to lounge at home
  • For the lifter, treadmill-er, or any gym goer who will appreciate quality high-performance athleisure wear (the ultimate balance of work and play)

Girls’ Denim Artist Pocket Light n Tight Leggings RC

  • For the stylish teen who loves to dress up
  • For the sporty niece always on the move
  • For your daughter to match your own Denim Artist Pocket Light N Tight for women (not restocking, limited sizes remaining)

Women’s Summer Shorts

  • For the avid traveler or cruise-goer
  • For the teacher dreaming of summer vacation
  • For your mom to feel her most confident on her next cruise (and with a mesh bikini liner and quick-dry fabric, they can also double as a swim bottom, too!)

Men’s Aztec Bold Swimming Trunk

*featured in November Founders Sale 2022 for limited time

  • For the one with a hot tub at home
  • For the ocean-junkie, swimming fanatic
  • For the man who can’t wait for his next vacation

Boys’ Forest Melange Jogger or Hoodie

  • For your video-gaming nephew or son
  • For the child that prefers PJs over clothes
  • For boys that play dirty and love anything that makes a mess – parents will love how the green & black design acts like a camouflage toward the inevitable grass and dirt encounters!

Inspiration 17 Liter Trekking Pack

  • For the hiker or active lifestyle
  • For the busy soccer mom or Boyscout dad
  • For the camper or tailgater that needs to carry all the essentials and hydrate

Check out a wide variety of more high-quality and versatile clothing and accessories in my online boutique. Reach out to me any time for help with sizing, I have many tools to help you find the right size for your loved one. If they have a problem with the size, I’ll personally be available to help them with an exchange as your Zyia Active Independent Rep!

8 Ways to Work Out With Your Dog

I would choose an hour with my dog over the gym every day if I could, but on the days I do choose to skip my workouts for my rescue, I still make sure to stay active and get a good workout in. It’s good for me, it’s good for my boy, and it’s great for our family when we are all active and feeling our best.

Clyde sticks his tongue out to working out, loves it anyway.

The first thing we think about doing when we want to “work out” with our furry friends is running or walking. All dogs love a good walk, and it certainly keeps you moving and the blood flowing. However, there are a lot of ways to make your time even more active, or at least make a workout with Fido more fun than counting steps. Here’s a few different ways I’ve learned to workout with my dog and other furry friends!

Remember, every dog is different and if you’re getting your dog involved, make sure it’s safe for them too (so no deadlifting Spots!) at their health level. What I can do today with my 7 year old shepherd mix is a lot different than what I can do with my sister’s 3-year-old shepherd, and both even more different than what our 3-legged senior shepherd Troy can handle.

1. The Stop & Squat

This is the perfect add-in to a walk with your animal friend. Clyde is my 7-year-old shepherd-mix we rescued 2 years ago, and he loves to stop and smell all the smells. One of the simplest ways I’ll burn some extra calories with him is by adding in fun circuits to our daily walks. When he wants to stop for a sniff, I stop too and do squats until he’s done. Sure, my neighbors probably think I’m just a weird girl with a weirder dog, but my booty says otherwise!

2. Take a Hike!

My favorite way to stay active with the dog is to take him on long adventures down local trails, or sometimes we will make a day of it and drive out somewhere with mountains, mud, and solitude! Hiking is one of our favorite activities and ways to workout, and we try to keep it going year round. It’s not something you can do in all types of weather, but it can be breathtaking to adventure through nature in all seasons and take it all in. Plus it keeps you guys moving and working hard!

3. The Scenic Route

Not all my hiking adventures are what you think of when you think about taking a hike. Sometimes I prefer a walk down a local beaten trail with some beautiful views surrounded by nature. Keep up quick strides to bump up the cardio or add in some jogging/running too! I like the use this time for meditation and mindfulness too.

4. Belly Rub Planks

This is a great workout with your dog on a rainy day at home. Does your pet love belly rubs? Have them roll over, then lay down facing their belly. Take a plank position, then raise one arm to pet the pup! Rest back on both arms when you need to, and start up again with your other arm. It’s a really silly but challenging way to work out with your dog and be his/her favorite human.

5. Sit Up and Shake

If your dog has the patience and knows how to shake paws with you, have them sit in front of your feet (or on them would be even better!), and let them give you their paw every time you sit up. Think of it like a high five! Clyde is actually trained to raise his paw to your open hand with the command, “High Five!” but no matter what command you use, it’s sure to be fun, and your dog will feel so lucky to be included!

Got a kisser? Snag a smooch every time you sit up! How sweet.

6. Sprints and Chase

When I say sprints and chase, I am not talking about your regular old running routine; chase them around, hop over the branches and bushes, take sharp turns, stop to watch him pant, then start again! Play with your dog, if you’ve got an active one, just running short sprints around the yard trying to catch him or his favorite toy. My older dog and now angel Callie girl loved this game!

7. Play Ball

Whether your dog is a chaser or catcher, you can burn calories running around and throwing the ball around the backyard or your local park. If you’ve got a fast dog, try to keep up or race them for the ball!

8. Tug Rope

I don’t care if you have a big dog or small dog, but if you’ve got one that isn’t going to let go of the rope, I bet this will be a great workout for you! Troy the Tripod still always wins with just 3 legs and 11 years practice!

However you choose to incorporate your dog into a workout routine, you won’t regret the extra time spent with them and the serotonin boost their energy will bring you! If you can get into a habit of working out with the dog regularly, they could be the most inspiring workout buddy you could have. What would you do if you found out your dog liked working out with you? Unlike that annoying friend you’re always turning down, you’ll never be able to say no to your furry family!

Tricks to Inspire Yourself Daily, from My Home to Yours

Our minds have a comfort zone, and it’s hard to push past that sometimes. This comfort zone is our safe place, like the idea that things don’t have to change. But if you’re striving to lose weight, get in shape, or live a healthier lifestyle, you will have to fight that desire to stay the same, and you’ll need all the inspiration you can get! Hi 👋 I’m here to help!

Without motivation quotes and inspirational reminders, I wouldn’t be able to stay so disciplined and on track. They also help me in managing my mental health and taking care of myself overall. These are a great tool that you can use in so many ways to inspire yourself, and I personally use them every way I can.

Motivating myself to workout and eat healthy, for one thing, is a daily struggle; it’s no different today than it was 5 years ago when I first started my weight loss journey. I have to keep myself inspired and remember why I am still pushing because without motivation, I would much rather be sitting at home on the couch with ice cream.

These tricks I’ve picked up along the way are helpful in not only motivating myself to exercise but improving other parts of my lifestyle as well. I use these at work in my cubicle and my home office, and anyone who has ever seen my desk knows I am 24/7 inspiring myself! Here’s how I do it:

Get Creative with Phone Backgrounds

This was one of the first ways I started incorporating motivational quotes into my daily habits. We are all always on our phones, or at the very least checking the time on them often, especially during the work day! I found quotes I loved that I wanted to be reminded of every day, then I changed them to my phone background! Do this to motivate yourself to workout or do just your best. Phone backgrounds are prime real estate for daily inspiration!

Fill Empty Wall Space With Inspiration

Do you have some empty wall space that you see every day? Great creative with your artwork to fill the space and add a dash of inspiration! I recently created these new prints to hang in my guest bathroom, and I made sure to include a little quote to inspire myself since I do take that same seat quite a few times every day. This fun art, which you can find like-pieces on Amazon or DIY your own like me with a printer and frames, not only lightens up the room, but it is something that always makes my guests smile too when they’re hitting the bathroom. How often do we really smile in the bathroom, anyway?

Inspirational Wall Art in the Guest Bath

Place Inspiring Quotes on the Calendar

You can buy a pack of stickers or a whole calendar dedicated to inspiring quotes to motivate yourself. I use stickers in my planner and inspiring wall calendars at home and even in my office as daily reminders to myself. One of my favorite new things is the Fitlosophy ‘Make Today Great 365 Desk Calendar, which is a daily flip calendar with a different quote AND health tip every day. And this is a calendar I’ll be able to continue using for many years as it is not an annually dated calendar.

Fitlosophy Daily Calendar on my desk

Use Phone Alarms, Reminders, and Sounds

You can set silent reminders on your phone, with no sounds, so you can have inspiring notes sent to you daily like clockwork! I already have alarms on my phone to take my medicines throughout the day, so instead of labeling them “take AM pills”, they say “Good morning, you got this!” or other cute little sayings to motivate myself. Your morning alarm doesn’t just to say “alarm” or “wake up”. It could say “Rise & Grind!”or wake you up with an inspiring song you’ve downloaded.

Ringtones are another way I get creative! When work colleagues call me, their ringtone is an empowering song to remind me I’m a boss girl and can handle anything. When my mom calls me or my family, it’s the Jack Sparrow theme song so I have a theme song playing as I rush to grab the phone, and that always brings a smile to my face no matter when the call is.

End Your Day with Positive Affirmations

You can do hard things. You are strong, and you are invisible. You will rise every time you fall. The only opinion that matters is your own. Strong looks good on you, so wear it proudly. There are tons of inspiring affirmations like these that you should end every day with, and even restart in the mornings when you wake. Positive affirmations are a very common trick to use when you are losing your motivation or courage; it’s recommended by most therapy professionals, and it is a habit you can create starting now if you haven’t already begun.

Inspirational Tattoos

I am not one with any tattoos due to my crippling fear of needles, but I know if I could manage it without fainting in the chair, I would have visible quotes probably every where from my wrists to my feet to remind myself of the strength I know I have inside to conquer anything (well, clearly anything but needles and blood, which I won’t complain about!) Tattoos most often have a deeper meaning, but what could be deeper than a few words that just hit home for you no matter the day you’re having?

Motivating your self to lose weight doesn’t have to feel like an impossible goal. It doesn’t have to feel hard to accomplish what you want when you are inspiring yourself daily to do all these things, or at the very least to take care of yourself. Whether it’s for your mental health or physical health, relationships or work, you have the power to change your mindset around these things, and it can be as easy as putting out more reminders every day to yourself.

How to Keep a Positive Mindset in Your Daily Life

by: Danielle Ternyila

When I was younger I used to let myself feel really upset, angry, bothered, annoyed, or generally negative, and I hated every minute of it. The people who know me today see an-always-happy person now, and while I am most of the time, I am not perfect, just like you. The difference now from back years ago is I don’t let the negativity take over my mindset. I don’t let myself feel that way anymore.

If you’re trying to make a positive change to your life, it’s going to feel hard and sometimes impossible. Even on the worst days, though, you can find that positive mindset and keep it going. It’s something we have to work towards every day, but I promise it is achievable and worth it!

How to Get Into a Positive Mindset

Break the cycle. When you start having negative thoughts, you want to stop them in their tracks! Of course, you’re going to feel that negative energy pulling you to the “dark side” where you want to feel upset or angry, and you have your rights to those feelings. However, it’s up to you to say then that you are not going to feed the negativity.

Change your thoughts or what you’re doing. Distract yourself with positive activities or habits. The best way to get into a more positive mindset is to stop thinking and start doing; question your emotions or what is making you feel negative. Ask yourself questions like what good came out of the day instead of what made it bad, what did you learn from it, how will you do better next time? If it’s something out of control, think of what you can, and that might be only your mindset that you can control sometimes, which is all you need.

If you’re not in a positive mindset, you may also find yourself reliving the past and worrying about what went wrong. You could feel upset or embarrassed, angry or remorseful. But you could also feel grateful, in control of your emotions, and content. You just have to make that decision, and you can.

I often ask myself, what do I gain from this? When I’m having negative intrusive thoughts, I think about this question. Being angry or feeling upset doesn’t ever help the situation. Focus on the good things, do things that make you happy, or call someone who always makes you smile.

How to Maintain Your Positive Mindset

Use daily mantras when you are feeling your best, and remind yourself when you’re not in that positive headspace again. You can call a smiling-soul who always rubs their good vibes off on you, or you can listen to some good vibes music.

I keep a “Feel Happy” playlist on my phone with a couple different songs that I can’t help singing along or bopping my head too. Music is a great tool to use when trying to maintain a more positive mindset. According to research, music can positively impact your perception, which can change your mindset too.

You can also practice gratitude and mindfulness regularly to maintain your positive mental health. Similar to meditation, these methods help your mind to prioritize on the things that matter most and to feel more confident and happy overall.

Positive self-talk is important, but it’s also important to know how to identify the negative self-talk. The Mayo Clinic details some of these different patterns of thinking, including blaming (yourself, the situation, or others), catastrophizing (assuming things will become worse), or polarizing (seeing only good or bad). These are just a few negative thinking patterns that we all struggle with, but we can overcome them with recognition and practice.

How to Get Out of a Negative Mindset

Like I said, no one is perfect, so there are times when the negativity will challenge you. Use the tools you find most useful to get out of a bad funk and mindset. I always use music, that happy playlist seems to do the trick for me. It’s a collection of songs, usually from some of my favorite movies or feel-good moments and memories in my life that bring my joy.

You can also use positive mantras. The HuffPost made a simple list of 40 mantras you can utilize to boost your mindset. Find one or a few that stand out to you and remind yourself of these when you’re feeling negative.

Talk yourself through it, too. It’s all about what you can control, right? Plan your next moves, from tying up your shoes to the snacks you’ll eat. It can help to slow down your thoughts if they’re racing and focuses really on the things you do control.

The last thing I’ll recommend is building your support group and leaning on them. Whether they’re a text, a drive, or phone call away, remember the people that uplift your spirits. Visit my private empowerment group on Facebook, where we gather for good vibes, positive thoughts, motivation and encouragement!

What Makes Zyia Active So Special? Here’s 6 Reasons Why

by: Danielle Ternyila, personal stylist, ZYIA Active Independent Rep

You’ve probably heard about the brand, seen some posts, or watched someone from the sidelines and wondered why you’ve never seen it in a store near you. Unlike many of the big name brands you know, this company is run online through local representatives, like brand ambassadors who are incredibly passionate about the company and helping others. Zyia Active is a unique clothing brand founded by strong and empowered women who have built an entire community of others across the United States, Canada, and Australia of more strong and empowered women (and guys, too!). There are so many things that make this brand special, but that right there is what makes Zyia Active what it truly is: a community.

Zyia Active is special to everyone in so many ways because it has impacted countless lives in so many different ways. Here is what you should know about this brand, whether you are a cheerleader on the sidelines rooting for a friend who has started their own business with this sisterhood, a happy customer who just loves a good shopping find, a representative yourself, or even an event hostess gaining all the rewards and helping a fellow sister with her network marketing business.

The Personalized Customer Experience

When you’re ready to shop Zyia, the first thing you’ll do is find your rep, someone like me, to start your experience. Unlike shopping other online stores, you basically have a personal shopping buddy and Zyia connoisseur to help answer all your questions or shop the right styles. I became a representative of this brand because I am passionate about the products and helping others look and feel their best; how does that compare to the slightly-disgruntled sales associates at your local retail store who are just there to make their hours and clock out?

There is nothing I love more than helping fellow humans feel their best, and I love to share passion for fashion as a Zyia Active Independent Representative with you and my customers!

Thoughtfully Curated Styles

From an insider, I can’t express enough how impressed I am by the clothes this company creates and how much thought really goes into it all! I have gotten to know the people leading this brand and how they make it all happen from developing a new design to launching it for New Release Wednesday. Especially when it comes to women’s clothes, we have so many needs that are never met by the fashion industry (I mean, come on, just show me one pair of jeans that have pockets as deep and useful as the mens!). This brand is thinking about that and keeping in mind all of our needs and desires with each piece that is rolled out. Sizes vary from 2XS to 4XL.

Inspiring Company Pillars

Most companies build their culture last, or at least close to it. Zyia, however, has been rooted in their company values, also known as the 4 pillars, since the very start. The company demonstrates their dedication to these pillars through so many different activities and initiatives every year, but most importantly, Community, Light, Uplift, & Activity define the culture that drives this brand!

  • Community – (noun) a feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing attitudes, interests and goals
  • Light – (noun) positive energy that elevates your mood
  • Uplift – (verb) to raise the level of, improve, or lift to a higher position
  • Activity – (noun) the condition in which things are happening or getting done

Don’t believe me? Check out our founder’s story here to see what inspired her!

Saving with Host Rewards

You can earn great discounts and rewards by hosting with your rep; for my hosts and hostesses, I always let them pick a completely customized party theme, anything from Summer Fun or Holiday-themed, to Breast Cancer Awareness Month and more. Most importantly to YOU as my host, you don’t have to worry about doing much! You choose your venue (Facebook, Group Chat, or Zoom!) and bring the guests, and I’ll take care of everything else.

As a US host, you can qualify for $20 to $300 in credits to spend in the shop, along with a ton of half-priced items as well! The host rewards are earned as your party guests place their own orders, and your representative or myself will do everything we can to help you earn as many rewards as you can, so you can shop and save on a quality brand.

Take a look at the host rewards here, or reach out to me if you want to giving hosting a try with me! It costs nothing to try, and yet you have so much you could gain!

Discounts for Independent Representatives

There are so many benefits to joining this brand from training and recognition to business tools and empowering leadership, but most important (at least to myself 😉) is that “company discount” on all the clothes and gear! Being a part of this business as a representative gets you the 25% off the discount you’ve been dying to have on your favorite high-quality brand.

Reps get 25% off, and unlike other direct sales companies, there is no shame in becoming a representative for that discount; as an independent representative, you can run the show your own way, but whether you’re wearing Zyia or not, you’re already representing a brand when someone asks where you got that top or those neat sneakers. Whether you tell them the name of the store/brand, send them the direct link where you bought it, or just talk about how comfy it is, you’re doing some work already that deserves to be rewarded! Joining as a representative gives you that opportunity and a voice in a huge, supportive, and uplifting community too!

The Zyia business is based in teamwork, no matter how far we might be from our nearest reps or community! The company says, We also put an emphasis on fun because we believe that we work harder when we are having fun. That is why there are always promotions based around fun retreats and trips.

Creating Work From Home Opportunity

Network marketing, or social selling, is only a growing opportunity today, which we have seen over the last several years as it has become a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s not something that is going away, and this company has all of the tools, resources, and an uplifting community to support you in building your own business. Zyia Active is giving you, and endless other folks out there, the opportunity to work not just from home but for yourself.

Independent reps join for so many reasons from the discount to the community and leadership, but I hear one thing all the time, which is the opportunity; they joined to spend more time with their loved ones or do more for themselves. They wanted time back from their day jobs, or they wanted to earn some extra cash towards more travel or the holidays. The company is all about growth and opportunity. At Zyia, we rise!

Take a look here at the Zyia Representative Rewards in the US, or ask me how rewards are different in other countries we are currently open in!

On one last note, I’ll just say this. If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Whether you make this your secondary income-earning opportunity, something part-time, or a lifelong career, there is so much to be passionate about here. If you enjoyed this or found any of it interesting, say hi and shoot me a message on social ✌️

Fan Outfits Women Have Always Wanted for Baseball Games

by: Danielle Ternyila, personal stylist | Zyia Active Independent Rep

Whether you’re cheering on teams in the northwest fall (brr!) or at a hot baseball game in the middle of the summer, we never want to trade comfort for T E A M S P I R I T !! This new collection of game day leggings and matching sports bras make up the most ideal outfit for any baseball games.

These are the ultimate baseball game outfits in your team colors, no matter who you root for! These don’t just stop with your favorite MLB teams too. With the color combinations in these leggings, you can wear these in the stands for all the baseball games, whether you’re rooting for your home team, little league, or college!

New York Mets fans, you have a great option with the White on Blue Game Day set, which pairs with the Orange Ribbed Tank for sweat-wicking performance on even the hottest of days or the Sunburst Boyfriend Hoodie for a chilly baseball game. The White on Blue looks great for Los Angeles Dodgers fans too! Pair the set with a perfectly perforated and breathable top in red, like the Red Chill Long T.

Sport the Scarlet on Navy set if you’re a Boston Red Sox fan; this set works for the New England Patriots, too, for the football season! Pair this set with a White Dominicana Ribbed Jacket. This red-on-navy color scheme is ideal for Atlanta Braves baseball games too!

Canadian friends, you can wear these legging outfits for your baseball games too cheering on the Toronto Blue Jays in the White on Blue! And it can be any game day too, even if you’re rooting on the Toronto Raptors quart-side or at your fav sports bar, just try the Red on Black set, or shout for the Montreal Canadiens in your own white-looking Gray on Red set with your Jersey or favorite team tee.

That’s just to name a few of the baseball games you could wear these outfit sets for, but they can go beyond just baseball, as you can see. Shop for your NFL or NBA teams, or your college and alma mater! These are a comfortable yet stylish way to dress up any game day look, whether you’re tailgating or hosting. Who knows, maybe these will be your new lucky pair!

No matter what your baseball team is, there are endless options in this new collection because women want cute and comfortable fan gear! We deserve it, which is probably just one of the reasons all of these game day leggings came out WITH 2 deep low-profile side pockets; don’t be fooled! Those pockets can hold your beer in a moment’s notice when you need them 😉

How Should I Size?

The Light N Tight collection is a highly compressive legging, and with the pocket feature, they will feel a bit more snug than a solid Light N Tight. That said, you can stay true to size if you want the most compression and stay-up power. If you don’t like a tight fit, like me, then you can size up for some extra room, and I think it will look great either way!

For the Game Day sports bra, I would recommend your true to size. Our Light N Tight bras are usually more compressive which is why many customers sized up in the past, but this one is very different. There is no hardware, it is gently compressive so true to size would be your best bet (see my sizing chart!), and the soft encased 1.3″ (3.3cm) bottom band perfectly compliments the raw-edged racerback design with ventilation mesh.

Which is your team? I’m torn between the Scarlet on Red for the New York Giants, White on Blue for my New York Mets (paired with the oh-so soft and perfect layering piece, the Sunburst Boyfriend Hoodie, or the Deep Yellow on Purple for my LSU Tigers! (Geaux Tigers!). I know I won’t be disappointed with any of them.

Halloween Leggings Women Can Wear for the Holidays, too!

by: Danielle Ternyila, personal stylist | Zyia Active Independent Rep

If your Halloween season usually starts out like mine has, it means you’re probably already digging through the attic and storage searching for costumes of years past because you’ll do anything to avoid going to the store again. All of these costumes get a 1-day wear, and then they collect dust in storage if I’m not throwing it out due to cheap quality by the end of the night. That was a big problem to me until I got creative with more versatile clothing like my cozy leggings from Zyia Active. Style them down for the gym, dress them up for a cute Thanksgiving dinner outfit, or pair it with the right accessories for a simple and homemade Halloween costume.

To break it down for you, we’ve got 8 different pairs of leggings I’ve pulled for your next halloween costume, and you can style thee leggings for the different seasons and holidays coming up too, along with these easy halloween costume ideas. All of these leggings offer incredible features along with their durable quality and sweat-wicking abilities. They are the ideal leggings for the holidays, with Halloween first at bat!

We carry leggings in sizes XXS to XXXXL, and the high quality material is only one part to love! Sweat-wicking, four-way adaptive stretch, and anti-chafe seams are some of my favorite features, plus the wide variety of compression options and styles with or without pockets (and those are pockets deep and strong enough for even a bottle of wine in a moment of desperation!). The best part is that when Halloween is done, you’ll still have a cozy holiday outfit to take you through the next season and the season after that, and after that!

Barista Brown Pocket Light n Tight legging

Meet the Barista Brown Pocket Light n Tight RC: part of our Recycled Collection, 24 inch (61 cm) legging with 2 deep low-profile pockets to fit an iPhone or water bottle

Meet the Light Denim Distressed Light n Tight Hi-Rise Legging: a “jegging”-style 28-inch (71 cm) legging with printed motif to fool the eye with a highly compressive, breathable fabric denim-alternative

Meet the Red Sweetheart Metallic Light N Tight Hi-Rise: highly compressive 24-inch (61 cm) legging with a metallic shine that can bend, flex, jump, and twist with you

Meet the Olive Speckle Hi-Rise: 24 inch (61 cm) legging with a cotton-soft matte fabric feel and a smooth high-structured elastic-free waistband

Meet the Black Metallic Light N Tight Hi-Rise: part of our Recycled Collection, 24 inch (61 cm) legging with 2 deep low-profile pockets to fit an iPhone or water bottle

Meet the Tangerine Cream Pocket Light N Tight: highly compressive 24-inch (61 cm) legging with 2 deep low-profile pockets to fit an iPhone or water bottle

Meet the Pink Mojave Light N Tight Hi-Rise: a highly compressive 28-inch (71 cm) legging with an encased top elastic to stay put

Meet the Black Slash Luxe Hi-Rise: gently compressive 24-inch (61 cm) legging with an edgy slashed design made of sweat-wicking material that won’t chafe

These are outfits you just can’t go wrong with! Plus, like I said, they make for a cute and cozy holiday outfit paired right, and then some 😉 Depending on where you live in the United States, Canada, or even Australia, I am sure you have different weather and temperatures to adjust to. Our collection of active and athleisure wear can adjust with you across our endless different styles and designs. Learn more in my boutique, or explore more details about these 8 cute and cozy leggings for halloween and the holidays.

Women’s Business Casual Activewear for Every Season

by: Danielle Ternyila, ZYIA Active Independent Rep

Your office’s business casual dress code doesn’t have to be exhausting; it can be exciting and fun with the right pieces. Having worked in offices since I was 15, I’ve felt it all from morning frustrations trying to pick what to wear to sitting uncomfortably at a desk in pants that hardly fit or even have pockets for most of my day. An empowering brand has changed it all for me, and I’ll make it even simpler for you by highlighting the top business casual clothes for petite, plus size, and all the body types us ladies may have!

That’s the thing most clothing brands are forgetting when it comes to us women and what we actually want to wear; our bodies are not the same. We are all different physically, which means the confusing sizes that change from store to store and the men-run companies are NOT the way (*cough, cough cue my favorite song, “Victoria’s Secret” by Jax)!

Zyia Active is run by strong women from our co-founders Erin and Brenda Bradley to the independent representatives like myself in the United States, Canada, and now Australia, all just sharing our passions to help others. They started this company to fulfill our needs for clothing that balances comfort and style for all our shapes and sizes. And while ACTIVE is in the name, these clothes are for every part of your active life from your workouts to the office, your next big trip, and home walking the dog. This isn’t just any “active wear”!

To keep our quality clothing at its highest, you won’t see an endless surplus of the same items in our warehouse inventory; you’ll find things come and go in my boutique, but we have new releases every Wednesday, so there is always something new in store! That said, some of the items below may be running low or retiring soon, so I am always available to help you with sizing or shopping. Find your best way to contact me here whether it’s email, Instagram, or Facebook!

Piping Classy Jogger

This unique pair of work pants will give you all the cozy feels like you’re home on the couch! The Piping Classy Jogger is like your favorite soft and lightweight sweater material in a delightful business casual-friendly style.

  1. Tuck in a white button-down blouse with stilettos for a fierce feminine business casual look
  2. Pair it with the matching Piping Classy Sweater Tank and a sharp blazer jacket

*Let me disclose here that I am 4’11”, so my short women should have no fear with this! The inseam is 27.5-inch (69.8 cm), and so they are just a great length on even my petite shape. These items and the others below are all short-girl approved work bottoms!

Perfection Jogger

These joggers don’t look like your old-school gym joggers! These are advanced with superior wrinkle-resistant material, 2 deep pockets, and unique details like vertical trouser seams down the front of each leg. Shop the Perfection Joggers, currently available in a beautiful matte navy and black to pair with every color!

  1. Match these with a cute sweater or just a blazer for colder office days
  2. Pair it with a lightweight blouse in the summer with your favorite sandals

Tribeca Sweater Skirt

Who wants a timeless piece that can serve you year-round in your office outfits? The Tribeca Sweater Skirt is as comfortable and chic as it sounds; the most important features, at least to me, are the 2 deep pockets and the wide, soft ribbed waistband with a gentle stay-put elastic that doesn’t ever pinch!

  1. Simply pair the skirt with the matching Tribeca Sweater and pretty much any shoes!
  2. Tuck in any colored or patterned blouse up top
  3. Pair it with the Parallel Tank (below) and a blazer

Parallel Tank

The Parallel Tank offer simplicity with maximum coverage; it is the ideal top for tossing under a blazer, cardigan, and more! The material is sweat-wicking and ultra soft. Use it as the base for any of your business casual outfits!

  1. Layer under a long cardigan with metallic leggings, like my Metallic Light n Tights
  2. Use it as a base under your work blazer
  3. Keep warm using it as an extra layer under sweaters in the colder weather, or wear it on its own in the heat!

Monterey Dress

Shop the Monterey Dress in a beautiful burnt-orange Paprika or Warm Sand, as beautiful as the color sounds! Everyone enjoys this in their true size, and it drapes down and skims the body for a beautiful fit on every body that has tried this dress. Use it as a base for endless business casual ideas!

  1. Pair the dress with a blazer, and tie up a side to add a little texture to the dress
  2. Dress it up with a long cardigan and belt combo
  3. Layer a dressy blouse over for a cute skirt look in the office

Daily Uplifting Quotes from Our Favorite Disney Movies

Anything you want to do or achieve can’t be done with a negative mindset. It’s all about headspace and finding your inspiration every single day.

I use quotes to keep myself motivated, and that’s how you can use these quotes too! Save them to your phone to use as a background or copy down the quote so you always remember it; remind yourself of these inspiring quotes (from Disney movies and characters, this time!). Use these as your inspiration to keep going and do what you makes you your happiest.

Start with this inspiring reminder of what makes you you, from the land of adventure and never growing old:

“Your talent makes you who you are, you should be proud of it.” from the Disney classic, Peter Pan

The Genie from Aladdin was a wise genie whose words still ring true today:

“Like so many things, it’s not what is outside but what is inside that counts.” from the movie Aladdin

Life can feel scary, but it is a wonderland if you believe and an incredible adventure at that:

“Every adventure requires a first step.” from Alice in Wonderland

Thumper’s wise words for Bambi are important for us all to hear:

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” from Bambi

Beauty and the Beast is a classic, but this uplifting quote may have been missed in your sing-alongs

“Sometimes the dustiest cover hides the best book. Sometimes the best cup is chipped.” from Beauty and the Beast

This quote from one of the OG Disney princesses is important to remember in life, in business, and at home:

“Just because it’s what’s been done, doesn’t mean it’s what should be done.” from Cinderella
“Happiness is the richest thing we’ll ever own.” from Donald Duck
“The best things happen by chance.” from Finding Dory

A favorite yet completed underrated quote from the clown fish himself:

“I can do this.” from Finding Nemo

The most popular quote from this beloved Disney movie of 2003:

“Just keep swimming.” from Finding Nemo

An inspiring quote from the goofiest dog, a daily reminder we all need to hear:

“Life’s too short to always be serious.” from Goofy

An incredible quote from an incredible movie about an incredible family, that all have their own identities that make them all unique:

“Your identity is your most valuable possession. Protect it.” from The Incredibles

The bare necessities are all you need, so forget your worries, as they say:

“Forget about your worry and your strife.” from The Jungle Book

Villains are inspiring too, even Ursula had some relatable words of wisdom:

“Life’s full of tough choices, isn’t it?” from Ursula in The Little Mermaid

Feel inspired every day with a daily quote in my Facebook Empowerment group! It’s a positive little group where we all inspire each other with positivity, good vibes, and kindness. Come pop in and say hi!


Styling 2-Pc Sweater Set for Fall: 8 Looks

The Tribeca Sweater Set is a new 2-piece set to hit the boutique shelves, just in the knick of time for fall! This unique skirt and sweater combination, available in 2 colors for a limited time, is the perfect base for every outfit this fall. Dress the skirt up or down for everything from smart casual days in the office to trick-or-treating with the kids.

See the Tribeca Sweater Set and find your size before they sell out. Pair with any of the below pieces to complete this look and add some versatility to your wardrobe this season; this set guarantees the comfort of your favorite at-home sweats that you can wear everywhere.

Get any of these looks in my online boutique; I am always happy to answer questions on sizing or offer my shopping assistance, so feel free to find me on Instagram, Facebook, or reach out online here.

The Basics for a Smart Casual Dress Code

by: Danielle Ternyila

Smart Casual is a unique dress code that we are all beginning to get more used to; it sounds confusing, to just throw an adjective in now to a dress code like “smart”. However, it’s a really comforting dress code that we could all appreciate, especially if you are more often in business casual wear. Smart casual is a refined relaxed version of the business casual looks in your closet.

While a key element to the smart casual dress code is still business-friendly and professionalism, this is also your chance to dress down a bit. Jeans can be acceptable or some other items that you wouldn’t normally get away with in the corporate world. What I love most about smart casual is the emphasis on smart – smart enough to balance between comfort, casual, and corporate trends. After several years working home in our sweats, smart casual is the perfect way to incorporate some of that home comfort into a professional look.

Top 3 Smart Casual Tops

The Parallel Tank comes in many colors and serves as the perfect base to any outfit, especially smart casual! This top has a high neckline with optimum coverage on the arm holes. It is a very thick and sturdy with finely-ribbed fabric and durable reinforced edging throughout.

Pair this with jeans and a blazer or cardigan, or toss it on with a patterned skirt to match with some accessories.

Another versatile top is the Wanderer Short Sleeve T, which is also available in a long sleeve now and is the perfect smart casual top year-round. It is a lightweight and cool-to-the-touch fabric that feels silky soft against the skin and drapes gracefully from your shoulders. Integrated ventilating mesh stripes are complimented with a swooped hem and a top-stitched, reinforced V-neck collar. These tops are easy to style as smart casual or wear down on the weekend.

This light-weight top is ideal for any weather, so pair it with a summer skirt and heels or boots and a shawl for the fall.

The Party in the Back Tank is a unique bra-and-tank combination that will hug and support you the way your old Spanx would, except this top can stand on its own too! The tank has a built-in shelf bra that is supportive for A cups to D, E, F, G, and all… The fit is a compressive design, so you can size up one for a more relaxed fit, but it is meant to feel a bit tighter than other tank tops or camisoles, so keep that in mind. The slim-fitting construction makes it great for layering with any look. Unique twisting back features and straps allow this top to stand alone as a super fashionable top too.

Limited stock and sizes remain, so don’t wait to snag your Party in the Back Tank from my exclusive online boutique.

Top 3 Smart Casual Bottoms

The Perfection Joggers are an ideal pair of pants for smart casual. They are uniquely constructed with front seams down each leg, which make it look all the more clean and crisp for the business world and smart casual settings. The inseam varies from 28″ to 30″ (see chart in images here); for perspective, I am 4’11” and wear a Small; this is my true-to-size and while a bit long on my short stature, I do love wearing these regularly for my smart casual needs.

Perfection Joggers are exactly what you think: sweat pants, that are perfect for dressing up! Pair with any business blouse or a tank and blazer with the perfect shoes.

Black Metallic Light n Tight leggings combine the body-smoothing, tummy-tucking magic of our Light N Tight leggings with the classic pocketless metallic legging trend. These are the ideal business and smart casual leggings that every trendsetter needs in their closet. They can be dressed up so many ways, but the best part is the sweat-wicking performance in this material so you will feel cool from the waist down in any weather.

If you’re looking for a more bold color, there are many other metallic leggings in my boutique here. Pair any of these with a long sweater or cardigan if you’re not sure what to do for a smart casual dress code. It will never fail!

Everywhere Pants are the epitome of women’s business pants. Sleek, lightweight, anti-wrinkle, sweat-wicking, fast-drying, and incredibly versatile! Those are just a few ways to describe these flattering simple pants with 2 deep front pockets and a faux back pocket for detail. Cuff the bottoms for a capri look, too!

The Everywhere Pants are a great choice for smart casual, but you could also explore the Everywhere Zipper Jogger or Peak Zipper Joggers. Each feature unique gold or silver zippers on the ankle cuff. (Which is easy to pull up for a well-deserved mani-pedi after work one day, too 😉)

Check out more styles from my boutique and get the latest customer deals in my exclusive Facebook page, here!

9 Signs of a Toxic Friendship You May Not See Right Away

by: Danielle Ternyila

Are they a good friend or a bad friend? It’s a question that we never want to consider. A friend is someone you have bonded with and share a mutual affection with, so it only makes sense that we want to see the very best in them and struggle with answering this question on our own. How do you know your friend is toxic? Answer the questions below for your own Toxic Friendship Quiz.

There are signs you have a toxic friendship, but it may be hard to recognize these signs in a good friend or especially a romantic partner. One sign of a toxic relationship is feeling like everything is better than it is, which can make it hard for you to see on your own. Friends and family might start pointing it out and questioning things, and you’ll probably feel it all has come out of no where. Unfortunately, people won’t just see signs of abuse and toxic friends for no reason, and that’s a hard pill to swallow when you love someone so much. It’s even harder when the friend is slowly fanning the flames behind your back.

The Toxic Friendship Quiz: Answer These Questions

Take the time to think for yourself about your life and the friendship in question. Reflect carefully over these different questions that will help you understand if you are in a toxic relationship, and be honest as you quiz yourself here.

How much time do you dedicate to this friend and vice versa?

Think about it in hours or days, whatever is easier for you to calculate. How much time do you spend texting them, listening to them, or doing them favors? Do you more often do things they want to, eat at their favorite restaurants, or do things on their schedule instead of yours? Do you move events and plans around to accommodate your friend?

Consider the reverse now, and how much time and effort do they put into your life? Is it the same, and would they do the same for you if they were in your shoes? Without any excuses or reasons they couldn’t go as above and beyond for you as you do for them!

Do they provide you positive or negative support and energy?

Have you ever gone to your friend complaining about your brother or someone close to you? Positive support is pushing you to fix things, find the good, and move forward in a way that can better you. Negative support makes you think the situation is impossible and pulls you further away from others.

Another way to look at this is to consider your life now and then; before this friend, did you have as much drama or conflict in your life? Has there been more negative or positive with the addition of this friend to your life? If you’re still not sure, keep reading. Some of these other questions may help you realize the answers you’re unsure of right now.

Do you feel like you need their permission to make a decision?

You are your own person, so you make your own decisions. However, a toxic person will want to have a say in these decisions, no matter what the matter is. They will make you feel like their opinion is important or the most correct; you are the one person you will always have to live with, so you have to make your own decisions. When someone else doesn’t let you do that and tries to cloud your judgement or control you, you need to cut ties. Don’t just consider it, just do it.

No one has the right to make you feel guilty about a decision you want to make or should be able to run your life. We aren’t puppets; we are people, and you’re one of the best!

Do they create a divide between yourself and your loved ones?

It may not look deliberate, but overtime, have they pulled you away from people who used to be very close to you? They might pick fights between you and your family or point out things for you to get mad at them for? Do your old friends still want to be around you, or have they burned those bridges too?

If you have come to a point where you have to choose one person over another, especially someone like your family or a parent, the answer to this question is yes; they are feeding the fires and encouraging you to exclude yourself from these people.

Do you feel appreciated by them?

You can appreciate the friendship, but a bad friend will not have that same gratitude in return for you. Think about what you do and have done to show them you care about them, and think about what they have done for you in return. Does it sound fair? Does it sound like they would do the same for you that you have done for them? If they were in your shoes, would they do the same for you?

It’s a hard question to answer because we want to believe they truly care about us, but if you’re unsure if they appreciate you, that is an answer; keep reading.

Are you as important to them as they are to you?

Consider the things you have done for them, the ways you may have catered to them, and the favors you have done. How have you helped them on the day to day, and how have they shown their gratitude in return?

A good friend borrows your car and fills the tank back up when they’re done. A really good friend fills it up, apologizes for the inconvenience, and offers the same hand to you when you need it. A bad friend takes advantage of this kindness and might make you feel guilty for it somehow, whether it’s because you have a car and they don’t, your life is easier, or you’re more lucky according to them.

Do they support your decisions and goals?

It’s easier to see back in your school days than it might be as an adult, but a truly good friend will support your decisions and dreams no matter what; the toxic friend is focused on themselves, so if you taking 8am classes in college will take away from their evenings partying late, they won’t want you doing that, even if it means you could graduate earlier or get the internship you have been dreaming of. He or she might tell you that you need a different dream, you aren’t good enough, you couldn’t handle it, or it’s bad for you now even though you had been dreaming of it for years.

Do they make you feel guilty for your life?

There are certain things in your life or day-to-day that your friend makes you feel guilty for; perhaps it is something you are just lucky enough to have or they’re just so unlucky they don’t have the same, but nothing in this life comes down to luck. Imagine owning a car while your friend doesn’t; they might make you feel bad for having more and make you feel like you owe them something for not living “fairly”. In reality, you do not have a car because you’re luckier than them; you have a car because you saved up your money and made a big investment one day and pay car payments and insurance premiums every month. You deserve your car and the life you live.

You should not feel ashamed or guilty for living your life and who you are. You should be appreciated for who you are and not compared to others.

Are you searching for some sort of toxic friend quiz to prove the accusers wrong?

You may be looking for this just to prove something to the non-believers, but deep down, you are likely trying to convince yourself of something. This quiz is your sign that you really are having doubts of your own that you don’t want to see. It may feel embarrassing to admit you were wrong to trust someone like this, but it will be more embarrassing to stick around anyway; you deserve better, I promise.

A toxic friend or relationship quiz from the internet won’t tell you anything more than you should already know by now. If this is something that is already on your mind, that’s the biggest sign that you shouldn’t ignore. It’s a gut instinct, and you have it for a reason.

I have been there, and I promise it will get better; choose you, choose hope. Don’t waste your time with anyone that is not going to lift you higher; you don’t need to be pulled down by their problems that have nothing to do with you.

It’s Okay to Take a Selfish

Here is your sign, or reminder if you’re already in the know, to take a damn selfish!

This fun term, to “take a selfish”, is from Schitt’s Creek, a Netflix-binge favorite. Taking a selfish means taking care of yourself first. It sounds like an odd phrase because we often associate selfish with a negative energy; we think a selfish person doesn’t care about others, which can sometimes be true about a person. But when David Rose says to his sister in Schitt’s Creek, “It’s my turn to take a selfish,” he sheds light on the important need to prioritize our health.

Putting your mental and physical health first is not a bad thing to do. Doing so doesn’t make you a selfish person; it shows you are an intelligent person because you know you can’t pour from an empty glass.

As Moira Rose said herself, “If airplane safety videos have taught me anything, David, it’s that a mother puts her own mask on first.

– quote from Schitts Creek

Is putting yourself first selfish? When we board an airplane, the attendants and pamphlets all tell you to put your mask on before helping others, and the reason is that you can’t help someone else if you don’t have oxygen yourself. That goes for taking care of your loved ones, children, and the people around you. You have to protect your health, both the mental and physical, to be at your strongest and best self when you show up for others.

If there is one thing the Rose family in Schitt’s Creek knows how to do, it is to take care of themselves. Take a lesson from David and Alexis’s book, focus on your self. It isn’t bad if you’re doing it for the betterment of your health and mindset.

In another episode, David Rose confessed in a conversation that he was, “Very uninterested in that opinion.” Ignoring the opinions others may cast upon you is another selfish you can take! The only opinion you need to worry about is your own, and that’s what having a positive mindset is about.

“Very uninterested in that opinion.”

David Rose, Schitt’s Creek

There’s nothing wrong with asking for what you deserve,” said the ever-intuitive Alexis Rose, a quote that reminds us all we are entitled to ask for what we deserve, including a day off or peace of mind.

“There’s nothing wrong with asking for what you deserve.”

Alexis Rose, Schitt’s Creek

There are many great feel-good Schitt’s Creek quotes, but this is among my favorite that I will continue to say as needed. It’s become an equal understanding in my family too, and I think it has made us a happier and healthier family because of it. We are a big family with a lot always going on, but the moment someone says they need to take a selfish and skip a dinner or give themselves a mental health day, we respect that and don’t cast any judgement if their selfish impedes on our own day or plans.

The mental health of myself, my family, and all my loved ones is priority to me, not parties or holidays. Remember to take a selfish when you need to, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. There is absolutely nothing selfish about putting your health first, and we just can’t ever say that and remind ourselves of that enough.

In the words of David Rose:

“It’s my turn to take a selfish!”

David Rose, Schitt’s Creek

Props to the incredible creators of Schitts Creek for these inspiring quotes that will always be a part of our lives. If you haven’t already, you can find your own favorite Schitt’s Creek quotes binging the series on Netflix. There’s 5 seasons of greatness ahead of you!

Check out another story inspired by Schitt’s Creek: A Lesson for the Anxious.

Transition Wardrobe Staples: Summer to Fall

by: Danielle Ternyila

Take a peek at 5 looks that will make sense in your closet today, this fall, and all year round. Most of these come in various colors, but they all have one thing in common: these outfits are going to last you years and support you season to season! The quality of this active-athliesure wear and versatility in styles and fits means you will never stop loving them.

Each outfit can be customized with a few different color options, or you can just go with the recommendations I’ve laid out to make your shopping experience the simplest. You can click to shop my styles in the US and Canada here, or visit the new virtual Australian boutique!

I am available for assistance with sizing or just placing orders if you need help! You can just send me a quick message here to get started. There are many tools at my disposable to help size you properly for everything from our leggings to sports bras.

Tropical Vibes

Pair the Summer Shorts with a Havana Tank in your choice color, or I recommend these two pairings below! This is a super light weight and sweat wicking outfit for the summer, and the sewn in seams of these shorts and anti-wrinkle design make them ideal for packing in your luggage.

This outfit can also double as swimwear as the summer ends or on your next paradise vacay! The shorts have an inner panty liner and are quick dry after a dip. The Havana Tank not only looks cool, but it feels cool! The ventilation enhances the breathability of this tank, and it adds a unique stripe design that even looks cute under another layer, like a denim jacket on those colder autumn days.

Gray Code Havana Tank – recommend true-to-size
Lavender Summer Shorts – recommend true-to-size or size up one for a more relaxed look

Simple Denim Chic

These Light Denim Distressed Light N Tight leggings can withstand anything your busy day will throw at them, and you will look styling everywhere from the grocery store running errands to going out with the girlfriends for the night, and even stopping at the gym in between it all. The Light N Tights are our most compressive legging, but the distressed denim style makes for a chic look, especially paired with a flattering Parallel Tank. Any color would look great with the distressed blues, but my favorite is Brick red. It stands out, it shows you are bold, and you’re not afraid to stand out!

The sweat wicking material of the leggings is perfect in the summer heat, then you can just toss on more layers as it gets colder out! A denim jacket or solid open-front cardigan will make this a fall-friendly outfit too. The inseam on the pair I recommend (below) is 28″ across all sizes, so if you’re a petite like me (4-ft 11-in), you might prefer the Denim Artist Pocket that comes in at a 24″ inseam, the perfect full length on us shorties!

Light Denim Distressed Light N Tight Hi-Rise 28″ – intentionally compressive, recommend true-to-size
Brick Parallel Tank – fitted construction, recommend true-to-size or size up one for more relaxed fit

High Performance-High Fashion

Metallic Light N Tights fit similar to the above distressed denim Light N Tights, but these feature a unique glimmering tint to the bold and solid colors that really takes any outfit up a notch! This outfit can be completed in so many ways in combination with the Swirl Tank and a Bomber Bra. The beautifully detailed and breathable mesh back of this bra fits perfectly with the high neckline of our Swirl Tanks in front with a low swirl design in the back; this lets the tank drape over your hips in a relaxed and flattering way without drawing attention to your torso.

This is a great summer look with sandals or heels, but you can start adding layers like a cardigan, denim jacket, or blazer to dress this look up more for the fall and colder nights.

Black Metallic Light N Tight Hi-Rise 24″ – intentionally compressive, recommend true-to-size
Midnight Swirl Tank – relaxed fit, recommend true-to-size
Ivory Leopard Bomber Bra – medium-level support and a unique design, recommend true-to-size

Lazy Weekend In

Do you want to be as comfortable in your favorite joggers at home, but you also don’t want to sweat to death in the summer wearing them? Zyia cut the Relaxation Sweats in half and designed this incredible line of sweat shorts! With 2 deep pockets and luxuriously soft fabric, these drawstring-style shorts will be your new favorite at-home pair. You can complete the look with the matching Relaxation Hoodie, or another classic from the shop: our Kettle Moon Tank! It is the softest tank you’ll ever feel, so it is the perfect match for the Relaxation Shorts.

You don’t need much else to complete this cozy must-have summer to fall look, just a pair of slippers or crocs, depending on your mood! I personally wouldn’t do crocs, but I know some people find them comfy for just hanging around or running errands.

Pine Relaxation Sweat Shorts – Encased elastic, recommend true-to-size
Prism Kettle Moon Tank – four-way stretch material, recommend true-to-size

Bonus! Once the warm summer months are truly behind, you can invest in the Relaxation Pocket Hoodie to match and keep you even warmer, or go for the full set with the Relaxation Sweats too! Once you get one, you’ll want them all.

Edgy Base for Layering

Slash Luxe leggings are buttery soft and constructed to flatter every body type with an encased elastic up top to keep the leggings in place. They are gently compressive, so many customers prefer to size down 1 for a more fitted look. And don’t worry about your skin popping out the edges! This fabric will not do that to you! You can pair it with a Stronger Tank (size up 1 for a relaxed fit!), and that’s all you need as a base outfit that could stand on its own too! I’d strongly recommend spending the extra money on one of our more unique designs too, like the Black Leopard Reflective Hi-Neck Stronger Tank (in direct light, it will become reflective, or otherwise show as a black-shaded leopard tank to layer under anything this fall or year round!

Add a cardigan or light jacket as it gets colder this fall. A simple pair of sneakers and a flannel could easily complete this set, or it stands on its own in the hottest weather with a pair of your cutest sandals! However you choose to style them, together they’re the perfect base outfit for moving your wardrobe from summer to autumn.

Black Slash Luxe Hi-Rise 24″ – encased elastic up top, recommend size down one for more compression
Flamingo Stronger Tank – cropped/fitted look, recommend true-to-size or size up one for relaxed feel

Shop these styles and more in my online boutique. Thank you for supporting my business!

Can You Relate? You Might Be Feeling Imposter Syndrome

by: Danielle Ternyila

What is Imposter Syndrome? Well, according to the dictionary, it’s the persistent inability to believe your success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of your own efforts or skills.

So what’s imposter syndrome? A phenomenon we may struggle with mentally to believe in ourselves, in a sense. We experience extreme feelings of self-doubt and lack of self-worth, or just general confusion in our life or career. It can happen to anyone, and it can be a completely normal feeling. It can be a daunting feeling to go through, but you should never feel alone in this. There are many of us out here who feel the same way, and I hope you can walk away today feeling a little more in control in these doubtful times.

Serena Williams, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Hanks, and Maya Angelou are among some of the biggest names we all know who have had their own experiences with feelings of self doubt and inadequacy. These are people we love to see on screen or who have inspired us, and they too have admitted to feeling like they’re a “swindler” or a “fraud” in their lives. Even Lady Gaga, Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Seth Godin, and Michelle Obama have experienced imposter syndrome, too. Now how is that for company?

What do we know about Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome was first studied in the early 1970s, which is when the lead researchers and psychologists Pauline Rose Clance & Suzanne Imes coined the term. Specifically, they studied this phenomenon in 150 high-achieving women who appeared to be more successful than their peers and were having a hard time attributing their success to themselves. They were highly successful and intellectual individuals with PhDs, but they felt like phonies, “imposters”.

Research has since shown that it is much more prevalent among women, men, and children alike today; in fact, roughly 70% of the population experiences this during their lifetime, including some of the greatest minds in history, even Albert Einstein! In fact, this phenomenon is observed most in high-achieving people, and if this is affecting you, then it’s almost a compliment to your intelligence, right?

Imposter syndrome, also sometimes called perceived fraudulence, is a completely valid experience that you may be experiencing if this sounds familiar to you. You may suffer from a lack of confidence or are constantly comparing yourself to others. You may doubt your abilities and accomplishments. This is a mental phenomenon that does not actually define your self worth and successes or failures.

What are the signs or symptoms of Imposter Syndrome?

We attribute our success to external/outside factors; as in, there is some other reason we had achieved a goal, be it a glitch in the hiring process, someone being nice to you/taking pity on you, or just dumb luck.

Imposter syndrome convinces us that “the impossible” is more likely than we are to succeed. It lets us think the worst thing, that we aren’t good enough and all that we have done has never been enough.

We doubt ourselves and our accomplishments. Nothing we do is good enough.

We overwork ourselves and risk burnout trying to make everything perfect because we cannot fail; failure is not an option.

We wonder who we are, what role we play, where we fit in…. We question ourselves and how we got to where we are or this far in our careers.

We turn down or avoid asking for help, even when we need it most because we fear it will show we are not competent or good enough.

We will waste every moment trying to find out everything and understand every little detail until we have all the knowledge on a task, but the task may never get done.

We may achieve big accomplishments and only see what we did wrong; we think it should have been done better, we could have done better, and we didn’t do good enough.

Activist and Actress Emma Watson said, “It’s almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I’m just going, Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud, and that I don’t deserve any of what I’ve achieved. I can’t possibly live up to what everyone thinks I am and what everyone’s expectations of me are.

We may struggle with accepting praise and recognition for our efforts and accomplishments.

We may ask ourselves, are we good enough? We may question if we were just in the right place at the right time.

Imposter syndrome can sneak up on us in so many ways, but it all comes back to this negative mindset. How does it change your interpretation of this when you factor in that 7 out of the 10 people you see every day are thinking the same thing? You may be trying so hard to keep cool so no one “catches on” to you, but many of the people you see, even the most confident and successful people, are experiencing the same feelings of doubt in some way.

Ways to Fight Imposter Syndrome

I am a big advocate for seeking mental health help, having a support team of friends or family that you can trust to guide you, and seeing the professionals (a therapist). If you are struggling with Imposter Syndrome, it is OK to ask for help, and you should always do so if you are experiencing severe thoughts of anxiety or depression. However, there are ways you can work on this at home on your own too.

Engage in Positive Self Talk Only

Imposter syndrome is made worse by the negative talk and self doubt, so shining a light on it all does make an impact. Fight the bad thoughts and think about everything you did right. If you begin to think negatively, take a moment to tell yourself a few important things you might sometimes forget (I know I forget sometimes too)

  • Nothing can be perfect, something to never forget
  • Learn from your mistakes and make them positive
  • Forgive yourself every time you need to
  • Talk about it with your “support team”
  • Recall your past successes to challenge the negative thoughts

Celebrate Every Victory, No Matter How Big or Small

I start every morning by making my bed to get goal #1 done right away, as cheesy as that sounds. Every single accomplishment, big or small, is a win. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way if we always feel like we didn’t do it fast enough, good enough, or the “right way”, but a big part of combatting imposter syndrome comes down to targeting those negative thoughts and shutting them down. Every time you get something done, appreciate it and applaud yourself, no matter what.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

It is so much easier to assume the grass is greener on the other side, but the grass is only green where you water it. Focus on yourself and what you are doing to feel your best, and don’t let your mind start convincing you that someone else is smarter, stronger, or better than you. A major symptom of imposter syndrome is comparison to others, so nip that bad habit in the bud! It’s easy to assume someone else is more capable and knows how to do do it all, but to that, I share a quote from a former first lady, Michelle Obama:

“I have been at probably every powerful table that you can think of, I have worked at nonprofits, I have been at foundations, I have worked in corporations, served on corporate boards, I have been at G-summits, I have sat in at the U.N.: They are not that smart.”

If nothing else, I have just one last piece of advice to share, and it’s the last thing you need to know about imposter syndrome before we part ways today.

Well, unless you join me in my private Facebook empowerment group so we can be friends and connect online!

Take the advice of one of our favorite comedians, Tiny Fey:

“Seriously, I’ve just realized that almost everyone is a fraud, so I try not to feel too bad about it.”

Business Casual Bottoms Us Shorties Really Want

by: Danielle Ternyila

I live the life of a short woman, and I will only ever dream of what the world looks like from 5-feet up. There are some downsides to being short, as much as there are upsides (good luck trying to find us in Hide n Seek!) One of the hardest challenges since joining the workforce has been finding flattering and comforting dress slacks or business pants I can wear every day. After-all, we spend the largest part of our days dressed for work, so I of course want to feel most comfortable and confident.

Every day in the office can vary for me, which is what makes some of these pants so incredible, on top of being the perfect pant for us short girls! However, they are reliable and built to last. Zyia Active prides itself on creating quality clothing, and I am still amazed that no matter how often I wear these, they always look good as new (and I should add, I am in no way a pro at doing laundry right…).

More important, this brand offers something for every body. Clothes are not designed for us and our individual bodies, as if being loved slightly more by gravity was a crime. After years working in the office setting after graduation, I found a small handful of pants that did the trick for a while, but I still just counted down to Casual Friday every week. My

For reference, I’m 4′ 11″ (149.8cm) tall. The inseam for some of these vary based on size (see sizing chart in my shop for exact inseam measurements!), but the perfect length for me has been around 25″. There are a few go-to pieces in my closet, but the Everywhere Pants, specifically, take up the most space in my closet!

Everywhere Pants

These sweat-wicking, quick dry, wrinkle-resistant… just overall, perfect pants are great for travel, the office, and especially hot days over the summer! It’s no surprise they’re called the Everywhere Pants because they will perfect for every outfit and occasion.

I’ll dress these up with something simple like a flattering but fitted Parallel Tank in a fun color tucked in, all paired with a blazer or snuggly cardigan. They look just as great with a hoodie for a grocery store run or paired with a tank on the hottest day; made with nylon and spandex, these are a great lightweight pant to protect your legs from the UV.

Similar to the Everywhere Pants, you also can’t go wrong with their somewhat-related cousin: the Everywhere Zipper Jogger, which adds just a little sparkle to your look however you wear it

Everywhere Zipper Jogger

The big difference between the Everywhere Pants and Everywhere Zipper Jogger is in the bottom cuff, observed in the photos above. The zipper is fully functional (great for pedicure day!) with silver or brass zips to match the metal-tipped drawstrings, just like the Pants have! Customers can also enjoy that same faux back pocket, which just makes these bottoms look even more smart casual.

These are just as great in the heat or on a rainy day. These are my go to when I have to drive into the office in a storm and I don’t want damp pants all day. However, if you prefer a slightly heavier and more flattering fabric, the Peak Zipper Joggers have a few subtle differences you might appreciate.

Peak Zipper Jogger

Peak Zipper Joggers have slightly more nylon and a little less spandex than the Everywhere Zipper Jogger counterparts. This means they are a little thicker, which make them perfect for chilly campfire nights, freezing office buildings, schools, hospitals, or really any where. These women’s pants also have a functional drawstring and metal-dipped at the ends , along with 2 deep pockets that can hold your phone or anything else you need to carry with you.

The reinforced, no-pinch waistband fits comfortably around the waist, and the overall jogger hugs your curves gently, so you could size down one for a more fitted look. If you do like a flowy pant leg, though, I recommend the Work Flow Pants.

Work Flow Pants

These have a much higher waistband than others in my activewear boutique with our no-roll magic too. The inseams range from 22.5″-24″ (57.1-70cm), and the wide flowing leg features one box pleat that from the pocket to hem, creating a dramatic leg that can easily be styled and dressed for a business casual day. Two deep pockets is a game changer in your office attire too!

The Work Flow Pants are designed to be more fitted at the hip, so it’s recommended you size up one for a slightly more relaxed fit around the waist. They have incredible breathability with optimal sweat-wicking power, not to mention the four-way stretch fabric you’ll find in all my pants and joggers. These are great to dress up with a fitted blouse when you have to dress business casual, but you could also go for a skirt instead of pants, and for that I’d recommend the Effortless Skirt!

Effortless Skirt

End the week on a fun note! I love to stay comfortable for Casual Friday in something like our best leggings or something as cute as the Effortless Skirt! This is so easy to pair with a blazer too if you want to look the most smart casual, but this pencil skirt-inspired (or improved, perhaps?!) bottom is a knockout with 2 deep pockets for your phone or other needs. The waistband does not dig in with the wide 2″ (5.1cm) encased elastic up top. The flattering A-line design will look great on every body, especially my short girls.

Even though I am not even 5′ (152.4cm), this skirt comes to the perfect length on me to wear in the office as a business casual look with a blazer and heels, or it goes great with some sneakers and a cute tank. Check out more outfit inspiration on my instagram @Danielle-the-writer.

What styles do you struggle with or do you have a corporate dress code you have to adhere to? Let’s talk about it and more in my online Empowerment group on Facebook.

South Jersey Embraces New Local Hot Spot: Inclusion Coffee Shop

by: Danielle Ternyila

Inclusion – the feeling of being “a part of” something or a group. It’s the feeling that you belong in the world, even just walking into a Dunkin Donuts or Wawa on your daily commute in the Jersey traffic; inclusion is feeling respected, valued, and treated the same as every other customer who walks in. For individuals with special needs, it is one of their biggest obstacles to overcome, but one new business owner in Elmer New Jersey has made it her personal mission to make everyone feel at home when they visit Inclusion Coffee Shop.

Since the doors opened in April 2022, customers have enjoyed the welcoming spirit and home-like atmosphere of Inclusion Coffee Shop in NJ. This local coffee spot in south Jersey is more than just a cup of good joe and a smiling face behind the counter; Amanda Vellon, founder and owner, was inspired by her youngest son Rome, who is often spotted on the Inclusion Coffee Facebook Page enjoying the treats! He was gifted an extra chromosome (like the genes you get from Mom and Dad!) at birth, which is the cause of Down Syndrome and affects about 1 in 700 babies every year, according to the CDC.

With a background in sales and degree in business, Amanda took off with this idea to raise awareness of Down Syndrome and do her best to make this world a better place for every body. Now she is doing that one coffee and one great big contagious smile from Rome at a time!

Amanda says, ”I’ve spent months from sun up to sun down working on getting the shop ready and now that we’re open, I still work just as much but I love it! I have a passion to spread awareness for Down Syndrome and how important inclusion is, for any individual to feel welcome in any space or group no matter the diagnosis.”

Inclusion Coffee Shop
119 S Main Street
Elmer, NJ 08318 -2234
Find IC on Facebook!

Open Monday-Saturday from 6:30am to 3pm, customers can visit Inclusion Coffee for a delicious coffee, refreshing espresso drink, tea, or frappe. Enjoy fresh pastries, bagels, donuts, paninis and more, whether you want to take it to go or relax in the cafe to soak in the good vibes.

The official Grand Ribbon Cutting will take place Saturday June 25, and Amanda is excited to celebrate with the community. The event will include prizes and even face painting for kids!

“We have been very successful since opening day. The support from the community has been incredibly awesome,” Amanda told Just Your Best. “One thing that always brings me to tears is when I meet other moms that went through what I went through with my son. I continue to meet amazing people who share with me how happy it makes them that they have a place to bring their child and can always feel welcomed.”

It’s no surprise the community has come to embrace this uplifting new small business in the heart of south Jersey. Amanda is incredibly passionate about the cause and her customers, and she is backed by a strong family of support too: her incredible best friend and husband, Tito; their four children, Natalya, Giotto, Milania, and Rome; and her entire family from her parents to her siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, and all who have helped and motivated her along this journey.

“I’m incredibly blessed to have such a supportive family! I love them so much. My goal is to continue to spread awareness and open coffee shops with a mission nationwide!”

Stop in to meet Amanda and find a new favorite coffee shop that is sure to brighten your day!

Learn more about Down Syndrome, or visit Amanda and Rome at Inclusion Coffee in Elmer, NJ.

The Trick to Maintaining Your Weight Loss

by: Danielle Ternyila

With the promise of so many fad diets and quick fix weight loss programs, my fear 75 lbs ago was that no matter what I lost, I would gain it back anyway and be at the same spot. It seemed impossible, so rather than throw in the towel, I sought out the answers for the best trick of all: keeping off the weight after you lose it.

Losing weight is a huge success that comes with so many challenges along the way, but the hardest part is the part that comes next, maintaining that win long-term instead of falling into old habits again. This was the most important part of my weight loss journey for me, and it’s something we all struggle with, yet don’t talk about enough. We do, now, talk about it plenty in my Facebook support group, and I’ll talk about it here again.

To maintain your weight loss achievements, you can’t stop now. You’ve worked hard to get here, you’ve made changes and done courageous things, like perhaps stepping foot in a new gym or entrusting a surgeon for assistance. No matter what, the next step is to stay healthy.

The trick to keeping it all off is to make changes to your lifestyle that support your health. Creating a healthier lifestyle that supports your weight loss is your hack, and it will feel easier said than done. Don’t let that stop you, especially when it is your health and wellness on the line.

I started making changes to my overall lifestyle to help improve my health and keep going at this goal. If I wanted to be healthy, I realized that I actually had to do exactly that. I cut out all the unhealthy snacks and processed foods in the cabinets; I started filling my fridge with more fruits and vegetables, and I started cooking much different meals than I was used to growing up in an Italian family addicted to pasta and bread.

Giving up my favorite snacks and even meals was a hard decision, but I learned it was not about cutting it out entirely. Moderation is key. Instead of enjoying these guilty pleasures regularly, they became a treat, which I sometimes think makes it that much more enjoyable than having it every week. I also limited my beverages and cut down on excess sugar in my diet too by switching to water and black coffee or teas.

Every day is a challenge, but I prioritize my health regardless. Though it has been years since I started this journey, I still crave all of my favorite unhealthy delights, but cravings pass.

What’s Your Fitness Style?

by: Danielle Ternyila

There is no right or wrong workout style, as long as you find the right one for you. Fitness is an essential part to a healthy and happier lifestyle, but there is no need to compare yourself to others or hold yourself to standards set by watching others’ successes on social media. There isn’t just one way to do things; in fact, there are endless options today, so to narrow down your options, let’s find which of the 4 fitness styles are for you.

There are 4 simple ways we all get started for any workout routine, but of course how we exercise and go from there can vary so much between CrossFit, lifting, running, yoga, and everything else! If you’re trying to answer what is the perfect workout for you, this is a simple first step that will get you much closer to enjoying your workouts and living your best. You never have to be the best – just yours.

I didn’t know where to start 70 lbs ago when i finally forced myself into my local gym and signed up for my first membership. I sulked along the treadmills and bikes for a few weeks because that’s all I knew how to do. There was a voice in my head telling me if I tried anything else, I would look silly or do it wrong, so I’m here to tell you not to let that or anyone get in your head. Your fitness journey is yours, and it’s never going to look the same as someone else’s.

1. Gym Membership

An open gym near home is a great place to achieve all your weight loss and health goals. Things to consider in choosing the right gym membership for you: their hours and when you will work out most, the distance and your commute, and the overall gym setup. I’ve tried many to find my “happy place” in a gym, and for me, it was important to find one open late on weekends, open early on week days, and plenty of room and machines for me to try new things and not feel cramped. In a gym, you have so many options every workout could be different, or you can stick with a favorite of your own: treadmill and bikes and cardio, or weights, stretching, and yoga balls. There’s something for everybody here, and it is also a great place to start a fitness journey with the chance to try so many different things.

Going to the gym can be scary the first time, but you shouldn’t be afraid or embarrassed to be a newbie, and here’s why.

2. Class Community

With a class, there is a community that comes with it, which is something that really draws some in. Working out in groups isn’t for every body, but it has a lot of perks and benefits you might not even be thinking about, especially if you are already thinking of skipping ahead to #3! When you work out in a group, like a yoga class or CrossFit, you have a coach, guidance, and support all around you. Every one is there for the same reason as you, and instead of looking at them like a crowd, see them as your teammates keeping you going when you just want to quit.

It’s like working out with a buddy; you will always keep going when you have someone else to push through with you, or perhaps just motivate you to keep up!

3. At Home or Virtual

The 2020 pandemic certainly showed the world that almost all things can be done virtually, but fitness videos are nothing new. Getting in shape from the comfort of your home has been around since the beginning, assuming even cave men probably tumbled around some big rocks to get stronger. Luckily since then TV was born, the internet came around, and working out at home became more than just owning your own gym equipment. Home exercise can be done with a space saving treadmill in the living room or now we have endless videos with coaches of all different styles to keep us active and on track.

There are countless apps available now, or the old-fashioned YouTube where you can find a coach for nearly any kind of workout at home. If you like a funny coach, you can find one. If you want someone to yell at you through a TV to not give up, you can find one. If you need equipment-free workouts or exercises you can do with a bad shoulder, you can believe you are not alone, even while working out in the living room!

4. On the Ground

On the ground, turf, on the go, out and about! There’s no shame in enjoying nature and getting your sweat on with some sunny vitamin D raining down on you too. This is for runners and walkers, but it doesn’t have to stop there. I incorporate strength training into my daily walks with my dog, using my body weight alone to challenge my body in. Squat, lunges, or even tricep dips or push-ups on a bench along our way. Others may also enjoy outdoor yoga, Pilates, or other outdoor activities, like even horse shoes and volley-ball too!

There are obviously countless ways to get active and sweat, so if you’re new to working out, start trying new things. I had never step foot in a real gym before 2017, but I was on a mission to lose 70 lbs, so that determination drove me all over the “fitness map”. The gym, workout classes, 1:1 coaching, CrossFit, Barre, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, virtual videos, and even home equipment have all played huge roles in my weight loss journey and finding the activity I truly am passionate about to keep me active and healthy every day.

3 Rules for Healthier, Supportive Weight Loss Talks

by: Danielle Ternyila

The way we talk about our weight has changed so much in my family over the years, and it has definitely been a change for the better. Weight seemed like such a private matter, and it could be considered rude to discuss or hurtful. That’s the way we all are used to thinking, but I think that’s only holding us back.

My mom and I, for example, have regular conversations about our health, and I don’t mean just updates on doctors appointments out of curiosity. We talk about recipes, we talk new healthy cooking hacks and swap ideas, brainstorm new workout routines when I get in a rut, celebrate our successes weekly or even daily… Health is not an “bad” topic in our family, even when we fall off the wagon and haven’t been making the healthiest choices; those times are most important to communicate so we can get help and motivation to keep going.

That said, there are a few important ways the conversations have changed that make these most beneficial to us. Use these 3 tips to have more positive discussions around weight and our health, whether in our families, friendship circles, or an online support group of like-minded friends. Here’s a few rules to keep it positive:

Judgement Is Not Invited

The discussions we have aren’t judgmental; they are supportive and encouraging. We do our best to compliment each other and celebrate wins, as well as help overcome the battles and struggles along the way too. It feels a lot more possible and real in your mind when you have a team of support behind you, starting with your family or those closest to you. When there is no judgement or feel of embarrassment, the conversations are better all around and more productive.

This is most important on the bad days especially. We need to be supportive of each other, and so whether we are having a bad day or our friend is having a bad week, those are the most important times to hold all judgement. Things happen, life can change, and it’s okay to not be perfect all the time. Just support one another all the same.

Honesty Supports Succcess

If the whole idea of positive health talk in your family is new, everyone has to start somewhere. It can be hard and feel personal to talk about your weight, and it can feel really hard to admit your inner thoughts, even to the most cherished loved one. However, you need to know you are in a supportive environment and can say anything without judgement. Be honest and don’t tell lies about your journey.

The only person you are doing a disservice to when you lie about your health is you. Think about that! Whether your doctor, your mom, or your significant other knows you’re still eating junk food, skipping the gym, or lying about your weight, you’re only hurting yourself at the end of the day. Use honesty and their support to help motivate you in your weight loss endeavors.

Share And Learn As You Go

Not only has this completely shaped the way our family talks about health, but I think the biggest impact has been sharing everything we’ve learned as we go. My sister will call me with a new healthy cooking hack, my mom will email me a new recipe, my dad will unwillingly sign me up for a 5k at random. Not only do we support each other, but we can provide more support for one another when we are involved. Even if I can’t go to the gym with my mom due to conflicting schedules and I can’t have dinner with my sister every day, we still share our successes and lessons so we can all benefit from it.

No matter what, taking any steps, big or small, toward achieving your weight loss goals is going to push you further along. Having support from home or around you changes your own mindset and helps you believe in yourself.

Not to mention, there are so many benefits to having a workout buddy too! It doesn’t have to be about sharing your own journey with someone on the same path. If there is anyone you can talk to about your weight and health goals, it should be your gym buddy, and if you don’t have one yet, there’s too many reasons why you should.

Interpreting Corporate Dress Codes: Business Casual

by: Danielle Ternyila, Zyia Active Independent Rep

While “Casual Fridays” may hold a special place in our hearts, the need for business casual is not completely unwarranted in the business world. Various dress codes can be placed and enforced in the workplace, and as the employee, it is our concern to abide by these policies and present ourselves with the appropriate level of professionalism.

Business Casual is a very common dress code I have found myself building wardrobes around since high school when I started visiting my mom’s office after school for my first “part-time” gig. While all companies decide on their own dress codes to describe in the sacred employee handbook, there are keywords that can easily indicate the expectations of the company, so you can understand exactly what is appropriate and what will not be for your new job (or just the ‘new you’ if you’re just on your next shopping bender for your ole’ 9-5!)

Dress Conservative

#813 Lilac Parallel Tank

Unless your role and company requires you to stand out (perhaps a fashion designer or a Queen), most dress codes will strive for conservative attire, meaning more formal and modest clothing choices. This refers not to just how revealing a piece is but also adherence to tradition and the tone that has already been set; if most people in the office wear blazers and jackets, you should also wear something similar.

Most people also gravitate toward neutral colors, tans, whites, or blacks and navy’s, that tend to blend in among the crowd and are easy to style, but this doesn’t mean you have to completely shy away from your favorite pink blouse or a stand-out dress that still aligns with your business casual company policies. When I want to dress my most modest, I go to the Parallel Tank first, for example, as it provides great coverage, has a full-length hem, and gentle support that flatters but does cling to your figure.

Customer-Serving Employees/Events Should Present Clear and Presentable in Appearance

#688 Black Everywhere Pants

It’s important to represent the company as your best self, so when you know you will be seeing customers or clients, it is essential that you dress most professional in these instances. Your best business casual wardrobe should include suits/skirts, dress pants, dresses, jackets/blazers, cardigans, and your nicest blouses.

In other words, look tidy and put together, not like you just ran from your third-shift position as a hockey referee and through the sprinklers before you clock in to the office. To make my own life easier, I always reach for my Everywhere Pants in these instances (above) because they are anti-wrinkle and water resistant, so they always look great, even if I had to run through the parking lot to make it to a meeting and spilled some tea a while back in the car.

Smart Casual Is Preferred

#5094 Distressed Blue Ankle Cinch Hi-Rise 7/8 24″

If your office boosts a smart casual dress code as opposed to the business casual you’ve grown accustomed to, appreciate the balance between a polished business professional look in the comfort of more casual pieces. Smart casual refers to something just a little bit more casual than the other offices before, quite progressive for a post-pandemic world! You can incorporate some of your more casual and comfortable articles of clothing into your office outfits while still dressing your best.

I’d expect in a smart casual office setting, you could get away with something like the Distressed Blue Ankle Cinch Hi-Rise in my activewear boutique (above) and a nice bootie, or you could even a pair of comfortable slip-on’s and a long cardigan.

No Yoga/Sweat Pants

#1096 Black Metallic Light n Tight Hi-Rise 7/8 24″

This is not a policy I take lightly as a part-time activewear rep, and there is a fine line between properly accessorizing athleisure wear for the office and stinking up the cubicles in your old alma mater sweats. When we see yoga pants listed on the no-no list, that indicates that it is important to be at your most presentable; booty-enhancing or bright tight leggings are a few of the things HR wants to avoid, but matte leggings paired with a lengthy sweater dress or Metallic Light N Tights (above) add a touch of personality to a draping blouse and cardigan that can look just as business casual as your dress slacks and cardigan.

Be considerate in what you are wearing if you do choose to seek the comfort of athleisure wear in your business casual wardrobe. My rule of thumb for leggings, specifically, is to cover the bum and pair with more conservator blouse or cardigan options to avoid any scrutiny.

Take a Deeper Look Into the Specifics

If you’re ever unsure about your dress code, there is nothing smarter than simply asking your HR representative for some guidance; that’s what they are there for, and if anything else, to dress for success, some suggest you dress like your boss; mimic their fashion choices in your own.

Appropriate Tops According to Policy

  • Suits and/or coats and ties is a specific example your company may call out in their employee style guidelines, but it is also helps describe their expectations. For women, this can send mixed messages about what may be appropriate, though this can also indicate that blazers or cardigans will play an essential role in your closet. Be sure to consider what others wear around you in the office.
  • Polo, Crewneck, and Collared Tops are safe go-to’s for the office, but you could also consider high-neck blouses, sweaters, or button-up’s. What isn’t appropriate would be see-through or revealing pieces, t-shirts or “torn” looking tops, and anything showing distracting, inappropriate or racy graphics (even if it’s a really cool vintage band tee).

Appropriate Bottoms for Business Professionals

  • Casual Slacks would be considered pants or bottoms that resemble your traditional dress pants; they should not be tight-fitted or elastic like your gym sweats or clubbing outfits. If the dress code indicates for a more casual approach, this could also include a thoughtfully designed pair of denim bottoms, so long as they are not blue, tight, or appear casual in any way.
  • Dress Slacks specifically are a more formal pair of pants and shouldn’t be confused with jeans, yoga pants, or shorts.
  • Skirts and Dresses should be of an appropriate length; mini-skirts, skorts, or any tight little skirt better suited for a vacation to Miami Beach are never the answer, but with careful accessorizing and perhaps a pair of stockings, a long flowy or pencil skirt can be a great alternative to pants in the office.

Footwear for the Office

Flip-flops, crocs, mud boots, your hiking shoes, and smelly gym sneakers are not often acceptable in the office setting, but you could still get away with a stylish boot that goes with a nice jacket and blouse or your sparkling-like-new tennis shoes. Clean athletic shoes or more casual slip-on’s can also work, but be mindful of what others wear in the office too as a guide.

There remains the other shoes you can wear too: the heels, sandals, flats, or in the more casual setting some stylish boat shoes. Depending on the outfit you’re working with, I’m convinced you can make any shoe work, unless you work somewhere that requires closed toe or steel-dipped shoes (then don’t break any rules for your own safety!)

Casual Friday’s

Not every company chooses to have a dress-down day, but if your HR team does allow this, remember to continue dressing to impress in the most “business casual” fashion you can; this is still not the day to wear your track pants and old faded hoodies or funny T-shirts. Take advantage of this day by wearing your favorite jeans if that’s what you desire, but avoid drawing attention to yourself by getting too comfortable. If the CEO or President of your company bumped into you in the lunch room that day, would you feel appropriate in what you wore? Keep that in mind when you get yourself ready for another Fri-yay!

Take a look at some of my favorite office outfits and business casual must-haves from my activewear boutique.

What’s In My Suitcase: 3-Day Business Trip in the Back Bay

by: Danielle Ternyila, Zyia Active Independent Rep

Packing for a business trip used to be such a daunting task, with having to prepare for so many unknown variables, last minute dinners, and varied business-attire expectations. The one thing that will never change from city to city, however, is our desire to pack light and easy! I’ve learned along my way how to minimize luggage, so I’ll share how I packed this past week for a 3-day business trip to the beautiful city of Boston!

Pick Your Color Base

This is the first thing on my mind when packing, and for me it always revolves around the shoes. If you’ll be walking exhibit floors and large conference halls like me, focus on the footwear that will be carrying you everywhere. Once you know what shoes you’re bringing, you can start working on your color palette for work trip. Everything else you pack should revolve around those colors.

It’s better to pick a more neutral color that can be paired with a lot, rather than something vibrant and outstanding. For my late-March work trip to Boston, I went with a blush/nude tone that I could pair with whites and pinks; I packed my most comfortable strappy platform heels and a basic sneaker for outside the meetings, the gym, and walking around exploring.

Choose Versatility

This is where my White Grid Tank came in handy! This crop tank has a built-in bra to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Everything I pack had to serve more than 1 purpose, so a bra/top in one is a no-brainer. Then I pull in some simple tanks and tops that can be styled for at least 2 different looks.

I packed the White Muscle Cubana Tank that has great ventilation and lots of coverage, so I wore that on Day 1 with joggers, which I swapped out for leggings to get some cardio in later. This top was also a comfy alternative to a PJ top and worked for a quick cardio session! It was comfy to drive up in, too.

I should also mention, I choose bras like the Grid Tank and our other Zyia sports bras because they also double as swim tops on the off chance I have time for a dip in the pool!

Avoid Anything That Wrinkles

The key to a business-professional wardrobe in a suitcase is clothes that don’t wrinkle. I purposefully pack bottoms I know won’t wrinkle, like the lightweight Everywhere Pants from my Zyia Active boutique; I can wear any pair of these (in black, olive, or navy) more than 1 way too by pulling up the legs into a capri style for some versatility, but they pack so neat and small that I’ll usually pack more than 1 pair anyway.

For my corporate travel this week, I went with the Black and Olive colors, and I also threw in my Navy Perfection Joggers, which are another comfortable staple for a flight too. All of these bottoms resist wrinkling, are sweat-wicking, quick-dry for those rainy days or sweaty gym workouts (because after all, they are basically activewear), and all feature 2 functional deep pockets.

These 3 colors all pair well with the nude-blush color palette I have created for this early-Spring trip 😉

Minimize Extra’s

You’ll always have the urge to throw in a few extra pieces in case something comes up, plans change, or the weather disrupts things. Plan out your days and the outfits to accompany them, then see how you can pull together those pieces to create some different looks.