Pink Paw Print

Saturday, March 18, 2017

So long!

It's been so long!!!

I will be honest here... I felt like I was writing this blog for other people, rather than expressing myself for the sake of enjoying a creative outlet (aka the reason why I first started blogging in the first place). It's so easy to get caught up in promotion, in page views, in "likes"....you name it. So I decided, that's it. No more. I'm done with blogging. But then I thought... wait. Blogging doesn't have to be some huge money making thing that everyone makes it out to be. I can just share my thoughts. I don't need to have amazing, professionally photoshopped pictures. I don't even need anyone to read this other than myself (!!!) even though of course it still absolutely means the world to me that you're reading this right now. Like, omg I'm truly so honored that you care, haha! *hugs all arounddd* If you ever look to external validation for the things that you do, ultimately, your level of passion for the act will decline steadily, making you wonder why you even continue. So I'm looking inward, towards my inner validation now, and this is good enough for me! <3

ALSOOO vlogging/YouTube has become huge and I'm planning on making vlogs to put on here, but I'm still apprehensive about using YouTube. I mean, why open yourself up to negative commentary like that? I'd LOVE to have a makeup/beauty channel. But I don't want to deal with negative comments about my looks, or my voice, or any of the other things that I've seen people comment negatively on for others. I've wanted to do makeup product reviews for so long, but I'm afraid of the backlash for it! Eeeek! I know that you can totally just ignore comments and such, so maybe I'll just go for it. Like, at the same time, I feel like makeup videos are more fun to make than just posting about it because you can see it in action, so to say! We'll see! As always, add me on Snapchat: buhhrook to see little mini vlog-style videos + pics! :D

In terms of personal growth, WOWWW! I've grown SO much. I've changed SO much. I've learned SO much. Stay tuned. More coming your way soon.

xoxo,
Brooke

Friday, January 13, 2017

Being 23 - (Honest) Birthday Recap, Being More Introverted, Going Vegan AGAIN!?!, Switching Up Grad School Plans, + More!


So today is the 13th, and I've spent the past several days being 23! January 7th is ~*my special day*~ and it was really such an incredible weekend. Matt and I went to Jacksonville, Florida and had an incredible time adventuring around together (ahem, we may or may not have eaten at P.F. Chang's, Maggiano's, + The Cheesecake Factory all in the same day... #guiltybutnotsorry). I learned a lot that weekend, about what it means to feel love for someone unconditionally and to feel that in return, about myself in general, etc. etc. etc. I'm still thinking about everything I realized, actually.

So, I did NOT want to share this at first, but I thought about it more, and figured that I really ought to. My birthday didn't start out well, despite how great the rest of the time was -- which was SO great, that my phone died halfway through and I didn't even bother to charge it again until we returned home!! It started out with struggling with feelings of depression and crying and absolutely loathing the way I look and not feeling attractive "enough," (in media and society today, you have to be thin but not too thin and you have to have a huge butt and nobody cares about having boobs anymore really, and that's like total whiplash from when I was growing up the past several years when the pressure was to be as skinny as possible but have some boobs, and the pressure is just EVERYWHERE with things like Instagram and it's just so unhealthy) and I couldn't get out of my bed until the afternoon because of how awful I felt emotionally. Matt stayed by my side the entire time, holding my hand and drying my tears. That kind of dedication you find from a partner is pretty rare, and if someone sticks around during your struggle, they're truly special. Just like any real couple, we have had our ups and downs the past few months, but we always try our best and are always willing to put our pride aside (aka admitting when we are wrong, apologizing, etc.) which is something that I tend to see many other couples struggle with, and to be great partners to each other.

In general, with Matt, I'm really thankful for not only the romantic times, like ~*eating stuff whilst cuddling* LOL, but also the friendship that he shares with me. If you are single, I recommend looking for a romantic partner who will also be your best friend and confidant. He helped turn the weekend from one where I was feeling depressed to one where I became excited about life all over again and began to look forward to the multitude of adventures just waiting out there to be had!

omg veggies!!! so00o vegan XD ahahh!


Being 23, on the whole, feels different, which is unique because usually birthdays never really have any immediate effect on me. Buuuut being 23, I feel a lot more motivated to accomplish anything I want to make a goal. I've learned that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to, you just have to swap one priority for another. For example, I have decided to go vegan AGAIN!! Except I will never stop taking Fish Oil supplements, because the ways in which they have helped my health is honestly life-changing...so I'll clarify to say that in my daily diet other than those supplements, #vegan yayyyy!! So the swap that I am making here in my priorities is choosing this commitment to animals, over what might just taste good in the moment. I have done my research on how to get that protein in if you can't have soy, and also fun fact, cauliflower can be a really great substitute for meat or tofu, which is a new discovery on my end! Also, for the longest time I'd been plagued by anxiety and didn't want to travel too far or go on huge trips, but now I'm ready to see more of the world around me, as a lot of that anxiety has vanished. I've made a travel bucket list, updated my 101 in 1001 Days list on TPL (check it out!! :D), written in a separate "My Bucket List book" where you write in 100 things and then they give you a page to write about how it went checking something off the list!!, and started a couple's bucket list with Matt. There are so many things I want to try and experience and do, and I'm looking forward to completing them all!!

On another note, grad school classes started up again, and I decided to drop the Fashion Writing class (which had all undergrad students in it and everyone else had taken history of fashion so they were all like "yes yes in Karl Lagerfeld's 2011 runway show in this or that country he showed this dress in his new collection which looked like this and the models he used had this style of makeup in that show that year and -" and had a wide range of knowledge because the only majors in the class were fashion design or fashion marketing and I was just sitting there like lol, I'm older than all of you + I like to write things!!!!!ya!!!!!!) and instead switch into the Techniques of Fiction class with the professor I also had last quarter for the Nonfiction I class. I 100% made the correct decision to switch.

However, I also learned that last quarter, my classes were quite tiny and emotionally intimate, whereas this quarter the classes are much larger. I think it was definitely easy for all of us to take last quarter for granted, and looking back, I wish I had known that class sizes would increase as time went on. I also have met more of the student body, and I understand now why people tend to stereotype my school as being full of "stuck-up, cutthroat, narcissistic snobs"....LOL. Not that I entirely agree that it applies to everyone, because it really doesn't, BUT being honest here, I have definitely met quite a few people who indeed fit that stereotype. I still love the school though, and the people I know best from the school (aka those from last quarter) are awesome. I'm glad I'm only taking one class while studying for the ACE certified personal trainer exam, too, because taking a second class would be very stressful - and, this is something that I'll write about in another post, but I've been working on taking better care of myself and attempting to keep stress levels down!

Something else that I've been working on is to be more introverted, quieter. I listen more and speak less. I try to think about how I feel something in the moment, rather than have to spend a lot of time later on processing how I felt. I write more, both in my journal and in a book of creative writing prompts that Matt and I do together. I "get cozy" just being inside myself and it's very relaxing -- the pressure has been taken off to be the dominant one in every given social interaction, and of course while I'm not like mute or anything omg!!!!!, I let others have the floor more often. I know what I think, and when I want to make my voice heard, I do. But silence doesn't have to be awkward and a smile sometimes says just as much as a "hello!" to a new friend, for example!! :D

~*SiDe NoTe*~ lawlz: Also, I definitely have to do another post in my Currently Trending series soon because there are just so many things I want to share with y'allz! Get pumped for that heading your way soon!


Hope you're all doing well in the new year!
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, January 2, 2017

How To Live a Courageous Life + Beat Self-Doubt



Lately, I realized that I haven't been living a full life. Now this might be a shock to many of you because of my bubbly, outgoing nature when interacting with others (because I love people lolol), BUT deep, deep down, there is a part of me that is not that bubbly person, although I never "release" that part to the world. By that I mean, I have been choosing to live my life out of fear, anger, heartbreak, sadness, regret, insecurity, self-doubt, comparison... I was never brave enough to admit these truths to myself, but I am at the point where my 23rd birthday is coming up soon, on January 7th and I have been reflecting upon what is almost the first entire quarter of my life (that is, if I live until 100, which most people do not!!) I have spent a great deal of my life feeling absolutely nervous or basically depressed, and this is going to end. Not because of magic. Not because of any sort of thing like luck. This is going to end, merely because I say so. I choose, now, to live a life of bravery, of courage. Of saying no to things I truly want to say no to. Of saying yes to things I truly want to say yes to. I am ready to follow through with commitments and intentions. I am ready to try to determine my thoughts and feelings about a given situation or event before I jump into it wholeheartedly, only to find myself disappointed later or in a bad scenario in which I need to get myself out of for my mental/physical/etc. well-being's sake. I am ready to stop letting the fear of being not liked hold me back from trying to make new friends, or from trying experiences that I previously did not have the self-confidence to go after. Many people, on the surface, would never guess that self-esteem and self-confidence is something that I struggle with, but being bullied in school growing up and being treated poorly in previous romantic relationships, among other not-so-great situations -- well, that sort of thing can stay with you for a long, long time if you choose to let it. What I hadn't realized is that deciding how to live your life is a choice you can make, personally. You are not doomed to some awful fate of a future merely because your past was some awful fate. How do you move on from a traumatizing, hideous past? You say okay. You watch other people, who did not have hideous pasts, or even people who did, and you watch how they carry themselves, how they carry on despite everything and everyone. You emulate their movements, the way they laugh without skepticism, the way they embrace opportunities with a healthy sense of removal. If something doesn't work out, it has no reflection upon them as a failure versus a success. You learn from those who write about their experiences in books, magazines, newspapers, blogs or who show you them in photographs, discuss them in vlogs or other video formats. You take a deep breath and realize that honestly, you might think you will never achieve the life you want to live because you feel, deep down, that you are not that girl, you are not that person, the one whom you so desperately want to become. But...you are your past? You are defined by many things that were either mistakes or out of your control? Certainly not. Throw that idea to the wind. Free yourself. Liberate yourself. Go make a list of 21 things you want to do in the next two weeks, and go out and do them. Prove everyone wrong. But most importantly, prove yourself wrong.


Go show me what you've got. <3
xoxo, Brooke

Friday, December 30, 2016

Your 2017 Bucket List Challenge!

IT'S HERE!!!!! No, not just the New Year, but your 2017 Bucket List Challenege! Are you as excited as I am for this year, now that it's finally begun!? Well then, let's get started -- here are 17 things I challenge you to complete throughout 2017. If you ever need motivation, just reach out and I'll be sure to give you a pep talk! We got this!!



THE CHALLENGE:

1. Get up to Level 5 in a brand new language on Duolingo

2. Make 3 new acquaintances or friends (now depending on the kind of person you are, you may easily do this in one week, or this may take you the entire year...either is totally okay!)

3. Read 12 books, one for each month of the year (if you read more than one book a month, well... *gives you the impressed head-nod of approval*)

4. Delete Instagram and Twitter apps off of your phone for one week. Whether you delete both at the same time for the same week, or deleting only one and then deleting the other over the span of two separate weeks is totally your call!

5. Go vegetarian for three weeks.

6. Go vegan for one week.

7. Start a daily journaling practice (morning or nighttime rituals work as a good time to sneak it in!)

8. Wake up at 6:30 a.m. (!!) every morning for one month. Yes, even on Sunday mornings...in fact, especially on Sunday mornings.

9. Pick one local organization you genuinely care about and volunteer (read: don't get paid for helping out) there for 12 consecutive months.

10. Make one major, drastic change to your appearance: grow your hair long or chop most of it off, lose weight or gain muscle, spice up your usual go-to picks in your wardrobe, etc.

11. Tell somebody you love how you truly feel about them, whether they "should already know" how you feel or not. +5 bonus points to you if you express these feelings in a handwritten letter.

12. Try food from a cuisine you've never had before: Ethiopian, Indian, Vietnamese...

13. Exercise 5 days a week, whether that's just taking a leisurely hour-long walk around the park (if you live in a warmer climate during these first few winter months, that is!!) or going hard at the gym, and make this a number one priority.

14. Complete one art project of your choice -- even if you think you totally suck at art, you may be pleasantly surprised.

15. Watch one classic film that "everyone" has seen but you.

16. On that note, read one classic book (it will count as part of Challenge #3, above!) that "everyone" has read but you. (I've still never read Catch 22, so that's what I'll be reading!)

17. Do that thing you've always been too scared to do, but you've always wanted to do. You know which thing I'm talking about; it's the thing that immediately came to mind when you read this!




Good luck, friends, & have a Happy New Year 2017!! Which of these are you most excited to try?
xoxo, Brooke

16 Truths That I Learned in 2016

Man, oh, man. WHAT A YEAR. I'm glad 2017 is fast-approaching to say the least, LOLOLOL. The first half was absolutely heinous, but the second half was a total change of pace. Seeing the positive aspect in every situation (and then clinging to it for dear life!!!) helped me through the bad parts, and the good parts were humbling and filled with gratitude rather than making me egotistical. Here are 16 truths that I learned in 2016!

*insert quote about learning to make lemonade out of lemons here* or should I say... pink lyme-ade, maybe!? ;)


1. Fear of being disliked or not being approved of by others is probably holding you back much more than you think.

2. Also, don't fear the journey that leads you to the destination you want to reach.

3. Your emotions cause physical sensations, too. (i.e. whenever I'm upset, my throat hurts because of the whole #FightOrFlight situation, so the good ol' the glottis opens so that more oxygen can pass through if ya gotta flight LOL, etc. etc.) I always thought I was being silly if I had a physical pain and thought it might be linked to an emotional pain but guess whaaaaaaat! It's true. As in scientifically-proven true. Who knew, lol!? Not me.... :x.

4. Almost everyone has cellulite on their body. Like lol, don't worry. It doesn't mean you're not "fit!"

5. Safety is number one when living in a city, so you're better off living on the more cautious side.

6. LISTENING TO YOUR INTUITION IS NEVER STUPID. YOU ARE NEVER "BEING SILLY" FOR FEELING SOMETHING BUT NOT BEING ABLE TO EXPLAIN WHY OR PROVE IT. IT IS 99.9999% OF THE TIME GOING TO HELP YOU OUT. Like, by this I mean that people and places and things actually do give off vibes. And your first instincts about them rarely lie.

7. Social media might [[deep down]] really be hurting your self-esteem if you are particularly vulnerable to it, [[even if you don't want to admit it at first.]] Instagram selfies of glammed-up people can make you feel ugly AF, and rude/unecessary belittling political comments about your party can destroy friendships. Go ahead and delete the apps off your phone, and only use them if/when you need to, for like business purposes, etc. For me, I only have Messenger for Facebook (not Facebook, though; I deleted that off my phone, too) SNAPCHAT ( @buhhrook is my username; go follow me + I'll of course accept and follow you back -- super cool to learn more about my bloggy readers! :D ), and GoodReads.

8. Even the most perfect romantic relationship will have its ups and downs, and this is healthy and normal. For example, ups: supporting each other through what I like to call "personal growth growing pains" (see point #10 below), having video-game + board-game nights, laughing about a bunch of coupons in the newspaper and then getting them framed like artwork (don't even ask...) For example, downs: when you're tired AF and tryna sleep but bae starts snoring loudly LOL X( !!!!, when it's that oh-so-unpleasant lady-time of the month so basically everything makes you cry and bae has to reassure you x10284309583985839 times that everything is/will be okay, when competition strikes whilst playing the QuizUp app and it's a struggle because neither of you wants to lose but you also don't want bae to lose, either because <3~ It's all good. It's all fine. It's all normal. Ups and downs. They happen. The love will still be there.

9. Accepting yourself doesn't mean there aren't things about yourself you want to change; rather, it means that you understand that you, and everyone else living on this earth, have strengths and weaknesses, and that's totally okay!

10. Having a "balanced" life is relative to how each individual defines "balance" -- some people genuinely enjoy to be busy AF, and some people genuinely enjoy to never have any set plans. Or balance can be defined in terms of alone time versus people-time. For me, personally, back in August when I first got to Savannah I truly felt like I was "finding" myself, but then I got absorbed with schoolwork and focused on that (didn't have time to read for fun or blog, etc.). Then, when I found the amazing Matt (lol!! <3), I found that I was losing myself in the relationship because I was either in school-Brooke mode or girlfriend-Brooke mode...but where was Brooke-Brooke mode!? And what really even is Brooke-Brooke mode!? So I took a step back. I realized if your partner truly respects you, they will give you alone time that you need. Now obviously you don't need to ask for permission of course, but out of communication and love and kindness and respect, you ought to tell your partner that you're feeling a bit lost when it comes to your sense of self, and they need to say that it's okay for you to have more time away from the relationship to figure yourself out. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to end a relationship just because you want more time to go figure out who you are. The right partner will understand why it's important to you to spend time doing things by yourself and give you that space. No dramatic ending needs to happen. But they do need to give you that space and be supportive and respectful about it, and not make you feel guilty about it (though this can happen unintentionally at times, so don't be too hard on them if it does.) They are allowed to be bummed or upset, too, of course, at this need of yours for more alone time, and that shows that they love you and value spending time with you, but also having that element of being supportive and understanding from them is key.

11. Before, super skinnier-than-skinny was "beautiful." Now, that's portrayed as not being a "true woman," because now apparently having a "fat ass" is "beautiful." News flash: who cares? The right partner for you will find you attractive. Whether you're skinny, fat, or neither - you will find someone who likes your body the way it is and won't want you to change it (unless it is for health reasons, of course!!!!!!) When I was younger, I was always ashamed because I thought I was really fat. Now, I'm always ashamed because I feel like my curves aren't big enough. See the absurdity of the societal expectations of beauty? They are always changing! Having "Sharpie eyebrows" would have been committing "social suicide" back when I was in middle school.....

12. It's okay to go on and on and on talking forever on your Snapchat story. Seriously. I used to feel insecure about how lengthy mine are, but then I realized that I always love when other people do long stories because it makes it feel like you're watching a more personalized YouTube video, kind of! So I know that if I enjoy it, then maybe a few other people will too. In the end, gotta please yourself, though. So if there's something you want to do but you don't know if other people will approve, do it anyway because your own approval matters most!

13. Pain ends. But it can return. But it will go away again, too. No matter how much something hurts -- emotionally, physically, etc. -- it will pass. Even if it comes back for a short while, for a long while, what have you... it. will. pass. We've all been there. We've all survived, somehow, someway. You will find a coping mechanism that works for you during the hard times. You will make it through, and you will be able to see beauty much more easily when you make it through.

14. It is possible to go from loathing cats to absolutely loving them more than most humans. *meows in agreement*

15. Forget that saying that people don't change. They often do. Many do not. But many do. And then it's up to both you and them to decide whether or not you think they've changed for the better or worse, and then act accordingly!

16. It's okay to be scared to make 2017 a great year, but you can do it, anyway. That's what courage is all about.

BONUS!!!! 17. Moving to a brand new place (for me, it was the South) can be the greatest, healthiest decision you will ever make. GO FOR IT!!! Have you been waiting for a sign to make a move? Now you've gotten it. This is your sign!!!!!! Do it.




What lessons did you learn in 2016?
xoxo, Brooke

Saturday, December 17, 2016

On My Music Playlist

Here's what I've been listening to lately...your Spotify account will thank you ;) !!



1  "Bad Intentions" by Niykee Heaton, Migos, OG Parker

"Sexual" by NEIKED

3 "I Feel It Coming" by The Weeknd, Daft Punk

"11 Blocks" by Wrabel

"Call On Me - Ryan Riback Remix" by Starley, Ryan Riback

 "Come First" by Terror Jr

"Phone" by Lizzo

 "Queen Elizabeth" by Cheat Codes

 "The Mack" by Nevada, Mark Morrison

10  "Solo Dance" by Martin Jensen

11  "Magic" by Thomas Gold, Jillian Edwards

12 "Lost" by Kontinuum, Savoi

13  "Santa Baby" by Michael Buble (and basically just all of Michael Buble's Christmas album, tbh!)

14 "Stay With Me" by Angus & Julia Stone

15 "Water Under the Bridge" by Adele



What songs have you been listening to lately? I always love discovering new music!!
xoxo, Brooke

Friday, December 16, 2016

Trip to South Florida, NUTELLA DONUTS, Latest Beauty Picks, & Books To-Read!

Heyheyyyyy!

So there's a lot I wanted to fill you guys in on (kind of like my "Currently Trending" series, except more emphasis on life updates!) and this post is basically going to be a mash-up of the various things I wanted to tell y'allz about!<3

ONE // Trip to South Florida
Originally, Matt and I were going to just drive the 2.5 hours to visit the Jacksonville Zoo (in the northern region of Florida) BUTTTTT then my grandma and I were discussing the trip and she asked if we'd be willing to come visit her, since we'd already be in Florida! Now, I hadn't seen my grandma in like, 4 whole years, so I wasn't about to say no! We tacked on an. extra. 4. whole. hours. So the entire trip wound up taking about 7 hours, mainly because of foodie breaks or having to pee (LOLZ, GUILTY. *raises hand*) In case you've never been, you should know that Boca Raton is absolutely beautiful. There are so many different types of palm trees, and the other plant life (and animals, like the BIRDS, omg!!) are absolutely stunnnnn-niiiiing. The food there is fantastic, too (in case you haven't seen the picture of the chocolate mousse cheesecake at Junior's that Matt and I shared, click here. Y'allz are welcome...) - there aren't exactly many places in Savannah to get some matzo ball soup or a bagel with nova lox, so being surrounded by the food of my people/people who share a similar religious + "ethnic" culture to me was an exciting change of pace. In all, it was a really amazing time, both catching up with my family members and exploring the beautiful, tropical city, and I was thinking how great it would be to live down there in a few years... we'll see! ;) PS - THE SHOPPING IS TO DIE FOR. THAT IS ALL.

You don't know what love is until you've tried the Mocha Hazelnut Frappucino! #MyFave

I was soo000ooooOOoo pumped, yayyy!

The Korean Cauliflower at The Cheesecake Factory is literally givin' me life...

Two little muffins in their natural habitat XD lololol!

When Bae voluntarily orders the food of your people>>>>

Sometimes I think I'd like to live my life as a Floridian snail, tbh~

Gorgeous shopping center (bring your wallets, though! $$$$$$$$)

Potato latkes done right, I must say!! #onehunnit

More of Mizner Park!

Matt embracing my "preppy lifestyle" roots :p !! Peep dat Vineyard Vines thoooo!

Yaaaa!!!!!!!!


TWO // NUTELLA DONUTS AT KRISPY KREME.
Not going to lie, their " #EasiestSellEver " hashtag about the new Nutella donut is pretty gross. Honestly, Matt didn't even want to give them our money to try it, because of how condescending it is to their consumer. It's pretty off-putting. But, of course, I still wanted to try both the Nutella "Nutty Ring" and the Nutella with hazelnut creme-filled options, so off we went to the local Krispy Kreme this morning. They were okay! I think I prefer the Nutty Ring (the option without the creme filling), because there was a serious lack of that creme filling in the hazelnut-filled one that I tried so I was quite grumpy mildly bitter about that; however, the Nutty Ring donut, itself, was a tad stale somehow! Overall, I still think that I like the chocolate iced ones best though (which, trust me, I'm as shocked by this news as you are LOLOL.) because the amount of Nutella that's on top of each donut could be increased, for sure. But still! I'm really glad I tried it -- are these donuts really worth the hype!? Not sure...I'd give them like a 7.5 out of 10 (I hate giving numbered rankings, though!) Let me know if you like them or not! I'd love to hear your input~

THREE // Latest Beauty Picks
YOU GUYS I have turned into the biggest beauty buff/makeup lover everrrrrr. Honestly. Sephora and Ulta are my happy places, legit. I was actually even sent free makeup from Maybelline to review for you guys -- how cool is that!? That post will be up on the blog super soon, so keep an eye out! Anyway, I'd been meaning to do a huge TPL Fall Beauty Awards post but alas~ the fall came and went so quickly that I didn't have a chance to finish editing/take pics/etc. SO! I'll be doing a 2016 Fall Beauty Awards post soon featuring my favorite makeup picks that I discovered this past year (note: a lot of the products have definitely been around for over a year, like for sure. However, I'm just rounding up what I personally have loved the past year; hope that makes more sense!) Keep an eye out for this as well! Although right now, I'm super hyped about the Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette. I've heard mixed reviews about it, though! Some people have said that color payoff is not good at all, and that the product is really chalky. But other people swear that it's a really "useable" palette and that the pigmentation is amazing... talk about conflicting reviews, amiright!? So I might just have to splurge and see for myself... Have you tried it? What do you think about it if you have!? Worth the money or nah?

FOUR // Books To-Read! (or To-Read list of books, but "Books To-Read" rolls off the tongue better, I feel, ahaha! :D )
I'm pretty convinced that bookstores will never close because I buy enough books to keep the industry of book selling alive, tbh. I am the princess of book-buying. If Barnes & Noble emails me a 30% off coupon, I'm gonna go buy a book with it, ya feel me? So right now I'm reading this book called Positive Energy by Judith Orloff, M.D. and it's highly thought-provoking. Positivity is key to living a healthy life (negativity can actually lead to physical aches and pains, like nervous tummy aches or tension headaches, so it makes a lot of sense, I'd say!) and I love the spiritual element that pervades the ideas in the text, about the chakras (bodily energy centers like the head, the heart, etc.) Fascinating stuff, even if you don't really believe in that sort of thing -- seriously, I'd give this book a chance, regardless. After I finish this book, I'm really looking forward to a few of the new ones I bought: Ringworld by Larry Niven (Matt's favorite, but I've never read it!), You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero, and Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Calahan.

PS - Totally unrelated, but! If I do an "apartment tour" for you guys, would you rather it be a YouTube video with narration and commentary, or a blog post featuring images and text!? Just let me know -- Matt recently invested in a new camera for us, and he's amazeballs at using it so I'd be down to film an actual video with it! Definitely trying to branch out into the world of YouTube.
xoxo, Brooke