Pink Paw Print

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Losing Your Voice

As I explained in my most recent post, my voice is just not feelin' it. Four cups of tea and countless cough drops later (shout out to my friend Dana for giving me a whole bunch of cough drops in my time of need <333333), and this sums me up at the moment: -_________- !!!!!!!!!!! Hahaha, frighteningly accurate!

Now that my physical voice is lost, I sort of feel like my metaphorical voice is lost right now, too. Does that ever happen to you too? All I want to do is get my homework done so I can start getting more sleep for a change, (although that's hard because thoughts of the breakup haunt me at night). This is the last week of midterms before Spring Break (which I will be getting real wild for…I'm talkin' writing a 25 page term paper for my Jane Austen seminar ;) ! Rowdy, huh!?) so I need to be well-rested for this week for both an interview that I have for a summer internship and also for a paper that's due on Thursday!

I spent the afternoon with my mama bear doing some major damage at Ulta and Victoria's Secret - sometimes, there's just nothing better or more satisfying than making yourself feel uber-feminine, sexy, and gorgeous! Although I personally believe it's what's on the inside that is most important, giving your exterior a little boost for your ego can never hurt! 

You. Guys. I bought the most amazing mascara by Urban Decay called "Perversion" that's ideal for daily wear now that I've ran out of my previous go-to, the L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga mascara. (Click here to read my old post on other great mascaras!)

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This mascara is amazing!!!! Very few clumps means an extremely natural look while making your lashes incredibly lush. So so perfect for that innocent and "deer-in-headlights" look! 

And as for the undergarments purchased from Victoria's Secret… well - wouldn't you like to know!? ;) Hahaha!

Do you know any good ways to ~QUICKLY~ heal a sore throat!? Soo desperate over here!
xoxo, Brooke

Friday, February 27, 2015

Doing "You"

Something I never do enough is take time to just relax. Honestly, the way I was brought up, I was already taught that hard work is always a good idea and then my high school career taught me that you need to keep on keeping up or else the competition will surpass you. Sad, right!? Without any time to recharge, the competition will surpass you, anyway because you'll be too burnt out to continue on!

So, this being said, I decided today was the day to take some time for me. I ate some Godiva chocolates. I got a ton of homework done this afternoon. I danced around my room to "Ugly Heart" by G.R.L... I would have sung along too, but between crying over the breakup with he-who-no-longer-deserves-to-be-named and my sinus infection, I've totally lost my voice! I sound like a cross between an adolescent male going through puberty and a seal giving birth… ugh, so much accuracy in that description hahha!! 

Then, earlier tonight, I spent time going to some fun events like a Carnival celebration and a spoken-word/poetry recitation performance with friends whom I wasn't able to see when I had been all caught up in that relationship. I might go to an improv comedy performance later tonight with a friend of mine, as well!

Carnival-inspired mask that I made!!
It's such a great feeling to realize that life won't end just because that relationship did. It turns out that there really can be life after love; Cher was onto something with that song of hers!

What're your favorite ways to "do you"?
xoxo, Brooke

Thursday, February 26, 2015

10 Little Things I Love About Life

Sometimes you just need to remind yourself of all the little things you love about life. Here are 15 of my  probably infinite amount of favorite things:
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1. Snuggling in bed with the lights somewhat dimmed while reading a good book
2. Iced decaf caramel swirl coffee with skim milk from Dunkin' Donuts
3. When you work really hard on putting on your eyeliner and mascara and they both come out perfectly! *cue sassy hand flip*
4. The fact that Taylor Swift's songs are so darn applicable to life
5. Warm, sunny days spent at the beach (under an umbrella so ya won't fry up if you're a Polish-Ukranian princess, like myself ;)! hahaha)
6. Nights when you sleep all the way through without waking up from a nightmare or from having to pee!!!
7. Leggings that hug your curves in allllll the right places *wiggles eyebrows*
8. The comfort of friends and family when they show and tell how much they care about you during times when you really need to hear it
9. The fact that foods like pizza, Nutella, Caesar salad, and guacamole actually exist.
10. MY DOG <3.

What are your favorite little things that you love about life?
xoxo, Brooke

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Healing a Broken Heart

I got dumped. It wasn't just an ordinary breakup; this was somebody who told me he was in it for the long haul and I was equally as committed. I'm not even going to share the details of how terrifying and horrible the phone conversation went, but what I will say is that I was told I was too sensitive. I personally don't like people poking fun at my religion, or using the word "retarded" as slang, or making me feel pressured sexually (even if the pressure is indirect aka by saying that "a relationship without having sex is just friendship"). -_________- . If this makes me too sensitive, then by all means, I'm going to stay being "too sensitive" and stick up for my personal values?!?!?!

When you finally open your heart up entirely after one horrible breakup (okay fine two horrible breakups) and allow yourself to love again and then yet AGAIN your heart gets smashed to pieces with this one…. well, it really sucks. At 5:33AM, I woke up with the worst and most severe panic attack I have ever had in my life. My chest was literally hurting and I felt like I couldn't breathe and my mind kept replaying all of the awful things that were said to me when getting dumped via phone call last night. Eventually I drank some cold water to shock me out of it, but after that, falling back to sleep took me an entire hour. Considering I usually think about how amazing the person is that I'm involved with before I fall asleep, I had nothing to think about other than how we were now never going to be together ever again.

Of course, I woke up at about 7:30AM to write a 6-paged paper for my "Love & Sex in the Middle Ages" class that, for obvious reasons, did not get done last night. Thankfully, I finished it in time for my 2:45PM class. It was a great, much-needed feeling of accomplishment. What most struck me though about waking up is that I had over 15 messages waiting for me asking how I was holding up/coping/doing in general after last night I had posted a Facebook status about being absolutely heartbroken. Last night, I felt so empty and alone, and seeing how people went out of their way to make me feel cared about/to take an interest in my well-being mended a somewhat different hole in my heart that, to be quite honest, maybe I didn't even know existed. So many people that I have a special place for in my heart reached out to me - some I was friends with years ago, others we haven't talked in a few months, and even others I had talked to just the other day) - and this made me realize that just because you don't talk to someone everyday doesn't mean that they don't have so much love in their heart for you. I'm definitely somebody who loves to love other people - friends, family, significant other, what-have-you - so that reciprocity was just what I needed!

Today, I devoured a bunch of the Valentine's Day chocolates he gave me (mainly so I wouldn't have to look at the boxes anymore - too painful!). I put on a cute giraffe/leopard print shirt and did my makeup. I danced around my room to every Taylor Swift song that I could relate to (unfortunately "Blank Space" is kind of the story of my life, even though it's supposed to be a parody… but whatever! Whatever makes a person happy, right!?) I talked to a religious leader who showed me that anger is not the way - acceptance and forgiveness is the way. I talked to an old friend of mine for two whole hours just talking about how horrible I feel. He was always so kind to me, so I'm glad that we're rekindling our friendship that got lost in the hustle and bustle of just life.

Okay, lastly, this might be embarrassing to admit but it's the only thing that 100% always makes me feel better, at least to some degree, in times when I'm really hurting - or also increases my joy during the amazing & happy times in my life! But… I have this habit of writing letters to my future soul mate *covers face with hands*. That way, when we finally find each other, I can share so much of my life with him, that he'll feel like he knew me all along and was even there in the moment with me. Basically today's LONG letter in a nutshell was that "I thought I found you, but apparently he wasn't you!" Just keeping a level of optimism and hope alive that my special somebody is out there waiting for me somewhere always helps me to feel all snuggly and warm inside. Hey - some people have the goal to be uber-famous or something grandiose along those lines, but my main dream in life is to find true love! Too many Disney movies? Maybe. But we all have our hopes, wishes, and dreams and nobody should ever have to apologize for what they want most out of life.

How do you heal your heart when it breaks?
xoxo, Brooke

PS - Shout-out to my friend, Fred who told me today that he reads my blog! :p Just putting this in here to make him laugh if he reads this! To others -- let me know if you read my blog on a consistent basis, and I'll definitely give you a shout-out for your loyalty, if you'd like!!

Monday, February 23, 2015

5 Fashion Winners at the Oscars 2015

I'm baaa-aaaaack! It feels great to post again; my weekend mini-vacation was spent in Long Island visiting some of Matt's family.

Today's post is all about the fun fashion and couture that was worn at the Oscars *cue sassy hand-flip*. Let's face it - some of the dresses totally deserved an award of their own!

Here were my favorite looks for 5 fashion winners at the Oscars 2015:


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1 // Rosamund Pike from "Gone Girl" was totally killin' it in red!

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2 // Lupita Nyong'o custom dress of pearls was ~beyond~ stunning.

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3 // Anna Faris's glittery gown was just the right amount of glam, steering clear of going over-the-top in that bad way!

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4 // Chloe Moretz's floral getup was the perfect combination of sweet and sophisticated.

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5 // Reese Witherspoon rocked the color-blocking look with clean-cut lines and simple fabric architecture.


What was your favorite look at the Oscars 2015?
xoxo, Brooke

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Being Stressed

I'm pretty sure in the past I've written a post (or two!) about being stressed and how to overcome it, but sometimes - like right now- venting is the best way. Can I vent to you guys, then!? Hint - say yes!! ;) hahaha. I really am happy right now, which is a very good thing, of course, but with this happiness comes some consequences...

Just to emphasize, I AM STRESSEDDDDDD. I've been getting 6 hours of sleep on a GOOD night. I keep thinking of that infamous saying you can only have two of the following three at a time: sleep, good grades, a social life…Right now I have the last two of that list - praise the Lorddddd for foundation and concealer so I can cover my dark eye circles. Hey, a lady can only take hearing "Wow, Brooke, you look so tired" so many times in a row before she needs to take action!

#throwbackwednesdaylolzzzzzz to when I was super-stressed during finals week last Spring at 2:12am
I have to read half of Pride & Prejudice for tomorrow morning because I'm meeting with my professor about basically an hour-long presentation I have to give. I need to have "teaching goals"…. uhhh, I need to actually read the book before I can even create these goals to go over with him! Then, I have an exam for my Dante class on Monday, I have to give the Pride & Prejudice presentation on Tuesday for my night-class, and a paper for my Love & Sex in the Middle Ages class due for Wednesday! I then have a Skype interview for an internship I applied for this summer on Thursday. Oh, and did I happen to mention what time of the month it is? #passmetheAdvil -__________-

I definitely take my schoolwork seriously but this semester, my goal was to also develop and strengthen interpersonal relationships (as well as my relationship with myself). Right now, as for the relationship with myself thing, I don't have much "me-time" which is not ideal because this will definitely lead to burn-out, knowing myself and how much I can take before I need to lie in my bed and stare at the ceiling while nourishing my passionate love for my Spotify account. Also, not sure if any of you feel this way, but I've finally gotten comfortable with eating in the dining hall at my college by myself - don't even laugh, this was a huge accomplishment for me! It can feel very much like a high school cafeteria in there (it's rather cliquey!) but honestly, I've gotten to the point where I don't care if people judge me for being the only one at the table. Sometimes I just need to eat in peace and be alone with my thoughts, you know!?

As for the other relationships, I've made a new best friend and, also, Matt asked me to be his official girlfriend (on Valentine's Day!!<3) so  I feel like I'm definitely doing well on a social level, too. I feel terrible because when I feel like I'm being too social and not doing enough homework, I can get really panicky and somewhat cranky and Matt definitely saw that side of me this weekend - but he just held me in his arms when I needed some comforting and he was so understanding. I've literally won the lottery with this guy, friends. As I told him on the phone earlier this evening, he is my "golden doubloon" (aka my special treasure) haha! He even said that in the future, we can create some phone alarms and make a homework schedule for me for the weekend…. literally *swooning* from his kindness!

Honestly, do you guys have any tips at all for how to balance sleep, good grades and a social life!? Please tell me anything and everything you know!!

Thanks for listening to the rant ;) and hopefully for your advice!! You're all the best!
xoxo, Brooke

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Top 5 Favorite Pizza Places in Southeastern CT

Pizza is hands-down my favorite food besides basically every other food in existence all things chocolate and/or made of guacamole. *casually chomps down on a slice of cold pizza from my mini-frigde as I type this blog post*.
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 If you're ever going to be in the Mystic/Southeastern CT region (or like me you live around here!),  here are my top 5 favorite pizza places in Southeastern CT:

1. Empire Pizza // New London, CT
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This is SO GOOD. It reminds me of the kind of pizza they used to serve at everyone's birthday parties when we were all just tiny kids! Ahh, memories… *sigh*

2. Captain's Pizza // New London, CT
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Maybe I'm a bit biased with this one… but! My freshman year during Orientation Week we had mandatory community service for bonding purposes, as well as to get familiar with our relative location, so my task was to help paint the side of the building blue. Every time I eat here or walk by it, I get a homey feeling of warmth. Also, a really awesome janitor from my high school days who was always so respectful and called me "Miss" all the time has a side-job here, so it's always great to see him again!

3. Angie's Pizza // Mystic, CT
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To be totally honest with you, I ate this when I had the flu, so maybe I'm not entirely sure what it's like, but what I will say is that it was the only thing that actually still tasted somewhat edible, and for that, it's made this list!

4. Illiano's Real Italian Pizza // East Lyme, CT
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Out of all of the Illiano's restaurants in the area, this one is certainly the most "restaurant-y". If you've got a date, this is a good place to go if you're not looking for anything too fancy, but you're not exactly looking for Smash Burger, either. *wiggles eyebrows saucily*

5. 2Wives Brick Oven Pizza // New London, CT
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I always get a personal-sized brick oven pizza with a side Caesar salad <333. You literally cannot go wrong!

As you can see, New London has really some great pizza! Where is your favorite pizza place?
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, February 16, 2015

Going Bananas For Monkey Hats

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So, I've had this monkey hat since my senior year of high school and recently, I've been seeing a lot more of these popping up all over my college's campus!

Here are a few other cute hats that allow you to indulge in your love for these adorable primates:

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The "classic"!
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The uber-colorful!
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The hat-scarf-gloves combo!


Would you rock the monkey-hat look?
xoxo, Brooke

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Being Vulnerable

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Something Valentine's Day weekend taught me is that being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness, contrary to popular belief. Having the strength to open yourself to getting hurt in the pursuit of achieving the greater good of something bigger than yourself.

Never hold back how you truly feel because the little words left unsaid can add up to one large regret. Sometimes, we've just got gather all the courage inside of us that we never knew existed and put your heart on the line because the risk of not doing so is so so incredibly worth the reward.

Some of my closest friends reported back to me that they followed this advice this weekend and for a few of them, V-Day led to some serious romance going on! For the other few that things didn't exactly work out for, they were at least happy that they said what they needed to say.

Will you be taking my challenge to allow yourself to be vulnerable?
xoxo, Brooke

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Day 14 - The 14 Days of Valentine's Day

Super quick post tonight, as Matt and I are about go to embrace our love for cheesy romantic dramas Netflix. I've written an article for Her Campus on our love/hate relationship with Valentine's Day, check it out here!

Happy Valentine's Day!
xoxo, Brooke

Friday, February 13, 2015

Day 13 - The 14 Days of Valentine's Day

Tomorrow is the big day!! Matt had the great idea that this post should be about the pros and cons of Hallmark cards versus giving a handwritten love letter.

Hallmark card
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Pros // No need to think of something witty/punny/sweet - because they do it all for you!
Cons // These can feel somewhat unoriginal, forced, or impersonal if you select a card that isn't necessarily, say, the best fit for your recipient.

Handwritten letter
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Pros // You can write something as mushy or as straightforward as you want, exactly as you want to without someone else putting words in your mouth.
Cons // If there's so much you want to say, this could take quite a while to write!

Do you usually give Hallmark cards or handwritten letters?
xoxo, Brooke

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Day 12 - The 14 Days of Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is all about celebrating the relationships in your life. No matter whether romantic, platonic, or anything in between in nature, there are three key components to maintaining a healthy relationship:

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 1) Communication // Talking about important matters, no matter how tricky, is truly essential in any relationship. If someone does something to hurt you, rather than "sweep it under the rug" so to speak, it's important to bring it up right then and there rather than let any resentment build up! When you can  express your feelings to the other person them feeling like you are complaining about them or that you are attacking them, this is a sign that the person is mature enough to handle a mature, adult relationship.









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2) Acceptance // Understanding that everyone has their flaws - including you! - is necessary for accepting other people who they are, rather than trying to change them or mold them to fit some ideal person that you want to turn them into. Maybe your best friend will never arrive exactly on time when you're supposed to meet for your weekly coffee dates, or your boyfriend will never wear Lacoste polo shirts unless you buy them for him, but letting these somewhat unfortunate quirks go is an important part of showing your love for someone. The important thing is knowing your non-negotiables, because there are certain things you should never accept (exhibit A: abuse of any kind). But, generally speaking, live and let live, you know!?


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3) Trust // This is so much more than believing that what someone says is true - it's about knowing that they would never do something to intentionally mislead you or hurt you in any way. Although it's easy to become quite cynical over the years, each new relationship should be treated as such; just because one person make have broken your trust somewhere down the road, there is no reason to expect that every person will do the same.











What are the key components that make your relationships work?
xoxo, Brooke

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Day 11 - The 14 Days of Valentine's Day

December isn't the only " 'tis the season to get shopping"; Valentine's Day is always bound to have some incredible sales - that are active now!

1. Victoria's Secret (Up to $55 off with code SPRING15)

2. Tommy Hilfiger ($20 off select styles)

3. Ralph Lauren (Up to 75% off)

4. Sephora (Up to 75% off)

5. Bath & Body Works (Buy 3, Get 2 Free Signature Collection and Extra 20% off with code FA144620 )

6. Neiman Marcus (Free 2-Day shipping with code NMLOVE …this expires tonight at 12, so act quickly! ;) )

7. Amazon.com (15% off Amazon Local with code BEMINE15 , 25%+ off fragrances, and 40% off Men's razors)

8. Kohl's ($10 off jewelry or watch purchase of $50+ with code VDAY JEWELRY )

9. Belk (Extra 15% off with code 99057528)

10. Macy's (Up to 50% off jewelry sale & extra 15% off with coupon code PRES )

11. Michael's ( 40% off with this printable coupon !)

12. Kay Jewelers ( Free overnight shipping and up to 40% off)

13. Ghirardelli Chocolates (15% off with coupon code KICKSTART)

14. Zales (Up to 30% off sitewide and $40 off of $200+ w/ code: ZBDAY35DJ8 )

What is your favorite V-Day sale occurring right now?
xoxo, Brooke

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Day 10 - The 14 Days of Valentine's Day

So, there's been a post about why we should love ourselves, and especially how to celebrate with your sweetie, but there hasn't yet been a post on why we should love our families... All too often we can get swept away in our own busy lives, thus completely unintentionally ignoring or neglecting people who raised us !

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Here are some cute ways to show your awesome fam just how much you appreciate them: (this V-Day, and beyond!)

A simple phone call once a week // Even if all you can fit in is a 15 minute call, it will make a world of difference catching up with everyone. The fact that you could literally be doing just about anything in that fifteen minute block of time yet you're voluntarily choosing to use it to make sure that your family is doing well is one of the kindest expressions of love. Giving your time is always a good idea.

Give a handwritten letter/card on holidays (esp. birthdays!!) // The fact that everything nowadays is technology-centered makes the "ancient" art of handwriting things all the more special. Get creative with it! Use ballpoint pens in their favorite colors, write about inside jokes and draw little pictures in the margins - trust me, they will feel so so special every time they receive one!

Surprise them with group activities // Whether it's playing frisbee at the local state park on a Saturday afternoon, or going out for ice cream (or froyo, my fave!) after dinner, having fun together as a group, especially in a public place, shows that you're proud to show off your love for them. It deeply saddens me when people act like they're embarrassed to be with family members! Why!?! Cherish your family, love your family, and enjoy every precious moment spent together.

Always say "I love you" // People aren't mind-readers. Although there is somewhat of a sense of moral obligation to love your family members, show them that this isn't the case with you. By telling "I love you" quite often, they will be reassured that you love them not because you have to but because you want to!

How do you show your family that you love them?
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, February 9, 2015

Day 9 - The 14 Days of Valentine's Day

Although I absolutely love creative writing, sometimes it can be nice to just let someone else do the talking for you once in a while! I'm definitely one of those people who loves quotes, and I could honestly spend all day on Pinterest browsing through all of the inspirational mantras and phrases.

Want to know my favorites? Here are 14 of them:

1.
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2.
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3.
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4.
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5.
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6.
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7.
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8.
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9.
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10.
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11.
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12.
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13.
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14.
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What are your favorite love quotes?
xoxo, Brooke

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Day 8 - The 14 Days of Valentine's Day

Let's be real here… The thing we love most about Valentine's Day is, well, the chocolate.

Here are my top four picks of chocolates for eating your feelings the yummiest V-Day yet!:

1. Nestle Crunch Hearts
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Everything is better with a little crunch, am I right!?

2. Reese's Hearts
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The only thing better than Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are when they are in the shape of a heart!

3. Green M&M's
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Why yes, you read that right - apparently the green M&Ms are an aphrodisiac… ;) Not too sure why this is supposedly true, but I'll take the media's word for it!

4. Fun-Size Snickers Candy Bars
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Because anyone who doesn't adore peanuts and chocolate may or may not be lacking a soul…

What are your favorite V-Day chocolates?
xoxo, Brooke

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Day 7 - The 14 Days of Valentine's Day

Hey everyone it's Matt, here. Brooke asked me to write a guest post from a guy's perspective about the idea of love so that's what today's post is!


 "Love"…. It can be the most amazing word in the world, or it could just bring back very sensitive memories. It's the word you want to be able to say all the time, yet it's a word we make sure to not to throw around. It's definitely an interesting word... but what is it really, and what does it mean?

To me, love is not just found - it's not something you can just easily seek out. Love is created. It's the coming together of two people who find out everything about each other, both the good and the bad, and still want to be with each other. love is getting beaten down by life and then having someone there for you. It's having someone, like Brooke :) , by your side and having each other's back in every situation. Even if the outcome is bad for the both of you, you will still have each other. It's like one of my favorite song lyrics by Rise Against, "If love was a labor, I'll slave till the end."

I truly believe that both parties have to work to achieve true love. Both must overcome their selfishness and look to the other person's needs. The truth of the matter is that love is hard, love is difficult, but it most certainly is worth it.

What's your perspective on the idea of love?
-Matt

Friday, February 6, 2015

Day 6 - The 14 Days of Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is all about loving other people, right? Well, let's back-track for a second here. There's no healthy way to truly love another person before we first love ourselves! I know at first this may sound debatable, but think of it like the rule about putting your own oxygen mask on first on an airplane before helping anyone else out in an emergency…

We're told every reason in the world why we shouldn't love ourselves. We're too fat. We're too skinny. We have really pale skin. We have really dark skin. We have a "phat" butt. We have a fat butt. It seems like nowadays, we will never be good enough. But who is anyone, at all, to judge what is "good enough"? "Good enough" is all about feeling comfortable in your own skin, loving every curve (or lack thereof) on your body, and more importantly, loving what's inside - your curious mind, your beautiful soul (Jesse McCartney knew what was up when he was singing this song!), your generous heart.

Not sure how to begin showing yourself a little TLC? Try these 14 easy, simple changes to make this month to spread the feelings of love - to yourself!

1) Use body lotion // Treat your body like it's something luxurious that deserves to be pampered and you will feel better instantly! Insta-Princess, in a bottle ;).

2) Surround yourself only with people who make you feel proud of who you are // #Seeyanever negative nancy's, critical caitlyn's, and selfish samantha's!

3) Learn a new skill, whether for fun or something marketable for a career // Will you pick cake decorating or computer programming!? The choice is yours.

4) Make 30 minutes of "me" time every night, no matter how "busy" you are // You need to nourish your soul, woman! Meditate, read a novel (I HAVE SUGGESTIONS! PICK ME, PICK ME!), Netflix-it-up - anything that makes you relax and be happy.

5) Have a "splurge" day only once a week where you can eat your favorite foods // Being healthy is the most important way to show your body you love it! Fuel it up like a machine with the proper nutrients, and then have a "cheat" day where you can eat five two cookies.

6) Travel to a place you've always wanted // Sometimes the best way to change your opinion of yourself is to go to a brand-new place to create a brand-new you.

7) Give yourself a mani-pedi // The quintessential princess treatment!

8) Go on actual dates (no, just "hooking up" does not count!) // Let romantic interests treat you as a full package - mind, body, and soul - not just merely a sexual being.

9) Grow or build something // When you can directly see the correlation between effort and result, you will surely feel empowered and fulfilled. Try creating a garden or an investment portfolio.

10) Volunteer your time or your money // This one is the oddball of the group, but it still works - by acting selfless, you will realize that maybe the love you give to others is no different from the love you need to give yourself. It's a lesson on how to love, really!

11) Wear clothing that you actually feel good in // It doesn't matter if skinny jeans have been in style for the past decade - you do you, girl! If boot-cut is more your thing, then I say go for it.

12) Start every day listening to a "Go Me!" music playlist that you can create on Spotify // I speak from experience when I say that doing this can transform your entire outlook on life, haha!

13) Tell the truth // Start by being honest with yourself - maybe you have debt, or acne, or some other "flaw" that makes you feel "less than". Well here's a secret… we all have that one thing that makes us crumble when we are forced to face it. Let this knowledge empower you - you are never alone in anything that you go through. You can face it. We are all in this world together!

14) Try a workout video in your living room for yoga, pilates, or - gasp! - burlesque dancing // Getting in touch with your body in a judgement-free zone can unleash a sense of inner peace you never knew could be possible!

What is your favorite way to love yourself?
xoxo, Brooke

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Day 5 - The 14 Days of Valentine's Day

No boyfriend!? No problem! Here are 4 fun ways to spend Valentine's Day with your besties:


1) Secret "Cupid" // If you love Secret Santa/Snowflake around the holiday season, why not adapt the gift-giving fun for the holiday that's all about spreading the love and showing your appreciation!? Gather a group of your closest friends, and assign each person to secretly buy another girl in the group a gift. Then, on V-Day, everyone can exchange presents and guess who was their assigned "Cupid"!
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2) Mix & Match Party // Invite a group of your guy friends to dinner with all of you, and each of the guys can be "assigned" to one of the girls for the night! This way, you'll know that you won't be meeting any "duds", and your girlfriends will all approve. Blind dates have never been so much fun ;)!
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3) Chocolate & Wine Tasting Night // This, my friends, is the perfect excuse for a night of luxury. Break out some bottles and a box of ~Teuscher's~ truffles - it's time to get tasting!
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4) Nicholas Sparks Movie Marathon // #Nojudement for how many times you've watched The Notebook or The Last Song... because you're about the watch them again (for the 193739294749 time)! *sigh* They never, ever get old...
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What are your favorite ways to spend Valentine's Day with your best girlfriends?
xoxo, Brooke

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Day 4 - The 14 Days of Valentine's Day

Typical Valentine's Day dates not your thing? Try one of the following three to shake things up a bit!

1) Go to a diner for a midnight snack // Take the cue from Taylor Swift's song, "22" and order pancakes at midnight for an unexpected twist on the tradition of sharing something sweet with someone special!
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2) Have a romantic homemade dinner in // Instead of letting complete strangers make your meal, trying cooking one together with your sweetie! Just remember that it doesn't matter how good the food comes out (ahem, Plan B always = Chinese food take-out ;) haha!) because it's the mere fact that you're making and sharing memories together that counts.
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3) Scary movie marathon // Okay okay… I will admit, I went through a scary movie phase back in middle school, and I've been traumatized avoided them ever since! But, come on - what better excuse is there for cuddling than the fact that there's a scary zombie on screen eating people's brains, am I right!?
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What's your favorite type of Valentine's Day date?
xoxo, Brooke