Pink Paw Print

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Is It Too Late?

As a side note, I just want to start off by saying that my most recent post was #100!!! So this is my 101st post that I've written on this blog! It's come a long way, and there is a LOT more to come. If you follow along with me on Facebook (which you totallyyyyyy should!!! *cue sassy hand flip* <333), you'll see that I said that this blog was under construction. This is true. I'm in the process of a (surprise for right now!) project that will turn this into something huge. But at this very moment, I've done a sort of re-construction, content-wise. Right now, I'll reveal a surprise (not the major surprise just yet, though!! :p). I realized that even though this is a fashion & lifestyle blog, I've been focusing primarily on lifestyle… well, fear not. Next week is going to be the first annual Spring Fashion Week for TPL (The Pink Lyme)! Every day will have a post relating to fashion and/or beauty, whether it's a new trend I'm loving or providing coupon codes with exclusive great deals at your favorite stores. Get excited!! I know I sure am! And now, on to the rest of this post!…*drumrolllll*

The other day I came across an amazingly profound quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald on Pinterest:
*via Although the words may sound simple, their meaning is incredibly complex!

The truth for me was illuminated after reading that Fitzgerald quote: It's okay to forget about people from your past who were just plain toxic for you, no matter even if they meant the world to you and they talked to you about The Future. It's okay to stop being your own biggest bully when it comes to career or academics, and to allow yourself to succeed in these areas. It's okay for you to be your own best friend, to be your own date to the movies, to be your own company at the local coffee shop. It's all okay.

Too many of us stay in situations that we aren't happy in. We think we can't fix things, change things. We think we'd like to make a change, but cannot get over the obstacle of our "what-if?" fear that things might not be better somewhere else, whether this somewhere is an emotional state or a physical location. Yet, the truth of the matter is that it's never too late to change the path we are going down, or to become a different type of person, or to create healthy habits and ditch the old. I was talking to one of my absolute best friends, Emma the other day and I told her that I was ready to do a "Spring Cleaning"of my heart. Out with the not-so-good, the bad, and the just plain ugly! In with the kind, the compassionate, the amazing, and the naturally beautiful! 

For a mental exercise, give yourself just about 10 minutes or a little less (so it forces you to really concentrate!) and allow your mind to prance around in dreamland: think about if you could be any type of person, who would you be? What would your hobbies be? What kind of people would you befriend? What kind of person would be your ideal romantic partner? What would your lifestyle be like? What type of career would make your heart literally feel like it's fluttering with excitement? Follow these questions, no matter where they lead you. Don't groan if you dream about wanting to be a yoga teacher if your parents want you to do Pre-Med. Don't get anxious if you're working on Wall Street (which I know a few of you readers are!! <3 thank you for reaching out via email with your kind thoughts about my blog!) even though you'd much rather be arguing for the defendant in a courtroom. These answers are your true calling. Go with them. If something seems impractical, just remember this one very important question - is it too late? The answer, friends, is never. <3

Willing to share your thoughts from the mental exercise? Let me know in the comments below! I'd love to hear them!
xoxo, Brooke

Thursday, March 26, 2015

On My Playlist

Spotify is ~without a doubt~ the best man-made creation there is...Here's the ten songs I've been dancing around my room to while singing into a hairbrush in front of my closet mirror listening to non-stop recently (in no particular order)! Just a warning, there is no particular genre to these songs; also, some are extremely new and others are pretty ancient! :p

1. "House Party" by Sam Hunt

2. "bodyache" by Purity Ring

3. "Let Go" by RAC, Kele, MNDR

4. "Ugly Heart" by G.R.L.

5. "I'm an Albatroz" by AronChupa

6. "I Really Like You" by Carly Rae Jepsen

7. "Lost Stars" by Adam Levine

8. "No Good For You" by Meghan Trainor

9. "Girls" by The 1975

10. "Mess is Mine" by Vance Joy

What's been playing in your earbuds lately?
xoxo, Brooke

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Magic of Your Email Inbox

Today was one of those days. I'm usually a very bubbly, *happydancing* kind of person, but the weight of everything that's been going on in my life recently just kind of hit me today… when you wake up and immediately begin to cry, you know you've got to make some major changes in your life. My apologies to my neighbors if I woke ya up! -___- #oops!

A lot of the issue is that I just don't know many like-minded people right now, and those that I do know who I have things in common with either don't go to my college or are transferring away (ugh, noooo! </3333). I really do not enjoy going to bars or getting very very drunk (which it is still important to note that this is different than just going to a bar and drinking responsibly) or smoking things… I was having a great conversation with a friend of mine tonight at dinner, and he agreed with me that the best type of "party" would be like those birthday parties we all went to when we were in elementary school… ohhhh yeah, I'm talkin' pizza, ice cream, cake, and laser tag! *wiggles eyebrows* Now that's my kind of a party! Actually, add in a game of Scrabble or Boggle, and I'd truly be in my element. I think being on a college campus adds some of the social pressure to drink, but honestly I think it's just the age, in general.

*via #datenight
A few gentlemen recently have asked me to get drinks with them in the relatively near future… granted they're all like 22-26 (I'm an "old soul", I've been told, and my 21-year-old self always gets along better with guys who are older than me), but "getting drinks" is still just not my thing. It's odd because you might expect an answer back saying that they respect my personal decision, but I kept getting "oh well that's too bad you don't drink because I love it" as a response. But my question is why is alcohol so ingrained into our culture? Like, PSA to all gentlemen: why can't I get just get a chocolate milkshake with you and call it a day!? I do not believe that alcohol or drinking is like, some epitome of evil, as at the Cheesecake Factory I always get a decaf coffee with some Bailey's in it (as a tradition because that was the first drink I had on my 21st birthday, and at that restaurant!) and I'm definitely not going to hate on people who do enjoy drinking regularly, but I do know for certain that it will never be a hobby of mine and wish that I knew more people who also do not consider it a hobby. But I digress ~~

I don't know if you've ever heard of it, but there's this website called MindBodyGreen, which features the most inspirational and amazing list/advice articles. Somebody up there must have been watching over me, because much like fate, I got an email with a link to an article called "5 Things To Remember When You're Struggling Emotionally"… YOU GUYS. It. Was. So. Good.
My absolute favorite bullet point is #4. Sometimes in society, we're encouraged to ignore our emotions. For me, pretending I'm not feeling a certain way just makes me uncomfortable and anxious! Fully allowing yourself to feel is incredibly freeing because you're simultaneously admitting to yourself that you are human and alive and this is an infinitely beautiful thing. The good thing about emotions, though, is that just as quickly as they can wash over you and consume you, they will also wash away and you can be consumed by better feelings in the future. The bullet point mentioned the importance of being present in the actual moment, rather than letting your imposing thoughts demand your full attention.

Sooo the moral of the day is: always trust the magic of your email inbox; you never know what hidden gem of inspiration you might find!

Here is a link to the article… tell me what you think!
xoxo, Brooke

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Art of Making (Blogger) Friends

Ahh yes, the art of making (blogger) friends. Something that I've come to learn in the blogging world is that - much like the movie Mean Girls - there are "cliques" of people who consider each other "blogging friends". Much like my real-world persona, I don't really ever have one set "group" of friends. I don't mind being a "lone-wolf", independent type; actually, I enjoy it a lot because it allows you to meet really sweet, amazing people who you might not have met otherwise if you were more attached to one specific group.
*via This is exactly what I'm aiming to avoid, you know!?
This also applies to me when it comes to blogging! I know a handful of people, personally, who blog but then all the rest are people who gets millions of views on their blog daily (whereas mine gets in the hundreds - which, hey, isn't half bad for only three months of blogging!! *happydance*). I'd love to meet more people who blog, but I wouldn't want to be artificial about doing so, you know?? Many times I see bloggers "befriend" each other simply to ensure that people will be writing comments on their posts. You can be sure that every time I get a comment on a post, I frickin' love whoever wrote it because it seems so genuine. I want all of my comments to be genuine! I wouldn't want any that were simply, you know, "comment for a comment! like for a like!" because I try to make sure that what I say has substance to it, and I would hope that comments would follow suit and that my posts will attract like-minded people, in the sense that they, too, appreciate that substance rather than frivolousness. Although blogging can get isolating, particularly when you don't get much interaction on a post, I deffs don't believe in climbing some social ladder to raise ranking in a virtual hierarchy of people who like to write things and then post them on the internet!

Bloggers and non-bloggers alike, do you have any good ideas of ways to make genuine connections with other bloggers that aren't simply based on a "comment on my blog so I'll comment on yours" type of relationship?
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, March 23, 2015

3 Easy Ways to Create a Routine That Works For You

I'm baaa-aaaaack! After surviving the first day back of college classes after Spring Break 2015 (R.I.P. <333), I realized that I need to get myself into a routine that will help me to become my most productive self for the rest of the spring semester! Here are 3 easy ways to create a routing that works for you:

1) Pick a definite time to wake up and to go to bed // Knowing the "bookends" of your day allows you to structure the timeframe of when everything needs to get done… no exceptions!

2) Never miss a gym session… or a meal! // Honestly, working out at least 4 days a week will actually help to keep your mind alert (even if initially you get tired, your body will grow accustom to this increasing change in physical activity!) and thus, you will become more productive. On a similar note, don't go around skipping meals to save time or because you think it will help your body to look a certain way - the truth is, starving is never in style, and you need to fuel your brain with nutrients the way you'd fuel a car with gas, you know!?

3) Expect the unexpected // If you plan ahead time within your schedule for unexpected things to pop up, whether an urgent phone call with a friend who's going through a personal crisis or a making quick stop for a pick-me-up decaf nonfat caramel macchiato at Starbucks, you'll feel less guilty than you would if you hadn't planned any time for these little, yet definitely still important, things!

What are your tips and tricks to create a routine that works for you?
xoxo, Brooke

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Setting Boundaries

Note: This is a personal rant.

Today I'm feeling rather cranky (which comes with the territory of womanhood during the magical time of #ladycramps , I suppose!) and today I'm just not feelin'  it. One of the hardest things for me to do is set boundaries with people. I'm a people pleaser so I've been known to take on more tasks than any human being could possibly handle. Not only with school/extra-cirricular tasks, but also with people. I always do people favors when I honestly should be saying no, simply because I wouldn't want to hurt anybody - but the truth is we hurt ourselves by doing this. For hypothetical example when you tell a person that you're really busy and will get back to them later and you check your phone to see like, 7 text messages from them still maintaining a conversation even when you said you'd get back to them later - how do you respond to that!? You feel like a horrible person even though you left the majority of your spring break homework for the last few days of break and are trying to plow through it all while hating yourself for not doing it all earlier but you were too burnt out (from being a workaholic during the school year) to do it earlier, and even though you're still feeling burnt out, you have to push yourself  now to do it anyway because the burnt out feeling never healed yet. So, on top of the work, you have all of this guilt! Ahhh! Setting boundaries is clearly something I'm still working on learning, and honestly, I hope I figure it out sooner rather than later…

xoxo, Brooke

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Great Deal on Krass & Co. Shorts!

My friend Meghan is a brand representative for Krass & Co., a clothing brand that I am personally a fan of, so we thought we should share it with all of you!
*via. I personally adore the "Bows Before Bros" print.

Meghan says: "The Krass & Co shorts company was founded by Pierson Krass and his friends in the year of 2011, while he was attending Lehigh University. The inspiration for the company was to create a functional, stylish pair of athletic shorts which one could wear around campus without appearing as a slob or not well dressed! 

Vineyard Vines, and other nautical prints such as lobsters, sail boats, seashells, and seashores were the inspiration for the shorts. A big fan favorite for customers are the Sailor's Delight, Sam's Shorts (America), and of course for guy's the Classic lobster! 

This company was founded by young college men, and designed for athletics such as lacrosse in mind. It was not just built for girls in mind but guys, as well. They have such a wide range of shorts for both genders and are branching out to carrying the sorority and fraternity prints, too! In addition, to limited edition shorts that represent the company Country Club prep as well as the state school's logos for athletics!

The shorts are absolutely amazing, so soft and great to wear to class or workout in! The shorts are the perfect combination of stylish and functional! A great way to mix up your wardrobe for a guy or girl!!! 

Here is the link for the company! 

And here is the link for my 15% off referral code!!! Please share with friends! 

^^ You heard her, everybody! Time to get shopping.

Which pair of Krass & Co. shorts are your favorite!?
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, March 16, 2015

Something That's On Everybody's Mind Lately

Something that's on everybody's mind lately, or so it seems, that I've talked to in the past four or so days whether in college, or high school, or post-grad and in the workplace, is feeling like they are being treated as "less-than".
The truth is, though, the way that the person who is treating you as "less-than" is acting is just a reflection of the kind of person they are and has nothing to do with you. That guy who hasn't messaged you back yet? If he's being lazy with you now, imagine how lazy he would be with you in the future when it comes to putting effort into your relationship. That boss of yours who refuses to acknowledge how hard you've been working lately? Perhaps she or he isn't getting recognition for the work that she/he is doing, either! Often times, the way we are treated has nothing to do with us.

Just remember, as the wise quote above tells us: Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth.

Has this been on your mind lately, too!?
xoxo, Brooke

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Currently Trending

Here's the low-down on culture in my life lately:

Reading: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
This is my personal favorite of Jane Austen's work that I've read, thus far! The narration is so much more comprehensible than her other novels, which makes for an engaging read.

Watching: Secrets & Lies
Although I'm not a TV person by any means, my mom really got me hooked on this show! It's a mystery as to who killed a little boy - but everyone is blaming his own father and claiming he had a good motive to do so! Emotions run high, so make sure to eat a crunch (and healthy!) snack while watching to chew out your stress, haha!

Wearing: Birkenstock sandals w/ socks (#crunchy)
Regardless of whether or not you think they're "ugly", these shoes are like little hugs for your feet! I cannot stop wearing them! Personally, I like the way they look with socks far more than wearing them barefoot.

Listening to: "Let Go" by RAC

I discovered this by the "citi" commercial! O-M-G. SO. DANG. CATCHY!!!

Inspired by: Audrey Hepburn
Whenever I need a little dose of self-confidence, I think to myself "what would Audrey do?" She would act with grace and composure, see the beauty in everything, and believe in her own abilities!

What's currently trending in your life? Any suggestions for a read, watch, wear, listen, or inspirational figure?
xoxo, Brooke

Saturday, March 14, 2015

So Many Personalities... Which One Are You!?

I am obsessed with the Myers-Briggs personality test. A few of my friends and I were all comparing our results really recently, and ever since I've been super into the idea of trying to guess other people's personalities and spreading the word to get other friends to take the test.

16personalities offers a free version of the test (you would technically have to pay for the official test)  that is just as accurate and even more fun to take than the original! They give you your results with a complete personality profile overview, including strengths/weaknesses, relationships, friendships, and more! Something to take note of - my friend Mike and I were talking this morning about how he went through the test super quickly so he wound up taking it more than once. We agreed that it's much better to go slowly while taking it so the results will be more accurate… just a head's up for ya! ;)

Click here to take the test to see which one of the personalities is yours!

My personality is "ENFJ", although there have definitely been small periods of time in my life when I've been more of an introvert, and therefore INFJ. You can read my profile here!

What results did you get for your personality type? Let me know in the comments!(Don't be shy, lol!)<3
xoxo, Brooke

Friday, March 13, 2015

Finding Your Happy Place

It's something we've all been told: "Find your happy place." For me, whether it's a trip to the dentist or right before taking a huge exam, I sure could use a "happy place" to escape to! Today I definitely found mine: the Barnes&Noble over in WeHa, which I spent some time in this afternoon, along with some other fun stores there like TRADER JOE'S <33333333333 !!!

West Hartford is such a great town that has an incredibly "city-ish", chic-urban feel! I could definitely see myself living there in a few years, like after graduate school when I'm just starting out.

Successful shopping at B&N!
(Mansfield Park is for Spring Break homework reading, but it sounds really interesting!)
How can you discover your happy place, you say!? Well, start out thinking: if I didn't have to attend to school/work/internship/family duties/etc., what would I spend today doing? Where would I go if I had enough money to travel anywhere? Don't judge yourself on where your thoughts lead you: it might be a playground that you went to as a little kid, or it might be some idealized dream of a tropical island or super city you've never even been to… and these are totally okay! 

I'll be the first to admit that I can be really idealistic, particularly when it comes to seeing only the good in people. Well… either that or getting annoyed by something they do that truly is hurting/wounded me, but yet I don't want to admit myself that they're actually pretty big issues and not just minor annoyances, as I always tend to tell myself so that the sting isn't as great. Buuuuuut, when it comes to a happy place, being idealistic isn't necessarily a dangerous thing - as long as your happy place isn't a person (depending on another person to create all of your happiness for you = oh no!), there aren't any limits! Finding your happy place is really so easy, and so important for your mental health… we all need a place to "go" when the times get rough!

Although I love all bookstores, I usually either get them on Amazon, on my Kindle, or sometimes at the local Books-A-Million… but Barnes & Noble is my favorite, as I grew up going there all the time as a youngin'! :p It was amazing to go there today… I swear, I could literally spend all day in there just reading back covers of books and browsing magazines and sipping lattes from the Starbucks in there!

Where's your personal "happy place"?
xoxo, Brooke

Thursday, March 12, 2015

4 Amazing Magazines (Of Substance!)

Let's face it, you guys - sometimes we're looking for more out of a magazine than just "5 Sex Tips That Will Blow His Mind!" We're often times looking for substance. (At least, I know I sure am!)

Here are 4 amazing magazines (of substance!) that will be sure to grow your mind and inspire your life choices:

1. Kinfolk // As the website claims, "Kinfolk is a slow lifestyle magazine published by Ouur that explores ways for readers to simplify their lives, cultivate community and spend more time with their friends and family." Who couldn't use a little slowing down, nowadays in the digital age where technology makes our lives speed on by faster than ever before , amirite!? Check out the website here!

2. Cooking Light // Although I currently live in a college dorm with no access to a real kitchen, being home for Spring Break makes me excited to be able to have access to fresh produce that I can cook with to prepare meals for myself where I actually know what is going into the dishes that I'll be consuming, which is something that I'm truly passionate about! *eyes light up with excitement* Check out the website here!

3. InStyle // My high school superlative in high school was "Most Fashion-Fierce" although in college all I ever desire to wear is to channel the lumberjack look with leggings, thick-knit socks, and a sweater or button-down I've toned it down a bit - no more leopard-print wedges in the uber-snowy wintertime, for this lady! ;) InStyle is a non-trashy, always-keepin'-it-classy magazine that tells you everything you need to know about fashion, beauty, lifestyle, & beyond. Check out the website here!

4. Wall Street Journal Magazine // As a budding entrepreneur and lover of culture, fashion, lifestyle, etc., WSJ Mag is my go-to in the morning with a decaf nonfat caramel macchiato from my local Starbucks <33333333333 I mean…... #bae Check out the website here!

What are your favorite magazines of "substance"?
xoxo, Brooke

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Feelin' Hungry

I don't know what it is about being on vacation, but I always get super-hungry being home! Personally, despite my undying devotion to anything made out of chocolate I like to keep what I eat rather healthy (as I've mentioned before, I'm a pescatarian which means that I am a vegetarian who also happens to eat fish and eggs!) so I absolutely love knowing what ingredients are going into my meals!

*via Does this look yummy, or what!?

I'm a writer for my college's chapter of Her Campus, and I wrote an article about delicious recipes to try over Spring Break - you can check it out here for some great, yummy, easy recipe inspiration. Recipes are courtesy of mah gurl, Martha Stewart <3 Again, here's the link: :)

What recipes do you want to try over Spring Break?
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, March 9, 2015

My Shopping Adventure: Westfarms Edition

Out of all of the Connecticut malls, Westfarms Mall is definitely my favorite. It has the most "upscale" stores which, although great for your closet, is not the best thing for your wallet! Even though the Crystal Mall is super close to me, it was sooooo worth it to make the 48-minute trip for a mother-daughter day of shopping over at Westfarms.

My mama bear and I stopped off for lunch at Nordstrom Cafe… my panini = too yummy!

After lunch, we admired the wild shoe department in Nordstrom !

I wound up playing it a bit safer - and crunchier! - by purchasing these Birkenstocks. Whatta classic!

Casually chillin' in a princess castle in the Disney store!


Have you gone on any shopping adventures lately!?
xoxo, Brooke

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Love That Yellow!

Today, after going out for a yummy Sunday brunch with my mama bear at The Shack in East Lyme (Note: they also have "The Shack" in nearby towns Waterford and Groton), was a homework/naptime day in my favorite room of the house, aka the Sun-room <33333, on my favorite pastel colored, floral printed couch. The sun was shining so beautifully through all of the windows in the room that I took a homework break to just stare outside for a few minutes, which is a luxury that I rarely ever indulge in… what is this "homework break" thing that you speak of, #lolzmcgee !!!!!

Lalala~ because being sassy is my favorite *cue sassy hand flip*

Curbing the sass, cuing the sweetness. Sweater // Chaps
How cute is my sweater!? The price makes it even cuter ;) . Honestly, a good fashion bargain makes for a happy me! Yellow is my absolute favorite color right now (besides PINK!!! which, let's be honest here, is always a given when it comes to my favorite anything…). Check out my favorite fashion picks below in the color yellow:

Love that yellow! What color are you loving for the upcoming Spring 2015 fashion season?
xoxo, Brooke

[Certain elements of this post were made possible by ShopStyle]

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Confessions of a Workaholic

SPRING BREAK 2015 IS FINALLY HERE!!! You guys, today was the first day since winter vacation that I actually took a break from doing work… but even during winter vacation, I was studying for the GREs and such so I wasn't necessarily taking a break then, actually. *sigh*!

Today I sat on the couch in my sunroom all day eating as much food as I could possible stuff into my face having really great home-cooked meals (courtesy of my mama bear), icing/heating my lower back that I hurt very very badly packing up all my stuff to take back home for the next few weeks, and alternated between reading the March issue of InStyle magazine and The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Something I felt kept happening was that without the pressure of focusing on homework, my thoughts kept drifting to tricky stuff (aka how I'm still not over being dumped from like 2.5 weeks ago). Without something to truly occupy my thoughts - don't get me wrong, I adore InStyle magazine and the novel is really, really compelling! - I found myself ruminating over things I honestly don't even want to think about and wish that I was just over already.
*via ^^^^Literally my life in a pie chart...
Although sometimes that's why I tend to throw myself into my work - to block out unwanted thoughts - as I've mentioned in previous posts, my family's work ethic and private school reallllly instilled the value of working hard. "Relax" and "taking a break" just aren't in my vocabulary. The truth is, as soon as I get out of a class, I head to a comfy study spot and begin doing the assignment due for the next class coming up in a few days. In high school, procrastination was honestly the death of me, so now that I'm in my junior year of college, I find that it's just too hard to allow myself to procrastinate ever again - I don't want to let the horrible monster that is anxiety run amok, you know!?
*via ^^^^ Once upon a time this might have been me…but now? Nope nope nope, never again.

I wish that I could feel less guilty taking a breather - I know how important it is to do so in order to prevent that feeling of being "burnt-out", because TRUST ME I've been there... omg…. I also wish there was a way to relax without unwanted thoughts of aforementioned heartbreak-casuing gentleman creeping back in. Last week, I saw a bumper sticker on a car that said "Some days, you just need to make your own sunshine." Preeeeeeeach, bumper sticker, preach! If you guys have any advice about avoiding feelings of guilt or heartbreak, I'd be forever grateful~~~ <3 haha, but really though!!

Are you taking a true "break" of your own during this Spring Break?
xoxo, Brooke

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Something Meaty

As gross as the title of this post may sound, it's true! I feel like so many people spend their spring break  by filling it up with fluff, with nights and people they won't (or probably wish they couldn't) remember. Personally, I definitely do have a lot of assignments for my college classes to complete over my break, but besides those, I want to do some learning, just about life in general, of my own. I want my break to be something of substance…. something meaty. Hahaha!

#tbt to Spring Break of 2013 when I went to Palm Beach!

For now, my plans are as follows: I'm heading into NYC with my mama bear for two days, where I'll also take some time to meet up one-on-one with a few old friends I haven't seen either in (literally) years or months, which will be amazing to have reunions with! It'll be interesting to see how things change after all the time that has passed by.

I'm also planning on learning skills that I should probably know how to do, considering I'm 21, laundry being at the top of my list…..hahah! Also included on this hypothetical list: how to use a vacuum, how to make my own salad dressing, how to cook fish (mmm, salmon) because I'm a pescatarian, which is a vegetarian that also happens to eat fish & eggs, and how to emotionally prepare myself to donate a whole bunch of old clothes back from the 7th grade to Goodwill - just because they fit doesn't mean that they're necessarily good for me to wear anymore! I definitely want to refine my wardrobe to become entirely "classy young woman" rather than have elements of "preteen at the movie theater"in it, you know!?

Another thing that I want to do is really nourish myself - mind body and soul. For mind, I hope to read a lot for fun, continue learning some basic coding, and do a few units in my GRE Vocabulary workbook. For body, I'm going to get my ears repierced (my holes closed up in my freshman year of colleges after not wearing my earrings for only one day, can you believe it!?), do my hair so that it's gold with brown lowlights instead of how it is right now brown with gold highlights, and go to the gym  almost daily. For soul, I'm going to make sure to write a lot of poetry, spend time with people who truly make me feel happy and appreciated, and take a time-out whenever I need to just lay in my bed and stare up at the ceiling to clear my thoughts!

What are your plans for Spring Break? Are you doing "something meaty"? Or just the fluff-stuff?
xoxo, Brooke

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Little Secrets

The title of this post is actually the name of one of my absolute favorite songs! It's by Passion Pit and it's uber-catchy. Lalalala~~! Actually, I keep listening to a song on repeat that sounds pretty similar: "Ways to Go" by Grouplove ….. oh my GOSH, best song ever!!!
Please remind me, I'll deffs have to write a post featuring my favorite indie music playlist soon.

Okay you guys, a lot happened today. This is about to get personal.
I really did mature. Often times, you mature so gradually you don't even feel it happening, but today… well today, I really felt it happening. This afternoon, I was just so angry about everything that has happened recently. Getting dumped by somebody I loved. Having to work on a 25-page paper over break. Having a reading quiz on my least favorite book in the entire universe that has a major element in it that reminds me of my ex-relationship on the very day we get back to classes from break. I was so….. frustrated about all of this. This was a new feeling because usually when these sorts of things happen, I feel all weak and broken and sad - I never usually fight back against the sadness with anger. I'm a pacifist, really. But there was something else, something more, that was bothering me here.

Something I noticed in my relationships/friendships, in general, is that I tend to give a lot, so I therefore expect a lot in return. I tend to hold people to really high standards, and I honestly expect a lot from them - maybe sometimes too much so, okay, I will admit it. But sometimes, people just don't have much to give, whether this is intentional on their part or not. People can be actively selfish, or they may be going through things in their own lives that prohibit them from reciprocating their time and energy back to you, no matter how much you give to them. The important thing, though, is that I don't give in the first place just to get back. I give because I care. I give because I want to show people how much they mean to me, and that that I genuinely appreciate them. In my relationships, romantic or otherwise, I hardly ever feel appreciated back and then I start getting frustrated. So, I came to the conclusion that before I give my full heart and energy to my friendships and romances, I need to make sure that the person actually is deserving of so much care - that they won't keep taking and taking and taking without giving anything back in return.

-Originally there was a bit more to this post right here but it has been edited, as a friend requested her privacy be maintained-

I tend to do this thing where I literally feel like I'm drowning in self-doubt and anxiety. This stems from back in the good ol' days of my freshman year of college when I gained the courage to leave a seriously abusive relationship, and the guy told me that I will die alone, that I will never ever get married, and that nobody could ever love a person like me. This has stayed with me, haunted me in my darkest days. Although, granted, he had a few different types of psychological disorders and he professed his love to me day in and day out (yes, marriage was something he talked about constantly and he named our future kids), it scared me how the first person I ever shared my whole soul and heart with could say that. He knew literally everything about me - he probably knew me better than I knew myself at that point. I know he was projecting - he was worried about these things himself now that I was leaving him, but I don't think I ever truly healed from that. There's just such an urgency now… what if what he said was right? I think sometimes before I fall asleep at night. Then I calm down and my friends or parents tell me how lovable I am and that I would never "die alone". But still… scary stuff, you know??

The truth is… everybody has their little secrets. When we walk down a city street or an isle in a supermarket, all we see is the exterior shell of the human being before us. We don't see their hearts, souls, or the deepest contents of their mind. We don't see the things that make them ache or the things or the people that set them free, that make them levitate with pure bliss. Everybody has their issues. That's why I think it's important to be kind and giving to everyone. I wholeheartedly agree with the quote above.

Do you ever think about how everyone has their own "little secrets"? Can you relate at all to any of this?
xoxo, Brooke

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Pushing Through

Right now, the main thing on my mind is that I've got a six-page paper due on Thursday at noon!! Because I've been so sick (I got MUCH sicker late last night unfortunately), I haven't gotten a chance to move on past the outline stage just yet. Although I've been known to bang out a successfully-executed 8-pager in one day, I abhor the feeling of pressure so I'm not about to do that! This feeling of pushing through, the need to continue on through the next day and a half with my work (and then it's two weeks of spring break, YAY!) really resonates with so many other types of pushing through - really any hard time for any person is so similar. You've just got to get over the "hump" (Oh, camel puns…..… oh my gosh this is what college does to you! It makes you fall in love with your mascot!) and then you'll be fine!

This quote from Robert Frost, one of the most beloved poets in my heart, really says it best:
Whatever it is that you want to overcome, just put your mind to it… and you will! Just remember: you are always stronger than you think.

What are you going to overcome this week?
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, March 2, 2015

Entrepreneurship 101: The Happy, Jumpy Feeling

Today I went to a workshop called "Entrepreneurship 101: Turning Ideas Into Action" (guess who came up with the first part of that totesmygoats ~brilliant~ title ;) Hint: meeee hahahaha!) for the entrepreneurship club at my college that I'm a member of, and I can honestly say that it helped me realize what I want to do with my life in "the real world". Although I absolutely love English and reading is always going to be the one true love of my life, there is something about entrepreneurship and business that makes my heart feel like it's fluttering and my stomach becomes all jumpy in that good way! If you ever have that "oh-my-GOSH-this-is-the-greatest-thing-in-the-world" kind of fluttering feeling… follow that feeling. It's a clue that you're doing something that will take you on the path that's right for you!
This was the poster for the workshop… there was such a enthusiastic, good-natured group of bright minds!

 In the past, I had thought that I had gotten this same feeling - only there would be a hidden element of dread, as well, that I wouldn't dare admit to myself that I was simultaneously feeling. For example, I thought Environmental Chemistry would be for me; I absolutely loved the textbook reading and taking notes in class, but after every single lab, I would return back to my dorm room and cry my eyes out because of how horrible the experience was for me. I hated the numerical precision of weighing out substances just right, lest your entire experiment would be, well, totally screwed. I speak from experience, ugh! Or, for another example, I thought that previous relationship that I'm still healing from was the "absolute one" for me. Rather than admit to myself that hey, this guy tends to say and do some pretty disrespectful things which hack away at my self-confidence and self-esteem, I kept putting him up on a pedestal, believing that it was "no big deal" and that I was "just overreacting" and that I was "just being sensitive". Uhhhmm…nope! Often times, we only want to focus on the happy jumpy feeling we get about something and ignore the dread which is so so wrong.

The truth is, though, friends, that what's truly right for us will only give us the good feelings. There will be no bad feelings in the back of our minds that we'll try our best to ignore. For me, entrepreneurship has given me nothing but the good feelings. What about you?

What gives you nothing but the "good feelings"?
xoxo, Brooke

Sunday, March 1, 2015

"I'm Fine, How Are You?"

Suuuuper long post today. TL;DR? Okay fine, but you'll be missin' out! :3

When he-who-no-longer-deserves-to-have-his-name-mentioned and I went on our first date, we took a point to check our iPhones (so I could text my mom back and for him to see his Navy duty schedule for the upcoming week). "I got 4 comments on my blog post from yesterday!" I exclaimed. "Oh, wow, FOUR blog posts?? " he replied in a really rude tone, rolling his eyes.

Let me tell you, friends - sarcasm can be alright, but it's never harmless when it's directed at another person. Sometimes I type like this: "I ate twice my weight in chocolate chip cookies a socially unacceptable amount of dessert." See, that's sarcastic - but putting somebody down when they're really excited about something, even in a slightly joking way, and deflating that bubble of lit-up enthusiasm in their eyes? No. Sarcasm is not okay or cute at all in that way. Let's not cut other people down and say that we were "just joking around", yeah? Let's support each other in all of our goals, dreams, and passions - and let's support those who still have no clue what they're passionate about and those who can't seem to come up with any goals or clear visions for dreams just yet.

[You see, I don't write this blog just for myself - if I wanted to write for myself, well, that's what journals are for! But I write this blog because I want to reach people. I want you to know that you're never alone, and that maybe you can relate to my experiences (or if not, maybe learn something from them so you won't have to the hard way like I did!). I want to be able to put a smile on your face if we have similar interests or identical tastes in fashion or music or literature or food<3 … or if not, that maybe I can spark your interest to try something new and see why I am totally into whatever thing it is that I'm recommending to you! Something I've noticed is that when people see each other and ask each other in passing how they are, they always seem to say "I'm fine, how are you?" or "Good, you?" when this isn't always the case. Although it can be hard to "be real" for some people because they don't want to seem too vulnerable, think about this: being vulnerable is the strongest and bravest thing a person can be. I think I've written this in a previous post, but it is an amazing thing to open yourself to getting hurt, all in the pursuit of achieving something greater. This blog will never pull the "I'm fine, how are you?" trick. Honesty and vulnerability are two of my strongest beliefs, and you can rest assured that I'd never skip the real stuff, like so many blogs unfortunately tend to do.]

If you haven't gathered this yet, being single is not something I enjoy. At all. But, on the other hand, I also will not be in a relationship with somebody just for the sake of being in a relationship.  I truly need to be interested in the person, or believe that there could be some potential there. Right now, when I'm really missing all of the cuddling and hand-holding and hugs, I'm definitely feeling the loss. Some people are afraid to be loved and find all that stuff to be "smothering", but I think it's safe to say that most people crave all of that kind of stuff! I mean, honestly, it's one of the greatest feelings in the world to cuddle up with somebody special under a warm blanket and just have a deep talk about life.

Although at first I thought that I no longer have one particular person that I can do really thoughtful things for and do little surprises to show them how much they mean to me - I realized that I still do! We all do, actually. We all have ourselves to love. One of the best ways to show ourselves some love is by nurturing ourselves into becoming the most happy, interesting, enlightened, intelligent, and kind people we can be!

Here is my list of things I'm going to try/learn, now that I can give all the love I had that was totally rejected (can you sense my pain right now or… hahaha! *sigh*) to somebody that I know will love to receive it: myself.

1. Work on those beauty tutorial videos for this blog that I promised I would (I made the announcement for these way back in January, so don't you worry - they're in the process!)
2. Get more familiar with computer coding (I've never gotten around to Python!)
3. Look at inspirational and motivational quotes on Pinterest - don't underestimate - it is honestly really helpful in times of need.
4. Go to more campus events with friends, whether during the week (homework, though…) or on weekends.
5. Actually give myself a weekly manicure… chipped nail polish will be the death of me, lol!
6. Get my room totally organized. Here's lookin' at you, clothing-covered floor ;).
7. Start eating healthier… no more fries and ice cream for dinner! Blech.
8. Have a kinder inner voice. Remind myself that I am still lovable and the "soul mate" letters I mentioned in a previous post are not going to waste. Remind myself that I have a lot of rewarding qualities that are just what another person will be looking for. Remind myself that even though I am definitely good enough for myself (#selflove is so important! Having self-confidence doesn't make you conceited at all unless you take it to a rude, extreme, gross level), I will also definitely be good enough for a special someone, too.
9. I used to do this thing where I would write out a famous quote that described how I was feeling at the moment and then draw a design around it. They all came out really cool, and I'd love to get back into doing this!
10. Actually go to bed every night at 11:30 and wake up at 8:30… but actually though, and not just tell myself I will because it never happens ;) lol!

What new thing or skill do you want to try to show yourself that you love yourself?
xoxo, Brooke

PS- As a side note about the earlier part of my post, each comment I get on a blog post from you, or Facebook inbox message or email (SO sorry to the several people who emailed me this past week that I haven't replied to yet… as you can tell I've kind of been drowning a bit lately, but I'm definitely getting back to you and it means SO so incredibly much to me to hear your thoughts and compliments and to know that my blog has touched your life in some way) is incredibly special to me. But most importantly, I want you to know that you can always have a friend in me, even on those not-so-fun days when you just want to hide under the covers all day, ya know!? Never be afraid to reach out :) <3