Pink Paw Print

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How To Take Care of Yourself

Recently, I have not been taking care of myself.

I've been in a little "Brooke-rut". I'm luckily less anxious than I've been in a very long time, but sometimes when I don't feel panicky, I wind up feeling sad in its stead. I've been eating too many potato chips/french fries at every friggin' meal and neglecting to wash my face with my 3-step skin care system and have been getting about 6.5 hours of sleep only when I know that I personally need 9 and haven't gone to the gym in over a week which is showing during yoga class when I can barely hold any of the poses and haven't written a blog post on here since LAST THURSDAY.

I'm a hawtt mess, atm *flips my hair saucily*, and I'm going to do something about it. To fix it. Actually… many things. Here are some ways to start taking better care of yourself, if you're in a similar situation!

  1. Wake up at the same time every morning, regardless of how much you slept the previous night
  2. Hit the gym first thing when you wake up
  3. Use an amazing-smelling body wash in the shower after (hopefully organic/non-toxic!!) 
  4. Listen to positive, upbeat music only - say "buhhbye" now to those sad songs!
  5. Use nourishing hair care products avoiding sulfates and alcohol-based (think: drying, af) chemicals
  6. Actually wash your face with whatever routine works for you (some people only need soap and water, whereas others actually need to take pills to control acne - just don't neglect your precious skin!)
  7. Repeat a mantra in your head whenever you need during the day; if you're feeling sad or grumpy or lethargic or unmotivated or scared or worried, let this phrase make you feel all comfy-cozy and safe inside. I personally tend to get panic attacks first thing when I wake up in the morning about every other week (hey, it used to be every morning! baby steps, baby steps~~) or so because I tend to have nightmares about past events extremely often (#funtimez!!!!), so this 3-part spiritual thought calms me down: my God is good, my God loves me, my God will keep me safe and protected.
  8. Stock up on healthy snacks so you won't resort to eating five Lindt truffles at midnight instead of carrot sticks w/ hummus (omg the shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *a piece of my soul withers and dies a little bit*)
  9. Organize your room because I've learned the hard way that when you have a pile of clothes on your floor, whether clean or not, there will be SPIDERS……………………… *insert sick/ill face emoji here*
  10. YOGAAAA <3
  11. Watch these creepy ASMR videos that will simultaneously brighten your mood and relax you.
  12. Surround yourself with positive people. Not everybody is gonna wind up being your absolute best friend, and hey, that's ok! Some people will be your study buddies, others will be the people you sob on the phone to about the guy you ended things with, and still others will be people you wave to when you see them around even though you never actually grabbed coffee like you planned to, once upon a time. On this note, it's not weird to tell someone that you think they seem really cool (platonically/as friends or otherwise) and would love to get together some time!
  13. So don't laugh buuut I call it my VAG board (it stands for "Visions & Goals", ha ha ha okay funny Vag okay we're done now~~)  where I plan out where I am and where I'm going. (Side note: I try not to think about where I've been. For me, the past just causes me heartache to think about and it's okay to stop torturing yourself. I used to be worried I would forget all the details of the past so I would replay events over in my head - break ups, awkward moments, even happy times, everything. The truth is, you can spend the energy on having new happy experiences that won't ache so much when you think about them in the moment.)
  14. Wear clothing that makes you feel the most you, no matter what anybody says! This also goes for hairstyle - let 'em sip the haterade if they must, ya know!?
How do you take care of yourself?
xoxo, Brooke

Thursday, September 24, 2015

[Countdown] 4 Favorite Brands for the Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Today I went to grab a PSL from place number four on this list, and I felt inspired to make a list of my favorite places to get pumpkin spiced lattes from. Not all PSLs are created equal, friends, and I've shared my field notes with you down below:
My happy place!! (Books-A-Million w/ a precious PSL and my assigned reading)

4 // Joe Muggs (the cafe at Books-A-Million)
Although the warmth (both temperature-wise and flavor-wise) is extremely cozy at first, the flavor oddly tends to disappear quite quickly! I believe the hints of clove/nutmeg in this version of the drink are artificial, which might explain why that happens (lack of any true flavor permeating the beverage), but on a chilly day, this might be all you need to get by.

3 // Panera Bread
Personally, even though I prefer the hot chocolate (with those friggin' chocolate chip-infused marshmallow blocks, oh my GOSH!!) here, the PSL at Panera isn't half bad! Granted, I've had better but… I've also had worse *shivers*! Be sure to order it with a brownie on the side ;)

2 // Dunkin' Donuts
Ahh, yes, friends - my beloved Dunkies. The flavor is definitely artificial and medicinal tasting, so I'm not sure why I still enjoy it so darned much. Maybe it's just the small-town vibe of my local stores? Maybe it's the nearby donuts just across the counter? ~~~~Maybe it's Maybelline~~~~ Try this one iced - I personally prefer it served that way here!

1 // STARBUCKS!!! 
With REAL PUMPKIN OHMYGOSHIEZZ (buhh-bye, artificial clove flavor!! *waves*), this PSL is by far the tastiest of the bunch. And the most down-to-earth/keepin' it real, which as you know by now, is how I roll~~ Additionally, when consuming this godly elixir of a beverage, I have been known to shout in public, "I feel like I am literally drinking a pie!!" …that's how you know it's legit.

Where is your favorite place to pick up your beloved PSL!?
xoxo, Brooke

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fall Q&A With Live The Prep Life!

In honor of the first week of fall, I thought it would be fun to team up with another blogger to do a seasonal-themed collaboration! I met Brooke from Live The Prep Life during one of the #BloggerBlab Twitter chats (hosted by the lovely Cathleen and Nicole) and she is seriously one of the sweetest girls I have ever met. I am ~so~ glad that I was able to interview her!! <3 After reading her answers, make sure to head over to her blog and give her a follow! As today is the official first day of Fall 2015, we did a Fall Q&A *happydances all around in the leaves* !!

1. What is your favorite fall fashion trend? I am a huge fan of oversized sweaters, thick scarves, and booties or riding boots.

2. What is your favorite fall flavored drink? I feel so generic saying this, but Pumpkin Spice Latte!

3. What is your favorite fall activity? I love going to my local pumpkin patch and going on hayrides, doing a corn maze, and carving pumpkins.

4. What is your favorite new fall TV show premiere? I don't really watch TV so this is a hard one!

5. What is your favorite fall holiday? I love them all, but probably Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite fall color? I LOVE gray throughout the fall and winter - I swear, that color dominates my wardrobe.

7. What is your least favorite part about fall? Saying goodbye to summer and starting school for the next nine months is definitely my least favorite part.

8. What is your favorite month in the fall? My favorite fall month is November, because it finally starts to turn cool in Texas and you get Thanksgiving and the preparation of Christmas!

9. What is your favorite fall food? When it gets cold, I really love casseroles or tomato soup with grilled cheese.

10. What is the one thing you are most excited for this season? I can't wait for Thanksgiving because I get a week off from school and we have lots of fun activities planned. My cousins are coming over (I haven't seen them in forever) and we are going to have a huge Thanksgiving breakfast as well as dinner, of course!

I had so much fun working with my "mini me" on this, and be sure to check out her blog! Like I said, she is such a sweetheart, and I'm sure you will love her and her posts just as much as I do! Alsoooo, deffs be sure to check out her post to see my answers to these questions!! ;)
xoxo, Brooke

Thursday, September 17, 2015

[Trigger Warning] How Practicing Yoga Helped Me to Let Go of the Past

[FYI, somewhat of a trigger warning. not much description, not too vivid, just some stuff might be difficult if you happen to relate, that's all. just a head's up. some of it is tough to hear about but, y'allz know by now that I tend to talk about real issues on here sometimes, because that's what makes us all human. pretending the tough stuff doesn't exist or is "too much information" is what causes isolation instead of community, tbh. it's okay to talk about the tough stuff sometimes.... it's really, honestly okay. if there is even one person out there who feels less alone because I've shared my personal experiences, then I've done my job as a social media personality.]
Back in the summer, when my yoga pants had never yet made it to yoga~~~

This year, I finally decided to go for it and take Intro. to Yoga at my college. I'd always been interested in the whole taking yoga part… just not so much the part where I could potentially look ridiculous because I'd have honestly no clue what I'm doing (even though I've been told that I've got the whole "endearingly awkward" thing going for me, bahaha! *covers face behind hands like the monkey emoji, omgg*. Buuuuut I sucked up my fear, and now I just make sure to put my yoga mat in the back of the room so that there's nobody behind me when I do that saucy downward dog pose in my yoga pantz ;) #woofwoof

Today, this morning bright and early in the 9AM class, our instructor (who is like a total bad-ass, flexible fairy princess, tbh, and I mean that in the best and most positive way!!!) told us that ancient myths or something said that if you have knee problems, it means that you also have difficulty moving forward in your life, as the knees serve as a symbol for leaving the past behind and venturing towards the future. When she said this, I was floored (LOL GET IT BECAUSE I WAS LITERALLY ON THE FLOOR ON MY MAT LOL). She said exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it. Now, let me explain…

Since 2011, I've suffered from patellar tendonitis that originated from a field hockey injury where I was hit directly in the knee with the field hockey ball during practice before a big Fight For The Cure game (and if we're being honest, my knees were already pretty worn out from years of playing tennis but not continuing to work out during the off-seasons #pizzaisbetter #yolo). I actually almost had to defer coming to college for a semester because I could not walk. Crutches hurt my back and armpits too much, and a wheelchair would be bad for my knees because they can't stay bent for long periods of time - but with a lot of physical therapy, I could walk for about 10 minutes at a time without having to stop ...which was good enough for me at the time! What a friggin' miracle. I still can't even run a mile, and I can't even walk on the treadmill without some swelling (too much impact, unfortunately), but I no longer have to wear sneakers every day (Birkenstocks & Jack Rodgers, tho <3333333333) which is a major comfort for my fashionista soul.

I realized, in that moment this morning, that so much of my present is constructed by my past. No matter how much I talked them out, there have been things that still haunted me up until today… (~stuff's about to get so real rn~) going to summer camp on Long Island and getting touched in non-consensual ways. by a female. I was only six years old. I was not the only child this happened to, but I still felt confused and alone., not really fitting in at public school because I was "too smart", getting bullied about being pale (yooooo, Polish-Ukranian people are born that way! lolz), getting bullied about my hair being too big, getting bullied about my nose being too big, getting bullied because I was too skinny growing up, getting bullied because I gained a lot of weight eventually, when mommy and daddy fight but you're an only child so how do you even cope with that (and when you all don't get along, for that matter), getting bullied that my voice is too high (happens sometimes when I get nervous), getting bullied that my voice is too low (also happens sometimes when I get nervous), getting bullied that I was therefore a lesbian because I wouldn't have sex with a "popular" guy when I was 11 years old and did not yet even get my first period????????!!!?????!?!?!?!?, having a best friend in high school who was the closest thing I've ever had to a sister to me but then we both became totally different people and no longer talk even though we go to the same college (if you're reading this, I've really missed you but all the times I'd reached out, I felt it went unreciprocated), not fitting in at boarding school because I wasn't rich enough compared to that jet-setting international wealth crowd and was a mere lowly peasant of a day student (non-boarders weren't socially acceptable in society), not fitting in at private day school because I was the new kid, an abusive relationship my freshman year of college that I'm not even going to get into here, falling absolutely in love with an ex-boyfriend my sophomore year of college who had the nastiest mean streak and his words hurt more than physical bruises ever could and having to end things because of it despite how he took care of me when I had some horrible flu that lasted way too long and was there for me and how he told me he would always love me and that I truly was his soulmate then leading me on later pretending he wanted to get back together simply to hurt me and then I was crushed because he had talked about *~marriage~* in the future, getting in a car accident with that guy where I got a severe neck and back sprain yet he was fine so he called me a baby and said I was making it up just for attention yet I wound up having to go through months of physical therapy and do strength training and have multiple X-Rays soooo…..ok buddy, a string of no-good relationships to follow, feeling like I had no friends for the longest time, not being able to do my summer internship because the birth control I was taking triggered a horrible anxiety disorder (that's still in the process of going away, but it is 10383920302038 million times better even though I still get really panicky at times), having that struggle of what the heck are my post-college plans going to be!?!?!, finding a homework-life balance, the fact that I actually want the first time I have sex with a guy (yes yes, friends, the Virgin Brooke rumors are true!!!!!!!!!! *gasp*) to be 100% meaningful so much so that it's like a spiritual experience if that even makes any sense whatsoever yet the guys I would tell this to were usually like…. lol, nah which is just dandy but AHH DO YOU KNOW HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO STAND UP FOR THAT BELIEF IN THE HOOK-UP CULTURE WORLD OF COLLEGE….but hey, NONE OF THIS MATTERS!!! I've got no secrets anymore. I've shared them all with you, and I have zero regrets, whatsoever. I am free. You are free. We are all freer than we will ever know.

I was allowing all of my past experiences, as most of us tend to do unknowingly, to define who I am today. We all have these little origin stories that dictate who we are and how we see ourselves, but honestly, we don't need to fall prey to them. We can say, ya know what, shizznit happens, but I'm not going to walk around like some victim, and I'm not going to be sad all the time. Because the good thing is, is that when the past has been pretty downhill, the future can be pretty uphill! I realized today that I'm just not about to feel sad about these things anymore. I want to feel happy. I deserve to feel happy. We all deserve to feel happy! So, I've vowed to stop the sadness, and let the love from the world fill in the empty voids.

I personally believe that everything happens for a reason… it's like the marshmallows in the Lucky Charms: without those nasty cereal pieces (aka the bad times in life), the marshmallows (the beautiful, resplendent times) wouldn't taste as delightful!

So, yoga class - you da real MVP for this enlightenment, *casually throws deuces*!
I am free.
I am free.
I am free.

What will it take to make you let go of the past?
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, September 14, 2015

15 Things I've Learned So Far From Senior Year

1 // It's never too late to make new friends. Say good morning to the girl with the fantabulous shoes. Smile at the professor who makes an attempt to hold the door open for you even though he is clearly in a hurry! When you add warmth and kindness to other people's lives, you will not regret it.

2 // There are some days (usually just lonely nights) when you will feel like the world is ending. But, the next morning, the sun will still rise and life will still carry on and you will go through the motions until you actually begin to feel a-okay again.

3 // Classes actually can be manageable, and you actually can manipulate time to work in your favor, rather than against you. Who knew!!!!???!!?!?!!? (And by this I mean, it's a very good idea to enroll in a few night classes that only meet once a week so that way you have tons of free time during the rest of the week

4 // You will have more in common with others than you think. When you first meet someone, you might be like "omg we are so different…" but as you interact with someone on a deeper level, you'll realize we all have the same fears, desires, and dreams: we all want to be liked/loved, we all want to achieve things that will make us feel happy and successful, and we all want to be able to express ourselves without judgment! *hugs everyone*

5 // You learn to take care of yourself… You learn to date yourself.... You learn to go out for a burrito at Moe's by yourself! (okay okay so this quote was semi-altered from a recent Snapchat Story of mine, but it still rings true!!~~)

6 // Life is a balancing act, really. I mean…. some weeks you will have a manicure, and some weeks you will not.

7 // Just say NO when it comes to going to the college-sponsored debauchery events dances. Weekend nights are much better spent eating an entire small pizza in your room and listening to music while doing sudoku puzzles rather than avoiding sleazy guys'  gazes at your booty (ARGHHH! <---lolz get it booty like a pirate... omggggggggggg, so funny ha ha ha, haw!!!!)

8 // Annoying, but true: people will treat you like a frickin' QUEEN when you're wearing makeup. When you skip the makeup, people treat you way differently (like a frickin' PEASANT). It's like they forget that I'm super uber-fierce, or something!!!!! *gives them the Almighty Sass Hand*

9 // Go to the gym when it first opens, or just don't even go at all, tbh. If you're brave enough to navigate the crowds at 4:00pm then I bow down to you and your patience/courage!!

10 // Keep a stock of multiple varieties of chocolates (preferably Godiva, Lindt, and Ghiradelli) in your room at all times, or you will sorely regret it.

11 // When the basement of your dorm floods, don't build an ark to get across the hall to the door to the outside world - just go a different way!

12 // You will love yourself, yet your deepest darkest secrets and insecurities will eat you up alive inside if you look back into your eyes in the mirror for too long.

13 // Don't forget your Netflix password. Enough said.

14 // It's okay to want to cry when a millipede (with a long stinger on its butt, might I add~~) crawls out from your vent and onto your bare, tank-top-clad shoulder. #nightmares #jkplottwistitsreallife

15 // Psychology is pretty cool… you might even wind up minoring in it! :p

What have you learned so far this year?
xoxo, Brooke

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Where I've Been

So, I've been a little bit MIA recently. This is because I have been eating half a jar of salsa in one day and approx 6-7 servings of Tostitos chips, basically been putting all of my humanly-possible energy into my studies. I've been reading Robinson Crusoe as efficiently as humanly possible, you see, but alas~~ back in the good ol' days, all nouns used to be capitalized…rather than just proper nouns, so my Eyes aren't used to such Capitalization. <--SEE WHAT I DID THERE ;) LAWLZ MCGEE!!!! After a while, though, you get used to it and the reading gets quicker. The English major in me is taking it as a sign that in the future I should diversify the time periods in which the novels that I read have been written in, in order to broaden my literary horizons, ahaha!

By the way, I dropped the religious studies course - it was wayyyyyy too crowded and there were so many days with "no class" on the syllabus that I felt I wouldn't be getting my money's worth for it - and signed up for a psych class called "Drugs and Behvavior" that is so. frickin'. cool. (!!!) I just had the first class tonight and I'm -beyond- glad that I made the switch. I really do love psychology, and hope to take more psychology classes next semester, too - which will be my final semester of COLLEGE! AHHHHH!

Yoga has also been an incredible experience: the truth is, ya never really know how not-flexible you are until you're forced to stretch and bend... *rubs my sore calves with the utmost affection…and ice cubes* ahaha! 

Some exciting news that I haven't yet shared with you guys (unless we're personally friends on Facebook!) is that I'm now the co-editor of my college's literary magazine, which means so much to me because I love poetry and art and all-things-creative so I am honored to help foster that sort of environment on my campus! <3

From now on, I'm going to try my best to pre-write up at least three posts over the weekend to spread out for posting throughout the week so I don't go leaving ya high and dry while I labor away in the depths of the black lagoon that is the library~~~ (jk, it's actually really bright in there! :D !) What type of posts can you expect in the future? Fall fashion photo-shoots, fall-themed recipes, more videos (hopefully with an actual video camera so the quality will be amazing & not grainy haha!), and whatever you'd like, honestly! I'm always up for suggestions for types of posts - let me know if there's something you'd be interested to read about! :p

Where've you been lately!?
xoxo, Brooke

Thursday, September 3, 2015

(VIDEO) Makeup Review & Mini Dorm Room Tour!


I was honestly so worried for this year, but it's off to a really incredibly promising start. If you followed me on Snapchat already, you got a sneak peak into my OOTD (outfit of the day), getting pumped for yoga class (my fave already, omg. I had no idea it was so spiritual and so…. holistic!), makeup look, heading to the gym, being silly (obvi obvi obvi), & more! Add me on Snapchat @buhhrook so you can get a sneak peak into my adventures… I know I'd love to get a sneak peak of yours, too!! I love learning more about y'allz :D <3 !

*drumrollllll* Here is my silly, fun video about the back-to-school makeup products that I have absolutely been lovin' recently, as well as an impromptu mini dorm room tour (and when I say "mini", it's because I accidentally forgot to show you guys some very important things…. mainly, my "Where's Waldo?" poster on one of my walls that I've put up on my wall every single year of college :p !) Let me apologize, once again, for the quality of this video… Photo Booth is honestly killin' me here with the grainy-ness! But it could be worse ;) !?!

Love you guys!! How is back-to-Fall (whether it's school, a new job/internship, etc.) for you!?
xoxo, Brooke

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

College Edition: Getting Ready In The Morning Music Playlist

Sorry for being somewhat off the radar, recently!

The first day of my senior year of college classes starts tomorrow (EEK!) so I've been pretty consumed by buying socially unacceptable amounts of Tostitos chips and jars of salsa for my dorm room preparing for that. I know how people often talk about how back-to-school shopping is their favorite part of the year, and while I wholeheartedly agree *strokes credit card affectionately*, I think that the joys of creating a solid "College Edition: Getting Ready in the Morning Music Playlist" are often overlooked!!

Last year, I only required a mere 15 minutes to get ready: pee, spoon-feed yogurt down my throat that I was too half-asleep to even taste what flavor it was (EXCEPT PLAIN, CUZ THAT SHIZZ IS NASTY AND GETS ME SICK), put on some non-pajama pants and maybe dare I say it~~ even put on a bra if it was too hot out to just wear a vest or something (the logical decision ;) bahaha!!), color on some eyeliner like a child w/ a crayon and two coats of mascara, find shoes that match (~~no promises about the socks tho~~), and bolt out the door to my first class. Now, however…

I cannot tell a lie, friends. It recently has been taking me at least an hour to get ready every morning. My inner princess has this thing against putting on lipstick before one brushes one's teeth (hint: just say no!!!!). So, even though I hate waiting to put on lipstick until the very end of my morning routine, it's the best way to go - and, might I add, even though I hate the way food tastes after brushing, it's pretty important to brush before eating to prevent bacteria from spreading (at least, this is what I have heard time and time again - no promises though! Science majors, help a sistah out here!?). I like to leisurely peruse theSkimm . I enjoy dancing around with a face makeup sponge in one hand, a mascara wand in the other. I like to hit the gym on most mornings, so I can feel the burn before I'm even somewhat remotely conscious.

This all being said, I really need a morning soundtrack, ya know!? While I prefer soothing, relaxing voices before bed (hayyyyyy Jack Johnson!), in the morning, I like upbeat, pop-style songs that will render the residue of a smile on my face and a positive attitude in my heart :p. Time to listen up! *lends you one of my earbuds so we can listen together*

(Field Note: I just really really like TSwift's music, okay? I see those eyes of yours rolling…. curb that sass!!!!) AND OH, PS - I usually just listen to the songs on Spotify rather than watch the actual music videos provided below for your viewing pleasure... So I honestly have no idea if they're innapropro or not… I guess if they start getting a little "um, EW!?!?" then you can just do other fun things like paint your nails or play with your dog while the music is in the background…

1 // Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift

2 // Love Myself by Hailee Steinfeld

3 // Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

4 // I Don't Like It, I Love It by Flo Rida ft. Robin Thicke & Verdine White

5 // Stitches by Shawn Mendes

6 // Blank Space by Taylor Swift

7 // Black Magic by Little Mix

8 // Renegades by X Ambassadors

9 // Ghost Town by Adam Lambert

10 // Worry About You by 2AM Club

What songs do you like to get ready to in the morning? I love getting recommendations! <3
xoxo, Brooke