Pink Paw Print

Friday, December 30, 2016

Your 2017 Bucket List Challenge!

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



THE CHALLENGE:

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

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

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

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

5. Go vegetarian for three weeks.

6. Go vegan for one week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

16 Truths That I Learned in 2016

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




What lessons did you learn in 2016?
xoxo, Brooke

Saturday, December 17, 2016

On My Music Playlist

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



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

"Sexual" by NEIKED

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

"11 Blocks" by Wrabel

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

 "Come First" by Terror Jr

"Phone" by Lizzo

 "Queen Elizabeth" by Cheat Codes

 "The Mack" by Nevada, Mark Morrison

10  "Solo Dance" by Martin Jensen

11  "Magic" by Thomas Gold, Jillian Edwards

12 "Lost" by Kontinuum, Savoi

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

14 "Stay With Me" by Angus & Julia Stone

15 "Water Under the Bridge" by Adele



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

Friday, December 16, 2016

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

Heyheyyyyy!

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

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

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

I was soo000ooooOOoo pumped, yayyy!

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

Two little muffins in their natural habitat XD lololol!

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

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

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

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

More of Mizner Park!

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

Yaaaa!!!!!!!!


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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Part-Time Grad School!? (What I'm Going To Be Doing This Winter)

IT HAS BEEN FOREVER.

^unrelated stock photo that I found on Google that looks super cute but has absolutely not much to do with this post other than the fact that these cookies seem to have a ~*winter vibe*~ about them. XD

But! I'm baaaaa-aaaaaaack!!! *throws arms around dramatically*

So, for those of you who I'm Facebook friends with, you've already seen my status that this past quarter I received a 4.0 GPA while taking the maximum possible course-load for the Master of Fine Arts graduate program in Writing at SCAD. This is a huge accomplishment to me, for many personal reasons. I'll keep it short, as many of you have already read the status so just to be brief: Back in my first two years of high school, I was told some highly discouraging comments by teachers about my writing. However, this is a real "touche" to their rudeness, and I'm so glad that I didn't give up on my passions, merely because a few people were unable to see what I had to offer.

NOW, I want to fill you guys in on what I'm going to be up to next quarter!

Next quarter, I will only be attending grad school part-time which means taking only one course. "Writing For Fashion" is the one I picked! *cue sassy hand flip* So what else will I be doing to occupy this extra time!? (Besides blogging again, ayyyyy! ;) )

Well, as you may have guessed, I had absolutely no time to study for the Certified Personal Trainer exam that I'm going to be taking sometime in 2017, most likely this spring (lol.) Because of this, I'll be taking this quarter to study for this CPT exam. It really is a ton of material... There's a lot of anatomy, science, memorization...but I totally got this! *cue "Eye of the Tiger" playing in the background* "Nothing great ever comes easy," as they say, amiright!?

Although my grades came out wonderfully, I was neglecting my physical health by the end of the quarter. I stopped cooking for myself a few weeks in, in favor of relatively unhealthy take-out options, and even though I've been working with my own personal trainer to be able to more "look the part" and learn firsthand about what works and what doesn't work when working with clients/ creating fitness plans + schedules for people, my schedule got to a point where I wasn't really able to hit the gym as much as I'd like to. Running errands, feeling physically exhausted, emotional stress, nourishing my romantic relationship, being social, completing schoolwork assignments, completing household chores, etc. just seemed to keep taking priority over the gym, and that's about to change -- for good.

We only get one body in this lifetime and it's our duty to keep it healthy (and healthy can taste -#veggiewraps- and feel -#energizerbunny-  and look -#croptopcity- really really good!) This quarter is going to be all about the "Writing About Fashion" grad school class, studying for the Certified Personal Trainer exam, getting into really great physical shape myself, BLOGGING (AND FINALLY LEARNING HOW TO VLOG BECAUSE WHAT IS A CAMERA TBH LOL also how does everyone make those little graphics with the channel name in their videos like what the heck I need those in my life for realz), learning to cook healthy meals that still taste amazeballs, aaaaand I'm planning on doing some volunteer work with the community...but I'm keeping that a surprise for now! More to come on that later! :D

Oh and, of course, continuing to grow together with Matt in our relationship is numero uno!!!!! Let me just give this total sweetheart-bae a shoutout right now. He dedicated a song he wrote to me in honor of how I did so well in school, and he wrote an accompanying Facebook post that was an incredibly sweet, heartfelt message of encouragement. Literally I'm #shook by him every day and I just need to say that he's so supportive and fantastic and he's such an amazing person with the biggest, kindest heart. You can check out the song out here (his work is mainly instrumental, which makes it really great to chill out to), and see the rest of his music, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wV2tfBKb-M !

Alsoooo, Matt has some really cool guest posts about some ~*dank*~ vegetarian food (when a guy goes vegetarian for you, you know it's true love, tbh~ LOL.), so keep your eyes peeled for that headed your way in the future! And naturally, videos on my new YouTube channel in which he will be making a cameo appearance are both most inevitable and most welcome.

Get excited for what's to come, friends!!
xoxo, Brooke

Sunday, October 23, 2016

How To Turn Your Life Around (5 Steps)


5 steps to turn your life around are listed below!
(hehe picture of my shoes while I'm tryna wait in line patiently for my Starbies <33 because feet take steps, get it!? ahh it's so pun-ny! ;) ahaha!)

I'm not going to lie, living on my own in a new city in a new region of the country is definitely a transition. I manage the best I can, but somewhere, as time went on, I began to slip up: the apartment became increasingly cluttered (lol what is a "floor" lol????), cooking healthy/balanced meals turned into just getting takeout because of exhaustion both physically and mentally, hitting the gym five days a week turned into "maybe I can just work out at home or something" (hint: didn't happen), daily yoga practice with YouTube videos to guide me turned into a desperate act only when I had tummy cramps to try and soothe the pain, enjoying my time with Matt in a worry-free way turned into constant panic about whether or not I should get some homework done ~whilst cuddling~ or if I actually had the time to go on an adventure together and make some cute memories, blogging a few times a week turned into a horrible weighty guilt in the back of my mind and happened maybe twice a month, YouTube plans became paused when I got a most unfavorable comment about my video even though this is something I want to do very very much, laundry is no longer a weekly occurrence, fruit flies mate in my kitchen on the regular because something got caught somewhere in my garbage disposal in the sink and it smells like ~dead animal~ tbh, working to keep up my straight A's GPA so I won't lose either of my two merit scholarships, not spending too much money even though in a new place it's sort of bound to happen...

I have not written in my journal in weeks. I have not really meditated (unless watching ASMR videos or during yoga counts) in weeks. The stray kitties sense my anxiety and no longer want to cuddle; I extend a hand out to pet them and they shrink from me and run away. I don't like this stress monster, feeling burnt out and panicked about the future, that I've turned into...

HOWEVER!!!! Silver lining alertttt! Today, I began to turn my life around! I think evacuating because of Hurricane Matthew really screwed up everyone's schedule and life plans (if you watched my most recent video, then you know that I can no longer go home for the holidays because the academic quarter was extended...), but the time has come to just metaphorically (or hey, literally if you'd like!) shout: "STOP!!!!!!" Really!

"Enough is enough" is a phrase that has been on my mind for quite a while now. And you can say it, too. Have you been heading down a path you really do not like? Well then, "enough is enough!" Let's get you back on track, shall we!?

1. Clean your living environment.

You can lie to both me and yourself  (LOLOLOLOLOL) and tell us both that you don't need a clean home/apartment/house/room to function best, but when there's no clutter, everything just feels better. You can find things a lot quicker when everything is in its proper location (hint: why are your cheese puffs on your nightstand!? hmmm....), there's less of a chance of cockroaches scary bugs will make their home in your home, you can actually invite people over to your place to hang out for a change... trust me when I say, this makes a huge difference. Take out that trash! Launder those clothes! Scrub that shower floor! Oww owwwww, werk it! *cue salsa dancing emoji here* Enough is enough!

2. Make healthier choices.

Baked potato instead of loaded chili cheese fries. Yoga before bed instead of drinking a beer. End toxic friendships that make you dislike yourself. Don't be afraid to force yourself into going to sleep earlier so that you can wake up earlier, even if you've never been a "morning" person. You've only got one life, so what're you waiting for!? (Even if you believe in reincarnation, as I think I might, it still won't be this particular life, and each should be treated with respect and be treasured!) Nobody's going to be able to make these choices for you. Not your parents, not your significant other. You've got to realize that you are your very own person, and you must take responsibility for yourself, even if you felt like you never learned to before. The time is now. Enough is enough!

3. Don't try to change things you can't possibly change.

Maybe a family member talked bad about you to someone else. Maybe you have a chronic health issue that you struggle with. Maybe there's a girl who keeps liking all of your boyfriend's pictures on Facebook. Maybe you're regretting that junk food you ate last night. Regardless of what it may be, many things are out of your control. You can only do so much to try to "fix" things. Eventually you have to realize that there are better things spending your energy focusing on, such as planning a schedule so that you have time each day to cuddle up with a good book, or look up funny memes on ~the Interwebzz~. You'll only make yourself sick otherwise. Enough is enough!

4. Understand that no matter how amazing you are, there is at least one person in the world who won't like you for whatever reason.

If you love humankind, this can be really difficult to accept. Sometimes though, it's like point number 3 - it could be something like you got the job someone else wanted, or you look like someone's ex which makes someone act bitterly towards you. Honestly, not everyone is going to get along, no matter how much we might wish we all could. All you can do is be the most authentic version of yourself, and you will attract people who love you just the way you are. Pretending to be someone else just to get people to like you will only leave you feeling unfulfilled and pressured to keep up some artificial act. No bueno. Enough is enough!

5. Do that thing.

You know which thing I'm talking about. The thing that has been on your mental to-do list for pretty much forever but you're too scared to go for it so you keep putting it off. It will never get done until you make it get done, you know? Tell that person how they made you feel hurt by their actions, even if they get mad at you for speaking your truth. Apply for that dream job even if you aren't sure you have all the qualifications for it (trust me, you can learn many things while on the job, so just go for it! Let them be the ones to tell you no if they feel like it wouldn't be the right fit.) Get a gym membership even if the thought of people seeing you do squats in public makes you want to throw up and never leave your house again because chances are, they have their own insecurities too so they really have no right to judge you. Friend, I believe in your power and abilities, even if you don't. We are always so much more capable than we think; we just need somebody to believe in us. If you don't have that person in your life, let me be that person to tell you: go for it. You got this. Enough is enough!



So no matter why you're feeling stuck, try these five steps to get things back under control!

...because enough is enough!
xoxo, Brooke

Friday, October 14, 2016

(VIDEO!!!) Long Chit Chat: Why I Haven't Blogged Lately + What's Been On My Mind

Hey you guys!!!

BIG NEWS!!!!!!! A couple of people by now have asked me if I'm going to start a YouTube channel, I guess because of my Snapchat hahah and well, yeah!!!! I finally took the leap and I'm going to start having a more active channel! YouTube is something I've always wanted to attempt, but I've always been scared to (read more on why below). Basically, I absolutely love talking to you guys + sharing my life with y'allz on my Snapchat story and I decided it would make a lot of sense if I continued that passion with longer videos via YouTube! The makeup reviews, the discussions about life, the funny stuff that's happened recently, advice about how to grow up into the person you've always wanted to become (hint: it's never to late to become this person, no matter how old or young you currently are!!!)... these are just some of the things I touch upon in my Snapchat videos, and it's finally time to take it to the next level.

So two things: super sorry that in this video I said "right" like x103829204 million times!!! XD alsoooo, I realize that at a few points it kind of unfortunately looks like I'm not wearing any pants....denim shorts will have that effect. I tried editing the video to make it less apparent but alas~~ didn't work out. Anyway, please just ignore it/no need to be creepy about it!! Thanks for being understanding. In the future I will make sure to wear longer bottoms!!! :)

This video is super, super casual, just hangin' out with ya and chatting about some things that have been pretty relevant to me lately: blogging, boyfriend stuff, Hurricane evacuation, grad school life, personal growth, spiritual realizations and all that jazz!­čĺ×thanks for watching!!

Note: I have been really hesitant to make YouTube/vlog/blog videos because of how nasty comments can be that people write, so this is really a step out of my comfort zone. Pleeeease be respectful and kind!! Let's build others up; don't tear 'em down. Hurting others says more about the person who is rude than the person they are mean to.


 

Stay tuned!!! <3
xoxo, Brooke

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Looking To The Future

Hey you guys, I'm really sorry -- I've been trying to figure out how to best plan my new schedule including grad school classes, studying/completing homework assignments, studying for the certified personal trainer exam, having a social life with new friends/going to SCAD-hosted events for grad students, hitting the gym, doing yoga YouTube videos (ain't nobody got money for classes rn, ya feel?), writing in my journal, doing laundry down in the communal laundry room in the basement of my apartment, shopping for groceries, actually learning to cook more than just english muffins #YikesMcGee!, slaughtering evil fruit flies that have invaded my apartment, reading books for fun, trying to learn how to draw basic things because I'm the only one in the entire school pretty much who still draws stick figures (#WritingStudentAtAnArtSchoolProbz), reading up on art history because I'm taking Art Criticism which is a mandatory class for the MFA Writing program and I haven't taken an art history class before in my life soooo..., reading magazines about fashion so I can stay chic okay~~, keeping up with current events, applying for some part-time jobs so I can afford to do my laundry more than once a week, cleaning various surfaces in my apartment, hanging out with the stray kitties that live at my apartment building, finishing watching Season 22 of "The Amazing Race," BLOGGING LOL, listening to meditation/ASMR videos, coping with my crippling anxiety about where to park every single day of my #SavannahLyfe, and generally trying to juggle all of these things at once. I absolutely love everything that I do. I wake up every morning excited for the day ahead of me, except Tuesdays (aka today) because I have my three classes on Mondays and Wednesdays so as you can imagine Tuesday is brutal homework day and it gets panicky because I don't own a printer and parking is only free after 5 p.m. and open spots are hard to find and then I could just go to one of the various public libraries with free parking at any time but then I'd have to pay for printing whereas at the SCAD library we've already been allotted a certain amount of our tuition for printing.

But anyway. This is the most "whole" I have felt in a long, long, LONG time. I feel so darn fulfilled, and my inspiration has been sparked. I love every class that I am in. The material is so interesting in every class that I am in. I know I already wrote all of this in the last post, so I'll spare ya the gushing all over again but... I've just really been trying to stay afloat lately with all this amazing stuff going on. I'm the happiest I've been in like...years, honestly. I mean there are definitely some incredibly sad or bummer or shocking or truly heart-aching things that have happened since I've moved to Savannah, but I've learned to accept these things and not try to change them. Not everything can work out in our lives, whether it's a friendship or a romance or a job or what-have-you, but to quote by my homegirl Marilyn Monroe, "Good things fall apart so better things can fall together." My better things are out there. I just have to reach out and be open for them.

Looking to the future like~~

So, in all, no, I'm not about to stop blogging (I even bought a cheap, less then $100 camera at Target to add pictures to posts but I'm kinda bummed because I think my iPhone takes better quality pictures hahahahah
-____- *growls casually* I'm mildly bitter about this...!!); in fact, I'm currently narrowing down designers for who's gonna be the ~*lucky winner*~ of who I pick to complete my redesign vision that I have for The Pink Lyme. A couple members of my Snapchat fam have also asked if I'm going to be doing YouTube; honestly, I don't think so at this point. I love that with Snapchat, I can control who is seeing the videos - so if I'm venting about how my day went, it's not like the whole word gets to see that, just my Snappy buddies. I find that level of privacy pretty comforting and I love that sense of emotional intimacy you get when you are particular about who you let into your heart/Snapchat list/life lmao!!

Anyway, I have literally, no joke, 32 drafts of blog posts for TPL. I just actually need to finishing writing them or finish editing them or just hit publish on them. So they will actually get posted eventually. It's just that I've been so focused on learning what my professors expect and figuring out where to park all the time and meeting new people and stressing over the personal trainer exam that my priorities had to shift for a while. And they will shift back to blogging, as the ebb and flow of life tends to do this.

Thanks for being so understanding during this transitional time. Write again soon!! <3
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, September 12, 2016

(Recap) First Day of Grad School!


You guys... I'm really exhausted so probably no fancy personal touches/flourishes on this post because I'm literally about to go to bed at 10:58 p.m. and my bedtime is like 1:00 a.m. so this is saying something if I'm too exhausted to even manage a few ~*words typed like this*~ but I just have to tell you.... Today was the first day of grad school -- and it. was. absolutely. amazing.

SCAD is exactly as a school should be: a place that nurtures while it pushes, encourages while it stretches and welcomes while promoting further exploration. My classes were thought-provoking and exciting, even though it was only day one. The community vibe is so strong at this school, and everyone is really free to be whomever they want to be. The faculty legit gives a shizz about you and your passions. They try to tailor the class material to fit your career goals/needs. There is so much emphasis in creating your own unique style/voice/flair and putting your own personal touch on everything you do. I'm taking Art Criticism, History of Rhetoric and Non-fiction I, all of which are required courses for the MFA in Writing. Every class was incredible, and every professor inspired me. I felt accepted immediately. It's not a typical school where you're expected to blend in; instead, you are warmly guided to help you stand out as an individual. 

I'm so grateful that I chose SCAD as my final decision for a grad school. No, I wasn't paid or bribed or anything to write this hahha, I literally am just so happy about it, and this post is not sponsored in any way, either (although sponsored posts on TPL are always still 100% my own opinions, just FYI~~ <---ahh okay I managed two of my signature sarcasm marks!) :p I'm excited because I know I'm really going to grow creatively and as a writer so much from this place.

I'm the kind of person who thinks about what decisions I should make over and over again because I like to always be 100% about everything I do. This was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life to go here. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not looking through rose-colored lenses and saying it's perfect, because there are definitely flaws: a lot of students smoke right outside the building my classes are all in which is annoying AF and the parking situation is enough to send anyone running for a Xanax prescription, but regardless of these things, I love this school already and immediately felt comfortable here. I constantly felt like I didn't belong deep down in undergrad a lot, but I have never walked into a school (except for kindergarten, lolz mcgee!) and immediately felt 100% like I belonged... but here? Here is where I belong. <3

New posts coming soon! Think: Currently Trending, Best Monthly Makeup Picks, and more!
xoxo, Brooke


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

9 Reasons Why You Should Be a Vegetarian!

Being a vegetarian is something that's incredibly important in my life. There is never a day when I crave meat, and it's actually honestly really easy (even a lot easier than it was when I was vegan for a month this past summer... definitely didn't go about that the right way and I wasn't nourishing my body right at all, wahh! I found it tricky being vegan while having to avoid soy/tofu...) Occasionally, I will still have a piece of fish or a hard-boiled egg, but my diet is all vegetarian, other than that!

Have you been contemplating cutting meat out of your diet for a while now? If so, read on for these non-debatable nine reasons why you should be a vegetarian! We believe you can do it!! ;) It's super easy! <3


One.

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Two.


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Three.


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Four.


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Five.


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Six.


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Seven.

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Eight.

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Nine.

*via


DID I CONVINCE YOU!?!?! Look how sweet and cute and friendly they are!! Tbh, they're no different from your own pet dog or kitty you're sitting next to right now! Let this post serve as a sign to you, if you've been considering making a change to avoid eating dead animals friends (creepy, eh!?), to go for it -- start being a vegetarian, starting tomorrow!

DON'T YOU JUST WANT TO CUDDLE ALL THESE CUTIES!!!??? LIKE SERIOSULY, #COMECUDDLE.
xoxo, Brooke

Saturday, September 3, 2016

15 Things You Need To Do This Month! (September)

From now on at the beginning of each month, to celebrate the way a season makes its mark throughout the year, I'll be doing a fun "bucket list" type of post about "15 things you need to do this month!" Woohoo!!! I'm super excited about this, and I hope you will be, too!  Here is the first post in this series! *drumrolllllll*....





Ahhh, I wanted to publish this post earlier ~*but alas*~ the power went out, c/o Hurricane Hermine... you da real MVP. At least the power is back now, though!! *happydances all around* 

Happy September, everyone!! The month has just begun and although fall might not officially begin until Sept. 22, since Sept. 1, I like to pretend that it's already fall, ya feel me!? I've never experienced fall down South before, but this is my absolute FAVORITE season (I may or may not be biased having grown up in beautiful New England, having that Connecticut fall foliage and the smells of burning leaves/wood and hot chocolate and omg omg omg, okay I need to stop now before I start missing it way too much!), but every season is beautiful and has something to offer.

1. GET A VENTI PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE.

You guys, it's BACK!!! *squeals with delight* At least for Gold Card holders, that is. Regardless, be sure to grab one of these babies this month. (Try it my way: decaffeinated, with whipped cream.) I recommend getting a Venti because even if you can't drink it all at once, you can just pop it in your fridge and reheat it later in a mug in your microwave. #100

2. Get lost in a sunflower maze.

While corn mazes are always a true classic, why not give this beloved favorite a new update and go to a sunflower maze, instead? Sunflowers are my favorite type of flower (they're so beautiful, but are also kinda scary in a way! hahah, yellow is one of my favorite colors and their huge dark centers stare into your soul.... *shivers*)

3. Volunteer at a local food bank or soup kitchen.

While many people think to do this around Thanksgiving, it's really never too early to start doing some good for those in need. Why wait 'til Turkey time!? People still need your help today.

4. Join a "genre" book club (or start your own with others!)

Quite often, book clubs read stereotypical chick-lit book club books like "The Help," for example. While those kinds of books are always great, why not take your book club to the next level and specialize in reading only a certain genre? Mystery, science fiction, biographies...there are so many other amazing types of books out there that would make great material for group discussion, so don't be afraid to branch out from the typical selection of books and find a new niche!

5. Set up a new workout routine with a personal trainer.

Plot twist: you don't actually need to wait until the New Year to get in shape! The fall is a perfect fresh start to begin your healthy lifestyle journey. As I am currently studying to become a certified personal trainer, I can tell you that creating a healthy, active lifestyle for yourself is always a good decision. The way I look at things, which I don't mean to be morbid at all but like jussayin'!, is that the money you invest in your health now will be money saved from less doctor visit bills later on.

6. Take a walk in nature early in the morning.

Will the pace be peaceful and meditative or brisk and empowering? The choice is yours! Either way, surrounding yourself with Mother Earth's beautiful gifts -- the dirt beneath your sneakers, the tall + sturdy trees beside your path, whatever wildlife is scampering around or flying above you -- will help ground you and remind you that all creatures, including yourself, exist because we are all essential to the harmony of the world.

7. Attend a local sporting event.

College football, a 5k race, your little cousin's soccer game... whatever it may be, go all out and get really into cheering on your favorite team/participant! (Then, naturally, when the event is over, repeat #1 on this list to celebrate a win or console a loss~~) Depending on where you live, temperatures might drop so low during the winter months, that the fall is the last time in a while that you're going to have the chance to engage in outdoor activities (unless you're into like, skiing or snowboarding or snowmobiling or something like that.... #Pass #I'llJustStayInsideAndEatSmoresThx)


8. Buy new nail polish -- the darker, the better!

Tell your neon hues, "Ta-ta for now!" and bring on the heavy, dark glossy shades, metallics or mattes for an alluring, sophisticated nod to the upcoming colder months. I'm currently loving bordeaux (I remember it having a moment during my sophomore year; I was obsessed with all-things bordeaux-colored!), mauve, bronze and elephant gray. Oh, and midnight navy is always ~a given~ !

9. Make your own butternut squash soup.

Not as heavy as pumpkin, butternut squash still screams, "Fall is here!" without being too cliche. +5 bonus points to you, you little chef!, if you make your own croutons to put on top of the soup instead of your common crackers or artisan bread slice. Better yet, why not give a thoughtful gift to a neighbor or friend who could really use a pick-me-up? Buy a cute thermos and fill it up with the soup, putting the croutons in a side container. Their day = made.


10. Invest in a solid pair of cowboy boots.

Before you say I'm biased because I live in the south... okay, okay, fine, ya got me. I'm biased. BUT! You honestly can never go wrong! Dress 'em up, dress 'em down -- even if the rest of your outfit is totally mediocre (think: plain jeans and solid-colored t-shirt), the boots will really pack a punch. There are so many different colors and styles to choose from, too: square-toe, pointed toe, maroon-colored, light tan and turquoise, black and glittering silver... honestly, there's a style for everybody!

11. Experiment with new lipstick shades.

What worked best for your summer complexion will begin to change as fall temps set in and you spend less time basking in the sunlight. Before you're all about that pumpkin orange shade, take into consideration that lipsticks with blue rather than yellow undertones make teeth appear whiter! Browns, mauves and other neutral shades are of course (#ThxKylieJenner) totally in style right now. Browse around on Pinterest and Instagram to pick out a few products in mind before you go to your nearest Ulta, Sephora or pharmacy so you don't wind up leaving with more lipsticks (and less cashola $$$) than you can afford!


12. Pick up a new hobby.

Crocheting, drawing, learning a new language ... it can really add a sense of richness (which is what the fall is all about, richness, in flavors, colors, abundance of loved ones/friends/family, etc.!) to your life this fall season, particularly on the weekends when you might have some free time. Because I view the fall as a great time to give back to others, some ideas for this include perhaps donating the crochet blankets you make to women's shelters, or tutor high school students in the Spanish language that you've mastered! Fall in love with something new, gain the skills to do it well and then spread your knowledge around to others, you know!? <3


13. Try out a new signature scent.

Many fragrances are better suited for different times of the year, so this month, opt for those vanilla, cinnamon and musky notes that celebrate the season. For me, personally, I'm a huge fan of Victoria Secret's Noir Tease and I don't use anything else regardless of the season (teehee! *cue sassy hand flip*) because most perfumes give me a migraine headache, actually! So I don't have the ability to play around like most people do. Buuuuut, thankfully, there are still definitely vanilla notes in Noir Tease, so I've lucked out! :p

14. Grab fall-flavored ice cream while the temperature is still socially acceptable for ice cream consumption mood-setting purposes.

Let's be real, ice cream is great at any time of the year, but it's still warm enough outside where it seems like a legit thing to do and no one will look at you all funny when you suggest it! If you have a Bruester's Ice Cream near you, I highly recommend the Caramel Apple Crunch flavor *swoons* *faints* *dies* !!!!

15. Switch up your home decor.

Add in some warm accent pieces and cozy throws on your couch to create the right kind of snuggly, home-y vibe! Of course, you can't forget a fall-themed wreath on your front door (if you live in an apartment or dorm rather than a house, be sure to check if this is allowed, first!) or some pumpkins/gourds to further set the "Yay for fall!" mood.

What's on your to-do list for this month?
xoxo, Brooke



Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My New Hair!

If you follow me on Instagram ( @ThePinkLyme ) or on Snapchat ( buhhrook ), then you've seen my new hair!! *cue sassy hand flip* lol! I really wanted to go for the "old school Hollywood glamour" kind of vibe, and my hair stylist really helped to bring my vision to life!

After the heinous experience I had at the previous salon I went to in Savannah (they're pretty lucky I didn't post a review online.... *growls casually*), I decided to forsake a fancy salon and just go to the Regis salon in the Oglethorpe Mall... MAN, DID I WISH I HAD JUST GONE THERE ORIGINALLY! It was absolutely the best hair salon experience I have ever had in my entire life. My hair stylist and I really bonded so well and everyone else in there was super nice, too! But like GENUINELY nice. Which is ~*key*~, friends!! Also, jussayin', there was a hilarious guy talking about the pigs he owns and how to care for pigs properly (the thick southern accent of his, as you may imagine, really made it so authentic and funny!) And I am absolutely thrilled at the final results of my #LusciousLocks!

Although it's important to note, my natural hair color is pretty dark, so in order to fully get it to platinum, we have to do it in steps! I'll be returning in the beginning of October to truly finish the look! Right now, there are actually still some brown pieces and yellowish-blonde and blueish-blonde; if you squint hard enough, you can spot 'em! :p JUST A NOTE: IF YOU HAVE DARK HAIR LIKE ME AND GO PLATINUM, THE TONER AFTER YOUR BLEACH FOILS WILL BURN YOUR SCALP SO BAD BECAUSE OF THE CONTRAST AGAINST HOW IT JUST HAD THE HYDROGEN PEROXIDE ON IT. I almost cried at how itchy and stinging it was, omg...Kinda really scared for that next time, not gonna lie. But heyyy, I survived. And it stopped burning after it got washed out, basically! And my hair looks ~*fab*~ because of it, so it's kk, lolz.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my before and after pictures!! *drumrollllll*

Before: 


After:



I really do truly love both hairstyles, though, don't get me wrong! I've just been wanting to channel the whole "Alfred Hitchcock movie actress" look/ "Marilyn Monroe-style" of glitzy, classy hair for a while now, so I'm glad that I found such an amazing salon that made my dreams come true, haha!! I want to learn to use a curling iron (I've only ever used straightening flat irons before!) so I can achieve the same look on my own.

Have you ever changed your hair color before? If so, what color(s)?
xoxo, Brooke

Sunday, August 28, 2016

What's Next (Grad School, Becoming A Certified Personal Trainer!, Beauty And Style Vlogs, New Friendship, & More)

Wow!! So much has changed these past few weeks, but I'm glad to say I'm back at it again with blogging. Let me fill you in on the whirlwind that has been my life lately:

1 //


I resigned from my position at the magazine I was working for. It was an AMAZING experience -- I learned so much and met so many amazing people. I learned that editing and writing really ARE my passions and that it is always a good idea to follow your heart. Now I will be focusing on my academics as ~*numero uno*~, as grad school starts beginning in September, which is VERY VERY EXTREMELY SOON AHH!! *happydances all around* :p I'm SO excited for classes!

2 //

Ooo, motion shot. XD ! AND HOW CUTE ARE THOSE WORKOUT SHORTS, OMG!!!! They're by Lauren James.

On this "time to focus on academics note" note, not only will I be going to grad school for Writing BUTTTTTTTTTTT! *DRUMROLLLLL* I AM STUDYING THROUGH THE ACE (American Council on Exercise) PROGRAM TO BECOME A CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS SOMETHING I HAVE WANTED TO DO FOR THE PAST YEAR AND NOW I AM GOING TO MAKE THIS DREAM A REALITY! I love helping people and influencing their lives for the better...usually with my words/writing. However, being a personal trainer, I will be able to see transformations first-hand, something that you can't always see with writing unless the people tell you, "Hey what you wrote really changed my life!" (which I definitely do get a lot of and it brings me such deep, intense, incredible joy and gives purpose and meaning in my life, to help others in this way, but it is still cool to physically see changes on someone's body, too, lol! :D) Ya feel me? Yeah, ya feel me. Sooooo yeah!! I'm so excited to get started with studying...my materials will be arriving some time this week!

3 //

I would most definitely give CPR to this ice cream bar, lolz!!!

Also, I will be taking a CPR/AED certification class which is a requirement before I take my final exam for becoming a CPT (certified personal trainer!) I'm taking this one-day, two-hour class in just a mere two weeks away, so I'm excited to feel accomplished so quickly/early on in my studying for the CPT exam!! Additionally, I just feel like CPR is something that honestly everybody truly should know. They should definitely make this class mandatory in all high schools/colleges. I used to babysit, but I never knew CPR. Looking back, I wish I had known to take the class because if anything scary happened, I would have been able to potentially save a scary situation from turning into a deadly one! Thankfully, nothing of that nature ever happened when I was babysitting, though; my experiences were mainly just a whole bunch of playing pretend "cats" or "princesses"... or being told that I have to lose on purpose and let them win at Mario Kart... lol -___-. *casually growls at the thought*

4 //

I also got this bracelet at Target! It's made of healing stones, which bring luck, protection + prosperity to the one who wears it! I'm getting really into "crystal healing," lately!

Yesterday, I was invited to attend a local church!! A sweet lady named Jean approached me in the Target ~whilst I was shoe-shopping bc let us be real here: Target's got the best shoes~ and asked me if I'd been to church lately. Then she asked me if I'm from Savannah or just visiting, and we chatted about how I moved down here for grad school and all, and then ultimately we discussed the church and I agreed to come visit for the Sunday morning (aka today) 11:00 a.m. service. But, I was so excited to go but then ~*lady cramps*~ began and now all I want to do is curl up into a ball with Advil and chocolate so now I told her that instead of today, I'd love to go next weekend when I don't feel sick anymore! I'm really very incredibly excited, and I'll be sure to let you guys know how it goes!! It is a "full gospel non-denominational church" :D which I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I'll be finding out!

5 //

One of my favorite outfits that I've featured ~*thus far*~ !!

Recently, I've been obsessed with beauty/makeup & style !!! So I've been posting some videos on Snapchat + my Instagram Story about step-by-step how to achieve my makeup look, and also my OOTD ("outfit of the day.") I'm so excited to be embracing my passion for different products and sharing them with y'allz :p <3. Also, you'd think that guys wouldn't like to watch that sort of thing, but quite a few have reached out saying they appreciate it because that's all so foreign to them and because of my videos, they kind of understand "girl stuff"a little better now! Ahaha!! I would definitely make a YouTube channel, but people can write the meanest stuff in the comments, so I much prefer Snapchat or Instagram Story as a medium for posting videos, as people can't write anything nasty about the way you look or anything like that. If people respond in a message to your videos, only you can see their responses, and usually people don't have the guts to be as mean when in a private chat. YouTube comments can just get flat out ugly!! Again, to see them, add me on Snapchat: buhhrook And add me on Instagram: ThePinkLyme !!! (Disclaimer: I want to be honest here: I did remove quite a few people from my past off of social media. This is not because I hate them or anything. Some of these people definitely did hurt me in the past and I wanted to free myself of the memories associated with them every time their name would pop up. Others just reminded me of a horrible time in my life and I realized in order to leave the past in the past, I kind of needed to remove them, too, from my social media feeds which sucks a little but it is what it is, I suppose. And then finally other people never really interacted with me on Snapchat, so I deleted them because I like to keep my Snapchat buddies a really tight-knit (yet still pretty big, actually, now that I think about it!) group of people. So if you're only watching one or two videos and then clicking off, I'm probably gonna instead make room for someone more actively engaging, you know!? I hope you can understand. I never meant to hurt anyone; I just only wanted to do what it takes to heal myself and move forward. I'm very sorry if I caused any offense by this -- I just have to seek peace to move forward, and this is what worked for me and helped me to achieve it.)

6 //

When Barnes & Noble sells Starbucks that sells The Cheesecake Factory's cheesecake #Inception
Sometimes, life has a funny way of bringing people back into your life from your past. A guy friend of mine and I have really gotten closer and I'm pretty glad about it! He helped me to feel more reassured after I quit my job, and I helped remind him to keep doing the things that make him happy after he had a romantic breakup in his life. It's cool because we went to college together, but just never really saw each other much after freshman year because our lives just went different ways -- he continued on with the Pre-Med track whereas I realized that English was the major I wanted instead, so we no longer had classes together for the entire rest of our college career. Now, though, we both live in Georgia which is really cool (+ random!) because who else from our Connecticut College lives in Georgia!? Hint: like, probably nobody ahaha! It's so nice to have a good friend, as good friends are hard to find in general, but also particularly when first starting out in a new city!! Definitely lucked out that we got back in touch after the years!


7 //

I GOT MY HAIR DONE! You can see pictures on Instagram!! BUT THERE IS ENOUGH ON THIS POST FOR NOW! I'll be doing an entire post very soon (probz tomorrow!) just on my new hair. Keep yo' fiiiiine eyes peeled! ;) ahahaha! <3



I've missed writing to you guys so much! Happy to be back at it!
xoxo, Brooke

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Walk Your Own Park

Today was a hard day. As some of you guys know, I was sexually assaulted in my past; first something bad happened to me as a kid and then later on again –-approximately four times-- in college by somebody whom I had trusted with my whole heart. I always get the question, why would you stay in an abusive relationship? Well, that’s so eerily simple. Because I was a scared freshman, who didn’t know what my identity would be if I left him. Because I thought my “no” was less important than his “yes.” Because he had first done all sorts of things to me to lower my self-esteem, mainly comparing me to other females (both celebrities and girls we would see/know in our daily lives), so I thought I could never find better. Because he made me feel like there are so many other girls out there, why would any guy ever pick me for? Now, I know better. Anyone who makes you feel that way is the real loser, not you. I’m not ashamed of it, because there’s no reason to be ashamed of it. However, I’m still a little traumatized by it.

So giving you that background, now you can understand where I’m coming from when I tell you about what happened today: I’m started out when I went to the mall this morning; I was walking through the food court, and I was pretty far away from the security guy standing in the doorway of a jewelry store. I know that what you’re wearing shouldn’t even matter, but I was wearing a very modestly-cut sundress. No cleavage, and the length of my dress falls just above my knees. He looked me up and down in a way that made my stomach hurt, and he shouted out “How’re you doin’ today!”, still looking at me like that. I just offered a half-smile and walked away, making sure to avoid him later entirely by taking a different way to exit the mall when I left. Whenever I get a little creeped out, I repeat in my head, “My body is all mine, my body belongs to me only” over and over again until I begin to believe it is true and feel more relaxed.

So, I tried to shake it off and forget it, but then when I got home, well, I live right by the park, so I thought I would go enjoy the sunshine and take a walk around and look at the pretty fountains. I was feeling so great, just soaking up the hot temperature and the beautiful palm trees and Spanish moss around me, when two guys on bicycles rode up beside me really fast. They smacked me on the butt so hard (which definitely triggered a LOT of painful feelings, because not ALL sexual assault is P-in-V, you know…) and they started cracking up with laughter, pedaling away even faster than they were before. I was wearing sunglasses, so thankfully nobody could see my tears. After repeating to myself over and over this morning how my body belongs to me, it certainly felt like I had been telling myself a lie. A while back, there was a point of time in my life after I was sexually assaulted where I didn’t want to leave my house because I was so afraid of somebody touching me, or worse. Thankfully, in the park today, though, like I said, I was wearing sunglasses so nobody could tell I was crying behind the lenses.

I immediately began heading towards my apartment, no longer feeling happy and at peace with myself and the nature around me. But then I realized – I would be DAMNED if I ever let anybody take away my happiness again. Nobody deserves or gets to make me feel endangered or afraid of anybody. Nobody deserves to trigger post-traumatic flashbacks, or nauseating feelings. Nobody deserves to make me feel like I have to throw up to rid myself of everything, and all of the emotional poision that I so desperately wish I could get out of my system.

So, instead, I marched myself right past my apartment building. And then? I kept on walking. I walked and I walked; I walked so many laps around that park that I lost track of how many times I did. I only stopped walking when eventually my Birkenstocks gave me a huge blister on my foot and I wanted to put on a band-aid. But the whole time I walked, I smiled genuinely at everyone who walked by so nobody knew. Nobody could see the hidden tears. People even kept saying hi to me, because the look I kept on my face was so friendly. Now this is important to note: I wasn’t being fake. Quite the contrary. Just because my own happiness in that moment had been robbed from me doesn’t mean that I still couldn’t spread happiness and joy and love around to others, even if I didn’t have it at that particular moment, myself.


The lesson I would like to share here with you is this: Walk the park. Even if you literally JUMP every time another bicycle riders rides past you for the rest of the time. Walk the park. Even if you’re hiding your tears behind your sunglasses. Walk the park. Even if you flinch and your hands shake a little when a runner runs by you. Walk the park. No matter what you have been through, no matter if you have gone through periods of time in your life where you didn’t even think you would honestly ever make it to 22, you keep pushing on for me. You don’t focus about the “hows” or “what ifs”, you just keep walking. Walk your park… And you will never be a “victim.”

-Brooke

Sunday, August 7, 2016

My New Job, Husky Dogs, Gospel Music, A Ghost In The Apartment + Red-Headed Southern Gentlemen (Savannah Chronicles No. 1)

So, I'm thinking each weekend (for a little while, at least!), I'll try to write a recap of what's been goin' down in my brand-new Savannah life. Picking a few main points of interest (read: approx. 3-5) from the week (although this will have points from the last two weeks!), I'll chat with ya about the absolutely hilarious, the just-plain-hideous and everything in between that's happened as of late!


~*welcome to the neighborhood*~



ONE. THERE ARE SO MANY HUSKIES IN SAVANNAH. Just wanted to get that out there, because I forgot to mention it in my previous post about 15 things I've learned, hehe! At first I was absolutely shocked but then I found out that their coats are pretty much like a Tervis tumbler.... keeps 'em hot OR cold! ;) lololol!!!!!!!! I get such a kick out of that. I've seen eight huskies since I've moved here. Literally eight different huskies. I thought they only lived in frigid cold climates, but au contraire! On this note, dog hunting has certainly become one of my new favorite hobbies. Pretty much, here is exactly how to be a v good, v skilled doge hunter: see one you like, then follow it, but not too closely so the owner doesn't think you're a total weirdo. Then, be all endearingly awkward + charming and casually speed up and begin to pass them when all of a sudden, what do you know! You -love- dogs! Can you pet him/her!? How old is she/he? And more importantly, are there any other doggies that you or somebody you know owns that I can pet, as well? :D Ask questions, pet the fur-babies, repeat. In fact, I highly recommend that you ask as many questions that you can get away with in order to stall them walking away, and thus taking this doggy that you're currently petting along with them. My neighbor Mike (of course, as mentioned in that last post about Savannah, everyone in this place tends to be named Mike. When in doubt/if you forget somebody's name, just guess Mike! :p ), he has a wiener doggy named Greta! However, this reminds me, I forget Mike's wife's name (gotta rip the band-aid + just ask her again...or try to catch Mike when she's not with him and ask him for her name on the down-low.)


TWO. So, Friday night I was brushing my teeth and I turned the faucet handle off because I don't like to waste water. So I'm brushing and all of a sudden, the handle turned on and all the water started gushing out of the faucet into the sink. YEAH. You read that right. The frickin' sink turned frickin' on. I cried a little bit. But then I knew the handymen guys were coming Sunday morning (aka today!) to fix some other stuff in the apartment so I figured not to worry, it's probably just because this apartment building is old AF (over 100 years old, in fact!) so they probably just need to fix the handle. WELP, as soon as I asked them about it, they said that's nothing they can fix because IT WAS A FRICKIN' GHOST. YA. THAT'S RIGHT. A GHOST. Then, one of the handymen proceeded to tell me ghost stories -- and not the made-up kind, either. He told me how the blocks of the city in this area were once a big cemetery for all of the British soldiers who were killed in the Revolutionary War. However, the developer had no soul and threw away all the tombstones and proceeded to build on top of thousands of dead bodies. My apartment was then built on top of this once-graveyard. The handyman also told me about one home where a homosexual male couple lives and how an old lady who was highly religious had died previously in their home. They (the couple + the handyman, too) believe that being gay must go against the old lady's religious views because he said the home "literally fights you." He said that when he goes to work on the home, the tools go missing, and all sorts of weird problems occur. Also, he told me how he and the other fellow handyman fixing stuff in my apartment had quite a few experiences where when they had gone to people's homes to do work, and when they would have to dig in their lawns to get to underground pipes and stuff, they often found dead body skeleton remains stuff so they'd have to call the police and make sure it was from the Revolutionary War + wasn't like from some murder....LOL I'M LITERALLY ALL SET FOR HALLOWEEN NOW. *is never able to sleep again*

THREE. ZE KITTIES.

Feast your eyes on these three little kitties, friends!!!! I wish I could bring them inside my apartment, for real. They keep trying to sneak in, but they aren't allowed in because of the possibility of fleas/disease.

FOUR. I have never seen so many red-headed southern gentlemen in one place and I am interestingly falling prey to the beguiling nature of ~the ginger~. *insert shy monkey emoji hiding behind its hands here!!!!* I'm guessing this is because I think there's a solid Irish population here (the St. Patty's Day parade in March is a BIG BIG BIG deal!) Such aww-dorable, enchanting + majestic gentlesirs can often be found at Forsyth Park, but considering I'm usually too busy doggy-hunting, all my energy goes towards that instead. I'm very blushy about all of this ginger-guy stuff, though. Mainly because, well, I need one in my life. I think it's so freaking adorable and unique. SO IF you happen to know a red-head Southern gentleman guy who's extremely preppy yet a sensitive, loving type (not the "I'm-cooler-than-thou" type because, yuck. But you know, the kind of guy who likes to dress in a presentable, WASP-y way of fashion but is still down-to-earth <33 omggggg *swoooooooooooon*!) and doesn't mind reading books together whilst cuddling and will happily aid me in fulfilling my dream of going to a Savannah Bananas game (YES THEY ARE ACTUALLY CALLED THE SAVANNAH BANANAS AND THEY ARE A LEGITIMATE MINOR-LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM, I KID YOU NOT~) and would be into holding hands and talking about his feelings and also mine while we go for walks in the park and consuming socially unacceptable amounts of pizza, please send him to me and/or ask him if he will plz marry me on my behalf. Also would preferably call me "darlin' " and speak with an authentic southern accent. And no mean streaks. And would write me love letters on occasion, too. Kk, thx~

FIVE. So unlike in Connecticut, there aren't very many "Top 40 hits" music stations down here in Savannah. I've found 97.3 which is about it. Then 100.1 is like throwback jamz, and country is 96.5, and then gospel is 103.5 I've definitely been listening to tons of country and gospel when driving around + exploring everywhere. Also, not gonna lie, they've been having gospel music concerts outside of my apartment every single morning for the past few days that echo all the way over from the park into my bedroom loud + clear and it's been making me highly grumpy. While I absolutely love this music, I just can't handle "leaving the river vein, Lord Jesus!"at 8:30 a.m. I simply just cannot. It is too early for anybody to be leaving anywhere. Even a river vein that apparently desperately needs to be left. My sincerest apologies to the Big Man, but I personally need to wait until at least noon. That being said, though, I may be leaving it quite a bit earlier than noon because.....*DRUMROLLLLLLL!!*

BONUS: I'VE GOT A NINE-TO-FIVE! So turns out I'll be needing to wake up prior to 8:30 a.m. anyway, which means I'll be leaving the river vein, personally, at about 8:37 a.m. in order to get to work 10 minutes early. I WAS HIRED BY SOUTH MAGAZINE AND I AM NOW THE DIGITAL EDITOR OF THE MAGAZINE!  *sobs tears of joy* *floods apartment with said tears* *purchases a finely-crafted yacht + sails around in them* #DreamsReallyDoComeTrue #DreamJob #Hashtag And get this, my boss's name is Michael (remember I told you how everyone I've been meeting in Savannah is named Mike? I really wasn't kidding around!!) Being an editor for a magazine, and a SOUTHERN MAGAZINE AT THAT!, is literally my absolute dreamiest of dream jobs and I'm so happy and thrilled and honored and excited and feeling blessed in every way.


What's been going on in your life, lately?
xoxo, Brooke