Pink Paw Print

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

On My Music Playlist

I've been listening to music a lot more this semester than previous semesters! As I'm focusing now on completing my psychology minor because I finished my English major last semester, it's waaaaaaay easier to listen to music while reading a textbook chapter that's about say, depression or anxiety, than it is while reading an 18th century British novel! Ahaha :p! Here are some songs on my music playlist as of late:

1 // "Stay" by Kygo, Maty Noyes
Perfect for blasting in your car with the windows down when the weather gets warmer!

2 // "The Sound" by The 1975
Even if all of their songs have a similar flair to them, they are each incredible in their own way! This is one of their best, for sure.

3 // "Mr. Almost" by Meghan Trainor, Shy Carter
Just the right amount of sass.

4 // "Fast Car - Radio Edit" by Jonas Blue, Dakota
The lyrics are so haunting, and raw, and real, and the beat is incredible.

5 // "Barcelona" by George Ezra
The perfect piece to listen to ~~whilst daydreaming~~

6 // "Light It Up (feat. Nyla & Fuse ODG)" by Major Lazer
If you need to clean up your dorm room/apartment/home and want to shake your booty while doing so......THIS.

7 // "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)" by Christina Aguilera
DON'T HATE!!! Whatta friggin' classic.

8 // "Adventure of a Lifetime" by Coldplay
I have the vinyl record that has this song on it! :D

9 // "Reality - Radio Edit" by Lost Frequencies, Janieck Devy
The tune is so catchy that you really can't help but start shimmying along to it...

10 // "Title" by Meghan Trainor
I dare you to listen to this without having it stuck in your head for the rest of the day!

11 // "Banana Pancakes" by Jack Johnson
Every morning and every night, this song is super soothing to listen to.

12 // "One Call Away" by Charlie Puth
Normally I don't like songs like this, but it's so reassuring :p !

13 // "Shots & Squats" by Vigiland, Tham Sway
Perfect for dancing around to, or listening to while working out at the gym!


What's been on your music playlist recently?
xoxo, Brooke

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Who I'm Currently Dating

Today I've come to the conclusion that I haven't truly been living my life to the fullest. I've spent so much time fretting about the past, or being anxious about the future - many aspects to this time periods are so incredibly out of our control. I want to start living with even greater passion than I already have. If you know me personally, you may know that I'm involved in approx. 2837837362522536374741027392929473 activities, which is definitely great, but that's not really what I'm referring to.

What I mean is, is that I want to change my mindset. No more being sad or anxious about things I can't really change. I want to not worry about finding my special soul mate guy anymore, because how the heck does a girl find him if she hasn't even discovered herself yet! I used to want to figure myself out, merely so that I could be my best self for a partnership. But right now, I want to figure myself out for... me. It's not being selfish or narcissistic at all! I mean that I really want to know who I'm doing life with, and have been doing life with all along, as well as right now, at this current moment, before I let somebody share life with me! I know what things I love - writing and reading and editing and shopping and fashion and yoga and bellydancing (!) and eating chocolate and makeup/beauty and animals and music and brain puzzles (like sudoku and word searches) cultural in all forms like languages and art (especially making art!!) - but there is still so much out there that I have not yet experienced nor tried. And these things I want to do and try. I want to do and try these things before I become part of a partnership. Not because I find I tend to lose myself in a partnership, not because I want to prepare myself necessarily for the partnership, but because for the past multiple years of my life I have been so darned preoccupied with finding my special someone (and being let down over and over again - definitely some times more than others) when it turns out not to be him, and I have never ever been in a true relationship with myself. Although I have definitely been single in between relationships, I have never said, "Ya know what, self, we are going to be in a relationship right now!" I have always been looking and searching for my special person, rejecting and ignoring one very special person that I will always have for my entire life - and that's myself. I really encourage you guys and gals reading this right now to stop and think about this for a hawt second - have you ever been in a real relationship with yourself? Or have you just been single? There's a definite difference, and I challenge you to challenge yourself.

Part of my relationship with myself = giving myself gifts, such as 75%-off after V-Day chocolates from Target! ;)

Take good care of yourself - lately I have been taking vitamins every day, showering with luxurious body washes (go for natural and organic products... you DON'T want any endocrine disruptors in your skin/body products - they can leave you anxious and emotionally turbulent! Will do a post about endocrine disruptors soon!! <3), going to the gym daily except weekends (when I do other physical activities like dance around my dorm room to music or walk around the shopping mall #ca$hm0ney), avoiding fries except on Fri-day :3 because ~~I'm pun-ny like dat~~, and writing down thoughts and feelings in a journal. Although I'm more of an extrovert than an introvert, I'm definitely taking some time to engage in my introverted side - a side that I have not seen enough of. In today's society, extroversion is glorified. I put myself out there to the point of exhaustion.

Granted, I love sharing and talking and learning about people - I could talk to the right person all darn day! But at the same time, I haven't been doing any "mental" talking (aka thinking introspectively about my own self) lately. When I would do any introspection, it would merely be to calm down an anxiety attack, for example, but I wouldn't think about other things - like if I could learn any new language what would I want it to be, and do I even have a favorite contemporary painter, and why haven't I eaten celery in like 2 whole years even though I used to love it (hint: probz bc of those stringy things....blech!)!? Sit in your room and talk to yourself - I don't mean have some out-loud conversation with yourself (personally, I would feel very bizarre doing that, but hey you do whatever makes you happier :p!), but just don't be afraid to be alone with your thoughts. Not the kind of thoughts like, "oh my God my life is a mess and right now such and such is happening what should I do about it!?!?!", but more like, other types of thoughts, that don't necessarily have any time-sensitivities related. Think about what you really are looking for out of life as of late, think about why your favorite ice cream flavor is what it is, think about how your life would be different if you had a sibling (or if you already do have siblings, if you had yet another sibling!). Take personality quizzes. Go out to eat by yourself without feeling self-conscious. Write in a journal for an entire hour just about anything you feel like writing about - it could be fun memories, things that make you happy, questions and things that you want to learn about yourself, recent dreams you've been having, etc.

Because I personally have always been on the search for my other half, I have only really ever gotten to know just a portion of myself. I have always been a bit afraid to look inward, because what if I didn't like what I saw? What if I felt unlovable for who I am or who I was or who I want to be? Self-loathing was so easy in high school (....and junior high school... and middle school...), that once I got to college, I have just been pushing forward, full-speed-ahead without being self-compassionate, or taking time to get to know myself better. I didn't want to think about who I am, because in high school I just never found my niche and felt like a total freak for it. But many people didn't find their niches back then, and even though I'm still finding mine now - who's to say that not finding your niche makes you a "freak" as I had thought? Many people are still figuring these things out, but are just very, very good at hiding it. For me, I'm a super open book (as I'm definitely 1000000% sure y'allz already know this because... LOLZ), so I don't ever hide it when I feel a little lost.

But sometimes, feeling lost is a very beautiful thing. Sometimes, feeling lost is like art, or poetry. Because when something is lost, the only option... is to be found. <3 Those who are lost for their whole lives have been too afraid to really try. Perhaps they have made attempts, but they were ultimately too fearful to truly submit themselves to the beautiful entity that is vulnerability. If you seek yourself out, you will find yourself.

So, who am I currently dating? Me. I am currently in a relationship with myself. And, right now? I wouldn't rather have it any other way.

I promise you, think long and hard about this - because maybe, just like me, it's about time that you start dating yourself. <3
xoxo, Brooke

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Podcasts On My "To-Listen" List

I've never been a podcast type of lady. I thought podcasts were only meant for people who think they are "hipper-than-thou," so to speak, but you don't have to be snobby AF to enjoy a good podcast! I love anything that involves intellectual stimulation, but the whole "audio" thing, too, was really turning me off from getting into them. I just need something to keep my hands busy while I listen, you know!? Thankfully, I realized that coloring in adult coloring books (lol, I hate phrasing it that way... I mean, saying adult coloring books to me just sounds like, provocative or something!! Eek! :p ahaha!) provide the perfect opportunity to further engage myself while listening! Recently, after asking around for some recommendations, in addition to prowlin' -*casually claws at you like a tigress*- around for some good ones on my own, here are several of the podcasts that I think I'm going to start listening to!:

*via

"Serial"

Soooo, I think it's safe to say that this is one of the most well-known (~*and beloved*~) podcasts out there! Also, I'm currently taking a Forensic Psychology class for my minor in Psych, and I've been super into anything relating to the law and criminal behavior lately - and this podcast will definitely fit that bill, so to speak!


"Personality Hacker"

As somebody who is obsessed with all things personality-centric (I love trying to figure out which of the Myers-Briggs personalities my friends are!! *squeals with delight*), this podcast was recommended to me by a fellow ENFP! It must be in our nature to love these things...


"Brain Stuff"

Apparently this podcast explains how stuff works and talks about the science in the everyday that we can easily either take for granted or be ignorant of!! Illuminate me with your almighty knowledge, "Brain Stuff"....lmaooo!


"Welcome to Night Vale"

Who couldn't use a little dose of comedic fiction in their lives, amiright!? It is basically a show that gives fake updates about a fake small town - and really really bizarre shizz goes down!


"Freakonomics"

When I read the book and watched the documentary, I was smitten. I love economics, and anything that expands my mental horizons - this podcast will do just that. One website says, "It will tell you things you always thought you knew but didn't, and things you never thought you wanted to know, but do."


"Stuff You Should Know"

I'm pretty bad-ass at trivia. Like, Trivial Pursuit is my game. And oh yeah, remember Trivia Crack!? I WAS OBSESSED!!! I love learning anything and everything, especially random facts. I think learning makes life a more vibrant place to spend our time! :p


"Radio Headspace"

This has been described as a meditation-focused podcast, and I love meditation! Positivity and mental relaxation are very important for a good life and I think listening to this would be a good start in the right direction!!

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you have any favorites!? Let me know in the comments below!
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, February 8, 2016

15 Quick Ways to Feel Happier Instantly

When things are just super rough in your life, you may feel desperate for a quick fix to make you feel better. In college, many people tend to resort to drugs, excessive drinking, casual meaningless sex with partners they don't even really love, over- or under-eating, or other really unhealthy behaviors. However, there are other ways to cope that actually work even better than those methods that won't further harm you in the process!


1. Don't ruminate! You can totally feel sad and hurt and upset and angry and empty, but don't get lost in the details. Just know that God has a plan for you, and that you are exactly where you are supposed to be in life, at this given moment. Even if this is not the outcome that you had wanted or hoped for, sometimes what we need (like say, getting a shot at the doctor) totally sucks in the moment, but it will lead to a happier, healthier life in our future. Just believing that everything happens for a reason, even though we often have no idea what that reason is just yet, is a really good way to reassure yourself that "coincidences" are actually events of which we aren't sure yet why they have occurred - but there is always a greater purpose.

2. Dance around to happy music. Sometimes, when you're feeling sad, you start to lose confidence and feel bad about yourself. Buuuuuut! Dancing helps you feel in tune with your body, and moving around releases those endorphins that you need a boost of right now.

3. Make a shopping wish-list at your favorite online stores! Personally, anything with a monogram makes me happy, so I tend to look at monogram-centric boutiques :p ! *cue sassy hand flip*

4. Clean up your dorm room/apartment/house. Tidying up makes room for the new, amazing, happy things that are headed your way in your life.

5. Go on Pinterest and save your favorite cute outfits, interior decorating & home decor ideas, wedding dresses, hairstyles, cute animals, yummy dessert recipes, and more!

6. Listen to your favorite singer's music on repeat - how can you possibly listen to Meghan Trainor's music without dancing and shimmying around in your seat!? :p (Hint: you can't....ahaha!)

7. Wear a bow in your hair!!! <3 Always, always, always. It makes the world a little cuter, more girly, and happier instantly!

8. Look at funny Instagram accounts. My personal favorite is @beigecardigan - they can bring a smile to your face, even when you didn't think it could be possible.

9. Eat relatively healthy. But ice cream is always okay, of course! The more chocolate you consume in the ice cream, the more dopamine will enter your system - and you'll be feeling happier in no time!

10. Get enough sleep. Or take a nap if you need to! Although for me, I have nightmares almost every night - something that started when I got to college - and wake up in a panic attack, it can really help to get sleep in other ways, like when it comes to having a strong memory and having enough energy throughout the day.

11. Take a long, hot shower. Although the co-ed showers at my college are really pretty frightening because well, I can't even get into details about the gross stuff but..., if you have a clean shower, that is, enjoy this fact to the fullest and just let the water and steam wash over you. You little mermaid goddess of the water, you!!!!! :p ahaha!

12. Watch a television show that is really good at removing you from your own life situation. I don't watch much tv at all, but my personal go-to is PLL. What's yours!?

13. Write a list of things that make you happy. I have a "happy" journal (I actually haven't written in mine in forever!!) in which I write down literally anything that makes me happy to jumpstart some happy thoughts: cupcakes with extra frosting, bubble gum pink-colored lipstick, cuddling with a pet. Literally anything that you love or enjoy doing - add it to your list!! Then, whenever you are feeling down, you can crack open the journal and take a look and you will feel better instantly.

14. Get shizz done. When you have a lot on your to-do list, getting those things done can really help you feel accomplished. It takes your mind off of anything painful, and little by little, you will become very proud of yourself - which can provide a self-esteem boost that will launch you out of your sadness.

15. Pick an exercise that you really like, and go do it! For me, I love lifting little 3 or 5 pound weights. If 10 or 15 or 25 or even more than that is your thing, go you! But I just like a little bit to get the blood flowing. Go for a run if you'd prefer, or hop on that stationary bike!


No matter how hard this rough patch is that you're going through, remember that it will pass. You will smile again, and you will feel joy again. Focusing on happy things and having good thoughts and pushing all the "sad" -once you kind of acknowledge it- out of your head will help you to feel better more quickly.

How do you cheer yourself up when you're feeling sad?
xoxo, Brooke

Sunday, February 7, 2016

February Favorites: Lipsticks Edition

This February, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite things! Personally, I adore lipsticks. Although I find that my love of eating kind of destroys my perfectly-applied lipstick, I don't really let it deter me from applying it... and re-applying it... and re-applying it yet again...

Here are my favorite lip products! They are mainly lipsticks, but I've also included some "non-lipsticks," such as lip treatments or lip stains:

1. LIPSTICK QUEEN // Queen Bee Lipstick



*via
This is one of my favorite lipstick-treatment combos. It goes on a shimmering gold color that pairs perfectly with bronzer or gilded eyeshadow! However, be careful when you apply it... I pressed down too hard, and because it is so darn creamy, the lipstick actually broke in two! =0 Proceed with caution, but it is so so worth the results. Flake-free lips that are ready to pucker up for the rest your 103839202 selfies of the day! ;)


2. NYX COSMETICS // Round Case Lipstick in "Narcissus"

*via
This lipstick is the perfect pop of pink to add a girly touch to any outfit! I'd try it with a striped ringer tee, indigo-rinse skinny jeans, and high-top white Converse sneakers. Personally, I love true pinks, and the blue undertones help teeth to appear whiter in color! Win-win, am I right!?


3. REVLON // Color Stay: Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in "Adore"

*via
This balm stain is my go-to for date nights, or a night out with girl friends. It looks incredible when paired with your favorite LBD, or you can use it to vamp up a basic blouse/leggings/wedge booties combo. I wouldn't necessarily wear this during the daytime, because of how dark a shade it is in contrast to my light skin tone, but for beauties with darker skin, I'd say you could probably pull it off quite well! *cue sassy hand flip*


4. BARE MINERALS // Pop of Passion Lip Oil-Balm in "Pink Passion"

*via
This lip oil-balm goes on like a velvety lipstick. The color is so vivid, and it definitely adds a "preppy" vibe to your look, without trying too hard. Because it is close to a coral shade of pink, go full-out Palm Beach with an outfit that includes pops of turquoise and lime green (or "lyme" green, dare I say it!! ;) ahaha!), and pearl earrings. Which reminds me, I've got to get my earlobes re-pierced, hmmm...

5. STILA // Color Balm Lipstick in "Gemma"

*via

Purple is much easier to wear than you would imagine! As the quote goes, it all seems impossible until it's done. :p Because this shade is a tad bolder than the rest, I would recommend keeping the rest of your makeup simple. Go chic with your hair by creating a middle-part and flat-iron it straight, but be sure to keep the colors incorporated in the rest of your outfit equally as bold! Going too muted with your outfit colors, contrary to what you might think, will make the lipstick come off as a bit tacky. There is a delicate balance between looking daring and looking clownish, but I will rest assured that you'll be able to make that judgment call, lmaooo!


6. NYX COSMETICS // Butter Lipstick in "Gumdrop"

*via
For the uber-girly girls, this one's for us! The texture of this lipstick really does feel like butter - the name doesn't lie!! - and the pigment is very vivid! However, it tends to come off pretty easily after, say, drinking some Starbucks latte, so be prepared to pack it in your pocket or purse to take it along with you for the future touch-ups that you will most likely be needing.


7. SMASHBOX // Be Legendary Lip Gloss in "Sugar Cane"

*via

Although this is merely a gloss, the color goes on quite strong! It's not a clear gold glitter, as you may think from the bottle; rather, it actually goes on like a gold-flecked, shimmering taupe. Definitely ideal for brightening up your complexion during the doldrums of the winter season!


Which lipstick is your favorite go-to!? Let me know in the comments below, or tweet at me @ThePinkLyme !
xoxo, Brooke

P.S. - Who's watching the Super Bowl tonight!? Go Panthers!! <3

Friday, February 5, 2016

Going Blonde!

So, I finally went for it!! My hair is now blonde!






I'd been wanting to go blonde for years, really, but I was warned against it by many people. "People will assume you're dumb," they said. "It will make you look trashy," they said. Personally, I have enough confidence to realize that changing my hair color does not decrease my intelligence, nor do I plan to buy into that "oh, I'm having such a dumb blonde moment!" stereotype. Also, I'm not a trashy person by any means, and I don't plan on becoming that way any time soon (or, I mean, ever... ahahah!)

Also, I was told that it would ruin the texture of my hair. -Maybe- it is the slightest bit less soft!? But not so much that it looks unhealthy. Honestly, instead of using actual hair dye, my hairdresser Ashley (SHE IS AMAZING!!!) put in approx. 2030203728290949837228493 foils in my hair :3 with only just bleach, and it lifted the natural color of my hair to become extremely light! Then, she put a glaze in it with some toner to avoid any orangish-brassiness. So even though no hair dye was even used, I am so incredibly pleased by the results. Although I do plan on actually using actual hair dye rather than a million bleached highlights in the future, I really love the way it came out, already!


I definitely have noticed some changes as a result of my new color, though... multiple guys asked me out (or, you know... for other things... LOLSTOPTHATLOL!), people look at me more than they used to (like in a crowded room, for example), and everyone seems a lot kinder. Doors are held open for me, more people smile at me while passing me by on campus... I definitely can get used to this positive attention! As an extroverted person who has overcome an unfortunate bout of pretty moderate social anxiety this past year, the attention forces me to cope with people staring and judging, and it forces me to love myself regardless of others' opinions about myself. No matter what they might be thinking, I can't stop my life or live my life trying to go around pleasing every single person (something I didn't even realize I had been doing all my life, until a relatively recent epiphany!)


Have any of you changed your hair color from its natural color!? Were you happy with the results? :)
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, February 1, 2016

New Semester, New Me?

Last semester was incredible. Although there were certainly some intense struggles and challenges, on the whole, I was so grateful for everything that I had learned and for all of the strength that I had acquired. This semester, though, there are a lot of changes that I'm going to be making. It definitely wasn't fun getting broken up with the day before classes started, but I've cried enough and had enough panic attacks by now to the point where I've realized that I can't go on living in that way. Changes need to be made. I don't deserve to be depressed, and I don't deserve to feel so anxious that I can't really breathe very well or constantly feel sick to my stomach. I deserve happiness. We all do. This semester is my last at college, and although part of me wants to try to even begin wrapping my head around that fact, I'm not even going to attempt that just quite yet! :p I've applied to graduate school, and I can't wait to hear back! My fingers are crossed! *jumps up and down excitedly* I'm trying this new thing where I stay present in every given moment. If I'm brushing my teeth, for example, I don't let my mind wander at all. I focus on my teeth, and the taste of the toothpaste, and making sure that I don't accidentally walk out of the bathroom with dribble on my face.... #oops !! Last semester, I had the fun I had always dreamed of having in college (nothing wild, but just plain fun with friends), but this semester, although I definitely do want to have fun, I want to change my focus in the slightest bit. That focus is self-improvement for the rest of the few months we have left of school, in major aspects of my life, as follows!

1 // Appearance

It's time to do something drastic with my hair. The last time I got my hair styled was back in August (!!!). Granted, I cut off several inches back in December with a pair of scissors in my dorm room, which was a definite change, but I'm talking something even more noticeable - dying it. Want to see what color!? I'm getting it done this week... so check back soon, because I'll definitely do a post on my new 'do. I'm additionally considering getting the keratin (formaldehyde-free) treatment that will semi-permanently straighten my hair so I can just kind of not even worry if people are going to make fun of me and say I look "frizzy." ~~*casually hisses like an angry snake*~~ lmaooo! Also, I've been cutting out a LOOOOOOOT of sugar (which for me is a huge deal, because I used to have something sweet at every single meal, including breakfast), and even skipping decaf coffee and hot chocolate. It really works wonders for nurturing healthy skin! Something else that I've been doing lately is watching makeup tutorials. I've mentioned a few times on here how I was bullied for years about the way that I look, and while I've learned to love how I look, even makeup-free, I do think that a face is a blank canvas that we can play around with using makeup as paints.

2 // Physical & Mental Health

Exercising daily is definitely something that I'm including in my new self, because I think it is so important to be not totally out of breath when getting to my class on the fourth floor of a building to have inner health, even more so than a good-looking exterior. Your body is your temple, so they say, and it is such a precious thing. I want to show my body that I respect it. Although I dropped my yoga class this semester because last semester I was incredibly sleep deprived, and with all that is going on for my super busy senior spring semester, I need more sleep (the class is a 9AM lolz)... I still practice yoga in my dorm room almost every single day on my own time. When I feel like I need a good stretch, I simply roll out my mat and go into zen-mode. Ooooh, yeahhhh. :p! Also, it kills me sometimes, because I knew if I wasn't always so anxious or worrying or upset about something, I could really accomplish some pretty great things (which I still do accomplish a lot of great things, but I know I could do even more!). So, I'm going to fight the anxious feelings by merely changing my focus to go find positive, happy, interesting, thought-provoking things to engage in! I am definitely the "artist" type, even if I sometimes tend to dress on the preppier side, and everything I feel, I feel deeply. I feel emotions stronger than most people, it's safe to say, and I've been told I can be pretty intense. Not that this is a bad thing, but keeping things in check and pulling back into happier emotions is definitely a new practice of mine that I'm gonna hang around and put onto my tool belt, so to speak.


3 // Intellect

Learning is one of my greatest passions in life - I enjoy learning about almost anything, honestly, except math which makes me uncomfortable... I got an A in college-level statistics, but I much prefer non-number related activities (aka writing and editing and reading....and shopping :3 !) I view life as one big lesson, and I can't wait to spend my time truly engaging in my studies this semester. I finished my English major last semester, so this semester I'm taking the time to explore my other great passion  - psychology. I'm going to be completing a minor in psychology, which definitely helps with creative writing, and enlightens my understanding and analysis of characters found in literature. I'm going to spend my free time (not much, but still! lolz.) in more productive ways, rather than ruminating on things that upset me! Practicing my Spanish skills on Duolingo, writing poetry in a journal, reading a novel for a half hour before bed, listening to podcasts, actually making sure to read theSkimm each morning, and writing blog posts more often are my daily goals.


So there you have it! Some new changes are definitely happening, and I'm going to embrace them -and life!- every step of the way.

What are you looking to change about yourself in the upcoming few months before the summer?Let me know in the comments below! (I fixed the commenting, btw... :3 so it should work better now! <3)
xoxo, Brooke