Pink Paw Print

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Reflective Note About College Graduation, Memorial Day, and Leaving Connecticut Possibly For Good

Hi, you guys!!! <3 :D



I hope you all had a good weekend + enjoyed your Memorial Day! Memorial Day is such a special day -- so many people focus only on the picnic food or the socializing, but America is truly an amazing country and I am so proud to say that I am an American citizen. Even if you do not believe in wars, we can still appreciate those who dedicate their lives to protecting us - both those who have perished in the fight, and those who are still alive, today.

(Naturally, it wasn't the greatest of days, I had realized, to post up the next Mindfulness Monday, so yes friends -- yet again postponed for next week! :p ~*le sigh*~ Seriously though, it's gonna happen, ahaha!!)

I planned this post about a million times and in so many different directions. Many were focused on college, specifically. The four years. The things I experienced. The people I loved. The people I lost. The knowledge I gained. The skills I acquired. The life lessons I will never forget.

However, I realized that the culmination of my college years resulted in something much more than just finishing up and leaving Connecticut College... You see, I've lived in CT since I was 7. Madison from ages 7-16 (it wasn't exactly the best experience for me... beautiful town, sure, but bullying is a seriously rampant problem and the authority figures do nothing about it... even the authority figures themselves were bullied ruthlessly. All in all, it was just no bueno for many people, shall we say.); Old Lyme from from ages 16-present. While I didn't enjoy my time in Madison overall, living in Old Lyme completely, entirely, incredibly changed my perspective on living in Connecticut. In fact, you could even say that I fell in love with the state.

Leaving Connecticut is something I've wanted to do since around when I was in the 7th grade, if not even earlier than that. That was because of the heinous Madison experience. I thought CT was so small. That people were so crazy and cruel and sick and twisted here. That it was boring as hell because I was used to Queens + NYC living prior to CT and my parents weren't used to the whole "driving" thing, so we never really ventured too far. However, Old Lyme has changed everything. Connecticut has many different vibes, or "flavors," if you will, I've learned. You've got all the different counties, and then within all those counties, different feels to each of the towns and cities. Many towns in Fairfield County, for example, don't even feel like you're in CT. It feels like New York, for sure. But then you've got New London County (representttt!) which has some of the tiniest, most adorable seaside towns where everyone pretty much knows everybody through the six degrees of separation, basically. Then, there's Litchfield County which definitely feels like rural, picturesque CT at its finest. I won't guide you through all the counties right now, because I've got lots to say here, but I am considering doing a travel guide post about my favorite sights/restaurants/fun places to go in each of the counties, so stay tuned for that in the future!! ;)

But now, I'm finally leaving Connecticut. Possibly for good, save coming back up to visit a few times on holiday vacations during grad school. But then, who knows where I'll get my first real career? Quite possibly, that place is not going to be Connecticut. Although I've been feeling just pretty numb -- not that bad not super either -- about leaving, it's finally beginning to hit me, because of graduation, that I'm ACTUALLY leaving! This is why I can see it now -- there's SO much that I love about Connecticut. The Target in Waterford that always smells like the buttered popcorn and Pizza Hut pizza that they sell at the front of the store and you can't leave the store without spending over $100; it's simply just impossible. The Jake's Wayback Burgers in Old Saybrook with the most amazing Oreo Mud Pie Junior shake. The natural beauty of White Sand Beach in Old Lyme, Perk on Main for both savory and/or sweet crepes in Durham, everything in West Hartford because it's arguably one of the best "towns" (it's really more of a city, sometimes I feel) in the entire state ~*jussayin'*~ (although Old Lyme is certainly extremely lovely, as well!), late-night runs to the Kohl's in Old Saybrook, the pastel-hued houses in Stonington Borough, the various memories of Mystic, going to Lake Compounce in Bristol on Halloween for the haunted attractions, Friday nights spent in East Lyme during my last two years of high school getting hot chocolates at Starbucks and chocolate chip muffins at Dunkin' Donuts and buying up all the makeup in the CVS - a few new beauty items to kick off the weekend each week! This place has been my home for so long. This place was my entire world. To leave it is something I have desperately wanted to do for so long, but to stay is something that I wish I could do in many ways. But I know that deep down, it is right for me to leave. Although I'm already beginning to feel homesick, I'm genuinely glad about what is to come. However, this sense of looking forward to new beginnings and the unknown also brings a little bit of uneasiness.

When I think about moving down to Georgia for the next two years for grad school, part of me is so anxious. I'm scared to be too happy and too excited about it because that's how I went into high school and I was devastated when high school wound up being one of the absolute most devastating, isolating times in my life. I was such an innocent girl back then, always being a Positive Pamela type of person, looking on the bright side, hoping for the best. I don't think I've fully recovered there -- I'm much more of a realist and a cynic about starting new things now. I take things as they come. I don't expect the best. I look for hints and clues and proof. And now, I've found my heart closing off at the thought of moving down south for this next chapter of my life. I desperately want to be happy and excited and thrilled about it -- but I'm just so scared of getting hurt again. Of thinking I'll make lifelong best friends and getting straight As. Of being that little idealistic muffin, always a little ray of sunshine. I know being realistic is supposedly better than idealistic, but as an ENFP personality type it really hurts when you subconsciously (or I guess now consciously that I've realized I've been feeling this way!) don't allow yourself to be so idealistic and super happy and start imaging the way everything's going to go so great. But I'm thinking there's definitely a balance.

It's time to replace the weakness of fear with the strength of vulnerability. There is a fine line between the two. Fear was how I've been preventing myself from feeling fully and openly excited and happy. Vulnerability is knowing that maybe, yet again, with this new fresh slate, perhaps I will even so, yet again, not make my lifelong best friends and not excel in the classroom. But if that's so, it's only going to prepare me for that special time to arrive! You know, the time when all your ducks are in a row and everything is just great, so to speak. But hey, maybe it's not about the large chunks of time that are like that. Maybe it's more all about the small moments in time when everything just feels good. And even finding that I have the courage to tell you guys this helps so much -- it almost makes me think, "Hey, that's silly! Of course I will make some friends and at least enjoy my classes because I love writing and editing so much!!" I just don't want to get hurt and disappointed again, you know!? I just don't want to crush the heart of that little 13 year old girl again! But it really will be okay. And if this isn't "the greatest two years of my life" similarly to how college was not the best four years nor was high school, that's okay too. Because last time I checked, there will hopefully be a lot more years left to come that can be the greatest of all. <3

So, in all, Life never really is about the destination, I've found. As much as I dislike math *shivers* (lmaoo!!), it's like my junior high school teachers always used to say: it's not just the answer you got, but it's how you arrived at that solution. <3

It's time to change our focus from getting all our answers and all of the solutions, and instead concentrate on how we'll be arriving there.
xoxo, Brooke

Saturday, May 28, 2016

[FASHION PHOTOSHOOT] Black & White vs. The Colors Of Summer!

When I put on my outfit this morning I just knew it would be perfect for doing a fashion photoshoot. I had this whole plan in my mind: it would have two of the same photographs featured, one in its actual color + one in black-and-white. I wanted to contrast the difference that a colorful world can make: joy, beauty, vitality... but then, I realized, there is an equal beauty to black-and-white. The nostalgia, the wistfulness, the longing for a different time -- these are the qualities I sought to achieve in the black-and-white photos. I wanted a truly "summer-y" outfit to wear with bright colors + fun prints + funky textures, in honor of Memorial Day weekend that would really kick off the beginning of the official summer months! (Pssst...You can find links to where I've purchased/been gifted these clothing items down below the photos! ;) Also, none of this is sponsored. No affiliate links are present; I do not make any income off of this post. 100% of my own accord.)

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!: I also want to point out before you begin browsing the photos that all I have done is alter colors/no colors so this means that no editing on my body parts has been done... In other words, this means you will see my recent sunburn ( hollaa @ my Snapchat peeps who've already witnessed this, lol!!! :p ), my current food baby that I've lovingly named "Broc" (because not even a photoshoot can get in the way of my beloved Chinese food takeout order of steamed broccoli with spicy garlic sauce), and any other "imperfections." Personally, I think we all have imperfections that make us beautiful, because to be imperfect means to be human, and being a living, breathing, thinking creature is nothing short of a miracle!! So, I say we ought to embrace it. Let your sunburns show! Lovingly display that food baby with a crop top! 

And now, without further ado... here are the colors of the summer. <3 



































Why yes, this is, indeed, my booty, lmaooo! :p













A car selfie because would this really be a TPL blog post without one!?!? ;) ahaha!!! <3


HOW TO GET MY LOOK!
Necklace: Back during my junior year of college (STILL CAN'T BELIEVE I GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE THIS SPRING, AHHH!!), a friend had given this necklace to me as a gift! I have no idea where she got it. :p Sorry about that, ahhhh!
Bag: Coach (Simon Premium Outlet Store -- Clinton Crossings, Clinton, CT)
Bralette: Aerie (Tanger Outlet Store -- Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, CT)
Crop Top: Forever 21 (Tanger Outlet Store -- Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, CT)
Shorts: Vineyard Vines (Tanger Outlet Store, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, CT)
Sandals: Nordstrom (clearance section at Westfarms Mall, West Hartford, CT; what a great deal!!)
Eyeliner: Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner (Sephora.com or your local Sephora store)
Mascara: Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (Ulta.com or your local Ulta store)
Lipgloss: Lorac Holiday 2015 Love, Lust & Lace Lipgloss -- the nude/peach color! (I got this beautiful collection at the Ulta in Old Saybrook, CT, but I believe this is no longer being sold :/ ! However, I think you may be able to find them being sold individually at Ulta.com !! *happydances all around*)


Happy summer, friends!
xoxo, Brooke
(PS - Photo creds go to my mom who has recently begun a photography business, and she was generous enough to take these fashion photos for me in our backyard/patio, free of charge! ;) ahaha!! <3)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Currently Trending

Soooo, Monday I was recovering from graduation the day before, so no Mindfulness Monday post for this week (lol @ the fact that today is Wednesday....) buuuuut I've been working on a really special reflection piece about graduation and the past four years of my life (which have been my college experience)! Still working on that, though, but in the meantime, without further ado, *drumrollllll!* here's the low-down on culture in my life lately!


Watching: "The Amazing Race."
*via
My mom told me about this show, and we've binge watched all the way through season 5 so far, and are now currently watching season 6! It's so addicting, I swear... I absolutely despise any sort of reality/game show thing, but this is so not like that...it's just incredible. It's stimulating for the mind because you see places all over the world, and you learn about psychology, other world cultures, and can vicariously buff up on your interpersonal skills. If you're not a fan of TV, this might very well change your mind -- it certainly did for me!! You can find this show on Amazon Prime :D!

Reading: the AAA self-tour guide books to plan the road trip down to Savannah, GA with my mama bear so I can move into my new rented apartment for grad school in the fall!
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We're definitely going to be checking out quite a few places in South Carolina -- Charleston, Myrtle Beach, + Hilton Head! I literally cannot wait. I am so excited! I've been in love with the South for so many years, and now I am finally actualizing my dream...this is the greatest feeling.

Eating: Beanitos Bean Chips with Sea Salt.
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You honestly don't even miss your regular run-of-the-mill corn chip with these addicting crunchy chips! If you have to eat a strict Candida diet like I do, or are otherwise on a low-glycemic diet, these can actually make eating fun again! You don't have to sit out while everyone's eating guacamole -- you can dip these purely bean-composed chips into ~*dat guac*~ right along with the rest of 'em! ;)

Wearing: White + Gold Jack Rogers sandals from Nordstrom. 
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These puppies were on clearance! I found them today at my beloved Westfarms Mall in Farmington/West Hartford, CT (lmao...hence the name "Westfarms"; clever, eh!?), and they were marked down to $89 from $117, so I'd say that's a great deal! *casually strokes wallet with reassurance* Plus, when I move down to Savannah, I'm going to be wearing either running shoes or sandals -- no more snow boots for this New England girl! ;)

Listening To: In case you missed this post, MEGHAN TRAINOR'S NEW ALBUM IS AMAZING. My current fave out of all my faves on her album is "I Won't Let You Down"! However, for ~*a lil' change of pace*~, "New Romantics" by Taylor Swift finallyyyy (as of April, okay, but I'm a little late to the party here!!!!) has its music video released on YouTube. Let your ears have a listen, do them a favor :p!! ahahah!

Inspired By: Lilly Pulitzer. 
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So if we're buddies on GoodReads, then you'll know that I'm currently reading a whopping seven, yes literally seven, books right now... lololol my attention span for books sometimes jumps around because I'm really passionate about a million and one subjects (aaaand I probably should have mentioned one of these aforementioned seven books for the currently "Reading" category in this post, instead of discussing the AAA self-tour guide books, but that's okay!! :p). One of these books is Lilly Pulitzer's biography! It's so interesting to get the backstory of one of my favorite designers, and from now on when I wear her clothing line, I will be able to rock those shift dresses or palazzo pants with an extra dose of pride.

What are you watching, reading, eating, wearing, listening to, and inspired by?
xoxo, Brooke

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Tomorrow I Graduate From College (!!!)

Sorry for the long absence! Busy, busy, busy recently!

Tomorrow I graduate from college !!!!!!!! EEEK!!!!! I have been waiting for this day for so long. Once I graduate, get pumped for more frequent posting!! :) Also, I plan on taking a lot more original photographs for posts rather than getting them offline with a "*via" caption that links to the online source, when possible. This summer, the mama bear and I are going to be taking a road trip down to Savannah, Georgia where she's gonna help me move into my rented apartment for grad school -- cool pics to follow on that later on in July! Here's my graduation cap for tomorrow that I decorated!! <3 Wish me luck!! :p



Write more soon!
xoxo, Brooke

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Let's Just Talk About Meghan Trainor's New Album For A Hawt Sec...

NEWS FLASH: IT IS AMAZING. PURELY, SIMPLY, ABSOLUTELY AMAZEBALLS. GO LISTEN!!!!! RIGHT NOW!!!!! IT WAS RELEASED FRIDAY!

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Okay, so let us discuss song-by-song, shall we!?! My favorites are "Better," "Hopeless Romantic," "I Won't Let You Down," "Champagne Problems," "Mom," and "Thank You"!

"Watch Me Do": If you need an instant boost of confidence, this song is for you! *cue strutting around your bathroom while singing into your mascara wand* Favorite lyrics? "I've been on a low-hater diet"

"Me Too": Another great song for confidence-boosting purposes! I recommend listening to this after someone puts you down/tries to make you feel inadequate. Favorite lyrics? "And I can't help lovin' myself/ And I don't need nobody else"

"No": One of my personal favorite songs to sing my heart out to, out of tune listen to while cruisin' around in the car! Favorite lyrics? "Call me beautiful, so original, telling me I'm not like other girls/ I was in my zone before you came along, now I'm thinking maybe you should go"

"Better": Dang, did you read this post ? Because this is exactly what I needed right about now! Favorite lyrics? "And you, you deserve to be alone/ And I deserve better, better than you"

"Hopeless Romantic": THIS IS LEGIT ME IN SONG-FORM. This song is the best description of me I've ever listened to. I resonate with this song more than probably any others out there! Nailed it, Meghan, nailed it. The song of my soul, no doubt. Favorite lyrics? "Searching for me and I'm looking for you/ Show me you're out there"

"I Love Me": The only song you need to start your mornings off right, tbh! Favorite lyrics? "They gon' try to clip my wings, but I'm gon' fly"

"Kindly Calm Me Down": The perfect ballad to sing in your nightly showers. Favorite lyrics? "So cold, so alone/ Could you be my blanket?"

"Woman Up": Such an empowering girl-jam for getting ready to go out for the night! Favorite lyrics? "Don't matter what you've been through/ No, just make them remember you"

"Just A Friend To You": This sort of weird, jerkish relationship where the guy doesn't take ownership of his feelings and refuses to show off how proud he is to be with his girl reminds me of the good ol' days of unfortunate middle school romances...but the fact that some people still act this way even as young adults is so laaaaaame! Favorite lyrics? "Why you gotta hug me like that/ Every time you see me? Why you always making me laugh/ Swear you're catching feelings."

"I Won't Let You Down": This is without a doubt one of the most catchy songs on the entire album! And, who doesn't love a good song about righting your wrongs, am I right!? (LOLZ SEE WHAT I DID THERE... righting...and am I right? Okay okay, I'll stop now~~) You can even dedicate it to yourself, if you haven't treated yourself right in the past... you can begin again with yourself. It's never too late to become your own bestie! Favorite lyrics? "You can't do this alone/ So from this day on, I won't let you down/ I'm gon' right my wrongs and I'mma make you proud"

"Dance Like Yo Daddy": This is definitely a silly one. Save this for when you're having a grumpy day -- I dare you to listen to this song without smiling! Favorite lyrics? "And if you care what they think then you can't have fun, so come on!"

"Champagne Problems": The lyrics that are poking fun at #FirstWorldProblems (think: WiFi, a late Uber, etc.) are a good match the danceable beat that is just so superb. Favorite Lyrics? "My iPhone always seems to die/ Right before I hit reply"

"Mom": Instead of your common love song about romance, this is about mama bear love!! It's incredible. Go take a listen! Favorite lyrics? "See we go way back, oh I remember" and "I just wanted to call you to tell you I love you"

"Friends": What better way to tell your friends you love them than by dancing around to this song together!? Favorite lyrics? "When I got my heart broken/ And my world was torn apart/ I was drowning in my tears/ They showed me they were right here"

"Thank You": Happy love songs feel so rare nowadays - there are always songs about people cheating, people taking their partner for granted, people breaking up or feeling hurt. This one, however, is a pleasant change change of pace! Favorite lyrics? "I hear your words, they don't go unnoticed"


Which of these songs is your favorite!? (Yes, "all of them" is a legit answer, ahaha! :D!!)
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, May 16, 2016

Oops!

You guys, I finished final exams this weekend and didn't get a chance to write a Mindfulness Monday post!!! :// New post up tomorrow though, and I'm pumped for next week's Mindfulness Monday!!

Sorry about that! Thanks for understanding <3
xoxo, Brooke

Friday, May 13, 2016

13 Things I Learned During My College Senior Spring Semester

In honor of Friday the 13th and the end of college classes (forever!!! Until grad school, that is :p!), here are some things I've learned during my college senior spring semester - the good, the bad, and the downright "yikes!" <3


1. It's never too late to make new friends! Old acquaintances can become closer friends, and new people can become fun pals. Also, the blogging world is full of like-minded girls with whom you can develop some pretty great friendships with over time!

2. Yoga is better for feeling both energized and relaxed than alcohol could ever hope to be. Except ya might not want to whip out your downward dog pose during parties, jussayin'! Ahahaha :p!!

3. Even if you love pizza, you need to stop eating it three times a week if you're diagnosed with a condition where you cannot eat gluten or yeast or dairy, among other things... *cue the angel face emoji here!*

4. You're like, really really smart and so compassionate and kind and loving and pretty --yes, despite those insecurities-- and you make a lot of good puns. So no need to have low self-esteem.

5. If you've been struck with a horrible panic attack and your [[ex]] boyfriend tells you "Go color or something, but I'm going to go eat" and leaves you sobbing and hyperventilating in the hallway by yourself and you're practically unable to walk back to your room, that guy does not deserve to be loved. You deserve compassion and care. Leave him in the past where he belongs, no matter how much it really hurts to do so. One day, whenever it is, this hurt will go away. Remember that -- one day, this pain you're feeling, it's gonna go away.

6. On that note, please trust your gut. Every time you've gotten hurt, it's because you had a premonition feeling deep down in the bottom of your stomach, and you've ignored the anxiety by telling yourself you were overreacting or being silly. News flash: you weren't, and it's about time you trust your own instincts, instead of relying on life's currents to push and pull you into situations you knew were going to be disasterous/a hawtt mess.

7. Home doesn't have to be a place. It can be a person. It can be yourself. It can be you.

8. It doesn't matter how long you study; it matters how. I've gotten straight As on tests this semester studying less than I ever had before because I figured out what the best unique way to study would be for each individual class.

9. Life really is so beautiful, and the future is always incredibly bright.

10. Just keep going. ('Nuff said.)

11. If you aren't satisfied with your present, daydream about the future and work toward it. When the future starts to make you anxious, remember the good times of the past. When the not-so-great times of the past slip into your mind, remember how much better your current present is. Then, repeat the coping cycle as needed until you can get yourself the hell out of there and create a new situation for yourself where you will fall ~*absolutely in love*~ with your present.

12. Your grandma, Annette, is most definitely your soul-sister and your best friend. When you pick up the phone crying your eyes out, you'll wind up hanging up the phone when the conversation ends totally smiling.

13. Don't apologize for the things that make you happy or interest you. Ever. It doesn't matter, unless it's harming you or someone else. If you're at a point in your life where you like reading books and cuddling your doggy more than trying to be social, that's a-okay!

What have you learned in the past few months?
xoxo, Brooke

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mindfulness Monday!

Here on Mindfulness Mondays, I know that we all've got a lot of needs on Mondays, to help us carry through the week. Sundays are my least favorite day of the week, personally, because I often times start worrying about the week ahead. However, instead of worrying, from now on, I am going to get myself excited for each coming week by putting some planning skills into play and kind of "designing" my week ahead! :D Perhaps I'll write a post soon on how to design your week ahead, but anyyyyyywayyyy: Mondays, too, can really set the tone for a good week. If you start your week off right, chances are it will continue to go "right," rather than slowly go downhill as the days go on... there's a law of physics that backs up that statement, right?...RIGHT!? ahahah :p !! Without further ado, welcome to your very first Mindfulness Monday! <3 [[Please note: today's Mindfulness Monday post has been posted a bit later than when you can usually expect them to be posted in the future (legit first thing in the morning from now on!!) because, ya know, when you've got lady cramps & a 9 A.M. class & a test following that, you've gotta move a little bit slower and go a little easier on your body + brain!]]


When you need some words of encouragement... (repeat this mantra once in the morning when you wake up, once in the afternoon after eating lunch, and once in the evening before bed!)
I am a good person, and I am a kind person. If people do not realize this, pay no matter.

When you need a good stretch...
(for directions on how to do this yoga pose correctly, click the caption "*via" to get the link to the online article!)
*via

When you need a mental boost... (put this easy mental health tip into action!)
Go to bed tonight thirty minutes earlier then when you usually do.


When you need a musical pick-me-up... (equally perfect for listening to while commuting to work + dancing around your apartment!)
"I Make My Own Sunshine" by Alyssa Bonagura.


When you need a texture of the day to help set your intentions... (seek out objects with this feel to it and surround yourself with them!)
Sticky - encourage yourself to "stick" to your goals. (e.g., buy a pack of chewing gum, play with Silly Putty to keep your hands busy, make your own homemade jams, do a DIY project involving glue or [[Washi!]] tape)

When you need to eat something delicious that's not actually bad for you... (click the caption "*via" to find the link to the online recipe!)
*via
When you need a little introspective journaling... (Write in your journal about the following prompt!) 
If close my eyes and pretend that I am 99 years old right now, I want to look back on my life and say that I have done these 20 things...




Have a happy Mindful Monday!
xoxo, Brooke

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Get ready for Mindfulness Mondays (Kickoff to a new TPL series!!)

Hiiiii, TPL reader-baes!! <3 :D

So, I've decided to start a new blog post series (kind of like the "Currently Trending" series that you guys like :p !!) called "Mindfulness Mondays!" In this post series, each Monday you can expect to see the following, special, just for you!! :p <3

- A really good song to set the tone of your day
-A yoga pose to try out
-A "texture" of the day to seek out (LOLOLOL i know this sounds odd at first, but here's the reason for it: For example, one Monday might have you try to surround yourself with clear, crystal-like objects, whereas another Monday might have you surround yourself with fuzzy, cuddly objects. This helps to stimulate the senses, and even aid [[whether metaphorically or literally]] with intentions for the day such as gaining clarity about your goals and having clearer visions of what you'd love to achieve one day, or help with feeling more loved and fuzzy inside, respectively. Also, if you are a Creative like myself, it can have some surprisingly super-positive influence upon your art or writing or dancing or music or whatever form/medium you like to express yourself through!)
-A positive, uplifting phrase to keep in mind throughout the day
-A mental health tip to put into practice
-A journaling/writing exercise to spark reflective and introspective thought
-A recipe that is Candida-diet and Pescatarian friendly! (So: no meat other than fish + eggs, no gluten, no dairy, no yeast, no soy, no peanuts/cashews/pistachios, no alcohol, no sugar, no carbs other than whole grain-style such as quinoa or millet, no melon/honeydew, no mold! Trust me when I say that there are some very healthy + delicious recipes that actually don't taste like cardboard, particularly if you dig coconut as much as I do, ahaha ;)! *casually drools on keyboard just thinking about it*)
-And perhaps other elements will be added as time goes on! If there's anything you'd love to see in the posts, let me know in the comments below -- I'm definitely open to add in a few more components to the series!

Hope you're as excited for Mindfulness Mondays as I am! Let's start living our lives with greater purpose and intent, shall we!?
xoxo, Brooke

P.S. - Happy Mama Bear's Day, today (and every day, let's be real!!!)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Books You Should Read This Summer

My favorite time to read is truly during the summer months. I know, I know... it's only the beginning of May! We still have the rest of the month (or for me, just a mere few weeks until I graduate on May 22nd! YAYZ!!) before it's technically the summer, but this fact certainly isn't stopping me from daydreaming about summer reading! Even if you have a summer internship or job, there is still somehow always more time for reading than during the "academic" months, I feel. Every night in the summer, I love putting away my laptop, Kindle + cell phone, and just cuddling up on the couch with a good book and my pug-doggy right near by (because Peppy is the best pug there is, for realz.) Without further ado, these are the ten books on my to-read list this summer and you should read them too, of course, so we can discuss ;) ! Ahaha! And, if you want to see more inspiration for books to read that are also on my own "To-Read" list...why yes there are over 3,000 books.... *innocent face* lol!!, then be sure to add me on GoodReads!

1 \\ "The Sociology Book" by DK Publishing
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I think, especially with all of the political turmoil in this day in age, it's very important to read up on this and understand how populations of people "work." I never took a class about sociology during my college career, so I want to educate myself on this topic that is ~unfortunately~ currently foreign to me!


2 \\ True Prep: It's A Whole New Old World by Lisa Birnbach
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BECAUSE PREPPINESSSSSSSSSS. *happydances all around* lol!! :p


3 \\ Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown
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Considering I'll be moving into my first [[rented]] apartment for grad school coming up, I think it's important that I acquire as many tips on being successful as a young adult as possible.


4 \\ Philosophy 101: From Plato and Socrates to Ethics and Metaphysics, an Essential Primer on the History of Thought by Paul Kleinman
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Even though I took a class in college last year called "The History of Ancient Philosophy," I still feel like there's so much that the class didn't cover (I'm like, 98% sure that we never covered Descartes or a bunch of other great thinkers!) and this fill certainly help me to fill in the missing gaps!


5 \\ The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
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My mom really loved this book, and has been asking me to read it since, well, pretty much forever! Apparently, even though Albom writes in a highly accessible way, the stories he tells are still really great -- I'm excited to read this book club classic!


6 \\ The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
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Personally, I am an only child with no siblings so the topic of sibling interactions really interests me! Or, in other words, I'm pretty much fascinated to learn more about family dynamics that involve brothers and sisters because I've never experienced having any, myself; this way, I can live vicariously through the characters of this novel! :p


7 \\ Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
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I was never assigned to read this classic book in high school! *gasp* So I really think I ought to get on that, ahaha! ;)


8 \\ Success Under Stress by Sharon Melnick
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Because me + stress = Yikes McGee!!! I'm sure we could all pick up ~a bunch~ of tips from this book that will really help us to succeed in future stressful situations!


9 \\ Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam M. Grant
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I'm really fascinated by out-of-the-box thinkers, and I've been called one, myself, by others who know me well! This undoubtedly seems like an inspiring, thought-provoking read that will dare readers to dream a little bigger.


10 \\ In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
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In general, I don't read as many non-fiction books as I really should, and after having taken a class called "Forensic Psychology" this semester, I would absolutely ~love~ to learn more about crimes and murders and the law -- it's scary stuff, and it's real stuff, which makes it even scarier!!


What books are on your to-read list this summer? I'd love ANY book recommendations what-so-ever!
xoxo, Brooke