Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016: Year of the #GIRLBOSS

Sophia Amoruso is one of my many many many female role models. She started her company Nasty Gal selling vintage clothing on Ebay in 2006, and has now sold over $100 million in apparel and accessories. Sophia's New York Times Bestselling book, #GIRLBOSS was my inspiration for this post, and has sparked my motivation for the coming year. If you haven't read #GIRLBOSS yet, please do yourself a favor and read the freaking book, especially if you plan to pursue a career in the fashion industry. After about a year of waiting, I FINALLY got the book for Christmas, and ever since I've started reading it I feel like someone (probably Sophia) set a fire inside of me. I just want to go out there and kick butt at everything I do because I AM A FREAKING #GIRLBOSS!!

In the coming year, I will continue to apply/interview for a summer internship, turn 21, go on a study tour to New York, do my summer internship, apply/interview for real life jobs, and graduate college. 2016 will be the most eventful year of my life so far, and I cannot even begin to put into words how pumped I am to work hard and be a total #GIRLBOSS. Now was the perfect time for me to read this book. I desperately needed to feel the sense of confidence and empowerment I got from reading #GIRLBOSS before I have to go out and start "selling myself" (for lack of better words) to possible future employers. 

Instead of having a list of cliche new year's resolutions, I decided to stick to a mantra to live by in 2016. Of course, the mantra is one of my favorite quotes from #GIRLBOSS. "A #GIRLBOSS is in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it". This quote is within the first 15 pages of the book, and Sophia continues to repeat her message throughout the book- #GIRLBOSSes work hard to get what they want. That is exactly what I plan to do this year! 

Happy New Year, and I hope you all embrace your inner #GIRLBOSS in 2016! 

Before I sign off, I would like to ask that you guys keep my home town in your thoughts. Rowlett was among the two cities hit the hardest by Saturday's tornadoes in Texas. The EF4 left many people and pets without homes. There is never a "good time" for something like this to happen, but the day after Christmas just seems far too unfair. Please be sending good thoughts to Rowlett during the cleanup and rebuilding that will take place in the coming months.

xo. Brooke

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Lazy Girl Style

It's FINALLY Winter break and I could not be more stoked! It's so nice to be able to relax at home and not have to worry about classes, homework, projects, papers, etc. Unfortunately, I started my off break by getting my wisdom teeth removed, so I'll be hanging out at home for the next few days. It's totally okay though because I get to watch TV, knit, color, and eat ice cream all day long which rocks. (P.S. Thank you Allison for the adult coloring book)

I don't know about you guys, but when I'm at home I want to be as comfortable as possible. The downside of this is that I also don't really like going out in public looking like I just rolled out of bed (this is generally how I look at home). I obviously will dress up if I know I'm going to be going somewhere that day, but if I wake up without any plans for the day I search for the comfiest clothes I own. I want to give you guys some style inspiration for some comfy AND cute outfits to copy this Winter break because you deserve to be comfortable! Also, while at home you're at risk of running into former classmates (yeet), so you have to look somewhat socially acceptable.
Stay cozy & chic this Winter break, friends!

xo. Brooke

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday Playlist

As you know, I start listening to Christmas music in November (at the latest). I know that they're all basically just different versions of the same songs, but I love them nonetheless. Since it is finals season and college students will soon be driving home for the holidays I decided to share a holiday playlist to make studying and driving home a little more joyful. If you're already home for the holidays, feel free to listen while you decorate some Christmas cookies or do some other festive activity those of us still at school wish we could do. You can find my holiday playlist on Spotify, it's titled "Young, Wild & Broke: Christmas"!
  1. O Holy Night- *NSYNC
  2. That's Christmas to Me- Pentatonix
  3. All I Want for Christmas is You- Mariah Carey
  4. The 12 Days of Christmas- Straight No Chaser
  5. What Child Is This- Francesca Battistelli
  6. Wrapped in Red- Kelly Clarkson
  7. Here Comes santa Claus- Elvis presley
  8. Merry Christmas Darling- Christina Perri
  9. Where Christmas Is Found- Cameron Mitchell & aprilemade
  10. Warm and Fuzzy Time of Year- Billy Gilman
  11. Jingle Bells- Michael Buble (feat. The Puppini Sisters)
  12. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- Bing Crosby
  13. Mistletoe and Holly- Frank Sinatra
  14. Something About December- Christina Perri
  15. Ave Maria- Josh Groban
  16. Infany Holy, Infant Lowly- BYU Vocal Point
  17. Marshmallow World- Francesca Battistelli
  18. The First Noel- Pentatonix
  19. Just For Now- Kelly Clarkson
  20. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays- *NSYNC
  21. Blue Christmas- Elvis Presley
  22. This Christmas- Straight No Chaser
  23. White Christmas- Bing Crosby
  24. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen- BYU Vocal Point
  25. My Only Wish (This Year)- Brittney Spears
  26. Last Christmas- Ariana Grande
  27. Baby, It's Cold Outside- Seth MacFarlane
  28. It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year- Andy Williams
  29. Silver Bells- Dean Martin
  30. Mary, Did You Know?- Pentatonix
Before I sign off, I would like to share the story behind the photo used for this post. That festive *NSYNC photo is usually my go-to background on my laptop during the month December. Sadly, my laptop is STILL being worked on so I won't be able to enjoy the full month of joy that this photo brings me. Note to University of Arkansas students: if your laptop breaks, don't take it to the bookstore to be worked on unless you want to be without at laptop for over 2 weeks. 

xo. Brooke

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

DIY Holiday: A Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess is my go-to blog for anything DIY. All of their DIY projects are super cute and have very detailed photos and instructions making them easy to actually DIY. I have been on Pinterest everyday for the past week trying to find the perfect DIY ornament for #BloggersDeckTheHalls, an ornament exchange for bloggers hosted by Cristina on Campus and Not Your Average Southern Belle. I ended up buying one, but I came across some great Holiday DIY projects (all from A Beautiful Mess) that I would love to share with you guys! I definitely plan on making at least a couple of these projects for my apartment and maybe as additions to some Christmas gifts! (Also, I apologize for any formatting issues... I've been laptop-less for a week, so this post was written on my phone!
Pom-Pom Garland
This Pom-Pom garland is so fun! Its a pretty affordable and easy project that will make your holiday mantle decor pop!
Winter Village
I absolutely adore this project. I have never seen anything quite like it before! How cute would this be in a little girl's room?!
Gold Leather + Fur Stocking
I have been wanting to make my own stockings ever since I started sewing about 3 years ago. I love the idea of using metallic leather and fur!
Porcelain Holiday Tree Lights
My mantle needs SO MANY of these tree lights! They look so easy too... This may be a nice pre-finals project for me.
Eye Ornaments
These are probably some of the cutest ornaments I've ever seen. I think if I find the time to make some for myself I'd add some glittery red and pink lip ornaments to the mix as well! 

Happy holiday crafting! 

xo. Brooke

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Be Pretty & Save Animals

Over the past several months I have started the transition to buying only cruelty-free products. I made this decision expecting to pay a little more for my beauty and cleaning products than I had been in the past, but I'm actually spending about the same amount! I was completely unaware that many of the brands I already used were cruelty-free brands, I have done some research over the past year on the effects of product testing on animals and let me tell you, the things these helpless animals go through is completely heartbreaking.  Some of the many animals currently being used as test subjects include mice, rats, rabbits, primates, cats, and dogs.... SO SO SAD!! I would highly encourage anyone who loves animals to join me in this transition, and spread the word about the harmful effects of animal testing to your family and friends.

With that being said, there are so many great cruelty-free brands out there and I can't wait to try more of them! Based on what I've tried so far, I have put together a list of my top 5 favorite cruelty-free products for you guys!
Lush Jumping Juniper Shampoo Bar 
This was part of my first ever Lush purchase, and oh my gosh it is incredible! I had several people recommend this bar to me so I knew I had to try it, and I don't think I'll ever go back to regular shampoo. This bar smells amazing and leaves my hair shiny, soft and bouncy. I'm asking for another for Christmas so I'll already be stocked up when I run out. 
Lush Big Solid Conditioner
Of course I had to buy Lush conditioner when I bought the shampoo bar! This also smells amazing. It doesn't feel like a real conditioner when it's in your hair, but I don't notice any more tangles. I was worried about dryness, but that hasn't been an issue at all! This bar also seems to help in controlling my frizz which is a HUGE plus.
Lush 93,000 Shower Jelly
This stuff is seriously so fun. It literally feels like a jello version of soap. One of my littles recommended the shower jellies when I was asking her about her favorite Lush products, and I absolutely love the 93,000 scent. It really just smells like cinnamon, but I love cinnamon so obviously I think it's great. 
e.l.f Blush in Twinkle Pink
I LOVE this blush shade; it's not too coral and not too pink. Also, it's only $3 and you can't beat makeup that cheap! I was so happy to find out that e.l.f is a cruelty-free brand because all of their make up is SO cheap and I have yet to find a product that I didn't like! 
NYM Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo
I have tried several different brands of dry shampoo and this one is by far my favorite. I only wash my hair every other day, so on the day's I don't wash I will use this. I love it because it doesn't leave that powdery look in my dark hair that a lot of other brands do. This brand is also very affordable!

I am so excited about this change in my life. I feel so much better when I'm getting ready in the morning knowing that the products I'm using aren't tested on animals. I know I only listed three brands in this post (sorry, Lush is seriously so great and I'm still obsessed), but there are a ton of companies who are against animal testing. For further information on companies that DO and DON'T test on animals head over to!

xo. Brooke

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Merry {Chic}mas

If you couldn't already tell, I absolutely adore the holidays! I love the festive decor, fun events, and of course the shopping. If you're anything like me, you often find your self running 20 minutes late while getting ready for a holiday event because you have nothing to wear. There is no reason to sweat this year ladies because I have found the only three looks you need to make it through this holiday season in style. 
Christmas Shopping
If you're anything like me, shopping is a workout. You need something that's comfortable, easy to move in, and of course cute! My go-to Christmas shopping outfit is a sweater (lightweight because of sweat. I did say shopping is a workout), skinny jeans, and booties.
Cookie Swap
Cookie swaps are super fun, but you definitely want an outfit that will camouflage your mid-region. After all, it is a party dedicated to eating cookies. Because cookie swaps are generally more casual events, wear a flowy top, your favorite pair of jeans, and some clogs! (You can add a pair of festive socks to make your outfit more fun!)
Christmas Party
I don't really like the idea of wearing dresses in the winter because I get cold very easily, so this look is perfect if you want to stay cozy while looking glamorous. Wear a chunky knit sweater, some nice joggers, and some clogs or heeled booties. To jazz up this look, add a statement necklace and some red lipstick and you're ready to celebrate!

These three styles should keep you looking chic and fabulous all holiday season! Merry {Chic}mas, Ladies!

xo. Brooke

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide for the Broke College Student

While the holidays are by far my favorite part of the year, I always struggle with finding the perfect affordable gifts for my family and friends because I am a broke college student. My sister and boyfriend are the easiest to shop for because they both have very specific interests so I've had their gifts picked out since July (and let me tell you, they're great). As I was doing some shopping online to find gifts for the rest of the lovely people on my list I was having issues finding things that were unique, personal, and affordable, so I decided to compile a list of some of my favorite affordable gifts to help out my fellow college students with their holiday shopping!
Urban Outfitters
Picture Frame
Picture frames make great gifts for anybody on your holiday shopping list! Find a cool frame, print a photo of the two of you, and BAM you're done. I'm obsessed with these super cool glitter frames from Urban Outfitters.
Lush Cosmetics
Lush Cosmetics Gift Sets
These gift sets are super cute, and perfect for any lady (or guy) on your list. They come pre-wrapped (bonus) and Lush has several gift sets under $20! All Lush products are cruelty free and handmade which is another super cool bonus.
Paper Source
Coffee Mugs
Do you know someone who loves drinking warm beverages such as coffee and tea? Give them a mug they can use anytime they enjoy their warm cup of cozy! Also, mugs are every coffee lovers favorite form of self expression, so feel free to get creative.
Urban Outfitters
Initial Decor
Initial gifts are another way to give something personal. Anything with an initial makes a great gift for newlyweds! Urban Outfitters has a great selection of initial decor in all different styles!
Throw Pillows
There are two types of people in the world; those who embrace the throw pillow and those who do not. I am a proud supporter of the throw pillow because they're cute and functional- whats not to love?! These cat throw pillows are perfect for your quirky cat-loving friend AND they're only $20.
Charging Luggage Tag
This gift is both practical AND affordable. If you know a lady who loves to travel, this is the perfect gift to accompany her on her trips. After all, we all know how crucial a charged phone is at the airport.
Urban Outfitters
This post is written for college students and odds are, we all know at least one person who is completely clueless in the kitchen. A cookbook is a fantastic gift to help your friend venture into the world of cooking! (How funny is this cookbook from UO?!)
Paper Source
Holiday Lights Charging Cable
This charger is seriously the cutest thing! I don't think there is a person in the world who would't appreciate this charger as a gift. BONUS: its the perfect way to ensure that your friend/family member gets to enjoy the holidays all year long!
Harry's Winston Shaving Set
This shaving set is perfect for any guy in your life. The set includes one Winston razor handle, a bottle of foaming shave gel, three razor cartridges, and a razor cover. You can get this handy shaving set for only $25!
Paper Source
Pet Impression Ornament Kit
I don't think this one needs an explanation. Any pet owner you know will love receiving this as a gift!
Adult Coloring Books
I am TOTALLY 100% on board with the recent adult coloring book trend. Coloring is such a great stress reliever, and there are so many different themed books out there. I think this one is hilarious, and I'm currently contemplating buying one for myself.
Paper Source
Magnetic Photo Display System
This would make the perfect gift for anyone living or planning on living in a dorm. The set comes with magnetic stickers that you place on the wall and little round magnets to hang your photos/posters/etc.
Candles make great gifts for LITERALLY ANYBODY. Instead of buying a random scent, opt for a scent that you know will appeal to whomever you're shopping for. For instance, the coffee scented candle above would make a great gift for the coffee addict in your life.
Everyone needs a great pair of slippers to keep their feet warm during the cold winter months! There are so many fun styles to choose from which makes it super easy to find a pair for anyone on your list!
Urban Outfitters
Cookie Kit
This cookie kit would make a super fun gift for anyone who enjoys baking/eating cookies! This set comes with a mix, but you could easily make up your own DIY cookie kit! Just find the cookie cutters, make a dry mix, and print out the recipe!

Happy shopping!

xo. Brooke

Monday, November 9, 2015

Luna's Favorite Things

Today is Luna's (estimated) 1st birthday! I am beyond thankful to my amazing Aunt Donna and Uncle Mike for letting me have their sweet kitten this past January. Luna is by far the best and most adorable cat in the whole world and I love her more than anything (I am still unsure if these feelings are mutual). In honor of her first year of life, I decided to write a blog post about all of her favorite things as she can be difficult to please.

Foil Balls
Out of all the toys I've gotten her these foul balls have been her favorite by far. I think she has around 8 of them now. She loves hitting them around and playing catch with me at night before bed. 
Luna LOVES her nummies. Saturday was her first day on adult cat food (sad face), and she seems to have adjusted to the transition well. I got her Friskies Indoor Delights, but if your cat has a favorite food I'd love some suggestions on what to get her next time!
Luna loves being brushed. I brush her every night before we go to bed for about 10 minutes. I usually don't even need to move my hand because she just rubs her body against the brush on her own. I like this brush because it has a button on the back that will push all the hair off the brush when you push it. Daily brushing also helps with shedding! 
Buckle collars
Okay this one is more for me than Luna because she doesn't seem to like wearing collars. All of her previous collars have been break away and she ALWAYS finds a way to get them off. I got her this super cute Christmas collar at PetSmart that has an actual buckle, so it should be a bit more difficult for her to remove.
Cardboard scratching post 
Kainen (my boyfriend) got Luna this scratching post/play house as an early birthday present Saturday and she has been having a blast playing on/in it ever since. She's even chosen it over her rope scratching post that is right next to it. (Kudos to you, Kainen)
Sugar cookies
Okay, this is a weird one but Luna LOVES sugar cookies. My mom sent me some of those great pillsbury Halloween sugar cookies in a care package and Luna went crazy. Kainen broke off a piece and gave it to her and I don't think I . After that she was all up in my business anytime I ate one, and actually pulled a Lady & the Tramp move in me and snuck a bite as I was eating one. 

Time to go celebrate Luna's first birthday with some new toys, cuddles, and cookies!

xo. Brooke

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hot Topic: Christmas Music Before Thanksgiving

This time each year people across America fall into a heated debate for nearly four weeks as to whether or not it is acceptable to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. There are three classifications of people this time of year: those who refuse to acknowledge the holiday season until a few days before Christmas when they do their gift buying (I like to call these people the "bah humbugs"), those who oppose any and all things Christmas until midnight on Thanksgiving, and those like myself who start listening to Christmas music on, or most likely before, November 1. My sister and I grew up listening to Christmas on the reg starting in early November, much to the dissatisfaction of our parents who are of the second previously listed variety of Christmas celebrators. Here are my 5 reasons why it is COMPLETELY okay to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving:

Stores start playing Christmas music on November 1
If November 1 is good enough for corporate America, it's good enough for me too. That is all.

Christmas music makes you feel warm and fuzzy
This is obviously the number one reason to listen to Christmas music at any and every time of the year. Christmas music has some kind of magical power that overcomes Christmas lovers with joy. I don't know how it does it, but it works. (It's also great study music)

I don't think this needs an explanation, but I'll give one anyways. It would be nearly impossible to learn all five parts of every single PTX Christmas song if I only started listening to them after Thanksgiving. I'm sure it could be done, but I have finals and other things to do in December. 

Planners start Christmas shopping early
If you're like me, you start making your Christmas shopping list in July. This means that I am in the "Christmas spirit" a little longer than many people, so of course I'm going to want to listen to Christmas music! I currently have a secret Pinterest board where I have been pinning all of my gifts I've planned to buy for my family and friends. Now I'm just waiting for Cyber Monday to order it all! (Cyber Monday is the new Black Friday, people.)

Pro-Christmas is not Anti-Thanksgiving
Every year the "bah humbugs" get mad at those of us already basking in the Christmas glory by saying, "it's not even Thanksgiving yet". We know, and guess what, WE LOVE THANKSGIVING TOO. Thanksgiving means that our Christmas celebration is FINALLY widely accepted, and we are finally able to unleash our inner Christmas elves.

As the song says "its the most wonderful time of the year", so how lame is it to cut that wonderful time down to a mere 4 weeks?!?!! Also, the Christmas season basically extends through the entire month of November anyways (thanks to the retail industry), so we might as well go along with it and embrace all the greatness that the holiday season has to offer! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going go continue listing to the Pentatonix album "That's Christmas to Me" while I drink my Starbs peppermint mocha.

Happy Holidays!

xo. Brooke

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Trends I Love: Fall 2015

As an apparel merchandising and product development major, I am expected to keep up with current trends and styles. I do this by reading fashion blogs (Who What WearMan Repeller, etc.) reading industry publications (Apparel Magazine, Fashion Snoops, etc.), and going on Pinterest. Sometimes I come across a trend that completely rocks my world and I usually end up doing extensive research on that specific trend. Here are 6 Fall trends I love:

Blue hair
I came across the picture above on Pinterest a couple of days ago and I immediately fell in love. I recently dyed my hair black and have been wanting to add some color in a more subtle way. I'm positive I'll be daydreaming of this hair color for months to come. SO BLUE. SO RAD.

Free People
Blanket capes
Blanket capes are THE BEST. It's basically like you're wearing a blanket wrapped around you all day. I don't know what could be more comfy. I recently made my own with some grey and black flannel I got at JoAnn's and I'm dying for it to get cold so that I can wear it! Also, how gorgeous is this knit one from Free People?!

Stay Home Club
Graphic tees
I am a sucker for a weird/sarcastic/ironic/sassy graphic tee. They just look so great under flannels or cardigans for those lazy days we all have. Stay Home Club and Culture Flock Clothing are my two favorite websites for great graphic tees, and other weird/sassy/cat themed goodies.

These Are Things
Sassy pins
Enamel lapel pins are the perfect way to add a bit of your personality to any outfit. These Are Things has so many great lapel pins priced at $10 a pop! What a steal, am I right?!! At that price I'm sure I will have a collection of them in no time. 

Leather Totes
I'm a sucker for a great leather bag. My favorite leather tote I've come across in my many hours of online window shopping is Madewell's transport tote pictured above. Madewell also offers $10 monogramming on their leather goods. The monogrammed transport tote is the first thing on my Christmas list this year! (Mom, please. I need this bag.)


Casual Sneakers
Stylish casual sneakers are super popular right now. I love how many great versatile styles there are to dress any outfit up or down all while maintaining the same level of comfort. I'm obsessed with these fabulous black Sorel sneakers. I also really like New Balance and Saucony casual sneakers.

xo. Brooke