Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Stress Relief Tips:: We All Need Them

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We all have stressors; classes, jobs, people, etc. Stress can become toxic if not handled correctly. I know that I'm at the point in the semester where I'm just mentally exhausted, distracted, and unable to focus on my class work which causes, you guessed it, STRESS. I have done a lot of research since I started college two years ago on how to handle stress, and have found some things that actually work for me! The following tips help me manage my stress and keep it to a minimum!

Stay organized
Make lists, keep a planner, write everything down, utilize the beloved post-it note for reminders, etc. I use all of the things previously listed to stay organized because if I don't do them, I will forget important things and my life would probably just fall apart. 

Adopt a furry friend
I obviously prefer cats because cats are without a doubt the most {purr}fect pets. Not to mention that a cat's purr has been proven in a study at the University of Missouri to relieve stress and increase health in both cats and humans (see article).

Drink coffee
Coffee will not only wake you up, it has been indicated through a study at Seoul National University in South Korea that the smell of coffee may help to relieve stress (see article). Perhaps that's why I get so much work done at coffee shops?? 

Take breaks
The human brain is not meant to focus on one thing for an extended period of time. I've found that when studying, the Pomodoro Technique helps me to both learn material, and stay relaxed while doing so.

There is one pose in particular that is absolutely magic. If you are ever overcome with stress I highly encourage you to drop everything, turn on some relaxing sounds, and do this yoga pose. I seriously think it's magic.

Those are all the stress relief tips I've found that work for me! If you have any stress relief tips, I'd love to hear them because college doesn't come without a fair dose of stress!!

xo. Brooke

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

All About Coffee

Today is National Coffee Day (arguably one of the best days of the year among Thanksgiving and Christmas). If you know me, you know I L O V E coffee, so this holiday is right up my alley. I figured I would celebrate the day dedicated to my favorite drink by writing a blog post about my favorite coffee, brewing method, and sharing some super out-of-the-box coffee recipies. Before I get in to all the fabulous things mentioned previously, I would just like to announce that Dunkin Donuts is giving away FREE medium hot and iced coffee today!! WHAT A DEAL AM I RIGHT?!

Okay so I am from Dallas, but my boyfriend Kainen is from Kansas City, where he introduced me to THE BEST coffee I have ever had. I know what you're all thinking, "didn't Buddy the Elf find the world's best cup of coffee in New York?" No, he did not not, the best cup of coffee can be found at The Roasterie in Kansas City, MO. I have yet to find a coffee that I don't like from the Roasterie. If you've never had the pleasure of enjoying Roasterie coffee I would HIGHLY encourage you to order some beans from their website here to brew at home because it's THAT good. Also, if you're ever in Kansas City and want to do something fun, educational, and wear a dupe cute hair net, you can go take a tour of The Roasterie for free! 

There is something oh so satisfying about brewing a great cup of coffee on your own. First of all, its just super great to make the perfect cup of coffee at home, and secondly you can do it without having to wear pants. My favorite brewing method is French press because it produces such a bold rich flavor coffee that I absolutely love. You can get a good quality French press at a reasonable price on Amazon if you don't already have one!  Mine is a cheap one from World Market, but it still works great! Below is a super cute graphic that illustrates the steps to french press your own coffee! 

Drip coffee is also great, it has more of a crisp clean flavor that I enjoy, especially in the summer. There are so many other methods of brewing, but I don't have the time to cover them all. If you're interested in coffee brewing there are tons of resources where you can read all about it! I am currently enjoying a cup of the 40 Sardines blend from the Roasterie that I brewed in my Keurig. I know that makes coffee lovers like myself across the world cringe, but when I'm short on time the Keurig is the perfect way to ensure that I get my coffee fix in a jiffy. 

Now for some coffee recipes! I haven't made any of these neat-o recipes yet, but they're definitely on my to-do list!
Coffee cupcakes with coffee cream cheese frosting

Recipe Here

Creamy coffee filled brownies

Recipe here

Coffee and toasted almond fudge

Recipe here

Coffee cinnamon rolls

Recipe here

Coffee rubbed pork roast

Recipe here
I hope all this coffee talk has inspired you to venture further into the wonderful world of coffee! Happy National Coffee Day!

xo. Brooke

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Regarding the Selfie Stick

Oh the selfie stick. I guess I will start off by saying that I do own one. I purchased my handy selfie friend at Best Buy for about $20 in June for my trip to Disney World and Universal Studios. This was before Disney banned the beloved selfie stick from being used in its parks (understandable after seeing the number of people who walked around the parks with their selfie sticks fully extended. Who does that?). Anyways, I've learned one thing in my months of being a selfie stick owner and user: the topic of the selfie stick is almost always surrounded by a huge dark cloud of judgement. I, for one, was judged hardcore by the cashier at Best Buy when I purchased my selfie stick. He smirked, chuckled, and slid the selfie stick slowly towards me after scanning it as if to see if I would take back my decision to purchase the item.. Very unprofessional, and very very awakard.

Here are some thought provoking questions I have regarding the selfie stick: Why does the selfie stick make people so uncomfortable? Why am I weird for owning AND using one? Will the selfie stick become a normal household item or will it fail miserably? Only time will tell.

xo. Brooke

Saturday, September 19, 2015

10 Truths of Knitting

I learned to knit one rainy weekend in 2010 and I haven't stopped since. There is something super relaxing about the rhythm of the knitting process (you also get to make stuff while relaxing, so that's super cool). I knit year round for stress relief purposes, but fall/winter is definitely my favorite time of tear to knit. The crisp cool air and changing colors make the knitting experience all the more cozy and enjoyable. But knitting does not come without costs; here are my 10 truths of knitting:

1. Yarn fuzz everywhere... Everywhere
2. Sneezing because yarn filaments fly into your nose becomes a regular thing
3. Being either envied or judged hardcore when knitting in public (there is no inbetween) 
4. Knitting to relieve stress instead of yoga, reading, drinking, etc.
5. Providing extra entertainment for your cat who loves shiny things AND string 
6. Finding yarn scraps stuck to your clothes, backpack, etc.
7. Having super soft finger tips from running them over the yarn as you knit
8. Random trips to the craft store when you absolutely NEED more yarn (even when you have a basket full)
9. Knitting puns become a part of your everyday conversation
10. The clinking sound of your needles will become increasingly therapeutic

Happy knitting!

xo. Brooke 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

PSiLoveyou:: In Honor of the Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin spice latte season is upon us, people!! In honor of today being the first day of PSL season at Starbs I decided to write a haiku titled PSiLoveyou... enjoy.

Pumpkin Spice Latte,
you are the best Autumn drink.
P.S. i Love you

Be sure to embrace your inner "basic white girl" and treat yo self to a taste of Fall this week (maybe possibly share this haiku with the barista??)

Here are some pretty photos of Fall in New York City to get you in the PSL mood
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xo. Brooke

Why I am Embarrassed to be a Christian

In the last year there has been a lot of negative light on Christians due to their unacceptance and hatred of others. This makes me so very sad. Seeing and hearing all the horrible hate-filled things these Christian people have to say about those of different ethnicities, sexualities, and genders in the name of my God makes my heart hurt. My God is a loving God. My God doesn't see color, gender, or sexuality. My God loves us all simply because we are His children. It makes me so sad to know that there are so many people who use their faith to justify hate.

Honestly, in the past few months it has gotten to the point where I am actually embarrassed to tell people that I am a Christian. There are so many people who view Christians as a hateful and bigoted group of people, and I don't want to be included in that. Recently I have began labeling myself as a "Progressive Christian", which makes me feel much better talking about my faith in everyday conversation. It allows me to say that I am both socially progressive AND a Christian at the same time, because contrary to what some may say, it IS possible to be both. I am part of a generation that is (for the most part) accepting, loving, and open-minded, and I know for a fact that there are many other Christians my age who are struggling with the same feelings I have been struggling with in the past year. So, I am calling all PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANS to start talking to people about your beliefs AND your faith!!! We need to make our voices heard, so that people will see that there ARE accepting Christians, and that not all Christians use their faith to justify their hatred of specific groups of people.

Remember, we are called to love each other.

xo. Brooke