February 29, 2016

We All Have Stories...

Hi. It's me again, too vulnerable for comfort Brooke. The real, unapologetic Brooke who might wake up and regret everything she just wrote down on here but this isn't really about me, it's about what I'm learning as I navigate this crazy thing called my life...

"I just wanted her to like me..." I hazily remember sobbing in front (possibly on?)  a poor guy I had met for the second time, and I for the life of me can't remember how we got on this conversation. Yet, there I was sobbing over the fact that I just wanted to be accepted by a certain unnamed department chair. That's what life comes down to, we all want to be liked. We want to be appealing to the person working at our favorite clothing store who always dresses better than us, noticed by the person who seemingly could make or break your career, aspire to be on the same "level" as those we look up to in the blogging world, and honestly that list can go on and on for every single person. Even those that seem to have their life together.

Here's the problem I spent so much time wanting to be adored, loved, and feel worthy by basically everything else around me I forgot that I was, is, and will be loved. Not only did God send down his only son to die on the cross for our own stupid every single day sins, He pursues us every single day after that. Yet here I was basically whining a good 50% of the time, wallowing in self pity because my life didn't turn out the way I wanted it. I won't lie, I still get this way and have to check myself before I wreck myself as the saying goes. Embarrassing. Selfish. That's the real wake-up call.

Here's the beauty in it all though, the story doesn't end there and life is beautiful despite the ups and downs. I may sound like an inspirational quote found via pinterest, but when you take the time to breathe and truly focus on what God might be trying to say... each experience is rather freeing. I mentioned in a previous post back in the beginning of February, I mentioned how I have so much hope in the future and that I hoped you did too, because you should. I also went on to say how a timeline helps you reach that decision. If you know me well enough I love timelines, I am the worlds biggest sucker for timelines. I used to tear up at the sight of timelines from bloggers when they talked about their own personal love stories (which happens to be another one of my favorite things). If you keep a journal, have a piece of paper handy, or heck grab that paper towel from the kitchen and get doodling. The most significant moment from my life was when I woke up and realized I had no plan for my life and no clue what I was going to study in college etc. That's where my specific timeline starts, when I made the timeline I realized how many snowball avalanche life decisions and opportunities happened because of that one "failure". It opened the door for more real, honest friendships. I ran closer to God because honestly what else was there to do? I started focusing on LookBrooke more and growing it to what it is today, I remember having 5 followers on bloglovin... now I have 70 some and it's incredible to think how this little space wouldn't truly be mine if I hadn't needed that creative outlet. I got to cry my eyes out in front on practically a stranger because they wouldn't have been visiting me in October if I hadn't failed because I wouldn't have even been there! (That's really not timeline worthy... it's just the truth and proves a point: I wouldn't have even been there.) These past about seven months I have met some of the most amazing people who I am so insanely lucky to call my friends (shout out to those lovely people in Jersey), God has a plan that I still don't see. These opportunities though, I wouldn't be enjoying them to their highest potential if I wasn't living life in the "present tense."

No matter the dreams that seem trashed, the dreams that are still ahead of us, or the fact that we don't even know what dreams we should be dreaming... "Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living." We all have one shared common goal, and it's to feel loved. So get out that pen and paper and realize that your timeline isn't yet done. God loves us so much he's creating these intricate stories that we get to call our life.

"Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God."- Passion and Purity

February 22, 2016

Look's Little Covets (Travel Style)

Guys it's almost March, like holy crap how did that happen?? I swear it was just January and I was celebrating New Years in DC, next thing I know it's socially acceptable to have all my shopping bags online overflowing with bathing suits and coverups. Like really? Summer is so close guys, I can practically feel the ocean water. So naturally, my first Look's Little Covets has to be summer and travel theme. 

I'll be spending my days day dreaming of the ocean, waiting around for the tropical snapchat filter (@btbroomell), pining after the whole 2016 collection of Victoria's Secret bathing suits, and crying in my room over how white I am. The tan days are upon as guys... they really are. Til then, day dream and shop these adorable findings. 


*Oh! Also if you love traveling, living through people, or need advice about a weekend getaway... I've got you covered. One of my besties, Megan just started a travel blog: 24901 Miles To Go. A little background info: She is currently doing an internship abroad in Costa Rica. She fell in love with traveling when she was sixteen and went abroad for the first time. On the blog she shares the ups and downs of her current life through funny anecdotes, so please stop by and give her some love ;) 

February 15, 2016

Just Feeling Blue

|Dress: White Lotus (Loved this for the look! AND IT'S ON SALE) (Just plain swooning!)|Chambray: Hollister (Similar)|Shoes: Target (Similar)|Sunglasses: J Crew (Similar)|
Lately I have been day dreaming back to when weather was warmer, sandals were a reoccurring thing, and dresses didn't need to be followed by tights and boots. I remember when it was finally scarf weather and I shouted with joy, but I am so sick of the cold weather. I'm a firm believer that if I am going to be freezing my tail off then I better be in NYC. And as I look around and see the little kitchen and the drawing on the wall of me and my father, the disappointment sets in... I am indeed in VA. 

It snowed yesterday and this morning, and I found myself sliding on the road and crying in a parking lot shaking, as a dear friend said "you need practice lol." BRB moving to Florida... So along with the monday blues, this monochromatic all blue outfit perfectly displays how I feel. Especially since I needed to reshoot an outfit (when you accidentally don't shoot in RAW -.-) and well snow tends to slow down that process, here's an outfit from the archives that never made it onto LookBrooke. 

I hope you had a lovely Valentine's Weekend, mine was spent with a daddy daughter date where I chased a man down who was not my father. Getting stuck in a parking lot for an hour being calmed down VIA snapchat and texts. But it wasn't at all as bad as it sounds typed out, we spent the morning eating panera bagels and heading to church. 

But it's okay because somehow you're still happy crying and singing along to South Pacific's A Wonderful Guy, writing in your diary like you're a naive school girl again (because let's be real, when will you grow out of that phase), and all that previous overreacting and overthinking just make when something good happens that much more enjoyable. ;)

Here's to everyone who has ever over analyzed a snapchat, text, or like on facebook. May we find our chill... and beat the blues...

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February 12, 2016

Last Minute Guide to Valentine's

Last Minute Valentine's Guide, recipes, DIY, drinks

Alcohol and Non Alcoholic Drink Guide Valentines
Avocado Truffle Chocolates (found at Yummy Healthy Easy)
Recipes for ValentinesCinnamon Bun Cookies (found at Recipe Girl)
Banana Coconut Cookies (found at Raia's Recipes)
Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding (found at Minimalist Baker)
Red Velvet Layer Cake (found at Sally's Baking Addiction)
Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bars (found at Creme de la Crumb)
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies *paleo (found at Bakerita)
Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake (found at Martha Stewart)
German Chocolate Bombs (found at A Bit of Bees Knees)
Conversation Heart Sugar Cookies (found at I am a Food Blog)
Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake (found at Alexandra's Kitchen)
English Toffee Recipe (found at My Domaine)
Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread *paleo (found at Bakerita)
Apple Crisp Stuffed Baked Apples (found at Creme de la Crumb)

Do It Yourself DIY gudie Valentines
Valentine's Day Branch Tree (found at The House That Lars Built)
DIY Pucker Up Balloons (found at Studio DIY)
Valentine's Day Heart Banner (found at Eighteen25)
Printable Love Coupon Book (found at I Heart Naptime)
Valentine Pop Up Card (found at Lia Griffith)
Valentine Glitter Votives (found at Mason Jar Crafts Love)
Heart Tea Bags (found at DIY Enthusiasts)

Here's to Valentine's Day and the weekend 

February 7, 2016

It's The Little Things

As I'm sitting on the couch (my phone all the way in the other room and the tv amped up so I don't hear it ding when it inevitably does.), alternating between a chapter of #GIRLBOSS and leaving comments on blogs... I realize one thing: I NEED TO BREATHE. I am about as amped up as a person at their favorite concert who just chugged about four redbulls. I once had a friend in highschool who became crazy hyper on redbull, I feel like her... my heart is racing, my mind is running, and I'm practically shaking. I'm driving myself mad because I'm waiting for a text that will inevitably be something similar to "lol i'd rather choke on my own vomit than hangout with you" because that's what your mind does when you sit on something too long. I personally am ADHD, and to battle that I feel as though my mind overthinks every possible action I do or is done in order to keep it focused.

The next thing you know you're imagining every possible scenario that could be going on right now: That's right the crazy in your brain has decided to go full throttle like you're Olivia on The Bachelor when she keeps talking about the secret communication her and Ben have.... And just like that, you can breathe because it dinged and the message didn't include any knife emojis or anything resembling he was gonna puke at the sight of your face. In fact it even is a blushy face emoji, so you can calmly and dramatically belt out Let It Go and move on with your life... that is until you send the reply text and it starts all over again.

*Record screeches*

It's time to focus on something good, channel my nervous energy into something worthwhile. Sip that coffee and breathe. I can't be the only one staring at their phone, ready to go crazy overthinking the fact he didn't use an exclamation mark or used the word "oh." THIS NEEDS TO STOP.

So I apologize for the long introduction but I knew what I needed to do and what maybe you need to in the comments below or in a journal at your house... I'm focusing on the little things: those that make me happy and that I am thankful for.

1. God's Plan. I have no clue what I'm doing with my life, as I have made that abundantly clear lately in my blog posts. I however, have so much hope in the future and I hope you do too, because you should. I won't pretend to know the direction he has for my life and what's about to form before my eyes... but I love seeing God's hand in things later on. Like when I failed my sophomore hearing, there have been so many other opportunities that only happened because I failed. I was constantly switched schools and moved to new places... and each lead me to spiritual growth, lasting friendships, and lead me closer to knowing myself a little more as well. Sometime make a timeline of important events, it will change the way you view your life. (I will post more about this later...)

2. Friendship. I have no clue where I'd be without the support system I have in my friends. Rather they're a few hours away or half way across the country, they always have time to listen to my not so big problems and treat them as huge as they are in my little mind. They're the ones who hear me say oh my gosh I haven't even received a snapchat from him so like what does that even mean? It means we're done, he hates me and is currently too busy day dreaming about killing me and that's why he can't snap me (logical, I know...) (Shout out to L and S who daily here me complain about the same boy over and over and then two hours later get a lol jk everythings fine, I'm crazy text. But who will always give me the same advice for the 85474764th time and act like it's the first.) Then when an actual problem comes up, they are there with a lending hand, talked-off ears, and hugs if in person. There's something special about a bond between friends: they've seen you at your absolute worse (super drunk, with meds in your stomach.. screaming how you hate them for absolutely no reason) and they love you unconditionally. (Shout out to J. You will forever be my best friend and the person who I know will always have my back.) They're the ones who, when you suddenly move away, will send you messages flooded with I miss you, come back, but this is your home. I grew up wanting friends desperately in the summer and it wasn't until I was a legal adult that I found them... but it was well worth the wait. (To my three favorite beach taggers, thanks for making Jersey home and for loving me despite the many flaws that you inevitably saw.) They'll look at you with love and complete non-judgment when you tell them (or in some cases are told without your knowledge) the shameful things done spur of the moment. They'll proudly hold your hand as you remember you did indeed walk into that boys bathroom when you went to hide from your crush at the bar last night. (Thanks M for never judging me on anything I do. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I could tell you anything and you'd still look at me the same.) They also love you enough to tell you when the guy you are madly in love with, developing feelings for, or like to look at from a far is a complete a total asshole and not worth your time. (Shout out to uhhh all my friends, who took the time to truly sit me down and tell me why I deserved more, who also never rubbed it in when I came crying to them when I wouldn't listen. And to M (pt2) who isn't afraid to hurt my feelings and tell me the current boy is an ass and I need to come home rn, even though I'm sure she knows I won't listen..)

3. Coffee and Journaling Mornings. Honestly, there is little I love more than sitting down and journaling. Now I admit Gone Girl, made me feel a little creepy that I like to account everything in a journal so I can look back on (and most likely squirm over some of my past decisions) things I did. I am a huge fan of timelines, like I love them. I love the idea that I can go back and read how I felt during specific moments and I have the dates written down for the future. I like that when I meet that special guy, I will have how I felt during that first kiss... first date... It's one of those I'll thank myself later things. I want to have the ability to remember everything that lead up to certain moments which then lead to me being who I am. I don't know if many others feel this way, but it's always been a thing for me. I also think it helps you be honest with yourself, it's that secret part of your heart you can write down how you really feel. You can admit to yourself, crap you do have feelings and then proceed to burry them deep inside because no way are you going to be that stupid...

4. Lynchy. Oh my little hometown, have you ever had a place that you seemed to try so hard to run from... yet you keep coming back to it? That's Lynchburg, but now I am trying to run to it. Ironic, right? That little piece of Virginia brought me some of my best friends: the kind that don't judge you for your terrible taste in men, the kind that will lead you back to the Lord when you're loosing your way... the kind that picked me up when I was down. We moved away from Lynchburg when I was three years old, and growing up every single weekend my parents would drive there and look at houses. My early childhood consisted of looking around every inch of Lynchburg and knowing their houses like the back of my hand. When I was 12, we moved back to Lynchburg and I detested it. I decided my life was over before it ever really began (a little melodramatic, am I not?). Ironically, Lynchburg has been a huge part of my entire families life. It's where my parents went, it's where I called home, it's where I went to both high school and college, and somehow it's where I keep running back to. So thank you little city for building me into who I am today, a hot mess of a believer with a rambling mouth who hopefully helps someone someday. :)

5. #GIRLBOSS. I had the book for a total of about five hours and I was ready to take on the world. I remember not being able to sleep because I was too into the book, not wanting to put it down for anything. If you need a jumpstart of inspiration, feeling down that your "story" isn't the typical cookie cutter story leading to success, or just need a new book to cross off that reading list for 2016... then I suggest you run to your nearest Target and stock up. The best decision I made was adding this to my Target cart along with some chapstick and a diet coke (thriving???)

So maybe you're driving yourself crazy trying to convince yourself you most likely do not have feelings for that idiot of a boy (even though you're pretty sure having a dream he's singing I See the Light from Tangled and getting down on one knee asking if you'd be his girlfriend... might be the warning signs are you're catching feelings..)...
trying not to overthink every text message possible that is getting sent to your phone (yay, ok means YAY OKAY not he secretly is waiting to kill you when you arrive at his house. Chill girl, chill...
or you just ran across this crazy blog and are thinking dang this Brooke chick has problems... I hope the focus on the positive and things that make you happy post has paid off. We all need to let go and see the world for being brighter than we're willing to make it seem. :)

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