Put Down GQ and Read This Instead

Lately I’ve been fed up with how early twenty-something boys act towards women. I understand that most are in college or have recently graduated and maybe they just haven’t matured past their 13 year-old selves, but it’s time to leave the good ol’ days behind and start acting like a gentleman.

1. Stop making jokes about the kind of workplace that women belong in. Jokes that involve a woman only needing to know how to make a sandwich are never, and were never, funny.

2. Don’t keep women waiting around for you to text or call. Be straightforward with her and don’t leave her in dating limbo. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

3. Own your personal style and look appropriate every place you go. I cannot tell you how much it sucks to be sitting with a guy when you look fabulous and he looks like he just rolled out of bed.

4. Stop it with the talk about the expensive things you own and the awesomeness of your big-boy salary. If you’re successful and good at what you do, that’s great, but keep your personal net worth to yourself. **Sidenote: If you’re in college, don’t act like you’re rich. Chances are, you aren’t rich, your parents are.**

5. Never talk down to women from your all-knowing man pedestal. Whether it’s a personal or professional matter, there is a fine line between talking through problems that a woman is facing and telling her exactly what she needs to do and how to do it.

6. Enough with the locker-room talk about the number of past hook-ups you’ve had when trying to prove how awesome you are with women. We don’t think you sound experienced, we think you sound like a player and we’ll run far, far away from wherever you are.

7. You will never convince a woman that a cat call is a compliment. Just accept it and move on.

8. Do not refer to things or situations as “gay” if they are not actually homosexual beings. It is never, EVER, synonymous with something being stupid.

9. Be nice to your mother. It’s definitely true that women think you’ll treat them the same way you treat your mother.

10. Learn how to cook something or anything, really. It is not attractive when a guy assumes that a woman will do all the cooking in a relationship.

11. You do not have to pay for everything. While, I admit, it’s kind of nice when a guy pays for the first date, let the woman pay for dates too. It really should be about a 50/50 split with who pays each time you go out.

12. Hold doors open for everyone. It’s just a nice thing to do.

13. Be willing to express your feelings and know that you have every right to let the person you’re with know how you’re feeling. Being masculine doesn’t mean that you can never let people know what your emotions are, it actually means you’re grown up enough to know you don’t have to keep everything bottled up inside.

These 13 things aren’t very hard to do, but everyone knows it’s all the little things that make a big difference.

Until next time,

C. Brooks

Getting Lost is Half the Fun

Over the past weekend, I was feeling a bit stir-crazy just sitting in my apartment as I usually do, until my cousin texted this picture taken from the condo balcony in Maui:

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No, but seriously. That actually happened. No photoshop. No filter.

Feel free to hate her just a tad.

So in spite of her sending that, I decided to grab my tenni’s and hit the trails. And then this happened:

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I’m not really sure what ‘this’ is, but it still happened and I am sure it looks just as epic as those swaying palm trees, full rainbow and crashing waves. I mean, those things are the kind of obvious beauty some people love. And who would rather see that than some blonde chick losing her shit on a snowy trail? I don’t know, there seems to be a clear winner here.

Anyway, despite the 32 degree weather and zero sunshine, I ended up having a blast playing around in the local arboretum with my old college roomie, who’s also apparently super photogenic and can be seen effortlessly hanging from a tree below.

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After deciding that we were bored of just walking on the ski trails, we decided to live really dangerously and listen to my sense of direction. It wasn’t long before we were trying to figure out how to use our compasses on our iPhones and trying to read the cryptic arboretum trail maps.

Needless to say, we were kind of lost and with my directions, it probably would’ve just been easier to travel into Mordor (insert: joke about Boromir quote meme).

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The only thing we knew for sure was that we needed to go “north and slightly west,” as my friend would keep saying. And for you expert trail-people, yes, that was our code for “northwest.” Of course after my friend had come up with our general direction, I took the liberty of telling some classic North West jokes to pass the time, because obviously.

We did, eventually, find our way out of the arboretum and back to car to warm up, but it was still fun getting lost.

I encourage everyone to get a little lost and have some fun just because.

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Until next time,

C. Brooks

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

After a weekend of being unplugged, it was a great surprise this morning when I checked-in and saw that Babbling [C.] Brooks was nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! I was nominated by Simply Haynes and I couldn’t be more thrilled to know that even though my blog is small, my words are getting out there and people are enjoying what they’re reading.

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As a part of this award, I am given the following tasks to do:

  • thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their site
  • put the award logo on your blog
  • answer the ten questions sent to you
  • nominate seven blogs
  • make a list of ten questions for your nominees

Here are the 10 questions I was asked:

What is your biggest fear and why?

My biggest fear would be getting cancer. I’ve seen it affect so many people in my life and I’m afraid of having to go through that same fight because it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do.

What are you motivated by?

I’m motivated to find the things in life that make me happy. I’m always in search of new things and experiences to try and, I’m excited to say that blogging has been one of them. 🙂

What was the last dream you remember?

Well, this morning I actually remembered what I had been dreaming about because it was one of those mornings that I woke up and wanted to keep dreaming. I was sitting in Central Perk with the rest of the Friends gang and all I kept thinking was that Joey was the hottest man on earth. This is actually very strange to me, because I don’t think I’ve ever been remotely attracted to a guy that has given me a head nod and a “how you doin’?”

What is your favorite book and why?

I would have to say that my new favorite book is Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, because it’s one of those books that makes you think even far after you’ve read it. It brings up a lot of good points in the struggle to find your equilibrium in life.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

I would want to have a conversation with my dad. He passed away when I was 12 and I would love to update him on my life and let him know that I turned out alright and that I still love him to the moon and back.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? Do you still have that childhood dream?

When I was younger, I had my whole life planned and my mother just loves to tell this story any chance she gets, so maybe I’ll have her guest write sometime to give you the full details. However, all I’m going to tell you now, though, is that it includes me owning a bank in Hawaii while being married to a pineapple farmer. And to answer the question I know you’re all thinking, yes, I’m aware of how strange that is.

Do you have a bucket list? If so what are the top three items?

Well, I’m so glad you asked (insert: shameless plug to my bucket list). The first three things that I haven’t done yet are: (1) finish a marathon, (2) travel, travel, travel, and (3) learn to cook more than chicken and rice.

If you could boost one of your five senses, which would it be and why?

I think I would boost my sense of taste because I feel like I don’t like a lot of things that people always rave about, so maybe if I had a boosted sense of taste, I would have a wider palate…or I would just hate the foods I already hate even more — I’m talking to you, blue cheese.

Would you rather die young, or live forever?

I would rather live forever. The way I see it is that I would have endless time to do everything I’ve always wanted to do and also endless time to get the cash to do it!

What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I think my favorite thing about myself is that I’m very personable. I love talking to new people and learning about what makes them happy and what their experiences are. That’s where I get a lot of my ideas to try new things, so I always love chatting it up.

And now that I’ve answered all of the questions, I’ll get on to what everyone wants to know: what are the blogs I nominate for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. I mean, it’s kind of almost like presenting at the Oscars. Kind of.

And the nominees are:

Also, here are my 10 questions for you ladies:

  1. What inspires you when writing blog posts?
  2. If you were just given $100,000, what would you do with it and why?
  3. What’s your number one tip that you would give to new bloggers?
  4. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
  5. Where is your favorite spot in the world to be?
  6. Man-friend, Marry, or Move-On: Johnny Depp, Bradley Cooper, and Benedict Cumberbatch? Go!
  7. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
  8. Do you have any words you live by? If you don’t really have a phrase, what’s your favorite quote?
  9. Your plans have been cancelled for Saturday (but don’t worry because it involved helping a friend move all of her solid oak furniture, lucky you!), so that you’re free all day. What do you do instead?
  10. Who would you say has influenced you the most in your life?

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s response!

Until next time,

C. Brooks

live with less.

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I wrote this Post – It so that it could put it up to be a daily reminder to live and enjoy the simplicity in life.

Being a reformed shopaholic (more of necessity with a lack of funds, rather than a lifestyle change), I’ve realize that I don’t need to buy more things to have a fulfilling life, but that I need to take advantage of the day to day experiences I have to lead a fulfilling life.

Now, I’m not saying to go home tonight and proceed to donate all of your unnecessary items in your house or that you can’t buy that new handbag that you’ve been eyeing for the past three months. Feel free to treat yourself once in a while, but maybe learn to treat yourself more by spending money on experiences rather than things.

Learn to live with less and enjoy the things that you usually take for granted: the warmth of your morning coffee, the endorphin rush after your daily run, or the simple happiness you feel after being with your best friend.

Live with less things, but more joy and experiences.

Until next time,

C. Brooks

One Cup Smoothie

Trying to get back into running shape, I’ve been having to change my diet significantly. One way I’m improving my health is watching what I eat for breakfast. The only problem is that I don’t usually have time to make anything that’s substantially healthy, yet filling. However, I now love having fresh fruit & veggie smoothies in the morning because it’s such an easy way to get a good portion of your daily nutrients and antioxidants in without actually having to eat them and feel like you’re sick from all the sugary fruit.

Putting fruits and veggies into smoothie format is also great because you can sneak the things you don’t like to eat, but that you know are good for you, into your diet without upsetting your taste buds. This is great news for me because I’ve always liked banana flavoring, but I don’t like eating actual bananas because of the mushy texture (don’t judge – it’s just one of my quips). But I know that eating them is really good for runners especially, so I throw them into my smoothie. I also add things like spinach and kale because if you put enough fruit in, you can’t even taste them.

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My usual morning breakfast recipe is what I call my One Cup Smoothie, because as you may have already guessed, everything is one cup (sans the 3/4 cup of oats). I use fresh fruit in this recipe, but I you can always use frozen as well and achieve the same results. This smoothie is almost too easy to make, so I’m not sure it can really be classified as a “recipe,” but I figured since I loved having it for breakfast most mornings, with it being so easy and so filling, that you might want to try it too.

One Cup Smoothie

Makes 2-3 servingsvscocam-photo-1 (1)

Prep time: 3 minutes

Cook time: 2 minutes

Ingredients:

– 1 cup of raspberries

– 5 or 6 large strawberries or 1 cup frozen strawberries

– 1 cup of plain nonfat yogurt or greek yogurt

– 1 banana

– 1 cup of spinach or kale

– 3/4 cup of oats

Instructions: Toss all ingredients into a blender and blend until it’s the consistency that you like.

Enjoy and until next time,

C. Brooks

Favorite Things – Aveda foot relief moisturizing creme

Getting back into running has been so great for me with helping raise my energy levels and feeling way less stressed, but it takes a toll on my body for sure, especially my feet. Working out means that I will usually shower twice a day, so I lose a lot of the moisture in my skin. Of course I have great lotion for my face and body, but I couldn’t find a moisturizer that would replenish moisture on my feet for the longest time.

So after complaining about this problem to my mom –Avedabecause you always have to complain to your mom since 9 times out of 10, she’ll know how to fix the problem- and she suggested that I try Aveda’s foot relief moisturizing creme. I thought this would just be one of those creams that only helped on the surface for a whole five minutes until you eventually had to reapply it again, but it’s really the best hydrating lotion I’ve used.

I don’t want to go all info-mercial on you, but in just a couple of days, my feet made a complete 180 and had no dry spots anywhere. The lotion is creamy, but not heavy and it smells so amazing, which isn’t unlike any other Aveda product. However, it does have a larger price tag, starting at $9.50 for the travel size and $24.00 for the normal size, but it’s one of those lotions that’s always in my gym bag and totally worth every penny. The way I look at it, if I don’t take care of my feet, running becomes a lot more difficult to do.

Also, if you end up loving the foot relief creme, they also have hand relief creme that does amazing wonders for your hands too. You can order them both online or stop by your neighborhood Aveda store and the associates there will get you hooked up.

Happy running and until next time,

C. Brooks

Take a Hike

This weekend I wanted to get away and travel, but then I looked at my bank account and decided that it probably wouldn’t be the best life choice at this moment.

I needed to get away though. It was a busy week and I just wanted to leave the hustle and bustle behind and go somewhere. Then I realized it was 40 degrees and sunny outside, so I could totally have a day vacation here and still get out of the city.

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I decided to enlist the help of a good friend to go on a hike through the local nature preserve so that we could enjoy the sun and burn off some energy at the same time.

We’d decided to walk on a trail leading into a peninsula on Lake Mendota and it was snowy, slushy and kind of slippery. We had fun not knowing if the next step we took would be sound or if it would send us flying on our backs. But, we took the gamble because we like to live dangerously like that.

Processed with VSCOcam with kk1 presetOnce we got to the end of the peninsula, however, it was totally worth the muss and fuss to get there. From that vantage point, you could see the downtown                                                               cityscape clearly and it was really beautiful.

Walking back, we took another trail and it led us into a more forested area with a small iced-over pathway. So, single file, we took our steps cautiously and had fun laughing and slipping all the way to a safely paved trail.

We ended up walking around the trails for a good hour and a half. The hike was a great workout and a great way to feel as if I had a small                                                                         getaway without actually leaving the city.

That’s really all it takes; just going somewhere to get you out of your daily element helping you refresh and recharge. Plus, when you do it with a friend, you come away with a good workout and so many memories.

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Until next time,

C. Brooks

First Day Back – Apps on Apps

Today was my first day back from my running hiatus and it was great to feel my body sink back into my stride.

But before I started running, I did my morning meditation and stretches. I started meditating with help from the Head Space app (shout out to Katie at Post Grad Professional for telling me about it!) and I am absolutely hooked! The sessions are 10 minutes each and make it so easy to focus and really clear your mind. Plus, Andy (the coach) has a delicious accent, making it all the more easy to drift into your “zen zone.”

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After feeling relaxed and stretched I headed over to my gym to start my first workout. Now, the deal I made with my orthopedic surgeon is that he’d only clear me to run as long as I don’t make my workouts too strenuous. In an effort to keep myself from training too hard right off the bat, I’ve started the 5K Runner: Couch to 5K Training app again.

I first started using the 5K Runner app after I decided to run my first half marathon and I had no idea how to even begin to train. This app is perfect for beginner runners who want to start training in a way that isn’t too hardcore and that makes beginning to run as painless as possible.

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Today I did the first workout on the program, which is one minute of running combined with one and a half minutes walking for 20 minutes. After not running for months, it was best to start slow to avoid further injury. But even running for a short period of time, it was still so great to use muscles that I haven’t in so long and I can’t wait to go again tomorrow.

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Using apps to help with your workout is a great way to keep you energized and keep you motivated. Feel free to comment about some of your favorite fitness apps; I’d love to hear about them!

Until next time,

C. Brooks

Treat Yourself

Congratulations! If you’re reading this it means you’ve made it to another Friday and another weekend. Good for you! You go, Glen Coco!

If you don’t get the reference, treat yourself to the movie Mean Girls this weekend. It’s been 10 years since it came out; you’re really missing out on a classic.

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Until next time,

C. Brooks

Beginning Again

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I was recently told that I would be able to start running again after a fascial injury in my right lower leg.

When my orthopedic surgeon told me the news that it wasn’t compartment syndrome and that I didn’t need surgery, I was elated.

“Finally,” I thought.

Although, when I really started thinking about how much pain I went through throughout the past year, physically and mentally, I began to think that maybe I would be better off not running.

But then I came home last night to find some inspiration. I immediately went to where I keep my old race bibs and medals. I don’t have many, just four, but I needed a reminder of what I’d once accomplished and what I knew I could accomplish again if I just got back out and ran. Each medal, for me at least, signifies a lesson that I learned from training for each race.

1.

The hardest part of running is walking out the front door. Your body is stronger than you think it is and all you have to do is have the courage to start.

2.

A 10 minute mile is just as far as a 6 minute mile. Be patient with your stride and never let it discourage you from thinking you are a “real” runner.

3.

You aren’t a quitter because you walk. If you walk during a race or during a daily run, it’s okay. You will have bad running days, but you have to keep in mind that it was still a run nonetheless.

4.

You run with your heart, not your legs. No one is going to force you to run. You have to do it because you love to do it. You don’t need to be skinny, to have fancy equipment or even the perfect conditions.

You just need to get out there and run because it makes you feel better and freer than you’ve ever felt before.

“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” – John Bingham

Until next time,

C. Brooks