…Must Come Down

I don’t usually post on Saturdays, but I woke up at 5:45am this morning, so I’m feeling extra productive today.

Being that I was wide awake by about 5:54am, I felt that I would do something with my time and decided to go to my favorite outside space to do my morning meditation.

This sounds easier than it actually was. I knew I was going to be sitting still for at least 20 minutes, so I wore my fleece lined Under Armor, a race tee, a race long sleeve tee and my coat on top. Hey, it was like 15 degrees out, so don’t judge.

Once I got to my spot, I sat and actually meditated for a good 10 minutes. I only got to 10 because this week has been extremely stressful and I figured I would take the time to let my mind wander.

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Turns out, it was a bit more dangerous than I had expected, because, this week, the other shoe dropped.

A couple of weeks ago I was so hopeful that I had finally found a boy that would keep both shoes far enough from the ledge to not drop them. However, homeboy kicked both shoes off of a 100 ft ledge.

I had let my mind wander to why he might have kicked off both shoes with such vigor. I had done everything right. Except for this one time.

He had decided that our plans for the weekend were not as important as his new plans to go out of town to hang out with his friends for the weekend. That was the first shoe.

After the news broke, I got mad and let it show. That was the other shoe.

So there I sat. On a rock, during my morning meditation, letting my mind wander and feeling pretty defeated.

I kept beating myself up for getting mad.

Until I opened my eyes and realized I had every right to be mad. You don’t just cancel plans with someone before talking to them about it and you sure as hell don’t try to explain the reasoning behind your madness as “we aren’t official, so it shouldn’t be a big deal.”

Once I realized I shouldn’t be blaming myself for how I felt, things started getting better. I began to think of it as the universe’s way of telling me that he is way more into a doormat than an actual person with differing views, such as how you should treat the people you like, even when you aren’t official yet.

I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders because I didn’t have to feel bad anymore. Besides, if I had acted like it hadn’t affected me, I would only get the same treatment in the future.

So, to hell with the shoes. I’ll let them both drop, pick them up and then throw them off the cliff myself. I mean, it won’t be me walking barefoot all the way back down, anyway.

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Feeling much better than when I had sat down, I pulled my wandering thoughts back in and finished my meditation, focusing on nothing but the sound of the ice cracking on the lake beside me.

Spring is coming and so is a new way of thinking.

Until next time,

C. Brooks

Favorite Things – Target Finds

A couple weeks ago, I got an email from my grandma asking me to join her on her vacation in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Of course I said, “YES!!” So now I’m busy getting things ready for when I head down to the sand and sun.

I usually spend whatever I need to on makeup because I don’t like to question quality, but that means that I can’t spend as much on other things. Enter: Target.

While it’s almost impossible to just “make a quick run” to Target and only come out with exactly what you went in for, I don’t mind because I’ve found some of my best products there and on the cheap too. #winning

1. Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Oinment, $4.99

I absolutely SWEAR by Aquaphor for any place on your body that’s dry and cracked. I hate to go all infomercial on you, but I really don’t go anywhere without a travel size or regular tube of this stuff and it’s a must-have for everyone. aquaphor

Most people use it for their heels before bed and put socks on overnight so that you wake up in the morning with soft skin.

However, I use it on my lips the most. It only takes a tiny bit to make them super smooth and is perfectly glossy, so I put it on after my lipstick in the morning and then reappply throughout the day.

2. Banana Boat Aloe Aftersun Lotion, $4.99

I plan on being in the sun for as long as I can every day on the island because I’ve just about had it with cold winter weather. While doing this, I will not only need my 30 SPF sun screen, but will also need something to put on afterwards. The Banana Boat Aloe Aftersun Lotion is what I always grab for.BB after sun

If I’m a little red after I come inside or even just as a daily lotion for my legs and arms, I always love to put on this stuff. It’s not too heavy, but you put it on and it feels like you’ve got a good layer of moisture on sun-soaked skin. I don’t know about it’s ability to “extend my tan” but, then again, I don’t really worry about my tan because tanning isn’t good for you anyway. And that’s my PSA of the day. You’re welcome.

3. It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product, $14.39 (4oz)

Now, I’m not usually one to brag about my hair because usually it’s a frizzy mess, but seriously, people have actually been noticing it for how healthy it looks ever since I started using this product about a month ago. I almost want to do one of those sexy, slow-motion hair flips when I enter rooms, but I refrain. 😉

its a 10

What’s so cool about this is that it’s not really a liquid spray. It looks more like a sprayable lotion that you put on damp hair and comb through. Now, I know the idea of spraying lotion on your hair sounds like it would make it greasy or weighed down, but it doesn’t! I have really light blonde hair (thanks to my colorist and her mad highlighting abilities) so I feel like my hair is just dryer than most and this stuff really helps.

Not only does it help with frizz, but it’s also a heat protectant and helps with humidity too. So for South Carolina weather, I’m sure it will be a huge help.

Even though it’s a bit pricey for just 4oz of product, I’ve still got plenty left and I’m not planning on running out for another month or so.

4. Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets, $4.99

Last, but not least, I will definitely make sure that I bring a couple packs of the Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets because you never know when you’ll need them. I don’t really want to wear any makeup while I’m on the island, so these will be great for just blotting away any shininess I may have, allowing me to stick to the sans makeup plan…but I make no promises about using Instagram filters. 🙂

oil blotting

These sheets are also perfect for taking the shine away from your T-zone and everywhere on your face without smearing or ruining your makeup. I usually don’t leave home without these in my tote because they’re perfect for providing makeup free touch-ups to your face.

Now, go forth, shop and beautify!! 🙂

Until next time,

C. Brooks

Wise Words Wednesday – Change

Happy Wednesday!

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– Jim Rohn

Change is scary, but it is also necessary.

Take it from the girl who hates change the most. Ever since the day when I was a tiny human throwing a fit because our family was abandoning our old station wagon, Polly, for a new SUV, I have learned to hate change.

But, growing up, I’ve realized that not all changes are bad. Once you come to realize this, change will be easier to come by and you’ll be better for it.

Life is a fluid movement; move along with it.

Until next time,

C. Brooks

Cinderella Dreamin’

Gooooooooood Morning, Vietnam!!

Williams

Ain’t ever been another radio show like yours, Cronauer.

Or ya know, wherever you’re reading this from.

If you’re anywhere in the midwest, you probably got dumped on with a couple inches of snow. Because, why not? “Bitter” doesn’t even begin to describe the mood everyone seems to be feeling…

In any case, I plan on waiting it out by going on a princess movie binge. I know what you’re thinking, and be quiet. My mom said I’m a grown up and I can watch all the Disney movies I want, so there!

But in all seriousness, I argue that you don’t have to be a tiny human to still enjoy singing about being a man as swift as a coursing river or painting with all the colors of the wind.

I mean, you can argue from here to Sunday that the princess movies of years past have negative connotations when it comes to advancing feminism –I’m looking at you, Beauty and the Beast!

However, I grew up not reading much into the storylines other than some really pretty girl liked to sing some catchy tunes with a candlestick and dishware in between teaching a beast to not be such a d-bag. Really, I think the children are safe, so you can put down your Disney-aimed pitchforks.

I have always enjoyed the Disney princess movies and I don’t really see it changing anytime soon. Case in point: I went to go see the new Cinderella movie in theaters and it was all I expected it to be.

Cinderella

Those shoes though…

Would I recommend rushing out to go buy your tickets at this very moment, though? Eh, probably not, unless you have kiddos. They’ll definitely love it! But you can wait to rent it and save yourself some dry popcorn and frustration from the 5 yr old kicking your seat behind you.

But it was fun to be a kid again for just a couple hours, sitting in a theater and really imagining what it would be like to have a fairy godmother and having the prettiest man you’ve ever seen swoon over you. However, I would have totally kept both of my shoes. Doesn’t matter how many drinks you’ve had and how uncomfortable they are, your shoes. Stay on. Your feet. Ain’t nobody got time for a tetanus shot because you stepped on something nasty on your way home from the bars.

Speaking of drinks, my friend and I were more than happy to snap out of our childhood haze after the movie to go to a favorite restaurant of ours and have a couple drinks.

Moscow_Mule

tastes even better in the tin cup

So, really, I’m experiencing the best of both worlds.

Until next time,

C. Brooks

Warranties, Mechanics and Moms

I woke up this morning feeling totally refreshed, after having fallen asleep at 10:45pm last night. I took a shower, got dressed, put on my makeup and headed out the door. Things were going well.

Then I got down to my garage and there it was. My Dodge Grand Caravan chariot awaited me and all of last night’s memories came flooding back.

Now, I bet you’re thinking, “Wait! Didn’t you get a super sexy, sporty new car?” Why, yes! Yes I did! However, things took a turn for the worse yesterday.

After I was leaving the grocery store yesterday after work, I turned my car on and drove off. Then I get about 200 feet from my driveway when my car stalls and the engine turns off. So I’m a sitting duck in the middle of the road with a car that won’t freaking move!! My car had power, but the engine wouldn’t turn on.

It’s a push start car, so I really couldn’t do anything but throw on my hazards and keep pressing the damn button on and off. It took me about three minutes to get the engine to turn back on, but that was the longest three minutes of my life.

A bit shaken, but mostly uberly perturbed, I get right in front of my building’s garage door and the stupid car does it again!

This is when I lose it.

A small tidbit about me is that if I’m ever mad or frustrated to the point of no return, I just break down and cry. Like full-on Kim-Kardashian-cry-face cry. It’s a problem and I’m looking into it, I promise.

cryface

Yep! That’s the one…

So, let me just paint this picture for you: the car is making weird noises and smells weird — kind of like burnt up hopes and dreams of my BRAND NEW CAR!! Anyway, I’m sitting in the driver’s seat bawling my bloody eyes out, pushing the start button relentlessly.

THANK GOD it started and I got it to my spot in one piece (I use the definition of ‘one piece’ loosely) and no one had to witness the raccoon look that I was sporting.

Of course, this is when I rip my cell phone out of my tote and call, not a tow truck, not the dealership/mechanic, but my mother. Because if anyone can fix things, she can.

I’ll admit, since this isn’t exactly the first time that I’ve called her bawling my eyes out, she knew exactly how to act and went into, what I can only describe as “Mom Mode,” and started planning tow trucks and next steps for taking it to the dealership to get it fixed under warranty.

After my meltdown, I put my big girl panties on and decided that I would try driving it over to the dealership because my Google Maps said it was only about two miles away.

Things finally started going my way and my car made it without stalling all of those 2.3 miles to the dealership.

I had called ahead and told the lengthy story to the poor soul that was the service guy, so they were expecting me. When I got there, they were more than polite, but I figured that was because I have only had this car for a month before problems started and I’m sure there were also some leftover remnants of my meltdown still on my face. Nothing makes a guy more timid and compliant than the feeling that he might get the brunt of an overly-frustrated, crying girl.

To be fair to my car, the mechanic thinks that it just needs a software update because I’m “basically driving a computer, rather than a car” and that the problem may not necessarily lie completely in actual engine of the car.

As if my day hadn’t already been frustrating enough, he says that the only loaner car they have available is a Dodge Grand Caravan.

Talk about adding insult to injury…

All I have to say is thank goodness for warranties, mechanics and moms.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to either go for an extra long yoga sesh or drink an extra large iced soy chai to de-stress…or maybe both.

Until next time,

C. Brooks

***Status update 12:30pm: I just picked up my car and it looks like it was a software update! She’s all fixed! Thelma and Louise (me and the car) ride again!***

Wise Words Wednesday – New Beginnings

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There have a been a lot of new things happening in my life and in my friends’ lives lately, so I figured I would keep the ball rolling and start something new on the blog.

Now presenting: Wise Words Wednesday

I was thinking about how life gets a bit chaotic and how the right quote can bring in some perspective to whatever situation I find myself in. I figured that if the right quote can do that for me, maybe it can do it for others too.

Hope you enjoy the Wise Words and read into them what you will. Feel free to shoot me some of your favorites and I’ll feature them on one of the future Wise Words Wednesdays.

Until next time,

C. Brooks

Favorite Things – Men & Coffee

Happy St. Patrick’s Day all!!

In the spirit of feeling lucky, I thought I would share my favorite thing for this week. And that is: Men and Coffee.

No, I’m not talking about the actual pairing of men and coffee, although, that’s good too. I’m talking about this Instagram account (menandcoffee) posting the deadly combination daily and, I promise you, it’s totally worth a follow. I’m usually against ogling people, but c’mon…men AND coffee? Is there any better pairing? The answer is: probably, but this is still up there on the list.

Enjoy the daily dose of luck:

Coffee 1 Coffee 3Coffee 2

Go forth and seize the day and maybe a little coffee too. 🙂

Until next time,

C. Brooks

What Goes Up…

I know, I know…I’m a bad blogger…

Last week, I went MIA for most of the week, and to that I say, I’m sorry. I know that you aren’t supposed to offer excuses with a good apology, but I feel like I’m warranted at least one mulligan. Work life and personal life got crazy and it was hard enough to think of what to do next with a project at work, much less to think about what witty, sarcastic things I should put on the blog. Or at least my own twisted version of witty and sarcastic things.

But, fear not! I have come up with something!

So, the first date post a week or so back was not just a coincidence, but what was on my brain because I was nervous-writing before an actual first date. I know that you’ve read that post and are now thinking, “Wow! Whoever got to go on a date with her is one lucky SOB!” or maybe you’re thinking, “WTF?! That girl doesn’t watch soccer but she’s still watching Grey’s? Her priorities should be called into question…” Either way, it doesn’t matter because the date went well.

reasons

I mean, I’m clearly a winner.

Our second date was great too. And our third, fourth and fifth.

After the fifth, I was giddy like a little schoolgirl (as I’m sure you are too right about now reading this…and if not, it’s probably just polite to nod in agreement anyway).

But then I started thinking: this is where things usually start getting bad.

This is where I find out that he’s still in a relationship with someone else or that he throws tantrums like a two year old when he doesn’t get his way or that he actually doesn’t get the point of sarcasm and thinks it’s useless ironic humor. Frankly, I think I might be most upset by the last one, which probably says a lot about me, but whatever.

You know, this is the time when the other shoe drops. And it won’t just drop off your foot, two feet to the ground where you can quickly pick it back up. Oh no, this shoe drops off your foot, two feet to the ground, rolls another five feet and down off of a 100 foot drop.

Yeah. That’s usually how it goes.

Tying my laces even tighter until next time,

C. Brooks

Favorite Things – Empire

This fall and winter I’ve binged on some pretty great new shows that have me absolutely hooked, but there is one that stands out above the rest, and that show is Empire. 

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This show…this show is amazingly good. I knew I was hooked about 15 minutes into the pilot and it came as no surprise to me after I read the credits and saw that Lee Daniels (The Butler, Precious) and Danny Strong (The Butler, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1) are the show’s creators and Timbaland is the musical director and songwriter.

Empire is the story of music mogul Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) and his struggle to keep ahold of his own life battling a fatal illness and needing to pick an heir for his music/entertainment company.

Of course, the story would be all too boring if there wasn’t a huge wrench thrown into the mix. That wrench is one firey, soulful woman: Lucious’s ex-wife, Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson). In the pilot she is just released from 17 years in prison for drug dealing. However, PLOT TWIST!, she only went to prison because she was protecting Lucious, their three sons and the music company they had just started with $400,000 of drug money Cookie had procured.

While Cookie was away, Luscious wasted no time in becoming a hit artist and music mogul, while also raising their three sons. You better believe that the Lyon family has its fair-share of problems, all stemming from Lucious’s thug turned musical success story.

The eldest son, Andre (Trai Byers), is the most educated of the family, but is not seen as CEO material because he is not musically gifted and Lucious believes that the next leader of Empire Entertainment should be an artist, not a businessman.

The middle son, Jamal (Jussie Smollett), is probably the most musically gifted of the three brothers, but he is openly gay and Luscious is a homophob to the highest degree. After Cookie is released, she becomes Jamal’s new manager because she knows Luscious won’t do anything to help his music career because of his lack of compassion and understanding for Jamal.

The youngest son, Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) is probably the most frustrating of the bunch. His youngest-child syndrome is in full swing as he believes he is unreachable and invincible with his father’s money and his great talent as a rapper.

The struggle amongst all of the characters for Luscious’s empire and love is what makes this family competition so interesting to watch.

With Empire’s ensemble cast and catchy tunes, I don’t recommend missing an episode. Although, you definitely won’t want to.  As an added bonus, the all black main cast brings some much needed diversity into primetime television. I’m excited to see what’s next for this amazing, must-watch show.

Empire airs on FOX at 9/8c and is also available on Hulu.

Start watching the fight in the Lyon’s den and until next time,

C. Brooks

The Lies We Tell

Everyone lies, and that’s the truth.

Whether it be little white lies about why we have to leave the office a bit early or big fat lies like when your friend calls, asking if you watered her plant while she was away for 2 weeks, only to be standing in line at your local greenhouse buying it’s replica replacement as you speak.

But most times, we lie to make ourselves sound better to the person we are telling the lie to.

For instance, on a first date.

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard friends come back from first dates panicked because they say things like how they talked for 20 minutes about how much they both love to ski, but she actually doesn’t know how to ski.

It’s these little lies that everyone tells on first dates to make them go just a bit smoother, because you’ll do just about anything to avoid any awkward silences. Besides, if things go well (hopefully) you’ll both laugh later on about how stupid those little white lies were and if things don’t go well, you’ve come away unscathed and none the wiser.

white lies

I mean, they’re just little ones, right?

Here is my list of frequent little white lies that I’ve told or have heard my friends tell on first dates:

1. “Sorry I was late! Traffic was a nightmare!!”

Translation: “I’d rather be late than ugly. Do you think winged eyeliner and perfectly curled hair just happens?!”

2. “Yeah, I had to bring my tote bag because I just got off from work. I usually carry a LOT smaller of a bag.”

Translation: “I always carry a tote. Always. And I’ll probably spend at least 10 minutes of our date looking through it to find my chapstick. But now I’m making a mental note to carry my cross-body bag for the next date.”

3. “Yeah, I totally love soccer! FIFA World Cup was constantly on my TV last summer!…Favorite player? That Ronaldo guy is really good!”

Translation: “Soccer? Sure…I could like soccer. Besides, Ronaldo’s hot!!”

4. “I don’t really want mushrooms on the pizza because I’m not really feeling them tonight.”

Translation: “If one freaking mushroom touches my slice of pizza I’m going to barf. But I can tell you really like them, so they can go on half. HALF.”

5. “I mean, I’m usually a dog person, but I really like cats too!”

Translation: “I mean, if you have a cat, it’s not a deal-breaker…but my dog would totally tear apart your little ball of fluff.”

6. “I think flat brims look stupid…but you’ve got the right face shape to pull them off, for sure.”

Translation: “Flat brims? You’re a 25 year old young professional and you wear a flat brim to a date? Fail. But you’re cute so I’ll let you wear it…just this once though.”

7. “Sure you can have my last cheese curd!”

Translation: “I DON’T SHARE CHEESE CURDS!!!!! Why would you even ask such a dumb question?!?!”

8. “No, I’ve never dyed my hair. All natural blonde!”

Translation: “I mean I have highlights, but my colorist blends them so well that he wouldn’t be able to prove me wrong anyway.”

9. “Do you watch Grey’s Anatomy?…no?…Oh, me either, but my roommate’s obsessed with it.”

Translation: “Of course I watch Grey’s!! And Scandal!! And How to Get Away With Murder!! Shondaland for life!!!!!!! But obviously I don’t want to seem like I don’t have a life…so I’ll hold back my Shonda Obsession until the 5th date.”

10. “You were playing video games before you came here? Oh, I used to love playing! I think they’re a great way to let off steam.”

Translation: “The last true video game I played was Mario Kart and that’s only because my friends and I were “drunk driving” for our pregame, so I don’t really think that’s the same as sitting in a dark room alone, for hours on end, shooting fake random terrorist people.”

11. “You only left a 10% tip?…Yeah, he did take too long to bring us our second beers.”

Translation: “You cheapskate!” *sneaks another $5 into the bill fold and gives a sorry look to the waiter on the way out*

12. “Yeah, let’s get together next week!!…Yeah a quick run sounds fun!”

Translation: “I mean I like to run, but do I really need you to see me all sweaty and gross the second time we meet up? Probs not. I’ll just channel the super photogenic dude, I suppose.

13. “Oh, sorry I didn’t text back right away. I’ve been super busy!”

Translation: “Oh, I got your text the second it came in. But I can’t text you back right away; that would make me look like I have no life.” *starts yet another House of Cards episode*

Oh, the dating games we play…all’s fair in love and war, right? 😉

Until next time,

C. Brooks