Motivation Monday | Inspirational Quotes | Mantras | lifestyle blog | Basic Brook

Motivation Monday | 5 Feel Good Mantras For Your Monday

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Mondays are hard. Thinking positively and continually remembering your intentions and being mindful of those can help you to maintain a positive week. One of the easiest ways to do that is to pick a few mantras and remind yourself of those every single day. These are some of the mantras that I try to think about throughout the week to keep me uplifted and feeling positive!

I can do this.

It’s easy to fall victim to the “I can’t”‘s…a whole lot easier than it is to tell yourself “I can”. Always remember that absolutely anything and everything is possible. Set your goals and crush them, because you can.

Motivation Monday | Inspirational Quotes | Mantras | lifestyle blog | Basic Brook

It will be okay.

Bad things happen, and things get better. It’s that simple. Every day you have the opportunity to start fresh – really, at any point in any day you have that opportunity. It’s just a matter of shaking off the bad and having faith that no matter what it is, is will be okay in the end.beokay

I am worthy.

Of respect. Of love. Of happiness. Of calm. Of life. Of all good things. Have the confidence in knowing that you are always worthy, and if you find yourself in a situation feeling anything less than worthy, you should consider where you are and the company you have around you. If that’s affecting your idea of self worth you should think about making some changes,  because nobody should ever make you feel a lack of worth.

worthy

I am happy.

Even if you’re not. Having a mindset that includes happiness is recipe for creating happiness. Nobody ever thought “I’m not happy, I’m miserable” and automatically became happy. You are the thoughts you think sometimes. If you seek happiness you must think happy, positive thoughts. You deserve happiness.

happy

Life is good.

If I had a nickel for every time I thought to myself, “wow life sucks”, I would be rich. This is where gratitude comes in. If life really every that bad? No. No matter what is going on in your life there is always somebody struggling more, hurting worse, feeling lower. Pick your head up, dust your ass off and remember life is good and you have a million moments to be grateful for every single day of your life.

Motivation Monday | Inspirational Quotes | Mantras | lifestyle blog | Basic Brook

What’s your motivation mantra this week?

Love Always, Brook ❤

Motivation Monday

This week my focus is to be positive, and think about what it is I want to be doing in the future, and where I want to be doing it. Sometimes we lose sight of the future, and focus on the past and the now, when really we should reflect on the past, and act in the now with your future goals in mind. You cannot get where you’re going if you never actually do anything about it now.

Motivation Monday | Inspirational Quotes | Lifestyle Blog | Basic BrookgetlostintoplacetimewillpassaskyourselfMotivation Monday | Inspirational Quotes | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Love Always, Brook ❤

Friday Five | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Friday Five

Obsessed with…

My new OZ Naturals Ocean Mineral Cleanser*. I guess I could say OZ Naturals in general – I know I rave about this brand, but I can’t say it enough. The products they have make my face feel and look (maybe up to interpretation) phenomenal. This cleanser in particular has a great texture to it, and makes my face feel super soft after using. I’ve noticed a more even complexion after using this for a few weeks now. I had some red spots near my nose and chin that are just about cleared up now. I am absolutely LOVING this stuff. If you’re curious about the other products of OZ Naturals that I’ve tried so far, check out my post OZ Naturals Bright Eye Gel & Ultra Ageless Eye Cream | Product Review. Also, keep an eye open for my reviews on their Super Youth Eye Gel and Body Soufflé ❤


Craving…

Water in my new Live Infinitely fruit infuser water bottle*! So I’ve been wanting one of these for a while now. Since I’m a huge snacker, I thought the idea of fusing my water with fruit flavor would help cut down on snacking temptations. Okay, well maybe it didn’t work in that sense, but this water was still great. I tried my water infused with fresh sliced strawberries and next, I want to try pineapple! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated 🙂

#LiveInfinately

Looking forward to…

NASHVILLE WITH THE GIRLSSSSS. Cannot wait. Post to follow.

Friday Five | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Currently reading…

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I know this is sOoOoOoooOo 2006, but it’s never too late to read a good book. I’ve also never seen the movie, so there are no expectations or spoilers. I just started this and can’t wait to find out how the story unfolds. For a little background, I asked the google machine what it was about…

Google says, “Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) thought she had everything she wanted in life: a home, a husband and a successful career. Now newly divorced and facing a turning point, she finds that she is confused about what is important to her. Daring to step out of her comfort zone, Liz embarks on a quest of self-discovery that takes her to Italy, India and Bali.”
friday five | lifestyle blog | basic brook

Gettin’ giphy with it…

Sam Hunt bc why not?

samhunt2samhunt1samhunt3samhunt4Friday Five | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brooksamhunt5

Thanks, GIPHY!

Have a great weekend!

 

Love Always, Brook ❤

 

PS. This post was sponsored in part by BrandBacker, OZ Naturals and Live Infinitely. You guys know the deal, all opinions are MINE.


Motivation Monday | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Motivation Monday

HAPPY MONDAY & HAPPY LEAP DAY! If you’re anything like me right now, you’re exhausted from Sunday Funday: Green Beer Edition. If you’re not from the Syracuse area, see Green Beer Brent for more details on Green Beer Sunday and all of it’s glory.

Considering my current state of being, I undeniably need some extra motivation to get this work week going! My inspiration today came from WeWork’s instagram account. For those not familiar, WeWork is a coworking company based in NYC, with office space locations all over the world (they have some pretty badass offices in London!). They offer shared workspace for individual freelancers to large businesses, flexible memberships, a list of a million and one member benefits, and beer on tap 😉 Plus, they’re always sharing shit that get’s you ready for your work week. If you don’t already, be sure to follow them on IG!

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 2.40.56 PMScreen Shot 2016-02-29 at 2.41.22 PMMotivation Monday | Lifestyle Blog | Basic BrookMotivation Monday | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Have a great week!

 

Love Always, Brook ❤

25 Ways to Tell You’re in the Midst of a Quarter Life Crisis

At 13 you can’t wait until you’re 16, so you can drive. At 16, you’re anticipating 18…maybe you’d like to buy cigarettes, or to vote…to each his own. At 18, you’re waiting for the big 21st. I think we can agree this is the birthday kids look forward to the most. At 21 you hit a weird state of being. It’s like THIS ROCKS…I can buy booze, I’m still young, I’m hot, I don’t have a lot of responsibilities. This is life. Even for the next few years, I think most people tend to feel like they’re still 21. While jammin to T. Swift that you’re feelin’ 22, realistically, you feel the same – great. At 23 you joke with Blink 182 that nobody likes you…but you know that’s not true.

Then 24 happens. Yeah, that’s when things change. 24 rolls around and life happens. Why is this happening? Why do I feel this way? You will ask yourself a series of questions contemplating how you got to this point. Then you’ll realize you’re officially having a quarter life crisis. With this past Tuesday being my 25th birthday, I feel as though this post is particularly suiting. I’m totes feeling the quarter life crisis.

If you’re a current millennial, here are some of the warning signs that you might be hitting your quarter life crisis:

You’re broke as f*ck.

Entry level salary, student loan bills, paying for real life things that adult-humans need to live… it hits you like a ton of bricks.

helpmeimpoor

While most of your friends are also poor AF, there are still the lone few that have their financial shit together and you’re just like…

broke

The phrase “student loans” makes you cringe, cry or self destruct.studentloans

This is when you really start asking yourself the “why” questions. Why did I go to college? Why is college so expensive? Why did I get a degree in anthropology? (Also, what the fuck is anthropology?). Oh and speaking of college…

You can’t drink like you used to.

Did you used to throw back half a case of Bud Light while participating in “Beer Olympics” with you friends? News flash. You can’t now. How does that even happen? There’s a solid chance that you used to be able to drink alcohol like water, and now you’re buzzin’ real hard after two adult beverages.

Quarter Life Crisis | Millennials | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

And if you try to drink like you used to…

Hangovers are terrifying.hungover

Sleeping in until noon, eating greasy fast food and pounding a Gatorade no longer does the trick. You will feel incapacitated for several hours, if not several days. Yes. 2 day hangovers are now a real thing. Thinking about going out Friday and Saturday? Think twice and just go to bed. You know that if you go out, again, you will tell yourself ALL day Sunday that you’re never drinking again (which will never happen). Plus, even if you’re not feeling like death, you’re still way more disgusting than you used to be hungover…

hungover2

Bedtime is after Jeopardy.

If you’re anything like me,  you enjoy a rousing game of Jeopardy, then doze off to whatever’s on HGTV. But really, it could be anything…trashy reality tv, documentaries on the History Channel, or your new binge show on Netflix. Regardless, you watch “your shows”, then it’s time to go to sleep. And the thing is…you’re okay with it.

Quarter Life Crisis | Millennials | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

You become friends with your parents.

You no longer feel the same disconnect, or even embarrassment in some cases, that you used to feel about your parents. They turn into real people that you can actually talk about real-life things with. You can go to them for advice, or when you need to talk about what’s going on in your relationship or career. It’s like they just get you and you get them.

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog |  basic brook

You just don’t look the same.

You feel like you might have peaked in your early 20’s and that thought is causing despair. Things aren’t the same as they used to, and you’re unsure if it’d for the better or worse. You aren’t sure if you should embrace your inner 21 party girl, or get your shit together and adult for a while.
ugly

You also don’t feel the same.

Mentally or physically. Real life stress sets in and your mental state of mind is in shambles at times. You feel like a basket-case sometimes, while other times you’re sitting on cloud nine. It’s exhausting. Also, physically you’re like wtf happened to me? You can’t eat a cupcake without making your thighs closer friends than they already were. Workout soreness lasts until days after you actually give up working out.

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog | basic brook

You question everything.

Or you question nothing. Or maybe you’re questioning why you don’t have more questions about things, because you should since you’re confused AF about almost everything. But mostly you just ponder everything.

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog | basic brook

You have career ADD.

This goes along with questioning everything. You wonder if you’re on the right career track, and contemplate what kind of changes you’d consider making. Maybe it’s a switch it roles, or industry – maybe you’re a firefighter who wants to be an astronaut, idk.weep

You contemplate going back to school.

This goes along with having career ADD. If you’re one who is contemplating if you’re in the right field of work, you might also be thinking about going back to school for your other options. Then you think about student loans, and you’re like…

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog | basic brook

Relationships are hit or miss.

There are so many categories or titles. Single. Talking. Tinder talking. Dealing with a fuckboy. Seeing each other. Dating (went on a date, but not bf/gf). Casually dating. Together-ish. Kind of a thing. Dating. Seriously dating. Tied down. How do you actually figure it out? I really don’t know how to answer that.

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog | basic brook

Your friends are reproducing.

Like actually bringing other lives into this world. Little humans that they have to clean and feed and protect and house and clothe. You can’t leave them alone for very long, and they cry a lot. Their poop stinks and they barf on everything. Meanwhile, I can barely take care of myself and enjoy the occasional weekend bender. Your friends with kids aren’t necessarily saying it, but they’re thinking it…

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog | basic brook

Whatever. They’re just jealous.

But then, you start to hear your clock ticking.

Since my friends are starting to have babies, should I? Should I at least be thinking about it? How does one think about that when I can barely maintain a relationship with myself, let alone another human which I’d like to reproduce with? This is actually ludicrous.

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog | basic brook

You have a blender on your Christmas list.

It’s time to start thinking about real life needs instead of frivolous wants…sometimes at least. This year I realized I was getting old when the #1 item on my Christmas list was a new blender. This is adulthood.

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog | basic brook

30 isn’t a decade away.

30 just seems really far from 20. Then once you hit 25 it’s like holy shit 30 is right around the corner and I am not prepared for this shit. You have a moment of self reflection.

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog | basic brook

You think about shit like healthcare and retirement.

WHY? I like thinking about the new sneakers I want to buy, or how I like to go to Chipotle 3-6 times per week, or how many bottles of wine I need to buy this week. Now you’re telling me I have to start investing that money in my future and wellbeing? No thanks!

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog | basic brook

You say things like, “kids these days…”

Quarter Life Crisis | Millenials | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

You never think you’re going to do this, but you will. You see a little brat screaming over who gets to play with the iPad and you say “Kids these days”, or substitute, “Back when we were kids we would never/always…”, “The world nowadays…” *shaking head*

You want to see the world.

There are so many places and you make a list, but then you literally don’t even know where to start, and you realize you’re also broke to then you start to make a list of ways you can make money to save up for all of this world travel, then you’re like shit, I want to go shopping, and you buy 17 things you don’t need and then you’re back to square one and just wish you had money to travel and decide you’re doing to sell all your things. Never. Ending. Cycle.

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog | basic brook

But you also don’t want to get out of bed.

You have 7 billion things you could be doing at any given moment to better your mind, body, soul, career, bank account, moral well-being – but instead you’d just really like to lay in bed. Maybe Netflix & Chill. Order in Chinese. Motivation levels fluctuate from like -27 to ? … like you really never know how you’re going to feel.

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog | basic brook

You don’t know who to identify with.

You want to identify with two groups: Young, fun, carefree children between 18 and 23 AND mature, confident, independent adults ages 28-33. But you literally feel like both of them and neither of them at the same time and it’s confusing as fuck. You identity is left in the lost and found.

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog | basic brook

“What are you up to these days?” isn’t as interesting to answer.

Your response used to be, “Starting college at {{school name}}. Gunna major in {{major}}, can’t wait! Spring break {{location}}! Working at {{place}} and {{place}} part time, parting with my friends. Looking forward to {{event}}!

Now it’s like… “Oh ya know, just working…”

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog | basic brook

Somedays you want to chug a beer, other days you want to cry.

But usually it’s both.

sad

You’re scared and nervous.

You could really fuck shit up. Some of the decisions you have to make now will affect your life a lot more than when you had to decide who to go to prom with, or what college to go to, or whether or not to go out Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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But you’re also excited.

You also realize all of this “scary”, nerve-racking, serious adult shit is just a part of life. We all go through it. We all have moments of doubt. We all need help sometimes. We all fuck up. But it’s okay.

If you can recall Bryan Adams, Summer of ’69 lyrics, you’d know that he was singing for you! “Those were the best days of my life”. And if you can’t recall, seriously go listen to it

quarter life crisis | millennials | lifestyle blog | basic brook

What are your quarter life crisis symptoms?

Love Always, Brook ❤

 

Billion Dollar Brows | Product Review

2015 was inarguably the year of the sheep eyebrows. Girls all over the world have found a new fascination with brow shaping…because your eyebrows must be on fleek at all times.

While previously popular, thin brows are now out. It’s all about the full, luscious and well shaped eyebrows. In order to obtain that look, good products are necessary. I was lucky enough to be able to try out Billion Dollar Brows amazing products. I got their Best Sellers Kit* and their 60 Seconds to Beautiful Brows Kit*! You can find both of those kits, along with their individual products here!

Beauty Review | Eyebrows on Fleek l | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

The 60 Seconds to Beautiful Brows Kit came with taupe brow powder and a double sided brow brush, for brushing and application. This is great for giving your brows a very softly filled in look!

The Best Sellers Kit came packed with a universal brow pencil, a brow duo pencil, brow gel and a smudge brush. I’ll be honest, I was hesitant about how “universal” the brow pencil would be. My eyebrows are far from blonde, but I still typically use a lighter brown pencil. I absolutely loved the color of this one though. I might opt for something lighter if you have truly blonde brows, but I think this could work for almost anybody!

The brow duo pencil scared me. Honestly, I haven’t tried it yet because I literally had no idea what to do with it. But after checking out this tutorial, I feel more confident in giving it a shot! As a matter of fact, BDB has a tutorial video for EVVVERRYYYTHINNNGGG. Even if you feel totally makeup illiterate and brow challenged you can watch these how-to’s and learn to brow shape like a boss.

Beauty Product Review | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

I wasn’t going to post a before and after picture (aka one eyebrow done and the other not done) because I hadn’t had my coffee yet – and that look is never good. But YOLO. Here it is…

browsonfleekpic

As you can tell, the left eyebrow is shaped and filled and super on fleek (is that a thing?) and the right side is definitely lacking. Excuse the rest of my face…I was still sleepy. So if you’re looking for some new brow products of tutorials on how to perfectly maintain and style your eyebrows, check out Billion Dollar Brows! Don’t be this girl…

eyebrows on fleek | beauty product review | lifestyle blog | basic brook

 

Love Always, Brook ❤

 

PS. This post was sponsored by BrandBacker & Billion Dollar Brows. All opinions are straight from my heart. For real though, I use this stuff daily now.

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide: Gifts for Her

Ladies, we all know that men are basically inept when it comes to… most things. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I figured you could use some help showing him what to get. I strategically created this guide to be short, sweet and to the point (much less extensive than my Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Him). It’s also being posted the week of V-Day because well all know that they probably haven’t gotten you anything yet (Saturday plans…). Hopefully, that means if you leave this window open, or maybe print it and leave it laying around… or “accidentally” copy and paste the URL and send it to him… he will have the capacity to look at it and make a good gift decision. But again, we can only hope.
Valentine's Day Gifts for Her

Jewelry

Second to puppies, diamonds are a girls best friend. Okay, so he doesn’t have to get you diamonds…especially if this relationship is new…but jewelry is always nice!

Love all of these and also these customizable ones.

Lingerie

Something sexy and sweet to wear for late night V-day 😉 Always fun to get and a good way to spice things up.

Can’t go wrong with Victoria’s Secret. Or try Adore Me…$25 for your first set. They have super sexy lingerie, bra and panty separates, sleepwear and even swimwear!

Cute Decor

This might be hard for him because of guys general lack of interior design skillz, but if he can pull this off, then good for him. (Guys – find your nearest Home Goods and get to work!)

Candles

You can never have to many. Bonus points if he pairs the candles with rose petals, a home cooked meal and bottle of wine.

candles

Pretty Accessories

I wouldn’t normally choose something like this, but I really liked this bag. You can’t really go wrong with an MK clutch. A nice present that you’ll actually use.

Check out Michael Kors Valentine’s Day Gift Guide!

Lovely Scents

So you can mask the smell of unwashed hair. Or just to smell like a pretty little flower every single day 🙂

Dolce&Gabbana Light Blue is delicious and so is Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet.

Flowers

Call me old school, but I always love getting flowers (except for when the reason is he fucked up). Some girls think flowers are useless and overrated…but maybe she’s just useless and overrated (lol, jk).

Valentine's Day Gift Guide | Gifts for Her | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

To the ladies with no man (or a no-good man) in their lives on Valentine’s Day…

…go out and treat yo’ self to some of these things (or all of them)! You deserve it. Men are overrated anyways. Happy Valentine’s Day to nobody but you!

Valentine's Day Gift Guide | Gifts for Her | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

 What are your favorites Valentine’s Day gifts to get?

Love Always, Brook ❤

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide: Gifts for Him

Happy February ❤ We all know what that means. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Most likely, our first thought is, I wonder what he’s going to get me? Next, shit…what do I get him? Look no further. I’ve compiled a list of fool-proof gift ideas that he will definitely love.

Man Panties

Ladies, don’t lie… you love buying new panties. Your man might not speak up about it, but there’s a solid chance that he’d be amped on some new underthings, just like you. Plus, he probably hasn’t bought himself new underwear within the last year, which means he actually needs them. Help a brotha out and get him some quality undergarments that will ensure that his panties will not be in a bunch!

Men's Underwear | Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Him | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

I’ve heard great things about Tommy John. They’re known for having lightweight, and breathable mens underwear that doesn’t ride up or fall down! Oh, and apparently they have anti-odor properties so his stink-ass will stay fresh for extended hours.

There Valentine’s Day sets (with adorable ❤ heart ❤ socks that you can totally steal for yourself) are currently marked down, for right around $30! Or, if you want to try out their new Air line you can use the promo code bb93720230cfaee6251c907eb7ae for 20% your purchase of full priced items!

Booze

As pictured above, Maker’s Mark goes great with man panties. Your man will definitely appreciate a bottle of his go-to liquor, or even a 6pack sampler of craft beer!

Valentine's Day Gifts for Him

I might be a little whiskey-centric, but I’d also recommend checking out this BuzzFeed article, 21 Amazing Gifts for all Whiskey Lovers, for some more ideas.

Fresh Kicks

Maybe I’ve included this because I’m bias and I want fresh kicks for Valentine’s Day. Forget the roses, give me roshe’s (I’m a 9, plz&thnx).

Valentine's Day Shoes for Him

Oakley Shades

Sunglasses: the male equivalent to sparkly jewelry. Again, I might be totally biased with this suggestion because I am addicted to sunglasses (true life), and I work for Oakley, but I genuinely think this is a great gift! Guys ❤ Oakley, it’s a high quality product, and you can help your man get his T-Pain swag on…

There are a million and one different styles and color combinations, even custom options for some, so I’ve chosen some of the best sellers ranging from lifestyle to sport performance:

Meat

You can’t really go wrong (unless he’s vegan, then don’t give him meat). Men LOVE meat – so a nice home cooked meal with some steaks would probably be ideal for him.

steakgif.gif

Since the only thing to do when deciding on a meal to cook is to look to Pinterest for inspiration, I’ve taken the liberty to do that for you.

Valentine's Day Gift for Him | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Top Left ❤ Grilled Caprese Filet Mignon
Top Right ❤ Italian Stuffed Flank Steak
Bottom Left ❤ Rosemary & Blue Cheese Steak
Bottom Right ❤ Pepper Crusted Cowboy Ribeye

Chocolate Covered Bacon

Post-meat dessert. I don’t think words are really needed for this one. Just check this one stop bacon shop, or see recipe here.

Valentine's Day Gifts for Him | Valentine's Day Gift Guide | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Massage

And by massage, I mean couples massage. Gift for him, gift for you. Everybody wins! This gift is the best kind of indulgence. Sometimes you just need a day of pampering to refresh. Massages can be pricey, so check Groupon for deals in your area.

 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Him | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook
Another option is a home spa day. You’ll have to put in some elbow grease, but you’ll get more bang for your buck – plus it’s a lot more personal. I was searching some things to include in your home spa day, and my new found skincare BFF OZ Naturals posted about it – check out their suggestions here!

I hope this list has helped you to find the perfect valentine’s day gift, or has at least sparked some items. Guys are hard to shop for, so don’t worry about it. Chances are he will like whatever you get, and if he doesn’t…well you can always break up 😉

Valentine's Day Gifts for Him | V-day Gift Guide | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Love Always, Brook ❤

Motivation Monday

Currently writing this post from the Fort Lauderdale airport while enjoying an Asiago bagel and ice water (gotta rehydrate). I was lucky enough to spend the weekend with great people, one which being one of my best friends, enjoying sunshine and salt water. Not to mention plentiful drinks and delicious food.

This was my first time in Fort Lauderdale, despite my multiple Florida trips per year. Usually I’m in the same cities, so being somewhere new was really nice. It made me think about how many other places I’d love to visit. So my goal this year is to visit 2 (or more) places I’ve never been before (outside of NY). I think that’s money very well spent. You can have all the physical things in the world, but nothing really compares to memories will different people in new places.

Have a great week!

Love Always, Brook ❤

Skincare Review | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

DMAE Firming Eye Lift Crème | Product Review

Nearing my quarter of a century birthday, I’ve started to think a lot about my future, and the things I need to start doing/buying/saving for now. First priority…a good blender. Check √  Thanks, Santa! Money-wise, I’ve started to pay off student loan debt. Another top priority (often overlooked) is skincare.

I’d like to believe that I have the skin of a porcelain doll, that will never show the years of plentiful sunshine, UV tanning beds (I know, so bad!), and tons of laughs. Note to self: Dream on dreamer. My skin won’t stay looking this young without a little help.

Recently, it seems like natural and holistic forms of medicine, diet and skincare are all over. While there are products that are tempting (whether it’d due to lower price or skewed marketing), there are still some really great brands that offer natural products that are safe and super healthy for your skin.

A skincare brand I’ve learned about recently called derma e® got started a while back. They have been into healthy, holistic and natural products since the beginning. They liked kale before kale was cool.

Ryan Gosling Kale Meme | Skincare Review | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Today they continue to striving to produce products that are not only natural and full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and botanicals – but also adhere to ethical standards. They promise to always look out for animal’s wellbeing and the impact things have on the planet!

I was lucky enough to kickstart my New Years skincare resolution with some Firming DMAE Eye Lift creme*!! In combination with that I also got to try a Hydrating Day Creme and a Hydrating Night Creme.


Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 1.03.56 PMSkincare Products | Beauty Review | Firming DMAE Eye Lift | Target

Next time you’re at Target #NoticeTheLotus and get yourself some DMAE Firming Eye Life Creme. Or, you could pick it up directly from derma e  and see what else they have to offer!

Since using it I’ve noticed my eyes looking more awake. The Monday morning sleepy droop is WAY less noticeable. I’ve also already noticed less fine lines, and tighter feeling skin. I’m really excited to continuing using this product. Along with the firming eye life creme, I am obsessed with the hydrating day and night creams. I have naturally dry skin, which gets so much worse in the winter, so these have been game changers!!

I’m so excited with the results I’ve seen using the derma e line, and am super pumped to continue using them throughout 2016! Here’s to a year (and many more) of beautiful, healthy skin!

 

Love Always, Brook ❤

 

PS. This post was sponsored – Big thanks to BrandBacker & derma e! Like always, I tell it like it is, so all opinions are 100% my own.

Friday Five | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Friday Five

Obsessed with…

This Carpool Karaoke video featuring Adele. She is my woman crush everyday and I now love her times a million after listening to her rap Nicki Minaj. Oh, and our similar love for wine. Adele is one bad ass woman and has a voice of gold. #Jelly

You’re welcome.

Craving…

Recently, I got to taste test these beef jerky sticks. Yeah, I know…I am one lucky lady. My initial thought before tasting was that they’d be just like your typical Slim Jim. But after tasting these Chomps snacks* I was delightfully surprised. These things are actually fucking amazing. I tried all three flavors: Original, Crankin’ Cran & Hoppin’ Jalapeño. Each and every one was wonderful. The original was your typical beef jerky, and had a really great flavor. The Crankin’ Cran had a sweet cranberry taste with a little spicy kick. Hoppin’ Jalapeño had a lot of kick to it, and tasted like a fiesta.

What made me particularly comfortable with eating these was the fact that I knew what every ingredient was. How often can you look at a label and not be able to say that? These delicious meat sticks are 100% Grass-Fed Non-GMO New Zealand Beef. They’re also gluten free with no added sugar, MSG, nitrates, fillers, binders or preservatives!! Plus they’re packed with 9g of protein. Perfect for a paleo diet (not that that matters to me…but hey, just sayin).

Click here for more nutritional info!

…Oh, and tacos. Currently craving tacos for sure.

Looking forward to…

On February 8th, the NYS Fairgrounds will be hosting CNY Brewfest! A ticket gets you a complimentary glass in which you sample from tons of different craft beers. Lots of local favorite will be there. I really want to try Beer Camp’s (the “experimental” side of Sierra Nevada) Devastation Ale!
Friday Five | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Currently reading…

Friday Five | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Hickory + Hearth is a design and decor blog co-written by my girl, Jordan Arnold! Jordan’s a phenomenal photographer and has an eye for a good thrift find. Check out her latest post on Antique Show Shopping Tips for some helpful things to consider while on a second-hand hunt (and also to check out her new purchase for her bar cart – SO pretty!).

Gettin’ GIFy with it…

In memory of the late Alan Rickman, famously known for his role as Severus Snape, I chose 4 Snape GIFs. RIP ❤

RIP Alan Rickman | Severus Snape | GIF | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook
RIP Alan Rickman | Severus Snape | GIF | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook
snapehair
snape out bitches

TGIF, BITCHES!

 

Love Always, Brook ❤

 

PS. This post was sponsored – Thanks BrandBacker & Chomps Snacks (like always, all opinions are my own).

OZ Naturals Bright Eye Gel & Ultra Ageless Eye Cream | Product Review

Year after year I notice something between Halloween and New Years Eve. My skin always seems to spiral downhill! It’s probably caused by eating like shit, stressing out and not getting the world’s best sleep. But this year I decided to quit the shit, and find a product to help fix that.

I was able to try out OZ Naturals Matrix 6 Mega Bright Eye Gel* and their Ultra Ageless Eye Cream*! I noticed a a big difference in how awake my eyes looked. Rather than feeling and looking tired and droopy, they were tighter, and like the product name says, more lifted.

Another thing I really liked about this eye gel was how gentle it was. The skin around your eyes in so sensitive, so the last thing you want to feel when putting on and eye cream is a burning sensation. I could feel like just enough to know it was doing something, but not enough to burn.

Paired with the Bright Eye Gel, I used the Ultra Ageless Eye Cream. It was amazing and super moisturizing! I have naturally dry skin, so with this near my eyes, paired with my regular moisturizer on the rest of my face, I could fight off the winter dry spots and dark circles!

Here’s a list of the other products OZ Naturals has to offer to complete your skin care regimen!

Beauty Review | Skincare | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

To check out some of the OZ Naturals products on Amazon, click here. Oh, and they’re all eligible for free Prime shipping…WOOT WOOT! Also, stay turned for my upcoming review of the OZ Naturals Ocean Mineral Cleanser 🙂

Love Always, Brook ❤

PS. This was sponsored by BrandBacker & OZ Naturals – like always, all opinions are 100% my own!

Motivation Monday | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Motivation Monday

 

Last week was the first time in a long time that I DIDN’T put up a Motivation Monday post. But that’s okay because sometimes you just have to keep your head up, by putting your head down and getting shit done! With lots going on in life you have to make a point to not spread yourself too thin. If you can’t do something, that’s okay! Focus on what’s crucial and has to get done now, work hard and kick ass! You can catch up on the other things later.
Motivation Monday | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Motivation Monday | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Motivation Monday | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brooknothingcomeseasy

 

Love Always, Brook ❤

Motivation Monday | Case of the Mondays | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday | Case of the Mondays | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook

Yeah, that’s me. I normally don’t mind Monday’s, but post-holiday Monday’s are rough. Plus, today in Syracuse it’s a whopping 7 degrees. A week and a half ago it was 70.  -__- WTF

But now it’s time to get back into the swing of things, so I hope y’all can enjoy these Monday ecards, and remember, Monday will come to an end… eventually 🙂

caseofbeermondayMotivation Monday | Lifestyle Blog | Basic BrookMotivation Monday | Lifestyle Blog | Basic Brook
Love Always, Brook ❤

 

 

 

NYE Outfits | NYE Dresses | Last Minute Shopping | Basic Brook

Last Minute NYE Outfits under $75

If you’re anything like me you haven’t figured out what you’re wearing for New Years Eve. Yeah…I know, it’s like two days away. So that mean’s it’s time to hit the mall and find a last minute steal.

Emphasis on steal. Because, again, if you’re anything like me and you live in yoga pants, you won’t be wearing this new purchase every weekend. Paying mind to price is key. You want to make sure it’s the style you’re looking for, fits well, and is high quality enough that you won’t split it busting a move – but at the same time, cost effective. Your last minute NYE outfit might also turn into last minute NYE jewelry, shoes, clutch, fur coat….So try not to get too crazy $$$

Here are a few of my last minute picks for last minute New Years Eve outfits:

Sequin

Make your outfit scream NYE. This look is ideal for when you want to portray the look of the actual NYE ball dropping.

Forever21 || H&M || GUESS || Nasty Gal

LBD

Classic. Simple. Jazz it up with some bling, and sky high heels. Or not.

Forever21 || H&M || Gap || Banana Republic

Jumpsuits & Rompers

Dressy, but also comfortable. Shorts if you’re feeling a little racy, or ppt for the full pant if you don’t feel like shaving your legs.

GUESS || H&M || Forever21 || missuided

What are you wearing this New Years Eve?

Because like I said, I still don’t have an outfit! 😡

Love Always, Brook ❤

 

Motivation Monday | Inspirational Quotes | Travel | Basic Brook

Motivation Monday

Hope everybody who celebrates it had a very Merry Christmas! Mine was great…got to see lots of friends & family. Next holiday up is New Years. With that, I’ve started thinking (like many) about my “resolutions”. They can be cheesy, but at the same time it’s really important to reflect on what you’ve done in a year, how you’ve changed and grown (not just in size..ugh), and what you’d like from the year to come.

One of my biggest takeaways from 2015 is to take every opportunity you can to try new things. Travel more. Go out of your comfort zone. Do what scares you. Go places that you’ve never been. You only have so many moments in life so make them count!

bb3
Motivation Monday | Inspirational Quotes | Travel | Basic Brook
Motivation Monday | Inspirational Quotes | Travel | Basic Brook

What are your New Years resolutions?

Love Always, Brook ❤

Christmas Music | Happy Holidays | Merry Christmas | Basic Brook

Christmas Music Favorites

Christmas music…we love to hate it, and hate to love it. We bitch that it starts way too early, but once it’s gone there is definitely a sort of void in our merry little hearts ❤

Some prefer classic Christmas tunes, others opt for pop favorites. I, personally, enjoy a rather eclectic mix of Christmas music. Give me anything from Michael Bublé to Ludacris, and Mariah Carey to Relient K. I will listen to it all. If I had to pick one “holiday genre” it’d probably have to be pop punk rock…which is kind of weird, I know. But after years of listening to it non-stop at Oakley during the holidays I’ve really grown to love it.

For your listening enjoyment, here’s my oddly eclectic and slightly bipolar Christmas music playlist.

Enjoy! ❤

Merry Christmas ya filthy animals!

 

Love Always, Brook ❤

Merry Monday | Motivation Monday | Happy Holidays

Merry Monday…A Day Late

Yesterday I was enjoying my last day of vacation. I went to Florida to visit my sister, my three nephews and niece! I had a great time…I wouldn’t exactly call it “relaxing” considering these kids range between 1-12, but regardless it was a great time. I’ve been going down south to visit for about 10 years, but this was the first year that I was able to go right before Christmas! I got to help my sister with Christmas shopping, we watched holiday movies, made a gingerbread house, and went looking at Christmas lights!

I miss these guys more than words could explain!! This holiday season be sure to hug your loved ones, and cherish every moment you have with them…even if they’re driving you crazy 🙂

Merry Christmas &
Happy Holidays!

Love Always, Brook ❤

Fur Baby Feature: Jameson

I know I haven’t posted in FOREVER, but I’m getting back in the swing of things (with some super exciting updates to come – keep your eyes peeled for my next post coming soon)! My post today is dedicated to the one and only Jameson Spencer, my 4 ½ year old fur baby. His face is enough to make me cry tears of joy. Like really though, how could you not love that face???

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 2.49.03 PM.png

Here he is at his all time fav place to walk – Gillie Lake in Camillus! He loves being able to play on the beach and swim, too! It’s an extra special day for him when his Golden girls Rae and Zoey  (and Rae’s bro Finn) come along. He has a serious thing for blondes.

He’s a bit of a momma’s boy and his favorite activities include snuggling with his mommy and having some vanilla ice cream as a special treat. He is always smiling and LOVES kisses more than anything! He’s not a material pup either – his most precious toy is an old, ratty, chewed up squirrel thing that he got when he was a pup, and he is very loyal to it!

This past year, I’ve made a goal to travel to at least 3 new places out of New York state. So far, I’ve been to Nashville and Miami! Denver has been on my list of places to visit for a while and I was really excited when a friend introduced me to Rover, since they have awesome dog boarding options. I hate leaving Jameson at home, so it’s a huge relief to know that if I was out for a long day I’d still be able to bring him on the trip and drop him off for a special day of loving at a fellow dog-lover’s house. Much more comforting than the kennel! They also have a great option for dog walking, so if I find a nice pet-friendly Airbnb and just need a helping hand with an extra walk, that’s an option too! Really puts me at ease! 🙂 Here’s info on Rover’s dog boarding in denver and dog walking in denver if you’re also looking to travel with your pup! Though if you are staying local and are just facing a long night at the office, their dog walking page is a great resource too!

The weather has been beautiful, so I hope to see you out on the trails (or the beach!) with your pups soon! Jameson sends his love + slobbery puppy kisses! XOXO

Love Always, Brook ❤

Game Day Style | College Basketball

Winter is by far my least favorite season, but there is one good thing about it. College basketball. SU basketball to be specific. If you’re from Syracuse, or even central NY, there’s a solid chance you grew up watching Syracuse basketball religiously.

With that comes the game day experience. Whether you’re watching it at home, a bar on the hill or at the Dome watching the game live, you need to make sure you do it while bleeding orange, and that means rocking orange in your outfit. My game day look is always comfy and casual. I think that’s really the only way to go when it comes to sporting events. I will never understand when girls show up in heels. I consider myself “dressed up” if I actually put on jeans.

So what are the steps to take for an ideal game day? Step 1:  Get tickets. Try TickPick for college basketball tickets (they also have concert, MLB and NFL tickets)! Step 2: Plan your pregame! Get your group together ahead of time to enjoy a few cold ones before it’s game time. Step 3: Pick your outfit. Here’s where these ideas might come in handy…
SU Game Day Style

The look above it my ideal outfit. For me, game day means yoga pants, sneakers and something comfy on top. Maybe a hat if my hair is dirty. It’s crucial to bring a bag that’s big enough, but not too big. Crossbody bags are PERFECT!
SU Game Day
This looks great if you feel like “dressing up” just a little. Jeans, cute top, comfy but stylish sneaks and a little blinggggg. Keep it simple with the colors, incorporating just a pop of orange!!
Hope this helps in your game day style choices. I’m no fashionista, but I do know how to do comfy game day outfits right!  OH, and if you take my advice from Step 1 and decide to get game day tickets through TickPick, sign up here and get a $10 credit towards your first ticket purchase of $50 or more!

What are your game day style essentials?

 

Love Always, Brook ❤