beads

DIY Clay Necklaces

8:22 PM



So I'm going to be honest. This DIY was pretty difficult for me to do, and it took a decent amount of time. However, I'm happy with what came out of it so I thought I'd show you how to do it. Maybe you'll have easier success than I did.

What you'll need:
Clay (You can make this too, following recipes on pinterest. I used this one for "baking clay".) I recommend buying your own baking clay though, just because the DIY will probably be easier.)
An oven
Tooth picks (something to poke holes in the clay jewelry you make.)
String/Necklace chains
Necklace hooks
Paint
Optional: acrylic spray coat


Examples of some shapes you can make!

Instructions:
1. Buy or make your clay.
2. Shape your clay into whatever beads or shapes that you want.
3. Don't forget to put the holes in your clay!
4. Bake your clay for the described amount of time on your clay package.
5. Paint your beads!
6. Spray the optional acrylic spray coat over your beads.
7. Assemble the beads into a necklace!




Phew! It was long and frustrating at times, but it got done. I hope you enjoy this DIY. Let me know if you do it and send me photos!




Brooke Cooks: Cauliflower Hummus Pizza

12:48 PM


I've been getting raw with my foods. It's just become a part of my lifestyle since trying to figure out what's going on inside my body, trying to fix some problems I've been having.

A while ago (I'm just getting to posting this now) I decided I would make a cauliflower pizza. This pizza is really good for you, and you can eat the whole thing with zero shame. Food shouldn't be shameful in the first place (considering making a post about that too). So here we go: 

Recipe makes one personal sized pizza. 

Ingredients: 
1/2 cup cauliflower 
1/2  egg white
Pinch of oregano
Pinch of garlic salt
2 tablespoons of hummus
1 cup spinach
1 small apple
4 oz chicken breast meat

Tools:
Food processor
Something to stir with
Microwave
Thin pan
Cooking spray

The step-by-step:

Pre-heat oven to 450°F. 
1. So we're going to start off by getting our half cup of cauliflower and throwing it in the food processor. Chop it up real good (you want it very fine, almost like quinoa), and then throw it all into a bowl. 
2. Take your bowl of cauliflower and microwave it for about 3-4 minutes until it's steamed. Be careful not to over microwave it!
3. Take it out and add the egg white. Mix this all up!
4. Throw your pinch of oregano and pinch of garlic salt into the mix. 
5. Spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray. 
6. Spread your cauliflower dough evenly in whatever shape you'd like over the pan. 
7. Put the pizza dough in the oven for about 10 minutes.


8. When it comes out it's time to spread your ingredients on. I went for a non-traditional pizza because I can't have dairy products and I'm always looking for new ways to eat hummus. So I spread my hummus across the pizza, chopped up my chicken (We had some leftover from dinner this week. Just grill yours on the stove if you don't), spinach, and apple, and threw them all on top together. 
9. With the toppings on, put your pizza back in the oven for about 3-5 minutes. 
10. Done! Move the pizza from tray to plate and enjoy!

 I no longer eat meat, cheese, or eggs. Not any animal product for that matter. I'd like to try to redo this recipe in order of incorporate the way that I eat now. 

Thanks for reading :)

Brooke 

breakfast

What Breakfast Has Taught Me.

12:46 PM



Breakfast can offer you a cheap piece of good advice in the morning if you really need it. I sit down every morning with my bowl of Cheerios, sliced up strawberries, and a cup of green tea with lemon and the contents whisper to me, "Start your day off positive."

I think they just mean that I'm doing the right thing by eating breakfast. When I was in middle school and high school I wouldn't eat breakfast because 1) I could barely get out of bed on time, and 2) I thought that not eating breakfast would help me avoid some weight. (Which is wrong, I'm pretty sure). 

You see, your brain needs power before it can start the day off. It needs that jump start, and I don't mean the tall non-fat soy sugar-free caramel macchiato (???) you picked up on your way to work this morning. I mean a hearty, balanced breakfast. Without it, I'm pretty sure my days would be ruined. Once I'm able to start my day off with something fresh, I feel like I can do anything. As breakfast tells me to start me day off positive I'm thinking, here I am, breakfast, doing the positive thing...you're going to change my world.

That last statement is both true and untrue. Breakfast changes my day/world because I allow it to. I look at it in a positive light and allow myself to continue from there. Here's a short list of other things breakfast has taught me:

1. Don't overdo it. 
2. Natural sugar > refined sugar. 
3. Mornings are the best. 
4. A simple life triumphs over a complex one. 
5. Fruit is my best friend. 
6. Tea is the ocean of my life. 
7. The internet can wait. 
8. Breakfast talks are time consuming. 
9. Breakfast talks are usually the best kind of talks. 
10. All good things must come to an end. 

I know that Rice Crispies snap, crackle, and pop, but has your breakfast been telling you anything insightful lately? What are some things you've come across in the beginning of the day while nomming on your morning meal? Let me know in the comments. 

It's the little things. I hope your strawberries are juicy and your yogurt fresh,


body shaming

Body-shaming is Unacceptable. Period.

4:02 PM


Excuse my pictures. My drawing ability hasn't advanced since the fourth grade. They get the point across, though.

The other night my family got back from my birthday dinner just as the Billboard Music Awards were about to start. We watched primarily for the premiere of Taylor Swift's Bad Blood music video, which features a group of empowering women in the media today. I loved the message it sent - girl power (more on that later).

Later in the show, Kelly Clarkson sang one of her newer songs. Recently a new mother, Clarkson has gained a bit of weight and doesn't look like she used to. My best friend, Alyssa, was sitting next to me, texting a boy-friend about the show when he says something along the lines of:

She had that baby like a year ago, she should have her weight back together by now. 

Excuse me? 

First of all, weight loss isn' easy. It's difficult to lose five, ten, 20, or however many pounds. 

Second of all, having a baby and raising a child is hard. When you have a child, you're signing a contract that says 'My life is no longer just about bettering myself, it's about this child'. That includes many things, including weight. I doubt Kelly has an infinite amount of time on her hands to focus on losing weight, she's handling a child now, a life. 

Third of all, who is he (who is anyone) to judge where someone should be at with their body? Just because he thinks Kelly Clarkson should be smaller doesn't mean she should actually be. Maybe Kelly's really happy with where she's at right now, maybe she's working on it. Maybe she's just living her life and it's none of our business. 

Have body-shaming people ever stopped to realize that someone else's body is none of their concern? Whether or not someone is in a size two or a size ten shouldn't matter to anyone but the person wearing the jeans. 

Ridiculing someone because they're overweight is shameful and petty, and so is doing the same for someone who's smaller. I'm the kind of person that supports people no matter what their weight is - you're a 00? Awesome. You're a 20? Awesome. It's unfair to judge someone based on what their weight is, and often the media portrays the only body to have as skinny. Skinny is good, but fat, curvy, chubby, any other weight, are good too. If you need to hear that, I could say it a million times for you: however much you weight looks perfect on you, God made you the way you are, SKINNY IS GOOD, CHUBBY IS GOOD, FAT IS GOOD. YOU ARE AMAZING. *segway into to John Legend's "All of You"*

The way I see it, weight is just as much of a preference as eye color or hair color. Different ones work great on people, but you can't change the one you were given (most of the time). Some people are born with blue eyes, brown hair, and a busty body. Some are born with brown eyes, red hair, and a super thin body. Sometimes it just isn't our choice what we're given, especially concerning genes and certain medical dysfunctions which don't allow someone to be that "ideal" weight, but we learn to love ourselves. Learn to love others, too. 

I know for a fact that people stand with me on this, and that the boy she was talking to might even be in a minority after how much talk has been done on this subject. It just got me upset, so I decided to write about it. There are various reasons why people aren't the media's idea of the "ideal" weight, and it's so unfair to judge someone based on that. 

How would you react if someone sent you a text like that?

I hope you're having a great start to the weekend,




19

The Birthday Post. 19. {Haul, Kind of}

9:58 AM

 

This past Sunday was my 19th birthday (yay!). I'm really grateful for the life and people that I've been blessed with in my life. Since I'm a lifestyle blog, I thought I'd share a few things that I got from my family and friends.

From my step-sisters, I got some fun Forever21 socks and headbands, as well as a cute little lipgloss (not shown). They picked stuff that really fits me, and I think that says a lot. Thank you Hannah and Ava!! (Currently trying to convince them to start blogs, hopefully they read this.)

From my BFF, Alyssa, I got a teal watering can that comes with soil and seeds to plant a flower in it. It's from Meijer and when we walked by it the other week I fell in love with it and told her how cute I thought it was. Thanks Alyssa for the adorable planter :) I'm so excited to grow my flowers in it. (ps. I LOVE YOU. I know she reads these.)

From my sorority Big (She's too sweet. She gave me my present on the last day of exams and I saved it to open on my birthday) I got a pink and purple wrap bracelet (not pictured) and some cookie crisps. OH MY GOD, you guys, these cookies are AMAZING. They're not necessarily healthy, but they're gluten free, GMO free, trans-fat free, etc. and lots of other good stuff. Only 120 calories and 13 grams of sugar per serving (5 cookies)...which is pretty good for cookies, if you ask me. YUM.

From my mom I got some flatbed Birkenstock lookalikes from Target. They're super comfy and I like to wear them when I take walks with my dog. I also got a scarf organizer, a sports bra, a black and white striped 3/4 length shirt, and an ice blue peplum with a lace detail on the bottom. Not pictured is a yoga mat :) Shoutout to Mom, who I just sent my blog link to, for hooking me up and also being the  greatest mom/supporter a gal could ever ask for. She rules.

The next gift if pictured below, made by my older brother Luke. He worked on this gift all week, so there was a lot of hype as to what it was. It's a memory box to hold all of my memories from college and my sorority (on the inside are my letters). On the sides he put pictures of things that I enjoy. There's also a photo album inside; they printed pictures from my Facebook and added them...and a picture of him and his girlfriend glued to the bottom. What a trickster. He worked so hard on this and it's probably the coolest gift I've ever gotten, not to mention how much it means because he worked so hard on it (he even sanded it!). Thank you, Lukey Pookey!



On my birthday, I did a Kidney Walk with my mom at the Detroit Zoo, which was really fun. I got to see all the animals and spend some good time talking with her. After, I finished a book and made my birthday treat at home. We went out to dinner as a family & my best friend came, and then we went back to watch the Billboard Music Awards (#BadBloodMusicVideo. I died. And then I came back to life to write this post), eat dessert, and open gifts.

I've been given an amazing life with amazing people, which I thank God for every day. I can't believe how lucky I am. These are the times in my life when I just say 'woah'. Like, woah.

#blessed.

(This post wasn't going to make it without that hashtag, let's be real).


beauty

Younique Makeup Review

8:38 AM


Hi guys!

On my Twitter I mentioned that I'd been writing about some makeup that really worked for my skin. Today I'm going to be reviewing Younique makeup products. These were sent to me by a friend who sells makeup for the company, but I am not being paid to write about the products. Today I'll be writing about the BB Flawless Cream (in color Cream), the Mineral Touch Pressed Powder (in color Organza), the Splurge Eye Cream Shadow (in color Elegant), the Moodstruck Minerals Pressed Blush (in color Sweet), the Moodstruck Precision Pencil Eye Liner (in color Perfect), the Lucrative Lip Gloss (in color Luxe), and the Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes.

I think that your makeup should feel good on the outside - like you're not wearing any, and also on the inside (ie. wearing enough to feel good and like yourself, not like someone else). I feel that way with these products, so I thought I'd share. The products are all naturally based, vegan, gluten free and animal cruelty free, and a portion of every sale goes towards The Younique Foundation for Abused Women.

I've never reviewed makeup before! So here goes it :)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

9/10 - BB Flawless Cream

This is the BB Flawless Cream in the color Cream (because I'm pasty white). It's my favorite BB Cream I've used to this day, and I've used a few. I don't wear foundation a lot because I don't like the heavy feeling it leaves my skin feeling. This BB Cream is thick, unlike a lot of others that are really watery. While it's thick, my skin still doesn't feel too heavy or like I'm wearing makeup. 

In addition to all of that, it doesn't make my skin break out. My skin has been really sensitive the last few months, and I've developed a lot of acne. Because of these breakouts I rarely wear makeup anymore, as it irritates my skin. This however, does not. The makeup is made with mostly natural components, so it treats your skin with the care it deserves. Highly recommend. 

The one downside I would say is that it is pretty sticky when it comes to getting it off at night. Invest in some makeup removing wipes if you haven't yet. 



10/10 - Mineral Touch Pressed Powder
Next we have the pressed powder. What I liked about this packaging was that it comes with a clear cover that actually protects the product from the mirror. This helps with spillage and also keeping the mirror clean. I don't really have much to say about this product, it does it's job without being messy or irritating. This is in the color Organza.  



8/10 - the Splurge Cream Eye Shadow

This is in the color Elegant. When my friend wrote to me that you only needed a tiny bit of this because a little goes a long way, she wasn't exaggerating. I kid you not, you only need a small dot of this on the tip of your finger to cover both of you eyes. I really enjoy the neutral color as both a base for other eye shadows and also just by itself (since I'm pretty simple when it comes to makeup). The one downside I would say is that when you apply it, you have to be careful what you touch with that finger after (or maybe I'm not supposed to be using my fingers?), because it will spread everywhere. Overall, very great and high quality product. Again, it doesn't irritate me at all. 



10/10 - the Moodstruck Minerals Pressed Blush 


 I love this blush! I really only wear blush on special occasions, but I've been putting it on so that I could do this review. A little goes a long way with this product as well. I only needed a small amount to highlight both of my cheeks. I love it's coral undertones that go great with my pinky skin. It spread pretty evenly on my skin. This is the color Sweet.


7/10 - the Moodstruck Precision Pencil Eye Liner

This eyeliner (color Perfect) spreads on really smoothly. It's like butter, and that's why I like it. The product doesn't irritate my eyes and the smoothness makes it really easy to waterline my eyes. Overall, I really like it. The problem I have with this one and most other eyeliners, and this might be specific to me because the areas of my eye (eye lid and under eyes) produce a lot of excess oils, is that I found it sinking under my eyes and sort of melting below my eye. I had the same problem with the mascara, but this happens to me with other products too. Does anyone have any suggestions for what I should do to fix this?


10/10 - the Lucrative Lip Gloss

This is a pretty neutral gloss, which I enjoy (again, not a big makeup wearer, but when i do I prefer to have a natural look). It spread on really nicely. I meant to take a picture of a swatch of the color, but I forgot :/ Sowwy. Anyway, Very nice gloss that lasts for, I would say, a few hours at least. I don't find myself having to apply more than one coat. The color stays even if the glossiness doesn't. 


 7/10 - the Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes

For some people, this is the soul product that they buy from Younique. From what I understand this is one of their biggest, if not the biggest, product that they sell. For me, I found it melting off of my eyes and the some of the fibers would fall onto my face throughout the day. This might be the same problem that I was having with the eyeliner, where my eyes produce too much oil around them. I know that a lot of people have great success with this product. Yes, it makes your lashes very long. I only did one coat, but you can do two or three to make them even longer.  I found that one was enough for what I was going for. Overall, I really enjoy the effect it has on my eyes, but I don't like the fibers falling off or the product coming off throughout the day. Perhaps I should do two coats of gel after the fibers instead of just one.


Here are two more photos of the complete look. I love how natural it feels and looks. As you can see, I do still have some acne showing through, but not a lot. For just a BB Cream and powder look, that's quite good. 

Overall Rating (average of them all): 8.7/10 for Younique. Bravo - er, Brava




I love the message that this makeup sends - be unique, be your beautiful self. We all suffer from personal self image issues, and I think that embracing both your flaws and beauty is necessary in this life. Younique makes me feel good about myself without covering up who I truly am.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these products and check them out. I love how they don't irritate my skin or cause breakouts. Everything feels so natural when it's on, because I barely feel like I'm wearing makeup. I think I've taken up enough of your time with this post, so go check out Younique or write in the comments what you think, what you're most interested in trying.

Talk to you soon,


*UPDATE: This comment was posted by Jill, who sent me the makeup to try - 
"Brooke, thank you so much for trying our products! I was so happy to read your review! A couple things: the cream eye shadow does have a brush for easier application. With the fibers on your cheek, you just want to make sure you put a good coat of gel on to seal your fibers. In regard to your oily skin and problem with products running try wiping your face with an oil free makeup remover before you apply your makeup. When it comes to removing your makeup we have amazing makeup remover cloths and two kinds of cleansers: one for dry to normal skin and one for oily acne prone skin. 

Our products are all naturally based, vegan, gluten free and animal cruelty free! And a portion of every sale goes towards The Younique Foundation for Abused Women! Please feel free to contact me with at questions at jillsyouniquebeauty@gmail.com or visit my site at www.youniqueproducts.com/jillshada Thank you again Brooke!"

That being said, I have found the brush to the eye shadow and it no long gets all over me. I'm going to try to makeup remover trick for my eyes and ensure a good coat of gel before applying the fibers. Thanks Jill!

cards

DIY - Making Ombre Watercolor Cards

4:13 PM


Hi guys!

Yesterday I did a fun little craft inspired by a pinterest post that I found. I made mine a little bit different.

What you'll need: 
- Paper
- Watercolors
- Watercolor pencils
- Water
- Paintbrushes
- Scissors


1. First cut your paper any way that you want. Some of mine I did folded, but some I did postcard style with no fold.



2. Choose your colors and begin painting across the top of the paper. To get the ombre effect, concentrate most of the pigment up at the top, and then gradually add more water to your paintbrush as your strokes move down.


3. While the paper is still wet, grab your watercolor pencils and begin writing or drawing whatever you choose on top of them. Doing it while it's still wet makes the pencil go on smoother for me, but if you prefer to do it another way, then feel free to do that.


4. Wait for it to dry! You're pretty much done now.



5. Trim up the edges and make the card even. You might wan to get a ruler for this, so that your text is centered wherever you want it on the page.


Happy painting! I found this to be a really relaxing DIY, and I'm excited to give these out to people that I know.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did,



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