Hitting the Links :: Financial Edition!

Happpppppy Friday, guys :)  Today is an extra special Friday for me, because of two things! 1:: The boy and I are headed home for the weekend, hooray!!.  2:: I paid off my small credit card bill that has been lingering over my head for the past year!!!!

Now, my credit card bill has never gotten too out of control, but it was more than I felt comfortable owing and it was not letting me save any money. So I figured I would take this Links Day to share the back story on my financial woes and the ways I am trying to fix them.  Who knows, maybe it will even help some others that aren't great with their money either!?

Here goes...

In the months leading up to my move to Portland last September I did not plan well.  I was living at home and not paying rent (thanks Mom and Dad!) but not being wise with my saving habits.  So when I got up here and realized I needed to make big purchases on things like furniture, a new bed, rent, etc. I got myself into a little hole.  Which, ok not a big deal...other than the fact that I didn't change any of my spending habits after I made those large purchases and am not making enough money to do both.

I finally had a little wake up call when I had to break down and call my parents for help with gas and food money at the end of a month not long after I moved up.  Let me tell you, that is not a good feeling, when you're trying to show people that you are finally a grown up.

I realized that I needed to get my life figured out and balance my budget. I started by making a spreadsheet of all my expenses and using the personal finance website mint.com.  It helps you link up all your accounts so you can keep track of your spending habits and try and set goals for yourself (it's legit).  I also tried to follow easy steps like these to help cut back in little ways that add up. Slowly, I was able to put money towards my credit card each month and finally paid it off today!

These days, I am by no means an Extreme Cheapskate, but I am making a conscious effort to be content with what I already have and ask myself, if I really need the item that I am holding in my hand, whether it is the holiday soap at the grocery store (this debate with Brad really did happen the other day and for the record, I didn't get the soap), the Starbucks drink, or the Hunter Boots I am dying to have.  I also have to admit that Brad has been a big help in all of this and keeps me in check when I really want to make an unnecessary impulse purchase - because let's be honest those are the best purchases and still happen on occasion.

I still have a long way to go when it comes to my finances, seeings how I currently have $3.00 in my savings account, but at the moment I am breaking even and that is the first time I can say that in over a year.  (if you don't count my thousands and thousands of dollars in student loans and car payment. small details)

My goal for the future is to slowly start saving, because the thought of actually having enough money to do grown up things like own a home or be able to invest seems so far off, but in all actuality I should have started on those things a long time ago. I know the next month will be extra tough, with the Holidays and buying gifts, etc. but my goal is to not put anything on the card that I cannot pay off at the end of the month.  Wish me luck!


Cheers to learning the hard way,

<3 BB


Tuesday Tunesday :: 11.28.12

Since Thanksgiving has come and gone... It is now officially time to start celebrating the most wonderful time of the year!!!!! (and people can't even bitch about it being too early anymore! haters gonna hate)

Granted I have had the Holiday Spirit for quite some time now... Pretty much since September, but who's keeping track?!

Going to keep Tunesday short and festive this week and leave you with two of my favorite Christmas songs!

Mariah Carey :: All I Want For Christmas Is You

Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone :: Baby It's Cold Outside 

I also plan on watching Love Actually this weekend too! Because that's what you do during the month of December.  You listen to Christmas music, you decorate your home with Christmas Cheer, and you watch movies like Love Actually, The Holiday, and Elf.  DUH!

Although - I do have one small, tiny confession - I don't actually own Elf.  I am embarrassed to say it out loud.  It's almost like saying you were raised in Indiana and don't own the movie Hoosiers.  Almost.

Cheers to the Holidays!

<3 BB


Thanksgiving Recap!

I suppose it's fitting that I write this Thanksgiving recap whilst Bradley yells cheers for number 1 ranked Indiana University as they take on number 14 North Carolina in basketball tonight.  

My 5 days in Indiana were great and busy.  I brought my camera and tried to get pictures throughout my time there.  I wont bore you with pictures of our Thanksgiving feast....and by that I mean I was too busy stuffing my face to actually take pictures of the food.  

What I do have to show you are pictures from Churchill Downs, the cutest puppy ever, and some might argue the cutest brother and sister duo ever.  

This is the second time I have been to Churchill Downs and both times have been awesome.  Although I must say last time I won money, whereas this time I did not.  Not that I bet much money either time - wasting my money on gambling is not really my thing.  (but wasting it on buying material possessions is?!)

The weather was cool and crisp, plus super sunny.  Lovely combo for the horse races.

I was often compared to a race horse on the track, because I was so strong and fast.... NOT.

The venue was super pretty and timeless. 

After the races, Brad's sister asked if we could puppysit her brand new dog and of course I said yes.

I might have struggled a little though as a sitter and Booker T may or may not have gone pee on the hardwood floor as I was searching for his leash. what are ya gonna do?!


Bradley struggled with the pic, but the pups was camera ready!

I will have a puppy some day, sooner rather than later.

In. Love.

My last highlight of the weekend, and by that I mean the last thing I took pictures of, was Brad's little cousin Bri's gymnastics performance.  This little girl is almost four years old and is the most precious thing you will ever meet.  Perfect blonde hair, with perfect blonde curls.  Can you tell I am jealous?!

Get it gurl! (she's the second one in)

All sorts of sass and I love it!

Just chillin' after she rocked her performance!

I also might have a huge crush on her baby brother, Landon.  He is giving Bri a run for her money on the cute factor!

Anyways, there were plenty of other awesome moments over the 5 days we were there, including being on the winning end of the annual Snook Noodle Bowl soccer game and an awesome Indian food date at a place called Kashmir in a cute part of Louisville (produced Lululululuville) with Brad's good friend, Carly and her entertaining bf, Tim.   The only downfall of cross-country travel is dealing with the time changes and the fact that I now have a cold.  I blame the germ infested children on the planes! Ohhhh well.

Either way I am super happy I was able to celebrate Thanksgiving with Bradley and his family.  Even though I missed my family and all our Holiday traditions, it was super generous of the Snooks to include me in theirs.  My family has put their foot down and said there is no way I could leave them for Christmas, not that I would.  It's my favorite holiday of year and I wouldn't let them celebrate it without me.

Cheers to being Thankful! 

<3 BB


Thanksgiving Recap Teaser

Finally made it home after a long day of travel and a great 5 days in Floyds Knobs, Indiana.  I'll give you more of the deets tomorrow, since I am a Grandma and it feels like 11:45pm.  I will, however, leave you with this teaser...

Had the privilege of puppy sitting the cutest.dog.ever for Brad's sister and her hubs and it gave me puppy-fever, hard.  More on that tomorrow though - this girl is off to bed!

Cheers to still being thankful, even though Thanksgiving is over,

<3 BB


Cheers to Thanksgiving!

Bradley and I are currently sitting at PDX waiting to head to Floyds Knobs, Indiana (yes, it's a real place, guys... no, I had never heard of it before I met Brad either!).  We're running on about 4 hours of sleep, since we had to get up at 3:15, but the turkey tomorrow should be worth it.  Plus, I am excited to check out his home town and spend time with good people.  Probably won't be around the blog much over the next few days, try not to miss me too much!

Say goodbye to the stache.  It's going away tomorrow :(

Anyways, enjoy your Thanksgiving.  Hopefully everyone gets to eat yummy food with good friends and family.  I already have my fat pants on in preparation.

Cheers to Stuffing!

<3 BB


Tuesday Tunesday :: Thanksgiving Edition

Keeping Tunesday short and sweet this week.  Back when Adam Sandler was funny, (you know before movies like Little Nicky) he gave us the wonderful Thanksgiving Song.  I hope you enjoy.

Turkey for me, Turkey for you. 

editor's note: the link above is better, because it's the actual SNL clip, but I couldn't find it on YouTube, so the live version will have to suffice.   

Happy Thanksgiving!

<3 BB


I May Be Oregon's Bad Luck Charm...

So my luck with Oregon football games is not great.  I have now attended two very important games and they have lost both of them.  The first game was the Rose Bowl against Ohio State a few years back and the second was this past Saturday when they lost to Stanford potentially ending their National Championship hopes and dreams. Maybe I should just quit going?

Even though they lost and we were stuck in traffic the entire way home so our 2 hour drive ended up turning into over 4 hours, there were still some highlights including:

::The fact that Brad won the tickets and $75 dollars worth of gas cards for giving blood at work.

The stache is what won it for us. 

::We got to tailgate with my brother (not pictured) and old friends:

Lindsay and I #teamlefty!

Having club seats with this view and cover from the rain:

pretty, pretty!

Seeing my old roomie Kelley and her poncho at halftime:

::But the biggest highlight of the night had nothing to do with the game.... it was the fact that I ended up sitting a few seats away from World Record Holder Ashton Eaton and his kickass, Canadian fiance Brianne Theisen.

Power Couple. 

Granted I didn't actually talk to them, but that is a small detail.  Had to play it cool.

Anyways, the rest of the weekend was full of good food and new friends, as we attended a Fakesgiving that my good friend Jessi invited us to.  It totally got me in the Holiday Spirit, which is good since Brad and I head to Indiana to visit his family for Thanksgiving dark and early Wednesday Morning!

Cheers to football and Thanksgiving!

<3 BB


Hitting the Links.

Happy Friday!!!!  We have made it through another week.  Today, I am thankful for these articles:

Hating cilantro is a real thing.

This place might be what Heaven looks like in Bradley's eyes.

Just an article that shows the advantages of saving $2.75 a day. #NBD.

As you may know, the last Twilight movie comes out today.  Here senior citizens hate review the trailer.

This poor gentleman is afraid of horseies.

What if Adele was Mrs. Doubtfire?

Since Thanksgiving is next week, I got you this.

Leaving you with this. Sometimes the internet is a wonderful place.  This is one of those times.  #mashup.

Enjoy your weekend! I'll be cheering on the Ducks tomorrow at Autzen!

Cheers to the weekend!

<3 BB



So, I think I found a new hair stylist, that is if Emmanuel at One Creativity & Designs will take me back after yesterday.  See I have this problem, when I am in unfamiliar situations, have to talk about myself or anytime I am anxious or nervous I get flustered really easily.  I am a sweater, on top of red splotches that creep up my chest, neck, and all up on my jaw line.  

I know what you're thinking, how could this girl ever get embarrassed?!

Last night was a prime example.  Here's what happened: it was cold out yesterday and I was bundled up for the few blocks I had to walk to the salon, but then I got in the salon and it was warm.  Emmanuel gets me in the chair and we start immediately talking about my hair, this is where I start to get a little nervous about being the center of attention / hot from my power walk and begin to sweat (surprise, surprise).  Of course this gets me self conscious.  I start thinking to myself please don't sweat, please don't sweat.  I don't listen to myself and start to sweat.  Naturally, I proceed to get more nervous that I am going to have brow sweat or something embarrassing like that - this guy isn't going to want to touch my hair, he is going to think I am gross, blah blah blah, now the splotches hit.  I start stripping off layers, seeya cute cardi and scarf and notice my chest is bright red, we'll just button that top button right up.

Ok, Brooke, chill out.  Get it together woman. Now here is my problem, once the red splotches start I can feel the heat radiating from my body, I can literally tell they are slowly crawling their way up to my face, so I get even more self-conscious about it.  It's a real thing too, guys.  I googled it.  I am not the only huge struggle out there. I have had this problem since middle school, I remember my ears would get horribly red when I would have to give speeches or read out loud.  And even though I am no longer an awkward teenager, the awkwardness has decided to stick around.

True story, I even plan my outfits around whether or not I think I will get nervous and splotchy that day.  Any interview I have ever had, I make sure to wear button up shirts that will cover most of my chest and neck.  Scarves have become one of my bests friends, pathetic, but true.  I am just glad scarves are in style these days!

Luckily, I finally pulled myself together and got through the haircut and style, but don't worry, I started sweating again when he dried my hair.  Am I the only one that sweats when they get their hair dried?! Emmanuel did a great job and has a plan to get my hair healthy again and working on bringing more low lights and my natural color back to make everything blend better! Woohoo!  He even got all science-y on me and made an oil concoction that I am supposed to use weekly to get my hair hydrated again.

This pic does not do his work justice.  Also, you can call me a hypocrite for doing that smile.

Anyways, that was my confession of the day! Is anyone else on Team Struggle with me or am I the MVP?

Cheers to Splotches?!

<3 BB


#Govember Update

Sooooooo it's almost halfway through  #Govember and I figured I would share some lowlights highlights.
When it comes to my workouts I try to maintain a good balance of cardio and strength training.  Whether that be with running, elliptical, body weight exercises, or actual weights, I like to mix up what I am doing so I never get bored.


Here are a few of my favorite workouts I have done so far this month.

Brad and I did this one last night at home, since it it did not require any extra gadgets.

Found here

We were Brad was feeling really adventurous and decided to double the workout and added an additional exercise of bent over dumbbell flies.  The workout took me about 26 mins. I split mine up by doing 2 sets of 10-->1, whereas Brad went 10-->1 and then back up 1-->10.  I, personally, like to get the worst out of the way, so I opted not to count back up. I'm lazy like that. 

Now I have mentioned before, that I am not a hardcore Crossfitter, but I do enjoy some of their workouts and like to incorporate them with other things I am doing.

Here is another Crossfit workout I have done during #Govember.  It's the workout they call Fran. She is kind of a BZ.  This video gives you a little taste of what it is and not many people would call her fun. I used a 65lbs bar for the thrusters and am happy to say I have knocked off over a min and 20 secs from my time since the last attempt a few months ago.  7:02 is by no means fast in the world of Crossfit, but I am not complaining since I do not follow the sport like a religion.

The last workout I wanted to share is hard and I hate it, but Brad loves it, so I find myself doing it more often than I would care to.

Here is the rundown.

::Grab a deck of cards
::Assign each suit a movement: (you can assign whatever you'd like, but here is one we often use)
    -Hearts: burpees - Brad says hearts always have to be burpees, because it's all heart to get through them. Then he pounds his chest and gets all into it and I proceed to laugh at him... Have I mentioned he is a nerd? :)
    -Diamonds: squats
    -Clubs: dumbbell punches
    -Spades: situps
    -Jokers: Man-Makers  (for the jokers - since there are only 2, we make them a harder exercise and do it 20 times)
::Each card you draw is the number of times you'll do the exercise.  King =13, Queen = 12, Jack = 11, 10 = 10 and so on down the line.
::Example:  Draw King of Hearts - do 13 burpees, no rest between cards, draw again 7 of Spades - do 7 situps and so on... Simple! Until you realize by the time you have finished the deck you have done each movement 91 times. UGH! Plus the 40 Jokers and let me tell you, Man-Makers are no joke.

My finished product looked like this:


For today's workout I have to get a lunch run in since I am getting my hair did after work! let's hope the rain holds off !

Cheers to #Govember!

<33 BB 


Tuesday Tunesday :: 11.13.12

Happy Tuesday, Folks! Enjoy your Tunes.

Shannon McArthur :: Chuck Taylor

I think every 15 year old 'emo' girl in her ChuckT's and I enjoy this song.  I am not even embarrassed by that and I probably should be.

Marius Ziska :: All The Good I Know 

All the good I know, I'll give to you. Big fan of these lyrics.

Swim Deep :: Honey (Love Thy Brother Remix) 

Going a different route the second half of this Tunesday with some upbeat tunes, starting with this electronic jam.

French Kiwi Juice :: Lying Together 

Keeping it going with the French Kiwi Juice (how fun is that name?!).   This song just makes me dance a little.  It's fresh and funky.

Kendrick Lamar feat. Lady Gaga :: Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe 

Betch, don't kill the vibe.  What's more to say?

Janelle Monáe feat. Big Boi :: Tightrope 

Wrapping things up with Janelle's hot track featuring a fave, Big Boi.  Janelle does not apologize for doing her own thing and I love everything about her.

Enjoy your Tuesday!

<3 BB


Does This Make Me A Cheater?

So....Confession.  I am getting my hair done this week and it isn't by my normal stylist.  Brad says it makes me a Stylist Cheater and he is probably right he also supported me saving money, so I am confused by his reaction.  I have been going to the same gal for about a year now and she is super sweet and I have liked what she has done with my hair each time, but yesterday I gave in and bought a Groupon for a new place.

Honestly, though can you really blame me?!  Highlights and a cut are super, unnecessarily expensive these days.  Broke girl's gotta do, what a broke girl's gotta do.  

I know this probably makes me a bad person in the land of hair care, but I just couldn't turn it down.  I am going to a place called One Creativity & Design and it has received good reviews on Yelp. Plus, they are receiving extra points in my book, because I had purchased a Groupon deal that had to be used by 8pm on Sunday or you get a refund.  Well, the salon was full when I called on Sunday, BUT they said they would still honor my deal later this week.  Sounds like good business practice / customer service, if you ask me.

And I know I should feel bad about not giving my business to the other gal, but when it costs $100.00+ to do my hair and I can pay $50 for $100 worth of hairdid, I am going to cheat.

Blame it on the terrorists or the crappy economy, or dare I say it, Christmas time! Either way, this girl is saving 50 dollars and that is 50 dollars I can put to good use!

Which leads me to my next more important question: what do I want my color to look like?!

Do I want to go blonde-blonde or mix in a little bit of a low-light for the winter months (then I can go longer without getting a touch up!) Saving money like a boss. 

Here are some of the options I am looking at:

This combo would let me buy more time in between hairdids!   

Since Cameron is my girl crush, I could rock her high and low/lights.  

This schmedium blonde might be a great choice.

Super blonde in top knot form. 

Decisions, decisions! 

Cheers to hairdids! 

<3 BB 


hitting the links :: 11.9.12

Happy, happy Friday!   Mine is extra special, because my parents are coming up for the weekend :)  To honor the special occasion here are some links...

Ellen would be proud of this guy.

Might have changed my work computer background to this.

Speaking of Ellen, I love her.

Not sure if you are all aware, but they are doing a spin off of Boy Meets World. (GET EXCITED!).  So with that being said, I bring you the 13 Most Important life lessons from Mr. Feeny.

I want to be this little girl when I grow up.

Since it's not always fun and games, here is an education piece on the Fiscal Cliff.

Because I know you're really curious about my coffee habits.  I bought a new flavor.  Kind of digging it.

This pretty much sums up the joys of living with your main-squeeze.

Now thanks to my boss-man I am going to enjoy some FREEEEEE Jimmy John's! Be jelly.

Cheers to the weekend!

<3 BB


Happy Birthday, Ceester!

My sister informed me that she only reads my blog when the entire post is dedicated to her, so hopefully this post will not anger my awesome Aunt Sue who shares the same birthday, especially since her's came first. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AUNT SUE!!!! Excited for your party this weekend!

Anyway, back to my sister.  It's her birthday today.  She is the bebe of the family, but is turning 17, which makes me feel reallllllllly old.  Now as much as I love both of my brothers dearly, there is just something about a ceester-ceester bond.  (I am sure they would tell you the same thing when it came to being brothers? Probably not, but let's pretend for sake of argument.)  I am super fortunate to have a close family that enjoys spending time together and have also benefited from the fact that my little sister lives with my Grandparents (15 mins away from my apartment) during the school year, so I get to see her A LOT! ( Sorry sister, I'm not going anywhere, you're stuck with me)  I know my parents miss her tons, but I definitely enjoy the perks of her being in the big city with me.

Even though we are 7 years apart we are super close and I hope that I have been good role model for her or something equally as cheesy.... But no really, I love her and I hope she has a wonderful birthday!!!!! Although it wont be complete until she sees me this evening - ultimate birthday present = seeing this beautiful face >> 

We're so pritay

She may be 17, but she still dominates on the playground.

She obvs gets her good looks from me and not our parents. 

Lastly, I got you this birthday song:

Happy birthday, favorite only sister!

<3 Your favorite Ceester!



So not sure if many of you were aware, but there was an Election last night....

And don't worry I am not going to bombard you with my person opinion of what went down, if I think they picked the right President or if we are doomed forever. I just know that at the end of the day our country has a lot of things to fix and not working together as a cohesive unit is going to make that process an uphill battle.

Plus, it makes my heart hurt a little when I see the reactions of some people.  You may have your opinion and I will respect it, IF and only if it is educated and it is not full of hate towards individuals.

Buttttttt in other BIG news whether you're red or blue, Democrat or Republican, male or female, old or young, voters played part in awesome, needed, and huge steps towards human equality last night.

::Four States are supporting marriage equality.
::And Wisconsin voted in the Country's first openly gay Senator (bonus points for her being a female too)

Tammy Baldwin was quoted saying:

There will not be a magic day when we wake up and it's now OK to express ourselves publicly.  We make that day by doing things publicly until it's simply the way things are. 

And I support that kind of positive thinking.

Macklemore says it best. Same Love.

Love is patient. Love is kind. 

So let's stop letting fear and intolerance hold us back.  Let's keep moving forward, we can disagree about the economy, but no one should disagree when it comes to basic human rights.  We've had enough of that when it comes to Race and Women's Rights. None of us want to have future generations judge us for being so close minded over such a simple thing as love.

Now who wants to go tackle that Fiscal Cliff?! Anyone?! No?! Ok. Good Talk, I'll see you out there.

Cheers to Love,

<3 BB


Tuesday Tunesday :: 11.6.12

Happy Election Day!!!  I have gathered some great music for you to help celebrate the end of political ads and harsh rhetoric.  But in all honesty, I hope you did your part and made yourself an educated voter, no matter which way you leaned.  At the end of the day, if you don't educate yourself and then vote, you don't get the right to complain after the fact.  Cheers to having the opportunity to make a difference.

Anywayyyyyy, on to way more important things than the future of the economy... music, duh ;)

the lighthouse and the whaler :: under mountain, under ground

This song is lovely and anytime I can find a KEXP version of a song I jump on it, hard.

lord huron :: end of the earth

Came across this lad last week, I think on the Lumineers' Pandora, but I can't remember now (cool story, I know).  Either way, I like what's going on here.  Plus this YouTube comment made me laugh:

just heard this on KCRW-LA. What beautiful sound. Can't wait to get your CD and ride through the desert at night.  -HVYMETL 

Can I join you, HVYMETL?!

theophilus london feat. sara quin :: why even try

The dude is from London and Sara Quin is one half of Tegan and Sara.  Yes please!

mumford & sons :: lover of the light 

Look guys, it's Stringer Bell. (That only applies to people who have watched The Wire)  The rest of you will have to just enjoy the video without imaging that Stringer Bell lost his eye sight in a drug related street crime!

flume feat. anthony for cleopatra :: sleepless 

And lastly, for your electronica fix I leave you with this.  Enjoy.

Cheers to the last of the Political ads!

<3 BB


Field Trip to OMSI!

Over the weekend Brad and I met up with Jessi and Dan the Man and headed to OMSI aka the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.  It's awesome if you've never been.  We had picked up a LivingSocial deal that gave us admission into the Museum, tickets to the Omnimax where we watched a film called Tornado Alley (bonus: Bill Paxton narrated it), as well as tickets to the Planetarium where we learned about Mayan Prophecies.

They had quite a few interesting exhibits going on, including one on Race: Are We So Different?, but my favorite by far was Grossology: The Impolite Science of the Human Body exhibit.  Grossology featured a giant nose you could walk through, a vomit center, and a burp exhibit, what's not to love?! 


Here is what OMSI had to say about Grossology:  The Impolite Science of the Human Body:

Explore all the slimy, mushy, oozy, scaly and stinky gross (yet scientific) things that occur every day in the human body.

Count me in! 

 To Pee or Not To Pee?! That is the question. 

Pretty obvious that Brad's answer was to pee.

Well, aren't you a pretty little thing?

 The entrance of the exhibit looked promising. 

 Did you know, in some cultures it is customary for mothers to suck out the mucus from their baby's noses and spit it on the ground?!

Here we learned about mucus. 

  The average person burps 15 times a day.  I am above average. 

And here we learned about why burps happen. 

 Look at the concentration.

Killed it at the nostril shoot.

 Yes, they made noise and vibrated under your fingers like the real deal.

The boys Jessi and I couldn't get enough of the toot machine!

 toot, toot!

They had entire areas focusing on the digestive system, what's not to get excited about?! 

 They said DOOKIE hahaha.

 Check out the presh moment in the corner. #Ermahgerd cute.

That's a nice digestive system, if I do say so myself. 

 Brad wanted to play in the space shuttle.

The great thing about OMSI is how interactive it is, for both children and adults! 

 Then he proceeded to get stuck.  I laughed. 

Although some things may be more suitable for children. 

True Story: Brad went to space camp.  I am constantly reminded that I am dating a full on nerd

Four hours later we definitely got our monies worth and felt smarter upon leaving.  If you ever get the chance to check out OMSI I suggest it! 

Cheers to Science!