Saturday is showing off // a day in pictures.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fish tacos, Acai bowls, sunny weather, + the beach all before noon. 
You're showing off, Saturday. 


Eh, we tried

We took family pictures today. Shane is on a mission in Spain (Shane in Spain -- who wants to patent that children's book idea?)(side note : I was watching House Hunters International, and this couple wrote children's book for a living and made bank. Seriously. Who'd have thought?)(side side note : why are the weirdest people always on House Hunters International? Is there a correlation between wanting to live in the Caribbean + having poor social adaptability?) so he is absent but I don't think they look half bad for a quick little trip to the park. Right? This is where you validate me...

Also how pretty is my sister-in-law? Woof.

We did individual family shoots of each couple (...except Kevin. Ha.) + I handed over my camera last minute for a few quick snaps of Jeff + I. We will file this under the 'Eh, we tried' category, sub-category 'Chubby Thanksgiving Face.' 
The end. 


T H A N K S G I V I N G //

Friday, November 28, 2014

We spent this Thanksgiving with the Stapleton side in Orange County, baby!
It was a day filled with food, naps, food, and, of course, a long game of UNO.
...and more food. Is anything better than leftovers? Stuffing + cranberry sauce
are my personal faves.

I am so thankful this year -- practically brimming! Let me make this clear : this year has not been perfect + I gained far too many I feel sort of depressed right now pounds this summer but WOOF! The good always outweighs the bad + life is good. I am so thankful for my it and all of its changing components. I remember someone once told me they felt like love was a pie + you could only love so many things before the pie was all gone + you were left with a pan to clean.
People! There is so much to love + I firmly believe that we will never run out of pie. Unless it's my mama's pecan pie because that stuff is magical. ...where am I going with this? Oh, yes. That I am so thankful that my life is bubbling with so much to love: music, food, TV shows, people, places, anything by Nate Berkus (mmm...child). And I am thankful for my constants : my family (immediate, extended, in-laws...all of you! I love you all!), my faith, my friends (old + new + fictional), and my Jeffrey.

Life is good.
Leftover turkey sandwiches are better.
Let's blame this corny rant on the tryptophan.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

// my sweet in-laws buying a case of Diet Coke just for me
(little thoughtful surprises = my love language) 
// Flame Broiler. Double the veggies, half the rice, a pinch more meat,
+ two things of magic sauce. Mmmm, child.
// Temple dates.
// selfies by Jeff.
// Real Housewives of Beverly Hills 
(Kyle is my TV BFF)


WHAT'S UP // a glorified phone dump

Monday, November 24, 2014

Right now, I am sitting at my in-laws in sunny Southern California. Guys, it was EIGHTY DEGREES outside today. I feel like my frozen body is starting to thaw out +, truth be told, I don't know how I feel about it. My body was 100% ready to be winterized (winterize : the act of layering so many scarves, sweaters, coats on that your body actually resembles a square) + then poof! T-shirt + short weather. Woof. We went to the mall today + I am fairly certain people are just faking winter here + wearing boots and sweaters anyways.

Hi! Happy Monday. Here's what's been going on :

Jeff  + I went to Active Culture Cafe today in San Clemente. I ordered the 'Wholesome Bowl' + Jeff had the nachos. It was super yummy and filling yet didn't give you the sluggish post-Panda Express feeling (...you know the one? The Panda Express headache/stomach ache/deep regret?). Though I have to admit, the whole time, I kept thinking about the Vegan cafe sketch in Portlandia with the 'farting patio.' Ha. Healthy eating has its downfalls. ;)

LEFT : At the wedding on Saturday, a bridesmaid made all the other bridesmaids these turquoise rings + gave one to me, too! (...after I blatantly hinted that they were SO CUTE and WOW I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED A RING LIKE THAT (all caps, bold letters). Nicest thing ever. I love nice people. RIGHT : I took a long walk this morning + listened to a book for the first 1/2 + switched to the Spotify playlist 'Top 100 Pop Tracks' on the way. Perhaps one of my better decisions in life.

WIDE OPEN SPACES. Really my only thoughts while driving from LV --> CA. I've never quite recovered from my Dixie Chicks affair. Their songs sound good with everything.

LEFT : Per Jeff's request, we ate at an all-you-can-eat Sushi bar for his birthday. I have decided that an AYCE restaurant is perhaps the 5th most depressing place on EARTH. Everyone is all sweaty + miserable + trying to break even despite being totally stuffed. But you know, HBD Jeff! ;) RIGHT : Thai food just tastes better when eaten in hotel beds. Or something. Maybe I was just overly hungry.

Obligatory new hair selfie. Except this filter makes it look orange which, I assure you, it is not. But I mildly felt like Kylie Jenner except with orange hair, not green, and also way less money and way smaller lips and never mind...

LEFT : If I told you I ordered these immediately after seeing Interstellar, would you judge me? RIGHT : This is my nephew Timmy. He likes taking selfies, so most obviously we are kindred spirits.



Wedding-ing // LAS VEGAS, VIVA!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sometimes I feel like Brooke the Wedding Photographer is an entirely different person than Brooke the Blogger or Brooke in Real Life or Brooke on Saturdays at Home. I feel like this is a small insight into my need for compartmentalizing things and/or my multiple personalities. Either way, I should probably go see a therapist. Also I'm braless in four out of five scenarios.

Today I shot a beautiful wedding in Las Vegas + now I'm lying in bed with a face full of acne treatment in a room that smells like takeout Thai food (...Jeff!...) watching Big Bang Theory and trying to ignore the squeals of the Bachelorette Party next door. Commence Brooke at Night in Las Vegas-- a misleadingly sexy title.


P.S. Our room is right across the street from a strip club. Ha.
We opened our blinds last night to see a very much open
'Gentlemen's Club.' Oy. The air is thick with daddy issues.

P.P.S. What in the world, Bill Cosby? My mom just told me
about all the craziness today. All I could think about was his
collection of sweaters. But also yuck.

P.P.P.S. Jeff + I have been reading (listening) to Gone Girl.
I am hooked. Have you read it?! I feel like it's going to be nuts.


This post brought to you by a 10:30 p.m. caffeinated drink + an empty movie theater.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Hundred Foot Journey : B+
Smuggled in treats : B (too much cranberry in my Diet Coke, rookie mistake on my part)
Jeff's mustache : D-
Jeff's fishy face : A+ and then some


Empty movie theaters are the only way to roll for
hormone-ridden 14 year old couples + highly narcissistic front-cammin' married people alike.
Also that popcorn was like, six dollars. You're welcome, Jeff Stapleton.
Also the movie made me extremely hungry. Will someone make me
some Indian food, please and thanks?!



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LET IT BE KNOWN : I love group exercise classes. Perhaps more than I love actually exercising. Something about being able to look at yourself in the mirror while spying on other people + listening to the instructor deep breathe...mmmm, it's like cheap therapy.

SO. Tonight. Hip-hop cardio.
It was an odd choice seeing as I am not much of a dancer. I mean, I dance sometimes. Let's just put it this way : I was probably the only kid at a high school dance that could tell you if it was catered or not + by who. Refreshment tables are my jam. (Junior year homecoming was catered by Wingers, if you were curious). But I thought, why not? How bad could this be?

As I walked in, the instructor yelled, "WHAT TIME IS IT?!" and the class answered, "PARTY TIME!" Typically I try to avoid social settings in which there is shouting in unison, so this was my first sign of my hip-hop cardio doom.

But I got comfortable and made my way to the back...noting that I  was one of the only ones not wearing hoop earrings +/or a sparkly headband. The instructor continued into a routine where she pumped + wiggled + threw peace signs while sporting a 'I'm a hot dancer' (she was) face to signal, "TWO MORE BODY ROLLS!" She was into it (+ wearing a headset which really puts you in a Brittney Spears a la early 2000's kind of mood. Like, can they hand those out at the beginning of class please?!) + made me want to be more into it. If only.

At one point, I felt like the whole class was reprising their middle school talent show performances. There was sweat dripping + hips shaking + bodies bumping. They were all so good + so in sync. I felt so lost. It reminded me of my short stint in the orchestra where the conductor told us during a song that 'if we were lost, just pluck G.' I proceeded to pluck G for the entire semester no matter the song. ...this doubly confirms that my children will definitely never be first chair violinists because Jeff just told me that his conductor made him sit behind a chalkboard during a concert because he hadn't memorized the music. Or because he is brown. TANGENT OVER.

The instructor then led us into a final dance where I was starting to finally loosen up + told us that when she yelled SINGLE we should yell back DOUBLE. During the second SINGLE, I decided to yell back "I'm married!" then thanked the heavens above that no one could hear me over the bass. WHAT WAS THAT BROOKE?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

The class ended + I beelined it out of there. WOOF. It was hard.
This is just one long way of saying, DEAR AVERY : want to go to Hip-Hop cardio with me Monday + Wednesdays at 6?! BODY ROLLS.

or, more probably,

I'm moving to Elmore City! You can put this baby in a corner indefinitely.
(truth : I've never seen Footloose. Am I getting this reference correct?)



Three cheers / CREATIVE BURST

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Last night, I woke up at 1 a.m. + started blindly patting around for my cell phone and laptop (you don't sleep with your's right next to you, too?!). Jeff woke up + asked me what I was doing + I looked at him, stone-faced, and said, "I'm having a creative burst right now. I must ride this one out."

...my 'creative burst' consisted of watching old episodes of Real Housewives + finding items in my fridge to put peanut butter on in vain.

This is reason 345 why I feel blessed to not be the star of a reality TV series in which I am filmed 24 hours a day.
Actually, that's a lie.
Like, wouldn't that be fascinating watching your everyday life? ON THE TV? I would DVR that crap...
Just kidding.
Sort of.

But three cheers to Jeff for not laughing hysterically at me/making me put $.25 in the 'I'm being pretentious' jar (truth: we don't have one of these...yet. Considering starting one because I have been watching a lot of mindless documentaries + own two pairs of non-prescription glasses). This is what love is, huh?


P.S. Another B + W grainy picture of me + Jeff. You are welcome. Ask and you shall receive, have zits + filter it in B + W.
Isn't that how it goes?


MONDAY : pits // peaks

the peaks //
|| sleeping in until 9:45 (woops)
|| jamming to 'FLAWLESS' my whole drive to Murray
|| lunch with my cousin Sean at Cubby's (steak salad and cousin time make for a good day)
|| frozen dates (the food, le doi)
|| catching up on SNL + 90 Day Fiance
|| fresh painted nails (heyo!)
|| Chelsea Peretti's standup comedy
|| signing Jeff up for a gym pass(!!!) + forcing him to be my gym partner. He's cute.
|| dinner with pals for Lily's birthday (HBD!)
|| a new container of almond butter (from the bulk section at Winco, nothing better)
|| Sodalicious + Sydney Walton 
|| girl time with Al + Syd 

the pits // 
|| nearly crying in an 'Insanity' class because it was INSANE
|| driving to three different Microsoft stores to find a charger with no avail (BOO!)
|| adult acne (I'm 97% sure I'm going through adult puberty? Is this a thing? Dear Face : WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!)
|| the mountainous piles of laundry covering the bedroom floor. I think they are mocking me.
|| deciding at the beginning of the day to write your Tuesday 'to-do' list because getting stuff done just ain't gonna happen
|| rotten grapes. Yelk.
|| the freezing walk from my house to my car (I'm debating becoming a hermit but who would make my fountain drink runs? Still figuring out the logistics)


- - - -

Saturday, November 15, 2014

In case you were wondering, my spirit animal is Oprah Winfrey.

Happy Saturday!

P.S. Tomorrow you should tune in to Oprah's Super Soul Sunday because it totally kicks butt. I watch it through OWN.com and my favorite one was with Maya Angelou. Also this is a paid endorsement by O herself because she needs it. Her marketing has just been the pits so she has resorted to lowly bloggers like me. You're welcome, O. 


LOVE list on a Thursday //

Thursday, November 13, 2014

SNOW // All of the holiday decorations up at department stores // Jeff naming his fantasy football team after a 'Music Man' song. It balances out, right? Go team Shipoopi! // Getting my apartment *mostly* together. It looks like less of a hospital room now + that is a feat // Watching all of Marry Me on Hulu. Guys, I am hooked. // Tarte's Maracuja oil. Heaven for my dry Utah face. // Diet Coke with pomegranate + fresh lime, per recommendation of The Alison Show('s Instagram. Let's be real here) // packages from my mama in the mail. Nothing better //  This quote I read today :

"To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring."  - George Santayana

// being justifiably gluttonous and lazy because, hi. Below freezing weather // the kids I subbed today guessing that I was 16 (also it should be noted that three guessed I was 45) // Costco grapes + gluten free bread (the BEST. In the normal bread section. So good.) + guac // rewatching Portlandia for the second time this year. Thank you, Netflix. Thank you, free time. // To-Do lists that are DONE (for once) // Forgetting my gym pass yesterday + getting turned away at the front desk. I almost kissed the receptionist for forcing me to not workout. BLESS YOU. // Long talks with high-school friends // Bacon. Always bacon. // the winter line of candles at Bath + Body works. My whole house smells like a pine tree. And burnt eggs, but let's not dwell on that. // Obsessively gift-searching for my family. // Beet hummus + Mary's Gone crackers // NOVEMBER // Happy, happy JOY JOY!

Ha. The picture in the right corner is when we were trying to figure out the self-timer. Fail Confusion. Jeff chill as ever. 'bout sums us up. //

p.s. speaking of Portlandia, this sketch. Woof. For some odd reason, Jeff + I love it. Two summers ago, we endlessly quoted it. So good. A-O RIVER!


In which Bill Murray pulls through for me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Last night we went to see St. Vincent on a whim. It was two-dollar Tuesday at the movies where everything is two dollars. Hi, I'm redundant. TWO BUCKS. Anyways, Jeff was sort of crabby about it on account of Bill Murray. He is the one person in the world who doesn't consider What About Bob? to be a classic.

In his words : "The first half of the movie is the guy just baby-stepping everywhere. No plot."

Ummm...okay. I guess the hand-puppets I made for us to communicate effectively are a bad Christmas present idea? Noted. 

But anyways, St. Vincent.

You guys! Go see it! It is so funny + so cute. I cried. But that really doesn't mean much because I cry in every. single. movie. Seriously (I somehow managed to cry in Avengers and Jeff won't let me live that down). Anyways, the movie. It's about a strange friendship between a crusty old man + his neighbor boy and how we should all just be nice to each other and peace on Earth, good will to men. 

...just go see it. Okay?   
P.S. The picture on the right is me excitedly mistaking Christian Bale for Scott Disick in the movie poster for God's and Kings. Wouldn't that have been kick-a?! Hi, Hollywood. Meet your newest casting director.

P.P.S. We have been on a real movie kick lately. We saw Interstellar in Vegas on Saturday + then watched Mud on Netflix. I highly recommend both.

P.P.P.S. After further review, it appears that we are on a real Matthew McConaughey kick lately. Which is...alright, alright, alright. But also did you see his speech to the Texas football team? Like, what?


Asking for a friend...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Liking all of Jason Derulo's songs and liking Jason Derulo are two entirely different things, right? 
And while we are here, are mirror selfies uncomfortable?

Asking for a friend. 

Also yes, that is a bow right by our bedroom door. The zombie apocalypse is upon us.


a letter to myself in the 7th grade pt. I || DRY SHAMPOO + SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dear 7th Grade Brooke,

You will go through a time where you think dry shampoo equates to the end of showering forever. This is not true. Though Seventeen Magazine boasts that washing your hair everyday will leave your hair dull and lifeless, you have a unique type of hair texture that greases up like a Kentucky Fried Chicken at the very thought of skipping a wash. Puberty. Hormones. Buzz words. To put it in mathematical terms : the more showers you skip, the more dull and lifeless your social life will be. Which is like, super important in 7th grade. And yes, those were not mathematical terms. Clearly, Brooke of the Future hasn't improved at math or metaphors. Also your metabolism slows substantially. You are welcome. The future is bright.
On that note, stop reading Seventeen Magazine. Most of their boy advice is junk and everything else you can learn in the Bible for Pre-Teens a.k.a. The Care and Keeping of You by American Girl. Also, yes, you will eventually recover from the scarring images of the cartoon girl putting in a tampon.
Lastly and most importantly, you are doing great and you are going to be fine
Keep on keeping on, soul sister.
Brooke of the Future.

p.s. Wear those cotton trainer bras as long as possible. They totally rule + real bras aren't that comfy.

p.p.s. Yes, you are wearing the same shirt as Emma Roberts in Unfabulous and yes, that is something to brag about.


H A P P Y birthday to Jeff! ||

Though I am typically pegged as a fairly open book, I like to keep most parts relationship to myself. Partly because I don't want to spoil all the good stuff and mostly because who actually wants to hear about all the mushy gushy? (...and also, full disclosure, we are into some real freaky stuff that would surely leave us socially exiled for ever and ever)(just kidding). 

But! I will say this : Jeff is my rock. He is unwaveringly kind, supportive, and warm. He's c a l m and easy and charming. And he's funny. And a modern day Renaissance man. And he's emotionally stable. Plus, plus, and plus! 

What I'm trying to say is, you all need a Jeff.

Happy 25th, Jeffrey! You just keep getting better.
 Now let's get freaky. Just kidding. Kind of. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

p.s. : Any guy who indulges in a faux-photobooth (a FAUXtobooth, ha) is a true man. I think that's in the fine print of the Eagle Scout handbook, but I can't be sure. Someone fact check me. 


P A L O U S E falls || for posterity's sake

Friday, November 7, 2014

- - - - - -
If any of you follow me on Instagram, then you probably caught on that I went to Palouse Falls with my mama-dear and it was b e a u-tiful. I felt like I was in Iceland the whole time and now, after Googling Iceland, I realize that the two places have like, no similarities but let a girl dream! Now a photo dump which you are more than welcome, in fact you are almost expected to scroll past and yawn. But Palouse Falls! :


But also how cute is my mom? PALOUSE FALLS!


Boys in Elsa Wigs + because you all wanted to know how I look during a photoshoot...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The day after Halloween, a still drunk frat boy/man wearing an Elsa wig came up to my sister and started relentlessly hitting on her while I stood there dumbfounded. He gawked at how beautiful she was (she is!) and asked her to run away to Canada with him and continued even after learning that she is only 16. Then he turned to me and said, "And you?! I don't know about you. I mean, ehhhh..."
I was offended then doubly offended that I was offended by a still-drunk frat boy wearing an Elsa wig. Then triply offended because he probably pulled the Elsa wig off better than I could. I MEAN.

You win some, you lose some. And yes, if he would have offered, I would have considered running away to Canada with him but only if Jeff could come and also poutine. Gravy and fries. Hi.

They don't call me the Pack Mule for nothin'. Actually no one calls me that. This is not an invitation. Don't call me the Pack Mule, please. Thank you, kindly.

Also remember how parents used to say that if you crossed your eyes for too long, your eyes would get stuck like that? I am going to tell my kids the same thing about the duck face because that train needs to stop. 


Brooke as the role of JV Mama. An abominable performance.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

- - - - - - -
a front-cam church portrait that about sums up our week. 

For years, I have held this belief in the very core of me that I will, eventually, be a good mom. I mean, I have been realistic about it (this is the very core of me, remember? There's no room for B.S. there) and knew I wouldn't be head of the P.T.A. and 57% of my future children's diets would undoubtedly consist of microwave meals and quesadillas with a laughable amount of burnt cheese (side note : I watched a Blake Lively interview where she said burnt cheese was her favorite food. Blake Lively!). But I had this feeling I would be good at it and nurturing and patient.

This past week, the very core of me was shattered. 
My parents, perhaps thoughtlessly, cast me as the role of 'J.V. Mom' while they vacationed in Kauai (the use of the verb 'vacationed' just makes everything seem more glamorous, no?). My directions were to keep my sisters fed and loved (being 12 is hard. I GET IT).

I FAILED. Miserably. I mean, they are alive and well. Sort of.
The first night was great! I took my sisters out to dinner + felt like a divorcee trying to win the love of my distant-children through garlic twists and zeppoles. Or like Julia Roberts in Stepmom. Or something.

Duck faces. They happen. 

The rest of the week was...well, it was great but I royally failed playing the role of : Sister acting as Parent Figure. It was a tough character to nail down. McKenzie ate an unspeakable amount of McDonald's and had a Lunchable every. single day. for lunch (by choice, mind you. That gives you a taste of her faith in my cooking). More than once I pulled over the car while playing the part of : Car Pool Mom + begged couldn't you please just walk? Can't I please just get a break? When is nap time? (...angrily, with less pleases) Also I am fairly certain I shrunk all the laundry or else every one in the house just gained 16 pounds. Which I wouldn't doubt because, well, McDonalds.

But! I contributed a few things. Like a sharpened eyebrow pencil (you are welcome, Paige), the new Taylor Swift CD (I ain't above it. I love her.), some highly unrequested sexual education lessons, and a caffeine-free, sugar-free Dutch Bros discovery. Also one night I repeated the 'You is smart...' speech from The Help to Kenz fifteen times over while stroking the top of her head. Her life is changed.

To sum this up || I pray to the Heavens that I don't get pregnant any time soon and birth two teenagers because the critics gave me negative stars as the role of Junior Varsity mother and think I should stick to my regular roles like : Irresponsible 21 Year Old who had an Expired Driver's License for Over 11 Months because I kick butt at that role.

Also McKenzie told my mom that we 'didn't eat much.' MCDONALD'S!



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