Archive for Whitley’s World

My 2014 Anthem Will Make the Most Evil Person Feel Good

My love for music is never ending and every year I usually have a song that sticks with me. This song somehow ends up speaking to my journey over the course of 365 days. Let’s call it a personal anthem.

My 2014 Song of the Year

The anthem has deep meaning to me and when I hear it, I am instantly transported to that moment in time and enveloped by the feelings that the song evokes.

Last year I was adjusting to having preemie twins at home, becoming a stay at home mom, moving and a job change for my husband. I also dealt with body issues when I gained weight after I stopped breastfeeding and a bout with depression/post partum depression.

2014 I am focused on continued growth, love and well…happiness. Enjoying every moment and becoming the best me that I can be are also important this year.

If you haven’t guessed yet, my 2014 anthem is “Happy” by Pharrell. If this song doesn’t make you smile, dance or at least bob your head you may need an exorcism.

The second verse and chorus tell you everything that you need to know about what this year has in store for me and my mindset for the year:

Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
well, give me all you got, and don’t hold back, yeah,
well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
no offense to you, don’t waste your time
Here’s why
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

It came out late last year, but I don’t care. The song is infectious, uplifting, lighthearted and fun. It’s positive and a great change of pace from the low standards of music now which are either: I’m the baddest and everybody wants me and to be like me, I’ll kill you, watch how I can pop that thang or some variation of those. I’m tired of it and glad for this breath of fresh air.

I’m also a huge fan of Pharrell and The Neptunes. Not only is he from Virginia, he’s been producing and making consistently good music his entire career while staying true to the unique sound of The Neptunes.

The song is from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, also produced by Pharrell. How can you not like the Despicable Me series? Between the minions, the girls, Gru and great music you cannot lose. It is also nominated for an Oscar for best original song and it better win. I know it’s up against U2 and I LOVE Bono, but “Happy” trumps U2 this time.

The video is just as amazing as the song. It’s the first 24 hour video and it features everyday people singing and dancing to the song. Pharrell performs at the top of every hour and a few celebrities also did recordings. You can go to www.24hoursofhappy.com or just go to youtube.com and enter Happy Pharrell and a time to watch.

 

P.S.- If my happiness upsets you or is too much for you, punch yourself in the throat and go sit in the corner with the rest of the miserable clowns. :)

Do you have an anthem for 2014 or just for life in general? Leave a comment or join the blog hop below.

I Told You That Shape-Ups Were BS!

Remember when I blogged about the evil of sketchers shape-ups? Well apparently I am not alone. The FTC has stepped in and determined that the studies that Skechers used to toute the benefits of Shape-Ups are flawed and false. I could have told them that! http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57436508-10391704/skechers-shape-ups-why-the-ftc-called-companys-studies-deceiving/ Two of the studies were headed by a chiropractor who is married to the Senior VP of Marketing at Skechers. Um, conflict of interest much?

Now, there is a way to possibly get your money back in the settlement. https://skechers.action-settlement.com/ You already know I have submitted my claim!

But that’s not it! I went to an orthopedist and I have to have physical therapy twice a week for at least a month. Thanks Sketchers! I will definitely be getting my money back for those craptastic shoes of tomfoolery.

Have you ever tried those silly things? Ever tried a product that was overhyped or caused you problems?

6 Things to Discuss BEFORE Marriage

Marriage is a very big step in a relationship. Despite the current divorce rate, it’s a life-long, serious commitment and it should not be entered into lightly. There is a lot that goes into a successful marriage and that groundwork is laid before even saying I Do.

While the wedding day is beautiful and can be expensive for many, that should not be the highlight or main focus. Couples should spend as much time (if not more) discussing certain key issues BEFORE getting married than they do planning the wedding.

Before my husband and I were hitched, we had lots of conversations about things that were important to both of us. Upon talking to some other young couples, we were surprised that many of these topics had been glossed over, if not ignored entirely. However, we’ve talked to some seasoned couples who have been married for decades and they said that we had the right idea. I am glad that we did have those conversations in advance because it’s saved us from a lot of debates and arguing that I’ve seen those other young couples go through.

While this list is not all inclusive, here are 6 things that you should discuss before saying I Do:
1. Children: Do you both want them? If so, how many and when do you want to start? How do you plan on raising them? Children are amazing but you need to be on the same page because they will be a huge part of your life and are not easy to return. Wow, that was a traumatic visual…

2. Where to live: Are you happy where you currently live? Plan on settling elsewhere?

3. Finances: This is VERY important especially since finances are a large contributing factor to divorce these days. Are you in a crazy amount of debt? Do you have a savings account? Will you have a joint account? How will monthly bills be tackled?

4. Spirituality: You don’t have to have the same belief system, although it may make things easier. However, can you co-exist with your mate’s beliefs? Does it go against everything you stand for? Does somebody need to convert?

5. Career goals: Where are you going with your life? More school ahead? Want to own your own business? Be a nomad or stay at home parent?

6. The past: This, like many of the other topics, may not be easy but if you feel close enough to marry a person you should feel close enough to discuss your past with them. What should you discuss? Anything that you would want to know or need to know if the you were in your potential spouse’s place.

This list is NOT exhaustive but will save you a lot of unnecessary headaches and make sure that you and your mate are aligned on some key issues. Plus, you should know the person that you are marrying.

What other topics do you think are crucial to discuss prior to walking down the isle?

What the What Wednesday: Whitley on BYS on Thursday!

Hey honey bunnies!

Whit’s back with some news!

No, I’m not pregnant. Yes, I know I’ve been gone for a second, but I’m back. I will update you ALL about it.

The News: I’m going to be on Boi You Stoopid’s weekly radio show tomorrow (4/26/12) at 10 pm est. There is also an in-studio camera. Whit’s not too excited about that.

This is why I rarely listen to radio. But I wouldn't do this anyway.

What’s BYS radio? Boi You Stoopid or BYS, is a weekly internet radio show hosted by C-Will and Kel. They have no sense and are ignorant. I say that will a dash of love and a huge helping of truth.

What will I be doing?

1.Going on a rant: Whenever these fools talk to me, somehow they rope me into their lunacy. One of the things that the BYS boys love to do is get me started on a tangent that turns into a rant.

2. Storytime w/ friends: I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided that it would be a good idea to put my crazy friends and BYS together…… In Vegas of all places! Debauchery would be the understatement of the YEAR! This led to some extra special moments. I will be talking to one of my friends who will share how some people tried to force her into a lesbian orgy and failed.

3. The Challenge: My girls and I have a challenge for the BYS boys. They will lose.

How you can listen: Catch the show each and every Thursday at 10pm on WLVS Radio via www.listenvision.com/listen_live/index.html

Should I swing by hip hop karaoke before the show? Maybe not, I may have a few cocktails and REALLY rant. That may be an after show event.

What should I rant about?

My 3 Essential Life Elements: Living My Perfect, Full Life

Everybody always talks about the keys to success, a healthy relationship or wealth. I like to focus on the elements that I have determined make my life full and make me feel complete.

I believe that if you have the life of your dreams, the keys will fall into place. This is what works for my life and works for me.

What works for you? Maybe your motivation comes in the form of one of those other elements. But for me I need and require the 3 things that I believe create a great life and the life that I dream of and deserve.

Do not interpret this as my life sucks. It’s actually pretty good. I just know and understand that I have goals, goals that I want to accomplish and what I need to get there.

My 3 essential life elements : happiness, fulfillment and dreams with action.

They sound very simple and happiness and fulfillment even seem very similar. However, I like to define specifically the things that make me feel happy and fulfilled. They are not always one and the same.

1.I need to be happy. I’m not unrealistic and understand that not everything will always be perfect. I also know that I’m not a person that likes negativity. It’s like a drain on my energy and I just can’t take it. I understand that people may have a moment where they’re down, hell I know better than most people. But I cannot stand a person who finds the negative in everything, complains constantly, is rude or has to put other people down. There was a time when I was engaged in that behavior, but it never felt good. And what was the purpose of all that negativity and anger? Did it make me feel better? Did it change some negative in my life? No, no and no. I like to be lighthearted, fun and intelligent. When I focus on the positive or force myself to find the good in this situation, I feel much better and much more balanced and motivated. I work harder and I enjoyed. I guess you could say that I need positivity, but I like to say I need happy. I also make sure that I surround myself with positive family members and friends, while eliminating negative people and folks who have nothing but negativity regarding themselves, you or other people.

2. Fulfillment is crucial for me. People say you can’t always do what you want. Some even say life isn’t fulfilling. But why not? You cannot truly expect someone to give their all when they have no interest or no passion for it. When times are hard and my back is against the wall, my passion and fulfillment along with my determination to pull me through every time.

3. Please read the 3rd one carefully. I said dreams WITH action on purpose. The whole thing is needed. You start with your dream, something you are passionate about and create a plan. No matter how great an idea is, putting it in writing will make it more tangible. Writing down your goals and dreams can make them .more real and hold you more accountable. Take your dream or goal and break it into pieces. Give yourself deadlines and even incentives because it may not always be easy. If you are doing something that others are doubting, for a while you may need to be your own support and encouragement. By creating deadlines and incentives, you are providing yourself with motivation. Most of all, that big lofty dream is now becoming more accessible.
Um, that’s not it. If we stopped there we would just have a nice little dream with a plan to execute but no execution. Now we have to follow through and start doing those steps that we broke down. And keep moving forward. If people doubt me or I hit a stumbling block, it motivates me to prove them wrong and find a way to make it happen. I don’t stop until I reach my goal and usually surpass. That is just an added pat on the back for me.
When I’m actively working on it and all 3 of these elements come together, you can’t tell me anything. Consequently because I value my happiness and fulfillment, I’m always striving to follow my passions. If I’m serious, I figure out how to make my dream happen and I don’t stop until I get it done successfully. I find that when I focus on making sure those 3 things are taken care of it becomes a skeleton key that easily opens those other doors.
Okay my hippie moment is over. Woo woo woo…

What are your most important life elements? What 3 things are needed to create the life you want or need? Am I a hippie talking about rainbows and unicorns and puppy dogs and candy?

Revelations Regarding the Bar : Appreciating My Accomplishments in Life

I’m my own worst enemy and my biggest critic. I want the people closest to me proud of me at all times. Sometimes this self-imposed pressure and stress causes me to totally miss all of my accomplishments and the great things that I’ve done.

I am determined to not be so hard to myself, not dwell on the past or what could happen and give myself credit.

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I have been stressing myself to the point of exhaustion regarding passing the BAR. This anxiety and stress is so intense sometimes that I couldn’t bring myself to study. I know it makes no sense, right? Instead of studying, you spend your time worrying about failing thus reducing your study time an increasing the probability of failure.

So I woke up one morning and decided that I had to change my mindset. I thought about it, and I’ve done a lot! Stuff a lot of people wish they could do but haven’t gotten the opportunity.

–Went to college and graduated

–Took the LSAT and did well enough to get into law school

–Made it through law school and graduated

That’s pretty damn amazing! Don’t think so? Let’s put it in perspective.

–Many people we want to go to college but can’t due to finances, lack of mental ability, other obligations the host of other reasons. Not only did I attend college, I graduated and was no stranger to the Dean’s list.

–The LSAT is an evil stupid, stupid test. Still don’t think is a true indicator of your abilities in law school but hey what do I know? Anyway, tons of people do take the test and many don’t score well enough to apply to law school. Not only was I able to take the test, but I was also able to do well enough to get accepted into a few law schools, offering up a little money too. Not too shabby huh?

–If all of that hell and tomfoolery wasn’t enough, here comes the academic devil known as law school. During the 1st week, you are constantly reminded about how difficult it is, how different it is from anything you’ve ever done, you may have been the smartest before but now you’re just a little fish in a big pond and how many people flunk out or dropout. Reassuring right? (insert expletives) That’s what I said too! Needless to say I made it through the 1st week. You would think it would get a little nicer or easier from there. WRONG! Sleepless nights, long hours, illegal amounts of reading and writing were just some of the forms of academic torture the my classmates and I endured as we racked up student loan debt.

But despite all of this, I made it through. I wanted to stop in the middle of the graduation ceremony as I accepted my diploma, snatch the mic, give a few shout outs and then hit the most splendid praise dance ever, thanking God. In my mind it would culminate meeting, catching the Holy Ghost, falling out and getting back up without a hair out of place and strut off like I just gave everyone the solution to all of the world’s problems. Instead I opted to take my diploma, do the handshakes, strike a pose and smile for the camera.

This is just a small portion of my accomplishments in life. I have family and friends who are proud of me support me no matter what. Without my husband, family and friends there is no way that I would have made it through.

If thinking about all of my accomplishments doesn’t keep me from fearing in the bar, I have reached another revelation. Want to know what it is? Well it really doesn’t matter because unless you close the window I’m going to tell you anyway. Oodles of people do not pass the bar on the 1st time. Some phenomenal lawyers do not pass the bar on the 1st time. It doesn’t determine my worth, my life will go on and there are a lot of great things about my life and I can take it again.

Everything will be okay. Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and remind yourself of that.

Ever had a really big challenge that scared you? How did you or how would you deal with it?

Turning 30 Soon: What To Expect When You Are Expecting To Turn 30

 What Would Make Me Feel Better About Turning 30

 

I rarely tell my age. I don’t know why. One day, I decided to give myself an  arbitrary age and its younger than what I actually am. But not like perverted young, just a few years younger. It is not like my age is some big secret, if you asked me I would tell you.

 

However I’m reaching a “milestone” age. Enough of a milestone where I will no longer be able to say I’m in my 20s. I’m turning 30 in March. It’s my 30th birthday.

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I’m turning 30 in March? *blinks hard* It’s my 30th birthday??

 

There’s a lot of stuff I want to do and I thought that I would have done by the time I was 30. For example, I just KNEW that I would be married almost directly out of college and I would be done having kids by now. WRONG!

You may be beginning to notice that I like lists: Baby bucket list, 5 date night rules, another list of 3 coming tomorrow, and I would go insane without my to-do lists.

In honor of my 30th birthday, I’ve created a list called “30 for 30”. No, it’s not some sports challenge or a challenge at all for that matter. It is just a list of 30 things I want for my 30th birthday in a perfect world.

 

I don’t expect anybody to buy anything off of this list. Mainly because I have like 5 readers, 3 of whom I order to read my site.

However, if you feel so inclined please by all means purchase away. Isn’t it great that my birthday is conveniently during tax season? :-) Also, for every gift purchased, I will do an hour of volunteer work with children. Tutoring, speaking with children and I am even up to some suggestions for community service activites.

 

So how did my list come together?

This is clearly a battle between my Whitley and my Freddie side. Some girly and feminine stuff, professional awesome lawyer like items, books, an electronic item or two (a girl can dream), some skincare products, smell goods (perfume) and assorted weaponry. Ok, there’s no weaponry on the list, but that’s another subject….

 

With the digital camera, I’ll be able to capture more of the amazing moments in my life (and share someone here). What about the iPad?  Well I want one quite frankly and I could put it to good use. I wanted to add  some good pieces and necessities to my wardrobe so there are a few shoes, jewelry, and clothing items

 

This list reflects me pretty well because it is a good balance of my wants and needs.  Also, I like to believe that I’m not one to break the bank and am reasonable.  Don’t believe me? Look at the variety of prices. I know the value of a good bargain or deal.

 

Special thanks to @BeautyByDesign1, @JWash5121 and @BigDEElight (who I harass for all questions dealing with electronics).  Without them, I would not have completed this list.  Each of them have varied obsessions with electronics, make up and trendy clothing, which I was able to use and pick out the best items based on my style.

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What am I doing for my 30th? I will SHOW you when it’s time.  Yep, I’m going to stop being scared and show some pictures from my 30th birthday.

 

How do you feel about birthdays?  What do you do to celebrate? Have you created a wish list? What did it include?

 

Have you asked your friends for advise on what to wear? Tell me you story good or bad!

5 Date Night Rules

Hey honey bunnies!

I believe in having an active and fun relationship. There’s many ways to accomplish it, but one easy thing that BBKF and I love is our weekly date night.

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Pres. Obama and the First Lady Enjoy Regular Date Nights

Every week, we take turns selecting a place to go or something to do. It could be as simple as going out to drinks or catch a movie or something a little bigger like an impromptu to daytrip. (We are definitely going to take a trip to the gun range of one of our date nights sometime soon. This would be awesome. And we can follow it up with some drinks. Can you tell that I enjoy a good spirited beverage?) Our dates nights gets us out of the house to spend some time to focus on each other. A simple little date like back when we were courting. Except now we get to go home and have special fun time afterwards. (Don’t look confused, I don’t care what you say I was pure and innocent until my wedding night. I had a white wedding dress and everything so ha!)

Here are a few easy rules to help your date night go a little better:

1. Pick something within your budget. There’s no better way to ruin the romance than to count sheckles or go broke one evening. Get creative, it doesn’t have to be pricey. Go out for ice cream. Take a walk in the park. Find a new active hobby like hiking to get healthy together. These are not the best times financially for country. You know your financial situation. Don’t act like some magic leprechaun is going to regenerate the funds in your account, pay credit cards or your evil, soulless student loans. And check out things like Groupon and Living Social for awesome deals and new adventures. You to save money and do some new things. Win-win!

2. A surprise can be a good. If you know your mate as you should, then do you will know what they like don’t like. You know that your girlfriend doesn’t like midget strippers so why would you surprise her with a trip to the strip club with a very special dance from a midget stripper? Be smart. A good, thoughtful surprise even if it’s small can produce amazing results and mean the world to that special person in your life. If you are going to plan a surprise, give your love thang an idea how they should dress so they won’t be totally unprepared. Usually take her to Chick-fil-A (for the spectacular lemonade, yum!) but planned a surprise dinner at a five-star black-tie restaurant? You have no one to blame but yourself if she comes out of the house in leggings and the Flashdance style sweatshirt ready to go.

3. Do a phone stack. What’s the phone stack? How many times have you been out to dinner or at a group event or even a date where someone kept checking their phone? We are not looking for an easy out and they don’t have an emergency. They just feel the need to text, tweet and Facebook every single detail of what they are doing. Even worse is when the thing that they are so desperately desiring to communicate has absolutely no importance and nobody cares. Do not confuse this with being on a bad date looking for an easy out or finding ways to keep your sanity. This rule and the other rules apply to people in relationships.

Back to the phone stack. A friend of mine introduced me to this cool trick and it’s a surefire way to bring back the face-to-face conversations and put down the electronic trinkets. Everyone places their phone in the center of the table, either stacked on top of each other or lined up. Just in the middle of everyone and away from you. So what’s the point and how can you really stop someone from picking up THEIR phone? Well not only are you having real big people conversations because everybody is not buried in their phone, but it’s also funny to see people tempted to reach for their phone when they hear an incoming call, text, or tweet. And the incentive to leave your phone alone is beyond motivating: whomever picks up their phone, has to foot the bill. Or you can think of your own penalty, but this would definitely work for me because I’m not trying to pay the whole bill because I had to read the text that said “LOL” or “what are you doing”.

4. No arguments! This is supposed to be a fun time to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company. Everything else can wait until you get home or a more appropriate time and place. Could you imagine if the couple in the next booth were argueing during YOUR dinner date? You don’t want to make a spectacle of yourself in public and I don’t want to hear a bunch of crap while I’m enjoying my delicious meal. I’m a serious foodie and you want to piss off a serious foodie interrupt their meal and see what happens. And I would be remiss if I did not mention how stupid and ignorant you look. And your inability to exhibit self-control will lead to a “record the angry couple and post it on YouTube” session. You have been warned.…

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Don't Let Justin Bieber Have More Game and Romance Than You

5. When you establish your date night schedule, be it weekly, biweekly or monthly, you must stick to it. No excuses, no exceptions. Well in a dire emergency you can rearrange some things. Generally, however, there will be no valid reason for canceling or rescheduling date night. Stop being rude, selfish and inconsiderate. It’s really not asking that much. With our busy and technology filled lifestyles a simple date night can keep the romance going or reignite that dimming spark.

What are your essential rules of people for date night? How do you keep the spice alive in your relationship?

All About Whitley….Nice to Meet You

My Story

Who or what is a Whitley Brooks?

 

Whitley Brooks is the best way to explain this fun, feminine fusion. Part Whitley Gilbert and part Freddie Brooks.

 

Ok, so who are they? Back in the 90s there was a popular sitcom that was a spin-off of The Cosby Show, called A Different World.  When I say I LOVE and STAN for this show (that’s right, present tense), you have yet to truly understand my infatuation with this show. Two of those characters were my favorite and polar opposites: Whitley Gilbert and Freddie Brooks. Whitley was the southern prissy girl with an even prissier mom. Always looking for love and trying to find her way after having a sheltered childhood. (Some say my mother is a lot like Whitley’s) Meanwhile, Freddie Brooks was the naturally coifed, do-gooder hippie who eventually went on to law school.  Quirky and off-beat, Freddie had a big heart and loves and fights equally hard.  Put ‘em together and you get me!

 

 

Whitley Brooks is here to share my adventures as a 20 something married young woman starting out in my career and finding my way.  But the most important part of finding me way is doing it MY WAY.

 

Sharing stories of post law school life, trying to conceive, anxiety and depression; I hope that you will find something useful, learn something new, grow or at least waste a few minutes at work. Throw in some of my rants and raves about music, tv and adventures with family and friends. Did I mention that I’m a foodie too?

 

 

 

Welcome to Whitley’s World!

Chello all! Welcome to the world of Whitley Brooks- a fun fusion of southern hippie with a girlie kick!

I created this blog from the urging of some friends and personal reflection. Why did it take some urging and reflection? I plan on sharing some things that are not discussed about enough, but should get more attention. However because of fear, shame, or a number of personal reasons things are taboo. Society has led many of us to wrongfully believe that dealing with something like anxiety or depression or going to therapy is a negative and something one should hide or be ashamed of.  Silly things that lead people to suffer in silence. Silly things that are not true. You don’t have to be ashamed. You don’t have to suffer alone or in silence.  I KNOW what it’s like to feel alone in a room full of people. To sometimes just want to sleep and hope everything is perfect when you wake up. Or that intense feeling of panic and nervousness that near paralyzes you. But nobody on the outside knows what’s going on….

 

Don’t get me wrong, I plan on sharing some fun things too and in a nutshell, just my life. But there are some serious issues that I want to talk about from time to time like depression and anxiety.

What you need to know about me: I’m in my late 20s and live in the D.C. metro area. I’m happily married and a law school graduate. I haven’t taken the bar yet but I will be in the near future.  Have I mentioned the pressure of having a baby? Oh yeah, we are excited about the chap thing too.

 

What else will I talk about?

Life post law school

Trying to conceive

Anxiety and depression

Finding the balance between being a girlie hippie

Keeping in shape

And whatever crosses my mind

 

Keep checking back for updates and follow me on twitter for more: (www.twitter.com/WhitleyBrooks).

 

What do you look forward to reading about?