Tag Archives: #photooftheday

And so the planning begins!

Good morning everyone! It’s Monday and I think I am finally able to get myself back on blogging track! I was a little MIA last week so today I am bringing you a mix of 2 things. I am going to share some things I have compiled so far for my wedding & share a belated “Thrifty Thursday” featuring a couple snapshots from my engagement shoot!

Last week I started to put together a binder to help keep me organized through this process! It is helping me stay calm and as least stressed as possible during the wedding planning (my maid of honor is doing a pretty good job at that too)! Within the last week or so Aaron & I have started to create our guest list. It’s A LOT bigger then we imagined haha, I guess that’s what you get from having a large family & you become friends with everyone you meet! Along with a guest list (which bores me after awhile, although it needs to be done) I started filling in the pages a bit.

This past week I chose a few hairstyles:


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Picked out a few dresses for inspiration: (AND made my first visit to David’s Bridal to try a few on!)

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Made a finally decision on a cranberry/burgundy & gray bridal party:

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Chose a few DIY projects for the BIG day:

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& as a surprise I received this awesome book from a couple at our church:

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I have been wanting a book like this to go along with my planner. I am in love with this one for the reason that every chapter starts with Bible verses and words of inspiration to keep you in the right state of mind. Because through all of this keeping God number one is the biggest priority. PLUS, having this book as a guideline gives me more to share with you all!

OKAY so now a little sneak peak into our engagement shoot featuring my “Thrifty Thursday” Pinterest inspired outfit of choice ๐Ÿ˜‰

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It was a perfect fall day so we kept it simple with our colors. I didn’t need a handbag but I could of used a cup of Starbucks which the girl has in her pic! I took the inspiration from the shirt/dress and military green jacket with leggings & swapped the flats for leather boots & added a statement necklace ๐Ÿ™‚

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OH, and I forgot to mention…I did not spend a dime on this outfit, just an added bonus!

That’s a wrap! See you guys tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

Did that Pinterest board just come to life? Week 4!

Hey my blogging friends! Happy Thursday! What a crazy week it has been! Super busy but guess what…I found time to go shopping for this weeks “Thrifty Thursday!” This week was a challenge. The past 2 weeks I have left a picture of the following weeks outfit. I did that for 2 main reasons: the first being that it keeps me in check and not wasting hours aimlessly looking to gather together a full outfit under $20 (so far so good!). The second reason is for you guys! It’s nice to have a visual and know what to look forward too! (Or not look forward too if it’s not your style)

Oh yes, so about it being a challenge…here is why. Last week when I left the picture for this week it was actually 4 different outfits all with similar taste but I was at a lost. So I asked you all to vote and pick one for me! The vote was fairly even with these outfits:

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Both are extremely adorable! And well if it were up to me I would have bought all four…my bank account would not have liked me so much. I finally made up my mind and I went with the first outfit, THEN it was sooooo hard for me to find a cardigan (that I actually liked and would wear again!) SO I improvised! I took a couple things from each outfit and created something new! I found a shirt that was the mustard yellow,ย  which was super hard for me & not my fav color, a pair of jeans (which were desparetely needed), a purse, cream cardigan, & the cutest boots! The point of the pics is for a guideline…your allowed to break the rules here! So enough of me rambling here it is!

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Aren’t those boots so cute?! They were $4! My total cost this week was $20 EXACTLY!

Much love,
Brooke Ashley xoxox

P.S. I don’t have an outfit picked yet because I will begin preparing for my engagement pictures soon and I have not made up my mind! Color suggestions???

Love is patient, love is kind.

WOW! I have no idea where to start! This was hands down one of the best weekends of my life. About 2 weeks or so ago I was planning my posts for the month and for this day specifically (Monday November 10th) the spot was blank. I had no idea what I was going to write about and was hoping something would come to mind. I had the opportunity to attend a concert last night and my first thought was “I will write about that!” & then realized how extremely boring that would actually be….So now what?

Well then something great happened….

I GOT ENGAGED!!!!!!ย 

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What?! Yeah I got engaged to my bestest friend in the entire world on Friday afternoon! I am still on cloud 9. I saw it coming within the next few months but he got me good. So let me share for all your sappy romantics ๐Ÿ˜‰

First let me tell you I was up in New York visiting my Mom, Stepdad, & my 6 brothers and sisters. It was Friday afternoon, kids were at school, & my Stepdad John was at work. Aaron had asked if I wanted to do a mini photoshoot for our brand True Strength. Well nothing out of the ordinary, of course I said yes! The three of us went outside and he asked my Mom to be the photographer. Before I go forward let me give you a little insight of my Mother…she is one of the most emotional people you will ever meet, it’s adorable. The day before we left Aaron told me he went to talk to my Dad and ask for his blessing and Aaron had asked him whether to tell my Mom beforehand or not. He said NO!ย 

I think back to Friday and in those moments before Aaron had asked for my hand in marriage and seeing how calm my Mother was during this entire thing. I quickly knew that she had just about as much of an idea this was happening as me. So pictures and pictures later as my Mom was still snapping away Aaron turns to me and asks how I feel about forever. Within seconds I lost it. Next thing I knew he was pulling out a ring. My Mom and I starred at each other crying and looking like deers in headlights.

Of course the last two days have been unbelievable. We are extremely blessed with such wonderful friends and family. Aaron actually provedthat he listens to me when I speak! (hahah, harsh I know) I say that because the proposal was as far away from cliche as possible (No rings in my chocolate cake & wine please!), my ring was absolutely perfect and everything I always dreamed of, & the most beautiful thing of all was my Mom was there to witness it all. That above anything else felt so magical.

Within the last 72 hours there have been so many signs that say to me that this was meant to happen this weekend. When you put your trust in God’s timing (especially with your relationships) He will make great things happen. I am so happy to share this milestone in my life with you all! So get ready for some DIY wedding planning ideas with me in the near future!

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Happy Monday all!

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

Did that Pinterest board just come to life? Week 3!

Well hello bloggers & readers! Welcome to an early edition of Thrifty Thursday! Why a day early you ask? Well I am headed up North this weekend (tomorrow!) & I was planning on bringing my new outfit with me! Sooooo I figured I would share today…PLUS I will barely have any service so better I do this today!

*** Please don’t mind any silly placement for I am doing this on my phone because my computer was acting up***

If you are just joining me be sure to search under category “Thrifty Thursday” to see both of the past looks I have created! Both from Pinterest & last weeks being my Halloween costume! Also, remember I am creating these outfits in $20 or LESS!

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This week I spent $13! Keep in mind I already had the boots, leggings, & scarf! Spool I bought my sweater from Plato’s closet for $12 AND git an awesome deal for this adorable wristlet & bracelets for a total of $1 ๐Ÿ˜‰ What a great shopping adventure it was! Of course ONCE AGAIN…after taking pictures I realized I missed a minor detail…the sunglasses. Luckily I already had a pair of those too!

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I had the HARDEST time finding a floral wrestler in my budget. I thought this one was adorable! It's my new makeup purse ๐Ÿ™‚

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Keeping it short and sweet this week because I gotta get packing! See you all Monday! Enjoy your week & weekend!

P.S. Which outfit should I put together for next week?! Leave your choice below!

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Much love,
Brooke Ashley xoxox

Were you BORN to blog: Part 2


If you can dream… —> Then you can blog.

If you can tell a story… —> Then you can blog.

If you have opinions & passion… —> Then you can blog.

If you can answer your readers questions… —> Then you can blog.

(Were almost there!)

If you enjoy categorizing, critiquing, creating & managing…guess what? —> Your ready to blog!


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Well here we in week 2 of my first book series. Just to refresh I have started to read the book: Born to Blog by Mark Schaefer & Standford Smith. I received tons of great feedback from last week & it made me very anxious to share what I have read over the past few days! This week I read chapters 3 & 4. Now remember I am not going to share everything that was discussed and written (that is for YOU to do on your own time!) I will be sharing what I thought was most important or what MY biggest take away was. So what was it?

If you couldn’t already tell from above, this week was all about “Can you blog?” Well there is a simple…YES anyone can blog! That’s it. Post over.

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Kidding your not getting away that easy. There is a good chance you are sitting here right now and still have no idea what your purpose is OR if this whole blogging thing is even for you. Well let me tell ya something, ANYONE is capable of having power on the web. Mark & Standford even used those exact words in chapter 3.

Anyone can produce posts & be a blogger. Whether we are good at it or not every single one of usย ย have theย capability to create writing material. BUT the number one thing that sets you apart (or at least in my opinion) from everyone else is PERSONALITY. You need to find your voice. No matter what you are discussing (business, recipes, DIY projects, makeup, fashion, etc) you want other bloggers & readers admire what you are talking about so they will want to come back for more!


Who are you?

Who are you at this moment in time?

People wanna know YOU.

The web is crowded and YOU need to stand out.

Can you do that?


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When writing your next post DO THIS simple task. Always, always, always relate whatever it is your discussing to a personal or unique experience. It can be difficult but adding a personal touch sets you apart from the other person who may be writing about the same exact thing. Someone may connect with you over the John Doe. make sense?

P.S. If you couldn’t already tell PERSONALITY means everything to me and my writing! ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S.S. Please keep your book recommendations coming! See ya next Tuesday!ย 

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

Life is good, because God is great.

Happy Monday! I am so excited to share with you all a highlight from over my weekend. I already knew that today I was going to be talking about it…and now that it is over I can share the details! This past Saturday was a great day for our business…bad day for weather. But we did not let that discourage us. Recently over the past couple years races have become more and more common. By races I mean Color Run, Spartan Race, Mudderella, Savage Race, etc…they are everywhere & we heard once you do one your hooked! Well this past weekend we participated in the Goliathon. By participating we were one of the sponsors for the event.

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What a blessing it was to be able to be apart of this opportunity! For those of you who do not know, one of my 2 business ventures is an apparel line: True Strength Apparel. It was started by my better half Aaron through his passions and desire to share the word of the Lord through Philippians 4:13.

” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

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We arrived at the Fairgrounds in Mullica Hill, NJ around 7:00 Saturday morning and packed up around 3:00 that afternoon. The weather was absolutely HORRIBLE! And of course the day before (Halloween) was gorgeous & so was yesterday..cold but not down-pouring, but we made it happen! Our end goal was not about how much money we could make through our merchandise. Our goal for Saturday was to begin to build our following with a potential customer base. I would say we succeeded! Plus a bonus of being able to spend the day with friends & cheer them on while they actually participated in the race & wearing our merch ๐Ÿ™‚

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So real quick…what is Goliathon?

“It’s not a race, it’s a mission.”

It is about a 4-5 mile course made up of various obstacles to challenge your speed, agility, strength, &ย athleticism.

Like I mentioned before there are countless races out there that have recently been started to help raise money for non-profits.What really stuck out to me about this event was that the profits were going to those in need. In this case the creators of Goliathon have partnered with a charity to help raise money for those in need of clean water. Something so simple and something we are sometimes so careless about. I personally fell in love with the concept of the event & was so blessed that our business was able to take its first step for exposure and be apart of it. There next race is May 16th & we as a team cannot wait to be involved! Maybe I will even start training to actually take part ๐Ÿ˜‰ hehe…maybe!

Visit www.Goliathon.com for more info on the event, cause, purpose, & obstacles ๐Ÿ™‚

Follow us on Facebook & Instagram: @TrueStrengthApparelย Facebook-Instagram-logo2

Shop with us: www.TrueStrengthApparel.comย logo

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

Did that Pinterest board just come to Life? Halloween Inspired!

I cannot believe tomorrow is Halloween! Where is the time going?!? And guess what day today is…THURSDAY! As promised I will officially be starting my “Thrifty Thursday” segment. Two weeks ago I shared my first post with a Pinterest inspired outfit that I re-created under $20! Well I had soooo much fun doing it. Well since tomorrow is Halloween I think you kinda already know where this one is going! Oh yes, Halloween costume UNDER $20!

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P.S. Rocking my RUBY lipstick by Motives Cosmetics to bring a little tint of color ๐Ÿ™‚

I have been pretty excited to share this one with you all the past couple days and let me tell you why. I am not a huge Halloween person BUT I do enjoy dressing up! I don’t like being scared, I don’t like the gruesome costumes, haunted houses, haunted hayrides, being chased with chain saws, zombies, etc…& the number one thing I dislike the most is the amount of money people spend to dress up. You have to agree with me here! SOOOOOOOO long story short I am sharing my DIY Halloween costume with you that I spent a grand total of $17.00 on!

For starters where did I get my costume inspiration… Pinterest of course! & here it is:

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This year I went with a bank robber. Not very classy I know ๐Ÿ˜‰ BUT it was very easy to put together for not a lot of money. For starters I already own countless amounts of black bottoms thanks to my leggings & I own several pairs of Chuck Taylor’s that was a given for me. But you can wear any black shoe that you may already have.

Let me share some pics before I go on!

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Cute little money bag was a great find at a Halloween outlet priced 2 for $5. Original price $10 a piece…YIKES

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The only accessory not shown is my gloves (which I also already own, you can buy a pair for $1.00 at Wal-Mart!) I already took my pictures when I realized I didn’t have them on…whoops! I cannot even begin to express the frustration I was having trying to find a black and white striped shirt. Seems silly right? I looked EVERYWHERE. Thankfully ROSSย came to the rescue. I walked in and was able to bring about 5 different styles into the dressing room with me and coming out with the winner at $5.99. Putting together a costume for ONE night or two if you are a party kinda guy or gal DOES NOT have the break the bank. Use your resources (PINTEREST)!

Are you on Instagram? Share your DIY Halloween costumes with me! I wanna see what you come up with ๐Ÿ™‚

Tag me: @brookeducati & use hashtag #BrookeAshleyLifestyles !

Tune in NEXT Thursday to see me create this simple, casual, fun (& typical) Fall fashion under $20!

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Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

Were you BORN to BLOG: Part 1

Happy Tuesday bloggers! I am super excited for this next segment that I will be starting. A few Fridays ago I was looking for a new place to work so I went to the local Barnes and Noble. I looked around aimlessly and discovered an awesome book. I decided to take it to the Starbucks, grab a coffee, and dive in. Before I knew it I was more then halfway done the book and was overwhelmed with information! What was this book? It’s called “Born to Blog” by Mark W. Schaeffer & Standford A. Smith. Soooo needless to say it inspired me for this blog.

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I wanna take every Tuesday and work through the current book I am reading. And when I say that I don’t wanna cram one book per week, I want to actually take the time and break the book down and share the information with you all ๐Ÿ™‚ (in so many words…I don’t wanna spoil ALL the juicy info…you can read it for yourself) PLUS, this will help keep me accountable to stay on top of reading & feeding my brain! So here we go let’s dive into the Intro:

What I pulled away with here is that people think blogging is an all or nothing kinda thing, your either good or your bad, you can either write OR you can’t. This is soooo not true, because I myself am certainly not a writer, but hey here I am! The purpose of this book (the authors purpose) is to prove that ANYONE can be a blogger with a little coaching and tweaking of their skills, Mark and Stanford then share 5 traits/skills/characteristics that will help you along your journey! I will share my personal favorite one. ( and you will have to read for yourself to find out the other four)

Relate, Don’t Compare.

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WOW this is so important. We are not here to compete, we are not here to put down one another, we are certainly not here to see who gets more hits, comments, & likes. WE are here to share our strengths and passion, learn from one another, create a network, & have fun. Stay focused on YOU, your story, & purpose.

Then quickly we move into chapter one titled: The Common Traits of Successful Bloggers. My 3 favorite traits I pulled away from this chapter were flexibility, consistency, & courage. After they touched on the actual trait there was a “Take Action” exercise to follow to really get your wheels turning. Let me share one with you so you can see ๐Ÿ™‚

The 3rd trait that Mark and Stanford discuss is flexibility. They begin to discuss a man who had published a blog but he was getting ZERO readers, hits, comments…no traffic at all what so ever. Do any of you have this issue? I most certainly did! When I started my blog I did to say “Ooooo let me start a blog, that would be fun!” I had no idea what I was doing. But now I have direction and purpose. The flexibility is about being okay with letting you mind go in a different direction. Maybe you are writing and posting but you know you are capable of better BUT you already started on your way so you can’t change everything you doing now, right? OR can you? So I am going to challenge you right now…


Mark and Stanford ask you to evaluate yourself. After six/nine months of blogging ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. What did you have the most fun writing about? (How can you create MORE of this content)

2. Which of my posts received the MOST feedback and interaction?

3. Are you still having fun writing about these topics? YES, NO, Maybe?


I know I am going to do this for myself come March/ April. At this point I will be about 6 months in since I started blogging again. The authors then go into talking about courage. AND YES believe it or not blogging does require a little bit of courage. One of the hardest decisions we make as bloggers is whether to push the publish button…admit it. I will simply say this: DO NOT strive for perfection. If you do your hand will be stuck on that mouse for a very long time. Mark Schaeffer says, “focus on being GOOD instead of perfect.” It goes back to DON”T COMPARE…there will always be someone better.

So you don’t have to be perfect BUT do you have to be a great writer? Hmmmm. I guess you will have to come back next Tuesday to find out!

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

P.S. PLEASE begin leaving book suggestions below! They do not have to specifically be about blogging, they can be business, marketing, self-help, etc! I am open to anything ๐Ÿ™‚

A goal without a plan is simply a wish.

Good morning peeps! Happy Monday! After some downtime and planning it’s time to get into full swing of blogging. Earlier last week I had posted a picture of Facebook of my crazy OCD-ness and got a ton of feedback on it & it inspired me to write this post. Today I am gonna touch on PLANNING. If you are going to take on blogging or really anything for that matter seriously and for a purpose you have to have a game plan. Now you don’t have to be as elaborate with details like I have been but you have to have something on paper before you start diving in. So let’s get into it.

Earlier last week I created a calendar planning what I wanted to share with you all.

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Now for starters you could create a blank calendar by hand (which is what I did) or simply buy one. You could get one at the dollar store or Walmart, don’t go crazy with $$$.Okay now that you have this blank calendar you need to fill it in with your ideas. This is where most of us are stumped. You wanna take this whole blogging thing seriously but don’t know where to start and your scared to plan in advance. Don’t tell me your not cause I used to be ๐Ÿ˜‰ You just gotta do it. How?

First things first decide when your most creative time of day is. Is it first thing in the morning, afternoon, evening, or super late at night? For me it’s first thing in the morning. I will write my blog for the day in the morning and spend the day putting it out there and planning for the next. I always thought late afternoon was my prime time but then I always found myself falling asleep! (Whoops)

Next are you using your blog for business? Most of us are! Plan when you wanna talk about things in your business. But let me tell ya a little secret…You don’t wanna talk about your business 24/7, everyday, every post. People will GET BORED. You need to mix it up and play the 80/20 or 70/30 game. Here is a little glimpse into my notes. I know I am only going to discuss certain tidbits of my business a few times a month, especially right now when I just wanna network and get to know people & I want them to get to know me. I don’t expect anyone to want my services and products when they have no clue who the heck I am.

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Talk about you, what you like to do, passions, family, your life, etc etc. People wanna know about YOU! It’s the same if you are Instagram for example. You don’t wanna constantly be posting pictures of your products and services. You will come off as looking “spammy” and annoying. You wanna connect with others on a personal level before you offer them your product or service.

So now your probably saying to yourself “Well when I am not talking about my business then what do I write about?” Great question! USE YOUR RESOURCES! My biggest resource is Pinterest. Fellow pinners have created boards of topics you could flesh out. Examples:

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Go on Pinterest NOW. Start pinning all of these fabulous ideas. Create a board to keep them all together. My board is “Blog Inspiration.” Now don’t just pin them…read them! Pick and choose and fill in your days! Also, keep in mind that it okay to change things around. And what I mean is that you can fill in your calendar and then something great might come to mind so switch around your posts. I did this morning!

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Notice all my highlighter marks ๐Ÿ˜‰

The more content you have the better!!! Honestly this is really it ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t over-think this, take a breath, and just brainstorm. Keep in mind that just because you write an idea down doesn’t mean you have to write on it either. You may take note of it but then not actually write about it for a year & that’s okay! Also, last tip I will give! DO NOT OVERWHELM YOURSELF. If you can only post once a week, then post once a week. My goal is 4 times a week! Whats your goal?

P.S. Please share what YOU do to plan! I know there are so many different ways, templates, post-it notes, etc!

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

Life begins AFTER coffee :)

So it will come as NO surprise once you get to know me AND follow me on Instagram that you will find I am a COFFEE ADDICT! I mean how could you not? And I know I am not alone on this ๐Ÿ˜‰

I always get my hands on a cup of coffee when I can. I drink it for caffeine and pleasure! I can have it affect me when I want.(sooo say hello to midnight cup of coffee!) I’m actually drinking a cup right now as I type this ๐Ÿ™‚

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So tonight I am gonna share with you 10 FUN FACTS about coffee! No history cause that bores me…(Sorry in advance) I wanted to share something light yet enjoyable after working nonstop on the #FeelGoodBloggingChallenge all last week!

Let’s do it!

1. Coffee has ZERO calories. Unless you drown it in cream and sugar, duh. People who thoroughly enjoy black coffee weird me out.

2. The caffeine amount of a grande coffee at Starbucks (16oz) contains the same amount as 9 and a half cans of coke. (GROSSSSSSS)

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3. The best time for a cup of coffee is around 2 pm…I am usually on my second or third ๐Ÿ˜‰

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4. Coffee is actually made out of a fruit. It is the pit of a berry. (YES!) That takes care of that food group, right?

5.The average Barista in the United States is in their 20’s, in Italy the average Barista is 48 & it is commonly a profession. That’s it I’m moving to Italy! Care to join?

6. The United States consumes about 1.4 million cups of coffee a day…whattttttt?

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hahaha, this is me after 2!

7. Light roast coffee has MORE caffeine then dark roast. I actually found this out over the summer and my mind was blown, but it makes sense because they have to roast it longer.

8. Caffeine kicks in after about 15-20 minutes. Depending on the person it can last 3-4 hours.

9. The only history I will share is the top 15 cities for the most coffee drinkers:

Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, Chicago, Miami, Washington DC, Boston, and #1 New York!

So if you live in any of these places…you win!

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10. The record for most coffee consumed in one day was by a man who drank 82 cups in 7 hours. (YIKES! I couldn’t even pull that one off!)

Where are all my coffee lovers at!?! Hope you enjoyed ๐Ÿ™‚

Much love,ย 

Brooke Ashley xoxox

*All resources were found on Google from various sites!*