Express Yourself

Fashion and Beauty


A Call for Opinions!

I decided the best way to see what you guys would like me to post would be via-poll! Go ahead and vote– polls close January 14th. If anyone e-mails me with a request ( before the poll closes, then I’ll be sure to fulfill the request before January 14th! 🙂 I wanted to challenge myself in 2014, and it looks like I’ve found quite the challenge.




Zach Sobiech


Right now, you might have been confused based on the title. Because, yes, I titled this post ‘Zach Sobiech’. I sat here, trying to do a favorites of 2013 or my December Favorites. But something kept nagging at me, in the back of my head. I realized it was the music I’d been playing— Clouds by Zach Sobiech. And then I realized that one of the most significant moments in 2013 had been when I’d known about Zach Sobiech, and learned his story.

And then I realized it was impossible to do a favorites of 2013 without explaining Zach Sobiech. I just couldn’t. And I hope you find out why when you’re done reading this.

Zach Sobiech was a normal teenager, preparing to go to college and for his life ahead. He went for a run with his sister, came back, and his left hip hurt. After a scan, he was diagnosed with cancer. He tried all kinds of treatments and surgeries, but there was nothing left. He had months to live.

He didn’t mope, and he didn’t complain. Zach lived every day to the fullest. He experienced so much in those final months, including music. He wrote the lyrics and recorded Clouds an inspirational song that you can’t help but play again and again. The song immediately got a big audience, and tons of support from listeners.

Several choirs have sung his song in his honor– the largest one being 5,000 people at the Mall of America. People remember Zach Sobiech, not as ‘the teenager who died of cancer’, but as the guy who accepted his fate and lived his days to the fullest. His lyrics are below:

Well I fell down, down, down
Into this dark and lonely hole
There was no one there to care about me anymore
And I needed a way to climb and grab a hold of the edge
You were sitting there holding a rope

And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now

When I get back on land
Well I’ll never get my chance
Be ready to live and it’ll be ripped right out of my hands
Maybe someday we’ll take a little ride
We’ll go up, up, up and everything will be just fine

And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher

We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear

It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now
If only I had a little bit more time
If only I had a little bit more time with you

We could go up, up, up
And take that little ride
And sit there holding hands
And everything would be just right
And maybe someday I’ll see you again
We’ll float up in the clouds and we’ll never see the end

And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now


Go ahead. Listen to his song while you finish reading. I’m waiting.

He made me realize so many things. About how good I’ve got it, and how I’m constantly surrounded with good. His story also helped me reflect about my life– and what I chose to prioritize and to live. He deeply moved me, and the name Zach Sobiech now meant something to me. 

I actually wrote this the first time I heard his song– all my thoughts unfurled.

                  I am drifting in the clouds

                  Up and up

                  My hand reached, as far as it could

                  Up and up

                  I found a lone star, amidst the clouds


                  I held it softly in my palm

                  Its rays shone through my closed hand

                  It had burned bright for so long

                  So, so long

                  It had been a part of the sky


                  As I had been a part of the world

                  A part of billions

                  I was a star in the sky

                  Finding its way in the clouds

                  And I had discovered a way to be my own light


                  The world was water

                  Endless streams, flowing, floating

                  I had flowed, just like the star had shined

                  The water was ready to float

                  My time had come


                  I softly let the star free

                  Up and up

                  It had let go of the sky


                  One last glance, one last breath

                  Up and up

                  To the clouds, to the sky

                  I reached as far as I could

                  And then I looked down.

I just needed to put this out there, to put Zach’s story out there. I wanted to remember him, and in turn, look at the newly paved future. For Zach, it was the clouds. For me, it’s down the river.


I do sincerely apologize for not blogging fashion/beauty related things recently, this makes two posts! I hope you all bear with me, I just couldn’t leave his story untouched on this blog 🙂 I promise a fashion/beauty related post ASAP, just leave a request below. Continue reading


From the Life of Nora Brooks #1 (UNFILTERED!)

Hello, all! I received a few requests to do a personal blog here and there to keep you guys updated with my life and so forth. This is going to be the first of a new series: From the Life of Nora Brooks. For those wondering, Nora Brooks is the name I use online, although the last name is not my real last name. I like to keep my personal information just that, and I hope you guys understand that. I hope you guys can keep up with my insane rambling– I apologize from now! 

I feel as if when I wake up, I instantly feel a vibe. A vibe of what this day would feel like, and maybe that’s peculiar, but that’s what happens in my not-so-boring life. There really is no such thing as a boring life, is there? When in fact, life is exciting. Each breath, every thought, is all so extraordinary. Have you ever just looked in the mirror, peered at the reflection, and wondered? Thought to yourself, Wow. I’m a human being, and I have so many powers. I don’t have to be supernatural– I can talk, speak, hear, dream, inspire, and so much more. 

That’s precisely what I felt this morning as I woke up and became aware of my surroundings. Of course, when I realized what time it was, there was no time for deep thought. Who wakes up at twelve? My only excuse was winter break– which I had realized with a pang is almost over. Naturally, I ran into a major stress-zone as I remembered science fair.

If you’re required to participate in the competition of doom, you know what I felt. Each year since third grade, I have created a project, gone through with it, and presented it. And won. The pressure is always on to pull it off again, and this time the pressure was seriously gnawing at me as I dealt with an insanely large problem. After dealing with it, I once again doubted my project. Was it good enough, complicated enough?

I always have to tell myself to take an okay project, make it the best you can, and you can get far. I wouldn’t fail if my project wasn’t amazing, considering the judging consisted of so much more than that. With that out of the way, I felt relieved, I’ll admit. I then returned to the spectacular world of Jane Eyre, which yes, I’m reading.

I’ve read shorter versions before as a kid in seventh grade (funny when we look back then and see how different we were), but the unabridged version is much better. I won’t say much to spoil anything, but if you have read Jane Eyre, I’m nearing the end and it’s gotten good. Insanely good. I could barely break myself away to do anything else.

But then I received news of a massive snow storm coming our way (8 to 10 inches!), which practically changed my whole schedule. I’d already been inside the house for a few days, so a break was needed. Around 3, I went out to run some errands. The errands were fairly simple, such as the grocery market, but it was nice to be out in the fresh air. I don’t mind the cold, and I never have. The way people can bundle up in puffy winter coats, scarves and mittens when it’s 10 degrees outside mystifies me. If that’s what you wear in that weather, what happens to us when it’s in the negatives? Hello, insane layering. Somehow, I don’t see that as an upcoming fashion trend.

Getting back to my day! I was actually looking at American Eagle for a new sweater, considering their insane sale. A bunch of adorable sweaters on the sale racks– absolutely nothing more exciting. Unfortunately, not everything can be afforded, but I made away with a maroon-colored, detailed sweater. The fit, and especially the sleeves, has me in love. I’m sure I’ll get amazing use out of it!

I got back home a few hours later, and have been reading, writing some FanFiction, and surfing the internet. I’m still looking out for that snow! And, of course, I just got an amazing idea for my next FanFic chapter. Great timing, no? I figure this has gone on enough– I really enjoyed free-writing in this post. Just letting my thoughts spill out into a blog post unfiltered was a nice change.

Again, I apologize for the insanely long post… now looking back, very, very long. Well, it can’t be helped! Until next time, leave comments and feedback, as always 🙂



Almost 2014

Happy almost 2014! 2013 has gone by so insanely fast, and with it are so many memories and accomplishments. A new year marks the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. The message that comes along with New Year’s Eve is that we must make resolutions and commitments to make ourselves better. Just like we shouldn’t only be kind and giving on the holidays, we should make commitments outside of New Year’s.

One of the reasons I created this blog is to help people find their own style– something that took me a while to do. I used to be so insecure about myself and always was trying ways to be different. There isn’t anything wrong with improving your attitude or striving to do better, but you have to be secure about yourself and accept yourself. Don’t think just because it’s New Year’s you have to become a new person. You should enter the year being yourself, and your decision to change your attitude or lifestyle should be influenced by you. 

I just wanted to take some time to put those thoughts out there. When making your New Year’s resolutions, remember to make them because of yourself and not just on New Year’s. We are all individuals with our own purpose and legacy.

That being said, go ahead and share your start to 2014 or your resolutions– I’d love to know!

I’ll share with you some of mine:

1. Opening up my schedule to give more time to giving back to my community.

2. Being able to blog more and expand this site!