December 6th – 10th | 25 Days of Hallmark

⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️   P O T E N T I A L   S P O I L E R S   ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️

D E C E M B E R   6 T H

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

C h r i s t m a s   S c a v e n g e r   H u n t   |   2 0 1 9

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

Thoughts: What a roller coaster ride! The first 30 or 40 minutes, I was prepared to give a shaky 3 mistletoe or less. Dustin’s attitude rubbed me the wrong way even though I knew the intent was tension between him & Belinda. I did not like him at all! He was more like the jerk boyfriend or second suitor in a Hallmark movie than the charming male lead. Thankfully there was a palpable shift, & they were the cutest, sweetest couple by the end of the movie. I also really loved the concept of teams competing in a one-day scavenger hunt. Such fun! 😉

Rating4 Mistletoe

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❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

S m a l l   T o w n   C h r i s t m a s    |   2 0 1 8

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

Thoughts: In theory this should’ve been a new favorite because I’m a sucker for cozy small towns in Christmas movies. Emmett & Nell had chemistry, but the movie overall left me feeling lukewarm. The characters & story didn’t grab me, make me feel invested.

Rating: 3 Mistletoe

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D E C E M B E R   7 T H 

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

B e s t   C h r i s t m a s   P a r t y   E v e r   |   2 0 1 4

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

Thoughts: This movie isn’t outstanding, but it has two major things going for it. Number one: The party planning storyline which is fun to watch when done right. Who doesn’t love the idea of a career using a theme, budget, & creativity to throw a party?? That sounds amazing, especially at Christmastime. Number two: Jennie & Nick have great chemistry. They are so cute together, & you find yourself rooting for them from start to finish.

Rating: 4 Mistletoe

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❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

T w o   T u r t l e   D o v e s   |   2 0 1 9

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

Thoughts: Michael & Nikki had a decent amount of chemistry, but it didn’t blow me away & leave me wanting more. The story was sweet; I liked the idea of the grandmother leaving behind a to-do list of traditions to complete in memory of her. It wasn’t amazing but not bad enough to land below 3 mistletoe. Actually, I’m willing to give this one a second chance next year.

Rating: 3 Mistletoe

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D E C E M B E R   8 T H

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

C h r i s t m a s   a t   H o l l y   L o d g e   |   2 0 1 7

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

Thoughts: I’ve seen & liked Alison Sweeney & Jordan Bridges in separate Hallmark projects, but I wasn’t sure how I felt about them together. What a pleasant surprise! They were fantastic together. Even though the atmosphere & chemistry took a slight dip in the middle, I really enjoyed this movie overall. Also, I’m a sucker for Hallmark movies set in a cozy inn or lodge.

Rating: 4 Mistletoe

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❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

O u r   C h r i s t m a s   L o v e   S o n g   |   2 0 1 9

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

Thoughts: Alicia Witt starred in A Very Merry Mix-Up, a favorite of mine. When I saw that she was starring in a brand new Hallmark Christmas movie, I was very interested. Unfortunately this did nothing for my Christmas spirit. I didn’t feel any chemistry between the leads nor any connection to the story. Overall it was a big disappointment.

Rating: 2.5 Mistletoe

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D E C E M B E R   9 T H

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

A   C h r i s t m a s   L o v e   S t o r y   |   2 0 1 9

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

Thoughts: After watching Kristin in 12 Men of Christmas (GASP! A Lifetime Christmas movie), I wasn’t sure I could watch her with anyone else other than Josh Hopkins. I was pleasantly surprised by her connection with Scott Wolf. The chemistry didn’t blow me away, but it was sweet. I also love that adoption was discussed, something that is near & dear to Kristin’s heart as an adoptee herself. The story was emotional enough to make me cry, & the final scene with Danny, Greg, & Katherine singing into kitchen utensils was adorable. 💕

Rating: 3.5 Mistletoe

🎄 For more info, click H E R E

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

O n c e   U p o n   a   C h r i s t m a s   M i r a c l e   |   2 0 1 8

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

Thoughts: This movie hit me out of nowhere! I didn’t know anything about the plot until I watched it for this marathon. Aimee & Brett had great chemistry, & the story packed an emotional punch. I was near tears for most of the second half, but the floodgates didn’t open until a photo of the REAL LIFE couple was shown at the end. I didn’t know it was based on a true story! I suggest a box of kleenex for this one.

Rating: 4 Mistletoe

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D E C E M B E R   1 0 T H

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

C h r i s t m a s   a t   D o l l y w o o d   |   2 0 1 9

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

Thoughts: I’m always cautious with movies that I’m anticipating because I could potentially be setting myself up for disappointment. I’m happy to report that this met my expectations. Most of the movie was set at Dollywood, & it was great to get a peek at the theme park. I also loved hearing Dolly Parton sing Christmas songs throughout the film. If you’re curious, she did make an appearance once or twice & perform at the very end. In regard to the romance, Danica & Niall had great chemistry. Definitely a keeper for my annual catalog!

Rating: 4 Mistletoe

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❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

T h e   M o s t   W o n d e r f u l   T i m e   o f   t h e   Y e a r   |   2 0 0 8

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

Thoughts: I can’t remember if I saw this movie when it premiered in 2008, but I do know that it’s been on my Christmas watchlist for years. The leads have fantastic chemistry which guarantees lots of romance & resulting squeals. However, the real star in my eyes is Henry Winkler. He is endearing & hilarious; by the end you’ll want him as your uncle too.

Rating: 3.75 Mistletoe, changed to a 4 on December 14th

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❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

D E C E M B E R   1 S T   –   5 T H

❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️ ⛄️ 🦌 🎁 🎄 🎅🏻 💘 🤶🏻 ❄️

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– Lauren Michele ❤

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Game of Thrones Rewatch

❄️ 🐺 🔥 🐉 ⚔️ 🦁 ❄️ 🐺 🔥 🐉 ⚔️ 🦁 ❄️ 🐺 🔥 🐉 ⚔️ 🦁 ❄️ 🐺 🔥 🐉 ⚔️ 🦁 ❄️ 🐺 🔥 🐉 ❄️

Leading up to the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere, I was determined to rewatch seasons one through seven. I meant to start on April 1st but actually started on the 2nd. For your blog post viewing pleasure, I copied all of my Facebook updates down below. Enjoy!

❄️ 🐺 🔥 🐉 ⚔️ 🦁 ❄️ 🐺 🔥 🐉 ⚔️ 🦁 ❄️ 🐺 🔥 🐉 ⚔️ 🦁 ❄️ 🐺 🔥 🐉 ⚔️ 🦁 ❄️ 🐺 🔥 🐉 ❄️

⚠️ S P O I L E R S   A H E A D ⚠️

⚠️  S P O I L E R S   A H E A D ⚠️

⚠️ S P O I L E R S   A H E A D ⚠️

⚠️  S P O I L E R S   A H E A D ⚠️

⚠️ S P O I L E R S   A H E A D ⚠️

April 1 

8:48am – To all my fellow GOT fans spending the next 2 weeks binging seasons 1-7: May the odds be ever in your favor! 👸🏻

April 2 | S1 E1-6 ( 6 episodes, finished after midnight )

10:48am – Even though I love Daenerys, I think I’ve known all along that my heart belongs to House Stark. ❄️ 🐺 ❄️

11:16am – The W O R S T part of a GOT rewatch is Joffrey. 🤢🤮

2:19pm – This time around I’m trying really hard to keep track of GOT families & historical events. 3 episodes in, I’ve already been on google a billion times! 🤣

4:34pm – Let’s take a moment to appreciate that Sansa started out annoying & ended up being pretty darn BA. I am HERE for 2 strong Stark Girls! 🔥

4:41pm – Popular Opinion: Tyrion is literally the O N L Y bright spot in House Lannister. 🦁

April 3 | S1 E7-10, S2 E1 ( 5 episodes, finished after midnight ) 

1:40pm – GOT lured us into a false sense of security by killing Viserys first. No one liked him! Now, 7 seasons later, we’ve all mourned at least one beloved character. 💔

3:48pm – The 2nd time around actually hurts worse because now I recognize all the foreshadowing. I’m doing a lot of emotional preparation for the end of season 1. 😭💔

5:43pm – WHOA!! Now I understand the signifance of Aemon Targaryen’s interactions with Jon Snow. 😳

6:07pm – I’ve had an up & down relationship with Jamie Lannister. At this moment, I’m feeling no mercy & wondering if the Starks should have just killed him when they had the chance. 🤷🏻‍♀️

6:11pm – I knew episode 9 was coming, but now it’s actually happening . . . SOMEONE HOLD MY HAND!! 😭💔

April 4 | S2 E2-4 ( 3 episodes, finished after midnight ) 

11:53pm – Season 2, Episode 4 a.k.a. the birth of Arya’s kill list! 🐺

April 5 | S2 E5 ( 1 episode, finished after midnight )

N / A

April 6 | S2 E6-7 ( 2 episodes, finished after midnight )

N / A

April 7 | S2 E8-10, S3 E1-5 ( 8 episodes, finished after midnight )

1:11pm – I will probably reach the Red Wedding tonight or tomorrow morning. The 1st time gutted me. This time around I know what’s coming, & I’m still upset. 😭

1:23pm – (S2 E10) The scene when Daenerys walks into the “Iron Throne room” full of snow with a torch . . . that is how you do symbolism! 🔥 Fire & Ice ❄️Also, when she walks “outside,” I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be The Wall. More symbolism, more genius, such foreshadowing! 😱

1:34pm – Remember when season 2 ended with WHITE WALKERS EVERYWHERE?!? That was fun. 😭

April 8 | S3 E6-10, S4 E1-2 ( 7 episodes, finished after midnight )

2:42pm – Very few shows can take my emotions on a rollercoaster ride like GOT. One episode I’m indifferent to Theon Greyjoy, the next I absolutely despise him. Next thing I know, I want Ramsay Bolton dead & Theon safe and sound. It’s a lot to handle, and yet I wouldn’t change a thing. 🤷🏻‍♀️

3:12pm – For a period of time, it seems like Margaery’s influence might be softening Joffrey. And then in S3 E6 he shoots Ros with his crossbow & nonchalantly walks away. Does he die soon?? I need that to happen NOW. 😭

4:35pm – Davos learning to read is too pure for HBO television. 😭❤️

5:40pm – I made it to S3 E9. *DEEP BREATHS* I knew this was inevitable. The time has come to experience the Red Wedding all over again. H E L P 😭

6:02pm – Jon Snow being in the same place as his brothers/cousins & not even knowing breaks my heart. 💔

6:32pm – Knew what was going to happen. Still cried my eyes out. One of the MOST gut-wrenching episodes in television history! 💔 #RedWedding

12:46am – Joffrey is FINALLY dead. Now I can go to sleep. 😴 BTW, I’ve made it to S4 E3 in 7 days. 👍🏻

April 9 | S4 E3-10, S5 E1 ( 9 episodes, finished after midnight )

2:52pm – Olenna Tyrell did what needed to be done, & I appreciate her for that. MVP! MVP! MVP! 🎉

4:03pm – Here’s the deal: I’ve realized my allegiance lies with House Stark. I wouldn’t mind any of the remaining family sitting on the Iron Throne. That being said, their purpose has always been ruling The North, never the entirety of Westeros. I would be THRILLED if Danaerys ended up on the Iron Throne & established a strong relationship with the Starks ruling The North. There’s my take! ❄️🐺🔥

4:51pm – When Bran & Jon don’t reunite ➡️NNNNNOOOOO!!!!! 😭

5:20pm – S4 E6 – The dragons are getting bigger! 🐉

8:19pm – Oberyn would still be alive as would those who died in his wake if he hadn’t been so emotional during the fight. He. Had. The. Mountain. Defeated. What a shame! 😔

10:28pm – I REALLY don’t want to like Jaime, but his relationship with Tyrion in season 4 puts me in a gray area. He saves his life! 🤷🏻‍♀️

April 10 | S5 E2-7 ( 6 episodes, finished after midnight )

10:06pm – I hate to brag about my gift, but I immediately knew Dorne is inspired by Spain. I felt it in my Mediterranean soul! 🌴 🇪🇸 🌊

12:26am – The thing is, Joffrey is a horrible person but in an annoying way that makes me want to meet him in a dark alley. Ramsay Bolton is on another level. He makes me scared to go outside alone! Joffrey is awful, but during this rewatch I’m realizing that Ramsay is definitely worse. Every time he abuses Sansa, my skin crawls, & I see red. Spoiler Alert: Both of them are now burning in hell. 😈🔥

April 11 | S5 E8-10, S6 E1-4 ( 7 episodes, finished after midnight )

4:26pm – That first white walker battle at Hardhome is just . . . 😱 There is a zombie waterfall! 🧟‍♂️

4:45pm – S5 E8 Hardhome – What a masterpiece! Props to Kit Harrington & Kristofer Hivju for their acting. The emotions are palpable as they float away from the battle & deal with the magnitude of what has begun: a war with the dead! Also, the creepy ending is both brilliant & bone chilling, the newly dead rising to join the Night King’s army. 💀

5:15pm – Shireen’s death is one of the saddest in seasons 1-7. I always despised Melisandre, but this is the moment I wanted Stannis dead as well. What a disgusting excuse for a human being & father! 😡

7:39pm – Brienne & Pod coming to the rescue of Sansa & Theon is a freaking M O O D. 🔥😈🔥

April 12 – 6 Episodes | S6 E5-10, S7 E1

3:56pm – If we’re discussing the saddest GOT deaths, Hodor is near the top of the list. 💔

4:44pm – 🐉 FULL. GROWN. DRAGON. 🔥

7:43pm – Watching both Hodor & Rickon die in one day is too much to handle. Pray for me! 😭🙏🏻

8:02pm – Ramsay’s dead. I feel better now. 😈🔥

9:35pm – Seeing Cersei on the Iron Throne makes my blood boil. If a dragon eats her, it will be too kind a death. Remove her crown, whatever it takes! ❄️🐺🔥🐉

April 13 | S7 E2-7 ( 6 episodes, finished after midnight )

5:11pm

Missandei: “You stand in the presence of Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, rightful heir to the Iron Throne, rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains.”

Davos: “This is Jon Snow. He’s King in the North.”

Still one of my favorite GOT moments. 🤣

5:12pm – I FREAKING love Tyrion! 💘 His humor is a bright spot on a very intense show. 🦁

5:40pm – We should all agree on this: the moody, holier than thou three-eyed raven is not our favorite version of Bran. 🙄

11:36pm – Please take a moment to appreciate that Uncle Benjen was half dead & exhausted but stayed alive long enough to save the lives of two nephews. What. A. Hero. 😭👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

11:49pm – Remember when the biggest threat was dead people? Additionally they have bears & giants & horses, oh my! Those were the days. S7 E6 changed all that for the worse. Now they have a ZOMBIE DRAGON!! 😱

12:10am – A zombie running at Cersei? Replay! 😂

12:56am

Bran: I became the three-eyed raven.

Sam: Oooh! . . . I don’t know what that means.

None of us do!! 🤣

1:17am – 🎉 I did it! I finished Game of Thrones seasons 1-7 in 12 days. 🏅 IIIIIIIIIII AM THE CHAAAMPION MY FRIIIEEENDS!!! 🏆 

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– Lauren Michele ❤

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Mamba Out

I know I blogged about Kobe Bryant yesterday, but I couldn’t stay silent after the performance he put on last night.  Jack Nicholson predicted 40 points.  Shaq asked for 50.  I would have been satisfied with an average performance knowing that his body could only handle so much.  The team gave him the floor and allowed him to take as many shots as he could.  Surpassing all expectations, the Black mamba scored 60 and led his team to victory one last time.  Fans would’ve accepted the bare minimum, but Kobe delivered a vintage performance, turning back the clock and refusing to go out on a low note.  When the game ended, thousands of people screamed his name while he embraced coaches and teammates on the court.  It felt like my childhood was replaying before my eyes: Brian Shaw, Derek Fisher, Devean George, Gary Payton, Lamar Odom, Rick Fox, Robert Horry, Shaq, and many more.  Even Adam Morrison made an appearance!!  More basketball players, coaches, and celebrities paid tribute through video.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk_j4drvDNw

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX6PvEMAvtA

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzpsyFvz7W0

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6ZOdXrV2sM

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FKooZs-Pwg

🏀 Art inspired by Kobe – Kobe Bryant

🏀 My thoughts on Kobe retiring – Kobe Bryant | Black Mamba

The entire night was emotional and overwhelming, but I wouldn’t change any of it.  A storybook ending for Kobe Bryant’s untouchable 20-year career.  The game of basketball will never be the same. 🏀 🐍

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Kobe Bryant | Black Mamba

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

• April 13, 2016

I was born in 1993.  Kobe Bryant’s NBA career started in 1996.  I was privileged to grow up watching the Black Mamba play basketball and achieve success wherever he went.  It was hard to find admirers of Kobe outside the L.A. circle therefore I found myself defending him more times than not.  I didn’t need to do that, but I wanted to because I felt the hate was mean spirited and over the top.  Despite all the doubters and haters, Kobe and his fans have reached the light at the end of the tunnel.  The Black Mamba’s 20-year career is coming to a close, and no one has anything negative to say.  People from all over the world are sharing how much they respect him.  That speaks volumes about the man and player he has become.  I’ve watched him evolve from arrogant kid to fierce competitor, strong leader to humble legend.  I cheered him on through highs and lows and never once gave up.  Words cannot describe my admiration and respect.  It is very hard to let go because his career coincides with 20 years of my life (I’m only 22!).  But, I know he’s in pain and ready to move on.  I wish he and his family nothing but the best.  God bless you Kobe Bryant!  Thank you for your contribution to the game of basketball.

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

🏀 2008 NBA MVP 🏀

🏀 NBA Slam Dunk Champion 🏀

🏀 2x NBA Finals MVP 🏀

🏀 2x NBA Scoring Champion 🏀

🏀 4x All-Star MVP 🏀

🏀 5x NBA Champion 🏀

🏀 18x All-Star 🏀

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

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Source: http://www.nba.com/lakers/KobeJerseys

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

Art Inspired by Kobe Bryant: Kobe Bryant

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Thank You Peyton

Vandelium. Peyton Manning. 2013. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://vandelium.deviantart.com/art/Peyton-Manning-423458039.

Vandelium. Peyton Manning. 2013. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://vandelium.deviantart.com/art/Peyton-Manning-423458039.

I’m going to try and get through this without crying.  I am super weird and emotional when it comes to sports so please excuse me if this turns into a blubbering love fest.  I could do the expected and list Peyton Manning’s stats, but I think we all know what he did for the National Football League on the field.  If you don’t know, get out!!!  I honestly don’t remember when, why, and how I became a Peyton Manning fan.  I just remember being a fan (he was still on the Indianapolis Colts).  Because of him, the Colts became my honorary #3 team behind the Denver Broncos and New York Giants.  His skill and leadership were mesmerizing.  How could I not be a fan?!!  When he became a Bronco, I flipped out.  Best.  News.  Ever.  It wasn’t the smoothest road to win a Super Bowl, but the entire team put in work and made that happen.  Peyton wasn’t his usual self, but I don’t think it’s an accurate statement to say he did nothing.  If you deny the effect his leadership has on players, go back and watch footage from the San Diego game in which he replaced Brock Osweiler.  I mean no offense to Brock because he stepped into Manning’s shoes and led us to the playoffs.  But, when Peyton stepped onto the field and took his rightful place with the team, the change was palpable.  The players woke up, picked up the pieces, and finished the game with energy.  Now look where they are:  Super Bowl Champions!!!  I was worried because Peyton took his time making the decision to retire.  I can’t even imagine how difficult it is to let go and walk away from something that has been your life for 18 years.  However, it is the right time, and I’m glad he realized that.  He is too great a player to come back and have one more mediocre season.  Take the Super Bowl ring and run.  What a way to go out!

Manning left a mark on and off the field:  the way he carried and expressed himself, the standard he set for himself and the players around him, and the impact he made taking advantage of his position and success to bless others.  The only reason (crazy) people hate him is because he’s so respectable.  They hate that there is nothing to hate about him!  There will always be a Peyton-shaped imprint on the NFL.  Will there ever be a better quarterback?  Maybe.  Will there ever be another Peyton?  No because Peyton is Peyton.  It would be impossible to name all of his stats and records so here are a choice few:

• All-Time Career Passing Yards

• 1998 #1 Draft Pick, Indianapolis Colts

• Fastest Player to Reach 40,000 Completions & 50,000 Career Yards

• Fastest Quarterback to Beat All 31 NFL Teams

• Five-Time MVP (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, & 2013)

• Fourteen Pro Bowls

• Most Career Touchdown Passes

• Oldest Starting Quarterback in Super Bowl History, 2016

• Only QB to Lead 2 NFL Teams to a Super Bowl Victory

• Super Bowl MVP, 2007

(Davis, Helling, Hyde, “Peyton Manning Biography.”, “Peyton Manning’s Career Accomplishments by the Numbers.”, “Peyton Manning’s Career and Legacy.”)

Source: https://youtu.be/HyCQby6r0zA

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YQpIw6TjUw

This is a bittersweet day.  It is sad to know I have watched Peyton Manning play professional football for the last time, but it was an honor watching him play all these years.  Thank you #18 for 18 years of top notch football!!

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Works Cited:

Davis, Nate. “A Timeline of Peyton Manning’s 18-Season NFL Career.” usatoday.com. N.p., Mar. 2016. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2016/03/06/peyton-manning-career-timeline-colts-broncos-mvp-tom-brady-brett-favre-super-bowl/80425320/.

Helling, Steve. “Five Things to Know About Denver Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning.” people.com. N.p., 6 Feb. 2016. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://www.people.com/article/super-bowl-2016-peyton-manning-denver-broncos.

Hyde, Samantha. “Top 10 Moments of Peyton Manning’s Career.” foxsports.com. Mar. 2016. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/story/peyton-manning-top-10-moments-broncos-super-bowl-tennessee-colts-snl-030716.

“Peyton Manning’s Career and Legacy.” wate.com. Mar. 2016. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://wate.com/2016/03/07/peyton-mannings-career-and-legacy/.

Wolfe, Cameron. “Peyton Manning’s Career Accomplishments by the Numbers.” denverpost.com. 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://blogs.denverpost.com/broncos/2016/02/18/a-few-interesting-peyton-manning-nuggets/38358/.

“Peyton Manning Biography.” biography.com. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://www.biography.com/people/peyton-manning-37880.

 

The 88th Academy Awards | Part 1

Welcome to the winners’ circle!  I am going to list each of the categories and their respective victors.  Part 2 will be available tonight on my art blog; it will feature my favorite looks from the red carpet.  First, I want to congratulate Chris Rock.  Hosts make or break award shows.  I rarely tune in because I lose interest quickly, but thanks to Mr. Rock I thoroughly enjoyed the Oscars this year.  Two thumbs up! 👍 👍

* * * Note: Videos of all the acceptance speeches will be posted in this article as soon as I can find good quality versions.

– Opening Monologue –

Source: https://www.facebook.com/ABCNetwork/videos/1144808155563319/

– This Year in Film –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m88THpMK590

🌟Best Actor – Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”

Source: https://www.facebook.com/ABCNetwork/videos/1144973592213442/

🌟Best Actress – Brie Larson, “Room”

Best Animated Feature Film – “Inside Out”

Best Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki, “The Revenant”

Best Costume Design – Jenny Beavan, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

🌟Best Director – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “The Revenant”

Best Documentary Feature – “Amy”

Best Documentary Short Subject – “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”

Best Film Editing – Margaret Sixel, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Best Foreign Language Film – “Son of Saul”

Best Live Action Short Film – “Stutterer”

Best Makeup – Damien Martin, Elka Wardega, and Lesley Vanderwalt, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Best Original Music Score – Ennio Morricone, “The Hateful Eight”

Source: https://www.facebook.com/ABCNetwork/videos/1144900588887409/

Best Original Screenplay – “Spotlight”

Best Original Song – Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith, “Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre”

Source: https://www.facebook.com/ABCNetwork/videos/1144835135560621/

* I congratulate Sam Smith on his win, but I was rooting for Lady Gaga.  What a powerful song!

Source: https://www.facebook.com/ABCNetwork/videos/1144912732219528/

🌟Best Picture – “Spotlight”

Best Production Design – Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Best Sound Editing – David White and Mark Mangini, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Best Sound Mixing – Ben Osmo, Chris Jenkins, and Gregg Rudloff, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

🌟Best Supporting Actor – Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”

🌟Best Supporting Actress – Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”

Best Visual Effects – “Ex Machina”

Best Writing Adapted Screenplay – “The Big Short”

• Here are the trailers for all of the movies that won an award:

– A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gk2OcKVu8qU

– Amy –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvmFr_OCLgU

– Bridge of Spies –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBBuzHrZBro

– Ex Machina –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyKqHOgMi4g

– Inside Out –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seMwpP0yeu4

– Mad Max: Fury Road –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEJnMQG9ev8

– Room –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_Ci-pAL4eE

– Son of Saul –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6MJZnDV27U

– Spectre –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4UDNzXD3qA

– Spotlight –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwdCIpbTN5g

– Stutterer –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnlBGQUn0tM

– The Big Short –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgqG3ITMv1Q

– The Danish Girl –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d88APYIGkjk

– The Hateful Eight –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_UI1GzaWv0

– The Revenant –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoebZZ8K5N0

There are three more things I want to highlight:

1.  C-3PO, R2-D2, & BB-8 made an appearance.  How cute was it seeing the droids all together on the stage?!  Dream come true for me! 💕

2.  Dave Grohl performed “Blackbird” during the In Memoriam presentation.   It was beautiful!  What else can I say??  The performance speaks for itself. 🎶🎶🎶

3.  I am sure Brie Larson doesn’t want any kind of special attention for her kind deed during one of the commercial breaks, but I think it deserves attention.  She stood up and hugged each and every one of the sexual assault survivors as they left the stage following the Lady Gaga performance.  That speaks volumes about who Miss Larson is as a person.

Source:  https://www.yahoo.com/celebrity/brie-larson-hugs-every-sexual-assault-survivor-052750529.html

Part 2 – The 88th Academy Awards | Part 2

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Nipping at Your Nose | Blogmas 2015

Image Source: http://www.howtogeek.com/177060/desktop-fun-snowflakes-wallpaper-collection-series-1/

It isn’t snowing in Southern California, except in the mountains, but it is finally cold.  And by cold, I mean freezing temperatures.  It’s about time!!!  I was getting fed up with sweating in my sweaters.  I’m still a little sick but much better than I was Sunday.  I’m working tonight so I spent my morning sleeping in and my afternoon relaxing on the couch blogging and watching Christmas movies.  Right now “Saved by the Bell” is playing.   I know, I know.  Such an exciting life!  I really wish I had more to blog about, but life in December has revolved around my new job.  “How is that going?” you might ask.  Forgive me for sounding like a whiny, broken record, but customers are so messy and inconsiderate.  The other day I found a Kate Spade perfume sans packaging on the floor under a display table.  KATE SPADE!!!  Who does that??  Last night, a fellow employee and I spent precious time cleaning up a spill in the beauty department.  Do you know how hard it is to wipe up beauty scrub?  Everything on the shelf was oily.  I don’t mind if a customer spills or break something because accidents happen, but tell an associate instead of leaving a mess that is potentially inconvenient/harmful to customers and/or other products.  Please & thank you.  In all seriousness, the job isn’t that bad.  I don’t hate it so that’s a plus.  On that note, I’m going to stop my rambling and go get ready for work.  I hope you are having a holly jolly Tuesday.  I shall return Thursday. ;)

* * * Get excited!!!  Today is the first day of Artmas.  Go check out the first artist – Artmas Day 1 – Amigurumi by Jean Greenhowe

Vlogmas – Lauren Michele

10 days until Christmas…

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Moving On

Moving On

On Monday I left Texas, my home of 13 years. My family’s 6-bedroom house provided shelter to 26 people, not including me, my parents, and my brother; I always had extended family around me. On Tuesday I arrived in California, my new home; my family currently lives in a one-bedroom apartment above a garage. Quite the adventure we are on!! The picture you see above is my room, an empty room bursting at the seams full of memories. It is amazing to recall all the things that took place in that space: Babysitting, beauty transformations, concerts, counseling, dance practice, dreams, doll shenanigans, dramatic dress up, DVD viewings, emotional breakdowns, exercise sessions, fashion shows, fights, hide-and-seek, 2+ hour phone calls, illness rehabilitation, internet browsing, late night reading, outfit planning, schoolwork, and sleepovers. One last thing: Me and my best friend Gabby officially became friends in that room thanks to “Lord of the Beans.” I moved to Texas when I was 8, and I am now 21. My middle school, junior high, high school, and college years took place in that state. Many different struggles and transitions took place in that house; perhaps now you have a better idea of why it is so special to me. It is bittersweet to move on, but I will always carry the memories with me in my heart.

Treasure each moment readers! You never know when you will be uprooted and replanted.

– Lauren Michele :)

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Don’t Forget Me

Don't Forget Me

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. Jonathan Crombie, best known for his movie role as the beloved Gilbert Blythe, passed away on Wednesday, April 15, at the age 48; the cause was a brain hemorrhage. I grew up watching the Anne of Green Gables movies and dreaming of meeting and marrying my very own Gil. Me and my friends were so smitten with him that we had to designate an area specifically for freak outs; the “Jonathan Crombie Couch” will forever be a treasured memory of mine. I received an Anne of Green Gables music box for Valentine’s Day this year. At the time, the gift was thoughtful, but now it holds so much more meaning. God knew I would need a special reminder of Jonathan, my own personal piece of Gilbert. The following is a short statement given to the Canadian Press by Crombie’s Anne of Green Gables co-star Megan Follows:

“He was incredibly funny, Jonathan just had an amazing sense of humour,” she told The Canadian Press. “Truly I just remember at times just laughing so hard that you’d just be crying. He was so playful and silly and, as I said, really bright, so his humour was always informed with that, which made him even funnier.” Follows called Crombie a “sweetheart” and said a lot of the chemistry onscreen was natural during the filming of the movies. “He had that beautiful face. He was a lot of fun, he was very open so you just felt he was someone who really wanted to play and it really was a new experience for him,” she said, adding that the project was one of Crombie’s first. “We were all just in it to do the best that we could and we had a lot of fun.”  (Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/04/19/jonathan-crombie-megan-follows_n_7095258.html)  I think it is safe to say Jonathan’s version of Gilbert was not far from his true nature: playful and endearing.

It seems all too appropriate to mention some of my favorite Gilbert and Anne scenes from each movie. I have more than one in each film, but, for the sake of attention spans, I will keep the list short. In the first movie “Anne of Green Gables”, one of my favorite moments is the very last scene in which Gilbert sacrificially gives up the Avonlea school so that Anne can teach there and stay at home with Marilla. They exchange the following dialogue, recalling fondly what was originally an explosive and classic moment:

Anne: “Aren’t you worried? I’m liable to break another slate over your head.”                                                                                                     Gilbert: “I’m more worried I might break one over yours, carrots”

The scene starts at the 9:57 mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPREdzRRRlY

In “Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel”, one of my favorite moments is when Gil and Anne are FINALLY a couple, and they are standing on a bridge discussing their future:

Gilbert: “It’ll be three years before I finish medical school. Even then there won’t be any diamond sunbursts or marble halls”                     Anne: “I don’t want diamond sunbursts, or marble halls. I just want you.”

The scene starts at the 9:20 mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZW6eBrWH9w

In the third and final film “Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story”, my FAVORITE moment has to be, of course, the scene when Anne and Gil are reunited after her arduous search during World War I. Anne is on a stage with two friends singing for soldiers; they are singing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”, Gil and Anne’s wedding dance song. As she is scanning the crowd, Anne spots a familiar, beloved face. Running ensues as well as a heartwarming reunion. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8dc9kqaXBI

Quotes Source: http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0040057/quotes

I want to give my condolences to all of Jonathan’s loved ones. My heart goes out to you, and you are in my prayers.

Jonathan: You embodied a classic book character, a portrayal that was truly a gift to the film industry. You will always be remembered and loved as Gil in the hearts of your fans. Rest in peace.

Don't Forget Me

The “Anne of Green Gables” family could never forget you!! <3 <3 <3

– Lauren Michele :)

” You know, every day I would pick a different memory of you and play it over and over and over again in my mind, until every hair, every freckle, every part of you was exactly as I remembered.” – Gilbert Blythe, “Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story”

Music Box: http://shopatsullivan.com/love-music-box.html

25 Times Gilbert Blythe From “Anne of Green Gables” Melted Your Heart: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jennaguillaume/gilbert-blythe-forever#.nrVw65xlB

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Blogmas 2014 – Come Light the Menorah

Levin, Alex. Magnificent Light of Menorah. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. . Calvin College openURL resolver

Levin, Alex. Magnificent Light of Menorah. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <http://www.artlevin.com/page409.html&gt;.
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Chanukah Sameach readers!!  In honor of the first night of Hanukkah, I want to give you a VIP tour through my favorite Jewish holiday.  If you did not read my post last year, here is the story of Hanukkah: The Jews were, at one time, oppressed by a Greek king; he killed Jews, outlawed their religion, and defiled the temple, their place of worship.  Despite their small number and “underdog” status, Judah Maccabees and his army were successful in their rebellion.  The temple was restored, and a celebration took place.  There was only enough oil to light the temple menorah for one night, but the lamp miraculously burned for eight straight nights.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is why we celebrate Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.

Read or recite the following:

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, Asher kideshanu b’mitzvotav, Vitzivanu, L’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah – Praised are You, Our God, Ruler of the universe, Who made us holy through your commandments and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah lights

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, Sheh’asah nissim la’avoteinu, Ba-yam ha-heim, Ba-zman hazeh – Praised are You, Our God, Ruler of the universe, Who performed wondrous deeds for our ancestors in those ancient days at this season

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, shehecheyanu, v’ki-y’manu, v’higiyanu, lazman hazeh – Praised are You, Our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has given us life and sustained us and enabled us to reach this season  (“The Hanukkah Blessings”)

If you want help with pronunciation, follow along with this playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fb-tkAet5A&list=PLcRF_zFl6hpHXnmP-CaCK2OO-3xfmm1kg

I hope you have enjoyed Hanukkah 101.  Now go make latkes and play dreidel.  Stay kosher readers!!  (See what I did there??)

– Lauren Michele :)

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ ”  – John 8:12

 

Works Cited:

Levin, Alex. Magnificent Light of Menorah. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <http://www.artlevin.com/page409.html&gt;.

“The Hanukkah Blessings.” myjewishlearning.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Hanukkah/At_Home/Candlelighting

/Blessings.shtml>.

 

***My links:

Art Blog: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lagirl93/

Tumblr: http://laurenmichelephotography.tumblr.com/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCic1VLw_OuW2fzDQ88oi_AA/feed

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