I’m Feeling 22

(Image Source: I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22. #tswift #itsmybirthday …)

I waited three years for November 5, 2015.  I can finally say “I’m feeling 22!!!”  If you are unsure of what I’m referring to, listen to this:

” I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22!”

Follow along as I take you through my day: My best friend Gabby bombarded me with texts at 7am, wishing me “Happy Birthday!” and gifting me with Tom Hiddleston and Johnny Depp gifs.  HAHAHA!!!  I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t.  I decided to make myself some homemade salted caramel coffee.  My mug didn’t fit under the Keurig so I removed the bottom container.  That was a big mistake because it catches excess liquid.  When I poured in the water, the excess had nowhere to go but all over the counter.  Fun times!  Unfortunately, the coffee did not taste as great as my expectations.  Next, I spent some time checking my social media accounts, blogging, and watching “Criminal Minds.”  I published a very special art project that took three months to complete; I made collages to represent my top 6 favorite TV and movie couples.  Check it out: Can’t Help Falling in Love

Due to my early morning start, I fell asleep on the couch around 11am.  I was awakened one hour later by my mom wishing me “Happy birthday!” and encouraging me to open my presents.  I received seasons 6 and 7 of “Little House on the Prairie” and the complete series of “The Nanny.”  Yes, yes, and YES.  I ate pancit for lunch and relaxed until 4pm.  My family went to “Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill” for dinner.  I had an 8oz sirloin and macaroni & cheese; wings and rolls were also involved.  From there, we went to an Ontario Reign vs San Diego Gulls hockey game.  The Gulls are the Anaheim Ducks minor league team so I was cheering for them; unfortunately they lost 4-1.  The game wasn’t the most exciting thing I have ever experienced, but we didn’t pay full price thanks to Groupon so I guess it was kind of a win.  I ended the night with Ben & Jerry’s “Americone Dream” ice cream and “The Carol Burnett Show.”  Not a bad day!  My family is also planning a belated-birthday trip to the zoo very soon.  I will be vlogging so subscribe to my Youtube channel and keep an eye out for that video within the next 2 months.  :)

So far, I haven’t had any “One Year Older Epiphanies.”  I don’t feel one year older, but that has a lot to do with the fact that I still look twelve.  In the next year of my life, I want to continue working hard and expanding my blogs and Youtube channel.  Having outlets for my voice and creativity means the world to me.  Thank you to each and every one of you who have chosen to subscribe and follow along with me; it means a lot to me that you care about what I write.  Also, I can’t believe our little blog family is 11 members away from 200.  What an amazing gift!!

I hope you enjoyed my birthday recap.  Don’t forget that Christmas is coming!  Artmas (on my Art Blog) starts in 38 days, and Blogmas will begin in 25 days.  You don’t want to miss it!

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– Lauren Michele <3

49 Days Until Christmas

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The Great Boot Detective

(Image Source: http://sewickleylibrary.org/?attachment_id=2588)

My search began two years ago.  I was browsing through Pinterest and came across a picture of a pair of boots that were cute, stylish, and perfect for fall.  I instantly fell in love and had to know where I could buy them.  The picture I saw was the same picture you see below.  I clicked on the picture to find its source.  I was redirected here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keikolynn/6377434857/in/photostream

A Flickr member named Keiko posted the picture sans information about where the boots came from.  I did as much digging as I could with only a Flickr image.  I came up with nothing and resigned to living without the boots.  Goodbye love of my life!  Fast forward to August 21,2015.  My mom woke me up sometime after midnight (VERY EARLY) to excitedly inform me that she had found “The Boots.”  Due to the fact that we had completed a five-mile hike the previous day, I was exhausted and not nearly as excited as she was.  I promptly fell back to sleep.  However, when I woke up, I remembered the one-sided conversation and rushed to my computer to see what she had found.  Sure enough, my wonderful mother had finally found “The Boots.”  Here they are: http://www.shoespie.com/product/10990546.html

They are made to order in Italy so it took a few weeks for them to arrive.  What is a few weeks compared to 2 years?!  Finally.  FINALLY I had “The Boots” in my hands.  Thank you mom!!  <3

*** Click each image to make it bigger. ***

Boots_Side 1

Boots_Front

Boots_Side 2

The color differs from the Flickr picture, but I think that has a lot to do with age.  Also, the Flickr picture was taken in the rain so the shoes are wet and therefore look darker.  Despite the appearance being different than what I expected, I have zero complaints.  The color is appealing and versatile, and the shoe is comfortable.  The search was worth it!!

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– Lauren Michele <3

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DisneyBounding Into Autumn

(Image Source: https://katejohns619.wordpress.com/tag/pocahontas/)

What is it: Disney Parks do not allow visitors to wear costumes because they might be mistaken for cast members.  DisneyBound refers to the subtle replication of Disney characters and places using street clothes.  This way, no one gets in trouble, and everybody has fun.  :)

How Did it Start:  Leslie Kalbfleisch A.K.A. Leslie Kay has imitated characters using fashion from the time she was a child.  When she finally achieved her goal of visiting Disney World with her best friend, she created a Tumblr blog to document the trip.  She called it “DisneyBound” because she was literally “Disney-Bound.”  All she had to do was post a few Disney-themed outfits, and it took less than a month for Leslie to get national recognition.  DisneyBound has its own community as well as a clothing lines dedicated to making DisneyBounding easier.  The possibilities are endless!!  (Liddane)

(Image Source: http://disneybound.tumblr.com/)

DisneyBound Blog: http://disneybound.tumblr.com/

DisneyBound Clothing Line: http://www.cakeworthystore.com/collections/cw-x-db

Ortiz, Leonard. Leo Camacho as Aladdin. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2015. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/disneybound-633983-disney-character.html.

Ortiz, Leonard. Leo Camacho as Aladdin. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2015. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/disneybound-633983-disney-character.html.

Leo Camacho A.K.A. Leo Zombie

Instagram – https://instagram.com/mrleozombie/?hl=en

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/user/MrLeoZombie

Ortiz, Leonard. Leslie Kay as Lilo. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2015. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/disneybound-633983-disney-character.html.

Ortiz, Leonard. Leslie Kay as Lilo. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2015. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/disneybound-633983-disney-character.html.

Leslie Kay

Instagram – https://instagram.com/leslieakay/?hl=en

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmKNavkUaDuM6FoFQPRhLhQ

Ortiz, Leonard. Sarah Sterling as Peter Pan. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2015. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/disneybound-633983-disney-character.html.

Ortiz, Leonard. Sarah Sterling as Peter Pan. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2015. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/disneybound-633983-disney-character.html.

Sarah Sterling A.K.A. Sarah Snitch

Instagram – https://instagram.com/sarahsnitch/?hl=en

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/user/imSarahSnitch

(Image Source: http://indieminded.com/2013/06/new-indie-brand-spotlight-adorkable-apparel/)

Adorkable Apparel Website – http://www.adorkableapparel.com/

Adorkable Apparel Youtube Playlist – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXTFEmMJUQH92xAAf1ycg_MwPrXDXcvW8

Traci Hines Instagram – https://instagram.com/tracihines/

Traci Hines Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/user/TraciJHines

(Image Source: http://charismastartv.tumblr.com/post/93943852409/my-spinelli-disney-bound-for-my-bro)

Disney Fashion Series by Charis Lincoln A.K.A. Charisma Star – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOmMpGzTokqrnlYLnDRAk6F0eTRD1nQS2

Instagram – https://instagram.com/charismastar/?hl=en

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/user/charismastar

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Moving on to part 2 of this post, I want to show you seven DisneyBound looks.  These are outfits I created from my own closet, no purchases necessary.

All the outfits are featured in my “Autumn DisneyBound Lookbook” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deEr9JoF3vI

Keep in mind this is my interpretation of seven Disney characters based on what was available in my wardrobe.  The ensembles are not perfect, but they capture the spirit of the characters.  DisneyBound is supposed to be fun, not difficult or stressful.

Jessie, “Toy Story”

(Image Source: http://www.fun.com/40-jessie-toy-story-wall-decal.html)

Yellow Cardigan

Plaid Button Down Shirt

Dark Blue Jeans

Brown Cowboy Boots

* * * Starts at 0:05 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deEr9JoF3vI

Evil Queen, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”

(Image Source: http://mickeyandcompany.tumblr.com/post/30625563768)

Sheer Black Top

Purple Blouse

Black Skinny Jeans

Black Booties

* * * Starts at 1:34 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deEr9JoF3vI

Meeko, “Pocahontas”

(Image Source: http://animated-disney-gifs.tumblr.com/post/17165426384)

Black Vest

Light Gray Sweater

Black Skinny Jeans

Gray Wedge Boots

* * * Starts at 3:13 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deEr9JoF3vI

Beast, “Beauty and the Beast”

(Image Source: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Beast)

Yellow Cardigan

Blue Sweater

Black Skinny Jeans

Brown Boots

* * * Starts at 4:29 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deEr9JoF3vI

Jack Sparrow, “Pirates of the Caribbean”

(Image Source: http://blogs.disney.com/oh-my-disney/2014/05/14/posing-tips-from-captain-jack-sparrow/)

Black Leather Jacket

White Blouse

Black Skinny Jeans

Brown Boots

* * * Starts at 5:47 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deEr9JoF3vI

Queen of Hearts, “Alice in Wonderland”

(Image Source: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Queen_of_Hearts)

Gray Heart Necklace

Red Sweater

Black Skinny Jeans

Tan Booties

* * * Starts at 7:06 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deEr9JoF3vI

Alice, “Alice in Wonderland”

(Image Source: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Alice)

Blue Button Down Shirt

White Flower Blouse

Cuffed Blue Jeans

Black Wedges

* * * Starts at 8:46 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deEr9JoF3vI

All of my Disney-themed Youtube videos are in one playlist.  Check it out Disney lovers!  ;)

“All Things Disney” Playlist:

Disney Challenge:

Epcot & Hollywood Studios Vlog:

Animal Kingdom & Magic Kingdom Vlog:

Autumn DisneyBound Lookbook:

If you enjoy one or more of the videos, please give a thumbs up and subscribe to my Youtube channel.  Both are helpful and encouraging to me as a Youtuber.  Please & thank you!

Subscribe to my blog to receive email notifications, and check out my other links listed below.

– Lauren Michele <3

Previous Post: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/once-upon-a-disney/

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Works Cited:

Liddane, Lisa. “Can’t dress up at Disneyland? Streetwear meets Disney in ‘Disneybound’ style.” ocregister.com. N.p., 6 Sept. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2015. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/disneybound-633983-disney-character.html.

 

 

 

 

Florida Travels Part 1 | Vacation Woes

(Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shookphotos/5727898411)

My family recently returned from a 7-day trip to Orlando, Florida.  Expect the unexpected because I am starting with the negatives of the trip.  Prepare yourself for ranting and venting.

(Image Source: http://www.theprospect.net/what-its-like-to-travel-through-airports-a-gifs-piece-25245)

1.  I have always wanted to travel the world, but I am having second thoughts.  On the way to Florida, the layover in Dallas lasted four hours instead of one hour; sleeping in an airport is definitely not comfortable.  Despite not having problems in the past, I got extremely sick during the flights.  In a nutshell, I am no longer a fan of flying.

(Image Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mathewg5/18-questions-sweaty-girls-are-tired-of-being-asked-dst2?sub=3400732_3475297#.al3we0wOdx)

2.  I lived in Texas for 13 years, and the humidity was unbearable.  Visiting Florida was like reliving a nightmare.  Non-stop sweating, irritability, and face breakouts.  Fun stuff!!

3.  I have heard tales of the hissing cockroaches in the sunshine state.  I believed they were big but thought the size was exaggerated.  NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!  Me and my brother, while exploring the resort grounds, discovered the dead body of a cockroach.  Believe me when I tell you the stories are not an exaggeration.  Hissing cockroaches are BIG.

(Image Source: https://nicolegoldfarb.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/10-things-ive-learned-about-living-in-nyc/)

4.  Hotel prices are ridiculous.  I paid $14 for SPF 15 sunscreen.  Seriously???

(Image Source: http://memegenerator.net/instance/24458614)

5.  Where are all the kids coming from??  Is there a fall break from grade school that I have never heard of??  Either that or everyone in Florida is home-schooled.

6.  Sports highs are amazing.  Sports lows, not so much.  Unfortunately, during the trip, the Anaheim Angels came up one game short of the playoffs, and the USC Trojans were upset by Washington.  My heart is still recovering.

(Image Source: https://ethiopiacatalog.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/peace-corps-abcs/)

7.  I had a blast at Disney World, but the crowds were both unexpected and annoying.  My family purposefully went during October because it is supposed to be a slow month.  If that is a slow month, I cannot even fathom what summertime is like.  The crowds were massive, and the people were, more often than not, rude.  I had a lot of fun, but I would be lying if I said the amount of people didn’t make me miserable more than once.

(Image Source: http://smileslovesyou.tumblr.com/post/30292461109)

8.  Never EVER wear converse to a theme park.  For the first two out of three days at Disney World, I wore Converse.  NEVER AGAIN!!  I cannot even begin to explain the excruciating pain, limping, and blisters I endured.  Thankfully, my family lifted my spirits by making me laugh and allowing me to sit and rest every now and then.

(Image Source: http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3t8s5i)

9.  Vacation is exhausting!  I know that might sound snobby and/or ungrateful, but I am being dead serious.  I need a post-vacation vacation.

Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon.  The theme is Disney World versus Disneyland.  :)

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– Lauren Michele <3

Previous Post: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/college-graduation-one-year-later/

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Sweater Weather

Sweater Weather(Source: http://media.giphy.com/media/b6mbP9A05uA2k/giphy.gif)

My 2014 – 2015 winter is complete.  I have now experienced snow on the west coast and in the south.  Despite a week’s worth of winter weather, today is the first authentic snow day.  REAL snow has been falling since early morning.  I am currently sitting in the TV room on the second story of my house watching snow fall outside the window, sipping a caramel latte, blogging, and watching “Ghost Whisperer.”  I am quite possibly experiencing a piece of Heaven right now.  Here is a picture of my backyard to help you imagine what I am experiencing today:

Sweater Weather

No hate intended, but the incessant amount of social media posts regarding a longing for spring and summer to hurry up and arrive sadden me.  I am absolutely obsessed with fall and winter.  I love dark clouds and rain and snow and wind.  Perhaps it’s my inner poet, but I find much more inspiration in seeing chaos (falling snow, rainstorms, etc) outside my window rather than clear skies and sun.  Don’t misunderstand me.  I love nature in all forms.  I chose landscape photography as a focus in college!  But, my heart will always belong to the colder months.  I am, after all, an autumn baby.

I hope all of you have a pleasant day, snow or not.  Stay cozy readers!

– Lauren Michele :)

Previous Post: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/oscars-2015-part-ii-best-dressed/

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No Place Like Home

Christmas-tree-and-fireplace-in-living-room

During the holidays, there is much to see: Christmas lights, family and friends, holiday shows, store displays, etc.  But, in my mind and heart, there is nowhere better to be than safe and snug within one’s own home.  Here is my December 20th favorite:

Where is your favorite place to be at Christmastime?  I could say my house and be done, but that is not my full answer.  I told my tale of Christmases past involving a Christmas tree farm, but this post revolves around the results.  It feels good to complete the process of cutting down a tree, driving it all the way home, grooming it, maneuvering it into the house, setting it up, watering it, and decorating it.  Why not take a step back and admire the finished product, a question that brings me back to my main point.  My favorite place to be at Christmastime is snuggled up on my living room couch admiring the glow of the Christmas tree lights, preferably at night.  Another positive side effect is how beautiful the other decorations look bathed in the glow of the colorful lights.  In the case that my family does not purchase a tree, I am satisfied with laying on the living room couch and staring at the nativity scene.  Each character has a unique, meaningful story, and each story centers around one being: Jesus, the Reason for the season.  What a way to spend the day!

Stay tuned for my favorite ornament and favorite decoration.  Yes, those are two different things.

Stay merry readers!  Only 5 more days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele  :)

“Let there be light.”  – Genesis 1:3

Seasonal Smells

fir-scented-christmas-candle-1

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!!!  Today’s post is all about the senses, specifically smell.  Here is my December 19th favorite:

What is your favorite holiday scent?  This is an easy answer: Evergreen (a.k.a Christmas trees).  I don’t think it has to do with the fact that Christmas trees are a common family tradition.  When I think of Christmas, I think of winter and walking through snow therefore I like the the scent of evergreen because it reminds me of the picturesque outdoor scene in my head.

Discussing Christmas trees has reminded me of a childhood memory, and I have decided to share that memory with you as a bonus.  My family did not participate in the Christmas tree tradition until we moved to Texas.  A few years after our move, a couple from our church invited us to accompany them on their annual Christmas tree farm trip.  The drive took 1-2 hours, but it was well worth it.  The entire day consisted of riding in a trailer, picking and cutting down a Christmas tree, spinning on a tire swing hung from a tree, eating hot dogs cooked over an open flame, and drinking hot cocoa.  Even though we only repeated the experience twice, it is something I will never forget.  I am holding those memories especially close this year because my family does not have a tree.

Stay merry readers!  Only 6 more days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele  :)

“Not only green when summer’s here,
But also when it’s cold and drear.
Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree,
Thy leaves are so unchanging!”  – “O Christmas Tree”