Dance Until The Music Stops

This is a difficult subject for me to discuss, but this blog is like my diary so I need to be honest.  I recently took on the project of turning my dance recital DVDs into digital files so I could put all of my routines into one video.  Doing so brought up a lot of good memories but also an equal amount of bad memories.  I am my own worst critique.  It is a rare occasion for me to watch myself dance and think that I did a good job.  Watching old routines makes me realize how hard a time I had as a dancer.  Was I a good dancer?  Yes.  Was I a great dancer?  No.  What made the difference?  Fear.  The biggest problem I see when I dance is my tentativeness.  I was never able to to dance without flooding my mind with doubts and fears:  “Do I look fat in this costume?”  “No one will watch me if I look fat!”  “Suck in your stomach!”  “Do I remember all the steps?”  “What if I forget the routine?”  “I’m going to forget something!”  “That was a terrible performance!”  “I never want to dance again!”  That’s the basic idea of my dancer’s brain.  Never stopping, never quiet.  Unfortunately, I fall into the category of dancers who’ve fallen prey to distorted body image and eating disorders.  I went to extreme lengths to lose weight.  I thought that if I looked more like a ballerina, I would improve at dancing.  At the time I thought my body was an eyesore, but now I realize I was indeed skinny.  I looked the part, but it wasn’t by healthy measures.  I loved to dance, but I could never overcome the obstacle of fear.  When I first watched “Riverdance” on VHS and saw Michael Flatley and Jean Butler dance, I had no reservations.  I just wanted to dance!  Somewhere along the way, I allowed fear to beat me down and destroy my passion.

“You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.”  – Merce Cunningham

• On a happier note, I will forever be grateful for my dance mates.  No one understands the bond between dancers until you have navigated the ups and downs of dance with the same group for years.

I want to encourage boys, girls, men & women dealing with these or similar struggles.  Please don’t let fear run your life!  Take one step at a time and give your all to whatever you are doing.  Failure wont harm you so don’t be afraid to try.  If it doesn’t work out, don’t blame yourself.  When dance turned out to be a stepping stone in my life, I blamed myself for being fat and lacking talent.  The truth is God had always intended for me to turn my attention to something else.  Each and every one of us is dealing with obstacles.  You are not alone!

• It is time to start dancing with abandon & have some fun! :D

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

• I leave you with wise words from a special group of vegetables. ;)

Source: https://twitter.com/veggietales/status/421387397167722496

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Fall Tag

(Leaf Image Source: http://pngimg.com/download/3601)

I combined three Youtube tags and made my own tag by removing and adding questions.  Enjoy fellow autumn enthusiasts!

I Love Fall Tag by MissJenFABULOUS: http://youtu.be/uBzboXYO0LY (Unavailable)

Sweater Weather Tag by ItsMeLexie1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GznrLPa1Wks

The Fall Favorites Tag by Jaclyn Hill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPJSgxzC-jE

Fall Tag Video: Fall Tag | Lauren Michele ♥

• Q1:  What is the Weather Like Where You Live?

(Image Source: http://thehazelkey.com/wow-thanks-rant/)

• A1:  California did not get the memo that fall has begun.  Although it is finally starting to cool down, there is a chance of eighty degree temperatures this week.  NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!  I will cheat on the west coast and move to the east coast if the sun rears its ugly head.  Clouds and chill all day everyday for this girl!

• Q2:  Favorite Fall Nail Color

(Image Source: http://www.sinfulcolors.com/productMain/colorDetails/8)

• A2:  Black.  I am not picky about brands although me and Essie have a love/hate relationship.  I currently have Sinful Colors Professional in “Black on Black”, and it is a repurchase.

• Q3:  Favorite Fall Eyeshadow

(Image Source: http://www.makeupalley.com/product/showreview.asp/ItemId=103910/Exotic-Berries-Quad/Milani/Eye-Shadow)

• A3:  When the air starts to get chilly, I immediately reach for my Milani “Exotic Berries” quad.  These colors not only blend well with each other but also with other eyeshadows.  I am not sure about other eye colors, but this quad does wonders for green eyes.

• Q4:  Most Worn Sweater/Sweatshirt

(Image Source: https://poshmark.com/listing/USC-vintage-hoodie-5470d92af71a860549012561)

• A4:  My USC sweatshirt from Forever 21.  I wore this hoodie so much in college, students made jokes when I showed up wearing something else.  Very funny!  No, I did not attend USC.  Growing up, I was influenced by family friends.  FIGHT ON TROJANS!!

• Q5:  Favorite Fall Clothing Item

(Image Source: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Womens-Mossimo-Supply-Co-Khloe-Fold-Over-Boots-/271570299387)

• A5:  Mossimo Supply Co Khloe Fold Over Boots.  This pair of shoes goes with every color of the rainbow and makes me look cool and heroic like Katniss.  ;)

• Q6:  Favorite Fall Drink

(Image Source: http://sgadvertisings.blogspot.com/2012/09/starbucks-venti-sized-salted-caramel.html)

• A6:  Tall, decaf, sugar free Salted Caramel Mocha Frappucino/Latte with soy milk and no whipped cream.  I’m actually drinking a frap right now.  Salty & sweet.  :)

The Official Recipe: Mocha sauce and toffee nut syrup are combined with coffee and milk, then topped with sweetened whipped cream, caramel drizzle and a blend of turbaned sugar and sea salt.

Recipe Source: http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/espresso/salted-caramel-mocha

• Q7:  Favorite Candy

(Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%26M%27s)

(Image Source: https://www.mansfieldpaper.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=productflypage.tpl&product_id=1635&category_id=367&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=2&vmcchk=1&Itemid=2)

• A7:  I don’t really like candy, but two candies I can tolerate are M&Ms and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

• Q8:  Favorite Thanksgiving Food/Dessert

(Image Source: http://www.campbellskitchen.com/recipes/classic-green-bean-casserole-24099

(Image Source: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20131120005407/en/Sara-Lee®-Desserts-Launches-Hotline-Pie-Predicaments)

• A8:  Green bean casserole & pumpkin pie.  What more can I say?  These two dishes are Heaven on earth.

• Q9:  Favorite Fall Candle

(Image Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwisq_LA3J3JAhUJR4gKHXxrDWoQjhwIBQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fpin%2F506232814341353495%2F&psig=AFQjCNHf3a-tq1Jv26BqN4QOx7A4GbYRHw&ust=1448064958234680)

• A9:  Cranberry Woods – “Fresh, tart cranberries, blackcurrant and warm cinnamon bark combine in a delightful fragrance inspired by the magic of the woods during harvest time.”

• Q10:  Favorite Fall Song

(Image Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2936352/Southampton-school-pupils-nightmares-seeing-Michael-Jackson-s-Thriller-video.html)

• A10:  “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.  First of all this song screams fall/Halloween.  Second, I don’t know of any other songs that are specifically about fall.  Third, after Halloween I listen to nothing but Christmas music.

Fun Fact:  My dance class did a tribute dance to “Thriller” the year that MJ passed away.  We wore old clothes and messy makeup.  It was a fun way to deal with sad circumstances.

“Thriller” Music Video/Short Film:

• Q11:  Football: Yay or Nay

(Image Source: https://instagram.com/p/9yiFCByoEV/?taken-by=usc_athletics)

(Image Source: http://www.sports-logos-screensavers.com/DenverBroncos.html)

(Image Source: http://www.sports-logos-screensavers.com/NewYorkGiants.html)

• A11: YES!!!  My favorite college team is the USC Trojans; my favorite NFL team is the Denver Broncos; and the New York Giants are my #2 NFL team.  :)

• Q12:  Favorite Fall TV Show

(Image Source: http://starcasm.net/archives/319691)

• A12:  DUH!  “The Walking Dead.”  I also love “Once Upon a Time”, but “The Walking Dead” is #1.  Forever and always!

“The Walking Dead” Season 1 Trailer:

• Q13:  Favorite Fall Movie

(Image Source: Amazon.com: An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving: Jacqueline Bissett …)

• A13:  I am not really a fan of Halloween, but if I were to pick Halloween movies to watch, I can handle “Hocus Pocus”, “The Addams Family”, “Addams Family Values”, and “Halloween” (Original and New version).  However, my favorite fall movie is “An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving.”  It is based on a short story by Louisa May Alcott, author of “Little Women.”

“An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving” Trailer:

• Q14:  Scary Movies – Yay or Nay

(Image Source: http://humor.gunaxin.com/terrifyingly-scary-halloween-pumpkins/167307)

• A14:  NAY!!!  I watch some horror movies but only to spend quality time with my brother.  That. Is. LOVE.

• Q15:  Favorite Fall Memory

(Image Source: http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-cakes/2011/09/fall-wedding-cakes#slide=3)

(Image Source: http://www.nutcracker.com/index.php)

• A15: Me and my dad are both November babies so my family always comes up with fun stuff to celebrate both birthdays.  Another great memory is my time as a dancer in the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker.  Auditions usually took place in September, and rehearsals lasted until the shows at the end of November.

Moscow Ballet Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/nutcracker.moscowballet/

Moscow Ballet Website: http://www.nutcracker.com/

Moscow Ballet Youtube Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/user/moscowballet

You may or may not see me at 8:01 – 9:24 :)

• Q16:  Favorite Thing About Fall

(Image Source: http://www.playbuzz.com/lafayetteimage10/which-fall-activity-is-for-you)

• A16:  Fall is my favorite season so I love everything about it.  :D

If you want to watch me answer these questions, watch the video:  Fall Tag | Lauren Michele ♥

* * * Remember readers: 13 days until Blogmas, 27 days until Artmas (on my art blog), and 37 days until Christmas.

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Spring/Summer Fashion Haul 2015

This is a SUPERSIZED Spring and Summer fashion haul consisting of apparel from Kohls, Target, TJ Maxx, and V-Luxury.  If you prefer not to look at pictures, you can watch my Youtube version: https://youtu.be/IqMxHfWv0sA

If you would like to look at pictures, proceed.  :)

– ANNA Pointy Toe T Strap Ballet Flats –

ANNA Pointy Toe T Strap Ballet Flats

http://www.v-luxury.com/womens-shoes/flats/anna-womens-40-kylie-flats-19723.html#prettyPhoto

– Meredith Zipper Wedge Sandals –

Meredith Zipper Wedge Sandals

http://www.target.com/p/women-s-meredith-zipper-wedge-sandals/-/A-16533482

– Lauren Conrad Nude Floral Cutout Heels –

Lauren Conrad Nude Floral Cutout Heels

This shoe is sold out at Kohl’s, but you can find a couple pairs on Ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NIB-LC-Lauren-Conrad-Womens-Floral-Cutout-High-Heels-/111673566061?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=410681957765&hash=item1a0043636d

Image Source: http://laurenconrad.com/blog/2015/04/chic-peek-my-april-kohls-collection/

– Lauren Conrad Black High Heel Dress Shoes –

Lauren Conrad Black High Heel Dress Shoes

http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-1905274/lc-lauren-conrad-womens-high-heel-dress-shoes.jsp

– Lauren Conrad Cuffed Skinny Jeans –

Lauren Conrad Cuffed Skinny Jeans

http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-2062386/lc-lauren-conrad-cuffed-skinny-jeans-womens.jsp

Those heels sure do look familiar!  *Wink Wink*

– Lauren Conrad Shortie Shorts –

Lauren Conrad Shortie Shorts

http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-2085442/lc-lauren-conrad-jean-shortie-shorts-womens.jsp

– Sonia Kashuk Face Print Weekender –

Sonia Kashuk Face Print Weekender

http://www.target.com/p/sonia-kashuk-face-print-weekender/-/A-16603272#prodSlot=_1_41

– Xhilaration Mixed Print Shift Dress, Black and White –

Xhilaration Mixed Print Shift Dress, Black and White

http://www.target.com/p/mixed-print-shift-dress-xhilaration/-/A-16753227#prodSlot=_1_115

– Xhilaration Double Bow Back Dress, Black –

Xhilaration Double Bow Back Dress, Black

http://www.target.com/p/double-bow-back-dress-black-xhilaration/-/A-16680225

– Xhilaration Open Back Dress –

Xhilaration Open Back Dress

http://www.target.com/p/open-back-dress-xhilaration/-/A-16687553#prodSlot=_2_39

– I bought one other dress, but I cannot find pictures online.  I think it is sold out.  If you would like to see it, you can watch the video on Youtube –

– Mossimo Denim Vest –

Mossimo Denim Vest

http://www.target.com/p/denim-vest-mossimo-supply-co/-/A-17007505#prodSlot=medium_1_4&term=Mossimo+vest

– Mudd Basic V-Neck Tee, Silver Rose Floral –

Mudd Basic V-Neck Tee, Silver Rose Floral

http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-1945011/mudd-basic-v-neck-tee-juniors.jsp?skuId=400988328651&search=400988328651&submit-search=web-regular

This tee looks casual and cute with the Mossimo denim vest and black skinny jeans.  ;)

– MILLY Ruffled Peasant Blouse, Bougainvillea Combo

MILLY Ruffled Peasant Blouse, Bougainvillea Combo

http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-2025450/milly-for-designation-ruffled-peasant-blouse-womens.jsp

– Xhilaration Tie Front Utility Shirt –

Xhilaration Tie Front Utility Shirt

http://www.target.com/p/tie-front-utility-shirt-xhilaration/-/A-16831818

– Xhilaration Woven Fashion Vest –

Xhilaration Woven Fashion Vest

http://www.target.com/p/woven-fashion-vest-xhilaration/-/A-16872747

Kohls: http://www.kohls.com/

Target: http://www.target.com/

TJ Maxx: http://tjmaxx.tjx.com/store/index.jsp

V-Luxury: http://www.v-luxury.com/

Happy shopping readers!

– Lauren Michele <3

Previous Post: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/aprilmay-2015-favorites/

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April/May 2015 Favorites

The following are my April and May 2015 Favorites.  If you do not want to read, watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf56IwSc6_0

If you want to read, proceed.  :)

– Tall, Decaf, Sugar Free, Iced Caramel Macchiato with Soy Milk, No Whip –

Iced Caramel Macchiato

http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/espresso/iced-caramel-macchiato#size=155349&milk=64

An oldie but goodie drink that is cold and refreshing, perfect for the impending summer weather.

– Del Taco Beer Battered Fish Tacos –

Beer Battered Fish Taco

http://www.deltaco.com/menu-tacos.html

An enjoyable and delicious fast-food alternative to gourmet fish tacos.

– Ben & Jerry’s Milk & Cookies Ice Cream –

Milk and Cookies Ice Cream

http://www.benjerry.com/flavors/milk-and-cookies-ice-cream

Vanilla ice cream with a fudge cookie swirl (basically cookies and cream) and CHUNKS of chocolate chip cookies.  Mmm Mmm Good!

– Call The Midwife TV Show –

Call The Midwife

http://www.pbs.org/call-the-midwife/home/

Image Source: http://cluckcluckapp.com/stuff-we-love-call-the-midwife/

If you like time period shows, nursing, midwifery, heartwarming stories, or all of the above, this show is for you.  Me and my mom, a former nurse, are madly in love!

– Haste the Day Album Release Concert –

Haste The Day Album Release Concert

Above the Storm: https://www.facebook.com/AboveTheStorm

Silent Planet: https://www.facebook.com/silentplanetmusic

Phinehas: https://www.facebook.com/Phinehasrock

Haste the Day: https://www.facebook.com/hastetheday

Best concert of my life so far!  If you are into metal, show support for the four bands by visiting their respective websites and giving their music a chance.

– Merona Handbag –

Merona Handbag

http://www.target.com/p/merona-timeless-collection-crossbody-satchel-handbag/-/A-15129448

This roomy handbag has been my constant companion throughout the month of May.  It is not only conveniently big but also easy to pair with outfits.

– Mossimo Denim Vest –

Mossimo Denim Vest

http://www.target.com/p/denim-vest-mossimo-supply-co/-/A-17007505#prodSlot=medium_1_4&term=Mossimo+vest

Thanks to encouragement from my mom, I gave denim vests a chance and have no regrets.  This is a great layering piece for warm weather, and I will venture to say that it will be equally adorable in colder months with long-sleeve tops.

– ANNA Pointy Toe T Strap Ballet Flats –

ANNA Pointy Toe T Strap Ballet Flats

http://www.v-luxury.com/womens-shoes/flats/anna-womens-40-kylie-flats-19723.html#prettyPhoto

These flats are a dream come true!!  The color is beautiful, the shape fits my wide foot like a glove, and there is some cushion on the insole.

– Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask –

Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser and Mask

http://www.neutrogena.com/product/clear+pore+cleanser-mask.do

When I turned 21, I started to get light acne.  If you have this same struggle, I highly recommend this product.  It does dry out your skin, but the effects are not drastic.  A little extra moisturizer is all you will need.  However, keep in mind that my results may vary from your own.

– Venice Dolce Berry Body Lotion –

Venice Dolce Berry Body Lotion

This product is no longer sold by Bath and Body Works, but you can find it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dbeauty&field-keywords=Venice+Dolce+Berry

I am not a fan of berry scents; they tend to be too strong for my taste.  This lotion is a bit strong and headache-provoking, but the scent lightens when it comes in contact with my skin.  I have been wearing it ALL month.  I am glad I gave it a chance!

Image Source: http://www.archwayvariety.com/venice-dolce-berry-travel-size-body-lotion-bath-and-body-works-3oz/

– You’re Such a Budapest OPI Nail Lacquer –

You're Such a Budapest OPI Nail Lacquer

http://opi.com/color/nail-lacquer/you%E2%80%99re-such-budapest#dMgH24EiW4tQbwTS.97

This pale lavender color is gorgeous and so flattering.  It will definitely be on my nails this summer.

Image Source: http://www.peachypolish.com/opi-spring-2013-euro-centrale-collection-part-2/youre-such-a-budapest/

– Lauren Michele <3

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Masha & the Nutcracker

moscow-ballets-great-russian-nutcracker

I cannot seem to get over the theme of memories so I am once again focusing on Christmas memories but through the eyes of a child.  Christmas is so special to me as an adult, and I truly believe that has to do with Christmas being made so special throughout my childhood.  Here is my December 11th favorite:

What is your favorite Christmas memory from childhood?  I started ballet at the age of 6 and continued on until I was 17.  When I moved to Texas at the age of 8, I joined a dance school that was involved in the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker every year.  I was an angel my first year and a Spanish divertissement my last year, my favorite part.  Dancing in a professional ballet with ballerinas from Russia, the capital of ballet, was an incredible experience that I was fortunate to have 8 years in a row.  I did not go on to dance professionally, but I will always have a special place in my heart for dance, especially my time dancing with the Moscow Ballet.

What is your favorite Christmas memory from childhood?

Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

“The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads…”                                     – “The Night Before Christmas”