January 2016 Favorites

Hello readers!  Today I’m going to be sharing my favorite event & products from January 2016.  Feel free to leave comments down below. :)

– Riverdance –

Being the totally awesome parent that he is, my dad bought tickets to a 20th anniversary performance of Riverdance.  The seats were one row back from the stage!!  Unfortunately he got sick, but my mom sacrificed and took his place. ;)  It was my fifth time seeing the show, and I still got emotional.  It was absolutely incredible sitting so close and seeing the emotion and camaraderie between the dancers.

– Seared Ahi Spinach Salad –

After the performance, my mother and I had a lovely dinner at Claim Jumper.  Having said that, NEVER eat dinner at a mall on a Saturday.  The restaurant was across the street from the theater, and by the time we ate, the show had been over for three hours.  However, the salad I had was amazing and worth the wait.  Here is a list of ingredients for those of you who desire such details: ahi tuna, crunchy noodles, red onions, tomatoes, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, feta cheese, glazed pecans, sesame seeds, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Everybody in my church subconsciously decided to make tamales and give them to my family at the same time.  I dove in headfirst and never looked back.  I want to clarify that my newfound appreciation is directed towards one specific variation: tamales with olives.  My Mediterranean blood compels me to love olives, and I do.  Tamales with olives are muy delicioso!

– Plantain Chips –

Plantain chips are the bee’s knees, and I want the world to know it.  They are crunchy like dried banana but savory like chips.  I recommend the lightly salted Pampa plantain chips because I strongly dislike heavily salted foods.

– Winterberry Wonder Lotion –

This delightfully scented concoction was a Christmas gift, and it has been my go-to lotion ever since.  The keynotes are red winterberry, ruby apple, sparkling cranberry, snowkissed camellia, and crystal vanilla.  It smells mostly floral with hints of berry and apple.  Call me crazy but I almost always smell a hint of watermelon in Bath & Body Works lotions, this product included.

– English Lavender Linen Spray –

I struggle with insomnia, and one of the commonly known remedies is lavender.  I researched and found several different products but ultimately decided to give the spray a try.  Even though this spray from Bed, Bath, & Beyond isn’t made specifically for insomnia, it works.  The scent is distinctly lavender and very fresh.  I spray it all over my pillow and bed right before going to sleep.  Sometimes I read a book post-spray, another helpful trick for treating insomnia.

– Fragrant Jewels Candles –

I bought these candles to review the company for my Youtube channel.  Even though the draw of this company was the rings hidden inside the products, I ended up loving the candles.  The Frosted Gingerbread candle is spicy, and the Winter candle is woodsy.  They can burn for up to four hours at a time, and the scent is detectable within a few minutes.  For more information, watch my video:

– Soda Scribe Womens Booties –

I wore these boots to work on New Year’s Day and received so many compliments.  They are comfortable and look great with or without socks/tights.

– Adult Coloring Book & Colored Pencils –

 

I’ve been wanting an adult coloring book for a long time and used a recent family trip to Barnes & Noble as my chance to get one.  It was a little embarrassing paying for a coloring book and colored pencils, but I got over my pride and did it.  I can already tell this book will last me a lifetime because I haven’t even finished half a picture yet.  Coloring is relaxing and a great creative outlet, and I highly recommend you give it a try. :D

– “Sisters of the Quilt” by Cindy Woodsmall –

I’ve already discussed this series on this blog so all I will say is this series is fantastic and impossible to put down.

“I live in a home full of strict rules, even for an Old Order Amish family. My Daed doesn’t believe in allowing our tradition of a rumschpringe. At its best, the running around years is meant as a time of extra freedoms that gives singles an opportunity to find a spouse. But sometimes young people take advantage of it, so my Daed all but forbids.  Still, I have found love, and even though Paul isn’t Amish, I know that if I spent a lifetime looking, I’d never find a better man. He’s gentle and kind, and his sense of humor is every bit as strong as his sense of responsibility.  But if my Daed knew of our friendship, he’d put an end to it, and I’d be grounded from stepping off the farm for even a stroll for months, maybe a year.  Paul leaves Owl’s Perch each fall, and even though he writes me letters and sends them to his grandmother’s house, he’s never hinted at how he feels beyond friendship.  Despite my Daed, despite that I’m only seventeen, despite that Paul goes away to a sea of girls each year, I choose to believe that he cares for me like I do him, and that love will find a way for us.”

– “Child Genius” –

Does anyone else love this TV show?  I have been watching it since the first season, and the kids never cease to amaze me with their knowledge.  The premise is children with high IQs competing for the title of “Child Genius.”  Every episode features two rounds, each focused on a different subject such as math, history, or logic.  For more information, follow this link: http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/child-genius

– “The Bletchley Circle” –

I am in love with this miniseries!  Netflix recommended it to me.  The show follows a group of codebreakers post-WWII.  Once the war ended they were required to move on with their lives without telling anyone what they had done.  They find themselves brought back together by circumstance in order to solve a crime; this occurs three times.  For more information, follow this link: http://www.pbs.org/program/bletchley-circle/

– “Dance Academy” –

I have watched this show at least three times all the way through.  It is definitely one of my favorite TV shows of ALL time.  WOW!  That’s a bold statement.  I relate to this show on a deep emotional level because of my dance background.  I understand the family-like bonds that develop and the struggles that come with being an aspiring professional dancer.  On top of all that, it’s a great show.  All three seasons are currently available on Netflix.  For more information, here is the IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1551948/

– “Gossip Girl” –

I realize that I am way late to the “Gossip Girl” party but better late than never.  I’m not that far into the first season, but I like it.  It’s a good show to turn on when I have hours of work to get through.  The show follows the drama surrounding a group of wealthy teenagers living in Manhattan.  It is currently available on Netflix.  For more information, here is the IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0397442/

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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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June 2015 Favorites

June 2015 Favorites

Here is a list of my favorites from the month of June.  If you would prefer to watch a video, click the following link: https://youtu.be/dQ7BGGt4N9M

If you want to look at pictures and read, proceed!  :)

– RED Concert –

RED Concert

Me and my brother had an AMAZING time at this concert in Downtown Disney.  We weren’t too fond of the first three bands on the tour, except “Bad Seed Rising.”  They were pretty good.  However, when RED came onstage, the ticket price and standing for hours was worth it.  They KILLED it!!!

Show their Vevo some love and listen to their music: https://www.youtube.com/user/REDVEVO

RED Website: http://www.redmusiconline.com/

– Downtown Disney Souvenirs –

• Disneyland 60th Diamond Anniversary Minnie Mouse Plush Doll –

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Minnie Mouse Plush(Source: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Disneyland-Anniversary-Diamond-Celebration-60th-MINNIE-MOUSE-9-PLUSH-Doll-NWT-/371333109280?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56752d9620)

Google: https://www.google.com/search?q=Diamond+Anniversary+Minnie+Mouse+Plsuh&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#q=Diamond+Anniversary+Minnie+Mouse+Plush&tbm=shop

• Genie pin

Genie Two Wishes Pin(Source: http://www.magicalearscollectibles.com/assets/images/400008628822-500×290.jpg)

WDW Store: http://www.yourwdwstore.net/Disney-Aladdin-Pin–Genie–I-am-here_p_26957.html

While I attended the concert, my mom was kind enough to get me the Diamond anniversary Minnie Mouse plush for my collection.  I buy one every time I go to Disneyland.  Even though I didn’t actually go into the park, I was in Downtown Disney, and I don’t know if I will make it to the park before the year is over.  I also have a pin collection and needed/wanted Genie for my collection in honor of the great Robin Williams.

– Bates Motel –

Bates Motel(Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/29/bates-motel-season-2_n_4687153.html)

This show is unbelievable.  The tension will tie you in knots, but your eyes will not be able to look away.  5 stars, no hesitation.  I gave the set, costuming, and lighting a review on my art blog.  Check it out: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/welcome-to-the-bates-mote

– Chobani Coconut Greek Yogurt –

Coconut Chobani Greek Yogurt

Chobani Website: http://www.chobani.com/products/blended#coconut

I love Chobani’s peach yogurt, but once I tasted this flavor, nothing else compared.  I actually used to hate coconut but developed a liking for it a few years back.  This yogurt has a pure coconut taste as well as shredded coconut throughout.  I highly recommend this to any of my fellow coconut lovers

– White Keds –

White Keds

I have been wearing my white Keds all month long, the perfect 50s touch for any outfit.  They can be dressed up or down, they match everything, and they are both stylish and comfortable.

Kohls Website: http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-1128957/keds-champion-oxford-shoes-women.jsp

– Bath and Body Works Country Chic Ultra Shea Body Cream –

Bath and Body Works Country Chic Ultra Shea Body Cream(Source: https://www.shopmyexchange.com/products/images/xlarge/6405537_0000.jpg)

Bath and Body Works: http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/product/index.jsp?productId=41553786&cm_vc=200

I love smelling good, and this warm, sunflower fragrance is the perfect way to start my summer.  Here is a list of all the layers in this scent:

Top Notes: Sparkling Lemon, Grapefruit Zest, Juicy Pear, Marigold

Mid Notes: Fresh Raspberry, Golden Sunflower, Day Lily, Sheer Gardenia, Orange Blossom

Dry Notes: Peach Nectar, Vanilla Orchid, Cedar Wood, Amber Wood, Airy Musk

* NOTE: This item was accidentally left out of my favorites video on Youtube.  You are getting a blog exclusive.  :)

– Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask –

Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser:Mask

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

This a repeat from last month.  My acne has definitely improved; my skin is almost entirely clear right now.  Thank you Neutrogena!  My next foe: blackheads!!!

– T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel –

T.N. Dickinson's Witch Hazel(Source: http://www.amazon.com/Dickinsons-Astringent-Natural-Witch-Hazel/dp/B00016WW8Q)

T.N. Dickinson Website: http://www.dickinsonbrands.com/firstaid_natural.htm

I’ve been using this alongside of my acne face wash, and I think it has definitely sped up the healing process.  I’ve been using witch hazel for years, and I still stand by it as a miracle product.  I use this brand for healing pimples, Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel for taking away redness before applying makeup, and Thayers Cucumber Witch Hazel for moisturizing before bed.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my June 2015 Favorites.  Stay tuned for the next  blog post coming very, very soon.  Happy summer readers!

– Lauren Michele <3

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Blogmas 2014 – Candles Candles Candles

Candles Candles Candles (Please excuse the bad quality phone picture)

I hope your noses are in tip-top shape because tonight’s post is all about CANDLES!!  Today was the sacred day that die-hard Bath & Body Works shoppers crave the other 364 days of the year, leap years excluded.  Today was “$8 Candle Day.”  I cannot tell a lie.  This whole “I need a gazillion candles in my life” craze is new to me, but I caught on quickly.  First of all, the store was absolute chaos.  California women do not mess around when it comes to sales, even if they are holding one or more babies.  I was poked, prodded, stared down, and 100% overwhelmed.  Even the employees were getting trapped by the sea of shoppers.  Despite my “fear”, I was more worried about the candles.  People were moving about as if the store was full of cotton instead of fragile candles.  Take a chill pill!!  If you can’t already tell from my dramatic narrative, I am NOT a crowd person.  Fun fact about me: I will not go to a store to wrestle over an item in person.  However, I am a master online shopper; I will bid to the death.  Perhaps I will share some of my wisdom with you another time.  Back to the topic at hand.  I made it out of the store alive with four candles.  At $8 apiece with the inclusion of a $10 off coupon, I paid a little more than twenty-three dollars total.  That is the amount I would have paid for ONE candle on a normal shopping day, and I walked out with FOUR candles.  Hallelujah, praise Jesus.  I love saving $$$!!!  I will end this post with a description of each candle, including Marshmallow Fireside which was purchased last month.  FYI: These descriptions come on the bottom of each candle; I cannot take credit for the text in quotation marks.

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.”  I chose this candle over “Frosted Cranberry” because the scent was more delicate.  Despite the absence of citrus, the scent has a citrus quality that cuts the harshness of the cranberry.  This scent is ideal for any Thanksgiving table.

Gourmet Espresso – “The fragrance of rich espresso delightfully brewed with artisan coffee beans is the perfect complement for your homemade holiday treats.”  Coffee lovers need this candle in their life.  I am not a coffee aficionado nor do I drink pure coffee, but this scent is absolute heaven.  This candle was made to be lit in your kitchen every morning.

Holly Jolly Christmas – “Have a holly jolly Christmas with this festive blend of bright mandarin, red pomegranate, and fresh balsam.”  Christmas-themed scents tend to be too spicy for my taste.  If you are like me, this is the candle for you.  The notes of fruit add just enough pop to the fresh balsam without being overpowering.  A “Fresh Balsam” candle is also available, but I chose this candle instead because the scent offers more than one note of Christmas.

Marshmallow Fireside – “A sweet toasty end to a long cold day – toasted marshmallows and sumptuous vanilla cream blend with the comforting aroma of rich smoldering woods.”  I am not a huge fan of sweet scents because they can be very nauseating.  While this scent is very sweet, in small doses it is a pleasant pick-me-up.  You know that scent from bonfires that makes your eyes and nose burn?  Hints of that toastiness are present and break up the sweetness a little bit.  This scent is 100% dependent on the first impression.  You either like it or you don’t; there is no compromise.

Mint Mocha Bark – “Wrap this delectable medley of creamy smooth mocha, vanilla, and icy mint in a bow and give it to your nearest and dearest.”  Plain and simple: if you want to have the scent of a Starbucks peppermint mocha frappuccino within reach at all times, this is the candle for you.

Now go forth, shop, & fill the air with fragrance.  Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

“It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt

 

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