“A Line in the Sand” by Teri Wilson | Book Review

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“When his Uncle Henry retires, Max Miller moves to Turtle Beach, North Carolina, to take over his aquarium and sea turtle hospital. Little does he know the business is struggling, and he’s being called in to captain a sinking ship.

After a recent heartbreak that left her feeling lost, Molly Prince is desperately trying to find her direction in life. That’s easier said than done when you’re distracted by a new puppy named Urusla and overbearing advice from parents who own the beachfront house you’re living in.

Max and Molly meet during a near-drowning incident and feel instant attraction, but their acquaintance is quickly put to the test when uptight Max decides an aquarium is no place for a mermaid and her puppy, with or without the lobster costume. His first day on the job is a disaster, and he realizes his rash decision cost the aquarium its heart and soul. The town points their justified anger towards him, and he almost caves, but there’s something about Molly’s attitude that puts his defenses back up. He sticks by his decision and tries to manage the financial mess in front of him without thinking about the blonde mermaid who happens to be his next door neighbor. When things start to look up thanks to a fundraising idea from Molly and the unique ability of her puppy to sniff out sea turtle nests, the pair realize they might have no choice other than working together. Will they be able to get along and save a business they both love, or has the sun set on their chance at both friendship and romance?”

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*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Sourcebooks Casablanca through NetGalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

I don’t often dive into the romance genre, pun intended, but “A Line in the Sand” spoke to my inner child. As a 90s baby and 2000s kid, I was obsessed with Aquamarine, H2O: Just Add Water, and Lisa Frank. Summers were reserved for waking up early and swimming in the pool for at least three hours. Needless to say Teri Wilson’s romance between a marine biologist and mermaid might as well have been plucked from the imaginations of millenials. 

There were side elements that gave this book potential as a nice summer read. The North Carolina island setting almost made me feel positive towards summer, which is a feat if you know me as the cold-loving November baby that I am. The snippets of the senior citizen activity agenda had me feeling exhausted; that lively group put my sedentary life on blast, and I’ll admit I felt shamed into being more busy. Ethel Banks, Opal Lewinsky, and Mavis Hubbard, known around town as “Charlie’s Angels,” were hilarious, always sticking their noses where they don’t belong and trying to move things along between a certain couple. My favorite part was learning about the day-to-day operations of the aquarium and sea turtle hospital. If the Angels are giving a tour with complimentary frozen Milky Way lattes anytime soon, count me in!

Unfortunately this is where the aquatic fun ends. Even though it was supposed to be the crowning jewel, the romance was a huge letdown. There was a muddle of tropes: several handfuls of enemies to lovers with a dash of fake dating and insta-love. I don’t mind tropes, but pick a lane if none of the scenarios are going to go far enough to be worth the time. Everything felt skin deep and not fleshed out enough to make me feel invested in Max and Molly’s relationship. I was left feeling “meh” which is probably why I felt irrationally irritated by the overuse of Ursula’s breed “Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.” I know that breed is special to the author, but I think Ursula’s adorable face on the cover and the first or second mention of the full name is enough. I also didn’t love Molly as a character, although her love of The Great British Bake Off was a redeeming trait. She came off as petty and whiny at times which annoyed me as someone who’s more like Max, very serious and a little awkward in situations meant to be loose and fun.

I was much more invested in the last fourth of the book and flew through it so my rating is rounding out to three stars. This was not a new favorite, but perhaps it will work for readers more acquainted with the genre. I would recommend this book to romance fans but only those who genuinely enjoy an easy, fluffy read. Think of it as the literature version of a Hallmark movie, and you should be fine. Play an ocean ambience video for extra beachy vibes!

-> -> -> -> -> OUT ON AUGUST 2ND! <- <- <- <- <-

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Content Breakdown: 

*Disclaimer: I read an uncorrected ARC so certain things might change in the final copy.

Alcohol: Rosé, Whisky, Wine, general mentions of alcohol, & one instance of being drunk

Language: Molly uses the term “lady bits” while referring to her mermaid tail.

Ethal, Mavis, & Opal wear sun hats to SandFest, two of which say “Cheers Beaches” & “Resting Beach Face.”

Ethel & Opal argue over a game of Scrabble because one of them wants to use “vayjayjay” as a word.

Steaminess: Ethel Banks remarks in chapter 5 that Max is “even more good-looking dry than he is wet,” referring to his appearance after nearly drowning at the dog beach. 

Max and Molly constantly admire and think about each other’s physical assets (i.e. Max’s abs & Molly in her clamshell bustier & mermaid tail). Their physical contact stays in the realm of hand holding, hugging, almost-kissing, & kissing.

Toxic Relationship: There are several mentions of Molly’s previous boyfriend who cheated on her.

Violence: Max has a complicated relationship with his Uncle Henry; in chapter 3, he’s upset & contemplates killing Henry for real, though it’s not a serious threat. 

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🌟 Find author Teri Wilson here:

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Saying Goodbye To Arthur

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The year is 2003, the day Thursday. I am 9-years-old. I’ve already spent the morning watching PBS Kids & finishing schoolwork. Now I’m on my way to the library. I know I’ll be leaving with at least one Arthur book in my tote bag. The hardcovers are my favorite!

The year is 2022, the day Monday. I am 28-years-old. I’m eating a mix of three cereals & watching the Arthur marathon on PBS Kids. In two hours, one of my favorite childhood shows will air it’s final four episodes. I’m not ready to say goodbye.

What can I say about an aardvark that’s been in my life for more than two decades? I was one month away from turning three when the show premiered. I may not have been watching on that very day, but it wasn’t long before I was checking out Arthur books from the library & watching the show on TV. I didn’t have “fancy cable” until I moved to Texas at the age of nine so PBS Kids was my Disney Channel for almost a decade. I wouldn’t change a thing about that experience because Arthur & his fellow PBS shows fueled my love for reading & learning. You cannot count on one hand how many episodes featured books & libraries & reading; it’s impossible! For that, I will forever be grateful. Thank you Marc Brown! Thank you cast & crew! Thank you PBS Kids!

This chapter of my childhood has closed, but I’m so excited for the next generations to experience this show in new ways. I just know they’re going to fall in love with this beloved aardvark and all of his friends. Goodbye Arthur! Thank you for everything. 💛

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YouTube

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Every day when you’re walking down the street

And everybody that you meet

Has an original point of view

And I say hey! (Hey!)

What a wonderful kind of day

If you can learn to work and play

And get along with each other, hey

You got to listen to your heart

Listen to the beat, listen to the rhythm

The rhythm of the street

Open up your eyes, open up your ears

Get together and make things better

By working together

It’s a simple message

And it comes from the heart

Oh, believe in yourself (Believe in yourself)

For that’s the place to start (Place to start)

And I say hey! (Hey!)

What a wonderful kind of day

If we can learn to work and play

And get along with each other (Hey!)

What a wonderful kind of day (Hey!)

What a wonderful kind of day (Hey!)

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– Lauren Michele ❤

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Lazy Winter Days

The holiday season is officially over, and I have yet to start my Christmas do-over. My work schedule was supposed to slow down, but I’ve been receiving extra hours & shifts. On one hand it’s a nuisance because I was looking forward to days of rest, but on the other hand I desperately need the money. I can no longer afford to “play” instead of work, which is why kids should never be in a hurry to grow up. Adulthood isn’t all bad, but it definitely isn’t as carefree as childhood. Anyway, I’m not here to rant about the struggles of adult life. I was blessed with a couple of days off from my retail job so I’m taking full advantage. Yesterday I did nothing, and it was pure bliss. I may have snuck in an hour or two of work in the evening, but most of the day was dedicated to binge-watching El Barco. After a refreshing night’s sleep, I started the day with a pumpkin frappuccino & a pumpkin bagel. I am currently watching season three, episode one of El Barco and blogging with my new Elretron typewriter. It uses Bluetooth to connect to my iPad, but the keys look, feel, & sound like I’m back in the 1800s. I get the best of the old & the new! I never invest in anything on Indiegogo, but this one time I’m glad I did. Once I’ve used it consistently, I will be putting together a full review so watch out for that. I go back to work tomorrow so I’m off to enjoy the rest of my semi-lazy Thursday. If you’re still on a holiday break/vacation, enjoy the rest of your time off. :)

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– Lauren Michele ❤︎

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All In

The final countdown is upon us fanboys & fangirls, the moment we’ve been waiting for since childhood: the Justice League will be on the big screen in one week! I am here to encourage peace before the chaos commences. DC community, respect your fellow fans. If your enthusiasm does not match that of someone else, please leave them alone and allow them to be happy. Marvel community, please don’t turn this into a war. No two fans are alike, but we all have one thing in common: we LOVE superheroes! I think both the Avengers and the Justice League would want us to be united, not divided. I am personally very excited and refuse to let anybody or anything to ruin this experience which is why I’m turning off all social media starting November 14th. I will be avoiding petty comments and reviews until I see the movie on the 16th because I want to form my own opinion without outside influence. If you’re not already jumping out of your skin with excitement, GET ON MY LEVEL!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_6yBZKj-eo

💪🏻 🦇 👑 🐠 ⚡ 🤖   J  U  S  T  I  C  E      L  E  A  G  U  E      A  L  L      I  N   💪🏻 🦇 👑 🐠 ⚡ 🤖  

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Misadventures in Babysitting

I recently reread the first three books of The Baby-Sitters Club series, and the nostalgia was overwhelming. I remember being inspired back in the day to make my own “kid kit” and be the best babysitter EVER. I’ve been blessed to care for children of all ages, and I like to think that I made some kind of positive impact on their lives. This is starting to sound heartwarming so let me put on the brakes because this is not about the good times. Be honest; you’re here to laugh at my expense. 😂 This is a more accurate description of what you’re about to read:

Just to be clear, I am a responsible babysitter, and nothing dangerous has ever happened in my care. The tales I’m about to reveal weren’t directly my fault, just a handful of humorous and unfortunate events.

– Board Game Gone Wrong –

The brother & sister I was babysitting suggested we play chutes and ladders, and I eagerly agreed because I thought it would be fun to relive my childhood. I have to be honest and tell you that I got beat fair and square. I didn’t come in first place nor did I come in second; I was dead last. This particular board game is meant for kids, and even though I had no intention of beating my young companions, I didn’t think I would be so terrible. We hadn’t been playing long before the sister turned to me and said with a straight face: “You’re really bad at this game.” There is nothing quite as humiliating as an insult from someone who is less than half your age. I haven’t played that game since.

– Late Night TV –

This particular situation was mostly my fault, but have no fear because it had nothing to do with my young charges. For an extended period of time, I had a steady babysitting job with a family who lived in my neighborhood. One night while sitting at their house, I decided to watch some television after the kids were sound asleep; of course I had the parents’ permission. It was late at night, and there was a thunderstorm brewing. Of all the things I could have watched, I settled on a crime show. That was my first mistake. I eventually decided TV was a bad idea, and picked up the book I brought with me which just so happened to be a mystery. That was my second mistake. My third and final mistake was leaving only one lamp on. I’m not sure why, but I never turned on the room light to make myself feel safer. It was a tense few hours. I didn’t know nighttime could be so noisy! I can’t even tell you how many times I checked the doors and windows to make sure they were locked ( once I built up the courage to do so ). When the parents arrived through the garage, I naturally thought they were murderers until they stepped into the house and greeted me by name. That was the last time I ever watched a crime show or read a mystery while babysitting.

– I Cry Fowl –

I will ease you into the fourth and final story with the typical babysitting story of a bird in the garage. It happened while I was outside with the “chutes and ladders siblings” for some fresh air and playing time. While taking a brief break from the sun, a curious bird joined us. He was harmless, but I couldn’t help panicking. The brother’s personality was unpredictable, and I pictured him opening the door and accidentally letting our new winged friend inside the house. Of course I had to cage (get it?!) my fear so the kids wouldn’t panic and do what I just described. I spoke softly and encouraged them to stay still so the bird wouldn’t feel threatened. He explored a little more and flew away, never to bother us again. Crisis avoided! I swear the animal kingdom is out to get me.

– Dino and the Popsicles –

I realize that the title sounds like a cool band name, but the following events are anything but cool. Literally! I was once again babysitting my neighbors, but this time it was during the day. The parents provided popsicles and told me the kids could play outside. Simple enough, right? WRONG!! When the time came, the siblings grabbed their cold, refreshing popsicles, and we ventured outdoors into the unbearable heat & humidity. After some quality playing time with their dog Dino, the sister informed me that she had to use the restroom. I thought nothing of it until she went to turn the doorknob, and nothing happened. I thought the door was stuck because that is normal in Texas, and I gave it a try. Nothing happened, and my heart started to sink into my stomach. I took some deep breaths and reminded myself that I had to stay calm because I was in charge of two kids and one dog. I made my way to the front of the house to try the garage door; I brought along the sister because she was old enough to stay calm and help me with the code to open the door from the outside. I managed to get the garage door open, but the door to the house was locked, and we had no luck finding the spare key. Trust me, I searched high and low. I had told the brother stay in the backyard with the dog; thankfully the garage wasn’t far from the gate so the sister and I pulled double duty keeping a close eye on them. Unfortunately that didn’t work. The little boy gave in to his curiosity and opened the gate before we could reach him. That wasn’t my main concern. Remember who he was with!! I spent the next 10-15 minutes running up and down the street yelling “DINO!!” No, this is not an unaired episode of The Flintstones. I desperately tried to shepherd him into the gate held open by the sister while simultaneously keeping my eye on the brother because, as you already know, he was very unpredictable (typical at his age). He tried to help by joining in with his small but mighty voice, but really it was just more noise and extra stress. Finally I got that darn dog into the backyard and locked all of us in. I had a mischievous dog and two sweaty, sticky kids in my care, and I felt helpless. I hated to pull them away from something important, but I had to inform the parents of our predicament since I had tried every other way to get back inside. Thankfully I had my phone on me so I called and left a calm, collected message. I spent the next hour or so keeping the kids distracted on the trampoline until their parents came to our rescue. I profusely apologized and fully expected to never work for them again. The parents shocked me by apologizing about their faulty lock, which they forgot to tell me about before leaving, and applauded my ability to stay calm in a stressful situation. I did indeed work for them again, and thankfully the preceding story was the worst experience I ever had, both with them and with babysitting period. It was a tough experience to go through, but I learned a lot.

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Out With the New, In With the Old | Throwback Thursday

What does that title even mean??  Patience young padawans.  Let’s look at some of the facts:

🕸️ A certain witchy drama is getting a reboot; yes, I’m talking about Charmed.

🐘 A continuation of the 1995 film Jumanji premieres at the end of 2017.

🌟 All is well with the Force because new Star Wars movies are being produced & released.

💰 DuckTales is coming back to television!  The reboot will premiere on Disney XD this year on a to-be-announced date.

👠 Fashionistas could step back in time & fit right in because many of the current trends were pulled from previous decades.

🎤 Gwen Stefani and JoJo released albums last year, a first for both since 2006.

⌚ If names like Andy Griffith, Buffy, The Cheetah Girls, and The Parent Trap ring any bells, you might want to make space in your schedule for binging sessions because Netflix has what you need.  Two seasons of Fuller House, a Full House sequel show, are also available.

📺 TeenNick airs retro Nickelodeon shows overnight, a programming block known as The Splat.

✨ The classic animated Disney movies are one by one being made into live action films. So far so good!

👾 The demand and availability for retro merchandise is widespread and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

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That is just the tip of the iceberg, but you get the picture.  Not a day goes by that I don’t hear about nostalgia.  I’m not sure of the main cause.  It could be adults missing the carefree days of childhood; you don’t truly appreciate what you have until it’s gone.  It could also be consumer attitudes turning against the present-day options in media and merchandise.  Personally, I think it’s a bit of both.  To clarify, no fault lies with the evolution of technology & entertainment.  There’s something endearing about what we grew up with.  Those memories are ingrained in our minds and hold a special place in our hearts.  Enjoying something from the past is what I imagine time travel to feel like, a transportation of mind, body, & soul; bliss takes over the senses along with admiration for a way of life without the advances of the present.  Here is an example.  Most of us can’t live without a cellphone in our hands, but I think we subconsciously miss a time when they were nonexistent.  Each household had one stationary telephone, and phone calls were special.  There are problems as far back as history goes, but this topic is less about politics & society and more about the ideology of “simpler times.”  When circumstances become overwhelming, we revert back to when life was, in the mind of a child, simple.

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Anthology Candles

Today I am reviewing products from Anthology Candles, a company owned by Rheney Williams and her husband Stephen.  Their soy products are whimsically inspired by music, movies, & books.  Keep reading for information on their candles, mini candles, & wax tarts.  My Youtube review video will be posted at the end for those of you who want to see the products in action.

Candles | $16.00

The top white layer is clean river water; the middle lavender layer is a floral blend; and the bottom purple layer is a mixture of flowers & water.  There is no need to burn the candle down to smell each layer; it immediately smells clean and floral.  If you like strongly scented candles that fill a room within minutes, this is not the product for you.  It took an hour for me to smell the scent, and even then I had to remain within a foot or two to enjoy it.  Once it is burnt, the candle’s scent is hidden by the smell of burnt wick.  As time goes on, the scent comes back and gets stronger.  The draw of this candle is definitely the aesthetic.  The design, inspired by the lantern scene in the Disney film Tangled, is spot on.  The white wax becomes transparent when burning and makes the candle appear as though it is a lantern.  The effect is mesmerizing!  If you are planning a Tangled party, think about investing in these candles and creating your very own “Floating Lanterns” scene.

• Find the candles here: https://anthologycandles.com/collections/candles

Mini Candles | $14 per sampler pack

Instead of purchasing more big candles, I got a sampler pack of four mini candles.  Belle’s Library is aged library books, hint of leather, & wild roses.  To me, it smells nutty with a hint of rose.  My nose is obviously confusing the smell of old books for nuts.  I don’t know of any other way to describe it.  It just smells nutty!  Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is bakery cakes with vanilla icing, chamomile tea, and a twist of cinnamon.  I do smell cinnamon and occasionally vanilla but mostly an icee.  I know that sounds crazy but it’s true!  Part of Your World is crisp coastal breeze & warm golden sand.  I smell a blend of vanilla & flowers, and the strength of the scent reminds me of Bath & Body Works products.  Tink’s Flight is fresh verbena, sweet coconut, & tangy lime.  I smell every single one of those notes.  The scent is sweet & sour just like Tinker Bell.  Time for the bad news.  The wicks are folded down in the packaging so when it comes time to light them, zip zilch NADA!  I had to trim the wicks a little bit and wipe them gently with a paper towel; I wasted a lot of matches before finally getting flames.  Once lit, the candles look pretty but don’t smell at all.  These sampler candles are fine if you plan on testing the scents without flame.  It might be a better investment to know what scents you like and buy a few big candles.

• Find the mini candles here: https://anthologycandles.com/collections/sample-packs

Wax Tarts | $25 for 4 different scents

* Note: Wax tarts are cubes of scent-infused wax.  Once placed in a warmer (e.g. Scentsy), the heat melts the wax and releases the scent.

I bought one sampler and received four different wax tarts.  Rivendell is amber, oakmoss, twilight woods, & woodland foliage.  I wish I could tell you that my dream of being a Middle Earth elf was fulfilled by this product.  Alas, it smells like play-doh, and the warmer is no help at all.  However, due to circumstances I cannot explain, the scent is improving.  There is hope yet!  Soaring Over is orange blossoms, orange groves, and salty sea breeze.  The scent is inspired by the Disney park ride Soaring Over California.  It smells of oranges and takes me right back to my childhood in Orange County.  The Black Pearl is cannonball smoke, mildewy wood, musty “pirates” water, & salty sea breeze.  I did not like this funky scent at first.  All you smell is must, mildew, and smoke.  Surprise of the year, it smells much more pleasant in the warmer.  If you aren’t into scents that are clean, floral, and/or sweet, this scent might float your boat (get it?!).  Wilderness Lodge is campfire and a forest tree mix of juniper, pine, & spruce.  This spicy forest scent will be p-e-r-f-e-c-t for Christmastime.  Overall, I am very happy with the scents I purchased.  However, much like the candles, it takes an hour or more for the scent to be recognizable, and it does not fill the room; you have to be within a few feet of the warmer to enjoy the scent.

* Rivendell scent description courtesy of http://ritareviews.net/2015/11/anthology-candles-spotlight-lord-of-the-rings/ *

• Find the wax tarts here: https://anthologycandles.com/collections/wax-tarts

Conclusion:

The novelty of Anthology Candles is attractive.  I would recommend their products for two things:

1. The candles and wax tarts are best enjoyed in close proximity (e.g. bedside table or living room side table).

2. I have seen the candles used as decor all over Instagram, especially on bookshelves.

My overall experience was good.  There are only a few changes I would suggest.

1. There are descriptions on the website for the candles but not the wax tarts.  This works out fine if the wax tart happens to have a candle, but if it doesn’t, there is no way of knowing what the scent is.  Also, the packaging gives no indication of the scent.

2. The mini candle sampler packs are not customizable.  There are three packs available, each with a set group of candles.  I am not sure of the possible complications, but it would be nice to have a customization option in the future.

3. The wax tarts can only be purchased in groups of four.  Once again, a customization option would be nice in the future.

4. These products would be much more enjoyable and worth the money if the scents were stronger.

• My review video:

• If you’re interested in more information on Anthology Candles, here are some links to get you started:

Article – http://ritareviews.net/2015/10/the-craft-behind-the-candles-by-rheney-williams/

Etsy – https://www.etsy.com/shop/AnthologyCandles

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/anthologycandles/

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/anthologycandle

Website – https://anthologycandles.com

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

– Lauren Michele <3

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/56028577-lauren-michele

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

Back to the Days of Yesteryear

If you know me well, you know that my life is fueled by nostalgia.  Not a day goes by without me thinking about something childhood-related.  For awhile I felt like a freak who just couldn’t handle the stress of “adulting.”  Turns out I’m not alone.  More and more people born in the 90s are speaking up and reminiscing about the “good old days.”  In college, blankets and backpacks adorned by beloved characters such as Strawberry Shortcake and Spongebob Squarepants were a normal sight.  I’ve recently noticed several Youtube videos revolving around childhood.  Remakes of classic TV shows and movies are being produced by the dozens.  There is unrest in the 2010s!!  I can think of two major reasons why this is happening.

1.  It’s normal to reach an age where childhood is a distant memory, and adulthood is a scary place.  The feeling is similar to that of a skydiver’s parachute unexpectedly disappearing.  Suddenly the innocence and freedom of the grade school years sounds like an upgrade.

2.  People are truly unhappy with the quality of entertainment (toys, music, movies, shows, etc) being produced this decade.  The 90s and 2000s are a golden age of sorts.  Think about it.  “Full House” has a successful spinoff, and “Hey Arnold” reruns air every weeknight on The Splat.  If demand is any indication, the surge of nostalgia isn’t stopping anytime soon.

No matter the reason, we are winning the battle.  Millennials unite!!  Here’s a look at my childhood:

• Baby Years (1993 – 1998)

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• Middle Years (1999 – 2003)

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*Note: I also watched a lot of old shows such as “Looney Tunes”, “The Flintstones”, I Love Lucy”, The Andy Griffith Show”, and “The Brady Bunch.”  My dad and I watched western movies on the weekends.  Lots of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. :)

Teen Years (2004 – 2011)

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*Note: My later teen years were spent obsessing over crime shows such as “CSI”, “CSI: NY” and “The Mentalist.”  I also watched reruns of old shows such as “The Nanny”, “Friends”, “Saved by the Bell”, and “Full House.”

• This is only a small part of my childhood.  For more nostalgia, click the following link & visit my “Childhood” board on Pinterest:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/lagirl93/childhood/

• I also have a “Throwback” playlist on Spotify:

Source: https://open.spotify.com/user/lagirl93/playlist/4iPObw0WtuVbw3v4zIvI4S

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

– Lauren Michele <3

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

– Image Sources in Order of Appearance –

http://www.eonline.com/photos/10678/the-most-awesome-things-from-the-90s/339845

• http://www.amazon.com/Berenstain-Bears-Forget-Their-Manners-ebook/dp/B00472OBSE/ref=pd_sim_351_4?ie=UTF8&dpID=615x3gtjaNL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_OU01_AC_UL320_SR320%2C320_&refRID=1R8T38FD5SMD9WG6MKE7

• http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Ratigan6688/Top_10_Best_Little_Kids’_Shows

• http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/TaleSpin

• http://dreamworks.wikia.com/wiki/VeggieTales

• http://www.americangirlmuseum.org/beforever/

• http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140618006549/en/Can’t-Can’t-Meet-Entrepreneur-Barbie®

• http://theodysseyonline.com/uvm/90s-fashion-that-should-make-comeback/376214

• https://play.wimpmusic.com/album/1412843

• http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Kim_Possible

• http://fortyfoursunsets44.blogspot.com/2012/08/back-to-school-with-lisa-frank.html

• http://www.playbuzz.com/emilyg11/do-you-actually-remember-lizzie-mcguire

• http://www.hulu.com/the-saddle-club

• http://www.m-magazine.com/posts/10-crazy-facts-you-never-knew-about-the-cheetah-girls-40916/photos/flashback-friday-tk-crazy-facts-about-the-cheetah-girls-48579#photo-anchor

• http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/hannah-montana/images/15486507/title/hannah-montana-season-1-wallpaper-21-wallpaper

• http://www.amazon.com/High-School-Musical-1-3-Efron/dp/B001Q3KQ68

• http://tigerbeat.com/2009/08/check-out-this-hot-jonas-poster-only-in-october-tiger-beat/

• http://kellyclarkson.wikia.com/wiki/Breakaway_(Album)

http://olsensanonymous.blogspot.com/2013/04/mka-2004.html

• http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Clock-Nancy-Drew-Book/dp/0448095017/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1RMEE3QJGKS50VGPE8SR

• http://www.maximumpop.co.uk/suite-life-of-zack-and-cody-throwback/

• http://winxclubworld.wikia.com/wiki/File:Season.jpg

• http://nickelodeon.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_Zoey_101_characters

Once Upon a Disney

I promised you more Disney so prepare yourself for an avalanche of nothing but DISNEY.  These decisions were very, VERY difficult so please understand if I give more than one answer.

* * * NOTE: Press Command + to make the blog bigger, and click on each image to make it bigger. * * *

• Favorite Disney Park – Disneyland

I’m a loyal California girl. 🌞

• Favorite Disney Park Attraction – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

This ride has just enough twists and turns to excite me but not scare me.  I am not ashamed to admit I am a wimp when it comes to roller coasters.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVP82m5KdDY

• Favorite Moment/Experience at a Disney Park

I have numerous memories from visiting Disney parks over the past 10+ years, but there is no time like the first time.  I was eight years old, disney-obsessed, and way too excited to notice crowds and hurting feet.  No negatives, only positives.  I still have my autograph book and pictures from that trip.  Good times!

• Favorite Disney Channel Show – Lizzie McGuire

I am the brunette version of Lizzie.  One disaster after another. 😑

Do You Actually Remember Lizzie McGuire? – http://www.playbuzz.com/emilyg11/do-you-actually-remember-lizzie-mcguire

I answered 12/15 questions correctly.  Not bad!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0TYjqBqgBo

Lizzie McGuire Episodes on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/search?q=Lizzie+McGuire&type=episodes

• Favorite Animated Disney Channel Show – Kim Possible

Do you remember the Kim Possible clothing line??  I do!!  I went through a looong Kim Possible/spy phase.  It was fantastic. 😄

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I43SMbqOMmY

Kim Possible Episodes on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/search?q=Kim+Possible&type=episodes

• Favorite Disney Channel Original Movie(s) – Stuck in the Suburbs, Cheetah Girls 12, and the High School Musical trilogy

Baby Taran Killam??  Yes please!!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCbIf8RvtIo

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geFANFWpIB8

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-Zwp_CQpp8

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZpSOSfymV4

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7SPi5fkT5Q

Me and my friends used to pretend we were the Cheetah Girls; my identities were Chanel and Dorinda.  I still know most of the lyrics to their songs.  Cheetahlicious!!

I had a sleepover when HSM 2 premiered, and, when I hosted a sleepover for my dance school friends, we watched the trilogy.  We’re all in this together!

*Note: I know #3 isn’t a Disney Channel original movie, but I couldn’t mention one without the other two.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6EOUaWscrE

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3G1BogR-68

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x42aPmtnVDg

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UiHFHF-Nqk

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

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEQXcbqvbT0

• Favorite Disney Princess Movie – Mulan & Aladdin

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpM0UNsy5s

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00BZSEWFhTo

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJJog4BJrUw

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWLa6y7Z2TE

• Favorite Disney Princess(es) – Mulan & Jasmine

Mulan’s courage is something I admire and strive for.  Imagine that!  A cartoon character as a role model.  Jasmine is exotic and beautiful (yes, a cartoon character can be beautiful).  She longs to be independent, free from strict rules; I can relate to that as an artist.  Mulan is my favorite, but Jasmine is a close second because she was my favorite growing up.

• Favorite Disney Prince – Flynn Rider & Aladdin

Hypothetically, if I had to pick a Disney prince to marry, it would probably  be Flynn.  Why?  I am a serious person so I need someone to balance out my drama with humor.  Flynn is a funny guy, but he also has a good heart underneath all the capers and hijinks.

No matter what Aladdin wants, he always follows his heart and does the right thing.  For example, he steals bread to feed his empty stomach, but, after outrunning a group of soldiers, he decides to give the bread to two children digging in the trash for food.  He has three wishes, and he chooses to give Genie his freedom with the 3rd.

• Favorite Royal Disney Couple/Love Story – Beast/Prince Adam & Belle

Belle looks past Beast’s scary appearance and makes an effort to be his friend when no other human will.  Beautiful!

• Favorite Animated Disney Movie – Tarzan

The environment, story, and music blend together in sweet harmony.  There is never a moment when watching the movie is a bad idea.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc3MnoSS5Hw

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfciC33t3M0

Fun Fact: There was a TV show on Disney Channel called Legend of Tarzan.  Look it up on Youtube and enjoy!

*Note: My current top seven animated Disney movies are Tarzan, Hercules, Aladdin, Brother Bear, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, and Lilo & Stitch.  This list is subject to change.  Yes, Mulan was ahead of Aladdin in the “Disney Princess Movie” category, but from a broader point of view Aladdin is in the lead.  I’m just now noticing six of my top seven movies have a male protagonist.  Interesting!

• Favorite Non-Royal Disney Couple/Love Story – Tarzan & Jane

They are basically the non-royal equivalent of Beast and Belle except Tarzan isn’t arrogant, and he remains a jungle man.  Adorable!

• Favorite Non-Princess Disney Character(s) – Megara & Esmeralda

Both are beautiful and sassy.  Need I say more?!  When I was little, I went through a gypsy phase.  I wore my Esmeralda skirt ALL the time, and, to top it off, I wore my Pocahontas shirt.  Disney fashion at its finest!

Favorite Non-Prince Disney Character – Stitch, Phil, & Phoebus

Stitch is quirky and adorable, and he feels like he doesn’t belong anywhere, which is something I feel on a daily basis.  Basically we’re long lost twins.  Phoebus is hysterical; he is Flynn Rider #2.  What can I say?  I like to laugh. 😂

• Favorite Talking Disney Sidekick(s) – Genie & Mushu

This category is hard to narrow down because some of the best Disney characters are sidekicks.  Genie is Robin Williams in cartoon form.  We’re not worthy of his genius!!  Mushu’s personality never ceases to make me cry from laughter, and I most definitely need Pegasus in my life.  I wouldn’t have to drive! 👍

• Favorite Non-Talking Disney Sidekick(s): Meeko, & Pegasus

I split the sidekick category because this decision felt like I was choosing my favorite child, and I had to make room for indecision.  ;)  I have ALWAYS loved Meeko & Pegasus.  Both of them are adorable, and they have some attitude.  Meeko is mischievous, and Pegasus is sassy.

• Favorite Disney Villain – Hades

Hades is a villain, but he’s also funny.  I’m not comparing the two, but he brings to mind a villainous version of Genie.  Maybe, maybe not.

• Animated Disney Character(s) I Am Most Like – Belle & Megara

I have fair skin, brown hair, and green eyes like Belle (green and hazel eyes are similar).  Also, I love reading.  I am quite sassy and stubborn; that’s where Megara fits into the puzzle.  It is 50/50.  Sugar & spice.  Call me Bellegara!!

• Least Favorite Character(s) From a Disney Movie – Francis from Swiss Family Robinson and Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

I mean no offense, but I am personally annoyed by these two characters, especially their voices.

 

• Favorite Soundtrack From An Animated Disney Movie – Tarzan & Brother Bear

Phil Collins is a musical genius!!  <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

• Favorite Song From An Animated Disney Movie – I See the Light

This song is lyrically touching and vocally stunning.  It also translates seamlessly into other languages.  To me, that is what makes it not just a good song but a great song.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mayDR-PlXo

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEdfsxz274I

*Note: Some of my other favorite songs (in no particular order) include A Whole New World, God Bless the OutcastsGo the DistanceHawaiian Roller Coaster Ride, I’ll Make a Man Out of You, I Wont Say I’m in LoveLook Through My Eyes, and Two Worlds.  I’m not sure I could ever pick a definite top 3 or 5 or 10.  Way too hard a decision!

• Favorite Cover of a Song From an Animated Disney Movie – Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride by Jump  5

I blasted Jump 5 back in the day.  This song always puts a smile on my face and makes me want to dance.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7wS3Pt7E68

• Favorite Pixar Movie(s) –  Monsters, Inc. series

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

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBzPioph8CI

I can’t explain exactly why these are my favorite Pixar movies.  All I can say is I love the concept and the heart of this series.  Fun Fact: I have stuffed animal versions of Mike and Sully from Monsters University on my bed.  That’s right!  Making my twenties awesome. 😉

• Favorite Pixar Character(s) – Mike Wasowski & Woody.

I love Woody’s loyalty and desire to preserve tradition.  I love that no matter how many times Mike gets criticized and knocked down, he gets back up and finds a way to succeed.  A friend and a fighter, two things I strive to be.

• Favorite Song From a Pixar Movie: Life is a Highway, Rascal Flatts

Every time I watch the movie, I can’t help singing out loud when this song plays.

🎶 Life’s like a road that you travel on
When there’s one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind  🎶

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UdZIh8_xGc

• What Disney/Pixar Movie(s) Makes Me Cry Without Fail – Lilo & Stitch & Toy Story 3

Stitch feels like he does not belong anywhere.  Who hasn’t felt that way at some point in their life??

Throughout the entire movie, Andy is dealing with saying goodbye to childhood.  The story never ceases to make me cry because I am currently struggling with that very issue.

Honestly, I think every Disney movie has at least one part that makes me tear up.  When Bambi’s mother dies in Bambi.  When Sulley says goodbye to Boo in Monsters, Inc.  When Aladdin sets Genie free in Aladdin.  The ENTIRE The Fox and the Hound movie.  The ENTIRE Dumbo movie.  When Ariel says goodbye to her dad at the end of The Little Mermaid.  There are numerous other scenes that make me cry, too many to count.  Disney certainly knows how to tug at one’s heartstrings! 😭

• Favorite Live-Action Disney Movie(s) – Into the Woods, Pirates of the Caribbean Series, & The Moon-Spinners

The acting, music, and visuals in this film are a delight to experience from start to finish.  Absolute magic!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Byk9Is3TjY

Dark, thrilling, and full of pirates.  What’s not to love?!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DXNYUTmGxA

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elqO-GNfStM

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBTL8A1F4j4

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8wi_1H0N8g

This film is a hidden gem I discovered at my childhood library.  It has been one of my favorite movies ever since.

A Scene From The Moon-Spinners:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83RB454iwpY

• Favorite Live-Action Disney Character – Jack Sparrow

He’s a handsome, funny, passionate pirate.  Saavy?!

• Favorite Soundtrack From a Live-Action Disney Movie – Into the Woods

Into the Woods Youtube Playlist:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEkKIlGDjm8&list=PLeVu9A85gHUCpYls-Z01rAdnSFT1mnC8M

• Favorite Song From a Live-Action Disney Movie – Agony

AHEM……….

Please don’t judge me because I am totally judging myself right now.  It’s a good song!!  If you love showtunes and over-the-top drama, trust me and listen to the song.

Agony Movie Scene:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmixlJ79ZF0

• Favorite Disney Quote

If you are new to my blog, I recently returned from my first trip to Orlando, Florida.  In the spirit of all things Disney, I made an “All Things Disney” playlist on my Youtube Channel.  Here are all the necessary links:

“All Things Disney” Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUvowXnQBLryo5tiEsNMI2Rc8x6jHuSjH

Disney Challenge:

Follow Me Around Epcot & Hollywood Studios:

Follow Me Around Animal Kingdom & Magic Kingdom:

If you watch the videos and enjoy them, please don’t forget to give each video a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel.  That helps me out a lot as a Youtuber and encourages me to keep doing what I am doing.  Please & thank you.  :)

BREAKING NEWS!!!

EEK!!!  My “Aladdin” Diamond Edition arrived.  I see a movie night in my near future.  Thank you madre!  <3

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/2015/10/13/florida-travels-part-3-the-highlight-reel/

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Dear Younger Self

(Image Source: https://worthyofagape.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/dear-younger-self.jpg)

Two nights ago, I had an eye-opening experience.  I couldn’t sleep so I decided to read through my old diary, and what I found shocked me.  I used vague language and failed to mention most of the significant events from my childhood.  There was no substance!  I am a writer; when the need arises, I express myself through words to vent and heal.  In my poetry journals, I was completely open about what was going on around me and how I was feeling.  However, those poems were written within the last five years.  My diary was started four years prior to my discovery of poetry.  Perhaps I’ve been watching too much “Criminal Minds” because I have an analysis.  I wont give explicit details, but I went through a lot mentally and emotionally.  My memories are crystal clear, but, based on my diary, I was not aware of how I was being affected.  I brushed aside contributing factors as minor annoyances.  I believe that repression is why, years later, I react so explosively; I am overcompensating for my silence in the past.  I don’t want to drag on so I will end with these words, a note to my younger self and girls who have gone through/are going through similar struggles:

“You feel ugly, fat, alone, and hopeless.  You have given up on yourself because no matter how desperate you are to speak up, you are afraid.  Let go of your emotions; allow yourself to scream and cry.  When you feel better, pick yourself up and start anew with your head held high.  It may feel impossible now, but you make it farther than your young mind can imagine.  Do not lose the fire inside of you.  Never stop fighting!”

(Image Source: https://img0.etsystatic.com/024/0/6604282/il_570xN.509481350_gcnr.jpg)

(Image Source: https://fightingchronicpain.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/never-stop-fighting.jpg)

(Image Source: http://media.giphy.com/media/qwj1znuklIGc0/giphy.gif)

“And all those things I didn’t say, wrecking balls inside my brain.  I will scream them loud tonight.  Can you hear my voice this time?  This is my fight song, take back my life song, prove I’m alright song.  My power’s turned on.  Starting right now I’ll be strong.  I’ll play my fight song.  And I don’t really care if nobody else believes ’cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.”

“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1VInw-SKc

                                   (Image Source: http://frenchpressmornings.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Hebrews13.5.png)

(Image Source: http://megansmidt.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/jeremiah-29-11.jpg)

“In the midst of deep sorrow, I see Your light is breaking through.  The dark of night will not overtake me.  I am pressing into You.  Lord, You fight my every battle.  And I will not fear.  I am not alone.  I am not alone.  You will go before me.  You will never leave me.”

“I Am Not Alone” by Kari Jobe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfveawSAHJA

(Image Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IFBiMPMV-jQ/VTb70apiEZI/AAAAAAAAS_M/wk8D5yENqM0/s1600/just-keep-swimming.gif)

(Image Source: http://24.media.tumblr.com/c3a6fcfcb0fc5843efd73dd3e2a394ee/tumblr_mz4anao6Pn1rd0hedo1_500.gif)

(Image Source: http://s1064.photobucket.com/user/kaitlinleighs/media/tumblr_m7utqjHJzL1r9fcwro1_500.gif.html)

(Image Source: http://media.giphy.com/media/13uNYQRS1U6mTC/giphy.gif)

I hope you feel better!  Feel free to talk and/or vent in the comment section.  This is a safe environment.  “See” you soon readers.  :)

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/2015/09/04/the-fickle-and-the-faithful/

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My Links:

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