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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I Saw Frozen For the First Time | Blogmas 2016 🎄

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1 DAY UNTIL CHRISTMAS (I know it’s the 25th, but this was supposed to go up on the 24th so just roll with it)

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I can’t apologize enough for my absence.  To make up for lost time, I’m going to be blogging through Hanukkah.  I will call it “Blogukkah.”  Genius!  I have a good excuse for not blogging this week.  I worked myself into the ground and got the flu.  I had the worst day of work possible Tuesday, and it went from bad to worse once I got home.  I spent both my days off resting and reenergizing for my last two shifts before Christmas.  I hope you follow my art blog and Youtube channel because I’ve been active on both those platforms all month long.  I’m not sure why I haven’t been posting as often for Blogmas this year.  I think it has a lot to do with my retail job.  I’ve felt like such a grinch and haven’t done anything outside of working.  No spirit and no fun means no good material for your reading pleasure.  I do have something to share with you tonight so let’s jump right in.  I watched Frozen for the first time.  I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

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Have you composed yourself?  Alrighty then!  I’ve heard a lot of different perspectives.  People loved the movie.  People liked the movie.  People hated the movie, some only because of the ridiculous amount of attention and hype.  I didn’t want my first viewing experience to be ruined by someone else’s opinion so I waited and waited and waited until the right time.  I’m glad I did because I was pleasantly surprised.  I knew the music would be good, but other than that I had no expectations.  I ended up liking it much more than I thought I would.  The animation is beautiful, and the characters are charming.  Idina Menzel’s voice is beautiful as always, but Kristen Bell’s voice stunned me.  WOW!  I love the end (SPOILER) when Kristoff is available to save Anna with an act of true love, but she ends up being saved by sisterly love.  That is a refreshing twist.  It’s adorable how Kristoff’s gruff exterior is slowly melted by Anna’s quirks.  I could watch an entire movie with him, Sven, & Olaf.  Those three crack me up!  I highly recommend this film if you love Disney, but wait until your mind is clear from the bombardment of other opinions.

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VLOGMAS – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUvowXnQBLryeHcwz801Rsx7d1upOgV8k

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No Laughing Matter

Palley, Stuart. The Border Fire burns near Campo and Potrero Wednesday in San Diego County, California. Web. 31 Aug. 2016. http://www.outsideonline.com/2109026/man-behind-summers-most-iconic-fire-photos#slide-5.

Palley, Stuart. The Border Fire burns near Campo and Potrero Wednesday in San Diego County, California. Web. 31 Aug. 2016. http://www.outsideonline.com/2109026/man-behind-summers-most-iconic-fire-photos#slide-5.

I consider myself a person with a good sense of humor.  I try my best to decipher the appropriate times to let go and laugh.  This is not one of those times.  Recently, I noticed some jokes on social media centered around the California drought.  I not only find this in bad taste but extremely offensive.  I am a California girl born and raised so I am naturally protective, but I have other reasons.  The drought is much more than a shortage of water.  Thanks to the lack of rain and scorching temperatures, the Golden State is kindling ready to ignite.  Hearing about or driving by a fire is a daily occurrence.  A few weeks ago, the shopping center where I work was more crowded than usual because people were waiting for the smoke from a nearby fire to clear from the air.  Of course some fires are started by people, but the dry conditions invite the flames to spread with open arms.  Farmers are scrambling to protect their livelihood.  Families have lost their homes.  People have lost their lives.  Is that funny??  NO!!  Yes, there are selfish people who have not taken the drought seriously, but that is not an excuse.  It doesn’t matter what your personal feelings are regarding this state.  Next time you want to poke fun at the California drought, remember the people whose lives are being negatively affected.  Let this be a lesson to us all: educate yourself before opening your mouth.

If you need more proof of the devastation, here are links to eye-opening images:

• http://mashable.com/2015/09/14/valley-fire-devastation-photos/#HLDqTGuiASqh

• http://www.outsideonline.com/2109026/man-behind-summers-most-iconic-fire-photos

• http://stuartpalley.photoshelter.com/index/G0000ZMVoBzIEtqs/I0000BH7TwqpPOO0

 

 

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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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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