Life Update | August 2017

– C O F F E E –

This is a very important update so listen up: I rarely go to Starbucks anymore. G A S P ! ! The reason comes in individual serving size packets and pairs nicely with almond milk & ice. Have you guessed? I still drink Starbucks coffee but in the comfort of my own home thanks to Via Instant. I know that most people know about this product, but it has been unbelievably easy to enjoy frappuccinos on days when I can’t make it to my neighborhood Starbucks. In fact, I have become so obsessed that even when I’m presented with the option to go to an actual Starbucks, I choose my “homemade” frappuccino. How crazy is that??! My favorite flavor at the moment is Sweetened Iced Coffee.

– B E D R O O M –

My room is small so the arrangement requires a lot of creativity. I recently had an epiphany at work regarding how I could make it feel more spacious and homey. I am happy to report that my idea worked, and I vlogged the whole process. The three-day project was exhausting but worth the effort because I feel like I have officially settled in.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbC6KS9yYNc

– B L O G G I N G –

I’ve been trying really hard to post consistently on both my blogs. The balance was off earlier this year because I got a paying job helping a photographer maintain her blog. I have since settled in, and I think everything is back to normal. Here are my recent blog posts:

• Misadventures in Babysitting

• Dance of the Paints | Thomas Blanchard

– F I N A N C I A L  S U P P O R T –

I love blogging & vlogging, but it does require money which I don’t have a lot of at the moment due to my status as a sales associate. I’m not exactly breaking the bank with my checks! I recently discovered a brand new website that makes it fun & easy for subscribers to support their favorite bloggers, business, vloggers, etc. Here is my Ko-fi ( pronounced like “coffee” ) link ➡️ https://ko-fi.com/A3023728

– R E A D I N G –

Good news: I took part in BookTube-A-Thon 2017, my very first time doing so. Even though my camera broke on day 6 and I couldn’t continue vlogging, I did continue to participate by reading & interacting on social media. I had so much fun and can’t wait for next year! Bad news: I am in a terrible reading slump A G A I N ! ! I was in one before BTAT, and here I am right back at square one. I have the desire, but every time I attempt to read, I have to force myself to keep going. Reading is the ultimate getaway for me, and I hate being in this mood. I need to pull up my big girl pants and just do it. I’m in the middle of 6 books ( yes, SIX ), and I need to finish all of them because I have exciting books to read in October & November. I also need to make serious progress on my Goodreads reading challenge because I have only completed 26 of my 50-book challenge. Not bad but still not great. Cheer me on!!

– R E T A I L –

I still hate retail. That’s pretty much it. 😂

– V A C A T I O N –

I am counting down the seconds, minutes, hours, days, & months until my autumn vacation. I know I echo the rest of my family when I say we desperately NEED this trip.

⏰ Current Countdown: 1 month, 12 days ⏰

– W E A T H E R –

If you’re a loyal follower of my blog, you know my visceral hatred for the summer months. I love cold foods & swimming, but this season is the absolute worst. I do nothing but sweat and feel gross and uncomfortable. I would much rather be cold & snuggle up in blankets while wearing a sweater. Whether you like it or not, autumn is upon us. Even though it’s my favorite season, I am hesitant to get excited. California disappointed me last year by remaining unbearably hot until the end of the year. Please please please don’t let me down this year!! 🍂 😭 🎃

– Y O U T U B E –

Lots of exciting news! Since my Charmed Aroma review video, I’ve been contacted by two more companies for reviews. I also have a major project in the works, something I’ve been planning for several months. I am slowly compiling products for a Bookish Gift Guide, a list of gift ideas for the bibliophiles in your life. I’ve already purchased two Jane Austen pillows and five candles inspired by A Game of Thrones, Edgar Allen Poe, Harry Potter, Romeo and Juliet, & The Princess Bride respectively. Before this video comes out later next year, there will be 1-2 review videos for various book-inspired candles; I plan to make this an ongoing series on my channel so suggestions are welcome. Last but not least, I mentioned earlier that my camera broke; thankfully I was able to replace it. The Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II has amazing quality, and I feel refreshed and excited for all the new content coming soon to my channel. Things are happening, and I’m going with flow. 🎉

| • I hope all of you have had a great summer. 🌞 I will be back soon with another post. 😘 • |

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– Lauren Michele <3

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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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Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

Due to my new job, my schedule has been a bit hectic this week.  I finally have some free time today!  I hope you don’t mind that this blog post is Disney-related.  Yes, this post is about Frozen, but hear me out before you roll your eyes and walk away.  First of all, I’m going to be honest and tell you I have not actually watched the movie.  As a Disney fanatic, I know that is like admitting to a crime, but I simply haven’t had an opportunity to do so.  Now that my “crime” is out in the open, I want to shine a light on what I believe is a hidden gem in the soundtrack.  The hype around Frozen has been unreal, and the film & music are in no way eligible for the label “underrated.”  However, I think there is a song that deserves a lot more recognition.  Do You Want to Build a Snowman starts out cute and transitions into a very serious and emotional song.  Elsa has isolated herself from the world, and Anna knocks on her door at three different ages asking her to build a snowman.  The first time she knocks, Anna is 5 years old (voiced by Katie Lopez).  The second time she is 9 (voiced by Agatha Lee Monn).  When Kristen Bell takes over as her singing voice the third and final time, Anna is 18.  Katie and Agatha did such a great job capturing Anna’s childish innocence and personality.  Well done ladies!  I want to shine a very special spotlight on Kristen because she deserves so much more credit for the depth and emotion she adds to the final verse.  Every time I hear her sing the lyrics, I’m a blubbering mess.  I have provided a video of the scene/song down below.  I highly recommend you close your eyes because even without watching, Kristen’s voice makes you feel and understand what is happening.  How do I know that??  I’ve only ever heard the song.  I watched the movie scene for the first time today.

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-zXT5bIBM0

I cried watching it!  Did you?  From the title, you would never think of this song as emotionally impactful, but it truly is.  Disney tricked us!! 😂

❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

• Bonus Video | The song starts at 0:51

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8MUkjn1ol0

❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Nipping at Your Nose | Blogmas 2015

Image Source: http://www.howtogeek.com/177060/desktop-fun-snowflakes-wallpaper-collection-series-1/

It isn’t snowing in Southern California, except in the mountains, but it is finally cold.  And by cold, I mean freezing temperatures.  It’s about time!!!  I was getting fed up with sweating in my sweaters.  I’m still a little sick but much better than I was Sunday.  I’m working tonight so I spent my morning sleeping in and my afternoon relaxing on the couch blogging and watching Christmas movies.  Right now “Saved by the Bell” is playing.   I know, I know.  Such an exciting life!  I really wish I had more to blog about, but life in December has revolved around my new job.  “How is that going?” you might ask.  Forgive me for sounding like a whiny, broken record, but customers are so messy and inconsiderate.  The other day I found a Kate Spade perfume sans packaging on the floor under a display table.  KATE SPADE!!!  Who does that??  Last night, a fellow employee and I spent precious time cleaning up a spill in the beauty department.  Do you know how hard it is to wipe up beauty scrub?  Everything on the shelf was oily.  I don’t mind if a customer spills or break something because accidents happen, but tell an associate instead of leaving a mess that is potentially inconvenient/harmful to customers and/or other products.  Please & thank you.  In all seriousness, the job isn’t that bad.  I don’t hate it so that’s a plus.  On that note, I’m going to stop my rambling and go get ready for work.  I hope you are having a holly jolly Tuesday.  I shall return Thursday. ;)

* * * Get excited!!!  Today is the first day of Artmas.  Go check out the first artist – Artmas Day 1 – Amigurumi by Jean Greenhowe

Vlogmas – Lauren Michele

10 days until Christmas…

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– Lauren Michele <3

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I Need Coffee!!!

Starbucks Nelson, Mitchell. Starbucks Illustrations. 2011. Web. 15 Apr. 2015. <https://www.behance.net/gallery/Starbucks-Campaign/2142577&gt;.

Just in case you did not understand the title: I need coffee!!!!!!!!!! There is some repairs going on in my family’s house. One of the bathrooms being worked on is in my bedroom therefore I had to get up early in order to accommodate the workers. WHY WHY WHY??? This is so cruel. Waking up at 9am is not okay with me. I feel like a zombie. As you can tell, I am having a dramatic morning, which is why I am blogging. Drama is so much more amusing. Well, from your point of view. I am not so amused at the moment. I could be encouraged with, oh I don’t know, maybe some COFFEE. A muffin would also be lovely. The funny thing is I drink decaf coffee so my need is not so much for caffeine as it is for taste. The taste of (flavored) coffee energizes me. Sorry! I am not a purist. If anyone is curious, my current staple drinks at Starbucks are hazelnut frappuccinos (Tall, decaf, sugar free, soy) and iced caramel macchiatos (Tall, decaf, iced, soy).

Have a great day readers. Drink some coffee in honor of me! Please & thank you.

– Lauren Michele :)

11:35 am Update: I got my tall, decaf, sugar free, iced, soy caramel macchiato and a blueberry muffin. Yay!!

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