Goodbye 2018 | Hello 2019

It is time to say goodbye to the past year and look ahead to a brand new chapter. Out with the old & in with the new! I know this has not been a great year of consistency on my blog, and for that I am deeply sorry. I can only promise to try my very best to do better in 2019 and move on. Walk with me down memory lane & see what my year looked like:

–   J a n u a r y   1   –

• G o o d b y e   2 0 1 7

2017 Reading Wrap-Up  +  2018 Reading Plans ( B l o g   P o s t )


–   J a n u a r y   2 1 s t   t o   2 7 t h   –

• I filmed my life for one week.


–   J a n u a r y   2 6   –

• My blogs FINALLY  got their own domains!

Art Blog ➡️

Lifestyle Blog ➡️ ( New Name, Same Blog )

–   F e b r u a r y   2   –

• I received my Elretron Penna wireless bluetooth typewriter.


–   F e b r u a r y   5   –

• The evil empire was defeated in Super Bowl LII

–    M a r c h   2 8   –

• I joined the trend & created a Disney & Pixar Bracket

–   A p r i l   4   – 

• I saw Crowder in concert.


–   A p r i l   1 5   –

• The 3rd anniversary of Jonathan Crombie’s death. Gil, you are gone but never forgotten!

–   A p r i l   2 7   –

Avengers: Infinity War was released in the USA. 💥


(Funny) Avengers Cast Videos

–   A p r i l   2 8   –

• I attended my first LA Galaxy game at StubHub Center.


–   M a y   4   –

• I unboxed my first bookish box.


–   M a y   1 1   –

• I tried not to sing on Snapchat & FAILED.


–   May / June 2018   –

• I made some changes to my room.




–   J u n e   2   –

• I saw Third Day in concert during their farewell tour.


–   J u n e   1 8   –

• I got glasses! 🤓


–   J u l y   3   –

• I revealed my (growing) Disney pin collection to the world.


–   J u l y   2 0   –

• I made my favorite Youtube video to date. 😂


–   J u l y   2 3 r d   t o   2 9 t h   –

• I participated in the 7in7 Readathon for the first time.


–   J u l y   3 0 t h   t o   A u g u s t   5 t h   –

• I participated in BookTubeAThon for the second time.



–   A u g u s t   3   –

Christopher Robin was released in the USA ➡️ A R T

–   S e p t e m b e r   4   –

• I said goodbye to Bug’s Land via photos from 2002 & 2009


–   S e p t e m b e r   2 6   –

• I received my first pair of Mickey ears in a Disney-themed bookish box.


–   S e p t e m b e r   2 7   –

• I went to Universal Studios Hollywood for the first time.



–   O c t o b e r   1 5 t h   t o   2 1 s t   –

• I participated in Spookathon for the first time.



–   N o v e m b e r   5   –

• I turned 25 ➡️ Reflecting on 25 Years of Life

–   N o v e m b e r   1 8   –

• I saw As I Lay Dying in concert for the first time ever. SO GOOD!! 🔥

–   N o v e m b e r   2 3   –

• A project I’ve been working on for 2 years finally came together. 🎉

Blog ➡️ Bookish Gift Guide

Video ➡️ Bookish Gift Guide

–   D e c e m b e r   3 r d   t o   9 t h   –

• I participated in TisTheSeasonAThon, a brand new holiday readathon.




–   D e c e m b e r   5   –

• I made a Hanukkah gingerbread house for the first time.


–   D e c e m b e r   6   –

• I finished We Wish You a Murderous Christmas by Vicki Delany, completing my 2018 Goodreads goal of 55 books. 🎉

• I attempted to make buñuelos for Hanukkah.


–   D e c e m b e r   8   –

• I learned some basic Hebrew for Hanukkah.


• I unboxed a pair of gorgeous Hanukkah Mickey ears from FastPass Creations


–   D e c e m b e r   2 1   –

• I showed off my family’s holiday movie collection.


🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Farewell to Anita Shreve (author of “Stella Bain”), Aretha Franklin (singer), Barbara Bush (former First Lady), Billy Graham (evangelist), Burt Reynolds (actor), Charles Lazarus (founder of Toys “R” Us), Dorcas Reilly (creator of green bean casserole), George H.W. Bush (41st president of the United States), Jerry Maren (Wizard of Oz), John Mahoney (Frasier), John McCain (politician & Vietnam War veteran), Kate Spade (designer), Ken Berry (actor), Ed King (co-writer of “Sweet Home Alabama”), Luis Valbuena (baseball player, former Los Angeles Angel), Mike Taylor (Walk Off the Earth), Nanette Fabray (actress), Penny Marshall (Laverne & Shirley), Scott Wilson (Walking Dead), Sigi Schmid (former LA Galaxy coach), Stan Lee (comic book editor, publisher, & writer, co-created Dr. Strange & Spider-Man with Steve Ditko), Stephen Hillenburg (creator of Spongebob Squarepants), Steve Ditko (comic book artist & writer, co-created Dr. Strange & Spider-Man with Stan Lee), & Verne Troyer (Austin Powers movies, Jingle All the Way, & Men in Black).

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Let’s take a look at some numbers as inspiration for the coming year: I ended 2018 with 431 art blog followers (up from 357), 420 lifestyle blog followers (up from 346), & 244 Youtube subscribers / 88,153 views (up from 188 & 72,815). I look forward to growing my internet family in 2019. Onward & upward! ➡️ ⬆️

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– Lauren Michele ❤

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• Previous Post: A Laugh a Day Keeps the Doctor Away | Blogmas 2018

• Previous Video: The Joy of Christmas Book Tag | Vlogmas 2018

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2016 Wrap-Up | 2017 Reading Challenge

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

I did it!  With 45 minutes to spare on New Year’s Eve, I completed both of my reading challenges for 2016.  Here is what I read for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

📚 Published This Year •

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco 

📚 Finish in a Day •

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum 

📚 Meaning to Read •

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 

📚 Recommended by Bookseller or Librarian •

The Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket 

📚 Should Have Read in School •

Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace 

📚 Chosen by Spouse, Partner, Sibling, Child, or BFF •

Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar 

📚 Published Before You Were Born •

The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien


📚 Banned at Some Point •

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll 

📚 Previously Abandoned •

Elixir trilogy by Hilary Duff 

📚 Own But Never Read •

An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson 

📚 Intimidates You •

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

📚 Already Read at Least Once •

Sisters of the Quilt trilogy by Cindy Woodsmall 

• Total: 12 categories & 31 books

• Here are links to my blog updates & my Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge:

2016 Reading Challenge

– 2016 Reading Challenge Update #1

– 2016 Reading Challenge Update #2

Life Update | November 2016

– My 2016 GoodReads Reading Challenge

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

I told myself I wouldn’t do it, but here I am.  I’ve decided to once again do the Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge.  Keep reading to find out my tentative list for the twelve categories.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

📚 A Book You Chose For the Cover – The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi

I found this gem in my local library’s teeny tiny used bookstore.  The bright yellow bird against a blue background hooked me, and the murder mystery synopsis reeled me in.  I’m trying my best not to build expectations, but I really hope this book is as good as I want it to be.

📚 A Book With a Reputation for Being Un-Put-Down-AbleSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about this book.  Some people have said it’s one of their favorite books/duologies ever written.  Of course I’m going to start with the first book, but I am optimistic that I will be purchasing book two very soon.

📚 A Book Set Somewhere You’ve Never Been But Would Like to Visit – The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters

Fun fact: I am dying to visit Egypt!!  Egyptology is one of my favorite subjects to learn about.

📚 A Book You’ve Already ReadThe Rook by Steven James

The Patrick Bowers Files series is AMAZING.  To be fair, I’ve only read the first two books, but how could it possibly go downhill from there??  I would actually like to read a few of the books in this series in 2017, but I’m setting the bar low so I don’t get too stressed.  I want these reading challenges to remain fun!

📚 A Juicy Memoir –  In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox by Carol Burnett

DUH!  Who wouldn’t want to read behind-the-scenes stories about The Carol Burnett Show?!

📚 A Book About Books or Reading – Bookplate Special by Lorna Barrett

This book is part of one of my favorite cozy mystery series.  It has been on my shelf for a few years, and it’s about time I got around to reading it.  Fun Fact: The main character’s cat is named Miss Marple.  How cute is that?!

📚 A Book in a Genre You Usually Avoid – The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

I rarely read and enjoy contemporary books outside of the mystery genre, but I’m willing to give this book a chance since it revolves around books.

📚 A Book You Don’t Want to Admit You’re Dying to ReadHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

I’m not embarrassed about this book.  It’s just weird to admit that I’ve never read such a beloved series.  My aunt was kind enough to give me the first book for my birthday so I will definitely be reading it this year.

📚 A Book in the Backlist of a New Favorite Author – Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

I received all of the books Tessa Afshar has published thus far as Christmas and Hanukkah gifts.  I don’t want to set myself up for failure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I finish all of them before January 1, 2018.

📚 A Book Recommended by Someone With Great TasteAs Sure as the Dawn by Francine Rivers

My friend Gabby recommended the Mark of the Lion series years ago, and I finally got around to reading books one and two in 2015.  The experience was so unbelievably mind blowing that I had to take a break.  There is no longer a good excuse so I need to pick up book three NOW.

📚 A Book You Were Excited to Borrow or Buy But Haven’t Read YetThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I am on pins and needles waiting to read this book.  I’m going to watch the movie with my brother first since that’s what I did with Gone Girl.  I realize that sounds like reader sacrilege, but I’m not your average bibliophile.  Watching the movie first or liking it better doesn’t bother me. ;)

📚 A Book About a Subject or Topic You Already LoveWicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

I haven’t actually seen the musical yet, but I am obsessed with the story and soundtrack.  I liked The Wizard of Oz growing up but fell out of love with it for a period of time.  Listening to the Wicked soundtrack every day has made me fall back in love with Oz, and I am ready to read the story that started it all.  I am on page 32 and loving it so far. 💚

• Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge 

• Goodreads Website 

• Modern Mrs. Darcy 2017 Reading Challenge 

• Modern Mrs. Darcy Blog

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

– Lauren Michele <3

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The Great Mouse Detective

Continuing to stew in nostalgia, I watched this movie Thursday night, and it did not disappoint.  The influence of Sherlock Holmes is evident in all the right ways.  The overall style and vibe is Victorian and dark, and the dialogue is witty.  There are easter eggs that are sure to put a smile on your face:

1.  Mr. Holmes resides at 221 Baker Street.  Basil resides at 221 1/2 Baker Street

2.  Basil’s small, cozy home is located under and resembles Sherlock Holmes’ residence.

3.  Basil’s name refers to an alias of Sherlock Holmes and actor Basil Rathbone known for his film role as Holmes.

4.  Basil’s wardrobe and personality are obviously inspired by the famous detective.  The cape, hat, magnifying glass, and quirks are all there.

5.  What is Holmes without Watson??  I give you Dr. David Q. Dawson, the mouse version of Dr. John H. Watson.

6.  Sherlock Holmes’ shadow and voice make an appearance.  Because Basil Rathbone had passed away before this movie was made, an audio clip from a previous film was used.


For more information:

What are you waiting for??  Go watch the movie!!  😄

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

– Lauren Michele <3

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Blogmas 2014 – All Aboard

"Untitled" by Jeannette Oerlemans

This was meant to be posted on December 26th, but alas it was not.  C’est la vie!  I am about to take you on a journey through my family’s Christmas adventures hence the photograph reminiscent of “Polar Express” courtesy of Jeannette Oerlemans.  I must start with Christmas Eve because we committed the ultimate sin: opening presents.  I felt serious anxiety and guilt after doing so.  However, after some research, I realized that many people open presents on Christmas Eve.  Definitely did NOT know this!!  I feel a bit better but do not plan on making Christmas Eve present-opening a tradition.  It feels sacrilegious!  Moving on to December 25th, 2014.  Since the presents were already opened (Oh the shame!!), we slept in a few hours before getting ready and venturing into the outside world.  We saw our annual Christmas movie which was “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.”  Much anticipated and sooooo good!!  A satisfying end to an amazing trilogy.  Fun fact: Each installment of the Hobbit trilogy has been our Christmas movie for the past 3 years.  After the movie, we headed over to our Christmas lunch/dinner destination: Sizzler.  I know, I know.  Holiday meal of champions!  In our defense, not much was open, and we are not able to cook in our current living space.  After the 2 1/2 hour movie, we were starving and ready to chow down.  Bad news.  Sizzler was PACKED.  Apparently that was not a very original idea.  We drove around the shopping center praying that something else was open.  Guess where we ended up?  Eating Mexican food while listening to un televisión.  My parents and brother were almost done with their food by the time my torta came out.  I was pretty annoyed, but it was HUGE and very delicious.  We ended the day in pajamas watching “The Santa Clause” 1 & 2 and eating Christmas goodies from grandma.  Christmas 2014 was definitely unconventional, but it was fun day spent with family.  I will never forget it!

Blogmas 2014 is now officially over.  See you next year! Stay merry readers.  Only 359 until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele :)

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Works Cited:

Oerlemans, Jeannette. Web. 26 Dec. 2014. <;. (Image 1)

Blogmas 2014 – Quizmas Shenanigans

Quizmas Shenanigans (Source:

Good evening readers!  So, here’s the deal.  I am once again feeling less than jolly tonight, but instead of being “Bah Humbug”, I want to improve my mood.  We are going to have some fun and do some Christmas-themed quizzes together.  I have chosen one quiz from each of my favorite quiz websites.  Feel free to explore and find more on your own.  Warning: they are addictive and will take up hours of your time.  Let’s do this…

Which Christmas decoration fits your personality?  “You got a Christmas Tree! Everyone and anyone can feel the awe and majesty that you can give any room. And it is in that moment, that the beholder knows that it is finally Christmas. You are the decorations of decorations, as you yourself, are in turn decorated again with hangings, lights, and ornaments of all shapes and sizes. From house to house, you are incredibly personal, as no two of you are alike. Some like you so much, they don’t take you down until Spring!”  I have no words.  This is both the funniest and the most flattering compliment I have ever received.  I am obsessed with Christmas time so I don’t have a hard time believing I ooze Christmas spirit.  But awe and majesty?  That makes me sound pompous.  Here is the link to the quiz:

Which foreign Christmas tradition are you?  “You are throwing food at the ceiling.  In the UK you’ll be shouted at if you don’t eat the food put in front of you, but in Slovakia you’ll be expected to throw food at the ceiling.  It’s thought that a spoonful of turkey and gravy lobbed at the ceiling on Christmas Eve by the head of the household will predict how much luck the family has the next year.  The more food that sticks to the ceiling, the better their luck.  Unless, of course, you’re the person who has to clean it up.”  What does this say about me?  Apparently I get major holiday mood swings.  Fair enough considering my love/hate relationship with Christmas spirit this year.  Here is the link to the quiz:

Can we guess your favorite Christmas movie?  “It’s a Wonderful Life.  Forget about all these newfangled holiday movies – you’re into the classics.  You love a feel-good movie with a message, and every time a bell rings you’re positive an angel gets its wings.  You like nothing more than gathering around the TV with the people you love to carry on the Christmas tradition of watching George Bailey learn how to appreciate life.”  False.  This is not my favorite movie, and I do not hate modern holiday films.  However, I do love feel-good movies with a message, and I do treasure traditions shared with family so this result is 50% inaccurate.  If you are wondering, my favorite holiday movies are “Old Fashioned Thanksgiving” and “Nativity Story.”  Here is the link to the quiz:

I hope you enjoy these quizzes as much as I did.  Feel free to comment and let me know what result you got and how you feel about it.  Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

What does December have that other months don’t have?  The letter D.

How did Scrooge win the football game?  The ghost of Christmas passed.

What kind of motorcycle would Santa ride?  A Holly Davidson

Why was Santa’s elf depressed?  He had low elf esteem.

What did the reindeer say before beginning his comedy routine? This will sleigh you.



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