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 )

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vKpIwxNQxM&t=2s

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

• I filmed my life for one week.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M0_thzwVkA

–   J a n u a r y   2 6   –

• My blogs FINALLY  got their own domains!

Art Blog ➡️ laurenmicheleartblog.com

Lifestyle Blog ➡️ laurenmichelelifestyle.com ( New Name, Same Blog )

–   F e b r u a r y   2   –

• I received my Elretron Penna wireless bluetooth typewriter.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX1-bktxdf8

–   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.

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BhNIiKflus3/

–   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. 💥

A R T

(Funny) Avengers Cast Videos

–   A p r i l   2 8   –

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

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2mpPAKuP9A

–   M a y   4   –

• I unboxed my first bookish box.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvcG3W6hXdY

–   M a y   1 1   –

• I tried not to sing on Snapchat & FAILED.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtymrHlQUa0

–   May / June 2018   –

• I made some changes to my room.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOmrfPeHTy8

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DdPv_WjUlk

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

–   J u n e   2   –

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

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM93yOHc0W0

–   J u n e   1 8   –

• I got glasses! 🤓

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaGqkyp9Ie4

–   J u l y   3   –

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

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y06BlkrU5lU

–   J u l y   2 0   –

• I made my favorite Youtube video to date. 😂

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wg-gQ2hXxA

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

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

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo45XqUaUFo

–   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.

Source https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyEZ9gzZb8c

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHZs4Lxxr30

–   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

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BnU71Hnl02K/

–   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.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz5blv56tsc

–   S e p t e m b e r   2 7   –

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

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

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqSORL5R0h4

–   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.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUz0HJjwdUg

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMmn3r4M4_Y&t=4s

–   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.

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

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyvAdtvthT8&t=12s

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORnYN7RZZDo

–   D e c e m b e r   5   –

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

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15XUa-uv-gM&t=14s

–   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.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nQ-WGA7uzQ&t=8s

–   D e c e m b e r   8   –

• I learned some basic Hebrew for Hanukkah.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCffRhVhle4&t=9s

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

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Apm0EXwuyno&t=10s.

–   D e c e m b e r   2 1   –

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

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=witJbYoPn2Q&t=12s

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

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! ➡️ ⬆️

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

– Lauren Michele ❤

⬇ Important Links ⬇

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

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

• Support My Blog

• Art Blog

• Goodreads

• Instagram

• Lauren Michele’s MyWebRoom

• Pinterest

• Snapchat

• Tumblr

• Twitter

• Youtube

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Goodbye 2017 | Hello 2018

Some of you may be sorrowfully singing “Where are you Blooogmaaas??” Apologies for my sudden exit from the festivities. I had to work every day leading up to Christmas, and most of my time at home was spent relaxing and sleeping (in between uploading pre-filmed Youtube videos & reading to reach my 2017 goal). I hope you enjoyed what I was able to post in December. If it makes you feel a little more warm & fuzzy on the inside, I will be doing a Christmas do-over in January to make up for my low spirit during the actual holiday season. Basically I’ll be catching up on all the cheesy movies I didn’t watch. Moving on to the subject at hand. The new year has arrived so it’s time to take a look back at the past twelve months:

– J a n u a r y –

Goodbye 2016! 🎉

Netflix created a Lemony Snicket masterpiece ( A R T )

• I read my first Harry Potter book 📖

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BPa7fTSAzMr/?taken-by=laurenmicheleonline

Mary Tyler Moore passed away

– F e b r u a r y –

• My art blog hit 3️⃣ 0️⃣ 0️⃣ followers

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BQG0PwhAvAT/?taken-by=laurenmicheleonline

• I traveled to Texas to be a bridesmaid 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4i9IixnBqmU&t=372s

– M a r c h –

Beauty and the Beast premiered ( A R T )

– A p r i l –

• I purchased a custom iPhone case from Yaz Raja Designs

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BTCmpOvBjsA/?taken-by=laurenmicheleonline

– M a y –

The end of an era on Once Upon a Time

– J u n e –

DC delivered the superhero the world didn’t deserve but needed

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVFxvSulX7A/?taken-by=laurenmicheleonline

Peter Sallis passed away

Adam West passed away

• All my bookish dreams came true thanks to this gorgeous blanket from Sweet Sequels

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVs1jgwlqYN/?taken-by=laurenmicheleonline

• I became a Potterhead just in time for the 20th anniversary of the first book

– Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone –

– The Golden Trio Artwork –

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFna5QIwNWI

– J u l y –

Anne With an E charmed its way into my heart

– A u g u s t –

• For the first time ever, I participated in BookTube-A-Thon

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📚 For the very first time, I'm joining the @BookTubeAThon. 🎉 Pictured is my (tentative) #BookTubeAThon2017 TBR. I chose one long book, one medium book, and two easy reads. I don't want to set myself up for failure! The official video will be on my YouTube channel soon. 👍🏻| "Heartless" by Marissa Meyer 📖 "The Babysitters Club" 3-in-1 by Ann M. Martin 📖 "The Mystery of the Stone Tiger" by Carolyn Keene 📖 "Wicked Autumn" by G.M. Mallory | #BookTubeAThon #Youtuber #Booktube #Booktuber #TBR #ReadAThon #Book #Books #Read #Reader #Reading #Bookstagram #Bookstagrammer #Readstagram #Biblio #Bibliophile #Bookish #ILoveBooks #BookLover #BookAddict #BookObsessed #BookNerd #BookWorm #BookLove #Bookaholic #ILoveToRead #ILoveReading #ReadMore #ReadMoreBooks

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Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BWs4WjNF75C/?taken-by=laurenmicheleonline

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BW-607Plj_5/?taken-by=laurenmicheleonline

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BXB-68iFB-k/?taken-by=laurenmicheleonline

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I want to say a BIG thank you to everyone who made @booktubeathon 2017 possible. ♥️ This was my first year to participate, and it was so much fun. I am not a very social person, and this event allowed me to comfortably interact with fellow bibliophiles. Also, I went outside… TWICE!! That is a small miracle. 😂 I can't wait for next year!! If you missed my last post, here are my final numbers: 159 chapters, 1,741 pages, 6 books complete, & 5 challenges complete. 👍🏻| #BTAT #BTAT17 #BTAT2017 #BookTubeAThon #BookTubeAThon2017 #BookTubeAThon17 #ReadAThon #BookTube #Booktuber #Bookstagram #Bookstagrammer #Readstagram #Read #Reader #Reading #Book #Books #Biblio #Bibliophile #BookLover #ILoveBooks #BookNerd #Bookworm #Bookish #BookObsession #BookObsessed #ILoveToRead #ILoveReading #ReadMore #ReadMoreBooks

A post shared by 🇮🇱🇪🇸 Lauren Michele 🇺🇸🇬🇧🇮🇪 (@laurenmicheleonline) on

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BXOkRpHlCIr/?taken-by=laurenmicheleonline

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICG_Vt60l6M&t=3s

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G47bU3jWK9U

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MVpEzPTTQs

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSM_y69RcBk

–   B  l o g   P o s t   W r a p   U p   –

I joined Ko-Fi 

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✳️ Direct Link in Bio ✳️| For those of you who follow my YouTube channel, I now have a Ko-fi ( sounds like 'coffee' ) page for donations from anyone who wants to financially support me. My current goal is a new camera because without it, I am unable to make content. 😢 Don't forget to visit my channel & hit the🔺red subscribe button🔻to become a member of my YT family! 👭👫👬| #Kofi #StarvingArtist #LaurenMichele #Youtube #Channel #YoutubeChannel #YoutubeVideo #YoutubeVideos #Videos #Video #Vlog #Vlogs #YoutubeVlogs #YoutubeVlog #Vlogger #Vlogging #Lifestyle #LifestyleVlogger #LifestyleChannel #LifestyleYoutuber #SmallYoutuber #Youtuber #Subscribe #Subscription #Subscriptions #Subscriber #Subscribers #Sub #Subs #Creator

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Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BXdqpALFYFC/?taken-by=laurenmicheleonline

I got a new camera 📷

I found out I have Mottephobia 🐝 🐛 🕷️

– S e p t e m b e r –

• I don’t remember the exact date, but at some point in late 2017 my most watched video on Youtube reached 2️⃣ 0️⃣ 0️⃣ 0️⃣ 0️⃣ views

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjxSV6ZnKoY

– O c t o b e r –

My clumsiness reached new heights

I gave Gilmore Girls another chance ( A R T )

• Family trip to San Diego

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C17D76AzoNM

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbdRaQ4xAwA

– N o v e m b e r –

• I turned 24 🎂

The Orient Express hit the big screen

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

• My childhood dreams of seeing the Justice League on the big screen came true! ( A R T )

• I tried dry brushing

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVDgHLLS8nM

• I went on an autumn safari

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BcGQiV6lVOt/?taken-by=laurenmicheleonline

– D e c e m b e r –

I finally made White Christmas Pie

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I made White Christmas Pie! ❄️🎄🥧 I made one original pie with a graham cracker shell, although I would recommend an unsweetened, traditional crust to make it less sweet. For extra color I added crushed up candies, but I think big chunks of candy cane would be better for flavor & visuals. You could also make a wreath with red & green coconut flakes and/or candy. My 2nd pie has a chocolate shell & toasted coconut which toned down the sweetness and tasted amazing. Success!! 🎉| Recipe Credit ➡️ Wanda E. Brunstetter ⬅️ #Christmas #Christmas2017 #MerryChristmas #ChristmasBaking #HolidaySeason #HappyHolidays #Holidays #HolidayBaking #HolidayPie #Pie #ChristmasPie #WhiteChristmasPie #Baking #InTheKitchen #WandaEBrunstetter #WandaBrunstetter #Amish #AmishPie #AmishChristmas #AmishBaking #Coconut #CoconutPie #Bakestagram #Piestagram #ChristmasBakes #HolidayBakes #BakingSuccess #Success

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fRIRj3r8_U&t=25s

It was a Star Wars Christmas once again

• I accomplished my goal of reading 50 books in 2017 with 12 minutes to spare. 📚 

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

Farewell to Adam West (Batman), Christopher ‘Big Black’ Boykin (Rob & Big, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory), David Cassidy (Ruby & the Rockits), Della Reese (Thats So RavenTouched by an Angel), Don Rickles (Toy Story franchise), Heather North (Scooby Doo franchise), Jerry Lewis (Martin and Lewis), Jim Nabors (The Andy Griffith Show, The Carol Burnett Show), June Foray (DuckTales, Looney Tunes, Mulan, Rocky & Bullwinkle), Mary Tyler Moore (The Dick Van Dyke Show)Peter Sallis (Wallace & Gromit), Rose Marie (The Dick Van Dyke Show), and Sir Roger Moore (James Bond franchise).

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

The numbers aren’t why I do what I do, but it’s inspiring to see how far I’ve come. I ended 2017 with 357 art blog followers, 346 lifestyle blog followers, & 188 Youtube subscribers (72,815 views). I hope to add many more to my internet family in the coming year. Onward & upward! ➡️ ⬆️

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

– Lauren Michele ❤︎

⬇️ Important Links ⬇️

• Previous Post: The Last Jedi | Blogmas 2017

• Previous Video: Family Christmas Gifts | Vlogmas 2017

• Support My Blog

• Art Blog

• Goodreads

• Instagram

• Lauren Michele’s MyWebRoom

• Sign up for MyWebRoom

• Pinterest

• Snapchat

• Tumblr

• Twitter

• Youtube

Filming Frustrations | Blogmas 2017

If the joy of Christmas is what you seek, bah humbug. I swear I’m not trying to ruin your Christmas. As a blogger, it is my duty to be honest about my life. The past twenty-four hours have been awful. Last night I found out that two of the gifts I ordered online were damaged. I woke up late because I stayed up to watch a Christmas movie that I didn’t end up liking (I’m looking at you Noel). I forgot to charge my camera batteries overnight AND while I was getting ready. Despite racing to beat the sun, it took several hours to film only two videos. I wanted to get a third filmed, but I couldn’t find my dreidel which was supposed to be the starring prop. I still haven’t found that darn top! I am now tired and cranky and probably the top name on Santa’s naughty list. Bring on the coal! Despite all the stress, I am thankful for a home that is still standing because there is a fire burning a few miles away. My thoughts & prayers are with everyone being affected. Stay safe California!  <3

❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄

T e n   D a y s   U n t i l   A r t m a s . . .   

E i g h t e e n   D a y s    U n t i l   C h r i s t m a s . . .

❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄

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

– Lauren Michele ❤︎

⬇️ Important Links ⬇️

• Previous Post: Cozy Night At Home | Blogmas 2017

• Previous Video: Coloring The Nutcracker Ballet | Vlogmas 2017

• Support My Blog

• Art Blog

• Goodreads

• Instagram

• Lauren Michele’s MyWebRoom

• Sign up for MyWebRoom

• Pinterest

• Snapchat

• Tumblr

• Twitter

• Youtube

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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Lost in Translation

Time for another story from the misadventures of Lauren Michele Stewart! Just kidding. This tale is actually very thought-provoking. *GASP*

Back in my college days Spanish dramas were my escape from reality, Isabel, Los Hombres de Paco, & Un paso adelante being my personal favorites. On top of that, I listened to a lot of Spanish music in an attempt to perfect my ear for the beautiful language of España. Never in a million years did I think that music and TV shows in another language would affect me around English speakers, but it did indeed happen. One day while I was in class, my ears started to interpret English in a different way. At first I thought I was just extremely tired, which is normal for a student, but careful listening proved that I was indeed hearing what sounded like the only other language in my life: Spanish. At one point I silently prayed that the teacher and students wouldn’t talk to me because I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. Even though I was hearing a familiar language, my brain wasn’t distinguishing the words. After a few minutes everything went back to normal, but I never forgot what happened.

The experience gave me a higher level of respect for both polyglots and immigrants learning a foreign language. I wasn’t necessarily scared or overwhelmed, but it was unexpected and left me feeling disoriented. I don’t necessarily have a moral or a mind-blowing message to share with you. I just thought the experience was unique, something I’d never heard of before. I wish my tongue had miraculously become bilingual in that moment and remained so. 😂 As a side note, I highly recommend utilizing television and music as immersion techniques for learning a language. I am by no means fluent, but I understand a decent chunk of Castilian Spanish. I refer to a specific type because that is what my ears are accustomed to; I have a very hard time understanding accents outside of Spain. 🇪🇸

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– Lauren Michele <3

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