Reflection on 2014

December

December. 2014. Web. 31 Dec. 2014. <http://portfolios.sva.edu/gallery/21622125/December&gt;.

Please support the artist by checking out her websites:
http://portfolios.sva.edu/CHANGjennyhttps://www.behance.net/CHANGjenny

It is that time of year when everybody reflects on the past year and looks forward to the new year.  Here is a timeline of my 2014:

January 19 – I started my Youtube channel with this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB_E0apNmos

January 24 – I went to The Roadshow with my mom and best friend Lydia; our favorite bands were We as Human, Third Day, and Skillet.  Afterwards we had a late night dinner at McDonald’s. Fun times!    – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTJkvirgnbI

March – I started my internship with Shakar Photography.  I loved working with my boss Ambreen, her husband Shalin, and her other assistant Kayla.  I not only met new friends but also experienced my first Indian wedding.  This is a job I will never forget!    – http://shakarphotography.com/#

May 1 – God performed a miracle, and I passed my driving test.  Bonus: I still HATE driving!!

August 22 – I had my very first photo exhibition at Calvary Chapel Garland.    – https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/tag/nymph-exhibition/

September 22 – My wisdom teeth were removed.  Not too bad!

September 29 – God performed yet another miracle, and I graduated from The Art Institute of Dallas with honors.  My degree was bachelor’s, my major was photography, and my portfolios were conceptual (Nymph) and landscapes (Deep in the Heart) respectively.    – https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/lauren-michele-photography-portfolio/ –

October 5 – Greg Laurie brought Harvest America to the American Airlines Center in Dallas.  It was a fun night with my mom.    – http://harvestamerica.com/

November 5 – I turned twenty-one.  So much power, so much responsibility!!

December 2 – My family lost a very dear friend, Shelly Bowles.  It was sad for us to lose him, but he is in Heaven now with no more cancer.

December 25 – I spent my first Christmas in California since 2001.    – https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/blogmas-2014-all-aboard/

December 30-31 – It snowed in Southern California!    – http://www.newsweek.com/frozen-palm-trees-photos-southern-california-covered-snow-296070

Sadly, many notable people passed away in 2014.  I would like to take this time to remember them, specifically those who influenced my life in someway: Ann B. Davis (Brady Bunch), Casey Kasem (Original voice of Shaggy Rogers), Christine Cavanaugh (A Flintstone Family Christmas, Aladdin, Babe, Darkwing Duck, Dexter’s Laboratory, Hercules: The Animated Series, Recess, Rugrats, The Powerpuff Girls, The Wild Thornberrys), Chuck Smith (Founder of Calvary Chapel), James Garner (Elderly Noah, The Notebook), Joan Rivers (Fashion Police), Maria von Trapp (Inspiration for Sound of Music), Mickey Rooney (National Velvet, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Black Stallion, Night at the Museum), Norman Bridwell (Creator of Clifford the Big Red Dog), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Hunger Games), Richard Bull (Nels Oleson, Little House on the Prairie), Robin Williams (Aladdin, Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, Night at the Museum, Noel), Russell Johnson (The Professor, Gilligan’s Island), Shirley Temple (Heidi), and Sid Caesar (Coach Calhoun, Grease).

I am not on for making resolutions but what the heck!!  In 2015, I would like to…

1. Get a job (preferably one involving lots & lots of books)

2. Pay off some of my college debt (A scholarship falling from heaven would be nice)

3. Blog more consistently (I am trying!)

4. Write a book (Already started)

5. Get back in shape (the “Freshman Fifteen” has got to go; it is time!)

I made some very realistic resolutions, most of which I really need to accomplish.  It will be fun to come back on December 31st, 2015, and discuss what I accomplished.  I hope you all have a very fun & safe holiday.

Happy New Year readers!   –Lauren Michele :)

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  – John 13:34-35

My links:

Art Blog: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lagirl93/

Tumblr: http://laurenmichelephotography.tumblr.com/

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

 

 

 

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 :)

My links:

Art Blog: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lagirl93/

Tumblr: http://laurenmichelephotography.tumblr.com/

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

 

Works Cited:

Oerlemans, Jeannette. Web. 26 Dec. 2014. <http://1x.com/photo/30341/all:user:12605&gt;. (Image 1)

Blogmas 2014 – Step Into the Wardrobe

Step Into the Wardrobe

(Source: https://emspeaks.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/lamppost.jpg)

My uneventful day ended with a delicious dinner at Texas Roadhouse, a cup of eggnog, and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”  Today has been a very Narnia day!  I blogged about wintry landscapes on my art blog that are reminiscent of Narnia.  Check it out here: http://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/artmas-2014-walking-in-a-winter-wonderland/  I wish I could actually go there, but daydreaming about a Narnian escape will have to suffice.  Can you tell I’m a reader??  I am very serious about alternate universes.  They are nothing to joke about, and everything to dream about.  Speaking of magical places, my family is going to see the third installment of “The Hobbit” on Christmas day.  We have seen each installment on Christmas day for the past two years.  I am practically jumping out of my skin from excitement.  I have heard it is the perfect ending.  Endings are so sad, but technology has provided us with DVDs so the series will live on!  Something else is coming to an end.  Tonight was the 8th and final night of Hanukkah.  It is sad to say the prayers for the last time, but I know it will be back next year.  Chanukah Sameach!  Until next year…

Stay merry readers!  Only two days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele :)

“If ever they remembered their life in this world it was as one remembers a dream.”  – C.S. Lewis, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”

Blogmas 2014 – I Just Have A Lot of Feelings

Lots & Lots of Feelings(Source: https://38.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m92wg1btYg1rc1js9o1_500.gif)

I had a to-do list set for today and that has gone right out the window.  I sat down, put on a Christmas Pandora station, and blogged in my slippers for a few hours.  I accomplished one Artmas post.  That’s it.  I was in a decent mood and then suddenly I wasn’t.  Also, the Denver Broncos lost.  Were there any highlights today?  Yes.  I watched “Love Actually.”  Lots and lots of feelings following that film.  It is scary how relatable it is.  It is also brilliant and fast becoming one of my favorites.  I ate In-N-Out for dinner, and grandma’s Christmas cookies arrived in the mail.  That was most definitely a highlight.  Ugh!!  I feel like a big, dark cloud has been following me around since December 1st.  I don’t want to be a Christmas Eeyore!!  Christmas is almost over, and I have spent the majority of the month feeling “Blah.”  Oh well.  I am making the best of it.

Stay merry readers!!  Only three days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele :)

“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.  “So it is.”  “And freezing.”  “Is it?”   “Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.” – Eeyore

 

My links:

Art Blog: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lagirl93/

Tumblr: http://laurenmichelephotography.tumblr.com/

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

Blogmas 2014 – It’s Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas (Source: http://i1.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article1497069.ece/alternates/s615/Miranda)

I know, I know.  I am the absolute worst at Blogmas!!  I have tried, I really have. I wrote a Hanukkah post on my art blog and it took two full days to research and write. It was 3 am by the time I finished, and I was not at all ready to blog again the next day. However, I am extremely proud of the finished product so if you have not yet seen it, here is the link: http://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/artmas-2014-joy-to-the-world/   I am sorry if this excuse is awful and unacceptable, but it is the truth. Moving on. I had a great time with my family this weekend.  We did some shopping at the mall and watched lots and lots of Christmas movies.  I would like to point out that they were willing, my dad and brother included, to watch both family and romance movies.  That is love!!  It is no secret that I have had problems getting into the Christmas spirit, but spending quality time with my family made me feel much more merry, as did watching “Blind Side.”  “Blind Side” is an emotional movie, not easy to get through without crying, but it has a happy ending.  I give it 5 stars.  It holds a special place in the hearts of my family because ever since I was born my parents have been taking in people who needed a place to live.  I have considered each and every one of them a member of my family regardless of size, shape, and color.  It is a great feeling to know that my family was able to help so many people.  I love my extended, colorful family and always will!!

I shall return mañana.  Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele :)

Beth: “You’re changing that boy’s life.”

Leigh Anne Touhy: “No. He’s changing mine.”

– “Blind Side”

 

My links:

Art Blog: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lagirl93/

Tumblr: http://laurenmichelephotography.tumblr.com/

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

Blogmas 2014 – Come Light the Menorah

Levin, Alex. Magnificent Light of Menorah. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. . Calvin College openURL resolver

Levin, Alex. Magnificent Light of Menorah. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <http://www.artlevin.com/page409.html&gt;.
Calvin College openURL resolver

Chanukah Sameach readers!!  In honor of the first night of Hanukkah, I want to give you a VIP tour through my favorite Jewish holiday.  If you did not read my post last year, here is the story of Hanukkah: The Jews were, at one time, oppressed by a Greek king; he killed Jews, outlawed their religion, and defiled the temple, their place of worship.  Despite their small number and “underdog” status, Judah Maccabees and his army were successful in their rebellion.  The temple was restored, and a celebration took place.  There was only enough oil to light the temple menorah for one night, but the lamp miraculously burned for eight straight nights.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is why we celebrate Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.

Read or recite the following:

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, Asher kideshanu b’mitzvotav, Vitzivanu, L’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah – Praised are You, Our God, Ruler of the universe, Who made us holy through your commandments and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah lights

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, Sheh’asah nissim la’avoteinu, Ba-yam ha-heim, Ba-zman hazeh – Praised are You, Our God, Ruler of the universe, Who performed wondrous deeds for our ancestors in those ancient days at this season

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, shehecheyanu, v’ki-y’manu, v’higiyanu, lazman hazeh – Praised are You, Our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has given us life and sustained us and enabled us to reach this season  (“The Hanukkah Blessings”)

If you want help with pronunciation, follow along with this playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fb-tkAet5A&list=PLcRF_zFl6hpHXnmP-CaCK2OO-3xfmm1kg

I hope you have enjoyed Hanukkah 101.  Now go make latkes and play dreidel.  Stay kosher readers!!  (See what I did there??)

– Lauren Michele :)

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ ”  – John 8:12

 

Works Cited:

Levin, Alex. Magnificent Light of Menorah. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <http://www.artlevin.com/page409.html&gt;.

“The Hanukkah Blessings.” myjewishlearning.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Hanukkah/At_Home/Candlelighting

/Blessings.shtml>.

 

***My links:

Art Blog: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lagirl93/

Tumblr: http://laurenmichelephotography.tumblr.com/

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

Calvin College openURL resolver

Blogmas 2014 – Artmas 2014

Artmas 2014

Good evening readers!  I am not really in a blogging mood tonight.  However, I wanted to let you know that I am participating in Blogmas 2014 on my art blog for the next ten days.  I am calling it “Artmas.”  All of the art will be Christmas and/or winter related  Here is a link to my first post: http://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/artmas-2014-danbo-the-robot/   If you would like to read posts related to art year-round, subscribe!!  I will be back tomorrow.  Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele :)

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”  – Pablo Picasso

 

***My links:

Art Blog: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lagirl93/

Tumblr: http://laurenmichelephotography.tumblr.com/

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

 

 

Blogmas 2014 – Quizmas Shenanigans

Quizmas Shenanigans (Source: http://www.instant-quizzes.co.uk/product_images/uploaded_images/wise500.jpg)

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: http://www.playbuzz.com/avibwx10/which-christmas-decoration-fits-your-personality

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: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jackdanielsuk/which-foreign-christmas-tradition-are-you?b=1

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: http://www.zimbio.com/quiz/7kYouobapL1/Can+Guess+Favorite+Christmas+Movie

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.

(Source: http://www.jokeschristmas.com/Christmas-Puns/)

 

***My links:

Art Blog: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lagirl93/

Tumblr: http://laurenmichelephotography.tumblr.com/

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

Blogmas 2014 – Candles Candles Candles

Candles Candles Candles (Please excuse the bad quality phone picture)

I hope your noses are in tip-top shape because tonight’s post is all about CANDLES!!  Today was the sacred day that die-hard Bath & Body Works shoppers crave the other 364 days of the year, leap years excluded.  Today was “$8 Candle Day.”  I cannot tell a lie.  This whole “I need a gazillion candles in my life” craze is new to me, but I caught on quickly.  First of all, the store was absolute chaos.  California women do not mess around when it comes to sales, even if they are holding one or more babies.  I was poked, prodded, stared down, and 100% overwhelmed.  Even the employees were getting trapped by the sea of shoppers.  Despite my “fear”, I was more worried about the candles.  People were moving about as if the store was full of cotton instead of fragile candles.  Take a chill pill!!  If you can’t already tell from my dramatic narrative, I am NOT a crowd person.  Fun fact about me: I will not go to a store to wrestle over an item in person.  However, I am a master online shopper; I will bid to the death.  Perhaps I will share some of my wisdom with you another time.  Back to the topic at hand.  I made it out of the store alive with four candles.  At $8 apiece with the inclusion of a $10 off coupon, I paid a little more than twenty-three dollars total.  That is the amount I would have paid for ONE candle on a normal shopping day, and I walked out with FOUR candles.  Hallelujah, praise Jesus.  I love saving $$$!!!  I will end this post with a description of each candle, including Marshmallow Fireside which was purchased last month.  FYI: These descriptions come on the bottom of each candle; I cannot take credit for the text in quotation marks.

Cranberry Woods – “Fresh tart cranberries, blackcurrant, and warm cinnamon bark combine in a delightful fragrance inspired by the magic of the woods during harvest time.”  I chose this candle over “Frosted Cranberry” because the scent was more delicate.  Despite the absence of citrus, the scent has a citrus quality that cuts the harshness of the cranberry.  This scent is ideal for any Thanksgiving table.

Gourmet Espresso – “The fragrance of rich espresso delightfully brewed with artisan coffee beans is the perfect complement for your homemade holiday treats.”  Coffee lovers need this candle in their life.  I am not a coffee aficionado nor do I drink pure coffee, but this scent is absolute heaven.  This candle was made to be lit in your kitchen every morning.

Holly Jolly Christmas – “Have a holly jolly Christmas with this festive blend of bright mandarin, red pomegranate, and fresh balsam.”  Christmas-themed scents tend to be too spicy for my taste.  If you are like me, this is the candle for you.  The notes of fruit add just enough pop to the fresh balsam without being overpowering.  A “Fresh Balsam” candle is also available, but I chose this candle instead because the scent offers more than one note of Christmas.

Marshmallow Fireside – “A sweet toasty end to a long cold day – toasted marshmallows and sumptuous vanilla cream blend with the comforting aroma of rich smoldering woods.”  I am not a huge fan of sweet scents because they can be very nauseating.  While this scent is very sweet, in small doses it is a pleasant pick-me-up.  You know that scent from bonfires that makes your eyes and nose burn?  Hints of that toastiness are present and break up the sweetness a little bit.  This scent is 100% dependent on the first impression.  You either like it or you don’t; there is no compromise.

Mint Mocha Bark – “Wrap this delectable medley of creamy smooth mocha, vanilla, and icy mint in a bow and give it to your nearest and dearest.”  Plain and simple: if you want to have the scent of a Starbucks peppermint mocha frappuccino within reach at all times, this is the candle for you.

Now go forth, shop, & fill the air with fragrance.  Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

“It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt

 

***My links:

Art Blog: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lagirl93/

Tumblr: http://laurenmichelephotography.tumblr.com/

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

 

Blogmas 2014 – Bah Humbug

Bah Humbug

Good evening readers.  I’m pretty sure the title says it all so this post will not drag on.  I have been in a blah mood today.  I could not fall asleep all day, and my mind refused to focus on an activity (e.g. reading).  On the positive side of things, candles are $8 at Bath & Body Works tomorrow, and I am finally leaving this apartment after one week of illness.  No cough or sneeze will stop me!!  Perhaps my post tomorrow will be all about my new candles.  Wont that be fragrant!  Sorry.  My brain is crazy from the boredom.  What else did I do today that was interesting…  I watched the finale of Gracepoint.  Did anyone else follow Gracepoint from the beginning?  Crazy ending.  I wont give it away, but I finally predicted something on a TV show.  I’ve basically won at life.  Not really.  I also watched Elf.  I love that movie!  My favorite part is when Buddy the Elf hears Jovie singing in the shower, innocently joins in, and scares her.  That scene tickles my funny bone every time.  Well, that is pretty much the extent of my day.  Sorry I wasn’t in a holly jolly mood today; I did my best.  Good night and stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

“Cindy Lou Who: Santa?

Grinch: WHAT?

Cindy Lou Who: Don’t forget the Grinch. I know he’s mean and hairy and smelly. His hands might be cold and clammy, but I think he’s actually kinda… sweet.

Grinch: SWEET? You think he’s sweet?

Cindy Lou Who: Merry Christmas, Santa.

Grinch: Nice kid… baaad judge of character.”  – How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)