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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ARTMAS – https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com

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– Lauren Michele <3

Previous Post: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/demeter-fragrance-library-haul-review-blogmas-2016-🎄/

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I’m a Bad Blogger | Blogmas 2016 🎄

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13 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS

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Sorry guys!  I am failing miserably at Blogmas this year.  Because I work in retail, my schedule has been ridiculous these past few weeks.  For example, I worked until 11pm last night and opened this morning at 7am.  Needless to say I am exhausted and enjoying some much needed couch time.  Anyone else watching the New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys game??  GO BIG BLUE!!! 💙 What else is new in my life??  Let’s see… One of my friends asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding.  I am honored to be asked and ecstatic to be involved.  Obviously I can’t look like an oompa loompa so I’ve been working extra hard to get into tip top shape.  I’ve started drinking green tea every day because it has so many health benefits.  I’m not a huge fan of the smell and taste so I add lemon which also has numerous health benefits.  Problem solved!  My body is starting to feel much better, but it goes deeper than that.  Working with holiday shoppers has taken a toll on the joy I usually feel this time of year.  Sipping a hot cup of tea and being still for a few minutes each day has been a great way for me to recharge.

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

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6 DAYS UNTIL ARTMAS – https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com

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– Lauren Michele <3

Previous Post: The Balloon & the Zipper | Blogmas 2016 

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Anthology Candles

Today I am reviewing products from Anthology Candles, a company owned by Rheney Williams and her husband Stephen.  Their soy products are whimsically inspired by music, movies, & books.  Keep reading for information on their candles, mini candles, & wax tarts.  My Youtube review video will be posted at the end for those of you who want to see the products in action.

Candles | $16.00

The top white layer is clean river water; the middle lavender layer is a floral blend; and the bottom purple layer is a mixture of flowers & water.  There is no need to burn the candle down to smell each layer; it immediately smells clean and floral.  If you like strongly scented candles that fill a room within minutes, this is not the product for you.  It took an hour for me to smell the scent, and even then I had to remain within a foot or two to enjoy it.  Once it is burnt, the candle’s scent is hidden by the smell of burnt wick.  As time goes on, the scent comes back and gets stronger.  The draw of this candle is definitely the aesthetic.  The design, inspired by the lantern scene in the Disney film Tangled, is spot on.  The white wax becomes transparent when burning and makes the candle appear as though it is a lantern.  The effect is mesmerizing!  If you are planning a Tangled party, think about investing in these candles and creating your very own “Floating Lanterns” scene.

• Find the candles here: https://anthologycandles.com/collections/candles

Mini Candles | $14 per sampler pack

Instead of purchasing more big candles, I got a sampler pack of four mini candles.  Belle’s Library is aged library books, hint of leather, & wild roses.  To me, it smells nutty with a hint of rose.  My nose is obviously confusing the smell of old books for nuts.  I don’t know of any other way to describe it.  It just smells nutty!  Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is bakery cakes with vanilla icing, chamomile tea, and a twist of cinnamon.  I do smell cinnamon and occasionally vanilla but mostly an icee.  I know that sounds crazy but it’s true!  Part of Your World is crisp coastal breeze & warm golden sand.  I smell a blend of vanilla & flowers, and the strength of the scent reminds me of Bath & Body Works products.  Tink’s Flight is fresh verbena, sweet coconut, & tangy lime.  I smell every single one of those notes.  The scent is sweet & sour just like Tinker Bell.  Time for the bad news.  The wicks are folded down in the packaging so when it comes time to light them, zip zilch NADA!  I had to trim the wicks a little bit and wipe them gently with a paper towel; I wasted a lot of matches before finally getting flames.  Once lit, the candles look pretty but don’t smell at all.  These sampler candles are fine if you plan on testing the scents without flame.  It might be a better investment to know what scents you like and buy a few big candles.

• Find the mini candles here: https://anthologycandles.com/collections/sample-packs

Wax Tarts | $25 for 4 different scents

* Note: Wax tarts are cubes of scent-infused wax.  Once placed in a warmer (e.g. Scentsy), the heat melts the wax and releases the scent.

I bought one sampler and received four different wax tarts.  Rivendell is amber, oakmoss, twilight woods, & woodland foliage.  I wish I could tell you that my dream of being a Middle Earth elf was fulfilled by this product.  Alas, it smells like play-doh, and the warmer is no help at all.  However, due to circumstances I cannot explain, the scent is improving.  There is hope yet!  Soaring Over is orange blossoms, orange groves, and salty sea breeze.  The scent is inspired by the Disney park ride Soaring Over California.  It smells of oranges and takes me right back to my childhood in Orange County.  The Black Pearl is cannonball smoke, mildewy wood, musty “pirates” water, & salty sea breeze.  I did not like this funky scent at first.  All you smell is must, mildew, and smoke.  Surprise of the year, it smells much more pleasant in the warmer.  If you aren’t into scents that are clean, floral, and/or sweet, this scent might float your boat (get it?!).  Wilderness Lodge is campfire and a forest tree mix of juniper, pine, & spruce.  This spicy forest scent will be p-e-r-f-e-c-t for Christmastime.  Overall, I am very happy with the scents I purchased.  However, much like the candles, it takes an hour or more for the scent to be recognizable, and it does not fill the room; you have to be within a few feet of the warmer to enjoy the scent.

* Rivendell scent description courtesy of http://ritareviews.net/2015/11/anthology-candles-spotlight-lord-of-the-rings/ *

• Find the wax tarts here: https://anthologycandles.com/collections/wax-tarts

Conclusion:

The novelty of Anthology Candles is attractive.  I would recommend their products for two things:

1. The candles and wax tarts are best enjoyed in close proximity (e.g. bedside table or living room side table).

2. I have seen the candles used as decor all over Instagram, especially on bookshelves.

My overall experience was good.  There are only a few changes I would suggest.

1. There are descriptions on the website for the candles but not the wax tarts.  This works out fine if the wax tart happens to have a candle, but if it doesn’t, there is no way of knowing what the scent is.  Also, the packaging gives no indication of the scent.

2. The mini candle sampler packs are not customizable.  There are three packs available, each with a set group of candles.  I am not sure of the possible complications, but it would be nice to have a customization option in the future.

3. The wax tarts can only be purchased in groups of four.  Once again, a customization option would be nice in the future.

4. These products would be much more enjoyable and worth the money if the scents were stronger.

• My review video:

• If you’re interested in more information on Anthology Candles, here are some links to get you started:

Article – http://ritareviews.net/2015/10/the-craft-behind-the-candles-by-rheney-williams/

Etsy – https://www.etsy.com/shop/AnthologyCandles

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/anthologycandles/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/anthologycandles/?hl=en

Twitter – https://twitter.com/anthologycandle

Website – https://anthologycandles.com

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– Lauren Michele <3

Previous Post: DC vs Marvel

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DC vs Marvel

If you’re wondering what the heck is going on, here’s a basic synopsis: Since DC Comics threw their moviemaking hat into the ring that Marvel has dominated since the 2000s, fans have split down the middle, and it is heated.  Relax!  I’m not going to pick a side and start an argument.  I’m here to talk about my disappointment.  If you like a movie embraced by the majority, no one bats an eyelash.  If you like a movie despised by the majority, all hell breaks loose.  Why do people feel the need to bully individuals who like a certain movie?!  No amount of argument is going to change someone’s personal feelings.  You can hate a movie, but don’t attack someone who liked it.  It isn’t difficult to walk away without saying something, especially on the internet.

This is a great time to be alive!  The superheroes we grew up watching on TV are now on the big screen.  We are getting films from DC and Marvel every single year.  Why can’t we all just get along and agree that this is FREAKING awesome?  If you like a movie, feel free to share and spread the love.  If you didn’t like a movie, respect your fellow fans and consider keeping your opinion quiet or refraining from a review that is nothing other than a bashing session.

There’s only one way to end on a positive note.  You’re welcome! 👍

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOtpeYERu9w

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– Lauren Michele <3

Previous Post: Jonathan Crombie Memorial

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Jonathan Crombie Memorial

On April 15, 2015, tragedy struck the Anne of Green Gables family.  Actor Jonathan Crombie, known for his role as the beloved Gilbert Blythe, passed away.  If you are interested, here is the blog post I wrote following the news of his death: Don’t Forget Me

A member of the AOGG fandom, Sandra McKinney, has started a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of putting some kind of memorial in David Crombie Park.  The Toronto park is named after Jonathan’s father, and Sandra felt it was the perfect place for a memorial.  She has talked to the proper authorities, and the idea has been accepted.  If there is any money left over from the donations, it will be given to a charity of the Crombie family’s choosing.  Donate if you are able to do so, but don’t feel like you have to.  At the very least, share the page on social media and help spread the word.  Sandra’s efforts speak volumes on behalf of the AOGG community, and I want to do my part to help.

• GoFundMe Page – https://www.gofundme.com/2mbc344k

• Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/970383573006872/

In the words of Sandra, “If you like this idea and would be willing to help so that this can happen please donate whatever you can. Let’s make this fundraising campaign a success and let’s keep Jonathan’s memory alive for our generation and generations to come.”

– Lauren Michele <3

Previous Post: Mannequins — They’re Just Like Us!

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Once Upon a Disney

I promised you more Disney so prepare yourself for an avalanche of nothing but DISNEY.  These decisions were very, VERY difficult so please understand if I give more than one answer.

* * * NOTE: Press Command + to make the blog bigger, and click on each image to make it bigger. * * *

• Favorite Disney Park – Disneyland

I’m a loyal California girl. 🌞

• Favorite Disney Park Attraction – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

This ride has just enough twists and turns to excite me but not scare me.  I am not ashamed to admit I am a wimp when it comes to roller coasters.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVP82m5KdDY

• Favorite Moment/Experience at a Disney Park

I have numerous memories from visiting Disney parks over the past 10+ years, but there is no time like the first time.  I was eight years old, disney-obsessed, and way too excited to notice crowds and hurting feet.  No negatives, only positives.  I still have my autograph book and pictures from that trip.  Good times!

• Favorite Disney Channel Show – Lizzie McGuire

I am the brunette version of Lizzie.  One disaster after another. 😑

Do You Actually Remember Lizzie McGuire? – http://www.playbuzz.com/emilyg11/do-you-actually-remember-lizzie-mcguire

I answered 12/15 questions correctly.  Not bad!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0TYjqBqgBo

Lizzie McGuire Episodes on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/search?q=Lizzie+McGuire&type=episodes

• Favorite Animated Disney Channel Show – Kim Possible

Do you remember the Kim Possible clothing line??  I do!!  I went through a looong Kim Possible/spy phase.  It was fantastic. 😄

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I43SMbqOMmY

Kim Possible Episodes on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/search?q=Kim+Possible&type=episodes

• Favorite Disney Channel Original Movie(s) – Stuck in the Suburbs, Cheetah Girls 12, and the High School Musical trilogy

Baby Taran Killam??  Yes please!!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCbIf8RvtIo

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geFANFWpIB8

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-Zwp_CQpp8

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZpSOSfymV4

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7SPi5fkT5Q

Me and my friends used to pretend we were the Cheetah Girls; my identities were Chanel and Dorinda.  I still know most of the lyrics to their songs.  Cheetahlicious!!

I had a sleepover when HSM 2 premiered, and, when I hosted a sleepover for my dance school friends, we watched the trilogy.  We’re all in this together!

*Note: I know #3 isn’t a Disney Channel original movie, but I couldn’t mention one without the other two.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6EOUaWscrE

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3G1BogR-68

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x42aPmtnVDg

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UiHFHF-Nqk

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEQXcbqvbT0

• Favorite Disney Princess Movie – Mulan & Aladdin

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpM0UNsy5s

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00BZSEWFhTo

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJJog4BJrUw

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWLa6y7Z2TE

• Favorite Disney Princess(es) – Mulan & Jasmine

Mulan’s courage is something I admire and strive for.  Imagine that!  A cartoon character as a role model.  Jasmine is exotic and beautiful (yes, a cartoon character can be beautiful).  She longs to be independent, free from strict rules; I can relate to that as an artist.  Mulan is my favorite, but Jasmine is a close second because she was my favorite growing up.

• Favorite Disney Prince – Flynn Rider & Aladdin

Hypothetically, if I had to pick a Disney prince to marry, it would probably  be Flynn.  Why?  I am a serious person so I need someone to balance out my drama with humor.  Flynn is a funny guy, but he also has a good heart underneath all the capers and hijinks.

No matter what Aladdin wants, he always follows his heart and does the right thing.  For example, he steals bread to feed his empty stomach, but, after outrunning a group of soldiers, he decides to give the bread to two children digging in the trash for food.  He has three wishes, and he chooses to give Genie his freedom with the 3rd.

• Favorite Royal Disney Couple/Love Story – Beast/Prince Adam & Belle

Belle looks past Beast’s scary appearance and makes an effort to be his friend when no other human will.  Beautiful!

• Favorite Animated Disney Movie – Tarzan

The environment, story, and music blend together in sweet harmony.  There is never a moment when watching the movie is a bad idea.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc3MnoSS5Hw

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfciC33t3M0

Fun Fact: There was a TV show on Disney Channel called Legend of Tarzan.  Look it up on Youtube and enjoy!

*Note: My current top seven animated Disney movies are Tarzan, Hercules, Aladdin, Brother Bear, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, and Lilo & Stitch.  This list is subject to change.  Yes, Mulan was ahead of Aladdin in the “Disney Princess Movie” category, but from a broader point of view Aladdin is in the lead.  I’m just now noticing six of my top seven movies have a male protagonist.  Interesting!

• Favorite Non-Royal Disney Couple/Love Story – Tarzan & Jane

They are basically the non-royal equivalent of Beast and Belle except Tarzan isn’t arrogant, and he remains a jungle man.  Adorable!

• Favorite Non-Princess Disney Character(s) – Megara & Esmeralda

Both are beautiful and sassy.  Need I say more?!  When I was little, I went through a gypsy phase.  I wore my Esmeralda skirt ALL the time, and, to top it off, I wore my Pocahontas shirt.  Disney fashion at its finest!

Favorite Non-Prince Disney Character – Stitch, Phil, & Phoebus

Stitch is quirky and adorable, and he feels like he doesn’t belong anywhere, which is something I feel on a daily basis.  Basically we’re long lost twins.  Phoebus is hysterical; he is Flynn Rider #2.  What can I say?  I like to laugh. 😂

• Favorite Talking Disney Sidekick(s) – Genie & Mushu

This category is hard to narrow down because some of the best Disney characters are sidekicks.  Genie is Robin Williams in cartoon form.  We’re not worthy of his genius!!  Mushu’s personality never ceases to make me cry from laughter, and I most definitely need Pegasus in my life.  I wouldn’t have to drive! 👍

• Favorite Non-Talking Disney Sidekick(s): Meeko, & Pegasus

I split the sidekick category because this decision felt like I was choosing my favorite child, and I had to make room for indecision.  ;)  I have ALWAYS loved Meeko & Pegasus.  Both of them are adorable, and they have some attitude.  Meeko is mischievous, and Pegasus is sassy.

• Favorite Disney Villain – Hades

Hades is a villain, but he’s also funny.  I’m not comparing the two, but he brings to mind a villainous version of Genie.  Maybe, maybe not.

• Animated Disney Character(s) I Am Most Like – Belle & Megara

I have fair skin, brown hair, and green eyes like Belle (green and hazel eyes are similar).  Also, I love reading.  I am quite sassy and stubborn; that’s where Megara fits into the puzzle.  It is 50/50.  Sugar & spice.  Call me Bellegara!!

• Least Favorite Character(s) From a Disney Movie – Francis from Swiss Family Robinson and Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

I mean no offense, but I am personally annoyed by these two characters, especially their voices.

 

• Favorite Soundtrack From An Animated Disney Movie – Tarzan & Brother Bear

Phil Collins is a musical genius!!  <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

• Favorite Song From An Animated Disney Movie – I See the Light

This song is lyrically touching and vocally stunning.  It also translates seamlessly into other languages.  To me, that is what makes it not just a good song but a great song.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mayDR-PlXo

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEdfsxz274I

*Note: Some of my other favorite songs (in no particular order) include A Whole New World, God Bless the OutcastsGo the DistanceHawaiian Roller Coaster Ride, I’ll Make a Man Out of You, I Wont Say I’m in LoveLook Through My Eyes, and Two Worlds.  I’m not sure I could ever pick a definite top 3 or 5 or 10.  Way too hard a decision!

• Favorite Cover of a Song From an Animated Disney Movie – Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride by Jump  5

I blasted Jump 5 back in the day.  This song always puts a smile on my face and makes me want to dance.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7wS3Pt7E68

• Favorite Pixar Movie(s) –  Monsters, Inc. series

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tCxnHCqqxg

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBzPioph8CI

I can’t explain exactly why these are my favorite Pixar movies.  All I can say is I love the concept and the heart of this series.  Fun Fact: I have stuffed animal versions of Mike and Sully from Monsters University on my bed.  That’s right!  Making my twenties awesome. 😉

• Favorite Pixar Character(s) – Mike Wasowski & Woody.

I love Woody’s loyalty and desire to preserve tradition.  I love that no matter how many times Mike gets criticized and knocked down, he gets back up and finds a way to succeed.  A friend and a fighter, two things I strive to be.

• Favorite Song From a Pixar Movie: Life is a Highway, Rascal Flatts

Every time I watch the movie, I can’t help singing out loud when this song plays.

🎶 Life’s like a road that you travel on
When there’s one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind  🎶

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UdZIh8_xGc

• What Disney/Pixar Movie(s) Makes Me Cry Without Fail – Lilo & Stitch & Toy Story 3

Stitch feels like he does not belong anywhere.  Who hasn’t felt that way at some point in their life??

Throughout the entire movie, Andy is dealing with saying goodbye to childhood.  The story never ceases to make me cry because I am currently struggling with that very issue.

Honestly, I think every Disney movie has at least one part that makes me tear up.  When Bambi’s mother dies in Bambi.  When Sulley says goodbye to Boo in Monsters, Inc.  When Aladdin sets Genie free in Aladdin.  The ENTIRE The Fox and the Hound movie.  The ENTIRE Dumbo movie.  When Ariel says goodbye to her dad at the end of The Little Mermaid.  There are numerous other scenes that make me cry, too many to count.  Disney certainly knows how to tug at one’s heartstrings! 😭

• Favorite Live-Action Disney Movie(s) – Into the Woods, Pirates of the Caribbean Series, & The Moon-Spinners

The acting, music, and visuals in this film are a delight to experience from start to finish.  Absolute magic!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Byk9Is3TjY

Dark, thrilling, and full of pirates.  What’s not to love?!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DXNYUTmGxA

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elqO-GNfStM

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBTL8A1F4j4

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8wi_1H0N8g

This film is a hidden gem I discovered at my childhood library.  It has been one of my favorite movies ever since.

A Scene From The Moon-Spinners:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83RB454iwpY

• Favorite Live-Action Disney Character – Jack Sparrow

He’s a handsome, funny, passionate pirate.  Saavy?!

• Favorite Soundtrack From a Live-Action Disney Movie – Into the Woods

Into the Woods Youtube Playlist:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEkKIlGDjm8&list=PLeVu9A85gHUCpYls-Z01rAdnSFT1mnC8M

• Favorite Song From a Live-Action Disney Movie – Agony

AHEM……….

Please don’t judge me because I am totally judging myself right now.  It’s a good song!!  If you love showtunes and over-the-top drama, trust me and listen to the song.

Agony Movie Scene:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmixlJ79ZF0

• Favorite Disney Quote

If you are new to my blog, I recently returned from my first trip to Orlando, Florida.  In the spirit of all things Disney, I made an “All Things Disney” playlist on my Youtube Channel.  Here are all the necessary links:

“All Things Disney” Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUvowXnQBLryo5tiEsNMI2Rc8x6jHuSjH

Disney Challenge:

Follow Me Around Epcot & Hollywood Studios:

Follow Me Around Animal Kingdom & Magic Kingdom:

If you watch the videos and enjoy them, please don’t forget to give each video a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel.  That helps me out a lot as a Youtuber and encourages me to keep doing what I am doing.  Please & thank you.  :)

BREAKING NEWS!!!

EEK!!!  My “Aladdin” Diamond Edition arrived.  I see a movie night in my near future.  Thank you madre!  <3

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

– Lauren Michele <3

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Dear Younger Self

(Image Source: https://worthyofagape.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/dear-younger-self.jpg)

Two nights ago, I had an eye-opening experience.  I couldn’t sleep so I decided to read through my old diary, and what I found shocked me.  I used vague language and failed to mention most of the significant events from my childhood.  There was no substance!  I am a writer; when the need arises, I express myself through words to vent and heal.  In my poetry journals, I was completely open about what was going on around me and how I was feeling.  However, those poems were written within the last five years.  My diary was started four years prior to my discovery of poetry.  Perhaps I’ve been watching too much “Criminal Minds” because I have an analysis.  I wont give explicit details, but I went through a lot mentally and emotionally.  My memories are crystal clear, but, based on my diary, I was not aware of how I was being affected.  I brushed aside contributing factors as minor annoyances.  I believe that repression is why, years later, I react so explosively; I am overcompensating for my silence in the past.  I don’t want to drag on so I will end with these words, a note to my younger self and girls who have gone through/are going through similar struggles:

“You feel ugly, fat, alone, and hopeless.  You have given up on yourself because no matter how desperate you are to speak up, you are afraid.  Let go of your emotions; allow yourself to scream and cry.  When you feel better, pick yourself up and start anew with your head held high.  It may feel impossible now, but you make it farther than your young mind can imagine.  Do not lose the fire inside of you.  Never stop fighting!”

(Image Source: https://img0.etsystatic.com/024/0/6604282/il_570xN.509481350_gcnr.jpg)

(Image Source: https://fightingchronicpain.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/never-stop-fighting.jpg)

(Image Source: http://media.giphy.com/media/qwj1znuklIGc0/giphy.gif)

“And all those things I didn’t say, wrecking balls inside my brain.  I will scream them loud tonight.  Can you hear my voice this time?  This is my fight song, take back my life song, prove I’m alright song.  My power’s turned on.  Starting right now I’ll be strong.  I’ll play my fight song.  And I don’t really care if nobody else believes ’cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.”

“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1VInw-SKc

                                   (Image Source: http://frenchpressmornings.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Hebrews13.5.png)

(Image Source: http://megansmidt.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/jeremiah-29-11.jpg)

“In the midst of deep sorrow, I see Your light is breaking through.  The dark of night will not overtake me.  I am pressing into You.  Lord, You fight my every battle.  And I will not fear.  I am not alone.  I am not alone.  You will go before me.  You will never leave me.”

“I Am Not Alone” by Kari Jobe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfveawSAHJA

(Image Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IFBiMPMV-jQ/VTb70apiEZI/AAAAAAAAS_M/wk8D5yENqM0/s1600/just-keep-swimming.gif)

(Image Source: http://24.media.tumblr.com/c3a6fcfcb0fc5843efd73dd3e2a394ee/tumblr_mz4anao6Pn1rd0hedo1_500.gif)

(Image Source: http://s1064.photobucket.com/user/kaitlinleighs/media/tumblr_m7utqjHJzL1r9fcwro1_500.gif.html)

(Image Source: http://media.giphy.com/media/13uNYQRS1U6mTC/giphy.gif)

I hope you feel better!  Feel free to talk and/or vent in the comment section.  This is a safe environment.  “See” you soon readers.  :)

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

– Lauren Michele <3

Previous Post: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/the-fickle-and-the-faithful/

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The Fickle and The Faithful

(Image Source: http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mc6ohtA7MX1qbhmovo9_1280.jpg)

Once again I find myself blogging early in the morning about a not-so-pleasant subject.  But, it must be done because bottled up emotions are never a good thing.  This morning I am venting about fickle friends.  OOOOOHHHHH SNAP!!!!!  You are probably thinking I am  calling out someone specific.  These thoughts are inspired by personal experiences, but I am speaking generally.  The first thing I want to address is this:  Everyone has been a fickle friend at one time.  Do not beat yourself up if you have thought badly of a friend, gossiped, yelled, or been physically mean.  Those things are terrible, but what truly matters is your heart and what you do to make things right.  Friendship is a two-way street; if all persons involved are willing to trust one another and fight together, that relationship will last.

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  – Proverbs 18:24

I have lost more than a handful of friends during my twenty-two years of life.  I have grown a thick skin and would even say I have a certain amount of bitterness in my heart towards friendships.  However, I would be lying if I said that losing friends does not hurt me in the slightest.  No one should ever feel like they are convenient for another person.  “Our parents know each other.”  “We do the same activity together week after week, year after year.”  “We go to the same school and attend the same classes.”  I know what it feels like to have compartmentalized friendships.  Once those “compartments” are no longer part of your life, the friendships eventually fade away.  Why?  The convenience is gone, and suddenly the friendships requires effort in order to last.  It hurts to share secrets and fears with someone for a significant number of years, and then one day find yourself on the outside looking in at their life.  No matter how high your walls are and how thick your armor is, the pain of losing a friend will find its way to your heart and sting.  I want to encourage those of you who have had similar experiences and/or feel like you have no friends.  You are not alone!  Do not give up on yourself!  The only people you need in your life are the people who want to be there.  I know this has been said a million times in a million different forms, but it is the truth.  I would rather have one genuine, through-thick-and-thin friend than numerous fake friends.

*** Cue the friendship quotes and gifs!!

My best friend Gabby :) :D :P

My brother John <3 <3 <3

(Source: http://www.prettydesigns.com/25-friendship-quotes-for-summer/)

This is just for laughs because I actually hate hugs.  LOL!

(Image Source: http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_llizvp2ILY1qfyncko1_500.gif)

*Tears*  Disney for the win!

(Image Source: https://38.media.tumblr.com/1a6aa6fb37763f6a3b2ff96d7a581597/tumblr_mm3bbne7R21so67mao1_500.gif)

I hope you feel encouraged.  I will “see” you very soon.  Feel free to leave comments and thoughts below.

Cherish your true friends and no matter what, be a friend readers!

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

– Lauren Michele <3

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