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

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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=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

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

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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

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 

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– Lauren Michele <3

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#GoGoldOrGoHome

Skalij, Wally. Gold medal winner Gabby Douglas competes on the beam in the women's individual all-around event. 2012. Photograph.

Skalij, Wally. Gold medal winner Gabby Douglas competes on the beam in the women’s individual all-around event. 2012. Photograph.

I watched The Gabby Douglas Story on Lifetime earlier this week and was really inspired.  Gabby had to push through one obstacle after another to fulfill her goal of competing in the Olympics.  According to the movie, being away from her mom and siblings on top of intense training created emotional stress that, for a period of time, drained her passion.  Her family and her coach talked to her, but she was the one who had to make the final decision.  She decided to keep going and went on to become the first United States gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal in both the all-around individual and the all-around team events.  She was also the first African-American female gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal in the all-around individual event.

Though our stories are different, I am reminded of my current situation living away from my dad and brother and attending college.  I feel like photography is no longer my passion, but I am determined to finish what I started to the best of my abilities.  Even if I do not want to become a world-famous photographer, I do want to feel satisfied that I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and succeeded.  I miss having my family together in one place, but I want to make them proud and show them that the past two years of struggle have not been in vain.  Because of them, I cannot justify being selfish, though I do admit that I do slip-up here and there.

Check your local TV listings for The Gabby Douglas Story or watch it here: http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/the-gabby-douglas-story/video/the-gabby-douglas-story

“Hard days are the best because that’s where champions are made…”  – Gabby Douglas

Go for the gold readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

P.S. Please check out the new Lauren Michele Youtube channel and subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCic1VLw_OuW2fzDQ88oi_AA/videos

Full Speed Ahead

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The quote says it all.  The excitement of Christmas and the holiday blues are officially behind us.  February is only eleven days away.  It is time to press the gas and move forward.  Trust me, I am still in a “blah” mood, but I try to remind myself everyday that in order to make it to my college graduation in eight months, I have to complete and pass the remainder of my classes.  Therefore, full speed ahead!

I have a heavy homework load this quarter, but I will try my very best to maintain a consistent blog.  I am also working on my new Youtube channel.  Please check it out and subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCic1VLw_OuW2fzDQ88oi_AA

I was very scared to put myself on public display; a lot of hurtful things are said on social media.  But, I have had the idea for awhile and finally decided that I would never know if it was a bad idea unless I tried.  So far I am having fun despite the amount of work it requires.  I appreciate the support I have received on Tumblr and WordPress, and I hope you all will continue to support me in my new endeavor.  I also want to encourage you to try new things.  Do not not let fear and what ifs control your life!

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”  – Neale Donald Walsch

“In spite of fear, do what you have to do.”  – Chin-Ning Nu

“I’m not what I have done.  I’m what I’ve overcome.”  – “What I’ve Overcome”, Fireflight

Stay motivated readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

The Only Thing

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I promised a Christmas-depression rant, and I did not deliver.  I apologize to those of you who may have gone crazy from anticipation.  Going back to college after a month-long vacation proved to be more of a burden than I expected.  Warning: This post is a bit of a downer, but please bear with me.  At the moment I am fighting the demon that is fear.  I only have approximately eight months of school left until I graduate, and the pressure is building.  I started my first portfolio class today, and the teachers did an excellent job freaking me out.  For the next eleven weeks, I have to produce an impressive 30-50 image portfolio that will get me into the second and final portfolio class.  I have to impress a five-person committee twice; three of those people will be complete strangers who do not know me and are not connected to the photography program.  On top of that, I have to pass Western Civilization and three other photography classes.  Besides that, life is sunshine and roses.

I think I have been a downer for long enough.  How ’bout I post some quotes about fear in an attempt to lift the mood?

“Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“It’s not about being fearless, it’s about acting in spite of fear.”  – Veronica Roth, Divergent

Overcoming fear is a process as is deciding to overcome fear.  I am not suddenly feeling courage and strength being poured into me, but God willing that will happen soon.  At any moment the words of those three quotes will sink in, I will pull up my big girl pants, and I will do what I have to do.  Fear is scary to experience, but the underlying truth that we never want to admit is that fear is beneficial.  When has overcoming fear ever made someone more weak?

Stay fearful readers!  It is good for you, despite the terrifying process.

– Lauren Michele  :)

4 Days Until Youtube…

Cold Cold go Away

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Sooo… I was going to surprise my readers by posting my first Youtube video tomorrow.  However, I suddenly contracted a cold yesterday, today consisted of Kleenex, and hot tea, and I do not think tomorrow will be much better.  But, now you know that I am indeed starting my own Youtube show.  I have had this idea for a long time, and I finally built up the courage to do it.  I do not know how successful I will be, but I will never know unless I try.  It will have a lot of variety: discussions, reviews, tips, etc.  I hope that all of you will support me on this new endeavor.  I will warn you now that the vlogs will most likely appeal more to teen girls and young women, but I would appreciate your support nonetheless even if you do not watch.

I am off to sip hot mint tea and watch Fred Astaire in “Royal Wedding.”  I leave you with this quote: “Remember the tea kettle – it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings!”  – Anonymous

Stay well readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

7 days until Youtube…

P.S.  School starts Monday.  That may or may not inspire a Christmas-depression rant from me.