Super Bowl LIII

Let’s pretend two things:

1) Super Bowl LIII wasn’t utter crap. 😑

2) I wrote this on time. 😂

A m a z o n

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y-1h_C8ad8

If Harrison Ford is involved, I’m a fan. 😍

A v e n g e r s : E n d g a m e

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iFq6IcAxBc

The only time you will see grown men cry during a sport 💔

. . . although this particular Super Bowl made a lot of people shed tears of boredom. 😭

B u b l y 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRfsJi_0HHA

This is a reminder that Michael Bublé is a North American treasure. 👑

B u d   L i g h t

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoLiRI5swVk

Where does your allegiance lie? I bend the knee for House Stark. ❄️ 🐺 ❄️

C a p t a i n   M a r v e l

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

Another moment that made grown men cry. 😉

C B S

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvr8IyGuSVE

The Sheriff is a man of many talents. 🤠

C o l g a t e

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3QQnqI2Ee4

I just can’t resist Luke Wilson. 🙃

D o r i t o s

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTMzIZhI7q8

🎵 I’m not a huge fan of the rap section, but this is a great commercial overall. 🎶

H o b b s   &   S h a w

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvAyMzXQ6n0

🔥 Dwayne. Helen. Idris. Jason. Roman. 🔥

H y u n d a i

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5FzKB5TW0Y

I’m in love with Jason Bateman. That is all. 💘

M i c r o s o f t

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

There’s something in my eye. 😢 💕

N F L

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJjiIuH1VnY

For once, NFL fans can all agree on something: This commercial is F A N T A S T I C ! ! !

O l a y

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMkdqm4FFVw

The timing of the face ID malfunction is modern day horror. Genius!

P e p s i

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

This is basically a Michael Scott SBLIII commercial, & I’m here for it.

P r i n g l e s

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDakI68u2xE

If a company transformed me into a virtual assistant: Debbie Downer 🤪

S t e l l a   A r t o i s

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=439muvajodg

This is on the list because of Jeff Bridges’ fashion choices & use of “Stella Artoes.” 😂

T – M o b i l e

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTEIPTnb7lE

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

This may or may not be me . . . 😂 😂 😂

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEezKZ5XM4g

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– Lauren Michele ❤

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The Last Jedi | Blogmas 2017

⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ DISCLAIMER: My intention is not to spoil the movie for you, but spoilers are hard to avoid once you’ve seen and want to talk about it. You have been warned! ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ 

I recently saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi and loved it, but I’m still dealing with a lot of feelings. The severity of my emotions caught me off guard, and it wasn’t just because of Carrie Fisher’s death, although that sadness is still very fresh. This is the end of an era, a transition from the old to the new. I’m excited about the next generation of characters, but that doesn’t make the change any easier. When the twins reunited, Luke said the words “No one’s ever really gone” as he placed Han’s dice in Leia’s hand. From that point on, I couldn’t stop crying. That one poignant moment sums up my experience with this film. I know that’s a really short statement about a really big movie, but I honestly can’t bring myself to say anything more.

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

➡️   ➡️   ➡️   A R T M A S   ⬅️   ⬅️   ⬅️

F o u r   D a y s   U n t i l   C h r i s t m a s . . .

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

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– Lauren Michele ❤︎

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review

🎬 Directed by Bill Condon

🎼 Music by Alan Menken

📝 Screenplay by Evan Spiliotopoulos & Stephen Chbosky

🌟 S T A R R I N G

👗 Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe

🐗 Dan Stevens as Beast/The Prince

☕ Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts

👸🏻 Emma Watson as Belle

🔥 Ewan McGregor as Lumiére

💋 Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette

🌹 Hattie Morahan as Agathe/Enchantress

⏰ Ian McKellen as Cogsworth

🎭 Josh Gad as LeFou

🔨 Kevin Kline as Maurice

💪🏻 Luke Evans Gaston

☕ Nathan Mack as Chip

🎶 Stanley Tucci as Cadenza

📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹

Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite Disney movies growing up. The love story goes beyond girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy. Belle is the first human, not counting the enchanted objects, to look past Beast’s exterior. Her attention and kindness encourages him to become more human, making his inner transformation just as important as his outer change. They develop a friendship first and then fall in love. I am ashamed to say that despite being initially excited, I allowed myself to be swayed by critics giving their opinion based on the trailers. Once the movie was released and I heard great feedback from lifelong fans, I started to relax and get excited again. I finally saw the movie last Wednesday. When the title card filled the movie screen, I got chills and teared up. In that moment I realized how emotional the experience was going to be for my inner child.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • S P O I L E R S  A H E A D ! ! • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

The sets are stunning. The village is like the picturesque interior of a snowglobe isolated from the rest of the world. There are golden, ornamental baroque details all over Beast’s castle, specifically French Rococo. Under the curse, the exterior is dark and dramatic; the word gothic comes to mind. As the centerpiece of the story, the enchanted rose is as striking as it needs to be. The theme is appropriately weaved into other parts of the film; Maurice attempts to pick a white rose from Beast’s garden, and Belle’s baby rattle is a red rose. Don’t even get me started on the final scene. The flower-draped ceiling is GORGEOUS!! The entire ballroom looks like springtime, airy & bright.

📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹

Belle is the same beloved character but with a few modifications. Her day-to-day outfits are a quirky mix of materials and patterns, and combat boots are her footwear of choice. The wardrobe update matches her new role as an inventor just like her father Maurice. The yellow ballgown is a simpler design than it’s 1991 counterpart, but when you see how it moves onscreen, doubts will fly out of your mind. The gold touches make it shine, and the skirt floats through the air as if it were weightless. The look wouldn’t be complete without the gold ear-cuff, a subtle nod to Belle’s unconventional style. There is no need to say much about the celebration dress. The way it looks and moves in the ballroom during the final scene will take your breath away. Belle’s hairstyles are simple but very beautiful. My personal favorite is her updo in the library scene accessorized with a blue headband. Of course I have to mention Beast’s wardrobe which goes through a transformation of its own; it becomes more refined and princely as the movie goes on. Costume designer Jacqueline Durran deserves a lot of credit because she came up with outfits for a character who is animated during most of the film. A lot of work went into making sure the animated garments had the depth and detail of tangible clothing. The animators did a phenomenal job.

📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹

Alan Menken is a musical genius so it’s a no-brainer that I like all of the new songs, especially Evermore. In terms of flow, Days in the Sun is a nice song, but it feels unnecessary. There is no nice way to say this so I’ll just rip off the band-aid. Many of the vocals are heavily edited, and I suspect it has more to do with lack of vocal ability than over-zealous audio editors. It is a fact that Dan Stevens hired a vocal coach to learn how to sing for this movie, and Emma Watson has never sung professionally. I am thrilled with their acting performances, but the vocals leave a lot to be desired; they sound robotic and lack emotion. I found myself holding my breath every time they sang because I desperately wanted it to sound good but knew it probably wouldn’t. A few times I was pleasantly surprised. Emma did a good job with Belle (Reprise), and Beast sounded much better in the second verse of Evermore. I saw a comment on YouTube regarding Emma’s vocals that was well put. I can’t remember the exact words, but this is the basic idea: The original songs, written for an experienced singer, are above Emma’s capabilities. She sounded better singing the songs written for her portrayal of Belle. I had the same problem with Ewan McGregor and Emma Thompson. Ewan has sung before in a film, and for the most part his vocals sound good. I know Emma can sing, and I think she was a great choice for Mrs. Potts. The issue is inconsistency. Sometimes the vocals sound good, and other times they sound heavily autotuned. Since both roles requires a certain voice, it is possible that manipulation was required to help Ewan and Emma stay in character while singing. The song Beauty and the Beast is a turning point in the story, and Mrs. Potts’ singing voice ruina a bit of the magic in what is an otherwise beautiful scene. Listening to it again, the vocals sound better than I remembered, but there are still some parts that don’t sound as nice as they should. Knowing that Emma has a great voice makes this even more of a heartbreaking disappointment. I love the cast, but this movie is a musical. Acting and vocals should be split 50/50 when considering the potential actors. Perfection was well within reach for this film, and lack of vocal ability was the one and only roadblock. Consider the rave reviews that Josh Gad and Luke Evans are receiving. Why do you think that is? Not only are their acting performances spot-on, but their vocals are spectacular. That is why they are the most successful part of this musical film. I want to end my rant by mentioning that I find the entire soundtrack to be over-edited, even the experienced voices such as Kevin Kline. I would have preferred less effects and rough edges. At least the final result would have sounded more genuine.

📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹

Animation was the perfect medium for this story because it is a fairy tale that is not at all grounded in reality. When considering a live action version, you have to ask yourself if the story will translate. I commend the crew because I was a believer every step of the way. I like the realistic design of each enchanted object. They fit the style of the movie and still feel like the same beloved characters. I love the way the friendship develops between Beast and Belle.  There are so many amazing scenes I could mention such as the library and Belle’s childhood home in Paris, but I will stick with one. Up until the ballroom scene, I was fully invested in the budding friendship. During the waltz when Beast lifts Belle, I felt a strong wave of emotion and instantly knew the relationship had become a love story. I was worried about the transformation because I wanted to be in the moment; I didn’t want to only see Dan Stevens in a wig. I am so relieved that the scene came together because it cemented the couple’s chemistry. I know that Belle’s final quote is controversial, but I LOVED it. I found the playful moment to be cute and relatable.

Belle: How would you feel about growing a beard? 😘

Beast: GROWL! 😉

📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹

There are details that disappoint and frustrate me, and I’m not afraid to talk about them. However, I can’t change anything so there’s no use dwelling on the negative. My emotional reaction speaks volumes, and I will definitely be watching this movie again. Please go and see it before you form an opinion. You might be pleasantly surprised! :)

📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹

Beauty and the Beast Artwork ➡️ Tale as Old as Time

📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹 👸🏻 💘 📖 🐗 🌹

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Merry Force Be With You

Hello hello hello readers!  I’m here to to tell you all about my galactic Christmas.  My family woke up, drank coffee from “It’s A Grind”, opened presents, and got ready for our annual trek to the movie theater.  My brother picked a theater in a specific city in hopes that it wouldn’t be crowded.  We arrived forty minutes early and found seats in the very back of the theater with a good view of the screen.  One minor detail: The theater was a small, cheesy-looking theater.  Saying we had a good view of the screen isn’t significant because it was 1/3 the size of a normal movie theater screen.  The room was split down the middle with approximately fifteen rows on each side and eight chairs per row.  It was a brief disappointment, but once the movie started, all was well.

* * * SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!  DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN “STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS”!!!!!

Fear not!  I’m not going to give a full synopsis of the movie, but I do want to share some family moments that reveal characters who appear.  First of all, I had tears in my eyes and chills throughout the movie.  I was so FREAKING happy!!  Within the first few seconds (the classic opening crawl), I knew it was a great movie.  When Chewie made his first appearance, my mom leaned over and whispered “Isn’t that the cookie??”  For the next five minutes I struggled in vain to choke down my laughter, tears streaming down my face.  For those who don’t get the joke, Chewbacca is a Wookie, not a Cookie.  I am a Star Wars fan, but I don’t know EVERYTHING there is to know about the franchise.  However, well done me because I guessed the plot twist involving Kylo Ren’s identity.  I thought I had Rey’s identity figured out but soon realized that some changes were made to the story.  By the end of the film, my theory had been tweaked to what I think is correct.  Time will tell!  As the end neared, my heart was racing in anticipation of the BIG reveal.  When the hooded figure’s face was revealed, me and my brother looked at each other and simultaneously whispered “We are not worthy.”  That sums up our “Force Awakens” experience and love for the Star Wars franchise.

* * * Shout-out to Oscar Isaac!  I watched him as Joseph in “The Nativity Story” on Christmas Eve and as Poe Dameron in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Christmas day.

Afterwards, my family ate lunch/dinner at Sizzler.  FYI, the steak and lobster is okay but definitely not worth $20.  The rest of the day was spent relaxing at home.  A simple but memorable day.

Only 365 days until Christmas! :D :D :D :D :D

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Mary & Joseph

Nativity+Story

If you are not a hopeless romantic, this blog post may not be for you.  If you are a hopeless romantic or just plain curious, read on.  Here is my December 18th favorite:

What is your favorite part of the Christmas story?  I will stop here and inform you that it is your choice what Christmas story you pick.  In my mind, the Christmas story is the story of Jesus’ birth.  My favorite part of the Christmas story is the relationship between Mary and Joseph.  Many christian authors write about love stories from the Bible, but Mary and Joseph are left alone, most likely out of respect for Jesus.  Not a lot is said about either of them, but I can clearly see a love story in what is unsaid.  Back in those times, Jewish marriages were arranged by the parents.  The marriages were not based on what we would call “true love” or “love at first sight”, but that does not mean love did not exist.  I see love in Joseph’s faith to obey God and marry a girl who was seemingly pregnant out of wedlock.  I see love in Mary’s willingness to accompany her husband to Bethlehem despite her circumstance.  The story of Mary and Joseph is not a romance novel full of public affection but rather a story of love quietly developed over time through unity and virtue.  Intimate details are not required to create an attractive love story.  Love is a powerful thing; in pure, genuine form, it’s beauty should speak for itself, no words required.

I am sorry to those of you who aren’t really into romance.  Please stay tuned for the next blog post tomorrow.

Also, the most important part of the Christmas story is Jesus.  My choice was made based on all options apart from Jesus’ birth because that is an obvious choice for any believer.

Stay merry readers!  Only 7 days left until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele  :)

Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yetdid not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”               – Matthew 1:19-20

The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”  Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”  “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”  The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be calledthe Son of God.  Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  For no word from God will ever fail.”  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.  Luke 1:28-38

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world(This was the first census that took place whileQuirinius was governor of Syria.).  And everyone went to their own town to register.  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.  Luke 2:1-7