I’m Feeling 22

(Image Source: I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22. #tswift #itsmybirthday …)

I waited three years for November 5, 2015.  I can finally say “I’m feeling 22!!!”  If you are unsure of what I’m referring to, listen to this:

” I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22!”

Follow along as I take you through my day: My best friend Gabby bombarded me with texts at 7am, wishing me “Happy Birthday!” and gifting me with Tom Hiddleston and Johnny Depp gifs.  HAHAHA!!!  I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t.  I decided to make myself some homemade salted caramel coffee.  My mug didn’t fit under the Keurig so I removed the bottom container.  That was a big mistake because it catches excess liquid.  When I poured in the water, the excess had nowhere to go but all over the counter.  Fun times!  Unfortunately, the coffee did not taste as great as my expectations.  Next, I spent some time checking my social media accounts, blogging, and watching “Criminal Minds.”  I published a very special art project that took three months to complete; I made collages to represent my top 6 favorite TV and movie couples.  Check it out: Can’t Help Falling in Love

Due to my early morning start, I fell asleep on the couch around 11am.  I was awakened one hour later by my mom wishing me “Happy birthday!” and encouraging me to open my presents.  I received seasons 6 and 7 of “Little House on the Prairie” and the complete series of “The Nanny.”  Yes, yes, and YES.  I ate pancit for lunch and relaxed until 4pm.  My family went to “Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill” for dinner.  I had an 8oz sirloin and macaroni & cheese; wings and rolls were also involved.  From there, we went to an Ontario Reign vs San Diego Gulls hockey game.  The Gulls are the Anaheim Ducks minor league team so I was cheering for them; unfortunately they lost 4-1.  The game wasn’t the most exciting thing I have ever experienced, but we didn’t pay full price thanks to Groupon so I guess it was kind of a win.  I ended the night with Ben & Jerry’s “Americone Dream” ice cream and “The Carol Burnett Show.”  Not a bad day!  My family is also planning a belated-birthday trip to the zoo very soon.  I will be vlogging so subscribe to my Youtube channel and keep an eye out for that video within the next 2 months.  :)

So far, I haven’t had any “One Year Older Epiphanies.”  I don’t feel one year older, but that has a lot to do with the fact that I still look twelve.  In the next year of my life, I want to continue working hard and expanding my blogs and Youtube channel.  Having outlets for my voice and creativity means the world to me.  Thank you to each and every one of you who have chosen to subscribe and follow along with me; it means a lot to me that you care about what I write.  Also, I can’t believe our little blog family is 11 members away from 200.  What an amazing gift!!

I hope you enjoyed my birthday recap.  Don’t forget that Christmas is coming!  Artmas (on my Art Blog) starts in 38 days, and Blogmas will begin in 25 days.  You don’t want to miss it!

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– Lauren Michele <3

49 Days Until Christmas

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The Power of Makeup

*** If you like this beautiful illustration by Joanna Baker, click the Etsy link to purchase it. ***

*** The Power of Makeup Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcMU-S3eZYg ***

I saw this tag on Youtube and immediately wanted to be involved.  This topic is important and needs to be discussed.  Makeup is a powerful thing and should be used with care.  With great power comes great responsibility!  Here is my story:

Growing up as a dancer, one of my favorite times of year was the annual recital.  The downside, however, was having to wear makeup.  The worst part was the eyeliner and mascara.  I would yell at my mom for poking me in the eye even though it was my fault because I was complaining and fidgeting.  I hated makeup!  Then, sometime between junior high and high school, I fell in love with makeup.  My mom eased me into it, but I was already head over heels.  I rarely left the house without wearing it.  As a college student, I had more important things to focus on therefore I was barefaced 75% of the time.  Even though that was merely a season in my life, I learned a lot from something as simple as not wearing makeup.  Fellow students still looked me in the eye and talked to me.  That may sound lame, but the experience broadened my comfort zone.  I have struggled with insecurity for as long as I can remember.  I had this idea that if I didn’t cover up my blemishes and under eye circles, people shouldn’t look at me lest they be disgusted.  Nowadays, I have no problem walking out of the house with as little as mascara and lip balm on my face.  There is nothing wrong with makeup, no matter how much or how little you prefer to wear.  The message I want to emphasize is using makeup to enhance the face God gave you.  Don’t use makeup to hide behind.  You are beautiful!!  Please do not listen to hurtful words and ignore those who try to push you around and make you feel guilty about loving makeup.  There is nothing wrong with makeup, and there is nothing wrong with how you look.

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

“Put your makeup on, Get your nails done, Curl your hair, Run the extra mile, Keep it slim.  So they like you.  Do they like you.  Get your sexy on, Don’t be shy girl, Take it off, This is what you want, To belong.  So they like you.  Do you like you.  You don’t have to try so hard.  You don’t have to give it all away.  You just have to get up get up get up get up.  You don’t have to change a single thing.”

“Try” by Colbie Caillat – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXoZLPSw8U8

 

“Days will come when you don’t have the strength.  When all you hear is you’re not worth anything.  Wondering if you ever could be loved.  And if they truly saw your heart they’d see too much.  You’re beautiful.  You’re beautiful.  You are made for so much more than all of this.  You’re beautiful.  You’re beautiful.  You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His.  You’re beautiful.”

“Beautiful” by MercyMe – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vh7-RSPuAA

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

*** If you are interested, I made a “Power of Makeup” video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcMU-S3eZYg ***

The Power of Makeup

The Power of Makeup

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– Lauren Michele :)

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Dear Younger Self

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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!”

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(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

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(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.  :)

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Love Out Loud

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

I am going to try very hard to get these words out without becoming overly emotional and rambling.  I apologize for the serious note of this post, but my heart is telling me to write.  Because of the picture, you already have a basic idea of what I am going to discuss.  I have watched quite a few Holocaust-related movies but am not sure why because it is very hard for me to do so.  I suppose that as a Jew I feel a strange sort of loyalty, a loyalty that urges me to watch and empathize to the best of my ability.  I did not experience a concentration camp nor did my Sephardic ancestors.  However, Jews are brothers and sisters no matter the category one belongs to (Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, or Sephardic); after all, we all descend from the same bloodline.  I cannot speak for other Jews, but I can speak for myself.  When another heart hurts, I hurt, no matter how far back in history that hurt occurred.  I have been emotionally disturbed by Holocaust movies in the past, but this film wrenched my heart to the point of illness.  As soon as the credits started to roll, I ran away from my computer and wept alone in another room.  My head throbbed, and my stomach was in knots.  I do not pretend to have felt pain anywhere near that of the Jews in concentration camps, but I did indeed feel pain.  Pain and anger.  I could not speak, only weep.  One word kept coming to mind over and over and over again: Why.  Why?  Why??  Why??!  Why!!!

– If you have not seen “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”, I suggest you stop reading now. –

There is one specific element in this movie that grabbed my attention.  It is subtle but very much significant.  When Bruno is mistakenly taken with a group of Jews to the gas chamber, the Nazi soldiers do not question his presence.  Yes he is disguised, and yes he is surrounded by numerous other Jews, but take all that away.  Cut off Bruno’s hair.  Take away from Shmuel the dirty appearance and malnutrition.  Line them up side by side in matching “striped pajamas.”  They are two young boys, same age and same height.  Shmuel could be German.  Bruno could be Jewish.  Both could be one or the other.  It is unclear whether Bruno was visible to the soldiers, but he looked just like everybody else therefore he received the same treatment and tragic death.  He was one of them, a German, and yet the soldiers could not tell the difference.  What does that tell you about prejudice?  Hatred will show you what you want to see, not what is actually there.

If you think your contribution to the fight against prejudice as one person is too small, think again.  Love goes a long way no matter the number of contributors.  I will end with some lyrics from a song called “Let It Be Love” by Family Force 5.  I encourage you to read the words, click the following link to hear the entire song, and take time to reflect.

“Stronger than every fear
Comfort for all the tears
It’s where the war is won
And it has overcome
Louder than the loudest shout
Deeper than the deepest doubt
We’ll watch the walls fall down…

Let it be a heart wide open
Bigger than the words we’ve spoken
Let it be a heart for the broken
If we’re gonna light, light, light the way to You
Let it be love…
It’s love that lights the way”

“Let It Be Love” by Family Force 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTZHl5cNLJE

Please don’t pick and choose who to love.  Love everyone!

– Lauren Michele :)

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I Wish More Than Anything

Be Careful What You Wish For (Source: http://www.pagetopremiere.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/150147_769040466485782_1640208112065058341_n.png)

I know I resolved to be more consistent with my blogging this year.  I have not fulfilled that resolution yet, but I am working on it.  I have many subjects to write on so stick with me and stay tuned.  Tonight I cannot help but write about “Into the Woods” because it is my current OBSESSION.  I used all caps; this is serious!!  I saw the movie two weeks ago with some friends, and we had a great time.  Well, I did; I  can’t speak for them.  The movie was beautiful, funny, and dramatic.  The casting was spot-on, the visuals mesmerizing, and the music addictive.  I wanted to sing along the entire time, and I didn’t even know the words.  Naturally, I purchased the soundtrack, and it is all I have been listening to this week.  One of my favorite moments in the movie was Prince Charming and Rapunzel’s Prince splashing around in water singing about love-related agony.  The scene was pretty much a girl’s dream come true.  That song has been on repeat!!  I highly recommend both the soundtrack and the movie if you are a fan of musicals.  However, I caution you that this movie is not meant for  young children despite the Disney label.  Scenes such as the wolf enticing Red Riding Hood and Prince Charming kissing the baker’s wife could be scary and confusing respectively.

Until next time, dream dreams & make wishes readers!

-Lauren Michele :)

P.S.  I wish more than anything that “Into the Woods” be available on DVD right now.

“Agony! Beyond power of speech, When the one thing you want is the only thing out of your reach.”

– “Agony”, Into the Woods

 

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