The Great Dreidel Caper of 2017 | Blogukkah 2017

Let’s ignore my slacking and move on to my Hanukkah tale:

For Vlogmas, I wanted to film a few Hanukkah-themed vlogs including a video on how to play dreidel. I dug through my memory chest to get my trusty old dreidel from a VBS years and years ago. I was surprised to find it missing but figured it must have been placed elsewhere in the chest. After a thorough inspection, I became slightly more frantic. Fast forward a few days later. I checked the chest one last time before trekking out to the garage; I was on the hunt for the backup dreidel stored with the Christmas decorations. I carefully went through each box which is no easy task when you’re paranoid about dying from black widow bites. I will now add some holiday humor to describe the fruit of my labor (or lack thereof): I rolled the dreidel, and it landed on nun. Two identical dreidels mysteriously missing when needed most. Target did come to my rescue, but I still can’t believe I had to buy TWELVE dreidels. Is it really that hard to sell one all by itself?? At least it was only $3. 😑

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

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

E  l e v e n   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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Goodbye 2016 | Hello 2017

I think we can all agree that 2016 was a hot mess.  I am not sad to see it go.  However, there were some bright spots so walk with me down memory lane.

– January –

I started the 2016 Reading Challenge 

High School Musical turned 10 

I became serious about Youtube 

I joined Snapchat!

• 100 followers on Instagram

– February –

• I reviewed Grease: Live! 

• The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 

• Pixar turned 30! I celebrated here & here

 

March

Velvet took over my life

Peyton Manning retired

• I saw Michael Flatley perform for the first time before his retirement. Read the story here & the review here.

• I saw Batman v Superman in theaters 

I saw Caspian & Underoath in concert

– April –

• American Idol ended 

• Kobe Bryant retired.

– Kobe Bryant Artwork

– Kobe Bryant | Black Mamba

– Mamba Out

• I became obsessed with Disney pins 

• Hiking adventure in Malibu

– May –

• I got a job, & my Youtube channel reached 10,000 views 

• Disney Channel aired its 100th original movie

– June –

• Fragrant Jewels featured my review video 

• Christina Grimmie died:

https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2016/06/11/rip-christina-grimmie/

https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/2016/06/11/rip-christina-grimmie/

• The Summer Olympics took place in Rio de Janeiro 

July

• My Fragrant Jewels review video surpassed 10,000 views

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– August –

• I did my part to support a Jonathan Crombie Memorial 

• I saw Thousand Foot Krutch in concert

• Kenny Baker passed away

– September –

Rizzoli & Isles ended 

– October –

• My art blog got a makeover

• My lifestyle blog got a makeover

• I saw Fit For a King & Beartooth in concert

– November –

• I turned 23 🎂

• I discovered zoo live cams 

• I reached 100 subscribers on Youtube 

• I saw My Epic, Silent Planet, Norma Jean, & For Today in concert during the For Today farewell tour

– December –

• I reviewed Hairspray Live! 

• I finally watched Frozen 

• I saw Rogue One in theaters on Christmas day 

• Carrie Fisher passed away 

• Debbie Reynolds passed away 

• I completed the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2016 Reading Challenge & fulfilled my Goodreads pledge to read 45 books. 📚

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Farewell to Alan Thicke (Growing Pains), Alan Rickman (Love Actually, Sense and Sensibility), Alan Young (Mister Ed, voice of Scrooge McDuck), Ann Guilbert (The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Nanny), Anton Yelchin (Star Trek), Carrie Fisher (Star Wars), Charmian Carr (The Sound of Music), Christina Grimmie (Youtuber), Craig Sager (Sports Reporter), Debbie Reynolds (Charlotte’s Web, Halloweentown, Singing in the Rain), Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond, Mrs. Miracle), Erik Bauersfeld (Star Wars), Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch), Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), Janet Waldo (voice of Judy Jetson), Joe Alaskey (Looney Tunes, Rugrats), Kenny Baker (Star Wars), Kimbo Slice (Boxer & MMA fighter, “Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh”), and Patty Duke (Love Finds a Home).

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Looking back on this past year, I accomplished a lot more than I thought I did.  It sounds cheesy, but I’m ready to work even harder in 2017.  Many people might roll their eyes or turn up their nose at my passion for blogging & Youtube, but that’s okay.  I don’t need them to understand because it’s my passion, not theirs.  I am so grateful for those of you who have chosen to support me and follow my life.  I promise I’m not going anywhere! 💋

🎉 Happy New Year! 🎉

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– Lauren Michele <3

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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

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Why I Pray

I want to interrupt the Blogmas festivities for a short, serious note:

It is difficult to keep up the “Christmas Cheer” when so many people are mourning the loss of loved ones. My heart breaks every time tragedy strikes in other states and countries. I cannot even describe how it feels to find out about violence occurring not only in my state but in my county.  One of the biggest struggles in my life is fear; if I didn’t pray and ask for help, fear would run my life.  Non-believers may think prayer is a waste of time, but I beg to differ. I have cried and screamed at God, cursing Him because I felt abandoned. Time after time, He helped me overcome hardship and survive the deepest, darkest, lowest points of my life.  I hated Him, and yet He was still there, giving me a reason to trust.  Prayers don’t have to be poetic and full of adoration.  Cry, scream, do what you need to do to release built-up emotions.  God just wants you to talk to Him.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Tiffany, I grew up watching you on “Sonny With a Chance.”  You have always been a sweet, genuine person.  I am deeply sorry for your loss.  You and your family are in my prayers. <3

If you feel lead to give and are able, any amount would be a blessing to Tiffany and her two little boys.

• In memory of Chris Carney by Marissa Callahan – GoFundMe

San Bernadino, you are still in my thoughts and prayers. <3

Galvin, Annie, and Eric Rewitzer. I Love You California. Web. 4 Dec. 2015. http://www.3fishstudios.com/collections/digital-prints/products/i-love-you-california-red-print.

Galvin, Annie, and Eric Rewitzer. I Love You California. Web. 4 Dec. 2015. http://www.3fishstudios.com/collections/digital-prints/products/i-love-you-california-red-print.

• Remembering the victims of San Bernardino shooting

• Candlelight Vigil for San Bernardino Victims

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– Lauren Michele <3

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United

On a day that is dedicated to giving thanks, I want to draw attention to a video I just watched.  For those who don’t know, the band “Eagles of Death Metal” recently spoke about what happened at their concert in Paris.

* * * I don’t want to take away from the emotion of the interview, but if you are around small children, there is some language in the video.

Eagles of Death Metal Discuss Paris Terror Attacks

My heart breaks for the band and crew members that survived because what they saw and who they lost will forever affect them.  I want Dave, Eden, Jesse, Josh, Julian, Matt, and anyone else involved to know that they are in my prayers.  I am only one person, but it is important to show that no matter what people around the world are going through, there are others who are aware of and care about what is taking place.

If you would like to send messages of encouragement to Eagles of Death Metal, here are their social media links:

Eagles Of Death Metal – Facebook

EaglesOfDeathMetal (@EODMofficial) | Twitter

I want to share an expression that is used by Jewish people when someone passes away.  In honor of the lives that have been lost in 2015, may their memory be a blessing!

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!  Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.  For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods.”  Psalm 95:1-3

Happy Thanksgiving readers!  I hope you have a safe, blessed day.

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– Lauren Michele <3 <3 <3 <3 <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.  :)

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– Lauren Michele <3

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