Life Update | August 2017

– C O F F E E –

This is a very important update so listen up: I rarely go to Starbucks anymore. G A S P ! ! The reason comes in individual serving size packets and pairs nicely with almond milk & ice. Have you guessed? I still drink Starbucks coffee but in the comfort of my own home thanks to Via Instant. I know that most people know about this product, but it has been unbelievably easy to enjoy frappuccinos on days when I can’t make it to my neighborhood Starbucks. In fact, I have become so obsessed that even when I’m presented with the option to go to an actual Starbucks, I choose my “homemade” frappuccino. How crazy is that??! My favorite flavor at the moment is Sweetened Iced Coffee.

– B E D R O O M –

My room is small so the arrangement requires a lot of creativity. I recently had an epiphany at work regarding how I could make it feel more spacious and homey. I am happy to report that my idea worked, and I vlogged the whole process. The three-day project was exhausting but worth the effort because I feel like I have officially settled in.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbC6KS9yYNc

– B L O G G I N G –

I’ve been trying really hard to post consistently on both my blogs. The balance was off earlier this year because I got a paying job helping a photographer maintain her blog. I have since settled in, and I think everything is back to normal. Here are my recent blog posts:

• Misadventures in Babysitting

• Dance of the Paints | Thomas Blanchard

– F I N A N C I A L  S U P P O R T –

I love blogging & vlogging, but it does require money which I don’t have a lot of at the moment due to my status as a sales associate. I’m not exactly breaking the bank with my checks! I recently discovered a brand new website that makes it fun & easy for subscribers to support their favorite bloggers, business, vloggers, etc. Here is my Ko-fi ( pronounced like “coffee” ) link ➡️ https://ko-fi.com/A3023728

– R E A D I N G –

Good news: I took part in BookTube-A-Thon 2017, my very first time doing so. Even though my camera broke on day 6 and I couldn’t continue vlogging, I did continue to participate by reading & interacting on social media. I had so much fun and can’t wait for next year! Bad news: I am in a terrible reading slump A G A I N ! ! I was in one before BTAT, and here I am right back at square one. I have the desire, but every time I attempt to read, I have to force myself to keep going. Reading is the ultimate getaway for me, and I hate being in this mood. I need to pull up my big girl pants and just do it. I’m in the middle of 6 books ( yes, SIX ), and I need to finish all of them because I have exciting books to read in October & November. I also need to make serious progress on my Goodreads reading challenge because I have only completed 26 of my 50-book challenge. Not bad but still not great. Cheer me on!!

– R E T A I L –

I still hate retail. That’s pretty much it. 😂

– V A C A T I O N –

I am counting down the seconds, minutes, hours, days, & months until my autumn vacation. I know I echo the rest of my family when I say we desperately NEED this trip.

⏰ Current Countdown: 1 month, 12 days ⏰

– W E A T H E R –

If you’re a loyal follower of my blog, you know my visceral hatred for the summer months. I love cold foods & swimming, but this season is the absolute worst. I do nothing but sweat and feel gross and uncomfortable. I would much rather be cold & snuggle up in blankets while wearing a sweater. Whether you like it or not, autumn is upon us. Even though it’s my favorite season, I am hesitant to get excited. California disappointed me last year by remaining unbearably hot until the end of the year. Please please please don’t let me down this year!! 🍂 😭 🎃

– Y O U T U B E –

Lots of exciting news! Since my Charmed Aroma review video, I’ve been contacted by two more companies for reviews. I also have a major project in the works, something I’ve been planning for several months. I am slowly compiling products for a Bookish Gift Guide, a list of gift ideas for the bibliophiles in your life. I’ve already purchased two Jane Austen pillows and five candles inspired by A Game of Thrones, Edgar Allen Poe, Harry Potter, Romeo and Juliet, & The Princess Bride respectively. Before this video comes out later next year, there will be 1-2 review videos for various book-inspired candles; I plan to make this an ongoing series on my channel so suggestions are welcome. Last but not least, I mentioned earlier that my camera broke; thankfully I was able to replace it. The Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II has amazing quality, and I feel refreshed and excited for all the new content coming soon to my channel. Things are happening, and I’m going with flow. 🎉

| • I hope all of you have had a great summer. 🌞 I will be back soon with another post. 😘 • |

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Fall Tag

(Leaf Image Source: http://pngimg.com/download/3601)

I combined three Youtube tags and made my own tag by removing and adding questions.  Enjoy fellow autumn enthusiasts!

I Love Fall Tag by MissJenFABULOUS: http://youtu.be/uBzboXYO0LY (Unavailable)

Sweater Weather Tag by ItsMeLexie1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GznrLPa1Wks

The Fall Favorites Tag by Jaclyn Hill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPJSgxzC-jE

Fall Tag Video: Fall Tag | Lauren Michele ♥

• Q1:  What is the Weather Like Where You Live?

(Image Source: http://thehazelkey.com/wow-thanks-rant/)

• A1:  California did not get the memo that fall has begun.  Although it is finally starting to cool down, there is a chance of eighty degree temperatures this week.  NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!  I will cheat on the west coast and move to the east coast if the sun rears its ugly head.  Clouds and chill all day everyday for this girl!

• Q2:  Favorite Fall Nail Color

(Image Source: http://www.sinfulcolors.com/productMain/colorDetails/8)

• A2:  Black.  I am not picky about brands although me and Essie have a love/hate relationship.  I currently have Sinful Colors Professional in “Black on Black”, and it is a repurchase.

• Q3:  Favorite Fall Eyeshadow

(Image Source: http://www.makeupalley.com/product/showreview.asp/ItemId=103910/Exotic-Berries-Quad/Milani/Eye-Shadow)

• A3:  When the air starts to get chilly, I immediately reach for my Milani “Exotic Berries” quad.  These colors not only blend well with each other but also with other eyeshadows.  I am not sure about other eye colors, but this quad does wonders for green eyes.

• Q4:  Most Worn Sweater/Sweatshirt

(Image Source: https://poshmark.com/listing/USC-vintage-hoodie-5470d92af71a860549012561)

• A4:  My USC sweatshirt from Forever 21.  I wore this hoodie so much in college, students made jokes when I showed up wearing something else.  Very funny!  No, I did not attend USC.  Growing up, I was influenced by family friends.  FIGHT ON TROJANS!!

• Q5:  Favorite Fall Clothing Item

(Image Source: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Womens-Mossimo-Supply-Co-Khloe-Fold-Over-Boots-/271570299387)

• A5:  Mossimo Supply Co Khloe Fold Over Boots.  This pair of shoes goes with every color of the rainbow and makes me look cool and heroic like Katniss.  ;)

• Q6:  Favorite Fall Drink

(Image Source: http://sgadvertisings.blogspot.com/2012/09/starbucks-venti-sized-salted-caramel.html)

• A6:  Tall, decaf, sugar free Salted Caramel Mocha Frappucino/Latte with soy milk and no whipped cream.  I’m actually drinking a frap right now.  Salty & sweet.  :)

The Official Recipe: Mocha sauce and toffee nut syrup are combined with coffee and milk, then topped with sweetened whipped cream, caramel drizzle and a blend of turbaned sugar and sea salt.

Recipe Source: http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/espresso/salted-caramel-mocha

• Q7:  Favorite Candy

(Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%26M%27s)

(Image Source: https://www.mansfieldpaper.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=productflypage.tpl&product_id=1635&category_id=367&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=2&vmcchk=1&Itemid=2)

• A7:  I don’t really like candy, but two candies I can tolerate are M&Ms and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

• Q8:  Favorite Thanksgiving Food/Dessert

(Image Source: http://www.campbellskitchen.com/recipes/classic-green-bean-casserole-24099

(Image Source: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20131120005407/en/Sara-Lee®-Desserts-Launches-Hotline-Pie-Predicaments)

• A8:  Green bean casserole & pumpkin pie.  What more can I say?  These two dishes are Heaven on earth.

• Q9:  Favorite Fall Candle

(Image Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwisq_LA3J3JAhUJR4gKHXxrDWoQjhwIBQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fpin%2F506232814341353495%2F&psig=AFQjCNHf3a-tq1Jv26BqN4QOx7A4GbYRHw&ust=1448064958234680)

• A9:  Cranberry Woods – “Fresh, tart cranberries, blackcurrant and warm cinnamon bark combine in a delightful fragrance inspired by the magic of the woods during harvest time.”

• Q10:  Favorite Fall Song

(Image Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2936352/Southampton-school-pupils-nightmares-seeing-Michael-Jackson-s-Thriller-video.html)

• A10:  “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.  First of all this song screams fall/Halloween.  Second, I don’t know of any other songs that are specifically about fall.  Third, after Halloween I listen to nothing but Christmas music.

Fun Fact:  My dance class did a tribute dance to “Thriller” the year that MJ passed away.  We wore old clothes and messy makeup.  It was a fun way to deal with sad circumstances.

“Thriller” Music Video/Short Film:

• Q11:  Football: Yay or Nay

(Image Source: https://instagram.com/p/9yiFCByoEV/?taken-by=usc_athletics)

(Image Source: http://www.sports-logos-screensavers.com/DenverBroncos.html)

(Image Source: http://www.sports-logos-screensavers.com/NewYorkGiants.html)

• A11: YES!!!  My favorite college team is the USC Trojans; my favorite NFL team is the Denver Broncos; and the New York Giants are my #2 NFL team.  :)

• Q12:  Favorite Fall TV Show

(Image Source: http://starcasm.net/archives/319691)

• A12:  DUH!  “The Walking Dead.”  I also love “Once Upon a Time”, but “The Walking Dead” is #1.  Forever and always!

“The Walking Dead” Season 1 Trailer:

• Q13:  Favorite Fall Movie

(Image Source: Amazon.com: An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving: Jacqueline Bissett …)

• A13:  I am not really a fan of Halloween, but if I were to pick Halloween movies to watch, I can handle “Hocus Pocus”, “The Addams Family”, “Addams Family Values”, and “Halloween” (Original and New version).  However, my favorite fall movie is “An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving.”  It is based on a short story by Louisa May Alcott, author of “Little Women.”

“An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving” Trailer:

• Q14:  Scary Movies – Yay or Nay

(Image Source: http://humor.gunaxin.com/terrifyingly-scary-halloween-pumpkins/167307)

• A14:  NAY!!!  I watch some horror movies but only to spend quality time with my brother.  That. Is. LOVE.

• Q15:  Favorite Fall Memory

(Image Source: http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-cakes/2011/09/fall-wedding-cakes#slide=3)

(Image Source: http://www.nutcracker.com/index.php)

• A15: Me and my dad are both November babies so my family always comes up with fun stuff to celebrate both birthdays.  Another great memory is my time as a dancer in the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker.  Auditions usually took place in September, and rehearsals lasted until the shows at the end of November.

Moscow Ballet Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/nutcracker.moscowballet/

Moscow Ballet Website: http://www.nutcracker.com/

Moscow Ballet Youtube Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/user/moscowballet

You may or may not see me at 8:01 – 9:24 :)

• Q16:  Favorite Thing About Fall

(Image Source: http://www.playbuzz.com/lafayetteimage10/which-fall-activity-is-for-you)

• A16:  Fall is my favorite season so I love everything about it.  :D

If you want to watch me answer these questions, watch the video:  Fall Tag | Lauren Michele ♥

* * * Remember readers: 13 days until Blogmas, 27 days until Artmas (on my art blog), and 37 days until Christmas.

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

– Lauren Michele <3

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April/May 2015 Favorites

The following are my April and May 2015 Favorites.  If you do not want to read, watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf56IwSc6_0

If you want to read, proceed.  :)

– Tall, Decaf, Sugar Free, Iced Caramel Macchiato with Soy Milk, No Whip –

Iced Caramel Macchiato

http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/espresso/iced-caramel-macchiato#size=155349&milk=64

An oldie but goodie drink that is cold and refreshing, perfect for the impending summer weather.

– Del Taco Beer Battered Fish Tacos –

Beer Battered Fish Taco

http://www.deltaco.com/menu-tacos.html

An enjoyable and delicious fast-food alternative to gourmet fish tacos.

– Ben & Jerry’s Milk & Cookies Ice Cream –

Milk and Cookies Ice Cream

http://www.benjerry.com/flavors/milk-and-cookies-ice-cream

Vanilla ice cream with a fudge cookie swirl (basically cookies and cream) and CHUNKS of chocolate chip cookies.  Mmm Mmm Good!

– Call The Midwife TV Show –

Call The Midwife

http://www.pbs.org/call-the-midwife/home/

Image Source: http://cluckcluckapp.com/stuff-we-love-call-the-midwife/

If you like time period shows, nursing, midwifery, heartwarming stories, or all of the above, this show is for you.  Me and my mom, a former nurse, are madly in love!

– Haste the Day Album Release Concert –

Haste The Day Album Release Concert

Above the Storm: https://www.facebook.com/AboveTheStorm

Silent Planet: https://www.facebook.com/silentplanetmusic

Phinehas: https://www.facebook.com/Phinehasrock

Haste the Day: https://www.facebook.com/hastetheday

Best concert of my life so far!  If you are into metal, show support for the four bands by visiting their respective websites and giving their music a chance.

– Merona Handbag –

Merona Handbag

http://www.target.com/p/merona-timeless-collection-crossbody-satchel-handbag/-/A-15129448

This roomy handbag has been my constant companion throughout the month of May.  It is not only conveniently big but also easy to pair with outfits.

– Mossimo Denim Vest –

Mossimo Denim Vest

http://www.target.com/p/denim-vest-mossimo-supply-co/-/A-17007505#prodSlot=medium_1_4&term=Mossimo+vest

Thanks to encouragement from my mom, I gave denim vests a chance and have no regrets.  This is a great layering piece for warm weather, and I will venture to say that it will be equally adorable in colder months with long-sleeve tops.

– ANNA Pointy Toe T Strap Ballet Flats –

ANNA Pointy Toe T Strap Ballet Flats

http://www.v-luxury.com/womens-shoes/flats/anna-womens-40-kylie-flats-19723.html#prettyPhoto

These flats are a dream come true!!  The color is beautiful, the shape fits my wide foot like a glove, and there is some cushion on the insole.

– Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask –

Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser and Mask

http://www.neutrogena.com/product/clear+pore+cleanser-mask.do

When I turned 21, I started to get light acne.  If you have this same struggle, I highly recommend this product.  It does dry out your skin, but the effects are not drastic.  A little extra moisturizer is all you will need.  However, keep in mind that my results may vary from your own.

– Venice Dolce Berry Body Lotion –

Venice Dolce Berry Body Lotion

This product is no longer sold by Bath and Body Works, but you can find it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dbeauty&field-keywords=Venice+Dolce+Berry

I am not a fan of berry scents; they tend to be too strong for my taste.  This lotion is a bit strong and headache-provoking, but the scent lightens when it comes in contact with my skin.  I have been wearing it ALL month.  I am glad I gave it a chance!

Image Source: http://www.archwayvariety.com/venice-dolce-berry-travel-size-body-lotion-bath-and-body-works-3oz/

– You’re Such a Budapest OPI Nail Lacquer –

You're Such a Budapest OPI Nail Lacquer

http://opi.com/color/nail-lacquer/you%E2%80%99re-such-budapest#dMgH24EiW4tQbwTS.97

This pale lavender color is gorgeous and so flattering.  It will definitely be on my nails this summer.

Image Source: http://www.peachypolish.com/opi-spring-2013-euro-centrale-collection-part-2/youre-such-a-budapest/

– Lauren Michele <3

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I Need Coffee!!!

Starbucks Nelson, Mitchell. Starbucks Illustrations. 2011. Web. 15 Apr. 2015. <https://www.behance.net/gallery/Starbucks-Campaign/2142577&gt;.

Just in case you did not understand the title: I need coffee!!!!!!!!!! There is some repairs going on in my family’s house. One of the bathrooms being worked on is in my bedroom therefore I had to get up early in order to accommodate the workers. WHY WHY WHY??? This is so cruel. Waking up at 9am is not okay with me. I feel like a zombie. As you can tell, I am having a dramatic morning, which is why I am blogging. Drama is so much more amusing. Well, from your point of view. I am not so amused at the moment. I could be encouraged with, oh I don’t know, maybe some COFFEE. A muffin would also be lovely. The funny thing is I drink decaf coffee so my need is not so much for caffeine as it is for taste. The taste of (flavored) coffee energizes me. Sorry! I am not a purist. If anyone is curious, my current staple drinks at Starbucks are hazelnut frappuccinos (Tall, decaf, sugar free, soy) and iced caramel macchiatos (Tall, decaf, iced, soy).

Have a great day readers. Drink some coffee in honor of me! Please & thank you.

– Lauren Michele :)

11:35 am Update: I got my tall, decaf, sugar free, iced, soy caramel macchiato and a blueberry muffin. Yay!!

Previous Post: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/growing-up-is-hard-to-do/

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