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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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

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–   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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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

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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! ➡️ ⬆️

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– Lauren Michele ❤︎

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Misadventures in Babysitting

I recently reread the first three books of The Baby-Sitters Club series, and the nostalgia was overwhelming. I remember being inspired back in the day to make my own “kid kit” and be the best babysitter EVER. I’ve been blessed to care for children of all ages, and I like to think that I made some kind of positive impact on their lives. This is starting to sound heartwarming so let me put on the brakes because this is not about the good times. Be honest; you’re here to laugh at my expense. 😂 This is a more accurate description of what you’re about to read:

Just to be clear, I am a responsible babysitter, and nothing dangerous has ever happened in my care. The tales I’m about to reveal weren’t directly my fault, just a handful of humorous and unfortunate events.

– Board Game Gone Wrong –

The brother & sister I was babysitting suggested we play chutes and ladders, and I eagerly agreed because I thought it would be fun to relive my childhood. I have to be honest and tell you that I got beat fair and square. I didn’t come in first place nor did I come in second; I was dead last. This particular board game is meant for kids, and even though I had no intention of beating my young companions, I didn’t think I would be so terrible. We hadn’t been playing long before the sister turned to me and said with a straight face: “You’re really bad at this game.” There is nothing quite as humiliating as an insult from someone who is less than half your age. I haven’t played that game since.

– Late Night TV –

This particular situation was mostly my fault, but have no fear because it had nothing to do with my young charges. For an extended period of time, I had a steady babysitting job with a family who lived in my neighborhood. One night while sitting at their house, I decided to watch some television after the kids were sound asleep; of course I had the parents’ permission. It was late at night, and there was a thunderstorm brewing. Of all the things I could have watched, I settled on a crime show. That was my first mistake. I eventually decided TV was a bad idea, and picked up the book I brought with me which just so happened to be a mystery. That was my second mistake. My third and final mistake was leaving only one lamp on. I’m not sure why, but I never turned on the room light to make myself feel safer. It was a tense few hours. I didn’t know nighttime could be so noisy! I can’t even tell you how many times I checked the doors and windows to make sure they were locked ( once I built up the courage to do so ). When the parents arrived through the garage, I naturally thought they were murderers until they stepped into the house and greeted me by name. That was the last time I ever watched a crime show or read a mystery while babysitting.

– I Cry Fowl –

I will ease you into the fourth and final story with the typical babysitting story of a bird in the garage. It happened while I was outside with the “chutes and ladders siblings” for some fresh air and playing time. While taking a brief break from the sun, a curious bird joined us. He was harmless, but I couldn’t help panicking. The brother’s personality was unpredictable, and I pictured him opening the door and accidentally letting our new winged friend inside the house. Of course I had to cage (get it?!) my fear so the kids wouldn’t panic and do what I just described. I spoke softly and encouraged them to stay still so the bird wouldn’t feel threatened. He explored a little more and flew away, never to bother us again. Crisis avoided! I swear the animal kingdom is out to get me.

– Dino and the Popsicles –

I realize that the title sounds like a cool band name, but the following events are anything but cool. Literally! I was once again babysitting my neighbors, but this time it was during the day. The parents provided popsicles and told me the kids could play outside. Simple enough, right? WRONG!! When the time came, the siblings grabbed their cold, refreshing popsicles, and we ventured outdoors into the unbearable heat & humidity. After some quality playing time with their dog Dino, the sister informed me that she had to use the restroom. I thought nothing of it until she went to turn the doorknob, and nothing happened. I thought the door was stuck because that is normal in Texas, and I gave it a try. Nothing happened, and my heart started to sink into my stomach. I took some deep breaths and reminded myself that I had to stay calm because I was in charge of two kids and one dog. I made my way to the front of the house to try the garage door; I brought along the sister because she was old enough to stay calm and help me with the code to open the door from the outside. I managed to get the garage door open, but the door to the house was locked, and we had no luck finding the spare key. Trust me, I searched high and low. I had told the brother stay in the backyard with the dog; thankfully the garage wasn’t far from the gate so the sister and I pulled double duty keeping a close eye on them. Unfortunately that didn’t work. The little boy gave in to his curiosity and opened the gate before we could reach him. That wasn’t my main concern. Remember who he was with!! I spent the next 10-15 minutes running up and down the street yelling “DINO!!” No, this is not an unaired episode of The Flintstones. I desperately tried to shepherd him into the gate held open by the sister while simultaneously keeping my eye on the brother because, as you already know, he was very unpredictable (typical at his age). He tried to help by joining in with his small but mighty voice, but really it was just more noise and extra stress. Finally I got that darn dog into the backyard and locked all of us in. I had a mischievous dog and two sweaty, sticky kids in my care, and I felt helpless. I hated to pull them away from something important, but I had to inform the parents of our predicament since I had tried every other way to get back inside. Thankfully I had my phone on me so I called and left a calm, collected message. I spent the next hour or so keeping the kids distracted on the trampoline until their parents came to our rescue. I profusely apologized and fully expected to never work for them again. The parents shocked me by apologizing about their faulty lock, which they forgot to tell me about before leaving, and applauded my ability to stay calm in a stressful situation. I did indeed work for them again, and thankfully the preceding story was the worst experience I ever had, both with them and with babysitting period. It was a tough experience to go through, but I learned a lot.

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– Lauren Michele <3

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May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor

(Image Source: https://creativemarket.com/Meilun/276833-Job-Interview-Task-Conversation)

I spent the last month applying for jobs and finally landed an interview this week, which went really well.  Even though I have only experienced two job interviews in my lifetime, I want to share advice from my experiences in hopes that it will be beneficial to you.  Please keep in mind that these tips worked for me, but you have to decide what will work for you.

1.  Apply apply apply!!!  I started out slow, but my mom encouraged me to keep applying because not all jobs will contact you if you aren’t chosen.  You could be waiting forever!!  My strategy was filling out two or three applications, waiting one week for an answer, and repeating the process.

2.  Carefully consider your skill set and comfort level.  Apply for jobs only if you feel confident in your ability to meet the requirements.  I would also recommend applying for jobs that make you feel comfortable.  For example my focus was retail, and I applied at stores I shop at; I trust their policies and merchandise therefore I can work without hindrance.

3.  This is advice my mom gave to me: Everyone has to start at the bottom before they can reach the top.  You may not like where you start, but don’t let that discourage you.

4.  Some people prefer applying online, and others prefer applying in person.  I have only applied online, and it worked for me.  There is a possibility that it won’t work so I would suggest that, after a month or longer of zero response, you start applying in person.

5.  If you are unsure whether or not a website is legitimate, use ScamAdviser.com.  I applied for jobs using Indeed.com and SnagAJob.com and did not have problems with either.

6.  Have your resume put together and ready before applying.  Sometimes you upload a resume, and other times you fill out the information.  Either way, if your resume is already completed, the information is in one place and ready to be uploaded or copied and pasted.

7.  Not all applications require a cover letter but have one prepared just in case.  This cover letter is a great example: http://kohlsitup.weebly.com/cover-letters.html

8.  If a business does not contact you within one week, don’t give up yet.  The first job I applied for in October did not contact me after one week so I assumed I did’t get the job.  I received a call two weeks later and was interviewed four days after that.

9.  Don’t get discouraged by rejection because it happens to everybody.  If you don’t get the job, it wasn’t the right fit.  Get back out there and continue to look for the job meant for you.

10.  When you get a call to set up an interview, don’t jump the gun and tell the world you got a job.  You are building expectations in your head that will make potential rejection harder to handle.

11.  Use a “Cheat Sheet.”  I used this method in school for exams, and it was 100% effective.  First, write out information about the business you are applying for: the name, when and where it was founded, the number of locations, what company it is owned by, and the names of other stores owned by the same company.  Second, visit websites such as GlassDoor.com and write down questions previously given to interviewees by your potential employer.  Next to each question, write your answer; use keywords instead of full sentences to make the answers easier to study and remember.  Third, study the “Cheat Sheet” forward and backward; read it quietly, read it out loud, and recite it from memory.  You should never go into an interview unprepared for the questions.  Consider that the interviewer has work to do; you don’t want to take up too much time with a lengthy thought process.  Also, preparedness is a good skill to showcase.

12.  Going along with #11, it is good to be prepared, but keep in mind that your answers should sound natural and not rehearsed.  Avoid a rapid speaking pace and throw in some short pauses.  ;)

13.  You don’t have to look like a supermodel, but your appearance should be pleasant to look at and put-together from head to toe.  If you don’t put in effort getting ready, will you put in effort working?  The outside should reflect the inside.

14. Sometimes you have to fill out another application at the interview.  Make sure you have previous job experience (Company, Supervisor, Address, Email, Phone Number, List of Duties, Dates of Employment) and professional reference (Name, Title, Email, Phone Number) information with you.

15.  Bring at least 2 copies of your cover letter and resume.  The information is good to have, and the interviewer might ask you for a copy of one or both.  Why two copies of each?  Always have a backup plan for the unexpected!

16.  Bring a pen and notebook in case you need to take notes.  You could use your phone, but a notebook doesn’t have any distractions on it.  :)

17.  Job interviews are nerve-wracking, but don’t let those nerves get the best of you.  Have confidence!  If you don’t believe you can do the job, why should the company hire you?

18.  Going along with #17, sit up straight, look the interviewer in the eye, and enunciate your words.  Make the interview worth the interviewer’s time by being professional and showing respect.  Basically, have good manners.

(Image Source: http://tripeaksconsulting.com/20-best-andy-wooten-quotes/)

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– Lauren Michele <3

48 Days Until Christmas

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