Disney+ Marathon Day 10 | November 21

8:40am – Rise & shine! 🌞

9:30am – Breakfast + The Little Mermaid series 🍳 

S1E1 – The Great Sebastian

👑 One princess . . .

👂 Heard: Jim Cummings as Emperor Sharga

10am – Blogging + The Little Mermaid series 💻 

S1E2 – Stormy

Um . . . I want to ride a purple seahorse! 💜

S1E3 – Urchin

👂 Heard: Jim Cummings as Crab Louie. If you haven’t already guessed, he’s Disney voice acting royalty. A few of his starring roles: Bonkers D. Bobcat, Darkwing Duck, Pete, Tigger, & Winnie the Pooh

11am – Blogging + Crikey! It’s the Irwins 💻 

GASP! I cheated on Disney Plus. 😂

6:15pm – Blogging + Mulan 💻 

👑 Two princesses . . .

Number one, Grandmother Fa might be my favorite Disney character of all time. She is HILARIOUS! “Great. She brings home a sword. If you ask me, she should’ve brought home a man.” 😂

Two, Mushu is the BEST! “Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow . . .” 🐉

Three, Shan Yu is the most terrifying Disney villain. He burns villages full of men, women, & children to the ground. The first time I ever saw Mulan was on accident at a friend’s house. I caught a few seconds of Shan Yu onscreen & didn’t watch it again for years because I was SCARRED. 😭

Four, Li-Shang. No other words needed. 😍

Five, I’ll Make a Man Out of You continues to stand the test of time. What. A. Jam. 🎵

Six, Mulan kicks butt, takes names, & saves China. I’ll wait while you try to think of a superior warrior princess. 🇨🇳

Seven, this is one of my favorite quotes: “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”

If you couldn’t already tell, this is my favorite Disney princess movie. 🇨🇳 🐉 🗡 👑

9:40pm – Blogging + Pocahontas 💻 

👑 Three princesses!!!

Mulan is the #1 Disney princess in my heart followed by Jasmine. Since I already watched Aladdin, I’m moving on to #3: Pocahontas! 🍁🍂🍃

Number one, the animation is breathtaking. The nature is so vibrant! 🌾🌊

Two, Meeko is always eating. That is a MOOD. 🍪

Three, Kocoum is a beautiful, animated man. I guarantee I’m not the only girl who’s had a crush on him. *sigh* 💕

Four, Jim Cummings is the singing voice for Chief Powhatan & Kekata. 🎤

Five, the frenemy relationship between Percy & Meeko is comedy gold. 😂

Six, this part makes me LOL:

*Meeko steals John’s compass*

John Smith: “Hey!”

Pocahontas: “Meeko! Come back here!”

John Smith: “Don’t worry! He can’t hurt it.”

*Meeko bangs the compass on a rock*

😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂

Seven, Flit is so stinkin’ adorable. 🥰 Is it unrealistic to see this movie & want to explore nature with a hummingbird & raccoon?? 😂

Eight, I’m VERY upset that Disney+ didn’t include If I Never Knew You. 😡 That is one of my favorite Disney songs! 🎶

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALY-NdKexs0

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW! This movie is amazing & still in my top 3 Disney princess movies. 👸🏻 I know there’s controversy about the historical inaccuracies, but I want to focus on the positive which is the message of love over prejudice. That is something all of us can support! ❤️

Final thoughts for the day: I’ve already said a lot about what I watched today so I’ll just sign off for the night. I hope you enjoyed Disney Princess Day because there will probably be a few more before this marathon is done. See you tomorrow for day 11! 👋

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D I S N E Y +   M A R A T H O N   D A Y   T E N   A R T 

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

– Lauren Michele ❤

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Disney+ Marathon Day 1 | November 12

I didn’t win the Disney+ Dream Job contest, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have my own 30-day marathon. Whether or not you have Disney’s new streaming service, I hope you’re ready to hang out with me for one month. 😊👍

12am – Disney+ is live! One episode of Bonkers! before bed. 🌛

*Note: The streaming service actually went live at 10pm PST. 🌴

S1E1 – In the Bag

Has anyone else noticed how much Bonkers D. Bobcat resembles Chester Cheetah?? An interesting mystery. We deserve answers!

Mad Hatter & March Hare spotted! Such a cool pair of cameos & an easter egg for eagle-eyed Disney fans. ☕️

9am – Rise & shine! 🌞

10am – Breakfast + Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers 🥥

S1E1 – Piratsy Under the Seas

10:30am – Blogging + Bonkers! 💻

S1E2 – Hear no Bonkers, See no Bonkers

11am – Laundry + Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers 🧺

S1E2 – Adventures in Squirrelsitting

11:30am – Blogging + Bonkers! & Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers 💻

S1E3 – Out of Sight, Out of Toon ( B! )

S1E3 – Flash the Wonder Dog ( C & D )

12:50pm – Blogging + Darkwing Duck 💻 

S1E1 – Beauty and the Beet

S1E2 – Getting Antsy

S1E3 – Night of the Living Spud

3pm – Blogging + Aladdin 💻 

*Note: I wanted to start with my favorite Disney movie Tarzan, but it isn’t available yet so I watched my number 2 movie. 👍

I sobbed my way through the ENTIRE movie. 😭 I wasn’t allowed to watch Aladdin as a child so my only exposure was the Disney sing along songs VHS tapes & the TV series. One of the songs I grew up learning was You Ain’t Never Had A Friend Like Me so Genie has meant a lot to me for a very long time. I’m extremely emotional every time I watch the film, especially following Robin William’s passing. Gone but never forgotten! 💙

5:45pm – Blogging + Disney’s Hercules: The Animated Series

S1E1 – Hercules and the Apollo Mission

S1E2 – Hercules and the King of Thessaly

S1E3 – Hercules and the Secret Weapon

I don’t think I’ve watched this show since grandma’s house in the late 90s & early 2000s. What a blast from the past! 😮

8:30pm – Blogging + Hercules 💻 

Of course I had to complete my top 3 favorite Disney films of all time! Tarzan. Aladdin. Hercules. I’ve always loved the heroes. 💥😊💥

Final thoughts for the day: I didn’t experience an annoying amount of bugs on Disney+ aside from the occasional loading issue or touchscreen controls not responding properly through my iPad. As a MEGA Disney fan, this streaming service is worth the money. Films & shows I’ve wanted to watch again for years & years are finally available to me, some that I haven’t seen since I was a child. It was a blast reliving my childhood, & this is only DAY ONE. I got through 12 TV episodes & 2 movies. Not bad for a Tuesday!

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D I S N E Y +   M A R A T H O N   D A Y   O N E   A R T 

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

– Lauren Michele ❤

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Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

I have waited all year for this movie! Part of my birthday celebration was seeing the first showing at my local theater. As a passionate Agatha Christie fan, I have thoughts both good and bad so settle in for a semi-bumpy Orient Express ride.

Many people had doubts about Kenneth Branagh’s portrayal of beloved detective Hercule Poirot. If you’re a doubter, I want to put your mind at ease. Mr. Branagh is hands down the best part of the movie. He kept the spirit of the Poirot we all know and love while adding humor and his own unique touch to the character. He is a constant source of smiles and laughs, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Overall the ensemble cast did not disappoint. Johnny Depp is fantastic as always (SPOILER) even though his part is short-lived. Michelle Pfeiffer and Penelope Cruz have some shining moments, and Dame Judi Dench’s monologue about little Daisy Armstrong made me tear up. Lucy Boynton and Sergei Polunin’s respective portrayals of Count & Countess Andrenyi are dark, a hidden gem that is impressive considering their inexperience. Josh Gad was good for the most part, but the chase scene involving Poirot felt awkward. The conflict between Hercule and Dr. Arbuthnot also felt clumsy. Daisy Ridley acted well, but I did not like Mary Debenham’s demeanor. In the book, she is polite and reserved which leads Poirot to suspect she might be the mastermind behind the murder; his suspicion makes little sense in the movie because Mary is much too bright and happy.

The book’s methodical layout is not perfectly suited for a movie. Some may find the added action irritating, but I understand the necessity to shake up the format onscreen. That being said, some of the clues got lost in the shuffle due to a speedier pace. As far as I remember, all the clues from the book were included, but they weren’t given the time they needed to simmer and encourage the audience to consider possible outcomes. Perhaps the extra, non-book stuff could’ve been trimmed to accommodate character interviews and clue discoveries, making the final reveal much more grand than it actually was. I also want to mention that I don’t remember Biniamino Marquez being named at the end. (SPOILER) The twist relies on the shock of twelve people being involved, each with a specific connection to the Armstrong family. The cast may seem large, but those who know the story well won’t miss anything, even if only one name is passed over. This goes back to details being muddled at the end. Murder on the Orient Express is one of the greatest stories ever written in the mystery genre. If you don’t lay it out correctly, you spoil the thrill and fun of the twists and turns.

I love two-thirds of the movie, but the ending is a disappointment. Things can surely get better from here so I hope Kenneth Branagh is giving the chance to continue the series, perhaps with a book that has less adaptations. I truly believe he can do great things with Poirot. The final scene hints at a sequel based on Death on the Nile. How great would that be?! 😄

🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boSSSZpAkyw&t=25s

🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂

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– Lauren Michele ❤︎

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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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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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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

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Turn that frown upside down because, for once, Monday isn’t so bad. Today is Harry Potter’s 20th birthday. Actually it’s the book’s birthday, but you get the point. In honor of J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book turning twenty, I’m sharing some amazing art with you as well as my experience with the series. The tribute will continue from this blog post to my art blog and end on my YouTube channel. Make sure you read carefully and use the provided links so you don’t miss anything. Hop on your broom and AWAY WE GO!!!

P A R T   T W O   ➡️   ➡️   ➡️   ➡️   ➡️   G O L D E N   T R I O   A R T W O R K

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

– Lauren Michele <3

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A Series of Unfortunate Events | Friday the 13th

• Don’t get excited because the worst show ever is now available on Netflix.  Don’t watch it because you will immediately regret the decision •

• 👧🏻 • 👦🏻 • 👶🏼 • 👁️ • 👧🏻 • 👦🏻 • 👶🏼 • 👁️ • 👧🏻 • 👦🏻 • 👶🏼 • 👁️ • 👧🏻 • 👦🏻 • 👶🏼 • 👁️ • 👧🏻 • 👦🏻 • 👶🏼 • 👁️ • 👧🏻 •

I recently read A Series of Unfortunate Events for the first time since my childhood and was shocked at the effect it had on me.  The Baudelaires suffer one misfortune after another without respite.  I’m not talking about stubbed toes and stuffy noses but rather abuse, deception, hunger, and loss among other things.  The story was much more grim and depressing than I remembered.  More than once I had to resist reading before bed because I found my dreams turning into graphic nightmares.  I tell you this not to deter your interests from the show but rather to prove the point that books are powerful.  I am a twenty-three year old adult, and the content of a middle grade series still affected my mind and imagination.  I find the plot of Lemony Snicket’s tale to be both horrifying and brilliant.  It introduces kids to new vocabulary (I could go on and on about the intricate use of wordplay) and exposes them to bleak circumstances that are not at all far-fetched from reality.  It also teaches the importance of telling the truth no matter what.  Time after time the Baudelaires’ warnings about Count Olaf and his sidekicks are ignored by the adult characters, and one by one the doubters suffer the consequences.  Life doesn’t get any easier, but the siblings continue to tell the truth and hope that eventually someone will listen.  The books also deal with the difference between good and evil.  The Baudelaires are seemingly good, but they find themselves compromising on more than one occasion to fight against various enemies.  There is an inner struggle to decide whether or not they are any better than their main nemesis Count Olaf.  I don’t think there is a simple answer to such a question, but I will say that these thought-provoking subjects are what shape young readers into intelligent adults.

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I hope I haven’t scared you off!  The Baudelaire saga is sad but also quirky and funny.  I’m so excited to watch this new adaptation, and I hope you will give it a chance as well.  There are thirteen books in the series, and each book will play out over the span of two one-hour episodes, twenty-six episodes and fifty-two hours total.  The first installment contains eight episodes and covers the first four books: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, & The Miserable Mill.  Personally, I didn’t hate the 2004 movie adaptation.  I loved the cast!  However, I have to agree with the main criticism that the story felt rushed; too many books were squeezed into one film.  The Netflix format will allow each book to play out at a much more natural pace.  Enough chit chat!!  Go watch the show!!

• 👧🏻 • 👦🏻 • 👶🏼 • 👁️ • 👧🏻 • 👦🏻 • 👶🏼 • 👁️ • 👧🏻 • 👦🏻 • 👶🏼 • 👁️ • 👧🏻 • 👦🏻 • 👶🏼 • 👁️ • 👧🏻 • 👦🏻 • 👶🏼 • 👁️ • 👧🏻 •

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– Lauren Michele <3

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