BookTube-A-Thon 2017 Wrap Up

I was M.I.A. last week, but I have a very good reason: I was participating in BookTube-A-Thon 2017!! If you don’t know what that is, it is an annual summer read-a-thon put together by Ariel Bissett. Bookstagrammers, booktubers, bloggers, & readers from around the world come together to read as much as possible and participate in fun challenges. Even though it was an emotionally and physically exhausting week, I had so much fun and already can’t wait for next year. I kept track of my reading so I could share my journal with you. Here it is:

📝 Challenges & My TBR:

• Read a Book With a Person on the Cover – The Mystery of the Stone Tiger by Carolyn Keene

• Read a Book in One Day – The Mystery of the Stone Tiger by Carolyn Keene

• Read a Hyped Book – Heartless by Marissa Meyer

• Read a Book Featuring a Character Who is Very Different From You – Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet

• Read a Book You Purchased Because of the Cover – Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet

• Read a Book Outside – Kristy’s Great Idea by Ann M. Martin

• Read 7 Books – Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories by Agatha Christie

📝 Daily Progress:

DAY 1 – JULY 24

📖 The Mystery of the Stone Tiger – 20 chapters, 175 pages | I finished this book & completed the “One Day Read”  and “Person on the Cover” challenges. ✅

📖 Heartless – 10 chapters, 93 pages

📚 Total: 30 chapters, 268 pages, 1 book complete, & 2 challenges complete

DAY 2 – JULY 25

📖 Heartless – 15 chapters, 131 pages

📚 Total: 15 chapters, 131 pages

DAY 3 – JULY 26

📖 Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls – 15 chapters, 153 pages | Book complete! ✅

📖 Kristy’s Great Idea – 15 chapters, 157 pages | I finished this book & completed the “Read a Book Outside” challenge. ✅

📖 Wicked Autumn – 5 chapters, 40 pages

📚 Total: 31 chapters, 350 pages, 2 books complete, & 1 challenge complete

DAY 4 – JULY 27

📖 Heartless – 10 chapters, 98 pages

📖 Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories – 5 chapters, 76 pages

📖 The Truth About Stacey – 5 chapters, 60 pages

📚 Total: 20 chapters, 234 pages

DAY 5 – JULY 28

📖 Heartless – 8 chapters, 64 pages

📖 Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories – 10 chapters, 186 pages

📖 The Truth About Stacey – 10 chapters, 120 pages | Book complete! ✅

📚 Total: 28 chapters, 370 pages, & 1 book complete

DAY 6 – JULY 29

📖 Heartless – 11 chapters, 73 pages | I finished this book & completed the “Hyped Book” challenge. ✅

📖 Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories – 5 chapters, 104 pages | Book complete! ✅

📚 Total: 16 chapters, 177 pages, 1 book complete, & 1 challenge complete

DAY 7 – JULY 30

📖 Wicked Autumn – 19 chapters, 211 pages

📚 Despite my best efforts, exhaustion took over, and I was unable to complete Wicked Autumn therefore failing the “Cover Buy” and “Read 7 Books” challenges. I chose The Truth About Stacey as my replacement book for the “Character Who is Different From You” challenge. Stacey is from the East Coast and has diabetes. If that isn’t enough, I could pick Catherine from Heartless who is a future queen and very wishy-washy when it comes to speaking up. I could also pick Miss Marple who is an elderly woman & amateur sleuth. Basically, I completed the challenge in more ways than one.

🎉 Final Numbers: 159 chapters, 1,741 pages, 6 books complete, & 5 challenges complete. Not too shabby for my first year!

➡️ ➡️ ➡️ If you would like to watch my reading process & video challenges, check out my BookTube-A-Thon 2017 YouTube playlist ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️

⚠️ YOU CAN ALSO CLICK HERE ➡️ BOOKTUBE-A-THON YOUTUBE PLAYLIST ⬅️

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Farewell Rio

🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊 🎾 🚴 ⚽ 🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊 🎾 🚴 ⚽ 🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊

With sadness, I bid farewell to the 2016 Olympics.  I have been filled with pride and joy watching my teams compete these past two weeks.  Yes, I said teams.  Of course USA is my number one, but I also support the countries that make up my heritage.  After all, they are underdogs compared to team USA.  No harm done!  Let’s take a look at the medal count:

🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆🏆 🏆🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆

• Team USA 🇺🇸 | 121 Medals | 46 G – 37 S – 38 B

• Team Great Britain 🇬🇧 | 67 Medals | 27 G – 23 S – 17 B

• Team Spain 🇪🇸 | 17 Medals | 7 G – 4 S – 6 B

• Team Israel 🇮🇱 | 2 Medals | 2 B

• Team Ireland 🇮🇪 | 2 Medals | 2 S

🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆🏆 🏆🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆

What were your favorite moments in Rio?? I have so many I could mention, but I will try to narrow it down.  I felt like a proud mother watching Michael Phelps have one last successful Olympic games after the rough few years he’s had (maybe he’ll be back!).  The USA women’s gymnastics team kicked butt and made me feel more patriotic than I have ever felt in my entire life.  Shout-out to Michael Phelps (5G, 1S), Katie Ledecky (4G, 1S), and Simone Biles (4G, 1B)!!  According to Google, they are the top medalists for 2016.  Team USA made me proud all around, but it felt good to dominate artistic gymnastics and swimming.  After a rough start, I am so proud of Spain for getting the bronze in men’s basketball.  Also, a silver in women’s basketball.  Top 3 in the world.  Not too shabby!!  I watched Marc Lopez & Rafael Nadal win gold in men’s doubles.  I’m pretty sure I grew gray hair during that match.  The stress was real, but Lopez earned his first medal, and Rafa now has a gold medal in singles and doubles.  I watched Team GB get the gold in women’s field hockey.  It was a stressful but thrilling game.  Well done ladies!  I did not have the pleasure of watching Ireland at all, but I am nonetheless proud.  Last but certainly not least, I want to express my admiration for Team Israel.  My heart breaks knowing that the Israeli athletes continue to be treated like trash.  However, they held their heads high, maintained composure, and walked away with two medals.

Farewell Olympics!  See you in Tokyo!! 🇯🇵

🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊 🎾 🚴 ⚽ 🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊 🎾 🚴 ⚽ 🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊

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Show Your Colors

July 4th, the day that Americans put the flag on display and shout their pride from the rooftops in honor of freedom.  Now is the perfect time to share what makes me feel patriotic.  I love my country, but I’m not the most vocal about it.  However, there are two things that make my blood run red, white, & blue.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I respect that.  But, I can’t help feeling rage when someone born and raised outside the American borders feels the need to judge.  I am American-born and American-raised.  I can count the number of times I’ve left this country on one hand.  I speak English with an American accent.  I received education and now work as an adult here.  I can criticize this country because I am a citizen and know what I’m talking about (for the most part 😉).  Think of it this way.  As a brother or sister, you can tease your sibling(s) to your heart’s content, but God help the outsider who feels led to do the same.  Suddenly you’re on the defensive!  Perhaps that paints a clearer picture of my point.  Moving on.  I see or hear stories about soldiers every day, but nothing compares to seeing or meeting them in the flesh.  As a retail employee, I meet military personnel of all races and ages and feel an indescribable level of honor and pride to serve them.  I respect the diverse group of people willing to train and fight for this country.  If any soldiers, past or present, are reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸

Go out & have fun readers!  I wish you a safe, happy holiday.

🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸

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Those Summer Nights

It’s that time of year folks, the time when earth feels like it’s roasting inside a sauna over the flames of hell.  When I’m not concealing sweat at work, I’m sitting in front of a fan at home pretending I live in a colder climate.  Not only is it hot, but California is rain-free, dry, and on high alert for fires.  Fun times!  Now that I’ve brought you up to speed on the weather report, prepare yourself for a story eerily similar to one I told one year ago.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click the following link and study up:

https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/the-big-bad-june-bug-attack-of-2015/

The night was June 21, 2016 and the time approximately midnight.  The night air was refreshingly cool.  The window was open and the fan blasting.  I was spread out on the couch preparing to enjoy some therapy a-la-Netflix.  In one moment, my seemingly perfect summer night came screeching to a halt.  I heard the haunting buzz of a large insect and wasted no time in jumping off the couch and turning on the light.  As soon as I did so, I caught sight of movement in the window.  The volume of my voice raised slightly as I exclaimed that there was a bug inside the house.  He was not very happy with my actions because next thing I know he’s flying at me.  I ran down the stairs yelling “NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!”  My mom came out of her bedroom to see what was going on, and my dad expressed concern from the comfort of his bed.  Armed with a shoe and Lysol, I made my mom accompany me while I checked every single window in the house.  I was not about to sleep with a huge bug on the loose!!  After many tears and a panic attack, I shut myself in my room (after numerous inspections) and did my best to sleep despite intense anxiety and a migraine.  The next day my mom informed me that she had found a dead June bug in her bedroom.  I felt immediate deja vu.  What is it with my mom and I fighting June bugs??!!!

Don’t you just love summer?? 😡

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Summer Essentials 2015

These are my must-haves for Summer 2015.  Watch the Youtube version here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYeTuY_DPJs – or continue reading.  Click the names of each product to get more information.  :)

*** I apologize in advance for the weird spacing!  I’m having technical problems with my blog but doing my best to fix them.

Sunscreen Spray

 

Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Spray

Sunscreen spray takes less time to apply than sunscreen lotion but is just as effective.  Coppertone offers sprays ranging from SPF 30 to 100.

– Swimsuit –

Roxy Moroccan Beach Tiki Tri Tankini Top

Roxy Moroccan Beach Tiki Tri Tankini Top
Roxy Classic 2" Boardshort
I apologize for the bad quality.  I couldn’t find a better picture!
iPod
  Purple iPod nano 5th Generation
This is a 5th generation iPod Nano in purple.
– Books –
"Bookplate Special" by Lorna Barrett
This is what I am currently reading.  It is the third book in the Booktown Mysteries series by author Lorna Barrett.
Sunglasses
Black Wayfarer Sunglasses
My sunglasses look exactly like these except for the Ray Ban logo; they don’t have any logo on the temples..  I bought them at Nordstrom Rack and took them home in a Lacoste case, but I vaguely remember that the Lacoste cases were all they had left.  Therefore, my sunglasses could very well not be Lacoste.
Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer
I use this as a moisturizer before applying makeup during the Spring and Summer seasons to give my skin extra color.  I use “Medium to Tan” to expedite the tanning process.
CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara
I have used this mascara since my relationship with makeup started back in junior high, and I do not plan on stopping anytime soon.  LOVE!
Physicians Formula Powder Palette Multi-Colored Custom Bronzer, The Bombshell Bronzer, "Blondes"
I wear this as a highlighter on top of my Physicians Formula Cashmere Wear Ultra-Smoothing Bronzer.
Evian Facial Spray
I use this to cool down my skin, but it is also an inexpensive alternative to expensive makeup-setting sprays.
– Lip Balm –
EOS Smooth Spere Lip Balm, "Sweet Mint"
Rose Salve
I own way more lip balm than I need, but these two are my favorites.  EOS is great for day-to-day use, and Rose Salve is great for extremely chapped lips.
Starbucks
Starbucks
When the sun comes out, nothing beats the heat quite like a Starbucks frappuccino or iced coffee.  Can I get an amen??
Hey you, sunshine.  Bring on the heat!!  I.  Am.  Ready.
– Lauren Michele <3

 

Spring/Summer Fashion Haul 2015

This is a SUPERSIZED Spring and Summer fashion haul consisting of apparel from Kohls, Target, TJ Maxx, and V-Luxury.  If you prefer not to look at pictures, you can watch my Youtube version: https://youtu.be/IqMxHfWv0sA

If you would like to look at pictures, proceed.  :)

– 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

– Meredith Zipper Wedge Sandals –

Meredith Zipper Wedge Sandals

http://www.target.com/p/women-s-meredith-zipper-wedge-sandals/-/A-16533482

– Lauren Conrad Nude Floral Cutout Heels –

Lauren Conrad Nude Floral Cutout Heels

This shoe is sold out at Kohl’s, but you can find a couple pairs on Ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NIB-LC-Lauren-Conrad-Womens-Floral-Cutout-High-Heels-/111673566061?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=410681957765&hash=item1a0043636d

Image Source: http://laurenconrad.com/blog/2015/04/chic-peek-my-april-kohls-collection/

– Lauren Conrad Black High Heel Dress Shoes –

Lauren Conrad Black High Heel Dress Shoes

http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-1905274/lc-lauren-conrad-womens-high-heel-dress-shoes.jsp

– Lauren Conrad Cuffed Skinny Jeans –

Lauren Conrad Cuffed Skinny Jeans

http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-2062386/lc-lauren-conrad-cuffed-skinny-jeans-womens.jsp

Those heels sure do look familiar!  *Wink Wink*

– Lauren Conrad Shortie Shorts –

Lauren Conrad Shortie Shorts

http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-2085442/lc-lauren-conrad-jean-shortie-shorts-womens.jsp

– Sonia Kashuk Face Print Weekender –

Sonia Kashuk Face Print Weekender

http://www.target.com/p/sonia-kashuk-face-print-weekender/-/A-16603272#prodSlot=_1_41

– Xhilaration Mixed Print Shift Dress, Black and White –

Xhilaration Mixed Print Shift Dress, Black and White

http://www.target.com/p/mixed-print-shift-dress-xhilaration/-/A-16753227#prodSlot=_1_115

– Xhilaration Double Bow Back Dress, Black –

Xhilaration Double Bow Back Dress, Black

http://www.target.com/p/double-bow-back-dress-black-xhilaration/-/A-16680225

– Xhilaration Open Back Dress –

Xhilaration Open Back Dress

http://www.target.com/p/open-back-dress-xhilaration/-/A-16687553#prodSlot=_2_39

– I bought one other dress, but I cannot find pictures online.  I think it is sold out.  If you would like to see it, you can watch the video on Youtube –

– 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

– Mudd Basic V-Neck Tee, Silver Rose Floral –

Mudd Basic V-Neck Tee, Silver Rose Floral

http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-1945011/mudd-basic-v-neck-tee-juniors.jsp?skuId=400988328651&search=400988328651&submit-search=web-regular

This tee looks casual and cute with the Mossimo denim vest and black skinny jeans.  ;)

– MILLY Ruffled Peasant Blouse, Bougainvillea Combo

MILLY Ruffled Peasant Blouse, Bougainvillea Combo

http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-2025450/milly-for-designation-ruffled-peasant-blouse-womens.jsp

– Xhilaration Tie Front Utility Shirt –

Xhilaration Tie Front Utility Shirt

http://www.target.com/p/tie-front-utility-shirt-xhilaration/-/A-16831818

– Xhilaration Woven Fashion Vest –

Xhilaration Woven Fashion Vest

http://www.target.com/p/woven-fashion-vest-xhilaration/-/A-16872747

Kohls: http://www.kohls.com/

Target: http://www.target.com/

TJ Maxx: http://tjmaxx.tjx.com/store/index.jsp

V-Luxury: http://www.v-luxury.com/

Happy shopping readers!

– Lauren Michele <3

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