Filming Frustrations | Blogmas 2017

If the joy of Christmas is what you seek, bah humbug. I swear I’m not trying to ruin your Christmas. As a blogger, it is my duty to be honest about my life. The past twenty-four hours have been awful. Last night I found out that two of the gifts I ordered online were damaged. I woke up late because I stayed up to watch a Christmas movie that I didn’t end up liking (I’m looking at you Noel). I forgot to charge my camera batteries overnight AND while I was getting ready. Despite racing to beat the sun, it took several hours to film only two videos. I wanted to get a third filmed, but I couldn’t find my dreidel which was supposed to be the starring prop. I still haven’t found that darn top! I am now tired and cranky and probably the top name on Santa’s naughty list. Bring on the coal! Despite all the stress, I am thankful for a home that is still standing because there is a fire burning a few miles away. My thoughts & prayers are with everyone being affected. Stay safe California!  <3

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

T e n   D a y s   U n t i l   A r t m a s . . .   

E i g h t e 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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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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Springtime Daze

Sarnoff, Arthur. (n.d.). [Painting]. Retrieved May 3, 2016, from http://www.artsfon.com/download/27930/2560x1600/

Sarnoff, Arthur. (n.d.). [Painting]. Retrieved May 3, 2016, from http://www.artsfon.com/download/27930/2560×1600/

Good evening readers!  I felt like it was time for a chatty blog post with lots of information about what I’ve been up to.  I’m making significant progress on the 2016 Reading Challenge.  I am currently making my way through the A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket and The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien.  After the first of the year, I had to take a break from reading, but I am back in tip top shape and determined to keep moving forward.  Books make me extremely happy, and life is never enjoyable when I don’t feel like reading. 📚

In an odd turn of events, I started having nightmares about death a few weeks ago.  I thought perhaps it was because I was reading before bedtime.  The Series of Unfortunate Events series is very grim and depressing, but the content isn’t presented in a manner that is terrifying.  I suppose I could test out that theory, but I am doubtful that those books are the cause of the problem.  I already struggle with insomnia so nightmares are something I don’t need to deal with.  It takes me hours to fall asleep, and once I do nightmares wake me up.  Needless to say I am exhausted.  The other night I got so freaked out by a nightmare that I got up and asked my mom to pray for me; I only had one other nightmare and fell asleep within an hour or two.  I slept soundly last night so I am hoping that the nightmares are finally making their way out of my mind. 💀

Moving on to a happier subject.  I got a job!  If you followed me over the holidays, you know that I had a seasonal retail job.  Unfortunately I was not able to stay on permanently so the search for a new job began.  I did not have to search long because I immediately found an open position through networking.  I was blessed to secure the job after just one interview, and I should be starting within the next two weeks. 👠

I’ve just seen that my Youtube channel has reached over 10,000 views.  That is amazing!!  I feel so encouraged and motivated to keep doing what I’m doing.  To those of you who are subscribed, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  To those of you who aren’t subscribed, what are you waiting for?!  Speaking of which, you should check out my most recent video.  I went hiking in Malibu this past weekend and filmed most of the hike plus the last minute trip to the beach.  What an adventure!  I’ve been hiking in recent months, but this hike unexpectedly required some rock climbing.  I still have cuts and bruises, but it was so much fun.  Because I’m at home most of the time, I forget how much I love being outdoors and exploring.  It was good for me to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine. 🌳

I hope all of you are having a lovely evening.  I am currently sitting in a recliner blogging with a book (The Hostile Hospital) on my right side and Call the Midwife on the television.  I’m not in the best of moods, but that’s nothing some frozen fruit couldn’t cure.  Does anybody else eat frozen fruit as a snack or am I just weird??  Think of it like a deconstructed popsicle. 😜 I shall stop rambling now.  Good night!  Sweet dreams! 😴

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Spring Needs to Unspring

🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻

Let the rant begin:  I didn’t experience a proper fall or winter so why on earth would I be prepared for spring?!!  Spring sounds good in theory: cloudless skies, sunshine, colorful flowers, etc.  Only one problem: I hate all of those things!  Except flowers.  I like flowers.  The only other thing I like about spring is the rain, but I live in California.  We don’t get rain, only 24/7 life-draining sunshine.  Also, for once I’d like people to say they love fall and/or winter and not change their minds when warmer weather rolls into town.  You either love the cold or you don’t.  Don’t be wishy washy!  Follow my example.  I am consistently “Debbie Downer” when the sun decides to grace my living space with its presence. ;)

Okay.  Got that out of the way.  I promise to try being positive about spring, but I make no promises.  It is currently 77° and sunny outside.  I am watching “Friends” on Netflix, eating dried pineapple, and talking to all of you lovely people.  I’m also storing energy for my workout later in the day.  Just like the pros! 😂

🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻

I leave you with my current favorite song, which just so happens to be appropriate for the impending warmer weather.  Enjoy!

🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻🌷🌻

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Debbie Downer

Illustration by Lily Clark                     Clark, Lily. 2011. Web. 16 June 2015. http://www.layouth.com/held-down-by-depression/.

Prepare yourself.  I’m about to vent about some not-so-happy issues.  Me and my mom recently relocated to the west coast to join my dad and brother who had already been living in that area for a few years.  Because of college, the move was stretched out to three years for me and for my mom who selflessly chose to stay behind and help me.  Words will never be able to express my gratitude!  An impending out-of-state move is not easy to deal with while going through undergraduate education.  As if the stress of daily homework and sleepless nights wasn’t enough, let’s throw in living out of boxes and without furniture.  Fast forward to now.  My family is currently sharing a mini apartment above a garage, a space I have nicknamed “The Loft”; it has one main room (a living room, table, and kitchen with no stove), one bathroom, and one bedroom (two small beds).  In case you haven’t already done the math, four adults are sharing a living space meant to comfortably accommodate two people, perhaps two adults and one small child.  I can’t complain because at least my family has somewhere to live.  However, living in small quarters for an extended period of time is not a comfortable situation to be in.  The cherry on top is I have no job, no money, and no car.

I am an introvert therefore it is important that I force myself to go out otherwise I wont do it at all.  So far I am failing miserably even though living like a hermit is sucking the life out of me.  I am pale from not going outside.  I have no physical energy.  I have way too much time to analyze and criticize myself.  I am becoming even more uncomfortable around people.  I am stressed to the point of regular migraines and anxiety attacks.  In a nutshell, NO BUENO!!!  Why the heck am I writing all this down on my blog??  Well, Tuesday was one of those days when I was stuck in the loft working on my laptop and stressing over my current project and life in general.  Also, it was really hot outside, and heat is the worst possible antagonist on a stressful day.   I doubt it is too late for me to get out of this awful cycle, but in my “Debbie Downer” brain, it is.  Being social has not produced positive results in my life therefore I am very cautious.  I am unfortunately comfortable in this way of life, but I know it is not a healthy way to live.  The moral of this story is “Don’t live like a hermit if you have the choice not to.”  The black hole does not magically disappear and replace itself with sunshine and rainbows; it only gets deeper.  Find a happy medium between being yourself and living without regret.  I am going to close with a list of things that make me happy.  Let’s end on a positive note!

– Books –

Bookstore(Source: http://ericsmithrocks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/gif-belle-books.gif)

Reading(Source: http://cdn1.theodysseyonline.com/files/2015/02/20/6356007252500528281501978539_reading-icarly.jpg)

– Dance –

Dancing 2(Source: https://38.media.tumblr.com/aae44b2e115758ff9f398dafd9d0baca/tumblr_mw9jc58eUV1rk27dgo3_500.gif)

Dancing 3(Source: https://38.media.tumblr.com/6cec61d67499e2f768b5a81978562039/tumblr_mzfcf5cEhA1s2ntk9o4_500.gif)

– Disney –

Disney(Source: http://33.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3krhzBJEL1r63keto1_500.gif)

Disney 2(Source: http://imgfave.com/view/5795750)

– Fashion –

Shopping(Source: http://s3.scoopwhoop.com/osi/momshop/12.gif)

Clothes(Source: http://media.giphy.com/media/iB37W6VDrWWAw/giphy.gif)

– Music/Singing –

iPod(Source: http://cdn.pigeonsandplanes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Commute7.gif)

Singing(Source: https://38.media.tumblr.com/189f117354908443e8d52ab73d2517f9/tumblr_mh7c8ceZjz1rrlldmo1_500.gif)

– Water –

Dancing in the Rain(Source: http://media.giphy.com/media/ZotL3kezxlpFC/giphy.gif)

Swimming(Source: http://33.media.tumblr.com/82a0f1d735eb1f001888dc0f4a0c4df3/tumblr_inline_n5heuejuuH1scyims.gif)

I spent the rest of the night playing a video game and watching a movie with my brother so I already feel much better.  Keep moving forward, and don’t look back readers!

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”  – Albus Dumbledore, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkban”

– 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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