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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Lost in Translation

Time for another story from the misadventures of Lauren Michele Stewart! Just kidding. This tale is actually very thought-provoking. *GASP*

Back in my college days Spanish dramas were my escape from reality, Isabel, Los Hombres de Paco, & Un paso adelante being my personal favorites. On top of that, I listened to a lot of Spanish music in an attempt to perfect my ear for the beautiful language of España. Never in a million years did I think that music and TV shows in another language would affect me around English speakers, but it did indeed happen. One day while I was in class, my ears started to interpret English in a different way. At first I thought I was just extremely tired, which is normal for a student, but careful listening proved that I was indeed hearing what sounded like the only other language in my life: Spanish. At one point I silently prayed that the teacher and students wouldn’t talk to me because I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. Even though I was hearing a familiar language, my brain wasn’t distinguishing the words. After a few minutes everything went back to normal, but I never forgot what happened.

The experience gave me a higher level of respect for both polyglots and immigrants learning a foreign language. I wasn’t necessarily scared or overwhelmed, but it was unexpected and left me feeling disoriented. I don’t necessarily have a moral or a mind-blowing message to share with you. I just thought the experience was unique, something I’d never heard of before. I wish my tongue had miraculously become bilingual in that moment and remained so. 😂 As a side note, I highly recommend utilizing television and music as immersion techniques for learning a language. I am by no means fluent, but I understand a decent chunk of Castilian Spanish. I refer to a specific type because that is what my ears are accustomed to; I have a very hard time understanding accents outside of Spain. 🇪🇸

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Out With the New, In With the Old | Throwback Thursday

What does that title even mean??  Patience young padawans.  Let’s look at some of the facts:

🕸️ A certain witchy drama is getting a reboot; yes, I’m talking about Charmed.

🐘 A continuation of the 1995 film Jumanji premieres at the end of 2017.

🌟 All is well with the Force because new Star Wars movies are being produced & released.

💰 DuckTales is coming back to television!  The reboot will premiere on Disney XD this year on a to-be-announced date.

👠 Fashionistas could step back in time & fit right in because many of the current trends were pulled from previous decades.

🎤 Gwen Stefani and JoJo released albums last year, a first for both since 2006.

⌚ If names like Andy Griffith, Buffy, The Cheetah Girls, and The Parent Trap ring any bells, you might want to make space in your schedule for binging sessions because Netflix has what you need.  Two seasons of Fuller House, a Full House sequel show, are also available.

📺 TeenNick airs retro Nickelodeon shows overnight, a programming block known as The Splat.

✨ The classic animated Disney movies are one by one being made into live action films. So far so good!

👾 The demand and availability for retro merchandise is widespread and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

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That is just the tip of the iceberg, but you get the picture.  Not a day goes by that I don’t hear about nostalgia.  I’m not sure of the main cause.  It could be adults missing the carefree days of childhood; you don’t truly appreciate what you have until it’s gone.  It could also be consumer attitudes turning against the present-day options in media and merchandise.  Personally, I think it’s a bit of both.  To clarify, no fault lies with the evolution of technology & entertainment.  There’s something endearing about what we grew up with.  Those memories are ingrained in our minds and hold a special place in our hearts.  Enjoying something from the past is what I imagine time travel to feel like, a transportation of mind, body, & soul; bliss takes over the senses along with admiration for a way of life without the advances of the present.  Here is an example.  Most of us can’t live without a cellphone in our hands, but I think we subconsciously miss a time when they were nonexistent.  Each household had one stationary telephone, and phone calls were special.  There are problems as far back as history goes, but this topic is less about politics & society and more about the ideology of “simpler times.”  When circumstances become overwhelming, we revert back to when life was, in the mind of a child, simple.

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Farewell Rizzoli & Isles

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I know I’m a little late to the party, but wild horses couldn’t stop me from paying tribute to this show.  Rizzoli & Isles will always hold a special place in my heart because it is one of the few TV shows, if not the only, that I have watched from episode one to the show finale.  I finished what I started, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.  The cast did not get half as much recognition as they deserved for their unbelievable chemistry.  There were many tears and many laughs, and I enjoyed every single moment.  To the cast and crew, thank you!!  I will forever be a Rizzoli & Isles fan. <3

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Hyun, Doug. Rizzoli & Isles - Season 2 - "Rebel Without a Pause" - Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill and Jordan Bridges. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/rizzoli-isles/photos/304667/879191.

Hyun, Doug. Rizzoli & Isles – Season 2 – “Rebel Without a Pause” – Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill and Jordan Bridges. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/rizzoli-isles/photos/304667/879191.

* * * I want to say a special thank you to the Rizzoli & Isles crew for including a mention of Barry Frost in the finale.  Lee Thompson Young will always be a member of the R&I family! <3

https://www.instagram.com/p/BH5LiAFDDlw/?taken-by=adamrsinclair

 

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BH5LiAFDDlw/?taken-by=adamrsinclair

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfEG7vKXwNw

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BE6pDK6zd5v/?taken-by=thesashaalexander&hl=en

Hyun, Doug. Rizzoli & Isles - Season 2 - "Sailor Man" - Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander and Lorraine Bracco. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/rizzoli-isles/photos/304667/838943.

Hyun, Doug. Rizzoli & Isles – Season 2 – “Sailor Man” – Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander and Lorraine Bracco. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/rizzoli-isles/photos/304667/838943.

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Emotions, Emotions, & More Emotions

The day/night has gone from bad to worse, and I am absolutely thrilled to be here telling this tale.  Please don’t feel sympathetic because this whole sob story revolves around a TV show.  Yes, that is where my life is at right now.  A little less than one week ago, I discovered the show “Velvet” on Netflix.  It takes place in 1950s Spain and revolves around a fashion store and the relationship between Alberto Marquez and Ana Ribera.  Netflix has 2 seasons, but the show was just renewed for season 4 in Spain.  I knew about the delay beforehand, but the last episode of season 2 still brought with it disappointment.  My afternoon was spoiled by the realization that I had no episodes left to watch, at least for now.  I shouldn’t have done it, but I gave in to curiosity and feverishly searched the internet for clues as to what happens in season 3.  WORST.  IDEA.  EVER.  If you are currently watching “Velvet” and do not want to know what happens, please STOP reading NOW.  Seriously.  SPOILERS AHEAD.  You’ve been warned.

Alberto dies, and Ana, amidst the devastation, gives birth to his child.  I am sure this news did not really affect you emotionally.  Me on the other hand, I am a mess.  I have been crying non-stop, and I feel like I’m going to throw up.  Why such a violent reaction?  I have no job therefore I had the time to dedicate several days of my life to Alberto and Ana’s love story.  We, yes we, went through a lot of ups and downs this week.  Finally, after two seasons worth of drama, they were together and happy.  Of course something tragic had to happen.  This is television.  No one can be happy!!  I was so anxious to watch the new episodes, and now I don’t think I can watch the show ever again.

Wow!  I need a job.  Or a hobby that pays well.  😂  I desperately need to watch something funny.  Perhaps my favorite show “The Office.”  If that doesn’t make me feel better, I am beyond help.  Hint to Antena 3:  Jim and Pam get married and live happily ever after.  NO ONE DIES.  Oy vey!  Is that so hard?!  Why is television so emotionally stressful???

Update: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Alberto is alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The moral of this story is I overreacted without actually watching season 3 and seeing for myself every single scene, not just a clip on Youtube.  I am so flipping happy right now but also mad.  Really really mad.  Unbelievably mad that I had to go through this whole ordeal within one hour.  I send my sincerest of apologies to Antena 3.  Lo siento!  Keep up the good work!

Update #2:  It is now 11am, and I am somewhat awake.  I ended up watching a few episodes of “The Secret Life of an American Teenager.”  After all, what I really needed was more drama.  😂

If you are interested in watching “Velvet” because this post was a fantastic promotion, here are the necessary links:

• Antena 3 Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/user/antena3

• Antena 3 Website – http://www.antena3.com/series/velvet/

• Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/VelvetA3/

• IMDB – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2955402/

• The show is available on Netflix in Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Tuesday.  If you haven’t already, click the links down below to read my blog posts on the 88th Academy Awards.  “See” you soon readers!

The Winners’ Circle – The 88th Academy Awards | Part 1

The Red Carpet – The 88th Academy Awards | Part 2

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The Wonderful World of Disney Presents:

Image Source: http://abc.go.com/shows/the-wonderful-world-of-disney-disneyland-60

I know I know I know!!  I talk about Disney A LOT.  However, I couldn’t help writing a post about the Disneyland 60 celebration that aired on ABC tonight.  Before I jump headfirst into all the amazing moments that took place, I want to mention two things that are not so good.  Go ahead and call me a prude, goodie two-shoes, etc.  I don’t care!  I personally think that the revealing costumes in the opening dance number were inappropriate; this was a special in honor of a family friendly theme park, and families at home and in the park were watching.  The second thing I want to mention isn’t bad, but it is somewhat of an elephant in the room and a detail that will most likely be mentioned by at least one person on the internet.  Most Disney fans wont mind watching two hours of Disney-related television and freaking out over the nostalgia and memories.  However, this two-hour special was more about Disney than Disneyland with the exception of a few interviews and fun facts throughout.  I don’t really care, but the truth is the special was a tad bit unnecessary if you consider that the subject was supposed to be Disneyland.  Moving on to the good stuff!

– Dance –

The “Part of Your World” dance number featuring Maddie Ziegler was short but beautiful.  The flowy costumes, monochromatic blue stage, and underwater background set a tranquil, dreamy mood.  Derek Hough lead a dance number set to “Step In Time.”  I couldn’t help but shed a few tears when Dick Van Dyke stepped onto the stage and danced at the end.

– Music –

The musical performances were amazing!  Here is a list of the songs performed in order:

• “Be Our Guest” – Pentatonix

• “When You Wish Upon a Star” – Jessie J

• “I Wan’na Be Like You” – Fall Out Boy

• “Circle of Life” – Elton John

• “Rainbow Connection” – Tori Kelly & Kermit the Frog

• “Let It Go” – Idina Menzel

• “Part of Your World” – Kelsea Ballerini

• “Friend Like Me” – Ne-Yo

• Star Wars Medley

Hore, Steven, and Sky Creative. Sky Movies, Star Wars. Web. 22 Feb. 2016. http://imgur.com/gallery/G7AaaFg.

Hore, Steven, and Sky Creative. Sky Movies, Star Wars. Web. 22 Feb. 2016. http://imgur.com/gallery/G7AaaFg.

• “Steve McQueen” – Little Big Town

• “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” – Gustavo Dudamel & The Los Angeles Philharmonic

• “Wonderful Crazy Night” – Elton John

– Non-Musical Highlights –

• Helen Mirren was one of the first presenters.  Her grace & eloquence was in fine form and the perfect way to open the show.  She’s not a Disney princess; she is an honorary Disney QUEEN!  👑

• During the “Modern Family” cast interview, hidden Mickeys were discussed.  Being the geek that I am, I began to hyperventilate when I realized that hidden Mickeys were placed within the interview setting.  They were eventually pointed out, making me feel super smart.  😉

• I must admit I got teary eyed during the Disney girls montage.  Hearing famous lines from the diverse group & interviews from female celebrities impacted by female Disney characters was touching.  💕

• It was really cool to see a sneak peek of Star Wars land & the Shanghai Disneyland Park.  Soon, Star Wars fanatics will be able to board the Millenium Falcon in California 🌠, and Disney princess enthusiasts will be able to see the largest Disney theme park castle in Shanghai 🏰.

• Last but certainly not least, my favorite part of the entire show which occurred early on.  While walking around Disneyland, Josh Gad visited Walt Disney’s apartment and mentioned a lovely fact: When working inside the park, Walt Disney would keep his lamp by the window lit to let employees know he was watching to make sure everything was running smoothly.  Now, in his honor, the lamp is lit at all times.  🌟

During financial troubles, Walt took a leap of faith and created a mouse.  His creation continues to have a worldwide impact.

“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

Now I desperately want to visit Disneyland.  I hope you enjoyed this post readers.  “See” you soon!  :)

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January 2016 Favorites

Hello readers!  Today I’m going to be sharing my favorite event & products from January 2016.  Feel free to leave comments down below. :)

– Riverdance –

Being the totally awesome parent that he is, my dad bought tickets to a 20th anniversary performance of Riverdance.  The seats were one row back from the stage!!  Unfortunately he got sick, but my mom sacrificed and took his place. ;)  It was my fifth time seeing the show, and I still got emotional.  It was absolutely incredible sitting so close and seeing the emotion and camaraderie between the dancers.

– Seared Ahi Spinach Salad –

After the performance, my mother and I had a lovely dinner at Claim Jumper.  Having said that, NEVER eat dinner at a mall on a Saturday.  The restaurant was across the street from the theater, and by the time we ate, the show had been over for three hours.  However, the salad I had was amazing and worth the wait.  Here is a list of ingredients for those of you who desire such details: ahi tuna, crunchy noodles, red onions, tomatoes, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, feta cheese, glazed pecans, sesame seeds, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Everybody in my church subconsciously decided to make tamales and give them to my family at the same time.  I dove in headfirst and never looked back.  I want to clarify that my newfound appreciation is directed towards one specific variation: tamales with olives.  My Mediterranean blood compels me to love olives, and I do.  Tamales with olives are muy delicioso!

– Plantain Chips –

Plantain chips are the bee’s knees, and I want the world to know it.  They are crunchy like dried banana but savory like chips.  I recommend the lightly salted Pampa plantain chips because I strongly dislike heavily salted foods.

– Winterberry Wonder Lotion –

This delightfully scented concoction was a Christmas gift, and it has been my go-to lotion ever since.  The keynotes are red winterberry, ruby apple, sparkling cranberry, snowkissed camellia, and crystal vanilla.  It smells mostly floral with hints of berry and apple.  Call me crazy but I almost always smell a hint of watermelon in Bath & Body Works lotions, this product included.

– English Lavender Linen Spray –

I struggle with insomnia, and one of the commonly known remedies is lavender.  I researched and found several different products but ultimately decided to give the spray a try.  Even though this spray from Bed, Bath, & Beyond isn’t made specifically for insomnia, it works.  The scent is distinctly lavender and very fresh.  I spray it all over my pillow and bed right before going to sleep.  Sometimes I read a book post-spray, another helpful trick for treating insomnia.

– Fragrant Jewels Candles –

I bought these candles to review the company for my Youtube channel.  Even though the draw of this company was the rings hidden inside the products, I ended up loving the candles.  The Frosted Gingerbread candle is spicy, and the Winter candle is woodsy.  They can burn for up to four hours at a time, and the scent is detectable within a few minutes.  For more information, watch my video:

– Soda Scribe Womens Booties –

I wore these boots to work on New Year’s Day and received so many compliments.  They are comfortable and look great with or without socks/tights.

– Adult Coloring Book & Colored Pencils –

 

I’ve been wanting an adult coloring book for a long time and used a recent family trip to Barnes & Noble as my chance to get one.  It was a little embarrassing paying for a coloring book and colored pencils, but I got over my pride and did it.  I can already tell this book will last me a lifetime because I haven’t even finished half a picture yet.  Coloring is relaxing and a great creative outlet, and I highly recommend you give it a try. :D

– “Sisters of the Quilt” by Cindy Woodsmall –

I’ve already discussed this series on this blog so all I will say is this series is fantastic and impossible to put down.

“I live in a home full of strict rules, even for an Old Order Amish family. My Daed doesn’t believe in allowing our tradition of a rumschpringe. At its best, the running around years is meant as a time of extra freedoms that gives singles an opportunity to find a spouse. But sometimes young people take advantage of it, so my Daed all but forbids.  Still, I have found love, and even though Paul isn’t Amish, I know that if I spent a lifetime looking, I’d never find a better man. He’s gentle and kind, and his sense of humor is every bit as strong as his sense of responsibility.  But if my Daed knew of our friendship, he’d put an end to it, and I’d be grounded from stepping off the farm for even a stroll for months, maybe a year.  Paul leaves Owl’s Perch each fall, and even though he writes me letters and sends them to his grandmother’s house, he’s never hinted at how he feels beyond friendship.  Despite my Daed, despite that I’m only seventeen, despite that Paul goes away to a sea of girls each year, I choose to believe that he cares for me like I do him, and that love will find a way for us.”

– “Child Genius” –

Does anyone else love this TV show?  I have been watching it since the first season, and the kids never cease to amaze me with their knowledge.  The premise is children with high IQs competing for the title of “Child Genius.”  Every episode features two rounds, each focused on a different subject such as math, history, or logic.  For more information, follow this link: http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/child-genius

– “The Bletchley Circle” –

I am in love with this miniseries!  Netflix recommended it to me.  The show follows a group of codebreakers post-WWII.  Once the war ended they were required to move on with their lives without telling anyone what they had done.  They find themselves brought back together by circumstance in order to solve a crime; this occurs three times.  For more information, follow this link: http://www.pbs.org/program/bletchley-circle/

– “Dance Academy” –

I have watched this show at least three times all the way through.  It is definitely one of my favorite TV shows of ALL time.  WOW!  That’s a bold statement.  I relate to this show on a deep emotional level because of my dance background.  I understand the family-like bonds that develop and the struggles that come with being an aspiring professional dancer.  On top of all that, it’s a great show.  All three seasons are currently available on Netflix.  For more information, here is the IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1551948/

– “Gossip Girl” –

I realize that I am way late to the “Gossip Girl” party but better late than never.  I’m not that far into the first season, but I like it.  It’s a good show to turn on when I have hours of work to get through.  The show follows the drama surrounding a group of wealthy teenagers living in Manhattan.  It is currently available on Netflix.  For more information, here is the IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0397442/

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– Lauren Michele <3

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I’m Feeling 22

(Image Source: I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22. #tswift #itsmybirthday …)

I waited three years for November 5, 2015.  I can finally say “I’m feeling 22!!!”  If you are unsure of what I’m referring to, listen to this:

” I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22!”

Follow along as I take you through my day: My best friend Gabby bombarded me with texts at 7am, wishing me “Happy Birthday!” and gifting me with Tom Hiddleston and Johnny Depp gifs.  HAHAHA!!!  I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t.  I decided to make myself some homemade salted caramel coffee.  My mug didn’t fit under the Keurig so I removed the bottom container.  That was a big mistake because it catches excess liquid.  When I poured in the water, the excess had nowhere to go but all over the counter.  Fun times!  Unfortunately, the coffee did not taste as great as my expectations.  Next, I spent some time checking my social media accounts, blogging, and watching “Criminal Minds.”  I published a very special art project that took three months to complete; I made collages to represent my top 6 favorite TV and movie couples.  Check it out: Can’t Help Falling in Love

Due to my early morning start, I fell asleep on the couch around 11am.  I was awakened one hour later by my mom wishing me “Happy birthday!” and encouraging me to open my presents.  I received seasons 6 and 7 of “Little House on the Prairie” and the complete series of “The Nanny.”  Yes, yes, and YES.  I ate pancit for lunch and relaxed until 4pm.  My family went to “Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill” for dinner.  I had an 8oz sirloin and macaroni & cheese; wings and rolls were also involved.  From there, we went to an Ontario Reign vs San Diego Gulls hockey game.  The Gulls are the Anaheim Ducks minor league team so I was cheering for them; unfortunately they lost 4-1.  The game wasn’t the most exciting thing I have ever experienced, but we didn’t pay full price thanks to Groupon so I guess it was kind of a win.  I ended the night with Ben & Jerry’s “Americone Dream” ice cream and “The Carol Burnett Show.”  Not a bad day!  My family is also planning a belated-birthday trip to the zoo very soon.  I will be vlogging so subscribe to my Youtube channel and keep an eye out for that video within the next 2 months.  :)

So far, I haven’t had any “One Year Older Epiphanies.”  I don’t feel one year older, but that has a lot to do with the fact that I still look twelve.  In the next year of my life, I want to continue working hard and expanding my blogs and Youtube channel.  Having outlets for my voice and creativity means the world to me.  Thank you to each and every one of you who have chosen to subscribe and follow along with me; it means a lot to me that you care about what I write.  Also, I can’t believe our little blog family is 11 members away from 200.  What an amazing gift!!

I hope you enjoyed my birthday recap.  Don’t forget that Christmas is coming!  Artmas (on my Art Blog) starts in 38 days, and Blogmas will begin in 25 days.  You don’t want to miss it!

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

– Lauren Michele <3

49 Days Until Christmas

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Can’t Help Falling in Love

(Image Source: http://www.rougemagz.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/il_570xN.309602305-570×400.jpg)

Three months ago this blog post was 75% complete and well on its way to being published.  Despite my August deadline, I was feeling uninspired and decided to walk away for reflection.  I missed the opportunity to connect this post to August, “Romance Awareness Month”, but I would much rather publish content I am proud of than meet deadlines for the sake of being clever.  That being said, allow me to set the stage for this project that has been a labor of love (HA!).  Back in April, I made two collages of Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley from “Anne of Green Gables” in honor of Jonathan Crombie.  When I found out August was “Romance Awareness Month” (who knew?!!), I immediately put my Photoshop skills to work and made collages for my favorite TV and movie couples.  This project is near and dear to my heart.  The couples I have chosen are fictional, but their stories inspire me because they have substance.  Personally, I am not fond of glorifying the physicality of relationships.  Less is more!  I recently watched the BBC miniseries “North & South” for the first time.  The main characters do not interact romantically until the last few minutes of the series, and yet I felt tension and passion throughout; I did not need to see more in order to empathize.  It was absolutely brilliant!  I strongly believe purity and subtlety go a long way, much further than graphic details.  We should all have high standards and use the term “love” with caution.  Go ahead and call me a “hopeless romantic”; I accept that label with open arms.  :)

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

(Image Source: https://quotefancy.com/quote/772/Helen-Keller-The-best-and-most-beautiful-things-in-the-world-cannot-be-seen-or-even)

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**These stories come from either a TV show or a movie, not book(s)**

*** It is hard to keep track of so much content.  Feel free to notify me of any mistakes. ***

*** I recommend you click each image to make it bigger ***

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Counting down from #6, let’s meet our couples!

6. Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly

(Image Source: https://longagoandohsofaraway.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/for-your-consideration-the-office-2-05-halloween/)

What: Television Show, 2005 – 2013

Title: “The Office”

Jim and Pam

Jim Halpert: “Not enough for me? You are everything.”

I could name specific episodes, but I wont because there is at least one Jim and Pam moment in every episode.  The list would go on and on and on!!  Instead, I recommend that you take the time to watch the entire show.  It is hilarious so time well spent.

Jim and Pam’s Love Story (SPOILERS):

“The Office” Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ustheoffice/featured

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

5. John Thornton and Margaret Hale

(Image Source: http://north-and-prejudice.tumblr.com/post/103886129826/why-do-i-love-north-and-south-so-much)

What: Miniseries, 2004

Title: “North & South”

John and Margaret

Margaret Hale: “It offends me that you should speak to me as if it were your… duty to rescue my reputation!”

John Thornton: “I spoke to you about my feelings because I love you; I had no thought for your reputation!”

“North & South” Trailer:

John and Margaret Montage (SPOILERS):

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

4. Captain Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot

(Image Source: http://biathenas.tumblr.com/post/115466669253)

What: Film, 2007

Title: “Persuasion”

Captain Wentworth and Anne

Captain Frederick Wentworth: “I imagined myself indifferent to her but I was only angry and resentful. Too late… too late I began to understand myself and her.  Never have I met her equal in good sense or sweetness of character. She’s perfection itself. I’ve never loved any but her.”

“Persuasion” Trailer:

Frederick and Anne Montage (SPOILERS):

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

3. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet

(Image Source: http://katieoliver.com/ko/2015/05/ten-reasons-why-mr-darcy-reigns-supreme/)

What: Film, 2005

Title: “Pride and Prejudice”

Mr. Darcy & Elizabeth

Mr. Darcy: “Miss Elizabeth. I have struggled in vain, and I can bear it no longer. These past months have been a torment.  I came to Rosings with the single object of seeing you… I had to see you. I have fought against my better judgment, my family’s expectations, the inferiority of your birth by rank and circumstance. All these things I am willing to put aside and ask you to end my agony.”

Elizabeth: “I don’t understand.”

Mr. Darcy: “I love you.”

“Pride and Prejudice” Trailer:

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Montage (SPOILERS):

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

2. Almanzo Wilder and Laura Ingalls

(Image Source: http://effyeahlittlehouse.tumblr.com/post/108620013240)

What: Television Show, 1974 – 1983

Title: Little House on the Prairie

Almanzo and Laura

Laura Ingalls: “I took Ma’s advice and didn’t say anything more about Almanzo. I guess I knew I’d always be Half-Pint to Pa, but I was just as sure that I would someday be Laura Ingalls Wilder.”

“Little House on the Prairie” Trailer:

Almanzo and Laura Montage (SPOILERS):

Important Episodes to Watch:

Almanzo And Laura Meet – “Back to School” Parts 1 and 2 (Season 6, Episodes 1 and 2)

Laura Gets Jealous – “Annabelle” (Season 6, Episode 5)

Almanzo Starts to See Laura as an Adult – “Wilder And Wilder” (Season 6, Episode 20)

Almanzo Falls in Love With Laura – “Sweet Sixteen” (Season 6, Episode 22)

Almanzo Proposes – “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” Parts 1 and 2 (Season 6, Episodes 23 and 24)

Almanzo and Laura Get Married – “Laura Ingalls Wilder” Parts 1 and 2 (Season 7, Episodes 1 and 2)

*** From this point on, the newly married couple are seen on and off on the show.  The following are some of my favorite episodes post-wedding. ***

Laura Thinks Almanzo is Having an Affair – “Divorce, Walnut Grove Style” (Season 7, Episode 7)

Almanzo And Laura Get Their First Taste of Parenthood – “Nephews” (Season 7, Episode 14)

Laura is Pregnant – “I Do, Again” (Season 7, Episode 20)

Almanzo Comes Close to Death – “Days of Sunshine, Days of Shadow” Parts 1 and 2 (Season 8, Episodes 17 and 18)

Almanzo And Laura Lose a Child – “A Child With No Name” (Season 9, Episode 18)

Baby Rose Wilder is Kidnapped – “Little House: Bless All The Dear Children” (Movie)

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

1. Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley

(Image Source: http://anneandgilbert.tumblr.com/post/24994025167/polkadotage-squeeeeeeeeeeeeee-3)

What: Film Trilogy – 1985, 1987, and 2000

Titles: “Anne of Green Gables”, “Anne of Avonlea”, and “Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story”

Gilbert and Anne

Gilbert Blythe: “Anne, There’s not going to be any wedding anymore.”

Anne Shirley: “You’re gonna get well, Gil. I know you are.”

Gilbert Blythe: “I called it off. It wouldn’t be fair to Christine. There would never be anyone for me but you.”

“Anne of Green Gables” Trailer:

“Anne of Avonlea” Trailer:

“Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story” Trailer:

Gilbert and Anne Montage (SPOILERS):

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

(Image Source: http://lovehonourandrespect.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/1-Corinthians-13-vs-4-8.jpg)

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Shoutout to my fellow November 5th babies.  Happy birthday!!  :)

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

– Lauren Michele

Previous Post: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/the-great-boot-detective/

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– Image Sources (L to R, Row by Row) –

* * * Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly

Image 1: https://ngbbpc.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/1197844.jpg

Image 2: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/xebHJQU4Lqg/maxresdefault.jpg

Image 3: http://s892.photobucket.com/user/irishirideyo2/media/movies/f9575553-e6d0-49ef-9ffa-0a1822ab7c64.jpg.html

Image 4: http://canbabiesdrinkredbull.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Office2.png

Image 5: http://www.fanpop.com/images/polls/16619_1_full.jpg

Image 6: https://pixelbrushstudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/1403451878497.jpg

Image 7: http://www.ew.com/sites/default/files/i/imgs/100714//Jim-Pam-Niagara-office_400.jpg

Image 8: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/d8/fa/1b/d8fa1b5fdd4405c1c03c65a41f07b600.jpg

Image 9: http://blog.mysanantonio.com/jakle06/files/2013/05/officejimpam.jpg

Image 10: http://reallylatereviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/jim-and-pam.jpg  (This is the source, but the link is no longer available)

Image 11: http://www.eonline.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/20100303/425.fischer.krasinski.theoffice.lc.030310.jpg

Image 12: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-muSy491aT_w/UZ4EGLxeBgI/AAAAAAAAAeI/XeL5DOVd34Q/s1600/jim+and+pam+family.png

Image 13: http://www.ew.com/sites/default/files/i/2012/10/08/the-office.jpg

* * * John Thornton and Margaret Hale

Image 1: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 1)

Image 2: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 1)

Image 3: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 2)

Image 4: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 2)

Image 5: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 4)

Image 6: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 4)

Image 7: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 3)

Image 8: http://www.richardarmitageonline.com/north-and-south/north-south-pictures-episode4.html

Image 9: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 5)

Image 10: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 11: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 12: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 13: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 14: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 15: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

* * *Captain Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot

Image1: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/displayimage.php?album=225&pid=492280#top_display_media

Image 2: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/albums/Persuasion%202007/P_2007_0522.jpg

Image 3: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/albums/Persuasion%202007/P_2007_1833.jpg

Image 4: http://www.janeitejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Persuasion-2007-persuasion-5250064-1024-576.jpg

Image 5: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/displayimage.php?album=225&pid=492761#top_display_media

Image 6: http://www.cap-that.com/austen/persuasion/2007/images/persuasion-2007_1041.jpg

Image 7: http://www.janeitejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Persuasion-2007-persuasion-5249840-1024-576.jpg

Image 8: http://www.janeitejournal.com/moving-pictures/through-the-eyes-of-a-janeite-2/through-the-eyes-of-a-janeite/persuasion-2007-persuasion-5249807-1024-576/

Image 9: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/albums/Persuasion%202007/P_2007_1708.jpg

Image 10: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/albums/Persuasion%202007/P_2007_1277.jpg

Image 11: http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/5200000/Persuasion-2007-persuasion-5251119-1024-576.jpg

Image 12: http://images2.fanpop.com/images/polls/127454_1223825332686_full.jpg

Image 13: http://www.cem.itesm.mx/signo/images/Notas/cinetv/Persuasion-2007-persuasion-5251156-1024-576.jpg

* * * Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet

Image 1: https://reginajeffers.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/lizzy1.jpg

Image 2: http://images1.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Elizabeth-Darcy-pride-and-prejudice-couples-954305_1280_554.jpg

Image 3: http://images2.fanpop.com/image/photos/9500000/Mr-Darcy-jane-austens-heroes-9589809-2560-1664.jpg

Image 4: https://terbsworld.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/pride_and_prejudice_0980.jpg

Image 5: https://imheathcliff.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/darcy_lizzy2005.jpg

Image 6: http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/2005-P-P-mr-darcy-and-elizabeth-683783_1920_1237.jpg

Image 7: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U56CTlGkx8

Image 8: http://breezybaldwin.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/sh4.jpg

Image 9: https://terbsworld.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/pride_and_prejudice_0980.jpg

Image 10: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/9570217930523482/

Image 11: http://images1.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Elizabeth-Darcy-pride-and-prejudice-couples-954122_1280_554.jpg

Image 12: https://vinnieh.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/elizabeth-and-mr-darcy.jpg

Image 13: http://images2.fanpop.com/images/polls/127418_1223818551045_full.jpg

* * * Almanzo Wilder and Laura Ingalls

Image 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzYG03I3whc

Image 2: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BVvMG2BIWs0/UtnyxArlXmI/AAAAAAAAgfQ/t4CduAeYOcE/s1600/Ya+wanna+talk+about+it+now.JPG

Image 3: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/361343570077920259/

Image 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

Image 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

Image 6: http://www.moviemarket.com/library/photos/291/291536.jpg

Image 7: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/OzYG03I3whc/hqdefault.jpg

Image 8: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

Image 9: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzYG03I3whc

Image 10: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 11: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzYG03I3whc

Image 13: http://auto.img.v4.skyrock.net/2203/84812203/pics/3106697159_1_3_SBzOa5hG.jpg

Image 14: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

Image 16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 17: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 18: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

* * * Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley

Image 1: http://data2.whicdn.com/images/173326929/large.jpg

Image 2: http://40.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ljnf0kbWtb1qak5hto1_500.jpg

Image 3: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/07/AOGG2-001.jpg

Image 4: http://sullivanmovies.com/articles/fashion-in-avonlea-gilbert-blythe/#jp-carousel-4246

Image 5: http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/AOGG-The-Sequel-anne-of-green-gables-600620_500_375.jpg

Image 6: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/09/Gilbertc.jpg

Image 7: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/07/AOGG2-002.jpg

Image 8: http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/17600000/Anne-and-Gilbert-anne-and-gilbert-17693147-500-333.jpg

Image 9: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/07/AOGG3-008.jpg

Image 10: http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/17600000/Anne-and-Gilbert-anne-and-gilbert-17693181-500-333.jpg

Image 11: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/07/102-580×377.jpg