I Saw Frozen For the First Time | Blogmas 2016 🎄

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1 DAY UNTIL CHRISTMAS (I know it’s the 25th, but this was supposed to go up on the 24th so just roll with it)

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I can’t apologize enough for my absence.  To make up for lost time, I’m going to be blogging through Hanukkah.  I will call it “Blogukkah.”  Genius!  I have a good excuse for not blogging this week.  I worked myself into the ground and got the flu.  I had the worst day of work possible Tuesday, and it went from bad to worse once I got home.  I spent both my days off resting and reenergizing for my last two shifts before Christmas.  I hope you follow my art blog and Youtube channel because I’ve been active on both those platforms all month long.  I’m not sure why I haven’t been posting as often for Blogmas this year.  I think it has a lot to do with my retail job.  I’ve felt like such a grinch and haven’t done anything outside of working.  No spirit and no fun means no good material for your reading pleasure.  I do have something to share with you tonight so let’s jump right in.  I watched Frozen for the first time.  I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

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Have you composed yourself?  Alrighty then!  I’ve heard a lot of different perspectives.  People loved the movie.  People liked the movie.  People hated the movie, some only because of the ridiculous amount of attention and hype.  I didn’t want my first viewing experience to be ruined by someone else’s opinion so I waited and waited and waited until the right time.  I’m glad I did because I was pleasantly surprised.  I knew the music would be good, but other than that I had no expectations.  I ended up liking it much more than I thought I would.  The animation is beautiful, and the characters are charming.  Idina Menzel’s voice is beautiful as always, but Kristen Bell’s voice stunned me.  WOW!  I love the end (SPOILER) when Kristoff is available to save Anna with an act of true love, but she ends up being saved by sisterly love.  That is a refreshing twist.  It’s adorable how Kristoff’s gruff exterior is slowly melted by Anna’s quirks.  I could watch an entire movie with him, Sven, & Olaf.  Those three crack me up!  I highly recommend this film if you love Disney, but wait until your mind is clear from the bombardment of other opinions.

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VLOGMAS – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUvowXnQBLryeHcwz801Rsx7d1upOgV8k

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Is Zootopia Too Political?

There is a time and a place for everything.  I am the first person to speak up if I think political topics are being discussed through an inappropriate medium.  Certain subjects are too much for kids to process at a young, immature age.  Zootopia deals with bullying and prejudice, two issues relevant to to this day and age.  Brava to the cast and crew because the subject matter is palatable for kids and poignant for adults.  The concept will keep kids’ attention while the story plants questions and leaves a lasting impression.  Why can’t bunnies be cops?  Why can’t foxes be trusted?  Do all predators have to be isolated because they are carnivorous by nature?  Prey and predators have been living together peacefully in the city of Zootopia for decades, but cases of predators reverting back to wild behavior create panic and tension.  The citizens start looking for the worst in each other rather than considering that evil intentions are at play.  This movie had me hooked from start to finish.  I highly recommend it both as entertainment and a teaching opportunity.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWM0ct-OLsM

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Life of an Insomniac

Oh.  My.  Gosh.  I have slept so well these past few weeks.  Of course that couldn’t last long.  The United States recently sprung forward one hour, and all my precious hours of sleep crashed & burned.  I thought I hated “Spring Forward” before, but in this moment, I absolutely 100% despise it.  I have tried all of my usual tricks: early bedtime, lavender spray, eucalyptus spearmint lotion, and reading a book.  Nothing is working!!!!!  I am beyond exhausted.  I have so many goals set in place for my blogs and Youtube channel, but working this past week has felt like beating my head against a wall.  I need sleep to function!!  I’m not fun to be around when I’m tired.  Actually, I’m not fun to be around when I’m well rested so scratch that last sentence. ;)  Hopefully tonight will bring peaceful sleep.  I need my rest.  I’m seeing “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” with my brother tomorrow.  Exciting!!

• This is what I’m dealing with: http://www.buzzfeed.com/elliewoodward/ffs-go-to-sleep#.ox58pEjBGv

I know the holiday is basically over, but I wish you all a belated Chag Purim Sameach!!

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– Lauren Michele <3

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College Graduation – One Year Later

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One year ago today, I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  I have struggled with doubt post-graduation.  My memories are vivid, but emotionally and physically I feel as though those three years never happened.  Sometimes a moment will suddenly come to mind and shock me; my response is “Oh my gosh!  That really happened!”  Feeling like the early mornings and sleepless nights never happened makes me doubt how hard I worked and if my achievement is really an impressive accomplishment.  I look at the people in my life continuing their education, and, in my brain, I look lazy in comparison.  Of course that is ridiculous, but I still struggle nonetheless.

On my first day of college,I spent my one hour break crying in a bathroom stall and telling my parents over the phone that I couldn’t finish.  They encouraged me to at least finish my first day and go from there.  I was focused on holding back tears the entire time, but I did make it through my second class.  The rest of the week was horrible, an experience I will never forget.  I slept on the couch and barely ate anything.  My fear was so intense, it made me physically ill.  It was a “Slower Than Molasses” process, but, week by week, I felt better.  I did not like my major.  There were photographers more experienced than me.  I had formal critiques every week.  Every step of the way, I felt like I was fighting against a wall.  I wanted to be anyplace but there, and yet I refused to let myself fail.  I survived!  I made it all the way through and walked a stage in front of a few hundred people to receive my degree.  It all happened so fast, but it did happen; I have the piece of paper to prove that.

Enough of the self-doubt and self-pity!!  I did not get myself through college.  God and the unwavering support of my family pushed and pulled me all the way to the finish line.

(Image Source: https://goodnessofgodministries.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/i-can-do/)

(Image Source: http://quotesgram.com/ohana-means-family-lilo-and-stitch-quotes/)

Words will never be enough to express my gratitude. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

(Image Source: http://wherebrownmeetsblue.com/2014/11/11/november-11th/)

*** To those of you currently attending college, you are doing great.  Don’t give up!  You can make it through! ***

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(Image Source: http://daily-blubb.blogspot.com/2015/06/shia-labeouf-do-it-motivational-speech.html)

*** To those of you who have graduated college, congratulations!  Please do not doubt yourself.  What you have accomplished took a lot of sacrifice, hard work, and dedication. ***

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Shout out to my fellow “Class of 2014” graduates!!  :D :D :D :D :D

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Dear Younger Self

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Two nights ago, I had an eye-opening experience.  I couldn’t sleep so I decided to read through my old diary, and what I found shocked me.  I used vague language and failed to mention most of the significant events from my childhood.  There was no substance!  I am a writer; when the need arises, I express myself through words to vent and heal.  In my poetry journals, I was completely open about what was going on around me and how I was feeling.  However, those poems were written within the last five years.  My diary was started four years prior to my discovery of poetry.  Perhaps I’ve been watching too much “Criminal Minds” because I have an analysis.  I wont give explicit details, but I went through a lot mentally and emotionally.  My memories are crystal clear, but, based on my diary, I was not aware of how I was being affected.  I brushed aside contributing factors as minor annoyances.  I believe that repression is why, years later, I react so explosively; I am overcompensating for my silence in the past.  I don’t want to drag on so I will end with these words, a note to my younger self and girls who have gone through/are going through similar struggles:

“You feel ugly, fat, alone, and hopeless.  You have given up on yourself because no matter how desperate you are to speak up, you are afraid.  Let go of your emotions; allow yourself to scream and cry.  When you feel better, pick yourself up and start anew with your head held high.  It may feel impossible now, but you make it farther than your young mind can imagine.  Do not lose the fire inside of you.  Never stop fighting!”

(Image Source: https://img0.etsystatic.com/024/0/6604282/il_570xN.509481350_gcnr.jpg)

(Image Source: https://fightingchronicpain.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/never-stop-fighting.jpg)

(Image Source: http://media.giphy.com/media/qwj1znuklIGc0/giphy.gif)

“And all those things I didn’t say, wrecking balls inside my brain.  I will scream them loud tonight.  Can you hear my voice this time?  This is my fight song, take back my life song, prove I’m alright song.  My power’s turned on.  Starting right now I’ll be strong.  I’ll play my fight song.  And I don’t really care if nobody else believes ’cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.”

“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1VInw-SKc

                                   (Image Source: http://frenchpressmornings.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Hebrews13.5.png)

(Image Source: http://megansmidt.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/jeremiah-29-11.jpg)

“In the midst of deep sorrow, I see Your light is breaking through.  The dark of night will not overtake me.  I am pressing into You.  Lord, You fight my every battle.  And I will not fear.  I am not alone.  I am not alone.  You will go before me.  You will never leave me.”

“I Am Not Alone” by Kari Jobe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfveawSAHJA

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I hope you feel better!  Feel free to talk and/or vent in the comment section.  This is a safe environment.  “See” you soon readers.  :)

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– Lauren Michele <3

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The Fickle and The Faithful

(Image Source: http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mc6ohtA7MX1qbhmovo9_1280.jpg)

Once again I find myself blogging early in the morning about a not-so-pleasant subject.  But, it must be done because bottled up emotions are never a good thing.  This morning I am venting about fickle friends.  OOOOOHHHHH SNAP!!!!!  You are probably thinking I am  calling out someone specific.  These thoughts are inspired by personal experiences, but I am speaking generally.  The first thing I want to address is this:  Everyone has been a fickle friend at one time.  Do not beat yourself up if you have thought badly of a friend, gossiped, yelled, or been physically mean.  Those things are terrible, but what truly matters is your heart and what you do to make things right.  Friendship is a two-way street; if all persons involved are willing to trust one another and fight together, that relationship will last.

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  – Proverbs 18:24

I have lost more than a handful of friends during my twenty-two years of life.  I have grown a thick skin and would even say I have a certain amount of bitterness in my heart towards friendships.  However, I would be lying if I said that losing friends does not hurt me in the slightest.  No one should ever feel like they are convenient for another person.  “Our parents know each other.”  “We do the same activity together week after week, year after year.”  “We go to the same school and attend the same classes.”  I know what it feels like to have compartmentalized friendships.  Once those “compartments” are no longer part of your life, the friendships eventually fade away.  Why?  The convenience is gone, and suddenly the friendships requires effort in order to last.  It hurts to share secrets and fears with someone for a significant number of years, and then one day find yourself on the outside looking in at their life.  No matter how high your walls are and how thick your armor is, the pain of losing a friend will find its way to your heart and sting.  I want to encourage those of you who have had similar experiences and/or feel like you have no friends.  You are not alone!  Do not give up on yourself!  The only people you need in your life are the people who want to be there.  I know this has been said a million times in a million different forms, but it is the truth.  I would rather have one genuine, through-thick-and-thin friend than numerous fake friends.

*** Cue the friendship quotes and gifs!!

My best friend Gabby :) :D :P

My brother John <3 <3 <3

(Source: http://www.prettydesigns.com/25-friendship-quotes-for-summer/)

This is just for laughs because I actually hate hugs.  LOL!

(Image Source: http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_llizvp2ILY1qfyncko1_500.gif)

*Tears*  Disney for the win!

(Image Source: https://38.media.tumblr.com/1a6aa6fb37763f6a3b2ff96d7a581597/tumblr_mm3bbne7R21so67mao1_500.gif)

I hope you feel encouraged.  I will “see” you very soon.  Feel free to leave comments and thoughts below.

Cherish your true friends and no matter what, be a friend readers!

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– Lauren Michele <3

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National Nurses Week 2015

National Nurses Week 2015 (Source: http://respiratory-care-sleep-medicine.advanceweb.com/SharedResources/Graphics/advanceweb/NW/NursesWeek2011/NationalNursesWeekBanner.jpg)

Today, May 6th, marks the beginning of National Nurses Week. In honor of this special week, I interviewed my mom Lisa Stewart.

Q: How long were you a nurse?

A: 15 years.

Q: Were any of your relatives nurses?

A: Yes. My mother was a nurse practitioner. That’s all I know. Just my mother.

Q: Why did you become a nurse?

A: I love working with people. And I love helping people.

Q: What specialties do you have experience in?

A: I worked on the Oncology unit, which is cancer. I’ve worked in the cardiology unit, which is with the heart. I’ve worked in [a] rehab hospital. And I was in intensive care, and I also had private patients.

Q: What is your favorite specialty?

A: Intensive care or emergency.

Q: Why?

A: It was just exciting.

Q: After leaving the medical field, has your experience been useful?

A: In a lot of occasions yes.

Q: If you could go back, would you change your major?

A: No. I think… No I wouldn’t change my major in nursing at all. I loved what I did. I think nursing has changed, however, since I’ve stopped nursing.

I speak from personal experience when I say nurses make a difference in people’s lives. My mom’s knowledge and experience not only improved my health growing up but also educated and prepared me for adulthood. I have watched my mom go in and out of nurse mode without hesitation in order to help both people that she knows and strangers. I may be a bit bias, but I think she is pretty special. I love you mom! <3

One more thing. I’d like to take some time to promote a TV show that me and my mom have been LOVING: “Call the Midwife.” The series focuses on midwifery and nursing in a poor section of London during the 1950s. If nursing is of particular interest to you, you should watch this show. It is fascinating and entertaining. Here is a link with more information: http://www.pbs.org/call-the-midwife/about/

“To do what nobody else will do, a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through; that is to be a nurse.” – Rawsi Williams

– Lauren Michele :)

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Growing Up Is Hard To Do

Growing Up Is Hard To Do (Source: https://nescbwi.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/childrensmuseumlogo.jpg)

Good morning Vietnam!!!  Sorry.  I saw an opportunity, and I went for it.  I know this a VERY early post, but I felt the need to write so here I am.  I recently had a sleepover with my best friend Gabby.  Words cannot even begin to describe how much fun we had being silly and reminiscing.  It felt like the good ol’ days homeschooling and playing together every day, a time when we had the freedom to dress up and imagine ourselves as anything we wanted to be.  So many lives were lived between middle school and high school; the experiences felt so real, and we learned something from each character.  I cannot speak for all children of this current generation, but I do not see as much dress-up and make-believe as I used to.  What a shame!  I’m sure Gabby would agree that letting our imaginations run wild made our childhood unforgettable in the best possible way.  The memories are countless, and we as adults are much more creative and thoughtful.  However, there is a downside to all of this.  Because my childhood was so great, growing up is proving to be a painful process.  I’m not having trouble maturing and taking on responsibility, but it is hard to move on.  College classes and jobs have taken over, and there is less time for hanging out and having fun.  I know there is no solution because adulthood cannot be stalled; it is a natural part of life.  The only thing I can do is treasure and enjoy each moment of nostalgia that comes along.  I believe there is a happy medium between carefree child and responsible adult; all it takes is wisdom, knowing the appropriate time for each role.  For instance, right now is an appropriate time for some ’90s cartoons.  “Rocket Power!!”

“Childhood lasts all through all through life.”  – Gaston Bachelard

Good night/morning readers. Stay young at heart!

– Lauren Michele :)

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Dresses and Llamas

February 26th, 2015(Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/danmeth/a-tribute-to-the-memes-of-february-26-2015)

February 26th, 2015, a day made famous by llamas on the loose and a dress of many colors.  Congratulations America!  You have finally cracked.  In all seriousness though, the social media frenzy was amusing.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, allow me to explain starting with the llamas.  Three llamas were scheduled to make a therapy visit to an assisted living facility in Sun City, Florida.  They did indeed arrive and provided company for over an hour.  The handlers took the trio outside for a bathroom break, and that is when the hijinks commenced.  One llama got spooked and successfully attempted to break loose, followed by a partner in crime.  The pair ran around the city for an hour before being corralled.

All of my information came from this article by Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/02/27/llama-drama-2-loose-llamas-lassoed-after-running-amok-in-phoenix-area/

For more amusement, here is Fox 10 Phoenix video footage of the last 34 minutes of the llama chase: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIFZQlhg-SQ

Time for The Dress!!!  The following story originated in Scotland and resulted in a social media frenzy and worldwide debate.  A bride-to-be’s mother sent her a picture of the dress she intended to wear to the wedding.  The bride and fiance found themselves arguing over what color the dress was.  The bride posted the picture on Facebook to get outside opinions.  No one could agree on what color it was.  A friend of the bride saw the online debate and decided to take it one step further by posting the image on Tumblr.  The debate took over the internet!  Here is the dress:

The Dress(Source: http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/content/ktrk/images/cms/536706_1280x720.jpg)

What color duo did you immediately see??  If you saw white and gold, you are part of the majority.  If you saw blue and black, you are part of the minority.  Sorry majority!  It has been confirmed that the dress is blue and black.  I saw blue and black the first time I saw the dress, and I still see blue and black.  The only time I saw white and gold is when I looked at a white and gold dress first.

There is a scientific theory that explains why different people see different colors.  I honestly do not care because I see blue and black, and those are the actual colors.  However, if you want to know, here is a New York Times article on the science: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/02/28/science/white-or-blue-dress.html?_r=0

The Original Story: http://www.businessinsider.com/origin-of-white-gold-or-black-blue-dress-2015-2

As if the color debate was not amusing enough, the dress was found on amazon.co.uk, and gag reviews were posted.  This sounds ridiculous, but some of the reviews are actually hilarious.  Here are some of my favorites:

“As an eye doctor, I placed this dress on display outside my office, and business went through the roof!”  (Anonymous)

“The good: Works equally well as formal or business casual attire.  The bad: Carves a crooked path through perceptual reality and leaves behind it a wake of confusion and existential crises. Also unforgiving on the hips. ”  (Credit to Daniel Wallace)

“I was going to a fancy white and gold party. (It’s a thing) so I bought this dress because clearly, despite the item description, it was the perfect color combination of white and gold. How disappointed I was when half the people attending told me I looked crazy in what they said was a “black and blue” dress. To make a long story short, I am now scared, depressed, friendless, back on my psych meds, questioning my entire existence and filing for divorce tomorrow. I gave it 3 stars Bc the fit is fantastic!”  (Credit to Joli Fine)

 

If you would like to read more gag reviews, here is the link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Roman-Womens-Detail-Bodycon-Dress/dp/B00SJEUIME/ref=sr_1_1?s=clothing&ie=UTF8&qid=1425096246&sr=1-1&keywords=Roman+Women%27s+Lace+Detail+Bodycon+Dress+Royal+Blue

I hope that rather than boring you this post gave you a good laugh.  Have a great day/afternoon/evening readers!

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”  – Charlie Chaplin

– Lauren Michele :)

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