Those Summer Nights

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

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

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

Don’t you just love summer?? 😡

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– Lauren Michele <3

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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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Nipping at Your Nose | Blogmas 2015

Image Source: http://www.howtogeek.com/177060/desktop-fun-snowflakes-wallpaper-collection-series-1/

It isn’t snowing in Southern California, except in the mountains, but it is finally cold.  And by cold, I mean freezing temperatures.  It’s about time!!!  I was getting fed up with sweating in my sweaters.  I’m still a little sick but much better than I was Sunday.  I’m working tonight so I spent my morning sleeping in and my afternoon relaxing on the couch blogging and watching Christmas movies.  Right now “Saved by the Bell” is playing.   I know, I know.  Such an exciting life!  I really wish I had more to blog about, but life in December has revolved around my new job.  “How is that going?” you might ask.  Forgive me for sounding like a whiny, broken record, but customers are so messy and inconsiderate.  The other day I found a Kate Spade perfume sans packaging on the floor under a display table.  KATE SPADE!!!  Who does that??  Last night, a fellow employee and I spent precious time cleaning up a spill in the beauty department.  Do you know how hard it is to wipe up beauty scrub?  Everything on the shelf was oily.  I don’t mind if a customer spills or break something because accidents happen, but tell an associate instead of leaving a mess that is potentially inconvenient/harmful to customers and/or other products.  Please & thank you.  In all seriousness, the job isn’t that bad.  I don’t hate it so that’s a plus.  On that note, I’m going to stop my rambling and go get ready for work.  I hope you are having a holly jolly Tuesday.  I shall return Thursday. ;)

* * * Get excited!!!  Today is the first day of Artmas.  Go check out the first artist – Artmas Day 1 – Amigurumi by Jean Greenhowe

Vlogmas – Lauren Michele

10 days until Christmas…

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Fall Tag

(Leaf Image Source: http://pngimg.com/download/3601)

I combined three Youtube tags and made my own tag by removing and adding questions.  Enjoy fellow autumn enthusiasts!

I Love Fall Tag by MissJenFABULOUS: http://youtu.be/uBzboXYO0LY (Unavailable)

Sweater Weather Tag by ItsMeLexie1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GznrLPa1Wks

The Fall Favorites Tag by Jaclyn Hill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPJSgxzC-jE

Fall Tag Video: Fall Tag | Lauren Michele ♥

• Q1:  What is the Weather Like Where You Live?

(Image Source: http://thehazelkey.com/wow-thanks-rant/)

• A1:  California did not get the memo that fall has begun.  Although it is finally starting to cool down, there is a chance of eighty degree temperatures this week.  NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!  I will cheat on the west coast and move to the east coast if the sun rears its ugly head.  Clouds and chill all day everyday for this girl!

• Q2:  Favorite Fall Nail Color

(Image Source: http://www.sinfulcolors.com/productMain/colorDetails/8)

• A2:  Black.  I am not picky about brands although me and Essie have a love/hate relationship.  I currently have Sinful Colors Professional in “Black on Black”, and it is a repurchase.

• Q3:  Favorite Fall Eyeshadow

(Image Source: http://www.makeupalley.com/product/showreview.asp/ItemId=103910/Exotic-Berries-Quad/Milani/Eye-Shadow)

• A3:  When the air starts to get chilly, I immediately reach for my Milani “Exotic Berries” quad.  These colors not only blend well with each other but also with other eyeshadows.  I am not sure about other eye colors, but this quad does wonders for green eyes.

• Q4:  Most Worn Sweater/Sweatshirt

(Image Source: https://poshmark.com/listing/USC-vintage-hoodie-5470d92af71a860549012561)

• A4:  My USC sweatshirt from Forever 21.  I wore this hoodie so much in college, students made jokes when I showed up wearing something else.  Very funny!  No, I did not attend USC.  Growing up, I was influenced by family friends.  FIGHT ON TROJANS!!

• Q5:  Favorite Fall Clothing Item

(Image Source: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Womens-Mossimo-Supply-Co-Khloe-Fold-Over-Boots-/271570299387)

• A5:  Mossimo Supply Co Khloe Fold Over Boots.  This pair of shoes goes with every color of the rainbow and makes me look cool and heroic like Katniss.  ;)

• Q6:  Favorite Fall Drink

(Image Source: http://sgadvertisings.blogspot.com/2012/09/starbucks-venti-sized-salted-caramel.html)

• A6:  Tall, decaf, sugar free Salted Caramel Mocha Frappucino/Latte with soy milk and no whipped cream.  I’m actually drinking a frap right now.  Salty & sweet.  :)

The Official Recipe: Mocha sauce and toffee nut syrup are combined with coffee and milk, then topped with sweetened whipped cream, caramel drizzle and a blend of turbaned sugar and sea salt.

Recipe Source: http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/espresso/salted-caramel-mocha

• Q7:  Favorite Candy

(Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%26M%27s)

(Image Source: https://www.mansfieldpaper.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=productflypage.tpl&product_id=1635&category_id=367&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=2&vmcchk=1&Itemid=2)

• A7:  I don’t really like candy, but two candies I can tolerate are M&Ms and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

• Q8:  Favorite Thanksgiving Food/Dessert

(Image Source: http://www.campbellskitchen.com/recipes/classic-green-bean-casserole-24099

(Image Source: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20131120005407/en/Sara-Lee®-Desserts-Launches-Hotline-Pie-Predicaments)

• A8:  Green bean casserole & pumpkin pie.  What more can I say?  These two dishes are Heaven on earth.

• Q9:  Favorite Fall Candle

(Image Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwisq_LA3J3JAhUJR4gKHXxrDWoQjhwIBQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fpin%2F506232814341353495%2F&psig=AFQjCNHf3a-tq1Jv26BqN4QOx7A4GbYRHw&ust=1448064958234680)

• A9:  Cranberry Woods – “Fresh, tart cranberries, blackcurrant and warm cinnamon bark combine in a delightful fragrance inspired by the magic of the woods during harvest time.”

• Q10:  Favorite Fall Song

(Image Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2936352/Southampton-school-pupils-nightmares-seeing-Michael-Jackson-s-Thriller-video.html)

• A10:  “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.  First of all this song screams fall/Halloween.  Second, I don’t know of any other songs that are specifically about fall.  Third, after Halloween I listen to nothing but Christmas music.

Fun Fact:  My dance class did a tribute dance to “Thriller” the year that MJ passed away.  We wore old clothes and messy makeup.  It was a fun way to deal with sad circumstances.

“Thriller” Music Video/Short Film:

• Q11:  Football: Yay or Nay

(Image Source: https://instagram.com/p/9yiFCByoEV/?taken-by=usc_athletics)

(Image Source: http://www.sports-logos-screensavers.com/DenverBroncos.html)

(Image Source: http://www.sports-logos-screensavers.com/NewYorkGiants.html)

• A11: YES!!!  My favorite college team is the USC Trojans; my favorite NFL team is the Denver Broncos; and the New York Giants are my #2 NFL team.  :)

• Q12:  Favorite Fall TV Show

(Image Source: http://starcasm.net/archives/319691)

• A12:  DUH!  “The Walking Dead.”  I also love “Once Upon a Time”, but “The Walking Dead” is #1.  Forever and always!

“The Walking Dead” Season 1 Trailer:

• Q13:  Favorite Fall Movie

(Image Source: Amazon.com: An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving: Jacqueline Bissett …)

• A13:  I am not really a fan of Halloween, but if I were to pick Halloween movies to watch, I can handle “Hocus Pocus”, “The Addams Family”, “Addams Family Values”, and “Halloween” (Original and New version).  However, my favorite fall movie is “An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving.”  It is based on a short story by Louisa May Alcott, author of “Little Women.”

“An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving” Trailer:

• Q14:  Scary Movies – Yay or Nay

(Image Source: http://humor.gunaxin.com/terrifyingly-scary-halloween-pumpkins/167307)

• A14:  NAY!!!  I watch some horror movies but only to spend quality time with my brother.  That. Is. LOVE.

• Q15:  Favorite Fall Memory

(Image Source: http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-cakes/2011/09/fall-wedding-cakes#slide=3)

(Image Source: http://www.nutcracker.com/index.php)

• A15: Me and my dad are both November babies so my family always comes up with fun stuff to celebrate both birthdays.  Another great memory is my time as a dancer in the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker.  Auditions usually took place in September, and rehearsals lasted until the shows at the end of November.

Moscow Ballet Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/nutcracker.moscowballet/

Moscow Ballet Website: http://www.nutcracker.com/

Moscow Ballet Youtube Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/user/moscowballet

You may or may not see me at 8:01 – 9:24 :)

• Q16:  Favorite Thing About Fall

(Image Source: http://www.playbuzz.com/lafayetteimage10/which-fall-activity-is-for-you)

• A16:  Fall is my favorite season so I love everything about it.  :D

If you want to watch me answer these questions, watch the video:  Fall Tag | Lauren Michele ♥

* * * Remember readers: 13 days until Blogmas, 27 days until Artmas (on my art blog), and 37 days until Christmas.

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Florida Travels Part 3 – The Highlight Reel

(Image Source: http://saszombieassault.wikia.com/wiki/File:Cute-sun-with-sunglasses-clipart-yTkg5reGc.jpeg)

Part 1: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/florida-travels-part-1-vacation-woes/

Part 2: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/florida-travels-part-2-disneyland-vs-disney-world/

The time has come.  Let’s look at the highlights from my trip to “The Sunshine State.”

1.  Leading up to the trip, I was freaking out due to the constant rain in Florida.  I knew my family desperately needed a vacation and didn’t want anything to go wrong.  Praise Jesus hallelujah!!!  It barely sprinkled while we were there.

2.  For the first time in my life, I got to stay in a resort.  The experience was not perfect, but overall it was really nice and relaxing.

3.  Me and my brother love to swim.  Unfortunately, we do not own a pool or live near a pool.  It felt great to have a pool nearby for 7 days.  The hot tub was the cherry on top, especially after walking all day at Disney World.  ;)

4.  My family ate at Freddy’s and Shake Shack for the first time, two places that have delicious burgers and to die for frozen custard.

5.  Staying with the theme of food, we also ate Brazilian food at Gilson’s Brazilian Restaurant.  YUM!

6.  Seeing Disney World for the first time was pretty special.  I rode/visited the following attractions:

• Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Magic Kingdom)

• Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (Magic Kingdom)

• Kali River Rapids (Animal Kingdom)

• Kilimanjaro Safaris (Animal Kingdom)

• Pirates of the Caribbean (Magic Kingdom

• Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom)

• Swiss Family Treehouse (Magic Kingdom)

• The Magic Carpets of Aladdin (Magic Kingdom)

• World Showcase (Epcot)

7.  Hearing foreign accents and languages for 3 days straight was music to my ears.

8.  While in Hollywood Studios, I noticed a group of kids lining up to meet a Disney Junior character.  Thinking of my niece, I walked over to see who the character was.  I was so excited to discover it was Doc McStuffins.  I immediately recorded a video and sent it to my sister so she could show my niece.  Hearing that my niece was watching the video over and over again made my day.  :)

9.  My family has endured a lot over the past three years.  Finally being together, relaxing, and laughing, the experience is indescribable.  My heart was and is very happy and satisfied.  <3

10.  Last but definitely not least, this is the highlight of my year.  Mom, John, and Lauren are standing at the entrance of Reebok waiting for dad to make a purchase.  A man walks in looking for a friend.  He yells “Marco!”  Mom promptly yells back “Polo!”

Are you done laughing???  I’m not!!!  We had to walk out of the store because we were laughing so loud.

I hope you enjoyed this 3-part series about my first trip to Orlando, Florida.  I have one more Disney-themed post coming your way so keep an eye out for that.

Check out my first Disney World Vlog:

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– Lauren Michele <3

Previous Post: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/florida-travels-part-2-disneyland-vs-disney-world/

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Florida Travels Part 2 | Disneyland vs Disney World

(Image Source: http://disneydose.com/disneyland-v-walt-disney-world/#axzz3oJ2zYWzd)

Let’s get ready to rumble!!  Although it has been a little over a year since I visited Disneyland, I was able to determine differences between these two parks and decide my favorite.

– Weather –

In this category, Disneyland is the winner.  The dry air makes for a much better experience when one is on their feet all day long.  The Florida humidity was miserable to endure, and it brought back awful memories from my time living in Texas.  Sweat?  No thank you!

– Size –

Disneyland is at a disadvantage in terms of “wiggle room” therefore when a new ride is opened, more often than not an existing ride has to go.  Sometimes the change is good, sometimes it is bad.  Disney World has plenty of room for expansion; however, more room also means larger crowds.  Because I am most definitely not a people person and both parks get ridiculously busy, I am calling this a category a draw.

– Accessibility –

Disneyland is the winner of this category because its two parks, Downtown Disney, and the parking lots are close together and within walking distance.  Disney World is so big that a significant part of the day is spent catching a bus or the monorail to visit another park or leave.  This requires extra walking/running, and it takes up park time.

– Rides –

Most of the rides I went on were different in a subtle manner, specifically “Space Mountain” and “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.”    The one ride I went on that was unique to Disney World was the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which was really fun; however, much like Radiator Springs Racers at Disneyland, it was disappointingly short.  The changes that caught my attention at Disney World were Pirates of the Caribbean being short and the lack of an Indiana Jones ride (there is only a show).  Those are two of my favorite rides therefore Disneyland wins this category.

– Cleanliness –

The bathrooms and a few of the park areas were dirty, and, in certain areas such as Animal Kingdom, the tables only had two chairs therefore if a family took chairs to accommodate a larger party, others would not have seating.  I understand that it is hard to keep up with such a large crowd, but it is very much noticeable and inconvenient.  However, I am not picking a winner because I do not recall the state of Disneyland.

– Animal Kingdom –

Animal Kingdom is unique to Disney World.  I love going to the zoo so I was really excited to visit this park, but it exceeded my expectations.  I had the pleasure of seeing numerous gorillas, watching a hippo swim from an underwater point-of-view, and coming closer than ever to zebras, my favorite exotic animal, on a safari ride/tour.  This park was a pleasant surprise.

– Pricing –

One more thing I would like to discuss regarding both parks is the ticket and pass prices.  I am outraged that the pricing continues to rise.  Disney makes MILLIONS of dollars per year.  Why do people have to go broke in order to enjoy a fun day at a Disney park??!!!  I guarantee that the prices could be significantly lowered, and income would remain steady.

– The Results –

There are many more categories to debate such as castle size (FYI, I don’t care), but I chose only those that directly affected me and/or caught my attention.  Disneyland is the obvious winner based on both the categories and my California roots.  Disney World is a fun adventure to plan for and experience at least once, but Disneyland is much better in terms of frequency.  Once again, keep in mind this is my personal opinion, and I am a biased California girl.  ;)

Stay tuned for part 3 A.K.A. “The Highlight Reel.”  :)

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– Lauren Michele <3

Previous Post: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/florida-travels-part-1-vacation-woes/

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Florida Travels Part 1 | Vacation Woes

(Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shookphotos/5727898411)

My family recently returned from a 7-day trip to Orlando, Florida.  Expect the unexpected because I am starting with the negatives of the trip.  Prepare yourself for ranting and venting.

(Image Source: http://www.theprospect.net/what-its-like-to-travel-through-airports-a-gifs-piece-25245)

1.  I have always wanted to travel the world, but I am having second thoughts.  On the way to Florida, the layover in Dallas lasted four hours instead of one hour; sleeping in an airport is definitely not comfortable.  Despite not having problems in the past, I got extremely sick during the flights.  In a nutshell, I am no longer a fan of flying.

(Image Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mathewg5/18-questions-sweaty-girls-are-tired-of-being-asked-dst2?sub=3400732_3475297#.al3we0wOdx)

2.  I lived in Texas for 13 years, and the humidity was unbearable.  Visiting Florida was like reliving a nightmare.  Non-stop sweating, irritability, and face breakouts.  Fun stuff!!

3.  I have heard tales of the hissing cockroaches in the sunshine state.  I believed they were big but thought the size was exaggerated.  NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!  Me and my brother, while exploring the resort grounds, discovered the dead body of a cockroach.  Believe me when I tell you the stories are not an exaggeration.  Hissing cockroaches are BIG.

(Image Source: https://nicolegoldfarb.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/10-things-ive-learned-about-living-in-nyc/)

4.  Hotel prices are ridiculous.  I paid $14 for SPF 15 sunscreen.  Seriously???

(Image Source: http://memegenerator.net/instance/24458614)

5.  Where are all the kids coming from??  Is there a fall break from grade school that I have never heard of??  Either that or everyone in Florida is home-schooled.

6.  Sports highs are amazing.  Sports lows, not so much.  Unfortunately, during the trip, the Anaheim Angels came up one game short of the playoffs, and the USC Trojans were upset by Washington.  My heart is still recovering.

(Image Source: https://ethiopiacatalog.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/peace-corps-abcs/)

7.  I had a blast at Disney World, but the crowds were both unexpected and annoying.  My family purposefully went during October because it is supposed to be a slow month.  If that is a slow month, I cannot even fathom what summertime is like.  The crowds were massive, and the people were, more often than not, rude.  I had a lot of fun, but I would be lying if I said the amount of people didn’t make me miserable more than once.

(Image Source: http://smileslovesyou.tumblr.com/post/30292461109)

8.  Never EVER wear converse to a theme park.  For the first two out of three days at Disney World, I wore Converse.  NEVER AGAIN!!  I cannot even begin to explain the excruciating pain, limping, and blisters I endured.  Thankfully, my family lifted my spirits by making me laugh and allowing me to sit and rest every now and then.

(Image Source: http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3t8s5i)

9.  Vacation is exhausting!  I know that might sound snobby and/or ungrateful, but I am being dead serious.  I need a post-vacation vacation.

Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon.  The theme is Disney World versus Disneyland.  :)

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– Lauren Michele <3

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