2018 Reading Wrap-Up

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For once, I completed my reading goal with time to spare & exceeded it by two. I set my goal at 55 and completed 57 books. Yay! 🎉 Now for the semi-disappointing news: I didn’t complete the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. I could beat myself up, but reading is supposed to be fun, not a competition. Not all of the 2018 challenges matched up with what I wanted to read last year, and that is okay.

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📚 A Classic You’ve Been Meaning to Read

📖 A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

📖 Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

📖 Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

📖 The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

📖 The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

📚 A Book Recommended by Someone With Great Taste

📖 As Sure as the Dawn by Francine Rivers

📖 The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

📖 The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

📚 A Book in Translation

📖 N/A 

📚 A Book Nominated for an Award in 2018

📖 Obsidio by Amy Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

📚 A Book Of Poetry, a Play, or an Essay Collection

📖 N/A 

📚 A Book You Can Read in a Day

📖 Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn

📖 Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

📖 On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder

📖 Scream All Night by Derek Milman

📖 Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

📖 Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

📖 The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

📖 The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

📖 The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Athur Conan Doyle

📖 The Little Android by Marissa Meyer

📖 The Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn Keene

📖 The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

📖 The Queen’s Army by Marissa Meyer

📚 A Book That’s More Than 500 Pages

📖 Gemina by Amy Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

📖 Obsidio by Amy Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

📖 Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

📚 A Book by a Favorite Author

📖 The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters

📚 A Book Recommended by a Librarian or Indie Bookseller

📖 Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire

*Note: This category doesn’t (necessarily) count. Even though Hiddensee is on an IndieBound list, I didn’t read it because of their recommendation.

📚 A Banned Book

📖 N/A 

📚 A Memoir, Biography, or Book of Creative Nonfiction

📖 The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

📚 A Book by an Author of a Different Race, Ethnicity, or Religion Than Your Own

📖 Gemina by Amy Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Australian)

📖 Harvest of Gold by Tessa Afshar (Persian)

📖 Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar (Persian)

📖 Obsidio by Amy Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Australian)

📖 The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (Dutch)

📖 The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel (Mexican)

*Note: The definition of “ethnicity” is different depending on who you ask so I relied solely on where an author was born. I didn’t include British authors because of my own family’s roots, but perhaps that was just overthinking on my part.

I also read:

📖 A Fatal Winter by G.M. Malliet

📖 Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery

📖 Antidote to Venom by Freeman Wills Crofts

📖 Cress by Marissa Meyer

📖 Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

📖 Fairest by Marissa Meyer

📖 Fudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

📖 Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

📖 In The Woods by Tana French

📖 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

📖 Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

📖 Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

📖 Reign: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel by Ginger Garrett

📖 Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

📖 The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

📖 The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

📖 The Centurion’s Wife by Davis Bunn & Janette Oke

📖 The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd

📖 The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson

📖 The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah E. Ladd

📖 The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson

📖 The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

📖 The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

📖 The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen

📖 The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn Keene

📖 The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

📖 The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

📖 Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

📖 We Wish You a Murderous Christmas by Vicki Delany

📖 Winter by Marissa Meyer

📖 Written on the Wind by Judith Pella

Total: 9(ish) Challenges & 57 Books

⬇️  Here are all of my 2018 reading-related links  ⬇️

2017 Wrap-Up | 2018 Reading Challenge

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📚 Stay tuned for my 2019 reading plans! 📚  

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– Lauren Michele ❤

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2017 Wrap Up | 2018 Reading Challenge

With twelve minutes to spare in 2017, I completed my Goodreads goal of reading 50 books. Thanks to the diversity of those books, I also completed the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. Let’s recap the categories accompanied by detailed & extensive lists:

📚 A Book you Chose for the Cover – Before we dive into the list, I want to clarify that I define a cover buy as a book I picked up because the cover caught my eye, which doesn’t  mean I didn’t look at the synopsis:

📖 My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Ally Carter, David Levithan, Gayle Forman, Holly Black, Jenny Han, Kelly Link, Kiersten White, Laini Taylor, Matt De La Peña, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, & Stephanie Perkins | I almost didn’t buy this book, but I couldn’t get the cover out of my head.

📖 The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudis

📖 Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet

📖 Murder on the Cliffs by Joanna Challis

📚 A Book With a Reputation for Being Un-Put-Down-Able

And Then There Were None & Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie | Some people might also include Death on the Nile, myself included.

📖 Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

📖 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

📖 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, …Chamber of Secrets, …Prisoner of Azkaban, & …Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

📖 Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

📖 Cinder & Heartless by Marissa Meyer

📖 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

📖 The Rook, The Knight, The Bishop, & The Queen by Steven James ( bestselling author & series )

📚 A Book Set Somewhere You’ve Never Been but Would Like to Visit

🇪🇬 Egypt – Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie, Crocodile on the Sandbank & The Curse of Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens,  And Then There Were NoneCrooked House, & The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Cliffs by Joanna Challis, Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon,  & Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland – The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

📚 A Book You’ve Already Read – I did a lot of rereading last year:

📖 Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories & Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

📖 Kristy’s Great Idea, Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls, & The Truth About Stacey by Ann M. Martin

📖 Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

📖 Mind Over Monsters, To Catch a Vampire, & Death Takes a Holiday by Jennifer Harlow

📖 Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

📖 Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

📖 Tutu Deadly & Tapped Out by Natalie M. Roberts

📖 The Rook, The Knight, & The Bishop by Steven James

📖 White Christmas Pie by Wanda E. Brunstetter

📚 A Juicy Memoir In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox by Carol Burnett. The ending made me cry. No lie!

📚 A Book About Books or ReadingThe Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan & The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

📚 A Book in a Genre You Usually Avoid – These aren’t all genres I avoid on purpose; I just don’t reach for them often:

📖 My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Ally Carter, David Levithan, Gayle Forman, Holly Black, Jenny Han, Kelly Link, Kiersten White, Laini Taylor, Matt De La Peña, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, & Stephanie Perkins ( contemporary )

📖 Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff ( science fiction )

📖 In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox by Carol Burnett ( memoir)

📖 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern ( fantasy )

📖 Mind Over Monsters, To Catch a Vampire, & Death Takes a Holiday by Jennifer Harlow ( supernatural )

📖 The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan ( contemporary )

📖 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, …Chamber of Secrets, …Prisoner of Azkaban, & …Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling ( fantasy )

📖 Cinder & Glitches by Marissa Meyer ( science fiction )

📚 A Book You Don’t Want to Admit You’re Dying to ReadHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. I’m not embarrassed by this series but rather ashamed that I didn’t pick it up sooner. I also read …Chamber of Secrets, …Prisoner of Azkaban, & …Goblet of Fire.

📚 A Book in the Backlist of a New Favorite AuthorPearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

📚 A Book Recommended by Someone With Great Taste – These are recommendations by bookstagrammers, booktubers & friends:

📖 Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

📖 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

📖 Night by Elie Wiesel

📖 Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon

📖 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, …Chamber of Secrets, …Prisoner of Azkaban, & …Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

📖 Cinder & Heartless by Marissa Meyer

📖 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

📚 A Book You Were Excited to Borrow or Buy but Haven’t Read Yet – Though I’m excited about every book I purchase, this list includes the titles I’d been dying to read but had yet to do so:

📖 And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

📖 The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters

📖 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

📖 Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

📖 Heartless by Marissa Meyer

📖 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

📖 The Queen by Steven James

📚 A Book About a Subject or Topic You Already Love – Another thorough list:

📖 And Then There Were None, Crooked House, Death on the Nile, Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories, & Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie ( mystery )

📖 The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie ( Christmas & mystery )

📖 The Unexpected Guest by Agatha Christie & Charles Osborne ( mystery )

📖 My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Ally Carter, David Levithan, Gayle Forman, Holly Black, Jenny Han, Kelly Link, Kiersten White, Laini Taylor, Matt De La Peña, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, & Stephanie Perkins ( the holidays )

📖 The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudis ( crime )

📖 In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox by Carol Burnett ( The Carol Burnett Show )

📖 The Mystery of the Stone Tiger by Carolyn Keene ( mystery )

📖 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ( Christmas )

📖 Crocodile on the Sandbank & The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters ( Egyptology & mystery )

📖 Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet ( mystery )

📖 Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire ( I already love the musical! )

📖 The Postcard Killers by James Patterson ( crime )

📖 Kingdom Come by Jane Jensen ( Amish life & crime )

📖 The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan ( books & reading )

📖 Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon ( mystery )

📖 Murder on the Cliffs by Joanna Challis ( mystery )

📖 Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder ( pioneer life )

📖 Cinder & Glitches by Marissa Meyer ( fairytales )

📖 Heartless by Marissa Meyer ( Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland )

📖 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak ( books & reading )

📖 Tutu Deadly & Tapped Out by Natalie M. Roberts ( dance & mystery )

📖 The Rook, The Knight, The Bishop, & The Queen by Steven James ( crime )

📖 Land of Silence & Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar ( Bible times )

📖 Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen by Vicki Delaney ( Christmas & mystery )

📖 White Christmas Pie by Wanda E. Brunstetter ( Amish life & Christmas )

Total: 12 Categories & 50 Books

Here are links to my reading updates & 2017 Goodreads Challenge:

2016 Wrap Up & 2017 Reading Challenges ( V I D E O )

January Reading Wrap Up | 2017 Reading Challenge Update

BookTube-A-Thon

October 2017 Wrap Up | November 2017 TBR

Murder on the Orient Express Vlog

November Wrap + December TBR

📚 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge 📚 

Due to reading fatigue, I am not officially committing to the 2018 Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. However, I’m not giving up completely. I may join at any point during the year so I’m leaving the categories here for reference.

📚 A Classic You’ve Been Meaning to ReadA Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

📚 A Book Recommended by Someone With Great Taste – TBD

📚 A Book in TranslationThe Time in Between by Maria Duenas

📚 A Book Nominated for an Award in 2018 – TBD

📚 A Book Of Poetry, a Play, or an Essay CollectionRomeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

📚 A Book You Can Read in a DayLittle House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

📚 A Book That’s More Than 500 PagesHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

📚 A Book by a Favorite AuthorMurder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

📚 A Book Recommended by a Librarian or Indie BooksellerThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

📚 A Banned BookTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

📚 A Memoir, Biography, or Book of Creative NonfictionTalking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham

📚 A Book by an Author of a Different Race, Ethnicity, or Religion Than Your OwnHarvest of Gold by Tessa Afshar

Last but not least, I pledged to read 55 books on Goodreads. I’m not going to push myself because reading should be fun, not a competition. Regardless of whether or not I read a certain number of books, I’m doing something I love. Happy reading!

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

– Lauren Michele ❤︎

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Anthology Candles

Today I am reviewing products from Anthology Candles, a company owned by Rheney Williams and her husband Stephen.  Their soy products are whimsically inspired by music, movies, & books.  Keep reading for information on their candles, mini candles, & wax tarts.  My Youtube review video will be posted at the end for those of you who want to see the products in action.

Candles | $16.00

The top white layer is clean river water; the middle lavender layer is a floral blend; and the bottom purple layer is a mixture of flowers & water.  There is no need to burn the candle down to smell each layer; it immediately smells clean and floral.  If you like strongly scented candles that fill a room within minutes, this is not the product for you.  It took an hour for me to smell the scent, and even then I had to remain within a foot or two to enjoy it.  Once it is burnt, the candle’s scent is hidden by the smell of burnt wick.  As time goes on, the scent comes back and gets stronger.  The draw of this candle is definitely the aesthetic.  The design, inspired by the lantern scene in the Disney film Tangled, is spot on.  The white wax becomes transparent when burning and makes the candle appear as though it is a lantern.  The effect is mesmerizing!  If you are planning a Tangled party, think about investing in these candles and creating your very own “Floating Lanterns” scene.

• Find the candles here: https://anthologycandles.com/collections/candles

Mini Candles | $14 per sampler pack

Instead of purchasing more big candles, I got a sampler pack of four mini candles.  Belle’s Library is aged library books, hint of leather, & wild roses.  To me, it smells nutty with a hint of rose.  My nose is obviously confusing the smell of old books for nuts.  I don’t know of any other way to describe it.  It just smells nutty!  Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is bakery cakes with vanilla icing, chamomile tea, and a twist of cinnamon.  I do smell cinnamon and occasionally vanilla but mostly an icee.  I know that sounds crazy but it’s true!  Part of Your World is crisp coastal breeze & warm golden sand.  I smell a blend of vanilla & flowers, and the strength of the scent reminds me of Bath & Body Works products.  Tink’s Flight is fresh verbena, sweet coconut, & tangy lime.  I smell every single one of those notes.  The scent is sweet & sour just like Tinker Bell.  Time for the bad news.  The wicks are folded down in the packaging so when it comes time to light them, zip zilch NADA!  I had to trim the wicks a little bit and wipe them gently with a paper towel; I wasted a lot of matches before finally getting flames.  Once lit, the candles look pretty but don’t smell at all.  These sampler candles are fine if you plan on testing the scents without flame.  It might be a better investment to know what scents you like and buy a few big candles.

• Find the mini candles here: https://anthologycandles.com/collections/sample-packs

Wax Tarts | $25 for 4 different scents

* Note: Wax tarts are cubes of scent-infused wax.  Once placed in a warmer (e.g. Scentsy), the heat melts the wax and releases the scent.

I bought one sampler and received four different wax tarts.  Rivendell is amber, oakmoss, twilight woods, & woodland foliage.  I wish I could tell you that my dream of being a Middle Earth elf was fulfilled by this product.  Alas, it smells like play-doh, and the warmer is no help at all.  However, due to circumstances I cannot explain, the scent is improving.  There is hope yet!  Soaring Over is orange blossoms, orange groves, and salty sea breeze.  The scent is inspired by the Disney park ride Soaring Over California.  It smells of oranges and takes me right back to my childhood in Orange County.  The Black Pearl is cannonball smoke, mildewy wood, musty “pirates” water, & salty sea breeze.  I did not like this funky scent at first.  All you smell is must, mildew, and smoke.  Surprise of the year, it smells much more pleasant in the warmer.  If you aren’t into scents that are clean, floral, and/or sweet, this scent might float your boat (get it?!).  Wilderness Lodge is campfire and a forest tree mix of juniper, pine, & spruce.  This spicy forest scent will be p-e-r-f-e-c-t for Christmastime.  Overall, I am very happy with the scents I purchased.  However, much like the candles, it takes an hour or more for the scent to be recognizable, and it does not fill the room; you have to be within a few feet of the warmer to enjoy the scent.

* Rivendell scent description courtesy of http://ritareviews.net/2015/11/anthology-candles-spotlight-lord-of-the-rings/ *

• Find the wax tarts here: https://anthologycandles.com/collections/wax-tarts

Conclusion:

The novelty of Anthology Candles is attractive.  I would recommend their products for two things:

1. The candles and wax tarts are best enjoyed in close proximity (e.g. bedside table or living room side table).

2. I have seen the candles used as decor all over Instagram, especially on bookshelves.

My overall experience was good.  There are only a few changes I would suggest.

1. There are descriptions on the website for the candles but not the wax tarts.  This works out fine if the wax tart happens to have a candle, but if it doesn’t, there is no way of knowing what the scent is.  Also, the packaging gives no indication of the scent.

2. The mini candle sampler packs are not customizable.  There are three packs available, each with a set group of candles.  I am not sure of the possible complications, but it would be nice to have a customization option in the future.

3. The wax tarts can only be purchased in groups of four.  Once again, a customization option would be nice in the future.

4. These products would be much more enjoyable and worth the money if the scents were stronger.

• My review video:

• If you’re interested in more information on Anthology Candles, here are some links to get you started:

Article – http://ritareviews.net/2015/10/the-craft-behind-the-candles-by-rheney-williams/

Etsy – https://www.etsy.com/shop/AnthologyCandles

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/anthologycandles/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/anthologycandles/?hl=en

Twitter – https://twitter.com/anthologycandle

Website – https://anthologycandles.com

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

– 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.

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

– Lauren Michele <3

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Once Upon a Disney

I promised you more Disney so prepare yourself for an avalanche of nothing but DISNEY.  These decisions were very, VERY difficult so please understand if I give more than one answer.

* * * NOTE: Press Command + to make the blog bigger, and click on each image to make it bigger. * * *

• Favorite Disney Park – Disneyland

I’m a loyal California girl. 🌞

• Favorite Disney Park Attraction – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

This ride has just enough twists and turns to excite me but not scare me.  I am not ashamed to admit I am a wimp when it comes to roller coasters.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVP82m5KdDY

• Favorite Moment/Experience at a Disney Park

I have numerous memories from visiting Disney parks over the past 10+ years, but there is no time like the first time.  I was eight years old, disney-obsessed, and way too excited to notice crowds and hurting feet.  No negatives, only positives.  I still have my autograph book and pictures from that trip.  Good times!

• Favorite Disney Channel Show – Lizzie McGuire

I am the brunette version of Lizzie.  One disaster after another. 😑

Do You Actually Remember Lizzie McGuire? – http://www.playbuzz.com/emilyg11/do-you-actually-remember-lizzie-mcguire

I answered 12/15 questions correctly.  Not bad!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0TYjqBqgBo

Lizzie McGuire Episodes on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/search?q=Lizzie+McGuire&type=episodes

• Favorite Animated Disney Channel Show – Kim Possible

Do you remember the Kim Possible clothing line??  I do!!  I went through a looong Kim Possible/spy phase.  It was fantastic. 😄

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I43SMbqOMmY

Kim Possible Episodes on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/search?q=Kim+Possible&type=episodes

• Favorite Disney Channel Original Movie(s) – Stuck in the Suburbs, Cheetah Girls 12, and the High School Musical trilogy

Baby Taran Killam??  Yes please!!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCbIf8RvtIo

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geFANFWpIB8

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-Zwp_CQpp8

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZpSOSfymV4

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7SPi5fkT5Q

Me and my friends used to pretend we were the Cheetah Girls; my identities were Chanel and Dorinda.  I still know most of the lyrics to their songs.  Cheetahlicious!!

I had a sleepover when HSM 2 premiered, and, when I hosted a sleepover for my dance school friends, we watched the trilogy.  We’re all in this together!

*Note: I know #3 isn’t a Disney Channel original movie, but I couldn’t mention one without the other two.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6EOUaWscrE

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3G1BogR-68

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x42aPmtnVDg

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UiHFHF-Nqk

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HcCNMbrpUY

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEQXcbqvbT0

• Favorite Disney Princess Movie – Mulan & Aladdin

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpM0UNsy5s

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00BZSEWFhTo

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJJog4BJrUw

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWLa6y7Z2TE

• Favorite Disney Princess(es) – Mulan & Jasmine

Mulan’s courage is something I admire and strive for.  Imagine that!  A cartoon character as a role model.  Jasmine is exotic and beautiful (yes, a cartoon character can be beautiful).  She longs to be independent, free from strict rules; I can relate to that as an artist.  Mulan is my favorite, but Jasmine is a close second because she was my favorite growing up.

• Favorite Disney Prince – Flynn Rider & Aladdin

Hypothetically, if I had to pick a Disney prince to marry, it would probably  be Flynn.  Why?  I am a serious person so I need someone to balance out my drama with humor.  Flynn is a funny guy, but he also has a good heart underneath all the capers and hijinks.

No matter what Aladdin wants, he always follows his heart and does the right thing.  For example, he steals bread to feed his empty stomach, but, after outrunning a group of soldiers, he decides to give the bread to two children digging in the trash for food.  He has three wishes, and he chooses to give Genie his freedom with the 3rd.

• Favorite Royal Disney Couple/Love Story – Beast/Prince Adam & Belle

Belle looks past Beast’s scary appearance and makes an effort to be his friend when no other human will.  Beautiful!

• Favorite Animated Disney Movie – Tarzan

The environment, story, and music blend together in sweet harmony.  There is never a moment when watching the movie is a bad idea.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc3MnoSS5Hw

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfciC33t3M0

Fun Fact: There was a TV show on Disney Channel called Legend of Tarzan.  Look it up on Youtube and enjoy!

*Note: My current top seven animated Disney movies are Tarzan, Hercules, Aladdin, Brother Bear, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, and Lilo & Stitch.  This list is subject to change.  Yes, Mulan was ahead of Aladdin in the “Disney Princess Movie” category, but from a broader point of view Aladdin is in the lead.  I’m just now noticing six of my top seven movies have a male protagonist.  Interesting!

• Favorite Non-Royal Disney Couple/Love Story – Tarzan & Jane

They are basically the non-royal equivalent of Beast and Belle except Tarzan isn’t arrogant, and he remains a jungle man.  Adorable!

• Favorite Non-Princess Disney Character(s) – Megara & Esmeralda

Both are beautiful and sassy.  Need I say more?!  When I was little, I went through a gypsy phase.  I wore my Esmeralda skirt ALL the time, and, to top it off, I wore my Pocahontas shirt.  Disney fashion at its finest!

Favorite Non-Prince Disney Character – Stitch, Phil, & Phoebus

Stitch is quirky and adorable, and he feels like he doesn’t belong anywhere, which is something I feel on a daily basis.  Basically we’re long lost twins.  Phoebus is hysterical; he is Flynn Rider #2.  What can I say?  I like to laugh. 😂

• Favorite Talking Disney Sidekick(s) – Genie & Mushu

This category is hard to narrow down because some of the best Disney characters are sidekicks.  Genie is Robin Williams in cartoon form.  We’re not worthy of his genius!!  Mushu’s personality never ceases to make me cry from laughter, and I most definitely need Pegasus in my life.  I wouldn’t have to drive! 👍

• Favorite Non-Talking Disney Sidekick(s): Meeko, & Pegasus

I split the sidekick category because this decision felt like I was choosing my favorite child, and I had to make room for indecision.  ;)  I have ALWAYS loved Meeko & Pegasus.  Both of them are adorable, and they have some attitude.  Meeko is mischievous, and Pegasus is sassy.

• Favorite Disney Villain – Hades

Hades is a villain, but he’s also funny.  I’m not comparing the two, but he brings to mind a villainous version of Genie.  Maybe, maybe not.

• Animated Disney Character(s) I Am Most Like – Belle & Megara

I have fair skin, brown hair, and green eyes like Belle (green and hazel eyes are similar).  Also, I love reading.  I am quite sassy and stubborn; that’s where Megara fits into the puzzle.  It is 50/50.  Sugar & spice.  Call me Bellegara!!

• Least Favorite Character(s) From a Disney Movie – Francis from Swiss Family Robinson and Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

I mean no offense, but I am personally annoyed by these two characters, especially their voices.

 

• Favorite Soundtrack From An Animated Disney Movie – Tarzan & Brother Bear

Phil Collins is a musical genius!!  <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

• Favorite Song From An Animated Disney Movie – I See the Light

This song is lyrically touching and vocally stunning.  It also translates seamlessly into other languages.  To me, that is what makes it not just a good song but a great song.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mayDR-PlXo

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEdfsxz274I

*Note: Some of my other favorite songs (in no particular order) include A Whole New World, God Bless the OutcastsGo the DistanceHawaiian Roller Coaster Ride, I’ll Make a Man Out of You, I Wont Say I’m in LoveLook Through My Eyes, and Two Worlds.  I’m not sure I could ever pick a definite top 3 or 5 or 10.  Way too hard a decision!

• Favorite Cover of a Song From an Animated Disney Movie – Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride by Jump  5

I blasted Jump 5 back in the day.  This song always puts a smile on my face and makes me want to dance.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7wS3Pt7E68

• Favorite Pixar Movie(s) –  Monsters, Inc. series

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tCxnHCqqxg

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBzPioph8CI

I can’t explain exactly why these are my favorite Pixar movies.  All I can say is I love the concept and the heart of this series.  Fun Fact: I have stuffed animal versions of Mike and Sully from Monsters University on my bed.  That’s right!  Making my twenties awesome. 😉

• Favorite Pixar Character(s) – Mike Wasowski & Woody.

I love Woody’s loyalty and desire to preserve tradition.  I love that no matter how many times Mike gets criticized and knocked down, he gets back up and finds a way to succeed.  A friend and a fighter, two things I strive to be.

• Favorite Song From a Pixar Movie: Life is a Highway, Rascal Flatts

Every time I watch the movie, I can’t help singing out loud when this song plays.

🎶 Life’s like a road that you travel on
When there’s one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind  🎶

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UdZIh8_xGc

• What Disney/Pixar Movie(s) Makes Me Cry Without Fail – Lilo & Stitch & Toy Story 3

Stitch feels like he does not belong anywhere.  Who hasn’t felt that way at some point in their life??

Throughout the entire movie, Andy is dealing with saying goodbye to childhood.  The story never ceases to make me cry because I am currently struggling with that very issue.

Honestly, I think every Disney movie has at least one part that makes me tear up.  When Bambi’s mother dies in Bambi.  When Sulley says goodbye to Boo in Monsters, Inc.  When Aladdin sets Genie free in Aladdin.  The ENTIRE The Fox and the Hound movie.  The ENTIRE Dumbo movie.  When Ariel says goodbye to her dad at the end of The Little Mermaid.  There are numerous other scenes that make me cry, too many to count.  Disney certainly knows how to tug at one’s heartstrings! 😭

• Favorite Live-Action Disney Movie(s) – Into the Woods, Pirates of the Caribbean Series, & The Moon-Spinners

The acting, music, and visuals in this film are a delight to experience from start to finish.  Absolute magic!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Byk9Is3TjY

Dark, thrilling, and full of pirates.  What’s not to love?!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DXNYUTmGxA

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elqO-GNfStM

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBTL8A1F4j4

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8wi_1H0N8g

This film is a hidden gem I discovered at my childhood library.  It has been one of my favorite movies ever since.

A Scene From The Moon-Spinners:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83RB454iwpY

• Favorite Live-Action Disney Character – Jack Sparrow

He’s a handsome, funny, passionate pirate.  Saavy?!

• Favorite Soundtrack From a Live-Action Disney Movie – Into the Woods

Into the Woods Youtube Playlist:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEkKIlGDjm8&list=PLeVu9A85gHUCpYls-Z01rAdnSFT1mnC8M

• Favorite Song From a Live-Action Disney Movie – Agony

AHEM……….

Please don’t judge me because I am totally judging myself right now.  It’s a good song!!  If you love showtunes and over-the-top drama, trust me and listen to the song.

Agony Movie Scene:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmixlJ79ZF0

• Favorite Disney Quote

If you are new to my blog, I recently returned from my first trip to Orlando, Florida.  In the spirit of all things Disney, I made an “All Things Disney” playlist on my Youtube Channel.  Here are all the necessary links:

“All Things Disney” Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUvowXnQBLryo5tiEsNMI2Rc8x6jHuSjH

Disney Challenge:

Follow Me Around Epcot & Hollywood Studios:

Follow Me Around Animal Kingdom & Magic Kingdom:

If you watch the videos and enjoy them, please don’t forget to give each video a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel.  That helps me out a lot as a Youtuber and encourages me to keep doing what I am doing.  Please & thank you.  :)

BREAKING NEWS!!!

EEK!!!  My “Aladdin” Diamond Edition arrived.  I see a movie night in my near future.  Thank you madre!  <3

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

– Lauren Michele <3

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Musical Tag

Musical Tag Thumbnail

This is the musical tag.  If you are not interested in musicals, I would suggest that you stop reading and stay tuned for my next blog post.  If you would like to watch the Youtube version, click the following link: https://youtu.be/jla9o38LHxE

If you are prepared to read, proceed.  :)

Q: What is your favorite stage musical?

A: I have never seen a musical performed by a professional group.  However, I saw a homeschool group from my childhood city perform plays and musicals, and they did an excellent job.  The productions were so well done, they might as well have been professional.  Brava!

Q: What is your favorite musical film?

A: “Fiddler on the Roof”

“Fiddler on the Roof” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QegNUOg2ajE

***Note: I added the following question.

Q: What is your favorite animated musical film?

A: “Prince of Egypt”

“Prince of Egypt” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmBDY-fSlIs

Q: What is your favorite musical performance?

A: I think this question refers to live productions, but that does not apply to me.  I am changing the context to my favorite singular performance within a musical film: “Singing in the Rain” performed by Gene Kelly.

“Singing in the Rain” Movie Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1ZYhVpdXbQ

Q: What is your favorite genre of musicals?

A: Every era has at least one good musical, but most of my favorites come from the Post-Classical Era (Post 50s).

Q: Who is your favorite composer and/or lyricist?

A: Alan Menken, Hans Zimmer, and Phil Collins.

Alan Menken Medley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-WhOZZstiU

Samples of Hans Zimmer’s Work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdgUhz2F0Mg

“Two Worlds” by Phil Collins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGn4zSfw6K4

“On My Way” by Phil Collins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDtBnTMpltM

Q: What is your favorite underappreciated musical?

A: All of the musicals I like are well-known and liked therefore I do not have an answer.

Q: What musical are you dying to see?

A: “Wicked”, “Phantom of the Opera”, and “Aladdin.”  Anything else would be icing on the cake.  :)

“Wicked” 2012 Broadway Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrpLayS57cY

“Phantom of the Opera” 2013 Broadway Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNWUdSxxnHM

“Aladdin” 2014 Broadway Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4sl3sQPzgc&list=PL0kqHD3g0haHgDgqMW-5tX2k6U5rOiMMQ&index=14

Q: What musical did you not like?

A: I apologize to anybody who likes these two musicals.  I did not enjoy “Gigi” or “Cry-Baby.”  The character Gigi annoyed me , and I could not connect to the characters or storyline in “Cry-Baby.”

“Gigi” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH8aVaeHqq4

“Cry-Baby” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB1bLlguZVY

Q: What is the best musical adaptation?

A: “Fiddler on the Roof”

Q: What is the best original musical?

A: “Once”

“Once” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWJIylZ8VyM

Who is your favorite character from a musical?

A: Tevye from “Fiddler on the Roof”

“Tradition” Performed by Tevye/Chaim Topol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRdfX7ut8gw

Q: What is your favorite song from a musical?

A: “Falling Slowly” and “I See the Light.”

“Falling Slowly” Performed Live by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koPjCqb3igw

“I See the Light” Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYbHzzWmKUs

Q: What is your favorite soundtrack?

A: “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Into the Woods ” (2014 film), “Prince of Egypt”, and “Tarzan.”

“Fiddler on the Roof” Soundtrack Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLTxj-kXhg0&list=PL6vJR5WPUWn_-zubC0hU4BuQVqmi_tJbM

“Into the Woods” Soundtrack Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KId_A5H-BXw&list=PLuovSEX8xEHes6AJxPnrTcxShMEc9XOBi

“Prince of Egypt” Soundtrack Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WKN0XF8-3Q&list=PLrjhOUTfRro7ro9MjrNV_W5gwFCMbSxEu

“Tarzan” Soundtrack Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4hVVn5OlnI&list=PL7FE43190CD86C300

Q: What musical would you love to see happen?

A: A musical based on the ABC TV show “Once Upon a Time”, a story about Disney characters set in modern times.

“Once Upon a Time” Season One Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QjaxiuIa7A

Q: Why do you like musicals?

A: Musicals were a normal part of my life growing up as a dancer, and they still hold a special place in my heart.

Q: Describe yourself using one lyric from a musical?

A: Defying.  Fear is one of the biggest obstacles in my life, but I constantly find myself taking on challenges and completing what I thought was beyond my limits.

“Defying Gravity” Performed Live by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g4ekwTd6Ig

Q: Who is your favorite actress from a musical?

A: Julie Andrews.  QUEEN!!

“The Hills Are Alive” Movie Scene, “Sound of Music”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R462Ro5fqU

“Feed The Birds” Movie Scene, “Mary Poppins”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHrRxQVUFN4

Q: Who is your favorite actor from a musical?

A: Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.

“I Got Rhythm” Performed by Gene Kelly, “An American in Paris”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvglHa_P9BA

“Funny Face” Performed by Fred Astaire, “Funny Face”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xo1onGh3us

Here is a list of all my favorite musical films:

“Aladdin”

“Aladdin” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWLa6y7Z2TE

“An American in Paris”

“An American in Paris ” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2WAMZRCbpU

“Chicago”

“Chicago” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EpaMmF9WVU

“Fiddler on the Roof”

“Funny Face”

“Funny Face” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6VLdVrVQGQ

“Grease”

“Grease” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzWmxjYNfz4

“Hercules”

“Hercules” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ds88gvnEVo

“Into the Woods”

“Into the Woods” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Byk9Is3TjY

“Music Man”

“Music Man” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIPL8Yb25T4

“Phantom of the Opera”

“Phantom of the Opera” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44w6elsJr_I

“Prince of Egypt”

“Singing in the Rain”

“Singing in the Rain” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36QiuRc_3I8

“Sound of Music”

“Sound of Music” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY6uw3WpPzY

“Tarzan”

“Tarzan” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfciC33t3M0

“Thoroughly Modern Millie”

“Thoroughly Modern Millie” Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCug0golA6c

If you would like to know more details surrounding my answers, watch the Youtube video (https://youtu.be/jla9o38LHxE).  If you love musicals, I highly recommend you do this tag.  It is so much fun!

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– Lauren Michele <3

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I Wish More Than Anything

Be Careful What You Wish For (Source: http://www.pagetopremiere.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/150147_769040466485782_1640208112065058341_n.png)

I know I resolved to be more consistent with my blogging this year.  I have not fulfilled that resolution yet, but I am working on it.  I have many subjects to write on so stick with me and stay tuned.  Tonight I cannot help but write about “Into the Woods” because it is my current OBSESSION.  I used all caps; this is serious!!  I saw the movie two weeks ago with some friends, and we had a great time.  Well, I did; I  can’t speak for them.  The movie was beautiful, funny, and dramatic.  The casting was spot-on, the visuals mesmerizing, and the music addictive.  I wanted to sing along the entire time, and I didn’t even know the words.  Naturally, I purchased the soundtrack, and it is all I have been listening to this week.  One of my favorite moments in the movie was Prince Charming and Rapunzel’s Prince splashing around in water singing about love-related agony.  The scene was pretty much a girl’s dream come true.  That song has been on repeat!!  I highly recommend both the soundtrack and the movie if you are a fan of musicals.  However, I caution you that this movie is not meant for  young children despite the Disney label.  Scenes such as the wolf enticing Red Riding Hood and Prince Charming kissing the baker’s wife could be scary and confusing respectively.

Until next time, dream dreams & make wishes readers!

-Lauren Michele :)

P.S.  I wish more than anything that “Into the Woods” be available on DVD right now.

“Agony! Beyond power of speech, When the one thing you want is the only thing out of your reach.”

– “Agony”, Into the Woods

 

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Blogmas 2014 – Candles Candles Candles

Candles Candles Candles (Please excuse the bad quality phone picture)

I hope your noses are in tip-top shape because tonight’s post is all about CANDLES!!  Today was the sacred day that die-hard Bath & Body Works shoppers crave the other 364 days of the year, leap years excluded.  Today was “$8 Candle Day.”  I cannot tell a lie.  This whole “I need a gazillion candles in my life” craze is new to me, but I caught on quickly.  First of all, the store was absolute chaos.  California women do not mess around when it comes to sales, even if they are holding one or more babies.  I was poked, prodded, stared down, and 100% overwhelmed.  Even the employees were getting trapped by the sea of shoppers.  Despite my “fear”, I was more worried about the candles.  People were moving about as if the store was full of cotton instead of fragile candles.  Take a chill pill!!  If you can’t already tell from my dramatic narrative, I am NOT a crowd person.  Fun fact about me: I will not go to a store to wrestle over an item in person.  However, I am a master online shopper; I will bid to the death.  Perhaps I will share some of my wisdom with you another time.  Back to the topic at hand.  I made it out of the store alive with four candles.  At $8 apiece with the inclusion of a $10 off coupon, I paid a little more than twenty-three dollars total.  That is the amount I would have paid for ONE candle on a normal shopping day, and I walked out with FOUR candles.  Hallelujah, praise Jesus.  I love saving $$$!!!  I will end this post with a description of each candle, including Marshmallow Fireside which was purchased last month.  FYI: These descriptions come on the bottom of each candle; I cannot take credit for the text in quotation marks.

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.”  I chose this candle over “Frosted Cranberry” because the scent was more delicate.  Despite the absence of citrus, the scent has a citrus quality that cuts the harshness of the cranberry.  This scent is ideal for any Thanksgiving table.

Gourmet Espresso – “The fragrance of rich espresso delightfully brewed with artisan coffee beans is the perfect complement for your homemade holiday treats.”  Coffee lovers need this candle in their life.  I am not a coffee aficionado nor do I drink pure coffee, but this scent is absolute heaven.  This candle was made to be lit in your kitchen every morning.

Holly Jolly Christmas – “Have a holly jolly Christmas with this festive blend of bright mandarin, red pomegranate, and fresh balsam.”  Christmas-themed scents tend to be too spicy for my taste.  If you are like me, this is the candle for you.  The notes of fruit add just enough pop to the fresh balsam without being overpowering.  A “Fresh Balsam” candle is also available, but I chose this candle instead because the scent offers more than one note of Christmas.

Marshmallow Fireside – “A sweet toasty end to a long cold day – toasted marshmallows and sumptuous vanilla cream blend with the comforting aroma of rich smoldering woods.”  I am not a huge fan of sweet scents because they can be very nauseating.  While this scent is very sweet, in small doses it is a pleasant pick-me-up.  You know that scent from bonfires that makes your eyes and nose burn?  Hints of that toastiness are present and break up the sweetness a little bit.  This scent is 100% dependent on the first impression.  You either like it or you don’t; there is no compromise.

Mint Mocha Bark – “Wrap this delectable medley of creamy smooth mocha, vanilla, and icy mint in a bow and give it to your nearest and dearest.”  Plain and simple: if you want to have the scent of a Starbucks peppermint mocha frappuccino within reach at all times, this is the candle for you.

Now go forth, shop, & fill the air with fragrance.  Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

“It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt

 

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