Support the Irish Arts

As I was writing this blog post, the Gilmore Girls episode currently playing on my iPad, season 3 episode 7, referenced Riverdance. That is the best possible sign that today is a great day to support the Irish arts! Former Riverdance dancer Kincaid Stringer & his mother Shannon Kincaid, a painter, have teamed up for a great cause. They’re selling seven of Shannon’s paintings through Indiegogo for a COVID-19 relief fund; all proceeds will support Irish actors, artists, backstage workers & crews, clubs, concerts, cultural & event spaces, dancers, dance schools, festivals, musicians, performers, singers, theaters, & writers. I grew up dancing & singing so the arts are very important to me. Riverdance is the reason I asked my mom to sign me up for dance classes at the age of four so the Irish arts are also very important to me. Let’s not forget my Irish ancestors! 🇮🇪 The arts have done a lot for us in quarantine so it’s only right that we give back. You can choose to only donate money or receive a painting or two or seven in exchange for your donation. If it’s not already obvious, I’m buying “The Dancer.” Can’t wait to have a gorgeous Irish dancing queen above my bed! 👑 Please consider setting aside $25, or more, to support a great cause & get a piece of Ireland for your home. 💚🤍🧡

*NOTE: The Indiegogo campaign ends on September 17th, & the paintings will ship in November. Because of COVID-19, please consider that shipping could be delayed.

➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️   S U P P O R T   T H E   C A M P A I G N   H E R E   ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️

Irish people’s love of dancing has been well documented throughout their written history. In fact, one of the earliest references to dancing details a visit between the Mayor of Waterford and Mayor of Baltimore in 1413. The modern Irish dancing of today is no longer merely a processional combination of singing and dancing as an act of celebrating, but a sport that produces athletes that are physically strong, as well as creative and artistic. What was once a tradition specific to Ireland (as well as England, Scotland, and some parts of America) caught like wildfire in 1994 with the debut of Riverdance. The theatrical show consisting mainly of traditional Irish music and dance took the world by storm and has been a global phenomenon ever since. Now, twenty-five years later, the Irish dancing community consists of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people around the world today. Teachers from around the world have committed themselves to spreading their love and passion for Ireland’s traditional form of expression. Regardless of how far a dancer progresses competitively or professionally, being an Irish dancer is something that is inextricably bound to their identity forevermore. In this piece entitled “The Dancer,” you feel the excitement, the confidence, and the artistry that comes from expressing a centuries-old tradition that has touched the hearts of many.  – Kincaid & Shannon

Ireland and Scotland combined have a rich culture within the performing arts, which has resulted in a thriving gig scene. Musicians are constantly pushing the boundaries in order to create new and fresh work that is often steeped in tradition. Many are staunch believers that musical traditions must be preserved as they always have been – the “play it like my father used to” kind of sentimentality. Yet, every generation brings a new wave of talent that feels that this attitude discourages progress and evolution. This debate between tradition and innovation is a tale as old as time. Still, many feel it is possible to honour your origins while also exploring and adapting to the future; they are not mutually exclusive. Irish music legend, Míchéal Ó Súilleabháinn, believed that traditions are never frozen, but rather are fluid. He believed that the idea of authenticity originating from a pure source located in antiquity was bogus! This painting is for the new wave of artists and musicians who are creating some of the most incredible new-age folk / Trad music in the world. Project Smok, Beoga, Talisk, Ímar and the like are leading the way for the future of Irish music. – Kincaid & Shannon

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”  – George Bernard Shaw

Ériu is the goddess of sovereignty and the mythological mother of Ireland. She is often interpreted as the modern-day personification of Ireland. Along with her two sisters, Banba and Fódhla, Ériu was a part of a triumvirate of goddesses. Before their final defeat, each goddess requested that the island be named for her. This was granted to all of them, but Ériu became the chief name in use. The old Irish name Ériu evolved into Éire in modern Irish and depending on the case is spelled Éireann or Éirinn. This is how we finally arrived with the English name for the country, Erin. The painting has been imbued with symbols to depict all that Ériu embodied within pre-Christian Irish culture. Ériu represents the sacred feminine, as illustrated in the column capitals, or the decorative element at the top of a column, that represent the three phases of a woman’s life cycle – the maid, mother and crone. The stars behind her and the lunala around her neck evoke her role as a lunar goddess. Her hair bleeds into the trees, depicting her connection to the earth and its bounty. She holds this bounty in her hand as a glass of mead, which was served at the feast of Goibhniu, and offered immortality to those that drank it. Around her head is a ring of knot work encasing the land, which is topped by the stone of divisions from the hill of Uisneach, the symbolic and sacred centre of the island in Irish mythology. Ériu’s bones are said to have been laid to rest on this hill and serves as a gateway between the Underworld and the world above. – Kincaid & Shannon

There is much more to an Irish pub than just having a drink. In Ireland, pubs are central to the way of life. Similar to a church, they represent a pillar of Irish social life and community. A place where pints, comfort food, live music, and sport can be always be found; somewhere you can meet friends, neighbors, or even complete strangers, in an inviting atmosphere. It’s for these reasons that recreations of Irish pubs can be found in any city around the world. O’Connor’s was opened as a pub in Galway in 1942 by Thomas O’Connor, and is currently operated by third generation O’Connors. Every inch of it decorated in eclectic memorabilia, the pub has become famous for its hospitality and world-class live music. So much so that Ed Sheeran used it as the location of his music video “Galway Girl” in 2017 featuring actress Saoirse Ronan, furthering the pub’s world-wide recognition. – Kincaid & Shannon

Ireland has a rich tradition of various festivals taking place throughout each year. The Rose of Tralee was first held in 1959 and has since been held every August in Tralee, County Kerry, to select a young woman to be crowned the Rose. Cities all over the world host their own selection balls to determine who will represent them in Ireland. The festival bills itself as a celebration of the “aspirations, ambitions, intellect, social responsibility, and Irish heritage” of modern young women. Bursting with music and dancing, this festival celebrates the very best of Irish culture and the future of Irish relations worldwide. The winner and their family become a part of a global network, showcasing how Irish culture is thriving amongst the Irish Diaspora. They say, “Once a Rose, always a Rose.” – Kincaid & Shannon

A session is a casual gathering of musicians playing traditional Irish music, usually taking place in a pub, but has also been known to take place on street corners or even in someone’s kitchen. Irish “trad” music has garnered a deep appreciation, not just in Ireland, but also around the world. It’s important to note that a session is more than just a casual jam between musicians – the focus is on the instrumental tunes found within the Irish tradition – reels, jigs, hornpipes, polkas, slip jigs, and the like. Whether it be in a pub or someone’s home, sessions are times of brilliant music and ever-flowing drink that have a certain habit of continuing late into the night, if not into the wee hours of the morning! – Kincaid & Shannon

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.

These are just two quotes from one of the biggest literary personalities in Ireland’s history, Oscar Wilde. A literary treasure, Wilde was a hugely popular playwright and poet in the late 1800s. Besides well-known works such as The Picture of Dorian Gray and Lady Windermere’s Fan, his biting wit and flamboyant style gained him notoriety as well. As a people, the Irish are known for their good sense of humour, which has bolstered them during periods of great hardship throughout history. Wilde embodied this intrinsically Irish trait to the very end. Even as he faced death, he was cracking jokes and reportedly said, “This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do.” A collection of art in support of Irish culture would be incomplete without paying homage to Oscar Wilde. – Kincaid & Shannon

➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️   S U P P O R T   T H E   C A M P A I G N   H E R E   ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHAx8IE3PTk&feature=youtu.be

➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️   S U P P O R T   T H E   C A M P A I G N   H E R E   ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️

Disney+ Marathon Day 6 | November 17

7am – Rise & shine! 🌞

8:30am – Work 🛍

2:30pm – Lunch + Phil of the Future 🍔 

S1E1 – Meet the Curtis

S1E2 – Unification Day

I totally forgot Brenda Song was on this show! 🥰

S1E3 – Your Cheatin’ Heart

You know how the Diffys, a family from the 22nd century, use instamorph for disguises?? Today we have social media filters that change our faces. We’re still making our way through the 21st century. Mind blowing! 🤯

4pm – Blogging + Pixel Perfect 💻 

In this movie you will spot Raviv Ullman, a familiar face from Phil of the Future, & Tania Gunadi from Go Figure. Also, another awesome soundtrack! 😭💕

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmmfRnUMk4M

5:45pm – Blogging + Cow Belles 💻 

This movie stars Aly Michalka, another familiar face from Phil of the Future. She is joined by her sister AJ. Aly Michalka. AJ Michalka. Aly and AJ Michalka. Aly & AJ. YES, THAT ALY & AJ!! 🎤

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3_8Uutd584

Final thoughts for the day: I was supposed to end the day with a hot bath & Now You See It, another movie starring Aly Michalka. Unfortunately I got distracted with work, & now it’s 1am. I’m off to bed so I can wake up & head straight for Disney+. Tomorrow this marathon hits the one week mark. Hopefully you’re enjoying my blog posts every day! If you’re not, don’t tell me. 😉

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D I S N E Y +   M A R A T H O N   D A Y   S I X   A R T 

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

– Lauren Michele ❤

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Disney+ Marathon Day 5 | November 16

7am – Rise & shine! 🌞

8:30am – Work 🛍

1pm – Pumpkin Spiced Apple Cider Hunt 🎃

I want this for a Thanksgiving-themed video. I went to four different stores, plus a failed Amazon order, & no luck. 😢

4pm – Dinner + Go Figure 🍔

Fun Fact: The soundtrack has a song performed by Brie Larson a.k.a. Captain Marvel. 💥

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bvYRlv7XCw

This movie also has jams from Everlife & Superchick. What more could you ask for??

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1umyKwsP8U

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quLN-aecPuE

6pm – Blogging + Ice Princess 💻

Emotions Update: I cried when Casey’s mom showed up to watch her compete at Sectionals. 🤧 I don’t think I’ve ever cried while watching this movie. EVER! 😂

Starts out with Aly & Aj. Jesse McCartney in the middle. Ends with Natasha Bedingfield & Caleigh Peter. 🎶

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxmMDa9sSK0

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4QnbqDWHKQ

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

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-AyrePGDlA

Final thoughts for the day: Even though today was exhausting, I had SO MUCH FUN going back to two of my throwback favorites, both of which have ice skating. I cannot stress enough how great the soundtracks are. So many songs that have, in my humble opinion, stood the test of time. Masterpieces! Even though I watched only 2 movies, I feel fantastic & ready to go for day 6. See you tomorrow!

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D I S N E Y +   M A R A T H O N   D A Y   F I V E   A R T 

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

– Lauren Michele ❤

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Disney+ Marathon Day 3 | November 14

8:30am – Rise & shine! 🌞

10am – Breakfast + Even Stevens 🍳

I won’t say I cried, because I didn’t, but I will say that Louis giving up a collectible card to buy his sister Ren a birthday present as an apology is so FREAKING sweet. 💕

S1E1 – Swap.com

10:30am – Blogging + Even Stevens 💻

S1E2 – Stevens Genes

S1E3 – Take My Sister . . . Please

11am – Blogging + Hannah Montana 💻 

S1E1 – Lily, Do You Want To Know A Secret?

I still know most of the lyrics to Hannah’s songs. 😂 Also, I know for a fact that everyone wanted Miley/Hannah’s closet after she revealed it to Lily. 👜 👠👗 😍

S1E2 – Miley Get Your Gum

S1E3 – She’s A Super Sneak

I may or may not have teared up when Miley sang the song she wrote for her mom who passed away (in storyline on the show). 😭

What are the odds that Christy Carlson Romano would post a Kitchen Throwback video today making cheese jerky with Jason Earles from Hannah Monatana?!? 😱

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaOYLzduxZ8

12:20pm – Blogging + The Hunchback of Notre Dame 💻 

1:30pm – Lunch + The Hunchback of Notre Dame 🍲 

The animation. The soundtrack. The story. I swear God Help The Outcasts is one of the most beautiful scenes in any Disney movie. There’s a reason this is in my top 10. If you’ve never seen it, GO GO GO!!!

2:40pm – Blogging + JONAS 💻 

S1E1 – Wrong Song

In the 1st episode, Nick experiences a hardcore crush. After he discovers she has a boyfriend, he has a hard time letting go. I don’t care who you are. That’s relatable content! Who says Disney Channel can’t be deep??

S1E2 – Groovy Movies

Um . . . the end of this episode when the brothers remake their old home movies for their mom’s birthday made me tear up. I swear I’m doing fine! 😂

S1E3 – Pizza Girl

4pm – Blogging + Kim Possible 💻 

S1E1 – Crush

Yup. Still know every single word to the theme song. CALL ME BEEP ME IF YOU WANNA REACH ME!! 📱

S1E2 – The New Ron

S1E3 – Sink Or Swim

Round of applause for Disney QUEEN Christy Carlson Romano! 👏 👏 👏 She was not only Ren Stevens on Even Stevens but also the voice of Kim Possible. Now she’s cooking with fellow child actors on her YouTube channel. We truly don’t deserve her! 👑

6:15pm – Dinner + Brother Bear

When I say I sobbed during the entire movie, I mean I was literally shaking with tears streaming down my face. 😭 The story about brotherhood always tugs at my heartstrings. This is another film in my Disney top 10. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out BIG time. Two words: Phil Collins. If that doesn’t convince you, you don’t deserve this movie in your life. 🤷‍♀️

Final thoughts for the day: I was surprisingly emotional during almost everything I watched today. Louis Stevens giving up his collectible card to give Ren a nice necklace for her birthday as an apology. Miley Stewart missing her mom. The Lucas brothers remaking their ruined home movies for their mom’s birthday. Basically everything in Brother Bear. Holey moley! I need some time to recover. We are 3 days into this marathon, & I hope you’re enjoying hanging out with me. See you tomorrow! 👋

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D I S N E Y +   M A R A T H O N   D A Y   T H R E E   A R T 

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– Lauren Michele ❤

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Quarter Life Crisis

As of November 5th, I am 26 years old. Year 25 was NOT a walk in the park for me. I have really struggled with energy & motivation & purpose this past year. I am so passionate about what I do online, but being defeated time after time after time is so deflating. My Instagram, Twitter, & YouTube follower counts barely go up from month to month. I stay up late editing videos & writing blog posts, but it feels like no one cares when I make my work public. I worked for weeks & hours on my Tarzan video for the Disney+ Dream Job contest. I was so incredibly proud of what I produced, & yet I didn’t get one of the five spots to watch 30 Disney movies in 30 days for $1,000. Instead of breaking down barriers, I feel like I’m beating my head against a wall that isn’t going to budge. Is year 26 going to be better, or do I have to accept that I’m not meant to do this any longer?!?

How do I turn this into a positive? One step at a time. I may not have won a check for a Disney+ marathon, but I’m going to do it anyway. Starting November 12, I will be watching a Disney show & movie every day for 30 days. Don’t worry! You can follow along on here, Instagram, Twitter, & YouTube. Just use my links listed below to make sure you’re following me with notifications turned ON. 🍋 This is called turning lemons into lemonade. 🍹 I’m also trying to step outside my comfort zone & interact with people I follow on social media. Scary! 😱

🌻 Go enjoy your Saturday readers! 💛 Hopefully it’s cold & feels like the holiday season wherever you are because California is still HOT. 🥵 🙄 😂

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– Lauren Michele ❤

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Reunited, & It Feels So Good

Last night I stayed up late reading. In my mind I knew I should be a responsible adult & go to bed, but my heart told me to take advantage. It’s been awhile since I devoured a book so I resisted sleep for as long as I could, specifically until 1:30am. Goodbye reading slump! For those that are curious, I’m currently reading Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. It is the sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper, and I am loving it so far. Speaking of books, my family visited Barnes & Noble Sunday night. I always know how depressed I will be looking at all the books I can’t afford, but I go anyway. My parents were kind enough to buy me a new book. THANK YOU!!!!! I chose Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero, a novel I’ve been dying to read for months. I am a HUGE Scooby-Doo fan so I hope this mystery gang-inspired story lives up to my expectations. In regard to my Tuesday agenda, I am currently blogging on my typewriter while watching my favorite Almanzo & Laura episodes of Little House on the Prairie. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day. Happy Tuesday! :)

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– Lauren Michele ❤︎

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Mad Dash

I need you to sit down & settle in for part two of my blog post from yesterday. About 15 minutes after it was published, my phone rang. Thanks to caller i.d., I knew it was one of the managers from my retail job. Forgetting that my phone was charging, I grabbed it only to have it ripped from my hands. While the ringing continued, I frantically searched my room on hands & knees. I finally found it on my bed (hold your laughter), but the ringing had already been replaced by a voicemail. I will now take you back to about one hour earlier. While eating dinner, my mom implied that I had to work that evening. I replied that she was thinking of my closing shift on Friday. I was 100% sure that I had two days off before my two weekend shifts so I didn’t even bother to check my schedule, which is something I do religiously. Fast forward to my manager’s voicemail. I was 15 minutes late for my closing shift, and she was wondering if I was ok & still coming in to work. In an outright panic, I called the store to let her know I would be there as soon as I could to replace a fellow associate who couldn’t stay much longer. Feeling like a horrible person, I got ready as fast as humanly possible, which is no easy task when you’re shaking like a leaf and clumsy. It would’ve been  much easier if I hadn’t had a ton of coconut oil in my hair. I didn’t want to look like a greasy mess at work so I had to wash my hair, two shampoos required. I put on as little makeup as I was comfortable with and braided my hair, all of which looked as effortless as it actually was. A hoodie, jeans, and boots completed the look, and I was out the door. I received the call around 5:15 and made it to work right before 6. For the first hour my body was shaking uncontrollably, but I eventually settled down. It wasn’t the restful night I had planned, but everything turned out ok in the end. On the bright side, I am free as a bird today. Go ahead & laugh now. I am.

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– Lauren Michele ❤︎

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Lazy Winter Days

The holiday season is officially over, and I have yet to start my Christmas do-over. My work schedule was supposed to slow down, but I’ve been receiving extra hours & shifts. On one hand it’s a nuisance because I was looking forward to days of rest, but on the other hand I desperately need the money. I can no longer afford to “play” instead of work, which is why kids should never be in a hurry to grow up. Adulthood isn’t all bad, but it definitely isn’t as carefree as childhood. Anyway, I’m not here to rant about the struggles of adult life. I was blessed with a couple of days off from my retail job so I’m taking full advantage. Yesterday I did nothing, and it was pure bliss. I may have snuck in an hour or two of work in the evening, but most of the day was dedicated to binge-watching El Barco. After a refreshing night’s sleep, I started the day with a pumpkin frappuccino & a pumpkin bagel. I am currently watching season three, episode one of El Barco and blogging with my new Elretron typewriter. It uses Bluetooth to connect to my iPad, but the keys look, feel, & sound like I’m back in the 1800s. I get the best of the old & the new! I never invest in anything on Indiegogo, but this one time I’m glad I did. Once I’ve used it consistently, I will be putting together a full review so watch out for that. I go back to work tomorrow so I’m off to enjoy the rest of my semi-lazy Thursday. If you’re still on a holiday break/vacation, enjoy the rest of your time off. :)

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– Lauren Michele ❤︎

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Filming Frustrations | Blogmas 2017

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

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

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

E i g h t e e n   D a y s    U n t i l   C h r i s t m a s . . .

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

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– Lauren Michele ❤︎

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