2020 Plan With Me & Happy 7th Birthaversary MLW!

Hey there friends! I’m baaaack! 😉

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It has been a minute!

But it’s a new year. A new decade. A decade of roaring twenties,

magical 2020 vision and a sparkling new opportunity for growth.

Happy New Year!

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Today also happens to also be MLW’s 7th Birth-a-versary! That’s a combination of Happy Birthday/Happy Anniversary if you were wondering. That’s right 7 years of creating content from the heart here on michelle leigh writes! It’s kind of a big deal for me, since it took me years just to warm up to the idea of someone reading my writing.
And yes there have been lost posts and months of inactivity. But like I always say, I always come back. In my heart I know I have so many stories to tell, poems to craft and party planning ideas to share. And I’m grateful for this space where I can be truly me and speak freely. It will always be my “Safe place for the written word.”

In honor of my 7th blog year, LUCKY #7!

I baked some white chocolate, sprinkle, cake cookies!

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So today, I thought I’d kick off this new post with a little 2020 planning for you. It’s in my bones to plan. I feel like every year I do the same thing. I plan and plan and then all plans get shot to hell when life flies into chaos. So I almost stopped myself from getting to much of the planning bug this year. But then I decided, maybe I can take a different approach this year. After all it is a new decade.

I rang the New Year in at my best friend’s house. Her and her husband hosted and it was a great time. We had champagne, wine and great food. We played this really fun game Telestrations After Dark. Warning: Not a kid friendly game. LOL. Then I spent New Year’s Day just being lazy in PJ’s, but being super productive in planning, straightening up my bedroom (which had become a mess because of the holidays,) and prepping for the work week. Thankfully, it was a short one to ease back into the swing of things! Because, we all know how hard it can be to get rid of that vacation brain. Your girl is still struggling! 😉

2020 PLANNING IDEAS!

Buy a new Planner, Calendar, and Notebook. A must for me. Every year. Shout out to my Aunt Linda who gets tons of free calendars every year, so she always gives me one! This year I got a really pretty floral inspirational quotes one.

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I got some cool new pens for Christmas!

Make a list of 2019 highlights. Every year I think “what did I really do this year? Not much.” It’s easy to get down on yourself and feel bad if you didn’t go on some lavish vacation, or fall in love and get engaged, or buy that house, or get that dream job. But I guarantee if you look back on your social media (if you’re a social media posting person) then you will see that you created so many countless, beautiful memories. My list was so long, I couldn’t even share it here if I wanted to! LOL.

Make a list of things you learned in 2019. Every year is full of ups and downs. But in those moments, there is always something to learn. Personal growth is an amazing thing.

Make a list of 2020 goals (re-evaluate your 2019 goals and how much you accomplished.) Sometimes this can be a daunting task. If you’re like me, sometimes you feel like every year you have the same goals. So evaluating the past year’s goals can make you feel unaccomplished. But that’s why I also like to make a list of highlights so you can see how much you actually did accomplish! It’s all about perspective people! Although it can fly by, a year is a significant amount of time, and you can really do so much. You do so much. You just don’t realize it. And sometimes, the little things are the big things.

Check in on Work In Progress projects. So this is referring to my long list of projects I started this year and old projects that I haven’t finished over the past decade! So I just sort of took stock of their status and prioritized the few that I want to tackle this month.

Create an inspirational playlist of songs to set the mood for your 2020. I did this last year too, and it was super fun. I’ve been listening to mine and it’s full of fun vibes. I have some New Year’s songs on there, some slow jams, some old jams, some new jams, some 1920’s music. I’m actually still adding, every time I hear or think of a new song that resonates with my vibe this year.

Create a YouTube playlist of inspirational videos you want to watch. So I’m a big YouTube fan, and everyone is posting New Year content, which is really inspirational. So much so that it was getting overwhelming seeing the videos roll in. So I decided the best way to help myself was to create a playlist of all the videos I wanted to watch, and that way I can watch them at my leisure. Some of my favorite YouTubers include, Rachel Talbott, Kalyn Nicholson, Carrie Rad, Marisa Mohi, Kristen Martin, and Niki DeMar.

Start getting back to routine. Work, exercise, eating right, meditation, prayer. I find that when I have this kind of routine, I feel more centered, more focused, less anxious and more like myself.

Make a “Stress Away” basket full of things that you can pick from, to calm those stressful nerves. In mine I included, an adult coloring book, a stress ball, two small note pads and some pens, a gratitude journal, a FRIENDS quiz book, puzzles, t-shirt designing stuff (because yes I sometimes like to make my own t-shirts), a painting kit, and a word search book. I also plan to add a few more things as I go. You can really customize this to whichever you wish.

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Order some fun products online to add to your New Year vibe. I have been into trying to clear up my skin, and also find fun ways to exercise. So I recently ordered a humidifier, a facial cleansing brush, a lap desk for my lap top, writing gloves, a dry brush, a white head tool for acne, an exercise hula hoop, an energy lamp, and YouTuber Kalyn Nicolson’s poetry book Dancing with elephants.

Practice Gratitude. So I have a gratitude journal that I sometimes write in, where you write down 3 things you are grateful for that day. But lately I’ve just been saying Thank You to God at moments, in my prayers, out loud, to myself. Just a simple thank you. It’s peaceful and it feels good. Because even if your day sucks, there is something, even the smallest thing, that could make you feel grateful. Every day may not be good, but there is something good, in every day.

Do a tarot card reading for 2020, AND/OR Read your horoscope. I get that this isn’t for everyone. And I don’t buy into it as strong as some people do. But I do think it can be really fun. I have an Animal Spirit Deck and A Fairy Deck. Yes ya girl loves fairies. Have since I was a kid and saw a movie about fairies and then saw one flying around in my room in the middle of the night. #MAGIC. Inspired by Kalyn Nicholson’s 2020 reading, I decided to do my own, and man oh man was it eye opening. It gave my 2020 some seriously good vibes and a cool direction. I also looked up my Aries info for 2020.

This was my reading.

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Reach out to family and friends and start to book plans in for the month or the next. If you’re like me, you have a ton of people you love and value in life. But when life gets so crazy, it can be sometimes really hard to make time for everything. So I decided to just start early and check in with all my various friend groups and start to make plans to hangout. Life is just more joyful when you have great friends to chill and talk with. Sometimes you just need a night with your girls! My calendar is already slowly filling up! I can’t wait to see everyone!

Go food shopping. I don’t know about you guys but after the hustle and bustle and traveling of the holidays, I had been eating like total crap, and my body was definitely feeling it. And so my mom and I took a trip to the supermarket and stocked up on healthier food options. My body is very happy now! 🙂

Balance your check book. (Maybe do this one before ordering a bunch of stuff on amazon!) 🙂

Give back and make the world just a little bit better. I recently donated to Givit for the wildfires happening in Australia. I’ve been seeing these devastating images all over social media. And I just wanted to do something. Even though it was small. It was something and every little bit counts. I also donated to the National Autism Association and I always donate to the Alzheimer’s Association during the walk which I did in 2019. Like I said it may not be much, but I give what I can afford and I hope and pray it helps.

Create a mood board or an inspiration board. This is where that 2019 Highlights list comes into play. You can look at that and see how much you’ve actually done over the last year and then pull a few things from it, and print out some pictures to symbolize those things. I personally just scroll through my instagram and see what I posted throughout the year or years. I chose a lot of inspirational quotes too, and pictures of family and friends, and then I also used pictures of myself in memories that instilled feelings in me that I want to recreate or feel again this year. Things I’ve done to step out of my comfort zone. Things I’m proud of. Things I want to work on. Things that were just fun. ALL THE INSPRING THINGS! I’m so used to putting pictures of OTHER people- mostly celebrities- on these boards, that when I look at them they don’t FEEL like me. So this year I thought, why not inspire MYSELF, by highlighting things I actually did in the past that I can try to implement again this year. Because we get in ruts, and we fear change and every New Year is a chance to fight that and try harder to accept change. After all there is peace in acceptance, if you look closely enough!

Write a list of important dates. For me this included writing a few subscription dates. I know I have some ending in the next few months so I want to be aware of that and be sure I renew them or cancel them. This can also be for any doctor appointments or adult things you need to do. Write them down!

Reflect on the past decade. This one might take some serious thinking!

Look up a list of New Year’s Eve movies. I just googled and found a list HERE. I guess I tend to live in theme. LOL. I have been craving a NYE film, I basically watched Sex and the City all New Year’s Eve. But I actually didn’t get my “New Year’s Eve” fill. I kind of love that movie!

***

You may notice there’s a lot of writing involved. What can I say, I’m a writer. 😉 And a lover of a good list. Now you see what that notebook purchase was for! Make use of it! Keep in mind you obviously do not have to do all these steps in the first month. You do have a whole year. You don’t even have to do all these steps at all. This is just what I did. And it’s just helping me take stock and see what I wish to work on this year. I just feel extra motivated and I’m going to go with this soul flow. Good Vibes.

So there you have it. My tips and tricks to rock 2020. I know this is not a full proof method. And there will be hard times that deter me. But I feel inspired and I just thought I’d share this with you on this special day.

Thanks for reading! XO

Feels good to be back.

Happy 7th Birthaversary Michelle Leigh Writes!

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To celebrate I think I’m going to grab a glass of Champagne Rose,

a few White Chocolate Chip cake cookies, and pop on one of those New Year’s movies! 😉

Update: I watched Freeform’s new version of Party of Five and Chicago PD instead. 🙂

 

*All images are my own.*

 

-<3-

 

 

The One Where Monica & Rachel Go To The Movies- Friends in theaters!

Not only did I attend the Friends Pop Up, in honor of the show’s 25th Anniversary, but Regal theaters took part in screening 4 episodes of Friends a night last weekend. I heard about this and thought, that would be so cool to watch FRIENDS in a theater. So I bought tickets for me and my sister in law.

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I also roped her into dressing like one of the characters. To other people we just looked like we were wearing normal clothes but to us, well, we were Monica and Rachel of course!

So as I was waiting for my sister in law, I kind of had a little photo booth prop-selfie session. My sister in law had gotten me these photo props a little bit ago from Primark (I believe) and I thought it would be fun to pull them out. I also was even more of a geek and created a “Central Perk Cold Brew” label for our coffees, since it was so hot out that day. 😉

The 4 episodes that they were screening on the night we went were:

The One With The Prom Video

The One Where No One’s Ready

The One With The Morning After

The One With The Embryos

This day was a good choice, because these are some of my favorite episodes.

We got our pop corn and our massive sodas and sat back and laughed with like minded, friends lovin’ souls who quoted the show and clapped along to the intro. I would love to watch FRIENDS like that everyday!

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The Outfits

My sister in law channeled this Rachel Green Outfit.

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I channeled this Monica Look…

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Becoming Monica Geller

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What You Need For This Look:

White button down shirt

Dark Wash Jeans (high waisted would have worked better)

Black belt

Black shoes with white laces (I chose black and white sneakers)

Silver dangly earrings (chose the bigger pair)

Silver watch (I didn’t have a watch, so I chose the skinnier silver bracelet)

2 Silver Rings

1 Turquoise Ring (I chose the smaller one)

Black Choker

Red lipstick

Hair parted on the side

Slightly flipped at the bottom hair (I just used a straightener to flip out the bottom ends)

Aside from the red lipstick, I kept my makeup pretty natural on my eyes. As I was researching the fashion of the three girls, I realized Monica was the one I had most in common with. She is laid back and comfortable. At times she’ll throw on a skirt or dress, but she usually keeps it casual. She often rocked red lips, sneakers, button ups, high waited jeans and silver jewelry. Watches and turquoise were super in too!

Coffee cold brew

It was super fun to dress like one of the girls, and to watch friends on the big screen. My sister in law and I had a good time. And I can’t wait to celebrate more FRIENDS anniversaries in the future.

 

Cheers, Friends!

Happy 25th!

 

*All photos are my own.*

 

-<3-

My F.R.I.E.N.D.S Pop-Up Experience

To re-cap my love of FRIENDS check out some earlier posts!

2013- Central Perk Party…

2014- My TV Nerd Dream Came True

2019- FRIENDS Pop Up!!!!

This year Friends hit it’s 25th Anniversary! So naturally the world took notice and the events started lining up. Thankfully, my sister in law was able to score tickets to the FRIENDS Pop Up.

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I went in mid September and it was everything I wanted. Tickets were about 35 dollars, and you got a time slot. This was super organized and we didn’t have to wait like the Central Perk Pop Up in 2014. The staff was super nice and helpful and it was just a blast.

Character Corners

Rachel

 

Monica (and her cleaning tips!)

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“Monica Clean!”

Phoebe

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Glyniss- An original Buffay

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Phoebe’s dollhouse

Joey

 

Chandler

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Ross

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Other Artifacts from the show

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Scene Recreations! (My favorite part!)

Monica & Rachel’s Apartment door

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Joey & Chandler’s Apartment

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Joey’s Chandler Impression…

“Look at me I’m Chandler! Could I BE wearing anymore clothes!”

Chandler

 

Monica’s Turkey Dance!

Turkey head

Just to put my fellow germaphobe friends at ease, there were Clorox wipes on hand! 😉

 

 

The EPIC Pivot Scene!

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The Opening Credits & Central Perk

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The Real Coffee Shop/Gift Shop Areas

Other Random Fun Atmosphere Stuff

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The Pop Up was so much fun, I loved seeing the artifacts, and getting to recreate scenes from the show. I love television and storytelling. My dream is to write for tv, so these events are such a dream for me! It was one of the best days, and I’m really glad I got to share it with my brother and sister in law as we rocked our FRIENDS t-shirts. (I got mine in HOT TOPIC.) 

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Also we went to Black Tap after for lunch and I had to get their friends themed shake! It was delicious, but massive so I couldn’t finish it all. LOL. 

 

 

FRIENDS is my favorite show of all time. I love each character and all their quirks. They have made me laugh countless times. Thank you FRIENDS, for always being there for me. Happy 25th Anniversary! I can’t wait to see what they do for the 30th! 

*All images are my own.*

-<3-

Men’s Bouquet Gift Idea

Every year when it comes to father’s day or birthday gifts for my dad or brother, I’m always stumped. Shopping for men, can be hard. Because what do you get them???

So this year, I thought I would do a male version of a bouquet for my brother’s father’s day gift. Not that a woman can’t get a man flowers, but let’s be real, this idea is a bit more male practical.

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Please ignore the messy background!

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I basically just got a few gift cards (amazon, burger king, and x-box), some scratch offs, candy I know he likes, and some fun little magic tricks (he’s into learning magic tricks). I taped each item onto a wooden skewer stick and then taped it to a liter bottle of Pepsi, and then underneath that added a small can of Pringles. (I used ALOT of tape!) Again these are snacks and things I know my brother likes, so you can obviously customize these to each guy. I then wrapped it all in saran wrap, so that the pointy bottoms of the sticks wouldn’t poke anyone. To make it look more like a man bouquet I added some greenery and wrapped the bottom with gold tissue paper, adding some super hero stickers and ninja turtle stars. Yes, superheroes and ninja turtles, and magic tricks, cuz my brother’s a big kid! LOL.

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He seemed to like it! I thought this was a unique, fun idea and you can be really creative about what you include. So if you are stuck on what to get the men in your life, try a man’s bouquet!

*All images are my own.*

-<3-

Girl’s Spa Gift Basket Idea

Every year I try to think of a unique gift idea for my god daughter’s birthday. She is such a special little soul, and I love her so much- so naturally the gift must fit. 🙂

One time when we had her for a sleepover, I set up my house like a spa. And ever since, she wants to always play spa! LOL. So I thought it was only fitting I make her, her very own spa basket.

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In this basket I included:

A cute homemade little sign with her name

A nail polish set

A silk spa robe

A pair of flip flops

A spa headband

A hair wrap towel

A lip gloss set

Body spray

Lotion

Water spray bottle

Rags

Gem stone set

Color changing candles (battery operated obviously)

A recipe for cucumber water

Paper cups, napkins & funky straws and a decanter for cucumber water

 

And everything kind of ended up in this pastel color theme, which I thought was super cute!

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I bought everything in various stores as I was shopping around, however, I did get the robe, the gemstones and the candle set on amazon, and the body spray/lotion from bath and body works.

My god daughter ended up liking it, so I was very happy. I love giving gifts that have a theme to it, and I love making gift baskets!

So if you are in need of a gift idea for a young girl, try a spa basket! Let’s promote young girls learning self care early on. Because we all know life is stressful and being able to take time to yourself is important.

 

*All images are my own.*

-<3-

Keri Allen Inspired Fashion Look #Pearson

USA network released it’s new show, Pearson this Summer. My girl Bethany Joy Lenz plays Keri Allen- city attorney and right hand woman to Chicago’s mayor Bobby Novak.

In the show she is not only feisty and sarcastic, but she borders the line between right and wrong both in her professional and in her personal life. As we soon find out that she is THAT girl who is sleeping with her boss.

HOWEVER, she is an intelligent, hard working, diligent  woman who has gotten to where she is by her own merit. And her fear is that being with Bobby (Mayor Novak) is not only hurting her reputation but also breaking up a marriage and a family.

Although you can see the pain that has been created due to this affair, we do find out that Bobby pursued her when he and his wife were separated. Yea yea same old story, different characters. So many #Scandal vibes up. in. here. I love it.

Keri is a badass, she doesn’t take crap from anyone, and she is somehow unapologetic for her actions. I mean personally I don’t LOVE that she’s the other woman. I think it is very black and white, separated or not, he has a ring on his finger girl. AND let’s be VERY clear here, she may have slept with a married man and continued to fall into some twisted relationship with him, but HE is the married man who kept pursuing her. Just as much as it is her responsibility to check for a ring, it’s his to know he wears it and that ring is attached to a another woman he made promises to, a woman he had children with. Bobby is being sleazy. No doubt about it. But you can tell the affair wasn’t something Keri planned. And she let it go on for so long because falling in love with her boss was just kind of something that happened along the way and something she felt she couldn’t help.

Needless to say things get juicy and shit GOES DOWN as the season is coming to a close. And Keri is always trying to as Novak likes to say, “Keep her hands clean.” He doesn’t want her involved in all his behind the scenes, illegal drama. Enter- Jessica Pearson, the woman, the myth, the legend.

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In order to get shit done, Keri has to be comfortable to do that. And from looking over some of her fashion in the show. I realized there are some things she seems to be drawn to.

CLOTHING

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Simple, classic, timeless pieces- such as high waisted trousers, turtlenecks, blazers, button down shirts, and trench coats.

A lot of business attire.

Neutral colors-blacks, grays, whites, browns, navy, light blues, etc.

In her down time I’ve seen her rock jeans and a button up or a simple LBD (Little Black Dress).

ACCESSORIES & NAILS

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Pearson - Season 1

Not many. At all.

I’ve noticed she mostly wears simple studs and a watch.

IF she happens to wear a necklace it is often something simple and delicate.

Her nails are usually a very natural color too. 

HAIR & MAKEUP

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Keri keeps it very natural. She almost has that No Makeup, Makeup look.

I feel like she sticks to colors that just kind of enhance the natural colors in her features.

However, every so often she may throw on a red lip, and it adds that extra pop.

As for her hair she keeps that classic too. Just some simple twists or power pony’s. Or some soft curls.

My Keri Allen Inspired Look:

Based off this look.

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I like how even though this a classic, black and white combo- she still adds the red lip. And her blazer has a touch of leopard peaking out at the rolled cuff. I SEE YOU KERI! A red lip and some animal print at the office? YES! MY FAV!

I pulled this black blazer from my closet, that has some striped print when you roll the sleeves, I thought it was similar to Keri’s style. Black dress pants that have a higher waist line, and a white button down shirt. 

full outfit layout

outfit

Please ignore my missing button, LOL!

makeup and nail polish ideas

I already had a manicure, but I pulled some neutral Essie nail colors to show you that could work for Keri’s Look- Ladylike, Clothing Optional, Mamba, and Au Natural.

 

makeup and nails

For makeup I mostly used the Naked basics palette. And I went with a red lip- in Revlon’s Red Lacquer. For a more neutral lip, I’d go with this Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color in the shade-Forever. 

jewelry

I pulled some simple jewelry options that could work. Simple studs, delicate necklaces, and something that resembles a watch but it’s actually an oil diffuser bracelet.

no watch

It was either that or this groovy watch I had as a kid! LOL. I remember I saw this watch in CVS and I HAD TO HAVE IT, on account of the bright colors! I’m not a watch person at all now! So I figured the bracelet worked. 

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I just chose to rock a pair of studs and the “watch” for accessories.

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Obviously I have much shorter hair then Keri, but I tried to still style it similarly.

I couldn’t really see her shoes in any of the shots, but I feel like you can’t go wrong with a trusty black pump.

I work in a much more relaxed environment so I can wear jeans and sneakers. But after dressing in Keri’s style for a minute, I kind of liked the classic look. It was fun, put me in an office! Actually no, I’d never want an office job, I feel like an office style would be too restricting for me. I like to dress comfortable, and funky at times, Lol.

The Comparison…How did I do?

KeriMichelle

 

Do you like Keri Allen’s classic style? Visit this site and shop her clothes!

 

The Pearson Season 1 finale airs this Wednesday @ 10 PM on the USA Network.

Check your local listings!

-<3-

*I do not take credit for the Keri/Jessica/Pearson stills/gifs/ video clips used.*

*All other images are my own.*

 

“Lover” Lyric Poem

 

I forgot that you existed, she said to the man after one long cruel summer.

It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference.

Boys will be boys, where are the wise men? A constant thought.

Baby-doll, when it comes to a lover- you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes.

Soon, you’ll get better.

It’s a story. A love story.

Cinematic.

We were Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince with a death by a thousand cuts.

It’s not as tragic as it sounds, I’m older now. And you’re not my baby.

Walking along Cornelia Street, I found myself a London Boy.

He got that boyish look that I like in a man. Lyrical Smile. Daylight in his indigo eyes.

You may be from London, boy, but I’m New York City, I still do it for you babe.

My heart’s been broken, yours has been blue. Let me travel the world with you.

I’ve been the archer, I’ve been the prey, I’m so sick of running as fast as I can, wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was the man.

How hard is it to find your forever Lover. Hiding undercovers, in the winter I’ll be your Summer.

I don’t wanna look at anything else now that I saw you. Paper things, I think.

I like shiny, fancy things, but I’d marry this man with paper rings. Cuz cruelty only wins in the movies.

ACTION!

Lost in a film scene.

CUT.

Help me hold onto you.

Bring me back into reality.

I feel my heart beat, skipping down 16th Avenue. Thinking, Bless my soul. Would we still worship this love, even if it’s a false god? I think he knows.

STOP, think to myself- You need to calm down. Is this real? Or are we just friends?

It’s nice to have a friend, I guess.

But you’ll never get just what you see, I promise that you’ll never find another like me!

Fighting with a true love, is like boxing with no gloves. I don’t wanna lose this with you.

Meet me in the afterglow. ❤

 

See what I did there?

How many Taylor Swift lyrics/song titles did you spot?

*I do not take credit for Taylor’s music, lyrics, or her cover art used.*

-<3-