The February Slump 2018

Hi friends!

It’s been a bit, I know. 

Today I would like to talk about the February Slump. I know you know what I’m referring to.

You know that point in the new year where you start to slack off on all the goals you set out to accomplish this year. 

I knew this time would come. January was a month of making changes, and making lists, and plans for a better future. Putting things into motion and action. 

Then once February came, I started noticing myself slacking. Going to bed late, not reading/writing everyday. My daily goals getting distracted by life and the day to day. 

Overall, January was pretty great for me. I felt like I was forming a routine, and working out consistently, taking my vitamins, drinking a lot of water, carving out a day within the week to work on each of my big goals for the year. [SEE HERE by reading my- January 2018 Update]

But came February and a few late nights, family functions, and busy times and I started slacking. My goal was not to get angry with myself when this happened but to pick myself back up and hop back onto the routine I’ve started to create, improving it and crafting it as I go along. And that’s what I’m hoping to do this week. Thankfully I am on winter break and I can strive to plan things a little better. However, why is it that it’s only Monday and I already feel like the week is over. There’s so much I want to do, clean, research, make time to see friends and family. You know what they say, there’s never enough time in a day. 

I just need to get myself back on track and learn to balance my time to include my dreams, my goals, and my inspirations with my family and my friends, work, (tv shows, because #TVJunkie) and a social life. 

Balance is key. And that is what I need to build on in order for all of this to work. Life is a balancing act. Summers become Winters. Christmas becomes Easter in the blink of an eye. And before you know it, the goals you set out to accomplish in that year, are rolled over into the next.

This year I want that to change. I want inspiration, change, and determination to run through my veins. Change? Michelle, you want change? What? You hate change. No you don’t, your just scared of it.

Change is a scary word. But not all change is bad. And I think I’m starting to realize that in order for my dreams to come true I’m going to have to let change in. I want to take action. Take control over my life. There are things I always put on hold, things I just don’t force myself to do, habits that come and go. I let life lead me, rather than the other way around. And then I mentally scold myself for not accomplishing my goals.  

So…this year I’ve started to implement the necessary changes I need to do in order to reach my goals. Granted, it’s a slow climb. I’m definitely a work in progress, and I’ve definitely had my days/weeks where I’ve slacked off. The important thing is to acknowledge the slump and work towards moving past it. I know I shouldn’t beat myself up over it, because that’s not going to help me. And I can’t go back in time and change it. Getting down over it and scolding myself will only make me feel bad which in turn will hinder my motivation starting a vicious cycle and I don’t want that. So time to focus, time to revamp, time to balance.

Keep going girl, you got this! 

-<3-

*I do not take credit for any images used.*

 

 

 

Love is…

 

CLICK HERE for an I LOVE YOU Playlist. ❤

 

two souls combining

weathering all storms of fear and uncertainty

Love is

having patience and understanding

Love is

opening doors and buying flowers just because

Love is

a look, a whisper, a touch

Love is fire

Love is rain

Love is friendship

Love is pain

Love is passion

Love is comfortable silence

Love is an embrace like no other

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

*I do not take credit for the image used.*

-<3-

Throwback Books on a Thursday

I remember loving to read as a kid.

Even when I got a little older I would go to the library with my mom and take a bunch of books out…goosebumps, Mary-kate and Ashley, the list was endless.

But then assigned reading for school came into my life and I was forced to read things I didn’t want to read, and it was linked to homework. So I feel like that kind of ruined it for me.

As an adult I don’t read much at all. And I know I know, I’m a writer who doesn’t read…what the heck is that? Right?

But the truth is that I don’t think that if a writer doesn’t read that means they can’t be good. I watch television and movies so that’s kind of how I write with that kind of lens on. But I do understand how reading can help you become a better writer and I do want to get back into reading a little more this year.

Last year I bought two books, a poetry book- milk & honey (which I finished last year) and an inspiration book- BIG MAGIC, (which I am currently reading now.)

So as I started thinking about books and how I used to read more when I was a kid, I also started to remember the books that meant so much to me. And the titles started floating through my mind, creating a beautiful sense of nostalgia.

Here are some that I remembered…

Quints- The Cleanup

Corduroy

Good Night Moon

 

Blue Suede Shoes-

I couldn’t find this book online, but basically it was about a little girl who buys a new pair of blue suede shoes and she loves them and wears them all the time. I loved this book so much and I remember always reaching for it as a toddler.

 

 

Bread and Jam for Francis

Strega Nona

Rainbow Fish 

 

 

The Bernstein Bears- And Too Much Junk Food, In The Dark

Green Eggs and Ham, Wacky Wednesday, One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish

-Dr. Seuss 

Amelia Bedelia Series

Are you there god, it’s me Margaret?- Judy Blume

This was a book, every girl was reading at the time. It was kind of a MUST read, because it was all about a young girl getting her period for the first time. It was kind of a lesson in between pages. Judy Blume was known for writing about “taboo” topics. But she was a force for young girls. 

 

Mary-Kate & Ashley books

Man oh man do these books, bring back my childhood, I read so many of their books, I was such a fan! And they really marketed well, books, movies, tv shows, I have such fond memories of the Olsen twins! 

Cinderella 2000

I blame this book for my romantic expectations. I believe I found this book in Junior High School in one of those scholastic book flyers. And I read it and fell in love with it, and when you fall in love with a book, you tell your friends to read it and they all did, and they loved it just as much. It’s a typical story of a young girl who has a crush and dreams of him sweeping her away on a romantic prom date. Of course she thinks he doesn’t know she exists, and yet…somehow magic strikes. It’s perfect for a pre-teen girl. Silver palm trees and all! (haha Til this day I remember that’s what she has painted on her nails.) 

Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine- The Prom Queen, The Girlfriend

And when I didn’t want to read about love…I turned to horror… and at my age R.L. Stine did it best, especially in his Fear Street Series. Prom Queen was another book, that circles through my friends, so much so that it basically fell apart! And can we just check out those little teaser sentences on the cover….so damn good! 

And there you have it, the books that shaped my childhood. I know I’m definitely missing a few. But I can’t seem to remember all of them. I know I have a box backed away in my basement somewhere. One of these days I really want to sift through it and see what other stories shaped my writer’s mind as a kid. Each of these books/series hold such a special place in my heart, and I have such fond nostalgic memories of reading them throughout my life. Some are young and sweet, others are lessons, and others are more mature with love and mystery. It’s super cool to think about what I used to like to read, since I really want to get back into reading in my current life. I guess the genres of Love/Romance/Drama/Mystery/Horror it is!

I’ll keep you posted!

 -<3-  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Timberlake’s #MANOFTHEWOODS gives Good Vibes

album artwork

At the stroke of midnight on Friday, February 2, 2018 Justin Timberlake released his fifth studio album. And you bet your girl had her own personal listening party in her room, (thanks Spotify) even though she was exhausted, sometimes you just need to do it. #TheFangirlLifeIsReal #ItWaitsForNoGirl  

So as per usual I’m going to highlight my favorite lyrics and some of my random thoughts as I listened to the full album. You know your girl had her notebook ready! I can say that after my first listen… my favorites include- Midnight Summer Jam, Higher Higher, Morning Light, Montana, and Young Man. But as always, while I continue to hit replay on this album… for the entire weekend, I’m already finding new favorites, and I am really appreciating this album as a whole. Something I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about because Filthy wasn’t an instant favorite and the album is super different from what JT is best known for. Them Dance Anthems! 

FILTHY

Fav Lyric(s): 

Haters gon’ say it’s fake
So real

***

I said, put your filthy hands all over me
And no, this ain’t the clean version

*When I first heard these lines, I was like ohhh that’s fire. I can see that catching on. So it has been said that the voice we hear at the very end is in fact Jessica Biel. I remember hearing it and trying to decipher if it was her or not. “Look closer through the trees,” she whispers. And why I love it so much? I don’t know. Lol. In fact Jessica’s spoken word esque vocals are featured on quite a few tracks. And I am living for it!!! 

*Read my Full Review of JT’s first single HERE

MIDNIGHT SUMMER JAM *AN INSTANT FAVORITE* 

Fav Lyric(s): 

It’s in the air, hospitality
Anything you want, what’s mine is yours
But don’t you worry about the way I talk, woo
It’s where I’m from, come and get you some, uh
Hey, all of the locals are happy to get out and meet a new face
We dance in circles, on and on, dosey-do and then we sway
Even the old folks’ll come out and rock
And we just hopin’ the music don’t stop ’til the next day

*This is definitely my favorite song on the album. The minute I heard it I was like…OH MY GOD, this is my new “Let the groove get in.” It is the longest track on the album @ 5:13 and every time you think it’s done, it keeps going…so damn good. I love the drums, the horns, the guitar, the harmonica break down. It’s just such a great dance song. And I can see myself dancing to this on a cozy night in by the fire during winter, or at a big  outdoor summer BBQ. I love that last line…”Please… don’t stop the music…” P.S. did you catch Jessica’s “it’s sweaty out here baby” line. 

SAUCE

Fav Lyric(s): 

Ooh, I love your pink, you like my purple
You must be God herself, can I come worship?
Let’s make some new details, just for your journal
‘Cause you keep lookin’ at me with those eyes like you know somethin’ I don’t
So, go ahead, say I won’t

*I’ll admit at first listen I thought this song was good, but not an instant favorite. But the more I replay the album, it is seriously becoming one I really love. I absolutely love the chorus. This song has serious Prince vibes. “I like your pink, you like my purple…” 

MAN OF THE WOODS

Fav Lyric(s): 

How do I ever explain what I’ve got with you?
I try to find the words but they hide and that’s the truth
And nobody ever will understand what we do
There’s only one me and you
Come here, hold me
‘Cause there’s only one me and you

*This song is also the album’s title. Justin recently explained that the album is named after his son- Silas. Silas means “of the woods.” The song is super funky, almost like a spoken word country bob. I can’t explain it. It’s like an old comedy skit in the doo-wob era. You’ll see what I mean when you watch the adorable video feat Jessica Biel. But…but where’s baby Silas? A+ for 4 Justins. 😉 

HIGHER HIGHER *Favorite

Fav Lyric(s): 

Uh, stress is cruel, fame’s a lie
But you’re special, on every level
Success is cool, money is fine
But you’re special, another level

*This song gives off serious Earth, Wind, and Fire/ Barry Gib-The Bee Gees vibes. 

WAVE

Fav Lyric(s): 

I got rose-colored glasses
Batten your eyelashes
Come on, don’t be passive
So last time will be magic
This is fantastic, and we could get some practice
And miles on our passes for love

*This song has tropical vibes at first with a feel good, county fair vibe. I love the rose colored glasses reference.

SUPPLIES

Fav Lyric(s): 

I’ll be the light when you can’t see
I’ll be the wood when you need heat
I’ll be the generator, turn me on when you need electricity
Some shit’s about to go down
I’ll be the one with the level head
The world can end now
Baby, we’ll be living in The Walking Dead

*Read my Full Review on this song HERE

MORNING LIGHT feat. Alicia Keys *Favorite….gotta love my girl Alicia!

Fav Lyric(s): 

Look
Every time there’s a new sunrise
I open up my eyes
And I say to myself, “In the whole wide world of guys
I must be the luckiest alive”

‘Cause I’m in love with you
Laying here, in a morning light
And all I wanna do
Is hold you tight, just one more night

[Alicia Keys:]
Look, I can’t even get out of bed
With the thought you putting in my head
So I say to myself, “I don’t even wanna try”
Here, every part of me is paralyzed

*What an absolutely beautiful, soulful, romantic song. A sweet, pure love song with Jazzy, Motown/Temptations “My girl” vibes. I feel like this would be an incredible wedding song. 

tease

SAY SOMETHING feat. Chris Stapleton

*Read my Full Review on this song HERE

Fav Lyric(s): 

Sometimes the greatest way to say something is to say nothing at all

But I can’t help myself, no I can’t help myself, no, no
Caught up in the middle of it
No I can’t help myself, no I can’t help myself, no, no, no
Caught up in the rhythm of it

[Justin Timberlake (Chris Stapleton):]
Maybe I’m looking for something I can’t have

*Out of the 4 early releases this was my favorite. It got stuck in my head and in my soul. And I love that Justin can go country and it still works. He’s a freaking chameleon! LOL. And that video is EPIC! 

HERS (interlude)

Fav Lyric(s):

It’s an armor, like a barrier from the world
Like, our secret nobody else knows and I like that, you know?
It makes me feel like a woman, it makes me feel sexy, it makes me feel… it makes me feel like I’m his…

*I loveee interludes and preludes. He did this with Futures Sex/Love Sounds and The 20/20 Experience and some of my favorite parts of his songs are found in them. And to make it even better, this is a spoken poem by Jessica Biel all about wearing her husbands’ shirt. It’s quite beautiful, I love how her voice sounds breathy, and majestic.  I really love how this is titled HERS, by the lyrics, you’d think it’d be HIS since she’s speaking, but he changed it to speak on his own behalf almost as if to say, she may be mine, but I’m hers too. I also love how it leads right into…Flannel. 

FLANNEL

Fav Lyric(s):

Right behind my left pocket
That is where you’ll feel my soul
It’s been with me many winters
It will keep you warm
Ooh, here’s my flannel
The character’s in the way you wear it (the way you wear it)
It takes your shape while you keep it on (all you gotta do is keep it on)
May we live for many winters
Keepin’ each other warm
And may we live for many winters
Keepin’ each other warm

*I really like Justin’s vocals in this. He hits a capella *N’SYNC notes, super nostalgic, and beautiful. And what a beautiful ode to his wife/his family, yet again. This also leads to another Jessica Biel breathy ending- “…Do you see me..?”. It’s super woodsy, yet magical and futuristic. I can’t explain it, but I just think it’s so cool that he had her be apart of his record in such an artistic way. 

MONTANA *Favorite

Fav Lyric(s):

Now I know it’s 8 o’clock
And we’ve been kissin’ for hours
When the moon wakes up the sun
And our shadows kissed up on the mountains

*This was one I was super excited to here, after JT put a sneak peek of it on his social media, and it did not disappoint. It’s very disco inspired. I get some serious Staying Alive vibes. 

BREEZE OFF THE POND

Fav Lyric(s):

You and I against the world, against the world, against the world
You and I against the world, and everything that comes with
No denying what you’re worth, what you’re worth, what you’re worth
I’d be foolish beyond words to lose you

*Nice guitar vibes. 

LIVIN’ OFF THE LAND

Fav Lyric(s):

Singing I’m just one man doing the best that I can
Saint or a sinner, the loser can be a winner with a plan
When you’re living off the land

*I really am digging this track…it gives off some “Off the Wall”  Michael Jackson vibes .

THE HARD STUFF

Fav Lyric(s):

Anybody can be in love on a sunny day
Anybody can turn and run when it starts to rain
And everybody wishes all the skies were blue
But that ain’t the kind of love I’m lookin’ to have with you

***

So give me the hard stuff
The kind that makes you real
***
I’m never gonna give you up
‘Cause I want the hard stuff (hard stuff)
Yeah, I want the hard stuff (hard stuff, yeah)

***
So just know my fire for you will always burn
And please forgive the things in this life that I have to learn

*LYRICS!!!!! This song is kind of the “Not a bad thing” of this album. So beautiful. Basically a love song about wanting all of the ins and outs, ups and downs of a relationship. 

YOUNG MAN *Favorite 

Fav Lyric(s):

Someday somebody’s gonna break your heart in two
And I’ll be there
Someday you’re gonna break somebody’s heart
That’s what we do
One day I’ll be gone, son, but right now I’m home 
No, you’ll never be alone
Maybe someday you’ll be talking to your own

Young man, yeah
You know your daddy’s so proud of you
My little young man
Mama just can’t get enough of you

*Oh My God! this song had me in tears. Justin shares some beautiful family moments with us, as we hear him with his family. Jessica and Justin trying to get baby Silas to say Dada, and his little voice comes through, “Dada.” As his parents say “Good Job, buddy.” At the very end you hear Jessica talking to her son, “Is that daddy? Say I love you daddy.” Silas obliges and then we hear a little kiss sound. SO INCREDIBLE. And the lyrics make for a beautiful song for his son. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

This album is definitely different. I was nervous it would be too different. But I think I’m growing up with him. And my taste in music has also been evolving. And I really love this album. I feel like it really showcases his songwriter skills and proves that he is a true storyteller. It’s a mix of several decade influences, disco, jazz, rap, country, Motown. He gets in touch with his home, his southern roots, and he expresses the drive for his music- his wife and his son- his family. To put it simply, MAN OF THE WOODS is a cool, chill, jam, full of seriously good vibes. I seriously want to go to this tour. He basically said for this show, he wants to “bring the outside in.” And that sounds really cool. I’m with it. Fingers crossed that I get tickets, it’s super difficult and prices are out of this word! 

*You can read all of JT’s new lyrics HERE

*And you can stream his album for free on Spotify…but buy it on iTunes, or ya know in a store (Like I did)…Just buy it…it’s so good! Oh and by the way… waiting on that Jessica Biel album… 

DISCLAIMER: You know when your an adult when you no longer hate your celebrity crushes spouse. HAHA. I used to always bad mouth their relationship, because I didn’t see why they were a good match and because your fangirl was #Jealous. But honestly now that they’ve gotten a little more open about sharing some of their life with the world, I can see how in love they are and how beautiful their marriage and family is. And I fully support that. She seems like an incredibly strong and sweet woman. You know fangirls, you’ve been there right? Like you feel like you can’t like your crush’s wife/girlfriend/ fiancé, it’s against the rules. He’s yours. Haha. Oh how we young girls used to think. Jessica girl, please forgive my childish ways. If it makes up for it any…I loved you in Summer Catch and 7th Heaven when I was a kid. 😉

Did ya catch our boy’s Superbowl halftime show?

And his appearance on The Tonight how with Jimmy Fallon.

He performed Supplies and Say Something and my two favorite guys graced us with another skit. 

 

Until next time fangirls…

 

-<3-

 

 

 

 

Justin Timberlake Feb. 2018 Fangirl Report

Justin Timberlake’s new album “Man Of The Woods” is out THIS FRIDAY- February 2nd-TOMORROW! Just in time for him to take the stage this Sunday at this year’s Super bowl for the Half time show. And yes I plan on going to Target after work to buy my copy. Need that tangible stuff! Still no digital for me, not when it comes to this man! 

Expect a full album review fairly soon! 

album artwork

In the weeks leading up to this special day, Justin has released 3 out of 4 songs all accompanied by music videos. I imagine the 4th song will be released sometime this week. Yesterday Justin celebrated his 37th Birthday by rehearsing for the Super bowl and sharing some video clips of new songs. He hinted about “Man of the woods” being a “New song alert” but then he played a clip of another song entitled, “Montana.” I’m excited it sounds good!!! He also said that “Man of the Woods” the album title is named after his son, Silas- which means- of the woods; “So stop telling me I’m making a country album.” Hahaha ah Justin you might have wanted to lead with that little tid bit. Cuz you got people confused over here! 😉 Happy Birthday, to the man! Can’t wait for the new album! Now onto the 3 of the 4 songs already released.

You can read my feels about his first single- FILTHY HERE

The second song and video released was for SUPPLIES

Read the lyrics HERE

This song was more of a instant like than Filthy. And I think the video is pretty cool. Riddled with not so hidden messages and politics I’m sure there is a reason for each. But at first watch it’s just all very confusing. I do see Justin’s inner thug trying to come out here. Haha. That white hoodie tho. #ROCKYOURBODYVIBES

-The video starts with Justin sitting in front of a wall of televisions displaying a bunch of images- like eyes starring back you and weapons. Followed by news reports of racism and riots. 

As the song begins. 

-The next scene is filled with the colors, white, black and gold. As we see a woman in a black hoodie approach a man and some regal dressed women painted in white. As dozens of white umbrellas float above their heads and white painted alligators walk the streets. A man with a neck made of guns walks by too. To be honest I’m not getting this metaphor. Maybe it has something to do with racism or social class or the pouring rain of issues our world is currently facing. 

-Next we have a crew of people holding flashlights in front of what appears to be a Library. As Justin is joined by Pharrell for the chorus. Flashlights. Supplies. He’ll be the light in the darkness. 

-Justin also has a partner in these antics, a leading lady- who sets fire to the symbol of illuminati and we see dozens bow before it, praising it. Guess he’s stating his opinion of that one. 

-There’s the political jab at President Trump- as the girl rocks a “P***Y Grabs Back” shirt while lifting a car above her head. 

-Then there is a scene of floating people with light rings around their heads, Justin and his lady release two people as they fall free. My take is that society can brainwash you, but you have to think for yourself.

-2:42 is my favorite part of the song, and in the video it is basically the “romantic love scene” I guess you could call it. Justin and his love interest are circled in flashing beams of light while they have a make out session. He sings about being a generous lover. 

-If you ask me that part is a little misplaced. The sound of it, makes it feel like it could be in a song on it’s own. I do get that the song is about living in a world that’s falling apart, and how he will be the light, he will be everything she needs to survive. He’s got supplies. Sounds to me like someone’s been doomsday prepping. Haha. No but honestly if you look into the deeper meaning of this Rap infused song, you can really say it’s kind of a love song, he’s basically just saying that in a world of scary scary things, they still have each other and they will make it through. It’s beautiful when you put it that way. Not sure if people are picking up on that though. 

-The last few shots come to us from a dessert as Justin emerges from the ground of rubble, accompanied by his lady love and a few disheveled kids. Seriously though how is this chick still rocking perfect hair and lipstick in the apocalypse?

-The video ends with a very loud message as one of the young children screams into the camera, “Just Leave, die already. Your still asleep, wake up. Just leave, please. We’re good.” As Justin takes his girl’s hand and walks off, kids following. I think this has to do with needing to wake up to the world around us and accept that change has to come. Good change. I also definitely think it’s about Trump and our government and possibly how it is failing us. I know a lot of celebrities are not supporters of Trump. And neither am I. But I don’t like talking politics. 

I also think you can really interpret this video is a million different ways, there are some bizarre images. It’s very Taylor Swift. 😉

But I think it’s a really cool video, and he has some strong messages in there. I’ve never seen him do something like this before. Go Justin!

The next song released was SAY SOMETHING

Read the lyrics HERE

Ok so this song may be my favorite so far (I play it a lot!), and this video is EPIC. It was a one shot, one take, live performance. And it gave me serious Lumineers “Ho Hey” vibes. There is an incredible in depth article about this video, and you can read that HERE

It’s incredibly cinematic and beautifully shot. And that choir that joins in later on in the Chorus, COME ON NOW! This song is going to be incredible in concert, I hope he sings it at the super bowl!

This was a new style song and video for Justin and I’m noticing that he’s really pushing the boundaries with this album. It may be different, it may not be what we’re used to, but artists are meant to evolve and transform their styles. And I’m excited to see what the rest of Man of the Woods has got for us! Fangirl mode…ON!

track list

Tracklist

*Watch Justin’s socials for Behind the Scenes looks into his creative process.**

 

*I do not take credit for any images used.*

-<3-