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!

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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-

MUSIC I fell in love with this Summer

MUSIC

Tori Kelly 

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Inspired by True Events [released August 2019]

So I actually saw Tori back in April for the her Acoustic Sessions- where she not only performed songs from her incredible Gospel album “Hiding Place”, but also a lot of unreleased music that she just recently released in this new project.

And holy crap…what an absolute masterpiece. Not only are the songs/lyrics incredible… but the concept “Inspired by True Events” is so beautiful and personal. She wrote from personal memories and she even included voice clips of her younger self. It’s just so amazing.

My favorite tracks are, Coffee, 2 Places, Kid I Used To Know, and Pretty Fades.

Shawn Mendes

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Self titled album [released May 2018…but it’s been releasing new material well into this year.]

My favorite tracks include, Senorita, If I Can’t Have You, Fallin’ All In You, Where Were You In The Morning, Nervous, Particular Taste [Gives me serious Prince vibes!], Mutual,  Queen and When You’re Ready [That’s like the whole album LOLOL, omg I told you I LOVE his music.]

The Shawn Mendes Tour

I saw Shawn in concert at Barclay’s Center on August 23rd. I randomly bought tickets because it dawned on me how much I love his music- I’ve been listening since Handwritten, yo! I also became obsessed with his new single “If I Can’t Have You.” So my friend and I were super excited to get our cougar on, and go and sing our asses off with all the little teens. Fun Fact: we were those some older girls a few years back when we went to see Justin Bieber. Haha.

However, I promised you the full concert experience story so here it goes…

Shawn Mendes was AMAZING! Such a stinking cutie pie. I know I have a few years on him, but I have such a stinking crush on this cutie! If only I was 21 again. 😉 Boy can SING! And his music is so damn good. I kind of was hoping for a Camila Cabello surprise, but she wasn’t there. He did do a short mash up of Senorita/I Know What You Did Last Summer, but we definitely missed Camila. He shortened the songs significantly. He also surprised us with a coldplay cover and a FREAKIN WHITNEY HOUSTON cover. LIKE BOY….WHAT? He definitely put on a great show.

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BUT had it not been for one sweet woman who exchanged our seats for closer ones, I think I might have had a panic attack in that arena in the upper level. I had purchased tickets in section 206, because frankly it was all I could afford. The structure is INSANELY dangerous. Walking up those stairs was terrifying. I just tried to keep my cool, because it would have been very easy to let my anxiety take over. But I knew I had to keep it together, if I had any chance of enjoying the show.

My friend has a fear of heights (which sadly I did not know, otherwise I never would have bought those seats!) and so I realized quickly we needed to do something. Thankfully she came up with the idea to see if we could get our seats changed. And so the craziness continued. Not only did the venue let us in later than they should (seriously how do they expect thousands of people to be seated in 10-15 minutes/security check alone was like 10!), and they let us in a weird side entrance where we could not catch an elevator, escalators weren’t working and there was no one really telling us where to go. We had to walk up flights of stairs to get to our seats, not to mention that you had to walk a marathon to get food. All of this drama, causing so many people to miss the opening act- Alessia Cara. I heard her and caught a few bits, she was AMAZING. WHAT A DAMN VOICE. SHE SANG “How Far I’ll Go” from MOANA! #FEELS

I have to say in an emergency situation, I would not have felt safe in that arena. It just seemed like no one cared.

Anyway once we let Alessia’s set finish, I knew we had a small window to change our situation before Shawn took the stage. So my friend and I had to look for an usher, yes WE HAD TO LOOK FOR THEM, and ask if we could get our seats changed. I have to be honest, I didn’t think that was a thing. But my friend was like, we have to try, and she was right, the longer we sat up in those steep seats, the scarier it got. We definitely would not have felt safe to get up, let alone dance.

So the usher (although nice) told us he couldn’t help us and to go to guest services, to which the man there kept ignoring our complaints stating, “you don’t have a disability,” so he can’t help me. I was pissed.

So finally another woman told us to try the box office. We get to the box office and they tell us to go to guest services, and I was like “no, we were just there, they sent us here.” She almost told us there’s nothing they can do, that all we can do is purchase ANOTHER ticket. MIND you those nose bleeds seats COSTED $85. I was like “That’s insane, we paid to be here, and we can’t sit there, I’m not asking you to give me some crazy front row seats, we just have to get out of ours.” The woman was very understanding, but you could tell she was not sure if she could help us, claiming that guest services keeps sending people to her. So, this is not the first complaint they’ve gotten. If you have vertigo, you’d probably pass out up there. I mean I myself almost had a panic attack up there, it was so scary. Anway,  the woman came back a few minutes later with two tickets, saying, “It’s your lucky day.” And it got me thinking, how many people who complained weren’t THAT lucky.

There really should be a change made. I know we are not the first people to complain about the steep seating. Not to mention that Barclays Center actually has a policy that says special accommodations can be made at the venue day of. I understand anxiety may not be a disability, but it IS real. We happen to get “lucky” that the seats we were given were being saved for someone who didn’t show. We went from section 206 to 124, and it was AMAZING. We were able to dance freely and enjoy the rest of our night…thankfully. Just out of curiosity I looked up our tickets…and they were about $200+. THAT’s INSANE. I guess safety costs! HUH?

I’ll just leave this article HERE. Because I am not the only one who feels this way. Concerts are supposed to be a fun experience not a dangerous one. (And no I wasn’t drinking, (and my friend barely finished hers because she got so anxious from the seating) I can only imagine how many people have fallen because of the combination of alcohol and steep seating.)

^ The left we were sitting way high up in the nose bleeds. The right we were in our new seats.^

From all these pictures you would never know the kind of concert experience we had! I may not be a fan of the venue, but I am a fan of the very sweet woman who accommodated us when no one else would. I will NEVER purchase tickets that high up again, and if this venue wasn’t so convenient for me to go to, I probably would never purchase tickets there again at all. An unforgettable night for sure, a list of things that went wrong. But girl, we hung in and we conquered it! #FightForYourHealth #Memories #AnxietyIsReal #SafetyIsAPriority

Shawn is a class act, the arena lit up beautifully with everyone wearing the bracelets they gave us as we walked in. And Shawn barely ever left the stage, performing an epic 23 song set! He is an insane talent. THAT is what I am choosing to focus on, that in the end, we were STILL able to have a good time. I just hope that Barclays takes measures to create a safer environment for concert goers.

 

Set list (via setlist.fm)

Lost in Japan

There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back

Nervous

Stitches

Señorita / I Know What You Did Last Summer

Mutual

Bad Reputation

Never Be Alone

B-Stage:
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
(Whitney Houston cover)

A Little Too Much / Because I Had You / Patience / When You’re Ready

Life of the Party

Like to Be You

Ruin

A-Stage:
Treat You Better

Particular Taste

Where Were You in the Morning?

Fallin’ All in You

Youth

If I Can’t Have You

Why

Mercy

Encore:
Fix You
(Coldplay cover)
In My Blood

By the way…Here was my concert going outfit. I was really excited about it!

I basically just wanted an all black base so I could rock this funky kimono. And of course I did gold jewelry and gold nails. Mind you, I was on a budget and this WHOLE outfit (aside from the bag and jewelry which I already had) costed me about $40! I think it kinda turned out pretty cool! 🙂

Taylor Swift

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Lover [released August 2019]

We know how I feel about this new album!

***** 5 Stars!!!

My favorite tracks include- I Forgot That You Existed, The Man, I Think He Knows, False God & Afterglow. But honestly I love every single track. Her lyrics are GOLD! She truly was born to do this!

Ed Sheeran

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No. 6 Collaborations Project [released July 2019]

Some of my favorite tracks are Beautiful People ft. Khalid, South of the Border ft. Camila Cabello & Cardi B., I Don’t Care with Justin Bieber (of course cuz it’s a JAM!), I Don’t Want Your Money ft. H.E.R, Put It All On Me ft. Ella Mai [this gives me suchBlackstreet & Mya-“Take me there”/City High “What would you do” vibes and the very beginning of this track is very “My whole life has changed” by Ginuwine.

Ok so I know I’ve been sleeping on this album and I’m kind of mad at myself because I consider myself an Ed Sheeran fan. He is actually on my concert bucket list, along with Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Joy Williams (previously known as 1/2 of The Civil Wars). I had given it a quick listen one day, but didn’t really let it sink in, but recently I have just been playing it at random times, and I mean I totally dig the concept of creating a full album of collabs. He really collaborated with such a variety of artists and he killed it. He really can do anything. Such an incredible artist. I’m just going to leave you with this Dublin concert video, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this in the past….him and a loop pedal…EPIC!

The Jonas Brothers

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Happiness Begins [released June 2019]

So this was a THING! The brothers reunited musically after being separated for the past 6 years. I wasn’t A HUGE DIE HARD fan of the JoBros, but I did vibe with them and their music. I LOVED their A Little Bit Longer Album and I’ve loved their solo music too. When I heard they reunited, my boy band loving heart was HAPPY. If tickets were cheaper, I’d probably go see them just to fill my boy band void. #IMLOOKINGATYOU*NSYNC

My favorite tracks include, Sucker (OBVI…it’s a damn BOP!), Only Human (loved it before it was a single), I Believe, Used To Be, and Rollercoaster.

I really like this album. Do it JOBROS! I know it’s been a minute, but I love that they are brothers/family first.

 

You can listen to these albums on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, etc.

 

*I do not take credit for any album art used.*

*All other images are my own.*

-<3-

 

 

 

Summer 2019 Vibes!!!

I know I haven’t posted much this summer… I guess I’ve just been busy…

LIVIN MY BEST LIFE! 😉

As this Summer officially comes to an end for me, (I start work back up tomorrow!) it has dawned on me that this Summer has been pretty great. Which is not always the case for me. No, I wasn’t able to go on some luxurious vacation, but I was able to have some really fun times with great family, friends, food, and lots of wine! 😉 I got to do more than I usually get to, because this summer I decided to take off of work. Granted, my job is different then most, I can either apply to work the summer or not, it’s my choice. Normally I work every Summer, but something made me decline this Summer. And I’m glad I did. My credit card isn’t happy, but I think it was the right move for me personally. 

No my Summer wasn’t perfect, it actually started off really difficult for me and my family. And I have had many emotional moments and hard times, but when I look at all the good. Somehow, that wins. Good always wins. And so, I thought before I jump back into my usual work routine, I should just take a second and reflect of the Summer memories I was blessed with. 

JUNE, JULY, & AUGUST 2019

My Summer started with my usual tradition of taking my mom to see a broadway show. I get her tickets for her Mother’s Day gift and then we usually see the show in June. This year we saw Waitress, and it was ABSOLUTELY amazing. [Fun Fact: I actually just watched the movie and it was good, but I LOVED the play even more!)]

4th of July we celebrated with some family and it was really sweltering hot, but it was a really great time.  As an anxious person, heat really tends to effect me. But I’ve really learned to manage my anxiety in the Summer better. The 4th was really fun! Especially since my cousin and his family were in from Florida. It was really nice to be able to spend a holiday with them, it’s been a minute! I also found this super simple COOKIE RECIPE, and they were a hit! I think I made them, like 3 times for 3 separate occasions this summer, I just switch up the sprinkles depending on the occasion. A kid favorite for sure! *You could totally make these for Fall, Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc. I would even like to try it with chocolate cake mix. BTW if you look closely, you may spy that I wore a Britney Spears t-shirt…it was the only red, white, & blue I had. And like I was cool with it! 😉 #ITSBRITNEYBITCH Guess you can tell, I’m kind of a graphic tee fan…more to come on that later on!

A Stranger Things themed Coney Island! So if you are a fan of the sci fi/mystery Netflix show, you would know that this Summer Season 3 was released. [I’M ONLY UP TO EPISODE 6…SHHHHH!!!!] Coney Island was transformed into a Stranger Things theme park in the show’s 80’s fashion. It consisted of just posters hung around of the logo and the characters, the theme song was placing on the speakers, and the staff had on custom tees. Nothing crazy, I was kind of disappointed. BUT I went with my mom, aunt and my aunt surprised us by bringing my goddaughter, so we got to go on some rides, play games, and eat some food court summer food. 

Local Baseball Game for my Cousin’s husband’s 40th birthday! I’m not a super fan of baseball, but we had a box room, and there was catered food, and the weather was great. The kids even got to run the bases after the game. 

   I got to catch up with my coworkers…and eat this load of calories! 😛

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Atlantic City Overnighter with my fav ladies, my mom and my aunt! We stopped in the small town Smithville on the way. Gambling isn’t my fav, because I HATE losing money. But there were a few fun games I liked, like CRAZY MONEY! BUT I got some sweet Gilmore Girls/Stars Hollow vibes from the small, quaint town, and picked up some goodies.

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Two small jars of honey, peanut butter, a candle, a jar of jam, worry dolls, a tie dye t-shirt [this was from one of the boardwalk shops in AC], and a wine opener in the shape of a wine bottle with my name on it and a cute saying-my Aunt bought me as a gift!

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TOY STORY 4! THE LION KING! ALADDIN! #RELIVEDMYCHILDHOOD Thank you!

So I never had a super strong connection to The Lion King or Aladdin as a kid. I was never a super big Disney kid, I had my favorites but they weren’t it. But I really had to see the new live action films. Because, duh? However, Toy Story was a thing! My brother and I were a fan of the films growing up.

I really enjoyed all three films.

[INSERT MINI MOVIE REVIEWS!]

The Lion King was a little bittersweet because I felt like Nala being played by Beyoncé kept taking me out of the story, because I was just thinking ok you’re Beyoncé. And I just felt annoyed by it. And I just felt like the real animals (although Timon and Pumbaa were HYSTERICAL) were just weird to watch in this sing along world. I felt like the color in the animation helped with suspending reality and enjoying the world. But I did enjoy it for the most part, the original is better, in my opinion. The music was better in the original too. 

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My friend and I in the theater with our cherry cokes and our granny glasses. 

Aladdin was amazing! I loved the romance between Aladdin and Jasmine. You know me, if there’s a love story, I AM IN IT! I thought Jasmine’s vocals were INSANE. And Will Smith as the genie….I mean he cracked me up the whole damn time. The music was beautiful…And I watched a crappy boot leg copy because by the time, I got around to watching it, it wasn’t playing in theaters near me. But I really loved it, and if I watched it in a clear, crisp copy, I’d probably love it even more.

Toy Story 4 was EPIC! It was everything-emotional, funny, nostalgic, scary….like those dummy dolls were legit! It was amazing and I actually didn’t think the ending was as sad as everyone made it. I think it actually left room for other films.  

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Had to see Toy Story 4 with my big bro, cuz… childhood. #Nostalgia Peep the shirts! #PIZZAPLANET

Pool/Beach Vibes

So I actually got to go to the beach TWICE this Summer, which is kind of a big deal for me. There have been some Summers I wouldn’t get to go at all! I went once with my mom to a local beach, then I went to Ocean City with some family, and stayed with them in a rented house for a few days. I also got to have some fun pool days, one with my best friend at her house and one with some family, my cousin has a pool membership. I kid you not it was very Stranger Things-80’s pool vibes. Super fun! 

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We were only there for 5 days, but we did so much! The beach, the amusement park, the water park, the arcade, BBQ nights in, shopping strips, dinner night outs, we played cards and other games, mini golf AND survived the crazy heat wave too! 😉 

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Clearly you see I was vibing with the Tie Dye trend! I’ve always liked it, but now I actually own it! I bought two t-shirts, an ankle bracelet, a cross necklace, a candle, and Spice Girls wine glass charms. I mean I just thought they were hysterically awesome!

I bought my family tickets to see Ain’t Too Proud! It was my dad’s father’s day gift this year! And the talent was incredible! I honestly was so amazed by their vocals. I grew up with the music of The Temptations playing in my house. I’m definitely a MOTOWN influenced kid. I love their music, songs like My Girl and Just My Imagination were some of my favs! The show was so amazing, I felt like I was seeing them live in concert.

Descendants 3 Premiere with my God Daughter!

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My cousin threw a party for her daughter & her friends, and so I made some fun treats for the girlies. Besides, I was kind of excited for the 3rd film too! I was a bit obsessed with Evie’s blue and red vibes from the second film. The second is my favorite, but I enjoyed the new film too!

Descendants premiere party

I love planning themed parties, and believe me I have a few TV related mini parties I had throughout this summer, but I’m going to do a whole separate post on my Summer TV and Music Favs! So STAY TUNED!

Fun with Fashion!!!

I got to play around a little more with fashion this summer. More than I usually do, because I didn’t have to dress a certain way for work. Also, I became a huge fan of hats and tassel earrings. Also the two white t-shirts with the logos on them are both shirts made by my brother. The “she writes her own story” tee was a custom made for me, but the “You’re Making Me Blush” tee is available on his etsy shop! He has some great designs up, please take a look and follow him on instagram @mytshirtaddiction 

I told you I love graphic tees, I guess it runs in the family! 😉 

I just got a fresh new cut and color because my hair was kind of looking rough from dying it purple in April. I basically had Mermaid hair all Summer. Which was like cool, but I was growing sick of it and I needed a darker vibe for Fall! I’ve had Pink, Blue, and Purple hair over the years and I still have yet to show any of that on this blog! One of these days, I’m going to do a whole Hair Chronicles! LOL. 

Had My God Daughter over for a sleepover- and we did everything under the sun from making tie dye tees to baking a cake for my brother’s birthday to making our own chipwiches- I also created a scavenger hunt for her! We also had my brother and his family stay over unexpectedly one night, and it was my niece’s first sleepover at our house. So I had to scramble and make it festive for her and get her some goodies. We decorate every time we have my god daughter for sleepovers so we had to do the same for my niece too! I also babysat my niece by myself for the first time! (It’s not like I can’t… I just never have until this summer, I can be a nervous Nancy when it comes to watching kids all by myself. LOL) Great times with my two favorite little girlies!!!!

 

Music & TV Vibes!

So I do want to share with you all the shows and music I fell in love with this Summer in a separate post, but I just wanted to highlight a few things! I saw Shawn Mendes in concert with my friend and needless to say it was kind of an anxious experience. I will get more into it in a separate post. But let’s just say I will never sit in Barclay’s upper seating again. It’s quite terrifying! Shawn however, was AMAZING! And it ended up being a fun night. Taylor Swift dropped her new album #Lover as you may have guessed from my last few posts, I’m KIND OF a fan! It’s EPIC and I love it! So there has been lots of fun Taylor Swift memories this Summer. As for tv, there were so many shows I saw premiere, shows end and all the feels in between. But the two that I hold so dear to my heart has to be the new 90210 reboot- BH 90210. SO GOOD! And the announcement of the Lizzie McGuire reboot! I AM DYING!!!! SO SO PUMPED for that! I’m already planning my premiere party in my head guys! Nostalgia is a dish best served nice and toasty. Childhood memories….feels like home. 

Family Day at the Aquarium! We got caught in torrential down pour, but it was still a good time! 

Speaking of rain, I think I got caught in crazy down pours and thundering and lightning like 4-5 times this summer. I’ve been soaked from head to toe on multiple occasions. One time my umbrella wouldn’t even open! Some days I could laugh it off and some I just wanted to stop and cry! But looking back at this summer I can just say Thank You! Thank You 2019 for getting me through some really hard emotional blocks, and testing me and proving to me that I can handle so much more than I give myself credit for. Anxiety does not define me. And just because I feel the weight of the world one day or even a week doesn’t mean that it’s forever. That my funky moods, don’t have to be my all day moods! I’m so hoping to bring that knowledge with me into this new Fall Season…MY FAVORITE SEASON! Such a basic bi*ch, I know! #FIGHTME. 😉 BRING ON THE PUMPKIN EVERYTHANG, the flannel, the leather, the cool air, the crisp leaves and the HOLIDAYS! I feel so blessed to have had the Summer I did. And blessed to start this new fall year, that is already filling up with some exciting things!

Time to focus on the positive. 

 

How was your Summer?

*All images are my own, except the movie posters, the Taylor Swift image I stole from my bestie, and the Lizzie McGuire pic I reposted from Hilary’s instagram.* 😉

 

-<3-

 

 

Ladies Lounge Party Planning

 


I celebrated my birthday in March (Fashion Stylings coming soon!) I went to dinner with a few close friends and then had them come back to the “Ladies Lounge” for dessert. I love to create my own vibes. And I think lounges are super cool and laid back and just the perfect place to hang out, chat with your girls and have a few snacks and drinks. 

The Entry Way

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The entry way is the first impression guests see. For the Ladies Lounge I chose to set the scene with an information board filled with inspirational and informative flyers about “local” events. A bowl of candies, candles, signs, and a disco ball. I also included a bathroom sign on the door. 😉 

 

The Bathroom

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Every time I have gone out to a nice place, the bathrooms always have cute little decor pieces or inspirational quotes on the wall. This one pictured here, is one of my favs. I also laid out some festive guest napkins by the sink. 

The Coffee/Tea Station

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Of course I didn’t actually make my guests pay for their drinks and desserts! Lol. It was just for show.

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The Happy Hour Bar Station

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In honor of my fav girl from FRIENDS, this is a Racheltini…(basically just pink lemonade with a cherry on a fancy pearled toothpick lol)

 

The Dessert/Snacks (we went out to dinner before hand, so I kept it simple with a few sweet and savory snacks)

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I added a lace tablecloth, a color changing candle, and a mason chair filled with fresh flowers. I also set the treats on some fancier dishes.

Setting the vibe/Lounge area 

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I had my crystal salt rock lamp on, and my essential oil diffuser on as well. I like to use a blend of Lavender & Eucalyptus

 

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I replaced the lamp on the left’s bulb with a yellow bulb to create a fun lighting vibe. Added a throw and some extra pillows to the couch for a cozier look. Some Lanterns and décor fans to add some lounge feels. 

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I put on the spa music channel to set the vibe along with more candles a lantern and some drapery. I used my fuzzy chair with another throw to the mix for extra comfy seating. 

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I transformed my living room desk into a little coffee table. I placed two LARGE coffee cups on the funky table cloth. Just like the ones on the show. I also added a small vase of flowers and a real candle. For a few more FRIENDS related Easter eggs I added a fake version of “Be Your Own Wind Keeper” and a Trivia book. 

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I added another lantern above, a few balloons around, another chair with a drapery and extra pillow, and strung some sunflower lights by my windows, which I closed to keep the light vibe low. 

Movie Vibes

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Ladies Lounge Viewing Board Announcement. ^

 

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Every screening needs its snacks! 😉

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FRIENDS chillin at the Ladies Lounge! 

Are you looking for a fun place to hang with your friends, but you can’t find one in your local area, CREATE YOUR OWN!

 

*ALL IMAGES ARE MY OWN!*

-<3-

2018 Highlights- Year in Review

This past year, I actually didn’t end up using a memory jar. It kind of became more of a flower vase and I forgot about it. But as usual, instagram and this blog were definitely helpful in my yearly reflection.

Here are my 2018 Highlights

(in no particular order)

Justin Timberlake released his new Album Man of the Woods and I bought tickets to see him in October. (However as you may know from my fangirl report the show was postponed due to bruised vocal chords. It was rescheduled for January 31st (his birthday) so let’s hope it sticks and I get to start my 2019 off with my fav babe!) He also released a summer single too- Soulmate. It’s fire!

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MLW turned 5 years old! This blog has been with me through so many ups and downs. I have taken month(s) long hiatus’ and have gone MIA many times, and I’m sure it will happen this year too. But I always come back! And it means a lot to me to have this outlet. To have “a safe place for the written word.” We also got our own domain this year-michelleleighwrites.com
happy 5th

I took up Jewelry Making in order to teach a class at work and I realized I do really enjoy it. For some one who loves accessories and loves jewelry, it’s cool to have pieces that I created myself. When people say that’s so pretty, I can say “Thanks, I made it!” I’m hoping this year to get my own Jewelry supplies and make a hobby out of it!

 

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We started many new family traditions, now that we have a 6th person at our  usual table of five. My baby niece turned one and she’s learning so many new things, it’s so amazing and so exciting to watch her grow. Holidays are sweeter now that she’s here and we were able to celebrate many of her first holidays this year too. And as usual so many other special family moments with our extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I also got to take my mom to see Summer (the donna summer’s musical) and help out with a mother’s day photoshoot for my sister in law, my brother is a photographer and he wanted me to shoot some behind the scenes footage for him, so that he could make a montage video.) 

Jack & Elizabeth’s Wedding on When Calls The Heart. This show is so magical. (Except SPOILER ALERT the actor playing Jack decided to leave and so they had to kill off his character just shortly after the characters got married. So Elizabeth was left a pregnant window. It still breaks my heart so much. But I’ve been watching reruns on Netflix of earlier seasons of their courtship and I can’t help but love this show. It is so full of strength and hope and grace. And these women are fierce as they come.) Despite the heartache, the wedding was absolutely beautiful and when it comes to TV viewing parties and themes, I can be pretty “extra.” I learned to sew in order to make my own custom WCTH tee and had a cup of tea and some pie in honor of the special occasion. I still don’t have the Hallmark channel so I totally bugged my brother and watched at his house.  The show did the wedding right, they even had a invitation that you can rsvp to, pick your meal choice and request a song. Hallmark still has a full wedding album up too. Such beautiful pictures, Elizabeth looked gorgeous and their vows were breathtaking. 

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^In other tv related news (because you know me, I’m a TV fan girl) I fell in love with the show The Resident on FOX and the Netflix film- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (it’s getting a sequel!) 
To all the boys

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I had a lot good times with friends (fell in love with a new tea spot, tried hot pot for the first time, had a few brunch meals, tried frose, and braved karaoke, etc)-work friends, high school friends, old friends, new friends! Caught up with some middle school friends I haven’t seen in a while. We actually were able to get in two visits this year, so we are doing really well, considering we are all always so busy- one is a mom and one is always traveling, so I’m so happy we made it work! My best friend got married and I was one of her maid of honors, so we got to do all the things-the shower, the bachelorette party (which was epic thanks to me and my co maid of honor), the rehearsal, and the wedding. It was all magical! And they are a beautiful couple.

 

*NSYNC got their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, on “It’s Gonna Be May” Day (April 30th) and it was broadcasted live for all to watch. I totally did, and I may or may not have bought a few *NSYNC merch tees, they are being sold in stores like target, and spencer’s/hot topic, but also on *NSYNC’s official site! The guys were also on Ellen!

So I was kind of in fangirl heaven!

I hosted a 90’s theme Girls Night In for my best friend, as our own little bestie send off before her wedding. It was A BLAST. I love nostalgia and I LOVE the 90’s. Butterfly clips, chokers, and blue eyeshadow, OH MY! 😉 

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My family participated in our first Alzheimer’s walk in honor of my Grandma who passed away in February of 2017. We all had t-shirts and it was a beautiful day, honoring someone we all really miss and love. We raised well over what our goal was! Thanks to my Aunt and Uncle who organized it all, and to all who donated. Our hearts are full! 

I did BLOGTOBER– blogged the entire month of October! My fall was so full of all the Halloween, Pumpkin things!

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I participated in my first ever #NaNoWriMo– National Novel Writing Month (November) October and November were very busy for me, it made me really proud to be able to write so consistently and meet my goals. 

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I continued writing my short story series- Move that I started at the end of 2017, but still have to continue and finish it this year. I also started another short story series that has yet to be finished and posted- tentatively called Crazy Stalker Love. (STAY TUNED! for all of the stories to come!)
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Crazy Stalker Love Sneak Peek-

I had a list of over 60 great memories for this past year, so I guess it was a really good one. So I can’t complain. But in the interest of time, I chose a few. Thanks for the memories 2018, I am very blessed. I look forward to all the magic ahead in 2019.

Happy New Year friends!

May all your hopes and dreams come true!

Stay Tuned for much more content this year.

So many stories to tell!

-<3-