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!

IMG_20181023_090958_503 (1)

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!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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. 

90[1]

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

^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

Dk17DB7U0AA4nrI.jpg-large [www.imagesplitter.net][1]

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! 😉 

90's party

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!

sneak peek day 2

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. 

crest-05e1a637392425b4d5225780797e5a76[1]

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!)
MOVE poster

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-

2018 Inspiration and Planning Ideas

I’m a planner and I love to know what’s ahead of me. Granted, I realize that’s not always possible, but having some vague plan in mind, tends to lessen my anxiety so I go with it.

I recently bought myself a new planner. Nothing fancy, as much as I love how they have all the stickers and the sticky notes and all that, I just don’t think I would actually use them. So I just went to my local Walgreens and picked up a Blue Sky, monthly/weekly planner. 

When I start to plan for the new year, the first thing I like to do is reflect on the year that just passed. As you can see in my- 2017 Memory Jar Review post.

I go back through my memory jar, my instagram posts and my blog posts and see what I accomplished. I also review my goals list and check off the things I accomplished, and narrow in on the things I still want/need to work on, or continue to implement. 

img_1114

Because even if I did accomplish a specific goal in 2017, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t carry over into 2018. For instance like personal growth- and working on my anxiety, that’s a goal that’s on going, bettering my mental and physical health is always a goal every year, as it should be. 

After I reflect, I review my old goal list, and check off, or add to it. And then eventually I’ll probably make a new list. 

After that I will look at the many many things on my list and realize that it is VERY overwhelming!

So this year I’ve decided that from that big list I will pick 4-8 things that I want to ABSOLUTELY accomplish this year. And so that way my brain knows what it needs to focus on. Categories can help- so for instance- Health/Self-care, Relationships, Career.

After that, this is where my planner comes into play. 

I like these planners (Blue Sky) because they have the monthly calendar and then the weekly where you can write in things per day.

However in hindsight, I usually end up needing more space, no matter what. So I’ll either use post-its or a separate sheet of paper/notebook or notepad for daily To-Do Lists or if something I’m working on needs a little more planning. 

I’m debating getting just a desperate notebook for To-Do Lists, because I feel like I make them so often, I end up with all these sheets of paper all over. So we shall see. 

It’s only January, things are definitely going to change as we go along.

I’ve started to do like weekly to do lists, and goals, and also I think eventually I may try monthly. Let’s be real January is a total hangover month. I’m still on 2017 time, so everything is trial and error at this point for me.

And that’s totally okay, because you don’t need a new year, to make a change. I kind of feel like I implemented some new things into my life last year around fall time, because I felt inspired to do so with the new school year starting up again. So you can always renew, revamp, and reflect. There are no rules. 

Last year I said my “mantra word” was CHANGE, and ALOT changed around me, and I adapted and am continuing to do so, and although I feel I made some changes for myself too, I want to continue to grow and change on my own this year as well. However, I’m going to add another word to my mantra this year and that is DETERMINATION. There are certain things I want to do, that are big, BIG CHANGES I want to make in my life, and in order to do them, I’m going to need that fire, that determination. So I’m going to aim to up that factor in my life this year, because let’s be real, we all get in our lazy funks. It’s winter after all, and there’s a huge snow storm outside. So nothing says “it can wait til tomorrow…” more. But here I am trying to stick to my Monday/Thursday posting schedule anyway, while the tv is calling my name- waiting for me to catch up on all the shows I’ve missed over the past few weeks. Determination, Michelle, DETERMINATION.

Another thing I find that inspires me is looking up videos on YouTube. Some of those ladies make the most inspirational planning videos! And they just give you the pep you need to get planning.

I’ll link a few below, that I’ve watched this year for inspiration. I’ve definitely pulled from them when doing my planning.

I also like to have a visual to display so that I can see it. I never shared last years with you-(it was just a bunch of fun images with the word CHANGE), but after a while, it ended up getting buried in a corner of my room when I was reorganizing, but it’s back up and I’m going to add one near it to display images of my 2018 MAIN GOALS and the word DETERMINATION! 

vision board 2018

***

So to review the steps I use to plan:

Step 1: Reflect on the past year

Step 2: Review 2017 Goal List/Write a New One

Step 3: Narrow Goals Down (to the most important you want to focus on)

Step 4: Buy/Use a planner/To-Do List (to keep track of everything)

Step 5: Find inspiration (if you need help planning your goals)

Step 6: Choose your mantra word (the theme for your year)

Step 7: Create a vision board (to keep visible as a reminder of your goals for this year)

Step 8: Breathe & Believe in yourself ❤

MY MAIN BIG GOALS FOR 2018

*Get healthier- mentally/physically/emotionally

*Take the next step in my career

*Save money for my best friend’s wedding festivities!

*Get my permit/take driver’s ed (yes I know I’m way behind on this, in life- but hey I live in NY, technically- I don’t NEED to drive) 😉

*Work on relationships

*Self-publish a body of work (not on this blog, but elsewhere)

*Write my Pilot episode

Now that I have this locked down, I can go through and plan how to accomplish each one, step by step. I haven’t done that just yet, but…I will. The year is new, the year is young. 

Happy 2018! Now let’s crush it! ❤

Tell me how you plan for your year ahead in the comments below, and if you have any other YouTubers you find inspiring!

-<3-

*I do not take credit for the images used in my edit or otherwise.*

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Memory Jar Review

HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!!!

img_1114

As I reflect on 2017, sifting through my memory jar, my Instagram and my blog posts, I realize SO MUCH happened this year. At the start of the year I made a vision board that I framed. It was made of just cool funky colors and images to match my room, but it also had one main word in the center and that word was CHANGE. I wanted to change and work on so many things and I wanted to make that word my mantra. As someone who fears change, I wanted 2017 to be the year I embraced it. And even though I had my ups and downs, my tearful breakdowns, my stressed out moments, and I lost a very special person- My Grandma very early on in 2017, I still managed to make some incredible memories. 

I’d I have to say that I rose to the occasion and embraced change. I changed. And this year I’m hoping to continue to change. To better myself, my life, my relationships and my career.

So here are My 2017 Highlights.

(in no particular order-but categorized)

 

*FAMILY/FRIENDS* 

-I rung in 2017 with my dad’s side of the family- my parents, my cousins, my aunt, and my grandparents. We even got to skype my brother and sister in law who were on their honeymoon in Hawaii at the time. I dressed up, made glitter cups, ate fun finger foods, and lit up sparklers as we had an impromptu dance party outside. It was a blast. It was in fact the last Holiday I got to spend with my Grandmother before she passed in February. I’m glad my family got to have that time together. It was also a huge family reunion when she passed, family and friends from all over came to be together. Although such a sad time, it was beautiful to see how much love there is and how many people wanted to share in honoring her life. Read more about that journey HERE. 

-Many family dinners, my brother hosted a few holidays at his new house- memorial day, mother’s day, father’s day, Christmas 2017, and New Year’s! My mom also hosted a few family dinners too. A lot of time spent with my immediate family. ❤

-I became a Titi. (In Spanish it means Aunt.) My sister in law and brother found out they were expecting their first child, so we got to be apart of the baby kicks and all that, I even got to sit in on one of their sonogram visits! We were all there for the birth and for hospital visits and for her Welcome Home. We also got to be with her for her first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year! She’s precious. I’m obsessed.

-My family/friends welcomed a few new babies- my cousin’s baby girl, my brother and sister in law’s baby (my niece!!!!), and one of my oldest friends- Kate’s baby boy. 

-I attended special occasions like, my little cousin’s first birthday- it was a mickey mouse clubhouse theme!, my best friend Roe’s engagement party (where I was asked to be one of her maid of honors), I also went for several bridesmaids dresses, and got to see both my best friend’s in their wedding dresses during their hunt for the perfect dress! Attended my other best friend Jenny’s shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner and wedding, where I was her maid of honor and my other friend Kate’s wedding/baby shower and her wedding! 

-Took a Zumba class.

-I caught up with some friends I haven’t seen in a while! 

-Had a few girls nights/day in/out. Got to see my best friend Jenny’s new place. Had lunch with my mom and my best friend and her mom. Met up with a high school friend a few times, had some sushi and froyo with some work friends, and went to visit with old middle school friends. 

-I dragged my Aunt and my mom to the Mermaid Parade, in the rain and we ended up having a blast! Of course I dressed up! 

-I got to see my two little girl cousins in their Talent Show, my other boy cousin in his school play where he played Mufasa in Lion King Jr. and my God Daughter’s first dance recital!!! I love going to creative things like that, they are so inspirational. And I always end up tearing up. I love art!

-I read milk & honey.

-I went to the Polar Express again!

-My cousin moved back from Florida for a few months. So I got to see him, and it was nice because he hasn’t been home for that long in a long time. 

-Had a fun park day with my God daughter and her baby brother. 

-I spent the 4th of July at home with some family, we had food outside and then went on our roof to watch fireworks. 

-I got to treat my mom to another play- this time I took her to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and then I took her to Olive Garden. 

-My family and I went to this old neighborhood amusement park we used to go to as kids, and we played mini golf and I beat my brother! HA! 😉 

-Had a fun Beach Day with my mom, cousins, and Aunt. I only made it to the beach once that summer, but at least it was once!

*WORK*

-Started doing holiday/festive themed bulletin boards for my classes to display their Creative Writing work.

-My job hosted a Talent Show and my class did a skit called “School Struggles,” and they did so good! 

-I got a bunch of last day of Summer cards from kids I work with. The word around my co-workers was I got the most.  😉 I was kind of super flattered and I felt all warm and fuzzy inside! 🙂

-A few movie projects were completed by my kids in my Film Making class. 

-Chaperoned a few trips- one was to see Captain Underpants (which was surprisingly really entertaining!) at this really cool theater with reclining comfy seats, blankets, pillows and food service! The other was to the Museum of Moving Image which was really cool! We even got a special viewing of Moana. 

-My job hosted an end of the year carnival- with blowup rides, a photo booth, DJ, and a Taco truck…can you guys what was my favorite part—T-A-C-O!!!!

*BLOG*

michelleleighwrites turned 4 years old!!!! (it turns 5 next week!!!!)

-I finished the short story series- Welcome Home! (Start the series from the beginning by clicking the title.)

-Started a new short story series MOVE (will be continued this year).

-Also posted two themed shorts- one for Halloween entitled RED THIRST & and the other for Christmas entitled A Husband for Christmas.

-I did BLOGMAS! (and posted to social media regularly.) 

-Someone made “She Said” into a little video and sent me it, I found out it was also used as someone’s monologue. 

-I created social media accounts for MLW!

^(Accounts are linked in the BLOGMAS RECAP! post.)

*TELEVISION/NETFLIX/MOVIES*

-I fell in love with Hallmark’s  When Calls The Heart and #JACKANDELIZABETH

-I started watching Supergirl

Stranger Things & Fuller House released new seasons and they are killing the game!

-That’s So Raven got a Reboot- Raven’s Home– the nostalgia is real! Raven and Chelsea still crack me up!

Will & Grace got a Reboot as well, and they haven’t changed a bit!

-Got hooked on and binged Scream the TV series

-Also got hooked on Riverdale…and fell in love with a new ship- #BUGHEAD

-Bethany Joy Lenz was in a new film on Lifetime- Snowed Inn Christmas, and my best friend Roe and I watched it during our “Best Friend Christmas” tradition we have every year where we get together and exchange our gifts and watch a Christmas movie and drink hot chocolate and Sangria while munching on snacks. And let me tell you this movie was AWESOME! It had everything- Christmas magic, humor, romance, heart, a handsome guy, and our girl Joy! Duh? 😉

-I found a bunch of good movies on Netflix!

*MUSIC*

-Bruno Mars “24 K Magic” Album (songs rolled over into 2017)

-Ed Sheeran “Divide” Album

-Sam Smith “The Thrill of it All” Album

-New Selena Gomez Music

-Demi Lovato’s “Tell Me You Love Me” Album 

-TAYLOR SWIFT  “Reputation” ALBUM!!!!!! (And Music Videos)

*PERSONAL/PARTY PLANNING*

-I fell in love with lighting candles, and wearing big comfy sweaters, which if you know me I used to shy away from because scents and fear of overheating myself would cause my anxiety to spike. I know that sounds like a weird highlight, but for me it means that I’m able to manage my anxiety in a way I wasn’t able to before. And do things people normally don’t think twice about. 

-I had a pretty fun fall- a lot of fall vibes, went to a pumpkin patch and got my fall goodies, lit candles, bought festive soaps and décor. Watched a bunch of Halloween movies, I even ordered Halloweentown on DVD, (FINALLY!). 

-Mini When Calls The Heart Premiere Party!

-I hosted a PUMPKIN PARTY! (Which I always wanted to do!)

-Had a Stranger Things Premiere Party (post COMING SOON!)

-I had a really special moment in confession this year. Read more about it HERE.

-I sent my god daughter and her baby brother (my second cousins) and my niece my special hand made, Santa Letters. It’s a tradition I started with my God daughter when she was born. I write a letter to her from Santa and mail it. So I continued it for her brother and of course I had to start it for my new little niece! ❤

-I was given a few special gifts in honor of my new role as “Titi,” two t-shirts, a bracelet and an ornament.

-I celebrated My GOLDEN Birthday! #26OnThe26th 

-I had some fun fashion moments! Palazzo Pants 

-I baked my butt off for this holiday season- for Thanksgiving I made Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter cookies with Reese’s Pieces, and for Christmas I made Chocolate cake batter cookies with Peppermint kisses in the middle and then White cake mix cookies with Milk Chocolate kisses in the middle and I also made a Berry Crumble.

-I’m learning my limits, and when to say no. I’m a fixer, and I realize rationally I can’t fix what I can’t control. And in this life there is a whole lot we have no control over!

-I finished editing a bunch of VLOGS!

-I put my birthday gift-Ninja bullet to good use and started making smoothies!

-I continue to decorate and organize my room. 

-Last Summer, I died my hair BLUE! and now it’s like a green/teal. I have yet to post pics, but that’ll be a post COMING SOON! After the last wedding I’m in, in July, I’m thinking of doing another color next Summer…maybe purple? 😉

***

That was my year in review as you can see, A LOT HAPPENED. And after my family was hit with a major heartache and loss early in the year, it’s an amazing thing to say that for the most part 2017 was a really good year. Looking back on all these memories, I realize that so much change happened and I managed to get through it all and make the most of it- at least I tried in most cases. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t hard, or scary, but I realized that a lot of the changes were good, happy things. And although they can come with stress too, I’m happy to say that I had so many good things to celebrate. I hope 2018 is just a celebratory for my friends and family but also for myself. 2017 was a lot about me showing up for other people, and although I don’t regret it, I realize I still didn’t get to do a lot of what I set out to do in 2017. So I hope to accomplish them in 2018. That doesn’t mean I won’t continue being there for my family and friends, it just means learning when to say no, and learning when to make myself a priority. Like Sophia Bush once yet,

“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.” 

I wish you all a Happy, Healthy, 2018! May all your dreams for this year come true. Cheers! 

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOGMAS RECAP!

Before we roll into the new year I just wanted to do a little reflection/recap on #BLOGMAS.

lights blogmas edit

I actually did it!!!! 25 days, 25 posts- a post a day, everyday!

There were many times I doubted if I would stick to it. If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know there are many times I let life sidetrack me from my blogging goals. 

However, this was something I set out to do, to see if I could actually meet the challenge. 

In the beginning, I felt it was pretty easy to post, because I had a few posts already scheduled and ready to go. It was just a matter of checking in on things and then posting to social media. So it was a breeze- then it got harder as I had to post in real time. Every day, I had to set aside time to make sure I could write, edit, and post all in one day. And this is when I realized just how difficult it could be.

With all the holiday things going on- the shopping, the planning, and other things in life like friendships, family, and work, it was difficult to stay on track. Towards the end, I was uploading minutes before midnight! But I made it!

I even blogged ON Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day. I had planned to schedule those ahead of time, but it just got so stressful and so busy, with baking and last minute shopping for the little things. This Christmas was absolutely insane, a lot of traveling around, and it just felt like I was going and going non-stop. I have a new little niece so we had a lot of new special traditions this year. 

So in between all that, I was typing up posts on the go, on my crappy cell phone. Making myself slightly car sick! Lol. Hey, at least you can’t say that’s not dedication! Right? 

Needless to say not only was my cell phone giving me trouble, my laptop decided to die on me too! So in the face of this challenge I had given myself, it felt like there were a lot of obstacles against me. But I pushed past every one. I borrowed my mom’s computer, my aunt’s computer, to continue the journey, I typed notes into my cellphone, I excused myself on Christmas Eve and Day to upload on my brother’s computer, all on minimal hours of sleep and holiday stress. Just so I could prove to myself that I could do this. And I did. Wherever I went I had BLOGMAS on the brain. 

I know it may not be a big deal to some of you reading this, but to me, it’s a huge deal. I often let this blog slide, when I have a lot going on in my life, because it’s my blog, I can pick up whenever or wherever I want. But giving myself a challenge, made me feel like I was  being held accountable for something. Don’t get me wrong I felt rude at times sneaking away to write or sneaking off to work on a post/use someone else’s computer to post. (NOT THAT I USED WITHOUT ASKING PERMISSION, lol, because that would just be rude.) I just mean that I did feel bad doing something for myself in the middle of the holidays where your supposed to be sharing it with others. But it was important to me, and I think they all (or at least I hope they all) understood. I didn’t let it stop me from enjoying time with my family. I did what I had to do for BLOGMAS and shut the computer down and resumed my family time. 

Another thing I had to come to terms with when posting daily, (because I didn’t always have time to plan and pre-write) was that I couldn’t over-analyze my ideas for my posts. I got an idea, if it was feasible in a day, I ran with it. It usually will take me hours to write, edit and post. Especially if it’s a short story. But with BLOGMAS I was in a bit of a constant time crunch. So I had to leave my perfectionism behind. At times it was hard, because I felt like it wasn’t my best work, but BLOGMAS was a learning experience. You don’t have to love what you write, everyday, but writing everyday is great for a writer to do. 

My posts were all Christmas related, which was not my initial intension. But it kind of just happened that way, I guess I was inspired by the season. 

Another thing that was new to me, was posting regularly to my social media websites for this blog during BLOGMAS. In case you didn’t know michelleleighwrites is on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram! Come follow along! I’d love to chat with you! 😉 And as someone who personally doesn’t post to social media everyday, it took some getting used to. But it was a cool experience.

I know I also mentioned this to you guys at some point, how my WordPress account needs updating and I haven’t been able to do that yet, so my photo memory is extremely limited, and so it was a challenge to post without images. I always like to have an image accompany my writing, I feel like it adds a visual aspect. I had to go in and delete images to make room for the few new ones I needed, or work with images I already had. There were many weird obstacles during BLOGMAS, and usually when things like that have happened in the past in life, I would just be like “Oh well, it’s not working, I can’t do it.” But not this time. I set a goal and I met it! I think there was only one day where I posted to social media a few minutes late, but it was posted on the blog, on time, so I was in the clear! Lol. 

It was a long BLOGMAS journey, but it kind of flew by and the more the time passed, the days grew and the numbers on the calendar kept climbing, and I kept posting and it just started to become part of my routine and it started to feel really good. There were times I thought to myself, “I’ve got this,” and there were times where I was like, “Oh no, I’m going to miss my deadline!” But I did it, I posted every day from December 1-25 and I am super proud I was able to commit to it and complete the task I set out to do. For myself, but also for all of you. 

Thank you for reading… (and if you missed any days of the MLW #BLOGMAS series, I will link them all down below for you to browse.)

BLOGMAS -Day 1- Christmas Bucket List

BLOGMAS -Day 2- Christmas Playlist

BLOGMAS -Day 3- Christmas Movie List

BLOGMAS -Day 4- A Broken Heart For Christmas Short Story

BLOGMAS -Day 5- My VLOGMAS Favs

BLOGMAS -Day 6- (Mini) VLOGMAS 2016 Update

BLOGMAS -Day 7- Single in Season

BLOGMAS -Day 8- A Christmas Story

BLOGMAS -Day 9- A Christmas Morning Memory

BLOGMAS -Day 10- Winter Wonderland

BLOGMAS -Day 11- The pressure the Holidays put on us

BLOGMAS -Day 12- Snowed Inn Christmas

BLOGMAS -Day 13- “A Husband for Christmas” Short Story

BLOGMAS -Day 14- “A Husband for Christmas” [Part 2] Short Story

BLOGMAS -Day 15- “A Husband for Christmas” [Part 3] Short Story

BLOGMAS -Day 16- Cynical Shopping

BLOGMAS -Day 17- My Perfect Winter Day

BLOGMAS -Day 18- “A Husband for Christmas” [Part 4] Short Story

BLOGMAS -Day 19- “A Husband for Christmas” [Part 5] Short Story

BLOGMAS -Day 20- Give me your Light, Oh Lord.

BLOGMAS -Day 21- Winter [2017] Favorites

BLOGMAS -Day 22- “A Husband for Christmas” [Part 6] Short Story

BLOGMAS -Day 23- “A Husband for Christmas” [Part 7] Short Story

BLOGMAS -Day 24- “A Husband for Christmas” [Part 8] Short Story

BLOGMAS -Day 25- “A Husband for Christmas” [Part 9] Short Story

 

*STAY TUNED!

My 2017 Highlights/Memory Jar post will be up tomorrow!!! 

Have a very Happy and safe New Year’s Eve and if your feeling the romance tonight- check out some of my New Year’s Eve stories…

Kiss Me At Midnight…A Short Story 

What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

*^ The second is a year after follow-up to the first, it follows the same characters.^*

For Old Times’ Sake

Once again Thanks for reading this year! See you in 2018!

-<3-

2016 Memory Jar Review

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!!!!!!

I cannot believe it is already 2017.

 

img_1114

My camera year is wrong…should say 2016, ignore that mishap. :/

 

As I sat down on New Year’s Eve to sift through my memory jar- a bandwagon that I finally hopped on two years ago- I was amazed at how little I felt like I did, because of how quickly I felt the year had flown by. It was a blur for me. But as I dove into these colored pieces of paper, the many memories came flooding back….and a lot actually happened. It’s so easy for us to get wrapped up in the holiday bit at the end of the year, that we forget all the memories we made throughout the year.

So here are some of my most favorite memories- (in no particular order!)

 

*My 2016 Highlights*

 

Took my god daughter to see Trolls- “Sophie’s big girl movie date”- Trolls, went to a diner, and saw the Christmas Lights with my family.

 

Had a little Walking Dead Season 7 Premiere Party but… RIP Glenn still heartbroken: / haven’t watched an episode since then, but my party looked awesome. Read my post HERE!

twd-viewing-party

Celebrated my grandmother’s 83rd birthday with a whole bunch of family.

grandma-bday

I made a few job changes and had to bounce around a bit, which was a bit difficult but finally found a place where I am happy for now, it was for the better- I’m building a work family and have made some great friends. Read my post on “adulting” HERE!

Finished two short story series-On The Run & Love Conflicted (-premiered in 2015 but carried over into 2016)

Official full cast photo movie poster

Started a brand new series- Welcome Home (-first chapter premiered in 2016, rest will be continued in 2017)

poster-1

 

My best friend Roe got engaged!!!!

roe-got-engaged

Went on a massive family trip to Great Wolf Lodge and had a blast! (vlog will eventually get edited!)-Read my post HERE!

great-wolf-lodge

Why does my camera have the wrong year? How do I fix that?

Sophia Bush retweeted my tweet and my phone blew up….

sophia-bush-retweets

My brother got married and he and his wife bought a house.

r-and-l-wedding

I entered one of my scripts into a writing contest! (although nothing came of it, it was a huge leap that I took, and I was really proud of myself for facing that fear.)

I got free movie passes for covering a story in my local theater, my best friend Jenny and I saw Finding Dory in 3D…because why not?

I’ve realized that I can overcome my anxiety on my own, but the help that I have received has been a gift I will continue to utilize.

My best friend and I finally saw Bethany Joy Lenz in concert and WE MET HER! #LifeGoal –Read my post HERE!

bethany-joy-lenz

Fuller House seasons 1& 2 are killin’ the game #NetflixIsDangerous

fuller-house

I went for bridesmaid’s dresses for my friend Jenny’s wedding-I was asked to be her maid of honor last year.

bridesmaids-dresses

I went on The Polar Express with my god daughter and other family members. (vlog will eventually get edited!)

polar-express

I worked for a summer camp, and my kids made some really great story books for my creative writing class.

nia-summer-camp

I hosted a Gilmore girls: A Year in the Life- Netflix revival….viewing party- Read my post HERE!

gg

I got a vlog up on my YouTube channel, and have been vlogging more, but editing has been a slow process. I WILL GET THERE!

I finally got to pretend to be a YouTube vlogger and did a Mini “Vlogmas” from Dec. 23-Dec. 31 into 2017 (Stay Tuned!)

My brother and I started to shoot the first installment of our zombie short, but it got halted because…. #WeddingCraziness #BridalShowerCraziness

20160418_201953

michelleleighwrites turned 3!!!!!!! Read my post HERE! (It’s turning 4 in a WEEK!!!!!!)

mlw-3

 Justin Timberlake released new music & a video – Can’t Stop The Feeling! (he also produced the soundtrack to Trolls (What a beautiful, fun loving film, highly recommend seeing it!). Read my fangirl report HERE!

jt

Valentine’s Day Girls Nite In with my girls.

gni

Celebrated my Aunt Mary’s birthday  with some dinner at her favorite Mexican restaurant and had some Pepsi- her favorite drink. Love you Aunt Mary, Miss you!

aunt-mary

Bruno Mars new album, listening to it as I write. So obsessed! #24KMagic #Chunky #ThatsWhatILike #VersaceOnTheFloor #Finesse LISTEN

rs_600x600-161007043155-600-bruno-mars-24k-magic-2-10716_21

Rocked some obnoxious Christmas Lights for the holidays. #BestDecisionOfMyLife #5BucksWellSpent #ShoutOutToStrangerThings

20161224_151724

stranger-things-on-netflix1

Received some handmade Christmas cards from my students.

christmas-cards

30th Birthdays Celebrations- We hosted a big family dinner for my sister in law and went on an AC family trip for my brother.

ac-family-triplauren-30th-dinner

Family BBQ’s!!! #Cousins

family-bbq

Best Friend Weekend. – Even at 25, my best friend and I still keep our sleepover tradition going. It started off going to the Zumba class that my best friend teaches, then we had some dinner at her house (BBQ chicken my fav at their house hold-like old times), next we watched our favorite tv show One Tree Hill until 4 AM, Went for breakfast the next morning, got manicures, and shopped a bit. It was so nostalgic and it was just what we needed. #BestFriendMiniWeekend #RoshellWeekend

That Zumba class tho-I had been trying to get to one, forever!

Britney’s back bitches! #GLORY album is just….EPIC! Read my post HERE!

glory

Rainbows.

Pineapple float- #SOTRENDY

float

 

Took my mom to see the Radio City Spring Spectacular- it was her mother’s day gift and it felt really great to be able to do that for her. What a brilliant show. Visually stunning!

ny-spectacular

Got hooked on Murder Mystery 13 Part Series American Gothic- so damn good! #SHOUTOUTTOBETHANYJOYLENZ

american-gothic

Started Stranger Things #NetflixIsDangerous

stranger-things-on-netflix1

 

Attended my best friend’s engagement party.

jennys-engagement-party

Continued with the annual chop.

 

Dressed up in Hawaiian theme attire for my cousin’s birthday party.- Read my post HERE!

hawaiian

Finally got to rock the yellow, red, blue look I’ve wanted to try for forever! Read my post HERE!

red-yellow-blue

After the chop, had to try out some new hair do’s – Reverse Space buns.

reverse-space-bums

Marina Squerciati answered my tweet, (cuz we’re besties) ;). #thathashtagtho

marina

My parents treated me to a massive birthday dinner at my favorite restaurant. Got my big gold number balloons too! #BlackAndGold #Family #Friends Read my post HERE!

massive-selfieballoons

 

That TWD finale tho. #WHOISIT? Read my feels HERE!

whoisit

Started an unintentional tradition of taking massive group family photos/selfies.

family-photosgroup-shotbbq

 

Bridal expos with my bestie. #MaidofHonor #OnCall

bridal-expo

 

My cousins from Florida surprised us with a quick visit!

florida-fam

 

Curvy Barbies (and other body shapes and sizes) are a thing! #FINALLY #Variety

Read my post HERE!

curvy-barbies

 

That *NSYNC picture. #reunion #myheart

 

nsync

Met our newest family member! My god daughter is a big sister!

pauly

Started watching a few new tv series- This Is Us (I have to catch up, I’m so behind) and Shades of Blue.

shades_of_blue_tv_series-478926440-large1636133801832911681-2127604802_284091

*****

Damn a lot can happen in a year. I am grateful for the blessings 2016 has given me. Of course it wasn’t all marshmallows and honey all the time, but I still fought through obstacles and made beautiful memories. Cheers to 2017, may it be beautiful and happy and healthy for all of you, filled with love and inspiration and success. See you soon friends!

*Most images are my own.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How I styled Blue lipstick…

A few days before New Year’s Eve I remember thinking “I want to wear a really obnoxious color lipstick.” I thought a bright blue would be really, funky and fun for New Years. And I saw this YouTube video and thought, hey why the hell not?

I was just going to hang out with some family, I wasn’t really worried about feeling strange. In fact, I just embraced the freedom the bold color gave me, to strike up a conversation. In fact my grandfather was like “Oh is this a new thing? You look beautiful.” in his heavy Spanish accent. It was kind of hysterical.

This make-up look is very bold and so I thought it needed an edgy outfit to accompany it. I also think this look can work for a night out with friends. You can even swap it out for a funky black dress and some heels to make it fancier.

Here’s my New Year’s Eve look (in mostly crappy cellphone pictures) 😉

MAKE-UP & HAIR:

20151231_173054

Blue lipsticks and hair jewels. Fun Fact: The iron ons were $1 in Mandees. And when they say they last for a week, believe it! I had to fight to get those suckers out, I washed my hair thoroughly 3 times and still had to brush them out with a comb and some conditioner once I got out of the shower. Got my dollars worth that’s for sure. AND the lipsticks were $3 each in a local beauty store. NOT BAD! (I’m dying to go back and by all the other funky colors, like Green and Purple!)

PLEASE EXCUSE– the abundance of weird selfie faces,  you are about to endure, this blue lipstick went to my head. 😉 #alterego

 

IMG_20160101_012008

My attempt at a winged eyeliner. Eh. My shadow is made up of a lot of bronze, gold, brown colors, with some black liner on the top and bottom water lines. I layered some gold glitter on top of the black liner on the top water line too. Also some silver glitter for the outer portion of my eyes.

20151231_201045

Silver iron on hearts on one side of my hair- I just used a flat iron for this. The directions are included in the package, it’s pretty self explanatory. Although I had curled my hair, so when I had to flat iron the hearts onto my hair, it kind of lost it’s curl. And it was a bit difficult to try and curl it again, while the hearts were in. So I kind of just sprayed it and scrunched it up with my hands, just to get the body back.

20151231_201022

Gold Hair Jewels on the other side. These were very easy to apply and to remove. They were just stick ons.

20151231_201813

Gosh. So sassy. #missthangovahere

nye 2nye

FULL OUTFIT SHOTS:

outfitoutfit 220151231_202008IMG_20160101_123713

Basically I wore black skinny legged pants, a black and white mesh/lace shirt with a cross on it, a black sparkly sequined cardigan, and my funky pair of black and white boots. I paired my outfit with some gold jewelry to accessorize and I don’t know if you can tell by my nails were basically silver, and gold, with gold glittery sparkles.

IMG_20160101_005021

So I know this isn’t exactly a tutorial. I don’t really put a lot of emphasis on brands, I use what I have and just make it work for me. So you guys can totally do the same. And I don’t really tell you exactly how I did my make-up because I think everyone develops their own style and I’m not even close to beauty guru status, so I’m going to stick with doing things this way. I just watch tutorials on YouTube for tips and tricks. Some of my favorite beauty gurus include Carrie Rad, Ingrid Nielsen, Rachh Loves, Sierra Furtado, LaurDIY, Michelle Reed, TalkBeckyTalk, FleurdeForce, and of course the beautiful Bethany Mota.

This look is just to spark some inspiration for those looking to spice things up for a night on the town or for wherever you choose to go, or whatever you choose to do. Trust me, my parents were kinda like whoa, ok. And, my brother has issues with change, so he had something to say. But I didn’t let it bother me- it was super fun, and I felt kinda extra cool, because I knew it wasn’t about me doing it for attention. It was about me doing something cool and funky for me. I’ll admit I went a little overboard on the makeup and hair, but hey if I’m going to overdo the sparkly on any day, let it be New Year’s Eve, right?

I like to be different. I like to do things that are out of the box when it comes to fashion. I love experimenting. I love dressing up, and being festive for the holiday season. Every holiday you will find me in some kind of festive head dress. It’s fun to be weird, to be funky. I was always the shy girl as kid, and although I’ve come a long way, that still is a part of me. Regardless, I also think I’ve always had this attraction to strange trends and strange patterns, and things like that. I feel like I have a gypsy soul of sorts. I dance to my one drum, that I create the beat for.

Dare to be different. Turn a few heads.

Make 2016, your year to *sparkle*

****QUICK NOTE****

I will say the lipstick held up, and definitely had staying power. But if I ate or drank anything instead of just gradually blending off like regular lipstick, this matte finish kind of streaked and lingered, to the point where I either had to reapply or just take it off completely by wiping it off with a tissue. That was kind of frustrating to be talking and feel like your blue lipstick was all wonky. But never the less, its the price you pay for cheap lipstick, no biggy. I still enjoyed rocking my blue lips. When can I wear them again? 😉

**********

So would you rock blue lips?

*All images are my personal images…(although I stole some from my dad’s camera ;))*

-<3-