Bake with Me: St. Patrick’s Day Edition

This past weekend, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at my Aunt’s house. So I decided to bake a bunch of yummy green inspired treats. Baking for every holiday is kind of my thing. I love finding fun recipes, buying all the ingredients, baking, and then creating festive trays for the occasion. 

FIRST UP- Slutty Brownies (Click for recipe) 

I called them Sassy Mint Brownies instead, lol! #KIDEARS

20190316_17473320190316_18112620190316_181754
20190316_183928

To display them, I put them on a green tray lined with white doilies. Then I added some butterscotch candies (gold coins) and the Andes mint chocolates (green theme candy). I also added a few shamrock toothpicks. 

NEXT UP- Green Cupcakes

I didn’t really have a recipe for this. I just saw this picture online and drew inspiration from the image itself.

Green-Velvet-St-Patricks-Day-Cupcakes-7[1]

Not my photo

Here is my version, and what I used to create it…

I used Betty Crocker white boxed mix and Betty Crocker Cream Cheese frosting. I added a crazy amount of green food coloring to the batter to get that vibrant green color. I frosted them using a little pastry icing tool, added some green sugar sprinkles and topped it with either a green cherry (which I was super surprised to find!) or a butterscotch candy which I used to mirror a gold coin, (I couldn’t find any gold chocolate coins).

LAST UP- Lucky Charm Treats (Click for recipe)

20190316_235922

I just added some green food coloring to make them even more festive! 

20190317_002431
20190317_144113

To display these, I placed them on a white oval tray lined with doilies, and added some spear mint gumdrop candy to add some décor to it.

 Here’s my little set up…(dinner cooked by both my Mom and my Aunt…mom made Sheppard’s pie too, but I didn’t get a pic.)

 

I threw together a bottle of sangria and some green fruit (pear, grapes, apple). Apple wine on the side in case someone just wanted a glass of wine, or wanted to add more into the sangria. And some festive napkins, plates, and straws. A drink is so much better with a little umbrella or a cute straw! It was so good, I had quite a few glasses and was feeling a nice buzz. #YesImOfAge 

 

And you know I had to dress for the occasion with some fun festive accessories, and that morning I had some tea in my holiday themed mug…

 

The day was really fun, and everything was really delicious! However, I will say for the mint brownies, if you aren’t a fan of mint, than you may not like them. I like mint, so I LOVED them! I love celebrating my heritage and getting to do so with great food, and good company. They had an early birthday cake for me too, and I even got some early birthday gifts. It was a really sweet surprise and a great time! 

Happy “Belated” St. Patrick’s Day!

*All photos are my own.*

-<3-

 

Winter 2018 Bucket List

Thanksgiving has come and gone and now it is Christmas Vibes time! And every year I try to compile a bucket list. I notice they are probably super similar every year. But hey, these are the most festive things, and they all just put me in the Christmas spirit. Whether or not I get to all of them, is another story. But a girl can try!

I know technically we are still in Fall, but it definitely feels like Winter out- we got snow BEFORE Thanksgiving, so it’s hard to keep the Fall vibes alive. I think I did pretty good with my Fall Bucket List, so it’s time to move on…

e244b-cute-photo-happy-valentines-day-love-quote

My Winter 2018 Bucket List 

Buy a new tree (we chucked ours last year, it was shedding everywhere, and it was fake!)

Decorate

Buy this year’s ornament

Christmas shopping (I’ve actually started already, which is a miracle for this sometimes last minute girl!)

Fun Christmas outfits (I’m in the market for some new graphic tees, ugly sweaters, pjs. I actually just ought a tee with a snowmen on it, that says- “Oh SNOW You Didn’t!” hahaha)

Christmas movies and cocoa in a Christmas mug (my aunt just bought me the CUTEST one! I can’t wait to use it. I have been watching Lifetime on a loop with their cute Christmas movies! And Elf was on last night, so got that in already!)

Buy a Poinsettia

See the Christmas lights

Christmas vibes in the city

Find and print recipes (In my Thanksgiving research I came across a White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie recipe, and I saved it. So that’s what I think I’ll make! It just seemed more Christmasy than Thanksgivingy.)

Church tree lighting

Best Friend Sleepover (my best friend and I have done this for as long as I can remember and even though she’s married now, we still make time for our best friend traditions!)

Visit my junior high school friends (We’re all adults now with busy lives and it gets hard to see each other but we’ve been trying to make it more of yearly thing! Thanks to social media I feel like we keep up pretty well, but nothing is better than seeing each other in real time. It’s like no time has past at all!)

Dinner Exchange with my other bestie (my other best friend and I usually get together to exchange over a nice dinner. It’s a good time! And there’s usually wine and we’re foodies so there’s that, lol.)

Watch the Rockefeller Tree Lighting on tv- I always miss it!

Send out Santa Mail for my favorite kiddies! (this is a tradition I started with my god daughter when she was born and now I do it for her little brother and for my new little niece!) 

 

What’s on your Bucket List this coming winter season?

Did I miss anything?

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

-<3-

 

 

 

#BLOGTOBER Day 17- Some Recipes for the Fall Season

During holiday season, I usually like to bake some treats. The next few recipes, I’m going to share with you, I have baked for Thanksgiving. I know we still have a bit to go. We still have to celebrate Halloween, and I’m not one to rush holidays! But I just thought since I’ve tried out these recipes in the past, I can give you some ideas for planning ahead for your Thanksgiving meal. Or hey maybe you want to try one of these recipes out for Halloween, instead. Do whatever your heart desires!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these last year for Thanksgiving and added in my own little touch, by topping them off with Reese’s Pieces and adding Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to the cookie tray display. It also added some fall color to them! I made 3 trays of cookies, because I was visiting a lot of different people, (which is usually the case) so I made enough for each house. Can’t show up empty handed! To add to the presentation, I wrapped them in saran wrap and added some fall colored bows. I included a little tag with twine that said Happy Thanksgiving, and that stated they were Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip flavored, just in case anyone had an allergy, I wanted them to be aware.

20171123_001630
20171123_011058
20171123_011153

I searched my recipe folder, and my favorites and I couldn’t find the recipe. However, I feel like I remember searching simple few ingredient peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies, so it might have been one of these, linked HERE, & HERE 

Taste Verdict:

Peanut Butter and Chocolate are two of my favorite things. So I LOVED these. They were very rich and VERY peanut buttery. With milk, you can have one or two and it was delicious. I would definitely make these again. If you are not into peanut butter, I guess you can just omit it, and bake your traditional chocolate chip cookie. That’s always a crowd favorite. 

Layered Pumpkin Lasagna

20151126_182514

20151126_182521

20151126_195318

I found the exact recipe I used HERE

Taste Verdict:

This was a bit of a long process, and requires many ingredients, and ALOT of work. I wasn’t aware how time consuming it could be. It’s more of a no bake dessert, but you do have to create each layer and than build this sweet dessert lasagna. It’s a bit of a weird concept, but I thought it was actually really delicious and those who are pumpkin fans, seemed to enjoy it! I feel like I would tackle making this again, at some point. 

Apple Pie Punch

20141127_105628

Ingredients 

20141127_220915
I found the exact recipe I used HERE

Taste Verdict: 

In my family, I seemed to have taken on dessert and drinks. I usually bake for every holiday event. And one Thanksgiving I decided to add in a little drinky drank recipe. I omitted the vodka for this recipe, because I wanted it to be safe for the kiddies to drink, but guests were free to add a little spike if they felt so inclined to. This was a tasty treat. I’d definitely make it again. It was easy enough!

 

*All photos are my own, I do not take credit for any recipes used.*

Have any fun fall recipes to share?

If you make any of these, let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Fall Baking!

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

Love is…

 

CLICK HERE for an I LOVE YOU Playlist. ❤

 

two souls combining

weathering all storms of fear and uncertainty

Love is

having patience and understanding

Love is

opening doors and buying flowers just because

Love is

a look, a whisper, a touch

Love is fire

Love is rain

Love is friendship

Love is pain

Love is passion

Love is comfortable silence

Love is an embrace like no other

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

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

-<3-

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 -Day 8- A Christmas Story

lights blogmas edit

I’ve been showing A Christmas Story in my Film Club class and I thought it’d be a fun little idea to try and make a poem out of some of the classic’s most pivotal moments. 

 

movieposter

 

Christmas season

Lights are gleaming

Stories on the screen unfold

Family to have and hold

Every Christmas

Watch with new eyes

Laughing at their jokes

Pink Bunny suit

Mean Santa too

Young boy’s tongue stuck to a frozen pole

In response to a “I triple dog dare you!”

Bundled up in the snow mounds

Randy screaming- “I can’t put my arms down!”

Flats tires 

Christmas jingles 

“Oh Fudge!”

Bullies coming to mingle

“Fra-gee-lay…

It must be Italian”

Fluorescent leg wearing fishnet stockings

Red Ryder BB Gun

Ralphie is just dying for one

Parents, Santa, Teachers say with a pout…

“You’ll shoot your eye out!”

Broken glasses

Icicle lies

Still a Merry Christmas to Ralphie’s surprise. 

 

-<3-

 

 

BLOGMAS -Day 7- Single in Season

 

lights blogmas edit

Week One Down!

 

Christmas. 

Such a magical, special, beautiful time.dajf0[1]

Twinkling lights.

Happy tunes.

Nostalgic movies.

Tasty treats.

Decorations galore.

Glitter and glee everywhere.

Right?

A time full of love and laughter.

Family and friendship.

And for some- that extra special love that just makes this time of year burst with happiness and cheer.

Whether it’s a Boyfriend, Fiancé, or Husband, it’s just somehow perceived as “better” with that person.

Right? 

But what do you do… if your single?

Because how is it that around the holidays being single, just feels even more prominent?

Mistletoe kisses.

In front of the tree pictures.

Family gatherings have everyone paired off.

And there you are, alone.

Ugh, of course. 

Here we go again.

And I’m supposed to be cheerful and happy?

I’m going to be really real here…

I’m not going to act like it doesn’t bother me. 

It definitely does.

I love romance, I love the idea that two people can fall so much in love with each other that they realize they have the only one they want to be with, forever.

I have always felt that way.

In my heart of hearts, I love, love. 

And being around so many people who have that, when I currently do not, definitely weighs on a girl. 

And you start to question…will I ever get my chance? My guy? My moment? My love?

I’m sure many of you ladies can relate.

And I will admit there are moments within the holiday season where I will feel my heart ache, and I will wish I had that special guy sitting next to me holding my hand, or look over to see him chatting with my guy cousins (who are probably ranking on him, because that’s what they do). Or baking cookies and wishing I could ask his opinion, or someone to just do all the holiday greatness with- like shopping for gifts, seeing the Christmas lights, or visiting Rockefeller center, or helping me conquer my current fear of ice skating. Or simply just sitting on the couch watching Home Alone in Christmas PJ’s.

Now that I think about it, I’m quite sappy. Haha. But hey I don’t care. You can’t regret what you want, if it’s really something truthful in your heart. And that is the image I have in my heart when I think about being in love during the holidays.

But then I look around and I realize having a relationship would only add to my already happy holidays. My family is crazy. And every year feels the same. Stressful and rushed. 

But I love my family. I love my holidays. 

I love visiting family, going to church, baking goodies, exchanging gifts, sipping hot chocolate, eating my heart out.

I love dressing in silly t-shirts or ugly sweaters and other crazy accessories [See: antlers & Christmas light necklace], chatting with my cousins, playing with the kiddies, and still finding A Christmas Story Christmas Day Marathon to be the greatest thing ever.

I love our bootleg chimney with our old school stockings.

I love my best friend Christmas day I have every year with my best friend Roe!

I love the holidays.

And as much as I may have my moments of sadness at times, I don’t think I would want to ever take the memories I have away, even though I’m single.

Sometimes you have to look at what you do have, and focus on that, rather than focus on what you don’t have. 

Happy Holidays, my singles, we got this! 😉

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOGMAS -Day 2- Christmas Playlist

I’ve been keeping the Christmas tunes at bay, just to let Thanksgiving settle and have it’s moment. But right after, I was itching to blast my trusty old- Home for Christmas *N’SYNC album. Seriously I don’t know how I’m going to pick favorites, because honestly I love the entire album. By the way can we talk about how in honor of the band’s 20th anniversary, Home for Christmas is currently being sold on vinyl in urban outfitters AND NSYNC.com is selling new Christmas themed merch. LIKE WHAT? It’s the 90’s again!

lights blogmas edit 

My Ultimate Christmas Playlist

This Christmas– Donny Hathaway

What Christmas Means To Me– Stevie Wonder

O Holy Night– Celine Dion

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – *N’SYNC

Home For Christmas– *N’SYNC

All I Want Is You (This Christmas) – *N’SYNC

The First Noel -*N’SYNC

In Love On Christmas – *N’SYNC

It’s Christmas – *N’SYNC

O Holy Night – *N’SYNC

My Only Wish (This Year) – Britney Spears

Sleigh Ride – Hilary Duff

Last Christmas – Hilary Duff

Wonderful Christmastime – Hilary Duff

Christmas Eve – Justin Bieber

Christmas Love – Justin Bieber

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Justin Bieber

Happy Christmas (War Is Over) – The Fray

Noel The Fray

Angels We Have Heard On High– Josh Groban

O Come All Ye Faithful – Josh Groban

O Come Emmanuel– Everly-(used to be the duo- Bethany Joy Lenz & Amber Sweeney)

 

Did I miss your fav?

I still have so many others, but the list would have never stopped. Isn’t Christmas music just the best! Certain songs just hit me right in the feels and make me tear up instantly, for example it never fails- O holy night by Celine Dion gets me every damn time. 

Let me know in the comments below what your favorite is! 🙂

-<3-

 

Welcome Home-Author’s Commentary

DISCLAIMER: Welcome Home is not a real motion picture nor does it have a soundtrack coming out. This is just me living in my fictional happy writer’s world. Where I pretend and where I run the show. Haha. Back in college whenever I would hand in a script or be working with already written material/feature film scenes, my professor would ask me who I would have play the characters, where would it take place, what location? And so I think that kind of stuck with me, because as I write each of my short story series here on this blog, I want to include those aspects and give you a visual experience. Mysterious Attraction was my first shot at it, A Broken Heart For Christmas, and Love Conflicted followed, and most recently On The Run.

As a kid I used to say “Make Pretend” all the time. Make Pretend you’re a princess who slays dragons. Make pretend you’re a ballerina who bull rides. Make pretend you’re writing a screenplay and you get to pick the actors, and release a soundtrack and commentary that people have been anxiously awaiting. The options could be endless. So let’s “Make Pretend.” Enjoy!

I just re-read Welcome Home, in preparation for this post, and I have to admit, I was really happy with this short story series. It felt more structured and concise.

poster-1
Background:

Welcome Home premiered on Thursday, December 15th, 2016. It was a small string of random thoughts and characters I just had to get out! The story continued pretty consistently until Thursday, March 16th. Overall the story was featured on Thursdays here on michelle leigh writes for a span of about 3 months.

OFFICAL FULL CAST PROMOTIONAL PHOTO RELEASED 😉

Cast poster

 

Dream Casting:

Melanie Evans portrayed by Shantel VanSanten

shantel-vansanten-in1

I fell in love with Shantel when she played Quinn James on One Tree Hill. I think she had this purity about her acting and she is such a natural beauty. She also does sassy comedy really well too. I really thought she would bring someone like my character Melanie to life.

Oliver King portrayed by Jason Thompson

965173_1330642455336_full1

I don’t know where to start with this guy. I adore him. I fell in love with Jason when he played Dr. Patrick Drake alongside love interest Dr. Robin Scorpio (Turned Drake) on General Hospital. He is such a brilliant actor, I am still flabbergasted that he hasn’t won an Emmy yet. He puts his heart out there and he is so believable. Put him in a scene with anyone and you can see how he elevates the material in his acting choices. How he interacts with them, and uses his body language to convey a believable relationship. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve rewatched him and Kimberly McCullough’s (Robin) many scenes together from General Hospital as they displayed quite the love story. So freaking amazing!

Supporting Roles:

Cassie portrayed by Hilary Duff

hilary-duff-younger-promo-2015-billboard-650[1]

Hilary Duff, what can I say? Loved her since Lizzie McGuire. And that show basically shaped my childhood. She was one of my idols growing up. And she holds such a special place in my heart. She has grown into such an incredible feisty actress and you can tell that she’s done so in a really classy way. The way she handles the more mature topics of life on her new hit show Younger with comedy and sass, is just so damn good. So I knew that she could be the perfect face for Cassie- the sassy, bold, tell it like it is best friend. You know me and how my best friend roles are always sassy!

Dave portrayed by Derek Hough

wpid-derek-hough6[1]

I had Duff in my head and I knew Cassie would soon need a love interest too and in pairing her with someone, Hough seemed like such perfect fit visually. I love Derek Hough, I have swooned over him on Dancing with the Stars so many times. I’m sad he’s not on this season. He is such a huge talent and inspiration. I would love to see him featured in more films throughout his career! Hey Derek- I’ll have my people call your people! 😉

Molly King portrayed by Brooklyn Rae Silzer

daddy and molly 3

This kind of happened by accident. If you know Jason Thompson as Patrick Drake, then you know that he and Robin have a daughter named Emma. Brooklyn plays the role of Emma. And when it came to editing pictures of a child with Thompson and Van Santen, I just thought it seemed completely obvious to have Brooklyn be viewed as Melanie and Oliver’s daughter Molly. She is such big talent! She is sassy and sweet and is sure to grow up to be a huge name! Just like McCullough did! She started her career as a kid on General Hospital.

Aspects I Really Liked:

Reading it back, I was really happy with the way there was some foreshadowing and reveals throughout the story’s unfolding.

For example…

Throughout the whole first few chapters you don’t know what happened between Melanie and Oliver. We never know why they broke up. We know they were engaged, we know they had a past and that they haven’t really seen or spoken to each other in a few years. I like how it keeps you guessing, until he says it- they loss their baby.

I also like how you don’t really know if she’s pregnant again, you expect it, but then she looks at the test and cries at the end of the chapter which can make it go either way. And then at the beginning of the following chapter we start with a funeral type scene and it makes you think she lost another child. Soon you find out it was a flashback to Cody’s memorial. And then we time jump into a new life with Melanie and Oliver and their new baby girl.

I think the foreshadowing worked nicely and kept the suspense going. I’ve said it many times, I write these short story series as if they were a movie, and so these types of foreshadowing, flashbacks, jump cuts would work well I think.

I also thought that I was able to portray bits of their lives, pasts, careers, etc, throughout the story. So often I feel like you have to give it all in the beginning, but I realized that doesn’t work either. You have to disperse the information little by little, when needed. So what I tried to do this series is implement backstory when it made most sense. For example, through conversations we find out that Melanie is a writer and Oliver is a photographer. Melanie’s writing has suffered since her tragedy so we don’t see her writing. Oliver is said to be snapping pictures now and then. I don’t think these things have to be super prominent as long as there are mentions, we get the gist. The story is bigger than this.

We also find out how they met in college through Oliver’s best man and Melanie’s maid of honor speeches. I really love that story Oliver tells, it serves a lot of purpose to the story, and to the relationships within it- Cassie/Dave and Oliver/Melanie. I love love love it! You can just see the scene of how they all met play out in your head.

I really love how we finally get the story of how Melanie and Oliver broke up, as she reads the first passage of her book “Operation Forever,” at her first book signing. We never really knew how she left, and this was my way of answering that question without actually having to force a flashback. Her book title, is a bit of an Easter egg and ode to their little discussion when they got engaged.

“I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel real, ya know. To be this in love.” She says smiling brightly up at him through watery eyes.

“Yea I know the feeling. I guess we’re just going to have to get used to the fact that we’re stuck with each other, forever. It’s all a part of my evil plan.”

“Ah, I see. Operation forever.”

“Something like that. But I’m sure we could think of a better name than that.”

“What- why I like it.”

“Well if you like it, then I like it.”

Flashbacks however are utilized when needed, and they are brought on by familiar moments-déjà vu, or scenery from her home town. The first Chapter we see her have a flashback to she and Oliver in their own apartment, engaged, during happier times. And it is brought on by watching her reflection as she puts on some lip-gloss- a menial task she’s done many times in front of him as he would watch and admire.

Then throughout her home coming she is catapulted into many memories, memories she’s tried to stay away from. She sees their names carved in her front porch, and remembers the first time he told her he loved her and that he wants to be with her forever. At home in her living room, in front of the fireplace, she has a flashback of them making love, walking through town she sits in the gazebo and remembers when he asked her to marry him. All of these things make her feel and in turn make us feel because we see how much these two people love each other. And how painful it is for them to not be together. But I also really love that these flashbacks were placed well, within reason, and were brought on by her familiar surroundings.

Through more conversations we see how close they really wore, how they had the same friends, how her family took him in and welcomed him on school breaks, how he knew her bedroom pretty well and they “broke some house rules” every now and then as teens. 😉 Oliver even makes mention to the fact that he will “crawl into her window” at night if he has too, which makes us realize this was something he may or may not have done as a young teen in love. Oliver bakes her, her favorite sugar cookies and knows her obsession with New Kids On The Block. He knows her mom’s cooking and how they go all out for holidays. There is so much history there between these two and you don’t have to see their whole relationship to know that.

“What?”  “Nothing.”

This is something I revisit this dialogue exchange a lot throughout the story, and their relationship. A lot of the times it’s Melanie who catches Oliver watching her and says What? And in turn he says Nothing. It’s a bit of a flirtation and a cute game for them. And it resurfaces a few times between them. Even at the end, when it’s reversed and Oliver realizes how annoying it can actually be. Lol.

Timeline:

Speaking of Holidays, I think I was inspired by them when I wrote this. I had written a good portion of the first chapter or so, before I posted and so I was in a family holiday mood. So I took that inspiration and the holidays kind of built my timeline. We Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. There are certainly time jumps in here too, but I think that’s only natural, for this kind of coming home, and coming into your own skin story. We need to jump around so we can see the characters grow and learn to better themselves.

Slideshow Feature:

I also think utilizing the slideshow feature in the last chapter was my way of showing their lives together and the things you missed. (Yes, I know some of my edits are super crappy and bad, but I tried, haha.) This tactic helped me fill in some blanks. In my head I just saw the scene playing as if it were in a movie- a time jump and then a happy family at home, as you see pictures of their lives together dress their walls. Their child growing throughout the years along with their love. Notice most of the pictures look professional, because you know Oliver King was like Um excuse I will be taking all my daughter’s professional pictures, thank you. Haha. Did you spot those Paris pics? – Another little Easter egg to show he actually took her like he wanted to.

“God I’ve missed this town.” Oliver says smiling looking around.

“Missed it? I thought that you were living here?”

“I was. For a long time. I still have a place here. But work kinda takes me all around nowadays. I’m kind of a nomad.”

“I see. Traveling must be nice though.”

“It is. It’s really amazing Mel. I’ve been to Ireland, Italy, and France, I stayed at this little bed and breakfast in Paris, the couple that ran it were two of the sweetest people, and every morning they would make me blueberry waffles, sausage and bacon. And my room, it overlooked this little lake, it was breathtaking. You would have loved it.”

“I’m sure I would have,” she says smiling up at him.

“Maybe one of these days, you’ll let me take you there.”

“Maybe.” She says looking away, fidgeting with the cup in her hands.

“Always forgetting your gloves.” He says noticing and smirking at her.

Within the slideshow we also see an image of Baby Boy Cody’s sonogram which means he is still part of them and their family which was important for me to show, because that loss was such a big part of their lives, their love and this story. And I love that they each have Cody tattoos, they got separately, to honor their son. It shows they think alike.

Love Scenes:

I back tracked and looked at what I wrote for my last short story series- On The Run, and when it came to writing love scenes, this is what I wrote… [One of these days, I won’t blush while writing a love scene. I won’t hide in a corner shielding my computer screen from curious eyes. I won’t feel ashamed of what I’m writing. I find that when I write a love scene, I continuously edit myself. What if a family member of mine reads this? Oh my god what will they think? The people in my life have a certain perspective of me. I’m a pretty reserved personality, and so writing these scenes would be something they wouldn’t even think I do, or can do. So there’s a barrier there for sure and I feel like I need to work on being more free and not so constrained and worried about what people will think. If anything hopefully they can just realize that what I’m trying to do by writing these scenes, is to craft a beautiful love story.] In many ways this still applies, I need to work on this and I definitely still edited myself a lot this series. I had written much more juicer material, but I wanted it to read with a certain tenderness and I felt that would get lost in the lust factor, so I edited it. However, I do still think I am getting better at writing love scenes, because even reading the love scene back today, I was surprised I left certain things in. With that being said though, I still think it reads the way I wanted it to be read, a couple so in love they can’t contain it. I don’t think it reached a trashy point.

Themes:

Coming Home/Finding Home, Family, Friendship, Hope, Loyalty, Heart, Unconditional Love, Forever, Fear, Creativity, Soulmates, Heart vs. Head, Overcoming Obstacles, Tragedy.

As you read this series any of these themes can pop into your mind, Melanie is so torn. She has the whole world at her feet, family and friends waiting to support her, her dream career in her grasp, a man so in love with her he’d wait forever for her, but yet the heartache of losing her child years ago force her into a stubborn isolation. She had a lot of soul searching to do, that unfortunately she needed to do on her own.

Oliver is her ray of light, her hope, he loves her unconditionally and he is not willing to let her sit in that dark black hole of isolation for too long. However, you can see that he knows how he has to play this. He can’t just pounce. She’s already used to running, and she will continue if anyone makes any sudden movements. So you see him pull back here and there. He knows when she needs to walk away. And it baffles Melanie that he could be that understanding. He’s pretty perfect. But not without his faults, he is human. There are moments where you see him falter. We see him not be so understanding, but in the same breath he takes on the blame, so that she doesn’t have to, and even then Melanie pulls away because she can’t comprehend his unwavering love.

It isn’t until he backs off completely that she realizes she needs him. When she finds out she is pregnant with another one of their children. And when she actually chooses to include him in what is going on. Once she finally admits she needs him not only to him, but to herself, the whole story kind of becomes well rounded. Things are full circle and all the stress is forgotten as they embark on their journey together. Because he was never going to give up on her, he just needed her to come to him.

the gang

Friendship is always a factor in my stories, there are always the supporting roles- the best friends, because I think our main characters need somewhere to go and vent. I think I would have liked to explore some more conversations between Oliver and Dave. Now that I think about it I’m sure Oliver would vent at times. How could he not! Melanie drove him crazy! And Dave was part of the whole reason why Melanie and Oliver met in the first place, he knew their story. I think friendship is always such a strong consistent theme in my stories, because it’s a strong theme in my life. I have a core group of friends who I go to with everything. I have a best friend, I’ve known since kindergarten, hence the childhood best friend inspiration. #CassieAndMelanie.

Character Building:

I feel like it’s easy to relate to both Oliver and Melanie. There’s a push and pull between them. They have so much love and attraction between them. And unlike my last short story series On The Run, these two didn’t just meet, they’ve known each other for many years. They have a really heavy past and they know things about each other that form a very sexy, real, loyal bond.

It’s easy to hate on Melanie, I think. She left. She ran. And continues to do so for the better part of the series. She wasn’t there for the man she loved. When he obviously continuously put her first. It’s definitely a frustrating concept. She even lets Oliver think they are getting back together after what happened between them on Christmas. But there is this really complex nature about her that I hope is displayed to the audience. I wanted her to be conflicted. She didn’t run because of Oliver, she ran because of herself. Because she wasn’t herself. Because she was worried she wouldn’t be able to give him what he deserved; a family. She knows what she’s doing, she knows she’s hurting him- she admits it, but she can’t help it, because of the pain that weighs on her heart.

So in that sense, I feel like you can put yourself in her shoes, and understand why she has been acting the way she has. It’s not that she doesn’t love him. She does, but she’s caught between that and her pain. She pushes him away because she can’t handle reliving it.

Oliver has a really beautiful evolution I think. I really love his character. And I think if this were ever made into a real short film, Jason Thompson would kill this role! There’s this intense vulnerability in Oliver. He loves with everything in him. He’s made up his mind about Melanie a long time ago, it’s just he’s waiting to make his moves.

“You’re my forever, plain and simple.”

He lets her run, he lets her have her time. But he is always there if she needs him… when she needs him. And after years he still held onto that love and that loyalty. As I said he seems pretty perfect, but he’s not without his faults. And eventually he reaches a point where he tells Melanie that he can’t do it anymore, but even though she believes it, he knows it was just another tactic on his part. A heat of the moment type of thing.

“You’ve been kind of distant today, I guess I understand, but I have to admit, I am surprised.”

“I’ve learned to let you come to me. I figured if I kept my distance long enough you might miss me,” he says smiling.

Oliver has a lighter heart, he tries to make Melanie smile, and remember the good. He doesn’t dwell on the negative. With that being said, it’s not that Melanie’s miscarriage didn’t affect him. It did, but he chose to take his pain into his own hands and get the help he needed, and in doing so he was able to understand things from Melanie’s perspective. He even states that he knows it’s more difficult for a woman, she physically experiences the loss. Oliver remains strong and lets her lean on him, and that’s why we never see exactly how he handled it, but we know what he had to do to handle it. The story isn’t about his pain, it’s about theirs and how he will love her through hers no matter how much she pushes him away or how long he has to wait.

The main themes of love, hope, loyalty, friendship stem from everything these two people in love have between them. It’s everything they are. It’s a forever love story that can withstand all the pain and distance life throws their way. It’s a story about coming home, finding home, not just in a place, but in someone else’s heart.

Description/Imagery:

In my last Author’s Commentary (which was for On The Run), I wrote BE MORE DESCRIPTIVE! And reading Welcome Home back, I feel like I listened. The story is set mostly during the holiday season in a small town in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You get a feel for the holidays by the scenery description of her childhood home and her walks through town.

What Needs Work:

I can always work on description, even though I’m improving. Timeline, is always tricky for me. I feel like you can get lost in time jumps and life events, and school years, and misjudge years. But hopefully I did ok, in this one. I will keep better track of this next time! As well as continue to learn about writing effective love scenes that fit the love between two charcters.

Final Comments:

I’m really proud of this short story. I think it was more thought out, and paced nicely. It ran here on michelle leigh writes for 3 months, and my posting schedule was pretty consistent. I feel like it was the most consistent of any of the short stories I’ve written. Let’s dive in and show you what I mean…

Chapter 1- posted on Thursday, Dec. 15th, 2016

Chapter 2- posted on Thursday, Jan. 5th, 2017

Chapter 3- posted on Thursday, Jan. 12th, 2017

Chapter 4- posted on Thursday, Jan. 19th, 2017

Chapter 5- posted on Thursday, Jan. 26th, 2017

Chapter 6- posted on Thursday, Feb. 2nd, 2017

Chapter 7- posted on Thursday, Feb. 9th, 2017

Chapter 8- posted on Thursday, Mar. 2nd, 2017

Chapter 9- posted on Thursday, Mar. 16th, 2017

I kept to posting on Thursday, this way to allow other categories time on my blog and not saturate it with one thing. I posted consistently one chapter a week for the better part of the series, give or take a few which even then the longest break was no more than 3 weeks.

In other words, I think I’m slowly conquering the dreaded hiatus drama! Hallelujah!

So there you have it, my in depth Author’s Commentary.

Welcome Home Says Goodbye.

JK…Stay Tuned for a separate Soundtrack post…COMING SOON!

Thank you for reading!

Catch up on Welcome Home from the beginning HERE

And get a sneak peek at my next short story series HERE

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<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-