2018 Highlights- Year in Review

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

Here are my 2018 Highlights

(in no particular order)

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

So I was kind of in fangirl heaven!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy New Year friends!

May all your hopes and dreams come true!

Stay Tuned for much more content this year.

So many stories to tell!

-<3-

When Calls the Heart Chat & Style Files

Hallmark series When Calls the Heart is such a wholesome gem. I fell in love with it last year when I binge watched it and got caught up before the return of it’s 4th Season. 

Now it’s in it’s 5th season, and I unfortunately no longer get the Hallmark channel. And I miss it so much! Not only do I miss the fun seasonal movie themes but I miss this Sunday night series terribly! I try to keep up with it through social media, but it’s just not the same.  

I haven’t found a free, reliable way to watch online either. 😦

All I know is there was a Christmas Special which I missed, and then the first 3 episodes have aired. Last season we left off with Jack proposing to Elizabeth who obviously said yes! But then he had to leave to go fight in a war. Leaving us #Hearties heartbroken. 

So Erin Krakow’s Elizabeth Thatcher was left waiting for quite a long time. Waiting in worry. 

Daniel Lissing who plays the role of Constable Jack Thornton, was absent from many of the ending episodes of the 4th season. And from what I’ve learned online, he wasn’t in the first few episodes of the 5th season either. [However it did appear he was home for Christmas briefly]. I hated not having our favorite smouldering Mountie at Elizabeth’s side. 

Needless to say he returned in this past Sunday’s episode and their reunion was so sweet and charming, as usual. Thank you to the sweet soul on instagram who uploaded clips!

 

“I’m home.”

 

Jack and Elizabeth have FINALLY set a date for their wedding, maid of honors and best men have been picked and Rosemary is clearly already in planning mode. 

It’s so sweet to see how happy Jack is to start his life with Elizabeth. He even created a rough blueprint for their future home, and took her to the land he bought for them. 5 bedrooms! He’s planning on growing their family that’s for sure! #LoveScene? 😉 They even had a sweet candle lit dance with a music box he bought while on his travels through the Northern Territories.

“There are so many rooms!”- Elizabeth

“Family is going to grow, right?”- Jack

“Apparently by a lot.”- Elizabeth *Of course Elizabeth has her shy eyes on.*

“I want to put a big dining room right here.”- Jack

“How big?”- Elizabeth 

“Well big enough to fit all of the Thornton Clan.”- Jack

So cute! I can’t take it. He’s so excited!

However, in sneak peeks for future episodes. It appears that the wedding planning doesn’t exactly go so smoothly. With a fire in the church, I imagine that will set things back. And a few moments of pain inflicted in Jack’s eyes, hints that we may get a bit into what he suffered through during the war. There seems to be a potential post traumatic stress disorder story on the horizon. If you ask me that is so realistic and makes total sense. Jack is very quiet in his emotions, very laid back. Never likes to make a fuss. Even when he and Elizabeth had their breaks in their relationship he was never overly dramatic about their confrontations. Sure he’s well skilled in the grand gestures, but he’s worked on them for 5 years, at the beginning of their courtship boy did he stumble over his feet.

Jack is so grateful to come home to the love of his life, but he’s throwing himself into planning their wedding and their future life together without taking a break. It’s all going to come crashing down on him. And I sense from what I’ve seen  so far, that Elizabeth knows that. She’s asked him several times to “Take a breath,” to “rest and relax because he must be exhausted.” She also has been asking him about the war and what it was like, to which he often deflects saying it “was what is was, and it’s over now.”  

“I’ve waited so long for this.”-Elizabeth

“It’s good to be home.”-Jack

“Now we can go back to where we were.”

“No.”- Jack

“No?”-Elizabeth

“I don’t wanna be engaged.”-Jack

“What?”-Elizabeth

“”I wanna get married. Build a house. Start a family.”

“Okay. Catch your breath.”-Elizabeth

“I don’t need to. The thought of coming home to you, and having you there everyday, it energizes me. It got me through some rough times.” 

I just love them. They are so sweet together and he really loves and respects her so much. I get all giddy just thinking about all the sweet little moments they’ve had together over the seasons- playful banter, disagreements, kisses, all the small looks and smiles. Even when they talk about each other with other people they’ve said such sweet things. In fact this past Sunday in a chat with a younger man- Jesse who is courting Clara (Abigail’s daughter in law whom came to live in Hope Valley after her husband was killed in the mine accident along with Abigail’s husband) asked for some advice. Jack responded that he knows he’s smart enough to know how lucky he is. When Jesse inquires if he and Elizabeth ever broke up, Jack answers that there were times when they put things on hold. He and Elizabeth took some time getting back to each other but they did in the end. Jack further explains that if Jesse and Clara are meant to be they will find their way. It was so sweet to see how he is now in this position to give a younger man advice. Many times he would seek his own advice about Elizabeth from sources like Lee, Bill Avery, and Abigail. He and Elizabeth have come a long way and have really grown together. The list is endless, I could go on all day. In fact I’ve been re-watching seasons on Netflix just to get my WCTH fix. I miss it so much! Lol. 

It’s so crazy that they are at this point in their relationship, I mean from their early scenes together, it’s beautiful to see them now so in love. It seems like time flew by. I mean granted I binged on Netflix, I’m sure those who watched live feel like it’s been an eternity. But in many ways I too feel like it’s taken them quite long to get engaged and now married. I mean Jack was courting Elizabeth for quite a while, and Rosemary and Lee even got married in season 3, before our favorite Hope Valley couple Elizabeth and Jack. Lee and Rosemary are super cute though too! I love how he is so patient with her and all her craziness! Lol. 

Although Rosemary came into Hope Valley at the end of Season 1 hoping to win Jack back (Plot Twist she and Jack used to be engaged!) It’s so crazy to see how much has changed, Rosemary and Elizabeth used to be each other’s competition, and now they are the best of friends. And so are Lee and Jack! Lee didn’t come in until the beginning of Season 2 and the two wed in Season 3! So it’s been a bit of a fast track for the Coulters.

So mind you, you can imagine how anxious we #Hearties have been to see Elizabeth and Jack finally on their way to tying the knot. IN TWO WEEKS! Gosh it’s going to kill me not to watch it! It’s such a big season for them! And I am very passionate when it comes to television and my ships! After all he’s had the damn ring since like what Season 1 or 2, I think! It’s been a long, beautiful journey and I really miss watching it live! 

I guess I’ll have to stick it out and wait until Season 5 is on Netflix. 😦 

In the meantime I wanted to chat about the things that make this show so charming. And a lot of that has to do with the fact that it’s set in a small town. I love small towns, and quaint little cafes, church and shops. I love the simplicity of their life, (not to mention that they have such a comradery in hope and faith throughout the town). 

And last but not least I LOVE the FASHION.

Fashion in the 1910’s were all about the long skirts, and the corsets. The lace, pastel colors, and dainty earrings. The hair was also in a league of it’s own with simple updo’s with a twist or long soft curls. In the first season, Elizabeth dressed a bit more showy, with large hats and flashy dresses, after all she hailed from Hamilton where she lived a wealthy city life. But soon she embraced the more simplistic nature of Hope Valley and toned things down a bit. She found herself, she found her home.

But for a character like Abigail Stanton played by the lovely Lori Loughlin, she had a bit of  the reverse happen. When we first meet her she is all about simple undo’s and no makeup. Beautiful no matter what, but soon Abigail starts to find herself again, she starts to find hope too and realizes she still has so much living to still do despite suffering so much loss when the coal mine tragedy struck taking her husband and son from her. She starts to let her hair down again, and begins entertaining some gentleman callers who obviously couldn’t help but fall for her. All while being a café owner and town mayor. Total Girl Boss. 

Simplicity at it’s best…

Abigail Stanton…

I just love it all. Rosemary spices things up with her red crimson wardrobe as only she could! #Theatrics 

*Get the 1910’s inspired look HERE

One of these days I plan to host a 1910’s inspired party. I need to dress up! I’m dying to play pretend and live in Hope Valley for a day. 

When Calls the Heart airs on Sundays @ 9 pm on the Hallmark Channel. 

 

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

-<3-

 

 

The Big Speech

I’m a Romantic. Complete and total romantic. And when it comes to things I treasure, television is a passion for me. I love a good love story. The typical story of boy meets girl. Boy falls for girl and then boy does something stupid and boy loses girl. And how does boy get girl back? By giving the big speech. Full of raw emotional. where he just lays it all on the line, heart in hand. And hopes for the best. Sometimes the roles are reversed and it’s the girl who has to give the speech…just as effective! And sometimes the big speech isn’t always warranted by a mistake or need to apologize, but just to reaffirm their love to their partner. Either way, the big speech is always my favorite.

Here a few of my Favorite Big Emotional Speeches…

(in no particular order…and there are plenty more where they came from.)

Seth & Summer [The OC] 

“You’re undeniable.”

Dante & Lulu [General Hospital]

“I love you, your the sole owner of my heart….Forget hard, I’m trying to make it damn near impossible for you to give up on us.”

Patrick & Robin [GH]

“The fact is I’ve loved you for a long time…I don’t even know when it started…”

Lucky & Elizabeth [GH]

“Everything I am is in love with you…”

“To describe how you look would only cheapen a reality. I couldn’t breathe.”

Nathan & Haley [One Tree Hill]

“I could love you forever.”

Jess & Rory [Gilmore Girls]

“Come with me. I’m ready for this, you can count on me now.”

Ross & Rachel [FRIENDS]

“It’s always been you, Rach.”

Caleb & Hanna [Pretty Little Liars]

“You won’t admit that we’re meant to spend the rest of our lives together.”

Mark & Lexie [Grey’s Anatomy]

“I’m saying you could have a husband.” #BasicallyAProposal

“I love you….oh god that just came flying out of my face…”

Jack & Elizabeth [When Calls The Heart]

“I don’t know if it’s fair to ask you to wait for me.”

What beautiful, beautiful words. They just hit you right in the feels. I love each of these scenes. I love how they display such true love. And I love how you can feel it radiating from your television screen. And that my friends, is why I swoon over love and television relationship arcs.

*I do not take credit for any of the videos used.*

-<3-

What I Got For My Birthday- Birthday Haul

My best friend is going to be treating me to a brunch and she also bought me this beautiful Portuguese candle. I am part Portuguese so this was super interesting to me and it smells beautiful too- the scent is Rose, Cassis, and Redberries!

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Yes I know, the date is wrong, I can’t bother to fix it. #IDontKnowHow

I love the gold and pink detail. And can we just talk about that peacock patterned packaging? Gorgeous!

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My other best friend bought me some of my favorite things, I love scarves, I love jewelry, I love bath and body works.

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This Cucumber Melon scent makes me feel like I’m a tween again!

My brother and sister in law got me a nutra ninja, which is what I really wanted most. I can’t wait to start making smoothies! I was also told that my brother did the shopping this year, since my sister in law was feeling under the weather, and I have to say I think he did good on his own.

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That Golden Girls shirt though. Mind you we didn’t even know what Golden Birthday was until after I opened my gift and then the shirt’s awesomeness was just elevated even more. It’s perfect because I’m a grandma at heart, such an old soul. Haha. Thank you for being a friend. Stay Golden! 😉

I’ve been wanting a new fake leather jacket, so my parents got me one.

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My goddaughter, her baby brother and my cousins surprised me with a brownie cake and a new natural life water bottle.  These are really good and I use one for work everyday so this is perfect. And seriously how cute is that pattern and that motivational message! Such a Michelle bottle.

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She knows me for my messy hair buns! Haha.

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Delicious!

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One of my Aunts bought me a fit board. I mentioned wanting one so long ago, but couldn’t bring myself to spend the money. I can’t believe she remembered! It’s fun too! Feels like I’m surfing! #WipeOut Haha.

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A few of my Aunts also gave me cards with money too, so the wheels are already turning with ideas on what I can buy with it. I’m kind of dying to just go full on splurge at my favorite drugstores and get all the makeup and nail polish I want! Haha.

Drugstore Haul?

This also happened on my birthday! And being that I am a total TV junkie and a romantic at heart, it made my birthday all the more sweeter! When Calls The Heart has become one of my new favorite shows…HE FINALLY ASKED! #JackAndElizabeth #WhenCallsTheHeart #Hearties #HeartiesLetsParty

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Watch the scene HERE

I am so excited and appreciative of everything. I have already put some things to use! I’m one lucky girl to have people who celebrate with me each year! xoxo

*All images are my own.*

-<3-