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! 😉 

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!

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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!)
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-

OOTD- Cold Shoulder Shift Dress

I told you I’d show you how I styled this number from New York & Company that I recently wore for my Best Friend’s Bachelorette Party, so let’s get down to business! 😀

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Here’s my  full look:

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As you can see already putting these birthday gifts to good use!

The dress had a loud print and some really beautiful cold shoulder detail so I wanted to keep accessories, hair, and makeup on the simpler side. I didn’t get any good close-ups of my makeup but basically I blended some greens, golds, tan, bronze, and brown eyeshadow. I used a hunter green eye liner and some mascara to define my eyes and make them pop. I filled in my brows and did some highlight, blush and bronzer. For lipstick I wore a neutral mauve- Revlon’s Ultra HD Matte Liquid Lipstick in the shade “Forever.” I love this color and it lasts a good while! For hair I threw it up in a messy bun to show off my big gold hoop earrings.

 

Black pumps

These chunky black heels have been such a great investment. I lasted the entire night dancing away in these, normally I’m in flats after an hour.

 

ACCESSORIES

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Gold bangles, thin gold rings, and a light up engagement ring, because, duh? Bachelorette Party. 😉

 

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I wore this statement ring on my other hand.

This was the manicure. I decided on- a pistachio green color, with a gold glitter ombre effect!

I rocked some black tights and a black side purse with a gold chain on it.

And last but not least here were some other accessories used to enhance the bachelorette party experience.

 

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Team Bride Glasses, Body Tattoos, Light Up Ring and Glow Necklace.

 

We had a grand ole time! Love you Jenny Girl!

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*All images are my own.*

-<3-

 

 

Bachelorette Party Planning

Last weekend we celebrated my best friend’s bachelorette party.

I have been planning it as far back as December, which was when I asked her for a guest list and contact information.

This is my first go at being a maid of honor and planning a bachelorette party, so I definitely learned a lot throughout the process.

I’m not saying that I am perfect, far from it! But I love party planning and I just thought I’d share some things I did or things I learned.

For starters before getting on the phone and booking things, I sat and had a chat with the bride to be, about what she wanted to do and how she wanted her night to be celebrated.

Once you have that information you can bounce around ideas with her bridesmaids and come up with some cool spots.

I suggest getting both email and phone contact information, because I found e-mail isn’t always most efficient. It’s going out of style.

I definitely think once you know your date, sending a save the date text, (or you can use evite like I did) just to put the word out there and let them know what’s being planned. Invites and Itineraries can be sent out closer to the date.

When I had a plan in mind, I began my research of locations that would compile all the aspects of what my friend wanted. She wanted to do a little pampering, dinner, drinks, and dancing.

We had a few underage girls, so what we decided to do was include some day time and night time activities, in order to include everyone.

We started the day at a local spa for some Mani/Pedi’s, and then had brunch at a nearby place. (literally a few doors away from each other…super convenient.)

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Choice of mimosa, water, or tea

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Pedicures with the bride to be…these neck pillows were lovely. Warm and smelt of Eucalyptus.

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Manicures!

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Cheers! 2 Peach Bellini’s and 2 Pomegranate Sangrias!

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I got the Paradise Salad!

 

We then separated, some went to get their hair done, some got ready at home.

We met up at my friend’s house later to do a little Bachelorette Party stuff and have some drinks and snacks, before heading to the city for dinner and dancing.

 

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Ignore the date, it’s wrong,  lol.

 

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I thought these drink markers were super cute!

The place we chose was this Mexican restaurant and dance lounge and was really such a steal. Ladies entered for free! The food was delicious, we got a free bottle of champagne, and they gave out glow necklaces. What more could you ask for?

^ I ordered the Crispy Boneless Chicken with a glass of Peach Sangria and the Fudge Brownie Sundae for dessert. They had a mariachi band walking around playing music too! Haha. So good!

Once done with dinner you could go either upstairs or downstairs to dance, one level was Latin music, the other mixed with the usual radio hits. And it was such a fun, all inclusive place. You know us girls in heels were grateful for that.

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Also it was super convenient that they had a coat check too, because it’s still chilly at night and I knew we’d need our coats so I called ahead to be sure we’d have somewhere to put them.

Tips I picked up on:

*Carry less cash on you and your credit card.

*Use a cross body purse. #HandsFree

*If you are drinking- do NOT mix!

*Someone should always be the responsible one, I kind of played the mom role, I made sure everyone was always accounted for and safe. We are all pretty responsible any way.

*Do not go to the bathroom alone if it’s far from your group.

*Do not leave your drink unattended or take drinks from strangers.

*CHARGE YOUR PHONE- make sure it’s full battery before you leave for a long night. Luckily my friend also carries her portable charger too.

*Do not travel alone- pay the extra cash and carpool it home. (make plans with a travel buddy beforehand.) I have at least 2 car service numbers in my phone and you can usually catch a taxi  in the city-but one of the girls actually had Lyft which was super convenient they came within 3 minutes.

*If you HAVE to travel home alone, drink responsibly and check in with that friend at night, make sure they got home safe.

BUY THE ACCESSORIES!

Even if your bride tells you not too, do it anyway! The pictures will thank you! My friend was all about her tiara, she left it on all night!

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Items were bought online through party city & amazon.

Although planning these types of things can become stressful, remember who you are doing it for, and why. While I was planning this, a friend told me- “You can’t please everybody.” And it’s so true. So don’t try to.

We all had a great, safe, healthy, fun time! I think it’ll be a night we’ll never forget! ❤

*All images are my own.*

-<3-

 

 

OOTD: Palazzo Pants & Big Hoop Earrings

New York & Company is a store I shop at when I need something a little on the fancier side. So for my best friend’s Bridal Shower, I went to pick up an outfit. When I walked into the store I was instantly aware of their newest trend- Palazzo Pants. Hello, welcome back to the 70’s ladies.

I had to get a pair and after trying on a bunch of prints, this is the pair I decided on. I have to say I saw these and knew they’d be the ones I’d end up with. #BlackAllDayEveryDay #ICantEscapeIt

 

palazzo pants

My top and earrings are also from NY & Co.

 

 

Here is how I styled these Palazzo pants:

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I wanted the pants to be the focal point. I love that they were black with a pop of color from the flowers. Because of this, I wanted to pair them with a white simple blouse. I tried yellow, and red, but it seemed to be too much color. This simple white top was perfect. Not only did it blouse nicely when tucked into the pants, but it has that subtle yet unique neckline that spruced the plain white color up a bit.(The top was a bit sheer so I wore a black bandeau underneath.) 

For makeup and hair I kept it pretty simple. Kept the eye shadows in the bronze, browns, golds family. That’s usually my go to, because I LOVE GOLDS! As for lips, I did a mixture of a burgundy red (Revlon’s Rum Raisin) and bright orange (NYX Cherry Cheesecake) to form a nice bright coral like red. 

Next, I wanted a sleek, yet slightly messy high ponytail with some curls to frame my face. Added some bold big gold hoops for earrings, paired with gold bangles, and some bold rings with turquoise and green accents.

 

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I don’t have any links to these rings- The one of the left was my grandmother’s and the one on the right I bought from someone at a garage sale.

 

On my nails I had Essie’s “Penny Talk.”

And for shoes, I kept it simple with some basic Mary Jane type black pumps. That chucky heel made them much more comfortable.

 

Black pumps

Got these suckers on clearance for $15! #WhatAFreakinSteal

 

The whole outfit is funky yet still sophisticated. I have this habit of wanting to funk up every outfit I wear! Lol. My best friend told me I look like a sophisticated flowerchild. And guess what, I’m ok with that. It’s completely accurate and exactly the look I was trying to achieve. 😉

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I was so excited about rocking this outfit. It was super comfortable. Perfect for all my maid of honor duties! I would definitely recommend the Palazzo pant trend, here’s a link to all the different prints New York & Company has to offer. Take a look!

Stay Tuned for when I style this little number for her Bachelorette Party coming up! 😀

cold shoulder

-<3-

 

 

OOTD- Black, Gold & a little bit of Leopard

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Dress- Annie Sez

Coat- Annie Sez

Shoes- Payless

(These are like 10 years old, they were shot after tonight, and I had to throw them out! #WellLivedIn)

This outfit was a total steal! I was on a mission to find something both funky and elegant for my best friend’s engagement party. I looked and looked and was coming up empty for a while.

But then I saw this beautiful black and gold dress and I was excited about wearing one of my favorite color combinations.

After I decided on the dress, I thought it would be fun to funk this outfit up with a big furry jacket or sweater of some sort and that’s when I saw that leopard coat. I have been wanting something like this forever, but everything has been so expensive! But this Steve Madden Leopard Coat was $99.99, and was 70% off and ended up being $30. The dress was $30, too! So I left that store quite the happy camper!

I kept my makeup pretty neutral with browns and golds and a nude/pink lip. My nails were painted a matte gold and I added some pearl earrings and a pearl bracelet. The design on the dress was so stunning, I didn’t think I needed a necklace. As for rings I wore a simple black and gold onyx ring on one hand, and a big gold and crystal rock on the other. Rings are always my favorite!

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In other news my best friend asked me for some ideas for the party and after some Pinterest and google research I decided on these ideas and thought I’d share how they came out, (via her suggestion, haha.) “You should blog about these!” Love you girl!

Date Night Ideas Jar & Advice Jar, and Guess how many kisses are in the jar?

 

My love for mason jars and twine is real guys!

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And to top it all off, my best friend asked me to be her maid of honor…and I CANNOT WAIT!

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My girl knows my mug obsession is real!

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Move over Marilyn Monroe, there’s a new fashion icon in town. Love you girl, I can’t wait to be by your side throughout this whole thing! It’s truly and honor.  #SoulSistas

 

 What a beautiful party to celebrate the reuniting of two beautiful souls. I am so incredibly happy for you both! We had a great time. #ThatSpanishMusicTho 😉

*All photos are my own.*

-<3-