Hi there! HAPPY NEW YEAR! I can’t believe it’s already 2023!!! I know it’s been a minute since I’ve posted! But I’m back to celebrate with you! I hope you are well, staying safe, and creating memorable moments with loved ones!
Take it back to 2013… 10 Years Ago!
It’s MLW’s (michelle leigh writes) 10th Birthday/Anniversary!!! Which I’ve decided to name Birthaversary. It’s crazy to think that 10 years ago, I decided to finally start sharing my writing. I have always been scared to admit that I was a writer. Now, I proudly include it as part of who I am. Even though I’m not posting all the time. Writing will never really leave me. And whether I ever make it my career, or make money from it, no matter what, I know I will always be a writer at heart. And a storyteller. And a believer of magic. I always come back to it in some way. It is my way of sorting things out. Overcoming things. Making sense of things. And healing. Well that and some damn good Therapy! It’s 2023 people. I’m telling you get on that therapy train. It’s worth it!
I will still be keeping this blog alive in order to share my writing when I feel to- mostly for the longer pieces. I already have so many Short Story Series on here for you to browse. Otherwise, I will be sharing most of my writing on my writer’s instagram more consistently. So please do follow! @michelleleighwritesvibes
As 2022 comes to a close I wanted to just review some of the creative projects I shared. I love to do this little reflection of my work from the past year. This way I can set intentions for the next year. MichelleLeighWrites is my blog baby. A safe place for the written word. Here are some of my writer vibes this past year. I hope you enjoy and continue to come along for the ride. I have some big ideas for this year. Stay Tuned, friends!
2022 Writing Highlights
1. MLW turned 9 Years Old!
2. Love Letter Thoughts Series on Instagram
3. Writing on the Walls Series on Instagram (based on words found on walls around me at work.)
4. Participated in #ESCAPRIL on Instagram (Shout out to @savbrown for her month of poem prompts every April)
5 & 6. Hope Writer Life Challenges
7. Stop & See… It’s the little things Series on Instagram– An expression of gratitude for the every day joys of life.
No matter how small.
8. Did some work on my most current Short Story Series here on MLW- Black Nightingale- New Chapters SOON!
9. Also…I kept up my journaling habit too. I am currently up to Journal #10! 10 is my lucky number it seems. 😉
10. June Prompts from Hope Writers.
I had joined this writing group and participated in a number their prompt lists. I even took a virtual workshop. However, I found my schedule wasn’t allowing me to utilize the subscription to best of my ability so I ended up cancelling it. However, I really enjoyed what I was able to take part in. They even sent me this cute subscription box. You know your girl loves a mug! Hopefully I can look more into what they offer, this coming year.
I also got more into sharing stories and reels on instagram. I have a seasonal shorts story for all my holiday/theme story fans.
I also had fun playing around with canva designs and creating instagram aesthetics.
Follow my insta for my real time writing updates!
I hope to bring you much more content this year full of magic, and love and all things in between. 😉
And always thank you for reading!
Another thing I tried to start up in 2022 was a virtual book club for feedback on my short story series- MOVE. I definitely want to try and continue with that this year. So if anyone is interested, DM me your email on instagram and I will add you to the email list!
Love & Light and everything Bright. Cheers to new writing adventures in 2023!
It has recently dawned on me that today is MLW’s (michelle leigh writes) 8th Birthday/Anniversary. Which I’ve decided to name Birthaversary. It’s crazy to think that 8 years ago, I decided to finally start sharing my writing. I have always been scared to admit that I was a writer. But I’ve realized over the past 8 years that is part of who I am. Even if I’m not posting all the time. Writing will never really leave me. I always come back to it in some way. Being that I am celebrating MLW’s 8th birthday on January 8th, I wanted to do a little GOLDEN birthday inspired post to celebrate.
A GOLDEN BIRTHDAY is when the stars align and you turn the same age as your birthday – (8 on the 8th).
It is said to be lucky. So cheers to some luck this new year. We all know we could use it after 2020.
Happy Birthaversary Michelle Leigh Writes!!!!
I thank you for being my safe place. My heart. My memories.
And although I haven’t posted consistently much, I will still be keeping this blog alive in order to share my writing when I feel to- mostly for the longer pieces. I already have so many Short Story Series on here for you to browse. Otherwise I will be sharing on my writer’s instagram more consistently. So please do follow! @michelleleighwrites_blog (I shared a lot of poetry back in April for “Escapril”)
My most recent Short Story Series “Move” was finally finished in 2020 here on MLW. So I wanted to give that a bit of a shout out!
I created a December Series called Writer’s Wonderland over on my writer’s instagram @michelleleighwrites_blog. I’ve been a lot more consistent on that platform. I’ve been sharing a lot of my writing on there this past year! My Writer’s Wonderland consisted of sharing poetry, short story series read a-louds on instagram stories, Short Story Excerpts, and lastly as mentioned in my last post, I wrote a children’s audio book- CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ! 🙂
I also have my New Year inspired Short Story Series Collection HERE too! If you wish to stick to a bit of a holiday theme! 🙂
I’ve learned so much over this past year. I’ve done so much reflection, wondering, healing, and I’ve been so much more open to change. Because the truth is, this past year, we had very little control over what was happening in the world, and that made me really understand that we really only have control over how we handle things. How we react or respond. So breathe, pray, talk it out, feel what you need to feel, play your music loud, dance it out, binge watch all the Netflix, video chat your loved ones, eat the chocolate, drink the wine, laugh. Because the now is important. The present moment is important. However, I also feel it is important to note, that if your present moment isn’t a happy one, know that pain is temporary. Better days are coming. Cheers to a new year. I am sending love and light and many prayers to all of you out there for a safe, happy and healthy year. Stay safe, wear a mask!
And in MLW fashion…I leave you with an inspirational song…
But it’s a new year. A new decade. A decade of roaring twenties,
magical 2020 vision and a sparkling new opportunity for growth.
Happy New Year!
Today also happens to also be MLW’s 7th Birth-a-versary! That’s a combination of Happy Birthday/Happy Anniversary if you were wondering. That’s right 7 years of creating content from the heart here on michelle leigh writes! It’s kind of a big deal for me, since it took me years just to warm up to the idea of someone reading my writing.
And yes there have been lost posts and months of inactivity. But like I always say, I always come back. In my heart I know I have so many stories to tell, poems to craft and party planning ideas to share. And I’m grateful for this space where I can be truly me and speak freely. It will always be my “Safe place for the written word.”
In honor of my 7th blog year, LUCKY #7!
I baked some white chocolate, sprinkle, cake cookies!
So today, I thought I’d kick off this new post with a little 2020 planning for you. It’s in my bones to plan. I feel like every year I do the same thing. I plan and plan and then all plans get shot to hell when life flies into chaos. So I almost stopped myself from getting to much of the planning bug this year. But then I decided, maybe I can take a different approach this year. After all it is a new decade.
I rang the New Year in at my best friend’s house. Her and her husband hosted and it was a great time. We had champagne, wine and great food. We played this really fun game Telestrations After Dark. Warning: Not a kid friendly game. LOL. Then I spent New Year’s Day just being lazy in PJ’s, but being super productive in planning, straightening up my bedroom (which had become a mess because of the holidays,) and prepping for the work week. Thankfully, it was a short one to ease back into the swing of things! Because, we all know how hard it can be to get rid of that vacation brain. Your girl is still struggling! 😉
2020 PLANNING IDEAS!
Buy a new Planner, Calendar, and Notebook. A must for me. Every year. Shout out to my Aunt Linda who gets tons of free calendars every year, so she always gives me one! This year I got a really pretty floral inspirational quotes one.
I got some cool new pens for Christmas!
Make a list of 2019 highlights. Every year I think “what did I really do this year? Not much.” It’s easy to get down on yourself and feel bad if you didn’t go on some lavish vacation, or fall in love and get engaged, or buy that house, or get that dream job. But I guarantee if you look back on your social media (if you’re a social media posting person) then you will see that you created so many countless, beautiful memories. My list was so long, I couldn’t even share it here if I wanted to! LOL.
Make a list of things you learned in 2019. Every year is full of ups and downs. But in those moments, there is always something to learn. Personal growth is an amazing thing.
Make a list of 2020 goals (re-evaluate your 2019 goals and how much you accomplished.) Sometimes this can be a daunting task. If you’re like me, sometimes you feel like every year you have the same goals. So evaluating the past year’s goals can make you feel unaccomplished. But that’s why I also like to make a list of highlights so you can see how much you actually did accomplish! It’s all about perspective people! Although it can fly by, a year is a significant amount of time, and you can really do so much. You do so much. You just don’t realize it. And sometimes, the little things are the big things.
Check in on Work In Progress projects. So this is referring to my long list of projects I started this year and old projects that I haven’t finished over the past decade! So I just sort of took stock of their status and prioritized the few that I want to tackle this month.
Create an inspirational playlist of songs to set the mood for your 2020. I did this last year too, and it was super fun. I’ve been listening to mine and it’s full of fun vibes. I have some New Year’s songs on there, some slow jams, some old jams, some new jams, some 1920’s music. I’m actually still adding, every time I hear or think of a new song that resonates with my vibe this year.
Create a YouTube playlist of inspirational videos you want to watch. So I’m a big YouTube fan, and everyone is posting New Year content, which is really inspirational. So much so that it was getting overwhelming seeing the videos roll in. So I decided the best way to help myself was to create a playlist of all the videos I wanted to watch, and that way I can watch them at my leisure. Some of my favorite YouTubers include, Rachel Talbott, Kalyn Nicholson, Carrie Rad, Marisa Mohi, Kristen Martin, and Niki DeMar.
Start getting back to routine. Work, exercise, eating right, meditation, prayer. I find that when I have this kind of routine, I feel more centered, more focused, less anxious and more like myself.
Make a “Stress Away” basket full of things that you can pick from, to calm those stressful nerves. In mine I included, an adult coloring book, a stress ball, two small note pads and some pens, a gratitude journal, a FRIENDS quiz book, puzzles, t-shirt designing stuff (because yes I sometimes like to make my own t-shirts), a painting kit, and a word search book. I also plan to add a few more things as I go. You can really customize this to whichever you wish.
Order some fun products online to add to your New Year vibe. I have been into trying to clear up my skin, and also find fun ways to exercise. So I recently ordered a humidifier, a facial cleansing brush, a lap desk for my lap top, writing gloves, a dry brush, a white head tool for acne, an exercise hula hoop, an energy lamp, and YouTuber Kalyn Nicolson’s poetry book Dancing with elephants.
Practice Gratitude. So I have a gratitude journal that I sometimes write in, where you write down 3 things you are grateful for that day. But lately I’ve just been saying Thank You to God at moments, in my prayers, out loud, to myself. Just a simple thank you. It’s peaceful and it feels good. Because even if your day sucks, there is something, even the smallest thing, that could make you feel grateful. Every day may not be good, but there is something good, in every day.
Do a tarot card reading for 2020, AND/OR Read your horoscope. I get that this isn’t for everyone. And I don’t buy into it as strong as some people do. But I do think it can be really fun. I have an Animal Spirit Deck and A Fairy Deck. Yes ya girl loves fairies. Have since I was a kid and saw a movie about fairies and then saw one flying around in my room in the middle of the night. #MAGIC. Inspired by Kalyn Nicholson’s 2020 reading, I decided to do my own, and man oh man was it eye opening. It gave my 2020 some seriously good vibes and a cool direction. I also looked up my Aries info for 2020.
This was my reading.
Reach out to family and friends and start to book plans in for the month or the next. If you’re like me, you have a ton of people you love and value in life. But when life gets so crazy, it can be sometimes really hard to make time for everything. So I decided to just start early and check in with all my various friend groups and start to make plans to hangout. Life is just more joyful when you have great friends to chill and talk with. Sometimes you just need a night with your girls! My calendar is already slowly filling up! I can’t wait to see everyone!
Go food shopping. I don’t know about you guys but after the hustle and bustle and traveling of the holidays, I had been eating like total crap, and my body was definitely feeling it. And so my mom and I took a trip to the supermarket and stocked up on healthier food options. My body is very happy now! 🙂
Balance your check book. (Maybe do this one before ordering a bunch of stuff on amazon!) 🙂
Give back and make the world just a little bit better. I recently donated to Givit for the wildfires happening in Australia. I’ve been seeing these devastating images all over social media. And I just wanted to do something. Even though it was small. It was something and every little bit counts. I also donated to the National Autism Association and I always donate to the Alzheimer’s Association during the walk which I did in 2019. Like I said it may not be much, but I give what I can afford and I hope and pray it helps.
Create a mood board or an inspiration board. This is where that 2019 Highlights list comes into play. You can look at that and see how much you’ve actually done over the last year and then pull a few things from it, and print out some pictures to symbolize those things. I personally just scroll through my instagram and see what I posted throughout the year or years. I chose a lot of inspirational quotes too, and pictures of family and friends, and then I also used pictures of myself in memories that instilled feelings in me that I want to recreate or feel again this year. Things I’ve done to step out of my comfort zone. Things I’m proud of. Things I want to work on. Things that were just fun. ALL THE INSPRING THINGS! I’m so used to putting pictures of OTHER people- mostly celebrities- on these boards, that when I look at them they don’t FEEL like me. So this year I thought, why not inspire MYSELF, by highlighting things I actually did in the past that I can try to implement again this year. Because we get in ruts, and we fear change and every New Year is a chance to fight that and try harder to accept change. After all there is peace in acceptance, if you look closely enough!
Write a list of important dates. For me this included writing a few subscription dates. I know I have some ending in the next few months so I want to be aware of that and be sure I renew them or cancel them. This can also be for any doctor appointments or adult things you need to do. Write them down!
Reflect on the past decade. This one might take some serious thinking!
Look up a list of New Year’s Eve movies. I just googled and found a list HERE. I guess I tend to live in theme. LOL. I have been craving a NYE film, I basically watched Sex and the City all New Year’s Eve. But I actually didn’t get my “New Year’s Eve” fill. I kind of love that movie!
You may notice there’s a lot of writing involved. What can I say, I’m a writer. 😉 And a lover of a good list. Now you see what that notebook purchase was for! Make use of it! Keep in mind you obviously do not have to do all these steps in the first month. You do have a whole year. You don’t even have to do all these steps at all. This is just what I did. And it’s just helping me take stock and see what I wish to work on this year. I just feel extra motivated and I’m going to go with this soul flow. Good Vibes.
So there you have it. My tips and tricks to rock 2020. I know this is not a full proof method. And there will be hard times that deter me. But I feel inspired and I just thought I’d share this with you on this special day.
Thanks for reading! XO
Feels good to be back.
Happy 7th Birthaversary Michelle Leigh Writes!
To celebrate I think I’m going to grab a glass of Champagne Rose,
a few White Chocolate Chip cake cookies, and pop on one of those New Year’s movies! 😉
Update: I watched Freeform’s new version of Party of Five and Chicago PD instead. 🙂
Summary: Aiden has always had deep feelings for his best friend Chloe. But Chloe has always had another guy in her life, which made it impossible for Aiden to tell her. As kids they made a pact that if ever one New Year’s Eve they were both single, that they would be each other’s midnight kiss. Tonight. Chloe is single. And Aiden may just make his move? Will they take their relationship further than friendship? Will Aiden chicken out? Will Chloe even feel the same way? Read and see!
Summary: One Year Later…we check in on Aiden and Chloe. Are they together or not? Did they take the leap and make it work or not? Read and see!
For Old Times’ Sake  Summary: Lennox has convinced herself that the pop culture phenomenon that has become the New Year’s Clean slate isn’t for her. She stays in and keeps to herself often. However, what will happen one night when her sister drags her to a swanky exclusive Manhattan Party, where she meets a very charming bartender named Brady. Will he be able to change her mind? Will this pessimist find her prince or is she destined to stay in one New Year’s Eve every year?
*I do not take credit for the images used in my edits.*
Your To-Do List girl is back with some new year planning info, that will hopefully give you some helpful tips to kick ass in 2019! Now I’m still not quite far enough into planning yet, because I feel like this is the first actual week of the year, because of the holiday. So I’ve been doing some inspirational research this weekend, and got my new planner, and so now it’s starting to come together. I’m sure new things will come along and old things will fizzle out. But the more you try and use these different tactics the more you will see what works for you and what doesn’t. Let’s all be honest, January is a trial month! 😉
My Current Planning State consists of:
Buy a Planner- I have small a weekly/monthly planner
Buy a Goals Notebook/Fun pens/special pen
I bought this pen from my church and I just love that it has a cross on it, and that it came with an inspirational book mark.
Massive Mind Dump- In my notebook, I dedicated a few pages to writing down all the many, many, many things I hope/want/need to do in my life. A Massive To-do list if you will.
Pull Main Goals to focus on- I have 6
Habits to implement- I had over 15
Use a Habit Tracker- I pulled the habits I want to implement the most/or want to continue implementing (I chose 15)
Choose a mantra word for the year: (a word that is chosen to be repeated and descriptive of your new year- the focus word)
Winter TV schedule into planner- All my shows are coming back from mid season break, so in between my New Year’s planning I’ve been trying to catch up on them. This always happens, with the holidays I always get behind on ALL my shows. I’m all caught up on The Resident, Charmed, This Is Us, Dynasty, and Chicago PD. But still lost on Riverdale, How To Get Away With Murder, Will & Grace and Supergirl. I’m not entirely sure I want to dive into Supergirl again though. I’ve kind of had to force it anytime I have watched the new episodes, I’m a #Karamel fan and Mon El left so it’s just not the same for me. I will see though, maybe I will binge in the summer, when I have nothing to watch. LOL.
List of Projects I want to finish this year/in the next 2-3 months:
Move -MLW Short Story Series
Crazy Stalker Love- MLW Short Story Series
NaNoWriMo Project (Title TBA)
Special Project (TBA)
Self Publish something
Create vision boards- I have a few pages dedicated to this in my Goals notebook. They are mostly just inspirational images (so I guess they are inspiration boards) that I feel reflect my Mantra word- MAGIC. I also write any inspirational quotes I come across.
I do have a page of doodles that reflect my focus goals too. (But I still have to create a board with actual images.) I want to have one in my notebook and one that I can post right near my bed. So often I make these cute vision boards and then I they get buried and I don’t even see it during the year. So this way I will have it in my notebook and on my wall so that when I wake up every day, I see the goals I want to accomplish this year.
Gather Inspiration- Family 2019 wishes time capsule (my family each wrote their wishes down put them into their own envelopes with their names written on them and then all were placed and sealed in a large manila envelope and put away until next year when we will revisit them and see how we did) , YouTubers, Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour Doc on Netflix – (she is a total badass!), Tori Kelly Hiding Place Album, Quotes, etc.
Create a Workout Routine Ideas/Track your work outs- I just started my at home exercising back up today. And started to implement my habits. Tracking these things will hopefully keep me unaccountable and motivate me to keep at it!
Create a Morning Routine- today I got a lot done this morning, so it was a really good morning to establish the routine I want. So I decided to write it all down.
I also want to purchase an organization suitcase to keep all my notebooks and things. I always end up having like 3 snack tables full of my notebooks, clipboards, note pads, post-its, pens, etc.
What are you doing to ease into a healthier, happier life style this year?
I’m a planner and I love to know what’s ahead of me. Granted, I realize that’s not always possible, but having some vague plan in mind, tends to lessen my anxiety so I go with it.
Closeup image of notepad with pen.
I recently bought myself a new planner. Nothing fancy, as much as I love how they have all the stickers and the sticky notes and all that, I just don’t think I would actually use them. So I just went to my local Walgreens and picked up a Blue Sky, monthly/weekly planner.
When I start to plan for the new year, the first thing I like to do is reflect on the year that just passed. As you can see in my- 2017 Memory Jar Review post.
I go back through my memory jar, my instagram posts and my blog posts and see what I accomplished. I also review my goals list and check off the things I accomplished, and narrow in on the things I still want/need to work on, or continue to implement.
Because even if I did accomplish a specific goal in 2017, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t carry over into 2018. For instance like personal growth- and working on my anxiety, that’s a goal that’s on going, bettering my mental and physical health is always a goal every year, as it should be.
After I reflect, I review my old goal list, and check off, or add to it. And then eventually I’ll probably make a new list.
After that I will look at the many many things on my list and realize that it is VERY overwhelming!
So this year I’ve decided that from that big list I will pick 4-8 things that I want to ABSOLUTELY accomplish this year. And so that way my brain knows what it needs to focus on. Categories can help- so for instance- Health/Self-care, Relationships, Career.
After that, this is where my planner comes into play.
I like these planners (Blue Sky) because they have the monthly calendar and then the weekly where you can write in things per day.
However in hindsight, I usually end up needing more space, no matter what. So I’ll either use post-its or a separate sheet of paper/notebook or notepad for daily To-Do Lists or if something I’m working on needs a little more planning.
I’m debating getting just a desperate notebook for To-Do Lists, because I feel like I make them so often, I end up with all these sheets of paper all over. So we shall see.
It’s only January, things are definitely going to change as we go along.
I’ve started to do like weekly to do lists, and goals, and also I think eventually I may try monthly. Let’s be real January is a total hangover month. I’m still on 2017 time, so everything is trial and error at this point for me.
And that’s totally okay, because you don’t need a new year, to make a change. I kind of feel like I implemented some new things into my life last year around fall time, because I felt inspired to do so with the new school year starting up again. So you can always renew, revamp, and reflect. There are no rules.
Last year I said my “mantra word” was CHANGE, and ALOT changed around me, and I adapted and am continuing to do so, and although I feel I made some changes for myself too, I want to continue to grow and change on my own this year as well. However, I’m going to add another word to my mantra this year and that is DETERMINATION. There are certain things I want to do, that are big, BIG CHANGES I want to make in my life, and in order to do them, I’m going to need that fire, that determination. So I’m going to aim to up that factor in my life this year, because let’s be real, we all get in our lazy funks. It’s winter after all, and there’s a huge snow storm outside. So nothing says “it can wait til tomorrow…” more. But here I am trying to stick to my Monday/Thursday posting schedule anyway, while the tv is calling my name- waiting for me to catch up on all the shows I’ve missed over the past few weeks. Determination, Michelle, DETERMINATION.
Another thing I find that inspires me is looking up videos on YouTube. Some of those ladies make the most inspirational planning videos! And they just give you the pep you need to get planning.
I’ll link a few below, that I’ve watched this year for inspiration. I’ve definitely pulled from them when doing my planning.
I also like to have a visual to display so that I can see it. I never shared last years with you-(it was just a bunch of fun images with the word CHANGE), but after a while, it ended up getting buried in a corner of my room when I was reorganizing, but it’s back up and I’m going to add one near it to display images of my 2018 MAIN GOALS and the word DETERMINATION!
So to review the steps I use to plan:
Step 1: Reflect on the past year
Step 2: Review 2017 Goal List/Write a New One
Step 3:Narrow Goals Down (to the most important you want to focus on)
Step 4: Buy/Use a planner/To-Do List (to keep track of everything)
Step 5: Find inspiration (if you need help planning your goals)
Step 6: Choose your mantra word (the theme for your year)
Step 7:Create a vision board (to keep visible as a reminder of your goals for this year)
Step 8: Breathe & Believe in yourself ❤
MY MAIN BIG GOALS FOR 2018
*Get healthier- mentally/physically/emotionally
*Take the next step in my career
*Save money for my best friend’s wedding festivities!
*Get my permit/take driver’s ed (yes I know I’m way behind on this, in life- but hey I live in NY, technically- I don’t NEED to drive) 😉
*Work on relationships
*Self-publish a body of work (not on this blog, but elsewhere)
*Write my Pilot episode
Now that I have this locked down, I can go through and plan how to accomplish each one, step by step. I haven’t done that just yet, but…I will. The year is new, the year is young.
Happy 2018! Now let’s crush it! ❤
Tell me how you plan for your year ahead in the comments below, and if you have any other YouTubers you find inspiring!
*I do not take credit for the images used in my edit or otherwise.*
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)
-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.
-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!
-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!!!!
–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 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!).
-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 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 put my birthday gift-Ninja bulletto 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!
Last year I announced that I was going to be doing a Mini Vlogmas– that I would vlog from December 23-Decemeber 31st. And I did. However, the editing process was put on a super long overextended hold- I didn’t start/get finished editing until late July/August 2017. While I loved documenting my holiday season with my family and friends, as I thought about publically posting the vlogs, I felt conflicted.
I fully intended on posting my journey of festive fun- full of good food and good company- when it came time to share, I just don’t think my entire family would have all been ok with their life being put on the internet. And I respect that, so I officially decided that I will not be posting these vlogs. Instead I think I will burn them to discs and keep them like my own little home movies to look back on.
However, I decided to share some pics of my Holiday/my To Do List/Schedule instead.
December 23rd-Christmas Shopping
Straightened up my mess of a room.
Ran some errands/Went Shopping at some drug stores and grocery stores for stocking stuffers and all my baking goods.
Made Christmas goody bags for the kiddies in my family.
I shared some Christmas Cards I received from a few of my students.
I filled my stockings by the chimney with care.
Wrapped all Christmas Gifts.
December 24th- Christmas Eve
Did a little Get Ready with Me- hair, makeup, & outfit.
Went to visit my Grandparents and saw a bunch of aunts, uncles, and cousins as well!
Went to midnight mass (got baby Jesus blessed and put baby Jesus in our manger at home.)
December 25th- Christmas Day
Baked more cookies!
Opened gifts at home with my family.
Went to visit some more family at my cousin’s house-and we all met the newest family member- my baby boy cousin.
December 26th-God Daughter Sleepover
My god daughter came to have a sleepover.
We played Barbies. (did a mini Barbie mannequin challenge haha)
Had a dance party!
Watched a Barbie movie.
Built a gingerbread house.
Had her favorite for dinner—TACOS!
Built a tent and watched a movie.
December 27th- Pamper Day
Lit some candles.
Did a face mask and hair mask.
Gave myself a manicure.
Did some other girly grooming bits like used a foot scrub and lip scrub, etc.
Ordered take out.
Watched some movies.
December 28th & 30th- Best Friend Christmas/Christmas Exchange
Had my usual Best Friend Christmas Day with my best friend Roe.
We built a gingerbread house.
Sipped on some homemade Coquito.
Youtubed some Mark & Lexie from Grey’s Anatomy.
The 29th- was a super lazy/chill day/I didn’t really have anything to vlog.
Met my other best friend Jenny for dinner and dessert at a cute local Italian place. We had some wine and everything was just so delicious!
We exchanged gifts.
December 31st/January 1st-New Year’s Eve/Day
Went through my 2016 Memory Jar.
Made glitter cups.
Went to my Grandparents and saw some aunts and cousins too!
Had an out door dance party and lit some sparklers.
What a fun, blessed week of family, friends, and happy memories I will cherish forever!
When I finally finished editing all of these vlogs and I was about to upload them to YouTube and share them here with you on this blog, I started to feel something pull at me. And I just started to not feel right about including other people’s images. I love sharing my world with those who keep up with this blog. However, I have a lot of kid’s in my family and I think images of other people’s children should be treated with respect. And I just didn’t feel right putting anything up. I go into a more in-depth description of my experience with video and vlogging in my Video Update post.
Have you ever vlogged before? What’s your take on sharing with strangers?
January 8th, 2013, I took the leap. A leap that was years and years in the making. I’ve always loved to write but sharing is something that I always halted upon.
Even now it is difficult to hand my work to someone to read, so I put it up here to get it out there.
I don’t know who you are, I don’t know what you feel, or how you take what I post on here, but my hope is that you can relate. That you and I have similar hearts and we somehow can understand each other.
“A safe place for the written word.” That is the motto of this blog. That is what this blog represents for me, and in turn I want it to represent that for anyone who reads it, because I know how it feels to be a writer and to feel that level of uncertainty in everything you write and post.
I work with kids and I teach Creative Writing, Film Club (a film analysis type class), and Improv Theater. Our new session started and I switched things up a bit, and instead of Film Club I am doing Film Making.
In college I studied, Film and Broadcasting. Although I can’t say I ever fully felt confident in my film making skills, I know I have it in me, to create something that people can feel from and relate too. For a long time I strayed from filming. It was a creative fear of mine, and to some extent I think it still is. Will I know what I’m doing? What if I mess up? What if I do it wrong? What if no one understands my message? Those questions can really mess with my head and in turn they stop me from doing something I actually really do love.
But as I become more and more in love with YouTube, I get inspired to want to be creative on a different level. I’ve made promises on this blog many times, about wanting to film more, about wanting to create videos based upon my writing. I would dabble in it and then stop, there wasn’t too strong of a follow through. And I feel like I’ve let myself down, and by extension let you down too.
But last year I had the right idea, I didn’t make you promises, I kind of just let myself go and be and see what happened. And in turn a concert vlog was put up. Something I didn’t plan, something that just happened. Being able to look back on that experience is really something cool, and I’m really glad I did it!
I’m a planner by nature and so instinctively I already have a list of goals for 2017. One of them is to expand this blog and to expand my YouTube channel. For years I’ve had a channel and I barely post on it.
I announced I was going to do a short small version of Vlogmas-where vloggers on YouTube video their daily life for the entire month of December. I started my vlogging on December 23rd and continued post Vlogmas and into New Year’s Eve. I took a break on the 28th because there wasn’t anything really going on, but a vlogged for about a week, consistently. I have always thought vlogging was so cool, and I wanted to give it a chance. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at myself for actually doing it!
Spoiler Alert: Editing has been a slow process, but I am actually in the process of uploading my first day on YouTube now! (When they are all edited/posted I will do a whole post with all the links! It’s going to be a while, but I am definitely feeling the editing high from this last once, man I’ve missed that feeling!)
This year is already off to a cool start.
I feel like agreeing to teach film making has given me the push I needed to get myself back into film making. It scares me to be teaching it, but because I took that on, I feel a sense of responsibility to teach my students everything I know and everything I don’t know. Which means I will have to get back into it and research and learn. I’m scared, but I’m really excited. We already got our equipment in and I felt like my heart lit up and my mind started going with ideas. The kids seem really enthusiastic which I think is just want I need to keep up the momentum!
Another thing that I am happy to say is that I have been working on a new short story series- Welcome Home. There are currently two chapters up and the third will be up this coming week!
My posting days may change as well, I feel like Mondays are difficult for me, for some reason. I start to prep a post and then it doesn’t get posted until Tuesday. Same as with Thursday posts, sometimes they don’t get posted until Friday. So I’m going to start to really plan out my schedule and see when the best day to fit in writing and researching is and when the best days for this blog will be. I want to give it the time it deserves. I don’t want to rush content.
I really want this year to inflict change in my life. Good change. Change is something I fear constantly. But change is also what makes life interesting. It’s what gets you from point A to point B an eventually to point Z. Accepting change, living in the now and really challenging myself is what I want to work on this year. It’s all about just being the best version of me, doing my best and striving for greatness.
So thank you for all your support. Thank you for reading, liking, following.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope to interact more with you this year! 😀
I like to believe in the underdogs, because when they make it, the feeling is stronger somehow.
God Bless. Happy 2017!
Happy 4th to my baby – Michelle Leigh Writes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Or rather my toddler, you guys this blog is already a toddler!!!!
So every year has it’s ups and downs but….let’s focus on 2014’s ups. And how do you back track on the past year?….by scrolling through your social media accounts of course…ie: instagram! In 2014 I experienced some cool things, I experimented in my fashion, was introduced to some great new music, my interests in television and story writing has found new visions and new favorites and my family and loved ones come at the center of all that is good in my life and in my 2014 year. Share a look as I highlight my favorite memories of 2014.
…cuz I freakin’ love them and have finally had the guts to rock em….#hippiechild
….channeling my inner Rosie the Riveter meets Aunt Jemima!
They have always been a fashion curiosity for me, I’ve always admired them but never had the guts to wear one so….Finally I decided to rock a jumpsuit and it wasn’t as bad I thought…. #itsallfunandgamestilyouhavetopee 😉
The new ‘do’
I seriously need a haircut again soon! Loved this look!
and I’m damn proud of it…this year it’s time to work on my cooking skills!
As for keeping my resolutions from last year I don’t think I was to good on my follow through. But I can say that this past year I did get at least one poetry video up, plus a few vlogging videos that turned out pretty cool. So this year my plans for this blog is to keep it growing and stick to a schedule, to keep writing, to keep filming and post a few more videos up. I definitely want to continue working on some short stories and maybe some longer scripts to post. I just got final draft screenwriting software for Christmas so I am super pumped to get to using that. And I’d really like to get back into writing some poetry. Of course the usual fashion, tv, music, reviews will continue as well. But I look forward to new writing experiences and new adventures here on michelleleighwrites. I do hope you stick with me! Thanks for reading!
So….What are some of your favorite 2014 memories? And are you a believer in resolutions?
Here’s to a happy and healthy new year 2015 to all!