New Year Themed Short Story Collection

While I work on a new short story series coming your way soon, (currently titled Crazy Stalker Love). I really wanted to share some oldies that resonate for this time of year. Enjoy! 

Crazy Stalker Love

COMING SOON!

CLICK THE TITLES TO READ!!!

Kiss Me At Midnight…A Short Story [2014]

kiss me at midnightSummary: 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! 

What are you doing New Year’s Eve? [2015]

what are you doing new year's eve

 

 

 

 

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 [2015]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.*

-<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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How I styled Blue lipstick…

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

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

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

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

MAKE-UP & HAIR:

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

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

 

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

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

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

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Gosh. So sassy. #missthangovahere

nye 2nye

FULL OUTFIT SHOTS:

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

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

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

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

Dare to be different. Turn a few heads.

Make 2016, your year to *sparkle*

****QUICK NOTE****

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

**********

So would you rock blue lips?

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

-<3-

2015 Memory Jar Review

NYE

2015 was difficult for me, for some personal reasons, but it was also a year of growth for me. And the more growth I see in myself, the more I am sure I will see being reflected on this blog. Last year for 2015 I started a memory jar, I had seen the idea floating around online and it seemed like something that would be right up my alley. I’m the girl who takes too many pictures. I’m the girl who yells at those who don’t want to take pictures with my famous saying; “Hey, we’re making memories!” I’m the girl who used to spend her middle school years scrapbooking. You can sense a theme, I’m sure.

2015 memory jar

2015, thanks for the memories.

So on New Year’s Day as I sat down to read through all my 2015 memories from my memory jar (pictured above,) I was pleasantly surprised by how much I feel I have grown as a person. From the girl who graduated college about 3 years ago, who has had an ongoing battle with anxiety and breaking into the work world, to the girl who has begun to round a corner this year. And I am thrilled. I may have a long ways to go in finding my career and in other aspects of my life, but my hope for 2016 is to keep this going and to keep growing and learning new things about myself. Learning what I am capable of and to always strive for more, strive to better myself and become a well-rounded person overall.

***Listen as you read: REVIVAL by Selena Gomez (oddly enough this is the song I gravitated toward playing as I edited this. Coincidence? I think not. I got you SelGo. 😉

It’s important to reflect on all the good things you do have, rather than to dwell on all the things you don’t have or all the bad things that happened.

So I bring you

*My 2015 Highlights* (in no particular order.)

The biggest change I have made is taking measures to help deal with my anxiety issues and remaining grounded in difficult life situations, and understanding that feeling emotion is okay and so is showing emotion. I’m not going to dive into specifics, but I have seen an improvement in myself.

Looking at my religious faith with stronger eyes than I used to and attending church more freely. I say this not because I used to be forced to go, because I wasn’t. But I use the world freely because I feel a stronger connection to God, because my outlook on life is slowly maturing in understanding. I realize that I will question him sometimes, when things feel really bad but still trust in him and still understand that the gospel readings are there to show insight. And in some way or another they will relate to your life and can help guide you.

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Photo By: Robert DeSantos Jr.

My 2015 started the same way my 2016 started; with a New Year’s Day dinner with my family. (2016 we even added a game night, we had a blast and laughed a ton!)

family dinner

My god daughter has created her own nickname for me, and it stuck. To her I am “Shem.”

shem

The year also started off with a reunion dinner with some old friends!

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My brother got engaged! (Yes I was in attendance, I was in charge of the photos as I snapped through shaking hands/legs and happy tears!)

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My future sister in law asked me to be a bridesmaid, and we found her wedding dress! (Yes I was also in attendance, I was in charge of capturing the experience for my brother to watch later on down the line.)

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I got back into video for a short bit, as I directed, edited and shot a yoga video for my cousin’s holistic class. It came out pretty awesome and her presentation was a hit because of it!

michelle leigh writes turned 2!-READ POST

I re-decorated my own room.

room

– Joy Williams ❤

Took mom to brunch for Mother’s Day!

brunch

I went on a few job interviews, some went better than others, and some job opportunities were a lesson learned.

I got an intern position at a local newspaper and have been there for a few months. Although it’s newswriting, I am learning to be in a work environment, and part of a team. I am also learning to deal with new situations that aren’t exactly in my comfort zone. With responsibility comes more independence. Seeing my By-line is always a nice feeling too. 🙂

I saw 50 Shades of Grey with some friends and became slightly obsessed, after reading all three books in a matter of a few weeks, I was eagerly awaiting this film.

50 shades

Jesse Lee Soffer (Chicago PD) favorited my tweet. I gotta say my celebrity twitter game was on fire this year. Marina Squerciati (Chicago PD) is like my bestie on twitter for live tweet Wednesdays. She answers me all the time!

MArina

Dressed up in theme on several occasions; my goddaughter’s farm themed birthday party, my cousin’s 80’s themed birthday party, flapper inspired look for my birthday dinner. You guys know I love a good theme.

80's party

My good friend Jenny got engaged and asked me to be her maid of honor!

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Had a mother/daughter date night with my mom and our best friends.

mom dates

I’ve noticed I’m writing more, whether its news related for work, or my own creative stories. It’s been more consistent as of late. [SEE: Love Conflicted, A Broken Heart For Christmas, For Old Times’ Sake, What are you doing New Year’s Eve?] I also wrote two short scripts; both horror based; One was an extension of a zombie short I wrote a while back, called “Inhumane” and the other is called “Head Over Heels.”

Between all the upcoming weddings I have been to bridal showcases, and a taste testing, supporting special people in my life, in preparation of their big day.

Glenn survived on The Walking Dead! This was a whirlwind for me, because I am a huge TV junkie and I take my love of characters seriously.

READ POSTS:

The Walking Dead Went Too Far

My Glenn/The Walking Dead Theory

The Glenn Mystery Continues with New Revelations…

Send up Green Balloons for Glenn!

glenn alive

I found out my best friend is going to be an Aunt! Her brother is my brother’s best friend and we are all really close. At their Fourth of July celebration, they announced the exciting news. Later on she also found out she’s going to be a God mother too! Baby meatball is due soon! Welcome to the godmother club love! So excited for you! ❤

aunt best friend

Gym, Haircuts, Lunch & Shopping day with two of my favorite ladies; my Mom and my Aunt. I was obsessed with my short hair and am considering that once we hit spring, I may have to chop it off again.

hair

My best friend took me to this really adorable tea place in the city; Alice’s Tea Cup as my birthday gift. You guys know how I love my tea.

tea

My goddaughter gave me the sweetest, most thoughtful gift for Christmas. A tea mug, a diffuser, an assortment of loose leaf teas, and on the tea mug she drew some art work as it also read “World’s Best Godmother!” I couldn’t imagine getting a more perfect gift, from a more special person. Thank you babe!

I began spending more time with both sides of my family, which is really important to me. Sometimes time gets away from us, and we don’t allow room to spend time with everyone.

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I went to the mermaid parade with my mom and dressed like a mermaid. Can you see how I enjoy dressing up and being weird?

I went out one night for my friend’s birthday to an 80’s club and it was a blast. As you may know I’m not one for bars and clubs. I’m a “let’s watch a movie and eat junk food, stay at home grandma,” but some nights I’ll put the heels on and the makeup and act my age. It’s a rare occurrence, but it was a great time with great music, and great people.

I hosted a Girls Gala for Valentine’s Day.

I won a massive Trader Joe’s basket at a card party! And a few other things too, it was super exciting. Things like that rarely happen to me, but I was on a roll!

trader joe's basket

For my family birthday dinner, I had breakfast for dinner. I love breakfast foods!

Bethany Joy Lenz favorited and answered my tweet, and Joy Williams favorited and answered my tweets too! Seriously I’m such a fan of both of these women, so this was like huge for me! Lol.

I survived my first Jury Duty experience. (See you in 8 years mothatruckas!) 😉

Ugly sweaters and t-shirts in honor of my Aunt Mary, this Christmas. Everyone came out and really rallied in remembering a woman who truly made an impact on our lives with her crazy sense of humor.

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Photo By: Robert DeSantos Jr.

Rocked Blue Lips on the very last day of the year- New Year’s Eve. Dare to be different. Turn a few heads.

I’ve learned that I control my social media, my social media doesn’t control me. In other words, I post less frequently than I used to. And I’m ok with that.

Joy Williams’ “Venus” album kind of became my anthem, along with some really good Yoga music. (Helps with traveling anxiety if you’re wondering.) *I recommend- Woman (Oh Mama), Not Good Enough, What a Good Woman Does, and Welcome Home.

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Justin Timberlake became a DAD!

So there you have it. I know some things aren’t huge successes, or are not in direct relation to me, but I’m a believer in making the simple little things shine through. Those little things become the big things, and supporting others in my life means a lot to me too.

Looking back at all my 2015 memories made me realize how much can happen over the course of a year. I think that the idea of starting a memory jar is great, everyone should give it a try! I already started mine! It’s not too late, the new year is just beginning. Who are you going to be? What are you going to do? Where are you going to go? It’s all a mystery. Enjoy it!

Happy and Healthy New Year to you all.

I truly hope 2016 is your best year yet!

-<3-

 

What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

**This was posted on Monday by accident, I had scheduled it for later in the day and forgot it needed some editing and pictures. It was meant to be posted for today- New Year’s Eve. My apologies. Hope you enjoy! And if you’ve already read it by some chance, there’s some new scenes added, so I’m just saying…you may want to glance over it again! 😉

A follow-up to last year’s “Kiss Me At Midnightshort story

kiss me at midnight

READ this before you read this new chapter…

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What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

A short story

Soundtrack: LISTEN as you read 😉

what are you doing new year's eve

***Although I will just say it is a bit more on the adult scale than the previous chapter. Nothing too crazy, but definitely a little bit of a sassier dialogue. I think you guys can handle it. 😉

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They were friends for years, as he pined over her watching her date guy after guy. Until a pact between the two formed a new spark.  Follow Aidan & Chloe’s New Year’s Eve journey, ONE YEAR LATER…where are they now? Are they in love and happy, or are they better off as friends?

Did their love last

A vanity full of beauty supplies; eye shadows, lip sticks, glitter, perfumes, the list is endless.

Chloe’s reflection is displayed in the mirror, a silk robe and her hair up in a messy bun, fresh out of the shower.

Ok let’s go this, she thinks as she sets to getting ready for a big night.

Her stomach full of anxious butterflies.

A little ways later, Chloe’s hair is done in a chic short messy style as she’s finishing up her makeup, with one final touch. She applies her lipstick, then smacks her lips together and smiles at herself.

vanity chloe

She then walks over to her closet to pick out her outfit. Chloe pulls out two outfits- a short black dress and a silver sparkly romper. Chloe stands in front of her mirror taking turns holding each in front of her to judge- trying to make a decision.

Chloe hangs the silver one back in her closet and sets the black dress out on her bed. She then walks over to her dresser and pulls out some silver bangles, a pair of big dangly silver earrings, a big silver diamond fashion ring and a sparkly silver shawl.

Chloe throws on her outfit and walks over to her full length mirror again. She smiles as she turns to look at her outfit from all angles.

Chloe walks back over to her vanity, reaching for her perfume, out of the many, she reaches for his favorite, which by extension has become her favorite too.

She sprays some on her neck area and notices her ring sparkle on her right hand through the reflection in the mirror.

Chloe looks and removing it she puts it on her left hand ring finger.

She smiles at her hand looking at it, just then her cellphone rings.

She looks and smiles seeing the phone display the words “my love” on her screen.

Her heart flutters as she hears that special ringtone playing.

It never gets old, she thinks.

“Hi babe,” Chloe says in that sweet sexy voice she only reserves for him.

“Are you down stairs?”

“Ok I’m coming down right now.”

Chloe hangs up, and grabs a purse throwing her phone, keys, wallet, and lipstick into it. As she goes to leave, she stops and puts her ring back on her right hand, as she laughs and heads out.

As Chloe leaves her bedroom a frame of photos of she and Aidan come into focus…

Chloe opens her front door, to find a man in a suit waiting in front of her door, his back to her.

“Hey you,” Chloe says.

Aidan turns around with a bright smile, he’s holding white roses in his hands.

“Hey babe,” he says.

Aidan watches Chloe as she steps down from her front door walking toward him. His eyes take her in, registering her beauty.

“You. Look. Gorgeous. Even after all these years, you still take my breath away,” Aidan says with a sheepish smile.

“Yea?” she smiles shrugging.

“I mean I can’t wait to see what kind of sexy little number you’re rocking under that later, but uh, yea you look gorgeous,” he says smirking.

Chloe looks at him, narrowing her eyes at him, with a stern face.

He mimics her.

Her lips circle into a smile as she laughs.

Aidan looks at her lovingly.

“Well I may or may not be wearing your favorite set,” Chloe says sauntering up to him.

Aidan’s eyebrows raise, “The black lacey one?”

“Maybe.” Chloe says nodding yes.

Aidan smiles as he pulls her waist to him, he kisses her.

“Happy New Year to me,” he whispers as she laughs kissing him again.

“Are these for me?” she smiles looking at the roses.

“Nah, they’re for my other girlfriend,” Aidan says in a serious tone.

Chloe hits him in the chest, he smiles handing her the roses, she tip toes to meet him in another kiss, her arms circling around the nape of his neck.

“Thank you,” Chloe says smiling up at him.

“Thank you for making 2015 the best year of my life,” Aidan says looking at Chloe with admiration.

“Let’s hope 2016 is just as great,” Chloe says smiling. “Although I gotta say, 2015 is gonna be hard to top. It’s not everyday you get to fall in love with your best friend and live an amazing life with him.”

“Oh trust me babe I fall in love with you everyday over and over again.”

“Even when…we fight?” she asks curiously.

“Especially when we fight,” Aidan smirks.

“And why’s that?” She questions pursing her lips at him and narrowing her eyes in a knowing way.

“You know exactly why. There is nothing sexier then when you look like you hate my guts, like you want to rip my head off, but you just can’t seem to stop loving me. You do this thing where you can be yelling at me and then you just stop and you take a breath and you just look at me with understanding. And the fight’s over.”

Chloe looks at Aidan lovingly as her eyes sparkle softly.

“And then there’s the make up sex- yea that’s pretty fantastic,” he says smirking and chuckling knowingly.

Chloe gasps as her boyfriend’s response went straight from sappy romantic to typical guy. She smacks him in the arm.

“Shh. Someone’s gonna hear you,” Chloe laughs looking around and up at her building for any nosey neighbors.

“What? There’s nothing wrong with it,” he says shaking his head no, and smiling at a blushing Chloe. “My girlfriend is sexy as hell,” he reiterates starring at her.

“Ok. Stop.” Chloe says laughing and covering her face, burying it into Aidan’s chest.

“No. I’m not gonna stop. I’m gonna tell you how beautiful, sexy, smart, kind and talented you are everyday. Because you’re amazing and sometimes it’s like you don’t even know it. But don’t worry that’s why I’m here.” he smiles, holding her close.

Chloe smiles up at him.

“You’re the amazing one, I have never felt so safe, and so happy in my entire life,” she says cupping his face.

“I’ve had to watch guy after guy hurt you in the past. You deserve to be loved every minute of every day. And that’s what I’m gonna do. 2016 is going to be an amazing year for us,” Aidan says taking her hand and leading her to his car parked in front.

“Oh really, well you sound pretty sure of yourself,” Chloe says following him as she looks up at him curiously.

“Oh I am. I have big things planned for you this year.” Aidan says opening the passengers door for Chloe.

“Do you now?” Chloe says leaning against the car, challenging him.

Aidan leans closer to her “Oh yea,” Aidan says his eyes sparkling.

She goes to kiss him, but he instead grabs her left hand and kisses her ring finger.

“Stay tuned,” he says, winking at her as she looks at him slightly speechless.

Chloe smiles and gets into the car, as he closes the door, and walks to the other side of the car, Chloe begins to fidget. She begins to feel her heart race.

She looks down at her hand, biting her lip, she nearly squeals out loud.

Aidan opens his door, as Chloe tries to calm herself down and play it cool, while looking out the window.

Aidan sits, starting the car, he looks over at her with a smile. He pulls the car out of its parking spot. Heading off to their destination.

Soon enough their car pulls up in front of a hotel.

Chloe looks at Aidan, confused.

“Where are we? I thought you said your old college buddy was throwing a party?”

“Oh he is, we’re just not going,” he says smiling, and shutting the car off as he gets out.

Aidan opens the door for Chloe, as he reaches for her hand.

They walk toward the hotel doors, as Aidan beeps his car alarm, and Chloe holds onto the dozen of long stemmed white roses.

Aidan stops in front of the door, and turns to Chloe.

“Ok so, this is the thing- I need you to put this on before we go any further.” Aidan says holding up a black silk blindfold.

“Okay, Aidan, what is this?” Chloe says really confused.

“Well the way I see it is we’ve been best friends forever, but our first kiss happened last New Year’s Eve right?”

“Yea.”

“Well then tonight isn’t just any other New Year’s Eve, it’s our one year anniversary.”

“Ohhh-I see.”

“And I think we’re worth celebrating- in style.” Aidan gestures to the fancy hotel behind him. “Will you put on the blindfold, please?” Aidan asks, with puppy dog eyes.

“I hate feeling like I’m not in control Aidan, you know that. If I can’t see, I’m going to feel all kinds of anxious,” Chloe says rattling off.

“I’ve got you. I’m not gonna let anything happen to you,” he laughs.

Chloe gives him a look.

“Is that supposed to intimidate me? Because I gotta be honest it’s kind of a turn on,” Aidan says with a slight cock of his head, looking at her, he smiles.

“You are shameless,” she says shaking her head with a laugh “I swear all our years of friendships and you never not once tossed out these sexually charged one liners.”

***Blast from the past…simpler times when all Aidan could muster up was a goofy grin. ;)***

“Hey all that pent up sexual tension has been building up, I gotta let it out,” he says smiling at her. “Just put on the blindfold, so we can move this night along.”

Chloe sighs. Debating.

“Do you trust me?” he asks taking her free hand in his.

“With my life,” she says smiling.

“Good answer,” Aidan ties the blindfold around her head, and kisses her cheek.

“Come on you,” he says taking her hand and leading her through the doors and into the lobby elevator.

Aidan presses the number for the 25th floor.

With just the two of them accompanying the elevator floor after floor, Aidan looks at Chloe. He smiles, pulling her and meeting her lips with a kiss. Aidan deepens it as he walks Chloe back into the corner of the elevator, her free hand cupping his face, as his hands circle around her waist. Working their way to the corner of the elevator, as their hands grip the railing on the wall of the elevator behind Chloe for support. Aidan moves closer to Chloe, leaving no space between them.

Chloe pushes Aidan away softly.

“Aidan,” she says with a giggle and slightly out of breath.

“Don’t worry no one’s in here,” he says kissing her again.

Just then the elevator dings, and the doors open.

Aidan gives Chloe one last quick peck on the lips, and taking her hand, leads her out of the elevator, down a long carpeted, dimly lit hallway.

Aidan stops when he reaches the end of the hallway, taking out a room key, he guides Chloe to stand in front of him, as he wraps his arms around her. From behind, leaning over her he unlocks the room door. Slowly guiding her into the darkened room.

“Ok we’re almost there, you okay?” Aidan whispers into her ear, nuzzling into her neck.

“Yea. I’m good,” Chloe says smiling. Her mind running a mile a minute.

“Ok just wait here, love,” Aidan whispers in her ear, suddenly vanishing from her side.

Chloe hears Aidan shuffling around the room.

He comes over to take the flowers from her.

A few minutes later she hears silence.

“Aidan?”

“Aidan, where’d you go?”

“Still blindfolded over here.”

Just then Chloe hears…

Maybe it’s much too early in the game
Aah, but I thought I’d ask you just the same
What are you doing New Year’s
New Year’s Eve?

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it’s exactly twelve o’clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year
New Year’s Eve

The lyrics filling the room.

She smiles.

Aidan comes around behind her, untying the blindfold, revealing a romantic candlelit hotel suite.

Silver, gold, and cream hues fill the room. Balloons dance on the ceiling as white rose petals kiss the paisley bed.

Chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne- two glasses already filled, sit on the coffee table as the fireplace crackles nearby.

An assortment of appetizers lay on the kitchen island, her white roses stand nearby dressing up the spread.

“Aidan this is so perfect,” she says walking further into the suite and looking around in awe.

Aidan smiles, as he walks over to a nearby small table which holds a bunch of festive New Years hats, crowns, poppers, and noise makers. He takes out a silver and gold 2016 crown and a 2016 hat. Putting the hat on his own head, he walks over to Chloe handing her the crown, as she smiles and puts it on. He takes the two glasses of champagne over to her, handing her one.

“I know you enjoy a good party. And that you’re a people person. But when I’m in a crowded room, all I see is you. And no one else matters. I guess selfishly I just wanted you all to myself tonight. No interruptions. Is that okay?”

Chloe looks at him, her eyes sparkling.

“Yes, that’s okay. There’s no where else I’d rather be.”

Aidan smiles, pulling her into him.

“Happy Anniversary, my love,” he says clinking his glass with hers.

“Happy Anniversary,” Chloe kisses him, wrapping her arms around his neck.

As they continue to kiss, the song is still playing throughout the room…

Aah, but in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance
What are you doing New Year’s
New Year’s Eve?

…as Aidan begins to sway with Chloe in his arms.

As the song finishes, Aidan walks over to turn the tv on. The countdown to midnight is rolling: 1 hour left.

“Are you hungry, we’ve got an hour?” Aidan turns toward Chloe.

“No, not really, you?” Chloe asks a smile playing on her lips.

“Nope.” Aidan says noticing the look she’s giving him.

“Well then I mean- what can we possibly do to pass the time?” She asks playing coy.

Aidan laughs.

“I have a few ideas,” he says walking over to her.

“Yea?” Chloe says smirking.

Aidan nods as he pulls her into a slow, deep, kiss.

His hands reach around to her back, unzipping her black dress as it falls to her feet.

Aidan steps back admiring his favorite lingerie on Chloe.

Chloe smiles pulling him to her by his suit jacket and kissing him, as she begins to undress him.

They walk towards the bed as clothes scatter the floor.

“Oh now we’re definitely gonna miss it,” Chloe says in between kisses.  “And you bought all those poppers and noise makers.”

“I have a feeling we’re gonna be making enough noise all on our own, don’t worry,” Aidan says kissing her as they fall onto the bed.

Soon enough the count down begins as the crowd is heard on tv
10, 9, 8…

As Chloe and Aidan lay in each other’s arms, blissfully happy. Chloe snuggled into his side, wearing his button down shirt, her eyes resting.

7 ,6 ,5…

Aidan kisses Chloe’s forehead, as she smiles. He leans over to the end table and pulls the draw open reaching in for something.

4, 3…

“Chloe?”

Chloe opens her eyes, gasping.

2 ,1…”Happy New Year” Aidan says as he gets up to a kneeling position beside her in bed. “Will you marry me?”

Chloe just stares blankly as she watches the stunning diamond being slid onto her ring finger.

Aidan looks at her, waiting for her answer anxiously.

“I know it’s quick, and we’ve only been together for a year. But I figured we’ve been best friends forever, and it’s enough for me to know Chloe. I love you so much. You’re my everything. You’re it,” he says smiling.

“Yes.” Chloe blurts out, breaking her trance.

“Yes?”

Chloe nods happily, kneeling in front of him, reaching for Aidan, she cups his face as she kisses him.

A little while later the two of them sit on the floor in front of the fireplace, clearly in afterglow yet again as they pick at the appetizers and drink champagne.

Aidan watches Chloe as she takes a sip of Champagne her ring sparkling on her finger.

“That ring looks sexy on you,” he says leaning towards her for a kiss.

Chloe smiles and kisses him softly, as he pulls her onto his lap.

“I love you,” she says in between kisses. “And this ring-” Chloe holds her hand out admiring it in awe.

“You like it?” Aidan says holding her waist as she sits on his lap.

“It’s breathtaking,” she says still in a fog.

“Fitting, for a girl like you,” he smiles as she leans down to kiss him.

“I love you,” Aidan says deepening their kiss as he leans them back they fall onto the floor. He continues to kiss his future wife, her ring glistening on her hand as it circles around his bare back. The shine complimenting the glistening from the fireplace.

“I still can’t believe this. We’re engaged!” she smiles, as he looks down at her ring.

“Well believe it, babe. Because unlike the idiot guys that came before me, I know what I have. And I am never letting you go. We’re gonna be celebrating New Year’s Eve together for the rest of our lives.”

“Kiss me at midnight?” Chloe says holding her pinky up.

“Always,” Aidan says linking his pinky with hers as he kisses her.

kiss me at midnight the sequel

As people all throughout the hotel and city streets scream and holler into the night, seemingly having the time of their lives. Aidan and Chloe were having their own quiet private party, VIP only.

~The End~

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope 2016 is full of happy and healhy memories for all of us!

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

*the “photo frame” scene pics are not my edits, I do not own them.*

*the blast from the past gifs are not mine, I do not own them.*

(I guess I’m not the only one out here in cyberspace that thinks these two would make a great pair on screen together! Thanks internet!)

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Old Times’ Sake

What happens when an unsuspecting Lennox meets a classic fella Brady?

For old times' sake

Every year Lennox thinks the New Year will be a dud. For the past few years she has sat home on the sidelines watching as the world lights up in glitter and champagne. Cheers and laughs echoing in the halls. The city streets alive with living below her apartment building.

And every year Lennox tells herself it’s all by choice. She chooses to stay in. She enjoys the comfort of her own quaint little apartment. It’s just another year, another night. What’s the big deal, right?

Enough of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Enough of the stress and running around for the whirlwind that has become Christmas. This is her time to unwind.

But just as New Year’s Eve rolls around she gets that feeling. That “I have no plans” feeling. No fun exciting reason to dress up and hit the town in sparkly fashion.

Social Media is no one’s friend. As the updates of girls she barely knows getting ready and dolled up sharing the exciting plans for the evening keep pouring in. Fomo (fear of missing out) is real, and rearing its ugly head.

Lennox sits in her rustic, earthy inspired living room. Her Christmas tree still lit up in the corner. A romantic comedy plays on her TV screen as she watched intently, sipping her cup of tea.

Lennox glances over at the clock- 5:03 p.m.

Less than 7 hours til 2016 she thinks

And I’m sitting here in my pajama bottoms and an old high school sweater, with a stain from Taco Tuesday on it, she thinks and she glances down pulling her at her sweater and sighing at her appearance.

“How sexy am I?” she says aloud huffing and puffing at herself.

Lennox checks her phone-No messages.

She tosses her phone to the side, with an annoyed expression.

Her eyes glance over at it as she reaches for it again.

She decides to be hopeful and proactive and begins to send out texts to all her friends about their evening plans.

Lennox sighs as the rejection texts pour in-

“Sorry can’t, going to a party in the city.”

“Sorry…family party.”

“Sorry girl, party with my boyfriend.”

“Sorry girlie, got Gala tickets for tonight.”

“Braving Times Square, been here for hours!”

Lennox looks around at her apartment and her current situation of junk food, and wine, and her favorite romantic movie.

“Well looks like it’s just you and me Ryan Gosling,” Lennox says looking at her TV screen with a shrug and a sigh.

Just then, her phone starts to ring with the name Millie displayed.

Lennox, smiles answering. Her older sister could instantly but her in a better mood with her loud and infectiously outgoing personality.

“Hello?”

“Hey Loser, what are you doing tonight?”

“Oh drowning my sorrows in a pint of Rocky Road ice cream, and getting a buzz from some cheap wine.”

“Oh what, no hot date?” Millie asks driving on a main high way, passing by car after car, as her radio plays.

“That’s laughable.” Lennox laughs sarcastically as she rolls her eyes at her sister’s out of reach assumption. “What about you, going to some swanky Upper East Side party with ever so hunky John?”

Millie lets out a laugh herself.

“Hell no, I dumped that asshole months ago. I’m driving home now, be there in about an hour. Get dressed. We’re going out.”

“What? Are you serious?” Lennox says looking down at her terribly un-fashionable outfit.

“Uh hell yes! Do you really wanna spend tonight home alone? Get dressed. I’ll be there soon.”

“Okay. Um. Okay. Oh my gosh, I have to go find something to wear!” She says suddenly full of excitement.

“And do me a favorite Len, wear something mom and dad would never approve of.”

“Oh gosh,” Lennox says rolling her eyes at her sister.

“Come on now, you got it girl, flaunt it. Maybe you’ll meet someone completely amazing tonight, a handsome stranger that will sweep you off feet, just like in all those crappy romcom’s you love to watch.”

“Hey those are brilliant.”

“Yea yea, get dressed.” Millie hangs up.

Lennox looks at the clock- 6:30 p.m.

Holy crap! She says rushing into her bathroom, as she jumps into the shower sliding the curtain behind her in a rush.

******

Lennox stands at her bathroom mirror dawned in a fluffy white robe and a head wrap.

She walks into her bedroom and opens her closet searching for something that sparkled. Hanger after hanger, and nothing. Lennox stops in frustration. Just then she has a light bulb idea, a smile spreading across her face as her eyes light up.

Lennox digs all the way back into her closet pulling out her trusty little black dress. It has a hint of shimmer and an elegance of sparkle. She smiles holding it up and admiring it.

“Perfect,” Lennox says as she sets to doing her makeup and hair.

******

Lennox glances at her dolled up reflection in her full length mirror.

“Not bad for a rushed job,” She says turning to check all angles of her outfit.

Grabbing her phone a blazer, and a purse, she heads to her living room, where her doorbell rings.

“Wow, perfect timing.” She says looking at the clock- 7:50 p.m.

Lennox walks to her door and opening it sees the bright smile of her sister, who is decked out in head to toe gold sparkle.

“Hello gorgeous!” Millie screams hugging her sister.

“Well you may be in competition with the actual times square disco ball.”

“Well you know what they say, the outfit has to match the personality,” Millie says with a sassy undertone.

“Well then, you are spot on,” Lennox says laughing.

“So! You ready to make some guy fall in love with you tonight?”

Lennox laughs.

“Sure,” Lennox says rolling her eyes as she closes her door, locking it behind her.

“Don’t roll your eyes at me miss thing, ok you are fabulous, and you look hot! Ok this is your night. It’s about time you let the New York men see what you have to offer.” Millie smiles with an eyebrow raise, as she links arms with her sister. They enter the elevator.

******

Lennox and Millie get on the train, as people decked out in their best party clothes and New Year’s crowns and hates flood the subway car alongside the two women.

Lennox looks around feeling a sense of surprise bubbling up in her like champagne does once you pour it into a crystal glass. Excited to see what the night’s affairs would hold. Lennox felt alive.

The two women get off at a stop in the city as they walk down the streets, people are cheering and full of happiness. As they hold the promise of ridding themselves of years past stresses and starting anew with their hearts. Some looking for love. While others just want to- let’s face it- get drunk.

Lennox smiles and her sister pulls her along dodging past people like a true New Yorker.

“Where are we going?” Lennox asks excitedly with slight anxiety.

“Don’t worry, you’ll love it!”

A few blocks later, Millie pulls Lennox over to the back door of a ritzy city hotel.

Millie waves to a man inside wearing a security uniform, who opens the door for them.

“Thanks Billy. You’re a doll,” Millie says kissing his cheek, as she rushes in, Lennox in tote with a baffled expression on her face.

Billy smiles at her.

“Millie what are you up to?” she whispers.

“That’s how you get in for free, when you know people.”

“No basically we just snuck into a crazy expensive party?”

“Yea…cool huh?” Millie says her eyes matching her gold ensemble.

“You don’t think we’ll get in trouble.”

“Oh please, with tickets prices that high, it’s like their begging for people to sneak in, come on!” she says pulling Lennox near the main floor.

They come across a coat check as a smiling red head asks if they’d like to check their coats.

“Sure.” Millie says without reluctance as she legs her faux fur cream and gold coat fall off her shoulders. She hands it to the girl, looking at Lennox in expectance.

“Oh,” Lennox takes off her black sequined blazer and hands it over “Thank you.”

The red head smiles, “Enjoy your night.”

Two men dressed in black suit and ties open a pair of burgundy curtains as Millie and Lennox walk into a dream world, full of fancy hor d’oeuvres, people dressed to the nines, and a DJ playing the year’s greatest hits.

Lennox’s eyes wander over the atmosphere, taking it all in. Millie instantly locks eyes with a handsome stranger.

“Give me two minutes, and then save me, he looks like trouble.”

She leans in, whispering to Lennox.

“So then why bother going over at all?”

“It’s New Year’s Eve, the last night to do something spontaneous, and reckless, for the year. Go sow your oats!” She says pushing Lennox into the crowd as she walks off toward her night’s first target. “I won’t be long.”

Lennox rolls her eyes with a laugh as she looks around the room. She spots the bar and heads over for a drink.

The bartender, a handsome, dark haired guy looks up at her, her chocolate brown eyes locking onto his deep brown ones. Lennox looks down, feeling herself blushing already.

Every damn time. I have issues, she thinks to herself.

“What can I get you?” he says smiling.

Lennox looks back up at him, slightly smiling back.

“Um I’ll just have a mimosa.”

“Sure,” he says grabbing a champagne glass.

Handing the drink to her, Lennox goes to pull out her wallet.

“Don’t worry about it, your smile is payment enough,” the bartender smiles as he winks at her.

“What can I get you?” he asks the next person.

Lennox stands there confused for a second, as she stumbles away, drink in hand.

With Millie out and about Lennox had to fend for herself. It wasn’t like Millie wasn’t close by, and she did check in. But it was more of a -how many guys can Millie make out with before the clock strikes 12-game.

Lennox was starting to dread coming. She wasn’t good at being alone in a crowd of people she didn’t know. She looks around at all the people, beautiful women mingling with beautiful guys. Some doing a little more than mingling. All the women seemed so carefree. As if they are throwing caution to the wind, and guys just flock to them. For Lennox communicating with the opposite sex was a bit more complicated. She was for lack of a better word; awkward. She didn’t know how to flirt and if a guy was even attempting to flirt with her she wouldn’t really stick around long enough to see what would happen. Yup, nerves controlled her love life that’s for sure. But Lennox knew that she didn’t just want any guy, for a whatever night. She wanted a promise of forever. Call her old fashioned but Lennox wanted more.

As Lennox’s wheels in her mind begin to turn, her inner battle of whether she should stay or go begins right on cue. Could she brave this awkward anxiety inducing environment, or should she just decide to go home. She begins to question her ability to have a good time.

Suck it up, she thinks. Look at where you are. It’s a beautiful party, full of gorgeous guys. And you look nice. You can do this, get in there, Lennox thinks to herself.

As she looks around the room, her stomach flips.

“Nope, time to go,” she whispers to herself as she turns, she comes face to face with the Bartender.

“Leaving already?” he asks.

“Oh hi.” She says shyly.

“Hi.” He smiles at her as she avoids his eyes.

“Um I was thinking about leaving. I came here with my sister but she seems to be having much more fun without me.” She says looking up at him as his glare makes her heart flutter.

“Oh well that’s a shame. Maybe we can fix that? Would you like to dance?” he says holding out his hand.

“Don’t you have to work?” Lennox says confused.

“I just got off my shift. So how about it? I mean that is if you don’t mind dancing with a bartender?”

“I don’t mind at all,” she says smiling as she takes his hand.

He pulls her close to him, as he holds her waist with one hand, and her hand with the other.

“You know how to lead?” Lennox asks surprised.

“Sure, I watch Dancing With The Stars,” he says shrugging and laughing.

Lennox laughs.

“So…mysterious, beautiful girl in the sparkling little black dress…what’s your name?”

“Hmm, maybe I should keep that a mystery until you tell me yours.” She says.

“Ah, Okay. I’m Brady. Born and raised in Brooklyn. Went to culinary school, but the restaurant jobs haven’t exactly been rolling in just yet so, I help out here with catering, and sometimes I bartend.”

“Wow, that’s amazing. Good for you. I mean you do make a mean mimosa.”

Brady laughs

“Thank you.” He says. “So…what about you, what’s your story?”

“My name is Lennox, I was born and raised in Brooklyn as well, just got my own big girl apartment in Williamsburg though, and I am an interior designer for a small design company in SOHO.”

“Very cool. Now that we got the pleasantries out of the way. Shall we move onto something a little more personal?”

The song ends as Lennox looks at Brady suspiciously.

“What’s your New Year’s resolution?” he asks smiling.

Lennox laughs as the two walk over to a nearby table and sit.

“Well I kind of need to break out of my shell. I’m kind of a loner.”

“Well I think you’re doing a pretty good job of that tonight,” Brady says encouraging her.

“Thanks,” she laughs “baby steps,” she shrugs. “What about you, what’s your New Year’s resolution?”

“I don’t usually like to make any. I tend to break them within the first week of the New Year. So for me, it’s kind of just like what’s the point?” he says shrugging with a laugh.

“I hear ya on that one.” Lennox says nodding.

“Yea?”

“Yea I mean people think the New Year is a new beginning, and that somehow everything will be magically perfect. Don’t get me wrong I’m definitely guilty of that, but it’s so easy to fall into old habits.”

“It’s like you’re reading my mind,” he says laughing and shaking his hand.

Lennox laughs as she looks down.

Brady waves over a waiter carrying a silver plate of champagne flutes.

He takes two, “Thanks bud,” he says as the fellow employee nods walking back toward the crowd.

“Here, we’re just about 5 minutes til midnight,” Brady hands Lennox a glass.

“What? Really I didn’t even realize the time went by so fast.”

“Well I guess you’re having a good time,” he says smiling.

“I am, it’s so easy to talk to you, I feel like I’ve known you for my whole life, or something.” She laughs

Brady smiles.

“Yea, I know what you mean.”

As a staff member begins handing out New Year’s Eve crowns, hats, poppers and noise makers, Lennox and Brady are ready for the New Year.

******

NYE

The countdown begins…

10, 9, 8,

Brady stands up extending his hand to out to Lennox, she smiles taking it, as he walks her to the center of the dance floor.

7, 6, 5,

The crowd is electric. People shouting along with the countdown. Lennox looks up at Brady, nervously.

4, 3, 2, 1

Brady leans in and kisses Lennox, catching her slightly off guard, but not so much so that she doesn’t reciprocate.

“HAPPY NEW YEAR!” The crowd screams.

Brady looks at her, “Happy New Year.”

“Happy New Year.” Lennox says smiling pulling him to her as she kisses him again.

Millie notices from the other side of the room, a big smile across her face.

“Atta girl,” she whispers as she grabs the guy next to her into a kiss.

In typical New Year’s fashion the lyrical melody of “Auld Lang Syne” echoes through the venue as confetti washes over the crowd of people pairing off in embraces.

Brady looks at Lennox.

“I changed my mind,” he says in a serious tone.

Lennox looks at him nervously.

“I think I just thought of a New Year’s resolution,” he says.

“Oh yea? What is it?” she asks smiling.

“To fall in love,” Brady says looking into her eyes like he’s known her soul forever.

“I think I can help you with that,” she asks pulling him into another kiss.

Lennox begins to feel a new chapter beginning for her and this handsome stranger on the very night she used to dread.

NYE 2

-The End-

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

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Highlights

So every year has it’s ups and downs but….let’s focus on 2014’s ups. And how do you back track on 2015the 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.

**2014 Highlights**

(in no particular order)

michelleleighwrites turned 1 YEAR OLD!

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Read about it HERE

Secret Society Poetry Video

Read about the video shoot HERE

Mysterious Attraction completed and I even made a faux soundtrack for it too 😉

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Start Mysterious Attraction from the very beginning HERE

Read my Commentary HERE

Listen to the “soundtrack” HERE

Monologues & Dialogues/Short Story

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Read “She Said.” HERE

Read “He Said, She Said.” HERE

Justin Timberlake at MSG in February with my best friend ❤

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Read and watch a vlog about it HERE

My 23rd 80’s themed birthday party

…I’ve always wanted to live a day in the 80’s and now I can say I have 😉

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Also….my brother MADE me this cake…a quill pen cake…how awesome is that?

You can Read about my party planning & watch my birthday vlog HERE

And my 80’s outfit inspiration HERE

My brother’s photography from his trip to Arizona was displayed in an art gallery

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Read an article about it in the Brooklyn eagle HERE

……so super proud of him!

My Goddaughter Sophia turned 1! & (we celebrated a bunch of her first holidays)

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Michael Jackson hologram & new album feat. a duet w/ Justin Timberlake, you know I freaked!

Read my excitements:

Performance Review HERE,

Love Never Felt So Good Reviews HERE & HERE

& Michael’s Album Review HERE

Got hooked on Orange Is The New Black

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The Walking Dead Post that got me through withdrawals

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Read HERE

Experienced a real firepit and got to make s’mores and roast hotdogs in PA

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…so that made a tv nerd dream come true  #SoTheOC

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New *NSYNC album

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Read my Review HERE

Watching Bethany Mota on Dancing With The Stars

Flower crowns

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Made this one myself! 😀

flower crowns

…cuz I freakin’ love them and have finally had the guts to rock em….#hippiechild

Handkerchiefs

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….channeling my inner Rosie the Riveter meets Aunt Jemima!

The Jumpsuit

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 😉

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The new ‘do’

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I seriously need a haircut again soon! Loved this look!

Style Steals

Demi Lovato

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Sophia Bush

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Central Perk

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Read more about my journey HERE

Mrs. Daryl Dixon DIY Halloween Costume

I will be rocking this on Sundays!

Vest Tutorial HERE

Becoming Mrs. Daryl Dixon HERE

Taylor Swift album

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Read my full review HERE

My Baking game was strong this holiday season…

and I’m damn proud of it…this year it’s time to work on my cooking skills!

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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!

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Cant wait to continue to write for you! 😀

Feel free to follow me on twitter @shellbelle91

-<3-