Happy Golden Birthaversary MLW! + Writer’s Update!

Happy New Year!!!
“A new year full of cheer my dear!” 🙂

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!

Feel free to start it from the beginning HERE

FOR A MATURE AUDIENCE!!!

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…

Thanks for reading!

Stay Tuned!

All my love,

-<3-

Michelle Leigh

Summer 2019 Vibes!!!

I know I haven’t posted much this summer… I guess I’ve just been busy…

LIVIN MY BEST LIFE! 😉

As this Summer officially comes to an end for me, (I start work back up tomorrow!) it has dawned on me that this Summer has been pretty great. Which is not always the case for me. No, I wasn’t able to go on some luxurious vacation, but I was able to have some really fun times with great family, friends, food, and lots of wine! 😉 I got to do more than I usually get to, because this summer I decided to take off of work. Granted, my job is different then most, I can either apply to work the summer or not, it’s my choice. Normally I work every Summer, but something made me decline this Summer. And I’m glad I did. My credit card isn’t happy, but I think it was the right move for me personally. 

No my Summer wasn’t perfect, it actually started off really difficult for me and my family. And I have had many emotional moments and hard times, but when I look at all the good. Somehow, that wins. Good always wins. And so, I thought before I jump back into my usual work routine, I should just take a second and reflect of the Summer memories I was blessed with. 

JUNE, JULY, & AUGUST 2019

My Summer started with my usual tradition of taking my mom to see a broadway show. I get her tickets for her Mother’s Day gift and then we usually see the show in June. This year we saw Waitress, and it was ABSOLUTELY amazing. [Fun Fact: I actually just watched the movie and it was good, but I LOVED the play even more!)]

4th of July we celebrated with some family and it was really sweltering hot, but it was a really great time.  As an anxious person, heat really tends to effect me. But I’ve really learned to manage my anxiety in the Summer better. The 4th was really fun! Especially since my cousin and his family were in from Florida. It was really nice to be able to spend a holiday with them, it’s been a minute! I also found this super simple COOKIE RECIPE, and they were a hit! I think I made them, like 3 times for 3 separate occasions this summer, I just switch up the sprinkles depending on the occasion. A kid favorite for sure! *You could totally make these for Fall, Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc. I would even like to try it with chocolate cake mix. BTW if you look closely, you may spy that I wore a Britney Spears t-shirt…it was the only red, white, & blue I had. And like I was cool with it! 😉 #ITSBRITNEYBITCH Guess you can tell, I’m kind of a graphic tee fan…more to come on that later on!

A Stranger Things themed Coney Island! So if you are a fan of the sci fi/mystery Netflix show, you would know that this Summer Season 3 was released. [I’M ONLY UP TO EPISODE 6…SHHHHH!!!!] Coney Island was transformed into a Stranger Things theme park in the show’s 80’s fashion. It consisted of just posters hung around of the logo and the characters, the theme song was placing on the speakers, and the staff had on custom tees. Nothing crazy, I was kind of disappointed. BUT I went with my mom, aunt and my aunt surprised us by bringing my goddaughter, so we got to go on some rides, play games, and eat some food court summer food. 

Local Baseball Game for my Cousin’s husband’s 40th birthday! I’m not a super fan of baseball, but we had a box room, and there was catered food, and the weather was great. The kids even got to run the bases after the game. 

   I got to catch up with my coworkers…and eat this load of calories! 😛

NIA fam

Atlantic City Overnighter with my fav ladies, my mom and my aunt! We stopped in the small town Smithville on the way. Gambling isn’t my fav, because I HATE losing money. But there were a few fun games I liked, like CRAZY MONEY! BUT I got some sweet Gilmore Girls/Stars Hollow vibes from the small, quaint town, and picked up some goodies.

[INSERT MINI SMITHVILLE HAUL-SLIDESHOW BELOW]

20190702_194522

Two small jars of honey, peanut butter, a candle, a jar of jam, worry dolls, a tie dye t-shirt [this was from one of the boardwalk shops in AC], and a wine opener in the shape of a wine bottle with my name on it and a cute saying-my Aunt bought me as a gift!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

TOY STORY 4! THE LION KING! ALADDIN! #RELIVEDMYCHILDHOOD Thank you!

So I never had a super strong connection to The Lion King or Aladdin as a kid. I was never a super big Disney kid, I had my favorites but they weren’t it. But I really had to see the new live action films. Because, duh? However, Toy Story was a thing! My brother and I were a fan of the films growing up.

I really enjoyed all three films.

[INSERT MINI MOVIE REVIEWS!]

The Lion King was a little bittersweet because I felt like Nala being played by Beyoncé kept taking me out of the story, because I was just thinking ok you’re Beyoncé. And I just felt annoyed by it. And I just felt like the real animals (although Timon and Pumbaa were HYSTERICAL) were just weird to watch in this sing along world. I felt like the color in the animation helped with suspending reality and enjoying the world. But I did enjoy it for the most part, the original is better, in my opinion. The music was better in the original too. 

Lion king 2

My friend and I in the theater with our cherry cokes and our granny glasses. 

Aladdin was amazing! I loved the romance between Aladdin and Jasmine. You know me, if there’s a love story, I AM IN IT! I thought Jasmine’s vocals were INSANE. And Will Smith as the genie….I mean he cracked me up the whole damn time. The music was beautiful…And I watched a crappy boot leg copy because by the time, I got around to watching it, it wasn’t playing in theaters near me. But I really loved it, and if I watched it in a clear, crisp copy, I’d probably love it even more.

Toy Story 4 was EPIC! It was everything-emotional, funny, nostalgic, scary….like those dummy dolls were legit! It was amazing and I actually didn’t think the ending was as sad as everyone made it. I think it actually left room for other films.  

Toy story 4

Had to see Toy Story 4 with my big bro, cuz… childhood. #Nostalgia Peep the shirts! #PIZZAPLANET

Pool/Beach Vibes

So I actually got to go to the beach TWICE this Summer, which is kind of a big deal for me. There have been some Summers I wouldn’t get to go at all! I went once with my mom to a local beach, then I went to Ocean City with some family, and stayed with them in a rented house for a few days. I also got to have some fun pool days, one with my best friend at her house and one with some family, my cousin has a pool membership. I kid you not it was very Stranger Things-80’s pool vibes. Super fun! 

[INSERT MINI OCEAN CITY HAUL]

We were only there for 5 days, but we did so much! The beach, the amusement park, the water park, the arcade, BBQ nights in, shopping strips, dinner night outs, we played cards and other games, mini golf AND survived the crazy heat wave too! 😉 

Goodies ocean city

Clearly you see I was vibing with the Tie Dye trend! I’ve always liked it, but now I actually own it! I bought two t-shirts, an ankle bracelet, a cross necklace, a candle, and Spice Girls wine glass charms. I mean I just thought they were hysterically awesome!

I bought my family tickets to see Ain’t Too Proud! It was my dad’s father’s day gift this year! And the talent was incredible! I honestly was so amazed by their vocals. I grew up with the music of The Temptations playing in my house. I’m definitely a MOTOWN influenced kid. I love their music, songs like My Girl and Just My Imagination were some of my favs! The show was so amazing, I felt like I was seeing them live in concert.

Descendants 3 Premiere with my God Daughter!

190616-descendants[1]

My cousin threw a party for her daughter & her friends, and so I made some fun treats for the girlies. Besides, I was kind of excited for the 3rd film too! I was a bit obsessed with Evie’s blue and red vibes from the second film. The second is my favorite, but I enjoyed the new film too!

Descendants premiere party

I love planning themed parties, and believe me I have a few TV related mini parties I had throughout this summer, but I’m going to do a whole separate post on my Summer TV and Music Favs! So STAY TUNED!

Fun with Fashion!!!

I got to play around a little more with fashion this summer. More than I usually do, because I didn’t have to dress a certain way for work. Also, I became a huge fan of hats and tassel earrings. Also the two white t-shirts with the logos on them are both shirts made by my brother. The “she writes her own story” tee was a custom made for me, but the “You’re Making Me Blush” tee is available on his etsy shop! He has some great designs up, please take a look and follow him on instagram @mytshirtaddiction 

I told you I love graphic tees, I guess it runs in the family! 😉 

I just got a fresh new cut and color because my hair was kind of looking rough from dying it purple in April. I basically had Mermaid hair all Summer. Which was like cool, but I was growing sick of it and I needed a darker vibe for Fall! I’ve had Pink, Blue, and Purple hair over the years and I still have yet to show any of that on this blog! One of these days, I’m going to do a whole Hair Chronicles! LOL. 

Had My God Daughter over for a sleepover- and we did everything under the sun from making tie dye tees to baking a cake for my brother’s birthday to making our own chipwiches- I also created a scavenger hunt for her! We also had my brother and his family stay over unexpectedly one night, and it was my niece’s first sleepover at our house. So I had to scramble and make it festive for her and get her some goodies. We decorate every time we have my god daughter for sleepovers so we had to do the same for my niece too! I also babysat my niece by myself for the first time! (It’s not like I can’t… I just never have until this summer, I can be a nervous Nancy when it comes to watching kids all by myself. LOL) Great times with my two favorite little girlies!!!!

 

Music & TV Vibes!

So I do want to share with you all the shows and music I fell in love with this Summer in a separate post, but I just wanted to highlight a few things! I saw Shawn Mendes in concert with my friend and needless to say it was kind of an anxious experience. I will get more into it in a separate post. But let’s just say I will never sit in Barclay’s upper seating again. It’s quite terrifying! Shawn however, was AMAZING! And it ended up being a fun night. Taylor Swift dropped her new album #Lover as you may have guessed from my last few posts, I’m KIND OF a fan! It’s EPIC and I love it! So there has been lots of fun Taylor Swift memories this Summer. As for tv, there were so many shows I saw premiere, shows end and all the feels in between. But the two that I hold so dear to my heart has to be the new 90210 reboot- BH 90210. SO GOOD! And the announcement of the Lizzie McGuire reboot! I AM DYING!!!! SO SO PUMPED for that! I’m already planning my premiere party in my head guys! Nostalgia is a dish best served nice and toasty. Childhood memories….feels like home. 

Family Day at the Aquarium! We got caught in torrential down pour, but it was still a good time! 

Speaking of rain, I think I got caught in crazy down pours and thundering and lightning like 4-5 times this summer. I’ve been soaked from head to toe on multiple occasions. One time my umbrella wouldn’t even open! Some days I could laugh it off and some I just wanted to stop and cry! But looking back at this summer I can just say Thank You! Thank You 2019 for getting me through some really hard emotional blocks, and testing me and proving to me that I can handle so much more than I give myself credit for. Anxiety does not define me. And just because I feel the weight of the world one day or even a week doesn’t mean that it’s forever. That my funky moods, don’t have to be my all day moods! I’m so hoping to bring that knowledge with me into this new Fall Season…MY FAVORITE SEASON! Such a basic bi*ch, I know! #FIGHTME. 😉 BRING ON THE PUMPKIN EVERYTHANG, the flannel, the leather, the cool air, the crisp leaves and the HOLIDAYS! I feel so blessed to have had the Summer I did. And blessed to start this new fall year, that is already filling up with some exciting things!

Time to focus on the positive. 

 

How was your Summer?

*All images are my own, except the movie posters, the Taylor Swift image I stole from my bestie, and the Lizzie McGuire pic I reposted from Hilary’s instagram.* 😉

 

-<3-

 

 

Ed Sheeran ÷ Deluxe Album Review

Ed Sheeran left us for a bit. But he is back and making us feel all the feels. Here are my first random thoughts during my first full listening party. Join me as I try and make sense of them all. Also I discuss some of my favorite lyrics. Ed does this amazing job of creating lyrical masterpieces.

Capture

#MYLISTENINGPARTY

View All Ed’s Lyrics HERE

You can stream Divide on Spotify and on Ed’s YouTube channel. Or BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT!

lHwE8sh5TnaGbjmiojLb_ES_Divide_Final_Layered_Artwork-1[1]

Eraser

Rapping like old times

Great guitar riff

Sway-it’s dancing and a description for how I feel inside

African Safari vibes

Fav Lyrics:

“I think that money is the route of all evil, and fame is hell.”

“And I found comfort in my pain.”- Heavy

 

Castle on the Hill (previously heard)

A song about his home

That Rasp!

“Whohoo”- love that note!

Fav Lyrics:

 “And I miss the way you make me feel, it’s real, we watched the sunset over the castle on the hill.”

“Had my first kiss on a Friday night I don’t reckon I did it right.”

“I was younger then, Take me back to when.”

“One friend left to sell clothes. One works down by the coast. One had two kids but lives alone. One’s brother overdosed .One’s already on his second wife. One’s just barely getting by. But these people raised me, And I can’t wait to go home” – I adore this storytelling section and that last line is the beauty. Home is made of people who affect your life and help you to create who you are.”

 

Dive

Different

“Woo Yeah!”- my audible response a few seconds into it! Pretty sure I was snapping along too.”

Sexy/Sassy

Deep Vocals

Guitar solo- Yes! That’s going to be BADASS live on tour.

Tears

Fav Lyrics:

“Maybe I came on too strong, maybe I waited too long…”

“So don’t call me baby. Unless you mean it. Don’t tell me you need me. If you don’t believe it. So let me know the truth. Before I dive right into you.”- Just let me go, I’m feeling all the feels. SO DAMN GOOD! #Goosebumps

 

Shape of You (previously heard)

All kinds of HELL YES!

I heard this song and it was an instant favorite, still is.

Total Dance Jam

POP

Chanty and I love it! Love those drums!

Would be a kick ass Zumba song!

Fav Lyrics:

“The club isn’t the best place to find a lover. So the bar is where I go.”

“I’m in love with the shape of you. We push and pull like a magnet do. Although my heart is falling too. I’m in love with your body. And last night you were in my room. And now my bedsheets smell like you. Every day discovering something brand new. I’m in love with your body. Oh I oh I oh I oh I- I’m in love with your body.”

“Come on be my baby, come on…” Clap along Sing along? YES Please! Slay ED, SLAY!

 

Perfect

Ballad

Lyrics! So sweet

Love letter

It’s got that oldies vibe

Fav Lyrics:

“Cause we were just kids when we fell in love. Not knowing what it was. I will not give you up this time. But darling, just kiss me slow, your heart is all I own.”

“When you said you looked a mess, I whispered underneath my breath. But you heard it, darling, you look perfect tonight.”

 “Well I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know.”

“Now I know I have met an angel in person.”

“I don’t deserve this, you look perfect tonight.”

 

Galway Girl

Hip hop

 Violin/Flute/Fiddle?

Fav Lyrics:

“Kissed her on the neck and then I took her by the hand Said, “Baby, I just want to dance”

“And then she kissed me like there was nobody else in the room.”

 

Happier

Soft

Tells a story

Chanty- “hay ya hey ya hay yea”

Beautifully heartbreaking.

Fav Lyrics:

“I saw you in another’s arms. Only a month we’ve been apart. You look happier.”

 “Ain’t nobody hurt you like I hurt you. But ain’t nobody love you like I do.”

“But ain’t nobody need you like I do.”

 “Everything’s reminding me of you.”

 

New Man

Creeping- He admits it.

Jam

Swag

Jamaican

Sunglasses—-YES #truth

DJ-mixer/rap style YES!

There’s always the F-off song. This is it.

Fav Lyrics:

“But still, I’m just keeping it real, still looking at your Instagram and I’ll be creeping a little I’ll be trying not to double tap, from way back, cause I know that’s where the trouble’s at.”

“He wears sunglasses indoors in winter at nighttime, and every time a rap song comes on He makes a gun sign, says chune, boydem light up the room.”

 

Hearts Don’t Break Around Here

Daises. Baby. Lately. Roses. LOVE THIS.

Beautiful.

“Oh Yeah yeah yeah yeah”- I love this! I feel like he does this all the time and it love it!

Fav Lyrics:

“Took my heart upon a one way trip. Guess she went wandering off with it. Unlike most women I know. This one will bring it back whole.”

 “Love the way that you conquer your fear.”

“She is the lighthouse in the night that will safely guide me home.”

 

What Do I Know?

Campfire

Children talk

Backup Vocals- Chanty/Hums

Loving the chanty vibes

The world needs this song right now- Election inspired I’m sure

 

Fav Lyrics:

“I’m just a boy with a one-man show.” –Ain’t that the truth Ed! 😀

“Love can change the world in a moment.”

 “Spread love, understanding, positivity.”

 

How Would You Feel (Paean) (previously heard)

Paean: a song of praise or triumph. (Ed has said this was written for his girlfriend) Gosh I can’t- how freaking sweet.

That Piano ❤

This is most like the ED SHEERAN we’re used to.

LOVE

Vulnerability

Human

Wanting/ Needing Acceptance

Guitar Solo @ 2:57 crushes your heart. It reminds me of John Mayer playing “Gravity.” This has to be Mayer. I’m gonna check on this. Yup. Thought I read that somewhere, and even so I spotted it just by listening. Has to be this song that he played on.

Further confirmation…

knew it

Fav Lyrics:

 “We got questions, we should not ask but-.”

“How would you feel if I told you I loved you?”

 “Taking my time- spending my life. Falling deeper in love with you. So tell me that you love me too?”

 

Supermarket Flowers

LYRICS!

Heartbreaking

Recalling Memories—> history

Comfort

Simplicity in the vocals and the piano

“Who ooo who”- love that shit! 😉

Church like

Different

Love letter to his mom?

Fav Lyrics:

“Mom there’s a tear every time that I blink.”

“Oh I’m in pieces, it’s tearing me up but I know.  A heart that’s broke it’s a heart that’s been loved.”

“Hallelujah- you are an angel in the shape of my mom.”

 “When God takes you back he’ll say Hallelujah you’re home.”

 

Barcelona *Instant Fav

Up beat

A good change of pace from the prior heartbreaker

Saxophone

Breathy chant/beat box beginning

Sexy

One man band

Flutes/whistles

Guitars

Rasp!

LOVE

Spanish- YES!

Mamasita/sangria

Tropical

Feel good

Would be awesome live on tour

Dance anthem/Sing along

I want to go to Barcelona with Ed Sheeran right now.

Fav Lyrics:

“Well get up up on the dancefloor, move, it’s a Saturday night. I fell in love with the sparkle in the moonlight. Reflected in your beautiful eyes, I guess that is destiny doing it right.”

“You’re like something that God has sent me. I want you baby-solamente.”

 

Bibia Be Ye Ye *Instant Fav

Bibia Be Ye Ye- means All will be well/Everything will be alright

Different

Nice follow up to Barcelona

What a night!

Travel influence

Spanish/Twi vibes

LOVE

 

Nancy Mulligan

Irish/Ireland

Irish jig/River dance

Pub

Beer

Storytelling

Inspired by his Parents?

Claps/Chants

I’m there in a pub with Ed.

Only Ed can jump from an ethnic tropical vibe to a river dance vibe and make it work.

Fav Lyrics:

“From her snow white streak in her jet black hair. Over sixty years I’ve been loving her. Now we’re sat by the fire, in our old armchairs. You know Nancy I adore ya.”

 

Save Myself

Piano & Vocals

Letter to self

Sadness

Oddly Inspirational

Fav Lyrics:

“They gave me the heartache and in return I gave a song. It goes on and on.”

“So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself.”

“Human beings are destined to radiate or drain.”

 “Before I blame someone else, I’ve got to save myself.”

“Before I love someone else, I’ve got to love myself.”

Image result for ed sheeran divide iheartradio awards 2017

As I mentioned Ed had left us for quite a bit, but as he echoes in first track “Eraser.”- “Welcome to the new show I guess you know I’ve been away. Where I’m heading who knows. My heart will stay the same.” And I think that describes this journey perfectly. He’s always Ed, no matter the chances he takes, he’s still that talented one man show, we all know and love.

My first initial thought was this album is love- all the colors of it. Current. Past. Present. Heartbreak too. He’s storytelling, and at times he finds inspiration in other people’s stories too. Which is such a beautiful thing.

He’s still his usual self, he still has killer lyrics and rap moments, still hits those riffs, still has those guitar ballads, still rocking that epic loop pedal. But then there are the different elements. We get some more production in this album, we get a bunch of different instrumental sounds- violins, whistles, etc. He’s experimenting without losing what makes him so unique and special. And I love, love, LOVE how he mixed a bit of the Irish vibes and the Spanish vibes in one album. He had mentioned he was traveling throughout the writing process of this album and I feel like that shows in all the unique sounds and lyrics he created.

I also really like the track list placement. The order of the songs flow really well. The sad songs are followed by upbeat songs, the travel inspired songs are clustered, and then we get a bang of an introduction with Eraser and the sweet love letter to oneself at the end. What a beautiful message. You can also see this album is a reflection of where Ed is at in his life. Or so I would think. It’s quite different than the others.

Granted we get our Ed, but he’s softer, raspier, more hopeful, and there’s a maturity. He keeps themes of love, home/family, and parents, as he has in the past, but I also love how children has become a theme. He’s probably looking into the future and where he’s going to be soon- married with kids. Soldier on Ed, whatever you do, we’ll follow and listen.

C14jUQMW8AA5rSS[1]

16 tracks Ed. 16 tracks. Solid. Epic. Welcome back, sir. You are killing the game. You are truly a talent- a one man show. Here’s hoping I’ll get to see you on tour this time!

 

*I do not take credit for Ed’s images.*

 

-<3-