Video Update

There are often so many areas of life we feel we need to be good at all the time. And often times we struggle trying to make that happen. It’s impossible. You can do anything but not everything. You can be anything, but you can’t be everything, to everyone, all the time. If you try to, you will break.

As the summer comes to an end, the self-bashing comes for not doing half of the things I wanted to. Summer is kind of like New Year’s Eve in that way, don’t you think? We make so many promises to ourselves and then life happens.

I’ve been really thinking about my relationship with video and film making. And because of this, I’ve learned a few things. I wanted to get really real with myself about this topic.
To back track just a bit, I have a Bachelor of Arts degree. I studied Mass Communications with a concentration in Film and Broadcasting. The dream-the goal- to write for television. And yet when I look at all the video projects I’ve actually finished…the total number is not many. Many unfinished scripts/ideas for scripts collecting dust too!

Back in college, I had to do a few projects- one was a music video which I did for The Civil War’s Poison & Wine and the other was a concept video which was about throwing away stereotypes- it was very abstract and I titled it “Tearing Down The Label Makers.” It’s crazy because I feel like the message holds even more relevance today. Then I worked on my thesis which as you may know was a documentary about a day/or days in the life of my Grandmother who had been struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. I did two versions of that for two separate classes- one was the full version, and one was an abridged trailer version entitled Vai Com Deus.

“Poison & Wine” Video Shoot-

DSCF1080DSCF1082

“Tearing Down The Label Makers” Video Shoot-

Tearing Down the Label Makers

Neither the music video nor the concept video have been uploaded to YouTube, although considering these two were my very first video projects I am still very proud of how they came out and the messages behind them. I’m seriously considering sharing them. Providing the actors give their permission for me to do so, actually I’m pretty sure I had them all sign release forms!

During my college years I also attempted to shoot a script I wrote called Dumb Luck. A lot of time and production went into that but, it never got finished and the footage has been difficult to revive since my college computer died on me and I’ve gotten a new one. I am hoping to revive that and get that up, it’s super raw,  and you can definitely tell I was just starting out but the story is juicy. We only got to shoot the montage sequence. But a few years ago I shared the script, if you’d like to read that…click HERE.

“Dumb Luck” Prop Pictures

funny vacaDSCF8357DSCF8352

 

“Vai Com Deus” process-

SC20140508-220547SC20140508-215129

Since I graduated I’ve done a few little side projects that are actually finished- I shot a yoga video for my cousin, a poetry video for MLW- to name a few and a couple of vlogs. The vlogs are less planned and less cinematic of course.

Yoga Video Shoot (Behind the Scenes) (this is not available to watch,  even though she was happy with the result-the video was for a school assignment and my cousin didn’t want it uploaded.)

“Secret” Society Video Shoot/Vlogs (Behind the Scenes)

12690_10101188543526317_825376294_n1460979_10101188544639087_633009586_n

Then there are more video attempts- there are bits of footage shot for a zombie horror short that my brother and I had been working on. We even got as far as building a timeline of the clips in editing, but then…life. Life came in, things got busy, I got distracted and something else needed my attention.

“Inhumane” process- (Behind the Scenes)

20160418_20195320160417_235705Inhumane

Its 4 years now since I graduated and it seems that every time I get close to the idea of shooting something- I may do well for a brief time but then cue the rut.

The other day I was going through some old paperwork and things, trying to organize my room and I came across some old scripts and video treatments/storyboards. Both were horror related. One was the zombie short titled Inhumane, the other titled Head Over Heels (which I think would be a bad ass Halloween upload). And when I see these scripts and how the planning process was beginning it makes me want to get back into video. But then I hit a wall and the reality sinks in. There’s just no realistic way. For the past-I want to say 2 years- I have been well involved/invested in the engagements, weddings, bridal/baby showers of many people that are very close to me. And I have had to really dedicate my time and my funds to them. When I think about doing something short/simple- I think how I don’t have the actors, or the equipment, to do so.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, my brother is a photographer and he has a lot of equipment that I’ve used in the past. But I’m very weird about using it, mostly because he’s very particular about it, lol. And I get nervous I’ll do something wrong! And so because of that I am very weird about asking him for help. I feel like it’s a burden, especially now that he is newly married and he and his wife are expecting their first child. Even though he has been hounding me to get back into shooting Inhumane, I know he simply doesn’t have the time, we don’t have the people, and quite honestly there are just so many other things I’d love to shoot instead. #HeadOverHeels #MysteriousAttractionTeaser

I also don’t have the best sound equipment or the best editing software either so it’s kind of like a million things weighing against me. I think about how people would perceive the work I put out. “Didn’t she go to school for film and video? This sucks!” That’s how I feel they would judge it. Along with all the other worries, I fear I may not be good enough at it.

I know this may seem like I’m complaining and I’m not. I don’t want pity. I understand that life is fast paced and ever changing. I love being asked to be part of special moments in people’s lives. People who mean the world to me. But sometimes when everything seems to happen all at once it can be very overwhelming. And we all know that I can get overwhelmed pretty easily and my anxiety definitely tends to spike a lot more when too much change is happening.

I just think that in life you often have to prioritize and these things in my life have been coming one after the other and they need special attention. I’m the type of person who really wants to show up for you on your special day/during your special time. My relationships with my family and friends are everything to me. And so I give 150% every time. (Or at least I really try too!)

With my bank accountant taking some serious hits over the past few years, lol-so has my time management skills. I can multi task…sure…just ask my computer- I can have 8 different tabs open at once and hit all of them. But I can’t say with absolute confidence that I can multi task well all the time. I just end up overwhelming myself and needing to narrow things down. Focus on one thing at a time. Rightfully so…no? I mean how much wedding/baby events/day to day responsibilities can one girl take at once? Ya know? It’s a lot. But thankfully, thank god it’s mostly beautiful, happy stuff, all deserving of celebration. I will always be grateful for that.

Needless to say I know there are ways around this funk I’ve created for myself. I know that fear of inadequacy, lack of funds and time are a huge part of why video has taken a back seat. But I want to try and make some solutions to these problems.

Dear Michelle,

ACTORS ask people I know/ research sites that can help find actors willing to participate for low funds or pizza! Haha. Asking people you know, can be difficult, it doesn’t always work out. My film and video professor used to always tell us to have a plan B because people aren’t always reliable and it can break your heart when a project falls through the cracks. This I know first hand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked family or friends to be apart of shorts and they cancelled on me because of work or life in general got in the way. It happens, I get it. But creatively, it’s heart breaking. Another thing to consider when filming is to keep the shorts abstract- quick cuts- simple images-

Avant Garde it- experimental film, experimental cinema- a mode of filmmaking that rigorously re-evaluates cinematic conventions and explores non-narrative forms and alternatives to traditional narratives or methods of working.

TIME make time- plain and simple. Plan it out, and stick to a schedule.

SPACE/LOCATION keep it local, go where you know- use people’s homes, lol.

FUNDS keep things simple/super low budget- use house hold items.

EQUIPMENT use equipment you have, or ask to borrow equipment in advance.

EDITING SOFTWARE use what you have and make it work.

FEAR“Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.” -A Cinderella Story. Your never going to not be fearful of new challenges. You just have to decide how bad you want it, and be brave enough to just do it, to hell with what people think! 

When you’re just starting out, or easing back into something Don’t Expect Perfection! If things are a little janky, it’s ok, it’s better to shoot footage than not try at all. And Vlogs do count. I’ve noticed I like vlogging when I have some cool things to do, I just have to get better at the editing turn around. Mini Vlogmas is still only partially edited. :/ As is the Gender Reveal Party Vlog for my brother and sister in law and a Family Trip Vlog to Great Wolf Lodge we took last Summer. I also shot a bunch of footage of a Polar Express Trip and my best friend’s engagement night. Really got to get back to editing!!!!

*Current Update– Since I last scheduled this post (which was a while ago back in the Summer when I was what I like to call bulk blogging) I have edited my butt off and have finished editing Vlogmas, The Gender Reveal, The Great Wolf Lodge Trip and The Engagement. I however am torn as to whether or not I should post them on YouTube/link them on this blog. I know have alluded to the fact that I would post them, I’ve mentioned it in many blog posts [including the Vlogmas announcement], however I am not the only person in them and I don’t know if others would appreciate their images being out on the internet. I know- why announce Vlogmas, take forever to edit them, and then never post them. The truth is I did do a small Vlogmas, and I did edit them, but I don’t feel 100% comfortable sharing videos of my family. I may just keep them as home movies for me, and my friends and family. But I am excited that I got so many of them done. That’s a win for me!

When things start to settle down on the wedding/baby front, I will start to save up for some new equipment. In the mean time, I just have to do it. Pick up the camera I do have and shoot something. Stop worrying about how crappy it might turn out and just dive in. I know I’ll feel better once I do. And the excitement and natural high of doing something I love will come back. I just need to do and stop second guessing, stop making excuses and just use the time I do have for myself wisely.

The reason for this long winded post is because I needed it. Sometimes you need to reflect on all the ways you let life pass you by in order to make you realize that you need to try a little harder to make your dreams come true. Be a bulldozer – and plow through the writer’s block, through the lack of inspiration, through the Summer Blues, through the funk that I’ve been in, and just go for it!

So here’s hoping to change my mind set! Wish me luck. No Scratch that- Wish me determination!

 

*All images and videos are my own.*

-<3-

 

Advertisements

Bachelorette Party Planning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17630046_10211763803351754_7473964334878332716_n[1]

Choice of mimosa, water, or tea

17757176_10211763787311353_1935139624719365747_n[1]

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

17629889_10211763799991670_6214279255288562072_n[1]

Manicures!

17634307_10211763785191300_2906541582396021406_n[1]

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

 20170401_144709

 

20170401_144720(0)

I got the Paradise Salad!

 

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

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

 

IMG_1217

Ignore the date, it’s wrong,  lol.

 

IMG_1219

 

IMG_1225

I thought these drink markers were super cute!

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

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

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

17499407_10211763804071772_7112914148582159318_n[1]

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

Tips I picked up on:

*Carry less cash on you and your credit card.

*Use a cross body purse. #HandsFree

*If you are drinking- do NOT mix!

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUY THE ACCESSORIES!

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

IMG_1215

IMG_1199

17630077_10211763777511108_6952309934021484381_n[1]17757333_10211763798631636_8967262847360104081_n[1]

Items were bought online through party city & amazon.

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

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

*All images are my own.*

-<3-

 

 

OOTD- Black, Gold & a little bit of Leopard

img_20170220_122415img_20170219_175639-2

Dress- Annie Sez

Coat- Annie Sez

Shoes- Payless

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

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

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

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

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

20170219_115315-2

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

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

 

My love for mason jars and twine is real guys!

20170219_15494020170219_154938

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

20170219_154344

My girl knows my mug obsession is real!

20170219_125524

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

 

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

*All photos are my own.*

-<3-

 

 

  

 

When Calls The Heart Season 4 Premiere

Sorry Walking Dead but I think I’ve traded in zombies for love. Hey, when you take away my favorite love story (Maggie and Glenn) you deserve to be put on the back burner. Still haven’t watched since. And I’m okay with that.

Anyway, I quickly fell in love with Hallmark’s Sunday night series- When Calls The Heart. But I watched through Netflix and YouTube, so to be able to watch the season 4 premiere along with the rest of the #Hearties fam, I was super excited! I even live tweeted a bit too! The cast seems so sweet! Although, let’s be real, I will be watching the premiere over again, because twitter can be such a distraction! 😀

cpb6yn8vuaa4jjj1

I had a crazy weekend, so I didn’t get to host my usual real deal big Premiere Party, but I set up at little something in honor of my newest TV obsession’s big night!

Here is me watching at my little mock Abigail’s Café! 😉

This is what happens when you are a total party planning, tv watching/obsessing junkie/fangirl. I love doing this crap. Next time I’m going to go all out! I already started planning it! Friends who are fans of the show will be notified. 😉

20170219_192528

A little tea & pie makes everything right! 😉

20170219_19324920170219_193256

Pinkie’s up and out!

 

 

I went with a collared blouse and a matching cardigan, then draped a pashmina overtop  to mirror the women of the frontier’s fashion. A low side bun and some dainty jewelry like Elizabeth! Shh you can’t tell I’m wearing yoga pants! 😉 (Next time I have to find a long skirt!)

Here is a sneak peek at last night’s episode and a Trailer for what’s to come! I think I feel a proposal coming!

You are my life, you are everything”- Jack Thornton making women swoon everywhere. #ThatCandleSceneTho

Can I please live in 1910! Please, please oh please! 😉

“Penny for your thoughts?” “I’ll give them to you for free.”

“You look absolutely beautiful.”

“Your never gonna lose me Elizabeth.”

Ah! I cannot!

When Calls The Heart airs Sunday nights @ 9pm on Hallmark Channel.

Seasons 1-3 are available to stream on Netflix. Binge watch girl, you won’t regret it! 😉

 

*Premiere Party images are my own.*

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

-<3-

 

2016 Memory Jar Review

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!!!!!!

I cannot believe it is already 2017.

 

img_1114

My camera year is wrong…should say 2016, ignore that mishap. :/

 

As I sat down on New Year’s Eve to sift through my memory jar- a bandwagon that I finally hopped on two years ago- I was amazed at how little I felt like I did, because of how quickly I felt the year had flown by. It was a blur for me. But as I dove into these colored pieces of paper, the many memories came flooding back….and a lot actually happened. It’s so easy for us to get wrapped up in the holiday bit at the end of the year, that we forget all the memories we made throughout the year.

So here are some of my most favorite memories- (in no particular order!)

 

*My 2016 Highlights*

 

Took my god daughter to see Trolls- “Sophie’s big girl movie date”- Trolls, went to a diner, and saw the Christmas Lights with my family.

 

Had a little Walking Dead Season 7 Premiere Party but… RIP Glenn still heartbroken: / haven’t watched an episode since then, but my party looked awesome. Read my post HERE!

twd-viewing-party

Celebrated my grandmother’s 83rd birthday with a whole bunch of family.

grandma-bday

I made a few job changes and had to bounce around a bit, which was a bit difficult but finally found a place where I am happy for now, it was for the better- I’m building a work family and have made some great friends. Read my post on “adulting” HERE!

Finished two short story series-On The Run & Love Conflicted (-premiered in 2015 but carried over into 2016)

Official full cast photo movie poster

Started a brand new series- Welcome Home (-first chapter premiered in 2016, rest will be continued in 2017)

poster-1

 

My best friend Roe got engaged!!!!

roe-got-engaged

Went on a massive family trip to Great Wolf Lodge and had a blast! (vlog will eventually get edited!)-Read my post HERE!

great-wolf-lodge

Why does my camera have the wrong year? How do I fix that?

Sophia Bush retweeted my tweet and my phone blew up….

sophia-bush-retweets

My brother got married and he and his wife bought a house.

r-and-l-wedding

I entered one of my scripts into a writing contest! (although nothing came of it, it was a huge leap that I took, and I was really proud of myself for facing that fear.)

I got free movie passes for covering a story in my local theater, my best friend Jenny and I saw Finding Dory in 3D…because why not?

I’ve realized that I can overcome my anxiety on my own, but the help that I have received has been a gift I will continue to utilize.

My best friend and I finally saw Bethany Joy Lenz in concert and WE MET HER! #LifeGoal –Read my post HERE!

bethany-joy-lenz

Fuller House seasons 1& 2 are killin’ the game #NetflixIsDangerous

fuller-house

I went for bridesmaid’s dresses for my friend Jenny’s wedding-I was asked to be her maid of honor last year.

bridesmaids-dresses

I went on The Polar Express with my god daughter and other family members. (vlog will eventually get edited!)

polar-express

I worked for a summer camp, and my kids made some really great story books for my creative writing class.

nia-summer-camp

I hosted a Gilmore girls: A Year in the Life- Netflix revival….viewing party- Read my post HERE!

gg

I got a vlog up on my YouTube channel, and have been vlogging more, but editing has been a slow process. I WILL GET THERE!

I finally got to pretend to be a YouTube vlogger and did a Mini “Vlogmas” from Dec. 23-Dec. 31 into 2017 (Stay Tuned!)

My brother and I started to shoot the first installment of our zombie short, but it got halted because…. #WeddingCraziness #BridalShowerCraziness

20160418_201953

michelleleighwrites turned 3!!!!!!! Read my post HERE! (It’s turning 4 in a WEEK!!!!!!)

mlw-3

 Justin Timberlake released new music & a video – Can’t Stop The Feeling! (he also produced the soundtrack to Trolls (What a beautiful, fun loving film, highly recommend seeing it!). Read my fangirl report HERE!

jt

Valentine’s Day Girls Nite In with my girls.

gni

Celebrated my Aunt Mary’s birthday  with some dinner at her favorite Mexican restaurant and had some Pepsi- her favorite drink. Love you Aunt Mary, Miss you!

aunt-mary

Bruno Mars new album, listening to it as I write. So obsessed! #24KMagic #Chunky #ThatsWhatILike #VersaceOnTheFloor #Finesse LISTEN

rs_600x600-161007043155-600-bruno-mars-24k-magic-2-10716_21

Rocked some obnoxious Christmas Lights for the holidays. #BestDecisionOfMyLife #5BucksWellSpent #ShoutOutToStrangerThings

20161224_151724

stranger-things-on-netflix1

Received some handmade Christmas cards from my students.

christmas-cards

30th Birthdays Celebrations- We hosted a big family dinner for my sister in law and went on an AC family trip for my brother.

ac-family-triplauren-30th-dinner

Family BBQ’s!!! #Cousins

family-bbq

Best Friend Weekend. – Even at 25, my best friend and I still keep our sleepover tradition going. It started off going to the Zumba class that my best friend teaches, then we had some dinner at her house (BBQ chicken my fav at their house hold-like old times), next we watched our favorite tv show One Tree Hill until 4 AM, Went for breakfast the next morning, got manicures, and shopped a bit. It was so nostalgic and it was just what we needed. #BestFriendMiniWeekend #RoshellWeekend

That Zumba class tho-I had been trying to get to one, forever!

Britney’s back bitches! #GLORY album is just….EPIC! Read my post HERE!

glory

Rainbows.

Pineapple float- #SOTRENDY

float

 

Took my mom to see the Radio City Spring Spectacular- it was her mother’s day gift and it felt really great to be able to do that for her. What a brilliant show. Visually stunning!

ny-spectacular

Got hooked on Murder Mystery 13 Part Series American Gothic- so damn good! #SHOUTOUTTOBETHANYJOYLENZ

american-gothic

Started Stranger Things #NetflixIsDangerous

stranger-things-on-netflix1

 

Attended my best friend’s engagement party.

jennys-engagement-party

Continued with the annual chop.

 

Dressed up in Hawaiian theme attire for my cousin’s birthday party.- Read my post HERE!

hawaiian

Finally got to rock the yellow, red, blue look I’ve wanted to try for forever! Read my post HERE!

red-yellow-blue

After the chop, had to try out some new hair do’s – Reverse Space buns.

reverse-space-bums

Marina Squerciati answered my tweet, (cuz we’re besties) ;). #thathashtagtho

marina

My parents treated me to a massive birthday dinner at my favorite restaurant. Got my big gold number balloons too! #BlackAndGold #Family #Friends Read my post HERE!

massive-selfieballoons

 

That TWD finale tho. #WHOISIT? Read my feels HERE!

whoisit

Started an unintentional tradition of taking massive group family photos/selfies.

family-photosgroup-shotbbq

 

Bridal expos with my bestie. #MaidofHonor #OnCall

bridal-expo

 

My cousins from Florida surprised us with a quick visit!

florida-fam

 

Curvy Barbies (and other body shapes and sizes) are a thing! #FINALLY #Variety

Read my post HERE!

curvy-barbies

 

That *NSYNC picture. #reunion #myheart

 

nsync

Met our newest family member! My god daughter is a big sister!

pauly

Started watching a few new tv series- This Is Us (I have to catch up, I’m so behind) and Shades of Blue.

shades_of_blue_tv_series-478926440-large1636133801832911681-2127604802_284091

*****

Damn a lot can happen in a year. I am grateful for the blessings 2016 has given me. Of course it wasn’t all marshmallows and honey all the time, but I still fought through obstacles and made beautiful memories. Cheers to 2017, may it be beautiful and happy and healthy for all of you, filled with love and inspiration and success. See you soon friends!

*Most images are my own.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life- Viewing Party & Review

Gilmore Girls is a show that I have always had a special place in my heart for. I loved their fast talking, coffee loving, and their silly anecdotes. But most of all- the love stories.

Dean? Jess? Logan?

The ever begging question.

I have a love for each guy, but #TEAMJESS forever and always.

And then there’s the constant on and off of the Luke and Lorelai saga.

Will they? Won’t they? Will Christopher come between them?

Damn I did love Christopher though.

The circular story never ends. Or does it?

So you can only imagine that from the minute Netflix announced the Gilmore Girls Revival, I was losing my mind thinking about the epic viewing party I wanted to throw for all my Gilmore loving girls.

Needless to say time and life gets away from us a bit and I found myself searching for a free time to host just that.

I couldn’t let too much time pass without watching, because well…#Internet #Spoilers

So I was in the process of planning a bit and I actually ended  up having an impromptu viewing. I scrambled a bit, but I think I did pretty good.

Let me know what you think, my fellow Gilmore fans…

We all know Lorelai has a special relationship with snow, so I paired our beloved Stars Hollow welcome sign (that I found online and printed out) with some sparkly blue and silver snowflakes and hung them on my door.

“I smell snow.”

The focal point of every kitchen is the table and here is where the party is at. I made these two little banners, that spell out the first few lines of the theme song. A theme song that I have grown to love so much. Every time I hear it I have to sing along and it brings me such joy. Accompanying those banners are a few of my favorite Gilmore girl quotes.

20161126_185020

All of these are from one of my very favorite food centric episodes, the thanksgiving episode- A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving.

 

20161126_185210

20161126_18510320161126_185056

On the table are some things that just remind us of the fond memories, we’ve shared with our Gilmores.

We all know how much our girls love food, and how they would have the most epic movie nights with sweet treats and pizza or Chinese food, or both.

So I pulled some inspiration-candy, pop tarts, popcorn & pizza.

I put the candy and popcorn into little  Chinese food containers and found an Al’s pancake world logo online. Al’s was a staple for the girls, they would order their Chinese food from there all the time. #WeirdIKnow

20161126_185109

In one corner of the table, I set up a little ode to Lane’s band- Hep Alien. Lane was such a great friend to Rory and she was such a funky, interesting part of the show…and she loved music just like I do! So I pulled some images together to create a band flyer and set some of my favorite CDs out next to it-calling it- Lane Kim’s Kickass Music Collection.

I also found the Yale Daily News logo online and taped that to a local newspaper and set that on the edge of the table to represent Rory’s college years.

20161126_185145

 I also printed out the school flag and a Richard Gilmore memorial. I added the words “Pillar of Strength” because that’s how Rory describes her grandparents in her speech as Valedictorian at her Chilton graduation, she calls them her Twin Pillars.

20161126_185445

Next up we have some movies that we’ve heard the girls speak fondly about- Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Casablanca.

While behind them you see an ode to one of my most favorite characters-Sookie the chef of the beloved Dragon Fly Inn.

In the center is a map of Stars Hollow that I found online, I loved it because it shows all the quirky places we’ve grown to love in this small town. Like Doose’s Market, and Gypsy’s.

Now moving away from the table…I couldn’t host a Gilmore Girls Viewing without a coffee station at Luke’s Diner…could I? I just gathered some mugs and made some coffee, and posted some coffee inspired Lorelai quotes and a Luke’s sign…and Viola! It’s a Gilmore Girls Party! Shhh don’t tell them it was decaf. 😉

20161126_185241

And last but not least….

20161126_192327

We had to.

20161126_195014

20161126_213415

And Flannels for Luke.

20161126_194845

United Front. #TeamJess

So there you have it…my Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life- Viewing Party

Gilmore Girls is such a special show. So full of heart and friendly memories. I knew I couldn’t watch it without my best friends.

Ok and now OPINION TIME-SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you really think I wasn’t going to comment on what I thought… 😉

I freaked out a bit. It was like living in an alternate universe. I was so excited to see them on my screen again. Our favorite girls. Talking in perfectly crafted circles.

It was weird. Everyone being older and slightly out of character at first, but I enjoyed it so much. I was hooked, I had to keep watching. Yes, I binged. I had little control. I loved how the town came back to life. I loved how we saw EVERYONE-each of Rory’s exes, Gypsy, Kirk, Christopher, Lane, Hemp Alien, Mrs. Kim, Babette, Taylor, Miss Patty, Sookie, Jackson, Michele, Paris, Doyle, Francine, Head Master Charleston,  “Tristan” (Um where’s Chad Michael Murray these days?) Colin, Finn, Steve, Luke’s daughter April- the list is endless.

I loved the 4 mini movie, set in each season. That was such a beautiful concept. I loved that Rory and Lorelai are still close. I loved that Luke and Lorelai are still going strong. I loved how they handled Richard’s death. Emily was a force to be reckoned with, a powerhouse. I loved that she got drunk and told off those DAR snobs. #BULLSHIT

Thank you Netflix, for allowing Emily Gilmore to say the word Bullshit several times.

I loved that Lorelai still wore the funkiest clothing and that Luke and Lorelai finally got married.

I loved every single Jess moment. I love that he always happens to be the only guy who really knows where Rory’s heart lies. I love how he is the one to tell her to write a book-about her relationship with her mom. I love that he’s still pining for her….you saw that look….did you see that longing stare???? So damn good.

I love Rory’s good bye moment with Dean. I truly love what she said. Because he deserves so much. He really does. He was so good to her. Always. And although I have always been a Jess supporter I really can say something nice about any of the three guys. Rory got lucky.

Logan is sexy as hell in this revival. I always thought he was charming, in that rich guy riding on a big white horse kinda way. You can see how much he really does love her, he’s always there to save her. And he’s always there to be her shoulder and her friend. And he stills calls her Ace…..I died.

Needless to say…still Team Jess.

What I found slightly odd was Rory’s nomadic existence. No permanent housing address. Sleeping and sneaking around with Logan even though he’s engaged to another woman. Didn’t he ask you to marry him and you said…oh that’s right you said no! Keeping things from her mom. Bouncing around from job to job. She seems lost and she’s already in her 30’s.

On the one hand I thought that she was kind of unlikeable. I didn’t get it. I was very confused. I felt like it was severely out of character for someone like Rory. She had seemed like she had become this horrible person, who didn’t care about people. And Rory Gilmore always cared about people.

So imagine my surprise. And the whole time, I just kept saying this girl is pregnant. Although….I didn’t think they’d actually go there.

Lorelai seemed a little lost too. Her relationship with Luke seemed stagnant and the Dragon Fly was kind of at it’s peek-Sookie had left, and now Michele was next. She lost her dad and her mother was losing herself. So many uncertainties. Then she decided to see if Luke would like to start over and have a baby. Holy Jeez! Her/His sibling would be 32! Like what? It becomes so much that Lorelai decides to go on a hiking trip. That’s right she tries to rough it. Our Lorelai on a HIKING TRIP. Oh man shit got real.

So many weird things happened in the revival that made me question whether or not it was going to satisfy my expectations. Gilmore Girls has such a legacy. Was this the show I always knew and loved?

But after I thought about it, I realized all of this…everything makes sense. Rory and Lorelai have always been spiritually linked. So as Rory hits a point in her life of uncertainty so does her mom. Age doesn’t matter here. It’s life. We all struggle, we all question our next move, we all feel the burden. Lorelai had always been a free quirky spirit so it makes sense. Rory had been trying to be perfect for so long that it was bound to catch up with her. And if you remember correctly there was that whole rebel Rory phase-Quitting Yale, Sleeping with Dean while he was separated/not separated from his wife. So yea, she’s had this inner vixen in her. I don’t think we should hate on her that much. Because in the end….the real Rory Gilmore eventually does stand up.

Now lets talk about those last four words….oh my damn…..

“Mom?”

“Yea?”

“I’m pregnant.”

Rory confessions to her mother just before the credits pop up and the screen goes black and Netflix suggests a new show for me to watch. #StrangerThings #HeyHowAreYa

Holy crap. Did they really just go there.

Sure it was expected. Sure I called it within the first few minutes. But somehow I was still so shocked.

Who’s baby is it?

Logan’s. It has to be Logan’s right? Or is it One Night Stand Wookie’s?

Or in some miraculous way she and Jess had a few go’s and it’s his? #ThatLongingStare

In my opinion it looks like Logan’s. It makes sense. It’s full circle. Just like Lorelai says to Emily during one of their massive fights.

Lorelai and Rory are kindred spirits.

No matter how different they may appear at times, and how reserved you may think Rory is, she is Lorelai’s daughter and she has spunk.

Lorelai had her Christopher and her Luke.

Rory now has her Logan and her Jess.

Logan is Rory’s Christopher, the wealthy guy that can breeze in at a moment’s notice and take her on adventures and save her financially. He knows her, and is there for her always.

Jess in Rory’s Luke, the hometown vagabond that was thought of as not good enough and who has been pining over her for years. He knows her in a way no one else really does, and he loves her so much. Not to mention he’s Luke’s nephew and he’s already part of the family. #NoItsNotIncest

Some people may argue this whole theory but that’s how I see it.

And as Amy Sherman Palladio has said in interviews, this is how she always envisioned the series ending. With Rory telling her mother she was pregnant.

There could be a fight made saying that we don’t need to see what’s going to happen, because we’ve already seen it play out with Luke and Lorelai. Rory will be pregnant with Logan’s baby, but will end up with Jess who will eventually help raise her child-who I can’t help seeing not being a girl. It has to be a girl.

However, I’m sorry I don’t buy that shit, the way that revival went down, the crazy twists and turns, that baby could be anyone’s. In fact there is a crazy theory that Rory is acting as Lorelai’s surrogate, so that she can have a baby with Luke. HOW CRAZY WOULD THAT BE!!!! Needless to say I am not down with this being the ending for good.

I think I need to see more. There has to be more. The story is not over. No matter how parallel Rory and Lorelai’s experiences may be, I still think they are individuals and they handle things differently. That “History repeats itself” crap can keep moving right along, because there’s more story there. If Rory has Logan’s baby but ends up with Jess, I want to see that. I want to see it all. So can we get a Season 2. Because I think we need one. There’s far too much to still tell. And maybe next time….bring back my theme song….I missed it!

If you haven’t watched Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. It’s first season is streaming now on Netflix…

 

-All photos are my own.-

-<3-

 

 

 

This is my RIOT. [Part 2]

****LETTERS OF LOVE & FRUSTRATION-The Walking Dead Edition****

Dear Glenn,

You were a leader, a loyal man of honor. You took whatever came your way and handled your business like a boss, but with an odd heir of grace in a rather grace-less world. You were our heart, our family. And the thought that you will never crack a joke, kiss Maggie, or meet your baby, well it just breaks my heart to pieces.

Glenn- from your first words, “Hey Dumbass” to your last “Maggie…I’ll find you.”- I have never not loved you, believed in you, or trusted you. Unfortunately you were the heart and moral compass of the show that got taken away from us this season and in the very first episode of the season, none the less. You will be greatly missed, there aren’t words to explain just how much. Maggie will never be the same without you, and The Walking Dead will never be the same without you.

You truly were one of my favorites and this to date (and forever) will be one of the most felt Walking Dead deaths ever. I think you deserved better, I think you had more story to tell. I think you would have made an amazing dad. Forever and always, your loyalty, heart, fearlessness, bravery, friendship, love and kindness, will be with us. We love you, we’ll miss you, and….we’ll find you. This isn’t goodbye it’s see you later.

RIP GLENN Love you, forever. ❤ #Family

 

Dear Steven Yeun,

I hope you know how much we love you. How deeply your portrayal of Glenn as impacted millions of us. I already miss seeing you on my tv screen every Sunday night. And I wish you the best of luck on future projects. Can’t wait to follow your career. But to me, you’ll always be my Glenn.

 

Dear Abraham,

Thank you for rocking the trendiest mustache ever, for being a sassy ginger, for having the best southern accent, and for- my favorite of all- thank you for the countless hysterical zingers. You brought a little laughter to a very dark world, and we will miss your leadership, and your safe soul.

tumblr_nladiyfy5m1s19ebpo1_2501

Dear Michael Cudlitz,

Thank you for being your bad-ass self and for honoring your fans to the very end of your Abraham journey. The next show or film to get you, is very lucky. I’ll be watching for you. 😀

 

Dear Maggie/Lauren Cohan,

You got this. We got you. Hand in hand we walk.

baby-glaggie

Dear Scott Gimple and Robert Kirkman,

A little something comes to mind…oh yea that’s right…

Dear Daryl,

I love you, I love your southern slang & twang, your ability to own any situation, your worldly training and variety of skills, your fashion sense ;), your tough guy exterior and most of all your big ole heart of gold. The guilt of causing Glenn’s death will probably get you killed this season, but I hope you kick some serious ass before you go. (Please don’t go!)

tumblr_inline_ne82xkaqwh1szun9m1

Dear Norman Reedus,

<33333333333….

Hearts, hearts for days.

*****************************************************************

Here are some images from my Walking Dead Season 7 premiere party…you know before my heart was ripped out of my chest.

This table scape is also perfect for Halloween!

20161023_13030520161023_204304-120161023_2041130

20161023_204122

This is a chocolate two layered cake with butter cream frosting and crushed Oreos in the center, surrounded by crumbled Oreos again and gummy worms, topped with a raspberry/jello/cool whip concoction as the “brain.” It looks kinda like a heart. #SorryNotSorry Lol.

20161023_204153

I used red “fruit punch” flavored Gatorade for the Walker Blood and Lollipops for the Walker Claws. (my brother found them at the dollar tree they are originally called zombie fingers!)

20161023_20413920161023_20431920161023_20421020161023_20425620161023_204327

20161023_2359270

Death Predictions :*/

20161023_210022

Seconds before watching the premiere…

 

 

DISCLAIMER:

I’m going to be posting quite a few things about The Walking Dead this weekend, my usually scheduled Monday post, was a no go. It was just too soon for me to fully write up and process all that I had to say. I tried, but it wasn’t ready.  I will fill out the rest of this week with new posts. I need to get them all written and ready and then I will post accordingly. I need to get it all out, by week’s end, because then I can hopefully start to heal and move on. This is my venting. I hope you understand, fan to fan. 😀 If you aren’t a Walking Dead fan or you disagree with my thoughts, come back soon for a different vibe. Right now this is my RIOT time. xoxo

*I do not take credit for any images/gifs used is the first portion of the post.*

*All premiere party photos are my own.*

-<3-