Album Review: “Warmer In The Winter” by Lindsey Stirling

22447526_1626421390755518_1809023922_nLast week, I published my review of Celtic Woman’s newest Christmas album and I said that I was thinking about putting up two others to be counted as part of a Blogmas! So this is your second, and I will say, I didn’t know about this until it popped up on my “new music” on Spotify one day and I thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity and review it too!

If you are not familiar with Lindsey Stirling, she is usually a electronic violinist. In Celtic Woman both Mairead Nesbitt and Tara McNeil play fiddle and violin, but it’s mostly the traditional way. Lindsey has done covers before, but she always adds her own flare and it can sound very pop or electronica. She was on America’s Got Talent a few years ago and has released three other albums, but this will be her first holiday album. I have not heard any of the songs beforehand so I’m not sure if they’ll be instrumentals or have guest singers on certain songs, which as I’ve seen on the tracklist there are a few featured, so we’re going to dive into this together!

Let’s get started with “Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy” and this definitely has that pop, but playful style that Lindsey usually brings out in her music. I actually love this, it’s one of my favorites. If I ever got the chance to see a ballet of the Nutcracker, I’d be one happy camper! I’m happy it still has the slow, but fun sound and it also has that dance vibe going on too. The second is “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” which features Sabrina Carpenter, a singer that I’ve been loving lately! I like the sultry, but fun jazz-y vibe of this track. I say “sultry” because of Sabrina’s tone and the horns section. Next we have “Christmas C’mon” that features singer and rapper Becky G and I know this is going to be weird, but this has a country sound to it. Becky’s voice gives it a nice pop vibe, but it’s actually Lindsey and her skills that are giving off that sound that makes me think of upbeat country music

Fourth track is “Carol Of The Bells” and I was wondering if I was going to like this one or not, but I knew Lindsey would do a fantastic job with it. It is all instrumental, but if you know me very well, you know that I have a soft spot for these types of songs. You still get that familiar sound of the original song, but it’s all violin with an added synthesizer. And then we have “Angels We Have Heard On High” and I really love the classical sound of just the violin and orchestra in the background. You also have these soft little vocalizations too, which I’m guessing is Lindsey giving it an added dash of sparkle to the song. I really do love how artists and bands are trying to modernize these Christmas songs, but sometimes going old fashioned works too!

There’s “I Saw Three Ships” and I’ve never heard of this one, but I found it a little odd that it sort of sounded like an Irish song, since it was so jam packed with tones that you’d normally hear with a traditional Celtic Woman song. I loved it! Anyways, next we have “Let It Snow” and the sound is different, the violin gives it a country vibe again, but then again it also has this jazz-y feel to it too. It’s very interesting. Oh, both of these songs are instrumentals and I love them dearly for that! There’s something cool about this next song though, it is an original Christmas song! I don’t know about you, but I never hear of these anymore! It features another musician Trombone Shorty and I love this. I’m just not sure who is the vocalist though, Lindsey has only done the soft “oohs” and “ahs” in the background of her songs, but never fully sang the songs, so maybe because this is something she came up with and she sang to it too.

“What Child Is This” is next and it’s another instrumental. It has a welcoming, but mysterious sound to it. I love these types of songs, as the more elements the musician adds to it, the more emotion you get from everything. You just feel like spinning in a white dress, or at least what’s I thought as I listened to the song. Next, we have a familiar song and it is “All I Want For Christmas” but I will say that because of the slow tempo of the introduction, you can’t tell what it is until the very last notes and then you want to slap yourself for not knowing it right away! It is upbeat and playful; makes you want to dance along to the beat! It’s great, but I think I miss the words.

The last three songs of the standard edition start with another original track, “Time To Fall In Love” and it features Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low. I think between the two songs that Lindsey wrote for this album, this one sounds more in the Christmas-y theme as far as lyrics go. I’m not saying I hated the other one though, it’s good, but does it match the tone of a holiday record though? Anyways, I also think this one has more of a pop-rock sound to it, and Lindsey is taking a backseat on it, although she has a solo, it just kind of sounds like ATL type of song. Next we have “Jingle Bell Rock” and this has become an iconic song, makes in part to the movie Means Girls but I love the jazz take to it. My papaw would probably like it since he was so into big band music! Lastly, we have one of my absolute favorites “Silent Night” and it is naturally a slow, somber-y, type of song anyways but I think Lindsey went that extra mile and made it even more beautiful with adding only the “ahhs” of the choir instead somebody singing it all the way through, it’s actually really beautiful.

I was very happy with this album! I thought with Lindsey’s first Christmas album, I think she did a great job. It was beautiful and unforgettable. I’m glad she stayed true to her style of music and didn’t force herself to add multiple singers to the favorite holiday songs, sometimes the instruments can say a lot more than what we think, they can bring out more emotions to the listener.

Have you heard of Lindsey Stirling’s new Christmas album, “Warmer In The Winter” yet? What were your thoughts on it?

snowflake

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Blogmas | Dear Santa Claus

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Howdy!

My nana found this letter as she was going through her things back at the house in February. It was in the large stack of papers of things she couldn’t part with, and I decided to take pictures of it in case I wanted to use it for this year’s blogmas. The date on it says “1997” which means I was roughly six or seven years old and probably in first grade, so I was only starting to write with my feet. We weren’t taught how to do cursive until second grade and as you will see, my foot-writing is less than impressive to what I’m known to do now.

We had an old home video of our Christmases, and there was a tape that showed my reaction when I was probably four or five years old. I was obsessed with Barney. I remember I got like 4 things that had Barney on it. So I had a lamp, two different sized stuffed Barneys, and a blanket. This had to be the same Christmas, Blondie and I were given this soft lounge chair; it was of Simba and I imagine we fought like crazy to sit in it because somebody had to get another one. It wasn’t of Simba or any other Disney character, but it was still in the animal category. We had those well into our preteens actually!

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Another thing I was obsessed with, were the Olsen twins. It was absolutely insane! I know I’ve already written a post about how bad it was, but it’s nice to know that this letter proves how much I loved them! Funnily enough, three years later it was all about Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Once I hit a certain point, my ultimate favorite gift to receive were CDs. It was on my list every year, even after I got into using my iPod, I would still ask for physical CDs and gift cards if they were going to Walmart to purchase the records. What really gets me is the middle of the suggestions is “scissors to cut paper”. First of all I was never allowed to use the scissors, hell I cannot use them because of the placements of my toes. So the fact that my mom didn’t even try to talk me out of it, is actually pretty hilarious!

If you’ve ever read a child’s letter to Santa Claus, one thing you’ll notice is that they never want to add clothes and tend to get pretty ticked off if Santa brings them any, but once we get older, our directions change. For girls, we do look forward to receiving clothes, we’re just praying that “Santa” picks us something that we generally like and nothing that “he’d” like to see us in. I think one of my favorites to get now are socks! I really enjoy fuzzy socks, they’re a little quirky but soft and easy to put on by myself! Leggings are fun to give as a gift, but I feel like whoever decides to get me another pair, needs to take a look into my closet to see what all matches the shirts before they make their decision. I have so many leggings that hardly go with any of my tops.

A few weeks ago, I posted a question on my personal Facebook page about what they used to ask Santa Claus for when they were children and now that they’re older, what they’re asking for now. I wanted to share some of my favorites with you! Some of the responses that answered for when they were younger were a pony, easy bake oven, video games, baby dolls and action figures. Now they want a day spent around with family, cooking pans, loyalty (which I thought was interesting!) experiences and something we’ve already discussed: socks! Apparently I’m not alone in my love of them.

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Do you remember anything you wanted to get from Santa Claus when you were a kid? What would you like from Santa now that you’re older? 

snowflake

 

Blogmas | Unisex Baby Wishlist

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Hello!

Don’t worry, I don’t plan on talking about Blondie’s pregnancy or the baby this much, but apparently I suck at planning ahead whenever I was busy doing NaNo at the same time!

Since you guys know that I will be entering the role of the “cool aunt” Megz next summer, I figured this was appropriate! Now my views of neutral prints, patterns and colors may not fit what you think as “neutral” so we’re going to be respectful of each other on this post, especially to me because I’m really new to this and I’m just going to share what I liked, okay?

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To me, I think most unisex colors are like gray and black. However, I like to think there are certain pastel shades that can work well for this too, there’s a very light yellow, mint, baby blue, and even lavender. I feel like the bolder colors just automatically puts the child into a box for whatever gender they are, so in the way I went about this, I searched for grays, mint and whites apparently. Let’s just say, I will be a happy camper once we figure out what it’ll that way I get a better idea of which side to look for because this was honestly harder than I pictured it to be!

So I think we’re going to talk about the things I found on Walmart.

4 Pack Swaddle Blanket Set – Although it is not pictured above, I really liked it. I think all four blankets were cute and very unisex, as both genders can be interested in owls and stars. Personally, I liked the baby blue one with the clouds. When I was younger, I wanted to be a meteorologist. and I still enjoy looking up at the sky and the clouds, but let’s be honest here I’m really looking for aliens!

Disney Mickey Mouse Fleece Blanket – Again, I think both genders can be into Mickey Mouse or any other classic Disney character. I know if they have a boy Blondie will still try to incorporate Disney in there somewhere, and Mickey Mouse is perfect. And let’s be honest every person (or in this case: child) needs a good fleece blanket.

Going on Walmart’s website and trying to find anything for the baby was more difficult than I thought it would. It was all confusing whereas going on Target was simpler; easier to read and figure out where everything was on the page. This is the reason why I have a larger batch of things that I liked from there.

Now about the things about Target and one other item that I found on another website!

3 Pack Elephant Bibs – I thought these were really cute! I think I fell in love with these for the mint and elephant print. Some people could think that these two would be considered “boy” items but I think girls can rock a good mint every once in a while too! So I think it works too!

4 Pack Burping Cloths – Keeping with the gray and mint theme I guess, I also found this burping cloth set, they don’t match the bibs perfectly as the pattern for this are arrows instead, but I still think they’re pretty adorable too! I hadn’t heard of these before, but I do think they are handy, especially if you don’t want to keep using up dish rags all the time.

Gray Arrow Blanket = This was another one that I fell in love with, this is a gray blanket. I think it’s just a regular blanket, not fleece or anything. I think it would be better since the baby will be born in the summertime, but also Blondie tends to turn the temperature down throughout the day and night, so it might be handy to keep around.

Giraffe Sleep ‘n’ Play Suit – When I first saw this, I swore the animal on it was ducks, but it’s a giraffe. Somebody needs to tell the designers that giraffes are orange, not yellow! Anyways, I think I just gravitated towards this because of the little feet booties! Any animal faces at the feet are so cute on babies! I mean, I have cool feet myself but I can’t pull off a cute onesie for the life of me!

100% Wired Graphic Jumpsuit – I loved, loved, loved this! I have a real weakness to graphic tees myself, so finding baby versions was too cute to pass up! I thought this was cuter though because I feel like with Blondie and Brandon having one dog and four cats, this kid will be the non-fur animal in this family! Especially in the first couple of months!

2 Pack Mint and Stripes Pants – These were so sweet! They are still in the mint and gray theme I’ve got going on. I really liked this one because of the black and white striped pants.

2 Pack Gray and Stripes Pants – I did find another set of pants in gray, they’re not from the same brand or type, but I thought they were cute too! I liked the cuffs, I’ve always loved that detail. It seals out the cold from the outside, so yes, they’re a personal favorite too.

Baby’s First Halloween Bib – This was actually the first thing that popped up on the screen, plus all of the Thanksgiving and Christmas ones too! I think babies should have seasonal clothes too, as it would be nice to dress them up in but I also know that they’d probably ruin them too within the hour is up, so I thought these bibs were a better option but as I was told, the baby may not be old enough to eat solids by Halloween or even Thanksgiving, so they just need up being a cute decoration for the squirt!

Butler Bulldogs Onesie – This is my only non-Target and Walmart item. I think this baby deserves some Butler Bulldog apparel and I’d be happy to share the Butler love forward with this baby. I honestly wanted to get the baby a Butler pacifier, but they weren’t on the website when I looked but I did find both bibs and onesies instead. And weirdly enough, I picked the gray one automatically, but I think gray would look better for this post as I’ve done nothing but talk about gray on here.

I think Blondie said we might found out what the gender is sometime in February, probably around Valentine’s Day as she wants a party that surrounds a holiday, and honestly that would be easier to plan if she wants to incorporate hearts into the theme, but yes, they have an idea of when they’re going to find out and how they want to share it with everyone!

What are some colors and patterns that you think can be counted as gender neutral? What do you think of my little wishlist? Have I lost my mind already?! You can be honest there.

snowflake

Album Review: “The Best Of Christmas” by Celtic Woman

I’ve never had a moment where I’ve had three open Thursdays (review days) and three holiday related albums come out at the same time. I figured I’d take advantage of it and review all of them for you as part of my blogmas!

The first one is obviously by the lovely ladies of Celtic Woman. They released this album back in mid-November. If you’ve never heard their versions of Christmas carols, you sort of get a taste in the previous album “Voice Of Angels” as there are two bonus tracks at the end. The rich sounds of Ireland are still prominent with the holiday tone and lyrics. The songs included in this album are sung by previous singers as they have released two other Christmas albums back in 2006 and 2012 along with the current members: Susan, Mairead, Eabha and newest member Tara playing the violin and fiddle.

The first song of the album is “Ding Dong Merrily On High” and this brings out your holiday cheer, even if you still feel like the Grinch has wedged itself in between the depths of your heart, this will make you happy! One of the reasons why I love Celtic Woman so much is because they have such gentle voices, they sound very caring and want you to feel at home and exited for Christmas. The Irish tones are very subdued in this song, but I found that to be okay, because I liked the voices of the singers and choir. Second is “Carol Of The Bells” and this is just gorgeous! Everybody is very familiar of this song, or at least they should be, but I love this version as you more of a modern feel to it, but it has that mysterious atmosphere to it. I love the fiddle in this, I think it adds another element to it than just the choir singing behind it.

Next is “Joy To The World” and this is the 2016 version which features all three current singers, and since I’ve already talked about this one, I’m not going to bother talking about it again. So if you’d like to know what I said about that, you can read my review of their newest album here. We have “We Three Kings” and this one you definitely get a strong Irish sound from start to end. I was very happy to see this style shine, but I will say though, I don’t think I’ve heard of the song itself, just shows you how much Christmas music I normally listen to once December rolls in.  And then, we have “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” and we’re back on the familiar track! I’m happy to say that this was as beautiful as I remembered it, as it’s all a cappella in the beginning before the subtle little violin just shows up in the background. It’s so gentle and nice. It’s just perfect.

Another favorite is “O Holy Night” and I’ve come to love these slower songs, with the right singers, they can sound really amazing and add a wow factor to the whole thing. It’s weird that there are three singers when it sounds like one person is singing it. It’s so beautiful! Next we have “White Christmas” and I really love Christmas music that has a strong piano introduction. You can blame my papaw for installing that feature into me and basically every other family member on my mom’s side. The eighth song is “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” and it is so pretty, full of symphony and a little of fiddle. I’m pretty sure it is originally on one of their older albums, but that is definitely Susan’s voice I’m hearing! I can recognize her voice anywhere!

We have “I’ll Be Coming Home For Christmas” and everytime I hear it, makes me think about those videos of soldiers surprising their family members. They’re so sweet but of course you can’t help but start bawling your eyes out when everything unfolds on screen, especially if it involves children! This has more of an Irish vibe in the beginning, but I love the slowness of it. It’s so beautiful! I’ll always have a soft spot for “Silent Night” but Celtic Woman’s version incorporates both the English and Gaelic languages and it’s so gorgeous! This was one that they included in “Voice of Angels” album, so if you want to know what I thought of it, please go to the link I’ve put up above. And next we have “The Christmas Song” and I love the piano in the introduction. It had a modern feel, but so gentle. I don’t think I’ve heard of this song before, but like I said, I don’t know a lot of Christmas songs, only everybody’s favorites.

Somehow, we managed to switch out of the gentle and Irish sounding, and move to big band and jazz for “Let It Snow” and it literally freaked me out because I was not expecting it! Of course, the more I listened to it, made me think of New York City and Broadway shows! However, I don’t hate it. It’s actually nice. The next is “Once In Royal David’s City” and this is the third holiday song included on Celtic Woman’s previous album, because I can clearly hear both Mairead and Eahba singing, so again please direct yourself back to the link, if you wish to read my thoughts. Next we have “Away In A Manger” and it starts as a capella with a light harp, which is my second favorite instrument by the way! I also love the guitar, that I always think of a Spanish, because it just brings out that sound that you only hear in latin songs. I’m sorry I don’t know more about it.

 “Winter Wonderland” now at first, I will admit, I didn’t recognize the title. It wasn’t until it started playing and then I finally got it. This has a soft jazz vibe to it. I like the upbeat songs, and apparently the upbeat Christmas songs are becoming a favorite of mine too! Next we have “Walking In The Air” and again, this was another I didn’t know right off the bat, but it is very pretty. It has a very eternal sound in the beginning, which for a Celtic musical group, the music usually has that sound that makes it mysterious but gentle at the same time. Although, this doesn’t sound anything like a regular Christmas or holiday song I’ve heard before, but who am I to say anything about that? It is gorgeous though!

These will be the last four songs of the album. We have “O Come All Ye Faithful” and I like gentleness that the ladies give it. The music behind it is so soft and makes me think of ballets (I know, that’s weird) but it’s true! I don’t necessarily like the hymns very much, but when it comes to the holidays for some odd reason I kind of welcome them with feet wide open!  Next there’s “The Little Drummer Boy” and this is one that I haven’t heard very much, even though it’s a favorite to people. I do like this version with the deep male choir and the soft drums, but unfortunately that’s all I really like about it. I’m very hard to impress sometimes. “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and I know everybody knows this one and I’m happy to say that it is very upbeat but it also has that Irish sound that I fell in love with in the first place. It’s a nice mixture! And lastly we have “Auld Lang Syne” and according to Google, translates to “days/times gone by”. It is Scottish song and that means that you will hear both the English and Gaelic languages, and I love it because I’ve never heard of it before doing this review.

So the first Christmas album is done! I actually figured I’d hear the Irish music being incorporated more, but then again I can’t say I was disappointed with it though. It was a good balance with the more modern, pop feel with some of the Gaelic language in it. It was different and I love it for being that way!

Have you listened to Celtic Woman’s “The Best of Christmas” album yet? What were your thoughts about it? Do you have a favorite holiday song?

snowflake

 

Album Review: “Cinematic Songs Vol. 2” by Tommee Profitt

17952940_1467837723257471_865019187267740255_nOkay, so I know this isn’t anything to do with Christmas, but I wanted it up before the end of the year.

Back in February, I reviewed Tommee’s first collection of cinematic songs and I thought it was a big hit. However, in the mist of everything going on in my life this year, I seemed to have forgotten about the possibility of the second volume being released sometime later this year. It wasn’t until two weeks ago that I had the thought “oh, I wonder if he’s released anything new lately?” and  sure enough I went on Spotify and there was the next 13 tracks for volume two. Believe in your gut guys, when it starts telling you something listen to it, even if it’s something such as this!

I think this batch came out several months ago, because Tommee’s newest song “Your Love Awakens Me” came out in July, so there’s a big chance it came out around April and I’m sadly just finding it now.  Since I reviewed the last one, I have decided to talk about this too.

If you don’t know what cinematic music or epic cinematic as its usually called, is music that sounds like it belongs with an advertisement of a new movie, TV show and/or video game. The themes cover loss, love, hatred, breakthroughs, and war. The music itself has both symphony incorporated with some pop elements here and there, but it’s mostly hard hitting and can also sound heartbreaking too.

We start this with a song called “Hero” and it features singer Mike Mains and he originally makes indie rock music. I like how some of these artists that don’t usually create music like this on a daily basis are getting out of their comfort zones. I loved the slow start and the gentleness of it. It fits well with Mike’s soft voice, however, I think there is some rock elements in this song, especially in the heavy sound of the drums towards the end. Everybody knows I love a good start to any album and this nails it. Next, we have “Tomorrow We Fight” and I loved how this song made me think of my story I’m writing–this is what the genre does to me! Anyways, we have a very ominous beginning but you get that war theme right away and it’s strong. The sound is very light, but artist Scvrina also brings that out in her vocals too.

Third is “We Runnin” that features Beacon Light, who is a Christian rapper and I really, really enjoyed this song. Tommee didn’t feature any rappers on the last album, even though I know he had worked with NF so I’m happy as a clown to see him put this artist on this collection. The song has a playful vibe to it after the verses end, and the beat drops. I actually enjoy hip hop cinematic beats, I think they’re fun and energetic! The normal cinematic sound isn’t as prominent in this track but I don’t mind it. I actually don’t like the ending of it, I feel like going into the climax is too much and I think it should have just been him ending it in the way it started. The beat itself was interesting without that part in it. After that is “Shoot To Kill” and the artist included is Quivr and I’ve had the worst time finding anything about this person. Sorry. The song itself is very mellow compared to the others which is good because you don’t want every song to sound so big and powerful, even though that’s what everybody looks for in this genre, so I do enjoy the change in tempo.

Next we have “Breathe” which features a singer you might’ve heard before, as she was included in the last one: Fluerie. I actually recognized this, because it was released back in July. I feel as though that should have been my warning that something was up. The quiet introduction with only the piano and the gentleness of Fluerie’s voice is just beautiful. It is so dreamy and mysterious all mixed up together. It’s everything that I love really. One thing that I actually liked about the first album was the amount of instrumentals, there were only like three tracks that Tommee made but I thought they were all unique even though I kind of prefer the ones with different vocalists, so the fact that he only has two instrumentals on this album was a little sad, “Gambling With Fate” is really good, it’s not in your face from start to finish, but it does grab your attention and I actually liked it for that mellow vibe I got from listening to it.

We go back in the war related theme with “Ready For War” with artist Liv Ash, this is another mellow sounding track, but I feel like Liv’s strong but deep voice is an interesting mix. I think it is a perfect medium to her voice, it’s not overpowering like the end of track number three. It’s not bad. I felt as though with the next one sounds like a Halloweenie song, because the spooky organ in the introduction. I thought that was so strange considering we’re in December now. This is called “My Domain” and it features Scrvina again, and it has a more urban, pop feel to it than a fierce cinematic song. However, I don’t hate it. I think it’s different and makes you think twice of what this genre should sound like at all times.

Next is “Heart Of The Darkness” and if you liked the first album, you might remember the featured singer on this track: Sam Tinnesz. I was so happy to see him back on the second collection! The song itself is very light, it has a bit of a pop feel to it. So in a way, I was a bit disappointed but then again I started to enjoy it the more it continued. The tenth song is “Turns You Into Stone” which I thought was an curious title when I first saw it. This features Miss Fluerie again and it has a little ethereal feel, but I feel like that’s become like a calling call for her. She’s like a damn siren, you just want to hear everything that has her on it and this isn’t any different. However, I think you can hear that voice of hers better in this song than the others I’ve heard this year.

The last three songs, start with “Undefeated” and it features Beacon Light again. I was glad that Tommee actually gave him hip hop beats to rap over, it just gives the listener another level of the genre. I really enjoyed the beat drop and I was so happy that his didn’t have to scream over the orchestra parts at the end. I will say though, I think I prefer the first track, but I don’t know I’d have to hear a few more times before I really make a decision. Next is “Hold On For Your Life” and it has Sam Tinnesz on it. This has a really somber, almost dreamy vibe in the beginning. It definitely brings out that loss theme in the lyrics. It’s a gorgeous ballad, if we should put it into that category. The last one is “Moonlight Sonata Mvt. 3” and Tommee had released this back in 2016, but he added it here as a bonus track. It’s a classical piano instrumental but it has that touch of cinematic magic added to it, and it sounds very cool. I’ve always thought pianists that can play that quick are geniuses. It also makes me wonder at one point of time could my papaw do the same thing?

By the time I finished listening to this album, I had stopped kicking myself or my this case wanted to stop kicking myself for the fact that it took me so long to find it. I still feel like crap, but hopefully that’ll go away soon. Anywho, the second album is a good rival to the first. I am loving all of the new singers that Tommee featured on here. If you didn’t know, majority of the artists included on his songs are Christians and can be from around both Michigan and Nashville. So he is bringing out artists that you may not have heard yet, because people just assume that gospel/worship is boring, but in this type of enlivenment you can’t tell that they identify themselves more in that category of music. Same goes with the ones from Nashville, not all of the musicians that come out of that place want to be country singers. Keep your ears and heart open to new music everyday folks!

Have you heard of Tommee Profitt’s “Cinematic Songs Volume 2” yet? If you have, what are some of your favorite(s)? 

snowflake

Blogmas | Meaning & Topics

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Hi 🙂

So it’s now December which means it is time for Blogmas! And as you can see, I have snowflakes falling down on my blog! I always love that feature and it usually lasts for the entire month too. Back to what I was saying though, last year was my first real year of doing blogmas and I had a lot of fun figuring out what I wanted to write and share with you all. This time, my creativity has hit a dip, but I do want to try to come up with good posts for you to enjoy.

If you are a new reader and wondering what the crap “blogmas” is, well it is holiday edition of blogging; meaning you post about the many topics about Christmas as you want. People tend to do the full 24-25 days but I am comfortable with my three days a week. So you’ll get a new post every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday! If you are into YouTube though, sometimes your favorite people will do “vlogmas” which is the same thing, but it’s more visually so if you’re more interested in watching those, you need to check them out too. Personally, I love both Zoella and Niomi Smart, but I anybody that does daily vlogs you should be fairly entertained for the whole month.


In October, I published a post about some of last minute ideas to do with your pumpkins, and so I had the idea of starting blogmas in the same way. There are some people who are still thinking about joining all of the fun, and I think this will be perfect to help them make that leap! Now you don’t have to do the same things I did, but you can do other things that go with these ideas. I just wanted you to have an idea of what I’ve done in the past, and hopefully they’ll inspire you to have fun throughout the holidays!

How To Wrap Your Presents – As many of you know, I am disabled and use my feet for everything. Unfortunately, I’ve never been taught on how to wrap gifts the “right way” because nobody in my family usually has the patience to teach me these things. So last year, my nana finally did it and I created this post for others who haven’t been taught plus for anybody that likes to see me the crazy things with my toes. Yes, I’m talking about you Rebekah!

Holiday House Tour – This seems so bittersweet as this will be the last post about my grandparent’s house during the holidays. Thankfully, I will always remember the way it looked because of the posts I’ve done over the last three years! If I can, I might do another tour but it’ll be of my nana’s “dorm” she has at the nursing home! I think she’ll like me doing that for her too.

Holiday Nails – There are many ways to do up your nails for Christmas. I’m pretty sure we did Candy Canes one year too! These weren’t the prettiest, but they were fun to do. I really tested my nana’s patience (and mine!) with this one.

Paper Hollies – I still can’t believe nana was the one who found this one! I will say though, it was really fun to do! I think everybody still has theirs so they can add them to the trees this year! If you love glitter, this is the craft for you!

Christmas Gift Bags – This is another somewhat sad post, as I know I won’t be able to do it this year. For the last four years in a row, nana and I did a special goody bag and this would be our last craft, and it was probably our souped up DIY because we decorated the bags, made bark, cookies, the hollies and added two candy canes into each bag for the 23 people! Sidenote: read about the batman snowman I did for Brandon, trust me if you need a good laugh, that’ll help you out tons! 

December Playlist – Honestly any Christmas music playlist will work great for this, but I honestly can’t listen to a lot of holiday music. So I still made up my regular playlist but added some of my papaw’s favorites like Stan Kenton, plus a couple from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation soundtrack because why now?

Let’s Bake Some Cookies – You guys should be familiar with my annual cookie post by now, but if you’re new, we do this every year and it really doesn’t matter who I’m around because at one time we had over 100+ cookies because my nana and I made them and then mom, Blondie and I made some too! At least the ones I did with nana, I could leave the cookies naked if I wanted or just add sprinkles to them because my mom and sister love a LOT of frosting on their cookies!

Milk Chocolate Oreo Bark – This was probably the most confusing but exciting thing I think nana and I ever did! Considering we’ve done a lot of crazy stuff in our times together, this was one in the top 10 things we ever did that probably frustrated her but didn’t break my spirit moments. And I will say, they tasted amazing! Everybody wished they had more. They could’ve just said that to make us feel better, but I don’t know because I thought they were pretty taste-y too!

If you’d like more ideas, I did another post of last minute ideas for 2016 (oops, I forgot about that!) and hopefully these will get your creative juices flowing!

I have three different album reviews (not counting tomorrow’s post!) that we can say fit the holiday category! You have the traditional and original songs by these artists and it was so much fun writing these posts that I might even do it again for 2018! I also have a couple of other posts going up, like a baby wislist for the little “nugget” going up next Monday! And then the next day I wrote about I wanted Santa Claus to get me for Christmas when I was a kid and what I look forward in getting now as an adult; plus I opened it up to my friends and family and added some of their responses at the end too.

One of the last things I do after Christmas is over, is that I post my “Best Of” pieces that talk about all of my favorite posts I did throughout the year. My other favorite is the post that list all of the movies from both 2016 and 2017 “coming soon” lists and rate the movies! I’ve figured out that I have watched a lot more than I did last year, so I will probably be splitting them up like I do with the yearly movie lists that way it’s not too complicated for me to write up like it was for this year’s!

Summary | Best Of 2016Best & Worst In Film 2015-16

So are you doing Blogmas? Or are you going to watch any vlogmases this year? Share with me! 

snowflake

 

NaNoWriMo | Am I Finished Or Not?

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Howdy!

So we’re done with November and the question that is burning on everybody’s mind is, am I finished with my novel or not? Well, I’ll just say this, I never really expected to be finished with my first draft in 30 days. I don’t think anybody should expect these results, especially in the first year you participate.

So how did it go?

After the first week was over, I counted up both sections and I went passed the 10,000 mark! I was very proud of myself, but the third week was a bit rough for me, because I went through my lady days and I was really uncomfortable so I basically took time off and waited until after Thanksgiving was over to get back into everything. I felt incredibly guilty because I had done such a good job of not giving into my demons and for a while I was able to keep them at bay.

After the week was done, I did not finish the rest of the month. It was mostly because of the fact I still wasn’t feeling good, but I wasn’t as motivated to work on it as I had in the beginning of the month. However, I do want to tell you the exact word count of my unfinished product so far, which is 14,207 words!

What’s next for me?

The more I thought about it, I started to feel more confident in what I had done, I know I’m not a failure. I was actually happy that I decided to do it, or else it would have stayed locked up inside my mind, which majority of it is still there, but I mean at least I have a better idea of what I want done and know what to do work on, because I know I need to read up on my fight/training scenes and how to do better dialogue.

I do know that I want to finish my outline. I was never able to finish that and I think that’ll really help me with figuring out where to add my antagonist’s point of view in there. I need to find out if the big cataclysm in my story is big enough to motivate all of my characters into the world that they’re living in, because I feel I haven’t really explained that very well in what I’ve written so far. I’d also like to do more interviews to get a better understanding of my main character and his condition. So anybody that has adult ADHD, paralyzed, has a prosthetic and/or visually impaired or if you are a parent that has a child with it, will you be up for an interview?

I need to look into more information about underground bunkers, luckily for me I’ve watched several specials lately and I could use them as references. I need to do some more research on different locations either inside Washington D.C. or outside of the state of Delaware as a good placement for the setting of my story. I also need to figure out my weapons. I have a whole book about them, but I haven’t exactly read it yet, so I’m hoping in the new year I will actually look into that and so what I can come up there. I have one other idea to look into if the book doesn’t really help me.

Should you join NaNoWriMo next year? 

I think if you are a writer and have a clever idea for a book, I think you should definitely look into NaNo for 2018.

If you do decide to try it, please don’t do what I did and cram everything in one week before you actually start writing! For one thing, you will feel scattered brain because you have trained to focus on little scenes and now you have to add more details into your actual writings.

The word count of 1,667 is intimidating as hell, but if you decide early on that whatever amount of words you write that day will work out better than forcing yourself to ramble on! I always felt proud if I got passed triple digits and two pages each day, to me that was enough! Do NOT push yourself! If you don’t feel like writing that day, then you need to take a break. Read a book or watch your favorite TV show or movie. Do anything else beside writing to help you relax your brain and maybe the next day you can jump back into it.

I hope you have enjoyed these follow up posts and if I continue on my journey of writing my book, I will keep you updated I promise!

snowflake