April Playlist

Howdy!

This month was a little weird. I was forced into a detox after our internet carrier wouldn’t turn on our Wi-Fi until the 13th, which when we realized it wasn’t working at all was the 3rd, meant I had to go without it for about ten days. I was pissed, but I had to let it go because it was out of my and parents control.

I was going to surprise you with a couple of random music reviews this month, but since this happened I had to throw that idea out of the window. I also want to point out that I was without my Spotify for about nine days, so I was mainly listening to music on our music channels and iPod, but the majority of the songs included in this post are made up of everything that I heard on TV.

Here are my Top 20 songs for this month!

A New Day Has Come by Celine Dion
Adore You by Harry Styles
Girls Night Out by Debbie Gibson
Exhale by Plumb
Alive by Daughtry
Unforgettable by Godsmack
In The Dark by Bring Me The Horizon
The Box by Roddy Ricch
No Judgement by Niall Horan
Dancing On My Own by Calum Scott
Slide by H.E.R. featuring YG
God Only Knows by For Kings & Country featuring Echosmith
Peter Pan by Kelsea Ballarini
Boom by Krigare
Darkness by XVI
SOS by Elizaveta
I Love Me by Demi Lovato
Rooting For You by Alessia Cara
I Can Do This by Plumb
Dead In The Water by SPELLES

I wanted to talk to you about some of my favorite channels on Sirius XM. Technically, we get two different selection of music channels on my TVs, but I tend to listen Sirius a little bit more because they have people and other artists hosting shows or playlists. I have been really loving The Blend the most right now. It plays a lot of pop music but what I enjoy about the channel is that it doesn’t just air what is popular right now, they have artists that I know my mom use to listen to when my sister and I were younger, so there is some 80’s through 00’s light pop you’ll hear and if you listen to the station a lot like me, you will surprise yourself on what you end up liking for a few times!

There are two others I tend to switch back and forth a lot during the weekends, and they are The Pulse and The Velvet. The Pulse has always been a favorite of mine since the first time we got the package! They do have a cut off point though, they play any pop-rock music from 2000s to now. Although this seems rather short, I tend to enjoy it more because I have rediscovered old favorites like Train, who’s lead vocalist Pat Monaghan has he’s own spot perfectly titled “Train Tracks” and I have heard a lot of music I have never heard before and that’s been an exciting feature for me!

The Velvet is a totally different vibe, even though they too, play a lot of pop music too, but everybody on that channel is pure. There is not autotuned musicians or harsh screams that I tend to hear on various other stations. So, singers like Demi Lovato, Kelly Clarkson, James Arthur, etc are always a favorite to hear on there. It is very soothing when it is gloomy outside.

All of these types of music have been big inspirations to create my newest and favorite playlist right now: The Happy Playlist! I update it quite a bit but it has been really good on my everyday mindset and mood. I know I have talked about it in last couple of months, but I know if I feel out of it I can click shuffle and any one of those songs can give me one heck of a boost of confidence or energy! Everybody needs to do this, create a large playlist of songs that you know make you happy for whatever reason, so you can have it at your side at all times! Although, when I went through my detox I had to change it up a bit, but thankfully I have these Sirius XM channels to help me get through those days!

Do you have a happy playlist? If you said yes, what are your top five favorites? What were listening to during the month of April?

snowflake

 

Music Monday | Rick Rubin

Howdy!

Last week in the series, I talked about Dr. Dre, who I have pretty known my whole life (music wise) because of my mother and the amount of old school rap that was played on our cassette player located in my parent’s room! However, for this week I will be discussing my admiration for Rick Rubin.

Rick Rubin is a very special person for me, because by the time I started listening to Linkin Park in 2009, he had just finished working with him on their album “Minutes To Midnight” (2008). This was my first memory of him working with anybody that I enjoyed at the time. So, while I was getting myself deeper and deeper into the world of Linkin Park, I was learning what could (at my own pace) of this interesting music producer. I call him “interesting” because although most producers want to work with a large variety of acts, they usually tend to stick to one genre and stay there for the rest of their lives. Rick Rubin has had most of his success in heavy metal, hard rock and rap music.

The two most popular acts I learned in the first two years was Jay-Z and the Beastie Boys. He has worked with many, many other bands over the years, but these were the two that sort of explain the reason why he helped Linkin Park in the past.

The album I associate Rick helping produce the most is “The Black Album” that was released in 2003. This was supposed to be the final album for the rapper before he retired from the music scene, but considering a year later he and Linkin Park came together like Run-DMC and Aerosmith did in the late 1980’s with “Walk This Way”. Although I don’t think they released an album like Jay-Z and LP did; technically they did an album and put on a concert and would later crash each other’s tours to perform “Numb/Encore” every once in a while. When Chester Bennington died in 2017, Jay-Z was out on tour with his wife Beyoncé, and he performed the hit but instead of doing Chester’s parts, the audience sang every word. It was very beautiful and a great gesture to Chester, his family and the rest of the band too!

Rick Rubin was the reason for this match to come together in the early 2000’s, because he had just finished working with Jay-Z and was close to LP too, as Rick is known to experiment in the nu metal scene in that time frame. The reason why it was so huge for these two acts to do this was because not many people went outside their comfort zones in the music world, you stayed in your genre for most of your career. At least, that’s my take on the scene and I was very much part of it since I really didn’t like to go outside of my bubble gum pop world although there were was a time were I enjoyed rap music, but you can tell I didn’t listen to a lot of rap between the year 1999 to 2002, because I was busy enjoying Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys too much to really pay attention!

Nowadays, it’s really accepted to like a wide variety of music and not to mention foreign languages that come with these new changes too! Radio is still a big way to introduce new music to a larger audience to the world, but it’s also important to realize that record producers to go through this switch too! They will always stay within their comfort zone, which I think for Mr. Rubin, it is heavy metal, but from time to time he will find something different to sink his teeth into and it might shock a few people that follow his journey just as much as the other musicians too.

So, if you are a lover of Rick Rubin’s work, who is your favorite act(s)? And do you have a favorite era of time too?

snowflake

 

 

Life Lately | Detox For 10 Days!

Howdy!

Hope you’re all doing well out there!

April was an interesting month for me. It was suppose to lead into a great adventure up north for my nana’s birthday, but thanks to the Coronavirus, we, like everybody else’s plans, were cancelled. Honestly, I thought weather would be the main reason we couldn’t go, so this wasn’t necessarily on my radar, but I had somewhat prepared myself for this kind of outcome; so, I wasn’t overly excited or disappointed when it came around.

The other thing was the huge detox I was forcibly to experience at the beginning of the month. My mom and I were in agreement that our internet service turning off our Wi-Fi in a middle of the epidictic was absolutely stupid! Thank god I am not in school anymore or I would have panicked. We had to wait over 10 days or so until someone was sent out to come fix our connection. Like I told my mom on the 3rd, “I don’t know if I should feel bad for the person on the other line” because my dad was basically shouting at how awful this is!

All wasn’t lost though, I was still able to use both my laptop and tablet for other things. I could still write out drafts, play Spider Solitaire, read my books, and organize the many, many lists of baby names on both electronics. (EDIT: I didn’t organize the baby names!) So, I had a lot more pros, than cons and I was okay with that! The one thing I was mildly upset about was the fact I couldn’t post my “Three Good Things” online, but I could work on them for the days I am missing and once I came back, I would upload the posts.

On the day I chose to write this post, which was day 2, we were experiencing another beautiful day of spring weather. It’s nice to see our trees in bloom again. Our neighbors have two dogwood trees in front of their house and I love it when they turn white at the ends. In a matter of days, they’ll change colors again and become a nice dark green and stay that way until the start of fall. It is also really awesome to see our front yard growing in grass after little over a year since we tore down our old house and dad had to put straw all over the large space. The few strands that remain are being taken by the birds as they are building their nests in the nearby trees.

The day before we were greeted with a sweet surprise in our mail. We received a cute drawing from my little nephew! My sister and brother-in-law sent a folded piece of paper of their traced hands and there were some parts to make it extra special, Nolan got to draw on it too! When my mom came home from work, she showed it to me and I almost broke out in tears because it was absolutely adorable!

A few hours later, I thought it would awesome to send them something back. In February, my mom bought Nolan a Mickey Mouse coloring book for a $1. We have a lot of pages where there’s lines of purple and blue (colors that he knows the most!) and everybody else attempting to stay inside the portrait of Mickey and his buddies! I thought it would be a great idea if we could do a page and send it to him in the mail. Once I made the announcement, my mom grabbed the book and Ziploc bag of crayons from the living room where we have his lunchbox full of Hot Wheels and the larger cars underneath the light stand. She put them inside my bookcase closest to my bed so that if I wasn’t too busy, I could work on it throughout the day.

I actually sat back towards the wall on my bed, a place where I like to sit and read my books, and I had to push away all (5!) of my blankets to the end of my bed to make enough room to pull this off without causing me too much pain. To make sure I didn’t suffer, I took more breaks than I usually give myself, so by the time I finished the page I was actually comfortable in my placement.

And of course, I had to show off my footwork (haha!) and sent a text of my masterpiece to my mom. I decided to do a simple design just in case it would cause me too much pain and/or if I messed up, I could switch to another one. I knew he would enjoy a Mickey page than any of the other characters. I just hope he wouldn’t mind if Aunt Megz does the maze page in the book? I am a sucker for mazes!

By the time this goes live, I would hope to God I have my internet back and everything is right again! I’ll live if it doesn’t but damn if I have to wait longer than the 10 days we were told, I might be the one yelling at the poor soul who decides to answer the call!

UPDATE: I went without using any Wi-Fi for like five to six days before my mom let me use her phone every once in a while. It was actually harder for her to stay away for like five minutes! After day four though, I was actually counting how much longer I’d have to be without it.

Do you schedule in the amount of time you want to be without your phone, Wi-Fi, etc? What do you do to detox from your electronics?

snowflake

Book Review: “Throne Of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas

Hello!

On the day I published my review of “Women Of Scotland” by Helen Susan Swift, I finished reading my then current book “Throne Of Glass”. If my mom hadn’t been ready for bed the night before, I would have been done with it because I was like 10% of the done so I will be forever kicking myself for that!

I have known about this series for an awful long time. I have seen their beautiful covers all over BookTube and they are one reason why I absolutely hate the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” because that’s how I became interested in the series in the first place! I was attracted by their covers and I just wanted them for their beauty. So, the fact that I had an open opportunity to get the first book of the series for like a dollar on Amazon, a week or two after Christmas was amazing!

WARNING: There are spoilers included below! If you haven’t read the book/series, I’d highly recommend you skip the rest of this post

16034235After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

taken from Goodreads


I knew very little before going into this, I vaguely remember reading the description when I first heard about it (seven years ago is a long time!) and checked it as “want to read” on my Goodreads account. Other than that, I never really expected to see it anywhere but on my TBR list for the next decade. That’s part of my problem when I watch book hauls on YouTube, because I will collect over 20 books at a time and look into them on the site, and I will either leave it out or put it on my “curious” shelf with the others!

The book itself is very hefty and honestly it scared me in the beginning.

It had been a while since I’ve read an over 300+ page book, but I took the challenge and was quite proud of myself for buying it back in January. I was also extremely happy I still adored fantasy/historical fiction. After going reading Melissa de la Cruz’s novel “The Ring and The Crown” a couple of years ago, I was for sure thinking I had lost all desire to read another type of book that were written in both topics again.

This book hooked the moment we hear Celaena is being taken out of the salt mines and is escorted by the Captain Of The Guard and several other guards to this strange place. I immediately fell in love with Celaena, but what is so interesting is that she has this cocky attitude during this part and if you know me well enough, you’d understand that I do not like anybody–both real and/or fictionized–that acts this way! I also have to say that I remind family members to not be like that because karma is a real bitch and she’ll find you out quick! So, the fact that I loved Celaena was semi-cocky around her guards, especially Choal, cracked me up!

Although, there were times where I had issues with imagining the glass castle and various characters, I was still able to enjoy myself while learning more about Celaena’s world and it wasn’t until I was halfway in the book did I start to see everything come together in my head. Once I established this, I could see Nephemia easier and the smallest details of the castle and what everyone was wearing in the different chapters.

Another part that I loved was the fact that even though I knew in my mind I would start to figure out how everything ends for Celaena. The duel was a huge deal for her and us, of course, but from the time I had begun reading the second chapter I was spoiling the ways everything could work out for her in the end. However, once I got there I realized that I hadn’t done anything to mess things up for myself. It was still concealed and those final three chapters moved rather fast at first but nicely stilled for a moment, but I wasn’t in the know of what was about to happen afterwards.

I have to add one more thing. It is mostly for anyone who has read the book and possibly the rest of the series. Who were seeing in your mind as the “perfect” person to play each character? For me, I had issues coming up with both Celaena and Chaol, but Dorian was actually the easiest out of the bunch. I instantly thought of Dylan O’Brien. I’m not too familiar with him, but I loved him in the movie American Assassin (2018) and the way he looked in that film, became part of the map I was seeing described in the book. Choal was next and I am furious with myself that this one appeared, but an image of the actor who played Joffrey in Game Of Thrones popped in my head. I just imagined him a little older, so they matched in age. Choal was actually my favorite male character of the book.

Now as for Celaena though, I had the worst luck figuring her out. After several chapters and learning more of her personality, I finally came to the conclusion that Dove Cameron would be perfect! I’ve seen her play a villian on Agents Of S.H.I.E.LD. so that helped me establish she could fight hard and of course, she’s a natural blonde on top of it!

Have you read Throne Of Glass yet? If you have, what book (without spoiling too much for me!) are you on now? What were your thoughts on the first book?

snowflake

Music Monday | Dr. Dre

Howdy!

Last month I announced that I was going to do another series on my blog. It would replace my normal summer Tune Tuesday posts since I am no longer publishing anything on those days, instead I would switch it to Monday.

The theme would be based off of what inspired to want to become a record producer after I graduated from high school ten years ago, but I would also include people who I look to nowadays. Every month, I will post a banner that will have two people I will focus my attention on, and hopefully that’ll keep you excited for the next one.


I have always had a love/hate relationship with hip hop music. There are words that I don’t really enjoy hearing all the time, such as “bitch,” and the “n” word that you will never find me using ever! I also don’t like the way women and the breed pit bulls are being laid out whether in a rhyme or the music video. They allow each part to be stereotyped, even themselves as musicians. Whenever people listen to rap music, the audience automatically assumes the person spitting a line, is a gangbanger, has abused women, over uses alochol and drugs, etc. Something about the world of music affected me in both a positive and negative way that I still wanted to be the disabled and female version of Dr. Dre.

Since I was born in the early 90’s, and my mom was both a lover of rap and rock music, there was a lot of sounds jamming in our household. My dad worked construction, so he was gone through most of the day and would get home late, so while we spent time with mom, she would play various cassettes and CDs of music. When we were home sick, I really relished in the environment. Since my sister and I were introduced to the genre at a fairly young age, we weren’t shown the violent side of the genre, I actually didn’t know anything about it until I was in my teens and then everything I heard as a child made more sense to me.

Although I don’t remember if my mom had any of Dr. Dre’s albums when we were kids, I still knew why he was so important to the music world. To be perfectly honest, I’ve always felt I don’t have to listen to older music if I highly respect and understand what each person did for their genre. Dr. Dre was no different. I knew he was at the heart of the rap world, but I didn’t really see it first hand until I hit my second phase of listening to that kind of music in 2003.

I don’t remember how I was introduced to 50 Cent’s music. I feel like Eminem had something to do with it, and at this time, Dr. Dre was producing music for Eminem and they were both working with 50 Cent to release him to the masses, so they were a formable force to be reckoned with, almost like a Holy Trinity, together they could release anything and everybody would love it.

The music video for 50 Cent’s hit “In Da Club” is showing you how they molded him into this person; they influeced him into this giant act to entertain people from around the world. It was incrediable! In a way, that is what a music producer is suppose to do, is make you into this beast, give you the confidence in yourself to be able to make greant music. I feel there’s a lot of trust going into this, because they direct you into the right lane, they become your mentor and inspire you to release your demons, passions, easily, and because of this everything you say can be taken in a certain way, whether that is a good or bad thing is debatable. They believe in you and see your true purpose and I think that’s what makes Dr. Dre a legend.

I use to have dreams and write songs throughout my time in school about the possibility of working with my favorite rappers of the time. Since I was highly obsessed with 50’s group G Unit as a teen, they appeared quite a bit but once I decided on what I’d like to study in college and after I was accepted into the school, sadly those dreams became less and less, and I wonder if I should have read into that change a little more. My ability to write songs officially vanished in 2008, which I find interesting because I always think that this was the last year rap music felt new and exciting. Of course, this is only my opinion and considering I made the choice to give the genre another try after a six year hiatus, I can’t say for sure it was a great idea on my part.

Which side of Dr. Dre do you like the best, his rap career (whether with N.W.A. or solo) or are you more interested who he works with and the beats he creates?

snowflake