Sunday, January 31, 2016

~ New Music Monday ~ Grammy 2016 Predictions ~

The 58th Annual Grammy Awards will air February 15th , 2016 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS . Just before Christmas the Grammys made their 2016 nominations announcement and per usual there are some expected and some surprises . I am happy at how much country music is represented across the categories . Sam Hunt is back up for New Artist , along with artists from the pop genre . Keep in mind he won at the AMA's so , there is no telling how this might go . But I can easily see him winning this one . Last week they announced the performers for the upcoming show which include Adele , Little Big Town , Kendrick Lamar , Carrie Underwood w/ Sam Hunt and several others . With the Grammys you really just never know who will be a hit and who will be a miss , award as well as performance wise . So, before toooooo much hype sets in I want to make my predictions in a few categories . You can read the full official list of nominees at . Not all categories are listed here , just the ones that have artists featured on #NewMusicMonday , are popular and/or has artist I am a fan of in them .

Here are the 2016 nominees:

Album of the Year
Alabama Shakes, Sound and Color
Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly
Chris Stapleton, Traveler
Taylor Swift, 1989
The Weekend, Beauty Behind the Madness

My Vote : I think it will be between Chris , Taylor and The Weekend . My hope would be that Chris Stapelton take it as he has had such an amazing year , this would be the cherry on top . But because this is a multi genre category my gut is telling me The Weekend will take it .

Song of the Year
Kendrick Lamar, "Alright"
Taylor Swift, "Blank Space"
Little Big Town, "Girl Crush"
Wiz Kahifa feat. Charlie Puth, "See You Again"
Ed Sheeran, "Thinking Out Loud"

My Vote : Little Big Towns , " Girl Crush " , had so much impact across the genres and was SO very controversial in the first weeks of its release I do not see any of the other songs in this category being solid competition . My second guess though , again because it is a multi genre category , is Wiz and Charlie with , " See You Again " .

Record of the Year
D'Angelo and the Vanguard, "Really Love"
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk"
Ed Sheeran, "Thinking Out Loud"
Taylor Swift, "Blank Space"
The Weekend, "Can't Feel my Face"

My Vote: While Taylor Swifts , " Blank Space " blew up YouTube and she broke multiple viewing records with it , I am leaning towards The Weekend for this win . " Uptown Funk " was everywhere this year and I am SURE lucratively very successful , but I think folks may have burnt out with it making it a dark horse in my opinion in this category .

Best New Artist
Courtney Barnett
James Bay
Sam Hunt
Tori Kelly
Meghan Trainor

My Vote : I'm going Sam Hunt with this one . He is new , different , and a little bit of everywhere right now . He is performing with Carrie Underwood at the Grammy's on " Heartbeat " , the song he did bgv for on Underwoods album , " Storyteller " . I am expecting this performance to be wonderful . Sam also did a guest appearance on Taylor Swifts 1989 tour , won best new artist at the AMAs , and has continued to find his music at #1 on a variety of charts . I think that while Sam is technically , " Country " in his genre classification , I can see him pulling a Swift and crossing over once he has more road behind him . My number two for this category is going to Tori Kelly . She has risen from YouTube star to pro performer . Her performance of , " It Could've Been Us " on the AMAs was phenomenal . Award show performances are so nerve racking it seems . You are not only standing in front of fans , but people you yourself are a fan of and industry big wigs . My knees would shake for sure .
Sam Hunt - " House Party "
fr " Montevallo "
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Florence + The Machine, " Ship to Wreck"
Maroon 5, "Sugar"
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk"
Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar, "Bad Blood"
Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, "See You Again"

My Vote : I am all sorts of I don't know with this category . Each collaboration is good , but all for different reasons . So , I am just gonna say who I'd like to see win and that is Taylor Swifts , " Bad Blood " . I can't help it . I am an official Swifty .

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Tony Bennett & Bill Charlap, The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern
Bob Dylan, Shadows in the Night
Josh Groban, Stages
Seth MacFarlane, No One Ever Tells You
Barry Manilow (& Various Artists), My Dream Duets

My Vote: Bob Dylan , because he is Bob Dylan . I do not think he can do any wrong . I also can NOT help but laugh at the fact he has been moved into a category titled , " Best TRADITIONAL Pop Vocal Album " . How is that even possible ? Dylan is everything , but traditional . When looking back at this road to here , it just shows how much music , the industry and its listeners have changed in their categorizing of artists/tunes .

Best Pop Vocal Album
Kelly Clarkson, Piece by Piece
Florence + The Machine, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Mark Ronson, Uptown Special
Taylor Swift, 1989
James Taylor, Before This World

My Vote : I would like to see Florence + The Machine or James Taylor win this category , but due to trends , pop culture , etc. I am thinking Taylor or Mark will walk away with this one .

Best Rock Performance
Alabama Shakes, "Don't Wanna Fight"
Florence + The Machine,"What Kind Of Man"
Foo Fighters, "Something From Nothing"
Elle King, "Ex's & Oh's"
Wolf Alice, "Moaning Lisa Smile"

My Vote : I have loved Elle Kings , " Ex's & Oh's " literally since the first note I heard . It's new , different and so very girl in charge that I just can't help but love it . However , this being her first nomination in a category with so many alumni , I do not know what the reality of her taking the category is . So , I kinda can see Alabama Shakes  or Foo Fighters winning this one .

Best Alternative Music Album
Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color
Björk, Vulnicura
My Morning Jacket, The Waterfall
Tame Impala, Currents
Wilco, Star Wars

My Vote : Alabama Shakes . The End . I won't like , I hope to see Bjork walk the carpet in another swan tutu .

Best Country Album
Sam Hunt, Montevallo
Little Big Town, Pain Killer
Ashley Monroe, The Blade
Kacey Musgraves, Pageant Material
Chris Stapleton, Traveller

My Vote : O.K. So, for me this is an impossible category . Each of these albums are amazing start to finish . They each represent such good writers , producers, & artists that I just can not begin to predict how this could go . I genuinely can see each of these artists winning . But , if I am gonna make a vote , then , I guess , UUUHHHHHH , my hope is Kacey Musgraves . I know , I know !!!!! Stapleton for President !!! I know !!! I do not think this will be Stapletons last Grammy nom , LBT have been here before , Sam and Ashley still feel too new and this is Musgraves second or third nom I wanna say and so I just would really like to see her walk away with it . Girl Power and what not .

Kacey Musgraves - " Pageant Material "
fr " Pageant Material "

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
Jason Crabb, Whatever the Road
Lauren Daigle, How Can It Be
Matt Maher, Saints and Sinners
Tobymac, This Is Not a Test
Chris Tomlin, Love Ran Red

My Vote : We have a lot of usual suspects in this category . So , I am going with the new girl , Lauren Daigle . I featured one of her tunes on a past #NewMusicMonday and have been a fan since .

Best Americana Album
Brandi Carlile, The Firewatcher's Daughter
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, The Traveling Kind
Jason Isbell, Something More Than Free
The Mavericks, Mono
Punch Brothers, The Phosphorescent Blues

My Vote : I vote Brandi Carlile for this one . Yes , you have heard her songs before . Any Greys fans out there ? The episode where they all sing.....her song " The Story " is sung by " Cali " just before she wakes from her coma . I can hear you all going " ooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh " as I type that . LOL !!!

Best Rock Song
Alabama Shakes, "Don't Wanna Fight"
Elle King, "Ex's & Oh's"
James Bay, "Hold Back the River"
Highly Suspect, "Lydia"
Florence + the Machine, "What Kind of Man"

My Vote : Since I didn't feel strong enough to vote Elle King in the earlier category , I am voting for her here . Again , I think that it is just a great , unique , fun , Girl Power tune . Not for everyone . A little naughty . But all together so creative and cool .

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Brothers Osborne, "Stay a Little Longer"
Joey + Rory, "If I Needed You"
Charles Kelley, Dierks Bentley & Eric Paslay, "The Driver"
Little Big Town, "Girl Crush"
Blake Shelton feat. Ashley Monroe, "Lonely Tonight"

My Vote : So , because I want to see LBT take best single in the all genre category I am gonna vote that Charles , Dierks , & Eric take this one . Charles Kelleys first solo album is looking like a critical success . It has to be so nerve racking to create a solo project for release after having been and still being apart of such a successful group . I would think that any nerves Kelley had pre - release are all gone now . I also think that due to all the attention and love being sent Joey + Rorys way they could also win . And I would support that win . They have amazing harmonies as well as lead voices and have shared so much of their difficult , painful , and inspiring journey with everyone that it would be a beautiful book end to their career , as I have heard that he will not pursue further albums with out his wife . For those who are unfamiliar , Joey + Rory won third in a CMT reality contest called , " Can You Duet " . Post reality show they have successfully charted with a variety of singles . In June of 2014 , just after Joey gave birth to their daughter , Indida , Joey was diagnosed with cervical Cancer . The duo has shared their battle via their blog and social media . Joey is currently in hospice care in the couples home and all treatments have been stopped . Their  single " When I'm Gone " has been rereleased with a video and is so heart wrenchingly perfect as the duos last body of work together .
Joey + Rory - " When I'm Gone "

Best Country Song
Lee Ann Womack, "Chances Are"
Tim McGraw, "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools"
Little Big Town, "Girl Crush"
Brandy Clark, "Hold My Hand"
Chris Stapleton, "Traveler"

My Vote : " Traveler " or " Girl Crush " will take this one . I think you all know how I feel by now about both of those artists . UHHH-MAY-ZZZING .

Best Country Solo Performance
Cam, "Burning House"
Chris Stapleton, "Traveller"
Carrie Underwood, "Little Toy Guns"
Keith Urban, "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16"
Lee Ann Womack, "Chances Are"

My Vote : I would love to see Cam win this gold xylophone . " Burning House " is the first single off of her first album , " Untamed " . Cam is such a ray of sunshine . I swear you can hear her smile when she sings . Cam released her second track off of " Untamed " this week titled , " May Day " . I expect it to do as well if not better than " Burning House " . She is currently on tour with Brad Paisley , but will join Dierks Bentley and Randy Howser this summer on Dierks , " Somewhere On A Beach " tour .
Cam - " Burning House "
fr " Untamed "

Best Pop Solo Performance
Kelly Clarkson, "Heartbeat Song"
Ellie Goulding, "Love Me Like You Do"
Ed Sheeran, "Thinking Out Loud"
Taylor Swift, "Blank Space"
The Weekend, "Can't Feel My Face"

My Vote : This is a solid list for this specific category . I can see it easily going to any of these artists , however , #NewMusicMonday votes that Taylor or The Weekend will win .

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media
Empire: Season 1
Fifty Shades of Grey
Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me
Pitch Perfect 2

My Vote : My guess , because I haven't heard all of these albums , is Empire: Season 1 .

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media
The Weeknd, "Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)"
Common & John Legend, "Glory"
Ellie Goulding, "Love Me Like You Do"
Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, "See You Again"
Lady Gaga, "Til It Happens to You"

My Vote : Lady Gaga is on an awards show roll . She won her first Golden Globe for her roll in Horror Stories : Hotel . She is nominated for a Oscar for her track " Til It Happens to You " . So , all signs point to her doing nothing but win win win this awards season . However , Common & John Legend are real competition and " Glory " already has several awards under its belt . So , we will see .

Best Music Video
A$AP Rocky, "LSD"
The Dead Weather, "I Feel Love"
Kendrick Lamar, "Alright"
Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar, "Bad Blood"
Pharrell Williams, "Freedom"

My Vote : Taylor Swift feat . Kendrick Lamar , " Bad Blood " . Released just 8 months ago it has 737,213,835 views on YouTube . Until Adele released the vid for " Hello " Tay was the current record holder for most online video views . Also , the release date for Adele's 25 , kept her out of this years Grammy ceremony as a nominee , but I am POSITIVE we will see her next year in most all categories . Yes , even best rap . JK!! JK!!!

Best Music Film
Foo Fighters, Sonic Highways
James Brown, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown
Nina Simone, What Happened, Miss Simone
Roger Waters, The Wall
Amy Winehouse, Amy

My Vote : In this category I have sadly only seen one of these films . But , it made a huge impact . Watching " Amy " , the documentary about Amy Winehouse life , career and death was almost overwhelming . It was haunting to see Winehouse recording , talking to the camera , etc . It was also deeply saddening to basically be watching someone slowly kill them selves . For those who like music history this is one to watch despite the sadness .

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song
Francesca Battistelli, "Holy Spirit"
Crowder, "Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)"
Matt Maher, "Because He Lives (Amen)"
Third Day feat. All Sons & Daughters, "Soul on Fire"
Tobymac feat. Mr. Talkbox, "Feel It"

My Vote : Crowder . Dave Crowders most recent video release has made its way to country music video channels . I think it is different , but familiar and as always on point message wise . But again , this is a category with nothing but amazingly successful and talented people in it . It could really go anyway .

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
Jason Crabb, Whatever the Road
Lauren Daigle, How Can It Be
Matt Maher, Saints and Sinners
Tobymac, This Is Not a Test
Chris Tomlin, Love Ran Red

My Vote : Pointing back to Lauren Daigle once again .

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)
Patti Smith, Blood on Snow (Jo Nesbø)
Dick Cavett, Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks
Jimmy Carter, A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety
Janis Ian & Jean Smart, Patience and Sarah (Isabel Miller)
Amy Poehler (& Various Artists), Yes Please

My Vote : Jimmy Carter , because I think a President winning a Grammy would just be too cool for words . LOL !!!!

SideNote : Just want to keep you all reminded that you can change an artists career by making radio requests as well as voting online for video countdowns . Tweet , text , call , e-mail , facebook , insta and snail mail those requests ASAP !!!!! I finally decided to follow Taylor Swift on #Insta and I swear immediately after I did , she posted a " Thank You " #insta for hitting 60 million followers . I mean , I feel so powerful .
You're welcome Taylor Swift !!!!
You . Are . Welcome .

Monday, January 25, 2016

~ New Music Monday ~ Jan. 25th 2016 ~ " Keeper of the Flame Tour "

Snow Story Jonas Ice Sickles
January 2016

Happy Snow Storm Jonas Monday to ya !!! I don't know where you are reading from , but I am writing from day 6 I think of 10 ish inches of snow fall that started last Wednesday . Today was the first day that I was able or even thought of braving leaving my neighborhood . The plows came through this weekend and left me a nice mount at the end of my drive way along with these basketball sized balls of ice . Pleasant . I tried breaking down the ice with a shovel . I then tried using my hands and then my feet/legs to roll them out of the way . Fail . Then today when trying to specifically miss them in my attempt to get out of my very snowy drive way , I hit one . Got momentarily stuck . Maneuvered my way off of it , but that hit from the car was enough to unfreeze it from the ground . So , with much anger I was able to pick it up and chuck it down the lawn . There may have been some swearing involved . Don't judge . Anyway , with prayer , resourcefulness , Guns - N - Roses sound tracking , and a little swearing I made it out . I only ran two of my errands for fear that I wouldn't be able to get back IN to my neighborhood , but those two along with the ice chucking made me feel pretty accomplished today . It also made me feel rather capable and somewhat manly . Who says I " NEED " a man ?! I am woman , hear me roar.....and swear a little .

Well , while snowed in I have listened to many a sweet tune and rejoiced over varied tour announcements . This weeks #NewMusicMonday will be dedicated to Friday's tour announcement from Miranda Lambert , #MirandaForPresident . I decided that would be my #RanFan hashtag after her killer performance of " Little Red Wagon " at Fashion Rocks last winter . Last week Ms . Lambert announced her " Keeper of the Flame " tour and line up . Openers will be Brothers Osborn and Kip Moore and the Slow Hearts . I am giddy !! While the tour is not stopping anywhere near me I am still amped that this group of artists are touring together . I think it is a stellar ticket and is going to be an amazing show . Miranda will be pulling double duty this Summer while also opening for Kenny Chesney .

Brothers Osborn - " Stay a Little Longer "
fr " Pawn Shop "

As first on the stage the Brothers Osborn they will be first for us here today on #NewMusicMonday . Just this weekend the duo hit number one on radio charts with their single , " Stay a Little Longer " off of their album " Pawn Shop " . I follow several artists on social media and nearly all of them have posted about their love for this album . I think when a artists on their own accord , as in not doing a duet or collaborating with them ,  recommends another artist then it is worth checking out . So , here ya go , a vevo of " Stay a Little Longer " by Brothers Osborn . The video is also making its ' way up CMT and GAC video countdowns . If you like it , take a moment and give them a vote online at or .

Second on the tour line up is one of my favorites , Kip Moore . Moore and his band are setting out this weekend for the west coast and international legs of his " Wild Ones " tour . This will be their first go for an international tour that isn't focused on a festival of collaborative show . The band rocked C2C last Spring and the fans made their voices heard to the band and to their label . And if Kip has his way , the fans get what the fans want . He is taking Chase Bryant with him on some of the Spring dates . Also joining The Slow Hearts on tour at select dates will be The Cadillac Three . If you follow Kip on social media or ever watch YouTube vids then you know he and T3 front man , Jaren Johnston are good buddies . I can only imagine the shenanigans that will be occurring when these bands are together . I am really hoping for some amazing #InstaEntertainment from this pairing . The song I am sharing with you today is another of Moores' yet to be recorded jams . The man has so many songs I don't know that they will ever all get the exposure they deserve . This one is called , " Tough Enough " and I just adore it . There are so many songs that he performs live that are so amazing and yet aren't available for down load that I almost get violent . Like , one more 15 second clip of a song that I can not immediately down load or in the realistic near future down load and I very well may set something on fire . I don't know what or when , I'm just warning everyone it could happen . I get all unhinged like that when it comes to quality tunes and writing . So , Moore , you've only got yourself  " to blame " if I " burn the whole world down " . BAHAHAHA !! Fans will get it . Annnnnnyyyyyyywaaaaaayyyy.................

Kip Moore - " Tough Enough "
Miranda Lambert w/ Scotty Ray - " Scars "
@ The City Winery in Nashville
Lastly , headliner and current Queen of all country music awards , Ms . Miranda Lambert . This tune is another yet to be recorded and pressed jam that so many fans are hoping will appear on her next album . Lambert has posted several #InstaTeases of writing sessions and locations , but hasn't spoken too much to all that the album will cover . We all are assuming that the last year and all the drama included in it will be the main inspiration for her next album , but artists are tricky and ya just never know . It may still be too soon to cover such sensitive and fresh wounds . If you watch the clip above you will understand why I say that . Either way , here is " Scars " written by Miranda Lambert and Scotty Ray .
Tour locations for the " Keeper of the Flame " tour have been released , but no dates yet . As soon as that info is available I will do my best to share it . Until then you can keep up with all the artists featured today on their social media and websites , , & .
Until then , you can be making requests for Brothers Osborn , " Stay a Little Longer " and Kip Moores , " Running for You " , their current singles with your local radio stations . It only takes a second and is one of the easiest/quickest/cheapest ways of showing your favorite artists support . You have the power to decided what gets on rotation . MAKE THOSE REQUESTS !!!!!! Same goes for video countdowns . It all just takes a second !!!
Upcoming posts will include my Grammy predictions and more Valentines mix tapes . Look forward to sharing more tunes with you in the coming weeks !!!! What are you listening to ? Do you have plans to hit any of the Spring/Summer tours ? Please feel free to share in the comment section .

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

~ Winter Hacks by Stacie & Jack ~ Re - Post from 2015 ~

February 18th 2015
This is before the snow froze and became
a ice rink. The weather got into the negatives
this evening .
Day 4 of the 2015 Snow In . I am a professional hermit so I am not having as many problems with the current winter weather as others are . Not to mention I live on a hill and do not have 4-wheel drive so, I don't really have a choice . However , if more ice heads our way as predicted I may need to brave the roads and venture out to restock eventually . Jack Davis LOVESSSSSSSSSSS snow . I think it is due to being part polar bear . Here are a few things we have been doing to keep cozy , warm and safe in the 5 inches of snow with a layer of ice underneath .
See Pic of House Above.....WHERE DID HE
FIND A LEAF ???!!!! Bro . There's something
in your beard . He has no clue .
I have posted to my social media several times in the last four days a reminder to take extra care of your pets in this weather . It is hard on their little paws . With Jack I have several specific issues....

1. With his kind of fur the snow falling is basically like super glue when it lands in his fur . Getting him thawed when we get back inside is usually a task . Especially if the snow is deep and wet enough to give him snow pants .
Snow Pants are these snow balls all up and down
his lil' legs . He can't even help it .
2 . Small white dog in white snow equals a dangerous game of where's waldo . If I don't put colorful clothes on him or leash him , he literally blends into the yard . Not to mention the blinding glare of sun on snow . So, for his own safety , my ability to find him, and to keep from snow getting stuck in his fur Jack wears a little coat . Every time I go to put it on him he curls up like I am going to beat him and once outside he tries to shake it the wise wise words of Taylor Swift .  He is a rebellious pup . It is working great this winter and only cost $2.00 in the Target dollar spot last winter !!

3. Everyone probably already does this , but just incase . This is handy for preparing to go out in the cold or for when you have come back in and need to thaw . Place your most fuzzy of socks on the heat vent for awhile . When you put them back on they are super warm and cozy and make the trek to the mail box a little more bearable .

4 . A class mate from high school posted this today on Facebook and I thought it was a great idea !! Not everyone has everything needed in stock for one of winters most yummy treats , snow cream . So , she used vanilla creamer packets . Already portioned properly are sugar , dairy , and vanilla all the ingredients needed !! I thought it was a great idea and made me think that if you wanna flavor your snow cream you could used varied other creamers . YUMMERS !!!

5 . Home made Mocha - I have been trying to use my milk sparingly since I do not know how long I'll be snowed in . Today after walking Jack in the 16 degree's and wind I decided I NEEDED a warm beverage . So , I reached into my barista training and made a mocha . SUPER EASY ! All you need is a milk product of your choice ( skim , soy , almond , etc. ) , brewed coffee or espresso and chocolate ( I use chocolate syrup ) . I place about 2 table spoons of syrup into the bottom of the mug (measurements may vary due to the size of your mug and tastes ) . I then add about a half cup of milk , heat the combo up in the microwave for 2 minutes and add a little less than half a cup of the freshly brewed and still hot coffee . Stir , taste , adjust as needed and enjoy . Today I decided to add a candy cane left over from Christmas for that little hint of mint . Another friend suggested possibly adding a Ande's Mint ,which I think is a great idea , but may need to go in first instead of the syrup . Then after doing the rest of the recipe taste and add syrup as need .
6 . Make a little extra . In our area a lot of folks lose power in this kind of weather . I am so extremely grateful to God that I haven't had that happen . In preparation for the possibility of no electricity it is always good to make a little extra of whatever you may be cooking . Even if you can't reheat it for eating it is still better than having nothing prepared . Cold cooked chicken is better than raw uncooked chicken . Right ?!
How does this even happen ?! The weather has clearly
effected everything's normalcy .
7 . Unplug any unnecessary electronics . It helps your entire community to conserve on power .

8 . Leave your faucets on a slow drip . When the temperature gets below zero there is always a fear of frozen pipes . Papaw's advice is that it is better to pay a little higher water bill from a dripping faucet than to pay to fix damage from frozen pipes . We also leave the cabinet doors open below the sinks so that whatever heat is flowing through the house can go there as well .

I wish I could enlarge this picture for you or zoom in .
Jack is clearly blissful as can be here . If you look close
his back paws aren't even on the ground . LOL !!!
No matter what you are doing to keep warm , fed and busy just be careful before venturing out . The road can look fine and be insanely slippery . When walking to the mail box or just around the outside of your property be sure to step with caution . You don't wanna be the star of the next "help I've fallen and I can't get up" , commercial .  What are some of your winter hacks , snacks or other advice ?! I hope you are able to enjoy these extra days .

Click on the links below for quick fixes , yummy treats , etc .

Apple Pie
Sugar Daddy
Hot Chocolate
Lazy Mans Pesto
Not Your Average Chocolate Milk
Snow Day 2013
Nail Polish on a Winter Day

Monday, January 18, 2016

~ New Music Monday ~ January 18th, 2016 ~ Valentines 2016 ~ Riding Solo Mix Tape ~

We are just under a month away from Valentines Day . In years past I have given you tips , ideas , & links for everything from what to purchase a loved one to what to wear on Valentines . I love music . I love a thoughtful , homemade , creative gift . So , this year I decided to do a variety of  " mix " tapes for #NewMusicMonday , that you are welcome to copy BTW , that once complete would perhaps aid in whatever your VDay plans are or at least allow you a bit of inspiration . I have a soft spot for Valentines day and I know , I am a single person , and that means that technically I am suppose to loath the day , hate all people who enjoy it , snarl at couples and wear all black while eating from a tub of Ben & Jerry ' s . Well ,  I ' ve never taken well to people telling me what to do or how to feel before so , why should this be any different ?!

In college , perhaps my Junior or Senior year ,  I took the obligatory hatred of Valentines Day by singles into my own hands , but not intentionally at first . I rallied a group of other single female friends and set up a fun dinner off campus at a nice restaurant . Giving us a reason to dress up , flaunt our cute , and eat a great meal . It was one of those major life moments where I realized that the key to keeping ourselves out of the trap of self - loathing , self - harm , self - deprecation , and basically pure selfishness in everyway , was to focus on others . In our singleness we aren't alone if we are all together . That is how I choose to look at it . We ended up having a blast at dinner and one of my friends , peers , and fellow staffer at the University news paper was asked to do an article on it . I won' t lie , I got a little insecure at the thought of the entire campus hearing of my organized pity party , because in the beginning that sorda was its original purpose . A we hate love , we hate holidays that celebrate love , we hate people in love , blah , blah so on so forth . But as I said , my focus changed  and with the change of my focus the article changed . She basically wrote what I have been writing in Valentines past . Valentines Day doesn't have to stink just because you are single . Its all about perspective .

This weeks #NewMusicMonday Valentines Prep will go out to all the Singles . Whether you are contently single , are in the midst of a break up with someone or simply just can not seem to find the right someone , this list may be for you . I am starting with a new release from Lauren Alaina . With this being the last season of American Idol , a upcoming album release and the debut of her newest video , it all just seemed like the obvious choice . Plus , the tune is titled " My Next Boyfriend " , so .

Lauren Alaina - " My Next Boyfriend "
Lauren Alaina was the American Idol runner up the year Scotty McCreary took the win . Second place hasn ' t kept her from the spotlight or the charts . Her first singles post AI all charted and a few even went to the top . After a hiatus due to surgery on her throat , Alaina is back and ready for another block of hits . Alaina's first release is an upbeat , saucy little ditty making the statement that is phrased like a question that so many of us have used or heard , " I think I ' ve Seen You Before ? " . The video is dosed with a steady flow of neon and flirtation . Perhaps you could pick up a few moves from Lauren for your next flirt .

Next , a tune for the country girl just lookin' for her country man . If Lauren Alaina ' s tune is a " Why Aren ' t We Dating Yet ? " , then this tune is the answer . You would think that living in the south finding a good southern man would be like shootin' fish in a barrel . I am here to tell you , it is not . I know that I have several fellow southern singles who can give a rowdy amen when I say we are super proud that you care about your hygiene . In fact , we insist that you do , but when you use more product than I do , we have a problem . We like our men......manly . We also love when our southern , laid back , outdoorsy side can be as appreciated as our stiletto & lip stick wearing side , if not more . Maddie & Tae have already proven their lyrical and visual cleverness with " Girl in a Country Song " and their depth with " Fly " . So , it was hard to predict where they may head with the third single off of " Start Here " . I ' m not gonna lie.....I love that they went with clever . " Shut Up & Fish " is so very cleverly written and for us country girls , a 100% on point . We are all about some kissin ' , but not when it gets in the way of some fishin ' .

Maddie & Tae - " Shut Up & Fish "
fr " Start Here "
Chris Young w Cassadee Pope
" Think of You "
Our next tune is from Chris Young with Cassadee Pope called " Think of You " . Even when we know why something ended and can even agree that it was for the best , somehow we still find ourselves lingering on the high notes . It is around that second stage of a break up when all your friends are still adjusting to the fact you aren ' t a couple anymore and sometimes forget when asking , " Where is ____ ? " . You had been the couple that everyone expects to always see , together . It 's that moment when you feel like something or more like someone is missing . You go out cause you can ' t just sit at home and think about what once was , but then you get out and all that anyone asks about is what once was . It ' s a painful double edged sword . Cassadee has a beautiful voice with so much range . I think it is wonderfully and unexpectedly matched with Chris' on this track . It isn ' t a duet I wouldn ' t have necessarily thought of on my own , but I am so glad someone did . It is simple musically and perhaps even vocally , but I think they may be what makes it so beautiful .
This tune is not new , but it has been a while so it may be new to you . All American Rejects where all the rage for a hot minute . In that minute they put out some upbeat tunes that played at many a Spring Break . This tune is one of them . Once we get past the , " What could ' ve been " and stumble into the , " I was totally right to leave " , we fall into this righteous indignation where all songs with a sturdy electric guitar riff and some middle finger in the air vocals become our theme song . We regain our strength and begin dreaming of the day we come across the one we left or that left us , kicking themselves in realization of what they loss . This one is on my Valentine Mix for Singles , because a friend shared it with me close to ten years ago on a mix titled " Boys Suck " . I feel as though I do not have to explain why the mix was titled that or why I needed it . Truth is , sometimes people suck and it would seem that Valentines Day just seems to highlight for a few of us . Never fear loved one . One day , they will get theirs and one day you ' ll give em ' a cheeky lil ' grin with a big ol ' side of #SorryNotSorry . Until then , my hope is this will do .

All American Rejects - " Gives You Hell "
Gene Autry - " Back in the Saddle "
And then the time comes when we are somewhat healed , a little more positive about life and love . When I hear this song my mind immediately goes to a scene from " Sleepless in Seattle " where " Sam Baldwin " is attempting to make that first phone call to a woman after mourning the loss of his wife . He has been heckled by his son , a talk radio host , his closest of friends and a co - worker to get back into the game , he has mourned long enough in their opinion . After heartbreak and heartache we have to somehow get our mental game up in order to get back out there . Whether you are single single for Valentines or getting back into the game single this Valentines , I hope that this fun , oldy , but a goody of a tune would perk up your perspective or at least reassure you that we ' ve all been there . 

DON'T FORGET !!!!! As a music lover and radio listener you HAVE THE POWER . Call , text , tweet , Facebook , insta and even snail mail your favorite artists and recording requests to your local radio . Also , you can vote online for television video countdowns .

Check back next week for #NewMusicMonday and more Valentines Mix Tape inspiration .

Past Valentines Posts Can Be Found By Clicking the Links Below .

Boyfriends & Husbands ~ What to Get Your Girl ~ 2014
~ Girlfriends & Wives ~ What to Get Your Man ~ 2014
~ A Fashionable Valentines ~ 2014
~ Love Bears All Things ~ 2014
~ Valentines for the Littles ~ 2013
~ Single and Ready to.........~ 2012
~ I'm In Love ~ 2012
~ He'd Be Looking For Me ~ 2012
~ All the Single Ladies ~ 2012

Sunday, January 10, 2016

~ New Music Monday ~ January 11th, 2016 ~

As I mentioned in my last post I love a gift card ! Especially for things like iTunes or really anywhere that is going to feed my musical addiction . See , I am addicted to more than just Starbucks . For Christmas I received such a gift card and was able to mark several records off of my eternally growing " I've got to have this " , list . I keep a list on my phone of books , video's , music , etc . to always be on the look out for . I am a girl on a budget so even if I am dying for an album I do my price checking research . One of the albums I had on my list was Cams' debut release , " Untamed " . I had been listening to its ' first single , " Burning House " for months and it led me to listen to all the other tracks via YouTube audio clips . I loved them all and couldn't wait to get my hands on my own copy .

There are several stand outs on this album and I can ' t wait to see what the next single will be from it . As 2015 ended Cam was at the top of the Billboard Country Charts and was settling into her Grammy nomination . I cannot begin to imagine the high she spent the holiday season on . Such a beautiful and flattering gift to receive a Grammy nom on your first body of work . I think it only confirms that there are great things to come from Cam . For now , I would like to share my current favorite track from " Untamed " titled , " Village " . Seeing as a second single has not been released yet the audio clip of  " Village " will have to do . No official video of course at this point . I think " Village " is such a beautifully written and performed song . I love everything about it .

There is something about acknowledging that , and I am quoting the lyrics word for word , " your hearts a village , everyone you love has built it " , makes me emotional . I know that I am grateful for everyone that has played a roll in my life . I would not be 1/16th of who I am with out these wonderful friends and family I am blessed with . I also go to thought of the role I play in my friends children's life with the next line , " And I've been working there myself and that's where I'll be , with a front row seat , to watch you live your life well " . UUGGGGG!!!! SO BEAUTIFUL !!! Anyway , give it a listen and judge for yourself . If you are interested in Cam's freshman album , " Untamed " , it is currently available at Wal - Mart for $ 9 . 00 . That was the best deal after all my research the last few weeks , cause you know I ' m a budget kind of girl .

" your hearts a village , everyone you love has built it
And I've been working there myself
and that's where I'll be ,
with a front row seat ,
to watch you live your life well "

Cam - " Village " fr Album " Untamed "
Second on my list for the second week of 2016 is , Christ Stapleton ' s newest to radio single , " Nobody to Blame " . Stapleton is a clever writer and a passionate singer . He could sing the phone book to me and I'd be all , hands raised , eyes closed , head weaving back and forth . " Nobody to Blame " is a great break up song from the mans perspective and he sings it with just as much passion as any love song . I love the chick in this song . I would like to think that if ever in a similar situation I would do the same things she does , " poured sugar in my John Deer and I can't even mow my lawn " .  However , we are left to wonder exactly what the male counterpart has done to require such retribution . Stapleton's record " Traveler " is where you can find this track as well as many other amazing tracks , including his cover of " Tennessee Whiskey " . Again , another album that I am loving start to finish . I can find no wrong with this set of songs and would double dog dare you to try . Give " Traveler " a listen at some point , until then , here is " Nobody to Blame " audio clip .

Chris Stapelton - " Nobody to Blame "
fr " Traveler "
Last for my musical offering this week is Kacey Musgraves , " Late to the Party " , off of the album  " Pageant Material " . As mentioned one million times before , I wanna be Kacey Musgraves when I grow up . Her style , her voice , her wicked writing skills . I am full on jealous . I believe that " Late to the Party " may be Musgraves next to radio single from " Pageant Material " . I however do not have that on official word of course . I hope that it is a single at some point if it is in fact not the next one . I don't know what is happening to me , but I have been overcome with a love for love songs as of late . I blame Kip Moore and " Running for You " off of " Wild Ones " . It caused my mind and heart to reconsider how I listen to and am affected by " love " songs . " Late to the Party " paints a sweet picture of a couple getting ready to head out for a event , but really only wants to be with one another . Cleverly written per usual and sweetly sang , I can imagine a couple slow dancing to this in a room that had once held a party . All the guests gone , janitor sweeping up confetti and a band tearing down . It is my kind of love song.....cause apparently I now have a " my kind " of love song .
Kacey Musgraves - " Late to the Party "
fr " Pageant Material " -
Performance from " The Late Show "
All three albums that are featured on this weeks #NewMusicMonday are truly masterpieces front to back in my humble music loving opinion . I am so impressed , specifically with the country music genre this season , and the latest releases that have come from Music City . Cam , Chris Stapleton and Kacey Musgraves albums are ALL albums I would gift to people and obviously recommend to you here . I don't give away my album love very easily . It truly does take something special for me to adore a body of work from track one to last track . I hope that if you hadn't heard of these songs/albums/artists before that I have exposed you to your next musical addictions .
What are you listening to ? Did you score any amazing musical gifts over the holidays ? Please feel free to share in the comment section .
DON'T FORGET !!!!! As a music lover and radio listener you HAVE THE POWER . Call , text , tweet , Facebook , insta and even snail mail your favorite artists and recording requests to your local radio . Also , you can vote online for television video countdowns . I am currently anxiously awaiting the release of the " Running for You " video show last week from Kip Moore's album , " Wild Ones " . I will with out doubt be making online votes to see it on video countdowns .


Friday, January 8, 2016

~ Musical Overdose ~ No Such Thing ~

I LOVE GIFT CARDS !!!!!!!! Sure , some may find them impersonal or whatever , but I love them . I think gift cards can be a thoughtful gift . Especially to anyone who lives on a budget or pay check to check . It's like giving them permission and resources to do something a little more on the " want " list than on the " need " list . I love all kinds . I love a Starbucks card , did you know that when you register your Starbucks gift card online you receive a free bevi and discounts on your birthday ?! It also is a way to manage when/if you recieve more than one and keeps up with your purchases further notifying you to earned bonuses and freebies . True story . I love a iTunes gift card . As far as I am concerned , music is the gift that keeps on giving . I will never have " enough " music . New to me , but the Amazon gift card , I mean , all those things I can never seem to find in the used book/music/dvd/ store and are wicked unrealistically priced on ebay or in store , can be found !!!! I had been looking for a very specific set of salt and pepper shakers for a Christmas gift . Looked high and low . Even enlisted a friend who antiques , no where to be found . Then, THEN , Amazon comes through and inexpensively at that !! It's literally like a treasure box of amazingness . Amazon is also a company that works with ebates . So , I can even get a percentage back when I shop there  with my gift card . I could you not ??!!!

Anyway , I received several gift cards for Christmas and decided to use them today . I had a list of tunes/books/dvds to always be on the look out for because they are either so old they no longer are in regular stores , are so new they haven't been distributed yet or are just so weird that they can only be found online . My list became significantly smaller today after the use of my gift cards . I am giddy as a music loving girl can be right now . I don't know how my ears are going to be able to intake all this amazing music at one time . I'll probably be in some sort of ipod musical coma for weeks .

I think music is of similar importance as books when it comes to shaping our minds and educating us . I'm sure many an educator would scoff at that , but hey , it's my thought and I'm stickin' to it . I will never have all the albums I want . I don't know short of becoming a CEO at Best Buy , iTunes , etc. how one could ever afford to have all the albums/books/etc . on their lists . Making gift cards an even more amazing gift !!! Well , that's my soap box for today . 1 . Gift cards are thoughtful and 2 . Music is magic .

What albums are you listening too ? Did you purchase online , in store or download ? What's your favorite medium for music ? Vinyl ? Disc ? Download ? Streaming ? Did you receive any unique music something or other for Christmas ?! Please feel free to share in the comment section !

If no one hears from me in about a week or so......maybe check in . My musical overdose can only last so long . LOL !!!

Monday, January 4, 2016

~ New Music Monday ~ Happy New Year ~ January 4th 2016 ~

Happy New Year Music Lovers !!!!!! I hope that you all had a beautiful holiday season filled with rest , fun , fam , friends , and of course.......killer tunes . Before we get too far into the new year I thought I would do a quick #NewMusicMonday recap of 2015 . There was so much amazing music released this year that it is truly difficult to know where to start . So , I thought I would do my own version of an award show break down . The #NewMusicMonday Awards , I'd do a red carpet , but it's frakin' cold outside . So . Also , while my preferences seem to bend toward a Country Music genre preference , please know that I listen to music from all genres . What I share on #NewMusicMondays and in posts like this one are simply what I am jamming to and digging at the moment . It just so happens that as of late Country Music has gotten my attention in a big way . I ' ve always been a country music fan , but with the discovery of artists like Moore , Stapelton , Cam and Musgraves , it is becoming a bigger piece of the musical pie that is my heart . Now , onto our awards .........

First off - Best Song - For me , it was Eric Paslays , " She Don't Love You " . From the moment I heard it the lyrics nearly knocked me over with their truth . Is it not a fear we all have when it comes to love ? The fear that the other is just there to pass time . That we are simply a scratch pad to doodle out all the mistakes . That there is no love left because it's all been given away ?! I mean , just give part of it a glance ,
" She don't love you , she's just lonely
She don't know another way
To break free from what's been broken
Too many cowboys rode away
So forgive her if she's distant
She can't tell her heart to lie , no
You'll never be her one and only
She don't love you , she's just lonely "
.............. I mean........... I mean..........those are amazing lyrics . Yes , there where amazing singles out this year and so many that could be considered " Best Song " . I mean , " Hello " , but for me this was #1 .
Best Performance - Obviously - Stapelton/Timberlake covering George Jones' , " Tennessee Whiskey " and Timberlake's , " Drink You Away " brought the entire room , full of fellow entertainers , writers , fans , and industry folk up on their feet from the first note . It is easily the best performance of the year from all award shows . It also , put the much deserved and long over due spotlight on Chris Stapelton , a writer , singer and player for many years now on the Nashville scene . I think that is one of the many reasons so many in the room stood up to enjoy the performance . They all have a respect for his work and his consistency to his style . I also feel that all true country music fans are seeing Stapelton as the saving grace for the genre . He is a tried and true throw back to the pickers of the past . I can so easily hear Haggard , Jennings and Jones influence through out his CD , " Traveler " . Which is an amazing album and if you don't have it , you need to get it . ASAP !! All the female BGV's on the album are Stapelton's wife , Morgan . Their voices go so beautifully together . I think that may be one of my ideals of a perfect relationship . When two people can be creative together and complement one another's talents in such a big way .
Most Anticipated Albums of 2015 - If you have read my #NewMusicMonday posts more than once you will not be surprised to see Kip Moore as my answer to this statement . Kip Moore's , " Wild Ones " and Adele's , " 25 " both took between 3-4 years since their previous album to be released . I was on the edge of my seat for both . Neither have disappointed and proved well worth their wait . I just pray , beg and will even fast if it helps , that it does not take that long for their next bodies of work to be released . In my old age I am losing patience with such extended periods between awesomeness .
Best Female - Kacey Musgraves - " Pageant Material " - I adore everything about Kacey Musgraves . I've said it before , I'll say it again , I wanna be Kacey Musgraves when I grow up . Her writing is kitschy , on point and not all can do that . I love her " Rhinestone Revue " tour fashion , stage set up , etc. It only goes to prove that a real honest to goodness artist , marches to their own beat .
Kacey Musgraves & Willie Nelson
Cover Nelson's - " Are You Sure "
Album - Pageant Material
Best Male - Kip Moore - " Wild One's " - Constantly over looked and under rated . It baffles me to the point of anger that this writer and band are getting passed by . I do NOT understand radio . I do NOT understand the industry . I do NOT understand the awards shows . But what I do understand , is that what Moore is doing while everyone is looking the other way , is building an undeniably loyal and fierce fan base . He is consistently selling out shows and leaving his mark in each city he plays . He is creating a reputation as a song writer that doesn't say anything he doesn't mean or hasn't lived for himself . That , that is why fans are flocking to his live shows . He is as real and passionate on stage as he is on his tracks . True music lovers can sense when something is being produced as apart of " the machine " and there is NOTHING , " machine " about Moore's music . You know it's real from the first word . In my opinion , once the " trendier " artist's light burns out , we will see Kip and the Slow Hearts get there well deserved accolades and radio play . Tomorrow begins the shooting for the video from Moore's second single off of " Wild Ones " , " Running for You " . It is a beautiful & very real love song . I don't dub many a love song , real , but this one is legit . It's a bit of a , if you love someone let them go , philosophy . I am so very anticipant to see what Moore and Life in Rewind have planned for this song visually . There are so many places it could go . I will for sure be posting it when it is available .
Best Group - Little Big Town - " Pain Killer " - This feels like an obvious choice . With the release of their album , " Pain Killer " and the controversial , but chart dominating single , " Girl Crush " the group seemed to have the year locked up and headed toward nothing but positive notes . However in late spring LBT hit some bumps in the road by way of Jimmy Westbrooks vocal injury and surgery . The band had to unexpectedly take a hit in their late spring/ early summer touring , but the band was back at it by late summer/early fall with the release of the title track , " Pain Killer " .
Best Duo - Maddie and Tae - " Start Here " - This young female duo hit the scene strong with their single , " Girl in a Country Song " off of their freshman release , " Start Here " . They spent the summer touring with Dierks Bentley , Kip Moore , & Cannan Smith on Bentley's , " Sounds of Summer " tour . The duo has just released their third single , " Shut Up and Fish " , which I am sure is going to get similar attention and love from fans as " Girl in a Country Song " did . These talented writers , players and singers are just getting started and I can't wait to see how they grow and evolve as both writers and performers . If they are this on top of things now , I can already hear glass ceilings breaking for what's to come .
Best New Artist - Tori Kelly - " Unbreakable Smile " - I venture out side of the country genre for my Best New Artist pic of 2015 . Starting as a Youtube personality , Kelly has worked her way onto award show stages , guest performer slots and is being managed by Scooter Braun . Yes , as in Justin Beiber's manager , Scooter Braun . With her hit , " Should've Been Us " still charting I feel like this singer/song writer is also , just starting her ascend into the music sphere .
Now - I would like to share with you a two performances that you may have missed due to holiday chaos . First , Miranda Lambert at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors performing , " Desperado " in honor of the Eagles . The Eagles ended up cancelling their appearance at the show due to sickness , but will be accepting their honor next year . Since Lambert was already slated to perform the show set list continued with her as scheduled and can I please just say that I am SOOOOOOO glad they did . Her cover of this well known tune is amazing !!!! She was not rushed , she didn't seem flustered by the changes or the fact that the President of the United States was in the audience . Her vocals where perfect , as was her outfit and skin !!! I could not help , but notice her glow as the camera zoomed in for a close-up shot before zooming away from the finale of the performance . GLOWING !!!! I don't know what divorces do to everyone , but for Ms . Lambert it has done nothing , but make her more amazing . She can't even help it . Judge for yourself .
Miranda Lambert - Kennedy Center Honors
Cover - The Eagles - " Desperado "
Second , you may have missed this cause it was New Years Eve and , well , ya know , who really remembers New Years Eve anyway ?! But this performance you're going to want to check out and allow to be your only New Years Eve memory . Chris Stapelton with Kings of Leon covering Lynyrd Skynyrds' " Simple Man " seems fated . It just can't go wrong .
Kings of Leon w/ Chris Stapelton
Covering - Lynyrd Skynyrd - " Simple Man "
Now that I feel we are sufficiently caught up on all things 2015 , I think next week we can start with a clean slate and begin discussing 2016's #NewMusicMonday artists . Are you with me ?!! YEAHHH!!!!! If you have any comments , questions or music suggestions please feel free to share them with us !!!! I wanna know what you are listening to , too !
DON'T FORGET !!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU HAVE THE POWER!!!!!!!!!! Call in to your radio stations , text , tweet , insta , facebook and snail mail them if you want . Make sure the DJ's know who your favorite artists are and what you want to hear from them . You have the ability to make or brake an artists single with your requests or lack there of . Making a radio request is one of the easiest/quickest/inexpensive was to show support to your favorite artist and/or bands . DJ's let them know when they come in for interviews and promo spots , what their fan base is like in their local . So , rep your city and your favorite band all at once by making a song request with your local DJ's .