Wishing I could wander somewhere with sunshine today! Chew on these quotes:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou
One of my favorite things about living in Nashville is the songwriting culture. I believe with all my heart that the best songwriters in the entire world are here and I have been able to experience that in a variety of ways outside of just attending lots of shows and writer’s rounds. I worked as an assistant to a top pop/country/christian/international songwriter for a while (shout out to the incomparable Jeff Cohen), my boyfriend is an incredible artist/songwriter/producer, and because I grew up idolizing my grandmother who is a painter, listening to my dad play piano every day, and being involved in music lessons and theater, I always feel a strong connection to creative people and seem to mesh well with photographers, chefs, designers, musicians, artists, etc.
A painting lesson with my Grandma over Christmas break this year… bet you can tell which one is hers and which one is mine! ha!
It was rainy in Nashville tonight and there is nothing I relish more on nights like these than holing up with good friends and laying around on the couch eating a homemade meal, having a glass of wine, and catching up and that is exactly what I did with two of my favorite friends from college.
As kids from Belmont do, we ended up talking about the music industry and great songs and songwriters for an extended time and it got me thinking about how important music has been in my life.
Performing the rap from “Sister Act” with my best friend Kara at a 9th grade choir concert – it’s a little known fact that all of the best rappers wear turtlenecks to perform.
Let it be known that as a music lover, I have everything on my iPod from pop music to show tunes to indie to classical to gangsta rap, and the list goes on. I love it all and am so proud of Nashville for representing most of these generas as the best in the industry. (Grammy Flashback: Aside from all of the obvious country awards, Nashville also represented with Best Pop Vocal Album – Kelly Clarkson, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Performance, and Best Rock Song – The Black Keys, and Nashville artists performed in 9 performances on the telecast)
My fixation at the moment is country music, which as we all know tells some of the most amazing stories and paints some of the most beautiful pictures. Four songs popped into my mind as some of the most well written, stunning pieces of songwriting that have been put out in recent years and I wanted to share them on the off chance that some readers might not listen to country, or may not have heard them. Here is where i have to make a one sided deal with anyone reading this – in order to develop trust on this blog, if you haven’t heard these songs, you must press play for at LEAST a preview, but I’m betting you’ll get sucked in.
Oh, and I love reading any and all comments that anyone may have, so share your thoughts!
One of the features I’m most proud of is my hair. I get more compliments on it than probably any other attribute and I have to tell you, I BABY it. However, my hair hasn’t always been this healthy – I learned the basics on my first trip to a high end salon. Picture a small town Wyoming girl in the “big city” of Minneapolis, feeling so glam as she sits down in the chair of a famed and flamboyant stylist (who, by the way, has an Andy Warhol style 4 photo collage of himself on his business card). He vigorously runs his fingers through her hair and dramatically asks, “GIRL! What IS this *insert expletive that rhymes with it*?!”
A perfect photo shoot moment: hair blowing just the right way while simultaneously flexing! …I mean, I don’t have to try that hard… PS: This photo is by Kristy Belcher Photography with hair and makeup done by Joel Green – they are an incredible team!
I can honestly say that as a naive teenager, I was pretty taken aback. Luckily he followed up with instructions about how to better care for my mane and for that, I am forever grateful. Per “Jason’s” directions, I only wash it about twice a week, I use high quality salon hair products, and try to keep blow drying and heat styling of any kind to a minimum.
HOWEVER, even with as much I care for my hair, with as much as I am styling it these days, I don’t know what I would do without this product I discovered about 5 years ago. I present to you the Restorative Hair Mask by Ojon.
I found out about this after participating in a fashion show where the stylist back-combed every hair on my head root to tip with a very fine toothed comb using plenty of hairspray in the process… only to realize that he didn’t like the shape of it causing him to brush it out and do the exact thing all over again. Needless to say, getting those tangles out wasn’t easy and my hair felt like it was going to break off at any moment.
Scared that I was going to go bald, I wandered into Sephora looking for a hair masque and asked the employees what they thought the best was. In UNISON, they all recommended this to me and boy were they right! I’m not sure what exotic forest the company gets these oils from but it has saved my hair time and time again. If your hair is feeling brittle, dry, or damaged, YOU NEED THIS.
It has a waxy consistency that you have to rub together in your hands to melt it into oil. Coat all of your strands with it, ending by running a comb though to make sure all hair is fully saturated. I like to put a towel over my pillow and sleep with it overnight. When you wash it out, which might take a couple rounds of shampooing, the result is pure magic – so much so that when I decided to do a product of the week, choosing the Ojon Restorative Hair Mask as my first one was a no brainer!
One thing that always makes me cringe when I’m out with friends is when I see them putting artificial sweeteners like Splenda, Sweet ‘S Low, or Equal into their coffee or tea. I always think “they would never use those if they only knew what they are made of and are really doing to their bodies!”
Many people are under the assumption that if they put a zero calorie sweetener in their beverages that it will help them lose or maintain their weight. This couldn’t be more false. Numerous studies have shown that artificial sweeteners contributed to sugar cravings and an increase in body weight.
awwwwww so true
However, kids, I have a solution for you! Substitute that sweetener for a packet of stevia, which is an all natural herb that has zero calories and absolutely no impact on your glycemic index. There are several brands on the market and if you get the wrong one it can have a really bitter aftertaste. The ones I’m fond of are NuNaturals, Purevia, and Truvia. They taste great and if you become really dedicated like this hypothetical friend I have, you could carry them in your purse at all times and obnoxiously offer them to said friends at the beginning of this article when they go to sweeten their beverage with anything else!
If you are interested in learning more on this subject, here is a great article by a fellow Nashvillian, Dr. Josh Axe, about some of the dangers of Splenda:
I’m all about extremes – I joke all the time that there is no middle ground with me. I’m either in workout clothes or glammed to the max in 6 inch heels with full hair and makeup. There are times where I am drinking my green smoothie while simultaneously eating a cookie, it’s just who I am and the way I find entertainment seems to be no different.
I make no apology for the fact that I love watching Real Housewives of anything, The Bachelor, and I am always keeping up with the Kardashians. However, on the opposite scale, I LOVE documentaries. I’ll be sharing some of my favorites in future posts, but I just can’t stop thinking about one I watched TWICE on Monday night.
Monica & David follows a crazy in love married couple who have down syndrome. In many ways, their relationship is just like anyone’s, but their story is absolutely an inspiration of how we should love. It is truly one of the most pure and beautiful love stories I’ve ever seen and it is sure to have you laughing and feeling uplifted. Seriously. Drop everything you’re doing and watch this trailer and for those of you who have Netflix, put it on your instant que and watch ASAP.
For those in the Nashville area interested in becoming involved with Best Buddies go to http://www.bestbuddiestennessee.org/ for more information