Ten on Tuesday: music memories

It’s Tuesday again, which means it’s time to link up for the weekly Ten on Tuesday hop! Ten on Tuesday is now being hosted by Two-Thirds Scarlett, so please go check out her blog. :)
1. Well for starters–thank goodness it’s the weekend.


2. To really appreciate this dancing cat GIF from Hoppip’s Tumblr, you have to turn on a techno song and watch the cats do the wave to the beat. Try something from Tiesto. (Go check out that Tumblr by the way–it’s full of cute kitty GIFs and drawings.)

15 Delightful Illustrated GIFs That Will Make You Smile
Hoppip / Via
3. So apparently the big news this week is that there will be an ‘NSYNC reunion at the VMAs next Sunday. And the internet is all like…

And I’m over here like…


WHY? Is it not enough that we have One Direction running loose in the world?

4. As if that news wasn’t enough to remind me of my age, Spotify also felt the need to jump in with some musical memories. And also with a reminder that in each stage of my life thus far–childhood, teenagerdom, and now as an adult–I have been unable to escape the musical scourge that is Justin Timberlake. (No offense, “Suit and Tie” fans.)
5. I mean, really, Spotify–you couldn’t recommend some vintage Foo Fighters or something?

6. By the way, boys–the Dave Grohl look is only attractive if you are in fact Dave Grohl. If you are marginally employed and living in your parent’s basement until you “make it big”, you just look like a silly wannabe who needs to wash his hair.

7. You have to go see this Vine of a truck driving off a highway overpass. No, really, this happened. (The driver is okay, by the way.)

8. I am trying so hard to get into season two of Game of Thrones but it is just nowhere nearly as good as the books. Things ought to get a lot better once this smooth criminal shows up, considering he was my favorite character in all of book two. But I don’t really know that I’ll bother going on to season three. The TV show has just really been a letdown. :(

9. I guess you know you’ve given a cat a really good rubdown when he stops purring to give you a double head boop.

10. This note and response was written on a box in our stockroom. I don’t what’s funnier, the fact that someone wrote a note requesting garbage pickup or the fact that someone else replied to shame them and still did not take the box to the trash. This box has been sitting there for months. Months, people. It’s like something from a Dilbert cartoon.

Something different: workout music!

I thought I would put together a slightly different post today! I try really hard to exercise a little each day, whether through something fun like dancing or hiking or a more strict “workout” routine from a DVD, magazine tear-out, etc. But I really struggle with motivation to get up and get moving. The best way for me to get moving (and stay moving) is to have a great soundtrack blasting in the background. So today I thought I would share some of my favorite new workout songs!

Make sure you leave me a comment and tell me some of your favorite new workout tunes so I can check them out!

Pendulum–“The Vulture”
This is a couple of years old, but I just found it by chance on Spotify. Remember when Korn and Skrillex teamed up? This is the same sort of dynamic–metal and EDM mashed up for a fast-paced workout song that’s great for a long run.

The Naked and Famous–“Punching In A Dream”
This band reminds me of MGMT. I think this has a good steady beat that would be good for a bike ride.

Gnarls Barkley–“Going On”
Okay, not the newest track by far. But I can’t help dancing around to this one. If you’re pressed for time and/or don’t want to do a strict workout, toss on some dance music while you clean the house–it makes the cleaning go faster and you work up a sweat at the same time.


Portugal. The Man–“Creep In A T-Shirt”
Another danceable track. How awesome is the horn section? I won’t lie, I’ve been listening to this non-stop all week. Also, this new album was produced by Danger Mouse, so that tells you something!

Avicii–“Wake Me Up”
Remember “Levels”? This is a slightly different direction for the Swedish DJ–it has a bit of a country influence, if that makes any sense. This would be another good one for running or biking.

The Hives–“Hate To Say I Told You So”
This song is actually really old–but this would be great for a run! I want Guy Ritchie to put this in a movie. Please, please, please?

[CLOSED] Album review + GIVEAWAY: Holley Maher ‘Euphorics’ EP

(Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of the album in order to review. The giveaway prizes will be e-mailed directly to the winners by the PR company. I was not compensated in any way for this review and all opinions are my own.)

If you’re searching for a new summer soundtrack, I have a suggestion: Holley Maher’s new EP, Euphorics. The Nashville singer-songwriter’s latest project just dropped June 18th and it’s an infectious blend of acoustic rhythms and piano pop that provides the perfect backdrop to summer road trips and backyard barbecues.

The hubby and I are both fans of acoustic-driven pop artists like Jack Johnson and I’m always looking for new artists to add to the mix. Holley’s music definitely fits the bill, with catchy tracks like “Golden” quickly getting stuck in your head.

There’s more to Holley than just a pretty voice. She’s a multi-talented artist who dabbles in everything from painting to writing to dance, and owns the freelance graphic design boutique H. Maher Creative, where she whips up art for indie bands, small businesses, and brides-to-be looking for something unique for their big day.

That’s a pretty long list of creative endeavors for one person, but Holley seems to feel anything but stretched thin, calling her latest EP “joyful” and “fun to make”. That joy shines through in the music, and it’s easy to see why Holley’s music has been featured in ads for brands like Birchbox and ModCloth; her upbeat style immediately pulls you in and makes you want more.

For her latest project, Holley teamed up with veteran Nashville producer Chris Grainger (who’s worked with some of the biggest alt-pop acts to hit the radio, such as Wilco and Sixpence None the Richer) and electropop artist/songwriter Kyle Andrews, who helped inject a touch of electronic pep into Holley’s acoustic vibe. Explains Holley, “With Euphorics, I really wanted to explore something new and take a step outside my comfort zone.” The result is a mix of pianos, drums, and string arrangements backing Holley’s delicate vocals that would be right at home next to Ingrid Michaelson or Sara Bareilles.

Okay, now on to the giveaway! Bullhorn Publicity is generously offering two lucky readers a copy of Holley’s new EP Euphorics. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter, and remember: you can earn bonus entries every day by Tweeting about the giveaway! The giveaway is open through July 8th and the winners will be contacted on July 9th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Like what you hear? Check out Holley’s official website and blog, and check out her music on iTunes.

(Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of the album in order to review. The giveaway prizes will be e-mailed directly to the winners by the PR company. I was not compensated in any way for this review and all opinions are my own.) 

Blog every day in May x2: Days 24 and 25

Day 24 prompt: Describe and/or photograph what is in your fridge right now. Be honest! 

A huge jug of Gatorade (we mix it with water to fight dehydration, which seems to be worse when you work overnights). A big case of Monster for the husband and a container of coffee for me. Soy milk, soy cheese, some margarine. Tons of condiments! A tomato that will go into today’s pasta dinner. Some tuna and turkey for the husband’s work lunches. Some melon that probably needs to be thrown out. Eggs. Quinoa.

Day 25 prompt: What are your top 5 favorite albums and why?

I can only pick 5? No way!!!

  • The Joshua Tree, U2. This is probably my favorite U2 album and is the perfect album for a Western road trip.
  • Symphony No. 9, Beethoven. His best work of all, in my opinion.
  • El Camino, The Black Keys. Rock/blues that’s perfect for both rocking out and chilling out.
  • Sigh No More, Mumford & Sons. Their debut album continues to be one of my favorite albums to listen to on repeat at work.
  • Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, M83. This album is a weird mix of orchestral pieces, 80s rock and synth pop, in a really good way.

Day 24 prompt: Your top 3 worst traits

  1. I hold a grudge forever. FOR-EV-AH. As justification I will add that it takes quite a bit to get a person onto my grudge list. Someone told me that holding grudges is a side effect of being Italian, so I’m sticking with that!
  2. I have very little patience or tolerance for other people being stupid, rude, etc., which in this modern world basically translates to having very little tolerance for people, period! We’re all adults. Effin’ act like it!
  3. As my husband’s friend Roger delicately phrased it, “You have a very strong personality.” I’m very strong-willed and have a very clear idea of what is right and wrong and how to proceed with things, and it takes a lot to change my mind. Being married has taught me so much about compromise and consideration for other people’s viewpoints and feelings, because when you live with someone at some point you’ll have to give way on something!

Day 25 prompt: Something someone told you about yourself that you’ll never forget (good or bad) 

“You’re a big girl.” I was always a little thick growing up, I guess. Not “chubby”, but as I was told over and over, “big-boned”. It didn’t help that I hit my adult height in junior high. I guess this was how well-meaning adults thought they would make me feel at ease with my size, but it had the opposite effect; the tag of being “a big girl” clung to me like static electricity, wrapping around too tightly to emphasize that I lacked the skinny hips and flat chests of other girls my age.

At a certain age, an awareness set in that “big” is not desirable. I slouched and hid under baggy clothes. I was embarrassed to be tall, embarrassed that I couldn’t squeeze into hip hugger jeans and the tiny t-shirts that were super-popular back in the early 2000s. I realize the terms “big” or “big-boned” was probably supposed to head off any fears that I was “fat”, but they really only drew more of my attention to my body and to all the synonyms for the word “big”. When you’re a teenager, you tend to self-dramatize really quickly.

My parents were always really into fitness (hiking and biking) and “junk food” (soda, chips) was a luxury in our house, but at the same time nobody was nutty about health or anything like that, so you’ve got to give my parents a ton of credit for raising me with a balanced attitude toward eating and exercise. I think that’s a huge reason I didn’t end up with an eating disorder like some of the other girls I knew in high school, because I really didn’t get the chance and I had a lot of love at home. Still, I couldn’t really shake my warped mental image of a self who took up too much space.

After high school I got really skinny, mostly because I was super-busy and not eating. It wasn’t really a conscious thing, I just lost a ton of weight all at once. I reveled in people commenting on how thin I had gotten, especially boys. When I started dating my now-husband, I was squeezing into my tiniest jeans size yet and determined not to gain a pound. After all, I was finally thin and attractive to guys, and I wasn’t about to screw that up by becoming the “big girl” again! (Of course, my now-adult self realizes that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and when I think about how little I ate back then it’s insane. I wasn’t healthy! But at 18, you’re just kind of stupid like that.)

All things come to an end, and at some point I wound up gaining quite a few pounds back. And somewhere in the shuffle of sizes in and out my wardrobe I finally realized that the label of “big girl” did not have to define how I saw myself or what I put on my plate. My boyfriend loved me for a ton of things, but my jeans size was not one of them. I excelled at work for a lot of reasons, but my jeans size was not one of them. So many things could affect my happiness on a daily basis, and it’s true that my jeans size could be one of them–but so could the wistful thought of a dinner with friends, passed up because I was afraid of the calories. And so could feeling too tired for an activity because I had skipped my meals all day.

And at some point, once I stopped fretting about every bite and the labels in my clothes, I was finally able to look in the mirror without seeing a distorted reflection of someone with an inch to pinch here and there. I just saw me. I may not be able to squeeze my thighs into skinny jeans, but my muscular legs are the result of an active lifestyle and they mean I can walk for miles without getting tired! I’m proud of being strong! I’m happy to have curves, even if they mean I can’t shop the junior sizes, because I’m eating a healthy diet and not passing up the foods I love just to be smaller. 

So there’s my little speech on body acceptance! I wish I had gotten over myself a little sooner because I would have had much more fun in life, but better late than never!

[CLOSED] Album review + GIVEAWAY: Rebecca Roubion ‘Forests’ EP

(Disclaimer: I was provided a link to the album in order to review. The digital copy of the giveaway album will be e-mailed directly to the winner by the PR company. I was not compensated in any way for this review and all opinions are my own.)

Rebecca Roubion is one of those artists who is typically labeled as indie-pop, but her folk, soul and jazz influences make her music something a little more than your typical lightweight pop album. If you’re not yet familiar with her, you need to be: for fans of similar artists like Sara Bareilles and Norah Jones, Rebecca is the next big thing.

The Nashville, Tennessee-based songbird seamlessly fuses smooth piano ballads with a soulful, syrupy voice reminiscent of fellow Dixieland singers like Eva Cassidy. After successfully launching her debut EP Fields in the fall of 2012 via Kickstarter, Roubion returns this spring with the twin EP Forests.

Photo by Andrea Behrends.

Forests picks up where Fields left off, with Roubion switching easily between the understated arrangements of ‘Cripple Me’ and the peppier piano pop of ‘Not Sure Yet’. This is the sort of album you put on for brunch with friends or for an evening of relaxing, turning off the phone and curling up with a cup of tea and a stack of magazines!

Rebecca recently released this video for her single ‘Love Me Now’, which expertly captures Rebecca’s creative soul and all of the whimsical, giddy emotion of falling in love. Take a listen and just try not to picture this as the theme to a romantic comedy starring Rachel McAdams or Zooey Deschanel!

Okay, now on to the giveaway! Starboard Music Group is generously offering one lucky reader a digital copy of Rebecca’s new EP Forests when it releases on May 7. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter, and remember: you can earn bonus entries every day by Tweeting about the giveaway, and one larger entry by sharing the video for ‘Love Me Now’! The giveaway is open through May 3rd. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can’t wait for the release of Forests? Pick up a digital copy of Fields today via Amazon, Bandcamp, iTunes or Spotify, or visit her website to purchase a hard copy.

(Disclaimer: I was provided a link to the album in order to review. The digital copy of the giveaway album will be e-mailed directly to the winner by the PR company. I was not compensated in any way for this review and all opinions are my own.)

Random Thursdays: Music I Never Get Tired Of…


Wow, where to start? I’m a big music junkie. Have been since I could remember.

My playlist contains a huge variety of music, and what I’m listening to at the moment depends on my mood. But I thought that with today’s topic it’d be fun to share a few of the songs I can’t get out of my head this week. As you can tell I listen mostly to rock and dance, but I also like classical, folk, and world music, too.

(I know this is a long post, so I definitely don’t expect you to listen to every single song!)

“How You Like Me Now”–The Heavy


“Greyhound”–Swedish House Mafia

“Burn My Shadow”–UNKLE and Ian Astbury


“She Wolf”–David Guetta and Sia

“Dirty Paws”–Of Monsters and Men

“Steve McQueen”–M83