MUSIC I fell in love with this Summer

MUSIC

Tori Kelly 

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Inspired by True Events [released August 2019]

So I actually saw Tori back in April for the her Acoustic Sessions- where she not only performed songs from her incredible Gospel album “Hiding Place”, but also a lot of unreleased music that she just recently released in this new project.

And holy crap…what an absolute masterpiece. Not only are the songs/lyrics incredible… but the concept “Inspired by True Events” is so beautiful and personal. She wrote from personal memories and she even included voice clips of her younger self. It’s just so amazing.

My favorite tracks are, Coffee, 2 Places, Kid I Used To Know, and Pretty Fades.

Shawn Mendes

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Self titled album [released May 2018…but it’s been releasing new material well into this year.]

My favorite tracks include, Senorita, If I Can’t Have You, Fallin’ All In You, Where Were You In The Morning, Nervous, Particular Taste [Gives me serious Prince vibes!], Mutual,  Queen and When You’re Ready [That’s like the whole album LOLOL, omg I told you I LOVE his music.]

The Shawn Mendes Tour

I saw Shawn in concert at Barclay’s Center on August 23rd. I randomly bought tickets because it dawned on me how much I love his music- I’ve been listening since Handwritten, yo! I also became obsessed with his new single “If I Can’t Have You.” So my friend and I were super excited to get our cougar on, and go and sing our asses off with all the little teens. Fun Fact: we were those some older girls a few years back when we went to see Justin Bieber. Haha.

However, I promised you the full concert experience story so here it goes…

Shawn Mendes was AMAZING! Such a stinking cutie pie. I know I have a few years on him, but I have such a stinking crush on this cutie! If only I was 21 again. 😉 Boy can SING! And his music is so damn good. I kind of was hoping for a Camila Cabello surprise, but she wasn’t there. He did do a short mash up of Senorita/I Know What You Did Last Summer, but we definitely missed Camila. He shortened the songs significantly. He also surprised us with a coldplay cover and a FREAKIN WHITNEY HOUSTON cover. LIKE BOY….WHAT? He definitely put on a great show.

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BUT had it not been for one sweet woman who exchanged our seats for closer ones, I think I might have had a panic attack in that arena in the upper level. I had purchased tickets in section 206, because frankly it was all I could afford. The structure is INSANELY dangerous. Walking up those stairs was terrifying. I just tried to keep my cool, because it would have been very easy to let my anxiety take over. But I knew I had to keep it together, if I had any chance of enjoying the show.

My friend has a fear of heights (which sadly I did not know, otherwise I never would have bought those seats!) and so I realized quickly we needed to do something. Thankfully she came up with the idea to see if we could get our seats changed. And so the craziness continued. Not only did the venue let us in later than they should (seriously how do they expect thousands of people to be seated in 10-15 minutes/security check alone was like 10!), and they let us in a weird side entrance where we could not catch an elevator, escalators weren’t working and there was no one really telling us where to go. We had to walk up flights of stairs to get to our seats, not to mention that you had to walk a marathon to get food. All of this drama, causing so many people to miss the opening act- Alessia Cara. I heard her and caught a few bits, she was AMAZING. WHAT A DAMN VOICE. SHE SANG “How Far I’ll Go” from MOANA! #FEELS

I have to say in an emergency situation, I would not have felt safe in that arena. It just seemed like no one cared.

Anyway once we let Alessia’s set finish, I knew we had a small window to change our situation before Shawn took the stage. So my friend and I had to look for an usher, yes WE HAD TO LOOK FOR THEM, and ask if we could get our seats changed. I have to be honest, I didn’t think that was a thing. But my friend was like, we have to try, and she was right, the longer we sat up in those steep seats, the scarier it got. We definitely would not have felt safe to get up, let alone dance.

So the usher (although nice) told us he couldn’t help us and to go to guest services, to which the man there kept ignoring our complaints stating, “you don’t have a disability,” so he can’t help me. I was pissed.

So finally another woman told us to try the box office. We get to the box office and they tell us to go to guest services, and I was like “no, we were just there, they sent us here.” She almost told us there’s nothing they can do, that all we can do is purchase ANOTHER ticket. MIND you those nose bleeds seats COSTED $85. I was like “That’s insane, we paid to be here, and we can’t sit there, I’m not asking you to give me some crazy front row seats, we just have to get out of ours.” The woman was very understanding, but you could tell she was not sure if she could help us, claiming that guest services keeps sending people to her. So, this is not the first complaint they’ve gotten. If you have vertigo, you’d probably pass out up there. I mean I myself almost had a panic attack up there, it was so scary. Anway,  the woman came back a few minutes later with two tickets, saying, “It’s your lucky day.” And it got me thinking, how many people who complained weren’t THAT lucky.

There really should be a change made. I know we are not the first people to complain about the steep seating. Not to mention that Barclays Center actually has a policy that says special accommodations can be made at the venue day of. I understand anxiety may not be a disability, but it IS real. We happen to get “lucky” that the seats we were given were being saved for someone who didn’t show. We went from section 206 to 124, and it was AMAZING. We were able to dance freely and enjoy the rest of our night…thankfully. Just out of curiosity I looked up our tickets…and they were about $200+. THAT’s INSANE. I guess safety costs! HUH?

I’ll just leave this article HERE. Because I am not the only one who feels this way. Concerts are supposed to be a fun experience not a dangerous one. (And no I wasn’t drinking, (and my friend barely finished hers because she got so anxious from the seating) I can only imagine how many people have fallen because of the combination of alcohol and steep seating.)

^ The left we were sitting way high up in the nose bleeds. The right we were in our new seats.^

From all these pictures you would never know the kind of concert experience we had! I may not be a fan of the venue, but I am a fan of the very sweet woman who accommodated us when no one else would. I will NEVER purchase tickets that high up again, and if this venue wasn’t so convenient for me to go to, I probably would never purchase tickets there again at all. An unforgettable night for sure, a list of things that went wrong. But girl, we hung in and we conquered it! #FightForYourHealth #Memories #AnxietyIsReal #SafetyIsAPriority

Shawn is a class act, the arena lit up beautifully with everyone wearing the bracelets they gave us as we walked in. And Shawn barely ever left the stage, performing an epic 23 song set! He is an insane talent. THAT is what I am choosing to focus on, that in the end, we were STILL able to have a good time. I just hope that Barclays takes measures to create a safer environment for concert goers.

 

Set list (via setlist.fm)

Lost in Japan

There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back

Nervous

Stitches

Señorita / I Know What You Did Last Summer

Mutual

Bad Reputation

Never Be Alone

B-Stage:
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
(Whitney Houston cover)

A Little Too Much / Because I Had You / Patience / When You’re Ready

Life of the Party

Like to Be You

Ruin

A-Stage:
Treat You Better

Particular Taste

Where Were You in the Morning?

Fallin’ All in You

Youth

If I Can’t Have You

Why

Mercy

Encore:
Fix You
(Coldplay cover)
In My Blood

By the way…Here was my concert going outfit. I was really excited about it!

I basically just wanted an all black base so I could rock this funky kimono. And of course I did gold jewelry and gold nails. Mind you, I was on a budget and this WHOLE outfit (aside from the bag and jewelry which I already had) costed me about $40! I think it kinda turned out pretty cool! 🙂

Taylor Swift

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Lover [released August 2019]

We know how I feel about this new album!

***** 5 Stars!!!

My favorite tracks include- I Forgot That You Existed, The Man, I Think He Knows, False God & Afterglow. But honestly I love every single track. Her lyrics are GOLD! She truly was born to do this!

Ed Sheeran

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No. 6 Collaborations Project [released July 2019]

Some of my favorite tracks are Beautiful People ft. Khalid, South of the Border ft. Camila Cabello & Cardi B., I Don’t Care with Justin Bieber (of course cuz it’s a JAM!), I Don’t Want Your Money ft. H.E.R, Put It All On Me ft. Ella Mai [this gives me suchBlackstreet & Mya-“Take me there”/City High “What would you do” vibes and the very beginning of this track is very “My whole life has changed” by Ginuwine.

Ok so I know I’ve been sleeping on this album and I’m kind of mad at myself because I consider myself an Ed Sheeran fan. He is actually on my concert bucket list, along with Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Joy Williams (previously known as 1/2 of The Civil Wars). I had given it a quick listen one day, but didn’t really let it sink in, but recently I have just been playing it at random times, and I mean I totally dig the concept of creating a full album of collabs. He really collaborated with such a variety of artists and he killed it. He really can do anything. Such an incredible artist. I’m just going to leave you with this Dublin concert video, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this in the past….him and a loop pedal…EPIC!

The Jonas Brothers

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Happiness Begins [released June 2019]

So this was a THING! The brothers reunited musically after being separated for the past 6 years. I wasn’t A HUGE DIE HARD fan of the JoBros, but I did vibe with them and their music. I LOVED their A Little Bit Longer Album and I’ve loved their solo music too. When I heard they reunited, my boy band loving heart was HAPPY. If tickets were cheaper, I’d probably go see them just to fill my boy band void. #IMLOOKINGATYOU*NSYNC

My favorite tracks include, Sucker (OBVI…it’s a damn BOP!), Only Human (loved it before it was a single), I Believe, Used To Be, and Rollercoaster.

I really like this album. Do it JOBROS! I know it’s been a minute, but I love that they are brothers/family first.

 

You can listen to these albums on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, etc.

 

*I do not take credit for any album art used.*

*All other images are my own.*

-<3-

 

 

 

December Favorites

Hey friends,

I know it has been a bit since I last posted. And quite frankly I should have known better than to expect that I could actually hop right back into my usual two week posting schedule after blogging for the entire month of October and then working on my first ever NaNoWriMo project all throughout November. See more on this HERE.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely miss blogging! But since NaNo wrapped I kind of just threw myself into holiday mode with the determination to actually get things done earlier this year and not have to rush all over on December 23rd.. I have to say, of course there were some hiccups and there are a few last minute things to take care of this weekend, but for the most part I did pretty good. And just in case you were wondering, I was able to cross quite a few of my Winter Bucket List items off my list! 

Normally around this time I would have posted way more holiday related content. And I can’t believe I haven’t yet. Christmas Eve is literally only 2 days away! I haven’t even started to plan out my 2019 goals yet either! And my full experience with #NaNoWriMo has yet to be written. I’ve gotten ahead of some things, but remain behind on others! You know what they say, life happens! Lol.

So I thought that for today’s random Saturday post that I could maybe do a little bit of a December Favorites. Show you some things I’ve been loving this December. This is such a festive time, and there are so many things I am loving lately. 

Holiday Favorites

Christmas mug with some hot chocolate or festive tea

My aunt bought me this mug from Burlington, and it has become my favorite for this holiday season. I love the hippie camper truck vibes, how adorable is it?

mug life

Christmas music

These are the songs I have to listen to every year! They just put me in the best spirit. And it never fails, O Holy Night by Celine Dion makes me cry every time. Gets me EVERY time. 

Christmas movies- Lifetime

Now I haven’t seen them all, but this channel has been on my tv non-stop. All the feel good, romantic Christmas vibes. I am here for it! So here are some of my favorites…

Noel- I cannot say enough good about this movie. It is incredible. 

The Christmas Contract

Poinsettias for Christmas

Snowed Inn Christmas 

Love at the Christmas Table 

Four Christmases and A Wedding

Hometown Christmas 

Christmas Pen Pals

A Christmas Arrangement

A Star for Christmas 

Christmas on the Bayou

The Spirit of Christmas 

All About Christmas Eve

A Christmas Wedding Date 

A Gift Wrapped Christmas 

…and the list goes on, because there are SO many!

 

Check your local listings!

 

Favorite scent

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My best friend was burning this in her house when I visited her and I fell in love with the scent from Bath & Body Works. I had ordered this mini one and burned it so quickly, that I just had to go out and buy the big size. It smells like a Christmas tree and it is perfect for anyone who has a fake tree, and misses that pine scent. I know I love it! And it’s made with essential oils so the scent is just so crisp and clean. 

Favorite treats

Every holiday season Entenmann’s has it’s holiday gourmet cookies with the chocolate coated bottoms and sprinkled pop’ems. So anytime I see them, I have to pick them up, because they are my favorites! 

Yes I was drinking tea in my new Christmas camper mug, eating my festive cookies, while watching a Lifetime Christmas movie. #LOVE 

 

So there you have it, my December Favorites!

*All images are my own.*

Have a Very Merry Christmas and  Happy Healthy New Year!

-<3-

 

 

BLOGMAS -Day 2- Christmas Playlist

I’ve been keeping the Christmas tunes at bay, just to let Thanksgiving settle and have it’s moment. But right after, I was itching to blast my trusty old- Home for Christmas *N’SYNC album. Seriously I don’t know how I’m going to pick favorites, because honestly I love the entire album. By the way can we talk about how in honor of the band’s 20th anniversary, Home for Christmas is currently being sold on vinyl in urban outfitters AND NSYNC.com is selling new Christmas themed merch. LIKE WHAT? It’s the 90’s again!

lights blogmas edit 

My Ultimate Christmas Playlist

This Christmas– Donny Hathaway

What Christmas Means To Me– Stevie Wonder

O Holy Night– Celine Dion

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – *N’SYNC

Home For Christmas– *N’SYNC

All I Want Is You (This Christmas) – *N’SYNC

The First Noel -*N’SYNC

In Love On Christmas – *N’SYNC

It’s Christmas – *N’SYNC

O Holy Night – *N’SYNC

My Only Wish (This Year) – Britney Spears

Sleigh Ride – Hilary Duff

Last Christmas – Hilary Duff

Wonderful Christmastime – Hilary Duff

Christmas Eve – Justin Bieber

Christmas Love – Justin Bieber

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Justin Bieber

Happy Christmas (War Is Over) – The Fray

Noel The Fray

Angels We Have Heard On High– Josh Groban

O Come All Ye Faithful – Josh Groban

O Come Emmanuel– Everly-(used to be the duo- Bethany Joy Lenz & Amber Sweeney)

 

Did I miss your fav?

I still have so many others, but the list would have never stopped. Isn’t Christmas music just the best! Certain songs just hit me right in the feels and make me tear up instantly, for example it never fails- O holy night by Celine Dion gets me every damn time. 

Let me know in the comments below what your favorite is! 🙂

-<3-

 

My Top 12 Christmas Songs

Christmas music is a source of happiness for the ears. You can quote me on that 😉

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When I was younger I would be playing Christmas music as early as October, sometimes I would even let it slip in during the summer. I’ve had Christmas in July and ugly sweater parties. And in order to create ambiance I realized nothing puts you in the mood for Christmas like listening to your favorite Christmas songs. Here are some of my favorites.

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My Top 12 Christmas Songs

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Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree– Brenda Lee

*Every time I hear this song I think of the scene in Home Alone where Kevin is having his fake house party with dancing mannequins and such.*

What Christmas Means to Me– Stevie Wonder

O Holy Night -*NSYNC

*Celine Dion’s version also makes me cry every damn time. It’s beautiful.

And this is a GORGEOUS performance by the former duo Everly.

(Bethany Joy Lenz & Amber Sweeney)

The First Noel– *NSYNC

This Christmas– Donny Hathaway

Last Christmas– Hilary Duff

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays– *NSYNC

Santa Claus is Coming to Town– Justin Bieber

Christmas Love– Justin Bieber

Christmas Eve– Justin Bieber

War is Over – The Fray

Kiss Me At Midnight– *NSYNC

Enjoy!

And listen to the songs that touch your soul during this holiday season!

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*All these songs remind me of a poem I posted a while back and because it’s snowng out here now, I thought it was fitting to re-introduce it. Take a read if you wish. 😉

In honor of snow…

**I do not take credit for any images used**

-<3-