Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ich Liebe...

I love my eyes.  I love my hair.  I love my lips.  I love my thought-process.  I love my sense of humor. I love my laugh(s).  I love my passion.  I love my toes.  I love my tears.  I love my hands.  I love my extra-long tongue.  I love my strength.  I love my height (unless I'm at a concert - haha!).  I love my musical skill.  I love my ability to see the big-picture.  I love how that ability sometimes gets caught up when I'm in the moment.  I love my poetic side.  I love my smile.  I love my ghetto booty.  I love my spirituality.  I love my sarcastic wit.  I love my inner "hopeless romantic."  I love my "tough exterior" mode.  I love my bellybutton.  I love my eyebrows.  I love my boobs.  I love my intellectual capacity.  I love my stupidity.  I love my self-created awkward moments.  I love my need to help others.  I love my beauty.  I love my confidence.  I love my emotion.  I love my family.  I love my friends.  I love my leaders and teachers.  I love my Heavenly Father.  I love that I know I am His daughter.  I love Savior.  I love my knowledge of the Atonement, and my access to its power.  I love my articulation... and non-articulation.  I love my dreams.  I love my style.  I love my talents.  I love my heart.  I love my "take charge" mode. I love my need to make lists.  I love the planning side of me.  I love my love for reading.  I love my desire to write.  I love my freedom.  I love my personal boundaries.  I love my life.  I love my senses - my capability to smell, hear, touch, taste, see, and simply feel.  I love myself.

What do you love about yourself?  Do you take the time to notice all of the positives about YOU, rather than focusing on the negative?

Sidenote:  This entry was inspired partially by Jason Mraz's blog... Love him.  

Song of the Day:  In relation to my post today, I am recommending the song "Who Says" by Selena Gomez & The Scene.  I actually find the video somewhat ironic and farcical.  You have someone SO done-up with make-up and fancy, expensive clothing pretending to strip it away and telling you, "I'm no beauty queen..."  Truth is, I wish they had chosen to REALLY remove her make-up and fancy clothes (those jeans are at least $200), but I appreciate the message of the song and wish more girls would blow off the need to compare themselves to anyone else.  We all have things we're uncomfortable with physically or emotionally, but we are divine creatures... we should realize how blessed we are to simply be alive, and that we are beautiful by being who we were created to be... Enjoy.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Neck Basket

After a rousing FHE session of human foosball and soccer - mind you my foosball skills were top notch, while my soccer fell quite below par... Eh - I came home to find my parents waiting to ask my about my evening. It's one of the perks and downfalls of living at home - depending on if I want to chat about things or just head up to bed. However, I am blessed with the most noninvasive family that a young woman could have. They LOVE to talk to me... or in my case, listen to me ramble on and on about important or insignificant things. However, if I say that I'm tried or just need to go have time to myself, they're very understanding and chill about it. I love my family.

Back to my story....

After FHE, I came home, went upstairs to my parent's room (on the way to my own room), and began to chat about my day, when a HILARIOUS infomercial comes on the television in the background. I couldn't help it... I stopped, watched, and laughed hysterically. Below is the commercial I witnessed:

[Pause at 0:16 for my favorite face... I also like 1:14, where she's clearly hitting on the guy while wearing the hideous, inane, nonsensical basket around her neck. I'm sure he's thinking, "What a winner!" Yep. I'm sure.]

Are they serious?! I mean, really... ARE THEY SERIOUS??? There's no way... no way. What I think is even better is that you KNOW someone, somewhere gave in and bought this for themselves... or an enemy friend  to destroy the competition increase their "game."

Not surprisingly, this commercial was just featured on the website Funny of DIE... Just sayin'. 

Sidenote:  If you think this is a strong reaction to an infomercial, you should hear my rant on "The Snuggie."

Song of the Day:  This is currently my favorite song -  no joke.  If you know me at all, you know I've got an open, but tough exterior regarding romantic antics... but this song turns me to goo.  Complete goo... because if you know me at all, you know deeply (or sometimes shallowly) that I'm a hopeless romantic.  This is one of the most alluring and simply tender - filled with a quiet passion - songs I have ever heard in my life... and I've hear a lot.  Here is Dave Barnes with "On a Night Like This."  Enjoy...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Religious Puzzels...

This past week I spent a little bit of time re-reading my text book from my World Religions class (I know... re-reading a text book?!) somewhat in preparation for Festival of Colors (pictures below, though this entry is not about that), and somewhat just to understand different religions and where their beliefs fit into my own beliefs. It was while talking to my mom about my reading that I came up with a little analogy that I just had to share about what I believe and the how I see The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This might begin like other analogies, but it's not the same... and I'm proud of myself for figuring out a way to explain the complex simplicity of my religious beliefs...

Religion in general is like a puzzle... but not a 25 piece puzzle - a 1000 piece puzzle.  As we put the pieces together and decide/learn for ourselves what is truth, we come to see the picture we create for ourselves. With some religions or beliefs we create sections of the full picture, or mini snippets of the big picture.  Then there are religions that are so close, but there are a few little pieces missing... and isn't that the most frustrating thing?!  When there is only two or three pieces in a huge picture missing?  Yea, I hate that more than when half the pieces are MIA.

Now, how does the gospel of the LDS church tie into my analogy?  A lot of people claim that the LDS beliefs are so complex and there are many facets to our teachings.  They say it's too overwhelming and other religions are merely easier to understand.  For me, I disagree.  The LDS doctrine creates the full puzzle, with no missing pieces, and the spirit of your individual testimony seals the puzzle together.  When you first look down at the scattered pieces, you're right... it's overwhelming.  There seems to be a never-ending amount of work to accomplish, and it may seem you'll never get the puzzle down.  However, as the pieces start to align and form the picture, things build upon one another until the puzzle is complete.  As you step back and look, the picture before you is SO clear and simple.  You have the FULL picture before you, and all the pieces are present and fit together.  What was once so overwhelming becomes more simple...

Does that mean that every part of the gospel is always easy to understand?  Nope.  However, looking back to the big picture, you have a greater sense of the eternal goals before you, an increased amount of faith, and the ability to understand how differing pieces of the puzzle build off of one another.

My mom said that's how she felt growing up... She was always searching for more, feeling like pieces of her religion were missing.  When she first came upon the LDS faith, she thought there was SO much there to take in... Yet, as the lessons continued and she grew in her understanding, learning more and gaining more "knowledge puzzle pieces," the picture came into view with great ease.  It became simple... and beautiful.

I have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that we can know the fullness of His doctrine as well.  We can know for ourselves that He lives, and that He and our Heavenly Father love us with their entirety.  I know that as we grow and learn more, by keeping the commandments from our Father in Heaven, we will see the bigger picture and things in life will become more simple... I'm not saying things will be easy, because they're not.  However, with more understanding, and the vision of the eternal perspective, our burdens can (and will be) lightened.  I know my Savior lives, and I know that gospel of Jesus Christ is upon the earth, in its fullness through the LDS church. 

I am so thankful to know that...

Now, just for some visual aides from yesterday, here are some pictures from my FIRST TIME at Festival of Colors... It was on my bucket list to go, and yesterday me and Sarah finally checked it off the list!  It's the Hindu celebration of Holi, and consists of music, food, worship, and throwing colored chalk in the air/ at each other. So, Sarah and I drove out to Spanish Fork (after getting lost...) to the Hare Krishna Temple, met some friends, and enjoyed the day!  I love the Indian culture!  Their music, food, beliefs, clothing, dancing, etc... It's beautiful.  I was excited to share a bit in the fun, and learn a bit about what they believe...


Song of the Day:  I found this INCREDIBLE version of Nelly's song "Just A Dream," by Sam Tsui and Christina Grimmie.  My friend posted it on her blog, so shout out to JC!  I've seen stuff by Sam Tsui before and he is BOMB!  You'll love this... It's ten times better than the original.  For real. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Online Finds...

There are a few YouTube videos that I have recently been enjoying multiple times...  It's those videos that you know are worth sharing.  Thus, this entry is written!  First:

I love this little, independent girl. LOVE!  Girl, I feel the same way most of the time.  Haha!  I've gotta be one of those independent, sustained women before I tie myself down.  Then, I start to think marrying a rich doctor of sorts or a successful lawyer might be okay as well.... 


This is what PI sounds like... Yea.  I had NO idea it sounded like that either.

Third, has to go to the Japanese:

OH MY WORD. I died laughing... Japanese Binocular Football should be a regular sport in our school system here. OR, we could make all the bullies play when they get in trouble... teach them some humility. Is that cruel? Yes, but also funny.


My bestie, Sarah, took me to see the VocalPoint for my birthday this past month... Yes, I know my birthday was back in November, but I was otherwise occupied (aka: Remember Germany?), so this was the perfect way for a post-celebratory event.  Through the entire concert I was in LOVE with this guy's voice (the lead on this song), McKay Crockett.  McKay, I do not know you... not at all.  However, YOU have got talent.  I'm talkin' real, American-Idol and beyond, billboard toppin' talent... This isn't my favorite song he did, but it's a good one, and the best one I could find online representing his sound.  Plus, it's VocalPoint.  You gotta love em'!

And, Another:

I've seen this one NUMEROUS times, and I can not resist this little boy - He is the nest big country star! Hilarious... Oh, and the second video of him is only a few seconds long, but was adorable... I'm his biggest fan.


I know these two baby videos have made the rounds... but I love them. TOO CUTE!

Moving On;

I know this is a WHOLE music video, meaning a whole few minutes of your life, but it's worth watching. This is Brett Dennen's video for "Ain't No Reason."  The song is good, message great, and the video itself very powerful! Watch as the perceptions change of those in the video... it's inventive and thought-provoking. I love it.

Here's a classic one:

Here's one for my school to the North... BYU-I:

This is epic. I mean, it's pretty tight... Everything is recorded backwards, including the singing, and played in reverse... AND, they have SO many students involved... It's long, but it's worth it.

I've got more...:

I know that this video is a low-budget, unexciting one... but the song is just TOO awesome! LISTEN and HEAR the lyrics... SO GREAT. My favorite part: "Say everything you've always wanted. Be not afraid of you really are," and those are most definitely not the most poignant ones.  I love this Ian Axel guy, but the Chad Vaccerino with him is INCREDIBLE! I just discovered these two recently and they're starting to tour together... PLEASE com to Utah! PLEASE.


WACTH (and LISTEN to) these guys, Michael Henry & Justin Robinett, and their piano playing... also, the random cat jumping around in the background... Haha! They're fun to watch and SO talented! They have great harmonies, unique arrangements, and creatively, random videos. I'm a fan.


Okay, I know I already posted a video above with Chad Vaccarino in it, as well as Ian Axel actually, but I HAD to put one of his original songs up on here too. He is SO fabulous... I am bit enamored with his videos. If you like his sound, check out his other songs "Don't You Worry," "Who Knows," "Where It Ends," and "Hands Tied Up." He sincerely is INCREDIBLE in all his songs... Then, once you check him out in more depth, you can accept my preemptive "You're Welcome."

Sidenote: I promise I do more with my time than check-out YouTube and blog... I promise.

Song of the Day: Anything by Chad Vaccarino. Yep, that's how much I adore him.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Highs and Lows of Teaching

This week I have been blessed to have a lot of subbing gigs given to me by the teachers at a local school.  It's nice because the kids know and like me, and I get to teach without doing all the lesson plans and grading.  It's usually a really easy job, even when kids ask a lot of questions and I have to spend the majority of time explaining things or keeping kids on task.  However, every once in awhile I have a really tough day, or a really tough group.  Thursday, was one of those days... with one of those groups.

I normally have subbed for the middle school grades, most specifically, the sixth grade.  However, Thursday I took a gig in a lower grade.  I was confident I would be fine, as I've worked in the grade before as an aide, subbed all the grades surrounding it, and spent the last year of my life working with younger kids.  Boy, was I in for a treat... In all my years of aiding, teaching, subbing, and volunteering with kids, in education, I have never seen a crazier group of kids.  These kids were SO misbehaved, disrespectful (to me and to each other), loud (calling out and CONSTANTLY talking), argumentative, and overall, just bratty!  There were a handful of good ones, but the majority of the kids were out of control... THE MAJORITY!  That's ridiculous.

I've been told that this specific class is the best of the grade, but if that is the case, I fear for the future teachers.  These kids were tough.  My favorite past of the day? --> When I told them at the end of the class that they were the worst behaved class I had ever subbed for and they did NOT earn an end of the day game (I usually let kids play a game for the last few minutes of the day IF they are well-behaved, finish all their work, clean the classroom up first, and there's time - it makes for a good motivational tool...). I know that might sound harsh, but I think it was good for them to hear... To give you some context, I broke up four (FOUR!) yelling matches between kids, two kids told me flat out "NO" when I asked them to stop doing something and to sit down, two kids had severe acting-out issues where one kid hit another kid, the class never got quiet on the first time being asked (after my countdown system), and they literally TRASHED the room.  I made them clean it...

I know that others have it tougher than I do, but really for a school like mine, and the kids I normally have, these kids were off-the-wall with misbehavior.  They are a unique shade of crazy... I wish you could have been a fly on the wall to see what I mean, cause trust me... it was bad.  Especially in that, and please don't take this the wrong way, there were bad little girls!  I feel like I have dealt with tough little boys, but there were downright MEAN little girls, not trying to hide it in the least.

On a positive note, the sixth graders for which I subbed for the rest of the week were quite fabulous overall.  They're some of my favorites!  A few of them drive me a little nuts, but I really love them.  I had an INCREDIBLE teaching moment that I MUST share... just read a little bit longer.

I am NOT a math person.  I've always been pretty decent with numbers, but it takes me time to grasp concepts.  I'm NOT a science person... and I'm NOT decent in that area.  Back to math.  On Tuesday, I was in charge of teaching the basic concepts of graphing and y = mx + b.  To those who think this is easy, you're right.  However, after years of NEVER USING IT, I had to regroup and figure out what I was doing once again... and then think about how to TEACH the concepts.  It's not a simple task with sixth graders, especially with the lower kids.  However, somehow I figured out how to apply their way of thinking and started the see "the lights go on" with SO many of the kids.  I MADE kids answer questions and to cease fear of being wrong.  Kids who were LOST at the beginning were flying through the problem and explaining the concepts back to me.  I was SO proud of myself!  Haha... It was one of the "teacher highs," and I've missed having those...

The life of the unemployed is unpredictable and sometimes hard, but this week, it was pretty fantastic.

Song of the Day:  First I have to ask that if you have NOT watched my video from two entries back, help a girl out and click on it... I still need to up the count.  Here's a new melodic love of mine. Here is Skyler Grey called "It's Raining Again."  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Farmin' Funny...

Today at school, one of the teachers came across this little beauty in the Salt Lake Tribune... It's a letter to the editor in response to an earlier complaint by certain reader's about the use of profanity in a local theater production, and it's quite entertaining.

"The recent flurry of letters to the editor about what some people call “strong language” in plays has me asking myself what’s necessary to tell a story (“F-bomb fallout,” Forum, March 6). You see, the common objection to “offensive language” is that it isn’t necessary — which, I am obliged to admit, is fricking true.

As a playwright, I don’t need the F-bomb when I have an array of F-cherry bombs; i.e., freak, frick, frak, flip. I can as easily write “You frigged up, my good man” as I can the obviously filthy alternative. Other phrases I might morally employ: 'Holy dung!,' 'Zeus condemn you,' 'You poohead liar,' or 'I dislike your intestines, you mother of Flipper.'

And, actually, as I write this, I realize the word “hate” isn’t necessary either. A writer never needs a character to say 'I h*** you for [blank].' Certainly any fictional character can be linguistically adjusted to say something like, “Ernie, I feel conflicted about you farming my wife.'" 
  - Matthew Ivan Bennett, Midvale

I hope you took note of sarcasm present in the letter... If not, it was perhaps subtle at moments, but I promise it was there.   If you took offense, I apologize, but... I just don't feel bad.  I think it's pretty farmin' funny.

Sidenote:  BYU Cougars, how I love you!!! PLEASE keep pushing and pull through... I'm rootin' for you tonight! My mom sent a note to the opposite team: "I hope you break your legs!"  She continued, "I'm gonna start saying the 'S' word..."  To which I replied, "Mom!" in a warning tone.  She said, "Linze, this is why I should never watch sports..."  LOVE IT.

Song of the Day: In honor of BYU and the infamous, Jimmer Fredette (see Sports Illustrated cover to your left) here is a little love comin; their way... Here's the recent "radio" classic, "Teach Me How to Jimmer."  I LOVE IT. Enjoy!
Sidenote:  If you DON'T know who Jimmer is, you don't know sports.  "Superman sleeps in a (WHAT!?) Jimmer jersey!"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Little Help From My Friends!

So.... I need your help.  Yes, you.  ALL of you!  I have put in an audition tape for Stadium of Fire yesterday, and need to get the hit count up and going (100 in a day is GREAT, so thanks for all that many of you have done so far!) and the "liked" count on YouTube up higher.  If you could watch this video below, like it on the YouTube page, and pass it around to all your friends, family, that random facebook connection you don't remember adding, that would be great!  I just need to get more and more plays each day.  It was really thrown together, but I still think it's decent and is worth a listen... or two, or three.  Haha!  If you wanna check out any of my other songs on YouTube that could help too...

Song of the Day:  "Where Would You Be?" covered by Linze Struiksma

Thank you in advance for all your help! I have the BEST friends! :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lookin' Young!

You know what I've noticed?  Of course you don't. So, I will tell you... Women who are my age on reality television programs somehow look older than me.  Not ALL of them.... but a lot of them.  I was watching The Bachelor finale last night (surprise, surprise) and the girl who won (Emily) is 24 years old, but totally looks older than that.  She doesn't look OLD by any means, but she definitely appears older than me.  Here are pictures below for comparison:

Emily - 24
Me - 25

So, there ya go... Proof.  Haha! I look younger each time one of these reality shows airs... Thanks ABC, NBC, and Fox.  Part of it is probably all the makeup and such, but it's still not less true. 

Song of the Day:  Okay, this song was a favorite of mine a few months ago, and I finally downloaded it instead of having to jam out to it on myspace every time I needed a dose... This band is really great in sound, lyrics, style - perfection.  Here is Windsor Drive with a very poignant song called "Fall."  Enjoy!!!

Sidnote: I RE-learned the rules for titles in grammar, something I always struggled with remembering, this past week.  It turns out that writing the song titles for me "Song for the Day" in italics was incorrect... Song titles should be written within quotations.  So, sorry to all you grammar fanatics out there... My bad.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Split In Two

Yesterday, I went to church expecting the same old, same old... spiritual uplifting, an addition to my gospel knowledge, a chance to renew covenants, some good social time, and seeing all the girl's wear really cute outfits.  I got all of the above and then some...

After a really great Sunday School lesson about the parable of the sower (I love that one), I headed into sacrament meeting with some friends and we realized there were a LOT of older people there for a young single adult ward meeting.  In fact, the stand was filled with old man I had seen only once or twice, or never.  Turns out they were the stake presidents from our own stake and two surrounding stakes.  Immediately, one girl leaned over to ask, "So, do you think they're finally going to split our ward?"

Now, I have been gone for awhile and only been back in the ward for about six weeks, but I was totally catch off-guard.  I had NO idea there had been talk about spliting the ward in half, but it made sense because our ward was MASSIVE.  Thus, when they FINALLY (after the sacrament) announced they were, indeed, spliting-up the ward, I was content with the idea.  

The rest of the meeting was filled with the new ward's bishop (a member of the original ward's bishopric) speaking, the original ward's bishop speaking, and hearing who our new leaders were going to be.  It was also filled with tiny whispers every 3.2 seconds where someone was asking, "Which ward I am in?," "Wait, what are the boundaries... Are you sure?," or "Which guys/girls are in our ward?!"

My favorite moment was when our row came up with a plan to hang out that night and I replied, "I'll see you tonight... and then NEVER AGAIN!"  Sidenote:  Not true. 

Slowly, I began to realize that most of my actual good friends in this ward were now leaving and going to the new ward... Not cool!  I mean, I just got back!  Now, I have to find completely new friends again... I feel that I'm pretty good at making friends quickly, but it's not always fun.  It takes time, effort, and some initial awkwardness in some cases.  Thus, I was a bit bummed out... Then, something changed my mind. 

Perhaps it was my attitude (partially), or perhaps it was the feeling of everyone internally panicking over losing their best church-time-buddy, but whatever the reason, we all felt such peace with the decision.  We had lunch at the Bishop's afterward, everyone from both wards, and we began to instantly form new connections and force ourselves to be more outgoing.  It was really interesting... There is one girl, specifically, that we have hung out a few times in the same circle, but never really made our own connections.  When the announcement was made we both were left in the old ward and had the attitude, 'It's about time we were more than facebook friends.'  Haha!

The real reason I'm writing about this is because I'm amazed at the situation for two reasons.  One, it's amazing how much breaking up a group can bring them all together.  Haha!  It was a oddly paradoxical reaction to the new situation.  Two, I was in awe of how every hand went up to sustain the idea easily, even if some of us didn't really know what the change meant at the time we were asked to sustain the decision.  Some of us had no idea which ward we would be in, or what all the changes would entail (ie. Would we move buildings and times? Who would the new bishopric be? Etc.)  We all had faith enough to know that this was a decision that had been given thought and consideration, and that if the brethren felt it would be right, we could trust them.  It may seem like a small thing, and perhaps it is, but it's a bit amazing when you think about it - that much faith extended to the unknown.

In my life, I feel like that's kind of what I'm doing... I'm exuding a lot of faith in the unknown.  I am trusting my Heavenly Father that he has a better plan than I have for myself.  Things will end up how they need to... I know that.  I'm simply thankful that I have faith in that... That I know that.  

Sidenote:  No jobs news yet, but I've gotten a good amount of subbing gigs!  This week alone I'm subbing on Monday (today), Tuesday, half of Thursday, and Friday.  Not too shabby!  Haha... I also have a theater audition on Saturday and have been contacting people from Stadium of Fire to get more involved earlier on.  I just want experience and to figure out what area I REALLY wanna go into... :)
Song of the Day:  I found this TIGHT mix from the remix artist IGNYTE.  He created this mix of Daren Criss's version of "Teenage Dream" and One Republic's "Apologize" called "Too Late To Dream."  It's AMAZING!  I'm in love with it... really.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 11, 2011

American Idol & The Bachelor - The Real Beginning, and The End

First, I have to dibble and dabble in the outcome of tonight's American Idol results I have decided that I will be presenting a weekly update on my Idol thoughts for each week the show continues.  Why?  Well, because I can.

Now:  America... GOOD JOB.  You got it right.  You sent the person home who had the most pitch problems and least stage performance of the night last night.  Ashton Jones. She's gorgeous and she DOES have a good voice, but she's generic, unoriginal, and quite frankly, mediocre.  I'm not tryin' to hate, but homegirl didn't give me much reason to send love.  That being said, the others that I would like to see good rather quickly are:
Jacob Lusk - He has a good voice, but was TERRIBLE last night and I'm just not feelin' it.
Karen Rodriguez - Girl has a good voice, but boring and over-the-top.
Thia Megia - She has nothing new to add to the stage, or the industry in general, and is mediocre at best.

I wouldn't mind seeing Haley Reinhart leave either... She's a bit under-whelming. When someone has to growl THAT MUCH, they are usually compensating for something.  She's pretty... but her voice sounds like sh's trying to hard.  Naima Adedapo is another one that is just not doing it for me.  Her performance last night was current and fun to watch, but her singing is just okay for me.  James Durbin = Talent... and Adam Lambert all over again.  LOVED Adam, but been there, done that. I don't want him to go quite yet, but I want others to succeed him. There... I spoke my peace on that.

I can't say who my "favorite" of the season is quite yet, but there are a few I already adore a little bit and wanna see them succeed.  I think Pia Tuscano has an AMAZING voice, but I'm not on the bandwagon just yet.  I love Paul McDonald's quirky style and raspy voice, but he didn't do Ryan Adam's song (one of my FAVORITE SONGS) justice last night... It was pretty blech, but I DO think there's more to him and he has SO much potential to propel him.  He's just my style - indie, song-writer.  Casey Abrams is right there with Paul, in that he's different and fun to watch.  He's got a great melodic sense to him, and seems ridiculously talented, but there's a lot of hype over him when he spent TOO much time on the growling last week... I like him though.  Scott Mcreery is not my cup of tea usually, but homeboy is GOOD.  He has a great voice and just seems comfortable on stage.  I wanted him OUT at first, but he's been changing my mind the last two weeks.  Stefano Langone has a cool, unique tone, but I'm not sure... there's something about him that's not selling me. Lauren Alaina is really amazing!  She has great pitch and stage presence, but she's also very young.  I like her a lot.

So, I haven't picked a favorite for me, but I think that Casey, Lauren, and Pia are definite front-runners... watch out other idols!

Sidenote: The MANSION for these guys is INSANE!  I have to admit, I say that because I'm completely and utterly jealous... Their crib it tight.

The one thing I didn't get at all (I have my theories) was why they let Kendra Chantelle slip through their fingers!  Why?  What a gold-mine in that girl!!!  She was GORGEOUS and SUPER talented!  Oh well, I hope she finds her way without Idol backing her... She was a favorite that somehow didn't go on.

Anyway, moving on...

... to The Bachelor!

I know, this is a bit late coming, as I haven't really talked about it much all season, but I have to add just a bit to about my opinion on who should "steal Brad's heart."  I must admit, I have been reading spoilers all season until the last two weeks, and heard from differing sources that Emily Maynard (so funny cause I have a friend named that...) or Chantal O'Brien would be the finalists.  They were spot on about that, as I thought they would be, and hoped they would be.  I've heard that Chantal wins, then heard that Emily wins.  I like them both for different reasons - Chantal is independent and driven.  She's a bit more in your face, and she knows what she wants, but I don't think Emily is this dependent, sweet thing with no opinions.  She has that side to her too, but she balances them differently.  I'll tell you who I think should win...

Sidenote: I hate saying "win," cause that's not what this should be about, but let's be real.

I have always been rooting for Emily in the back of my mind.  She is gorgeous, funny, sweet, and seems genuine.  Plus, she's a southern girl... we gotta stick together!  Haha... Really, I just think she's a great match for Brad.  With that being said, I was POSITIVE that she wasn't going to win because of her past and her daughter.  I thought that would be a huge hang-up for her... but I've seen a change in her and I'm not sure she isn't ready to move past that.  But, does Brad see that too?  We'll see.

Song of the Day:  Last week when I was at the Joshua Radin concert, one of the opening acts was an artist named Laura Jansen.  As I said, she was featured on my blog once before for a cover of Use Somebody.  Here is her newest, and original, song called Single GirlsIt's FANTASTIC and the video is AMAZING- Enjoy!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Joshua Radin - LIVE!

Last Night I went to the Joshua Radin concert in SLC with my friend, Bekah!  It was awesome for numerous reasons, one being that I haven't really spent much time with Bekah since I've been back in the states- or really much at all!  Haha... She was in my ward before I left and is there now that I'm back.  Can I just say what an amazing person she is?  Really.  She has one of the most positive auras and character.  She is someone I enjoy chatting with and feel blessed to know her.  So, just a little shout-out to her for joining me in a good evening in SLC. Haha...

Another reason for the awesomeness of the evening was running into some friends while I was there.  First, I had planned to see Turell and finally meet his wife, Candace, while I was there and I got to do just that... It was SO nice to catch-up with Turell, and Candace is a doll!  They're a good match - I'm happy for them.

I also ran into my friend Ben while I was waiting in line to go inside!  Ben has been my jamming buddy since my last summer of EFY, but we have yet to jam since I have been back living in the states.  We used to play at clubs, bars, and cafes randomly and it was SO fun.  We make a good team, and now I'm hoping he can take some of my lyrics and help me finally put them to music.  I must say that I have really missed singing and talking with him - he's a very talented songwriter and musician, and a great friend.  I'll be making contact with him again this weekend and we MUST regenerate that musical relationship and friendship of ours!  Haha... I'm excited about that...
Third, the opening bands were really great!  There was a girl named Laura Jansen that I only saw a moment of as I was entering (but, I still went back and got her free & signed CD single), but she looked familiar.  You know why?  Here's why.  I featured a cover of "Use Somebody" on here over this past year!  I found the cover a few months back, downloaded it and LOVED IT!  It was on my favorites list for months.  So, I met her - and she told me I had very cute jewelry as we bonded over Holland (she's from there - me too... originally).  Also, Cary Brothers was the other opener and he was just BOMB.  I loved him and promptly downloaded some of his stuff today.  LOVE.(Click on his name for him and Laura singing

Lastly, um - DUH.....  I SAW JOSHUA RADIN LIVE!!!  Man, he was so great... I have to say how impressed I was with his voice and playing live... He's SO chill, but has this bluesy edge to his style.  I'm just a bit obsessed with some of his work.  He's phenomenal.  I could have stayed there for another two hours, just listening to him jam.  If you do NOT know who he is, you should.  Really - there is NO excuse now...  He's kick. To prove my point and spread the love of his music, there are two videos below.  One is the first song he ever wrote, and is a favorite of mine called, Winter.  The second is a duet with Laura Jansen about being with the right person at the wrong time.  It's called You've Got Growin' Up to DoWATCH.  LISTEN.  Fall in LOVE.

No need to thank me - You're welcome.

Song of the Day:  Ahem... Look Above.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Acoustic Night!

This past Saturday I was invited by my friend, Bryce, to sing with him for their monthly Acoustic Night down at Condo Row in Provo. It's amazing to me that they get so many people out to a non-sponsored event, just held in someone's apartment. It's even more amazing to me that they have continued to hold Acoustic Night in the same apartment after the original creators moved out. Haha! It's fantastic and allows so many people to share their talents, passion, and overcome in a crowd that is loving and supportive. It was a lot of fun!

 I hope you'll take three and half minutes of your life and watch/listen to our video on YouTube - directly embedded right below you... How convenient! Haha - Here's Bryce and me singing I Love You Anyway by Jarrett Burns (a local artist):

I hope to have to opportunity to participate again... It seriously was a lot of fun watching everyone (my "cousin" Taylor performed too and was SO great!), jamming out, and performing - I always love performing! With that, I just want to add that next week I will be posting a video on YouTube that is an audition piece for Stadium of Fire... I know it's a long-shot in many ways, but I'm hoping I can could on all my avid readers (the few I have) to watch it, like it, and spread it. I'll give you more on that as the time grows closer.

P.S. I'm SO sad that Davies is off the BYU team for the rest of the season... I'm heartbroken for him and for the team - AND, for the fans. I really do feel for him though - having to deal with this in such a public setting. I KNOW he made the choice he made (whatever it was), and I'm mad about the situation too. However, it would be tough for him... and I'm sure he's not feeling good about the situation or his choice either. I hope that BYU Basketball continues to perform and conquer! I am hoping that this won't greatly effect the tournament and the opporutnity we have to really show other conferences and the NCAA what we can do - We're #3 right now!  I'm practical, but also faithful... I also hope that he can get past whatever the issue may be and continue on successfully as an individual, and hopefully next season with Basketball again. 

Song of the Day: It should be obvious... I Love You Anyway (Jarrett Burns cover), by Linze Struiksma and Bryce Mosely  - Please watch above - ENJOY!