MUSIC INSPIRED

music-inspired Music can tear me apart and put me back together. Music can tap into pain that I bury so deep. Music can change my mood instantly, allowing me to absorb beauty, life and all that surrounds me more fully. Music can be the simplest pleasure to the most inspiring indulgence.

Music molds my life and makes me who I am.

I remember when I was younger (maybe age 8 or 12?), I would watch music videos on MTV obsessively. My sister and I would video tape our favorite songs, play them back, write down the lyrics then memorize the words so we could sing along anytime the song came on. We would make endless mix tapes, sticking paper in the holes of the tape edges in order to record over whatever was on the tape itself.

I've always love to sing. When we were really young, my sister hated when I would sing along in the car or at home. She would ask my mom to make me stop, my mom responding with "you never know, your sister may become a rock star/singer when she gets older". This kind of encouragement was always given to us kids from our parents.

Years later, I've had experience promoting and booking shows, blogging about music, interviewing musicians, hosting music and art events and festivals, dating and being friends with many musicians, and even playing music.

Having a history of always being immersed in music keeps me going. Marrying my husband and watching him grow as a musician and giving him advice on how to promote his shows, grow and connect with his fans, sell his merchandise, reach his goals and improve his stage presence are just a few of several ways on how I learned I wanted to coach and visually direct other musicians and artists.

Lady rock, reverb heavy vocals, loud guitars and distorted sounds tend to be my favorite style music to listen to. And because I not-so-secretly want to be a musician I've shared a playlist of some of my favorite female musicians and singers.

Below are the tracks followed by the artist's/band's name. Go to Spotify to listen to the playlist. And check out more inspiring images of live performances and musicians go here.

  1. Goatman - GOAT
  2. Top of the Hill - Conduits
  3. Lord Knows - Dum Dum Girls
  4. Into Black - Blouse
  5. I'm Gone - Tu Fawning
  6. Mezzazine - Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
  7. Split Like a Lip - Buke & Gase
  8. You Wish You Were Red - Trailer Trash Tracys
  9. All the Things - Dark Dark Dark
  10. Be Brave - My Brightest Diamond
  11. Drifting In and Out - Porcelain Raft
  12. PLastic & Powder - Lower Dens
  13. How far We've Come Now - La Sera
  14. 15 - Flock of Dimes
  15. Follow - Blue Hawaii

How about you, what inspires you to the core? What music are you listening to lately?

( PHOTO )

MY DAILY ROUTINE

my-daily-routine Do you find your days full of emails, meetings and the requests of others leaving you no time for yourself and what matters most?

This was me less than a year ago. I would check and send emails at any hour of the day, I'd work until my husband dragged me out of office (metaphorically, not physically). I would fill my day with work projects and let my personal projects and goals slip yet again. There were even moments that I found myself so busy and stressed out that days would pass before I went outside. I was too stressed to go for a run, hike or do yoga - all I could think was "if I just spend one more hour on this or that, then I can get it done and I not think it about any more - or If I take on one more project than I can make that extra money - or If I just check my email one more time, I could do...". I was a victim of my own terrible self-discipline and I felt drained and a slave to my work.

Something had to give, I couldn't let work rule my life. So, I made a conscious effort to plan each and everyday with my work goals AND personal goals. I wrote down what I wanted to do for myself, then what projects I had to work on, then how long each goal would take, and it's rank in priority. This more simple and precise, the easier and more accomplished my day was. I use a very simple and approachable technique that I talk about HERE and have a free download for HERE.

I started to make time for meditation and reading each morning, I scheduled in time for exercise, I made an effort to get outside at least every other day, I scheduled in my personal projects and I stopped working on the weekends - no exceptions.

I feel pretty lucky to have the ability to make my own schedule, especially now that I have a handle on it. I feel more accomplished, clearer and healthier.

I started to read this book Manage Your Day to Day and have found some great tips and inspiration - like creative triggers. As Mark McGuinness suggests in the book "Stick with the same tools, the same surroundings, and even the same background music, so that they become associative triggers for you to enter your creative zone." That's all I needed to create a Morning Routine mix on Spotify, you can listen to it here.

Here is an example of what my daily routine looks like:

  • 8:00am - wake and make tea
  • 8:15am - mediate
  • 8:30am - read and drink my tea
  • 9:00am - confirm my day
  • 9:15am - go for a run or do yoga
  • 10:15am - shower
  • 10:30am - eat breakfast (which usually is a nutrient rich shake)
  • 11:00am - I start my work day with the most pressing projects (this is a recent change in my schedule that I am testing out, typically I blog before I start my projects)
  • 1:00pm - write & blog
  • 2:15pm - return emails
  • 2:45pm - lunch with the hubby
  • 3:15pm - meetings
  • 4:30pm - social media
  • 5:00pm - personal projects
  • 6:00pm - return and send any last emails
  • 7:00pm - finish work, start cooking dinner
  • 7:30/8pm - dinner
  • 9:00pm - my hubby hangout and typically t watch some TV or movies
  • 11:15pm - I start to wind down and head to bed

I am so inspired by reading other people's daily routines, especially this one here. So what does your daily routine look like? What can you do today to make your routine better? What tip or victories have you discover that make your day-to-day awesome?

SENDING LOVE & GRATITUDE

sending-love-and-gratitude-thank-you-and-greeting-card-collection  

It feels like I have a never-ending list of letters, notes, gifts and cards to send in the mail. Especially now that we've moved 850+ miles away from family and friends, the list is getting longer.

I have witnessed, experienced and even read about the power of gratitude and intentional kindness. When I was creating stationery this time last year, I had a box full of cards and envelopes to send out at the drop of a dime. Lately, I am so guilty of forgetting some special birthdays and sending out thank you cards way too late or (gasp) not even sending them at all. I am not proud of this and realize a change is needed.

I'm thinking if I write everything down and re-stock my stationery box I may be able to get a better handle on this. And currently I'm on a let's-get-organized-and-make-lists-for-everything kick,  so I created a Love & Gratitude pdf along with a Special Dates to Remember pdf to get back on track.

I am just now starting to use them and find relief that I am that much closer to showing my love and gratitude to the ones who deserve it and to the ones I miss.

To download the Love & Gratitude pdf click HERE, to download the Special Dates to Remember pdf, click HERE.

To re-stock my stationery collection, here are some of my favorite thank you and greeting cards (links for each below).

  1. Quill & Fox 
  2. Wit & Whistle
  3. Rifle Paper Co.
  4. Poketo
  5. Brooklyn Tweed
  6. Ma & Grandy
  7. Little Alexander
  8. Moorea Seal