Friday, November 2, 2012

Album Review - Roads by Chris Mann

If you will recall, last season on The Voice I was pulling for home town kid, Chris Mann.
If you watched the show, you know he is an amazing talent.  I totally thought he had a chance at winning the whole thing.  He ultimately came in 4th, but I have to think (and this is only my opinion) that the little spat between Christina Aguilera and Adam Levigne had something to do with him not placing higher...but that's just me.
 
Anywho, I was recently contacted by Chris Mann's mom, Patti, who happens to be my neighbor and a friend. She sent me a link for bloggers to submit interest in reviewing Chris' new album. I'm happy to say that I was lucky enough be selected and was given a copy of the new album,
 Roads.
 
 
I have to admit, I thought I would listen to the album and it would be good, but
I-WAS-BLOWN-AWAY!!
 
Chris has such a luxurious voice.  It has the classic sound of big band and the likes of Frank Sinatra & Tony Bennett, but it also has such a sweet fresh sound. 
 
Chris sounds as good on a classic operatic song like Ave Maria, as he does on the Willie Nelson favorite, Always on My Mind
 
My favorite song is the title song RoadsRoads is such a beautiful song and feels like it was meant for Chris, and Chris alone.  Think Josh Grobin and You Raise Me Up.
 It is a perfect pairing.
 
There isn't one song on this album that's not amazing. 
 
I hope you will go out and give it a listen, because if you do, you will buy the album.
 
Here are a few links:
 
This album is ageless!!
Buy one for yourself, your grandma, your neice, your best friend...it doesn't matter, whoever listens -  will love Chris Mann and his music. 
 
 If you go listen, come back and tell me what you think!! 



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This is a review post from One2One Network. I was provided with a copy of the album and I am eligible for a prize drawing. All opionions stated are my own.

Home For Christmas EP
Chris also has a Christmas album that is being sold exclusively at Walmart.

 
  


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Happenings

WARNING: LOTS OF PICTURES!!

Well, one thing is for sure...I can't manage working full time, having 2 kids, redecorating my dining room, getting ready for a Halloween Party, an unexpected garage sale and blogging...can you guess which one fell through the cracks?  Please forgive me!
 
However, we had the Halloween party last weekend.  It was was our 8th annual and the first in this house and a huge success if I do say so myself, but I was literally finishing the dining room the day before...so you can probably imagine the pressure I put on myself to get it all done.
 
I have lots of pictures from the party, and you will get a sneak peak of the dining room makeover.
 
Let's start with the decorations:
 
My sweet, sweet, pregnant friend Shelley came over and lent me her decorating expertise because I just couldn't get it together to decorate and get the dining room done.  She decided not to decorate this year because her new addition will be coming soon and she wanted to get her Christmas decorations up early...thanks friend!!

The entryway:
 
 

The family room:
 

 
Crows in a tree
A swarm of bats.
 
The mantle: (sorry for the glare)
 
 
The dining room: (notice anything different)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lots of yummy food:
 This is probably my favorite part of having a party, coming up with a delicious menu and making all of the food.  I made at least 8 different recipes this year.
 
 
 
 
 
We have amazing friends who totally go all out for Halloween...which I, of course, L-O-V-E!!
The first year our friends would say things like "we'll come, but we won't dress up" and by year five every single guest dressed up...now it's a no brainer, everyone dresses up!!
 
The guests:
 
Cleopatra and Marc Antony:
 (Me and the Hubs)
 

Russell Brand and Katy Perry:
didn't they break up?
 

 
 Nucki Thompson (Boardwalk Empire) and his flapper girl:
 

Frida Kahlo and Clint Eastwood:
 

 
Dorothy and Toto:
 
 
Bleeker and Juno:
 
 
50s guy and gal:
 
 
 Bikers:
Get it?
 
 
A Loofah:
 
 
Dancing with the Stars:
One of my favorites!!
 
 
 


 You know, the one thing that usually doesn't happen is the pictures!  I hate it, but I slave all day, or for several days, and then I'm always trying to get all the food out and I just forget.  This year we did a better job, but it's not perfect...  I'm hoping to snag a few other pictures from friends...

The hubs hates Halloween and he hates that I go to so much trouble, but I think he had a good time this year...at least he's smiling in all of the pictures!

I'll be back with pictures of the girls on Halloween... they will be pretty cute!!

What do you think?  Do you love Halloween as much as I do?
Would you go to all of this trouble?



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 I'm linking up:

C.R.A.F.T.
Keeping It Simple
CraftOManiac Monday at CraftOManiac
Weekend Wrap Up at Colours Dekor
Pink Hippo Party at Pinkapotamus
Mop It Up Mondays at I Should Be Mopping The Floor
Tuesday Confessional at Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy
Wow Me Wednesday at Ginger Snaps

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Home again, home again...

Well, we survived the road trip.  All I can say is thank the sweet Lord for portable DVD players because the girls did amazing, other than the fact that THEY-DIDN'T-SLEEP-AT-ALL on the car ride.  I asked my mom what we did when we were kids on long road trips and she thought about it and said, "nothing, you slept all day".  Well my kids didn't do that, but they were amazing!! 
 I didn't have faith in them, but I should have! 
 Thanks girls, mom owes you one!
 
Photo: Doing good, but road weary!! http://instagr.am/p/O96_wArBuw/
 
We arrived at my Aunt and Uncles house back in the woods, where if you didn't know where to go you would get totally lost.  It was like turn right at the tree that has an x on it and then when you come to the white house turn left, and on and on. My Uncle built the house by himself, and the interesting thing about it is that it is right on the Tennessee Tombigbee river in a 100-year flood plane so he built it up on stilts (steel girders).  You actually park your cars under the house.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a good picture of the actual house, but I did get a good picture of the view.

Photo: The view from my Aunt and Uncles house on the river!!


We visited the cemetary where my grandmother, grandfather and an aunt are buried.


 
 Did a bit eight hours of swimming during the family reunion.

Photo: I think they were in the pool for eight hours... Photo: I think they were in the pool for eight hours...

The family reunion was at another Aunt and Uncles house...just beyond the patio is a long lush green lawn, and past that is the river.  It was quite a place!!

Photo: The view from another Aunt and Uncles...you just can't see the humidity...it's killing me!

 Those southerners sure like their river front property!!

Anywho, we had a nice time and survived the 12 hour drive down and the 12 hour drive home.

The hubs leaves soon for 2 1/2 weeks with the Navy Reserves, so we basically got home in time to tell him goodbye.  I'll be single momming it for awhile. 

I may need a kid free vacation when he gets back!

Did you do anything fun for Labor Day??


Sunday, August 26, 2012

What happened to last week?

Hello there...I've been MIA the last week month or so.  
 
Sorry about that, but I've recently changed jobs and have had to travel for training...thus leaving my blog a bit bare and my dining room under contruction. 

We did however, manage to get everyone back in school.
 
Harper:
 
Photo: First Day of 1st Grade http://instagr.am/p/OWUyxgLBmV/
 
Ollie:
 
Photo: First day of pre-K!!
 
...and just as we're settling back in to a school routine, the hubs starts his "travel season".  He travels for his job, and he also travels for the Navy Reserves...so I will be single momming it for about a month.
 
Also, my mom and I will be leaving this week for a major road trip.  We're heading south to Mississippi for a mini family reunion.  Both of my parents are from Mississippi and every summer growing up we  took to the road and went to visit the grandparents and attend a bi-annual (every other year) family reunion with my mom's side of the family.  My mom has a HUGE extended family, so when I say a mini reunion, it will be about 70 people, which is really small compared the the numbers we have now.  Now that all of the kids (my generation) have grown up and started families...so anyway...even though I am a seasoned roadtripper, my children are not.  When we were kids we could sprawl all over the back of the car and not worry about seatbelts and "safety", so I have to admit I am nervous for the 12 hours down and the 12 hours back.
 
Other than portable TVs and massive quantities of movies and snacks...anyone have any suggestions on ways to keep the girls busy? 
 
I would appreciate any suggestions you can give!!!
 
See you when we get back...
 

 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The most beautiful girls in the world!

I was so good about getting pictures taken of my girls when they were babies...newborn, 3 mo, 6 mo, I even had really nice expensive pictures taken when they were both 13 months...but after that, I was really inconsistent. 
It has been 2 1/2 years since the last time I had their pictures taken...life gets busy and time goes by.  I finally remedied this issue recently. 
My sister-in-law, Kathy, has started a photography business, Kathy Goree Photography.  My brother and his family moved to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area a few years ago when my brother was laid off from his job here.

Unfortunately, I can't just call her up and have her come take
 pictures.  Kathy works full time in a school, so she has the summers off and she and her kids recently came up for a visit.  While she was here, I finally got her to take  some pictures of my kids. 

Needless to say, or at least in my opinion, they turned out AMAZING!! 
If you're in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, or know anyone that is, you should totally call her.  She is very talented and very reasonably priced. Check out kathygoreephotography.com and see for yourself!
See the pictures she took of my girls below: 




 

 



 




I think they're AWESOME!!

The best part was that I kept her kids while she took mine to a nearby park...I don't know about your kids, but mine are so much better for other people!  They adore their Aunt Kathy, so that doesn't hurt either.
What do you think?
How often do you get pictures taken? 

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