I Have a Concert Problem…

I recently updated my country artist tally of who I have seen in concert… and the total is now up to an INSANE number of 122. Yep, you read that right… I have witnessed 122 country artists live in concert. My latest additions were two acts who performed at Jenks for Country Nights… and who I thought were kind of nobodies (sorry guys) but turns out, they have a much bigger following than I realized.

121 – Russell Dickerson

A cool fun fact about Russell Dickerson is that his music video for his single “Yours” was actually shot on an iPhone. The song that has taken weddings by storm, it had the entire place singing along on this night… and there were A LOT of people there to see him. Dickerson was kind of surprised himself… he did not think that many people knew who he was, but the floor was packed to sing along to “Blue Tacoma” and “MGNO” along with  a sneak peek at songs that will be on his full length album that will be coming out later this year! Oh, and even though he said he was getting over some laryngitis, he still sounded pretty darn good if ya asked me. And his energy was even crazier.

122 – Midland

OKAY. So, I will admit that for a while, “Drinkin’ Problem” was that song that when it would come on the radio, I would change the station. BUT. It started to grow on me, and I jumped on this band wagon pretty hard. A cool thing about Midland, for those who have yet to see them live, is that their set is like a step back in time to an old school country honky tonk. Unlike the “bro-country” and “pop-country” that we are used to hearing now a days, Midland brings us back to that Alan Jackson, Toby Keith vibe, and honestly it was such a refreshing feeling. They also are really fun to watch perform, and was just an overall great experience. While they do not have a full album out yet (that is supposed to be available September 22 for those who are wondering) feel free to keep “Drinkin’ Problem” on repeat… or even venture to “Burn Out” because trust me, you will get hooked on them too.

For every artist that I can check off the list, it seems like at least two are added on to who I still need to see. I love supporting the up and coming artists, and sometimes, I love their music more than those who have been around a lot longer! On to the next show… which ever artist that might be!

 

Book Shout Out

I will be the first to admit that I really have been slacking off on my reading. It is sad, really. But! I have two books that I have recently read (or at least in the last two months… oops) that I figured it was time to give them a shout out!

 

Sarah Dessen has been one of my favorite author for years now, and her most recent book, “Once and for All” was just as good as all her others, if not better! Maybe I am a little biased because there was a New Jersey reference, even if it was not the happiest (I forgive you Sarah) it still was something we can all relate to in someway.  Good Reads rates this with a 3.8/5 but if you ask me, it should be a 5/5. 32078787

Next up, if  you have not read every Nicholas Sparks book, are you even living?! I finally got around to reading “Two by Two,” and just like every other story, it had me feeling every emotion possible. I laughed. I cried. I loved characters, and I hated character. But in the end, I was sad that I reached the final page, and now I anxiously await to see whether or not this too will become a big motion picture, just like so many of my other favorites. Good Read ranks this a 3.9/5, so hey, at least my two books were graded consistently.

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Have you been reading anything good? What should I check out next? While I have a never-ending growing pile of books, I just need to keep adding!

Country Playlist #3

It has been a pretty busy summer for me so far, and as today begins the final month (AUGUST ALREADY?!) I figured it would be a great time to jump back into my blog, and give y’all a taste of what I have been listening to on repeat! So, here are five songs that I have declared my summer hits… enjoy!

1 . “When It Rains It Pours” – Luke Combs

As I have made it very obvious in my previous playlists, Luke Combs is one of my newest favorite artists, and for all the right reasons. His latest single is something that just clicks… because I mean, we all have an ex who comes around when they see you are doing well, right?

2. “Unforgettable” – Thomas Rhett

Hot out of the recording studio, Thomas Rhett just recently released this song and just like all his others, it is catchy. And of course, it is influenced by his wife, Lauren so, it is already a hit. At least that is the rumor I am going to spread.

3. “All the Pretty Girls” – Kenny Chesney

It is not a summer playlist without the man who is synonymous with island girls and pirate flags. While I probably could make an entire playlist just of his songs, this newest radio single is just another one to add to the list.

4. “Written in the Sand” – Old Dominion

Being a Jersey girl, any reference to the beach is a good one in my book. Old Dominion has had a special place in my heart since I saw them two summers ago, and they continue to impress me each and every song.

5. “Hooked” – Dylan Scott

I remember when Dylan Scott was a nobody… and last week when I saw him, he had the biggest crowd I had seen at a Country Night in a while. This is his more recent single, and even for being new, everyone already knew the words. Sold.

Now that I am back be on the look out for some catch up posts, what I have been reading (I’m behind), who I have been seeing (there is a bunch of good names) and what other fun plans there are in the future!

Colleen Hoover’s Magic

As soon as I submitted my final assignment, I celebrated by taking a shot at my forever growing pile of books that I have been wanting to read. My first two picks were by the author I have been raving about a lot, Colleen Hoover! I picked up “Maybe Not” and “Finding Cinderella,” both short novellas that I was able to knock out pretty quickly… maybe quicker than I should admit.

After reading “Maybe Someday” and LOVING it. I knew I had to pick up “Maybe Not” 23587984which takes place before the story of “Maybe Someday” picks up. It was interesting to see the dynamics of Warren and Bridgette, and actually made their relationship in the other book make a heck of a lot more sense. I ended up really liking them after reading this one, and it seems like a lot of other people did too. “Maybe Not” ranks a 4.15/5 on Good Reads, and I think I can honestly say that it is a fair grade to give it.

Next up, “Finding Cinderella” was too short in my opinion! I wanted more. I need more. And – after researching, I see that it is kind of a part of the “Hopeless” series, which I 18593175have not read yet, so standby on that one as I add them to my list! But, the story here is something that I think every girl wishes they could have, or at least I do. Then again, I am a hopeless romantic (maybe I should pick up the “Hopeless” books sooner). This book received a 4.3/5 on Good Reads, which really convinces me that Colleen Hoover really does not write a bad book at all.

Have you read any good books lately? I need more suggestions as I power through my own pile of books!

Hittin’ the Books

Hi!

This crazy thing called life keeps getting in my way of writing. Between school, interning, and life in general I have not really had time to do much. But, I started and finished a book this weekend, which allows me to give you a new suggestion to add to your list!

During the month of February, I was really slacking when it came to reading, honestly I slacked through March too. I had jumped on the “Fifty Shades of Grey” bandwagon when the second movie came out, and it took me longer than I should admit to read all the books after. But, I did it, and they were good… so I would totally suggest them – although they are definitely not for everyone.

My latest, and probably favorite book though, is “Maybe Someday” by Colleen Hoover. After reading “It Ends With Us” and falling in LOVE with it, I decided to try some of her other books, and so far, I have not been disappointed!24445517

Maybe it was because I felt like I could relate to the book, or maybe it is because I just really love things that associate with music, but Hoover once again hit me in the feels with her writing. Also, a neat thing about this book is it has its own soundtrack! If you read the book, you will see what I mean, it is pretty cool.

With a Goodreads rating of 4.34/5, I would say there is a really good chance you will fall in love with this story as much as I did. Young love is a great topic especially when music is involved, trust me. While I did not sob through this one like I did with “It Ends With Us,” there were some tears shed, but in a good way. It seems like Hoover knows exactly how to make her audience feel what the characters feel, and honestly, it is a magical experience.

No, I have not yet picked up the followup book, “Maybe Not” yet… but I will probably be adding it to my collection shortly so be on the lookout for that! And while you are at it, pick up this one yourself and give it a shot, or if you have any other suggestions, let me know!

 

Country Playlist #2

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There are a TON of things that seem to go hand-in-hand with country music: summertime, cute girls, alcohol, breakups, makeups, this list could go on for a while. Something that I have picked up on, maybe it is because it is something I enjoy, is the constant mention of Jack Daniels, or whiskey in general. SO, in this addition of Country Playlist, I am dedicating it to everyone’s favorite, JD.

1.  “Jack Daniels” – Eric Church

I mean, this should be enough said. The Chief has his own line of Jack Daniels, so it was only right for him to have a song about the lovely drink too. While any Eric Church song is a good one, sometimes you need a little reminder about what Jack can do.

2. “Hey Whiskey” – Smithfield

I discovered this song thanks to The Highway (surprise, surprise) and it is something that I feel a lot of people can relate to. It is also really catchy.

3. “Tennessee Whiskey” – Chris Stapleton

You may have seen this song around thanks to a dad’s cover posted by his daughter. But Chris Stapleton is a mastermind with music, and this song proves that just as much.

4. “Whiskey Girl” – Toby Keith

Going what is probably now considered old school (and this video was posted seven years ago which kind of scares me) Toby Keith is a country music king. Between songs like “Beer For My Horses” and “Angry American” he pretty much sums up ‘Merica.

5. “Sunshine and Whiskey” – Frankie Ballard

Frankie Ballard just has an awesome vibe to all of his music. I wish I could take this one literally though, I would love to be chilling on a beach right now.

I could probably keep going with this list, but I try to keep the playlists short. Although, I have ONE MORE that needs to make this list:

6. “Whiskey in My Water” – Tyler Farr

I have loved Tyler Farr ever since I went to his first CD release party here in Jersey, and he continues to be one of my all-time favorite artists. His voice just makes me so happy!

 

OKAY! That is IT! Thanks for another round of Country Playlist, until next time…. which probably will not be long from now 🙂

Book Review: “I’m From Nowhere”

Crossing off another one from that list I made on New Years! This book was one I bought simply based off what the cover looked like, and I personally think it was a good pick!

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A California girl who gets shipped off to a school on the East coast, discovers more about herself during a term than she knew her whole life. Family, friends, boys, it pretty much covers the whole deal. Suzanne Myers keeps the story light,  but also allows you to connect with the characters. According to goodreads, it ranks 3.41 out of 5, and if you are into cute little romance stories, I suggest you give this one a shot.

For my next book, I am still decided which one to start… it is either going to be “One Plus One” by JoJo Moyes or “Two By Two” by Nicholas Sparks. No, the number sequence was not planned, it was just a coincidence. But if I can find a Three x Three book… I might consider it.

2 Books, 1 Review

Remember that list I made of books I wanted to read? Well last week I apparently had a lot of free time, and was able to knock two of them off the list! I am happy to report that neither one of them were a disappointment either, but they were two totally different stories. I would definitely suggest for you to read either (or both!) of them and let me know what you think!

  1. “The Couple Next Door” – Shari Lapena 28815474

Okay, so this one was a totally crazy book to read. If you were a fan of “Gone Girl” or “Girl on a Train,” then you should pick this book up or put it on the top of your list of ones that need to be read. It is a really twisted story about a kidnapped child that really had me hooked until the end trying to figure out what was going to happen next. Fun fact about the author, Shari Lapena was previously a lawyer, and this was her debut suspense novel. Not too shabby if you ask me. Also, according to Good Reads, this is a 3.74 out of 5.

2. It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover27362503

This book, might be one of my new favorites hands down. If you love books that make you laugh, cry, love, hate, and just want to keep reading even though you really should be sleeping or getting ready for work – PICK THIS ONE. This novel is a beautifully written story that opens a door into the world of domestic violence and it is something that I think everyone should read. Colleen Hoover uses her own personal experiences as inspiration making this even easier to relate to. When I finished the last page, I could have wished for more, but it ended in a such a way that it was perfectly said. Good Reads rating – 4.51 out of 5. Come on, surely you are curious about it now.

While I now have two crossed off my list, I have a habit of adding to the list every time I finish one making it pretty consistent at never ending. But! I have “I’m from Nowhere” by Suzanne Myers up next, so stay tuned for another review in the near future!

Lists of 2017

A new year leads to a lot of hopeful resolutions that may or may not be fulfilled. I can not tell you how many lists I have created over the last week, optimistic that just maybe one of them will be completed in 365 days.

During one of my many hours skimming through Pinterest, I stumbled upon this thing called “bullet-journaling” that kind of caught my attention. This new trend takes all your to-do lists, lists of books to read, workouts to try, and anything else you can think of and puts them into a cute, trendy journal. As one who loves to write, doodle, create lists, this seemed right up my alley! Maybe I will start one of these in the near-future, but for now, I started a “Books to Read 2017” list that I figured I would write up here.

Being only a week into the new year, I am pretty proud to say I already finished my first book on my list. It was “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton, and I bet a lot of you probably read this one in middle or high school. Somehow I had missed that memo, and reading now made it even more worthwhile for me (I finished it in like three days). Seeing how much times have changed since the book was written is fascinating, and no wonder why so many people tend to really enjoy that book.

Anywho – while my reading list is definitely going to grow over the year, here is what I am starting January off with. Have you read any of these? Have any book suggestions that you think I should add? Be sure to write them in the comments below!

Books to Read:

  1. Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
  2. Two by Two – Nicholas Sparks
  3. The Little Paris Bookshop – Nina George
  4. The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stein
  5. The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena
  6. I’ll Meet You There – Heather Demetrios
  7. It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover