Tag Archives: music

2017 Favorites

The year flew by. I tried and failed at many things this year, but this last day of the year, I’m going to share the positive things, and my favorites.

The photo above is a dish I made trying out roasted purple cauliflower.  It’s hard to see but to the right of the salmon is purple cauliflower rice, which I made too. The fish is salmon sprinkled with fresh dill, paprika, garlic salt, black pepper, and topped with slices of limes.  I’ve never cooked with cauliflower before but I think this will be my new favorite thing because I really like the flavor and how easy it is to cook cauliflower.

I’m very proud to say that I accomplished two of my five goals this year.  One of them was to start school again…actually, to resume my master’s program from 2010.  So far, I’ve completed three classes and have four to go.  I’m going to try and load up on classes so that I finish by end of Spring 2018.  The other goal was to read 12 books.  I ended up reading 34 books.  A lot of it was due to freelancing as a book reviewer.  I was doing about three to four books a month starting in July.  I still read for leisure and still enjoy it

Here are my favorite books of the year:

1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber.  This was such a lovely and fun story with romance, magic, and suspense.

2. Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon.  This was a beautiful story told through the eyes of a young boy growing up in the 60’s.  The world building was fabulous.  I felt like I was right there with the boy.  The characters were well thought out and vivid.  McCammon really knows how to tug at your heart.

3. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier.  This was a well written classic about a man upset about the way his cousin died.  He was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery but somehow he becomes completely mesmerized by Rachel.  I saw the movie after reading the book and didn’t think it was as good.  If anything, read the book.


Can’t live without music.  For a sci-fi story I’ve been writing, I’ve got a few songs that go along with certain scenes.  Initially, I was going to submit the story to an anthology but I missed the deadline.  Okay, I have to remember I’m not going to focus on my failures (lol).  Anyway, here’s the cover for the book, and yes, that’s my pen name because I write different genres.

If you want to know a little about the story (the background story), you can check out my writing blog at, The Writing Sparrow.  It’s a new blog and I don’t have much there yet, but come 2018, there will be.

These are the songs that go with a few scenes in my story, but they are also favorites:

1. Immortal by Missing in Action

2. Last Hope by Antoine Heid (it’s just coincidence that my title has these two words in it).

3. Love on the Brain by Rhianna.

4. Elastic Heart by Sia

5. Wings (acoustic) by Birdy


I’ve been somewhat of a movie junkie this year.  I could barely count how many movies I’ve watched at the theater and at home.  It feels great to be able to watch all these movies.  When I had my two kids, I went into a strange zone where I couldn’t watch movies or even TV shows and not think everyone was pretending.  For some reason that bothered me to no ends.  Now, I’m relieved to say that even if they were acting, it’s no problem.  It doesn’t bother me one bit.  My favorite movies this year are:

1. Passengers

2. King Arthur – Legend of the Sword

3. Blade Runner

4. Star Wars – The Last Jedi

I didn’t do as much drawing and painted as I had wanted.  There’s just isn’t enough time to do everything so I’ve had to just focus on what mattered to me.  And, what mattered this year was getting my stories out.  I submitted a fantasy to an anthology earlier in the year but they are backed up so they haven’t gotten to telling the submitters who made it or not.  I also sent the same fantasy story to my professor who enjoyed it and gave me an “A.”

Thanks for stopping by and see you in the new year!

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3 Current Epic Music Favorites

July was a busy month.  Swim is done for my youngest.  It was very intense and we’re glad to be done with it but we will probably join a less rigorous swim team during the school year.  School starts for my youngest this coming Monday.  She’ll be in 5th grade, the last grade in grade school where we live, then she’ll start 6th grade in middle school.  When I think about it, I get teary-eyed, so I try not to let myself get too deep into thoughts about it.

My oldest will be starting 10th grade in a week.  She loves POMs.  If you don’t know what POMs is, it’s a competitive sport where they compete their skills with other high schools.  The best go to national every year to compete for first place.  But, they also do volunteering and fundraise, and attend and cheer at all the varsity football games, other varsity games, and some junior varsity games.  Although she loves POMs, a part of her misses dance.  A few weeks ago she was so sad that she cried her eyes out begging to take a lyrical class with the dance studio.  So, husband and I signed her up and now she’s happy as can be.  She loves to dance.  There are so many facets of dance and some of them she doesn’t like or want to deal with, but dance, mostly just lyrical, she’s passionate about.

On the 3rd of this month, husband and I celebrated our 16th anniversary.  We had lunch and then in the evening, went to see the movie, Valerian.  In between, we took our youngest to school for registration and to meet her 5th grade teacher, and took our oldest to gynmastics (required for POMs).

Anyway, enough jabbering.  Here are my top 3 epic songs I’ve been listening to so far.

“Lost Tales” by SimBi

 

“Promentory” Remix by Vince Rogers

“Translation” by Tim McMorris

 

 

A Few Song Favorites and Sketches

The kids are on spring break so I get a break from driving everywhere.  With this little down time, I’m able to do a ton of stuff: write, draw, write, spend time on FB writing groups, etc.  It’s nice.  I’m also reading a book that I’m almost done with and getting ready to review.

A few song favorites that I have on rotation:

“Wayfarer” by Clau M

“About Me and You” by Clau M

“Where Is My Place In This World” by Soundmopi

“A Boy and His Cat” by Kari Sigurosson

Practicing on some quick portrait sketches.  Wish I had more than just 5 Copic markers.  I’m really loving them but I just can’t fathom shelling out the money for them as a hobbyist.  As you can see, I can only really color one girl with the Copics.  I want to give the elf queen in the top left grayish white hair, the girl in the bottom left red hair, and the girl on the bottom right jet black hair.

Hillsong United Empires Concert

Yesterday, husband and I went to see Hillsong United in concert.  It was unbelievably spectacular!  I had been wanting to see them live for so long so when the opportunity came I made sure to get tickets early.  We sat far up but it was because I wanted to just see the whole thing from above.  This was an amazing experience because this group of singers were more geared toward rock yet it had that underlying Hillsong-ness to it.  All the singers had beautiful and powerful voices that touched deep within my soul.  And, the music…perfection.

The opening singer was the very talented Lauren Daigle.  The funny thing is, within the last couple of weeks, I had been listening to Lauren’s music on YT.  I had no idea who she was or that she was even opening for Hillsong.  So, when she came out on stage and started singing, instantly I knew who she was.  Her voice is so unique that you can’t miss it.  You know it’s her.  I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears that I was actually seeing her sing live.  I was wiping tears just out of pure joy of this little surprise.

In the photo is Lauren singing one of her songs.

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Here’s a song that she sang called, “Trust in You.”  Words cannot describe how beautiful it was to hear this song live.

Mother’s Day Wonderfulness

If you celebrate Mother’s Day, I hope you had a great one.  I always enjoy going over my mom’s house to see my parents and siblings and to catch up on life.  A lot of times, the siblings and I like to talk and debate about politics and entertainment, and at times things can get a little heated, but we’re siblings so we always forgive each other, and accept each other for what we believe.  What I find funny is that each of us still call our parents, “my mom,” or “my dad,” even when we are together as if we each had our own parents.

Mother’s Day at home with my husband and kids was really sweet.  My youngest made a special gift for me at school and was so good about keeping it a secret that even when I tried to pry it out of her, she wouldn’t admit it.  Husband got me a very special gift: a Sony Extra Bass Bluetooth Headset.  I had wanted one for a very long time, just a simple one, but he went the extra mile and got a bluetooth!

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This headpset is really amazing.  The sound quality is clean and crisp and the bass is really nice.  I’ve been listening to Danny Rayel with the headset and the music sounds even more beautiful.  Here’s a few of my favorites from Danny:

Cold Memores

Blossoming Heart

Travel With Me

I tend to listen to epic and trailer music when I’m painting in Photoshop or when I’m writing.  Goals is to have a writing blog but I’m still waiting for courage to put my writing up.  It will happen soon, I hope.  Anyway, for about two weeks now I’ve been working on a concept environment painting I’m calling, “Turtle Land”.  I’m hoping to share more of my progress on my Fairytale and Fantasy Art blog, but here’s an image of where I’m at currently.

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On My Playlist

Some favorites from my playlist from the last couple of weeks.

“I Won’t Fall” by Noctilucent

“Mad Hatter” by Melanie Martinez

“Woman” by Breathe

July 2009 – Demi Lovato Concert

This was a busy month with my sister’s wedding and my daughters attending a new dance studio and my oldest daughter’s first dance performance with the new studio dancers.  I didn’t get a chance to take too many photos.  In fact, I don’t think I took any photos with the DSLR aside from the photos for the fauxdori I made (photos on the craft blog).  I did take a ton with my iPhone though but I have yet to decide if or when I should post those.

For the random photos this month I found some memorable photos from July 2009.  It was the day I took my oldest, who was 7 at the time, to a Demi Lovato concert.  I got her a VIP pass so she got to get up close with Demi during rehearsal and also took a couple of photos with her.  On our way home, when we got home, we were pelted with shards of rain. It was painful and we were soaked to the bones just getting from the car to the house which was only a few yards walk (running and screaming for us that night).  The concert was memorable though.  Daughter loved every bit of it.

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Daughter took the last photo above. She was in the pit and came running back to where I was seated, yelling, “Mom! Mom!  Give me your camera!  Give me your camera!!”  I handed her the camera and she took that cool shot.