Is it just me, or do Monday’s seem to arrive much faster these days?  I hope you all had a Happy Easter – or whatever you celebrate or don’t, that the very least you had a marvy weekend.  As usual, things are go, go, go around here, but hopefully now that schedules are back to ‘normal’, I can finally settle into a ‘normal’ routine.  

Yeah, I didn’t type that last part with a straight face.

Being that it is Monday, it’s time for some tuneage!  This week’s theme is “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock’n’Roll”.  Since I’ve been having major time-crunch issues lately, the songs I picked for this week are a little bit country, a little bit not-country, not necessarily ‘rock’n’roll’. That’s how I roll.

Let’s start off with a song performed by an American recording artist that was released on November 19, 2013, as the third single from her self-titled fourth studio album.  This particular song was inspired by the tour of the same name.

It is a dance and an electropop song (see? not-country) that the producer heard on a friend’s demo reel, which then got stuck in his head and he knew he had to produce it.  He selected this particular artist because she has one of the biggest ranges and can belt full voice three octaves above middle C with complete power and complete control.  That’s talent. 


Give a listen to Demi Lovato with “Neon Lights”:

Next up is a song released in September 2013 from an American country music artist as the third single from his debut album.  It was inspired by a time he spent in the Bahamas with his brother, when the siblings borrowed a small boat to go island hopping and feed swimming pigs.  

During this little jaunt they came upon a beautiful girl floating on a raft in the back of a yacht.  Since they were on their way to feed the swimming pigs, they had a bucket of slop, but that didn’t stop them from driving their little dinghy boat closer and closer to see this girl right behind a giant yacht.  As they got closer, to scary guys popped up out of the giant yacht, so they decided they better just take their little dinghy and go feed the pigs.

The artist told his brother that if he were to have ever met that girl, he would have liked to write a song about how they met and fell in love to the beat of the music.  In spite of not actually ever meeting the girl, he went ahead and wrote the song anyway as soon as he returned to Nashville.


Here’s Brett Eldredge with “Beat of the Music”:

Next up is a singer-songwriter from the UK that was the first single from her repacked edition of her sophomore album.  The artist has commented that it was something different for her, a different rhythm and a different kind of vibe she really enjoys performing and singing it.


Here’s Ellie Goulding with “Burn”:

Next up is one of my favorite country sibling trio’s with a rollicking kiss-off tune that rings a fresh angle to a woman-done-wrong by describing the chopping down of a tree bearing the carving of a heart and young couple’s initials.  With the lyrics: “Love is shady / Love is tragic / It’s hard to bury the hatchet / Holdin’ a chainsaw.”

We’ve all been there at one time or another.

This trio always find unique ways to blend their three voices, making each new song seem fresh. The boys aren’t simply relegated to backing vocals, which is a refreshing change of pace.  The female lead is becoming country music’s next great unstable female.  It’s a character, of course, but this performance puts her alongside Miranda Lambert as two women not to be messed with.


Here’s The Band Perry with “Chainsaw”:

Last, but not least, is a rock-tinged song (see what I did there?) about a girl taking charge of her life and leaving her small town life behind.  The band members, who also co-wrote the song, said it came about because the felt like they read so much recently about girls being seen as weak in country music in the way they’re portrayed.  They liked this song because they refer to it as a ‘big girl power song’.

They weren’t looking for it to become a single, the were looking for a fun song to play live, but it was just too good not to be released as a single. The song itself is a story of chasing one’s dream against all odds and obstacles, and with heavy drums and bass it rocks like they’ve never rocked on the radio before.

This song is this band’s loudest and most uptempo single to date. It’s good to hear them rock out a little bit.


Without further ado, here’s Eli Young Band with “Dust”:

That’s a wrap for this week – have a great Monday!


Now on to the particulars of Monday’s Music Move’s Me:


I have the supreme honor and privilege of being a co-host with the inimitable Xmas Dolly and our musical cohorts,Callie from JAmericanSpice, Cathy from Cathy Kennedy’s Blog, and Naila Moon at Just the Stuff Ya Know.  Naila will be on vacation (lucky girl) for a little while, so our friend Danielle from Royalegacy will be helping us out.  And a big thank you to Becca from Everyday Life for picking up the slack whilst my co-hort in crime Cathy and I were in absentia.

Want to join in the fun? It’s easy – just find a tune that rocks your boat, post it and link up – don’t forget to grab Xmas Dolly…er, um, I mean her button…over at her place here. Check out Xmas Dolly’s sidebar for the random themes we sport each week – and you can always ask for a specific theme of music you like, too. Check out the other music lovahs and let’s jam!



Belle Haup of Coffee Bar Confessions



The awesome Run DMT also hosts Music Monday (who graciously helps out with our hostessing every time we need it, and who I had the privilege of meeting in person at BlogHer – she’s even more adorable than I imagined):



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If you’ve been reading me for a while, you know that I love wine so much, I make it myself!  I still buy wine to keep my wine fridge full at all times, and to enjoy with friends and family.  I tend to migrate to the wines that catch my eye with a label, or something that’s uniquely special to that particular brand.

With summertime looming right around the corner, let’s face it – we’re all worried about the winter hibernation that undoubtedly added a few pounds, but giving up wine drinking doesn’t seem to be an option.  Oh if only there was a wine out there that had less calories that the rest…

Wait!  There is!

Brancott Estate’s “Flight Song” Wines to the rescue!


First of all, I love the fact that they’re called “Flight Song”.  The description of each of the wines was eye-catching as well.

The Sauvignon Blanc’s aroma is described as: “Pink grapefruit and passion fruit notes with hints of snow pea”, with the taste description of: “Ripe lemon acidity excites the palate”, and the Pinot Grigio aroma is described as: “Floral notes with fresh pear and lemon”, with the taste description of: “White peach and guava with ripe, citrus acidity”. 

I couldn’t wait to try these out and see if I could pick out those aromas and flavors.  But one of the best parts of these wines?  The fact that they have 20% fewer calories compared to other wines.  Score!


Brancott Estate Flight Song is made using grapes harvested earlier in the season when their sugar levels are naturally lower.  This leads to a wine that is 20 per cent lighter in calories than a typical wine of the same varietal.

Which makes sense, since I typically do what is called a ‘late harvest’ on my grapes when I’m making my sweet wine.  But since I prefer sweet over dry, how did these stand up to the taste test?

First up, the Pinot Grigio – I was pleasantly surprised by how citrusy refreshing it was, definitely perfect for the upcoming summer warmth.  I could pick out the floral notes, but enjoyed the fruity undertones of  the white peach and guava – the lemon balanced the sweetness out to perfection so it wasn’t too sweet, but not too dry either.  

Very light and refreshing – and no taste sacrificed with the calorie reduction, either.  The next time I cook salmon for dinner, I’m totally making sure this is ready for its close-up.

Next up was the Sauvignon Blanc – I could definitely pick out the aroma of pink grapefruit and passion fruit, but couldn’t quite get the snow pea.  Of course it’s been a long time since I’ve smelled a snow pea, so that could be why I couldn’t pick it out.  

On the taste side, I definitely tasted the lemon, but not in the “sour-puss-scrunch-up-your-face” way – it was deceptively sweet, but the acidity of the lemon was again perfect for keeping it on the refreshing side instead of too sweet.  I could definitely see this paired with seafood, too.

While I’m always trepidatious about trying wines that come with a screw-cap vs. a cork, color me surprised that these wines are refreshingly delicious!  I will certainly be happy to share them with my friends, and will undoubtedly see if I can find them in a wine shop locally.  

Here are some interesting tidbits about Brancott Estate “Flight Song” Wines:

  • Brancott Estate was the first to plant the Sauvignon Blanc grape in the Marlborough Region of New Zealand.
  • Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is now world renowned for its exceptional full flavor tastes.
  • Brancott Estate has naturally crafted these new Flight Song wines to be full of flavor and happen to be lighter in calories.
  • Harvesting earlier from select estate parcels results in a wine that is naturally 20% lighter in calories, with the full flavor consumers expect from a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.  The result is full-flavored, complex wines which deliver the taste and aromatics that consumers expect from a high quality Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc & Pinot Grigio.

Be sure to follow Brancott Estate Wines on Facebook and Twitter for more new product information and promotions.

Which of these Brancott Estate’s “Flight Song” Wines do you think you’d like to try?






Note: I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Brancott Estate Wines.  I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.  As usual, all opinions are my own and not influenced by outside sources.  See my disclosure policy here.

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When we were Basement Dwellers occupying my parents’ basement while looking for a house, a tiny little stray kitty appeared in their backyard.  

Naturally we couldn’t leave the poor thing out in the cold, and adopted the scraggly little thing, who went through a few name changes (including ‘Shatner’) before his final name of #Squeak.  Yep, you even pronounce the ‘Hashtag’ portion of his name.  

While he and Blackspot were hanging out together, they liked to climb over the stuff my mom had stacked along the walls of the solitary bedroom in the basement – she had a dog bed on top of a high shelf, but they managed to climb up and knock it down to the floor, immediately taking over its comfort:


Stray kitty doggy bed domination leads to world domination…Stay tuned.



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