Wednesday, June 28, 2017

5 Things I'm digging right now.

1. Any book with the word "Paris" in the title. Seriously, it should be its own genre. I'd like to write in that genre. One year I'm going to "summer in France" (I have always wanted to use the word "summer" as a verb), and I'm going to write one of these light-hearted rom-com novels. I once read that if the book you want to read doesn't exist, you should write it. I'm pretty sure I've exhausted this particular genre, so maybe time to write some more.

2. Dryer balls.  It took me a zillion years to jump on this wagon, even though I stopped using fabric softener ages ago. As a compromise to the rest of my household, who prefer the fabric softener sheets, I ordered these little balls. They just live in the dryer, and they somehow make it seem like I've used one of those little sheets of carcinogens, except it's non-toxic.

3. Better Without Booze. It's an instagram page, with a website to follow, created by my friend and favorite blogger, Joy Manning. I have not quit drinking, but ever since my first pregnancy, I've asked bartenders to "make me something fun, but non-alcoholic." They've always enjoyed the task, and it's nice to see a whole feed devoted to beautiful mocktails. I still love a good whisky or G&T or glass of prosecco (bubbly has been my thing in recent years), but I rarely drink these days. I don't get enough sleep as it is with these babies, and we all know how alcohol keeps you up at night.

4. Planner Pad. I like this day-planner as a good way to make sense of the variety of projects I've got on my To Do list. It categorizes your tasks and funnels it through a priority list, beginning with everything for the week, to everything for the day, to specific times, which is extremely helpful for a visual-oriented self-employed person who gets overwhelmed easily and who also has, like, zero time.

5. DryBar. I've only been once, but I foresee this being the new TreatYoSelf of choice. I don't like to straighten my hair because I want to encourage the natural curls (you know how angry I get when Anne Hathaway gets a blowout in The Princess Diaries to signify that she is now a refined princess because natural curls do NOT EQUATE TO INSANITY), but I still like playing dress-up from time to time. And, though I may not like the back story, I do feel like a movie star after a blowout, apparently. Or a princess. Can you imagine that Kate Middleton probably has an in-house blowout person?? (Or is it in-palace?)

Also : I'm mostly funded on my pre-order campaign -- 99%. if you want to order my new album on CD or just as a download or buy something else from my cooooooool store.
Louisville, I'm playing an acoustic show July 7 at Goodwood Brewery with Steve Cooley. And I'm also playing July 28 at Headliners with a full band and lots of special guests! I have some tickets in hand and you can paypal or venmo or whatever $$ to me to buy them without the extra ticket fee that buying them online will charge you. They are $10 each.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Me on not-decaf and some yoga thoughts.

HEY IT'S MONDAY, AND THAT DEFINITELY WASN'T DECAF!! Also, I went to yoga this morning, and did about 75% of what the teacher requested we do. I can't do 100% because of my weird back-issues ever since my first pregnancy, and also because I am stubborn and even in yoga, YOU CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO! No, but seriously, it was a lovely yoga class.

The only part I can't stand is when you get off your mat in the beginning and go introduce yourself to a stranger. That gives me insane anxiety. For some reason it's only when I'm in the studio, mat rolled out and getting in the zone. Introductions before or after, small-talk while putting my shoes in a cubby or rolling up my mat -- that's fine, and I actually like the community aspect of the yoga studio. I've made lots of new friends. But I really dislike making a new friend while I'm trying to get in the no-one-is-touching-me-for-75-minutes mood. Because that's my favorite thing about yoga: being alone for an hour. No one is grabbing my nipples or telling me they are hungry. It's pretty much magic.

My PledgeMusic campaign is going really well. I'm planning on closing the project in a few days and mailing out all the pre-orders next week (assuming I hit my 100% goal!), so if you'd like to receive your copy of my new CD this week instead of having to wait until Headliners on July 28, then please get your pledge in today. Seriously -- it's a huge relief to get the production-funding out of the way, particularly on an indie-artist who does EVERYTHING herself. The other benefit to pledging -- even if it's just a download because you sold your CD collection to Better Days last summer -- is that you get to see behind-the-scenes updates on how an indie-artist like me does it. This morning I posted a behind-the-scenes video of me packing and going to radio interview.

Last week's alone time was a visit to the DryBar Louisville, where my friend Carrie talked me into getting a blowout on a random rainy Friday afternoon. We sipped champagne (BYOB), niblled croissants, and again -- no one grabbed our nipples or asked for a snack. It was fab.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Some gratitudes and a sneak preview of 8-year-old me video.

Shocker, but now that I have a new album finished and shrink-wrapped, I am feeling better all-round. It's solstice week, which always cheers me up, even when I have to put myself to bed at 7pm because wee Angus has been whimpering every 30 minutes from (I think) a tooth that just won't poke through.

More things I'm thankful for:

1) My sister-in-law, who is in the basement. Her presence both gives me another adult to talk to while David is traveling, but also is teaching me what it's like to have a sibling. I know how to share, but conflict-resolution has never been my strong game. Also, I tend to assume that one disagreement means we hate each other forever. I'm learning that siblings don't operate that way -- that it's possible to have a spat and then play Lego ten minutes later like nothing happened.

2) Instacart. You guys -- I get my groceries delivered. It's not quite as simple as the perfect Waitrose delivery service we had in Scotland, but it saved me mental anguish and trip to the store with two kiddos. Combining Instacart with Fresh20 is keeping me sane. I also had a promo code HELLOLOU that did something, but I'm not sure what.

3) Health, happy babies. My kids, you all. They don't sleep. They wake up with the sun. But oh my goodness, are they wonderful, smart, and empathetic. Wee Angus got shots today (you see, it's possible to have a home birth, but still like vaccinations), and Graham held his hands and snuggled him the whole time. Siblings -- who knew??

Also, I dug out a hilariously awful home video of me doing a gymnastics competition when I was 7 or 8. I am SO BAD. I put it on the internet, but it's an unsearchable private link that I will only release to PledgeMusic pledgers when I reach 75%. Pre-order the album, please? I'm at 72%, so I'm hoping to hit my goal by early next week and then stop trying to sell you things. Here's a sneak peak:

Monday, June 19, 2017

New CD available for PRE-ORDER!!!

MY NEW CD IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER! I've got several boxes of nicely shrink-wrapped 12-song albums in my living room, but I can't mail out a single one until I reach my PledgeMusic goal.

Won't you please support an independent musician, a woman-business-owner, a working mother, and someone who generally tries to spread love and smiles in the community? The minute I hit my goal, I'll mail these CDs. So those of you who pre-order it will be the absolute first to get a copy. Thank you so much! And if you can't pledge, please spread the word, or get in touch about hosting a house concert for my summer tour.

Click here:

And don't forget to watch the video for some hilarious outtakes that show how nearly-impossible it is to be a work-at-home-parent. Please also consider "liking" my Facebook page because, believe it or not, those numbers actually help make me look good to venues and media outlets. It's also a wonderful and easy way to spread the word.

Here's the album cover, shot in Amsterdam, and designed by Al Moreschi:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Yoga shorts for the win.

I was absent from yoga for much of May, and my mental health has suffered for it. It wasn't for lack of effort on my part -- it was for lack of childcare. My nanny-type-person (she's not an actual nanny, but we have a good barter thing going on) was gone for a month, and it just is not in the budget to go to a yoga class AND pay a babysitter.

Anyway, my childcare is back, and I went to yoga this morning! And get this -- I went to yoga in YOGA SHORTS, which are now my new favorite thing in the world. It's basically like doing yoga in your underwear, and that's awesome and freeing and sweaty and feels good. I'm over the yoga pants, y'all.

Also, I didn't realize that it was an internet-viral-worthy thing to reveal that you haven't shaved your legs in years, like that fitness blogger who made headlines a few weeks ago. Like, is that how I should have been marketing myself??? Typical me -- timing just always SLIGHTLY off. Can someone out there help me craft a blog or press release that'll go viral that says "musician uses album cover image where she's not wearing any makeup" ?? You know, it'll say have a clickbait article that's, like, "This indie musician is raising eyebrows with her scandalous album cover image" and then the whole thing is SHE'S NOT WEARING MAKEUP OMG OMG OMG HOW CRAZY IS THAT? Any publicists out there want to take that and run with it? I'll even delete this blog if you think it's ruining the effect.

Anyhoo ... check back for an announcement about how to pre-order my new album! It's a fun one.

Monday, June 12, 2017

BIG NEWS! And cover artwork photos.

I've finished my album! YESSSSSSSS! Completely. Artwork, production, shrink-wrap -- it's finished. I'm working my tail off on some fun ways to roll out the release, and I'll have something fun to announce later this week. I know, I know, the slow-release is all the rage these days with albums. You're "supposed" to have product in hand a good six months before you release the thing. I'm supposed to be teasing you with videos and telling you you can't buy product for months and months. But I'm not doing things by the book because I'm Brigid Kaelin, and carpe diem, etc.

Have a look at a bunch of the images that were up for cover artwork, along with the standard promotional photos:

Monday, June 5, 2017

EPCOT Sparkling Dessert Party Review

EPCOT is my favorite part of DisneyWorld. Specifically, the World Showcase is wonderful because it lightly satiates my wanderlust and in time with my attention disorder. I can walk from Mexico to Italy leisurely in ten minutes. We didn't get to spend enough time at the various countries because we were tired and also a ride broke down on us, wasting an hour of our day.

Rather than buying souvenirs for ourselves on this trip, David and I opted to buy an experience. We splurged and bought 2 tickets to the Sparkling Dessert Party. It's normally sold out, but people often give up their reservations the day before rather than pay a change fee. While sitting on the Boardwalk watching the IllumiNations show, I found two tickets to the Dessert Party and bought them (#buyitnow!). They were $49 each, BUT ...

It was an Open Bar of CHAMPAGNE, which has been my go-to drink for the past couple of years (besides gin & tonics -- I know, I know, I have really backed away from the whisky lately) and it was an All You Can Eat Dessert Buffet, made up of one dessert from each of the EPCOT countries. And it was GOOD. I'm sure lots of people did not get their money's worth, but David and I had both been 1) not really drinking much this year and 2) avoiding sweets for a while. We decided to go to town on both (within reason on the alcohol, but not within reason on the dessert). Then we sat there, stuffed, and had a front row place to watch the fireworks.

Angus came along, strapped on David's back and chowing on watermelon because he doesn't yet know that Strawberry Shortcake exists.

It was fantastic, and considering we each had a few glasses of champagne (with various syrup flavors they provided to make 'em extra fancy), which was great for relaxing after a stressful day at Disney, and we used up probably 10 plates worth of desserts. Seriously.

The Strawberry Shortcake from the US was David's favorite.
I liked the little ganache torts from France.
And the chocolate fudge thing that came with vanilla bean ice cream that I think was from the UK.
And the Pretzels and Fondue that we had to pretend we were eating dinner too...
And the cannolis from Italy ... mmmmmmmm.
And it was all-vegetarian, except for the rice-krispie treats.