Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Foot Works

I would be the first person to admit that I don't have the greatest pair of feet.  I wear sneakers 95% of the time while the other 5% I'm either at home wearing socks, wearing boots in the winter or wearing sandals in the summer.  I wear sneakers to work in and I wear them when I'm not working.  I also never ever go without socks unless I'm wearing sandals.  I have really nasty looking heels all winter long and they don't look any better in the summer either which is probably why I'm so in love with sneakers.  I own a black pair and a white pair.  I have other shoes besides sneakers but sneakers are my shoe of choice.  I also know I don't have the prettiest toe nails either.  I think I had a pedicure only once that I can recall. 

Now that I got that matter out in the open its time to talk about how to keep your feet looking pretty.  I know there are a lot of products on the market to help your feet feel better.  I've bought the foot scrubs and lotions but they work but then you have to keep using it over and over.  Lets face it those foot scrubs only work if you use a pumice stone, which means you have to work a lot harder to get your feet nice and soft.  The edge of the heel is always the hardest area for me to remove all the rough dead skin that has been building up over time.  The bottoms are the easiest to tackle unless you have a callous and well I'll leave those for another blog. 

The sides of my feet are one the worst areas of my feet that was until I started selling Avon.  You see I found out just by browsing through an Avon campaign brochure online that they sell products for your feet and legs.  When I saw the various products available I knew I had to give at least one of them a try.  So I decided to give Avon Foot Works Beautiful Lavender Overnight Cream a try.  I use to put lotion and Vaseline on the bottoms of my feet then put on a pair of socks so the next day my feet would feel a little softer but that never happened.

Wednesday night I tried the overnight cream out on my feet.  It smelled so good going on which is a good thing, you don't want to put something that doesn't smell good on your feet.  I think put on a pair of clean socks and went to bed.  When I got up the next day my feet were a lot softer then the night before.  I keep up this routine for about a week.  By the end of the week my feet looked 100% better.  It was still winter so I wouldn't be going around wearing sandals or flip flops.  I try to use this product as much as I can sometimes I'll put it on my feet during the day after I get out of the shower.  I stand on my feet a lot when I work which is probably why my feet look so bad and sad.

Here is the product that I currently use to make my feet feel amazing.  There isn't a foot scrub on the market that I would use in place of this.  This is my go to foot product.  If your feet aren't pretty give this a try it will change how your feet feel.

If you'd like to place an order for tube of this product or any other products available from Avon you can check out my e-Store or if your local and live close by why not place an order with me directly.  My next order goes in on Easter Sunday.  I know that's a busy day for most people but I can take your order on Saturday the 15th of April.  If you sign up at my eStore you'll get daily email telling you about a great special available through my eStore but if you don't want to spend $40 and you live nearby I'm willing to take your order face to face just send me a message through my eStore and I'll get in touch.  Check out my eStore to find latest and greatest deals from Avon .

Remember Mother's Day is not far away.  This would be a perfect gift to help your mom pamper herself.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

My Adventure in the World of Avon

Last fall I decided to hop on the Avon bandwagon.  I ordered some stuff for me but never really made any money.  So I didn't end 2016 on a positive note for my Avon business.  At the beginning of 2017 I was all but ready to call it quits.  I would read post about how other people where having this great success while I wasn't.  I didn't really have any one on one help.  I had to do it all myself.  

Before I continue my story I should mention that I'm living with my parents who are both senior citizens and my younger brother.  We've been living with them since 2005 which is when my dad went into the hospital for a triple heart bypass surgery.  I was unemployed and had just moved back home after spending about nine months living in Lexington, KY.  I had separated from my ex before moving home.  My mom sent me the money to get a moving truck so we could take our stuff home.  In the fall of 2005 I started working for a movie theater that just opened up not far from my house.  I worked there almost 6 years before I was terminated.  That's not a word I like to use in polite conversation because it makes me feel like I was in the wrong.  I was just really tired of all the nit picking plus I was under a lot of stress at home.

In 2012 I started working as an usher but this time in an outdoor concert venue the only drawback is that you were employed as independent contractor which meant they didn't take out income tax which means you had to pay tax at the end of the year on what you made.  It was mostly in the evening and about two or three times a week if we were lucky.  My brother started working there end of 2014 because they were understaffed and were in need of people who could work.  In fall of 2015 we learned that the venue was being taken over by another company and that we would need to apply to the new company if we still wanted to work.  Good news was it was pretty easy to get into the new company since we'd been working at the previous company before.

In May of 2016 we got hired to work for Palace Sports and Entertainment which was cool cause it gave us the opportunity to work at more than one venue.  We got to see some really great concerts and we met a lot of nice people best of all was that after the summer was over we were able to continue working because we would work all of the Detroit Pistons home games.  We'd work all the preseason and most of the regular season with the exception of a few in December which was because I was sick and in the hospital.  End of 2016 we learned that the team would be moving to Downtown Detroit in the same arena that the Redwings were moving too.  Just last week we learned there would be a job fair for those who would be interested in moving to the new arena.  So far we're still living in Michigan for now.

Since I've been working most of the year I was able to afford Avon.  That doesn't make much sense, what I'm trying to say is that I would be able to purchase thing I would need without asking for money from my mom.  A few years ago by dad was diagnosed with Prostrate Cancer, good news is that the cancer is undetectable but he has to take a cancer pill instead of getting those really expensive shots.  Every 6 or 3 months he has to cancer doctor to get a check up to make sure his test score are all good.  Besides having survived cancer he had to have a couple of stents put into his heart but that not really the worst of it.  My dad also has dementia and life isn't easy for us, the three people that do basically everything to keep him alive.  He takes a pill to help his memory but that helps just a little bit.  

In 2012 my mom was in the hospital because of her legs.  From then on her legs have always been giving her trouble though she hasn't had to go back into the hospital but life hasn't been easy.  She uses her walker almost 24/7 with the exception of when she's sleeping or knitting.  Dealing with my mom isn't as bad as dealing with my dad's dementia.  Recently he's started to forget to take the rest of his pills in the morning, evening and night time which seems to have been the reason why he's been so moody lately.  I belong to a support group on FB for people whose loved ones have dementia.  I read some of the stories which are heartbreaking but then there are the ones that I can identify with because its relatively similar to my situation.

Now back to how I got started with Avon.  My initial reason was to make some extra money.  I knew that my cousin sold Avon.  She tried signing me up before but I could never get into YA.  So I talked to her via messenger about signing up to sell Avon.  She could sign me up under her.  I would be part of her downline.  I'd sold Avon before and only needed some brochures and some samples.  She said she would send me some stuff but the stuff she sent never came so I ended up going onto YA to enter my first order.  I made sure to order brochures and some samples along with a few items for me to try out.  

Since I didn't have any brochures to hand out prior to the deadline of my first campaign I was my only customer.  It took me a few more campaigns before I was able to get everything I needed to put in the bags with my brochures.  With my first order I didn't order some must needed office supplies which didn't help.  I didn't have any literature bags until after my second campaign.  I continued being my only customer those three months in 2016.  

In December I had secured another spot at a vendor/craft show but this time I had my Avon brochures and a few gift baskets I created.  I was also selling my mom's knitted items and my jewelry as well.  My brother gave out one book but nothing ever came from that one book.  I'm sure the person who took it needed it to place an order with her Avon lady.  The day ended with no sales from either Avon or my crafts.  I think there were quite a few people that day that didn't sell one thing thus making back the money that was spent for the table.

After that event I didn't feel like selling anything.  My mom started complaining about not selling anything and that I wasted my money.  Her complaining didn't help my state of mind.  By the end of the month I was ready to give up selling Avon.  I didn't place anymore orders after that failed attempt at that show.  I was feeling pretty low.  I would read post about how people were doing good with their business.  I would see great ideas and think they could work for me.  The beginning of the year of 2017 I was going to call it quits.  I just couldn't figure out how I would keep being my only customer.  I couldn't figure out how to get more customers.  I had a guy at work who wanted to purchase Wild Country splash after shave which wasn't available until Campaign 5.  

Campaign 5, I submitted  via my e-Store since I that was the only way I would be able to make any money on an order.  My mentor had looked at my previous submitted orders in order to figure out how to help me.  I was still uncomfortable asking people if they would like an Avon brochure.  I asked the women that worked in the office of my dad's PC if they would be interested but it turns out that someone in the office sells Avon.  It was like a stab in the heart.  I knew that doctors offices were a great place to leave brochures.  I thought about leaving some where my mom goes to the skin doctor but as it turns out someone already has their brochures laid out on an end table in the tiny waiting room.

I missed Campaign 6 and I submitted a large Campaign 7 order via YA.  I basically ordered 2 packs brochures for Campaign 8 and 9, some samples, and some items from various brochures and outlet books.  Campaign 8,  I filled out an order but never submitted it because it was basically just sales tools that I needed.

Now back to the beginning of the year when I thought about giving up.  Things in my house aren't always calm which doesn't aide in my confidence level.  My brother was really the only one who thought I could do this, sell Avon.  He was willing to help me with what ever I needed. I read a post in early part of 2017 that gave me a glimmer of hope.  I was tagged in a post from my mentor, Amy D.  I had won the three piece Prima fragrance collection which included the bottle of perfume, the tube of body lotion and the tube of  shower gel.  I never won anything and I saw this as a sign that I should put more effort into selling Avon.  

I got all my books for C9 ready to hand out.  I even created 11 sample bags which contains a large  sample card plus two small female and male fragrance samples plus a tiny tube of lipstick.  Every bag is the same but only difference is the large fragrance card.  I also created two t-shirts advertising Avon.  I made one for my brother and one for me with the brand message on the back because I think its more likely to be see because its on the back.  

I plan to hand out brochures but its not been very nice where I live.  Today was the first truly nice warm day outside.  Tomorrow it looks like rain but I work tomorrow night so I won't be able to do much tomorrow afternoon.  I'm hoping to go get my hair cut thus handing out some brochures in the process.  I know this has been a long post but it does shed some light on why I have had problems selling.  I apparently have ADHD according to my mom who read something about it online.  My mom asked me where I was gonna hand out my brochures but still isn't really supportive.  She could help me out by finding places that might take some of my brochures.  Maybe once I start making some money she'll be on my side.  I want to continue to sell Avon because I see what working hard can get and what it can do for your confidence.

This story will continue.....

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Levi Riggs:

Hillbilly Superstar and There's Still A Place for That 

I didn't know who Levi Riggs was at the time, until I went to work  on July 18, 2013.  He was to be the first opening act for Travis Tritt at Freedom Hill Amphitheatre in Sterling Heights, MI.  Originally, the only opener was the Kentucky Headhunters but Levi Riggs was a last minute addition. 

It had been pouring rain that evening and wouldn't stop until later that evening.   There wasn't a huge crowd of people in the pavilion when he took the stage that night along with his band.  Most of the people who had arrived early for the concert that evening were treated to an awesome performance by a young talented up and comer from Indiana.  

Levi Riggs performed a total of eight songs that evening.   The crowd seemed to enjoy the music they were hearing.  I wasn't as familiar with his music as some in the crowd seemed to be.  I did enjoy myself, he has an awesome voice and an amazing band.

Three of the songs in his set list from that night came from his album Hillbilly Superstar. He sang the title track from the album along with "Easy" and "My Best Friend's A Girl."  "Down Home Boy" another song from his list comes off his album There's Still A Place For That.  The other four songs he performed that night came from his yet to be released album I'm Good which is due to be released on Aug. 20, 2013.  

Through out his entire performance Levi made it a point to introduce himself to the crowd. He definitely wanted people to get to know him a little better by telling them to join him on Facebook and Twitter.  He even said that if you follow him on Twitter that he would follow you back.  He even suggested the audience visit his website leviriggs.com for more information about him and his music.  

By the end of his set everyone knew his name and where to find him when they got home. Even though I wasn't watching the stage I heard every beautiful word he sang. 

When I got home after the show ended I went straight to my Twitter account so that I could follow Levi Riggs.  A few minutes later I had a new follower, Levi Riggs.  He was definitely true to his word.  I posted a couple tweets which got favorite by Levi Riggs.  I also logged into Spotify to see if I could listen to any of Levi's music.   Sure enough both of his albums were available on Spotify.  

I started listening to all the tracks on Hillbilly Superstar via Spotify.  I also went to Levi's website to find that I could sign up for Exclusive Access to receive seven songs of his for free.  A video and free downloadable song a day what could be better.  He even responded to some of my tweets and the message I wrote to him on Facebook.

The first downloadable song was "Hillbilly Superstar" the title track from the album of the same name.  It's a song about a guy who's entertaining his family at the backyard barbecue and he only has three strings on his dad's guitar.  He doesn't care cause he wants to rock out like Elvis.  

I never heard a song I could sing along with only after listening to it just once.  This song was amazing.  I loved the lyrics they were so easy to recall that I actually started hearing it being played in my head.  I also found that it is a great song to listen to while walking the dog or even working out.  Its also easy to dance to.

In the first video I learned that  his early influences were Garth Brooks, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Harry Chapin along with Alabama's harmonies.  

He got his first taste of what it might be like to be a country singer in the fifth grade musical where he sang the John Micheal Montgomery song "Sold."   He walked up into the crowd and sang the song to his teacher.  

In high school he was in four musicals, three of which he was the lead.  He starred in Bye Bye Birdie where he played the lead.  Decked out in a gold suit he rocked the stage as the girls swoon around him.  He realized this is what it might be like down the road.

He went to Purdue University after high school.  He got his degree in Agriculture Sales and Marketing.  He also was a part of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club.  When he got his conformation call that he got into the Glee Club he was working  at his family's dairy farm in the dairy parlor.

The second song "F-150" was released as a single on Feb. 6, 2010 for download from Amazon and iTunes.  Its a song about a guy having fun in his '92 F-150.  It's also a love song about a girl the guy was in love with at the time.  It has a great beat to it and the lyrics are memorable which is always a good thing for me.  I love listening to it when I take my dog for a walk.  Its another song you can sing along with and never miss a beat.  The only way to get this song is by downloading it but its definitely worth the money in my opinion.  It's one of those song you just can't get out of your head.

The song for day three was "Tailgate Time" another song released as a single and only available on download.  It was released Aug.  26, 2010.  It's a song about having a good time with friends in the parking lot of your favorite football team.  It's about being a great fan whose committed to his favorite team.  I love this song even if I'm not a big fan of football.  I love the idea of being a committed fan.  I'm a committed hockey fan whose devoted to my favorite team even when they are down.  He performed this song at the Superbowl in January 2011.  He got to meet his idol Randy Travis when he performed "Tailgate Time" at the Superbowl.

"My Best Friend's A Girl" is the number four song and track two off of Hillbilly Superstar.  The song is about a guy who's wife is always bugging him about going down to Disney World as well as having babies.  Another great song from Levi Riggs and one that is definitely worth a listen.  If you have Spotify this another song that deserves to be listened to over and over again.  Its a great song to listen to especially if your best friend's a girl.  

So far all four songs have been incredible and I love listening to them.  I even got a friend of mine to sign up for his video/song a day.  Can't go wrong with a free song that you can download and put onto your iPod or your mp3 player.  

Day five was a song entitled "Down Home Boy" which comes from his album There's Still A Place For That.  This song talks about raising your kids up with morals and values with grandma's bible and grandpa's rifle, everything that makes America strong and it all relies on agriculture.  He took everything he learned in the FFA and applied to every aspect of his life and even his music career.  

So far every song is note worthy and definitely worth purchasing.  All his songs are great to take with you on a walk with your dog.  I find myself singing along with the music as I'm walking.  I don't care who hears me because where I live its 100 times better than the crap I hear coming from cars that drive down the street.  

Day six I downloaded the song "Easy" which also appears on Levi's album Hillbilly Superstar. There isn't much to say about this song except that its awesome.  He has a great time performing on stage with his band and the fans make it "Easy."  I've never seen another artist who seems to have a great connection with his audience.  The next time he's in town I'm gonna make sure I get tickets.  His music really appeals to me.  It puts you in a good mood and it makes you smile.  

The last day of his week of free music ends with "There's Still A Place For That" which is the title track of the album with the same name.  He filmed his first music video using this song.  The song is about there still being a place for morals in this country, there's still a place for God, about respecting your parents and your elders, treating people the way you want to be treated.  These are all messages that connect with Levi.  

So far I've downloaded seven amazing songs each one unique as well as memorable.  If you've read this blog all the way through to the end then I think you need to definitely check out Levi Riggs.  I guarantee you won't be sorry, I wasn't and neither was my friend.  You can listen to his music on Spotify for free and then go to his website leviriggs.com to sign up for the Exclusive Access and get seven free songs.  Who can beat getting something for free.  My advice is take advantage of what you can get for free.  

If you like what you hear then by all means go purchase his albums either getting a hard copy or downloading them.  I can only seem to find them at either amazon.com or on iTunes.  Both albums were released in Aug. 2011 and are available for download on both Amazon or iTunes, but the only place to find a hard copy of both albums is on Amazon.  His new album I'm Good was released on Aug. 20, 2013 but is currently only available for download from iTunes and Amazon.

Here is the music video that goes with the song from day seven of the Exclusive Access.  http://youtu.be/jVLq4cZQgA4

I sure do hope you enjoy Levi Rigg's music as much as I have.  Please remember to follow him on Twitter and Facebook.  If you like his music send him a Tweet.  I'm sure you'll get a reply or even have it favorited.  Remember if you follow him on Twitter he'll follow you back.

Thanks you for taking the time to read this.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day

A Day filled with Green, Good Craic and Great Music

Today is St. Patrick's Day: a day filled with everything green, good craic and great music along with a few surprises thrown in for good measure.  A day in which consuming green beer isn't frowned upon and if you find a Leprechaun hold him hostage and he will grant you 3 wishes in exchange for his release. My only wish would be bring to your pot of gold but that just isn't gonna happen instead I'll settle for having a unique St. Patrick's Day filled with lots of new findings and plenty of Mexican food. 

Early this morning I was searching YouTube.com for a video about County Tyronne, Ireland.  A young friend of mine, Alyssa Schaefer, is preparing to visit Ireland for school and was interested in any videos about 'The Moy which is in County Tyronne.  

For those of you that are not a Thunderhead or an fan of Celtic Thunder, 'The Moy is home to Ryan Kelly, one of the lead singers of the group.  Mr. Kelly has been known to frequent Tomney's Bar in 'The Moy when he's not on tour with Celtic Thunder in either US/Canada or Australia.  

After finding the video that I've seen a few times prior, I decided to see if there were any videos about 'The Moy which might include the bar but all I found  was the video for Ryan Kelly's The Village That They Call 'The MoyI then decided to see if there were any videos about the bar itself but again I got nothing except, Geraldine Quinn's YouTube Channel which has a couple videos recorded in Tomney's Bar in 'The Moy but none about the bar itself.

I just happen to come across this lovely little gem of a video http://youtu.be/JBptjW59Ac4 by Derek Ryan who is from County Carlow, Ireland.  I checked out some of Derek Ryan's other videos that were posted on  YouTube.  Derek Ryan's Mary http://youtu.be/IyAlpq1dqVI which is a truly beautiful original song.  I then happened upon this video by sheer coincidence http://youtu.be/WZnQkvQYlNw which seems to have been recorded inside Tomney's Bar and outside in various locations in 'The Moy.  Next I came across an interview of Derek Ryan with Seamus Quinn on Country Time With Quinn http://youtu.be/m560f5_3LyQ that's when I found out Derek Ryan is a country music artist. Here is the link to Derek Ryan's website http://www.derekryanmusic.com/

Again I found another video from Country Time With Quinn this one featuring Nathan Carter, who is another country music artist in Ireland. I then found another performance and interview on The Nolan Show on 1/23/2013 http://youtu.be/CMxcif8HSdE . Nathan currently resides in Fermanagh after having spent 3 years in Donegal.  He puts a country spin on various traditional Irish songs including Caledonia http://youtu.be/2Fo2Jyw3hrs which was also recorded by Celtic Thunder. Here is another video from Nathan Carter http://youtu.be/fLBHIAxWA8Y, it starts out with Spanish Lady which has been recorded by The Kilkenny's and appears on Celtic Thunder's newest album Mythology.  This video also features the song Holy Ground which Celtic Thunder along with The Kilkenny's recorded.  The last part of the song, Westmeath Bachelor, I never heard of until now but its kinda funny because it talks about Mullingar which is Emmet Cahill's hometown.  I found that he has recorded  country music that I am familiar with including http://youtu.be/sJj-xXFxzMg.  Here is the link to Nathan Carter's website http://nathancartermusic.com/

All of this happened purely by accident.  It's like discovering new talent even when the talent in question has been around for awhile. I'm very happy to have found them and to share them will all my friends :)   I guess that's what happens when you live in the United States and aren't very familiar with country music artists across the Pond in Ireland.  

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona

Happy Saint Patrick's Day !!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Celtic Thunder Christmas CD

This is only the second month of the new year and I feel like time is just slipping by, before I know it March will be here along with PBS promos for Mythology.  I still need to figure out how I'm gonna get the two disk deluxe CD from the CT Website but I'll get it eventually.  Since the new CD is already in the bag I think its time the Lads record and produce a new Christmas CD since that's the only way they will have Christmas Shows again.  

With the addition of Colm Keegan last year and Emmet Cahill the year before I think its high time they did just that.  I know that last summer Lady A recorded their new Christmas CD that came out before Christmas and this coming summer seems like the perfect time to record a New Celtic Thunder Christmas CD.

Their first CD contained: It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas and When You Wish Upon A Star which were both solo's of Neil Byrne.  Then there was Winter Wonderland and Our First Christmas Together which were  solo's of Damian McGinty, who is no longer with the group.  Then there's Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow and Baby, It's Cold Outside two solo's by Ryan Kelly.  Last Christmas and All I Want For Christmas Is You which are two amazing solo's by Keith Harkin.  Going Home For Christmas and I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday two solo performances by George Donaldson.  Then there was Ave Maria the only solo performance by Paul Byrom, who also is no longer with the group.  Then you have a bunch of ensemble performances which includes: Silent Night, Christmas 1915 and a Christmas Medley of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year/We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

I've asked a few people who are frequent visitors to the CT Pub which is part of the the CT website for help in coming up with a list of Christmas songs the lads might sing on a new CD.  I created a playlist on Spotify which I posted on both Facebook and Twitter.  The following is a list of songs that were chosen and the artist who has recorded it: 

1.   Blue Christmas, I chose the Michael Buble not the version recorded originally by Elvis  the following video as taken from Michael Buble's Christmas Special on NBC http://youtu.be/CxieY7dKyt0 

2.   Wonderful Christmastime  recorded by  Paul McCartney

3.   Step into Christmas recorded by Elton John http://youtu.be/9Fjik78LapA

4.   Carol of The Bells (voice)  the version that John Williams recorded  which was apart of the Home Alone soundtrack http://youtu.be/xajv-YAYUJk

5.    Christmas[Baby Please Come Home] recorded by  Michael Buble the following was part of the X-Factor Live Final http://youtu.be/pbwO2nyUYYA  

6.    (There's No Place Like)Home For The Holidays recorded by Perry Como  http://youtu.be/7WqdBtEXoWo

7.    Little Saint Nick recorded The Beach Boys, the following video is  an original video so its in black and white

8.    Christmas Dreaming recorded by Frank Sinatra

9.    It Came Upon A Midnight Clear  recorded by Josh Groban, the following video came from the Dec 10, 2007 episode of Regis and Kelly  http://youtu.be/cXTk9tadkvY

10.  Jingle Bell Rock the Glee Cast version not the original version by Bobby Helms   http://youtu.be/r9lfPy5eCk0

11.   Happy Christmas (War Is Over)  the Glee Cast version not the John Lennon version  http://youtu.be/Dh5aNLVJvkE

12.  Twelve Days Of Christmas  recorded by Bing Crosby 

13.  White Christmas which was made famous by Bing Crosby,  this is from the movie Holiday Inn which also features White Christmas   

14.   Christmas in Killarney another song recorded by Bing Crosby   http://youtu.be/_KgoUNH2f8c

15.   Home (Christmas Version) recorded by Blake Shelton featuring Michael Buble can be found on Blake Shelton's Christmas CD the following video was part of  Michael Buble's Christmas show on NBC http://youtu.be/wKEPXzfxPRc

16.   We Need A Little Christmas the  Johnny Mathis version of the song from the musical Mame, its the version I hear every Christmas   http://youtu.be/_FB3h8IFCro

17.   Marshmallow World the Dean Martin version  http://youtu.be/f1HCQ3pOdRY

18.   River recorded Sarah McLachlan http://youtu.be/E2t9J4YBI_0

19.   A New York Christmas recorded by  Rob Thomas the following video is from Live at Rockefeller Center 2009 http://youtu.be/X2-vMdNk7fw

20.  Do They Know It's Christmas the Band Aid version is the best but I couldn't find it so I went with The Pop Royals instead.  The following is a video of the original 1984 Band Aid from Top of The Pops http://youtu.be/NoGAC7ELG9Q

21.  Grown-up Christmas List recorded by Anthony Evans and Amy Grant, the following video is the Amy Grant version http://youtu.be/RmF2rsDHOZc

That's a lot of music but its all songs that have been recorded at one time or another by other artists. I'm pretty sure most everyone has heard these songs played on the radio during the Christmas season.    As for who should sing what, I'm still working on that but here's what I've come up with so far:  Little Saint Nick and Step Into Christmas would be ideal for Keith while Neil could really brighten up the song Blue Christmas; It Came Upon A Midnight Clear would be an excellent choice for Emmet to sing, I can hear him singing that song right now;  Ryan would be perfect choice to sing Christmas in Killarney while I think George could definitely bring new life to the song Happy Christmas(War Is Over) which was made famous by John Lennon/Yoko Ono and even though the song River was recorded by Sarah McLachlan I definitely think it would make an excellent choice Colm to record.

I know that's not every song on the  list but its a start.  I definitely think that 12 Days of Christmas and Do They Know It's Christmas would have to be an ensemble songs. I think the Christmas version of Home would be an excellent duo between Ryan and Colm.  

I'm pretty sure that there are more songs that I could add to this list but I thought this would be a great start.  If you know of any Christmas songs you think the lads should record please leave me a comment with the title of the song and who recorded it also let me know  should it be a solo, duet or ensemble piece.  If it should be recorded as a solo let me know which one of the lads should sing it. 

It really is time they recorded a new CD besides they won't do Christmas shows until a new one is recorded.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Year in Review

I know this blog is about Celtic Dreams which would usually be centered around the guys of Celtic Thunder but since I wasn't able to go to a CT concert last year this time its just gonna be about MY year.

I started Jan. 1, 2012 unemployed and not so sad about loosing my job, a job I really grew to hate over the last few years.  I figured it was time for a change of scenery but I assure you I was not ready for the nightmare that was my year.

I was lucky that I had some money in a 401K but that didn't last long especially when I had to visit a specialist about my breathing.  The summer was not good at all.  I spent 3 hours the day before my birthday in the ER and the only thing they did was do a CT scan.  It was specialist that I feel like I wasted my money on but the up side was that it didn't cost me thousands of dollars to see him.  The ER visit cost me 2900 which I can't pay for since I don't have a job or any form of insurance.

I met some new friends in the CT Pub which is a great place for me to relax especially when I need to unwind.

My mom went to the ER the night before Thanksgiving and was admitted on Thanksgiving morning.  I had already made some things for the dinner but now we were going to be 1 less this year.  I made the turkey, the stuffing and the mashed potatoes.  She was in the hospital until the following Monday when she was transferred to a skilled nursing rehab facility.  She stayed in there 20 days though I think the PT people wanted her to stay longer but she kept telling them that she couldn't afford it.  My mom takes care of the finances so she knows what she can afford and what she can't.

On the 16th of December she finally got out of that place.  They didn't work with her to help prepare her to come home so when she came home that Sunday she almost didn't get into the house because she was afraid to fall.  She had only did the stairs in rehab once which wasn't enough especially when we have 3 steps you have to climb in order to get in our kitchen.

Christmas was not so good last year it wasn't so bad at least I got to see CT at the Fox Theatre in Detroit but not this year.  I did see Neil and Ryan at the Old Shillelagh in Detroit on May 11, 2012.  It was probably the highlight of my year.  Santa did not visit my house this year and its not because I was on the naughty list it was because no one could afford it.  I was happy when I was baking cookies or bread but it was the time in between that was the darkest for me.

I ended the year just as I started the year broke and unemployed, two things I never thought would happen to me.  I so wanted to work but it just wasn't in the cards for me but not this year.  I have a new train of thought and I've decided to go for the Brass Ring its the only way for me to be happy.  Ever since I changed the direction of this blog I've become one with the music that I love.

One of my resolutions is starting to come true now if I can just stick with my goals and plans I will be a new person at the end of next year 2013.

Look out 2013, this is my year.

Sorry its a bit late, but better late than never.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pale Blue Jak

This post is dedicated to the one guy who re-lit my fire or rather my passion for writing.  He's the one whose beautiful music can put a smile on your face. The one who is there when life is good and bad. He knows how to make women of all ages swoon.  He is my sunshine,  my only sunshine.  He is my muse, in a round about way.  The leading man in most of my CT fan fiction stories online and offline.  Neil Byrne is definitely one of a kind, an original. He makes the world a better place doing what he loves, making beautiful music.  His passion for his music is what drives him to succeed.


Pale Blue Jak is the brand name that was created to express a new form of music that is unconventional, energetic, charismatic and very quirky.  If you never read his blog on http://www.neilbyrnemusic.com/2011/10/pale-blue-jak/you'd never know that Neil Byrne of Celtic Thunder fame and Pale Blue Jak are one in the same.

It's not really a name one might think would be in the same category of musicality as Madonna, Lady Gaga or even Adele.  He is truly a unique character.  His songs are as varied as are the tempos. One song on Pale Blue Jak's album Faces can be found on Neil Byrne's Sensitive Souls Ep.  Sadie Jones is quickly becoming a popular lady that many female fan would love to trade places with, if even for a moment.  Here is the video from YouTube so you can decide if you'd like to be Sadie for a day, month, or year. http://youtu.be/OIsg8KKwrcw

This is not your A typical pop album you might get from any random artist.  This Cd was put together with a lot of thought  into what would not only please the listener but the artist as well.  When you listen to the album in its entirety you can really get a sense that this wasn't just thrown together but carefully crafted.  Each song shares a common thread that is carefully woven into a fine silk tapestry. 

This album will excite your visual taste buds.  Every character is unique with his/her own style.  It is not hard to imagine what a video for any of the 13 tracks might look like.  Its as if this album is a part of a bigger picture or maybe a larger compilation of music.  

I was really impressed by the quality of the music on this Cd, not only did I find myself tapping my toes but dancing about the house.  I don't own a lot of albums simply because there aren't generally enough tracks to warrant making a purchase that big.  I generally only  like a couple songs on a particular album but that is not the case with Faces.  I love every song.  I guess I'm a bit biased but I think I know what good music is when I hear it.  I am a fan of Madonna, Lady Gaga and Adele but I don't think I'd ever purchase one of their albums simply because there's only maybe one or two songs I really like on any one Cd.

Faces was released on Oct. 14, 2011.  It is definitely a favorite of mine as well as many other Thunderheads.  We know him as Neil Byrne but with the release of his debut solo Cd he's has become the personification of Pale Blue Jak.  This album is nothing like his Ep Sensitive Souls cause there are more characters to fall in love with as well as more interesting stories to be told this time around.

The first track on the album is "Captain Lane",  who comes and goes in the blink of an eye.  This character is unlike any I can imagine but he may come close to Captain Morgan in "Two Pina Coladas" by Garth Brooks.  Captian Lane is the alter ego for the shy guy but he's only interested in one night stands.  One day the guy finds a girl he likes, someone he'd like to see more of but she ends up pulling a Captain Lane on him, leaving before he wakes.  The moral of this song is you'll never be able to find true love as long as you rely on Captain Lane to help you out.  Here is a sneak peek at Captain Lane with Neil Byrne and Declan O'Donoghue. http://youtu.be/ct5CWzKLJf8

Second track is "Pale Blue Jak," usually the title of the Cd is one of the tracks on the album but I guess that Neil wanted to change things up a bit by creating a track for the brand name.  This track is very upbeat and uptempo. When you listen to this song you'll find yourself taping your foot as well as dancing about the room.  After listening to this song a few dozen times I see that Pale Blue Jak is a DJ/VJ at a local radio/TV station and  a singer is asking him to play their Cd again.  The song kinda reminds me of "Music" by Madonna.  In that song Madonna is asking the DJ to put on a record to dance to. In "Music" the DJ is at a club where as in "Pale Blue Jak" the DJ/VJ at a radio/TV station.  He mentions going from the TV to the radio which means he does a live music show on television maybe something like American Bandstand.

The third track on the album is "Grenade" which was originally recorded by Bruno Mars.  Track number seven, "Mr Blue Sky" was recorded first by Electric Light Orchestra and track 10, "Let Em In" was recorded by Paul McCartney.  These are the only tracks recorded by other artists prior to them appearing on this album.  Even though these three tracks that were originally recorded by someone else before, I think that Neil put his special touch on them, to make them in a way his own.   The other ten tracks are all originals which is great to see on an album of this caliber.  

Upon further research into this debut solo album by Neil Byrne a.k.a. Pale Blue Jak, I've found that you never know what this guy is thinking.  He isn't into really depressing or sad songs which are usually steeped in country music but then again there are songs like "Candlestick" and "A Life I Once Had" which causes you to take a step back and rethink the meaning of those songs. These are the kind of songs that have an air of perplexity about them, they are the songs that make you wonder what was he thinking.  I think you'll find quite a few songs that will cause you to have that reaction which is a good thing, I think.

I don't really want to give away too much of this album because the whole point to this blog is to get you interested enough to buy it.  The one major flaw in that argument is that it isn't available at any retail stores just yet but can only be acquired online either by purchasing the physical album itself or by downloading it directly to your computer.  I found that Amazon is definitely the best place to either purchase the CD or download all 13 tracks.  It will cost you $17.44 for the actual Cd or $8.99 for the download at Amazon.  There are other options at Amazon if you want to buy the tangible product but downloading seems to be the most economical option available.  It's also available for download on iTunes for $9.99. You can download it at eMusic.com for $5.99 when you become a member. It can also be purchased through Neil's website in the CDs and Limited Edition items with free postage to anywhere in the world.  http://www.neilbyrnemusic.com/limited-edition/

Before I end this post I need to thank those who gave me the inspiration to write such eloquent words that I am overwhelmed and somewhat speechless every time I read it. I know I've already got three other posts under my new name but this one just feels different.  Maybe I have a greater connection to this music. I'm not  really sure but I feel like this is my maiden post, my baby.  It's taken a little longer than I thought to finish this post about Pale Blue Jak - Faces but I definitely think it is worth the wait.  

I need to thank everyone from the Listening Lounge for Neil Byrne's Fans on Facebook, CT Fans as well as anyone who helped me during my hour of need.  I'd also like to thank everyone that contributed to this album, those whose talent has made this one terrific CD to listen to. I'd also like to thank those people who have always supported Neil.