Friday, September 8, 2017

Summer Reading Roundup

Assisted by John Stockton
This autobiography was straight up delightful. It feels as if you're having a leisurely lunch with sweet, humble John, swapping stories and reminiscing. Learning more about his life, his roots, and his priorities made me respect him--both his character and his game--even more.

Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius
I heard about this book on a podcast and it's a truly miraculous story. Mr. Pistorius offers his entirely unique perspective from inside a body that betrayed him for over a decade, and a world that treated him as an empty shell while he watched helplessly...until he slowly but surely learned to communicate again. It's almost unbelievable...almost.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I'd been hearing about this novel for about a year and thought I'd finally give it a go, and I can't believe I waited this long to read it! It takes place throughout WWII from the perspectives of two children on opposite sides of the war. I was enthralled with the language and always guessing how their stories would intersect. This work by Doerr is fascinating, deeply moving, and beautiful. Read it ASAP.

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
Their HGTV show Fixer Upper has housewives all over America planning trips to Waco, Texas to see the silos and take photos with the darling couple. I listened to this audio book, narrated by Chip and Jo themselves, and fell even more in love with these hard working, fun loving, goodhearted people.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
I know, I know, I'm about a decade behind in reading this series. But, better late than never, right? I listened to the audio book narrated by Jim Dale and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it! As always, the book is better than the movie and I came to understand the characters on a much deeper level (which makes the sad parts even more devastating!). Y'all, I'm beginning to understand the fandom. Rowling is a wonderful writer with an intensely creative mind. It was a pleasure to listen to this story and I look forward to the rest of them!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Mini Mail

Dear Gilmore Girls theme song,

I enjoy you and sing along frequently, but must you be so much louder than the rest of the show?! Quit yellin' at me, Carole King. You're better than this.


Dear $5 movie bin at Wal*Mart,

Thank you for helping this college student fill the gaps in her movie collection without breaking the bank. You're worth the extra few minutes of fishing through the scary movies with creepy covers. My most recent finds include The Intern, Skyfall, and The Vow. Blessings.


Dear family vacation,

GET HERE SOONER!! (I'm sorry I yelled. Just incredibly excited over here.)


Dear Everything, Everything,

My gosh you were a pleasant surprise. You're just the sweetest movie! Thank you for not breaking my heart with a tragic ending like I worried you would--I really appreciate it. Can't wait to buy you on DVD! (Your soundtrack is stellar, too.)


Dear Garth Brooks,

I understand you're a legend, but why can't your music be on Spotify?! You and Trisha are worth about a gajillion dollars at this point, so please please please let me listen to your amazing songs for $5 a month on Premium. I just don't think it's too much to ask. 

Love,
Meagan








Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lately...


"MORE PERFECT" PODCAST BY RADIOLAB

I geeked out while listening to this podcast every time I was cleaning the house or driving my car--I got through it so quickly. This series, a spin off from Radio Lab, examines landmark Supreme Court cases through the years and how they came to be so influential. Though there are only six episodes, they really delve deep into the before, during, and after of each case and how they've affected the law ever since. I learned so much!




GIMME ALL THE DRESSES

The summer heat is here & my favorite way to stay cool but chic is to wear a dress (or skirt). One piece and you're done! As my girl Ina Garten would say, "how easy is that?" I loved this blue scalloped shirtdress from Banana Republic so much that when it went on sale I got it in white, too! The quality is incredible, it can be dressed up or down, and it has pockets. Need I say more?! I wore it most recently for Father's Day (see right). I wear dresses on the daily either with sneakers or wedges, depending on my mood. It's easy breezy yet I still feel put together. Now that's a fashion motto I can support!



AUDIOBOOKS VIA OVERDRIVE APP

I've shown my inner nerd excitement about my library card on the blog before, and this is just an extension of that. Enter: the Overdrive App. It's the app associated with public libraries where you can download and access music or audiobooks that you've checked out! It's easy to use and I most recently listened to The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines and 
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I certainly recommend both.








What are you loving lately?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Names Forever Attached to Songs

The same way I can only recite the preamble to the Constitution if I'm singing it (thanks Schoolhouse Rock), there are certain names I default to singing instead of saying. These names are first and foremost associated with a particular melody in my mind--isn't it interesting how some things stick?

Jolene - Dolly Parton
Jessie (Jessie's girl) - Rick Springfield
Hey Mickey (You're so fine) - The Original Chin Chins
Diana - One Direction
Sara (Smile) - Hall & Oates
Maria - Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story

You see what I mean? Do you do this, too? I'm just grateful that my name isn't linked to one of these famous songs, because I wouldn't want people singing  in my face when they learn my name...heh heh. It's amazing what we remember. Now, if only my finance class material stuck so easily. Oh well, we can't have it all. ;) 

What song-names stick in your head?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Musical Theater YouTube Finds

Where my Broadway geeks at?! Hollaaa! I love musical theater--it is so alive, full of electric energy and takes an unbelievable amount of talent. I will never get over it. For your viewing pleasure, I've assembled this list of the performances I keep going back to of our favorite songs from the stage. Granted, most of these aren't fabulous quality, but it doesn't matter because the performances are HIGH quality! 

Okay, I watched West Side Story (1961) for the first time the other week and was blown away! I understand now why it's immortal. All the snapping, tricky melodies and greased hair is so fantastic. The classic song "Maria" from the show has been stuck in my head for weeks. It's so darling! "All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word...Maria." Hello, swoon! This performance, on the more operatic side, is powerful accompanied by a full orchestra. And, let's just say it, Julian is easy on the eyes in that old school bow tie. That last note?! Makes me hold my breath. Amazing.

This guy is a member of the Canadian Tenors, and his performance of this Les Miserables song is, hands-down, my favorite of all. His voice is silky but strong, and the emotion wraps you up in the story of a faithful father. It gives me chills, even after probably a hundred viewings. It's flawless.

I discovered Jeremy after watching The Last Five Years on Netflix earlier this year. Little did I know he's the original Jack Kelly in the Broadway production of Newsies! Dude is so talented. You can just feel his frustration when he sings "trapped where there ain't no future!" I really loved watching him get lost in this role of a New York kid who wants to get out.

If you only watch one of these, make it this one. Stephen Sondheim is a creative genius. He's famous for his complicated lyrics and unpredictable melodies, such as those found in Into the Woods. This gorgeous, captivating song was written by him and brilliantly performed by Jeremy at 54 Below. We watch as his heart is breaking and hear all the thoughts that come with it. Gah! I've watched this too many times to count. Gets me every time.

Shocker, more Jeremy! Guys, he's so versatile. This mash up of Cinderella's "Ten Minutes Ago" with "The Next Ten Minutes" from The Last Five Years is so charming (whoops, pun...I'm keeping it). It makes me grin and combines two lovely pieces. "Ella and Jaime foreva!"

Oh hey, Danny Zucco from Grease Live! Aaron Tveit is incredible at what he does, and I'm a big fan. This song is a little nostalgic for me, as I can clearly remember my choir director in high school performing it for us one day. It is hilarious and lively, then sneaks up on you in the end with all the feels. I know this song backwards and forwards, and I still tear up when he sings, "What if I start to need him...and he goes away?" My heart!

Which one is your favorite? Any suggestions of performances I've just gotta see?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Netflix Gold

Thanks to some great recommendations from like-minded friends, I have enjoyed some of the best Netflix has to offer recently, and I just have to share for your viewing pleasure.

Prison Break
I've been hearing about this show for years and finally decided to give it a go. First (and obviously most important), I gotta say that Wentworth Miller, our scheming architect-turned-prisoner is babe soda (for starters, his name is Wentworth!!). He's actually competing with JJ Redick for the spot as my number one celebrity crush. THIS IS BIG, PEOPLE. Dem blue eyes straight up distract me from the show, and I've had to rewind multiple times. Anywayyyyy...second, it's a well-written show! Not too hard to follow, definitely not predictable, and full of interesting characters. It's also a great balance between gritty and graphic. I was worried it'd be gruesome or inappropriate, but for me, it's respectfully done. I don't cringe while watching it, ya know? I'm excited to see what happens to my boy Wentworth. 



High Strung
This, this, is why we give random movies on Netflix a chance. The acting is terrible, but they're legit when it comes to their talent. He's a brooding, mysterious violin prodigy, and she's an elite ballerina. No dance doubles here. So yeah, their acting is sub-par, but I don't even care because their skills are so beautiful presented on the screen! It's a good story and entertaining AF. At the end scene, all the feelings happened. I was straight up moved by this random, unknown movie! Give it a watch, y'all. (The movie poster alone is ridiculously wonderful.)




Christian Mingle
Gretchen Weiners, I mean Gwenyth Hayden, has a materially perfect life; but, as we all do, she wants to find love! (Shocker, I know. But stay with me.) In the hopes of finding a truly decent guy, she joins online dating site Christian Mingle. Her first date with cutie Christian guy Paul goes so well that she lies to his face the whole time about her dedication to The Lord. It's cheesy and adorable and an interesting take on the typical made-for-tv romantic comedy. 



Thursday, September 15, 2016

Lately...


Ina Garten's NYC Apartment
Oh, Ina. I love her so. She is better known as the Barefoot Contessa on Food Network and my mom and I are a liiiittle obsessed with her. Recently, she and husband Jeffrey paid a cool $4.6 Million for this Park Avenue two-bedroom and it's all sorts of dreamy (the grand piano! The built-in bookshelves!). And don't worry, they still have homes in the Hamptons and Paris. Their glamorous life is a little unsettling but mostly just swoon-worthy. Gah. (Follow the link to see what I mean!)

JCrew's Blog












 


It's such a unique view into the world of JCrew creativity, and it reminds me why they are such a respected, global brand. (And, honestly, it helps me understand where the higher prices come from, which I appreciate.) They do a #jcrewchallenge where a certain color or print has to be worn every day for a week, like you see in the photo. The blog often features a designer of theirs or shares different ways of styling the same item. They are an interesting organization full of diverse people and ideas, and the blog posts are charming and well-written. Let me know what you think of it!

"Chip On Your Shoulder" from Legally Blonde: The Musical
This is the ultimate pep talk in the form of a song. I truly find it so inspiring and listen to it when I need a little kick in the butt to get to work, whether at my desk or at school. (By the way, the entire musical is on YouTube. I watched and really enjoyed it!)

My Library Card
Yes, I'm being serious. A couple of weeks ago, it only took about 60 seconds to sign up for my library card downtown, which also gives me access to seven (!) other libraries in surrounding areas. I am so excited, I've been telling everyone I got a library card, haha! I mean, I can rent books (I currently have the book pictured, by the same author who wrote The Devil Wears Prada), movies, ebooks and more for free. The checkout/return process is a dang breeze with touch screen kiosks, taking less than 30 seconds, and I can return items to any of the seven branches. I highly recommend getting one! Did I mention it's free?! I really like free, so I thought you might too. ;) I never want to pay for a RedBox again!

Hamilton: An American Musical
Yeah, I know, me and the rest of the world. BUT FOR GOOD REASON! Please excuse the all caps, it's just the only way I know how to express my love for it. I have been listening to it constantly on Spotify Premium (told you it was worth it) and am endlessly impressed by it. That Lin-Manuel is brilliant, clever, and entertaining. Give it a chance if you haven't already! If you already love it, what are your favorite songs?! Let's geek out together, please!