Weekly Wrap-Up: June 4, 2016

I feel like the radar of the entire earth currently looks like one giant rain cloud.

This week I’m a little bit obsessed with “Lost Boy,” by Ruth B.

Hanging out in rain-drenched Houston, Texas, with my amazing aunt and cousin.

Putting my new patio furniture together!!! It delivered on Thursday from Traxion, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Chocolate! Dark chocolate!! Dark chocolate with a hint of espresso!!!

Rain 🙂

Until next time, my friends…
Make it a great day,

Weekly Wrap-Up: May 28, 2016

It’s graduation week here, last week of school, celebrations everywhere, at all moments. Who has time during this time of year to focus on anything BUT the school kids? It’s been a great week for me, my little family, and friends as close as family. So, for something a touch different this week, I’d like to put this week to music:

FIELD DAY w/ my Little Bit13248563_10209569232491923_2143438404320452081_o

Although this song is no longer new, the kids at my youngest daughter’s school are still completely obsessed with this song, so any event features this song endlessly and the majority of the kids are up on their feet dancing, so full of smiles and happiness. It’s completely adorable!


A year ago, I was living life with little to no sleep, squeezing the absolute most out of every hour, as my time in Wisconsin was coming to a close. These four girls, my co-workers at the neatest little coffee shop I’ve ever come across were with me every step of the way. I treasure these four ladies beyond words. This week, they’re doing the same without me, as one more of our tribe opens a new chapter in her life. I am incredibly excited for her, but it’s so bittersweet to miss them so, and know I am not there with them right now. LOVE YOU MEAN IT!!!!!!!!


Birthdays are one thing, but one time of year all school-aged children get a year younger…and that’s on the last day of school. I have one who is now a senior, one now a junior, and one now a fourth grader…and I really can’t have this thought without choking up a bit. The end of the school year is a mental aging. It’s a beautiful, painful thing, as we celebrate the accomplishments and growing up of our amazing kids!

GRADUATION VIBES13308514_10209603835116967_7326999077241083041_o

Last night, one of my oldest and dearest friends’ oldest graduated. She is a lovely young lady, destined for a beautiful life. Sitting up in the stands, watching these young people 20 years my juniors graduate high school and turn that tassel was so fun.

Then, I saw that their class graduation song was…

…and I had to take a moment to mentally send them good vibes that do NOT speak “stressed out” over their futures.

IT’S SUMMER, Y’ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Jade Wilkins Graduation 05272016 626 2

This is going to be a busy, beautiful summer for me and mine.

I’m sending YOU all smiles and dancy-good times with this, my official song choice of summer by JT.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,


Weekly Wrap-Up: May 21, 2016

Holy Moly! One month left of Spring, and then Summer begins full-force! Watch out, world, it’s going to be a warm one!


I’ve been on a real Annie Lennox kick this week! A.L., the Eurythmics, stations centered around one of both of them. That’s my jam this week!


This week, my teenagers were introduced to Will & Jaden Smith’s The Pursuit of Happyness. I enjoy this movie for so many reasons. 1) It’s uplifting. 2) I have yet to watch a Will Smith movie that he didn’t act well in, and I therefore think he’s a great actor. 3) From a business standpoint, this true story shows real hustle. 4) Just when I think life is rough, I can always be reminded by this movie that having a roof over my head and clean clothes to wear is a blessing I should never take for granted.


“Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.” (Benjamin Disraeli)


I am most proud of this one: https://youtu.be/bZonuFKUJ9o

As always, I appreciate you enjoying and sharing the content I put together here. Until next time…

Make it a great day,


Weekly Wrap-Up: April 23, 2016

Who can believe it’s already the end of April? I’m pretty sure the ball just dropped in NYC three days ago…

Binge Watching

The kids and I have about 30 minutes every school day when we have nothing to do but sit in a parking lot and wait. We fill that waiting time binge watching Netflix, and this week we’ve been zeroed in on “Malcolm in the Middle.” For old-school me, it’s like a more recent version of “Rosanne;” so wrong but still so, so funny!

Book Love

This week, I got a surprise in the mail from a sweet friend, Jennifer Paddock’s A Secret Word. I am looking forward to diving into this new-to-me (published in 2004) read, as the author is from Fort Smith, Arkansas. My family and I spent eight years living in Fort Smith, so the reference points in the book will be familiar and fun.

Prince & Other Music

Who isn’t listening to Prince this week since his passing on Thursday? I feel for you, I think I love you!

Prior to this hard sucker-punch to the music and arts, I was soaking up the sounds of Punch Brothers. Such diversity in sound. Such great lyrics and musical range. Once the world gets beyond Prince’s passing, I’ll be back to PB!

In Honor of Earth Day

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” ~Native American Proverb

Post From the Week I Most Want YOU to Read

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is winding down, but our passion for preventing sexual violence, rape, incest, and the like cannot pass with the passing of the month. Please check out my post: HEROES IN TEAL, and please watch the videos, and be inspired to knowledge rather than depressed. Let’s tackle issues like this with a survivor mentality over a victim mentality!


Who Is Your Favorite Musician?

Who’s your favorite singer? Favorite band? Favorite lyricist? Favorite musician?

This kind of question has always been a difficult one for me. Usually, my answer of my favorite singer has been P!nk or Alanis Morissette. Favorite bands still have to include the Dixie Chicks, Matchbox 20, The Police and Fleetwood Mac.

I often also find myself going into a whole diatribe about appreciating artists like Madonna and Usher’s musical talent paired with seemingly timeless business sense. Or singers I love for the nostalgia like George Jones, Neil Diamond and Christopher Cross.

With all of these artists mentioned, however, even at the very top of my musical love list, I often have to hedge because as much as I LOVE so many of their songs, I don’t love them all.  I can’t listen to them on non-stop album repeat because I may only LOVE half the songs on any given album. I mean, I REALLY love those songs, but then there are songs that feel more like “fillers” and I just don’t feel ’em.

There is one artist, however, who I’ve only been introduced to in the past few years who I can listen to on constant shuffle, and although I may not always be in the mood for every single one of her songs, I do really, really like ALL of her music. All of it. Every song. Including covers she has done of other artists, which aren’t many, but I love her rendition of those, too.

Brandi Carlile @ the Stoughton Opera House, Wisconsin

Brandi Carlile @ the Stoughton Opera House, Wisconsin


I was introduced to her music a few years ago while we still lived in Wisconsin. While working at the most charming coffee shop you’ve ever seen, I had a customer who I ended up talking music with one day. We discovered that we both had an affinity (OK, in all fairness, she had an obsession…a step above an affinity 😉 ) with the music of John Hiatt.

Much to my surprise a couple of weeks later, I was invited by this customer to see Brandi Carlile. It turns out this customer and her husband had tickets to see Brandi, but the hubby had to work so there was a free ticket, and this awesome customer thought of ME!

That evening, as I was getting ready to go to the show, I downloaded Brandi’s “Bear Creek” album and fell in love. The band’s performance that night at the Stoughton Opera House in little ‘ole Stoughton, Wisconsin, was magical. I now have every one of Brandi’s CD’s downloaded on my phone and can honestly listen to the entire list on shuffle and never skip a song.

She has the coolest rasp, she belts out notes, she has such a cool harmonizing background with her band, she writes, she entertains, and she makes you feel what she’s feeling.

So, after a couple of years and still not tiring of her sound, I can emphatically say that Brandi Carlile is my favorite musical artist!

Who is yours?

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,


To find out more about MY favorite musician, check out Brandi’s website: brandicarlile.com

Songs of Historical Significance

This morning, I was listening to my favorite classical satellite radio station, because it was dark and still and I wanted to ease into the day gently. A symphony was introduced as being written in the 1800’s in response to a specific European battle. This awareness of the historical significance of this particular song, then, gave me a heightened awareness of the symphony as it played. Even without words, the symphony told the story.

Modern music still tells countless beautiful, painful, fun, flirty, forgiving, unforgiving, and other deeply emotional stories. Music moves us. But compare hearing your usual fare of bright pop song with an empowering message to a song written at a specific time, in response to a specific event or era.


I cannot take credit for any of these four images.

In my own lifetime, I know there have been many of these songs. Songs of historical significance. Songs that make you pause and remember. Quickly, “We Are The World” comes to my mind as a response to famine in Africa, but the songs that stand out the most to me and also cause a lump to catch in my throat every time they play…still…are responses to the 9/11 attacks. Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue,” Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You,” and Melissa Etheridge’s “Tuesday Morning,” are at the top of my list. Those songs take me back to that date in my memory bank, and I relive snapshots of that morning and the fallout that Americans, in particular, are still feeling. The world changed that day, and music takes us back there, even if just for three and a half minutes or so.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Because the Outtakes are the BEST Part of Video Shooting

Per the previous *Tunes* post, my kids and I had way too much fun playing “Name that first line”…but I’m pretty sure the outtakes are even funnier than what made the primary video. Enjoy the short boughts of hilarity:

I laughed so hard playing this game with my kids! I totally encourage YOU to play your own version driving around, dancing around the kitchen, or wherever you and your kids cut loose and listen to your tunes together! Enjoy!!!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,