Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

Soon to be added to my “Women that Rock” page… I have to tell you about Gaby Moreno. I can’t take credit for discovering her in any unusual way, I just stumbled across this article on npr’s music site. After listening to the two free tracks, I was hooked. I love how Moreno, who is Guatemalan, incorporates both Spanish and English, blues and rock, and even a little jazz that borders on (what I imagine) a traditional Guatemalan ballad might sound like.

It’s true, I don’t know what she’s saying half the time, but I intend to pull out the ol’ spanish dictionary when I get a chance and see what I’ve been missing. But, you really don’t have to know spanish to like her music, and a lot of her songs are in english any way.

If you’re looking for some new, good, summer tunes, download the album. You can listen to the whole album for free on her website. Check out this video of her playing an acoustic version of her song “Mess a Good Thing” in a cab in NYC!

More music I’m currently obsessed with… coming soon!


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Music Update

A lot of people have been asking me recently, “What’s up with your music?” So, I thought I would give everyone a general update. In the past month, I think I’ve done more writing than I did in August-January combined. I’d been wanting to write for a while (mostly through the fall) but it just wasn’t happening. It was like my whole mind was dry.  I was wringing my mind but nothing was coming out.

I think the major source of my writer’s block was starting my job in August. I was putting so much of my mental and emotional energy toward stabilizing myself at Music Resource Center that I didn’t have any creative energy left over to put toward music. I was unable to move any of my concerns/ responsibilities/ tasks to the back burner of my mind, which I think is key to getting creative juices flowing. It’s only when I can let go of reality for a little bit that little bits and pieces of song ideas lurking in my subconscious can come to the forefront and I can actually begin to do something with them.

I feel good about the spring, no, I feel great about the spring. I mean, it’s 68 degrees at 10 o’clock in the morning on February 28! How could I not feel good about the months ahead? Good things are happening. As songs come to fruition, I’ll post them here.

Thanks to everyone who’s asked about or encouraged me with my music along the way. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me and how much you’re helping me become the person I most want to be.


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What did I ask for in my orange inspiration post? That’s right. Orange cotton. And, what did I find during my Marshall’s trip this afternoon?
I know, I know. It’s not orange in this picture, but this image is the closest image that I could find on the Max Studio web site…. you know that if it’s at Marshall’s, the “designer” stores have taken any trace of the item off their web site and permanently deleted evidence of its existence from their records. But, yes, I found this top in a lovely coral. Easy, breezy and perfect for summer evenings sipping mojitos outside at Zocalo. I can’t wait to wear it this spring with some white pants accented with some turquoise jewelry, like this.

Pair it with some tan leather flats or platforms and a cute clutch and you’re good-to-go. I’m thinking this little clutch would work well.

Yes, most definitely.

And, get ready…. this weekend we are going to visit the Dodsons in Raleigh for the first time! And, we love that we’ll get to see Pat, Mel, Lacey, and Cam, too. Get ready for some super-cute picture overload early next week.

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I’m so happy to be able to post that one of my best friends, Jenn McDaniel, recently got engaged to her boyfriend, Brodie Downs! This is a pic of Jenn and Brodie shortly after they met… I think this was taken in June of ’07.

Brodie had planned to pop the question during a trip they had scheduled to Haiti, but after snow kept their flight from getting out, he had to resort to Plan B and ended up popping the question back at home here in Charlottesville on December 26th.

Jenn and I met each other at U.Va. when I was going through rush as a 2nd year. I ended up pledging AXO, where Jenn was already a member, and we got to know each other through some common classes we were taking. Then, at the end of fourth year, when everyone was trying to decide what to do and where to move, Jenn and I figured out that we were both planning to stay in Charlottesville, so we decided to live together. Thus began, our three-year run, if you will, in River Run (the subdivision we were living in). Jenn and I did so much together those three years: walks in the neighborhood, Tuesday nights at South Street, watching cheesy chick-flicks together, NBC 29 parties, countless dinners and conversations, and everything in between. I was so blessed that Jenn could stand beside me as I got married, and now, I’m so happy to be a part of Jenn’s big day!

Note: Contrary to the title of this blog post “Jenn and Brodie!” this montage should probably be named “Jenn and Maria!”. What can I say, the groom always gets slighted!

Me and Jenn at Monticello.

Out at Mellow. One of my favorite pics of us!

And, here’s one of my favorite, favorite candid shots from my wedding. Photo by Liz Hough.

And, here’s all “my girls”– minus Mel! Love this one, too!

You can see more photos of our wedding here and here.

I know the entire celebration is going to be so joyous and beautiful… I can’t wait for the big day! Congrats Jenn and Brodie!

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Lacey Marie Gall

On Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 4:53 p.m., my beautiful niece, Lacey, entered the world. Ryan and I were able to go down to Raleigh for the day to meet her, watch Cam while his parents and new sister were in the hospital, and be with the Gall and Marks families. Usually, I would layout all my pictures and narrate them but, this time, there are too many, and I think the pictures speak for themselves.

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I know, I know— I’ve already blogged about Eat Pray Love, but I’m writing about it again because tonight Jenn and I went to see the movie.

The book was so consuming— I felt like I knew Liz Gilbert, I felt like, maybe, I was Liz Gilbert, but the movie was so lacking. I guess that’s usually the case with the movie version, though, right? Maybe it was Julia Roberts’ stardom that played into my reaction or maybe it was just the way she played the part, but the whole movie felt like I was watching an actor, or at least, watching someone who had already found herself. I just couldn’t connect with the journey this time, and it makes me want to read the book again just so I can wash away all the images and associations that the movie just put in my head and go back to whatever my imagination had created.

Speaking of books I’ve blogged about. I came across this great blog the other day that is written by the husband of Michelle Maisto, the woman who wrote The Gastronomy of Marriage. He just started it, so there’s not much there but I think the premise is so intriguing: $200 art collecting. I complain all the time about how I don’t have enough money to buy “real art”… but $200… I could swing that. I hope he shares his hunting techniques and not just his finds— I need tips I can apply in Cville not just names of NY artists!

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Woohoo! I had a great show on Saturday night. I had the great pleasure of opening for Mercy Bell and Maryanna Sokol who were visiting from NYC. Check out my Women that Rock page for my full debrief on Maryanna and Mercy.

The evening started off with Rachel’s Charlottesville arrival. Baby girl stopped at Whole Foods on her way down and picked up some boxed wine and cheese and crackers so we could nosh on a little something before we headed over. Not only was Rachel so supportive and awesome, but she picked out my outfit AND styled me for the big show AND she documented the whole night. Awesome. So, she’s to credit for the pictures in this post.

I have to say, the whole experience of playing with Mercy and Maryanna was so incredible. They were exactly the type of people that actually make playing and sharing music fun. Everyone that was there was supportive and positive, it was just a great time. Here are some pics.

Also, special thanks to Ethan and Allison (pictured above) who came out. And, Ethan gets the gold star for being one of the four guys there. And last, I have to thank Lauren Laskey at Para for inviting me to take part in this great night and for all her hard work and professionalism.

After Rachel and I slept waaaaay in on Sunday morning, we decided to be even more artsy and make our own homemade artwork. It was a ton of fun and cost us a fraction of what you’d have to dish out to buy some legitimate one-of-a-kind art. All-in-all, this weekend, if anything, was a ton of fun and I can only hope that I’ll have more weekends like this ahead.

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