Posts Tagged ‘Music Resource Center’

I’ve been having a little fun recording some of my songs after work with the help of my co-worker, Matthew Carter. Here’s the latest addition. Thanks to Matthew for providing the drums— I love finally being able to hear some drums behind my songs! The vocals and guitar parts are all me. I also want to make sure I mention Thomas Gunn, who helped me edit this song—along with many others—and made some suggestions that I ended up using in the song.


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I had a great night last night at the MRC Battle of the Bands (check out this link if you want to see a news story done on the event). But, right now, that’s not what’s on my mind. Since I got home last night around 10, all I’ve been focused on is sinking into my couch and lounging around my house. So that’s what I’m gonna write about!

Let’s start with this.

That’s right. It’s banana, almond frozen goodness. This is gonna sound weird, but frozen bananas are amazing. A few years ago, I discovered that frozen bananas are the trick to good smoothies (because the banana’s frozen, it acts as a built in ice cube, so you get a cold, thick froth instead of bits and chunks of ice that ultimately water down the flavor). I even talked about frozen bananas in my Green Monster post. But, this frozen banana recipe might top them all.

I saw Claire Robinson make this peanut butter and banana ice cream (link lets you check out the full video of her making it). So I decided to give it a try this morning. She only uses peanut butter and banana but I substituted almond butter for peanut butter, and I used a splash of almond milk to thin it out (I found it wasn’t mixing enough in the food processor). Here’s what it looked like after I added a little milk.

It’s like eating ice cream for breakfast but in reality it’s a really healthy, protein packed breakfast. The only problem might be when you scarf it down in under a minute and want another!

We also finally put up some curtains! Remember me complaining about needing a little extra something in our our living room? Well, I finally decided to do some DIY curtains that I found instructions for here on younghouselove. I pondered different patterns, but I ultimately realized that the curtains in almost all of my inspiration pics were white (and most of the pics had white walls, too). Take this room for instance (that I spotted in Elle Decor) that has somewhat of a similar theme as mine: white(ish) sofa, big blue pillows, metallic lamp, white walls, camel-colored accents, and wicker chairs.

I love how the curtains help draw the eye up and fill in some of the vertical space without adding any heaviness or noise to the room. So, that’s what we went for. Also, please note, in the interest of keeping it real, I did not clean up before taking these pictures, so what you see if what our house looks like on a day-to-day basis. Complete with Ryan’s golf clubs in the foreground.

I don’t know if it’s the most dramatic change ever, but for under 100 bucks, it’s a nice improvement! I’m also looking at getting a big planter and little tree to go in the back right corner of the room.

And, I couldn’t end this post without showing a pic of the beautiful roses my sweet husband brought home for me! Have a great week everyone!

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I’m so glad to finally be able to say that May Music Madness is on!!! May Music Madness (or MMM as we like to call it) is an event that my co-workers and I brainstormed a few weeks ago and have been working hard to get off the ground. Yesterday, Heinz Musitronics signed on as our presenting sponsor, which means we are officially a go!

The event is going to be a showcase of the best high school talent in Charlottesville with a battle of the bands portion and our annual cd release party combined in one incredible evening. My great friend, Mike Fitts (remember him from this post?), designed a logo for us, and his fantastic design has set the feeling and momentum for the entire event.

As we have more details, we’ll post them on facebook and the MRC web site… and you know I’ll post them here!


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This past Saturday, my wonderful husband and friends and I “volunteered” for the Top of the Hops Beer Festival. That’s right we “served” our community by volunteering at a beer festival. Saturday was maybe 80 degrees and sunny— maybe slightly overcast— and it made for perfect beer tasting weather. Before I get started , I have to share with you a crazy picture I took.

Have you ever seen a sky like this? It looks like Van Gogh painted the clouds into perfect waves. Check out The Starry Night and Wheatfield with Cypresses if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Coincidentally, Van Gogh was one of the answers in our Cranium game later that night. Spooky.

Moving on. I have to admit, I was really skeptical about how many people would come out to an event like this. I mean, I know a lot of people like to drink beer, but I wasn’t so sure a lot of people wanted to pay $35 to taste 60 oz. of beer (about 5 beers). Well, once again, the universe proved to me that my reasoning is unlike everybody else’s. To say the least, the event was a smashing success. About 3,000 people came to the event and we served beer the entire time. It was like we were tending bar for the afternoon. Here’s Ryan, serving up some thirsty customers.

Mouth watering Blackthorn dry cider that was so popular we ran out of it!

Ryan and I got pretty lucky, I think. We were at the Founder’s table… so we were serving up their Red’s Rye and their KBS. I have to take a minute to tell you about their KBS. Good lord, it was good stuff. If you ever come across this hard-to-find delicacy of the beer world, you should definitely give it a try. It’s a stout that is brewed with coffee and chocolate flavors and then cave-aged for a year in Kentucky Bourbon barrels… bourbon barrels! It was delicious.  Apparently there is also a CBS… which is the same beer just aged in Canadian Maple Syrup barrels instead of bourbon… can you imagine??? So, we felt pretty lucky that we had such great (and highly sought-after) beers at our table.

Here’s Matt and Shannon in the middle of the craziness. Managing to oblige me with a smile.

Oh, I never got around to telling you why we were all roped into this beer festival in the first place (apart from free admission to the event and after party). The Music Resource Center was the beneficiary of some of the proceeds of the festival… so in exchange for the donation… we gave them our man hours. I tell ya… it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.

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The past week with having Ryan back has been great. And, this week in particular, I’ve been reminded of just how blessed and happy I am. I’m usually relatively happy but right now, I’m really happy. In fact I’m so happy, yesterday morning I woke up and got out of bed and started dancing and singing “I love my life” around my room. Happy!!!

I think part of the reason I’ve been reflecting and evaluating my life a lot recently is that I’m coming up on the one-year anniversary of leaving my job at the Alumni Association. Exactly a year ago, I had submitted my resignation but I still had about two weeks left to work. It was a very awkward and uneasy time for me. Everyone that I bumped into had questions and reactions that I had to face: “why are you leaving?… I didn’t know you played an instrument… let me know when you have a gig… oh, so I’ll be able to say “I knew you when…” Everyday, I felt like I was putting myself out there in a way I’d never done before, really exposing my true passions to everyone from my family to the most casual acquaintances and  co-workers. And, on top of it, I felt like I was really misunderstood (which is probably a result of the fact that I was still trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do and how to present that to people).

I feel so much clearer now… but that didn’t happen overnight. Even a few months ago, particularly the March to June time, I felt like I was just spinning my wheels, treading water. I think a lot of my happiness has to do with my new job at the Music Resource Center. I’m really starting to carve out a place and purpose for myself there. I love interacting with the kids, I love being surrounded by music all day (even if it is listening to a 13 year old play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” over and over and over), and I love advancing the mission of such an incredible cause. My schedule of 25 hours per week works perfectly for me. It gives me a reason to get up every morning, but I still have enough time to work on my own music, get stuff done around the house, exercise, volunteer and socialize without feeling like a crazy person.

I not only love my schedule at work, I love my routines with Ryan. I love being able to wake up slow. I love having dinner together at night. I love going out to dinner on Thursday nights because it’s *almost* the weekend. I love our house. I love getting pizza and wings with Ethan and Allison. And I love that we possibly, might be semi-adopting two cats. More on this later.

As for the songwriting, it’s not moved to the back burner even though I have a job. However, I also realize that songwriting is my lifelong endeavor, it’s something I have to chip away at day after day, year after year. And, I am a songwriter. Whether or not I ever have a song recorded by a major artist will not change the fact that I am a songwriter.

Ok, enough heavy stuff for a Saturday afternoon. I managed to walk over to the market this morning (though that’s about all I’ve done)— and you know I love to share my market finds.

These peppers are gorgeous! I had to get the little purple one just because of the color!

First apples of the season!

And, I finally took the plunge! I got an orchid! I’ve been eye-ing these at the market for years but I’ve never had the guts to buy one. I figure winter is coming up, so if I can keep it alive, it might be nice to have to green (and pink!)  around the house. And, it’s very feng shui.

Okay,okay, these didn’t come from the market, but my sweet hubby did bring them back for me from San Francisco, and I had to share them!

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It’s been a little busy lately so I haven’t had the time to update the blog as much as I’d like. But, there have been a ton of great things going on recently that I want to share.

First things first. After several months of volunteering at the Music Resource Center, I’ve been offered a staff position at the Center and I’ve accepted and am starting next week. The MRC is a non-profit music after school program in Charlottesville. It’s open to middle school and high school students and its goal is to assist kids in learning any aspect of music performance or production that they might be interested in. In addition to teaching lessons and working with the students, I’ll be helping the MRC with some of their administrative, organizational and event planning needs. I’m really excited to have an opportunity where I’ll be working in music, teaching, and also interacting with the community

Second, and perhaps most important to this blog, I got a new camera!!! After months, no, years, of pining over Digital SLR cameras, I finally purchased one yesterday. I settled on a Canon Rebel T1i. I’m working my way through the instruction manual playing with the basic settings. I haven’t progressed to working with the advanced settings yet but I’m really looking forward to learning more about cameras and photography and finally capturing so many of the great moments that Ry and I have let go over the past few years. Here are a few shots I’ve taken just playing around last night and today.

Lastly, Ryan and I received a beautiful wedding gift yesterday that I have to share. Of all the thoughtful and amazing wedding gifts we received, this one is one of the most, if not the most, special. My friend, Mike Fitts, gave us one of his original paintings.

Mike’s paintings are all done on pieces of found, scrap metal, and the objects in his paintings look so startlingly real, they look like you could pick them right up off the sheet of metal. I absolutely love Mike’s work and I have been a fan ever since I first saw one of his paintings. Ryan and I are so grateful for Mike’s generosity and for sharing his talent with us. Check out Mike’s blog and the rest of his artwork.

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