December 2012

Music Monday: One Direction Take Me Home

Live While We’re Young
Kiss You
Little Things
Cmon Cmon
Last First Kiss
Heart Attack
Rock Me
Change My Mind
I Would
Over Again
Back For You
They Dont Know About Us
Summer Love

She’s Not Afraid
Loved You First
Nobody Compares
Still The One

Truly, Madly, Deeply

On November 13th One Direction released their much anticipated sophomore album, Take Me Home.  This CD seems to have a more even spread of singing by all 5 of the boys – where as the last CD seemed to be more focused on Liam and Harry.  I can hear more Zayn and solos from Louis and Niall on more songs on Take Me Home.

I have 2 versions of the CD – the yearbook edition that has a few extra tracks and I also picked up the Target edition that has 5 extra tracks (though 2 are just live versions of older songs.)  The funny thing is – I love the cover of the album and yet the 2 versions I have don’t have the cover pictured above.  The yearbook edition comes in a book and the Target edition cover is grayscale. Yes, I am thinking about getting a 3rd copy just to have the color cover. (#fangirlproblems)

The CD is good, very catchy and everything I’d expect a boyband CD to be – but it is also a little strange.  Some songs sound very much like songs that I could hear Big Time Rush singing and others sound more like Backstreet Boys songs.  I don’t know if One Direction has a distinct sound, yet, but it is just weird that so many songs made me do a bit of a double take while I was listening.   I’m not trying to be negative – I love all of the bands I mentioned.

I think my favorite tracks are Rock You and Nobody Compares – but ask me again tomorrow and I will probably tell you something completely different.   It is worth noting that 2 songs are cowritten by Ed Sheeran – Little Things and Over Again.  The One Direction boys also have writing credits on Last First Kiss, Back For You, Summer Love and Irresistible.

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Year In Review 2012

Most expensive show:  Kiss 108 Jingle Ball VIP Tix.
Least (not free) expensive show:  Tim Urban ($10), Casey James ($10)
Free shows:  SK6ers, Matt Nathanson, Love and Theft, Canaan Smith, Honor Society, Hanson (x7), Maroon 5, Javier Colon, Kris Allen, Daughtry, American Idol, Eric Hutchinson
# artists seen:  156
# unique artists seen: 74
# shows seen in CT:   34
# of shows out of state:  28
Show farthest away:  Hanson in Tulsa, OK
Closest show:  American Idols / Carrie Underwood Bridgeport, CT
$$ spent on tickets:  $726.52
Miles traveled: 13,249

Top 6 shows of the year?
Maroon 5 Live on Letterman
Mixtape Festival
Jason Mraz
Hanson @ Disney
Honor Society NYC Cd Release
Recycled Percussion show #1
(I know I kind of cheated and if you think about it this is more than 6 shows but I’m in charge and I can do what I want!)

Total number of shows in 2011?

First show of the year?
Kelly Clarkson Mashantucket, CT

First show with actual tickets:
Kelly Clarkson Mashantucket, CT

Last show of the year?
Recycled Percussion in New Hampshire

Most surprising show?
Recycled Percussion

Most disappointing?
Javier at Ridgefield Playhouse – ONLY because of the a-hole behind me ruining things, nothing to do with the performers at all.

Farthest traveled?
Tulsa, OK to see Hanson

States attended shows in?

Venue most visited?
Perhaps Ridgefield Playhouse… but I really don’t feel like figuring it out. Or maybe the venue in Disney where I saw Hanson 6x.

Worst injury?
Bruise on my leg when AJ was behind me at the BSB show

Most expensive ticket?
VIP for The Wanted at Kiss108 Jingle Ball.  Most expensive NON VIP was Philly Jingle Ball – $167

Band seen the most?
Hanson – 9

Best new discovery?
The Wanted, One Direction, Eric Hutchinson, Recycled Percussion

Bands seen this year that also broke up this year?
SK6ers :*(

Friends made at shows?
Joyce & Melissa

Band members met?
Tim Urban, Courtney Drummey, Casey James, Gloriana, Neal McCoy, Uncle Kracker, Lee Brice, Love and Theft, Canaan Smith, Honor Society, Action Item, Stefano, Kris Allen, A Rocket To The Moon, The Wanted, Recycled Percussion

Best souvenir from a show?
I finally got a pick at a show!

Longest time in line?
I don’t recall any long line waits – but we did have to wait like 2 hours before the K104 not so silent night started after being let in!

Shows seen from the barricade [front row]–
Honor Society House Party
Honor Society at The Space
Recycled Percussion x3
Most shows in one month?
January = 4
February = 5
March = 1
April = 3
May =  10
June =  1
July = 4
August = 6
September =  4
October =  10
November = 4
December = 10

Most shows in one week?
3 = May 5, 6, 6
3 = May 25, 26, 27
3 = December 4, 5, 6
5 = December 27, 28, 29, 30, 30

Biggest crowd?
I think the Kiss108 Boston Jingle Ball was the biggest – or maybe Mixtape Festival day 2.

Any drunk encounters?

Top 5 best 2011 concert moments:
-Getting a 5th row seat for Maroon 5 Live on Letterman
-Getting the close handicapped spot for 3 of 6 Hanson shows at EPCOT
-Meeting The Wanted / 5th row for the concert (and a kiss from Jay!)
-Though bittersweet – seeing Stephen Kellogg and the Sixer’s final show
-Jonas Brothers being BACK!

Top 5 worst 2011 concert moments:
-John Mayer cancels his tour
-Not getting into the Wolf’s Den for Matt Nathanson
-Fight at the Javier Colon show
-Unable to see most of K104 show because of being in wheelchair and not front row
-Following The Wanted’s tour bus to the show and having them exit the bus while I was parking!

Book Review: All I Need To Know I Learned from KISS

All I Need To Know I Learned from KISS is Life Lessons Learned from the Hottest Band in the Land is by Chris Epting.

It is a little bit biography on Chris and a little bit biography on KISS.  Chris was interviewing the band and realized that they had a big effect on him while growing up and even still today so he wrote the book.

It was interesting to me – because there is a band that is MY favorite (not kiss) that i feel the same way about.  So I wanted to see how much could be similar with our stories even though the bands are very different.  This quote from the end of the book basically sums it all up.

“It’s about a band or artist, whatever or whomever your favorite might be. It’s about the connection and that emotion and love that you feel. It’s that rush you feel inside when they hit those chords and reach you in ways nothing else does. It’s about the music that saves you. It’s about how the music teaches you all you really need to know.”

If you are a member of the KISS Army or just want to compare your knowledge from your favorite band to Chris’, then check out this book.  It is a relatively short ebook but packed with a lot of great stories and information.

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Author and AOL Music journalist Chris Epting was recently interviewing rock legends KISS when it suddenly flashed before his eyes that, bizarre as it might seem, the band he had loved since childhood actually played a huge part in shaping how he looks at the world. In that instant, he decided to write about his life long journey with the band, starting out in the early 1970s when he joined the KISS Army and continuing until today. Epting takes us through the history of KISS, weaving in historic tidbits and trivia with his personal observations, while laying out the rules for living that he absorbed from “the hottest band in the land.” With exclusive pictures and insider insights, this is a must for KISS fans and anyone whose love for the band they first loved continues to inspire them. The introduction by Stone Temple Pilot’s Robert DeLeo includes his own teen fan drawings of KISS.

Backstreet Boys Setlist

I went to see the Backstreet Boys tonight at Foxwoods.  I think this was the first date on their small new years run so I figured I would post the setlist incase anyone is curious.  The review and photos will be posted sometime in the new year as I am off for 3 shows in 2 days in New Hampshire… find out all about THAT in the new year too ;)


Larger Than Life
Straight Through My Heart
We’ve Got It Going On
Get Down
Aj Solo – PLARS (Party Like a Rock Star)
Don’t Want You Back
Brian Solo – Gone without Goodbye
If I Knew Then
Howie Solo – 100 Kisses
Quit Playing Games
As Long As You Love Me
I Want It That Way
Nick Solo – Burning Up
The One
The Call

Stephen Kellogg Solo

While Stephen Kellogg has done solo shows in the past, I was never able to catch one.  However, Thursday night I was able to catch his Alone For the Holidays tour at my favorite venue – Fairfield Theater Stage One.

Opening was Native Run.  I had never heard of them before, but the moment they stepped on stage I knew that I was in for something special. Rachel came out and asked us all to check out her shoes because she’d be taking them off in a second.  After their second song, Bryan said that they were done and he was exhausted!  Of course, that wasn’t their last song but they were hilarious and so entertaining.  They sounded great in harmony together and Rachel has a wonderful voice on her own as well.  AND they even did an infomercial for the Water Sack Stephen was selling (or free with a shirt purchase) that evening.  I definitely give them two thumbs up!

Stephen is working on a new solo album, so a handful of the songs were new and he didn’t tell us what the name of the songs were.  So I made some names up for my setlist and we’ll see what happens there.  Usually the setlists get posted at, so I’ll keep an eye there to see how close I was to being correct and will then update the post accordingly.

He started off with a new song.  I am calling it Heart of a Man. But I don’t know.  Then he said that he would do some older stuff for us too and did Roots and Wings.  During Fourth of July, you could hear a lot of giggling coming from backstage. Stephen has 4 daughters and no doubt they were all playing back there.  At one point he turned to look at the back and just laughed himself.  For the next song – he called the gigglers out on stage to be his special guest.  His 2 oldest daughters came out an danced while he sang Gravity.  So adorable.  They got a standing ovation.  Then he did 2 new songs – one I am calling Lost and Found.  The other he had us echo back “It’s Arlight” so I’m calling it that.  He also said that it was him singing a song he might get in trouble with and it was him being Andy Rooney.  It’s a very political song about his beliefs and how It’s Alright because it’s just what is in his brain and his opinion.

Then he went back to some older songs – 1993 is the song he wrote after his record label told him to stop being so specific with dates and events.  They thought if he was less specific, they could find more people to listen to him.  Personally, I like that his songs are all specific and personal and tell his life story.  Although I can see why the record label might not be too into that if they think that is what is hindering him from gaining fans.   Then he went into the drinking song, Start the Day Early.

Next up Native Run joined him back on stage for a Christmas song.  He said it was after Christmas but they always do a Christmas song on the winter tours so it was a tradition.  Rachel noted that some people celebrate 12 days of Christmas so we were good.  Stephen also teased that it was either the most racist of the Christmas songs or it was talking about how global warming would be coming.  They did White Christmas.  Native Run hung around to join Stephen for another new song – but he told us the title is Forgive You, Forgive Me.

Then he talked a bit about how on December 15th when he woke up he didn’t think any of his songs were good enough after the tragedy that happened.  He went through his catalog and found one that he thought would work and dedicated it to those affected by everything that had happened.  He was also wearing a green ribbon on his jacket which I can only assume was to honor those killed at SHES.  He then sang In Front of the World and next up was Satisfied Man and Milwaukee.

Everyone gave him a standing ovation and soon after he returned to the stage with Bryan from Native Run to do The Bear.  The last song… was interesting.  I wish I had recorded it.  I’m calling it Thanksgiving because that seemed to be what it was about.  It started off soft but as the song went on, he seemed to be getting angrier and angrier. The song got louder and louder and it just had more and more emotion pouring in to it.  It was quite the way to end the night!

Or well, I thought that would be how my night ended.  Except that on the way home, I spotted up ahead a tractor trailer that was SPARKING.  Everyone moved over to the far (fast) lane to avoid it, as it sparked its way to the shoulder.  The air smelled really bad and when I went by it, the driver’s side front tire was completely GONE.  I don’t know where it went, I must have missed it blowing off.  But that was definitely very scary and I am glad it appeared no one was hurt and all of us on the road were able to get out of the way.  Several cars pulled over right after it I’m assuming to call 911.



(setlist from

Men & Women
Roots and Wings
4th of July
Lost and Found
The Brain Is A Beautiful Thing
Howl at the Moon
Start the Day Early
** White Christmas
** Forgive You, Forgive Me
In Front of the World
Satisfied Man

E: **The Bear
*with Sophia and Adeline Kellogg
**with Native Run

Birchbox November

Here’s the details on the November Birchbox that I received.  For those of you who might not know – for $10 per month you can get a box of samples in your ‘BirchBox’ and if you like what you try, all the full sizes are available for sale on their website.  It’s a nice way to try out some great products that you otherwise might not want to spend the money on.

ModelCo FIBRE LASXTEND Lenthening Mascara $24 (also has a mirror on the tube which is awesome!)

SOYJOY Cranberry Snack Packs ($6/5 bars)

Shea Terra Organics Whipped Shea Butter Ultimate Moisturizing Body Cream ($18)

Stella Cadente Miss Me Eau de Parfum 30ml ($69)

Oscar Blandi Pronto Texture & Volume Spray Travel Size ($11)


(The link above is my affiliate link. I receive points for each person that I refer to the site that signs up.)

Product Review: Crest 3D Whitestrips

I, along with my orthodontists, were under the impression that sometime in December, preferably before Christmas, my braces would be coming off.  So I was really excited when Influenster asked me to review the Crest 3D Whitestrips which boast professional level whitening – GUARANTEED.

However, my brace wire broke and was under a chain so no one noticed it (yeah, not even me, don’t ask me how that happened) and because the wire broke the tooth that it was holding in place completely moved out of place!

It is now past christmas, the braces are not off, and I’ve yet to be able to try out Crest Whitestrips.  I figured I would post this now just so you can be aware of the product and as soon as these braces are off I will try out the product and let you know what I think!

The whitestrips remove over 10 years of set-in stains. Over time, your teeth yellow due to everyday activities and indulgences such as coffee, tea and wine. While precautions can be taken, if you’re not actively whitening your smile, you’re yellowing it.

Product Benefits Include:

-Removes over 10 years of set-in stains
-Whitens 25x better than a leading whitening toothpaste
-Advanced Seal no-slip technology helps Whitestrips conform to teeth for noticeable whitening results without the mess, exclusively brought to you by Crest Whitestrips
-Same enamel-safe ingredient that dentists use

Book Review: At Every Turn

At Every Turn is a story about Alyce (Ally) and starts with her at church.  A couple comes back from Africa and tells about what they did to help the families over there. Ally becomes overwhelmed and pledges that she will give them $3,000 from her father to help them and encourages the rest of the church to match her offer.

But there’s one problem – her father doesn’t like that she is involved with the church and won’t give her the money. He tells her to try and raise the money on her own. All the ideas she can come up with, the rest of the church is already trying and she doesn’t want them to think that her efforts are going towards their matching.  She also tries to start a cab service, but no one wants to pay her to drive them anywhere.   Her other problem is giving the money she can raise to people in the community who need the money.

How is she going to come up with $3,000 in 7 weeks?  She loves to drive and realizes that her father has a car in an upcoming race.  She hangs out with his mechanic and drives with him and somehow convinces him to let her drive in the races.  Now, this book takes place in the early 1900s, so women racing is basically unheard of and they are not supposed to be anywhere near the track.  Somehow, the mechanic Webster agrees and she dresses like a male and races the car.  After doing well, she convinces Webster and her father to run another race and does well again.  However, her father is getting upset that he can not meet the driver so Ally has her suitor Lawrence say that he was doing the driving.

Meanwhile, Lawrence is also trying to tell Ally that Webster is no good and that she should not trust him with money.  Ally tries to go with her gut and trust Webster, but after she tells him to hold money she finds the box she gave him empty.

A lot of other stuff goes on too, but I don’t want to give everything away!

The book was really good – I liked how hard headed Ally was and how she was determined to do whatever she needed to get this money for the kids from Africa, even if it meant doing a job that women were not supposed to be doing.  Not only did she do it, but she hung in there longer than a lot of the men on the race track!

While some of the story was predictable, there were also some other twists and turns in it as well that I liked because it made me feel like it was worth it to read it at the end and that I hadn’t figured out everything.  The book was a quick and easy read.

I received a free book from Bethany House in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Caught up in a whirlwind of religious enthusiasm, Alyce Benson impetuously pledges three thousand dollars to mission work in Africa. Now she just has to find a way to get the money.

Alyce harbors a secret passion for speed and automobiles, and she’s spent many an afternoon driving around the rustic track in the field behind her home. When she discovers that her father’s company has sponsored a racing car that will compete in several upcoming events–races in which the driver will be paid and could win as much as five thousand dollars in prize money–she conspires with her father’s mechanic, Webster, to train and compete.

But when her friends cast aspersions on Webster’s past, she realizes she may have trusted the wrong person with her secret. Will Alyce come up with the money in time, or will she have to choose between her hasty promise and the man who holds a piece of her heart?

Book Review: Scaredy Squirrel prepares for Christmas

Scaredy Squirrel prepares for Christmas is a cute book for kids and is also humorous for adults.  Scaredy tells you all you need to know about getting prepared for the holiday, in 8 simple chapters.

Chapter 1 – Christmas is Coming

Chapter 2 – Christmas Decorations

Chapter 3 – Holiday Sweets

Chapter 4 – Christmas Gifts

Chapter 5 – Christmas Characters

Chapter 6 – Christmas Pet Peeves

Chapter 7 – Christmas Fun

Chapter 8 – If all else fails … play dead

Scaredy gives you tips on when to start preparing for the holiday (August), what to do in order to be prepared – for instance – practicing standing in one spot so you are ready for all the lines. And even gives tip son how to wrap presents and what gifts to get your friends depending on their personality type.

Definitely a super cute book to help get kids in the Christmas spirit!

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

‘Tis the season for worrying, planning, decorating, wrapping, entertaining, carolling and, worst of all, fruitcake! Scaredy Squirrel returns with a quirky safety guide filled with practical tips and nutty step-by-step instructions to help readers prepare for a perfect Christmas. A fun-filled guide sure to appeal to all the Scaredies out there!

Music Monday: Carly Rae Jepsen Kiss

Tiny Little Bows
This Kiss
Call Me Maybe
Good Time (w/ Owl City)
More Than a Memory
Turn Me Up
Hurt So Good
Beautiful (w/ Justin Bieber)
Tonight I’m Getting Over You
Guitar String / Wedding Ring
Your Heart is a Muscle
Wrong Feels So Right
I Know You Have A Girlfriend
Almost Said It

Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Kiss” was recently released.  I think it is safe to say that I am incredibly sick of and “over” Call Me Maybe and Good Time.  Both have been over played like crazy over the summer and I think I’ll be ok if I never hear either song again.  (Remember when I went to 5 shows in a row that had someone singing Call Me Maybe? 2 of the 5 were Carly Rae herself, but still!!)

I won’t say that Kiss is some sort of earth shattering musical masterpiece, but if you take it for what it is – a guilty pleasure pop record – it is fantastic.  Pretty much all the songs have a great beat to them which would make them great for dancing (or easily remixed for the club) and the songs are all pretty catchy.

I had mentioned that from seeing Carly Rae live that Guitar String / Wedding Ring was my favorite from her set – and I think that it is my favorite on the album as well. (Let’s just hope it doesn’t get released as a single though because then I will for sure become too over exposed to it and grow to hate it)

There’s been some crticism with Beautiful (her duet with Bieber) being a bit too much like One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” due to the lyrics “What makes you so beautiful is you don’t know how beautiful you are”.  Honestly though, there have been SO many songs released lately about letting girls know how beautiful they really are and all that, that I don’t think it was a purposeful at all, and just a coincidence. (Selena Gomez’s Who Says and Tyler Hilton’s Prince of Nothing Charming come to mind)

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