Nostalgia in Melody

Good Morning! I hope you’ve been having a pleasant weekend, thus far, wherever you might be reading from. Over the past several days, I contemplated whether or not I should write a post regarding a movie I recently discovered and saw and after having listened to numerous songs from the soundtrack, I figured I’d be foolish not to share about it.

With that being said, several evenings ago, I was mindlessly perusing through the movie section on Netflix when a title captured my attention: Begin Again. It is a movie from 2014, starring Keira Knightley, one of my favorite actresses, Mark Ruffalo (also a favorite actor of mine), in addition to one of my favorite musicians, Adam Levine. After seeing the title, I recalled when it first arrived in theaters three years ago. I’d been interested in seeing it, given the cast, as well as the music in the film, but never got around to it. I’d forgotten about it once it arrived on DVD, but when I saw it appear on Netflix, I decided to take the leap and see what it was all about. If I remember correctly, I don’t believe the reviews of the film were all that positive, though from what I’ve often found, a lot of reviews often don’t end up matching my opinion and perspectives. We all have different tastes and experiences which color our perspectives and ultimately our thoughts on films.

Begin Again                     Begin Again photo

The film started off rather slow, if I’m being completely frank. It was about a half hour into it, when I had to make the decision of whether or not to let it run for slightly longer, or switch it off. I opted to continue and looking back, I’m so very grateful I persisted and gave it a chance. To this very moment, I am STILL thinking about and listening to the music from the film. In particular, one song entitled, “Lost Stars,” truly stood out to me, not only for the melody, but for the words, the words that are as meaningful as they are true, filled with poetic beauty and similes. What’s even more appealing and interesting about it is that both Adam Levine and Keira Knightley recorded their own versions of it – both of which are beautiful in their own right and it’s refreshing to have the opportunity and ability to hear it sung by both a male and female voice, given their differences in tone. The passion in the song is one that is incomparable to many songs I’ve heard today.

Begin Again movie 2

Hearing “Lost Stars” in the movie led me back to a time in my teens, a time when I often sat holed up in my room, with my first-ever laptop in my bed, or sitting on the floor with the CD player listening to many of the same songs over and over again. Hearing those songs comforted me, inspired me and often touched sentiments in me I couldn’t place into words back then. Often times as an adult, I forget how powerful music can be, not only for its melody, but for it’s words. It’s easy for me to become easily distracted by the stresses and worries within my life, not realizing the ability of music to calm and soothe me, if I allow it to. Whether it is singing along, or simply listening, music has a way of leading me back to a place where I can truly believe anything is possible through effort, desire and drive.

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - July 3, 2012

If you get a chance, listen to “Lost Stars” by Adam Levine and/or Keira Knightley from Begin Again, the movie. Or, take an 1hr 45 minutes (roughly) to take in the film, itself. Perhaps it will inspire you as much as it did for me.

Music Quotes

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Starry-Filled Morning Skies

Good Starry-Filled morning to you! You might be wondering or confused by what exactly I mean about a starry-filled morning and trust me, I’d be wondering myself, if it wasn’t me who typed it! This morning began as most of my typical mornings do and as I settled in to watch some of NBC’s The Today Show (my morning show of choice!), I was pleasantly surprised to learn I’d be treated to a live performance by Coldplay. For years, I’ve been a Coldplay fan. Yes, a lot of their songs are melancholy, but as melancholy as they may be, the words behind them are beautiful and emotive, allowing me to reflect on the past and present. There is something about Coldplay sounds that causes introspection within me. It also sparks a bit of personal creativity, hence me writing this very post after a brief hiatus.

It really isn’t that Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay has the most beautiful or strongest voice I’ve ever heard, but rather the emotion he evokes when he performs. The entire band shows their passion and authentic contentment when they are performing on stage. Their energy and passion for music and performing is infectious; I could literally feel it from the confines of my home. It is an undeniable passion and enthusiasm and just seeing them on stage feeling the very music they are playing captivates me. I’ve yet to ever see them perform in concert, but it is my goal. If I’m not mistaken, they will be visiting my local area for a concert in the coming months, but unfortunately, I haven’t purchased tickets and I’m sure it’s probably sold out. All the same, I can settle for watching them live on TV, because their passion and emotions are just as real and felt as they would be if I were to see them in concert.

So, if you haven’t seen Coldplay perform before, whether it is on TV or in-person, I encourage you to take a moment, when you have a chance, to check out a performance or do, ideally this morning’s performance. It is a reminder to me of the power of music and how it has the ability to remind, encourage, soothe, console, and reflect.

A “Hello” of a Thousand Words

This morning, I was innocently perusing through Facebook, mindlessly looking over the endless amounts of posts with little or no pertinent information, not believing I would find anything of true substance, but contrary to my preconceived notions, I did. Years ago, when I first became acquainted with her music and at the height of her career, I apparently “liked” Adele, the renowned singer on Facebook. For about two years now, she has been noticeably absent from the music scene, taking time to write, live her life and plan her next steps. Her absence from the music world was upsetting for me, as it was for many and made me curious as to when she would make her return, if ever.

Adele picture

Then, I started hearing buzz on the radio and TV about her impending return, this year, at some point. The other day, a 30-second clip of her latest single, apparently aired on the British version of the X-Factor TV show. Her new album was confirmed (officially, this morning!) to be titled, “25,” which chronicles her transition period, documenting where she’s been, what she’s encountered and more importantly, what she’s learned. I think her album is bound to be filled with bravery, strength and inspiration. I’ve always admired Adele for her talent and presence. She is one of the few singers who can simply stand on stage and sing. She doesn’t need to perform intricate dance routines or wear scantily-clad clothing; she can stand on stage and command the attention of all with her voice.

Anyway, back to the premise of this post – this morning, I stumbled across Adele’s Facebook post. In her post, she explains the concept of her new album and quite frankly, it is one of the most candid pieces of writing I’ve ever read and one that closely resonates with me. I felt compelled to share it on here, in case you might not have seen it, and also, I’m hoping that it will provide inspiration and comfort to some, as it has for me. Here it is:

Adele writing

(Since it is a bit challenging to read the actual text from her Facebook post, as you can see above, I am posting the actual words below)

ADELE’S Post (posted on Facebook and Twitter and shared on various websites)

“When I was 7, I wanted to be 8. When I was 8, I wanted to be 12. When I turned 12 I just wanted to be 18. Then after that I stopped wanting to be older. Now I’m ticking 16-24 boxes just to see if I can blag it! I feel like I’ve spent my whole life so far wishing it away.’

‘Always wishing I was older, wishing I was somewhere else, wishing I could remember and wishing I could forget too. Wishing I hadn’t ruined so many good things because I was scared or bored.’  

‘Wishing I wasn’t so matter of fact all the time. Wishing I’d gotten to know my great grandmother more, and wishing I didn’t know myself so well, because it means I always know what’s going to happen. Wishing I hadn’t cut my hair off, wishing I was 5’7. Wishing I’d waited and wishing I’d hurried up as well.

My last record was a break-up record and if I had to label this one I would call it a make-up record. I’m making up with myself. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did. 

‘But I haven’t got time to hold onto the crumbs of my past like I used to. What’s done is done.Turning 25 was a turning point for me, slap bang in the middle of my twenties. 

‘Teetering on the edge of being an old adolescent and a fully-fledged adult, I made the decision to go into becoming who I’m going to be forever without a removal van full of my old junk.

‘I miss everything about my past, the good and the bad, but only because it won’t come back. When I was in it I wanted out! So typical. I’m on about being a teenager, sitting around and chatting shit, not caring about the future because it didn’t matter then like it does now.

‘The ability to be flippant about everything and there be no consequences. Even following and breaking rules…is better than making the rules.

’25 is about getting to know who I’ve become without realising. And I’m so sorry it took so long, but you know, life happened.”

Tips, Tricks and Randoms

Good morning! I hope your week has been a pleasant one, thus far. This week has been a long one, but as we approach the weekend, I thought what better than to share with you some of the interesting reads and product finds I’ve stumbled across throughout the week. Perhaps you’ll find them just as intriguing as I have:

Tips/Knowledge:

  • Rejuvenate Cereal: If you’re similar to me, than at any given time, you might have an abundant number of boxed cereals lining your cabinet shelves. To me, having a vast sampling of cereals to circulate between each morning makes each bowl of cereal a unique experience and one I ultimately look forward to. However, at times, one can pay a price for opening too many cereal boxes at one time and not consuming them within a relatively short time frame. As a result, the cereal we all know and love can gradually become dull, hard and all but inedible. Though, thanks to the friendly and knowledgeable team at All You Magazine, this no longer has to be the case! According to this article (http://dailysavings.allyou.com/2015/05/07/fix-stale-cereal/) to reconstitute cereal that has lost it’s luster,
    “Just preheat your oven to 375 degrees, then spread your cereal out flat on a cookie sheet. Bake your cereal for 5-10 minutes, and then remove from oven and let cool.” Wow, I had no idea I could do this, but it without question solves that nagging, frustrating problem I so often have encountered!

    bowl of cereal

  • How to Know if You’re Making the Right Decision: If you haven’t already noticed, I tend to follow a significant number of magazines and news publications on social media, so it’s no surprise numerous articles often catch my eye. One in particular, posted by another favorite magazine of mine – Marie Claire, tugged at my heartstrings and my mind, so I thought it might be beneficial to share it. This article, (http://www.marieclaire.com/career-advice/news/a14364/ways-to-help-decision-making-choices/?src=spr_TWITTER&spr_id=1449_178248262) details 5 unique and out-of-the-box methods to determine which decision is best. In a nutshell, the article states:

1. Play the Paper Game (i.e. List each possible choice you could make and the potential outcome of that choice on a separate piece of paper, then

  • Moving from left to right, stand in front of the first choice and pause. Look at the choice and then step on top of the paper (symbolically you are stepping INTO that choice). Close your eyes and allow yourself to fully take on that choice. For a moment, commit fully to that option. See yourself making that choice and in the outcome of that choice. How does it feel? What is happening in your body? Where do your thoughts go? What pictures do you see?
  • Repeat the process for the remaining pieces of paper (AKA the other choices)—whichever ultimately felt best is the one you should do.

2. Have Someone Tell You the Choice – Then Note What Your Body Does (i.e. Apparently, if a friend tells you what they think the best decision is, take note of the way they lean when saying it – if they lean in, it is a good choice, versus if they lean back, then their intuition is against the choice)

3. Dim the Lights (i.e. Studies have shown people apparently feel more emotions in bright light!)

4. Make Your Decision Early in The Day (i.e. Apparently, mental fatigue is a true thing, so it is often observed to be better to make decisions early on, before we are influenced by all we have encountered throughout the day, which may persuade or influence our decisions.)

5. Listen to Faster Music (i.e. Apparently a study conducted back in 2009, found that people make better and more accurate decisions when listening to faster music… so turn up that music and get moving!)

Decision Quote

  • Yankee Candle – Homefront Girl Line: If you’re a big fan of candles as I am, then Yankee Candle might be one your favorite candle companies. Earlier this month, Yankee Candle captured my heart and emotions even further with the introduction of their new line of candles affectionately named, “Homefront Girl.” More information can be found on their website: (http://www.yankeecandle.com/browse/new-arrivals/candles/homefront-girl/_/N-8yh) To sum up their initiative, this new line of candles is formed in partnership with Homes For Our Troops (www.hfotusa.org), where Yankee Candle will donate $1.00 per candle sold from the Homefront Girl line, up to $75,000 or until April 30, 2016, whichever comes first! In my opinion, this is an excellent initiative and an even greater incentive to purchase candles. Now, you can purchase candles, experience great scents and contribute to a beneficial cause, all the while, in one transaction!

Yankee Candle Homefront Girl

  • PAPPLE Pears (via Melissa’s Produce -http://www.melissas.com/Papple-Pears-p/1470.htm): As a big fan of fresh produce, I follow one company, Melissa’s Produce, in particular on social media. They often feature new and innovative hybrids and cross-breeds of the fruits we know and love. Just yesterday, I noticed a variety I’d never heard of, but was vastly intriguing to me – Papple Pears! At first glance, they truly do resemble apples, Gala, in particular, but according to the Melissa’s Produce website, they are actually PEARS! It is a hybrid cross between two Chinese and Japanese Asian pears and both has the taste and texture of a pear, while resembling an apple. It is described as semi-crisp, with a high-sugar content. Sounds pretty tasty to me and a variety I’d love to sample!

Papple Pears

  • Ed Sheeran (his newest single – “Photograph“): For a number of years now, I have been a dedicated fan and follower of Ed Sheeran, the soulful musician who is well-known for his lyrics, smooth voice and guitar playing skills. Hailing from the U.K. he has crossed into popular music and receives frequent airplay on the radio. A little over a week ago, I was driving when I heard his newest single – “Photograph.” Since that first time, I’ve heard it many times, watched the music video on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSDgHBxUbVQ) more times than I’d like to admit and heard him perform it live on “The Voice,” finale Tuesday night. The song in itself is a beautiful one with the lyrics even more so. In fact, I truly believe it could be a wedding song, given the lyrics and overall sound. Definitely take a listen if you haven’t already, I don’t think you’ll regret it!

Ed Sheeran

Stop and Listen

Good morning! I hope your week is off to a good start so far, in spite of the weather (if it happens to be inclement, where you’re located). Here, in Pennsylvania, it’s rainy, dreary and chilly. After the beautiful weekend we had, it’s quite a contrast. Though, as the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” Let’s hope that is the case!

Anyhow, a couple months ago, I started working a temporary job (which recently came to an end), which required me to often be in the car, traveling from one place to another. As a result, I spent a lot of time listening to the radio, hearing the latest and newest songs, my favorite DJ’s and the latest celebrity and local gossip. Having always been a fan of my local radio stations (i.e. 94.5 PST, 106.1, 102.1 and occasionally 96.5), I didn’t mind having the opportunity to listen more regularly. Of course, I’m not the biggest fan of driving, but listening to the radio made it a little less agonizing. Two songs in particular have lingered on my mind since first hearing it and I thought it was worth mentioning. The first song I’ve come to really love is one by a band you may or may not be familiar with, since they are relatively new on the music scene, despite having several singles already:

ECHOSMITH:

Echosmith 2

Hailing from Chino, California, Echosmith is a band which formed in 2009 and is comprised of siblings (Graham, Sydney, Noah and Jamie). They are young, but considerably talented, ranging in ages from 16-22) and are most noted for their songs, “Cool Kids,” and most recently, “Bright.” Their lyrics and musical abilities are impressive and captivating. Often when their songs are played on the radio, I stop and listen not only to the music, but to the lyrics, personally relating to them. The lyrics might be simple, but sometimes, simple is best and often most powerful.

Echosmith

I heard them perform “Cool Kids,” live on The Ellen DeGeneres Show a couple months back and they did not disappoint. Unlike many other bands and musicians, they sounded nearly identical to their recording and their passion for music proved to shine through.

Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth:

Wiz and Charlie

If you’ve listened to the radio lately, watched several talk shows, or saw the latest Fast and Furious movie in theatres, then you’ve probably heard or encountered the song by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth“See you Again.” If you haven’t then I hope you’ll take a listen when you get a chance. When I first heard it, I didn’t realize it was a dedication to the late Fast and Furious star, Paul Walker. However, after watching Wiz and Charlie’s performance of the song (also on The Ellen DeGeneres Show), it became clear to me.

See You Again

The lyrics of the song are powerful and appropriate and emphasize the relationships between Paul Walker and his castmates. It suits how heartbreaking and devastating Paul Walker’s sudden death was and generally, I’m not a fan of a voice like Charlie Puth’s, but something about it, perhaps how raw and emotive it is, captivates me and it works for the song. There is passion there and to me, that is more important than any other minute detail about someone’s voice that might not be “perfect.”

Kelly Clarkson:

Kelly Clarkson 2

Given the release of her latest CD, I couldn’t possibly post about music without mentioning one of my favorite singers, Kelly Clarkson. Since first appearing on American Idol on their first season, I’ve been a fan and follower of hers. I’ll never forget the first time I heard her voice, I was an impressionable middle-school student, sitting at the large desktop computer upstairs in my house, with the TV blaring in the background. I wasn’t paying attention to the TV, but suddenly turned to watch when I heard a powerful voice echoing. From that moment on, she has been a favorite of mine, not only for her incredible voice and catchy songs, but also for how secure she appears to be within herself. Lately, the media and people in general have not been quite so kind to her in regards to her body, but she has maintained a confident presence, staying true to who she is and emphasizing she is happy and in life, that is what is most important. Her confidence and trust within herself is something to me I aspire to emulate. In life, it is often so challenging (or at least it is for me, personally) to ignore the words others might say about me or what I think they are saying about me, but Kelly is a constant reminder of how possible it is to overcome these harsh words and criticisms. I love how she is teaching her baby daughter, River, to trust within oneself and realize health and happiness is paramount over numbers on a scale or the way clothing fits one’s body. People are often so quick to place judgments and assume people are one way simply because of how their body appears. We are more than our bodies and I’m so glad Kelly is an advocate for this perspective.

Music has always been a consistent presence in my life. I often forget how powerful and inspirational it can be. Often when I become overwhelmed, simply listening to a favorite song, or singing along to a favorite song has the ability to transport me to place of calm, where I can delight in the lyrics and the melody and recall fond memories.

Music quote

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Childhood Favorites Revisited!

Good morning, my friends! I hope your mid-week Wednesday, is off to a great start, filled with promise. Last night, needing a bit of comfort and a bit of “TV Therapy,” I opted to watch two TV shows I recorded on my DVR: ABC Family’s new series, “The Fosters,” as well as The Hallmark Channel’s new TV series, “Cedar Cove.” If you haven’t seen either yet, I HIGHLY recommend both! The acting and storylines are relatable and genuine, plus the acting is top-knotch. In fact, in watching both of them, they ended up inspiring future blog posts, so be on alert for an upcoming one on both! Anyhow,  I’m very enthused to bring you today’s musing, as it is lighthearted, reflective and in my opinion, fun! Perhaps you can relate to me as I reflect and share with you some of my favorite childhood foods, music, television shows, and dances. Prior to sharing, I’d like to take a quick moment and share with you my morning eats:

Breakfast (Wednesday, July 24, 2013):

1 container Dannon Oikos Blackberry Greek Yogurt (This isn’t the first time I’ve had this flavor of Greek Yogurt. I’d say that I am 50/50 on it. It’s on the thicker side, making it a bit of a challenge to combine with cereal, but manageable, overall. The flavor is eh. At first, I liked it a lot, but now I’m not so sure. Still, it’s worth a try, if you’re game!)

1 cup Giant-Store Brand Puffed Rice Cereal (This never really gets old, it’s a trusted, reliable source).

1 cup Special K Multigrain Flakes (Have you tried them yet? As I’ve mentioned before, they are relatively new on store shelves, but definitely a good one to enjoy. The flakes are big and crispy, and hold up well with milk and/or yogurt.)

1 Banana (No complaints here; sweet and petite, per usual.)

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Now onto today’s musing: my childhood favorites! I figured an easier and more visually appealing way to share with you some of my favorites is by revealing them by category. So without further adieu, let’s get to the first category!

FOODS:

In general, for me at least and perhaps yourselves, too, foods have a way of bringing a wave of nostalgia over me, whether it is a particular scent, package, or taste – the possibilities are endless. The same is true for those I’ve listed below, the foods I closely tie to my childhood and teenage years:

  • Dunkaroos: Remember these?! If I’m not mistaken, I believe they still sell them today, but I’m not quite sure if they are as popular as they were when they were first introduced on store shelves. For me, they became a staple in my daily school lunch my mom would pack me. If you’re unfamilar with Dunkaroos, let me indulge you: they are small, rectangular packages containing bite-size cookies on one side, with a complementing “sweet dip” on the other side, for “dunking,” hence the name, “Dunkaroos.” The cookies and dips are available in a variety of flavors, so it was never really the same experience, but always a tasty one, to say the least!

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  • Oatmeal Cream Pies: These little pies of goodness are still readily available on store shelves as I’ve passed by them on countless occasions while browsing in the grocery store. The first time I experienced an oatmeal cream pie was when I was in preschool, visiting the “older kids” in my mom’s class, while they were having lunch. I remember I sat next to a girl named Candy, who became my friend and asked me if I would like to try a piece of her oatmeal cream pie. Since then, it became one of my favorite treats, striking the ideal balance of the sweetness of the cream, mixed with the comforting oatmeal flavor of the surrounding cookie.

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  • Frosted Animal Crackers: As a child, I truly loved these, feeling as though the frosting on the animal cracker made all the difference. Whenever I see them in the store, it reminds of me being a child, relaxing on the sofa while watching my favorite Nickelodeon TV shows.

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  • Handi-Snacks: Remember these? Those little, rectangular containers containing  little breadsticks or pretzel sticks with cheese? Nowadays they are still available, but in many different varieties – i.e. some with Oreos, and a multitude of other dippers and dips.

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  • Pepperidge Farm “Butterfly Crackers:” Whenever I see or think of these buttery butterfly crackers, I always think of my mom. She and I used to share them when I was a child, as the ideal accompaniment to soup or really, whatever we happened to be enjoying at that moment.

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  • Pizza Hut’s “Pan Pizza:In general, as a child, Italian food was always one of my favorite types of foods to enjoy.  Several Saturdays throughout the year, I would excitedly receive a free Pizza Hut Pan Pizza from the school “Book-It” program, as a reward for reading a certain number of books during the month; a great incentive for an enjoyable meal.

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  • Little Caesar’s Pizza: Sadly, Little Caeasar’s is no longer available near where I live, but I’ll always remember it as one of my favorites to have on the weekends.

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  • Friendly’s Conehead Sundae & Mac ‘N Cheese: As a child, one of my favorite restaurants to frequent was Friendly’s. Not only did I love it for their dessert – in particular, a Conehead (i.e. a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a sugar cone dipped in chocolate – “the cone” with Reese’s Pieces as the eyes), and for my meal, Mac ‘n Cheese – filled with cheesy decadence, strangely enough served with pickle chips on the side!)

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  • Life Cereal: In the mornings as a child, I would pile my bowl high with Life cereal until it was nearly overflowing! Not only did I enjoy it in the morning, as breakfast, but also sometimes as a snack, toting around my little baggie filled with the small brown squares, happily munching.

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  • Quaker Oatmeal Squares: This is one cereal upon growing up that once I began munching on was difficult to stop. It has a subtle sweetness, while being savory at the time.

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Next Category…

TV SHOWS:

Overall, television and I can sometimes have a love-hate relationship. Sometimes, I’m a big fan of watching a whole host of shows, while other times, I find it boring and lonely. Regardless, TV shows have shaped and significantly impacted my life, looking back on my childhood and adolescent years:

  • MTV’s Total Request Live – AKA “TRL“: If you’re similar to me, rushing home to watch TRL after school, each afternoon was on your list of daily highlights and must-do’s. I can fondly recall spending many afternoons, seated at the kitchen table with Hope, as we completed our homework, enjoying snacks together, singing along to our favorite videos while glued to the TV screen. Watching TRL, Carson Daly (and oddly enough, if you remember him, the VJ Jesse – long hair, long legs, kind of awkward?) nearly became like a friend, someone we could rely on each day to bring us our favorite stars, songs and videos. Fun story – years ago, (I believe I was in middle school at the time and Hope in high school), my family and I  ventured to NYC, with Hope and I eager to catch a glimpse of Carson Daly and the MTV studios and perhaps even get to request a video on air! Well, much to our delight and surprise, Hope managed to make it on-air, requesting her favorite video –  a 98 Degrees song! It was quite humorous actually, given it happened near the end of August, when I started back at school a month later, Hope came to pick me up one day and I had several people (whom I didn’t even know) coming up to her, saying they saw her on TRL! Looking back, there are such fond memories of this show and this time period.

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  • Full House: Honestly, I highly doubt I’ll ever get sick of watching this show, no matter how many times I see it or see the same episodes over and over. Despite owning each season, I just HAVE to watch it if I happen to see it is on TV, while I’m flipping channels. There is something comforting about it, despite how unrealistic at times it could be. I still hope they do a reunion special someday, I think it would be ideal and definitely fun to watch!)

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  • Saved By the Bell: Another one of my favorites I doubt I could really ever tire of and similar to Full House, despite owning each season, I STILL love to watch it whenever it happens to be on TV. Nowadays, it seems more rare to catch an episode of Saved By the Bell on TV, so when I do, I will without question, be watching! I also LOVED watching the special – Saved By the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas! (When it fired aired, Hope and I taped it and I truly believe I completely burnt out the VHS tape!)

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  • Eureka’s Castle: If you used to regularly watch Nickelodeon as I did, you might recall this show, with the Count, Eureka, and all of their friends.)

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  • David the Gnome: Also, on Nickelodeon, this was one of my favorites to watch, David and Swift, as they conquered the world.

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  • 7th Heaven: The first time I saw this show on the WB channel, it was completely by chance. It was a Monday evening, when I was in the third grade and my mom and I were flipping channels, unsure of what to watch that particular night. We just so happened to stumble across 7th Heaven and we immediately became hooked. It was almost as though it was the modern-day version of Full House, with a little more realism and drama. Looking back, I really do miss this show.

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DANCES:

Oh how I used to LOVE the many different line dances and dance moves of my childhood and teenage years:

  • The Macarena: Looking back, I can still recall first learning it as a 2nd grader, at recess on the blacktop, alongside my friends and teachers, all of us trying to “outdo” each other.

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  • Cotton-Eyed Joe: As a preteen, I first learned this dance at one of the many dances I attended in middle school and also the cast party of some of the school shows I was in. At first, it was a challenge for me to learn it, as I am not really the best dancer, but since learning it, I haven’t stopped doing it any chance I get! Today, I still love this dance and really “boogied on down” at my sister’s wedding last August!

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  • Electric-Slide & “Cha-Cha” Slide: I’ve never been a real big fan of the original electric slide, however I am a fan of the Cha-Cha Slide, which strangely enough my sister and I ended up first learning and becoming acquainted with it while on vacation in the Bahamas, when I was 13 and she was 17.

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BANDS/MUSIC:

Yes, I’ll be the first to admit it, in my younger years, I was a TOTAL teenybopper! To the fullest extent, I LOVED all the classic boy bands and actually attended several of their concerts alongside my friends, sister and even Mom.

  • ‘N Sync: For those of you who are familiar with Philadelphia, I actually attended their large concert as a teenager, back when Veterans Stadium was still around.  I still recall it as one of the best concerts I’ve been to, even though our seats were way up at the top. It was the experience that made it the most memorable. Plus, one of my other favorite boy bands – BBMak opened for them!

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  • LFO: Ahh, who can forget “Summer Girls?” I think the year it came out, it was the soundtrack of the summer. Of course, I am saddened of the lead singer, Rich Cronin’s tragic death to cancer.)

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  • BBMAK: Such a cute band, with great voices and now as I look back, I’m wondering, what happened to them?! If anyone reading this happens to know please fill me in; I’m curious!)

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  • 98 Degrees: While one of my favorites, it was my sister, Hope’s all-time favorite!  She couldn’t get enough of Jeff Timmons and as a fun fact to share with you, back when I was 18 or 19, I ended up purchasing a pair of tickets for she and I to go see Jeff Timmons and Jordan Knight, from New Kids on the Block perform at the BB King Club in NYC! What an experience, Hope even got to dance ON-STAGE with Mr. Timmons, himself!)

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  • Destiny’s Child: They are my girls! I can fondly recall first hearing their song, “Say My Name.” After hearing it, I was hooked! I remember one day, dragging my dad to Best Buy, begging him to buy me their CD. After that, they were secured as my favorite girl group. My sister and I saw them perform several times at a relatively local fair a couple summers in a row, but I’ve never gotten the chance to see Beyonce perform individually. I would definitely love to someday soon!)

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  • Backstreet Boys: Also one of my favorites as a child and a teen, I remember first hearing their music while my mom drove me to elementary school. After first hearing it, it was off to the music store called, “The Wall,” to buy their single! They’ll always be one of my favorites; they have such immense talent and I have so many fond memories upon thinking of them. Several summers ago, Hope and I ended up seeing them on the spur of the moment for free! It was a great show and one of my favorites!

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  • Christina Aguilera: Truly one of the best female performers/singers of our time, I remember when “Genie in a Bottle,” first sounded on the radio, I loved it. It was a song I recorded myself singing several times, as I aspired to sing like her (key word – “try”… unsuccessfully, of course, but all in good fun!).

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  • Britney Spears: Alright, whether you’re a fan or not, I had to mention her! Who can forget when her first single appeared on MTV’s TRL – “Baby One More Time?” It was a fun video to watch and one that was probably played and mimicked many times over. In fact, I actually dressed as Britney Spears for Halloween one year I had a Halloween Party! Very interesting time to recall, to say the least!)

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So there you have it, my little “Blast From the Past!

QUESTION: What are some of your favorites from your childhood and/or teenage years?