Favorite Country Song of the Week

17 year-old Christy Schmidt penned her first song at the tender age of 10. Today, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter brings a youthful, edgy outlook to contemporary country music. Her song “Time to Dance” describes in such detail the way every teenage girl feels when she doesn’t get asked to the school dance. But even though this song was written by a teenager, it is very strong and can appeal to a broad audience. Young girls can hear what they can look forward to as teenagers; their moms can remember their own teenage years listening to this song.

The song opens with “Don’t you know that I like roses just as much as she does, but you don’t know that I’d be just fine with some hand-picked daisies.”

It continues with “… As she is walking down the stairs with her perfectly done hair I’ll be dancing in my bedroom in a dress you’ll never see me wear…”

The song ends with an unexpected twist “… Maybe next year I won’t be your second choice, I’ll probably be your third…”

Heartbroken girls will cry their eyes out while listening to this tune. Listening to Christy’s music is like reading her diary or perhaps reading every girl’s diary. It’s genuine, real and raw. Christy is a brilliant songwriter, who in my opinion is unstoppable.

Listen to this great song at http://www.reverbnation.com/christyschmidt

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Lemon-Sugar Face Scrub for Glowing Skin

This Lemon-Sugar Face Scrub “will change the life of your skin.” It’s the best facial scrub I’ve ever tried. This scrub is completely natural, costs next to nothing, and helps with age spots, sun spots, freckles, acne, blackheads and dull looking skin.

The science behind this technique is the result of two compounds in lemons. First, beta hydroxy acid (BHA) works to exfoliate your skin by sloughing off any dead cells.

Next, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) improves your skin by hydrating, preventing clogged pores and enhancing cell renewal through exfoliation. AHA’s help you look younger, increase the production of collagen, leaving you with a glowing and beautiful complexion.

The sugar, of course, provides the exfoliating texture that gently loosens and removes the grime and dead cells from the surface of your skin. Your skin will feel super soft.

Ingredients:
• Lemons (or lemon juice)
• Sugar
• Cotton balls, clean washcloth, or just your fingers

Directions:
• Mix lemon juice and sugar together
• Wet face with warm water to open pores
• Gently scrub face with lemon/sugar mixture
• Wash off with warm water

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Taylor Swift and Other Nashville Celebrities

If you’re reading my posts, you know that I’m still fairly new to Nashville. I actually live just outside of Nashville in a city called Hendersonville. Recently, I did some research because I wanted to know which celebrities live (or used to live) in the same area as I do. Here is a list of famous folks who actually live (d) just a couple of blocks from me.

Taylor Swift: She used to live here with her parents in a pretty house by the lake. Now she lives in a high-rise next to Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Hayden Panettiere, from the show “Nashville” lives in the same building as well.

Kelly Clarkson: She’s great. Once in a while people spot her at Target and Wal-Mart.
Gary Allan: He has a gorgeous house by the lake.

Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash: They used to live around the corner from us, but now they are buried in this city. Johnny Cash’s house burned down a few years ago and it’s still yellow-tagged. It’s a massive estate on the lake.

Brad Paisley: Used to live here, but moved to the south side of Nashville.

Unlike in Los Angeles, in Nashville, celebrities are not mobbed by the paparazzi. They can just lead normal lives; bring their kids to school, go shopping, or dining. In fact, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman are often spotted at Whole Foods or the local mall, but people just let them go about their private lives.

For sure very different from Los Angeles or New York!

Image Credit:fanpop.com

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How to Make Your Own Meal Replacement Shakes

My kids and I are huge fans of smoothies. We drink them for breakfast, as a snack, after a workout, or as a cool treat on a hot day. We love all kinds of smoothies, but our favorite is a blueberry smoothie. It’s full of antioxidants and flavor.

• If you have kids and have a hard time getting a healthy breakfast in them before school, let them drink a smoothie. Some smoothies taste like dessert, yet they are so good for you. There is a lot of hidden nutrition that is masked by the sweet flavor of fruit.

• Great boost after exercise. Smoothies are a perfect post-workout nutrition boost.

• A complete meal in a glass. No need to buy expensive, powdery meal replacement packs or shakes. The combination of oatmeal, flax seeds, yogurt, milk, and fruit makes these smoothies well rounded nutrition. Every smoothie will differ a little in nutrition according to the exact ingredients used.

Ingredients:

Oats
Flax seeds
Yogurt
Milk (Almond milk, soy milk, rice milk
Orange juice (optional)
Blueberries
Banana

Directions:

• Add oats and flax seeds to blender. Blend on high until you have the consistency of flour. This helps the oats and flax seeds blend into the smoothie without a rough texture. The finer your grind them, the smoother your smoothie will be!
• Add the remaining ingredients.
• Enjoy your smoothie!


Making smoothies is not exact science. Some folks like them thinner, others prefer a thicker smoothie. Play around with other ingredients and find your perfect consistency and flavor. Sometimes I add spinach to my smoothie, avocado, tofu or peanut butter. As long as my kids only taste the sweet flavor of fruit, they drink it all up!

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Keith Urban’s Album Pre-Release Nashville Party Was a Huge Success

This post is for all the Keith Urban fans (who isn’t) who didn’t get the chance to celebrate with him on Friday. Keith is about to release his seventh studio album titled “Fuse”. Well, I couldn’t be part of this awesome party, but my girls and their lovely friend were. They had a blast! Their reaction: “Keith was as great as usual.”

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Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

If I’m out of eggs and butter, or if I just feel like cutting out fat and cholesterol from my diet (which actually happens a lot), I bake using vegan recipes. Last night I was in the mood for some chocolate so I prepared these vegan chocolate cupcakes. They were delicious. I didn’t miss the eggs and butter at all. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
1 c whole wheat flour
1/3 c cocoa powder
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 c sugar
1 c almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 c canola oil
1 tsp almond extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin pan with liners.
In a large bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Add the vinegar to the almond milk and stir briskly. Put it aside for a few minutes until it curdles.
In the meantime whisk together sugar, oil and almond extract, and then mix them in with the milk and vinegar.
Add wet ingredients to the dry, and beat until the mixture is smooth.
Pour it into the liners until each is about ¾ full.
Bake for 20-24 minutes.

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Favorite Artist of the Week

My favorite artist of the week is a talented 17 year-old singer/songwriter from Nashville. She has been singing and playing guitar since age eight. At age 10, she wrote her first song and she hasn’t stopped since.

This young artist is in her element with guitar in hand and audience before her. She has a diverse sound; drawing on country, alternative, and pop. She fascinates her listener with brilliant lyrics and surprising melodic twists and turns.

She is my daughter, Christy Schmidt.

http://www.reverbnation.com/christyschmidt

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