ACMs 2018: ALL Of My Thoughts

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The ACM Awards began with Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris and Miranda Lambert speaking words of remembrance in light of October’s mass shooting at a country festival late last year.

Reba’s hosting this year; she said she first hosted in 1986, which was before Kelsea Ballerini was born. I can relate; I wasn’t born either.

Kenny Chesney takes the stage. He’s wearing jeans, a cutoff and a cowboy hat; he’s singing “Get Along” which I do believe is about to be a new jam. Kenny is so good live.

My girl Maren is up next, singing Rich, holding a gold microphone. She has these giant lights spelling RICH behind her. I love her curly hair and she even has stars in her hair. Also money is falling from the sky. I wish I were in Vegas so I could confirm or deny whether it’s monopoly money or actual cash. Either way, that was pretty cool.

Chris Young is now singing, “Losing Sleep.” Don’t get me wrong; this performance is fine. However, Chris just kind of sang the song. It’s not new and there was really nothing special. OK, I’m putting down the hater-ade now.

Florida Georgia Line is up; I couldn’t be more excited. “Meant To Be” is a JAM. Bebe Rexa has joined the stage. She’s wearing a shiny silver dress and now WOW there are like fifty more people singing with them. Think church choir background vocal vibes. All the background people are wearing black and white. This is honestly a party on the stage and the sound is supreme.

Oh wow! Looks like an award is in our future. CAM is announcing “song of the year.” Nominations are: Body Like A Back Road (Sam Hunt); Female (Keith Urban); Tin Man (Miranda Lambert); Whiskey and You (by Chris Stapleton- but I don’t know this song). Miranda wins the award and I would’ve picked this too; I once heard on the radio that Tin Man is based off of a Kenny Chesney’s “The Tin Man” from 1994. Miranda thanked everyone for “sharing my broken heart with me.” YOU ARE MOST WELCOME, MIRANDA. LOVE YOU GURL.

Brett Young is singing “In Case You Didn’t Know.” He’s on a center stage wearing a plaid shirt and black jeans.

Alan Jackson is next up. He’s wearing a classic Alan Jackson outfit-cowboy hat, collared shirt, and blue jeans. He is singing his 1992 hit “Chattahoochee” with Jon Pardi.

Sugarland has joined the stage (HI! YAY!). They are presenting Album of the Year. Nominated: The Breaker (Little Big Town. GOOD ALBUM.), California Sunrise (Jon Pardi), From A Room: Volume 1 (Chris Stapleton), Happy Endings (Old Dominion), Life Changes (Thomas Rhett!!!!!). The winner is Chris Stapleton, but he’s unable to be at the awards because his wife literally today gave birth to twin boys!

Lady Antebellum is singing Heart Break. I love them. Next up is Dierks Bently singing “Woman Amen.” Dierks brings a good energy to the stage!

Blake Shelton is singing “I Lived It.” He’s sitting down and playing guitar. Can I say that was a HEARTFELT performance? Even from my couch in my living room this performance moved me. Thank you Blake…

Kane Brown plus Lauren Alaina are next, singing “What Ifs” which is such a good song. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kane Brown perform even on TV. Lauren is looking absolutely beautiful in a pretty gold dress. She is also absolutely crushing the vocals. Like WOW. Kane and Lauren had such a strong stage chemistry that I literally did a google check to see if they were together (turns out they are not FYI). Regardless, that performance was fire.

Keith Urban is singing “Got It Right This Time” in a bright red collared shirt. Julia Michaels, wearing a red dress, is joining Keith for the second half of the song. The performance was simple and lively. I’m a fan.

Old Dominion wins Vocal Group of the Year. I always want Little Big Town to win. But you know what? Old Dominion is a deserving band and I’m happy for them! I actually met one of my close friends at an Old Dominion concert, so bonus points to Old Dominion for that. (Let me add a shout out to the Rave and Sara B… and Paula!)

My girl Kelsea B is singing “I Hate Love Songs.” She literally floated onto the stage from a glowing pink heart. Leave it to Kelsea to do a mid song outfit change. Outfit one was a fancy pink sparkly prom dress (if you will) and outfit two is a tanktop with sparkle pants and fancy tennis. She sounded absolutely lovely.

Jason Aldean is singing “You Make It Easy.” Jason sounds nice live… but all I can think about is how I would like to wear his jacket. It’s silver with lots of zippers and honestly maybe even a little sparkle. He is rocking it but I’m pretty sure I could too.

My girl Miranda is singing “Keeper Of The Flame.” Miranda always keeps it 100. She is wearing a simple outfit and her hair is down. Her voice is always on point and tonight is no exception. She seems so comfortable on the stage.

Little Big Town is performing “Rocketman!” I adore this band; also, their outfits are “absolutely 100%” ridiculous. No judgment though; as always they sound UHH-MAZING. It’s just that… Kimberly has held back her hair and I do believe that if Karen waved her arms fast enough while wearing this feather jacket she actually might fly. (I promise I love y’all! I really do. JUST AWW WOW.)

Blake Shelton is announcing an “ACM Flashback Moment,” which is a duet of “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” with Toby Keith. I have to keep it real; this is good.

Midland is singing “Drinking Problem” on the small center stage. I just realized that Midland reminds me very much of the Three Amigos. (Yes, I’m referring to the 1986 Steve Martin movie. THEY PLAYED IT AT MY GYM OK?!)

THE TIME IS NOW for Carrie Underwood’s performance of “Cry Pretty.” First of all she is absolutely gorgeous (as always) including a sparkly dress and sparkly tear-like eye makeup. Carrie Underwood is so extremely talented. She sounds perfect and always has a flawless stage presence. By the way, I cannot see any traces of wrist or face injuries. Carrie. Underwood. Owns. The. Stage. I am left speechless and I feel like everybody is giving her SO. MUCH. RESPECT.

Vocal Event of the Year nominations are: Craving You (Thomas Rhett feat. Maren Morris); Dear Hate (Maren Morris feat. Vince Gill); Funny (Glen Campbell feat. Willie Nelson); The Fighter (Keith Urban feat. Carrie Underwood); and What Ifs (Kane Brown feat. Lauren Alaina). The Fighter wins! Keith Urban and Carrie returned to the stage to give thanks for the award.

Dan + Shay are performing Tequila. They have this group of fans jamming with them, and the performance is as simple as it is perfect!

Darius Rucker is singing “For The First Time.” He is such a relaxed performer and always looks like he’s having fun on stage.

Miranda Lambert is our Female Vocalist of the Year. I do love Miranda. She’s wearing a really beautiful black dress with bell sleeves. “I cannot believe this. I really can’t. Thank you so much,” Miranda also said. She also said that she will never take for granted the appreciation her fans have for her music and what she’s doing. I believe those words.

Thomas Rhett is singing his song, “Marry Me.” He’s wearing a leather jacket and he’s making me tear up a little.

Luke Bryan is singing, “Most People Are Good.” Without being a negative let me just say that my favorite Luke Bryan songs are “All My Friends Say,” “Rain Is A Good Thing,” “Home Alone Tonight” and “Crash My Party.” J

Better Man (Little Big Town), Body Like A Back Road (Sam Hunt), Broken Halos (Chris Stapleton) Drinkin Problem (Midland), and I’ll Name The Dogs (Blake Shelton) are all up for Single Record of the Year. Sam Hunt is the winner! I do love Sam Hunt and I hope to see him live… speaking of seeing him live, he wasn’t at the show (WHAT?!) so I’ll have to keep waiting.

Lauren Alania is singing “Doin’ Fine.” She’s wearing a pretty black dress and though I don’t know this song, I like it! Sounds like a classic country song that I would like to know.

Male Vocalist of the Year nominations are Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, and Chris Young . Our winner is Chris Stapleton (again!). What a big day for Chris Stapleton and his family!

Kelly Clarkson and Reba are singing “Does He Love You” which is cool since the song is a classic and the two of them seem to be good friends.

Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban are nominated for Entertainer of the Year. I’m surprised to say that Jason is our winner! (I do love him and am genuinely happy for him.)

Jason acknowledged that it was a hard year and expressed appreciation for everyone who reached out to support him and others who lost loved ones back in October.

Chris Jansen is ending the show with a VERY upbeat performance. He actually took a break from singing to play the harmonica! He’s singing the “Redneck Life” and I can confidently say this show is wrapping up on [energy] level 35.

That’s a wrap!

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Twenty-Six

Health, Life

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I turned twenty-six years old a few weeks ago. I have much to be thankful for! Here are a few things my twenty-six-year-old self is into these days:

  1. My favorite celebrity, Erin Oprea. She is a #girlboss at her finest and has inspired me to LIVE healthier. Examples: staying active, celebrating a healthy lifestyle, enjoying treats in moderation, taking beet juice shots (!), the occasional tabata (how do you pronounce it though?!) and being realistic in regards to health. Put forth good efforts and don’t beat yourself up for taking a break or having a treat.
  2. Fayetteville, North Carolina! I visited my friend Victoria and her baby daughter for a quick trip. I. LOVED. OUR. TIME. TOGETHER. And, green grass was cool to see as well.
  3. I’m still Maren Morris’s #1 fan. I love her in that new hit song The Middle; and she recently released Rich as a single (IT. IS. A. JAM!) and she’s marrying Ryan Hurd really soon (#GettinMurd, and no I did not make up that hashtag). You go girl, stay beautiful, don’t change, etc.
  4. The Psalms (from the Bible). I’ve been reading a Psalm a day and WOW. There is some really good stuff in the Psalms. The Psalms allow me to reflect on the character of God; he is unchanging in character and his love is unfailing. Also, Psalm 33:6 says, “The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.” (Listen to a related song, So Will I, as recorded to Tori Kelly. SO GOOD on SO MANY LEVELS.)

HOW TO: Eat Healthy with Minimal Meal Prep Time

Health

I made this a HOW TO post because I re-watched HOW TO Lose A Guy In 10 Days last night. Talk about a hilarious movie. I think my favorite part is when Andi takes Ben to the Celine Dion concert. Or the part about the Love Fern. Or the pet dog.

Many health nuts would agree that meal prep is a vital part to being healthy. However, some weeks just do not allow for as much meal prep time as other weeks. Here are some tricks and tips I use to stay healthy even when I have minimal meal prep time.

Breakfast: Oatmeal- it’s a lot more substantial than cereal and takes just a few minutes to make. Ideally I eat a few egg whites with mine; to save time I often buy the liquid egg whites and I stir them into the oatmeal. I sometimes eat Greek yogurt or almonds with my oatmeal too for some extra protein and flavor.  Pictured below is overnight oats which takes just a couple minutes longer to make and can last all week. If you can make time, I’d highly recommend overnight oats or baked oats.

Lunch: Turkey sandwich with hummus and one slice of gluten-free bread. Sometimes I will also add avocado or mustard. I always add a lot of turkey and I often will also have cottage cheese.

Dinner: Sauteed kale with spices and whatever leftover meat and veggies I have in the house. I get creative with this depending on what’s in my fridge. I’ve added healthy barbecue sauce, salsa, cheese, an egg… really anything goes with this which makes it something I eat regularly without getting sick of it! Maybe this is embarrassing or maybe this is smart, but I sometimes throw all the ingredients in the frying pan on low and then take a quick shower… it’s ready when I’m done showering.

Bonus Tip: use the freezer! Say you have free time some night or weekend. Why not make a double batch of turkey chili, portion it out and freeze the servings to take out whenever you’re extra busy?!

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Birthday List

Life

I’m turning 26 in a few short weeks. I don’t feel old but this is one of those dud birthdays where the only thing that changes with age is that I can no longer be on my parents’ insurance. Well, it was nice while it lasted. 🙂

Mom asked me for a birthday list, so here we go:

I would like a backpack. I like this Frye one and I’m loving this Herschel one.

I do have my eye on these dusty rose boots.

On my mature/responsible side, I’d like a new crock pot (any) or a French Press (any but here’s one I like from Target.)

I would also love new clothes or tickets to any fun experiences! Anything you think I would like, I will!

Word on the Street- Read THE WORD

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The Bible is probably the most helpful and wonderful thing offered to us on earth. I believe that reading the Bible is one of the most important aspects of spiritual health. Reading the word of God is one of the best ways to learn more about Him.

Here are some Bibles I would recommend to anyone looking for a new one:

  • Jesus-Centered Bible. A NLT version Bible with imitation leather that comes in several colors.
  • LIVE Bible. I can speak for this one because I used this for high school and college. Another NLT Bible, this one includes some study bits as well.
  • Inspire Journal Bible. My parents bought this one for me this Christmas and I absolutely love it! This Bible is also NLT, but it does not have any study portions.
  • ESV Journaling Bible. I don’t own this Bible but the ESV is a very reputable version of the Bible and so if you’re looking to Bible journal this may be a great option!
  • NLT Illustrated Study Bible. I am *extremely* intrigued by this Bible. I love the NLT version and I love study Bibles; I was not able to see any previews of the inside of this Bible so I’m not sure what the illustrations would be like… but I definitely think this one sounds amazing!

Country Favorites: Summer 2017

Life

Even though it’s technically still spring, summer music is undoubtedly here.

Some of my favorites:

  • Body Like A Back Road (Sam Hunt) Talk about one of those instant feel-good jams. Goin 15 in a 30, I ain’t in no hurry, Imma take it slow just as fast as I can.
  • Craving You (Thomas Rhett & Maren Morris) Two of the top most popular country artists collaborating. What a beautiful thing!
  • Happy People (Little Big Town) This song has the best vibe and super solid lyrics too. Personal favorite line…Happy people don’t fail; happy people just learn.
  • The Fighter (Keith Urban & Carrie Underwood) Am I the only one who has a significant urge to kick-box when I hear this song? I’m still thinking about a full out routine to go with the song…
  • For Her (Chris Lane) Maybe the most adorable song ever-check it out.
  • Greatest Love Story (LANCO) This song is the first LANCO song I ever did hear and let me tell you they just might become a favorite of mine. If you have not yet heard this song, check. it. out.
  • No Such Thing As A Broken Heart (Old Dominion) Another extremely catchy song with excellent lyrics.
  • Round Here Buzz (Eric Church) This is a JAM! I have heard really great things about Eric’s Holding My Own tour and I just just imagine him singing this one live.
  • You Broke Up With Me (Walker Hayes) One of my gym buddies caught me jammmmmmming to this tune last week in my car…I had no idea he was driving in the lane next to me… The tune/lyric combination is on point. Do yourself a favor and listen to this one.

Rest & Hustle

Health, Life

I am trying to get better at resting. Life is all about balance, right? My goal is to value rest and to balance hustling and resting.

Thankfully, I was able to go to Florida with my mom and auntie. Rollin’ with those two is definitely a restful and very pleasant experience.

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Florida was definitely rest-heavy after a season of major hustling. I am feeling SO much better after this restful trip!