Rock it Out

What up, loves?

Was it a great weekend for you? I certainly hope so. Mine was filled with loud music, bright sunshine and fantastic eats (and drinks!) Is there anything more a girl can ask for in this world?

My Saturday was spent rocking out at WJRR’s Earthday Birthday, the annual rock fest put on by Orlando’s rock radio station. The lineup wasn’t as good as Next Big Thing, but that’s not to say it wasn’t a hell of a show!

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Of all the bands playing, I was most excited to see A Day to Remember.

A Day to Remember Guitarist

Their lyrics rock my world. No lie. When I found out they were playing a forty minute set, I almost lost it. Yes, I am that fan.

Homesick Album Cover What Separates Me from You Album Cover For Those Who Have Heart Album Cover

Want to pump up your next workout? If you’re down with a dash of hard rock, hit up iTunes STAT for this A Day to Remember playlist:

  • All I Want
  • NJ Legion Iced Tea
  • Homesick
  • Monument
  • I’m Made of Wax, Larry, What are You Made Of?
  • Have Faith in Me
  • Another Song About the Weekend
  • Over my Head
  • Out of Time

Good. Stuff. Hardcore Barbie guarantees it. Yes, I have actually been nicknamed hardcore Barbie. Apparently a girl with sparkly pink fingernails rocking out to ADTR is quite the paradox.

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I suspected that most of the food at Earthday Birthday would be chicken fingers or corn dogs. My suspicions were correct, and while the delicious Arnold Palmers may have been worth $6 each, fried meat on a stick was decidedly not.

Thankfully, I’d started the morning with a bagel with Smart Balance Light and organic baby spinach before I headed over to Tinker Field.

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I headed out before the headliners came on (Sevendust and Godsmack aren’t exactly my cup of coffee) and drove over to Cowboys, a country line dancing bar.

First off, let it be known that Cowboys was not my idea. However, since I had enjoyed a full afternoon of good music, I was willing to subject myself to an entire evening of Shania Twain and Tim McGraw…if only because it meant seeing the Coach for a few hours.

–COWBOYS PIC–

After such a jam-packed Saturday, you’d better believe the vast majority of my Sunday was spent recovering from the comfort of my bed. My trademark morning-after croissanwich from Burger King was consumed, but normal eats resumed that afternoon.

Lunch was an entire roasting pan full of garlic broccoli, Calabaza squash and eggplant with dill.

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Dinner deserves its own recipe post – it’ll make its appearance sometime this week! I finally tackled one of the few veggies that I have refused to try since I was a little girl…any guesses as to what it was?

What trouble did you get yourself into this weekend? Or was it more of a much-needed relaxation break?

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Workout Music Fail

I woke up this morning and dashed to my computer like an eight year old racing to the Christmas tree to see what Santa dropped off overnight. Rather than the entire contents of a Toys ‘R’ Us catalog, only one thing was on my mind…and for once, it wasn’t breakfast.

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For almost three weeks, I’ve been counting down to the release of the new Rise Against cd. I’d been planning an Endgame review for just as long. March 15th has been marked on my calendar longer than any other upcoming event.

The band’s – Appeal to Reason – is in constant circuit in my workout playlists for their killer melodies and the layered, thought-provoking lyrics. Naturally, checking out the Endgame album was the first thing on my mind when I came to consciousness.

As much as it pains me to say it, Endgame leaves plenty to be desired. The band’s trademark combination of powerful punk-rock guitar and rich lyrics still drives the album, yet the heart-pounding beats that made Appeal to Reason so widely successful were notably lacking in their fifth album. The first single from the album, Help is on the Way, is the most closely related to their previous work, yet as a whole, the CD fails to excite and inspire on the same scale. I found myself unimpressed by the empty reflections and the dull guitar riffs.

The bottom line? Download: A Gentleman’s Coup, Help is on the Way. Skip the rest of the album if you’re looking for a pulsating, gym-friendly rock CD.

Dear Cavo, you are cordially invited to release a new album anytime now…

Have you heard the new Rise Against album? What did you think? What was the last CD/song you downloaded?


Settings

Good morning guys! Whaddup?

I’m psyched that it’s getting closer and closer to the weekend! I’ll be seeing The Coach, the Forever Roomie, her sister and another old college friend. I also plan to see a lot of the beach, the contents of my refrigerator and the new issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

Oh wait. It’s only Thursday! Time to reset my brain back to workweek matters, such as:

Alarm Settings – (7 AM. How is it that when I commuted for an hour, I woke up at 7, and now that I live less than a mile from my work, I still wake up at 7? Not fair, I tell ya!)

Skype Settings – Since it’s not practical to drive to Lakeland during the week to visit with my old friends, I finally succumbed to the hype and set up a Skype account for workweek chats.

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I had no idea that I was taking the first shot. That was pure accident as I was trying to figure out my computer’s settings. The latter, on the other hand, was the result of pure boredom (perhaps mixed with a bit of vanity from my blow-out?) as I waited for The Coach to get his keester online.

Stovetop Settings – As with most mornings, my mind was very clearly set on what I wanted for breakfast. Steel-cut oats with soy milk, peaches, cinnamon and Sunbutter? Don’t mind if I do!

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Camera Settings – Every time lunch rolls around, I hope and pray I can pull off a sneak photo-attack at my desk without my coworkers noticing that I’m going all Annie Lebovitz on my chow. Typically, I only take one shot, cross my fingers, and hope for the best.

Nobody noticed as I snapped yesterday’s oh-so-satisfying combo of brown rice, kidney beans, garlic powder and hot sauce:

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I’d love to not make each lunch photo shoot a covert op! Surely there has to be a way to eliminate the shutter noise?

iPod (Erm…Blackberry) Settings – I don’t have an iPod. Instead, I’ve loaded my ‘tunes onto the crackberry’s SD card for instances that call for portable music. My walks to work recently have featured quite a bit of the following:

  • Amber Pacific – Fall Back Into my Life
  • A Day to Remember – NJ Legion Iced Tea
  • The Bravery – Believe
  • Yellowcard – Fighting
  • Flobots – Handlebars (Can you say THROWBACK?)

Speaking of walking to work, off I go!

What are some of the “settings” in your life that you’ve noticed recently?


Playlists and Playoffs

Good morning! I expect all of you to be living up your fabulous lives and having the most incredible, fun-filled weekends ever.

Wow. That was a lot of perkiness to throw at ya this early in the morn-ernoon. That, my friends, would be not quite morning, not quite afternoon. Ya know, that time of weekend when you roll out of bed for brunch.

 

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Egg Beater omlettes with cheddar and shrooms plus some grainy Italian bread; a plate for me, a plate for The Coach.

Don’t tell the poor guy, but I’m planning to drag his sorry behind to run the lake with me this afternoon. I may lose best friend status if we aren’t in the vicinity of a TV for playoffs, but I’ve got some time and a newly assembled playlist!

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Between old favorites and new discoveries, I’ve been making a dent in the iTunes gift cards I got for Christmas. This playlist encompasses some of my longtime obsessions (Don’t even get me started on how many times I listened to Phoenix 1901 when it first came out) and some new addictions (helllloooo, The Audition!) Either way, it’s a heart-pumping mix of workout-worthy Alternative Rock tunes to shake up any gym sesh.

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Standout Lyrics:

Rooftops by Lostprophets: “When our time is up/when our lives are done/will we say we’ve had our fun…Will we make our mark this time/will we always say we’ve tried…Standing on the rooftops/wait until the bomb drops/this is all we got now/scream until your heart stops/never gonna regret watching every sunset…”

The Good Life by Three Days Grace: “I know that any day could be my last…All I want is a little of the good life/All I need is to have a good time”

Take me Back by Story of the Year: “Do you remember when the days were longer/the dreams were bigger?”

Miss the last rock playlist? Check it out!

Rock on, readers. I have a run and a football game to attend to.

What’s on your current playlist?


All I Want

‘Tis the season for wish lists and gifting…

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But in the last several days, I’ve learned that the thing I want the most isn’t something that can be gift wrapped.

I want to write; I want to edit; I want to create, and I want to do it for the rest of my life.

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I’ve previously explained that I feel as though I’m languishing in a job that I don’t have a passion for.

I’ve had enough.

I’ve decided that this is going to change.

I wasn’t lucky enough to discover my dream in college where resume-boosting clubs and internships were abundant. I was, however, lucky enough to choose a major that ended up being far more suited to my life and personality than I ever could have imagined.

Words have the power to teach, to explain, to transform pain into a catalyst for growth, and to exude joy. Words can be used to hurt or to praise. Words allow us to assign meaning to memories and attach emotions to experiences; they are an individual’s means of sharing your thoughts and your heart with those around you. Through words, we become more aware of what we feel.

William Wordsworth defined poetry as “emotion recollected in tranquility”. Writing allows us to go back and process once we’re able to look back with a clear head; here lessons are learned and lives are shaped.

This dawned on me last night at the gym while zoning out on lyrics.

Playing my songs is the way I cope with life” (A Day to Remember) I live, eat, breathe, and sleep music, and the reason suddenly dawned on me: lyrics are raw and relatable, and more often than not, they are a chance for the artist to say the things that should have been said in a given moment. Getting lost in music – in words – allows me to work through what I’m feeling until I’m able to act on it.

Music is like magic/there’s a certain feeling you get when you’re real.” (Eminem) With words – be it in the form of lyrics, a poem, a blog post, or a conversation, there’s always a point you’re trying to convey. With hundreds of thousands of words to be chosen from and even more ways to arrange them, the feat of getting them just right to express just what you need to say is a considerable one; when you’re able to make your point and share your heart, the feeling is inequitable.

You’ve lost your way with words/and to me/what could be worse?”  (The Starting Line) My biggest fear in life is getting to the end and regretting missed opportunities. Yes, I feel that way about experiences, but also about times when I’ve had something crucial to say but lacked the guts or the eloquence to express it. Forgetting my voice and losing my chances to say what I need to say is equally terrifying to me, and I refuse to allow that to happen.

I am focused on what I am after/the key to the next open chapter”. (Shinedown). Writing is my passion. Between writing for my classes and my blog, that has become abundantly clear to me recently. I want to be a writer or an editor, and I want it more than anything. For the first time in my life, I can say that I have a strong sense of direction and I’m bubbling over with excitement to pursue it. Despite lacking technical experience, I have all the heart and the passion in the world, and I’m going to break into a career that lets me take joy and satisfaction from my creativity; that’s a promise.

I know to keep my hopes up high and my head down low.

I know what I’m meant to do, and I know I’m going to make it happen. I’m not asking for much; in fact, it’s all I want.


Next Big Workout

I’m sore; gloriously, gloriously sore.

You know, that sore that hurts so good after an epic workout? That sore that makes you wince but makes you smile every time you lower yourself into a chair or lift anything heavier than the t.v. remote? Yup, I’m that sort of sore.

The maintenance man was the only soul in the building when I arrived…

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Naturally, I documented my dorkiness (and my mad balance ball skillz) before a few stretches to get in the zone.

Having the gym to myself was pretty much the best thing I could have asked for – I’m always afraid that I’ll use a machine wrong and look like an absolute moron, so being the only person there was the perfect opportunity to jump in, learn the moves, and test the various settings to best suit my (newbie) ability level! Not having to wait for/readjust machines between sets rocked too 😀

Machine/Move Weight # of Reps (x3 sets of each)
Horizontal Leg Curl 50 15
Leg Extension 50 15
Seated Leg Press 90 15
Lat Pull Down 40 15
Shoulder Press 10 15
Seated Row 20 15
Chest Press 20 15
Chest Fly 30 15
Captain’s Chair N/A 15

I followed that up with a 5 minute warmup and then a 5k run:

Distance Incline Speed
.25 mile 5% 3.5 mph
1 mile 2% 5 mph
1 mile 1% 5.4 mph
1 mile 0% 6.0 mph
.10 mile 0% 7.5 mph

Negative splits – hells yes!

Faith’s Best of Next Big Thing 2010 Playlist

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With a perfect alternative rock playlist to sing along with, it’s no wonder I was able to bust out such an inclusive workout! After last weekend’s trip to Next Big Thing, I downloaded a ridiculous amount of new music and have been rocking out nonstop to my faves from the NBT artists!

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Prepare to have your world rocked.

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Let the downloading and the sweating commence!


Music is Life

I’m currently typing up this post in my classroom (thank God for naptime!), eating cold leftovers I grabbed from my fridge in a drive-by operation speeding back to work.

Lunch

What, my friends, could be more important than filling my belly on lunch break?

I was picking up tickets to Next Big Thing!

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Every year the local alternative rock radio station puts on a massive music festival and I’ve literally been dying to go to one since high school! I decided that this year was the year that I was going to make it happen, and I enlisted a few friends to go have our worlds rocked 🙂

Twelve bands in one day? Count me in! The lineup includes Paper Tongues, Neon Trees, Sick Puppies, A Day To Remember, Switchfoot, The Black Keys, My Chemical Romance (yuck! The only one I’m not excited about!), Finger Eleven, American Bang, and Cage the Elephant.

I’m beyond psyched!

I’m all about a power rock playlist for an amped-up workout, so I decided to create and share a lineup of my favorites for y’all!

*Shinedown – The Crow and The Butterfly

*Yellowcard – Fighting, Ocean Avenue, and Keeper

Paper Walls

*American Bang – Wild and Young

*Cavo – Champagne; Crash; Beautiful; Ghost; Waiting for Silence. (I can’t pick just one song to recommend! I’m pretty sure y’all know by now that this is my favorite band!)Bright Nights _ Dark Days

*NeedtoBreathe – Hurricane

*Paper Tongues Trinity

*Thirty Seconds to Mars – The Kill

A Beautiful Lie

*A Day to Remember All I Wanted

*Jimmy Eat World – My Best Theory (I never was a huge fan of this band but I adore their newest single!)

*The Alkaline Trio – The American Scream

This Addiction (Deluxe Edition) [Bonus Track Version]

*The Crash Kings – Mountain Man

*Anberlin – Feel Good Drag (How cool is it that the band is from the little teeny town right next to mine?)

New Surrender

*Cage the ElephantIn One Ear and Back Against the Wall. (PS – want a good laugh? Watch the music video for Back Against the Wall. It’s absolutely ridiculous!)

*The Starting Line – Way With Words

*Rise Against – The whole Appeal to Reason CD! (I know I’ve recommended it before but seriously, if I’m compiling my favorite workout songs, the list really isn’t complete without it!)

Appeal To Reason

*The Sick Puppies – Maybe and Too Many Words

*Linkin Park – Waiting for the End

*Skillet – Awake and Alive. (Simultaneously beautiful and intense. Perfection!)

Awake

*Phoenix – 1901

*The Swellers – Sleeper

Ups and Downsizing

Whew! I wasn’t planning on writing so many, but I got a bit carried away! Happens to the best of us.

Do you remember the first concert you ever went to? What’s your favorite genre of music? What are your absolute favorite workout songs?