Friday, August 16, 2013

Court Yard Hounds Amelita Review

Amelita is the second album from sisters Emily Robinson and Martie Maguire of the band Court Yard Hounds. They were both previously members of the band Dixie Chicks.  “We’re a band, not a side project. We like our sound, and we’re going to continue to do this, and share something new this time around,” said Robison.   

After a few years away from the limelight and the Dixie Chicks, the two sisters were ready to get back into the studio.  Amelita has 11 new tracks and a new perspective than their debut album in 2010, which is due in part to time passed since Robison’s divorce. “I’ve been freed of all of those time-heals-everything kind of things,” says Robison. “Now, I’ve opened up to other ideas and ways of looking at life and the world. I think it’s not only a more hopeful album, but it’s more… well fun."

"I love this band...the way we explore new aspects of ourselves and what we can expect from each other, both musically and as people," says Martie. "We are close. Plus, being on the road and being in the studio is like my spa from the everyday challenges of just being a mom.

The Court Yard Hounds’ new album is a clear statement of who the girls are as artists, defining their sound as a band, with soaring songs that are personal, yet familiar and widely relatable.

I had never heard of Court Yard Hounds before receiving the album to review.  It has a beautiful and rich sound and since they are sisters you can hear that they have a deep connection and history.  My favorite tracks are Aimless Upward, Gets You Down and The Road You Take.  They all sound likes songs that would have been featured on the T.V. show Dawson's Creek.  If the show was still in production, I have a feeling that Court Yard Hounds would have been featured regularly.

Amelita is available to purchase now on iTunes or Amazon.

Amelita Track Listing:
  1. Sunshine
  2. Amelita
  3. The World Smiles
  4. Aimless Upward
  5. Guy Like You
  6. Rock All Night
  7. Phoebe
  8. Divided
  9. Gets You Down
  10. Watch Your Step
  11. The Road You Take

This is a review post sponsored by One2One Network. I was provided a copy of the album for my review and I am entered in a prize drawing. All opinions shared are my own.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Michael Bublé To Be Loved Album Review

"I want to take you on a wonderful journey about love—all different kinds of love,Michael says. "The album swings big time: it rocks, it’s soulful, it’s happy, sometimes a little sad. It’s romantic, it’s yummy, and it’s heartfelt."

On To Be Loved, Michael covers songs by Frank Sinatra, the Bee Gees, Jackson 5, Elvis Presley, Van Morrisonand more. There are also four original songs co-written by Bublé, which he used his personal life for inspiration.

"Do not think I take my success these last ten years for granted. I was anything but an overnight sensation,which inspires me to deliver big time for my fans—maybe even make some new ones this time out." says Bublé. "I labored over every song, every note and every arrangement because I can’t resist trying to make each record better than my last one."

"I wrote Close Your Eyes about my wife and about the power of all the women in my life—my sisters, my mom, my grandma and all women in general. Let’s face it, where would we be without them? I Got It Easy, another original, is basically a song where I count my blessings and is a reminder to me and everyone to appreciate all the good parts of life. I’m a very lucky guy and I never want to forget it," says Michael.  He is even about to become a first time dad.

The whole album is great!  Michael Bublé has such a fantastic voice.  He could probably sing anything and make it sound good.  My kids especially enjoyed You've Got a Friend in Me. To Be Loved is available to purchase now on iTunes or Amazon.

To Be Loved Track Listing:
1. "You Make Me Feel So Young"   
2. "It's a Beautiful Day" 
3. "To Love Somebody"
4. "Who's Lovin You"
5. "Something Stupid" (featuring Reese Witherspoon) 
6. "Come Dance with Me"
7. "Close Your Eyes"
8. "After All" (featuring Bryan Adams)
9. "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" (with Naturally 7)
10. "To Be Loved"
11. "You've Got a Friend in Me"  
12. "Nevertheless (I'm in Love with You)" (featuring The Puppini Sisters)
13. "I Got It Easy"    
14. "Young at Heart"

This is a review post sponsored by One2One Network. I was provided a copy of the album for my review and I am entered in a prize drawing. All opinions shared are my own.

Rod Stewart Time Album Review

Rod Stewart has spent four decades being a rock star, three being a parent, and has a new album's worth of stories to tell.  Time is his first album of new material in almost 20 years.  The album was born from a burst of inspiration that came while he was reviewing his life for his recent memoir.  "Suddenly ideas for lyrics were piling up in my head," he says. "Next thing I knew, I had a song called 'It's Over' about divorce and separation. And now I was getting up in the middle of the night and scrambling for a pen to write things down, which has never happened to me. I finished seven or eight songs very quickly and I still wasn't done, and it became apparent that I would eventually have a whole album of material to record."  Rod Stewart is starting his Live the Life tour in Europe on June 1st and will be in America starting October 17th.  
I had not really listened to Rod Stewart before receiving this album except for his songs that were on the radio.  Time definitely has the classic Rod Stewart sound.  I think it is great that he is back to writing new material after 20 years.  My favorite track was Pure Love.  It is such a sweet song and I had it stuck in my head for days. Time is available to purchase now on iTunes and Amazon.

Time Track Listing:
1. She Makes Me Happy
2. Can’t Stop Me Now
3. It’s Over
4. Brighton Beach
5. Beautiful Morning
6. Live The Life
7. Finest Woman
8. Time
9. Picture In A Frame
10. Sexual Religion
11. Make Love To Me Tonight
12. Pure Love

This is a review post sponsored by One2One Network. I was provided a copy of the album for my review and I am entered in a prize drawing. All opinions shared are my own.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep (Book Review)

Dr. Harvey Karp made doctors applaud and parents cheer with his brilliant solutions to centuries-old problems such as colic and tantrums. Now, in THE HAPPIEST BABY GUIDE TO GREAT SLEEP: Simple Solutions for Kids from Birth to 5 Years (William Morrow Paperback; On-Sale: March 19, 2013; $15.99; ISBN: 9780062113320), Dr. Karp stuns the world again by solving the #1 problem plaguing new parents: exhaustion. Dr. Karp's surprising insights include:

How to train brand new babies to sleep better: Infants can be taught to sleep at least one extra hour from the first weeks of life! Dr. Karp shows how to safely boost baby sleep in just days.

What’s the best white noise (and which ones worsen sleep): The right white noise (low pitched and rumbling) is the key to good sleep—even through teething—for all babies. Plus, it even gives parents a more restful sleep

Why parents should always wake a sleeping baby: For good sleep, babies must learn how to self-soothe. The best way to teach babies how to fall back to sleep—when they rouse in the middle of the night—is to wake them just as they’re being put into bed.

How to enjoy the benefits - and avoid the risks - of swaddling: Swaddling dramatically improves a new baby’s sleep. Yet, many states are shockingly banning this ancient parenting tool. Smart moms should do it and Dr. Karp will teach them how to do it properly and safely.

The importance of powering down: Staring at bright screens at night (TVs, computers, phones) can wreak a toddler and a parent’s sleep.

Easy "no-cry" tips that end infant and toddler bedtime struggles in just days!

I was very excited to receive The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep!  I just had a baby five weeks ago and I am definitely sleep deprived.  With my first child I was able to sleep whenever she did.  But this is my third child and daytime naps for mom are now almost impossible.  I am lucky that my older two children do not have sleep problems but if yours do, this book offers solutions for children up to age five!

Dr. Karp starts the book with a little bit of background on sleep and then there are four sections depending on the age or needs of your child.  There is a section for birth to three months, three to twelve months, one to five years, and the last section is for naps and special situations.  Since my baby is five weeks old, the first section is where I started.  Dr. Karp recommends the 5 S's for new babies: Swaddling, Side/Stomach position when in your arms, Shushing, Swinging, and Sucking.  I can't wait to try out his ideas and start getting the extra sleep that I need.  This book is full of useful ideas so check it out and let me know if it works for you!

To find out more, check out The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep site.

This is a book review campaign sponsored by One2One Network. I received a copy of the book from Harper Collins for my review. I do not receive compensation but my participation in the campaign enters me into a drawing for a gift card. All opinions shared are my own.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Emmy Rossum Sentimental Journey Album Reviw

Emmy Rossum's album, Sentimental Journey, was just released on January 29th.  It is an album of classic cover songs from some of the most beloved artists of the last century.  Besides releasing an album, Emmy currently stars in the Showtime series Shameless and the upcoming feature film Beautiful Creatures, which hits theaters on February 13th.  Emmy will also be making an appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on February 6th.

For this album Emmy chose a song to represent each month of the year.  About the album, Emmy said, "Each song needed to either lyrically or emotionally reflect the corresponding month.  Some songs were obvious fits, like Summer Wind for June, and Pretty Paper for December. Others songs were less literal fits. I chose Nobody Knows You (When You're Down and Out) for September because, to me, the plaintive melody and lyric emotionally reflect the cold weather creeping in and the sense of melancholy we can get in the fall months."

Emmy has a very classic voice that sounds like it came from another time.  The whole album is very mellow and perfect for listening on a Sunday drive.  She sounds like she might have been a singer back in the 50's.  I enjoyed listening to her calming voice.  I think my parents and even my grandparents would enjoy this album. "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover" even reminded me of my grandfather!

To find out more about Emmy, you can follow her on Twitter.  You can also check out the music video for "These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)".  Sentimental Journey is available to purchase now on iTunes or Amazon.

Sentimental Journey Track Listing:
  1. “Sentimental Journey” (Les Brown, Ben Homer, Arthur Green)
  2. “The Object Of My Affection” (Pinky Tomlin)
  3. “I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover “(Mort Dixon, Harry M. Woods)
  4. “These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)” (Eric Maschwitz, Jack Strachey)
  5. “(I’ll Be With You) In Apple Blossom Time” (Albert Von Tilzer, Neville Fleeson)
  6. “Summer Wind” (Heinz Meier, Johnny Mercer)
  7. “Many Tears Ago” (Winfield Scott)
  8. “All I Do Is Dream Of You” (Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed)
  9. “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out” (Jimmy Cox)
  10. “Autumn Leaves” (Joseph Kosma, Jacques Prévert)
  11. “Things” (Bobby Darin)
  12. “Pretty Paper” (Willie Nelson)

This is a review post sponsored by One2One Network. I was provided a copy of the album for my review and I am entered in a prize drawing. All opinions shared are my own.