Wonderful Wanderlust

Around the time Col and I first looked at Stratton for a possible wedding venue, they were gearing up for the first Wanderlust Festival — it sounded amazing, and I knew I had to go one day.

And what do you know? Lucky for me, I got to go this year!

Stratton

Stratton

I honestly didn’t know what to expect of the festival. I knew that, yes, there would be lots of yoga, tons of yogis, and let’s be real…lots of Lululemon. I read up on the events for the weekend, so I knew that there would be hiking, live music, and delicious food. What I didn’t realize, or couldn’t research beforehand, was the amount of heart and soul it took to put this festival together.

I didn’t know that I would be doing hip hop yoga in the room where Colin and I will host our reception (or that I would be doing a back bend to “Shoop” by Salt ‘n’ Pepa for that matter…might have to recreate that at the wedding?…), or that I would listen to a talk on EFT Tapping in the chapel where we will recite our vows. I didn’t know that I would eat the most delicious empanadas I’ve ever tasted (from Ana’s Empanada’s in Rutland, VT), or that the chicken at the farm-to-table dinner would knock my socks off. I couldn’t predict that I’d sit with the founder of BreastCancer.org, and her lovely daughter who is currently interning at Stonyfield (great company!) at said farm-to-table dinner. I didn’t realize that the amount of lucy activewear that I spotted would rival the Lululemon ladies (and gents for that matter) — and how their clothes are just as comfortable and fashionable as their competitor. I didn’t know the number of laughs Kate (my friend and Wanderlust partner in crime) and I would share, or how great the people watching would be when I took a moment to just sit and watch. I forgot how much I love Ziggy Marley’s music, and couldn’t predict which of his father’s songs he would play. Before I arrived at Wanderlust, I couldn’t tell you how BIG my heart would smile when I heard Ziggy sing Bob Marley songs.

Ana's

Ana’s

Hip Hop Yoga courtesy of South End Yoga in Boston: http://www.southendyoga.com/

Hip Hop Yoga courtesy of South End Yoga in Boston: http://www.southendyoga.com/

Thanks lucy!

Thanks lucy!

Ziggy Marley

Ziggy Marley

I didn’t realize my favorite part of the weekend would be the media tour with founders Jeff Krasno and Sean Hoess to learn more about the why’s, where’s, and how’s of the event. (That, and Ziggy Marley of course — he was beyond words.)

Jeff and Sean

Jeff and Sean

Watch the video below for more info from Jeff and Sean. I asked them why they chose Stratton — since I am a Stratton lover — and they explained that for one, they were drawn to the beauty and size of the resort / mountain, but that they also wanted to bring in some revenue for the area especially after the devastation from Hurricane Irene as well as the mild winter we had this past year. I thought that was really awesome, and very interesting.

I enjoy yoga, but am not even close to being any kind of yoga master whatsoever, so I was definitely intimidated by the folks that would be there. Once I got into the swing of things, I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly everyone was. I decided to just go for it, and not worry about what I looked like in a pose, whether or not I liked my ‘yoga outfit’ for the day, or the fact that I was a little anxious about the ‘unknown’ of the weekend. I decided I wouldn’t feel foolish if I did something I wasn’t used to like meditating, or hiking with a barefoot man (our guide, not some random person). I dove right in, and came out feeling great. I think that’s the way you have to go after most things in life. Be open to new opportunities, make sure your heart is in the right place, and try to just enjoy the ride.

Check out some more of my pictures from the weekend:

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*A BIG thanks to everyone at Wanderlust and Stratton Mountain for allowing me to attend this festival free of charge. All opinions expressed in this post are honest and from the heart. xo

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I’m beyond excited for Wanderlust!

I leave for the Wanderlust Festival tomorrow evening, and I cannot wait. It’s finally here! There are so many amazing things going on over the weekend, and I am excited for all of it. Although, here are the things I am probably most excited about:

The music!

The music! Photo courtesy of Wanderlust

Specifically, Ziggy Marley. :)

Ziggy

Ziggy. Photo courtesy of Wanderlust

Doing all sorts of yoga in the room where our reception is going to be (at Stratton)!

So cool!

So cool! Photo courtesy of Wanderlust

Definitely excited for the farm-to-table dinner! I LOVE FOOD

Delicious

Delicious. Photo courtesy of Wanderlust

Among other things I’m excited for, are hanging out with my friend (and roommate for the weekend) Kate, meeting new people, relaxing, taking time out for myself (amidst a crazy hectic time in my life), spending time in Vermont, and learning something new. It should be a great weekend, and I hope you have a fabulous one as well. And if you don’t have plans, feel free to grab a ticket to Wanderlust! There are still some available here.

Thank you Beyoncé

I have Beyoncé to thank for my run tonight.

While trucking along on the treadmill, I decided that “Run the World (Girls)” might just be the best song ever to listen to while running. Admittedly, maybe not for everyone — the dudes out there might not feel me — but the ladies must. I mean think about it…if these lyrics can’t keep a lady running, what can?

This is pretty much what was happening in my head tonight:

B: Who run the world? GIRLS

Me: Running stinks

B: Who run this mutha?

Me: When will this run be over?

B: This goes out to all my girls that’s in the club rocking the latest

Me: I just want to go home, sit on the couch and watch the latest episode of Smash

B: I remind you I’m so hood with this

Me: Um, seriously…when is this going to be over? Should I stop now?

B: I’m reppin’ for the girls who taking over the world, help me raise a glass for the college grads

Me: Remind me why I’m doing this…oh my wedding dress, yes, yes of course

B: Strong enough to bear the children

Me: Hey, you’re actually doing pretty good

B: Who run the world? GIRLS...

Me: All done — nice work!

I can’t say that I’m a person who loves running (unfortunately). To be quite honest, most of the time I don’t want to go to the gym and run, but I force myself to and about 99.9% of the time I feel good about myself when I’m done. Some days it’s hard to just get myself to the gym, and some days I get to the gym okay, but it’s hard to physically get myself through a workout. Tonight I remembered why music really helps me get through a workout. I haven’t been bringing my iPod lately while I run (for whatever reason…not quite sure), but I needed an extra pick-me-up today, so I created a playlist and thankfully the music really kept me running. Without it I feel like I would have been very tempted to give up after five minutes, but Beyoncé worked like a charm. So, thank you. ;)

My playlist from tonight’s run:

  • Countdown
  • Run the World (Girls)
  • Love on Top
  • Check On It
  • Get Me Bodied
  • Upgrade U
  • Ego
  • Ring the Alarm

What gets you through a workout?

Wanderlust Festival

I haven’t always loved yoga. Actually, I used to really dislike yoga. I didn’t gel with certain teachers, I wasn’t patient enough, and overall I just didn’t have the right mentality towards it. I wanted a workout, but I also wanted to rush through it so I could get it over with and go home. That doesn’t really work with yoga. I’ve realized that I needed to slow things down, and appreciate yoga for what it is (to me) — a great workout, but also a way to calm myself down from my daily anxieties, slow my brain down from a crazy day at work, stretch my body out, and to take time to focus on myself. I really enjoy yoga now, although I am still searching for a class and teacher I really like in my area. It’s a work in progress, but I’ll get there!

One thing I have always loved is music. Ever since I was a little girl, music has always been a big part of my life — listening to Raffi, or Sharon Lois and Bram while dancing around the house, singing along with ‘the oldies’ on B103  in car rides with my mom, going to some of my first concerts with my parents — James Taylor, the Doobie Brothers, Steve Miller Band, etc. Certain songs, or bands, always remind me of  different stages of my life. I play it loud, I (badly, but happily) sing along with the lyrics, and it’s my number one go-to when I need to cheer myself up, get pumped up, or relax.

Wanderlust truly is a one-of-a-kind festival that brings both yoga and music together (Ziggy Marley is going to be there!), along with local food, wine, inspiration, and motivation. Not to mention it’s at one of the most beautiful ski resorts around — Stratton (I mean, we chose it as our wedding venue, come on people, its gorgeous). There are pools (think sipping cocktails under the sun), there will be a delicious farm-to-table dinner, yoga on top of the mountain, incredible views, plenty of laughter, and new friends.

When I found out about Wanderlust last year while we were checking out the resort as a potential wedding venue, it really interested me. I was unable to go (unfortunately), but made a mental note to keep it in mind for this year. It’s at Stratton Mountain at the end of June — which will only be about two months from when Colin and I will be getting married there — pretty cool. I really can’t wait to go! If you aren’t able to attend the one in Stratton, or rather travel somewhere other than VT, please note that they will be making stops in Colorado, California, and Canada as well.

With a mission statement like this, “Wanderlust’s core mission is to create community around mindful living. Mindful living is a conscious, value-based approach to leading a sane & healthy life”, how can you say no? I’m always striving for a more sane and healthy lifestyle. :)

The nitty-gritty:

Purchase tickets here.

Lineup of speakers, musical acts, and more here.

For more info about the full experience, check this out.

Lodging info can be found here.

And don’t forget to check the Wanderlust Festival out on Facebook and Twitter for the most up-to-date news!

*Photos courtesy of the lovely people at Wanderlust.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same”

When I watched the VMAs this year they got me thinking….

Before Rihanna and Drake paired up,

JLo and JaRule topped the charts together

Before Alicia Keys dazzled us with Jay Z

She dazzled us with the Usher

Before Beyoncé ran the world by herself,

She ran it alongside the ladies of Destiny’s Child

Before three brunette boys stole young girls hearts around the world

Three blonde boys did

Before Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber ruled the ‘pop music’ kingdom, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake owned the throne. Before Lady Gaga went above and beyond (waaay beyond) Madonna did a pretty good job of that herself. Before Niki Minaj wowed us with her antics Lil Kim owned the word ‘outrageous’. Before Willow Smith there was…well…little kids didn’t rap I guess?

Oh how the years pass, and things change…it’s funny how a lot of things actually stay the same!

My interview with Brent Cobb

Up until my college years I hardly gave country music a second thought. It’s funny to think back on that now, because it’s currently such a big part of my life. My sister Meg initially introduced me to it – we used to be obsessed with Faith Hill’s Fireflies album. And then once I started dating Colin I was pretty much forced into liking country music. If I didn’t come around to the country music scene, it definitely wouldn’t have worked out between us, that’s for sure. To be quite honest, Colin hardly knows any other music exists – its country music 24/7 in his life for the most part. In fact, he was the one who introduced me to Josh Turner (who is amazing) and because we went to Josh’s concert last summer (and had a great time!) together we discovered Brent Cobb, one of the most refreshing musicians I have seen in a while.

From the moment he stepped on stage and played his first song we were both hooked. I remember tweeting away and later writing a blog post about how great both Brent and Josh were. You see, when I find something/someone etc. who is so talented – I just want to shout it from the rooftops. I want everyone to like them!

Luckily enough, I got to interview Brent recently. I received Brent’s call promptly at 10am and after picking up the phone and hearing his slow, southern drawl say, “Hello, Colleen?” my heart melted a little. (Sidenote: As an engaged woman I can say this because I’m fairly certain Colin’s heart would have also melted a little. We don’t hear nice southern accents very often). After I picked up, we got right into my many questions so I could learn all about Brent Cobb.

Brent Cobb courtesy of Carnival Music Publishing

CM: So, you just finished up with the Throwdown Tour? How was that?

BC: It was my first big tour and it was with none other than Willie Nelson, so it was like a dream come true. Now, I have to tell you a story if you don’t mind. I was so thrilled to be on the tour – my first big tour with all of these amazing people – I went around asking everyone to sign my tour poster. My girlfriend was at one of the shows so I asked her to take the poster home with her and you’ll never believe what happened. She left my tour poster at the hotel by accident! So now some random person has a really cool tour poster signed by everyone. {laughs}

CM: What was your favorite city to visit?

BC:Pozo, California

CM: When did you know that you wanted to be a singer/songwriter? Was it from a young age, or is it something that just happened over time?

BC: It definitely evolved, but it was from an early age – I remember writing my first song on the way to my grandmother’s house with my little sister on Easter. It was called, ‘The Easter Song’ {laughs}…I used to think I just wanted to write stories and plays – I knew I wanted to be a writer at a very early age. Mark Twain was Samuel Clemens alias and I thought he was so cool. I wanted to come up with a name of my own. My friends decided Brent was short for Brentabus, and then somehow they started calling me Keifus C. Reilly. That was my writer’s name. But anyway, to answer your question, yes, I knew I always wanted to be a writer and over time it evolved into a song writer.

CM: You’re originally from Georgia, from a musical family. How has that affected your career?

BC: In every single way it affected me. Usually families don’t support this career I have – a singer/songwriter – because it seems so far-fetched. But growing up every room had music playing in it, so being from a family like that, I’ve always had everybody’s support. When you have that kind of support system, they sky’s the limit.

CM: Who taught you how to play the guitar?

BC: My daddy would teach me a cord a week. He’d show me the D cord and told me to work on that for a week. Then we’d come back in a week and he’d show me another. I don’t know anything too fancy. I don’t know…it’s definitely a blessing. It’s one of the few things that have really come naturally to me.

CM: Who are your biggest musical influences?

BC: All of my family members – my mama’s brothers and my daddy and his brothers. Every song I heard growing up, I just thought that they wrote it. My mama and her brothers are from Cleveland oh and they would play Zeppelin songs and “Harvest Moon” and “Black Bird”. And my daddy loved doo wop, and then his brothers would play old country songs. All these styles of music helped me to create my own sound, do my own thing.

CM: Who are your favorite musicians now?

BC: They are all still my favorite musicians {his family members}. But to be honest, you know what I’ve been listening to on my iPod for the last month? Eminem’s album Recovery – that is all I’ve listened to. Some of it is really crude, but the way he tells how he really feels is so inspiring to me.

CM: You’re currently in Nashville, right?Nashville is my #1 place I want to visit right now. When I finally get to visit Nashville what will I have to do, see eat, listen to, visit, etc. while I’m there?

BC: Yea, I’m based out of Nashville – I’ve been here for 4 years now. For places to eat, there’s no doubt about it – when you get here you have to go to Swett. It was opened in 1950 I think. It is the best southern food you’ll ever have in your life, unless you’ve been to my mama’s house. Yea it’s the best, Swett, so write that down. As for music, Robert’s Western World, they have really good country music in there. Pretty standard country music.

CM: You did a little stint in LA also, right? I can imagine LA was extremely different from Georgia and Nashville. What did you love (if anything)? Hate? Was it a good experience?

BC: It was a love/hate relationship. I am so grateful that I went to LA first before Nashville. I don’t know what its like to try and be a pop star and create pop music in LA, or to be an aspiring actor in LA. But I know what its like to try to make country music. And because there’s not much country music out there, I felt like I could create the scene. I liked the musical freedom there. The people – not so much. I’d walk into places with my southern accent and I honestly felt discriminated against.

CM: Back to the music – what was recording your first album (No Place Left to Leave) like? It’s amazing by the way.

BC: It was kind of like a movie. I had a great aunt who passed away. I was 18 – I was a pallbearer at her funeral –  and we heard that one of my cousins, who was a producer out in LA who worked with Shooter Jennings (and I was a big Shooter Jennings fan at the time – still am actually) was coming to the funeral, so my dad said I should give him my acoustic demo. I was embarrassed and didn’t want to do that, so my family gave my LA cousin my demo cd without me knowing it. My cousin, he brought my cd into the studio and said “tell me if I’m crazy or not”, then played it for Shooter. He said, “No, you’re not crazy…get that kid out here.” I remember getting the call – I had just got home from work and got a call from my LA producer cousin Dave who was with Shooter Jennings. They told me they wanted to fly me out to LA to record. A week or two later, I flew out for a week, recorded a couple of songs – and then flew back and forth…And at that time Shooter was recording his second album with his band and they were really living the life – it was crazy. Have you ever seen the movie Almost Famous? I felt like that journalist in the movie hanging out with the band. Dreams do come true, don’t you forget that Colleen.

CM: What is your favorite song to perform?

BC: It kind of depends, if I had just wrote a new song I’m usually so excited to play that. That usually fires me up. Roger Miller – back in the 60s – sang “I’ve Been A Long Time Leavin’ (But I’ll Be A Long Time Gone)”…I do Waylon Jennings version of that.  Also, Marshall Tuckers “Fire On The Mountain”.

CM: My fiancé and I saw you at the South Shore Music Circus last year with Josh Turner – it was a great show and we were so happy to have heard you play! Josh Turner seems awesome – how to you like being on the road with him?

BC: I really like it. Were not sharing a bus or anything, but we’re playing the shows together. He’s such a nice guy, you can tell he’s a guy you can look up to. He’s just a really good guy. And his wife plays in the band which is really cool!

CM: If you could only choose one, what would it be – performing or song writing?

BC: Right now I’m in limbo. This was the first big tour I did – 6 weeks, which is a long time to be on the road. It was awesome. Years ago, I never planned on leaving Georgia – I used to think I’d have a normal job with a wife and kids. I have such a great family and I’ve always wanted that for myself. But I love being on stage and sometimes I forget about those dreams. But I still have plenty of time to do that. It worries me sometimes that I’m going to miss out on that. If I could have two top 20 songs, and then just retire as a performer and only be a song writer that would be perfect.

CM: You mentioned your girlfriend. Is it hard dating someone while you’re on tour for song long?

BC: She lives and works in Georgia. She’s a pharmacist – she’s working on her own career and her own life and I’m doing the same. I miss her every day. We’ve been together since before all of this started. She’s a great woman and I try and be a great man for her, and hopefully we can stick through it. Sometimes the wait is worth it ya know?

CM: Who is your dream musician to collaborate with?

BC: Dead? Roger Miller. He’s passed. He’s one of my all time favorites in country music. Best song writer, best singer, best in the studio. Everything was his idea. I don’t know if that’s true, but id like to believe it’s true. And alive? Mumford and Sons would be really cool. And Eminem!

CM: What do you want people to know about you?

BC: Musically? I have a hard time sitting down to write a song that isn’t real to me – something that I didn’t personally experience. So I want people to know I’m real.

CM: Ok, time for a game of favorites! Favorite…

Beer? Coors Light. Or Blue Moon with an orange in it.

Song? My absolute favorite song is by Austin Lucas, from Indiana, if you haven’t heard of him, look him up. “Sun or Snow” is a song about how he’s holding a grudge against his best friend – he misses his friend’s wedding, his first-born child. Then his friend dies, and he’s missed all this. Its just such a powerful song, I haven’t hard a song that’s made me tear up since I was like 13, till this one. I don’t know why but that day in San Diego I really listened to that song and it just overwhelmed me.

Food? Mexican pizza from Taco Bell – that’s if I’m so hungry and I’ve got to eat right then. I really enjoy fried pork chops.

Movie? Cool Hand Luke

Candy? Snickers bar I guess, I don’t really eat too many sweets.

Place to visit? Home {Ellaville, Georgia}.

Book? The complete short stories of Mark Twain. I think Mark Twain is awesome.

Place to hang out? Back home, my great granddaddy he bought a hundred acres of land in South  Georgia– he had bought it for $1 an acre – all my life, we always had our shindigs there, its right in the middle of the woods.

Brent seems like one of the nicest guys ever, and he’s also an extremely talented musician. I hope you’ll check out his music (my favorite song is called “I’ve Been Known”!) as well as his Facebook/Twitter pages, and who knows? Maybe even his concert this Saturday night?! I’ll be there so be sure to say hi. :)

Movies & Music

I love movies, I love music and I love lists. So, here is a top ten list of some amazing songs from some movies: (Without repeating any from the last music list…)

1. “Joy to the World” Three Dog Night, from The Big Chill

2. “Jump Around” House of Pain, from Mrs. Doubtfire

3.  Both of these count as 1 entry – “Oh Maria” and “Joyful, Joyful” from Sister Act 1 & 2

4. “Loverboy” Silvia & Mickey, from Dirty Dancing

5. “Jump in the Line [Shake Senora]” Harry Belafonte, Beetlejuice

6. “You’re My Best Friend” Queen, The Breakup

7. “Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta” Geto Boys, from Office Space

8. “Twist and Shout” The Beatles, from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

9. “The Babysitting Blues” Elizabeth Shue, from Adventures in Babysitting

10. “Blinded by the Light” Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, from Blow

There are a million other great ones. I keep thinking of more, but I’ll control myself and keep it to 10.

What’s one song you love & every time you hear it, it reminds you of a certain movie?

Don’t worry, be happy

In order to be happy -

  • Don’t wear makeup if you don’t feel like wearing makeup.
  • Have 2 cookies, not just 1.
  • Blast some music and dance around your room like a crazy person.
  • Take a bubble bath.
  • Go for a run on a nice, sunny day instead of being inside at the gym.
  • Listen to calming music as you fall asleep (make a solid ‘bedtime’ playlist.)
  • Listen to your iPod when you’re out on a walk, or while you’re walking to work, and pretend you’re in a movie and the music you’re listening to is the soundtrack. It’s fun.
  • Go to a local coffee shop by yourself with a good book and just relax (read the book too.)
  • Smile at the person that annoys you at work.
  • Laugh at yourself (instead of bullying yourself) when you do something stupid.
  • Send a card to someone you miss, just to say hello.
  • Wear your old, ratty PJs to bed. Hey, if they’re comfortable who really cares?
  • Let a dog lick your face.
  • Buy scratch off tickets once in a while.
  • Fall asleep on the train.
  • Take a vacation.
  • Try something new, put yourself out there, take a chance.
  • Make up a phrase you can say in order to calm yourself down and turn sadness, anxiety, frustration, etc. into positivity.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Have faith in something, especially yourself.

Today was another long, busy busy busy day. TGIF (tomorrow!) Goodnight :)