Wedding congrats — Kim & Vaston

Every now and then, a couple comes along that you look at and go, “Of course! They’re perfect together!” A total match  made in heaven.

Today, I got to watch such a match exchange their vows and become husband and wife. I could NOT be happier for them both, and I am so thankful I got to be there and witness the beautiful event.

Kim and Vaston, we wish you the best… on this day and every day there is to come. Life will have its hard moments. Life will have its magical moments. The rough ones will be easier together, and the magic will be brighter shared with your spouse. You will get advice from every side today, and if I can interject my piece of advice it would be simply to love one another without hesitation and to remind each other of that love every single day.

Congratulations!!

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A little music pondering

I remember as a kid, looking forward to the CMA’s every year. I guess before the days of internet, it was the only time you got to see your favorite country artists other than in a magazine. I was amazed and enamored year after year.

Today? Today an awards show makes me hold my breath. Will it be good? Will I be upset?Are they going to shine a good light on the industry?

Granted a big part of that is being as close to the industry as I am today. But a bigger part is the fact that in my heart I am still a big fan, and I just want to see the industry flourish… not fail.

Last night’s CMAs…

Well…

On a whole, I truly enjoyed it. It had its moments where I walked out of the room on a performance that just didn’t answer me. I (not literally) threw things at the TV when I disagreed with a winner. But seriously, in general, I enjoyed it and it showed me glimmers of the great music and the class of award shows of old. (In my opinion, it was one of the better awards shows in the last few years!)

But. Tonight, it really made me sit back and look at the landscape of country music today. One of the things I love about country music is how broad and open it is. One of the things I hate is how hard people push the invisible lines of the genre within that. If country is so open, why do we turn our noses up at people who explore the boundaries of the genre? But in the same breath, why can’t people keep at least a toe in the water of traditional country as they push those boundaries? (And I don’t mean, “Oh let me mention a pickup truck and a back road and that makes it country.”)

Can we ever really find that happy medium and stay there?

Not without getting stagnate.

As much as I shake my fist at artists pushing the envelope (or flat out not playing country, in my opinion), I also have to recognize that they are testing the waters and helping the landscape change with the times… and maybe they’re going to find people pushing back! Or maybe they’re going to draw new fans into the fold who will finally give our more classic country artists a chance for the very first time. Time will tell. This phenomenon has happened in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

Sometimes you have to give a little to get a little.

Right now, I hear more and more songs with substance that makes my country music loving heart happy, but I also hear more and more songs with little substance and too much distorted electric guitar set on 10. (I love me a great rock song, just not on a country station.) But, you know what? I’m willing to let those rock songs go in hopes that those rockers truly do respect that classics as they claim to respect. And maybe, just maybe, the heart of country will continue to beat just as strong.

#DrinkUpLinkUp — 360 Buttered Popcorn Vodka

Trick or treat!!!

We heard that several times last night, as a parade of ninjas, princesses, police men, and zombies came to our door for candy. I didn’t expect to hear it in my head when my husband came home from the liquor store.

We planned to go to a Halloween party, and we wanted to take some spirits with us. So I told my husband, “Surprise me,” when he headed to pick up a bottle. When he came home, he had this in his bag:

 Buttered Popcorn Vodka

What? Buttered popcorn vodka? Who makes such a thing!? 360 Vodka does. I’d been eying their brand for awhile, because I was enamored with their bottles. Yes. You read that right. I was all about their bottles.

 Buttered Popcorn Vodka

We didn’t make it to the party. We were just too lazy were busy getting the house ready for house guests arriving tomorrow. So, I ended up experimenting with it. I searched 360 website for recipes, and then I tinkered with my own spin on those recipes.

My first creation was a shot.

2/3 Buttered Popcorn Vodka
1/3 Carmel Syrup (find it in the coffee aisle)

Shake over ice. Strain into a salt-rimmed shot glass.

Buttered Popcorn Vodka

One word: YUM!

Its a very sweet shot, which is where the salted rim is important to helping cut the sweet. Not only is the carmel syrup sweet, but turns out the vodka itself is, too. THAT comes as a surprise when you’re thinking about salty butter popcorn, but that’s also what helps make this quirky vodka flavor work.

My next try was to take the same concoction (sans salt rim) and use cola as a mixer.

 Buttered Popcorn Vodka

Have you ever taken a bite of popcorn, and then quickly taken a drink of cola… letting the popcorn just kind of dissolve in your mouth? It tastes kinda like that. Only sweeter. And you don’t taste the buttered popcorn so much as you smell it, which is actually a lot of fun!

I eventually made a mix of just the vodka and cola, which allowed the popcorn scent to come through even more, and you get that popcorn taste in the end as a bit of aftertaste. Its just… a fun vodka! I don’t know that I’d pick it up for every-day consumption. But for Halloween? Or perhaps a movie night with the girls? DEFINITELY. It’s quirky. It’s fun. It’s a conversation starter. Trick AND treat!

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The wife of a touring musician tells it like she sees it…

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