Mundane Monday Morning Music: Adele – “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”

Hey Readers!

It’s finally Victoria Day here in the nation’s capital. The family and I have had an amazing long weekend so far. we spent a lot of time in our backyard, and my other half build a table in about 45 minutes for us to dine on Saturday night in our backyard oasis (there nothing this guy can do)!

As I was thinking about what I would share for today’s MMMM pick, this was the criteria I was looking for:

  • British (you know, since it’s the Queen’s b-day we’re suppose to be celebrating)
  • a little more mellow, but with a bit of a kick
  • is inspiring or fun.

I was totally (sorry, but this word needed to be used here :P) going to choose something different, but after waking up and checking out my Facebook feed, I knew I had to share this song instead: Adele’s “Send My Love.”

Oh, Readers! LOVE, love, love, love this song! It continues to let me know that some people may think that some of my decisions may have been unconventional, that it was the right one, and I am better for it, because I should have made is much sooner.

Here are Adele’s lyrics that resonate with me the most:

“I was too strong you were trembling
You couldn’t handle the hot heat rising
Rising…
Baby I’m so rising
I was running, you were walking
You couldn’t keep up, you were falling down
Down…
Mmm there’s only one way down…”

I was just getting better and felt that I was being held back by someone that was too comfortable where they were. I wanted to soar, yet was being anchored. It was time to go, so I did.

This song is about realizing how to let go of the past and forgiving what has happened. This is something I still need some work on, but Adele is helping in this department (thanks, Adele!).

“Send My Love” also hits my criteria for today’s pick. British? Check! More mellow? Check. Inspiring or fun? Checkaroo!  Though I was looking for something more fun, the inspiring factor of this song won out, and it’s Adele for crying out loud! She gets my vote today!

I hope that “Send My Love” can help to inspire you to become better on this gorgeous and not so mundane Victoria Day Monday morning!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese

Mundane Monday Morning Music: Des’ree – “You Gotta Be”

 

Mornin’ Readers!

A bit (which means a lot) of inspiration is the order  of the day today. It was an interesting weekend that made me process a lot of things, making me push all of the things on my “to-do list” to today.

I am so happy I have this week’s MMMM pick to give me some guidance and a much needed pick-me-up to my spirit. I’ve selected Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be” to get me back on track for the day and for the week. This song always pops into my life when I need it. It has always given me the strength to accomplish what I needed to do, face up to my fears, and has given me the push to always strive to be better than I was yesterday.

Check out the first verse to see what I mean. It is some of the best advice I have ever heard:

“Listen as your day unfolds, challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears, stand up and be counted
Don’t be ashamed to cry”

This song is like that friend who is always with me in my darkest hours. When it finds me, I am able to breathe again. Almost 20 years later, “You Gotta Be”is still relevant, and is such a great song I have on the soundtrack of my life. I am forever grateful that this song exists.

I hope that “You Gotta Be” gives you the push you need to get up and slay any dragons this mundane Monday morning may put in your path.

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese

Mundane Monday Morning Music: Janelle Monae – “Tightrobe”

Hey Readers!

Spring is here! The sun is out, the snow is almost gone, and life is back to normal since March Break is over. I then took a look at my To-Do List, and saw the mountain of tasks I have to accomplish this week.  ***insert cringing face here***

Inspiration, motivation and funk were definitely needed for a day like today! After a bit of a search this morning, I found all of these traits in Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope.” This song is all about keeping your balance in life no matter what is happening and to focus on you, not world around you. It helped me assess my goals for the day and to make me feel better about me.”Tightrope” has a powerful message combined with an awesome and funky beat. How can you not love this song?

Hopefully, you are able to find balance in your world and to have fun while listening to my MMMM pick “Tightrope” on this mundane Monday morning.

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese

Universal Children’s Day, 2013: A Day to Cherish Children

Hey Readers!

Many countries around the world today are celebrating Children’s Day, a day to honor children globally.  On November 20, 1959, it was proclaimed by the The United Nations General Assembly that a day be set aside to encourage countries around the world to have children engage in celebrating the lives of children globally, as well as to bring awareness to and to promote the well being of children around the world.

This is why I love a day like today.  It is suppose to take the focus off of troubles adults are causing, and focusing on trying to make the world a little bit better for the children we are bringing into it.  I am in awe of Canadians like Romeo Dallaire, and  organizations like Plan Canada’s Because I Am A Girl, who are looking out for the welfare of children around the world.

I also must tip my hat to organizations within my own community that are trying to make the lives of children better, as well.  I was lucky enough to have attended a function last night put on by the The Fund for a New Generation (FNG), an not-for-profit organization that supports underprivileged youth within the city of Ottawa.   FNG hosts the Ottawa Gala, an annual event which helps to raise money to be put towards charities that support youth within Ottawa.

The function last night was to thank the sponsors of the Gala last year, as well as to present the charities chosen to be funded by FNG for 2013 with their donations.  I was so happy to have volunteered for this year’s event, and I am excited to be a part of the planning committee for the 2014 Gala!  My eldest goes to school with some of the children who are supported by children who are funded by FNG, so I felt I should give my time to an organization that helps them.

I wanted to add Janet Jackson’s  Livin’ in a World (They Didn’t Make) to my list of favourite Janet Jackson songs, but then I decided against it.  I felt I should keep it for a day like today when the lives and well-being of children are the focus.  I know, it’s a sad song, but it also focuses on what some adults are doing to harm children instead of nurture them.  It’s not the video, but her song with a gallery of pictures put together by ZELLDARAYS on Youtube (thanks!).

I’m giving my little ones eve more hugs today because of how lucky I feel to have them, as well as to guide them to want to give back to those kids who are not as lucky to be as fortunate as they are.

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

Related Article/Links:

Umer Farooq (The Express Tribune with the International New York Times) – Universal Children’s Day: Activists to hold Awareness programs, gathering today – http://tribune.com.pk/story/634102/universal-childrens-day-activists-to-hold-awareness-programmes-gatherings-today/

UN General Assembly – Declaration of the Rights of the Child http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/1386%20%28XIV%29

United Nations  Universal Children’s Day – November 20- http://www.un.org/en/events/childrenday/

Profile: Kendall Rumsey – The Pen Behind Notes From A Southern Kitchen

Hey, Readers!

I have finally returned back to one of my favourite features on Reese Speaks – Profiles!  I love getting to know the people who influence and amaze me in different parts of my life, and pick their brains about what who they are and they’re like.  I also like sharing these people with you Readers, so you can see why I think these people are so fabulous, and then check them out for yourself as well!

This Profile features Kendall Rumsey, a southern American gentleman with a genuine opinion on various topics.  Kendall is also the voice behind the insightful Notes From A Southern Kitchen, a blog where he shares his views in areas such as entertainment, music, politics, and  touching tidbits from his personal life.  This has to be one of my favourite pics of Kendall! Sky diving is one of the things I have on my bucket list, which Kendall has already accomplished.

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Unfortunately, I was not able to have a sit-down conversation with Kendall for this Profile, since we live many kilometres (or miles) apart, but we corresponded for this feature electronically.  I asked Kendall just a few of the thousands of questions I had for this Profile, as I could spend all day picking his brain about himself and his blog!

‘Notes from a Southern Kitchen’ –  how did you come up with the title of your blog?
Notes from a Southern Kitchen just sort of happened.  I am obviously southern and in the south we often gather in the kitchen for conversation.  When I decided to write the blog I wanted it to be conversational and thought what better place than in the kitchen, so Notes from a Southern Kitchen was born.

What inspired you to become a blogger?

My mom was ill and her illness had started taking away a lot of memories from my childhood and our young family.  I started the blog on blogger.com simply as stories about my family.  My mother loved the stories and it helped her remember, the more she enjoyed it the more I wrote.  When my mom died I stopped writing for almost a year, it was just too painful, when I brought the blog back I switched to WordPress and wrote more about what interested me in the present day and included some family and life stories.

Which of your features on Notes is your favourite and why?
I have several features don’t I?  Each one serves a different purpose and I like each one for different reasons……
Life’s Playlist because I think music is the most powerful force in the world.  I have very eclectic musical tastes and like to start my day with a song.
Words to Live By helps keep me grounded and in the right headspace each day.
Short Notes is a way for me to recap the day and gives me small tidbit comments on things that aren’t worth a whole post but worthy of a mention.
Tuesday 10, I LOVE the Tuesday 10 because it allows me to learn about the people I enjoy reading and who influence my life.  I worked on those 10 Questions for weeks trying to come up with something that would give insight into the people I am “interviewing.”  I still like the list I came up with, except for 1 of the questions (and I won’t tell you which one it is.)   I am considering 10 new Questions for 2014, but haven’t decided if I am going to do that or not.
With ALL those features, my favorite is Friday’s Hero.  I love finding the stories of the regular guy who did something inspiring like TJ Smith who sings in his car as he drives along the freeway just putting a smile on people’s faces, Joey Prusak a Dairy Queen worker who did the right thing when he saw one of his customers being mistreated or the people who made Talia’s Bucket List come true.  Then there are sometimes politicians and media figures, entertainers and the like who do good stuff that I like to highlight as well.  Friday’s Hero is my baby, it makes me feel good to publish the feel good stories.

What is the best thing that has happened you you since beginning your blog?

Without a doubt the memories and joy my mom received was number one, however the next best thing was,  blogging rekindled my love of writing.

Do you see Notes becoming bigger than it already it is in the future? Where would you like for Notes to go? 

I would love to grow Notes but don’t know if that is possible with my regular work schedule.  I want to keep it positive and hopefully inspiring for others.  As time allows I want to tell more life stories on the blog because I enjoy writing them and people seem to enjoy reading them.  Ideally I would love to see some of my features picked up by other sources.  Overall I am happy with where the blog is and where it continues to evolve, but would I like more readers, comments and support… yes I would!  : )

Who inspires you?

People who are generous, not necessarily just with money, but with their time and talents too.  People who are generous with their words, people who know that a simple act of generosity can change someone’s life in ways that are unimaginable.  People who generously give and raise people up are the people who inspire me.

What do you want your readers to take away from your blog?

What I hope people take away from the blog is really all over the board…..  I want them to take a bit of happiness and that is why I feel like the Playlist and Words to Live By are so important.  With the Tuesday 10, I want to break down some of the walls of this mysterious blogosphere and let us learn about each other and with the Hero I want to inspire.  I have tried to make the blog a place that makes you feel better about the world after spending a few minutes here…..  and then I get on one of my political soapboxes and blow that all to hell!  LOL

I hope you can now see why Notes From a Southern Kitchen is my go-to blog every morning!  Kendall is a fabulous person who shares what interests him in his own unique fashion.  It’s a breath of fresh air every time I pop into his blog.  Hopefully, you were also able to see who he is, and what inspires him to do what he does so well.  He is kind, generous and honest.  I have learned a lot from what Kendall does with his blog.  Thank you, Kendall, for taking the time to help both myself, and my blog!  You’re awesome!

If you Readers want to check out Notes From a Southern Kitchen, here are links to his sites:

WordPress – wordpress.com/notesfromasouthernkitchen

Facebook – facebook.com/NotesfromaSouthernKitchen

Twitter – twitter.com/NotesbyKendall

Instagram – instagram.com/notesfromasouthernkitchen

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

This Inspires Me – An Interpretive Dance For My Boss Set To Kanye West’s Gone

Hey Readers!

I HAD to share this video because of what this young lady did. Marina Shifrin quit her job because she put her life into a job that just didn’t give back. So she let her boss know how she felt by creating this video and quitting!

I admire this woman for her guts, to let her feelings about her job be known in this way, and for leaving a job into the unknown. After this video went viral in just a few days, Queen Latifah brought Marina onto her show and asked Marina if she wanted to work for her show! S

See, Readers, Marina is a example of people who took a chance and believed that there was something better out there. It may not happen so quickly for everyone, but you have to believe you are better than others perceive you to be, and to know when it is time to leave something or someone that was keeping you back.  In my opinion, taking a chance, knowing when to leave a situation that’s not making you happy, is what’s needed to make your life better.

Thanks, Marina and Queen Latifah for bringing this to my attention, and for giving me, and many others the inspiration to take chances!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

2012 Olympic Games: What Inspired Me

Hey Readers!

This post a bit off of my usual beaten path, but I have been meaning to do this one for a while now.  For those of you that didn’t know this about me, I’m a HUGE Olympics fanatic.  Let’s just say that I probably missed, literally, about three hours of live coverage due to passing out.  I got this obsession from my mom (thanks, Mom!).  From the opening ceremonies to those that concluded them, there is just something that just draws me to them.  These Olympic Games were probably the most memorable for me because of the impact it had on me, not just because they have just ended.  Why did it leave such an impression on me?  Well, Readers, it was because of the shift that, in my opinion, these Games have taken over many others Summer Games in the past.  What’s this shift am I talking about?  For me, it is the way that women have become more of a focus during these two weeks of competition than they have before:  from their triumphs to their disappointments, and everything in between, I was captivated and moved by what these women have done.

The first stories that caught my attention was those of Aya Medany, a modern pentathlon competitor from Egypt, and Wodjan Shaherkan, a judo competitor from Saudi Arabia.  What caught my attention to these woman and her stories?  It was the hurdles they both had to face where they had to choose between their faith and customs versus the love of their sport.  They each had to confront their respective governing sport authorities in order to request the right to abide by the customs of their Muslim faith and to cover themselves appropriately.    Medany wanted to wear a swimsuit that fully covered her body, and  Shaherkan wanted to wear a headscarf as a part of her uniform.  Medany was denied her request, while Shaherkan was granted hers.  Medany, after a lot of deliberation,  decided to compete, abiding by the ruling handed down to her.  She was a medal hope for her country, but she placed 16th in her event.  Shaherkan was one of the first women from her country permitted to compete at the Olympics.  Her match was short, and she was defeated easily,  but Shaherkan competing was victory enough.  I was so proud of both of them.  Their stories made me more aware of women in their position.  It made me think how hard it would be if I was having to juggle my faith with my love of my sport, then to have to also deal with the media, as well as the views and opinions of those who didn’t agree with them competing as they did.  I wasn’t  sure what would have done in their position.  Maybe this will also make these athletic governing bodies see that more women would be able to compete at the Olympics if some concessions, or agreements were made so having to choose between their faith and their sport wouldn’t have to be such a hardship.  I know, there is also the question of how fair it would be to those who didn’t have to make this choice, but it would be great to see even more countries represented at the Games.   Maybe this is a stepping stone in order to see this happen.

Now, I’m moving on to the story where the Olympics were not so kind to the competitors, but were able to move me.  The story that I had to mention has to be that of Canada’s Paula Findlay.  Her Olympics started off with a lot of promise, coming into these Games as one of the favourites in the Women’s Triathlon, but instead, they ended in sorrow.  After the first of three events making up the triathlon, Findlay was at the back of the pack, suffering from a recurring injury.  It was during the running portion of the event where Findlay was ready to throw in the towel.  Her doctor on the course advised her to push on and finish the race because she would feel better about herself if she did.  Findlay took his advice, and did finish.  I watched as she as she crossed the finish line covered with dirt and her tears.  She was also apologizing to her family, her coaches, and to Canada for her performance.  I literally had tears in my eyes at this moment.  I didn’t want her to feel bad for what she had just accomplished.  I was upset because she was upset with herself, when I was proud of her for finishing the event, ready to yell at any of the commentators who would dare say any negative about her.  Findlay exemplified the other side of the Olympic spirit, never giving up.  It was good to see.
Now on to an inspiring story of triumph at these Games.  For me, it was of Mariana Pajon of Colombia.  She competed in the Women’s BMX Biking.  Since I was unfamiliar with the world of BMX biking, I just chose to root for Pajon.  She just seemed so happy to be there.  I’m glad I did.  From the semifinal heats to the finals, she dominated every race.  Pajon leaped out of the starting gates ahead of her competitors and never looked back.  As she crosseed the finish line of the gold medal race, she didn’t even look tired!  It was as though she had even more in her tank to race some more.  Pajon was elated after wining the gold medal.  I was jumping off my couch, cheering for her.   It was her country’s second medal ever at the Summer games. It was great to see someone who has been training so hard, biking since the age of three, achieve their Olympic dream.  Congrats Mariana!

So, Readers, this is how these Olympic Games inspired me.  The experiences these women had, win or loose, forced me to think of what I would do in their position.  They brought back memories of my love of sports.  They also pushed me to focus on being more driven on achieving my goals for my future. These ladies also made me want to cheer and cry for complete strangers that I would have never known about if I hadn’t watched the Games, and encouraged me want to learn more about their stories behind making it to the Olympics.  Finally, these women made these Olympic Games even more memorable than just the highlights and scandals the networks featured over and over again.  Thank you, ladies, for making the 2012 Olympic Games one of the most memorable and inspiring I have ever followed.

Below are some links you can go to look into these stories and to find out a bit more about these ladies:

http://deadspin.com/5923761/olympics-field-guide-aya-medany-the-only-olympic-athlete-in-a-hijab (Aya Medany)

http://www.thenewstribe.com/2012/08/01/saudi-judo-athlete-gets-a-green-signal/#.UDzXKqAoorc (Wodjan Shaherkan )

http://www.thestar.com/sports/london2012/triathlon/article/1237109–london-2012-canada-s-paula-findlay-struggles-through-injury-in-triathlon-finishes-last (Paula Findlay)

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pajon-wins-gold-oquendo-wins-045942405–oly.html (Mariana Pajon)

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.