Friday, June 23, 2017

Some gratitudes and a sneak preview of 8-year-old me video.

Shocker, but now that I have a new album finished and shrink-wrapped, I am feeling better all-round. It's solstice week, which always cheers me up, even when I have to put myself to bed at 7pm because wee Angus has been whimpering every 30 minutes from (I think) a tooth that just won't poke through.

More things I'm thankful for:

1) My sister-in-law, who is in the basement. Her presence both gives me another adult to talk to while David is traveling, but also is teaching me what it's like to have a sibling. I know how to share, but conflict-resolution has never been my strong game. Also, I tend to assume that one disagreement means we hate each other forever. I'm learning that siblings don't operate that way -- that it's possible to have a spat and then play Lego ten minutes later like nothing happened.

2) Instacart. You guys -- I get my groceries delivered. It's not quite as simple as the perfect Waitrose delivery service we had in Scotland, but it saved me mental anguish and trip to the store with two kiddos. Combining Instacart with Fresh20 is keeping me sane. I also had a promo code HELLOLOU that did something, but I'm not sure what.

3) Health, happy babies. My kids, you all. They don't sleep. They wake up with the sun. But oh my goodness, are they wonderful, smart, and empathetic. Wee Angus got shots today (you see, it's possible to have a home birth, but still like vaccinations), and Graham held his hands and snuggled him the whole time. Siblings -- who knew??

Also, I dug out a hilariously awful home video of me doing a gymnastics competition when I was 7 or 8. I am SO BAD. I put it on the internet, but it's an unsearchable private link that I will only release to PledgeMusic pledgers when I reach 75%. Pre-order the album, please? I'm at 72%, so I'm hoping to hit my goal by early next week and then stop trying to sell you things. Here's a sneak peak:

Monday, June 19, 2017

New CD available for PRE-ORDER!!!

MY NEW CD IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER! I've got several boxes of nicely shrink-wrapped 12-song albums in my living room, but I can't mail out a single one until I reach my PledgeMusic goal.

Won't you please support an independent musician, a woman-business-owner, a working mother, and someone who generally tries to spread love and smiles in the community? The minute I hit my goal, I'll mail these CDs. So those of you who pre-order it will be the absolute first to get a copy. Thank you so much! And if you can't pledge, please spread the word, or get in touch about hosting a house concert for my summer tour.

Click here:

And don't forget to watch the video for some hilarious outtakes that show how nearly-impossible it is to be a work-at-home-parent. Please also consider "liking" my Facebook page because, believe it or not, those numbers actually help make me look good to venues and media outlets. It's also a wonderful and easy way to spread the word.

Here's the album cover, shot in Amsterdam, and designed by Al Moreschi:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Yoga shorts for the win.

I was absent from yoga for much of May, and my mental health has suffered for it. It wasn't for lack of effort on my part -- it was for lack of childcare. My nanny-type-person (she's not an actual nanny, but we have a good barter thing going on) was gone for a month, and it just is not in the budget to go to a yoga class AND pay a babysitter.

Anyway, my childcare is back, and I went to yoga this morning! And get this -- I went to yoga in YOGA SHORTS, which are now my new favorite thing in the world. It's basically like doing yoga in your underwear, and that's awesome and freeing and sweaty and feels good. I'm over the yoga pants, y'all.

Also, I didn't realize that it was an internet-viral-worthy thing to reveal that you haven't shaved your legs in years, like that fitness blogger who made headlines a few weeks ago. Like, is that how I should have been marketing myself??? Typical me -- timing just always SLIGHTLY off. Can someone out there help me craft a blog or press release that'll go viral that says "musician uses album cover image where she's not wearing any makeup" ?? You know, it'll say have a clickbait article that's, like, "This indie musician is raising eyebrows with her scandalous album cover image" and then the whole thing is SHE'S NOT WEARING MAKEUP OMG OMG OMG HOW CRAZY IS THAT? Any publicists out there want to take that and run with it? I'll even delete this blog if you think it's ruining the effect.

Anyhoo ... check back for an announcement about how to pre-order my new album! It's a fun one.

Monday, June 12, 2017

BIG NEWS! And cover artwork photos.

I've finished my album! YESSSSSSSS! Completely. Artwork, production, shrink-wrap -- it's finished. I'm working my tail off on some fun ways to roll out the release, and I'll have something fun to announce later this week. I know, I know, the slow-release is all the rage these days with albums. You're "supposed" to have product in hand a good six months before you release the thing. I'm supposed to be teasing you with videos and telling you you can't buy product for months and months. But I'm not doing things by the book because I'm Brigid Kaelin, and carpe diem, etc.

Have a look at a bunch of the images that were up for cover artwork, along with the standard promotional photos:

Monday, June 5, 2017

EPCOT Sparkling Dessert Party Review

EPCOT is my favorite part of DisneyWorld. Specifically, the World Showcase is wonderful because it lightly satiates my wanderlust and in time with my attention disorder. I can walk from Mexico to Italy leisurely in ten minutes. We didn't get to spend enough time at the various countries because we were tired and also a ride broke down on us, wasting an hour of our day.

Rather than buying souvenirs for ourselves on this trip, David and I opted to buy an experience. We splurged and bought 2 tickets to the Sparkling Dessert Party. It's normally sold out, but people often give up their reservations the day before rather than pay a change fee. While sitting on the Boardwalk watching the IllumiNations show, I found two tickets to the Dessert Party and bought them (#buyitnow!). They were $49 each, BUT ...

It was an Open Bar of CHAMPAGNE, which has been my go-to drink for the past couple of years (besides gin & tonics -- I know, I know, I have really backed away from the whisky lately) and it was an All You Can Eat Dessert Buffet, made up of one dessert from each of the EPCOT countries. And it was GOOD. I'm sure lots of people did not get their money's worth, but David and I had both been 1) not really drinking much this year and 2) avoiding sweets for a while. We decided to go to town on both (within reason on the alcohol, but not within reason on the dessert). Then we sat there, stuffed, and had a front row place to watch the fireworks.

Angus came along, strapped on David's back and chowing on watermelon because he doesn't yet know that Strawberry Shortcake exists.

It was fantastic, and considering we each had a few glasses of champagne (with various syrup flavors they provided to make 'em extra fancy), which was great for relaxing after a stressful day at Disney, and we used up probably 10 plates worth of desserts. Seriously.

The Strawberry Shortcake from the US was David's favorite.
I liked the little ganache torts from France.
And the chocolate fudge thing that came with vanilla bean ice cream that I think was from the UK.
And the Pretzels and Fondue that we had to pretend we were eating dinner too...
And the cannolis from Italy ... mmmmmmmm.
And it was all-vegetarian, except for the rice-krispie treats.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The cutest thing you've ever seen.

So much to report! I have a date for my CD Release party. More about that later, but mark down July 28 in Louisville. I unplugged for an entire week -- deleted social media off my phone and didn't Instagram a single adorable image from our trip to DisneyWorld last week. I'm slowly creeping back in and have many thoughts on my internet cleanse and its effects (both good and bad). I'm solo parenting hard, and I'm fighting sleep depravation and a need to WORK. But before I write the myriad of Disney blogs I have to share, I feel the need to stop everything and tell you that today is: PRESCHOOL PROM.

Graham's older cousin was in our wedding, and we have the size 4T tuxedo he wore for it. Thus, today, I give you Grahaminatux or THE CUTEST THING EVER:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Family talk in business situations and gender.

I was asked to fill in last night and play a 3-song spot at a bar for a songwriter event. The gig was easy and fun, and though the crowd had no idea who any of us were, it was a good time. I saw some 2am-friends I hadn't seen in years and got some nice hugs from them. I heard music that made me smile, and I wish I'd been able to stay later in the evening to hear more music from other writers. The baby needed my breasts eventually, so I was beckoned home.

Here's something funny I noticed: I have this problem with radical honesty. I can very rarely answer "How are you?" with a "Fine, thanks, you?" I offer TMI and can see people's shock or disengagement right away. And that's in a normal coffeehouse interaction and makes me laugh at myself more than want to change.

Throw that attitude into a business situation -- and though this stage was not The Palace, it was still a stage -- and you get, I think, a bad businesswoman.

While I went out to gig last night, these two
snuggled ... for a short while.
Because I talked about my kids. I realized after answering the question, "What have you been up to?" that I should have said, "Oh, I've been working a lot with Steve Cooley, who's producing a new album for me that's due out in July. I've also been trying to focus on writing and getting new material, as well as planning some upcoming European tours."

See? Not so hard. All of that is true.

What I said instead, however, is, "Oh, I've been playing a lot of private parties because there aren't many venues left in town that pay. Also, my kids don't sleep, so I get in bed at 7:30. The postpartum depression is fading, though, and I see the light now that my youngest is one. My mom's got Stage 4 cancer, so that takes up a lot of headspace, and it's hard to focus. But overall, I'm feeling okay. Been trying to focus on self-care and music, and I'm glad to be playing out tonight."

Then I was mad at myself for not properly doing business.

Then I was mad at the situation because why can't a woman honestly talk about her family in a a business setting? I hear men do it all the time, but it comes across differently.

Dear blog readers, I am finishing a record. I'm setting a hard deadline, and I don't really care if there's not a horn part on it or if the mix isn't perfect. This record is coming out because I need to release it and move on. I've got several more albums I need to finish, and I'm artistically constipated at the moment. It hurts my heart rather than my bowels, but it's just as painful.

See?? TMI again!!!

Still, I suppose my own TMI shouldn't really be dismissed when last night the bartenders were talking about anal waxing to the group next to me. (Seriously, people: your bodies are fine the way they are. Stop torturing yourselves unless you like that sort of thing.)

The lovely and sweet and talented and smart Heidijoy Stenson took this photo last night. Her instagram page has some video of my playing. 

Some gratitudes and a sneak preview of 8-year-old me video.

Shocker, but now that I have a new album finished and shrink-wrapped, I am feeling better all-round. It's solstice week, which alway...