10 Favorite Songs from My Top 10 Favorite Bands

Last August we took a road trip to see “The Great American Solar Eclipse”. During that long car ride, I came up with a game… list your top ten favorite bands in order (as best you can) and then come up with your favorite song by each of them. That’s how you make a “YOU-playlist”. It was super fun, but way hard! I made Dan do it too.

I decided to share what I came up with… even though it could be potentially embarrassing. I have a weird taste in music, much like my taste in movies so… I don’t know what you’ll think of this list. But it’s who I am, so here we go!

#10 “Althea” by The Grateful Dead

althea

I’ve just recently became a dead head and honestly… I am a believer. They are so freaking enjoyable. Really. If you don’t know The Dead are a bluegrass/folk/rock/psychedelic/reggae/whatever-they-feel-like band. They even have a funk song which I also considered for my #10 spot.

I finally decided on “Althea” because I just cannot resist the punch in that beat. OMG. Even my baby loves this song.

 

#9 “Hypnotize” by System of a Down

System_Of_A_Down-Hypnotize

No rhyme or reason, but I just REALLY love System of a Down. They’re weird but they’re also SO GOOD. Every time they come on the radio I have to stop talking and crank up my stereo to unreasonable levels.

I used to listen to this song on my chunky mp3 player in between every class period my senior year of high school. The nostalgia runs deep with this one, my friend.

 

#8 “Dragons” by Caravan Palace

Caravan_Palace

My brother introduced me to “electro swing” and honestly, I’m all about it now.

I especially had to give a shout out to this song because it inspired a dang good book idea.

 

#7 “Somebody to Love Me” by Mark Ronson and the Buisness INTL

mark_ronson_the_business_intl_feat_boy_george_andrew_wyatt-somebody_to_love_me_s

K. When “Uptown Funk” came out I was SO pumped, because I had been riding the Mark Ronson train for almost a decade before he got the appreciation he deserved.

“Somebody to Love Me” isn’t necessarily that impressive of a song. But I fell in love with it for what it was. I listened to it constantly on repeat the summer of 2011 and so now I associate it with some of those good memories that I have of that time.

 

#6 “Made in Chernobyl” (except like the whole darn album) by Viza

vizamic

Viza is one of the most underrated bands. They’re really fun and unique but no one knows who they are.

Anyways, I love this dang album. For similar reasons to #8… I came up with one of my all time favorite book idea solely listening to this album.

 

#5 “Walcott” by Vampire Weekend

walcott

I adore Vampire Weekend and I don’t care what you say. I’m a poser indie hipster and I’m totally fine with it.

Every time I hear “Walcott” my heart melts. Something about it is so cheerful and I can’t not smile listening to it!

 

#4 “Hey Jude” by The Beatles

Hey_Jude_-_The_Beatles_(1982_reissue)

And you thought Vampire Weekend was bad? Ha! I know there are people who think that The Beatles are overrated and over-hyped. But I don’t care. I just genuinely really enjoy their music.

In fact, it was nearly impossible to pick just one Beatles song. Like, really? How do you even have a favorite!? I was really tempted to do something under the radar like Lennon’s “You Can’t Do That” or something like that. But in the end… “Hey Jude” has gotten me through some really rough times. And the story behind the lyrics, I don’t know… I find this song really meaningful.

 

#3 “Where Have You Been” (the live version) by Reel Big Fish

Reel_Big_Fish_-_Our_Live_Album_Is_Better_than_Your_Live_Album_cover

I had to give a shout out to my passionate and brief love affair with ska music.

I bought the whole live album JUST for the version of this song. It’s super cool. And the break down! #earmassage

 

#2 “Hong Kong” by The Gorillaz

gorillaz___hong_kong_by_resa

I love the Gorillaz so much it’s not even funny.

I used to play this song every day that I would walk home from the bus stop. I felt like it was my own personal soundtrack. When I was serving an LDS mision and we weren’t allowed to listen to pop music… I cried. I actually shed tears over this song. That’s how close I am with this song.

 

#1 “Fearless” by Pink Floyd

PINK_FLOYD_FEARLESS_USA_DJ_7

I love everything about this song. I love the music composition. I love the lyrics. I love this band. I love the meaning. I love the crowd vocals at the end. This is my heart song. This song is me. It HAD to be number one on my “me-playlist”.

 

What’s your list? Write it down it the comment section!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

In case you couldn’t already tell, I have a love affair with pasta. Pasta is so great. I got this recipe from this blog here. http://www.craftymorning.com/chicken-bacon-ranch-pasta-recipe/  I was just too lazy for that recipe, so I made a quicker and easier version…

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound of pasta (penne or rotini)

2 diced chicken breasts

1 package of bacon bits

1 packet of ranch dressing mix

2 cups of milk

1 cup of cheddar cheese

2 tbsp of flour

 

DIRECTIONS:

Start cooking your pasta. In a skillet cook your chicken until no longer pink, (if you are as gross and lazy as me you can use a can of chicken of cooked chicken and skip this step). Add the ranch dressing, flour and 2 cups of milk to the chicken. Stir until thick. Add cheese and half of your bacon bits. Stir until melted. Combine with pasta. Garnish with extra bacon bits if desired.

 

My husband and one-year-old LOVE this recipe.

 

Writing Update

Can’t talk now. NaNoWriMo.

nano_logo-830912ef5e38104709bcc38f44d20a0d

“The Other Five Percent”:

Total word goal: 55,000 – 70,000

Word goal for November: 50,000

 

Words written so far: 37,723!!

 

Guys! I am killing it! At this rate I will definitely be finishing the first draft before December. This has been even way more fun than I thought!

 

See my stats here: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/val-manwill/novels/the-other-five-percent/stats 

See what my book is about here: The Other Five Percent

 

The thing that happened on my wedding day…

I was honestly NEVER going to tell anyone this story. Seriously. I’m blushing just thinking about typing this one. But it’s a pretty funny story and my husband said it was okay, so…

*cringing so hard*

Here it is…

uguysawkward

We had our ceremony in one city and then our open house reception in another. We planned for time to take pictures after the wedding and go right to the reception, but the shoot ended up being super quick! We had like an hour or so before the next set of pictures at the reception.

We had no clue what to do. Bum around town in our gown and tux? Go to the reception place and take a nap? Finally I was like, look… this is the most romantic day of our lives. And we have an hour to ourselves! We should do something totally spontaneous that we can say we did on our wedding day.

So we decided to drive up a random canyon to an overlook.

the overlook
This one.

It was a surprisingly crowded day at this overlook so we parked on a little spot of gravel on the other side of the lot. We took some pictures and talked about how cool it is being married now. It was so sweet and romantic… too romantic actually. We started making out.

At some point during the M.O.S. I completely moved over to Daniel’s seat… I was WAY into it. But c’mon! Wedding day! There was this really loud constant noise but I was a bride and in love and didn’t pay any attention to it. Finally after a good solid minute of this loud noise we stop kissing. “Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep” What is that?

084

That’s when it occurred to me that I was SITTING ON THE HORN OF THE STEERING WHEEL.

oh my gosh.

And there were tons of people there too. IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. Beep! Don’t mind us. Just a bride and groom mauling each other over here.

Dan looked over at the other cars and calls out, “It’s okay. We’re married now.” And we peel out of there.

 

lol SO ANYWAYS. You can get that picture out of your head now by looking at this! These were our Halloween costumes this year: Can you guess who we were?

20171027_195142
KuzCOooooo

Darling llama hat made by Yarnageddon! SHOUT OUT: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Yarnmagedon?ref=l2-shopheader-name

4 Things I Did for My Post Partum Body

I think I felt less sexy in my post partum body then when I was pregnant. Seeing that weird little pooch hanging down there… I felt like I was still pregnant only now with a deflated basketball.

Here are four different things that I did, that seemed to help A LOT that year after I gave birth.

 

#1: I bought a new bra!

Guys. Really.

Looking at pictures of myself and my new body… all I could see was an orangutan.

boobie orang

And I honestly thought that it was because I was fat. But you know what? One day I tried on a new bra at the store and ba-bye orangutan shape. No kidding. I went from slouchy beanbag to curvy and feminine in one second. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, all of it! It changes your girls. And when you give them a new support, you give them new life. It works! I’m serious!

#2: I started taking my baby on walks.

I knew I had to get active. But how? Now you have a tiny little person that you can’t tote to the gym. And plus I hate working out, so there’s that. I secretly tried to learn the dance from the “Hideaway” music video… and threw out my back. (Not actually a joke) So after that point I was like… I have a stroller, let’s stroll.

I LOVED IT! And so did Jack! It was so nice to get out and about. Super non-intensive. And every walk was a little adventure!

#3: I gave up soda.

This one hurt.

coke

I am the queen of soda. I have a serious Mormon drinking problem. But I knew that if I actually wanted to lose any baby weight I had to trade in my sugary crutch. After I gave up soda, I lost 10 lbs in two months. So it’s always good to re-examine what small things are holding you back and decide what you can try to give up.

#4: I gave it time.

This is the answer you don’t want to hear, but it really is true. Getting back to your old body takes time. You grew a human inside of you! You’re amazing! Don’t tell yourself that you’re not amazing just because your body is normalizing after giving someone life! Give yourself time. It will happen.