Forever Harry Connick Jr.

I have been a Harry Connick Jr. fan for all of my adult life. He has the kind of voice that never gets old for me… I could listen to him for hours. So when I was given the chance to review his latest album, That Would Be Me, I jumped at the chance to find out what he was up to. He seems to always be changing up his sound. He’s been in music since the age of 5, when he started in New Orleans, playing piano with some of the best jazz musicians that have ever played. Over the last twenty-five years he has been more than merely successful as a musician, singer, composer, songwriter, arranger, AND bandleader…he has set the standard in the industry. Add to that his career in movies, on T.V., and on the Broadway stage! I honestly don’t know how he does it.

For Harry’s latest release he is working with outside producers for the first time in 25 years. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that at first, lol. I’ve always loved what Harry does producing his own music. He certainly doesn’t need outside help, but if you’re going to get it, it might as well be from producers who have worked with the likes of Sam Smith, Adele, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift, right? What came of the collaboration is a fun album that, in my opinion is a different sound for Harry Connick, Jr., while still remaining true to his soulful, New Orleans roots. Take a quick listen to this preview…

One of my favorite tracks on the album is called “Like We Do”. It’s an upbeat song about marriage vows…”Nobody does ‘I do’ like we do.” I love it! It’s just one of those songs that makes you want to sing along and then go hug your husband. “I Think I love You A Little Bit” is a fun track as well. Oh then there’s “Every Time I Fall In Love”… what can I say, I’m a sucker for the love songs. And again, his voice is one of my all time favorite voices and this song really let’s it shine.

That Would Be Me is varied in it’s style. You’re bound to find something that you like on this album, so give it a listen! You’ll find it starting today on iTunes and

I participated in the That Would Be Me album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.

Discovering Oxford and searching for Alice.

I was compensated for this review. All opinions are honest and my own, as are all of my reviews. Thank you for visiting!

Just about two weeks ago my husband and I embarked on the trip of a lifetime, of our lifetimes at least. We hopped a plane or two and crossed an ocean to visit Ireland and England! Neither of us had ever been out of the country before, and got our first passports for this trip. In fact, mine arrived only 3 weeks before we were due to leave, which was cutting it a bit too close for my taste! Thankfully, it got to me in time, the kids went to spend a fun-filled week with the grandparents, and Tom and I went on a grand adventure.

One of the cities that we spent time in was Oxford, England, the city of dreaming spires. It is absolutely magnificent! The history, the architecture, and the tradition are awe-inspiring to say the least.

photo 4-9

Oxford maintains a bit of whimsy as well! Did you know that Oxford is the home of Alice? Lewis Carroll (a pen name) was Charles Dodgson, a maths lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford. His famous books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass were stories that Charles told to the Dean of Christ Church’s daughter, Alice! Many of the locations in her adventures are based on parts of the college itself. So I went looking for Alice in Oxford and imagined where she might have wandered and played.

The first place was Christ Church Cathedral itself, which is just beautiful. Can you imagine a more beautiful setting to base story books on?

Oxford Uncommon Goods Review

The meadows across the way are populated with deer, and if you explore a bit you’ll find Addison’s walk, where C.S. Lewis liked to walk and think.

Some places were not so obviously found. On my adventure I took Alice with me everywhere I went! I wore my Alice In Wonderland literary scarf from Uncommon Goods Gifts under $50 page! It seemed like there wasn’t a place that could be more fitting to wear it. After all, Oxford is where her adventures started. The weather called for a scarf, and this was just the right thing to wear. The entire scarf is covered with text and images from the book-I love it! It was honestly just what I needed, and if my adventures had taken me elsewhere, I could have chosen from a few other literary scarves. In fact, if I were Alice, I might take a drink from that little bottle and shrink myself down so that I could play in the postcard garden found on this page (in Gifts under $25). How cute is that?

Uncommon Goods Review

Uncommon Goods Literary scarf review

There are other more obvious places to find Alice… she’s quite popular around this town. There’s a quaint little shop called Alice’s Shop where you can find just about anything Alice related, from stationary to jewelry, teapots to tea towels, and books to wall clocks. It really is a cute (very small) shop, and I would have taken a photo of the inside except that they were not permitted, so here’s a shot of me and my Alice scarf in front of Alice’s Shop.

Uncommon Goods Review

Alice's Shop Oxford

Oxford is truly an amazing town. It was hard to decide if I felt stupider by comparison or smarter by osmosis just walking through its streets. It seemed as if everyone there must be highly academic and have some grand goals for their lives. They’re in Oxford, after all! I enjoyed soaking in the sites; the bell towers, cathedrals, spires, canals, lovely old buildings, and eager young faces of the students walking or riding their bicycles past us. I wish we had allowed ourselves more time to explore.

Radcliffe Camera Oxford

Our next adventure takes us to New York City, where Uncommon Goods is based, coincidentally! They were founded in 1999 and are headquartered in Brooklyn, which we just so happen to be visiting during our stay. They’re actually based out of the historic Brooklyn Army terminal, which is so cool. They are such a unique, or should I say uncommon (lol) company, supporting and providing a platform for artists and designers to share their creative work. In fact, one of my friends just so happens to have been one of those designers who Uncommon Goods gave a chance to shine, so I know first hand that they do what they say they do. So if you find yourself in Brooklyn you might want to check in and see about touring because they offer studio tours… how fun would that be? Or just check out their website while you’re doing your holiday shopping.

We saw so much more than Oxford on our trip. I hope to get some photos of our adventures in Ireland posted too. I fell in love with Ireland, even more than I did England.

Have you traveled to Oxford or Ireland before? What is your dream vacation?

Mod Podge Rocks! Peel and Stick Stencils.

When Amy Anderson of Mod Podge Rocks fame asked if I would share about her new Mod Podge Rocks! Peel and Stick Stencils, I didn’t have to think twice. Amy is an amazing woman and an old blogging friend of mine. She is actually one of the first bloggers that I met in real life and I was taken with her fun style and creativity.

With our journey into essential oil use and the collection that I am acquiring, I needed something to keep all of those cute little bottles in. I went to Michael’s and bought one of those cheap little boxes with the gold clasp in the front. Like this…

wooden box

My DoTerra essential oil bottles fit perfectly inside the box. I have a few oils that I bought from Whole Foods before I was introduced to DoTerra. They came in bigger bottles, and they even fit just right.

Doterra essential oils at The Southern Institute ||

But how BORING is that box? I knew exactly what it needed! Glitter, of course! How about gold to match the little gold clasp? And how to apply the glitter? With Amy’s Mod Podge Rocks! Peel and Stick Stencils and Mod Podge Spouncer Applicators.

Peel and stick stencils take most of the human error out of stenciling. You literal just peel them off of the backing and stick them onto the surface that you want to stencil. I wasn’t sure how well it would adhere to the wooden box, seeing how porous it is, but the stencil held quite well! It would do better on a non-porous surface such as glass or plastic, but I was quite happy with how it turned out. I used the Starlite design, but you can choose from five others, including a really cool wood grain design. The spouncer makes it easy to apply the Mod Podge. Once you are finished with the stencil, just rinse it clean and allow it to dry. It’s good for up to 20 uses!

EO Box front2

The glitters are totally fun to work with. They come in a little poof bottle that you squeeze. The glitter comes out of the tiny nozzle tip, landing right where you want it to land. It cuts down on waste and mess too, which I love. I was amazed at how much glitter was in the small bottle…it’s only about 2 inches long!

EO box top

Now my precious DoTerra oils have a beautiful, sparkly home. They have become something that we use on a daily basis, so it’s nice to open a fun little box every time I reach for the oils.

EO Box front

I was given product for free to review. As always, opinions and honest and my own. Thanks for reading today!