A Playlist for My Daughter

sweet sixteen playlist

This blog post is different from what the blogging world refers to as my ”niche.” While reading and traveling are the things I love to do, 16 years ago I lost my heart to a 6 pound, 14 ounce baby girl. So you will have to entertain me for a moment while I use the platform that I highlight my loves to give a special dedication to the one I love most.

Originally when the idea of posting something for her came to mind, I debated different methods, such as a letter or poem. But if you know my girl, you know she has a love for all music especially 90’s music. As a pregnant 20 year old, I wanted her to be smart but I also wanted her to be cool. With my perfectly placed priorities, I burned a mixed CD with music I thought were musts. While I plugged away at my desk job, she jammed to an assortment of music in utero. Now you will rarely find her without her earbuds tucked firmly into place.

When she made her dramatic and painful- as-hell entrance into the world, I remember looking at her and not being able to imagine this little perfect bundle as a teenager. Oftentimes, I see the weight of the pressures she carries as a teenage girl trying to measure up with the expectations of school and our culture’s obsession with image. So for this special birthday, I wanted to remind her of a few timeless princibles with her own playlist.

Jesus Loves Me by Whitney Houston

Even on your worst day, you are loved, have always been loved and always will be loved. And when me and the rest of the world are doing a poor job showing it, know The Big Man and J.C. do it a lot better than any of us.

Independent Women by Destiny’s Child

While it feels good to make others proud, making yourself proud feels a ton better. Always put in the work and effort so you can be proud of the finished product. Hard work will not always equal success. In those times, the work you put in it is the reward.

Happy by Pharrell Williams

Try to always live a life you love.  Check your inner compass frequently and you will know if you are on the right path. WARNING: It is not the same as living a life chasing the things you want! Whether you are living in a high-rise as a CEO or renting mopeds on a beach somewhere, live a life that makes you happy the majority of the time.

Unpretty by T.L.C.

Like Yourself! People will tell you to love yourself your entire life, which is important too. But liking yourself can be a lot harder. If there is something you do not like, ask yourself if you can change it. If you cannot, give yourself the peace to accept it as a part of beautiful, unique you.

Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey

Hard days are a guarantee. However, we would never appreciate the sunshine without a few cloudy days. The secret is to grow from them and use the experience as an opportunity to be a more well-rounded person. You do not have to be defined by your hard days! Be great in spite of the circumstance – not out of spite.

Life is going to get overwhelming, that is to be expected. However, you hold onto these few principles and they will remind you to just keep singing!

Three Hidden Gems in Austin

With a motto like “Keep Austin Weird,” it is obvious that Austin marches to the beat of its own drum. The free-spirit attitude of Austin is an interesting comparison to its faster paced neighbor Houston. However, the short distance makes Austin a great weekend trip for people who call Houston their home base. Legends like Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan have put Austin on the map as a place for great music. So when Fleetwood Mac added Austin as a location to their 2019 tour, the husband and I decided to make it a weekend event with a great set of friends.

This past weekend was unusually cold for Austin but we set off for day drinking each day like true Texans! But the cold weather encouraged us to turn to the locals for some warmer dives.  The result was finding some true gems in Austin that we probably would not have found this trip.

Elephant Room

Walking downstairs to enter this place, the speak-easy feel of the  underground jazz bar was immediate.  According to its Facebook page, it has been around for 28 years and has been ranked as a top ten Jazz venue. The atmosphere was the perfect backdrop for the jazz quartet. I would recommend arriving early to grab a table as it becomes standing room only quickly.

Small Victory

One of the fun parts of this cocktail bar was finding it!  With the tiniest of markings on the entry door, we finally found our way in to Small Victory. After being let in by a door(wo)man, we navigated the bar to find a booth that would fit our four top. Its narrow size only allowed for one-sided booth, definitely making for extra friendly conversations. The menu was interesting with speakeasy themed drinks and charcuterie trays. Even though it was a tight squeeze, we loved the ambiance.

Firehouse Hostel and Lounge

Maybe it was the hidden entry door, but the Firehouse Hostel and Lounge was my absolute favorite spot! Located in the oldest standing fire station (1885 – people!), this place is a history nerd/drinker’s dream!

To enter the lounge, you literally roll back the bookcase. Firehouse also has a speakeasy theme with music variety.  No music acts were there during our visit but they had a great mixture  of music playing while we enjoyed our drinks. Be warned that the bartenders are as authentic as their location; no foo-foo drinks here!

While Stevie & Fleetwood Mac rocked it out, these hidden gems truly made this visit Austin-perfect! Read more about my Austin visit and the book I chose as my accessory here!

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Kindred Spirits

Thank you for vising my site! I have had such a great time meeting and networking with authors, writers and readers on my Instagram page that I decided to build a website to allow me to add more content and hopefully, continue to grow that network.

While my IG site has primarily been dedicated to reading, this site will also include my travels. As San Augustine said, “the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” Both traveling and reading have enriched my life with the introduction of different cultures and varying points of views.

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” 

~ L.M. Montgomery

For as far back as I can remember, reading has been a constant companion. Books have proven to be dependable at every stage of life. I escaped the awkward phased and ignored the mean girls alongside Pony Boy, Johnny and Dallas from S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. And what pre-teen girl wasn’t thankful for Judy Blume answering all the questions we were too mortified to ask in Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret? 

As I quickly approach the big 4-0, books have never stopped being my favorite past time, conversation topic and “go-to” whether sad, happy or curious.  In Anne of Green Gables, Anne Shirley said, “Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” While Anne was not referencing books, the characters I have met and the authors who have painted them so vividly have always felt like my kindred spirits.

Brandy

Welcome, friend! My name is Brandy and I started this blog to share the love of my favorite things, specifically reading and traveling. Writing is also a passion of mine. By day, I am one of those odd creatures who enjoys writing policies, procedures and project plans. My dream is to write my own book one day but for now I am perfectly paced.

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