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After a Long Joyful Absence…

September 11, 2014
Vicenza sculpture - my favourite photo from my trip; can feel the joy and rapture

Vicenza sculpture
– my favourite photo from my trip; can feel the joy and rapture

Wow, does time fly when you are having fun!

I’ve been away a large piece of the summer, and with all the best of intentions to blog a bit, the Internet Gods were not so cooperative! But now I’m back, and ready to go with a slightly new format – I hope to make more frequent posts with a couple of joyful sharings, and not so many long lists of things. Immediacy is my goal! Share the joy close to the experience of it! With that in mind…

This made me laugh the other day, as I was trying to squeeze into my fall clothes:

GF comic

 

What’s so funny about this is the new gluten-free Mojo bars from the Clif Bar people were to be my first entry in this blog, and then I saw the comic! These Mojo bars are really tasty and contain no lactose, no bad sugars, no gluten… so maybe they are”still healthy junk”?

Mojo bars

On the other hand, I might be able to enjoy a few more of them if I keep dancing around the house (and at the end of my workout) to alt-J’s “Left Hand Free” (video is meh, but the song is so danceable):

Then when you are done working out or dancing, sit back and watch the wonderful movie called “Belle”, now available to download/rent/pay per view. The performances are wonderful (especially liked Tom Wilkinson), and it’s a terrific story based on true events.

Belle

I’d also like to share some of the joy I’ve had this summer with my trip to Italy – I will be blogging about the travel journal and art I created over at www.artwewonderful.com, and also will be putting up travel recommendations at www.liveyourbiggerlifetravel.com. If you’d like to follow me on those blogs, please click over and sign up to follow.

Share more bites of joy with you soon!

 

Workout Playlist – Spring 2014

May 7, 2014

Spring (800x600)

 

Spring has finally come! And you know what THAT means! 

For some, THAT means bikini season is just around the bend. For others, THAT means running competition season is ramping up. And for me, THAT means travel season is here and since I tend to go to places with lots of steep hills, I got to get into “travel shape”. Here’s a workout (elliptical, running, weights) that’s helping me do just THAT!

(Sorry about any ads on the sound links; all songs available on iTunes)

1. “Tongues” – Joywave (ft. Kopps) (118 beats per minute)

2. “Love Never Felt So Good” – Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake (118)

3. “Sing” – Ed Sheeran (120)

4. “Latch” – Disclosure (ft. Sam Smith) (122)

5. “A Sky Full of Stars” – Coldplay (125)

6. “Lifted” – Naughty Boy (ft. Emeli Sande) (127)

7. “Fever” – The Black Keys (128)

8. “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)” – Chromeo (128)

9. “Hey Now (Arty Remix)” – London Grammar (128)

10. “Come Alive” – Chromeo (ft. Toro y Moi) (130)

11. “Sailing” – The Strumbellas (135)

12. “Seasons (Waiting on You)” – Future Islands (140)

13. “Hymnals” – Grizfolk (142)

14. “Home” – Ingrid Michaelson (145)

15. “I Heard I Had” – Dear Rouge (153)

16. “Human Heat” – Sam Roberts Band (160)

 

Cool down or switch off cardio:

17. “Tall Tall Shadow” – Basia Bulat (125)

18. “Down” – The Kooks (97)

20. “Why’d You Only Call Me” – Arctic Monkeys (92)

 

I like ending my workouts with a few songs that make me want to dance – these last two qualify!

Things That Might Bring You Joy… April edition

May 1, 2014

 

 

And the journey continues...

And the journey continues…

 

Happy Anniversary to mymy says! It’s been 5 years – can you believe it?! 

In honour of this milestone, I felt a little refreshing was in order, so you’ll notice a few changes to the look of the blog. And I want to say thanks to everyone who has stopped by over the years and who follow my blog. Love ya!

 

1. New Toronto Radio Station INDIE88 – Launched last September, but I only found about it from frequent visits to my local art store, where I found myself singing along and wanting to dance in the aisles as I picked up watercolour paints. A fantastic rotation of both new and old songs, with a lot of Canadian content. I also use their free app on my phone. The only downside of listening to this station is that my iTunes purchasing has exploded!

2. “Jealous (I Ain’t With It) by Chromeo – There are whispers that this may be THE fun song of the summer. It certainly has that disco-retro sound that makes me move around whenever I hear it. Only problem with getting tuned into it now is that by June you may have had enough of it…or not.

3.  Ingrid Michaelson’s new album “Lights Out” – After releasing a few single cuts from her upcoming album, the whole thing is finally now out. And the rest of the album is fantastic! If you like female singer-songwriters, pick this one up! I know that I’ve featured this song before on the blog, but here’s the Live version on a recent Conan – demonstrates just how good her voice is.

 

4. “The Empathy Exams” by Leslie Jamison – I struggle how to describe the premise of this collection of essays. It’s such a unique book, so beautifully and brutally written. The essays capture such a wide variety of human conditions, where care and lack of care are achingly clear. I couldn’t put it down. And I am still reeling from it, so I turn to Amazon to give you more info about this astonishing book.

Read more…

Things That Might Bring You Joy… mid-March

March 26, 2014
Coldplay-image-coldplay-36748539-960-960

Mila Fürstová’s etching for Coldplay’s upcoming album, Ghost Stories

1. Coldplay’s SXSW Concert on iTunes – Streamed free! An hour of Coldplay doing some of their hits and some of their new songs from the upcoming album, “Ghost Stories”. Singing along, I’ve watched it twice. Also love the artwork for the new album (due out May 26), the work of Czech artist Mila Fürstová, which reminds me of the some of the drawings I’ve been experimenting with lately. And if you haven’t already downloaded the new single “Magic”, what are you waiting for! It’s the dancing in the car/kitchen/shower song of the month…so far.

2. Royal Wood’s new album, “The Burning Bright” – Fantastic! I have been hearing his music on the CBC for awhile now, but after a Breakfast Television appearance, I learned he is also studying to be a sommelier. As a fellow lover of wine and good music, I immediately bought the album. It’s difficult to pin down his style, but he’s part Billy Joel meets The Beatles meets Blue Rodeo meets Great Big Sea.

Read more…

Things That Might Bring You Joy… February

March 4, 2014
Pomegranates by Nora MacPhail

Pomegranates
by Nora MacPhail

1. Nora MacPhail’s art – I’ve been experimenting with ink drawings and watercolour, and I’ve turned to the Internet for instruction and inspiration. I came across this Toronto artist who provided a good hour of bliss as I scrolled through the Google images of her drawings and then I watched her videos. I admire the freedom of her lines and her fearlessness with colour. You can subscribe to her blog or buy her art on Daily Paintworks, and maybe her art will help lift your day, too.

2. “First Defeat” by Noah Gundersen – If you like Damien Rice and Ed Sheeran, this single from the album “Ledges” will be music to your ears, as it is to mine. Haunting and brimming with emotion. Hear it here (no video yet that I can find). Read more…

Workout Playlist – Winter 2014

February 19, 2014
The Canada Geese Winter Marathon

The Canada Geese Winter Marathon

Perhaps you are out there with the geese keeping fit, or maybe you are relying on indoor equipment… or are in a sunny part of the world (sigh!). No matter where you are, these songs will help you stay in step and in shape!

(All available on iTunes Canada and maybe on your country’s version, too)

1. After the Disco – Broken Bells (116 beats per minute)

2. Salt – Bad Suns (122)

3. Not Coming By – Emma-Lee (124)

4. Of The Night – Bastille (125)

5. Love Me Again – John Newman (126)

6. 20 Years – Bad Suns (126)

7. The Walker – Fitz & the Tantrums (130)

8. Coming of Age – Foster The People (130)

9. The Changing Lights – Broken Bells (130)

10. Invisible – U2 (136)

11. 32 Flavors – Dianne Reeves (140)

12. Hurricane – The Fray (141)

13. The End – The Jezebels (142)

14. Bad Blood – Bastille (144)

15. Patience Gets Us Nowhere Fast – Capital Cities (145)

16. Transpose – Bad Suns (147)

17. Perfect World – Broken Bells (156)

18. Rum ‘n’ Cola – Jenny Broke The Window (158)

19. Happy – Pharrell Williams (160)

Cool Down:

20. Amerika – Art of Fresh (120)

21. Celebrate (radio mix) – Empire of the Sun (118)

22. Afterlife – Arcade Fire (116)

23. Fall in Love – Phantogram (98)

24. Own It – Mack Wilds (98)

Have a great workout! And if you don’t feel like working out, dancing works too!

Songs Bringing Me Joy In The Cold of February

February 18, 2014

no-standing-only-dancing1

Even though it’s cold and snowy out there, you don’t need to wait until summer to get some hot music! There’s so much good music out right now, and much of it being overlooked by traditional radio. I am devoting a whole post to songs that are making me sing and dance!

1. Grammy winners Snarky Puppy with Lalah Hathaway with “Something” – Wow – hearing what this woman can do with her voice is incredible!

2. “I Want” by Alejandra Ribera – A Montrealer with a lot of soul!

3. “Girls Chase Boys” by Ingrid Michaelson, channelling Robert Palmer – This song is very catchy, but I wonder why she chose to use the Palmer’s “Addicted To Love” video format for this song.

Read more…

Things That May Bring You Joy, Too… January, Part 1

January 27, 2014
Prades, the Village (Joan Miro) at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Prades, the Village (Joan Miro) at the Art Gallery of Ontario

1. The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces From The Guggenheim – This current exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario is not to be missed (ends March 2). If you are coming to Toronto this winter, seeing this collection of paintings and sculptures done in the pre-war years of 1910-1918 by some of the world’s greatest modern masters should be on your agenda. It’s mesmerizing. I found myself standing in front of several pieces, lost in wonder! So good that I went twice! The Miro above was one of my favourites. Go to the website for ticket and hours info.

Cumberbatch,_Benedict_(as_Sherlock_Holmes)_(BBC_publicity)

Benedict Cumberbatch of BBC’s “Sherlock”

2. BBC’s “Sherlock” is Back – In the last few years, Sherlock Holmes has had a big resurgence! We’ve had Robert Downey Jr.’s version and the contemporary Sherlock of Jonny Lee Miller on CBS’s “Elementary” (he’s very good). But the quirkiest and most interesting of them all (IMO) is the BBC’s version, starring the uber-talented Benedict Cumberbatch. If you have Sherlock-fatigue, it’s understandable, but this show feels so fresh, especially airing after the stuffy rooms of “Downtown Abbey” on PBS Sundays at 10pm. Read more…

Joyfully Ending 2013 – December

January 7, 2014
A Vermeer Dream Come True

A Vermeer Dream Come True

Happy New Year to everyone!

One last look back to 2013 – if you can take it! Last month I spent 4 joy-filled days in New York City, mostly taking in as much art and food as I could. So this post will contain just a small portion of that wonderful trip, as well as some other fun moments from December. Read more…

Things That Brought Me Joy… November, Part II

December 2, 2013
Striking beauty of one last red tree

Striking beauty of one last red tree

1.Higher Than The Sun by Keane – This UK band just released their “Best Of” collection with a few new tunes, and this positive song encourages me to break into song every time I hear it. Love the video, too – all these various expressions of art!

2. Happy by Pharrell Williams – This song turned up on the soundtrack of “Despicable Me 2” but Pharrell has taken the happiness message into a 24-hour video project capturing Los Angeles folks dancing. Here’s the catchy 4-minute version:

Read more…

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