Review: BELIEVER – A Documentary From Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons) on HBO

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I had the chance to sit down and watch BELIEVER on HBO this weekend and it was so good!

SYNOPSIS: Believer follows Mormon Dan Reynolds, frontman for the Grammy Award-winning band Imagine Dragons, as he takes on a new mission to explore how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.

Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons) grew up in the Mormon faith alongside his family and friends in Utah. The Mormon doctrine believes that homosexuality is a sin, and they’ve even been known to remove allies from their church. There have been some amendments to their policies over the years, but the astounding number of suicides among teenagers in the Mormon community is still rising.

This prompted Dan to team up with Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees lead singer & fellow Mormon) to look for ways to bring awareness to these situations within the Mormon community. They formed the LoveLoud Festival and this documentary follows their journey in getting the festival organized. One of my favorite parts in the documentary is when Dan’s wife, Aja, is explaining to their young daughter what it means to be gay/transgender. I explained it to my niece the exact same way when she was around the same age and I don’t regret it one bit. Because I did that when she was young, my niece has always been inclusive towards all human beings. Seeing a similar experience documented with their adorable daughter was very special.

It’s an interesting documentary, to say the least. With the help of Tyler, Aja, and several people who are a part of the Mormon community, they shed light on the things that need to change, and continue to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community.

I recommend watching it, without a doubt. As an ally to the LGBTQ community myself, I think it’s important to see how shunning a person due to their sexual orientation/preference can cause so much harm to that individual and their family. If we want to keep our brothers and sisters safe, we need to be inclusive and supportive. This documentary does a fantastic job of that.

 

I’ll leave you with this incredible tweet from Dan Reynolds via Twitter:

Why Adam Rippon & Gus Kenworthy’s Sexual Orientation Is Important

YoursTruly

What’s up, everyone?

I have to preface this post by saying that it saddens me that this is even a discussion in 2018. The fact that members of the LGBTQ community have to “come out,” or explain anything in regards to their sexual orientation is beyond me. I mean, you do realize that all they want to do is be themselves, be happy and LOVE another person, right?

I want to share a little story with you. My niece, Briana, is about to turn fourteen. When she was 5 or 6, I was watching one of my old *NSYNC DVD’s with her. She pointed to Lance Bass and said, “Krissy, he’s cute!” I know she was young at the time, but something came over me and my immediate (nonchalant) response was, “You know, Lance is gay.” She paused the movie and asked me what that meant.

. . . SHE ASKED ME WHAT [BEING GAY] MEANT . . .

I explained to my young niece that it meant sometimes boys like boys and sometimes girls like girls. I reiterated that “the norm” in society is for boys and girls to like each other, but there are others who feel differently and that’s normal too. She responded with a simple, “Oh, ok.” and un-paused the video. From that moment on, she has accepted EVERYONE and never thought of anyone who is gay as “different.” If she ever thought they were different, it’s because she knows how fabulous they are!

Throughout this year’s’ Winter Olympics, we were graced with the presence of two GAY athletes representing the USA, Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy. Even as a straight woman, I actually felt so proud of these men for being honest and for simply being themselves . It wouldn’t have mattered to me whether they were gay or not. Being gay doesn’t mean they train less than other athletes, or that they’re weak. If anything, it makes them stronger because they deliver strong performances regardless of any negativity being directed towards them.

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Yesterday, Kenworthy posted screenshots on his Twitter page of 4 complete strangers who posted extremely hateful comments on one of his YouTube videos. These people called him names and wished that he would get AIDS and die. Let that sink in for a moment . . . . . . . . . . . . Which leads me to the reason for this post. Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy’s sexual orientation shouldn’t matter to anyone. It’s their lives and, if they’re happy and are able to fully love another human being, it shouldn’t matter to ANYONE ELSE whether that other human being is a man or a woman.

The ONLY reason why their sexual orientation is important is because it opens doors for conversations between parents and their children. Children are taught to hate other people. If I had responded to my niece, at 5 years old, that being gay is gross and wrong, she would’ve grown up to believe that as true.  I know that many Christians do believe that to be true, but the hate starts with you as parents, not as Christians. Don’t teach your children to hate others simply because of something you don’t understand. I grew up Catholic, I have tattoos and I’ve had pre-marital sex. Those things don’t make me a bad person. They don’t mean I’m going straight to hell. Neither does being gay. Instead, teach your children that some people love different things, but we all love the same. Teach them that just because you have a certain belief, it doesn’t give anyone the right to make hurtful comments and, more specifically, to wish for someone’s death.

Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy’s sexual orientation is important because it shows that being gay doesn’t define you . . . your character does. The same way that being straight doesn’t define anyone else. Being straight doesn’t mean you’re a good person. It also doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It’s the same with those who are gay, bi, transgender, etc. Rippon and Kenworthy are both strong AND graceful. They’re respectful. They’re hilarious. They’re kind to others. They’re using their platform to speak for that little kid who wants to lace up a pair of skates and glide gracefully across the ice, but is afraid to tell anyone. They’re speaking to that kid who is afraid that coming out as gay will make people think they’re weak and can’t nail flips on skis or snowboards. They’re speaking out to kids who don’t think that they can be themselves and still stand on an Olympic podium. They’re speaking to anyone who feels that their sexual orientation means they can’t chase their dream, regardless of what that dream is.

There are so many kids out there who are feeling things they don’t quite understand yet because their parents are afraid to actually talk to them about something that should be normalized at this point. THAT is why Rippon and Kenworthy’s sexual orientation is important. Speaking to your child about homosexuality won’t make them gay. What it will do is teach them to be accepting towards others and to embrace what they might be feeling themselves. So, to the parents out there . . . do your jobs. Don’t raise bullies and closed-minded people. Raise young men and women who know who they are and who can accept those who aren’t exactly like them.

It starts with you.

Misadventures at Disney World

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We’ve all heard that Disney is the happiest place on Earth, am I right? I wanted to share my experience from this past weekend that disproves that theory. Don’t get me wrong, I know this place is full of magic, but it’s also full of stress and germs and bratty kids and thieves lol.

Let me start out by saying that I have anxiety that, for the most part, lies dormant until I have to drive on a highway or something. So in my 18 years of driving, I’ve never driven to Orlando for a trip to Disney. I spoke to my friend about this recently, so when her boyfriend asked if she wanted to go to Disney for her birthday weekend, she invited my niece and I to tag along. We’d be staying at different hotels and doing our own thing, and I took advantage of my first trip alone with the niece. Things didn’t turn out how I expected though…

My niece, Briana, didn’t have school the day we were leaving, so I requested time off from work so that we could leave early, get to Orlando early, and make it to the Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary-Halloween Party on time. We were already packed and ready to go, but we had to wait for my friend and her boyfriend to get out of work. While we were waiting, we decided to start watching Season 2 of Stranger Things (which is AMAZING, by the way). I thought we’d be in Orlando by about 7-8pm, but we ended up getting there at 9:50 and still had to check in at the hotel. Briana and I checked in, ran up to our room, changed our clothes and ran back down to the shuttle pick-up/drop-off. The shuttles are supposed to run every 30 minutes between the hotel and the parks, but we sat there for almost an hour with no pick-up. A shuttle finally arrived to drop some people off, so I asked the driver if he was heading back to Magic Kingdom. He said he wasn’t, but that he would take us anyway. He veered off-route to transport us to the park. We ran from the bus to the monorail and then ran from the monorail to the entrance only to discover that the parade was taking place. That meant that we couldn’t maneuver our way through the park because the streets and crosswalks were blocked off. We literally got to the park, waited for the parade to finish, rode the Haunted Mansion ride and then had to leave back to our hotel. By that time it was about 2am and all food options were closed. We had to try Uber Eats for the first time and the only option was McDonalds. What should have taken 15 minutes took an hour because the driver got lost on her way to our hotel.

Briana was so excited about going to Disney and I felt terrible that we were only able to spend about an hour there, so we got tickets to Magic Kingdom for the next day too.

On Saturday morning, we woke up and walked over to Disney Springs for some shopping and then went back to the hotel to get ready for Magic Kingdom. We took the shuttle and monorail (again) only to be greeted with cloudy skies and ridiculously long lines. Have you ever been on the magic teacup ride?? This was my first time and I was convinced that part of the fun was watching people stumble out of the teacups. My brain was spinning inside my head for way longer than it probably should have been. While we were waiting for the Winnie the Pooh ride we witnessed a kid bite his mom because she told him he couldn’t do something, and another kid throw a tantrum because he clearly didn’t want to go on a ride but his parents were insisting. When we got off the ride it was beginning to rain, so we decided to go back to the hotel for a few hours and then come back in time for the fireworks.

What should’ve taken about 10 minutes on the monorail took about 30 minutes because one of the kids kept leaning on the doors causing the monorail to stop. Then we had to wait to catch the shuttle back to the hotel and the driver decided to stop at almost every park imaginable to pick people up. What should’ve taken about 20 minutes on the shuttle took about an hour. We literally got to the hotel, used the restroom and then had to run back downstairs to catch the next shuttle to Magic Kingdom.

As we’re getting off of the monorail for what seemed like the hundredth time, we realized it was pouring. Of course, Briana and I had no ponchos or umbrellas because why would we? We live in Florida! It never rains! I hope you caught the sarcasm there. We stood in the pouring rain for three hours surrounded by thousands of people in ponchos. Our hair was dripping, our clothes were sticking to our bodies, our glasses were unusable and we were freezing. When the fireworks were over, we TRIED to rush to the monorail to get back to our hotel, but apparently every single person at the park was leaving at the same time. We had to wait almost an hour for the ride and then ran to the shuttle parking area. We waited there for another hour, in the pouring rain, for a shuttle that never came because it had broken down on another route. My friend had to call an Uber for us.

I’ll spare the details on how we had to defrost ourselves in our hotel room, but when we finally did, Briana found out that a band she likes was doing a meet and greet in Orlando the day after we were leaving. She missed them by one day. ONE DAY!!

As we were packing our things to leave, Briana realized that her little stuffed hippo, Minty, was missing. We undid all of our bags, shook out the sheets on the beds and lifted up chairs, but Minty was lost. We checked out, called lost and found…still no luck. Briana was devastated. I’d bought this thing for her before she was even born. She took it on every trip and had to have it in any room she slept in. It was MINTY!! Someone actually picked up a 13 year old stuffed animal from a hotel lobby and kept it. In Orlando. Where everyone is probably going to spend all their money on stuffed toys and keychains after visiting the parks anyway. OR, someone’s kid picked up this stuffed animal that could’ve belonged to a young child who drooled and wiped sticky hands all over it and allowed them to keep it. I have strong feelings about this, ladies and gentleman! It’s crazy how much sentimental value could lie within a silly, old stuffed animal that had been washed a hundred times! Here’s a picture of the stuffed animal that someone robbed us of:

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Side note: Have you ever stood at one of these Disney parks and think about how much money is actually walking around it? There are literally thousands and thousands of people who have paid over one hundred dollars each to get in. Not to mention the souvenirs, food and drinks that are bought. So much money goes into these parks yet the prices keep rising. It’s insane!

Sounds like a disaster, doesn’t it?? Even though literally nothing went right on this trip, I still got to spend time with the niece and we had some crazy laughing fits. From the guy slamming his face into the plastic window on the bus as it took a wide turn, to the bratty kid’s mom’s reaction when her son bit her arm, to the missions we went on together. It was a beautiful disaster if you ask me!

 

TIM MCGRAW & FAITH HILL: Soul2Soul World Tour 2017 (Review)

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Hey there music lovers!! I’m back with another live show review! Yesterday afternoon, my niece’s mom sent me a text asking if I was a fan of country music. Now, admittedly, I love all kinds of music, but country isn’t my top choice. However, I love me some Faith Hill and Tim McGraw! When I heard she had tickets to their show last night in Sunrise, FL, I had to say YESSSSSSSS!

I invited my cowboy-boot-wearing, country-music-loving friend and we drove out in the rain to catch the show. This might’ve been the first time in my life that I went to a show where I didn’t know every song being played, but it didn’t even matter!

The show opened up with Locash, who I, personally, had never heard of before, but they sounded great. They did a fantastic job at hyping up the crowd before Faith & Tim came out, which is always a solid accomplishment for an opening act. I’m always open to new music, so I’ll definitely be checking them out now after seeing them perform live.

One thing I want to note about the show was that the visual effects and staging were SO good. I even want to say the whole set up was one of the best I’ve ever seen–and I’ve been to A LOT of live shows! There were hi-def lasers, floating lights, moving see-through banners and hi-def visuals on the huge screen on stage. I don’t think there could have been one bad seat in the house because most of the performances were put up on the screen like this:

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The vocals throughout the entire show were well worth the soggy shoes I was wearing for almost four hours (did I mention it was raining?). The two swapped off between singing duets and doing their own solo music, and everything really flowed nicely. The one thing I admire about these two is how they’ve been married for 21 years, they have three beautiful daughters, yet they still look (and act) like they’re dating. The fact that they did this joint tour together is a testament to that and it was adorable! They had so much energy throughout the entire show as well, which kept the energy in the crowd on fire the whole time!

SETLIST in Sunrise, FL – October 19, 2017

McGraw and Hill

“I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” – Aretha Franklin and George Michael cover

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“Felt Good on My Lips”

Hill

“The Lucky One”

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“I Like It, I Love It”

Hill

“The Way You Love Me”

McGraw and Hill

“Like We Never Loved at All”
“Break First”
“Telluride”
“Devil Calling Me Back”

Hill

“Free”
“This Kiss”
“Breathe”
“Wild One”
“Stronger”
“Piece of My Heart”

McGraw and Hill

“Angry All the Time”

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“One of Those Nights”
“Real Good Man”
“Shotgun Rider”
“Humble and Kind”
“Live Like You Were Dying”

McGraw and Hill

“Speak to a Girl”
“It’s Your Love”

Hill

“Mississippi Girl”

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“Something Like That”

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“I Need You”

 

You can find additional tour dates, merch, and pre-order links for the couple’s upcoming duo album titled “The Rest Of Our Life” HERE.

For anyone wondering, the show lasted about 3 1/2 hours. I would definitely suggest checking out this show, and I’d like to thank everyone at the BB&T Center for keeping everyone safe last night.

Now I’ll leave you with one of the cutest pictures I took from the show last night:

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#MusicMonday | Sam Smith, Maroon 5, One Republic, Jordan Fisher, In Real Life & Fall Out Boy

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What’s up, everyone??

Welcome to #MusicMonday here at According to Kristin! I’ve been wanting to get a bit more personal on the blog, and Music is the most personal for me…so here we are! I’ll be posting here on certain Mondays, and sometimes I might add in a podcast or two. I’m hoping to have guests on and even try scheduling some interviews, so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know! Let me know what you’re currently listening to, what albums and tours you’re excited about. You can even tag me on Twitter with a performance you think I should check out. I’m open to all suggestions!

I’ve always been a music fanatic, so I’m sure Mondays will be extra therapeutic for me now as I’ll be able to discuss all of the aspects that make up one of my first loves. Music is my escape from the world. When I’m stressed at work, the power of an ear bud is priceless. I just pop one into my ear and the calmness takes over. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it (both music, and the ear bud lol).

So, here are some of the things that have interested me in the music world this week:

 


Sam Smith
has (finally) announced a new album and tour, following the release of his newest single, “Too Good At Goodbyes.” The single is lit and the album and tour are sure to be just as incredible-it IS Sam Smith, after all. The album is titled “The Thrill Of It All” and will be available on November 3rd. You can pre-order the album on his web store HERE. You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram by clicking on the respective links.


Not to be left out, Maroon 5 (@maroon5) also announced details for their new album, titled “Red Pill Blues,” set to be released on the same day, November 3rd. Here is the track listing for both the 12-Track Standard Edition and the 15-Track Deluxe Edition of their sixth studio album:

12-Track STANDARD EDITION TRACK LISTING

Best 4 U
What Lovers Do feat. SZA
Wait
Lips On You
Bet My Heart
Help Me Out with Julia Michaels
Who I Am feat. ft. LunchMoney Lewis
Whiskey ft. A$AP Rocky
Girls Like You
Closure

15-Track DELUXE EDITION TRACK LISTING

Best 4 U
What Lovers Do feat. SZA
Wait
Lips On You
Bet My Heart
Help Me Out with Julia Michaels
Who I Am feat. ft. LunchMoney Lewis
Whiskey ft. A$AP Rocky
Girls Like You
Closure
Denim Jacket
Visions
Plastic Rose
Don’t Wanna Know ft. Kendrick Lamar
Cold ft. Future


One song that I’m really enjoying this week is One Republic‘s “Rich Love,” and you can catch the video for that below:

If you haven’t seen One Republic (@onerepublic) live before, I strongly suggest you change that. I saw them in West Palm Beach, FL when they went on tour with The Script (who will definitely make an appearance on #MusicMonday) and it was nothing short of amazing. They’re high energy throughout the whole show and their vocals are always on point. Do it and you can thank me later!


The next two artists that I want to mention are both signed to Hollywood Records.

Jordan Fisher (@jordan_fisher) is a triple-threat who is soon to be dominating the charts with his upcoming debut album. He’s currently dancing his way to the mirror ball trophy on Dancing With the Stars, he has a new single, “Mess,” which was released last week and an album that is on its way to the shelves. Not sure if you familiar with him? He was on Broadway with the hit show Hamilton, he was on Disney’s Teen Beach Movie and he also played Doody on the live version of Grease. Check out his new single, “Mess,” wherever you download/stream music and also feel free to check out his videos on YouTube. Again…you can thank me later! I’m just wondering if dude could show me how to dance lol!

I’ve posted a few times about In Real Life (@inreallife) because they’re new to the scene and they deserve the exposure. I was exposed to them when my niece started watching ABC’s Boy Band, and my friend Jesus @thisfunktional got a chance to speak with them out in California last week at the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor event. I was excited for them when I found out that they’ll be under Johnny Wright’s wing for the duration (hopefully) of their career because he’s worked with some of the best in the industry! Their debut single, “Eyes Closed,” has done well since its release and they have a fantastic marketing team that has been putting them in some of the best places since the show ended. They’re currently playing little shows while they record new music and they just wrapped a music video for their original Christmas song that should be released soon.


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Last, but certainly not least…my little sis, Brancey, absolutely loves Fall Out Boy (@falloutboy), so it wouldn’t be a discussion about music without talking about their new single and their pushed back “Mania” album, set to release in January 2018.

 

 

You can hear Brancey and I rambling on the podcast below. Also, don’t mind the little section in the middle where Skype decided it hated us and cut off our recording lol. Shout out to Jesus for splicing them together for us lmao!

Movie Review by Kristin: EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING | #everythingeverything

Ok, let me first say that this trailer captured my attention immediately when it was released. Not just because my niece has had a crush on Nick Robinson since Jurassic World either. It was because I actually felt the chemistry between Nick Robinson and Amandla Stenberg in a trailer that was less than three minutes long.

With that being said, I went into the screening for this movie having NOT read the book, so I have nothing to compare it to, but now I definitely want to read it!

I thought the film was GREAT! I had a preconceived notion that it would be the typical young, teen angst/love story where you end up sobbing into a box of tissues because you can most definitely predict the outcome.

Spoiler alert: I was wrong. For the most part anyway.

The movie follows a young girl, Maddy, who has just turned 18 and has never left her house due to an illness called Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). Basically her immune system sucks and can’t fight off even the most mild of infections or allergies. Her life is turned upside down when a cutie pie, Olly, moves in next door and has his eyes set on her from the beginning. He awakens her need to know what it’s like to truly live outside the confines of her home.

The casting for this movie was fantastic. Nick Robinson and Amandla Stenberg had great chemistry. When their characters felt awkward, it was obvious. When they developed feelings for each other, you could feel it. When worry and confusion set in, you felt that too. There were funny moments combined with sad moments, mixed with a little worry and anxiety about whether Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) would live or die, and it all marinated into a beautiful story about falling in love and truly living your life.

Sure, there could have been a bit more character development that I’m sure was missing from the book to film adaptation, but I still thought it was a solid movie that I would most definitely see again. Perhaps an extra 30 minutes might have done the trick. Even so, my brother, who is a 37-year-old man that literally hates chick flicks even said it was a very good movie. I’m looking at all you guys that think it’s uncool to watch movies like this hahaha. I promise you, it’s okay! 

If it’s any consolation to you book lovers out there, my niece’s friend saw the movie with me and she’d read the book. She said they stuck to the book for the most part. I can not confirm nor deny that personally, but I will definitely check the book out now to fill in any blanks I might have had while watching the movie (and there weren’t many).

So go out with your friends and family to check out Everything, Everything in theaters May 19! You won’t regret it!

You should also check out the novel of the same title by Nicola Yoon (like I’m going to do)!

Have you seen it yet? When you do, let me know what you thought!

Movie Review: COLLATERAL BEAUTY

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Hey, movie lovers!

I know I’m late to the game on this one, but I watched it last night with my niece and just had to post about it. To be quite honest, I’m surprised it has a 12% on Rotten Tomatoes! I can see how some people might not enjoy it as much as I did, but I wonder if the people who didn’t like it have experienced loss in their lives. From personal experience, I know how death can create these questions in your mind about love, time and death so the meaning behind the movie really hit me in the heart. My niece just loves any movie that can make her cry for some reason (teenagers!), but she loves this one!

SYNOPSIS: Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty. 

Let me start by saying that Will Smith kills it in this movie. We all know he’s a great actor, but he hasn’t always chosen the best roles in his career. In this one though, he plays the role of a grieving father so perfectly that you can actually feel his pain. The entire cast does a great job, in my opinion. I found myself getting angry at his friends for scheming behind his back, then I felt sympathy for them because Howard’s grief has affected their lives as well. I think I felt every emotion imaginable while watching this movie and, for me, that’s a sign of a good one.

Every twist and turn in this movie was great and it’s not until the credits roll that everything sort of hits you all at once.

Usually when I see a new movie in the theater, or rent one on On Demand, I try to judge it based on whether or not I would actually buy it or possibly catch it again down the road when it’s streaming online. I rented this one last night and I would definitely buy it. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s one to at least check out. So grab a box of tissues and try to put yourself in this man’s shoes for about 2 hours.

If you forgot what this movie was about, check out the trailer below and if you decide to watch it, let me know what you thought!

 

NEW MUSIC: HARRY STYLES | ‘Sign of the Times’ Single

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Ladies and gents . . . the long-awaited first single from the One Direction heartthrob, Harry Styles, has been released today!

Following in the footsteps of his band mates (most of them, anyway), Harry has released ‘ Sign of the Times’ on April 7, 2017. Strange to know that there are thousands of young girls losing their minds today because of it – my niece included! It’s interesting how different their musical styles are, isn’t it? Harry Styles with this 80’s rock style single, Niall Horan released an acoustic style ‘This Town,’ Louis Tomlinson released an electronic/dance vibe single ‘Just Hold On’ with Steve Aoki and we’re still waiting on Liam Payne to release something! We also saw Zayn Malik branch out on his own with a different style as well.

I also find it interesting that this is the one boy band who has seen ALL members branch out to do their own thing. Not even my beloved *NSYNC did that!

Anyway, Harry will be performing ‘Sign of the Times’ on NBC’s Saturday Night Live this Saturday, April 15. You can also check out his upcoming movie, Dunkirk, which will be in theaters this SUMMER, July 21, 2017.

So here is the audio “video” released on Harry’s VEVO channel:

April: Day Four | If you were able to instantly change your life, what would be different?

YoursTruly

Hey, everyone!

Day Four on my April list is:

If you were able to instantly change your life, what would be different?

This is a tough question because I was raised not to regret things. We go through certain experiences and we make mistakes, but we usually learn from them. I think, for the most part, that these things shape who we are, whether they’re difficult to go through or not.

However, in the past few years, I’ve experienced certain things that I wish I would change. One being my relationship with my father.

My father didn’t always know how to relate to my brothers and I. He was a Vietnam vet who often suffered from PTSD and found it much easier to relate to other veterans. There was one in particular that my dad sort of adopted in his mind. If I’m being honest, it hurt me. It hurt that he took more of an interest in this guy’s life than in mine. I would even joke to my friends that I had daddy issues. Never did I think I would lose my dad before he turned 65.

Long story short . . . my dad was diagnosed with liver cancer in April 2015 and he died a month later. It’s crazy how you don’t stop to think about how much you truly appreciate someone until they’re no longer around. My dad wasn’t perfect, but he was the type of dad that would’ve dropped everything if you needed a ride somewhere or if you had a flat tire in the middle of the night .

So if I could change something, I would change the relationship I had with my father in the years leading up to his death.

 

If I could change two things, I would also change the person I chose to give my heart to when I was way too young to even consider giving it away. Ladies, young girls . . . please remember to love yourself before you try loving someone else. I made the mistake of putting all of my affection towards one person and all he did was play games. Slept with my best friend after I (stupidly) paid for his flight to visit, repeatedly came to me to boost his ego when other girls knocked him down, said horrible things about me, played the sympathy card asking for help paying bills and then gave his girlfriend a gorgeous ring about a month or two later. Thankfully I’d smartened up by that point so he didn’t get a penny from me for that ring lol. He dangled me like a chew toy and I fell for it every time because when he shattered me to pieces, I gave him that power to do it. So appreciate yourself and don’t let ANYONE have power over you. We are strong WOMEN and we should be putting that strength and love towards someone who deserves it.

Who knows . . . if I could go back and eliminate him from my life, I might not have the troubles I have now with finding men who are only interested in two things . . . sex and feeding their own egos. Where are the good guys at???

 

What would YOU change if you could? Let me know!

5 Ways to Win Back Your Love this Valentine’s Day

5 Ways to Win Back Your Love this Valentine’s Day

In honor of Valentine’s Day and the upcoming movie “You’re Killing Me Susana” starring Gael García Bernal and Verónica Echegui, hitting theaters on Feb. 17, we have a few ideas to help you get your love back.

When it comes to relationships and love, mistakes happen.

If you’re sitting at home pining for your love or conjuring up ways to get someone back in your life, take this five ideas from the movie and get ready for the road back to love.

One day, Eligio (Bernal) wakes up to find that his wife Susana (Echegui) has packed her bags for good.

She’s gone and has no intention of coming back, but he still decides to fight for his woman and follows her across the continent to win her love again.

Below are ways you can rekindle that flame, makeup 
with your ex and spend Valentine’s Day together:

1. Enjoy a nice romantic dinner for two. Eligio wasn’t going to let his love move away without a word. A nice romantic feast is a great way to get back into someone’s good graces and belly.

2. Travel as far as you have to and win them back. Eligio’s love knows no borders, so when he has to travel a long distance, face extreme weather and a great culture shock, he does it without thinking twice because he knows Susana is worth it.

3. Defend them at all costs. When you love someone, you have to protect them as you’d protect the love they give you. Eligio travels thousands of miles to get Susana back, and even though she has found solace in the arms of another, he’s not going out without a fight.

4. Enjoy a long romantic walk together. Eligio’s boyish good looks and charm aren’t the only tricks up his sleeve. He knew that all he needed was time alone with Susana, so even a stroll through the neighborhood was long enough for them to remember the times when they first fell in love.

5. Take a spontaneous trip together. Remember, spontaneous trips often result in some of the best memories.

So what do you think? Does Eligio get his girl back? Don’t miss “You’re Killing Me Susana (Me Estás Matando Susana)” starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Verónica Echegui in theaters Feb. 17.

Day 1: The Holidays According to Kristin

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Hey everyone!

So my classes are finally settling down and I really wanted to concentrate more on original content. What better way than to include exciting holiday information?! For the next month, I’ll list some of my favorite gift ideas and some of my favorite holiday moments and traditions over the years.

My hope is that my readers will comment their thoughts, feelings, and even some of their favorite holiday moments and traditions. Talk to me! I want to know what the holidays are like for you and your family. Even if they’re rough this year. As some of you might know, my father passed away unexpectedly last year, so the holidays could be bitter sweet at times. So even if you just need to vent or feel like someone understands what you might be going through, you can count on me.

With that being said, I want to start out by sharing three of my favorite holiday songs right now. My dad was one of those people who would listen to Christmas music NON-STOP after Halloween, and it seriously drove me nuts! I just never understood how many times he could hear ‘Frosty the Snowman’ or ‘Winter Wonderland’ without wanting to quit Christmas altogether. Thankfully, one of my favorite artists right now, Pentatonix, has two Christmas albums that have been released over the last two years and they’re full of updated, fresh holiday music. Their talent is off the scales and they can really put you in that holiday spirit.

 

 

 

Here are the links to their Christmas albums on iTunes. Check them out, and let me know if you have any favorites! You can also find the top two albums below on Vinyl, which would be an amazing Christmas gift!

Pentatonix: That’s Christmas to Me

Pentatonix: A Pentatonix Christmas

Pentatonix: PTXmas (Deluxe Edition)

 

You can also visit their official pages here:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website | Youtube | Spotify

More Love. Less Hate. #PrayforOrlando #PrayforHumanity

pray_for_o1[1]I’ve refrained from mentioning anything on social media after this past weekend because I needed some time to gather my thoughts before doing so.  Even still, it’s hard to put my feelings into words…I’ve already rewritten this post three times.

Let me start by posting here what a good friend of mine, who happens to be gay, posted on Facebook this morning.  I could not have said it better myself:

“To even try and share my feelings on this past weekend tears me apart. I am beyond horrified with the events that have taken place in Orlando. How the hell did we get here? When did it become the norm to allow your beliefs to change the lives of others? I am appalled at the comments like “Finally someone is shooting perverts instead of innocent people”. How did we become a country that allows ourselves to persecute others!? I truly don’t give a shit that this guy was Muslim. I care that he felt it was ok to murder innocent people because of who they love! Hatred, bigotry, intolerance…THESE ARE THE ISSUES!! The man who I quoted above is a WHITE AMERICAN! Given the right tools- he is just as capable of committing a horrendous hate crime! So maybe ISIS would like to take credit for this mass shooting. But in the comments that A LOT of Americans have been making- they too are taking some sort of credit. Anyone who is not speaking out against this horrible crime is taking credit. How? Because it is them who opens the door for this kind of hatred to take over. Whether you have an issue with Muslims, LGBT people, Jews, Immigrants, people on welfare, etc.- spreading hate and disgust fuels the fire in people to rationalize their own hate. When it is normal for a person to persecute another based on differences- it becomes normal for these radical few to plan these acts of pure violence. There will always be people and things we have to be careful of… but this shit has got to stop!! It has become all too common for people to lose their lives over BULLSHIT!
I see story after story about all of the amazing people who have helped one way or another for these victims from the Pulse shooting. And I am trying my hardest to focus on those… because in my heart- I want to believe that is what the majority of our country is made of! A country full of loving, decent, kind human beings who truly want what’s best for our citizens as a whole… no matter your race, sexuality, religion, or beliefs. But in order to change the world- we have to change! We have to spread more love and acceptance to EVERYONE! Instead of trying to build walls- lets shatter them! Let us prove that this hatred and persecution will not bring us down… it will build us up! It will allow us to come together and make a stand. WE DESERVE BETTER, AMERICA!! Our children deserve better!! As far as our ancestors have brought us in this world… we are shitting on their graves with how we not only treat each other- but our planet as a whole. Be good to one another… love and accept all! That alone will make our world a better place!”

 

Now let me say that I am a straight woman who fully supports the LGBT community. I also support the security used at venues in order to keep our favorite musicians safe from harm. The past few years have been riddled with school shootings, movie theater shootings, mall shootings, concert shootings, club shootings, etc.  Keyword being “shootings.”  Orlando will no longer be known solely as the happiest place on Earth because of Disney World…it will be known as the city where the worst mass shooting in U.S. history occurred. It will be known as the place where a deranged fan walked in heavily armed and shot an incredibly talented musician, Christina Grimmie, as she signed autographs for fans after her set.

Our “Land of the Free” is no longer free.  Our kids are no longer completely safe wherever they go. We live in a country where hardworking people pay $200 a month for insurance that barely covers anything anymore.  Pharmaceutical companies no longer want to cover medications regardless of whether or not they’re prescribed. My father died a month after discovering he had liver cancer because the doctors are so busy expanding their practices to include Botox and Cool Sculpting rather than  detecting cancer in their current patients. Those who are not working, don’t have the money to afford private insurance.  Therein lies the issue of undiagnosed mental disorders.  Those with psychological issues are not being treated properly or in a timely manner.  Pair that with the ease of attaining assault weapons and firearms and you have a recipe for disaster. Why is it so difficult to attain health insurance, but it’s so easy for someone on the FBI watch list for the past 2 years to purchase an assault weapon?? Why is so easy for ANYONE to purchase a gun, period??

I spent all of Sunday in a state of disbelief. Thinking about the 100+ families that were waiting to hear if their child or sibling were one of the casualties, injured or survivors of the horrific shooting at Pulse nightclub. Imagining what those inside of the club experienced when they heard shots being fired. Wondering how this group of people could be targeted simply because of who they love. We’re talking LOVE here. They weren’t gathering to conspire against anyone.  They were celebrating being proud of who they are as HUMAN BEINGS.

It’s a scary world we live in at the moment. Kids are being brought up in a world where you don’t need to work hard, you just need to participate. They’re being ostracized for being different rather than being taught to embrace their uniqueness. They’re abusing the luxury of being able to communicate with their favorite actors/musicians/athletes on social media and using it to hurt them instead. Everything these days is fueled by hatred and ignorance.  You don’t have to understand why a person is gay, you just have to accept that they are.  It doesn’t make them a bad person, it makes YOU a bad person for thinking they deserve to be punished because of who they love.

I could go on and on about this issue for days, but I’ll end it here. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Christina Grimmie, and also to the numerous families of the victims at Pulse nightclub. Most of all…RIP to all of the lives lost this weekend.  Let us remain hopeful that gun laws will be amended, that healthcare will improve and be made more affordable so that those who do suffer from metal disorders can seek the help they need in order to help prevent things like this from continuing to happen.

As my friend said so perfectly…”We deserve better, America! Our children deserve better!”

 

***If you’re not in the Orlando area and are unable to donate blood, please visit the following link set up to help support the families of the victims

https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund