Formation Tour

Sometime around 4th grade or so, I developed a keen interest in the Supremes, and especially Diana Ross.  I think the glamour of girl groups drew me in, and Diana Ross was intriguing, especially with as how glitzy she was, with her long dresses, big hair, and close friendship with Michael Jackson.  I started getting books on her (this was kind of before the internet), and was fascinated by a story about her performing in the rain in Central Park in 1983.  I mentioned it to my dad, also a fan of anything Motown, when he mentioned that he’d been at the concert with one of his sisters, the night that Diana Ross performed in the rain until all of the instruments shorted out and she nearly fell off the stage.  My dad witness something that I read about in a book, and I always found that so cool.

On Tuesday night, Austin and I headed to Carter-Finley to see the Queen, Beyonce, perform.  I’ve seen her a few times, twice with Destiny’s Child, and a few more times on her own, but as she’s released her albums, and they’ve gotten progressively better, her show’s gotten better.  The only solo tour I missed her on was the On the Run tour a few summers ago because the closest date, in Baltimore, fell right around when we were getting married, and right around the time that I started my job at the Y.  This was Austin’s first show.

So, on Tuesday night, after class, we battled traffic (which was absolutely horrendous), we made our way into the stadium and down to our seats with plenty of time for the show to start.  It was incredible to see 40,000 people filing into the show, and the weather, which was predicted to potentially be a little dicey, seemed to have passed pretty quickly.  It was Bey time.


Immediately, as the show started (with an incredible rendition of Formation), the party started.  Beyonce sang (like, really sang), danced (again, like, really danced), and killed every single one of the 26 numbers she began with.  There was not a moment that I thought she faltered.  And then the rain came.  She continued, like the professional she was, as the rain fell a little harder, and even did the infamous chair flip without busting anything.  But as that number wrapped up, and she ran offstage, and the jumbotron lit up with some footage, lightening struck….hard, and a man come out (to spirited boo-ing) to inform us that due to the dangerous conditions, we would need to evacuate, either to nearby practice fields, the PNC Arena, or our cars to wait out the storm.  We filed out, sort of started toward the doors, but by the time we went to the restroom (I am still very pregnant), and stood around for a second, the police and stadium employees  were letting us know that she’d be coming back on soon.  We filed back in.

At 11:20, she began again with Daddy Lessons, and gave us music until nearly 12 am.  She finished with a stunning performance of Freedom and Survivor, and then really finished with Halo, which she performed wet (at this point, it was raining again), and barefoot from her Freedom performance.  It was incredible, and her obvious hard work and dedication was super inspiring.  Like as dumb as it sounds, even getting up early to teach the 5:45 am Body Pump class felt a little less like a tall order, and more like something I felt honored to deliver to folks.

The performance, if you go back and look at the comments at our local news (just…don’t, take my word for it), was really shrouded in controversy.  Some folks said she’s anti-police.  Some folks said that she was lazy (impossible to believe, especially if you’ve ever seen a live show.  Some folks said that she was greedy to continue with the show among our HB2 drama.  Some said she was talentless.

Literally, she blew every single one of those arguments right out of the water.  She was beautiful, talented, humble, and thanked the audience profusely once she began the show, for staying and sticking it out with her.

Now one last thing…

I repeatedly said to Austin that I would do just about anything, anything to dance with her.  I don’t even have to be one of the front girls, even the back will be fine where no one would really be paying attention to me.  Just to see what it might feel like to be a part of something that brings 40 thousand people so much joy.


Who’s your favorite person you’ve had a chance to see live?

Something to look forward to – Summer Shows!

I love live music. It’s like top 4 things I like to spend my money on. The others being food, races, savings/paying off bills, and mani/pedis. Best money spent in life (I feel like).

So when Beyonce happened to mention that she was launching dates for her Formation World Tour at Sunday’s really disappointing Super Bowl. Made less-disappointing by that fact that we had a bunch of friends over. But still. So Bey announced the tour in the most Bey way possible, by inciting a little controversy (which, I’m not here to argue about), and then running this commercial that looked like an ad for her new fragrance.

And this ceremoniously kicked off my personal tour de music for the warmer months. Which makes me hopeful because this cold weather is absolute trash and I really want nothing more to do with it.

Here’s what I’ve got so far!

April 8th – Gavin DeGraw at Red Hat – this will be my second time seeing him at this particular venue, and probably like my 5th time seeing him in real life.  Every time I’ve seen him has been awesome, and I stand by my confidence in the fact that he once called me pretty.  ::tosses hair::

May 3rd – Beyonce at Carter-Finley – this will be like my 4th or 5th time seeing her altogether.  Acquiring tickets may be tricky, so I’m going to go into this process with a really open mind and hope for the best.  But if I don’t get to see her, Bey, there’s always next time.

May 11th – Pentatonix – I have never seen this group live, but I’m so looking forward to this.  Can’t Sleep Love ended up being one of my standout faves from the album, and I desperately adore Mitch and Scott.  Avi is bae.  I would love to have dinner with these guys.  INTERVIEW THEM FOR THE BLOG?  Even though as I say that, I have no idea what the heck I would ask them, and would probably just creepily sit in the corner as they filmed Superfruit, laughing my head off.  Just a guess.

July 2nd – Demi Lovato – I saw her once before in Charlotte, and she was really awesome.  The show was full of tweens, but I think we’ve established that I really am not super affected by the audience.  She was really good.  I think my fave was Nightingale, because she through in a BANANAS key change after the bridge.  YAS!

July 6th – Justin Bieber – This will be my second show with the Biebs.  I actually just went back and listened to the singles off Believe, and I am so stoked for the show.  Love him or hate him, he put out some good stuff with Purpose and I’m here for all of it.

Wish List:  These are artists I’m really needing new music from/would love a tour from sometime this summer.

Allen Stone – he is at Bonnaroo this year.  Something tells me I won’t be making it to any festivals this year, so I’d love a small show.

Katy Perry – I’m ready for a tour AND new music.  I’m very much a Teenage Dream fan, so I’m ready for another album with FIVE hit singles on it.

And this is what I got!

What shows are you excited about seeing this summer?

What’s the most you’ve ever (you would) pay for a concert ticket?

My year in music.

I’ve used Spotify for years – love it so much that I actually pay for a premium account, and have access to all my faves on all my devices.

Spotify has been with me at every single race I’ve ever run, and now, at least since last year, Spotify has been analyzing your listening patterns, and it makes December a little more fun when you get to remember specifically what you were listening to, with numeric proof of how obsessive your personality is.  Here’s a little bit of info about what I was listening to in 2014.

My top artist?


None other than the gorgeous and talented Demi Lovato.  This is two years running now, and my obsession shows no sign of slowing down.  Even though I do wish that she would break if off with Wilmer and then maybe she and I could be good friends.  Maybe more than friends.  Idk, we would take it slow, just see where it goes.

My Favorite Artists

My faves

Like I said before, Demitria obviously came in at number one, followed by Ariana Grande, who ruled the charts in 2014, followed closely by my friend and confidante,  Gavin DeGraw.

Gavin DeGraw and your peeps truly!
Gavin DeGraw and your peeps truly!

See! I told you! Friend and confidante!

The most fun analysis of them all!  Top 100 Songs of my 2014?

Top 100We got Magic’s Rude, we got Bailando, and really weirdly enough, we have Popular Song by Ariana and Mika.  And I’m not mad at it.

The coolest little thing about what Spotify did is that they went ahead and made a playlist of your Top 100, which I was having fun with on a boring treadmill run the other day by clicking around and taking a little jog (at six miles per hour) down memory lane.

What made your top lists in 2014?

Stevie Wonder – 11/22/14

When I was in like, fourth grade, I used to have this dream of inviting Stevie Wonder to speak to my class, and surprising my dad with a meet-and-greet with Stevie Wonder.

Sadly, that never happened, but this past weekend, I did the best that I could.

Stevie Wonder announced a tour in early September, which immediately, I knew that I wanted to go to.  But unfortunately, scalpers made the process of buying tickets extremely difficult, and by mid-October, the price of tickets had climbed to over $700 in some cases.  But after reading a few reviews of the show, I knew I had to go, and if I didn’t go, I’d regret it.

For about a month, I researched.  I entered radio contests, contact virtual strangers, and trolled the internet for a non-scammy, fair ticket price, and finally found one in a lawyer in Atlanta, who I purchased the tickets from for $300.  I gave my dad the news, and Saturday morning, we were cruising down to Atlanta to see the man that gave me my name (My Cherie Amor = Cheri Armour).

There are no words for the concert.  But there are pictures!

Stevie Wonder 1Stevie Wonder 2Stevie Wonder 3
Stevie Wonder 4Stevie Wonder 5Stevie Wonder 7

Concert Highlights

  • No one opened for Stevie Wonder, so literally, when it was go time, Stevie (who I’m apparently on a first-name basis with) walked out, introduced his two kids and India.Arie, and started the show.
  • Speaking of, India.Arie, who I’ve seen a few times, performed a few songs with him.  She is great, and her voice is as velvety as it’s ever been.
  • During Pastime Paradise, If It’s Magic, and Village Ghetto Land, Stevie Wonder straight-up stood up, looked straight into the audience, and just sang the songs.  Kind of a novel concept in the time of an artist flying around on a harness and relying heavily on dancers and a light show, but this was awesome.
  • He also made a few political statements.  Stevie Wonder doesn’t hate guns on their own, but feels we have a gun problem in this country and that something needs to be done so that folks can’t buy guns off Craiglist with the serial number scratched off.  That IS a felony by the way, but the point is, that guns are getting into the wrongs hands, and it needs to be stopped.  The execution is/will be difficult, but it absolutely has to be done. [Rant ovah]
  • Stevie Wonder evidently has an alter ego called “DJ Tick Tick Boom” who likes to play hits other than what’s on Songs in the Key of Life.  He sampled Part Time Lover, Do I Do, he covered some Michael Jackson (The Way You Make me Feel), and sang My Cherie Amor (!!).  It was hysterical and incredible.
  • Stevie Wonder’s daughter, Aisha, whom he wrote Isn’t She Lovely for, was at the show and gorgeous. 
  • Stevie Wonder is also a huge supporter of making love, not war.  He mentioned love, and I nothing but little heart emojis as I left the show.  He especially mentioned it during If It’s Magic, which was backed by this magical harp.
  • Keith John has been with Stevie since the 80s (my dad saw him in ’88).  Mr. John’s voice is stupid how similar it is to Stevie Wonder’s.  Watch all of this video and tell me you weren’t confused at the end of As…
  • And it was really, really cool to turn to my left, and see my dad actually participating in and enjoying a concert.  He sang a little bit.  He smiled during Ordinary Pain when the background singers were cussing Stevie out basically, and stood up for some of it.  The last concert I saw him do that at was John Mayer in like 2008.

Truthfully, this was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to in my life.  And I’ve seen Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Gavin DeGraw (more times than I care to admit), and John Legend.  I make a practice out of seeing good shows, and this $300 I spent was the literal best money I’ve ever spent.  Annnd Stevie played for 3 hours, a record for all the shows I’ve ever been to.

What’s on your concert bucket list?  What’s the best concert that you’ve ever been to? 


So, first things first. I have a dirty horrible confession to make.

I’m a little obsessed with “Ew!” Jimmy Fallon and’s single that they put out a few weeks ago.  I don’t know what it is about the single, but I really die for a star’s alter ego, so that’s probably it.  Nicki Minaj had Roman, the little British boy.  Katy Perry had Kathy Beth Terry who made her appearance in the T.G.I.F video.  Taylor Swift just looked like a dork in the “You Belong With Me” video.  And now, there’s and Sarah.

So judge me. A ton. I enjoyed it.

Moving right along…

So, I’ve had a terrible run with sports headphones since my second year in grad school, when someone broke into my Taurus, touched my dirty gym clothes, and stole my favorite Nike headphones which were subsequently discontinued.  Blarghhh.  From then, I lost literally like 3 pairs of earbuds, the old ones, and one of the new ones during a big race.

At that point, I started using Yurbuds, and one after another pair either went missing, or I let folks borrow them, only to never see them again.

So today, I broke my usual Fleet Feet regimen since I was near the REI, and headed in to grab a pair of headphones for a few really long training runs over the next few weeks in prep for Ragnar.

#1, the people are REI were really nice, and 2, on our little frequent REI account we had a $17 thing, so I only paid like 6 bucks for the headphones.  Holla!

What’s really cool about this particular pair of Yurbuds is that they’re gender-specific, which can be pretty stupid, like when it comes to the Bic For Her line, but this one is good because it’s a little tinier and shorter, perfect for my ears which are absolutely teeny.  So here’s to being able to hang onto this pair for longer than a day or two, hm?


Favorite headphones? 

Summer Concert Schedule.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting here with a clearing face mask on.  I was totally gonna take a picture of it for you, but it literally is so scary, I couldn’t do that to you.  So, just use your imagination.

Okay, so not sure if you know, but the summertime is my absolute favorite time for a number of reasons.  Summer nights in North Carolina are ridiculously beautiful, and the best best part about North Carolina summer (not the heat for sure) are the live shows that I’m so looking to go forward to.

So here are the shows I’m looking forward to.

tumblr_mzorblChMz1r85uiyo1_500Paramore @ Walnut Creek – July 22 – I saw these guys once, with the old line-up.  I really liked the new album, and I have always loved the concept of Hayley being the only chick in a really bad-ass band.  SO into it.


John Legend @ Red Hat Amphitheater – July 30th – I saw him live once time at Duke.  Dude sounds way, way better live than he does in studio.  He’s going to be with Earth, Wind, and Fire, so I’m thinking this is going to be a pretty epic, do-not miss sort of show.
tumblr_mtwi2i344I1rtt08so1_500Gavin DeGraw @ Red Hat Amphitheater – August 5th.  I have seen him live like 3 or 4 times.  He was amazing all of those times, and once told me that I was pretty.  So if you ever try to tell me that I’m not pretty, consider yourself ignored, because what you say doesn’t matter.

tumblr_mtvj5rOBnT1rvcjd7o2_250Demi Lovato @ PNC Raleigh – September 12th.  I saw this amazing chick in February and me and Deb vowed to go again.

I’m really pumped to see all of these shows, but because of our upcoming wedding and me recently tightening my belt when it comes to money-related issues, I may have to forgo a few lattes to makes sure I get to see these shows.

What truly excites me, however, is live music.  I love the way a live band sounds.  I love to hear and feel how excited the crowd gets.  I love to dance like a complete idiot with virtual strangers.  And my favorite thing is to hear the crowd singing a song word for word, fully along with ad libs and all.

Now all of that endless blathering aside, what bands or solo performers are you excited to see this concert season?

Songs to love by.

I posted this last week.  A breakup playlist of sorts, after I saw a guest post on Helene’s blog.

I hope none of you thought that my breakup playlist was any indication of the status of my relationships with my man-hunk, Austin, or Austie-Bostie, as my mom calls him, but rest assured, I’m still in love with my groom-to-be, and despite the fact I sometimes neglect him to do work on this blog, I’m sure he still  loves me too 🙂

That said, in case you were worried, here are some songs to love by to balance out the breakup playlist I posted last week.

So I love love.  I love the way love makes me feel.  And each one of these songs reminds me of a wonderful time in my relationship, and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy to share it with you.

Love on Top – Queen Bey

Duh. I have no explanation except that this song is really incredible.

Easy 2 Luv You – Stacie Orrico

I first heard this song with another boyfriend, but it took on new meaning when I met Austin.  It really is so easy to love that man.  Similarly, I also feel like it’s easy to want to yell at him sometimes, but goodness, he makes me feel like a natural women, and this song says it.  Plus Stacie is amazing.

Lightweight – Demi Lovato

You guys knew that she would make an appearance sometime, right?  I heard this song at first last spring, when I was running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, and as soon as I heard it, I felt like it was written for us.  Austin has my heart, and that’s all I can think of when I hear this song.

You Give Me Something – James Morrison

I have been obsessed with this song/with this artist for years, and again, this song took on new meaning when I met the nearly-husband. It didn’t mean nearly as much as when I had a schmoopy to share it with.

Sugar – Stevie Wonder

This song remind me of when me and Austin were first dating, and when he gave me his FM transmitter for my car for a long drive I had to New Jersey. I played the song the whole drive up and sang it to him.

One Night Stand – Jazmine Sullivan

This song is a good one cause it’s fun, and it describes perfectly who I was before Austin. I was a fun lady, and I had no idea that I would find someone that I’d want to marry as much as I want to do him. And then he got me heart. 🙂  Also, Jazmine, where the hell ya been girl?  I’m ready for new music!

Never Knew I Needed – Ne Yo

“You’re the best thing I never knew I needed.”

Soldier – Gavin DeGraw

I’m not yet married (did I mention I’m getting married!) but this song is what I envision the union to be like.

“I’ll get it, if you need it. I’ll search, if you don’t see it. You’re thirsty I’ll be rain, you get hurt I’ll take your pain. I know, you don’t believe it, but I said it, and I still mean it. When you heard what I told you, when you get worried, I’ll be your soldier.”

I want to be his soldier.

I had literally 10,000 more songs on this list, and let me be 100 with you guys, this list was way, way more fun than the breakup playlist to compile, and it makes me just want to love on everyone.  Now your turn.  What’s your favorite song to love by?  

The Breakup Playlist

So super fun blogger Helene had a guest blogger post on this topic, and I couldn’t resist snatching this post up.

So I have had two, grown up, adult heartbreaks in my life.  Both times, I thought I was in love, and both times, when it ended, I honestly felt crushed, and felt like I would not be involved in a relationship again.  But with some time, some self-love, and a few dates with this guy…

photo (22)

I am better than new (if you’re new, we’re getting married in August.)

But breakups are so shitty (sorry Mom), I’d like to help anyone who is going through one to not suffer the way I did.  So if any of you out there are going through a breakup, allow me to advise: it is GOING to suck, and probably for a while.  It’s imperative to do healthy things for you.  So more yoga, more salads, and less drinking.

And these songs. 

Best Thing I Never Had – Beyoncé

She’s gorgeous in this video, and singing along to this will at least make you feel like the other person is losing out 🙂  Doesn’t have to be true, but it’s allowed to feel like it.

Fearless – Colbie Caillat

“Go on, go on and break my heart, I’ll be okay, I’m fearless, you better believe I’m fearless, fearless.”  She’s getting broken up with.  Inviting it even.  And knows she’s gonna be okay.  Damn girl!

I’m Not Missing You – Stacie Orrico

She used to be a Christian singer.  She has a really cute mole.  And I listened to this song no less than 10,000 times after I broke up with this guy like my junior year in college.  I didn’t even realize how much I’d listened to it til iTunes calculated my Top 25 Most Played, and I saw that Stacie was number one, until this lady came along…

Every Time You Lie – Demi Lovato

My first year in grad school.  I moved to Raleigh for a boyfriend, and poof, as soon as I got here the relationship had dissolved.  But my relationship with Demi flourished!

Irreplaceable – Beyoncé

“So since I’m not your everything, how about I be nothing, nothing at all to you.”  I actually tear up during the live version of this song.

Realize – Colbie Caillat

This song actually brought me to tears once after my first real breakup.  I was up really really late one night, and watching music videos on MTV, and this came on.  She’s begging for it, and he doesn’t get it.  Colbie, guy’s a douche.

The One That Got Away – Katy Perry

This video.  You will cry.  And that is all.

So what have been your go-to breakup songs?  And don’t worry, we’re not all doom and gloom here, I will be posting later this week on my favorite luv songs ❤

That time I ran into Miley Cyrus’ brother.

So the big Lake Street Dive post is coming, but not til tomorrow.  Suffice it to say the show was awesome and I got to meet all the band members and tell them how awesome their show was.  !!!  So pumped about it! But here’s a little taste.

photo (5)Anyhoo, so back to the story at hand.

So a few years ago, I was at a show at this same venue with my friend Alexa, the one who got married last spring.  She is amazing, ps, and has been really helpful with wedding stuff.  Anyhoo, so we went to this show, where Breathe Carolina was the headline.

Well Miley Cyrus’ brother was performing with his new band there, and after they performed I really had to go to the ladies room to powder my nose.

imgresWell Trace was standing by the bathrooms, and covered in tattoos and no shirt, we bumped into one another and kind of blinked for a second.  Me because of all his tats, and him probably because I was very rudely staring.  So finally, he gave me a big hug, and we chatted about his show for a while before I continued to do my bidness, and he went along to do whatever.  And that is the time I met Miley Cyrus’ very scary-looking, very nice brother.

What famous people have you met?  

And as a side note, that same night, the cutie from the Ready Set hit me in the face with his water bottle when he threw it.  I think I might have saved it for a while.