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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Music (11)


Musical Youth (not of the dutchie variety)

In our house, we have one desktop computer and one laptop. The Candyman owns the laptop and I command use of the desktop. The iTunes is on the desktop, yet we have two separate iPods. The fact that Apple has yet to figure out a way to have separate iTunes on the same computer baffles me. Yes, yes, yes, I know we can make separate folders and playlists and shit, but it’s a pain in the ass. When The Candyman and I started dating he didn’t have an iPod. I got him one as a gift and since then, we’ve shared our iTunes. I already had thousands of songs downloaded and to try to separate his music from my music was just too daunting a task. After several years of combined musical purchases, we gave up ever trying. One of the reasons we’d like to separate the tunes is while The Candyman and I have the same appreciation for music, we definitely don’t listen to the same kinds of music.

As a Marine Brat born in the 70’s, I grew up listening to the 8-track player in the Chevy station wagon as we drove from state to state every year or so. We had the following on heavy rotation: CCR, Simon & Garfunkle, Linda Ronstadt, John Denver, The 5th Dimension, Gordon Lightfoot, The Fendermen, Peter, Paul & Mary, Merle Haggard, Crosby, Still, Nash and Young and Johnny Mathis. The first cassette tapes I ever owned were Donny & Marie’s Goin’ Coconuts and The Best of Captain and Tennille (I still have them). I know, hot to death, right?  I was a teenager in the 80’s (for which I thank God constantly) and for the early part of that decade I was obsessed with The Stray Cats, The Go-Go’s, Duran Duran, The Fixx, Pat Benatar, The Style Council, The Police, U2 and Oingo Boingo. The summer between freshman and sophomore year of high school I was introduced to Midnight Oil and that band opened up a whole different genre of music for me. I discovered Siouxie and The Banshees, The Cure, The Smiths, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Echo and the Bunnymen, Love and Rockets, Joy Division, The English Beat. I leaned hard for a few years getting into the DC punk scene with Bad Brains, The Faith, Iron Cross, Scream, State of Alert (featuring Henry Rollins), Government Issue, Void, and Youth Brigade.The music of the 1990’s just passed me right on by. Grunge was NOT my scene and I avoided plaid flannel at all costs. As my focus turned towards my career in the early 00’s, I basically stopped paying attention to music.  I listened to the radio and maybe bought a CD here and there if I really heard something I liked.

Moving to Music City (that would be Nashville) in 2005 got me back into a local music scene. It was all kinds of fun as I made friends with musicians and often got to watch them play amazing live music. When I met The Candyman, I felt like I had a pretty good repertoire of musical history and taste under my belt. Sadly, The Candyman doesn’t agree with this sentiment. He grew up in the 70’s too, but had older brothers who were way into the rock music scene: lots of Skynard, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, and Black Sabbath coupled with the blues of the South: Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy,Howlin’ Wolf, Ma Rainey and Ray Charles. He despises the 1980’s and I often wonder how someone who hates 80’s music so vehemently can love me so soundly.

So now that we’ve co-mingled our lives and our iPods, I’m exposed to all sort of music that I’ve never heard before. A lot of it I don’t care for. I feel like I’m constantly fast-forwarding through Johnny Cash (how much of one artist can one man have?), Mother Love Bone and The Black Keys to try to find my bubble-gum pop songs that just make me want to get all dance-y. I can’t get enough of Lady GaGa’s Born This Way or Pink’s Raise Your Glass. For reals.

There are times when I let the iPod just do its shuffle thing and I’ll hear a song I’m fairly certain I don’t want to hear, but end up listening anyway. What I’ll find interesting is a hook or a lyric that I just know resonates with The Candyman and I get why he listens to that song. One of the songs Howlin’ Wolf is famous for is called Louise.  He loves that song (go figure). He used to listen to Zero 7’s Destiny when I would go overseas. I would listen to that too, and think of him.

On a clear day
I'll fly home to you
I'm bending time getting back to you
Old moon fades into the new
Soon I know I'll be back with you
I'm nearly with you
I'm nearly with you

When I'm weak I draw strength from you
And when you're lost I know how to change your mood
And when I'm down you breathe life over me
Even though we're miles apart we are each other's destiny

I'll fly, I'll fly home
I'll fly home and I'll fly home

So this past weekend, we were driving somewhere and one of “his” songs came on. I was in no mood for the twangy, bluesy nonsense I heard, but resisted the urge to jab the fast-forward button.  I had never heard it before and I can’t even remember who or what it was, but there was a line in the song about a good woman bringing her man coffee. I looked at The Candyman and said, “This is why you like this song, isn’t it? It reminds you of me when I bring you coffee in the morning.”

And I was right. He’s so squishy and sentimental. That moment in the car last weekend has stayed with me and I’ve been rolling it around in my brain. I’m trying to figure out if it meant something. Should I listen harder for the sentimental cues? Will three to four minutes of patience through a song that’s not “mine” further reveal to me the man my husband was, is and will be? I wonder.

And is the comingling of music reflective of the comingling of our lives? Sometimes we should be able to listen to our hearts desire. Other times it’s more appropriate to let someone else have their heart’s desire. I am still learning how to share: my life, music, money, closet space. The Candyman and I were talking recently about his ability to break through the barrier that I built around my heart and he smiled and started singing Higher Than the Wall from The Steel Drivers:

There are walls made of paper, and walls made of stone
and some that are made out of livin' alone
I built a wall no one could break down
locked up my heart where it couldn't be found

You saw past my shackles and let love unfold
showed me the truth from the lies I'd been told
my heart was a prisoner like no heart at all
till your love reached higher than the wall

I smiled at him and he said, “Brick by brick, baby.” And maybe that’s the lesson. This whole love thing we’ve got going on is a process. Maybe it’s an un-building and rebuilding of ourselves.

You know, if Apple ever does figure out how to separate iPods on one computer, I don’t think I’ll sign up for it. Let’s just keep it all mixed up together. It’s better that way.


Finding My/Your Wedding Mojo

So I've been frantically working on all sorts of hair toys and bridal accessories for some bridal blogging partners in crime as well as for a few others (Jenn C., I swear, you're next!) . It's been going well, but I get very nervous when I do custom stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love to do custom stuff. On one hand, it's really easy because you get to hear exactly what the bride wants and I really enjoy creating something with a particular person in my head. On the other hand, it's completely nerve-wracking because I've got this insane need to please and I want people to be happy with what I do for them.

And it's weird (or maybe it isn't, I need some artists to chime in here) because I'll have an idea for something and start working on it. And then it won't come. Or rather, it won't come all the way. The creative juices just halt. The thing that I had in my head sort of becomes this fleeting image that I'm suddenly chasing around the corners of my right brain. If I can't see it, I can't do it. The same thing used to happen to me when I was designing lamps and home decor. I'd be overseas, all excited to go play with product and I'd have all these ideas and visions dancing around in my head and I'd get to a factory to work and my brain would go SCREEEEEECH and I'd be standing and staring at a project like a freakin' deer in head lights. Most times, I'd ask for a Diet Coke (assuming the lost creativity was due to jet lag) and wander around looking at old projects or rejected projects for the thing that goes "SPARK" and gets me up and running again.

Over the years, I taught my Asian vendors tons of American slang, one of them being the word "mojo" and how one could lose it. Most of them knew that if I went for the Diet Coke, my mojo was in hiding. My vendors would bring out pretty things to spark my interest, or make a suggestion to the design I was working on, or just generally distract me. Most times, that's all I would need: a diversion, another voice. I'm not one of those people who think that my ideas are the best, most creative out there. In fact, I second guess myself so much that another voice puts me at ease, whether the feedback be praise or constructive criticism.

So now that I'm doing these custom things, I find myself emailing pictures of possibilities to brides along the way, and getting their feedback. I don't know if that's the "right" way to go about this new venture, but it feels most comforting to me for now. I certainly don't want to make something for a bride that they don't like or is somehow "off", even just a little. I don't want to be the regret a bride has after all is said and done. Perhaps this is undue pressure I am putting on myself. I'm just not certain at this point.

So I have been trying to come up with a new designing diversion without success. Diet Coke only appears to work in China. Last week I was taking some pictures of a lace shrug to email to a bride. I needed to try it on to show the bride where the length would fall, etc. and to do so, I needed to show the shrug with a strapless dress. I put on my David's Bridal $40 wedding gown I bought on sale some time last year, snapped some pics and emailed them off. I took off the shrug, took down my tripod and organized the bride's goodies. I cleaned up my work space a bit and put away some folded laundry. All in the wedding gown. I didn't purposely leave it on, I just got side tracked with activities. I sat down to attend to more emails and realized I was still wearing the gown. So I kept it on. A few nano-seconds later, the radio started playing the dreaded,

Baby, baby, baby ohh
Like baby, baby, baby noo
Like baby, baby, baby ohh

And I got up and started dancing. Just like that. To Justin Beiber. In my $40 David's Bridal wedding gown. And then I had an epiphany! "No! It is NOT Justin Beiber that I should be dancing to!" and I ran to my iPod and found, played and danced to "Forever" by Chris Brown. I swear, I cry a happy cry every single time I hear that song. Ever since those crazy kids, Jill and Kevin, danced their way down the aisle, it's all I can envision in my head when I hear it. And it makes me so freakin' happy. Their video came out in July of 2009, less than 8 weeks before my own wedding. It was my go-to video when I was feeling stressed. That video took me to my happy place when I was overwhelmed by tasks, drama (usually self-induced) or just plain ol' nerves. So I danced. I danced up and down the hallway and got funky to "Forever." Afterwards, I changed out of the gown and banged out some crazy bridal accessories. And just like that, I found my mojo. Is my $40 David's Bridal wedding gown and a little Chris Brown my new Diet Coke?

When it comes down to it, we all are pretty much obsessed when it comes to our planning, right? I certainly didn't expect to care or plan or DIY as much as I did. It all sort of just happened. I wasn't prepared for it, that's for damn sure. I think every bride needs a little go-to for de-stressing in the throws of wedding planning, don't you? Do you work out? Imbibe? Listen to Justin Beiber (don't worry, I won't tell anyone)? What's your tactic for getting your wedding out of your head?

And just in case you've been living under a rock, on another planet or in a general state of internet ignorance, here's a repeat performance of my favorite wedding de-stresser ever.

Over 61 MILLION people have watched this video and nearly $35,000 has been raised in donations to the Sheila Wellstone Institute to stop domestic violence. If that doesn't make you feel good, I don't know what will!



Wedding Harmony

If You're not familiar with Vicki Grafton and My Simple Details, you should be. Vicki planned her own Bali wedding and it's been plastered all over the place. I'm sure you've seen in on Style Me Pretty or even recently on The Budget Savvy Bride's Wedding of the Week. Anyway, Vicki was the planner for the event in the below video. The camera work leaves a little to be desired, but it wasn't like it was being filmed by a real videographer (at least I HOPE not). Still, you get the gist. Really clever and those guys can SING!


Best Groomsmen Medley from Vicki Grafton on Vimeo.


"I Wish" Wednesday

I so wish that I could stop obsessing about the things that went wrong at the wedding. Really, only two things sucked and everything else was over-the-top fabulousity. I think I’m just going to vent those things now and be done with it.

First, y’all know that the bartender thing at Aloft Hotel was a bust. I have heard back from them. They sent me a Starwood Hotel Preferred Guest card with 20,000 points on it. The card they set up for me was a new card. If they had thought to check, they would know that I’m already a Starwood Preferred Guest and I already have a card. So now, I have to go through the process of changing the card numbers over to ONE card and transferring the points, blah, blah, blah. More of a pain in the ass than it’s even worth. Aloft Hotel – YOU FAIL.


The other thing that I didn’t like was the DJ. At all. I met her at one of the bridal shows and thought that having a female DJ would be cool and different and un-cheesy. I left the music management up to The Candyman. He met with her, discussed our music tastes and he was happy with the meeting so we hired her.

Months before the wedding I sent her the Martha Stewart list of songs that I blogged about here. She emailed me saying that adding the songs we liked wouldn’t be an issue and she thought the songs were cool. A few weeks before the wedding, we sent her our full list of songs we wanted. It was very specific. This is what she received from us:

For the Atmosphere

Anything by Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, The Drifters (Think Myrtle Beach Shag/Beach Music Festival)

Classic Country (Nothing recorded after 1980)


Anything by Mahalia Jackson

Early Slow Dances

Givin’ Him Something He Can Feel/ Aretha Franklin

You Send Me/ Sam Cooke

At Last/ Etta James

Jet Lag/ Joss Stone

Picking up the Pace

Do You Love Me/ The Contours

Hallellujah, I Love Her So/ Ray Charles

Fell in Love with a Boy/ Joss Stone

Rasberry Beret/ Prince

Higher and Higher/ Jackie Wilson

Forver/Chris Brown

Getting the Way Down and Dirty

Rock Your Body/ Justin Timberlake

Goin’ Down/ Freddie King

Nothin’ but a G Thang/ Dr. Dre

Gett Off/ Prince

Sexy Back/ Justin Timberlake

Blame it on the Boogie/Jackson 5

Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)/ Beyonce

Candyman/ Christina Aguilera

Mellowing Out

Destiny/ Zero 7

Every Morning/ Keb Mo

Pretty specific, right? We had also sent her a time line of the evening and what kind of music we wanted during dinner and the cocktail hour. Well, when we walked into Mere Bulles, the first thing I noticed was the blaring music. I think the first thing I told Tabitha (who was standing right at my elbow – God love her) was (in somewhat of a bridezilla manner that I must now apologize for), “The music is WAY too loud and what the hell is she playing? Light cocktail/dinner music now and have her turn it down!” Within nano-seconds the music was lowered and more appropriate. But I swear, I thought I was in a freakin’ dance club when I first walked in. Not a good start.

And as an aside, I have to say that whenever I needed Tabitha, I looked up and there she was. She was always at the ready and that was so comforting. The fact that the music changed instantly (I swear, it was like a light switch it happened so fast), I knew I could relax and that she would handle everything. I knew that at the church too, but Mere Bulles is where it set in. I think I was too busy with the whole “getting married” thing at the church to worry.

I barely noticed the music during dinner, as it did remain low and unobtrusive. However, I don’t remember hearing anything that we requested. I’m not going to bitch too much about that though because she may have played it and I didn’t notice or hear it.

After we cut the cake, we had out first dance and father/daughter dance, which were fine. The music that she started playing after that was questionable. She really could not and did not read the crowd. We had told her that our guests were a tad older. I mean, we’re in our thirties, our parents are in their fifties and sixties as our many of our older family members. All of our friends are in their thirties and up, for the most part. I have to think hard about who was under thirty! So, playing all sorts of club music straight out of the gate? Not smart. I mean, some of the songs I liked and requested, it was just her timing sucked. Bad. Out of the entire list above, I remember hearing three songs. Three. We really wanted our guests to dance and have fun, but that really didn’t happen. Both of our families are from the South. They all dig beach/shag music and most people enjoy dancing to that style of music. I can’t remember hearing one song that fell into that genre, not one. On top of all that, other than the scheduled dances with The Candyman and my dad, I don’t think she played one slow song. Um, what? Seriously, I danced one kinda slow song with my brother and that was it.

After the wedding, I polled some good friends and they all agreed that the DJ sucked.

While I don’t think it ruined anything, I don’t think it was all that it could have been. I think people still had fun, but it really kind of pissed me off that after all the information we shared with the DJ, she just played really standard, blasé wedding music – which is what we really did not want. I guess this is a perfect example of how the best laid plans can go awry and that there are just some things you have to let go, deal with and make the best of. I think I did that during the wedding. It’s just now that I’m obsessing over it, which is so incredibly stupid. Let me repeat. So. Incredibly. Stupid.

So my wish for Wednesday is layered:

Stop obsessing over the damn DJ.

Find the positive in the fact that you can share this info with fellow brides – so that they too will know that things won’t be perfect, but that it will not affect how you feel unless you let it.

Make sure you’ve got a kick-ass day-of planner.



This video makes me so happy, I cried.

Thanks to AEL for sharing and making my day!