Under construction! TCofaVA is getting a new look!

I have some very exciting plans and ideas for where I would like to take my blog this year! But first, I need a new home 🙂 So I can add lot’s of cool stuff and share articles, photo galleries, videos and more!

Which means I have outgrown standard WordPress and it’s time to put on my big girl pants and move to self hosting… with unlimited functionality!

Well moving house is now complete, but there is still the unpacking, re-organising and redecorating to do 🙂

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So do bear with me if things look a little strange for the next few days!

Lorelei Louise xx

 

She’s Dynamite! Q & A with our own Queen of Country, Tami Neilson

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Singer, songwriter, musician, wife, mother, even a Glory Days covergirl… Tami Neilson is one talented lady with a few strings to her bow!

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There can’t be many of you out there that aren’t yet familiar with this Canadian – who now calls NZ home, along with her Kiwi husband and two children, but just in case, here’s a bit of bio from Tami’s website:

“With a soulful voice straight from the golden age of country and rockabilly music, Tami Neilson has been described as “A red-hot honky-tonker, somewhere between Patsy Cline and Wanda Jackson with perhaps just a little bit of Peggy Lee sophistication.” (-Nick Bollinger, NZ National Radio)
Singing her heart out along endless roads and stages, from her days as a young girl in Canada touring with the Neilson Family band, opening for the likes of Johnny Cash, to her full blossoming in New Zealand as a formidable talent in her own right, Tami Neilson has won the Tui Award for each of her past three albums.

Now, in 2014, Tami has been awarded the APRA Silver Scroll, New Zealand’s most prestigious music award for excellence in songwriting, for her song “Walk (Back to Your Arms)”. Tami was also awarded the “Best Female Artist” at the National Country Music Awards and APRA’s “Best Country Song” at the NZ Country Music Awards. The release of her explosive new album “Dynamite!” has been receiving rave reviews, including 5 Stars in the NZ Herald, claiming “This world-class album is a major statement from an artist at the top of her lyrical and vocal game.”, while National Radio NZ states “I don’t reckon there’ll be a better country album released this year.”

Charting #1 on the NZ Music Charts, Independent Music NZ Charts and iTunes Country Charts, the album is well on it’s way to proving them right!

While already having made a solid name for herself here in NZ, Tami’s latest album “Dynamite” and her musical talent are making reviewers jaws drop all over the world. You can check out her banging new video for third single off the album and the title track “Dynamite” below – featuring Anika Moa, Miss Victory Violet and Ria Hall. I love the Tarantino-esque vibe and the never mess with a woman attitude!

One of the things that makes such a fan of Tami’s is her incredible live performances. If you haven’t been along to one of her gigs before, DO IT! The first time I saw her live (very  pregnant, rocking a wiggle dress like nobody’s business!), I was blown away. I had to buy and listen to her album and have been hooked since! Always a huge fan of old school country legends like Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton, I felt like I was really listening to something extraordinary. Tami plays with some of NZ’s best musicians, it’s always a show not to be missed! The originals sound as polished as on the albums, and if you’re lucky you might hear Tami play a cover from one of the legends she invokes, which will send tingles up your spine….

For a lady of such formidable talent, you couldn’t have anyone further away from being a diva! On stage, Tami’s easy going manner and infectious laugh make you really LIKE her, and in person she is just as lovely and friendly, always taking time after her shows to chat, sign albums and pose for photos. In fact, after one show I approached Tami, somewhat sheepishly, with an unusual request. You see, my four year old daughter loves Tami’s music, and seeing as she couldn’t attend the concert (past her bedtime)… she asked me to bring Barbie in her stead. Dressed especially for the show, of course. Tami didn’t bat an eyelid when I pulled Barbie out of my purse, she just laughed and posed for the photo 🙂 And my daughter was thrilled!

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Last year, Miss Tami was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for me!
With wedding chaos now over, I can get back into my blogging and am excited to share her answers with you…

Who are your biggest inspirations?
My family.

Choose three words you think best describe yourself!
It changes on a daily basis, but, today it’s: Mother. Happy. Tired!

 What book are you currently reading?
 I used to be a 1-2 books a week kinda gal (Ah, so THAT’S what I did with my time before having kid…!). Now I’m lucky to get through one every couple months! I just started “Shoot the Moon” by Billie Letts, after having heard of her passing. I’ve read all of her other books and it saddens me that there will be no more. I love her quirky humour mixed with dark and disturbing situations. Her characters are so memorable and great. (Her son, Tracy Letts, the playwright of “August: Osage County”, definitely carries on her talent!)

 Favourite piece in your wardrobe!
Too hard to choose just one- I am a dress kinda gal, so, you’ll find me wearing one- either from Rita Sue, De Vol Clothing, Pin Up Girl Clothing or, most recently, a custom dress made for me by Devel Men & Women!

What comes into your mind when you picture “happiness”?
My babies laughing.

You juggle your successful music career, which involves plenty of touring, with being a mum of two! Do you have any tips for other multi-tasking mamas for how to make things work?
The secret to making this hectic lifestyle work is the support of an amazing husband, who jumps in and takes over the solo-parenting role and always encourages me to pursue my music. Also, lots of organizing well in advance!

 Is there any one song you enjoy performing most?
I think the sad ones are my favourite! I always love singing “She’s Got You” by Patsy Cline.

What’s your favourite way to relax in your spare time?
Spare time?? Haha. Um…snuggling up to watch a movie with my hubby, reading a book uninterrupted, or a real treat these days- a massage or a pedicure!

If you had to pick your top 5 albums (or artists) of all time, what (or who) would they be?
Damn, another tough one…
Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Mavis Staples, Louis Armstrong, Loretta Lynn

What upcoming plans and projects can we look forward to seeing in the future?
I’m currently writing new material for my next album, being recorded in April 2015!

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Awesome, thanks so much to Tami! I’ll be looking forward hugely to hearing what she has up her sleeve for her new album!

If you want to get along and see this talented and inspirational lady perform next, check out her latest schedule here… I know I can’t wait for the Auckland show at the Tuning Fork April 10th!

Lorelei Louise xx

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman…

Warning, if talking about menstruation offends you, read no further!

 

 

 

Still here?

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OK, good. So a few years back, I found out about this super thing called a menstrual cup. I won’t go into detail here but suffice to say it saves me a lot of money and makes the hassle of that time of the month so much less! Once a day ladies, yes really! Not to mention it’s more sanitary and better for the environment!

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But WHY am I blogging about this? Other than simply to sing it’s praises, or having gone stark raving mad? Well a few days ago, I came across this great article on Upworthy – They’re skipping school because of their period and this tiny cup is changing all that!

Here is an extract from it:

Menstrual cups are helping girls in developing nations.Not only is the Ruby Cup a sustainable product, the company is committed to education. In many parts of the world, women and girls do not have access to affordable tampons and pads. Because some girls turn to unsafe and ineffective homemade alternatives like newspaper or tree bark during their period, many end up staying home from school during their menstrual cycle to avoid potentially embarrassing accidents. The Ruby Cup founders decided to focus their efforts in Kenya after reading a study on menstrual health in Nairobi.

I was quite horrified to think of any woman having to use tree bark! And equally, missing out on education just for being a woman! Now Ruby Cup donates 1 cup to ladies in Kenya for each cup purchased, or if you don’t want to purchase a cup (or you are, say, a man) you can donate one here.

There are many places here in NZ you can get one for yourself too…

Environmentruals (That has got to be the best name ever!) They also sell other useful products (like Shewees!), and you can donate a cup to Women’s Refuge here

Green Girl Stuff

So do a good deed for the week… and maybe even try one out for yourself 🙂 Because let’s face it, what I would normally spend on sanitary products in a year would be much more fun to spend on say… shoes.

I’ll get off my soapbox now!

Miss Lorelei Louise xx

 

 

Musings on a year past… and bring on the new year!

Well, it has been shamefully long since I’ve posted! I have a few things up my sleeve this year, but I thought I’d like to to start with reviewing this past year… in it’s good, bad and ugly glory!

And I’m going to cheat a little because I’m going to include getting married (January 24th), so it’s not strictly 2014 🙂 But I’ve never been much for colouring inside the lines anyway!

I’ve never had one of those years where I’ve looked back and gone “Wow, what a year! My life is awesome! Everything is going my way!”… but I have certainly had my share of years where amazing, joyful and positive things have happened! And this was definitely one of them.

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It has been a year of change, and a year of firsts…
I started 2014 with something life changing, literally – an operation on my back that has allowed me to once again live a full, normal and happy life – pain and morphine free!
I started this blog, and an online presence on social media, and Miss Lorelei Louise came to be!
I turned 31.
I managed a large renovation project in our house while planning our wedding at the same time.
I was diagnosed as bipolar, after a lifetime of struggling with depression, anxiety and sometimes unpredictable mood cycles, and can now finally take steps to living a “normal” life.
I got married! To a wonderful man who makes me so very happy, when less than 3 years ago I thought happiness was something I wouldn’t find again.
I got published!! Unexpectedly, as a model, in the magazine Kit Kat Club by Retro Lovely – 2 images from a fun photoshoot I did with the amazing Zandy J Photography. Also, I got to see for the first time an article I’d written in print, for Glory Days Magazine.
I quit my respectable, well paid, university education required job… for the realm of the unknown… TBC!
I entered Miss Pinup NZ, and was selected as a finalist!

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Thank you all for reading, and sharing in my journey! I am looking forward to a great year, full of more fun and firsts. What plans or resolutions have you made for 2015?

Miss Lorelei Louise xx