#BirthdayBonanza: Throwback Thursday!

Remember when people used to go to libraries to read books or shop in bookstores like Books A Million?

Well, I still love visiting physical bookstores as much as I prefer physical books to e-books.

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Today, you have a chance to WIN a $25 gift card to Books A Million!

You can browse real bookshelves and sniff glue until your heart is content.

All you need to do is share the linked Tweet via Twitter.

Don’t have Twitter? No problem.

Come back tomorrow for a Facebook-friendly giveaway!

#BirthdayBonanza: Writer Wednesday

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If you are a writer like me, you go through a lot of coffee.

Well, what better to celebrate three years of espresso yourself with a coffee giveaway!

One winner will get $50 to use at CoffeeOverCardio, a brand of coffee for Boss Babes and Writers Looking For A Muse.

Their newest product is a Smart Start Creamer which helps with mental clarity, awareness, and focus.

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The first time I tried it, I could have sat down and wrote half my novel, to be honest.

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is Follow The Smart Cookie Philes on Twitter, and also feel free to check out Coffee Over Cardio.

If you would like to purchase anything from Coffee Over Cardio, use code WITTYWRITER10 TO SAVE 10% OFF ANYTHING ON THE SITE.

 

Happy 3rd Birthday to The Smart Cookie Philes!

In January 2016, I began this site as a book and music review blog with no idea how big it would grow and GROW it did.

It became a registered domain.

It became a PR firm.

It became a source of inspiration for all creative people to belong to.

It became a hashtag game, a chat, and now it’s own weekly prompt on Twitter.

It became a playlist on Youtube with it’s own videos.

It became a merchandise shop that has given to various causes that people may not be aware of but are inventively helping various sectors within the community such as:

Bess The Book Bus

Adopt A Classroom

And more to be named soon with new product designs.

Most of all, it provides a safe haven for people no matter who to come and feel free to espresso themselves however that may look because life is more fun when you live it on the edge, you color outside the lines, you choose to stand out instead of fit in.

Thanks for keeping this movement going for 3 years.

Come back to the site each day this week for a new giveaway every day. the smart cookie philes presents

The New #ESPRESSOYOURSELF

If you are a reader and a supporter of my Book Blog turned PR firm then you already know the meaning behind #ESPRESSOYOURSELF….

Most people on Twitter know it as a hashtag game that became a chat that is now being condensed (temporarily) to a weekly prompt posted on Monday at midnight, and can be answered throughout the week by any and all within the #bookish, the #writing, or the #reading communities.

The rules are as follows:

  1. The prompt goes live on Monday at 12 a.m. EST.
  2. You must reply to the tweet and use the hashtag to answer the prompt.
  3. You must reply to one -three people in order to keep the conversation going.

I started ESPRESSOYOURSELF as a hashtag game in order to be a sort of reprieve from typical hashtag games I saw on Twitter:

Prompts were posted with fancy graphics and people were answering the question but no one was connecting.

The hosts were even unaware of what was even being tweeted with their hashtag because they didn’t even reply to the tweets.

This prompted the participants to not reply to anyone else, and it was a great reflection of how we as humans use social media:

To disconnect, to brag, to stay in our self-absorbed bubble, to never try to really get to know anyone else.

So stay tuned through March 30 for weekly prompts, and I thank you all for the support of ESPRESSO YOURSELF.

Signed,

The Smart Cookie

#MusicMonday: Pink’s Beautiful Trauma is raw and vulnerable in all her signature colorful ways

P!nk is hands down one of my favorite pop artists and it isn’t because she has the most amazing voice or has songs with popping beats but because she’s 100% herself with everything she puts out musically, and usually it always has connotations of female empowerment and encouraging young women to break glass ceilings and if they happen to not fit inside the box society tries to put them in…oh fucking well.

Beautiful Trauma was released in October of 2017 which meant it was her first album in five years time. The album debuted at #1 during it’s release week before ranking at #30 on the Billboard Hot 200.

When I first listened to it, I wasn’t sure I was a fan of it. Yet, it took a good ten listens for me to realize the amazing artistry hidden within each song and I do hope my review highlights the greatness of Pink’s Beautiful Trauma.

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Song by Song Review

Beautiful Trauma: The title track opens the album with a track about how life’s trauma can turn to beauty over time, and musically describes a love relationship that bubbles and fizzes at just the right temperature to keep one sane.

Whatever You Want: This uplifting power ballad finds the singer fighting for a relationship that seems doomed.pablo (27)

What About Us: Anthem-like musicality made this a great first single off the album with lyrics speaking to the heart of love and trust whether that be between two people or within society as a whole.

But We Lost It: A piano ballad that discusses a relationship that charged with so much positivity (joy, happiness, and peace) but time wasn’t on their side. Almost like a spark between two people that flickers, dims, and dies.

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Barbies: My favorite song on the entire album because of it’s soft musicality mixed with lullaby-like elements. It perfectly expresses that adult moment when nostalgia seems to take over and all you want to do is go back to being a kid with naivete and innocence “playing barbies in your room.” Co-written by Julia Michaels.

Where We Go: Catchy pop rock musicality make this worth a few listens, with a lyrical tale about letting go of a relationship that is doomed for disaster.

For Now: A song about reminiscing an old flame and getting stuck on the highs without realizing the lows.pablo (29).png

Secrets: A song about a truth about life and all of us have secrets or private parts we don’t express to just anyone.

Better Life: A track discussing the highlight reel effect social media has on all of us.

I Am Here: A brand new ballad version of Just Like Fire, expressing realizing you are enough as is ,and you are here in this moment.

Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken:

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A political yet poetic ballad about 19th century women and incorporates the #MeToo movement.

You Get My Love: The final track on the album emotionally pleading and raw about the gift of her love.

 

#GiftGuide 2018: Gifts For Any Occasion for the Book or Music Lover in your life

One week left to get that special someone in your life the perfect gift. If, like me, they consider themselves a bibliophile or a melophile, they want something of that nature.

I could recommend stationary or bookmarks until I’m blue in the face but book and music lovers want just that. Books or music. Without further ado, let’s dive in to some of my faves I’ve experienced this year that I think would make great gifts.

 

Time to turn it up with these Smart Cookie approved picks:

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YoungBlood by 5SOS

This CD was on repeat for two weeks straight, and I cannot recommend it enough to anyone and everyone. It would make a great stocking stuffer for sure this Christmas.

To read my full review, visit here.

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Let The Trap Say Amen by Lecrae & Zaytoven

Whether you are new to the faith, curious about the faith, or saved and serious, Lecrae’s newest mixtape will have you turning up the volume and dancing in praise and worship.

I even workout to this mixtape often so the tempo is just the right amount of gospel and gangster.

For the full review, please visit here

 

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Voice Notes by Charlie Puth

Whether you aren’t a fan or you are, this album deserves a Grammy nod.

For the full review, please visit here.

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Shawn Mendes by Shawn Mendes

The Canadian cutie started on vine and now his third album reached a whole new level of “fine.” With collabs with Julia Michaels and Ryan Tedder, this album shows a maturity beyond Mendes young years.

For the full review, please visit here.

Moving on to some lit reads I had the pleasure of checking out this year…

WHEN HEARTS COLLIDE BOOK COVER

If you love romantic storylines mixed with Christian elements, this is a book you should definitely consider. The best part of this book is that it will still give you all the feels without leaving you feeling like you stepped out of line.

For my full review, please visit here.

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My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

This book took an in-depth yet fictional look at how social media maximizes things that normally would be minimized, and how the big picture is all that you ought to focus on in the end.

For the full review, please visit here.

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“A life of the mind requires denial of all other desires,” or does it? A professor reunites with her college sweetheart in this bookish and swoon-worthy romance.

For full review, please visit here.

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Her poetry will have you falling in love. Themes range from heart break, first love, forever love, etc.

For full review, please visit here.

If you know an author or musician who isn’t sure what to do about getting the word out about their book or album, maybe gift them with one of my service packages.

Indie Spotlight Bundle

Lastly, some bookish people like to sport their love and appreciation for all things books and music, and you can support a bookish or educational cause with every purchase in my official merch shop Cookies For A Cause.

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That about wraps it up! Wishing you a very happy holiday season and may the new year bring new moments where you choose to espresso yourself fully and truly!

 

 

#MusicReview & #EarwormAlert: Why I Can’t Stop Listening to ‘YoungBlood’ by @5sos

I purchased the album, totally stoked to own the #1 album, by 5 seconds of summer. Yet, that was two weeks ago, and since I first put it in my CD player, I can’t seem to stop listening to it.

It has now become the soundtrack of all my daily life activities:

  1. Working out
  2. Driving in the car
  3. Karaoke session in the shower
  4. Writing a scene in my novel
  5. Computer work
  6. Playing with my dogs

You get the idea. It’s a definite earworm.

Youngblood debuted at number one in Australia, becoming 5 Seconds of Summer’s third number-one album in their home country. It debuted atop the albums chart at the same week that the title track was number one for a fifth week on the singles chart.

In the United States, it became their third number-one album on the Billboard 200 chart, debuting with 142,000 album-equivalent units, including 117,000 in pure album sales. The album debuted ahead of the Carters’ (Beyoncé and Jay-Z) Everything Is Love, with industry forecasters initially unsure of which album would take the top spot. This made them the first Australian act with three number-one albums in the US. It also led to 5 Seconds of Summer being the first band (not vocal group) to have their first three full-length studio albums debut atop the Billboard 200.

The Australian pop rock band consists of four members:

5 Seconds of Summer consists of Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, Calum Hood, and Ashton Irwin. Clifford and Hood joined Hemmings in posting covers on YouTube, and Irwin joined the group during their first live gig in Australia, thus forming the band’s current line up.

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  • Luke Hemmings – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboard
  • Calum Hood – bass guitar, vocals, keyboard
  • Michael Clifford – lead guitar, vocals, keyboard
  • Ashton Irwin – drums, percussion, vocals, keyboard

The band cited McFly, Blink-182, All Time Low, Mayday Parade, Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Boys Like Girls and Busted as their influences.

The guys write all their own music but this third album showcased a sound and songwriting style that was beyond their years as all four guys are between the ages of 21 and 23.

Song by Song Review (Regular Album version only)

“YoungBlood”:  The album opens with a banger of a rock and roll song with pop musicality gives the atmospheric themes of the push and pull of a relationship.

This track especially showcases growth and maturity in their songwriting and artistry.

Want You Back“: The lead single from their third album tells the story of a love that never truly ends. The song has a more pop electronic sound for cleaner melodies.

“Lie To Me”: A song about a love that doesn’t line up with an old school crooner musicality.

Valentine“: Almost an “All I Want For Christmas” feel but for Valentine’s Day. It’s about a love that meets in the middle and has no expectations.

“Talk Fast”: My absolute favorite track on the album because of the 80’s musicality and lyrical content about a hit and run romance.

“Moving Along”: Pop musicality with a bit of their old sound, seal with a Nirvana drum solo, comes a song about thinking about someone you used to be in a relationship

“If Walls Could Talk”: Suggestive lyrics paint a sexy alternative pop song about the private lives of two people in a relationship that only the walls of their house, specifically their bedroom, get to witness.

“Better Man”: My second favorite because this song makes my heart happy because it’s romantic and sweet.

From the first note, this song will stick with you, maybe even soften you up. Reminiscing his ex lover, he knows that she brought out the best in him, and though he realizes he should be bitter, dappling in unhealthy habits like smoking and one night stands, he still cares and would die for her, if need be.

“More”: Musically,  it is everything you wanted and more. Lyrically, this track discusses a new divide in a relationship that causes problems for both partners.

“Why Won’t You Love Me”: A rock n roll version of “Why Don’t You Love Me?” by Hot Chelle Rae with the musicality of Guns N Roses “Sweet Child Of Mine.”

“Woke Up In Japan”: A poetic look at love being caught within the pockets of time, leaving you feeling jet lag, disoriented, and empty.

“Empty Wallets”: An alternative look at being so in love with someone you are willing to spend all your money on them.

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“Ghost of You”: A song about heartbreak post-breakup or after someone passes away.

Overall, Young Blood is something you may vibe with, or it may just become the soundtrack to your life. Either way, it is a musical masterpiece in any genre, country, or light.