Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Bulking Season!

The nip in the air tells me it is officially bulking season! I love bulking season because it means fewer work outs, more food and rewarding results. 

It is a commonly held myth that bulking season is only for men, but it is great for women too. Ladies, this is your chance to get stronger and let your body bulk up with out worrying how you look in a bikini - it is amazingly freeing.

My boyfriend and I schedule out two or three “bulking” workouts each week. These workouts consist of a whole body, heavy weight movements. An example workout for this would be 5x5 squats, 5x5 bench-press, 5x5 barbell rows, and then a super set of 2x8 pull-ups/pull downs, 2x8 lateral raises and 2x8 sit ups.

Then between the bulking days we do light running, yoga or a light target day (swimming would also be great if you have access to an indoor pool).

For diet, we eat similarly to ketosis but we include more carbs. Our day to day meals look usually look something like this: breakfast - greek yogurt (all fat and low sugar) or protein shake; lunch - chicken, full fat ground beef or turkey, or bacon and eggs; and for dinner - pasta with meat balls/meat sauce, and lots of cheese, or crock pot beef stew. 

We also eat plenty of the snacks throughout the day like rice cakes, apples, baby carrots, dried figs, etc. The key to bulking season eating is higher protein and carbs, but still maintaining a balanced diet with fruits and veggies.

Carmyn is an opinionated keyboard pecker, graphic designer, part time model and bikini enthusiast.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Kianna Martinez - Singer/Songwriter

-Kianna Martinez-

"Singing is my life and I love it more than anything!"

At the age of seven Kianna Martinez found a love for music after watching the movie Selena. That same year Kianna stepped on to her first stage to sing an acapella version of "I Will Survive" and the rest was history.

As the years went on Kianna's passion for singing continued to grow with every performance and her dreams of becoming a singer became reality.

Kianna Martinez has opened for The Charlie Daniels Band at Dodge Theater and opened for Dustin Lynch at one of her favorite venues, The Pepsi Amphitheater. She has also shared the stage with Chase Bryant, Chris Janson and Rodney Atkins just to name a few.

Kianna's music has given her the opportunity to travel all over the US for performances. One of those performances being at CMA Fest in Nashville.

However after several years of traveling back and forth to Nashville Kianna made a huge decision.

The year was 2016 when Kianna loaded up all of her things and headed east. The road trip was a total of  1,427 miles from Gilbert, Arizona her home town to Nashville, Tennessee her new home. Kianna didn't have to make the long journey alone as her always supportive momma was by her side. Kianna had this to stay about the move a year ago.

"Can't believe how fast time has flown by! It has been such an incredible year! I still miss my family every single day, but I also still absolutely love living in Nashville!" [Source: Facebook - Kianna Martinez]

As an Arizona native Kianna still loves being involved with her home state and travels back to perform shows regularly. 

Kianna has performed at professional sporting events that include the Phoenix Suns, Mercury and Coyotes. She also has performed at professional rodeos such as the Parada Del Sol, Gilbert Days and Payson Rodeo. 

This year made the third year in a row performing at the Tempe Town Lake 4th of July Celebration in front of an audience of estimated 55,000 people. In 2015 Kianna was honored to be one of the three local bands selected to play Super Bowl XLIX (Februray 1, 2015) for "The Super Music Series at The Westgate Entertainment District. " 

Kianna doesn't stop there. She also has performed at the following charity events. AZ Elk Society, Wounded Warriors Project and 100 Club Arizona along with Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Since moving to Nashville Kianna has continued her work as a singer and songwriter. She has been featured on Balcony TV more than once. Her latest was in March of this year and can be seen below. Listen to Kianna sing "Used to Be" a song she co-wrote.

Along with Balcony TV Kianna has been featured on local News and Radio stations.

The passion and energy she pours into every performance allows her to connect with her audience on a personal level and keeps them coming back for more. Kianna can be seen playing around town at one of Nashville's many music venues. Some of those venues include The Stage, Second Fiddle and Frisky Frog.

Although she doesn't have any shows booked for Nashville in the near future make sure you check out her official webpage, SHOWS tab, for upcoming tour dates. Kianna can be seen performing at the below event.
  • Saturday November 4, 2017 - Phoenix  Arizona  - Welcome Home Classic Golf Tournament 
Kianna's album titled Kianna Martinez contains five songs and can be purchased from her STORE located on Kianna's official website.

Kianna Martinez

"I Can Do It Better"
"The Girl I Was"
"Feel That Way"
"Used To Be"

Below is all the links you will need to stay up to date and informed of Kianna's work, upcoming shows and releases.  
Kianna is on the following Social Media sites. Give her a follow on one or all.
Check out Kianna's videos to see her passion for the music she writes and sings.

Written by: Joseph Clay

[You can connect with Joseph on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. You can check out Joseph’s book trailer videos on his YouTube Channel.]

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Benifits of Yoga!

Yoga is unique from most kinds of exercise because it requires the participant to slow down and focus on themselves. In almost no other form of exercise is your breathing pattern so crucial.

The structure of yoga, the breathing, deliberate flow of motions and the the introspection that occur during practice are both healing and strengthening. Yoga is great for anyone who feels overwhelmed or just needs a little "me time". It has always been a crucial pracrice for me before a big project is due. Yoga gives me peace to unwind.

Growing up, one of my aunts was a yoga instructor so I have been able to witness the benefits first hand. It is a fairly user friendly activity - my aunt had a steel rod in her back and she was still as capable as any other instructor I have ever had.

Also, yoga fosters endurance and strength. In the world of growing popularity of lifting heavy weight, the benefit of body weight exercises are often forgotten. However, yoga defines muscles by using your own body as resistance while at the same time increasing flexibility.

You can also ramp up yoga's intensity by going to hot yoga (my personal favorite). Hot yoga is practiced in a studio heated from about 90°F to 104°F - so don't forget to drink plenty of water before hand. Hot yoga is awesome for detox and weight loss.

So next time you are feeling stressed or maybe just need to focus on you. I definitely recommend giving yoga a try.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Mean Mary and the Contrarys

-Mean Mary and the Contrarys-

Mean Mary and the Contrarys are a high energy Americana/Rock/Blues trio fronted by Mean Mary. The band is quickly building a worldwide following with their startling harmonies and dynamic arrangements.

That tells us one simple truth about Mean Mary and the Contrarys.

Contrary to their name, the Nashville based trio are all in one accord when it comes to creating music that infuses the earthiness of rock and blues with the raw innocence of Americana.

Head on over to Mean Mary and the Contrarys Facebook and Reverbnation pages. Show some love and give them a like and listen to their music. 

Mean Mary is also a solo artist and can be booked as that through her website. This article focuses on the many talents of Mean Mary. First we will answer the question, who is Mean Mary?

-Mean Mary-

 “The voice of a ragged angel combined with the banjo playing of the devil ... you will want to run away with her.”  

Photo credit: Johnny Giles

Mean Mary (Mary James), is a Florida native who is now based in Nashville, Tennessee. She began life as a musical prodigy—could read music before she could read words and co-wrote songs at age five. By age seven she was proficient on the guitar, banjo, & violin, and entertained audiences across the US with her vocal and instrumental skills. Her life has been one long road show interspersed with TV, radio, and film.

Mean Mary has evolved from a child prodigy who played for tips on the streets of Nashville to a seasoned performer and headliner of over 4000 festivals and concerts. She has toured the US, Canada and Europe as an Americana/Bluegrass artist.

As an adult Mean Mary has mastered 8 other instruments besides the guitar, banjo, & violin and is known internationally for her lightning-fast fingers. Those fingers caught the attention of Deering Banjo’s who named her their Goodtime Ambassador. Janet Deering describes her banjo playing as giving her “chills.”

Mean Mary is also a songwriter who chooses unusual subject matter that ranges from ghost pirates to demon guitars.

Mean Mary is a high-energy performer that thrives on variety. You combine that with her banjo playing and haunting vocals, along with her intricate story songs and you get a hell of a show.

[Bloggers Note: Mean Mary has an extensive bio on her web page that is interesting reading. The bio covers everything from her parents nomadic lifestyle to the great set back, plus a video of Mary performing as a child. Click HERE to read all about Mean Mary!]

Mean Mary's album Year of the Sparrow contains 10 tracks. The single "Iron Horse" won the 2014 IMA Vox Populi award for Best Americana Song. Watch the video below and check out her YouTube channel for more great music such as "Sweet Jezebel" from the same album.

Mean Mary's newest album Sweet contains 14 amazing songs. Both albums can be purchased from all major streaming outlets and her website under the STORE tab along with other great products.

Photo credit: Johnny Giles

Mean Mary is out on the road packing venues and giving her audiences a show they will not forget. Below are some of her up coming dates.
  • Saturday November 18, 2017 at 2pm - White Horse Black Mountain - Black Mountain, North Carolina - Mean Mary's Blazing Tour (pre-release party).
  • Saturday November 18, 2017 at 7pm - The Classic Wineseller - Waynesville, North Carolina - Mean Mary's Blazing Tour (pre-release party).
  • Sunday November 19, 2017 at 6pm - Muddy Creek Music Hall - Winston-Salem, North Carolina - Mean Mary's Blazing Tour (pre-release party). Details for this show are to be announced.
To keep up with where and when Mean Mary will be in your area she has a TOUR tab in the menu of her website. There you will also find ticket prices, address to the venues, and more.

To stay informed and up to date with Mean Mary, listen, watch and purchase her music, along with following her on social media use the links to below.

Written by: Joseph Clay

[You can connect with Joseph on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. You can check out Joseph’s book trailer videos on his YouTube Channel.]

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Ketogenic Diet

With Halloween candy, Thanksgiving meals and Christmas dinners just on the horizon, eating healthy and dieting seems to be a growing topic of conversation. In our house we like to prepare ourselves for the holiday season by cycling on and off of Ketogenic eating.

The Ketogenic diet consists of high fats and low to no carb intake - think 8-20 grams of carbs a day. When participating in the “Keto lifestyle” you have certain trade offs. You can have as much butter and cheese (and other fats) as you want, but sadly you have to strictly monitor your carbohydrates.

The biggest complaint I have heard about this style of eating is that “I like my fats on my carbs” like butter on popcorn or parmesan on spaghetti. So for me this means trying to find tradeoffs. 

Instead of pasta we eat spaghetti squash with a low carb marinara sauce, butter and as much cheese as we please. You can also make taco shells out of cheese, bread chicken with coconut flour and even make a veto friendly cheese cake.

For me the trick to successful Keto is meal prep. You have to make sure you eat often enough, because your body will be burning through the fats much faster that it would normally, and that you are keeping track of your carbs. 
So if this sounds like your cup of tea, hit up Pinterest and get to exploring the wonderful world of Ketogenic eating! You can even check out my board “KETO LIFE” on my Pinterest page,

Carmyn is an opinionated keyboard pecker, graphic designer, part time model and bikini enthusiast.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Neon Moon

-Neon Moon-
“Meet Neon Moon, whose music will scratch all your twangy country itches.” – [Source - Mother Church Pew]

News Flash – Neon Moon’s second single from the album 6:53 titled “Smoke” released October 4, 2017 made the top 10 of The Alternate Root’s top 10 songs of the week – [Source - The Alternate Root.]
This proves that the scent of love clings like “Smoke” to the clothes of Neon Moon.
The video for “Smoke” is scheduled to be released later this month. Make sure you check Neon Moon the official website often and subscribe to their YouTube channel to make sure you don’t miss it.
Neon Moon is comprised of Josh and Noelle a husband and wife team. The two formed Neon Moon because of their love for songwriting. Josh and Noelle dedicated one year of their life to writing a new song every week and posting it on YouTube, which they titled Our52Songs. From this immersion into the crafting process, they discovered their deep love for the sounds of yesteryear’s country music.

Since the first single “If I Knew” accompanied by a video of the same title, things have taken off for Neon Moon. “If I Knew”, the video was a CMChat exclusively premiered music video which was shared over 390 times and currently has 60k+ YouTube views.

Neon Moon played WestHaven’s Porchfest on Lightning 100‘s sponsored stage. They also packed the house at Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge for the 6:53 release show.

The album title 6:53, tells the story of how the album came about. After Neon Moon finished with their Our52Songs project, they didn’t stop.
Neon Moon began choosing their 5 favorite tracks from Our52Songs. Then the duo headed to Forty-One-Fifteen in historic East Nashville’s Inglewood neighborhood and started laying them down. This long process paid off with the birth of Neon Moon’s 6 song album, 6:53– named after the 52 song project plus 1 more they wrote and recorded later on to make 6 songs out of 53.
The album contains the following songs, all written by Neon Moon (Josh and Noelle). The song “Smoke” was written with Lacy Green.”
  1.  “If I Knew”   
  2.  “Smoke”   
  3.  “Homewrecker”  
  4. “Already Broken”  
  5. “Something In The Water” 
  6. “If We’re Being Honest”
Upon listening to the album you’ll hear a combination of sounds (Loretta Lynn, Fleetwood Mac and a sprinkle of early Dolly) creating this melting pot of modern-vintage twang.

The album 6:53 can be purchased from most major streaming sites. Live Laugh Love Nashville has included some of those sites below.    
Neon Moon just came off a stretch of road gigs and their plan now is to stay home a bit and write until the start of the year and get back in the studio early 2018. So at this time Neon Moon has no upcoming tour dates.
Neon Moon the official website is always up to date, so make sure you check it often, they have a tour button in the menu. Their website is also packed with great information and a STORE where you can purchase the CD 6:53, T-Shirts and Stickers. Head on over and check it out.

Neon Moon (Josh and Noelle)

Q & A with Neon Moon

Sticking with the music side for a couple of questions, what is Neon Moon’s favorite venue to play here in Nashville?

“We like playing a lot of writer’s rounds, so the Listening Room would take the cake on that one. But playing with a full band we love the Basement!”

Is there any one artist Neon Moon would like sit and talk to, living or deceased, and pick their brain?

“I think having a conversation over tea with John Lennon (or any of the Beatles, for that matter) would be amazing. Also, getting to pick Dolly Parton's brain would be a real treat. She is an incredible songwriter, business woman, and just an all-around interesting person with a great story. I think we would have some good laughs.”

What does Neon Moon like to do when not on the road and in Nashville?

“In our down time we like to grill out on the back porch with our friends and pup Bowser, a good boy. When we go out it's typically for coffee at Bongo East, a drink at Mickey's or Dee's, or catching a show at The Basement East. We also like to drive out to Leiper's Fork and ride down back roads listening to music. It's just so beautiful down there!”

Would Neon Moon be considered dog or cat people?

“Doggos. But we don't discriminate, cats are cool too. We have a spoiled 8 year old German shepherd named Bowser. We celebrate his birthday every year by taking him out for ice cream on May 22nd. We actually put him in one of our songs on the record, "If We're Being Honest".

What is Neon Moons favorite food and where in Nashville do you love to dine out?

“Josh's favorite food would be my (Noelle's) homemade Lemon Bars, and I really love Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. If we're going out, our favorite places to eat are City House and Marsh House if we want something nice. Honestly though, our favorite is frozen margaritas at Las Fiestas Cafe for something chill... get it?”

What about sports? Do either of you have a favorite team?

“Nashville PREDATORRRRRRS! WE WANT THE CUP. Also, Josh is a Georgia boy- Falcons, Bulldogs, and Braves all the way. I cheer on the Denver Broncos (even before Peyton Manning).”

Where would be your perfect vacation spot?

“We took a trip to Europe a couple of years ago and it was amazing. Revisiting Italy (specifically eating pizza in Rome again) would be a dream.”

When not touring or in the studio what are some of Neon Moons hobbies or things y’all do to relax and unwind?

“To relax and unwind when we're not in the studio… Can happy hour be considered a hobby? We also enjoy hiking, binge watching Netflix shows, riding bikes, and frequenting TJ Maxx. Josh likes to go into Gruhn's and noodle around on guitars he can't afford.”

Photo Credit Mackenzie LaRoe

Yes Happy Hour is a hobby! To learn more about Neon Moon follow them on one of their social media sites below.  
Written by: Joseph Clay

 You can connect with Joseph on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. You can check out Joseph’s book trailer videos on his YouTube Channel.]



Dear Music

Dear Music

One of my favorite things about Nashville is the level of collaboration in our artistic and social service communities. The city is full of artists and non-profits working together to make better art and build a better city; a better region; a better world. Dear Music is one of those organizations and one that deserves your attention. Driven by founder and executive director Victoria Franklin, Dear Music provides inspirational and positive community events that revolve around the performing and visual arts. The organization’s mission is to present, promote and preserve the arts through arts advocacy and community involvement. 
This relatively young organization was born in a Nashville apartment in 2015 when Victoria realized that her calling was to provide individuals with a platform to hone their performing skills and deploy their talents in ways that benefit the community. Victoria grew up in Chicago as part of a family that embraced and encouraged creativity. Both parents were musicians and singers and she spent her early years involved in art and music programs throughout her community. Her experience in a variety of church and community choirs not only honed her performing skills but helped her to see the importance of music and art in healthy communities. After high school, she found her way to Nashville where experiences with our spoken word community and more opportunities to sing opened the doors to collaborate with other artists. It was that collaboration; the opportunity to work with some many different artists and different kinds of artists, that gave birth to Dear Music. 

Dear Music, she explained to me, is personal. It is a reflection of her love of the arts and her love of the community. She wanted to write a letter to the music that was so important to her and to the artists who were her friends and colleagues and say “Hey! We need an outlet to use our talents to bless other people.” Dear Music was the result. Through Dear Music, Victoria connects artists who have a desire to better their community to organizations that can channel those talents and focus them on specific issues and solutions.

Dear Music is personal for Victoria and it embodies much of her personality. She is, like the organization that she directs, a connector. Our conversation was full of explorations of who each of knows and who each of us should know and how we can work together to make Nashville a better place. I got the feeling that most conversations she takes part in play out that way. She connects you to her people and invites, if not draws out, your people as well; all the while shaping and expanding a vision of a Nashville where the arts help build the community and the community helps to strengthen the arts. It is an infectious vision.
The past year has been a busy one for Dear Music and for Victoria. To help support the Oasis Center, a nationally-recognized organization on a mission to help young people in Middle Tennessee move into a happy, healthy, and productive adulthood, Dear Music reached out to the artistic community. Artists from all over the region donated items which were sold in a silent auction. Not only did that auction provide financial support for the Oasis Center but it helped those artists find new admirers. They also supported the recent Nashville Annual Black Excellence Expo, which spotlights and celebrates the spirit of excellence in education, arts and culture in the African American communities of Nashville and the surrounding areas.
Dear Music is currently involved in the Envision Nolensville Pike Transportation Project, an initiative led by Conexión Américas to assemble a variety of resources to enhance the Nolensville Corridor arts, safety, and transit. Dear Music is providing an art placement that will be located at the intersection of Nolensville Pike and Thompson Lane.
These events, like the many in which Dear Music participates, all share a common theme. They provide not only a platform for artistry but also a platform for artists to raise awareness about issues in the community that are important to them. They also provide a platform for those artists to raise money for the organizations that work to address those issues. The events are as varied as the artists themselves but through them all, you find Victoria Franklin’s passion for connecting artists to make them better artists and better humans.
You can learn more about Dear Music at the Facebook page:  
Written by James Szuch for Live Laugh Love Nashville:
Although not a native of Nashville, James Szuch feels thoroughly at home among the diverse denizens of Music City. As a business coach and educator, he helps  creative professionals turn their talent and passion into businesses that satisfy their financial, artistic, and personal goals. James loves writing on local businesses for Live, Laugh, Love Nashville because it gives him an opportunity to learn more about local businesses and getting to know the varied entrepreneurs behind them.
You an learn more about James at