Everyday Conversations, From Live It Everyday

  • It’s Evolutionary Not Revolutionary – It’s Life Played Out Loud

    I can’t ever remember a time in my life that I wasn’t listening to music and I credit my parents (Curt and Patsy Russell), a few family members, and friends for that.

    playlist pic

    How many of you recognize these artists? (Or, do any of you even know what all these are?)

    Curt and Patsy always had music playing in the house, mostly the radio, but had some records they played too.  Records…I just dated myself, but hey that’s OK because I had some great records and we’ll talk about those from time to time.  Even though my parents liked music, they had different taste.

    Curt loved Fats Domino, who is still one of my favorites.  Even now, I can close my eyes and find 5 year old Mike siting with Curt and his buddies playing penny poker while he sang along with Fats about “Walking To New Orleans.”  Fats was a family favorite and we’ll talk about more that later too.  Curt also loved Lefty Frizzell’s “Long Black Veil.” He sang it all the time when I was kid and I liked the song and considered it one of my favorites but when I first heard it on the The Pizza Tapes by Jerry Garcia, David Grisman and Tony Rice, I was blown away. The song is on several of my playlists.

    Of course my dad Curt liked a lot of others too: The King, Cash, Haggard, and was also a huge gospel music fan.  He loved live music and it was a big part of our family as my uncle Paul and cousins always played at family gatherings.  Paul was “Merle Travis” style picker that could make his Martin talk.

    Like my dad, it seems like every time I walked into Patsy’s kitchen either, Sugar Shack (Jimmy Gilmer and Fireballs) was playing and she was singing right with it.  I’m pretty sure this was a record, because the song’s older than me.  By the way -- the Hammond organ on the song is pretty cool.

    “Down In The Boondocks” by Billy Joe Royal is the other song I remember hearing all the time.  The song was a social statement song, “poor boy, rich girl” kind of thing, but it’s a good song.  The song’s been covered by Kenny Loggins, Ry Cooder, and most recently 2012 by US Girls.

    At the ripe age of 9, I bought my first record. A 45-RPM single, the “A” side was Brown Sugar and the “B” side was Bitch by The Stones.  I still love The Rolling Stones and Brown Sugar; the intro riff on Brown Sugar is one of the best in rock music. I’m a huge fan of great guitar riffs, music, players…you get it.  I loved the Stones so much that I later borrowed (without him knowing or without returning) Sticky Fingers from my uncle Harry.  He wasn’t a Stones kind of guy anyway nor was he a Simon and Garfunkel or Neil Diamond kind of guy either.  It’s all good -- we’re still friends.

    Now let’s talk about my weekly post. Don’t worry, it will most likely never ever be this long again. For me, this was a marathon, but I wanted to give you a little insight to where I’m coming from. Each week I’ll post a playlist for the weekend and if I have a good story or good information, I’ll pass that along too.

    Some things to remember.

    • I’m not an expert, critic, or any type of music professional
    • I don’t know everything about music. Like you, I know what I like and what I don’t like.
    • I hope to remind you of some songs you may have forgotten and for you to remind me of songs that I may have forgotten.
    • I want to introduce you to some songs you’ve never heard and likewise, you can introduce me to new songs.
    • There probably won’t be much Top 40 music on the playlist, but there may be a guilty pleasure every now and then.
    • Tipper Gore would not approve of some songs and content I’ll post

    With that said, here’s this weeks playlist -- it’s sampler platter.

    1. Evil – Howlin’ Wolf
    2. Taxie Dance – John Cougar
    3. Nadine – Chuck Berry
    4. Four Wheel Drive – Bachman-Turner Overdrive
    5. Over The Rainbow – Chet Atkins with Les Paul
    6. Pretty Polly – Ralph Stanley
    7. Soul Almighty – Bob Marley
    8. Old Dogs – Children and Watermelon Wine – Tom T. Hall
    9. Statesboro Blues – The Allman Brothers Band
    10. Come Together - Aerosmith

    Music is how we see, feel, and live life and the great thing is, there are so many styles to choose from.  So, what gets you going?

  • The Enslaved: Sex Trafficking in Cambodia

    Last week, I was able to travel with two of my very favorite people -- one of which is a contributor for Everyday Conversations -- to Nashville to attend a showing of Rapha House's new documentary Finding Home. It follows the successes and failures of the organization's goals to eliminate and free girls of and from sex trafficking in Cambodia. Though tearful and sometimes upsetting -- these girls were so sweet -- it was a great time. Not only did we leave enlightened, but also inspired. I definitely encourage you to pick up a copy of the film and check out ways that you can get involved. Cara, our Faithful and Peaceful contributor, works with many different sex trafficking organizations and victims in both Africa and Costa Rica. Later this month, she'll share her story and experiences with the horrible crime that is occurring in every corner of our world.

    RH 2 - Edited

    The vibe of this place was literally the coolest. It's called Mercy Lounge & Isaac (right) used to go to church here. Buuuut it's a bar. So that's pretty neat.

    RH - Edited RH 1 - Edited

    We named him Frederick.

    RH 3 - Edited

    We also got to check out some of there super cool merchandise. Cara and I were all about the bags and journals ... two of our favorite things!

    RH 4 - Edited

    Though we don't work directly with Rapha House, they're doing some awesome things and we definitely encourage you to check them out. Maybe purchase something from their Freedom Store (you can't go wrong with a handmade satchel or journal). If you are interested in the charities that we work with, you can see them here. We have some fun things coming up with all three and can't wait to share with you guys!

    See ya, Haley

    Apparel // men, women
  • Everyday Conversations Change The World

    Passionate, abrupt, impatient, and mischievous. Hi, I’m Cara. I'm the new contributing writer for Live It Everyday’s Everyday Conversations, I proudly represent the World Peace line that clothes passionate people and although I'm the international guru, I'm actually a pretty average person. (Besides my star qualities of quick wit and awkward nature.)

    Headshot (4-24-14)A few things about me:

    • I live off of dark coffee, pizza, and music.
    • So far I can run a solid 2 miles and I’m learning my 5th language but I fail at all things requiring hand-eye/don't-die coordination.
    • I fear rushing water and butterflies. Yet behold, I like bats.
    • Embrace the weird.

    On a more serious note, I believe that everyday conversations can change the world. I believe there are more people out there like me, passionate people who believe peace can overcome chaos. Passionate people who are fueled from what inspires them. Passionate people who inspire others.

    Passion is contagious, and so are everyday conversations. 

    I told you before that I am average. But my thoughts are not. My mind tends to wander from thinking about what I'm eating for dinner (pizza), to my crammed hourly schedule, laughs about something ridiculous I did earlier that day (perhaps running into my bathroom door, bruise as evidence), and then somehow I will be gazing on a sunset horizon as I drive to work and my mind will turn to the world. Images of human trafficking, acid attacks, honor killings, orphans, diseases, poverty, political injustice, abuse, rape, and crime after crime that humanity faces infiltrates my maybe-not-so-everyday thoughts.

    Collage - Gabon

    This is my mind. An average person stuck between the tugs of a normal and radical life. I find that I am inspired by the injustices of the world. My passion, my bite-back, is fueled by my roaring anger. I speak my mind, I tell people my thoughts, and I am determined to start a movement that an everyday conversation can change the world. A single conversation with one person has the potential to open up your mind and broaden your perspective.

    Gabon - Retake (4-24-14)

    Gabon - Silly (4-24-14)

    In these posts, you will read more about how a normal life collides with passion and determination to change the world. I promise that you won't solely land on stories but on challenges. Challenges to live life to the fullest, that inspiration would become respiratory, and that you would believe in the good that thrives among all things, to live peacefully everyday. What about you? How do you challenge yourself? What inspires you? Quite simply: How do you Live It Everyday?

    Costa Rica (4-24-14)

    The movement is contagious; proceed at your own risk.

    Until next time, Cara Hope Starns

  • Thoughts on Boston: The Marathon That Changed Lives

    I think deep down every runner wants to make it to Boston. The Boston Marathon, even before the horrific turn of events last year, was one of the biggest and brightest days in the running world. The first Boston Marathon was in 1897 when the distance was only 24 miles. In 1908 the distance for the marathon was officially changed to 26.2 miles and in 1967, Katherine Switzer became the first woman to complete the race. Now, more than 36,000 runners compete in the annual race.

    Now, not everyone can run Boston. For those non-runners out there, you must meet qualifying times before running the Boston Marathon. You have to run the qualifying time at a Boston Marathon certified race. Once you meet the time requirement, you must be entered in to the race before all of the race spots are filled.

     So let’s bring it back to 2014. 371 days after the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, people returned to East Massachusetts to run in honor and in memory of those who died and survived last year’s attacks.

    Boston Bombings 1 (4-29-14)via

    Boston Strong became a commitment.

    Runners who finished at least half of the course in 2013 were given automatic entrance into the 2014 race. Sports Illustrated made the cover of its April magazine filled with survivors of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

    Boston Bombings (4-29-14)via

    An estimated 1 million came to watch the race take back its pride and honor.

    Seventy-three year-old Joan Hill finished dead last in this year’s marathon. She said what kept her going was running to honor those who were injured during the 2013 bombing. You can read more about Joan here.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, 32-year-old Shalane Flanagan led the women’s race for 20 miles. Despite running a personal best by 3 minutes and being the fastest any American woman who has run the course, her race was not good enough to land her in the top five. Shalane finished 7th overall in the women’s race. Read more about Shalane here.

    Kenyan marathoner Rita Jeptoo defended her title, winning her third Boston Marathon with a course record time of 2:18:57. Her first title came in 2006 and her second in 2013. While last year’s title was not as highly remembered as the series of unfortunate events that occurred, she will be known for her 2014 win and new course record of 2:18.57.

    Boston and its runners came back to reclaim their day in running history.

    As the event changes every year and the field gets faster, I cannot wait to see what’s in store for Boston in 2015.

    Have any of you all run Boston? Were you or loved ones affected by the bombings?

    Run Happy, Meghann

  • What's Up? Nice To Meet You.

    We understand you’re busy. You’re working, training, fighting, focusing and perfecting. We get that. But, we just wanted to say hey and introduce ourselves.

    Welcome to Live It Everyday’s Everyday Conversations, where we, you know, have conversations. I'm Haley, the Content Manager and Editor of Everyday Conversations. We work with several writers and contributors and will be here several times a week giving you updates on all things Live It Everyday.

    DSC_4334-KyserEditThat's me on the left, hanging out behind the scenes at a Live It Everyday shoot.

    Our company’s belief is based off the passion that drives us to do the impossible -- to work at something everyday. We don’t do anything half-heartedly and don’t expect you to, either. We outfit the Everyday Warriors, and here, we talk to and about of those Warriors -- warriors in jerseys and soup kitchens, warriors in camouflage and running shorts. Here, you’ll be introduced to some awesome people, people from all over the country and globe who are not only Living their passions Everyday, but also changing the world around them. All day, everyday.

    So, hey. We’re glad you’re here.

    We can’t wait to share some totally awesome stories with you.

    Don't be shy -- introduce yourself in the comments! 


    Photo // Kyser Lough, Apparel // men, women

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