Tag Archives: Alone at Dawn

Six Frugal and Fabulous Christmas Gifts

I’m already done with my holiday shopping, but I understand that some of you out there can’t read a fricking calendar and always need to do things at the last minute. So, for you, I made a list of my favorite last minute gifts. It’s kind of like Oprah’s favorite things list, but not everything costs more than the average person earns in a month. In fact, nothing on my list costs more than thirty bucks. So, as long as you have a mall in your town, you can find these items at the very last minute. I’m still not sure why you want to wait to buy presents, but that is your business.

Clinique Chubby Sticks — What woman doesn’t want a chubby stick? Get your mind out of the gutter. Women want these chubby sticks because they are purse worthy and safe for travel. Clinique makes eye shadow, lip stick, and blush chubby sticks. They have no applicators and do not require sharpeners.

Who doesn't enjoy a chubby stick?
Who doesn’t enjoy a chubby stick?


Bath and Body Works Vanilla — I love Bath and Body Works Vanilla lotions and soaps. They even have candles that will make your whole house smell like a bakery. So, stop watching that Elf marathon and get over to the Bath and Body Works store now. Be prepared for 782 salespeople to “help” you, though. If you don’t like to talk to people much, like me, you may want to pretend to speak a language other than English. Warning: do not pick Spanish or French.

So yummy you'll want to eat it.
So yummy you’ll want to eat it.


A Great Book — Almost everyone likes to read. Personally, I don’t trust people who hate books. Most of the people on your list would enjoy a book of some sort. Stephen King books usually suck me in like a black hole. My favorite Stephen King book ever is 11/22/63. I could not stop reading it. If self-driving cars were real, I would have read while driving. It’s that good.

I love time travel, JFK, and Stephen King.
I love time travel, JFK, and Stephen King.


Gift Cards — Just about any human would appreciate a gift card. If you have dogs or cats on your shopping list, DO NOT get them a gift card. They will eat it. Humans, on the other hand, will find them quite useful. There are a lot of different gift cards out there. Grocery stores and drug stores usually have a display of them, so you don’t even need to go to a particular store to buy one. You can also buy them online, but at this point, there’s a chance it won’t arrive before Christmas. So, put down that cocoa and put on some pants, and get out there. You’ve got cards to buy.

A movie gift card? Yes, please.
A movie gift card? Yes, please.


Music — Music is one of the best last minute gifts because it can be delivered instantly. You can purchase an album online and have a link emailed to the gift recipient. Then, they can download it to their iPhone or other non-Apple device. Yay for technology covering up for your procrastination!

This album rocks, and it has a festive deer on the cover.
This album rocks, and it has a festive deer on the cover.


Be Betty Crocker  — You could bake cookies, or a cake, or maybe a pie, depending on your skill level. Personally, I can make tasty cookies, but they tend to look like something the dog tracked through the house. If you enjoy baking, are low on cash, and have a few hours before gift giving time you could bake some holiday magic in your kitchen.

Mine would NOT look this good.
Mine would NOT look this good.


There you have it. I just saved your behind. You’re welcome. Aren’t you glad you waited until NOW to buy Christmas gifts? Now, put the glowing screen down and go shopping. I hope you can get a parking space.

Disclaimer: I have purchased everything listed because I love these products. I am not being paid by any of the companies above, especially the Kraft people. They would not pay me to advertise their holiday creations because my Oreo snowmen would look they stepped out of a snow zombie apocalypse.


Metal Gentlemen – Alone at Dawn

We always hear stories about rock bands that tear up hotel rooms and leave a trail of drywall dust and vomit wherever they go. There’s usually a pregnant woman or a STD outbreak, too. Rarely, do we know of any well-mannered, faithful, kind musicians who can rock a metal tune. That is about to change. Allow me to introduce Alone at Dawn.

I’m not being paid to write about Alone at Dawn, but I did give birth to the lead singer. My son has wanted to be a musician since he was in fourth grade. That is when he saved his money and bought his first guitar. Realizing that he couldn’t actually just play the thing, he asked for lessons. He has played one of his now many guitars daily for the past eight years.

When other parents ask about my son’s future plans, and I tell them he’s going to be a rock star. They chuckle, as though I said he was going to be Batman or Jesus. No, rock stars are actually real, and they are all kids with guitars (or drums) and dreams in the beginning. I seriously doubt he’s going to decide to be an accountant or a doctor now.

My son is the youngest member of the band, and it’s founder. He’s not even eighteen yet. He met, Will, the drummer in high school, and began writing music with him two years ago. Wyatt and Aaron, the guitarists, are both lucky Craig’s List finds who have become part of the family. You really can find more than threesomes and serial killers on Craig’s List.

I want these gentlemen, and they truly are, to be able to live out their dreams. They are all driven, focused, and all around nice guys. You don’t see that often in the world of entertainment. Plus, my son has promised me a Mercedes and a cathouse when he is rich and famous. By cathouse, I mean a no kill cat shelter, not a place for prostitution. So, if you want to hear some great music, made be awesome guys, and save some cats, please take a moment to watch Alone at Dawn’s Surroundings video. If you like it, please buy the EP, Peacemaker. Check out their Facebook page for more information.


Raising a Rock Star

Sergio, singing Photo Cred: J. Reed

My son is the type of person who would NEVER call himself a rock star.  He is and will be a musician. To say that I am proud of my son would be like saying I love staying home with my cats.  It’s an obvious understatement.  My son has not always been the easiest child (there was that time in 8th grade where I was convinced he was trying to kill me with stress), but he hasn’t been the toughest either.  During times when he was being especially stubborn, I would tell myself that Donald Trump probably did not kowtow to everything his parents said.  I doubt Eddie and Alex VanHalen did either. 

I think I know how Mr. and Mrs. Van Halen felt while raising their boys.  It’s a combination of pride and fear.  It’s not easy to guide a creative person.  I’m proud of him for his talent and his character, but I fear a lot of things about the world of musicians, like drugs, alcohol, gold diggers, and poverty.  I’m a mama lion, but I can’t protect him from everything. I can only hope that his head continues to stay on straight, and that he keeps away from things that will take his focus off of making music, the thing he has wanted to do since fourth grade.

My son has never had a plan B. There was never a time when he said, “Well, if I’m not a musician, I will be an accountant,

Sergio's first acoustic guitar
Sergio’s first acoustic guitar

or teacher, or fireman.”  Never.   Since the age of 10, so 6 years now, he has wanted to be a musician.  That is when he saved money and bought his first electric guitar.  He very politely asked if we could pay for lessons since he bought the guitar himself.  Of course, we did.  Through the years, he has also taken drum and vocal lessons, and he has purchased more guitars.  He has never learned to read music, but he has written a few songs, including this one, Peacemaker, which was just released on Friday. 

First "drum" set
First “drum” set

My son’s band, Alone at Dawn, is a metal band, but a melodic metal band.  Their first song, Peacemaker, is one that people of all ages have liked so far.  By all ages, I mean from about 13 to 45.  I don’t think people in their 70’s will jam out to it, but they might enjoy the more melodic parts.  If you want to check them out, you can LIKE Alone at Dawn here. That’s the link to their FaceBook page.  They will be posting more information and songs there.  I’m told there will also be pictures of the fellas soon.   For now, you will have to be satisfied with the lovely photos I have posted here.

Sergio's first public performance, the summer after 8th grade.
Sergio’s first public performance, the summer after 8th grade.