What is the Meaning of Life?

Insights inspired by Kelly Clarkson's New Album "Meaning of Life"

I was honored to be selected by Atlantic Records & The Mom It Forward Influencer Network to be a blogger for the Kelly Clarkson Meaning Of Life Campaign. I was given a digital copy to listen to and I am being compensated for this post. All of the opinions stated herein are mine and mine alone, but rest assured, the only reason I agreed to be part of this, is because I love Kelly Clarkson and I felt it was an honor to be included in this cause. With that, I hope you’ll keep reading.

My dad passed away in 2003.  I miss him everyday, but he left a legacy for me and my family that we will always remember.  Whenever he saw us, he asked: “What’s the meaning of life?”

He was known for it far and wide.  Aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews remember being asked at every family gathering. Friends remember insightful conversations that began with my father asking this question.  It was a common theme at his memorial service.  Many family members and friends came up to me at the service and expressed how this question, and my father, shaped their life. He didn’t just share it with friends and family, he’d ask strangers on the street and fellow shoppers in the grocery store line.  It was both awesome and awful at the same time.  😉

Meaning of Life - Kelly ClarksonPerhaps that history explains why I was specifically drawn to Kelly Clarkson’s new album Meaning of Life.  I’ve been a Kelly Clarkson fan since she walked into see the judges on American Idol.  She’s kept my attention for over a decade with her powerful voice and the passion that she puts into her craft.  On the last season of American Idol when she sang “Piece by Piece” live on stage she was overcome with emotion.  I cried then, just as I cry now every time it comes on the radio.  Her ability to raise emotions in her listeners is her gift.  Over the years I have felt with her heart broken, independent, deep love and confidence.  She has a gift.

Meaning of Life is fun and new, with the same Kelly Clarkson we have loved forever.  Her voice is perfect and full, her songs and lyrics are meaningful, witty and deep.  She has the same alternative, pop-rock feel but this time she’s added a flare of Hip Hop mixed with the occasional power ballad (my fave!)

The song Love So Soft (the album’s single) is fun and peppy.  It’s got a catchy tune and I find myself singing it long after the song has turned on the radio.

Meaning of Life is more about love than my father’s deep questions, but I love how she reminds us about relationships that change us.

I love the power ballads Cruel and Would You Call That Love.

 

But honestly, my favorite part of this album is that when I put #meaningoflife in social media, she has her own emoji that comes up.  My social media heart soars right along with her music.

So, perhaps you need a gift for yourself this holiday season, or perhaps you can give this as a gift, but whatever you do, listen to a little Kelly…

And perhaps imagine if you met my dad at the grocery story.  How would you answer his earnest question, ‘What’s the meaning of life?’

Check out the video I made about Kelly Clarkson’s Meaning of Life album here.

For more information about the album, to listen to sample songs and more go here: https://atlantic.lnk.to/MeaningoflifeMb

Check out the Love So Soft Music Video here:

The Top 10 Gifts for the AMAZING Women In Your Life – The Living Room Gift Guide 2015

Stuck on what to get that super woman in your life? A new book, nativity pillow, home decor or stress relief coloring book may be just the ticket. Check out these amazing items from our co-hosts and friends! (Links below!)

The Living Room Gift Guide 2015In no particular order!

1. Color Yourself Happy by Tara Reed get it on AMAZON.

2. Oh Holy Night, Nativity Pillow by Jennifer Pugh Studios get it HERE.

3. Hip to Home home decor by Heather Johnson & Melanie Donahoo available HERE.

4. 21 Days to Nurture Your Spirit by Christie Gardiner available HERE.

5. Make It Happen by Michelle McCullough get it on AMAZON.

6. Precious In His Sight by Jodi Robinson get it HERE.

7. A Half Fast Memoir by Kate Lee get it on AMAZON.

8. What Think Ye of Christmas Illustrated by Jana Parkin get it HERE.

9. Christmas Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology co-authored by Connie Sokol get it on AMAZON.

10. Family Fun Fridays by Heather Johnson get it HERE.

The Living Room Gift Guide 2015 page 2The Living Room Gift Guide 2015 page 3Don’t Miss THE LIVING ROOM.  A new show is live every Tuesday at noon! MT.

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Super Bowl 2015 Commercials – Top Picks from Two Folks Who Don't Care Who Wins The "Big Game"

It’s been a sporty week here.  Yesterday, LeBron James followed me on Twitter.  Sunday was the Super Bowl.  If I’m being honest, I didn’t know who was playing against the Seahawks until the week before.   I don’t care who wins but have recorded the game every year to fast forward to the commercials.  (Grateful for YouTube – now I don’t even have to record the game!)  As a marketing junkie, I love to see the best (and the worst) money can buy.

My husband, an advertising enthusiast and Public Relations graduate always sends a post-Super Bowl commentary via email to family and friends.  This year, I felt like his comments and selections were spot on so I’m giving him a spotlight on the world wide web.

The comments following are both witty and direct.  The words are his. I take no credit for his humor or vocabulary.

Here he goes:

As most of you know by now, I watch the Super Bowl primarily for the commercials.  I figure if they’re going to spend millions, we can at least laugh at them (pun intended).  Below are my favorites and/or the most notable for 2015.  Please enjoy responsibly.
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—  BMW knocked it out of the park!  Yes, I know that’s a baseball reference and these are football commercials, but you get my point.  Watch Here (Michelle’s 2015 Pick)

—  Esurance certainly drove home their point using Lindsay Lohan in their “Sorta Like You” ad series.  It was funny and well executed.  I must say that Ms. Lohan’s face looks atrocious, but then again they do admit that she is “high-mileage.”  Watch Here

—  Nationwide immediately came under heavy fire for their commercial featuring dead kids.  They quickly explained that they were trying to start a conversation, not sell insurance.  I wonder if it was worth the $6.75M they paid for it.  As a PR grad, I simply cannot believe it ever made it on the air:  Watch Here.  That unfortunately overshadowed their other $6.75M ad spot, which was actually quite good:  > This link has since broken and we can’t find the Mindy Kaling commercial WITH Matt Damon anywhere.  Is it gone?

—  Snickers certainly satisfied with this one.  Nostalgia + Funny is hard to beat.  Watch here

—  Leave it to the Italians, who proudly gave us the classiest penis joke of the year.  And yes, I realize that’s an oxymoron.  Europeans…  Watch here

—  As a frequent flyer, I found this one hilarious. Oh, so clever:  Watch here

—  Mercedes-Benz turned out another solid ad this year:  Watch here  However, As a die-hard Mercedes buff (yes, that’s my email address) I wish they would occasionally do another ad like this one, perhaps the most powerful commercial they’ve ever made: Watch here

—  So, in an effort to distinguish the new “bolder” Camry from the blandness of all the previous Camrys, they decided to make a tear-jerker for the Super Bowl?  Does crying in your bean dip equal boldness?  Watch here  I still think the best Camry commercial was 3 years ago:  Watch here

—  Budweiser: “Our beer is not for the thinking, discerning types.  Our beer is for getting drunk and not caring what it tastes like.”  I guess they know their target market:  Watch here

—  I don’t care who you are, watching people get hit on the head and fall down is always funny.  Watch here

—  Carnival Cruise Lines actually titled this commercial “Come Back to the Sea.”  Did anyone else catch the desperation here?  “Yes, we know our ships stink and even sometimes sink, but come back, come back… please come back:  Watch here

—  I found this one very clever.  Who knew that a vegetable (or a fruit, depending on who you believe) from another country had a $9M advertising budget?  That’s a lot of pesos:  Watch here

—  Very clever and amazingly simple to produce (just some text and a couple animal videos).  Hats off to Sprint:  Watch here

—  McDonald’s showed sheer advertising brilliance here.  However, in my opinion, if you truly want to show your family you love them, don’t eat at McDonald’s.  Watch here

Thanks for reading and watching til the end!

Carry on to your next find on the internet…

 

 

Fun Find Friday – The App "Self-Help Classics" For the iPhone/iPad

If you have a smart phone, you need (and I mean NEED) the app “Self-Help Classics”.  Like most great things, this was introduced to me by my amazing friend Tiffany Walke Peterson.  She has been trying to get me to read the old school book, “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace Wattles for a year now.   She told me about this app, where you can get 30 old school classics for only $.99 RIGHT on my iPad (I don’t have a smart phone, but we can save that for another post).

THEN, Miss Tiffany, told me about the book on Self-Help Classics called, “The Game of Life and How to Play It” by Florence Shinn.  This book was first published in 1925.  It’s OLD, but man alive, I can’t read the pages fast enough.

Shinn talks about the correlation between our thoughts and actions and how it links to our spirituality.  She shares about how WE are holding ourselves back from getting what we want from life.  I won’t be able to do this book justice by review (and I haven’t finished it yet), but Shinn’s connections to success and divinity have me feeling amazingly peaceful and amazingly motivated at the same time.  It’s divine.

Want to read it with me?  You know you want to.  Go get it here.  You’ll be glad that you did.  The we can have a virtual book club in the comments below.  What are your favorite quotes and insights?  What did you learn about yourself while reading this book? Can’t wait to dive in with you!

Happy Friday,

Michelle

Book Review – Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte: Fun Find Friday

I’m doing a new thing on this blog.  When I find something I love, I’m going to share it in a new column called “Fun Find Friday”.  

Fire Starter Sessions, Danielle LaPorte, Book Review

I’m an open Danielle LaPorte fan.  With the exception of her occasional use of the “F” word, I love everything she does.  🙂 She’s an amazing speaker.  We had her come to Touchpoint for Startup Princess in 2010, and I found her to be incredibly business savvy, and super down to earth and easy to talk to.

Danielle Laporte, Fire Starter Sessions, Book Review, Success, Michelle McCullough, Life Balance

Though I knew I’d love reading this book, and thought I had died and gone to heaven when I got an advanced copy, I loved it even more than I thought I would.  I love the consistent through-line of heat, fire, and flame as an analogy to ignite the soul purpose that each of us have inside.  I love the typography and how her juiciest nuggets are in big, bold type to make sure that we don’t miss them.

I love the quote in this picture, “Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have.  Generating those feelings is the most creative thing you can do with your life.”

One thing I have wanted more than anything lately is clarity.  I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this before, but running and actually being your own company can be very vulnerable.  That kind of vulnerability makes me feel discombobulated and at times overwhelmed.  This quote leapt off the paper and fanned a flame with me.

When we focus on how we want to FEEL and do those things on a more regular basis then the clarity comes.  When we focus on “To Dos” we can easily get back to into overwhelm.   When I’m focused on peace, joy, and abundance then I’m more selective in my tasks.  I say “No” to the good things, so I can say “Yes” to the great ones.

I’m not doing this book justice with this review, but more than anything, I want you to read this book so that you can light your own fire and glean what you need.  This book is a must have for anyone who wants more love, joy, and even those who are chasing after more dollars in their pockets.  And it’s for those who have a message to share and want to birth it.

The book is released on April 17th, 2012.  You can reserve your copy and check out the bonuses for pre-ordering before April 17th.

Are you ready to be a Fire Starter?

Happy Friday!

Michelle