Monthly Archives: March 2017

Justin Hagler: Song Writer, Musician, Single Dad

Me: I heard one of your songs, I really liked it.  It was Rural Illinois.  Did you write it?
Justin:  Yes I wrote it, arranged, and produced it as well. I also made the video.
Me:  I like it. Is country the only kind of music you write and play, as well as produce?
Justin:  It’s the only music I have released, but I do plan to release a song in another genre, eventually. Oddly enough, I write and play punk rock as well.
Me:  How long have you been writing songs?

Justin Hagler

Justin:  I wrote my first song at 22, but didn’t pursue it at that point. I have my culinary degree and was working as an executive chef. I never got rid of the songs I wrote, and never quit writing either. In 2013 I started back and decided I wouldn’t stop ever again.
I have released two so far.
Me:  That is awesome! Do you still enjoy cooking?
Justin:  Yes, but right now as a single dad of two, just for them.  I’ve been published in two cookbooks as well.

Me:  Oh wow! That is really cool. How old are your kids?
Justin:  They are 10 & 12 and I’ve raised them solo for six years now.
Me:  That is great, so you are a really close family, huh?
Justin:  My boys and I are yes.
Me:  Do the kids like to help you cooking and are they also interested in music?
Justin:  They have started to learn guitar. My youngest is interested in cooking or anything that involves science in any way.
Me:  How old are they? It is so cool to have a little scientist around.
Justin:  He started loving rocks and it has just expanded from there. And he still loves rocks as well.
Me: I can relate, I also have a bit of a rock obsessed child. She has a collection.
Justin:  So does my son. He also has a polisher so he goes and finds them and polishes them until they are beautiful.
Me: How many songs have you written?
Justin:  I have written close to 100 songs as of now.
Me:  Do you have a favorite one I can share?  (I have linked both)
Justin:  Both my realeases have a very high quality video on YouTube. Both if my songs are also on Spotify as well.

Finder’s Fee Itunes

Rural Illinois Itunes



Me:  Tell me about the songs, and the names, and what they mean to you.
Justin:  The songs is very personal to me. It is based off of my experience growing up in Southern Illinois. I also spent time around Springfield Illinois as a child as my grandmother lived there. I’ve seen the most beautiful sides of Illinois and I wanted to incorporate my love and why I love it in a song. The other song Finder’s Fee was inspired by a breakup I had early in life and just evolved into a song.
Me:  I love that there is so much meaning behind the songs.
Justin:  My next song is my favorite and has as much meaning as any. It also is the best story I’ve ever told through music as well.
Me:  That one is still in the works?
Justin:  Music is all finished and just needs vocal now. Looking to release May 2017.

 We are looking forward to it as well, Justin.

Charm VoxBox

Nothing makes me happier than free stuff.  That is why I get so excited when I receive VoxBoxes from Influenster with free stuff for me to test out.

The Charm VoxBox is one of my favorites so far.  Included were some Peeps Delights, Coconut flavored, and dipped in dark chocolate.

I also received Motts Apple Sauce and a dollar off coupon for it.

 I got some Vera Wang Embrace samples, both Rose Buds and Vanilla and Marigold and Gardinia.  Both are pretty light fragrances that I love, and they do not trigger my headaches so far.

Also included for me to test was Eva Nye Clean It Up shampoo and Therapy Mask Session Hair Mask.  These also have a very light fragrance that I love.

A VoxBox could not be complete without a little spiciness.  We have a little, here, with McCormick Organics Taco Seasoning Mix.

The last product included was Wet ‘n Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel in peri-wink-le of an eye.  It is such a lovely shade, I cannot wait to try this spring color.

If you would like to test some products for free, head on over to Influenster and sign up.


Join Amazon’s wedding registry

Are You Ready to Light it up Blue?

April is just around the corner and so is World Autism Awareness day.  April 2nd is the time to Light it up Blue.  I received an email about a couple of events in my community spreading awareness and I thought I would pass it on.

Corsicana has a car show in Beall’s parking lot on the 2nd.

Fairfield has Big T Bash 2017 in the fairgrounds.  Friday night is Cook’s Choice Competition, $5 for 5 tickets.  Free music from Mitch Ballard, D. Vincent Williams, and Chris Wallin.  Saturday is the BBQ cook off.  A link for information is here.

We, however, are still selling My House Always Lights Up Blue shirts.  Pick one up from TeeSpring, if you want one, or know someone who does.


Over 50 brands are using the Amazon Dash Button.  Try it out.


Today is World Poetry Day

Today one, of the trending topics on Twitter was world poetry day.  I am not a poet, but I did share this on YouTube, so I will just share it here, as well.Like I said, I am not a poet, so I really am not sure how to correctly place the lines or any of that.  From my high school diary, a poem, kind of.


Today, I learned about a man
Strong and beautiful
Young and proud

Alone in your struggle,
just you with your mind
twisting and turning
I throw you a kiss
and flash you a smile

Your feet fall like petals
From roses and dreams
Slow to the ground
while dodging the times

The pages still turn…

I saw your head
bow to the grace
of an unearthed ruler
(with no one to rule)
You’ve cowered and crawled,
and now you’ve skinned up your knees.

And you do it for nothing
While you drag us along
These callous souls
are in need of rest
and look for a spot
Away from the sun
and outside the shadows
you cast behind.

I saw you shake your fist
up to the sky
and cry out loud
To a god
You neither know nor fear

(much less believe in)

You tread through the water
Unafraid to drown
As long as the cause
Is just for the game.

But I need you…

And I need you to know…

When the leader lies dead
I will bring him some soup
and burn all the roses
that fall on his head
as he lies there, sleeping.

Today, I learned about a man,
young and beautiful,
strong and proud,
today, I learned about a man.

And, that is my poetic attempt from my youth.  You should share one with me.


My Try at Internet Dating

I am not sure if I was bored or curious, or maybe the two equate the same in me, but I joined an internet dating site.  I only joined for one month, and I now am no longer curious.  I am, however, a bit bored.

I should have learned the last time, the time I decided it was okay to meet one of my Twitter followers and he turned out to be nothing but a low life cheater.  But, I did not learn, and I got a bit frustrated with someone who was asking me out and putting me off, so I joined.

Now, I am not unhappy alone.  I do, however, enjoy going out from time to time like anyone else.  And I like to feel like I am appreciated.  At this time, I did not.  So, in the first 24 hours, I got 129 messages.  I guess that was okay, but most of them came from people who looked like they spent a majority of their youth shooting up in alleys.  Then, there was Mr. Perfect.

Mr. Perfect was absolutely gorgeous.  He was the typical blue-eyed tall dark and handsome.  He was 6’2, in a suit, and his hair had hints of gray, but in a dignified manner.  So, when I saw the picture of Mr. Perfect, I got a real membership to the site.

I gave Mr. Perfect my number, and the name came up on my cell’s caller id.  I got a good morning text every morning, a good night call every night.  We video messaged.  My heart flip-flopped when I saw the messages.  Then, he wanted to meet me.  I cannot tell you how excited I was.  I saw his name come up on my caller id, once again, so I decided to google it.

I did not even do a background check, I didn’t have to.  Mr. perfect had a record.  At first, the one I saw was traffic related, so I kind of giggled about his hot mugshot.  The second was the one that scared me off of dating sites for good.  It was theft, and I think the amount was between $500=-24,000 in 2014.  So, Mr. Perfect is now Mr. History, and I am still single.  I am thinking I should just stay that way.

The pics were my dating profile pics.

EMYS: The Lovable Language Instruction Robot for Kids

I received an email earlier this week about a product that I think is a pretty amazing product.  I do not usually write about products I have not tested, but I believe this is an amazing product and I hope to see the people involved succeed.

The product is EMYS.  This is a robot that teaches children a second language.  The person I spoke with through email is Jan Kedzierski.  Jan has a PhD in social robotics.  He is an expert in robot control and hardware systems, a human-robot interaction designer.


EMYS by Flash Robotics is a friendly robotic head that teaches kids ages 3-7 foreign languages through regular, fun interactions. EMYS appeals to multiple senses, and uses language children already know via their favorite cartoons, toys, and items from their surroundings. He can move, speak, recognize faces, and express emotions – which fosters bonding. Through the journey of learning languages, EMYS can become a part of children’s world, full of wonder, characters, imagination.



EMYS is currently equipped to teach English-speaking children Spanish, and Spanish-speaking children English. Additional language support is in development.


Learning processes take time and it’s best for kids to start early, especially when it comes to language. It’s optimal for kids to start learning a second language while they’re still developing their first language. The trouble is, weekly private lessons are inefficient and expensive, and existing games and language apps don’t have the engagement factor that kids need. Ways of teaching kids must be attractive and engaging to children, as they need to learn with all of their senses. Specifically designed to address the unique learning preferences of early childhood, EMYS leverages the power of repetition, multiple senses, emotional expressiveness, and a sense of accomplishment. To further incentivize participation in lessons, kids earn daily rewards that unlock new games and content.

The link to help back and fund this product through Kickstarter is:


Disney Beauty and the Beast Sweepstakes

To celebrate Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, we’re giving you a chance to win a stay at Duns Castle for you and 20 guests. Plus, five runners-up could win a HomeAway® vacation.

Disney has asked me to share the link for their sweepstakes with you, so here it is.

The Dun’s Castle seems so magnificent, and could you imagine being able to with 20 of your favorite people?

It is just breathtaking, and know I would love to win.

Duns Castle – HomeAway – Duns Castle

Remember, 5 lucky people who do not win the grand prize win a Home Away vacation.
Good luck to you all, and thank you to Disney and Home Away.


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