Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Training

The Doctors Were Wrong... Anything IS Possible!
The Doctors Were Wrong... Anything IS Possible!
It's that time again... Time to pack up the winter clothes and get out the warm weather stuff. It's the time of year that can make people start to think about how "out of shape" they have become over the winter. Especially since this has been an extremely long and for many of us a brutal winter. Which only makes me that much more giddy on those days when the thermometer goes above 45 degrees and I can smell that spring is indeed in the air, old man winter is dying, and will soon breathe his last breath for the year.
Like so many others I'm thinking about summer, summer clothes and fitting into them.  Some people might not know this but I used to be a "chunker" as a little Greek Girl. It wasn't until I was an adult that I really got into fitness, healthy eating, working out as a lifestyle and ended up losing over 35 lbs. Now I was never "fat" by any means, I was just well... lets say "well fed". I worked really hard to lose the weight and maintain it for several years, and it was not that difficult, that is until the car accidents.
What car accidents? Some of my blog readers and followers of my music are aware of what happened; For those who are not, my husband and I were in two car accidents two years ago. First we were rear ended by an SUV while stopped at a stop light, pushing us into the car in front of us, totaling my car (RIP "Johnny Jetta" - I had only had about 3 months at the time). Anyway we both suffered several injuries including multiple herniated disks, and probably the most difficult is the Traumatic Brain Injury. Ironically while on the way to the chiropractor less than six months later, we were rear ended again while stopped at a stop light. Which was unbelievable I know, I still can't believe it myself. Needless to say the second rear ending only made everything worse including the TBI.
Now I won't go into the gory details about it because first and foremost we are alive and we have each other. Although we struggle every day just to do things we never even thought about before the accidents, we are thankful for our health and realize that so many other people in the world struggle with worse health problems. Now why am I telling you about all this muckery?... There is a point, bear with me.
See the thing is, my life changed forever that day. It changed for both of us, my husband used to be a fit model, and was even the standing fit model for Marc Jacobs for six seasons. I was in the middle of doing a transformation for a national fitness infomercial for a new product launch. Which I had to drop out of, as I was unable to continue to do hours of high impact cardio and workout to the level required daily. So in the aftermath of trying to recover we both had a choice to make... We have spent the last two years in recovery, doing physical therapy, chiropractic, epidurals, trigger point injections, massage, you name it we have probably tried it.
I even bought a teeter inversion table - which is probably one of the reasons I am able to walk around today. I can not say enough about it and it has helped tremendously. But the thing is... everyone at some point in their lives has to struggle with some sort of physical limitations. Weather it be from a car accident, a fall, or weight issues... everyone will at some point, at some time will face something that challenges their physical body. There will come a time when it will literally come down to mind over matter. I know you might be thinking "What are you talking about Greek Girl?... Sounds like gobble goop to me". 
Hear me out. Most people who know me know one thing about me, "Rocky" is one of my favorite movies of all time. I can never tire of watching any of them, and Rocky is one of my heroes. The never give up spirit is something I have always connected with, especially having spent my entire life pursuing my musical dream. However never in my life have I ever really understood what "Never Give Up" meant until now. The TBI is different than the physical stuff, and really besides diet, sleep, and therapy for it, and adjusting how you do things, slowing down ,etc. there is nothing that is going to "make it better". Other than being frustrated when you do something like say leave the stove on for seven hours while you are home and have no idea... it is just frustrating more than anything else, but with it there is no "pain". With the physical things though, there is pain. Your body hurts and the last thing at times you want to do is go "workout".
I've been here, thinking to myself... "I don't need to go exercise I'm injured and I should just relax". This is where so many people get stuck. Stuck to the point where it spirals out of control and their bodies become a prison. I have dealt with it and it takes a conscious effort, choosing every day to do it because it is helping your body to become stronger. Making that choice all starts in the mind. The mind tells your boy what it can and can not do, and your "will" is the gas pedal. Shortly after the second car accident I saw this video on youtube titled "Never Ever Give Up" .
It brought me to tears. It's about a man named Arthur who was a disabled veteran. He was injured from many years of jumping out of airplanes. The doctors told him he would never walk unassisted ever again. He lost hope, and he gained a lot of weight. His story is so incredible and honestly just like Rocky movies I can not get tired of seeing it. I have posted it many times to my Facebook page, but it just seemed so appropriate to spotlight again in relation to "Spring Training".
You see, every single one of us has a struggle. There is something that everyone thinks is out of reach, something that they can never do. The beautiful thing about Arthur's story is he shows us that anyone can change if they put their mind to it. You can change your story and climb your mountain, but you have to make up your mind to do it. You have to tell your body that you will not allow it to keep your spirit locked in a prison. I hope you will enjoy watching his story and seeing where he is today as much as I do, and that you will share it with someone you know who has lost hope. Who thinks they are too far gone, who thinks they can never overcome their obstacle. Arthur shows us that anything is possible, anything... you just have to believe in yourself.

*(If you're reading on a mobile device and video is missing or does not play, click the following link to see -
Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo

Monday, March 24, 2014

God's Not Dead

"God's Not Dead, He's Surely Alive.  He's living on the inside, roaring like a lion!!" - Newsboys
"God's Not Dead, He's Surely Alive. He's living on the inside, roaring like a lion!!" - Newsboys
True story.... in my first year of college (yes I did actually go to college), I came home all upset and my mom asked what was the matter? I proceeded to tell her how my Biology professor had asked the class a question earlier that day..."who in the room was a Christian and believed in the story of God and or Jesus?". Not wanting to deny my faith I  raised my hand along with a few others in the class. That was when he decided it was a good idea to not only mock but also challenge us about it. He went on to further say, "If we believe in God then we have to prove his existence." So I went home understandably upset, and not wanting to be embarrassed, spent most of the way home thinking of how to proceed.
Now, don't get me wrong, I know my Bible and all that but was not nearly as vocal about my faith then as I am now, as I was just a young Greek Girl at the time. So back to when I arrived home... If you guessed that my mom was very perturbed when I told her what happened, you guessed right. She couldn't believe that a professor would think it was his place to do such a thing. Now, if you know anything about my mom let's just say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and if you know how I am with my Big Fat Greek opinion, then you can get an idea of how my mom is.   
She could not believe her ears when I told her the details of the days episode. In a swoosh she marched off to her bedroom and grabbed her trusty Bible, a legal pad and a pen. In no time she was marching back toward me and sat me down at the kitchen table where she proceeded to give me a sermon. Probably the most extensive Bible study I have ever had in my life. It was like an encyclopedia of knowledge poured out of her noggin. So there I was armed with all sorts of ammunition when I went back to school the next day. I strapped on my favorite sneakers and marched my butt into class with a notepad chockfull of notes and said (beneath a mischievous grin) something to the effect of, "well... here you go." It was great because it actually shut him up, thanks mom!
I felt so good and he actually left me alone. It was short lived though as it was not even two days later my English professor decided that the class had to watch the film "The Last Temptation of Christ", starring Willem Defoe. I couldn't believe what my ears were hearing. If you don't know anything about that movie, just image "Jesus of Nazareth" in the Red Light District. I couldn't believe this was happening again. So I went home to inform my mom of the newest chapter in the college indoctrination episode. She then did what any good Godly mother would do and made a big stink. She called the college and demanded that her daughter not watch that stupid and twisted movie. Needless to say, I did not have to watch the movie and I was able to do my report on another topic.
Now fast forward umpteen years later and low-and-behold, we have a movie hitting the theater's called, "God's Not Dead." It's about almost the same thing, a liberal professor that takes it upon himself to ridicule and belittle the faith of a student who believes in God and Jesus. Just another instance where liberal logic unloads itself in our society and how some have taken to demonizing and tearing down people of faith. Ironically Christians are known for being positive and helpful loving people, even to those who do not share our values or faith. Something these Liberal professors love to profess is how we shouldn't "impose our Christian beliefs on others", yet they do not see the hypocrisy when they think it's a good idea to impose their liberal ideology, kumbaya craziness, and global warming gobbley goop on others people's children, just sayin.
Anyway, back to the movie. I think it's so cool that this storyline is something that actually happened to me and it's now on the Big Screen for the world to see. I am so thrilled that it has had only a limited opening and has already grossed over $8million in less than 800 theaters worldwide. In fact it came in 5th overall for the weekend on box office totals in openings this past weekend.
Since my mom and step-dad stopped by on their way home from Florida we didn't get to see it on opening weekend. However, you can count on one thing... where I will be this week. I am going to wrap my hot little hands around a popcorn and CocaCola in a dark theater with my sweetie as we watch and celebrate that, "GOD IS NOT DEAD"!
Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo

Monday, March 17, 2014

inTWINition of murder

"inTWINition of murder" a crime novel by Michael Houbrick, inspired by true events. An excellent read!
"inTWINition of murder" a crime novel by Michael Houbrick, inspired by true events. An excellent read!
People who have been following my music for a while have asked from time to time what ever happened to Mr. Bricks? For anyone new to my blog who has no idea who or what a "Mr. Bricks" is... Mr. Bricks was my manager until a few years ago. Mr. Bricks is not only very smart, but he is also a very funny talented guy who loves McRib Sandwiches, Diet Coke, Danica Patrick, and just so happens to have a googley eyeball. Rumor has it he owned several pairs of white skinny jeans back in the 80's the thought of which makes me want to burn the next pair I see.
So the Mr. Bricks character in my Cartoon Series "Ava The Diva" is in fact a real person. The cartoon Mr. Bricks is based on the real life Mr. Bricks's quirks and all the muckery he seems to find himself getting into which ends up keeping him too busy to get "Ava The Diva" her beloved record deal.
Now long before he knew about the Greek Girl or the word "muckery" ever made him smile. Mr. Bricks had an unimaginable tragedy happen to him and his family that would surley take away anyone's smile. Something that I can not even fathom having to go through, or would ever wish on my worst enemy, that is if I ever were to have an enemy. Mr. Bricks is an identical twin, and his twin was murdered on November 14, 2005.
The circumstances leading up to, and surrounding his death most were not known by anyone except Mr. Bricks. Knowing what I know about Mr. Bricks, his character and the incident, in my opinion the circumstances surrounding his death were at the very least a rush to judgement by several parties. Starting with a famous hotel trying to keep a scandal from affecting it's business, a security staff trying to cover the hotel's butt, and a police department ignoring facts and not digging beyond what a bumbling security staff told them had happened. All of which was deviously and diabolically orchestrated by a very sick, twisted, and manipulative woman. Who then involved multiple other parties to help her cover up her actions and in the end help her to get away with taking the life of Mr. Brick's twin brother.
Knowing all of this information, dealing with the unimaginable loss, and to add insult to injury knowing the persons who were responsible for the death of your twin are walking round scott free day after day, would most likely be enough to break any sane person... not Mr. Bricks. Instead of break him it created a burning desire to tell the story. So as much as he loved working on the career of the Greek Girl he had to spend time and focus on getting the story out of him. So "inTWINition" was born...
Finally my chance to read the story!
Finally my chance to read the story!
Since it was and is an "ongoing police investigation" Mr. Bricks chose not to write it as a true story but rather wrote a "crime novel" where the story is "based on true events". As you can probably imagine I was super excited to receive my autographed copy in the mail and could hardly wait to start reading it. Knowing him for what's going on four years now I already knew he was funny and a great writer. What I wasn't expecting was for the book to be something I was literally unable to put down. Really... I started it one morning, read it while I was waiting at an appointment for a few hours. I would have finished it that day, however I had to make a road trip which did not allow time to finish when I arrived. So I finished it the next morning. I'm not one who likes to read. I will read articles, or short stories but to just pick up a book and read it all the way through, is a rarity.
From the minute I started reading I could see the whole story in my head. It was so descriptive, and even though it deals with some heavy stuff, there are moments in there where I giggled. He managed to tell this heart wrenching story (a story in my opinion that the world needs to hear) and yet at the same time still manage to have some humor in it. It screams "Make Me Into a Movie". Throughout reading it I found myself going through all kinds of emotions, from anger, to hope, to rooting for and cheering inside when the main character catches a break. To top it all off, there is a mega twist in there that changes everything! All I know is James Patterson might have a little competition once the world finds out about "inTWINition" of murder... just sayin.
So how would a person get their hot little hands on a copy for themselves to read? That's EASY! There are several ways: Amazon: Or go to any bookstore and ask to order a copy if they don't already have one, or visit - It's available in paperback and also as an ebook. Follow on Twitter or @inTWINition or even better visit the Facebook page, like it and share with all your friends! Happy Reading!
Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava :D xo

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring Is In The Air

Sunshine and blooming flowers what's not to smile about?
Sunshine and blooming flowers what's not to smile about?

Well last night was officially "Spring Forward" which I for one couldn't be happier about. Why? Because this Greek Girl is sick and tired of snow. In fact if I never see another snowflake so long as I live it would not be soon enough. Now many people don't like "Spring Forward" simply because it means losing an hour of sleep. Personally I don't mind giving up an hour of sleep if it means that spring is one step closer. So close in fact the first official day of "Spring" is only ten days away.   
Now apparently the Debbie Downers over at the Weather Channel did not notice that we just had "Spring Forward" or they forgot because they are already predicting a snowstorm for the middle of the week to hit the Northeast. So I am going to do just like I did last time they predicted a snow event for us and pray like the dickens that they are wrong, it misses us, or it just floats out to sea. I don't care what happens to it so long as it misses my humble abode. In the meantime, I am going to think about why missing an hour of sleep is OK in my book for "Spring Forward"... Here are the Top Ten things that came into my noggin.
1. No more snow.
2. Spring Air, I love the smell of spring in the air... don't you?
3. Cadbury Mini Eggs... Hello Yummo!
4. More daylight hours which means more time to be Outside.
5. Spring Break which usually means (for myself & Mr. Aston) a road trip to FL to see family.
6. More reason to drink Iced Cups of Happiness a la Dunkins on a regular basis.  
7. Almost time to fold up the sweaters and put away the cold weather gear and dust off the flip flops.
8. Blooming flowers, I love the see Tulips, Lilies, and Crocus's.
9. Ice Cream.
10. One of my very favorite things about this time of year.... the sunshine, just being able to soak up some sun whether it be a park, a beach, or the backyard.... just relaxing during downtime enjoying the rays.  
So here's to Spring finally getting it's butt in gear and finally saving us from Old Man Winter and his long winter wrath.

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava :D xo

Monday, March 3, 2014

Son Of God

I give it a Thumbs Up.
I give it a Thumbs Up.
Having watched "The Bible" miniseries last year leading up to Easter and very much enjoying it I'm sure it will come as no surprise that I have been super excited to see the film "Son Of God". In fact I had been waiting with baited breath to see it and went opening day, Friday night.
Then it happened, I made the mistake of looking at my phone and just as it did last year, the hate started to consume my newsfeed on Facebook. Before I knew it the internet was full of it. Full of what you might be wondering? Super Christians bashing a film, in many cases some had not even taken the time to see yet before proceeding to write a scathing review about how "biblically Incorrect" it is.
I had already experienced many of these same "Super Christians" bashing "The Bible" miniseries before and it irked me so much that I blogged about it last year (read that blog here) Seeing these people bash the film in particular when it is "Christians" doing the bashing is beyond silly if you ask me. In my opinion they are just as bad as the Pharisees who killed Jesus. It is totally counter productive and further in my opinion actually disrespectful to Jesus to bash and or nit pick these things to death. It is one thing if someone is preaching a false doctrine, however some Christians seem to get some sort of satisfaction from super judging. Anyhow this is what I thought about the film.
The thing is as bad as it is today in our country and around the world politically... Jesus is bigger than politics. We are all called to go and spread the good news to all of creation and to be the light. Unfortunately most of us myself included get far too distracted with things that ultimately do not matter in the end. Yes there was a lot of hoopla made in the media about the editing out of the "Devil" character. It didn't bother me that they took the devil out of it, after all it's about the Gospel of Jesus, not the gospel of the devil. The film starts with Jesus coming into Galilee so it's focused on Jesus and his message and his time with the disciples up until his death so it makes sense that they took it out anyway.
Now regarding the "theologically correct" part that people seem to be losing their minds about... the point of the film and mini series as I understand it from seeing them in interviews talking about it, was to bring the message of salvation and Jesus Christ to people in a way that will reach them in "todays world". To reach people and change hearts with the love of Jesus. For people (Christians in particular) to nit pick every single little thing in my opinion is just as bad as the Pharisees who killed Jesus because he did not come "the way they thought a king should". Why... because they were too wrapped up in their own "religiosity" to see him "The Son of Man" standing right there in front of their faces.
No one was around when the scriptures were written and they have been translated how many times? The important thing is the message being correct and in that vein it was correct. What annoyed the fire out of me was seeing people last year saying they were boycotting the bible miniseries at Easter because thus and such and then at the same time not having any problem with Beyonce and the Superbowl debacle and then being obsessed with shows like American Idol, along with engaging in things that totally contradict their supposed ideology.... which is a total hypocrisy.
Jesus instructed us to go and spread the "good news", further to GO and preach the message of salvation (the gospel) to every corner and to every creature and to love one another and to be the light. Far too often Christians spend too much time pointing out the speck in others eyes while walking around with a giamungo plank in their own eyes.
When a hollywood power couple spends their time and resources to produce a film about Christianity in a modern way to try to cut through to pop culture which is a total mess btw and then Christians sit around bashing their efforts because thus and such pastor i.e. "Joel Osteen" was a consultant on the film is ridiculously unproductive if you ask me. I do not think Jesus would be happy about that kind of behavior. Just my opinion of course one can take it or leave it.
Some have said the film is blasphemous and changes the scripture and all kinds of other outrageous things. Some have even made these claims with out even seeing the film mind you. Newsflash to these Debbie Downers: the bible in English is inaccurate.... since they actually spoke Aramaic. So that would make the King James, NIV, Message, NAS, Amplified, and all other bible versions  outside of Aramaic, Greek or Hebrew inaccurate. They have been translated how many times? And by whom? Yes that's right, by "man" whom is imperfect. The Greek and Hebrew are the only languages that are the traditional language of the bible from the time of Jesus and the disciples since no one is really running around speaking Aramaic anymore. Need I remind these same naysayers the pharasies said many things along those same lines about Jesus because they were worshipping their "words and traditions" and not seeing with their eyes of faith or their spirits. Not only missing out on but killing Jesus because it was not word for word what they had in their minds. A sad yet familiar pattern with Religion. People can forget Jesus came for us to have a "relationship" with him not a Religion.
So say what you will but the fact that Jesus and the message of salvation through him with a modern perspective is on the big screen is far more important than "Super Christians" sitting around pointing fingers from lofty places. That does not win souls for the kingdom - Shame on anyone who would try to stop that message from reaching people.
I loved the film. I left there feeling my heart very filled with love for Jesus and what he did for all of humanity. So in my opinion I think they did their job well, thumbs up... in my humble greek girl opinion that is.
Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo