Monday, September 29, 2014

National Coffee Day

A little taste of my coffee brewing collection.
A little taste of my coffee brewing collection.
National Coffee Day... what exactly does that mean? Well for coffee addicts like me that means once a year we get to show up at coffee joints around the country and get a free cup of joe. Seriously though if you didn't know about it, yes there is such a thing as a "National Coffee Day", and yes some chains and local coffee houses are offering a free cup of coffee to celebrate.
Most people who read my blog if they know anything about me (besides the fact that I'm Greek) they know this one thing, I love love love love love coffee. This makes perfect sense of course because we Greek's perfected the art of coffee drinking, along with inventing  drama (acting), politics, and the windex. I laughed out loud when I visited Greece one time and on a tour of a park near the Acropolis the guide told our little group that Greek's invented drama and politics. I was thinking to myself "so that explains why I'm an actor (besides a recording artist) and highly opinionated about politics." 
The art of coffee drinking masterfully blended with drama can be wittnessed at any Greek Diner. I can almost guarantee you that somewhere in there is a table full of Greek's chatting away full of passionate talking and hand gestures. So I guess the genes carried on in Greek Girl because ever since I can remember I have loved coffee. I love the smell of it brewing, I love the taste of it, and the feel of a cup in my hands. No it doesn't help me to write better songs, or remember my lines, I just like it. What can I say? Everyone has something. Besides there have even been studies that suggest it is good for your bones/health so that's a thumbs up in my book.
Now I do have my favorites and it really depends on the day, time or situation as to what kind of coffee I'm in the mood for. My absolute favorite hot coffee ever is Dunkin Donuts. Second is McDonald's, yes they have very good coffee, and the best part is a large is only $1.08 - can't beat that!  My favorite iced coffee is Starbucks. At home I have all kinds of ways to enjoy a good cup of joe, I have a Keurig, where I can brew my Dunkins. There's also a regular drip coffee pot, a french press and one of my personal favorites my Nespresso Espresso Machine. If you've never had a Nespresso I highly suggest finding a store near you and going to get a sample cup. It brews the espresso at the optimun tempature so the taste is always perfect, and they are known for the creme on the top, it's just perfect! Nothing else to be said. Another little treat I got turned onto while visiting  Greece was Nescafe'. Yes I did just say that I like instant coffee. See in Greece it is very popular (so much so that they even sell these at McDonald's there), iced Nescafe'. It's Nescafe' in a large cup, milk, half and half, or both and sweeten to liking. Then you have a Yummoliscious iced cup of happiness!
No matter what your favorite cup of happiness is, today is the day to think about how something so simple can bring a little happiness and smile to your face. Stop by your favorite place to get one and think of all the other coffee lovers out there who love it just as much as you do. I know that participating Dunkin Donuts and McDonald's are offering a free cup, for any other places that are just check online. So raise your cup and happy sipping!
Here's to celebrating hot cups of happiness all day long!
Here's to celebrating hot cups of happiness all day long!
Blessings, Love, and Music ~
Ava xo

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Fourth Verse

Throughout history God has blessed America. It's time for America to bless God.
Throughout history God has blessed America. It's time for America to bless God.
Yesterday was the 200th Anniversary of the writing of our National Anthem "The Star Spangled Banner". Many people these days don't give the lyrics a second thought. There are even some in the media who have totally misinterpreted the lyrics and feel that our National Anthem should be changed.
When I think about where our nation was 200 years ago, in the midst of a war, I am humbled by the words. Not many people remember or even know the true meaning behind the song. We are also in a war of sorts in our Nation today. There is a movement of people who want to take God out of everything and anywhere he might possibly be able to "offend" anyone. Yet they can not see that very act is causing so much chaos and confusion, thus weakening our Nation.
An event took place at churches all across the Nation last night called "Star Spangled Sunday" put on by the Family Research Council. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn the forgotten story about the Great Acts of Faith behind our National Anthem. Yes as much as some people want to wipe "Faith" from our founding and choose to misinterpret our founding documents, America was in fact founded on Christian principals. Our founders were deeply religious men who understood what happens when a Government can give you everything, it can also take away everything, including how you're allowed to worship. They were farmers, clergymen, ordinary men and women who did extraordinary things not in  their own strength, but with help from almighty God. They prayed and believed for divine intervention from the Lord which happened on many occasions. Stories of these miracles of course have been wiped from the history books. The Star Spangled Sunday event offered an eye opening look at the true story and meaning behind the lyrics to the beautiful song that is our National Anthem.
The event was a call to action to Christians across our nation to Stand Up for our religious freedom. A key point of the event was the Fourth Verse of the Anthem that isn't talked about much these days. Reading it knowing the true story of the situations that led the writing of the song, there is no doubt about the Faith of it's author or the meaning. Although not many in government today choose to utilize our Constitution, it is still incredibly unique and what has made America the beacon of hope for people across the globe for generations. People have risked life and limb including my own father to immigrate here. One little word though misinterpreted can make a big difference to people whose agenda it is to remove God and Christianity from society. They can use the misinterpretation as a weapon in a process of a very slow fade. Done over time to dumb down our society to the point where one day you look around and realize how far its gone and wonder how in heck the world did we ever get here. How did we ever let this happen to our nation? The founding documents say Freedom "Of" Religion. However the people who desire to remove Christianity from society twist it to say "From". Little word, big difference in it's meaning.
Our founders were not Muslims, they were Christians. Christians who fled a tyrannical government in England who risked everything to be free to worship God as Christians. They did not want to be forced to have a Government appointed church, Catholic or any other set denomination. Freedom "OF" means freedom to practice whatever denomination one chooses. Yes I know, many people choose to ignore God and want to be free to do whatever they want regardless of the consequences and so they twist a lot of things, including history. The problem is when we Christians turn the other cheek, remain silent and complacent, decades go by and all of a sudden we are living in a modern day war of sorts. Not that much different from the war of 1812 when Francis Scott Key wrote that beautiful song.
We are on the front lines of a war on Christianity. Government and organizations like the ACLU bend over backwards to make sure we do not offend homosexuals and Muslims. While at the same time will not lift a finger to respect the rights of Christians. In fact going out of their way to marginalize and prohibit Christians from exercising their Faith. So far as to even prohibit our Military men and women from sharing their Faith. Really? Think about that for a minute... America is where it is today because of the brave men and women who have stood in harms way in engagement after engagement throughout history; who have relied upon their Faith in God to deliver them. So here we are, government is standing for the rights of everyone except Christians. The question is what will "we" do?
As I watched the event last night so inspired by the passionate speakers, time after time chills ran down my spine as one after another they quoted lines from a song I wrote about this very issue. Ironically I wrote my song right around September 12th, 2009. The day after the very first March on DC, where Americans gathered to Stand Up and send a message to Barack Obama and his minions that "We The People" were not happy with his hope and change. During the War of 1812 the key miracles and God intervention leading to the writing of the song took place September 11th through the 14th.
As the daughter of a man who came to America with $20 in his pocket to live the American dream, I grew up with a reverence and appreciation for the incredible opportunity that is available here in America. Opportunity that does not exist anywhere else on the face of the earth. When I saw hope and change a la Barack Obama my heart was saddened. Sad that millions of people were hypnotized into a state by the media and entertainment figures and blindly led into letting others do their thinking for them. Allowing the government to speak for them and ultimately to speak for the rest of us. By instituting things like government run health care, and so many other actions that are diametrically opposed to the entire concept of our founding principals.
The question is what will we do... the following are some of the lyrics to my song:
"What's going on, I look around, and I don't recognize this place anymore. Foundations crumbling down, when only lies abound. We can not afford to sit back and ignore. 
"Time to Stand Up, Time to Speak Out, We've got to Fight to get it back... This Country's Our's and We're Taking it Back, We The People."
I wrote that song on a cocktail napkin while working my pay the bill job as a bartender at a catering event during Fashion Week in NYC. An environment full of ultra left leaning liberals who were all under the spell of Obama praising the hope and change. After five years have passed it is frightening to see how more eerily true the words become by the day.
The Star Spangled Sunday event was a call to action to Christian Americans to stand up and fight. How do we fight? No we're not all ultra wealthy, or media figures, or talking heads. What we are though is Christians. All of us, the moms, the dads, the firemen, the Pastors, the nurses, the military, ordinary people who do the things that make our country work, we must all stand united. We must start to pay attention like never before. We must support the things throughout pop culture that represent our values especially in film, and music. Because if we don't the mainstream media will continue to produce and promote entertainment that is denigrating our society. Then we must vote our values. The Family Research Council is on the cutting edge of a movement to ensure we have the tools to do just that. They announced two new initiatives to help Christians vote our values. To make an impact to stop this slow fade and fundamental transformation of America. Visit and to get involved and learn how you can make a difference!
Remember, if we do not speak up someone else will speak for us. As we have already seen over the last five years, we will not like what they have to say.