Shutdown Showdown


“But what about the Dreamers?”

Happy Monday! New day, new week, first blog of the New Year for me and I was all set to write a nice cheerful positive blog about my new song. That was until I made the mistake of calling my mom before I sat down to do it. That was mistake number one. Mistake number two, putting the news on in the background while I wrote. Mistake number three, not having my Dunkins before I did it, must get coffee. Oops, I’m doing it again…

WARNING: This blog is not politically correct, sensitive individuals who tend to melt should an opinion different than that of their own should appear (aka snowflakes), read at your own risk.

By now you have probably heard about the “Government Shutdown”, that is unless you’ve spend the last few weeks under a rock. One thing is certain, regardless what channel you’re watching I can sum it up in three words: “It’s their fault”. Apparently congress never learned the lesson as kids that whenever you point a finger at as someone else, it’s good to keep in mind there will always be three more fingers pointing back at you.

Seriously though, there are many places people can garner information from. It’s no secret that many channels that like to call themselves “News” are more opinion and less actual facts. It’s also no secret that Greek girl rolls to the right on most everything related to politics. However, this whole congressional temper tantrum being led by Chuck Schumer isn’t about left or right or any of the negative noise the talking heads in the news are spending so much time yapping their traps about. At the end of the day the only thing in my opinion that should matter boils down to one word… Military.

So here’s the thing, the only thing that should matter in this whole debacle is, when did a non US Citizen become more important than legal citizens serving in the United States Military? I can hear it now, it usually goes a little something like this: “You’re a racist, how insensitive, how could you want to send kids who have lived here their entire lives away and deport them, you heartless monster.” Well, let me tell you how. See there is a word people seem to keep forgetting in this whole debate, “illegal”.

Let me ask, what happens if you break the law in another country? That’s right you face the consequences of that action, and in many instances you go to jail. In many countries that is a very unpleasant place to be, and in fact some don’t even make it out alive. Just ask Otto Warmbier who died after being released from a North Korean prison last year.

Why do we have laws if we are not going to enforce them? Heck why not just let all the people locked up for things like murder and drugs go free? Why are we spending millions of tax dollars a year supporting people in the prison system that are incarcerated? Why are Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi not worried about those poor souls who have to spend so many days locked up in a lonely jail cell? Don’t they matter? Good gravy.

At the end of the day they are dragging something into a bill that has absolutely nothing in the world to do with spending. DACA and Dreamers are literally being put ahead of active duty Military personnel. Don’t believe me? Check for yourself and see what happens to active duty military and their families in a shutdown:

I’m sorry, call me crazy but I was raised (by a legal immigrant mind you) that American Citizens especially our active duty Military should be more important than someone who broke our laws to come here. Never mind the strain and financial burden the illegal immigration situation puts on the healthcare system. I know how heartless of me to think that working Americans who cannot or barely afford their Obama care premiums should come before someone who broke the law.

Gee, I wonder what would happen to Americans who illegally immigrate to another county and expect to receive free healthcare, schooling and in many cases yes even housing. I’m sure that would go over well. All sarcasm aside, I really cannot even wrap my noggin around how it is legal for Democrats to hold the entire country hostage and drag a non-financial related issue into a financial spending bill.

In reality it is like a child having a temper tantrum. “Nope, I’m not going to listen until I get my way.” Good grief Charlie Brown, but that is just not how our government is set up. Not what our founders intended, and not in any way shape or form productive for anyone, especially for the American people who are footing the bill for this entire episode.

No I’m not heartless, yes I care about people, all people, even illegal immigrants. I just do not think they should be put ahead of our Military and legal citizens who were born here. There is a way to immigrate to our country and it needs to be done legally. What in the world are we teaching these Dreamers anyway if we reward them for breaking the law. I know I can hear it now, the Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski’s of the world jumping up and down “but it wasn’t even the kids, it was a parent so why punish the children?” Again I’ll tell you why, because laws were broken. Period, end of the story. Why on earth are we going to enforce “some” laws and not others?

I really hope that this whole thing comes to an end and quickly. My heart is heavy for our Service men and women who are on the front lines and have been put to the back burner. How is the wife of the veteran at home supposed to pay the mortgage? It’s totally upside down and I for one am ready for it to be put right side up again and quickly.

Blessings, Love and Music ~
Ava xo






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Christmas Dogs

Not sure how it happened but it’s that time again. Seems like 2017 just flew by. I know people always say that at the end of a year, but this year went by really fast (for me it did anyway). This year was not a great year in the Aston house as we lost two of our furkids to rainbow bridge. Don’t know what “Rainbow Bridge” is, click here.

First it was my little Bobo-Liscious a Pekingese rescue we adopted back in 2005. Then just a few weeks ago my little fifteen year old Pekingese Pook-alina that we had since she was a baby went to the bridge too. She went literally days after we had taken this years Christmas photo. Makes this year especially hard.

In our house one of the most fun parts of the Holiday Season is dressing our dogs up in costumes. I know we’re not alone in our love of seeing our furkids dressed up in silly costumes, all anyone has to do is pop on instagram for a few minutes and you’ll see boatloads of pets dressed up for the Holidays.

In the last five years our little pack has changed a bit, but I thought it would be fun to share some photos of our little Christmas Dogs through the years. In the spirit of remembering the good times, without further ado here are our Christmas Dogs through the years:


2017 Christmas Dogs


2016 Christmas Dogs

christmas dogs.001

2015 Christmas Dogs


2014 Christmas Dogs

Aston Christmas Dogs

2013 Christmas Dogs

Christmas dogs 2012 copy

2012 Christmas Dogs


2011 Christmas Dogs with their People ;o)


2010 Christmas Dogs

a&k w dogs

2009 Christmas Dogs with their People :o)


2008 Christmas Dogs

So that’s a little look down memory lane of my furkids in Christmas Costumes. Hope the cute added a little happy to your day. Like our pets, our people are not always going to be here. So during this special time of year remember to cherish every minute with the ones you love because they won’t always be here with us.

Wishing you and yours a beautiful blessed Holiday.

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo

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Just Breathe

thanksgiving happy holiday black friday blog ava aston gift

The holidays are coming. Every year it seems like they arrive faster and faster. Pre Black Friday sales and deals being advertised as early as the first week of November. Ads coming at you from every which way from the TV, laptop, phone, you name it someone is advertising to us on it.

The more connected we become as a society though it can be said that all of this information overload is actually doing more to disconnect us than it does to connect us. I know some people who are so fed up with it that they just disengage from technology all together, or for periods of time to get away from the noise. I mean really, what’s the point of a social media feed if it’s not going to be the things you like and want to follow and instead be just lots and lots of advertising that some algorithm picked “for” you? Silly if you ask me.

So with the hustle and bustle season about to move into full swing I wanted to take a moment to remind people to take a little time to breathe. Everyone has lists of things that need to be done, goals, dreams, and to do’s that at times may never seem to end. At the end of the day though, it’s not about the quantity of things we stuff into the twenty-four hours we are all allotted every day, it’s the quality that matters.

The Holiday Season starts with Thanksgiving. Which in my humble Greek opinion is a really great way to start. Forget about everything that needs to be done and take the time to reflect on everything you have done and accomplished in the last day, week, month or last year for that matter. Take a moment to consider your victories big and small. Rome wasn’t built in a day and too many people don’t give themselves kudos for all the little things they do that really add up.

Whether it’s helping others at your job, volunteering, or just people in your everyday life. Look around and think about whom you have touched with your actions big and small and I’m guessing you’ll have a whole lot to be thankful for. Some people focus more on what isn’t going right in their lives instead of looking at the things that are. Then there are people who are never satisfied, and they are always looking to the next project or adventure and so busy moving forward that they never stop to smell the roses or celebrate the fact that they were able to walk the path where the roses bloomed.

I’m thankful for coffee, endorphins, dogs and cats. All kidding aside… I’m thankful for my faith, my health, my gifts and talents and the opportunity to use them to bless others. I’m super thankful for my amazing wonderful, gorgeous superman of a husband. I’m thankful for my family, my victories and my challenges. Because every day is an opportunity to learn something new and grow in ways we never know. My wish for everyone this Thanksgiving Holiday is to have a little time to breathe and just “be” happy.

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo




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Cute Overload

Halloween… the holiday where pet owners everywhere dress our pets in silly costumes. Attend pet parades and swap pics of our furkids going gaga over the cuteness. Isn’t that what the holiday is all about? Well for some of us it is. So like always, I dressed my furbabies up in silly costumes again this year.

I swear if my almost eleven year old Pekingese “Punkin” could talk she would be cursing at me. Every time we put a costume on her she makes herself heavy and stiff like a little corpse. Maybe she thinks it’ll keep her from having to don the costume, who knows, but the faces she makes the entire time just kill me.

Not just on Halloween, but Christmas and all throughout the year my fur babies have an entire wardrobe of outfits to keep them cute and in style. So without further ado, here is Aston furbabies “Howl-o-ween” Costume parade for 2017.


Punkin: “I’m too old for this crap!” 


Pepe is an NYC ACC “Urgent List” Survivor.  


Pookie: “Is it almost over?”  


Lulu is also an NYC ACC Survivor. 















For the Grand Finale… the group!

The cats just sit around looking at the dogs and probably thanking their lucky stars that their momma has not decided to add them to the costume parade. Although… you never know, I can think of two little black bomaby cats I know who just might start wearing silly costumes one day too.

Hope everyone has a fun time and stays safe. Happy Halloween!

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo

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Ignorance is Bliss


This is how you do it! Kudos to Geneo Grissom for demonstrating respectful professional conduct becoming of an NFL player during the National Anthem. (unlike the lunkheads kneeling next to him)

Fall is here again; it’s actually my favorite season. Fall is such a beautiful time of year, so many things to take in, the fresh air, the foliage, pumpkin coffee (well actually pumpkin everything), and football among other fun fall things.

Which brings me to a disturbing trend that seems to be taking over the NFL, kneeling during the National Anthem. (WARNING: this blog is not politically correct, snowflakes and safe space residents please be advised).

Why on earth does everything these days have to offend someone for some reason? Why are people so easily offended? When did Americans get such thin skin? I’m sorry but I just find it totally and utterly ridiculous for grown men to be acting like spoiled rotten little kindergarteners on the playground.

The Greatest Generation left their homes, families and country (well before any of them were actually even men by the way) to go fight in foreign lands to keep America and the rest of the world free. They stopped a madman from taking over the world, and saved an entire race of people. Every single day in our country for almost our entire history men and women have lined up to put others ahead of themselves, and leave everything they know so that others can be free.

I have had the honor to perform the National Anthem for many professional sports teams, and it is actually one of my favorite songs to sing. So forgive me, but I find it abhorrent that grown men who make millions of dollars playing a professional sport that they love for a living feel it is appropriate to have a temper tantrum and protest the National Anthem and Flag because they don’t like the President; or feel some need to kneel for “social justice”. Seriously, do we really need social justice here in America?

We have dozens of social programs including but not limited to free and supplemented education, housing, food, and medical for people in need or low income individuals and or families (including non citizens – yes it happens every day). People come from other countries to have babies on the American tab in American hospitals, then go back home to Iran (just one of many countries) and poof the baby is now a citizen. It’s a simple word with big complications and consequences; entitlements they do exist and yes they are abused. Yet so many seem to be ignorant to the reality of what is actually happening, so when the social justice warriors come calling they fall in line.

America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. According to social justice warriors she has so many wrongs to apologize for, and to be embarrassed of. America, the country where people have come from nothing, from complete poverty and risen to the highest heights in their fields. There are hundreds upon hundreds of examples of sports figures, Dr’s, lawyers, law enforcement professionals, and teachers, all of them dreamers. People who did not let where they came from determine where they were going, and who they would ultimately become. All of these people who did this, did it in America.

America a country that some choose to stand up and fight for, and some choose to kneel in protest. I ask what on earth are they protesting? Being born in a country that affords them the opportunity to play professional sports and earn millions of dollars a year for a living?

Yes, it would have been so much better to be born somewhere like Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Somalia. Better yet, maybe even better to be born a little girl in Somalia (where female genital mutilation with no anesthesia is a common practice by the age of five). Yes, would be so much better to be there, or anywhere other than America. Give me a break.

Ironic, I seem to recall a certain NFL player who kneeled to pray before games and he was mocked. Yet now we have NFL players who kneel to protest and they are celebrated? Houston, we have some problems.

People including NFL players are free to have an opinion, to like, dislike or even hate the President. However, I have a newsflash for the people who think it is cool to kneel in protest for the National Anthem and the Flag: the Flag and the National Anthem represent people, not a political party. The Flag and the National Anthem represent men and women who gave everything they had, some even their lives for this country.

So when players protest, they are spitting in the eye of Americans; spitting in the eye of the people who died for them to have that right. Players can have their personal opinions and they can do it on their own time. Fans do not pay hundreds of dollars to go see a game to watch players act like spoiled children. If they want to protest they can do it on their own time, and not under the guise or platform of the NFL. It is disrespectful, it is disgraceful, and it is sickening.

So I say, don’t like America, hate America? Stand up, or pack your bags and don’t let the door hit ya on the way out. I’m sure one of the countries I mentioned above would be glad to have you.

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo










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Total Eclipse of the Internet


I know most everyone is going ga ga over the eclipse that is set to split America for the first time in ninety-nine years. People are in a frenzy scrambling to get their hands on last minute “solar eclipse glasses” on Amazon and all kinds of online retailers. I however kind of wish it were an eclipse of the Internet that was on its way instead.

Why because in my humble big fat Greek opinion, something special has died and I just have to get it off my chest. Social media on the Internet has gone from something totally unique that connected people in way it never had before in history to one big giant commercial advertisement. Which leads me to the following thoughts. (WARNING: Greek Girl rant about to ensue)

Dear facebook,

If it’s not broke, please don’t fix it. Now I can imagine that all of the millennials over at corporate headquarters get twitchy and itchy if they don’t have something new and innovate to keep changing. However, here’s a request straight from one of your millions of users… please stop. Because, we the everyday users don’t actually don’t “like” it (no pun intended… well, maybe some).

Here’s an idea, how about we change the term “social media” to “social advertising”. Because the spark of genius that was the magic of Facebook has died. The brilliant invention that enabled a person in Timbuktu to connect to a total stranger, musician, business, blog, or what have you in East Jupeepee no longer exists.

It has been replaced by advertising. So Joe Blow in Timbuktu will no longer organically see a post from a person, musician or, business in East Jupeepee unless that person, musician, or business pays to have Joe Blow see it. This is how technology went from a stroke of brilliance to a nuisance.

Thus more and more people are disconnecting from social media altogether. Sad, but it is true. All of that just so Facebook could go public and increase profits. I suspect that in the long run Facebook will eventually go the way of Myspace. Haven’t really seen or heard of too many people itching to hop on MySpace and check out the latest meme (just sayin).

Since when did the average person have to have a rocket science degree to admin his or her own Facebook business, band or musician page? And I’m not just saying that because I have a head injury (really I do have one, but all kidding aside) I was on Facebook for like two hours the other night configuring, or shall I say, “trying” to configure the apps on my musician page.

Somehow the Instagram got disconnected and the Twitter again for about the third time in a month… I reconnect it, then it disconnects without my knowledge. Next thing you know, Facebook posts are not posting to twitter and so on.

Here’s a shocking bit of information for Facebook to consider: not everyone has a “social media manager” on staff operating their account. Now I can imagine that you all love to talk techie and swap ways to “innovate” and improve the “user experience”; however as one of the millions of users, seriously, please stop. It is beyond obnoxious every time we get the hang of something and figure out where in God’s name you all hid the button to operate a tab or function, you all flipping change it again. Honest to Pete… it’s lunacy.

It’s not “The Jetsons” and we’re not living inside a computer world (yet)… so please for the love of all that is left that is good and right in the world, STOP CHANGING THINGS!

Which brings me to my next gripe… Google. You all are just as bad. Seriously that film “The Circle” anyone seen it? Probably not because it didn’t do so well at the box office. I would bet the powers that be at Facebook and Google got together in a secret meeting and put the kabash on the advertising for that film. It is a frighteningly accurate portrayal of what I imagine the corporate world of Facebook and Google to be.

Get this one: I am “not allowed” to post the link to my own songs on “iTunes” because it “violates Google policy, and is spam”? Seriously… HELLO Google, I’m an “Independent Recording Artist” which means, no record label paying for songs to be promoted on radio, film, TV and lets not forget to be actually SEEN by my own followers on Facebook. Followers who clicked the “like” button of their own volition, meaning they wanted to actually see what I am posting. (Not only when I am paying you to show it to them) If posting my music on my own page (that people sign up to follow mind you of their own will) is “spam” then what in the heck in the world is the point of being on social media at all?

Besides the fact that Google is just as bad as Facebook when it comes to changing things. It’s like a bunch of techie minions sitting around in Silicon Valley trying to figure out the most outrageous way to keep people confused. They change things even more than Facebook, and good luck trying to figure out where and what they did with a feature when they do. Since when did a person need a college degree in Computer Programming to manage their Google and Google plus accounts? Sheesh.

Lets not even get into YouTube (the left arm of Google – and when I say left I do mean left) censoring videos for monetization that it politically disagrees with. How’s that “free speech” thing working out for you all… hmmm? Profanity is allowed to run amuck all over YouTube, and Facebook will allow a livestream of a GANG RAPE and even a MURDER. But boy oh boy… you best not post anything that conflicts with a left leaning ideology… whatchout.

What on earth? HELLO can anyone say Orwell? Holy bananas batman, it’s seriously getting beyond absurd. No wonder people are leaving social media in droves, and unplugging from technology all together. Can’t say I blame them.

Thus my suggestion to change the name from “Social Media” to “Social Advertising”. Better yet, make that, “Social PAID Advertising”.

Stepping off my soapbox now. That’s all… carry on. Enjoy the Solar Eclipse wherever you may be watching from (and don’t forget your glasses).

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo Continue reading

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Jack LaLanne

It’s that time again. The official start to summer is just day’s away, time to get buff for the beach. Time to break out the Bikini, skinny jeans, tank tops and all the fun clothes made for people with the body of a Greek god or goddess. For some this is what comes to mind when they hear the word “beachbody“.

I would like to put a different idea into people’s noggins. Yes “beachbody” is a word often associated with the things I mentioned above. However, it is also a company that helps people literally transform their lives for the better. (No this is not a paid review). I just know that this time of year can be stressful with unrealistic images bombarding people on a daily basis. It puts unnecessary pressure on people to be fitter, and it can be confusing to sort through all the information and programs available out there. Many people have injuries that have made physical activity difficult if not impossible sometimes. So, I would like to offer a little insight into my experience as a beachbody customer since 2002.

It all started with Slim in 6 with Debbie Seibers, a program put out by Beachbody. I’ve always been active and loved exercise. At the time I had been working out with Tae Bo by Billy Blanks for about a year and I wanted to try something new. So I ordered it and loved it. Then I discovered Tony Horton and the original P90, oh what fun that was.

I have always been fascinated by the fact that people who exercise and eat right look so young. Tony Horton at the time was about forty-four and he looked no where near it. I was thinking wow if this guy looks so young and healthy this program is definitely something I want to try. To this day he still looks nowhere at all near his age, and like one of my other fitness heroes Jack LaLanne, he has continued to defy the norm, giving a new face to what the human body can and should be at a particular age.

Anyway without going off into a novel of my fitness journey over the last fifteen years, the point is that there are always options. Since that time, Beachbody has produced countless programs for nearly all fitness levels. Almost every program has modification options, which makes “excuses” for not putting your health first obsolete.

I have many fitness heroes, some not even affiliated with Beachbody. I love Jillian Michaels, Jackie Warner, and I also really like the Firm fitness programs. Not every body is the same and even the same body will not always need or like or even be capable of doing the same program forever. Which is why it is important to always stay in the game no matter what is going on with your body. It’s not about getting a ripped hard physique (although I’m guessing everyone would like that). It’s about being the best possible you that you can be. To get and stay healthy and strong so you can enjoy life to the fullest.

Injuries happen to the best of us. Slips, falls, work, overuse injuries, accidents, you name it. For me it was two close dated car accidents. People with herniated disks simply should not jump, period. So that takes things like running and plyometrics training off the table. Does that mean you can’t exercise? No, it simply means you modify your workout. So for example; if you’re doing a workout program like say 21-Day Fix (which is not an extreme program by any means) but there are jumping jacks, etc., what do you do? You modify the jacks, by doing step jacks instead. Almost every program will have a modifier doing the workout so you can see exactly what options are available if you are not able to jump or do the advanced version of a particular move.

There are so many options, walking, yoga, pilates, one workout program I particularly love, love, love, (did I say love) is Piyo created by Chalene Johnson. Piyo combines yoga, and pilates, and gets your heart rate up like crazy. It sculpts, and stretches your body and you feel like a million bucks after a workout. The best part is no jumps, no weights, so it is fantastic when traveling. Which by the way, is a major excuse people use for skipping workouts.

The thing is you can make excuses or you can make results. The choice is up to you. There are super short workouts, even as short as twenty minutes. Everyone has twenty minutes. Endorphins really are God’s medicine. Exercise is good for your mood, and really should be something you do every single day, just like brushing your teeth.

So what are you waiting for? Get to that phone, computer, or iPad, and find out what you      like and get started on that beachbody ;o) or shall I say healthy body. One that will carry you into your golden years if you treat it right. Remember the saying… use it or lose it. Happy working out!

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo

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