Nikki's Thinkin'

  • People's Choice

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery

    1/6/2010

    Today I'm thinking about The People's Choice Awards. They air tonight on CBS There are 4 categories that include country artists. who do you think will win each of them?

    Favorite Country Artist:

    Taylor Swift

    Brad Paisley

    Rascal Flatts

    Carrie Underwood

    Keith Urban

     

    Favorite Female Artist:

    Taylor Swift

    Carrie Underwood

    Beyonce

    Britney Spears

    Pink

     

    Favorite Male Artist:

    Kieth Urban

    Tim McGraw

    Eminem

    Jason Mraz

    John Mayer

     

    Favorite Pop Artist:

    Taylor Swift

    Black Eyed Peas

    Lady Gaga

    Katy Perry 

    Britney Spears

     

    Although Paisley is over 10 years into his career, he feels that "people are just discovering me in a large way right now." Maybe that will work out to his benefit in the Favorite Country Artist category.

    Brad says he wants to work with one particular artist before he calls it quits, "It's Eric Clapton. I've never even met him. If I say it enough, maybe he'll go, 'All right, fine, shut up! I'll do it!'"

    That would be an awesome duo!! Award winning even!

    Your keyword is "Awards" 250 points.

  • Lose Weight Tips

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery

    1/5/2010

    gymThe most popular New Year's resolution is to lose weight. It turns out that it's also a popular resolution with some of your favorite country stars. 

    Carrie Underwood has struggled with her weight believe it or not. She says, "Genetics are not exactly on my side. Once I got out of high school I packed on about 10 pounds, and once I was on American Idol I packed on another 10 pounds...I carry all my stress weight, all my potato chip weight around my mid-section. You've got to fight genetics sometimes." Carrie says that she and her fiance Mike Fisher enjoy working out together and Carrie is committed to a healthy diet. She opts for a local grocery store over catering while she's on tour. While she's not on tour she works with a personal trainer and says he's kicking her butt. "I need it. Especially with a tour coming up and a wedding to look good for." Still no date announced for their wedding. 

    Since most of us don't have the luxury of a personal trainer to work out with every day here are some tips that may help you drop some pounds in 2010:

    1. Take three bites less of everything. This will typically shave off 100 calories.
    2. Go ahead and order pizza, but cut the meat toppings and cheese.
    3. Watch less television. Previous research shows that people who watch more than two hours of TV a day tend to be overweight. Or catch your favorite show on the treadmill or while core training on a balance ball.
    4. Instead of cooking with oil or butter try nonstick sprays.
    5. Get plenty of sleep. Adults should get between 6 and 8 hours of sleep 8 being ideal. 
    6. When you're making homemade goodies, cut the sugar in the recipe by 1/3 you won't even notice the difference.
    7. Hungry? Snack on fruit and veggies instead of candy and potato chips. Do this once per day and you'll save a whopping 100 calories.
    8. Thirsty? Drink water. 
    9. When possible, stand instead of sitting. Fifty minutes of standing actually burns up to 100 calories!
    10. Cut your portion size the easy way: use smaller plates. (measuring portions is always beneficial too)
    Your keyword is "weight" 250 points.

  • Comfort

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery

    sugarland1/4/2010

    Today I'm thinking about being comfortable. I spent pretty much the entire weekend in hoodies and baggy jeans talk about comfort. 

    Reba tells Ok! Magazine, "If you're not comfortable, you're not going to have a good time. The thing that makes me the most nervous is a new outfit or new shoes. That's why I've worn these boots since 2001. I've had them resoled probably ten times. I'm getting to the point in my life where I like to be comfortable and I like security." 

    Other celebs have different ideas about comfort. Jennifer Nettles cares more about covering up bumps than being comfortable. Are you kidding? She's like the skinniest person ever! She tells Ok! Magazine, "Spanx (body shaping clothing) hides all your bumps." She adds, "They work, and they do what they're supposed to do. Sometimes they're a little uncomfortable, but that's the price of beauty. It's better than a corset."

    I just can't imagine Jennifer Nettles having any bumps, but maybe that's because she wears Spanx all the time. 

    A few bumps never hurt anyone. I'm gonna stick to my sweatshirts and avoid the Spanx in the new year.

    Your keyword is "Spanx" 250 points.

  • New Years Eve Ball

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery

     12/31/09

     New Years Eve Ball

    Today is the last day of 2009 we welcome 2010 with the infamous ball drop in Times Square at midnight. Here are some interesting facts about the ball from timessquarenyc.org:

    Each year, millions of eyes from all over the world are focused on the sparkling Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year's Eve Ball. At 11:59 p.m., the Ball begins its descent as millions of voices unite to count down the final seconds of the year, and celebrate the beginning of a new year full of hopes, challenges, changes and dreams.

     

    New Video: Making the New Year's Eve Ball

    For 2010 Waterford Crystal has designed a new sparkling "Let There Be Courage" triangle. The crystals feature a unique interlocking ribbon pattern woven into the Celtic knot. The triangles, each about 3/8" thick and 6.8 ounces in weight are custom made and built to exacting standards to withstand the stresses of high winds, precipitation and temperature fluctuation that exist over 400 feet above Times Square. 288 are being installed alongside crystal installed in previous years. Waterford has also released a New Year's Eve iPhone app called "Clink-Clink"!  

    The "New" New Year's Eve Ball

    On November 11th, 2008, The co-organizers of New Year’s Eve in Times Square (Times Square Alliance, Countdown Entertainment) unveiled a new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball at a press conference at Hudson Scenic Studio in Yonkers, New York.

    The new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is a 12 foot geodesic sphere, double the size of previous Balls, and weighs 11,875 pounds. Covered in 2,668 Waterford Crystals and powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDS, the new Ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns producing a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square.

     

    The organizers also announced that the new Ball will become a year-round attraction above Times Square in full public view January through December.

     

    “For one hundred years, the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball has attracted millions of revelers to Times Square on December 31st to celebrate the beginning of the New Year” said Jeff Straus, president of Countdown Entertainment and co-organizer of Times Square New Year’s Eve. “The new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball will be a bright sparkling jewel atop One Times Square entertaining New Yorkers and tourists from around the world not only on December 31, but throughout the year.”

     

    “The New Year’s Eve ball is bigger, better and brighter than ever, just like Times Square itself,” said Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins. “And like Times Square, it’s not afraid to show off. That’s why we’re proudly putting it on display year-round so visitors to the neighborhood can enjoy a true Crossroads of the World icon.”

     

    WATERFORD CRYSTAL created an exclusive “Let There Be Joy” design for the crystal triangles on the new Ball. Designed and crafted by Waterford artisans in Ireland, “Let There Be Joy” features the design of an angel with arms uplifted welcoming the New Year on each of the 1,728 new crystals. The remaining 960 triangles are last year’s “Let There Be Light” design of a stylized radiating starburst.

     

    "The new 2009 Times Square New Year's Ball represents the perfect blend of time-honored craftsmanship and state of the art technology," says Pete Cheyney, Director of Corporate Communications for Waterford Crystal. "The theme for the Waterford crystals on this year's Ball, "Let There be Joy" reflects our belief that New Year's Eve is a time when happiness and optimism for the future should be at the forefront of everyone's thoughts. We at Waterford consider the Ball to be of our Company's greatest achievements."

     

    PHILIPS LIGHTING provided the new solid state lighting technology for the Ball, resulting in an astounding increase in impact, energy efficiency, and color capabilities. Capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million colors and billions of possible patterns, the 32,256 Philips Luxeon LEDs in this year's Ball represent more than three times the number of LEDS used last year, to deliver a brighter and more beautiful New Year's experience than ever before. And this year’s Ball is 10-20% more energy efficient than last year’s already energy-efficient Ball, consuming only the same amount of energy per hour as it would take to operate two traditional home ovens.

     

    "At Philips Lighting, we are proud to be driving innovative and energy-efficient solutions for the world's broad range of lighting applications - from celebrated landmarks to consumers' homes -- and we're especially delighted to be the official Lighting Partner to the iconic New Year's Eve Ball in Times Square," said Philips Lighting Company Director of Corporate Communications Susan Bloom. "Now bigger in size and incorporating even more powerful and energy-efficient Philips Luxeon LEDs than last year, this year's Ball will deliver a New Year's Eve experience that will be brighter, more beautiful, and more sustainable than ever before."

     

    FOCUS LIGHTING created a spectacular and unique lighting design that utilizes over 3,500 lighting cues to orchestrate the colorful moving patterns of light radiating from the Ball. Theatrical techniques were used to show the beauty of each facet of each individual crystal, making the sparkle visible whether viewed from 5’ away (as members of the press have seen it) or from 500’ when viewed from the streets of Times Square. It is like accenting a performer on a stage.

     

    “We tried to create a beacon of light in the sky over Times Square,” says Paul Gregory, Principal Lighting Designer for Focus Lighting.

     

    History of the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball

     

    Revelers began celebrating New Year's Eve in Times Square as early as 1904, but it was in 1907 that the New Year's Eve Ball made its maiden descent from the flagpole atop One Times Square.

     

    The first New Year's Eve Ball, made of iron and wood and adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs, was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds. It was built by a young immigrant metalworker named Jacob Starr, and for most of the twentieth century the company he founded, sign maker Artkraft Strauss, was responsible for lowering the ball.

     

    As part of the 1907-1908 festivities, waiters in the fabled "lobster palaces" and other deluxe eateries in hotels surrounding Times Square were supplied with battery-powered top hats emblazoned with the numbers "1908" fashioned of tiny light bulbs. At the stroke of midnight, they all "flipped their lids" and the year on their foreheads lit up in conjunction with the numbers "1908" on the parapet of the Times Tower lighting up to signal the arrival of the new year.

     

    The Ball has been lowered every year since 1907, with the exceptions of 1942 and 1943, when the ceremony was suspended due to the wartime "dimout" of lights in New York City. Nevertheless, the crowds still gathered in Times Square in those years and greeted the New Year with a minute of silence followed by the ringing of chimes from sound trucks parked at the base of the tower - a harkening-back to the earlier celebrations at Trinity Church, where crowds would gather to "ring out the old, ring in the new."

     

    In 1920, a 400 pound ball made entirely of wrought iron replaced the original. In 1955, the iron ball was replaced with an aluminum ball weighing a mere 200 pounds. This aluminum Ball remained unchanged until the 1980s, when red light bulbs and the addition of a green stem converted the Ball into an apple for the "I Love New York" marketing campaign from 1981 until 1988. After seven years, the traditional glowing white Ball with white light bulbs and without the green stem returned to brightly light the sky above Times Square. In 1995, the Ball was upgraded with aluminum skin, rhinestones, strobes, and computer controls, but the aluminum ball was lowered for the last time in 1998.

     

    For Times Square 2000, the millennium celebration at the Crossroads of the World, the New Year's Eve Ball was completely redesigned by Waterford Crystal. The new crystal Ball combined the latest in technology with the most traditional of materials, reminding us of our past as we gazed into the future and the beginning of a new millenium.

    About "Time-Balls"

     

    The actual notion of a ball "dropping" to signal the passage of time dates back long before New Year's Eve was ever celebrated in Times Square. The first "time-ball" was installed atop England's Royal Observatory at Greenwich in 1833. This ball would drop at one o'clock every afternoon, allowing the captains of nearby ships to precisely set their chronometers (a vital navigational instrument).

     

    Around 150 public time-balls are believed to have been installed around the world after the success at Greenwich, though few survive and still work. The tradition is carried on today in places like the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, where a time-ball descends from a flagpole at noon each day - and of course, once a year in Times Square, where it marks the stroke of midnight not for a few ships' captains, but for over one billion people watching worldwide.

     

    The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball 2000-2007

     

    The 2000-2007 version of the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball, designed by Waterford Crystal, made its first descent during the last minute of the 20th century, at the Times Square 2000 Celebration.

     

     

    The Ball was a geodesic sphere, six feet in diameter, and weighed approximately 1,070 pounds. It was covered with a total of 504 Waterford crystal triangles that varied in size and ranged in length from 4.75 inches to 5.75 inches per side.

     

    For the 2007 New Year's Eve celebration, 72 of the crystal triangles featured the new "Hope for Peace" design, consisting of three dove-like patterns symbolizing messengers of peace. The remaining 432 triangles featured Waterford designs from previous years, including the Hope for Fellowship, Hope for Wisdom, Hope for Unity, Hope for Courage, Hope for Healing, Hope for Abundance, and Star of Hope triangles. These crystal triangles were bolted to 168 translucent triangular lexan panels which were attached to the aluminum frame of the Ball. The exterior of the Ball was illuminated by 168 Philips Halogená Brilliant Crystal light bulbs, exclusively engineered for the New Year's Eve Ball to enhance the Waterford crystal. The interior of the Ball was illuminated by 432 Philips Light Bulbs (208 clear, 56 red, 56 blue, 56 green, and 56 yellow), and 96 high-intensity strobe lights, which together create bright bubbling bursts of color. The exterior of the Ball featured 90 rotating pyramid mirrors that reflect light back into the audience at Times Square.

    All 696 lights and 90 rotating pyramid mirrors were computer controlled, enabling the Ball to produce a state-of-the-art light show of eye-dazzling color patterns and a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square. The now-retired 2000-2007 New Year's Eve Ball is the property of the building owners of One Times Square.

    Your keyword is "crystal" 250 points.

    Ringing in the New Year

    Will you be watching the ball drop?

    Carson Daly once said, 

    On New Year's Eve, Times Square is the epicenter of the world - it's the place to be and the place to watch at midnight. That is why it was so important to do this entire special live. Unlike other specials, there will be no prerecorded performances. Audiences will see things as they happen.

  • Lady Gaga on Ellen

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery

    12/30/09

    Lady Gaga on Ellen a while back talking about her strange outfits. Lady Gaga did say once, "I want to be known for my own look" and she certainly is. But don't be distracted she's an extremely talented singer just take in her performance of "Speechless" on the show.

    Your keyword is "Gaga" 250 points.

  • Most Underrated

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery

    12/29/09

    toby keithToday I'm thinking about how much I agree with Trace Adkins. If you didn't read the Behind the Mic blog today here's a recap of it. 

    Trace Adkins was asked who he thinks is country's most underrated star, he said, "I would say, given what I've seen this year, firsthand, and then knowing who was recognized and honored at the CMA Awards, I would have to say Toby Keith. To command the venues that he performs at and fill them up he continually has radio success; he's always at the top of the charts on radio. And then to just get completely ignored by the CMA is reprehensible."

    Why do you think Toby is shut out of the CMAs? Do you think he deserves to be included? Share your comments below.

    Your keyword is "Underrated" 250 points.

  • Blog Extra DEXTER

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery

    I had to blog twice today because I can't stop thinking about Dexter! Have you seen the Showtime Series Dexter?

    I have been addicted to it since it started, but I don't have Showtime so I have to watch it on Charter on Demand at my parent's house. I finally watched the last half of the season including the shocking finale over the holiday weekend. I can now join the world in saying "Oh My God!" I can't believe it!

    If you are also a Dexter fan and haven't seen it stop right here and do not watch the video. 

    I don't know what this finale means for Dexter. There are so many scenarios that could come from Rita's death! Trinity is gone! The department knows now that there are always 4 killings in Trinity's spree, but this was only the 2nd in a new string and they suddenly stop in their tracks. So will they believe that Trinity was responsible?Or will Dexter be the main suspect? He knows how Trinity killed it would've been easy for him to mimic him and people knew about him and Rita going to counseling and the other forensics guy knew that Rita kissed the neighbor, Dexter assaulted the neighbor, Dexter's sister knows that his brother turned out to be a serial killer and she has already lost all faith in her father who she thought of as a perfect family man will she lose faith in Dexter easily now? Dexter was mysteriously disappearing from work and was noticed by his sister's partner who thought that Dexter was stepping out on Rita because he followed him to the bar that night Dex was hunting that photographer. Plus Dexter was out hunting and killing Trinity while Trinity was at his house killing Rita so he has no alibi! 

    Will this next season be Dexter trying to prove that he's a good guy and he didn't kill Rita or will he grow to be an even darker serial killer. Will he be Mr. Mom?

    I can't wait for the next season to start. I think in the meantime I need to go out and get the Dexter books to keep me occupied.

     

    Your EXTRA keyword is "Dexter" 250 points.

  • Wedding for Kellie?

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery

    12/28/09

    Kellie PicklerToday I'm thinking about Kellie Pickler's new jewelry! Kellie Pickler is sporting a ring on her left ring finger, but it's not what some people may think. She tells Okay! Magazine, "I'm not engaged." But, her boyfriend, Nashville songwriter Kyle Jacobs must be doing something right. Kellie says, "Oh gosh, he makes me want to be a better person. He's the good one in the relationship. I'm crazy. Crazy and crazy don't go together. One of you has gotta be sane." 

    Well, glad to see she found a good guy and maybe we will have another country wedding sometime in 2010. 

    Carrie Underwood is on her way to alter, Miranda and Blake have said probably not. Will LeeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian march to wedding bells since both of their marriages will be coming to an end with '09? 

    Your keyword is "Wedding" 250 points.

  • The Holiday

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery

    12/24/09

    The HolidayToday I'm thinking about the movie "The Holiday" which I finally just watched last weekend. I loved it. What a cute movie!

    My mom decided that Jude Law is worthy of celebrity crush status and I can't help but agree. 

    Jude once said "I can't say I've suffered for my looks and that's fine, but I want to be made to work hard." 

    If you haven't seen The Holiday yet. I recommend it. It's cute. It's definitely a chick flick though. 

    Have a happy holiday!!

    Your keyword is "Holiday" 250 points.

  • Holiday baking

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery

    12/23/09

    Miranda LambertToday I'm thinking about holiday baking. I don't do it. My sister is a baking fool this year though. My mom is baking too. That's plenty of baked goods I don't need to.

    Miranda Lambert is putting on her apron. She told AOL's The Boot, "I'm asking for baking stuff. I have the worst pans and pots. I've collected dollar-store pans, and I'm just over it. I'm asking everybody to get me really good cooking stuff!" According to Miranda, baking is a family holiday tradition. She shares, "I love to bake. Our Christmas tradition is we always go open presents on Christmas Eve with my grandma. I always make some kind of cookies or something festive.

    Your keyword is "baking" 250 points.

  • Giving

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery

    12/22/09

    Jimmy WayneToday I'm thinking about giving. There are some people that are so hard to buy for. Jimmy Wayne might be one of those people. 

    From time to time, Jimmy Wayne's fans like to give him presents to show him just how much he means to them. Jimmy says, "I'm very thankful for the things that the fans bring me because they really do take their hard-earned money, and they buy some of the most incredible gifts for me. I just got a painting that was just incredible!" However, Wayne says that the best gifts are the ones that aren't for him. "There was someone who showed up with a piece of paper that showed that they had taken the money and instead of buying me a gift they took the money and invested it into a kid that needed some clothes and I tell ya, right there, that was the best gift." He adds, "That moved me 'cause I remember being there. I know exactly what that kid's going through." 

    Jimmy Wayne had a rough childhood and now look at him thanks to the kindness and generosity of special people. He says, "That really makes my day when I see people getting involved and helping out those kids that really need something-that's a great gift."

    Your keyword today is "Giving" 250 points.

  • Surrounded by people you love

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery

    12/21/09

    Keith and NicoleToday I'm thinking about what a wonderful time I had visiting with family. I know it isn't Christmas yet, but it sure felt like it was when I was surrounded by people I love. I don't often get to see my extended family for the holidays so this is an extra special year for me. 

    Isn't it amazing how much being surrounded by the people we love can make you so happy even if you don't do anything particularly special. 

    Keith Urban says that having his wife Nicole Kidman on the road with him changes things for him. He says, "I think I play better. When someone you love-and someone who loves you-is present in what you're doing, no matter what it is, I think everything elevates a little bit."

    Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy every minute with your loved ones. You never know when your time with them may run out. Brittany Murphy's family certainly had no expectation to celebrate Christmas without her this year. So sad. 

    Your keyword is "Love" 250 points.