Childhood · Music Monday · Nostalgia · Parenting · Stories

My Blessed, Beautiful Now Book + BONUS Music Monday Playlist!

I turn my eyes forward, and together Zoey and I start running along the water’s edge, our footfall heavy on the cold, wet sand. Together we are running, slowly at first, and then all at once faster: Toward tomorrow. Toward the future. Toward all our journeys ahead.

The bittersweet end to my Everyday Nostalgia series was a little more than a year ago. But in many ways, it seems like only yesterday I typed those words with an eye toward the unknown, exciting future that lay ahead for me and my daughter. I believed the coming year was going to be a watershed year full of change, opportunity, and growth. And you know what?

It was.

After three-and-a-half years, I left a job where my time was undervalued and my talents were underutilized and started as the Director of Marketing in a completely new industry. I was selected as one of the first Writers in Residence on Kindred Mom. I celebrated my thirty seventh year of being alive and my daughter’s seventh.

I learned to be a little more leisurely. I started going to movies again. I read more. I got a lot more sleep.

And I fell in love.

So here I am in January 2019, counting my blessings and feeling happy and alive and wondering what comes next. For me. For my daughter. For my writing. For my life.

Well, dear readers, while I’m not quite certain about where my life will take me, I can tell you what comes next for my writing.

Your love and kindness and encouragement were so overwhelming and inspirational I just couldn’t leave my words to remain floating around the digital landscape of the internet. They needed a new life beyond The Nostalgia Diaries blog.  A life worthy of The Nostalgia Diaries ideals. And what’s more nostalgic for a writer than to have your words live a perpetual life on actual paper?

Because you all had wonderful things to say about my Everyday Nostalgia posts and because many of you suggested I needed to make it into a book, that’s exactly what I did.

I am thrilled to announce that my book, Blessed, Beautiful Now will be published and available from Amazon at the end of this month, January 31, 2019! The book is a collection of lovingly curated stories from my Everyday Nostalgia series. As those of you who followed my journey know, my essays followed my year long journey with my remarkably insightful daughter as I navigated the complexities of my unexpected life after divorce. You’re sure to find it engaging, inspirational, relatable, and heartwarming.

Whether you’ve read one, a few, or all of the Everyday Nostalgia posts on The Nostalgia Diaries blog (or maybe you haven’t read any of them), I think you’ll love having them compiled in one place. There’s just something real…comforting…satisfying, about a book you can hold in your hands, ink indelibly printed on creamy white pages, ready to flip and dog-ear and bookmark. In the immortal words of Hemingway, “There is no friend as loyal as a book.”

(Of course, for those who love the convenience of having all your books in one place, Blessed, Beautiful Now will also be available to download to your Kindle).

So at the risk of sounding completely “salesy,” please head over to my website, coreywheeland.com, to learn more about my Blessed, Beautiful Now book, and sign up to my mailing list.  You’ll be one of the first to know about my special book-launch price, which will be good for only a few days after the book is released! You won’t want to miss it! Buy it for yourself or buy it for a friend. Maybe one for your mom. Or for a mom-to-be! And once you have read it, I’d love you to take a moment to be one of first to review it on Amazon! (As you may know, early and authentic Amazon reviews help so much!)

Thank you to all you amazing Nostalgia Seekers! We are looking forward to a fantastic, fulfilling, and fabulous 2019!


BONUS! 21 Songs That Inspired Everyday Nostalgia and Blessed, Beautiful Now

Since it is Monday, how about a new Music Monday list? We haven’t done a playlist in a while, and we are feeling a bit nostalgic for the songs leading up to the creation of the Everyday Nostalgia series and my book, Blessed, Beautiful Now. We are throwing it back to 2017, and, really, basically all the years before that. Or after. It’s an anything-goes post!  Enjoy!


Follow Your ArrowKacey Musgraves


Keeping the FaithBilly Joel


Feel it StillPortugal. The Man


RainPatty Griffin


Can’t Stop the Feeling  – Justin Timberlake


Brand NewBen Rector


RoarKaty Perry


BraveSara Bareilles


How You Get The GirlTaylor Swift


Fight SongRachel Platten


I Am Woman, Hear Me RoarHelen Reddy


This is MeThe Greatest Showman Cast


SunsetThe Midnight


Happy PeopleLittle Big Town


Want You BackHAIM


Waiting for My Real Life to BeginColin Hay


UnavoidableNeon Trees


Light OnMaggie Rogers


Damn, Do I Think About YouSteve Moakler


Somebody Loves YouBetty Who


Talk to Us:  What songs are going to inspire you to follow your passion in 2019?


coreyCorey is a writer, graphic designer, and mom to her amazing daughter, Zoey. Here at The Nostalgia Diaries, her goal is to simplify, enhance, and engage people’s lives by helping them focus on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.


Like what you just read? Sign up for our newsletter and never miss a post!

At The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.

P.S. You can find our colorful, creative spaces on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Stop by, leave a comment, like (or love!) a post or photo, and enjoy our happy, nostalgia-loving community!

Modern Nostalgia · Music Monday · Nostalgia

Nostalgia Overload | The Midnight Concert at The Bluebird Theater, Denver

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We first posted about the awesome synthwave band, The Midnight, in our post, 21 New Songs That Totally Sound Like They’re From the 1980’s. We shared “Sunset—the band’s tribute to anyone wanting to break free from the shackles of their home town and leave with their love, never to look back.

The music is pure synthesizer-infused 80’s nostalgia—you wouldn’t guess that it was released in 2016. But its retro layered synthesizers and chorus-laden guitars atop electronic drums will take you back to a simpler, less polarized world. The music is happy, hopeful, and honest (despite being an illusory trip back to the 80’s).

The band, formed by singer-songwriter Tyler Lyle and Danish-born producer Tim McEwan, is now a handful of shows into the North American leg of its tour.  The Midnight is supporting the release of its new album, Kids, which should not disappoint fans of this band and the synthwave genre. Although a few have lamented in various Instagram comments about the lack of saxophone and the shorter length of the album, as well as lodged other complaints, one Instagram fan, cyber.soho, disagreed:

“In my opinion this hit the mark with the concept of being a kid, hanging out in the mall, all riding bikes to your friend’s house . . .”

The band itself responded: “themidnightofficial @cyber.soho you get it.”

For those fans who are sad about the lack of saxophone on the Kids album, I recommend you buy tickets to the band’s next show (if you can get them—their shows are sold out you’ll likely have to go the secondary market route). You will hear some of the best 80’s-inspired saxophone—and a lot of it.

The Midnight Concert | The Bluebird Theater, Denver, Colorado

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The Midnight played to a sold-out crowd at the historical Denver venue, The Bluebird Theater, on September 22, and by all accounts, they did not disappoint.
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Opening the concert with “Youth”, the intro track on the Kids album, led—as it does on the album—right into “Wave”, a nostalgically-melodic tune that highlights Tyler Lyles’ easy, accessible vocals (with the ironically non-nostalgic line, “We are not a sentimental age.”)  The capacity crowd cheered them into their next song, “Lost Boy”, one of their current singles—an airy 80’s ballad that will definitely take you to that heart-pounding love you felt when you looked into the eyes of your crush.

Ahh, youth.

Honestly, there is something so familiar about this music, especially, perhaps, for those of us who grew up in the 80’s. The Midnight’s melodies and moods, with Tim McEwan‘s production talents, embrace you in a comfortable connection to your past.

Yes, please.

Tyler and the band then took it back to their early beginnings with the driving beats of “Gloria”, with its crowd-pleasing—and singable—chorus:

Oh, Gloria
I feel so much better
I feel so much better today
And it’s not the drugs
And it’s not the weather
I just feel so much better today

The similarly energetic title track of its 2014 debut EP—Days of Thunder—kept the crowd moving. An unexpected highlight followed as the band began playing the Don Henley hit, “Boys of Summer”, garnering cheers, whoops, and whistles. And of course, everyone in The Bluebird knew the lyrics. The Midnight did an admirable job on this classic cover, and it was the perfect selection to accompany the band’s sound.

They then moved through a series of crowd-pleasing songs from their earlier albums, the instrumental sounds of “Nocturnal”/“Collateral”, the pulsating “Shadows”, moody “Crystalline”, feel-good (and one of my favorites) “The Comeback Kid”, and city-gritty “Vampires”.

Lots of saxophone solos.

Lots of 80’s feels.

Back to the Kids album, the band played “America 2”, a song with an uber-nostalgic sound. Tyler Lyle has one of those voices that makes you feel like you’ve heard it a long time ago. He sounds a lot like Sam Bentley from The Paper Kites—especially his vocals on the twelvefour album. I think both Sam and Tyler would take that as a compliment.

The Midnight ended its set with “Los Angeles”, another supremely nostalgia-driven song from its Days of Thunder album. It’s the brand’s “love letter” anthem to living in L.A.:

Flickers of the canyon fire
Its hands raised like a gospel choir
If we live forever, let us live forever tonight

Helicopters against moonlight
Our holy mother of the midnight
And if we live forever, let us live forever tonight

It was a perfect “ending,” with The Bluebird crowd singing along, who—as you might have guessed—went wild as the band left the stage. Five-hundred plus people can make a lot of noise when they want more music, and the band was soon back on stage to preform their expected encore, starting with “Lost and Found”, the official remix of Lost & Found from Tyler Lyle’s album The Native Genius of Desert Plants.

The Midnight knows how to please its fans from beginning to end, and of course, ended the show with “Sunset” (as you can see, the music inspires a plethora of fan-made videos featuring 80’s movies). Anyone who grew up in the 80’s—or anyone who loves 80’s music and movies—cannot help but be drawn into that song’s buoyant expression of hopefulness. Watching The Midnight perform, it was clear they love what they do, they love their music, they love the 80’s, they love their fans, and they understand the power of nostalgia.

So when the last notes of “Sunset” faded and the house lights came up, I was saddened there wasn’t just one more song. One more song to keep us there for another four or five minutes. One more song to keep us all suspended in an alternate world of optimism, togetherness, and positivity.

Because unless you are living under a rock, the “real world” seems to be sorely lacking in all of those things. The Midnight fans standing shoulder-to-shoulder in The Bluebird on September 22 were lucky enough to witness a transformative concert and remove themselves from the real world for a couple hours. They were there together, each one optimistic and positive, and each one celebrating the past to make better days today.

We here at The Nostalgia Diaries are still applauding.


Do you like new songs that sound old? Check out our 19 New Songs That Sound Vintage and Sounds Old to Me: 19 More New Songs with a Vintage, Throwback Vibe

steveSteve is a lawyer, writer, and the lucky father of three amazing boys. Here at The Nostalgia Diaries, his goal is to help readers focus on the important things, and wants everyone to celebrate the past to create better days today.


Like what you just read? Sign up for our newsletter and never miss a post!

At The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow our colorful, creative spaces on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We’re fun and happy and whimsical and nostalgic over there, too. Pinky swear.

Music · Music Monday · Nostalgia · Stories

Sweet Nostalgia: 5 Songs That Move Me Still | Eli @ Coach Daddy

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Photo credit: DocChewbacca Ewok Rock via photopin (license)

You’ll never run out of things to say about music. Or nostalgia.

If they haven’t written every song there is to write about love and love lost and lost love and also entire continents (Africa, by Toto) and being spun like a record (baby), well, chances are they never will.

Nostalgia has just as many flavors as does music.

I know this, because I could have compiled a five-songs post for every emotion and every emotion in the margin of every emotion. From emo to zany. Instead, I relied on the random nature of the universe (and Pandora) to deliver to me songs that moved something inside.

Here are the five that did, and the emotions (and memories, and of course, the nostalgia) they evoked when I heard them: Continue reading “Sweet Nostalgia: 5 Songs That Move Me Still | Eli @ Coach Daddy”

Music Monday · Nostalgia · Recipes

Music Monday | 19 Songs For Your Spring Mix Tape + BONUS: Spring Mix Salad Recipes!

It’s May, It’s May!  The lusty month of May!

Well, actually, May is more than half over, but May is the quintessential month of Spring (at least sitting here in the Northern Hemisphere it is). So we thought it would be good to put together another fun collection of springtime music on this May Monday… These are songs that have to do with spring, songs that remind us of spring, songs that feel like spring, and songs that will likely put a spring in your step and maybe, just maybe, put a little love in your heart.

Speaking of love, did you watch the fabulous Royal Wedding this past weekend? Meghan Markle looked gorgeous, and Prince Harry looked dashing as ever. Springtime weddings can be tricky of course, as the unpredictable weather can be a challenge. Here in Colorado, it could be snowing in May. Or it could be 80 degrees. Right now, it’s 50 and rain… But the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, of course, experienced made-to-order wedding weather—crisp and clear with “wall-to-wall sunshine” as one meteorologist predicted.

The perfect spring weather, we’d say. Continue reading “Music Monday | 19 Songs For Your Spring Mix Tape + BONUS: Spring Mix Salad Recipes!”

Music · Music Monday · Nostalgia

21 New Songs That Totally Sound Like They’re From the 1980’s


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Let’s face it: The 1980’s were filled with some of the awesomest, raddest, most totally tubular things.

Cartoons like Transformers and The Simpsons and He-Man and She-Ra. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Jetsons, Inspector Gadget, DuckTales, ThunderCats, Garfield, The Smurfs, G.I. Joe, The Real Ghostbusters, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Care Bears, Gummie Bears, J.E.M., The Legend of Zelda, Pound Puppies, and Fraggle Rock.

Shows like M*A*S*H and Roseanne and Married…With Children and Happy Days and Full House and MacGyver and Quantum Leap and Dynasty and Diff’rent Strokes and Night Court and Mork and Mindy and ALF and The A-Team and Magnum, P.I. and The Cosby Show and Mister Roger’s Neighborhood and Charles in Charge and Saved by the Bell and The Wonder Years.

Movies like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, The Karate Kid, Beetlejuice, Uncle Buck, Top Gun, Flashdance, Footloose, Good Morning, Vietnam, Tron, The Princess Bride, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Return of the Jedi, The Blues Brothers, Big, Lethal Weapon, Airplane!, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Back to the Future, E.T., and The Goonies. Continue reading “21 New Songs That Totally Sound Like They’re From the 1980’s”