March 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

WEDDING DRESS PUNK

WEDDING DRESS PUNK
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When I was 15 years old, I tried on my very first wedding dress.

I was, what you might call, a “fringe punk” teen.  I frequented local rock & metal music shows on Fridays, and sang in church with my mother and sisters on Sundays.  It was a strange time.

After I would finish up my week of classes at Bluefield High School, and if I wasn’t rehearsing in my friend Dan’s basement  for a battle of the bands, one of my favorite things to do was to hitch a ride to Charlottetown, to browse the second-hand shops for clothes.  One of my key fashion moves was to go into the children’s section of any second-hand store and try on the children’s dresses in the “Large” sizes and wear them as tops.  They fit my petite frame quite well, and it was surprisingly hard to find mermaid sequence in the teen section in any shop at the Towers mall at that time. I wore a lot of black eyeliner back then, and had also dyed the bottom layer of my red curly hair black with my high school friends Breanna and Stephanie. I thought the red and black ringlets looked fabulous, but my mother thought otherwise.  She was on the phone with her sister when she turned over her shoulder, saw my new hair style, dropped her head into her hands and cried.

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On one particular weekend shopping trip, I found myself alone in a Charlottetown thrift store, running my hand over the fabrics in the “DRESS” section.  To this day, I still love to do this: walk up and down the aisles running my hands over waves of fabric.  Floral patterns, cotton fabrics,  and sheer dresses of all lengths and sizes.  I had reached the end of a long line of summer dresses when I looked up to find myself in the section labeled “FORMAL WEAR”; the fabrics were silky, long and in all kinds of hilarious styles and colors. There were prom dresses with big puffed sleeves and Elizabethan necks; I remember shaking my head and thinking “who the hell would wear something like that?”.  Having a grand time laughing at the fashion follies of others, the neon greens and highlighter pinks soon turned into ivories and whites:”WEDDING DRESSES”.

Prom seemed to be so far away, so you can imagine how far off in the distance a wedding seemed like to my teenage mind.  I was embarrassed to be seen looking at the collection of white dresses, but so very curious and drawn to them.  I was constantly looking over my shoulder and would retreat hastily to elsewhere in the store whenever another shopper would walk by. This was the same move I would pull when picking up tampons or while at lingerie stores, jumping from the “thong” section to “boy cuts”. Again, very confusing times.

I don’t know what came over me that day, but I unhooked one of the wedding dresses from the rack and made a beeline towards the changing rooms.  To my luck, every single one of those rooms were full, so I found myself standing in line, trying to act casual with a billowing white gown under my arms. This was no easy task; you have to understand that if any of my friends had walked in at that moment, I would have forever been the laughing stock of my crew of weekend misfits.  I dashed towards the first room that became available, stuffed the dress inside and locked the door behind me.  I excitedly kicked off my baby blue high-top sneakers, shuffled out of my green army pants and slid the wedding dress up over my shoulders.  I zipped it as far as I could reach, took a deep breath and turned to face the mirror.

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I wish that I could say that I turned around and gasped at the beautiful young woman who had been hiding under all of that black eyeliner, but I didn’t.  I turned around, and I was immediately overcome by a sharp pang of disgust and some very palpable nausea.  I took in my reflection like a statue; the buzz of the florescent lights and the far off cries of tantrum throwing children made the entire scene all seem like something out of a sad movie.  I just couldn’t get over this feeling of being so disappointed in myself.  Mustering all of the courage I could, I took a breath, dropped a hip and tried to make myself look at all fashionable.

The dress was heavy, with some beading and went far beyond the length of my 5″3 frame.  I pulled and pinched at the fabric, I sucked in my stomach and stood on my toes.  I flipped my hair from one side to the other, threw it into a low bun, a side-braid and shook it out.  I repeated all of this until my brow was firmly furrowed.  I stood there, feeling sweaty, defeated and with eyes that started to burn with tears.  I can still hear the thoughts that ran through my head as I completely unraveled that day:  ”Why don’t I look pretty? I am supposed to look PRETTY. Why did I do this? This doesn’t look right. This is stupid. You’re stupid. Meaghan you are SO stupid”.  A sudden knock at the door made me jump and run to secure the lock: “JUST A MINUTE!”.  I slipped out of the dress as fast as I could, fixed the eye liner that had run down my cheeks and left the dress in a heap on the changing room floor.

Tom and meg

This memory makes my heart ache, but it has been coming back to me often while my partner and I plan our wedding day, so I thought I’d better write about it.  I seem to have developed a very real aversion to going wedding dress shopping, and I think this memory might have something to do with it.  I can’t be the only woman who is happily in love, who wants to be married, but feels the pressure to really “BE THE BRIDE” on their wedding day.  *cue the Caddyshack golf scene

If you know me, and have come to my shows, you’ll know that I love dresses.  They are literally all that I have in my closet, but something about a buying a traditional “wedding” dress seems to overwhelm me.  It’s not just because they are outlandishly too expensive (which a lot of them are), but because within the fabric and the price tag, there seems to be a message that I feel like we, as women, have been spoon fed our entire lives: “by wearing the white dress, you are worthy”.   This comes at us at all angles from childhood to adults through magazines, television, film, family traditions, etc.  Call me cynical, but it seems like so many women feel like they’ve “made it” when they find that “perfect” dress, and when they can check off the box: [X] “MARRIED”.  Almost as if the brilliant work they do and their phenomenal success stories and hard work pale in comparison to the day where they get to be “THE BRIDE”.  Am I the only one who finds this a little backwards?

I have had more people stop me on the street to ask me about “my dress”, and yet, hardly anyone has asked me about our life plans together as husband and wife.  Maybe that is just par for the course, but what I am dying for is some solid and honest marriage advice to go alongside the advice about napkins, wedding attire and invitations.  Don’t get me wrong, I am PUMPED for our wedding day, we have been having SO much fun planning it and it’s going to be a beautiful ceremony, with the people we love to death and a huge crew of musical hillbillies playing tunes into the night. I have been enjoying ‘talking wedding’, but I also have so many other questions that I would love some insight into.  Is it crazy to want advice on actually BEING married? Tell me about what it means to you to be a loving partner.  Is it something you work at every day? Tell me about the hurdles you face in marriage. How do you tackle finances? Tell me about couples counselling. Have you done it and would you recommend it? Ask us about the life we see together, about the children we want to have, and the places we want to go.

There is so much to talk about.

xo
M

Happy Kitty

January 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

FOR THE BIRDS: Finding peace in a new place…

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I wouldn’t call it an ‘obsession’, but I can’t stop watching the birds. They are curious and cute, they are pudgy and bossy, and these birds have been finding their way into my backyard for the last month.  It has been a slow congregation of feathered friends and it has beautifully become my new ‘thing’ and a new source of peace for me in my life.  This is a newfound joy that I had no idea even existed until my partner Thomas and I were handed the keys and stepped foot into our beautiful country home in West Point, Prince Edward Island.

Happy Kitty

Thomas asked me to be his wife on the night of the Super Moon , and shortly thereafter we moved into our country home: four bedrooms, on four acres with long driveway and a brook running just down from the house.  In the backyard, there is a line of mature fruit trees; mostly apples and pears, and when you stand beside them in the backyard, and you close your eyes, you can hear the water running.  When we first saw the house, our Newfoundland born real estate agent turned to us and said with a grin “Oh, you can fish down there b’y, pleanty of fish down there!”; we were sold.

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We moved into our home and before long the snow fell, blanketing the entire property in a white down. Heavy snow that weighed on evergreen branches, you could still hear the brook run from the back deck, but I couldn’t help but notice: “Where are the birds?”.  I moved all the way out to the countryside and I’d been here for at least a week, and no birds? I stood at the window for days with my coffee cup in hand waiting for any sign of movement. I started throwing pieces of leftover bread and bacon grease into the backyard, but we soon attracted a new orange kitty cat friend who we named Billy. Thomas told me that I wasn’t allowed to throw bacon grease in the back yard anymore, and we haven’t seen Billy since. Frig off Billy.

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Not too long after, I was sitting on our big comfy red couch going over tour schedules for the upcoming year, when I   saw something out of the corner of my eye: it was a Blue jay and he was the most brilliant shade of navy and gray against the snow on the back deck. I was so excited that I sprang off of the couch and he flew away. There was hope! We named him José and I made him a bird feeder out of a old 4 litre milk jug and hung it on a plant hook against the house. Rookie mistake.

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We had received the most beautiful house warming gifts from the loveliest friends of ours: two beautiful bird feeders and a two huge bags of bird seed.  I was over the moon! I couldn’t wait to see what these gifts would bring.  For two whole weeks I stood at the window, coffee cup in hand and watched as the birds came pouring into our back yard; Blue jays, chickadees, pheasants, and little budgie like birds in all colors and sizes.  It’s a new happy place for me, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

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2016 was an amazing year of hurdles and new experiences: In the spring, I graduated from the University of Prince Edward Island with a degree in English Literature (on the Dean’s list…no biggie), I did a solo tour of England (which I never could have done without my dear pal Hedley), toured Canadian dates from Nunavut to Lunenberg with The Eastern Belles, drove across Canada for a solo tour, got engaged to my fella and bought our first home.  It was a very busy year with music, but also personally.  2016 was the year that I learned about self-care and boundaries; I don’t know where to start to begin to thank Ashley Condon and Catherine MacLellan enough for their influence in that department.  Touring in a rental van with these two amazing women for the last two years has taught me so much about loving myself and taking care of ‘me’.  I’m looking forward to 2017, to more self-care and music to share with the world.

January For The Birds

Today is also my 28th Birthday, and I am sitting in our living room in “the big chair” with a cup of coffee in hand, listening to CBC Radio Q as the fabulous KD Lang explores what it is to be a female voice the Music Industry and in the record business. The snow is softly falling outside around the fruit trees, and I can see the Blue jays roosting high within the branches looking like snow covered overripe fruit. They always do that when the snow comes down; I’ve got to find out why they do that…

I’m heading into the studio in April to record my fourth album, so stay tuned for that.
Also, WESTERN CANADA! I am coming your way in April as well. Stay tuned for those dates.
xo
M

December 6, 2016 in Media, News, Uncategorized

“A SONG FOR YOUR STOCKING!” Holiday Gift Offer

megs-christmas-facebook-post-1“Hey there,
My name is Meaghan and I am struggling with “LOHSD” (“Lack Of Holiday Spirit Disorder”). After a very busy year of touring my music abroad and at home in Canada, writing songs for a new record, hosting a fabulous Songwriting Camp for girls, buying a home, getting engaged to my fella and graduating from University; my soul is full but a bit weary going into this holiday season.

Last week, I decided to dip into my Christmas shopping.

I went to a rather LARGE shopping center in Western Canada and found myself standing between a Booster Juice and The Source with a general sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I grabbed my phone and pulled up my Christmas list, the one I had made on my flight into town of all of people who I love, and who have loved me through one of the busiest, most hectic years of my life.  I looked up and I saw a zoo of shoppers, stressed families, screaming kids and people running between the shops with bags and scarves flying behind them as they zoomed about.

In that moment, I felt like jamming my booster juice mega-straw through my eye (the lights in shopping malls always bring out the best in me…).
I took a breath, got back on the escalator and left the shopping center without a single gift in hand.

 

I can’t be the only one who feels this kind of “transaction-detachment”. It is undeniable that there is that special feeling we yearn for around the holidays: the moment that the Christmas tree lights come on, those first few flakes of falling snow, the church choir singing ‘Silent Night’, classic holiday re-runs… It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe, but it’s there…

This year, I am launching a Holiday gift offer called “A Song For Your Stocking”, a feel good gift that is sure to bring a smile. A gift you can feel good about without ever having to step into a mall!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-song-for-your-stocking-christmas-holidays/x/15642783#/

On Christmas Eve,I will sit down with my guitar and a cup of peppermint-hot-coca and will record the classic Christmas song of your choice (you get to choose from 3 classic Christmas songs) along with a personalized holiday message for your special someone! No song will be “cookie-cutter” recorded; all songs are sung especially for that special person in your life. This gift is perfect for long distance families and friendships and is sure to bring a smile this winter.

No need to pay for shipping either!
It arrives directly into your loved one’s mailbox on Christmas eve!

Just choose your classic Christmas song at the “perk” station, make sure you input YOUR personal email (I’ll ask you for the recipients email later) , follow the INDIEGOGO secure payment option and I will be in touch over the next two weeks to chat and to get details about who will be receiving the gift and what you want your special message to be!

Thanks for spreading that ‘good old time feelin’ and have a fabulous holiday season!

xo
Meaghan”

ALL SONGS NEED TO BE ORDERED BY: DEC.20th/2016

ALL SONGS WILL BE DELIVERED: DEC 24th between 11am and 9pm.

ALL ORDERS ARE $30.00 and include 1 song & 1 personalized message

CHOICE OF THREE SONGS:
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
“Silver Bells”
“White Christmas”

general inquiries can be sent directly to asongforyourstocking@gmail.com
​no orders will be taken outside of the INDIEGOGO platform

April 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

SONGWRITING CAMP FOR GIRLS 2016! Learning is fun!

MB - Songwriters Camp (FB Post)

Songwriting Camp for Girls 2016!!
May 14th & 15th!
Held at The Holland College Campus School of Performing Arts
Two days of mentoring for girls interested in exploring songwriting/cowriting!
SO looking forward to it.
For applications email me directly at meaghanblanchardsongcamp@gmail.com 

Well can you believe that it is spring already? I feel like the winter just flew by! We had such a mild winter here on PEI, which was a treat compared to last winter. This may seem like a picture of the moon, but believe it or not it is my poor little island last winter! CRAZY!

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This winter has been a time for learning, for finding peace and for planning for an awesome 2016!

 

LEARNING IS FUN! 

-I have also taken the last 3 months to finish up my English Literature Undergraduate Degree at UPEI. My calendar was a little slower this January to April, so I decided to bite the bullet and finish it! My courses have been AMAZING.  It’s been something that I’ve been picking away over the years while I did my music and I can’t believe that in 4 days, it will be done! I’m not going to lie, it was not easy: writing papers in hotel rooms, in cafes on tour and putting that money aside when I could.  I’ve often taken online courses while on the road, but this winter I’ve been in actual classroom settings which has been really nice. I’ve made a lot of friends and love being back in the University library. Just walking through stacks of books is so nice and peaceful. Two weeks into classes this year: I had presented a project in one of my courses and my professor came up to me and said “Hey! You’re doing a really great job. Good for you!” and I swear, in that moment… I felt like crying.

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It was SO NICE to have someone come up to me, pat my shoulder and say “You’re doing a great job! Keep going!”.
It made me realize that I don’t tell myself that enough with my music career.

I feel like so many of us don’t give ourselves the time to stop spinning and to be kind  to ourselves.
It was a really big “Aha” moment for me. I can be so hard on myself.
I set my bar so high sometimes.
SO that is a big goal for me in 2016, to be kind and empathetic to myself.
I just need a reminder sometimes that I’m not a robot and I need to listen to my body and my heart when it’s telling me to stop and smell the roses.

xox

CLICK THE LINK to see the amazing Songwriting Camp Posters 2016 made by the phenomenal Mira Howards.

Meaghan – Songwriting Camp 2016 (3)

February 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

FEBRUARY GIFT OFFER! xoxo

Valentine's Day
I want to tell you about my fella.

I have the sweetest, most loving man in my life (that’s him in the picture). He is kind, funny and we both like a lot of the same things. Sitting around the kitchen playing Tom Petty songs, Hawaii themed everything, Breaking Bad marathons and late night popcorn with a little bit of butter and a pinch of salt….OK, a lot of butter.

Our love has grown into something really beautiful over the years, but there has been one catch to our relationship that has made things a little tough.  He is ALSO a touring Canadian musician!

err my gerd. cute.

This means that we spend the better half of our year apart from one another sharing Christmas and a few dates in-between, and I don’t want you to feel bad for us here, but I can honestly not recall us ever spending a Valentine’s Day together.

What has kept us together through the long roads, late nights and time apart has been our love of music. Every Valentine’s Day I have sent him a love song by email no matter where we are in the world and he sends me one too. It’s a little Valentine’s Day gift between us every year that I look forward to with my whole heart.

SO THIS GOT ME THINKING…This Valentine’s Day, I want to offer something really special to my fans and friends who have supported me over the years. I want to take the tradition that my fella and I have, and open it up to you!

Are you looking for a unique Valentine’s Day gift for your special someone?
FOLLOW THE LINK
http://igg.me/at/asongforyoursweetheart/x/376350

EVERY ORDER IS SPECIAL! 
-I do not have these songs pre-recorded
-The song will be sung especially for YOUR sweetheart

 

Valentine's Day Gift Offer

Valentine’s Day Gift Offer