Saturday, November 24, 2012

New Free Download!

I've got a new free download waiting for you in the Celtic Club section of my website. Hint: the new tune is a dance tune to celebrate the Holidays and bring in the New Year.

 It's free to join the club, and every few months or so, I'll be posting a new tune there. When you join, I'll also notify you about upcoming events and special discounts in my website store, too (there's a great discount going on right now)....

Enjoy the new tune and Happy Holidays!

Anne :-)


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I performed on the fabulous Good Day Sacramento Show, aired KOVR CBS Channel 13/CW 31 on November 18th. It was their annual Thanksgiving show. What an honor to perform there again (most of my YouTube videos are from my appearances on this show). Special thanks to everyone on the set--The cast and crew are great!

Enjoy these videos, if you didn't get a chance to see the show, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Find me at my website at:
and on:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Even More Celtic Wedding Traditions!

photo credit: neate photos
via photopin cc
It looks like I haven't exhausted the list of Celtic wedding traditions on this blog, yet. Here are a few more by guest blogger Kim Wellington. Enjoy!

More Celtic Wedding Traditions

Celtic wedding traditions have a long and rich history as old as Ireland itself. Traditions for the ceremony and other wedding customs are steeped in symbolism and are meant to portend a long and happy marriage.

If you want to explore your Irish heritage in your wedding, or you just enjoy the culture and want to adapt some of its customs, here are some of the top Celtic wedding traditions that you could consider incorporating into your own celebration:

Locking the Door
Grooms are known for getting cold feet. To prevent the groom from letting his nerves get the best of him, friends and family would lock the door of the church to prevent him from running out. We're thinking that if you have to lock the door to keep the groom inside, the wedding might be facing bigger problems.

Irish Wedding Toast
There is a special toast that is shared at many traditional Irish weddings. It requires that all the guests gather around the married couple, and then the couple says "Friends and relatives, so fond and dear, 'tis our greatest pleasure to have you here. When many years this day has passed, fondest memories will always last. So we drink a cup of Irish mead and ask god's blessing in your hour of need."

The guests would then respond "On this special day, our wish to you, the goodness of the old, the best of the new. God bless you both who drink this mead; may it always fill your every need."
photo credit: infomatique
via photopin cc 

The Month of Honey
The first month after the wedding is known as "the month of honey," and it is celebrated by drinking mead (or wine in the modern day). The couples are given enough of the honey drink to enjoy until the first new moon after their wedding, coining the term "honeymoon." The practice was meant to get the marriage off to a good start and to promote virility and fertility.

There are many more superstitions and traditions in Celtic weddings. These are some of the most often celebrated, and some of these have made their way into mainstream culture (or remnants of these traditions have). 

Did you include any of these Celtic traditions into your wedding ceremony? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Kim Willington is a freelance researcher for, where she has recently been researching ticketing software. In her spare time, she enjoys antiquing and taking long walks with her retriever, Spencer.

Did you include any of these Celtic traditions for your wedding? What traditions did you use? Share your  thoughts in the comments below!

You'll find my own personal favorite wedding traditions, along with Celtic toasts, poems, and lore in the book that accompanies my CD "Haste to the Wedding" (but this book only accompanies the physical CD--the info isn't contained in downloads). Buy this CD at my website, on, and

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Celtic Harps Need New Homes

I am living in the land of too may harps and need to downsize. I have three beautiful, fully-levered Triplett harps that need to go to new loving homes. They are in excellent condition. One has beautiful maple inlay, one has abalone inlay, and one is just perfect for a first harp or for someone who needs a smaller harp that they can transport about. I'll be happy to forward photos to interested parties. 

You can find all three of these harps listed for sale on my website. I can take VISA and MC payments, along with check or money orders. I am located at Lake Tahoe, so you can come for a vacation, pick up your harp of choice, and avoid shipping charges. Or, I'll be happy to ship your new friend to you. Reach me through the contact info at my website.

Go, look, see....Then contact me ASAP before they are gone...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hidden Meanings in Celtic Jewelry

Whether you are looking for unique wedding rings or shopping for early holiday gifts, the beauty of Celtic jewelry might just attract you. But what do all the symbols mean? Guest blogger Justin Henderson reveals the mystery:

photo credit: greyloch via photo pin cc

There is something about Celtic jewelry that catches a person’s attention. It may be the lovely craftsmanship or the elegant knot work. It could be the mysterious touch of another time and culture, lots of wonder and mystery about the Celtic days. When you choose to wear the Celtic jewelry, you choose to wear a piece of their mystery and tradition.

Celtic Symbols
For centuries, Celtic jewelry symbols have been in existence and the meanings have changed and evolved over time. Often times, there can be more than one meaning for their jewelry symbols. One of the most ancient is the spiral. This was the first ornament that was used in the Celtic art days. Some people say that the direction the spiral is in has meaning. Clockwise would indicate the sun’s connection with Earth; counter clockwise means nature is manipulated in the form of spells. Some people say the spiral represents the Milky Way, the spiral galaxy. Others feel it indicates the life cycle of humans and animals. Today’s mystics have the belief that it symbolizes a journey inside the unconscious mind.

Three Arm Spiral
A triple spiral is also called a triskele or triskellion, which has three arms. On a piece of jewelry, this represents the number three. This is said to represent the Triple Goddess or to Christians, the Holy Trinity. Some people believe it represents the phases of life – life, death and the rebirth. Supposedly, the spiral has some mystical powers that will keep evil from crossing. This is why you so often see this on jewelry as well as in many sacred places in the Celtic world.

The Celtic Knot
In Celtic jewelry you'll often notice the elegant knot work. The Celtic knot is a sign that there is no beginning or end, that everything is like love eternal. The knots are all so very intricately woven together to show how our life is woven together with the people that surround us. The knot is a symbol of the intricacies of everything in our world. The knots are also said to keep evil out.

Trinity Knot
The trinity knot is also called the triquetra and represents how sacred things will come in threes. When a circle is around the knot, this is an indication of a combined unity of the three. Some of the representations are Land, Sea and Sky, Mind, Body and Soul, or even Past, Present and Future.

Celtic Cross 
Another Celtic symbol that is often seen on jewelry is the Celtic Cross. Long ago, it was said that St. Patrick was the one who introduced the Celtic Cross to the Pagans of Ireland. He wanted to teach Pagans how important the symbol of the cross was in Christianity by putting it together with the sun. To do this, St. Patrick combined the cross with the sun wheel. For Christians, the circle they see at the top of the cross is a sign of everlasting love that God has for humans.

All of these Celtic symbols are kept alive through the craftsmanship of jewelry today and are a symbol of old history. Wearing these as a piece of jewelry isn’t just another decoration, but a celebration in a sense of the Celtic culture that brought them about today.

Justin Henderson writes about jewelry, fashion & employment verification. 

Would you like to be a contributor to this blog about all things Celtic and Celtic music? I'll be happy to post your unique information for my readers. Contact me through my website at Thank you, Anne :-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Celtic Wedding!

Enjoy this lovely post from guest blogger Evelyn Reimer. And if you'd like to find out more about how to incorporate your favorite Celtic wedding traditions together with your wedding music, make sure to view "The Bride's Guide to Musicians: Live Wedding Music Made Easy and Affordable", published by Hal Leonard Books and available as a Kindle edition, too!

So you're finally starting to plan your wedding, and you are of an Irish, Scottish or otherwise Celtic background. It's very important to you to carry the traditions of your ancestors into your nuptial celebration, so how can you incorporate Celtic themes in your wedding ceremony and reception?

The Ceremony Location
Generally, a modern Celtic background is associated with Christianity, although there are some exceptions to that rule since the Celtics began in the days when paganism was popular. However, you most likely want to have a traditional ceremony in a church as many of the Celtic cultures feel that this is the appropriate place for a wedding. The exact rules are going to depend upon your church, as Celtic people can be any of a number of Christian denominations. When you are a pagan, try out some traditional pagan customs in an outdoor ceremony.

The Celtic handfasting is a tradition that comes out of the pagan times, when the Celtic culture was well and alive before the beginning of Christianity. Therefore, some churches may very well prohibit this tradition. However, if you are not having a ceremony in a church or if your church permits this practice, consider adding a Celtic handfasting to your ceremony. A ribbon or other such type of implement is used to tie together the hands of the bride and the groom. There are not many rules when it comes to handfastings, and couples have a lot of say here. They often choose to jump over a broom, which is also a tradition in African culture, or leap over a small fire to close out the ceremony.

The Food
How can you weave Celtic food into the reception menu line-up? Well, first check to see if your caterer has any suggestions or is even able to provide such cuisine. If you feel very strongly about having Celtic food at your reception, you must ask the reception hall about this before you book and put down a deposit. Some foods that are generally consider Celtic include Irish coffee, Irish soda bread, shepherds pie and corned beef and cabbage. Even if you can't have any of these for an entree, you may be able to have them for cocktail hour. If you're having a more casual and small reception, maybe some family members can do the cooking for you. Another idea is to locate Celtic caterers near you.

Celtic Music
Incorporating Celtic music into your ceremony and reception is one sure way to really enhance the vibe. At a church, you may be limited to the type of music you can use. However, if not-and for the reception-call different musicians in your area and search for reputable musicians online. You want to find musicians who truly understand and appreciate the sounds of the Celtic culture.

Some weddings tend to venture outside of the box, yet so many others are sticking with tradition. Incorporating these Celtic elements into your wedding shows love and respect for your ancestors' traditions that you plan to carry on into the new generation.

Evelyn Reimer writes about Irish culture, event planning & finding the best life insurance quotes.

Interested in being a guest blogger on this blog? Contact me for more info.

photo credit: MightyBoyBrian via photo pin cc

Friday, August 3, 2012

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Celtic Harp

My good friend, Eliseo Mauas Pinto, has just published a wonderful free e-book, simply entitled The Celtic Harp. Eliseo describes it as, More than a compilation of useful information for all those interested in the magical world of the Celtic harp, this book is almost a labour of love..."

Download your free edition of The Celtic Harp here. Eiseo Mauas Pinto is also a gifted Celtic harper in his own right. Visit his wonderful blog for more information.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Money-Saving Ideas for Your Wedding

You're in that time crunch. You know you've got to hire your wedding services, but you've only got so much money to spend. Can you get everything you want for your wedding day, even with a tight budget? Yes!

Here are just a couple of ways to save money:

  Any day except Saturday
Saturday is the most popular day to tie the knot. Choose a weekday to get married, and not only are all your services likely to be available, but you may also receive midweek discounts. 

  Be a "morning person"
Morning is the best time of day to get married, for a number of reasons. First of all, most couples have evening weddings, so your musicians and other services are more likely to be available in the morning (and may even offer you discounts). Your guests and musicians will be able to find parking earlier in the day (some musicians and wedding vendors charge extra when no suitable loading zone or parking is available adjacent to the wedding site). One more note: People won't drink as much in the morning hours, so you'll save money on the bar tab at your reception. 

Read more ideas on my website. And if you want to receive detailed budgeting ideas, including wedding budget worksheets, you'll find them in my book, "The Bride's Guide to Musicians: Live Wedding Music Made Easy and Affordable", published by Hal Leonard Books. It's available at my website (where I'll send you a signed copy), and all over the Internet. It's even available as a Kindle edition on!

I'd love to hear your thoughts about my book, so if you've read it and put the ideas I've offered to use, please post a review on to help spread the word.

(Musicians: If you are looking for ways to make wedding performances happy, easeful experiences, check out my book, "The Musician's Guide to Brides", also published by Hal Leonard Books. Find it at my website, as well.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

For Valentine's Day and Beyond

Today, Valentine's Day, I received a few articles and links about love, so I thought I'd spread the love and post them here for you to peruse. Don't forget to read through to the bottom of this post, so that you can try out my hubby's wonderfully decadent Two-Tone Guinness Brownies!

The Harp Connection's Romantic Harp Music Albums for Valentine's Day and Beyond! View all of their recommendations, including my Haste to the Wedding CD, filled with traditional Celtic love songs.*

It's never too late to send an e-card to your sweetheart. You could send a silly card from loaded with fine dating advice (get a free six month subscription right here). Or some Hunny Bunny e-cards or the little-bit-naughty Bunny Burlesque e-cards from the folks at Or head on over to my other blog for special ways to say "I Love You".

Acupressure Point CV17, for Healing Your Heart Emotionally. Stressed out because you are head-over heals for a certain someone? Or are you getting over a relationship? Check out this link.

Does Dark Chocolate on Valentine's Day Help Your Heart? You bet it does, according to But did you know that not all chocolate is healthy for you? For it to contain the maximum amount of antioxidants, the chocolate needs to be cold-processed--Healthy Chocolate! Join and make income while enjoying the benefits of high antioxidant chocolate.

Speaking of chocolate, here's that special recipé from my hubby, "Mr. Bakerman", for Two-Tone Guinness Brownies:

Ingredients for Bottom Toffee Layer: 
Cooking spray
6 Tbs. softened unsalted butter
1 1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking power
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped pecans or walnuts

Ingredients for Chocolaty Top Layer:
3 oz. finely chopped unsweetened chocolate (or you could use 3 Healthy Chocolate Power Squares if you cut back a bit on the granulated sugar)
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. Guinness stout
1 C. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 13 x 9" baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Prepare the bottom layer by combining butter and sugar in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. With a wooden spoon, stir in flour, baking powder, salt and nuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 20 minutes and remove from oven.
3. Prepare the top layer by placing chocolate and butter in a double boiler. heat gently and stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in sugar, then add eggs, vanilla and Guinness, stirring until well-combined. Whisk in flour and salt until all ingredients are combined. Slowly pour over partially baked bottom layer.
4. Bake 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan, placed on a wire rack, before slicing.
Serves 24 (or more, if you slice them into smaller squares). Serve within 2 days.

Sending loving thoughts,
Anne :-)

* Purchase my Haste to the Wedding Album all over the Internet, including at my website, where you can request an autographed copy. Or download it from,, and iTunes.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cross Pollination for Valentine's Day

Are you looking for some fun ways to say, "I love you"? With February upon us and Valentine's Day approaching you might want to mozy on over to my other blog. It's called Fun With Words and the current post is loaded with love quotes that you can insert into a card or letter or say to your sweetie.

After visiting the Fun With Words blog, come back here for related posts about music and more for Valentine's Day. I call this a bit of cross-pollination for Valentine's Day :-)

Are there some posts you'd like to see here relating to Valentine's Day? Please share your thoughts.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wedding Music Predictions (And More) for 2012

With the new year comes predictions of what will be. Since we are closing in on Valentine's Day, I'm posting the Top 12 Wedding Trends for 2012, from the pundits at

#12--Food Trucks--Fun food trucks are rolling in at receptions and after parties with non-traditional food items like fried twinkies and giant pretzels.

#11--Unique Head Chic--Last year's royal wedding turned headpieces into the "in" accessories, as everyone was looking at who was wearing which unique hat at Kate and Will's wedding.

#10--Royal Wedding Inspiration--Not just the headpieces, but this year's wedding styles reflect last year's royal wedding, too (think simpler wedding dresses with lace sleeves, natural make-up, and ivory bridesmaids dresses)

#9--Letterpress with a Modern Twists--Bold colors on traditional paper makes for a popular stationery choice.

#8--Bijou Weddings--Small guest lists mean that couples can afford elegance.

#7--Two Wedding Dresses--One for walking down the aisle, and one for the reception. It's what Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian did (Kim had three dresses).

#6--Scaled Back Centerpieces--Smaller, shorter centerpieces using unique additions like crystals and antique books.

#5--Touches of Sheer--Transparent necklaces, for instance.

#4--Sparkle--Gold and silver accents are being used for everything from shoes to centerpieces.

#3--Mix and Match Mania--Mixing the dress look for your bridesmaids and groomsmen. They don't need to wear exactly the same outfits.

#2--Ditching Tradition--New traditions are taking place of the old and couples are inventing their own traditions.

#1--Not Your Mom's White Wedding Dress--According to, "blush is the new ivory".

Read the entire article at

What about music??? Notice that nothing was said about music! No music in 2012? Ridiculous!

I searched the web, and presently, I could find very little about any music trends for 2012 (at least very little about romantic music trends).

So, here are my own wedding and romantic music trend predictions for 2012:

1. Live Music Makes a Comeback--2011 was the year of the iPod. It was used everywhere, for ceremonies, receptions, and all kinds of other events. The pendulum swings back to live music in 2012. A harpist played at Kate Middleton's reception, and since the royal wedding theme will prevail in 2012, so will live music.

2. Ceremony Music to Fit the Bride's Experiences--More brides will opt for favorite songs as their entrance music, instead of sticking to the traditional (just as they will be creating more of their own wedding traditions and not going with the standard white wedding dress).

3. The Use of Less Mainstream Music--Weddings and events will utilize more music that the couple recently discovered, whether it be Celtic Music, music by independent artists, or music that brings a bit of nostalgia to older generations and is new to young couples. It's their way to introduce something new to their guests.

What are your wedding and music predictions for 2012? 

Hint: You can gather some great ideas for your wedding music from my book The Bride's Guide to Musicians: Live Wedding Music Made Easy and Affordable, published by Hal Leonard Books. It's also available as a Kindle edition on

Monday, January 9, 2012

How Music Can Help You to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

Yes, it has been a while since I've posted, and one of my New Year's Resolutions is to keep my blogs fresher! Many of us have resolutions to exercise more, take the pounds off, and be healthier in 2012. Here's how to keep these health resolutions using music!

To start, I found these wonderful tips from Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen. In an article posted at, they say that research proves that "listening to music bestows mind-body benefits":

1. Music improves your brain. It actually helps to boost memory and mental powers by firing up neurons in the brain!

2. Slow tunes lower blood pressure. Just 30 minutes per day breathing along to the beat of slow, soothing numbers can do the trick (think Celtic harp music, especially music from my Through the Mist CD!)

3. Music keeps your ears young. Did you know that older musicians don't usually experience the typical aging in the part of the brain (the auditory cortex) that often leads to hearing problems? This means that it's never too late to take up an instrument (like the Celtic harp!)

4. Music relieves stress. I'm sure we've all experienced this effect when we've listened to our favorite music. But there's scientific proof of this: Listening to music lowered heart rates by as much as 5 beats per minute in critically ill hospital patients hooked up to breathing machines. This helped them to heal by relieving their anxiety.

5. A good beat keeps you moving. Pick songs with a good beat to motivate you to exercise harder and longer.

Read more of this article at And read and listen to NPR stories with more proof of the health benefits of music:

Here's hoping that one of your resolutions for 2012 is to immerse yourself in the health benefits of music!

Do you have your own stories about how music benefited your health and well-being? Please share them here.