Category Archives: music

playlist: winter blues 2016

Count on Chicago to still be dealing with snow and frigid temperatures in the early days of March. As I sit here, writing and working and waiting for spring, here are the songs that are still currently making up my playlist:


[image via]

Michigan – The Milk Carton Kids
The Devil’s Tears – Angus & Julia Stone
First Floor People – Barcelona
The Mute (Acoustic) – Radical Face
Everything Starts Where It Ends – Lovedrug
Re: Stacks (Bon Iver Cover) – Oscar Isaac
Lost at Sea – Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s
Big Black Car – Gregory Alan Isakov
Meadows – Wild Child
Wait – M83

I’m hoping to make a concentrated effort to share something before leaving for Italy at the end of the month. I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be turn 30 this year and what I’d like to do before then. This might be the weekend to do it, considering that there are at least two more days of snowy weather headed our way.


five things friday – april 11

Oh hey there. Lately, I’ve been in a bit of writing slump, so I’ve been looking to other blogs for some inspiration on what kind of posts to create. One of the most common ones I’ve always enjoyed is Five Things Friday, so I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon. This way, I can share a mix of random stuff like recipes/food, music, other blogs, and anything else I love at the moment all in one post. Does that make me a lazy blogger? Possibly. ANYWAY.


[photo courtesy of The First Mess]

Cauliflower as rice. Ok, I know what you’re thinking: Rice is already delicious, why would I replace it with cauliflower? I know, I know. But hear me out! I’ve discovered that cauliflower is pretty much the most versatile vegetable ever. When cooked properly, it takes on the appearance and texture of rice, and of course is really, really yummy. Also: it’s super low in calories, while rice is unfortunately not. My favorite dish so far as been ginger fried cauliflower rice from A Cozy Kitchen. Alex and I have even made cauliflower crust pizza that is really amazing as well. This recipe for “rice and beans” from The First Mess is definitely next on our list of dishes to make.


New flats. As spring-like weather has begun to grace us with its presence this week, I’ve finally been able to bust out these flats I bought at Target. Once I see a pair of cute shoes I like, I tend to buy them immediately lest they sell out. Case in point: I may or may not have driven to the suburbs once to find a pair of boots I really, really wanted. True story… maybe. So I’ve been breaking in these shoes this week and have already gotten a few compliments from my co-workers. It also helps that they’re super comfy. If you’re looking for a cute new pair of shoes, I can’t recommend these enough.


New music from Nickel Creek and Copeland. Not one but TWO bands that were on hiatus/broken up that I’ve always loved are putting out new albums. Nickel Creek’s new album A Dotted Line is now available, with the song above as one of the tracks. As for Copeland, I saw their farewell show in Austin in 2010 and was so bummed that it would be the first and last time I would hear their music live. But on April 1st (of all days), they announced plans for a new album, Ixora. Once it was safely established that they weren’t joking, I got really excited and pre-ordered the digital download.



[photo courtesy of 5 Rabbit]

5 Rabbit’s new taproom is open! I’m a big fan and supporter of all of Chicago’s breweries and 5 Rabbit is among one of my faves. Last summer, I was basically obsessed with their Paletas series. Their brewery store and tapoom has just opened to the public and I can’t wait to stop by. They’re out in Bedford Park, which is a bit of a trek for me but I’ll be in the southwest ‘burbs for Easter, so I just might talk Alex into taking a detour that weekend. :)



And last but definitely not least, GAME OF THRONES. Okay yes, only one episode has aired this season so far. BUT YOU GUYS. It’s so good. So much stuff is going down this season and I’m pretty sure more of my favorite characters are going to die but I’m still super excited. And let’s be real, there was also one major part in the season premiere that everyone loved: OBERYN MOTHER-EFFIN’ MARTELL. The Red Viper established immediately that he’s pretty awesome, quick on the draw, and is not fucking around. I can’t wait to see what trouble he causes for the Lannisters.

Have a great weekend! I’ll be back next week with a Geeky and Girly post, and possibly a weekend recap.

music of the moment: radical face

First off, I have to say that January ended on a not so great note. Alex came down with the flu and I in turn got sick as well. We spent the last few days of January quarantined in our apartment, taking meds, drinking our weight in fluids, and sleeping. This combined with the drop in temperature and large amounts of snow have made me fairly grumpy. I’m definitely over winter and for good reason; in the seven and a half years I’ve lived in/around Chicago, this has been the coldest and snowiest winter to date. It’s actually been the 4th snowiest winter PERIOD. The last time Chicago saw this much snow was in the 1970s. I wasn’t even ALIVE yet! So here’s hoping February is a little less painful than January was.

I’ve been listening to my Iron and Wine Pandora station nonstop during my commute and when this song came up, I immediately became obsessed with it. I’ve heard Radical Face on this and other Pandora stations I have but there’s something about this particular song that I really love.

What have you been listening to lately? Are you as over winter as I am?

music of the moment: a cover of ‘wrecking ball’

Guys, I’m going to be super honest: I don’t like pop music. I don’t really like anything in the Top 40 and regardless of how catchy the newest pop song by the latest pop star is, I won’t listen to it. Don’t get me wrong, I totally loved pop music when I was younger (BSB over N’Sync!) but I kinda consider those the classics. Today’s stuff is unimpressive.

What I DO like, however, is COVERS of pop songs by artists that I usually listen to/would totally listen to. Take “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus. There are so many covers of this song floating around the interwebs. I’ve heard a few of them and the other day, I finally discovered my favorite via Tumblr:

Sarah Blackwood from Walk Off the Earth, Emily from The Anti-Queens, and Jenni from Trouble and Daughter got together and did such an amazing, emotional version of this song. I love this version so much more than the original (sorry Miley).

Am I alone in my love of covers? What’s your favorite cover song?

Have a great weekend! I’m looking forward to doing absolutely nothing for once. :)

music of the moment: the postal service

In case you live under a rock, The Postal Service is back from their hiatus! They’re going on tour and doing a 10 year anniversary re-issue of their album Give Up. I was a little disappointed to see that so far, they don’t have any dates listed for Chicago. Then I realized they’ll probably hit one of our music festivals; whether it would be Pitchfork or Lolla, I really couldn’t say. But either way, I’d love to see them in a festival setting so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Their first new song in 10 years, “A Tattered Line of String”, is exactly what I would expect from them. Now if only they would release a new album…

What are you listening to right now?

music of the moment: churchill

As I’ve mentioned before, when I heard a song for the first time, I come to love it, eventually start listening to it nonstop, and then ultimately find something new. Wash, rinse, repeat. I thought I’d share my current oh-so-catchy obsession with you:

Right now I have ‘Change’ by Churchill playing nonstop on my iPod. I heard the song a few times on the radio and after a while, the minute it started playing, I would turn to Alex and say, “I LOVE this song!” before turning the volume up. I sadly missed them playing at The Beat Kitchen earlier this month, but I’ll keep an eye out for their next stop in Chicago.

What are you listening to right now? :)

now listening to, nov. edition

Hello! We’re now in a post-election world, so YAY. While I try not to get too preachy or go into politics on this blog, I’m glad that the man I voted for is our president for another four years.

Anywho, back to the original point of this post. Time for some new music! It wasn’t too long that I posted my fall playlist, but of course I’ve already added a couple of new songs to it.

Sleeping by The Swell Season

This isn’t a new song by any means, but I kinda fell in love with it all over again a couple of weeks ago and had to add it to my playlist. I’ve loved The Swell Season (and Glen Hansard’s other band, The Frames) since I saw Once back in college. It’s a bit on the sad side but I can’t stop listening to it.

I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons

Ok, so I already have one Mumford and Sons song on this playlist BUT, it’s from their first album. This song is from their new one, Babel. And I’m kinda obsessed with it, so it’s being added.

Dream Song by Ben Gibbard

I’ve listened to Ben Gibbard’s new solo album, Former Lives, a few times and have decided that this is by far my favorite song on it. The album as a whole is surprisingly upbeat, which I think surprised a lot of people. I guess a lot of fans expected the following equation: Gibbard + divorce = sad bastard music. That’s definitely not the case, though. Also if you haven’t seen his music video for the song Teardrop Windows, please do because it’s adorable and hilarious.

What have you been listening to lately? I’m always open to more music suggestions!

a playlist for fall.

Hello October! So nice of you to join us. With you around, my love of coffee, baked goods, seasonal beer, and all things pumpkin will reach ridiculous heights. And of course, let’s not forget Halloween (even though it does fall in the middle of the week this year, BOO).

One of the first things I did yesterday was update my fall playlist with music I always love around this time of year, plus a few new tracks that I can’t stop listening to. Check it out below:

{image source: langley photography}

Knowing me, this playlist will grow and change throughout fall and into winter, but I think it’s a pretty good start. Any song suggestions? I’d love to hear them!

music of the moment: the lumineers

It’s been difficult finding time to blog, especially without wifi at my apartment. But since my roommates and I have been reconnected as of yesterday, hopefully it’ll become a semi-regular thing for me. Even though I tend to say that but have yet to follow through.

Anywho, August is almost over. Which is kinda blowing my mind, because that means summer is also on its way out. While I try to process all this, check out one of my favorite songs of the moment. I heard this on the radio not too long ago and it’s such a cute little song. It’s short and sweet, definitely great to listen to during these final days of warm weather.

reading: love is a mixtape

One of the books I bought last weekend during the sale at Open Books was “Love Is a Mixtape” by Rob Sheffield. It’s a book I’ve been wanting to read for some time, mostly because when I was in college, Rob Sheffield had my dream job: music journalist.

I’m not done with it yet (though I imagine I’ll be finished with it by the end of the week) but so far, it’s really good. Rob writes about falling in love with his wife Renee (and the music they listened to) and coping with her sudden death at 31. Every chapter is assigned a different mixtape, with music that resonates with different events and memories.


I’m not going to pretend I know half the bands that are referenced in this book. I was born in the late 80s and I was only a toddler when Rob and Renee met. But I still got to live through the 90s and this book had made me nostalgic for the era of cassette tapes.

I’m not even sure my 15 year old sister even knows what a tape is, much less has she ever owned one. But when I was 11 or so, I remember buying tapes by the dozen. Always trying to rewind them to the point where my favorite songs started. Winding them carefully. And recording over some of them with songs on the radio.

Growing up in a quiet, small town could have left me ignorant about music the rest of the world was listening to. But I had MTV and at the time, I had 99.9 FM, which played all the popular hits of the time. I would spend summer afternoons listening to that station, just waiting for a song I loved to play so I could record it. Creating my own hapzard, pre-teen mixtapes was a hobby I didn’t even realize I had. I loved tapes so much that when CDs started to become popular, I stubbornly refused to upgrade and held onto my Walkman for as long as I could (before bending to peer pressure, of course).

Things are so easy now. You can download whatever song you want. Share music easily with friends online. Stream stations on your phone. Today, I’m attached to my Pandora stations and my iPod. I still make mixes though. Sometimes I wish I could still listen to the ones that 11 year old me made too.

What books have you been reading lately? Do any of them make you nostalgic?