Month: December 2013

Best + Worst of 2013

It has become a yearly tradition over the last 3 years to share my favorite and least favorite things from this year. The things that gained my seal of approval over the last 365 days. You know, like Oprah’s favorite things or like a popular girl in high school setting trends. People look to me for what is cool and I’m just doing my duty to deliver.

That last part isn’t true, but let’s get to it!

yearinreview

Best:

Best Film Of 2013: The Spectacular Now
Best Book Of 2013: Thinking Fast and Slow (what? I’m a dork)
Best Actor Of 2013: Bradley Cooper
Best Actress Of 2013: Jennifer lawrence
Best Celebrity Of 2013: Literally none of them
Best Game Of 2013: Quizup
Best Song Of 2013: Story of My Life by One Direction
Best Moment Of 2013: You know, I had so many I just don’t think I can narrow it down. I think I’ll say traveling and writing for Screen Spy. I’m pretty stoked about both those things.
Best Band Of 2013: One Direction. Stay seated because I won’t be able to hear you over all that record breaking, a stadium tour, and giving millions to charity.
Best Singer Of 2013: Liam Payne, where the hell did you come from?
Best TV Show Of 2013: Orange is the New Black and Arrested Development
Best Piece Of News 2013: My academic achievement and Where We Are. No shame in my game.

Worst:

Worst Film Of 2013: Anything with an aging action actor trying to remain relevant. oh, and the Lone Ranger
Worst Book Of 2013: I don’t read bad books I’m sorry.
Worst Celebrity Of 2013: pretty much all of them
Worst Game Of 2013: Candy Crush. I have love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with this damn game.
Worst Song Of 2013: Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus
Worst Moment Of 2013: I can’t say I have a standout worst moment this year that isn’t overly personal.
Worst Band Of 2013: I don’t like to judge bands in such a way because what may not be my cuppa tea may be someone else’s whether I understand it or not.
Worst Singer of 2013: Selena, cancelled half my tour, Gomez
Worst Tv Show Of 2013: Glee, what even are you doing anymore?
Worst Piece Of News 2013: Gassing of innocent people in the Middle East, political chaos, the Government shut down, and violence against innocent people all over the world.

Personal:

Did you have any resolutions? Did you break them? Keep them? No. I prefer to make goals many of which I met.
If you could change one thing about 2013, what would it be? Nothing. I look back on the things I’ve done and the things that have made me grow as a person and I wouldn’t change them for the world.
What is the most memorable moment of 2013: I can’t narrow it down. Traveling with my best friend? A special man coming into my life? Taking chances when normally I would shy away?
Who did you spend most of 2013 with? My best friend, Rachael, and my “boo”
Where did you spend most of 2013? Los Angeles, Vegas, Payson, and Phoenix.
Have you changed alot since 2012? I have and for the better. Nothing beats happiness and no one has the power to steal that from me anymore. I think that’s the most positive thing to come out of 2013. Standing up for what I want and what I believe in as well as taking chances.
So, how is Nicole spending her last night of 2013?: Partying like it’s 1999.

Advertisements

End of the Year Playlist: 2013

Along with my favorite albums of the year I made a little playlist of my favorite tracks of the year. Tracks that kind of bring me memories of the last 365 days or were just played on repeat for hours. Seriously don’t test my ability to listen to the same song over and over. It’s a really long time.

It’s a pretty expansive playlist with songs from plenty of different genres. One thing, there are a few rap tracks so it’s definitely not safe for work situations. Sorry about that.

Tracklist and links to follow. Enjoy!

tracklisting

Hear it over at 8Tracks / Spotify

Albums of the Year 2013

It’s hard to believe 2013 is almost over. I know everyone says that, but I really can’t believe where time has gone. 2013 was a bit strange. It didn’t even feel like Christmas at all and I’m not the only person to say such a thing. More importantly overall 2013 was pretty damn awesome. I’d like to think I grew a lot as a person, shed some negativity from life, and decided to just live how I want after putting way too many people’s thoughts and opinions before my own.

But that’s not why this post is happening. It’s to discuss some pretty good albums of the year. I had originally decided not to chose albums of the year purely because what I find good and what others find good is fairly subjective. And, because this is mainly a text forum and you as a reader know fairly little about me, my musical taste comes off as pretty inconsistent. I’ve said countless times I don’t really like being labeled into a box of someone else’s choosing and even more so with music. But I gave in and chose 10 of my favorite albums of the year just because I literally had nothing else to do this morning.

Keep in mind I am not an industry insider or an expert. I know little to nothing about comparing music and how “dylan-esque” things are or whatever other crazy comparisons they like to make in their reviews. I just liked these albums because they are great and had a lot of rotation (and I mean a lot) in my headphones this year. So, in no particular order:

albumsoftheyear

 

What? No Arcade Fire? No. Unfortunately, I listened to that album three times total, and never picked it up again. No Yeezus? As much as I enjoyed hearing the plights of late croissants, it is absent here. Vampire Weekend no doubt had the best album of the year. Just ask anyone with ears, good taste, and the ability to write a list such as this. As for the appearance of One Direction, some how they shed this catchy pop song mold and came out with this folky, yet pop-ish album that has bursts of classic rock songs. Classic rock songs that are still catchy and definitely about, as one person put it, “plowing your daughter.” It’s a great album and I stand by that.

There they are my favorite albums of the year. What were some of your favorites? 

The Weekender: December 20

It’s a rather chilly and rainy day today and there’s really no better way to handle this than giving every attempt possible at staying in bed. Unfortunately, I’ve pretty much caught up on every television show I have missed in the past couple weeks and can’t possibly make a dent in Breaking Bad (I promised my brother) before the Christmas crazy begins so here we are. A very lazy morning inspired weekender.

  • Ever wonder what the top pins of 2013 were on Pinterest? Well, I did and I didn’t know so many people wanted taco cupcakes….
  • Did you like 21 Jump Street? Well how about the trailer for 22 Jump Street?
  • 22 Jump Street not really your style? Looking for something more…festive? How about Christmas Face instead.
  • Infographic of the week: The Most Popular Toys of the Last 50 Years. I had quite a few of these 90s toys.
  • No one loves the Yule Log more than my family which is why I’m so pleased to share with them this: The trailer and director’s commentary for the streaming Yule Log on Netflix.
  • Grab a tissue because these photos of a father and daughter recreating wedding photos to honor the mother is heartbreaking.
  • Finally, my favorite of the week: Google’s Zeitgeist for 2013. It’s been a pretty memorable year and the inspiration part gets me every time.

Just for fun Friday tunes: Midnight Memories live on the X Factor USA Finale. In which Liam changes the words, Louis makes a face, and Harry is just….Harry. The UK one was much better.

Have a good weekend! Bake up some sweets for Christmas. Trust me, it’s fun. And what I will be doing all day Sunday.

Currently Coveting: Christmas Wish List

Gifts are always cool to me. Someone puts a lot of thought into what they want to get you or, in the case of my family, put a lot of thought into ignoring the things you asked for. Gift giving in my family kind of works like this: right after Thanksgiving everyone becomes bombarded with what do you need for Christmas? text messages, e-mails, etc. The first couple of times it’s always the same nothing or I don’t know. Eventually time inches closer and closer to zero hour and everyone MAGICALLY has come up with at least one thing they need. (We usually buy gifts based on needs rather than wants) Once the person has given in typically everyone runs with a theme based on one thing they said. For instance, my sister loves penguins so every year I buy her something with a damn penguin on it. Last year it was salt and pepper shakers (she loved them) and some other less arctic themed home goods. This year will be no different. Unfortunately, this system is extremely flawed and once someone mentions they like ONE THING everyone gets a little carried away. I’m pretty sure I’ve already figured out my theme this year and I must admit I’m impressed yet unsure why it is the theme. Christmas is a bit strange as an adult. There’s only so many throw blankets and home goods I can handle, guys. 

In any case, I decided to put together a wish list for myself. A wish list that contains things that would be awesome to have, but won’t replace the pillowcases and coffee mugs that will inevitably end up under my tree. Hey, I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth. I love gifts. I’m just saying it’s a wish list for a reason, right?

covetingwishlist

 

One: Knitted Grey Jumper  Two: Salt + Pepper Shaker Set  Three: Ankle Boots  Four: Giles + Brother Nail Bracelet  Five: Note to Self Coffee Print  Six: Biker Jacket  Seven: CheMex Coffee Maker  Eight: Daniel Wellington Watch  Nine: The Black Album – Jay Z and The Chronic – Dr. Dre

Mixtape: In the Kitchen – Christmas 2013

christmas2013

The tree is decorated and looking beautiful with its mismatched ornaments. The stockings are hung because they say I have to do that, and I don’t really know why they just kind of remain empty and lifeless. I’m finding traces of powdered sugar and flour in nearly every nook and cranny of my kitchen. So you know what that means: it’s Christmastime! I mean, I don’t know, you probably already knew that, but just go with it. Last year I put together a nice, jazzy Christmas playlist for dinner parties and time spent cooking in the kitchen. It was kind of a success, so I decided to go with a part two.

Part two is slightly different. There’s still some great jazzy standards and some Rat Pack coolness happening, but there’s different source of inspiration this year; The Radio. Whaaaaaaat? People still listen to those? I know. It’s weird. Every year for nearly as long as I can remember the Christmas station on the radio was a staple in my house, but in recent years, thanks to technology, I’ve really stopped listening to it at all.  A couple days ago just by random chance I thought I’d give it a listen. Much to my surprise and a bit of happiness, a huge majority of the songs are the same. Exactly the same as they were when I was much younger, and as cheesy as it sounds, almost frozen in time but I suppose that’s what makes them classics. The inspiration for this year’s Christmas mix comes from those songs I used to hear on the radio each year. The songs that never got old and still don’t.

Looking back on it now, I can’t remember what I got for Christmas when I was 8. It was probably a Barbie styling head my mom threw in the trash after I cut her hair for the 3rd time and she told me not to. What I do remember are these songs. The songs that soundtracked my first and last attempt at making gingerbread men with my aunt, the endless hours spent traveling around looking at lights while listening to my sister sing along (at the top of her lungs) to Mary’s Boy Child, and the countless musicals my sister and I would put on much to the annoyance of nearly every other family member who had to suffer through them. Those are the things I do remember and the things the make me smile or laugh when I hear the song randomly during the season. So, I’ve chosen 20 songs a majority of which are classics and a couple of modern favorites. It’s still perfect for time spent in the kitchen or just taking a trip down sentimental memory lane. Oh, and don’t worry, that wonderful gem known as Mary’s Boy Child is absent from this mix.

Shout out to KEZ 99.9 for my trip down memory lane. Don’t change a thing except maybe stop playing Christmas music BEFORE Thanksgiving. It’s always been a day after Thanksgiving thing and really should stay that way. Thanks.

Tracklist and links below. Enjoy!

traclisting

Find it on Spotify + 8Tracks & just in case you fancy a little more: Christmas 2012

The Weekender: December 7

Hello all! It’s been awhile hasn’t it? Well, I’m back. As if anyone actually missed this? I decided to go out and live life the last couple weeks. Thanksgiving came and went without any issues which was more surprising than anything. And now that means it’s time for finals. Ugh, please lord no. By finals I mean attempting to complete group projects solo, give nerve wracking presentations, and recall 5 months worth of information all while trying not to cry. So, to ease back into this my lovely blog whom I clearly care so deeply for, I thought I’d do a Weekender.

Let’s see what has happened this week? Amazon announced its dream plans to have our packages delivered by drones. That would be pretty cool except relatively terrifying at the same time. Not only do the drones look super creepy, but it’s going to feed my need to have whatever I want INSTANTLY. You know what I’m talking about right? That moment you order something online but you don’t want to wait however many days for it to arrive via an annoyed UPS driver? Although it would be cool to say, “the Amazon drone is coming.” See, I’m just so conflicted. Moving on more important things to address.  A lot of things happened this week, but let’s visit some of my favorite things from around the internet.

  From Wired: 2013’s most defining moments in music
  Reuters has the best photos of 2013
10 Most Viral Tumblr Blogs. Yacht Cats is one of my personal favorites.
From Rolling Stone: 50 Best Albums of the Year I must agree with their number 1. I’m not even sure I will make a list this year. GASP!

Well there you have it. Another weekender has graced us with its presence. I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday and are fully in the Christmas spirit. I promise more exciting things to come this month. Okay maybe exciting is overselling it just a little. Have a great weekend!

PS- If you live in the US, please take a couple hours to have an enjoyable evening with SNL tonight featuring host Paul Rudd and musical guest…..One Direction.

Featured Image via Tumblr