Musings

Year In Review: 2014 Survey

yearinreview

For the past 5 years or so I’ve been taking time to fill out this year end survey. 2014 really is no exception. The survey contains what I feel are the best and worst in everything from (As seen above) music to movies to even television and my personal life. Everything is based entirely on my opinion so feel free to disagree (but not in a cruel manner of course) and leave some comments with your best/worst of the year or take the survey for yourself and share it with me!

BEST:

Best Film Of 2014: Wish I Was Here
Best Book Of 2014: Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
Best Actor Of 2014: Miles Teller
Best Actress Of 2014: Felicity Jones
Best Celebrity Of 2014: Literally none of them
Best Game Of 2014: Kim Kardashian Hollywood
Best Song Of 2014: Night Changes – One Direction
Best Moment Of 2014: LA road trip in September
Best Band Of 2014: 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 2014: Liam Payne, where the hell did you come from? I mean those ooooos in Night Changes…
Best TV Show Of 2014: Girls, Silicon Valley, A to Z
Best Piece Of News 2014: On The Road Again

WORST:

Worst Film Of 2014: Transformers (Wahlberg or not…just stop)
Worst Book Of 2014: I don’t read bad books I’m sorry.
Worst Celebrity Of 2014: Kimye
Worst Game Of 2014: Kim Kardashian Hollywood.
Worst Song Of 2014: All About That Bass
Worst Moment Of 2014: I can’t say I have a standout worst moment this year that isn’t overly personal.
Worst Band Of 2014: The Wanted. They are still a band….right….?
Worst Singer of 2014: I’m going to say Selena, cried at the AMAs for staged dramatic effect, Gomez
Worst Tv Show Of 2014: Glee..just end already
Worst Piece Of News 2014: I think there’s a majority of news I don’t even have to mention here because it goes without saying. None of it should be forgotten but in this space I won’t mention the severe injustices by individual headlines.

PERSONAL:

Did you have any resolutions? Did you break them? Keep them? No. Like I say every year, I make goals many of which were not reached or simply forgotten after months.
If you could change one thing about 2014, what would it be? I would be more calm, open, and understanding of those I surround myself with on a daily basis. I tend to not act as one should when under lots of stress.
What is the most memorable moment of 2014: Where We Are Tour
Who did you spend most of 2014 with? My best friend, Rachael and five loveable idiots
Where did you spend most of 2014? Phoenix, school, the car.
Have you changed alot since 2013? No. I think I continued the same growth pattern I started last year only just found more of who I am, where I want to go, and who should continue to be a part of that.
So, how is Nicole spending her last night of 2014?: Comfy clothes, bubbly drinks, and One Direction.

2014 Year In Review

Screen Shot 2014-12-27 at 9.05.31 AM

Bet you were expecting a Weekender today, eh? Unfortunately it seems as though everything is a year end review post (other than Beyoncé’s dad having a yard sale) so I thought I would just end the year the same way. So along with nearly everyone else in the world, for the next few days I’ll be sharing my favorite things from this year. I’m talking albums of the year, the great year end survey, & even the final playlist of the year. Very exciting, isn’t it?

Today I’m taking a look at some of my favorite posts from the blog this year. This blog has grown a bit in the last year, and unfortunately I lost my will and was quite uninspired for awhile. I’ve tried some new things such as OOTD posts and even sharing more of my very interesting personality rather than try to maintain some normal standard. I don’t even know what I’m trying to say here, but what I do know is I’m not even a little sorry for how much One Direction was involved. I truly hope to write more posts next year rather than just posting collections of things. I do like writing I just sometimes don’t feel as confident with it. It’s just not a crowdpleaser really. But I won’t ramble any longer, here’s my favorite posts from this year.

5 Things: Holiday Songs

Thanksgiving was only over for about 12 hours when I received a random Snapchat of my younger sister singing along to Christmas music on the radio. It had some caption along the lines of FINALLY. Keep in mind Christmas music has been on the radio for nearly 3 weeks by this point. She has the ultimate self control when it comes to tradition and holiday music so radio stations could learn plenty from her. It made me think of when we were younger how we would wait impatiently every year on Thanksgiving for KEZ (the local light radio station) to flip the switch on the Christmas music, and when it did we listened to it nonstop though Christmas. It was the most exciting thing in our young lives. It meant gifts, family, and most importantly, winter vacation. There’s really no shortage of holiday songs. Just look at the Holiday section of Spotify. There’s literally a playlist for every genre or event of the holiday season. There are songs that bring a smile to my face no matter where I am when I hear them so to get into a festive mood, I chose 5 of those songs to share right now.

The Heat/Snow Miser – The Year Without a Santa Claus

The Year Without a Santa Claus is one of my favorite holiday movies. It’s an family tradition. I’m sure there’s some sort of good/evil background to this portion of the story rather than just strictly being about the weather. It’s jazzy, magical, and a little weird.

Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord – Boney M

It took me until later into adulthood to even figure out who sang this song. It came on nearly every time we went looking at lights much to the amusement of my sister. That scene in a Christmas Story where Ralphie and his family are singing Jingle Bells in the car? Well, replace Jingle Bells with this song and you’ve got my family. I don’t understand why we ever loved it so much, but it still makes me laugh every single time.

White Christmas – The Drifters

The only reason I have a connection to this version of White Christmas is, like any other child who grew up in the 90s, Home Alone. Still to this day that’s my main connection to it, but I’ve come to realize what a true classic it is. And, of course, the perfect addition to any lip-syching concert in the bathroom.

Merry Christmas (Happy Holidays) – *NSYNC

*NSYNC put out a holiday album, as any popular 90s artist did, which featured this lovely song. I haven’t watched the video in a million years..that is until today and let me tell ya, it’s a gem. Not only is Gary Coleman starring in it but there’s a lot of terrible fashion, dance moves, and *NSYNC invade someone’s dinner to give a very uncomfortable performance. What else are the holidays about?

All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

In 1994 one of the greatest modern Christmas songs of all time, All I Want for Christmas Is You, was released. It’s a true classic. It was named the most popular and most played holiday song in the UK and Rolling Stone even dared to call it a “holiday standard.” It also came with a strange video filmed on what appears to be a camcorder that shows Mariah decorating for Christmas and playfully hitting decorations. I’m not really sure why that happens, but I dare anyone not to sing along to this one.

The Weekender: 31 October

tumblr_nebgxsgVpX1qzng72o1_400

Happy Halloween!

The Weekender is going to happen a day early this week all in honor of everyone’s favorite sugar rush inducing holiday, Halloween. I’m going to be seeing a late night showing of my favorite horror movie, Halloween, with my trusty Halloween crew. I’m trying something a bit different this year in the way of costumes and hopefully it all works out. It’s not even really technically a costume but I’m determined to wear it regardless. Maybe next time I should get my idea in order so I can wear what I truly want rather than have costume envy? I say this every year….

Regardless, here’s to hoping you, the trusty readers of this blog (if there are any left), have a super fun, fantastic Halloween. Catch you guys in November…wow…

Now Hear Me Out: Taylor Swift’s 1989

Taylor_Swift_-_1989

It’s been awhile since I’ve attempted to write about music here on the blog. Something I try to avoid mainly because I don’t feel I’m very good at it and because having a pretty diverse taste in music is a bit of a struggle. So I’m starting Now Hear Me Out because one of the biggest albums of the year dropped Monday and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tell you why you should be listening to it.

First off I’ll admit I never gave Taylor Swift much thought. My younger sister loved Taylor many years ago which is where I originally heard her music and usually the only time I paid any attention was via that old timey medium, the radio. I always brushed it off, well, except for the occasional dance along session to 22. I’ll admit to that at least. Months ago, Ms. Swift dropped Shake It Off on the world and I was never the same. What began as a “oh, let’s see what this is about” listen became a full-blown love for the tune. It’s a radio staple. And even after all these countless listens I still love it. That, I hear, is the true definition of a hit. I dare anyone to listen to the radio without hearing it at least twice within an hour. There’s a great beat. It makes me want to jump around and dance like no one is watching. There’s also that great spoken breakdown which, honestly, is better on the recording than in live performances (see X Factor three weeks ago). This is an entirely new sound than previous Taylor Swift albums. It’s a giant crossover to the world of current pop music. It’s even poised to sell a million copies this week. It could be the most popular album this year behind the soundtrack to Frozen. That’s not even just my opinion, I’ve heard it so many places this week.

There are so many musical influences coming into play on 1989. Many of the songs have a clear late 80s/early 90s vibe to them which seems to be all the rage lately. The songs where Swift worked with Jack Antonoff definitely seem to have this influence more than others, but the album still is cohesive from beginning to end. Wildest Dreams feels like, as blasphemous as this could sound, like a Ultraviolence era Lana Del Rey track. Style feels like a lower end Kavinsky toss away track. Welcome to New York sounds like it belongs on an episode of the Carrie Diaries or Gossip Girl accompanying a long spanning shot of the city at night. Songs like Wonderland, Blank Space, and New Romance are worthy of being played at loud volumes. It’s certainly not without it’s low points. Particularly songs like Clean and I Know Places which I just don’t love as much as the others.

Of course there are endless songs about heartbreak and ex loves. What would pop music be without ex loves, I mean really? It’s entirely possible to remove rumors, public relationships (or PR ones if that’s more ones cup a tea), and reputations, and these songs could be anyone’s situation. It doesn’t matter that she may or may not mostly date famous people and, in turn, write songs about them. No one says the same about, say, Ed Sheeran, so maybe it’s time to let it go. It’s widely speculated Out of the Woods is about Harry Styles, and that’s fine; It’s a great tune regardless of its possible origins. The reason pop music is, just that, popular is because it’s easy to relate to. Hoping an ex will stop by (a la I Wish You Would) is something that happens after a breakup (Trust me, it makes more sense after hearing the song). Ms. Swift has made her music even more relatable now that she has made the full crossover to pop music, and after hearing this album, I hope she sticks around in this genre for a while.

Above all the main reason I think everyone should be taking a listen to 1989 is its quality. The lyrics aren’t (all) cheesy, the tunes are well produced and catchy, and serve their purpose (ie: bring joy and emotions to the masses). If anything, any troubles can be danced (or cried) away over the span of an hour and some odd minutes. The entire first part of the album cheers me up even if it probably shouldn’t. Hell, I’ve been quoting this album on Twitter (faux pas I know) all week. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t just toss Taylor Swift aside or make some snide remark about it. The album truly is good (I wouldn’t be saying it if it weren’t true) and well made which is what music needs. This is the soundtrack to those days you want to put on bright red lips, a skirt, and pun entirely intended, Shake It Off.

PS: Don’t hate on people for liking the music they like. It makes you a jerk which isn’t cool.

And if you’re curious my favorite tracks are: Blank Space, Style, Out of the Woods, I Wish You Would & You Are in Love (from the Target deluxe edition)

Let’s Chat: 2014 MTV Video Music Awards

 

980x551

Last night the MTV Video Music Awards returned to Los Angeles. The very first awards show to be held at the new Forum. I suppose they didn’t disappoint. Well, aside from the lack of One Direction, but we don’t even have to get into that. The pre-show was a wreck and the ceremony itself was one really long product placement. I’m thankful they no longer employ one host for the occasion. They are always given the grunt of this unsuccessful award show.

This years event had plenty of interesting moments. Kim Kardashian revealed she is friends with Sam Smith which leads me to believe Mr. Smith doesn’t exactly have the best taste in friends. Katy Perry decided to wear a Britney Spears denim outfit (which apparently was a challenge of some kind?). Every performance was labeled as “can’t miss,” but at the end of the night there was truly only one performance I couldn’t miss.

In case you didn’t follow along with my unnecessary livetweet, here’s some of my thoughts on the show.

  • The MTV Pre-show: I’ve never understood the need for televised red carpet preshows. This year, for some reason, they decided to create a tiny, tiny aisle way surrounded by fans on both sides. I guess they forgot how loud screaming girls are and many, many of their interviews were muffled and obnoxious to listen to. It also made all of their interactive social media Google hangout-esque videos completely useless.
  • Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj: Grande Latte and her space age themed performance of Break Free. Nicki Minaj came out with her whole anaconda bit (5 Seconds of Summer had the best reaction face) sans actual snake which is probably for the best. And finally there was Bang Bang featuring all three. The buzz they were trying to create ultimately fell flat. Sure, Bang Bang is a great tune and these three have absolute powerhouse voices, but the performance was unforgettable. That is unless you care about that embarrassing wardrobe malfunction by Nicki Minaj.
  • Taylor Swift: Every year I have to do my little bit on Ms. Swift. This year she performed her new song Shake It Off. Her performance was happy-go-lucky (much like the song) and extremely tame. Her red carpet look was unfortunate, but her on stage look was much better. As much as I love Shake It Off, homegirl needs to stop attempting to dance. But since she’s gonna keep ‘dancing on her own’ might as well go on with your bad self girl; keep being you. One thing I really appreciated during the performance was her calling out the snake bite that happened in rehearsals. Taylor doesn’t need a cheesy gimmick, but that dancer she thought had “hella fine hair” doesn’t. I’ll show you a fella with some hella good hair. Trust me, this guys hair is so so much better.
  • 5 Seconds of Summer: This was my favorite moment of the VMAs. Not only did they win a fan voted moon man in the pre show (and act like idiots while accepting it) but they performed their song Amnesia. Amnesia is an amazing song. It was refreshing to see real music back on the VMAs. I’m talking play their own instruments and have actual emotions music. Luke was welled to tears and it was perfect, touching, and so humble. I would they much rather they won the Artist to Watch award over Fifth Harmony. I don’t care about the history or the record-breaking they did (they were the first girl group to win a VMA since 2008 or something), I think 5SOS makes great music and they truly are the artists to watch. But I’m not biased or anything.
  • Miley Cyrus: To this day I’ll never understand Miley Cyrus and it’s about time I stop trying. To send a formerly homeless teen up to accept her award was a bit strange but certainly served to shine a light on a bigger problem in the world. It was definitely very Brando winning the Oscar. Well, at least she was fully dressed, right?
  • The Remixes: The VMA nominees are always terrible. Well, in recent years at least they have been. And every year there is a gimmick to introduce them during the ceremony. Usually a terrible graphic but this year they introduced a terrible graphic AND remixes. But I can’t complain about the remixes. They were actually brilliant. I’d actually love to listen to them in full.
  • Best Rock Video: This year it’s less about the winners and more about the overall presentation. Whomever was introducing it made a point to mention one of the nominees was a woman. What bothered me about this was, it doesn’t matter a woman was nominated. In fact, I wish there were way more women in rock, but why single that out as a surprise. It just stuck with me for some strange reason. But hell yes, a woman won a category dominated by males. That’s great. Another thing, how is Lorde classified as rock? Frankly, she’s pop music if she must be labeled and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I love her music so don’t get me wrong. It just seems to feel as though she was labeled rock due entirely to her appearance rather than on the merits of her music.
  • Product Placement: The real winners of the VMAs were: Taco Bell, Trojan condoms, State Farm, and Beats. I’ve never hated four companies more. In the span of 2 hours I was thrown ads right and left which normally doesn’t bother me. I love ads…but only when they are good and simply put, none of these were. The video for the aforementioned “Bang Bang” was advertised during the ceremony quite a few times and the 30 second ad showed the Beats label at least 7 or 8 times. State Farm logos covered the stage and sides of the pre show which really was just an eye sore. I wonder how long it took them to regret sponsoring that terrible show.
  • BeyMAs: The Michael Jackson Vanguard award is a prestigious award given to an artist who truly deserves to be honored forever. This year’s recipient was Beyonce. Queen Bey. She performed for a solid 16 or so minutes and it was stunning. Visually it was beautiful but there were plenty of things not to love. First, she strictly performed songs from her album XO. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great album but isn’t this intended to celebrate the career of the performer? Bey has enough songs to cover the world and back multiple times. It would have just been nice to see some of those alongside Partition and Drunk In Love. And then there was Blue Ivy who quite literally stole the show with her “good job, mommy” comment. If there was American royalty I might go as far as to say it very well may be the Carters.

At least they had a pretty cool looking logo this year, right? 

5 Things: Banned in the 90s

I grew up in the 90s. I’m fairly certain that’s obvious. Something I haven’t understood for quite a while is this sudden influx of trends coming back from the 90s. Everyone loves to talk about it, wear fashions from it, and maybe just pretend it’s the 90s. Even that damn “true 90s kid” thing bugs me. I don’t think if you’re a baby in the 90s you should be saying that. But this isn’t a rant post about young adults online strange behavior. It’s about my favorite things growing up: things banned from school.

Every year it seemed as though something new was being put on the ban list. Most of it made sense and some of it didn’t. So I gathered up my time machine (okay that’s a lie) and picked 5 of my favorite things from childhood that parents (more like teachers) just didn’t understand.

The Trapper Keeper 

To this day, I don’t understand why the Trapper Keeper wasn’t allowed in my elementary school classroom. They had wicked cool designs. They helped keep students fairly organized. Certainly more organized than our desks became a week after school started. Heck they made you look really cool. (Even Zack Morris had one. I’m pretty sure.) I even attempted to scout the internet to see if anyone else knew why these binders on steroids were banned, but no one else had an answer. Was the velcro super annoying to teachers? All anyone knows is every year without fail teachers promoted their anti-Trapper Keeper agenda in the back to school list. I mean okay, go ahead and ask kids to bring in an entire jar of blue marbles that will never be used but don’t let them have a wicked cool binder with a Lamborghini on the front. Truth be told, it was probably to keep things fair and equal. We were in elementary school. Did they honestly think we would have a meltdown over Bobby having a binder we envied? We were probably way more concerned about who had a pizza Lunchable. That said, Trapper Keepers are still widely available today…that is if you want to spend upwards of 15 dollars for a binder. Buying school supplies as an adult is much different when you are spending your own money, isn’t it?

Gel Pens

I feel like the pitch for gel pens went a little bit like this: Are you a pre-teen girl? Do you like sparkles and glitter? Do you want to ensure your friend can’t read a word of the note you are currently writing? If so, gel pens are for you! I could probably find an old middle school notebook of mine right now, open it, and not be able to read a word it says and that’s because of gel pens. Gel pens were cool. They weren’t just a normal colored pen. They had glitter and were unnatural colors like orange and yellow. They were also fun for about 5 minutes. They never wrote one sentence without (partially) running out of ink. They didn’t last very long, and we could never do assignments in them. They were strictly for note writing and I guess they served their purpose just fine. (Well if you could get the pen to work) I was a big fan of gel pens for about a week and I went right back to my fluffy feather topped pen like Cher had in Clueless. I wonder if pre-teens today enjoy a good gel pen from time to time? Do they even write notes anymore…probably not. How will gel pens ever stay alive? Youth will never know the struggle of trying to read a yellow ink note under the flourescent light of a classroom. Such a bummer.

Tamagotchis

I’ll be honest. I never had a real Tamagotchi. I was more of a Nano baby/pet kind of girl. They were bigger and easier to see. I remember thinking these were all the rage. That is until it started beeping it was hungry and it got annoying fast. Looking back on it, it’s understandable why these were banned from school, but why would we bring them with us in the first place? Well, first, if you didn’t take care of them all day and be at their beckon beep, they would die. So overdramatic, right? Second, the more you had the cooler you were. Like some sick contest of electronic parenthood. Seriously, think about it. There was that girl (probably the one who loved horses) who had like 5 of them on her belt loop all at once. I don’t understand why at the ripe old age of 7 I was put in charge of an electronic life entirely by choice or why it was the hip thing to do. I could barely remember my lunch most days how can I feed a little electronic baby? My Nano baby didn’t last very long; possibly a month before I gave up and moved onto the next big thing. As an adult, I can’t believe I complain about the size of my phone screen when I used to sit for hours playing with a tiny egg with two buttons. If you’re still interested in taking are of a Tamagotichi baby, there’s an app for that. oh how have we come full circle.

Snap Bracelets

Hey, I’ve got an idea. Hear me out; I’m going to take this piece of plastic, slap you on the wrist with it, and then it’s going to roll around your wrist like a bracelet. “GREAT!” – no one. Slap Bracelets were outlawed for a reason. Not only were they ugly but they were serious weapons. They hurt so badly, and any kid could just randomly attack another one with them. I’ll be honest, they were fun for about a second. It was magical to watch it curl up around my wrist like a snake but eventually it became extremely uncomfortable. It was hard to write with a chunky piece of plastic making a home on my wrist. I’d rather wear a scrunchie any day of the week. Eventually, after countless injuries I’m sure, they began making the bracelets with fuzzy fabric outer covers which honestly didn’t help one bit. The plastic would eventually break through and no one wanted a purple zebra print clashing with their stylish flower covered dungarees. I received a slap bracelet from a popular juice company a few years ago during a promotion and I couldn’t imagine someone was trying to cash in on this nostalgia. I also couldn’t believe I bought into it and quickly slapped it on my wrist. Suddenly every painful memory I had flooded back with one slap. I shudder at the thought now.

Pogs

Pogs have got to be the stupidest thing on this list. Pogs, for those who don’t remember, were cardboard pieces covered in designs. I can’t recall to this day what their purpose was or what we even did with them. I just know we had to have them all. Some pogs were cooler and in bigger demand than others which made trading them even more fun. Oh wait, apparently Pogs was a game. A game I clearly didn’t know about (or remember) until 20 years after their original popularity. Thank God for Wikipedia. I must not have been very good at this game because I barely remember it. The rules are simple: stack the Pogs, slam the hammer, keep the face up pogs, and whoever had the most wins. Since the winners would keep the Pogs they collected similar to poker chips, they were basically outlawed not out of pure stupidity but rather the aforementioned gambling aspect. Also can’t forget the fights they probably caused. As kids, there’s not a whole lot of currency to go round. Sure you can trade your Dunkaroos for a sweet juice box. Or wait around til Bake Sale or Shaved Ice day to score some extra cash from your friends. But what could possibly be used the other days of the school year? Pogs.

5 Things: Guilty Pleasure Songs

The Oxford Dictionary defines a ‘guilty pleasure’ as “Something, such as a movie, television program, or piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.” Everyone has these things we love but really don’t want anyone else to know about. Mine most often happens with music. I have written about all kinds of music here on the blog so it’s fairly certain to say I have a very diverse, eclectic taste. It comes from all sorts of places. My dad was a rock music listener. My mom more pop. My grandparents listened to all things 1950s/60s. When it comes to guilty pleasures, mine usually aren’t a secret. I typically don’t even feel all that guilty about liking them.

I will 100% sternly say how great a song is directly to your face if you call me out on it’s horrible qualities. Sometimes I’m doing it ironically and sometimes I’m really not. I’ll never tell. For the purposes of this post I tried to find songs I’m slightly ashamed to love, but shortly came to realize I’m not all that ashamed by them. In fact it was really hard to sift through what was ironic and what wasn’t. But in the end I came up with 5 and here they are.

22 – Taylor Swift

I’ll confess there’s quite a few Taylor Swift songs I may or may not enjoy. 22 is by far my favorite of those. It’s addicting. It’s danceable. It’s youthful and fun. I can’t help but sing along with it when it comes on. That said, she may be feeling 22, but I am not. In fact when I was 22, I wasn’t wearing cat ear headbands and having bike races with my friends in the backyard. I definitely wasn’t dressing like hipsters. I was going out to nightclubs, pretending overly expensive drinks were worth the hassle of watching slutty girls cry, and seeing a 1980s hair metal cover band in a now defunct dive bar. Okay so maybe that 1980s hair metal cover band were really awesome. Actually, jumping on a trampoline and dancing around wearing horned rimmed glasses sounds more my style in retrospect. Either way, I had (some) fun when I was 22, and this video makes 22 look way more fun that it actually is. I want to live in this video. Have cute clothes, dance around, and eat cake. But instead, I’m 27 and listening to Taylor Swift while pretending I don’t have grown up responsibilities. No shame because twinkle lights on swings no doubt solve everything.

Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley 

I’ve never wondered what it would be like if a really rich white guy who owned a yacht decided to sing about relationships. The reason I’ve never had to wonder is because Rick Astley made that dream a reality with Never Gonna Give You Up. The song is super catchy. It’s impossible not to bust a move when it’s on and it’s forever stuck in my head once the song is over. I listened to it 30 minutes ago and it’s still going strong. It doesn’t get much better than this. The message here is pretty simple. Rick is never gonna give you up. He’s never gonna let you down. And he may wear double denim but he’s never gonna desert you. The video also has a really cool bartender, who quite honestly, could have quit his job to be a dancer. Maybe he felt no one could clean a bar with as much flair. He could have at least taught Rick better moves than the ‘white guy hip shuffle.’ I never get sick of this song. It’s the song internet dreams are made of. The Rick Roll is still one of my brother’s favorite pastimes. Only I’m never upset when it happens to me.

Mamma Mia – ABBA

Everyone knows the three things I love about Sweden: IKEA, chocolate, and of course, ABBA. ABBA was one of the greatest imports of the disco age. They had extremely catchy pop songs about a variety of subjects. Not only do they have the best pop songs imaginable, BUT the best matching outfits. I think there’s even a museum dedicated to the wonder known as ABBA. Mamma Mia isn’t my favorite ABBA song, but it’s really high up to the top. There’s not anything to dislike about it. This video has such great choreography not to mention a high production value. That zoom focus on the different mouths is brilliant. Way head of it’s time. It even spawned a musical with a plot I can’t really understand. Seriously what does it have to do with the themes of ABBA’s music? The only way I could love ABBA more is if it was played on near constant rotation in IKEA. Hey there’s an idea…everyone will avoid the shop and maybe I wouldn’t have to maneuver around confused lost souls trying to find the 17 boxes needed to put together a kitchen table.

We Can’t Stop – Miley Cyrus

Ah Miley Cyrus. Good ol’ Miley has the songs worthy of guilty pleasures. There’s The Climb which I love pretending I can hit the high notes on. There’s 7 Things which is filled to the brim with angst. The undisputed champion of songs about America: Party in the USA; which told me it was okay to move my hips like ‘yeah.’ And now We Can’t Stop which was a giant hit last summer. I tried to put off liking it for as long as possible and eventually it faded into obscurity. Recently I heard it on a playlist I was casually listening to and my instant reaction became ‘dammit, I like this song.’ I don’t like ‘twerking’ and I’m not an expert on ‘Molly’ far from it actually. I’m not sure what we ‘can’t stop’ or what we ‘won’t stop’ or who is policing parties for what people are saying/singing/loving, but Miley seems to think that’s a problem. All I know is I’m on board for a 3 minute song and a video filled with product placement.

Hold On – Wilson Phillips

In the 90s there was a super empowering girl group made up of daughters of famous rock musicians. They were called Wilson Phillips and their song Hold On was the jam. It was my jam. I was young, but I definitely loved it every time it came on the radio. But like most great songs they hit their peak and fade away to obscurity (aka lite radio with the greatest hits of 80s, 90s, and today). Thank god for the classic comedy Bridesmaids or I wouldn’t have renewed my passion for this jam. I hadn’t heard Hold On in at least 10 years up to that point and from the very first note it became hard to contain myself in the theater. It’s so inspirational. Someday somebody’s gonna make you wanna turn around and say goodbye. They are gonna hold you down and make you cry. But if you change, things will go your way. If you holdddddd on for one more day. Things will go your way. If anything the nature shots in this music video are revolutionary and worth the viewing all together. All I know is I sing along to this song at the top of my lungs in my car (passionate diva hand gestures and all) and I’m not even a little bit ashamed of it.

Coffee & Winter Loves: Luvocracy

everyday

Asking friends for recommendations and advice is something we do almost daily without thinking. Not only that, we often see people around us using products we ourselves wish we could try. You know like when you look at someone and say, “Yeah, he’s quite cool. I like those shoes. I should wear those shoes.” So a while ago, via what else, a recommendation, I stumbled upon Luvocracy and fell in love. Maybe as a faithful reader you’ve noticed the change in my shop the post links? So what’s so cool about this website? Well let me tell you.

Luvocracy combines shopping and those wonderful recommendations I mentioned before. See, users “luv” products they would recommend to others via a handy browser button, share why they suggest it, and add it to a collection. Other users can browse collections and items via catalogues catered to the interests they choose where they can also “luv” them or purchase them. The coolest thing about Luvocracy is the purchasing feature. Users can purchase items directly from collections made by users and themselves. Luvocracy also finds the lowest price for that item across the internet, and takes the annoying part out of online shopping: Signing up for countless store accounts. Or if you’d rather, it links the shopper to the original website to purchase, which let’s be honest, is the way less cool way of doing it.

forthehome

Another thing I love about Luvocracy is how it combines Pinterest and shopping. I love Pinterest, but strictly when it comes to recipes and pictures of vacations and street style. Not necessarily for products. They often get lost in a sea of other things and I forget to go back to them, but with Luvocracy that’s not the case. I can add products to collections and purchase them later on (or not at all) and I don’t have to search for where I saw it. I love curating collections. I have collections ranging from books/movies/music I’m currently into, books my book club needs to read, and even furniture I wish I could own. Oh, and all the clothes I wish I intend to buy at some point. You can see some of my favorite collections scattered in this post. Plus, it makes blogging collections and looks even easier.

kitchen

Another cool feature Luvocracy has is the ability to earn credits. When another user purchases an item from a collection the original user earns a credit to use towards further purchases of their own. It’s basically a reward for having awesome taste. It also helps build a network of trusted users. Loads of great bloggers with the most excellent (and variety of) tastes use Luvocracy and trusting them allows other users to find cool things delivered directly to their catalogue. Not only bloggers but loads of people with similar great taste are basically handed to users on a silver platter. Trusting someone is basically a virtual high five that says “you are cool. I like you. I think you like cool things.” Or maybe that’s just how I look at it. Everyone loves that kind of gratification, right?

Luvocracy is so simple to use. All you need is the app (or browser extension) and things you love to get started. Don’t believe me about how awesome this website is? Find out even more about them in their FAQ! And while you’re there sign up and follow me HERE

5 Things: Boy Meets World

Ah, 90s nostalgia is in full swing so I’m taking a look back at some of my favorite episodes of the classic 1990s sitcom Boy Meets World today.

Boy Meets World aired as part of the TGIF lineup from 1993 to 2000 and followed the life of Cory Matthews from middle school through college and even his marriage to, love of his life, Topanga Lawrence. The show covered the ups and downs of growing up as well as his zany adventures with his best friend, Shawn Hunter. And there was his neighbor/teacher/principal and confidant Mr. Feeny who always had the right lesson at the right time waiting for him. It was a Friday night staple and completely unmissable (but then again what else would I be doing at this age really). Now Cory and Topanga are back on Disney Channel with Girl Meets World. A sitcom about their daughter doing what else; Taking on the world just as Cory did all those years ago. There are plenty of parallels to the original. Albeit a bit more cheesy than Boy Meets World, it’s not awful, but I’d rather just stick to the original. Also it’s a bit strange to realize the characters you grew up along side are now old which in turn means you’re a bit old. At least a bit too old to be watching Disney Channel…without a child.

So take a look back at Boy Meets World with me below! 

(more…)