Year In Review

The Weekender: 3 January

tumblr_nh4lf5TG5G1u1my9qo1_500

Here it is, the very first Weekender of 2015. There really wasn’t much in the way of interesting news this week with the New Year rolling in, but I managed to find some fairly interesting tidbits to share.

Advertisements

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: Albums of the Year

albumsoftheyear

Ah, the dreaded but loved Albums of the Year post. To be quite honest, I’m not entirely sure why I still bother to post it. My friends and I don’t really have lengthy conversations about our favorite albums of the year anymore. With Spotify and iTunes it’s actually really simple to keep track of the albums I loved and listened to bunches over the span of a year. Wow, I don’t seem very convincing to listen to, do I? Just like any other person, I know what I like and this is it. I’m by no means a musical expert. Sure, i know a lot of trivial facts that easily help me win the entertainment/music section of any board game or trivia contest, but I am far from all knowing that one artist sounds like another artist. You know like some well informed music reviewers can very easily do. Anyway, these are my favorite albums of the year. I’m not going to lie. I DID spend a good month straight listening to 1989 and I’m going to be listening to Four until probably forever (it’s just that good).

There’s really no particular order or ranking system although from my last little blurb it’s quite obvious I play favorites with at least two of these albums. I’ve included a link to one of my favorite tracks from each album as well as a link to stream the album on Spotify! Very convenient if I do say so myself.

So enjoy and let me know in the comments what you think of these albums, what some of your favorite albums of 2014 have been, or some albums you are looking forward to hearing in 2015!

My Year in Music: 2014

2014mix

So like I mentioned previously for the next few days all of the posts on the blog are going to be fitting a year end extravaganza theme. Today’s post is my year in music. Yes, all the songs I loved this year whether I’m embarrassed by them or not.  What I’ve learned through this journey is I greatly appreciate a good pop tune from time to time. I’m not really ashamed of my choices for the year end mix. It’s kind of a mixture of different genres which is basically where my taste in music has always been, and many of the songs have been the soundtrack to some very fond memories I will have forever. I guess that idea entirely trumps music snobery. Er… that’s not a word but let’s roll with it. Just a note: the mix is a bigger than normal; running 25 songs long and clocks in at just over an hour and thirty minutes. Bit long, sorry!

Tracklist and streaming links to follow. My favorite albums of the year are coming tomorrow so get excited! See you then!

  1. Salute – Little Mix
  2. Bang Bang – Jessie J featuring Nicki Minaj & Ariana Grande
  3. Don’t Tell ‘Em – Jeremih featuring YG
  4. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
  5. Where Do Broken Hearts Go – One Direction
  6. Love Me Harder – Ariana Grande featuring the Weeknd
  7. Two Weeks – FKA Twigs
  8. Out of the Woods – Taylor Swift
  9. Begging for Thread – Banks
  10. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  11. She’s Not Me – Jenny Lewis
  12. Good Girls – 5 Seconds of Summer
  13. Drunk In Love – Beyoncé featuing Jay Z
  14. Break the Rules – Charli XCX
  15. Girl Almighty – One Direction
  16. Cecilia & the Satellite – Andrew McMahon & the Wilderness
  17. I’m Not the Only One – Sam Smith
  18. Jealous – Nick Jonas
  19. Digital Witness – St. Vincent
  20. Beg For It – Iggy Azalea featuring MO
  21. Robbers – The 1975
  22. Sweatpants – Childish Gambino
  23. Dark Horse – Katy Perry & Juicy J
  24. Rather Be – Clean Bandit & Jess Glyne
  25. God Only Knows – She & Him

Stream on: 8Tracks & Spotify

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.

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.

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? 

Happy New Year

happynewyear

Year in Review…(kind of)

Well 2012, it’s been real. You’ve been a rough one to handle. For some reason 2012 decided to throw everything it could at me and expect me to learn from it. I started off the year feeling relatively optimistic my year would be fantastic, and for the most part it was not. Sometimes expectations just don’t meet reality. I started this blog per a suggestion from friends. I honestly never thought I’d keep it up. Am I even supposed to be saying that? I’m extremely happy with how it turned out. It began as one thing and grew into something else. I’m still not 100% satisfied with it, but then again I still have a lot of growing to do. The blog is a direct reflection on me as a person and all of the growing I’ve done over the last year. Everything from art museums, falling in love (with design)The Hunger Games, & waiting for fall. I went through a LOT of unnecessary fonts until I found the perfect one. My ability to attempt interesting pictures and content has gotten better (if I do say so myself). Well, I’m more proud of the content I’ve chosen. I hope to have even better content in the new year, if you’ll keep reading it!

I’ve continued on with school more determined than ever. A couple of set backs (having to dump my sociology course due to project restrictions I just could not meet) and some less than stellar teachers really made me consider what I was even doing. Why am I putting so much time and effort into something when people hired to help & teach me can’t even attempt to do their jobs? Every person I talked to even said, “What are you paying them for if you have to teach yourself?” At first, I took a majority of the blame myself, but after months of the same results, and a plethora of other students in the same boat, I no longer felt like it was my fault. Feeling down and uninspired is, to me, one of the worst feelings in the world. Suddenly, a business professor came along that really made me feel optimistic about all the time and energy I’ve been spending. Is this what would be considered a sophomore slump? On rough days I just think of the words of wisdom she gave me and power through. I learned I’m the person who underestimates myself more than anyone else. I plan to work on that.

I’m happy I tried new things this year. Not everything was positive and happy. There was a lot of drama which I’m choosing to forget now because it’s truly not worth the time and energy I spent on it. Everything happens for a reason, and it helped me to grow while also making me slightly more negative than normal. What? Wednesday Addams was more negative? Yes, it’s true.

Now onto you, 2013. I sincerely hope you are better. I have many things to work on this coming year, so don’t let me down. I can’t wait to see where 2013 takes me. Hopefully in a better direction..I resolve to finally pick a real web browser instead of using two at the same time, write more, quote Girls less, and try to figure out who I am.

Have a great New Years eve everyone. Be safe and healthy in the new year. 

 

2012..In A Nutshell.

This survey has been a tradition for a couple years now, I figured I might as well keep it up:

  • Best Film Of 2012: Moonrise Kingdom
  • Best Book Of 2012: The Real Mad Men
  • Best Actor Of 2012: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Wasn’t he in practically everything?)
  • Best Actress Of 2012: Jennifer Lawrence
  • Best Celebrity Of 2012: None of them
  • Best Game Of 2012: SpellTower for iPhone
  • Best Song Of 2012: Take a Walk – Passion Pit
  • Best Moment Of 2012: Any time someone truly made me laugh
  • Best Band Of 2012: Father John Misty
  • Best Singer Of 2012: Victoria Legrand
  • Best TV Show Of 2012: Girls
  • Best Piece Of News 2012: many things
  • Worst Film Of 2012: Magic Mike
  • Worst Book Of 2012: Anything with 50 Shades and Gray in the title
  • Worst Celebrity Of 2012: Pick a Kardashian..any Kardashian
  • Worst Game Of 2012: Temple Run (It makes me so anxious)
  • Worst Song Of 2012: Call Me Maybe (It was fun the first 3 times)
  • Worst Moment Of 2012: unneccessary fights
  • Worst Band Of 2012: I can’t think of one…
  • Worst Singer of 2012: Frank Ocean..I’m sorry I just don’t get it.
  • Worst Tv Show Of 2012: Dance Moms (another thing I just don’t get)
  • Worst Piece Of News 2012: Anything involving a national tragedy or a fiscal cliff
  • Did you have any resolutions? Did you break them? Keep them? Yes and yes. I can never seem to remember them after week 1.
  • If you could change one thing about 2012, what would it be? Be more confident, don’t let people underestimate me, and get rid of unnecessary problems, and relax more.
  • What is the most memorable moment of 2012: Every time I genuinely smiled, laughed, or had fun.
  • Who did you spend most of 2012 with? My family and friends
  • Where did you spend most of 2012? School
  • Have you changed a lot since 2011? A bit
  • So, how is Nicole spending her last night of 2012?: To be announced…

Bring it on 2013…