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Mix 07: Summer ’17 – Take 1

I may have a love/hate relationship with summer, but one thing I do consistently is make 10,000 mixes during the season. I’ll find any reason to make one. I’m not sure if I’ll share them all here, but I might share a couple at least.

This one has a very intentional chilled out vibe to it. The other day I surprised myself when during a conversation I admitted I love just doing nothing during the summer. What I mean is give me a pool, a nice adult beverage, and I don’t mind sitting still doing literally nothing. This might be the only time I truly am not doing something. So I made this playlist with that idea in mind. What songs could I turn on while relaxing by the pool and not get utterly annoyed by or want to change. The general idea was to be able to be floating in the middle of the pool without being able to touch any electronic device whatsoever. Just be in the moment and thoroughly relaxed.

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Birthday Playlist 2017

I’m not sure how this tradition began but many years ago I began making playlist for my birthday. They don’t contain music I’m currently listening to at whatever given age I may be turning (which actually sounds like a better idea). Instead they take a glimpse back into past years almost like a nostalgic road trip.

I try to choose a relevant year and look at the music most popular during that time, but this year I issued myself a little challenge. The formative years of life where we begin shaping who we are range somewhere between ages 8 to 18. We develop quite a bit before then, but this is the time we really try to explore who we are, what we like, and the world around us begins to dictate more influence on ourselves. Finding music that essentially defined me during that time turned out to be really difficult. There are so many sources and it changed so much over time no one but me could possible ever listen to a playlist like that.

So the playlist I ended up coming up with is filled with 90s music that I listened from like 3 to 13. I did this entirely from memory trying to recall what CDs and cassette tapes I once owned, what my parents listened to frequently, and what takes up significant space in my brain. That said because music comes from many places there is tons missing from this. I didn’t want to self-disclose too much so there are a lot of personal songs missing because it became way too long (2 hours is already getting a bit long and it used to be about 4). No one is that nostalgic for the 90s.

Thanks to my parents for their influence, years of cheerleading routines, 90s teen movies, and the obscene amount of time I spent watching MTV for helping shape my musical taste during these years. While it seems wildly inappropriate for a child to listen to any of these songs, I’m pretty sure they made me the sparkling ray of cynical sunshine I am today.

Tracklist & Links below

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Music Monday Special

Monday’s are rough. Sure, it’s almost over but who doesn’t love a nice tune to listen to? Or in this case a few tunes. These are just a few songs I’m enjoying right now. A couple are brand new and others I just listen to quite a lot.

Music is definitely going to keep me going through the 4 papers I have to write this week. Yikes…

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Mix 06: Spring Break

For the first time in a very long time I’ve actually embraced spring break. As an adult I find spring break a completely strange concept since I rarely go on vacation. Most of my school provided “spring breaks” are spent working or catching up on school work. This year I finally chose to do…..nothing. A bit scary but also a bit fun. Okay so maybe I opened my Hinduism textbook once or twice just so I don’t feel like I’ve fallen behind, but other than that I’ve done the minimal for the past few days.

Living in Arizona has its advantages. During this time of the year the weather is amazing so going outside is a must. It’s going to be 90 this weekend and I can sense some pool time in my future. Growing up I always embraced spring break as a time to watch crappy television (aka MTV Spring Break) and hang out with my friends for hours. Usually it just meant driving around, lounging by the pool, and living on a diet of popsicles (for whatever reason). But music is such a big part of these adventures because I use them to recall memories later in life. This is why I attempt to make seasonal playlists at the very least.

You may ask yourself “how can you soundtrack a week of nothing?” Well, I don’t plan on doing a ton of nothing. I still have to leave my house to run errands, spring cleaning, and the inevitable pool time, duh. Plus you’ve probably got better plans and need a soundtrack to last all spring. This playlist contains a mixture of genres and pairs nicely with adult beverages garnished with decorative umbrellas.

Listen on SPOTIFY or APPLE MUSIC

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Mix 06: Lonely Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just days away now. I’m fully anticipating a night spent catching up on the Bachelor and stuffing my face with chocolate chip cookies. But, the Bachelor isn’t for everyone (trust me I find it hard enough to watch tons of women meltdown), so I figured a playlist would be a pretty okay alternative.

Valentine’s Day isn’t great for everyone. That’s just a fact. Of course it’s been equated to simply a greeting card holiday and even so it absolutely sucks to not have anyone who wants to buy even just a dumb greeting card for you.* That said it doesn’t matter if you just broke up with someone, got broken up with, or just happen to have feelings for the wrong person who doesn’t act like you even exist, seeing everyone else happily in love really hurts. I could sit here and give fake advice like ‘Take back ownership of your love and love yourself!!! That’s what matters!!!’ But I’d be lying. If you come to this blog to be fed sunshine and roses all the time…later days. Wrong place.

So I made this playlist with the lonely, like myself, in mind. Even if you’re not entirely lonely (I’m not), sometimes we just want to put on headphones, shut out the world, and wallow. That’s exactly what this mix is for. Put on headphones, tune out the world and all the lovey dovey stuff, and just exist with whatever feelings you have in the moment (eating cookies is also highly encouraged).

Please aspire to find someone who will give you more than a greeting card.

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Listen on SPOTIFY | APPLE MUSIC

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Mixtape 05: #Girlboss

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” – Abraham Lincoln

Okay maybe Abraham Lincoln didn’t say that, but he was a cool guy right? He probably would have said it. In reality, that’s a quote from Sophia Amoruso’s best-selling book, #GIRLBOSS. I don’t think calling yourself or anyone else a girlboss is offensive. There’s been plenty of debate about it all over the internet. I don’t see being goal driven, determined, and hardworking to be a bad thing no matter what term one uses to describe it.

When I thought about making a monthly themed mix about being a girlboss, I realized there were plenty of songs about female empowerment and the hustle we embark on every day. But then I realized that when I need a little pick me up, motivation, or just to feel like a badass chick, those were not the songs I was turning to. So I decided to combine a couple of them with a few other songs that make me feel like the super cool chick I truly want to be. The girl who walks in the room like she owns it…but in the most respectful manner possible.

Being a girlboss and hustling every day can be hard because it’s so easy to get discouraged by the outside world. Everyone has an opinion and feels they have the platform to voice it no matter what. Those are the times we have to work harder even with no recognition. We have to see the silver linings in everything and know that we are building our worlds and our successes step by step our way. It doesn’t matter how it was done, how anyone thinks it should be done, what it is just do it your way filled with passion and drive. You do you.

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Listen on Spotify or Apple Music

Mixtape 04: Happy Holidays

Around the middle of November one of the most popular local radio stations switches to Christmas music for the length of the season. It is one of my favorite traditions even though I appreciated it more when it began ON Thanksgiving. I have the happiest memories of laughing hysterically at my sister singing Boney M’s version of Mary’s Boy Child while looking at holiday light displays with my family. Why she loved the horrid disco song I’ll never know, but it makes me laugh to this day when I hear it.

Christmas Carols become a part of our lexicon and yearly traditions. There are half a million different ones all of which make listeners feel warm and fuzzy inside. Plus, they are pumped through the speakers of every retail and shopping establishment for a month straight to spread cheer and bring happy memories to the surface so you spend more money (marketing trade secret right there). There are classic ones, modern ones, and one’s I just don’t understand. What is figgy pudding? Why do you want it so bad? Why are you going to stay outside my house until I give you some? I didn’t invite you here. You just showed up and expect me to feed you?  Baby, It’s Cold Outside? Creepy and weird. Santa Baby…uh is she offering herself to Santa in exchange for gifts?

That brings me to this holiday mix I’ve made. It contains some of my favorite holiday music of past and present. All of the songs I turn up on the radio and the songs I play while baking or cooking in the kitchen during the season. I’ve even included the Mariah Carey version of All I Want for Christmas is You because it is a crowd pleaser. So consider this a little gift from me to you or just a chance to get inside my head (the secret to being Nicole is the music) if that’s your sort of thing.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

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Listen on APPLE MUSIC or SPOTIFY

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