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albums of 2017

Goodbye 2017 // Albums of the Year

I must admit I’m happy 2017 is just hours from being over. It’s been one of the toughest years I’ve had in a while. It seemed like every time I would take two steps forward I would get shoved 13 steps backward. I wasn’t the only one experiencing this which was a little comforting, but not by much. It’s a bit sad when having your wisdom teeth removed is high up on your list of positive things about the year. Rather than harping on the things about this year I could not change I thought I would just not post anything at all. Even my blog posting began suffering with my existential crisis. Not that blogging truly matters in the larger scheme of things.

I truly considered not even putting together a list of my favorite albums from the past year which is incredibly unlike me. I know everyone and their mother makes their end of the year albums list and there are many more that are far more important than my own, but it was always fun for me to take a look back. This year I just felt super done with the year and just wanted it over with. Well, there’s still a few hours left in the year, but I managed to create the list in the nick of time.

The list is fulled with indie rock and some hip-hop albums that I really enjoyed over the past year. If you read this blog frequently or know me in real life, you wouldn’t be surprised by that at all. This post contains three things: the album list (in no particular order), a sampler playlist featuring gems from the albums on the list, and a link to another (recently updated) playlist featuring plenty more songs from 2017 that were played in fairly heavy rotation. My hope is that you’ll agree with at least some of my choices or that you’ll find something new to listen to you’d hadn’t considered or heard of before.

So enjoy. Have a happy new year, and I’ll catch you on the flip side in 2018.

ALBUMS OF 2017 PLAYLIST | SONGS OF 2017 PLAYLIST 

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christmas baking playlist volume 3

In the Kitchen: Christmas Volume 3

There’s 6 days until Christmas (yikes) which means I will be spending more time in my kitchen than normal. I’m a stress baker (everyone knows this) but I’m also a big Christmas baker. That’s not really a thing, but around Christmas I bake way more than usual. It’s cold and there’s nothing more comforting than warm chocolate chip cookies. I’m also on a constant yearly mission to create the most beautiful (and perfect) cut out sugar cookie ever created by an untrained home baker. Last year I came pretty close, but I think this year I found a tool to make flooding royal icing much easier.

Hey, there’s a reason everyone is comparing me to Reese Witherspoon in those Crate & Barrel holiday commercials. Although even I think owning 37 ramekins might be TOO many ramekins. But I digress, cookies and other yummy baked goods make really good gifts. I bring them to parties and give them to neighbors. They are great to have on hand if people pop by or to undo the awkwardness of surprise gift givers. Why am I making excuses for baking? Baking is delicious, fun, and everyone wins.

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holiday-playlist-2017

Mix No 12: Happy Holidays

Christmas is probably the easiest time to make a mix because there are literally thousands of songs to choose from. I mean how many renditions of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” are there out there? So I feel like it’s really easy to just grab a bunch of classics and modern takes and toss them all together. It’s apparently so easy between my Spotify and old 8Tracks account I was able to find playlists going back to my previous blog in 2012. Yeah…that’s pretty far back there.

I won’t pretend like I don’t know December’s mix is going to be holiday themed from the jump. But in order to keep it interesting (and avoid the same songs over and over) I try to come up with some kind of underlying theme to break it up. This year while listening to the local radio station playing tons of Christmas hits, I thought I would make it about the songs that remind me of being a kid and listening to that station non-stop. But when I started working on it (with a little help from that station) I realized it was a lot harder than I imagined. Despite my memory being pretty great to me, I just couldn’t chose. I also felt it would be a little weird to just open up the world to my memories they have no relation to. 

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thanksgiving-playlist-2017

In the Kitchen: Thanksgiving, Volume 2

Happy (early) Thanksgiving fellow Americans, and just a happy Wednesday to everyone else!

Thanksgiving is a blessing and a curse for someone who loves being in the kitchen. I love cooking and creating things that eventually satisfy others. It’s a gigantic labor of love. I’ve been making Thanksgiving dinner (among other holiday dinners) by myself for roughly 12 years now. Looking back, it was quite the task for a teenager to take on, but it’s really given me a chance to see what works. But what does this have to do with music, right?

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Mix No. 11: Fall Vibes

Ah, the fall mix has finally arrived. The time of year where I fully get to embrace the part of me that loves a good cozy sweater, drinking cup of coffee (or tea), and having indie folk music playing from my speakers. Over the years fall has been one of my favorite playlists to make. I think the only occasion that sees more playlist than fall is Christmas. When I first started college, what feels like a million years ago now, I would create these playlists to keep me company on my long walks to and from class. They each served their own little purpose given my mood or the weather. Pretty nerdy, right? Probably.

When I made this one I used a really chill Saturday morning as the inspiration. The weather has been pretty warm (bummer) so no sweaters were involved. I just kinda tuned everything out (even my phone) and just enjoyed a cup of coffee while listening to music. It was pretty relaxing, and I wonder why I don’t just do that more often. When I set out to make a fall playlist I consider, like anyone would, the mood. Fall tends to be a little more gloomy because the days are much shorter. The weather is chilly, the leaves are changing (if you’re lucky enough to have those), and sometimes you even get rain.

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Halloween Playlist Spooktacular

Don’t worry, I even eye rolled myself while typing the title to this blog post.

It’s a special Music Friday here on my blog, and I have collected every Halloween playlist I have made since 2013. Shout out to Spotify for making this possible, and extra big shout out to me for apparently never cleaning out my list of playlists on Spotify. This is mainly the reason why I can’t explain their being two mixes from 2015. Like I mentioned a couple of days ago (oh my god all she does is talk about this stuff), Halloween mixes are my favorite to make even if they are widely unappreciated. What I love most about them is being able to make something creepy sounding that plays perfectly at a Halloween party or just while handing out candy to Trick or Treaters. It just adds a little something to the overall creepiness in the air. Of course, if you’re going to be soundtracking any Halloween festivities, most people are going to strictly be all “shut up and play the hits.” So I made plenty of those playlists in my time (but with a little Nicole twist).

Obviously I don’t know everyone’s Halloween plans, but if  you’re anything like me, you’re probably sick of party hosts using pre-made Spotify playlists that have Thriller on them every 3rd song. So I thought I would just share the fruits of my yearly labor in one giant collection. Since it’s the Friday before Halloween it seemed like the perfect time for a musical extravaganza to soundtrack just about anything.

Find the links below, and have a good weekend!

PS: Yes, I am the queen of using strange, vintage Halloween photos as my artwork. #blessed

2013 | 2014 | 2015 Part 1 | 2015 Part 2 | 2016 | 2017 | My Favorite Horror Movie Scores

Mix No. 10: #MOOD

Sometimes I just get in a #mood I can’t explain, but when making this playlist it became pretty clear just what was causing the feeling. I constantly battle with how personal to be on my blog because it’s really scary to just put all your feelings out there into the void. Despite that being the entire point of a blog in the first place, right? It doesn’t have to be some fake, robotic, heavily curated space. It should be personable and real. That said, you never really know whose reading it, but here goes nothing.

One of my favorite things to Snapchat or Tweet is #mood. It’s usually some incredibly dumb (but funny) GIF or just a snapshot of real life. I realize I do it most often when I’m sad, annoyed, or frustrated. When I set out to make a playlist I really didn’t know where I wanted to go, but I knew I was just feeling down. Anyone within earshot of this playlist can see exactly what was getting me down: love and relationships.

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