What I’m Listening To, Volume 6

I feel like I’ve been taking a bit of a blog break. Probably for a couple reason. First, I was working on two time-intensive projects at the same time. No extra time to share my favorite recipes or attempts at being interesting. Second, I’ve been in a personal rut. I haven’t really felt like myself in a really long time. I think that makes my creative pursuits suffer a lot. Plus I haven’t really felt like exposing myself to anyone who may stumble along this or have it bookmarked.

We spend so much of our lives curating the person we want others to see, and sometimes it can feel draining. Not to mention when you hit emotional lows and feel like you just can’t really show that to other people. It’s almost like the masks I (we) continually wear have just been exposed revealing far too much to the outside world. This feels way too deep for a measly little post about a playlist I made, but hey what can you do?

While working on a project I was inspired by something I was asked to write which kinda had to deal with how I have been feeling, so I decided to dip my toe back into this blog. And I’ve done so in the best way I know how: music. It’s pretty much been my entire life and I’ve always made playlists as a way to focus my energy or put my emotions elsewhere. It feels like it’s been a hot second since I put together a playlist of everything I’m listening to right now so here it is.

This playlist literally sits in my streaming accounts with me occasionally tossing in songs I listen to a lot. These songs have seen me through long days staring at a computer screen doing data analysis, countless spreadsheets, and far too much keyword planning. Some of the songs have been my gym inspo to keep on fighting when I just can’t run anymore. Not to mention the ones that kept me company late at night when I couldn’t sleep. As always it’s a little hodgepodge of everything that’s been playing through my speakers and headphones for the last month or so.

Perhaps you’ll find something interesting or new to listen to. Something that will be your friend when it feels like everything sucks. I hope to keep updating this blog more frequently. After all, it was started with me trying to figure out life, so when did that ever stop?

Listen on Spotify

1970s love songs playlist

Mix No. 14: 70s Love Songs

Before anyone reading this lets out an audible groan, just give me a chance to explain this cliché mixtape timing.

I think every February my go-to mix is “love” themed in some way at least. I think last year I was honest and made a lonely Valentine’s Day mix, and I still definitely feel that way. I was going to skip a monthly mix altogether because I think love sucks right now. I mean you give so much of yourself to someone else only to be treated like you’re nothing. But I digress.

Now, how did I stumble on such a niche theme like love songs from the 1970s? It’s relatively simple: Fondue parties. Oh yes, that wonderful, dinner party staple from the 1970s is back. Okay, maybe it’s just back for my friends and myself, but I’ve been to a few fondue parties in 2018 so that’s where I got this idea. It came to me because while enjoying melted delicacies with a long stick dipped into a hot pot, we frequently listen to music from the 1970s. Get where I’m going with this?

Cool. So, just for fun, if you don’t know, fondue is melted cheese (or chocolate) in a pot kept over a flame. You use a long stick to dip bread, fruit, veggies, and tons of other stuff inside. In 1930, it was declared the national food of Switzerland in order to increase cheese consumption. But quickly became an American craze after its appearance at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Sure, sharing a pot of boiling hot cheese with your friends sounds fun, but there are even traditions that come with the experience. It’s suggested to consume white wine in order to avoid indigestion (this has not been proven but who needs an excuse to have wine?), and women must kiss their neighbors if they lose bread within the pot. Seems a bit unnecessary to me but, hey, the 70s were a different time.

But back to the mix. While hanging out at these parties and enjoying the 70s tunes, I realized a lot of my favorite love songs come from that time period. I figured it’s Valentine’s Day and some people probably have a relationship or at least a Valentine who isn’t their dog so why not run with it? But I couldn’t strictly make a mix of songs I love so I decided to include some classic ones everyone loves and other downright cheesy ones everyone pretends they don’t like (but secretly love). It’s a real smorgasbord of a mix. You know as diverse as the offerings at a fondue party.

Whether you have a Valentine or not, you can enjoy this playlist on Spotify right now. Happy Valentine’s Day or whatever

If you’re interested in throwing a fondue party here’s a guide. Just look how much fun these people are having! 


winter 2018 mixtape

Mixtape No. 13: Long, Cold Winter Nights

I think I should start this mixtape post with a bit of a disclaimer. Arizona has been in the mid to high 70s since like October or November. We have been incredibly short on long, cold winter nights. That said, there are days where we reach average winter temperatures so I guess that balances out.

Thankfully last week there was a couple of cold, rainy nights which inspired this mixtape. A lot of the time I have trouble sleeping and I’m up late at night thinking or missing someone special. It’s worse in the winter because not only is it cold but it feels like the night never ends. It can feel pretty lonely sometimes, and it helps to have music playing. I’m 100% a music mood person. If I’m sad the music is sad or serene, and that’s what this playlist is. It’s fully of folksy, indie tunes that really set a mood, a scene, and can even melt into the background when it all gets to be too much. There’s also just something very moody about the combination of grey, dark winters and these types of songs. They just mesh perfectly together. It doesn’t even have to be a long, cold night but just any grey, melancholy day. Just get some tea, turn on the tunes, and melt away.

Find the tracklist and links below.


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.


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.



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. 



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?