What I’m Listening To, Volume 2

I don’t really have a good theme for this month’s mix/playlist. Sure I could do “spring” but it probably would have ended up with a similar feel anyway (and I’ve done Spring Break). So I’ve just put together a playlist of stuff I’m really into lately. It’s mostly new music (songs or tracks from recently released albums) with a variety of genres.

Some stand out tracks include: Don’t Take the Money by Bleachers which I desperately want to hear in some kind of throwback 1980s teen movie montage, Heatstroke by Calvin Harris which is impossible not to dance to, and Third of May by Fleet Foxes which I’ve been waiting a billion years to hear. I can’t wait for this Fleet Foxes album.

Tracklist and streaming links are below. Enjoy!



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.


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What I’m Listening To, Volume 1: February 2017

Months ago I got asked to curate monthly mixes of things I’m listening to now. I posted them here and there, but I decided to make them set apart from themed mixes. I feel like maybe it’s too much effort for something no one really listens to anyway. I just really like sharing what I’m listening to now even if no one cares. Plus when everyone is mentioning this stuff in a few months it’s incredibly entertaining for me to roll my eyes. It’s the little things in life. 

What I’m Listening To features a mix of new music I really like. old favorites I’ve heard recently, and just songs on my radar. While I love theme mixes or mixes curated with a purpose, sometimes it’s just fun to get back to basics. I tried as best as I could to separate the songs by mood/tone. The slower stuff is towards the beginning and the louder stuff towards the end. That way it’s not a shock going from quiet solo singer to a full band. That’s really the only difference and real effort put into this.


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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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.


Listen on Spotify or Apple Music

Songs of 2016

One thing I love about Spotify is how it keeps track of my listening habits enough to compile a playlist of my most popular songs at the end of the year. Unfortunately, it’s a complete lie. Okay, 98% a lie. I did listen to Home by One Direction, a lot. (It was number one on their list and I like it a lot) But pretty much everything else was false and clouded by Beatles albums, classic rock, and a Stranger Things playlist filled with 80s music. Mostly because I only used Spotify at work where others could visibly see or hear my music choices.

So I set out to create a more accurate playlist of songs I loved this year. It contains 30 songs lasting roughly 2 hours, and, while I feel it’s probably missing plenty, it turned out pretty great. While I’m not sure I want to remember most of 2016 in the future, I do think a few of these songs will remind me of the past year when I hear them years from now. There’s not too many popular songs on here, but that’s mainly my choice because they are over played everywhere else. Plus, I hope it will get people listening to things they probably haven’t heard before that are worth their time.

I wonder what music 2017 will bring…


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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