2017 Spring Playlist

Music of Spring 2017 (so far. I realize we have a lot of Spring left to live!)

Lael – Phoenix (his album Clarity is also great)
Will Regan / United Pursuit – Tell All Your Friends
Little Big Town – The Breaker
Ed Sheeran’s Divide, obviously

Dispatch – Only the Wild Ones
Maggie Rogers – Alaska
Coldplay / Chainsmokers – Something Just Like This

FULL Spring Playlist!! (but like I said, in progress)

Consuming / Creating

Lately I’ve been living my life as a consumer, especially when it comes to the internet. I’ve been feeling the exhaustion from all this consuming and only a few days ago did it hit me as to why. I’ve been watching and invested and curious about the awesomeness of other people’s lives and art, but completely forgot about creating something awesome for my own.

I’ve become someone who only consumes. And as a creative person, consuming so much of other people’s art, life, and content has had a negative effect on my own creative process. I haven’t truly created anything I am super proud of for a very long time. I’ve been so consumed with consuming that my own self expression & my own creative process has been at a standstill.

That ain’t healthy!

There is value in consuming for inspiration, yes. There is inspiration in seeing how other people live, how other people create. But there is a time when it becomes a distraction and an overload, or straight up overwhelming. There is such thing as too inspired. There is also such thing as too MUCH.

My point is! I’m taking a step back from some of my social media accounts, from some of the websites and blogs I read. I am taking a minute to myself, to create a life I want, instead of wishing my life looked like that person’s. I’m planning to create some things that suck, but also some things that are really good. Things that matter to me.

I suggest you evaluate how much you consume versus how much you create and take a step back from the ‘inspiration’ if you need to!

A Day In Boston

A few weeks ago our friends from college, Kate and Devon, visited us in Boston! Nate and I happily played tour guides for them, but also, I ended up sort of feeling like a tourist as well! Having lived here for 5 years, you’d think I would have already been to most of the touristy spots in town, but there is always more to see!

First we toured the Old State House and learned more about it’s history. It’s the tiniest, most character-filled building right smack in the middle of modern Boston. You can’t miss it, with it’s gold dome and small stature. It’s an oxymoron because it’s so small, but it just sticks out! Right now it’s main function is that it’s a museum, but back in the early days of Boston it was everything. It was the town hall and the meetinghouse, it was government offices, it even had a stint of being a merchant marketplace. I had no idea! I’m telling you, every time I learn something new and cool about vintage Boston, I fall a little more in love with the city. The Old State House tour was no exception.

Then we walked over to the North End to see Paul Revere’s House. Unfortunately we didn’t plan our time right and it was closed, so we set off for the Old North Church instead. It’s pretty much a classic New England church, but if you think about this crazy history of it, it kind of blows your mind. Of course we enjoyed our share of pizza and cannoli. Had to. It’s the North End rules. 😉 Maybe it seems like the North End is one of the most obvious places to visit when you come to Boston, but I stand by it being the best little area to explore in town. I’m a wanderer + a watcher. The North End is small, but there are so many hidden gems that you wouldn’t see if you just hit the ‘tourist spots’ (but also hit those spots, you’ll definitely have time). I feel a similar way about Beacon Hill. Luckily the two areas are a walkable distance from each other, so if you wear your favorite comfy shoes, you’re going to be in for one cute and explore-y day. FOR EXAMPLE:

A Day of Walking around downtown Boston:
There are endless coffee + pastry options, but I’ll throw out Flat Black & George Howell as my top two faves.
Old State House Tour
— Time: 1.5 hours for the tour plus reading and looking around on your own
— Cost: $10
Walk to the Boston Public Market (10 min walk from OSH)
— Large market of local food vendors, grab a snack, be happy
Walk to the North End (6 min walk from BPM)
— Stop and enjoy all the public art and statues along the way
Old North Church
— Time: 30 minutes, or however long you want to stay
— Cost: free
Wander the North End some more
— Time: until you feel like you’ve seen it all
— Rina’s for pizza by the slice or
— Limoncello’s for a sit down, nice Italian meal
Non-negotiable dessert at Modern Pastry
— Time: Depends on the line, but average I’d say probably 15 minutes (busier on weekends)
— Cost: Depends on what you get, but one cannoli is like $3.50 and beyond worth it
Walk to Long Wharf (10 min walk from NE) 
— Endless minutes of gazing at the ocean and/or people + airplane watching
Continue along the Harbor Walk (30 min walk)
— If you’re ambitious, you can make it all the way to Harpoon Brewery on the Seaport to have all sorrrts of fun
— If you’re not ambitious, at least you’re getting some pretty views
Walk to Beacon Hill (20 min walk from LW)
— Wander the tiny streets extensively
— Acorn Street. It’s cliche, but SO CUTE

Walk back towards Quincy Market (10 min walk from LW)
— Don’t break your ankles on the cobblestones, seriously though
— Head straight for dinner at Durgin Park, I am begging you

Walking times are approximate. I also stop a lot to take photos, so maybe you’ll go faster. Either way, you’re very welcome for this sort of helpful, but probably not really at all helpful, walking tour of Boston. I hope you enjoy it. Don’t get lost. Eat a cannoli.

My Top 16 Songs of 2016 

Let’s be honest here. The only thing 2016 did right was music. 

For me, this was the year of concerts. Johnnyswim, The Saint Johns, Judah and the Lion, Matt Wertz, Switchfoot, Relient K, Us the Duo, Pentatonix, Jon Bellion. All these artists’ were amazing live in their own right!! I can’t even pick a favorite. Actually, I only go to shows if they are already my favorite haha. And! I have 2 more concerts lined up in the next few months: Josh Garrels and Us the Duo <3 Yay LIVE MUSIC!

TOP SONGS of 2016. You’ll notice not many (any? maybe 2) are Top 40. I do listen to the radio, but in the last 2 years I’ve tried to stick with finding new artists (or new songs from artists I already love) in places besides the radio – mostly Spotify and Twitter if you’re curious. (read: I’m not saying there isn’t good music on the radio, there is!) I have singer-songwriter, pop, and country music taste tendencies, and of course anything with thoughtful, smart, challenging, inspiring lyrics. So if you’re into that, you’ll be into these 😉 Here we go!

If you want to skip the commentary and just listen >> Top 16 Songs of 2016 playlist on Spotify <<

Basically I loved these albums in their entirety SO MUCH that I couldn’t pick just one song from them. Really, these albums are each pure and perfect as a whole collection of songs. I did pick my favorite songs from them, but I rarely listen to them on their own. When I listen to these albums, it’s in order, in one sitting. In a generation of “singles” it’s refreshing to be able to listen to full albums that are well thought out as a whole. These 5 albums are definitely my most-listened-to of 2016.

Please love and admire my musical expertness. 😉 😉

  • James Bay – Chaos and the Calm
    (Best Fake Smile, Need the Sun to Break) – Though it technically was released in 2015, I didn’t discover it until 2016, so I’m counting it for this year!! His words! His honest words and stripped back music are what really pulled me in.
  • Johnnyswim – Georgica Pond
    (Let it Matter, First Try) – Throwin’ up them praise hands. That’s what happened the first time I listened to practically every one of these songs. Abner & Amanda & their soulful, harmonious musical abilities are sooo amazing.
  • Jon Bellion – The Human Condition
    (Maybe IDK, Guillotine) – Thankful this album came into my life. Jon’s lyrics are so real, and his beats and sounds are refreshing & unexpected. Many of his thoughts (& lots of tough love) really challenged me and I appreciated that.
  • Maren Morris – Hero
    (Sugar, Rich) – THIS GIRL. Was just nominated for FOUR Grammy’s!?!! Incredible, especially when country music is so male-dominated. Maren ripped right through all the washed-out party-country and created an album that absolutely changed the game. 
  • Matt Wertz – Gun Shy
    Smoke, Committed) – THIS GUY. Matt took a huge leap of faith and completely 360-ed his genre, going from calm singer-songwriter to pop GOD. He wrote, sang and produced a seriously ELECTRIC album. As a fan for over 10 years, I am so proud of MW.