i was (not) there : matthew dear

Unfortunately I had to miss out on the Matthew Dear concert this past Friday because I wasn't feeling very well & was just overall worn down from the week. I passed along my tickets to some friends who confirmed that the show was great & that The Mid was able to accommodate a live act as well as a DJ set.

One of these days I WILL make it to a Matthew Dear show, but in the meantime here's some great tracks that will somewhat hold me over.

skream : verb. to emit a shrill, piercing sound

I've professed my love for Magnetic Man on Music Monday before, but now I want to dissect this super-trio for a moment & place my focus on Skream

So many of the songs that have been standing out to me lately seem to have some sort of influence from Skream. This guy is hot & makes a great contribution to the world of dubstep. I'm really loving what he did with Cassius' "I Love You So," but I decided to throw in a couple more tracks that you might enjoy.
You can also take a listen to "Shot Yourself in the Foot" from last week.


fire signs

I can profess my love for the water all day long, but when it comes down to it, I'm a fire sign at the core. Funny thing is that I actually am a little afraid of fire. The only connection I see between myself & fire is that I love to be warm -- that & that it inspires songs like this...
I actually heard Adele for for the first time almost exactly a year ago when I was in Aspen visiting my friend Shannon. I remember Shannon playing "Hometown Glory" (High Contrast remix) & being absolutely stunned by Adele's strong voice. I had to hear more, so that's what I went home & did. I didn't really hear much about her for several months & now she's blowing up like crazy. Rightfully so, I might add. That girl has some pipes on her & a whole lot of talent to boot.

Here are some more that I love:
Ps. Isn't this Saggitarius (my fire sign) charm necklace from Kimberly Baker adorable? Find one in your sign here.

you kept falling in love & then one day...

I have this huge affinity for the water & I've felt that way for as long as I can remember. 

I was the youngest on the swim team as a child. The aquarium scene in Closer nearly killed me with excitement. "Long walks on the beach" really is one of my interests. When I want to treat myself to something really special, I go to The Shedd ....& so you get the picture.
I saw this video from Jon Rawlinson a few months back & was immediately drawn to it (for obvious reasons). This visuals were amazing & so tranquil, but it was the song that really stopped me in my tracks. The song is called "Please Don't Go" by Barcelona. I bought the whole album upon hearing this song, but I've kind of forgotten about it as of late. Then, coincidentally enough, my friend posted it to Facebook. I love those songs that are so great to rediscover & I love that the Facebook post brought me back to this video.

Rawlinson also has some beautiful footage of jellyfish set to the song "Come Back When You Can," which is by Barcelona as well.


10 canine commandments

Before I sign off for the weekend I thought I'd leave you with this adorable list. Not gonna lie, it made me tear up a little. I have the best memories of my childhood pup & I so desperately want to get one of my own ...but then I always come back to point number 1. Wouldn't be fair.

Have a wonderful weekend! If you're lucky enough to be a dog owner, give it an extra little scratch for me, okay? I'm hitting up Matthew Dear tonight, so you can expect a full report of the show on Monday. Ciao!

Ps. My pooch! Just sleeping in the dirt. I miss that little terror...

self love : balance

I had a yoga instructor bring forth this idea of creating balance in one class & it really struck a cord with me. Obviously you need balance in yoga, but you also need it in life. 

A few days after that class I came across a post on Zen Habits which directly addressed the issue of work/life balance. I found some of these points to be helpful & I hope you do too.

7 Steps Towards Work/Life Balance

1. Set a time to shut off work
If you're like most people out there, this can't always be the case. Emergencies arise & greater time & effort needs to be devoted to a task. This shouldn't be habitual though. Pick a time to shut off work & stick to it.

2. Find something to immerse yourself in after work
There are a million hobbies one can choose. Choose the one that is right for you. This can be as challenging as learning a new language to something as simple as taking daily walks around your neighborhood. 

3. Learn to be mindful & present
This is something I always come back to & is probably the thing I love most about yoga. When you're holding a pose it's so easy to let your mind drift back to something troublesome, exciting or challenging in your life. But with yoga, your only purpose for that hour is to be present in the moment & be mindful of your breath. Let everything else go & focus on what is important in that moment.

4. Take breaks at work
I don't know why this one is always so hard for me. People are not intended to sit at desk for 8+ hours a day staring at a computer screen. Get some water. Say hi to a co-worker. Give yourself a mini massage. Ask a question in person instead of emailing. Whatever you choose, just get up & do it.

5. Increase your skills at work -- to prepare for leaving work
The chance of you staying at your current job or position for the rest of your life is highly unlikely. When you are at work, make the most of it. Take advantage of the fact that you have a job & tools to help you do your work better & people around you that know more than you. Accept mistakes, because that's how you learn. Absorb it all in, so that you can eventually take all of those skills & grow professionally.

6. Find ways to increase your income while decreasing your hours
Unfortunately, I'm not quite at this point, but when you do all of the things listed above & get really freaking good at what you do -- guess what? You can be your own boss. Sounds pretty glamourous doesn't it?

7. Learn you are not defined by your work
I'm happy to be a search analyst, but I'm also a friend, a music snob, a yogi, a blogger, a daughter, a sister, a Cardinals fan... I'm a lot of other things & you should be too

I think my music, blog & yoga obsessions that I've developed in the past year is my psyche's way of creating balance in my own life. I'm an incredibly curious person. I want to see, hear & do more all of the time. As much as I love the career path I'm on, I can't do only that all of the time & Zen Habits' post made me realize how important it is to not do that. 

Leo Babauta probably does a better job summarizing these points, so check it out here. Just wanted to add my two cents!


self love

I'm (unwillingly) getting to that phase in my life where I have to be a little bit more mindful of what I do with my body & I'm also noticing that stress has become an unwelcomed guest in this little world of mine.
I thought I might take a stab at some "self love" posts to present on Fridays. I'm by no means a great role model for things of that nature, but I'm trying to improve & I'd like to be able to contribute something a little more beneficial & informative to my readers. Starting later today you can expect to see a new little series from me!

Well, that's all of the news for now. Is there something I've left out that you'd like to see more or less of? I'd be thrilled to get any feedback. Once again, thanks to all of my readers! I'm amazed that any of you exist &/or find me the slightest bit interesting :)



happy up here

I've been a little bit of crabby-pants the past few days as a result of not feeling well & having a to-do list that just never wants to stop growing. Time to make some attitude adjustments so I think it's time to change something & I think this song from Röyksopp will do just the trick!
I mean this is just the epitome of a "happy song," & "happy songs" are my favorite!


the gun show

Is it creepy that a lot of songs that I have been loving lately have had some pretty violent themes? I swear I'm not getting any funny ideas!

Take a listen to a few that I'm loving:

Metric - Girls & Guns (Soundkeeper's remix)
Skream & Example - Shot Yourself in the Foot
Deadmau5 & Sofi - Raise Your Weapons
Audio Bullys - Shotgun

where have you been all my life?

Either I've been living under a rock or The Polish Ambassador (aka Ample Mammal) is not nearly as huge as he should be. I just got his album, First Words, over the weekend & I am thoroughly impressed with all 23 tracks. I have literally been listening to the album on repeat without skipping through songs (HUGE!) all week. I'll definitely be checking out his other albums soon.

The Polish Ambassador is a self-proclaimed "beat machine from the future" & classifies his music as "electro, glitch-hop & booty." I classify it as "awesome."

Here are a few tracks I'm really loving, plus a new take on a very familiar song to all of us:
You might know this one...
For anyone in Chicago -- he'll be at Kinetic Playground on March 5 & I will most certainly be at that show. Tickets are only $5.00 in advance & $15.00 at the door. More dates are listed on his website.

evolution + some exciting news

So this little pride & joy of mine is a little over a year old now. I've said this before, but it's amazing how important this blog has become. I've met some amazing people through this blog & I've definitely gotten a good indication of likes & dislikes. As a result, I'm going to try to let this baby evolve based of what my readers seem to want. 
It brings the biggest smile to my face to see that you all seem to enjoy my Music Monday posts. Monday definitely brings in the most traffic & these are my favorites posts to write. My intake of new music is insane. I'm almost never without headphones & it's getting to the point where I have the hardest time narrowing it down to just a few posts each Monday. As a result, I plan to break up the week a little with Thursday Dance Party posts in hopes that I can at least get your foot tapping a little bit :)

First post will be up shortly...

...Also, for those of you who don't follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I've got some pretty exciting news to share -- I am officially booked for Ultra Music Festival 2011!

Ultra Music Festival in Miami has some of the greatest electronica DJs & musicians of all time & I'm ecstatic to say the least. I guess I might as well rub in the fact that not only will I be at Ultra for three full days, but I'll also be enjoying part of a 10 hour set from Swedish House Mafia, making my second appearance at a HARD event, & hopefully pool-partying it up with my dance music hero -- Pete Tong. There are a million pool parties & after parties occurring that weekend, so I'm still waiting out my options a little. I just know the weekend will be insane.
I know I'll probably be annoying & talking about this non-stop, but with a line-up like this (here's a link since you probably can't see a lot of the names above), who wouldn't be? Oh, & just to note, that's just phase one of the line-up. More to come!




Fact: Little old men are the greatest.

Grandfathers...the guy that's been going to the same bar for the past 40 years...the people that help you find your really good seats at the ball park...they're all just so wonderful!

just because i can go camping doesn't mean i want to

Well, that's somewhat of a lie. As surprising as it may be, this urban girl actually likes the outdoors & is more than willing to "rough it" for a few days. In fact, that's something I keep telling myself I want to do more of -- camping, fishing, hiking & the like.

As eager as I am to be outdoorsy, I must say that I'm really loving this idea of "glamping" from Canopy & Stars. Canopy & Stars is a UK based company that offers luxury tents or other abodes at some of the loveliest locations around the UK. You get to enjoy a weekend under the stars, but you get a few more luxuries you might find at home. Plus, their campsites are adorable!
They even have a treehouse opening this June!

Note to self: Get over to the UK ASAP!



I was going to write that this sweet film reminded me of high school, or college even, but who am I kidding? This still happens & I think it always will until you find yourself settled down. What an adorable way to capture a feeling that can't really be described in words. Everyone knows that feeling though.

(via Cup of Jo)


I'm definitely not what you would call a Purse Snob. Don't get me wrong, a pretty purse will most certainly stop me dead in my tracks, but I have a hard time devoting half of a paycheck to a pricey handbag.

Tiffany & Co. (who knew they made handbags?) but released a line of reversible totes that are making me feel the urge to splurge (wow, didn't mean to come up with such a cheesy line! Just sort of happened that way). Depending on the size, these range from $395-$595, which isn't that bad for a very practical tote. Plus, they're reversible with a metallic leather on one side & a buttery suede on the other so it's really like you're getting two bags for the price. The latest issue of Real Simple claims that the tote come in 7 color combinations, but I have only seen these four, plus black combo on the site. Which color is your favorite? I think I'm leaning towards the garnet.

Ps. Jennifer Aniston is a fan, so these must be cool, right?


sometimes things were built to fall

I know I'm probably a little late with this one, but I think "Fools" by Temper Trap is just one of the prettiest songs ever. The whole album is pretty awesome. I think I'm going to have to throw in "Love Lost" for good measure. You can thank me later...

i was there : felix da housecat

Location: The Mid, Chicago
Date: 1.22.11
Favorite Song: I remember really enjoying hearing "Kickdrum" for some reason, but "Thee Anthem" is my favorite. Hands down.
Memorable Moment: Being up front & seeing how much work goes into the music. There is a lot of concentration going on on the DJ decks.
Biggest Let Down: Drinking a little too much before the show & not remembering as much as I wish I had.
This Show: kept me warm on a cold Chicago night!

little memories, marching on

One of my favorite pairings of all time!
I can safely say that Plastic Beach by Gorillaz was one of my top albums of 2010 &"Empire Ants" certainly contributed to the high esteem I held for the album as a whole. Then you throw in the disco-fabulous sounds of Miami Horror to boot & that right there is a winner! Seven minutes & twenty seconds of perfection in my honest opinion. Download the song for yourself right HERE.



I heard "Open Your Eyes" by Steve Angello & Alex Metric for the first time two weeks ago on the Pete Tong Radio 1 Show when it was awarded the coveted title of Essential New Tune & I haven't been able to stop listening since. Tong was correct when he said that there needs to be a whole festival dedicated to this song. There is really no other way to describe this song other than epic. You can download it HERE.
...and the lyrics at the end make for a perfect "wake up" song -- especially on a Monday morning!

Ps. It's okay to start dancing at 8 am, or whenever you might be waking up.



weekend warrior

Happy weekend!
I think I'm going to treat myself to a bottle or two of wine this weekend. I need to get back into wine learning/critiquing mode. It's a skill I still want to hone in on. I've got several birthdays to celebrate over the weekend -- a perfect excuse to get my vino on!

Also, I'll be heading back to The Mid on Saturday to see Chicago's own Felix Da Housecat. I'll fill you in on the show Monday with an I Was There post!


happy birthday, sis!

Today is my big sister's birthday & I feel as though Jason Lee's photography suits this occasion perfectly!
 Jason Lee is a father of two girls & a self-taught photographer. He has a wonderful portfolio of fun & whimsical shots of his daughters at play. You can find more of his collection HERE. They put a big smile on my face.
Also, I have to throw in this awesome birthday card that my sister received from my parents. Typically, it's my mom's job to pick out birthday cards & she loves to go the sentimental route. This time, my dad got to make the pick. His card is super cute because we used to have lab growing up & then we inherited a cat & they hated each other. Such a perfect choice!

(this had to be a quick post, so sorry for the sideways photography!)


warmth on my mind

As these temperatures dip colder & colder, I find myself dreaming more & more about Summer, or more specifically, the outfits that go along with warm temperatures!

This would look so utterly ridiculous on me, but I think it's adorable none the less.
I think this look might be more up my alley, but I'm not 100% convinced just yet. Apparently 70s-styled  high-waisted & flair-legged jeans are on the up & in. While the chick above looks stunning, this is certainly something I'll have to try on for myself first. I could see this going horribly wrong for some girls.

Remember, trends aren't for everyone. If you know it looks good, there's nothing wrong with sticking to your basics!

trees in winter

I don't think this is quite the tree that Jeffrey McDaniel was referring to, but the photo & the quote are beautiful. I could certainly learn a thing or two from these trees.

(here & here)


shopping cart : american apparel

I've had an American Apparel Groupon burning a hole in my pocket, but I decided it was due time to cash it. I went shopping with the intent to find something to wear to the Steve Aoki concert, but ended up with about 10 items on my wish list.

Here's what I purchased:
Here's what I later went home & ordered:
Here"s what I've still got my eyes on:
Ps. The American Apparel photo shoots & poses always crack me up! If you get a kick out of them too, check out AdFreak's 50 Sluttiest American Apparel ad picks.

a place to call your own

Photographer Gabriela Herman developed a great series of photographs called "Portraits of Bloggers," in which she captures bloggers at night time in the comforts of their own homes. I would include a portrait of myself blogging at night in the comfort of my own home, but that typically involves me laying in bed half naked. Ah, the joys of living alone :)
Although I enjoy the fact that I can get nice & cosy while writing these posts, I do, at times, dream of a perfect little office to call my own. That dream would most certainly include this perfect white desk & a totally complementary lucite chair. Some of the other things might require a little work.


so stinking adorable



a very special birthday

I want to wish a very special birthday to my rockstar Dad! I'm so lucky to have such a great role model in my life & I'm so thankful for everything he has done for me.
Love ya, Dad!

"the one charm of the past is that it is the past"

On my quest to not only collect more books, but also read more books, I can now officially cross off The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. It definitely wasn't my favorite story line of all time, but worth reading none the less. 

I was very surprised to learn that this was Oscar Wilde's only published book because it was filled with some truly wonderful quotes. Quotes are kind of my thing, so here is a collection from  The Picture of Dorian Gray that stood out:

"Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope."

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."

"I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us."

"My heart shall never be under the microscope."

"There is no doubt that genius lasts longer than beauty."

"Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love: It is the faithless who know love's tragedies."

"live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing."

"The only thing one never regrets are one's mistakes."

"Don't be afraid. There are exquisite things in store for you. This is merely the beginning."

"Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave to their mistakes."

"The one charm of the past is that it is the past."

"Women love is for our defects. If we have enough of them they will forgive us everything, even our intellects."

"When a woman marries again it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs."

Now, I'm on to Emma by Jane Austin.

future self will kick your ass

I'm going to be slightly delusional for a few reasons with this post.

Reason #1: This post is about swimsuits & it is January 18th

Reason #2: Every swimsuit that I think is cute this season has been a one-piece.

Not that I don't have plenty of nips & tucks that I would love, but I kind of believe in the the theory that if you can get away with less while you still can, then do it. I know that if my 34-year-old self looked back at my 24-year-old self prancing around in a one-piece suit, she would most certainly kick her ass!


i was there : steve aoki

This past Friday marked my first concert of 2011. I'm going to try to do a better job this year with documenting & commenting on the shows I attend, because I know they will be plentiful & I want to be able to recall each & every one of them. I thought my blog might be a nice little home for me brand new "I Was There" (inspiration) series. I hope you enjoy!
Concert: Steve Aoki (with Midnight Conspiracy)
Location: The Mid, Chicago
Date: 1.14.11
Favorite Song: Tough call, but "Pursuit of Happiness" really got the crowd going. It was a special moment.
Memorable Moment: Meeting an extremely tall dance partner, pushing our way to the very front & then him picking me up right in front of the DJ booth. So insane, but so fun. I'm really nervous that photos might surface...
Biggest Let Down: No crowd surfing from the crowd surfing king himself
This Concert: set the bar very high for the rest of the year

For a better indication of how crazy the show actually was, check out this video from the night.

Also, if you're super jealous that you missed this past show (as you very well should be), Steve Aoki will be coming back to Chicago with Glitch Mob to play at the Congress Theater in March.