gifted || the art aficionado

As an art lover myself, I'd say the best gift you can give an art aficionado is picture frames. I'm talking frames of every shape & size, but probably of the same color. 

See, the thing with art is that it's very subjective. Generally speaking, I would be way too afraid to pick out art for anyone in fears that it might not be their style. Plus, that's the fun of it anyway; gifting frames is like the gift that keeps on giving. You've got one crucial step of the art buying process completed, but the fun stuff (ie. picking out the actual art) is left all up to the recipient.

I suggest hitting up your local flea market, Ikea, or craft store for a nice selection.

Want to take it a step further? Why not frame a gift certificate to a site like 20x200.com, which houses thousands of affordable pieces of art for one's purchasing pleasure.


gifted || the literary lover

Chances are that your friend, the book worm, didn't pick this up as a later-in-life hobby. Most people that love to read have been doing so since since they were young. Why don't you consider filling up their bookshelves with childhood favorites this holiday season?

My top pick (& on my wishlist as well) is any book from the Shel Silverstein collection:
Black, white & humorous is always a win.

The Clothbound Penguin Classics for Children are another great option & a bit more colorful:
Other options: check out Anthropologie's book selection. They have books on a variety of topics & they're all top notch & very aesthetically appealing. Or, if your recipient is all about novels, check out Oprah's book club for ideas -- she knows what's up.



something strange

Want to know what is strange? Buying a swimsuit in Chicago in November is strange. You really have no choice but to go with an online retailer (which can have its' challenges). Luckily, I stumbled upon a pretty stellar ikat option from Robin Piccone & I'm really crossing my fingers that this little number works out.
They were sold out of the black in my size, but I went with the olive green option (like the bottoms), which I also like. Strangely, though, my other suit that I wear most often is olive green.

Now the explanation as to why I needed a new suit..
In a little over a month, I'm packing up for a week long trip to Costa Rica!

I thought buying a swimsuit in near Winter was strange, but one whole week of vacation in a foreign land? Utterly absurd. I don't know what I'm going to do with myself, other than relax & smile. I know I've got a not-so-easy month ahead of me, but it helps to have that light at the end of the tunnel.

Here's to hoping that everyone has some sort of light ahead.




"Scheme" - STS9

Tickets are purchased for STS9 in January & I cannot wait to finally see a legit indoor set from them. 

Ps. January already? Sheesh!

i was there : m83

Show: M83

Location: Lincoln Hall

Date: 11.17.11

Favorite Song: The declining temperatures in Chicago wasn't the only thing that was giving me chills that night. M83 put on quite the show & I'm still trying to decide what exactly my favorite song was. The set was very diverse & appealed to many different interests. For example, "Into" straight up gave me chills, while "Steve McQueen" was what got my body moving. Then there was "Year One, One UFO" that I don't particularly love on the album, but sounded so perfect when accompanied with the thoughtful light explosions. When it comes down to it though, I usually pick what's pretty. For me, that was "Wait." It was perfect & dreamy & the twinkle lights were a perfect complement.

Memorable Moment: I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting to be greeted by the larger-than-life "Where the Wild Things Are" like creature that graces the cover of Hurry Up We're Dreaming. It was a nice touch though, & slightly creepy.
Biggest Letdown: Despite it being the 2nd show of the night, M83 got off to a bit of a rocky start -- lyrics were forgotten & sound levels were a bit off. Things seemed to get corrected fairly quick, so no major setbacks.

This Show: was memorable & interesting. Obviously, I was there for the music, which was superb, but as mentioned above several times, the lights really stood out as well. M83 had everything -- twinkle lights, strobe lights, light sticks, you name it. I was worried that it might be obnoxious & distracting, but their crew did a great job pairing up the lights with the music, especially when it came to build ups. This isn't something I normally take into account unless it's Pretty Lights or Deadmau5 or someone else of that caliber, but this display was notable to me & in a good way.


a chronic case of the fremps

Finally there is a word for this feeling. Does anyone else get this feeling? I feel like I constantly have an internal battle where I cringe on the inside at others' behaviors. I don't mean that to come off rude or snooty, but some behavior is totally incomprehensible to me.



Being extremely busy with work means that having a non-fussy soundtrack is essential to productivity. Enter: Jamie xx's Essential Mix. It's been in my rotation since it's August 27th release, but I've had to have listened to the 2 hour long program about 10 times last week. It is phenomenal, I cannot get enough, & I credit it for keeping my sanity.

Each time I listen I pick out something new I love, but I really want to highlight three tracks in particular that are really pleasing my ear drums:
"Orbital" - Belfast

This song lays a perfect groundwork for what's next to come in this two hour mix - not too heavy, but definitely interesting.
"Lost In Tokyo" - Koreless

I feel like the title of the song is so appropriate, because you do kind of get lost in it.
"Slow Burn Treason" - Holly Miranda

I'm a sucker for good lyrics & pretty voices, so Holly Miranda totally strikes a chord with me:

Wake up & you're next to nothing
But the weight of the world is on your side
Most days you don't even notice
But that's a lie



Never in my life did I think that a song called "Intro" would be one of my favorites, but The xx changed all that for me. I could listen to this song on repeat forever. I love it so much so, that I think a slightly slower, live version of this would be beautiful to walk down the aisle to if & when I get married.

I'm sure everyone has heard the good news by now, but The xx is coming out with their second album & they even have a new blog to document the process. They've taken a little break since the 2009 release of their senior album, xx, but Jamie xx has kept himself busy in the meantime.

Jamie xx collaborated with the late Gil Scott-Heron on We're Here Now, produced one stellar EP, & developed perhaps my favorite Essential Mix to date (more on that later today). His talents have only grown since the release of xx and I'm more than confident that he will help lead their second album in a great direction. I for one am confident to announce that this is my most anticipated album of 2012.


/merr'meuh ray"sheuhn/, n.
1. an act or instance of murmuring.
2. a flock of starlings.

(via swissmiss)


5 happy thoughts (re-visited)

Way back in July of 2010 I made a pledge to record 5 different things that made me happy each day. I know that sounds super lame, but it was one of the best routines I ever got in. I kept it up pretty well through April of 2011, but then got lazy, or unhappy, or something along those lines & quit for a bit. 

I stumbled upon my lists a few weeks back & not only did they make me extremely happy, but they reminded me of some little details of my life that would have otherwise been long forgotten. 

I've picked this little habit back up so I can remember just how I felt when the Cardinals won the World Series, or when I received a sweet text from someone special, or when I had a particularly amusing convo with my mom, and all that other good stuff. It also reminds you that there is always some good, even on the most miserable of days. 

I highly suggest trying this out yourself. I think you'll smile when you look back on those little moments that amount to one amazing life.



day of the dead

Today marks day two of the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos. Growing up, I always recognized All Saint's Day & All Soul's Day, but there's something about the iconography & tradition of the Day of the Dead that I find really fascinating. Case & point...


i won't fuck us over

"Mr. November" - The National

It's not November 1st if I don't start things off with this song.