this isn't a "best of" list || 2013 ||

Hopefully you guys have been following my blog long enough to know how exactly I choose the songs on this list. If you're new, you can read about the process HERE. It was tricky this year but I hope this list doesn't disappoint.

1. When A Fire Starts To Burn || Disclosure
2. Lady || Chromatics
3. Afterlife || Arcade Fire
4. Nightcall || London Grammar
5. The Thing || Atumpan (Todd Edwards remix)*
6. Perfect Time || Booka Shade
7. Metatron || Darkside
8. Breathe This Air || Jon Hopkins (feat. Purity Ring)
9. Hold On, We're Going Home || Drake (Holy Ghost cover)*
10. Running || Jamie xx + Gil-Scott Heron
11. Help Me Lose My Mind || Disclosure
12. Blood On the Leaves || Kanye West
13. Happy Be Fine || Poliça
14. Bridge So Far || Benoit + Sergio
15. Song For Zula || Phosphorescent
16. Made To Stray || Mount Kimbie
17. Objects Objects || Depthford Goth (Jamie xx remix)*^
18. Porno || Arcade Fire
19. Voyeur || James Blake
20. Bloodflood || Alt-J

*Not on Spotify playlist
^ You can hear this rcmix at the 55:30 minute mark

Again, these clearly aren't all necessarily from 2013 but I've actually got a pretty good representation this time. I could probably cut this down to a top 10 or top 15 of only 2013 songs but I don't feel right ignoring these few other great ones that I spent a lot of time listening to this year.

curated || sebastan errazuriz

Alice knew we would be together long before I ever did.

She also knew that we would eventually break up although I always wanted to believe otherwise.

None of us knew that it would be so much shorter.

I loved her so much.

Always will.

Artist Sebastain Errazuriz has had many lovers. Some, like Alice, were perfect. Others were gold diggers, heart breakers, hot bitches, + (god forbid) virgins. He commemorates twelve of his exes in a series called "Twelve Shoes for Twelve Lovers." The footwear is beautiful, but the stories behind each are even more so. Alice was my favorite, but I'm sure we've all either experienced bits of the other eleven or acted like them ourselves.
See all of the shoes + stories HERE.


deptford goth || feel real

One of the best moments of my birthday was getting to sit down + really take a listen to Jamie xx's 6 Mix. This special thing happens every once in a while when I listened to mixes like this. My ears totally perk up + I get super into one particular song. The tricky part is trying to figure out what this wonderful mystery song might be. Thankfully this 6 Mix came with a tracklisting + I guessed right on my first try.

I call that musical fate.

The song in question is Depthford Goth's "Objects Objects" + it is absolutely perfect. The whole album is really. This is probably my second favorite. I liked it so much that a vinyl of this album was one of the two gifts I bought for myself. The one shitty part? He played at Schubas exactly one month ago. The WORST.

You can hear Jamie xx's mix of it at the 55:30 mark HERE.

i was there || andrew bird

Show: Andrew Bird

Location: Fourth Presbyterian Church

Date: 12.11.13

Favorite Song: Admittedly, I have not listened to Andrew Bird in quite some time yet I still knew this would be a great show. I quickly gave his latest album a listen the day of the show + had one song really stand out. "Pulaski At Night" sounded even better live. I'm biased towards songs about Chicago though.

Memorable Moment: Andrew Bird has mastered the art of concert story time. Not all artists can do that, but his stories + lessons were quite enjoyable. At one point he was telling a more serious story + said "Sometimes the worst thing you can do to someone is nothing." That one stuck.

Biggest Letdown: It didn't really matter because the acoustics were still great, but sadly I nabbed the very last seat in the house in the way back. I kind of enjoyed taking in everything from the very back but it would have been cool to be up close to really see everything.

This Show: is how I imagine concerts in heaven to be like. It was so unbelievably beautiful in that church. Seriously, I wish all concerts could be held in churches. The sound was amazing + the setting was so perfect.


burial || rival dealer

The ever elusive Burial released his new EP, Rival Dealer, last week digitally. Upon first listen it's one of those hauntingly beautiful pieces of music but then it becomes even more special once you learn that he created it as an anti-bullying anthem of sorts. Burial explains:

"I wanted the tunes to be anti-bullying tunes that could maybe help someone believe in themselves, to not be afraid, + to not give up, + to know that someone out there cares + is looking out for them. So it's like an angel's spell to protect them against the unkind people, the dark times, + the self-doubts."

Nothing breaks my heart more than the thought of someone not only struggling with themselves (as if that isn't hard enough) but also having others convince them that they're not good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, etc. Kids are harsh these days. The message behind this EP is so cool. I've got lots of respect for Burial on this one.

twenty seven

I made a very conscious decision recently to do everything I possibly can to live the life that I've envisioned for myself. At twenty six I felt a bit like I was losing myself. Life felt like it was in a bit of a lull. I don't want to say that some of my best days are coming to an end because I think my whole life will be great, just in very different ways. As I approach twenty seven I do feel a bit like my days of being selfish + careless are getting a bit limited though. And I mean selfish + careless as positives here.

I don't feel old though. Some people think twenty seven + freak out. I actually think it is a perfect age. I think back to twenty three + all that comes to mind is money problems, career insecurities, parting ways with friends that no longer fit into your life. That's not totally true, but I feel much more secure + sure of myself than I did back then. I like me. I even have a little bit of disposable income these days. Life is pretty good.

I still want it to be better though which is why my new goal is:

I've never been much of an aggressive person + it has worked out okay for me. I'm finding more + more though that you're only going to get the things you want if you make a conscious effort + put yourself out there. Hence, less fear. So yeah, I'm giving that a try. I think the fun part just comes naturally as a result of having less fear. So far it has worked out that way at least.

Thanks so much to everyone that wished me a happy birthday. I spent the day sleeping in, buying myself a few presents, discovering some new music, + enjoying dinner + drinks with my brother, his wife, + my very soon to be niece (two more weeks!). I also felt very loved from all of you which means so much. You guys are amazing + I have a feeling many of your will help me achieve this more fun, less fear goal this year.



26 things i've learned in 26 years

26. It's a small world after all. Even in a big city like Chicago, I find more often then not that both social + professional circles are actually quite small. build a reputation that you're proud of.

25. Be thankful for the people in your life. You wouldn't be where you are or who you are without them. Life's a whole lot easier with a good support system.

24. This is the point where you should stop doing things to fit in. If you can't be happy with yourself as you are then you're going to have one long, sad life ahead of you. 

23. Don't settle. Whether it's a not-so-great job or a boy that could probably be treating you a little better,  trust your gut on this one - if it doesn't feel right it probably isn't. You deserve the best.

22. Keep figuring out ways to learn more. Last year I took a terrarium making class + loved it. This year I went to a seminar on the meaning of life + was inspired. I hope next year brings many more opportunities for mental stimulation.

21. Establish your own exceptions. Maybe I should have saved a bit of money over the years by having a roommate, but isn't the freedom of being able to walk around all day in your underwear worth it? You get the picture...

20. Develop your own style. Know your body + know what suits it. If you're unsure, pay someone to tell you. Then, have fun with it. I should know who you are from looking at 5 pieces in your closet.

19. Learn how to navigate yourself. There's not always going to be someone there to hold your hand. And just think of all the opportunities you'll miss just because you have a fear of doing things on your own. You'll be surprised how much you learn about yourself.

18. Stop being a spoiled brat + be thankful for all that your parents have done. I would be no where without my parents. Year after year they have done nothing but love + support me. Chances are, you're in the same boat. Don't forget to call + remind them that you appreciate them.
17. Be a role model. Whether you know it or not, someone probably looks up to you. Your behavior can shape someone else's life, so make sure you're making a positive difference.

16. Stop being a picky eater. People don't like going out with picky eaters + they sure don't like cooking for them. While I can understand one or two off limit ingredients, there's more to life than the top tier of the food pyramid.

15. Write things down + take photos. You're going to appreciate it years from now. Your family will appreciate it even more.
14. Have at least 3 recipes that you can absolutely nail. Not everyone is going to be a great cook, but you should at least have that handful of recipes that don't cause you to freak out every time you get invited to a potluck feast. I'm hoping my handful grows a bit over the next year.

13. Gossiping is no longer cute or acceptable. Just because you were once popular for this trait as a child doesn't mean it's going to stick with you through life. If anything, it will only make others like you less.
12. Don't drop loads of money on the newest trend. Trends are trends for a reason - they don't last. Invest in those classics + go the cheap route on the "hottest" new things.

11. Show a bit of compassion to others that need it. This isn't always the case, but it's usually pretty easy to spot someone that could use a friend or a little bit of encouragement. Going out of the way to say a few nice things or have a short conversation can really make a big impact on someone + it's such a simple thing to do.

10. Now is the time to be selfish. At this point in my life I really don't have many responsibilities other than needing to do well with my career. That leaves an ample amount of extra time to do the things I love, to travel, to pamper myself.

9. Let others form their own opinions. I'm all for being passionate about specific causes or politics, but please don't shove your opinions down my throat. We have brains for a reason + most of us are pretty capable of using them intelligently. Please let me decide what is right for myself.

8. I am an idiot for killing my skin all of those years in tanning beds.If you're vain like me + haven't yet learned this lesson, please know that spray tanning has come a long way since those orange tint jobs. There's absolutely no need to fry yourself in a bed when you can get a nice spray down every couple of weeks.

7. A healthy body means a healthy mind. Each year the correlation between the two seems to grow stronger + stronger. If you're not exercising or eating right you're going to feel like crap, both physically + mentally.

6. Have a hobby. Better yet, have a few. As lame as this sounds, being known as the music junkie by my peers makes me feel really great about myself. Being that "expert" at a specific thing can really improve self esteem + it's an easy way to form bonds with new people.
5. Pay off your debts. I'm really embarrassed to admit this, but I was incredibly reckless with my money (or the money I didn't have) when I was 23 + 24. I kept thinking that more was just on the horizon + I also probably spent more than I needed to to try to fit in with certain types of people. It was stupid, but a lesson. I will never let myself get that careless again. It's such a huge burden that weighs over you for so long.

4. Sleeping in past noon is no longer acceptable. A cruel reality, but true. Sleep is important though, so just cut down on the number of all night ragers.

3. You have to work at friendships, especially as you get older. I'm really pretty awful at this one, especially with so many good friends living in different cities. I've never really been much of a phone person which makes this process that much harder for me. Sometimes all it takes is just little things to show that a person has a special place in your life.

2. Mind your f'ing manners. Maybe it's all of the years I spent as a waitress, but it honestly blows my mind how rude people can be to those working in the customer service industry. Be appreciative of their help. Not only are you making an ass out of yourself, but you're also embarrassing the people you are with.
1. Be prepared to laugh at yourself. You're human, mistakes will happen. The best recovery is a good giggle + others will appreciate you all the more for it.

i was there || poliça

Show: Poliça

Location: Metro

Date: 12.5.13

Favorite Song: "I Need $" has won it's way into my heart as my favorite off the Shulamith album + it sounded pretty phenomenal live.

Memorable Moment: I'm kind of obsessed that Channy wore a black bob wig for the first half of the show. I legit got super confused + thought she was Asian. In terms of the most memorable though I have to call out the opener Lizzo. Please do yourself a favor + spend some time of YouTube looking her up. She was unreal in the best way possible.

Biggest Letdown: I was really hoping to hear "Happy Be Fine" but no such luck. That song has been on heavy rotation for me this year + even though it was on their previous album I was still hopeful.

This Show: was like my dream band come to life. I've been into Poliça for a bit but I had never before realized that their band was comprised of a singer, bass player, + 2 drummers. I've always said that if I could play any instrument it would either be the bass or the drums. I'm all about keeping the beat + evidently that's all that Poliça is about too. Very cool surprise for me. Definitely among my top shows in 2013.


Today is my birthday. As much as I would like to, there is no avoiding that. My trick to make these next 24 hours go as quickly as possible is to turn it to everyone's favorite topic: themselves.

We all have birthdays! Did you know that each birthday has a story associated with it? I don't normally read too much into astronomy + things like that but The Secret Language of Birthdays site is quite fun + they claim to be fairly accurate:

The personality traits shown here were found to be held in common by 90% of those born this day + were discovered during a 40-year empirical study of the life stories of more than 20,000 people.

I'm sold.

I tend to agree with my assessment, both good + bad. I like to think of myself as imaginative but sometimes that comes at the cost of isolating myself. Something I'm working on. It's actually a bit scary how spot on this seems to be for me. I've heard others say the same. Do you agree?

You can pair yourself up with significant others, family members, friends, + co-workers to see how well you vibe with them.. It's makes for a fun conversation at the very least.



Lately I've been reaching new levels of creepy, not only in life but also on Etsy. I mentioned that I've been finding some treasures on this gem of a site, but I failed to mention that these came at 2am while searching "taxidermy." Total weirdo, I know.
When I get inspired I run with it. Lately that has involved all things wild + natural. So furs, gems, skulls, feathers, antlers, + yes, maybe even preserved dead animals. I've started slow with the fox fur + bunny hide in the photos above but I've got my eye on a few more natural beauties.

Welcome to the freak show...

Now before everyone goes crazy on me, I love animals. I would never condone the mistreatment of animals + so far my purchases have all come from ethical means. I believe in the circle of life. Why be wasteful?


baby wolf

When I was younger I had several nicknames. Some were sweet + adorable (like me) + others were just torments from my brother. One of my very special nicknames came from my dad + that was Baby Wolf. In all fairness, this was just a cuter version of my sister's nickname Wolf.
When I saw this amazing boys' room filled with Sharon Montrose's amazing wolf pup prints I instantly fell in love for sentimental reasons.
I have a few Sharon Montrose prints already, but I'd really love to invest in one of her larger prints to make a bigger statement. These little wolves sure are tempting..
Read more about this room HERE.


mostly naughty but a little bit nice

Every year I make my birthday wishlist + every year you guys fail miserably. Like to the point where I'm just buying myself the gifts I want. I crossed the Debbie Carlos print + Linus bike off my list from last year + I'm already making decent progress through my list for this year:

On my wish list once again. One day I'll get around to treating myself to some pretty things. Until then, if you guys want to start the process, please, by all means, go ahead.

Frends 'Taylor'
For how much I love music it is a bit surprising that I haven't invested in a decent pair of headphones ever. These may not be the best from a sound perspective but they sure are the prettiest. Priorities, people.

I've been adding a few (1, 2, 3) pieces to my collection over the past few months so I'm satisfied on this at the moment. However HERE are a few more that I love + would like to eventually .

Disco Ball
$50.00 or more
Must be 20 inches at least or it's unacceptable.

Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum
I love my Diptyque but I'm ready to mix my scents up a bit. I feel like this one just comes with a whole attitude adjustment when you wear it too.

Record Player
This one is on the list again even though my collection of vinyl keeps growing. I'm being a snob on this though + I want the best. This will be my one big reward for myself for the year. I'm hoping to actually put my Santa money towards this one.

Mongolian Fur Pillow
I only needed to spend about $5 to unlock the 20% off offer at West Elm but this was on my wish list + we should all know by now that I get what I want. No regrets with this purchase.

Leather Jacket
$300 or more
Does pleather count? Excuse me. Vegan leather. I was delusional to think that this would be the year I could splurge on both a coat + a record player. We all know my priorities lie in music. This is a nice affordable alternative though + it will definitely hold me over for the season. I've gotten quite a few compliments too.

For Love + Lemons Skivvies
I just think this is so beautiful. It's one of the loveliest pieces of clothing I've ever seen + I want it on my body. It's okay buying pretty underthings for yourself but it's so much more fun if someone gives them to you.

Tom Dixon + Diptique Candles
$80.00 + $60.00
I like fancy candles. So sue me.

Gem + Mineral Calendar
I plan to start my crystal collection sometime soon + this calendar is a perfect match for that. I know, I'm such a hippie but I like pretty things. Including rocks.

Alright guys. Time to step up your gift-giving game.


i was there || guy gerber

Show: Guy Gerber

Location: Spy Bar

Date: 11.29.13

Favorite Song: Although I wouldn't necessarily put Guy Gerber in my favorites list I did enjoy his Essential Mix from September + I would put this night on par with that set. That being said I don't totally recall all that I listened to, but he did a good job getting me to dance.

Memorable Moment: Guy Gerber is kind of a babe. Not a bad thing to watch at 3 am. Perfect facial hair.

Biggest Letdown: Spy Bar will always kind of give me the creeps, but I believe I got to say the words: "Do I need to spell this out for you? I am not interested. This will never happen. Please leave me the fuck alone." It seemed to finally do the job with this random creep. I normally try to let people down as nicely as possible, but it felt kind of good to let it out. Girl power.

This Show: wins the award for my sloppiest concert of the year. I should have been long passed out for the night by the time this show started, but that coffee beer at Scofflaw was a bad idea. If you can't sleep then dancing is probably the second best option.*

*Debatable. I can think of a few other things.

i was there || jagwar ma

Show: Jagwar Ma

Location: Lincoln Hall

Date: 11.27.13

Favorite Song: I think "What Love" is great start to both the album + a live show. It has an interesting intro that builds well before going a bit nuts.

Memorable Moment: I kind of love how the lead singer looked like a modern day Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Really though, they all just kind of looked like they didn't give a fuck. True rock stars. They made me want to go on a trip to Australia.

Biggest Letdown: I was really looking forward to this show after enjoying their album + seeing little bits from their Pitchfork Paris show but it was pretty boring. There is so much sound yet so few instruments. I think they could make the show much more exciting + dynamic by adding a few more to the ensemble.

This Show: was pretty okay. It sounded just fine, but I expected more. On first listen Jagwar Ma reminded me a lot of Tame Impala who put on unbelievable live shows. This one just didn't quite do anything special for me.


i heart art. big time.

I'm all about big art these day. Bonus points when they're affordable. I ordered the 16x20 beauty above, but here are a few more poster prints I'm eyeing:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7



I'm not much of a Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopper but I've had a few items on my wishlist from West Elm as well as some West Elm Design Dollars that needed to be used up within the month. When West Elm launched their Spend More, Save More sale which got me an additional 20% off. I got the three items above (side table x 2) for under $250.

I intend to put the white tripod table in front of my bookshelf as a small dining table. I realistically won't use it much, but that area is so bare. I might just use it like a bar cart with fancy glasses + bottles. I want to get a cowhide rug for underneath the table as well.

I don't have a ton of space left in my bedroom after getting my dressers, but I absolutely hate not having bedside tables. These martini side tables should be small enough to fit + they're super easy to move around if it gets too crowded. They're so versatile too that I really could move them anywhere.

The Mongolian fur pillow was a total last minute addition that I don't need per se, but boy is it pretty. And soft.

Overall, not the most exciting holiday deal seeking experience but I'm pretty happy with my loot. I didn't even get stabbed or trampled in the process.

life round here

Nothing major, but I've been making some teeny tiny adjustments to my apartment lately. Namely, revisiting my once very colorful bookshelf. I guess it's no surprise, but I decided to tame it down with a black, white, + metallic theme instead.
I also finally got around to framing my Debbie Carlos ice cream print + Laure Joliet Saint-Jean print. Those things are quite large + didn't make for a very fun 2 mile walk from Target, but so so worth it. I love the way they look in my home.
My parents were just in Chicago for Thanksgiving + my awesome mom brought me about 5 different plant cuttings. This one above (+ also below) is my favorite. My dad brought me a fancy toothbrush. They love me so much.
I've been spending a lot of time on Etsy lately hunting for some of these unique treasures like the gold four leaf clover + antler above. I had quite a few people visit my apartment for the first time + most seemed to comment that my apartment was very unique + "me." I like that.


finding inspiration

I had a friend email me over for weekend for tips on buying new things for her place. I was of course flattered that she likes what I've done my own place, but the key is to always be on the lookout for inspiration.
This weekend I was inspired by Loretta the dog + her owner ramblin_woman. I wish I knew more about Loretta's owner, but so far I've gathered that she's a trapper, owns chickens, + has a phenomenal home.
Once I spent some time stalking her Instagram feed I was sufficiently inspired to make some updates to my own home (more on that tomorrow).
She very much makes this space her own. And those wings above? One of her chickens passed away + she had the wings preserved. So cool.

Does your bedside look like this when you're sick? I wish.