grimes || skin

I was so so close to including Four Tet's remix of "Skin" by Grimes but I'm glad I held off. I've grown much more fond of the original version. This was a song that fell under my radar when I first fell in love with Grimes + Visions but like all good things it finally made it's way to me.

Rumor has it that Grimes has a new album coming in September. I would have loved to see her on the festival circuit but I guess Rocktober would be fine timing to see her perform again. Let's hope that happens.


n.a.s.a music || i shot the sheriff (featuring karen o)

If I could steal anyone's voice (Little Mermaid style) Karen O would be a top contender. I love her unique sound. It is a perfect fit for this classic song.


day + night

One of the strangest things about living in Chicago is that you move around a lot. Few people really settle in their twenties + beyond because there are so many interesting neighborhoods to explore. I've moved three times in the past four years to three very different apartments. While I personally find this to be fun + exciting it does pose some concerns when it comes time to purchase furniture for your temporary home. Just because it fits in + looks good currently will it be that way in my next home?

These are things I lose sleep over. Seriously.
Several of the key pieces in my apartment are white. I struggled a lot with this decision. White furniture can sometimes look cheep + childish. I just couldn't commit long term to a specific wood stain so I felt like white was a safe choice in that sense. It works well with all colors + any type of flooring. Perfect for whatever new apartment I might land in.

One thing I especially love about white furniture is how good it looks against against dark walls. Such great contrast.
On the other hand, I also really love how clean + airy a room can look with white furniture + white walls.

When I have a more permanent home I'll likely mix up a few of the rooms with darker wood furniture but at least I'm confident I'm buying pieces that can be used in other rooms as well + still look nice.



i was there || andhim

Show: andhim

Location: Smart Bar

Date: 1.17.14

Memorable Moment: First Smart Bar show of the year. Always leaves me feeling good inside. Here's to many more..

Biggest Letdown: Honestly, no complaints. This was one of my favorite Smart Bar shows in recent memory. The music was fun, the crowd was chill + into it, capacity was perfect, no lines in the women's bathroom. There always seems to be at least one outside annoyance at shows but this one seemed to be clear of any.

This Show: had all of the high energy I was hoping to get upstairs for Darkside. All in all the night ended on a good note.

i was there || darkside

Show: Darkside
High Water

Location: Metro

Date: 1.17.14

Favorite Song: There are few songs that actually make me feel sexy + there are even fewer that make me feel as sexy as "Metatron" does. I don't know what it is about that song but it just makes you feel tingly + good. The live performance did just that.

Memorable Moment: This was the first show of 2014 I was really excited about. Two great performers, one unique sound, a packed Metro. The setup + lighting weren't bad either. All seemed perfect with the musical gods that night.

Biggest Letdown: I went to this show expecting the Pitchfork Paris set + sadly that is not what I got. When they performed their songs it was great but there was a lot of down time in between songs when they just lost some of the energy + momentum. I wish they could have kept that energy up a bit more because they didn't seem to struggle with that during the Pitchfork set. My friend read an article where they claimed to occasionally have "off" nights where the more jammy portions just didn't go as well as they both had hoped. I got the feeling that this was one of those nights.

This Show: Nico Jaar did an interview a couple months back explaining his relationship with David Harrington, the other half of Darkside. He said: "You only get lucky a few times. You get lucky like once every five years. You meet someone who you can speak the same language with + you can play music together + it just works. It's easy." I 100% agree that Jaar + Harrington have something special going on. I'm looking forward to many more albums + many more live shows that only get better as their relationship continues.


january || meditate

They say it take thirty days to create a habit. That's exactly what I intend to do this year. Form habits. Hopefully twelve of them.
I got a bit of a late start this month but I plan to meditate every day for thirty days. I'm realistic through so I'm giving myself two free passes each month.

I started meditating this week with the assistance of the Insight Timer app. I'm starting with just five minutes for the first week and then I'll work my way up. It's been interesting. This week I've mostly been testing out different positions (that sounds awkward). I created that little furry nook above in my room to make me more comfortable. It's been tough to quiet my mind but I try to just focus on long inhales + exhales. It works for a bit. I might try a new app called Headspace which talks you through the meditation process.

To be honest, I'm a bit skeptical about this whole meditation thing however there are plenty of articles out there that are helping to convince me otherwise so I'm going to keep it up. Some benefits include: Better focus, less anxiety, more creativity, more compassion, better memory, less stress, + more grey matter. I don't have crippling anxiety or stress by any means but these problem areas were my main draw to meditation. I think January is a good time of the year to not only hit the gym again, but also refresh your brain.

I'll let you know how it goes by the end of my thirty days. 

I'm still finalizing the rest of the months. Many of them are fitness focused, but some others I'm considering involve clean eating, more creativity, + waking up early. I got some ideas from THIS SITE. More to come in February...



Okay, first of all, I owe you all an apology for turning into a crazy puppy mother for the past few weeks. I tried to restrain myself but I did go a bit overboard with the photos + posting. Honestly though, fostering that dog for two weeks was the best thing I did in 2013. I saved a life. Sure, Rutherford is a PAWS pup so he's guaranteed life, but he's not guaranteed a good + fulfilling life.
I am a total dog lover. I grew up with a yellow lab named Lexi + she was my best friend. I've wanted a dog of my own for a while but know that my current work/social life would make that tough so I've tried to be patient. A few months back I made the mistake of liking PAWS on Facebook + not long after that I saw a post about the Holiday Foster Program. I had almost two weeks off from work with no travel plans so I jumped at the opportunity to foster.
It was a weird process. I found out on Friday afternoon that I was approved + would be picking up my pup at 11 am the next day. They didn't ask too many questions + I didn't get a ton of instruction. Looking back on that first day makes me 100% convinced that my fostering gave Rutherford a second (well third) chance at finding a forever home. You guys have no idea what it was like the day I picked him up. Let's just say that Rutherford didn't have the best track record. He had "biting" tendencies + acted like a total weirdo in the shelter. The trainer really tried to scare me into thinking he was too difficult for me to handle. I don't blame PAWS for this or his original owners, I blame his temporary adopters who returned him after a short time + had such nasty things to say. I think any bad behavior Rutherford displayed during his time with them was a total reflection of what awful dog owners these people were.  
I had faith in this dude though + took Rutherford home with me. He wasn't an easy dog by any means, but he was a typical energetic Labrador that needed ample play time + attention. Shelter life was rough on him so it took a couple of days for him to chill out a bit + settle into my home. Maybe he was a little weird around other dogs + some people but he was loving + incredibly well behaved. Many of his weirdo tendencies improved over time. We were total buddies + I absolutely fell in love with that dog.
I've always said (actually my mom always says it but I agree) that I would never give money to an animal charity over a charity that could help humans in need but I'm so proud of myself for donating my time to a pup in need. Rutherford never would have found a home with the report his temporary adopters provided. I got to spend quality time with him + showcase his true behavior. Now I'm certain he'll not only find a home but I think he'll find one that is a good fit.
This experience was so fulfilling but saying goodbye seriously sucked. I actually didn't even really get to say goodbye. That part was weird. I miss him so much + I even cry occasionally when I think about him. I have a bit of guilt knowing that I'm going to bed every night in a comfortable warm bed + he's stuck in a shelter around dogs that he does not like. I haven't visited him yet but I plan to in the next couple of weeks. I'm not entirely sure if that will make things better or worse.
I've spent a lot of time researching dog walkers + money crunching. It would be really tough for me to do alone. I was going to set a goal for myself to adopt a shelter dog by the time I'm thirty (three years from now), but that's a tough promise to make when you're unsure what your job + personal life are going to be like at that time so I've revised my goal a bit. If I don't own a dog by the time I get pregnant I will adopt one. It's quite sensible actually. Not only are dogs great for children + babies but at that point in my life I will most certainly be settled + up for the responsibility associated with owning a pup. All around win.
I hope some of the things I've shared through my experience with Rutherford has changed some opinions a bit on shelter dogs. Before this I was fully prepared to pick a puppy from a breeder but this experience totally changed my mentality. Shelter dogs not only have this mystique to them but adopting slightly older trained dogs can be a good option for some homes as well. Fear not though, most shelters have puppies available that are in need of a loving home too.
Thanks for your patience through this whole experience. I highly recommend trying fostering out for yourself if you have the time. I chatted with a girl at Kriser's who actually knew she wanted to get a dog of her own + just kept fostering until she found one that was the right fit. So that is an option too! More than anything though, if you or anyone you know is looking for a very sweet + loyal labrador I would love to introduce you to Rutherford. I hope so much that he finds a good home.
I miss you dude.



john tejada || sweat (on the walls)

Sadly I missed his Smart Bar set last Friday but this song still seems to be following me everywhere. I just heard it on George FitzGerald's Radio 1 set as well (40 minute mark). This song basically encompasses Friday/Saturday nights. I don't hate it.


small but suitable

I've had some pretty teeny apartments in Chicago but I can't even imagine what I'd be dealing with in a place like Manhattan. Manhattanites Sam + Stephanie Wessner see their tiny apartment as a place to make a big impact with unique pieces.
The one nice thing about small spaces is that they really encourage you to edit down. If there's no space for junk you won't keep buying it. My current home isn't huge by any means but I've found myself falling into the trap of buying "junk."
Grace from Design*Sponge wrote a great post yesterday about mindfulness, especially when it comes to buying things for your home. She had a rocky period in life which resulted in buying more + more items for her home that she didn't really need. Sounds like someone I know. Her new resolution was to never but something without a precise need + purpose for it. I have a feeling that the Wessner's have a similar mantra.
I'm going to give that strategy a try as well. My home is in a pretty great place at the moment + there's not much more that I "need." I'm going to make one more Ikea run + eventually buy a cowhide rug for under my dining table, but after that I'm going to try to call it quits for a bit + be happy with what I have.


concert outlook || winter 2014

The winter concert outlook isn't too enticing at the moment. There are a few good shows sprinkled in but nothing wildly exciting just yet (other than Darkside). I'll keep updating this as more shows get added. Let me know if you're interested in seeing any of these.

1.10 | John Tejada | Smart Bar
1.11 | Acoustics Anonymous | Tonic Room
1.14 | Cloud Control | Schubas
1.17 | Darkside | Metro
1.17 | AndHim | Smart Bar
1.19 | Supreme Cuts | Empty Bottle
1.23 | Jessy Lanza | Smart Bar
1.24 | Claude VonStroke + TEED | The Mid
1.30 | Lord Huron | Metro
2.1 | Nosaj Thing* | Concord Hall
2.6 | Neutral Milk Hotel | The Riviera
2.8 | Seth Troxler | Spy Bar
2.9 | Pixies | The Riviera
2.14 | Com Truise | Lincoln Hall
2.18 | Delorean | Lincoln Hall
2.19 | Band of Horses | The Vic
2.22 | Digitalism | Primary
2.22 | Holy Ghost | Smart Bar
2.25 | Caveman | Double Door
2.26 | Boiler Room Chicago | TBD
3.7 | Classixx | Double Door
3.7 | Shigeto | Smart Bar
3.8 | Tensnake | Spy Bar
3.13 | Valentin Stip | Smart Bar
3.14 | Jamie Jones | Spy Bar
3.15 | Art Department | Spy Bar
3.20 | Adam Beyer | Spy Bar
3.22 | Tiger & Woods + Poolside | Primary
3.22 | Gui Boratto | Spy Bar
3.18 | Lorde | Aragon Ballroom
3.27 | Kraftwerk | The Riviera
3.28 | Warpaint | Metro
3.31 | RAC | Lincoln Hall

*Nosaj Thing is the opener to the opener, but it Nosaj Thing, so kind of worth it.

The shows in bold I either have tickets for or am fairly certain I will be attending.

I'll be creating a new list each season.


stay warm

This was my last weekend of impulse buys + boy did I make them count. January through April are about the best times to refrain from spending money though so I think I should be good (with the exception of concert tickets).
My one last impulse buy came in the form of this coat above. There weren't many photos + it ships from Korea but it only cost just over $50. Plus it looks so warm. When it's -15 degrees outside you can't really help but make these kinds of impulse buys.

I hope it works out. And I hope everyone is staying warm. What a crazy weather week.


|| 2 0 1 4 ||

I don't typically make new years resolutions. Last year I made a few resolutions but failed pretty miserably at most. The only one I seemed to follow through on was "more concerts, less repeats." Shocker. 

The problem with last years resolutions is that they were vague + unachievable. This year more the ever I'm feeling the need to start fresh. But I also want to be realistic about my goals. Here's what I'm striving for this year...

Take More Photographs

I think I unconsciously made this resolution in 2013 but I want to keep it up in 2014. I'll try to only post a select few. I just feel like this is one of those things I'm going to be really happy I did when I'm old + have no memory. A bit morbid, but still a good thing. I also want to do a better job of printing out the good ones. I like the tangible.

Pay Off My Credit Card

I'm so close guys. I'm going to be so proud of myself when I reach this point. When that day comes I'll write a super personal post about it + show you the ridiculous budget trackers + graphs I have from the past two years that helped me get to this point. I'm haven't been great with my money but going to try to change that in 2014. I went on a mini shopping spree with my Santa money but plan to take a bit of a hiatus for the next month or so.

Travel. Alone.

Sometimes I have total loner tendencies. My desire to go on a trip solo just proves that out. I want to do this for a couple reasons -- First, it will require me to step outside of my comfort zone. Something I need to do more of. Secondly, it sounds fun to me + I think I'd actually learn a lot about myself. I guess thirdly it sounds like fun to plan a trip all around my wants. Beach, thrifting, hiking, art museums, concerts, yoga. I can do all the shit I love in a new place.

Reconnect With Five Friends

Again, I kind of got a jump start on this late in 2013 but one of the worst things you can do is lose touch with good people. This happens for various reasons but I have an opportunity to actively do something about it so I'm going to. Five seems like an attainable number.

Listen To Music

No like really listen to it. Clearly I love music but I want to think more about what I'm actually hearing. Which instruments do I hear? What specifically do I like? What specifically do I dislike? I'm doing a really nerdy exercise that I'll share with you guys later, but it's helping me achieve this.

Shop Uncommon

I'd say my apartment is about 90% where I want it to be. Just a few more bigger pieces + then the finishing touches. A lot of my bigger pieces are from store like West Elm + Ikea but I'm really trying to make an effort to make those finishing touches a bit more unique. I've spent a lot of time on Etsy recently trying to find those perfect little things to make my home complete. A big win from 2013 was really defining my style so that makes thing easier.

I have a few more goals that fall a bit more into the vague/unattainable category so I'm not going to count them as official resolutions but those include: establishing healthy habits, learning new things, + volunteering my time to a good cause.

1 | 2 | 3

majical cloudz || i do sing for you


i was there || matthew dear

Show: Matthew Dear (DJ set)

Location: Spy Bar

Date: 12.30.13

Favorite Song: I may be wrong but I'm pretty certain I heard samples of Maya Jane Cole's "Easier to Hide" earlier on in his set. That's cool.

Memorable Moment: Things like this don't matter in the grand scheme of things, but I really enjoy the promo poster for this event. I want to marry someone with the last name Dear.  

Biggest Letdown: This was an all night show, but sadly I only made it for a couple of hours. I'm sure things really got going towards the end of the night + I wish I could have lasted that long.

This Show: was my last concert of 2013, so that's something special. I prefer Matthew Dear's live shows but I'm glad I chose to go out on New Year's Eve EVE instead of NYE. Next time I hope I see him some place warm.


i was there || yeezus

Show: Yeezus
Kendrick Lamar

Location: United Center

Date: 12.18.16

Favorite Song: I preferred the first half of the show when he performed most of his newer songs. Strangely enough, "I Am a God" stood out as one of my favorites from the night. It's a bit dark, I like the reggae aspects, plus it features God + croissants. It translated pretty well live. Honorable mention goes to "Hold My Liquor". I really like that song.

Memorable Moment: It was pretty incredible to see the crowd go nuts over one note on a piano but that's exactly what happened as Kanye went into "Runaway". I also thought it was super cool to see the audience light up during "All of the Lights" which I tried to capture in the photo above.

Biggest Letdown: I wanted to vomit every time Kanye spoke instead of performed. He has clearly gotten where he is due to his unique character traits but I hate his arrogance. I also kind of checked out a bit towards the end of the show. I'm a bigger fan of his newer music as opposed to his older stuff.

This Show: was such an emotional roller coaster. So much love. So much hate. I'm glad I went but it was a very long show + I think that may be the last hip hop show I attend. You go for the theatrics, not the sound quality + that's not really my thing. Yeezus is crazy though. He's definitely an entertainer + I respect him as much as I hate him.