December 29, 2013

best of 2013

I always make end of the year lists in some form or another, but this is the first I've ever made public so bear with me. LOTS of fantastic music came out this year and this post has been in the making for longer than I care to admit. So after much deliberation, here are my top 20 songs of 2013:

20. Homage- Feist & Timber Timbre
19. All About You- Birdy
18. Heart of Nowhere- Noah and the Whale
17. Grace for Saints and Ramblers- Iron and Wine
16. Elastic Heart- Sia ft. The Weeknd & Diplo
15. Silhouette- Active Child ft. Ellie Goulding
14. Gypsy- Lady Gaga
13. Alive- Empire of the Sun
12. Get Lucky- Daft Punk ft. Pharrell
11. The Mother We Share- CHVRCHES
10. All Night- Icona Pop
9. From This Valley- The Civil Wars
8. Holy Grail- Jay Z ft. Justin Timberlake
7. Stay (Branchez remix) -Rihanna
6. Of the Night- Bastille
5. Hurricane (CHVRCHES remix) -MS MR
4. Mirrors- Justin Timberlake
3. Everlasting Arms- Vampire Weekend
2. Team- Lorde
1. Burn- Ellie Goulding

Top 5 albums of 2013:
5. Great Gatsby soundtrack- Produced by Baz Luhrmann, Anton Monsted and Jay Z
Does this count? Because it was by far the best movie soundtrack of the year. 'Gatsby' was so visually beautiful I could probably watch it in silence and still love it, but the soundtrack was also perfection. It was chalkful of some of my favorite artists and before the movie even came out and I listened to the soundtrack, I knew exactly which scenes each of these songs would play at. They nailed it. But then again Jay Z is a mastermind so we shouldn't even be surprised at this point.

4. Modern Vampires of the City- Vampire Weekend
I've been a huge fan of theirs for years but I kinda forgot about them for a lil bit until this album came out. Saddest realization about deciding to go home for Spring semester was knowing I had to sell my ticket for when they came to Salt Lake :( And then of course when they came to Philly in September, I was already back in Provo. I just can't win. They are on my concert bucket list and I am itching to sing and dance along to all the fun tunes on this album. I mean, I still do that on the reg but I just want to see them live so so bad.

3. The Bones of What You Believe- CHVRCHES
To me, a quality album is one I can listen to straight through without skipping any songs. Although most of these albums make that possible, this one was definitely my most played this year. There were songs to work out to, dance to, sing along to, and take long drives to. So versatile, so fun, and it just makes me so happy listening to it. Of course they're coming to Salt Lake during FINALS WEEK in April. However, the concert falls on the last night of finals week so fingers crossed I don't have to take a final on that last day! Actually, I'd still go because I have my priorities in line...

2. Halcyon Days- Ellie Goulding
Ellie is my #1 girl crush and easily my favorite artist of 2013. This year she released this extension to 'Halcyon' which came out in 2012, as well as a ton of other incredible singles. Her cover for 'Of the Night' rivals the original and her song 'Mirror' for the Catching Fire soundtrack was spot-on for the movie. Also 'How Long Will I Love You' is for sure playing at my wedding. It is too tender. Ellie's concert was the first one I attended this year and she is returning to Salt Lake in May!!! You better believe I will be in attendance and do everything in my power to meet her.

1. Pure Heroine- Lorde
The fact that she isn't even nominated for Best New Artist at the 2014 Grammy's (but Ed Sheeran is and he's been around since 2011...?) is a travesty, but just know that she wins in my book. She has too much swag for a 17 year old and I love it. Not to mention she is an extremely bizarre performer to watch. (see what I mean?) But Lorde is still 2 cool 4 skool and I would love to see her in concert, despite how uncomfortable it might make me. Pure Heroine was flawless and she just blew us all away with her talent, maturity, and uniqueness this year. Lorde have mercy.

This post is seriously lacking in pics so here's one from my favorite concert this year, (out of the 12 I attended hehe oops) which was Justin Timberlake & Jay Z: Legends of the Summer at Citizens Bank Park in Philly.

Sorry this was such a novel but I love talking music and 2013 was just a stellar year for new music. Thanks if you stuck it out to the end and I'd love to hear all your favorites too!

Oh, have a listen to them all here:

December 10, 2013

oh Martha, oh Christmas!

Tired of pictures of my apartment yet? Well you soon will be. SORRY but in the words of Aly &'s the greatest time of year, and it's here, help me celebrate it! Right now, few things in life make me happier than Christmas decorations, Christmas music, and the fact that I will be home for Christmas break in 10 days. SO, now that I have time in between classes and finished my homework, I am writing this post. Even though I already dedicated an entire post to my apartment, it is now more festive than ever and includes a few more non-Christmasy additions that I am too excited about to not share.
lil baby tree
our Holiday Cheermeister

festive. leather. triangles. game over.

Updated kitchen! A few weeks ago we bought these fabulous wall patterns from for our kitchen's backsplash. They are simply adhesive stickers and come in tons of different shapes and colors. We ordered one pack of 45 and it was exactly enough, so if you want to decorate an entire wall (which I would LOVE to do if I had the space), you might need to buy 2 or 3. They are easy enough to apply and remove, but fair is still a pretty arduous task. But this was only because we were extremely nitpicky with the proper spacing and measurements for each one. It was SO worth it though and I would highly recommend them if you are looking to spice up a backsplash, wall, or ceiling in your home.
Updated hallway! Remember when I said I was done buying décor/furniture? Funny joke. Bijou Market was a few weeks ago in downtown Provo, which is a market for local vendors to sell all of their handmade crafts, clothes and other goods. It comes twice a year and me and my roommates had been looking forward to it since we went in April. We just HAD to have this painted wooden sign by Salty Bison. Distressed wooden signs are sOoOo trendy right now, so you should definitely check out their Etsy shop! This sign was the perfect piece for our hallway and considering we have no room for anything else, I am confident in saying we are ACTUALLY done this time. Pinky swear.

snow head of a goblin
Oh, and for some actual news, last night after building snowmen/snowheads, we warmed up by hosting a lil hot chocolate bar at our place for some post-snow partying. The main event was a special screening of "12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Puppy Rescue," a fantastically cheesy movie (think ABC Family original movie status) starring the one and only Skyler Holman! That's right, I'm neighbors with a movie star. So that was super fun watching a new classic Christmas movie and cozying up with some friends for a relaxing evening before the madness of finals begins. Thanks to all of our neighbors for coming over to enjoy a Christmas-cocoa-comfy-come-together with us.
woodland heights' very own celeb
Now that our apartment is full of holiday cheer and my Christmas playlist is on 24/7, I am even more excited to go home than ever before!!! I would recommend listening to 'NSYNC's, Sufjan Stevens', She & Him, and Justin Bieber's holiday albums to get you through finals week and just think...only 15 more sleeps til Christmas! Happy studying and happy holidays!