December 30, 2015

best of 2015

It's that time of year again!! Time to share with y'all what my favorites in music were in 2015! My resolution for next year is to have read enough books and watched enough movies that I can also compile 'best of' lists for those respectively...but this year was a little bit too crazy for me to accomplish that. It has been my favorite year thus far, but also the busiest. Maybe I'm losing my cool, but this mostly just contains a lot of my old favorites that came out with new music in 2015 as opposed to many newbies. Which also means this list is pretty pop-heavy, but whatever. It was a great year for pop and I shouldn't apologize for that.

With that intro out of the way, here are my top 20 tracks of 2015: 

20. Love Me Like You Do- Ellie Goulding
LOL @ me and the fact that my list from 2014 also started with Ellie. She is my #1 girl crush after all. However, I will be honest and say that Delirium was a little bit of a letdown as a whole, especially since it was a follow-up to 2012's Halcyon which was damn near perfect. But don't worry, I still bought my tix to see her take it on tour next year :) This track was certainly a highlight from the album and I don't even care that it was written for the 50 Shades movie (vom).

19. Disciples- Tame Impala
A fun dance-y track from a stellar album. Currents was excellent, but this head-boppin' tune was my favorite.

18. It's Strange- Louis The Child ft. K. Flay
My first of several Hypem treasures to make the list. I love the use of xylophones and synths and everything in between. Honestly listen to this on repeat almost everywhere I walk on campus. It's hard not to sway my hips to this beat when I do so.

17. Hold My Hand- Jess Glynne
Shout-out to my favorite sister missionary Emilee for first showing me this song many moons ago! Don't worry guys, it was long before she actually left on her mission, so no rule breaking here. I just love this happy girl-power tune from the opening bangs on the piano to the last note.

16. Leaf Off / The Cave- José González
I saw José with Drew back in April and even though I was so sleepy by the end of the show (sorry José), it was incredible. I specifically remember loving his performance of this song, but it is only one of the many beautiful tracks on Vestiges & Claws.

15. Landslide- Oh Wonder
Another Hypem find, this song has the kind of sexychill vibes that I live for. The guy/girl duo singing together makes everything sound so intimate and cool. 

14. Anna- Will Butler
The main reason this song made the list is because of this perfect video. How fun is that?! Emma Stone is the ultimate cool girl. The end.

13. Ship To Wreck- Florence + The Machine
MAH GIRL FLO. We all know this chick has pipes and this song showcases that fact beautifully. It is still my dream to see her perform live. I will probably reach enlightenment when it happens. 

12. Cheerleader- Omi (Felix Jaehn Remix)
I will go so far as to say this was the song of the summer. I played this song a ridiculous amount of times when I first heard it. I think everyone was at least a little bit addicted to it at one point, even if you don't want to admit it.

11. Loud Places- Jamie xx, Romy
If I could objectify this song, it would be a glittering disco ball. Does that make any sense? Just listen to it and I bet you'll agree with me.

10. Fool for Love- Lord Huron
Lord Huron is a band I fell for back in 2012 when they made their debut and returned with a sophomore album this year! Not quite up there with Lonesome Dreams, but this track fits in seamlessly with all my original folksy favorites.

9. Gibraltar- Beirut
Yessss Beirut is back! My two favorite tracks from No No No were in fact No No No and Gibraltar, but the use of all that percussion working so coherently with Zach Condon's silky voice made this track a stand-out for me.

8. Omen- Disclosure, Sam Smith
Everyone's favorite collaboration, wouldn't you say? Ever since the world discovered Latch, it's been made clear that these guys are a match made in heaven. Caracal is chock-full of hard-hitting collabs, but this one is by far my favorite. If you need further convincing, they even did a cover together of Hotling Bling on a BBC Live session that is pure GOLD.

7. Make Them Gold- CHVRCHES
It's no surprise to anyone that this made the list. CHVRCHES is claaaassic synth-pop genius as well as an all-time favorite of mine. Every single track on Every Open Eye ruled. I saw them live for the second time this year, and that ruled just as much. I chose this song because it could totally be in a John Green movie adaptation when the guy and girl are driving around together with the windows down. Think about it.

6. push pull- Purity Ring
When Purity Ring dropped the magic that was Another Eternity, I had trouble listening to anything else for a solid month. push pull is just one of many dazzling tracks, but I distinctly remember being so transfixed during their performance of it when I saw them in May. This was for sure my favorite concert that I attended this year. Wait I lied, Taylor Swift was...but this was a very close second.

5. Where Are Ü Now- Justin Bieber, Skrillex, Diplo
Yes, unfortunately it happened. I became a Belieber. I've always been a fan of his Christmas album, but this year Justin made quite the comeback and made us (almost) forget how much of a douche he is. What Do You Mean, Sorry, and Love Yourself were all standouts from Purpose, but this song just makes me lose it on the dance floor.

4. Tennessee- Kiiara
Definitely the best Hypem track I discovered this year by far. I get the chillest of vibes from this and I hope she will soon release many more songs!

3. Entropy- Grimes, Bleachers
I am such a fan of Grimes AND Bleachers so naturally I am obsessed with this collaboration and hope it happens again in the future. This song is just so happy and makes me feel so good whenever I listen to it.

2. The Only Thing- Sufjan Stevens
Ugh. Where do I even begin? I couldn't even pick a favorite from Carrie & Lowell because I love them all equally, but I decided on one I loved just an infinitesimal amount more than most. This is Sufjan at his best. He returned to the stripped-down sound of Seven Swans, but it was even better. I love Sufjan the most when it's this simple. Just him, his hella sad lyrics sung by his beautiful whispery voice, and a guitar or piano. Listening to this album was like listening to him for the very first time, but it's even more intimate, personal, and beautiful. Can't rave about it enough.

1. Downtown- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Eric Nally, Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee & Grandmaster Caz 
No, this is not a joke. I am 100% serious with this choice. I know it's laughable, but I kid you not, Drew and I will blast this song almost every time we start driving anywhere. I've listened to it so much that I've practically mastered all the lyrics, raps included. It's a brilliant and hilarious combination of so many good things. Like the chorus just makes me so happy I can't really explain why. The music video is such a spectacle, you can't help but love it. And can I just say Eric Nally's voice is insanely amazing? I thought it was a woman's the first time I heard it, which makes me love it even more. So yeah, oddly enough this is my favorite song of the year.

Welp, there you have it. Thanks for reading, and please share your favorites with me! I'd love to hear them. In the meantime, check out my Spotify playlist with all of the above songs, plus another 25 of my honorable mentions: 

December 16, 2015

wedding: part III

Bet you thought you heard the last of my wedding by now, huh?? HA JOKES ON U. But guess what?! Our wedding video is finally finally DONE. It really is a Christmas miracle.  I have been waiting for this finished product for almost four months now and after watching it as many times as I have (too many to count), I can honestly say it was worth the wait. It brings back so many joyous/hilarious/tender memories of what was the happiest August weekend.

There's not much else to say about the video other than it's perfect, but I will anyway because there are people I need to thank! Firstly, I have to give my sweet husband a lot of credit, because I have been constantly nagging him for the past few months to get this effing thing done. I've been so annoying and Drew has been so awesome. Even though I give him a hard time about it, I really am very thankful he's been too busy to work on this sooner. He's been hired on for so many other projects this past semester, not to mention the fact that he recently accepted a new job where he will soon be working full-time, all while finishing up his last semester of college. He works so hard and I am so proud of him! I am constantly impressed whenever I get to see his finished projects. He is so creative and talented. Hire him! ;) 

And of course, the work of our trusty camera man for the weekend cannot go unnoticed! Jordan was such a champ throughout the entire wedding and we were so glad that he was able to fly out to document these special events for us. He captured all of the best moments and I would be lying if I told you I didn't spend hours upon hours watching the raw footage he first gave us, all of which I loved just the same! He was so fun to work with and I was so happy with how well he worked with our fabulous photographer, Monika :) You guys are the bomb.

So without further ado, here's the video! You'll laugh, you'll cry...because you're laughing so hard (#namethatquote)

Videographer: Jordan Wheeler
Editor: Drew Tekulve
Song 1: Samskeyti by Sigur Rós
Song 2: The Ballad of Mr. Steak by Kishi Bashi

PS- if you care to see more of our wedding in pictures, hop on over here and here! bye!

November 21, 2015

mtv cribs

Drew and I moved into our first ever apartment together as a married couple three months ago, and I'm finally getting around to this long overdue post about it. To be honest, I don't really care for this post and I'm already a little bored writing it...but I promised too many people that I would post pics of my new digs so you are literally the only reason I'm not backing out. So UR WELCOME.
We found this place thanks to one of Drew's friends in the film program who used to live here with his family. I was immediately smitten on our first walk-through. It has all the furnishings and charm of an old, historic house, but none of the gross, decrepit feels or smells of an old, historic house. I keep saying historic because it really is one of Provo's historic sites! The mayor of Provo used to live here some hundred years ago! There's a plaque on the front porch and everything. Later on it was remodeled and built into eight different apartment units and the front little one on the right is the one we call home.
The living room is easily my favorite spot in the apartment. Everything from the stained glass to the bay windows, to the chandelier, to the mantel makes my antique-loving heart sing. Thanks to KSL we were able to furnish this little room all fairly cheaply! The artwork and most of the décor were things we already had on hand. I'd be lying to you if I said I hadn't been picking things up here and there from thrift shops, even before we were engaged, with our future apartment on my mind. Tell me I'm crazy. We even have an "entertainment corner" equipped with TV, posters of some of our favorite bands and movies (all Drew's contribution), record player and stand. We loooove our Crosley and Urban Outfitters stand so much! We bought it a little presumptuously considering our collection of vinyls is a bit sparse right now, but we're slowly but surely adding to it and have used it a few times already! Turning it on and just chilling in the living room is one of our favorite rainy day activities. 2hipster4u.
If I was a legit blogger, Cavallini Papers & Co. would have probably sponsored this post because they contributed to about 70% of the décor in here. Those vintage posters you see in the living room, our bedroom, and in the kitchen? ALL from Cavallini. If we're friends, I have most likely told you about this place before because it is my #1 store for all things crafty, vintage, and cool. I buy my stationary, postcards, wall posters, and cards for all occasions from here. I cannot rave about this place enough! Thank you Cavallini, for making all my decorating dreams come true.

Despite the many quirks about living in such an old house, we absolutely love it. Storage is non-existent, our kitchen appliances may be from the 50's, and our bathroom is barely big enough to move around in, but it's ours. Even though we may not be here for a very long time, we put so much of ourselves in it because we wanted to truly make it feel like our home. So come check out our crib! We love having visitors!

October 6, 2015

come listen to a prophet's voice

This past weekend I had the always wonderful opportunity to listen to and attend the 185th Semi-Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I saw and heard our beloved prophet and apostles give their powerful messages over the pulpit. Social media flooded with quotes from every single talk, the hashtag #ldsconf was trending worldwide, and thousands of members paid homage to Mecca aka Temple Square to gather and watch conference together. As hard as it is to narrow down everything that I learned from conference and which of the talks I heard were my favorite, the topic that is still on my mind is one that actually came from a blog post I stumbled upon at the conclusion of the weekend. Greg Trimble's post entitled: "President Monson...I Wish I Could Have Come and Held You Up" caught my attention. My exact thoughts were written so eloquently, you might as well just go and read it HERE. 

One of the talks that had a similar and equally powerful message was by Elder David A. Bednar, who explained why "indeed it is wonderful to have older men of such spiritual maturity and judgement serving in the senior leadership positions of the restored church of Jesus Christ." Over the years, there has been a lot of criticism concerning the leaders of our church, and how it seems to be run by 'old men.' Elder Bednar makes so many valid points about this, and you can hear all of them HERE.

What I'm getting at with this article and this talk is that these men have been called of God. We need to remember that there is a reason they are seated on the stand, and as faithful members of the church, we should love them, sustain them, and pray for them. What made me the saddest after reading that article and listening to Elder Bednar's talk was thinking about all the people who openly criticize these leaders, whether it be through social media, or attending conference and opposing these kind and gentle old men in person as they raise their hands in opposition. People need to realize what it actually means to be a general authority of the church. Not that I have any experience, but there is nothing glamorous about it. They travel the world for most of the year and live in hotel rooms more than their actual home. They leave their wives and families to visit with members, leaders, and missionaries from around the world, all of which look to them for spiritual guidance and knowledge. Once you are called as an apostle, you are dedicating the remainder of your life to serving the church.
President Thomas S. Monson was called as an apostle at the age of 36. That means that for over 50 years, he has been in a leadership position of a global church with over 15 million members. I think we all could see how much this calling has aged him and worn him out as our hearts broke watching him struggle just to speak on the podium this past weekend. Can you even imagine the burdens he faces on a regular day? Just consider what he has gone through in the recent past: his beloved wife Frances died leaving him a widow, he's had to call upon new apostles as three of his dear friends passed away in a matter of months, he stands back and watches the deteriorating morals of society effecting the members of the church, and on top of that, as president of the church, millions are looking to him for comfort and to lift their spirits, when I think sometimes he needs it most of all.

I have a testimony of a living prophet in our church. I believe that Thomas S. Monson is our prophet today, and God speaks through him, and through his counselors and apostles to address the world with His message. D&C 1:38 states "Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same."  These amazing men are called of God because they have the maturity, years of experience, and spiritual knowledge that only someone of their age posseses. As much backlash our church gets for having these men in leadership positions, I know they are the best men for the job. I look forward to hearing them speak every six months, and I am grateful for the sacrifices that they and their families make for the well-being of the members around the world.

I know this wasn't like anything that I normally post on here, but I definitely do not share my testimony as much as I should, and I am trying to improve on that! I just want someone (out of the five of you readers) to know that I do love this Gospel and it is the biggest blessing in my life. I honestly do not know where I would be without it, or without the counsel, love, and support I receive from my church leaders and teachers. The church is true! Go watch all of conference HERE!
"Faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other" 
-Thomas S. Monson

October 2, 2015

i could dance to this beat

Hiiiii remember me and how I said I had a bajillion things to blog about from the month of August? Here's the last of it, I promise. After our perfect wedding weekend and our equally perfect honeymoon in Kaua'i, we flew to California for honeymoon week pt. 2 if you will, before starting real life in Provo. It started off with a few days of recuperating, followed by a day in San Diego, a day in L.A., and concluded with our open house. I just got all the pictures back from our open house, so I figured this was as good a time as any to talk about all of it.

After fighting off the jet-lag for two days, we decided it was time to leave the house. The San Diego Temple was high up there on my list of temples I want to visit, so our first day consisted of just that. We went for an endowment session in the early afternoon and it was completely empty. Considering it was an August day in California, we were pretty surprised. Shouldn't there be weddings going on left and right? Well, lucky for us we got the whole place to ourselves which was a really cool experience, plus we got a private tour of the sealing rooms. That temple is, in my opinion, the second prettiest temple of our church. Nothing beats D.C. though. Obviously ;) The architect is actually Catholic, which makes total sense because it is the most castle/cathedral-like of all our temples today. Similar to the D.C. Temple, it just pops up out of nowhere as you're driving on the freeway and is the most stunning and regal site.
 The next day was spent in L.A. as I anxiously awaited the main event of the week...Taylor Swift's 1989 tour at the Staples Center!!! (Hence this blog post title being T-swift lyrics. But which one?! 10 points to Gryffindor if you can finish them). It is a very long and convoluted story as to how I miraculously got my hands on a ticket the day before the concert, so HMU if you want to hear about it. In the meantime, we stopped by to play at the The Getty Center. This place is an architectural marvel. I was honestly more captivated by the buildings themselves than the actual artwork inside. And I'm a museum lover, so that is saying something! After walking around for a few hours, we hit up a chic little Thai-Japanese fusion restaurant in Santa Monica and then I said goodbye to Drew as he dropped me off at the Staples Center to party with Tay all by myself. Thanks Dad!! Seriously though, Drew earned so many dad points that night. Luckily he spent the majority of the concert hanging out with some old friends who live in L.A., but having to navigate back to pick me up amidst the insane post-concert traffic must have been brutal. It brought me back to the days of my own daddy dropping us (me, Ynna, and whichever friends came with us) off at Jonas Brothers concerts and having to kill three hours before picking us up again. So sorry guys. Good thing I married someone so patient and kind who knew how much attending this concert meant to me :)
But about the was such a party and I loved every second of it. Here's the thing, I have a weird relationship with Taylor where I actually think she'd be extremely annoying in person. Her girl next door, adorkable, gift-giving, cat-loving persona seems a little more forced each day, but I still love her and her music and her glam squad of friends. Say what you will about her, but she's a genius in the industry. Not to mention the fact that she puts on a great show. I've never witnessed so many pyrotechnics, moving stages, back-up dancers, or costume changes in one concert. It didn't even matter that I was dancing and singing by myself, THAT'S how much fun I had. I did however wish I had my mom or Ynna sitting next to me (the biggest T-swift fans I know), but I'm glad that by the end of the 1989 tour, we can all say we were in attendance at one of her shows in our respective cities.

The real reason we were in California was to get everything ready for our open house which took place in the Tekulve's backyard. Besides our families, we had so many people come to help during the day to set up and it was all thanks to them that it turned out so beautifully. It was such a pleasant evening meeting so many of Drew's friends from his home ward or high school that I had heard so much about before. It was so awesome to see everyone that wasn't able to attend the wedding come by to offer their love and support for us! *Bonus*: it gave me another excuse to wear my wedding dress <3
All open house pictures by Kylie Chevalier

Welp, that concludes my stories about August and all the craziness and happiness that it was. Definitely the best summer of my life thus far. Thanks for reading and hopefully I'll have some fabulous upcoming posts all about ~*newlywed wife*~ so stay tuned if you're into that kind of thing.

September 10, 2015

wedding: part II

The best party that I have ever and will ever host went down at our wedding reception and it was perfect. My reception venue was probably my favorite that I've ever encountered. I first visited John Wright for dinner over Christmas break with my parents, and of all the places we later looked at for potential venues, I couldn't stop thinking about this one. The setting was unreal and fit our vision perfectly. The building itself was so cool with lots of exposed brick and pipes that I knew would compliment my décor so well. But then THE VIEWS, MAN. You'll see what I mean later on, but the restaurant sat right on the Susquehanna River and was the perfect backdrop for the event.
If there was one detail about my wedding that I loved most of all (other than being sealed and having a husband forever), it would be my dress. I probably explained how it came to be at least 40  different times that night, but I will do so one last time for y'all. The dress itself is a strapless bhldn from a few seasons ago. I fell in love with it as soon as I first saw it online many moons ago, and told myself that I would get married in it. I miraculously found the dress whilst dress shopping in Georgetown and there was one more left in stock in my size AND on sale, so of course I ordered it A$AP. Can you say meant2b?!? Next was the tricky 'how do I make this modest without looking heinous' debacle that all us morms can attest to. I found a beautiful lace bolero on Etsy and brought it to a seamstress here in Utah who not only lined it but attached a sash to the bottom of it to make it look like one single ensemble. The last touch was the veil which I designed at Sweetheart Bridal. And VOILA! It was so unique and beautiful and the one comment I got the most was "it is so you!" Maybe that's a good thing, maybe that's the only nice thing they could think of, but I 100% agree. I wouldn't have been able to pick out a more "me" dress if I tried. 
What did I tell you about the view. AH I cannot. The brick building overlooking the river was just too much for me. From the venue itself there were also some pretty picturesque views of the farm land that my hometown is famous for, so I'm glad my wedding could reflect that as well. It was the most perfect day and the outdoor pictures turned out beautifully!! We were seriously so #blessed with wonderful weather (aka lighting) all weekend long. I have a testimony of the power of prayer! But really. I had been praying for nice weather for a while before the wedding and it was calling for a 90% chance of thunderstorms the entire week leading up to it in both D.C. and Wrightsville. Die weather apps, you have no power over my wedding. 
If you've read any of my other posts (so flattered if you do!), then you are probably aware of my love for antiques, vintage markets, and decorating. Naturally, I wanted my wedding to reflect my love for these things. Thanks to the help of Fiffer Raush, Betsy Kohr, and of course my mother, we were able to make my dream reception a reality. I was smitten with all the little details that came together so perfectly. I think I was most proud of that flower wall. Our house was a paper flower making factory as my mom and I worked on them for hours on end during the week prior to the reception. Look familiar to anyone?! My friends made similar ones at my bridal shower and I loved them so much that we recreated them for my reception. So thank you to my girl Carly for the idea!
One of the more ~tender~ moments of the evening was our first dance as Mr. & Mrs. Tekulve. We chose Q&A by Kishi Bashi because I guess you could say it's our jam. Kishi is our jam in general, and we both have a lot of fond memories involving his music. His concert in L.A. last summer was one of the first we ever attended together, and we even deemed his album Lighght as the anthem of summer 2k14. That summer dating each other and going on so many adventures was one of my favorites ever (second only to this past summer because hi, I got married). The lyrics are TOO precious, as Kishi wrote them about his own wife. It was the perfect song for us and dancing with Drew then, and always, is one of my all-time favorite things <3

For the full effect, feel free to listen to our dance mix HERE as you peruse these photos. This was by far my favorite part of the night because I ~*LIVE 2 DANCE*~. Both Drew and I love tearing it up at parties, weddings, or even in our apartment, so we knew that our own wedding would have to top them all. And in my opinion, it totally did. Because we are both very passionate about music, we made the cocktail/dinner playlist and the dance mix ourselves to assure that only the very best and our very favorites were played. We gave our DJs the biggest headaches for giving them such specific instructions and for not actually letting them do their job, but I have no regrets. Nobody likes a sub-par dance playlist with only five people pity-dancing. Highlights of the mix included everyone losing their SHIZ to Countdown, belting out Burnin' Up with my fellow JoBro super fans (you know who you are), and playing Time of My Life as our "exit" song, because it was the closest I could get to fulfilling my childhood dream of remaking the Dirty Dancing finale at my wedding.
Welp, that's all folks. Thank you to Monika and Jordan for flying out so you could work your magic behind the camera to capture this weekend in pictures and video for us to keep forever. Thank you to our bridal party for traveling so far and looking so fly in your matching outfits. Thank you to all of our friends for your outpouring of love and support. Thank you to my wonderful family for giving us the most perfect wedding. Thank you to Drew for being mine forever. And thank you for reading!!!