January 25, 2017

an east coast christmas

Did you know this past winter break was our first prolonged visit back to Lancaster in over a year?! Unacceptable. My time back at home was so so necessary. Not only because 2016 was a shitstorm that desperately needed to end, but it was also the first time my whole family was together in over two years! There truly is no place like home for the holidays.
Don't ever think it's impossible to attend a concert that starts four hours before your flight from SLC --> PHL departs. It can be done if you don't have a problem with appearing homeless and bringing your luggage into the coat check room :)
Cute front door and even cuter mommy 
Christmas morning: before
Christmas morning: after 
*please note that this was taken from my dad's digital camera :) :)*
 Drew's first time to our nation's capital featuring Ellie, monuments, Library of Congress, Capitol Hill books (not featured: Ted's Bulletin pop tarts, National Gallery of Art, sushi in Ellie's cute hometown of Bethesda).
I'm getting emotional looking through these D.C. pictures because I'm thinking about the fact that the world is ending and every day since Friday has gotten worse and look guys it hasn't even been a week yet :') :') :')

YOU GUYS I FINALLY MADE IT TO TERRAIN. I have been not so subtly hinting to Vanessa and Caroline to take me here for at least a year now. It was just as dreamy and Instagram-worthy as I imagined.

I'm at this point in my life where people from my hometown have forgotten about me so I don't really talk to anyone from high school anymore. These two babies (see above and below) are the exception to the rule and some of the only souls outside of my family I make a priority to see every time I'm in Lancaster <3
But like when will you visit me in Utah???
 Me and my twin doing what we do best ((forcing our husbands to take photos of us in the woods to win free leggings because they are tired of funding our love for Outdoor Voices. We didn't win the leggings.))

January 10, 2017

best of 2016: music

Per nobody's request, I made my fourth annual list to commemorate my favorite music released in 2016. Over a week late, but here it is.

Top 20 Tracks of 2016:
20. Animal Spirits- Vulpeck
I dare you not to listen to this without bopping your head and dancing along !!

19. Burn the Witch- Radiohead
How could this comeback single that took Radiohead over a decade to finally complete NOT make my list? Those dramatic strings in the first few measures were enough to make their four-year absence well worth the wait.

18. A Lovely Night- Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone
At this point, everyone and their mother is telling you to go watch La La Land if you haven't already. It is definitely one of my favorite movies of the year (I'll talk about all of them in a separate post!) and it's no secret that the music was also great. This song was in my favorite scene in the movie, where Sebastian and Mia tap dance together against that gorgeous L.A. sunset after attending the same party. Can we all agree that no two actors of this time have more onscreen chemistry than Ryan + Emma?? I could marry them both.

17. 22 (OVER SooooN)- Bon Iver
One of my main critiques of 22, A Million is that I truly have no idea how to say (or clearly spell) any of the song titles?! Like why must we be go back to AIM profile aesthetics from 2006? I wasn't overjoyed by Bon Iver's comeback as a whole, but there were a few tracks that again reminded me that I love Justin Vernon's voice more than most.

16. Same Drugs- Chance the Rapper
To be honest, I didn't give Coloring Book a thorough listen until I watched Chance perform on SNL's Christmas episode. I was feeling it and Chance is just so cute?! I never noticed before.

15. Ultralight Beam- Kanye West
Once again, within the year Kanye makes everyone hate him in all other aspects except for his music. This first track is the perfect opener to the nearly flawless Life of Pablo.

14. It's All in Vain- Wet
Wow I just loved loved loved every song from Don't You. My inner dancer will always add my favorite "if I were a choreographer I would choreograph a contemporary/slow hip-hop boy/girl duo to this song" song of the year and this one earned that title.

13. Ivy- Frank Ocean
Hey remember when Frank Ocean faked everyone out at least twice a year for the past four years about his new album release and then it FINALLY happened in August?!? Good thing the entire album is incredible so I totally forgive him!

12. Bourbon- Gallant
This list wouldn't be complete without at least one hella sexy-chill vibing songs from the year and this one totally takes the cake.

11. Feels (Jai Wolf remix)- Kiiara
So I know that this single technically came out in 2015...but this particular remix and Kiiara's EP were both released in 2016 sooo I'm totally justified. She was my favorite new artist from the past two years too, so she deserves this.

10. Kiss It Better- Rihanna
badgirlriri at her finest. ANTI was surprisingly one of my favorite albums of the year and I was jamming to this track in particular when it first came out.

9. A Beautiful Sea- Sing Street
I loved the movie Sing Street so much that I even blogged about it after watching it for the first time. True story. This soundtrack is definitely one of the best from 2016 and I  had a hard time picking just one of the super fun 80's-inspired tunes from the movie. Watch this if I haven't already bugged you enough about it!

8. Cranes in the Sky- Solange
This was truly the year of the Knowles sisters. First Beyoncé hit us with Lemonade (which I will GET TO in a hot second) but then Solange released another politically charged album that truly hit it out of the park. Every single music video from Seat at the Table was visionary and the inspiration behind the making of the album needs to be known. Just today I read an article from Interview mag where Beyoncé conducts an interview with Solange and she talks all about it. Definitely worth the read!

7. All Night- Beyoncé
Told you I would get to Lemonade in a hot second. All I can say about this album is dayummmm. Seriously. The Queen delivered yet again and Lemonade was on the top of almost every single music blog's picks from 2016. WITH GOOD REASON. Quick story, Lemonade was released on the weekend we were traveling to Europe. We were in the airport for a long layover in Boston and figured we should have some good tunes to listen to while we road-tripped across Iceland (rightly assuming we wouldn't have Wi-Fi for the majority of the week), so I bought the album right then and there and we proceeded to watch the film in the airport. Both of us were hooked and surprisingly enough, Drew had zero complaints throughout the next two weeks of traveling when all I wanted to listen to was Beyoncé! He was officially converted to the Beyhive. The end. Oh right, the song. 'All Night' serves as the 'forgive u boo, luv u boo' track at the conclusion of the album and is a new go-to slow jam for me.

6. Real Love Baby- Father John Misty
So happy and 70's sing-songy. If I could have another wedding, I would want to this to be our first dance.

5. I Love You Always Forever- Betty Who
I try to avoid including covers on this list, but I listened to this song on repeat for several days when I first discovered it. If I could have another wedding, I would want this to be in our wedding video.

4. Waves- Kanye West
I give myself a two song limit per artist on here, and I did just that for the artists I believe released the best albums this year.  First of which would have to go to Kanye. Team Breezy + Yeezy FOREVER (they are both terrible people but damn can they sing).

3. Solo- Frank Ocean
This !!!!! I go HARD on the chorus of this song every time I listen to it in the car. Frankie baby, please don't make us wait another four years for more beautiful music. Blonde was simply brilliant and I knew it would be one of my favorite albums of the year before I even listened to it in its entirety.

2. Hey Big Star- Kishi Bashi
Spotify notified me that this was my single most played song in the year 2016, so that pretty much tells you everything you need to know. It's no secret that Kishi Bashi holds a special place in my heart. One of the saddest days of my year was missing his concert in SLC with my husband because I was in Lancaster for Nic's homecoming :( (something I can hold over his head for years to come). Although Sonderlust wasn't a home run for me, 'm'lover', 'Say Yeah', 'Statues in a Gallery' and 'Honeybody' were the other stellar tracks that showcased Kishi Bashi in all his glory.

1. Hold Up- Beyoncé
One of my biggest regrets of 2016 was not finding an outrageous yellow dress in time for Halloween so I could recreate Beyoncé's lewk from this music video. This song was everything amazing about Lemonade and I think I love it even more because of how iconic that music video was. Truly my most played track of the year (but of course your girl hasn't released this album on Spotify yet, so I'm just guessing here).

My honorable mentions are also included in this playlist. Have a listen and happy 2017!