Best of...2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of pretty much anything NPR does. I'm a habitual podcast listener, (hey, it's the best way to pass time on the train while avoiding the creepy stare from the man sitting across from you,) and as a somewhat rabid music fan, one of my favorite programs is All Songs Considered. Recently Bob Boilen of ASC and many other entertainment writers across the spectrum have created their penultimate end of the year lists, consisting of their top albums, songs, books, television, and movies of the year. While I tend to agree with many of them, I'm always sad that someone I truly loved was left off their list. Recently while waiting in the Boston airport the combination of boredom and list-obsessiveness kicked in and i created a few lists of my own. Keep in mind that these were merely my favorites of the year, I'm sure at some point I'll be hopelessly harassed by a friend who disagrees with my choices... (Kaston and Nick, I'm so looking at you :) I've included links to as many of my choices as possible, do yourself a favor and check this stuff out!

Top Albums of 2011 (Note: My personal criteria for an album of the year is something that you can listen to start to finish, not just one which has a couple of great songs.  That's what the next list is for!)
1) Adele 21
Must Listen Track: One and Only (Okay, okay, Someone Like You is essentially the best song ever.  That being said, we've all heard it, we all love it, so try out this "deep cut" instead.  Homegirl rocks my face off.

2)Dawes Nothing is Wrong
Must Listen Track: Million Dollar Bill

3) The Tallest Man on Earth The Wild Hunt
Must Listen Track: Burden of Tomorrow (So I know, this album came out in 2010...but I really started listening to it in 2011, so I justified it's presence on my list.  I've literally worn a groove in this album I play it so much!)

4)Gillian Welch The Harrow and the Harvest
Must Listen Track: Tennessee

5) Iron & Wine Kiss Each Other Clean
Must Listen Track: Tree By The River

6) Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues
Must Listen Track: Lorelai

7) The Black Keys El Camino
Must Listen Track: Little Black Submarines  

Top Singles of 2011 
Like every year, there were so many great songs this year, and though I might not have been a total case for the entire album, no one can deny the power these singles had this year...
1) Lotus Flower Radiohead
2) Bizness tUne YaRdS
3) Gotta Have It Kanye West & Jay Z
4) Shake It Out Florence & The Machine
5) Barton Hollow The Civil Wars
6) The Lion's Roar First Aid Kit
7) Walk The Foo Fighters
8) Homeboy Eric Church
9) Calgary Bon Iver

2011 Songs by Ashley Fears on Grooveshark

What's Making Me Happy:Christmas time!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas my friends!  I hope y'all are having a wonderful holiday with family and friends!  I made it to Missouri and have been gloriously unplugged and enjoying time with my family.(Hence the tardy posting...sorry!)    Per usual we planned a little trip for the holiday, this year enjoying a Casino Christmas in Tulsa, OK.  Though I can't claim to have won any money, (I think that slot machines see me and refuse to give up their change!)  but we had so much fun!  Beings as I didn't get to share what's making me happy this week, I figured I'd share a few Christmas-related things that are making me happy.  Enjoy!

*I love this vintage Reynolds Aluminum Christmas ad, such pretty colors!
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*This funny someecard...
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*This Ron Swanson Christmas image...
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* Oh Zach Braff, you make me giggle so much

*And just for fun, you all have to start watching this series, even though it's not Christmas-y.  I say so many of these things!

Tattoosday: Just loverly

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"I'd never let my daughter do that..." "You'll never get a good job..." "You'll never get a husband..." *gasp*or my personal favorite, "It's okay you can wear a wedding dress that will cover those up..." I'm not gonna lie, I've heard each of these phrases more than a few times in my life in reference to my visible tattoos.  Honestly, it's sometimes shocking to me to see how openly people will discuss their dislike with me regarding my ink, and while body modifications do exist in part to attract attention and rebel, no one likes to hear these comments.  (Somehow I manage to hide my discontent regarding your acid washed mom jeans, please do the same.) 

Recently I was doing a little Christmas shopping when a woman asked my what one of my tattoos meant, (It's in French, so I get that a lot...) and when I explained it's meaning, she informed me that I'd certainly regret that in a few years when I was trying to find a job.  In these instances, I tend to just smile and say "You have the right to be wrong," (all time best come-back EVER, courtesy of Big Al,) but it lingered in my mind for the remainder of the day.  I love my tattoos, they're so representative of who I am and different moments in my life, I can't imagine regretting them, even when I'm old and wrinkly! To be fair, I also meet tons of people who love them, and I always notice when people are trying not to stare at my forearm to figure out what's on it, and it's often a great conversation starter!  I'm certainly lucky to have family and friends who are on the loving side, (my dad's out-tattooed me by now, he has five!) but I hope to bring more of those haters over to the dark side :)   

In light of this, I wanted to share just a few of my favorite pretty tattoos that I've found over the past few weeks. How can you hate on these?

*I just love this Little Red Riding Hood tattoo!  (Fun fact, I was Little Red in a production of Into the Woods when I was younger, and she's totally my favorite fairy tale.  I'd love to know if this is an illustration from a book.
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*I recently saw this tattoo as a pillow on pinterest too, I wonder which came first?  I love the waves and the tiny sailboat.  Cute cute cute!
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* I'm a huge fan of silhouettes and vintage cameos so this lovely tattoo immediately stood out to me!
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*I'm always a big fan of tree tattoos and this one looks like it just stepped out of the pages of Alice and Wonderland!
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*More pretty waves! 
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*This birdcage is so simple but so pretty
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*Another lovely birdy!
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Happy Graduation Mr. C!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I had to send a shout out to my friend Brad, who has finally graduated from Suffolk!  We celebrated Brad's graduation at Lounge 6B in Boston and had such a wonderful evening with wonderful people.
There was a large amount of singing.... (hey it was 80's night...)

And dancing... (I'm pretty sure that there were New Kids on the Block moves...)
General craziness...

And even a Christmas elf spotting...

All in all a great time!  Congrats on your graduation Bradford, so proud of you!!

What's Making Me Happy

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This week has been full of Christmas parties, gift exchanges, and hacking coughs, (yes, I'm still a little sickly.)  I'm so looking forward to heading back to Missouri next week, these next five days are going to take FOREVER, but I have some fun plans in the meantime.  While you're waiting for the holidays to come, sit back and view just a few of the things I'm loving this week!

*This ahhhhdorable little planter.  So cute!
Photo Via: Follow Store
*This pretty painted driftwood Christmas tree.  I love the colors and the idea!
Photo Via: Decor8

*This bag, (and all of the others sold at Maude & Tilda,) so cheeky!
Photo Via: Maude & Tilda
* This commentary from Ira Glass. (Have I ever mentioned how much I love Ira Glass?  He's my ultimate celebrity citing :)  I think I'm still in this gap stage of creativity, but I'm working hard to close it!
* Oh. My. God.  These custom ukuleles might be the greatest thing I've seen this week.  So cute!  (Eva Walsh, observe & find!)
Photo Via: Celantano Woodworks
*This is old, but I'd never seen it, and it made me laugh so hard with Kaston and Emilie!  ENJOY.

Tattoosday: Inspirations of Geekery Pt 2

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Following last week's post on some of my favorite sciencey tattoos, I'm following up with the next round of geekery, this time focused more on movie, television, and gamer fanboys (and girls!)  I've had so much fun this week finding some pretty amazing and dedicated "geeky" tattoos.  I hope you all enjoy!
*Pac Man!
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*So I almost died laughing when I saw these two Ghostbuster tattoos! 
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*Where's Waldo? I love love love this!

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*You know i can't resist a good set of Star Wars tattoos... I think I have a thing for finger tats....
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* This Aquaman colorful!

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*This I love tetris tattoo is so clever and cute.
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Must See Christmas Movies

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Everyone needs a pair of footie pajamas. This is a motto to live by. You heard it hear first.
The closer and closer it gets to Christmas the more excited I am to sit in my red onesie (oh yeah, I have one... see above,) and watch Christmas movies. (I love a good cinematic adventure!)   Having been sickly for the past few days, I've had plenty of opportunity to catch up on my must-see movies with a cup of cocoa.   I've mentioned before that one of my favorite holiday traditions is to watch Home Alone on Thanksgiving night, but there are a few other that I love to watch to get in the Christmas spirit.  Knowing my listology love, I put together a list of some of my favorite holiday movies below.  (Tonight I watched Elf, and for a bonus round, I watched The Holiday. Such great flicks!)  What are some of your favorites?

What's Making Me Happy

Friday, December 09, 2011

Friday Friday.... Thank goodness!  I don't know about y'all but I am so ready for the weekend!  I have to catch up on my holiday shopping and SLEEP, and I'm looking forward to both! In the meantime, enjoy just a few things that are making me happy this week!

*These pretty pretty mixed media pieces from Beth Hoeckel.  I love that they look like mad men in space.  So dreamy.
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* So you all know I LOVE lists, so I was so ECSTATIC to find this website, Lists of Note, which consists entirely of lists made by famous people!  Isn't Johnny Cash's so sweet and funny. I love that he wrote "Kiss June".
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* This mug. Ron Swanson is my fav.
*Bri Emery's pretty home tour.  It's so eclectic!
* This vimeo.  I love looking for the words!

* This card for all of my friends still taking finals!  You can do it!

Manah Manah: Muppet Love

Thursday, December 08, 2011

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 So one of the super fun things that I was able to do with Andrew while in NY was a mid day matinee of the new Muppet Movie.

Let me tell you, there aren't really words to describe how much I LOVED it.  It was lovely, and heartwarming, and nostalgic, and SO funny...I could go on and on. (Let me just say without giving too much away that A) Chris Cooper's performance had me in stitches.(..maniacal laugh...maniacal laugh...)  2) The surprise cameos are epic and D) The music is fantastic. The guys from Flight of the Concords had a part in it, so you know it's going to be great!)

I love the fact that the Muppets really are a universal love, our parents watched it in the 70's and 80's, we watched it as kids, and now we will be able to share it with our children hopefully for years to come.  (Personally I was always a huge fan of Muppet Babies, do you remember that cartoon?  My favorite episode was when the TV broke and they made one out of a cardboard box...)

In light of the buzz surrounding this movie I wanted to share some of my favorite Muppet related items that are currently out and about, ENJOY and GO SEE THIS MOVIE.  You won't regret it.

*These music videos from OK GO and LCD Soundsystems. (Okay, so I'm obsessed with that song :)

*These new Muppet inspired nail polishes from OPI. I love Meep Meep Meep and Rainbow Connection!
Rainbow Connection, Excuse Moi!, Gone Gonzo!, Fresh Frog of Bel Air, Gettin’ Miss Piggy With It!, Divine Swine Photo Via
Animal-istic, Meep Meep Meep, Wocka Wocka!, Pepe’s Purple Passion, Designer de better!, Warm & Fozzie Photo Via
*These wonderful Prints of the Electric Mayhem and Sam the Eagle on Etsy.  They would be so great in a child's bedroom!
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Dear Santa, My Christmas Wish list

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

As a child, I can remember when the JC Penny and Sears catalogs would come in the mail for Christmas, poring over the toy section to create my Christmas wish list to send to Santa. (Hello Barbie dream house!) Honestly, I think the act of wishes and lists was the best part,which probably explains my obsession with list making...hmm...  As I lay in bed today, (I'm home sick...ugh,) I began to think of those Christmas lists and how much fun they were, so I decided to create my wish list to Santa, just for fun! 
1)Love for the Midwest Coat-Modcloth 2) Fujifilm Instax Mini- Amazon 3) Canon EOS T21- Amazon 4) Drinks on Me Dress-Modcloth 5) Kindred Sole Socks in Intern-Modcloth 6) Pop Music Print- Etsy 7) Listomania Book- Amazon 8)Fun Plans Planner- UO 9) Toms Desert Boots- TOMS 10) Bike Bell- Modcloth 11) You can never go wrong with gift cards to JoAnns or Fandango! 12) Summer Print by Nan Lawson- Etsy
What's on your wish list this year?

Tattoosday: Inspirations of Geekery Pt 1

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

For all of my fellow Big Bangers, Star Wars fans, and science nerds, I couldn't wait to share some of my favorite "geeky" tattoos, and really I just couldn't share all of my favorites in one post!  Without wanting to deprive you all of some seriously awesome tattooage, I decided to split this theme amongst a few different posts.  Up first, some of my favorite science-based tats.  Enjoy!
* I'm pretty much obsessed with this tattoo.  Not only is it beautifully done, but it's reminiscent of my childhood love of dinosaurs and Jurassic Park.
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*Adam is sporting a technical drawing of the Voyager Probe.  The Latin reads, "Per Aspera Ad Astra” or through hardship to the stars.  The artist did such a great job!
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* South African rock formations representing shaman transforming in and out of bovid forms.
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*Subatomic doodling this tattoo is based on an image taken by one of the CERN bubble chambers.  I love it's simplicity.
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If you were to get a science based tattoo, what would yours be?

NYC Adventures

Monday, December 05, 2011

Living in Boston, I've been very fortunate to have the ability to travel to so many interesting and exciting cities over the past two years.  This past weekend I was able to take a little trip to visit my 'man friend' Andrew in NYC and we had so much fun!  Rather than bore you will too much talk I wanted to share just a few photos with y'all that we took. I wish there were more,but I forgot my battery charger :(  Dang me and my late night packing!
1) We happened to wander by the new Andy Warhol statue while Andrew was taking me on my "All things Christmas" tour.  I love that people interact with it by adding their own props!  2) I have officially been introduced to the famous "Halal guys" food cart.  I was a little wary, but it was AMAZING and so cheap!  We grabbed our food and dined alfresco under a plaza that was entirely lit with twinkle lights.  Great date :) 3) I have always loved the Cartier lights on their building, I wish the picture was better but it's so pretty!  4) Andrew and I at a bar for his friend Dan's birthday.  5) I almost died when I saw the American Girl store on on 5th Ave!  I used to LOVE American Girl books and always wanted a doll.  (Samantha!)  It was definitely a little girl's dream store!  6) The Swarovski tree topper in Rockefeller Center.  It was comprised of over 25,000 crystals and was 9 feet tall!  Magical. 7) I always think of the scene in Serendipity where John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale meet in the middle of the rink and it's romantic!  8) The Rockefeller tree was beautiful!  (Though we do have to have some Boston city pride and say it's not as tall as ours! :) 

One of my Thanksgiving/Christmas traditions is seeing all of the window displays along 5th Ave and this year did not disappoint!  My absolute favorite was the light show on the side of Saks 5th Ave, (see the video below.)  It's it wonderful?  I loved seeing the kids around me as their faces lit up while watching, it was so cute!  (And I'm pretty sure my face was the same way.)

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!  Stay tuned throughout the week Tattoosday, a style book based on a wonderful movie that I saw while in New York, Christmas ornament tutorials, and so much more! 

What's Making Me Happy

Friday, December 02, 2011

Happy Fridee Fools!  I hope you had a wonderful week and are amped up for a great weekend!  I was able to put up my little silver Christmas tree in my room and am loving sitting in the dark with the twinkle lights.  I love Christmas!  As we speak, (type?) I'm packing for NYC to visit Andrew and am pretty excited, especially since I made him promise me that we'd go see the Rockefeller tree!  I'm totally pulling an ELF moment :)  I'll take lots of photos for you all and maybe will even convince him to be in some of them with me.  For now, sit back, crack the top of your favorite beverage, and enjoy a few of the things that are making me happy this week!

*These stickers and goodies from I Heart Guts they're so much fun and are so adorable!
*This picture from Color Me Katie's cat parade.  He looks so unhappy and cute. 
Cat Fashion Show

*This clip from Parks and Rec.  Ron Swanson is my favorite character EVER.  (Note, doesn't he look eerily like the unhappy cat?)

*This coat from Anthropologie.  It fits so well into my Mad Men obsession!
*This video of artist Faber Castell.  I won't spoil the surprise of what it is but I can definitely tell you it's amazing

Have a wonderful day!!