Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rapper's Delight

If you've ever spent some time in my car with me, you know there are few things I love more than turning up the music and singing along. And, you probably also know that I have a soft spot for rap. Rap makes it onto my driving, work out, shower, party, and yes, even studying playlists. I think rap gets a bad reputation for vulgarity, but there is a difference between life and art, and I try not to read too hard into the messages some of those songs toss out there. I just like to dance and surprise people by being the 5'1 redhead who knows all the words to "Look At Me Now' by Chris Brown.

Here are 10 of my fave jams. Some are old, some are new. They are all probably explicit in some way or another. Deal with it, yo

1. "Lose Yourself"-Eminem.  Two of my very favorite people in the world (hi Rachy and KJ) share a love for Eminem. The three of us have had way too many sing-a-longs to this. And "Mockingbird". And "Love the Way You Lie". But I just like this song's message.

2. "Gangsta's Paradise"-Coolio. The opening beat of this song pumps me up everytime. Probably to do something super hardcore, like bake cookies or go to Target, but still. I love it.

3. "99 Problems"-Jay Z. Before every major exam in midwifery school, I would put on either this song or "Big Pimpin" and rap it in my room before logging onto Remote Proctor (#ClubLime). I adore Jay. I loved him before he and Beyonce became the best power couple ever and I love his lyrics and his work ethic and the way he loves his family. His song for Blue, called "Glory", is an amazing song from a brand new daddy and it's great.

4. "Georgia"-Ludacris. This songs makes me miss my home. And I love it. Don't mess with Texas Georgia.

5. "All Good"-Bone Thugs N' Harmony. My frequent rap collaborator KBoll introduced this song to me years ago. And we still love it. And have some choreographed moves to it. It's g double o d good.

6. "Shoop"- Salt-n-Pepa. Another KBoll collab. This song makes me laugh.

7. "Super Bass"- Nicki Minaj. This song is summer 2011 in a nutshell.

8. "Flawless (Remix)"-Beyonce feat Nicki Minaj. Girl power. I love when Bey raps. Texas forever.

9. "Let's Get Married (Remix)"-Jagged Edge feat Run DMC. I would like to walk down the aisle to this song, but no one else would like it, so I'll settle for it being on my "getting ready for my wedding" playlist no less than 10 times.

10. "Ice, Ice Baby"-Vanilla Ice. Clearly, I saved the best for last. One of my all-time favorite life memories will always be rapping this with my sister at Lonnie's on my 21st birthday.

Play on, players.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I like a good formula. When you put together the right pieces, you get an expected result. It works in math, it works in conjugating verbs in Spanish (sometimes...?), it works in physics. I think we would like to believe that while formulas work for all that academic stuff, when it comes to human emotion, there's no way what we feel could be deconstructed into something so simple. I thought that for a really long time.

 I recently read a really convincing article that had the formula for successful relationships all figured out. I think, if I look back, I can apply this to pretty much every relationship I've ever had. And not just romantic ones, friendships too. Are you ready for it? You sure? It's probably going to make you stop and do some serious thinking (if you're like me, at least). Ok. Here it is:

Timing+chemistry=Successful relationship

Seems simple,  right? On the surface, it absolutely is. Say you are in a really good place, ready to start dating. School/work/family/friends/everything in your life is going real decent and you say "Hey! Why not?" You meet someone who, on paper (or through what your friends who set you up say), is supposed to be perfect for you. Nice, funny, good-looking, good job, not a secret murderer, doesn't want to puke everytime you say what you do for a living (midwife problems..), etc. The date is really nice..but you feel absolutely nothing. You're thinking about the leftover pad Thai in your fridge and the literally 145 episodes of "Friends" on your DVR that you could be watching instead of having dinner with this perfectly good person. No chemistry, even if the timing is perfect, does not equal a successful relationship. This part, the no chemistry part, makes perfect sense to me.

You know what part is the literal worst? The timing part. You can have all the chemistry in the world, find someone who you can do absolutely nothing with all day and it's the best day ever, someone who you would give up your free time for so y'all could find and watch that absolutely crucial episode of "It's Always Sunny", but if the timing is off for one (or both) of you...well, there really isn't much you can do. Just as you can't snap your fingers and make chemistry appear out of thin air, you can't snap your fingers and immediately make someone's schedule fit yours. It's going to hurt and you're going to be frustrated beyond belief, but it is what it is. All that "if it's meant to be, it will be" cliche stuff (gross).

You can't change the chemistry part. It's either there or it's not, and that's okay. But time, well, it has a funny way of going forward no matter what happens. You can fight timing as much as you want to, but lately, I've started thinking maybe it's better to just let it gracefully pass. It's going to anyways.

So timing+chemistry. Here are some songs to jam to.

1. "The Way I Loved You"-Taylor Swift. Timing, no chemistry. "He's charming and endearing, and I'm....comfortable". Eeeeeeeek.

2. "Stupid Boy"-Keith Urban. Chemistry, bad timing. Also, amazing guitar solo.

3. "Comfortable"-John Mayer. This song. It has both types. And it compares them and the difference between who your friends say "is gonna be good for you" and who you miss is all too real. "She swears that she's artsy, but you could distinguish Miles from Coltrane"

4. "When I Was Your Man"- Bruno Mars. Ask my roommate Jess how I feel about this song. It's too much.

5.  "One"-Ed Sheeran. My latest obsession is Ed's new album. This song is about waiting to find the right timing. It's really beautiful.  "Everything changes, but you know we'll be strangers if we see this through".

6. "Stitched Up"-Herbie Hancock feat. John Mayer. He finds this perfect girl, but he doesn't really want to settle down yet. And the beat is really fun.

xoxo, me.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Hey there.

I read a quote the other day and the very end of it has sort of been replaying in my mind ever since I saw it."I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive".  I like that. The risk of it all. The unabashedness (not a word?) of putting yourself completely out there. Handing over your whole heart for something or someone you believe in may be foolish, but I think it's even more so to hold it back for fear of it being too difficult or scary. I would rather be 98 and look back on all the risks I took and be a little embarrassed or bruised than full of regrets and my least favorite question ever: "What if"?

It's been almost a year and a half since I last blogged. So, you know, stuff has happened. EEEEEEK. I've moved to Texas and am living alone for the first time ever. It's the weirdest combination of feeling completely independent and sort of like a kid at camp. Today, I made chocolate chip cookies and listened to Jay Z's "The Black Album" as loud as my record player would play it and nobody was there to tell me to stop rapping while baking because I was bound to misread 3 and 1/4 cup of flour as just 1/4 cup of flour (a la the pumpkin bread incident of 2010. #NeverForget)

I think there is something to be learned from living alone. I guess it's not for everyone, but having my own bathroom is worth it (No offense Kelli/G5/Lup3/Brooke, Ari, Ris/Jess). And my own kitchen. I love decorating (I get it from my mama and sister) and putting together my own place with my own style makes my heart happy. I think it's important to be comfortable just being on your own...sitting on your own couch, drinking your own wine, watching whatever you want on TV (sup, current "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" marathon). Lately, I've remembered that depending on someone else to make you happy is a really easy way to end up sort of miserable. So, I get to bake, and buy pretty flowers, and explore my new town and I'm so very happy. And for me, happy needs a soundtrack (but not that damn Pharrell song, because if I hear it ONE MORE TIME.....)

Here are some songs I'm jamming to:

"All of Me"-John Legend. Ugh, Chrissy is a lucky girl. This song is the kind of messy, imperfect love that I find completely perfect.

"Talk Dirty"-Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz. Such a fun sound. It's cheesy and dumb, but man, is it great to turn up really loud.

"Dani California"-Red Hot Chili Peppers. Reminds me of being 16 and riding to school in a Mustang convertible with one of my favorite people ever.

"I Choose You"- Sara Bareilles. "This is a beautiful start to a lifelong love letter"... makes me smile every time.

"Sing"-Ed Sheeran. Do you think I can realistically convince people we are related? He is the coolest. This song makes me want to dance around.

"Fancy"-Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX. I blame Jimmy Fallon for this obsession.

"XO"- John Mayer. Combining two of my favorite things: acoustic guitar and Queen Bey. I love when an artist can make a cover absolutely their own. JM totally does that so well- also see "Free Fallin" and "I'm on Fire" (a Springsteen cover that gives me chills every time I hear it)

Okay. I get to go do
xo, s

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's 4am and I'm Listening to my Favorite Albums

 I could try to fall asleep. I could make a real decent effort. Take off my headphones, close my computer, then close my eyes. That's how sleep works. Or, I could think about my favorite albums. That seems just as restful to me. I really love a good full album. I think that there is a reason the songs are ordered like they are ordered and that's how you should listen to them. They tell a story. For me, a good album has been one that I have to replay over and over for at least a solid month. I listen to it in the car, on the way to class, while I make dinner, before I go to sleep. I usually end up writing the lyrics on pieces of paper and then finding them months later and remembering why I fell in love with them in the first place. Albums, and the stories they tell, are magical.

So, here are some of my favorites. Some are older. Some are newer. They all have made a significant impact on me. I can close my eyes and remember how I felt when I was in that stage of obsessively listening to the same 16-ish tracks over and over. To me, that's what music is all about. Memories. A few of mine are built around:

1. The Fray- "The Fray" (2009)
I could never say enough good things about this album. Good, solid honesty with pianos and guitars. Highlights include "Never Say Never" and "Enough for Now".

2. Mat Kearney- "Young Love" (2011)
I get embarrassingly excited when someone else is a Mat Kearney fan. This is just really good songwriting...the kind that reminds me why I like to write songs. Favorite songs? "Learning to Love Again" and "Seventeen" (I think that one is on the deluxe edition, but it is so worth listening to)

3. The Civil Wars-"Barton Hollow" (2011)
This album will always remind me of last fall and leaves and scarves and boots. They have such excellent melodies and folksy, real music. Ugh. Check out "Poison and Wine" and "To Whom It May Concern"

4. Johnny Cash- "At Folsom Prison" (1968)
IT'S JOHNNY CASH. AT FOLSOM PRISON. I'm not sure why I need to say anything else..but, it's just an incredible album where, if you close your eyes, you're there....which probably wouldn't have been safe, but whatever. Just listen to "Folsom Prison Blues" and you'll get it.

5. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers-"Greatest Hits' (2010)
I grew up on these songs. I love these songs. Hearing the opening to "American Girl" will always make me want to stop everything and dance around.

6. Jay-Z- "The Black Album" (2003).
Jay-Z is just brilliant. His music, his business, Beyonce and Blue Ivy. Just love it. Anyways, this album is the first I ever heard by Jay and it has always stuck with me. "Allow me to reintroduce myself" this man.

Ok. Maybe sleep is a good thing right now.


Monday, August 6, 2012

This Summer.

Oh, Summer. I really don't think there is any other season that has so much expectation attached to it. Summer vacations. Summer reading (nerd alert). Summer love. You know, all the good stuff. When this summer started, I had just graduated college and said goodbye to some of the people who know me best in this world. That wasn't fun. I spent a lot of time in the hospital, getting to take care of some really wonderful people. I stumbled over the same things I always stumble over and I'm still finding my footing, but I think that's okay. I'm 22. It is okay.

 Now, here we are in August. I've finished my first year of nursing school and am spending a few weeks with family and friends back in Georgia. I sleep in the room I grew up in and keep finding notes or little reminders of things rather left forgotten. Growing up is a tricky business. I'm falling asleep with my laptop open and playing iTunes again, something I haven't done in awhile. It's totally my version of a nightlight. Maybe you shouldn't need that at my old age. Whatevs. I've been jamming to a lot of (I think) really fantastic songs this season. Songs I've unapologetically been making my friends listen to on repeat when they are in my car. Songs that have made it on to the "Can't sleep, it's 3am" playlist.

Here are a few of them:
 1. "Lego House (Acoustic)"-Ed Sheeran. "And out of all these things I've done, I think I love you better now".
 2."More Like Her"-Miranda Lambert. "You don't look much like a man from where I'm at". Sometimes, the really great boy who makes you smile turns out to be a big ol' liar who likes to passive aggressively end things over a text. Lesson learned.
 3. "Wanted"-Hunter Hayes. I like this. It's lovely. It makes me want to play in the ocean. Totally summer. His whole album is great. "All You Ever" knocked my socks off with its honesty.
 4."Come Over"- Kenny Chesney. I just love Kenny. This is another song that's pretty dang up front. It's never that simple, is it?
 5. "Ho Hey"-The Lumineers. I liked the melody before I noticed the words. That is extremely rare for me. Then I noticed the words rocked, too.
 6. "Brick"-Ben Folds Five. I didn't mean for this playlist to be so #dark. This I just love Ben Folds.
 7. "Both of Us"- B.o.B and Taylor Swift. There. Less emo. I like the unity this song wants. I agree with it. Also, the video was filmed in Nash and featured Bolton's Chicken. Holla hey.

 Okay. There are some jams. However, if I was being completely honest, my #1 played song this summer is probably "Call Me Maybe". It's just so freaking catchy. And, who doesn't love a good group sing along?

 love, love, love


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Red Lights.

Remember that feeling when you were 15 and left the DMV with a brand new permit? I still vividly remember the first time I drove with my dad, praying for a red light so I could slow down, take a deep breath, and try not to accidentally run his car off the road. Then 15 became 16 and then 22 and somewhere in between all that, I began to embrace the craziness that is being a driver from Atlanta. We will tailgate you like it's going out of style and we all know that 60mph on I-75 really means (at least) 70. I remember racing through yellow lights so I wouldn't be late, wouldn't have to slow down. Life was a constant rush of always going somewhere.

Now, I'm a month out from the official end of my four years at Vanderbilt. Four of the most beautifully life-changing years I could have ever imagined, filled with friends and experiences that have shaped the way I see just about everything. As amazing and fun as college was, I often feel like we raced through it all, running yellow lights and not following speed limits. This last year has been the fastest, searching for graduate schools or jobs. Looking for new houses or new cities. These days, when I think about the future, I just picture a giant, red stop light. I've realized I could use a chance for everything to just stop. To put on the brakes, if we really want to drag this driving analogy out. If I could freeze some of these recent moments, I would in a second.

Here are some songs about things changing or wanting to slow things down so you can take a deep breath and try to stay on the road.

1. "Stop This Train"-John Mayer
2. "All We Are"-OneRepublic
3."Be Still"-The Fray (Their new album, "Scars and Stories", is amazing!!!)
4. "Best Days"-Graham Colton (This was our graduation song for high school. It's so perfect)
5. "Free Falling"-John Mayer (or the Tom Petty version...your choice)
6. "More Time"-Needtobreathe
7. "Please Turn Red"-Andy Davis

Love, love, love

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bye, 2011. Hello, 2012.

I remember when 2012 seemed so out of reach. When I realized, that if I was lucky enough, this would be the year I graduated from college. I wondered who I'd be when 2012 got here, what I'd like, what I'd want. It's finally here and it feels good. Safe, even. I spent the last days of 2011 and the first of 2012 with I people I love, people who have been better to me than I could ever dream of or deserve.

2011 was a funny year. I met people who have challenged the way I think and act (in such a good way). I said goodbye to people who were only really ever good at bringing me down. I realized, more this year than ever before, that your words matter. What you say, or what you hold back, it has such an incredible power. You can break a heart or put one back together with just a few seemingly simple words. You can make someone smile or laugh with the things you say. You can make them confused or frustrated with the things you don't. This year taught me to just say what I want to. Even if it's scary and even if you play it back in your head whenever you can't fall asleep. At least you did something to break the silence, and not everybody can say that.

2012 will be a big year. I'm excited for it. Over dinner on New Year's Eve, some of my friends and I discovered our motto for this crazy year that will be full of the unknown: "Bring it on, Mayans". So, here are some new songs that I've started this year with:

1. "Come Around"-Rosi Golan. Pianos and honesty might be two of my favorite sounds. This song has both.
2. "Safe and Sound"-Taylor Swift featuring the Civil Wars. Such a different sound for T.Swift. It's perfect for the "Hunger Games".
3. "On Your Own"-Green River Ordinance."You gotta go, you'll never know how it all will turn out". I like this.
4. "Don't Let it Go to Your Head'-Fefe Dobson. I found this song on a CD from 2005. It's sassy and spectacular. I like to sing it at the top of my lungs in the car.
5. "Our Last Night"- Better than Ezra. "You meant more to me then than I think you ever knew".
6."Seventeen"-Mat Kearney. This song is about growing up. It's been a good year for that.
7. "The One That Got Away"-Boyce Avenue. Love the Katy Perry version, but we all know I've got a soft spot for acoustic guitars. This is good.
8. "I Like it Like That"- Hot Chelle Rae. Unexpected? This song makes me want to roll the windows down and pretend like it is summer. This summer was really great.

Happy New Year.

Love, love , love