Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session: Motivation

This week’s Jam Session is all about songs that motivate me, some that are upbeat that you can workout to and others that are slow and maybe more calming and uplifting. Both typically have positive messages. I’ve said a few times lately that my attitude just hasn’t been the best and so music is definitely one of my main go-to’s to help change my mood or help me get through things. This list is fun because there is a good mix of newer songs that have been on my radar lately, and a few of them are older, and are some of my all-time favorite songs to help motivate me and change my outlook. There is also a really good mix of genres, which is just a reminder and how vast my music taste is.

A few playlist notes…

If you played high school sports in the late 2000’s you’ll probably agree with me on Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” and I couldn’t count the amount of times that my sister and I rapped through the whole thing on the way to school. Speaking of high school, I included an early Taylor song, which really takes me back! I tried to not duplicate any of the artists, but my favorite Christian rock band, NEEDTOBREATHE, snuck in there with two songs, because to be honest, almost all of their music motivates me. There are three songs that have the word “Arrow” in the title, though they could not be more different. Ed Sheeran is one of my all-time favorite artists, but I was a bit surprised that I managed to still include him on this list. I don’t know if I’ve ever considered any of his other music to be particularly motivating, but this one definitely hits that point. I hadn’t heard Pink’s song until the Grammy’s this year and am still think back about the impact of her very simple performance. Hope you enjoy this week’s playlist!

What are you listening to lately?

See past Friday Jam Session posts HERE.

Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session: Favorite Albums in 2017

I am SO EXCITED to bring back this series. Blogging is such a fun hobby for me and a way to both journal my life and exercise my writing skills outside of work, so in 2018 one of my goals is to blog more regularly. Friday Jam Sessions used to be some of my regular posts, but how I was doing them at the time — choosing one song to highlight for a bunch of different categories and writing a review for each — were just so time consuming so I eventually got out of the habit of doing them. But music and discovering new artists and tunes is still one of my favorite things and I missed sharing these posts. So now that I’ve become loyal to Spotify a few years ago, I am going to switch things up and share playlists I build on there around different themes. This is much easier for me to do because I listen to Spotify almost all day, everyday, regardless if I am at work, in the car or at home. And I’ve always had the habit of sorting songs into playlists based on moods or themes as I go. So right now I am aiming to get one of these posts up about every other week or so. Let me know if there is any particular theme you want me to feature!

See past Friday Jam Session posts HERE.

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To start us out, I decided to look back at 2017 and feature my favorite 10 full albums that were released that year. My music tastes stretch far and wide, but not surprisingly, artists that came out with full albums that I listened to over and over to, were almost all artists that I consider some of my all-time favorites. I decided to put three songs from every album on the playlist, which was NOT EASY. I should also note that Chris Stapleton technically came out with TWO new albums this year (because he’s amazing) but I counted them as one in this list…and still included three songs from each.

  • Ed Sheeran // Divide
  • Maren Morris // HERO
  • Chris Stapleton // From a Room Vol. 1 and 2
  • Logan Mize // Come Back Road
  • Harry Styles // Harry Styles
  • The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
  • Aaron Watson // Vaquero
  • Taylor Swift // reputation
  • Turnpike Troubadours // A Long Way From Your Heart
  • Halsey // hopeless fountain kingdom

A few playlist notes…

Halsey was a bit of a surprise to me because I don’t recall really liking much from her first album, but I really liked her sophomore album this year. Harry Styles’ freshman solo album solidified that his talents stretch far beyond his work with One Direction and I spent most of 2017 demanding that my friends listen to it. I was over the moon that Logan Mize finally gave us a new full album and proceeded to reminisce about all of his concerts I went to in college. My obsession with Ed Sheeran continues to know no limits and after discovering Maren Morris when her original EP came out a few years ago I have to remind myself that she’s still considered a new artist. After listening to him a bit in college, Aaron Watson shot up my list when I finally caught one of his concerts back in September and was kicking myself for having missed out on more of his music for so long. Maybe its because we’re the same age and I feel like I’ve grown up with her, but I’m still a shameless fan of Taylor, and after being a little concerned about LWYMMD as the first single off the new album, the rest of it was everything that it should be. Turnpike Troubadours has such a distinct sound, and I finally made it to one of their concerts for the first time, which only solidified my love for their music. Chris Stapleton’s sound continues to memorize me and I will never be able to wrap my mind around the fact that he spent so many years writing for other people before making it on his own. I FINALLY saw him live in concert this past year, and he is even so much better live — if that is possible. Finally, I couldn’t not mention the album that seems like everyone can’t stop talking about, and that is The Greatest Showman soundtrack. The movie was SO GOOD and the soundtrack has been on loop in my car for weeks. I think I know every word to every song by now.

I am sure that I forgot or overlooked a few albums,  but I did have these others on my list when I was planning this post, so I suppose they deserve honorable mention.

  • Little Big Town // The Breaker
  • Thomas Rhett // Life Changes
  • Old Dominion // Happy Endings
  • Grace VanderWaal // Just The Beginning
  • Demi Lovato // Tell Me You Love Me

And these are artists with albums coming in 2018 that are on my radar so far that I am looking forward to.

  • Dierks Bentley
  • Vance Joy
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Twenty One Pilots
  • Brothers Osborne

What are you listening to lately?

Capture

So There's That Series

So There’s That Vol. 26

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five”  or a “Life Lately” except it’s probably not Friday, and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. These are some bits and pieces of my not-so-glam 20-something life. See past posts HERE}

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Hey friends, October’s has come at me full force, so away went my recent goal of getting two blogs up a week. That’s OK though, because I make the rules here 🙂 I’m jumping out of order of the posts I had planned, but my next volume of So There’s That was pretty full so I decided to go ahead with a little life lately.

Grandparents Visit

The best of being busy the last couple of weeks was that my grandparents came to visit me for four days here in DC! My Grammy and Grampy are two of my favorite people to go on adventures with and after they were BRIEFLY here when they helped me move in February 2015, it was about time I showed them my new home. We had a wonderful time and I will be doing a full post on their visit by next week so stay tuned!

A Kind Word Goes a Long Way

Saved a screenshot of this message because it really brightened my day so much! It made me think of the amount of times that I have a positive or kind thought about someone else or their work, and never actually shared it out loud. Going to work a bit more on that.

In Case You Missed It On the Blog in September

  1. The Road I Traveled: Series Renewed
  2. The Road I Traveled: Meet Logan
  3. The Road I Traveled: Meet Nicole
  4. So There’s That Vol. 25
  5. My Favorite Phone Apps
  6. The Road I Traveled: Meet Megan
  7. Reverse Bucket List
  8. The Road I Traveled: Meet Alison

Aaron Watson

Late in September I saw Aaron Watson at the 9:30 Club here in DC with two Kansas friends. Of all of the red dirt and country concerts I went to in college I never had the chance to see Aaron Watson live. That was my loss. He puts on such a genuine show and made sure fans had the opportunity to hang out with after the show. If he comes your way definitely check him out!

Sawyer June

Let’s be honest, this blog really should have just been an update of sweet Sawyer June. And if you think this is too many many pictures… I culled more than twice as many from this blog post before I was finished. She turned three months old last week and is starting to show off her personality. Christmas vacation feels way to far away for me!

SNL Papyrus Skit

I can’t get over this skit from a few weeks ago. It gives me life.

Clumsy

Mid-September or so I was walking and talking on the phone  (when I was actually supposed to be jogging) and step off a curb funny and sprained my ankle. I’ve been there before, but man how easily I forget what that feels like. That first two days I was pretty helpless but Sam brought over Bella to give me all the puppy cuddles. #notcomplaining

Out and About

A few snippets (and Snapchats) of life lately.

Work field trip and goodies to take home.

My Grammy made these cute pumpkins from wooden rounds that we used for centerpieces at my uncle’s wedding last summer… and then hauled a set for me in her carry on bag from Oregon 🙂


PSA: You need these candle from Trader Joe’s!

…and you need this lunch organizer. Why it has taken almost 27 years for me to get something like this is a mystery. I got mine at Target from Sistema brand.

My Life in Memes

Memes that are speaking to me right now… both thought provoking and just plain funny.

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So, There’s That.

Cheers!

Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session Vol. 17

I love music. My taste is very diverse — continually being shaped by an unique combination of people, places and experiences. I never try to pawn myself off as someone who “knows music,” because I have too much respect for those who do. I did dance and took piano lessons growing up, but trust me, you do NOT want to hear me sing. But music is a topic that I never tire of and I love swapping recommendations. Please join in and share your own picks! View past posts HERE.
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Friday Jam Session

1.Favorite New(ish) Album
Sundown Heaven Town – Tim McGraw

So this album will actually be a year old next week but there have been a number of singles throughout the year that I’ve continued to come back with it. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my around the fact that Tim is now considered one of the old guys in country music. And with the infusion of new and “bro” country, I know sometimes people blame some of the other guys for “selling out” their sound for what’s popular. I always roll my eyes because I think that is somewhat that natural ebb and flow of music and looking back I think people would find many past examples of that. I love this album because it still has that signature Tim McGraw sound, but tries out a few new things. It’s hard to choose but I think the song above is my favorite, but I also love “Shotgun Rider”,Meanwhile Back at Mama’s”  and “Overrated.”

2.Favorite New(ish) Collaboration
Verge – Owl City ft. Aloe Blacc


This is a fun song and an interesting collaboration. I am kind of surprised that I like it though. Back when Owl City first came out with his first single “Fireflies” I was NOT fan. Talk about an overplayed song. I just didn’t get the appeal. One the flip side I loved Aloe Blacc’s first big song “Wake Me Up” that was he featured on with Avicii. I understand though that a lot of people got sick of it.

3.Favorite New (new-to-me) Artist/Band
Jess Glynne


Her YouTube channel featured this acoustic version, but I think I prefer the original in this case. Anyway, I was planning on using the song as my “Jam I Have on Repeat”, but considering I have also had her song “Hold My Hand” on repeat all summer and I was immediately obsessed with “Rather Be” where she offers guest vocals when it came out late 2013, it is pretty safe to say that she fits better in this category. I love her energy and raspy voice, not to mention she has AWESOME curly red hair.
#Holla
I’m also loving “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself” and “My Love” from her debut album.

4. Jam I Have on Repeat
Move On – Clare Dunn


I have no idea who this chick is and to be honest the music video is a bit too much, but I’m not waiting for this song to annoy me because I’ve played it so much. It’s a fun one to get into and I appreciate a solid girl jam.

5. Favorite Cover, Remix or Mashup
Wildfire – Aaron Watson
Listen HERE

It’s not often that I like a cover more than the original, and even though I really like John Mayer’s original version, I think really think it was meant to be a simple country song.

6.Favorite Spotify List
“Wild Country” by Spotify

It just felt like a summer country music week and this playlist was just the ticket.

7. #SoulMusic I’m Obsessing Over
Wings – Birdy
Listen HERE

Apparently, this song is a few years old, but I only recently discovered because of the artist’s work on a soundtrack and her cover of Skinny Love (at age 15!). This girl’s voice and this song in particular both have a beautiful, haunting sound that I love.

8.”Oldie, But a Goodie” I Heard This Week
Kings and Queens – 30 Seconds to Mars

I LOVE when you entirely forget about a song and rediscover it on accident. 30 Seconds to Mars has never been a band that I listened to a lot from and 6 years old probably isn’t considered and “oldie,” but obviously it was long for me to forget how much I loved this song when it first came out. It’s definitely going back on my workout and car playlists. Also, I can’t believe I’m saying this considering I am outspoken about how much I don’t like long hair on guys… but I think I prefer Jared Leto with long hair, at least over the do he has in the video.

9. Current Beat That Makes Me Want to Dance…in the Car…Jamming With the Windows Down
Pumpin Blood – NONONO

This song is kind of random and trippy, but it is a blast to dance and jam to in the car.

10.Taking Me Down Memory Lane
Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson


Can you believe this song is 11 years old?! I had this album and knew every single world to every track. My Dad may or may not have been a Kelly fan too. We’ll go ahead and let him blame it on having two teenage daughters.

11. Work, Work it Out
In My Head – Galantis
Listen HERE

Solid beat for a good run.

12.Making Me Want to Fall in Love
Stuck With Me – Timeflies
Listen HERE

I know they’ve been around for a few years and are one of those success stories of artists/bands who “made it” after working hard to build a following on YouTube, but I’ve never really been a fan. So I was a bit surprised that I kept coming back to this song. It’s simple and sweet.

13. Guilty Listen of the Week
Levels – Nick Jonas
Listen HERE

I’m sorry, but I really couldn’t help it. I have no shame #JoBros4Ever

14.Song That I Originally Loved, But Is Now Overplayed
Worth It – Fifth Harmony
Listen HERE

I DO NOT love this song at all…it actually make my ears bleed, but I know its catchy and its been really popular this summer. But seriously though, when can people be over this song soon please. I also just really wanted to feature this song so I could share this hysterical video of this girl jamming to the song in the car….

15.Popular Song That Is Making My Ears Bleed
What Do You Mean – Justin Bieber
Listen HERE

I wanted to give the Biebs a chance, but no, just no. Not sure if was him or the freaking metronome sound throughout the whole song that drove me more crazy… and don’t get me started on the music video that I should not have wasted my time on.

16.Country Pick of the Week
Nights on Fire – David Nail
Listen HERE

I’ve continued to wonder over the years why David Nail isn’t more popular. It amazed me when his single “Whatever She’s Got” came out in 2013 and there were still people who thought he was a new act. Country acts tend to be a be dime a dozen from time to time but I’ve always liked this guy’s sound and think more people should check him out!

BONUS: People, it is officially college football season!

It is well known among Kansas State fans and many of our Big 12 opponents that Coach Snyder is very traditional and has been using the same pre-game playlist throughout most of his tenure, with only a few changes. I did Friday Jam Session way back in my old format that I thought I would resurrect. See the original post HERE.

So, what have you been listening to this week?

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 Linking up with these blogs today!
Here, Here, Here, Here and HERE.

Cheers!