[Music Monday] I love Saddle Creek.

Jordan recently ordered a re-released Bright Eyes album on vinyl which came with a pretty great sampler of all the new albums coming out on Saddle Creek lately. Saddle Creek is the amazing record label that brings us Cursive, Bright Eyes, Maria Taylor, The Good Life, Tim Kasher, etc… It is pretty much amazing. While all those are amazing artists, the sampler introduced us to two new artists that we LOVE.

Mynabirds

When we went and saw Conor Oberst last June he toured with this adorable blonde who sang the female parts of his songs. We came to find that she was Laura Berhenn, lead singer of the Mynabirds. Laura’s songs bring us beautiful melodies that feel comfortable and not at all nuanced, perfect for enjoying with a cup of coffee on a bright Sunday morning. The record is reminiscent of Jenny Lewis’ solo albums, which coming from me is an amazing compliment.

Big Harp

I fell in love with Big Harp the very second I heard Chris Sensesey’s voice. It is perfectly deep and crooney with not a bit of pretentiousness. It reminds me of a great Tennessee whiskey- it lays on thick and goes down smooth. I was even more hooked when I read more about the band… just look at this sweet description of the husband-wife duo:

Met.
Fell in love.
Made a baby boy.
Got married.
Made a baby girl.
Started a band.

Amazing.

I recommend that you check out both of their albums as soon as you can! You can purchase them in all of their forms (cd, mp3, album) on Saddle Creek’s website.

What new albums are you loving!?

[Awkward and Awesome Thursday] On moving out, and the awkward stuff I’ve been saving.

I am spending the day packing so I can move tomorrow and I’m SO EXCITED. This is by no means my first time moving, as I did spend 4 years in Texas in which I moved every May like clockwork. This is however the first time I’m actually completely moving out of my room in the parent’s house. When I went to college, I kept most of my stuff here in Colorado which means there is years worth of stuff to go through. I’m not a hoarder, but I definitely have a penchant for keeping things with so-called “sentimental” value. But now is time to finally clean and declutter it all so we can paint the ugly walls (see below for details on that) and my parents can have a guest room. It is quite the task sorting through about 12 years of accumulated crap and it has been filled with many discoveries that are simultaneously awkward AND awesome.

*here is a snapshot of my walls, just to give you an idea of how long it has been since this room has been updated…
How I ever manage to fall asleep in there is a grand mystery, but I thought the lime green and yellow was just oh-so-cool. And coincidentally the colors of my high school. Golden eagles forever! ha. What an awkward choice.

*a sample of just a few of the weird/embarrassing things I found that I’ve been saving that show just how big of a dork I really am….

-a happy meal toy and box from Prague (why is this necessary to have?)
-tickets from every concert I’ve been to (including an embarrassing amount of tickets for both New Found Glory and Relient K)
-my pins from Destination Imagination (I can’t even begin to explain the hilarious phenomenon that is DI pin trading or DI in general but know this- it really is as dorky as it sounds)
-all the homemade shirts from over the years, including a Relient K shirt that says “We love skittles and combos too!”. totally awkward. and awesome since Karen and Casey have matching ones somewhere. Here is a homemade “Harry and the Potters” shirt as an example of our awesome shirt making skills:

*that awkward moment when I found a ridiculous mask and have literally no idea where it came from or why I was saving it:

*I have no idea why I still have this box:
but it is filled with notes/notebooks from middle school that capture our angst, so I feel like I should still keep it….

There are some hilarious gems in those notes/notebooks about out apparent love affairs, wearing guys watches, what awesome plans we have for Friday night… we thought we were SOOOO cool.

*the reminders of just how much of a theatre nerd I was….

I saved every single poster, from School House Rock freshman year to my final written musical senior year:

Along with all those are the coinciding tshirts and thespian conference swag, my choir and theatre letters/pins, Madrigal Feast props, a train whistle from Music Man, and boxes and boxes of photos. totally hilarious.

So there you have it… a sample of the many simultaneously awkward + awesome things found in my room. Embarrassingly, this barely cracks the surface. Just in case you may have been starting to think I’m cool… ha.

How about you…. What awkward/awesome things have you been saving from middle and high school?

[Wedding Wednesday] Alternatives to Dancing.

I know it may be hard to believe, but not everyone loves to dance. To me, a wedding isn’t complete without a greeeeat playlist for dancing, but some people don’t really enjoy the dance floor. For those people, I think it would be fun to offer alternative activities. Here are some ideas from the blogosphere… {they are sourced when possible, but some of the links were broken on pinterest/google image search. click for links when applicable.}

BOUNCY CASTLE:

I know this sounds super childish, but just look how much fun these people are having….

BOARD GAMES:

pretty much everyone can find a board game they like, so this would be a total crowd pleaser.

GIANT JENGA:

I’ve played this at the bar before and it’s quite fun! it would be a cute addition for sure.

LAWN GAMES:

for anyone planning an outdoor wedding, lawn games could be really fun and pleasing for a variety of ages.

PINATA:

this is the one i’m hands down without a doubt using. pinatas are fun, and totally worth it if only for the great photo ops…

WHAT EXTRA ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU LOVE TO SEE AT A WEDDING?

[Wedding Wednesday] Four wedding trends that need to go away.

1) Mason Jars.

Okay folks, I love mason jars… I have a few that I use as glasses and I had a roommate who kept her mom’s delicious jam in them. Their cute, rustic, affordable- I get it. I even liked when I started seeing them pop as decoration because I felt they were a sweet DIY option. I’ll probably even end up using them when I get married in some way…. But it has gotten way out of hand. Now there are mason jar invitations, his and her mason jars, the red neck wine glass, mason jars with lace, mason jars with lights in them, mason jar favors….. I think the last straw was when my friend Jessica jokingly referred to this photo on facebook:

ARE THAT MANY JARS REALLY NECESSARY!?!?!? You know what would give the exact same affect? Using JUST the candles. Or just ONE simple centerpiece like normal people.

I’m calling mason jars over. I’m done with them and I really don’t want to read your next DIY project that uses them. Don’t make me.

2) Overly themed weddings.

Let’s get this straight now. Being inspired by something and wanting to capture the essence of it in your wedding/party/decor? Awesome. Choosing a theme and doing everything to perfectly match said theme in every single solitary detail so your guests feel like they are stuck in a diorama and can’t help but only talk about said theme? So not awesome.

I’ve been going back and forth of the theme thing, but this wedding inspiration really pushed me over the edge:

The Hunger Games? REALLY? You want to base your wedding on post-apocalyptic novel in which children have to kill each other? Go ahead- if your want your guests talking about their love for dystopian literature and how much they relate to Katniss.

I’m gonna stick to the best theme of all- wedding. For the love of God, please do the same.

3. The excessive amount of wedding-related photo shoots.

It used to just be that you would hire one photographer to take pictures of you and your family plus capture a few photos of the day. Now we have engagement photos, day of photos, bridal photos, “trash the dress” photos, boudoir photos… it is just too much.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of all of these things, but the wedding industry has taken them to the extreme. Do you really need engagement photos inspired by “The Notebook”?

A special note on boudoir photos: This one is not a new trend by any means, but I can’t help but cringe every time I see these mentioned. For those not following, “boudoir” is a fancy word to describe seductive, sometimes nude photo shoots that women do for their husbands to be. I often seem them described as a “fun gift” to present your man on the morning of the wedding to give him a “peek” of what is to come. BARF. I find the whole idea pretty sexist that your future husband is “entitled” to sexy photos.

4. The use of “vintage” as an adjective.

This is a vintage wedding dress:

This is not a vintage wedding dress:

There is a very significant difference between the two dresses, and I’m getting sick of both of them being referred to as “vintage”. They aren’t.

WHAT TRENDS DO YOU WANT TO GO AWAY?

[Music Monday] On Tupac at Coachella, and other artists I would resurrect via hologram

By now I’m sure you’ve all seen the amazing video of the hologram version of Tupac rapping with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg this past weekend at Coachella, or at least heard about it. If you haven’t, I’ve placed it here for your reference. Disclaimer: It probably goes without saying, but the raps in this video are definitely NOT safe for work or fragile ears.

Now that we’ve all seen the video, I think it is important to talk about how amazing this technology is. We have come to a point where we can literally create a live concert experience where the artist performing has been deceased for SIXTEEN years. And the performance itself was very dynamic as well. A member of that audience could easily have mistaken the hologram for a live person. That to me is innovation at its finest. A musician can now live on to reach a whole new generation of fans in a personal and dynamic way, which to me is amazing. I can’t help but imagine a few of the performers I wish I could resurrect via hologram… Here’s a list of a few I would want to see and a taste of what their performance would be like:

JOHN LENNON.

while we have him there, we might as well bring back George and reunite the band….

JIMI HENDRIX.

FREDDIE MERCURY.

JANIS JOPLIN.

JOHNNY CASH.

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE RESURRECTED VIA HOLOGRAM?

[Thrifty Tuesday] Thrift Store + Home Depot = Amazing Home Projects.

I’m in the process of finding a new place and will be moving on or before May 1 with Jordan and two great friends of ours. While we make our plans and look at new places I can’t help but dream up all the crafty things we’re going to do with our new space. For today’s edition of “Thrifty Tuesday”, I bring you three of the projects I’ve been dreaming of making. All of these can be made using thrifted items and a few items from home depot.

*THIS awesome bookshelf turned bar via Apartment Therapy:

This one would definitely not be a quick project but the end result is pretty incredible for a pretty small cost. There is so much room for uniqueness too- from the paint choice to the contact paper. I really want one of these!

THESE adorable chairs via “Fine Diving Chicago”:

I already have two perfect chairs for this project. They are red dining chairs that Jordan found discarded in the alley and they are in serious need of love. This project would really make them unique and fun! If you wanted to make these, there are always a plethora of mismatched chairs at thrift stores just waiting for some paint and fun.

THIS lace lamp via More Design Please:

Unfortunately the link to the instructions seems to be broken, but it seems easy enough by the photo. Basically, the lamp is made by paper mache-ing a balloon with lace doilies + wallpaper glue. You could easily find some vintage lace at a thrift store and the light portion can be found for 4 dollars at ikea.

There are many other projects I love, but these are the three I actually intend on making.

What crafty home projects have you been inspired by lately?