Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Fine Art of Making a Mix

I’ll be the first one to tell you that when it comes to creating things, I’m not very good at it. In fact, I’m the worst. I was always bad at all art class assignments, I can’t craft to save my life, and I’ve never successfully DIY-ed a single thing. Meanwhile, I’m married to a man who designs and builds much our furniture, has a knack for painting, and DIYs everything successfully. Go figure.

There is, however, one thing I am pretty good at creating: mixes. I don’t just throw a bunch of songs onto a CD or playlist haphazardly. I obsess over everything from song selection to order of songs to title of the mix itself. It’s something I have always loved to do, and it’s a true sign of my love and devotion if I make a mix for you. I don’t know why I take it so seriously and so personally, but I do. I made four new mixes last night for our upcoming road trip, and I totally lost track of time for those few hours. It’s totally dorky how much fun I have doing this.

There are several steps to my process, but here are just some of things I think about when making a mix (be forewarned– #nerdalert):

1- First, who is this for? Even if it’s for me, I’m always planning on sharing it with someone in one way or another, so it’s important to know who all will be hearing it. I like to pick things I know that person will like as well as things they’ve never heard but I’m pretty sure they will like. I like to pick songs that for one reason or another make me think of that person. I like to pick things I know will make that other person laugh or smile. Like I said, it’s very personal.

2- What is this mix for? A road trip, a birthday, a party? The context in which the songs will be listened to is very important.

3- Going off of the above, is there a theme? I love a good theme to a mix. I’ve made mixes of songs that were important in my childhood, mixes of feel-good music, more dirty rap mixes than you can shake a stick at, and so on.

4- Song selection. It’s the most important element after you’ve established answers to 1-3’s questions. This is a process. Set aside a good amount of time for this. I add songs, then take them off, and then sometimes add them back. The songs all have to work together cohesively. Like I said, #nerdalert.

5- Song order. This is another part that takes a lot of time after you’ve selected your songs. I’ve always subscribed by this quote from one of my favorite movies, High Fidelity: “The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.” Songs have to flow from one to the next, and the mix can’t taper off at the end. You have to find the balance.

6- Naming the mix. This is always my last step. Don’t underestimate a good title for your playlist. It helps set the mood and will help you remember what’s on the mix. Bonus points if it also makes you laugh.

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • I made spicy sriracha lettuce wraps for my weekly recipe. Awesome.
  • Tim and I had a date night in last Friday– we can’t be stopped with Game of Thrones. SO GOOD. I can’t remember what we had for dinner, but I do remember Tim picked up dessert from Feast for us.
  • Kept up with writing in my journal and taking photos.

 

On My Mother

With Mother’s Day having just passed, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment or two to express just how lucky I am to have the woman I call Mom in my life.

Never on this earth has a more gentle and compassionate person existed than my mom. She is the person who always sees the good in people and knows how to bring it out of them. She is never demanding but always endlessly supportive. She is considerate and so very gracious. She is a person of the highest integrity.

I have a lifetime of memories with my mom because she always been there for me, but what really stands out for me is that she has never once forgotten a big day or big moment in my life (or my siblings’ lives either, for that matter). She always wrote good luck notes before a big test, track or gymnastics meet, or interview. She has never let a single Valentine’s day, anniversary, accomplishment, or birthday go by without a sweet card. And whenever I’m stressed or having a really busy work week, she always sends me a text to let me know she’s thinking of me and knows I’ll make it through. She is the single most thoughtful person I know.

Thanks, Mom, for all you’ve ever done and will continue to do for me. You really are the best, and I love you!

List accomplishments as of last post:

  •  I made pesto, and then proceeded to put it on everything: steak, grilled asparagus, tomatoes, sandwiches. So good!
  • I worked on tracing the other (maternal) side of my family tree. Another item checked off!
  • Sunday was a total date night in, complete with Thai food and a Game of Thrones binge.
  • I’ve kept up with writing and actually have slowly eased back to at least taking a few pictures a week. In the spirit of my post though, here’s one of me and my sweet mama from a few weeks back:

image

Currently…

Here’s just a brief glimpse into my life lately.

I’m currently…

-Obsessed with Game of Thrones. I fought watching it for so long because I thought I’d hate it for some reason, but I was hooked about 2 episodes in, and Tim and I have blasted through seasons 1 and 2 in no time at all.

-Listening to the new Alabama Shakes. SO FREAKIN’ GOOD.

-Craving Mexican food. Because a) when am I not? and b) it’s Cinco de Mayo.

-Spending all my free time planning our road trip. I love that for only two days in each city, I still need a list of at least 27 restaurants I MUST eat at per city. I plan vacations around food; it’s just what I do.

-Daydreaming about France, particularly Paris. We were about to leave for our two-week French vacay right around this time 3 years ago. Can you tell I’ve got some serious wanderlust?

-Loving spring. Perfect weather. All the promise of summer.

-Excited to be wearing sandals again. I find sandals to be the most superior of all footwear.

-Noticing I need a serious pedicure though, due to said sandals.

-Thankful I don’t have to work commencement this year. First time in 5 years. Whatever shall I do with myself?!

-Feeling really satisfied. That might be the best feeling of all time, by the way.

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • I made the perfect margarita recipe! I highly recommend putting a little cayenne in the salt around the rim of your glass.
  • Took two day trips this weekend: one to Edinburgh for a little shopping, and one spur-of-the-moment trip to see my parents.
  • I did really well at getting back into writing each day, but I’ve sucked at taking pictures this past week. Goal for next week.