Wednesday, December 17, 2014

MID-WEEK MUSIC MOMENT: MY FAVORITE SONGS OF 2014



This week instead of posting a new song for you to digest and judge, I thought I'd take a stab at one of those end-of-the-year roundups. I have posted and shared a lot of Mid-Week Music Moments since January, but truly, they barely skimmed the surface of my favorite songs of 2014. 

I scoured my Spotify playlists to find the songs I liked best that came out this year . There are new (to me) artists like Ryn Weaver, Dan Croll and Broods, as well as new music from older favorites like La Roux, Alt-J, Kendrick Lamar and Haim. Hell, even Ariana Grande made the list.

This was actually sort of challenging because to be honest, because I got sick of a lot of these songs many months ago. I'm a chronic "put it on repeat" listener, and will listen to a track until I can't stand it any longer. However, I knew it was important to overcome my over-saturation and remember what made me so crazy about those songs in the first place. 

I wanted to keep the genres broad, and narrowing down this list would have been pretty difficult—so this playlist is rather long. It starts with upbeat electro and electro-pop favorites, moves into a little folk (The Barr Brothers, George Ezra) then moves into a little hip-hop and R&B with Pharrell, Childish Gambino and last but certainly not least... D'Angelo, who released his first album in almost 15 years just this week. 

Go forth and play... Here are my favorite songs of 2014:


*And, let's not ignore the elephant in the playlist: this roundup is obviously devoid of one critical 2014 artist: Taylor Swift. As you know, she took all her music off Spotify, so that's a shame but unavoidable—"Style" and "Blank Space" are hands-down two of my favorite songs of the year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

{HOLIDAY TRAVEL TIPS} 6 HOURS IN THE MIDDLE SEAT...


Somehow, by the scourge of the Travel Gods, I have found myself Seattle-bound this holiday season in seat 32D. Do you know about 32D? It is a middle seat in quite nearly the very last row of the plane. It may also be known colloquially as one of the seven circles of in-flight hell. 

Now, this isn't to say I'm not grateful to have snagged what appeared to be one of the last 5 or so economy seats on this (blessedly) non-stop flight, but most often, I'm on my game enough to grab my preferred aisle seat. I've written before about my savvy traveling tips for flying in the summer, but let's be real: holiday flying and other time flying are not the same

As the paparazzi have taught us, it's not about how you look on the plane, it's how you look when you step out of the airport. As per tradition, I'll be heading from the airport out to lunch and shopping with my mom downtown (at our favorite spot, Le Pichet). This means I'll want to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible, then pull off a quick change and refresh as soon as I deplane to be ready for a full day.

So, how exactly does a girl relax and have a decent flight in the middle seat? How can I arrive after six hours not looking and feeling like I've been in a war zone?

CLICK THROUGH FOR MORE...

Friday, December 12, 2014

{GIFT GUIDE 2014} COZY CABIN COOL...

GIFT GUIDE #3: CABIN COZY

Neighborhood Quilted Shirt Jacket / Proof 'Hayburn' Mahogany SunglassesSperry Top-Sider x J. Crew boots / Hudson Bay AxeWoolrich Buffalo Plaid Vest  / Pendleton Travel Mug / Lord & Taylor Faux Fur Throw / Cards Against Humanity / Smiths Minted Rose Lip BalmWoodford Reserve Bourbon / J. Crew Camp Socks / Triple C Bluetooth Speaker 

Winter can be tough. Snow in metropolitan locations can be really inconvenient and not all that much fun. It gets old fast. But shut me into a mountain cabin with a roaring fire, evergreen trees for miles and no cell service and I say—let it snow. Obviously, I'm not alone in this. A relaxing, extremely cozy weekend away, or a holiday, or a New Years... Is one of winter's great gifts. And speaking of gifts...

This gift guide has all the ideal trappings for a winter getaway. First, you need aesthetically appropriate (and warm) apparel. I'm kind of obsessed with Woolrich White's buffalo plaid vest trimmed in shearling—what could be more cabin-y than that? Just add a cool down shirt from Neighborhood (for him) and J. Crew camp socks (for anyone) and you're set.

When a blizzard hits and you're stuck inside with your cabin compatriots, there are actually only three things you need: a game (you cannot beat Cards Against Humanity), good Kentucky bourbon,(I prefer Woodford Reserve) and music (get a playlist going for everyone with a Bluetooth speaker).

Even if you don't make it to a cabin or cozy ski lodge this winter, these gifts will be a welcome and cozy treat for anyone on your list.

Scroll through below to shop more:

(It has tons of extra picks that won't make it onto the blog)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

{GETAWAY GIRL} 2014'S BEST TRAVEL ADVENTURES...


{ snapshots from my 2014 travels, taken from my Instagram }

I was reading my Susan Miller horoscopes for the month of December recently (both Libra and Scorpio, naturally), and she was very apologetic about how hard 2014 was for me, and promised that 2015 would see some of that hardship rewarded. In many ways this was a huge relief. However, I was also #blessed with quite a few occasions to be grateful this year—especially when it came to travel. From beaches to mountains to very big waterfalls, I feel so lucky to have experienced places both fresh and familiar with friends, family—and one time, #solo.

CLICK THROUGH BELOW...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

MID-WEEK MUSIC MOMENT: BASTILLE + HAIM


{ "Bite down, bite down into me" }

It's no secret that I love both Haim and Bastille—their songs have appeared frequently as part of my playlists and here in the MWMM before. They both began as under-the-radar bands with destined-to-be-huge sounds, and so here we are. This is a collaboration I didn't see coming, but now that it's here it sounds so right. (Not unlike Haim's collaboration with Calvin Harris.) The song is part of a compilation put together by Bastille, called VS. (Other People's Heartache Pt. III), which you can listen to in full on Spotify.

Check out the freshly released, "Bite Down" below and let me know your thoughts!

Monday, December 8, 2014

{GIFT GUIDE + GIVEAWAY!} GOODS FOR THE GUYS...

GIFT GUIDE #4: FOR THE GUYS


In an ideal world, gift-giving should be really fun. It should be thoughtful, personal and creative, too. But as anyone who has ever, you know, gone gift shopping, it's not always so. In fact, it can be downright stressful, right? You want to give someone a gift that they not only like, but also use. For me, the hardest people to shop for this time of year are men... And my parents. So for anyone out there shopping for brothers, boyfriends, dads and dudes, this guide is for you.

I found many of the gifts for this guide through Brooklyn-based store Uncommon Goods. I love supporting local businesses this time of year, and most of their offerings have the added bonus of being made in America, and about half of them are handmade, too. Their products sort of have "gift" written all over them, whether you're shopping for guys or ladies.

I purposely kept this guide pretty light on apparel, as I think it is sort of the "easy" choice. Right? I think for a gift guide to be helpful, it should suggest some ideas that you may not have thought of already. For example, a classic (and aesthetically pleasing) dart set or a tabletop mini beer pong set. I have always felt like games make a terrific gift because they encourage so much laughing (sometimes drinking), a little friendly competition and time spent with loved ones. And when they look as good as these? That's just a bonus.

If you know a guy who's sort of an at-home mixologist, why not make his holiday with just a bit more boozy with stocking stuffers. Might I suggest a singular tool for all his mulling, pouring, and garnishing needs? And while you're at it, a genius travel kit for making in-flight Old Fashioned cocktails. Both are clever and thoughtful, and probably not something your guy would buy for himself.

Oh, and let's get one thing clear before I wrap this thing up—aside from the beard grooming kit, these are all excellent gifts for women, too. (I'm crushing hard on that Public V1 bike and have been known to rock a men's flannel on more than one occasion...) So take the inspiration for anyone and everyone!

**THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**
Uncommon Goods and I are partnering up to give one lucky reader a $50 gift card to help with their holiday shopping this season! It's easy to enter: Just leave a comment below (+ your email), telling me the best gift you ever gave or received during the holidays, and like Uncommon Goods on Facebook. You have until Friday, December 12 to enter, and I'll announce a winner on Monday, December 15! (Still plenty of time to have items shipped before Christmas.)
(It has tons of extra picks that won't make it onto the blog)

*Compensation for this post was provided by Uncommon Goods. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author (me!) and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Uncommon Goods. As always, thank you for supporting Shut up I up love that shirt on you. (Posts like these keep me in business!)

Friday, December 5, 2014

{WEEKEND LISTENING} THE HOLIDAY MIX & MINGLE PLAYLIST


Happy holidays! It's officially that time of year. We've done away with the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers, and our Christmas shopping has begun in earnest. And in order to survive that, we need Christmas music. Now, I make no apologies for this: I post virtually the same holiday playlist every year. It's called The Holiday Mix & Mingle and (not to jingle my own bells, but...) it's really good.

I combine new favorites and old classics, and this year I even updated it with a few new-ish Christmas songs from The Barr Brothers and Fitz & The Tantrums. This is a perfect playlist for parties, tree-decorating and spiked cider-drinking—just crank it up and see how many verses of "Cool Yule" you remember and who can out-screech each other trying to hit every note of "All I Want For Christmas Is You." 

Also, if you're wondering why I haven't moved this playlist over to Spotify yet, I have but one simple answer for you: Spotify does not have the original title song from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, nor does it have Robert Downey Jr.'s exquisite cover of Joni Mitchell's classic, "River." (Remember that one from A Very Ally Christmas?) Those were two songs I could not compromise on, so here we are, with my old pal Grooveshark.

(Click through above to play)