Zooey+Ben? Who Knew.

Who else read this? I'm VERY surprised.

But, hope these two indie-love-birds really do make it!

Did You?

Did you have a good Christmas? We sure did. Here are some sights from our Christmas week. (I still feel like it's Christmas. Both Jeff and I have most of this week off. Yay.)

(My Snow-angel.)

(Me and our tree.)

(Just some of the snow we've been receiving.)

(The very tree that we'll soon be taking down.)

Hope it was a merry, merry time for you!


Little Babe

On Saturday, I took these photos of my new niece Saylor Blue... isn't she SO sweet?




I took these at my sister-in-law's home; she has the most beautiful light in their home... I LOVE this last photo of mom and baby...

Faves of 2008: #2 and #1

Sorry I wasn't able to get to my top picks last week... I really didn't intend to keep you on the edge of your seat... as I'm SURE you were...

#2: Mates of State: Rearrange Us

I really fell in love with this album. In fact, I fell so hard that it was on repeat for most of my summer. It also joined me on many work-out sessions.

Prior to this release, I could only handle Mates of States in small doses. To me, they always sounded like they were YELLING at each other. But, with Rearrange Us, I felt like their song-writing really matured into a nice balance of harmonies and back and forth banter- but always keeping the music in mind.

There are some really catchy tracks on this album. So many that it was difficult for me to pick just one favorite.

But... I LOVE "My Only Offer." I dare you not to tap your feet and/or sing-along. (Love to sing those harmonies!)

So... if you've read this blog over the past year, you'll know that this pick is no surprise. I utterly adore this album: it is SO beautiful.

With the first listen of this album, I had to get used to Justin Vernon's voice. He is definitely a tenor, and sometimes my voice strained and hurt listening to him hit those high notes. But, he does... so beautifully.

Also, this album has such a romantic idea to it. Just look at the name of the album, and a lot of the accompanying songs feel so fragile and personal. It's easy to get lost in the songs.

And to boot- doesn't the song-writing feel so genuine? I think so. There are so many beautiful phrases and thoughts shared in these songs.

My favorite track on this album is definitely "Skinny Love." I've listened to this track an uncountable amount of times. It gives me chills. I love it.

Thanks for reading about my picks for the year! I'm hoping next year I'll really be able to branch out and listen to much more diverse music. Here's to 2009!


Faves of 2008: #4 and #3

#4: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin: Pershing

This album I was very slow to come around to. I had heard some of their tracks on the iTunes radio station I listen to and would write down the song names to listen more of later. Whenever I would quickly tune into other songs, I wasn't as impressed as my first initial listen. However, once I listened longer, I think I figured them out a little more.

Their sound feels really delicate to me. Maybe it was the way they recorded their album- sounds like it could be in a home studio- so I listened really carefully. (And turned it UP.) Sometimes they remind of Weezer. Sometimes they remind me of Rogue Wave. Sometimes they remind me of Buddy. Either way, I can't quite pin-point their sound, and that's why I like them.

Favorite song: "Think I Wanna Die" (SO catchy.)

#3: She & Him: Volume One

What a lovely project this is. I'm not sure M. Ward or Zooey D. realized the impact this album would have in the music world.

I love each and every song on this album. It reminds me of 1950 girl-y pop music (and I really was in the mood for that sound awhile ago). I really only have good things to say about this album, BUT, I do wish we could've heard more of M. Ward's charming voice. I know the man can play guitar, but in sweet duets with Zooey, I would've loved to hear more.

Favorite song: "Change is Hard" (I think.)

Tomorrow is the big moment... #2 and #1. Yay!


Faves of 2008: #6 and #5

#6: Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend
This album has topped many best-of lists for the year. I listened to this album sometime ago, so it’s hard for me to believe that this is a 2008 album. Either way… I LOVE it.

For me, the album sounds and feels SO refreshing. It’s hard to place their pop-ish sound. I hear many different influences- from Paul Simon (see “Kape Code Kwassa Kwassa”) to the Beach Boys (see “Campus”)- but, I love the way their sound can easily be identified to them. It’s the bubbly combination of bass, guitar, and keyboards (at least, I think that’s how they get that one horn sound).

It’s a happy, happy album. And, I’ve continually listened to it time and time again.

Favorite song? Don’t really have one. I like ‘em all.
Listen to: "Campus"

#5: Nada Surf: Lucky
I don’t know what it is about Nada Surf… I’ve been a huge fan ever since “Let Go.” I think a big part of it, for me, is their melodies. They’re beautiful. (Examples: “See These Bones,” and “Are You Lightning.”)

I think this band in general gets lost in the shuffle by a lot of bigger bands. But, give them a chance. You’ll love them.

Favorite song: This is a tough decision. How about “Are you Lightning?” (This one makes me hum aloud at work. Wait for the strings at the end... pretty.)


Faves of 2008: #8 and #7

#8: Death Cab For Cutie: Narrow Stairs

As a long time admirer of Ben Gibbard, I always get excited for his and Death Cab For Cutie’s new releases. Of their release this year, the track that got the most air-time was “I Will Possess Your Heart,” which is not my favorite track from the album. However, I still admire them pushing this song, even with its 2:00 instrumental intro.

It took me many listens to warm up to this album. My favorites on this record are those that remind me of songs that emulate “We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes.” (Which is my favorite Death Cab album, easily.)

Luckily, I got my fill of great tracks from this album. I really enjoyed “Your New Size Bed,” “Gravevine Fires,” “Cath,” and “Long Division.” If you think about it, based on the names of these songs, they could easily turn into cheesy sonnets, and yet, they’re smart, witty and are great analogies for something bigger.

Favorite song: "Talking Bird"

#7: Thao

We Brave Bee Stings and All came out early in the year. This was one record that I was very slow to listen to. Even someone left me a blog comment (thanks Les!) that I should be listening to it… and yet, I guess I had to discover her for myself. I’m glad I did.

I really love Thao’s unusual voice. I guess it’s the imperfect voice that makes her so intriguing. With the upbeat rhythms and unusual lyrics (sometimes difficult to decipher), this is definitely a different record amongst my top 10. The staggered rhythms are sort of bluesy, but really nice.

My top songs on the record are "Bag of Hammers" and "Beat (Health, Life, and Fire)", but the track I can’t get sick of is “Chivalry.”

Favorite song: "Chivalry"


Faves of 2008: #10 and #9

Since 2006, I've blogged about my favorite albums of the year. (See here and here.) It was a great way for me to categorize one of my favorite things to blog about: music.

This year, I will admit, I wasn’t able to listen to as many albums as I wanted to. But, I still wrangled up ten of my favorite albums of 2008.

Let’s start at #10 (I’ll end on Friday with my top two albums; I know. The suspense is killing you!):

Jenny Lewis’ Acid Tongue
Jenny’s 2006 album Rabbit Fur Coat was one of my favorite album’s that year. I’ve been a big fan of Rilo Kiley’s work, so when she went solo, it was nice to hear her take on song writing.

I admire Lewis’ song-writing skills. I love that she becomes this different character and shares these beautiful stories and songs with us. However, with Acid Tongue, I felt that the song-writing felt more forced than anything else.

And, judge me if you’d like, but I am not a fan of Elvis Costello. As he was featured on a couple tracks on this album, that too turned me off.

However, the title track- Acid Tongue could easily be one of my favorite tracks of 2008. I LOVE the melody and lyrics to this song. It’s pretty awesome. But, unfortunately, the rest of the album fell short for me.

Favorite track: Acid Tongue
(To listen, click on song title.)

I’ll admit; I’m very surprised this next album made my list. I originally bought this album for Jeff, and we both gave this album many a play-time. We love it.

#9: Flight of the Conchords: Flight of the Conchords
Jeff and I watched the first season of this series over the summer. And, it quickly become one of our favorite television series ever.

I bought this album for Jeff, as he constantly recited all of the silly lyrics. It ended up in my car, and it has remained in the #3 CD slot for the past 6 months. Whenever I’m sick of whatever albums are in the CD player, I turn to this, listen intently, all the while singing and laughing.

This duo are amazing song-writers. The lyrics are obviously hysterical and witty, but the melodies are tremendous. If you listen to just the beginning of the track, for example, Mutha’uckas- the guitar is AMAZING!

I absolutely love most of the tracks on this album…

But, the one that amazes me listen and listen again is Think About It. Wow. These lyrics DO make me think about... it.

(For the record, I’m a bigger fan of Jemaine. Can't help it.)

Favorite track: Think About It
(To listen, click on song-title.)

I'll be back tomorrow for my #8 and #7 picks.


Christmas This Year...

I shared with YHO my favorite tracks of the season. See it here!

What are your "must-hear" Christmas carols?

(Pssst... Next week, I'm going to blog about my favorite albums of 2008! It's gonna be a tough decision. Lots to think about.)


I love to take pictures of my niece Hanna. She's a great sport, and loves to be in front of the camera.

Over the weekend, I went and took pictures of Hanna and her siblings. We were having a great time. I got Hanna to dance and jump for me.

But, soon after, I saw her a little sad about something.

I tried to console her, but I just HAD to capture this moment in picture too:

1. Happy Hanna 2. Sad Hanna 3. Even sadder Hanna 4. Mad at me Hanna

Someday... someday... she'll thank her aunt for capturing this.


Lo, How a Rose E're Blooming

It was this song that put me into the "Christmas spirit." Thank you, Feist. (I don't think the play link is working, but you can download it and add it to your Music Library.)

Also, read about my other go-to holiday albums here.



This is one of my favorite pictures I've taken lately. This little one is so adorable. Meet Annabelle:

These are pretty cute too:


Shabby Chic For Sale

My sister is selling her Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic designer crib accessories. These aren't the Shabby Chic pieces you buy at Target; these are the real deal at a fabulous price.

I've seen these in person, and they are darling.

First up is a pink/white striped crib skirt. (Sorry no images, but my sister should be able to send them to you.) See details here.

Second is the Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Chenelle White Bumper Pads... beautiful:

It comes with a DOWN bumper too.... so soft. Details here.

(Let me know if you have any questions on these pieces, and I'll get you in touch with my sister.)


The Decemberists

Oh how I've missed this band.

Last month they released a three track EP entitled "Always the Bridesmaid." Here's the track Days of Elaine:

(Vocals only.)