136,340 Streamed Minutes in 2016: The Breakdown

I broke down the year overall already – now let’s dig into the tunes behind it


According to my Spotify Year in Review, I listened to well over 130,000 minutes of music. That doesn’t include the hours I spent listening to records, or the radio, or podcasts. I take in a lot of media, but I didn’t think it was nearly that much. I figured since I clocked in so many hours of streaming, I should probably put my two cents out there in what the year looked like musically. I shared with Atwood what I thought the album of the year was — but you’ll have to check that out to see what I thought. I’ll link it here when that gets published. Here, though, we’ll break it down by month, and what struck me as big for that period of time.


Hamilton — Original Cast Recording
The past few years over the few days it takes to ring in the New Year, I spend the time with one of my closest and oldest drum corps friends, Kayla. The last two years, she’s introduced me to new musicals I end up being obsessed with for the year. Last year, it was In The Heights. This year, it was the musical that’s taken the world by storm, Hamilton. This bad boy has been on repeat periodically throughout the year, but mostly during January. Easily.

Galway Girl — Steve Earle
Since I spent most of the month traveling, and much of that in Ireland, this was a song that we’d listen to as we got ready for the day or a night out and want to channel our inner “Irish bar music.” “Galway Girl” will forever remind me of the craziness that happened over those two weeks abroad this year.

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A Few of my Favorite Things 2014

It’s time. “Best of 2014” lists, albums, records, everything is coming out. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve, and I’ve already told you a few of my favorite records I found this year (well, this summer, but that’s when most of them came out anyway, so…deal with it,) but 2014 has been a year of discovery for me. I’ve decided to share eight of the material-world things that have made my year both easier and interesting…don’t worry, a more touching post is on the way. It’s going to be emotional and full of pictures and memories. Thanks for staying with us for the past year, there’s still plenty more to come.

Unfortunately, it took me awhile to get turned on to Spotify, and weirdly enough, it was after Airwaves. But I’ve found it and absolutely love this music service. I’ve been able to listen to almost every artist/band/record I found this year, and reminisce without taking up a bunch of space on my computer or phone.

Saucony running shoes
As some of you may know, I kind of became a runner this year. I’ve ran in Asics, Nike, Saucony, and Brooks so far, but Saucony has been my favorite so far. A wonderful spring/summer/fall shoe, I’m doing my best to kill off these Brooks (which is still a great shoe, but not as much of a fan as the Sauconys) so I can purchase another pair of my purple mountain majesties, as I like to call them.

Gingerbread Cliff Bars
Snickerdoodle and gingerbread cookies are tied for first place when it comes to deliciousness for me, and since we hardly ate in Iceland, I lived off Cliff Bars. So much so that my love for them rekindled (a weird thing to think about after realizing how much I relied on them summer 2013, come to think of it,) and I ended up craving the suckers. I hit Target once we got back to the States, just to see if they were on sale, and was hit with a beautiful thing: Gingerbread. Cliff. Bars. And they were on sale, too. Since then, my food cabinet has not been without these gems.

External Hard Drive
Another Iceland lesson, I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the end of the semester without my new baby. $60 on Amazon, it holds everything I need it to and more. I no longer worry (too much) about my computer crashing, as long as I back it up often. This ties in with Spotify, too, but we won’t get into that too much.

Tervis Tumblers
Definitely an obsession, these cups keep the hot things hot and the cold things cold. Most of the Christmas gifts I’m giving this year are Tervis Tumblers, but it’s because I can’t imagine life without mine any more. They have some awesome designs and they are much more earth-friendly than getting styrofoam cups wherever you go.

Of course I’ve got a machine to make the coffee I love to drink from the Tervis Tumbler – this bad boy has been my saving grace this semester. And I love finding different types of k-cups to test out or give as gifts. It’s a fun little machine that was also about $60 at Target…and I saved some extra with —

The Cartwheel App
…Not proud of this one, but it’s already starting to save me money. I’ve saved over $35 throughout the course of the five months I’ve been on it, and I’m not apologizing anytime soon. If you frequent Target, I highly suggest this one.

And finally, the website I’ve been spilling my heart out to you at least once a week since late January/early February… this has been a cool place to reflect on the week or certain events that happen or share my favorite things or drop all these run-on-sentences. Thanks for following, clicking, reading, and staying. More to come in 2015 — it’s going to be worth it to stick around.


(Belated) Summer Picks

It’s a typical Tuesday. It’s -15 at home in Northern Minnesota, it’s a little brisk (but not bad) here in Chicago, and I was scrolling through Facebook this morning. What wasn’t normal, though, is a post I saw – nothing bad, I promise. In fact, it inspired me. Kari Hedlund, the music director for Northern Community Radio (the station I interned for this summer,) posted a picture of some of the CDs of the warmer months, and asked for suggestions on our favorite summer albums. Let’s just say I left a pretty lengthy comment that left me feeling unsatisfied. So here we are. Now that it’s December, let’s warm up a little with my hottest “summer” favorites. (Ha ha ha… no? Okay. I’ll stop.) I know some of these didn’t come out this summer, but I discovered them over the summer. So I count them as summer. Deal with it.

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