Sunday, December 30, 2012


Every year I love to making a best music of the year playlist, but this year I was pretty disappointed. Throughout the year I found myself disliking more new releases than I actually enjoyed them. I'll admit that this playlist was really difficult to make and it consists of only nine tracks. I could have added more songs from other albums from this year, but those didn't quite deserve to be labeled the best music of the year. I will say that 2012 has shown me more new artists than any other year, which could also be why I hated a lot stuff, but I want to keep exploring new things. It really does pay off in the end; I've even added a few of these artists to my favorites list! I'm already looking forward to what 2013 has in store music-wise. With new releases from Foals and the Knife, I have high hopes.

What your some of your favorite/least favorite releases from this year?

Saturday, December 29, 2012


After searching for the right instant camera to replace my Polaroid, my mom surprised me with a a Fujifilm Instax 210 camera about a month ago. I had been debating between which model of Instax camera I wanted for the longest time, either the 210 or 50s. In the end I decided to go with the wide format camera for a few different reasons, the main being that the pictures are much bigger. Also, it was quite a bit cheaper than the 50s so I figured it'd be nice to start out with. Overall, I'm pretty happy with my new instant camera, but it certainly doesn't compare to my Polaroid camera that I've come to love over the years. Here's a pros and cons list (I love these) to illustrate the good and the bad aspects of the Fujifilm Instax 210.

Pros: The film and camera are affordably priced. Easy to shoot with and load film. You don't have to hold the shutter button for an extremely long time like on a Polaroid! Instant cameras are a ton of fun shoot with and I really like the wide formatted photos even though I do miss the classic square Polaroids a bit.

Cons: The camera is HUGE. It's even bigger than my DSLR. The colors of the photos don't seem to be as vivid as Polaroids. The camera has a difficult time picking up reflective surfaces, mostly plastic I've noticed. It's left weird dots on my photos where there's any clear plastic visible, which can be seen on the photo of my melting clock and the picture frame next to it and again on the car headlight in the group photo of my friends. The developing time for the photos is quite a bit slower than a Polaroid. You don't really get to watch it develop right before your eyes as you'd be starting at a white picture for a bit, which takes away a bit from the magic of instant photography. The flash always fires and the viewfinder is a bit off.

Here's a photo to compare the size of the Fujifilm Instax 210 and my Canon Rebel XSI. Traveling with the 210 can be a bit of a hassle. I feel like I'm carrying a toaster around when I bring it with me anywhere.

Despite the fact that I've listed more cons than pros, I enjoy my new camera and my test photos. It's nowhere near as great as my Polaroid 600, but that's something I'll have to get over. I plan on bringing it with me to a New Year's Eve party, which will be a ton of fun!

Aslo, I'd like to say that I got a new scanner! It's a Canoon 9000F which is solely for photos, unlike the one I was using previously, which was a scanner/printer/faxer thing so the quality of my scan suffered quite a bit. You can see an example here of some Polaroids I took at my friend's birthday party. I'm extremely satisfied with this scanner and I'm going to start scanning film myself. It's gonna save me a lot of money in the long run! I just have to remember to brush off my photos or film because it picks up every little dust particle as you can see in the images above. Oops!

Monday, December 24, 2012


Okay, so it's not quite Christmas where I'm located but it's close enough. Tomorrow will be filled with family time, gift giving, and lots of food. I'd like to take the time to thank all of you who read my blog, whether you're just stopping by or you're a loyal follower. Blogging is something I do because I like it and it's really awesome when readers (like you!) take the time to read my posts and even post comments. I get so happy when people comment on my posts, you don't even realize. So thank you everyone; you make blogging an even more enjoyable experience for me. I can't really give all of my readers gifts but just pretend I'm giving you a gigantic hug right now! :) The above photo is of my cat Bones from last year but it was taken the day after Christmas. I wanted to save it so I could share it on time. She clearly was not happy with me for putting that hat on her but just look at how cute it is! I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season. Much love to each and every one of you! 

Friday, December 21, 2012


photo by Lorenzo Dalbosco
If you've been following my blog for a little while, it's no secret that I've become completely enamored with Robert Alfons's band Trust, and him as well. I could go into trying to lump their sound into a bunch of different categories, but it truly is unlike anything I've ever heard. Trust's debut album TRST, which dropped in February, has such a variety among all the tracks that it's hard to pinpoint what genre this music is exactly. I don't care so much about trying to label what it is that I'm listening to; all I know is that whatever it is, I can't get enough of it. I've never felt compelled enough to name any musician or group as my "band of the year" so allow me to walk you through all the reasons why Trust is so special.

First at foremost, I cannot get enough of their music. I honestly can't say this about any other thing that I've heard this year. TRST is the CD that is playing in my car the majority of the time and it's the only album that I repeatedly listen to without getting sick of it. I'm sure why this is impossible with nearly any other musician. 

That voice. Robert's voice is sexy, sinister, and eerily beautiful. I don't mean to keep repeating myself, but it truly is different than anything I've heard. Alfons has proven that he can make great electronic (I don't know what other word to use) music, but he's also proven that he's just as talented when you strip down his songs and he does just that in the acoustic version of Sulk. I admit that I'm still blown away by this version.

The sheer amount of success Trust has had since the release of their debut album simply blows my mind. They've toured Europe with Yeasayer, played at SXSW, played a headlining tour in the States, opened for the Faint, released a number of singles and music videos, and have another headline tour in store for spring. Like, what?! I don't know of any other group that is so new that has played as many gigs.

You probably get that I think this band is really good. Not only on recording but live as well. Usually I tend not to think good things of electronic bands whenever I try to imagine them live. I automatically sort of assume that artists will use technology to alter vocals or make them sound a particular way. Not in Trust's case. Not in the slightest. Robert's voice on the album is what you hear in real life. He really knows how to win over a crowd, as well. I saw Trust in November and there were maybe fifteen people in the crowd. Robert's energy had every single one of us moving, and that's impressive.

Robert Alfons oozes talent and has created a musical endeavor that has left me wanting more. Trust is stopping by St. Louis in March and you can be sure that I'll be at that show. And who knows, maybe fans will be lucky enough to have a new album by then. Until that album is released, I leave you with a B-side from the Dressed for Space single. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


This roll was kind of a bust. I realized that I need to start using the flash I bought for my Holga with my fisheye camera as well. The built in flash is pretty weak and always leaves an awkward shadow on the right half of my photos since the flash is located on the left side of the camera. Oh well, you shoot and learn! The only downside about using a hotshoe flash is that they're practically blinding and leave you seeing stars, so I would feel bad taking photos of people or at gigs. Haha, my subjects might just have to deal with it though... 0:)

Sunday, December 2, 2012


After debating for a really long time as to whether or not I should buy a Holga 135BC, I finally did. A few years ago, I had received one of the original Holgas as a birthday gift. Unfortunately, those are formatted to use 120 film so I had to rig my camera in order to be able to use 35mm. It did not work, so it's been sitting on my shelf of cameras for decoration. Recently I discovered that Lomography now offers a 35mm design of the classic Holga. Of course I wanted it! So naturally when I had a 20% off coupon code for their online shop, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I opted for the "black corners" edition because how could you not want a Holga to have that gorgeous vignetting? I think my first roll of film using this camera actually turned out pretty decently. I did have a few issues, though. The focusing is kind of difficult. After shooting with a DSLR for so long, I'm used to precisely focusing images. You can't do that with this little guy! But, I think that's what makes toy cameras so much fun to shoot with. You've got to forget about being so technical and perfectionistic about shooting. Just go with the flow! Another issue I was faced with was that this camera is very light hungry. I bought a flash to use for indoor photos, but shooting when the sun is starting to set does not produce very good results. Overall, I'm really happy with this camera and can't wait to use it more!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Despite being a relatively new band, Trust has easily become one of my favorites. Frontman Robert Alfons has a unique and beautiful voice that is unlike any other I've ever heard. This stripped down piano version of Sulk does a great job of showcasing Robert's talent and versatility. The original song (click click) is an electro dance track with a a bit of a dark 80's pop feel to it. I honestly was not expecting a piano version of an electronic song to be so good. It's mesmerizing, really. These songs are a bit lengthy, but just take some time to listen to both of them. The juxtaposition of the two is incredible. Now I can't decide which version I like better! Video directed by Petra Collins.


We've all had that one piece in our closet that we wear until it essentially falls apart, and that's what I did with a pair of black combat boots by Wanted. I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty dollars for them, so they weren't exactly the best quality but hey, they were cheap and they were cute! These things were my go-to pair of shoes; I wore them nearly everyday for the last two years! What forced me to retire my beloved boots was that the poor things are beginning to fall apart. The soles were coming unglued, the material was peeling away, and water was seeping in through the bottoms. I knew I had to find a replacement pair, and something that was a better quality.
My immediate thought was to check out Doc Martens. I already have a pair of DM heels that are some of the most comfortable things to ever have graced my feet, so I figured their boots must be just as great. It didn't take long before I found what would be my new boots: Clemency in patent black. A classic eight-eyelet combat boot with a two inch heel, perfect for everyday wear. 
I was absolutely ecstatic when they arrived in the mail. I mean, just LOOK at them! They're gorgeous! They've got these wonderful things called "bouncing soles" that make them feel like clouds on my feet. I forgot that these even had heels on them until I realized that I was slightly taller than usual. 

Needless to say, I'm really excited to have new boots in my wardrobe. They're gonna get a ton of usage out of them before they start falling apart! Combat boots have been a staple of mine for years and I'm so glad to have some that are of such excellent quality.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


One of my favorite things about Europe is that there's street art nearly everywhere you turn. If a building has walls, chances are almost every easily accessible inch will be touched by spray paint. The summer after my senior year of high school I was lucky enough to travel overseas and visit France and Spain. A lot of my fellow classmates on the trip complained about how they thought all the graffiti looked run down and dirty. But art isn't supposed to be aesthetically pleasing to everyone. There's so much freedom in the world of art and I doubt the last thing on someone's mind while they're creating a piece is whether or not the public majority is going to like it. And that's just the thing. Artists realize that not everyone will like their work; they mostly create it for their own pleasure. If someone says, "I didn't like that," then oh well. Art isn't about being good, it's about the artist themselves. It's kind of a selfish discipline in that sense. It's about their feelings, their time and hard work, their effort, and their message. Art can make you happy, make you cringe, make you confused, and can make you uncomfortable. That's the beauty of it - it can be everything. One thing that I love about street art is that anyone can do it. It can be as easy as spraying paint over a stencil. I think a common misconception that people have about art is that what you create has to be some sort of a masterpiece. Clearly, that's not the case. Street art also gives you the freedom to do whatever you want - wheat pastes even allow you to steal someone else's images and bring it to the public eye.What I admire the most about street artists is that they're willing to take their work to the public. Some will even risk their lives just to get a piece out there. I think it's simply amazing that individuals will live and die for their craft. That's not something everyone would do. There's certainly no way I'd put my life on the line to capture a photo. The fact that someone would is outstanding. Not only are artists risking their lives and safety, but they're also risking have to face consequences for breaking the law. Street artists are gutsy. They have a sort of "no fear, no shame" outlook. Almost every piece of graffiti is going to be seen by someone. Street art is one of the best ways to make your art and name known. Instead of taking someone to look at art in a museum, the art is brought to them. And not everyone wants to openly display their art to be seen and criticized by such a large audience. It truly is admirable that these individuals take their art and throw it in peoples' faces, forcing them to look at it whether or not they want to. And for all you art history buffs, here's a new rendition of Napoleon Bonaparte Crossing the Alps by Jacques Louis David in which his horse has been replaced by a moped. I encourage everyone to look at street art as something much more than urban eyesores. Hopefully, after reading this post maybe you'll look at in a new light if you had felt negatively about it previously. I understand that not everyone is going to enjoy street art, but I think people could at least appreciate it. It's been one of my goals for quite some time to dabble in this field, and I think that once the weather starts to warms up I'll do some experimenting... :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I found the bunny in my yard again! This time he was actually out in the open instead of underneath a bush like usual. I caught him as he was scouring for food and eating blades of grass. My cat was sitting in the window making noises at the bunny while I was taking photos, and I think she's the reason for the little guy's adorable ear positions! Whether or not she actually was, it was so funny to see him rearranging his ears like that. I hope this guy brings as much cheer to your day as he does mine! Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Monday, November 5, 2012


   Foals has just secretly released their new single Inhaler today! You have to unlock the song by entering a code on their website, which they have been repeatedly tweeting. This is so exciting! I am absolutely in love with their new sound. And this song could not have come out at a more perfect time; I had just fallen in love with Total Life Forever all over again. This song is much heavier compared to Foals' other songs but their emotion and intensity hasn't gone anyway. I can already see myself repeatedly listening to this and blasting it in my car until the new album, Holy Fire, drops, which according to NME can be expected in early 2013. You should take advantage of this post and check out the video since it is unlisted on YouTube. Not only because of that, but also because it suits the song well and is a very powerful video. What are your reactions to Foals' new style? I know I'll be looking forward to hearing the rest of Holy Fire!

P.S. - I think from now on I'm going to start including one of my favorite stills from a music video when I share them on my blog. That way you guys can get a sneak peak and I also love stills from videos! We'll see how this goes!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I kept forgetting to post these photos but here they are, about a month after they were developed! All of these except for the first and last photos are from the St. Louis City Museum, which is not your average museum. It's basically a giant jungle gym. They have underground caves you can explore, a giant whale, all kinds of cool structures to climb on, and a ten story slide! There's also an aquarium and a rooftop ferris wheel, but those cost a few bucks extra. There's a huge vintage shop that covers a whole floor, an arcade, a cool little museum of animal skeletons and insects, and a sort of architectural exhibit. I'm not doing a good job by any means of explaining how cool this place is. I hadn't been to the City Museum in years until a month or so ago. In elementary school, we'd take field trips there all the time and I'd be so sad to leave. If you're ever in the St. Louis area, check this place out! You'll have TONS of fun! 

The last photo was from my friend Tracy's birthday dinner. We ate at a delicious pizza place, and as you can see, there were so many pizzas that they kinda took over the table. The one I ate had goat cheese, pesto, artichokes, and mushrooms. I don't know it's possible to fall in love with a food, but I'm in love with that pizza.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Every Halloween, I try to dress up as someone using items that I already own so that I won't have to buy anything, but still look awesome. This year I was Wednesday Addams from the Addams Family. Wednesday's character really allowed me to embrace the dark circles under my eyes and my permanent bitchface, which is not something I do very often! I was really considering buying some of that temporary spray hair color so I could make my hair black to really pull the whole look together, but I was afraid that it'd stain my hair and clothes. So, let's just pretend that Wednesday grew up and wanted to be a blonde :)

I tried to take pictures of my entire outfit but unfortunately they didn't turn out too well. My costume was quite simple; I wore a blouse with contrasted collar and cuffs from American Apparel, black tights, and Jeffrey Campbell wedges. I really love my face in the second photo - so much angst!

I hope you all had a fun Halloween weekend! What did you dress up as? xo

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Friday night one of my friends invited me to go see SSION live with him. The only song of theirs I knew was My Love Grows in the Dark thanks to Rookie Magazine posting about it, which I liked so I figured why not go? I am so glad that I went. Normally I don't really like going to shows where I don't like the band too much and I don't know the lyrics to their songs. It makes me feel like I don't deserve to be there and if I see a band live, I need to participate whether it be by singing along or dancing to the music. SSION definitely took the crowd by storm. They had absolutely every person dancing like crazy to their 80's styled dance beats. Just recently I was talking to someone about how I hate what the crowds have turned into at shows: teens standing there bored and taking pictures with their smartphones so they can post them on various social networking sites. Not a single person was doing this on Friday night. It was refreshing to see the band get absolutely everyone in the crowd to join in on the fun. I remember very specifically jumping around like crazy to Earthquake throwing around metallic streamers that I found on the floor. There was even a time when singer Cody Critcheloe had the whole crowd get onstage with him. Everyone went nuts and danced like there was no tomorrow. This was the most fun I had had at a gig in a long while! If SSION is coming to your town, go see them and you will not regret it! You'll be completely blown away by their amazing performance.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Friday afternoon my friends and I took a drive up to Eckert's Orchard to pick pumpkins and enjoy the beautiful afternoon. Much fun was had! We spent hours wandering through the fields in search of the perfect pumpkins, drinking delicious homemade apple cider, and hanging out with baby goats. I used to go apple picking here all the time when I was a little kid so it was great to be able to go back now that I'm older. If I ever become a mom, I'd definitely bring my kids to do the same! 
Here's Anna, Ellie, Emma, and Brittany with their pumpkins. Look how pretty it was out there!
Baby goats! These little guys were ridiculously cute. We hung around their pin for so long feeding them, trying to communicate with them, and petting them. The little black one on the rock was small enough to jump through an opening of the fence. I saw him standing out in the open, and I rushed over to go put him back but he jumped right back in once he saw me coming over. I just really wanted to hold one of the babies for a second!
This goat was the oddball of the bunch. He stood and stared at the wall for something like ten minutes before he came over to nibble on Emma's hand!
Emma and Brittany attempting to swing on the tire swings.

We sort of had a rough start when we arrived at the orchard. All of us realized that we needed to go to the bathroom so we had no choice but to use the porta-potties. Despite that, we still had a wonderful time! Here's to hoping that we can make it out there every fall!