I thought it was time I revealed the master playlists from the Phenomenal Woman and Cafe Mixes. Every year I create 2 mix cds as gifts for my mom and sister – a phenomenal woman mix full of upbeat dance tunes, and a cafe mix for relaxing at home. I’ve enlisted help from the blogosphere for the past several years in finding just the right tunes to add and I hosted a giveaway for those that shared ideas.
Thank you all so much for sharing your musical suggestions with me. To see all the recommendations, check out The Ultimate Mix CD Project.
Here are the winning contenders!
Phenomenal Woman Mix:
1. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
2. Hideaway by Kiesza
3. Mother and Father by Broods
4. His Gorgeousness by The Shoe
5. Tough Love by Jessie Ware
6. Ghost by Ella Henderson
7. My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit
8. The Chain by Brandi Carlile
9. Knots by Lisa Hannigan
10. Gun by CHVRCHES
11. Coffee by Sylvan Esso
12. Wings by Birdy
13. Safe & Sound by Savannah Berry
14. Pompeii by Jasmine Thompson
15. Wolf by First Aid Kit
16. Last Bus Out by Jillette Johnson
17. Spectrum by Florence + the Machine
18. Beating Heart by Ellie Goulding
19. Higher by Lia Ices
20. Rockstar by Emily Kinney
21. Enough by The Mrs.
1. Paper Cup by The Shoe
2. Long Way Off by Gungor
3. Fare Thee Well by Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford
4. Kids by Emily Kinney
5. Stay With Me by Bernhoft
6. Michigan by The Milk Carton Kids
7. Li’l Red Riding Hood by Laura Gibson
8. Just Another Day by Stacey Earle
9. I See Fire by Ed Sheeran
10. Come Out Wherever You Are by Paul Cook & The Chronicles
11. Like a Dream by Francis and the Lights
12. Woodstock by Joni Mitchell
13. Somebody That I Used to Know by Madilyn Bailey & Jake Coco
14. Mull of Kintyre by Wings
15. Be Not So Fearful by A.C. Newman
16. Shadow on the Wall by Brandi Carlile
17. Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars
18. 18th of December by The Deep Dark Woods
19. You and Me by You + Me
20. Go To Sleep by The Avett Brothers
There are the ultimate playlists! Happy listening.
And the winners of the cd giveaway are…
What were your favorite tunes of the past year?
Find any new favorites from these playlists?
With Christmas just a month away, I’ve got to get cracking on my go to gift for my mum and sis.
The Ultimate Mix CD Project
Since 2007 I’ve given them each a Phenomenal Women’s Mix CD, a compilation of all female artists and the songs are usually upbeat and dance-worthy. A few years ago I added in what I call a Cafe’ Mix – mellow music for hanging at home and which allows male and female artists. Since 2012, I’ve enlisted YOUR help with creating those awesome playlists.
I need your brilliant ideas again now!
And to thank you, I’ll pick 2 commenters at random to win copies of the 2 cds!
I’m guessing no one wants my fake NaNo album – created in a black hole of stress rage. I called it Blames it On the Hormones.
No takers? None? Ok.
Then here are some ideas to get you thinking about types of songs to suggest!
For the Phenomenal Women Mix:
My Silver Lining ~ First Aid Kit
This is the song I keep playing on repeat. Lurve!
Hideaway ~ Kiesza
She did this music video in one take. One take!!!
Enough ~ The Mrs
The ladies behind the magic talking mirror. Had to be included!
For the Cafe’ Mix:
Paper Cup ~ The Shoe
Did you know actress Jena Malone has a band? And it’s awesome! This video is flippin’ weird, but I love this song, and every other song on their debut album I’m Okay.
Poison & Wine ~ The Civil Wars
Haunting and beautiful. Hurt and yet thankful. Haven’t we all felt this way at some point?
Stay With Me ~ Bernhoft
A great male addition to my mix. Love the song, and hadn’t heard much buzz about him before, but found this song via my Songza app.
What do you think of these tunes so far?
What other songs should I add? Share your favorites!
Have you tried or heard of Stitch Fix?
It’s a personal styling business for women based out of San Francisco, CA. I first heard about them on Twitter and started ogling all the cute pictures people were taking of the new clothes they received. I had to check this out.
Sign up for an account, which is free, and fill out your style profile. It’s an in depth assessment of what YOU want and like, but it’s not too time consuming. I promise. It shows you pictures and lets you enter your sizes and comfort level with showing off various body parts. You input budget guidelines. You can also link to your Twitter and Pinterest accounts so the stylists can better get to know you when they select items for your fix.
Which is honestly why I started a pinterest account…but there’s writing stuff on there too!
For $20 a personal stylist will select 5 items for you and mail them to your house.
That’s right. To your house. No driving in circles for a parking spot at the mall, clothes shopping in places where it smells like big pretzels. You get five items personally selected for you to try on in the comfort of your own home. No shipping fee.
If you buy the whole fix, you get 25% off everything, but otherwise keep what you want, and send the rest back. Again, no shipping. Stitch Fix boxes come with a prepaid envelope inside. And that $20? Goes towards your purchase!
Stitch Fix Founder and CEO, Katrina Lake, has always worked in some capacity with retail, but she always dreamed of starting up her own project. Her passion was in the potential for digital fashion sales. She partnered with tech wizards in Silicon Valley to create style algorithms based on people’s responses and worked with up and coming fashion designers to lower expenses of the clothes while still granting mass exposure of their labels.
Here’s a quick interview with Katrina – this woman knows her stuff.
A common thread she kept hearing from clients was how busy each woman was. Stitch Fix to the rescue! When you can try clothes on in your own home, you have your entire closet with you to see if that new top really does pair well those paisley gaucho pants you bought two years ago and have yet to match anything to. 😀
Photo-ops! Take one look at the twitter hashtag #StitchFix, and you’ll see women all over the country gleefully unpacking their Stick Fix box, which by the way is packed adorably and professionally and comes with style cards for your new potential wardrobe items.
This is fun! And you should Stitch Fix with me. The most you have to lose is $20. But I’m betting you’re gonna like it!
Still curious? Try it yourself!
And, the winner of Roni Loren’s e-book, Still Into You, is… brickhousechick!!! Congratulations!
Your summer just got more sizzlin’!
I adore Sloane Crosley. She’s been recognized as the female David Sedaris, which is high praise for comedy writers. I read her first memoir, I Was Told There’d Be Cake, last summer and LOVED it. Ms. Crosley and I share quite a bit of humorous childhood experiences and her essays – particularly the one about the atlas moth – had me laughing out loud. You see, I do not do bugs.
Working on a humorous non-fiction book myself, I’ve been guzzling down comedy books to get a sense of voice and see what works and what doesn’t. I was ready to check out more Sloane Crosley!
For Christmas, I added her next book, How Did You Get This Number, to my wish list and my sister obliged.
In this book, Sloane shares a love story, one of New York City and her own as well. Every gory detail about her relationship with the place she lives is there – from desiring to live in a haunted apartment complex that used to be a brothel to buying high class furniture that “fell off the back of a truck” from a guy named Doug. Along the way, this new adult finds a place for herself amidst the moments that shaped her life.
Frequently writing for The New York Times and GQ magazines, Sloane Crosley has a quick wit that burns off the page. She has a style of writing like your having a conversation with your bestie over coffee, and yet the comparisons she makes about life are so biting and enjoyable.
Travel buffs will also get a kick out of this read for her descriptions of things like hailing a New York taxi cab, getting lost in the streets of Turkey, bonding with fellow bridesmaids in the wilderness of Alaska, and trying to smuggle an antique thermometer out of France.
I read this book as part of my To Be Read Pile Challenge for 2014. I am now 2 books into the challenge, with 10 more to go. You can see my full reading list here.
What books are on your must read list this year?
How’s your reading going so far?
Got any recommendations for me?
How was everyone’s Valentine’s Day? Do tell. Dish!
Are you a hopeless romantic when it comes to
Cupid? Or are you more into Singles Awareness Day?
I would be ok with this.
I think Valentine’s Day is like any other holiday. Yes, of course the stores use it to make money so we’re bombarded with sales pitches and $$$ signs. Plus the media focuses on romantic love relationships, which is leaving a lot of people out.
Why not celebrate all kinds of love?
I sent Valentine’s to my mom and pop, my sis, and my bestie. No gifts. Just a nice note letting them know I was thinking of them.
There was a lot of chatter at work and online, everyone asking each other what their Valentine’s plans were. I heard the whole spectrum: from the traditional fancy dinner reservations to a Walking Dead marathon. They both sound great to me!
Joe and I started a non-traditional tradition for Valentine’s day a few years ago where we stay in and gorge on my favorite date night dinner: meat, cheese, crackers, fruit, all with a variety of spreads like pepper jams, mustard, and jelly, and of course, WINE.
Ok, ok. I know you see it mixed in there and are scratching your heads. Why, you may ask, did we watch The Silence of the Lambs for Valentine’s Day?
Well, that’s our tradition. We watch very (emphasis on the very) un-Valentiney movies for Valentine’s. I think it started the year Joe convinced me to watch Tremors.
I am the best fiance ever. Seriously.
I readily agreed to watching Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins solve the Buffalo Bill murder investigation.
I gotta say, you all cracked me up when I shared that photo online. Many of you asked where the fava beans were. And had we been smart, we would have picked out a nice chianti. 😉
Thank goodness Joe didn’t buy me any lotion for V-Day! That might have set the creepy bar over the edge.
Instead, he got us a new plant. His name is Hubert. Say hello, Hubert.
Two years ago, Joe got me a plant for my birthday. She was beautiful with peach colored blossoms. We named her Calliope. We gave her sunlight and water and took her outside sometimes…only to learn that she didn’t like a lot of sun or weather changes or water.
We started over on last year’s birthday with a new plant we named Rue. After Rue McClanahan (Blanche in the Golden Girls). I like my plants to have pizzazz. Rue and Hubert are happily watching out the kitchen window for spring to come. Which I fear is never.
What do you think of Valentine’s Day? Do you celebrate all forms of love? What’s your favorite non-traditional date night activity you and your love share?
And stick around for some mystery this Friday when I have guest blogger, Kathy Owen, on The Happiness Project talking about Sherlock Holmes and “The Red-Headed League.” I can’t wait!
Today I’m pleased to welcome pet expert and thriller writer, Amy Shojai, to The Happiness Project! I’ve read Amy’s book, Lost and Found, and LOVED it!
She’s got bite – I mean, a great voice!
So please welcome Amy and her purr-fect Valentine’s tales!
If you really want to please your partner this Valentine’s Day buy catnip and chew toys (and pet-centric books!) instead of chocolate. Love me, love my pet is the new Valentine rule of paw.
Cats and dogs show affection and devotion in very different ways. What some folks might find objectionable actually is the ultimate in a kitty or canine compliment! Here are a few examples:
- Cats hop on our laps—then present their ass-ets for a sniff. (It’s sort of a backwards kitty compliment).
- Dogs jump up and knock us down or ruin outfits. They’re trying to reach/lick your face, a way of saying “you’re the boss, I love you.”
- Cats claw your most favorite chair—marking something that smells like you as their most favorite territory.
- Dogs chew up your favorite purse—again, it smells like you and he wants to be close to his beloved.
I’ve written and lectured and been quoted about dog and cat behavior and care more times than I like to admit—in dog years, I should be dead! Lately, though, I’ve branched into fiction writing to bring the “good news” about pets to a whole new audience. People who have no interest in a how-to pet care/behavior book lap it up like BACON when presented as doggy (or kitty) litter-ature.
My dog viewpoint thrillers feature a German Shepherd service dog, a trained Maine Coon cat, and an animal behaviorist. The newest HIDE AND SEEK was just released, and here’s a teeny BACON-flavored taste to tempt you to learn more:
“HIDE AND SEEK masterfully blends ripped-from-the-headlines urgency with an emotional story of real characters in escalating dangers. Written with authority and deft brilliance that any lover of animals or nerve-jangling thrillers will cherish.” James Rollins, New York Times bestseller of “The Eye of God”
“HIDE AND SEEK is a creepy must read mystery for animal lovers. Animal behaviorist Amy Shojai knows her stuff.” J.T. Ellison, NYT bestselling author of “When Shadows Fall”
“A shocking betrayal, a reality TV show gone horribly wrong, and murders related to an unthinkable cause, HIDE AND SEEK is a mystery/thriller you won’t be able to put down!” Alan Leverone, best-selling thriller author of “Mr. Midnight” and “The Lonely Mile”
“Recommended for anyone who likes a ‘bite-your-nails, hold-your-breath’ kind of thriller.” Dr. Lorie Huston, veterinarian and Cat Writers’ Association president
I adore my main characters in these stories (the first was LOST AND FOUND) because they’re real to me. Shadow the dog and Macy the cat love their human, September Day (a behaviorist) unconditionally just like my “real” pets Magical-Dawg and Seren-Kitty love me. What we’d do for those we love—human and furry—really drives these thriller stories. And in real life, we love our pets back. Some of us wish our human loves were more like the pets.
Don’t believe me? Get a load of this! A few years ago, a joint global poll by Reuters/Ipsos of 24,000 people in 23 countries found 21 percent of adults would rather spend February 14 with their pet than their spouse. And the American Kennel Club (AKC) surveyed dog owners and found even more startling results. Nearly 90 percent of women wish their boyfriend or husband was more like their dog. More than a third of women said, “If my dog was a man, he’d be my boyfriend!”
Men also wish their significant other shared some of the same qualities as their dog, especially the quality of “always being in a good mood.” Only 23 percent of men surveyed agreed with the statement, “If my dog was a woman she’d be my girlfriend.”
Based on the results, men and women should go to the dog for hints on pleasing the special humans in their lives. In fact, people have such strong bonds with their dogs and cats that the human in your life may become jealous. Reasons include dedicating “too much” time to the pet, preferring to cuddle with the dog rather than their mate, or that the dog “likes me better.”
Canine qualities women look for in men include a perennial good mood, willingness to spend time together, eagerness to cuddle on the couch, and being happy to eat her cooking without complaint. The survey also indicated women appreciated how dogs helped motivate them to exercise. Canine qualities that men appreciate in women include being as happy to spend time at home as out on the town, offering enthusiastic greetings when he returns home, and not getting mad when he wants to watch sports. Men also liked it that dogs were “up” for anything he wants to do.
So this Valentine’s Day, let your romantical inclinations take into account the cats and dogs that your two-legged honey adores. That’ll have them wagging their virtual tails in purrfect bliss!
Amy Shojai (www.shojai.com) has been reinventing herself for years. She’s a certified animal behavior consultant, and the award-winning author of 27 best selling pet books that cover furry babies to old-fogies, first aid to natural healing, and behavior/training to Chicken Soup-icity. She is the Puppies Guide at puppies.About.com, the cat behavior expert at cats.About.com, and hosts a weekly half hour Internet Pet Peeves radio show. Amy has been featured as an expert in hundreds of print venues including The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, and Family Circle, as well as national radio and television networks such as CNN, Animal Planet’s DOGS 101 and CATS 101.
HIDE AND SEEK published by Cool Gus Publishing is available in Trade Paperback for $11.99 and all Ebook formats for $4.99 (for Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc.). You may order the book via online stories such as amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Find out more at Amy’s Bling, Bitches & Blood Blog at http://amyshojai.com
It’s that time of year again! The 5th Annual To Be Read Pile Challenge hosted by Adam @ Roof Beam Reader is happening!
The Goal: To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile (within 12 months).
Specifics: Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2013 or later (any book published in the year 2012 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile – I WILL be checking publication dates). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through” pile.
Prize: Everyone who successfully completes their 12 books in 12 months will be entered to win a $50 gift card to Amazon.com or The Book Depository!
Hurry up! Your list must be posted by January 15th!
I must admit, 2013 was a TOTAL FLOP. You know how many books on my list I read? Three. Just three. I kind of got sidetracked reading humor books for research last year. This year, I’ve built some into my list. Here goes!!
My 2014 To Be Read Pile
- How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley
- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
- One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus
- Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster
- Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- Crash Into You by Roni Loren
- She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
- When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
- Bonk by Mary Roach
- The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
1. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
2. The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry
What titles are on your TBR list?
How was everyone’s Christmas?
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with love and laughter! I’ve got more goodies coming your way!
Today’s the day I get to announce the playlists for the Phenomenal Woman and Cafe’ Mixes!
The three lucky winners of these mixes (and a bonus Dudes’ Mix cd) are:
Out of 73 song recommendations from YOU, plus what I found trolling around on I-Tunes, behold…
The Phenomenal Woman Mix
1. Hard Way Home by Brandi Carlile
2. Torpedo by Jillette Johnson
3. From Where I’m Standing by Schuyler Fisk
4. Circle of the Sun by Serena Ryder
5. Supermarket by Leddra Chapman
6. Unconditionally by Katy Perry
7. This is What Makes Us Girls by Lana Del Rey
8. With Love by Christina Grimmie
9. My Kind of Love by Tessanne Chin
10. Every Mile of the Ride by Lindi Ortega
11. Cannonball by Lea Michele
12. Neon Lights by Natasha Bedingfield
13. Mary Go Round by Serena Ryder
14. Burn by Ellie Goulding
15. Closer by Tegan and Sara
16. What Now by Rihanna
17. Loved Me Back to Life by Celine Dion
18. The House of the Rising Sun by Jacquie Lee
19. Love Me Right! by the Swag Geeks
20. 365 Days by ZZ Ward
21. The Race by Caroline Pennell
The Cafe’ Mix
1. Heart Beats by Johnnyswim
2. Radioactive by Pentatonix & Lindsey Stirling
3. My Blood by Ellie Goulding
4. People Help the People by Birdy
5. The One That Got Away by The Civil Wars
6. Basset Hound by Jillette Johnson
7. I Will Fall by the Nashville Cast
8. Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth & Emeli Sande
9. Everyday by Rogue Wave
10. Heart’s Content by Brandi Carlile
11. It’s Too Late by Wild Belle
12. Summer Wine by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood
13. Castin’ My Spell by Johnny Otis
14. Let it Go by Idina Menzel
15. Say Something by A Great Big World w/ Christina Aguilera
16. Please, Baby Please by Serena Ryder
17. Babylon by Nina Nesbitt
18. Ho Hey by the Nashville Cast
19. Skinny Love by Birdy
20. Give Me Love by Alex & Sierra
21. All I Want is You by Tristan Prettyman
Happy listening! And a Happy New Year!
Last week you all shared 57 song suggestions with me! BAM!
Nice work! I had some listening homework to do, but it was fun, and I have a loooooong list of possibilities now.
Today I’m sharing a few favorites and I hope you keep the recommendations coming! I’ve actually got 3 mix cds to make: the Phenomenal Woman Mix (all female dance mix), the Cafe’ Mix (chill, coffee mug in hand mix), and a Dude’s Mix (all male mix cd).
So if you hear something ya like, *raises eyebrows up and down*, don’t keep it a secret!
Three random commenters will win all 3 CDs!
Favorite Phenomenal Woman Contenders:
Love Me Right by Geek Swag ~ From Ginger Calem
Ginger said this is the song that makes her dance no matter what. I couldn’t agree more! And it has a very Sex in the City kind of vibe, I think. Brunch tomorrow, ladies?
Into the Nightlife by Cyndi Lauper ~ From Emma Meade
Definitely a dance song, and a nice throwback to the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Queen!
Mama’s Broken Heart by Miranda Lambert ~ From Julie Glover
I would describe this song as a 3 part harmony involving the True Blood theme song, Mad Men’s wardrobe, and the Desperate Housewives wig collection. In short, it’s kinda awesome.
It’s Too Late by Wild Belle ~ From Dawn Sticklen
Still a great dance song, but it’s probably played at some french club I can’t get into. Thanks Dawn!
Favorite Cafe’ Mix Contenders:
Say Something by A Great Big World w/ Christina Aguilera ~ From Misty Laws
Sad, poignant, haunting, lovely, honest, heartbreak, hope. This is the kind of thing you’ll play on repeat.
Stop Signs by The Moondoggies ~ From Mark Petruska
This could go on the Dude’s Mix or the Cafe’ Mix. Love his voice. Sounds like something you’d hear in a movie while the main character embarks on a long road trip.
What songs did you love?What else would you recommend?
What’s new with you?