2013 playlist

Dec 31, 2013

as we get ready to bid adieu to 2013 and ring in the new year, i look back at the music i became obsessed with and noticed that my music taste explored territories that i hadn't expected it to go. 

so many new artists and bands came to light all over the world that changed the music of all genres in this generation -- some good and some just painfully...not. nevertheless, it can't be overlooked that 2013 produced really great music while broadening to lesser explored synthesizers and the like.

dance til midnight // pop! fiction

sex // the 1975
the wire // haim
habits (stay high) // tove lo
beast // nico vega
wings // haerts
gentleman // theory of a deadman
the best thing (that never happened) // we are the in crowd
you (ha ha ha) // charli xcx
it's time // imagine dragons
starring role // marina and the diamonds
lolita // lana del rey
angels (dubstep remix) // the xx
light up the sky (solomon olds remix) // thousand foot krutch
set it off // xxyyxx
i want you // cassie steele
e.v.o.l // marina and the diamonds
serial killer // lana del rey
heartbeat // childish gambino
heart out // the 1975
killin' it // krewella
the last man on earth // pia mia
23 // mike will made it x miley cyrus x wiz khalifa x juice j
monster // meg myers
river flows in you // yiruma
tongue tied // grouplove
jealous minds // peanut butter lovesickle
fangs // littleredlung
summertime sadness (cedric gervais remix) // lana del rey
boyfriend // best coast
warrior // beth crowley
blood bank // bon iver
to catch a ghost // flashes
rough water // travie mccoy x jason mraz
harlem // new politics
perfect christmas // pop! fiction

♥ Do you have a favorite song (or top 10) from 2013? ♥

{empty mystics} new moon in capricorn

the capricorn new moon tonight is on new years eve, which never happens, and it’s also a super moon. this makes it extra potent.

the new moon is closest to the earth and in direct alignment with the sun and the earth. new moons are new beginnings. you have a new start in capricorn. the structures of your life are to be examined and changed as needed. this includes your relationships, health, finances, work and lifestyle.

the capricorn new moon message is time to upgrade and improve your life. take the time to check on your development. think back to your personal improvements. don’t waste this energy gift to manifest the changes most needed. you are being given a fresh start.

{empty mystics} last day of crescent moon

Dec 8, 2013

Tonight is the last day of the crescent moon phase. 

This part of the lunar cycle is about challenges and overcoming situations to better ourselves. 

Stay strong
Stay grounded 
and inspired.

watch, read, & listen: blackfish, untethered soul, city of angels

Dec 2, 2013

♥ watch, read & listen a weekly feature where we share and recommend
our current movie, book and music obsessions to you every monday. ♥

Watch: Blackfish

"Blackfish," is a documentary film about the multiple incidents, including the three deaths, that prompted the ongoing court case between Sea World, and OSHA, the "Occupational Safety and Health Admissions". These 3 deaths, which included 2 Orca trainers, were caused by Sea World's infamous bull Orca "Tilikum." Through a series of interviews with former Orca trainers that worked with, or around Tilikum, and other problematic captive Orca, the film tries to find an explanation for what happened. Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite. Written by Gabriela Cowperthwaite and Eli B. Despres. 
IMDB Rating: 8.0/10


Read: The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

What would it be like to free yourself from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? What can you do each day to discover inner peace and serenity? The Untethered Soul—now a New York Times bestseller—offers simple yet profound answers to these questions. Whether this is your first exploration of inner space, or you’ve devoted your life to the inward journey, this book will transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you. You’ll discover what you can do to put an end to the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit your consciousness. 
By tapping into traditions of meditation and mindfulness, author and spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer shows how the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and let go of painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving happiness and self-realization. Copublished with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS)The Untethered Soul begins by walking you through your relationship with your thoughts and emotions, helping you uncover the source and fluctuations of your inner energy. It then delves into what you can do to free yourself from the habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns that limit your consciousness. Finally, with perfect clarity, this book opens the door to a life lived in the freedom of your innermost being. 

Listen: City of Angeles -- 30 Seconds to Mars

[video or stream player]

watch, read, & listen: Catching Fire, The Fiery Heart, Rough Waters

Nov 15, 2013

♥ watch, read & listen a weekly feature where we share and recommend
our current movie, book and music obsessions to you every monday. ♥

Watch: Catching Fire

Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever. Directed by Francis Lawrence. Based on a novel by Suzanne Collins. Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt. 
IMDB Rating: 8.3/10


Read: The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . . 

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever. 

Pulses will race throughout this thrilling fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe. 

Listen: Rough Waters -- Travie McCoy x Jason Mraz

watch, read & listen: Captain Phillips, On the Jellicoe Road, NTMT

Oct 29, 2013

♥ watch, read & listen a weekly feature where we share and recommend
our current movie, book and music obsessions to you every monday. ♥

Watch: Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips is a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is - through director Paul Greengrass's distinctive lens - simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller, and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama's commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award®-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips' unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control. Directed by Paul Greengrass. Screenplay by Billy Ray. Based on a novel by Richard Phillips. 
IMDB Rating: 8.1/10 

Read: On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

I'm dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.

Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs—the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor's only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother—who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

The moving, joyous and brilliantly compelling new novel from the best-selling, multi-award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca.

Listen: Night Time, My Time // Sky Ferreira

watch, read & listen: the crash reel, allegiant, gentleman

Oct 22, 2013

♥ watch, read & listen a weekly feature where we share and recommend
our current movie, book and music obsessions to you every monday. ♥

Watch: The Crash Reel

Fifteen years of verite footage show the epic rivalry between half-pipe legends Shaun White and Kevin Pearce, childhood friends who become number one and two in the world leading up to the Vancouver Winter Olympics, pushing one another to ever more dangerous tricks, until Kevin crashes on a Park City half-pipe, barely surviving. As Kevin recovers from his injury, Shaun wins Gold. Now all Kevin wants to do is get on his snowboard again, even though medics and family fear this could kill him. We also celebrate Sarah Burke who crashed in Park City and died January 19, 2012. Directed by Lucy Walker. 
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10 

Read: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

One choice will define you. 

What if your whole world was a lie? 
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything? 
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected? 

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. 

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. 

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent. 

Happy book birthday, Allegiant! 

Listen: Gentleman -- Theory of a Deadman

watch, read & listen: The Kings of Summer, Sky is Everywhere, Old School Love

Oct 15, 2013

♥ watch, read & listen a weekly feature where we share and recommend
our current movie, book and music obsessions to you every monday. ♥

Watch: The Kings of Summer

Joe Toy, on the verge of adolescence, finds himself increasingly frustrated by his single father, Frank's attempts to manage his life. Declaring his freedom once and for all, he escapes to a clearing in the woods with his best friend, Patrick, and a strange kid named Biaggio. He announces that they are going to build a house there, free from responsibility and parents. Once their makeshift abode is finished, the three young men find themselves masters of their own destiny, alone in the woods. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. Written by Chris Galletta. 
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10. 

Read: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life - and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding. 

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable. 

Listen: Old School Love -- Lupe Fiasco x Ed Sheeran

watch, read & listen: gravity, the brokenhearted, good times

Oct 9, 2013

Watch: Gravity

Dr. Ryan Stone is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone - tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Screenplay written by Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón. 
IMDB Rating: 8.7/10. 

Read: The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney

A teenage girl is transformed into a reluctant superhero and must balance her old life with the dark secret of who she has become. 

Prima ballerina Anthem Fleet is closely guarded by her parents in their penthouse apartment. But when she meets the handsome Gavin at a party on the wrong side of town, she is immediately drawn into his dangerous world. Then, in a tragic accident, Anthem falls to her death. She awakes in an underground lab, with a bionic heart ticking in her chest. As she navigates her new life, she uncovers the sinister truth behind those she trusted the most, and the chilling secret of her family lineage…and her duty to uphold it. 

The Dark Knight meets Cinder in this gripping and cinematic story of heartbreak and revenge. From Alloy Entertainment, this inventive new superhero story is sure to captivate any reader. 

Listen: Good Times -- Cassadee Pope

watch, read & listen: queen of the sun, room, superlove

Oct 1, 2013

♥ watch, read & listen a weekly feature where we share and recommend
our current movie, book and music obsessions to you every monday. ♥

Watch: Queen of the Sun

What Are the Bees Telling Us? is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from Taggart Siegel, director of THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN. Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva. Together they reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature. Directed by Taggart Siegel.
IMDB Rating: 6.8/10.

Read: Room by Emma Donoghue

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

Listen: Superlove // Charli xcx

watch, read & listen: the mortal instruments, palo alto, afi

Aug 26, 2013

♥ watch, read & listen a weekly feature where we share and recommend
our current movie, book and music obsessions to you every monday. ♥

Watch: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Set in contemporary New York City, a seemingly ordinary teenager, Clary Fray (Lily Collins), discovers she is the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of young half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect our world from demons. After the disappearance of her mother (Lena Headey), Clary must join forces with a group of Shadowhunters, who introduce her to a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld, filled with demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other deadly creatures.
Directed by Harald Zwart. Based on the novel by Cassandra Clare. Screenplay by Jessica Postigo.
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10.

Read: Palo Alto by James Franco

A fiercely vivid collection of stories about troubled California teenagers and misfits--violent and harrowing, from the astonishingly talented actor and artist James Franco. Palo Alto is the debut of a surprising and powerful new literary voice. Written with an immediate sense of place--claustrophobic and ominous--James Franco's collection traces the lives of an extended group of teenagers as they experiment with vices of all kinds, struggle with their families and one another, and succumb to self-destructive, often heartless nihilism. In "Lockheed" a young woman's summer--spent working a dull internship--is suddenly upended by a spectacular incident of violence at a house party. In "American History" a high school freshman attempts to impress a girl during a classroom skit with a realistic portrayal of a slave owner—only to have his feigned bigotry avenged. In "I Could Kill Someone," a lonely teenager buys a gun with the aim of killing his high school tormentor, but begins to wonder about his bully's own inner life.

These linked stories, stark, vivid, and disturbing, are a compelling portrait of lives on the rough fringes of youth.

Listen: 17 Crimes (LA Riots remix) // AFI

budget-friendly college materials

Aug 16, 2013

Starting college this year? Back to school? Still hassling around for textbooks? One of many issues that most college students run into are expensive textbooks for class. While many go to the campus bookstore to buy them, the rest of us are looking for a more affordable outlet.

Chegg. While Chegg does not have a physical store, they do have a website where you can order to buy or rent a textbook. If you sign up for their mailing list on their website, they email coupons of discounts and free shipping. The books they provide are more affordable whether you’re looking forward to buy or rent from them. On top of that, their customer service is reliable. Might want to hurry because classes start soon.

Valore Books. As per Chegg, Valore Books provides affordable books — some may be cheaper or more expensive than the other, so it’s advisable to compare the sites to fit your budget better. Also signing up for their mailing list will assure some discounts of their own. And when you’re done with the semester, send the rented ones back or sell the books you bought right back to them. 

College Book Renter. Another reliable and affordable site to buy, rent, or sell textbooks.

eCampus. If you need another comparison, this would the one. One of the lowest prices I’ve come across so far.

eBates. This doesn’t help your textbook needs necessarily, but if you’re a struggling college student, using eBates every time you shop online you will receive a check. Free money mailed out to you without any catches, who can refuse?

UPromise. It’s a bit similar to eBates except the money goes straight to your college fund whether you’ve opened an account for it or not — it’s a great start. It’s not common to receive money just for shopping, so might as well seize the opportunity when it presents itself. Now that we’ve got the textbooks out of the way, that leaves back to school clothes and supplies. I have an eclectic taste, so if you’re not into urban styles, ignore the rest of this post. A few stores have launched their Fall lines, and everyone is already diving for some new clothes for the forthcoming fall season.

Ever felt that you needed an assistant to help balance college life and personal life, but couldn’t afford one? Well, Fancy Hands has you covered.

What’s Fancy Hands? It’s an internet savvy personal assisting service. No worries, you can trust founder Ted Roden to hire their most smart and savvy employees to complete every task you throw in their lap. Need to reschedule an appointment, email your manager or professor, book a hotel? They can take care of that for you. They can do any task that doesn’t involve the need of being present in person, so they unfortunately can’t FedEx a package for you. The best part of it is it’s wallet-friendly: $25 gets you 5 requests. While they take care of the smaller tasks for you, you can balance college and personal life without breaking a sweat.

California State Fair | Sacramento, CA

Jul 23, 2013

The California state fair in Sacramento, CA is open July 12-28 this year, which highlights summer in the city I call home. There's something for everyone of all ages from the slides and rollercoasters for the kids, test drive sports cars for the adults, all the fried foods you can think of for the foodies, monster truck shows and rides, zip lines, cirque de solel shows, brewfest and winetasting, bull riding, carnival games, free concerts, and fun yet sometimes educational exhibits, and more. 

What's cool is that they have a Read to Ride program that encourages kids K-8 to read where if they read two books, they get two free ride vouchers! My favorite thing about the state fair is that is it not only bigger than the county fairs around here, but because now that I can drive, I got to drive a yellow Chevy Camaro (hi, Bumblebee!). But mostly, the fried oreos.

Address: Cal Expo
1600 Exposition Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95815

♥ Have you went to the California state fair?
Or your own state's fair? What's your favorite
ride or attraction? ♥
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