One of the many perks of working in a startup environment is getting exposure to many new ideas and other people trying to revolutionize their industry with new companies. I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting with two college student co-founders with an idea so crazy it just might work.
Their value props are very similar to Coil, and I can't wait to learn more and hopefully connect with them again. Read their intro down below!
I can now add “educational event planning” to my resume, because we just wrapped on a month-long project at work: putting on a webinar!
My company used to put on webinars frequently, and they had a great turnout as well, but the shifting of staff eventually pushed them to the wayside, and we hadn't put one on in a couple of years. But our staff shifted once again, and my CEO and I decided to try some new strategies to help achieve more of my goals as the marketing operations specialist. One of those new strategies was reviving the old webinar to try and re-connect with old leads and new people who are potentially interested in what we have to offer.
The turnaround time before the date of the webinar was about 3 weeks, which was barely enough time to begin with! Myself and three other members of the team worked long hours to get everything done- with me sending out emails, making a registration form connected to an automated workflow, designing countless social media posts announcing the event, and even creating a landing page for the first time.
The few days leading up to it were very tough, and I was more stressed than I had been in a long time. But when the day of the webinar rolled around, Zoom worked, the slides worked, and a few people actually showed up! We had about 50 registers and around 25 showed up, which is alright all things considered.
It was a great new experience and a way to learn another aspect of my job that could be very beneficial to the company in the future. I just hope that the attendees learned a lot and want to come back to our next webinars!
This peppy tune has all the usual heart and soul of Jon's writing, combined with a twangy Southern rock feel that really works.
I cannot BELIEVE this is only a bonus track on evermore, it's arguably one of the best songs on the album. It illustrates the story of a woman feeling left behind and frozen in time – it could be grief, it could be the loss of a lover, and the way it possibly ties into the tales of other songs on the album is mysterious and wonderful.
The Glee soundtrack has some bangers, but nothing will ever top this one; my roommates and I constantly get it stuck in our heads.
Olivia is the latest up-and-coming, honest young songwriter on the scene, and she absolutely blew up with the release of this song on TikTok and the internet at large. I can't wait to see what she does next and how her style will evolve!
The queens of indie pop are BFFs with the queen of... just everything, and they make some pretty great songs when they get together.
Lauren surprised us with an entire EP a few weeks ago, dropping a collection of songs she wrote and recorded when she was 17 several years ago. They capture so many specific, relatable feelings of navigating teenage love and heartache, and Lauren's quirky production style and vocals never fail to impress.
I'm in love with this song- it's funny, clever, and has a sweet message about not worrying what anyone else thinks, because you'll never please everyone!
This one gets me every time, and always makes me appreciate that the one who loves me is one of the good ones out there:
A love me like he should one, like he wrote the book one
The kind you find when you don't even look one
Anybody can be good once, but he's good all the time
He's one of the good ones
And he's all mine
Jenn has been a breath of fresh air into my YouTube viewing! I genuinely get so excited whenever she uploads. The quality of her content is impeccable, it's engaging to watch, and she has a very laid-back, accessible attitude. Her content lately mostly consists of recipe/vlog hybrid videos such as this one, a regular installment of “What I Ate In A Week”. She shares at-home dishes that combine her Korean roots with her husband Ben's English cooking, and a whole lot of mish-mashes of trying to use up her leftovers!
Her monthly vlogs are also videos I look forward to seeing, encapsulating a weekend or so of what she's up to, new habits she's forming, what she's doing around the house, makeup or fashion finds, and everything in between.
Katy makes some great content about what it's really like to be a creative working for yourself, not to mention her apartment tours and decor videos are incredible and provide me with plenty of inspiration of what I want my place to look like!
I've been watching Ashley throughout quite a tumultuous time in her life: I watched her move apartments in downtown Los Angeles to her very own private studio, graduate from film school a year early, and then make the jump to move to a shoebox apartment in New York City...approximately one month before the pandemic made New York the least desirable hometown in the US.
Her content always inspires my fashion, since her style is a bit out of my comfort zone, but it makes me want to try new things (and hope that I can find thrifted clothing as well as she does). She's also quite well-educated and opinionated about many things us girls struggle with, so even her off-topic ramblings add plenty to her videos!
I love true crime cases, and I love makeup, Bailey combines them both in her chatty videos, and I absolutely love it. She does her research as well as inserts her funny opinions into the stories she covers!
Sam has got to be one of my favorite beauty YouTubers out there – I just vibe with her so much, we have the same brand of wit/sarcasm, and I feel like we could be great friends in real life. She's got big news lately, even though I've been watching her for a year or two now: she's just launched her own makeup brand, and she's expecting her first baby!
Her style of makeup is quite different from my go-to products and techniques, and at first, I had no idea why I was watching her, because I didn't do my makeup like she did at all! But her content made me branch out and try makeup that I usually wouldn't have even considered. I've learned a lot from her, and I love watching her chatty getting ready videos like I'm sitting around with an old friend.
Thanks for reading!
It's absolutely unprecedented: Miss Taylor Swift herself drops another surprise album, less than 6 months after releasing her FIRST surprise album.
I loved folklore a lot – in fact, it was my #1 listened to album of 2020 on my Spotify Wrapped – but once evermore came onto the scene, that's since changed.
My hot take, music-review-wise: evermore is a better album than folklore.
Some people may disagree with me, but I will proceed to prove my point below!
(Sidenote: it's been several months since this was released, and I'm still not sick of it. I still put it on while I'm working from home... almost every day)
willow starts us out with a folksy, guitar-driven tune that evokes the mysterious forest in the background of the album cover. It's happy and sweet, being comfortable in her relationship, saying “take my hands, wreck my plans, that's my man.”
champagne problems jumps the gun for the album as a whole – it's not often that the most intensely emotional, brilliantly written song hits you at the second spot on the tracklist. It tells the story of a failed proposal, and the girl getting proposed to not quite knowing why she said “no”. It captures the heart-wrenching details of all the wonderful things that would have happened, if she only had the certainty to say “yes”.
Dom Pérignon, you brought it, no crowd of friends applauded
Your hometown skeptics called it, champagne problems
You had a speech, you're speechless, love slipped beyond your reaches
And I couldn't give a reason, champagne problems
The bridge claims a spot at the very top of my list of Taylor's best bridges, and I can't do it any justice by just writing it here, so please, go hear it for yourself.
gold rush is our first true taste of Jack Antonoff's Midas touch production, with a pulsing, upbeat track that's a dead ringer for Greenlight by Lorde. The chord progression always keeps you on your toes throughout the song, and it's easily the catchiest spot on the album.
'tis the damn season recounts tales of being in her small hometown and reconnecting with old flames. “You can call me 'babe' for the weekend, 'tis the damn season” refers to Christmas being the time where you stay at your parents' house, you see your old friends driving past, and all the memories of past loves resurface.
tolerate it pinpoints a specific, painful progression of emotion like only Taylor can. It could be applied to a number of situations: a lover and their significant other, a parent and child, or a member of an extended family. It's written from the perspective of the forgotten party in the relationship, watching their loved one and feeling a million miles away from them. Even though they do their very best to shower their loved one with love and attention, they get nothing in return – they simply tolerate it. All of their efforts are unrequited, and they are desperate:
While you were out building other worlds, where was I?
Where's that man who'd throw blankets over my barbed wire?
I made you my temple, my mural, my sky
Now I'm begging for footnotes in the story of your life, drawing hearts in the byline
But this heartbreaking story ends in a sudden triumphant swell, with the singer realizing that they can free themselves from this oppressive existence:
You assume I'm fine, but what would you do if I
Break free and leave us in ruins, took this dagger in me and removed it
Gain the weight of you, then lose it
Believe me, I could do it
no body, no crime (feat. HAIM) takes an unexpected left turn into classic country storytelling, and I am all for it. In Carrie Underwood fashion, Taylor and the Haim sisters tell a juicy tale of feminine revenge on a dirty, rotten, cheating husband.
happiness hits that incredible sweet spot of a breakup song: mourning the loss of the past years with this person, but at the same time, picking your head up and trying to know that there are better days ahead.
I can also see it from the perspective of someone who has lost someone who used to be a dear, close friend. It's painful, and really feels like you've lost who you are – “You haven't met the new me yet”. But you know that everything happens for a reason, and life must go on, even with wounds and what seems like wasted years.
There'll be happiness after you, but there was happiness because of you
Both of these things can be true, there is happiness
Past the blood and bruise, past the curses and cries
Beyond the terror in the nightfall
Haunted by the look in my eyes that would've loved you for a lifetime, leave it all behind
And there is happiness
dorothea is a real hidden gem buried in the middle of this album. It matches the feeling of betty from folklore, a sweet song that sounds like a handwritten letter in a sepia-toned, old movie. The singer is an old friend of Dorothea's, who is still in their hometown after Dorothea packs up and travels to chase her dreams of fame and fortune. It reminisces on times from their childhood together, and closes with a reminder that they'll always be back at home for her:
But it's never too late to come back to my side, the stars in your eyes shined brighter in Tupelo
And if you're ever tired of being known for who you know, you know, you'll always know me, Dorothea
coney island (feat. The National) is a melancholy vignette, and feels like sitting on a lonely bench, watching the New York fog roll in over the cold water. It becomes a conversation between the two parties in the failing relationship, each having their own apologies for what's happened.
ivy is a lighthearted tune that gives me the warm fuzzies, there's no other way to explain it. It paints pictures of star-crossed lovers meeting under cover of moonlight, in ivy-covered cabins and fields of clovers. The fan theories on the Internet maintain that it's really about two women falling for each other and running away with each other, while one is stuck in an arranged marriage with a man whom she doesn't love... and I have to say, I think I agree. Regardless, it's a sweet song, and we'll likely never get a straight answer on the sexuality of this (and many others) Taylor song, so let the theories commence.
cowboy like me tells a comfortable tale of a couple like Taylor and Joe, living their lives in the public eye, surrounded by empty, expensive things, but not minding it all once they have each other.
long story short is another curveball thrown at us as we come to the tail end of the record; it sounds like it was a 1989 reject, and it's a bop. The chorus gets stuck in my head all the time, and it recounts her chaotic past that brought her to where she is now.
And I fell from the pedestal, right down the rabbit hole
Long story short, it was a bad time
Pushed from the precipice, climbed right back up the cliff
Long story short, I survived
Now I'm all about you
marjorie tells a new kind of love story: the one between Taylor and her late grandmother, Marjorie. It imparts many pieces of advice from a wise, old woman, and keeps her memory alive.
Never be so polite you forget your power
Nevеr wield such power, you forget to be polite
And if I didn't know better, I'd think you were listening to me now
If I didn't know better, I'd think you were still around
As the song ends, you can hear old vinyl recordings of Marjorie singing in the background, a tribute to her musical roots that inspired Taylor to sing when she was still a child. It's such a heartwarming homage to love and family.
closure is, to be perfectly honest, not my favorite on the album. The musicality and time signature is interesting for some, I'm sure, but it personally doesn't gel for me. The lyrics, however, are about one of my favorite topics for Taylor to write about: her character development! Moving on from past hurts and growing into a more healthy mindset has been a theme in her writing ever since the Lover era, and it always really speaks to me in a positive way.
Yes, I got your letter, yes, I'm doing better
It cut deep to know ya, right to the bone
Yes, I got your letter, yes, I'm doing better
I know that it's over, I don't need your closure
evermore (feat. Bon Iver) closes out this record with the title track. The first half of the song dwells on past mistakes and present pain that seems like it will never end. Then, Justin Vernon brings a new, more desperate section, trading off with Taylor singing, culminating in the realization that “you were there”. While she was drowning in pain, she did finally make it to the safe refuge of her lover.
And I was catching my breath
Floors of a cabin creaking under my step
And I couldn't be sure
I had a feeling so peculiar
This pain wouldn't be for evermore
Long story short, I think that some of Taylor's very best work is in the writing on this album. I've fallen farther in love with her and her work this past year more than ever, and I really didn't think that was possible. She's grown into a refined songwriter, and I'll always be excited to hear whatever she does next.
Thanks for reading!
Check out my folklore review here!
I've had countless ideas and visions for what I thought our wedding would look like over the past couple of years, but of course, I never thought I'd be getting married under circumstances like this.
My fiancé and I love our friends, and we love partying with them. Whether that means having a dinner party, cracking open some hard ciders, and watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie, or playing music and hanging out at our pastor's house, it's always a wonderful thing spending time with big groups of people. So, we always envisioned having a wedding reception in a big hall, with a DJ, dancing and sweating and laughing the night away.
Now, with the countdown ticking down to June 5th, 2021, having that reception hasn't been possible for a long time, and still won't be possible for the near future.
It was really hard to give up the idea of partying for our wedding day. But as I tried to begin planning, I was so overwhelmed by the threat of being canceled that I just didn't want to deal with the risk. We're taking an intimate approach now, with only 30 people attending our wedding – immediate family, grandparents, pastors, and a few close friends for the bridal parties.
With the size and scale of the celebration settled, I'm actually really excited to move forward! We've got a beautiful little event space lined up that's going to be perfect for a reception dinner – and even better, we get to have the ceremony in our home church, which is very small, and if our guest list was any bigger, we wouldn't be able to have it there.
So, even though it's difficult not being able to invite all of our closest friends and family members, there are plenty of blessings that will come along with our micro-wedding. I'm so excited to plan our menu, put together our decor for the spaces, and take engagement photos! Stay tuned, I'm looking forward to posting whatever else I can in this fun engagement stage.
Thanks for reading!
I love Christmastime, but I do NOT love hearing the same exact Christmas songs over and over for a month and a half. I can get into plenty of traditional tunes, but after a while, you just need some spice in your holiday playlists. That's why I love this list of songs I'm sharing with you now – if you need a break from the same old songs, this is for you!
An oldie but a goodie. Say what you want about teenage Justin Bieber, but this song is so catchy and good and you will not convince me otherwise.
This song is a lovely reference to The Chronicles of Narnia, and it really evokes the calm, hopeful feeling of the holiday season.
This is my favorite of all time on this list. It just gets me every time, it feels nostalgic and it really nails the warm feeling of being with the friends and family you love the most on Christmas.
A high school honors choir standby, and a BANGER. When I discovered this song my senior year, I swear I couldn't stop listening to it; it's so catchy!
I heard this one while getting my toner washed out at the hair salon (lol) and it's so cute and festive. I'm not the biggest fan of her as an artist, but it's a great Christmas love song.
Yes, they even make Christmas songs, and this one is high on the list for me. It's mostly your usual ATL 6/8 punk ballad, but with a Christmas love song twist.
Another great original from a great rock band. This song is about missing someone and the winter holidays meaning nothing if they don't have each other.
I LOVE this one so much. Owl City's humorous, playful writing style never fails to make me smile, and it's most appropriate in a festive tune like this one.
I rip off the wrapping and tear through the box
'Till I end up with 45 new pairs of socks
This peppermint winter is so sugar sweet
I don't need to taste to believe
What's December without Christmas Eve?
The queen of 2020 surprises also has a sweet tune about going back to spend the holidays where she grew up – a Christmas tree farm!
My lovely friend has a brand-new original Christmas tune to finish out the year! It reminisces on her and her husband's first Christmases together years ago, and they even have a great live performance video you can watch here!
I remember listening to this song as a young kid, but I'll never forget the specific memory I have attached to this song. It was my freshman year of high school, and it was the first week of December. All of the seniors had been gone for the previous week on the yearly class trip, and it was the first day they were all back home and in school. The feeling throughout the whole school was so happy and joyous that they were back, and snow was falling so perfectly outside. I remember walking between classes through the stairwell, with floor-to-ceiling windows, watching the snow fall, listening to this song in my earbuds, and feeling the Christmas spirit stronger than I ever had before. It was so sweet, and this song always gets me emotional now.
The girls really show up on this one, with catchy melodies, cool ket changes, and some seriously good vocals.
Coil subscribers, keep on scrolling for my full playlist!
Thanks for reading!