Music, Moods, Discovery, and More

music-moodsLadies, let’s have a rare discussion:  which music is your favorite? How important is music in your life — how do you find new music, and when is the primary time you listen to music? Do you like to listen to music while you work, or is it reserved for other times in your day? 

A while ago on a plane I found myself writing a long draft post for Corporette about music — specifically, my favorite songs over the years. It’s a pretty navel-gazing post, so I figured, hey, I’ll save it for my birthday, unless I really get desperate for a post idea.  Today IS January 28 — so you’ll find that list below.

To answer my own questions above, though — music has always been important in my life, particularly for my moods, either to lift me out of them or give me that “you’re not alone” feeling.  For example, I vividly remember being about 15 and having a huge fight with my parents, retreating to my room, and blasting Talking Head’s “Road to Nowhere” on repeat — because it just felt so good to hear David Byrne wail “baby it’s alllll riiiiiight.” For some reason Leonard Cohen’s song “Everybody Knows” was the soundtrack to my first semester of law school — on repeat, full volume in headphones. (Not dark at all, right?) I’ve also mentioned before on this blog about how during some unpleasant times at my law firm where I had to work with unpleasant personalities (yay for screamers!), I had Whitney Houston’s “It’s Not Right (But It’s Ok)” as my wake-up song — every day, for months.

In terms of new music, finding new music for me is challenging. I use the Shazam app a lot when we’re watching television, or else my brother passes along a lot of his music.  If I’m doing dinner prep I’ll use the Amazon Echo to put Pandora or one of my iTunes playlists on.  I’ve had to winnow down some of my playlists to stuff I feel comfortable with the kids hearing (I don’t exactly want to explain PJ Harvey’s “30” or Marianne Faithfull’s “Love in the Afternoon” to my eldest). That said, though, I’ve started listening to podcasts instead of music during walks or workouts with weights. So I kind of miss music, and would love to hear your ideas about how you incorporate it into your lives!  Anyway, some of my favorite songs (links either go to YouTube or Amazon):

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Open Thread: Resolutions

What Are Your New Year Resolutions? | CorporetteWhat are your resolutions for the new year, ladies? What are you hoping to change and otherwise accomplish this year? We haven’t talked about resolutions in a while, and I just randomly found my resolutions from 2006, so the subject is on my mind. My all-time favorite resolution that I ever made (and kept) was way back in college, when I resolved “to be more uncomfortable” — to challenge myself, and to challenge that feeling of “I can’t” or “I shouldn’t,” or “I feel awkward” or so forth. Fun to look at my resolutions from 2006, though:

  1. Listen more closely to people.
  2. Arrive on time for things.
  3. Arrive early for work.
  4. Continue to exercise and watch diet regularly.
  5. DATE more often.

Sadly, I’m still working on most of those — even with dating, my husband and I should make an effort to get out more often than we do as a couple! For 2014, my goals are the same as they’ve been in recent years: to eat healthier dinners, to get up earlier and work out, to be more diligent about really focusing during work time (along similar lines, to only focus on ONE thing at a time), and to be less anxious. Sigh. What are your resolutions, readers?

(Pictured: Nicolas Feuillatte champagne, originally uploaded to Flickr by Sergey Melkonov.)

Beauty Wednesday: How to Apply Mascara

How To Apply Mascara | CorporetteThis may well be one of those moments where I’m the insane one, but here’s a question for today’s open thread:  how do you apply mascara?  I’ll admit: I haven’t done a total survey of the field here, but every YouTube makeup tutorial I’ve ever seen has women applying mascara as the very last step when they’re done with their makeup — and some of them even curl their lashes after the mascara is on them.  But what I do is completely different, and over dinner with a girlfriend recently we wound up having a 30 minute conversation about it, so I thought it might be interesting to ask the readers.

(Pictured:  For those of you really into mascara, the Sephora “Lash Stash” gift set is a must — $145 worth of mascaras for $45.  It’s limited edition for the holidays.)

For my $.02: I don’t know if it’s the shape of my eyes or the length of my lashes, but I always, always, always get mascara on my eyelids.  Always.  (I would describe my lashes as being of average thickness and average length (maybe a teeny bit longer than most?) but with no natural curl to them whatsoever — their natural tendency is to point down; my eye lids are fleshy enough that not a lot of my lower lid is exposed in general.) Something about this combo means I get mascara all over my lid — so if I were to apply mascara the very last step of my routine, I would totally screw up my eye makeup.  Instead, for me mascara is one of the very first steps, generally right after I put my concealer under my eyes. For those of you interested in my routine, here it is, in all of its gory detail: [Read more…]

What Are Your Shopping Habits? Moratoriums, Spreadsheets, and Crop Rotation

What Are Your Shopping Habits? Moratoriums, Spreadsheets, and Crop Rotation | CorporetteSilly question, right — how do you shop?  But if I’ve learned one thing while doing this blog, everyone has their own methods — and while we’ve talked about clothing budgets, we haven’t talked about shopping habits.  For example:

  • Some people only shop the sales (generally buying last season’s clothes)
  • Some people only shop to fill holes in their wardrobe with trendy, of-the-moment pieces (generally paying full price for this-season clothes)
  • Some people like to shop for one item at a time (such as blazers) (I remember a reader once likening this to “crop rotation“)
  • Some people only buy outfits (they won’t buy a piece without buying something that definitely matches it)
  • Some people keep shopping spreadsheets (I know Jean at ExtraPetite has definitely talked about this)
  • Some people have a set budget (for a month, for a year) and when the budget is used, they’re done
  • Some people do the “big shopping trip” method (also seen in “What Not to Wear”) where you take you annual clothes budget, go to the closest big city, and spend spend spend (within your budget, of course).
  • Some people set shopping bans to try to control their spending

So I’m curious — how do you guys shop?  For my $.02: [Read more…]

How to Plan a Vacation

How to Plan a Vacation | CorporetteIt seems counter intuitive, but I’ve read that at the end of August is one of the best times to plan a vacation because you can get the best deals.  We’ve talked about how to deal with vacation stress (including how to be a good employee while on vacation, and a vacation time poll to gauge how much you’ve actually taken) and we’ve talked about office etiquette around the holidays — but we haven’t talked about planning a vacation in a long time, so I thought we could discuss.  How do you budget for a vacation, both in terms of money and time?  (Does anyone do the “extra savings account just for vacations” thing?) Do you like to vacation in the summer or some other time of the year?  Have you taken the same vacation multiple times (for example, I’ve been on FOUR Paris vacations — I love the city and love seeing new sides to it every time I go)?  Or are vacations all about family for you, spending time with your parents (either in your childhood home or at a family beach house or the like)?  [Read more…]

The Best Lists To Keep (That Might Seem Obsessive But Are Actually Super Useful)

The Best Lists to Keep | CorporetteI am kind of an obsessive list-keeper and note-taker. Back when I had a Palm Pilot, it was filled with ’em; now that I’m on Android I’m still happily using the program B-Folders to keep track of my myriad lists. Am I crazy? Sure. (All the best people are.) But I sometimes really marvel at how useful my odd little lists are, so I thought we’d discuss — are you guys fond of lists?  Have you found that certain “weird” lists you make are really helpful from an organizing/productivity standpoint, either for life or work?

For my own $.02, here are some of the weirder lists I keep that I’ve found to be ridiculously useful (and how I use ’em): [Read more…]

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