Happy Tunesday: Collection 65

Happy Tunesday: Collection 65

I told myself I would focus on getting my life together. But, of course, I’m sitting and listening to new music.

The first tunesday of 2018 is Raveena‘s newest EP. I first heard her stuff when I was living in Southern California. My best friend and I were obsessed with Johnny, it’s the Last Time. Since then, Raveena released Shanti, a soothing and sweet compilation of jazzy, R&B vibes.

I wouldn’t have known she had new music out if it wasn’t for my pal, Sharon, who shared a live recording of If Only with me.

Let me just say, I’ll be jamming out to all of Raveena’s old and new stuff for the next week as I try and get myself prepped for a new semester.

What are some songs you’re listening to as you start the new year? Share them with me below!


Happy TunesDay: Collection 52

Happy TunesDay: Collection 52


Before you get all dramatic and say, “Christina, what happened to TunesDay? You left me hanging for two whole weeks!” Let me explain.

I HAD IT ALL PLANNED OUT.  I set up a whole month of TunesDay Takeovers. But, unfortunately it didn’t pan out.

This is what happens when I give people very loose guidelines and don’t follow-up with them.

So, from the bottom of my heart, I profusely apologize to the approximately 8 people who listen to my playlists on a regular basis.

I’m back in the US of A, so you can count on me to crank out some hip n’ happenin’ playlists. For those interested, I’ll probably write a good, old reflection about my time abroad in Greece, but until then, let your petite lil’ ears feast on this week’s playlist.

*segue to playlist*

Thanks to Love Design Fest for the background image.
Happy TunesDay: Collection 50

Happy TunesDay: Collection 50

Happy TunesDay, friends.

I genuinely hope your Tuesday has gotten off on a more productive note than mine.

In typical Christina fashion, I’m attempting to do four tasks at once and being unsuccessful at finishing any one of them in a timely manner, including this very blog post.

I need to remember to take a breath and try to tackle things one at a time–much easier said than done for someone like me whose mind moves many miles a minute (that was a tongue twister, wasn’t it?).

How do you keep focus? I’m willing to try whatever tips y’all have!

In the meantime, I’ll be listening to this week’s playlist and trying to drown out all the extra noise in my head.

wishing you focus & clarity,

Background graphic from Design Love Fest.
Happy TunesDay: Collection 49

Happy TunesDay: Collection 49

It’s been a long weekend for me–one full of emotional inner turmoil and questions about what my future holds & what life I want to lead.

If you want to read about my cuh-razy emotional rollercoaster a lá California Adventures theme park, continue on.  If not, skip down to the playlist and GET YOUR VALENTINE’S SELF-LOVING GROOVE ON.

This weekend, I had my second experience being a group leader for Hive‘s Global Leader Program, and that led to a lot of inner dialogue about how I interact with new people around me and what being a vulnerable & authentic person really means.

I went through the first two days not really feeling as high energy as I normally am, and for those of you who know me, HIGH ENERGY is my middle name (actually it’s “noelle”, but whatever).  And, I couldn’t really figure out entirely what was happening with me. Was it the energy from the rest of the group that was mellowing me out, or was something deeper happening?  I still haven’t come to any strong conclusions, but I think it was a mixture of the two.  But, I realized that something that’s not high energy isn’t necessarily bad, but just different.  And I need to learn how to be more okay with the silence and listening to what’s happening inside of me.  Figuring out my own feelings makes me incredibly uncomfortable, but there’s a sort of peace within that discomfort that I’m still sorting through.

All I can conclude from this weekend is that although there are lots of improvements to be made within Hive and the program, ultimately the people who make up that community are continuously evolving, and that gives me a lot of hope about our future.

So, TO THE PLAYLIST… At first, I wanted to compile a dance-alone-in-your-room-while-pretending-you-have-a-place-to-go-but-really-you’re-just-staying-home-in-pajamas-and-bingewatching-Broad-City sort of playlist.  But as I was going through my list of possible tunes to mesh together, I couldn’t only use those kinds of songs.  As much as I love the Queen B and jamming out because I am a single lady, compiling something of that nature felt disingenuous to how I’m feeling.

It’s probably because I’m ruminating on all these emotions from the past four days, but Valentine’s Day is so annoying.  Because Valentine’s Day builds up this idea that you have to extravagantly express your love for a significant other on a particular day, but also that romantic love is the only love worth buying heart-shaped boxes of chocolate for.

I know there’s been a popularization of the term Galentine’s Day, in which womxn celebrate their bonds with their other womxn friends, but to only have those two options (expressing romantic affection or solely friendship between the same genders) seems awfully limiting.

That’s what I really love about my time whenever I’m entrenched in the Hive community.  Love really takes all shapes and forms.  Across generations, genders, professional titles, and all sorts of isolating terminologies.

This playlist is an attempt at encompassing the range of emotions I feel whenever Valentine’s Day (and Hive GLPs) come around.  Because I love so many people and for so many reasons, and if I’m being really honest, I don’t think I am missing out that much on not having a romantic partner at this point in my life.  I feel completely and fully whole, which is a really beautiful thing considering my past.  Maybe I’ll feel differently tomorrow (because I’m a human AND I CAN FEEL A RANGE OF FEELINGS AND THAT’S OKAY).  But, for now, I’m content.

Sending you love and joy and a calm heart during this sometimes tumultuous “holiday”.


Fabulous background header comes from Love Design Fest.
TunesDay: New Year, New Tunes

TunesDay: New Year, New Tunes

You thought I was done, didn’t you?

FEAR NOT.  Because a new year means more new music for your petite lil’ ears.  Or not petite.  I really don’t know how big your ears are or if that dictates whether you hear music more clearly.

I was trying to figure out a theme for the first TunesDay of 2017.  Did I want to go the mellow acoustic route?  Would I rather hear hip R&B beats on a gloomy Tuesday morning?  And then I thought, “well, hey, this is my playlist, I’ll add whatever I please!”  So that’s pretty much what I’m doing.  If you’re not into it…well, there’s always next week.

I hope in 2017, you listen more clearly and give new voices (and new music) a chance.  2016 had some pretty great albums, but I am looking forward to seeing what music fills our hearts and minds in the upcoming year.

What artists are you looking forward to hearing more of?

Happy TunesDay: Jamila Woods, y’all.

Happy TunesDay: Jamila Woods, y’all.

Hi friends,

I skipped a week. I know. I know.  I’m beating myself up over it, but life happens.

I’m back though, and this week I didn’t compile a playlist. SHOCK GASP AWE HORROR.
I know. I know. 

But, I felt that for this week, I would just let an entire album speak for itself.  Tonight I’m seeing the wondrous and soulfully talented Jamila Woods. I AM SO EXCITED.

But beyond that, I am ready and albeit a little scared to enter into a world where her music will wash over me and really get me to dig deep & feel things.  Like, real emotions, feeling.  That’s what her album has done for me ever since I heard it a couple months ago.  And to get ready to see her live, I revisited it all this week.

Normally when I prep for a concert (my friends know I have to know all the songs and sing along during the show, or else I’ll feel weird), the goal is just to memorize the lyrics to most of the tracks.  Yet with this, it wasn’t really just a memorization of lyrics, but a living through of them.  I don’t know if that makes sense.  But all I know is that I almost had to pull over yesterday while driving and listening to Lonely Lonely. And if a song makes me teary-eyed and think about my life in a different way and reflect on the things I’ve seen and been through…that’s a damn good song, and even more, a damn good songwriter & singer.

So dear pups, I’m leaving you with the gift of her album this week.  You can also download it for free from the link. Trust me.  Do it. It sets your soul aflame.  Take a minute and be okay with being uncomfortable with your feelings and being *omgwhat* vulnerable.  It’s okay.  You’ll get through it.  Just don’t cry while driving–it ain’t safe.

with love & good feelings,

Happy TunesDay: Holiday Mix

Happy TunesDay: Holiday Mix

Just like every single store in the US, I’m bringing out the winter holiday decorations and music before December even hits (granted it is only two days away).

I’m dusting off last year’s mix and leaving it here for y’all to enjoy.  It’s pretty hip n’ cool if I may say so myself.  None of the typical or traditional tunes here, but maybe you’ll find a new holiday favorite.

Do you have a favorite holiday song?  Is it a traditional one or a brand, spankin’ new one? Let me know!

Happy TunesDay: Collection 45

Happy TunesDay: Collection 45

I hosted my annual #ThanksgivingBack Birthday event this past weekend. Essentially, I’ll invite friends over to eat snacks I was deprived of during my childhood (namely Totino’s pizza rolls) and ask them to bring donations for a different social cause each year.

This year, I wanted to support the Sacred Stone Camp & the water protectors who are using their bodies and voice to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. They’ve been under constant attack by law enforcement for peacefully protesting and standing their ground.  Some of the atrocities committed against the protectors are so outrageous, I can’t believe that DOJ hasn’t sent observers yet.

My friends & family are pretty wonderful people and donated some cashmonaymonay, but I woke yesterday morning to reports of police spraying fire hoses at Sacred Stone Camp in near freezing temperatures, injuring over 100 people.  It seems like for every step forward, we’re pushed 50 feet back (by fire hoses, apparently).

During this time, I implore you to donate to Standing Rock’s legal defense fund and/or contribute much needed supplies.  I know a lot of people don’t have the expenses to donate a lot, much less travel to North Dakota to be on the frontlines.  That’s understandable. That’s okay.  (as a sidenote, people who are going to ND…that’s super great, but, y’all better be trained in nonviolent protest, because shit is crazy and you need to be prepared so you don’t react negatively and screw up the credibility of the work that the water protectors have been doing since April.  Nonviolence and peaceful protesting is a skill that you need to learn like any other trade. Unfortunately, nonviolent social movements have always been demonized by media for speaking out against power structures, so if a rogue protestor becomes violent, that is all that the media will cover.  A sad truth, but a truth nonetheless.)

Anyway, although it’s okay to not be in a financial place to donate money or travel to Standing Rock, what’s not okay is to let this all slide–to just think that since others are speaking out, you don’t have to.  It is the ultimate irony that our country is preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving while Native lives and land are [still] seen as disposable.

And okay, we can’t just cancel Thanksgiving.  I mean, in all honesty, I would love to skip the whole ordeal (because I don’t eat turkey anyway) and instead have informal educational circles about colonialism and deconstructing white supremacy & post-colonialism, but like…that probably won’t fly in my family.  But what I can do, and what we all can do is call out our elected officials for standing by while Native people and their allies are attacked.  After your Thanksgiving meal, take twenty minutes to chat with your family about #NoDAPL and leave messages for the Department of Justice, Army Corps, and ND’s governor.  Sure, it might seem unconventional, but our tradition of sweeping Native lives and Native problems under the proverbial rug has resulted in huge proportions of Native children in foster care, disproportionate number of Natives killed by police, food deserts, and poor health outcomes.

We have a lot of work to do, and the response from our government and police state to peaceful protesting at Standing Rock surely demonstrates this.

To leave this post on a moderately high note, what I am hopeful for and grateful for are regular people who refuse to let history keep repeating itself.  I’m lucky and proud to know some of these people: to be their friends & learn from them in all ways on all days.  This year has been all sorts of horrible, but I have grown immensely from every person who walked in (and out) of my life.  And because of that, maybe it hasn’t been so horrible.  It’s also been shades of amazing and uplifting and full of soul-searching.  So, thanks for giving me that, world.

…And because I don’t have a nifty or clever segue into displaying this week’s TunesDay playlist, I’m just going to drop it here:

May you celebrate time with your loved ones if you are lucky enough to be with them this week.  And for those who aren’t, go buy a pie.  Pie makes 93.4% of things better.  I recommend pumpkin and dutch apple, but you could get a weird berry one too, I guess.  One of the best things the USA has going for us right now is our selection of gourmet pies. But in all seriousness, know that you are loved even if you aren’t sitting with your family and stuffing your face together.  As always, I’m sending you love and strength.


Background banner image comes from Design Love Fest.
Happy TunesDay: Collection 43

Happy TunesDay: Collection 43

Attention, everybody.

It’s November!!

Time really isn’t doing me many favors.  I am simultaneously excited for and dreading the end of 2016.  Partially because although the year is nearing its end and I’m almost done with grad apps, I am no where nearer to knowing what the next 6-7 years of my life will look like.  Just because I finish applications and its accompanying stress-inducing personal statements, doesn’t mean my life path is set out for me.  Will I even get into a good grad program? Will I wilt away and wallow into the comfort of my queen-size bed and personalized quilt?  The latter seems like a pretty decent short-term option.

And today’s TunesDay just happens to coincide with the day of my GREs. Approximately 4 hours of second-guessing my judgment and realizing that I don’t remember any basic math or grammar functions from high school.  It’s sure to be a great time.

Anyway, whenever November rolls around, I get a warm, comfy feeling.  Despite the horrors of my most recent existentialist crisis, November is comforting to me.  Aside from being my birth month, November means crisp Autumn weather and lounge-y scarves, loading up on carbs, and spending much-needed time with family.  Y’all.  I cannot express enough how I long to be nestled along a pillow of mashed potatoes and a barricade of yams, with fatty marshmallows toasting along the top.  It’s the stuff of dreams.

…and now, I have successfully made myself hungry whilst writing.  Annnd, back to last-minute studying!

I hope that this week’s playlist gets you where you need to go.  And for me?
It’s getting me across I-5 North to LA so I can take this silly exam.

Love to you and yours,

Background image from Pinterest.
Happy TunesDay: Collection 37

Happy TunesDay: Collection 37

This week’s set is an ode to womxn-led bands & duos whose vocal prowess never fails to make me sing loudly along in my car…or weep emotionally next to a pile of warm laundry. The laundry thing doesn’t happen as often as you’d think though.

Growing up, I always wished I had a super silky, smooth singing voice. Unfortunately, it’s always sounded like scratchy, tone-deaf mush. But, that doesn’t stop me from trying to harmonize with these bad-ass ladies in my car and shower…and in the kitchen while I microwave rice.

Who were/are your favorite womxn vocalists? I’m always looking for recommendations to add to my collection, and let me know your thoughts on this week’s set!

with love & beautiful musical vibes,