If I Were a Fashion Blogger…

I love fashion and beauty. I mean loveeeee it. I love fashion magazines, fashion documentaries, strolling through stores with expensive fashion art pieces I can’t afford in NYC, and on weekends I often find myself at Ulta or Sephora spending my hard-earned dollars on fun new beauty products to experiment with. It’s exciting! I love the expression of it, and honestly? It’s just fun. ūüôā

This summer, I’ve discovered some really great products. I use them often and think, “I NEED to tell the world how amazing this stuff is!” So–here’s my platform. My own frequency, if you will. ūüėČ These are the beauty products and fashion pieces you’ve GOTTA GET. Now!

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Yves St Laurent ROUGE PUR COUTURE Glossy Stain

You guys. I love this stuff. I treasure it. I bought it at Saks 5th Ave in NYC last December to commemorate my trip. I don’t normally spend big bucks on high fashion designer makeup. But I just WENT FOR IT! And you know what I learned? You pay for what you get. This is the only stain I’ve ever tested (and I’ve used a LOT of various brands of lip stain over the years) that doesn’t dry your lips out! First, the brush feels like a fur¬†coat. It’s super soft. You can put on a light, thin layer if you want and just press your lips together. It gives just enough color for a casual look when used this way. But sometimes (ok a lot of times) you might want a bolder look. You can paint it on precisely, top and bottom, then go over them once more. It feels like flexible vinyl. It’s not sticky and not dry. It’s how a lip color SHOULD feel. And best of all, it stays on. (Ok, sometimes after eating something greasy you need to reapply. But most of the time, it stays put!) It comes in 24 colors. At Sephora, they’ll help you figure out which one is right for you!

$35 at Sephora (or Saks! If you find yourself near one and wanna get fancy!)

 

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e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set

Aloe, green tea, cucumber, vitamins and water. Simple stuff. Did you know that if you mist it on your face it’s like hairspray for your makeup? Why isn’t this product talked about more often?! Lots of companies make a makeup setting mist, but with e.l.f.’s sitting at $3 a bottle, you really can’t beat it. It doesn’t feel sticky and dries completely smooth. If you’re someone who likes to wear blush, experiment with contouring, use bronzer or cheek highlighters, this works great for keeping those things in place all day long. I feel like it really smooths out the texture of my skin, as well. Somehow it seems to shrink pores and give skin an airbrushed look. And it feels good when you spritz it on your face before leaving the house in the summertime!

$3 at Target

 

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e.l.f. Eyelid Primer

This stuff might be my favorite of all. Because it solves a makeup problem I’ve had since I started wearing eyeliner–it keeps eyeliner OUT of your eyelid crease! Hallelujah! No double-lines to scrape off in the bathroom mirror throughout the day, smearing and mostly removing your eyeshadow along with it. Not only does it keep your creases clean, it sets your eyeshadow in place. I always see these beauty bloggers posting photos of eyeshadow color combinations applied so perfectly and I wonder–how do they make it look so seamless and dense? THEY USED A PRIMER! It’s a game changer. And did you notice the price?

$1 at Target

 

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Sexy Hair Texturizing Spray Clay

I follow a beauty blogger on Instagram (@theconfessionsofahairstylist) who posted photos for one week showing all of the ways you can use this product. SHE SOLD ME. I picked up this trial size at Ulta to give it a shot. So far, I’ve experimented with it by waving my hair with a flatiron. I held the ends away from my face and spritzed spray clay into it then scrunched the ends. It created a messy, texturized look and it held well throughout the day! I also backcombed my hair at the crown and spritzed this texturizing spray into it before backcombing a few more times. It worked much better than hairspray or that drying texturizing powder (I’ve used Bed Head’s for years) at holding the volume. I’m recommending it because it’s a great¬†segue from other texturizing products that seem to dry my hair. Not only does this fluff up my straight hair and give it some substance, but it adds shine and it brushes out easily.

 

$6 at Ulta (for a trial size. Which for me, lasts months because I won’t use it every day.)

 

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L’Oreal Infallible Super Slim .4 mm Pen Liner

Conquering the proper cat eye is one of my beauty life goals. I’ve tried the credit card trick (which for me was a Forever 21¬†tag), the scotch tape trick, I’ve watched tutorials, I’ve pinned like 50,000 inspiration photos…I WILL CONQUER YOU, CAT.

This summer, this pen liner was my latest weapon. Last summer I tried MAC’s pen liner. I liked it, but it was expensive and when it dried the color got very matte, which I didn’t like. This pen tip is SO tiny–it allows you to make your lines very slowly, almost by stippling them and then connecting the dots and filling in where necessary. I’ve found it works better than most pen liners and liquid brush liners I’ve tried because you can be so precise. The final color is really opaque, almost kohl-looking which I love. So far…we’re off to a great start together. Hopefully with practice and more time spent together, we’ll perfect that cat eye one day!

$8 at Ulta (or Target)

 

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Rimmel London Scandaleyes Show Off Mascara

See that little pokey ball at the end of the wand? That thing works miracles. It lifts up the outer edge of your lashes and if you use the wand vertically and poke upward, it reaches the little lashes on the inner part of your eye. It really opens things up! There are SO many gimmicky mascaras out there these days–so many that there was recently a law passed making it illegal for cosmetics companies to advertise their mascaras using fake lashes in print and TV media. They’ve been misleading us, ladies. (Shocker). I love that Rimmel is a European brand so it feels fancy, but it’s at a drugstore price.

 

$5.99 at Ulta (Normally $6.99 but currently on sale) Also at Target.

 

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BeneFit BadGal Lash Mascara

I’ve loved this stuff for years. BeneFit was my favorite cosmetics company all through college. This mascara is dense, it’s thick, it’s BLACK. The classic fiber brush works so well to lift and evenly coat lashes without making them clumpy. Lately, I’ve been putting a few swipes of BadGal over my Scandaleyes mascara to finish it off. It makes them blacker and gives them great length since it has something extra to grab onto. It’s a great way to pump up your eyes and it puts the perfect finishing touch on cat eye liner!

 

$19 at Ulta (or Sephora or Macys)

 

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Flower Beauty Kiss Me Twice Lip and Cheek Chubbie

Did you know that Drew Barrymore has a cosmetics line that’s only available at Wal-Mart? Most people I tell about this have no clue–because few people in Minnesota EVER go to Wal-Mart. We are in Target country, I know. But occasionally, I like to pass through Wal-Mart’s cosmetics aisles. They have great deals and they have things you can’t find elsewhere! I LOVE how this blush goes on. I swipe it like warpaint under my cheekbones and back toward my temples every morning. Then I rub it in with circular motions with my fingertips. It finishes so lightly and gives you a subtle amount of color. It doesn’t look painted on at all, and I know¬†these creme blushes sometimes can. I’ve used a few other products from the Flower Beauty line and honestly, they were disappointing. (Especially the lipstick..steer CLEAR.) But I would HIGHLY recommend this product. I’ll be buying it again when mine ages past its prime. ūüôā

$9.99 at Wal-Mart

 

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Rachel Zoe for Jockey Skimmies Slipshorts

Alright, I know this isn’t beauty-related. But it is fashion! And YES I’m going to talk about ladies’ underthings on my blog. I’m just goin’ for it.

So–if you’re someone who hates wearing skirts and dresses because of the fancy underthings it typically requires, or because of the well, friction that can take place, THESE WILL SOLVE ALL OF YOUR PROBLEMS FOREVER!

They’re not Spanx. They don’t suck you in. They’re thin, light, comfortable, and they come in three lengths. They make wearing skirts and dresses bearable in the summertime. I have been preaching the Skimmies gospel to whoever gives me a platform, these days! They’re SO worth purchasing. DO IT!

 

$20 at jockey.com (or at Macy’s)

 

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Rescue & Repeat

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As we were singing this song at church tonight, and the Holy Spirit straight up stole my voice away, I realized something.

In my life, I’m mostly overcome with emotion in situations when God’s power and love are made real before my eyes–when I sing about it, when I witness lives changed by God’s power (including my own), I’m *moved*. ¬†I know this is because it’s Power and Love that rescued me to begin with…it’s where it all began for me. I started really following Jesus when I was 16. Before that,¬†tears were reserved for sadness and were only shed in private. I didn’t know what it felt like to be brought to tears by love, by beauty or by the sheer majesty of something so big, so great, so wonderful, there are no words to express it–only emotion.

The lyrics of “Love Goes On” by Hillsong Young and Free were too much to bear at church, tonight. And the tears came. I always do my best to hold them back…it’s instinct. But I’m filled with joy in knowing that although my heart and my mind don’t always praise God freely, the day-to-day facts of life with Jesus can grow stale for my human nature–my spirit soars with praise for Him. That gut-punch well-up is the only signal I have that lets me know I’m still connected to Him. I might put up a lot of walls. I might get lazy. I might brazenly¬†sin. I might become apathetic. But He never moves. He never changes. And that wave of emotion in my spirit proves it’s so.

When I was in¬†college, some¬†Biblical and Theological Studies majors I knew would gather up and debate about theological topics. I developed and perfected my biggest over-the-top, Liz-Lemon-style eye roll in those days. Nothing irked me more than listening to a bunch of people explain away the mysteries of God with theories created by men. I called them knowledge snobs…to their faces. There’s nothing about God that thrills me and attracts me to him more than his love and his majesty. His ways are not our ways–and they certainly can’t be explained down to black and white bullet points. We can try, but we better be careful to remember they’re attempts at catching a glimpse at this great big God. And we should never be so sure that we’re right. Some Christians love to explain God to non-Christians, and to plant flags in camps within the Church even, pledging allegiance to doctrine and theology. For me? I could never make my heart pledge allegiance to anything or anyone other¬†than Jesus.

When I decided to follow Jesus, I needed rescuing. Bad. Inside, it was dark. Almost lights-out. I’d been treading in angry and confused oceans for way too long. I was ready to stop swimming. I was desperate for rescue. He was my ONLY Hope. But what Jesus did…he transformed my heart and he *rescued* me. You guys. How can I boil that down for human man? How can I put that into words that everyone will understand? My heart *changed*. He rescued my spirit from darkness. He showed me who he created me to be and set me on a path to get there. And he’s been walking with me all this time. Power and Love. His power and love did that.

As I tried to sing through my weepy throat tonight, the reality of where my heart’s been lately surfaced. I’ve been a bundle of worry. I’ve been an anxious, nervous, confused, directionless person these days and it has been hard. Paralyzed yet at the same time restless–and desperate for peace. It’s not lost on me that I felt a lot like that when I was 16. And again when I was 20. And again when I was 24. And now at 29. As I look back at those years, I remember that He always rescued me. Every time. He gave me joy. He gave me peace. He gave me direction in his timing. He blessed me. He held me. He wept over me. He had grace for me when I took too long to get it together. He rejoiced in who I was becoming. When things are uncertain and even dark, I remember “One thing we know is sure/Your love goes on and on and on.” He keeps bringing lies into the light. He keeps rerouting my course.¬†He reaches down into the blackness I’m far too content to make my home in, and he pulls me up, sets me on the grass, and makes¬†the sun shine on me. He knows I might go back to the blackness…in fact, I probably will. Even so,¬†He still loves me with a love that can’t be weakened¬†or understood or taken away. He keeps rescuing. His power and love do that.

And He’s here doing it again, friends. His love¬†is never failing, never shaken–and still–my ONLY Hope. His power is so great, so BIG, so intense, and His love is so strong, so limitless, so overwhelming–it’s all I can do to keep myself from crying. My spirit soars.

“Love Goes On” by Hillsong Young and Free

VERSE
We found love that never runs dry
From the depths
To the sky
Eyes fixed on the One who knows no end

You stand strong for all of time
In the joy
In the trial
You are the Beginning and the End

PRE-CHORUS
Your love goes on
Your love goes on

CHORUS
Ever our heart will seek
Jesus in everything
From sky to ocean deep
Your love goes on

Through every rise and fall
We are forever Yours
One thing we know is sure
Your love goes on and on and on

VERSE
From dawn break into the night
You’re here with us
You’re on our side
Your arms are forever open wide

You stand strong for all of time
In the joy
In the trial
You are the Beginning and the End

BRIDGE
Love unfailing
Never shaken
Hope awakens in You

 

…still reading? Check this: “Lifeline” by Hillsong Young and Free and “Lifeline” by Brooke Fraser (which suddenly sounds really dated…2003. yikes.) are two more of my favorite rescue songs. Enjoy.

Like Landing a Plane

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The first smack of the wheels against the pavement is harsh. The first few moments you’re leaning forward, all that pent-up, high-octane momentum throwing your body where it pleases. Your stomach does a flip as the wheels hop up in the air and slam back to the ground three or four more times. Finally, the brakes squeal and the momentum ceases. We’ve landed. We’re here. And we’re all ok. (Some people like to applaud at this point…)

Right now, in my life, the wheels are hopping on and off the pavement. I’m gripping the arms of my seat, clenching my jaw, saying prayers, and slowing my breath. I know we’re coming to a stop. I know we’ll be ok. But my body? Well…she’s not so sure.

I’m at peace while my heart sometimes beats out of my chest. My mind is clear while my words struggle to find meaning. My hands shake a little and my eyes bounce from here and there, without reason. Needless to say–it’s uncomfortable. But I am ok. I am landing this plane. I will arrive safely at my destination.

Two years ago, I blogged about my decision to go on anxiety medication. Even though I’ve chosen¬†to blog less about highly personal things over the last year, I think it makes good sense for me to address¬†this in a public venue. It doesn’t get talked about enough. Like Brene Brown says, when things are kept in the dark, that’s when shame has the opportunity to settle in. And really–I have nothing to hide when it comes to my challenges with anxiety. There’s no shame in it. It’s far more common than we as a society like to admit. So even though some may not understand it–and it may change your opinion of me–I’m jumping off this ledge one more time.

When I went on medication, I’d been battling panic attacks since I was 8 years old. I didn’t have them every day. I sometimes went months without one. But when they came, I had no idea how to handle it. Whether biological, circumstantial, or¬†environmental, anxiety could take over and own me completely. My only method of coping was to repeat, “I’m fine,” to myself rapidly–desperately–until the feeling passed. The funny thing about that is that I obviously wasn’t fine–and lying to myself about my fineness did nothing to calm me down. I became really¬†good at hiding anxious feelings, even hiding panic attacks. I spent my life somewhere between accepting¬†anxiety as “my norm” and completely denying that it even existed when in public. I felt weak and resisting its stronghold on me was futile.

Once I made the decision to try medication, I experienced relief like I hadn’t in my entire life. I slept like a baby (one of those sleep-through-the-night¬†good babies you sometimes hear about). I was more courageous. And most importantly–anxiety was a distant memory. I reveled in that first year of medicated bliss. I felt like I was finally living–really living. But as I approached my second year of being on medication, anxiety started to creep back in. This is common for these types of drugs. Most people who commit to a lifetime of being medicated walk into it with the understanding that they’ll be switching medications multiple times throughout their life. They lose effectiveness and you move on to the next one. I knew going in that I didn’t want that. I wasn’t sure how to avoid it, but I knew I didn’t want it.

After battling through one of the worst panic attacks of my life on a bus¬†in Brooklyn, NY one December night in 2013, I knew I was done being on this medication. It wasn’t working anymore. And as I considered my situation more over the next few months, I decided that my time being on medication altogether was done. Trying a different drug wasn’t going to be my next move. So I started planning my breakup with Lexapro.

I consulted with my doctor about how to safely wean off. I met with a counselor for several months to strengthen myself and to learn new ways of dealing with anxiety. I read books and listened to podcasts about handling anxiety and even being freed of it. I started Facebook messaging with Rebekah Lyons, author of Freefall to Fly, last year. She checked in with me from time to time¬†as I considered going drug-free. Some of my more frequent blog readers¬†may remember reading my tearful tirade after I finished reading Freefall to Fly, last year. Rebekah¬†was freed from anxiety miraculously and has learned to cope with it through prayer and self-care. She refused to accept it as “her norm” and fought back without drugs. After dealing with panic and anxiety since the third grade, reading that put me in an angry tailspin. It’s rarely that simple. But as I exchanged messages with Rebekah and watched her speak at the IF: Gathering last February, God started to change my heart. I realized that I’d unknowingly decided– Because He hasn’t done it yet–He can’t heal me, He won’t heal me, this is my norm, this is my burden to bear. But did it have to be?¬†Is there a chance I’ve been wrong all along?

In mid-May, I felt really ready so I went for it. Today, July 1, for the first time in two years, I’m completely anxiety-drug free. The past five weeks have been a difficult journey. A daily going-to-battle with anxiety. I’ve learned to be smarter about keeping my anxiety level lower at all times, so it’s a lot more difficult for my body to kick me over the edge into a panic attack. This includes getting better sleep, carving out intentional time to be calm during the week, religiously taking multivitamins with omega 3s, taking probiotics, taking little mental breaks during the workday, and reducing the amount of sugar and caffeine I ingest…which I’m still working on. ūüôā THAT is a battle within itself. I love me some Starbucks and chocolate…this is no secret. ūüôā

I’ve employed new tactics of dealing with attacks–drinking ice water, changing locations, refusing to isolate myself, having a short conversation with someone, slowed breathing, and most importantly–telling someone I’m having trouble with anxiety. Getting it out of the dark has been so freeing for me. Admitting it and learning to not be ashamed of it has removed much of the power anxiety held over my life. When I stopped trying to hide my battle, I was encouraged, uplifted, and free.

Keeping this in the open has deepened my friendships, made me more willing to accept kindness and love from people, and brought me closer to Jesus. Just last Saturday, after battling hard in dark, emotional depths and isolating myself for the entire day, (which is pretty typical of this withdrawal period, by the way), I finally let a friend in on my struggle via text. I asked her to pray me through it. AND SHE DID. That evening, my heart was lighter, my anxiety and withdrawal symptoms relieved, and my old-self had returned. It was nothing short of miraculous, really. I’m so grateful for that experience (and for that friend!). It strengthened me for the rest of this journey I’m embarking on.

I’m learning through this that although I have a biological disorder that makes me prone to living with a higher level of anxiety than many other people–the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is within me. That’s POWERFUL. I have STRONG POWER in Him. I am able to overcome symptoms. I am secure in Him. I am safe in Him. I am loved by Him. And that’s all I really need to get by. If He is for me–who can be against me? No one. And for maybe the first time ever, I’m starting to really believe that.

In the past, anxiety happened to me. I had no defense¬†and simply accepted its control over me. Today, I’m so excited to jump into a new journey with Jesus in this–relying on Him to carry me through in a way I never did before. Now when I say, “I’m fine,” to myself in a moment of anxiety–I know it’s true. I really am fine. Without medication, no matter how hard I try to keep anxiety at bay, I may still struggle. But for now–I want to build up my ability to lean on Him. It’s an experiment for sure, but I fully anticipate Him¬†loving me through it.

I want to be clear and say that my path is not everyone’s right path. I’m fully open to the possibility that I may need to be on medication again someday. That day may even come a month from now–I don’t know what’s in my future. And there’s no shame in being medicated, or in choosing to stay medicated. These are my personal decisions¬†that I’ve decided to share–not my advice for your unique journey.

In closing, I don’t think anyone has ever written a song that more accurately describes a life situation than this song by John Mayer. I’m not sure what the meaning of these lyrics are for him, but for me, they’ve become an anthem:

“War Of My Life”

Come out Angels

Come out Ghosts

Come out Darkness
Bring everyone you knowI’m not running
I’m not scared
I am waiting and well preparedI’m in the war of my life
At the door of my life
Out of Time and there’s no where to runI’ve got a hammer
And a heart of glass
I got to know right now
Which walls to smashI got a pocket
Got no pill
If fear hasn’t killed me yet
Then nothing will

All the suffering
And all the pain
Never left a name

I’m in the war of my life
At the door of my life
Out of time and there’s nowhere to run

I’m in the war of my life
At the core of my life
I’ve got no choice but to fight ’til it’s done

No more suffering
No more pain
Never again

I’m in the war of my life
At the door of my life
Out of time and there’s no where to run

I’m in the war of my life
I’m at the core of my life
Got no choice but to fight ’til it’s done
So Fight on, fight on everyone, so fight on
Got no choice but to fight ’til it’s done

I’m in the war of my life
I’m at the core of my life
I’ve got no choice but to fight ’til it’s done

So fight on.

 

That Time I Punched a Youth.

Just kidding.

I didn’t punch her.

But let me tell you…

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I was REALLY CLOSE, man. REALLY, REALLY CLOSE.

So, what did this poor, misguided soul say that got me so fired up? Let me paint a picture for you.

I was sitting at a table during my best friend’s wedding reception several years ago, and they were playing some music overhead before the dance started. A song by Frank Sinatra played and next, one by Dean Martin. A teenage girl at the table next to me said loudly, “It’s so weird that they’re playing Christmas music!” the other girl replied, “Yeah, I know!”

Friends.
I cannot express to you how the fire boiled within my chest.
These two, precious, children had NO IDEA that there is a WHOLE OTHER WORLD of music that exists outside of pop radio and Christmas songs. My heart broke. Into a thousand pieces. All over the ground. My entire world tilted on its axis. My eyeballs blew out of their sockets. (Have I laid enough drama into this yet) Honestly? I can’t believe it has taken me THIS LONG to write about that moment. Lord knows, I’ve given that moment probably the lion’s share of my verbal rants about music over the last few years.

This is unacceptable. This CANNOT HAPPEN.
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL! Our future as a culture depends on it, people! MUSIC…REAL MUSIC, with REAL INSTRUMENTS, is eternal. It will live on and I’m making sure of it. ūüôā

When I was 16, I got to know Frank Sinatra. I always knew his name (my Dad’s a musician and made sure I knew these things), but when I was 16 I really dug in.

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I bought one¬†CD: “Sinatra Sings the Great Sammy Cahn.” And from there, I got my education into the Great American Songbook. Sinatra sang it all. I started buying more Sinatra compilations and borrowing my grandma’s CDs. I learned about The Rat Pack and started listening to Dean Martin’s hits, as well. I worked at a video store at the time, so I rented any movie we had that Frank starred in…on VHS. My favorite by far was High Society. It introduced me to Louis Armstrong and the Bing Crosby that existed outside of White Christmas. I recently learned that my grandma claims the song featured at 1:23 in this trailer as my grandparents’ wedding song. And 2:26? Can I be “Sensational”, Frank? ūüėČ And 3:58–that ‘tude!!! How can you NOT¬†love this guy?!

In college, I loved studying for my Art History class at Starbucks. Back then, they used to almost exclusively play standards. Starbucks had a very metropolitan, classy feel and I LOVED soaking that up while I read about classic painters and artistic movements across Europe. During my senior year of college¬†I started collecting records. And that really put things into high gear. I LOVE going to Hymie’s Vintage Records in Minneapolis and digging through the classics. I feel AT HOME in that aisle. Today, my collection is bursting at the seams. I have NO MORE ROOM for records, right now. It’s a beautiful thing and a horrible thing simultaneously.

I just want to share a few of my favorite classic vocal tracks. They’ve settled into my heart over the years and are SO SPECIAL to me. I can’t imagine growing up oblivious to this beauty.

“Time After Time” – Frank Sinatra

I love this story, you guys. I could tell it 100 times. And I probably will over the course of my life. I discovered this song sitting on my bedroom floor in high school, cutting up magazines. (Predictable, I know.) As soon as I heard these lyrics, my heart swelled. I replayed it over and over that evening. What Frank does in this song…he makes those words SOAR. It’s just so beautiful. SO- here’s the story: When I was in New York City for the 2nd time ever, I was with my two best friends at a little Italian restaurant on the West side. There was a man who easily could’ve been the reincarnated Louis Armstrong playing piano, there. I asked him if he knew, “Time After Time,” and was careful he didn’t think I was talking about Cyndi Lauper’s version. He nodded and launched into the most INCREDIBLE rendition of Time After Time next to the original that i could possibly imagine. I tipped that man $20. I wish I could’ve tipped him $200. It was a moment I’ll never forget and I honestly get a little verklempt thinking about it!!

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“A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square” – Nat King Cole

Now, lots of the greats have recorded this song. I’ve heard ’em all. Anita O’Day, Sinatra, Bing, even Bobby Darin…but I have to hand it to the King on this one. These vocals are buttah. I mean, wow. It’s the transitions in this one that get me. How he slides from one soaring note to a quiet, subdued one, up the scale and down, he nails it over and over. Now, with this one, you HAVE to turn it up. Turn it up all the way. Let it wash over you. You’re about to be transported. (See Also: Autumn Leaves and ‘Tis Autumn)

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“Stars Fell On Alabama” – Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

It’s hard for me to pick just ONE Ella and Louis collab to mention here. Because I love so many of them. But what I really love about this version of “Stars Fell on Alabama” is how slowwwwwly they’ve broken it down. Every little nuance is given attention, not one little detail is overlooked. Ella’s perfection (SPEAKING of vocal transitions…she may be the queen) carries it through on a breeze. It’s so intimate, on vinyl you feel like they’re right there in your living room with you, lounging and sipping cocktails.

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“But Not For Me” – Harry Connick Jr.

Lots of people have tried to reform the classics into something modern that an evolving culture would care about. Michael Buble? You’re ok. But Harry…no one compares to Harry. So I chose to include HIS rendition of the standard, “But Not For Me,” here. Sinatra sings it best, for the record, with all the sadness and desperation only he’s capable of drizzling all over a lyric. But Harry made people take notice and REMEMBER when he recorded this as part of the soundtrack for When Harry Met Sally.

And JUST for a bit of adorable fun, Harry singing in 2008 with his then 11-year-old daughter. LOVE!! (Any Friends superfans out there might be interested in knowing his wife is Jill Goodacre, Chandler’s vestibule blackout companion. PERFECTION.)

And finally…as my love for the standards and the classic vocalists continues to grow over time…who am I listening to, now?

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Lately, it’s all about Chet Baker. I recently came across this song¬†and have been swimming in it in the evenings. Just today, I heard his rendition of “That Old Feeling” and fawned all over that as well. Beauty. So understated, so quiet, so intent. I LOVE IT.


Seriously y’all. Educate yourselves and educate others.¬†Pandora, AccuRadio, Spotify–you have many resources.

The More You Know GIF