December 2010

New Year's Cyberlutions


Nofacebook New Year's resolutions -- I can take them or leave them. It seems everyone tries to start the new year with the same generic "life improvements." It's a genuine effort, but come February, the 2011 amnesia starts to set in.

So, I'm keeping my resolutions practical and based around my Internet/computer/iPhone habits. I spend way too much time "online," so here are my technological resolutions that, perhaps, you can make use of too!

Limit Facebook time. It's the ultimate black hole of time suckage. Seriously, an hour can go by and I've done nothing but read status updates, play Farmville or take some tragically inaccurate personality quiz. Damn you, Zuckerberg!

Keep the abbrevs to a min(imun). OK, so sometimes using abbreviations is convenient, and terms like "totes" and "probs" are kind of endearing, but we all learned to spell in the first grade, so let's not get too lazy. KWIM?

Organize my tech-life. I use Delicious to bookmark noteworthy sites and Google reader to keep up with my blog reading, but they're both a hot mess. Time to get efficient.

No texting while eating. Hey, talking with your mouth full is impolite, right?

Are you making any resolutions? Tell us! Happy New Year! 

RED Hearts: Top Five Songs of 2010


Deerhunter-790135 RED Hearts are guests posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today.

Today's RED Hearts post is by Alison Smith, 20, reporting from Brooklyn, NY on her Top 5 Tunes of 2010:

Narrowing down my favorite songs of 2010 to just five was much harder than I expected. This year was filled with new releases from old favorites, as well as a slew of emerging bands. With 2010 came debut full-lengths from Male Bonding and Tame Impala, an exceptional EP from Twin Sister, and an incredible new album from Prince Rama, none of whom I expect to fade into obscurity any time soon. 

But overall, I associate this year with a contrasting mix of hazy, dreamy memories and satisfyingly aggressive moments. Here are my five favorite tracks that took me there: 

 Deerhunter (pictured), “Helicopter” (Halcyon Digest).This song is a good representation of the dreamy, poppy melodies I admire so much from Bradford Cox, both in his solo material as Atlas Sound and as the frontman of Deerhunter. The clarity through a sea of reverb is a refreshing way to appreciate Cox’s vocal talents and the effects on Moses Archuleta’s drumming blends the decidedly sharp beat into the distance of the song. Plus, I’m still feeling like a bit of a fangirl after seeing the band in October where they played the most animated set I’ve seen from them yet.

 Warpaint, “Set Your Arms Down” (The Fool). I had a hard time deciding which song off of Warpaint’s first full-length, The Fool, would make this list. The album as a whole is incredibly enjoyable, with vocals that seem fit for summer but instruments that pull it back into fall with a feeling that I can only describe as that of wearing a velvet dress. I ultimately chose “Set Your Arms Down” because its dreamy, ethereal nature is most representative of the rest of the album. And if you’re on the fence about this band, maybe the recommendation video starring an incredibly pretentious young girl named Sunny on their MySpace page will help you out.

 Beach House, “Zebra” (Teen Dream). Beach House released their incredible third album so early in 2010 -- and its songs have ingrained themselves so deeply -- that I almost forgot the duo in my end-of-year consideration. Another close call here: Though “Walk in the Park” is a dynamic song, “Zebra” remains my favorite, particularly for Victoria’s vocal range. 

 Avey Tare, “Laughing Hieroglyphic” (Down There).Though I may be in the minority, I was really satisfied with the entirety of Animal Collective’s Avey Tare’s solo album, Down There. Due to the strong beat and longing vocals, the first track off the LP is my favorite -- it’s even my ringtone right now. The stunningly bittersweet emotions that that shine though each of the nine tracks create what may not be choice for fans of Animal Collective’s more recent releases, but instead form a swampy album fit for the seasonal depression months.

 Snuffy, “Skipping Through The Autobahn” single (Blonde). The B-side to the first single off of this Brooklyn trio’s upcoming 2011 debut full-length album rounds out my top five songs of 2010. Something about this song reminds me of America -- like American flags floating around in between the jingling samples. No clue where that association came from, but here’s to looking forward to what 2011 will bring for this band. 

Red RED Hearts guest poster Alison Smith is an author of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today, now available in paperback.

Melissa's Best of 2010!


Bubbles Scrolling through our 2010 archives was kinda fun -- I'm not gonna lie. Anne's faves were pretty fun to look back on. And while I've enjoyed everything from the possibility of a new-style Sassy magazine (led by Tavi the Style Rookie) to the website full of amazing things to do with your summer (it's never too early to plan!), I do have a few top finds of my own to re-share. So here they are:

Perfumed Bubbles (pictured). This concept has to be one of the most whimsical to come out of the beauty closet in ages, and I delight in their soft scents. (Though the mood-changing nail polish is a close runner-up in terms of the fun factor!)

Umbrella Redux. Recycling umbrellas into adorable rainproof hats (and more!) speaks to both my inner eco-warrior and my quirky sense of style. Plus, I ordered the cat toy versions for my kitties, and they fell in love too. 

Don't Text and and Drive. Part public service message, all love. And something to keep remembering!

Classic Novels Starring You. Melissa's Adventures in Wonderland is a damn good book. Just saying.

Anne's Best of 2010!


Hurraw-1 As this year winds down, it's only natural to look back on 2010 with much thought, reflection and wondering why I spent 4,492 hours playing Angry Birds. So, this week Melissa and I are doing a roundup of our favorite I Heart Daily posts. In no particular order, here are my favorite discoveries of the year!

Hurraw Lip Balm (pictured). This eco-conscious company makes the best lip balm my two lips have ever experienced. My tube of Black Cherry hasn't left my side in months.

Lauren Pritchard. This girl from Tennesse has a voice you've got to hear. We told you about her back in April, and now her album Wasted In Jackson is out for all to swoon to. 

What Big Eyes You Have. I'm always looking for some easy-to-follow tips to make my eyes look bigger, and these two suggestions have made it into my daily routine.

Affordable Art. It's a quandary: you love art, but you don't have a lot of cash to drop. I've used the three places mentioned in this post to help decorate my formerly barren walls. 

Cool Girl: Dallas Jessup. This girl literally kicks ass, teaching young girls around the word self-defense methods to protect their lives and futures.

Merry, Merry!


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