I got a chance to go camping in Michigan over the holiday weekend, and I’m already wanting to go back. Being outdoors with friends and family, cooking food over an open fire, s’mores (lots of s’mores), drinks, and plenty of laughs around a cozy campfire in the crisp, fall-like air under the stars. I learned how to build a fire, make some deliciously strong campfire coffee and all about camping essentials. You might say this was my Camping 101 class.

If you’re not able to plan a camping excursion, how ‘bout a staycamption! Camping in your backyard can be equally as fun, and hey, you have your own shower! Here is a little backyard DIY camping listology to get you started.


LISTOLOGY #095: PUT A STAKE IN IT, I’M CAMPING HERE //

1) Put up a tent or make one yourself! It can be as simple as putting a piece of material over a rope and finding the perfect spot, whether its your backyard, patio, or rooftop.

2) Set up your campsite. Just because you’re in your backyard doesn’t mean you still can’t make it look authentic. Arrange your tent, seating, grilling area and have string lights or tiki torches nearby for a well lit campsite.

3) Grill all your food and yes, even breakfast! Did you know you can make an omelet with eggs scrambled in a plastic baggie in a pot of boiling water?! Yeah, me neither! Welcome to Camping 101.

4) Get plenty of snacks and have a cooler with all your favorite drinks. Pack it as if you’re actually going away. No sneaking into the kitchen!

5) Have a firepit or a DIY one using a giant metal tub. You need something to make those s’mores on! If you prefer a different route or ones for later, make s’mores pops! Just melt some chocolate on the stovetop, quickly dip your marshmellow into the melted chocolate and then roll it in crushed graham cracker. Mmmm!

6) Have outdoor activities set up…Playing bags, cards, stargazing, storytelling.

7) Bring plenty of blankets, pillows, sleeping bag, air mattress and lanterns for inside the tent.

8) Don’t forget the music! Perfect time to play that Fall playlist you just put together!

9) Create an outdoor seating area on your campsite using chairs, pillows or a hammock.

10) Take a break from your phone, TV, internet, etc and really connect with your friends and the outdoors. Its only for one night and you’ll be so relaxed afterwards, it’ll be worth it!

Soundscape: "Another Season"- No Middle Name


Another Season" is the first track from the solo project of David Bailey, aka No Middle Name. This track is perfect for warm, sun filled days. It’s lo-fi, it’s dreamy, it’s set for those drifting thoughts of longing to be in your favorite place. It makes you remember these moments are fast and fleeting, so soak them up as much as the bright summer sun.

SUMMER SESSIONS //

It hasnt been feeling much like summer here in chicago lately, so my thoughts have been drifting. Ones still filled with the joys of summer like sweet treats, bike rides, backyard bbqs and orange and pink sunsets. On these chilly nights flashes of fall have slowly snuck in, luckily spontaneous adventures, picnics and sunsets are still a possibility, good music, a cozy blanket and cute dishes still apply.

Soundscape:"The Throw"- Jagwar Ma

One scoop of psychedelic summer swirl, please. Sydney based, Jagwar Ma have been on major repeat with their mix of hip hop beats, surf and indie rock. The track “The Throw”, makes me want to cannonball into crystal blue waters on a hot day under a bright orange sky.

This song moves in a way just as summer moves, its fast, but with those savored moments, where you wish you could stop time, through every flowing synthy beat. Savor air dried beach hair and sandy feet when you walk, I mean dance, into your beach space while Howlin pumps from your speakers.

Soundscape: “It All Feels Right” - Washed Out

"It All Feels Right", yes, yes it does. Artistically and musically this song / video is a perfect pick along with the latest post. Ernest Greene, AKA Washed Out debuted this track off the forthcoming album, Paracosm, out Aug. 13th. This track finds the known chillwave artist with a slightly different, almost psychedelic sound, but still as chill as a summer day, one full of colorful flowers and bright green plants, of course.

BRING THE OUTDOORS IN…ADD A LITTLE GREENE

After some recent re-arranging, stepping back, doing the head tilt, the sigh, the hmm, the slight move of this and the slight drag of that, something was still missing. There was a space that not even the best book, picture or one of a kind vintage find was going to fill. I needed a piece that was unique, had texture, height, color, and would breathe some life into the space. I needed a plant! Or fresh flowers! I went with both.

Finally, I figured out that it was a lush, green counterpart that my shelves were in need of. I knew I could not just purchase a boring, plain pot with an equally boring green plant. Nope, I was going to get creative! Whatever you choose, let it reflect your style. Whether its in glass bottles, jars, paint, figurines, terrariums, air plants, new arrangements, unique shaped plants, summer floral mixes….And speaking of mixes, you need something to listen to while adding some green to your space!

Soundscape: “Keep You”- Wild Belle

Not only do siblings Elliot and Natalie Bergman of indie band, Wild Belle originally hail from my city of Chicago, but their debut album, Isles, has been on repeat and couldn’t be more patio perfect.

So many times bands try to combine genres that are as long as some of my grocery lists and it doesn’t always work, but Wild Belle’s addictive combo is a perfect, breezy summer blend. A fusion of calypso, jazz, reggae, and pop with Bergman’s vocals worthy of soundtracking a Mad Men episode, it is sure to make your patio party mix and be playing all summer long.

20 plays

 by TRAILS AND WAYS from Miracle/Nunca Split

This song has been on repeat for me and just seems to embody the perfect blend of a summer and fall feel.

Soundscape: “Miracle” (Ghost Beach Cover) - Trails and Ways

Some of my road trip essentials that hopefully help in getting a list started for your road trip!

Something about summer that makes taking a road trip so alluring. Wanting to pack up the car and head out on the open road. I think back to all the road trips I’ve taken. Florida, Nashville, Colorado, New York were some of my favorite ones. Being in the car with friends, good music, lots of snacks…made for the best memories. It definitely wouldn’t have been the same flying somewhere.

Maybe you have a destination in mind for your road trip or just want to be spontaneous. Whatever the case grab your favorite road trip buddy and the essentials (definitely a road trip playlist) and start your travels! Make it a time to put e-mails and calls aside for a few days (they will still be there when you get back) and soak up the scenery along the way.

Take the path less traveled, ask locals for the best spots to check out and be creative with your plans. Instead of staying in a hotel along the way, bring camping gear and set up camp in a cool spot. Taking a road trip you get to see so many places in a completely different way and have much more time to take it all in. Also, the level to be creatively inspired on road trips is so much more than just arriving at your destination on a plane. So before you go and book that flight, change it up this time and head out on the road. You’ll be happy you did!

The mix for July definitely has a common theme with colors of the ocean, sky and trees. All sharing in the outdoor feel along with added textures you would find while at the beach or on a hike. I’m so excited for bands I haven’t heard from in awhile to re-emerge with such great tracks making me anticipate their upcoming releases. Artists such as Lord Huron, Two Door Cinema Club, Freelance Whales and the recently released “Undersea” EP from The Antlers that I can’t pull myself away from. The Antlers are our featured soundscape artist and represent the palette in the best way with not only the cover of their EP, but their beautifully, textured tracks that make you feel as if you are swimming in crystal blue waters. A playlist like this makes one want to take a cool dip in the water on a hot day. Enjoy! 



Soundscape Mix - July 2012

"Crest"-The Antlers

"How Long Have You Known"-DIIV

"Broken Brights"-Angus Stone

"Faithless"-Heavenly Beat

"Sleep Alone"-Two Door Cinema Club

"Time To Run"-Lord Huron

"Burst Apart"-Lighthouse and the Whaler

"Locked Out"-Freelance Whales

"Eyes of Love"-Murals

"Maze"-Young Hunting

The mix for July definitely has a common theme with colors of the ocean, sky and trees. All sharing in the outdoor feel along with added textures you would find while at the beach or on a hike. I’m so excited for bands I haven’t heard from in awhile to re-emerge with such great tracks making me anticipate their upcoming releases. Artists such as Lord Huron, Two Door Cinema Club, Freelance Whales and the recently released “Undersea” EP from The Antlers that I can’t pull myself away from. The Antlers are our featured soundscape artist and represent the palette in the best way with not only the cover of their EP, but their beautifully, textured tracks that make you feel as if you are swimming in crystal blue waters. A playlist like this makes one want to take a cool dip in the water on a hot day. Enjoy!

Soundscape Mix - July 2012

"Crest"-The Antlers

"How Long Have You Known"-DIIV

"Broken Brights"-Angus Stone

"Faithless"-Heavenly Beat

"Sleep Alone"-Two Door Cinema Club

"Time To Run"-Lord Huron

"Burst Apart"-Lighthouse and the Whaler

"Locked Out"-Freelance Whales

"Eyes of Love"-Murals

"Maze"-Young Hunting

Love this color and food pairing from griottes.fr

Love this color and food pairing from griottes.fr

10 plays

 by James & Evander from Bummer Pop

"What Else Is New?"- James & Evander

bringing MUSIC + DESIGN together to create an inspired space //

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on the turntable

  • black keys
  • mr. little jeans
  • the pains of being pure at heart
  • still parade

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