March Art Journal Pages

I have been (loosely) participating in  Caylee and Lauren‘s Get Messy Art Journal Challenge and wanted to share my progress on my March Art Journal Pages. I am still working on carving out time to actually work on these pages instead of marathoning them all at once. Being a mom of a socially-active 4 year old boy who needs a constant playmate and a nursing baby, time for myself is at a minimum – which is why I love to stay up to the wee hours of the night to get my creative groove on. I’ve always been a night owl. For as long as I can remember. Like with my February pages, I both love, love, love and hate, hate, hate my March spreads all at the same time.

For this spread I used paper scraps, quotes by others (get your free brush script downloads from Polka Dot Creative), washi tape and sharpies. There is something about cutting at pasting late at night while everyone is sleeping that I love.

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I picked up some water colour gel crayons, and oh my! Where have these been. The following spread is done almost entirely with them. They are a fast way to get colour down on paper for backgrounds that dry quickly. My favourite is acrylic mixing and I have used ink pads in the past, but I love this new medium.

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I played with cheapo watercolours for this spread and doodles with sharpies and paper scraps. I am not sure if this one is quite finished yet, but I really like the colour scheme. I re-worked the Anne of Green Gables quote about 8 times. But I think I am satisfied.

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I like the left side of this spread (a series of magazine squares decorated with black sharpies), but I really don’t like the right side. It seems empty. Blank. Lack-lustre. Boring. I need to pile on more layers or paint over it. I’m not sure what it is that I dislike. But I dislike it.

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Washi and watercolours. I love adding photos of my family (current photos or retro photos that I borrow from my mom’s photo albums). They add an extra punch of love and personality. This is one of my first photos of Eli & Abby together. They spent a lot of hours on the carpet together in those early days. I added some magazine strips and a page from my agenda that fell out. This one is pink too. I’ve been feeling very pink lately.

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Do you art journal? Do you paint/draw/cut+paste? Have you never tried? It is therapeutic and inspiring.

You should join too. xxoo

oh yeah.

ps. Have you downloaded my FREE super-rad fill-in-the-blanks doodle journal yet? I drew it all myself and want you to try it out. Check the sidebar.

25 Podcasts to Listen to Right now

I collect podcasts. I listen to a lot of podcasts throughout my day for entertainment, instructions and inspiration. I love them because I can listen to them where ever and whenever I’d like, I get new ideas and recommendations and learn something.  I have a sort of ADD when it comes to podcasts. I fall in and out of love with different shows all the time. It’s like my bloglovin’ feed and my crafting passions – fluid and interchanging.

A couple of weeks ago Jess Forster asked if she could interview me for her podcast Pocket Talk – where she interviews pocket scrapbookers. I was shocked, as her previous interviewees were a couple of my blogging idols, and as scared as I was, I said “sure!”. It was posted Friday. I am nervous to hear my voice. Please go listen and tell me what you think. (click link or search in itunes) I hope I don’t sound like a dink.

After that, please check out some of my current favourite podcasts, divided into categories that encompass my life. Parenting, Blogging/Techy, Reading, Creative & Smartypants. I haven’t found any teaching podcasts to listen to yet (I haven’t even searched), but I imagine they’ll round out my listening enjoyment soon enough.

Here are 25 podcasts to listen to right now!

25 podcasts to listen to right now

The Inspired to Action Podcast, Mom & Dad are Fighting: Slate’s Parenting Podcast, The Art of Simple Podcast, Read Aloud RevivalThe Longest Shortest Time

25 podcasts to listen to right now

Elise gets Crafty, After the JumpHow they blog, Creative Start, Spark

25 podcasts to listen to right now

Books on the Nightstand, Serial, Canada Reads, CraftLit, Criminal

25 podcasts to listen to right now
Pocket Talk, The Mindful Creator, Balzer Design’s Adventures in Arting, Craftsanity, While She Naps

25 podcasts to listen to right now
Stuff You missed in History Class, Grammar Girl, DNTO, This American LifeInto It with Elle Collins

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If you have never listened to a podcast – Try it out. (And if you are completely clueless, click here to check out my tutorial about how to listen). If you have any questions, please ask – and let me know what you think!

If you are already a podcast listener – do you have any recommendations for me?

Project Life 2015: January & February

funkylindsay project life 2015

After cranking out all of 2014 using the Project Life app all at once, I decided to keep up on my pages for 2015 as I go this year. Every week or so, once I have a couple of photos, I click up a spread. My loose goal is to have 3-4 pages a month, but I am not too strict about that.

funkylindsay project life  I’ve noticed that my favourite spreads are the ones with more squares. I like the look of the collage without the blank space for journalling. Writing on the actual pictures is quicker for me, and I love the look. I keep all of my backgrounds white, and I love the streamlined look of the square edges. Rounded just doesn’t do it for me. Makes me feel too soft and lovely. Our life is nutty and fun.IMG_5424

This year so far, I have kept with 12×12 pages, but I love the idea of mix-matchy sizes of pages within. I decided to take a page from one of my favourite PL bloggers Green Fingerprint and use her baby book idea with the monthly “intro” pages. They are simple and  feed my desire for mis-matched pages. I made up an easy spread in Pages an dropped in some text and photos and some of my handwritten cards. I printed them on 8×11 paper and slid them into a page protector. One side of the protector is the photo/overview of the current month and the other side is the write-up (by week) of what happened in that month. So far, so good. Thank you for the idea Cat!

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My spreads don’t necessarily tell a story, and my pages tend to me mashups of candids from the days. Unless there is an event or birthday party or holiday, my pages are simply snapshots. I like to have “Abby” spreads and “Eli” spreads from roughly the same time period, but anything goes.

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You should check out some of my hand drawn 3×4 and 4×3 cards here. They are digital (png) and you can use them seamlessly with the app, or print them out (pdf) on your own card stock if you use the physical kits. Show me how you use them on IG or twitter. xxoo

How do you record your family memories? Are you a digital scrapbooker? A Blurb or Shutterfly book-maker? A photo-hoarder? None of the above? Tell me.

REAL life: Family Favourites

Inspired by super-bloggers Elise, I decided to document some of our family favourites each month (or so). I have included all 4 of us. Rob, Eli, Abby & Lindsay. REAL life.

Reading | Oliver | Shannon | Patricelli| Spiegelman|

Playing | itunes | superheroes | animal blocks | artsy things |

REAL life: Family Favourites

 

Eating | Chia seeds & Hemp hearts | Jam on toast | Mushy veggies | “Joelene’s cookies”|

REAL life: Family Favourites

Watching | Season 3 | Zoboomafoo | No shows yet | New Tina Fey show

REAL life: Family Favourites

Making | Lesson plans | Mr. Maker crafts | a mess | Lists |

REAL life: Family Favourites

Wearing | Crossfit shoes | well-worn runners | Nooks | Short winter boots |REAL life: Family Favourites

What are you currently reading, playing, eating, watching, making and wearing? Share with me.

Abby: 7 Months

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weight. You are 12 lbs 13.5oz. Bumped up to the 5th percentile. You’ve more than doubled your birth weight. You are wearing 3-6 month clothes.

eyes. Blueish- your eye colour looks like mine.

hair. dark blond and fuzzy.

feeding. You are a champion cluster-feeder. Yay. Still prefer leftie. Big time.

sleeping . You are a good night sleeper – but unless you are in your carseat, your napping needs work.

things you love. Your brother, playing with your toes, peek-a-boo, kisses, snuggles, , driving, being upright, reading books, kids, more toys.

things you don’t love. Being “left” on your back. You quickly turn over to your tummy.

other awesome things you do. You can sit up unassisted and reach for toys. You like to roll (both ways). You put everything in your mouth-  we need to start hiding Eli’s superheroes. You are starting to inch forward on your belly. You giggle a lot.

xo Abigail.

For a super-fun memory, check out Eli at 7 months here!

Mindful. One Little Word: February

Best to take the moment present as a present for the moment – Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods

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Mindful. One little word. If you recall, my One Little Word® for the year is mindful. I’ve been trying to be more present without judgement in every moment. Ali’s challenge for the month is to make a vision board. I used to collage my heart out. I have always been a cutter+paster. My high school agendas and binders were collaged. My bedroom walls were plastered with images from magazines and I used to make notebooks for my friends. I wish I took photos of it all. I would spend hours ripping pages from magazines that “called” to me. I still do that. This challenge was so easy for me.

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I used a thick 8.5×11 piece of card stock as my canvas and layered some pretty papers and magazine glossies. And no collage is complete without a little bit of washi tape. Especially when it is sparkly. This board is very pink. I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been drawn to lighter pinks and my instagram feed reflects that.  They say that the purpose and meaning behind the chosen photos will come clearer as the days and weeks pass. Things to be mindful about. My art, my family, my friends, my health. And things to savour and enjoy. Books, fun shoes, pretty things. Pay attention. Wherever I am, be all there.

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(Get your own “Love the Moment” print from Be a Fun Mum. It is free and beautiful.)

I’ve been doing fairly well being mindful of my time spent, the moments I have with my family and friends. I keep the electronics off, hidden and not within arms reach and play my heart out. I’ve been better at being present. I savour my snuggles, my books and every bite of good food. I am reaching out to others and making a huge effort to connect. I am getting better at going to bed at a decent hour. Sort of. Rob and I have had weekly date nights and just talk. I’ve drastically reduced my sugar intake. I’m noticing little things and creating more. February for the win.

What is your one little word? Have you stuck with it? Was the vision board a challenge?

A Superhero 4th Birthday Party

Eli turned 4 a couple of weeks ago, and this year – for the very first time – I decided to actually plan a superhero 4th birthday party. With a birthday landing in the middle of February when we always have a couple of feet of snow and way-too-cold temperatures, an indoor party was in order. We held the fête in Rob’s school gym with 10 of his closest friends.

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For the invites, I glued some crafty classified ads to black card stock, added a superhero sticker and a speech bubble that said “Calling all Superheroes”. The backside gave the information as to where and when. It invited kiddos to Superhero Training and instructed them to come in costume (of choose a new identity upon arrival). Thanks for the idea Studio Calico!

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We had Eli’s superhero play sets and books set out for the first arrivals, as well as tattoos and blank superhero paper dolls to colour. Once everyone arrived, Ghostbuster Rob (in true teacher-mode) led the littles through a series of superhero training stations.

Station 1) Warm-up: A variety of stretches
Station 2) Strength Training: Dead lifting a barbell and “karate chopping” some styrofoam boards.

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Station 3) WonderWoman’s Lasso practice – (Throw hula hoops over pylons)
Station 4) Agility Training: Webs + Balance (Crawl underneath webs and cross over hot lava)
Station 5) Leap over tall buildings in a single bound (Painted boxes to look like buildings)

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Station 6) Jumping on the giant high jump mat… because, why not?
Station 7) Safety Clearance: Diffuse Bombs (stomp balloons) and Collect Kryptonite (collect glow sticks in the dark Bat Cave)

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Station 8) Hulk Smash: Wearing hulk gloves smash through brick walls (painted boxes)

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Station 9) Target Practice: Using Spidey Spray (click photo of cans for free printable labels)

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After the stations were complete, each hero was awarded with a Certificate – admitting them officially into the Justice League. As this was finishing, two super-villains arrived (thanks to the dads!) and tried to steal Eli’s birthday presents. The heroes were trained enough to capture them and tie them up and blast them with spidey spray.

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For food, the heroes and their parents enjoyed some “wonder dogs” and various fruits/veggies/chips that promised to improve their super powers (ex. Improved Laser Vision, Super Strength, mind reading capabilities…). We had chocolate cupcakes (with these free toppers from lessthanperfectlifeisbliss) and liquorice and oreos and opened some fab superhero-inspired gifts.

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Decorations were minimal – assorted superhero toys we already had, leftover balloons from the birthday party at my parents house the week before, spidey wrapping paper for table cloths. I covered a giant E with comic book pages and cut some triangles into a banner. I used black fabric from my classroom bulletin boards and garbage bag webs. I made a quick cityscape backdrop with wrapping paper and construction paper for behind the food table. I had good intentions of making a piñata and Photo Booth, but then decided not to.

Our loot bags included mini play doh, colouring pages, spinning tops, stickers, bouncy balls and a teensy bag of skittles (with these free labels). I made some superhero tootsie pops too. I packaged them into paper bags with a print out of a comic book hero on the front.

Most of the ideas we used were mix-and-matched and inspired by various Superhero parties found online.

Eli and his pals had a tonne of fun. The next morning he woke up asking if he could have his party again.

Get Messy: Season of Love

It’s not like I need anymore projects. Really.

But I couldn’t pass up Caylee and Lauren‘s Get Messy Art Journal Challenge that I found via Instagram. Nothing cries “Lindsay” like an online group of creatives art journalling with prompts, inspiration and weekly link-ups. I have so missed art journalling on a regular basis, and thought that this would be the kick in the pants that I needed. What a fun creative outlet.

get messy art journal

February + March is the season of LOVE. There have been two rounds, each with a handful of journalling prompts and a handful of art prompts. I very loosely followed the prompts the past two rounds because I haven’t been able to sit down and really think about them for longer than a few minutes at a time. I both love, love, love and hate, hate, hate my spreads all at the same time. The detail is lacking and the words seem empty. I will get better.

get messy art journal

get messy art journal get messy art journal

Do you art journal? Do you paint/draw/cut+paste? Have you never tried?

You should join too. xxoo

oh yeah.

ps. Have you downloaded my super-rad fill-in-the-blanks doodle journal freebie yet? Check the sidebar.

Eli is 4.

Dear Elijah Myles,

You are four!

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You are silly and goofy and playful.
You are the best big brother – so sweet and loving.
You are wacky and high-energy.
You love reading books and doing mazes.
You tell epic stories and have an amazing memory.
You sing all day long. Never ending.
You can be serious one minute and full of laughs the next.
You tell me you love me at least 16 times a day and need to be touching at all times.
You are crazy for superheroes of all shapes and sizes.
You love climbing and wrestling and dressing in costumes.
You pick your nose way too much and like to hang out without your pants on.
You are very sociable and agreeable and love your friends.
You are curious about life and question everything.
You want to do everything independently.

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Happy Birthday to the sweetest boy I know. You fill my heart with love.

xxoo

Abigail: 6 months

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weight. You are a whole 12lbs 11 oz. In the zero’th percentile. You’ve more than doubled your birth weight. You are wearing 3-6 month clothes.

eyes. Blueish- your eye colour looks like mine.

hair. dark blond and fuzzy.

feeding. You are a champion cluster-feeder. Yay. Still prefer leftie. Big time.

sleeping . You are a good night sleeper – but unless you are in your carseat, your napping needs work.

things you love. Your brother, playing with your toes, peek-a-boo, kisses, snuggles, , driving, being upright, reading books, kids, more toys.

things you don’t love. Being “left” on your back. You quickly turn over to your tummy.

other awesome things you do. You can sit up unassisted for a few minutes. You like to roll (both ways) and reach for toys. You’ve started to put more things in your mouth. Two teeth are starting to make their appearance.

xo Abigail.

For a super-fun memory, check out Eli at 6 months here!

Project Life: The album 2014

The last few pages of my 2014 Project Life binder have finished trickling in, and I thought I would share some of my favourite spreads. Project Life: The Album 2014.

project life: the album 2014

I have always been an art journaller/book alterer/photobook maker but never a scrapbooker. I would buy scrapbooking paper and embellishments and stickers out the wazoo, but never put any official albums together – mostly because I never thought my life was documentable enough – “when I have kids maybe” is what I told people on more than one occasion.

project life: the album 2014

I vaguely knew what “Project Life” was (following Elise and Ali for many years) and pinned some page spreads on Pinterest for inspiration, but never gave it much thought. Back in the fall, my friend Aly invited her friend Jess Forster to teach us a Project Life course. I didn’t have any page protectors or core kits or even a binder, but I wanted to get together with friends to be crafty. I brought Abby’s baby book to work on and some painting. Jess brought all of her albums and snacks and coffee and lots of inspiration – and it was really awesome, but I still thought during the afternoon that I probably wouldn’t bother with printing the photos and putting them in pockets. It seemed like too much work and I really loved printing photo books of special trips and baby scenes and instagrams – so why bother?

project life: the album 2014

Then one afternoon I decided to try the Project Life app. I downloaded it and within minutes I had a 12×12 spread done. Completely. No cropping or cutting or face-palming because the photos are the wrong orientation or colour or size. None of that. With a couple of taps and clicks you can brighten/saturate/contrast, flip locations, round corners, change layouts. It even came with core kit inserts and handwriting fonts. I knew this would be my kind of quick and efficient “scrapbooking”.

project life: the album 2014

It’s simple and fast. I can do a page in the car or in the bathroom. No pulling out photos and scissors and paper scraps. And putting it all away. Tappity tap tap tap. No fuss and far away from grubby peanut butter fingers of my 4 year old.

project life: the album 2014

I started and finished my entire 2014 album within a few days. Any extra moment I had I would pull my photos from my computer onto iCloud and plop them into a spread. I export them to 12×12 sizes and send them to print. So simple. I used Persnickety Prints – a company started to print digital scrapbooking pages. The paper is archival and the prints look fab.

project life: the album 2014

I bought a Project Life binder and 12×12 page protectors and slotted them in. I kept all of my pages with square edges and white backgrounds and added my own handwriting over pictures and beside them. I really love them. Like lots.

project life: the album 2014

My favourite layouts are those with lots of photos – more mosaic and less space to write. I like mixing black & white with colour and I have a lot of “random” mish-mashed pages. I like those the best. I’ve started 2015 doing a couple of pages a month. This is the easiest memory keeping ever.

project life: the album 2014

My friends have started hosting a weekly Project Life night. They are clipping and cutting and organizing and sorting. I am blogging and drawing and planning and eating. They hate me because I am done (but they secretly enjoy my lively company and I enjoy theirs).

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If you have any interest at memory keeping, I highly recommend downloading the Project Life app. It comes with a few basic kits (and lots to upgrade to). For a mere $1.99, you can do some awesome spreads – even if you never print them.

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Do you Project Life? Do you use the app? Or do you prefer the physical scrapbooking?

Around Here.

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reading: Hands Free Mama,  The Rosie Effect + blog posts about mindfulness
loving: My new FB communities of artsy folk, Project Life dates with friends + a standing order for homemade crepes
planning: a birthday party, blog posts + ebook ideas
watching: the Mindy Project. I love her.
eating: Sunflower seeds + water. Rob made chicken and risotto tonight.
buying: online workshops + postage stamps
playing: Ninja turtles + batman, Plants vs. Zombies + peek-a-boo
listening: podcasts galore, band music + laughing kiddies
making: happy mail, a doodle book, art journals + chatbooks
pinning: superhero birthday party ideas
gramming: my art journal pages + cute babies
feeling: Loved + missed by my co-workers. xx

OLW 2015: Mindful

I am here. Let myself be here.

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I have been following Ali Edwards’ blog, for years and years. And following her one little word® projects for years and years. Being on maternity leave has rejuvenated my love for bloggers and personal growth, so I decided to dive in and join the OLW community – with monthly prompts and worksheets. Technically I should have chosen my word at the beginning of January (and not the end of it). #sorrynotsorry

The word I chose to follow me throughout 2015 is MINDFUL. Paying attention and being aware of what is happening in my every day life. I need to look for the the good, the messages and the synchronicity. I need to be more present without judgement in every moment. I have to be mindful even when my mind is full. Especially when my mind is full.

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The present is filled with joy and happiness. I am trying to enjoy the beauty and chaos of being a mom of two.  Maybe there will come a time when I’ll miss the clinginess, the baby puke, the waking in the middle of the night, the toilet accidents, the endless hours of spiderman and batman, the being late for everything, the unkempt house and leftover dinners.  Maybe when I’m old and grey, I will yearn for these days full of activity and life.  Probably not. But I need to recognize these moments as my moments. My present. This is the stuff of life. I can’t avoid it.

Interestingly enough, mindfulness (along with Growth Mindset) is the current buzz in the educational field. I didn’t chose this word based on that (I’m not that nerdy), but I am curious for when I return to work, how my focus on my own mindfulness will translate into teaching kids about how to be mindful, aware and resilient.

Pay attention. Wherever I am, be all there.

What is your one little word?

If you’ve blogged about it – link up below! I am co-hosting a OLW blog hop with these super rad bloggers:

Anke @ anke-art
Cheryl @ Scrapstorian

Abigail: 5 months

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weight. You are a whole 11lbs 6 oz. In the zero’th percentile. ha. You are growing out of 0-3 clothes.

eyes. Blueish- your eye colour looks like mine.

hair. dark blond – the cradle cap is gone and you are getting peach fuzz all over.

feeding. You are a champion cluster-feeder. Yay. Still prefer leftie. Big time.

sleeping . You are a good night sleeper – but unless you are in your carseat, your napping needs work.

things you love. Your brother, kisses, snuggles, vibrating caterpillar stuffie, driving, sitting upright, reading books, staring out the window, our voices.

things you don’t love. You are pretty happy… Not too much gets you upset. Even the gas has passed.

other awesome things you do. You roll and roll and roll. Across the room. I am pretty sure Eli never had an interest – and you don’t want to stay on your back. You smile and giggle and talk-talk-talk. You grab and hold on to toys and have started inching forward (oh no. this is too soon!!)

xo Abigail.

For a super-fun memory, check out Eli at 5 months here!

Just another music list meme.

mixtape cassette collection

We listened to these records: Raffi Christmas; Alvin and the Chipmunks; Big Bird Exercise; Anne Murray’s Hippo in the bathtub and these tapes: Beaches, Madonna Like a Prayer, George Michael: Faith; Roxette: Joyride; NKOTB: Hangin’ Tough; Mariah Carey; Wilson Philips; Amy Grant, Whitney Houston.

The first CDs we bought: 1993-1994: Aerosmith: Livin’ on the Edge, Alapalooza: Weird Al, Sheryl Crow: Tuesday night music club; Counting Crows: August and everything after; The Cranberries: Everybody else is doing it so why can’t we?; Toni, Tone Toné: Sons of Soul; Oasis: Definitely Maybe; Weezer: Weezer; Live: Throwing Copper

I bought a lot of CDs in high school. I also made a ridiculous number of mixed tapes from the radio. I would sit in my room in front of my ghetto blaster and listen to 89X or 96.3FM or the golden oldies with my fingers on Record+Play waiting to record some great tunage. I still have them in a navy carrying case, and sometimes listen to them in the car that still has a tape deck. “Lindsay’s Greatest Hits” is what I called each of them. They also made great gifts for friends.

The first mp3s I downloaded circa 1999 from Napster: Karma Chameleon: Culture Club; Hit me baby one more time: Britney Spears; Truly Madly Deepy: Savage Garden; Smooth: Santana; I try: Macy Grey; Summergirls: LFO; The Freshmen: Verve Pipe.  I still have them on my itunes rotation.

I was (am) so cool.