SOLO DATES are the best dates.

I hang out by myself a lot.  Some of my friends think it’s weird, but honestly I’ve realized that sometimes if you want to do something you have to do  it alone.  Whether you feel like treating yourself or you just want to get your ass out of the house and all your friends are busy, taking yourself on a sexy solo date is kind of the ultimate indulgence… at least, I think so.

I know it feels awkward sometimes, but honestly… it’s okay.  Even if you get a little nervous or awkward or uncomfortable.  It’s all cool baby.  Not everything has to be a group activity — not all the time.

If you’re ready to dip your toes into the world of solo hangs then this post is for you.  Here are my five favourite solo dates to go on.

I promise once you get used to it you’ll never want to stop.

coffee.  Coffee is first on the list because it’s the easiest, and also because I just… love coffee?  It’s cheap, it’s simple, and literally no one thinks it’s a weird thing to do by yourself.  Grab a book, a journal, or your laptop (maybe all three?) and set out on a mission to find the cutest, coziest cafe in your neighbourhood.  If you’re in Toronto try out literally any Jimmy’s — they’re all the cutest.  I frequent the one in Kensington (everything in Kensington is so kitschy and fun), but the cutest one is probably the one at Ossington and Queen.  I also love love love The Common on Bloor W (and it’s, like, half the price of Starbucks).

hit a concert.  Okay, people act like this is a crazy thing to do alone but honestly it’s perfect.  Think about it — once the music starts you can’t talk to anyone anyway.  If you’re on your own you don’t have to worry about losing your friends in the crowd, or embarrassing yourself with your extremely off-key singing.  It’s easier to work your way to the front when you’re alone.  And anyway if you go to enough small local shows you start to see some familiar faces.  Since I’ve lived in Toronto I’ve probably gone to a dozen shows by myself and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.

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I saw Real Friends a month ago (alone) and they were AMAZING.

get your beach on.  Sometimes it’s really nice to just put on your cute bikini, slap on a big floppy hat and some sunscreen, and lie in the sun……. alone.  Bring a book or a trashy magazine (or I guess a non-trashy magazine, if you really must), and work on that tan, girl.  Don’t forget to pack snacks.

 

museums + art galleries for days.  One of the things I was most excited about when I moved to Toronto was the abundance of galleries and museums that I’d finally have access to.  One problem?  None of my friends are quite as enthralled.  I guess when you grow up here, going to the museum sounds less like an awesome adventure and more like your third grade field trip.  Anyway, museums and galleries are sick by yourself because you don’t have to look at anything you don’t want to, you don’t have to leave anywhere you’re not ready to leave, and you can walk as slow or as fast as you want.  Feel like reading every plaque under every painting?  Guess what – that is your perogative.

take yourself out for brunch.  Yep. This is at the end of the list because I know it’s the hardest.  Even for me, an experienced self-date-r.  It’s kind of scary to eat alone because what can you really occupy yourself with when you have a plate of eggs benny in front of you?  First of all, the answer is eavesdropping.  But second of all, who cares?  I usually bring my laptop to “get some work done” (what does this even mean?  everyone knows I’m just scrolling through twitter.  I don’t have an adult job.) or maybe a book.  At least that way everyone gets the message that I planned to go alone.  The first time is scary, but I promise you it’s really lovely.  You can chat up your server, spy on people, and eat a delicious meal.  I don’t know why but brunch is my favourite meal to eat alone — and if you go on a weekday you’ll probably have the place mostly to yourself.  OH, and for the record?  I’m writing this from one of my fave Parkdale brunch spots, Easy, and there are three other people also here by themselves.

Honestly guys… you can do this.  It might make you nervous, but once you start you won’t want to stop.  And hey, if you feel awkward, just do what I do – fake it.  That’s all anyone’s really doing at any given time, isn’t it?

happy sunday!!  – L

SWMRS are your new fave band.

swmrs

GUYS, we haven’t talked about music in so long.

To be honest, we haven’t talked, period, in so long… but hey, life happens.  I’ll tell you all about it in a few.

First, though, let me just tell you that if you, like me, have been living under a giant rock recently… you need to jump on the bandwagon with these guys – they’re called SWMRS.  They put a gritty, edgy twist on pop-punk – or maybe a sweet, sun-drenched, melodic twist on regular punk?  Hard to say exactly what it is, but I’m into it either way.

Check out their last album Drive North on spotify and let me know what you think!

xx – L

 

MUSIC: today is the best day.

TODAY, my dear friends, is the BEST DAY for music.

PARAMORE, my all time favourite band, have finally released their new album After Laughter and I am OBSESSED.  Very 80s pop-y, perfect for angry car dancing/singing, and Hayley’s voice just keeps getting better and better.  PLEASE listen to it, you need this in your life.  I’ve been listening to it all day, and especially find myself going back to Grudges, Rose-Colored Boy, and Caught In The Middle.  JAMS.

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And then as if that weren’t enough – Harry Styles???  What is he doing.  Why is he so incredible.

His solo debut (imaginatively named Harry Styles), is full of various vintage rock vibes,

harrystyles
me too, Harry.

hipster swag, and… I think I heard a mandolin?  Just incredible.  PLUS maybe I’m a little biased but I love the album cover.  Not only do I love topless Harry Styles, but I too love to lie in massive pools of rose coloured water, wearing expensive necklaces and listening to classic rock on vinyl (which is what I imagine was happening when he took the photos that became the album artwork).

In between rocking the new paramore album I’ve been cranking up Carolina, Meet Me In The Hallway, and Woman.

Have you been jamming as hard as I have today?  Tell me your favourite tunes!

I’m currently sitting in the airport in Victoria, waiting to board my flight home.  I’m nervous – I have a connection to make and less than five minutes between my first flight landing and my second flight boarding – but cross your fingers for me.  I don’t know what happens if you miss a flight and I truly do not want to find out.

cheers to the weekend!

x – L

MUSIC: the Maine

 

themaineGUYS, yesterday I bought myself the best present EVER… Tickets to see the Maine on April 25th on their Lovely Little Lonely tour!  I haven’t gone to a concert since last summer, so it’s TIME, y’all.

Anyway, I’ve loved the Maine for years, but this last album is shaping up to be the best yet.  Angsty as always, fast and dance-able, and my favourite album artwork in a long time.  The first song they released off of it, Bad Behaviour, was like the ultimate throwback to the good ol’ emo days, and Black Butterflies and Deja Vu, aka my current obsession, is unlike anything else I’ve heard before.  I.  LOVE.  IT.  Then today they released a song called Do You Remember (the other half of 23).  Guess what?  It’s also perfect.

The new album is out on April 7th, and until then they’re posting clips of the songs as a count down on their instagram – definitely follow them if you don’t already.

so?  thoughts on the new tunes?  thoughts on anything at all?  how’s like?  love me, pay attention to me.

xx – L

MUSIC MONDAY: it’s what you want – it’s what you need.

ymas-night_people

GUYS, you NEED to listen to You Me At Six’s new album Night People.  I am obsessed.

 

These guys have been one of my favourite bands since I was just a li’l babe – I remember Hayley Williams talking about them once and obviously I rushed to look them up straight away.  Ever since then (back in 2008-ish) I’ve been in love.

I think one of my favourite things about them is that (much like Paramore, my all time fave) every album sounds so different from the last.  They have a really distinct, specific sound to each album and I think it really shows their growth.  Of course this isn’t a selling point for everyone – if you were expecting another Sinners Never Sleep (which up until now has been my fave album of theirs) then you might be disappointed by this.  But if you’re ready for something completely fresh and different (but still full of heavy drums, killer vocals, and addictive melodies) then HERE YA GO.

I was relieved by this album to tell you the truth – their last album, Cavalier Youth, was probably my least favourite release from them… ever.  So in my PERSONAL opinion, this album feels like they’ve got their groove back.  But you’ll have to make that decision for yourself.

If you’re looking for some real bangers, great for working out or being angry, try the title track, Night People.  Also definitely Plus One, and Swear.  Josh has a great growly tone and I am so in love with these songs.  If you want to stare out the window as rain pours down then definitely Take On The World should be your go-to.  I feel like every You Me At Six album has at least one song that kind of breaks your heart – Opposites Attract, Fireworks, Crash… all great jams, but Take On The World is among my favourites now.

SO what are your thoughts on Night People?  It feels like it’s been a long time coming – and I say it was worth the wait.  You?

happy listening,

– L

PS, these guys also put on one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen (although I say that about pretty much everyone I go see).  Def check them out if you get the opportunity!

5 Angsty Throwback Christmas Tunes | BLOGMAS Day 2

Are you already tired of Mariah Carey and Michael Buble?  Because I sure am.  If you’re ready to shake things up (and get a li’l angsty), here are five fabulous Christmas tunes from all your emo faves.
#throwback, am I right?

1. Yule Shoot Your Eye Out – Fall Out Boy

Even when it’s not Christmas this song is just catchy.  And I mean… it’s Fall Out Boy.

2. Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass – All Time Low

I remember in high school me and my friends used to love posting these lyrics on each other’s facebook walls because it made us look cool and edgy and filled with rage.  Some things never change.

3. Happy Holidays, You Bastard – Blink-182

No angsty Christmas playlist is complete without this song.

4. Santa Stole My Girlfriend – The Maine

Remember when the Maine put out that holiday album?  2008 was a simpler time.

5. All I Want For Christmas Is You – My Chemical Romance

Last but not least!  I know we’re all tired of this song, but it’s just… better when it’s My Chem.  Right?

 

Oh, and as a bonus, the highlight of last Christmas – when All Time Low, 5 Seconds of Summer, Simple Plan, Good Charlotte and John Feldman got together to create this little miracle:

Wow.  I’m feeling infinitely more festive already.

What’s your favourite Christmas song?  Are you a traditionalist, or do you like to switch things up a little?

Talk to ya tomorrow!!

– L

MUSIC: CRUISR sounds like summer

I love fall – love it.  I love fall colours, I love fall drinks, I love fall out boy… (if you need to cringe at that it’s okay – I’m cringing too).  I also love Halloween (spoopy), and the way everything smells.  But honestly, even with so many great things coming up I have to admit, I’m not quite ready to let summer go yet.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been listening to CRUISR all week.

These guys opened for PVRIS on their North American tour, and they killed it.  Nothing cruisrlike a good opening act, right?  (as a side note, I love when there are a ton of opening bands for a show – seriously, give me, like, four.  It gives you time to squeeze your way into a good spot for the headliner, and I’ve found sooo many amazing bands just by seeing them kick off a show.)

CRUISR are great – fun, high energy songs that just make you want to drive to California and go surfing.  They remind me of a younger, nicer Wavves with less drug abuse (I think).

If you’re still clinging to the dream of summer – or if you just need a good soundtrack while you clean your room – check these guys out.  My personal favourite song is ‘Kidnap Me’, because I’m angsty and like songs about running away from your problems.  ‘Wild Babe’ is also a good one.

What are you guys listening to lately?  And are you ready for cool weather?

– L

PS, more music posts to come!
PPS, you’ll note that I didn’t make a single Grand Theft Autumn joke – I have a strict limit of one Fall Out Boy reference per post, effective immediately.