My 2014 In Review

Hi friends. It’s that time of year where everyone is talking about the best of the best of 2014, and I’m here to share my favorites with y’all.

(Please note that in the book categories, not all were published this year, however they were read by me for the first time this year.)

Albums

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For me, 2014 may just be the year that I fell in love with pop music all over again. I found when I was listening to these albums I connected with the honesty and authenticity these three put into their records. At one point or another all three of the albums were on repeat, and still will be heading into 2015.

Listen to: Clean from 1989. Thinking Out Loud from X. Shadow from Strange Desire.

Books I Read (Fiction)

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This summer, my bookworm ways took over once again, and since May, I’ve read over 60 books. These three have stuck in my brain since I read them. Why We Broke Up is heartbreaking and beautifully written. I loved Adam’s POV in Where She Went, and I found myself loving it a lot more than I did If I Stay. Finally, The Night Circus created a world that I wanted to live in. Erin Morgenstern created a breathtaking setting and story that immerses you in a visual journey using only words.

Books I Read (Non-Fiction)

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It will come as no surprise to the people that know me that I love strong women, and there are wonderful tales to be told by these women. I love Tina’s humor, Malala’s courage, and Lena’s rawness. All three are incredible, and I loved getting the chance to see inside their brains for approximately 300 pages each.

Book Series

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I read two trilogies this year that have easily become two of my favorites that I’ve ever read. The Anna trilogy was cute, fluffy, and surprisingly realistic for being about teens who go to boarding school in Paris or have Olympians for siblings. I knew that no matter what, I could find happiness in these pages. As for the Grisha trilogy, I was blown away by the originality of the story. YA is a genre that can be fairly repetitive, but I never felt that way (except for possibly the love triangle) while reading it. Once again, a beautiful tale and a wonderful fantasy world.

Movies

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I didn’t go see many movies this year, but these top my list. They made me laugh, cry (read: sob like a baby), and even go WTF despite knowing exactly what was going to happen.

New Shows

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Shonda Rimes is no stranger to hit TV shows, and How To Get Away With Murder was no different. Thursday nights were packed with some of my favorite shows, and this very quickly climbed my list of pilots that I actually wanted to stick with throughout the season. As for Outlander, I didn’t watch it when it first aired but rather binged the whole first season (only 8 episodes) just the other day once I finished the book. This series so far is spectacularly done, and I love the artistic liberties they’ve taken to add new dimensions to the show. I also am completely in love with Jamie Fraser more than I was when I read the book (and that’s a lot).

Travel Experiences

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This year brought with it warm California escapades, fall fun with family in North Carolina, and a relaxing Thanksgiving in Chicago. I’ve been so blessed to go on wonderful adventures and be surrounded by great people.

Live Shows

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I had the opportunity to see two legends and one of my favorite musicians over the course of 2014. Seeing Sir Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen live were unforgettable. Seeing huge crowds of varying decades reminded me just how powerful music is, and reminded me once again of why I’m pursuing a career in this industry. As for the Bleachers’ show, it was amazing to watch Jack take control of the crowd and the stage. I’ve seen him 3 times before with Fun., but he was in a completely different element this time. It was wonderful.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of 2014, and here’s to the greatness that 2015 is bound to bring!

xo Megan

The Liebster

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I’ve been nominated by lovely friend Shaylei for the Liebster award which is to given to bloggers by other bloggers in order to connect blogs and create more of a community feel!

The rules are simple:

1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.

2. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you.

3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers. (I’m bending this one)

4. Go to the blogs you nominated and notify them of your nomination.

5. Give your nominees 11 questions to answer.

Here are the questions that Shaylei has given me to answer.

  1. What is your go-to stress relief? When I’ve had a particularly stressful day I tend to make a cup of tea and either curl up in bed with a book or Netflix. I find it’s easier to deal with fictional worlds sometimes, even though that’s probably not always the healthiest choice.
  2. What song has been stuck in your head lately? I’ve been singing “Blank Space” for weeks now, and I’m still not sick of it.
  3. Who is your biggest influence? My biggest influence is my parents. Over the years they’ve instilled wonderful values and a work ethic in me that will stay with me forever. They are the hardest working people I know, but they also work hard to help others in any way that they can. They are wonderful human beings, and I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if it weren’t for them.
  4. Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years? In five years, I would love to still be living in Nashville. I’m hoping that I’ll be working as a business manager or something of the sort in the music industry. Perhaps at that point, I’ll be thinking about getting engaged/married, but definitely not kids yet.
  5. Share a goal you’d like to attain in the next year: I want to reconnect myself with discovering new music because I’ve slipped away from that.
  6. What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? The last thing before you go to bed? Sadly, I’ve fallen into the habit of checking my phone right before I fall asleep and as soon as I wake up in the morning.
  7. What’s your favorite thing about yourself? My kind spirit. I work my best to not give people a reason to dislike me, and I work to treat everyone I meet with kindness and respect.
  8. When did you start blogging and why? I created this blog about a year ago, although I don’t post very consistently. I wanted a space where I could post longer thoughts than Tumblr while also trying to find share my interests with friends and family.
  9. Share your must-have beauty product: This year I discovered Maybeline’s BB Cream, and I absolutely adore it.
  10. Finish this sentence: “My favorite place I’ve ever visited is…” Disneyland. I have so many different memories and all of them (except for the time I puked in the middle of the park) are magical.
  11. What’s your favorite animal and why? I love pandas because I think that they’re adorable. (If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t watched the panda sneeze video or seen pandas on a slide, go watch. NOW.) I’m also jealous of their ability to do not much more than eat and sleep all day.

I’m now going to nominate Harrison and Paige in hopes they know more bloggers than I do to forward it on to!

Here are my questions for you:

  1. What book has left a lasting impression on you?
  2. Share a goal you have for yourself for the next year.
  3. Without any limitations, if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  4. What is your favorite quote to live by?
  5. Share your top song of 2014.
  6. When did you start blogging and why?
  7. What do you always carry with you?
  8. If you could change the ending to any fictional work (movie, show, book, etc.) what would you change?
  9. Who’s your biggest influence?
  10. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself in the past year?
  11. Share your favorite holiday tradition.

Have fun!

A Journey of Music Discovery

I remember when I used to spend hours each day listening to new bands and discovering new music. I could probably credit that to not having much else to do in my small hometown. I also remember being the person my friends came to when looking for new music, but when approached last week, I barely had an answer to give.

Lately, in spite of living in a city filled to the brim with new music, I’ve been listening to the same couple of albums on repeat. While I absolutely adore those albums (1989 and Strange Desire if you were wondering), I know that I need to get myself back into the habit of searching and finding great new music.

I’ve decided to challenge myself to find at least one if not more new artist a week without any genre limits. I’ll be compiling my musical discoveries into a Spotify playlist (found below) as well as provide insights every once in a while here on Megan Rambles.

If anyone reading this has any suggestions of artists to check out, feel free to send them my way!

xo Megan