Evolution: Embrace It

“People don’t change,” whispers a scornful, bitter friend.

We’ve all been told vehemently that people don’t change, “If they sucked then, they’ll suck now,” and all that yada yada. Which in all fairness is true for some people – some people really do just suck (forever), but for the vast majority of the population: we are not doomed to suck forever.

To be the same forever goes against the grain; we aren’t meant to rinse and repeat our entire lives. This isn’t to denounce routine by any means, but it is to embrace growth. You shouldn’t be the same person you were at 17, or even the same person you were last year. Every day lessons should be learned, every day we should be striving to be better than yesterday.

When you move to New York, the first thing that people will tell you is to remember that there is always someone better.

This is meant as a warning that the dating scene is hard because in the back of your mind (and your date’s mind) is the lingering thought, “Hmmm… is there someone better? Is this investment worth it?” Not to mention the whole competitive job scene has an underlying tone that you are replaceable (which isn’t necessarily a lie.) But it’s true, in life there is always someone better, but there is always someone worse too. It’s a double-edged sword.

So let’s take that knowledge introspectively: there is always a worse version of myself and a better version, and it’s in the power of the present version of myself to decide how I pan out.

To break that down, lately before I do something mildly destructive I audibly tell myself, “Girl, don’t do that to future you. Don’t put her through that. Don’t give her chores for later.”

The tendency to coddle our present self is in and of itself: self-destructive.

Present you is already having a bad day, case closed. Done. Past you already wasn’t equipped to deal with it, so what are you going to do for future you? How are you going to try to set her up better, make her more equipped to handle a similar mess in the future? How are you going to e v o l v e from this?

If you don’t evolve, if you reject the universe telling you that your current state of being is not sustainable – you are doomed to rinse and repeat. If you don’t learn from the bad day, that bad behavior, or that explosive encounter with someone more woke than you – then these things will always happen to you like groundhog day. You will get stuck.

Change is an old friend that comes when you least expect it.

Sometimes we get to embrace the change with open arms, but other times… the change is too much and not our cup of tea. That being said, we all change way more than we give ourselves credit for. Just last week I was able to talk myself out of hitting snooze everyday simply by asking myself, “Will the ten extra minutes change your day? Is it worth it?” Each day it was a clear answer, the snooze was not hit and I got out of bed earlier than usual.

But this week, I’ve not seen the same rationale and argued that yes, ten more minutes will actually make or break my day. Yet instead of that extra ten minutes domino-effecting my morning, I cling to the beneficial mindset I made last week and make compromises. Meaning if I sleep longer then this is how my routine will get altered, etc. Really, I’m refusing to allow myself to ‘sleep in’ without holding myself accountable for the effect it will have on the rest of my morning.

So you see, the person I was last week, I’m not her today, not completely. The person I was last year? Don’t know her. This is to say, if you knew me in high school or even college, and our friendship didn’t withstand the test of time: you don’t know me, nor I, you.

“You’ve changed,” whispers a scorned, bitter friend.

“Funny how that happens, isn’t it?” I say with a smile.


Dropping this Affirmations playlist as a reminder to embrace your evolution, but also don’t be too hard on yourself today ❤


Movies with Kick Ass Soundtracks

And I’m not talking musicals. Soundtracks are a crucial backbone to films, a way to engage the audience and let them relate on a subconscious level. Throughout high school and college, I worked at the local movie theater in town. One shift, called ‘Door’ or ‘Doorman’, was responsible for cleaning theaters after each showing was complete (among other things). This ultimately meant a front row seat to the credit soundtracks on every movie as well as the ability to pop into every theater during the film to catch bits and pieces.

Here are some of my favorite films/soundtracks.

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)spooky, dramatic, ethereal and full of longing.

Not only was the film a masterpiece in many ways, the soundtrack really brought it to the next level. The closing credit number was ‘Breath of Life’ by Florence and the Machine and boy – was that a banger. Besides some amazing graphics, the pairing of Florence with this moody, fast tempo bop was pure genius.

Anna Karenina (2012)timeless, playful, enticing and full of passion.

This is one of my favorite films of all time but the soundtrack is what truly makes you fall in love. The storyline, adapted from Leo Tolstoy’s 1878  novel of the same name, is an explanation of the common themes in life: hypocrisy, jealousy, faith, fidelity, society and progress to name a few. If you’re a fan of Kiera Knightley or period pieces, you’ll probably notice a familiar filming pattern and character groups in Anna Karenina – it was directed by the same director of Pride & Prejudice, Joe Wright.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)dark, moody, intense and melodramatic.

This film is not for the faint of heart – nor is the soundtrack. This soundtrack is dark, bleak and moody just like the film, starting out with a killer intro introducing an alt version of the Immigrant Song. (Trigger warning – the intro is intense, graphic and has strobe effects). I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent just thinking about this intro and score. 

The Hunger Games (2012)realistic, foreboding, rustic and folky.

While I am not a fan of the Hunger Games series, I can’t deny that this soundtrack is great. Specifically, one song: Safe & Sound by Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars. I mean, it’s just jaw dropping. This was the first song to play during the credits and let me tell you – I scream-sang this song every single time. It’s a song that just gets under your skin.

Honorable Mentions

Atomic Blonde (2017) / Suckerpunch (2011) – These two films have a few overlapping songs on their film scores, which is why I wanted to give them an honorable mention. I’ll be honest, I was not a fan of Atomic Blonde – the score in the trailer made me think it was going to be much better of a film than it actually was. Suckerpunch on the other hand is one of the most jarring and ‘mind-fuckable’ films I’ve seen and I truly did enjoy watching it. 

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) – Really anything directed by Wes Anderson is going to have an eclectic and unique score. This is not a score I’d listen to all the time, but it’s still a fun one to turn on in the background. Alexandre Desplat is the man responsible for crafting each unique, timeless score for Anderson’s films. While similar in theme or type, the scores are presently true to each individual story.


Game of Thrones (2011-2019) – Composer Ramin Djawadi is a genius, without argument. Scoring a show is difficult no doubt, but scoring a show that runs for nearly a decade? Unthinkable. His scores are unique, effervescent and transcending. As soon as you hear one of his scores, you’re immediately transported into that moment in the show. Plus, he cleverly reused the intro theme multiple times in different ways.

Playlist Fiend: Diet Soda Society

More often than not, I’ll find a song that I love so much, right off the bat, that I need more of that kind of song. Spotify generally does an OK job of “song radios” where it’s like, “Oh, you like this song? Got it. The next several songs will be that vibe. Pinky Swear.” Then the next few songs are that vibe… then it flips and the algorithm glitches or something, and suddenly instead of some smooth R&B, I’m listening to a T-Swift song that someone sub-categorized as R&B.

There’s nothing wrong with T-Swift, I’m a shameless fan – but if I’m in the mood for some Giveon… don’t give me T-Swift. Just don’t. That ain’t the vibe.

Another con to the Spotify “song radios” is that they operate off of Wi-Fi/data. Which can be incredibly inconvenient if you’re not in the comforts of your home Wi-Fi. This con is pretty massive con for me.

So due to my Spotify trust issues and necessity for convenience, whenever I’m struck with a new-to-me song, I instantly deep dive and create my own playlist that echoes the vibes of that song. Another pro to me doing this is not only stumbling upon even more new-to-me songs, but also having the power to put some of my fave bops on there as well. In creating these playlists, it’s actually this insane scouring of Spotify that takes place…

  1. Whichever artist’s song started this manic-playlist-creation, I dive into their Spotify first.
  2. I tear apart their other songs from various albums to see if there are any similar to that one song I now love (usually there is only 1-2 additional songs that maintain the vibe, shockingly enough).
  3. Then I continue down the profile and go through the pre-made playlists that already feature their music, and from those I pluck music by various artists that fit the vibe just right.
  4. Last step is when I scroll down to the “fans also like” section and tear those artists apart… picking jams that fit best.

It’s a whole process to be honest, I can be in the zone for as little as thirty minutes or 2-3 hours, depending on how deep the rabbit hole is and how familiar I already am with the genre. This whole playlist process is almost therapeutic to me, it gives me a weird creative outlet to just dive into with results that keep me satisfied for ages.

The latest song that sent me down the rabbit hole, was Diet Soda Society by The Maine off of their album, American Candy. It came out in 2015, but I’m only just discovering it, five years later, courtesy of my roommate, Zoe!

Zoe and I have been friends for ages, but it was only upon moving in together this fall that we found out that we both have a comical obsession with Diet Coke. Together, we’ve began splitting 12 packs of DC, and finding out very quickly that Whole Foods brand DC is NO BUENO!! It tastes… smoky?

But anyway – back to the whole point of this article…

The other day Zoe had sent me this song (“because DC“), which I quickly became obsessed with. By quickly, I mean, the song hadn’t even finished before I was like, “PLAYLIST MUST BE MADE SO I CAN LIVE IN THIS ANGSTY VIBE FOREVER.

So, checkout my latest playlist: Diet Soda Society and let’s vibe together.

Playlist Fiend: Eclectic Christmas Vibes

~Hi, hello, I’m back with an eclectic playlist to fit the seasonal vibes~

My absolute favorite holiday in the entire world is just around the corner folks, it’s nearly Christmas! COVID may have squashed my Thanksgiving family time, but I’m not letting Miss Rona f with Christmas. I’ve rented a car and will be journeying to my mom’s in PA and then heading down south to KY to see dad and rest of the fam, so obvi with two six hour drives… a hefty Christmas playlist is more than necessary.

I can’t let the road dull my holiday cheer.

My playlist has notable classics along with some covers, and also original Christmas songs by various artists. Below are just a few of the songs that made the list:

Winter Wonderland covered by The Judds

Growing up, The Judds Christmas CD was always brought out. Every wintry drive with my mom and sister, one of these songs was nearly always in the background. This song just happens to be my favorite from that CD 😉

Little Drummer Boy covered by Lauren Daigle

This song in general, has always been one of my favorites, perhaps due to it being so different to the usual bravado typically chorused in Christmas music. Lauren Daigle’s cover captures the gentle mysterious vibes that I love so much~

We Three Kings covered by Alexander Jean, Casey Abrams

Okay, We Three Kings is fr fr my actual favorite Christmas song. It’s my number one, again because it has that mysterious vibe unique to Christmas music, and this cover is #sick.

Winter Song by Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareillis

Ugh this song just gives allllll the feels. Ingrid & Sara are queens – simple as that ❤

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland

When writing this article and choosing five tracks to highlight, I hadn’t planned to list any classics because everyone should know OF COURSE the classics are on this playlist. Not some of them, but like… all of them are on there I promise. But then I decided I needed to highlight this song, because if I could choose one song, and one song only, to listen to all season… it would be this one, without a doubt ❤

. . .

Okay guys, those are only a few songs that barely scratch the surface of my playlist! See the full playlist here and get into the Christmas spirit me…

Playlist Fiend: Witchy Vibes

~Your serial playlist maker is back with some tunes for this Halloween season~

Whenever October rolls around I always crave a good spooky playlist, and I always find myself unsatisfied with the results out there. The typical Halloween songs are either like Monster Mash and Witch Doctor, or some Marylin Manson and Thriller – there is nothing wrong with any of those vibes, none whatsoever, but it’s just not what will work to make me feel spooky from the inside out.

Spooky isn’t even quite the right word. It’s not spooky that I want to feel, but witchy and ominous. I want the music to make me feel mysterious and powerful and like I can whip magic as quick as Hermione.

Last year, Zoe & I went to Salem and I created this insane playlist for the road trip… I went a little overboard with some of the music and it got chaotic and I lost the plot of the playlist tbh. This year, I dialed it all back just a little bit and became a bit more focused with a new Witchy Vibes playlist. Below are a few of the gems that made the list!

Uninvited by Alanis Morrissette

This track made both this year’s playlist and last years. Alanis went hard in this one, every time I hear it I instantly get chills…

Master Hunter by Laura Marling

Laura has several songs that could work for this playlist (and several of them are on there!) but this is the one that gets the notable mention because the edgy witchy vibes ARE PROMINENT!!!

Jesus for the Jugular by The Veils

The first time I ever heard this song was at House of Yes and this track backed an acrobatic intensely emotional performance… it was riveting. This song is harsh, passionate, and ominously magnificent.

If I Had A Heart by Fever Ray

It’s got chanting… it feels dark… this could be the anthem of any power hungry unsatisfied witch, without a doubt. I feel like I need to brew a potion while listening to this, or I should be hexing someone!

La Llorona by Angela Aguilar

In Hispanic American folklore, La Llorona is a legend about a woman who drowned her children and mourns their deaths for eternity, roaming Latin American areas as a ghost or apparition… google images of her portrayed in film and various series are #terrifying.

Coconut by Harry Nilsson

Okay, okay this song is random, I know. But also if you know, you know and you understand this song of course is on this list. Practical Magic is a movie you need to go watch RIGHT NOW and then maybe you’ll just understand…everything.

. . .

Okay guys, those are only a few songs that barely scratch the surface of my playlist! See the full shebang here and get into the witchy spirit me…

Playlist Fiend: The Future is Female

My name is Emily, and I’m a serial playlist maker.

Road trip to Montreal? I gotta playlist for that.

In the mood for some incredibly sad songs that help you justify your tears for the ultimate cathartic release? Yeah, I got a “Feels” playlist obvi.

How about a playlist for that one mood that always happens on the same day every week and you need a playlist to get you out of the funk? Do you doubt me? Of course I have a playlist for that as well.

I’m ultimately obsessed with the power that music has over a situation – don’t even get me started on movie scores (Twilight has the best soundtrack of all time COME AT ME.)

Early on into the conception stage of Peachy Keen Collective, I was desperate to create a playlist that embodied what we were trying to create here. So I dove into massive research and read numerous articles trying to find “Women Empowerment Songs” that also were the right vibe. And honestly I never even found one article that had all the answers, and most articles really only had one song that I was keen on being in our “Playlist Mood Board.”

But alas, this playlist fiend hath created what she believes a worthy playlist.

Below are some songs that made the cut:

JULIANNA CALM DOWN BY THE CHICKS

“Put on, put on your best shoes / And strut the fuck around like you’ve got nothing to lose”

No one likes being told to calm down, but with The Chicks always following up with a “We know…breath. It’ll be okay.” It’s easy to feel that they’re giving advice from a place of deep understanding and “been there” experience. They’re not coming from a condescending place of, “You’re overreacting, chill.”

……………………………..

I WAS AN EAGLE BY LAURA MARLING

“I will not be a victim of romance / I will not be a victim of circumstance / Chance or circumstance or romance, or any man

If you are unfamiliar with Laura Marling, I would go as far as to compare her to a darker Joni Mitchell. All of her songs have this whimsical story telling to them that’s simply captivating. What really makes this song stand out is the whole premise of “I was an eagle, and you were a dove” ~ go listen and you’ll feel what I mean.

……………………………..

GOOD KISSER BY LAKE STREET DRIVE

“If you’re gonna tell them everything / Tell ’em I’m a good kisser / Tell ’em all the things you told me / In your desperate whisper

This upbeat jazzy ballad screams PKC – if you’re gonna tell the truth you better tell the whole truth and not just the parts that make you seem better.

……………………………..

MOTHER’S DAUGHTER BY MILEY CYRUS

“Don’t fuck with my freedom / I came back to get me some / I’m nasty, I’m evil / Must be something in the water or that I’m my mother’s daughter”

I’ll admit, I know full well that Miley is hit or miss for a lot of people. But this song hits the spot. It’s about freedom, openness, & rolls well on a road trip to anywhere – and ain’t that just the ultimate vibe?

………………………………

GIRL CAN’T BE HERSELF BY ALICIA KEYS

“In the morning from the minute that I wake up / What if I don’t want to put on all that make up? / Who says I must conceal what I’m made of? / Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem

Alicia Keys is vibes on a million levels, and this song just puts her up even higher in my books. The minute she dropped the Maybelline brand name I was like “Same girl, same.”

……………………………..

GRIGIO GIRLS BY LADY GAGA

“On the Pinot, Pinot Grigio girls / Pour your heart out / Watch your blues turn gold / All the Pinot, Pinot Grigio girls / Keep it real cold / ‘Cause it’s a fired up world”

Lady Gaga’s album Joanne is straight fire and arguably one of the most beautiful albums she’s put out. I’m not into Pinot Grigio (more of a Sauv Blanc gal) but this song had me striving to find a Grigio I enjoy just to even more directly relate to this song *sigh*

……………………………..

F E M A L E BY SAMPA THE GREAT

“Big bold women, round of applause / Get-my-goals women, round of applause / Know-my-roots women, round of applause”

Honestly those first few lyrics speak for themselves, so just listen to the song, vibe along, and feel that boost coming your way.

Full playlist here!

I’m sure there are songs you’re in shock that I didn’t include – why don’t you link your jams in the comments so I can take a peek??