Music Monday: Sufjan Stevens

December 22, 2014

Happy Music Monday and happy almost Christmas! We wanted to share some more of our favorite Christmas tunes for this holiday season. Sufjan Stevens is another one of our favorite artists, but he is also a master of writing Christmas music. He has released two Christmas compilations, each with 50 songs! That's a lot of Christmas music, yet it still never seems like enough! His latest album, Silver and Gold, is such a unique variation of Christmas songs, that it's easy to listen to even when it's not Christmas time. We have been so hooked. These songs can be categorized in so many different ways: romantic, upbeat, psychedelic, folksy, techno, electronic, etc. Sufjan is such a magician of music and tricks that there's plenty of listening pleasure for anyone of any demographic (that may be a bit of stretch), but we can't get enough of it, so we hope you take a listen and enjoy it as well!

Local Loves: East + West

December 17, 2014

If you're a frequent reader of our blog, you know we love supporting our favorite local businesses. This week we're featuring our favorite one stop shop for the guy in your life called East + West. We stopped by on a Saturday to pick up some things for our husbands (that we can't mention, just in case they're reading this)...but trust us, we snagged some unique, high quality, one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts, & we can't wait to give them! If you still have a few fellas on your to-buy list, East & West can't be missed!

We were greeted warmly by the owner, Brian, who was very friendly and happy to assist us with our shopping. We learned that he and his wife Lauren opened up East + West two years ago. It is located in downtown Kirkwood, right next to the bike shop & across the street from Dewey's. Most of their products are American-made, with the exception of some of Brian's favorite name brands, e.g. Vans shoes. Brian and his wife also design a lot of their clothing and apparel. They also have an impressive supply of other local brands.

Be sure to check them out! They are one of the coolest guy stores we have ever seen. And if you don't have plans this Thursday, Dec 18 and are in the St. Louis area, East and West are hosting an event called #RepYourHood, featuring free cocktails from Sump Coffee & Basil Hayden's & free food from Mofu. Music will be performed by Radame. The event is from 7-9 at their Kirkwood Store to celebrate the release of their newest St. Louis sweatshirt designed by Baldwin Denim. So be there! And be sure to "Rep Your Hood" by purchasing their new STL digs!

Trending Tuesday: #HappyNewYear

December 16, 2014

2015 is quickly approaching, so some of you may have found the perfect 2015 calendar, but in case you haven't, we'd like to share some of our favorites, including some freebies!

Light Rust Studio Desktop Calendar

House That Lars Built ***The calendar says 2014, but this is for the 2015.

Rifle Paper Co. Wall Calendar

Anthropologie Wall Calendar

Rifle Paper Co. Appointment Calendar

Paper Source Grid Calendar

Heather Lins Home Stitch the Stars Calendar Kit (Also available to Urban Outfitters)

Brown Parcel Press Desktop Calendar

 Freebie: Elegance and Enchantment Desktop Calendar

Freebie: Chantel Emma Wall Calendar

Freebie: My Owl Barn Desktop Calendar (Customize your own owl calendar!)

Hope you enjoyed our calendar picks! Be sure to pick one up or ask for one for Christmas so you can be ready to ring in the new year! Happy (almost) New Year!

Music Monday: The Modern Post

December 15, 2014

"Well it's Christmas time everybody, but it's raining in my heart," said Dustin Kensrue in his solo Christmas album "This Good Night's Still Everywhere." We're big Dustin Kensrue fans and are really excited for his new album, but because our husbands are even bigger fans, we thought one of them could tell you a little more about it! Todays "Music Monday" feature is a guest post from Sharon's husband, Shane.  We asked him to tell us about one of his favorite artists and his new Christmas collection. 

     Hello A Colorful Chaos readers!

     If you're anything like me, you've got the Christmas blues and need more Christmas music. Because I can't seem to find enough good Christmas music.
     There is a ton of solid Christmas music being released nowadays and some of my go-to's are Sufjan Stevens "Silver & Gold," Citizens & Saints "Repeat The Sounding Joy" and Frank Sinatra's "A Jolly Christmas" (yeah, this ones not new but you need to must add it to your collection). But that's still not enough, right?
     Well, Merry Christmas! The Modern Post, released a 5 song Christmas EP titled "Lowborn King," and if you're a Dustin Kensrue fan like me, then you will love this album.
     If you are unfamiliar with Dustin's work you might better know him as the frontman for the well traveled rock band Thrice, who released 7 LPs ( "The Alchemy Index," "Beggars" and "Major/Minor" are my top 3) and toured the world from 1998-2012. Dustin has a solo LP entitled "Please Come Home" that is in the vein of Elvis/Rockabilly/Folk music. Which is in stark contrast to Thrice's "Deftones meets punk rock" sound, and if you've never listened to the Deftones click HERE.
     Did you listen to the Deftones yet? Ok good.
     In 2011 Dustin took a job heading up the budding "Mars Hill Music" at Mars Hill church in Seattle just before Thrice announced a hiatus in 2012. This collective of talented musicians at Mars Hill Music helped to energize and revitalize a stale and perpetually bland "Christian rock" scene with bands like Citizens & Saints, Kings Kaleidoscope, The Sing Team and Dustin's own The Modern Post all writing excellent music. His solo album, "The Water & The Blood" which was released for Mars Hill Music is absolutely worth a spin.
     So when the 14 year old church-kid-turned-punk-rocker-turned-grown-up-"mature-" (notice the air quotes on mature) worship-leader in me learned that one of the most influential song writers in my life was now writing music for the's safe to say I was pretty freakin' stoked.
     The sound of "The Modern Post" is very much a diversion from what we're used to hearing from Dustin's bread winner, Thrice, and also a bit different from his solo work albeit both welcomed diversions in my opinion. It should be noted that The Modern Post is a trio made up of Dustin on electric guitar/vocals, a keyboardist and a drummer; and even with this scaled down approach they offer up quite a large atmosphere. In one song you'll find programmed loops, heavy bass/synth pads, driving rhythms, clean but beautifully gritty guitar and Dustin's signature raspy, crooning voice. In the next song, an orchestra and backing choir.
     For the past three weeks I haven't been able to get this song out of my head. I believe this to be an original Christmas tune he wrote about a war on sin and death and "the tide" turning at Bethlehem. I apologize if this is not an original tune. I'm limited to online searching since I unfortunately don't know the guy.

     Stating that he has recently turned his attention to his solo music and is in the studio recording another solo LP (Merry Christmas to me?), be on the lookout for new music in 2015, and if we're lucky, it'll be Christmas themed!

     Dustin also released a single of "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" this year that is finer than the finest Tennessee top hat.

     While you're out there trying to find that perfect gift for the one you love, treat yourself to this 5 song EP, and while you're at it go ahead and get every Thrice record you can find. You can thank me later.

Merry Christmas!

- Shane

Shop Small Saturday

December 13, 2014

We are all well aware of Black Friday deals and all the commotion that comes with it, but how many of us are aware of Shop Small Saturday and actually participate?? We love supporting the local small business owners. It helps the community, and it makes a difference contributing to the creators/makers/owners directly. Plus, it feels even more special knowing you're getting something that someone put so much love, passion, and hard work into. Luckily, here in St. Louis, the local crafters united for the annual Rock 'n' Roll Craft Show in the Cherokee street neighborhood, and oh how we love craft shows.

These are just some of our favorite items from the craft show. There were so many great Christmas git ideas! And there was even live music! The craft show was located in such a great neighborhood, especially since a lot of businesses on Cherokee are also small, locally owned shops. So, many of the shops advertised each other's sales. The whole street was getting into the Shop Small Saturday spirit!

Scarlett Garnett, also located on Cherokee Street, has some of the coolest and interesting accessories. Here, the owner even hand made a fleur de lis necklace special for us! We get to support local and sport our love for our city all at the same time!

So stylish! And just because Shop Small Saturday has come and gone does not mean that you can't still support your small local businesses! Get the chance to own something unique to your city while helping to give back to your community and shop small business every day!

Local Loves: Melt

December 11, 2014

Cherokee Street in St. Louis has recently become a thriving unique and colorful community in south city. Cherokee Street is known for it's rich Mexican culture. There you can find some of the best authentic mexican restaurants in St. Louis. More recently, Cherokee has become home to many new small, eclectic businesses and entrepreneurs. There are so many cute boutiques, print shops, and restaurants. One of our favorite restaurants that has recently moved into the Cherokee neighborhood is one of the best waffle joints in town, Melt.

Melt has so much character with it's mismatched furniture, quirky decor, and chalkboard walls. It's so fun and inviting, and makes you feel so young at heart. Especially with its pinball machines and skeeball games!

Melt is unique that it serves waffles all day everyday, but they also have a full service bar and delicious, specialty coffee drinks. Also, if you want a place to hang out late at night, Melt is perfect for you, because they are open until midnight or later.

Their waffles are so delicious and perfectly satisfies your hunger. They have so many options in the scope of savory and sweet. You can get dessert waffles a la mode or get waffles for dinner served with brisket! So many delicious possibilities! We love Melt!

Kaotiks Race Car review

December 10, 2014

'Tis the season for trying to find that special someone something special. If you like unique and exciting gifts, and have any kids on your Christmas list, you should check out this rad, Kaotiks race car, made in Saint Louis.  When my friend who works for the company asked if she could send it to us to blog about, we said we would be happy to.  So without further ado, we give you, our little review.

The car is able to do impressive tricks with the use of a remote control. Check out their website for tips on performing stunts, and this video showing some of the action.  

Assembly is required & relatively easy. Connecting the track pieces was like snapping together a simple puzzle. I was able to put it together by myself (without looking at the directions). My husband took over the assembly when he got home, and it was just as easy for him. 

My little guy loved it, & the little guy (or gal) in your life will too! Kaotiks RC can be found at Target, Toys R US, and Kohl's.  Race to your wallet & purchase one today. :)