Author Archives: Moods & Mixtapes

Play when…it’s your best friend’s birthday

Let me tell you a little bit about September 23.

It’s not unusual

Usually, it begins with a spurt of texts sent over to my best friend (all in caps, packed with non-verbal screams, sent with confetti for that extra pizazz). Usually, I spend the morning staring at my closet, as if the perfect birthday-night-out look will just come together itself. Usually, she rolls up into my driveway with Ariana Grande oozing out of the car speakers, as we yell at each other in the street complimenting each others’ outfits. Usually, we hit 3 (maybe 4, if we’re feeling extra saucy) restaurants in one evening, stopping in-between to grab some content for the feed. Usually, even after we’ve established that we’ve both had our fill, we stop at Starbucks on the way home. (Venti refreshers, always.)

Unfortunately, as we’ve been reminded over and over again, this is not like any other year. This is no “usual” September 23. This will be the first time in years that I won’t be able to celebrate my best friend in-person. And it stings a little bit.

Okay, a lot a bit. 

Ain’t no crying in the club

But we’re not gonna let this bring us down! We’re here to vibe, party, and toast to the absolute gem of a human being that is my best friend. How lucky am I to be in your orbit. 

So here’s a spunky mix dedicated to my bes fren, my hypewoman, my main! These are tracks that remind me of her, mark special moments in our lives, or are bops that I know I would’ve queued up in the car on the way into the city.  

Sound on & celebrate! Luh you, main.

Process Post #11: Community Guidelines

I am not a fan of the wishy-washy. Grey areas are not for me, my friends. I know, very Dawn à la Waitress of me. 

And while I get that we’re all big kids here, I think that it might be time for some rules. In saying so, I present to you: Moods & Mixtapes’ Community Guidelines.


Moods & Mixtapes is a safe, creative space where we can share our go-to songs and reoccurring feels. We love jamming with you, so please help us to maintain the quality of the blog! Let’s work together and remember to be a little kinder to one another (and avoid any noise complaints). 


  • We get it, we all have different tastes. But if you must disagree, do it intelligently. 
    • Having differing opinions does not justify offensive comments. If you wouldn’t say it face-to-face, don’t say it online. 
  • Absolutely no hate speech. 
    • Any comments attacking groups or other users will not be tolerated and will be removed immediately. Moods & Mixtapes is a space that welcomes anyone and everyone. 
  • If you feel offended by another user’s contribution or have noticed any distasteful comments, please report them to 
  • Listen to Aretha, show some RESPECT. 
  • If reposting or making mention to any of the cover art, blog posts, or playlists, this website,, or @moodsandmixtapes on Spotify must be tagged. 
  • In need of a certain mix or want to see a certain track featured? Feel free to email requests to!


Short, sweet, and hopefully manageable. I chose these guidelines because this blog is a way for me to express myself and give a bit of a sneak peek into who I am. At the end of the day, I want visitors to have the same experience. Although, for this to happen, we need to be aware of the users (virtually) around us. After all, a spoonful of respect and kindness helps the comment section go down smoothly. That’s how it goes, right? 


When it comes to finding these rules a home, I’m planning on either adding them onto the About page or creating a new section of its own in the menubar. Either way, we’re in the clear and out of the grey. 

Now that this business is taken care of, let’s get to listening!

Play when…you’re feeling yourself

mmHMM, I see you! Smiling, sassy, living your best life. 

Maybe you’ve got your favourite feel-good outfit on, are having the greatest good hair day of all good hair days, (and/) or have just caught a glimpse of yourself in the hallway mirror and let me tell you—you’ve got it so flaunt it!

Ain’t there no shame in any of it. That’s right, so go ahead and check yourself out again because this is the type of energy that you deserve to feel every day. 

Sound on & strut. 

Hitting Rewind: An Essay

And with a blink of an eye (and bottomless coffee cups and innumerable sleepless nights), we have reached the last week of the semester. Thank God. And while I’m just about ready to pack up and move on to celebrating the holidays, we cannot go without spending some time to reminisce on this little piece of the internet that came into being a mere seventy-seven days ago. It just wouldn’t be right. I’m sentimental like that.


Going back to the very beginning, about four months ago when I was thinking about what I wanted to blog about—what I loved enough to talk about every week—I was stumped. With a capital S. Was it food? Fashion? Evening television? (No, I have not yet fully surrendered to streaming services, believe it or not.) After all, if I was going to share a piece of myself online or, as Suler (2004) would say, “disinhibit” myself, what would make it worth my while? 

And then, it hit me. 

And by “hit me”, I mean that my brother caught me in a moment of pure desperation and suggested that I write about the topic of many of our text conversations and dinner table exchanges. Music.


As I discussed in “Process Post #5: And You Are…?”, I didn’t necessarily create Moods & Mixtapes with a certain demographic, music taste, or Myers-Briggs archetype in mind.

Considerably, the who of the blog was not of my concern when I was starting up this site. Rather, it was the why. In other words, this blog was made so that I could share my love of music and its ability to sound better, hit harder, and grab you by the freakin’ feels whenever you are experiencing a certain mood or are within a particular context. With this in mind, it did not matter to me who was reading the blog. Just being able to know that someone else could experience this sensation too, was more than enough. (I’ll try to stop with the sappy stuff now.)

Moreover, if someone were to ask me who my public is, I would say (without glancing at my analytics) that I have no idea. In saying so, Moods & Mixtapes serves a kind of public that Warner (2002) introduces in “Publics and Counterpublics”. It is a public “that comes into being only in relation to texts and their circulation” (para. 3). Thus, my public came into existence purely because of two reasons: (1) people visit this website and (2) people enjoy having a soundtrack to complement their sentiments. And man, are they my kind of people.


After reading just about any of my Process Posts, it will become quite clear that design was throwing me for a loop. But in my defence, how could it not? There were typefaces and margins and text colours and everything in-between that needed to be dealt with. In hindsight, I probably should have made everything into digital bite-sized pieces instead of trying to attack all of these components all at once, which is exactly what Mod (2014) advises against when it comes to publishing: “Believe me when I say, if you think about [all the details] before you start, you will never start. The rabbit hole is deep.” (para. 10). Undoubtedly, I am now a believer.

Frankly, the reason why the design was so crucial is that, to me, visuals and aesthetics are key. No one is going to want to read a blog post on a site that isn’t pleasing to the eye. I mean, I know I wouldn’t, so this reasoning was the basis of all of my design and structural changes around here. 

Yet, despite all of the tweaks and alterations, one design element stayed the same—blog cover photos. Throwing it back to September, I was set on making sure that each blog post would have a feature photo made by yours truly. Reason being, I found the pop of colour to highly compliment the black and white theme of the site, and I’m all for a fashion statement. Also, creating these images is one of my favourite parts of putting up a post! I would like to think that I am not the only one who enjoys them, as my previous peer reviews made mention of them as well. Validation is always nice, right?


Not to fall into the clutches of what Gertz (2015) labels as “metrics-obsessed pseudo-science” (para. 18), but there is something to be said about the wonder that is Google Analytics. From just a few clicks, I can see how many people visited the site, what posts they interacted with, and how long they hung around for. And as my audience is purely imagined, analytics has helped to give a virtual face to Moods & Mixtapes visitors. By extension, helping me to refine my content. It’s a way of finding out how to “give the people what they want” as they say. 

Interestingly, Google Analytics has time and time again reminded me to never underestimate the power and ubiquity of the Internet. Notably, without the program, I would have never known that I have users reaching my content outside of my city. Getting traffic from the US, Australia, Argentina, South Africa, the UAE?! That’s absolutely WILD.

So, wherever you’re this reading from, thank you for being here!


My perspective on publication has undeniably changed since the beginning of the term and it is due to this truth: blogging is hard. As much as we love to give bloggers and influencers a hard time, there is a lot more to this than what meets the eye. There is plenty to deal with—from keeping up with your numbers (analyzing them, improving them, figuring out what factors got you these results), coming up with new content, and finding ways to consistently roll out quality content without getting boring. Trust me, it does not come easy. 


Having said that, regardless of all the crises and headaches that came with developing this online space, I would like to think that Moods & Mixtapes will continue past this semester. After all, this is a piece of myself that I’m proud to share! This blog, a product of “new technology” as Renner (2019) coins it, has “allowed [myself] to produce a narrative of [my] li[fe], to choose what to remember and what to contribute” (para. 4). In relation, this space has become an extension of who I am, and it would hurt to just pack it up and throw it into the back of the closet, so to speak. In other words, expect more moods and more mixtapes in the near future!

So here’s to the past seventy-seven days! Time for a jam sesh. 


Gertz, T. (2015). Design machines: How to survive the digital apocalypse. Retrieved from 

Mod, C. (2014). Let’s talk about margins. Retrieved from 

Renner, N. (2019). How social media shapes our identity. Retrieved from 

Suler, J. (2004). The online disinhibition effect. CybserPsychology & Behaviour, 7, 321-326. Retrieved from 

Warner, M. (2002). Publics and counterpublics. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 88(4), 413-425. Retrieved from 

Process Post #10: Telling the Whole Story

Transmedia storytelling. That was the challenge of the past week. More specifically, how can we integrate more of it into our blogs? 

If you’re also kinda (very) lost about what exactly this concept is, you’re not alone. Admittedly, it did take me a few Google searches and some article scanning to figure out what we’re dealing with here. But luckily we’ve figured it out, and now we’ve got a plan.


In “Transmedia Storytelling 101”, Jenkins (2007) describes transmedia storytelling as “a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience” (para. 2). In doing so, “transmedia storytelling practices may expand the potential market for a property by creating different points of entry for different audience segments” (para. 6). 

So, after this much-needed guidance, I began to consider different ways that my content can be viewed and engaged with, as well as which channels it can be accessed through. 


At the moment, Moods & Mixtapes can be accessed via the domain itself, as well as through Spotify. However, as much as I would like to dip my foot into other channels, I don’t know which ones would be suitable for sharing this sort of content. Working with playlists, since they’re not image-based, platforms like Instagram or Pinterest don’t seem like they would be too effective, and while Facebook might be my best bet—it’s not quite my go-to. Heck, I don’t even know the last time that I logged in. 

To level the scales, I hope to become more visible by rolling out new blog posts more frequently throughout the week, as well as to start putting my playlists up on other streaming services such as Google Play Music. A few users who don’t have Spotify accounts have mentioned this idea to me over the past month, so I think I’ll give it a shot. No harm in trying, right?

Play when…it’s that time of the month

GIRL, these are rough times.

There you are, just trying to mind your own business, and then your own body has to go and betray you like this? Rude. 

And just like that, it hits you like a semi-truck on the highway. Everything sucks. You’re bloated, breaking out, and incredibly emotionally distraught when it comes to the most minuscule of matters. mmHMM. You know how it is. You wanna laugh and cry and scream until you go numb and nothing can hurt you anymore.

Not to forget about the inherent NEED to eat everything in the world until you either: 

(A) Feel even worse (because that’s possible, apparently),


(B) Remember that you shouldn’t be putting all of this garbage into your body, so you slow it down until you remember that you can do whatever the heck you want and subsequently reopen that bag of chips.

We don’t judge around here.

So, to celebrate moon day here’s a mix that’ll reciprocate every sad, angry, and apocalyptic feeling that you’ve got boiling up in you right now. May you eat all of the chocolate that your heart desires. 

Sound up & hot-water bottle on.

Play when…it’s too early

Go to bed late, wake up early. Repeat. 

I don’t know about you, but that’s what my disintegrating sleep schedule has been like during this final stretch of the semester. I mean, I haven’t travelled anywhere out of the 10km radius of my house for the past couple of days but I’m walking around like I’m jet-lagged. 

Thank you, term papers.

And hear me out, waking up is hard. Getting up while it’s still dark outside seems counterintuitive, my body clock believes otherwise, and it doesn’t seem fair to trade your warm bed for the cold touch of the bathroom floor. I did not sign up for this. 

But alas, another day, another morning. 

So here’s a playlist to ease your delicate self out of bed and into the world that seems to be throwing everything at you as of late. 

Sound on & wake up slow. 

Process Post #9: Crunching the Numbers

This past week, we focused on global internet trends and activities with the help of Mary Meeker’s, “2019 Internet Trends Report”. We pinpointed where the greatest hubs of web users are around the world, which sites see the most traffic, and what details we can infer from all of this user activity—all of that fun stuff. So of course, you know the drill, it got me thinking. 

I know, whatta surprise


All this talk about numbers and data suddenly had me questioning my own. I won’t lie, I’ve neglected considering my analytics for the past couple of weeks (because, life) but this gave me the motivation to get back into it. 

It’s always fun to see behind the scenes of user activity. I’d even say that Travis Gertz hits it right on the head in his article, “Design Machines: How to Survive the Digital Apocalypse” when he describes analytics as “hav[ing] seem­ing­ly god-like access to the ways peo­ple use our prod­ucts”. 

With analytics, we’re given information like where our users are located, what content they like to interact with, and what devices they use to get to our sites. It’s like using a highly-developed, electronic, statistically justified Magic 8 ball. (Okay, so it’s nothing like using a Magic 8 ball.)

In saying so, now that I’ve seen last week’s stats regarding which devices are being used to visit the blog, I know that I should give more thought into what it’s like to visit Moods & Mixtapes via a mobile device. 


Although, as life-changing and beneficial as it all sounds, I need to remember to not get too ahead of myself. As Gertz bluntly puts it, “met­rics are the internet’s hero­in”. And despite how absolute we may think the numbers are, they cannot always be trusted. We can’t just be making all of these changes just because the data led us to think they were necessary. 

Take it all with a grain of salt, I suppose.

Play when…the nights are cold

The temperatures are dropping, and you know what that means. 

I can see it now—walking down the street with your shoulders scrunched up to your ears, hands shoved all the way into the depths of your pockets (because you’re too cool or forgetful for gloves even though that sounds like such a good idea right about now), while the wind slides into your coat and goosebumps start to envelop your entire warmth-ridden body.

Geez, I had to slip on another sweater just while writing that. 

So here are some tracks to warm you up and give you that cosy feeling, no matter how cold it is outside. *Cue movie montage of you walking along a city street on a chilly evening, playlist on in the background.* 

Sound on & bundle up. 

Peer Review: Raincity Closet

Another week, another peer review! This time around we’re teaming up with Adriana of Raincity Closet, a Vancouver-based fashion blog serving you everything sweet and cozy. I know. We love. It’s the perfect timing too because sweater weather is finally upon us! I’ll stop myself here so I don’t get too ahead of myself. 

Alrighty, let’s get into it!  


Upon loading the site, the photo of a gorgeous walk-in closet (yes, still dreaming about it) on the homepage tells me everything I need to know—we’re about to talk fashion. The image perfectly captures the aesthetic of the blog with its sleek, clean lines and a colour scheme that Fall/Winter fashion capitalizes on. This stylish concept extends to the structure of the site itself. Raincity Closet makes effective use of whitespace while the combination of the grey and ashy blue font pops off the page.


Consequently, Raincity Closet caters to an audience who is keen on fashion and all things trendy. This plays on the idea that Danah Boyd’s novel, “It’s Complicated”, touches on, that “what [we] do online cannot be separated from [our] broader desires and interests”. In this case, Raincity Closet reels in people’s interest in fashion from the real world to the online realm. So if you’re on the hunt for fashion inspiration, no need to web search any farther!


One element of the blog which I find to be attractive to the audience is the diversity of posts. For instance, while some posts are real-life OOTDs, others are lists of favourite/go-to items, and some are shoutouts to where Adriana herself gets her fashion inspo. The latter is probably one of my most favourite posts on the site as there’s just something so fascinating about learning what kind of content other people gravitate towards. (I gotta say, Jenn Im/clothesencounters is one of my top YouTubers, too!)

Raincity also serves its audience well as it allows them to shop the look too, not just dress up vicariously, as each item (or one similar to it) mentioned in a blog post is linked at the bottom. In doing so, the content not only addresses the interests of the audience but their needs as well. Okay, maybe I don’t necessarily need that new sweater, but I definitely want one.


Within Process Post #2, Adriana discusses her dilemma of whether or not she should attach her Instagram account to the site. The trouble comes in because while Instagram does make sense for this sort of content, the issue of lacking professionalism and privacy arises. Although, the discussion comes to an end when mentioning that “a separate Instagram that is exclusively for [her] blog [where she] could post pictures of outfit ideas, or even ootd’s (outfit of the day)” is also an option. 

To me, I think that it would be a great idea to create an Instagram account to accompany the blog. I for one spend quite some time on the app, some of which is allotted to looking for fashion inspiration and styling tips, and I’m sure many other people do the same. Thus, since Raincity Closet’s intended audience extends to another platform, hopefully, this could be a way to draw new visitors onto the site!

Besides marketability, linking a social media account would also be a nice way to add a personal touch and for readers to learn more about the creative mind behind it all. 

I mean, I know I do!


So, the next time you’re staring into the abyss of your closet thinking that you’ve got nothing to wear (it really be like that sometimes), be sure to check out Raincity Closet!

And that brings us to the end of our third peer review!