When the moon hits your eye…

This was, by far, the most delicious challenge I’ve had yet!! I’ll gladly do it again if anyone wants a repeat performance!!

Challenge #13:

“Learn how to make pizza and throw a pizza party for friends and family!” – from my cousin Taylor and his wife, Sarah!

Taylor and Sarah's wedding on the beach in my favorite place on the planet, Boca Grande, Florida.

Taylor and Sarah’s wedding on the beach in my favorite place on the planet, Boca Grande, Florida.

My cousin Taylor married the greatest lil lady named Sarah. She is ALWAYS on the move, always having a blast and fully embraces the joy in life. On top of that, she is one of the most motivational people I’ve ever known. And (after we’d had quite a bit of wine at family dinner on the eve of her rehearsal dinner) she decided to let me do her makeup for her wedding, which was far more exciting for me than it was for her, I’m sure. That has actually inspired a couple of other challenges coming down the pipeline so keep an eye out for ’em! Taylor is the definition of entrepreneurial. He has incredible ideas and then makes them happen! succeeds. He is one of my toughest critics, but biggest supporters and I greatly admire that in him because it reminds me of his father. The two of them love cooking and creating and I’m pretty sure this was the perfect blended adventure for them to give me!  The entrepreneurial nature of the restaurant I’ve selected just brings it all full circle.

One of my longest friendships is with my friend Stacey Harrington. We met at college orientation and became fast friends. (She’s the one I planned the wedding shower for not too long ago). She has been dating an awesome man named Steve Mitchell for quite some time and they actually just got married a few weeks ago.  These two are always willing to bend over backwards to help me out with stuff and once again, they’ve come to my aid.

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Little known fact…Steve is also a retired freestyle rapper and Doc Optimo made an appearance at their wedding reception – easily the highlight of my evening! Don’t worry, Steve, while your rhymes were sick, I’ll keep the video off the blog. 🙂

Doc Optimo serenading his bride!

Doc Optimo serenading his bride!

When Steve is not dropping the beat, he is the front man/bar manager at A Tavola, a pizzeria and authentic Italian eatery in Over the Rhine. For those that aren’t from Cincinnati or are unfamiliar, Over the Rhine is one of Cincinnati’s shining stars. It is our oldest and most historic neighborhood. Rich with character and artistic flare, this area has become quite the hot spot for independent restauranteurs and small business owners. Similar to Market Street in Louiville, KY, Vine Street has created a magnetic draw bringing people from all walks of life to feast in the same place.


A Tavola Storefront

A Tavola Storefront

The restaurants run the gamut from Bakersfield‘s fabulous tacos and Senate’s gourmet hot dogs to Anchor’s freshest seafood around and Mayberry’s deliciously upscale, yet affordable, cuisine. I am devastated to share that Mayberry has made the difficult decision to close its doors on July 7th, ending with a final brunch. If you haven’t been check it out ASAP. It truly is one of my favorite spots and I’m very sad to see it go.

Tucked in between eateries are a wide variety of bars and shops, as well.  Whether it’s your corner chill spot, an outdoor oasis filled with activities or the “hottest” dance floor in the city, you literally cannot go wrong. Shopping covers everything from clothes to furniture, mostly featuring local craftsmen’s wares.


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I spend quite a bit of time in the area as a good majority of my friends live around there now. Christy, who works for 3CDC, a non-profit organization devoted to creating a bigger, better Cincinnati, and lives in the heart of it all, is always telling me about different happenings and new events that either her company or other local establishments have going on.

The point is, if you haven’t been down to visit, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.

Back to pizza…

A Tavola has an advantage over the other places I may have considered because of my ties to Steve and his friends. After traveling the country exploring his love for pizza and a run of successful “Pop up pizza nights” at Take the Cake, a fabulous bakery and eatery in Northside, Jared Wayne decided to open up shop in the up and coming neighborhood of OTR. His background was in real estate development and he saw a good thing coming in the area.


After getting a couple of his friends involved, the dream became a reality. They imported a giant handmade brick oven from Naples, Italy and hit the ground running.

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I watched the whole process unfold as we caught sneak peeks of the construction progress on breaks between rounds at The Lackman, my favorite bar and one of 4EG/Bob Deck’s masterpieces, located just across the street. Seeing the excitement of it all made me really want these guys to succeed. They took a huge risk with minimal experience in owning or running a restaurant. Somehow, they knocked it out of the park. The wait is generally quite long and the line is out the door. It’s great though. You put your name in, then bop around the area until they call your cell phone to tell you your table is ready. Forget having one of those pesky beeper things that only let’s you roam so far! You can go wherever you want while you wait!  They even signed a lease to open up a new location in Madeira! Get excited, suburbanites!



Steve and the gents at A Tavola were gracious enough to let me come in and try my hand at tossing some dough. I’d like to thank Leroy for being so particularly patient with me! My parents, Aunt Tessie, cousin Terri and best friends Megan Stacey and Christy Samad came down to join me and taste the food I’d created, as well as my other faves on the menu. Christy filmed some of the footage and joined me in one of A Tavola’s finely crafted cocktails. I had a Corpse Reviver 2 and Chris had a Gin and something or other. It was served with an ice ball, which I thought was pretty cool.




Here is a link to A Tavola’s menu/website. It’s not just pizza and they offer weekly specials on drinks, pizzas and antipasti items. They make the cheese fresh and cure all of the meats in-house.  All of their veggies and produce are locally grown, with the exclusion of their tomatoes. They only use Italian tomatoes. And my oh my, they are delicious!  They even have items on the menu that my mom can eat with her current dietary restrictions! (One chemo treatment left, by the way!!!! So pumped for you Care Bear!)

It is magnifico and perfect for all ages!  Without further ado, my pizza tossing abilities:

Having some trouble embedding this one. Watch the video here:

I’m gonna take a minute to promote small business while I have you listening to me on my little soapbox. The news of Mayberry closing makes me genuinely sad. There are lots of people out there testing their entrepreneurial strength in an economy that makes it tough to survive. These small businesses and restaurants are part of what are making Cincinnati thrive these days. There are so many great assets to our community that rely on our support. Visit them. Love them. Return to them. They need you.

That is all 🙂

Buon Appetito!!

Will Work for Money! (this makes more sense if you know what I’ve spent the last year doing…)

You’re hired! Those two little words are something that I’ve been dying to hear for the past 8 months. (So have my parents…) After losing my job last August, I took some time to really think about what I want to do with the rest of my life, and while this blog has taken me in so many different directions and revealed so many of my talents, I think I’ve always known what I’m meant to do. Change the world! One event at a time!

I’m having an internal struggle with how I should approach writing about this on the off chance that the people interviewing me peruse my blog, but as this is a full-disclosure kind of thing, here goes nothing.

Challenge #12:

Apply for 5 different jobs that you see as possible careers.” – from my cousin Terri Hafertepen.


I have had a wide variety of experience throughout my career. I’ve been everything from a Cocktail Waitress at Montgomery Inn Boathouse to an Account Coordinator at Powers Agency. I’ve planned fabulous events for clients and driven all over the Tri-State area to create a preferred vendor list for a new marketing plan. I’ve served as a self-proclaimed concierge to our fabulous little city. I’ve networked my heart out. I’ve shot incredible promotional videos for well-deserving non-profits and escorted Big Boy around the Greater Cincinnati Area prepping him for his Founders Day Celebration. I have evaluated home inspections and built incredible relationships with general agents over the phone, having never once met them in person. I’ve written columns for company periodicals. I’ve designed promotional materials. I’ve scanned twitter feeds and unintentionally ended the serving career of a few less than stellar employees. (I still feel very bad about that, but you should know better than to bad mouth your company in a public forum.) I’ve pretended to be a potential customer to evaluate competitor programs in an effort to help improve our own products and services. (I’m not entirely sure that one was ethical, but it was fun!)

I’ve also had quite a lot of experience doing things people don’t pay me to do. I volunteer. A LOT. I’ve coordinated large, fabulous galas. I’ve put on cooking classes. I’ve helped provide hundreds of new moms with necessary lessons and supplies to ensure a healthy, productive start to their child’s life. I’ve mentored a sweet, bright little girl named Destiny, whose growth and development surprises me more and more every day. I have delivered rack cards to every single hotel in a 40 mile radius of Cincinnati. Just this morning I helped reveal a new Augmented Reality feature for the Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibit at Cincinnati Museum Center. It’s so awesome. I highly recommend you check it out.

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This little lady seriously is my pride and joy.  She’s a straight shooter, tries so hard at everything, says what’s on her mind and makes me laugh so much. I hope I don’t screw her up… 🙂

The point is, I’ve done a lot of different things that have provided me with a set of skills that could really lend themselves to a variety of opportunities. I’ve also put a lot of miles on my car. I have a lot of interests, as well. Rather than applying to thousands of positions, like I have before, I decided to be more calculated about it.

My parents are both very intelligent and great at what they do. My mother, who inspires me to be just like her every single day, is an incredibly active community volunteer. My father is one of the brightest, most driven businessmen I’ve ever met. They try very hard to help me in this process, but I’m kind of a pill about it. I’m stubborn and want to do it on my own. I decided to reluctantly take my parents’ advice and read a little book called StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. They gave it to me and my siblings for Christmas a few years ago and it continued to sit on my shelf and collect dust. Then I cracked it open and wondered why I’d never done it before…

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You read about 30 pages and take a brief (180 or so questions) online assessment and almost immediately, it evaluates your answers and provides you with your top 5 qualities or things that you do best. This book teaches you to focus on the things that you are inherently good at, rather than trying to improve the skills you don’t naturally possess.

I mean, duh. That makes total sense. All our lives we are evaluated on our progress through school, through jobs and throughout our every day activities. Have you ever received less than satisfactory reviews on your performance? “Needs improvement” should now be read as “Not your strong suit, let’s try something else.” For example, I’m the first one to admit that I have flaws or things that I’m not particularly good at. This is why I’m not designing jet engines. It’s in everyone’s best interest. So I sat down and took my assessment.  These are my results:

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Now, for those that have not read the book, you have no idea what that means. Fortunately, it also provides a handy little description laying out exactly what each of those represents. Then it goes further to tell you what you should do with these strengths and 50 different aspects of an action plan for EACH THEME to help utilize it to the best of your abilities. Awesome.

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For those of you that know me, most of these probably come as no surprise. I’m a wear my heart on my sleeve, upbeat, life of the party kind of girl. I’m sensitive and intuitive. I’m also an ENFP, for those that are familiar with the Myers Briggs system of measurement.

For more information on what that means, visit: http://www.personalitypage.com/ENFP.html

So after looking at these two systems of evaluation, I narrowed down my skill set and starting scanning the job boards, as I generally do every morning. My first choice is ALWAYS The ArsWave Job board. ArtsWave features all kinds of career opportunities for local creative-based nonprofit organizations. I imagine that no matter what role I eventually end up with, it will have been posted on this page.

I have set some criteria for what I want to do.

1) I want to work for a non-profit. I am not a sit in a cubicle, filling our paper work for the man kind of girl. I want to make a difference and know that the hard work I put in every single day is for a greater cause.

2) I want a different day, every day.

3) I want to interact with others on a very regular basis. Solitude is not my friend.

4) I want to experience new things in an environment where there is opportunity for growth.

5) I want to be inspired by the place I work and the people that work alongside me.

6) I MUST love what I do.

I woke up Tuesday morning and, low and behold, right before my very eyes was the job I was born to do.

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Job #1: Event Coordinator for the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Reasons why this is perfect for me: (though, if you have been reading any of these blog posts, or, I don’t know, talked to me…ever, I’m not sure that there is really a need for explanation)

1) I love to plan events. A lot.

2) I love art.

3) I love to talk to people. A whole lot.

4) I love to solve problems. Really tough ones like the caterer is stuck in traffic and the event starts in 4 minutes. WHAT DO WE DO!?

5) I looove Cincinnati.

6) I looove non-profits.

I realize there is a lot more to this position than those 6 things, but when it comes down to it, fundamentally, everything I’ve ever wanted from a job lies in this very position. I was so excited after reading over the job description that I immediately set into action. I drafted a new cover letter, created a relevant resume, put together some writing samples and sent it on its way. I also contacted anyone I knew that might be able to help connect me with the powers that be at CAM. Disclaimer: If any of you have any interest in applying for this job, don’t. It’s mine.

I just got word that I have an interview tomorrow. If any of you know anyone and should feel so inclined to call in and tell them how incredibly amazing I am, I’d genuinely appreciate it! For those that have already helped me, I genuinely appreciate your support and guidance! Fingers crossed!

Then I came across another incredible opportunity.

Job #2: Development Manager for JDRF.


Development is a bit like sales. Except, by giving money to the organization, you don’t actually get any product in return. You get exposure. You get a tax deduction. You get the feeling that you’ve done something good. But other than maybe a table at an event or your name on a building (if you give a whole, whole lot), there isn’t anything tangible you get in return. Imagine trying to sell someone something and then say thank you for your money, I don’t have anything to give you. It’s not an easy task. But for some reason, it seems to be something that comes naturally to me.

I like the challenge of getting to know your donors, building that rapport, finding common interests and eventually, going in for the ask. Making the ask is a very delicate situation and should be handled differently with each individual. Determining how each situation should be handled is part of the reason I love it so much.

I reached out to a family friend for some sort of connection to the powers that be, but received confirmation today that they have already filled the position. Thank you for your help, as well.

Job #3: Pretty much everything I qualify for at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center.


This is another job board I frequent. I love kids and would find working for CCHMC to be an incredibly fulfilling work environment. I reached out to one of their HR recruiters whom I’ve been working with over the past year and applied on their less then easy to use job site. This list of options includes:

Communications Specialist – Patient Services

Marketing Associate

Project Manager

Business Development Manager.

Job #4: PR Manager at Newport Aquarium


How cool would that be?! I know it’s not a non-profit, but I would definitely be excited to go to work every day and see all the incredibly cool animals. I bet I’d get to play with the penguins…though, last time I did that it was not as desirable as I’d imagined it’d be. Is it appropriate for a 29 year old to spend her lunch break like this every day:


‘Cuz I will.

Job #5: Accessories/Purse counter at Nordstrom


Just for kicks. If one of these other career opportunities doesn’t work out, there’s always time for a part-time gig slangin’ handbags to housewives!  Commission + discount = Happiness.

I think it’s pretty clear which one of these I want the most.  While I spend most of my mornings looking for potential opportunities, Terri’s encouragement came at just the right time. I was reinvigorated and I basically stumbled upon what I’m hoping is the perfect job. While I’m not positive this will end with those two little words, I’m incredibly hopeful. Fingers crossed!!!

Feeling Pinspired!

I like to make stuff. Like REALLY like to make stuff. I’ve always been pretty creative. Growing up, my brother and sister were the athletes of the family and, while I played lots of sports, I would never call them my forte. This week’s challenge wasn’t really that difficult for me because it really is something that I love to do.

That being said, I also have a bad habit of starting projects and not finishing them. If I can’t figure out how to fix something that didn’t turn out as planned, it ends up on a shelf in my garage that I’ve come to call the Shelf of forgotten DIYs. It’s getting sort of full.

Challenge #11:

“Use your design skills and incredibly good taste to create/make something for Belle.” – from Bob and Joan Arlinghaus.

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Bob and Joan are practically members of the Hayden family. I often joke that our lives would fall apart without them, though I’m fairly certain it is no joke. Thanks so much for supporting me and giving me an opportunity to show off my skills.

As Joan mentioned, I have utilized my creativity to plan various parties and fundraisers for many of the nonprofits I volunteer with. I LOVE creating the theme and overall atmosphere of an event from beginning to end, focusing on every last detail. I do this because I love it and because I care about the organizations they benefit.

I also get a kick out of planning events for friends and family. I just threw a beach-themed wedding shower for my friend Stacey a few weeks ago. I couldn’t find anything that I liked at the stores so I ended up just making my own table runners and centerpieces. I got the idea from my friend Megan when we threw a Bow Tie Brunch baby shower for our friend Ashlee a few months ago! So genius! Give me a good theme and I’ll run with it!

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We spent last weekend in Minneapolis celebrating my niece Belle’s baptism and first birthday! I became a godmother and am thrilled about the honor my brother and sister-in-law have bestowed upon me. Naturally, I love making things for this adorable little angel so I am super psyched about this task. Becky did SUCH a great job putting together this adorable ballerina-themed birthday party! Everything was perfect from Belle’s little outfit to the ballet slippers holding flowers on the backs of the chairs. Brilliant!!

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With the birthday spirit in mind, I took to Pinterest to start finding my “pinspiration.” I came across this idea for a 20 questions book. You ask the child the same 20 questions every year on their birthday until they turn 18. You keep track of their answers in a book so that they can see how they have grown and changed over the years. I decided this would be a great keepsake for Belle to have.

I gathered my supplies and got to work! I’m beginning to think I should get frequent shoppers cards at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and Scraps, Etc. for all of the things I’ve been making! I learned about a new store in Deerfield called Archivers, which I will definitely be returning to. If you like to make scrapbooks or keepsake memory things, this is your spot. They literally have EVERYTHING.


Since I have 18 years to cover, I picked out a different sheet of girlie paper to paste photos on and a coordinating solid to print the questions on. I also got different decorative stickers and accents to include so that each year when John, Becky and Belle answer the questions, they can decorate the pages together.

I attempted to print the questions on the card stock at home, but have found that my printer is not ideal for these kinds of projects. Off to Kinkos to quickly print what I needed. Their laser jet copiers have seriously saved me more times than I can count.


Here are the 20 questions I selected:

1. What is your favorite color?

2. What is your favorite toy?

3. What is your favorite fruit?

4. What is your favorite TV show?

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?

6. What is your favorite outfit?

7. What is your favorite game?

8. What is your favorite snack?

9. What is your favorite animal?

10. What is your favorite song?

11. What is your favorite book?

12. Who is your best friend?

13. What is your favorite cereal?

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?

15. What is your favorite vacation?

16. What is your favorite holiday?

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?

18. What is your favorite movie?

19. What do you like to learn about?

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? 

Obviously, Belle cannot answer her questions this year because at the moment all she can say is Mama and Da and Dada. But it’s so darn cute when she tries!! I called Becky to fill in what I didn’t already know.

Here are the answers:


Here are some other pictures of the book:

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It’s a little stuffed right now, so for storage purposes, Becky might want to take all the extra details out until they’re needed. As Belle gets older, it could be fun for her to decorate it herself, as well. I tried to pick age appropriate paper for the teenage years.


Making this book inspired me to finish something I started creating for Belle’s nursery as a Christmas present. It didn’t go exactly as planned so I kinda gave up. Re-inspired, I gave it another go.

This was also a pinterest-inspired project. I took a map and mod-podged it to a piece of canvas. After that, I took some vinyl letters and stuck them to the map then painted over them. I was very careful to make sure both Minneapolis and Cincinnati would be visible through the letter outlines, as those are the places her parents are from.


Unfortunately, the canvas started to dry out, as did the paint and the edges of the map started to show. Also, it was crooked. My friend Abby tells me to measure things when I make stuff. This is why. I decided to trim it down, have it mounted and framed so that it would look better when hung in the nursery. I picked it up from the frame store and could not be happier with how it turned out!!


It’s finally done, only 6 months later.

Next up is to complete the paper-to-wood block photo transfers I was working on. This was another attempted project around the holidays that I was going to complete and give to my family members. Unfortunately, I wasted 16 blocks of wood, a whole bottle of Mod Podge and countless sheets of printer paper. Turns out you need a laser jet printer (not an ink jet) for this to work. Insert Kinkos saves the day, yet again. After figuring this out I cleared off part of my Shelf of Forgotten DIY’s by using the glue-soaked failed attempts as firewood for the bonfire at my birthday party. Mod Podge is EXTREMELY flammable so we had a roaring blaze in my backyard. I finally figured out how to do it and successfully made 2 for Stacey’s wedding shower. Family, your photo blocks shall be to you shortly!


Just for kicks, here are some other things I’ve made:

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Bob and Joan, thanks for tapping into my creative side! I cannot wait to see how Belle grows as she answers these questions over the years. I think it could be a wonderful tradition to start and am so curious to see what her answers are when she can respond on her own. I hope she doesn’t develop a hatred for the color pink because it is ALL over this book.

Flying Solo

Have any of you seen the movie Almost Famous? Last night inspired me in a way I didn’t expect it to!  Rolling Stone…here I come!

Challenge #10:

Go to a live music performance BY YOURSELF. Dance unabashedly. Feel free and confident.” from Tara Noland. 

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Tara is one of the many fabulous women I have met through my time in the Junior League of Cincinnati. She is actually one of the very first ladies I met in JLC and we became fast friends! After hearing an absolutely hilarious account of how her boyfriend’s mother bought her a tote bag with her “would be” monogram embroidered on it in case she married her son one day, I couldn’t not be friends with this girl!! Since then, she has recruited me to help out with gala planning for 4C for Children, which has been an incredible experience all in itself. And she hit the nail on the head with this challenge for me!!

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This challenge is incredible for several reasons.

1. I LOVE music. Love it.

  • I played the drums and the piano in my youth, went to music/arts camp several times and can still tickle the ivories if given the opportunity. Haven’t tried the drums in awhile, though I imagine it’d come back to me pretty quickly.
  • I am CONSTANTLY listening to music and always looking for new jams. A friend of mine has been sending me new bands and songs to check out lately and it is the highlight of my day every time I get a new one. (Thank you!!) As I mentioned a few posts ago, I am pretty sure that my iTunes library can read my mind because it always plays exactly what I want to hear.  (Lately I’ve been running through Phoenix, Tegan & Sara, Passion Pit, Swedish House Mafia, Dragonette, Capital Cities, Bastille, CHVRCHES, Matt & Kim, Metric, Pony Pony Run Run, Ra Ra Riot, Imagine Dragons, Cold War Kids, Night Terrors of 1927, Daft Punk, Atlas Genius and The National. I’m also loving Vampire Weekend’s newest album!)
  • I often envision my life being like a movie and wish it had a soundtrack that followed me everywhere I went. Since that is not possible, I kinda create my own. It inspires me, comforts me and completes me.

2. I love being out of my element.

  • I have no shame talking to strangers. I can talk to anyone about anything at any time.
  • I kind of like being by myself sometimes.
  • The whole purpose of this blog is to try new things.

3. I love to dance.

  • I’m a terrible dancer.
  • I am aware that I am a terrible dancer.
  • This makes me dance less.
  • Except for last night.

Ok so for the challenge.

I was introduced to a band called Passion Pit about two years ago. I remember I was sitting on a barstool playing photo hunt at The E when Sleepyhead came on the Juke Box. My head started bobbing and I was hooked instantly. The electropop sound was pretty unique to me at the time and now I cannot get enough of it! I hadn’t heard anything like it before. I have been listening to them daily ever since.

I would also add that the stripped down version of Sleepyhead is not to be missed…

Their music is inspiring, thoughtful and very well written. I listen to music for lyrics just as much as I listen for the beat. Take Taylor Swift. Sometimes she has some great beats and then she puts stupid teenage lyrics to it and I just. can’t. handle it.  Sorry, T-Swift. You’re off my radar until you grow up. Though you are “feeling 22” these days…whatever that means.

I digress…

Passion Pit is an indie rock band from Cambridge, MA. I believe they all studied music in Boston.  You’ve got Michael Angelakos on lead vocals and keyboard; Ian Hultquist on guitar and keyboard; Xander Singh on synthesizer; Jeff Apruzzese on bass and Nate Donmoyer covering the drums. Their story is interesting in that the band originally formed when Angelakos created a belated Valentine’s gift for his then-girlfriend, which would later become Chunk of Change. He created it entirely by himself on his laptop.  I believe he was approached by These guys are adorable, brilliant and incredibly talented!

In an interview with MTV last year, Michael Angelakos said:

“When I get on stage and I see everyone reacting to the music, there’s a moment where I completely forget (that he does not love live shows and touring) and I get excited and can’t believe people care. Hopefully people will see that and people will enjoy it. I can’t ask for anything else.”

To respond, that feeling is written all over your face and that message is definitely received.  Your energy is contagious. And your vertical is pretty impressive, btw.

My favorite songs:

Sleepyhead (linked above)

Little Secrets

Cry Like a Ghost

Moth’s Wings

It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy

I’ll Be Alright


Carried Away  (Absolutely love this one! Incredibly cheery beat with lyrics that sting. It’s actually about the characteristics he cannot stand in the person. Unexpectedly perfect!)

Ok. So I selected Passion Pit because I went to see them at the Madison Theater in Covington back in November and it was literally one of the best shows I have ever been to. I have been dying to see them again since. They were scheduled to be at US Bank Arena but for some reason  rescheduled and booked the Madison Theater again. I, personally, am glad they did that. It’s a much more intimate setting allowing you to really get close to the band. So I purchased my tickets and planned to attend alone.

Over the past few weeks countless people had asked if I wanted to attend the show with them and I informed them that I would be there, but unfortunately would not be able to hang out with them.  Kind of a bummer because a lot of the people that went are SUPER fun!

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I rode down with my friends Ashley and Briana. Hope that part is okay. I didn’t wanna be late and a cab would have taken forever. Also, I was incredibly nervous and needed someone to talk me down!

The Madison Theater is a smaller venue. When you walk in, all they do is take your piece of paper. You don’t even get it scanned or anything. I could have probably snuck in if I wanted, but that would be dishonest.

We parted ways after hitting up the bar for a little liquid courage. I headed down toward the stage and parked myself pretty close to the front of the second landing. Unbeknownst to me, this was right next to a door that led backstage. I had printed up little notes that explained what I was doing and my blog and yada yada and if given the opportunity, was going to give them to the band so they’d read it and I could possibly meet them. That woulda been a nice little addition to this post.

Talk about being oblivious. They walked behind me like 12 times, but I  was so into Cults, the opening act, that I TOTALLY missed each opportunity. Finally, I crumpled one up into a ball and tossed through the doorway as it was closing. I have no idea if anyone saw it. The bouncer covering the door was very kind and tried to let me know when they were coming. Thanks for the effort, Pat!!


Cults, the opening act, used this really awesome lighting effect that doesn’t photograph very well, but looked INSANE in person!  I dig their vibe and will definitely be checking out some more of their music!

After the failed attempts to get in touch with the band pre-show, I popped up to the lobby one more time before making my way into the pit. I ran into a few more friends, said my hellos and then disappeared into my lone-concert viewing evening.

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The best part about going to a concert alone is that I’m the only person I have to worry about! I didn’t have to create a train of hand-holding to get everyone through the crowd. I didn’t have to say excuse me and guide 9 of my closest pals through with me. All I had to do was push my way to the front. And that is exactly what I did.

I made a few friends along the way, most of which were significantly younger than myself, but nonetheless super fun to be around and very excited about my blog. This gave me a great ice breaker to work with and while not all parties (namely this girl below who was a real B) were openly receptive to my situation, most of the people I spoke with were pretty great!

 And I quote: "Look. Your blog isn't MY passion. Passion Pit is my passion and you're ruining it." Ooook.

And I quote: “Look. Your blog isn’t MY passion. Passion Pit is my passion and you’re ruining it.” Ooook.

This girl was there with her younger sisters. Very sweet girl! She let me sneak up close so that I could get some shots of the band. I ran into her post show out in the parking lot waiting to meet the band, as well.


Akayla, one of the other girls I met, was VERY excited about the show and what I was doing for my blog. They’ve sent me a bunch of pictures from the concert, too. She got the guitar pic that Ian through into the crowd at the end of the night.

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So here’s what I learned overall.

Passion Pit has a pretty young following. Look at all the X’s on those hands!!

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Dancing with reckless abandon is WAY more fun than being concerned about what I look like.


Be nice to the bouncers. They can help you out!!


Chris passed my note on to the sound guy and to the band. Hopefully they’re reading this post 🙂

This is the setlist:


Lucky me! I got to hear all my faves!! Though at this point, I don’t know that I have heard a Passion Pit song that I don’t like…

Here are some more shots of the show:

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I think I chose the perfect venue and performance for this challenge. I was able to let loose, really listen to and enjoy the music and jump around with a bunch of 15 year olds for a few hours. I mean, what the hell, YOLO, right?

I went to see The Lumineers the night before at Riverbend and had an equally fabulous time. Lucky me! Two of my fave bands, back to back! I need a super long nap…

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Tara, I had the time of my life. I felt like I was in Almost Famous, minus the whole weird groupie relationship thing. I imagine that I would REALLY enjoy writing for someone like Rolling Stone. Part of the reason I’m doing this whole thing is to figure out my purpose. It’d be kinda cool if that’s what it ended up being!

Overall, the performance was amazing! The energy was up, the lighting was stellar (per usual) and the music was flawless! I was a sweaty, trainwreck of a mess, but I’m not sure I’ve danced that much at a show in my life. I did my absolute best to get their attention to let them know about my blog. I tweeted all of them shamelessly throughout the week, stood outside their bus like a little groupie (did get to talk to Michael for a hot minute) and threw my flyers on stage, handed them to any staff member I could and gave one to one of the roadies. Fingers crossed it was not all for nothing!

Thank you, Passion Pit and Cults, for such a wonderful evening and thank you, Tara, for making me do it! Next time I wanna see a band that none of my other friends have heard of, I won’t be so quick to skip it. This was my first concert I attended solo, but it definitely won’t be my last…

My concert agenda for the rest of the summer includes:

Country Concert


MidPoint Music Fest

part of Bunbury

Earth, Wind and Fire

and possibly Life is Beautiful Festival in October!

I. Am. So. Psyched!!!!


Mic drop.