Tag Archives: music

Scenes from Saturday and (Part of) Sunday

If the past two days are any indication of the holiday ahead, I am one lucky girl 🙂 Mike and I arrived at his parents’ house outside Charlottesville late on Friday evening for an amazingly full but also relaxing weekend. Instead of writing a full recap (which would take way too long and I’ve got cookies in the oven and a fire going right now), here are some scenes from the weekend.

Saturday 8 mile run. It was windy as hell but I loved it 🙂

Been using my new Aeropress coffee maker EVERY day. The coffee it makes is AH-mazing.

And of course, topping it off with egg nog.

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Mike’s mom spoils us with delicious veggie scrambles from their beautiful garden… and pickles!


Decorating the Tosto family Christmas tree!

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Curled up on the couch reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with Little Mac at my feet


Attending the Rapunzel’s Christmas Party


Where we watched Mike’s mom perform as a member of the Charlottesville Albemarle Flute Ensemble!

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Sunday afternoon watching the Charlottesville Municipal Band perform in town (Mike’s mom on the flute and his brother on the tuba!)


Finishing up last minute Christmas shopping on the mall. And I bought this SWEET hat that is shaped like a koala bear. I am obsessed with it.


Swung by the DoubleTree Hotel to check out the gingerbread house village. Amy, this made me think of you!

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Fig and Mike wrapped some last minute gifts.


And now I’m enjoying a hot cup of kukicha tea and getting ready for a night in with a fire, cookies, some presents, and maybe even a movie 🙂


Thoughts of the Week

Happy Friday Everyone!! Every Fall I think things are going to slow down from the summer, but they never ever do. We’ve got a big weekend ahead including dinner with friends, a trip to Kings Dominion, the Army 10 Miler, and rock climbing! Here are some thoughts of the week:

1. Running is awesome. I actually quoted a League of Their Own in my head while I was running this week. I was thinking like, wow running is actually really challenging and hard. And then all of a sudden Jimmy Duggan popped into my head… “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great!” Love it.

2. This song has been stuck in my head all week. In fact the whole album I like can’t get enough of it. I’m trying not to listen to it so I don’t get sick of it but it’s hard. Mike has introduced me to a LOT of music since we met, but Sons of Bill is BY FAR my favorite.

3. Nashville is easily the best new show of the season. LOVE IT. I love Connie Britton <33 Hayden Pantierre just like can’t seem to keep her clothes on in this show but I look forward to her developing more as a character. Also Vulture is doing episode recaps… WOOHOO.


4. Me and Tom Haverford have way too much in common. Last night’s episode of Parks and Rec included a lengthy list of Tom’s daily internet visits. And I realized that mine is not that far off (and his is supposed to be a joke!) Daily visits for me include Gmail (and all its affiliates include gchat, gcalendar, gdrive), Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader (for ALL my blogs… there’s a LOT on this list), Washington Post, WordPress, Pandora or Grooveshark… it’s so much!! I don’t feel a particular need to change it… just worth mentioning 🙂

Happy Weekend Loves <33

A day of thanks

I’m not sure if I’m diggin Friday Favorites right now. What do you guys think? According to my website stats, they’re not the most popular post of the week and recently I’ve kind of been forgetting to take pictures during the week. I know… bad blogger… very bad blogger. I’m considering playing around with a couple other potential “recurring posts” for the blog. For today though, I wanted to end the week with a moment of reflection / look ahead at the weekend. This week has been markedly different from the past couple weeks, mostly in that I don’t feel like I want to curl up in a ball under the covers with a gallon of ice cream, turn off my phone, and cry (which is exactly how I have felt come the end of the past two weeks). Last weekend (during my mega rest weekend) I spent a lot of time trying to reflect and trying to refocus myself on the positives. So here are somethings that I am really thankful for right now:

1. I got to see THIS GIRL for two whole nights this week. This is my best friend Sarah and she (much to my chagrin) moved to Philly after we graduated from college (see below). I miss living in the same city as her every day, but I’m proud to say we’ve maintained the most successful long distance relationship I’ve ever been in 🙂

2. I have been having so much fun with this pose (ekapadakoundinyasana) recently. Yoga is one of the only places in my life I still feel like I get to play 🙂 I love it so so so much.


3. I had a great running week and I feel like I might be finally breaking out of my rut. I ran for fun this week, for the love of running, pushed myself and it felt wonderful. I also spent some time being grateful for this city I call home, especially when I ran around the mall to discover the reflecting pool is FINALLY open again. (Was able to snap this quick pic)

4. I’m moving soon! While there is a lot to get ready ahead of the big day, I’m finally just enjoying the excitement of having a new space to make my own and a new neighborhood to explore / fall in love with!

So as I continue to be thankful for this past week, I am also really excited for this weekend! Tonight Mike and I are going to see these guys at U Street Music Hall. Woohoo!

I am also going to my first Saturday long run with the running club in literally over a month. I have been hardcore bailing on this because I’ve been in such a funk. I am actually REALLY excited to go tomorrow. Part of the route involves a small portion of trail too! I recently discovered how much trail running rules, so I’m pumped.

In accordance with Operation Spend Less Money, I looked into some free events going on around the district this weekend! Thanks to the Washington Post’s Going Out Guide I found this list  with some pretty awesome ideas including the Adams Morgan Day festival, Takoma Park Folk Festival, and the Black Cat 19th Anniversary Party (which isn’t technically free but we like Black Cat a lot). Additionally, Saturday is the monthly “Namaste Day” at The Studio DC (free yoga classes all day!!) I was also thinking that if the weather was good we might pop out of the city and go hiking at Great Falls! So many options!

Not to mention OF COURSE that NFL football officially starts this weekend!!!! WOOHOOO!!!!! Personally, I like college football but I didn’t go to a football school (basketball is our thing)/ wasn’t raised on it so I don’t have a particular loyalty to any team.

NFL football on the other hand… All I can say is E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! You can say absolutely anything you want to me about Philly fans and Philly sports, it will have absolutely no impact on me. I’m a Philly girl, born, raised, and proud! Have a fabulous weekend 🙂

Wouldn’t Be Summer…

Without a trip to UNITY TOUR for 311!!! My brother and I go to this concert every year… it’s our summer tradition. This year Slightly Stoopid opened the show and it was great. Here is a collection of my favorite photos of the night. I ❤ Nick Hexum. I also love how he’s wearing all white, so in the pictures he looks like he is glowing haha!

Slightly Stoopid


Two Concerts in One Week

As you might have deduced at this point in reading this blog, Mike and I go to a lot of concerts. Even before we got together, I have always loved music. I love music in a very different way than Mike though. I often joke with him that he is a “music snob”, but what I really mean by that is Mike appreciates music for its structure and components. He doesn’t even pay attention to lyrics, he thinks of the voice as another musical instrument. I, on the other hand, love music for the way it makes me feel. I can match music to any mood or situation. It brings me up, it winds me down. Since Mike and I started dated, we have gone to a TON of concerts together. In fact, I think the first thing we did together besides eat food was see Vieux Farka Toure at the 9:30 Club.

Last Tuesday night, Mike and I embarked on our “July Date Night” to see Wilco at Wolf Trap. Public Service Announcement: if you’ve never seen a show at Wolf Trap, do yourself a favor and go! It’s an excellent venue out in Vienna, Va that allows you to bring a picnic with you… including booze! What other venue on the planet let’s you bring your own alcohol?? Most other venues include your choice of an $9 Miller Lite or a $15 margarita that will give me a hangover by the end of the show (it happened to me once… Rihanna, August 2010, it was not pretty). Don’t have a car? NO WORRIES. Wolf Trap runs shuttles from the nearest metro (West Falls Church on the Orange Line) on concert nights.

We arrived at 7 to enjoy a picnic dinner of leftover tuna noodle casserole (it was excellent cold… score!), veggies / hummus, fruit and, of course, wine!

Lee Ranaldo (of Sonic Youth) opened and then Wilco took the stage. Wilco was a great band to see at a venue like Wolf Trap… upbeat enough to keep you interested but chill enough to enjoy while laid out on a blanket in the grass. (I saw BB King at Wolf Trap summer of 2010, also excellent music for this type of venue)

And if Tuesday’s concert wasn’t enough, Mike and his brother Dave picked me up from the train station on Sunday night (I was returning from Philly) and we drove out to Merriweather Post Pavilion for yet another concert. This concert was totally different than Wilco. We had general admission tickets, which I have traditionally always referred to as “pit tickets”. Pit tickets are ideal if you’re going to a lively, upbeat show where you are trying to get your groove on. This certainly fit the bill. Sleigh Bells opened the show and they totally rocked.

After Sleigh Bells, we took full advantage of the mass exodus to the bathroom / beer vendors and pushed our way all the way to the front of the crowd until we were one person off the gate for Hot Chip! They were totally different than Sleigh Bells, which was a really fun change. I danced my pants off… obviously.

Pretty sweaty post-show but very happy 🙂

In other news, these are not pants. Don’t ever leave the house wearing something like this.

Friday Favorites

Finally gave up on Jazz in the Sculpture Garden to find a place where drinks can be purchased without 30 minute lines. Elephant and Castle is it… and a Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat Hefeweizen

Final softball game of the summer… Evan, Bryan, Sarah, Sarah, and Me! Post coming soon about this amazing group of people I have the honor of calling my teammates 🙂

Wilco at Wolf Trap (Post coming next week about our July date night!)

Lazy morning spent in bed snuggling with Fig. The towel is in the bed with us because Fig decided to be a real jerk and knock a full glass of water into my bed. I couldn’t stay mad for long 🙂

Here I am settling in for a late night at work and I get this notification on my phone from Facebook. RUDE.

My Week in Workouts:

Friday 7/13:

  • Rest Day

Saturday 7/14:

  • 10 Mile Long Run

Sunday 7/15:

  • Rest Day

Monday 7/16:

  • 3 mile Run
  • 75 Minute Level 2 Hot Power Yoga Class

Tuesday 7/17:

  • 60 Minute Cardio / Strength Intervals Class

Wednesday 7/18:

  • Speed Workout [Ladder:  800M (10K pace, 400M recovery); 400M (5K pace, 200M recovery); 200M (>5K pace, 30-second recovery); 1000M (10K pace).  Rest 3-4 minutes.  Repeat set.]

Thursday 7/19: 

  • 60 Minute Cardio / Strength Intervals Class

Bonnaroo Day 3 – Final Summation

Hope you all enjoyed your weekends! Here we are for the final day of Bonnaroo recaps. After this I promise we’ll get back to regular posts about lactic thresholds and fartleks and all that other fun stuff. OK! So when I last left you I had just danced my pants off at Skrillex well into the night. It was probably after 5 am by the time I went to bed (UNHEARD OF for me for those who know me well). Everyone was so beat from Saturday, the whole camp slept until 10:30 am (also UNHEARD OF for me). When people started emerging from their tents there definitely looked to be some fallen soldiers. It has also rained over night so everything was wet and damp and markedly more dreary than the previous morning. We started off with coffee and then Ben made everyone a hot breakfast of eggs and corned beef hash (which I am told you can find in the “canned meats” section of the supermarket. I had no idea such a section even existed but I might brave it to go after corned beef hash. Unfortunately, I glanced at the nutrition facts and almost cried so we’ll see). We lazed around camp well into the afternoon. The on and off rain wasn’t inspiring anyone to run into Centeroo any earlier than necessary. We had planned to go in early and do Splash-a-Roo (the giant waterslide) but it was too cold for that now.

Mike and I finally got our butts in gear to head into Centeroo to see Ben Folds Five. I was pretty excited to see them playing together (I kind of thought they broke up… did I imagine that? Maybe I did). They played a really fun set and we did a fair amount of singing along.

After Ben Folds Five we wandered over to the What Stage to see Bon Iver. My charming story about Bon Iver is that I was pronouncing it TOTALLY wrong for a while (think like the most American way you can pronounce it) and Mike never corrected me. When I finally learned that it was French I was pretty embarrassed! None the less, excellent show. I may have dozed for a bit on the lawn. It’s perfect music to have a feist.

The rest of the group was hoping to make it in for Bon Iver, but it didn’t happen for them. They decided to save us a spot for Phish while Mike and I went to a couple other shows we wanted to see. Unfortunately, two shows we really wanted to see were playing at the EXACT same time slot so we had to split our time. We headed over to the That Tent to see Fun.(. It’s really hard to punctuate my writing when the band’s name include punctuation!) Amy hadn’t gotten a chance to see them in Santa Fe the previous week because the show was cancelled so I took a video of “All Alone” for her. I wanted to take one of “Some Nights” (which apparently is her fav) but they didn’t play it in the time we were there. They were so good. I am loving them right now. Listening to their albums over and over and over.

After seeing the first half of Fun. we went over to catch the second half of The Shins on the Which Stage. I, like many people I am sure, was pretty interested in The Shins once Natalie Portman said they would change your life in Garden State (I grew up in New Jersey so this movie was like my autobiography… well not really. But I really liked it a lot).

After the Shins we reunited with the group back at What Stage for Phish. The rain was coming down pretty steadily now and luckily the others had gotten a picnic table under a tent to watch the show. I’ve never seen Phish before and had been hearing pretty much all weekend how if I’ve never seen them live I “just don’t get it”. I was hoping to get it after this show. I enjoyed their show a lot. They even brought out Kenny Rogers at one point (though I did see one guy having a freaking out saying “He’s trying to be Jerry!!! You just don’t DO THAT!!!!”… omg, hippie meltdown). The rain put a slight damper on the show and I wasn’t able to get any clear pictures (sorry… I tried but they’re all super blurry). So instead here’s pictures of Mike and I in our rain gear.

Jam bands are definitely really entertaining though, so I’m glad I got to see them! After Phish, we headed back to camp and I called it a Bonnaroo.

Final Lessons Learned:

  1. It’s possible to do Bonnaroo on a tight budget. I decided to consider this my “vacation” for the summer and even though tickets are expensive (I ended up paying a little under $300), I was able to swing a really fun vacation on a pretty small budget. In addition to the ticket, I spent about $100 on other supplies we needed and about $70 while I was there. This was doable because I ate most meals at the campsite (I only bought maybe 1 meal per day in Centeroo) and I don’t really drink much. I imagine if you wanted to be drinking a lot in Centeroo, it would be harder to maintain a budget.
  2. Prepare for all kinds of weather, not just excessive heat. Yes, it is normally really hot at Bonnaroo. So all of us brought minimal clothing. But this year, it was unseasonably cool and I spent most nights wishing I had brought a pair of pants. THANKFULLY I did bring a sweatshirt and a blanket for our tent.
  3. Rain didn’t ruin Bonnaroo quite like I thought it would. It’s amazing how you roll with stuff in these kinds of situations. I just swapped my flip flops for the junky slip ons I bought (which might actually be my new favorite pair of shoes… unclear), threw on my rain jacket and I was good to go.

Final Summation: Over the course of three days and three nights, I saw nineteen amazing shows. I loved everything about this experience. I would LOVE to go back again next year and I definitely want to try out some other music festivals too. Ok, time to stop basking in my post-Bonnaroo glow and get back to the real world. Later gators 😀

Bonnaroo Recap – Day 2!

My most sincere apologies to you my blog-o-sphere comrades… I missed my first daily blog post! I could bore you with the details of my insanely busy week and my 24-hour migraine that followed it but I’ll just say that I missed you! Here we are though… Bonnaroo Day 2!!!

Even though the heat wasn’t as oppressive this year as I hear it has been in past years, everyone was pretty much up and around the campsite by about 7:30 am. We bummed around for a little bit, found a place to get iced coffees, cleaned up a bit, and then got down to business for the day. We spent the remainder of the morning hanging around camp, playing cards, and yes, breaking into our beer supply (annnddd a bottle of moonshine that one of the guys brought… gross).

By early afternoon everyone was ready for a feist but I was ready to GO! I wanted to get into Centeroo and explore before our first show of the day. Mike and I decided to break off from the group and go in first. The plan was to meet up with everyone at the Flogging Molly show… but more on that later. Off exploring we went, splashing around in the fountain, watching all the girls with their hula hoops (am I the only one who didn’t know this was a thing??), and perusing the shops.

Then we headed over to the “That Tent” to line up early for Flogging Molly. I really wanted to get up closer and in the crowd for this show. They were unbelievable. The crowd got pretty rowdy too. Not the wildest pitt I’ve ever seen in my life, but it’s been a couple years since I’ve been in a proper mosh pitt.

After the Flogging Molly show we realized we were in a pickle. We hadn’t met up with everyone before the show, Mike’s phone wasn’t working at all so he left it back at the campsite, and I had no one’s phone numbers. We had a general idea of the shows everyone wanted to see that day, but trying to find a group of people in these crowds was almost impossible. We decided to go about our afternoon and hope for the best. We headed over to What Stage for Santigold, who totally rocked. I also had a minor feist in the middle of her show. It was necessary.

After Santigold, we headed into the Where Cafe to catch Jukebox the Ghost. My brother insisted that we check them out since he was friendly with their drummer. They were great. They just released a new album this week too… so check them out!

Then we popped back out to the What Stage for The Roots. We also grabbed a bite to eat and discussed our predicament. The sun was going down soon and the likelihood of finding everyone once it got dark was even worse.

We knew that everyone wanted to see Dispatch at the Which Stage, so we figured this was the best place to find them. We headed over and while scanning the crowd right in front of the stage I saw an excessively tall man in a blue t-shirt and a white bandana. OMG It’s BEN and KRISTYN! I took off running through the crowd (like an idiot). We weren’t able to get all the way up to them, but we caught their attention and arranged a meeting spot for right after the show. They didn’t know where the rest of the guys were either, but at least we had found some part of our group. Woo hoo! We settled back and enjoyed the show from a pretty awesome spot.

Then during Dispatch, a Bonnaroo miracle happened. I happened to turn around to say something to Mike and I caught a glimpse of a group of guys walking out of the crowd. I recognized some pretty unique hats and literally screamed “OMG IT’S THEM!!!”. Before Mike even knew what happened, I tore out of the crowd after them. Hooray the group was reunited!!! We met up with Ben and Kristyn post-Dispatch and all moved over towards What Stage for the Saturday night headliner, The Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was hard to get a good picture at night but I loved RHCP! They were my favorite headliner by far. Plus there were FIREWORKS after (ok so there were fireworks after every headliner)

Finally, tonight was the night we had all been waiting for. Skrillex was playing a set starting at 1:30 am and I had been preparing all day for it. I’ve literally never seen Mike so excited for anything (it may have also been helped by the flask of whiskey the guys were passing around). They were… AMAZING. Mike, DW, and I literally danced our pants off. I gathered one million light sticks (I was finding them in our tent all weekend) and kept sticking them in all my clothing. DW found a sweet light saber on the ground too… ground score!

BEST NIGHT EVER. Ok so this post has now gotten really long so I’m going to save my final lessons learned from Bonnaroo for the Day 3 Recap. Hope you’re all having an amazing weekend 🙂 Tell your dad you love him!!

Bonnaroo Recap – Day 1!

I have so much to say about my Bonnaroo experience, I thought it best to split it up by day so I don’t end up with some huge mega post that no one actually reads. So ok, here goes nothing!

The Roo Crew: Me, Mike, DW, Jack, Matt, Ben, Kristyn, and Joe (not pictured sadly). These are all Mike’s friends, one of their wives (who is awesome), and another guy’s cousin. Basically, there isn’t a better Roo Crew around. Matt and DW have both been to Roo before, so we relied on them to show up the ropes.

Mike and I drove to meet up with everyone at Roanoke on Thursday night. Ben and Kristyn were awesome and allowed us to crash at their house. We consolidated all our stuff into Ben’s “old man Buick” and drove down together first thing Friday morning. So actually… Ben drove and Kristyn and I slept

We left at about 7 am and arrived at Roo at approximately 2 pm. These guys had the right idea arriving Friday because there was NO line to get into the camping area, including car inspection and wrist band scanning. We set up camp, had a celebratory beer (or two) and headed into Centeroo.

First up was Two Door Cinema Club in the “This Tent”. I’ve not listened to them a bunch, but the guys love them so I was excited. They were AWESOME. I will definitely be listening to them more in the future.

Then we headed over to the main stage (The “What Stage” to be precise) for The Avett Brothers, who are awesome. I really enjoy “January” live.

Then over to the “Which Stage” (the second main stage) to see Feist. Then all the guys promptly passed out on the lawn. This lead all us to refer to napping as “Feisting” or “having a Feist” for the remainder of the weekend (and hopefully the rest of our lives). If someone was tired, they were “feeling Feisty”.

We headed back to the “This Tent” for Ludacris, where I shook my moneymaker but sadly received no paper. We all discussed later how few of his own songs Ludacris actually has. The majority of his set was him singing his portion of other popular songs along with a recording. It was still extremely entertaining though, and I have no complaints.

After this we took a quick break and popped back to our campsite.

Everyone had a few refreshments before heading back into Centeroo for the evening’s festivities. We caught Foster the People at the Which Stage, and they were so much better in person than I expected!

Finally, it was time to head back to the What Stage for the Friday night headliner Radiohead. Here we made our first rookie Roo mistake and totally misnavigated the overwhelming crowds. We were promptly all separated, not to be reunited again until the end of the night. Mike and I stuck together and once we settled into a good chill watching spot, I really enjoyed it. I am admittedly not the biggest Radiohead fan in the world, but they put on a great live show.

After Radiohead, I needed to get my dance on something terrible. We wandered around a bit and I was drawn towards the “This Tent” by a recording of Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”. We realized that Major Lazer was just about to start so we grabbed our glow sticks and proceeded to get our groove on.

Let me just say that Bonnaroo at night is like raver’s paradise.

We wandered around a bit more and caught approximately 45 seconds of this belly dancing performance before deciding to call it a night. I was FEISTY!

Lessons Learned from Roo Day 1:

  • There is no way to keep your feet from getting completely disgusting. Just let it happen.
  • No one was kidding when they said it was super important to drink a ton of water and wear a ton of sunscreen. All of us were really good about it, which made for a much more pleasant Roo experience.
  • Beers are $7 in Centeroo. WOW. Consequently I did little drinking in Centeroo. We had beer at our campsite, but for the most part I just didn’t drink a ton, which was totally fine by me (I’m not a HUGE drinker anymore anyways).
  • As you walk around, you’ll see people with bandanas over their face “bank robber” style. You will only think this is weird until you blow your nose and see what comes out… gross.
  • Roo is basically the most amazing place on the planet. I was in love with it from the moment we arrived, it is like a completely different universe.

Disclaimer: I understand there are stereotypes about the kinds of activities that occur at music festivals. I will not comment on anything I saw, but I will clearly state here that I do not and did not use any illegal substances of any kind

Songs I’m Craving

Hey all! I’m on my way home from Bonnaroo right now. Can’t wait to tell you all about it!! But obviously I’ve had music on the brain. Do you have songs that really get you going when you’re working out?? I know I do. I read articles all the time about how “real runners” don’t run with music. Forget that noise… I love running with music!! It let’s me get out of my own head for a little bit (and trust me, if you were in here all the time… you’d want a vacation too!). I feel like I workout longer and with more intensity if I have the right music… it may not be science, it may not be fact, but it’s what works for me.

One of the number one things people are always asking me for is recommendations for music to listen to while exercising. I taught spinning at my University’s gym all through college and after and, not to honk my own horn or anything, but people loved my music! It’s the first thing I evaluate after trying a new spinning instructor. People wanna hear great jams that really get them moving!

I thought I’d put together some songs that I love for working out to share with you guys! I have REALLY eclectic taste in music so hopefully there is something here for everyone. Hope you enjoy!!

Other songs I love in list form:

Coheed and Cambria – Bye, Bye Beautiful

Less than Jake – Surrender

Kevin Rudolph – I Made It

Carrie Underwood – Cowboy Cassanova

Shinedown – If You Only Knew

Finger Eleven – Paralyzer

Trapt – Headstrong

Cobra Starship – Good Girls Go Bad

Mann – Buzzin’

Gym Class Heros – The Queen and I

LMFAO – Sexy and I Know It AND Sorry For Party Rockin

Flo Rida – Wild Ones

The Wanted – Glad You Came

Breathe Carolina – Blackout

Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

Willow Smith – Whip My Hair

Pink – U and Ur Hand

La Roux – Bulletproof

311 – India Ink

New Boyz – Backseat

Linkin Park – Breaking the Habit AND Somewhere I Belong

Destiny’s Child – Survivor

Christina Aguilera – Dirty