top of page
Anchor 1


Anchor 2
  • Writer's pictureamanda

2023 Unwrapped

I can’t believe I’m back this year only to share my thoughts on Spotify's 2023 Wrapped (among other media). I would say this year was pretty eventful, so I didn't have time to write. But the truth is that I did write quite a bit! It was bits and pieces of different content - including a nutrition guide for travel, a part 2 for my “How Do I Flourish” 2020 post, and a creative little story as part of Nanowrimo in November. All unfinished projects that I’m proud to have started.

I always love reflecting on the media I’ve consumed each year because all of it is such a big part of my life, impacting everything from work to my worldview. So here’s the recap I’m sure you all have been yearning for:


Joy Crookes

I began the new year studying to take the GMAT. 11 months later and I feel like it was a blip in my life. Of course stressful throughout, but I actually enjoyed it. I’m not sure how to describe that I like studying?? Give me a topic and a book to read and I will write a report.

A big motivation I used throughout the study period was listening to Joy Crookes and thinking about London. I’ve wanted to live there from sometime in middle school when I began consuming a lot of British content like Skins, The Inbetweeners, One Direction. It’s an interesting place I want to call home for a period. And to go and just study sounds like the best time. 

What I like about Joy Crookes’ music is that it's real and comments on the not so great parts of London. I believe I would be miserable for a time if I moved there while I build a community. I’ve come back around to listening this fall as it’s become a little chilly and the world has become more bleak.


I love music where you have to listen for a bit before identifying the language. Stromae reminds me why I learned French for years. It’s so beautiful, but the pressure of school/learning took away some of my love for the language, but I’m glad I’m back to appreciating it. I immediately identified the Brazilian Bahia influence in a single called Santé from his latest album release. I think in general he’s the best ‘global’ artist given his blend of genres. 

Keke Palmer on Las Culturistas

Say less.


I titled this month’s playlist ‘Late But Still Made It’ so clearly my giving myself grace era.

Japanese rock opera. What the heck!! So good. Animation is my favorite genre of art. What I loved about this is that it speaks to the real way we treat those with disabilities and ignore them instead of encouraging their passions. It led me and Conor to give into some Japanese rock which is where Skiffle Song became one of my favorites.

Renee Rapp and Alyah Chanelle Scott on Las Culturistas

Again I don't think more needs to be said.


Bro, I don’t even know about this one. Their songs just hit at this specific time in my life. This is a Mexican American family band from Washington state. They’re young, they are figuring out how to deal with press and fame and we need to give them that grace. Especially because they sing in Spanish, the Latin market is tough on them, not totally understanding that they grew up in the US, a culture that is different than they might expect from these artists. Anyways, icons. 


This is not media-related, but it is the most important part of this month. We fostered a puppy and I hated it but loved it so much. I get teary eyed when I think about Tako Ferreira. It's hilarious that dogs take your last name but also they’re family !! He just brought me so much joy. Plus, I love taking walks - a  big motivator to getting a pet for me. Dogs are truly a godsend. GOD DOG - you can’t tell me they’re not connected (a joke).

Pantone 17 13 30 by Yuna

This song is good for two reasons: the actual music itself and because it reminds me of Brooklyn 99, when Holt describes the pantone color of a bird to Kevin. I started rewatching this show recently because I’ve seen New Girl too much. As I’m writing this, I’m also mourning the loss of the iconic Andre Braugher. First celeb death I’ve cried about possibly?

Love that I haven’t talked about this song at all, so continuing that trend another sitcom I rewatched this year - How I Met Your Father. Why the fuck did they cancel. if you’re going to commit to a spin off, you have to commit to a story end!!


I discovered Yendry on the Colors Studio Instagram, but my love for her was solidified even further as she came up on more Latin Pop playlists as I also became heavy in love with Karol G’s latest album. 



After regrouping/approaching studying in a new way after the initial GMAT exam I shockingly did much better the second time around although the entire experience was more stressful than the first!! You get your score as you complete the exam, but I had to wait for my final result because they needed to review my test footage. After all, it was truly that horrendous of an experience. I blame them for updating their software on the same day as my exam!! 

What I appreciated about my GMAT journey was that I didn't give up on the other parts of life, anything I wanted to do - I’d study for long blocks on weekends. I watched the Coachella performances at night. SO ON COACHELLA

I watched Bad Bunny, Rosalia, and Black Pink. The first two I have seen clips of them performing so their sets weren’t unexpected to me. But Black Pink. Geez, that production value. Insane drone show to start it off. Constant dancing, talent! Charisma (rizz as the kids call it but also a term I would like to be in the lexicon in the long term). They show their stage personas in Typa Girl as they have their individual moments.

Ok, so post-GMAT one of the first assignments I gave myself was to watch several videos of Le Sserafim. After watching Black Pink perform and wanting to learn more about the group's members, I looked to do the same with the first K-pop group I’ve been listening to for the past year. I claimed Kazuha as my favorite because she was a professional dancer, but I quickly just loved it all. Again I know it’s them but they also have to have some on-stage/vlog persona.

Normal Gossip 

In the spring my perfect Sunday was: Wake up early ~8, exercise or stretch, drive to the farmers market, walk around, make breakfast with some new ingredients, go on a coffee walk, come home to nap, craft or puzzle, and make dinner with more farmers market ingredients.

The Farmers Market episode featuring ‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ icon Samin Nosrat was the first episode I listened to from this podcast because my sister recommended it. I love the farmers market because there is a strong sense of community and with that comes great gossip. This one is about 3 college roommates all working the stand together and a love triangle interest at a rival stand. It’s the perfect tension.

Also watching:

  • Awkwafina is Nora from Queens: An amazing wrap-up season

  • Grand Crew: Constantly rewatching

  • Survivor: Every week. Season 44 is worth the watch.



Rosalia US press tour around Coachella. I watched her Hot Ones interview and a few others that all featured Rauw. I’m still not over their break up what the heck!!! Seriously the RR EP is an amazing blend of music and I know Rosalia as a producer Did!! That!!  Now I’m rooting for Selena Gomez and Benny Blanco because they both seem wholesome and I love love so any breakups upset me. One moment I won't forget about was how Rosalia said her most difficult job was singing in a restaurant. I’ll never take that talent for granted.


Ok but actually the only important media that was consumed in May was Harvey Guillén on Las Culturistas. Faves.

Another highlight was getting dinner and the restaurant having a spoken word night with incredible poets! Truly such a special space. This brings me to appreciating Vibe Check featuring my favorite pop culture podcast host Sam Sanders, Poet Saeed Jones, and journalist Zach Stafferd. Saeed will share poems almost every episode and it is so fun to have a little bit of that every week. I subscribe to the poem of the day newsletter but I appreciate the audio inserted in something I've already created a habit to do.

Vibe Check is Las Culturistas mixed with NPR news/opinion pieces. It’s genuinely beautiful the intentionality of the topics that they prepare to speak about and it keeps me informed. Love that they often if not always cite their sources too. The latest episode of Modern Scriptures hit.


Bucket List

This year I slightly regressed to being a 13-year-old and creating a summer bucket list. I just love setting up some goals for myself in distinct timelines. This one was mostly fun things I already expected to do in the summer, so just for my own amusement 

It was a way to put all of the excitement I had in my head down on paper. If there is anything I love, it’s creating a goal and working towards it. Sometimes the journey to reach the goal is extremely stressful (i.e. Nanowrimo writing a novel in a month), but extremely rewarding (hey, it motivated me to write this post). Other times it’s amazing throughout and once it’s done, when I believe I’m going to feel the pinnacle of my happiness, I crash in the opposite direction. 

Some of my highlights:

  • Beat the boys in Canasta: My sister and I were beating them non stop so this one was easy to cross the list (I cannot say the same now in December as they’ve kicked our butts the past 2 times we’ve played).

  • Finish Pokémon or crochet mimikyu: As much as I’d love a mimikyu mini plush, it's not something I will be making myself. However, I played through my first Pokémon game and I had a blast. Violet will always have meaning to me. If the game didn’t have mimikyu I probably would have skipped

  • Flan tour: I’m so excited to take a moment to talk about my flan ratings:

Conor kicked off #flantour2023 for me by buying 4 different flans for my birthday. Get you someone who knows you need flan ASAP!!

  1. Crème Caramel - those 4 flans (I'll need to order again to rank but flavors were Thai tea, Ube, Mango, and regular + we added dolce de leche)

  2. Nata’s Portuguese bakery in Studio City - somehow I have not seen flan again since!! It was extremely good and reminded me of my dad growing up (although he would say it's not flan instead is Brazilian pudding (I disagree, yet haven't looked at recipes to compare)

  3. Santa Barbara - an orange flavor!

  4. Northgate, Mercado, Pampas tied for last - two of the three in Culver City and the west side just doesn’t have as good Mexican/Latin, I need to try more spots on the east side


Look at you: June favorite. Honestly getting older makes me even more myself?? So the first time I heard this was live when she opened for Earthgang in Jan 2020?? I was surprised by the amount of genuine energy and confidence that was unmatched.

Catalyst II: Her verses are so well written. This is poetry. I love her. This may be the longest song I have on this list and I could still listen to it any time. I remember showing my sister this song and she did not react lol

Some of my favorite parts:

Turned up last night, drive the boat, I'm Mrs. Puff


My parents gave me this name, I can't be losing

They call me "Wynne" but "The G.O.A.T." is my pseudonym

But I can't add 'em like Wednesday

My schedule is busy, haven't seen inside of my friends place in months

But got time to kiss on your girl in a French way

That's tough, bro

Stop watching Endgame, my love, and go buy a bedframe

Committed to learning Portuguese to be conversational!! Except I keep forgetting that I need to actually practice and not just enjoy the music in the background of doing other things…like I am listening to one of their songs at the moment.

This memory is so vivid to me for whatever reason - one day when we were going to get Ginny’s ice cream (best) my sister showed me this song and I loved it!! This is probably when I started to piece together who Ana Vitoria was because I had listened to scattered songs. I knew Lagume, similar to how I know Silva and they both always collaborate with different women singers. So I guess they were the ones that introduced me which is great because I’d love to see all three live.

Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a movie twice in theaters. I’ve tried to, but I’ve either fallen asleep or had to leave for lightheadedness. Spiderverse was one that I could have gone to see 10 more times. I also watched it on the plane to Brasil with Conor - using all 3 screens in our row perfectly (but not really) in sync. I've seen the first at home multiple times, and never getting sick of it. Rewatching the first at home after watching the second was interesting because I picked up on the seeded moments throughout. Like the spider that bit Miles, to begin with - It was constantly twitching in the same way characters do when they’re not in their original worlds. The green/purple tones turn into blue/red.

There was one other movie this month that made me feel like rewatching it multiple times -Nimona. Again animation is unique and the story to me is so impactful. The way it captures often how minorities are treated is; they’re given a chance and need to talk about their background and be a role model to everyone all of the time, instead of being asked more thoughtful questions about themselves. They are often set up for failure. And once there is failure there is backlash or general setbacks in the progress of being a more inclusive society. 



One year since the renaissance album release and I still love it. Decided I will pay whatever cost to see her. I only saw her in Sept but July is when I was listening the most honestly blessed that I was able to be in that room. It was a bit of a blur - like  a feeling I totally expect at my own wedding because it is that fulfilling and exciting lol

I also went through listening to her whole discography and ranked them along with creating a dream setlist, see below the incomplete notes which were going to be their post (and one day it may happen).

What I love is that each album is a curated work of art, not a ton of singles released before. For the most part, she leads a private life, a good inner circle, and lack of interest in publicizing her family. Her albums are a way to look into her life and passion at each of her life stages.

Album Rankings


  • Just a release of frustration

  • Hearing her voice mature is gold

  • Mid 2010s alt-rock era



  • Creating a safe space

  • Following while creating culture

  • An amazing use of sampling

4.B’Day (Delux)

  • Shakira!!

5.Dangerously in Love

  • Crazy in love 

6.I am…Sasha Fierce

  • Full of slow ballads - Halo 

  • Single ladies! A moment


  • Not going to lie, I don’t care for Love on Top

  • Honestly all albums are great so it’s not like this one is horrible, just last

Set list: Made it one night and haven’t reviewed since

Part I

  • I’m that girl

  • Single ladies

  • Me myself and I

  • Who run the world (transition)

  • Flawless

Part II

  • Green light

  • Countdown

  • crazy in love

  • XO

  • Dangerously in love

  • Drunk in love

  • Partition

  • Get me bodied

  • Cozy

Part III

  • If I were a boy

  • I care

  • Irreplaceable

  • halo

Part IV

  • Hold up

  • Don’t hurt yourself

  • Ring the alarm (transition)

  • Beautiful liar

Part IV.5 - Kendrick features 

  • América has a problem

  • Freedom

Part V

  • Summer renaissance

  • Virgos groove x blow

  • Energy

  • Alien superstar


  • Past Lives: I think about this film frequently. Getting the award love it deserves.

  • Joy Ride: Not enough hype. Made me laugh and cry 

  • Star Trek Strange New Worlds: Sporadic episodes like the Lower Decks cross over because I love Tawny Newsome and the musical episode because that sounded fun. I’m a fan. 

  • The Witcher: Extremely disappointing :(



It would be criminal not to speak about Barbie. Speed Drive by Charli XCX is the one song I listened to the most from the album. I loved the movie, primarily because of all of the hype and spotlight it’s giving America Ferrera who is an ICON and legend. I’m so happy for her. As far as music, Charli gave me the perfect pop bop. She also composed the soundtrack for Bottoms, which is my new Mean Girls. The new era of high school comedy, but what’s great is that it bends a few different genres in one, telling a compelling story while remaining light and entertaining. It’s perfect and speaks of someone else being given the hype they deserve - Ayo Edebiri is killing it.

Back to Barbie, after coming home from seeing the film (in Century City no less) I watched a movie on my watchlist called Boy, written and featuring Taika Watiti. It was a very different vibe, about a boy with a deadbeat dad (Taika) who he idealizes, so much so that the boy frames his dad in a Michael Jackson music video moment. It’s earnest while heart-wrenching. Balanced.

Black Pink

I was surprised when they weren’t at the top of my Spotify Wrapped. It took me recently to turn on YouTube, watch Cher on Chicken Shop Date and then spiral into watching multiple Black Pink music videos and live performances. The next morning I watched even more clips on Instagram. I could not stop watching after the Coachella live performance. I was so upset that they came to LA one week before the Beyoncé concert and I couldn’t justify paying for another expensive show. But I’m not sad anymore because they renewed their record label contract and I will see them one day !!

I liked this month’s playlist so linking below:


  • This Fool: Chris and Frankie are hilarious. Clyde and Clyde forever.

  • One Piece: so good. All the hype is earned.


I attended my first concert with Brasilian artists this month. I was listening to a lot of Ana Vitoria this year and I’m so grateful my sister bought these tickets. I went in only knowing what my mom briefly told me - these girls are hippies. They sat down for the entire show, barefoot, in the most comfortable matching sets. Their calming energies activated a sense of gratitude for being in the room that night. It taught me that although I care about fashion, they value comfort while looking great. Which means I will be purchasing a million more Vuori pieces. 

Doja Cat is problematic but her VMAs performance is unforgettable.

Started my wedding playlist (scream face)

I also finally listened to Janelle Monáe’s latest release: The Age of Pleasure. Fluid throughout, stunning. You have to listen to it in one go. It’s perfectly created and the interludes link perfectly. My favorite lines come at the end of Float. It is a toast between friends:


Anytime I travel I make the longest playlists assuming I will be listened to every minute of the flight. I always end up watching TV instead. For this trip to Brazil, the first in 10 years, I went back through some past playlists since I began using Spotify around that time. The one album I associate with that last trip to Brazil is Paramore’s self-titled. Ain’t it Fun and Lat Hope resonated with where I was at that moment. 

Some Brazil highlights:

  • Celebrating with family in São Paulo

  • Conor and I at Parque das Aves - where you walk through aviaries, it was so cool. 

  • How trees in Curitiba were all mini-ecosystems, large trunks would be filled with orchids, ferns, pothos, and bromeliads. It was amazing to see the unique combinations especially given I never see that in LA. This is actually the only reason humidity is okay - solely for the flora.

Emmy for best rom-com on TV right now. It’s so beautiful. Again Taika balances that quirky humor and spotlights the heart of the story throughout. Rhys Darby is also incredible. As well as the entire cast who have dynamic queer storylines!! 

I was in a meeting recently when someone mentioned that they want to spotlight Native talent or favorite franchises outside of Westerns because that is the stereotype they are given, or the only time period they are portrayed in the media. It’s obvious to me now, but like duh. From my pov, it’s the same with Latino drug cartel series. 

Also unrelated, but connected to Taika Watiti. I saw him make a speech at one of those Hollywood trades media DEI events and it had several tangents, yet I followed it all. I didn’t agree with it all, but I understand his perspective given his background, just as I have my way of viewing the multicultural content space. Some moments that stuck out to me:

“It's just seeing different faces that's all. And I will just leave you with this idea. Stop asking us what to do and how to fix things all right. I'm so tired of this. I'm so tired of this diversity conversation, inclusivity conversation, all the conversations. All of us want to be working and not having to come and do panels and speeches in the middle of our day. This is a great thing. it's good that we're talking about it we have to keep talking about it, but this is the shit you got us doing.”

"I don't want to see one token Polynesian character in your show. That's just weird and you know unless it makes sense what I want to see is a fully Polynesian controlled Polynesian story that's written by and show run by. Okay don't give us a white showrunner to tell us the rules and tell us how to do things let us figure it out and let us figure out the structure of the story in our own."

America Ferrera also had an amazing Elle profile written recently. She’s been winning every women-focused or Latina media award this year, being covered in magazine spreads. It’s an insane press tour she’s been on. Highly recommend reading it all, but here are some nuggets.

“What I continue to wish for my career, and women’s careers and people of color’s careers, is that we don’t have to exist inside of these boxes or these lanes—that we don’t have to be relegated to represent just the thing that the culture wants us to represent,” she says. “I want to be more of who I am as a person, and to get to make art that doesn’t fit into any of the boxes and isn’t about the dominant conversation people have wanted to have about me because I’m a woman who doesn’t fit into stereotypical Hollywood.” 

“If I’m creatively empowered as an artist, then I have the freedom to decide I’m going to make the movie about rocks, or about birds, or about a space that has nothing to do with my experience as a Latina. Not that there’s anything wrong with those stories—I’ve told those and I will continue to tell those—but freedom is being able to follow your artistic impulses that are not bound by whatever labels we’ve been attached to our whole lives.”


Coming back home from Brasil, Halloween weekend, and daylight savings put my body out of whack. I was tired all month, but a different tired than before. I decided to embrace this hibernation season. I started puzzling again, getting in my PJs at 5pm, Reading a book before bed, sleeping in in the morning, and most importantly making soup!!

Thanksgiving was special this year, I spent it with family and my nephew, Sim. Most importantly, I got my family invested in Survivor so they continued watching without me. I’ve never been so proud.

Survivor became the reality series for me this year. Season 44 was solid with great new players. Before then, I watched the first 8 seasons throughout the pandemic and then began watching top-ranked seasons. game changers season 34 and Parvati’s season 16. I’m now passing these seasons along to my family to encourage them to watch.

We took some engagement photos and I continued to add to the wedding playlist. Recently I’ve been getting into 80s music, watching Milli Vanilli’s doc, Madonna, and Donna Summers docs. And I’m thinking it’s maybe because I want to add songs everyone will recognize but also that I enjoy.

As for music, Conor made a great Thanksgiving road trip playlist in addition to my monthly playlist which I became sick of towards the last week of the month. My playlist was also pretty good to be fair. Here are some of my favorites:

  • All-American bitch by Olivia Rodrigo: Finally in the mood for Olivia. I know she’s young and will give us amazing music, I just wasn’t in the mood for part 2 of Sour, but now reflecting on it, her songs are pretty short so it was a good strategy to continue with this sound.

  • Las Culturistas pointed out the line of “I know my age and I act like it” as her commentary to those who say she’s mature. Already loved the song and dissecting that lyric made me like it even more 

  • How Far We’ve Come by Matchbox 20: This is probably the first “band” I get up listening to. It was them and Beyonce growing up for me.  explain how much

  • Heather by Conan Gray: I forgot that I saw him last year because October was a blur from my sister's wedding, traveling to Madrid, and coming back to LA to see Conan before our engagement weekend in San Diego. I realize I definitely take live music for granted. It was an interesting show because I felt old, but I love that. Young concertgoers have good energy.


  • But I’m a Virgo

  • Rap Shit: Heard the writer on an episode of It’s Been a Minute hosted by Brittney Luse and loved


What I like about monthly playlists is that it's ok if they suck, because I'll just listen to a different playlist or delete songs and add new ones. I haven’t been listening to December’s

The one song that has been playing on repeat in my head is one from a children’s show Nanalam - about a grandma and her granddaughter Mona. Anyways, this clip is what got me hooked on this show and it brings me so much joy watching any clips from the show online.

This is my current second favorite video, “Are you mad? Are you a little sad too?” Extremely relatable.

On an office work day, we did some ice breakers and one was would you rather only be able to listen to 5 albums for the rest of your life, or to be able to watch 5 movies? My immediate and the only choice for myself is to only watch 5 movies for the rest of my life. Idk if there are also still shows to watch I don’t care about the movie piece as much as I care to have more music to listen to. So my lists for both options are below:

5 albums: Just not enough music TBH

  1. Motomami - Rosalia

  2. Lemonade - Beyonce

  3. Skin - Joy Crookes

  4. Paramore - Paramore

  5. Moulin Rouge - Movie soundtrack

5 Movies:

  1. Practical Magic: I rewatch at least once (ok twice) a year so this is given. I just love it. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman's Halloween movie! Love the original author Alice Hoffman

  2. Princess Diaries: I’ve been obsessed recently

  3. Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse

  4. Spirited Away

  5. Moulin Rouge: I keep thinking I need a musical, but I’m also good just listening to the entire album

This week I was in full Grinch more and didn’t care for the holiday season at all. I’ve never liked music or movies, but here is what I've been loving about December:

  • When I clean out my apartment and finally buy new pieces for my wardrobe. My sister also does this at the same time, meaning that my new wardrobe additions are at least a quarter hand-me-downs still. I can’t help it and she has great taste.

  • Celebrating/giving gratitude to friends and family

  • Listening to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

  • Crisp air in the morning and night, along with the perfect LA 70s mid-day.

  • Planning for 2024

Appendix: Books

If there was one thing missing throughout these months it's reading. I only read a handful, most from this list I created in Jan 2023. Thought I did ok:

  • Shadowglass (third/final book in the Bone Witch trilogy. They got better as you go and I recommend this series to EVERYONE)

  • The Poppy War (one scene stuck with me for weeks before I could pick it up again. War books are tough to read for me)

  • Convenience Store Woman (amazing short read)

  • Crying in the Bathroom (memoir by Erika Sánchez who wrote one of my all time favorite books I'm Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. Favorite read of the year)

  • Books that I started and have yet to finish: Suncatcher, Afterparties, Figuring

Until next year! 

bottom of page