Best Of 2015: All Things Not Books!

The past three years I brought you the best of all things NOT books and it was fun so I figured I’d do it again!

If you want to read all my best of books posts we’ve got:

End of Year Book Survey (my answers still to come)
Best 2015 Debuts
Best 2015 Releases
Best Backlist Books I Read In 2015
Most Underrated Books Of 2015

 

So let’s get to this:

best music 2013

10 Favorite 2015 Albums

(in no particular order)

best-albums-2015

This is so fun for me always because 1) I keep meticulous track of my music (a habit dating back to college before I had Spotify and things like that) and 2) because I keep track of it meticulously it’s SO easy to put this together.

[Keep Reading]

Best Of 2014: All Things Not Books!

The past two years I brought you the best of all things NOT books and it was fun so I figured I’d do it again! If you want to read all my best of books posts we’ve got:

End of Year Book Survey (my answers still to come)
Best 2014 Debuts
Best 2014 Releases (Non-Debuts)
Best Backlist Books I Read In 2014
Most Underrated Books Of 2014

 

So let’s get to this:

best music 2013

21 Favorite 2014 Albums

(in no particular order)

favorite-albums-2014

 

Taylor Swift – 1989: I have a long history with Taylor Swift’s music (I saw her at a very small venue when her first album hit which is crazy for me to think about considering how she sells out arenas) and have loved her for a long time. I’ve been nervous about her full descent into pop but I have to say that this album is perfection and I’m so pleased with her new sound and am impressed with how she’s been able to reinvent herself and having a blast doing it!

Hozier — Hozier: This makes me incredibly happy. You see, in my 2013 roundup I named Hozier’s EP as a favorite of the year and I was SO hoping the whole album would be fantastic and IT WAS!!
Broods – Evergreen: If you follow my Monthly Rewinds you know that Broods got listened to a lot by me. Every time a new single was released after their first one (I think it was Mother & Father I don’t know), I fell in love more..and the whole album is just fantastic!
Milky Chance – Sadnecessary: I know everyone fell in love with Stolen Dance when it came out as a single (rightly so I love it tooo) but my introduction to them was first with the song Down By The River and THAT was my pick from the EP rather than Stolen Dance when I highlighted them in my June Rewind — apparently I can’t pick the song that will be the most popular. That and Flashed Junk Mind are just as excellent as is the rest of the album so you should listen to it!

Sir Sly – You Haunt Me: They were excellent live as well and I got Will into them so THAT was a win for me! My favorite songs from the album: Gold, Ghost, & You Haunt Me.
Bleachers – Strange Desire: Okay, so I was reading this music blog I love and in February of this year they mentioned this song called I Wanna Get Better and I LOVED It. Then I add them to my Spotify list and read their bio and OMG HE IS THE GUY FROM FUN!! I didn’t realize he had a new side project so pretty much I stalked them for new singles and every one was SO GOOD. The full album? AWESOME. To be honest, I like Bleachers much better than FUN at this point! Saddest day when they came to Philly to play and I WAS ON VACATION.
Thumpers – Galore: I loved the two singles Unkinder (A Tougher Love) & Sound of Screams when they came out and then I really got into Marvel, The Wilder Wise and Now We Are Sixteen.
Twin Forks – Twin Forks: This album is so fun! I first got into them after hearing the song Back To You on Reign and then I waited impatiently for the full album!
Vance Joy – Dream Your Life Away: I first heard Vance Joy’s single From Afar last year and I freaking loved it and then 2014 became the year of Vance Joy for me because I listened to his music like no other. Getting to see him live was a highlight of my year and I’m excited he is opening for Taylor Swift when I see her this year!! (Favorite songs besides From Afar: Riptide, Mess Is Mine, Wasted Time, First Time)
Wild Cub – Youth: Okay so apparently this was originally released in 2012 but was re-released with more songs this year (I just found hear it this year) and was no longer a self-titled album. It is a band that Keegan DeWitt ( who I love) formed and it’s got a very 80’s feel I’ve gotta say. Fave songs: Thunderclatter, Wild Light, Colour, Wishing Well.
NONONO – We Are Only What We Feel: Last year I fell in love with their single Pumpin Blood (the acoustic version is great too) and then I kind of forgot about them until Spotify let me know their album was released. I was pleasantly surprised actually!! Fave songs besides Pumpin Blood: Jungle, One Wish, Hungry Eyes
Banks – Goddess: I feel like I named her EP as one of my favorites in this post last year.  I actually almost forgot to put her on this year because so many of these songs were in my 2013 playlist. I had to double check and I was like oh right…her album came out THIS year. Favorite songs: Waiting Game, Beggin For Thread, Change, Drowning, This Is What It Feels Like

Mary Lambert – Heart On My Sleeve: WHAT A BEAUTIFUL ALBUM!!! Her voice & those lyrics. I remember as soon as I heard Same Love by Macklemore I HAD to know who that voice was singing the “she keeps me warm” parts. Then I found out who she was and found out that that part was actually part of her song She Keeps Me Warm. And so I hit follow on Spotify and then this majestic album was released. Favorite songs: When You Sleep, Secrets, So Far Away & Wounded Animal.
Paul Otten – Welcome To Life: So I have a playlist called “FULL ALBUM, I NEED YOU” for all these artists I find that only have one or two songs and I’m dying for a full album. He pretty much was the reason I started this playlist despite having a backlist of music..I wanted his new stuff. Fave songs: I Got Your Back, I Can Wait, Who We Are, All the Stars (my all time fave song of his is Girl, You’re Alright but it’s not on this album)
The Colourist – The Colourist: This was another one on the “need a full album” playlist. I’ve featured them a lot on my Monthly recaps. Fave songs: Little Games, Tonight(Young Hearts), We Won’t Go Home, Wishing Well
Lucius – Wildewoman: I love their voices! Reminds me of a lot of the indiepop bands I used to love in college. Fave songs: Turn It Around, Tempest, Two Of Us On The Run, Until We Get There
MØ – No Mythologies To Follow: I actually found them originally because of their cover of Say You’ll Be There (yes the Spice Girls song) and then this album was delightful. Fave songs: Walk This Way, Never Wanna Know, Waste of Time, Slow Love

Jenny Lewis — The Voyager: Jenny Lewis is my queen. HS & College Jamie loved Rilo Kiley (RIP). More Adventurous was one of my favorite albums EVAH. I loved what she did with The Postal Service and also with The Watson Twins. Seriously, I cried when Will and I saw The Postal Service last year and I got to see my queen. LOVED this new album!
Bishop Allen – Time Flies: Their album Charmed School was my favorite when I heard it for the first time my freshman year in college. Almost 10 years later and I’m STILL smitten with these guys! Fave songs: Start Again, Skeleton Key, Crows, Why I Had To Go

Jukebox the Ghost – Jukebox the Ghost: I’ve liked them for a couple years now but I REALLY love this album. Fave songs: The Great Unknown, Postcard, Sound of A Broken Heart, Girl
Andrew McMahon – Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness: I first heard one of his songs on my local alternative radio station and became hooked! He’s coming here this winter and I want to see him! Fave songs: Cecilia and the Satellites , High Dive, Canyon Moon, Driving Through A Dream

 >>More choices on my Fave 2014 Albums<<

 

EPS/Singles I Loved:

The singles that Charles Williams has put out, Ryn Weaver’s Promises, Zella Day, Mighty Oaks EP, BØRNS EP, Eliza and the Bear EP, Little May EP, The Hunts EP, The new CVRCHES single!!!

Concerts I Went To:

I only went to two this year because MONEY but they were good ones.

1. Death Cab For Cutie — Will and I went to Atlantic City around Memorial Day and saw DCFC. They have been a favorite band of mine since high school (early 2000’s) and it was so nice to see them live again because the last time I did was college.

2. Radio 104.5 Block Party — Saw Grouplove, Sir Sly, Vance Joy, Wolf Gang, & Bricks + Mortar. This was so fun AND FREE…despite the fact it rained in the beginning so we were soaking wet for most of the show.


You can see more of my monthly music choices in my Monthly Rewinds

 

tv

Best shows I started watching this year (some long overdue & some new!) in addition to the shows I’m already watching (Parenthood, The Walking Dead, Revenge, The Voice, Nashville, Scandal etc.)

The 100: My favorite show out of EVERYTHING I watched this year and in a LONG time. The pilot is iffy and it took me a couple episodes to get OMG OBSESSED to the point I binge watched it all night and ignored Will! WATCH IT! Seriously..if you take ONE REC FROM ME…ONE…EVER…DO THIS!

How To Get Away With Murder: More Shonda Rhimes goodness (my Thursday night is all Shonda with Grey’s, Scandal and now this!). The storytelling is kind of jarring at first but it keeps me on the edge of my seat and Viola Davis is a BADASS. Thank you Shonda for all these kickass females you’ve given us!

The Killing: Will and I were late to this show and REALLY loved it!! I was really sad for it to end. REALLY SAD.

Sherlock: I watched the first season of Sherlock and REALLY loved it! Can’t wait to continue on!

Chasing Life: This show surprised me! It’s an ABC Family one and I just gave it a try thinking I probably wouldn’t love it but surprisingly got sooo attached to it!

 

movies

Begin Again: Oh this movie! SO GOOD SO GOOD. Mark Ruffalo and Kiera Knightly were perfection. It made my heart happy really. Will even liked it!
Short Term 12: I actually watched this after Rainbow Rowell recommended it and SHE WAS RIGHT. Very good film!
If I Stay: It was amazing to see this book come to life on the big screen! The music translated really well!
Veronica Mars movie: OMG! I was devastated when the show ended how it did. GRRRR. I have been waiting so long for this (and backed the project on Kickstarter) so Will got us special tickets to see it for a (belated) Valentine’s date! It was one of those experiences where I wanted to cry joyful tears (okay I did) from being reunited with characters who feel like family. OMG I AM CRYING NOW. LoVe forever!!

 

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In past years I had a whole beauty section because I bought more things because I’m a beauty addict. However, this year I again had to limit it to what I NEEDED and also I’m switching over a lot of my stuff to natural beauty products so I’m in transition right now trying to find favorites and finish up when I’m using now (props to Betty for being my on-call guru when I need help).

favorite things of 2014

Yoga with Adriene: I want to go to classes but no $$. So I found Adriene and, while I’m still VERY new to all this, I’m excited that I found her because she is PERFECT!

Fleece lined leggings (got mine from Forever 21): game changers

Aztec Secret Healing Clay: Love making masks with this!

Alima Pure: There’s a brand I really want to try that’s liquid which is what I normally use (I used Makeup Forever & Stila foundations previously) but it’s too much $$ for right now so I opted for this which is a lot like Bareminerals (which tbh I didn’t really love before) because it’s cheaper. Betty doesn’t approve of this one those because of the particles you can inhale 😉

Gelato fiasco torched marshmallow gelato: As I tweeted when I tasted it, I wish I could live in this gelato forever!

Nourish Organics face wash, Shea Butter & Face Lotion: Love this brand! Not the deodorant though. NOPE NOPE.

Trader Joe’s Treats:  Sea Salt Butter Scotch Chocolates // Dark Truffle Chocolate //Watermelon Cucumber Cooler — I LOVE FINDING NEW THINGS HERE. Always.

 

fave-blogs-2013

Here’s five blogs I loved and discovered this year!

1. Oh Sweet Basil

2. Oh My Veggies

3. Young Adventuress

4. The Nectar Collective

5. Dishing Up The Dirt

moments2013

 

1. BEA! Always love spending time with my friends and other bloggers in this community!

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2. Chopping six inches off my hair: I had been growing my hair out for as long as I can remember really and I just was really sick of it getting tangled and being a pain in the ass as it got longer. But I was so scared to chop it off for some unknown reason. But I finally did it and it was such a freeing feeling and a welcome change!

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3. My sister Angela getting married! I was Maid of Honor and it was so awesome to be part of that day because this is my little sister + I LOVE her now-husband. And Will and I watched their kids while they went away for their honeymoon and had so much fun spending times with the littles.

8937_10204007313597471_3649129177119325781_nstory of my life everyone smiling nicely and I’m a dork!

 

4. YA Runs A 5K — what a great group of bloggers and authors who joined together for this!

Bs6grBxCMAA5ijXWith Susan Dennard & Sarah J. Maas

5. Will getting a new job (ummm and winning Employee of the Quarter already…he would kill me if he knew I was bragging about him): It was such a good move for us — better job, more opportunities, more money. He’s learning a lot and it’s a good company so YAY! And he’s already making a good impression within the first year so that’s always good.

10690224_640304484222_8272314740322117474_nWill & I at his work Christmas party!

 

 

 

 

Tell me if you listened to/watched/used/did these things!! Also, I’m so down for other recs if you think there is something I’d like! Tell me what your best moments were!

Best Of 2013: All Things Not Books!

I’m bringing this back from last year!! You’ve already gotten the run down of my highlights of 2013 in books through my End of Year Book Survey & so let’s do a rundown of my favorite NON-bookish things of the year like I did last year! Shall we?

best music 2013

 

5 Playlists I Listened To The Most In 2013

1. My Monthly Rewind playlist — the roundup of all my favorite songs from each month

2. UP — full of upbeat songs

3. Mellow It Out — really relaxing and chill playlist

4. A Very Fall Playlist — just really loved the selection I ended up putting on here.

5. ROAR — I didn’t make this playlist but I helped contribute some songs to it. It was created by Anna and I definitely needed this playlist on days where I needed a little dose of confidence — which was a lot this year. Also was a decently good running mix for me minus a few songs.


 

15 Favorite Albums That Came Out in 2013

 

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favorite-albums-2013best-indie-albums-2013albums-alternative-2013

EPS/Singles I Loved: Terraplane Sun’s Ya Never Know, The Colourist’s Lido, Twin Forks EP, Hozier’s Take Me To Church EP, Bear’s Den Agape
Honorable Mentions: Bastille’s Bad Blood, Lorde’s Pure Heroine, Imagine Dragon’s Night Visions, CHVRCHES’s The Bones of What You Believe


You can see more of my monthly music choices in my Monthly Rewinds

 

tv

Best new shows I started watching this year (some long overdue & some new!) in addition to the shows I’m already watching (Parenthood, The Walking Dead, Revenge, The Voice, Grey’s Anatomy etc.)

Breaking Bad

HOLY HELL YOU GUYS. You all were right about this show. 100% RIGHT. Will and I watched 2 episodes of this the summer and couldn’t get into it. Everyone told us to give it a try again so we finally did after our shows went on break and we’ve been binge watching it ever since. As I write this we are like 8 episodes from the end. HOLY EFF. One of my all time fave shows now.

House of Cards

KEVIN SPACEY. That is all.

American Horror Story

  WEIRD show but excellent. Can’t wait to watch season 2. I hear it’s awesome.

Nashville

Connie Britton!! Honestly this show is so fun and I’m so obsessed with it.

Scandal

Margot told me I had to watch this and Will and I just can’t get enough of Olivia Pope.

Reign

This show is so bad and so good all at the same time. EXCELLENT music too. Cute boys. I LOVE IT. And the time period…LOVE.

 

misc

Last year when I did this I had a whole section for beauty products I tried in 2013 because I’m a beauty addict. However, this year I have had to REALLY limit my spending so I’m going to make this a general fave discoveries!

blogilates
Blogilates

I had tried Blogilates once or twice in 2012 but 2013 was the year of Blogilates for me. It made me find a strength training sort of program that I really loved. I wasn’t into the gym but I loved sitting in my own living room with my yoga mat and going through these videos with Cassey + her infectious enthusiasm for healthy living. She kicks my ass nearly every day and I want to throw things at her but this was the best thing I did for myself in 2013 and I can’t wait to add more cardio to this routine but I attribute my dedication to working out now to her!

 acure-shampoo

Acure Organics shampoo and conditioner

I previously used Alterna and before that Pureology and I really liked them but I wanted to go for something a little bit more natural for my hair plus a better price tag because I can’t justify spending a ton of money right now being without a job. So of course I asked my natural beauty expert Betty and she told me about this one. LOVE it! This one was perfect for my dry, curly hair and my hair is super soft now!

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Julep

If you love nail polish + getting things in the mail, this is for you!! I love this subscription service even if I couldn’t get them every month but it was a nice treat every once in a while this year.

fave-blogs-2013

Here’s five blogs I loved and discovered this year!

1. Ashley from Your Super Awesome Life: Ashley is a good dose of motivation and encouragement in my reader! I also had a really awesome life coaching session with her this year!

2. The Skinny Fork: Will and I make a lot of her recipes! Lots of variety and we’ve loved everything we’ve made!

3. Pinch of Yum: Another excellent food blog that Will and I love. I want to make ALL THE THINGS on there.

4. The Everywhereist: Love this travel blog a lot! Relatively new find for me so I still have tons of archive reading to do!

5. Beauty and Britches: This fashion blog is so my type. It’s no BS and she actually has cute, wearable stuff that I WANT. Plus she’s the fiance of Eric Smith (you may know him from Quirk or recently met him from this post) and she’s a local Philly girl so I love the shots she gets in the city. She started the blog this year and I’m very excited for where it goes!

moments2013I already shared some of my favorite bookish moments of the year so these will be more personal!

 

1. My niece Adela being born at the end of August. I have loved watching Genevieve love on her since day 1.

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2. My family’s vacation in July/August. It’s always a great time and it was a much needed break from life.

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3. Finally seeing The Postal Service play after like 10 years!! What a great concert and OH THE NOSTALGIA.

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4. I know this is sort of bookish but reuniting with my bffs I’ve met through blogging at BEA. Much needed time with people who keep it real. BEApic1
5. Running a 5K. This is hilarious that this is on here because it was a TERRIBLE experience. I hadn’t trained for it, my lungs hurt, I had to run/walk, I was ready to cry and honestly almost quit and just walked home (it was near my dad’s house). HOWEVER, it’s kind of this metaphor for this year for me. But I didn’t give up. No matter how bad I wanted to. I plan to train for it next year to prove to myself that I can do it. I can do better and I can run the whole thing. That moment got me thinking A LOT — even if it could also be one of the worst 2013 moments also. Does that make sense?

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6. Honestly, lots of moments with Will. Despite this shit-tastic year, we made the most of it. We laughed it off as best as we could and we just got through it. Even when we didn’t think we would. I am so thankful for him.

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Tell me if you listened to/watched/used/did these things!! Also, I’m so down for other recs if you think there is something I’d like! Tell me what your best moments were!

A Recap of My Life in 2012 — aka the year with the most life changes!

Gosh, 2012  was  simultaneously one of the best years and one of the worst  and I feel the need to debrief here in this space if you’ll allow me. Lots of  happymaking  things happened but I just really struggled — with my job and then Will losing his, figuring out what I want to do with my life, with longtime friendships floundering and just altogether feeling like I’m not exactly happy but not sure why. Lots of smiles, lots  of tears, lots of laughs, lots of NEWNESS in my life….2012 was most  certainly a memorable year. Got to take the good with the bad, yes? And with some of those BAD things I do see hope for the future. I am having high hopes for  2013.  So let’s just recap my life in 2012:

Let’s preface this with that most of my life revolved around wedding planning this year!

2012 started off marvelously! In JANUARY my beautiful niece, Genevieve Grace, was born and that has changed my life in the most wonderful way. I’ve loved watching her grow and  learn and she’s just such a blessing and has brought my sister and I closer together.

Genevieve

 

In FEBRUARY I got  to see the lovely April from Good Books & Good Wine when she roadtripped to come to the Breathless Reads tour that was here in Philly. Great authors and a WONDERFUL time!
breathless-reads-tour

In MARCH my company moved buildings and so my life was consumed with moving, moving, moving and then wedding planning. Nothing of note.

In APRIL I got to meet my blogging bff JEN from Makeshift Bookmark FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME and hang out with my other besties again — Anna and Tara — in Chicago for RT Con. This was honestly the most fun weekend I had all year and one of my best memories..and that’s saying something considering HUGE life changes happened!

 

RT-CON

MAY was definitely busy with wedding planning but we had a great Memorial Day with new friends! May also signaled the crazy in my life — mostly everyone at my company got laid off.

JUNE started off amazingly! I couldn’t get off the whole week for BEA but I went for a few days  to go to some publishing parties & Book Blogger Con. It was so amazing to be reunited with great friends! It was the type of few days I really needed in the midst of crazy wedding planning. The rest of  June was crazy awesome — we got our apartment that’s closer to the city & then I had my bridal shower.BEA-bloggersPicMonkey Collage

JULY brought CRAZY wedding planning stress (I mean, AHHH ONE MONTH), a nice family reunion & CrabFeast and my bachelorette party!PicMonkey Collage3

And then AUGUST rolled around in all it’s glory and I LOST MY JOB a week before the wedding (knew it was coming), I got stressed induced shingles that week BUT I GOT MARRIED TO MY BEST FRIEND AND LOVE OF MY LIFE after dating for 5.5 years! We then went and honeymooned in Mexico!

PicMonkey Collage5

SEPTEMBER brought meeting JOHN GREEN with Alexa and a ridiculously fun trip to DC for the National Book Fest!

National-Book-Fest-John-GreenOCTOBER brought all things FALL — we did pumpkin patches and pumpkin cookies and just all things Fall! I celebrated my 27th birthday and dun dun dun…Will got laid off  (but got hired back  within a month). Luckily the weather was beautiful so we did some hiking on our unemployed days together.

october

NOVEMBER brought our first Thanksgiving, family and lots of  eating.  I fell off the working out bandwagon.WOMP WOMP.

And DECEMBER brought our first Christmas, new traditions, and an end  to a year that had  really life-changing things happen. It sure had some real struggles, sleepless nights and days where all I could do was cry but I’m learning and growing and that’s really all that I can do.
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I’d say the word that best sums up 2012 would be CHANGE. And, despite the fact that some of it on the surface seems like bad change, I’ve always personally welcomed change into my life because it means new experiences and that I’m not staying the same. So as hard as I’ve tried to hold on to some things this year, I’m letting them go in 2013 and embracing moving FORWARD — with a new perspective, hopefully a new job and new friends.

Best Of 2012: All Things Not Books!

You’ve already gotten the run down of my highlights of 2012 in books through my End of Year Book Survey & my top ten books of 2012 so let’s do a rundown of my favorite NON-bookish things of the year! Shall we?

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You can see more of my monthly music choices in my Monthly Rewinds

Twelve Most Listened To Songs On My Ipod In 2012

Hey Ho – The Lumineers
Lost In My Mind — The Head & The Heart
The A-Team by Ed Sheeran
Concrete Wall by Zee Avi
Somebody I Used To Know/ Eyes Wide Open by Gotye
Skinny Love by Bon Iver (for like the 3rd year in a row I think — never gets old)
We Are Young by Fun (Most overplayed song but I still love it lol)
It’s Time by Imagine Dragons
Harbour Lights by A Silent Film
Either Way by Beta Radio
Atlas Hands by Benjamin Francis Leftwhich
How Do I Know by Here We Go Magic

Thirteen Most Listened To Artists/Bands In 2012

Florence  & the Machine
Grouplove
Fun
Gotye
Zee Avi
The Lumineers
Of Monsters & Men
Fleet Foxes (always)
Company of Thieves
The Head & The Heart
Imagine Dragons
Beach House
Wild Nothing

8 Favorite Albums That Came Out in 2012

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the-lighthouse-and-the-whalersaint-motelfamily-of-the-yeara-silent-filmthe-lumineersof-monsters-andmengotye

EPS I Loved: Churchill’s Change EP & Atlas Genius Through the Glass EP
Honorable Mentions: Neon Tree’s Picture Show, Imagine Dragon’s Night Vision, Passion Pit’s Gossamer

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New shows I started watching this year (some long overdue & some new!) in addition to the shows I’m already watching (Parenthood, 90210, The Vampire Diaries, Grey’s Anatomy etc.)

good-tv-shows

Revenge: SO GOOD. Will and I devoured this one this year so we could catch up to the current season. I LOVE NOLAN. And I just love how kickass Emily is. And how the plot is so twisty and complicated and DRAMARAMA.

Revolution: This has been one that has grown on me but there are still things about it I don’t LOVE but I can’t drop it because it’s so addictive and I find myself getting sucked in! I am interested to see where it goes from here!

One Tree Hill: SO late on this band wagon but LITERALLY Will and I (on days when we weren’t doing wedding planning) BINGED this series. The earlier seasons where definitely WAYYY better but I still loved it! CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY!

The Walking Dead: Seriously, I would have never thought I would have liked this one much less be OBSESSED with it like I am. ZOMBIES! And I just care so much about some of these characters and the outcome. This show is incredible, brilliantly written & casted and they pull out crazy things like  four episodes in to a season that you would expect of a season finale or something.

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I am a serious Sephora addict and this year feel like I hit the jackpot in finding some of my all time favorite products! It’s always amazing when you find THAT product that you’ve always been looking for and this year was incredible for me. Bad for the wallet but my face and hair have never been better haha. All links go to Sephora because that’s where I bought them and can vouch for them being a good company to deal with and has an AMAZING return policy or I would have never spent the money on some of this stuff to try it.

best-makeup-products

1: Alterna Caviar shampoo & conditioner: I have used Pureology (still love them!) for the past 6 years and this is the first time I’ve liked a shampoo enough to take a break from Pureology and I LOVE this stuff. My hair has never felt so great. I also do things like put coconut oil in my hair at night, use split end serum from Pureology, Moroccan oil, heat protector, etc.
2. Boscia Luminizing Black Face Mask: I LOVE this mask but it’s somewhat messy and time consuming to peel off at first. I also make sure I put moisturizer on immediately after because it can dry your face out but I love how my face looks the next day.
3. Benefit Total Moisturizer: I have jumped from moisturizer to moisturizer my whole life. I find one and LIKE it but go through about 2 bottles and then switch to something new. Sometimes I’ll come back to them (Aveeno & Fresh Soy moisturizer) but this one is going to be a fave for a while I think. The ONLY con to it is that there is a scent but I don’t smell it much after it sits on my face for a few minutes.
4. Origins Checks and Balances face wash: Like with my moisturizer, I am constantly switching back and forth! I have a few go-to’s (Fresh soy face wash, Neutrogena naturals) but this is my new fave and it smells amazing. I have combo skin just for reference and I love how my face feels after this and I honestly feel like my face is so much more clear than it used to be!
5. Amazing Concealer: This is one time where the name describes the product PERFECTLY. It’s seriously AMAZING. Just ask Anna, Tara and Jen who have all used it and I believe two of them bought it! I have never found a concealer that works this well and blends so well. I will never buy anything else!
6. Makeup Forever HD foundation: This is the makeup I wore for my wedding and it is incredible. It’s especially great if you are getting pictures taken or making a video or something. I love how my face looks in our wedding pictures and it blends really great. It’s definitely VERY high coverage so it’s not my every day foundation (I have a Tarte one I love) but I love using this for special occasions or going out.
7. Naked 2 Palette: This is like a cult favorite but this was the first year I decided to actually try it and I AM IN LOVE. Pretty much I use it all the time and all my other eyeshadows rarely get used. If I travel light, I only bring this for eyeshadow because I know I can figure out something with it.

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I love when I discover new favorite foods or find new snacks to obsess over. These are my new FAVES!

These pumpkin spice cookies.: And they are lowfat! We took them to several dinner parties during the Fall and they were devoured!

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Trader Joe’s Roasted Gorgonzola Crackers: I have always loved cheese crackers but these blow Cheez-its out of the water!
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Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Powerberries: SO YUMMY! I can’t buy them much anymore because I eat them so quickly. I justify it by saying that they are healthy because there is fruit in them haha.
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Quinoa — 2012 was definitely the year of quinoa for me. I had never eaten it before!
Trop50 Farmstand Apple (we always have gotten the orange juice but the apple is AMAZING)
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Green Smoothie: They can look kind of gross but are quite tasty AND can be super healthy for you.
Greek yogurt — I thought I hated it but now I love it!

 

 

Tell me if you you listen to/watch/use/eat any of these!! Also, I’m so down for other recs if you think there is something I’d like!

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