My 2015 Favorites

January 12, 2016



Too late?

Nah.

Never.

Technically, December 2016 is too late but you know what I mean.

I had decided not to do a favorites lists because A) how to choose?!! everything is awesome B) there are so many out there in video form and blog C) it seemed liked a lot of work, to be honest.

Somehow I convinced myself and here we are.

  I decided to do one A) to look back on once I'm in a retirement home and blogs are regarded as "back in my day.." things. B) they're quite fun to read and watch and C) I promised I wouldn't feature super duper obvious-everyone-and-their-mom-has-featured-it-as-a-favorite things. Looking at you Serial, you addictive son of a gun.

 By the way, nothing wrong with those.


Lets get started!




Music and beauty (the next category) were the toughest choices! There's so many I loved and played on a loop but for the sake of this not taking years, these are the ones that surprised me the most. In terms of how amazing the entire album was and how everything flowed.


▸ I've mentioned before how The Weepies are my favorite duo. Obviously, the minute I could pre-order their new album I did! I even saw them live in L.A , front row and everything! It was nothing short of amazing.

Leon Bridges was an iTunes recommendation based on previous purchases and that feature was so on point with this one. His voice is soothing and soulful.

Sam Smith is one I ignored for as long as I could because it was just everywhere. I think his album was $6.99 at some point and I purchased it because I loved the other songs more than the main hits. I also purchased the extra ones in the re-release (drowning shadows edition) and OH.YES!

▸ Nerina Pallot.. couldn't find the link for this one (they're all linked within the artists name btw), it seems she may have removed it from iTunes. Heaven Helped Us (start 9:35) was my most played song the first half of 2015.

▸ Biggest shocker of all! Selena Gomez! A friend (who has superb music taste) said she quite enjoyed it which made me very curious! I listened and I actually really liked the last two of this deluxe version. You can find them on my Spotify playlist.

Greg Holden. I heard him through NPR Radio and had to get his album because the melodies were just amazing! Boys in the Street is one that makes me cry! That good, that powerful.

Vanessa Carlton. Fell in love with her style with Rabbits on the Run and this one did not disappoint, so much talent.

We Love Disney, if you read my about me, I mentioned my Disneyland love. This one was an obvious purchase. Some of the songs were eh. Some artists can't/shouldn't do ballads much as they may try. I loved the ones where the artists brought their style and sound to the song instead of trying to recreate. Spoonful of Sugar is just genius. I'm not a country music person but such a good spin.
▸ I owned both, previous, EP's from The Paper Kites so this album was an obvious buy.. it's a little different than their EP's but different doesn't necessarily mean bad.. they're just as great.











▸ Waxelene, this stuff is MAGIC! I had the worst chapped lips of my entire life this past December. Single file line boys!! I spent $40 on various lip balms and nothing worked. I was at Whole Foods and  the beauty section always calls to me and this time I found Waxelene in lip tube form and in three days my lips were back to their plump self. Have it in my purse, nightstand and office.. It works for so many purposes.. Cruelty free and natural ingredients.
 GET IT. TRY IT. REALLY.

Roses de Chloé is a scent that I fell in love with from a sample I received from Sephora. I bought the 1OZ bottle and mom aided the addiction and gifted me the 2.5OZ for Christmas. Seriously, so subtle yet feminine.

Sunday Riley was the biggest game changer in my routine last year. I have also tried the Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser but these 3 were the ones that gave me significant change. Juno in the morning right after washing my face and Luna every other night.. Good Genes under.. I received so many compliments on my skin. Some of the credit goes to these guys.

Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub is gentle, vegan, exfoliates well and leaves skin so soft. I'm on my third replacement. Bonus, really affordable! You can find it at Target!

Becca Mineral Blushes are my most used blushes. Beautiful, subtle, shades that last all day. My favorites are Songbird and Wild Honey.. and I have the others in my cart. lol

Josie Maran Hand Cream - I wash my hands dozens of times a day and they end up like a dessert but I hate most hand lotions because of the greasy feeling and how it transfers to anything you touch. I went to Sephora to get some gifts and sampled this one.. It immediately sank in but no greasy feeling and the most wonderful scent. I bought a small one for me and a large one for my mom! She says it's her new favorite hand lotion...

Nails Inc - Nailkale and the Nails Inc Gel Effect were my most purchased polishes.. I bought almost all the colors, seriously! They're long lasting and so shiny. You truly get what you pay for.


▸ Nails Inc Superfood Base Coat, I'm convinced this is the reason my polish lasts so long. I use the 45 Second Top Coat, as well, and my nails have never been healthier.

Giovanni Cosmetics is another Whole Foods find. This hair mask leaves my hair so so soft. I use it in combination with the shampoo and conditioner (other collections from same brand).

▸ Lush Rub Rub Rub and Ro's Argan Body Conditioner are two items that I will always budget for. I'm on my second tub of both and it's the most luxurious combination EVER! The scents (if you read my about me, you now know this is huge for me!) leave you smelling fantastic. The body conditioner is perfect since I really don't like to moisturize post shower.. ain't nobody got time for that. Air dry for a couple of minutes to let it completely sink in and done! -- Big Shampoo leaves my hair thoroughly cleaned and with tons of volume. I only use it 2 times a month. 






Now this was a hard one! (Pretty sure I said that for the previous two categories).
 I'm pretty sure if I overthink it, I'll change my mind half a dozen times. I chose the ones that are still vivid even months after.. I skipped a few that have been featured a lot AKA Girl on the Train, which was the first book I read in 2015,by the way. Nothing against it.

▸ I have to admit, I tried to read Wild by Cheryl Strayed two/three years ago and it's one (if not the only one) I didn't finish that year. Just couldn't.. 2015 was the year I fell in MAD LOVE with Cheryl Strayed (and yes, Wild will be read this year). It started with her Podcast, Sugar Radio (favorite podcasts below), and I was hooked. Her style, her words, ugh... Brave Enough is a collection of inspirational words gathered from her Dear Sugar column days and her other work. It's simply a must in any collection. So much wisdom and truth, something everyone needs to hear at some point or another.

Me Before You is one I had in my bookshelf for years! Yes, there's many like that. I tend to be a mood reader. Well, I heard that the movie was in the works (for 2016) and the sequel (fall 2015) was a couple of months away. Some rainy day last Spring I sat down with it and devoured it. In less than 24 hours. It blew my mind and totally not what I expected. We're all used to the overly cheesy love story but this was so different. Get your tissues ready, put your phone on airplane mode and READ!

▸ I'm familiar with Meghan Daum's work from a couple of L.A Times columns but didn't know about The Unspeakable until it came out. I'm positive I saw it on Emma Roberts' Instagram. Once at Barnes and Noble I picked it up and read one of the essays and loved her honesty (no cookie cutter) and hidden humor. I think the whole mother issues resonated with me (not to her extent) and made me appreciate the essays more.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is hands down the BEST book I've read the last year.. It wasn't what I expected, at all. Think of Frozen, how it's not a boy girl love story. It's deeper, more heartbreaking and just so descriptive and vivid. You're there. You feel their sorrow and everything else.

▸  Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is one of the last ones I read last year and certainly a great way to close out the year. I've actually had Eat, Pray, Love on my bookshelves for over four years (horrible habit, I know).. When this one came out, it was a given and an immediate read. Sometime during the year, without really thinking about it, I decided to read more nonfiction. To feed my brain good and positive material. Whether in thoughts or reading material. From a couple of other purchases Amazon recommended this and it was just what we all need. It's not a book that tells you to sell your house and go backpacking because you deserve it and life will be great, blah blah. It's just how to not be afraid of your own creativity. Basically, don't let fear (of failing, of what people will say etc) stop you from chasing whatever makes your heart happy while still being a responsible adult and member of society. It won't change your life (what many assume with "self help" books) but it's good food for thought.



Okay, there's only three items in this, last, category.

The first one is the Jawbone Activity Tracker. I only had it for two-three months before I was surprised with an Apple Watch last week. There's pictures of the replacement band and review of it later this week. I used a Fitbit for over a year, prior to that. And it got the job done but there were more taps required for what the Jawbone picked up automatically. Basically, given the choice between a Fitbit and the Jawbone.. go Jawbone. The only "problem" I encountered was it taking a good two minutes to completely sync. No idea if its because it's reading sleep and adding tips but.. not as fast as the Fitbit. Also not as clunky/boxy looking either!

AND PODCASTS.

I've been into Podcasts for years. And no, not just on the rise of Serial. I came across these screenshots from my iPhone 4 and 4s days, clearly seen is Downcast. My then Podcast app of choice. Now, some of my taste has changed but some I still remain loyal to. For example, I used to listen to a lot of tech talk but I found I rather quickly read or skim some site. I've added a ton of new ones this last year and there's just so many good ones! This is one of the reasons I tend to get behind on shows. Listening > watching. I get more done that way!

Instead of a description (sort of self explanatory) I'm just going to add the name and corresponding link.



KCRW Bookworm

BookRiot, The Podcast

All the Books (BookRiot)

Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert

Dear Sugar Radio

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

The Longest Shortest Time 

This American Life

World Book Club


Welcome to Night Vale

NPR Tiny Desks Concerts

Stuff You Should Know

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me

The Heart

Ted Radio Hour


The last thing that I got into last year are audiobooks. I saw a really good price for three months of Audible so I took it. I already had a couple of audiobooks (of books I have the physical copy of) but the last three months of they year I was so busy that I'm still playing catch up. These came in so handy, for re-reads or to forward on a current read since I didn't have the time to sit down for hours. For Black Friday they had a lot of bestsellers for $4-6 and I stocked up! Not a time where I can say I will be bored this year. Also, that 128GB iPhone is coming so handy now!


THAT'S ALL FOLKS.

Those are all the favorites I couldn't live without in 2015. I hope you try something from any one category.

 and may 2016 be filled with more wonderful music, products, reads and listens.


If you care, share your favorites.♥︎


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