Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Other 2014 favorites

I have already written about my favorite movies, books, and some beauty loves of 2014. Since I'm on a roll, I thought I'd wrap it up with some of my other favorites/recommendations. I know I'm forgetting some greats, but unfortunately I did not do a good job of recording my loves as the year progressed - this is all coming from the top of my head. Feel free to share your loves with me as well.

  • Orphan Black - Folks, I am obsessed with this show. I am in awe of Tatiana Maslany's chameleon-like skills in portraying about half a dozen different characters on the regular - fully formed, unique women, who happen to be clones. Love the little bits of humor mixed in with the big mystery (that has to do with science!), and really appreciate Paul's abs. (I am very shallow.)
  • Parks and Recreation - I love this little show, love the cast, am sad it is ending. It never fails to put me in a better mood. Three words: Treat Yo Self. 
  • The Good Wife. I have been a fan of this show for years, but they really shook it up and knocked it out of the park in 2014. (And not just because they added Matthew Goode to the cast, which was a great move as far as I'm concerned.)
  • Jane the Virgin: I did not expect to like this show. The title, the premise (about a virgin woman getting accidentally artificially inseminated), and the fact that it was on the CW did not add up to a winning formula for me. But then I watched it, and it turns out it's funny, smart, and sweet, as well as a clever send-up of telenovelas. I'm a fan.
  • Mamrie Hart/You Deserve A Drink: This woman cracks me up on the regular. Love her quirky/weird improv-y Mametown videos, and her punny/funny You Deserve A Drink series, which besides a good laugh, provides some interesting cocktail recipes. Plus she wrote a movie, Camp Takota, and actually got it made, co-starring herself along with two of her best friends (who are also very funny ladies on YouTube.) I have much respect for a woman who will use just about any excuse to bust out a costume and a funny pop culture pun
  • Betty Who - I've played her Slow Dancing EP countless times this year. Feeds my love of catchy pop music that is a pleasure to listen to, no guilt involved.
  • Taylor Swift 1989 - I admit it, she got me
  • Sia 1000 Forms of Fear - loved this album. Chandalier was the hit, but Elastic Heart was the one I kept listening to on repeat. 
  • Sam Smith In The Lonely Hour - Had never heard of him until I saw his performance of Stay With Me on SNL, but after it I immediately pre-ordered this album. Happy with my decision.
  • Tori Kelly's Dear No One is one my favorite songs of the past year - I perhaps related too well to this one. 
  • Copperworks Distillery As I've said before, I'm a fan of booze tourism. Although I did get to visit some vineyards with much prettier views this year, my visit to this distillery in Seattle provided me with the most pleasant surprise: a gin I like! Their barrel aged gin was so good I had to buy a bottle despite the price tag, and I have been savoring it slowly since. 
  • While talking about food/drink in Seattle, I have to say the crab and shrimp tator tots I had at the Steelhead Diner are one of the best things I've eaten this year. 
  • Taco Bamba it took me awhile to finally try this excellent taqueria in my neighborhood, but now I'm a superfan. The "El Beso" taco is my crack.
  • Tortilla soup in Phoenix. I've had it at several different places, including various hotels, and it has always been spicy deliciousness. 
  • View from WNYC Transmitter Park.
  • Paulie Gee's really liked this pizza place in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and my culinary trip to NYC this summer in general. Enjoyed international cuisine in 3 boroughs in 2 days. I highly recommend it. :)
  • Another great meal with a view I had this year was at Restaurant Montealegre in Valparaiso, Chile. The food and the view were both absolutely fantastic, and I just remember it being a super fun time with my parents. Highly recommend.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Some makeup favs

As a beauty product junkie, I own A LOT of products. I mean A LOT A LOT. Not quite to the level of a YouTube beauty guru, their makeup collections more closely resemble a small Sephora, but definitely more than one woman who isn't a professional makeup artist and doesn't earn a living related to the beauty industry should. The worst part is that I'm always wanting to try new things, so I often have multiple types of the same thing. For example: I own about 10 different black eyeliners. (Pencil, liquid, gel, gel pencil, felt pen, kohl, etc.) Not to mention various other liners in shades of brown, purple, green and blue. I own more nail polishes than some small spas, and enough eye-shadow to make some professional makeup artists jealous. My collection of sample sized products has my travel bag of toiletries solidly stocked for countless trips. In short, I have amassed quite an impressive/ridiculous collection for someone who doesn't get paid to do anything beauty related.

For someone who owns so much makeup, I usually don't wear a ton of it, nor do I necessarily wear it every day. I saw a great video the author John Green made earlier this year about his love of makeup that summed it up perfectly:  "It's like really beautiful armor, because it makes me feel more confident and somehow kind of protected as I go through my day. It's sort of like wearing my favorite outfit except I can do it everyday." Sitting at my little makeup desk, figuring out my "look" for the day, is relaxing and fun, and is one of my happy places.

Because I've amassed such a ridiculous collection, I rarely use up makeup items. More often than I'd like, I have to toss products because they have gotten old way before I ever use them up. Or by the time I finally finish them, I can no longer get a replacement because it has been discontinued. But some things I love so much I actually use up, and repurchase to make sure I'm never out of it. I thought I'd share some of those, since I've been into making year-end lists these last couple of days, and these are basically my makeup/beauty favorites of 2014. I highly recommend them all, in case you're in the beauty buying mood. :) For other favorites, feel free to check out some of my previous posts.

Friday, December 26, 2014

2014 Books

I haven't  been doing a hell of a lot of writing this year, so obviously my goal of posting more regularly on this blog went out the window months ago. I've decided to overcompensate by taking advantage of some free time now in these last few days of 2014 and just sharing a bunch of lists about what I've been loving.

While writing my post with thoughts on movies, I noticed that a lot of the ones I saw this year were based on books I had read. And it really hit home that I spent quite a bit of my free time in 2014 reading not just magazines and things on the internet, but actual books, many of them digitized. The following are my some of my thoughts on what I read this year. Not everything was released in 2014, but they were new to me. :) I've put my favorites in bold.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

2014 Movies

I haven't written a blog post in forever, but I have found myself talking a lot about movies lately, and since I have a bit of free time, I thought I'd write a little something about it.

I didn't give myself a movie goal this year - good thing because I am NOT on pace to match the last two years at all. But just in case you were looking for something to watch during some free time in these last few days of the year, or were wondering what my thoughts were on some 2014 releases, or like to see me make lists, I've jotted down my thoughts on the non-Hallmark/Lifetime movies I've seen this year. My favs are highlighted. (I have linked to the trailers for all, in case you're interested.)