Friday, January 26, 2018

{2017 favorites}

I thought I would put together a list of favorites—what I bought, watched, listened to, and did—in 2017.


Overall, most of my purchases this year were for trips or other very specific reasons, but these are my tried and true best investments:

1. Uniqlo Blocktech Coat - This was my favorite purchase for my trip to England. I wanted a raincoat that would be 1) water- and wind-proof, 2) light enough to throw on over a sweater and 3) not take up room in my suitcase. Raincoats aren't always stylish, but this one has a classic look that didn't make me feel like a tourist.

2. Ross-Simons Diamond Huggie Hoop Earrings - These are the perfect "everyday" earrings. They look expensive and have real diamonds...but they're under $100! I only have one piercing on each ear, but I think they'd look great doubled up.

3. Da Vinci Ankle and Wrist Weights - I have two different weights (3lb and 6lbs) and these were awesome for my at-home core and leg workouts. They added resistance and helped me work up a sweat more quickly.

4. Nike Flyknit Shoes - Another purchase for England. I wanted a sneaker that didn't "scream" sneaker, but would look great dressed up (black pants) or down (jeans). These did the job and supported my feet on our 13-mile London walking day.

5. LowePro FastPack Camera Backpack - I'm a backpack girl and this is my favorite one yet. When I pack a carry-on suitcase for short trips, I needed an "under the seat" backpack that could hold my camera equipment and other trip essentials. This checks all the boxes. It holds my camera, lenses, accessories, and tripod (or water bottle)—while also having extra pockets for things like big headphones, a book, wallet, passport, and more. The best part is that it has a sleeve for a laptop and tablet. It's an all-in-one bag.

6. Hydracy Fruit-Infuser Water Bottle - To manage a medical condition, I have to drink lemon water 1-2 times a day. That means I'm constantly cutting and squeezing lemons into random cups at home and work. To combat that, I purchased two of these water bottles for the office and my house. I now just cut up lemon, fill the center filter, and always have lemon water when I need it.

7. Portable Charger - Another purchase perfect for traveling. You can connect two phones to this charger (or anything that charges with a USB), and it lasts: the battery can re-charge your phone six times without needing to be re-charged itself. Many planes don't have outlets, so I always throw this in my bag before any flight. It was also helpful abroad; I didn't need to carry my outlet adapter around in order to charge my phone.

8. Schimdt's Clean Deodorant - I wrote more about clean beauty products in this post, but this deodorant was worth another call out. It smells so good and works great.

9. Manhattan Portage Mini Messenger - I don't own this bag yet, but my mom and sisters do. While it's not the most attractive bag in the world, it is the BEST travel purse. It can hold a surprising amount (e.g., phone, wallet, passports, small camera) but the best part is the velcro close. It's nearly impossible to be pick-pocketed while using this bag. It can also fold up super small into your suitcase.

10. Tonik. Apple Cider Vinegar Capsules - I'd read a lot about how drinking apple cider vinegar each day brings so many health benefits, but the taste is not the easiest to swallow. These capsules are the solution. Since I began taking them twice a day, I've noticed less stomach and digestion issues and my skin has looked great. I don't know if it's all attributed to these, but I believe they help.

Not photographed above, but worth mentioning:

Marine Layer Crewneck Sweatshirt - A birthday gift from my brother that is now a staple in my wardrobe. I have it in a different color, but love this blue option. It's fitted, comfortable, and stylish. It may be a sweatshirt, but it's far from drabby... I wear it to work! (It's also the only sweatshirt I hang-dry—that's how much I love it.)

LOFT Vintage Pocket Tee - The best t-shirt. I buy it in black and white twice a year, since I tend to wear them out. The neckline is great, the pocket is cute, and the length is perfect.


I'm a biiiiig TV person. I prefer series over movies. (A dream of mine is to write on a series!) Here is what I loved this year:

Broadchurch (BBC, Netflix) - Outstanding, from start to finish. If you're into murder mysteries and enjoy British discourse, this is for you. It's not too graphic, even though it does get a little dark, but the beautiful setting helps keep it from feeling overwhelmingly heavy. All three seasons are on Netflix.

The Leftovers (HBO) - I still think about this show a few times a week. I've never been so moved by a series before. The final season (of three) is particularly phenomenal. The entire cast is amazing, but Carrie Coon outshines them all—I don't know how she hasn't swept every award for her performance. Stick with it, even when it gets really weird. The conclusion is well worth it.

The Crown (Netflix) - My sister got me hooked on this. From the performances, to the music, to the sets and's fabulous. I'm psyched Olivia Colman will be the new Queen for the next two seasons—I became a big fan after watching Broadchurch. (And Helena Bonham Carter!)

The Good Place (NBC) - I love anything that Mike Schur does (The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks & Rec). He is a master of continuity and clever long-running bits/jokes. The humor is so smart and only gets better the more you watch. Don't google it too much, though—season one ends with a twist you don't want to be spoiled on before you see it.

I also enjoyed The Handmaid's Tale, Great News, Big Little Lies, and the latest seasons of Veep and Catastrophe. And lest I forget the [embarrassing?] CW show Arrow. That show is too good. Hahaha.

I didn't go to the movies as often as I usually do, but I'm making up for it this month. My favorites this year were:

Wonder Woman
The Big Sick
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Call Me By Your Name (adored this!)
Lady Bird
The Post (Meryl was amazing, but special shout out to my girl Carrie Coon!)

I don't think the critics loved it, but I really enjoyed The Greatest Showman. The music is so good. Watch this to get a taste.


As someone who is a singer, I admittedly had a lame year for discovering new artists. I mainly listen to film scores or piano pieces at work, but here are my go-to artists and scores:

Gregory Alan Isacov (so great)
Max Richter (The Leftovers, Recomposed)
Dustin O'Halloran (Breathe In, Like Crazy, 
Ludovico Einaudi (anything)
Alexandre Desplat (The Danish Girl, The Imitation Game, HP Deathly Hallows)
Dario Marianelli (Pride and Prejudice)
The Chamber Orchastra (Downton Abbey)
Jòhann Jóhannsson (The Theory of Everything)

Worked out - haha. I had to add this because I did work out more! I even joined a gym.

Masterclass - I haven't finished my course (Shonda Rhimes' class on writing for television), but I'm loving it so far. They changed their pricing structure this year, so for an annual fee you can get access to every class. Check it out!

Saved more $$ - I use the app Digit. It will track your spending and pull a couple dollars out of your checking every few days to put in a "rainy day" savings account you can't touch. (Unless you ask to withdraw money with a simple text.) It's so nice to check it every few months and see $1000+ saved. It also texts every morning and tells me my checking balance - this is my favorite feature, because it forces me to stay accountable and know my financial standing every day.

Let me know if you have any favorites from the year!

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