day 30

I've thoroughly enjoyed 2016. There have been moments of sadness and uncertainty, for sure, but as a whole, it's been a great year for me. I know that's not the case for everyone, and it seems like all of social media can't wait for 2016 to be over, but I'm happy with the speed at which it passed. Somewhere along the way I started to slow down, mentally, and enjoy each season more thoughtfully. 

I plan to keep that up in 2017, but before we get there, I'm taking some time to re-review these past 12 months. There were so many favorite elements that I had to break the post into two parts. Below are all my most loved foodie and lifestyle tidbits.


Tasty's: the little spot on Amelia Island was so good! Meredith and I had brunch at a fancier restaurant in the Historic area, but all we talked about after the trip was how great Tasty's was. If they ever decide to open a franchise in Atlanta, somebody better watch out for my pockets.

Korean BBQ: I had been wanting to try Korean BBQ for a while, and I was invited to a dinner on Good Friday by a friend of a friend. I almost declined, mainly because I was having a crappy evening (related to the house we had just put an offer on), but also because it was almost 11pm and it was all the way on the other side of town. Thankfully, J encouraged me to go, so I told him not to wait up for me and proceeded to have one of the best meals of the year. I've been back multiple times since (with J, then with Meredith and some other friends, again with J, and again with J and his whole immediate family...). I can't get enough.  

Seltzer Water: I hated this stuff as a kid. My mom would drink it all the time, and I could never understand why she didn't just drink some sprite instead. I get it now though. It tricks you into thinking your having a soft drink, but there's none of the sugar (read: guilt).

Craft Beer: So many. brewery. tours. this year. (I think there were also one or two I didn't even bother to blog about)

Flaming Hot Popcorn: I accidentally grabbed a bag of these one day, thinking they were Hot Cheetos. I now buy them in twos or threes, never just one bag at a time. I'm hooked.

Tacos: Always and Forever

Things (Intangible)

Dog dates: More of these definitely need to happen in 2017.

Girls Days/Nights: Way more of these need to happen in 2017. At least once a month.


All the brunches: Canoe has my favorite brunch views; Local Three has my favorite brunch food.

Home Ownership: I've talked enough about this one on the blog.

The Christmas Tree: I don't think I'll ever had a fake tree again. 

Advent 2016: We watched lots of Christmas movies around here. We also played lots of Christmas songs and made sure to enjoy evenings by the tree.


Magazine reading: They're started piling up again the past couple months, but I've started making an afternoon of catching up on magazine articles, in front of the tv, while I catch up on the week's shows. My favorite articles form 2016 have all been from W Magazine. 

Lighting Candles: This is another always and forever favorite. 


Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner: If there's one thing I need in my skincare arsenal, more than any other product, it's this toner. It fixes all skincare concerns. Pimples? Use this toner. Ingrown hair? Use this toner. Razor bumps? Use this toner. Dark marks? USE THIS TONER. I use it on both my face and body, and I wish I had discovered it sooner. I also use it after tweezing J's mustache (yeah, somehow grooming his mustache has become my responsibility...) to help keep his skin smooth.

Paula's Choice AHA/BHA Products: (This one is my favorite; use this link for $10 off) Caroline Hirons has converted me to the life of exfoliation. I'll never look back. 

Vitamin C Serum: I feel like a woman of a certain age by raving about serums, but I now enjoy putting Vitamin C under my eyes before bed. 

Desert Essence Tea Tree Roll On: My breakouts don't stand a chance against it. This was another impulse purchase, from the "Natural" section of the grocery store. One of my favorite skincare items came from Kroger. Take that, Sephora.

Hair and Makeup

Unsurprisingly, I have no photos for this category, so I'll fill it with more commentary instead. I am not a beauty blogger, by any stretch of the imagination. When I like a product, I stick with it, and if I don't like a product, it does not collect dust in a closet or under the bathroom sink because I just return it and get my money back. I have, however, discovered some new favorites this year that fall into the beauty category:

L'Oreal Extraordinary Oil Curls Line: I went all in with this one. I bought the Shampoo, Conditioner, Deep Treatment, and Leave-In Cream. The only thing I didn't like was the Deep Treatment. I didn't hate it, but it did special for my hair. The other three? My hair loved those. They didn't weigh my hair down with product buildup, but my hair always feels well-moisturized after using them; they also smell quite nice. I've repurchased from the line multiple times this year and will likely continue to do so next year.

Lavender Jamaican Black Castor Oil: I experienced some hair thinning thanks to my hormonal fiasco. So I took a chance and ordered a bottle of this stuff from Amazon. I love it. It's thick, so a little goes a long way, and again, it smells great. It keeps my hair soft and moisturized but not greasy, and if I use it after washing my hair, I won't need to put anything else on it for a solid 5-7 days. As far as the thickness of my hair goes, I've only noticed a small difference, but I'll keep repurchasing regardless. I've also found it on sale at my local (black-owned) beauty supply store. Score!

Bare Minerals Foundation: I've been using the Matte version of this for about a year, and it only works well in the summer. If I use it during the cooler months, my face looks unnatural. Matte makeup and cold weather do not play well together. The Original Foundation has been like magic for me lately. The first time I wore it, J told me I was "glowing." I responded "thanks! Not pregnant by the way!"

The Carli Bybel palette: I'm not super into ""beauty videos" on YouTube, and I'm not super into makeup. I only have one makeup bag, and half of the stuff I don't even use. I spotted this palette at Ulta, was curious, had a coupon, and decided to try it for no good reason. I love it (note to self: sometimes impulse purchases prove to be worth it). I only use the eyeshadows every now and then, but the highlighters are a real bang for your buck, and they still look natural on the skin.

Nars Concealer: The shade Amande is a perfect skin tone match for me. It does what I need it to do - nothing more, nothing less. It's a favorite.


I'll post part two (entertainment favorites) tomorrow! Happy almost new year!