day 31

Happy New Year's Eve! Yesterday I shared all my lifestyle-related favorites for the year 2016. Today I'm sharing all my entertainment favorites. Because my opinion really matters.

It really does.


A Seat At the Table: So obviously Solange can have several seats in this post. She can take the whole thing. It was easily my favorite album of the year. Favorite song - "Don't Wish Me Well."

Awaken, My Love!: I hate the cover art for this one, but don't judge an album by its cover. Childish Gambino took a much different approach with this release, and it sure sounds mighty fine. Favorite Song - it changes over time, but currently it's "Me and Your Mama."

All Music on Vinyl: After moving this year, my mom gifted us with a record player, and I've already gathered a few vinyl copies of some favorite albums to get me going since loved ones keep buying them for me on different occasions (all the albums pictured were gifted). My favorite thing to do on Saturday mornings is throw on a record and start cleaning the house. It's a pain when one side ends and the it needs to be flipped, but there's nothing that compares to the sound of a needle cruising around a vinyl record on a turntable.


Fences: I don't even know what to type here about this movie, but I had to wait almost 12 whole months to see the best movie of 2016. That's unfortunate. I might go into more detail about this movie in a separate post, but it was so deep that almost a full week later I'm still processing it.

The Conjuring 2: I love a good theatrical scare. I hate sequels. Do you see my dilemma? This was one of the few times, in my humble opinion, where the sequel outdid the original. It was so satisfyingly scary from beginning to end - not at all for the faint of heart.

Hush: I mentioned this one in a previous post, so I won't recap it again right now, but it definitely goes down as a 2016 favorite.

The Magnificent 7: I love a Denzel Washington movie. I hate westerns. Again, do you see my dilemma? I knew J wanted to see this one, so since I had dragged him to The Conjuring 2, I bought tickets for a random Tuesday night showing in return. The movie took some time to get going, but once it did, it never stopped. Vincent D'onofrio's character is what really moved this title from liked to loved. I plan to buy a hard copy when it's finally released.

Also, here's a shameless plug for my Netflix Recommendations series:


Grimm: As it stands, there's no show out there that I truly look forward to, except for Grimm. I've been in a TV slump, and no newer shows are doing it for me. Even my beloved Jane the Virgin, which is now in season 3, has started to become background fodder. Grimm reminded me what I'd been missing in a television series: an episodic structure.

I'm not a huge fan of the primetime soap opera style that's become popular in recent entertainment history. Law & Order, Grey's Anatomy, CSI (Miami), House, and Criminal Minds are some of my all-time favorite shows mainly because I could watch and re-watch random episodes at any given time. And that's only possible because each episode is its own little mini story that is introduced and concluded within the hour. If you've never seen a Law & Order episode, you don't need to start with season 1 episode 1, you can start with season 9 episode 4 and still be in the loop. Such is the case with the first few seasons of Grimm. Each episode has a new supernatural mystery to solve, and you can pretty much jump in and out at any time. It took the soap opera route in later seasons, but by then I was already hooked so it was too late to let go. I'm very much looking forward to the premiere in January.

I'm also looking forward to more quality tv options in 2017.

*Honorable mention goes to HBO's Insecure. It wasn't a favorite, but it was relatable, funny, and worth watching if you get the chance.

YouTube Channels

I never really watched YouTube videos until this year, so I guess YouTube videos in general could also be considered a 2016 favorite. There aren't many channels in my subscriptions list, and many of the people I follow only post every now and then. The list below are my favorites who post videos consistently.


Asia Jackson - the intro to the vid below is what compelled me to click "subscribe;" her personality is what kept me subscribed.


Emitaz - these two are so darn cute. I'd watch them in their senior years if they decided to keep vlogging for that long. 


Hot for Food - never did I ever think I'd try a vegan recipe, let alone multiple ones. This channel makes e v e r y recipe look good. I've tried the one below, and even though it takes forevvvver, it's worth it.


Negin Mirsalehi - Negin recently popped up on my recommended videos feed, and i'm pretty sure I skipped over it for weeks. When I finally did check one of her videos out, I had to binge her (small but mighty) archives. Her editing style is one of my favorites on YouTube, and her music choices are also on point. The crazy thing is she just started her channel a few months ago, and she's already at 100K+ subscribers. That's saying something.


Rachel Nguyen - Raych (that's what I call her in my head) is probably the most down-to-earth person I follow. Her vlogs are fun, but the art direction on her editorial videos are unmatched. She seriously deserves millions of followers. She's the only exception to my 'post consistently' blurb above. There's always an exception.


The Fashion Citizen - I don't remember how I stumbled on one of their videos, but I'm glad I did! These twin sisters live a regular life, not the glamor-filled life of luxury other YouTubers (claim to) live. The go to work, they go grocery shopping, they cook meals in their kitchen, and they're not afraid to sign off wearing bathrobes and pimple cream. They keep it real in so many ways.


(ETA) Mel on the Move - Melody's channel has grown like crazy this year, and that growth is very well-deserved. She mainly makes videos on her experiences living abroad and teaching English in Korea. Once upon a time, I was going to pursue the same career path. I had been accepted into a program and everything. All I needed to do was submit one last piece government paperwork, but I backed out because it just didn't feel right at the time. Now I get to live the experience through Melody!


And that's that! This was fun (for me at least). I think I'll start doing a favorites roundup at the end of each year, for however long I keep this blog up and running. Which will likely be a long while. I have yet to tire of posting here year after year; March 2017 will mark my 5th year of blogging - crazy! The layouts and content may have changed since 2012, but the name and mission remains the same and will likely never change.

Cheers to another year!

photo source for header »»
photo source for popcorn »»