I’m busting out of hiatus for my end-of-year favorites, because I just can’t break tradition. I’m not sure how soon I’ll be back to my old blogging. Some yucky news came down at work while I’ve been away from L2B, and for the next few months many things are up in the air. This year has put us all to the test, so I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping 2017 is much kinder. That being said, I’ve found some things in 2016 to smile about. As always, starting with the colors that really jumped out at me…
Wait, what? I know, it’s so weird, but hear me out. At the beginning of the year, I was taking some big steps in my life, and the biggest thing that gave me confidence was my insanely vivid, fuchsia hair. In sunlight, it was nearly blinding, and it made me feel like I could do anything. I might love the way turquoise hair looks, but I love the way fuchsia hair makes me feel.
2. Lime Green
I go through lime green phases throughout my life. I had a lime green Game Boy Color, lime green N64, lime green beanbag chair, lime green shoes… it’s safe to say this color sticks with me. Well, it seems to be making a comeback for me this year. No, I’m not dying my hair green, but I find myself gravitating toward it more and more.
3. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab “Perversion”
This has been my favorite scent all year. I ordered an imp with my Halloween haul this year, not expecting to fall in love. The description on the website: The perfect scent to wear to your next bondage ball, dungeon adventure or sojourn to your favorite pleasure dome. Smoky rum and black tobacco with a whisper of steamy leather with a splash of crystalline chardonnay, layered over a sensual, sweet, and deceptively magnetic base of tonka.
I don’t think I’d ever really smelled tonka before, but it’s responsible for the sort of vanilla extract note to this fragrance. The rum and tobacco are powerful with this one. “Why would you want to smell like tobacco?” my boyfriend asked, but he understood when he caught a whiff of that lovely pipe tobacco note.
4. Covergirl Remarkable Mascara
Geez, I hope this one’s still on the market. I heard somewhere it’s been discontinued. It’s not really a new discovery for me, but I had no idea how indispensable it would be. No mascara that I’ve tried since has saved me from raccoon eyes quite like this. It deserves to be a favorite. It’s not going to give you the illusion of super long lashes, but it’s not going to try to escape in the middle of a party either.
5. Starlooks Luxe Longwear Eyeliner
Again, not a new discovery, but something that earned a spot in my favorites. If I had any idea how bad other products would smudge and run, I’d have put this on my list last year. I laugh a lot. Sometimes I laugh until I cry (I have awesome friends, what can I say?) so I need an eyeliner that’s going to retain a nice, precise line until I’m ready to take it off. The felt pen design makes for easy, clean wings and great width control.
6. Sparkling Water
Don’t say “yuck!” Last year, Tim Tams made my favorites list, and I loved them so much that I gained TEN pounds over the course of about a month! In an effort to cut out the excessive sugar in my diet, I not only stopped eating Tim Tams (okay, I’ve had at least one box this year), I also cut out sweet drinks. I’m not a fan of diet sodas, but I love the fizz, so I switched to sparkling water. Well, I quickly dropped my Tim Tams weight plus 10 more with this change alone. I’ve gotten to the point I don’t even miss sugary sodas or even sugar in my coffee. Confession: I enjoyed the hell out of Pumpkin Creme soda last month, and found that it mixes well with spiced rum. Shh.
7. Sour Punch Bites – Tropical
Okay, one sweet thing. When I do have a candy craving, my go-to is the tropical blend of Sour Punch Bites. I love sour foods. My favorite flavor is the peach-mango. Even though the sugar tried to kill me (sharp sugar crystals are not for breathing).
8. 21 Pilots
For the record, “Heathens” is not high up on my list. I’ve been a fan of 21 Pilots for the greater part of 2016. I wouldn’t have said that last year. I hated the way he said “good ol’ days” in “Stressed Out.” The band has grown on me a ton this year. The lyrics are very clever and the band has a broad range of styles. How do you know you’re a millennial and not a Gen-Xer? You identify with 21 Pilots. Kind of a sticky spot for us 1982 babies, but I know exactly where I fall.
9. Stranger Things
Daaaaamn, Netfliiiiix! Killin’ it with the originals. Other channels didn’t want to touch this, because the story bounced around too much between a kid show, a detective drama, a sci-fi horror, and a teen romance story. They said it needed to stick with one, and cater to a specific demographic. Then Netflix stepped in and said, “No, it’s perfect. We’ll produce it!” I’m so glad they did. Every angle is essential to the plot, and it stays true to the ’80s setting. People my age have no trouble enjoying the kids’ story arc, because it’s packed with nostalgia. Best new show of the year and I can’t wait for season 2.
10. Paranormal Kativity
Each year, I add a few Youtubers to my list. This year, I’ve been watching Paranormal Kativity. Kat Davis is a paranormal vlogger who mixes an equal share of personal and informative videos. Her videos are usually under 10 minutes, but she researches and summarizes topics that I haven’t seen any other paranormal channel cover. She’s upbeat, curious, and friendly, and I love how excited she gets over creepy things.
11. Get Germanized
Dominik Hannekum is an adorable German vlogger who learned to speak English in order to understand his favorite anime. His videos are very educational. Not only does he offer lessons in the language, but also cultural lessons about Germany. German is a language I’ve always wanted to learn, even though it’s not particularly useful where I live. I’m taking lessons through Duolingo and Memrise, but it’s important to hear conversational speech when learning a language. I mean, I could have a pretty fun conversation with a 3-4 year old, but not with a 34 year old. I’ve only been watching this channel for about the last month or so, but I’ve been going back through the older videos to catch up.
Meep the Jeep! A 2005 Jeep Liberty Sport joined the family at the beginning of the year. You may have read about it previously. Yes, I’ve had a couple challenges, but nothing compared to the 21 year old truck I was driving before (buy that girl a drink!). I’ve always wanted an SUV, and it’s everything I hoped for.
13. Wrap Bracelets
2014: Midi rings…2015: Necklaces…2016: Wrap bracelets! I learned to make these sometime over the summer, and I can’t stop. Limited only by the supplies I have on-hand at any given moment, I’d make these every day. They wrap 3 times on a wrist, twice on an ankle, and are my favorite accessory of 2016.
14. Prime Pantry
So you’re short on cash and you need a few things for the house before payday. You can use your Amazon store card to buy groceries and still get coupon deals like you are at an actual store. If you buy five items from that month’s special list, shipping is free, and in most cases the box will arrive the next day. I’ve used this service for things like kitty litter, tampons, dry and canned pasta, soap and cleaning products. Sometimes they carry items that my local stores no longer stock, so it’s been a real lifesaver.
I can’t let this year get by without saying how thankful I am to have a weekly gaming group. I met our host through a tabletop RPG a friend was running last year, but I’d heard his name many times before, as they’d gone to high school together. Well, I’m shy and awkward, and I won’t show up places without a definite invitation, so when my friend told me he’d extended an invite to his regular game nights I still wasn’t sure if I knew him well enough. It wasn’t long before he made it official. My boyfriend and I were added to the Spieleabend group on facebook where he organizes all his weekly game nights. Since then, I think we’ve only missed one due to a cold. We’ve met so many wonderful people and played so many fun games! It’s busted us anxiety-ridden hermits out of our shells. Our host is by no means obligated to do so, but he gives prizes and trophies to the night’s winner. We love him and would continue to game with him regardless, and I’m sure I speak for everyone there. More than anything, he makes sure that everyone is having a good time. If somebody is obviously struggling with the game we’re playing, he’ll switch it up. It’s that thoughtfulness that makes Spieleabend a comfortable place to return each week.
16. Cat EVERYTHING!
I’m probably driving my boyfriend nuts with all the cat stuff. I have cat pajamas, cat socks, cat shirts, cat jewelry, cat ears for my Halloween costume…I have finally accepted that cats are my spirit animal. I can love octopuses, tigers and rhinos, and still be a total cat person.
So there it is! My 16 favorites for 2016! Now I get to start making my list for 2017! 😀