Winter Blues, Volume 2 and 2016 Favorites

Guys, January has been a shit show. To be fair, November and December were also shit shows, but I love the holidays, so I gave them a free pass. I don’t know what’s going on with me. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that I go through this rough patch yearly, and then totally block it out of my memory for obvious reasons. You’ve officially joined the SAD club if you can relate to any combination of the following:

-The alarm clock is my mortal enemy.

-Enemies exist in other forms too like, getting out of bed, showering, putting on real clothes.(THE worst.)

-I wish to speak to basically no one.

-Anything that tears me from my flannel sheets is clearly a part of my life I need to rethink.

-What is sunlight? I don’t remember it, whatever it is.

I could go on, but frankly, I remain in a zombily (yup, words) exhausted state in the winter months, so I am tired. You can be in my SAD club, okay. Just, no speaking. And for the love of everything, absolutely no Grey’s Anatomy.

In happier times, pre deep freeze, I was mentally compiling a list of all my favorite things from 2016. (1. The Election. PSYCHE!) Because Favorites are essentially my favorite blogs to read and vlogs to watch, I am excited to share some of mine with you.

Television-Above all else, I am a television junkie. There’s a lot of stuff I love on TV right now, but I’m going to keep this as short and sweet as possible, and exclude Netflix and Hulu (and my beloved Bachelor).

  1. I have always, and will always, be a crazy fan girl for New Girl (Fox, Tuesdays at 8). I’ve gushed about this before, but I think the easiest way to describe this show is that it’s like a weekly half hour dose of romcom GOLD. It is a sugary sweet combination of vibes from every show I’ve ever loved, and I pray it has at least 100 more seasons.
  2. A new favorite that I was sure I would love before it even aired is Superstore (NBC, Thursdays at 8). If you find yourself reading this as a personal acquaintance of mine, I think it’s safe to say you’ve spent a large portion of your life working in retail thus far. This show is painfully, hysterically relatable for anyone who’s ever worked Black Friday, or been called stupid by some salty bitch who doesn’t understand sales tax. Plus, Ben Feldman is a total babe.

*Honorable mentions: The Big Bang Theory, Quantico (only because TBBT is an oldie at this point, and Quantico is pretty ‘off brand,’ for me)

Cruelty Free Beauty-2016 was a year of major hits, and dismal misses for this category. If you’ve followed along for a while, you will know that I am deep into the process of transitioning to a 100% cruelty free beauty routine. I’m about… halfway there. Suggestions are welcome. Also, I’m going to skip some things I’ve already raved about, but you can refresh your memory here.

  1. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer. This stuff is the t’s. It’s an absolute holy grail moisturizer that I am happily using instead of Cetaphil. It’s light, non-comedogenic, and 100% fragrance free. Unfortunately, while the brand itself doesn’t test on animals, a recent change indicates that FAB can no longer guarantee that their suppliers are entirely cruelty free. More to come.
  2. Palmer’s Firming Butter. Early last year, I had a cellulite induced panic attack, and quickly took to the Google machine to see what my options were. Turns out, Palmer’s came up again and again as the number one choice overall, not just for cruetly-free and drugstore options. While I can’t confirm that my cellulite has magically disappeared, I can tell you that this is seriously moisturizing, and smells just as chocolatey as the original formula. It’s a staple in my everyday skincare routine.
  3. Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream. Friends, my beloved Ready foundation was discontinued. I saved my remaining compacts for a rainy day, and promptly bought Complexion Rescue. This tinted bb/cc cream is buildable, long lasting, and leaves my skin a lot more dewy, and younger looking than matte powders. It took me a while to get the hang of application, but now I think it’s actually quicker than Ready, may it rest in peace.
  4. Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Splits Shimmering Skin Perfector (in Champagne Pop/Flowerchild). Obviously, this was the champagne pop heard round the world in 2016. The hype is real, people. It’s glittery, it’s lasting, the formula is good. It’s glittery again. It’s fleeky. It’s always sold out. What more do you need to know?

*Honorable mention: Proactiv Plus (but, you already knew this)

Podcasts-Thanks to a desk job and the lovely ladies I work with, I was introduced to the world of podcasts in 2016, and quickly realized that much like tastes in books and television, tastes in podcasts can widely vary even across a small group of people. If you’ve been a fan of any shows/books/Youtube channels I’ve mentioned, you will likely appreciate the following:

  1. Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig. There are far too many lovable aspects of this podcast to list them all, so I will outline the most important. Grace is hilarious. Jack is hilarious. All of the guests are hilarious. Youtubers. AND **there is structure to the show. I really enjoy structure in a podcast. Start with the Lance Bass episode, and thank me later.
  2. The Brett Davern Show w/Marty. So… I was/am obsessed with Awkward. When I stumbled upon this podcast, I was thrilled to find out that the entire cast of the show is extremely funny, talented, and down to earth. (That’s across the board with all of the guests so far.) The podcast is relatable and comfortable; I’m crazy about the listener involvement, and the games make me laugh without fail. Basically, I want to be the fifth member in the Brett, Marty, Ben, and Maddi band… New Fifth Harmony? Please?

*Honorable mentions: Psychobabble (literally zero structure, have to be prepared for two funny people to aimlessly talk over one another for forty minutes, but funny still!) and Stuff You Should Know… self explanatory, title is super literal.

Books, Movies, and Music-Personally, there wasn’t a whole lot that was truly groundbreaking happening in these categories in 2016. However, what did work, weeerked.

  1. Girl Online: Going Solo, Zoe Sugg. It’s no secret that Zoe is everything I want to be and then some. I was late to the party in reading these books, but it was perfect timing to have the story fresh in my mind when the third and final?? novel came out. The whole series is very The Lizzie McGuire Movie, meets your 18-year-old-self’s fantasy of living under such a shady rock that you’re practically dating Taylor Hanson before you even realized who he was. The series is very close to my 90’s kid heart.
  2. It’s Not Okay, Andi Dorfman. I really love everything Bachelor related, and this short read was no exception. To put it mildly, this tell-all vilified everyone involved, author included. It created a layer of honesty and realness that sometimes doesn’t exist on the show. Plus, it’s nice to know I’m not the only crazy girl out there…
  3. Bad Moms. I have been dying for this to show up in redbox, and it finally did. I rented this last weekend and it made me laugh and cry. I’m including it in 2016 favorites because that’s obviously when it hit theaters. It is very literally about three bad (real) moms. Also, the cast is smokin’ hot.
  4. Illuminate, Shawn Mendes. I should be a little bit ashamed of this, but I’m not. This is a no skip album for me. End of story.
  5. Nine Track Mind, Charlie Puth. For me, Charlie is like the male version of T-Swift. He’s soulful, and kind of bitter, and unapologetic, and ridiculously talented. Also a no skip.
  6. Keep WatchA Story Told. My friends were at it again in 2016, and it is so good.

*Honorable mentions: Artists performing at any show/concert I went to. Hailee Steinfeld (her album wasn’t a total home run for me, but the singles are legit), Bieber, The 1975, RELIENT K.

Youtube-2016 threw me into a world of Youtube that I didn’t know existed. I have always been known to find myself in the Youtube time warp looking up covers of songs, but I didn’t know until early last year that Youtube is a legitimate profession. Who’s doing it best?

  1. Zoella. I can’t say this enough. She is my soul sister from across the pond. She is as real as it gets. Despite being a millionaire, best-selling author, and business savvy beauty blogger with her own (growing) line of products, watching her videos feels like I’m sat in the living room with my very best friend.
  2. Pointless Blog Vlogs, Alfie Deyes. You basically can’t love Zoe without loving Alfie. His vlog channel follows his daily activity, which is sometimes exciting and pranky and crazy, but often is just very normal. For whatever reason, I dig it a lot. Could be the accent.
  3. Casey Neistat… I share this channel with a frown on my face, as Casey recently decided to stop daily vlogging, breaking the hearts (literally all over the world) of his 6 million and counting subscribers. Casey is essentially a world traveler who is always up to something exhilarating, and funny, and smart. His wife, son, and daughter make frequent and comical appearances in most vlogs. Don’t worry that he’s not daily vlogging anymore, you’ll have two years worth of episodes to catch up on.

*Honorable mentions: Leigh Ann Says (for obvious reasons, she is so great, but was a super late 2016 discovery), and Jenna Marbles, because, duh.

So there you have it! 17 (one extra for good luck!) incredibly long-winded favorites of 2016. What did you love last year?

xoxo Leigh Ann        If you made it this far, thank you. And please subscribe 🙂

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Maker of artish things. TV junkie. Where's the pizza?

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