Recommendation

2014 Year In Review: Albums of the Year

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Ah, the dreaded but loved Albums of the Year post. To be quite honest, I’m not entirely sure why I still bother to post it. My friends and I don’t really have lengthy conversations about our favorite albums of the year anymore. With Spotify and iTunes it’s actually really simple to keep track of the albums I loved and listened to bunches over the span of a year. Wow, I don’t seem very convincing to listen to, do I? Just like any other person, I know what I like and this is it. I’m by no means a musical expert. Sure, i know a lot of trivial facts that easily help me win the entertainment/music section of any board game or trivia contest, but I am far from all knowing that one artist sounds like another artist. You know like some well informed music reviewers can very easily do. Anyway, these are my favorite albums of the year. I’m not going to lie. I DID spend a good month straight listening to 1989 and I’m going to be listening to Four until probably forever (it’s just that good).

There’s really no particular order or ranking system although from my last little blurb it’s quite obvious I play favorites with at least two of these albums. I’ve included a link to one of my favorite tracks from each album as well as a link to stream the album on Spotify! Very convenient if I do say so myself.

So enjoy and let me know in the comments what you think of these albums, what some of your favorite albums of 2014 have been, or some albums you are looking forward to hearing in 2015!

12 Days of Christmas: Day 02

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Today’s 12 Days of Christmas item is something I was actually given as a gift this holiday season, and I enjoyed using it so much I’m paying it forward and recommending it now. ‘Wow she’s pretty obsessed with her hair..’ is something one might say right now since I keep on sharing my favorite hair care items. The truth is, yeah, I kind of love my hair. It’s the thing I’m most complimented on so I take really good care of it.

I’m not one for fancy shampoos etc but I kind of love this one now. The shampoo and conditioner are light and don’t weigh hair down. Considering olive oil is a base ingredient my hair isn’t surprisingly greasy and the dryness and frizz that comes along with natural drying has been tamed. The styling creme is sensational. A little bit goes a long way, so not only is the bottle going to last a bit longer, but it’s a breeze to work with. Now how am I supposed to go back to my regular hair regime?

Brilliant Glossing shampoo, conditioner, and styling creme, Frederic Fekkai, $55

12 Days of Christmas: Day 03

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Soon the Christmas tunes will be a distant memory until next year, so why not take a listen to 4 of my favorite albums from this year. No shame in my game. Look for more of my favorite albums & songs of 2014 in the coming days, but for now purchase these over on Amazon: Taylor Swift 1989, One Direction Four, The 1975, Banks Goddess

12 Days of Christmas: Day 6

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Day 6. The final countdown. Time to finish up the last minute gifts I need to buy and then start the gift wrapping. Who wants to talk about that? No one. So, let’s just talk about day 6: the BaByliss curling iron. I’m devoted to my curling iron. That’s awful for both myself and my hair. My natural texture is a bit of a mess and I’ve tried several ways of non-heat curling my hair (ie: braids etc). None of them really worked the way I wanted so now I’ve just given up and held true to my curling iron. I’m just subscribed to the super great (but disgusting) world of rehydrating hair masks. That said, the BaByliss wand is one of the best and most highly recommended curling irons on the market so there isn’t a reason I wouldn’t recommend it highly as well.

BaByliss Curling Iron

12 Days of Christmas: Day 07

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Today’s item was intended to be my one of my favorite clothing purchases of the year: my leather biker jacket. Since I had purchased it many moons ago from H&M, it is no longer available. Rather than share an item no one can buy, should they want to, I decided to browse the jackets/coats and see if anything tickled my fancy. I really liked this wool biker jacket. It seems very warm, stylish, and like the next member adopted into my ever growing closet.

I really like the zippers and the jacket flaps. I would probably pair it with a white blouse and a nice pair of jeans for a nice classic, sleek look that doesn’t take away from the coat. H&M does have a couple of leather biker jackets in stock, but none that overwhelmed me. I haven’t been much of a jacket fan since the 90s when I stopped wearing denim jackets. Why should you take my advice then? Well, I’m a reformed jacket lover. I’ve seen the light! Hallelujah! I’ve been missing out on so much all these years. Now I never take my leather jacket off. Just kidding….mostly. I live for blistery days and my beloved coats.

Wool Biker Jacket, H&M, $79.95

12 Days of Christmas: Day 08

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I mentioned previously how I’ve tried new things this year as far as beauty products are concerned, and one of those has been lipstick. Lipstick was really awesome when I was playing dress up with my sister, but lip balm has been a way of life for much of my adult life. Randomly one day (I think for a special occasion) I decided to give lipstick a go. That one chance happening has blossomed into a love/hate relationship. I don’t know why I thought this relationship would be a simple one. It definitely is not. That said, I found two shades I really love and are my go-to lip colors. I’ve suggested them both before here on the blog. The MAC shade, Myth, is a nice nude shade and one of their most popular colors (in case you’re like me just trying to figure things out). The pink Kate Moss shade by Rimmel is very pink. That’s not a bad thing; just something I wasn’t quite used to at first. Now I just find it very flirty and fun. I really want to branch out and try a recommendation by one of my favorite makeup artists and try the Hourglass Cremé Lipstick in Grace.

Buy: Myth by M.A.C., $16 / Shade 101 by Kate Moss for Rimmel, $5.29

12 Days of Christmas: Day 09

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Today’s 12 Days of Christmas is a bit of a change. I’ve been sharing my makeup & hair recommendations because I’m actually really proud of how far I’ve come on those two things. I’ve learned so much and tried so many things which is part of getting older and growing, but today I’m sharing something I’ve always known a lot about: movies. Particularly, and fitting with the idea, movies I’ve seen this year that are currently out on DVD/streaming.

Inside Llewyn Davis is a great movie for a blistery winter day. The winter scenes of the movie and the grey undertones of the coloring are so fitting and wonderful. (I saw it on a cold winter night which is why I relate it so much to my winter) The story is strange but interesting, it has typical Coen brother’s dark humor, and the 1960s folk setting is a great setting. Unfortunately, if one doesn’t love folk music of the 1960s, they probably won’t enjoy it and find the music horrible and hard to enjoy. I disagree, and love it particularly, Please Mr. Kennedy, which will literally stay stuck in my head for a week. It also has Justin Timberlake, so there’s that.

Wish I Was Here is the movie I’ve been waiting for since 2005. The movie I didn’t even know I would get or wanted, but then it happened in the strangest way: Kickstarter, and I was ecstatic. While it has many parallels to Braff’s first work, Garden State, I must admit that’s what I liked about it. Garden State was my high school/early 20s experience. Now I have Wish I Was Here and it’s still the perfect combination of storytelling, visuals, and music. Just ask my best friend who is still probably really embarrassed by my reaction to it.

I’ve never met a Wes Anderson movie I didn’t like. That’s a fact. I was anticipating The Grand Budapest Hotel and wasn’t disappointed. It’s quirky and humorous and brightly colored. The scenery and design and I just can’t say enough about it. It might be my favorite movie of 2014. Unless you’re my brother, and think all Wes Anderson movies are just “boring recreations of his home movies.”

Inside Llewyn Davis, Wish I Was Here, Grand Budapest Hotel

12 Days of Christmas: Day 10

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Essie is my go-to nail polish company. It’s my favorite & I’m always buying more. Just take a look at the ever growing collection in the container next to my bed. I just can’t resist a good seasonal collection. Licorice is my all time favorite shade, in case anyone is curious. But for day 10 in the 12 Days of Christmas, I’m sharing the shade I wore most often in 2014: Cute as a Button.

Cute as a Button is a nice coral shade that compliments, and even offsets, most of my darker wardrobe nicely by adding a little slice of color. It’s bright and applies simply. I definitely didn’t need more than two coats, and the best part is, it didn’t flake after a few days. Typically I would consider it more of a spring/summer shade (which is when I wore it most often), but even in the bleaker days of winter, I find myself tempted to pull it out again. Any of the hundreds of Essie polishes would make great stocking stuffers (or party favors), but I might suggest this one first and foremost.

Cute As a Button, Essie, $8.50

Looking for a holiday shade? Try Wicked or Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low

Essie is my go-to polish company.

12 Days of Christmas

Everyone knows that holiday tune the Twelve Days of Christmas right? I often wonder who would want these horrible things. I mean 12 drummers drumming? 12 seems a little excessive and loud to be quite honest. How one even organizes 8 maids-a-milking is beyond me. The song and some inspiration from others got me thinking of doing my own bitty 12 days of Christmas. Rather than shoving four calling birds in people’s faces without their permission (what was this song even for really), I thought I would just share 12 of my favorite things from this year that I’ve bought/used/loved. Many are suitable for last minute gifts and such but bear with me as I’m not very good at this sort of thing. Let’s try it and see how it goes. Maybe develop a great learning curve for next year. Who knows?! Already off to a rough start, I missed day 12 yesterday so today I will begin with a combination post of 12 and 11.

PS: If someone in 2014 where to purchase the Twelve Days of Christmas (which no one in their right mind should ever do) it would cost approximately, $116k

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Day 12: my favorite eye make up essentials

Time to be a bit narcissistic for a second: my eyes are one of my favorite features. I receive a lot of compliments on them so I really try to play them up on the daily. I put a lot of attention on my eyelashes and try to make them as long and voluminous as possible, which is why I love this Two Faced Mascara. Another thing I’ve become obsessed with is gel eyeliner. First it was a pain in the butt to apply and my makeup remover wasn’t exactly a fan of removing it at the end of the night. Now I’ve learned the blessed ways of the NYX gel liner and there’s no going back now. Even after a crazy night out (where I often forget to remove my makeup before bed) it doesn’t smear or come off all over my pillowcases. I certainly don’t condone wearing eye makeup to bed, but sometimes it happens and gel liner makes sure to still look good in the morning! Sorry the hangover isn’t fun, but the eye makeup looks great!

Better Than Sex mascara, Two Faced $23 / Gel eyeliner & smudger, NYX, $9

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Day 11: Bleach London Super Cool Colour

Earlier this year I became obsessed with Bleach London’s Super Cool Colours. I was envious because they weren’t available for sale to US customers, so I headed to my nearest stylist and ended up with a purple ombré. Eventually I learned of someone who would ship to the US and my ombré became Rosé. What I love so much about Bleach London colour is its super simple to apply alone and washes out in a few washes. The temporary nature of the colour is a blessing and a curse. It allows for tons of color changes (they have a variety of colors) but doesn’t stick around a lot without reapplication which bothersome sometimes. I still recommend it because it’s fun and Bleach London has a variety of amazing products. I wish I could visit their salons and really try something crazy, but for now my blonde ombré is still hanging in there…maybe it’s time to try a bullini?

Super Cool Colour, Bleach London, UK or Worldwide