Favorites of 2011.

Welcome to my wrap-up of 2011.  This year has been a year of discovery.  Maybe since I turned thirty, I was more open for change, more open to change up my "normal".  I found some new favorite things this year, and since I love it when people tell me about their favorite things...I thought I would tell you some of the things I discovered this year.

There are very few albums that I like to listen to the entire thing, but this year, there were several.
(The release date might be earlier than this year, but I started listening to it in the last twelve months.)
  1. Mumford and Sons- Sigh No More. Awesome album.  I listen to it a lot, however, one of the tracks "Little Lion Man", has the "f" word in it.  We can't find the clean version...any ideas?
  2. One Republic-Waking Up.  This album came out awhile ago, but it is full of really great songs.
  3. Adele- 21.  AWESOME.  I listen to "Someone Like You" on repeat.  I sing it as loudly as I can every time it comes on, which makes the boys laugh.  Good times.
  4. Jenny Oaks Baker- Wish Upon a Star and The Best of Jenny Oaks Baker.  Jenny Oaks Baker is a fabulous violinist.  This music is relaxing, and when the boys are tired in the car, they ask to listen to it.  I saw her perform in person twice this year.  She is a lovely person, with incredible talent.  The Wish Upon a Star is a Disney themed album and one of my favorites is "A Whole New World" as a tango.  Fabulous.

I love to read, but since I had classes this year, I didn't have a lot of time for reading.  As soon as I finished my classes in August, I started reading.  I have found new favorites:

  1. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.  Seriously an awesome book.  It is long, but well worth it.  There are a lot of philosophical ideas -most I agreed with, some I did not.  Whether you agree with everything, it is a really thought provoking book.  Loved it.
  2. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by 

When I walk into the make-up section of a store, I am overwhelmed by how many beauty products there are.  Here are some of the ones I found that work for me.
  1. Erase Paste by Benefit (Sephora).  This is my very first concealer/under eye cream, and it is a dream.  I feel like I look younger as soon as I put it on.  (I put it on after I use my foundation/tinted moisturizer.)
  2. Tinted Moisturizer.  Seriously, I had not used this until this year, and now I am in love.  I was using Laura Mercier (Sephora), but that was too expensive.  I found some at Target that fit my budget more, it is the Boots brand.  It has been working perfectly, and it is a fraction of the cost.
  3. Luminizer.  This is a great product.  It makes my skin luminous.  I had no idea how to use this, but one of my friends showed me how.  I use High Beam by Benefit (Sephora), I got it as a sample, and am almost out.  I am going to try the Boots brand for this as well.  I have found if there is a product I want to know how to use, head to Sephora (or any make-up counter) and ask.
  4. Coconut Oil.  My friends, it has changed my life.  I use it for EVERYTHING.  Moisturizer, eye make-up remover, lotion, anytime I need moisture, I use it.  I buy mine at Trader Joe's but you can buy it anywhere.  It is in a semi-solid state until it is warmed up.  I know it sounds weird to put oil on your face, but it really is amazing.  My skin has been fantastic since I started using it.  The real test will be using it in Utah's dry climate.

I would love to hear about any products, music, books, anything that you have fallen in love with this year, or ever really.  Go ahead, share the love.

What would a wrap-up post from me be without pictures?  Here are a few of my favorites from 2011.  



Ben and me:

Happy New Year!  May 2012 bring you happiness and adventure.

(At least until the world ends in December)


Jessica said...

Fun post! When will you be in Utah?

Kirk said...

Super year for the Whitakers!

Liz said...

I am so glad that you and your family had a great year! I hope this next year will be just as great or better!

Cait Emma said...

such a great blog xoxo nice to meet you and happy new year!



Piril Maria said...

Happy new year from me at The Bookness. I followed too. Maybe you visit me someday.

♥ www.thebookness.com

Kristy said...

Great post! I do totally love hearing about favorites. I totally want to try the highlighting facial product. Those always do wonders. I can't believe your stay in Mexico is over, times flies! So we should be seeing you soon over here, nice! I can't wait to hear about all your adventures in Sri Lanka! Happy New Years to you too! The world is ending in December? Why do I never know about these things?! :)

Brooke S. said...

Love, love, love Mumford and Sons! Two other albums to consider: "The Temper Trap" (only one) and the newest "The National". Amazing. Happy moving!