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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Best of 2011-My Favorites of the Year!

Another year done come and gone. Can't believe how fast this one flew!
Anyway, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite things this year, as a blog post. It's been a year of busy days and new discoveries, indeed!

1. Favorite Product of the Year: Blackbird Soap Body Mousse

Reason I love it: Perfect consistency. Gorgeous fragrance. Long lasting moisture.

You gotta support these great handcrafted items and this company really puts extra work into not only creating a great product, but making the label descriptions and frangrances extra delectable. See my video review below for more info.

2. Favorite Blog: Monroe Misfit Makeup

This was a very busy year and honestly, I didnt have the time to do too much reading-online or otherwise. That's why I love this blog so much. Tons of gorgeous makeup 'eye candy' and very minimal text. I have learned so much from Jodi and was thrilled to see her continuing to shell out inspirational makeup looks on her blog. I find her work fascinating...and she is downright gorgeous, to boot!

3.Favorite Book: Retro Makeup by Lauren Rennells

Like I said, I had very little free time this year so I didnt really read much. :( This makes me sad because I am usually an avid reader! That said, I don't mean to discredit the brilliance of Lauren's new book. It's such a great blend of history and instruction, paired with gorgeous photos and plenty of inspiration. See my full video review below:

4. Favorite Album: JD McPherson-Signs and Signifiers
Technically, I guess this album was released in 2010 but it certainly gained its 'legs' this year! A long time fan of JD's since his work with the Starkweather Boys, this album shows that he has truly come into his own as a solo artist as well. The popular track 'North Side Gal' stands out, for sure. I heard it played several times at the VLV Car Show in April and it's no wonder! Catchy, danceable, well delivered. The song was requested numerous times over the course of the Rockabilly Weekend and since JD will be playing the event this coming April, I'm sure his reception will be a warm one. But that track aside, the album has plenty to offer otherwise as well. The title tune is sultry and heartfelt, 'Firebug' is undeniable in its raucous appeal, and 'Scratchin' Circles' will be an obvious dance floor choice for years to come. Looking forward with excitement to future releases from JD, Jimmy Sutton, and Alex Hall-an ideal blend of musicianship.

5. Favorite TV Show: Face Off (SyFy Channel)

I'll be the first to admit being 'tied' to a number of cable dramas. But the show that gave the biggest thrill this year, when it appeared on my DVR list, was this one. My affection for youtube tutorials carried over into this big budget contest, where Special Effects makeup artists competed to win a prize (which I don't even remember at this point). It was fascinating, horrifying, and lacked (thankfully) a lot of the personal drama of these types of reality competitions. I'm sure they'll up the drama for ratings in the upcoming season-which is a shame. But the challenges and winning creations were incredibly entertaining to watch.

6. Favorite Live Musical Performance-Imelda May at 3rd and Lindsley (Nashville Tn)

I actually did see quite a bit of live music this year. And the performance that stands out the most for me was this one. 3rd and Lindsley is a great venue with excellent accoustics and Imelda blew the roof off the place! The show was high energy and the band was in their element. Granted, The Hillbilly Casino opened up the show which put the audience in a tizzy, but Imelda's performance of 'Kensington Waltz' may have been one of more moving live performances I've seen. She feels every single note...nothing is token with her! Can't wait for her to return to Nashville..

7. Favorite Movie: The Adventures of TinTin
Before you gasp about this choice: let me explain. It is the ONLY movie I saw this year. And I saw it on December 31st. haha. My opinion is that is a good movie, not a great one. The story is convoluted but the characters are well voiced and nicely fleshed out. Spielberg could have done better and I really wish I'd seen more movies this year. :)

8. Favorite Clothing Purchase: Freddies Overalls

I adore these things! Perfectly suitable to a ton of different ocassions. A feminine and retro way to wear 'jeans'. SO well made..couldnt ask for more! See my video review and link to purchase here.

9.Favorite Photo of the year

10. Favorite Beer:

I love beer. This beer is a 'rediscovery' this year. I had it with the orange slice for the first time, at Mon Ami Gabi in Vegas. Maybe it was the perfect weather, the sidewalk setting, the baguette, the french onion soup, or the escargot-but every time I have a Belgian White, I am transported back there. Deliciously sunny and fruity.

11.Favorite Moment: The Birth of My Daughter
A no brainer. Ruby Lu has changed our lives in every great way possible. And the fact that she was a 'New Year's' surprise just made it even more special.

12. Favorite Youtube Tutorial of Mine: Slim's Sleek Waves for Diamonds and Dames

This one turned out well, I thought. I was just discovering perm rods as a cold set option and really liked how they worked in this tutorial:

Favorite Youtube Video of the year: 'Biba Fever' by Lisa Eldridge

Lisa's entire 'vintage makeup' series was utterly captivating. But this one was spectacular. Not only did it showcase the Biba look beautifully and effortlessly, it was somehow very emotional. Showing the power of makeup and respect for vintage, all at once. :) Thank you, Lisa.



Frances said...

your family is beautiful! I'm from Ireland so I've heard of Imelda May lots, wasn't aware she was touring America. Although she so brilliant at what she does it doesn't surprise me :D she has great style too.
Great post!


meg said...

Hey Ashley!

Blue Moon Belgian White was one of the first beers I ever had on tap, with a slice of lemon. It was refreshing and enlightening.

Nowadays we sometimes pick up a 6-pack of the seasonal brews. They used to have fun names like Rising Moon, Honey Moon, Harvest Moon, and Full Moon, and I believe, sadly, that the recipes may have changed a bit. But (like you), Blue Moon will always carry a certain nostalgia for me. : )

Kati M said...

I LOVE that picture of your family. I can see so much personality in your boys (hubby included). Such a sweet family.

Miss Tallulah Porkchop said...

You have a gorgeous family.

All the best for 2012.


Carlie said...

Oh. MY. GOODNESS. your family is beautiful! x

Anonymous said...

I love that family photo! Just too cute. And I have to agree with you about JD McPherson too! We are traveling over to the States for Viva, and I am SO excited to see him play :) I think I'll have to give the Blue Moon beer a try while we are there too!
x Molly

Rebecca said...

I love the look on your little man's face to your right in the family pic. :)Really cute, and I love the name Ruby. I didn't know Jody was blogging, so I'll check that out.

cherrybombrock said...

Just wanted to say the photo of Imelda May is mine! An old image that seems to get about quite a bit (but sadly with my credit cut off!)

Amanda Thurlow said...

Hi Ashley my daughter is called ruby too! I love imelda may and as I'm from the uk we see lots of her. Love your blog and YouTube stuff.
My blog is http://vintagedoris.blogspot.com

Amanda xxx

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