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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


Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Best of 2012

Okay folks, here it is: The Year In Review! This is my annual post detailing my favorites in everything from Tunes to Tutorials so settle in and share your own opinions at will. :)Keep in mind that I am a 'late bloomer' when it comes to some things so my loving it in 2012 doesn't necessarily mean it came out in 2012. ;-)

1.Product of the year:
REVLON COLORSTAY WHIPPED FOUNDATION

A dream foundation for dry skin, Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation provides the durability of the original liquid with a light pudding-ish consistency that blends perfectly. It will be a staple in my personal kit for years to come. Let's just hope it doesn't go the way of the Max Factor Pan Stick. :(



2.Favorite Blog:
THE FREELANCER'S FASHION BLOG:
http://freelancersfashion.blogspot.com/


Ulrika's fashion blog has now become a full fledged Lifestyle blog, incorporating everything from furniture to food to everything in between. I have always loved and been inspired by her fashion posts and hairdo ideas, but this year she added motherhood to the mix! How could I help but be fascinated by how she was able to blend the function of being a new mom to her already enviable style sense? Well, she not only succeeded but she included tips for baby care, quick recipes, and dynamite decorating photos to boot! Again, this blog is one of the most inspiring options on the web for vintage loving moms, wives, and single ladies alike. Follow it and be motivated!



3. Favorite Book:
CATCHING FIRE: SUZANNE COLLINS

I didn't have much time for reading this year, as with most years, but in spite of that I somehow managed to knock out all three books of the Hunger Games trilogy in two short weeks. Sometimes I huddled on the bathroom floor after the family was in bed; sometimes I craned to see by the light of the tv. But I have to agree with most of the world and claim that this series is a great accomplishment. A visionary and unique take on a dystopian society after the failure of democracy, I was drawn in by the similarities of the Hunger Games to the ancient Roman games of the gladiators. The fact that the cruel dictatorship known as The Capitol and it's reigning President Snow used children to fight to the death was a very brave premise that Collins deftly handled throughout the series. My 12 year old son and I had many very insightful conversations about the likelihood of this type of eventuality and our thoughts on how the books ended. My favorite of the series was this one, probably because of the inclusion of a few very intriguing central characters and some jarring twists. If you haven't read this series because you feel it is likely an overrated one, that may be true. But it's definitely worth a look, in my opinion. And just so you know, I wouldn't give Twilight the time of day. ;-)

4. Favorite Album:
SI CRANSTOUN: ALTERNATIVE FLOOR FILLERS
Jackie Wilson meets Harry Belafonte. This dynamic performer wowed the Viva crowd like no one else and was called back for an encore performance Sunday night. The album here is the one that I can't put down this year. It gets better with every listen. From the jumpy toe-tapping goodness of 'Throwback' to the sultry island appeal of 'La Isla Brazilia', the entire album has just one problem: It's over far too quickly!


5. Favorite Television Show:
DOWNTON ABBEY

I have my favorite AMC programming, my favorite repeat after repeat sit com fare, my favorite reality and variety shows. But the show that beat them all this year was Masterpiece Classics: Downton Abbey. The show is instantly mesmerizing as it pulls you into the lives and routine of the staff and family, showcasing gorgeous costumes, stunning sets, engaging direction, and brilliant acting like no other small screen series. Characters like John Bates and the indomitable Dowager Countess will forever live on in the world of entertainment, not only because they are brilliantly portrayed but because they are flawlessly conceived. The third season can't come soon enough.

6. Favorite Live Musical Performance:
SI CRANSTOUN : VIVA LAS VEGAS 2012


Dancing his way across the stage, singing his heart out to an audience that could not get ENOUGH of the fun ..it made for an excellent performance that won't easily be forgotten. I anticipate that even Si will have a difficult time topping that performance when he revisits Vegas next spring.


7. Favorite Movie:
LES MISERABLES:

Without saying too much (I plan to do a full review on my Youtube movie review channel next week), suffice it to say that the lovers (like me) of both the Victor Hugo novel AND the fantastic musical will be thrilled with this film adaptation of the story. Anne Hathaway steals the show but the rest of the cast also shines in what could have been a huge mess of a movie. Such huge appreciation to Hooper for successfully bringing the wonderful music to the screen without neglecting to pay tribute to the book in such a gritty and innovative way. There has never been a musical like it. And it will set the standard from now on.


8. Favorite Clothing Purchase:
WHIRLING TURBAN DRESSES

Being a new affiliate of Whirling Turban has magnificent perks and one of them is relative ease of access to gorgeous couture dresses. This one isn't necessarily my 'favorite' because really, all of my WT's are equally phenomenal. It does, however, have the added of appeal of being separates! Can't tell, can you? ;-)

9. Favorite Photo:
DANCING TIL 5:30 AM ON THE LAST NIGHT OF VIVA:

(Someone caught a very rare photo of me truly getting my groove on with no inhibitions. And I'm even making 'the face'. I laughed so hard at this one! It was an AMAZING night.)

10. Favorite Beer:
LAZY MAGNOLIA: SOUTHERN PECAN
Smooth nut brown ale with a slight maple syrup aftertaste that I attribute to the pecans, this one remains the most memorable beer I tried all year. Looking forward to trying more Lazy Magnolia brews in the future


11. Favorite Moment:
BEACH VACATION WITH LU
This year had lots of great moments but time with my friend Lulu is so rare that it's no secret she would have to be involved in my favorite one. Visiting she and her family in California's bay area was a blast, even without the rest of my family, and they were such gracious hosts to my baby girl and I. But the moment that stands out to me the most was this brief and chilly visit to the beach on my last afternoon.

12.Favorite Tutorial of Mine:
SHAINA AND THE 'LIZ TAYLOR TRIBU-TORIAL'


Because sometimes things just come together. :)

13. Favorite Youtube Tutorial:
KABUKI: MAKING OF by KYONDIMBLE
I had A LOT of favorites this year. This year artists like Lisa Eldridge (who held this top spot last year), Goldiestarling, and Promise Phan really pulled out all the stops. Lisa gave us a spot on and historically accurate Marilyn Monroe look. Angie (Goldiestarling) created a flawlessly original Van Gough inspired Halloween costume. Promise presented not one, but THREE Johnny Depp transformations in one succinct and hilariously performed video. But this year I discovered Kyondimble who is one of my favorite makeup artists on Youtube now. Her looks are certainly not for a novice to attempt, but I am amazed every time she puts a brush to her face. So I chose this one because it's the first one I saw of her's. Enjoy...



Til next year, So Long Dearies!
xoxo
Ashley

4 comments:

Sabra said...

Hello,
I totally agree, the best blog of my year too was the Ulrika one even if I follow her for years. I just think for me it's became usual to come on a her blog several times per week. She's so beautiful, talented. Even her baby seems perfect.
By this way I can enjoy of this comment to tell you was and still are my favorite channel on youtube.
xxx
Sabra

Anthea said...

Kyondimble is amazing, thanks for sharing! Really enjoyed watching some of her videos on youtube.

balletslippers said...

I absolutely agree about Downton Abbey, I'm addicted to that show.
By the way could I ask you something? I really love you vintage hairstyles and have tried them a couple times myself. But sadly the curls always disappear after a few hours. Even faster when it's humid outside. Do you have a tip for that? I don't have very thick hair, actually more on the contrary...
Thanks so much!!

Kstylick said...

A very wonderful post :) Maybe we could follow each other on Bloglovin and/or GFC?

Please leave me a comment on my blog and I will follow you!

http://kstylick.blogspot.com

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