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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


Monday, December 16, 2013

The Best of 2013

And here we go...another year is nearly over and it's time to do the year-in-review, Lisa Freemont Street style. I realized when making this list that I am really out of touch, when it comes to a few things, and more in tune with others since my move to Memphis.

Starting with:

Product of the Year:

SAHAG SCULPT NOURISHING MOUSSE:

For the first time, a styling products gets top honors! This mousse by Sahag, is a dream setting lotion for my current high humidity location. See my full review below:




Blog of the Year:

STRAWBERRY KOI

photo credit Strawberry Koi

I have been following Aya on Youtube and her blog for years, but this year especially, the blog stayed a favorite. The photography is always top notch, the fashion is inspiring, and the whole site just has an airy atmosphere of cozy comfort. The inclusion of recipes and the creativity of her children only serve to make it one of my favorite places in Internet-Land.

Favorite Book:

I did not read a single book this year. I am so ashamed. I've read lots of magazines and re-read a bunch of styling books...but I really dropped the ball when it came to reading books. Things to fix next year...

Favorite Album:

CLUTCH: EARTH ROCKER


A fan of Clutch since the early 90's, I'm always a little giddy when they release a new album. This one is especially dynamic and full of great memorable riffs and Neil Fallon's expressive lyrics. The Face may be one of the best songs of their long career. To be so prolific, its amazing to me that not only is the lineup still original, but the inventiveness seems never-ending.


Favorite Television Show:

DEREK

I enjoyed a lot of great tv this year, but this little show (exclusively available on Netflix, for US audiences) is my favorite. Ricky Gervais stars as Derek, a simple fellow who helps out around an independently operated nursing home in England. The supporting cast includes Karl Pilkington (of An Idiot Abroad) as the bitter and pessimistic maintenance man Dougie, Kerry Godliman as the home's self sacrificing proprietor, Hannah, and David Earl as 'Kev', an unsavory and hygenically challenged fellow who spends all of his time at the home because he has nothing else to do. The manner in which the show delves into the lives of these characters and their relationship with the patients at the home is nothing short of genius. Every episode brought me to tears and every one was life affirming in a different way. I can't praise it enough.

Favorite Live Musical Performance:

LES MISERABLES: PLAYHOUSE ON THE SQUARE, MEMPHIS TN

photo courtesy The Commercial Appeal

Since I live in Memphis now, I've seen a lot of great live music over the past year. I also make the yearly trip to Viva Las Vegas in April as well as the Muddy Roots Festival in late summer. So it was surprising to me when I thought over the past year and found that the local theater production of Les Miserables deserved this honor. I've attended the show multiple times at many different venue sizes, as well as on screen, so I did not expect this cast to measure up to the others Ive enjoyed. It was the best cast I've seen. Phillip Andrew Himebrook particularly is an extraordinary talent and the way that the director utilized the small space to create the same mood that is conveyed in larger theaters using more elaborate sets, was impressive, to say the least. I can't wait to see more productions there in the future.

Favorite Movie:

GRAVITY


I saw a lot of movies this year at the theater but this one was the best. It was not only a cinematic achievement when it comes to direction (Alfonso Cuaron)but it made me take notice of Sandra Bullock as an actress, seriously, for the first time. Both she and Clooney had the difficult task of carrying this movie and they both did an amazing job in their respective parts. The idea of being literally 'lost in space' is quite terrifying and this movie brought that home with resounding force. Even the 3D worked to add to the sense of panic that such a situation would entail. I thought it was a flawless accomplishment on all counts.

Favorite Clothing Purchase:

Last year, Whirling Turban made me several dresses to wear to Viva Las Vegas and this year, I also had the privilege of representing the brand. This time, Katherine utterly outdid herself when she made me this phenomenal 'Peggy Would' style 1950's authentic dress in a luxurious black rayon crepe. To add even more glamour to the dress, a dragon was hand painted onto the neckline, embellished with jet black beads. The placement was perfect. I wish I could wear it all the time...

Favorite Photo:
Another shot at Viva, when the best photos tend to come out. Photos of my husband and I are so rare that this one is easily my favorite of the year.



Favorite Beer:
STONE ESPRESSO IMPERIAL RUSSIAN STOUT
I am not even a fan of stouts, usually, but this one was so amazing, I changed my tune. The charred fragrance reminded me of Memphis bbq and completely belied the taste, which was similar to unsweetened swiss chocolate. Rich, heady, completely surprising. I was blown away by this one.

Favorite Moment :
As a Jehovah's Witness, I can't think of anything more special this year than the release of a newly revised edition of New World Translation of the scriptures. It was released worldwide at a special meeting and came as a complete surprise to all in attendance. I did not take photos, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude towards everyone who put such hard work into creating an edition of the bible that is so easily understood and so readily available. That's all I'm going to say about that. :)

Favorite Tutorial of Mine:

AUTHENTIC PAGEBOY TUTORIAL



I was so happy that the lighting and everything was finally good for this long requested tutorial. And thank goodness it turned out okay.

Video Tutorial of the Year:
GOLDIE STARLING'S JARETH-THE GOBLIN KING-LABYRINTH TUTORIAL

I've always been a fan of Goldiestarling but this video gave me such a thrill. I was geeking out, fan-girling, laughing, and singing along so much on the first view, that I had to instantly go back and watch it again just to enjoy the actual tutorial. :)

So that's it, for this year!

Til Next Year,

So Long, Dearies!!

xxoo,
Ashley




6 comments:

bebe pies said...

Fun round up of your 2013 favs. I will definitely have to track down the Sahag mousse and try. My hair is fine and straight and need all the help it can get when trying to style. Also, you look fantastic with a pageboy style!

CoriLynn said...

I so just teared up about the New World Translation. Definitely the BEST moment of my year too! :)
~xoxo, CoriLynn

Shermy said...

I am so getting that setting mousse! I have been asking around about a good one to get, I am so glad you posted that! Thanks!

Natalie_vintage_girl said...

hi, i'm a new subscriber. I love your youtube and your blog!

Rachael Mejia said...

We had the same "favorite moment" !! XOXO

Charlotte Finch said...

Hi, Ashley. I've always liked your YouTube and blog. I was so thrilled when I scrolled down your blog feed today and saw what your favorite moment was! It was such an awesome thing to be part of, since something that big has never happened in my life. (I'm 17)
So anyways, just thought I'd say hi and keep up the good work! :)
-Jae

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