I am notorious for calling everything my favorite. A new song, the current season, a show I can’t stop watching. I guess I just get very excited about little things easily :) So when I was asked to come up with a list of my very favorite things of 2017, I instantly had a list in my head. These are the things I talk to friends about in real life, they are the things I share about on the blog, they are the things that have brought me joy this year (and likely, will continue to far beyond 2017!).
On my list are a random assortment of things that range from free to expensive. I’m hoping you’ll find a thing or two on here that either you love too, or are new to you.
So let’s jump right in:
We’ll start with an easy favorite that I use all day every day.
iPhone WALLET CASE
I carry my phone with me everywhere I go and it’s nice to have it protected by this canvas/leather case. Also, because I’m out of the diaper bag stage of mothering, I can just grab my phone and my keys and head out the door. I wrote a post about this case and answered questions about the versatility and practicality of it right here.
When we went to Nashville this fall, I forgot a bag (see? I’ve grown so used to just taking my phone along!) and found this perfect little cross-body leather bag while shopping in Franklin. It is made by Able – a company I adore and have a few other bags from. This saddlebag is big enough for my phone, keys and a lipgloss, which is basically all I need. Able is running a great Black Friday sale starting Thanksgiving night (up to 30% off!) so it’s the perfect time to get one of their beautiful leather bags.
Of all the things I’ve talked about this year (to anyone who will listen!), it is barre.
I was a ballet dancer when I was younger and so discovering a workout that incorporates the movement of ballet with pilates and yoga has been the absolute best. It is a workout I can do from home (read about how I do that here) and I’ve recently started going to a local studio a few times per week, which is not only good for my body but so good for my mind and soul as well.
I realize that not everyone loves barre the way I do, but the bigger lesson for me has been to find the physical activity that you love and do it.
Another very favorite from 2017 has been understanding the Enneagram. This is a personality typing system that has been absolutely life-changing for me. Truly … I don’t say that lightly. It is just a tool, but it has brought so much clarity about why I do and think the way I do, what my core needs and desires are and it puts words to how I approach the world in a way I was not able to do myself. Since taking the initial assessment to find out which number I am (I’m a 9 in case you’re curious) I have read countless articles and descriptions, watched videos, listened to podcasts and read a few books on the subject. I particularly appreciate the Christian perspective from Marilyn Vancil’s book, Self to Lose – Self to Find and the excellent overview in The Road Back To You. My newest (still unread) enneagram book is called The Sacred Enneagram.
Let’s bring it back down and talk about makeup. You know that question, “if you were stranded on an island what one makeup item would you bring?”? Well, my answer has always and forever been mascara. I have long, yet very fair lashes and look 12 years old without eye makeup on. I have tried (and loved) lash extensions less for the lengthening feature and more because it meant I didn’t have to wear mascara (see my review here). Since going back to my natural lashes, I’ve also gone back to my tried-and-true mascara, L’Oreal Voluminous in black brown. It’s thick, dark and works so well.
I wrote a list of 40 things I want to accomplish before I turn 40 next year and buy a le Creuset was at the top of my list. My goal is to bake my own sourdough bread and you use a large dutch oven to do so. Well, instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a fancy pot, I found this one in a lovely color and can’t believe how many times I’ve used it so far this fall (never once for bread, unfortunately. Let’s just say I have issues making a starter …) See all of my 40 by 40 list here.
HALF BAKED HARVEST COOKBOOK
I found a new-to-me Instagram account called @halfbakedharvest and after scrolling through her photos and watching her mesmerizing cooking videos, I bought her first cookbook, Half Baked Harvest. You guys, get this one. It is beautifully photographed and the recipes look delicious. Nearly every single thing has cheese in it (my love language). Oh, it’s just so wonderful.
PHOTO EDITING APP
Not that my photos are anything as gorgeous as the ones in the cookbook, but I have found a very helpful app for making my camera photos look much better than they actually are. I wrote all about how to use the apps in this post, and they seriously make such a difference. A little brightening, some adjusting of contrast and a tricky retouching app cleans up photos to make them instagram-ready. I use the Afterlight App for regular editing and the TouchRetouch App for erasing items from pictures.
BLINK SECURITY CAMERAS
Speaking of cameras, these little security cameras are ingenious and make us feel so much safer leaving our house when we travel. They are wireless and connected to an app on my phone so when movement is detected, I’m notified right away. The video quality is pretty fantastic (even in low-light situations, like at night) and they are much less expensive than a full on security system.
You can use code JONESDESIGN17 for 15% off your order over $150 (that will get you a set of two indoor cameras!).
THE COZIEST COUCH IN THE WORLD
We bought this Lounge II Sectional from Crate & Barrel right before Christmas last year and it has proven to be my favorite sofa ever. It’s a little scary to invest so much into a massive piece of furniture and yet I will wholeheartedly say that this deep, cozy sectional has been worth every penny. The light color has held up well, the cushions hold their shape and it still calls to us every evening to come sit and stay awhile.
DELICIOUS! by RUTH REICHL
My favorite novel of the year is Delicious! by Ruth Reichl. I’m partial to a historical fiction and decided to give my WWII novels a rest and try this food novel. Turns out, this has some WWII in it, but with a whole different twist. It is smartly written, the characters are so likeable and I love the combination of food + history.
THE NEXT RIGHT THING PODCAST
My favorite podcast of 2017 is Emily P. Freeman’s new podcast called The Next Right Thing. Emily has the most peaceful talking voice with wise words and helpful prompts for those of us who crave direction in our lives. Each episode is about 15 minutes and you’ll leave feeling thoughtful and empowered to choose the next right thing.
For a full list of podcast faves, click over to this post.
My list would not be complete without including plants. I have become a full-blown #plantlady in 2017 and I just can’t stop. Fresh greenery looks good in any and every room and brings color, texture and life. Here’s a post I wrote earlier this year with tips for choosing and keeping alive indoor plants.
Honorable mentions: The Seattle Seahawks (always), these UGG slippers (I wear them everyday), my finished studio space (see it here), this leather pillow, Candy Crush (oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m admitting my late-adoption of this pointless, yet totally addicting game), gel manicures, this sunless tanner starter kit, and my current t.v. obsession, The Paradise on Netflix.
Whew! See what I mean? I have many favorites.
Do you share love for any of these same items? What is on your list of favorites for 2017?
Don’t forget to visit Melissa at 320 Sycamore to see all of the lists of favorites!