I've been a big fan of Trader Joe's for years now, but it was just this year that I started getting into their beauty products. I like to keep my skin care pretty simple, so I've been loving this trio - eye cream in the morning, then at night the microdermabrasion scrub (maybe every other day) and marula facial oil. My skin feels so smooth and soft now, and occasionally I'll add one of their sheet masks for a special night in!
This might not be a fun pick, but it was the most practical for me this year! I put on this podcast when I'm trying to fall asleep, and it helps so much. The voices are so soothing and the stories transport me to a magical land where I can easily sleep all night. Highly recommend if you also have issues with falling asleep.
Bad on Paper
I haven't really been listening to many podcasts this year (besides Formula One and tennis ones because #sports) probably due to not having a commute anymore, but this one I just added to my list. As soon as their episodes come out I immediately download and listen, which is how I know that I really like a podcast! They host a monthly book club discussion, which is how I find a lot of my new book recommendations, and also talk about a wide range of topics. One of the hosts recently moved from New York City to Charleston, so it's been nice hearing her experiences of moving down south while I've been going through the same thing.
Brown Sister Trilogy by Talia Hibbert
I dove right into the rom-com genre of books this year, and this series was at the top of my list. Sadly there are only three books in this series, but each one is so amazing as a stand alone book or read together. Each book focuses on one of the Brown sisters who are sassy, smart, and have issues that aren't generally covered in this genre. If you're looking for a fun and easy read to kick off your year I highly recommend checking any of these out!
Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
On the complete other end of the spectrum, this was my favorite thriller that I read this year. It's a very dark subject matter but the writing was so engrossing and the twist was like no other that I've seen before. I've read a few other books by this author now and all of them are amazing but this was by far my favorite.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
This was definitely the most memorable book that I read this year and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about other cultures and some Asian history. I learned so much from this book and really enjoyed the writing! My only criticism of the book was that it could have been broken into separate books. Make sure you devote enough time to really enjoy this book- it's a longer one but full of so many vivid details of Japan that you'll feel transported to a new place.
My new apartment has amazing natural light (and is also in a very sunny city) so I've been filling every room with house plants! I'm fully obsessed and want to add even more and learn how to make them all thrive. Next summer I'm planning on having more of a balcony garden as well to replace my old garden at our house, but it's been a very fun hobby! For any locals, I get most of my plants at Garden Supply Company in Apex and love their selection.
Earlier this year, one of my favorite blog writers left her job at Cupcakes and Cashmere to pursue a masters degree and also launched her own newsletter. This is the first newsletter that I've ever paid for, and it's the best $5 I spend every month. There are so many amazing recommendations, as well as tips on living a more intentional and happy life. If you're looking to support a creator this year and want to get some awesome ideas of what to read, watch, or listen to every week, check it out!
What are your favorites of 2021?