Hey guys! Happy freaking New Year! Can we all raise a glass to surviving 2016 and the year from hell finally being over?! I hope you are all as excited about 2017 as I am, because you all better believe we’re about to make it a good one!
Before we get too eager to jump into the new year without ever looking back at the year that’s past, it’s always good to do some reflecting. Memories, lessons, failures, successes, and of course, purchases (and there I go being all materialistic in a serious moment…sorry not sorry, but if you’re deep in your feels with the new year, check out my New Year New Me 2017 post). We work hard for our money and take our purchases seriously, so it should be kind of fun to go back through and look at some of the things we’ve boughten over the past year. Go through receipts, bank statements, Instagram pics, your phone’s photo albums, etc. Compile a list of some stuff you’ve bought. This may allow you to see an overview of what you spend your money on (fooooooooooood lol) and reveal if you’re making smart purchases you’re getting your money’s worth from.
I went ahead and came up with my own list. So, in honor of the new year and tax returns heading our way (who am I kidding, I’ll be lucky to get $15!), here is my list of my favorite purchases from 2016. Enjoy gorgeous ladies!
One of my good friends, Jocelyn, founder of the professional photography company Two & Tailored (see Special Thanks To… post) recommended to me this camera to me after launching TAS. I told her about my goal of taking all my own pictures for my website and photographing my friends as well, as she told me about the Canon Rebel. As she so bluntly put it, it’s a great camera for “non-photographers.” Other than my 2 years of photography in high school (which I must say, was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in a classroom) and the pics on my iPhone camera roll, I’m just your everyday amateur photographer. I have a huge goal for this year of becoming knowledgable and skilled in photography so that I may produce pictures I feel worthy enough for TAS. This camera is great for beginners, because it’s simple to use while still offering all the tools and perks of a top-of-the-line camera. I’m not sure if this counts as a purchase, because I got this (and the next two) for Christmas! Oh well. You can find this DSLR from Best Buy for $699.99.
Along with a quality camera, Jocelyn also explained the importance of a proper lens. Apparently the lens makes all the difference and is key to producing the best pictures. With the camera, she gave me a couple different recommendations, all of which would be good for me. With the lens, she gave only one recommendation: a 50mm/1.8 lens. She didn’t say which brand or where to get it, just that it needed to be these dimensions. It’s a must, according to her. I stuck with the Canon brand and got this lens, also found at Best Buy for $125.99.
On several of the celeb street style blogs I follow, I saw a ton of duster coats. From Kendall to Gigi to Rhianna, duster coats were clearly a theme of the season. We got this Topshop duster coat in at work, and I was obsessed! The length is perfect, the big pockets are practical, and the color is the hottest thing right now. It was a no brainer when making my Christmas list this year (even though I had to buy it for my Nana to give to me so I could get a discount…is that allowed? Oops). You can find it at Nordstrom for $150.00.
You all know I’m a total makeup freak, and like any beauty girl would understand, having the perfect mirror is essential. I’ve always wanted the Vanity Girl Hollywood Broadway Lighted Vanity Mirror (apparently it’s the ish, according to my fav beauty bloggers). But at $399.99, it’s quite the investment, even for the one-of-a-kind lighting. I did some research on what other options were out there, and I came across this vanity mirror from Bed, Bath & Beyond at $199.99. It’s smaller than I originally wanted but more practical. You don’t have to have an all out vanity to use like you do for the Vanity Girl mirror. I do my makeup in my bathroom, so I just set the mirror on my bathroom counter, sit on my makeup stool, and I’m good to go. At 5x magnification with sensor-activated LED lighting that channels super bright and natural sunlight, this mirror is so amazing it makes you want to look away. Literally, ew. I had no idea how many blackheads, pores, wrinkles, zits, and hair (omg HAIR) I have, it’s horrifying! It’s completely amazing though and has transformed the way I do my makeup. Well worth looking in to if you’re willing to make the investment and not afraid to see yourself that close up (lol).
I’ve wanted an electric toothbrush for years now, but never actually got around to buying one until last year. First off, electric toothbrushes are really a common sense thing to me. They are better quality than regular toothbrushes, so you don’t have to buy them as often. They require less effort. They are not only better for your gums and teeth, but clean them a million and a half times better. So the only question is…why wouldn’t you have one?! Second, my dentist (whose been in my life since I was born!) has gone through so much with my teeth, I don’t know how she doesn’t cringe when she sees me walk into her office.
*Fun fact! I was born with no enamel on my teeth. What that means is that my teeth are prone to cavities. In essence, my teeth suck. So I take oral hygiene pretty seriously and work hard to keep my teeth as healthy as possible. And so should you!
My dentist basically gave me no option and told me I needed to buy an electric toothbrush. So out shopping I went, when sure enough I came across this amazingly beautiful PINK electric toothbrush. Sonicare is the best of the best brand for electric toothbrushes and easily the most common on the market. Their products range from a couple hundred to about $40. In my opinion, Sonicare is the best brand, but there are other drugstore options that are even cheaper. The only problem is they just don’t last as long. You can find the one I got from Target for $39.99.
I don’t know if it was because I saw Kylie wearing black and white checkerboard Vans at Kanye’s show back in September (she also has these), or my desire for Vince sneakers with the inability to afford them that got me wanting these. Regardless, I’m OBSESSED with them! I don’t see many people wearing these shoes that often, but every once in a while (and more and more each day) I see other bloggers and fashion icons stunting these sneaks, and they look totally fashionable, chic, and comfortable. I love the casual and classic, yet edgy vibe they bring to an outfit. They also do a pretty good job serving as a Vince knockoff. I got these from Nordstrom for $59.95.
The idea of a robe to me is so classy, fresh, and chic. I’ve had a robe since first going off the college when buying all the things on those “college packing lists” you’ve seen all over Pinterest. And what better robe to get for college than a Victoria’s Secret silk, lingerie mini-robe in seductive purple?! Because yeah, that’s what I thought I needed and somehow convinced my mother to buy it for me. (What is wrong with me? lol). Needless to say, I think I wore that thing once…it hardly covered me and did about as good of a job at drying you off and keeping you warm after you get out of the shower as you’d think silk would do. A year or so later, I realized what type of robe I actually needed, and my boyfriend’s parents got me a big white fluffy one. It was soft and comfy, but I’m super weird about fabrics and textures sometimes, and it was just too soft and uncomfortable on my skin, so again, never wore it. This year, I was bound determined to find a robe that fit my needs, and sure enough, I did. I chose the Nordstrom Lingerie Terry Velour robe. It wasn’t the most expensive or most popular one whatsoever, but it satisfied all my needs. The terry interior is soft enough to serve it’s purpose but not so soft it catches on my skin or leaves me sweating up a storm when doing my makeup. The length is ideal and allows me to move without fear of flashing everyone. And of course, the pink was the cherry on top, easily being my favorite color right now and making you feel ever so delicate, feminine, fresh, and beautiful right when you slip it on. This Nordstrom brand robe is selling fast at $89.00.
If you would have asked me two months ago to put on a scarf, I would have laughed at the thought. I used to hate scarves for some reason, but about a month ago, it just so happened I was forced to buy a scarf for work one day, and from then on, I’ve been obsessed. I saw this scarf on one of Indy’s local fashion instagramers’ account and NEEDED it. Again, this pink color is so hot right now and easily one of my favorite colors, so obviously that part caught my eye. The shape was something I was interested in as well. I’m sure you’ve caught on to the blanket scarf trend, and this is exactly that. Long, oversized, comfy, and pink: could anything be better?! I knew I needed to add this to my wardrobe. I ordered this scarf online from ASOS for $17.50.
If you’ve read my Everyday Makeup Routine post, you’d know that I am not too into contouring. I just do a subtle swipe of bronzer on my checks and forehead, so I’m not really a fan of all the contour kits and products out there. However, last year, my older sister got this kit for Christmas, and when I lived with her in Chicago this past summer, I tried it out a couple times and fell in love. I use the two upper right shades to sometimes set my undereyes and highlight the bridge of my nose, and I use a combination of the entire bottom row to do my contouring. The powder makes it easy to apply and goes on evenly. The colors are by far the most natural, tasteful looking shades I’ve yet to find elsewhere. And the pigmentation is well worth the splurge for the high end option of Anastasia over drugstore options. I got mine at Nordstrom for $40.00, but you can also find it at Sephora or Ulta.
10. Capture Your Style by Aimee Song
If you’re a blogger or into learning about your social media presence, I’m sure you’ve either (1) heard of this book, or (2) heard of Aimee Song. Instagram icon and creator of the blog Song of Style, Aimee Song knows a thing or two about how to create a strong media image. In Capture Your Style, Aimee gives the first ever Instagram how-to guide to build your brand and create a following. With the forward written by Diane von Furstenberg (my ultimate favorite woman and idol), this book was a must-have for me after launching TAS. Only a few pages in, I’m totally sold and inspired by Aimee’s knowledge and advice. You can get Capture Your Style Barnes & Noble or Amazon for $13.65.
This one’s pretty boring but totally a necessity. I didn’t even knew extended chargers existed until last year when my little sister got one for Christmas. I thought it was a dumb thing to waste a present on, but that is not even remotely the case. If you aren’t lucky and don’t have an outlet perfectly placed by your bedside table, then an extended charging cord might be something you’d be interested. As someone who is always charging their phone because she’s too irresponsible to plug it in every night (yep, that’s me), this thing has made my life so much easier. I take it with me everywhere, and it’s so cheap for such a significant purpose. Extended chargers can be found a variety of different places, but I got mine from Best Buy for $19.99.
This little sleep mask is the cutest, furriest, lushest thing that could go to bed with me every night (except my puppers Daisy!). They used to have some of these at Nordstrom for $29.99, but they sold out. So I was on one when I found these at Target for only $6.98. Anytime I’ve ever slept with an eye mask, I’ve had the best sleep of my life. I don’t wake up to anything! Not only do eye masks give you a full, rejuvenating night of sleep, they also force you not to stare at your phone or computer, relying on Netflix to put you to sleep (which is what I do every night and am trying to do away with). Also, having a white furry eye mask forces me to take off ALL of my makeup every night and go to bed with a clean, moisturized face. And to top it all off, how luxurious would you feel wrapped in your clean covers with your white fur eye mask getting your beauty sleep and dreaming of French boys, Gucci purses, colorful macaroons, and chilling with Karl Lagerfeld. Ahhh! So stinking cute!
For the past couple years, I’ve really struggled to find a practical and consistent system to store my shoes. It seems like every year I try something new — under-the-bed containers, over-the-door units, closet shelves, my car (not kidding), etc. Totally unexpectedly one day while I was at Bed Bath & Beyond, I came across this shoe rack and my creative wheels started turning. I bought it and went straight home to set it up, and I absolutely love it. This rolling rack is industrial sized and of professional quality, holding 50 pairs of shoes in an organized, appealing manner. I’m obsessed with this in my room now and can’t get over how chic it looks to have all my shoes neat and pretty on one organized rack. I got mine, again, from Bed Bath & Beyond for $79.99. If you’re in need of some shoe organization or feel uninspired by your collection, this rack will do you wonders.
There you have it guys! A roundup of my favorite purchases from 2016! I love love love list posts of “favorite times,” “favorite things,” “favorite purchases,” and always read them to get ideas or insight on the hot and trending items I’m missing out on. Maybe many of you do too, and hopefully, found this post pretty entertaining! I’d love to hear what some of you’re favorite purchases of 2016 were, so comment below and fill me in on what I’ve been missing!
Lots of love, hugs and kisses, laughs and smiles.
Happy 2017 ladies!