Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Best Of....

by Deanna

I am sitting here at the kitchen counter hanging out with my laptop and a fresh brewed cup of decaf coffee in a little Christmas mug from one of my favorite to needlessly spend money place, Hobby Lobby.  Oh come on, it was 50% off, but then practically everything is either 40% or 50% off and if it's not, you always have access to that 40% off one item coupon on the Hobby Lobby app on your smart phone. I'm so happy that merchandisers went digital with those precious coupons on their store apps, I can't tell you how many times I would leave that little cut-out coupon sitting on the kitchen counter.

Oh but I diverse, I did not intend to talk about coupons from Hobby Lobby for this blog post. My intent is to talk write about my "best of the year". I am a big fan of People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. I know, small mind, but really I enjoy the news on what's new on TV, at the movies and their book recommendations.  I skip the music and any news of the Kardashians. This past week, both magazines featured the best of....2016. So, I thought I would give you my "best of" and then I would love it if you would share at least one of your best of with us.

1) Best book I read this year - "The Nest" with "Lily and the Octopus" a close second. Lots more on my "to read" list. Finished "Wonder" by Emma Donoghue (the author of Room) last week. A story that stays with you, well written. I see another movie in the making.

2) Best movie - Unfortunately I didn't go to too many movies this past year, but one that I particularly liked was "Hell or High Water". starring "easy on the eyes" Chris Pine and the legendary Jeff Bridges who is definitely showing his age. Well done acting, good story. There are several that are opening now that are definitely on my list to see, "La La Land" being one.

3) Best new TV show - hands down, "This is Us". A worthy cast and an appealing story-line. And if you are a subscriber to Netflix, don't miss "The Crown" tracing the steps of Queen Elizabeth upon her marriage to Prince Philip in 1947, the death of her father, King George VI and the early years as Queen. John Lithgow portrays Winston Churchill to perfection. Rent it from the library when it becomes available if you don't subscribe to Netflix. It is as addicting as "Downton Abby with longer and more episodes.  It's delicious peeking into the lives of the royals. "The Crown" returns in November 2017 with rumors there might be 6 seasons.

4) Best new style in home decorating - the farm country look inspired by Chip and Joanna Gaines via the HGTV hit show, "Fixer Upper". She is a genius with her designs. Just watch one show and you will be in awe of what those two can do to the worst house in the best neighborhood. Shiplap, a new word in my vocabulary.

5) Along with best new style in home decorating, the best new paint colors are in the white and grey zones. Neutrality seems to be the new look. Not convinced that a white couch would do well in my home with my kids. But it looks pretty in the magazines. And I would love to pare down and re-do, the pare down may happen but the re-do will have to wait.

6) Best new fashion style - tunics. When I was young and much thinner I liked the short cropped top, now that I am older and wider tunics are a prayer answered. They cover up what should not be seen by man or beast. The boho style blouses, the longer notched sweaters love them.

7) Best new snack for me - fruit flavored yogurt and sliced honey roasted almonds from Trader Joe's. Mix them together and feel good about snacking.

8) Best new cosmetic (for me), stay-on lipstick by either Revlon or Cover Girl. I love that I still have color on my lips at the end of the day. I know this has been on the market for awhile, but I finally purchased one, then another, now I have 4 different hues.

9) Best trip - I flew and drove to many places this past year, but my three favorites were photography trips, one to Texas in the spring to photograph the blue bonnets,one in late summer to photograph the light houses along the east coast of Lake Michigan and one in the Fall to Rhode Island to meet-up with my Focusing On Life sisters. All wonderful.

OK, now it's your turn. Tell us what is one or two or whatever that's on your "best of" list for the year and you certainly don't have to stick to the categories I chose.

I won't be back in this spot until 2017, so I am wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you again for being part of our Focusing On Life world. We appreciate you!!


Sandra said...

Happy Christmas to you, Deanna!

Karen @ away for the weekend said...

Nice list of bests. I feel a little out of it - missed most movies and tv shows. I read The Nest and liked it, but my best of is probable Gentleman in Moscow. I love tunics, too - they're great for dressing up skinny jeans. I need to try those lipsticks- I've never had much luck with long lasting- my go-to is MAC Brave. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas - I'm looking forward to 2017!

Focusing on Life said...

Shiplap!!!! Yes -my word for 2017! Just kidding - wish I could redo this year , but Chip and Jojo are pretty busy..... Favorite new exterior paint color this year? Hale Navy - I finally painted drastically from a light color house to a navy blue and I love it! Favorite from tv -James Cordon's Carpool Karioke. Music/DANCE -Bruno Mars. New hobby -playing with watercolors. Books - Susan Branch's trilogy life story, and The Light Between Oceans aming many others. Merry Christmas Deanna, and Happy Mew Year!

Irina Kolosovskaya said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Deanna! Thank you for your always interesting posts with amazing photos!

terriporter said...

I love lists and yours is perfect! I could echo many of the same choices you made -- and who doesn't love shiplap? I know I was a little behind the crowd but my favorite book this year was Nightingale". In fact, I think you recommended it last year and I asked for it last Christmas. Loved it! My current favorite TV show is definitely "This Is Us"! It's been too long since "Parenthood" ended and this fits the family drama slot in my TV viewing perfectly! Merry Christmas hugs to you, my dear friend!

Dotti said...

1. Who is this "Focusing on Life" person whereof we speak?

2. Since just about the only TV I watch is UN of KY basketball, I had to look up "shiplap". I've seen it many times but didn't know it had a name. It's a good thing I have my FOL community to educate me on these current things. It is a great word.

3. Since I don't watch TV, I do read. A lot. I've probably averaged three books a week this year. There were many I enjoyed, some recommended by you, Deanna. Nightingale was excellent. My name is Dotti and I'm a cozy mystery addict. Especially this year with all the grim headlines, I found I needed to lighten my reading. Normally I consume historical fiction but this year, it all became too much so I immersed myself - and am still immersing myself - in cozy mysteries (as opposed to gory, bloody mystery/thriller genre). Topping my list this year was "A Great Reckoning" by Louise Penny. She is my favorite contemporary author and I do think this was her best yet. Her books don't exactly fit "cozy" mystery, ala P. D. James, but they are skillfully written tales and beautiful prose with characters that steal your heart. So, there is my book review of the year!

4. Yes. Yes. And yes - to tunic tops - for all the reasons you mention.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Deanna, with a big hug, of course, and the same to each of you out there in FOL-land.

Jeanne said...

Enjoyed your "bests" with a special on the books read. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Sarah Huizenga said...

Books - tough one, I read so many good ones this year. A Man Called Ove would be near the top. Best Audible book for me Wild. Totally agree about This is Us, best show in forever. Best vacation for us Toronto. Couple movies I want to see that are coming out now. Hopefully sometime in January. I want Shiplap in my whole house, in a different house that is.

Robyn Goddard said...

Lovely post, Deanna!
I would have to say that my standout best for 2016 is the girls weekend my friend Amy and I took to the Bighorn Mountains in September. Awesome girl time, hiking, fabulous photography and good food.

Another favorite would be the simple enjoyable Thanksgiving trip home. I had a great visit with my Mom and Dad. Nothing over the top, just us.

wcinro said...

Hmmm what was best about 2016 - maybe that it's almost over? LOL The best thing about 2016 is that no one in my family died and everyone is pretty healthy. Best trip this year - walking over 100 miles on the Camino de Santiago and meeting some really great and talented women. Meeting you, Deanna, was also a best for me. You're a dear, sweet lady. My photo workshop in Iceland got me a terrific photo that won first place in an all media juried show at a local gallery. Another photo of mine won best in show at a local art competition. And, best of all, I'm still here and I'm still moving and clicking away.

Nancy said...

Loved reading all your 'best' for the past year and many are the same as mine....I've read lots this year. A few I've enjoyed are "Garden Spells", "We Never Asked for Wings", "The Peach Keeper"...but recently I have really gotten hooked on "Everyday Scared" touched by this book I am beginning a project the first of the year based on it....Loving Shiplap in the form of Wormy Chestnut that we've used in our mountain house...We probably over did it but shoot...we're like Chip and Joanna we love it...
Merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing what you are up to in the new year.....

Carol said...

OK - FOL mystery person is me! I messed up my ipad passwords (once again) and now everything is posting as FOL - Need to get a new password and reconnect all my devices - UGH!

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