Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Favorites

Happy last day of the year! I hope that you and yours enjoyed the holidays and will be able to eek out a few more days of extended pajama wearing and movie watching.

I'm a list junkie, a complete and total sucker for tabulations of the best books, movies, news stories, and beauty products. Don't hate. It's not easy to strike a proper balance between the meaningful and the superficial but I do my best.

So in the spirit of the year's end and my love of lists, I give you a few of my own favorites from the year.

Favorite Movie(s) 
{That I happened to watch in 2012. They probably released sooner...I'm just a bit behind.}

Bernie. People, I just watched this one and it is BRILLIANT. If you like quirky, dark-ish comedies and you hail from anywhere near or below the Mason-Dixon line, you will love this movie.

Wasteland. It's a documentary about art, poverty, garbage and how they all come together in a way that is redemptive, inspiring, and heart-wrenching. I've watched it twice.

Queen of Versailles. Also a documentary but this one chronicles the rags-to-riches-turned-riches-to-rags story of an extremely wealthy family currently building the largest home in America. It's riveting.

The Hunger Games. Though the cinematography made me a bit queasy, I felt the movie adaptation of the first book was really well-done. The Capital and its inhabitants were a marvel of make-up and costume genius.

Favorite Books

{Fiction} To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I've already read this book but my daughter and I went through it this summer and I fell in love all over again. It may be my favorite novel of all time.

{Fiction} The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I know everyone has already read this one but I'm late to the game. It took me a long time to get through it but it was worth the perseverance. It's an epic, sweeping work that reads like a memoir of the various characters of the story. The writing is masterful and the historical backdrop is both tumultuous and tragic.

{Spiritual} The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. I think I read it twice this year. I echo the thoughts of many when I say that it's one of the most spiritually influential books of my life, a book I will continue to read and digest for years to come.

Favorite Recipes

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Obviously. If you're sick of me talking about this bread, I'm sorry. It really is that good and that easy.

Pecan Pie Bars. I'm not even a mega fan of pecans but I nearly ate the whole pan of this stuff by myself. Here's the recipe.

Pecan Pie Bars Recipe

Favorite Beauty Stuff

The older I get, the more I have to splurge on foundation and concealer. Drug-store products still do the job with mascara, eye shadow, etc. but the ever-increasing lines, spots, and dryness are begging for products that do a bit more. 

Clinique Even Better Foundation: Love. It lasts, isn't cakey or heavy, and blends well. 

Product Details

Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer: Again, it blends well, stays put, and has a shimmery dewy-ness to it. I feel like it brightens up my tired eyes.

Product Details

Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara: People, this mascara is AMAZING! And at $5 a tube, it's a deal. Probably my favorite mascara ever. It doesn't smudge, doesn't clump, and makes your lashes long and lovely without looking spidery.

Product Details

A friend of mine surprised me with a gift-wrapped tube of this fabulous, splurgy lipstick and I cried. Yes I did. I love surprises and I love lipstick and I cry easily so this really shouldn't surprise anyone who knows me well. She saw that I had pinned it on Pinterest and she bought me a tube! Anyway, about the's the perfect color for everything. It's pinky-brown and satiny, lovely alone or under gloss. I guard this lipstick with my life.

Favorite Internet Stuff

Spotify. My brother just introduced me to this. It's sort of like Pandora but you can just type in songs or artists and listen to any of their songs. You can even make playlists. I don't keep up with new music like I did in my younger years but I'm beginning to broaden my horizons a bit.

Pinterest. No explanation needed.

Favorite a la mode post

I'm often partial to different posts than the ones that get the most views but I thought it would be fun to search through my posts and see which one got the most views. And the winner is...

I chose to write about the ins and outs, pros and cons, good, bad, and ugly of our journey to place our kids in public school after years of homeschooling. Apparently it's a relevant topic; all of my posts about school get the most views. And because it's kind of therapeutic for me to share our story, you'll likely keep reading about it in 2013.


May we all be filled with gratitude for the momentous joys and everyday gifts of the past year. May we hold our past and current sorrows with acceptance and grace, and find continued comfort. May the year ahead be one of wisdom and grace, renewal and new favorites.

Happy 2013, friends!

{What are a few of your favorite things?}


  1. Bernie? Bernie? seriously? we were advised to watch this movie b/c it is set 1 hr from where we live now. several of our friends used to go to church with the lady that starts and ends the movie. but it does describe East Texas pretty accurately "behind the piney curtain". they joked about not to showing it to anyone considering working at LETU. haha
    love your fun posts (and your serious ones too!)

  2. oh my... the pecan pie bars. My dad made these for Thanksgiving and they're AMAZING! I don't really even like pecan pie! soooo good!


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