2021: out. 2022: so in. But despite the change from old year to new year, I can’t forget to shoutout my favorite things from the last twelve months of my life. The list is short, but, boy, have these things gotten me through the year!
I’ve put together a list of my favorite books, beauty products, podcasts, and accessories that I couldn’t live without in 2021. Honestly, some of these (ahem, Sinisterhood) have been favorites well before 2021, and I know they’ll stick around with me in 2022 too.
Now, let’s get into some of my favorites!
Favorite Books of 2021
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
This book got me to make my much-needed first therapy appointment in several years. Really though. I did talk therapy in college weekly, but once I graduated, I strayed away from it. While I’m high-functioning with my anxiety, that wasn’t an excuse to step away from taking care of my mental health.
This book brought me joy, tears, laughter, you name it. And most of all, it helped me realize the importance of putting your own health first especially if you’re the kind to always lend a helping hand to others.
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
I’m a sucker for WWII stories, and this historical fiction lived up to my expectations. Strong female leads overcoming the perils of the war surging into their home in France? Painstakingly beautiful.
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Spanning time within both the 1950s and the 1990s, this story introduced me to so much I can never truly understand about what it means to have a lighter skin tone than the person next to you and the concept of white-passing. Excellently written and had me regularly saying, “just one more chapter.”
- The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
Whew, twists and turns. This one was a quick read for me because I just kept wanting to know more. It was a puzzle that I wanted to solve before the final pages but, ultimately, the answer hit me in the pages before I could discover it myself.
Favorite Beauty Products of 2021
- Ilia Multi-Stick Cheek & Lip
I love a product that can do more than one thing, and this multi-stick is my go-to for blush and lip color. It’s smooth when applied, and At Last (dusty rose) is a perfect color for my skin on both my lips and cheeks. I’m also surprised at how long it’s lasted for how often I use it!
- ghd Glide
I’m a wavy-haired gal naturally, but sometimes my waves get just a little too unruly for my liking. I picked up the ghd Glide to help tame some of those pieces, and it’s worked like a charm! It’s only one temperature though, so never forget your heat protectant!
- AVEDA Purifying Gel Cleaner
I initially got this by using up some of my AVEDA points from hair cuts when I used to go to an AVEDA salon, so I didn’t have much to lose by trying it out. Once I ran out of it, I purchased it again and again. I love that it’s a gel consistency versus a cream, and it feels lightweight enough while still removing any leftover makeup or dirt from the day.
- Dossier Ambery Saffron
I used to spend so much money on perfume (hello, Burberry Brit), but when I started doing a little more budgeting and prioritization with my purchases, perfume fell on the low end of my necessities. Especially as a remote worker in the middle of a pandemic! I heard about Dossier through a YouTube channel, and I gave it a shot. I ordered three scents, but the Ambery Saffron is my go-to. It’s inspired by MFK’s Baccarat Rouge 540 but at a fraction of the price.
Favorite Podcasts of 2021
Like I said earlier, Sinisterhood will probably be on my “favorite podcasts” list no matter what year it is. Heather and Christie always have me cackling, and I love that their topics go beyond true crime with episodes about things like the chupacabra and extreme haunted houses.
- And That’s Why We Drink
I’m surprised I started listening to Em and Christine just this year, but I’m so glad I did. I’m still not caught up to the present-day episodes, but I love listening to Em’s paranormal stories and Christine’s true crime stories.
- Office Ladies
An obvious one for fans of The Office. My husband and I love listening to Jenna and Angela cover each episode during our various road trips. Plus, it’s one podcast he and I can agree on binging together.
- History Goes Bump
Another one I just came across this year, and I was fortunate enough to find out about them in person! A friend and I went to St. Augustine, FL earlier this year to watch another podcast perform live, and History Goes Bump was actually the opener. Diane and Kelly do an amazing job compiling research for their episodes, and they make each one feel like you’re snuggled up next to a radio listening to their talkshow.
Favorite Accessories of 2021
- Hydro Flask
No matter what year it is, I’ll always need to up my water intake. I used to use a Yeti thermos, but, even with a magnetic lid, I was constantly spilling water inside of my purse. I switched to a Hydro Flask earlier this year, and I’m not looking back.
- Lada Aerosoles
The perfect cozy shoe for a gal living in 80-degree winters. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss the ice and snow of the midwest, but sometimes I still want to wear wintery outfits. These shoes are the perfect mix for Florida heat and winter fashion.
- Knotted Headbands
Shameless plug time. I’ve found that knotted headbands are the easiest way for me to revive my dry-shampoo-plastered-hair while still looking put together. I started making these for my small business Tay Dunworth in 2020, and I regularly reach for one to polish up my hairstyles – especially right before Zoom calls.
- Fiorelli Backpack
Sometimes you just want to carry a lot of things but still look trendy, and this backpack did that for me this year. Bonus points because it fits my Hydro Flask in it.
As we move into a new year, I’ll try wipe these slates clean and look for different favorites. New year, new me, am I right? But like I said, I know I’ll be picking up some of these old favorites along the way.
Share with me some of your 2021 favorites in the comments!