Tuesday, January 01, 2013

The Best Shit I Bought, Wore, Did, Ate, Etc In 2012

Okay. Yay, happy 2013! Given that I have more than enough running observations, statistics, judgements, trivial/ triflin' concerns, condemnation, ambitions, thoughts about cats, musings and mumblings going through my brain in just the time it took me to type this sentence, I'm therefore not usually prone to public reflection, review, or navel gazings, such as the year-in-review-style posts that fill up my Facebook feed at the end of December/ beginning of January. I'm not trying to hate. It's just generally not my thing. But, like, if I'm going to reach back into the bowels of 2012 and extract a common theme of the year, then YOLO: Why not take a minute to look back at the year that was (and all of the shit I bought), and raise a glass to 2012?

All joking and unicorn heels aside, one of my daily goals is to always remain fully aware and appreciative of my countless blessings, from having a loving relationship, friends so incredible that I sometimes feel like I should pay them for the privilege, and living in a city I love in a place I'm happy to call to home, to the little things that aren't little at all, when you take a step back and really, profoundly consider them -- just waking up in the morning, and having a healthy body and healthy mind. Truly, in the midst of the daily grind of flying out the door, rushing to work, being annoyed by the 47 billionity thousand trillion things that can annoy you on the ride to work, it's a privilege and a gift -- even on a bad day -- just to get out of bed every morning and stretch out four limbs that can carry me anywhere. Those things alone are truly more that some people can say they have. I don't care if that sounds emo. Sure, 2013 had some crap moments. Every year does. But I got to spend another year on Earth (thanks, Mayans!), and given the alternative, I'll take it.

Okay. So, let's talk shopping and other superficial stuff!

+ Best thing I bought in 2012: My Chris Habana Nostradamus necklaceI stopped into American Two Shot -- FINALLY -- last month, looking for gifts for my sister. A few hundred bucks later I walked out with this Chris Habana necklace for myself, and a pizza iPhone case for my sister. I am a TERRIBLE person. But I LOVE this piece probably way more than any healthy person should. This was my one really indulgent impulse buy of the year, and, in the words of Katy Perry, no regrets, just love.

+ Second-best thing I bought in 2012: Urban Outfitters BDG chambray button-down: Being a woman, ahem, cursed with a more than ample endowment, if you will (yes, I'm talking about the curse of the big-busted woman, but I'm trying to be discreet, because I am TOTALLY A LADY!), I truly believed I would NEVER own a decent button-down. But holy shit and Gloria in excelsis Deo! Urban Outfitters' chambray button-down came around and turned my world upside down because IT FITS, Y'ALL!

+ Third-best thing I bought in 2012: CW-X sports bra: DUDES. My CW-X sports bra changed EVERYTHING. Again, see above. If you're over like a C cup, sports bra issues can be THUH WORST. CW-X is by Wacoal, and they know what's UP. I found that the cup sizes aren't true to your real non-sports bra cup size, so the size I bought was smaller than my real size, but I don't care, because it fits like it's true to size. I can't remember what size I bought, and quite frankly, if you're that interested, then you're probably a real creeper, so fall back. But if you're not a creeper, try the CW-X VersatX Support Bra or the CW-X XTempo from Paragon or ShoeBuy.com. Zappos carries some, too. You might have to shop around a bit to find the right size and fit, but it's worth it. Trust. Seriously, after going to Lululemon and asking for a sports bra in my size and basically getting this from their "enlightened" employees:

... Finding CW-X sports bras was like a revolution.

(More favorite/ best things after the jump!)

+ Best thing I wore all the time in 2012: Aldo Bakker fringe boots: I put countless miles on these Aldo fringed platform sneaker bootie bbs, and I will probably hold a memorial when I finally have to put them to rest forever. They were like a religion to me, like a prayer, and they were even on sale. Like, Leonard Cohen "Hallelujah" levels of worship.

+ Best gift I got in 2012: ASOS spiked bleach denim jacket:
THANKS, @radbard!!!! Pick one up if you're into it! It's on sale. But note: this thing runs REALLY big. I ended up exchanging and getting a US size 4, which I was A-OKAY with, because in no other world am I really a 4.

+ Best trips I took in 2012: Ooh, where to begin. I spent a few days in Palm Springs, which is truly one of my favorite places on earth. It was my third time there, and even though I've got a while to go, I feel right at home with the rest of the 82-year-old bubbes, so I'd like to settle down and start a young adult retirement there ASAP. Air conditioning and reading magazines all day and swimming without getting my hair wet? Sounds like heaven. Other great trips: I took the train from New York down to Baltimore and spent the best weekend with my BFF Laura and her wonderful family, followed by the best couple of days with my sister in Richmond. Sometimes those family-and-friends trips are the best and most meaningful ones. I had an unforgettable week in Chicago at one of the best weddings ever at Salvage One, which was -- and I know I'm being superlative and hyperbolic -- but seriously, it was the coolest venue I've ever been to ever. It's basically a vintage furniture graveyard, speaking of which I'd like to be buried there and reincarnated as a Nouveau statue if possible. Also, I took a last-minute, three-day trip to Rome, where I surprised my dad who was there on vacation with my sister. Kind of hilarious and surreal to fly almost 9,000 miles to watch your dad open the hotel room door and find you sitting there watching TV. It was the first time for all of us visiting Italy, and I'm already planning another no-carb-left-behind tour.
Carbonara at La Capricciosa in Rome
+ Best hotels I stayed in in 2012: Korakia Pensione in Palm Springs, Maison 140 in Beverly Hills,  and the Public Hotel in Chicago: The Korakia Pensione is a Moroccan-style B&B just off South Palm Canyon Drive, and the stay was so incredible that I think about it so often on a daily basis that I now almost regret going. Like, the memory of it is haunting me in the best and worst possible way. Like when I am swimming in a sea of humanity every time I am in Times Square, which is five days a week because I work there. Basically, think of Times Square? Okay? Horrendous, right? Korakia Pensione is the opposite of that. Like, think of the most relaxed you've ever been (without drugs), and then add this pool:
Yes, that's a Moroccan day bed under blooming bushes. Also, phuck yo pool.
This is easily the most relaxing place that I can identify on this entire planet. It's definitely not the scene vibe of the Ace or the Parker (we went and hung out at both, and I love the Parker and stayed there when it was the Merv Griffin (LOL), but you'll barely see another human being at the Korakia, and that's exactly how I prefer my vacations.

Oh, so after a crazy long work trip in L.A. this past September, I spent two nights rolling solo and seeing friends and family all over the area. I stayed at Maison 140 in Beverly Hills, because I randomly found it and got a good deal on Priceline. It's a quirky, cute little boutique hotel designed by Kelly Wearstler, and they pretty much had me when I read "tufted headboard" on their website. My room was small, but I was on my own, so NBD. And that "Valley Of The Dolls"-style tufted headboard fulfilled my expectations of tufted headboards, and the bed itself was noooooo joke.
Total "Valley Of The Dolls" swag.

Yassss, that's pink satin wallpaper.
It was the perfect opportunity to grab a drink from the small bar downstairs (really nice bartender and staff in general), eat an overpriced Snickers bar from the mini bar, and lay around half-comatose after a crazy week of work, and watch Lord Grantham boink the maid. (Laying around drinking in bed alone is like the most "Valley Of The Dolls" thing I can think of, and again, and maybe it's sad that I consider that an ideal solo trip, but whatever.) My only one complaint: the shower was approximately the size of a high school locker. I know I'm prone to embellishment, but I'm not kidding: I couldn't even close the shower door around myself, and I'm barely 5'1". There is a zero percent chance any human being over, like, 5'4" and like 148 pounds max could take a shower. If you're a small child though, have at it.

Finally, the Public Hotel in Chicago: All-white everything. At the risk of sounding like someone who says "it's very Ian Schrager," well, it's very Ian Schrager. It was both minimal and indulgent. Like, I don't have a 14-foot-long picnic table in my bedroom at home, but that's why I go on vacation, you know? Definitely recommended, especially if you can find a good deal.

+ Best beauty buys of 2012: Louise Gray Topshop mascara & Dry Bar blowout. Topshop mascara always always always. It's thick and inky and pigmented and better than every other mascara ever. Trust me, because I've pretty much tried them all. And Dry Bar! I finally used the gift card I had! I went to the Murray Hill location, and all I know is that some lovely lady massaged my head and I watched "Bridesmaids" while my phone charged in its own little personal docking station, and I left and my hair looked I landed the September issue of Allure or something. I will go back forever.

+ Best book I read in 2012: The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg. The best book I've read since The Marriage Plot, and the characters haunt you in that same sort of supernatural, multi-dimensional ways. When I finished reading it (I pretty much put my life on hold until I was done), it leaves you breathless and uncertain as to how characters so richly realistic aren't actually sentient human beings you actually knew. OMFG READ THIS BOOK! Like, especially if you read "50 Shades Of Grey." You owe it to yourself to undo that damage.

+ Best movie I saw in 2012: "Beware of Mr. Baker." It's a documentary by Jay Bulger (whose own story is so fascinating that he could easily turn the camera on himself and document his own life), and it's about the super talented, super villainous, absolutely insane Ginger Baker, former drummer of Cream, and it's just as much a mid-century rock history lesson as it is a look at man capable of both rescuing horses and abandoning his own son. 

+ Best blog I read in 2012: Chrissy Teigen's "So Delushious": Chrissy Teigen is a model who just so happens to be hilarious and just so happens to be REALLY good at cooking, and who just so happens to be good at blogging (unfair I know), and her cooking blog, "So Delushious," is way funnier and refreshingly un-serious than I'd ever expect a blog about cooking to be. Plus, I learned how to make "low and slow" cheesy eggs, and my husband was like HOLY SHIT. Because I basically break down and cry every time I even think about turning on the light in the kitchen. (Does that count as cooking?) But instead, I made the most delicious scrambled eggs ever to kiss the bottom of a Teflon pan. (Secret ingredient: FUCK TONS OF CHEDDAR.)

+ Best song of 2012: Juicy J, "Bandz A Make Her Dance": Never did I let a day go by without reminding myself of many things Juicy J is powerless to say no to. And just when I thought "Bandz" couldn't possibly get ratchet enough, Lil Wayne goes and rhymes Steven Spielberg with, well... yeah. 

Oh yeah! Best time I laid on a couch with 2 Chainz! Hi, Ma!
Okay, HAPPY 2013, YOU GUYS!

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