It’s that beautiful and awkward middle place between Christmas and New Years where I can’t figure out if I am supposed to be relishing in the twinkle lights a bit longer, or relentlessly purging my entire house. In the past 48 hours, I finished Emily in Paris while polishing off the rest of the Christmas cookies, but I also cleaned out my underwear drawer and went to yoga. #balance
Related: I know, I know, we’re all going to eat more vegetables in 2023, but before you hop on that train, I must insist you make these chocolate peppermint scones.
A N Y W A Y.
Because I am a sucker for word-of-mouth recommendations, and because I truly love end-of-the-year recaps, here’s my best of 2022 list:
Best TV shows: High-quality—Bad Sisters, The Chosen, Severance, and The Bear. Low quality—Love Is Blind (which I am only slightly embarrassed to tell you I devoured in three days flat.)
Best movies: Top Gun: Maverick (I do not care for Tom Cruise, but I’ve had a crush on Miles Tanner since The Spectacular Now), Ticket to Paradise (Julia Roberts and George Clooney can do no wrong), and Downton Abbey (the glamour! the costumes!) were the only new movies I saw this year. I loved every single one.
Best songs: Sweet Nothing, Sunday Morning, and Isaac were top listens.
Best books: Gluing the Cracks, Start with Hello, I Feel Bad About My Neck (how have I never read Nora Ephron until this year??), Lessons in Chemistry, Let There Be Art, Traveling Mercies (will be on my list every year for the rest of time), Everything Sad Is Untrue, Rembrandt Is In The Wind, Mother Noise, Bomb Shelter, The School for Good Mothers, Homegoing, Nora Goes Off Script, Save Me the Plums, Saving Ruby King, Crying in H Mart, and The Art of Memoir // all linked here
Best fashion trends tried: bike shorts and belt bags (not necessarily together, but sometimes!)
Best recipes tried: does perfecting truffle popcorn on the stove count? Let’s go with that, and the aforementioned chocolate peppermint scones.
Best beauty purchases: Frownies (get $10 off with this link) and heatless curls. Yes, I frequently use them together for a real cute bedtime look.
Best trips: Disneyland (thanks again, Mimi!), Carmel with Katie, our 15-year anniversary, and Palm Springs with Lauren
Best parenting milestones: potty trained Presley (!), got rid of the pacifier, boys started biking to school (#gamechanger)
Best rhythms & routines: deleting IG every other week (hands down), daily walks around the neighborhood while talking to my mastermind group on Voxer, taking the boys to the library on Thursday afternoons, writing garbage first thing in the morning, baking one fresh chocolate chip cookie for each of us every night after dinner
Best stories written: this one and this one. I also loved this one.
Best creative accomplishments: finishing Create Anyway, sending out a newsletter every single month, surpassing my 2022 reading challenge.
Best yeses: volunteering to re-home a little free library up for grabs in a local FB group, signing up for Substack (hey, thanks for being here!), and finally joining a community group at church.
I’m sure I could keep sitting here and come up with more, but I gave myself 30 minutes to write this list, and these were the first things that came to mind.
What’s on your best of 2022 list?
Specifically always looking for TV / book / beauty recs 😉
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I realized I don’t really watch TV for myself with the exception of Top Chef, British Baker, and Emily in Paris.
But books, that’s another story. It’s hard for me to pick favorites. Some of my favorites by category this year:
Fiction: Great Circle, the Plot, Paris Library, Every Summer After, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, Lessons in Chemistry, Wrong Place Wrong Time
Memoir: everything by Kelly Corrigan (I devoured her), I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet, Bomb Shelter, Good Apple
Religious: Praying Confidently and Consistently, None Like Him, Liturgy of the Ordinary
Poetry: Good Bones, And Yet
Cookbooks: Dinner A Love Story, Snacking Cakes
my favorite book this year was “i’m glad my mom died.” i’m a sucker for memoirs.