2016’s Best in Music

dance-1790838_1920

My favorite part of the year is here again! 2016 was a great year in music for my indie darlings and popular artists alike. As usual, thanks to Spotify, I was introduced to countless new music making geniuses, causing a great deal of stress while creating this “best of” list.

Nonetheless, I made a decision to only choose 15 songs. I don’t know how I did it, but here it is: 2016’s best songs, artists, and albums!

1. “Dans Un Autre Reve,” Brett, ModeI played this song all summer after I discovered it. Loved the EP, and I’d love to see Brett perform live in 2017!

2. “Instantané,” Paradis, Recto VersoEvery. Single. Heart. String. Every single one is sent afflutter when I hear this gem. This full length album was well waited for.

3. “Always,” HalfNoise, Sudden Feeling. I love how the instrumentals on this albums have a smidge of hopefulness in them, yet the lyrics come across a bit heart-wrenching.

4. “Belong,” Roosevelt, Roosevelt. Another full length album that was well worth waiting for. So happy I got to see Roosevelt perform live this year!

5. “Breaks,” Goldroom, West of the West. Not going to lie, I still want Goldroom to reissue this album with his vocals on all of the tracks.

6. “Baby You’re Bad,” Honne, Warm on a Cold Night. Almost saw them live, but I was in the process of getting settled in my new apartment when they came to NYC. So many great songs on the album, but this one stood out the most.

7. “Onirism,” REFLEX, Lucid Dreams. Such a quirky album. If you’re looking for a good Balearic/House band, look no further.

8. “Coast to Coast,” Satin Jackets (ft. NTEIBINT), Parnorama Pacifico. Satin Jackets blew me away with this album. Those beats hit deep.

9. “All Over You,” LEISURE, LEISURE. The most laid back band with the most laid back album of 2016. Guaranteed.

10. “Public Radio,” TW Walsh, Fruitless Research. I feel like I’ve been transported to the 1970s whenever I listen to this album. Love the distortion on this track specifically.

11. “Knew Better / Forever Boy,” Ariana Grande, Dangerous Woman (Deluxe). This “Dangerous Woman” told ’em like it is.

12. “House on Fire,” Sia, This is Acting. I remember coming down with a cold while listening to this album at work. Played this album on repeat while getting better (thanks Sia!).

13. “Somebody Else,” The 1975, I Like It When You Sleep… So many different emotions on one album. The 1975 is just too many vices not to enjoy.

14. “Go!” M83 (ft. Mai Lan), Junk. I was really sad about this album not having Morgan Kibby on it, and the title didn’t calm me until I heard it in it’s entirety. Loved Mai Lan’s vocals, and I hope she works with M83 again soon.

15. “There’s No Need,” Empire of the Sun, Two Vines. “I think I said goodbye to [2016] tonight…”

Here’s to 2017!

Fan Art Fridays: RIP Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher

carrie fisher debbie reynolds fan art

Boy, the award shows in 2017 going to have very long and incredibly sad “in memoriam” segments.

This week, we lost two amazing Hollywood actresses—Carrie Fisher (December 27) and her mother Debbie Reynolds (December 28).

This mother-daughter duo is definitely one to be remembered. I mean, how crazy is it that Reynolds’ last words were “I want to be with Carrie”?

The fan art tributes for both actresses so far have been really amazing. This one I found on Instagram by mllearole does a great job of capturing Fisher and Reynolds’ mother-daughter relationship. In it, the two stand together, hand in hand, head to head, Fisher dressed as Star Wars character Princess Leia and Reynolds dressed as Kathy from Singin’ in the Rain.

There’s so much softness and affection oozing from this fan art. I hope they both rest in peace, hopefully side by side, eyes closed just as they appear in this work of art.

Go show mllearole’s piece some love over on Instagram.

Wardrobe Wednesdays: Julianne Hough @ Disney Christmas Celebration 2016

julianne-hough-disney-parks-magical-christmas-celebration-2016

Julianne Hough was a super classy “lady in red” at Disney Parks’ Magical Christmas Celebration 2016, which aired on Christmas Day via ABC.

She co-hosted the show with her brother, Derek Hough, in a red strapless KaufmanFranco dress with pockets. I’m a sucker for a dress with pockets, so I fell in love with this look instantly. It makes posing for photos so much less awkward since there’s a designated spot for your hands!

Below are two dresses inspired by Julianne Hough’s look.

 

Dress:

1. Lord & Taylor, $57.00

2. Sexy Dresses, $29.99

Sole Patches Review

*SPONSORED

sole-patches

*This post is sponsored by Sole Patches through a campaign on BrandBacker.

As someone who complains a lot about the pain suffered from wearing heels, I was really excited when I was accepted to the Sole Patches campaign on BrandBacker.

Invented by Jenn Hwang, the founder and CEO of Sole Patches, these flower-shaped adhesive pads are made using PORON®, which absorbs the shock that creates excruciating pain when walking in heels. PORON® also has antimicrobial properties and repels both moisture and foot odor.

With Sole Patches, you have the option to stick the pads directly onto your feet or onto the soles of your shoes. The adhesive doesn’t wear off after one use, so you can take them off and reuse them more than once.

I used these on my combat boots for church on Christmas day. Opting to place them directly on the soles of my boots, I stuck two pads inside of each–one on the heel and another where the ball of my foot sits.

sole-patches-with-boot

The block heel combat boots I tested Sole Patches on.

The walk to the train station is about 15 minutes from my house. Add another 8 minutes from the train station to the church, and usually my feet are already burning in plain. That wasn’t the case, thanks to Sole Patches!

However, I did experience pain while standing in one place for more than 10 minutes at a time. On two occasions (once while standing in front of the altar and again while standing in the pews) I felt that familiar burning sensation on my heels and on the balls of my feet. That being said, as soon as I started walking again, the pain went away, and when I got home, my feet weren’t sore.

The Verdict

I wouldn’t recommend Sole Patches for events where you’ll find yourself standing in one place for too long. They’ll work better if you’re moving around frequently while walking or perhaps dancing. They’re great for people with large shoe collections, since the adhesive is strong enough to use the pads on multiple shoes before having to toss them.

Learn more about Sole Patches and find out where you can buy them at solepatches.com.

Fan Art Fridays: Elsa, Olaf & Anna

elsa olaf anna frozen fan art

Thursday was the first day of winter, so it’s only fitting that I feature every kid’s favorite winter-themed animated film, Frozen on this week’s Fan Art Fridays.

I found this piece of fan art by A-KA over on Tumblr. Elsa, Olaf and Anna are in complete selfie mode in this colored pencil work of art, wide eyed and smiling as if they were posing for a selfie.

See the original fan art on Tumblr.

P.S. Did you really think I was going to end this without asking the most important question of the season?

Wardrobe Wednesdays: Adriana Lima @ LA Lakers vs. Brooklyn Nets game, Barclays Center

adriana-lima-la-lakers-vs-brooklyn-nets-game-at-barclays-center

Brazilian model Adriana Lima wore a sexy white choker dress to the LA Lakers vs. Brooklyn Nets game at Barclays Center in NYC last week, showing off some cleavage.

Or should I say A LOT of cleavage?

She paired the dress with a pair of gray suede Aquazurra over-the-knee boots, giving the look a sassy little winter-esque upgrade. The pom-poms on the boots are the perfect touch! This is literally the perfect outfit for Christmastime.

Below is the original pair of boots (marked with *) as well as some other items inspired by Adriana Lima’s outfit.

Boots:

1. In the Style, $70.45

2. mytheresa.com, $1,396.00 *

Dress:

3. Boohoo, $35.00

4. Nordstrom, $58.00

e.l.f. VoxBox Review

SPONSORED*
elf-influenster

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

A few weeks ago I got an e.l.f. VoxBox in the mail, and I just got around to playing with the products inside. I was sent 6 products: a Hydrating Bubble Mask, Lip Exfoliator, Mineral Infused Face Primer, Baked Highlighter and Bronzer in the shade Bronze Glow, and Matte Lip Color in the shade Wine.

elf-influenster-voxbox

As a longtime e.l.f. Cosmetics fan, I was super excited to try all of these along with the makeup I use regularly. Here’s what I thought of all the products:

Hydrating Bubble Mask: I started out with this one to give my face a little bit of oompf, as I haven’t used a mask in a while, moreover, I’d never used a bubble mask. They’re all the rage right now, and rightfully so. My skin feels so nice! It was a bit weird with the bubbles dissolving so quickly as I was reading the instructions on the package but I do like the mask. I’ll definitely try to use this once a week.

Lip Exfoliator: Followed the Hydrating Bubble Mask up with this product. I’ve only ever done homemade lip scrubs made with sugar and honey, so this was very odd to me. I felt like I was putting on lip balm. As with the bubble mask, the result was great but the process was weird. Looks like I won’t be needing to make my own lip scrub for a while!

Mineral Infused Face Primer: Moving on to the stuff that actually stays on my face. I only use primer for my eyeshadow, but I have been meaning to find a nice face primer to use daily. I love that this is a clear primer! It definitely does its job well, in my opinion.

Baked Highlighter and Bronzer, Bronze Glow: I don’t use highlighter or bronzer, so I was debating if I should use it to complete my look for this post. I think the one I was sent is too shiny for my liking. I probably won’t use it ever again.

Matte Lip Color, Wine: LOVE THIS! It’s the perfect shade for a subtle red lip stain. I’m definitely buying another once this one finishes. Also, how cool is the sharpener on this?!

1220161910_hdr

Aaaannnndddd here’s my finished face:

elf-collage

Overall, I think I’ve fallen hard for the Primer and the Matte Lip Color. Can’t wait to put them on again for work tomorrow!

 

Gallery Mondays: Spa

1217161435_hdr

We got our first snow in NYC over the weekend, but I wasn’t even mad because I had a reservation at Russian and Turkish Baths in the East Village.

I went with Karina, who has been to a few other bath houses before the one we went to on Saturday. It was my first time going to a bath house and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the aromatherapy rooms. It’s perfect for a cold day!

The mural above is on the wall in the hallway outside of Russian and Turkish Baths. I love how the entire painting has a steamy vibe to it, making it look so relaxing and dreamy.

If you’re thinking of going to a bath house or spa in NYC you should definitely check out Russian and Turkish Baths for a couple of hours this winter!

Fan Art Fridays: Amy Schumer

amy schumer fan art

Amy Schumer has another movie coming out, and I’m super excited.

How am I supposed to wait until May for Snatched?! It seems so far away!

Anyway, I thought I’d share this sketch of Amy Schumer I found on Deviant Art by seanjo. She looks all perky and put together as opposed to the mess that goes down in the trailer for Snatched.

View the original fan art here, and see the trailer below!