Sunday, December 29, 2013

Best of 2013

I've gotta say 2013 has been pretty good to me. I'm sad to see it come to a close, but I'm ready to take on whatever 2014 has in store for me! It's going to bring adventures in Paris, hopefully another half-marathon, and lots of hurling. So without further ado, here is the Best of 2013 according to me:
(warning: this is the longest blog post ever)


La Roche Posay Gel Cleanser
I came across an end cap at my Target featuring La Roche Posay and was super pumped because I'd always wanted to try it. It was pretty hard to come by in the States until recently and snatched it up the moment I saw it. It's super gentle, smells clean and fresh, and has made my skin so smooth and soft. Definitely a top pick for 2013.

Korres Rose Sleeping Mask + Vitamin C
This has been a longtime favorite of mine and I'm pretty sure I've purchased at least 3 of those glorious little pots. It lasts forever and is a miracle worker on dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Bonus points because it smells lovely.

Coconut Oil
I've been using coconut oil as my daily/nighttime moisturizer and my skin thanks me for it. It smells like macaroons and, as I've said before, is a multi-purpose product.

Neutrogena Hand Cream
This is another multi-purpose product as it doubles as an ultra-moisturizing hand cream as well as an amazing lip balm. If you've never tried it out I highly recommend it.

Neutrogena Moisture Wrap Body Lotion
I've had this lotion for quite some time, but rediscovered it this year. Netrogena is my favorite skin care line because they create gentle, but hard working products. It's does wonders for dry elbows and legs.

Josie Maran Coconut Water Cheek Gelee in Poppy Paradise
I've spoken about this before, too. It's such a light and natural blush that gives an effortless flush. It's easy to swipe on without a brush and I will have to repurchase this quite soon because I've flown through it.

Wet & Wild Mellow Wine Blush
This blush is my favorite for fall and winter time. It's a nice, soft peachy color with a bit of shimmer. It's not quite "mellow wine" as the name suggests, but I love it for a winter flush.

L'Oreal Voluminous Eyeliner
I love this soft kohl liner because I've started to line my waterline on a daily basis. It's easy to flick out for a simple cat eye. I think this will always be my favorite liner. I've tried so many, but I've never loved anything more than this!

Wet & Wild Eyebrow Pencil
I'd never filled in my brows until this year and I've finally seen the light. It's not necessarily the best thing ever because now I've added a step in my makeup application, but boy, does it make a difference! Eyebrows really frame your face! I have such light brows that I'd never realized it would make me look complete.

Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Honey
I'm not much of a lip product person, unless we're talking chapstick, but I really love this stain. It's natural enough to keep me feeling comfortable, but it adds a hint of something special if I want to dress up an outfit.

Maybelline Colossal Lashes
I'm fickle with mascara, but I've been sticking with this one during 2013. It gives my lashes a nice curl and it's a good middle ground between falsies and au natural.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadows in Tough as Taupe, Barely Branded, and Bad to the Bronze
These shadows were a hit for 2013 and there's no doubt I jumped on the bandwagon like everyone else. I love the combination of the above shadows, but the great thing is that they can all stand alone as well. I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to eyeshadows, but I think these are pretty great.

Benefit Sunbeam Highlighter
I don't use highlighter on a daily basis, but when I do, I reach for Sunbeam because it is a golden shimmer that adds some warmth to my face. Love it and will keep it going in 2014 as well.

Neutrogena Blemish Concealer
Perfection. There's just not much else I can say about this concealer. For a brief (very, very brief) period in 2013 I thought I'd found a new love, but I came running back to my favorite concealer and will continue to love this forever.


OSiS Texture Powder
I received this product in an Influenster VoxBox and was very skeptical about it at first, but after numerous weeks of playing around with it I decided I can't live without it. It adds volume to my flat hair and I'll always need products like that.

Tigi Catwalk Sea Spray (not pictured)
I've repurchased too many bottles of this, but I #cantstopwontstop. It smells like a lovely spa hair salon and I am convinced this is what adds texture to my hair because without it I swear I have nothing but slick strands that won't even hold in a clip.

Pantene Aqua Light Shampoo and Conditioner
I'm fickle with shampoos and conditioners, but I've repurchased this three times. If that doesn't mean something, then you obviously don't know me!! It's lightweight, smells nice, and keeps my locks looking fabulous.

Pantene Hair BB Cream
Before this product I always wondered if my hair needed something extra. I'd always get a bit of frizz after blowdrying and couldn't fix it with anything. This is my savior product. It claims to have 10 benefits including heat protecting and strengthening characteristics. So if it even does these two things then I've gotten my moneys worth. And I have.


Marc Jacobs Daisy
I can't say this has been a favorite of 2013 because I just received it for Christmas, but I can say that I've been pining for it since about May. So it made the list because every time I'd step into Sephora or Ulta I'd run to the perfumes and spray myself with this. I love it and it will definitely be a favorite for 2014, as well.

Versace Bright Crystal
This is my favorite fancy perfume. If I'm going out on a date night, attending a special event, or just feeling fancy, this is what I reach for. I'm not even going to attempt to explain what it smells like, but if you're interested I have a post dedicated to my perfume collection.

Philosophy Falling in Love
I especially love this perfume for winter and spring. I know that isn't usually a pairing that people put together. It's often spring/summer and fall winter, but this scent has warm vanilla notes perfect for winter and a splash of berry essential for spring. I also love this perfume because my mom gave this to me as a gift and said that it smelled like me! How nice it that, having someone smell something lovely and think that it matches my scent preferences.


The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
If you like the Hunger Games series, you'll love Divergent. It's a dystopian survival book set in Chicago (which I love because who doesn't love the Midwest?!). I read all three of these books in 2013 and they have moved near the top of my favorite books of all time list.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
I don't often reach for self-help books, but this was recommended to me and I quickly learned that it was far from self-help. It's more like a memoir encouraging everyone to be happier. It's one of the first books that I still think about in depth months after I finished reading it. I'll hopefully do my own Happiness Project sometime soon. Perhaps starting in January, as the author did. I think everyone can be happier and this uplifting account of Rubin's journey to more happiness was inspiring.

Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder (not pictured)
I read this book for my Literary Journalism class this semester. I'm as surprised as you are that a book I was forced to read made my favorite books of the year list. I know. It's unheard of! But it's true. I love this book, I love the message, and I fell in love with Deo and his unbelievable story of hope and strength. It's a must read.


Monsters University
I'm a big fan of Pixar and really any animated film. I loved Monsters Inc. so I'm definitely glad they came back to revisit some of my favorite characters.

Secret life of Walter Mitty
This was my family's Christmas Day movie of the year and I'm so glad we chose this one. Much better than sobbing through Les Mis last Christmas (although I love Les Mis and would gladly sob through it every day). It's uplifting, inspiring, and an all around great movie.

I would have to say this is probably my all time favorite of 2013. I loved the songs, the animation, the story, the characters (read: Kristof), and, of course, the adorable snowman Olaf. GO SEE IT. You will not regret it.

About Time
There's always gotta be a favorite chick flick of the year and this was mine. I love Rachel McAdams and she did a fabulous job, as always. It wasn't a super lovey dovey movie, my boyfriend came along and enjoyed it, as well. Sort of sci-fi slash romantic comedy makes a great date night movie.

Television Shows:

Downton Abbey
This is the best show ever. That is all I need to say, but I'll say more. The cast is splendid, the story line is intriguing episode after episode, and I've become completely invested in the lives of the family and the help. After some devastating happenings in the past few series, I'm happy to say Series 4 ended with happiness. There's always a bit of drama, but this season was spectacular and I didn't end up bawling by the end of the Christmas special. Can't wait until September for Series 5.
Breaking Bad
I suppose there can't be a Best of Television 2013 without mentioning Breaking Bad. The writing is unparalleled and the ending was INSANE. If you haven't seen it, the entire series is on Netflix and I'd recommend a binge watching weekend.

Honorable Mention:
Orange is the New Black
This show is a Netflix original series and I watched the entire first season in about a week. I know it's not as impressive as a weekend, but I had school and other shows to watch. I am looking forward to season 2 in the coming year. Watching Piper venture into the unknown world of prison made for quite an interesting program. The character development was great and every episode built on the last.

Best 20113 Memories
- Feeding giraffes at the zoo for my 21st birthday
- Daily runs by the Mississippi River
- Ran my first half marathon. Planning for my second in May!
- Became obsessed with Pilates (so obsessed that I'm going to be training to become a certified Pilates instructor in 2014!)
-NACBs Camogie in Cleveland
-Meeting the Mayor of Galway County at Milwaukee Irish Fest
1: Councellor Liam Carroll Mayor of Galway, 2: My best friend and I enjoying a Christmassy night, 3: Getting ready for a thrown in for the MHC U7s, 4: At the starting line for my first half-marathon, 5: KT Tape models at NACBs in Cleveland, 6: Fall Family Fun Day in October

1: MHC Opening Day 2013, 2: Bran-pants sleeping like a cutie pie, 3: Being silly with my silly guy, 4: Getting ready to feed giraffes

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