Big list this year! And what a year it was...
Last year, this post opened with: "This list will absolutely not include anything uttered by Donald Trump." I think back to that time, a time when some of us did not yet understand what was about to happen; when some believed wholeheartedly that he could never win a Presidential election... Those were the good times, America.
Yet still, in this year's look back at the best quips and sound bytes, I will keep to that deal. This list will absolutely not include anything uttered by Donald Trump. (I can't say some of the quotes won't be about him, though.)
In no particular order...
"Anthony Michael Hall is facing 7 years in prison for assaulting his neighbor. If you don't think 2016 is the weirdest, I don't what to say." -Jensen Karp
"America! WHAT THE HELL???" -UK Talk Show Host, Graham Norton
“We aren’t born woke. Something wakes us up.” -Activist DeRay Mckesson
"Jesus fucking Christ, Donald Trump. You are the president-elect. Pick your fucking battles, man. You're embarrassing yourself." -Activist Danielle Muscato
"Here's The Deal, I Am Chris Pratt." -Jaden Smith
"Mark Zuckerberg I know it’s your bday but can you please call me by 2mrw…" -Kanye West
"I am not the only athlete up here. As you all know, earlier this year, Ann Coulter won the Kentucky Derby." -Peyton Manning at the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe
"Oooooober." -Kurt in "Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life"
"It's always going to be about the weight for me, Toby. It's been my story ever since I was a little girl. And every moment that I'm not thinking about it, I'm thinking about it. Like will this chair hold me, will this dress fit me. And if I ever get pregnant, will anyone ever notice? It's just at the core of who I am, it's just deep inside, and eight tequila shots can only mask that for a couple hours." -Kate on NBC's "This is Us"
"So what if I like drawing little hearts around Hugh Jackman's name? I can't be gangsta every second of the day." -Ryan Reynolds
“If Michael Jackson did the moonwalk for the first time now, and it debuted on Twitter, the third comment would probably be: ‘He’s just walking backwards.’ That’s why there’s no real rock stars anymore. Everything’s immediately diminished.” -Matt Healy of The 1975
"Always keep something just for yourself." -Dolly Parton
"What if immaterial tabloid stories, judgments and misconceptions remained confined to the candy jar of low-brow entertainment and were replaced in mainstream media by far more important, necessary conversations?" -Renee Zellweger
“And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.” -Lin Manuel Miranda
“Have you even read the United States Constitution? … You have sacrificed nothing and no one.” -Khizr Khan
"Vine is dead." -Wired Magazine
"How VIP do we gotta get?" -Paul McCartney (after being turned away from a VIP Grammy After-Party)
"I'M DAVID PUMPKINS!" -Tom Hanks, SNL
"You voice does count and it can change the world." -Lee Daniels
"Emma Watson wrote a note urging Americans to vote. She didn't spend her childhood fighting a dark lord so we could elect one." -Stephen Colbert
"He said if you wallow in suffering it wins... if you use it, humanity wins... His first thought was never for himself, or to tell you how he was feeling, it was always: what is going on in your life? And he really meant it. It wasn’t perfunctory. His kindness was never for show, it was who he was." -Menachem Z. Rosensaft, Founding Chairman of the International Network of Children of Jewish Survivors on the late Elie Wiesel
"That is what Barack and I think about every day as we try to guide and protect our girls through the challenges of this unusual life in the spotlight — how we urge them to ignore those who question their father's citizenship or faith. How we insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country. How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don't stoop to their level — no, our motto is, when they go low, we go high." -Michelle Obama
"I'm not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I'm the first Simone Biles." -Simone Biles
"To all of the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams." -Hillary Clinton
"How dare anyone question a woman’s ability? Every person on this planet was brought into this world by a woman." -Pharrell Williams
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Think about this: How much is a good night's sleep worth to you? What about a few nights? A week? A month?
There are a few things I always recommend one NEVER cheap out on:
And frankly, ANYTHING that contributes to a good night's sleep. Sleep is IMPORTANT. There is no price too high for a good night's sleep.
I've been at war with sleep for a very long time. When I moved into my current apartment, I set some new rules for my bedroom to get a leg up on the battle. My bedroom would be a sanctuary. So first of all, no work in the bedroom. No desk and no laptop in bed unless it was to play a mindless game to lull myself into sleep. I've kept to that with very few exceptions. Second, grown-up furniture. That was an exciting purchase for me. My beautiful, "new" bedroom set is almost a year old and sometimes I just sit in bed and look at it because it adds a level of comfort and confidence to my home. The third rule was better bed linens. Like, SUPREMELY better bed linens. I considered this all a down payment on my sanity.
But I fouled. I found a set of sheets on sale at Macy's and felt more like I was getting away with something, less like I was investing in my improved mental health (which is what I believe sleep does). And no sooner than I put those sheets on my bed did I find myself waking up to this nonsense almost daily:
DEEP POCKETS? I think not, discount bed linens. You are lying liars who lie.
But a stroke of good fortune found me at BlogHer, where I ran into a representative from BELLA NOTTE. Their brand represents a lifestyle that is chic, comfortable and inspiring. They offer vintage-inspired bedding, baby, and tabletop products that are crafted locally with attention to fashion forward details—from piping and pintucking, to ruffles, ruching, and laces—and then custom dyed to order. It's not a product line I ever dreamed I would actually own but now, my lying sheets be damned, I suddenly felt like I not only could, but SHOULD own them.
Their website sucked me in. Everything looks exquisite. I wanted to sleep here:
I was flattered and ecstatic when they offered me a set of BELLISSIMA sheets. They even let me pick out my color so that I could be sure to have a gray tone that would match the rest of my room. The end result is the softest, most luxurious sheets I've ever owned.
A couple things have happened since I put my new, fabulous sheets on my bed. I find myself even more excited to go to bed because now, it feels like a true treat to climb in! ALSO, I wake up every day not needing to remake the bed, feeling exasperated and annoyed and even stressed out about it. My bedroom is more welcoming overall and I do actually sleep better. Today, I was so happy and content, I had to force myself up. It's truly been a joy to sleep on my new Bella Notte sheets!!!
The best thing you can do for yourself to improve your sleeping situation is shop Bella Notte. It's a worthy investment and you'll thank me later. From either one of the lovely boutiques who sell their brand or their online shop (the outlet), you can't go wrong!
This morning I woke up and flipped on my light. I'm still getting out of the habit of immediately checking my corners to refit the sheet to the bed.... I smile every time I realized I don't have to do that anymore. REAL DEEP POCKETS FOR THE WIN!
So what about you? Do you love your bedding? And what are your must-have investment-worthy items?
In which the blogger wonders if she can make voter registration a giveaway entry mechanic....
In 2015, when a cagey Hillary Clinton had not yet confirmed if she was running for President, I ran a giveaway for a Hillary-themed coloring book. At the time, she was the 44th First Lady and former Secretary of State.
Today, she is the Democratic nominee for President of the United States so Ulysses Press has reissued the coloring book, a special edition, to further honor America’s best-known female politician. It's less than $8 on Amazon!
Yes, I totally photographed the cover with my DNC Toms peaking into the photo. Seemed appropriate.
The book chronicles dozens of unforgettable moments in her life. You’ll capture her early childhood and academic accomplishments, time as First Lady in Arkansas and the White House, and years in the Senate and State Department, as well as her entire political career right up to this fascinating (terrifying? embarrassing?) 2016 Presidential Race. I colored one myself -- as I am totally addicted to all of the coloring these days:
Well, I won't tell you who to vote for, but I will encourage you to register and to actually vote. Please.
And I will encourage you to enter this giveaway! Win one of these coloring books! It will be a fun distraction when the results are rolling in on November 8. If you need me that night, I'll be the anxious one downing vodka and breathing into a brown paper bag.
The building at 12969 Ventura Blvd. in Studio City has seen a few "rebirths" over the last few years. When I worked down the street from it, many years ago, it was kind of the place you went for business lunches with passable eats. Later, it was a pub with passable pub fare and loudness.
I am glad that something classy has finally turned the space around and I hope Hyperion Public stays in the hood for a long time! The brunch I had was wonderful.
We happened to be there for "Pancake Mayhem" which was both good and bad. Good because, well, DELICIOUS. Bad because, well, DECISIONS.
But you'd better believe that "Camp Counselor" made it's way to our table. And even though I had to skip the nutella (allergies, y'all), it really ranked right up there as some of the best pancakes I've ever had. No joke. The pancakes themselves were soft and delicious but a little crispy around the edges, which was a nice touch that added texture. And while the toppings were obviously decadent, they weren't piled on the dish in massive heaps so I never felt like I was heading to sugar coma-land, and that was much appreciated because I had more food to try!
Not too much chocolate, not too much anything -- everything as it should be and perfect.
My friend and I shared the pancakes but we also wanted to sample some egg dishes. So we had the savory Chilaquiles -- over easy eggs, black bean puree, pickled vegetables, queso fresco, sour cream and, of course, fresh corn tortilla chips. And also the rich Croque Madam -- grilled rustic bread with dijon aioli, swiss cheese, black forest ham, thyme-pecorino mornay and two sunny-side up eggs.
If those photos make you wanna lick the screen, I wouldn't blame you. I took them with my friend's new iPhone 7. That camera is a food blogger's best friend, I tell you. Of course, it helps that the food actually was that good.
Hot tip: Hyperion Public's special sauce is worth the ask, daytime or nighttime. Get the "OMG Sauce." Try subbing out your breakfast potatoes for fries and dip 'em. I'm also a big, big fan of their pretzel and dip appetizer. They make a GOOD pretzel, y'all.
The valley definitely has some good Brunch spots within it's boundaries but the east end has been lacking in superstars lately. Hyperion Public is a welcome addition to the neighborhood and i look forward to returning many more times. Perhaps the next trip will be with a group as they have a great setup for that (something else also hard to find)!
Oh hey, did I mention a GREAT Bloody Mary and BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS?
So? Who's coming with me?
Disclosure: This meal was hosted. The opinions are hosted in my own noggin', though. You're welcome.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored, but the brilliantly crafted writing and opinions within are all mine, guys.
My recent bargain hunting expedition has rendered even more good news for us all!
I had NO IDEA Groupon Coupons was a thing! Did you know? So not only is Groupon a go-to source for discounted experiences, they also host a wide array of coupons for mainstream retailers you are probably already shopping with -- sites like Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdales and even eBay.
It's an especially fortuitous find for me as I'm considering my next cell phone option. Do I go iPhone 7? 7S? Do I switch back to Android? I'm not sure how to feel about the new iPhones lack of headphone jack. On top of which, I think after many years I may give up my Verzion service and switch to T-Mobile. All my unlimited calls, text and data adds up with Verizon and I'm just paying far too much per month with them. I'm not sure it's worth the stellar coverage anymore. At only a notch down on the coverage quality grid, T-Mobile not only saves me a ton of money per month on my bill, I found an entire page of Groupon Coupons for them! It's so current it already has iPhone 7 deals. It's really tempting me.... WIN WIN, right???
My parting advice? Bookmark Groupon Coupons. Make sure you consult the site before shopping online moving forward! You will not be sorry and your piggy bank will thank you.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored, but the brilliantly crafted writing and opinions within are all mine, guys.
Retail therapy, amiright? Sometimes you just gotta log on and buy yourself something. I know the saying is "money can't buy happiness," but let's be candid -- MONEY can buy THINGS that make me very, very happy.
I'm just truth telling. Don't judge.
One of my obsessions in the pursuit of retail therapy is actually buying experiences. I love to treat myself to a blow-out, a massage, a mani/pedi or some other fun activity I can engage in with friends. It just makes your feel so great! It's a small way to make an ordinary day feel like a special ocassion or make a special ocassion feel extra special.
I find myself getting a ton of use out of health, beauty and wellness Groupons section. In that space, I can find everything I need to feel like my happy, feeling-good, pampered self. Everything from the massages I love to the experiences I enjoy with friends. The thing I like the most about using Groupon as a resource is that with their pricing being lower than the normal purchase price, I always feel incentivized to try something I otherwise might not consider!
Groupon's motto is "own the experience," to which I say: YES.