It’s that time of year, y’all. The time when we all sigh and say, “Wow, 2018 is really almost over,” and look ahead to the New Year. It’s also the time when nearly every blogger writes a big “year in review” post. This year, I’m switching it up and I’m excited to share some of my favorite things of 2018 with y’all today.
I decided this year that I’m not going to do a traditional “year in review” post, where I talk about all the things that happened this year and what they meant to me. I feel like I documented all the exciting things that happened in 2018 well enough on here, and over on my Instagram.
Here are some of my favorite things of 2018!
Did any of these make your list of favorites, too? Also, are you singing The Sound of Music in your head right now? Because I definitely am.
Health & Beauty
BaeBody Dead Sea mud mask. This was the first face mask I ever bought, off a recommendation from a friend. After using it once a week since April, my skin has never felt or looked better (save for a week or so earlier this month when a cold and changing weather dried my skin out).
Not Your Mother’s Naturals hair care collection. Being totally honest here: I had no idea that I’d been treating my hair like crap for years, until I started working on a hair care brand at my job. I learned so much what really goes into hair care products and other people’s hair care routines, and all about silicones, sulfates, all that fun stuff. So I made the switch to little-to-no heat and natural hair products. So far, I’m loving the Not Your Mother’s Naturals line, and I haven’t used my flat iron since before Thanksgiving!
Essential oils. My friend sent me an oil diffuser for Christmas last year, and I’ve used it pretty regularly all year. Depending on what’s ailing me, I’ll run it for a couple hours in the morning, and again for a couple hours before I go to bed. If I’m mixing my own, my go-to blend is lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and a couple drops of lemon EOs. But if I’m buying pre-made blends, my favorites are Let Go and Fight It by Ellia.What are some of your favorite things from 2018? Click To Tweet
Home & Kitchen
French Press coffee maker. You know you’re a coffee aficionado when you have three different coffee makers. I use my Keurig during the week, but on the weekends, I like to take it slower with a French press. My friend sent me this one as an apartment-warming gift when my old one broke in the packing and moving process.
Reusable zip bags. In my efforts to be more environmentally conscious, I purchased some reusable zip bags for lunch-packing and food storage at home. So far, so good—I haven’t bought plastic zip bags at the store since July, and these have held up pretty well!
BruMate tumblers. I stumbled upon these back in the spring, ordered a set for my mom’s birthday, and pretty soon after ordered a set for myself. The Uncork’d tumblers are triple insulated, so they’ll keep your cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. BruMate also has flasks, can insulators, growlers, pint glasses, and all kinds of accessories.
Cast iron skillets. I don’t remember the last time I cooked with anything other than cast iron. They require a little more care than regular aluminum pans, but they’re 1000% worth it. Mine were passed down from my grandfather, so they’re extra seasoned and well-loved. If you’re new to cast iron, Lodge and Staub are great brands.
Sony Alpha a5100 camera. If I had to pick my top purchases of 2018, this would definitely fall in the top three. My last camera was great, but it was on its last legs after five years of heavy use. I asked my photographer friends for recommendations that would fit my needs and budget, and the Sony Alpha was the unanimous pick. It’s a fantastic little camera.
Blue Yeti microphone. This was my first piece of podcast equipment, and I swear by it and recommend it to everyone who asks. Though I will eventually upgrade, the Yeti is a great-quality microphone and has different settings for almost anything you’d be recording.
Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty. I haven’t read a book this fast since college. I also haven’t enjoyed a fiction book as much as this since Harry Potter. It’s full of twists and turns, a couple of which made me actually scream when I read them. For the sake of no spoilers, I’ll just point you to my friend Caroline’s book review of Big Little Lies and recommend that you read it ASAP.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. Actually one of my favorite books I’ve ever read. It’s honest, raw, and inspiring. Nothing is sugarcoated, and sometimes, you just need this kind of book. I wish I could gift a copy of this book to a few people.
Natural Disaster by Ginger Zee. I’ve admired Ginger since her early days on ABC News and Good Morning America, but her memoir took my respect and admiration of her to a whole new level. She talks about her struggles with past relationships and mental health honestly, openly, and holds nothing back. Mental health is an important topic that should never go unaddressed, and I’m so glad Ginger Zee shared her stories.Shared some of my favorite things from 2018 on the blog. What are some of your 2018 favorites? Click To Tweet
My bullet journal. After trying planner after planner after planner, and not finding a system that worked for me, I decided to give bullet journaling a try. Y’all, I’m obsessed.
ALDI wine. It’s cheap and it’s delicious, and makes a great base for sangria (like this winter white sangria, or my fall red sangria). What more could I want? They opened an ALDI less than two miles from my apartment, and it’s both wonderful and dangerous.
My podcast. Okay, shameless plug, I’ll admit, but The Nooga Belle Podcast really is one of my favorite things from 2018. I’ll do a full post about this later (either here or on my Instagram), but starting a podcast has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I’ve certainly learned a lot about starting a podcast in the last year, and I’m pumped to see where it goes in the New Year.
And one last thing… here are my top (new) blog posts of 2018:
- Old Fashioned Punch
- The Foodie’s Guide to Chattanooga
- Weekend Guide to Chattanooga
- My Bullet Journal Routine
- Beer Brownies
- Simply Southern Pimiento Cheese
Well, that’s a wrap on another fabulous year. Here’s to 2018 and everything it brought, and here’s to 2019 and everything it’s sure to bring!
What are some of your favorite things from 2018? What are you most excited about in 2019?
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