15 Things I Loved in 2015

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 / 7:52 AM

I'm still working on my annual "year-ender" blog post, but in the meantime, I wrote a list to help me procrastinate on my other list.

1. If You Find This Letter 
The premise is simple: Hannah Brencher moved to New York and, in her moments of trying to find meaning in the chaos of the city, begins writing letters to strangers. The project then becomes a blog, and she starts handwriting letters to anyone who requests one. Now, it's a whole campaign/movement.

This was probably my favorite book I read all year. Hannah Brencher is a lovely writer, and after reading this, it felt like her book was the letter from a stranger I needed to find.

2. James Corden
I dare you to not smile while watching James Corden do...well, anything. Whether it's Carpool Karaoke or showing off his musical talent or gasping over exotic animals in the studio, he's just been a delight to watch in late night (and on YouTube at all times of the day). He just makes a fun show, and I love how genuinely happy he seems to be hosting a show that airs at 12:35 a.m.

3. Gilmore Guys
I was late to this podcast game, but binge-listening to catch up in real time was totally worth it. I think what I love the most about the banter is how much it feels like just sitting at a coffee shop with my friends. 

Also, I'll almost always jump on board anything with Gilmore Girls attached to it!

4. Poke
Shut up, you West Coasters. Whenever someone decided to make poke trendy in California, it must have been in the last four years because I've been away from the Best Coast since 2011 and missed the boat. Of course, Hawaiians have known what's up forever, so props to all of you Californians for jumping on that train. When I was back in SoCal over the summer, Kristen and I got poke and it was one of the best food trips we made the whole time.

5. Korean face masks
I was skeptical at first, but damn. These are awesome. The masks I've tried don't leave your face feeling sticky, and why wouldn't you want to wake up feeling like your skin is softer? 

Now to get on that Korean beauty routine in 2016...

6. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
This was one of those shows I was binge-watching, and then slowed down at the end because I didn't want it to end. Everything about Ellie Kemper is adorable, and it's just a funny show (slightly problematic characters aside...)

7. Inside Out
Pixar has some predictable formulas: they either pack an emotional punch at the beginning of a film and then spend the next two hours building out a story from the pieces of the audiences' shattered hearts (see: Up); or they pack that punch at the end of the film after you've gone through a two-hour ride of a full story, only to drop the lovely gift they've made of your emotions and leave you feeling more attached to the nostalgia of the story than you thought you could be (see: Toy Story).

Inside Out kind of just slaps you in the middle of the film -- and I think that's why I loved it. (No spoilers.) Plus, the concept of feelings having feelings is something only Pixar could do, and do really damn well.

8. Seoul Searching
Probably my favorite film I saw this year. Like director Benson Lee, I loved the classic John Hughes '80s films, but I still can't watch Sixteen Candles for the some reason why I can't watch Breakfast at Tiffany's again: those cringe-worthy Asian (or in the latter's case, yellowface) characters. But Lee's take on an 80s cult classic genre and combining it with a (based-on-a-real) camp in South Korea was perfect. I kept wanting the story to continue -- like, I would have gladly sat in the theater for another three hours.

9. Evan Edinger
Puns already make me laugh more than they probably should make the average human being laugh. Puns in weekly YouTube videos (thanks for posting regularly, Evan!) have the same effect. I also have really been digging his travel vlogs -- which is not a genre I normally gravitate toward -- and they've been making me want to travel too.

10. Gel manicures
I went from being "meh" about manicures to being a little obsessed. Mainly because I've become lazier in 2015 and gel manicures have been lasting me about three weeks on average, which is great for when you're traveling.

11. Boston
I visited Boston for the first time over the Memorial Day weekend, and it was a really pleasant trip. People weren't lying to me when they said it was an incredibly walkable city. I don't know if I'd say I prefer it over New York (I was only in Boston for three days), but it definitely had every reason to pull me into a warm hug and never let me go.

12. Liquid eyeliner
After decades of attempting to use liquid eyeliner and jabbing myself in the eye or creating a mess, I've figured out the secret (draw from the outside in!) and you can't tell me the Kat Von D Tattoo liner isn't perfection -- because it is. Apply once and that shit is stuck on your eyelids until you attack it with a puffy fluff soaked with makeup remover.

13. Snapchat
I'm not great at Snapchat, and I honestly believe I still don't understand it, but it's a great place for me to dump random photos and videos of my life that nobody really cares about but I feel like I need to let the world know. Sorry, everyone who follows me there!

14. Modern Romance
I feel like most of the things I loved in 2015 begin with were things I wasn't so sure about at the start, and then my mind was changed quickly once I gave it a shot. The idea of an academic-ish sounding topic co-written by a comedian wasn't something I walked into with high expectations, but I'm glad I picked up the book. Aziz Ansari's humor makes Modern Romance a quick read, and I found myself texting friends who were also reading the book throughout each chapter with thoughts and anecdotes. Any book that turns a reading into a virtual book club is a win, in my opinion.

15. Carly Rae Jepsen's Emotion
This was just a fun album. The best of 2015? Probably not -- and, honestly, not my favorite album of 2015, but it's a pop-y, dance-y bundle of joy. And it contains one of her best songs, which also happens to come with one of her best music videos

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