Ruminating

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS

I love end of year lists. My partner likes to tease me about how I am constantly categorizing and ranking my favourite things (I’m basically John Cusack in High Fidelity) but ORDER IS IMPORTANT (Type A Type A Type A). In the spirit of my love for lists, here are some of my favourite discoveries this year.

SEWING PATTERNS

Cleverest design of the year goes to the Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns. I love the cohesive design of the latest Named collection, especially the neck darts on the Talvikki Sweater. Sure to be the basic of 2016, the Ogden Cami by True Bias was everywhere (I have a few in the queue). I never blogged my Penny Raglan by Grainline Studio but it is seriously the perfect summer tee. I am kind of obsessed with this weird Rachel Comey dress for Vogue. The Alix Dress from By Hand London is so romantic and the Ellsworth Coat by Christine Haynes has a sweet vintage shape. Best scrap buster goes to the Karri dress by Megan Nielsen. The crazy sleeves of the Falda jacket by Pattern Fantastique make me smile. I still need to make the Toaster Sweater by Sew House Seven.

SERVICES/APPS

I honestly don’t know what I would do without Spotify. I don’t have time to find good music anymore and the personalized daily and weekly playlists really GET ME and ensure I always have great music playing in the background. 100% worth the monthly subscription (In fact, I would pay a lot more if they compensated artists better).

If your business ships packages and you don’t use Shipstation, please reconsider. My Dymo label printer is one of the great loves of my life.

Car sharing is the best for city dwellers. I highly recommend finding a service like Car2go in your city!

BOOKS

You need to have Women in Clothes on your nightstand. Shrill by Lindy West is the funniest memoir of the year, while Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run had the most to say about rock n’ roll. A Little Life was the hardest novel to shake. I want to buy a case of On Such a Full Sea and give it to everyone I know.  Magic and science fiction make a beautiful baby in All The Birds in the Sky. I totally devoured the Cormoran Strike novels by J.K. Rowling’s pen name. My all-time favourite story set in WWII (and maybe my favourite book of 2016): All the Light We Cannot See.

PODCASTS

Laughs when I desperately needed them from the best pop culture podcast of the year, Who Weekly. The latest season of Start-Up featuring ultimate creep and former American Apparel CEO Dov Charney was fascinating and disturbing (boy, does he not clear his name…) Not to be listened to in polite company, My Dad Wrote a Porno is so funny, please be aware people will look at you askance as you silently cry-laugh while walking your dogs. I binge listened to My Favourite Murder until I became convinced everyone was trying to kill me. Dear Sugar is like a hot water bottle and a cashmere blanket when you’re feeling blue. 2 Dope Queens are so funny it’s criminal. Heavyweight hit me right in the feels, every single time. Ronna & Beverly continues to be the podcast I am most excited to hear each week.

MUSIC

My favourite album this year was A Seat at the Table by Solange, hands down. Followed closely by Angel Olsen’s My Woman, Anohni’s Hopelessness and Frank Ocean’s Blonde. I also made a playlist of my favourite songs this year; it’s pretty R&B heavy but if you want to know what I was listening to on repeat you can listen to it here.

EVERYTHING ELSE

Moonlight is unbearably beautiful and deserves to win Best Picture; see it on the big screen if you can. My subscription to Bon Appetit has totally jump-charged my cooking, and this instant read thermometer ensured I stopped overcooking everything. Going to a Scandinavian style spa every few months to have a sauna and a soak with a close girlfriend should be legally mandated. Hot yoga has healed my back. The best thing I did for my pups was subscribe to Bark Box; they love the toys and treats and I don’t have to go to the pet store as often. We all need to follow Bodiposipanda on Instagram; she makes me want to celebrate my  tummy rolls. I am obsessed with my new photo printer, the Canon Selphy. Tiny and inexpensive,  you don’t have to worry about ink heads drying up like typical inkjet printers, and it means I get to create pretty inspiration boards whenever I feel like it (which is all the time!)

And that’s it from me for 2016! Wishing you all the best things to come in 2017. xoxo

  • This is such a great round up, thank you! I’m always on the lookout for new podcasts and I’ve not heard of most of those so I’ll be off to investigate. And this reminded me how much I really need to make the Hannah dress.

  • Sara Mayo

    Born to Run was under my Christmas tree, along with 4 other rock bios. I also love my instant-read thermometer that I bought two Thanksgivings ago. I use and love Tidal for my music subscription service. Will check out some of your music, book and podcast suggestions, thanks.

    • You are going to have such a great month of reading ahead of you!! I wonder how Tidal compares to Spotify in terms of selection…

  • What an epic list! I also loved Shrill and On Such a Full Sea. I’m 75% through A Little Life and it’s totally wrecking me (in a good way). I keep being like, “Things are finally looking up for ol’ Judy!” and read ravenously to make sure everything goes well and then keep getting gut-punched. I can’t wait to see how it ends, but at the same time am really dreading how it’s going to end. Adding several of those others to my to-read list. Oh, and did you ever read the second book in The Broken Earth series? I loved that one too! I also started reading her Inheritance trilogy, but I just didn’t get into it.

    Gimlet Media killed it with podcasts this year! Reply All is still one of my favorites of all-time, and their multi-part special on Paul Modrowski was riveting. Homecoming was really fun too! I actually haven’t listened to Start-Up yet, but loved Heavyweight too (especially that first episode with the dad and his brother and that scene where he compares his dad/uncle’s deep accented voices with his own little puberty-ish voice, ahahhah). I listened to Crimetown just because crime is fun, but honestly the storytelling on that one was pretty insufferable. YES to My Favorite Murder, and know that I also had to take a break from it because I was convinced everyone was going to kill me too. The apex of my paranoia was when this super nice older guy was seated at a table next to us at a restaurant and was talking to us all throughout the night, and I found myself asking Darius, “Why is this handsome, interesting, smart gentleman with the voice of an angel talking to us so much??? I THINK HE WANTS TO MURDER US.” But I’m back on the murder-train now, just not more than one or two episodes at a time!

    Dude, ANGEL OLSEN! <3 <3 <3 I heard her on the podcast Song Exploder (excellent podcast, if you haven't heard it!) and immediately bought My Woman. I've been listening to it nonstop for the past month. Shut Up Kiss Me is my fave, but I love them all. I actually haven't listened to any of the others you mentioned, so I'll check them out!

    I haven't seen Moonlight, but we saw La La Land the other day and it was fantastic. I was initially kind of opposed to it because confession, I kind of hate Ryan Gosling, but completely fell in love. Every scene is just fucking beautiful and perfect, and Emma Stone's acting is bananas. Also have you seen Swiss Army Man? It was incredible on the big-screen, but I'd highly recommend watching it at home too. Gave me all the feels, and was also really hilarious.

    • Oops, I just wrote basically everything you did about Gimlet! LOVE them. You should definitely check out Startup from the beginning, it’s cemented my admiration/addiction.

    • A Little Life does not necessarily end on a high note. More like you’ll probably be bawling. That novel confuses me so much because it just feels like such a masochistic exercise reading it, but I think I like having such an emotional experience with a book. It’s rare. And I do have the new Broken earth book but I started it on a weird day and couldn’t remember the plot of the last one so need to revisit. I am currently halfway done the new Zadie Smith which reminds me a bit of the Elena Ferrante novels in its analysis of female friendship.

      If you ever get the chance to seeAngel live, GO. Seriously the best show I’ve seen in years. Amazing stage presence. Sister is maybe my all time fave jam of 2016.

      Do you think G would like La La Land? I am desperate to go see it but I’m not sure if he’ll like it or not…. I love the Gos hard but musicals are a hard sell.

      • YES, I think he would enjoy La La Land, actually! Each scene is set up almost like a painting. There’s so much you can get out of it in terms of studying mise en scene and use of color. And even my husband and I got swept away in the whimsy because it’s very old school and smart and charming, and we are not at all Gosling fans, or rom-com fans. And I’m not a musical fan either (nothing against them, just haven’t seen many! I stick to Bollywood more.) Also there’s a really good episode of Song Exploder about one of the songs in the film, which I bet you could have G listen to in order to convince him the music is really, really smart and well-done!

  • THANK YOU for that playlist! I was in need of some deep R&B grooves.

    • You’re welcome! It’s basically all I listen to haha

  • I LOVE all of the Gimlet podcasts (Start-up, Heavyweight, and basically anything else they’ve ever made). You should definitely check out Homecoming – very highly produced, suspenseful, and all-around awesome. Also, Reply All for all things internet and the best, nerdiest, most adorable laughter you’ve ever heard. (Definitely binged My Favorite Murder, too!)

    • PJ’s laugh!!! <3 <3 <3

    • Oh I listen to all of them. I love Reply All too but Heavyweight and Start-up were my favourite this year. And I need to get back on Homecoming – I really liked the first few episodes. So sad about Mystery Show though!

  • Oh I do love a good list!! Always on the hunt for the next great read, thanks! and Thanks for all the Closet Case Goodness in 2016 (and I’m sure to come in 2017!!) Rebecca x

    • Happy to serve Rebecca 😉 HAPPY NEW YEAR! xo

  • The sewn versions of that Comey dress are pretty awesome and I am making one as soon as it is no longer winter in the Tundra.

  • Jess

    Thank you soo much for bringing My Dad Wrote a Porno into my life, they are hilarious 🙂 i literally cry with laughter every episode!