Have you ever discovered something that you can’t imagine how you ever lived without? Here is my list of the top 11 things I discovered in 2011:
1. The importance of a really good curling iron. I can be so cheap sometimes that I had been using the same curling iron for the past 10 years. Yeah, it wasn’t working. The brand new one I bought this spring saves me so much time and actually keeps my hair curled! Who would have thought it? Love love love! I’ve got my eye on a bigger barrel iron and a straightener in the future.
2. Historical Fiction. This is a genre that I would never have picked up in the past. It’s something I’ve always walked by. I think I always associated it with Harlequin Romances and ripped bodices. Not really my thing. However, thanks to the European Royalty Book Club at Goodreads, I’ve picked up a few of them and I really, really like it. My favourite this year? I think it would have to be Madame Tussaud. I realize now that I never wrote a review even though I meant to. This book consumed me the entire time I was reading it. It was the most compelling story of the French Revolution I’ve ever read. I was particularly moved by how Marie was able to straddle both sides of the revolution effectively dancing her way through very tough circumstances. After I read the book, I had to google different aspects of the novel because I couldn’t imagine that they would have been true but the most distressing bits were well documented in other sources. Another example of truth being stranger than fiction. Add this book to your to-read list! It’s a must.
3. Relaxation Massages at the Ten Spa. This is a particularly late entry but I’m forever changed. I’ve never been big on massages but I’m a fan of any beauty treatment that utilizes hot towels. It is my favourite thing in the word. I will be maxing out my massage therapy benefits at the Ten Spa in 2012. Hey! That’s my first resolution.
4. Emmerdale. I’m a complete anglophile to the point where I’m starting to become embarrassed about it. The problem is that by getting into one show you’re more likely to find out about other shows. This is what happened with Emmerdale. Coronation Street is big in Canada and I’ve watched it forever, (since Bet Lynch!) and got into Eastenders while in university since it was on the perfect time that I should be studying. Emmerdale only came into my life around this time last year. We’re behind but it was the big storyline where Nathan was covering up for his mother killing his father. The first two minutes of Emmerdale would show up on my pvr after Eastenders since they aired back to back. I got such a crush on Nathan in those 2 minutes each day over a few weeks, that I started to pvr his show as well. Wouldn’t you know that I became completely engrossed and had to go online to find out the backstory on Aaron & Jackson. After their storyline this year, I just wanted to wallow. Such a fan girl. I now watch it daily online since I can’t stay 8 months behind. I’m too involved. I think I love Emmerdale because it has the drama and sexiness of Eastenders with the humour of Corrie. It’s a great mix.
5. Plan B. I know this album is a few years old but I finally bought it this year. It’s perfection. It’s like an old fashioned LP where every song continues the story of the one before it. It’s been on heavy rotation in my car all year. Love love love! Just realized that I’ve never watched this video before.
6. Crochet! I always thought Crochet was just for doilies but I’m so in love with it. I think it’s because things tend to get made faster through crochet which is great for someone like me who doesn’t want to wait. I can’t believe I only started crocheting in June. Now I’m knitting and I can’t stop buying yarn. Seriously, though that has to stop!!
My first granny squares for my first crochet project.
7. Downton Abbey. I told you I was an anglophile! I absolutely love this series. It’s definitely must see viewing. The Christmas special left me with so many feelings! The writing is so well done that I find myself loving and loathing all the characters at one point or another.
8. Coeur de Pirate. I really could do a whole post on music (and i just might have to) but Coeur is my favourite Canadian discovery of 2011. From an unexpected trip to Calgary’s Folk Fest (literally found out the night before that I was going), I heard her on the mainstage and new instantly that I had to download her entire album. It’s just so relaxing to listen to and she makes me feel like I’m walking the streets of Montreal even though I’ve never been.
9. Instagram. I might actually make my Project 365 this year thanks to this fabulous app. It makes phone photography fun!
10. Winter tires. I’ve never owned winter tires before but this year I decided to invest in them. Of course, we have had an incredibly mild winter so far. I mean, come on +1C in Winnipeg on NYE is unheard of! I do like how they make me feel more secure on the road. I’ve also notice on the days that others are complaining about icy roads, I’m not having any problems. Well worth the money.
11. Bloglovin. Last but not least! This has really changed my life. I used to have all the blogs I loved stashed in my bookmarks. Now, I just go when they’ve been updated. Such a fab idea. I can’t believe it hasn’t been though of before.