Some quick facts: 1. I never know what to title this annual post where I discuss my favourite non-beauty related things from the year that was. 2. I despise taking a photo for these posts because I just can’t really like… capture anything fully, unlike a beauty post (please enjoy this shot of my wall in my bedroom). And finally, 3. Last year’s edition has 228 likes? Making it my second most popular post ever? Only beaten out by my Valentine’s Day Brownies on 461 likes purely because WordPress promoted it once? I’ve seen it all. Why did that post go so damn hard? The scientific reason: I dunno. But I do know that I love knowing this kind of stuff about people. I love knowing what podcast makes you fist pump the air when you see a new episode has been uploaded. I love knowing which new YouTuber you’ve just discovered who has managed to restore your faith in the platform. I love knowing which live performance burnt itself into your mind, what novel had you fighting sleep to finish and which album was there for you countless times throughout the year. Here are my favourite lifestyle bits from 2018.
This Little Red Bag I Bought in Florence
In January of this year I was in Florence and loved all the shops and stalls selling *Donna from Parks and Recreation voice* fine leather goods. “I’m gonna buy a red one of those bags today,” I told my travel bud Natalie one morning, and I did. I was going to save it and cherish it and not use it often, but then I thought nah screw it, things are meant to be used and loved, so now it’s my go-to little number. Every time I look at it I think ‘I bought this when I was 19 in Florence’ and it just bookmarks such an amazing pocket of time in my life.
Seeing Lana Del Rey live
Lana was the concert of the year for me (excluding all the drag queens I saw, more on that in a moment). I’ve been a fan of hers for the longest time. Her music has been the backing track to some many times in my life. Born to Die: The Paradise Edition is my favourite album in history, nothing can top it, sorry, I don’t make the rules. Seeing her in the flesh though? Experiencing National Anthem LIVE? Standing in the venue looking straight at her and forgetting the thousands of others around me? What a moment. She was incredible, she sounded incredible, she never tours and I’m just so grateful I got to experience her.
Seeing Trixie Mattel live
honey my god. This is legit one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. Besides sitting in the back rows of a giant theatre watching Bianca Del Rio look like a glittering ant on a stage while insulting every man, woman and child alike, Trixie Mattel was my first real drag show, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve never been that close to a performer, let alone someone I adore (and yes, I realise how stereotypical it is for a white girl to adore Trixie, let me live). She was just so sweet and talented and interacted so much with the audience and I feel like she truly loved performing and being there in the moment. Because the show is such a success, queens travel from city to city to city non-stop and are exhausted because of it, but you could just see how happy she was to sing and dance for people with her name in lights behind her. High key one of the best nights of my year, maybe even my life, only to be topped when I meet her next February.
Arctic Monkeys Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
I’ll be the first to put up my hand and say I am not a music buff. I don’t even have Spotify, I just have Apple Music and it’s a slapped together mess of whatever I want to listen to at that moment (for context: I added the Shrek 2 soundtrack last month because it’s full of bangers). I don’t know what people’s thoughts are on this album, and I don’t know how to ‘review’ music, but like, damn, this album was my favourite of the year. I love AM, and I feel like this was still them but just more evolved, which I guess is what every band aims to do? If I had Spotify Wrapped, Four Out of Five would be my most played. Either that or RuPaul’s Call Me Mother (see? A mess.)
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
After Natalie recommended me this novel for like a year or longer, in 2018 I finally read it and I finally get it. Whatever your opinions are of the film or the story in general, this novel is just wonderfully written. Kevin Kwan is just on another level. His writing feels as opulent as the story, characters and antics he’s created. This book is also a beast, both in size and the amount of characters involved. If you’re anything like me you’ll be flicking to the convenient three part family tree in the front of the book many a times. The film was great, but my god, they had to cut so much out for time. You definitely lose a lot of what makes the characters so gritty and wonderful and real and empowering, so if you’ve seen the film or not, I cannot recommend this incredible novel enough.
John Mulaney’s Kid Gorgeous
I love John Mulaney. His comparison of Trump in the White House to a horse loose in a hospital popped up in my feed once and I’ve been hooked ever since. “Oh my god watch this video” I said to basically everyone I know. Little did I know that his entire comedy special Kid Gorgeous was on Netflix. It’s incredible. It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever watched. Mulaney’s hilarious observations are so accurate and on the nose and CLEVER and made me realise just how many other male comedians drag their wives for a laugh – except John. We love John. I can’t recommend his stuff enough. For now, I’ll leave you with his horse in a hospital gag.
Race Chaser Podcast with Alaska and Willam
I could probably just end this post right here. This is my favourite podcast of all time. True crime has nothing on your two favourite drag queens and their razor sharp “discussion, dissection, and dissemination” of all things RuPaul’s Drag Race. There are so many RPDR recap shows out there but barely any from actual contestants and winners from the show which are both insightful, LONG and completely seperate from World of Wonder, VH1 or anything to do with the show. I used to think I wasn’t really a podcast person, but these episodes are the absolute highlight of my week. I’ve realised you just have to find that one podcast that sucks you into the vortex, and this is mine.
I’m literally just going to discuss Kombucha for a couple sentences. Originating in China some 2,200 years ago, it’s now on our supermarket shelves. I love this stuff. Can’t get enough of it. I buy it every time I’m at Coles and Woolies. I’m faithful to the Remedy brand only and don’t branch out much from that, so if you have any recommendations, hit a sister up. Alright, I’m done.
Before ‘discovering’ Emma Chamberlain for myself in like August or September of this year, I seriously cannot remember the last time I stumbled across a YouTuber I instantly loved. I gave one of her videos a chance (can’t remember which one, sad face) and it was a swift fall down the rabbit hole from there. Just like her fellow Sister Squad member James Charles, she’s not without being ‘problematic’ (she pixelated out her merch so fans wouldn’t fully know what they were buying and people got made when she sold scrunchies for like $20 but honestly it could be so much worse). Overpriced hair accessories aside, I love Emma. I love how refreshing her channel is. YouTube, especially the beauty guru side, is so professional with its ring lights and production team and animated winking intros. A makeup-less 17-year-old girl lying in her bed talking to her phone with funny editing done later is what I didn’t know I needed.
Elizabeth Holmes’ So Many Thoughts @eholmes
I’m already a Royal enthusiast, I don’t need any convincing. But if you’re a fan of fashion, the Royals, and the PR machine behind them, you’ll love Elizabeth Holmes’ Instagram Stories where she shares her thoughts on Megan and Kate’s outfits. It’s nothing ‘catty’ or ‘worst dressed ever‘ like you see everywhere. Elizabeth’s analysis is so positive and supportive. Most importantly, she isn’t reviewing their clothes, she’s holding your hand and walking you through the style, occasion, history and politics of each outfit – and its fascinating.
So those were my favourite little lifestyle bits from the year that was! What were some things you loved? From YouTubers to Instagram accounts to podcasts, novels, live performances or even food? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to know and get recommendations for literally anything and everything.
If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to give it a “like” so I know!
I’ll be back on the 31st for my last post of the year – eeek!