Best of 2017: Lifestyle favourites

Okay I realize it’s February already and I’m just getting up a 2017 Favourites post but better late than never right?  I did my Beauty favourites a few weeks ago and this one is all my lifestyle favourites – clothing, accessories, food, entertainment and experiences.

CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES

Old Navy Rockstar Mid-Rise Raw-Edge Black Distressed Jeans

I haven’t owned a pair of black jeans in years and I don’t know why – they’re kind of a wardrobe staple.  I picked these up late last year and I can’t stop wearing them.  I love that they’re distressed and have a raw edge hem.  On top of that they’re super comfy!

Express Sexy Stretch Leggings

I mentioned these several times last year and they’re worth mentioning again because they are my favourite leggings. I was pretty disappointed when Express left Canada so I made sure to stock up on them before they closed up shop.   I love these because they fit perfectly, don’t fade or pill, and they come in two lengths – regular and cropped.

American Eagle Soft & Sexy Favourite Tees

I’m a huge t-shirt lover and 2017 was the year that I found my all-time favourite t-shirt from American Eagle.  These tees are relaxed but still flattering, super soft and get even softer and more comfortable the more you wash them.  I have them in 4 colours and counting – whenever they’re on sale I try to pick up one or two.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Mini Classic Natasha Crossbody Bag

I spent the first half of last year searching for the perfect purse before I finally just picked up the one I’ve wanted all along.  I’m pretty picky when it comes to handbags – I like them to be on the smaller side, leather, a secure zipper compartment for my wallet, a crossbody strap, etc.  I have the bigger version of this purse and love it except the size – it’s just a little too big for my liking.  This one is perfect – I can fit everything I need in it and nothing I don’t.  It’s also very comfortable to carry – it doesn’t strain my neck or shoulders which is a big deal for me.

American Eagle Mini Backpack

This little backpack isn’t anything fancy but I love it.  It’s become my go-to carry-on bag because I can fit everything I need it in and keep my hands free.

FOOD

Fiasco Gelato Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelato

Even though I’ve really scaled back on the amount of dairy I eat, every so often I get a hankering for ice cream and when that happens, I reach for this.  Fiasco Gelato is actually a Calgary-based company and they make the best gelato!  I’ve tried a few of their flavours (their dairy-free options are really good as well) but this one is the BEST.  It’s got a perfect combination of sweet and salty and it’s rich and decadent but not over the top.

Blue Kettle Ginger Dressing & Dipping Sauce

I discovered this Alberta-made (St.Albert to be exact) dressing at one of our annual craft fairs late last year and I literally devoured the bottle in a couple of weeks.  I’ve never loved a dressing as much as this one and the only way I ate it was as a veggie dip (and perhaps the occasional spoonful).  I’ve been without it for over a month now and I’m pretty much going through withdrawl; I haven’t been able to find this in-store so I might just have to suck up the cost for shipping and place an order online.

Evoolution Butter Flavour Olive Oil

I’ve always cooked with olive oil but I didn’t realize how many variations there are of it until I discovered Evoolution; it’s another local business that specializes in infused olive oils and vinegars.  My personal favourite is their Butter Flavoured version; it has the versatility of cooking with butter but with the benefit of cooking with olive oil.  I love it as a butter substitute for cooking eggs, in pasta and popping popcorn.

Silk Original Almond Milk

One thing I’ve cut out completely in my effort to reduce my dairy intake is milk, which was hard for me because I used to consume a lot of it. It took me a while to get used to the texture of this; cow’s milk is pretty smooth and creamy while almond milk can seem a little watery and gritty in comparision.  This is the closest to dairy milk that I have tried and I no longer miss “regular” milk any longer.

ELECTRONICS & HEALTH

Lightning Cable USB Charging Tassel

I picked up this charging tassel at Indigo later in the year but it became a fast favourite of mine.  I keep mine clipped on my purse and I love the convenience of it.  No more stuffing a 3 ft long cord into my purse – now all I need is a charger and I can charge my phone anytime, anywhere.  Plus you’d never know it’s a charging cord – it just looks like a super cute purse accessory!

Popsocket

Another tech accessory that made my life a lot easier last year was my Popsocket – I’m not sure why it took me so long to discover these but now I can’t live without one!  These function as both a grip and stand for your phone; they make it much easier to take selfies, to carry your phone more securely and to prop it up when needed.  It’s one of those things that I didn’t realize how much I needed it until I had it!

Saje Peppermint Halo

Living in Calgary comes with it’s benefits – we’re close to the mountains and often get repreive from the cold via chinooks; unfortunately those two things mixed together often result in pressure changes which in turn results in me (and many other Calgarians) ending up with nasty headaches.  I used to pop Advil on the regular but since I’ve discovered this, my consumption has gone way down.  It’s basically a peppermint oil concoction in rollerball form that you roll on the back of your neck and forehead, and it both dulls the pain and takes the edge off.  If I have an exceptionally bad headache I still use Advil but most of the time, I reach for this.

ENTERTAINMENT

Podcasts

I don’t know how long podcasts have been a thing but I do know that I’m late to discovering them and I feel like I’ve been missing out.  Makeup by Tiffany D recommended the Dirty John podcast on her channel and that bascially created a monster because I’ve been listening to podcasts ever since.  Dirty John was fascinating and I really enjoyed it but my absolute favourite was Serial (Season 1).  It’s a true crime podcast with an excellent narrator that really draws you into the story.  If you like anything true crime related and haven’t listened to it yet, I can’t recommend it enough!

TV Shows

I feel like I watched a lot of tv in 2017 but there were only a few shows that stood out.  First up – The Walking Dead.  I never thought I could be interested in a show about flesh-eating zombies but I’m totally hooked (even if it did give me nightmares initially).  On the completely opposite spectrum, we also started watching This is Us.  I don’t know if I’ve ever cried as much while watching a tv show as I have watching this one and yet I can’t get enough of it.  Finally, probably the one of the best book-to-“film” adaptations that I’ve seen is Big Little Lies.  It helps that I’m a huge Reese Witherspoon fan but honestly the entire cast was amazing in this mini-series – I can’t wait for the second “season”, which sounds like is happening!

Books

My taste in books has really changed over the years – I used to want to read nothing but chick-lit where the plot was predictable and the ending was always the same.  Now I get bored really quickly with those types of books and have been seeking out novels with more substance.  One of those I read from last year was Valley of the Dolls and it was my top book pick for 2017.  It’s an oldie (published in 1966) but a goodie and gives you a glimpse into the lives of those in the entertainment industry during that era, albeit a fictional one.  Somehow I suspect it was (and probably still is) not that far off however.

EXPERIENCES

Montreal

Last year we decided to explore Canada a little more and took a weekend trip to Montreal.  We had such a great time exploring the city, attending the Just For Laughs festival and most of all, EATING!  Read more about our trip here.

Nashville

Hot chicken lunch at @hattiebs

A post shared by Nicole (@prettyrufflife) on

We also ventured down South last year to Music City aka Nashville for a weekend trip. We got our fill of country music, whiskey, the most delicious bbq and overall had an amazing time.  Read more about our trip here.

Kings of Leon Concert

Kings of Leon is one of my favourite bands and I’ve yet to see them in concert; when they announced a stop in Calgary on their most recent tour I knew we had to go.  The concert was pretty awesome….once it got started.  The band didn’t show up until over 3 hours past the stated start time and at one point we thought the whole thing was going to be cancelled.  They cited mechanical issues with their plane but based on the rumoured feuds between the brothers, I’m not sure whether to believe that.  Regardless they did put on an amazing show and almost made up for that 3 hour delay – almost.

Two Jack Lake

Fresh mountain air 🏔

A post shared by Nicole (@prettyrufflife) on

We spent a lot more time in the mountains last year and one of our favourite spots was Two Jack Lake.  It’s a beautiful spot just outside of Banff that’s perfect for relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery.  I can’t wait for Winter to be over so we can head up there again this year!

Thanks for reading!

Comments

  1. I’ve not heard of the Dirty John podcast – I shall add it to my list!
    That shot at Two Jack Lake is stunning! We didn’t go there while we were in Banff but I’ll have to note it down for when we return.

    • Dirty John is SO good – if you listen to it let me know, I’d love to know what you thought of it.

      Definitely add Two Jack Lake to your itinerary for your next trip – it’s a nice little escape from the hustle and bustle of Banff! 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: