Best Things of 2015

Written by Lotus on Saturday, 19 of December , 2015 at 10:24 am

It’s been a crazy year, but a lot of cool stuff happened.  Here’s a list of my favorite things, discoveries and moments of 2015.

“Charlie Work” episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season 10)

This episode showcased the genius of Charlie Day and the other actors and writers of It’s Always Sunny.  To be honest, all the episodes this year were good, but since this one is centered around Charlie it has to be my favorite.  The 11th season of the show premieres on January 6, 2016.

Political Punks Podcast

Artist Brett Smith and I started a podcast!  We’ve had some great guests, including Greg Gutfeld, Chuck Dixon, Terry Schappert and Thaddeus McCotter.  We also have more fun interviews lined up for 2016. Check out past episodes at www.politicalpunks.com and be sure to subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher.  My February column explains the political punks philosophy and graphic.  You can buy the shirt and other gear here.

political-punks-shirt.jpg

Disturbed covers Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”

I only discovered this song a week or two ago and I swear I’ve already listened to it 100 times.

Books by Friends

I featured many of them in my column on books to give for Christmas.  Check them out here.

Whole 30

I recently discovered the Whole 30 movement.  I haven’t done my 30 day detox yet, but I’ve been slowly preparing for it by eating more whole (get it?) foods and cutting out sugar.  What I like about this way of eating is that you don’t have to worry about measuring anything… and you can have bacon and homemade mayo. What I don’t like (and why I haven’t started the detox yet) is that I will probably have to cut out my morning Diet Coke.  I’ve been following #Whole30 on Twitter to see other people’s experiences and recipes.  The program’s book also has some great recipes.

Dog Selfies

Dog Selfie Collage

Gooey Butter Cake

The greatest thing to come out of St. Louis.  The Ann and Allen Baking Company delivers this moist, buttery concoction directly to you.  They have several amazing flavors, but traditional and Amaretto are my favorite.  Order here. Let me know if you need my address.

Be Brilliant Bags

I love using this bag when I travel.  It has pockets for all your tech stuff (laptop, iPad, phone), as well as room for your purse contents.  It also has a compartment on the bottom for an extra pair of shoes.  My tip: You can also fit an umbrella in there.  My favorite color is rose gold.  Remember, metallics are neutrals!  Buy it here.

Bruce Campbell is So Hot Right Now

In my mind he’s always hot, but in 2015 he was everywhere.  His iconic character returned in the Starz show, Ash vs. Evil Dead.  He played Ronald Reagan on FX’s Fargo.  One person described that episode as Bruce Campbell fanfic written by me.  If only I was that clever.  He also continued to make the conference circuit.  Fingers crossed I can finally meet him in 2016.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 4.14.33 PM

Peg Leg Vintage Goods

I discovered this store right as Mad Men was ending.  Looking at the photos has been the methadone I needed to get through the withdrawal.  (Side note: The perfect final episode of Mad Men also helped.)  Peg Leg has great vintage furniture, but some of the best finds are the knick knacks and smaller items.  Also, if you see a pair of chairs you like, buy them. Pairs don’t last long.  The owners are really nice and willing to make deals.  Check them out here.

Traveling

This year I managed to get in two trips to Palm Beach, two to Rehoboth Beach, one to Los Angeles, and a couple to Arizona.  Here are recommendations from each place.

Palm Beach

  • Four Seasons Palm Beach.  If you can’t stay there the entire trip, at least buy a one-day beach pass (under $200).  It includes a one-hour massage at their spa and cabana service at their pool or beachfront.
  • Tate’s Comics, Boynton Beach. I’m not into comics, but the art gallery upstairs was really cool.
  • Buccan. Try the pork belly empanadas and watermelon cocktail.
  • Second-hand stores.  What other city has Louboutins at their Goodwill???

Rehoboth Beach

  • Kilwin’s. Try the drinking chocolate served in a small espresso-type cup. Richer than hot chocolate and the perfect way to end the day.
  • The Avenue Spa and Apothecary. The spa services are great.  They also have a hotel above.  It’s a little noisy for me in-season since it’s on the main drag, but perfect for a winter or fall trip.

Los Angeles

  • Drive down Sunset Blvd. You get the feel of being in LA without having to navigate through the crowds.
  • Canter’s Deli. It’s been featured in Mad Men and Curb Your Enthusiasm, but none of that matters.  The food (and bakery) is awesome.
  • Fly into Burbank, not LAX.

Arizona

  • Any art festival in Tucson.
  • Culver’s. I realize this is a chain, but the only time I get to go there is when I’m in Arizona.
  • Drive from Flagstaff to Phoenix.  You’ll see snow-capped mountains, lush forests and the desert in three hours or less.
  • Old Town Scottsdale.  Go to Twice to shop for high-end accessories, The Sugar Bowl for ice cream, and any of the souvenir stores for classic southwest kitsch.

There are a couple days left, so I may add a few more things I forgot or some other cool stuff that happens!

Hat tip to Kevin Glass for the idea of a “Best of” list.

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LOTUS lives in Northern Virginia. NOTE: The views expressed on LOTUS blog are the author’s alone. Organizations listed on this blog are for identification purposes only.