As 2017 dredges on, I realize that the Monthly Favorite Things series needs to be capped off.
The fourth quarter of 2016 was never honored with a Favorite Things post, and I don’t know about y’all, but I need that closure.
So let’s take a step back, revisit the last few months of 2016, and I’m going to share with you Splendidly Kait’s Final Favorite Things.
Let’s get to it!
*pulls out of top hat*
Splendidly, Kait’s Final Favorite Things
Albums: Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, Travis Scott & 24K Magic, Bruno Mars
I told myself that choosing one favorite from each of these time periods would be similar to Oprah choosing her own Favorite Things that people would clamor and sob and risk their lives over.
But the difference is that, unfortunately, I’m not Oprah.
And Oprah seldom ever chose just one favorite thing. She had many favorites.
So my favorite album during the fourth quarter of 2016 was not just one collection of music, but two!
Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight and 24K Magic got me through the fall semester, taking turns to carry me piggyback style across the finish line.
Trav is a modern-day alchemist of flows. He has pioneered a new genre by melting together the beats and synths that his musical idols pioneered themselves. And to say I love this fusion would be an understatement. Birds in the Trap was so sonically pleasing, from the tracks themselves to the transitions, that I wanted to scream, out loud, from rooftops.
No one could stop me as I was walking down Broadway at 9:30 PM fresh out of class while privately blasting “beibs in the trap” through my headphones.
And two months later in November when Bruno released his long-awaited third album? I was walking on clouds – not sidewalks – to “Finesse.”
Bruno Mars has always been one of my favorite artists to ever do the thing we call music, and I doubt he will ever leave my list of favorites. You know why? He’s real.
His voice is real, his charm is real, his musicianship is all real.
I don’t care if you hate that he’s performed at the Superbowl like 30 times, I don’t care if you don’t like how short he is, I don’t care if you think he dances too much. That man has talent oozing out of every pore.
He, like Travis, has never stuck to one genre, but rather picked from each musical category what he liked the best and pasted it all together.
Bruno is timeless. And 24K Magic is the living proof of this, as he goes full-on retro and throws it all the way back to R&B and Soul that sounds like it arrived in 2016 in a DeLorean wearing a red puffer vest from the year 1985.
I believe that I should’ve been born in the seventies and lived out my adolescence in the eighties, and 24K Magic helped ease my grieving as a nineties kid.
Seriously, without these two albums, what else would I have made my personal soundtrack? Top 40? Pffffft. Please.
I am a denim fiend.
Answer this for me: if you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be? Mine would most likely include a white tee, something black, white sneakers, and a shitload of denim.
I call this jacket my Judd Nelson jacket, even though it is a bit larger than the one he wore in The Breakfast Club (don’t kill my dreams, okay?). I basically put it on one day during the fall and never took it off of my body. Early into February of 2017 and I’m wearing it as I type this, layered over my boyfriend’s hoodie and – surprise! – a white tee.
A strong, heavy, reliable denim jacket is a staple you need in your closet. I scored this baby at Goodwill. As usual.
While I’m away at school, my eating habits suck. What I mean by that is I barely eat. I have to plan eating into my daily schedule as if it were just another meeting or class in order for it to happen. Busy bodies are often hungry bodies, and mine is always hungry.
When I came home for winter break, I lost my mind.
Free time + free food = confused skin.
I went from not eating at all and having plateaued, smooth skin to going home and transforming into the The Very Hungry Caterpillar and having skin as greasy and bumpy as the rippled BBQ potato chips I was swallowing whole.
Usually, this mask is my best friend in the summertime, because it destroys the little oil I produce in the heat. But during the second half of December this held me down by giving those whiteheads a run for their money. If you have dry acne-prone skin, do not use this mask often, as it will dry your skin out even more — but if you have oily acne-prone skin, take advantage of this delicious smelling mask.
My best friend Olivia put me on last summer, and I am now paying it forward.
Read: Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
During the fall semester, I took a class called Literature and/of Human Rights. This was one of the assigned readings, and ended up being the only book I read through in its entirety for the course (sorry Professor Murphy!).
Never Let Me Go was published in 2005 by Japanese-British author Kazuo Ishiguro, and it follows the lives of three British kids, Kathy H. and her two closest friends, as they attend a mysterious boarding school on the English countryside. There is something about the students at this school that makes them special… and that is all I can say without revealing the bombshell that is this story.
If you like dystopian and science fiction, this is for you. If you like YA coming-of-age novels, this is for you.
There’s also a movie, but like… the book is always better.
Movie: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Speaking of movies, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was revitalized in my life this year, as Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts both stepped onto the scene. Fantastic Beasts was… I don’t even know how to describe it. I am ridiculously biased in this review, as Harry’s glasses and scar are literally tattooed on my right forearm, but LORDT.
This time period?
This wizarding history?
This all-American New York City setting?
These special effects?
This movie was all I could’ve asked for from J.K. and David Yates, and I am beyond excited to witness the unraveling of a new magical story.
I make this face on a daily basis. #Shook
Day: September 29th (AKA B-DAY)
No, not B-Day as in birthday, but B-Day as in BEYONCÉ DAY.
I came home from school that weekend and tried to prepare for one of the best performers in history, but I don’t really think there’s a way one can “prepare” for Beyoncé.
Honestly. I’m not even a devoted, newsletter-receiving member of the BeyHive, and I can still proudly say that my edges were not just snatched that night, but ripped, plundered, and burned at the stake.
My mom and I saw Bey in Philly at the Lincoln Financial Field, and it rained for four hours straight.
Not cutesy rain, either. It was that ugly, sideways, torrential, apocalyptic rain. I hate rain.
But still, Beyoncé had me in the freezing cold downpour dancing my ass off to “Drunk in Love” and “Freedom.”
I didn’t know the Formation World Tour was going to be a test of stamina and willpower, but Beyoncé is out here trying to make her fans stronger. I appreciate you, sis.
I wouldn’t have wanted to watch Mrs. Knowles Carter in the rain and cold with anybody else other than my momma, and September 29th will simply go down in our record books as another crazy thing we’ve done for the people we stan.
(We once drove 10 hours in the snow to North Carolina for Justin Bieber, but that’s a story for another time.)
Picture: Taken October 22, 2016
This was taken on a random Saturday in October, with two of my favorite girls, Selam and Chioma. I’m not entirely sure where we were headed, or why, but I just remember being very happy to roam the city with them.
Most of my cherished memories throughout the Favorite Things series have been in the same vein – bliss, wandering, friendship, family.
The Monthly Favorite Things Series of 2016 taught me to be grateful for the little things that we dismiss. I don’t want to reach December 31st each orbit around the sun and think, “Wow, this year flew by fast!”
I want to vividly remember each month, linger in the memories of each week, and build happiness daily.
That’s how gratitude is born, and that’s how it’s nurtured.
I thank God every day for the beautiful people He’s put in my life, and I hope He keeps them around for a while.
I encourage you, lovely reader people, to do your own Monthly Favorite Things Series! Journal it down – write out all your favorite things and reflect on all the awesomeness that happens to you every 30 days.
You’ll appreciate it all so much more.
Here’s to a wonderful February and an even better 2017!