The Best of 2022

The best of the best from 2022 aka my favorite reads, finds, memories, travels, and products from the past year.

collage of photos of the best projects, trips, and memories from 2022

This post may be a little late here at the end of January, but I've enjoyed resting this month and taking the time to reflect on the past year and all of the wonderful memories I've made with family and friends. I've found myself journaling frequently and browsing through photos from 2022.

One of my entries was a punch list of everything from fashion to food to good times that brought joy and satisfaction over the course of the year. I listed out the 10 habits and experiences I want to carry forward into the new year as well as the key products that improved our lives and earned a permanent spot in the wardrobe, kitchen, or bath.

I'm sharing my best of 2022 punch list with y'all in hopes it introduces you to something you will love and find useful too!

The Best of 2022

No. 1 A Helpful Habit - 10 Minute Meditative Movement

The coffee is brewed and the soothing sounds of Enya play over the speaker. I set my timer for 10 minutes and start my morning stretching to wake up my body. I started this habit two years ago, but over the past year I really made it a permanent part of my morning routine. It is a very simple meditation where I get the blood flowing to energize myself by stretching, moving through yoga poses, dancing, and using rhythmic breathing.

Sometimes I listen to a Calm App daily meditation as I go through my stretches. I really enjoy Tamara Levitt's "Daily Calms" and Mel Mah's "Daily Moves." I always feel peaceful yet energized and connected to my body afterwards.

No. 2 Favorite Transformations

  • My dining room corner cabinet upgrade with paint and wood glue! Check out the before and after here.
  • Our newly carpeted upstairs bedrooms! We went with a Shaw pet performance carpet called Faint Intent in Champagne Toast. It has a square grid pattern in the loop style. It is so soft and has made the biggest difference in brightening up the rooms.

No. 3 New Beauty Routine Staples

  • Serious skin care! Last July, I made the decision to get serious about anti-aging and skin care with a dermatologist's help. The clinic recommended a mild chemical peel for me and after healing I started using retinol from Zo Skin along with their daily defense serum. I've seen really significant improvements in my skin tone, texture, and elimination of the fine lines that were developing around my eyes and on my forehead. I'm not interested in erasing signs of aging just slowing it down and looking healthy. Yes, this was a major investment, but I economize in other areas of my beauty routine.
  • A quality dry shampoo! Yes, all the hype around Living Proof's dry shampoo is warranted! I started using it back in the fall, and it helps extend my hair style from a two day run to a four day run in between washings.

No. 4 Proudest Accomplishment of 2022

The Grandmillennial's Pocket Guide to Chic Antiques - y'all this was a major undertaking that took months of work. I'm really proud of the Guide and how many readers have reached out to let me know it helped them buy an antique and learn more about it.

No. 5 Favorite Antique Finds

  • The portrait of Auguste Strobl has to be my number one find of the year. While the portrait is only a reproduction, the research rabbit hole it took to discover who the sitter was and how she came to be in the Hall of Beauties at the Nymphenburg Palace was fascinating, and most importantly it reminded me why I love being a historian! You can read Auguste's story in this post.
  • I'm also thrilled to have found a Staffordshire flatback zebra! While I've been tempted to keep her for myself, the figure is currently still available in the Curio Shop!

flat lay collage of my favorite finds from 2022

No. 6 Fashion Find

There is no better confidence boost than slipping on a great fitting pair of jeans that don't squeeze and feel comfortable! I found that perfect fit for my curvy hips with NYDJ's waist match jeans! I'm a full convert "will wear these till I die" devotee. These jeans are so comfortable and work perfectly for those of us with wide hips and smaller waist to stop the gapping. I am a size 12-14 these days and wear the large in this style.

Honestly, after wearing the straight leg Marilyns for a week. I went back to the store and bought two more pairs in the kick flare crop and Ami skinny cuts. Yes, they are that good!

No. 7 Best Eats

We love to eat around here and try new recipes! Checking out a unique restaurant with interesting food is our idea of a great date night. I think S. and I even fell in love in the kitchen cooking together. So choosing the best of the best eats for 2022 is a little difficult...but my favorite weeknight supper that is healthy and quick are the kale and white bean quesadillas from Pollan's Mostly Plants cookbook.

For the most memorable restaurant meal, it has to be the farm to table feast I enjoyed with a dear friend in Charleston at The Grocery. Every flavor was unique and delicious. Every ingredient was fresh and beautifully prepared. The atmosphere was elegant but laid back and the service was flawless.

No. 8 Favorite Trip

Speaking of that trip to Charleston, it was a truly delightful time! I loved reconnecting with old friends and had so much fun exploring that Mecca of the South again. Check out my Charleston guide here.

No. 9 The Best of My Reading List

I am obsessed with Stacey Reynolds O'Brien Tales series. I started with the audio book version of Raven of the Sea and have since read through book 6. The novels are well written, well researched, and best of all heart warming romances. They are steamy, but the stories are so much more than those spicy scenes; there is wonderful character development and plot that really focuses on real lovers' trials and tribulations with family centered values. If you are looking for contemporary romances with admirable characters and the beauty of Ireland, don't miss these books!

In terms of decor books that have inspired me this year, I keep returning to the classic design book: The American Home: Traditional Style for Today. In fact, the blue and yellow sitting room on the cover was the main inspiration for my guest bedroom renovation.

No. 10 Precious Memory

Family gatherings are always treasured memories for me, and this year we had two wonderful holiday gatherings with different branches of our family that just really stand out as warm, joyous, festive occasions. We got to spend a lovely Thanksgiving with cousins in Nashville, and then hosted our parents here at the house for Christmas. I honestly can't think of a more precious experience than those days of laughter, family recipes, and sweet conversations.

Alright lovely readers that sums up the best of the best from 2022! All in all it was a really positive year, and I am looking forward to what 2023 has to bring!

I bet you've got something to say! Comment below!