Happy New Year’s Eve! As we all know, 2021 didn’t turn out to be the year when life was completely back to normal after all, but there were still plenty of highlights and things to celebrate this year. Here are 10 favorite things that made me smile, jump with joy, wowed me, or improved my life in some way this year. Hopefully they’ll do the same for you!
10 FAVORITE THINGS: ANIMALS
1. Capybaras in hot tubs
I’ve always loved capybaras, but never knew that they love to soak in a hot tub! So cute, and so soothing to watch!
2. Joey the Rescued Sea Otter
At some point this summer, YouTube suggested that I might like a video of a tiny sea otter named Joey, and they were absolutely right! I immediately watched every video of him that I could find, and this particular one has become a household favorite! 🙂 Have you ever seen anything more adorable?!
3. The Merlin Bird ID App
This app from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology can identify birds by sound or images and it is so good! I downloaded it this spring and have been addicted to it ever since. 😃 The photo ID even works with really zoomed in, blocky phone images! Below is a screenshot of a few birds the app found in our back yard one afternoon in July. If you’re into birds, definitely give it a try!
10 FAVORITE THINGS: PHOTOGRAPHERS
4. Suspicious Minds
Belgian photographer Reginald Van de Velde takes the most beautiful pictures of old, abandoned, dilapidated buildings across the world, from grandiose villas and chateaux to massive futuristic-looking communist-era monuments, and then some. Check out his mesmerizing Instagram feed: https://www.instagram.com/suspiciousminds/
10 FAVORITE THINGS: HEALTH
As you may know, I have a million strange allergies and chemical sensitivities, that about 6 years ago totally changed my life (more in this post: How I Became An Accidental Nomad). For the better it turns out, because that’s what prompted me to take my at the time side-hustle photography business full time, and it was one of the best decisions of my life! Even so, it gets tedious to only eat about 5 different dishes all the time, and never know what you may react to, so when I friend told me about DNRS, I had to check it out. I’ve been doing this brain re-training program for about 4 months now, and am seeing improvement! I’m hopeful I’ll make a full recovery and be able to eat and do what I want again! If you or someone you know suffer from chronic illness, definitely take a look and see if this might work for you too! https://retrainingthebrain.com/
What a life saver this simple tool has been! I grind and clench my teeth pretty bad almost every night (I think it’s allergy related), and most mornings wake up with a stiff, sore face. But just a month ago, I bought an Anma and started doing a quick fascia release / face massage every morning, and what a difference it has made! I hadn’t realized how difficult it had become to even just smile until this tool loosened up my jaw muscles and I felt the difference. I also use it on my neck, shoulders and forearms when they are tense from long hours on the computer, it helps so much! Definitely one of the best investments of the year! https://www.artofskincare.com/anma-massage-tool-by-jane-mann
10 FAVORITE THINGS: BUSINESS
One of my business-related highlights of the year was definitely seeing my Beach Days print in House Beautiful! What a thrill!! It was in the gorgeous Cove project, designed by Leia Ward of LTW Design. The entire home is absolutely stunning and I was so honored that Leia selected one of my images for the home office!
See more of this project in this Instagram video.
Back in May, KM Home – Kriste Michelini Interiors’ beautiful store in Danville, CA – started carrying a selection of my prints. I have not been able to visit in person (yet!), but the store looks so cute, the interior reminds me of some of my favorite shops in Stockholm. Kriste handpicks the most beautiful selection of items, many by local artisans and small businesses, and I am thrilled that my prints are among them!
More in this post: Shop My Prints in Danville, California
After a few months of talks, at the end in June, I was finally able to announce that my work was now represented in Canada exclusively by Tara Gavin of On The Wall Framing. I had been admiring Tara’s gorgeous gallery walls, creative framing ideas, and beautiful Instagram feed forever, and it is such a thrill to have my work represented by her!
10. Sunstars in San Diego Magazine
And last, but not least, another feature that had me jumping up and down with joy! Hanin Smith of Beachy Boheme selected two of my “Sunstars” prints for an absolutely gorgeous home she designed in Encinitas, and we were both thrilled when the project ended up in San Diego Magazine!
So, a pretty terrific year all in all! I can’t wait to see what 2022 brings!