Food for Thought: My 17 Favorites from 2017…What are yours?

My favorite dessert: Dough Doughnuts

It’s my last post of 2017!

This year, I started this blog. I stopped coming up with excuses, wrote my first blog post about a dry shampoo, and here I am writing my 97th post.

As I sit in bed covered in my heavy duty blanket with the heat fanning my sheet-masked covered face, I can say that 2017 was a year of figuring things out, finding my voice, and finally giving myself the time and space to “do me”. Fun fact: At one point I had a very short lived blog titled “A time and a place”. I wasn’t sure where I was going with it, and at the time, grad school was more important. But this year, being unemployed and without any other distractions, I was fortunate and privileged enough to write, share, and create. This blog is still a work in progress, but I don’t ever expect it not to be. I hope to continue to share helpful, honest, and maybe even inspirational content with you in 2018.

Before I go into my beauty, fashion, and lifestyle favorites of the year, let me recap some highlights and challenges of the year.

Highlights of 2017

1. Starting my blog. It has taught me so much about myself, empowered me to speak up about the things I care about, has given me hope, and allowed me to dream. If there is something you’ve been thinking about starting, don’t wait until January 1st. Start marinating those thoughts now. Jot things down, share your ideas with a loved one, create a mood board, or take the smallest (or biggest) first step. Whatever it is, start it.

2. Going to Barcelona. So much good food, so much to see, and what a great place to take it easy and enjoy life.

3. Going to Montreal. Want to escape to Europe without the long flight? Montreal is a true gem. We celebrated my husband’s 30th and really enjoyed all the food, the art, and picnic opportunities.

4. Our friends’ wedding. We had such an incredible time and it was 100% because of the company that we were with. There were some major low points in the trip but everyone had such a positive attitude about every mishap. And even with the mishaps, it was hands down, the best wedding I have ever been to. It was so intimate, so fun, and so memorable.

5. Moving into our current apartment. This is the first place that has truly felt like home in a while. After being married for a year, Vadim and I were lucky enough to find a space that we both love. The gym in our building and the rooftop are certainly two major perks. Now I have no excuse for not working out and I don’t have to trek to a far away beach for sunbathing in the summer.

Challenges of 2017

1. Being unemployed. I’ve been working since I was 17, and if I wasn’t working I was in school working towards a future career. Even then, I had a “side hustle” as a writing tutor to pay for my then love affair with Chipotle burrito bowls. This year feels like the “gap year” that some people give themselves to figure their stuff out. I went straight to grad school after college, so I guess I was long overdue for some time off to figure things out for myself. Full disclosure: I’m trying to be employed in 2018 though. Just putting it out there in the universe. I would also like to repeat that I am incredibly privileged to be able to be unemployed for as long as I have been.

2. Quitting and not labeling myself as a quitter. I dedicated a whole blog post about it here but long story short: quitting will teach you things about yourself, lessons you might not have learned otherwise.

3. Doubting my blog and myself. Blogging can be such a lonely process. Sure, I can share my thoughts with my husband. But at the end of the day, I am the only one accountable for it all, for coming up with ideas, putting them into writing, and hitting the publish button. I’ve had to rethink my strategy over and over, and I’ve come to a place where I just hope to be honest, helpful, and genuine. If I can accomplish one of these things in each post or photo I share, then I consider it a success. I guess, what I’ve learned is that I have to define what success looks like to me.

4. My acne. I have struggled with acne since high school but the first few months of this year was probably the worst I’ve ever had it. I wrote about the struggle here. If you want me to cut to the chase with what worked, here’s a post on three things that helped the most. I still have the occasional breakout, but I’m much happier with where my skin is at these days. In case you’re wondering, here’s my current skincare routine.

Without further delay, let’s get into my 17 favorites of this year.

Beauty Favorites

Clicking each photo below will take you to the affiliate link to purchase. 

1. Moisturizer

I am hooked on this Make P:rem Safe Relief Cream (this Amazon seller offers two small sample sized bottles with it-perfect for traveling. It’s the best deal I’ve found). I have talked about it countless times and aim to get everyone I know on this stuff. Vadim and I share a jar now and he swears by it too. It’s honestly so moisturizing without the weird heaviness or stickiness. It feels like a really gentle hug.

2. Acne treatment

This The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Treatment is honestly the best, most affordable and effective spot treatment I’ve ever used in my life.

3. Mask

This Ole Henriksen Hygge HydraClay Detox Mask will make your skin feel both baby soft and clean afterwards. No dry, tight feeling. If you have 10 minutes to spare, this is a super easy mask to give you that skin confidence.

4. Lip Balm

Glossier Balm Dotcom in rose is the best smelling lip balm that is helping my super dry lips. Let’s just say, I look forward to slathering it on, and it’s lasted me since the summer.

5. Brow product

Honestly, this year my brows were forever changed by Glossier Boy Brow. I have not used an eyebrow pencil or powder since. No more overfilled eyebrows-it was a fuller and darker time in college.

6. Concealer

If I don’t have much time, this Onomie Bright Concealing Elixir is my go-to undereye concealer. It’s easy to use and brightens the area with just a little bit of product. Small but mighty, I’ve had this tube since March.

7. Face coverup 

This Glossier Perfecting skin tint is the real deal. It’s lightweight, hydrating, and does just enough to even out the skin. A bottle really goes a long way. I love it because it perks up my face and doesn’t feel like anything on. I don’t even bother with foundation.

8. Blush

Glossier Cloud Paint is the easiest blush product to use. My favorite shade would have to be “beam” it gives that instant glow. Read my review here.

9. Mascara

The Falsies Push Up Angel Waterproof Mascara comes with the easiest brush to use, and you can layer without that clumpy mascara look.

Fashion Favorites

10. Fun + practical bag

I wore this Clare V. Petite Alice Bag all summer and even late into Fall. I prefer wearing it by the shorter handle but the removable shoulder strap makes it easy to hold a baguette in the rain though. Once it hits above 60 degrees, you’ll find me carrying this bag again.

11. Workout Sneaker

These APL tech loom phantom sneakers are both cute and comfortable. Who knew having proper workout sneakers would be so motivational? So glad I finally found a pair that I actually like to wear. I’ve even worn it for non-working out purposes and love them for that too. I prefer to wear them without socks though. This Nude-y pink color is a more toned down version of the one I have and this classic white & gray option is super versatile too.

12. Classic shoe 

I’ve been eyeing these Repetto Cendrillon Flats for the longest time. I finally bought them back in March during one of Shopbop’s sales. I also finally got the leather sole redone with a rubber one, so it’s all ready for when spring and summer inevitably roll around. I know it’s only winter but a gal can dream.

13. Sunglasses

Sunglasses that fit my face have been hard to find. These Karen Walker Super Fit Super Duper Strength sunglasses not only have a super duper long name, but fit me perfectly. I can take just this pair with me on any vacation/trip, and I am all set.

14. Minimal Piece of Jewelry

I got this Vrai and Oro Solitare Diamond Necklace for my wedding over a year ago and haven’t taken it off since. The color/quality hasn’t changed on me, it goes with everything, and is perfectly minimal.

Lifestyle Favorites

15. Favorite Show: The Crown

It was hard to decide between Master of None, Stranger Things, and The Crown (all Netflix originals, no surprise since they’re killing it) but I decided that of the three, The Crown wins for me. The character development, the interesting lives of the royals, and the history makes this an easy pick. If you’re in the mood to binge watch something and refresh your memory on some world history from the perspective of the British, you seriously can’t go wrong with The Crown.

16. Favorite Podcast: Unstyled

If you’ve been reading my blog then you might know that I’m a fan of 2 Dope Queens, Fashion No FilterGirl Boss Radio, Pod Save America, Pardon my French, and UnstyledIt was hard to pick just one, but Unstyled is definitely my favorite of the year. It’s inspiring, motivational, and has given me insight into the success stories of so many incredible women.

17. Favorite blog: The Luxe Strategist

I can’t take credit for this discovery. Luxe made the first move by commenting on a blog post of mine. Prior to reading her blog I believed I wasn’t ready to start thinking about personal finance. She’s convinced me that it’s never too early to start planning, that luxuries can be prioritized, and spending doesn’t have to lead to panic. She takes the BS out of personal finance, is straight forward, and brings her experience and stories to the table. If you’re interested in super personable, personal finance, you can’t go wrong with reading her blog. Also, my guest post where I talk about growing up in NYC is now live on her blog. Go give it a read and let me know what you think 🙂

That’s everything! What were your favorite moments and products of 2017. Share them below 🙂

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great New Year’s celebration and I will see you in 2018!!

Sophie 🙂

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This is not an ad. All opinions are my own.


  • TheFrugalOnion

    My favorite moment from 2017 was our trip to Amsterdam. We were there for little under 4 days and it was jam packed with adventure and food. OMG the food was so good! The cost was a bit high but I am so glad we went. Definitely worth it.

    • That’s awesome! Amsterdam is definitely on my list, what were you favorite sites/places? Wow 4 jam packed days sounds hectic but it seems like you got so much out of it 🙂 Any place where there’s good food, is a place I want to be 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read this! Have an awesome NYE!

  • Saving with Sense

    Congrats on starting your blog this year!! Barcelona and Montreal are places to visit on my list. Glad to hear you had a great time in both cities!

    I also went straight into grad school after undergrad… and then ended up dropping out of grad school and now I work in a completely different field! 😛 I wish I had taken a gap year in between to really think about what I wanted in life. I’m still figuring it out, but I’m much happier in my current field than the one I studied in school. Glad you are taking the time to figure it out!

    Omg, I’ve been looking for a good moisturizer! Might have to try that one out! Do you use it both for day and night? I’ve heard a bit of Glossier products, but after seeing how much you like them, I might have to give one a try!

    I also love The Luxe Strategist! After finding her blog, I binge read so many articles! So good! 🙌🏼

    • Thank you! Yes, I would definitely recommend both places 🙂 Honestly, I wanted to drop out of grad school my first semester. I’ve always wondered what would have happened if I had done it. It sounds like you figured it out and am much happier for it, which is awesome! Just hope I don’t take too much time to figure it out haha

      I use the moisturizer for both day and night I just adjust the amount I use-more at night since I put a a hydrating sunscreen on my face over it during the day.

      I know, I binge read her posts too! So glad I found your blog too! 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment, I hope you have an awesome NYE!

  • Barcelona is great, one of my all time favorite cities. I’m glad to hear that the Vrai and Oro necklace is nice. I’ve been intrigued by their items and might be in the market for some fine jewelry this year. The Crown is wonderful. I marathoned it all in a few days after the second season came out.

    Happy new year!

    • Happy New Year to you too! Vrai and Oro really do have some dreamy, minimal pieces 🙂 I don’t usually change up my jewelry-mostly because I’m lazy and I just like to keep it simple, so I’m really glad the necklace is so fuss-free.

      I can’t wait for the next season of The Crown-with a new cast too!

  • “Luxe made the first move.” Haha, you know I’m pretty aggressive, and I’m not ashamed.

    And girl, you DO NOT have acne (at least from the pics I see)!

    I totally need to check out The Crown.

    • Haha, so glad you did! Never thought the internet would be the place to meet wonderful, like-minded people like you 🙂

      No more weird bumps but my skin still thinks I’m a teenager 🙁

      I think you would really enjoy The Crown, would love to know what you think of it!

  • What a great year for you, you’ve achieved so much! 🙂 It’s nice you’re enjoying blogging too, there’s a lot to learn in that first year! 🙂

    Happy new year! Hope that 2018 is off to an amazing start for you, and you had a wonderful Christmas time.

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • Hi Mica,

      It’s so funny that you say that because I didn’t think this year was as eventful until I started writing things down. Goes to show that reflecting always keeps things in perspective. I definitely have so much to learn!

      Happy New Year to you too! Hope you’re having a great start to an awesome year ahead!

  • At 49 I’m likely your oldest reader, but I appreciate insights from all ages. Good for you for recognizing that your worth is not tied to your employment.

    As for favorite moments and products…. Date nights with my husband and coffee outings with my teenager. My apple watch, which has transformed my running; Davines all-in-one milk for detangling; and a new cruelty-free under eye concealer routine: Urban Decay corrector and Kat Von D Lock It.

    Happy New Year!

    • Hi Jane,

      Happy New Year to you too! I agree with you, insight and inspiration can come from anyone and anywhere 🙂

      Date nights and coffee outings sound perfect 🙂 As a coffee lover, I might just suggest all meet ups with friends for coffee instead of drinks-my body hates me less the next day 😉

      I’m trying to change my beauty routine into a cruelty-free one too so I definitely have to check out the Urban Decay corrector and Kat Von D Lock it.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment 🙂

  • I am loving the honesty in this post. I’m sure all bloggers experience moments of doubting our blogs. I’m employed but on a contract so you and I are both hoping for employment this year. Hope you have an awesome 2018!

    • Hi Jeanne,

      Thank you so much for reading this! Doubt is certainly inevitable in the blogging world and in being human. I guess time just teaches us to be better at handling it. Fingers crossed for the both of us! I hope you have an awesome 2018 as well!