Our Favorite Things from 2012

Last year Jenn and I did our first ever "favorite things" list from the year. Unlike my Year-In-Review which more gives a high level summary of the year, our favorite things goes to the stuff that we liked throughout the year whether it be TV, Music, Movies, Games, etc. 

So we are back now with our favorite things from 2012! 

Favorite TV Show of 2012

Jenn

Hmmm this is tough. I would say "new" favorite show definitely goes to Newsroom, a VERY close second would be Luther. I mean who doesn't basically like watching Dexter based in London with a British accent!? My continued favorite will always be Breaking Bad, that show hands down has the best production quality, acting and storyline! Other shows I would consider "honorable mentions" - Dexter (of course!), Mad Men (Draper is THE BEST!),

 Newsroom HBO

Game of Thrones (Winter is Coming!), and Girls (need I say more?). Also CANNOT forget The Daily Show and The Colbert Report - dinner would not be the same for us without those two shows! Haha outside of AMC/Showtime/HBO - I also love Modern Family, and when I am feeling in a girlie mood, the Mindy Project always makes me giggle. =)  OH and b/c Joel and I are such old fogies - I also LOVE watching HGTV with him, hahahaha.

Joel

There have been so many amazing shows this year. Breaking Bad was back and was amazing. Dexter and Homeland were edge of your seat exciting. Mad Men was as cool and sophisticated as you would expect. Jenn and I spent several nights laughing with Modern Family, Veep, and Parks and Recreation. But when it comes down to it 2012 was about three shows for me. First up on the list of Favorite TV shows was the surprise of the bunch, Luther. A BBC production that was both insane and suspenseful from start to finish. Next up is Newsroom. Not only did I love the idea of going behind the scenes of the daily newsroom but the acting and writing for this show was top notch.

 Game of Thrones Season 2

And of course last but not least Game of Thrones. Coming off the amazing
freshman season, Season 2 was bigger and better in every way imaginable.
Winter is coming, and Game of Thrones is now my favorite show two years in a row. 

Favorite Movie

Jenn

Personally, I think this year wasn't the best year for movies. So by far favorite movie this year was "To Rome with Love," nothing else even comes close. I was hoping the Hobbit was going to be epic, but it kind of dragged!

 To Rome With Love by Woody Allen

Joel

Unlike TV, I thought 2012 was a little light on truly stellar movies. There were a lot of movies I really enjoyed like The Avengers, Skyfall, and Argo. Since I have to make a decision I would say my favorite two movies of the year were Dark Knight Rises (saw it twice in theaters) and To Rome with Love. Dark Knight Rises was an incredible  culmination of the Dark Knight trilogy and To Rome with Love was another incredibly funny and witty Woody Allen comedy.

 Dark Knight Rises

Favorite Music

Jenn

Definitely "Feel Again" by One Republic. My favorite lines... "But with you, I feel again, Yeah with you, I can feel again...I'm feeling better since you know me, I was a lonely soul, but that's the old me..."

feelagain_artwork.jpg
 Jason Mraz I Won't Give Up

Joel

I would by lying if I didn’t mention that I have done my fair share of belting out Adele songs on my commutes to and from work. So I would give a few Adele songs some honorable mention. However my favorite song of 2012 was I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz. I’ve listened to it at least a hundred times and I still can’t get enough of it.

Favorite Video Game

Jenn

HAHAHA. EASY. Playing Walking Dead with Joel where I found out I am a horrible person, or as his writer friend put it, "if there is a zombie apocalypse,  be close to Joel's wife. She'll make the hard decisions and lead to us to safety (but may kill you if you get in the way)."

 The Walking Dead

Joel

I never thought an adventure game would be on the top of my list but
playing The Walking Dead this year with Jenn was incredible. Seeing the
crazy decisions she made throughout and seeing how everything unfolds was
incredible. For Clementine!

I also really enjoyed Max Payne 3, Sleeping Dogs, and NBA 2K13. Oh and
let’s not forget Bloons TD 4 & 5 for iPad.
 Walking Dead GOTY

Favorite Meal

Jenn

Joel will laugh at me with this because it's not something predicted,
i.e. Europe. But seriously when I had my minestrone soup, filet, spaghetti
and Cabernet Sauvignon at Amelia's in Balboa - well let's just say BEST
 MEAL on the planet - all my fave foods in one meal - you can't get any
better than that! Others? Well, haha expensive, yet good times at Oceans
Club - that Martini glass was SO cool. And honestly, our many meals at the
 Kempinski in St. Moritz were unforgettable. Come to think of it, actually I
could ramble on about this topic... other note worthy's include our lunch
in Santorini on the cliff, the night Joel and I got free shots in Venice,
and having a nearby table of Greek tourists in Mykonos look over and smile
at us and talk to us about how great life was... which to be honest, it
 really is.


amelias_balboa.jpg

Joel

This is a tough one. I don’t think I have ever had better food then I had
in 2012. In terms of memories one of my favorite meals was eating in the
formal restaurant in St. Moritz with Jenn. You also couldn’t beat the
 amazing food in Venice.

 In terms back here stateside, there are two meals that really stand out both
 of which were five course tasting meals. We went to the Hyatt Huntington
 Beach and had a 5-Course Meal with Wine Pairings. We got to sit outside 
near the fire pits with ocean views. It was incredible. The second was our
anniversary meal at The Winery in the Tustin district where we had a
 5-Course Meal with Wine Pairings as well. Both were simply incredible.

If you noticed Wine has become a bigger part of our diets this year so I
have to also mention any Red Wine Friday was amazing.

 Kempinski St Moritz

Favorite Memory

Jenn

Walking the Swiss alps with Joel in St. Moritz, Switzerland.  I will have
 that memory until I die. To see the beauty that surrounded us, to walk with
 grazing cattle, and to look at lakes the purest blue I have ever seen in my
 life was surreal. And to see Joel's expression and pure joy, will always be
 unforgettable to me.


 St Moritz Switzerland

Joel

So many amazing memories this year. Hiking the Alps was one of the major highlights. I was so proud that Jenn was able to accomplish it even with her slightly fractured/broken/buddy taped toe. Going out in Venice on the first night of the cruise with Jenn and my brother and two sisters was incredible. Walking in the water, eating an amazing Italian meal was perfect.

I will truly miss the drives with Jenn that we got to do for 8-9 months of the year. We got to carpool to and from work every day and I feel truly blessed to be able to spend time with her, talking, laughing, and just making it through some very blah work days.

And that brings me to my other favorite memory was hearing that Jenn got a new job. I’ll never forget the call I got at work from Jenn when she said she said she got it. Its true prayers are answered, just maybe not on the timeframe we would like.

 Jenn Walk to Work

Favorite Purchase

Jenn

Anything related to our vacation. Haha I am still stoked we opted to pay the money and get the private water taxi in Venice - I never felt more like a rock star. =)

 Venice Water Taxi

Joel

I would say my new nose. I often forget I even had the surgery done but I
do find myself looking in the mirror thinking wow I am so glad I got my
nose fixed. For those that don’t remember my nose went a few directions and
now is perfectly straight both from the front and side. So I would have to
go with my nose since I have wanted to get it done for a loooong time.

I’m also pretty stoked with my iPhone 5 and the 47” LED TV for our bedroom.

 Joel Rhinoplasty

Favorite Electronic

Jenn

Easy, iPhone 5 - and boy did I desperately need one!

Joel

Jenn says I am addicted, I say I am just easily distracted. Either way it’s my iPhone 5.

 Jenn iPhone 5

Favorite Vacation Stop

Jenn

I know Joel's answer is going to be St. Moritz, mine is too, but to be honest, anywhere with Joel, and I CANNOT wait to see what next year has in store for us. =)

stmoritz_02.jpg

Joel

This one is easily dwindled down to three stops on our Europe Trip in June/July of this year. St Moritz truly surprised me, it was beautiful, clean, and our time there is something I will never forget. I took some of my favorite pictures/videos in St Moritz.

I really did not enjoy Venice the first time I was there in 2006. However now having stayed in Venice I can say my initial impression was off. There is nothing better than getting lost in Venice whether on purpose or not, it’s easy to do. Combine that with amazing food and I’m sold.

And finally Dubrovnik was the one new stop on the cruise that I could 100% going back to and vacationing at. It was a beautiful small town with great food, friendly people, and gorgeous views. Plus its where they tape King's Landing in Game of Thrones!

 Venice, Italy

Favorite Hotel

Jenn

Hmmm this is tough. We actually didn't stay at that many hotels this year. By almost default I would say the Kempinski in St. Moritz. I mean don't get me wrong, it was STUNNING, the service was AMAZING, and the whole place was immaculate.

Joel

Because we went on a cruise this year we didn’t stop at many hotels. However we did stay at one that might not only be my favorite hotel of 2012 but possibly of all time. That is the Kempinski in St. Moritz. Beautifully nestled in the Alps it had all of the amenities that you would want from a 5* hotel while also making you feel relaxed and not super snooty. Not to mention they had one of the best included breakfast buffets I have ever eaten at.

 Kempinski St Moritz

Favorite Book

Jenn

As embarrassing as this is to admit, Fifty Shades Darker. I think we can just leave it at that. ;)

50shadesdarker.jpg
11-22-63.jpg

Joel

My favorite book from 2012 was 11-22-63 by Stephen King. I have always

been a sucker for time travel and history and the combination of the two made for my favorite book of 2012.

Most Thankful For

Jenn

Having God in my life. Without Him I would have never got to where I am today, he has gotten me through my peaks and valleys, and has brought me back the happiness I thought I lost a couple of years ago. He has watched over me and cared for me, more than I ever deserve, and he continues to hold my hand on this journey, which I pray I never let go of. I would be nothing without him.

For Joel, my husband the absolute love of my life. As cliché as it may sound, and as often as I didn't believe it, I have found this saying to be SO very true, I love him more today then I did yesterday, and I fall more in love with him as every day passes since we met over nine years ago. He is my rock and strength, my shoulder to cry, he makes me laugh and smile till my face hurts, he is what excites me to wake up in the morning, and what allows me to sleep so easily at night. Above all he is my best friend, and I praise God so much that I can spend the rest of my life with him. Reflecting on all our moments together in this past year, makes me tear up from happiness - these alone would last me a lifetime. Thank you "boo" for making my fairy tale come true, I love you a lot a lot always and forever.

For my mom, whom I love and miss more than words will ever express. For her heart and unconditional love. For her strength and courage that I so wish I had. For her determination, wit and intelligence, that I aspire for. For her guidance then and now, I know she is watching over me, and walking with me every step of the way. For somehow being able to have my mom as my best friend, for our many wonderful memories together, for the twenty three years I had with her. She will always be my role model and #1 mom in my book, and I cannot wait to see her again in heaven one day. For my dad for being with me every step of the  way. For being the wonderful dad that he is, and for trying to fill that hole that is missing in both of our lives. For making me feel loved and for always watching out for me, and for still letting me be his little girl. For Joan, who has brought my dad such happiness, who takes such good care of him, and has brought some normalcy back to our family.

For my family and friends who have helped me through my highs and lows this year, for letting me cry on your shoulders, for making special moments for me, for taking care of me, and for pushing me to find courage to take that leap of faith - you know who you are - and I love you all so much!

Joel

There isn’t anything in my life that I am not thankful for. More than anything I am thankful that I have the best wife in the world in Jenn and that I have Jesus in my life guiding me every step of the way.

When you think about it I really get to live the full package. I get to travel the world, live a mile from the beach, married my best friend, I have a good job, a great family, and get to enjoy all of the amazing things in this world.