Ijeoma Kola wearing Maui Jim sunglasses, Loeffler Randall woven sandals, Yuzefi bag, and Badgely Mischka Pastel Striped Blazer

My Absolute Favorite Things of 2019 (so far)

We’re halfway through 2019, and although I usually wait until the end of the year to do a roundup of my favorite things, I realized that I can barely remember what I liked last week, let alone what I liked over the past year.

Hair, Skincare, & Makeup

Favorite Hairstyle: I actually haven’t rocked that many interesting hairstyles this year (something to change for the rest of 2019), but my favorite was the bob feed in box braids that I got done in Kenya.

Favorite Hair Product: This is always a tough call, but I used the Carol’s Daughter Coco Creme Coil Enhancing Moisture Butter last week and I promise you, every single time I have used this product, my hair looks, smells, and feels AMAZING.

Favorite Skincare Product: No lie, retin-A changed my face. It changed my skin. It changed my life. YEARS of hormonal acne literally vanished, and hasn’t returned, even though I’ve stopped using the product for a few months now.

Favorite Foundation: I rocked with NARS Sheer Glow for most of the year, and it held me down in the winter months when I wanted to look dewy but also needed a light application. It’s a bit too slippery for summertime, but I’ve already found what I think will hold me down for the rest of the year.

Favorite Body Moisturizer: 2019 has been the year where I indulge in body oils instead of lotions, and rubbing R&R Luxury’s shea oil on my body every day was a treat.

Clothes & Style

Favorite Outfit: Although this was the most liked outfit of the year on Instagram, my absolute favorite outfit is this scalloped suit set from my Rent the Runway summer trends lookbook. Note to self: both looks feature a blazer and a white & black monochrome color palette.

Favorite Jeans: I probably wore my And Other Stories mom jeans most often, but the most comfortable pair of jeans I own are these TopShop Moto jeans from Nordstrom. Add to cart now in anticipation of the sale later this month!

Favorite Shoes: I don’t think I’ve actually ever photographed myself in them but I wear my Rothys slip on white sneakers at least twice a week. They’re incredibly comfortable plus machine washable (which I haven’t tried yet but should soon).

Favorite Bag: I invested in a designer bag that doesn’t scream designer, which means I can carry it every single day without feeling obnoxious like I did all last year anytime I wore Gucci.

Favorite Purchase: I scored a vintage Burberry trench coat from Ebay for $113 and felt like I mastered the art of purchasing designer clothing on a budget.

Home, Food, & Wellness

Favorite Home Purchase: The roll out cabinet drawers that I got from the Container Store for my kitchen reorganization have made it much easier to put pots back where they belong after cooking. In fact, the entire kitchen overhaul was incredibly satisfying.

Favorite Recipe: I used HelloFresh for a few months while working on my dissertation, and there was one recipe that stood out so much, I saved it. Note to self: buy the ingredients and make this week.

Favorite Workout: I switched from attending a bootcamp to using ClassPass for more variety in my workouts, and I’ve fallen in love with a trampoline cardio/dance class!

Favorite Snack: Jonathan tried to put me onto drinkable yogurt years ago and I was weirded out (its really common in Kenya), but I recently discovered Chobani’s drinkable greek yogurt and I’ve been having one every other day.

Favorite Affirmation: What’s for you is for you, and no one can take it away.


Favorite Movie: Though If Beale Street Could Talk came out at the end of 2018, I saw it in 2019, and frequently play the soundtrack on days that I want to feel broody but also hopeful. The acting was so raw, storyline was incredibly poignant, and the soundtrack was absolutely beautiful.

Favorite Play: I saw Lion King on Broadway for the second time for our second wedding anniversary (it was Jonathan’s first time), and I still managed to cry as if I hadn’t seen it before.

Favorite TV Show: I have never finished a series as quickly as I finished Dead to Me. If you haven’t seen it yet, get on it! See other Netflix recommendations here.

Favorite Song: This one is easy. So Will I/Do It Again by Cross Worship. I discovered it via church and belt it out in the shower at least once a week.

Favorite Book: I actually read a lot of fiction (shout out to Amazon Prime reading) and really liked The Butterfly Garden. Kinda creepy, with just enough hope and promise to keep you in suspense.

Blogging & Business

Favorite App: I discovered Mojo this year, and creating IG stories has become a fun adventure with all their different story options.

Favorite IG Account: I’ve become slightly obsessed with nail art this year, and I save just about every single nail post by Allure’s EIC, Michelle Lee.

Favorite YouTube Channel: A fairly recent discovery, but The Line Up inspired my RTR lookbook – the styling is on point, the editing is crisp, and every video has a different format but they all seem consistent on brand.

Favorite Collaboration: The Tampax video I did with my mom was my favorite! It was an easy and natural conversation, but we talked about something that I think is incredibly important for women’s health.

Favorite Blog Post: I wrote an honest take on my approach and thoughts to living with a significant other before marriage, and it was liberating to share my thought process and beliefs, but also nice to hear that so many other women had been struggling with similar questions and decisions. Although they are emotionally taxing, I hope to be able to bring more of those raw long form pieces to you guys throughout the rest of the year!

There you go, my fave things so far of 2019! What are some of your favorites?

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  1. I am going to have to come back later and post my favorites for 2019. I like a lot of your favorite.

  2. Music: Ari Lennox – Shea Butter Baby Album; Hair: I’m still in love with Adowa Beauty! TV: Queen Sugar (although it just started back 3 weeks ago it’s also soooooo good! Also I’m obsessed with nail art this year too! lol

    1. I never watched an episode of Queen Sugar, tried Adwoa Beauty, or listened to that album, so you’ve given me a ton of recommendations!