My Favourite Things in 2016

December 19, 2016

My Favourite Things in 2016

I know I said I was going to take a full month off the blog… but I missed you all too much! So, I thought I would take a quick break from my break to say HI! I hope you’re having a good month! And I can’t say goodbye to 2016 without sharing some of my favourite things about this year with you.

Full disclosure: this post was inspired by Alexandra Franzen’s love list. Once a year, she shares a list of books, music, people, etc. she loves. I used to publish a list of all my favourite posts from around the blogosphere, but like the idea of her love list because it’s much more inclusive of all the things that inspire me – and gives you another glimpse into my life!

Here is a list of my favourite things in 2016. Like Alex says, “I hope you find something that delights you, entertains you, or makes your day a little better than it was before.” I’ll be back January 2nd with an update on what I accomplished during my month off, as well as plans for my next yearlong experiment!

Enjoy! xo


By the end of the year, I will have read 26 books. That’s only half the number I wanted to read, but I let go of that goal long ago. Anyway, of the ones I’ve read so far, I would recommend: The Crossroads of Should and Must for anyone who needs an inspirational kick in the butt, No Baggage and Packing Light for the minimalist who loves to travel, Love Warrior for those who appreciate honest truth telling, and Deep Work and The Productivity Project for obvious reasons.

Blogs and Instagram Accounts

Rather than tell you why certain blogs are my favourites, I thought I would instead share some of my favourite posts written by the authors this year:

Wow, apparently I love female writers.

On Instagram, I love following: Alison Turner, Amanda Sandlin, Chris Istace, Leigh McClurg + Spring McClurg, Rob Nelson, Sian Richardson, Steph Jagger, Tammy Strobel, and the She Explores account.

Podcasts and TV Shows

I only recently discovered Lena Dunham’s podcast Women of the Hour, and I have to say it’s the best production of all the podcasts I listen to. It’s not for everyone, but it is for feminists… which I suppose means that it is, in fact, for everyone.

I’m a proud Patreon supporter of Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antoinette. My favourite interviews this year were with (in no order): Holly Whitaker on the topic of quitting drinking, Nicole herself on celebrating five years of sobriety, Carrot Quinn on long distance hiking, Teeny Lamothe on the year of pies, and my friend Tammy Strobel on grief, gratitude and good health.

And Dear Sugar continues to give me insight into my personal relationships. I’d recommend scrolling through the archives and listening to any topic that might be of interest to you. The rapid fire episodes are especially great, as are all the two-parters.

As for TV shows, my Netflix history says I loved: The Crown, Black Mirror and Gilmore Girls. I also watched Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent on Amazon. Oh, and the first episode of Good Girls Revolt! I’d love to watch the rest of it, but I can’t find a way to stream it in Canada. :(

People and Projects

Simplicity Voices is the Rockstar Finance of minimalism/simple living blogs.

I love love love everything Amanda Sandlin creates, but #atwildwoman is the best.

It has been wonderful to watch Being Boss grow from a podcast to a brand this year, with a blog, events, vacations and more.

More Love Letters is one of the sweetest missions I’ve come across. If you get the sudden urge to participate and want to do so right away, check out the 12 Days of Letter Writing.

And I really want to go to BinderCon in NYC next fall. (The BinderCast is another podcast worth checking out, if you’re a writer!)

Miscellaneous Odds and Ends

Clue is the best app I downloaded this year, hands down. I’ve been using BlankPage to write my book. And I’m obsessed with listening to authors read their audiobooks (example: Lena Dunham is the best person to read Not That Kind of Girl). Here are some really cool ideas for end of year traditions you can do before January 1st. I love this idea for visual goal setting. Here’s something to do with the extra ripe bananas in your kitchen. And if you ever come to Victoria, go here for breakfast.

PS – There’s still time to get a Mindful Budgeting 2017 Planner delivered to your doorstep before the new year! :)


  • Reply Kate @ Cashville Skyline December 19, 2016 at 4:10 am

    Ooo, thanks for sharing these! I can’t wait to dig in over the holiday break. I don’t spend enough time exploring all the amazing content outside of the personal finance niche, but I’m hoping that will change in 2017. Happy holidays, friend.

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 20, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      I can share all the non-PF things, if you ever need more recommendations. Happy holidays! xoxo

  • Reply The Green Swan December 19, 2016 at 5:34 am

    I’ve been watching a few old Britain shows on Netflix lately too including The Crown, but also The Peaky Blinders and Outlander (although this is on Starz…). You may want to check them out for 2017!

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 20, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      Doesn’t look like we get either on Netflix Canada! Wahhh! But I always keep my eye out for new British shows to be added. :)

  • Reply Chris @ MindfulExplorer December 19, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Cait, thank-you for sharing such a good list of which I look forward to adding to my reading list for and fresh discoveries. We all appreciate the quick pop back to the blog to share with us one more time in 2016. I am very happy that you enjoy what I share on Instagram and equally enjoy all that you share here. I hope in 2017 we can get out for more than a coffee but rather get somewhere into the forest where chats are good but enjoying the beauty of nature in each others company is even better. Cheers

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:24 am

      We will definitely make our way into the forest in 2017, my friend! Looking forward to it! :)

  • Reply Mrs. Picky Pincher December 19, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Well hey, we missed you too! This is a wonderful way to reflect on the year. :)

    My favorite things this year were:

    1. My KitchenAid mixer. I resisted this for years, but I finally got a new fancy mixer. The difference is astounding. I’m able to do so much more in the kitchen and I love it!

    2. Our new-to-us couches. My dad gave us his old couches that he was going to throw away and I absolutely adore them!

    3. Cookbooks. I rent cookbooks for free from the library and I love them. We always have fresh menu ideas and we get them fo’ free!

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:25 am

      Love the idea of borrowing cookbooks! I’m going to experiment with new recipes for a month in 2017 and will have to make that part of it :)

  • Reply Jamie December 19, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Such a nice surprise to see a post from you! I’ll definitely check out some of the blogs you recommended.

    I also just wanted to say: the shopping ban you inspired me to do was a huge success for me. I did cheat once (bought a bathing suit cover up that wasn’t on my approved list), but I questioned and decided against so many purchases that I would have made without thinking. For example, I was going to buy a bathing suit for a family vacation because mine was a little worn out, but it wasn’t on my list and I don’t need to impress my family, so I decided to wait. I think I’m going to extend it for at least the first 6 months of next year, but I need to evaluate first if there is anything I will need in that time. Thanks for the inspiration!!

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:30 am

      Wow, that’s incredible, Jamie! Thanks for sharing both your progress and some of your struggles with the experience. As you carry on and eventually decide to end your shopping ban, you might find purchases like that bathing suit cover up do feel like a cheat… but it’s really not, so long as you’ll ACTUALLY use it and get value from it. The only real cheat (in my mind) is if we continue to talk ourselves into buying things that just collect dust. And it’s not even so much of a “cheat”, as it is a waste of our money – money we could be putting towards things we actually care about. Good luck with the next six months! :)

  • Reply Michelle December 19, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Oooh, I’m definitely going to check out the Instagram accounts that you recommend – it’s definitely my favorite social media platform.

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Ditto! I’ve barely used Twitter in the last month and don’t really miss it at all.

  • Reply linda at brooklyn bread December 19, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Deep Work is one of my absolute favorites. Things I learned in that book are relevant just about every day…

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Agreed! :)

  • Reply Shelly December 19, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Well, well. What do we have here? A surprise blog post from Cait!! 😁 I will definitely be checking out a few of your favourite things. Especially the Instagram ones. The Minimalists documentary, “Minimalism ,” is now on Netflix! I think I’ll be watching that soon. What did you think of it Cait?

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:31 am

      I loved seeing all of my friends in it. <3

  • Reply Claire December 19, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Thank you for giving Simplicity Voices a mention, what a good egg you are. Lots of podcasts as well to check out here. Can’t get enough of podcasts right now…I am also totally on board with a year of pies.

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Oh my gosh, her interview just made me want to bake bake bake, haha.

  • Reply Tyler December 19, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I’m a huge Gilmore Girls fan myself. I kept it under wraps for years but my wife thought it would be a good idea to tell everyone we know and now it’s public. Rather than deny it I’ve decided just to own it and move on lol. I can’t wait for all that it to come next year I’m assuming your book will be out? Anyway keep up the good work Cait

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:33 am

      YES! SAY IT LOUD AND PROUD! Haha. I’m sure your wife likes having someone to watch it with too. And no, the book will be out January 2018 – so just one year to go! :)

  • Reply Sarah McDonald December 19, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Thankyou for sharing these. I love seeing what other people have enjoyed – mainly because I’m nosey and it gives me the chance to find new blogs and books to read. I really love your writing style and how you set out your posts!


    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Well thanks, Sarah! I hope you find a few new things to read. :)

  • Reply Tammy Strobel December 19, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Thanks for the mention Cait! Xoxo.

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

      You’re welcome, friend! You know how much I loved and appreciated that interview. <3 xo

  • Reply Klara Donovan December 19, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Love those blog posts!! Thanks so much for sharing this list :) Also that flat lay is EVERYTHING.

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Haha, it’s a cute pic, isn’t it? :)

  • Reply Sian December 19, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Such a sweet lineup dude, thanks for including me! :)

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Had to be done! :)

  • Reply ChooseBetterLife December 19, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    I’m always looking for new books. Thanks for the suggestions!
    Happy holidays!

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Happy holidays, friend! <3

  • Reply Wael December 20, 2016 at 1:48 am


    It’s time to say good bye for 2016, thanks for sharing the nice collection :)

    blankpage is my favorite for today.

    Happy holidays.

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:36 am

      Oh it is such a wonderful tool! Happy holidays, Wael. :)

  • Reply giulia December 20, 2016 at 3:02 am

    I am agree No baggage is a good book, I am glad you had good time and i’m sure you’ll have great new year!!!

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Thanks, Giulia! Happy New Year! :)

  • Reply Primal Prosperity December 20, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    I love how Amanda says ‘stay wild’. I am also a ‘wild woman’ at heart. :)

    • Reply Cait Flanders December 21, 2016 at 8:37 am

      It’s such a beautiful concept. <3

  • Reply Miss Mazuma December 23, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Just in time – I needed some new book recommendations!! I read No Baggage while I was in Thailand earlier this year – great book! With winter here Ill be hitting the library pretty much daily – they have a great seating area with a fireplace and its normally really quiet. :) And thanks for the Instagram ideas…I am very new to it and don’t have many people to follow! Right now I am loving HomeSweetVan…they are currently down in mexico living out of their awesome built out Sprinter van.

    Have a great break!!

  • Reply Cathleen December 26, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I can’t wait to start my Mindful Budgeting Calendar. Best thing I’ve bought for myself for holidays.

  • Reply Danielle @ Wild Coast Tales December 27, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I loved this! And currently have so many tabs open now to read through. I’m a big fan of Nicole’s podcast as well! Plan to download Lena’s next. Enjoy the last few days of 2016!

  • Reply Raj@financenize December 28, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Books are like best friends of mine; I really love reading informative and success story books whenever I’m free. I’ve got some dozens of books in my shelf :p book reading is a good habit that everyone must try out. And also I love to do networking with people who are unknown to me. Made some really good friends this year, TV shows are kind of boring to me :p or maybe I don’t know some good and interesting shows! LOL

  • Reply Stephen December 29, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Some great recommendations. I was looking for a good book recommendation but then my attention was caught by the title “Shouldn’t I Like Own a House or Some Sh*t by Now?” and 30minutes later I came out of the rabbit hole.

  • Reply Rebecca December 30, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I’m in the US, but for what it is worth, I found Outlander on DVD at my local library.

  • Reply Julie @ Millennial Boss February 14, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    I don’t think I’m familiar with one person you’ve listed there (besides Lena Dunham). I love discovering new, unique voices. Thanks for helping me put together my podcast list for this Spring! At first, I found it hard to relate to some of Lena Dunham’s stuff because I wasn’t living in a city and felt like I sort-of had an understanding of where I wanted to go/wasn’t lost. Maybe that was just Girls though?

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