By Erin Bagwell
Founder of Feminist Wednesday and Director of Dream, Girl
2016 was a night-terror of a year, but it was also a momentous and defining year of my life. It was the year Dream, Girl was released into the world, the year we premiered at the White House, the year we met Oprah, and the year Diana moved to NYC. So in honor of the diamonds in the rough that kept 2016 illuminated, here is my list of favorite things (in no particular order).
- “Making Oprah on NPR” the most delightful 3 part audio-documentary. A feast of inspiration with interviews from the people who made the show and Oprah herself. Also, who doesn’t want to hear all the behind the scenes of how “you get a car!” came to life?
- “Bitch Sesh” is a Real Housewives breakdown show. And to be honest I’ve never seen an episode, but Casey Rose Wilson and Danielle Schneider are so fun to listen to you don’t have to. It’s a fun brain break, and a treat to listen to every week.
- Ronna & Beverly is my favorite podcast of all time, and it continues to be such an hour of comedic pure joy. It’s on my dream board to be on this show! Also fun-fact Feminist Wednesday was once given a shout out on one of their shows for sending R&B a valentine!
- “My Life on the Road” by Gloria Steinem will forever be one of my favorite books of all time. A glimpse into what it takes to be a thriving long-term activist by one of the greatest. An all time fav.
- “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert came into my life while I was in a deep well of creating, and became a bible of sorts- it’s all about the exploration and elusiveness of the creative process. A must read for artists and dreamers alike.
- “Money Magic: Unleashing Your True Potential for Prosperity and Fulfillment by Deborah Price”– who doesn’t have money narratives they need to shed to create more abundance, gratitude, and stability in their lives. My husband and I do the worksheets together and it has been a game changer. A must read.
- “Search Party” is one of those shows the sinks you into a playful, smart, hilariously dark world all at once. It’s the best portrayal of what it’s like to live in NYC, and it’s such a break from reality. A real pre-Trump delight, check it out on Amazon Prime.
- “Insecure” on HBO was also one of my favorites to watch this year. I loved the cast, the story, the LA vibes and the creator. Issa did a gorgeous job of telling her story and infusing it with joy.
- “Transparent Season 3” This show never disappoints me, and Judith Light fucking brought the house down in the finale. It was iconic.
- I’m forever a Lady Gaga fan and “Joanne” did not disappoint. I love the country twang and the melancholy flair of this album.
- I downloaded “The Pink Print” this year and have had it on repeat ever since. I love meditating to Nicki Minaj’s beats- she infuses my day with some much needed bad-bitch energy.
- Gwen Steffani’s “This is What the Truth Feels Like” felt like a homecoming to listen to. Tragic Kingdom was one of the first CDs I ever bought, and I love all things Gwen.
- Rihanna’s “Anti” also crushed. It’s unconventional pop album in that a lot of the songs are slower, but grittier, yet danceable r&b anthems.
- @FindingPaola: I just want to be her friend
- @MurderSheLook: Angela Landsbury is my god
- @theMillillionaireCat: Because you can never follow enough great cat accounts
- @DrawnbyMary: All the girl power inspired images you can dream of
- @MightyOakGrows: my favorite all-girl run stop-motion animation company from Brooklyn
- Zandra Beauty lip balms are to die for. I also love the Japanese Kumquat body scrub. Their gorgeous products and inspirational packaging made it into all my holiday gifts this year. I love their story, their founder, their brand. Fan for life.
- Alaskan Essences Purification Spray is a must have for my purse, office, and home. It’s almost like hitting the reset button on whatever you are working on. It’s a refreshing power tool.
- The blender brush has become one of my favorite things in my makeup kit. While being on tour this year I felt a real need to step up my makeup game, and while I don’t use a lot of products, I do use a lot more brushes to keep everything defined and profesh looking. This brush is everything and they sell it at TJ Max next to the sponge beauty blenders for like $12 (I found my at my local beauty store for like $6, but beware bigger makeup brands will try to sell it to you for like $55).
- The Gotham Gal: I love reading Joanne Wilson’s comments, thoughts, reviews on all things investing and NYC. Her poignant opinions are blunt, heart-felt and fabulous.
- Feminist Wednesday newsletters came back this year! I’m so excited to have our power duo- Kylie and Alicia making them happen in your inbox every Wednesday, and I can’t wait to share new content with you this year.
- Dream, Girl is my monthly-ish newsletter I send out about all things happening behind the scenes for DG. My favorite part of this email is that I get to chat with you- I love reading and responding to all the notes we get.
- I started doing some gratitude practices this year. Writing down three things a day I’m thankful for in a little journal near my bed. We also try to incorporate it into our team building. Every monday on our team FB group we start a thread and say three things we are grateful for and three things we are doing for ourselves this week. It’s an awesome way to encourage my employees that their self-care matters to us as a company and forces me to think about my self-care practices as well.
- This year Dream, Girl did it’s first team building retreat where we made dream boards, zeroed in on our goals and skills for the year, did a guided mediation, saw a psychic, and went to dinner and drinks on a roof deck in midtown. It was an awesome break from the day, and a really fun way to connect outside of work.
- My dear friend Ashley Frato has been such a lighthouse for my this year. My life and business have gone through so many changes, and to be able to call and rely on her to understand how my brain works has been invaluable. She is one of my dearest friends, and I’m so lucky to have her in my life. She is also a fabulous makeup artist!
- Bous de Jong was one of our executive producers for Dream, Girl and was one of the most important people of 2016 for me. From sitting with me to help finish the film, to giving me a shoulder to cry on when I didn’t think I could do it, to cheering us on at the White House- Bous has been a staple in our success and is one of my favorite people of all time.
- Hillary Clinton. What can we really say about this incredible force. She makes me proud to be a woman and sometimes on my lower days I’ll try to channel a little bit of the HRC magic to power me through. Thank you. For everything.
What were some of your favorite things of 2016? Tweet me @erinebagwell to let me know what inspired you to keep crushing last year!