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Best Discoveries of 2009

  • Oct 23, 2009
  • by
Inspired by the annual "Oprah's Favorite Things", here is the list of AriaJuliet's 20 most favorite things for 2009...
Peter Thomas Roth Skin Care Products
I've been struggling with terrible acne for 7 years now and have tried every product, from basically every skin care line on the market. While there are many great ones(Murad) and many that do absolutely nothing (Proactive.) While Peter Thomas Roth products are not a miracle cure, they are extremely lovely on the face.This mosturizer is great for combination skin like mine. It leaves it really soft and withouth a greesy finish. The acne treatment kit chaged my complextion over the summer. As I am on to a more aggresstive treatment these days, I still plan on using their products as my primary face wash and moisturizer, approved by my Dermatologist at the Dr. Murad Medical Center.
Bahn Mi
Between the Vietnamese Bakeries lining the street I lived on this summer and the Nom Nom truck parked in every convenient location in LA, I have gone crazy for Bahn Mi. I just discovered them this summer, as the dry cleaners below my office also sold the sandwiches for $2.50. As a broke recent college graduate, I really appreciated both the size and the taste of these extra delicious sandwiches.
See the full review, "Vietnamese 101: Bahn Mi Sandwiches".
I joined the iPhone cult in May 2009 as a graduation present and much needed upgrade from my LG Verizon phone. I can't say enough about how amazing this device is.
Aviary Logo
Aviary is the coolest web-application on the market. Too many times have I been away from my Mac and needed to do a quick image edit or logo design. Aviary is easy to use, and works on any computer with flash, no matter how small or slow the internet connection is. Most programs are free and load in seconds. And it has online storage for your files. You can work on your design from anywhere.
See the full review, "An Essential Tool for Designers, Established or Aspiring.".
Wale came into my life in 2007 with his release of the 100 Miles and Running mixtape.It featured a remix with Lily Allen's Smile, and a remix of Justice's popular D.A.N.C.E. Since then, he has continually broguth light into my life with The Mixtape About Nothing, Back to the Future, and the single Chillin featuring Lady Gaga. His first full lengh ablum Attention: Deficit is set to be released Nov. 10, another reason why 2009 is the year of Wale.

Wale has a sing-along charm that anybody can aprricate, and enough raw talentto be the next great hip hop artist.
Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
Burt's has been in my back pocket since I was in middle school. It continues to be my number one beauty product. Everyone that has borrowed my Burts has subsequently bought their own. It works the best of any chapstick, absorbing quickly and doesn't leave a film. It has no taste, but just a slight menthol hint that makes you feel like the product is working. Since having two rounds of accutane in your life quickly dies you up, this has been a lifesaver for my lips.
I work a lot on my computer, so that's when the majority of my music listening time occurs. I love Napster because of its mix between a radio station, like Pandora, and an online music store, like iTunes. The deal is for $5 a month, I get 5 song downloads, and unlimited streaming music from my computer. I can opt to listen to a radio station, skipping as many songs as I want, or creating my own playlist from their catalogue of 8,000,000 songs. I love that I can choose what song I want to listen to at anytime, unlike when using Pandora, a rule that really frustrates me. The interface is user friendly as well.

If I wasn't such an iPod loyalist, I would defiantly invest in a Napster to Go compatible device. With a Napster To Go subscription, you can transfer unlimited number of songs to your mp3 player, without paying for all of them.

Williams Sonoma Chocolate Croissants
I've been deprived of the comfort of a warm home with family this year, having spent a grand total of three weeks at my parents house, and trading in last Christmas holiday at home for a more exotic vacation (Rio de Janeiro.) These croissants remind me of my mother, my god-mother, and Thanksgiving. Though I haven't been able to enjoy these exact ones YET, every time I do eat a chocolate croissant, I pretend. I am returning home this year for Christmas and will definitely be ordering a box to enjoy with my mom.
See the full review, "The Best Chocolate Croissant Between You and Paris".
Ito En Tea's Tea
I don't drink enough water. I can't drink enough water. Even when I am dying of thirst, I can only manage to force down a half a glass at most. I'd rather, and almost always preferably drink tea. Iced tea. Ito En is my preferred brand. It's perfectly brewed every time, not too bitter. They offer a huge variety of different types of tea, both flavored and not, sweetened and un-sweetened. The only downside is that I drink three bottles a day, and they are all in plastic containers. They need to invent instant iced tea, but that probably goes against company policy.
I been there 5 times this year, with plans to return at least 2 more times.

Seriously thought, at 22 years old, and there is no better playground to be young and have fun. I have gone with my boyfriend, my best friends and a combination of people and always had a blast. You win money, you lose a lot of money, you drink in the street, dance, eat amazing food and see some big cats!

True story: I love Las Vegas so much, they named a casino after me!
Mint Logo
Mint is amazing because I can track my spending across multiple bank accounts. It automatically labels different transactions so you can quickly see were your money is being spent. You can also go back to every transaction and specifically label your money. Its helped me visualize how much money I am spending vs earning, and where I should be frugal and what areas I am doing OK on. My app on my iphone lets me quickly check my balances. You can set it to send you emails when your balance is low, or when its time to pay a bill.
Cult of Less
How I wish I had Kelly Sutton's will power. Here is a man on a mission to get rid of everything he owns. Well, almost. You can get the full summery here, but basically he has indexed all of his possessions, and listed them for sale, ship, or keep. You can buy the things for sale, and pay for this shipping of things he wants to get rid of.

Cult of Less is just an experiment right now, and I don't think I would ever participate in the project, but it has inspired me to be less of a hoarder. I have recently cut my closet into half, and whenever I think of acquiring a new item, I think of the cult!

It's also been very interesting to see my friends possessions all listed on one site, and read little blurbs about them objects, which turn into small tidbits about his life. I've known Kelly for 4 years now, but I learned a lot more about him just by "going through his closet" one Sunday morning.

What did you think of this list?

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October 27, 2009
Love your list, lady! And Vegas 7 times this year? Party animal! ;P
October 24, 2009
This is a great list, you will really give people some things to try.. I have a box of the williams sonoma choc (and regular) croissants in my freezer as we speak, i love they way the grow when you leave them out over night.. I'm trying the Bahn Mi sando when i see them!! hopefully thanks in advance for that tip..=)
About the list creator
Aria Juliet Castillo ()
Ranked #44
I'm a graphic designer, originally from Hawaii and now I'm living it up in L.A.   I've been a vegetarian my entire life, but I am still obsessed with fast food, and I love eating … more
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