Happy Holidays, Ramblings, & Favorite Songs of 2016

It’s hard to believe that 2017 is just around the corner! This year truly flew by for me. It’s certainly had its ups (like getting engaged to Mike!!!) and downs, and a whole lot of adventures in between. With so much craziness going on in this world, I’m truly reminded how lucky I am to be living this life surrounded by creativity, positive energy, and wonderful people.
Grateful is an understatement.
I’d really like to make this blog a little more personal, so here are some random take-aways from the last 12 months:

– How had I never listened to podcasts before?! They’re so good, especially for long days spent editing at my computer. I especially love Marc Maron’s interviews on WTF and the true crime stories on Sword & Scale.
– Going to a water park as an adult with three of your favorite people makes for the best summer day.
– Kate Morton is my new favorite author. I read, er, listened to all of her books this year. They each weave family mysteries with multiple time periods and beautiful writing. The Forgotten Garden & The Lake House were particularly awesome!
– You’re never too old for a theme party.
–  My great friends Jeff and Jennie got a puppy named Luna and it was one of the highlights of my year. HOW CUTE IS SHE?
– Sometimes social media breaks are good for the soul. I took a two month Instagram break and posted far less frequently overall this year. Did my following growth suffer? For sure. Was I less overwhelmed? Definitely. I needed the time away and have been posting lately because I want to, not because I feel like I have to.
– Wedding planning is really fun! It’s also a lot of work. It’s not without its moments of stress (like, say, when you try on 70+ dresses like a crazy person……), but Mike and I are having a blast thinking up creative ideas and collaborating on the event together. We even made a website, which you can see at www.marydtomike.com!
– How cool is it that they revived Gilmore Girls?!
– The Catskills are magical. I went on a solo drive through this gorgeous part of NY in the autumn for a wedding, and it was amazing. Also, Woodstock did not take place in Woodstock.
– I helped my parents move out of my childhood home in New Hampshire this past June, and it was…hard. Even though I’ve lived in LA for nearly seven years, and even though their new place is awesome, it’s been a struggle letting go.
– The 7th game of the World Series was one of the best things I’ve ever seen. And I don’t even watch sports. Congrats Cubs!!
– Thank you to the creators of This Is Us and Stranger Things. Okay, also Nashville.
– Thank you to my loved ones for fostering a safe, open-minded, and kind environment.
– Thank you to Mike for making me laugh every single day.
– Thank you to Jimmy Fallon for your thank you notes. Also for your NFL Superlatives. Also for your JT sing-along camp scenes that take place in New Hampshire.
– Launching a new website/brand is hard, even with awesome professional help. Making two new websites after you’ve just launched the first one is insane…but that’s exactly what I did! My commercial work is now at www.marycostaphotography.com and my wedding work is now at www.marycostaweddings.com.
– My favorite films this year included: Zootopia, Edge of Seventeen, La La Land, and Moana. I have very sophisticated taste in movies.
Orange Theory is the best workout I’ve ever done. I’m in love and have Christen (aka Mike’s Best Lady) entirely to thank.
– I’m so lucky to have a fiancé who is willing to drive out to my favorite mural, help set up a metallic Christmas tree in a parking lot, and pose with a self-timer all for the sake of one holiday photo.


I may have bought said tree on the night of November 8th. Retail therapy is a real thing. I spotted it over on Studio DIY and it has been such a source of joy in the apartment!


Being an avid music lover, this next thing is hard for me to admit. Here it goes. I didn’t have a favorite album in 2016. It’s the first year in a decade that this has happened, but honestly I didn’t wholeheartedly love any entire record. Maybe I’m getting old? Maybe it was just an off year? Let’s go with the latter. BUT – I did have a lot of a favorite songs! You can listen to my Spotify playlist here, especially if you also dig quiet introspective singer-songwriters, bluegrass, close harmonies, lap steel, and/or acoustic guitars.

Thank you all for your support! Happy New Year!