Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D
1. My Favorite Wine
"Vin gris. I've had a quiet affair with rosés for a while, but my tastes seem to have gone lighter still, to the grays. The first one I tried was from Morocco—lovely, but I can't find it here. A friend subsequently found another—Le Poisson Gris, from Tunisia, a blend of grenache, cinsault, and mourvedre. It's light, crisp, and elegant—a bit like tasting oysters from distant shores."
—Karen Booth, O senior copy editor (and resident sommelier)
iPad: Apple.com, Snookie: Slaughterhouse90210.tumblr.com
2. My Favorite Blog
"If, like me, you've found room in your heart for both Pride and Prejudice
and 30 Rock,
I recommend you check out Slaughterhouse 90210
, which pairs snappy and thoughtful literary quotes with stills from popular TV shows [see Snooki from Jersey Shore,
]. It's an instant day-brightener—a lovely little corner of the Internet."
—Ruth Baron, O Web editor
3. My Favorite Easy Green Habit
"Cut an old plastic bottle in half, fill it with soil, plant a few seeds, and stick it on your windowsill. Herbs like fennel, chives, basil, and thyme are so low maintenance. I just sprinkle mine with water and trim them from time to time. If you're feeling a little more adventurous, try serrano or jalapeño peppers."
—David de Rothschild, environmentalist and author of
Plastiki: Across the Pacific on Plastic: An Adventure to Save Our Ocean
Keep Reading: How David de Rothschild Lives His Best Life
4. My Favorite Way to Exercise on the Fly
"When I fly, I pack a stress ball—a tennis ball works, too—in my carry-on to help tone my biceps, forearms, and shoulders. Here's how it works: Just grip the ball in your hand and slowly squeeze it 15 times. Then repeat on the other side. I do three sets. The stationary contraction of the muscles—called isometric exercise—cuts down on the swelling and stiffness you feel after long flights. It works on your ankles, too; just put the ball on the ground and roll your foot over it."
—Bob Greene, Oprah's trainer and author of
20 Years Younger
5. My Favorite Car Accessory
"Two 12-inch Kevlar subwooofers, powered by a 2,000-watt amp. You can hear me coming from a zip code away."
—Adam Bell, O managing editor
6. My Favorite Way to Spend a Weekend Morning
"Every Sunday at 9 A.M., a group of swimmers gather on Maui's south shore. First they assemble for a photo on the beach. Then it's 500 yards offshore to a stunning underwater arch—and more photos, often upside down. And then onward, two to three miles around a lava rock point (home to nasty currents, occasional surf, and a resident shark named Bruce), past a nude beach, to the long stretch of pristine sand that marks Makena, or Big Beach. Then, back.
Along this route they'll encounter sea turtles, eagle rays, eels, and the Hawaiian state fish: humuhumunukunukuapua'a (humuhumu for short). There is no place I would rather be than in this blue cathedral, among this pink-capped group, watching the light play through the water. It is my favorite place, and time, on this Earth."
—Susan Casey, O editor in chief
Photo: Courtesy of XL/Columbia Records
7. My Favorite New Music
"I was driving to pick up my kids when I first heard Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep.' I immediately turned it all the way up—and had I not been on the freeway I might've even pulled over. She was conveying something extremely big and powerful, but it wasn't overstated or understated, just perfectly stated. She reminded me of Aretha or Marvin Gaye, whose power was in the purity of their tone, not in how many ways they could twist a vowel around."
—Ben Harper, singer-songwriter; his latest album,
Give Till It's Gone, came out in May
8. My Favorite Place to Find Inspiration
"My gazebo is ringed round by towering oak and dogwood trees. North Carolina is known for its blooming rhododendrons and azaleas, which grow there, too, in colorful profusion. The play of sunshine on the light and dark greens and on the pink, white, and red blooms of the azaleas offers a palette so beautiful that I become grateful to the Creator for allowing me to live this luscious life. When I am away, I picture myself sitting in that gazebo with a tall glass of homemade lemonade. I am quiet and gratefully ready to go to work."
Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D
9. My Favorite New Beauty Product
"I have olive skin, so most shades of red lipstick wash me out or make my teeth look yellow. I was thrilled to find this orangey-red Sonia Kashuk Velvety Matte Lip Crayon that actually makes my face look brighter
—Alessandra Foresto, O associate beauty editor
10. My Favorite Ingredient
"Harissa, a spicy North African chili paste, is my latest go-to condiment. You can make your own, but I buy mine at Whole Foods—and a jar lasts forever. Here are three ways I use it."
1. Mix a spoonful with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt, and spread on a toasted baguette; add a fried egg and fresh mozzarella.
2. Thin a few tablespoons with water and use as a glaze for roasted vegetables like butternut squash or sweet potatoes.
3. Serve as a garnish for chicken kebabs or thinly sliced skirt steak. It adds some heat.
—Rachel Mount, O assistant editor
Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D
11. My Favorite Accessory
"Huge earrings used to be my thing, but I've recently fallen in love with Anita Ko's discreetly bold pyramid studs, which go with everything. They inspired a whole page in our December 2010 issue—and I haven't taken them off since!"
—Tamara Rappa, O senior accessories editor
Originally $380, now $325 with code OPRAH; arcadeboutique.com
12. My Favorite Free Work of Literature
"I'm not usually a sci-fi person, but Stephen King's new novel, 11/22/63
, made me nostalgic for H.G. Wells's classic The Time Machine
, about a man who travels into the future and is disturbed by what he sees. It's been a movie several times over, but the book—a public domain novel available in most e-forms—still holds up, even after all these years."
—Sara Nelson, O books editor
13. My Favorite City
"I first visited Rio de Janeiro in 2005 on tour. What struck me most is that Brazilians are excited to be alive. These people have joy. Even in poorer areas, nobody's given up on themselves; they're working out on pull-up bars at bus stops. Ask a Brazilian mom, 'Do you think your son is going to have a better life than you?' and she'll say 'Yes.' American mothers might not say that. I'm an optimistic person, and when I want to be inspired by other optimistic people, I go to Rio."
—will.i.am, musician, actor, producer
14. My Favorite...Holiday Ritual with My Children
"Every Christmas Eve, we take our two kids to Dylan's Candy Bar
in New York, where they each fill a bag with sweets; then we head over to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine to soak up the vibe. You can't get more festive than Gothic architecture and gummi bears."
—Lucy Kaylin, O deputy editor
Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D
15. My Favorite Easy Party Hairdo
"I often give Oprah this 'demi-up' for parties. It's elegant, classic, flatters any face shape—and can easily be done at home."
—Andre Walker, Oprah's hairstylist
Get Andre's Easy Party Hairdo
16. My Favorite Thing I Tweeted This Year
"Give more than is expected, love more than seems wise, serve more than seems necessary, and help more than is asked."
—Cory Booker (@CoryBooker
), mayor of Newark, New Jersey
, (1,104,637 Twitter followers and counting)
17. My Favorite Discovery of 2011
"On my third day at Harpo, some of the women on staff asked me, 'Are you wearing a bra?' I said no. I've never liked them—they're like torture devices. 'We're not taping,' I said. But they were horrified. They dragged me to this store called Intimacy
. I was thinking, What a pain.
Then this woman, the Bra Whisperer—she's been on Oprah
—changed my life. She found me a Prima Donna bra so comfortable, I was stunned. I even bought panties to match. With lace! I'm getting in touch with my feminine side."
Illustration: Serge Bloch
18. My Favorite Sentence Published in O This Year
"You can feel peaceful even if your daughter robs a bank."
From Martha Beck's "I Don't Care,"
; July 2011
—Stephanie Makrias, O copy director
19. My Favorite Holiday Dessert
"God almighty, my cinnamon rolls
are knock-dead delicious. They've been to Gayle's radio show; to Harpo to meet Fergie, the Duchess of York; to Oprah's place in California. But it's Tyler Perry who loves them most. Last Christmas I cooked for him at a ranch near Jackson Hole, and he asked me to make these rolls just about every other day. I put them on the menu at my new restaurant in Atlanta, Southern Art
, as Tyler's Rolls."
—Art Smith, chef and restaurateur
Get the Recipe for Tyler’s Rolls.
Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D.
20. My Favorite Words of Wisdom
"I read this comforting prayer all the time, and I love everything it implies: that whatever I need I already have, because it's within me, and wherever I am is where I'm meant to be."
21. My Favorite Way to Look Instantly More Awake
"I'm a salt-aholic. When I travel, I eat a lot of pretzels or rice crackers, which means I wake up with massive bags under my eyes. Dabbing on a bit of Preparation H—yes, the hemorrhoid cream—is a great fix. Until airport security pulls it out, which has happened."
—Lisa Ling, host of
Our America with Lisa Ling, on OWN
See What’s on Oprah’s Favorite Things List This Year