My Favorite Things in 2020

By: Gabriela Yareliz

We spent a lot more time at home this year– that’s for sure. Here is a list of things that made the day-to-day better. (I’m including links, but nothing here is sponsored. The links are just included to share the good stuff with you).

HOME

  1. Sleep eye mask: I started using a black eye mask that has the eye part hallowed out, therefore it doesn’t touch my eyelid, and I can open my eyes while wearing the mask (that sounds weird, but it can be very useful– and less wrinkles!). This helped improve my sleep. I was having some sleepless nights, at one point this year.
  2. Candles: My boyfriend gets me the most amazing candles. I often work with just window, natural light, but on a dark or rainy day, I will light a candle for a bit for cozy vibes. One of my favorite ones that I burned this year was Santal by Brooklyn Candle Studio.
Image via Brooklyn Candle Studio

BEAUTY

Photo via @violette_fr
  1. Anuket: Anuket is a small business run by a fellow University of Florida graduate, the lovely Ashlee Dozier. I love their natural oils that you can roll on. It’s a nice pick-me-up on a day when you need a little something something. I am big on fragrances. I think they have a lot of power on our moods and dispositions. If you are looking for something natural and want to support a small business, check them out.
  2. Violette_FR: Queen of self-expression and being yourself. I love that to Violette, makeup is not a mask but a whole mood of expressing who you are. True to the French philosophy, she teaches tips and tricks to look vavavoom and wear stars on your eyes– literally.
  3. Kosas cream blush: I used this every day. Clean beauty for the win. I love their “8th Muse” and “Tropic Equinox” colors.
  4. Vitamin E: There was a day when I went out and swore the wind burned my lips, despite me wearing a mask. It was windy and raining. Not sure what happened in the interval of time when I was fighting with my umbrella on the corner against the rain, but I knew what I needed– vitamin e. Vitamin e heals lip and skin ailments. I love popping the capsules and doing a direct application of the oil.

FASHION

  1. White boots: I get things dirty easily, so I am not one who usually wears white. This year was different. I wore white t-shirts on summer walks and white boots. I am partial to the Nasty Gal boot, and they often run some fab sales, so you can get them pretty discounted (and they are comfortable!). I was inspired by Camille Charriere.
Photo via Pinterest

2. Cocobeautea: Hannah Desai’s videos are soothing but also an example and free lesson in timeless elegance. Congrats to this beauty on her recent engagement!

3. (Old) Man Repeller: I am forever a fan of Leandra Medine Cohen’s bold eccentricity. A maximalist when it’s right. #spiritanimal

Photo via Popsugar

KITCHEN

  1. Milk Frother: I used my milk frother almost every day (if not every day). This is the perfect way to take your tea and/or coffee to the next level. I also got real bold (my version of bold) and would throw hot chocolate or matcha powder in there and just let it blend. No clumps. Amazing.
  2. Toaster Oven: This was a lifesaver during the months when my building had no gas (yup– classic NYC mess-around). I recommend every household have one. I just got this cute one here and retired the one that worked overtime this summer/fall.

FOOD

  1. Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars: My boyfriend gave me some (to his detriment), and now I am hooked. A perfect snack. He is my fig bar dealer. I am very lucky.
  2. WelleCo’s The Super Elixir: The perfect supplement. It’s complete with preboitics and probiotics, anti-inflammatories and iron. Been taking it now for years, but it was extra helpful in strengthening immunity in the middle of the pandemic.
  3. Orecchiette Pancetta recipe from Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Table Volume 2. It’s supernatural. Page 199. You’re welcome.
  4. Vital ProteinsxPoosh Matcha Latte Collagen Vibes: It has collagen, and it’s the best tasting matcha.

INSPIRATION

  1. Battle Ready Podcast: This was my favorite podcast, hands down. The most provocative dialogue of 2020. Father and son are hilarious and so genuine. It’s a treat. The topics run the gamut.
  2. Books: My favorite books this year were Me by Elton John, Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey, and The Barbarian Way and Wide Awake by Erwin McManus.
  3. Show: I watched The Office for the first time this year, and it warmed my heart. The quirky characters grew on me, especially Michael Scott. My boyfriend got me an awesome mug that says “Dunder Mifflin”, and it always makes me smile.

DESK

  1. New Yorker Cartoons: These always make me smile. They brightened many a day, and some of the cartoons were eerily too real.
  2. Letters: It was the year that brought back snail mail. Nothing beats the little rush of opening the mailbox and seeing that letter addressed to you. My favorite stationery was the Sugar PaperxTarget collab, and I brought back gel pens with sparkles.
  3. Horacio Printing Planner: This year, I used the Horacio Planner to plan out my days and weeks. We got stuff done. I also loved their printing of Amy Brady’s A Way in a Manger Christmas/Advent devotional. If you watch closely, they will release very discounted planners that have defects. This is how I got mine. (I still don’t know what is wrong with it).

BODY

  1. Yoga with Adriene: When quarantine started, I did the 30-day yoga challenge, and it helped me move and increase flexibility. I then canceled my other workout subscription when it was time to renew, and I signed on with Adriene’s digital platform. She is great and has so much variety in her videos. There is an authenticity to her work that was lacking in the platform I was using before. The platform I was using before felt a bit anxious, insecure and spastic– it’s interesting how people transmit their energy. Adriene is very grounded, humble, funny and calm. It’s about moving and doing the best you can. Her breath 30-day journey starts soon.

TECH

  1. Kindle: It helps me read my many books and live like a human without piles and piles of books everywhere (even though that sounds like a dream, right?). It is one of my favorite gifts I have received. Books are my vice.
  2. FitBit: It always makes me smile when I check my step count. The app also keeps me accountable with my workout schedule. Another one of those awesome gifts received.

A new year is starting, and I am sure many of these things will be carried over. Additionally, new adventures will be had, with new discoveries made. Let’s do this 2021. What things brought you joy, gratitude and kept you sane?

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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