20 Things That Made 2020/21 Suck a Little Less

This blog post is literally years in the making – I started drafting this one in 2020 and here we are in 2022 and I’m just now getting around to posting – if that’s not a 2020/2021 vibe – I don’t know what is.

  1. Barefoot Dreams Everything

I officially have a head-to-toe Barefoot Dreams work from home “uniform.” If we know each other, there’s a good chance that I’ve gifted you a Barefoot Dreams blanket – they feel like warm butter and they go on sale at Nordstrom Rack every Black Friday for under $50 (go ahead and set a reminder for next Black Friday). Anyway, I recently ordered myself Barefoot Dreams socks and was gifted a pair of sweatpants and the loveliest cardigan for Christmas. And honestly, I need to buy like three more outfits just like this one because it is literally all I want to wear EVER – can you tell I’m wearing it right now? If you’re on the fence about Barefoot Dreams – start with the socks – they’re affordable and are perfect for that pair of boots that are just “a little” too big – for me, my Hunter rain boots. Trust me, those socks are your gateway cozy to an entire Barefoot Dreams wardrobe – mark my words.

2. Madewell Roadtripper Jeans

Okay, I get it – jeans like aren’t a thing anymore, not to mention NO ONE’S jeans fit anymore, BUT if you absolutely have to put jeans on – these are the ones. They’re stretchy, they’re comfy, and they hug all of my ~*NEW*~ curves.

3. Anthropologie Faux Fur Blanket

This blanket is pricy, but I literally cannot sleep without it – it’s so heavy that I call it a “weighted blanket.” While these aren’t actually weighted blankets, they’re just THAT good. Darren tried to take this blanket out to the couch the other night and I was all like “not to be high maintenance or anything, but I literally can’t sleep without that…”

4. H&M Pillow Covers

Okay. My number one tip to instantly refresh a room – these H&M pillow covers. I now own them in mustard, olive, and emerald and they are just too good for the price. Like I ordered West Elm velvet pillow covers to compare and there is NO comparison – H&M wins and at the winning price point too!

5. Nespresso

Ex-barista, here – as someone who used to stop for a coffee everyday, my world felt soy sad without my latte fix, but then Darren gifted me a Nespresso and it is literally the best gift I’ve ever gotten. Nespresso coffee just tastes better than all the rest, I prefer it to Starbucks and Dunkin at this point.

6. Ember

Speaking of coffee, I like mine hot – like really really hot, Darren got me this for Valentine’s Day and it’s kept our romance and my coffee steamy.

7. Milk Frother

OKAY last coffee thing – you NEED a milk frother. You’ll be making Starbucks quality hot drinks at home in no time and sending me messages saying “thanks a latte!”

8. Half Baked Harvest: Super Simple

When Darren and I first moved in we took bets on who would cook more – being the crazy competitive human being I am, I’ve cooked every night since (now that I’m thinking about it, that makes me the loser), but whatever I won the bet, I cook more. Anyway, I’m obsessed with this cookbook – in our house we have something called “the time to taste ratio,” basically how long a recipe takes and how good it tastes and these super simple recipes rank low time and amazing taste – we especially love the Thai basil beef and orange chicken recipes!

9. Ninja Blender

I was going to start telling you how much I love smoothies and how this blender is so great for a healthy breakfast, but honestly we use this mostly for margaritas (see recipe below).

10. Katie LaVie’s Margarita Recipe

At the start of quarantine we made these margs ALL the time (we sub out the passionfruit syrup for pineapple juice). We were missing our favorite date nights (always tacos and margs) and this is an easy at home marg that tastes like a night out. Katie LaVie might have saved 2020 for us.

11. Daisy Jones and the Six

Now that I have a puppy, I can’t find five minutes to myself, let alone time to read a book – but pre-Percy I read and loved Daisy Jones and the Six. That feels like another life ago, so you’ll just need to read it because I can barely string together the plot, but I remember LOVING every minute of it.

12. Matt Haig

Speaking of books, Matt Haig is my favorite author. I’ve read four of his books (Reasons to Stay Alive, Notes on a Nervous Planet, Midnight Library, The Comfort Book) in the past year and he has definitely made me feel so much less alone as I continue to grieve the loss of my father, but also as we all grieve the loss of “normal” that the pandemic brought on – highly recommend.

13. Kiehl’s Lip Balm

Ugh. I can’t find this lip balm, but I really did love it. RIP.

14. Exederm

My eczema was the worst ever this winter and Exederm saved me from so much discomfort. I was using it by the tube along with Lanolin – which is another 2020 favorite, if you struggle with dry skin, this really helped me!

15. Athleta Tight in Polartec

Things I didn’t think about when we brought home an adorable little puppy – how COLD my life was about to become. Percy is basically the USPS, he wants to walk to the mailbox in rain and cold and snow and these leggings are seriously the best. They come in long, so I can get them long enough to cover my ankle cleavage, important when the wind blows – they also have a pocket in the back, which is perfect when you don’t have a free hand (leash, coffee, poop bag holder, you know the drill).

16. Dog Mom Hat

I was never a hat person (still probably not a hat person), but I make an exception for this hat.

17. THIS recipe

I make this EVERY time we have people over, it’s vegetarian and smells amazing and tastes even better the next day heated up! Here are a few more recipes that I just love: Ina Garten’s meatballs, Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Fajitas, & pretty much anything from Half Baked Harvest.

18. The Laundress

Tell me you’re turning 29 without telling me you’re turning 29 – never thought I’d be this excited about laundry detergent, but this makes me look forward to the weekly sheet wash!

19. IGK Charcoal Dry Shampoo

I’m out of this dry shampoo right now and washing my hair every other day and I’m miserable – I can go 3-4 days with this stuff and it gives me so much volume!

20. Using number 20 to round-up some things I also loved last year, like the Revlon Hairdryer, Olive & June nail polish, and my red Hunter Rainboots – check out the 19 Best Things I Bought in 2019.

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