Monday, January 11, 2021

Top 20 Of 2020

 2020…where to start {I will be doing reflection on 2020 in a future post to dive a little deeper}, it was a lot. I can honestly say that 2020 was the most difficult year of my life. It would have been a tough year personally regardless, but 2020 just really sent everything into mental overdrive, for everyone, I’m sure. 

Despite, struggling through the year and at some point, finally accepting that there are just certain things in life that can’t be controlled, there were actually a few good things about 2020. More time with close family and friends, reconnect with old friends, time to take up new hobbies, watch a few extra shows, read a few extra books, spend plenty of time with you furry friends, work on yourself, etc.  And there were some great Netflix shows, clothes, songs, and books that came out in 2020! Here are my top 20 of 2020!

One// Mi Golondrina Dress

I have fallen completely in love with this clothing line. The hand-stitched embroidery on each piece of clothing is basically wearable art. Mi Golondrina is still considered a store that falls under the ‘shop small’ category, and what better time to support a small company than now? Pssst… the Soledad Short Dress is one of my favorite Mi Golondrina pieces 

 

Two// Opi Big Apple Red Nail Polish

It has been a good few numbers of years since I have actually paid attention to the name of nail polish colors. I usually just go into a nail salon, select a color in preparation for a mani/pedi. At the start of lockdown I desperately missed those… Over the years I have turned into a red nail polish person. It’s just such a classic look and goes with pretty much everything. From having to buy nail polish, for the first time in years I actually have a favorite polish color! Big Apple Red!

 

Three// The Queen’s Gambit

I had to watch two full episodes before I was fully sucked into this series, but it is just so well done with such an interesting storyline. If you haven’t watched this show yet, I highly recommend it! The two episodes are a little weird, but after that the series is just fantastic.


Four// Sarah Flint Natalie Flats

I was invited to be a Brand Ambassador for Sarah Flint back in the fall and I honestly cannot say enough positive things about this company. Even after my time as an ambassador for them is up I will be a loyal costumer for them. All of their shoes are just so beautifully made and are such great quality. The Natalie Flats are overall my person favorite. They are so classic, go with pretty much everything, and can be dressed up or down! Use code SARAHFLINT-BALAURENK at checkout to receive $50 off your first Sarah Flint order

 

Five// Ina Garten Chicken Piccata

This is honestly one of my favorite Ina Garten Recipes to make, and it is pretty easy to pull off as well. During the summer months I like to serve the chicken piccata atop a bed of greens with some freshly grated parmesan cheese. And for those chilly winter night it taste so good set on top of some pasta covered in tomato sauce and cheese. 

Six// The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah

Call me crazy, and maybe it is because of the age I was, but back in the early 2000’s I read Firefly Lane and I wasn’t a huge fan of it {I need to give it another chance}… Fast forward to January 2018 – after hearing so many amazing reviews of The Nightingale I give Hannah another go and her writing for that book was completely amazing! The Great Alone was one of the first books I read for 2019 and different store, but the write and storyline and the character were just fantastic. Strongly recommend this book!

 

Seven// Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing BB Gel

I’m just going to say it – I am not usually a big fan of Clinique products. I feel like a lot of their creams are a little too greasy for me and their lipsticks never seem to stay on very long. I saw this product used in an Instagram video and thought I’d give it a try and I am so glad I did! It is so easy to apply, very lightweight, extremely moisturizing, and it really does color match to you skin. It’s honestly probably my favorite beauty product of 2020.

 

Eight// Tuckernuck Tan Stripe Florence Dress

I love the texture of the fabric and the flow. It’s the perfect dress: can be worn in the summer, be a transitional piece for the fall with a navy top pulled over it, and can be pulled out again for the spring. In my opinion, it is a wardrobe must have. 

 

Nine// Supalonely

Starting back in April I began walking/running a ton. It’s a way for me to keep my sanity. Supalonely was a song that would come on Pandora all the time I just love it. It is such a fun song, and the tune oddly matches a running pace

 

Ten// Audible

For years I was so opposed to listening to books on Audio, but since I was going on soooo many walks I thought I would give it a try, and now I like it better than listening to music. Audible is such a great service too. With the membership I have {I think it is just the basic free membership} you get one free book of your choice each month and Audible has so many great books that are available for download that are included with any membership

 

Eleven// Tom Hanks Narrating The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett

I have been meaning to read They Dutch for the longest time, and when a friend told me that Tom Hanks I was the narrator I downloaded it right away. I can honestly say that if I had just read this book, it would not have been the same experience. Tom Hanks does an amazing of telling this story and keeping the listener/reader actively engaged in the book. Even if you read the physical version of this book. I highly recommend downloading the audio, Tom Hanks just adds a little extra something. 

 

Twelve// Tuckernuck Dove Fair Isel Wren Sweater

I am such a sucker for a Fair Isle sweater.., but than again, who isn’t? This is one of my favorite sweater of all times. I love sleeves, color, and the fact that the sweater is long enough to wear with either pants or leggings.

Thirteen// Ina Garten Fried Chicken Sandwich

Who can resist a fried chicken sandwich? Not me! Any recipe that Ina Garten comes up with is basically garneted to be amazing. This one does take a little time, but so worth it! 

 

Fourteen// Lulu Lemon YouTube Yoga Video

I haven’t been to a Yoga class since like the first week of March and I miss them so much, especially hot yoga. Until covid I had never really tried an at home workout video, but there are so many great options out there, and this one is a free YouTube video! I was completely in the dark that Lulu Lemon has a YouTube channel complete with workout videos. This is my favorite yoga workout that I have tried of theirs and I love this instructor.

 

Fifteen// Say So, by Doja Cat

I heard this song so much back in the spring, and now it is officially one of my favorite songs, ever. It’s just so bouncy and happy, and I think it’s safe to say that we could all use a little bounce of happiness in our lives.

 

Sixteen// Anything Blue

Going into 2020 I thought it was going to be the best year yet. It was just such a pleasing number sequence to look at, I had a few big things on the horizon, and blue was the color of the year, I mean what could go wrong… a lot, apparently. I feel like some force pored gas on everything and tossed a lite match over their shoulder. But I still love the color blue!

 

Seventeen// The Girl in the Blue Coat, by Monica Hesse

I think this book actually falls under the Young Adult category, but it is so well written, loved the main character, and the storyline. The author just did such a great job of pulling the reader in – I was really invested in the outcome of the book and the emotional journey of a few of the characters.

 

Eighteen// Emily in Paris

Netflix was pretty on point this year with the show they came out with. Emily in Paris is just such a great distraction, the main character is adorable, and it’s set in Paris – need I say more? If you need an escape I highly recommend this show.

 

Nineteen// Sanctuary Pants

I bough my first pair of these at Anthropologie and now I am just in love with them. Technically a pant, but feel like leggings… I’m going to call that a win. They come in solid colors and fun plaid and hounds tooth prints 

 

Twenty// Louis Vuitton Neverfull

I have wanted one of these bags for years, and years, and years. I had a really rough and disappointing start to 2020 so I justified the purchase and finally treated myself to a Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag and I am completely head over heels in love with this tote. 

 

What Are Some of Your Favorites From 2020?

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