Favorites of 2020: Home & Lifestyle

It pretty much goes without saying that 2020 was one of the wildest years we’ve ever seen. It was completely unpredictable and it was always something, just one event after another. Honestly, it was exhausting. 2020 left me tired! Although there are a ton of disturbing stories and memories from this past year that we could easily focus on, there are also many pleasant discoveries that are much more deserving of the spotlight.

Our year started out pretty wild right from the beginning. My husband and I were trying to make some big changes in our life, but kept hitting a dead end for about three months straight. Right as I was starting to lose hope in April, everything started magically falling into place.

My husband got an amazing job offer in Dallas, which meant we had to pack up and leave our beautiful Florida home. I still miss that house every single day, but it was a change that we really needed to make for a multitude of reasons. Texas has been great to us so far! My favorite things have been the weather, the big city amenities (aka shopping & food), and the emphasis of the outdoors. There are beautiful parks everywhere and I’m loving the limited humidity!

Pilates has become a huge part of my life over the past four years. I fell in love with it after my first workout and it’s still something I look forward to every day. Not only does it make my body feel strong and healthy, it also keeps my mind at ease. It provides a time that I can just tune out everything else in the world and focus on bettering myself. Pretty much a 2020 must have!

I used to drink chamomile tea with honey almost every night before bed, but this year I rediscovered my love for earl grey tea. I love brewing a hot cup and adding just a teaspoon of sugar, or combining it with milk, sugar, and vanilla extract for a delicious London Fog Latte. I like getting the decaffeinated bags so they can be enjoyed any time of the day or night.

If I do want some caffeine, one of my go-tos this year was an Iced Mocha. Rather than using cold brew iced coffee like I usually do, I made it with freshly brewed hot coffee and added chocolate milk instead of regular creamer. It’s absolutely delicious and was the perfect treat at the end of a hot Summer day!

One of my first favorites this year was my new office chair my husband gifted me for my birthday! My old chair was literally falling apart and causing me a lot of back pain, so it definitely needed to be replaced. This is exactly the style I wanted and it’s so comfortable! It was a little bit of a splurge item, but it was definitely worth it!

A newer addition to our home this year was this Wyze camera. Of course it’s great for security purposes, but we’ve really been enjoying using it to check in on the dogs when we’re away. It’s not crazy expensive at all and the video quality is actually really good! I love that it connects to an app on the phone so we can easily adjust the angle or review movement wherever we are.

We’ve been wanting to add a water fountain in our home for a while and we finally did! This one is a decent size that I got off of Amazon and it’s great quality. It does need to be refilled with water pretty frequently, but the pump doesn’t make any noise when positioned correctly. There are three speed settings to choose from and they all provide a soft trickling of water that is so relaxing!

I can’t even explain how tired I am of hearing all the hype around Barefoot Dreams. There is no way I would ever even entertain the idea of spending so much money on a blanket! But of course, I was still curious so I started looking for dupes. I found one on Amazon that had amazing reviews and was $120 less! It’s one of the softest blankets I’ve ever felt and even though it’s lightweight, it’s still very warm.

I found this ESPN midsize tennis table for a great deal at Walmart, so I decided to give it as a Christmas present to my husband last year. We still don’t have a permanent spot to put it, but it folds in half which is very helpful to store it out of the way. We’ve used this so much since we got it and have gotten so good, we might need to upgrade to a full size!

Electric lighters have gotten really popular this year and I finally got one a few months ago. This champagne color matches perfectly with our decor and I love how thin it is so it’s not too clunky sitting next to a candle on a coffee table. I always thought candle lighters were such a pain and I’m too much of a scaredy cat to use a flick lighter, so this is the perfect solution! It’s much safer, but can light a candle in an instant!

During the move, our vacuum broke and then a few months later our steam mop stopped working. We had to replace them both, which I was a little sad about at first because they were about six years old and always worked great. But I actually like the replacements even better!

The Hoover WindTunnel Air Bagless Upright Vacuum has a much wider cleaning path than my previous Shark vacuum and the swivel head makes it much easier to turn around obstacles. The cord is super long so I don’t have to waste time switching outlets and it has a very low profile which makes getting under furniture incredibly easy.

The Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop also has a much wider cleaning path than the one I previously had. I’ve also noticed that although it has a continuous steam, it actually uses less water overall. I do wish it had a longer cord because I do have to switch outlets a few times, but I love how lightweight it is and that I have the option to add a scent disc to provide a fresh, clean smell.

As much as I didn’t want to join the iPhone club, that was the best deal when we had to get a new plan and phones in the Spring. It is much easier to use, especially when working with popular apps like Facebook and Instagram. The lack of the home button definitely took a lot of getting used to and I still miss the headphone jack, but overall I’ve been pretty happy with it.

It is a very heavy phone, though, and it can definitely weigh my purse down which tends to hurt my shoulder after a while. So I got this wallet case with a strap on Amazon and it’s been wonderful. I can clip my keys to it, add in important cards, and have all the essentials right there without putting a lot of weight on my shoulder.

My last favorite to mention is a little more personal. I featured this earlier in the year and have continued using it when needed. This is a TENS unit, which stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. I use it during that horrible time of the month when my cramps get completely unbearable. I will admit it looks very scary, but it’s actually made a big difference.

As soon as I put this on, the pain significantly decreases. It doesn’t make it go away completely, but brings the pain level from a 15 out of 10 to about a 6.5 out of 10. The “Knead” option is still my favorite setting and I love that it provides immediate relief, unlike medication.

This year was very difficult in many ways. It’s a constant challenge to ignore negative recollections that are fighting for attention and focus on more uplifting memories instead, but it’s important to start the new year with a clear mind and a hopeful heart. So I will be breathing through my Pilates, sipping some hot tea, snuggling in my soft blanket, admiring my clean floors, and thinking of all that can be accomplished in 2021. See y’all then! ♥

XO ♥ Christina ♥

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