Each December I try to participate in reflective end of year blog challenges. I didn’t have time this month because of other commitments. My goal for 2021 is to show up more frequently here but post shorter content.
I was inspired reading a post by Claire Lomax, author of Our Favourite Jar, and wanted to write my own. I was reminded of the My 5 Things Tag which was so much fun last spring. Do check out Claire’s lists for The Top 5’s of 2020: A year in review. Her blog is fabulous and offers an abundance of positivity!
Without further ado, here are my lists of 2020…
Top 5 Books
Unfortunately I fell short of meeting my reading goals for the second year in a row. I set 20 books for my GoodReads Challenge and only finished 13 of them. Even though I am still reading Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, and technically can’t add it to my list, I want to give it a mention because it was published this year and deserves recognition.
- So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo- Nonfiction. An informative book for our times
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple- 2020 required a few laughs and this book’s humor was much appreciated.
- Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Lady Anne Glenconner- Memoir which will appeal to fans of Netflix’s The Crown
- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier- Who can resist a good Gothic novel?
- The Dutch House by Ann Patchett- A blended family gone terribly wrong…
Top 5 Films
Little Women was the last movie I saw at the cinema so it holds a special place in my heart. We recently watched it again as part of our Christmas collection. All of these films were new to me this year.
- The Shoplifters (A Japanese Drama, 2018)
- The Two Popes (2019)
- Little Women (2019)
- Mystic Pizza (1988 Rom/Com)
- Captain Fantastic (2016)
Top 5 TV Shows
This year I’ve binged harder than ever before. I used to be a literary and film snob, but my tastes have changed. Lately I find myself escaping into lots of historical romance… Please don’t judge me.
- Succession- I loved the script writing and can’t wait for the next season!
- Game of Thrones- Remember the hype? Back when everyone else was into this show I wasn’t the slightest bit interested. Fast forward to the winter of 2020… I binged all 8 seasons within few weeks. (No wonder I failed my reading challenge).
- Poldark- It’s so bad it’s good. Looking forward to watching Season 5 with my daughter. The best part is watching it with her.
- Outlander- I read the first book, but it took me 3 years to complete because I wasn’t that interested. The TV series, however, brings the story to life. And I just love the knitwear!! (I’d love to knit the shawl photographed above). Claire’s wardrobe was class. Check out 20 of Outlander’s Most Memorable Costumes and see for yourself.
- Bridgerton- Again, I’m there for the fashion. The sets were divine too! I also loved the diverse cast. The memes are pretty funny too.
Top 5 Projects
- Aptly, I’m in love with the Love Note Sweater I recently completed.
- Our garden has been a lifesaver this year.
- The Flax Pullover (size 3 years) for Blessing was a fun project.
- I enjoyed reinstating our seasonal nature table.
- The Cloud Sail Shawl
Top 5 Photos
Just a collection of every day moments with my big blended family.
Top 5 Discoveries
- Trilogy Skincare has worked wonders for my sensitive skin this year.
- Lily O’Brien’s Caramel Crunch Chocolate Bars are sent from heaven.
- Audiobooks. I subscribed to Audible last January. While I prefer reading books, I’ve discovered that I also enjoy listening to them while I drive or knit.
- Brave Sis planners. This gem deserves its own post!
- I just discovered Craftpods! I’ve ordered the Winter 2020 Craftpod as an early birthday gift to myself. I’ll let you know when it arrives.
Top 5 Lockdown Activities
- Virtual Zumba has been lots of fun during the various lockdowns. Whether teaching my own online classes, or participating in my colleagues’, it has been inspiring dancing with friends from around the world.
- Kayaking, hiking and exploring the outdoors with my family within our 5 km zone.
- Blogging has been great. Connecting with like minded people that I wouldn’t meet in “real life” has been inspiring.
Top 5 Moments
- Celebrating my son’s 18th birthday in a barn complete with a lazer show, DJ, bonfire, and amazing food was very memorable. He’s the only one (of the 8 of us) who managed to have a birthday that wasn’t during one of Ireland’s three Level 5 lockdowns.
- Either watching our 7 chicks hatch or the surprise when we acquired a new kitten.
- Zoom calls with family and friends in Denmark, England, and America were precious. While the world rested, we finally had a chance to catch up. Normally we’re too busy living life across time zones and don’t pause long enough to truly connect.
- “Meeting” a Twitter friend I’ve virtually known for almost 10 years. She joined my online Zoom dance fitness classes from Chicago. We connected years ago through blogging. Hearing her voice and seeing each other on video was really cool. We danced together throughout the summer and I loved her energy.
- Kayaking in the dark at Lough Hyne during the spring tide last September was incredible. The marine lake is famous for its luminous phosphorescence. It was a Friday night and there was an excitement in the air that was almost tangible as families gathered beside the water’s edge. As we paddled further from the Atlantic Sea Kayaking group, we enjoyed exploring the lake on our own. With each stroke, the water lit up. It’s something one simply has to experience for themselves! To learn more about Lough Hyne and the guided tours, read Starlight Spectacular: Night Kayaking on West Cork’s Secret Marine Lake.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post. What were some of your highlights of 2020? There’s no doubt that it was a difficult year, but we’re still here. Thank you for sharing this journey with me. Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!