Tuesday, January 5, 2021

A Look Back at 2020 + Plans for 2021

How to Grow Organic Food Inside Your Home

Happy New Year! Even though we're five days into January, today is a day of firsts. It's the first day back at in-person school for my kids, who have been home e-learning (and then on winter break) for the past six weeks. It's the first day I am back full time working here at Bubby and Bean after only working part time hours (and even taking several glorious days off) for the past almost two weeks. And it's our first official blog post of 2021. 

For this annual recap post, I usually reflect on the past year not just in terms of Bubby and Bean content, but also some aspects of my personal life. Honestly, I don't know what I can say about 2020 that hasn't been said, but I'll try.

It was the strangest year of my life, and likely most of your lives too. The hardest part of it for me was my stepmom passing away from cancer in July, and how difficult her final days were due to visitor restrictions because of Covid. The rest of it, while very challenging, was not what I consider to be a true struggle. My husband, who has worked in the live music industry his entire career, was furloughed in late March, which has obviously been quite challenging. Our trip to Iceland was canceled, as was our trip to Florida in July and the rest of our travel plans. My kids missed out on activities and school. And the year went out with a bang on Christmas, which was not only the first Christmas in my life I haven't spent with my sister, but also the night my dad fell down his stairs and was to have emergency surgery on a broken femur. (He spent a week in the hospital and is now in a rehab facility.) 

There was a lot of good in 2020 too. For the first time in the almost 15 years my husband and I have been together, he was home most of the year. Over time, I got used to him being on tour with the band most of the time, but it was never easy. It has been the biggest silver lining to have him here for every holiday and birthday, and to get to spend true quality time with our kids for the first time in their lives. We also all learned how to be flexible humans who make the best out of every situation. We have all spent more time together than we will probably ever get to again. And while it hasn't been without difficulty, I have been incredibly lucky to get more work campaigns than ever before, which has enabled me to support my family while my husband is out of work. I also usually stray from getting political here, but I was incredibly relieved with the election results. I learned so much in 2020 that I could probably devote and entire blog series to it, so I'll stop now.  This was a year full of unfair, horrific loss to millions of people, but I also appreciate all of the positive things that came out of it. 

As far as plans for 2021, you already know that I don't do resolutions. For me personally, the pressure of them isn't healthy for my anxiety, nor is the disappointment when they don't work out. I have lots of small, attainable goals, and if they work out, great. If they don't, that's cool too. I personally think that being present and being grateful are all you need. I don't need to climb an invisible ladder to nowhere that's based on more! more! more! (And honestly, I feel like always expecting to do more and do better and get bigger comes from a place of privilege, and privilege is something I want to be more aware of this year, both in myself and in others.) This year, I just want to go with the flow, and I think 2020 prepared me for that. I want to be ready for and open to whatever comes my way, and I want to do my best with it in a way that allows me to be content and not overwhelmed This applies to my personal life, and it applies to Bubby and Bean as well. I want to continue to create meaningful content, share my favorite products and services with you, and give glimpses into my life (we're all friends here, after all). I want to try out new things in order to do that (I promise I'll do more Instagram Reels, and maybe I'll finally give TikTok a chance... or not), but not in a way that will sacrifice what is already working. I have little interest in gaining more followers, but I do want to continue to create meaningful engagement with all of you. And I want to continue to love what I do while also getting more comfortable with realizing when I have to turn things down because I'm overworked. I plan to give myself grace in 2021, and to continue to do what I can to help others as well. 

Okay, that's enough of that! Let's get on to the point of this annual post (and probably my favorite post each year): the highlights of 2020 here on the blog. You can click on any of the images or the links below them to see the posts in full. Thank you for taking this look back with me!

In January, I shared 6 easy ways to refresh school lunches in the New Year

In February, I shared an updated version on my favorite vegetarian tortellini soup recipe.

The Best Items At Trader's Joes, 2020 Edition
I shared my 16 favorites items from Trader Joe's in March.

How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge

Quarantine meant lots of organizing in my kitchen, and in April I shared tips for organizing both your pantry and fridge

How to Be Eco-Friendly at Home

In honor of Earth Day, I shared 10 ways to be eco-conscious in your own home

Vegetarian Club Sandwiches

I shared my favorite veggie club sandwich recipe in May.

In June, I shared an important post in response to the BLM movement about listening, learning, and taking action

In July, I said goodbye to my stepmom.

Also in July, I told you all about our amazing Gardyn system and how we are able to grow organic food in our own home, as can be seen in the top image of this post.  (P.S. If you want to purchase a Gardyn of your own, use this link and code BubbyAndBean for $100 off!)

Tofu Caprese Salad

I shared the most delicious tofu caprese salad recipe in August. 

6 Tips For Better Snacking

In September, I shared 6 tips for better snacking

Halloween Themed Mini Veggie Pizzas

These Halloween-themed mini veggies pizzas were a hit in October.

5 Tips for Disinfecting Your Home Without Harsh Chemicals

Gift Ideas For Encouraging Learning and Creativity: Kiwi Co

Gift ideas for encouraging learning and creativity was one of my favorite December posts.

Peppermint Bark Reindeer Chow

And finally, I shared this peppermint bark chow mix recipe that was a staple for us this holiday season.

If you made it this far, thank you! I appreciate all of you so much, but I hold a special place in my heart for those of you who still read this blog, and blogs in general - they're no longer the queen of social media, but I still feel they're the most important. If you still read, please comment below! I'm always grateful for the traffic coming here in my analytics, but I want to have the opportunity to actually engage with you as well. I'd say happy 2020, but I don't want to jinx it! Thank you for being here. 



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