Year in Review: Here Are a Few of My Favorites from 2020

Here are a few of my favorites from my year in review...

Deciding how to end this very unusual year, on my website, wasn’t easy. In hopes of starting an annual tradition, I created a “Year in Review” article. Looking back, I’ve tried many new things this year: fabulous, good, bad, and ugly… This post highlights the best of the best, those that were the most useful, user friendly, tasty, or enjoyable. Enough so that they earned a spot among my all-time favorites. Some were stumbled upon, others gifted, and a few were purchased, based on recommendations or reviews.

Before I begin to list my 2020 favs, I wanted to make sure you were aware that:

There are ZERO affiliate links in this post.

With that out of the way…

Year In Review: In the Kitchen

We bought a Vitamix this year, and I have to say, it’s fabulous. I’m not sure how we survived pre-Vitamix. It came with a cookbook. If you get one, do try the Tortilla Soup!

We were gifted a week with HelloFresh, and although we didn’t continue ordering from them, we’re still using the recipes we were sent, and a few more that I found on their Pinterest account.

We're always on the lookout for meals we can prepare ahead and eat while working
We’re always on the lookout for meals we can prepare ahead and eat while working

We make the Zucchini and Chickpea Tagine with white rice, rather than couscous. While hunting for a Tunisian Spice Blend to use in the recipe, we stumbled upon a local favorite, Bloomington Spice Works!

No “Year in Review” of my favorite recipes would be complete without the one below, which I found at Love and Lemons. All I can say is, “YUM!” As an added bonus, it can be modified to accommodate different diets.

A Few New Favorites Around the House

Our Roomba, which had excelled in our townhome, was not very useful once we bought a house built in the 1920s. It was having trouble with the grates, and kept getting stuck under the couch. We were leaning toward some version of a stick vacuum, but felt overwhelmed narrowing down to the best choice. Since we have a dog, hair removal is an ongoing, and often losing battle…

The Shark APEX made it into the "Year in Review" grade A pet hair removal
The Shark APEX made it into the “Year in Review” for grade A pet hair removal

Thanks to Vacuum Wars, and other YouTube reviewers, we were finally able to pick the perfect one. The Shark APEX DuoClean. If you’re in the market, it’s pretty wonderful!

Year in Review: Books, Movies, TV

These books, movies, and televisions shows weren’t necessarily released in 2020, but I did first encountered them this year…

A Few of My Favorite Books

Professional: Someone in one of my Facebook groups, for writers, suggested picking up the Writer’s Market 2020: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published. Great advice!

Non-Fiction: A local group I join, on occasion, discusses passages from a relevant book, after meditating. That’s where I came across Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life, by Sylvia Boorstein Ph.D. As soon as I arrived home, I ordered my own copy. It gets five stars from me!

For Little Ones: I would recommend Ten Magic Butterflies [written by Danica McKellar, illustrated by Jennifer Bricking].

Year in Review: TV & Film

The Lighter Side

  • “When filthy-rich video store magnate Johnny Rose and his family suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to leave their pampered lives to regroup and rebuild their empire from within the rural city limits of their only remaining asset – Schitt’s Creek
  • “Set in 1950s Manhattan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a 60-minute dramedy that centers on Miriam ‘Midge’ Maisel, a sunny, energetic, sharp, Jewish girl who had her life mapped out: go to college, find a husband, have kids, and throw the best Yom Kippur breakfasts in town… her perfect life is upended when her husband suddenly leaves her for another woman. Utterly unprepared, Midge is left with no choice but to reevaluate her life.”


  • “An unlikely friendship. A lost love resurfaced. A marriage at its turning point. A date that might not have been a date. An unconventional new family. These are unique stories about the joys and tribulations of love, each inspired by a real-life personal essay from the beloved New York Times column “Modern Love.”

Crime and Punishment

  • “Harry Bosch is an irreverent homicide detective in Los Angeles. Like any good protagonist he has problems with authority, follows his gut and bends a few rules while achieving the best solved case rate in all of California.”
  • Knives Out was the only movie that made it into my “Year in Review” favorites. “When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death.”

Year in Review: 2020 Calendar

I’d been using a We’Moon planner each year since a professor showed hers to me in 2002. But last year, I shook things up and went with the Wild Woman Rising wall calendar [Illustrator – Sophie Wilkins, Author – Angie Sullins].

Year in Review: Fitness

This year brought a few key changes in my fitness regiments…

A new approach to running – training to heart rate, for the first time this year, was a game changer for me.

A new bodyweight exercise! One of my favorite new moves, at the gym this year, is called Skin the Cat.

This is what it looks like:

Crunch Fitness: We started going to a new gym, in October, and so far they get an A++ from me!

That’s the Year in Review! Until 2021…

Enjoy the Holidays!
Enjoy the Holidays!

Thank you for visiting the site. I hope you enjoy the holidays, and look forward to crossing paths again in 2021!

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Maria Robinson
Author profile

Chris Elle Dove is the author of Gabby Makes a Friend, and the upcoming picture book, Sadie's Sea Turtle. She's been teaching sociology courses at community colleges since 2005. Her hobbies include meditation, cooking, hiking, and running. Chris is the proud mother of two beautiful, adult children and one German Shepherd.

4 thoughts on “Year in Review: Here Are a Few of My Favorites from 2020

  1. I, too, love The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Knives Out, but we part ways on the vacuum cleaner. I love my pink, smiley-faced Hetty vacuum . . . but to each her own. Happy holidays, Chris!

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