Following last year’s post where I shared 19 highlights throughout the year, I thought I’d do the same this year. As 2020 comes to a close, I’m sharing 20 highlights that’s happened to me this year. It’s a bit trickier to list highlights this year as it’s mostly evolved around the pandemic we live in. Still, there are good things that have come out of this year. Here’s a list of my highlights in 2020, in no particular order.
Got a new job. I know I said the list of highlight is in no particular order, except this one. Getting a new job is definitely the best highlight of this year. The last three months of 2020 have been amazing. I’m finally being recognised for my knowledge and it’s so fun to go to work where I feel challenged. I was handpicked on LinkedIn and straight after the second stage of interviews, I was offered the job. I’m so happy to be able to work remotely (Covid or no Covid) as it means I can work from anywhere whenever I want. As long as I have a decent WiFi connection and I’m available during office working hours.
Ran three half marathons. Last year, I ran my first ever official half marathon. This year, organised runs were cancelled and postponed but I still managed to run two half marathon long runs on my own and one with a friend. We decided to spend lockdown part 2 by running long distance runs each weekend: 12k, 15k, 18k and finally 21k, and so we did! I’m meant to run a full marathon to mark my 40th birthday when that comes around. We shall see how that goes.
Made it to Sweden to celebrate Christmas. I was meant to have flown over to Sweden over Easter but that obviously got cancelled. Luckily I received vouchers to use the tickets another time and fingers were crossed for Christmas. I made it. A little over a week before the boarders closed again due to the new strain of Covid found in the UK. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to go back home early January. I have spent plenty of christmases on my own, and I don’t mind when it’s my own choice. After spending most of 2020 on my own, I didn’t fancy it this year. I’m so happy I could spend it with family and meet up with friends outside at safe distance.
Adapted to work from home. When lockdown happened early spring, I was not a fan. I didn’t think I’d be able to work from home and the thought of spending ALL my time in the flat wasn’t amusing. Somehow, I have adapted and now I love it. Good thing seeing I’ll be working remotely for the foreseeable. It’s easier when I’m allowed to go to the gym and meet up with friends after work.
Spent a weekend in London. 2020 has been the year of staycations. I’ve been on a couple of day trips and also spent a weekend in London during summer. One of the hottest weekends. The weather was beautiful and honestly, I loved how quiet London was. I finally made it to Notting Hill and had my photo taken in front of the blue door from the film with the same name. Have I mentioned it’s my favourite?!
Went to the seaside, twice! The other two staycation day trips were spent at the seaside. I was really lucky my day in Scarborough turned out to be a beautiful day. The sun was shining all day! I’m happiest by the sea. Inhaling the fresh air and smelling the sea. Whitby was another day out. I’ve not been in ages. I think it’s on of my favourite seaside places in the north. The views from the 199 steps is stunning!
Updated my livingroom with a glass door cabinet. For years, I’ve stored books and other decoratives in old fruit boxes. Then, I bought a pack of wooden boxes and painted them in white. Together, they made a great bookcase but earlier this year, I felt like an update was necessary. I ordered a white glass door cabinet for my livingroom. The room feel more spacious, brighter and grown up.
Won two competitions on Instagram. I’m probably not the only one saying this but – I never win anything! All of a sudden, within the space of a month, I won two competitions on Instagram. One with Loungewear where I had entered a photo promoting their cancer research support. I was one of 100 to win a matching pink bralette to the hot pink thongs I bought as part of the cause. The second competition was with Stories & Ink. I entered by liking, commenting and sharing their post on my stories and was randomly picked to win their tattoo care kit.
Started to save money towards a house. I should have started way earlier but at least I did this year. Every month, I have put aside a little bit of money to hopefully one day be able to buy a house. I love the flat I live in but it’s unnecessary to pay rent that I’ll never see again.
Invested in comfy loungewear. Spending so much time at home I knew I needed comfy clothes to lounge around in. One of the hoodies I bought is from Northern Power Garms in Yorkshire. I first came across them on Instagram and I just love their concept: slightly changing big brand logos and catch lines to show love of the north. I love this hoodie, and yes, The North is Ace!
Discovered magnetic eyelashes. I’ve never really been into lots of makeup. I wear enough to make myself presentable but I only own three or so brushes. This year, I’ve tried lash extensions and magnetic eyelashes and I love both. Who knew magnetic eyelashes are so easy to apply. Even I, who have no patience with fiddly stuff, can apply them without any fuss. They’re perfect for days when you want to doll up a little bit extra, and make your eyes pop.
Worked with som fab brands. Looking back, this year hasn’t been slower than normally with brand collaborations, even though it feels like it. Perhaps because there hasn’t been as many events or food reviews. This year, I’ve worked with some fab brands like Pandora, Daisy London, Nordgreen, Comptoir Libanais, Franco Manca, The Hare & Hounds, Punky Pins, Oasis, Protest, Femme Luxe and many more.
Paid off my credit card. It’s been a long time coming but towards the end of this year, I finally transferred the last bit of money to clear my credit card statement. It feels so good. Now I can focus on having enough money for emergencies and gradually work up to buy a house.
Found one of the best restaurants in Leeds. It’s not often I go back to the same restaurants over and over. I quite like eating at new places each time, experiencing something new. However, there are a fair few I keep coming back to and this year I found a new place. I’ve been to Heaney & Mill in Headingley once before, for a drink. This year I’ve been for brunch, Christmas market and ordered delivery of their amazing Sunday roast. When they’re allowed to open up for more than take out and delivery I suspect I’ll go quite often.
Tried Boozy Drag Brunch. It feels like a lifetime ago but at the start of the year, we were able to go out and have fun. When we got news about a Leeds restaurant organising a boozy brunch a little bit different to what we’re used to, we had to go. Boozy Drag Brunch at Yard & Coop is the best boozy brunch I’ve been to. With lip syncs and drag bingo, we were entertained from start to finish.
Went outdoor swimming in wintertime. Since April time, my friends in Sweden have ended their weekly walks with a dip in the sea. They’ve continued throughout the year and when I went to Sweden in winter time, I joined in. I thought it was going to be loads colder, or at least feel colder, but I really enjoyed it. I was even able to swim and I’ve been for winter dips a couple of times since. I’m definitely going to keep it up if I can find a spot near Leeds that’s easily accessible.
Stayed healthy the whole year. I’m very happy and fortunate to say I’ve stayed healthy all year and so has all my family. We’ve not even had minor colds or anything. I know not everyone is as fortunate as I am and I’m sending thoughts to everyone who has been affected by the horrible virus in any shape or form, or have had any other sad news. Let’s hope 2021 is a better year.
Bought a new bike. I had my previous bike for a very long time. It’s treated me well cycling to and from work every day over the years. Eventually and not surprisingly, it broke down on me. It would have cost me more to try and repair it than buying a better and new shiny bike. So I did. Just before lockdown happened so it feels a bit unnecessary as I’m now working remotely and don’t cycle as far anymore. It comes in handy daily still, cycling to and from the gym.
Liverpool won Premiere League. Finally it was time for Liverpool to win Premiere League. It’s been brewing for a while so it was well deserved. Something good to come out of this year. I was hoping to have gone to Liverpool to celebrate. It’s would have been amazing to be part of a red sea of celebrations. Perhaps they’ll put on the parade once it’s safe again to do so. Or who knows, they might win the league again this season.
Finished my Christmas shopping at the start of November. When I knew I was going to Sweden early December, I started my Christmas shopping. I usually leave it last minute so I was really impressed with myself when I had bought them all (for 15 people) by the start of November. Luckily everyone was happy with what they got as the date for return had passed anyways.
How has your 2020 been? Any highlights in 2020 to take with you into the new year? I really hope 2021 will b loads better. Here’s to a new start – cheers!