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Thanks to some of my favorite finds, 2020 didn’t completely suck

Psst…hey! Remember me? I know, I know, it’s been forever since I posted but let’s be honest, if there was ever a time to take a sabbatical, 2020 was it! How little did I know, last year I said there were gonna be twists and turns ahead, how right I would be.

Like most of you, my 2020 didn’t go as planned. With global pandemics and back-to-back hurricanes, 2020 didn’t want to let up. BUT it didn’t completely suck either.

It gave us plenty of time to slow down, re-evaluate, and do some soul-searching. Re-chart the courses we are on, brainstorm new projects, and launch new collaborations (hint hint, something new is in the works)!

And as I’m sure you’ve seen through my social media channels, we added a new gypsy to the caravan in April! And as excited as we are to show her the world, those plans remain on hold for the time being.

Favorite little Gypsy on a road trip
Our little gypsy on her first big road trip

Luckily, we found a few ways to bring the world to us! From thought-provoking books to subscriptions that bring the world to my door here are some of my favorite finds that made 2020 suck just a little bit less:

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Favorite Subscriptions

MasterClass – If, like me, you have a never-ending list of interests and always up to learn something new then MasterClass is for you. We only subscribed a few weeks ago and we’ve already learned French cooking at home with The French Laundry’s Thomas Kellar and started learning guitar from Carlos Santana. I can’t decide if I want to try skateboarding with Tony Hawk next or wine appreciation with James Suckling. Speaking of wine…

BrightCellars – While this isn’t technically a “new find” for me, it’s certainly one of the most appreciated and anticipated deliveries hitting my doorstep in 2020. I’ve been receiving BrightCellars wine shipments since 2016 and I seriously love every shipment. Each one gets better and better as I rate my wine selections.

restaurant love romantic dinner
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

Not only do I receive four hand-selected bottles of wine based on my personalized tastes but I also receive loads of wine education literature with my bottles. The best part is each bottle costs, on average, $10 to $15! If you want to try it out, click on my BrightCellars Invite A Friend link and get $50 dollars off your first shipment!

Atlas Coffee Club – I received this subscription as a Christmas gift and I’m STOKED about my first shipment! I received an email saying my single-source coffee beans have been roasted to my preferences and are on their way. Looks like the first stamp in my coffee passport will be Burundi Kayanza! Yeah, I don’t know where that is either. BUT the postcard that arrives with my coffee will tell me all about it!

Literati books from first shipment
Exploring her first delivery from Literati

Literati – I signed my daughter up for this book club and they just recently expanded into adult book clubs. Book clubs with celebrities, or “Luminaries”, like Stephen Curry, Malala, and Richard Branson! Each month you receive a book based on which categories you choose (business, activism, sports, etc) and then you get to discuss the book with the Luminaries. “Literati is a book subscription that’s designed to inspire and entertain you while elevating your reading list. Long Live Literature!” – Literati Website

Audible – Again, not a “new find” but still much loved. So much so that when asked what we want for our birthdays or Christmas we request Audible credits! Sometimes that one monthly membership credit, as well as all the Audible Originals just isn’t enough!

Favorite Books (since we are already on the subject)

Usually you would find me with a fantasy, murder mystery, or thriller in hand but since having a kid I kinda went down a rabbit hole…

book cover of How to Raise a Wild Child

How To Raise a Wild Child – Fantastic book on instilling a life-long love of nature in children and why we need that more than ever. But don’t let the title scare you, you don’t have to have a child to read this, there’s great advice on sparking a love of the outdoors in adults as well!

book cover of There's No Such Thing As Bad Weather

There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather – (unless you live in Louisiana *see back-to-back hurricane comment above* But seriously, a great read emphasizing how Scandinavia’s nature-centric culture holds the key to joyful, independent, and healthy kids.

book cover of Last Child in the Woods

Last Child in the Woods – (are you beginning to see a trend here?) This book hits hard and really lights a fire. So much so that its prompted an international movement! “As children’s connections to nature diminish and the social, psychological, and spiritual implications become apparent, new research shows that nature can offer powerful therapy for such maladies as depression, obesity, and attention deficit disorder.”

book cover of French Kids Eat Everything

French Kids Eat Everything – The French have taken eating and turned it into a guiltless form of art. And their philosophy of feeding (or rather educating) their children’s palate completely puts America to shame. This book completely reshaped how I approach mealtime!

Favorite Gear and Gadgets

canon 50mm lens

Canon EF Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens f/1.8 STM Lens – Along with my camera, I own an array of different lenses. But recently I decided to challenge myself by shooting everything with only one lens. With very few exceptions, every photograph I’ve taken this year has been with this lens and it’s delivered. From low-light night photography to on-the-go child portraiture, this budget-friendly prime lens has won my heart. Go check out my Instagram to see what I’m talking about! (Don’t forget to hit that follow button!)

iPhone SD Card Reader – GAME CHANGER! This little gem allows me to completely skip the computer and upload photos directly to my phone. From my phone, I can edit, upload, or share them to Facebook or Instagram.

Favorite Blogs, Vlogs, and YouTube Channels

Since 2020 said I can’t be out there chasing the horizon, I’m living vicariously through these adventerous boss ladies!

Making Sense of Cents – making hella money and traveling the world?!? Yeah, I’m in!

Sailing Loulii – Because who doesn’t want to ditch conventional life to sail the world?!? That’s social distancing I can totally get behind!

Favorite Baby Stuff

Deuter Kid Comfort Hiking Carrier and Backpack – This came to us as a hand-me-down and quickly became our favorite piece of baby gear. We try to get outside as much as possible and this gear makes it possible!

It’s incredibly lightweight and distributes the weight evenly so you can wear it for hours comfortably. From the mountains of North Georgia to walking up and down our street, our daughter loves riding in this carrier.

Deuter Child Comfort III hiking carrier
See, I told ya she loves her hiking carrier

book cover of Around the World in 80 Purees

Around the World in 80 Purees – Following up on the philosophies of French Kids Eat Everything, this awesome ‘cookbook” is hands down the most influential book in my kitchen right now. And not just for baby food. We’ve all enjoyed globally-inspired dishes like South African Mieliepap to Indian mango saffron puree to Mexican spiced papaya and banana.

Wherever You Go – One of our favorite bedtime reads! A joyful rabbit journeys over sweeping bridges and up steep mountains to find the road that brought him on his beautiful adventure is also the same road that brings him back home again.

cover of Global Kids cards

Global Kids – This awesome deck of cards contains 50 cards with recipes, games, fun facts, and crafts from all over the world! Not sure my 8-month old truly appreciates these but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed going through them!

book cover of Let's Celebrate

Let’s Celebrate! – Similar to Global Kids, this vibrant book highlights special holidays from all over the world, complete with a global calendar, explanations, and pronunciations.

Alright, your turn. I want to know what made 2020 suck a little less for you! Tell me in the comments below!

Caution! Twists and Turns Ahead for The Rooted Gypsy

Latest News: The Rooted Gypsy Featured in Roy Stevensons’s Latest book

Cheers to a New Year and New Places

And there you have my favorite finds making 2020 not so sucky.

Jessica

Jessica

I’m an internationally published freelance travel writer and photographer with over 20 articles featured in TexasHillCountry.com. I’ve been featured in Heart of Texas Magazine, Texas Lifestyle Magazine, Lost Treasure Magazine, and in Travel by Lightfoot Magazine. I’m a current contributor for my local CVB, VisitLakeCharles.org, as well as Great Escape Publishing, MilesGeek.com and ConfettiTravelCafe.com.

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