Sunday, January 31, 2021

{In Case You Missed It}: 2020 Highlights

Against the backdrop of everything 2020 brought to bear (the good, the bad, and the downright ugly), I'm thankful for the highlights--the special, often everyday, moments that still allowed for a memorable year, despite a global pandemic and its fallout.  And so, without any further delay, (where did January go?!), I'm thrilled to continue my perennial tradition of highlights and to cap off my recent 10 year blogiversary installments. (Woot, woot!)

2020 started like most other years, for which I'm grateful, allowing me to indulge in some of the my favorite things all over again.  I kicked off the year with a trip to my forever favorite New York City, to indulge in the perfect trifecta of food, fashion and travel.  On the food front, my timing allowed for yet another indulgence in NYC Restaurant Week, where I took in both new (Wild Ink) and new to me (Butter) restaurants for phenomenal dining (for less).  

My stay also included another press invite to cover the A/W Man Woman Show again on the cusp of New York Fashion Week.  Designer interviews, coupled with innovative and classic collections spanning menswear, lifestyle and home goods, was a return to a space and collective design talent that was nothing short of exceptional.  

Finally, there was also my attendance at the New York Times Travel Show, where I soaked up industry knowledge and expertise from travel experts, media and tourism representatives, fellow consultants and more.  Although travel would be soon be impacted (and largely restricted) in unimaginable ways, the investment was well worth it--and my knowledge hangs in the ready for when the world restores to a healthier landscape.  

And with it all, I couldn't come to town without experiencing long-time favorites like Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park, along with new discoveries, like the fabulous Hudson Yards and The Vessel.  As it turned out, that would be the extent of my travel before the Covid-induced quarantine began a month or so later, so I'm truly thankful to have scored that trip and those memories just in time.

More excitement came with my continued collaboration with exceptional, fellow Black food bloggers for the fourth annual Black History Month Potluck and my Vegetarian Chili recipe (so good!), along with more food and hospitality media for local restaurants and hotels.

I was additionally honored to have my work featured in MyDomaine, sharing my Elderflower Lemonade Spritz.  And as quarantined life became the norm, hearing from many of you looking for cooking inspiration, I hosted my first Instagram Live Cooking Class and kicked off a star ingredient series, rounding-up recipes centered around a star ingredient that's typically on-hand in the pantry or freezer/refrigerator.

And as collaborations go, I was honored to participate in a Juneteenth Virtual Cookout with over 60 fellow Black food bloggers and creatives to celebrate the history and significance of this important (but often forgotten) part of American history.  Our virtual cookout was featured across several food and media outlets, including the Washington Post, Food52, the FeedFeed, Blavity, and many more, while resonating the emphatic message that Black lives and Black history matter.

Continuing that theme here on the blog included posts on effective allyship, to supporting Black-owned Atlanta restaurants, to drive much needed aid to those establishments disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

And because it became clear that "quarantine life" wasn't leaving anytime soon, I dedicated more content (blog and social media) to helping us continue to adjust and thrive in our quarantined lifestyle, including more travel, lifestyle, fitness, beauty, self care, and arts and culture posts and sharing, along with recipes and cooking inspiration for keeping things delicious while staying home and staying safe.

The holiday season was met with my guide for a stress-free Thanksgiving, including a series of social posts on everything from recipes, to advance prep, to making the best turkey, and more.

Finally, I paused to take in the 10 year run that crescendo-ed in August and recounted my journey from then until now in a series of posts, culminating with this one (albeit a bit beyond the 10th year). :)

Which brings me once again to the heartfelt, resounding sentiment of: thank you.  For every post you've read, comment you've shared, recipe you've tried, travel tip you've taken on, lifestyle inspiration you've garnered, platform you've joined me on, cooking class or pop-up shop you've attended, collaboration you've extended, and just simply being here year after year, I extend a million thanks!

Although I was excited to live out my passions here and beyond, it is absolutely the people I share this with (known and unknown) that make it worthwhile and keep me coming back again and again. At the root of my love for it all, has always been my love of sharing it with those who are along for the ride. I'm truly thankful for the blessings that make this journey so rich and rewarding.

I'm praying this new year is a blessed, healthy and prosperous year for you and those you love.  Let's stay connected through it all and keep cheering each other on. The best is yet to come!



P.S. See more of my 2020 highlights here!


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