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Monday, January 4, 2021

The Best Of A Very Sweet Blog 2020

Not Sponsored: I never start the new year, without reflecting on the previous one. 2020 was absolutely crazy insane, but I made the best I could out of it. I remember Andrew Cuomo (Governor of New York) stating in one of his Covid-19 briefings that you're going to get knocked down ... but get up! Every time I felt tired or weary in 2020, I thought about what he said. A simple message, but one I will remember throughout life. GET UP! There is HOPE with the new vaccines, but there are strains of covid that have mutated (causing new lockdowns). STAY AWARE. STAY VIGILANT.


LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION! and a COMPLIMENT! Every year, I always get an AMAZING opportunity. In 2019, I collaborated with Soft Surroundings, Green Giant, Pixi Beauty and Welchs. In 2018, I collaborated with Disney, Sara Happ, Mally Beauty, Colgate and a host of other brands. I always feature the brands I work with under The Best Of A Very Sweet Blog. This year I was asked to be on CBS's New Orleans, LA Eyewitness Morning News (WWL-TV). I had to read the email several times! I was asked to do a short cooking segment (side dish & cocktail). I turned the opportunity down (my boyfriend was so mad at me), but I just wasn't ready to do something like that. Its very public and I realize my blog is public ... but I wasn't ready to put myself out there. Sometimes you have to do what's best for you. I think in a year or two, I will feel differently. But I was very honored to be considered. I also received a beautiful compliment from a PR person. They complimented me on my writing and photography. It truly touched me.

 
In 2020, I collaborated with some really great brands such as Lancome (thank you so much for the Christmas gift), Hello Fresh (via Geist M), Merle Norman, Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop and Red Chocolate. I love trying new things and sharing my experiences with my readers.

My focus in 2020, was reviewing products that help promote relaxation and sleep. Little did I know Covid-19 would cause us all to spend more time at home. I was very impressed with The White Company's Sleep Relax Mist and Natural Sleep Nourishing Body Cream. I was equally impressed with This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (less expensive). I tried an indie brand called Indie Lee, which makes a de-stress body wash. I'm loving these cute polka dot pajamas. If you want to know what your dreams mean, go to Dreamoods (I do). I love Sugarbear's Sleep Vitamins. They don't knock you out, but gently put you to sleep with no after effects. An app I use to relax and sleep on my phone is the Calm App. Lastly, I purchased this really cute Spa Wreath.

Products that really impressed me in 2020 were, Archipelago's Oat Milk Products, Farmhouse Fresh Will Dew Face Mask, Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Nude Cream, Lancome Genifique Eye and Face Serum, Fresh Beauty Shower Gels ... Little Luxury List gave me a Diptyque Candle :D It makes you not want ANY other candle. I'm even using it to hold some makeup products ... It was my first time trying the brand Static Nails. I love Cherry Bomber! Essie Nails is a classic nail brand that always gets it right. I loved their Valentine Collection. Really enjoyed the MAC Selena Quintanilla La Reina Collection. My boyfriend gifted me Acqua Di Gioa perfume and I truly love it. And I love Lancome's Juicy Tubes!


 
There's No Place Like Home! Two of my goals in 2020 was to showcase New Orleans (and other) Restaurants and Places. It was easy to do, because with covid-19 ... where could you go (safely)? Below are some of my favorites: Landry's Seafood House, Boil Seafood House, Superior Grill, Texas Roadhouse, The Catch Seafood Restaurant, Saigon Bistro 2, Dooky Chase, Cafe Du Monde, Carmo, The Sculpture Garden, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral and Destrehan Plantation.
 

I LOVE FOOD ART AND FASHION! My eyeballs did a dance when I saw Moschino's Patisserie Collection. Someone put the actual birthday cake invitation on eBay and I got it. It's sitting in my makeup room. I fell in love with the Art of Love Bakery exhibit by Kate Jenkins at Harbour City (Hong Kong). All the bakery items were knitted. And Peter Anton is my hero! He's a sculptor that creates all kinds of delectable food art. I want a room filled with his works! Yes, I want a dessert room :D

I like to write! I wrote a blog post about A Pie's Worth Of Energy (managing your personal energy), Online and Social Media Clean Up and Harry, Meghan and The British Royal Family. I enjoy doing this and hope to write more in the future.

I can't end this post without talking about my own personal experience with Covid-19. The first couple of cases of Covid-19 was only 1.8 miles away from my home (Lambeth House - New Orleans). I went into shock. I was scared. I felt I would eventually die. I have a 72 year old mother. I couldn't believe what was happening. I prayed to GOD. I had FAITH. My masters degree is in public health. My undergraduate is in the sciences (biology, chemistry). Orleans Parish was #2 behind New York in covid cases. Store shelves were bare. There was a frenzy and panic. I utilized everything I had at my disposal. I ordered N95 masks. I used gloves. I stayed at home. I ordered a lot of things (had things shipped) from Target, Amazon etc. I disinfected (and I'm already a super clean person). I ordered from local fruit and vegetable distributors (Top Box Foods). I had to order toilet paper at one point. I helped (and continue today) two of my elderly neighbors. I helped two close friends for months. I buy locally to help my area. I contributed to food pantries. There's a NEW strain of covid and I'm equally scared of it and taking all precautions. Don't let your guard down. People are dying. Stay vigilant. Besides the covid catastrophe, New Orleans had a catastrophe in the downtown area. We were awarded the Superbowl and so hotels are popping up. My grandfather always told me haste makes waste. Poor engineering and planning led to the collapse of what was suppose to be The Hard Rock Hotel. Several people died and it affected the downtown area. Also, the picture of George Floyd dead is so compelling and sickening. It's hard to believe you still have that kind of hatred in this world. I wouldn't put my knee on a gecko. It's truly sad.


I watched Governor Andrew Cuomo's news press conferences DAILY. He was such a man of calm, knowledge and inspiration. He offered reassurance and solutions. He didn't just complain. He and his brother Chris Cuomo embraced Louisiana. I still listen to his briefings today. You can find all of his briefings on YouTube. I plan on listening to one a day. So much inspiration. So much to learn from.

There was a funny and light side to 2020. I remember the hashtag #anothermonth on Twitter ... now it seems like we have #anotheryear and longer. I collected these snippets from Twitter. I thought they were funny. I hope they bring a SMILE to your face. You guys, stay vigilant. Stay aware. Help others however you can! No matter how small or large, your help matters. GOD BLESS YOU! Let's get through 2021 together. LOVE YOU! 

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