Let’s just state the obvious: this year was awful. Coronavirus killed 1.7 million people globally, and record unemployment and financial hardships have touched us all. Police brutality in the United States led to worldwide protests and we’ve lost some of the greats including Kobe Bryant and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
However despite all of our struggles, there have been a few good things that have happened this year (Hard to believe right?). But before you ring in 2021 and hope/pray it will get better, let’s take a look back at some positive things that actually happened in 2020.
It’s Been a Historic Year for Space Exploration.
History was made in May when Earth’s first private company (championed by Elon Musk), launched astronauts into space. NASA also launched its most advanced rover in July, and landed a spacecraft on an asteroid in October.
The Pandemic Reduced Carbon Emissions.
Staying at home benefited the environment. According to new research, global greenhouse emissions fell by roughly 2.4 billion million tons this year, which is a 7% drop from 2019 and the largest decline on record.
Joon Ho Became the First Korean to Win the Best Director Oscar.
In February, South Korean Bong Joon Ho became the first person of Asian descent to win Best Director Oscar for his film “Parasite.” The film went on to take home Best Picture, the top award at the Academy Awards.
Trained Dogs Have Saved 45 Rhinos From Poachers in South Africa.
In March, we found out that a group of trained dogs have protected and saved 45 rhinos from poachers in South Africa. The dogs, mainly beagles and bloodhounds, were trained since birth to track down poachers in the Greater Kruger National Park. Since 9,442 African rhinos have died from poaching, this is a wonderful initiative to save wildlife by the Southern African Wildlife College and Ivan Carter Wildlife Conservation Alliance.
Asian Americans Made History in Major League Baseball.
In October, Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts became the first manager of Asian descent to lead his team to a world series Victory. In November, Kim Ng became the first woman to hold a position in MLB when she was named the Miami Marlins new general manager.
John Krasinski Hosted HeartWarming Events on “Some Good News.”
In an effort to lift people’s spirits in an unprecedented time, John Kraniski created Some Good News, a weekly YouTube show to share people’s inspiring, feel-good stories. Since the class of 2020 had to miss out on some defining events, John Kraninski announced he would be throwing a virtual prom and graduation for those who weren’t able to attend these events this year.
During prom, multiple guests popped up on the Zoom screen including Rainn Wilson, the Jonas brothers, and Billie Eilish. As for graduation, the class of 2020 celebrated with commencement speeches from Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Malala Yousafzai, and Jon Stewart. Just when you thought Kraniski could not get any sweeter, he also hosted a heartwarming and virtual 2020 Office reunion as a surprise for a couple who got married over Zoom. To watch some of these touching videos, check out Some Good News Youtube Channel. You will not be disappointed.
Pfizer and Moderna Releases COVID-19 Vaccines.
No list would be complete without mentioning the best news yet: the remarkable and quick development of COVID-19 vaccines. In November, Pfizer announced it had created a vaccine that was more than 90% effective. A few days later, Moderna also announced it has developed a drug that is 94% effective. The vaccines rollout has begun, with vaccines being administered to health care workers beginning on December 14th. And as the year comes to a close, more than 2.1 million doses have been administered, with millions more to come.
2020 was a struggle for all of us but in the midst of this all, this year has shown us some glimmers of hope that there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel. Through it all, we’ve found that perseverance and good will wins. 2021 bring it on, we are ready for it!
Stores Closing Their Doors in 2021
While we breathe a sigh of relief for the retailers that survived last year (feels so good to say that!), some of our favorite stores will unfortunately be shutting their doors for good.
The unforeseen shutdowns brought our economy to a standstill, and many already struggling industries cripplied under the pressure. Today, retailers across the nation are hoping for a large-scale vaccination movement to bring the customers back to their doorsteps.
However – there’s no guarantee these stores can even make it to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Below is a list of some of our favorite retailers we may be saying goodbye to this year.
Ahhh, beloved Macy’s. This iconic store has a special place in our hearts whether it be the Thanksgiving Day Parade, or the classic film Miracle on 34th Street, the store brings the holiday magic like no other. However, many were devastated to hear of Macy’s plan to cut 2,000 jobs and close roughly 125 locations within the next couple of years. Alongside other department store chains, Macy’s temporarily shut down in mid-March. The retailer, which also includes Bluemercury and Bloomingdale’s, started reopening in May and are still trying to recover their losses from the shut down. But there might be a silver lining to this- In September, Macy’s Inc. CEO Jeff Gennette said Macy’s may be able to financially recover from the coronavirus pandemic. We hope this isn’t the last time we can talk about the iconic brand without becoming nostalgic.
We may be bidding a final farewell to the wonderful notorious bombshell bras! In May, L Brands (parent company of both Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Work) announced they would permanently close 250 stores by the end of 2020. The announcement comes after unfavorable reviews in recent years of a decline in quality since Victoria’s Secret early success in the late 1990s and early 2000s. At the end of October, the brand reported it had closed 223 Victoria’s Secret stores and 3 Pink locations in the United States. In Canada, the company closed 13 of its 38 stores.
Today, Victoria’s Secret currently has 704 Victoria’s Secrets and 143 Pink Stores. With so many uncertainties related to the COVID pandemic, we hope this won’t be the last year of the cutest lingerie and entertaining runway shows.
Bed Bath & Beyond
Even pre-pandemic, Bed Bath & Beyond visibly struggled and planned to close a few stores. However by July, the number of permanent closures increased to 200 over the next two years.
The New Jersey-based home goods retailer, that also includes buybuy Baby, Harmon Face Values, Christmas Tree Shops and World Market, emphasized the closing stores would “mostly” be Bed Bath & Beyond stores. On the bright side, CEO Mark Tritton is optimistic about the future of the brand.
“We believe Bed Bath & Beyond will emerge from this crisis even stronger,” Tritton said in a press release.
Despite the uncertainty within the economy, we are hopeful it won’t be the final goodbye to some of our favorite brands in the country.
Fun Gadgets For Coffee Lovers
Let’s be honest – it’s becoming harder and harder to get out of bed without having that much needed cup of morning coffee. Avid coffee drinkers (myself included) look forward to that cuppa joe every day to energize, rejuvenate and get ready for an action-packed day.
If you’re looking for a way to save time and money while brewing your favorite drink, you’ve come to the right place. Coffee gadgets are the best way to satisfy your caffeine cravings, while making your mornings more fun. Make your fellow coffee lover friends jealous with some of the most popular and coolest accessories below!
1. Zoku Instant Iced Coffee Maker
We all know how popular iced coffee has gotten over the years but who has the money to constantly pay for that Starbucks or Dunkin everyday? This mug instantly cools your hot coffee (or tea for that matter) in less than 5 minutes. All you have to do is stick this stainless steel mug into the freezer before pouring your fav beverage in and enjoy that chilled and perfectly insulated iced coffee… no ice required! Check it out here!
2. Bodum Bistro Electric Milk Frother
You’ll feel like a professional barista with this awesome electronic milk frother. This small and compact product delivers creamy, and long-lasting milk froth for your favorite cafe inspired drinks. Without leaving your doorstep, you can now create the perfect cup of cappuccino. Available at Target.
3. K-Cup Capacity Drawer
Whether you’re looking for a way to save storage or just want to keep the kitchen organized, this one is for you. This Keurig Cup organizer is perfect for storing up to 36 of your favorite K-cups, helping keep countertops clutter-free. For maximum storage, go ahead and just set your Keurig right on top of this organizer. You can buy this organizer on the BedBathandBeyond website (with three different colors to choose from).
4. KRUPS Electric Coffee Grinder
If you prefer using whole beans for your coffee, try out this electric coffee grinder. This Fast Touch Electric Coffee Grinder transforms whole coffee beans into ground coffee in less than 10 seconds, making it quicker and more convenient than ever to make a fresh cup. It’s so easy to operate; all you do is add your whole beans, secure the lid, and press the large side button to start. That’s it! This produce is versatile and can be used for chopping and grinding nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices as well. Available at Walmart.
5. Hario Cold Brew Maker
Another drink that gained popularity last year was a classic cold brew. Now, you can savor the rich, creamy flavor and create your own cold brew at home with this Hario Cold Brew Coffee Jug. This super-durable brewer easily fits in refrigerator door shelves with its slim design. Just place your ground coffee into the strainer, pour cold water into the carafe, and refrigerator for around 8 hours. For anyone who loves cold brews, we suggest trying it out today. Check it out on the William Sonoma website.
Pamper Yourself with these Lavish Shower Ideas
When is the last time you took a shower and felt like you were at a luxuroius, five star spa. For many of us, the answer to this question is never. Why not change that? Showers don’t have to be solely for hygiene!
Unless you’re showering with someone else to conserve water (wink wink), showers are one of the only times of day when we get a few minutes by ourselves to just breathe. For some of us, it’s a chance to think or even sing those songs that just can’t seem to get out of our heads. Showers can also be a great form of self-care. Here are some ways to pamper yourself while getting squeaky clean!
If you love to bathe…
Bath time isn’t just for babies! Adults in recent years have perfected the art of bath taking with some amazing products and gadgets!
These little guys are strong, but mighty! Not only do bath bombs make your tub look just beautiful, there are also some amazing benefits associated with diffusing them into your next soak session! Most bath bombs are infused with ingredients like essential oils that are known to have moisturizing effects, leaving your skin feel so smooth! And they also have the same powers as your favorite soaps and body washes, so your skin will also be squeaky clean when your done!
You gotta keep yourself busy while bathing, right?! Bath trays are a great way to maximize your bath. These mount themselves right onto your bath, and make it the perfect surface to keep tea candles (romantic!), and even books or tablets so you can binge watch! The best part? Some of them come with built in cup or wine glass holders. Where can we get one?
If you prefer to do it standing up…
Get your head out of the gutter! We mean taking a shower, silly! You may be thinking, is it even possible to make a shower luxurious? And the answer is YES YES YES! Here’s how:
Exfoliating has so many benefits for your skin. It removes the dead skin cells, and creates a silky smooth base for shaving and even helps create a smooth tan if you like to self tan (who doesn’t?). Make sure to use a body brush or exfoliating mitt for the best application! You can find some really great body scrubs at any drug store.
If you aren’t using a body wash, then what are you doing? There are so many body washes out there that not only, smell delicious, but are so hydrating and leave your body feeling so refreshed. If you are really looking to splurge, buy this body wash by Nécessarie. Made from multivitamins and niacinamide (vitamin B3), this cleanser has rave reviews. This gentle cleanser is great for sensitive skin too. On a budget? Not to worry! Olay also makes a body wash with Vitamin B3!
Nothing is worse than getting out of a steamy shower and using a cold towel. Towel warmers have been a popular gadget recently, especially during the colder winter months! These bad boys heat your towel up while you shower, making for a perfectly warm and cozy exit from your self-care shower!
What are you waiting for? Start running that water and treat yourself!