Outtakes Of 2020

Here we are, on the last day of 2020. It has been a truly shitty year, and I can only be thankful that it’s coming to an end. And what better way to end a shitty year with some laughs? So here’s a selection of my outtakes throughout the year.

As usual, my outtakes are divided into two categories – “Doggy Photobombs”…

… and “Wait, wait, I’m not ready”:

This year, though, I’m adding a new category – I called it “Dancing the Jig”:

I hope you’ve enjoyed these goofy photos. Let’s say a hearty “F*ck you”to 2020, and hope that, if 2021 is not any better, than at least we are prepared for it!


A Year In Review: Books Of 2020

This year, I’ve branched out from my usual fare of sci-fi/fantasy and non-fiction to include more mystery and drama/romance. Also, this is the first year in a while that I didn’t read a single Discworld book. But I tend to save them for “rainy days” when I don’t feel like reading anything else, and this year has been filled with interesting books, so they can wait (plus, I’m rationing them because I don’t have that many left that I haven’t read!) Anyway, here’s a look at my reading of 2020:

Best book you read in 2020:

– Crime/Mystery: The Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer

– Horror/Thriller: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (this is more of a fantasy/horror, but I’m including it in this category anyway.)

– Sci-fi/Fantasy: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

– Romance/History/Other: Time Stops at Shamli and Other Stories by Ruskin Bond

– Non-fiction: Catch & Kill by Ronan Farrow (I debated between this and Ace, but in the end, this wins because it was more engaging to read. Ace is impactful but on a more personal level.)

– YA: Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2020: Agatha Christie – an Autobiography (I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did, since I almost never read biographies and certainly not autobiographies, but her description of life in Britain in the early 20th century is great.)

Book that you read in 2020 that you recommended most to others: Ace by Angela Chen, Catch & Kill, the Enola Holmes series

Best series you discovered in 2020: Enola Holmes

Favorite new author you discovered in 2020: Ruskin Bond

Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love but didn’t: Let’s Talk about Love by Claire Kahn, Around the World in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh

Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre to you: Time Stops at Shamli and Other Stories. I don’t usually read “slice of life” books like this, but sometimes you just want something uncomplicated.

Book you read in 2020 that you’re most likely to read again: The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore, A Campaign in Tonkin by Charles-Edouard Hocquard (they’re good as reference books)

Favorite book you read in 2020 from an author you’ve read previously: Piranesi, Ninth House

Best book you read in 2020 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else: Time Stops at Shamli and Other Stories – this isn’t a recommendation from someone else, but rather because I saw a cover of another book by the same author and thought, “I would like to read something like that.”

Favorite cover of a book in 2020: These three

Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2020: Ace, Read My Pins by Madeleine Albright

Book you can’t BELIEVE you waited until 2020 to read: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (too bad it turns out to be a disappointment)

Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss etc.): The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (I wasn’t reeling or anything, but the plot definitely merits some discussion)

Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2020 (be it romantic, friendship etc.): June and Toby in Tell the Wolves I’m Home, Alex and Darlington in Ninth House

Most memorable character in a book you read in 2020: Enola Holmes, Piranesi

Genre you read the most from 2020: Non-fiction

Best 2020 debut: Followers by Megan Angelo (I’m still a bit hazy about this category – does it mean a book published in 2020 or an author that debuts in 2020? I went with the latter, which is why I chose Followers. If it’s the first, then it’s Piranesi. I may axe this from future reviews.)

Book that was the most fun to read in 2020: the Enola Holmes series, Ninth House

Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2020: Tell the Wolves I’m Home

Total Number of books read in 2020: 47


A Year In Review: Favorite Outfits Of 2020

This year’s outfits have been… interesting. There are the comfy, work-from-home outfits earlier in the year, and then, as things normalized, I went in the opposite direction and dressed up quite a bit to make up for those months wearing nothing but pajamas for days. I’ve rediscovered colors and patterns and leaned more into the vintage-inspired style, so my outfits are more eclectic but also more fun.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite outfit of this year (more can be found in my “Favorite SIA” post):

This year is also the year I rediscovered thrifting and secondhand shopping, so I want to highlight some of my favorite all-thrifted outfits (a lot of the outfits above featured at least one thrifted items, but these are thrifted head-to-toe, or nearly so):

However, thrifting has also been a strain on my closet. I tried to clean it out, but it’s still absolutely stuffed to the brim. So, even though I’m not one to make New Year resolutions, I do have some resolution for 2021: I’m going to try to go no-buy or low-buy for clothes, shoes, and accessories. I literally have enough clothes to last me for years, and I don’t see my style/taste changing drastically, so I should wear what I already have instead of buying more. Let’s see if I can stick to it.


A Year In Review: Favorite SIA Challenges Of 2020

Welcome to the no man’s land that is the week between Christmas and New Year. As usual, I’m taking this time to look back at my year and show off some of my favorite things, starting with the Style Imitating Art challenges (since Monday is SIA day around here.)

First is my pick, inspired by Edgar Degas’s “Little 14-year-old Dancer“. Any challenge that brought me to the Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg is OK by me:

Daenel has a lot of interesting inspirations this year, but one of my favorites is the embroidered cap:

I chose this one more because of the outfit – the dress is colorful and the silhouette is just my style – even if it doesn’t exactly match the inspiration, Odilon Redon’s “Bouquet Of Wild Flowers” picked by Kim:

Daenel’s pick of these 19th-century slippers forced me to stretch my creativity a bit, which was why it was one of my favorite challenges:

I really enjoyed Kim’s pick of Paul Gauguin’s “Garden Under Snow“, even if my outfit was unplanned:

The Woodpecker Tapestry by William Morris is also a favorite, because it allows me to wear this blazer:

Finally, it’s Charles Bell’s “Gumball II” – just pure fun:

We’ll be back on January 4th with a brand-new host and a brand-new challenge, so stay tuned!


A Year In Review: Outtakes Of 2019

I haven’t shared my outtakes in quite some time – mostly because they are kind of repetitive (how many photos of me being photobombed by my dogs do you want to see?) – but it’s been a while, and I figured it would be a fun way to end the year.

Let’s start with the usual “doggy photobombs”:

I called these two “I’m walking away” (seriously, what is with my foot in that second photo?!):

And finally… I didn’t remember what happened behind the camera that caused this face. But it’s probably something horrifying, like my dogs or cats dragging home a dead mouse:

And that wraps up the last post of 2019. See you in 2020!