20 Things to do in 2020

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We have reached the year 2020. A New Year of endless possibilities and new experiences to be had. Following are 20 things that you can do this year.

1. Visit 20 places in your city that you may have never visited or experienced before.
Is there a museum or art exhibit you always wanted to see? May there is a cultural neighborhood that you can spend a day exploring. Most cities have so many places and activities that we have never seen. Get out and explore the area right in your backyard.  Living in a big city like Chicago the possibilities are endless.  Every city has something to explore or discover.  See what your’s has to offer.

2. Try 20 new restaurants.
Many times we tend to frequent the same places. Try something new this year. Maybe there is a local restaurant you have been waiting to try and it is impossible to get a table. Plan early and make your reservations for later this year. There may also be a cuisine that you want to experience. Venture out of your comfort zone and try some new food while also visiting a new restaurant.

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3. Spend 20 minutes a day journaling or meditating.
This can bring some calm and relaxation to your year. If you cannot quite commit to making this a daily practice, try committing to 20 minutes at least one a week. Notice how much calm and peace you add to your life.

4. Donate $20 per month to a great cause or organization.
It feels good to give, and it feels even greater donating to a cause you support. With most organizations a little goes a long way. You don’t have to only donate to just one organization, you can pick several organizations and donate to a different organization each month. Also, at the end of the year you have the option to deduct your donations if the organization is a non-profit. Here are some recommendations: Operation Young Santa (Chicago), Sickle Cell Disease Association of American, and any organization focused on Autism Awareness. Knowing that you had an impact in the lives of others is a great feeling.

5. Get an envelope and save $20 per month, don’t touch the money until the end of the year and then treat yourself to something you want.
This is one that I am going to definitely work at. I have a tendency to tap into my stash at times and then commit to paying myself back (which doesn’t always happen). Commit to doing this for you and at the end of the year you can treat yourself to something you want, or something you need. Regardless of what you do with the money, you will have it on hand to do whatever it is you need to do.

6. Read 20 books.
Expand your knowledge base or take in some leisurely reading throughout the year. Expand your mind and your horizons or just escape with one of your favorite authors and favorite characters. I used to be an avid reader. I guess that all of the reading and researching I did in pursuit of my doctorate lulled that just a little. I am getting back into the habit of enjoying a good read.

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7. Throw away or purge 20 items from your closet.
We all have those items that we have never worn, or something we have been hanging on to since high school. Why are we still holding on to those things? Or maybe you have lost or gained weight, the things that no longer fit are taking up space. Make space to dress the body you have, not the one you desire. Go threw your closet and take those 20 items to a shelter or donate them to a Goodwill or Salvation Army. Let someone in need use those items.

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8. Spend 20 minutes weekly deep cleaning one room in your home.
You will benefit greatly just from this one thing. It will save you time when you don you weekly, monthly deep cleaning. I recently realized how the top of my refrigerator looked. I was devastated and disgusted. I am not sure why I thought that it would not get dusty up there, but out of sight out of mind. Choose an area a spend just 20 minutes a week giving that area a deep through cleaning.

9. Send 20 just because cards to friends and/or family.
I always say that people like to receive something in the mail other than bills. So be the person who surprises the special people in your life and send them some sunshine through the mail.

10. Delete 20 old emails a day.
I won’t admit to how many emails are in my mailbox. But there are a lot. A whole lot. It is time to get the mailbox under control. One way to get the mailbox under control is to devote a little time each day to deleting old emails. You can also use the time to unsubscribe from marketing and other emails that are sent multiple times per day.

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11. Try 20 new recipes.
If you are like me, you may get tired of cooking the same meals. This year why not make a conscious decision to spice things up in your kitchen and with your cooking. Websites like Food.com and others have hundreds, maybe thousands of recipes for you to try. One of the most creative ways to try some new things is to experiment with seasonings. You can also follow your favorite chefs on Facebook and/or Instagram and get new recipes from them. Meal delivery services also provide a way to experiment with new recipes. So commit to trying something new in the kitchen this year.

12. Work out for 20 minutes a day. If you already work out regularly, pick one day a week and add an additional 20 minutes to that workout. Maybe you don’t work out at all. Then pick at least 3 days out of the week and move for 20 minutes. You could walk up and down stairs for 20 minutes. You could take a brisk walk for 20 minutes. If you swim, you can swim for 20 minutes a few times per week. Whatever you decide to do, get your body moving. You will feel better and you will have some added health benefits.

13. Take a 20 minute walk once a week.
This is related to #12 but also related to #3. This can be a great way to break up your work day whether you work from home or work outside of the home. Many people tend to just sit at their desk for hours, maybe getting up for restroom breaks or to attend meetings. During your lunch hour take some time to go out for some fresh air and a short walk. You can also do this while you are our shopping. If you go to mall or even to Target, walk for 20 minutes before you begin your shopping trip. This is a great way to move the numbers on your pedometer and get in some extra steps. Remember a little goes a long way.

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14. Find 20 minutes a week to unplug from everything and everyone (this would be a great thing to practice daily).
The practice of unplugging should be sacred. We have become a culture tired to devices from our smartwatches, to smartphone or tablets. Put all of the devices down. Better yet silence them and place them in a different room and walk away and unplug. You could use this time to work on #3, #6, #7, #8 or #9. Or you could take a nap, a hot bubble bath or do nothing at all. How odd does that sound, doing nothing? Its possible and it can bring you piece of mind and some relaxation.

15. Find 20 items in your home that you no longer need, want or use and throw them out or donate them.
This is similar to #7 but includes other areas of your house. For instance, I had an addiction to purchasing school supplies. I had always done it for my siblings and then when they got older for church book bag drives. However, I would always have extra, a lot extra. So one day I got a box packed them up and gave all of the extra supplies that I had away. They came in handy for a family that needed them. Now the only time I purchase school; supplies is for my nephew before he goes back to school, and I don’t buy extra.

16. Make a list of 20 people you haven’t spoken to in a while and reach out to them. This can also tie in to #9.
In our overly connected life we can get disconnected from some people who mean a lot to us. Not on purpose, but because life happens. It’s really that simple. So reach out and call someone you have lost touch with and who has been on your mind or in your thoughts lately. And how cool it would be to follow that call up with #9, a card or letter in the mail, letting them know how great it felt to catch up.

17. Increase your daily water intake by 20 ounces.
We could all use a little more water. So here is to better health and glowing skin.

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18. Add 20 new words to your vocabulary.
Learning is a lifelong venture. Our parents and grandparents learned to use computers and cell phones so we can add some new words to out vocabulary right. Here’s to a year of learning.

19. Invest $20 per month.
There are a few new apps like Stash, Acorns and Robinhood that make investing easy and accessible right from your phone. Pick one, try it out and commit to building a portfolio for yourself this year.

20. Write 20 letters to yourself and mail them throughout the year.
I find that when I am having a difficult time, writing a letter to myself and mailing it with the written assurance that things will be better, serves as a great reminder. It would also be a great thing to write yourself a letter this month put it in your planner and mail it on Christmas day. In this letter talk about the things you plan to accomplish this year. Open the letter on New Year’s Eve to help with your goal setting for 2021. But also, when you open the letter you have something else to celebrate on New Year’s Eve. All the goals you accomplished. You will be surprised how you feel when you receive them.

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I hope this list inspires you to get just a little more out of your 2020 than you may have already planned.  You can always do more or less depending on your level of commitment and your desire to get the most out of this year.  There may be some things that I did not think of or add to this list.  Feel free to add yours to the comments.

Wishing you happiness, success and productivity in 2020!

Be Blessed, Be Fabulous!

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Chicago Makeup Show

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There are many things that can get a girls attention.  Jewelry, fashion, money and makeup.  While not all of these things were represented at the Chicago Makeup Show, this was definitely a makeup lovers dream.  Wherever you find yourself on the makeup spectrum, from novice to top celebrity makeup artists, there was something for everyone at the Chicago edition of the Makeup show.

As stated on their official website:

The Makeup Show is the largest pro only beauty event in the United States. TheMakeup Show provides an experience and strives to inspire, educate and build a community. Our focus is to create a place where artists from all areas of the industry and all levels of their career can find mentors, meet industry leaders, refill their kit and learn about new products and programs that will bring their career to the next level.

Meet the CEOs & Executives behind the brands and stock up on all the essential products from large, indie, pro and prestige brands that will make a perfect addition to your makeup kit and retail line up. The show is open to makeup artists, hair stylists, cosmetologists, aestheticians, students, beauty executives, experts, aspiring artists, photographers and anyone related to the beauty and fashion industry.

Experience stages of education filled with legendary artists and industry experts as they share their insight on how to elevate your artistry and career through discussion, demonstration and participation. Watch & Learn as industry’s finest shows you the new trends for the season and introduces you to the new products and techniques to help refine your makeup skills.

The Makeup Show provides many different experiences in each city from multiple stages of education, industry cocktail events, fashion shows to an international presentation, beauty brunch, art gallery plus so much more!

While I am not a makeup artist, I do wear makeup practically every day of the year.  My makeup kit is quite expansive and has so many brands represented, that people may think I am a professional.  I love brands such as The Crayon Case, Juvias Place, Fenty Beauty, MAC, Huda Beauty and more, and yes I have products from each of these brands in my kit.  It was great to get to see other brands that I may not be as familiar with represented at the show and to have an opportunity to see their products up close and in person.  It was also a great help to be able to ask questions and sample some of the products, (something you don’t get to do when you purchase online).

The demonstrations and the talks on trends in the beauty industry were also very interesting.  It helped to connect the trends that are in magazines and IG posts with what industry professional thought were things to watch.  The makeup demonstrations were amazing to watch as well.  Being able to see the pro’s transform models into their visions using the tools in their makeup tool kits was amazing and inspiring.  As a non-professional, learning about techniques and tools that are above my level of expertise piqued my interest to add some new trick to my personal toolkit.

I enjoyed being able to see new products that I had no knowledge of.  One such company was Marmalade Nails.  I religiously got my nails done for over 30 years.  As I got older my finger became more and more irritated by the products so I had to stop getting my acrylics and gels.  I do miss the look of having my nails polished and looking good and I have not been able to do in home manicures and have the polish last longer than 48 hours, so having great, high quality, press on nails may be a good choice for me.  What I liked about Marmalade Nails was that they had a variety of nail shapes, colors and the always popular accent nails as well.  There were a variety of colors to choose from, and I was able to ask questions about things such as water on the hands.  I am the dishwasher in my house and I love long bubble baths, so having press on nails that can withstand water would be a plus for me.  While I did not purchase any at The Makeup Show, Marmalade nails are definitely on my to buy list.

Another product I received a sample of at the makeup show was the Pumpkin Turmeric Facemask by Yensa.  This product has been working wonders on my complex, problem skin.    Prior to trying this product I would make my own masks with Turmeric and chickpea flour, and if you know anything about Turmeric you know it can be quite messy.  This mask is not messy at all and has exfoliating ingredients in the product which is gentle and just enough to add an extra dose of brightness to my skin.  This is a product I would definately add to my skincare regimine.

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My first experience The Makeup Show was amazing.  Not only did I learn a great deal from industry professionals and insiders, I came home with lots of additions to my makeup tool kit.  This also inspired me to clean out said, toolkit to make more for the new items.  The educational portion of the event was great as well.  As a lifelong learner any opportunity I get to learn makes me excited.  Learning about trends in the makeup industry as well as new application tools has been a big take away for me.  I truly enjoyed the experience and look forward to next year.