The best of 2020, part 2

Enough about me—let's talk about you. This blog is called Cheryl Shops, and while shopping is what I do, it's what you do too. Plus, I love getting feedback on what you liked (or didn't like)—it helps me create better content for you. So without further ado, here's a look at what you browsed, clicked, bought, and loved in 2020. 

The best of 2020

I know, it's kind of weird to think of 2020 in terms of "the best" or anything great happening, for that matter, but it wasn't all bad. I actually started the year on a good note, with a trip to NYC for my dear friend's 40th birthday, a long weekend in Healdsburg, and I even spent my birthday in Paris and London. Of course, I've pretty much been stuck at home ever since, but hey, at least I created a lot of content (and based on my traffic, y'all have been reading it). Here's a look back at some of my most viewed, most commented-on, and most loved posts of 2020. 

What to wear during lockdown 2.0

I'm writing this post literally as the sun is setting on the shortest day of the year, and spiritually, I hope today is a turning point. I've seen a lot of people sharing this post on social media, implying that when all of this COVID stuff is over, we're going to have another dressed-up, partied-out, roaring twenties, which I am 100% on board with, so long as it's not followed by a huge stock market crash. I advocated for dressing up a few weeks ago—and I fully plan to do so for Christmas and New Year's Eve—but the reality is that all Californians are in lockdown at least until the 4th of January (and, TBH, probably for several weeks after that as we deal with the fallout from holiday gatherings), not to mention my friends in London, who are on stay-at-home orders that are just as strict as ours. Long story short, I think it's ok to cut yourself some slack and be comforted with some soft, cozy clothes. It's what I'll be wearing for the next few weeks (and possibly beyond), and that's fine, because like all of this, it's only temporary. As soon as I am vaccinated and able to be out in the world again safely, it's going to be all sparkles and heels and freedom. But for now, it's my last outfit post of the year, so I thought I'd sign off with the most 2020 outfit of them all. 

Last-minute gifts that aren't gift cards

When it comes to last-minute gifts, I have nothing against a carefully selected gift card from a place the recipient actually likes to shop, but let's face it, nothing says "I almost forgot to get you something" like an Amazon gift card that you bought at the grocery-store checkout line. (And in fact, I'm not one to stop you from shopping there either—here are some of my favorite products on Amazon, most of which can be ordered with express Prime shipping.) But even if you're going to show up with or send an e-gift at the 11th hour, you can at least put a little thought into it. So here are some of my favorite last-minute gifts that aren't gift cards—all can be delivered electronically, too, which should come in handy since we're all staying at home this year, right?

What to wear to wine country in winter

As I mentioned in last week's post, San Francisco is in lockdown 2.0, but Napa County isn't yet, so we headed up there on Saturday to pick up wine and enjoy one last meal in a restaurant before the holidays. Things have only been shut down for a week in the city, but it felt glorious to be outdoors in the sunshine, sipping wine and savoring the finer things. Winter tends to be when we get our only rain of the year here in the Bay Area, but if you play your cards right, you can get a gloriously clear, sunny day. It can definitely be on the chillier side, but with some careful layering, you can enjoy a full day of outdoor wine tasting. Here's what to wear in Napa in winter. 

7 holiday at home outfit ideas

I knew several months ago that, for the first time in my 42 years, I wouldn't be spending Christmas in Chicago with my mom. We had instead made plans to drive down to L.A., rent a house in Venice Beach, and have an outdoor, socially distant Christmas with Sean's family. But earlier this week, after realizing that restaurants are closed for outdoor dining, parks and beaches may be next, hospital ICUs are at capacity, and the governor's orders basically prevent interacting with anyone outside of your immediate household, we decided to postpone our trip to February or March. I had been looking forward to our trip for many reasons—a change of scenery, seeing friends and family, traveling somewheres, anywhere—and I'm surprised I'm not more upset about having to cancel it, but I know that it's the right thing to do, and that this is hopefully a one-time-only concession. This year has definitely had its share of disappointments, but I'm trying to look on the bright side. For one, we don't have to deal with jacked up travel expenses, crowded airports, novice travelers, awkward conversations with relatives who have opposing political viewpoints, and so on. For another, it's an opportunity to create our own new traditions. I'm thinking we'll order extravagant takeout from a local restaurant for Christmas Eve dinner, then open a nice bottle of wine and open presents. And as for what I'll be wearing, it will probably be much more low-key than my usual, but (hopefully) still somewhat festive. Here are some ideas, from dressiest to most casualest. 

What to wear in December

Well, friends, we are back in lockdown in San Francisco, which means no outdoor (or indoor) dining, no hair or nail salons, no gathering with people outside of your household, and a bunch of other no-nos. It is, to say the least, a really depressing development in this a dumpster fire of a year, although one that I recognize as necessary to help flatten the spread of COVID and address the ICU capacity issues in hospitals all over the state. My heart really goes out to all of the small businesses who have to lay off workers again (and especially to the workers themselves), right before the holidays; I'm going to take this as an excuse to not cook for the rest of the year and instead order takeout so all of my favorite restaurants don't go out of business. But unlike the first lockdown, I'm not going to retreat into my cozy cocoon of sweatpants. It's the holiday season, goddamnit, and I'm going to dress like it! Here's what I'll be wearing.

The Cheryl Shops Holiday Gift Guide 2020

Now that you've shopped all of the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even Giving Tuesday sales, time to tackle gifts for other people. While I focused on major retailers offering ridiculously good discounts in my sale post last week, for my annual holiday gift guide, I really wanted to highlight small, local, sustainable, woman- and/or POC-owned businesses, because they're the ones who really need (and deserve!) our dollars at the moment. And speaking of money, I know it's been a rough year for a lot of people, and not everyone is in a position to spend a ton on gifts. And that's ok—for me, the most important thing is knowing that my family and friends are happy, healthy, and safe. But if you are in a gifting mood, read on, be thankful, and spend mindfully. (And if you're Sean, feel free to scroll straight to the splurge section. Kidding! Sort of.)

What to wear with wide-leg khakis

If you are of a certain age like I am, khaki pants (or chinos—they're pretty much the same thing) probably played a prominent role in your adolescent wardrobe, thanks to the Gap. I haven't owned a pair since their peak in the late '90s, but I've started to see them pop up on some of my favorite bloggers over the last several months and thus was influenced to buy a pair (see, it happens to me too). Silhouettes have changed a bit in the last 25 years—we've gone from bootcut to skinny to wide leg to straight—but the pair I went for is pretty timeless: high-waisted, wide-legged, and pretty darn flattering if I do say so myself. Here's how I'm wearing my wide-leg khaki pants.