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TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 28, 2020

The Zoella Team’s Top 5 For 2020

From our favourite lockdown tv to the song that got us through it and the lockdown purchase we couldn't function without, here’s the team’s best bits from the quickest, slow year that’s ever been.

We can’t pretend we’re not glad to see the back of 2020 but rather than dwelling on all the bad, bad, double bad bits, we’re looking back on this year’s highlights and all the sparkly silver linings that helped us weather the shitstorm.

From our favourite lockdown tv to the song that got us through it and the lockdown purchase we couldn’t function without, here’s the team’s best bits from the quickest, slow year that’s ever been. Thank you, next 2020!

Zoe says…

TV series/ Movie:

One tv show that I think wins my affection the most, however, was Normal PeopleZoe

This year my TV got an awful lot more loving than usual. I had something on most evenings, even if it was just in the background. One tv show that I think wins my affection the most, however, was Normal People. The BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel was just pure…chefs kiss. The acting, the cast, the FEEEELLS when you were watching it. When the final episode finished Alfie and I just sat in silence and tears just rolled down my face. It really got me right in the heart and even writing this now I want to re-watch it! Beautifully done.

Lockdown purchase:

This was an easy one for me, my yellow Nintendo DS and Animal Crossing. Just as lockdown happened, Alfie had purchased me a DS and told me that he thought I’d enjoy playing animal crossing. I didn’t know much about it besides the fact that Alfie had played the previous version before and I knew the characters were cute animals that made weird noises. A group of 6 of us all bought a DS, downloaded animal crossing and started playing at the same time. We all got SO into it, it consumed all our evenings comparing what fish or bugs we’d caught or what our islands looked like. We even created a WhatsApp group where we talked about it, spent endless hours on group calls talking about it and it will honestly be such a huge highlight for me when I look back at 2020. None of us really play it anymore or certainly not to the extent we were, but we still use the group chat, that will now always be called “AC IS A WAY OF LIFE”

Memory:

This was hard as I have 2 memories that stick out for me. The first being my 30th birthday. Although not the one I had planned, and one I certainly won’t ever forget (5 days into the first national lockdown) Alfie made it so special and I had the best day even though I wasn’t able to spend it with any friends or family.

I remember feeling so lucky to spend time with people in this way and it was hilarious and crazy!Zoe

There was also one particular evening where we were allowed to have up to 6 people in the garden as lockdown was easing. We’d been on a walk with friends and even though it was so cold, and so rainy, everyone came back to the garden and we made a very makeshift gazebo with tarpaulin, a lot of random garden things to weigh it down and keep it on and used outdoor heaters and fairy lights to try and make it cosy. We all ordered a Wagamama and wrapped up in blankets and just had the best time. I remember feeling so lucky to spend time with people in this way and it was hilarious and crazy!

Song that got you through it:

My most played songs of 2020 were Mungo Jerry – In the Summertime and Bob Marley – Three Little Birds. I played both these songs over and over when I was spending time in the garden in the sun and they always put me in the best mood.

New discovery:

Alfie and I discovered a bit more of a love for cooking from scratch. We subscribed to Gousto just before lockdown as we told ourselves we would learn to cook proper meals in 2020, and when we were eventually faced with limited online shopping slots and only really going to the shop on very few occasions for food, it was such a joy to take that time out in the evenings to make something together. We were never really the cooking from scratch type of couple but it was so enjoyable and I learnt to cook so many new meals this year because of it!

Maddie Says…

TV series/ Movie:

I became really engrossed in the 6 part miniseries ‘The Undoing’ which launched on Sky Atlantic this year. It’s a gripping “Who done it” starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant who are absolutely brilliant in it. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but trust me, you will want to binge-watch the entire thing in one go to find out what happened and who you can believe. I also started the Crown for the first time, I know I’m terribly behind the times but have really loved watching that too, it’s far more scandalous than I imagined it would be.

Lockdown purchase:

My collective lockdown purchases have all been either house or baby-related things. I can’t remember the last time I bought something that wasn’t a really practical buy ie a hoover or lightbulbs! Researching our first pram was quite a fun experience though, I thought it would be really overwhelming with all the choice but for once I was quite decisive!

Memory:

Picking a favourite memory is impossible but all of my favourite memories of this year revolve around finding out that I’m having a baby. That first positive test, breaking the news to my husband, hearing the heartbeat for the first time, telling our friends and family, feeling her kicks….the list goes on but it’s definitely been my biggest highlight of 2020.

Song that got you through it:

This is a bit of a weird one but I’m going to go with Meat Loaf – Life is a lemon (and I want my money back). There’s something about that song that I can’t help sing/yell along with, it’s incredibly cathartic and appropriate for this year! I also have to say that I’ve found a new appreciation for Harry Styles.

New discovery:

I’ve discovered so many independent brands, a lot of which were born out of lockdown which I think is incredible. Maddie

A big change for me this year has been a massive shift to shopping small where possible. I’ve discovered so many independent brands, a lot of which were born out of lockdown which I think is incredible. It’s been a really hard year for retail generally but I imagine that it hits even harder when it’s your own shop or business that’s bearing the brunt of an economic downturn. I definitely want to continue to make a concerted effort to shop more locally and support small businesses going forward.

Lareese Says…

TV series/ Movie:

Oh, this is a tough one but I was absolutely obsessed with Normal People, like OBSESSED. I just thought it was utterly brilliant and so beautifully done. I still think about Connell’s chain before I go to sleep at night. I also loved Little Fires Everywhere, The Queen’s Gambit, The Crown Season 4 and Emily In Paris. I mean, we’ve been spoilt rotten where TV’s concerned this year but Normal People still takes the top spot. Film-wise – I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse. At the time of writing, I haven’t even seen it yet but I just know it’s going to be my favourite film of this year. Enola Holmes was also a 10/10 movie to come out of 2020 – all the cosy nostalgia.

Lockdown purchase:

It was a real labour of love but it also gave us something to throw all our time and energy during those long lockdown months.Lareese

Our bloody hallway! We have been renovating it since March and have now finally got to a point that feels close to completion. After seeing it in so many various states of undress and putting a ridiculous amount of hours and weekends into stripping wallpaper, prepping the walls and stripping the bannisters (that was painful), it feels like such a grown-up accomplishment to finally have a stair runner down. It was a real labour of love but it also gave us something to throw all our time and energy (and money tbh) during those long lockdown months. It’s beans on toast for the rest of forever now haha but it was worth it and hopefully, we’ve saved the next future owners a whole lot of hassle and blisters.

Memory:

I think it was my birthday back in February, ya know – just the sheer normality of going out for a bog-standard meal with my mum, dad, sister, boyfriend and my niece and nephew and having absolutely no idea how extraordinary doing something that normal would become in the months that followed. Soppy right? But it’s so true. I remember coming home after that meal and watching a cosy film tucked up in bed and just feeling like my heart was fit to burst. Little did I know that the events of 2020 would make me feel even more grateful for who and what I have in my life. Blimey, pass the tissues – we did it guys, we made it through TOGETHER.

Song that got you through it:

Can I vote for Taylor Swift’s whole album please? Folklore definitely provided me with some much-needed escapism. I love the whole fairytale, the story-telling direction she’s taken with her music. Another song that got a serious amount of plays this year and was top of my Spotify Wrapped was Fleetwood Mac Everywhere. That intro! It gives me such a pick-me-up whenever I hear it.

New discovery:

I fell back in love with the water this year and found a new level of appreciation for where I live. Lareese

Definitely swimming. I fell back in love with the water this year and found a new level of appreciation for where I live. Lockdown completely highlighted how lucky we are to have the sea on our doorstep here in Brighton and I went sea swimming right up until November. I don’t think I’m quite brave enough to keep at it all through Winter – I’m definitely more of a fair-weather swimmer but as soon as I don’t need a woolly hat to do my breaststroke, I’ll be back in there like swimwear.

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Danielle Says…

TV series/ Movie:

I have consumed a crapload of content this year, I’m sure everyone has so it’s so hard to think of my favourite. Let’s go with the Queen’s Gambit! These days every series I watch is set up for the second with a frustrating cliff hanger that ties up just enough to keep me hanging on for the next, nothing seems to just end which is one of the many reasons I loved QG as it was a perfect story all wrapped up and delivered. I loved the vibe, the music, the fashion, the characters and its ability to stray from the path of where I thought it was heading. It was a brilliant escape and now I’m a massive Anya Taylor-Joy fan girl.

Lockdown purchase:

Ummm we bought a house? I’m not sure if that counts but it’s definitely my most exciting purchase of the year! After the first lockdown we knew we needed more space and set out finding a new place to rent but the market was just heaving and unfortunately having a dog usually puts you behind others looking, so we decided it was time to buy instead. I’m yet to move in or as I’m writing this so fingers crossed it all went smoothly!

Memory:

On the day itself we had a Zoom open all day for people to drop in and have a pint, it was so much fun!Danielle

My best memories of this year come from making the effort during the height of lockdown. It was my birthday, my partner Harry’s birthday and my hen-do all within a few weeks and they were some of the BEST times I’ve had due to the extra care and attention that went into them. Not to toot my own horn but I created a pub in my kitchen for Harry that I really enjoyed researching and putting together, on the day itself we had a Zoom open all day for people to drop in and have a pint, it was so much fun!

Song that got you through it:

I’ve always loved how This American Life podcast handles significant events, it was so interesting to hear so many COVID and election storiesDanielle

I actually don’t listen to a ton of music I’m more of a podcast or book person so a couple of things that I’ve loved is audible and rediscovering my love of listening to the Harry Potter books before I go to sleep. The Off-Menu podcast which is always hilarious and I’ve always loved how This American Life podcast handles significant events, it was so interesting to hear so many COVID and election stories from across the pond.

New discovery:

I really haven’t picked up a new hobby even though I think that was one of my new year’s resolutions last Jan! Most recently I think my discovery is Twitch, which I never thought I’d say. I love that I can pop on someone or a group of people playing a game and leave it for a few hours instead of constantly picking up my phone thinking what should I put on now. I won’t go into specifics about who I’m loving HA but watching people play Among Us is probs my fave.

Holly Says…

TV Series/Movie:

I started watching The Vampire Diaries in Lockdown and I am obsessed. My Tik Tok explore page is literally all Damon Salvatore now. I couldn’t guess what was going to happen from episode to episode and the character development is also great. The people that start off as the bad guys, you grow to love. And I haven’t actually watched the ending because I couldn’t finish it in time before it was taken off of Netflix, but I know what happens and it makes my heart happy.

Lockdown Purchase:

I did go a bit tie-die crazy though and I now have about 15 clothing items which are multicoloured. Roll on next summer!Holly

I actually didn’t make too many lockdown purchases. I got the little things to help get through it, crafts, tie-dye kit and tracksuits but that’s it. I got so bored at so many points so all these little things occupied my mind a bit. I did go a bit tie-die crazy though and I now have about 15 clothing items which are multicoloured. Roll on next summer!

Memory:

I can’t say any great memories really sprung to mind. I had a couple of highlights, seeing my best friends for the first time in 9 months was GREAT and spending quality time with my family over lockdown was nice. But I think my absolute favourite was going to the comedy shows at the Warren outdoor theatre in Brighton. They had a different show on every day and I think it was the closest to normal I’ve felt in a while. I miss live entertainment!

Song that got you through it:

I’ve rediscovered my actual LOVE for One Direction. It reminds me of better times so I’ve been listening to them on repeat. The Take Me Home album specifically and even more specifically, She’d Not Afraid – I’m thinking of getting it tattooed on me because I’m a basic bitch and proud.

New Discovery:

At the beginning of the year, I fully didn’t get the hype of Tik Tok but let me tell you I am converted. I’m not joking when I say I spend all of my spare time scrolling my for you page. I go to bed at night and have the dances in my head and sometimes I find myself scrolling and I don’t even know how I got there. Has it been 5 mins or 5 hours? I just wish I was better at dancing so I could actually do my own…

Darcey Says…

TV series/ Movie:

I think 2020 was the year of bingeing alllll the series on Netflix. I actually discovered Friends this year properly in the first lockdown, and watched it through TWICE. Yes, that is really how much time I had on my hands. I became obsessed with Friends and finally understood the hype! I also binge-watched all of Modern Family again too. But, my favourite new series has to be hands down Normal People and The Queens Gambit, both series were absolutely remarkable. I was obsessed with both leading ladies and how perfectly both storylines were done. If I had to pick one, I think it would be Queens Gambit in first place. Maybe I’ll take up Chess in 2021?

Lockdown purchase:

I did however in lockdown buy myself a proper desk set-up in my bedroom for my new WFH lifeDarcey

I can’t say that I really bought anything crazy in lockdown, I kind of had the mindset that if I can’t go anywhere then what’s the point in indulging in new things, especially makeup and clothes etc. I did however in lockdown buy myself a proper desk set-up in my bedroom for my new WFH life, although it was only a desk and some shelving, it actually made my room feel super zen and I think it has massively helped with dividing up my work/personal life while spending so much time at home.

Memory:

My 2020 most definitely isn’t filled with many happy memories, it has been a really tough year and I am truly ready to wave goodbye to 2020. This year was going to be tough for me either with or without Covid, with my Mum falling Ill back in June. I think moments like this do make you realise how precious life is and how important it is to live life to the full. So although this was not a happy memory, this one really stands out for me. 2020 did give me the opportunity to spend more time with my family and that I am grateful for. I did, however, enjoy getting outside more once lockdown was lifted, going on bike rides with friends and enjoying the sunshine probably more than most summers as I think I appreciated that little extra bit of freedom so much.

Song that got you through it:

I spent a lot of 2020 listening to Fleetwood Mac, I grew up listening to their music and find it really soothing. They actually were my Spotify Unwrapped top artist this year, so that shows how much I listened to them! I think I listened to Dreams the most though, or Rhiannon, very close between the two.

New discovery:

I wouldn’t necessarily say this was a new discovery, but I do think my love for it grew exceptionally in Lockdown. I am obsessed with house plants, I think I have roughly 17 in my bedroom alone… But what I really enjoyed throughout lockdown and 2020, in general, is looking after them all, I think it’s really good for my mental health and it’s nice when you actually keep them alive haha!

Charlotte Says…

TV series/ Movie:

I wish I could say something more profound but I found a lot of comfort in watching Selling Sunset during a difficult part of lockdown for me. It’s kinda trashy but I found getting a peek into the real estate world so interesting, as well as the dynamic between the girls and the LA lifestyle- plus there were a LOT of episodes to binge! Other than that, the 1D film ‘This Is Us’ ALWAYS cheers me up no matter the circumstance.

Lockdown purchase:

A TV for my room! Seems extravagant but it made the second lockdown so much more bearable and I love being able to catch up on vlogs on the big screen.

Memory:

It sounds bizarre but I feel nostalgic and comforted looking back at the first 3 weeks of lockdown in March.Charlotte

2020 is really hard to reflect on for me, to be honest- it feels a bit too raw to relive how hard it’s been. It sounds bizarre but I feel nostalgic and comforted looking back at the first 3 weeks of lockdown in March. After that point, I had a really tricky time with my health that changed the whole experience, both those initial weeks of spending time with my mum and sister, baking banana bread, learning TikTok dances, watching Tiger King, reading in the bath and not feeling guilty about it felt really safe and reassuring for me. I guess the naivety of not knowing what was to come made me a lot more relaxed during those initial weeks.

If I forget the surrounding circumstances, seeing The 1975 in February at The O2 before Covid took over was magical.

Song that got you through it:

Peace by Taylor Swift really does sound like peace.

New discovery:

Making One Direction TikToks was such a WELCOME distraction! I’ve also really had to prioritise my mental health and have found yoga/breathing/meditation to be so helpful and practices I will continue for the long haul!

What are your top 5 things from 2020? Let us know in the comments!

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Macey @ Brine & BooksNatalie RedmanEllieCindy Recent comment authors
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Cindy
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Cindy

I love how so many of you are Directioners 😁♥️

Ellie
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Ellie

Getting engaged, Christmas, spending time with my partner and family.

Natalie Redman
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Natalie Redman

So many wonderful achievements! Congrats to you all!

http://www.upyourvlog.com | http://www.tillyandrouge.co.uk

Macey @ Brine & Books
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Macey @ Brine & Books

Love hearing everyone’s top 5!!! I love how The Queen’s Gambit was in so many of these :’) I think my top 5 would deffo surround new reads I picked up; new shows I watched (including TQG, The Crown, & Normal People); discovering great new music; all the time I got to spend with my family; and the creativity that emerged from this time x

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