2020 in review: top posts, recipes + reader favorite purchases

sam edelman garret combat boots petite outfit

2020 was a uniquely hard year for everyone to say the least, so we felt extremely fortunate to have a little light in our lives as we welcomed sweet baby Rio. We’re still trying to find our groove of WFH with an infant and rambunctious toddler, so do send me your tips! As many of us were homebound much of last year, it’s no surprise that home organization and kids posts became some of the most viewed content on here.

2020 was also the year of more cooking for many of us, out of necessity and out of a feeling of nostalgia for dishes from home. So many of our memories are associated with the recipes I’ve been sharing, so it means a lot to know some of your families are enjoying them!

Thank you for being part of this community and stopping by even in the midst of everything going on in the world—I’m looking forward to brighter days ahead in 2021. As for 2020, here are the most read posts & finds you guys loved this past year 🙂

ALSO SEE: MY 10-YEAR BLOGGING JOURNEY

Top 5 Popular Posts

Popular posts aside from recipes, baby news, and nsale reviews which were the most viewed!

  1. Neutral Everyday Makeup Routine (video)
  2. My Most Used Handbags (& Least Used)
  3. Pumping & Breastfeeding Tips that Made a Difference
  4. Before & After: Our Boston Condo Renovations
  5. All Things Pregnancy Q&A
    Honorable Mention: Home storage & organization series

Top 5 Reader Buys – Fashion

It’s no surprise that only laid-back, oversized, and comfortable pieces made it to year’s reader favorites. This is also the second year in a row that the Sophie cardigan (wait for a sale) & Zella 7/8 leggings were within the top 10!

  1. Sam Edelman Combat boots – Can’t remember the last time I received so much happy feedback on a recommended item. Stepped out of my comfort zone with this one so am glad to see you guys loving them too. (more sizes available at Belk, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, SE)
  2. Old Navy Oversized Coat see on me. Favorite bargain find of the year, but note “oversized” here does mean oversized. This one is very similar with smaller petite sizes available.
  3. Everlane Court Sneakers – (their white jeans coming in close). My favorite, cushy comfy retro-inspired leather sneaker that look good with either jeans or skirts / dresses – see on me.
  4. KB Postpartum Nursing PJs – size up, use JEAN20 for 20% off, and get a backup set (I hvae 3!). Also on Amazon but code does not apply there. This was the top most purchased womens gift!
  5. Zella petite-friendly joggerssee on me. These just edged out the lululemon Align joggers. Both have their perks – the Zellas are better as cozy loungewear while the lulu ones are more “athleisure.”

Top 5 Reader Buys – Non Fashion

  1. Farmacy skincare sets – code EXTRAPETITE for extra 25% off. So happy many of you agree about their Honeymoon Glow & Honey Potion mask!
  2. Revlon dryer brush – see updated notes in this hair post
  3. Drawer organizers / dividers – see my posts
  4. Slim hamper & sweater shaver from my clothing care faves
  5. Always Pan – see my post. A huge reader favorite but was also mentioned by some in my poll as disappointing. Personally, I don’t think it’s as amazing as the brand markets it to be (as mentioned on IG, my dumplings always stick) but I do think it’s a very good multi-purpose, less toxic pan that we loved enough to also buy for both our moms. If you’re looking strictly for a good traditional nonstick frying pan, I’ve only heard happy feedback for this affordable Anolon pan set! (note: we never use metal utensils / tools or harsh cleaners on any nonstick pan)

Top 5 Reader Buys – Baby & Kids

  1. Baby food scissors – a repeat favorite from this post for a second year! Tied is this transitional lid & straw set (great quality straw – I cut it shorter from the bottom for our smaller cups) made for Munchkin 360 sippy cups, since straw use is encouraged for babies & toddlers.
  2. Helper tower from my post on some toddler favorites. Cant recommend one of these enough! Our Unicoo one is sold out, but I linked a similar one with great reviews, highly recommended by friends.
  3. Breathable Newton crib mattress – code JEAN50 for $50 off. We got this in mini and full size.
  4. Melissa & Doug see & spell puzzle – # 1 swiped up item on IG stories!
  5. Space saving book caddy – fits a ton of books while allowing you to view each title on the spine.

Top 5 Recipes

  1. Garlic Noodles – By far the #1 most viewed post on the blog all year : ) Several of you have also mentioned making this vegan using vegan oyster sauce, parmesan, and mushrooms.
  2. Nick’s Filipino Chicken Adobo. This simple recipe was a surprise runaway hit! It was posted a month ago and has already crept to one of the top viewed posts of 2020. We just love that so many of you are giving Filipino food a try at home!
  3. Lola’s Moist Zucchini Chocolate Cake (or Carrot Cake)
  4. Banana Muffins + Turkey Meatballs
  5. Grandma’s Corn Egg Drop Soup

Other Personal Favorites

Leave a Comment

29 Comments

  1. Hey Jean, I so appreciate you’ve continued posting regularly all through 2020. In an exceptionally tough year, it was comforting to visit here and see your tidbits of life and recommendations as in past years. We recently welcomed our second as well so we’re juggling 2 jobs and 2 kids while WFH as well and it’s a quintuple handful! We just need one more adult around here …. ! 🙂

    Now I need to go make Lola’s chocolate cake so I don’t have to eat more grilled zucchini 😉

    Posted 1.19.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Revanche, always great to hear from you! Congratulations on your second, I hope you’re resting up whenever possible (easier said than done as a busy mama!) and thank you so much for continuing to follow along over the years xx

      Posted 1.20.21 Reply
  2. Kate wrote:

    Jean, I follow(ed) your blog for work outfit ideas, but now I am looking forward to see posts related to motherhood and baby-related posts as well. What I appreciats about your blog is its authenticity, seeing same items being used over and over again. Happy new year and looking forward to more amazing blog posts.

    Posted 1.15.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Kate, thank you for your kind words! Congratulations as it sounds like you’re a new or expecting mom, I really appreciate you following along all this time! xx

      Posted 1.20.21 Reply
  3. Elle wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    I just wanted to express my gratitude to you for your amazing blog. In these trying times of loss for all of us, the ability to step away from this surreal moment by going to your blog helped serve as an escape for me. It provided me with moments of normalcy, through the beauty of your unmatched style ideas and for your images of a city that I love dearly. Your blog continues to inspire me both professionally and personally, and reminds me to remain confident and beautiful. Thank you for bringing some light into our lives during these dark times, and for sharing your style and practical ideas. You are amazing!

    Posted 1.14.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Elle – wow, your kind words means a lot to me. I haven’t been able to do nearly as much as I’d like blog-wise with two sweet little ones at home, and at times really struggle to figure out the best way to juggle things. In a year like last year, though, I’m just grateful to still have this platform and am so appreciative of your encouraging note. Wishing you and your family all the best in this new year! xx

      Posted 1.14.21 Reply
  4. Amy wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    I just wanted to say thank you for your website! I discovered it this year and have bought about 10 of your recommendations and have loved everything I tried! I even used nicks posts to buy my significant other gifts! Thank you for your fantastic content 🙂

    Posted 1.14.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Amy – I’m thrilled to hear that the recommendations didn’t disappoint! Thanks so much for taking the time to share this encouraging note. xx

      Posted 1.14.21 Reply
  5. Gina wrote:

    Hmm… you raved about the Always Pan back in Nov as “it has truly become a pan we reach for on a daily basis” when it was a sponsored post and you got it for free. Now all of a sudden you state… “Personally, I don’t think it’s as amazing as they market it to be.” So which comment is the actual honest opinion?

    Posted 1.14.21 Reply
    • Jean wrote:

      Hi Gina – I stand by my comments and they are not mutually exclusive. We love using it daily for a variety of dishes, and I made sure to test our pan out for nearly half a year before recommending it. I received mine for free but also purchased several Always Pans with my own money as special holiday and housewarming gifts.

      What I referred to in this post is the brand markets it as an amazing piece of cookware that will replace 8 items in your kitchen. I’ve previously posted feedback like the nonstick surface doesn’t work with my potsticker dumplings, and the steaming rack sits very low. We still love it enough to buy several, and hopefully they brand will take customer feedback into consideration for future iteration.

      Posted 1.14.21 Reply
      • I appreciate the honesty and discourse here about the Always Pan because I see it everywhere these days. Admittedly, I found the premise of having one pan do it all enticing, and it is indisputably nice to look at, which certainly doesn’t hurt. I passed on purchasing one because I’m not a fan of non-stick surfaces, although this approach to non-stick is interesting. Once you know how to do things like deglaze a pan, non-stick is no longer a selling point, at least for me. And now since it sounds like this pan is like 2-in-1 shampoo conditioner (not as good together as either one individually), I don’t regret not picking one up. That said, if they sent me one, obviously I’d try it out and enjoy looking at it in my kitchen.

        Posted 1.15.21 Reply
  6. MyHanh wrote:

    Hey Jean, can you share the link for the lids you use for the Anolon pans? I can’t seem to find them. Thank you!

    Posted 1.13.21 Reply
  7. Jia wrote:

    Hi Jean!

    I’ve followed your site for a long time and loved many of your picks (Zella leggings, tie-waist pants from express, allll the baby bump outfits, etc.). This might be a bit abrupt, but I’m also on the petite side (around 5’2″) and I was wondering if you’d ever tried clothing from Dynamite? It’s one of my favorite brands for affordable, flattering, and easy-to-care for clothes, and they run a little smaller than regular US sizing (they’re a Canadian brand but have US stores and free shipping over 40$/returns). I wear a US 0-2, and tend to go for size S in their tops (Two of my recent favorites are the Joan Drop Sleeve Mock Neck Top and their Draped Long Sleeve Mock Neck Top). I just wanted to let you know of the brand since so many of outfits you recommended worked for me, and I was wondering if you’d like that brand too.

    Thank you again for all the amazing content!

    Posted 1.12.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Jia, thank you for the tip and for even sharing the shipping details! I’ve actually never heard of the brand and just looked them up to bookmark and check out later.

      Posted 1.13.21 Reply
      • Jia wrote:

        Glad to help! I only knew of them too because I studied in Montreal, where they’re based. Their dresses (the ones that don’t have too much stretch and have a defined waist) are (imo) designed for longer torsos, so I tend to pick ones that are tie/waist or stretchy throughout, though they’ll definitely be a couple of inches longer than they look on the model since they’re not petite sizes. That’s also why I tend to shop mostly for separates (tops, shorts/skirts) and sometimes jeans from their sister brand (Garage) – I probably like their tops the most? But anyway (sorry for all the rambling!) definitely let me know if you have more questions!

        Posted 1.14.21 Reply
  8. Maureen Beery wrote:

    I love your blog and have been following for a few years now! I am trying to buy fewer style items, but purchase better items that will last for years. I would love a post on what you would pick if you could only buy one of something (one casual bag, dressy bag, black heels, jeans, etc.) for the next 5 years.

    Posted 1.12.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Maureen – thanks for your suggestion! I’ll have to think that one over. Off the top of my head a few standout favorites for the categories you mentioned are my : Goyard tote bag, Ann Taylor Azra pumps, and Everlane authentic stretch high rise jeans.

      Posted 1.13.21 Reply
  9. Love the handbag post! Was thinking of selling my purses for the first time this year.

    May

    Posted 1.10.21 Reply
  10. Demi wrote:

    The Sam Edelman Combat boots look so pretty! I might buy a pair, thanks!

    Posted 1.8.21 Reply
  11. Kelcy wrote:

    Thanks for this Jean. I loved the post about renovating your condo.

    Posted 1.8.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thanks for reading, Kelcy! That was a fun walk down memory lane.

      Posted 1.13.21 Reply
  12. Mak wrote:

    Hi Jean, sometime around Black Friday you shared a sale on a basic small crossbody bag that was available in multiple solid shades of leather. I think they offered monograms too. It was a brand I hadn’t heard of…and of course I promptly blanked on the name. Any chance you know what I’m referring to? Thank you!

    Posted 1.7.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Mak – I think you might be referring to bags from The Daily Edited – I absolutely love the pieces I have from there! Their saffiano leather is durable and easy to wipe clean.

      Posted 1.7.21 Reply
      • Mak wrote:

        Yes! Thank you so much!

        Posted 1.10.21 Reply
  13. Inkybinky wrote:

    Hello Jean , we have made the banana muffins and Lola’s chocolate cake on rotation ALL LAST YEAR! Big hits with all who tried! Who knew zucchini was so delicious in a chocolate cake! Yum. Happy New Year!

    Posted 1.7.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Ah that makes me soo happy to hear! I love zucchini for adding moisture and most wouldn’t suspect a veggie inside : ) Happy New Year to you and your family!

      Posted 1.7.21 Reply
  14. Alissa wrote:

    Hey There! I am loving this hat! I have a pretty small head, probably like a lot of petite girls. Do you think this would work for a smaller head?

    https://www.47brand.com/products/atlanta-braves-carhartt-carhartt-x-47-clean-up

    Posted 1.7.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Alissa, that’s the same hat I have just with a different team logo on the front. I would say I have a medium sized head since I usually order size 6 / M hats that come in different sizes, and I have the 47 Brand hat adjusted almost all the way. So based on that, it might be a little too big on you if you have a smaller head.

      Posted 1.7.21 Reply

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