I know that 2020 has been super hard for all of us across the world. Many have suffered from loss in different ways. From losing loved ones, jobs, and even the ability to connect with others in person, we all have made a sacrifice in one way or another due to COVID-19. Oftentimes we focus on the negative, but thankfully there have been glimmers of positivity throughout this year!
During a recent visit to Neimans Marcus inside Fashion Show, I checked out all their lovely holiday gifts and treats and just could not help but think, despite the craziness of 2020 there have been some amazing moments. Call me silly, but something about seeing food just always makes me nostalgic and full of comfort. Prior to COVID-19 my family and I in Las Vegas would get together often and share a meal. From fish frys, big pots of gumbo, to savory caramel cakes, food has always had a way of bringing us together and I have missed that. Thankfully Neiman Marcus has some of the best goodies that provide these nostalgic feels. From yummy candies, special teas, chocolates, and even pasta, Neiman Marcus has a variety of selections to bring back the comfort in this season.
To bring back those feelings of togetherness, I decided to snag a bottle of the Tortilla Soup and make a big pot for me to share with my family. This bottle came ready to be made filled with peppers, corn, and a ton of spices. And it was super easy to make. Just add a meat of choice (I used chicken breast), a can of tomato sauce, chicken broth and a few tortillas and you have a savory meal perfect for this cold weather.
While cooking the soup, I was able to reflect on the positive points of 2020. Some particular moments of gratitude that stand out for me are:
Being Safe at Home
I know I have been super fortunate to work in the safety of my home. But even more so, it has given me the opportunity to spend more time with my daughters, Lucky and Shyanne, as well as do somethings around the house I never had time before. For example, I FINALLY furnished my office which is a huge milestone in terms of making it feel like my space! Had I not been forced to work from home and need to create the office space, I never would have done it!
Reconnecting With My Husband
I know my husband and I have always had a great relationship but having to quarantine honestly has made our relationship even stronger. The crazy thing about it is he is working more than ever due to his job and the military. Still, I think with me having to be home more in such a safe space has allowed me to be more present in our relationship, holding down the fort while he is gone. In all, despite 2020 throwing us a curve ball with our daily routines, I believe our communication has only strengthened due to it.
Social Justice Awareness
In 2020, it has been hard to ignore the social justice reckoning our country is going through at this time. As a black woman, the Black Lives Matter movement struck a personal cord for me. I personally have attempted to shied away from having uncomfortable conversations about race but realized they are so needed. These conversations do not have to be accusatory or rude, especially if you are operating from a place of respect, honor and truth. I firmly believe change happens one conversation at a time. And I recognized that with my platform I could be doing so much more to provide awareness about inequality and injustices happening in our country. I could help spark those necessary conversations and quite honestly it feels so good to!
Getting Creative in the Kitchen
Like many of you I have spent a TON of time in the kitchen during 2020. I will be the first to say at moments I loathed cooking all the time but after quite a few months, I can say I have had a lot of fun trying all kinds of recipes. Plus, it has been nice to save money! Just like making this tortilla soup, I have been attempting to make dupes of my favorite restaurant recipes and even desserts. I may even have to try my hand at some of the yummy items Neiman Marcus has!
Learning More About Myself
Overall, I feel like 2020 has been a tremendous year of growth for me. Not being able to go out to events, hang out at a restaurant, travel, and socialize has honestly been hard. With Zell traveling, I have spent a lot of time alone. While Zoom calls are helpful, they really are not the same. Quite honestly, I probably have cried more this year than ever, but I also feel so much stronger with who I am and who I want to become. In all, after 2020, I love myself more. And while that may seem self serving, I firmly believe it is necessary to love who you are despite your faults.
In all, it has been an incredible year! Despite the lows 2020 may have dealt us, I am happy to reflect on all the positives. It is those moments of hope and light that get us through the darkness. And sometimes you need tasty treats to remind you of that! You can find all these incredible treats that also make amazing gifts at Neiman Marcus inside Fashion Show Las Vegas