It’s been a couple of months so it is time to update my currently loving list and share a new flatlay. You wouldn’t believe that after a month of sunshine the evening I planned to take this photo it decided to rain heavily would you?! Typical.
This month I have made use of what is probably my top favourite item as my background, and on it I have a selection of outdoorsy and other things that are making me smile at the moment.
01. I haven’t been quiet about the fact that I love my Pacmat picnic blanket. I thought about it a lot before I spent the money (it made it into my spendy post on outdoor gear I want, and I am so glad I gave into temptation on this one. It’s thin, has a waterproof backing, is absolutely brilliant quality, plenty big enough for a couple of people to sit on with a picnic, and has the OS Map of Dartmoor National Park printed on it. What’s not to like?! There is a massive range of them over on Rubbastuff, or if you want one of the OS Maps one, you need to be here.
02. Is it possible to have too many reusable bottles? I’ve got too many for the allocated cupboard space now, so maybe you can. But it doesn’t stop me wanting more – and they are so useful! This is my new SIGG Bottle in a gorgeous black and green combo, which came in my Outdoor Bloggers weekend goodie bag. The 500ml size fits inside my Mini Kanken perfectly, and isn’t too heavy when I’m walking around town or between offices.
03. Cotton buds are a bit like straws – an incredibly useful item that is absolutely terrible for the environment because they end up in our seas and on our beaches in their thousands (not helped by those who choose to flush them down the loo; please don’t do that!). I’ve been hunting out cotton buds with paper sticks for a few years, and I’ve included them here because they are now really easy to get – hooray! You can’t really see in the photo, but these ones are from Wilkinsons, but Johnson & Johnson and the big supermarkets have also changed from plastic to paper. I know there are naysayers that suggest it’s up to the big corporations to do something about the plastic problem facing our environment, but we really can make a difference with small changes at home, by changing our habits one small plastic item at a time – voting with your cash means manufacturers have no choice but to follow suit.
04. On the topic of being a bit more environmentally friendly, I’ve been experimenting with more solid and packaging free beauty products over the last few months. This selection of bits is all about those little Toothy Tabs from Lush – I’ve tried the Miles of Smiles and am now on a bottle of the Boom (and yes, they foam black thanks to the charcoal in them – which is a bit weird!). They still come in plastic packaging, but this bottle is recycled and can easily be reused, unlike a normal toothpaste tube. Toothy tabs are especially useful for travel; they are dry, small, and you can take the number you need in a little pot – much better than repeatedly purchasing small tubes of normal toothpaste. If you’re interested, while I’m at home I use an electric toothbrush, but when away I use a Radius Source toothbrush which is made from old dollar bills and has replaceable heads. If you have any recommendations for other solid/packaging free beauty products – particularly deodorants and face washes – let me know.
05. My name is Zoe and I am addicted to tea. And I like to drink said tea from a nice mug. This is the one currently sat on my desk at work, a gift from a colleague before I left Lincolnshire. Just the right colour green!
06. The photo of my roses is meant to represent everything summertime – the warm sunshine, the blue skies, the birds that visit my garden daily, the flowers that provide colour, and everything else. I don’t remember having this much of a summer here in the UK for years; I know everything is parched and there is a real problem with fire, and I certainly am not suggesting we don’t need the rain, but I have absolutely been loving the guaranteed good weather, it makes spending time outside and organising day trips and camping trips so much less stressful. If it could rain overnight and be bright and sunny in the day that would be wonderful!
07. I have changed. I know I have because I bought a pair of patterned trousers. Up until recently I’ve been very much a plain black bottoms kind of person – trousers or leggings, plain plain plain. But then I got a pair of yellow trousers, then red, and now with pattern. These are by Mantaray at Debenhams, they cost £28, they are smart enough for work (I team them with a plain white tee) and comfortable enough for a day exploring, and I love them.
08. One of the things I wish I’d had for the West Highland Way that I ended up not getting organised in time was proper dry bags. Instead I used some strong freezer style bags from Ikea to keep my kit organised and dry, which did the job, but aren’t ideal in the long run. I have since invested in a set of Lomo dry bags, which have been incredibly useful already – when I’m day hiking, camping, or road tripping, these three red bags help me keep things tidy and well protected. I chose Lomo because I already trust the brand; we put one of their large roll packs through its paces on our Zartusacan road trip and for other road trips since. I will be getting another set before my next multi-day hike.
09. I’ve been moaning (yes, moaning, sorry) about my old and worn out sleeping bag for a while. The fact is it didn’t owe me anything, I’d definitely got my monies worth. But now I have a new shiny sleeping bag and it’s lovely. Not one of your big brand super pricey numbers, but rather the very highly rated spec vs value OEX Fathom EV 300. I’ve already made good use of this in Scotland, although it didn’t drop below 10 (or even 15) some nights, so it didn’t really have anything to prove – a review will come once I’ve used it in normal weather conditions.
10. Who’d have thought that a tube of silk fabric would ever make it into a monthly favourites type post? I bought this silk sleeping bag liner to “upgrade” my old sleeping bag to something that might just about keep me warm in Scotland while I was hiking the West Highland Way. But it’s so useful! Staying at a Youth Hostel or bunkhouse? A sleeping bag liner is your friend as you don’t have to sleep with those itchy blankets or rough sheets against your skin. Super hot out? The liner can easily replace your sleeping bag altogether. Hate the way sleeping bag material sticks to your face overnight? The silk liner doesn’t. I only bought a cheap own-brand one from Decathlon, but it was £25 well spent and it now lives permanently in my gear bag.
What are you currently loving this month? What do you think of my choices? Tell me in the comments below.
Want to see all my Currently Loving posts? This link should help.