Time for a new Currently Loving post here on Splodz Blogz. The idea of these is to feature the things I am particularly enjoying right now, in a “here are some cool things I’m enjoying” kind of way. Some are brand new, recent purchases or gifts that have made me smile over the last month or two, while others are much more tried and tested, things I’ve used regularly for years. Some just bring back fond memories.
The idea of this very bloggy blog post is to simply give a thumbs up to the things I like, and give you some ideas for yourself, some recommendations, some thoughts, and maybe help you get to know me a little better.
This month I’m sharing ten items that are making me smile at the moment. This list includes lovely cotton bedding and cosy merino clothing, an audio book and YouTube channel that have been keeping me entertained, some face products and new shoes, things to drink and something to drink them from, and something I like to do rather than have.
I have just one ask… Once you’ve read mine, I’d love to read yours! Tell me the bits, bobs, and other things you are currently loving in the comments below; let me know what you think of my choices, and feel free to send me links to your favourites posts over on twitter to let me know what you think I’m missing.
Currently Loving | September 2020
01. Pure Cotton Bed Linen
Do you sleep in 100% cotton? When we redecorated our bedroom a couple of months ago, one of the things we decided we’d add into the budget was the purchase of a couple of sets of 100% cotton bed linens. Until now we’ve gone for bog standard polycotton or even completely manmade, the kind of thing you can very easily purchase from any shop selling soft furnishings in every colour and pattern known to man. I have had no complaints with this, the bedding we’ve had has been comfortable, washed well, and lasted.
But it was time to move up. We chose two plain white duvet and pillowcase sets from The White Company (neither are available anymore – we shopped in their sale – but they’ve got a selection of similar styles on their website now). One set is has a textured striped pattern on one side which feels very luxurious, while the other is a completely plain and beautifully smooth 200 thread count Egyptian cotton.
Pure cotton bedding is SO nice to have. It really does make a difference, more than I had imagined. Naturally, we also bought 100% cotton mattress and pillow protectors, so we aren’t losing out there, either. I don’t think we pushed the boat out too much, we haven’t gone for anything extravagant or overly expensive (thanks to the sale), but it’s a revelation. Silly, I know, but there we are. This month I am absolutely Currently Loving my decision to go 100% cotton in the bedroom!
02. Bill Bryson’s The Body: A Guide for Occupants
As mentioned in episode 35 of my Weekly Blog series, and represented here by my trusty headphones, I’ve been sailing through my audio books lately. One recent book I really thoroughly enjoyed is Bill Bryson’s The Body: A Guide for Occupants. Read by Bryson himself, The Body is a very interesting introduction to the science of how our bodies work.
With chapters on all our body’s systems, Bryson describes each in terms of anatomy and physiology, and provides historical information, interviews from experts, and biographical details on the pioneers of medical discovery. Aimed at normal rather than medical professionals, this book was published last year, which means it is as up to date as a book on our body could be prior to the current pandemic.
Bryson keeps his usual slightly comedic and irreverent tone, which is probably the reason I keep choosing his books for my lunchtime walks and long drives. I mean, this might sound like a textbook, and it is in some ways, but it’s presented and delivered as a novel which makes it very easy to listen to and digest. And, I have to say, I’ve never chucked to myself reading a textbook before!
I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a non-fiction book to read or listen to next.
03. One Hour Outside
I talk about how getting a little bit of time outside every day is good for us a lot on here. Extolling the virtues of the great outdoors has become my main reason for wanting to share my life in this blog and on social media. But I felt it was perhaps important to include One Hour Outside here in my Currently Loving post this time around by way of confirming that spending time outside, getting fresh air and natural light every single day, is something that I genuinely enjoy. It isn’t only good for me, it makes me happy.
The outside is my sanity. It is where I go to escape, to breathe, to think, and (most importantly, in my opinion) to play. I am that normal woman in her (very) late 30s trying to squeeze in as much outdoors as I can in between everything else. I am proof that spending a little bit of time outside every day is good for you. I’m also proof that it’s fun and silly and a great place to be.
I love to hike (I’ve used my hiking boots to represent One Hour Outside in the flat lay), to road trip, and to see all the views. The views don’t even have to be that big, they just have to be nice to look at.
While I’m here… Sunday 27 September is National GetOutside Day, and my fellow #GetOutside Champions and I want to invite you all outside for the day (following government guidelines, of course). Part of Great British Week of Sport, it’s our mission to unite the nation by showing you how good it feels to be outside. Head over to GetOutside.uk to find out more about National GetOutside Day, and be sure to put your hand up and say you’re going to join in.
And don’t forget to check out my One Hour Outside project – and join in!
04. Simple Daily Detox
The difficult process of finding something to fix my skin is still ongoing, made even harder thanks to the requirement to wear a face covering at the moment. This is the latest duo I’ve found that seems to be making a difference. The Simple Daily Detox Purifying Face Wash is gentle and kind while doing a great job of thoroughly cleaning my skin, and the Daily Skin Detox All Day Mattifying Moisturiser is a lovely accompaniment that is very calming. I’ve been a fan of Simple products for a while, but my skin fell out of favour with the ones I used previously, and I’ve only recently come across this Daily Detox range.
Neither product is expensive (and are often on offer), and together I think they are making my skin at least feel nicer and look less red. I would not say these have cleared my skin, but I do think this is the closest I’ve come for a while. I’ve mentioned face products in previous Currently Loving posts, but this is an ever developing “love” as I try different things and find some that work better. I’m still using the Lush face soap mentioned here, and the Body Shop lotion mentioned here, but I admit both have been used less since I discovered this range from Simple.
05. Klean Kanteen TKWide Flask
(originally a PR gifted item)
The Klean Kanteen TKWide is a really fantastic flask. This thing is ideal for travel and hiking, won’t leak even if you shake it all over, and will keep your hot drink hot or cold drink cold for hours and hours. I’ve never stopped using this since I got it, but it’s made this month’s Currently Loving list because in these times of weirdness, it has been used even more than usual to take tea to places where I’d normally be able to get some on arrival.
It is easy and pleasant to drink from through the coffee cup style lid, or with the lid off entirely, and has a very useful metal handle so you can carry it with just your little finger if you are particularly laden. I can confirm that you can jiggle, shake, knock, and even roll this down a hill and it won’t spill. I’ve taken this on hikes, had it in the boot of the car, and chucked it in the main compartment of my work bag, and don’t worry about my tea being anywhere other than inside the flask. Until I want to drink it, of course.
Originally a gift from Klean Kanteen (I wrote this comparison post about it), I have since bought two more of these, one for my husband and one for my mother-in-law, so you know I think it’s good. If you are looking for a flask that won’t spill when you tip it, or that is good to carry your tea up a big hill for a picnic lunch, then the TKWide should be your choice.
06. Isobaa Crew Neck Jumper
(PR gifted item)
Merino clothing is fabulous. A good quality merino piece will keep you warm when it’s cold and breathes well when it’s warm, keeping you comfortable whatever the weather. It’s also quick drying, naturally odour resistant and sustainable. And so when Isobaa offered to send me their Merino Crew Sweater to try out now we’re heading into Autumn.
It’s just lovely; the goes-with-everything style, the a-line fit, and that hint of orange all mean it very easily made it into my September Currently Loving list. Made from superfine nine-gauge Merino, I’ve already been wearing this sweater loads as it’s ideal for layering on cool summer evenings.
Isobaa also sent me a pack of their Merino Blend Everyday Socks. And I’m in love. I’ve often talked about life being too short for rubbish socks, and I stand by that, it means I generally wear hiking or running socks on a daily basis. They’re a blend because they have a half terry sole to keep feet comfortable all day. These are genuinely absolutely fantastic for everyday wear, and I am sold.
The only thing I would say is as they are merino be super careful when washing them – don’t just chuck them in with the towels, treat it with the utmost respect. I’m now saving up my pennies so I can buy at least another pack of the socks so they can truly be my everyday choice, along with a couple of the basic tees with future road trips in mind.
There will be a “proper” review of the sweater and socks after my road trip next week when I can also tell you about the odour resistant properties, and how they fair when travelling.
07. Itchy Boots: Iceland by Motorcycle Series
Norally, the lady behind Itchy Boots, is one of those amazingly inspirational people who quit her job, sold her stuff, and now spends her life travelling the world solo on her adventure bike. As with many full-time travellers, Norally’s adventure was abruptly ended in March due to the pandemic, and she had to leave her motorbike in Peru and return home to Holland.
At the moment she’s making her way around the “known and unknown parts of” Europe on her recently purchased Honda CB500x called Ronin, and documenting it all in her latest YouTube series. I rather like Norally’s style, she comes across as normal and honest (which is inspirational and motivating in itself), just out there having a great time exploring the world on two wheels. Most recently, she’s been exploring Iceland, which is how I came across her channel, and it has made me even more exited for the trip we’ve booked next summer.
I like to think that if I made YouTube videos, they’d be just like Itchy Boots… but you’ll just have to imagine that! To start the series, head to episode one in the latest series on her channel.
08. A Warming Cup of Miso Soup
At the time of writing this Currently Loving post we’re having a bit of a September heatwave, which is absolutely lovely. But just a week or two ago we were having felt-very-cold-for-August weather, which meant I was looking for hot lunches once again. Enter something a friend suggested to me a year or two ago when I was looking for something to warm me up after my lunchtime walks – miso soup. Think super savoury warming drink, it comes in a liquid sachet that can be stirred into hot water, providing something a bit more substantial than a cup of tea for when you want to feel warm and comforted.
I lean towards the Itsu Miso’Easy Traditional Miso instant miso soup sachets (this link will get you 60 sachets…), because they travel well and make a nicely flavoured cup of soup, although I realise you can also get miso in a glass jar which is clearly much better for our environment. You can use miso as a base for sauces, dressings, glazes and more complicated soups, of course, but I do enjoy it instead of a powdery cuppa soup in the afternoons.
09. Clipper Classic Everyday Tea
Oh how I love a cup of tea, and I drink a lot of it. While some of big brands work on removing the plastic from their tea bags, I’ve been buying Clipper Classic Everyday Tea (and the decaf version) for my daily brew. Clipper tea bags are made from plant-based, fully bio-degradable bio-material, and come unbleached, which means I can put them in my food waste bin with a clear conscience.
Thankfully it’s not just a plastic-free teabag, but it’s also a very good tasting tea. The Classic Everyday is a blended tea with leaves from Africa and India, which is also organic and Fairtrade. Ideal for everyday drinking.
10. Teva Ember Camp Shoes
Mentioned in my Outdoor Gear I’d Buy Tomorrow #2 post, I finally gave in and purchased a pair of the Teva Ember Mids after months of thinking it would be nice. I’ve honestly lusted after these for so long, I couldn’t resist the sale price. And honestly, they are so very comfortable – I can’t wait for the weather to cool down a bit so I can wear them as much as I want to!
I chose the the Mids in the Deep Lake colourway (basically teal). It was very close between these and the Mocs, and I’m still not entirely sure which I would like best, but the booties won over on the day I clicked the button. They’re basically a camp shoe with a sleeping-bag style upper and a trainer sole, making them ideal for mooching around after a day in hiking boots. I’ve been using them to wear driving to and from the my day hike locations, and they are just right for that, and am looking forward to taking them camping proper next month.
If you’re after a pair then be quick, the prices have gone down again since I bought mine, but there aren’t many sizes left… go!
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.
In the interests of full disclosure for this Currently Loving post, and as mentioned within the text above, the Isobaa jumper and socks and Klean Kanteen TKWide were gifted, for which I am very grateful. I have therefore marked this post as gifted, but it is not sponsored – no-one asked to be included in my Currently Loving feature. There are also affiliate links on this page, including all Amazon links, the funds from which help me go on the mini adventures that make life interesting.