Time for the next instalment in my Currently Loving series. And this time around I have a selection of things which in part provide a bit of an insight into what I got for Christmas, but also what I’ve been spending my time doing this month. Lockdown 3.0 means that time has naturally been primarily spent at home, and so I’ve needed things to keep me occupied.

My Currently Loving features have vae have have always been designed to give me an opportunity to share a few of my favourite things. It’s a very traditionally blogging kind of post to write for go-outside-and-do-the-thing focused blogger, but I genuinely enjoy putting it together, and this month especially seems quite outdoors focused even though we’re in lockdown again. Know that these posts are never meant in the sense that I get to tell you what you should be buying or doing, but rather to give me a personal opportunity to stop and consider the things that make life a bit easier, more interesting, or very simply make me smile.

Anyway, onto the January 2021 edition of the series… this time around I have plenty to keep me both warm and entertained. Read on…

Currently Loving | January 2021

01. Patent Dr Martens

My beloved black shiny patent Dr Martens finally gave up on me back in October 2019, when I wore right through the soles to the ground. My most loved and most worn pair of shoes of all time, absolutely no doubt about it, it was a very sad day.

I think I did well not to replace them immediately, I very nearly placed an order that very same day. But as you can see, I have now given in by treating myself to a pair of the simple yet classic 1460 eight-eyelet boots with air cushioned sole in patent black. And I am very happy about that.

Basically, I received some money for my birthday back in November and Office had a sale on at the same time, and so I got a brand spanking new pair for just about £100. I totally gave into temptation, but if these last anywhere near as long as the previous pair, there won’t be a grain of regret here.

Clearly the pandemic means I’ve not had opportunity to wear these much yet, they’re not even broken in, but I can include them in my Currently Loving without hesitation. I can’t wait to stomp everywhere in these.

I got mine from Office, but they’re also available at Schuh.

02. Patagonia Synchilla Snap Fleece

I received this super cosy Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap fleece for Christmas. It’s one of the recycled ones, and something I’ve had on my wish list for a long very time but never actually bought.

Patagonia as a company does a lot of things right; environmentally, politically, and technically. And I am very happy indeed to have this cosy fleece in my collection. It’s already proved to be exceptionally warm and cosy, and I know it’ll be a very well loved and long-lasting piece in my gear cupboard. I wonder how often it’ll actually be in the cupboard rather than being worn?!

Mine is the Smolder Blue/Alpine Blue colourway, although Patagonia are constantly changing the available options so if you’re looking then just get the one you like the best at the time.

You’ll find it here on the Patagonia website.

03. Fire Bowl

The thing I reckon I was most excited to open this Christmas was this fire bowl, which was a surprise gift from my husband. Brilliant! I love me a bit of fire…!!

I have wanted one for ages, but it never seemed the right thing to actually go and buy. I’ve already used it, I had a fire for one on New Year’s Eve (my husband said it was too cold!), although Tesco were all out of marshmallows so I will have to get it out again very soon to test its marshmallow toasting abilities.

I love the very plain and simple look of the one my husband chose for me; nothing fancy, just a solidly made and feeling bowl on some decent legs. It’s made from heavy gauge steel and measures 60cm across.

I honestly can’t wait until the Spring when it will feel a bit less adventurous sitting out in the back garden with a fire going in the evening, watching the fire dance and, dare I suggest it, chatting away to friends and family who come to visit. I also plan on being able to take it with me camping, when times allow.

This is the one I have, although there’s lots of choice if you look around.

04. Erase Your Face Cloth

This was something my sister got me for Christmas, I’m so glad she did. A very handy addition to my wash kit to help remove even more plastic from the bathroom, this is a makeup removing cloth by Danielle Creations.

This cloth is advertised as having the ability to remove makeup, including waterproof mascara, without using any chemicals or synthetic makeup removers. You soak the cloth in warm water, without adding any cleansers, and wipe it off. I don’t wear much makeup these days but when I do I want a quick and easy way to get rid, and this certainly seems to do the job.

It hasn’t replaced me using face soap on a day to day basis, but means I can avoid potent makeup removers, which is one less bottle, expense, and chemical.

This is the one I have direct at Danielle Creations; it’s also available at Amazon.

05. Chilli Chutney

Another gift originally, but from quite a while ago, this has been in the cupboard for a while (chutneys last ages so we only open them when we know we’re going to eat them), and only came out when we brought some Christmas tea leftovers back home from Lincolnshire with us on our designated one day with family (read my Weekly Blog for Christmas here).

It’s a Chilly Chutney by Wilkin and Sons of Tiptree, and it is my new favourite addition to lunches, snacks and main meals, anything I can marry it up with. It’s sweet, with heat, and vinegar, and citrus. I’ve been adding some to ham salad sandwiches, had it on toast with cheese, had it with meatballs and chips akin to an Ikea dinner, and put it with soft cheese and crackers for supper. I’m yet to try it as a glaze but reckon it’ll work perfectly well on salmon or chicken.

The jar is nearly empty, and I think it’s fair to say this is going to become a constant in our house from now on. Delicious.

This brand is seen in supermarkets and garden centres all over (we buy their tomato ketchup as our cupboard staple, it’s really very good), so it’s easy to get if you fancy trying it for yourself.

Each Currently Loving post I share one of my favourite instagram posts since the last one of the series, and this time around I think it has to be this “into the abyss” shot taken on Cleeve Hill during our snowstorm. Make a view-lover happy and come and follow me over at @Splodz.

06. tentree Loungewear

(PR Gifted Item)

I have only just written my blog post on my recently gifted tentree clothing (Planting Trees in my Lounge with tentree), but I couldn’t nor include it in my Currently Loving post as well, they’re just so very cosy and comfortable and everything I want in loungewear.

I have the Constellation Juniper Hoodie and the Lorax Bamone Sweatpant, and both have upped my game when it comes to both post-adventure and forced-by-lockdown rest and relaxation.

The hoodie is cosy and comfortable, and the colour is fabulous, and the joggers (sorry, “sweatpants”), are honestly the best joggers I’ve ever had.

The thing tentree are probably best known for, is that this is a company doing things right by our planet. Rooted in the belief that we have a responsibility to protect and preserve the world we live in, for every item of clothing purchased, tentree plant ten trees. tentree… get it?!

For more information and the full range, visit the tentree website. You’ll also find Tentree at Cotswold Outdoor and Wildbounds.

07. My Willow Basket

Recently I spent a fair few hours on a Saturday crafting. And what I ended up with was this wonky and very homemade looking fruit basket, which has taken pride of place in our lounge.

I mentioned in Weekly Blog Episode 52 that I know my basket isn’t going to win any awards. I mean, it’s quite rough around the edges, it’s very uneven, and there are plenty of kinks and splits in the willow. But I am content with all that.

I thoroughly enjoyed making it, and that is the main thing. A Saturday very well spent indeed, concentrating on doing this very wholesome activity with my hands, and I would definitely try another one in the future.

The kit was made by Mid Wales Willow, but it doesn’t look like they can be purchased online, so there is this shop on Etsy if you’re looking for something similar (which I haven’t tried, so you know, they might be rubbish!).

08. Writing it Down

Back in October 2019 I experimented with 30 days of journaling (read about what I learnt from that experiment), and since then I have been very on and off with the daily writing habit. But one of the things I’ve been doing since 1 January is making an effort to write every day.

Sometimes my words take the “and then I” form, whereas others I am able to express thoughts and feelings. I’m only a couple of weeks in but already I can see that on the days when I get stuff done in the hour or two I have before work, I feel much more productive overall, and that choosing to relax is very different from just being lazy. I hope I continue to learn little bits and pieces about myself as I continue to write a few lines each day.

The journals pictured are the lovely hardback Great British Travel Journal by Ordnance Survey, which was a gift from OS this Christmas and is probably inspired the decision to concentrate on writing this month, and my trusty Moleskin Cahier squared notebooks. I have long since learnt that the notebook itself doesn’t matter, though, the act of writing does.

09. Around the World in 80 Novels

Jolabokaflod is the Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve and then going to bed and reading them. I took part in the tradition for the first time this year courtesy of my Comms Unplugged friends.  

I received Around the World in 80 Novels, by Henry Russell, which is the perfect mix of inspiration for both travel and reading for the coming year, along with some Dark Chocolate with Raspberries to snack on as I read.

This is a book of books, which should keep me and my audio books library very busy indeed this year. Covering every corner of the world, from the most visited cities of Europe to the rural outposts of Australia, there are classics by famous authors, alongside works by new writers.

You can find Around the World in 80 Novels at Amazon, Waterstones, and hopefully also at your local independent bookshop.

10. Oddballs Gloves

I mentioned earlier that I’m all about comfort these days, and that includes my underwear. Gone are the underwired bras, I’ve been wearing bralettes by Oddballs on a daily basis, and I don’t plan on returning to proper bras any time soon.

The bralettes are stretchy, made from cotton (95% cotton and 5% elastane), are easily supportive enough for hiking and motorcycling, have a scoop back so you can wear them with any kind of top, have reasonably wide straps so they stay up on your shoulders, and come in a range of great patterns and colours – bras should be as interesting as your socks!

And while I did place an order for another couple of bras this month, it’s actually the gloves I’ve included in my Currently Loving post.

Yes, the gloves. They were a free gift because I spent a certain amount on my order, and so I wasn’t expecting much. But in these cold days of lunchtime walks, they have proved to be excellent. They are thick but not too thick, certainly warm, and have little grippy dots all over the palm so you can hold your phone without it dropping on the floor. Nicely done, Oddballs.

You’ll find the gloves over on the My Oddballs website, along with the Bralettes, which I also recommend.

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 Tentree clothing was a PR gifts, for which I am very grateful. I have therefore marked this post as gifted, but it is not sponsored – they did not ask to be included in my Currently Loving feature, I did that because I’m currently loving the items.

There are affiliate links on this page, the funds from which help me go on the mini adventures that make life interesting.

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