Ah, one of my favourite semi-regular blog posts to write – sharing my currently loving list always fills me with a weird sense of joy, as I give real and deep thought to the things that are making my life a little nicer at the moment.
In case you’re new here, while Splodz Blogz is primarily an outdoors and adventure focused blog, or at least I want it to be that way, my currently loving post gives me an opportunity to chat about a few items that are much less of that – clothing, homeware, food, personal care products, shoes, anything really. One thing that is always true: my currently loving posts include things that make me smile, and that is why I write it.
I have another quite random selection of things this time – the motorcycle suit that took me nearly two years to find, my favourite morning-cuppa set up when I’m camping, some old but very well loved shirts, two pairs of adidas trainers (there are always shoes…), the mount I use for my phone on my motorbike, and a fantastic cast iron gadget that’s giving me an excuse to try new things in the kitchen. Let me tell you all about them…
Currently Loving | September 2023
01 Rev’it Motorcycle Suit
After taking nearly two years to buy one, I am incredibly happy to kick off this currently loving list with my new motorcycle suit.
The pain that was trying to find one that was the right combination of spec, fit and price is something I talked about in my post about the World’s Largest Female Biker Meet. Not being able to find a suit for so long was not only an inconvenience, it also made me feel really quite low; why am I not the right shape for a motorcyclist?!
Rev’it was suggested by the owners at Motolegends (the brands they stocked didn’t work for me). I therefore tried the new Horizon 3 H2O textile jacket and trousers, which turned out to be just the ticket (I got mine from Sports Bike Shop). The suit has decent safety features, reasonable venting, and a nice look; and Rev’it do a short leg length and include enough material for my wide thighs!! I would have liked something other than black, but you can’t have everything.
I’ve now put the suit through its paces thanks to a trip in Europe during which I experienced the most random weather; 11 degrees and pouring rain one day, 31 degrees and bright blue sky the next. Thankfully it was worth waiting to get just the right thing – the suit worked a treat, and was comfortable to wear for long days on the bike. It was and will be perfect for touring in the UK, Europe and other similar climates. There’s clearly a reason Itchy Boots wears this brand!
I’ve actually now purchased a second Rev’it motorcycle jacket, a super ventilated one for hot-weather riding, with Morocco and potential future trips in mind.
02 Jetboil Flash Stove
I’ve not been camping much this year, but the two trips I have been on, reminded me how much I love my Jetboil Flash stove (also at Wildbounds). The ability to boil water – fast – for a morning cuppa cannot be underestimated.
I mean, one of those two recent camping trips was at a festival, where a latte set me back a rather ridiculous £4.50. It was quite a good latte, but still, that’s silly money, and I only did it once! But even if the coffee had been cheaper, I am still a person who cherishes the moments I have with my first cup of tea of the day, especially when waking up in my tent. Making and drinking a fresh cup of tea, even if it’s using a teabag and some powdered skimmed milk, is the most wonderful way to start any day.
I like the Jetboil system because it’s a simple all-in-one water-boiling machine. The whole thing is very stable (thanks to the stand I got with mine), has a built-in lighter, packs away into the pot, is light enough to carry in my day pack for tea on the go, and most importantly, boils enough water for a cup of tea in the time it takes me to get my mug ready.
If I was buying again now, I would probably go for the more recent Jetboil Stash, because it is smaller and lighter, but while my Flash is working well I will be very happy continuing to use it for all my tent brews.
03 Klean Kanteen Insulated Tumbler
As I’m going on about making tea when camping, a shout out to a real old favourite bit of kit – my insulated tumbler from Klean Kanteen. This thick-walled stainless steel coffee mug is just brilliant. It keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold, the latter of which really came into its own at Comms Unplugged when I was in desperate need of iced drinks thanks to a random heatwave. Currently Loving? Yes, still.
Just look at it – it’s perfect; the shape, the proportion, how it is to hold, and the fact that it looks just like a coffee cup should –simple, clean and unfussy. I’ve never had an issue getting it filled up at a coffee shop, service station, or work networking event. It fits perfectly in the cup holder in my car for when I’m on the road, and it’s great for camping too. The slanted sides mean you don’t have to tip the tumbler far to drink from it, making it very easy to use on the go.
Other reusable coffee cups are available, but this one really is fantastic. I wrote a whole post featuring it and the alternative flask-style version, which is worth a read if you are in the market for a new insulated cup at the moment as it talks about the different kinds out there.
Sadly, it looks like Klean Kanteen have discontinued this amazing tumbler, it’s no longer listed on their website, which is a real shame as I would have told you all to go out and buy one. They do these nice looking Rise Tumblers instead, though, I wonder if they feel as nice in the hand? Anyone got one?
04 Powdered Chai Tea Latte
I might as well complete the tea-making set in this currently loving post… While I will always choose a cup of tea to start my day and hydrate through it, sometimes I like something that tastes a little different. And I’m also quite a fan of convenience.
This Drink Me Chai Latte is an all-in-one instant powdered spiced black tea drink with skimmed milk – a bit like those little Nestle latte sachets you can get, but with chai tea instead of coffee, and in a tub rather than individual packets. Being an instant tea, it’s a very convenient way to get a tea-based hot drink when camping and backpacking; no milk required (even of the powdered variety).
This is a sweetened version of a Chai Tea Latte; I’ve seen a different brand does an unsweetened version (and one with ginger in too), but my local Tesco didn’t have any of that in stock when I went to get it. It’s tasty, dissolves easily in boiling water, and has a little bit of caffeine to get things going in the morning.
This isn’t going to replace a proper cup of proper tea, or indeed the Tea India Masala Chai teabags I’m addicted to, but it’s a very convenient hot drink for camping that hits the spot at breakfast time.
05 FatFace Olivia Shirts
Might there be more old favourites in this photo than new ones? Not quite – but here’s another blast from the past. Something has led me to recently rediscover all the shirts I have in my wardrobe. It was much earlier in spring or summer, when the weather was unseasonably cold, wet and miserable, and I needed something to wear to an event. I opened my wardrobe and for the first time in quite some time, grabbed a shirt.
I have quite a selection of colours and patterns, but they are all Olivia shirts from FatFace. These simple but classic cotton shirts are soft and comfortable to wear. I don’t know why I’ve not been wearing them more, but I’ve certainly been making up for that over the last few months. I must have had some of these for seven or eight years, at least, but they are still going strong, and FatFace still make them so they must be good.
Shirts are so great. They work for smart and casual, tucked into jeans or other trousers, as a top layer or under a jumper. I’ve actually now got my eye on this tank after seeing it in the window of my local White Stuff the other day – I reckon I could rock that look.
06 Adidas Free Hiker Trainers
Here’s something new, and no real surprises, it’s one of two pairs of trainers I’m featuring in my currently loving post this time around. These are the brand new Terrex Free Hiker 2.0 Low Gore-Tex hiking shoes, which adidas sent me recently as they know I love trainers and hiking. This is a collaboration I am very much enjoying!
Just released, this latest iteration in the Free Hiker family are designed for both short hikes and multi-day treks. The idea is that adidas have paired the lightweight feel of a trail runner with the stability of a hiking boot, and made them waterproof. They’ve done a great job; they are light and flexible on the foot, but combine that with a supportive feel and very good traction. They are nice and wide for the toes, the lacing system is secure, and I’m really liking that bouncy ‘boost’ midsole.
And the Gore-tex waterproofing means I can wander through wet grass and muddy puddles without worrying about my feet getting wet; perfect for autumn. Sadly, I don’t have any long-distance hikes planned for the rest of the year, but I am very much enjoying wearing these on local hikes and countryside wanders.
I’ll give a whole post over to the Free Hikers later in the year (in which I’ll also chat about Gore-tex and distance hikes), but for now, after wearing these a lot over the last six weeks or so, I can certainly say I am currently loving them.
07 Adidas Voyager Travel Trainers
The second pair of trainers in this currently loving post is something I intend to use as my everything-shoe when I travel. I chose the Terrex Voyager 21 travel shoes knowing that the trainers I currently pack when motorcycle road tripping are maybe two-wears away from having a hole in the sole. Which is no good when you rely on something for a whole trip at a time.
Marketed as travel shoes because of their light weight, adidas have taken a bunch of Terrex features including the rugged sole of their trail runners and a breathable upper, to make something designed for exploring all day. I am finding them incredibly comfortable, love that grippy sole, and appreciate the generous width around the toes.
They are made in-part from recycled materials (the upper is at least 50% recycled), have a bungee lace system which you set once and never need to touch again, and that open mesh upper will make them great for warm days. Although obviously they are not waterproof, they will dry out quickly should they get wet.
I admit I was expecting something that would squish down almost flat, which they don’t really do, but they should pack well in my motorcycle panier. These trainers are going to be working very hard for me, and are about to get a real test as my only off-the-bike shoes for the next three weeks.
I guess the real reason they made it onto this currently loving list, though, is because when I broke my toe in the summer, these were the only trainers I was able to wear. The light weight, wide toe box and flexible uppers, were exactly what I needed.
08 Peak Design Motorcycle Mount
After seeing Peak Design’s range of mobile phone and motorcycle accessories on display at Adventure Bike Rider Festival last year, I decided that was the system I was going to switch to when I next upgraded my iPhone.
I actually featured the case (which is now available in a lovely sage colour I’d definitely have chosen instead) and charging stand back in my February 2023 currently loving post – and I mentioned already had the motorcycle mount but hadn’t had chance to use it properly. Now I’ve given the Peak Design motorcycle mount a thorough test, I can happily report I am glad about my choice.
I already had a RAM mount on my bike, so I chose the Ball Mount so I can use my phone for satnav when road tripping. The important bit is a combined magnetic and mechanical mounting point which is very strong; my phone is easy to attach and feels very secure sat on my handlebars. The mount also incorporates a vibration isolator to prevent damaging the phone (iPhone cameras are very susceptible to vibration damage), and so far, that has done its job. It’s a great bit of kit, I would recommend it to others looking for phone mounts for motorbikes or bicycles.
Be warned, the Everyday Case is not an enclosed waterproof case, and so water can get up and inside the charging port when the rain is particularly heavy. And that could cause me issues should I be somewhere unfamiliar in stormy weather as I will need to put my phone away. If Peak Design come out with a case that protects the iPhone’s various holes, then I would buy one (although as my phone’s been recently superseded, I know it’s unlikely they’ll develop one for the 14).
09 Ting Soda
I know drinking soda is incredibly bad for me, but I like it. Apart from the odd occasion here and there, or when I’m on holiday, I save it for the weekends, and so keep a nice selection of my favourites in the fridge. All cans, as then I’m at least trying not to add to the world’s plastic problem.
Ting – a blend of sparkling water and grapefruit juice – is my latest favourite. It’s just so refreshing, especially when served ice cold. The citrussy taste originates from the Caribbean, and is sharp enough to contract the taste buds, but with a sweet aftertaste. I’m told it makes a great mixer, but I tend to have it as it is, one can at a time.
This is not a healthy drink, I know that, but it’s a very refreshing treat.
10 Tortilla Press
I don’t know what’s taken me so long to make my own tortilla. I was given this cast iron tortilla press as an unexpected gift, and it’s been one of those ‘good intentions’ ever since – I now know it’s such a nifty bit of kit! Wholly unnecessary, as you can create tortilla with a rolling pin, but so easy and quick to use, and it does look good on display (and that’s saying something as I really don’t have ornaments or even useful things out on show).
This is the recipe I’ve been using (feel free to send me yours); each batch working slightly better than the last as I tweak my technique. After making my dough and letting it sit a while, I place each round on a piece of floured baking paper, flour the top and cover with another piece of baking paper, before letting the press do its thing. My press is the 25cm version, and gives me a thin and even round (ish) tortilla ready for cooking.
I’ve got to the point now where I can press and cook concurrently; I press one tortilla, peel off one side of baking paper, put it face down in a dry pan, and after a few seconds peel off the top paper layer. Each tortilla only takes a minute or two on each side, during which time I prepare the next one, reusing the baking paper a few times before reaching for fresh sheets.
I fully intend to continue to perfect my tortilla making to the point where I can make a batch and freeze them for quick lunches later.
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 two pairs of adidas trainers and Jetboil were originally gifted by brands. I have therefore marked this post as gifted, but it is not sponsored – none of these brands asked to be included in my currently loving feature, I did that because I’m genuinely currently loving the items.
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