2020. Where to start?! This year has definitely been a challenging one, and it’s almost a relief that we’ve reached the final month and can look ahead to what will hopefully be a more positive 2021.
There has been so much about this year that has been ‘abnormal’, that I decided to try and regain my blogging mojo with a little normality and write a Christmas Gift Guide post.
This gift guide includes some of the things that became Lockdown Essentials for me, helping to manage the stresses and anxieties of the year. Aside from James and a whole mountain of yarn (I learnt to crochet in April and have become a bit addicted – check out my new WheezyCrochet Instagram if you want to see some of my makes), most of these things are key items for getting outside, being active and escaping into nature for a bit!
As well as those products I’ve used and loved over the last nine months, I’ve included a few which I hope to get a bit more use out of in 2021 (fingers crossed!).
Christmas Gift Guide
These lightweight hiking shoes are the ones that I reached for whenever we headed out for our ‘daily walk’ during the first lockdown. A cross between trainers and walking boots, the KEEN Explore Vent are great for dog walks, forest hikes and strolls round the block. They are super comfy, have fantastic grip on the soles and a breathable mesh upper so that your feet don’t overheat. They are definitely more of a spring/summer shoe, but KEEN do have a waterproof version which would be perfect for winter walks.
I’ve been a fan of Lucy Locket Loves leggings since Lucy set up her business in 2017. She sells a range of activewear leggings and casual leggings in amazing, bright, colourful patterns and designs. I have a small collection now, but believe me it’s been hard not to end up with more! The activewear leggings have a super-elastic high waist so they stay in place when running, a pocket big enough for my phone on the back, and are moisture-wicking, comfortable and completely squat-proof! I highly recommend. Lucy has also created a really fabulous inclusive brand community. Product sizing is generous (I wear a size 10) and wide ranging, and the mantra of ‘Be Happy. Be Healthy. Be Strong’ completely sums up her ethos of embracing who you are and standing out from the crowd.
As the season’s changed and our walks became a bit muddier, a bit wetter and a bit more autumnal I started looking for footwear that would keep my toes nice and warm and dry! James has had a pair of Hunter wellies for a while but being quite short, I was concerned the full length design would a) be too tall for my legs and b) not wide enough for my calves. Fortunately Hunter offer a Short version of their Original wellington which is perfect! They’re 100% natural rubber with a microfibre lining so are completely waterproof and also really comfortable. Wellies can sometimes be quite thin-soled so you feel every stone, but these have a great moulded insole and when paired with the Hunter Boot Socks my feet felt super cosy. As long as you don’t jump in really deep puddles the short length is ideal for most adventures!
You may remember reading about LIVALL helmets on my blog previously – back in 2018 I got the original LIVALL BH60SE road cycling smart helmet for RideLondon and have been wearing it whenever I head out on the bike ever since. To add to this story, at the beginning of this year I bought a Brompton folding bike intending to commute part of the way to work once the clocks changed in March (haha) and it was a bit lighter in the mornings. I managed to cycle the route from Euston to Borough a couple of times but before it could become a real habit, along came COVID-19! I have now been working from home since 12th March with my Brompton sitting sadly under the stairs. I’m really hoping that 2021 will offer the opportunity for the Purple Pixie to get a few more outings!
Consequently the new LIVALL BH51M NEO City Commuter Helmet is the perfect addition to prepare me for this New Years
Resolution Hope. Like my original LIVALL helmet it’s packed with awesome tech features to help you be seen, be safe and enjoy your ride.
- Front and back LED lights that can be set to come on automatically when it gets dark
- Automatic braking lights that are activated when the helmet detects a significant deceleration
- Indicator signal lights for turning left and right
- Fall detection alert that sends an SMS with your GPS location to your emergency contact if you have an accident
- Stereo speakers for listening to music, answering calls and speaking to other LIVALL helmet users via a walkie-talkie function
Seriously, the list goes on! There are so many more awesome features to this helmet it would take up the rest of the blog post but I cannot wait to test it out on a proper commute next year. Use LIVALL20 to get 20% off your order if you do decide to grab one for yourself.
There hasn’t been the opportunity to travel as much as we normally would this year due to government restrictions, as well as job uncertainties and homeschooling commitments. James and I have never been abroad together, but we usually make several trips a year as a couple as well as going away on UK family holidays – camping, glamping, hiking, and other adventures. The Great British Outdoors Scratch Map is great for looking at where we’ve been and planning our next destination.
The map displays 15 National Parks, 54 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and 40 of Scotland’s National Scenic Areas. They have even included information on where to find the UK’s National Nature Reserves, just look out for the small ducks all over the map! It was quite fun grabbing a coin and scratching off the names of places that have been visited – we do still have a lot to go though. Fingers crossed we can regain some of our freedoms in 2021!
Christmas might look a bit different this year, but I really hope that you manage to enjoy the festive period. We are still figuring out who/how/when we can visit for Christmas, but aside from fitting in presents, turkey and decorations (did I mention we got a kitten? Putting up the tree will be fun this year!) I will definitely be spending as much time getting outdoors and being active as I can.
*Products sent to me to review throughout the year. As always all opinions are my own.