These past couple of months have been many things. Intense, lonely, slow, frustrating, lovely, relaxing, weird – and many more. We have all spent more time inside our homes than probably ever before. We have been around our families 24/7, with no breaks, and we have been made teachers overnight. Many of us while also trying to do our jobs from home, sans colleagues, coffee breaks and any sign of normality.
However, us mums are nothing if not capable and resilient. And so we have made it through, hour after hour, keeping the show on the road and the kids from killing each other and everyone fed too. Hats off to all of us. There are many little things that have helped keep me sane during this lockdown, most of all my daily chats with my family back home in Norway, and my friends here. Sometimes, though, a little bit of joy can be bought for money too, and I will admit that these 10 below have absolutely helped bring a smile to my face during these past eight weeks:
If you can never seem to enjoy a warm cup of coffee these days, you are about to meet your new best friend.
Say hello to the Ember temperature control smart mug – literally an invention so perfect for mums on the go you’ll want to weep with joy.
Once you have purchased your mug, just download the free Ember app onto your iOS or Android device and pair your cup via Bluetooth. The app then allows you to set your perfect temperature for your beverage and sends you a notification when it is ready to drink. Oh, and you can customize your mug to keep your beverage at a chosen temperature, so that it is still hot when you have dealt with all you have to deal with and finally have time for your coffee.
Genius? Oh, you better believe it.
I am not a huge fan of foundations even at the best of times, feeling like they just dull my skin and clog it, and so I certainly wasn’t going to wear one now, when most of my time is spent at home. However, in between Zoom meetings and FaceTime chats and walks around the neighbourhood with the kids, I also wanted to look as if I had made some effort – while protecting it from both sunshine and screen light (did you know blue light from our screens is so harmful to our skin??)
Enter one of my absolute favourite clean beauty brands, Drunk Elephant. This tinted, physical SPF 30 sunscreen not only delivers powerful broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, it also comes complete with the hint of a tint, for a gorgeously glowing finish.
Even better? It is Oxybenzone-free, non-toxic to marine life and loaded with potent antioxidants – such as astaxanthin, grape juice and sunflower shoot extracts – to prolong the health and vibrancy of my skin. Perfect for daily use, this non-sticky formula doesn’t leave behind any unwanted residue, just a gorgeous sun-kissed tint for a healthy-looking complexion.
The perfect, perfect thing to wear for chilled out days at home. Honestly, I dread the day I have to put on something else!
I don’t know about you, but initially, I found getting out of bed a little hard on mornings when suddenly, there was nowhere we had to be. However, that was until a friend tipped me off about the Lumie Bodyclock Sunrise Alarm Clock – and guys – you will not believe how flipping amazing this is.
A light-based alarm is a far less shocking wake-up method where natural-looking light gently simulates sunrise – making your entire room brighter and brighter until you wake up feeling refreshed, well-rested and ready to tackle the day.
This one that I got also comes complete with a fading sunset to encourage sleep at night as the light slowly dims, as well as 10 sleep/wake sounds including white noise.
Let’s face it, all this hand washing have no doubt taken a toll on our hands, leaving them dry and sore. And I don’t know about you, but I find my skin has been feeling super-dry in general, maybe it’s the dry weather, or that we have been staying in more than usual. However, ever since discovering the Moisturising Cream from CeraVe, I have taken to lathering my entire body in this the second I step out of the shower in the morning. And now I think I am obsessed.
I love how it sinks into my skin immediately and doesn’t feel greasy, and also the fact that is is unscented, as I am not a fan of scented body products or anything heavily perfumed, to be honest.
To me, winding down at night when the kids are in bed, have just become an hour or two I really cherish as part of my day. I am not really a drinker, so don’t wind down with wine, but give me all the lovely candles and essential oils, and I am game.
I love supporting Irish businesses, and being a big fan of essential oils, when I came across Kotanical and got to speak to the founder behind the Dublin-based company, I was hooked. The oils are not only superb quality, but they are also 100 percent organic, vegan-friendly and certified cruelty free by the Leaping Bunny Program.
And how fab is this stone diffuser?
Essential oil diffusers are a way to create your own custom home aromas without the synthetic chemicals of traditional room fresheners or candles, and this diffuser uses ultrasonic technology to diffuse essential oils without heating them. I currently use eucalyptus to wake us all up in the morning, and wind down at night with lavender.
I don’t know if it is because I have been making a conscious effort to eat healthily and go to bed early, but I really feel like these past few weeks have been good for me, health-wise. Maybe it’s just the slower pace of life, but I think this powder also has something to do with it.
Designed to give your skin a new lease of life, The Beauty Chef’s Glow powder will work from within to reduce inflammation and nourish the body so that you’ll be left with a clear, radiant complexion. It contains 23 ‘superfoods’ including chia, green tea and ginger, to restore a healthy balance in your gut that not only improves your skin but also helps maintain a healthy digestive system.
Having quickly adapted to these much slower-paced mornings, I have loved having more time to cook and prepare lovely, healthy breakfasts during this lockdown. One purchase I am so happy I made recently is my new citrus juicer from Smeg – making it so much easier to both juice oranges for fresh OJ, but also limes to add to my water bottles, and we even made proper, homemade lemonade one day recently too!
I have loved keeping my little morning routine while on lockdown, and getting up an hour before everyone else. This is my me-time, when I get to just quietly drink my hot melon water in peace, listen to a podcast, or just potter about and get ready for our day.
And right now, I have been loving this beautiful dressing gown I clicked home from Zara Home recently. It feels like such a treat to get into this in the morning, it is snuggly and warm and honestly; it might just be my favourite piece of clothing right now!
10. Palo Santo
If you haven’t heard of Palo Santo, you might think this sounds a little far-fetched, but the smoke from this ‘holy wood’ has been used for thousands of years by traditional South American communities for its physical and spiritual benefits.
The idea is that you light it, let the wood burn for 30 seconds, then blow out the flame and place the stick on a heat resistant surface or dish, where the highly aromatic wood will cleanse and energize your space and clear and restore energy.
Personally, I just love the ritual of it all. It makes my bathroom smell divine, and sets the mood fora relaxing evening.