Five things in August

Annnnnddddd another month of 2020 bites the dust. I was trying to write the date earlier and I wrote June…because in my head it’s June. Shrug. It seems I’m moving in three month cycles this year – for the longest time I thought it was still March, I think because March is when normal life stopped for we New Zealanders and pandemic time took over. Kind of like how your perception of yourself stops with a significant event – do you know what I mean? Like, for me, I always think of myself as 22 because that’s how old I was when I met Hayden. Ever since then I’ve been with Hayden, so in my head, I’m still 22, and every time I remember I’m actually 36 I am surprised all over again. It’s like that. The pandemic started in March, and the pandemic is still a thing, so I guess it’s still March. Except wait, now it’s cold, so I guess it’s June. My next ‘reset’ will probably be around November, which is when my birthday is so it will probably be doubly confusing. Not only will I not be 22 but the pandemic will still be a thing. Oh man.

Thank God for all the many little good things in life, am I right? Here are five of mine. What are yours?!

1. Dutch oven bread

We moved up an alert level in August, and Auckland moved up two, to level 3 (that’s ‘lockdown with takeaways’ in case you forgot – we certainly all did). We weren’t in lockdown here in Northland but all my friends and colleagues were, so in a kind of ‘lockdown mentality solidarity’ (I think that’s what it was) I bought more flour and baked bread. I used my Le Creuset (the amount of love I have for my Le Creuset cannot be overstated) and went off this recipe and damn, that’s good bread. I haven’t started the sourdough thing yet but I guess that’s next? Hopefully there are no more lockdowns and we don’t find out!

2. Yoga with Adriene

See number 1. Told you – lockdown mentality solidarity. It’s a thing.

In all seriousness I have been doing yoga from home for years. I’ve got several apps that I use – Fitstar Yoga (good sessions and good choice but there’s a cost and the app is pretty outdated now); Nike Training Club (really basic but can be good for warmups before another workout); and ClassPass digital workouts (pretty good but I haven’t found an instructor on ClassPass Digital that I really gel with, tbh). I decided to try some Yoga with Adriene to see what all the fuss was about and I know I’m late to the party but Love the dedicated sessions, love the instructor, love the enormous range of classes and times available. Last week I did yoga every single day without even thinking about it. I might have done that before, but it’s so much better with Yoga with Adriene! Do yourself a favour, and if you haven’t checked it out, do so (please don’t laugh at me, I do agree I’m bound to be the last person on earth to have woken up to the wonders of Adriene).

3. Nivea Facial Sunscreen

Yep, I know, super fancy skincare routine over here. I know you’re meant to wear sunscreen every day but in deepest, darkest winter I tend not to add sunscreen; I just rely on SPF in my moisturiser. August got sunny though! So I broke out this sunscreen again and have been applying it most days. It’s definitely a basic but honestly? I love this sunscreen. It’s not sticky or shiny, it’s not greasy, my makeup goes on nicely over top of it, and it smells like summer. I’m legitimately in a better mood after I apply it. And it’s really inexpensive, so I apply it with impunity, which, of course, is really what you need to do with sunscreen.

4. Blossom watch 2020

As you may have guessed from number 4, spring has essentially sprung here in Mangawhai! I’ve been for more than one run where I’ve had to stop multiple times to take photos of the trees in blossom everywhere. So beautiful. Is there anything more hopeful than spring flowers?

5. Nike Run Club

Is it the good weather? Is it the yoga? Is it all the bread? Something has encouraged me to start running again! I signed up for the 11km Traverse in the Auckland Marathon, and just as I did last year, I’ve used Nike’s (free!) Run Club app to keep my training on track. There’s a coach function where you can enter your goal and timeline, and it creates a training programme for you. It works so well for me. Obviously motivation is a personal thing and we all find different things to be motivating…if you’re like me, though, and you do well with an external force just telling you what you need to do next in order to achieve your goal, I can’t recommend the Nike Run Club highly enough. I should note this only works for fitness, and impersonal is best. If Hayden tried just always telling me what to do next I can’t imagine it would end well. But when you have a lot of decisions to make in the rest of your life, like constantly, something that makes the decisions for you is weirdly freeing. These days, I just run whenever my phone tells me to run, and it’s working. So looking forward to the race in November!

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