The Low Down: April 2020 – Lockdown edition

2nd May 2020

You’d think that a global pandemic that sees the majority of us in lockdown would give me plenty of time to blog but for numerous reasons, it just simply hasn’t been happening, which is why posts may be sporadic for a while. I’m also keeping things as light as possible content-wise as I just don’t think right now is the time for think pieces and from my end, they take a hell of a lot of energy to produce. So that’s why for today’s post, I’ve bought back the lockdown edition of The Low Down: a mash-up of favourites and a monthly diary. Because for some reason, these are my favourite posts to read right now.

Home comforts

I still remember how bizarre it felt back in March, leaving my work offices for the last time, my huge Mac desktop screen tucked under my arm. I’m fortunate enough that my role can be done pretty easily from home and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I was actually quite looking forward to working at home. It was something I’d been wanting to do one or two days a week for a while now anyway and I loved the idea of being able to be home to keep our sausage dog Luna company. Over a month on and I’ve definitely got quite a good routine going and I feel somewhat settled in this ‘new normal.’ I like the flexibility that being at home offers me and being able to have a decent lunch thanks to the use of my kitchen. That said, I do miss my colleagues and the social aspect of working in an office and it can be difficult not having separate home and working environments.

Sweet treats

Like pretty much everyone right now, we’ve been doing a lot of baking. Flapjacks, cookies, an epic chocolate cake… it’s been a very enjoyable process albeit very calorific. For something a little different to do together one evening, Matt and I gave the Doughnut Time DIY Home-Kit a whirl. You essentially get sent a box through the post of four (big!) fresh ring doughnuts, three piping bags of icing and decorations to create your own bespoke doughnuts. It’s definitely something you could recreate much cheaper yourself with a few bits from the supermarket but it was a really nice little activity to do together and the doughnuts were incredible, especially considering they’d come through the post from London!

Doughnut Time DIY kitDoughnut Time DIY kit

Let’s get physical

As I’m sure you all know, we’re all pretty limited in what we can do in our homes and while I’ve been doing a lot of reading (see below…), something else I’ve found myself doing is exercise. My Zumba instructor has kindly been uploading classes to a Facebook group for us to do but YouTube has been a huge asset and I’ve dabbled in a few different types of home workouts now, as well as signing up for trials of fitness programmes such as RWL. If you’re looking for inspiration, my favourites have got to be Pamela Reif for her quick and effective full-body workouts and Sarah Beth Yoga for beginners yoga which really sets me up for the day. I’d love to know any workout suggestions you’d recommend for me to try!

Lost in pages

I don’t think I have ever read as much as I’ve during this lockdown and books have provided an escape from the outside world which I have really relished. At last count, I’ve read a grand total of ten books in April which I think has come down to the unusually sunny weather we’ve been enjoying. As soon as the sun is out, it’s pretty easy to forget about my phone and instead, you’ll find me curled up with Luna on our outside sofa, devouring the latest book downloaded to my kindle. I’ve said this numerous times, but if you love your books, I’d really recommend taking a look at NetGalley, which lets you request yet to be released books by your favourite authors in exchange for a review. My favourite read so far? Q by Christina Dalcher. 

Glossier Skincare

Skincare saviours

I haven’t worn make-up for weeks now and it’s been glorious giving my skin a real break. I’ve been wanting to develop a proper skincare routine for a while now but to be perfectly honest, I’ve just been a bit lazy. I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of Caroline Hiron’s book Skincare and took it as an opportunity to swot up on all things skincare, constructing a morning and evening routine to follow every day. A few of the products I had already and some I had to purchase after a lot of research and I’ve finally jumped on the Glossier bandwagon! I’ve not used them enough to give you my verdict but overall I’m pretty happy with the routines I’ve established and especially in the evenings it’s actually been a really nice way to unwind.

Getting quizzy

If you haven’t taken part in numerous quizzes during the lockdown, what have you been doing!? We currently have two different groups on the go (family and friends) which take place on Zoom where each couple or person takes it in turn to ‘host,’ creating ten rounds with different themes ranging from everything from current affairs to Netflix to chocolate. We’ve also had picture rounds and ‘guess that song’ rounds to keep things interesting. Not only is it a nice way to spend time with loved ones we can’t see right now but a good chance to use our brains and have a giggle.