I’ve realised that as I get older, I set aside my desire for the frivolous (unless it’s a brightly coloured Perfect Moment jumpsuit, then I’m ALL IN), and look for quality and functionality in ‘things’. Having said that, I’ve got a couple of things on here which have one sole purpose – to make me (and others), smile.
If you’ve any interest in tarot cards, but have never really gotten to grips with them, the Spirit Animal Wisdom cards might be better suited. They’re a set of 50 cards, which you can use for guidance, to draw strength and clarity. The illustrations are beautiful and they’re easy to use.
I met Kat, the founder, at a Health and Fitness show several years ago. It was fleeting as she was busy with her stand. But I loved her energy, and the brand. There was a lot of love for their products from the team – that was clear. I’ve since enjoyed following their progress on Instagram and I think their mats are superb. The travel mats look incredibly useful as I’m always taking my mat to PT clients and group classes, but if you want something more ‘sturdy’, they have some fantastic grippy rubber mats.
Feel like a warrior with these training bars. I love that these don’t take up too much space for storage and you don’t need any special fittings, such as hooks to use, yet are also so versatile. They can also work on strength, flexibility and mobility. And if it feels like you’ve no idea where to start, your purchase also comes with access to their online video training and workouts.
I think the Kew Tropics – Hot Pink yoga mat is one of the most beautiful mats around. I actually just quite want to hang this on my wall! You can also machine wash the mat, as long as you don’t use washing powder. Bonus.
For the chic city cyclist, it has to be a Dashel cycle helmet. The Urban Cycle Helmet comes in 6 colours and 3 sizes and when it’s time to get a new one, hand your hold one back and they’ll not only recycle it for you but offer you a discount on your next purchase. I also love the Carbon Fibre helmets (orange gloss is gorgeous!) but at a mighty £185 they’re out of league sadly.
I use my Brompton a lot to travel to my Personal Training clients, and normally would carry my equipment in a rucksack (I’m never without my Osprey one – it’s so comfy and really strong), but it would be more convenient to have it attached to my bike. The Borough is the biggest bag and also seems the most sturdy.
The Whoop band works on a monthly subscription with options ranging from 18 months, 12 months and monthly. The band is unlike most fitness trackers because there’s no screen. It focuses on recovery, strain and sleep, identifying when you need to rest, and when’s the optimal time to train. Unlike other fitness trackers, it also records activity constantly.
I’ve got a Kettleboob Kettlebell (I think these are on everyone else’s Christmas Wishlist too!) and love their new cheeky fabric resistance bands. Who wouldn’t want to work out when you’ve got one of these?!
Leith’s-trained chef, Susie Morrison of Gourmetglow, has released her second eCookbook (I’ve got her first, Jackfruit: A Global Feast and it’s fantastic) and this time it’s full of festive flavours. But not your usual ones. So if you’re bored of all the usual gingerbread men and nut roasts, this is one for your budding chef friends. Or a cheeky Christmas present to yourself. I’m not sure whether I’ll start with the sour cherry and coconut shortbread, the spectacular black forest cheesecake buche with raspberry liquor caramel, or the turkey, yuzu and black pepper wontons! Or the winter spiced caramel snowballs… or the cheeseboard mac and cheese! There’s also vegan recipes and recipes for kids too.
Plus, a fantastic 20% of each sale goes to the mental health charity, Mind.
Yogitoes Yoga Towel, €60
Yoga towels are really great for adding extra grip to your mat, ideal for those who work up a sweat, or enjoy hot yoga sessions. They’re also versatile, doubling up as a towel so you can even take it on beach holidays too. Maybe as a light-weight, packable alternative to a yoga mat? The best thing about the Yogitoes towel is that each contains at least 4 plastic bottles. There’s loads of designs but I’m particularly fond of this Tropics pattern.See the yogitoes® Tropics Black towel here Merrell’s Bare Access XTR Trainer, £95
Feet get a pretty rough deal of things – squished into socks and then squished some more into shoes. I’ve been integrating bare foot shoes in my lifestyle over the past few years and my feet and I have really noticed the difference. However, when I’m running in my usual barefoot shoes, I can feel it in my shins so want to transition from a cushioned sole gradually. This is the perfect graduation shoe! The Bare Access Trainer has a 0 heel-to-toe offset (it’s a level sole) with moderate cushioning.I also really like the range of vegan shoes for women which Merrell do, especially the un-dyed Vapor Glove.