What 2021 means for those looking for love, companionship and friendship



Collaborative/Advetorial post

Well 2020 threw the curveball none of us expected and suddenly we saw our social life dwindle and the idea of making new meaningful connections become even more challenging. We all had to get use to socially distancing ourselves from anyone outside of our family unit for nearly most of the year while getting to grips with Zoom calls and virtual hangouts with friends.

Not ideal when your on the dating scene or have moved to a new city and want to strike up new friendships but not all is lost, there is a glimmer of hope for normality in 2021 even when things feel very up in the air at the moment. The roll-out of the vaccine will have an impact, it may take months to see this impact start to work but it means we can start to look towards the future with a bit more excitement.

2020 did, however, teach us a lot of things, many of us started to prioritise our needs, friendships, our own self-care as well as our time. It's made many aware of what they really want in a partner or friend and have a clearer picture of our needs, likes and dislikes means we can be more direct and hopefully not waste time, which is helpful when you are dipping your toe into the virtual dating pool or trying to find like-minded companions. 

Right now could be the perfect time to put feelers out there with the aim to start a budding romance or friendship because while we still have to socially distance for the immediate future it means we have more time to really get to know someone virtually and if anything the pandemic has made dating slower and potential a more meaningful experience, which is key for those truly looking to make a connection with someone. 

zoom call

Slow dating may seem at times frustrating but in the long term, it can be a real positive as it allows you get to build a fairly solid connection before deciding to meet in person. This approach is also great for the older generation who may not be as free and flexible as those with little responsibilities beyond themselves. Making friends or dating is without a doubt harder when you're older as your usually juggling work, parenthood, looking after your home as well as your own needs so finding a like-minded person who fully understands your life commitments is really helpful. 

Even if you are not very online savvy 2020 has taught most how to communicate via video chat and social media and when it comes to meeting new people there is an app for everyone, no matter where you are in your life. Most of us would of hear of apps such as Tinder and Bumble but if you are older there are dating sites for over 50's for those looking for both romance and friendship and like other platforms offer it in safe and secure way. 

holding hands

In fact more and more people of all ages are joining apps and websites after 2020 which impacted many who live on their own or come into contact with very few people (which is great in a pandemic but not fantastic for your mental health). So it's not something to be embarrassed about at any age!

So now is the time to be upfront about what you want, be honest about who you are but also be open to talking, listening and making real connections and hopefully meeting up in real life being a reality really soon. Just remember to stay safe (in fact here is a post I've written about staying safe online when making friends or dating), listen to government guidelines and use reputable apps, but most of all have fun because I don't think we have had enough of that over the past year. 

dating in 2021

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Why you should try Stand Up Paddle boarding in 2021




*I have been working with Bluefin on a review of their SUP boards - my words and review are 100% my own

As most of us can agree 2020 didn't exactly go to plan and learning how to adapt and hopefully thrive was key and as we move forward into 2021 we all have hope for normality but it appears to be a few months off at least. Saying that having goals and dreams are important and help to give us purpose and keep our moods up with something positive to look forward too. In fact, for a lot of us, our new found hobbies during lockdown helped to get us through the year.

Last year I joined the Bluefin SUP community and had lots of plans for very exciting content, especially the charity SUP I had planned to help raise money for those struggling in South Africa (my home country) but due to Covid this simply wasn't possible and has now been replanned later in 2021.

My BlueFin 10.8 Cruise board is a perfect all-round SUP board and suitable for most conditions as well as being very stable, versatile and portable and I've enjoyed the kayak conversation kit that comes along with it. It's also easy to pump up and I can get it in and out of my car myself as well as accommodate the kids and I on fun excursions. I am putting together an in-depth review of my board but I do just want to say if you're interested in getting a SUP, Bluefin are fantastic and one of the best on the market. 

Despite the stop-start nature of last year, I did manage to get out on the water in 2020 and it makes for the perfect socially distanced sport or pastime that can be done safely while offering up some much needed outdoor time and connection with nature and really help to give an instant boost to my mental health during 2020.

Sunset SUP

If you haven't tried standup paddleboarding then I highly recommend giving it a go in 2021 and here's why.

1. It's super easy to grasp the basics

SUP boards are very stable and buoyant and anyone with fairly good balance will grasp the basics very quickly as well as being suitable for all ages. I grew up surfing so when I first jumped on a SUP board in 2018 it felt very familiar and comfortable and my instructor said that he has taught children as young as 5 to adults in their 80's, so don't be nervous to give it a go.

2. Is a fun full body workout

While SUP is a fairly gentle hobby it can also be one of the best ways to get a full-body workout as your using every part of your body from your arms for paddling through to your legs and core which work on keeping your balanced. The best thing of all though is how fun SUP is, it's a great way to explore the waterways in a whole new way and if you are nervous about the sea or more choppy conditions that a relaxing meader down a river or on a lake is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while also benefitting from a workout.

3. Easy to socially distance

As I mentioned at the start of this post it's a great activity for this year moving forward as you naturally keep at least 2m away from others, in fact, rivers and the ocean are far less crowded than your local park or cycle trail making its safe way to benefit from being outdoors in the fresh air. Also if you have your own board which I would recommend, your not sharing with others. 


4. A boost for your mental health

Did you know it's scientifically proven that being out on the water, in nature, helps you relax and after the year we have just had I think we all need to relax more? Along with the positive elements of it being a gentle way to work out, the happy endorphins released will also help with reducing things like stress and help you unwind. It also allows for moments to get away from others and have a break from the world and reality for a moment. 

5. A new way to explore

For anyone with a sense of adventure and wanderlust, the past year has been hard, many of us have been restricted to lockdowns and limited to where we can go but the one positive is that we have been exploring more of our local area and SUP gives an extra element to that as you can tap into that sense of adventure by getting on the water and discovering a new perspective to where you live. 

6. Great for the whole family

As I mentioned earlier, SUP is perfect for all ages and is generally enjoyed by all, my two son's, 5 & 10, love getting on my board with me. My eldest first tried his hand at independent sup'in on a lake when he was 8 and took to it like duck to water and I am looking at getting him his own board this year, in fact, Bluefin does a fantastic junior pack with everything you need to get started, while my youngest loves to hitch a ride on mine. As always I highly recommend everyone wears a life jacket or suitable buoyancy aid so you can enjoy your time on the water safely. 

SUP family

So if you're looking to try SUP out then this could be the year to do it, or if you're looking to improve your skills and get out on the water more then this could be the safe and fun way to do it. We all know of the positive effects on both our body and mind when we spend time in nature, being active and outdoors and this ticks all those boxes, so why not give it a go?

Bluefin SUP Blog and community pages offer some great tips and inspiration, as well as advice for those looking to buy their first board, or tips on taking your kids or dog out on the water with you, along with do's and don't and general safety advice, so it's worth checking it out. 


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The Beauty of Green Gemstones


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green gemstone

*Supported Post, Contains Affiliate links

If you're naturally drawn to green, there are many beautiful gemstone options for you to choose from. From the deep jungle-green of emerald to the citrus hues of peridot, there is a perfectly-toned gemstone to match everyone's skin tone, hair colour, and wardrobe colour palette.

As well as looking gorgeous, green gemstones are full of magical and symbolic meanings. Gemstones that are rich green in colour are said to represent nature, renewal and new life. Emerald, for example, is the birthstone for May which is perfectly fitting for such a fresh greenstone, evocative of spring and summertime.

In addition to this, green gemstones are believed to represent balance and harmony and they’re thought to be exceptional mood balancers. Some even believe that they strengthen the connection between the mind and the heart and help you to better express your emotions. Others associate green gemstones with great wealth, believing that wearing a green gemstone is sure to improve your finances.

Whether you believe in the symbolic meaning of green gemstones or not, we can all agree that they're truly stunning to look at. If you've fallen in love with green gemstones and are planning a new addition to your jewellery box, read on to find out more about some of the most beautiful types of green gemstones.


The emerald is undoubtedly the queen of green gemstones, and probably the one you're most familiar with. The emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl, and it is formed when beryl contains the impurities chromium and vanadium. Emeralds can be found all around the world, but there are certain locations in which truly spectacular emeralds are located, such as Columbia and Brazil.

Over the centuries, emerald jewellery has been much loved and highly coveted. From the ancient Incas to the Hollywood actresses of the 20th century, no one has been able to get enough of this stunning green stone. Today, vintage emerald rings, necklaces, and bracelets are very popular, and this bright and bold gemstone can smoothly be incorporated into modern outfits.


This gemstone may be less well known than the glorious emerald, but its citrus tones make it a favourite for many. Peridot is a type of Olivine, which is formed in silica-poor igneous rocks, such as basalts, and can be found in Volcanic areas. Because tiny peridots are the most commonly found, it's rare to see this gemstone set into jewellery. So, when you see an impressive, large peridot gemstone set into a ring, brooch, or necklace, you know that the piece is something special.

Peridots are believed to represent compassion and summon good health. There are also many legends surrounding the peridot that state that this stone conjures love, harmony, and calmness.




If you're looking for a rich bottle green coloured gemstone, a tourmaline would be a great option. Although tourmaline can come in a variety of colours (depending on its chemical makeup), deep green examples are the most popular and well known. Green tourmaline is caused by traces of iron and titanium in the stone's chemical makeup, whereas manganese impurities work to produce pink and red tourmaline.

As the birthstone for October, tourmaline jewellery would be a wonderful gift idea for anyone who celebrates a birthday in this month. In addition, this gemstone is also used to celebrate an eighth wedding anniversary.


Another popular green gemstone, especially if you're looking for something smooth rather than sparkly, is jade. In fact, jade is actually made up of two sperate gems: nephrite and jadeite. It has traditionally been a highly coveted material in China, where it is considered a symbol of heaven. Today, however, the Western world is more interested in jade than ever, and many gorgeous jade jewellery pieces are being created.

The use of jade can be traced back to the stone age when it was crafted into weapons, tool, and ornaments. Jade is particularly tough, and exquisite ancient jade carvings have withstood the test of time – many impressive examples can be spied in museums today.

There are so many green gemstones to choose from, and all of them look exceptional when crafted into jewellery pieces, whether antique, vintage, or contemporary. Have you decided which green gemstone is your favourite yet?


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