It can't be ignored that lockdown has been a tough financial time for many, but it has also been a time of a lot of impulse online shopping for others.
A quick online shop seems to brighten up the iso life and waiting for that courier driver to arrive adds a touch of excitement to the long lockdown days.
Personally, lockdown has been great for my bank account. Not having to pay for petrol, public transport, coffees out with friends or impulse purchases has come as a welcome break. I count myself lucky.
Okay, maybe I succumbed to the loungewear craze and bought a pair of trackies online. I'm only human.
But it also got me curious about what my colleagues had been spending their cash on? Were they being as frivolous as I? Or were they now on a first-name basis with their courier driver?
From celebrity collab undies to laser guns and new bedsheets, here are all the weird and wonderful items the Herald lifestyle team have been buying online during lockdown - you might just find some new small businesses to support along the way.
Jenni Mortimer, Lifestyle and Entertainment Editor
I am ever the cynic when it comes to celeb brands, but after being sucked in by the SKIMS Olympic collab, I honestly fell in love with the brand. From their butter-like Fits Everybody fabric to their genuinely luxe PJs, I have been eagerly tracking orders from the US-based brand revelling in the joy that is their arrival.
My love for Thea Ceramics and their beautiful Waiheke Island-made tumblers knows no bounds. Seriously - I have a cupboard dedicated to them. Level 3 added Esther's custom cereal bowls to my collection as well as a stunning Pōuriuri sharing bowl, for all the Christmas entertaining I am still holding on to hope for.
I can currently only dream of days on Waiheke Island, but the goddess that is Esther and her incomparable craftsmanship make me feel just a little bit closer.
Cryo masks and a $70 hand wash
The hype that was the Charlotte Tilbury Mecca launch nearly broke the internet, and although I was very lucky to get gifted some lush products from the brand, that didn't stop me from placing a hefty order. I'm only human. The hyped cryo mask was one I refused to miss after this lockdown felt like it aged me 10+ years. And a Byredo Rose handwash found its way into my cart - if I am going to be stuck in my house all year, I am at least going to be smelling of roses.
New sheets and duvet cover
Megan Wood, Lifestyle and Entertainment reporter
Being in lockdown for so long (with kids) has pretty much made sleep the highlight of my day, so I decided to make going to bed a luxurious experience. After lengthy research, I found Groundd, a company making eco-friendly sheets here in NZ. Their sheets are made from bamboo lyocell, a fabric they call "eco-silk". I got my order within two days and they are as soft as a cloud, cool without being cold and smooth without being slippery.
I also indulged in the purchase of a bright and colourful duvet cover from Gorman. My bed is now a haven of calm and comfort, so much so that I went to bed two hours earlier than usual the first night, just because.
Laser tag set
Lots of things weren't shipping in level 4, but nothing stops online shopping juggernaut Amazon. I was trying to think of a fun way to get my kids running around without mess or injury and finally my brain pinged - laser tag! Some sleuthing led me to a reasonably priced set of four guns and vests, I 1-click purchased that bad boy and waited. Every day since, we have battled at home, in our backyard, and even down at our local park. Hands down one of the best kid-friendly purchases I have ever made.
Rebecca Blithe, Senior Lifestyle Writer
If you're looking for a step up from your Whittaker's block, this Dunedin-made bean-to-bar chocolate is well worth a sampling. With flavours like Horopito and Kawakawa (made from the spicy leaves and berries of the native plants), Beekeeper (Manuka honey, bee pollen and puffed amaranth) and Hot Cross Bun flavour, which I found half-eaten by the bedside, OCHO chocolate has been a lockdown favourite.
Barney Toy and the team at Ponsonby Rd cocktail bar Clipper have done an exceptional job of creating a range of cocktails to imbibe at home. We tried - and highly rated - the banana caramel old fashioned, the stone fruit spritz and a milk punch. Poured over ice, they've been just the ticket at the end of a rough day in lockdown.
Spending more time than usual in the kitchen, we're loving the addition of a couple of super-sharp knives from Tsuchimon. Tomatoes cut like butter, dicing an onion is chef's kiss-easy and you can hold the blade over a piece of steak, sigh and feel it slice on through. Ordered from blademaster.co.nz, they're worth forking out for.
Lydia Burgham, Lifestyle and Entertainment Writer
I wanted to cut back on screen time during lockdown, so naturally I used it as an excuse to buy whatever books my heart desired. I highly recommend supporting local, independent bookshops during this time. Shoutout to Unity Books Auckland, who personally called me to make sure I was sent my new Sally Rooney novel, and Bookety Book Books for their speedy delivery and beautiful website. I've managed to read almost eight books so far, so I'm calling that a win.
I seldom shop for clothes online, but this lockdown I got click-happy with matching tracksuits, which became my unofficial work-from-home uniform. Max has some of my favourites, as does US-based Reformation, which boasts a rainbow of stunning colour ways. Comfort is key during unsettling times – although that didn't stop me also purchasing an Everlane blazer I've had my eye on for two years.
I'm a stickler for good quality skincare and cosmetics, so I decided lockdown was the time to invest in a nice hair product for my deceased split ends. I got the Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer from Mecca. It's a lovely spritz of silky leave-in conditioner that dries fast and works well fresh out of the shower or directly before heat styling.
Will my bank account thank me when we're out of lockdown? Absolutely not. But sometimes you need some simple joys to get through the days.