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Fashion: Emily and Fin at Lilac Rose

It’s rare that you get a chance to browse in shops after hours so it was a real treat to spend an evening at Lilac Rose in Cambridge. It was a chance to reacquaint myself with their shop on Bridge Street: one of the prettiest areas of Cambridge city centre.

Lilac Rose have been in Cambridge since 2010 and describe themselves as “. . . an independent fashion boutique selling women’s clothes, jewellery and accessories.” After a quick browse it’s clear that their handpicked dresses have a real emphasis on colour and print (they definitely don’t do plain!) and what might not be obvious at first, is the importance they put on the way the dress fits and feels; I’d say they have their priorities right!

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Day 24: iPhoneography with Sara Tasker

I have an iPhone. I have an Instagram account. I don’t have a lot of knowledge about using my iPhone to take amazing photographs, other than the basic techniques. Or rather, I didn’t, because I recently attended an iPhoneography Workshop with Instagram queen, Sara Tasker.

Organised by Shutter Hub as part of their OPEN 2016, Sara – of Me & Orla – travelled down from Yorkshire to NOVI in Cambridge to teach us some of the tricks that would help us to take better photos using just our smartphones.

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Day 23: Cocktail Masterclass

Life has a way of taking over sometimes, doesn’t it? Where’s the Pause button when you need it? It feels like forever since I was able to write a blog post. However, I’m back now and excited to share my stories with you again.🙂

Every once in a while it’s great to get some friends together and try something a little bit different. I had a special birthday this year, and that seemed to me like a perfect time to do this! Day 23 of #100DaysNoTV was an excuse to get dressed up, meet with a group of girlfriends and spend a lazy Sunday afternoon at a Cocktail Masterclass.

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Review: Neal’s Yard Remedies

The wonderfully named Bee Lovely Hand Cream is the only product by Neal’s Yard Remedies that I had ever used and, I have to admit, that was a freebie! (It was in my goody bag from the CambMeetUp bloggers event last March.) So when I was invited to their press event in Cambridge I used it as a chance to really get to know the brand better.

They held the event in their little shop on the city’s beautiful Rose Crescent.  At the time I posted a photo on Instagram with the caption: “Neal’s Yard is possibly the prettiest shop in Cambridge”. It’s absolutely true, and Cambridge isn’t exactly bereft of beautiful shops.🙂

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Day 22: Gin Festival

Gin + Festival + 8th April = Birthday present perfection for my mum. As soon as this event appeared on Facebook I went to Eventbrite to book two tickets. And, thank goodness I did. The event sold out in just a few days. On Day 22 of #100DaysNoTV the Cambridge Corn Exchange was the venue for Mum’s 67th (ssh, don’t let her know I told you!) birthday celebrations.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a festival of gin in the heart of Cambridge. I’d been to plenty of beer festivals but this was always going to be a totally different experience! I imagined it might be more like a food & drink festival, with lots stalls offering tasters and selling their wares. In reality, it was a lot more sophisticated than that.

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Day 21: Spa Day

In January I booked a spa day with a friend who was also celebrating a ‘significant’ birthday. Sadly, last minute events went against her, meaning she couldn’t go, so I put on my brave face and went alone. A slightly nerve-wracking experience, but a good one all the same. On Day 21 of #100DaysNoTV the Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel was my destination for my first ever Spa Day.

The Bedford Lodge Hotel is in Newmarket, Suffolk. The last time I’d been to the hotel was eleven years ago when Rob and I were looking for a wedding venue (we ended up marrying at the Hotel Felix in Cambridge, in case you were wondering!). The Spa is a recent addition to the hotel, opening in 2013. It’s had such good reviews that I’d been really keen to try it out.

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Day 20: Night of Fashion

After nearly a year as Communications Officer and Blogger for Cambridge Style Week, I swapped my desk and laptop for a spot at the end of the catwalk with my iPhone, and prepared to live tweet for my first fashion show. On Day 20 of #100DaysNoTV I was one quarter of the live-tweeting Social Media Team for Cambridge Style Week 2016 Night of Fashion.

If you’d read that paragraph to my younger self I’d probably have sniggered into my copy of Four Four Two.  From as far back as I can remember, I was the class tomboy who lived in tracksuits and played football, not kiss chase. Later it was a football shell suit (come on, it was the early 90s!) and I stayed out to play football, instead of staying in to paint my nails.

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Day 19: Tea Blending

Dad taught me how to make a ‘proper’ pot of tea before I was old enough to drink caffeine: “warm the pot first, one heaped teaspoon per cup and one for the pot . . .” My love of tea grew from there. We never had teabags at home, though I rely on them these days – but when we go out for tea I like to try different blends. On Day 19 of #100DaysNoTV I joined a friend and fellow tea lover to create a new tea blend. And, I’m really quite proud of it!

Having grown up with PG Tips (it was the 80s!) I always assumed that teas from a Tea House were made using some magical formula with recipes handed down through the generations. It turns out new teas are being blended all the time, and with help from a tea aficionado (she might not admit it, but she really is), it’s easier than I thought!

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Day 18: Tallulah does the Hula

One of the most exciting aspects of my #100DaysNoTV project is the opportunity to spend time with a friend, indulging for a short while in their passion. On Day 18, I spent a morning with Tali – of the brilliantly named Tallulah does the Hula – making resin pendants.

The last time I made jewellery with Tali was in 2011 when were both seven months pregnant! With tummies up to the craft table (too much info?), we made beaded necklaces and earrings. Since then, Tali has gone on to create beautiful pieces with polymer clay beads before turning her attention to resin.

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Day 17: Pressed Flower Art

A super simple activity for Day 17 of #100DaysNoTV. I made a little memento of an autumn walk I had with the boys last year. They love being outdoors and collecting “treasure”, and we had carefully chosen some fallen leaves and – incredibly for the time of year – buttercups and daisies. I pressed them, stored them, and now (finally) they’re displayed!

Luckily, I was able to use things we already had in the house. I used a frame that had been sitting in a drawer, for goodness knows how long. We have an abundance of card and poster paint, so there was no issue with making a background for the flowers and leaves to stick on. I just had to decide how I wanted it to look.

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