I love it when my blog allows me to spend time with friends, learning about their passions. My evening with Ruth, trying some mandala painting, was brilliant. While stone painting itself isn’t completely new to me, it was the first time I’ve tried to paint a mandala pattern; in fact, any elaborate pattern at all, so it was always going to be challenging.
To get you in the Christmas mood, you’d find it hard to beat an afternoon making a wreath while sipping mulled wine, eating mince pies, all to the background singing of a live choir. On Day 37 of #100DaysNoTV, I joined a Mummas & More wreath-making workshop at Ely Cathedral! 🙂
Christmas wreaths seem to have gained in popularity over recent years and we had our first ever wreath last year. It was a bit sorry looking; I bought it on a whim from a garden centre in mid-December, and it was definitely past its best! However, it planted a seed in my (not-very-creative) mind – I wanted to make one of my own the following year. I just had to figure out how!
I have vivid memories of being a young girl growing up in the affluent city of Cambridge, not being able to understand why there were so many people sleeping rough, barely surviving. It didn’t seem right or fair, and that helpless feeling stays with me today. That childhood memory, and what I’ve subsequently learned about the plight of the homeless and the disadvantaged, along with an inherent aversion to food waste, compelled me to attend my first FoodCycle session in 2012.
After a break from volunteering while our children were very young, I rejoined the team in September 2017 for Day 35 of #100DaysNoTV.
Before we were parents, Rob and I used to enjoy holding dinner parties at home. Back then, we totally took it for granted. As other parents of young children might agree, a grown-up evening without interruption, and without you feeling so tired you’d fall asleep on your plate, can feel like a thing of the distant past.
After talking with a group of mummies (we’d met at my “Mummas & More” bloggers talk ) about getting together, we started considering the idea of a dinner party where we all contribute a dish. However, in the end we decided to invite a chef to do all the cooking (and clearing up!) for us. 🙂 On Day 32 of #100DaysNoTV we had a restaurant experience at home!
For a festive hit in mid-November, there are few places better than Ely Cathedral. Their annual two-day Christmas Gift & Food Fair is an event attended by people from all around the country. In contrast, the #ElyChristmasCracker was all about local people.
Since the Cambridge blogger community – CambMeetUp – began in March 2015, there have been a number of local meetups around Cambridgeshire, and when Lauren decided it was time that Ely held one, I was more than happy to help organise. On Day 29 of #100DaysNoTV I co-hosted a blogger event for the first time!
The last couple of months have been all about spinning plates – this post has been sitting on my To Do pile since September…my bad. I’ve been looking forward to writing it, because it’s about two important things in life: cake 😉 and charity. On Day 28 of #100DaysNoTV I hosted a Macmillan Coffee Morning at my place.
Macmillan Cancer Support held their first ever Coffee Morning way back in 1990 and since then they’ve raised a whopping £138 million. Little wonder it’s known as the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning! If you’ve never been to one, look out for one local to you next September; it’s easy to search using your postcode on their website. There are bound to be a few near you run by local groups, or you could host one yourself!
I’m not a serious runner but over the last year or so I’ve become more committed, taking part in the Cambridge Race for Life 10k and the Grand East Anglia Run 10k. My Strava app records every run I do, and last November I joined Run Mummy Run (RMR): an online community of mummies who like to run and support others. This group organised last December’s Advent Streak. 🙂 On Day 26 of #100DaysNoTV I ran in my first team event with some RMR girls.
The Cambridge Wineathlon was a not-at-all-serious 10k run through the pretty villages of Foxton, Fowlmere and Newton. I signed up with a couple of RMR girls and our group grew from there. Where’s Wally? is a staple uniform at some local parkruns, so it was the natural choice for the Wineathlon too! Don’t we look good?! 😉
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!
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.
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!