I think we can all agree that life these days is stressful and we could all do with finding more time for self-care and relaxation. Trying something new is known to be good for you; trying something new that enables you to switch off totally is all the better! This is exactly what I did on Day 36 of #100DaysNoTV – I joined nine other absolute beginners for an afternoon of basket weaving.
If there is one welcome sign that summer is getting closer to its end, it’s the abundance of ripening blackberries in the hedgerows. It has become a family tradition to go out and forage, and this year we decided to make something new with our bumper crop.
We’ve owned an ice cream maker for a few years, but it stayed unloved in its box. It was about time it had some use. On Day 34 of #100DaysNoTV we made fresh blackberry sorbet.
Sushi. Love it, hate it, or too scared to try it – it certainly divides opinion! I don’t remember the first time I had sushi. I do know that I love it, it’s healthy, and on Day 31 of #100DaysNoTV Rob and I had a go at making it.
Quick ‘hello’ to Marian Keyes fans who may have stumbled here by accident. Sorry, this has literally nothing to do with her bestseller of the same name!
It’s the time of year once again when the days get a little longer, the spring flowers begin to emerge and my thoughts turn to celebrating Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure I am a hopeless romantic all year round, but I do like to make February 14th special for my loved ones.
I’ve been looking for a Valentine’s craft; something I haven’t tried before. Dainty string hearts caught my eye on Pinterest. They’re quick to make with no mess – perfect for getting the boys involved too. On Day 30 of #100DaysNoTV, we tried some Valentine’s needlecraft.
I’ve been a member of the Clandestine Cake Club for a couple of years, but I’ve never been brave enough to go along to a meet. My image was of a group of super-talented bakers who would snort with laughter at my super-amateur attempt. But when I heard that Lauren – who I’d met at The High Tea Club – was running the Ely group, I decided to be brave. On Day 14 of #100DaysNoTV, I (nervously) took a cake that I had baked to share with others.
so, what is the clandestine cake club?
The brainchild of Lynn Hill, the Clandestine Cake Club (CCC) began in Leeds in December 2010 with its purpose to have a place for cake lovers to meet and chat over tea and cake. “Bake, Eat and Talk about Cake” is their mission statement. What’s not to like?
Chocolate has always been one of my favourite indulgences. My ‘go to’ comfort food. So, when Luxx PR contacted me with an invitation to take part in the Godiva Chocolate Challenge, I wasn’t going to turn it down. On Day 12 of #100DaysNoTV I spent an evening in the kitchen with Rob creating our chocolatey competition entry.
Some of the best presents are those that are homemade: they show that the person giving it to you has taken time to make something special for you. With this in mind, on Day 11 of #100DaysNoTV we turned freshly foraged blackberries into Blackberry Vodka to give as presents at Christmas.
With the nights drawing in and the autumn chill a nightly feature, there’s something really quite lovely about snuggling up with a glass of warming fruit liqueur.
On Day 6 of #100DaysNoTV we decided to cook Thai food as this month Thailand celebrates the new year festival of Songkran. The celebrations for Songkran (also called the Water Festival) take place over three days: day one is traditionally a time to clean and wash your house, day two is all about food, and day three (new year’s day) is when many Thai people visit their temples and bathe the statue of Buddha.
My experience of Thai food is limited to Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey and a handful of restaurant meals. Whenever I’ve seen someone cooking Thai food on television I’ve been moved by the vibrant colours, the imagined aromas and the freshness of the ingredients, and it’s long been something I’ve wanted to try for myself. So, with the festival of Songkran being so close to my birthday we decided it was a great time to try some Thai cooking.
On Day 4 of #100DaysNoTV I joined a good friend for an evening of felt crafting, helped along by a bit of girly chatter and a soupçon of white wine.
Textiles have never been something I’ve found easy to work with. I made one decent item in our (short-lived) sewing class at secondary school – a small patchwork cushion. Beyond that, I’ve thought about making lots of things, but never got around to it.