I don’t know about you, but being stuck in isolation can be boring AF! How is everyone doing?
I think right now, I am so over the whole ‘isolation’ and staying at home thing – although I know it’s important, it can also become very repetitive and you start to feel like you’re going a BIT MAD.
The last few weeks have been super mad, crazy and emotional for me and I am just trying to ride out the waves of emotion, keep productive and busy, whilst I try to listen to my body and mind more and know when I need to just have days when I just don’t want to do anything.
However, I have never felt so connected to lots of local businesses thanks to all that they are doing by bringing their businesses online, through live videos, takeaway and delivery services and much more.
So I thought I would share with you some of the lockdown activities that are available out there that are being run in Northamptonshire by local businesses.
I am basing this on personal experience of what I currently am doing/taking part in at home because, as always, I want to share my own experiences with you and never share anything that I haven’t done.
I hope you find this blog post useful and you find ways to keep yourself entertained during lockdown:
Businesses such as SooYoga are really doing their best to accommodate the current situation despite all gyms and fitness studios being closed and more than ever, it’s important to look after our physical health (even when you’re not into fitness like me!)
But what I have been getting on board with and enjoying is doing an occasional dance class with Kristina at SooYoga – I was lucky to experience a dance class last year at her studio and I absolutely loved it!
I’m not a huge exercise lover, but I do love a good boogie which certainly counts as exercise! Kristina is offering classes from Chachacha, Salsa, Cuban and much more. You can also join SooYoga’s yoga classes via Zoom.
If dance isn’t your thing and you fancy a different kind of workout, Ben Cohen is offering his express workout at home which consists of one round of 5 exercises to get your sweat on!
Pink Clouding ‘You Got This’ Isolation Pack
Emma from Pink Clouding has come up with such an iconic isolation pack that is both funny, badass and productive during this quarantine.
I am a huge fan of Emma’s whole business ethos, what she stands for, the products she makes and just her bubbly, uplifting personality in general – so when she came up with an isolation pack, I knew I had to get one!
The pack includes a ‘You Got This’ tote bag, dual purpose badass pants, a cactus seed which comes with it’s own little pot which you can grow and look after yourself (I named mine Caracatus Potts!) A Fuck Corona activity pack andcolouring book, 2 postcards, a badge and a coppa feel card – so you don’t forget to check your boobies during isolation!
I’ve already started the process in planting my cactus, so hopefully he will start to grow soon!
Northants Life Live Videos
NorthantsLife have got a whole series of weekly live videos from local businesses as part of their weekly schedule, which you can tune into on their Facebook page. It’s a great way to use a platform to engage with local businesses.
I found myself watching and taking notes on their video with Gavin from GEM MacIntyres who spoke about how to keep your hair healthy during lockdown whilst you can’t go and visit your hairdresser.
Other live videos they have been collaborating on include live magic tricks with Sean Heydon, Home HIIT workouts with New Dimensions Fitness and dance classes with Kristina Rihanoff.
Occasion Bar Cocktail Making
I was recently gifted a cocktail making kit which was delivered to my door, thanks to Occasion Bar Co which is run by Siobhan and quite honestly has come up with a genius idea to get us all excited during quarantine.
If you’re missing having your favourite cocktail made for you at a bar, why not have a go at making your own from the comfort of your home? And the best part… you can do it with your pyjamas on and all the equipment you need is delivered to you.
The pack contains ingredients to make 2x of 3 cocktail favourites; Mojito, Strawberry Daiquiri and Pornstar Martini and they all come with the ingredients needed in small bottles, garnishes in pots to keep them fresh, glasses, a cocktail shaker and everything else in between.
You also receive a cocktail instruction card so you can follow along whilst you create your masterpieces. It made for a really fun Thursday evening activity for us to do compared to the normal.
For more information, check out Occasion Bar Co’s Instagram page where there is a highlight all about what you can expect.
Social Isolation Supper Club by Burnt Lemon Catering and Jelley’s Vodka
Masterchef semi-finalist Christian Day has teamed up with two of the rising stars of the Northamptonshire food and drink scene to launch a ‘Social Isolation Supper Club’; Burnt Lemon Catering at Jelley’s Vodka.
Virtual ‘dinner guests’ will be able to order a box containing a pre-prepared three course meal and all the ingredients needed to make three organic vodka-based cocktails designed to perfectly match each course.
Masterchef judge and acclaimed food critic William Sitwell will also be joining in the fun live through the social media feed, while guests will be able to get involved by asking questions and giving their verdict on the meal.
You can join together on Instagram and Facebook LIVE on Saturday 18th April from 7pm.
I am being kindly gifted a box to cook along with and I’ll be sharing content during and afterwards. I can’t wait to cook a professional dinner in the comfort of my own home, whilst sampling drink combos from Jelley’s.
Northants Online Food & Drink Market
If you’re missing a visit to your local food market, food fair or food festival (I know I do!) and you still want to support local without going outside your house, then the Northants Online Food & Drink Market is here for you.
This couldn’t had come at a better time, but this is something that has been in the works for a while, according to founders, What’s Poppin’ Popcorn, but it seemed to make sense to launch it now as small local businesses and food & drink producers need the support more than ever.
It’s a bi-weekly event that happens on a set up Facebook event, where each business posts a description of their business with photos of the amazing products they’ve got to offer, plus links to website with promo code specifically for the market and details on how to order.
The platform has been built to help cross promote the businesses, to help sell fantastic products made in Northamptonshire directly to customers and to help support the food and drink community.
I’ve taken full advantage both weeks, with purchasing products from businesses like BiteMe Spices, Friars Farm and Brooklyn Brownie Co.
Bay Tree Cottage Cooking
Cookalongs have been increasingly popular online during lockdown as everybody has suddenly become passionate about baking sourdough and banana bread!
But if you fancy cooking something else other than bread, Bay Tree Cottage, a rural B&B based near Towcester and Daventry are doing live videos where you can learn to bake sweet treats, particularly recently with Easter here.
From 10am every weekday, you can join Bay Tree Cottage to cook some yummy treats from hot cross buns, cakes, chocolate egg cheesecakes, cookies and much more! You’ll be notified by their page in advance what they’ll be baking next and all you need is the ingredients and you’re ready to go!
You can also find a whole host of recipes on their website, which has been great to discover and ideal for anyone who fancies testing their cooking skills.
Louise Pentland Live videos
*Excuse the work promo* but it is something that’s happening in Northamptonshire from a Northants business and local vlogger!
Those who don’t know, I work for Louise Pentland as her Creative Assistant – she is now doing weekly live videos on her Facebook and Instagram pages simultaneously – so whether you prefer watching on a laptop screen on FB or on your phone on IG, you have a choice of both.
I’ve watched these as part of my daily work routine and honestly, just having someone chatting in the background whilst working feels so comforting and nice – and it’s nice to chip in sometimes with the conversation and say how I’m feeling, or give my opinion.
It’s a lovely dose of uplifting content during your day and it only takes 20-30 mins out of your day. Join in every weekday at 10:30am! She’s also doing lives with special guests on some occasional late evenings too!
I’ll try and add some more things you can get up to during lockdown as I discover them myself, as these are things I’ve just been doing during my downtime that I think you will enjoy too.