Well here we all are – the majority of us Brits stuck at home during this horrible COVID-19 outbreak and the days are long, especially if you’re entertaining your children too! The most important thing is to keep busy, that way days go faster but what do you do to keep yourself occupied? If you’ve succeeded in getting the children engaged in a Disney + movie or you’ve managed to persuade them to read a book – perhaps they’re building a den, or spending their time face timing their buddies, then it’s time for you to focus on what you can do and gain a real sense of accomplishment! Here are Papillonkia’s five brilliant things to do at home:
1.Gain some New Culinary Skills
If there’s ever a time to try out some new recipes, it’s now! You may well be a culinary genius in the kitchen but whether you’re a complete novice or you’re a seasoned chef, trying out new dishes has never been more appealing. We can’t go out to eat in our favourite restaurants and takeaways wear thin after a while. Those regular weekly meals such as spaghetti Bolognese, omelettes, burgers, salad or grilled chicken for example get boring when they’re on repeat so challenge yourself to try something new twice a week.
You could set yourself a baking challenge and make a showstopper cake with inspiration from the Great British Bake Off! Perhaps make a curry from scratch (you can even make it up as you go along, you just need coconut milk, curry paste, fresh chillies, some peppers, curry powder and tinned tomatoes as a base). Or why not try cooking a nutritious ramen soup? Here’s my favorite easy-peasy chicken ramen soup recipe for you to try (do let me know how you get on):
- 1 lime, quartered
- 1 red chilli (sliced)
- Handful of beansprouts
- Handful of coriander roughly chopped
- 2 x spring onions chopped
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 2 packs of instant noodles
- 2 x chicken breasts
- Chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons of malt vinegar
- ½ tablespoon of sugar
- Sesame oil
- Score the chicken breasts and rub them with sesame oil, season with salt and pepper. Grill or fry the chicken until it is cooked through. Slice it on the diagonal and set aside.
- Make the ramen sauce using 2 tbsp chilli sauce with 2 tbsp of fish sauce. Add 2 tbsp of malt vinegar and ½ tbsp of sugar. Mix it together.
- Make a weak chicken soup using chicken stock, boil it up (2 or 3 litres should be enough).
- Blanch your beansprouts in boiling water for 14 seconds.
- Boil up your noodles, then drain and refresh in cold water.
- Place the noodles in the bottom of each bowl.
- Divide the sauce between each bowl.
- Pour the soup on top.
- Divide the vegetables between each bowl.
- Add the chicken.
- Add a quarter of lime (give it a light squeeze into the soup).
- Gently stir each bowl and serve.
2.Clear Out Your Cupboards
This is definitely one of those jobs that we all put off but actually, clearing out your cupboards can be extremely cathartic. Anything that you haven’t worn for two years should be packed up in bin liners for the charity shop (or sell it on – the circular economy is better for the environment and you know we can help with your preloved designer clothes). Before you get rid of anything, check that you can’t re-use it with the current season’s fashion trends, or ask yourself if you could slightly alter it so it’s fashionable again.
Once you’ve gone through your clothes, dust everything out so your cupboards and drawers are spotless and place everything on padded or wooden hangers. I like to use clear polythene covers to keep my clothes dust-free and I also like to colour co-ordinate where I can.
If you have room, move your spring and summer clothes to the front and put your winter wear to the back or pack it away until later in the year. As well as sorting out your clothes, take care to check your designer shoes too, if any need re-heeling or new soles, put them aside for when the restrictions lift.
Check all your handbags as well, make sure they’re carefully packed away in dust bags with fillers (or pillows that you can find on our site – HANDBAG PILLOWS – to keep their shape. If you own any designer handbags, shoes or accessories that you no longer need, you could SELL OR CONSIGN them to Papillonkia to raise some money for your next treat – alternatively, take advantage of our latest service, where we sell your bags on your behalf but proceeds from the sale goes straight to charity. With the world in crisis, it’s a brilliant way of helping others, especially whilst charities cannot fundraise in their usual ways.
3. Start Your Blog
If you’ve always dreamt of getting your words down and in front of an audience, there couldn’t be a better opportunity. It’s actually very easy to set up a website and start a blog. You don’t need anything fancy and there are lots of platforms out there that are fairly straightforward to navigate. Alternatively, find a freelancer on a reputable platform such as People per Hour and hire someone to build you a simple website. Once it’s up and running, you can get writing. Perhaps you love fashion, like me! Why not write about your favourite pieces for the coming season or the boutiques you love best? Maybe you’re an avid reader, you could review the books you’ve read and invite others to comment? Do you make something as a hobby? Why not set up your own store on Etsy or Shopify and start up a small business, remember, from acorns grow mighty oaks! Even if you’d just like to write about your life or your thoughts, a blog is a great way of diarising life.
4. Try out a Make-Up Tutorial
If you have a spare hour, why not try a brand new look? We all tend to stick with make-up that we know and love but you could re-invent yourself with something completely different. Go out of your comfort zone – you’re not going anywhere so why not! If you love bold colours but you never thought you’d be able to wear them – try them. Want to rock a smoky eye but never been sure how to do it? There’s bound to be a tutorial for you. We love the Charlotte Tilbury tutorials – especially this one, if you’ve never mastered the “flick” now’s a good time to learn how:
5. Go Green Fingered
March and April are the ideal times to sow seeds so if you’ve always fancied your own vegetable patch, try it out. If you don’t have a garden, there’s plenty you can grow on your window sill and harvesting your own vegetables is extremely satisfying, plus it’s great for the environment. Now’s the time to plant the following vegetables:
- Beetroot (great if you’re new to growing veg)
If you’d rather grow flowers, then get some sunflower seeds and sow them now. Or try Petunias, Sweet Peas, Pansies and Marigolds. Next time you go to the supermarket to stock up during the lockdown, see if they’re selling seeds, some of them do.
Hope those tips help – I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to at home. In the meantime, stay safe and well.