The Lowdown on Lockdown

Today marks two weeks since the official lockdown date. Some of you may have been in for longer, some may still be going to work, but there is one thing we all have in common: we are running out of things to keep us occupied. If the boredom and restlessness is really starting to sink in - to try and take away some of that boredom for you - the Bernard team want to share their tips and tricks on how to stay sane during quarantine. 

We've already told you the best ways to spring clean your wardrobe, so here are a few other things to tick off your list:

Make a playlist of your all your favourite songs that make you the happiest, and play it whilst you're getting ready, driving in your car or making dinner. Music always makes everyone feel better. 

Find a new recipe and cook something different. With grocery stores being one of the few places left open, why not be a little more adventurous with your meals or treats and try something new. A Recipe recommended by Karen and her family is 'Peanut Butter White Chocolate Blondies'.

Ingredients: 1 & 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled), 1 & 1/2 cups of firmly packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter, 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 cup of white chocolate chips or chunks.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, then set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed or mixing by hand, combine the butter, brown sugar and peanut butter. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. If using a mixer, reduce speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combine. Stir in the white chocolate chips.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a pick inserted into the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
  6. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into bars.

Why not try and take up a new hobby? With a recent announcement from Liberty saying their craft sales have gone up 200% since the UK lockdown, people are becoming more creative and are trying new things they wouldn't usually do with their day. Whether that be knitting, painting or starting an online exercise class, learning something new is always a great way to pass the time. 

-  Watch something new or re-watch an old series. We already recommended for you to watch 'Tidying up With Marie Kondo', so here are some more recommendations from us that we have been watching recently:

- Go through old photo albums and send the best memories to old friends and family. Getting back in contact and sparking a conversation that you wouldn't have time to do in your usual busy lives will really add to the sense of community people are already starting to create with people online and with our neighbours when we clap for the NHS.

And for those of you with kids, Bernard's Sasha and Donna have suggested some fun ideas. Colour sorting games with beads and play-dough to keep their brain active, making animals from egg cartons for something crafty and decorating the path with chalk drawings such as hopscotch is an old school but classic game for the sunnier days spent outside in the garden. To keep spirits high in your neighbourhood, make an endless stream of drawings to put in the window and switch them out every other day so passers by on their daily walks get something different to look at each time. Easter is also just around the corner, so why not get crafty and make some beaded egg decorations? 

We would love to hear from you if you decide to do any of these tasks. Simply upload images to your Instagram story and tag us to let us know how much fun you've had with our tips and tricks. Stay safe and keep looking out for more blog posts to keep you entertained during this long but necessary quarantine. 

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