Ask Ashley: Free Time, Fun Time

By REBECCA KOLIMAGA & LAQUANA JAMES

Staff Writers

Q: I don’t have a lot of spare time, but when I do I don’t know what hobbies and activities to fill it with. Any suggestions?

A: Think about what types of activities you like. Athletic? Artistic? Maybe you’re a foodie or the studious type. There’s always something new to try, you just have to find it.

For the artistic minds, scrapbooking, finger-painting, and other craft materials can be bought at Michael’s in Vineland or Hobby Lobby in Millville. Michael’s holds public classes such as cake decorating, knitting, and jewelry making. On March 26 from 6-8 pm, you can make a Paris Mixed Media Art Board for $25.  On March 28 from 2-4 pm, there is a beginner’s paper crafting course for $15.  If you can’t make it to a class, there are online options. For craft ideas such as a sequin picture frame and a do-it-yourself backpack visit iheartnaptime.net.

Cumberland County College’s gym is free for student use Tuesday 10 am-1 pm and Thursday 11 am– 2pm. The fitness center, which has treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, and weight lifting machines, is open Monday and Wednesday 10 am- 6 pm, Tuesday and Thursday 7 am -6 pm, and Friday 10 am- 2 pm.

You can also join local yoga or spin classes if you prefer having an instructor.  Bringing a friend or two is also a great way to spend some quality time.

If you’re a foodie, try a new restaurant or order food you’ve never tried before. Have you ever tried Beef Manicotti or Chimichangas? Host a dinner party and experiment with new recipes or make your own. For recipes such as homemade peanut butter cups and Tex Mex Ziti, visit mrfood.com.

Cumberland County has a book club at the Vineland Public Library or discover your own books like The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews, and Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson. If you’re feeling a spark of creativity, write your own short story or poem. You can start a blog about your new adventures with crafts, yoga, yummy food, and thought-provoking novels.

Even if you only have fifteen minutes, you can start planning a craft, read a chapter of a book, or do a quick yoga session. Try a new restaurant on your lunch break or go to the gym for an hour instead of watching television. Buy a tea instead of your usual coffee. Instead of watching YouTube videos about cats, watch a video about origami.  If you don’t have the time to do a project from start to finish in one sitting, break it up into smaller intervals. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish by doing a little at a time.

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