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Showing posts from September, 2017

Hanging Basket Review Summer 2017

At the start of the summer, I was very excited about the prospect of some spectacular hanging baskets. Last year I have to admit they were beautiful, full of colour and interest right until late September.




I had chosen to clash pink petunias to trail down a wall basket, purple and white petunias for a contrast. A wonderful basket showcasing lots of pinks with a hint of white and a bold yellow and orange mix.

However, this summer it did not work out quite as I had planned.


None of the trailing flowers really trailed, the petunias that were meant to tumble did not tumble, in fact, the plants did not really grow very much. The purple one's barely flowered, it left me with lots of pretty white flowers but no purple to contrast against. The  Calibrachoa Cabaret in white, Calibrachoa Goldrush and the Bacopa Snowflake were supposed to gently trail down the side of the baskets, they produced some pretty flowers but again they never really seemed to flourish.


However, some of the more unusual …

Meal Plan Friday 22nd September 2017

I am not sure where this week has gone. It has been dominated by Type 1, we are having to change all the insulin levels as our eldest has been having hypos every night. Thank goodness we have a dexcom that alerts us to these. We are shattered from the broken sleep and constant worry. 

The meals other than Sunday are pretty budget friendly as we are a watching the pennies and as you can see we are having a lot of veggie meals which we love.

Friday - Sausages with caramelised onions served in brioche buns with coleslaw. The boys have school meals on Friday so will have picnic dinner.

Saturday - Chicken Kiev (shop brought) roasted new potatoes and a huge green salad. The boys will have pizza (not homemade)

Sunday - Slow cooked topside of beef with roast potatoes, Carrots, greens, yorkshires and lots of gravy

Monday - Bhaji Frittata

Bhaji frittata

Tuesday - Lentil Ragu with garlic bread

Lentil Ragu

Wednesday - Jackets with Tuna or beans and cheese

Thursday - Beef Cannelloni

Beef Cannelloni


Meal Plan Friday 15th September 2017

Where has the time gone? We are fully back into the school routine and have the joys of homework added into the mix now. Easy or slow cooked meals are becoming even more important.

Friday - Smoked Mackerel with roasted new potatoes, Beetroot and salad - I will be writing this one up

Saturday - Spag Bol with garlic bread

Sunday - Individual Chicken and Mushroom pies (homemade apart from the puff pastry) - the boys pie will not have mushrooms served with carrots and broccoli

Monday - Spaghetti Carbonara - we use mascarpone and not too much egg thanks to a recipe by Jo Pratt Madhouse Cookbook

Tuesday - Jamie Oliver 5 ingredients Pasta and Aubergines the boys will have tomato pasta and ham and peas

Wednesday - Treat Thai Take out for us, the boys will have Jackets and beans

Thursday - Crispy Chicken, Mash, baked beans and broccoli

Meal Plan Friday 8th September 2017

We have survived the first week back at school, only for the eldest to have a sick but we have managed to avoid hospital so we are counting that as a win.

Friday - Mr MC&W is in London so we have no idea when he will get back so he will have a microwavable meal and I am having jacket potato with beans and cheese

Saturday - Easy food boys will have pizza and we are having a charlie bigham chilli

Sunday - Boys are having mash, sausages and veggies. We are having from the Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients Lovely Lamb hotpot. I am even using the neck fillet and for me that is being brave.

Monday - Smoked Paprika Paella 

Smoked paprika paella cod peas

Tuesday - We have some pesto left over so will be having. Boys will have ravioli.

Pesto pizza aubergine goats cheese

Wednesday - Omelets and Chips

Thursday - Roasted Chicken Breasts and new potatoes with Honey and Cumin for us all.

Growing Dahlia Plants from seed

Earlier this year I stumbled on a link called "Blooms for Bees", you would need to grow Dahlia plants from seed and then count the number of bees on the flowers and submit your finding. I am a huge fan of bees and thought it would be fun.

One morning a beautiful envelope dropped through the letter box containing three small packets of seeds. I was excited but also a little concerned as I have never really grown anything from seed. I have seen my Mum grow vegetables from seeds, we grew up in a house where in spring we were dodging plants on window sills in fact everywhere, but I had never really caught the bug. Maybe to do with the fact I worked in hotels and never had any garden or space to call my own.

First stop was the garden centre to buy a seed tray and seed compost. I happily sewed the seeds, placed them on a sunny windowsill and waited. I did not have anything to water them with so found an old baby cup, it tricked out the water perfectly.




Not all the seeds germinated bu…