How does your garden grow?

6 Jun

Are you growing any fruits, vegetables or herbs this summer?

Unfortunately we don’t really have any outdoor space in our flat, so we’re a little bit limited as to what we have space to grow. But I love having fresh vegetables and herbs during the summer months, so I always try to go something!

This year I’m growing tomatoes, peppers and basil. They all seem to be doing well – the tomatoes exploded during the few weeks of nice weather we had recently, which I am incredibly excited about. I have never grown so many – usually each plant gives me 10-15 tomatoes if I’m lucky. This year it looks like we might actually have a glut, something I have always read about but never quite experienced for myself!

The basil is just a supermarket plant, but seems to be surviving quite well. I try to cut it back (and eat it!) once every week or so, as it’s been growing really quickly.

And finally the pepper plant. This is the newest purchase – I bought it from Brixton market around two weeks ago. After a couple of days it transpired that it was infested with green fly, but after washing each leaf carefully with soap and warm water, that appears to have gone away.

I did also have an aubergine plant, but it sadly passed away about a week after I bought it – I think the pot I put it in was too small.

The two things I have done this year which appear to be doing wonders are 1) reusing the water when I boil eggs at the weekend – I let it cool down and then water the plants with it – the egg shells act as a natural fertliser! and 2) I have planted a marigold in with the tomatoes – I heard somewhere that this keeps green and black fly at bay and so far, it’s been working a treat!

Do you have any tips for growing veg indoors?

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Jubilations!

5 Jun

I thought I would post a quick photo of the Jubilee cake toppers in action…

We hope you had a wonderful bank holiday weekend and enjoyed some of the celebrations wherever you are.

(PS: the cake was a Walnut and Strawberry recipe from Mary Berry. It would have cost next to nothing as I had all the ingredients at home apart from the strawberries and cream but after one failed batch I realised my self-raising flour was out of date by about six months! Top tip: make sure you check your best before dates before you start baking!!)

Book Review: The Wah Nails Book of Nail Art

4 Jun

Nail art is huge at the moment, even royalty are doing it (Princess Eugenie had Union Jacks on her fingernails at the Epsom Derby on Saturday!) but who better to bring out a book on the subject but Sharmadean Ried, the founder of WAH Nails.

Sharmadean opened her first WAH Nails salon in Dalston in London in 2009 and the brand’s popularity soon caught the eye of national retailers, leading to a pop up shop in Selfridges and a permanent space in the Oxford Street branch of Top Shop.

The book takes the WAH style and shows you how to do it yourself. There are 25 projects, starting with their original leopard print design, each with a step by step illustration.

This comic book style is one of my favourites.

The cover gives the impression that the book is aimed at teens but the design inside is a funky scrapbook style which I think has wider appeal. I’m dying to give some of the projects a go but need to invest in some nail-art pens to do the more intricate parts of design. I’ll share the results when I do.

The WAH Nails Book of Nail Art is a very cool book which teaches you the WAH techniques and designs and gives you the inspiration to start doing your own nail art.

Thank you to the publisher @hardiegrantuk for sending us a copy.

Happy Jubilee!

3 Jun

Happy Jubilee weekend! We hope you’re having a brilliant time and enjoying the bank holiday. A big hello to everyone visiting us thanks to Mollie Makes – we’re so excited to be featured – can’t wait to pick up a copy later on this week! We’re also taking part in BYW 2.0 – Great to meet so many new people through the forums there!

I am going to be baking a cake on Tuesday for lunch with Hannah and my parents and I thought I would share these amazing cake toppings, even though the cake is not baked yet.

I spotted them on Pinterest and my friend Laura ordered a set for me and a set for her from a tiny little shop in her home town. How cute are they!? I couldn’t wait until the cake was baked to share them…

They are sitting on one of my two Emma Bridgewater Jubilee tea towels – both my mum and my future mother-in-law bought one for me – luckily they are both different. I love them!

The weather isn’t quite living up to all of my dreams today, but I’m certainly still planning to have a good time – what are you doing over the bank holiday?

Upcycling a Footstool

1 Jun

Ages ago Katie kindly gave me this lovely footstool that once belonged to her grandmother. I’d been looking for one to do up for a while and this was exactly what I’d been looking for. It’s already been well used in my house but I finally got round to doing it up.

I started by stripping off all the old fabric and padding and giving the whole thing a good clean. I found fabric I liked in Fabrics Galore (Wandsworth Road, London) and wadding in The Crafty Sewer in Tooting.

I cut the wadding to size and lightly secured it on the footstool top with glue. Then I wrapped the fabric around it and got out the trusty staple gun. Halfway through it was obvious that the wadding wasn’t up to the job so I cut a second piece and layered them together. I’m still not completely happy though so any tips from furniture restorers on where to find proper wadding would be much appreciated. It does the job well enough for now though so I finished stapling the fabric securely round the top with a firm even stretch across the top.

I wanted to keep it dark wood but freshen it up, so the next step was to give the wooden base a good sand and a new coat of varnish. This was more difficult than I thought because some of the vanish came off easily and other parts were more difficult so it too a lot of elbow grease to get an even tone. You can still see the grain but I like that.

Two coats of varnish and the footstool is finished. Thank you Katie!

One Lovely Blog Award

31 May

What a nice way to brighten up any day – on Monday evening we found out that Sweet Mabel had nominated us for the One Lovely Blog Award! Thank you!!

To accept the award, apparently there are a few things we have to share with you – a thank you and link to Sweet Mabel (done!), a list of 7 things you don’t already know about us and our fifteen favourite blogs. We officially nominate them for the award too. So, here goes!

7 things we don’t think you know about us

  1. We met more than five years ago at work and have been friends ever since
  2. Katie was born in Trinidad
  3. Hannah can never be too warm and is often to be found with a woolen poncho in the depths of summer
  4. If there is a choice between lemon and chocolate flavoured cake, lemon wins every time (Katie)
  5. Between us we have eaten at every restaurant in the Granville Arcade / Brixton Village
  6. Hannah is a highly skilled flat packed furniture maker!
  7. Our karaoke song is Don’t Stop Believing and has been since B.G. (Before Glee)

Fifteen blogs we love

  1. Brixtonia
  2. The Crafty Fox
  3. I get a kick out of you
  4. I Shall Wear Purple
  5. Make and Do with Perri
  6. Tea for Joy
  7. Wit and Whistle
  8. Decor8
  9. Design Sponge
  10. Elephantine (we love her jewellery too)
  11. Hooray blog
  12. Poppytalk
  13. Heart of Light
  14. A Cup of Jo
  15. The Busy Thistle

Thanks so much to Sweet Mabel – make sure you have a look at her blog, which we love!

Jubilee Tea Party

30 May

If you haven’t made your plans for the long bank holiday yet why not have a jubilee tea party and take tea like the Queen in proper china cups.

Millie Wilkins China Hire is doing a special hire offer of a tea set for six – one teapot, six cups and saucers, six side plates, sugar bowl and milk jug – for just £15. Collect yourself for free (central London) or have it delivered on Saturday (within M25 only) for £20.

Contact milliewilkinschina@gmail.com for more details or visit their page on Facebook Millie-Wilkins-Vintage-China-Hire.

EAT: Herman the German friendship pizza

26 May

Last week I was given a Herman.

If you haven’t heard of Herman, you can find out lots about him here. Believed to be an Amish tradition, Herman is a yeast culture that gets fed and passed to friends. Sounds a bit like an STI, but I swear, it’s the base of some delicious baked goods…

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Live: Fast Fashion

25 May

How simple is this wardrobe update? Pop a corsage on your top and it instantly creates a new look. Mix and match different corsages with various tops, dresses, coats and jackets for lots of choices.

As modeled and designed by the lovely Alice. I think this works particularly well because the pretty bright red flower she’s chosen really contrasts with the monochrome polo neck.

 

EAT: Egg Muffins

24 May

I spotted this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a go. I have been looking for some breakfasts that are light on the carbs and this seemed just the thing – mini baked frittatas that go in the fridge and are eaten throughout the week.

The full recipe is on the website link above, and I made mine by frying up a couple of spring onions, par boiling some delicious English asparagus, and then adding that to the bottom of each muffin hole. I then added 8 eggs which were beaten together with some cheddar cheese, salt and pepper.

As you can see, the eggs rise quite a lot in the baking, so I probably could have got away with just 7 eggs.

The recipe recommends that you eat 2 each day, so this was done to last me 4 days. However, I don’t eat a huge amount in the mornings, so I imagine some days I’m only going to want one egg. As such I think it will probably last me the full week. They are delicious too, so I’m definitely going to try these again!

8 eggs = £2 (Ocado)
4 asparagus spears = £1.25 (£2.50 for 8 in Brixton market)
2 spring onions = £0.20

£3.45 for 4-6 delicious breakfasts, depending on how hungry you are of a morning.

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