20.11.19

The JOY of plants! (ad) Best plants for childrens room

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I can't tell you how pleased I am to be sharing this post with you about one of my favourite subjects, plants! I'm thrilled to be working with The Joy of Plants which is an amazing site with tons of plant inspiration for the home. They also have an Instagram account which I'd urge you to check out as there are so many beautiful pictures as well as tips and ideas.

So here is a little house tour of the plants we have in our home and why we chose them. I'm always looking for more plants for our home, I think like books you can never have enough. I'm creating a jungle!

The above plant is the Begonia Maculata (or the Polka Dot Begonia) which we have on the kids mantlepiece. The children's room is really large and bright so the perfect place for a lot of our plant collection. I love the spotty leaves it almost looks like they have been painted on. Isn't nature amazing?
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We have two hanging plants in their room too, the purple plant is the Tradescantia Zebrina which has antioxidant properties. It's a super easy one to care for too, which is great. The children actually both look after the plants in their room as part of the household tasks for pocket money (more so Wilf than Mabli I'll be honest).  They water and mist the leaves every few days, I think is a great way to have a responsibility and to care for living things whilst incorporating nature in their day.  Wilf also can boost his pocket money by wiping the dusting the leaves of some of the larger plants around the house like the cheese plant in our living room.

The other hanging plant in their room is called the Aeschynanthus or the (lipstick rasta) it's amazing how its leaves grow almost like they have been plated together!


In this corner of the living room we have the Scindapsus Pictus or the Argyraeus hanging down above the armchair. I love it for its large leaves. It also has air purifying qualities removing airborne toxins found indoors like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.

I have a little snake plant (a moonshine version so it looks a little different) next to my bed for the same air-purifying reasons.


Moving onto our side return which might be one of my favorite areas of our home for the number of plants it has in it! It has really high walls and obviously a lot of light so the hanging plants love it!
We have a number of plants here but some of my favorites are the chain of heart plants which is super versatile, also spider plants which are again a really versatile plant and lovely easy starter plant.

Here is the children's room again doing their pocket money jobs!


I don't know about you but whenever we leave the house we come back with a hundred sticks and leaves to bring with us. I swear I have a pile of them by the back door I'm trying to sneak out. Kids I think can see uses and interest in plants in a way we often forget to. A project one Saturday morning was to try and copy the beautiful patterns on our Zebra Plant.  You can see what Wilf created from it below, Mabli's was a little more abstract ;)


Lastly, one of my favourite plants is this simple Philodendron Scandens which is an evergreen climber. It makes for a great focal point. Next to it is Wilf's air plant which the easiest plant ever to care for a really fun one for kids to look after.

I hope you liked this little plant house tour and how we incorporate them into our family life. Thanks again so much to The Joy Of Plants for teaming up with us for this post. You can find their site here and get all sort of plant inspiration!

19.11.19

Thoughts on the online world - how has blogging changed over the years

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I've been having a bit of writer's block lately, although I'm not sure I can even say that as I don't consider myself a writer. More just a spiller of unorganized thoughts and an over-sharer of pictures. It's around this time of year I first set up my blog ten years ago. It's CRAZY to see how much the industry has changed in this time. I mean ten years ago it felt like there was no one in the UK blogging. Instagram hadn't been invented, I assumed YouTube was just for funny goofy videos or music and the only bloggers I knew of were American craft ones.

Blogging for sure felt like a geeky thing to do, one for the introverts like me who make friends more easily than via the internet than being a social butterfly in real life. It also felt like a world I could dip into in small doses. Commenting on some of my favorites such as Elsie's 'A Beautiful Mess' and feeling like part of a very small community within a big world. Watching Naomi and Josh as they announced their first pregnancy and were still 'The Rockstar Diaries' or seeing the amazing crafts that Skunkboy Creatures would create.

I'm so thankful that in many ways I was in the 'right place at the right time' in terms of starting out in this online space but it also makes me a little nostalgic for what 'once was' and how I feel about the platforms as they are now. Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic and grateful always that being on here (and Instagram) means I get to stay home with my kids, that it leads to opportunities that would have never had felt possible to us.. but there are times that I guess like a dinosaur in this business I look back and remember 'the good old days'.


I guess for me I feel like my niche is probably my longevity in this area. For that, I have anyone one of you reading to thank. For you that have followed our life over here from buying our first home, having our first child, getting married and then having another child and moving again! It feels like I've been able to record some pretty big life moments on this corner of the internet and a lot of everyday mundane ones in between.


Something I think I've felt a big switch in lately is just how all-consuming being online can be.  I think a game changer for me was the creation of Instagram Stories. Until then posting a picture on Instagram or a blog post over here felt like it could be a clear separation from my life outside of the online world. With the integration of stories, I definitely feel the pressure of being 'on' a lot more and I've found it harder in terms of how much of myself I'm giving and sharing. As an introvert, it feels quite far away from the detachment of writing posts here or posting a single image to Instagram and then going about your day. It's an area I'm finding I need to have more balance in, even watching other people's stories can affect my mental health that day. Sometimes it feels like too much information to take in on top of living my own life if that makes any sense! Like too much stimulation you know?


Honestly, this post is very much a ramble..


When I sit down and think about it all, I'm still happy to be here and to navigate this space in a way that I feel ok about and my family feels ok about. Whether thats how much I'm sharing of the children or our lives and feelings in general. I'm grateful I created this space outside of having children (I was blogging for a couple of years before my pregnancy with Wilf) and whilst I was in the all-consuming first years of being a new mum that's where the focus lay. Now I'm emerging from the baby and preschooler stage of my life I can see my life and interests changing a bit too. Mabli will start school in September and a couple of months ago I started an Interior Design Diploma which I'm really excited about.

I think there will always be a part of me that will want to record our lives in some form but I do wonder if I'll be doing this at 40 or 50 or even if the life of a Grandma will be interesting (haha can't wait for that, hoping it will mostly be cruises ;))

For now though I'm not going anywhere! I'm interested to see where the online world will be headed in the next few years (don't even get me started on trying to figure out Tik Tok) I'm glad I still have this blog to write my thoughts onto even if it feels like writing snail mail nowadays. I'm so grateful for all of you reading this and your support over almost a decade!

Have you felt a shift in the online world lately? I'd love to know if you are a long-time reader or a new one too!

P.S these pics were taken as part of 'modeling' for my friend's lovely ethical brand Give Wear Love and taken by my other pal Lauren.  I've since bought the long black dress and it's honestly SO comfy.

18.11.19

Baking with Ed Kimner and Lyle's Syrup (AD)


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Like pretty much everyone in the country I love a bit of Bake Off, so when Lyle's Golden Syrup got in touch back in the summer and asked if I wanted to join them and Edd Kimner (only the winner of the first-ever series!) you can imagine what my reply was!

We were invited to the wonderful Rosemary Shrager's cookery school in Tunbridge Wells where Ed had created bespoke recipes for myself and some other lucky bloggers. All of them featuring Lyle's Golden Syrup of course and all of them being utterly delicious. I don't know about you but Lyle's have always been a staple in our kitchen cupboard throughout my life. I remember baking with my dad and lifting the lid of the classic tin to see that gorgeous golden colour and licking my fingers to catch as much of the sticky syrup as I could. It's one of those nostalgic products that I'm now using with my own children and creating their own special memories with.

Lyle's Golden Syrup still have their classic tins of course but have recently brought out a new packaging option to their range which is a handy squeezable bottle. We got to try them out first hand whilst making three different recipes.


First up we learned how to make peanut brittle which is something I never would have thought of making before and was actually so easy (and really yummy!). What's even more fun is you get to smash it up once it's made so that you get bite-size pieces. Then we had a go at making our own honeycomb. I have to admit I'm not the more natural baker and I might not have been fast enough when transferring the mixture into the pan. I got quite a few larger holes then I would have wanted but it still tasted good!


Finally, Edd had made us all our own individual recipes to make based on the questions he had sent to us previously. Things such as favorite smells or childhood memories. For me, I always remember waking up to the smell of fresh bread and coffee as my dad would be the earliest riser in our household and would bake a load before we'd even come downstairs for breakfast. Because of this, he created a tahini banana loaf recipe (with a twist) and my gosh I honestly have never tasted a banana loaf so good! My loaf also had Lyle's Golden Syrup in it too of course and I definitely think that combined with the tahini is what gave it that amazing rich taste.


Once it was baked we made some cinnamon butter to go with it which was another fabulous addition I would never have thought to make (and so simple too) I managed to take it all the way home on the train with me to share with the family who pretty much devoured it.


A few weeks later Lyle's sent us a parcel full of their new bottles and a recipe card for me and the kids to bake flapjacks with. I had told Edd that one of my favorite songs was 'Birdhouse in your Soul' by They Might be Giants so they also sent us some bird cutters and decorations to jazz up our flapjacks.. you can see how we got on in the video below...

Thanks so much to Lyle's for inviting me to such a brilliant day baking and for introducing me to the best banana loaf recipe I've ever tried. Their Golden Syrup is a firm staple in our household and their new squeezable bottles are brilliant for cooking with small children.



You can find Lyle's here and all their recipes here.

Wish List for a 4 year old - what should i get a 4 year old for her birthday




Gah! I can't believe Mabli is four in a little over two weeks but somehow we have arrived here. I've been trailing the internet trying to think of something that isn't LOL dolls and thought I'd share some finds over here. Don't worry she isn't getting all of these but I've added the Accordion and the hair clips to far. I'm so tempted by thte Wobbel board as I've seen them a lot on Instagram and they seem really good for interactive play. My issue is finding one that would be the right size for both kids as they come with quite a big price tag so would need to be a combined gift I think (did I mention Wilf is 8 in three weeks!)
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Wobbel Board


Hair Clips

Doctors Kit 

Flower Headdress 

Accordion

Meri Meri Doll

(contains affiliate links)

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