Category Archives: The Frugally Fabulous Year

The Frugal Kitchen: Garlic Naan Hack!

IMG_20140604_163629A very quick little piece of heaven for you today – I’m aiming to get my Friday posts back to being all about food because, well, I love food.  Food glorious food!

Coming to the end of the week, I always try and eek as much as I can out of my existing ingredients, to avoid going for a food shop.  So, having whipped up a quick veggie curry, using all the veg I had left in my fridge, some chopped toms and the remainder of some tikka masala paste, I really fancied a side to go with it!  A quick check in my bread bin gave me some inspiration…why not have a go yourself at my Crunchy Tortilla Garlic Naans.

Ingredients

One Flour Tortilla (per person)

About a tablespoon of Garlic Paste with Veg Oil (You can also use crushed garlic – ensure it is crushed smoothly)

Salt to taste

ingredientsMethod

Place your tortilla on a flat surface and, using a spreadable knife, smear a very thin layer of garlic paste over the tortilla and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Be sure not to over fill with the paste.

Fold the tortilla in half and repeat the same process – keeping the paste to a minimum.

Finally, fold the tortilla in half again and spread another very thin layer and finish with a sprinkle of salt.

Place under a grill for approximately 4-5 minutes on a medium heat, until the corners of your tortilla naan are starting to brown and the naan itself is hardening.  Serve as a starter or side dish!

Sounds simple?  It’s a great hack and a real money saver too – with very little work and a delicious, crunchy, flour-y taste!

Why not try with ground almonds and a dab of almond oil for a peshwari-style taste?

IMG_20140604_163607Stay Peachy x

#Project34 Week 5 – The Tunic To Skirt Hack

IMG_20140604_164025#Project34 Week 5 – The Ultimate Tunic Skirt Hack

 Time Taken – 45 minutes before teatime!

So, what with my new found love for my sewing machine, I thought it was high time I started a bit of work ‘that there wardrobe of mine’.  The truth?  Not giving yourself the freedom to pop into H&M for a quick update is HARD – I’m still between sizes but, with the weather warming up as it so irregularly is, I’m in need of a constant wardrobe update!

IMG_20140604_163938Being that as I am, I tend to steer clear of Summer pastels and crop tops – they just aren’t me, the last time I wore flip flops I was trudging between lectures at uni and I have one pair of trusty Dior sunglasses that I simply couldn’t live without.  I’m not very, well, ‘Summery’.  I was, however, in possession of two rather gorgeous velvet tunics that felt a little short – which gave me a brainwave!

You might remember I wrote a little post about hacking a black tunic up to make a sumptuous velvet skirt – well, I did the same with my burgundy version and here is a ‘sort of’ tutorial if you fancy hacking up your own wardrobe!

As much as I’m a dress girl through and through, the versatility of skirts is just astonishing when you are a) on a budget or b) bored of your wardrobe.  Since their creation, my velvet mateys have been invaluable in creating new looks and styling up with various charity-shop bought tops and blouses that I have.  I ended up replacing the elastic in my original black skirt hack with a thinner, softer elastic and opted for more of a ‘pencil’ length with my burgundy one.  Read on to find out more!

You Will Need

An old tunic

Soft elastic – around 1.5 inches thick

Matching thread.

Now Do This

Choose the length you want your skirt to be and cut the top off your tunic to the desired length – I opted to cut just below the arms and work lower if I wanted to.

IMG_20140604_163909Measuring your waist, cut a length of elastic and around the waist-line of your new skirt.  Thread your sewing machine with matching thread and, using a straight stitch, stitch along the top line, securing the elastic to the waistline.

Once this is completed, turn your waistline over (the same thickness as the elastic) to create a neater edge and stitch again along the top line to secure in place.

IMG_20140604_163847That is it, you are good to go – providing your stitches are secure you have one rather beautiful skirt and a whole new world of stylish opportunities!

That's me on the left...with the Absinthe Fairy

That’s me on the left…with the Absinthe Fairy

Stay Peachy x

The ‘Move More Challenge’

movemore2With Summer well and truly on its way well, occasionally, it’s getting easier to get out and about with Little D.  Always conscious of beating ‘cabin fever’, getting my own exercise and mingling in amongst nature, I’m a walker – even in the pre-pram days.  Being as accustomed as I am to the rain and gloom of England, one cannot help but be a little bit in love with the dry, especially with a tottering 15 month old, who gets bored easily.

I’m a pretty active lady, I walk EVERYWHERE and try to put as much energy as I can into our daily routine.  As an ex-dancer, I’m only too aware of how energy levels can slump and becoming a mama, does throw your so-called lifestyle out the window.  Gyms and classes are out of the question, so it’s down to keeping active in my daily life.  So I was really interested to be contacted by a representative from World Cancer Research Fund, who have just launched their new campaign, the Move More Challenge, to get families out and about and improve their health.

movemore3Following Cancer Prevention week, the World Cancer Research Fund, is encouraging families to sign up to an interactive, two week challenge – the Move More Challenge – supported by a website full of ideas to help you get out, about and stay fit and healthy, whatever your lifestyle.  Research from the University of Bristol has shown that time spent outdoors can have the most positive effect on children; however the researchers concluded that most children spend their afterschool hours indoors alone, or with parents.

So, somewhere in between struggling to find easy ways to stay fit with a tiny in tow and wanting to keep my fitness levels up and shift a bit of post-baby weight, I decided to sign up for the two week challenge and I’m starting today!

By just taking a simple questionnaire, the website has offered several indoors and outdoors activities to undertake with D – from beanbag games to treasure hunts, I’m looking forward to adapting some of these suggestions for a younger babe and seeing how much better I feel after two weeks.  Being out and about doesn’t have to cost the earth, or anything, if you’re lucky enough to have a fair-sized garden (no chance) or a decent park nearby (thank God).  With the Move More Challenge, you are encouraged to try new ideas that help you get a little bit more exercise, without signing up to a fitness regime that doesn’t work with you or your life, whilst setting a healthy example for the whole family.

So, if you’re looking for new ways to get your family out and about, or just an excuse to get out in the sunshine, why not sign up for the two week challenge yourself?

movemore1Stay Peachy x

#MidsBlogMeet 2 – The Beauty Brum Edition!

all of usIf you’re a regular reader of Frugally Peachy, you’ll be aware that back in February, alongside the PR-mastermind that is Kelly from To Become Mum, we hosted our first #midsblogmeet in Nottingham.  A selection of mummy and beauty bloggers from around the Midlands area all came together for a fabulous event…an event we were so proud of, we immediately set to work organising the next one!

cherry reds1On Saturday 31st May, a group of stylish and beauty-obsessed bloggers (and me, who is basically a walking eyeliner), descended upon the quirky and fabulous Cherry Reds cafe bar, in Birmingham, for #midsblogmeet mk 2!  This was to be a little more focused on beauty and it was wonderful to meet some lovely new faces, some great tweeple I often converse with – I’m looking at you, Caroline and Naomi – and get to grips with two amazing brands who came along to talk on the day.

Elvis and Me

Elvis and Me

We had an upstairs room in Cherry Reds all booked out with lovely mood lighting and red walls (I thought I’d just woken up in my own room).  The tables and chairs were mismatched with fabulous colour schemes and a vintage feel to the decor, throughout.  I must say, at this point, Cherry Reds are lucky to still be in possession of this beautiful Elvis mirror – thanks to my enabling blogger friends who did offer to throw their coats over it as we exited!

One by one, some lovely familiar faces from our first meet arrived and some fab new faces too.  We had a very chilled start to the day, sitting around a table and reminiscing about Heather Shimmer lipstick (they still make it) and grungy band tees!  Once we all introduced ourselves (something I STILL haven’t mastered from the first meet), we had our first talk of the day.

cherry reds 2

Che…e…ee.rry Bay-yay-by!

The lovely Jo, from Weleda, brought a range of products to show us from the brand’s many ranges.  Starting with the baby range – using soft and calming calendula and camomile, right through to the natural anti-ageing properties of Pomegranate.  Being interested in organic products, Kelly and I thought Weleda (who played a huge part in our first meet) would be a fantastic brand to promote on the day.  With over 100 years experience, Weleda started out as a medicinal company, founded by the great Rudolf Steiner, who developed the range to care for both the inner and outer body.  Today the brand can boast such celebrity fans as Jessica Alba, Victoria Beckham and Simon Cowell – luxurious and natural products but at a surprisingly affordable price.  Weleda can trace each ingredient back to its origin – which is great news for those of us who are becoming more interested in what EXACTLY has gone into our cosmetics.

Jo talks us through the Weleda products

Jo talks us through the Weleda products

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to test such great products from Weleda, I was particularly interested in trying their deodorants and toothpastes – the salt toothpaste was amazingly zingy!  Whilst the baby range seems wonderfully calming for BOTH baby and me and outstanding products such as the bath milks and skin food are well worth the investment.  Jo was passionate about Weleda, it was interesting to hear more about the properties of each ingredient as well as the four stages in which Weleda’s ranges are tailored.  Thank you Jo for sharing such a great talk with us!

weledaaaa

ambienceAfter a spot of lunch (a grilled halloumi and roasted veg sandwich, to be precise), a bit of caffeine fuel and a chance to test more Weleda products, we welcomed the equally wonderful Suzie from Xenca to talk about the brand’s many many wonderful products.  I’ve been lucky enough to chat to Suzie over Twitter quite regularly, so I was more than excited to finally meet her lovely 9 month old boy Harry – a most gorgeous and very well behaved babe throughout the whole day and her very helpful husband Chris – who endorses the work of Xenca just as much as Suzie does!

I had been really keen to get Xenca involved with our meet – at just 2 years old, the company is still relatively new and, much the same as Weleda, endorses natural and organic products that are ethically-sound, cruelty-free and work WITH your skin.

suzzzeeh

Xenca’s very own Suzie…and a chair

Suzie’s talk was highly informative, after a few scary skin statistics, we had a chance to try to some of the products from the Eternity skincare range – from cleaners to moisturisers.  The range was delicate on the skin, leaving no residue but carefully and thoroughly removing traces of make-up.  Within the Eternity range, we were all given the opportunity to try a shot of Collagen powder AND a Five a Day + shot too – all geared up to help our bodies with general health, wellbeing and aiding in the ageing process!

Lastly, Suzie took us through the extensive range of Xenca’s Perfection make-up line.  A collection of make up made from natural and organic ingredients (everything bar the eyeliner and mascara), complete with cruelty-free testing AND recycled cardboard packaging.  Whilst the foundations and concealers are available in basic colour ranges, Xenca have some gorgeous lipstick and eyeshadow shades AND Suzie very kindly gave our bloggers a free gift of a lipstick or shadow of their choice.  It will come as no surprise to you that I chose the ‘Cherry’ shade in their lipstick range…here I am being all Coco Chanel (Chloris Boris you made my life with that comment on Instagram) and roadtesting it.  One long town trip, one mardy child, one cheese scone and a cuppa and two cheeky glasses of peach ice tea later… the lipstick was riding high!  And I absolutely LOVE the shade!

me and cherry lipstick

Coco Peachy!!!!

So, after a fun and fact-filled afternoon, it was time for some of the more dedicated to hit the shops, whilst I squeezed onto a train back to Notts and took the opportunity to catch up with Caitlin (in literary form) and Marilyn (in Spotify form), before I had my dinner stolen by a very cheeky Miss D upon my return home!

We had an absolutely blast organising and hosting this event and I’d like to thank the lovely bloggers who came to see us on the day and I hope you enjoyed what we put on as much as we did.  Also another thank you to Suzie and Jo for coming along and giving such interesting talks, the success of the day made everything so worth it that, I’m sure, in the future, Kelly and I will get our heads together to organise the third!

And if you’re looking for some fab new blogs to read…check out these beauties and go give them some bloglovin!

 

And, if you took part in the day, be sure to link your post up at the bottom here, I can’t wait to read more of your experiences of #midsblogmeet the Brum edition!

#midsblogmeet Brum

Stay Peachy x

Come Join Us



#CraftBlogClub June Challenge – ‘You Complete Me’!

craftblogclub badgeWith May well and truly out the way, it’s time to dust off those sandals (not that I own any) and look forward to a Summer of Love…and Crafting…mostly crafting in my case!

We had a staggering amount of wonderful challenge entries for the last challenge – the Spring Clean Gift Swap, so I thought it was high time to set up another challenge, to keep our crafty fingers ready in the sun!  Fancy joining in with this one?  Read on….

‘You Complete Me’

Whilst the Summer air is busy blowing away the cobwebs and sending us fresh motivation and ideas for home, hearth, wardrobe and whatever else, my lovely co-host Fiona, came up with the idea of trying to finish something we have left!

So….let’s take June to dig out those Christmas presents you’ve stashed away, pick up that knitting that’s gathering dust, or get on with that home improvement project you’ve been dreaming up.  Summer’s here and the time is right…for finishing things!  Starting today, go forth and finish, then drink a cool glass of Pimm’s, or five, and bask in the glory of your crafty triumph!

Them’s The Rules…

1. Not much to this one, pick a project you’ve been meaning to finish in, well, forever, and use June to finish it!  If you’re one of those commendable types who has, in fact, finished EVERYTHING, why not pick a dream project to do, or something you’ve not tried before but have always wanted to? (Within reason, I don’t want anyone getting all Belle Du Jour on my watch)!

2. Present your lovely project in a blog post by June 30th…as ever there will be a linky set up on THIS BLOG to showcase your makes – and do take some time to have a gander at the other posts, it’s lovely to see some of the amazing creativity we have in our #CraftBlogClub!

3. Let us know how you’re doing throughout the merry month of June – use our #CraftBlogClub hashtag to keep up to date and also #YouCompleteMe – you know, just cos!

That’s about it..what are you thinking of doing?  I’m pushing myself to the limit for this challenge, I just hope it turns out well!

Stay Crafty!

x

Hello June!

mainThis is it…my Frugally Fabulous Year is hitting the halfway mark – and WHAT A YEAR IT HAS BEEN SO FAR!  I guess, like everyone, there have been some great bits and some not so great bits!  But I’m really excited to see what the rest of the year brings…

May: The Month That Was…

So that was May – a month of accent walls, true colours, larking back to my teenage years, wanting to be Mrs Emma Reznor all over again, the world’s biggest knitting needles, DIY Gardening, lovely bloggers, big changes and exciting developments!  I often find myself holed up making big plans and half-starting them, May was definitely a month for that as well!

I got back into the reading flow this month too – I’ve set myself a challenge over on Goodreads to read 20 books by the end of the year (not including such avid titles as ‘The Little Go-To-Sleep Book’, ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’ and ‘That’s Not My Fairy’) – which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can be difficult to squeeze some time in for relaxing and reading – but it remains one of my most favourite ways to wind down!  Anyway, May saw me complete my 6th and 7th titles this year:

booksThe World According To Bob by James Bowen: Having had the pleasure of meeting this loveable and unlikely duo, I was really excited to follow more of Streetcat Bob and James’ journey from Big Issue sellers to stars in their own right.  A heartwarming tale of hope, survival and the most incredible journey for a most unlikely pairing.

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: Zafon is, without a doubt, a huge influence as an author.  His poetic writing and magical stories are second to none.  The Prince of Mist was his first published novel, written for a YA audience.  Zipping through this in just a few days, I found the gritty and fantastical story of Max and his adventures that lead him to the grimacing and frightening Prince of Mist.  Moody, atmospheric with a tale of innocence and love interwoven in the reams of fright, this is a must-read.

Currently Reading: Moranthology by Caitlin Moran: Hilarious, poignant in places and a most unglamorous interpretation of a seemingly glamorous career – Moran keeps it real, whilst keeping it hysterical!

I’m definitely feeling as if the blogging mojo is returning a little, after a slumpy period, I’ve started making plans and even getting more creative!  I launched my #Project34 last month – an opportunity to get back some creative time and start making bits and pieces for myself and the home.  Check out my mini tutorials for the Novice Drawstring Bag and Rustic Garden Tealight Holders, not to mention my Cross Stitch Poetry.  Not only that, I embarked on a little secret project/challenge that I’ll be able to share more of later this month!

I also got to grips with some advertising space on the blog – if you fancy being one of my ‘beautiful people’ check out my sponsor page and get in touch!

And to top off a fantastic month, we had another amazing turnout for our latest #MidsBlogMeet.  What started off as a conversation between the wonderful Kelly from To Become Mum and I, has led to us organising and hosting two fabulous meet-ups with some wonderful bloggers from around the Midlands.  Our latest was a beauty-focused meet which took place in Birmingham, read all about it tomorrow.  A huge thank you to everyone who came along and to our lovely speakers Jo and Suzie for their informative and wonderful talks!

May: The Month That Was….Instagrammed

I’ve been keeping myself so busy lately, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll be aware that I was on a NIN-countdown for most of the month (my absolute favourites) and, let’s just say they didn’t disappoint!  Totally worth the 15 year wait to see T-Rez live!  So, with that in mind, I thought I’d take my favourite Insta-pics from the last month and let them speak for themselves!  If you’re on Instagram – be sure to give me a follow!meanddaisy

leanoradrzhivagomeladybirdninttingT-rezSo…June?

Well, this month I’m in full swing with making and shaking for the wardrobe and the home.  Plus, I’m very excited to share with you that I am going to be part of White Tree Fabric’s Blog Team.  Keep your eyes peeled for more posts and info about this coming up – but I’m excited to be working with them and I’ll have my first White Tree Fabric Post coming shortly!

Not only that – a new month can only mean one thing, a new #CraftBlogClub challenge! All will be revealed TOMORROW EVENING!

That aside, I’ve been getting stuck into some interesting articles, falling back in love with my sewing machine (though I think she needs a name…) and getting more creative on a tiny budget.  Fancy it?  Then be sure to give us a follow on Bloglovin to be kept up to date with all the latest Frugally Peachy news!

I’m also planning to take a break in July to complete #PeachysWritingMarathon, and I’m still looking for a couple of guest posts – fancy it?  Give me an email at missemmaberry@gmail.com with your ideas!

I think that’s about it for now folkies – as ever thank you for reading, let’s smash the hell out of June, shall we??!

Stay Peachy x

Writer’s Tag: What Am I Working On?

It isn’t often I take part in tagged posts – but I was really pleased to be tagged by the oh so talented Icy Sedgwick – who is enviably talented as both a writer and crafter – to talk about what I’m working on!

Here’s the thing, I’m a little ‘cards close to the chest’ about my work; only the very closest people to me know much about my fiction work BUT, as I am intending to take an extended blog break in July, to work some serious magic on my novel, I thought I’d divulge a little bit!  So thank you Icy for the tag….here we go!

berlin 1Source

1. What Am I Working On?

Well, I’m still mostly working on feeling comfortable in calling myself a ‘writer’, but I have had a half-draft stashed away since my London days, based on a story that I am simply compelled to write.  It’s a piece of historical fiction, set in 1930s Berlin, 1933 to be exact, a story of love and tragedy set against the backdrop of the Nazi uprising.  A huge task in hand, I know, but it’s just something that needs to be written!  The most I’ve ever shown anyone is the first page, read out to my old writer’s club in London – it’s become The Precious to my Gollum – which really needs to change!

2. How Does My Work Differ From Others In Its Genre?

This is such a subjective question to answer at the moment as I’m the only one who has read any of it.  I am toying with writing on a multiple character platform, which is going to be challenging but, I feel, could also be the best way of telling the story.  I love reading stories that take the readers one step deeper, I think it would be exciting to read three perspectives, whilst getting to grips with each character’s motives.  I want my readers to really see all sides of each character, the good and the bad.

3. Why Do I Write What I Do?

I’m often asked this, but I can only really say ‘I Write Because I Can’t Not’.  I love everything that I do in the creative spectrum whether it’s crafting, baking, DIY-ing, but nothing quite centres me as writing does, I believe it is what I was born to do.

4. How Does My Writing Process Work?

You’ll be unsurprised to hear that I have a renegade approach to writing.  I don’t tend to write in any particular order.  When I have an idea, I tend to write in a random order, depending on what I’m inspired to write and then fit around it.

With my ‘Big Novel’, I had a brainstorming wall up in my flat in London with lots of images and quotes – it was a great way of piecing bits together and I’m tempted to try and put one up in this house too, the constant visual reminder kept me going!

Well that’s about all I can part with right now! My new brand The Gothic Librarian, will hopefully be a chance for me to showcase some of my fiction writing – so if you’re interested, keep it here for more info coming soon!

Other than that – I hope to catch you on a book tour one day! 😉

Stay Peachy x

#Project34 Week 2 – Beginner’s Drawstring Bag Tutorial

floral bagDisclaimer: Tilly Walnes I am not, elatedly proud of making friends with my sewing machine I AM!  If you are learning to sew too – make sure you follow my Peachy vs the Sewing Machine posts for mini-tutorials and progress updates!

#Project34 Week 2: Drawstring Bag

Time Taken: 3 LONG hours of practice

 30 Minutes Prepping, Cutting and Controlling Shaking

30 Minutes Sewing and Making!

Ok, I’ve been pretty excited to share this news with you!  Last week, I ACTUALLY sat at my sewing machine and decided to master the basics of my sewing machine!  Week 2 of #Project34 was going to be about pushing my own boundaries and FINALLY overcoming my fears!

I forced myself to sit for three hours, whilst Daisy was spending the day with her dad, and follow lines on a tea towel and I can’t tell you how ELATED I felt when I finally felt I’d got it!  I’m sure lots of people reading this will think this is no big deal, but to me, a few straight lines and decent bobbin winding, had brought me much closer to my dreams of learning to dressmake!  With that in mind, I set to work on a small project to keep up the momentum of what I’d managed to master!  Introducing the beginner’s drawstring bag!

fabricI found this gorgeous floral fabric in my stash and already had the matching organza ribbon too.  I thought a drawstring bag to keep plastic bags in my kitchen would be a great first project.  As the cotton was quite thin, I cut four rectangle pieces (approximately 35cm by 45cm) out and practiced my simple sewing by stitching two pieces together.  Once this was done, I simply followed the edges of three sides (leaving one smaller side open for the top) with my sewing machine, stitching in a simple straight stitch.

Then, taking each section of the open top end, I folded it over to approximately a centimetre and stitched across, to create the fabric loop, through which I then threaded my ribbon!

And that, is quite literally it!  Much like cushions and machine covers,sewing machine the idea of a drawstring bag is simple, a great way to practice very simple techniques and the ‘drawstring’ feature hides a multitude of sins if you find your stitching goes a little wonky!

I was so pleased with my bag, I immediately set to work making bag number two – a laundry bag for Daisy’s room, using some beautiful Jemima Puddleduck fabric I bought to make a cot bumper with originally.  I also had a go at two-toning my fabric with this nautical I made for a very special 1st Birthday present!  This one was slightly longer and thinner, more of a pillowcase size but using exactly the same renegade measurement and sewing techniques!

francis bag 1

francis bagSo, if you fancy a go at something this afternoon and you’re pretty confident with the very very basics, why not brighten up your home with a floral drawstring bag?

Stay Peachy x

Frugally Peachy: Jam Jar Tealights Holders!

fairy flirtIn keeping with my love of all things DIY, I’ve been experimenting with some simple ideas for lighting your garden space this week.  Having seen a rather inspiring and tear-jerking post from the delightful Hodge Podge Craft on DIY Wedding ideas, I was really taken with the simplicity of some large rope covered vases that were featured.  Needless to say….the mind started ticking.

Now I happen to be in possession of about fifty million recycled jam jars.  I love them.  I love to dress set, drink and bake all sorts of weird and wonderful concoctions with them.  So, when it came to thinking about cheap, cheerful and rustically-fabulous ways to light your garden, should you be sitting out at dusk, sipping on a cold beverage (from a jar), I grabbed some garden jute twine and set to work on these bad boys!  Great little tealight holders for sitting in situ in your garden and a snip of the price of a fancy tealight holder!

how toYou Will Need…

A selection of (clean) Glass Jam Jars (lids not necessary)

Garden Jute Twine

Some Super Strong-Hold Superglue – suitable for use on ceramics, glass etc.

Now Do This…

finished!To make a simple sitting tealight holder, glue a thin long line about a cm up from the bottom of your jam jar.  Unravel your twine and glue into place, ensuring that the end is sticking securely.  Once the bottom line is firmly in place, continue to wrap around the jar in an upwards movement, ensuring your glass is completely covered.  Be sure to add a little bit of glue every fourth wrap or so.  Keep wrapping until you reach about 2 1/2 cms from the rim of the jar and repeat the glue line, cut your twine and secure firmly in place.  Leave to dry for a couple of hours before using.

Now you’re done, I think this calls for a cheeky homemade cocktail and a makeshift BBQ, don’t you??

Stay Peachy x

Wilf...you flirt!

Wilf…you flirt!

How Does Your Garden Grow? Part 2…

mini gardenWell, with the sun shining and thoughts of Summer truly on their way, my thoughts have turned to trying to do something with my tiny garden!  If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you may well have read my last ‘Garden’ post about our ‘great’ sideboard idea and the little herb rack Mr J made for our kitchen.  Well, sadly, with the demise of the relationship came the swift demise of the sideboard and the rack!

herbs close upNow, I’m no horticulturalist, but I do like the thought of a nice garden that me and Little D can sit in.  So, on Friday, armed with a few Pinterest ideas, I took a trip to my nearest DIY centre and bought a couple of little plants to pot.  My back garden is entirely concreted, not to mention narrow, which leaves very little room to do much.  I am always so envious of good garden space but, instead of dreaming of acres and acres of land, opted to make mine a pretty little haven.

I started with a good old sweep of the area, over time our ground has become so cluttered with weeds and ‘bits’, it was great to get things straight.  garden sweepI had several plastic and terracotta pots lying around from previous attempts at joining ‘Club Horticulture’, so I simply potted a couple of Conifers, a Dahlia and some Fuchsias, to begin with.  And, being me, I simply HAD to surround them with my weird and wonderfully small collection of garden creatures!  The outcome?  Well, I still have a way to go, but it was a great excuse to make a start and GUESS who has already taken a keen interest with her brand new watering can??

I’ve got BIG plans now!  I’m on the lookout for a nice garden table and chairs to upcycle and I’m planning on trying to grow some strawberries and tomatoes from hanging baskets – I’ve made a start on some tomatoes and I’m keeping everything crossed (I don’t have a great growing track record – I’ll refrain from telling the sad tale of Simon Le Bonsai…and Simon Le Bonsai 2)…more updates on my dream garden to follow, I’m sure!  I’m armed with secateurs and I’ve got the bug now!

Daisy Garden CollageNot content with not really getting into the ‘grow your own’ spirit this year, I also took this old mini palette I’d been given and set to work making a Jazz Domino Holly/Queen of Crafts -inspired Victory Herb Tray.  Lined with mini pots and a spot of basil I’ve had for a while, I potted and labelled up some of my most used herbs – a great thing to start growing and maintaining as they keep all year round!  I even knocked up some miniature bunting for the tray just, you know, because!

herb tray vintageWhat are you growing in your garden this year?  Do you have any great ideas for a small garden?  I would love to find some more inspiration! x