Thursday, 18 April 2013

Mother Nature

It seems that Spring has finally sprung here & our front garden is looking lovely with all of the daffodils that have appeared in the flower borders.

We also had some beautiful crocuses appear around the pond in the back garden, but they have now died off.

I have spent the weekend and first couple of days of the week out in the garden with the girls, doing a general tidy up.  I have bought some roses to put in pots & have yet to plant them.  I got the orange & white ones from Poundland, the Climbing Rose Blue for 68p in the local Cash & Carry & my Mother-in-Law kindly picked up the blue rose for me while she was out shopping, although I can't remember where.

They are all currently sitting in make-shift milk container pots in some water on my kitchen windowsill.  It is raining today so I don't think I'll get out to plant them today but hopefully in the next couple of days they will be outside where they belong!

I have also been given a Greenhouse by my Mother-in-Law as they have just replaced their PVC one with a glass one.  The girls & I spent a bit of time in there at the beginning of the week planting lots of seeds that we'd bought.  We'd bought some different varieties of Sweet Peas & we'd also planted some tomato seeds & some runner beans.  Alas, Mother Nature had different plans as when I woke up this morning the really strong overnight winds had made a complete mess in the garden.  As soon as I opened the back door I was greeted by the girls' playhouse, which had been blown across the patio:

I also saw that the door of the greenhouse was flapping around.  On closer inspection I found that the wind had actually broken the zip & knocked EVERYTHING onto the floor:

Oh joy!  I'll have to go out later to see if I can salvage anything but I didn't really fancy standing there doing that in my dressing gown first thing this morning!!!  Still, in comparison to the trouble that the wind has caused in my In-Laws' garden next door, I really shouldn't complain.  They've had panes of glass come out of their new greenhouse & smash (despite being fixed in with multiple clips, tape etc), a new bird bath get blown over & smash, taking with it a couple of new solar lights that had also just been put in.  Thank goodness that the wind wasn't strong enough to take any trees down or injure anyone (that I know of).

I hope that you are safe wherever you are.


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Play Room Update

After my last post about our Play Room we have made a few changes.  With the table & tall bookcases it felt very cluttered & dark, despite putting a lot of the girls' stuff into lidded boxes.  When we started moving stuff out into the shed we decided that the table & chairs should also go out there.  As nice as it was for the girls to use the table for play doh & drawing, they couldn't really do much else in their little play area as there was no room.

We also decided to get another couple of Expedit units, like the one in our living room, from Ikea to store the toys.  The old coffee table from the living room is also now being used (in time I'd like it painted white).  Here's is what the Play Room looks like now:

The OCD in me hates the fact that the boxes don't all match but I'm not going to spend more money than is necessary on storage boxes that will likely just get sat on/in by the girls!!!

They use this area much more now as they have floor space to play with their houses & little people, as well as the table if they want to draw or play with Play Doh.

The added bonus also is that at the end of the day when they've gone to bed I can also put their cars & prams away in here rather than having them lined up along my hallway!

I also took the opportunity to do a little bit more organising of the girls puzzles when taking them off the old bookshelves.  We had bought a box of jigsaw puzzles but once the packets had been opened you couldn't reuse the bags & the puzzles all got jumbled up.

I decided to get rid of the box altogether & use freezer bags to separate the puzzles.  I cut the pictures of each puzzle from the box to put in the bags so we know which puzzle is in there.

Of course they will still all get jumbled up at some point, but at least they've started off in separate bags & therefore have a better chance of going back that way!

Overall we are very pleased with this improved space.  It will be decorated at some point soon but for now it is fulfilling its purpose nicely!


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Knit & Natter

I have been looking for a local Knit & Natter group to join for years & I found out about one being run from a wool shop in Doncaster Town Centre ages ago.  I've been debating whether or not to go for a while, knowing that I really wanted to but too scared to actually do anything about it.  That & the fact that it would mean leaving the girls with Hubby for a couple of hours & I felt guilty about doing that - what kind of mother goes out for a couple of hours to have a chat & do some crochet while leaving her children at home?!!!

Hubby has been telling me for ages to try & get some "me-time" so he talked me into going to my first Knit & Natter session today.  I am sooo glad & grateful that he did.  There were only a few ladies there today but they were all so lovely.  I enjoyed a couple of hours just crocheting & chatting about sewing, knitting, crochet etc & I felt like a person outside of housework, motherhood & my husband.  Maybe that sounds a bit selfish but I really needed that time & Hubby has told me to go back again next week as I enjoyed it so much.

I can't wait!!


Monday, 8 April 2013

Spring Gardening

Hello!  I hope that you are well.  This weekend was lovely & I finally managed to get outside into the back garden to start making it look a little less like a dumping ground!

When we moved in we put all of our plant pots together on the patio, so it didn't look very pretty - although with all of the cold weather it did add a bit of extra protection for the smaller pots.  Added to that there is still a lot of things that our landlord needs to sort out for us in the garden.  There's an ancient, decaying caravan that he's going to get rid of, a pond that he's in the process of draining & then he's going to make good the area where the caravan is once it's gone so that it's a usable space & fill in the pond.  In addition to that the whole fence on the right-hand side of the garden is rotten & falling down so that is also being replaced.  When we signed the contract, he promised to get it all done by the end of April, so hopefully we'll have a totally "new" garden to use soon.

Anyway, I took advantage of the weather this weekend to try & make the garden look a bit prettier!  The first thing I did was put our new bird feeder out in the garden.

 I've always wanted a bird feeder & we got this one at B&M, reduced to £7.99.  I've still got to get a couple of hanging bird feeders to add to it, but in the meantime I hope that the birds will be happy with this lot!

You can see in the background of the picture above the delightful caravan & all of the plant pots that have been gathered on our patio!

The next thing I did was sweep all of the debris & dig out the little weeds from the dirt patches in front of our shed:

I thought that this little area, being directly opposite the conservatory & therefore in full view, could do with a bit of prettifying so I added some of my pots:

A close-up of the pots on the left:

and the pots on the right:

The bigger blue pot at the back here has my hydrangea in, which I'm pleased to see is starting to come back!

I'd bought a couple of solar light/plant stands from B&M that I wanted to put either side of the conservatory doors, so here's my before shot:

and after:

Looking a bit better with some colour!  Here are the stands up close:

(excuse the manky water butt!)

I still have more tidying to do & a few things to plant but so far so good!  I'm pleased with the results & it's starting to feel like Spring is finally well on its way!


Using our Conservatory

We have 2 really big sheds in our back garden but they hadn't been emptied by our landlord so we were unable to use either of them to store our things.  So, when we moved in our conservatory became a bit of a dumping ground for everything that would ordinarily be stored outside (garden tools, lawn mower, gardening supplies, camping equipment etc).  It didn't look pretty!

Despite the mess, we still had to use this room on a daily basis as our fridge & tumble dryer are stored here.

Our landlord finally emptied one of the sheds last weekend, which meant that we were able to move everything out of our conservatory!  Yay!  Now we have a lovely, light, bright room that I have been using as a kind of utility room.  The roof, doors & windows need repairing so it's very cold out there & not usable as a proper conservatory/relaxing space overlooking the garden yet.

Here's how it looks now:

We moved one of the bookcases from the play room in here to store some bits & pieces.  Washing powder, extra kitchen rolls, old towels that we use to dry the dogs off when they come back from a particularly wet & muddy walk...

Dog stuff (treats, wipes, brushes, flea & worming treatment etc) along with shoe cleaners & sprays....

Other miscellaneous things such as hoover bags, plant food, spare air freshener units etc

Over all, I'm so happy with this space now!!!


Saturday, 6 April 2013

Catch Up

Hi there!  How are you?

Things have been quite busy around here for the past couple of weeks & I haven't had time to update the blog with all that's been going on - I will remedy this!  I hope that you had a lovely Easter?

Freya & Abby loved waking up on Easter Sunday to a mini Egg Hunt that I'd set up for them in the living room & play room.  Here's their treasure:

They were very happy with their loot!

I think it goes without saying that it didn't last very long!

We've spent the last couple of weeks sorting out our conservatory & also improving the play room, which I will update you with this week.

I've also been doing a bit of baking.  I made a banana loaf earlier on in the week to use up some bananas that were going a bit brown.  It went down so well that I had a request to make it again but with added walnuts & cherries.  I tried it last night & here's the result:

I'm not convinced that it works but Hubby assured me that it was delicious.  He's helping his parents put up a greenhouse this weekend so I'll send some round there to get some more opinions!!!

I hope that you have a lovely weekend - it's looking a bit more Spring-like here, albeit still cold.  Maybe I'll get out in the garden to do some tidying & planting this weekend?