Plant Gang!

How is it the end of May already?!

I have been working through the Marie Kondo Life Changing Magic of Tidying for a month now and it has really brought to the fore how much my beloved plants ‘spark joy’ for me.  This month’s Urban Jungle Blogger challenge is to show of a plant gang, I introduced a new member to the gang today, a ceropegia woodii with gorgeous variegated leaves, I just need a hanging pot for her and she will be good to go!

So here is my current plant gang, with a guest appearance from our new girl!

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Wildflowers and whimsy

After a long month of travel which saw me make nine journeys totaling 1,200 miles by train I’ve really needed some time to get some paperwork done and get my thinking cap on from the comfort of home.

I decided when I took this new job that I would do one of two things on a daily lunch break 1) work on the yarden or 2) take a walk with my camera

I’m learning to shoot on manual and though I have a long way to go I’m especially enjoying photographing flowers of late.

My walks take me to this lovely green retreat at the end of our street

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I adore cowslips, this week the Mr bought me a locally grown pot of them too, so I can enjoy them when I look out of the window

 

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Another yellow beauty, it doesn’t look like much but I’ve never had any success growing lilies in a pot until this year!

Look closely on the foliage though, I noticed this when I was editing the shots, and popped back outside to get a closer look…

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…scarlet lily beetles, mating carmine pests, they’ve not destroyed my lilies yet but I fear for them!

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Midweek I relaxed with tea made from our apple mint plant, I adore this Anthropologie spoon, cup and saucer, such a joy sparker!  The plant is a cutting from our darling neighbour, I love it and hope it grows as strong as its parent plant which I’ve long admired!

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More yarden blooms

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More blossoms enjoyed on walks

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And then finally a few poorly days during the weekend, a very kind friend brought round some pastries, gratefully received and I feel blessed to know such a lovely lady :)

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Organic May

This has come around quickly! Time for another Organic/Natural roundup!

Food

Last month I treated us to an Organic veg box as I had a week off travelling for work and wanted to try some batch cooking. We had a bash at Deliciously Ella‘s Brocolli pesto and it was absolutely divine!

brocolli pesto

Treats

I’m a choc addict and when Seed and Bean sent me these chocolate bars to review over Easter I wasn’t tempted by Js eggs in the slightest; these are a grown up treat of epic proportions! I was sceptical about lime and sea salt with milk chocolate but Seed and Bean have converted me, what a treat for the tastebuds, creamy, fresh, sweet with a salt hit the combination really sings!

These are phenomenal bars of Handmade in England goodness, 100% organic and ethical, I urge you to try them, especially the dark chocolate for a healthier treat!

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Beauty

J and I both suffer with atopic eczema and I try to treat it as naturally as possible but this year mine has been so bad I needed a steroid cream to tackle it.  We’ve both been using Lush’s Dream Cream and Dream Wash with good results but they’re not paraben free and when in frequent use that concerns me a little.  This month we’ve both been using purepotions Skin Salvation with really good results.

Like a thick ointment when applied liberally the balm softens and leaves a lovely protective soft barrier, made with herbs and oils it has a pleasant smell (J said it smells like playdoh, I think marzipan!) and my skin has never looked better and J hasn’t had any of the small open patches that she normally gets on her back at all this month which is a result I’m really impressed with; that this is a totally natural product to boot is really great!  Starting at £7.99 I’d definately recommend any eczema sufferers give this a try.

I’ve also been trialling the Scar Oil with good results, to be honest I have neglected myself for a while so this has formed part of my new night time routine which I feel really positive about!  The oil is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6. Vitamin A is known to promote healthy skin cell rejuvenation, so it is great for skin damaged by scarring. The vitamin C in rosehip oil reduces the appearance of dark and aging spots.

This has been a real treat for my skin and stubborn post-baby marks, and I’ve also used it on stubborn dry patches around me knees (darn winter skin!) with great results.  Richer than other oils on the market this is competitively priced at £18.99 and a little goes a long long way.

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Finally I’ve been reviewing these purepotions Salve sets.  One of each rescue salve; lavender, arnica, tea tree, calendula and comfrey this is packaged up as a set of natural first aid salves for little emergencies.  Arnica Rescue Salve for sprains, strains and bruises, Calendula & Comfrey Rescue Salve for use on cuts and grazes, Lavender Rescue Salve for use on minor burns, sunburn, chapped skin and as a lip salve and Tea Tree Rescue Salve for use on cold sores, bites, stings and fungal conditions.  Over the last six weeks we’ve had occasion to use all four (we are quite accident prone!).  These little pots really do pack a punch and are now stashed in the bag I take out when J and I are out and about.  I find the lavender salve really peps me up when I’m tired too!

purepotions

Giveaway

I’ve been reviewing these refreshing Alo Aloe Vera drinks this month.  Juicy and packed with pulpy pieces of aloe they’re a real treat for a spring day; mangosteen and mango was my favourite, a tropical fruit hit! I know some prefer their drinks smooth but I like a good old non-strained fruit juice, the pulp pieces are quite large though so this can take you by surprise!

Aloe is added to health drinks for its digestion boosting properties, anti-inflamatory properties and can boost the immune system; whilst not organic these drinks are GMO free.

Alo have offered me a mix box of the drinks worth £23.99 to give away to one lucky reader, see Rafflecopter and T&Cs for details.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Things I want to remember that my toddler has said

I haven’t blogged any of J’s new words or little quips for a while but I have been keeping up to date with a list of them. We’ve had such gems as “Mammy I think you talk too much” and “Mammy went to the doctor and her arm hurt and the doctor did her blood fresh air!”

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One of my favourite recent anecdotes happened one morning in a public toilet, having previously had concerned staff banging on the door after Joss pulled the red emergency cord in the loos at the local museum whilst I was mid flow, at least she’s learned not to do it again – this week we heard “this wee is not an emergency so I not pull that doctor string Mammy” – phew, I think she’s sort of got it!

There are also the sweet heartwarming moments walking back from our childminder’s house “I will cuddle you mammy, tuck your head in so the wind doesn’t frost you” and “my Daddy is ‘tending to be my baby bird in a baby bird nest and you know it is spring when there is a baby bird”

things my toddler had said

There’s also the downright frustrating “Joss you must listen to Daddy/Mammy when we are talking to you… ok, you need to stop and look and listen…what do we need you to do?” “Erm, you need me to…erm…to….you need me to….to….eat my dinner” – no, that’s not quite right!

A recent fave our both Daddy and I was J waking in the night a bit upset because she was “chasing a feather and it flew away” – sweet dreams for a little one and she easily settled back off to chase that feather again

And finally, role play has started, she either asks us to talk to her as her cuddly toys with voices or she’ll say “Dad, bear wants to ask” – we’ll say “what does bear want to ask you?” and she invariably responds by yelling “CAN YOU ASK BEAR!” and getting really angry with us, we’re still working out a response to this one!

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Do you keep a record of things your little ones have said? I’d love to hear some anecdotes!

National Stationery Week: Handwritten Printed Cards with Inkly #natstatweek

Inkly Cards is a mobile app that allows you to send real, printed cards and postcards from your mobile device, but most importantly, they can be customised with your own photos and handwriting, using their patent-pending technology.

You write your message on a normal piece of paper, and the camera in your mobile device magically lifts your writing from the page and places it into the card.

National Stationery Week is focused on handwriting this time, and Inkly were keen to get involved in allowing people to use the technology they know and love but to retain that personal touch of letter writing.

I reviewed the service; I was really happy to find a great range of arty cards ready for my message and selected this for a friend as I know she loves The Great Wave off Kanagawa, indeed we both do as I have it as a print! The card is a great quality print on solid cardstock.

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I was really pleased with how easy it was to use the app, I wrote the message, photographed it and Inkly did the rest, I popped this in a fresh envelope as I was reviewing and wanted to see the quality first, but usually you’d just send it straight to your friend or loved one! And here’s the handwriting print, perfect!

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Disclaimer: We reviewed the Inkly app and received one free card, all views are my own