Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Photo an hour, September 2016.

This month's photo an hour day was Saturday 24th.
Photo an hour in organised by Jane and Louisa, anyone can join in and post their hourly photos on social media throughout the day tagging them #photoanhour.  Why don't you join in next time?
Here are my photos,
8am - Bit of a grey day, I'm getting up and ready for work.


9am - On my way to work, where I didn't take any photos.


2pm - Oh the joy of coming home and tipping the bin over to retrieve your parcel! 


3pm - I'm trying to re-watch the whole of the Gilmore Girls before the new series!


6pm - Sooo, I may have had a nap!  And then watched Jem on Netflix.


7pm - It's really autumn, I have socks on! 


8pm - Sometimes only toastie soldiers will do, my last photo of the night, I had a pretty early night and read in bed.


This time last year I was also at work.  The photos from last September make me miss my library, it's all changed now.  Half of the library is now an IT suite with 60 PCs in for the school to use (it's a shared building with a library, gym, school, etc in it) and we're getting ready for the library to stop being a council run library and start being a 'community library' run by volunteers, so I won't work there for much longer (but my job's safe til January, I'll just be sent to another branch, and hope I get a job once we've reapplied for them!).  And our house is so different too, I thought our pink bedroom wall was new, but Joe painted it a year ago!  
 
Did you join in this month?   Let me know if you did, I'd love to have a nosey at your day!

Friday, 23 September 2016

Diary of a suburban food garden, September 2016.

This month my strawberries have put out loads of runners and I've been trying to tame them!  There are a couple of strawb plants in each end of my front garden raised bed and they've put out a crazy amount of runners.  I've been training them downwards, into the gravel on the drive and round the base of the raised bed - I hope they'll grow happily there and I'll get a bumper crop of strawberries next year!

Diary of a suburban food garden, September 2016. My front garden raised bed, tiny fruit trees, and winter sowing.  secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #suburbangarden #polyculture #ediblegarden

Down the side of the house my herbs and fruit are growing well.  I'm about to chop that apple tree to a knee height stub, as recommended in the book 'Grow a Tiny Fruit Tree'.  It's a bit nerve wracking so I keep putting it off!  But if I'm brave and cut it soon (I've missed the time for summer pruning, but apparently I can do it in winter too) the tree should never get higher than head height, so I won't need a ladder to pick the fruit.
Diary of a suburban food garden, September 2016. My front garden raised bed, tiny fruit trees, and winter sowing.  secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #suburbangarden #polyculture #ediblegarden

My Autumn Bliss raspberries are doing really good, they're in their second year now.  I re-watched Alys Fowler's Edible Garden series on YouTube and she said to leave them to flop over, rather than staking them upright.  When they're flopped over the leaves hide the ripe berries from the birds, which means more for you!   It's working so far!

Diary of a suburban food garden, September 2016. My front garden raised bed, tiny fruit trees, and winter sowing.  secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #suburbangarden #polyculture #ediblegarden

I planted this kale last year and it's taken it ages to get going, but I think I might actually get to eat some kale from it soon!

Diary of a suburban food garden, September 2016. My front garden raised bed, tiny fruit trees, and winter sowing.  secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #suburbangarden #polyculture #ediblegarden

I've been doing a bit of winter sowing and planting.  I've sown some greens, perpetual spinach, chard, red beet leaves, dinosaur kale and red kale, I think I may be woefully late but all my spring and summer sowings failed and I'm desperate for some homegrown leafy greens!  If the worst comes to the worst I'll resow in spring, but I'm hoping for a bit more sun to get these seeds started!

Diary of a suburban food garden, September 2016. My front garden raised bed, tiny fruit trees, and winter sowing. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #suburbangarden #polyculture #ediblegarden

I also bought some pretty bulbs and some reduced seeds (50p per packet!).  I'll plant the bulbs now and the seeds in the spring.

Diary of a suburban food garden, September 2016. My front garden raised bed, tiny fruit trees, and winter sowing. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #suburbangarden #polyculture #ediblegarden

I've not had a great year for tomatoes, courgettes, pumpkins or pattypans - I've had hardly any!  All my tomato plants have been grown from seed and they've all been weedy and horrible looking and only given me one or two toms per plant.  I usually grow tomatoes in this lovely butlers sink, but they're just not happy there!  Every flower on the plant on the right has shrivelled up and gone brown, and the plant on the left has given me one fairly small tomato!

Diary of a suburban food garden, September 2016. My front garden raised bed, tiny fruit trees, and winter sowing. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #suburbangarden #polyculture #ediblegarden

This is my most best and biggest tomato plant, a san marzano also grown from seed, it seems super happy here by the conservatory wall and has grown so big it blocks the path.  There are quite a few tomatoes on it, but they're all green so far. 

Diary of a suburban food garden, September 2016. My front garden raised bed, tiny fruit trees, and winter sowing. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #suburbangarden #polyculture #ediblegarden

And here's the whole garden.  I have a lot of weeding to do!  But I'm happy with the evening primrose that's popped up!

Diary of a suburban food garden, September 2016. My front garden raised bed, tiny fruit trees, and winter sowing. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #suburbangarden #polyculture #ediblegarden

How's your garden this month?





Monday, 12 September 2016

Make one small change, save your own seed.

Making one small change at a time can make becoming eco friendly loads easier.  Lots of small changes add up to a big difference.

Make one small change, save your own seed. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #seedsaving #gardening

Saving seeds from the fruit, vegetable and flowery plants in your garden is good for lots of reasons.  You get seeds for free.  You can share or swap your seeds with your friends.  You help preserve heritage or rare varieties of plants.  By saving seed from plants that are happy in your garden, strong ones with a good crop, you get seed that will be planted and grow up happy in the unique conditions present in your garden.  If you're favourite variety stops being sold, you have your own supply!  You won't be giving you pennies to questionable big agricultural companies.

You can't save seed from plants you've grown using seed labelled F1 or hybrid, you have to buy those kinds every year.  If you want to save seed you need to go for open pollinated or heritage varieties.

There's no better beginners guide to saving seed than the free one available on the Real Seeds website.  So far this year I've saved seed from my chives, and calendula plants!

Do you save seed?

Don't forget to check out my other small changes to help you live a greener life!




Friday, 9 September 2016

Awesome 1990s street style, from J-17 magazine.

I have a folder full of torn out pages from my late 1990s, early 2000s collection of J-17 magazine.  

I used to love these street style pages, and wish so hard for so many of the things I saw the girls wearing.  Top of my list were some black mary jane shoes, Doc Marten ones.  I actually did manage to get a pair of purple cord super flares, can you spot some in the second photo down?!

1990's Street style, from J-17 magazine. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #j17 #j-17 #magazines #1990s #2000s #retro #streetstyle

1990's Street style, from J-17 magazine. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #j17 #j-17 #magazines #1990s #2000s #retro #streetstyle

1990's Street style, from J-17 magazine. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #j17 #j-17 #magazines #1990s #2000s #retro #streetstyle

1990's Street style, from J-17 magazine. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #j17 #j-17 #magazines #1990s #2000s #retro #streetstyle

1990's Street style, from J-17 magazine. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #j17 #j-17 #magazines #1990s #2000s #retro #streetstyle

I loved J-17 because had alternative looking people in it, and as a reminder here's what I looked like in the late nineties (in all my purple cord super flares, fluffy cropped jumper and dog collared glory!), ahahahaa,

1990's Street style, from J-17 magazine. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #j17 #j-17 #magazines #1990s #2000s #retro #streetstyle

Anywayyyy...

Want to see more of my J-17 magazine pages?


Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Charity shopping, the one with the weird but cute owl.

I'm trying to curb my charity shop spending.  The house just feels so full, and we still haven't unpacked everything.  But these little things called out to me, and as they're only so very little they were allowed to come home with me! 

Charity shopping, the one with the weird but cute owl.  And the kiln craft bacchus bowl and the papier mache box.  secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblog

This pattern, Bacchus by Kiln craft, is my absolute favourite retro crockery pattern.  The internet says this is a 2 handled soup bowl, so there you go!  
Bacchus bowl, 79p, Samaritans charity shop.

Charity shopping, the one with the weird but cute owl.  And the kiln craft bacchus bowl and the papier mache box.  secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblog Charity shopping, the one with the weird but cute owl.  And the kiln craft bacchus bowl and the papier mache box.  secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblog

Here's the weird but cute owl.  Just to add to his weirdness his head comes off!  I think maybe it's a tiny owl shaped ginger jar?
Weird owl, 99p, PDSA Charity shop.

Charity shopping, the one with the weird but cute owl.  And the kiln craft bacchus bowl and the papier mache box.  secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblog

I bought this last year but it's only just been unpacked.  I got this little papier mache box in Windsor on holiday.  I love the little animals on it!
Papier mache box, £3, charity shop in Windsor.

Have you bought anything from the charity shops lately?

P.S. Check out my other charity shop posts for more!  



 

Monday, 5 September 2016

How to make vegan Thai spiced noodles.

This is my recipe for spiced Thai noodles, they've become a bit of an obsession round these parts!

Every couple of months Joe and I go to a seasonal market with food and crafts, down the street-art-ified back alleys of Digbeth, Birmingham.  I am IN LOVE with some 'lightly spiced Thai noodles' sold at one of the street food stalls (these ones!), I even dream about them!  

How to make vegan Thai spiced noodles. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganrecipe #thainoodles #veganblog

Sadly, I don't have 24 hour access to those yummy Thai noodles, so I've been trying out a recipe of my own and I've finally perfected it.  

Lots of Thai curry paste isn't vegan due to the presence of fish sauce.  We found some that's suitable for vegans in Tesco, so that's what I've been using.

You will need
1 teaspoon Thai curry paste
small thumb sized piece of ginger
2 fat garlic cloves
veg - whatever you like but I use1 carrot, 1/2 red pepper, 1 small onion, frozen peas, spring onions
oil

2 servings of your noodles of choice - we use ramen or whole wheat noodles
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
salt/half a vegetable stock cube

frying pan
sauce pan

serves 2

How to make your yummy Thai spiced noodles

First chop all the veg into small pieces and the garlic and ginger into tiny pieces.

Put some water in the kettle and boil it, while you fry the carrot and onion in some oil in the frying pan.

Add the peppers and peas, garlic, ginger and curry paste to the frying pan.

Add turmeric, salt (or stock cube) and the noodles to boiling water in the saucepan and cook following the packet instructions (usually for about 4 minutes).

Drain the noodles.

Add spring onions to the frying pan and fry for 1 minute.

Add the noodles to the frying pan with a tiny drop of oil and stir through.

That's it, pour those noodles into a bowl and get slurping.  The best thing about this recipe, apart from it being delicious, is it's so quick!  It takes me no longer than 10 minutes to chop, fry and boil my way to lovely Thai spiced noodles, much quicker than a trip to Digbeth!

 
How to make vegan Thai spiced noodles. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganrecipe #thainoodles #veganblog





Friday, 2 September 2016

Easy green actions and articles, September 2016.


 
Here we are again, friends who want to be a bit more eco-friendly!  Check out this month's round up of easy, greeny actions and interesting reads, 

Sign up for Friends of the Earth's Let's eat better pledge.  If you pledge to go vegan, or cut down on your meat and dairy eating, then have a look at the vegan inspiration I've shared here over the years.

Government plans to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset are shaping up to be a disaster. Hinkley's already 8 years overdue. And by the time it's finished it'll be the most expensive object on earth.
After the Brexit vote, prime minister Theresa May has announced a fresh review of Hinkley -- meaning the whole project could be on the rocks. 
greenpeace.org.uk

Sign Greenpeace's petition asking the government to stop investing in nuclear power.

bbc.co.uk

Make sure you're separating your recycling correctly, according to the BBC the amount of recycling being rejected has gone up by 84%.  Check your local council's website to see what's acceptable in your area. 




Zero waste week starts on 5th September, will you be joining in?


photo from Sudfeh

If you have a few pennies to spare then think about supporting this crowdfunder campaign to build 'Sudfeh', a non-profit vegan cafe at a University in Palestine.  It would be the first of it's kind and any money made would go to scholarships for young people and to the Palestinian Animal League Solidarity animal welfare charity.

I post these kinds of things on twitter all month, so find me there if this is your kind of thing too!
 

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Life lately, summer 2016.


Reading - I read the new Harry Potter book and was soo happy to be back in the Potter-verse even if I didn't love everything about the story.  I read Abundance by Alys Fowler and the new Doctor Who official cook book, both of which I loved and think I need to own my own copies of!

Watching - You guys, we got a new TV and Netflix last month.  It's been dangerous!  So far we've worked our way through i-Zombie, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and we're doing our annual re-watch of the whole of Doctor Who.

Working - Next week we have the Big Meeting to tell us what jobs will be left for us to apply for in our restructure/big budget cut.  I'm dreading it, but it'll be good to finally know after 9 months of uncertainty.    


Being angry about - Brexit.  And the Labour leadership vote debacle.  Grrrrr!

Staying home - this has definitely been a summer of home.  We haven't really been anywhere, after recovering from the cost/ecxitement of our wedding and having to buy lots of things for the house.  I'm happiest at home anyway, so that's fine by me.

Home renovating - Joe finished laying the cork floor and the kitchen is due to be delivered this week!  Eeeep!  We've also ordered a new bed and some furniture from IKEA!


Listening to - I found my Wicked soundtrack CD so I've been listening to that a lot.  And the mix CD of music we made for our wedding has been on heavy rotation too.

Cinema-ing - we went to see Ghostbusters and it was the best thing Everrr!  Ever ever!  Girl power, kill all the ghosts!  Yeah!

Auntie-ing - Suddenly they're all grown up, those nieces of mine.  The big one is just 3 and she 'does hair' and draws houses and asks me to make volcanoes for her and says clever things like 'eyes open is the reverse of eyes shut!' (and also slightly alarming things like 'I like hurting people'!!).  The little one is nearly 2 and is almost not a baby any more, sob!, she knows all the characters from Peppa Pig and picks up conkers from the alleyway because they're 'hedgehogs'! 


Blogging - I wrote a guest post for the lovely website The-thrift.com, showing off my latest haul of retro homeware from Barnardo's charity shops.  And I collated a collection of Beatles crafts for cut out and keep. 

My most popular blog posts have been, 






I'm glad you all enjoy eco friendly loo roll as much as me! 

How has your summer been?  Good I hope?


 

 

Monday, 29 August 2016

Photo an hour, August 2016.

This month's photo an hour day was Saturday 27th. 

Photo an hour in organised by Jane and Louisa, anyone can join in and post their hourly photos on social media throughout the day tagging them #photoanhour.  Why don't you join in next time?
 
Here are my photos,
 
8am - My mum's getting married in a couple of months and I'm matron of honour.  I'm in charge of buying my dress, so I've been doing lots of dress research!
 
 
I went off to work and completely forgot my camera, so there's a pause here where I went to work, got the bus home, bought some vegetables from the market and popped round to mums for a natter.
 
2pm - My nice full fridge after restocking from the market.  There are some discovery apples in there that I'm very excited to eat, they're my favourite!
 
 
3pm - Finally sitting down to eat some lunch, cold leftover pasta, watching TV, not a very inspired photo.
 
 
4pm - Still on the sofa, watching Doctor Who, Strax is my very favourite.
 
 
5pm - It's a proper, miserable rainy kind of day.
 
 
6pm - We have a really big furniture order from IKEA coming next week, so we have to tidy and move stuff around for it this week.  This Very Heavy chest full of my crafty stuff has been carried into the spare room.
 
 
7pm - Just checking on my pepper, look how red it's getting!


8pm - I've started watching Jem on Netflix.  I never watched it as a child, but I love the way it looks.


9pm - My supermarket shopping was delivered, look at this special syrup tin!


10pm - Still tidying.
 
 
11pm - Book and bed.
 
 
I think this was a super boring day!  I felt really nauseous in the middle of the day and fell asleep during Doctor Who (so it must have been pretty bad!), the weather was pants and I alternated between tidying and watching TV all evening.  I think this is the first photo an hour when I lost the will to even keep uploading my photos to Instagram!  This time last year I was also having a boring, sicky day, maybe it's the time of year!
 
Did you join in this month?   Let me know if you did, I'd love to have a nosey at your day!
 
 
 
 

Friday, 26 August 2016

My suburban garden harvest, August 2016.

This plate just makes me smile.  I think it's such a beautiful little harvest!  And I picked my first carrots and purple sugar snap peas!

My suburban garden harvest, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #harvest #garden #growyourown #veggarden #gardenblogger

I've been picking the last of the onions I planted in my front garden raised beds last autumn, they're small but perfectly formed.

My suburban garden harvest, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #harvest #garden #growyourown #veggarden #gardenblogger

My suburban garden harvest, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #harvest #garden #growyourown #veggarden #gardenblogger

I've only planted a few broad bean plants, so I've not had a massive harvest, but enough to add to some chickpeas to make falafels.

My suburban garden harvest, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #harvest #garden #growyourown #veggarden #gardenblogger

My suburban garden harvest, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #harvest #garden #growyourown #veggarden #gardenblogger

Blueberries started ripening this month too!  I've had a fair few little handfuls, enough for Joe to enjoy for breakfast.  One of the strawberries in the raised beds has had a few late fruits on.

My suburban garden harvest, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #harvest #garden #growyourown #veggarden #gardenblogger

I made some lovely herby roast potatoes with my homegrown rosemary and thyme - yum!

My suburban garden harvest, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #harvest #garden #growyourown #veggarden #gardenblogger

Speaking of potatoes, I emptied my second pot of Casablanca potaotes, it was definitely worth leaving them in the pot for longer, I got loads more

My suburban garden harvest, August 2016. secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #harvest #garden #growyourown #veggarden #gardenblogger

I feel like this month has been a happy harvest month, I've eaten so much lovely homegrown food! 

How has your garden been this month?  Have you had lots to harvest?