Sunday, 29 June 2014

Things I Loved this Month, June 2014.

This month I've loved, 

* Library makeovers * BBQs * icing * pretzels * crafty shopping * broccoli pasta * new house plants * finishing watching up to series 7 of Doctor Who and finishing Firefly too * my little niece, she is 10 months and 23 pounds now, she says moo and bites toes!  She is purely lovely (In the middle photo of my collage above you can see niece-let and boyfriend playing nicely in the library, aren't they cute!) * reading Boys Don't Knit and Campari for Breakfast * having a big tidy out of my flat, 10 bags for the charity shop, a bit for ebay and countless bags of recycling.  I feel a lot better for it, although there's still more to do! * pancakes * pizza dinner party * new phone * watching Made in Chelsea, New Girl, Neighbours, The Big Bang Theory and The Hobbit 2 * drinks and eatings with friends * buying vintage dresses * listening to The Beatles, Norah Jones, Eddi Reader, 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack * booking my birthday trip to Hogwarts!!!!! EEeeep! *

Hope you've had a lovely month too?!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Balcony Garden, June 2014.

This is what my balcony garden looks like this summer.  The only things flowering so far are some self seeded lobelia, and a red geranium that I planted last year.  But I have a new pink fuchsia that is just about to flower! 

I have sunflowers and sweet peas in the big pot at the back.  Polyanthuses are in all the little terracotta pots, they have finished flowering for the year now.

There are strawberries in a layered planter, I have about 10 plants, abour 3 different varieties, so I get strawberries at different times through the summer.  

I have three of these hanging baskets on each side of my balcony.  On this side there is a tumbling tomato, a nasturtium and lobelia, and some alpine strawberries.

There are a couple of empty troughs out there, that I'm going to sow some cut and come again lettuce leaves, chives and coriander, spinach, quinoa leaves and rainbow chard.  If I have time for them to grow I might put some chick peas in the hanging baskets on the other side of the balcony.

What are you growing this year?

Also see what I'm growing in my mums garden this year,  my balcony garden last year and my favourite gardening books (in case you were wondering where I got the inspiration to grow quinoa and chick peas!).

Linking up with Flaunt it Friday.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Current Crochet Projects, Mollie Makes Starburst Blanket, Scarf, Mats and Flowers.

Hello!  This is what I'm currently making.  I'm in a bit of a scatterbrain phase at the moment, so I have lots of things on the go and lots of ideas bubbling about in my head too. 

I've been working on this blanket for the longest time.  The pattern was called something like starburst flowers in an early issue of Mollie Makes magazine.  I started it in June 2011 and showed you it's progress a couple more times, before leaving it in the bag of forgotten projects.  I have a bag with about 100 more squares in, that I'm joining together, then I'll decide if I want to make it any bigger.  I am never, ever, ever making a blanket without joining as you go, ever again!

I also finished a cushion in the same starburst pattern from Mollie Makes.  I've had this hanging around for about 4 years too.  It was a Christmas present for my mum, I feel less guilty now it's finished and on her sofa!

I started making this as a granny square blanket, to use up some of my stash, but I think it may become a scarf instead.  I think I will make it scarf shaped, and if I don't like it I'll keep adding until it's a blanket!  See how I've learned a lesson here and am sewing the squares together as I go!

I have started making little mats to go under my house plants.  This is mostly to use up wool in my stash that is funny colours or textures but that I don't want to go to waste.  With 3 or 4 strands of yarn held together and a big hook these are really satisfying and quick to make.

These roses crocheted in cotton are for a new (possible) business idea pinging about in my brain at the moment, if I ever stop procrastinating/find some focus/get on with it, I will tell you all about it! 

I have all my ongoing projects on the chair in my living room, I hope that if I can see them I might be motivated to finish something!

I'm itching to start making a granny stripe blanket, some safety pin and button earrings, bunting, cards, bunnies and a crochet Totoro too.  I can't stop myself!

What are you making?

Posts you might have missed - my granny stripe blanket, crochet baby clothes and getting ready for my first craft fair.

Linking up with Flaunt it Friday.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

5 Year Blogiversary!

I have been blogging for 5 years today!  It doesn't seem that long, but a sixth of my life has been recorded here! 

Here is my first post and here are some of my favourite posts, if you haven't been reading from the start then you might not have seen some of them! 

Thank you so much for being my blog friends! It means a lot! 

You can follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Our Fish had Babies!

Last winter we noticed tiny baby fish in the pond at mums house. They have survived the cold and grown into bigger babies, enjoying splashing around now it's a bit warmer.

The food pellets floating on the water in these pictures are about 1cm long, so you can see the baby fish are really tiny and cute! 

Do you have baby animals in your garden?

Monday, 16 June 2014

Rio de Janiero 2014, Petropolis.

Petropolis is a colonial town in the mountains, it's a lovely bus ride about an hour away from the centre of Rio.  

I mostly took photos of the beautiful, big colonial houses, here they are. 

We had great fun here deciding which houses we wanted to live in.  

We also paid our 5 reals (about £1.50!) and climbed up lots of stairs, to visit the home of Alberto Santos Dumont, which was lovely.

And I saw a humming bird too!

I was very happy in Petropolis.  It was lovely and clean, there were less people and the people that were there were moving a lot slower than those in the centre of Rio.  I am not a city girl!  It was cooler here too, my Brazilian hosts were shivering and miserable in the 22 degree weather, but I was glad for a break from the heat! (It is coming up to winter in Rio, but the temperatures were around 27 - 33 degrees celsius each day while I was there, too hot for me!).

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Simple Pleasures #10.

First home grown strawberry of the year.  Grown on my balcony.  It's the best thing I've eaten all year!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Summer Garden.

I sowed my seeds in April, before I went on holiday, and when I came back they had grown and magically been planted in my little veggie garden.  Thanks mum!

Here you can see my little patch.  I've been promoted to a sunnier spot this year, usually I have the very end of the garden (under a tallll tree next door), but the potatoes are there this year. 

I have strawberries and alpine strawberries round the edge and rows of spinach and rainbow chard in front (I planted some Japanese bunching onions and kale too, but neither of them have grown this time.).  Towards the back there are minipop sweetcorn and to the far left at the front are broad beans.

And here you can see my two courgette plants (I planted black beauty and mikinos).

You can see in the rest of mums garden that there are lots of apples and peas, onions and strawberries on the way.

This time of year is so exciting in the garden, are you growing anything?

Monday, 9 June 2014

Simple Pleasures #9.

Arriving home from my holidays to find this collection of creatures keeping my bed warm!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

What do Vegans Eat, in Rio de Janeiro?

I ate some interesting vegan food while I was on holiday in Brazil.  There was a Lot of rice and beans (they eat two hot meals a day in Brazil, so sometimes it was rice and beans for lunch and tea!).  But because the friend I was staying with is vegan too, she knows all the good places to eat, so there was some variety!  I ate some lovely home cooked food too!

This is Brazilian cous cous, made from steaming maize flour in a pan.  My friends husband learned this recipe from his Grandmother, who was an indigenous Brazilian, who used to make it over a fire in the rain forest.  It is nice for breakfast.

We had vegan pizza delivered one night.  The toppings were yummy, lots of different veggies, but the base was quite tough and gave us both jaw ache.  I can't remember where it came from, a pizza delivery place in Santa Teresa somewhere.

This is my favourite Brazilian food.  It's called aipim, and it's fried manioc root.  It is sooo delicious, kind of like chips.  You can buy this in lots of bars and cafes.  In this photo you can also see that I had a (very strong!) Caipirinha, Brazil's national cocktail of cachaca, sugar and lime, yum! 

These white pancake-y things are called tapiocas, and they come with all sorts of fillings.  I really liked this but only ate it twice, the first one was with olive oil, the second with fresh coconut.  The coconut one was the best.  These are street food in Brazil, you can buy them all over the place from little carts.  (They also sell popcorn absolutely everywhere, from similar little carts, but beware, the popcorn is sometimes popped with butter and nearly always has ham in it.  Very Dissapointing!)

This is plate one of my vegan buffet from Refeitorio Organico.  Soooo good!  

Some of the places we went to were,

Vegetariano Social Clube nice simple buffet, some cooked dishes, salad and soup for about 35 reals, cake is extra but worth it, they also sell vegan ice cream and pancakes but had run out on the day we went.

Bio Carioca I ate a rice and mushroom burger here and some fried greens, it was ok, the staff were nice here and they offered filtered water instead of bottled, which was nice.

Bar do Mineiro I ate one of my favourite meals here, simple rice, beans, the best garlic-y greens, pumpkin puree and soya meat, served for 2 to share for 45 reals.  Unfortunately there was some meat in the bowl of beans, but the waiter was quick to sort it and the food was so delicious it didn't put me off too much.

Refeitorio Organico This place is sooooooo good, my friend's meat eating husband loves eating here too!  They have a buffet on Saturdays for 35 reals, with dozens of salads, hot dishes and sushi to choose from, all vegan as far as I could tell.  The thing you really want to eat here is the mustard kafta, it's a kebab on a stick and is extremely yummy.

Laffa Kebab Store The falafel wrap here is vegan and yummy and has chips in it and we ate it about 3 or 4 times.  There are several Laffa's in Rio so it's an easy, vegan option.

I would go back to Rio just to eat aipim and coconut tapiocas all day!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Easy Green Actions, June 2014.

Here's this months round up of easy, green actions,

Sign Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace's joint urgent petition to ask MPs to vote against David Cameron's plans to allow fracking companies to drill under homes in the UK without the home owners permission.

Use the RSPCAs online form to email your MP, to ask them to take action against gassing badger setts as part of the badger cull.

Sign Friends of the Earth's online petition to ask Michael Gove to remove governement restrictions that make it difficult for schools to invest in solar panels

If you have any causes or actions to add then let me know in the comments and if I like it I'll add it in.  And feel free to share any of this info (or the whole post) wherever and with whoever you like - if you sign any of the petitions and use social media then please consider using the share on facebook or twitter options that pop up, it increases the reach of these actions and awareness of these issues even further.