Wooden Lolly Stick Washi Tape Plant Markers

Quick and easy why use plain sticks when you can add a flash of colour?

We’ve been daisy picking today and my mind wandered onto some of the new varieties of plants we bought this year, clearly the herbs are easier to identify but geranium ringo rose looked great so it’s worth remembering the name for next year and marking them up now.

Take a handful of lolly sticks, apply washi tape in a straight line top to bottom, cut and then trim any excess and round the corners, then take a perma-marker and write your plant names directly onto the tape.

Gardening Fun with a Toddler in Tow

What beautiful weather for a spot of yardening! Joss planted some seeds ages ago, basil, oregano and salad leaves, they were in the kitchen window and she’d ask to be lifted up to see her ‘planties’


They sprouted, then they sprouted some more and before long they were lovely leggy herbs ready for planting outside.

What fun to be nearly two and have your own yarden patch!

With a small trowel and a children’s watering can, a packet of seeds, some sun and good luck we’re starting to create a space we can all enjoy!

And toddler friendly tips?

  • You could start small with some ‘quick wins’ like sunflower seeds, they grow really fast to keep little one’s interested!
  • Wild seed mixes are lovely, you can just sprinkle them and let the birds and the bees do their work and be surprised by what you get
  • Tell them about bees, worms, spiders and ants as you go! Did you know that three quarters of the foods we eat — fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs — need pollinators to reproduce? I think we’re going to read up on encouraging bees and chat about why they’re so important
  • You don’t need to buy a lot but having some child sized tools will be handy, Joss couldn’t lift our watering can when full!
  • Make spot just for them, we painted a pot plate with a few outdoor paints and wrote her name on it :) a few windmills and ornaments add to the feel that it’s just for them


A look back on a relay great week!

Real Life

This week saw the advent of Joss and I taking part in the Team Honk Relay it was brilliant to be part of this Sport Relief adventure, our journey started with Three Boys and a Cat at the Angel of the North and ended with Mumsdays at Baltic Square – I am very proud of Team Durham and have met two lovely ladies as well as raising money for a great cause!

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This week at work I’ve been musing about work blogs, the budget and new projects I want to get involved in, it’s also been a brilliant week for sleep, which is a brilliant week full stop in my book with Joss sleeping 10 hours straight for two weeks now, wowsers, all this fresh air is so good for her!

Blog Life

Popular on the blog this week have been two thrifty tutorials of sorts, one on recycling wrapping paper and the other on creating a container garden, which has been my baby for the last two blogging springs and the source of much inspiration!



This week I was inspired to do some baking for Joss by Charlotte’s Kitchen didn’t manage to snap the blueberry muffins we baked as they got snapped up quickly but I did get a shot of the chocolate ones I made for work

On the crafty front I really want to try turning some tulle I bought ages ago into a tutu like this for Joss

And I discovered a new read, Dadbloguk through this post – we have talked about the way we both work and how we might accommodate at the very least a Daddy day, so DBUKs post was food for thought this week

And finally…

My favourite photos from this week, after our big Team Honk walk, a spot of hide and seek, now where’s Joss?…


There she is!

– See more at: http://www.mumsdays.com

Thrifty Home: Create a Yarden Retreat (Back Yard Container Gardening)

Who says you can’t have an enjoyable outdoor space without a garden?

This is our outdoor spot, a lovely place to sit out with a cuppa on a nice day and it’s shaping up to be a sweet little spot for Joss to potter too!

Start planning and planting now and you can have a lovely patch too!


Here’s my rundown of five top tips for container yardening:

1) Reflect the light with white painted walls!


2) Pots in different colours add interest

Save some cash here, you only need the odd flash of colour amongst the green to add an eclectic feel, shop around in charity shops or supermarkets for great deals



3) Build a small planter from wood or brick

We built this small brick area with our neighbour one nice summer, 100 bricks, mortar a DIY book and three cheap trellis transformed this space into a planter for climbers, none of us had built a wall prior to this!


4) Use all of the space

Look up, use wall space to add baskets and climbers on trellis to add height, mix up your pots so you get good height difference in your floor coverage


5) Plant what you love

Lily of the valley for me, starting off some herbs and salad for Joss to grow


Prose for Thought

Review: Christmas Gift Ideas from Treat Republic

Treat Republic is the place to go for handpicked and personal gifts.


We all have one person that seems really hard to buy for, Treat Republic make gift shopping a breeze, there’s something for everyone and with well-defined drop down menus it didn’t take me long to find a few ideas for a good friend of mine. I was lucky enough to be offered two Treat Republic gifts to review, I chose two gifts that appealed to the homemaker, a solid oak cupcake treat board, and metal robin watering can, having made no secret of my love of robins earlier this week!

As a blog with an eco-focus I like gifts that are handmade, long lasting and sustainable. Wooden gifts are made to last, and Treat Republic sourced this lovely treat board in solid oak from Hop and Peck, a UK based designer who hand makes all of their products from sustainable wood. Although the price is a little more than I would usually pay for a gift, at £25.99, the quality really is reflected in the price, and I would expect to use this for years to come. It’s a sweet pared back alternative to the ubiquitous cake stand, small enough to store away but pretty enough to keep on display and is multi purpose, serving as a generic chopping board as well as a display board. I was impressed by the finish, finished with Danish oil like my kitchen worktops! This would make a lovely gift for a special friend, perhaps team it with some baked goodies you’ve made yourself too!


This lovely watering can really caught my eye, like the board it’s made to last, sturdy and functional and really very pretty too, the feet are really cute! I’m imagining this rustic little robin redbreast outside in the snow awaiting the arrival of spring, but for now he’s been helping me keep on top of my bulbs and offering an encouraging eye as the winter pruning commences. A great price at £15.99 I would pair this with some pretty gardening gloves for my friend who has everything, because it’s such a pretty alternative to the standard green plastic watering can!


Disclaimer: products featured were received free of charge, all views are my own

How does your garden grow?

I’m loving the Mammasaurus linky How Does Your Garden Grow, sunny scenes and blooms just make me happy! I dream of a garden, but instead have a yarden, a container garden, which we love to potter in, I sit out most days with a cuppa and just watch birds to and fro, bees busily buzzing and the odd ant army trooping about. So what do I know about container gardening? Well not a lot, but we’re learning, we’ve learned that when we get plants from friend’s and family’s gardens the soil needs to be changed as they tend not to fayre well in garden soil out of the garden! We’ve learned that we like sedums, hardy and satisfyingly sturdy, and that there’s nothing like getting together with the flat owner upstairs, building a wall with a cider one summer evening and filling it with climbers and spending subsequent evenings encouraging their trails through the trellis! Painting the external wall adds light, and when it flakes you get a bit antsy but then it takes on a rustic charm, mismatching pots work, and small children like lots and lots of windmills!