Monday 20 November 2023

Dahlia season 2023

Dahlia season 2023 is over and I thought I'd take a look back at a few of my favourites from this year's collection.

Some of the dahlias are from last year and a few are new ones that I bought last autumn.

This was its second year and it did much better than in 2022

Mikayla Miranda.
This was a new one for this year and it was stunning, I can't wait to see it come back next year.

Café au Lait Twist.

Another new one for this year, I fell in love with café au laits last year so was very keen to add a few more this year.

Labyrinth Two Tone.
Again another newbie for this year, but completely perfect.


The original Café au lait. 

One of my favourites for this year definitely has to be Café au lait twist. Everyone is different and perfect in their own way. I think I'll be buying another just in case my one doesn't overwinter well.

The biggest bloom this year came from Penhill Watermelon.
Which is an XL Dinner plate variety.

Dark Spirit.
The only non-pinkish Dahlia I had this season. 

I loved having a different bunch of flowers in the house every week during the summer.

A pure beauty.
The first and last to bloom.

This has been my second year growing Dahlias and I have loved every second of it.
I have dug up all the tubers, and they are drying out in the greenhouse before I store them away for winter.

We are having a big garden makeover during the winter, taking away all the raised beds, replacing the lawn with new turf, and making borders.

I am going for the complete cottage garden look.
I have already pre-ordered more dahlias for next season, and I have flower seeds overflowing in my seed box.

The above Dahlias are a mix of Farmer Gracy and The Rose Press Garden tubers.  


Monday 13 November 2023

Mushrooms hunting, bread making and potty training

It's been a while, I know, but helloooo.

October / November is always mushroom season hunting for us, we love getting out to the woods to see if we can find our favourite fairy houses.
Bea really got into it this year and loved running around trying to find all the fly agarics, she is even spotting all sorts of different mushrooms on the school run and it has helped with making her walk rather than being carried!

As well as doing lots of mushroom hunting, I have been trying out different styles of bread to make, as for some reason my sourdough isn't really doing what I want it to do and it's just becoming a disappointment every time I get it out the oven. I think I am going to have to re-jig my starter, I have been trying to play around with it but I think I need to be a bit more drastic with it.

But for now, I am enjoying trying different loaves of bread and I love seeing how all bread styles are completely different, some are winners and some are massive fails!

As well as being busy in the kitchen baking bread, I turned all our plot tomatoes into yummy tomato sauce.
We didn't get as many tomatoes this year as we usually do so we didn't want the ones we had to go to waste.

I boiled up two big pans full of tomatoes and let them bubble and soften then I added sugar, water, and some salt.
Really simple but extra tasty, and we have plenty of pasta sauces ready to go.

The days are finally getting colder and the evenings are darker, it is the perfect time to get out for sunset walks.
The kids all love letting off steam, the dog gets a little walk - he can't walk far now so we have to keep the walks short and sweet.
We usually say hello to the wild ponies and then head back home.

Dahlia season is finally over and it was pretty sad to pick the last bunch of flowers from the garden, but I am really excited for next season. We are re-doing the garden over the winter and turning it from random beds into a cottage garden with borders and a lovely lawn.

I really cannot wait, I have a giant bag full of sprint bulbs ready to plant and seeds coming out of my ears!

Dalia tubers are dug up and dried out before I store them away for winter.

I love it when the weather turns, I am definitely a winter girl rather than a summer girl,
I love being able to have fire days, snuggling up with a blanket and a good book whilst it's chucking it down outside.

We have two working log burners in the house and we try to use them more than the actual heating, with all the work we had done in spring (internal wall insulation)  and then the new windows and doors fitted in the summer the house is ten thousand times warmer.

Bea started going to nursery for two-morning sessions at the start of October and has been loving it, we also attend two toddler clubs during the week - Hartbeeps and Baby Ballet.
She loves being active and can easily get bored, so we try our best to keep her busy.

Not only has she started nursery but just recently she decided she no longer needed pull-ups.
She has been dry for a week now and has only had one little accident.

Next, we will try to get her dry at night, but I think for that to happen she'll have to drop her nighttime feeds,

Update with the boys, Noah is in year 11 and about to do his GCSE mocks,
The twins are now in year 7 and loving it.
Ru is in year 5 and is about to collect his first pair of glasses, he had an eye test last week and he's short-sighted just like me, but will only need them to see the whiteboard at school and for when his eyes are tired.
He is over the moon and cannot wait to collect his frames this evening. 



Thursday 9 November 2023

Nikura Essiential Oils // Review

A little while ago I was sent a lovely little package from the guys over at Nikura, inside was their Rosemary hair and body oil and a bottle of their French Lavender oil.

I am a massive fan of essential oils and I'm 100% there's an oil for everything!

Since damaging my hair with over-bleaching again, I have been looking into remedies and all sorts of potions and lotions to help hair regrow and get its shine back.
Many of the things I have tried have been nice but haven't had much of a big effect on my hair, so I did eventually go in for a good hair chop, which has helped since all the split ends and damaged hair was snipped off but I was still left with dull looking hair.

One of the oils I kept reading really good reviews about was Rosemary Oil, as Rosemary is a powerful antioxidant that helps encourage hair growth when applied to the scalp.

The Nikura Rosemary hair oil smells amazing, it comes in a 250ml bottle which will keep you going for a long time.

I use it weekly and leave it on overnight.
At first I did find it heavier than other oils that I had been using, but it washes off nicely and I have been left with lovely shiny hair afterwards.

I have been using the oil for around a month now and have seen a difference in the condition of my hair, it feels thicker, it's growing, and has a lovely shine!
I highly recommend it if you feel your hair needs a bit of TLC.

RRP £9.99, which for a hair oil is highly reasonable.

Now on to a little bottle of magic.

Lavender oil is my all-time favourite, I always like to have a couple of bottles in the house as it is my secret bedtime weapon when the kids are saying they can't sleep or they're feeling a little stressed.

I add it to Bea's bath, I rub it on the boy's temples, and add drops to their pillows.
They all love it, even Noah comes and asks for the special oil for his pillow before bed, and I have found it really helps him settle. He is in year 11 now and is facing lots of stress at school due to his GCSEs and trying to decide what he wants to do at college, and it has been keeping him up at night. 
So with a bit of lavender magic, he is able to settle and wake up feeling a little fresher.

Nikura has a massive range of essential oils and the prices start from as little as £3.99.
I will be stocking up my essential oil collection from them when I next need to.
With Christmas just around the corner, they also sell some lovely gift sets.