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30 April 2015

My month in pictures: April

I knitted with plastic for the first time and blogged about it over at Simple Stylish Knitting.

Moved back into my house and purchased this Bakelite beaut to celebrate! 

Got stuck into gardening again and planted runner beans, broad beans, courgettes and more. No seedlings showing yet but I keep checking on them all like an excited kid!

It's all about the bees and so this month I signed up to the Greenpeace petition, pledged to Create a Bee & Bee, got all bee friendly on my Pinterest board and bought a beautiful bee poster, designed by Stuart Gardiner for Friends of the Earth. More details here if you're interested.

Lots of personalised, handkerchief orders this month, so I've been stitching away in my studio while lsitening to Radio 6.

Began a new blog series on thrifty tips, so that we can all afford to have more adventures in life! Catch up on my first three tips here.

Hope you've all had a good month! 

28 April 2015

Thrifty tips: frozen blueberries

This week's thrifty tip is breakfast themed! 

Are you all about the porridge for breakfast? I can't get enough of the stuff and I love popping some fruit on top, with a bit of golden syrup and a handful of seeds, yum! 

As I like to alternate between porridge, chucky eggs and toast throughout the week, I find I can't get through those blueberries fast enough, without them going off. So, to stop them going mouldy and being thrown away and ultimately, wasting money, I now freeze mine and take a handful out when I want them. I then pop them in with my porridge oats and milk and warm the whole lot up in the microwave. The blueberries then break up in the porridge and turn it into a delicious blueberry colour! Adding a bit of chopped up banana and sesame seeds makes it a really healthy start to the day but I'm a sucker for golden syrup, so usually add a spoonful of that too!

I hope you like this week's thrifty tip! Catch up on my last few tips here and stay tuned for more!

24 April 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

This week I returned to my ol' studio and cor it doesn't half feel good to be back! And the jukebox is happy too as it's been packed to the rafters with music of all shapes and sizes and as a result my creative zest is in full swing, yeah! 

One artist who's been helping with that is Ezra Furman. His music makes me want to sing along at top volume and dance my heart out! These two tracks have been played repeatedly, We Should Fight, My Zero and Restless Year. Give 'em a listen and get the weekend started!

22 April 2015

Thrifty tips: Boiling the kettle

As you can imagine tea gets drunk ALOT at Adventures & Tea Parties HQ! So, this week's thrifty tip is tea related. It's a very simple and quick tip.

When you make a cuppa, don't boil the whole kettle, boil just enough for your cup. It's a total waste of energy boiling a whole kettle for one cuppa - unless you're having a tea party, in which case a whole kettle makes sense. Boiling just enough for however many cups you need is also great for those on a water meter.

If there are quite a few of you, make a pot of tea. You don't need as many teabags that way, so that helps on saving the pennies and ooh tea tastes great out of the pot!

I hope you like this week's thrifty tip! Catch up on last week's here and stay tuned for more!

20 April 2015

Simple Stylish Knitting: Alfresco spring knitting

Yay, spring is well and truly here! Head over to Simple Stylish Knitting for my latest blog post on alfrescro spring knitting and follow on Twitter too, with the hashtag #simplestylishknitting

Happy knitting folks!

16 April 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

This week's 'What's on the jukebox, Jo?' is coming a day early as I'll be sans internet on Friday, so get your Thursday dancing shoes on!
This week I'm all about Ezra Furman's 'Restless Year' and also a bit of Shocking Blue's 'Send me a postcard', which totally reminds me of Jefferson Airplane. 
Both tunes have been giving me that creative kick, yeah!

15 April 2015

Thrifty tips: grow your own salad

We all want to have more adventures in life, right? But going on adventures can have quite an impact on the monthly bank statement. The times I've said no in order to watch the pennies and have ended up missing out on a great day/night/weekend is all to familiar and always ends in regret. 

Well, with spring here and summer around the corner, I want to be able to say yes more and not miss out. The only way I can do this is by being clever with my pennies. So, I've decided to start a new blog series on ways to be thrifty, so that those adventures (and tea parties!) can happen! And my first thrifty tip is about growing your own salad leaves. 

How often have you found that the bag of salad (usually squirrelled away at the back of the fridge) has gone limp and soggy? Urgh! In the bin it goes, with a note to self to remember it next time. 
It not only impacts the environment but it's also a complete waste of money. Just think how much money you've literally thrown in the bin each week! BUT, there is a way around this!

By growing your own salad leaves, you can pick what you need, when you need it and oooh, it tastes a hell of lot better! Sooo fresh and delicious!

It's super easy to do too and you do not need an allotment to do so. 

- Simply pop some seeds in a pot of compost, water and place in a sunny spot/back yard/windowsill. If you're limited on storage space, you can buy mini bags of compost from garden centres and at this time of year, supermarkets too.

- Give your plant/s a regular feed with either a tomato food or an all-purpose food. Again these don't take up space and can live under the kitchen sink, with you mini watering can. If you're unsure how often to feed your plants, just check the seed packet instructions.

- Pick your salad regularly to encourage new growth and a regular supply

Two of my favourites salads to grow are rocket and mustard salad leaves. They are not only super tasty but they are very sturdy plants and will grow pretty much all year round.

I hope my first thrifty tip has inspired you to give it a go...and save those pennies...and give your taste buds a welcome change!

Happy growing, folks!

13 April 2015

Bees, bees, buzzy bees!

Bees need our help!!! Those incredibly buzzy insects are very sadly on the decline. Did you know that they are essential to forming a lot of our food by pollinating crops? Evidence suggests that pesticides and aggressive agriculture causes the loss of habitat and food and therefore the loss of not only bees but earthworms, birds and insects. That's heartbreaking.

In fact, it's so upsetting that I've decided to sign the Greenpeace petition and I've also pledged to Create a Bee & Bee with Friends of the Earth. Both are so easy to do and the Create a Bee & Bee looks like loads of fun! It's a way of helping bees in your very own backyard by giving you with tips for providing food, water and nesting spaces. 

I've got so excited about the possibility of getting all crafty and creative in the garden to help the bees that I've started finding and adding some DIY bee projects on my Pinterest board. On my board you'll see this gorgeous Friends of the Earth poster, which is available to purchase here. I've ordered mine and plan to pop it up in my kitchen.

Picture source: Friends of the Earth

So, why not use your crafty skills and get involved to help the bees! 

10 April 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

There's sooooo much going on at Adventures and Tea Parties HQ these days. 
I feel like a hamster in a wheel, going non stop and then for a brief moment, I stop and carry on. So, the music on the jukebox this week has been a real mixture of fast disco tunes, like CHIC's I'll Be There (feat. Nile Rodgers) and slow, beautiful songs like Jamie T's Don't You Find.

9 April 2015

Simple Stylish Knitting: Plastic Yarn

Head over to Simple Stylish Makes for my latest blog post on plastic yarn and follow on Twitter too, with the hashtag #simplestylishmakes

Happy knitting folks!

8 April 2015

Five minutes with knitwear designer, Anna Ravenscroft

Head over to Simple Stylish Makes to check out my latest blog post in which I spent five minutes with knitwear designer, Anna Ravenscroft.

And don't forget to follow on Twitter too, with the hashtag #simplestylishmakers

Happy knitting folks!

3 April 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

Sooooo many tunes on the jukebox, getting me all fired up creatively but these songs in particular are making me go, "hell yeah"!!!
Waiting around for Grace by Pond
Archie, Marry Me by Alvvays
Honey by Torres


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