Stevia Herb

Another one of my birthday presents that is growing on my window ledge at the moment is this stevia plant. It is a natural sweetener that grows as a herb. According to the packet, you can add a couple of leaves to your tea instead of using sugar.

According to the internet, it’s pretty rare to find seeds for stevia as they are difficult to propogate. I planted up the 12 peat pods that came in the growing kit with 2 seeds in each. I have just three thriving plants. Four other pods have seedlings in but they don’t seem to be growing much. Two more have the tiniest hints of green showing but they’re not quite getting to the seedling stage let alone growing into plants. Read more

Seedlings Growing Up

Some of my seedlings have grown up and moved out. These tomatoes and aubergines moved into grown up pots and now live outside in my plant house.

I have another few seedlings on my window ledge that are ready to grow up and move out. I will be potting them up this weekend after I have picked up some more pots for them.

I can’t wait until they grow up enough to fruit. I am so looking forward to having freshly picked produce from right outside my door!

Oyster Mushrooms

For my birthday back in February I received a grow your own mushrooms kit. It’s taken a bit of time to get it started, we had some mushrooms start growing then dry out, and we had trouble with water pooling and going a funny colour.

The instructions said to leave the plastic bag around the growing medium and cut slits for the mushrooms to grow through. This seemed to be the cause of the problems we were having. A large clump of mushrooms managed to grow through a hole in the corner of the plastic bag, which left a big hole when I picked them. I noticed that the next lot of mushrooms was growing well near the hole, but another clump growing under the plastic started out and then died off. I decide to remove the plastic and see if that helped. Read more


I have done bits of yoga here and there for a few years now. I have a “game” for my DS that guides you through various yoga lessons and workouts, which enables me to learn yoga at my own pace in my own time. I’m not one for going to a regular class at a fixed time, especially as they only seem to run in the evenings. I have done the odd class and session here and there but haven’t seriously got into it until now.

I yesterday, I decided that I was going to do a 30 minute yoga session every morning and make a habit out of my yoga practice. I have done two daily sessions so far. I am already noticing a difference in how I feel. After doing yoga, I definitely feel more energised, and yet more relaxed at the same time. I feel calmer, happier, and more motivated. Read more

Sunshine :D

It’s been a lovely few days of sunshine so far here in the UK. Cloudless blue skies, a light breeze, and nice and warm.

Everything is better when the sun is shining. I have more energy and motivation for getting on with things, I’m in a better mood than usual and I’m enjoying life more.

My seedlings have become mini plants and are almost ready to move outside into the sunshine. Some of my outdoor plants are flowering, a clematis that was here when we moved in, my apple tree and my blueberry bush. I’m especially excited about the blueberry bush as I planted it last spring but it didn’t really do anything until a few weeks ago. Hopefully we’ll have some yummy fruit this year. Read more


I have planted fruit trees and bushes in my garden, and watching them turn green and grow is interesting but slow. Far more exciting are the seeds I have sown on my window ledge.

So far, I have coriander and cumin herbs in my kitchen, and various hot and sweet peppers, tomatoes and aubergines sprouting. Now that the seedlings have come through and I have uncovered them, I have room to start another batch of seeds.

Hopefully this year my seedlings will be safe from the snails that munched them all last year. I hope that starting them inside and moving them out when they’re a bit bigger will give them a better chance of surviving. Read more

Gardening Season

Last year was my first garden, and as is to be expected of first attempts at something, it didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. I started planting quite late in the season, my seedlings were attacked by slugs, I didn’t water anything enough and it was all quite disheartening. I gave up trying to rescue plants, enjoyed what did survive and left the garden alone completely once the last plants had given up on me.

This year, I’m excited to try again. Armed with experience of what not to do, a little more knowledge than last year, and a lot more enthusiasm, I’m hoping to get much better results this year. We took advantage of a rare sunny day last week to get started, took out weeds and old plants, dug the ground over a bit and planted some fruit trees and bushes that I got for my birthday. Read more

New Year’s Resolutions

This year, rather than setting out my usual vague list of goals for the year, I only have one resolution. Just one. And it’s going reasonably well a week into the year.

My resolution this year is simple, measurable, and most importantly, easily achievable in the short term as well as the long term. Good start, right?

My new year’s resolution is to actually do stuff that I put on my to do list.

People who know me well are used to me not getting on with stuff because I’m working on a new organising system, or I’m just making a list first, or I just don’t know where to start, or I’m planning on doing that after such and such a thing has happened at some vague, undefined time in the future. I say things like “yes it’s on my list” and “I’ll get round to it eventually”, and it never actually happens. Read more

Garden Makeover

Over the last week we have given our garden a bit of a makeover, turning it from a relatively boring lawn, deck and patio into a pretty and functional edible garden.  This is my first garden, so I have no idea how well anything will grow, but I’m really enjoying planting things and watching them to see how they do.

Here are the before photos:

And here are the after photos:

I also have some trellis to create an archway over near the composter for peas to grow up, and since these photos were taken we have put some seating on the deck.  To see more photos of the garden visit my flickr. Read more

A Fresh Start

After a very adventurous move from Toronto, Canada back to the UK before christmas, we’re finally settling into our new home and our new life.

My fiancé and I lived in Toronto for 3 years with my three daughters, but he didn’t qualify for residency so we had to return to the UK.  We were having money trouble before we moved, and we depended on credit cards to get us back home.  We stayed with our wonderful family while we figured out what we were doing and got back on our feet.

Once we had decided to stay in England, our luck changed for the better and everything started to fall into place.  Ric got a great job that he is enjoying as much as he will ever enjoy a job.  We found a really nice house to rent with three bedrooms and a garden, a huge improvement on the two bedroomed apartment we had in Canada. Read more