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Showing posts from August, 2016

Pleached Trees - Higher Privacy Solution

As you are aware we have had the new fence put in and are trying to find some ways to gain some privacy back, the new garden fence.



Today I took the boys on a trip to one of my favourite places to look at trees and plants. English Woodlands located at Cross in Hand, East Sussex. We brought our laurel plants from them about 4 years ago, they were extremely good plants healthy, strong and have since flourished. As a nursery, they helped us choose what we needed and even told us to buy smaller ones as they would grow so fast, saving us money.

I have been looking online and wondered if pleached trees maybe an answer to our height issue. What they should do is bring height to the fence but still allow light in. Now these are by no means a cheap and as always I am not sure if Mr MC&W is going to like them.

So what is a pleached tree you ask?, to be honest, I only found out when frantically on google looking for solutions for the new fence. A pleached tree is where some clever people tra…

Meal Plan Saturday 27th August 2016

It has been very hot here in the south East over the last week, meaning that non of us have really wanted to eat. 
The chicken satay its safe to say we will not be having again. I like it when someone else makes it but not made by me.
The potato Muffins were good to try but very dull. We will have again but they need extra cheese, ham and flavourings. I will try these again with some major changes.
As its bank holiday weekend I want to have a little rest from cooking so some easy meals have gone into the plan.
Saturday - Curry this is a ready meal but as we are still watching the food we eat this will be a healthy eating version. Boys will have nuggets, chips and peas.
Sunday - Another ready meal, tesco had a lovely lamb dish with crushed new potatoes and loads of green veg. The boys will have roasted gammon with roasted potatoes and veg
Monday - Mr MC&W and I will be trying venison burgers with a few cheeky chips. The boys will have pasta with tomato sauce.
Tuesday - our favourite madho…

The New Garden Fence

We have done something really rather dramatic to our garden. The problem is this, it was not meant to be quite such a big change as it has ended up being. Would you like to see what we have been up to?

We had one fallen fence panel that haf to be replaced, in order to do the work we needed to ask next door for permission to go into their garden. When I popped round to ask we opened one huge can of worms. I was led round to be shown the state of the whole fence, this has never been mentioned to us and I come home feeling rather shell shocked. We knew this had to sort this out.  I could see why she was fed up, the fence was a mess and brambles were growing through, but it had never been mentioned to us. Anyway lets move on from that shall we, Mr MC&W and I found a bottle of wine and rant to each other eased the the pain and we moved forward with the task of sorting it out.




Around came our gardener who does all our larger work, to price up getting rid of all the dreaded brambles, the…

Meal Plan Saturday 20th August 2016

The boys have been doing so well on trying new meals and the healthier diet for Mr MC&W and I has been a success. I was shocked by how much I do not miss bad snacking and the desserts we used to have were so full of calories.

Though OB does not like noodles which surprised me as he loves spaghetti. He has come so far as he will now try new food and that's all I can ask of him.

Saturday - Cajun Chicken with homemade chips - this again is from the Hairy Bikers Diet Book I will try the boys on it too
Sunday - Sausage Pasta, chili and sweet tomatoes - this is from Jamie Oliver's Healthy Eating book and looks really nice. The boys will have the sausages with roast potatoes.
Monday - Savoury Pancakes found these on BBC site and they look tasty and different

Savoury Pancakes
Tuesday - Simply roasted cod with plain rice and mixed veggies the boys love this simple dish as do I  because it's so easy to do
Wednesday - Bacon and Potato Muffins - found these and they look amazing, b…

Menu Plan Saturday 13th August 2016

We have had busy old week with hospital appointments, dentist visits and a few play dates mixed in. This week is not so busy which is good in my books.

Mr MC&W and I are still trying to watch what we are eating in terms of a bit of calorie counting and generally being more aware of the food we eat, but with out going mad.

We have a few new meals for the boys this week but they have been doing very well on new food and I am feeling we need to change things up a bit or it gets rather dull.
Saturday - From the Hairy Bikers diet book we are having sweet and sour chicken. I will try the boys on this!!!! But a simpler version.
Sunday - Jamie Oliver's healthy eating cookbook we are having a lentil Bolognese style dish. The boys will have roast chicken.
Monday - Spaghetti with a tomato sauce with ham and green beans. Most families would have the ham in the sauce my children hate it so its ham on the side
Tuesday - Mini tarts with salad

mini-cheese-and-tomato-tartlets
Wednesday - Jacket…

Meal Plan Saturday 6th August 2016

We enter week three of the summer holidays, my wine consumption has been increasing by the day. Mr MC&W is about to have the week from hell with Southern Rail being on strike, not sure if he will be eating with us or having to stay in London.
Saturday - The adults are having a burger  from Jamie Oliver's new healthy eating cookbook. Using mince mixed with beans and wholemeal rolls, wow get us. The boys are having Spag Bol
Sunday - Again the adults are having a Jamie Oliver healthy eating meal (can you tell I got a new cookbook). It is a healthy Chicken Kiev. Boys will have roast chicken breast with roast potatoes and lots of veggies.
Monday - OB has his three monthly hospital apt, he is very scared as last time he was very sick when we went to hospital. So I allowed him to choose so we are having Pizza and Chips as he deserves it.
Tuesday - Chicken Curry 
Wednesday - Gnocchi with a simple cream sauce served with fine beans, mushrooms and sweetcorn
Thursday - Mac and Cheese with broc…

Digging ivy and brambles

It's safe to say I am shattered, I have collapsed on the sofa watching the Olympics and wanting a drink but no energy to get one.

I have spent the last couple of hours digging the most horrible soil. I started this job yesterday and continued today (to be honest I think it's going to take some time). The area is under two trees and is full of ivy, brambles along with nettles and too many weeds to mention. 


This is the sort of digging that you can not get the fork back up as its so full of dense roots. I have done dig number one to get a lot of the basic weeds out. The area is all but clear on the surface, but underneath is a world of hurt.

I am going to go back over the whole section again and re dig and re weed but I know there is no way I will be able to get all the roots out. Some of the ivy roots are huge.


Not a tree a root
This week I will be investigating what I can do to improve the soil and try and break down the roots.
It's a wonderful area that I think can look be…

Planting my own Hanging Baskets

I have a bit of a guilt secret, I love bright and colourful hanging baskets. We have always brought them pre planted from the garden centre, but this year I decided to be brave and plant my own up.

I went to our wonderful local nursery Staverton in Halland. They have a large selection of plants and have a whole area all labeled up for hanging baskets and containers.
As I have no real idea what plants to buy I headed straight for this section. I had three hanging baskets and three wall baskets that needed to be designed and planted up. As I looked around a sense of panic arose and I kind of went plant blind. I was just blankly looking at plants, picking them up and putting them down.
I needed to focus my thoughts, I realised colour combination would be best, I decided each one would have a colour theme of its own. Then I would have an an abundance of colours but at least they would match in each basket.
Yellow and white x 2 but differing plants Reds Oranges and whites Pinks and purples…