My week this week: Citrus

This week there's been a theme I didn't realise until I sat down to write this post, and that's citrus. And as it's a word I quite like saying, I'm sticking with it!

We spent the weekend in Norfolk celebrating dad's birthday, and as usual brought some fish home which meant some lovely sea bream for the barbecue Monday evening. Cooked simply, stuffed with rosemary and lemon it was great. I'm looking forward to the mackerel and the crab which we also brought back and is ready and waiting in the freezer for the right moment.

Eating dinner Monday evening though, MOH got even more bites from before. And he'd already been suffering. We have a lot of midges in the garden this year, and on the patio too. He was bitten so much that there was almost a ring of bites around his ankle, swollen too. If you've got some failsafe tips for avoiding bites, please let me know.

The next day I popped to the garden centre to pick up some citronella candles. I bought some of those flares, lots of tea lights and a citronella and basil flavoured candle in a jar. And of course since then we've only spent one evening in the garden. Typical.

Citronella and Basil

While I was at the garden centre I also spotted a small square side table that would be just the thing for our drinks when we use the sun loungers in the garden. The colours didn't match our pink (mine) and blue (MOH's) loungers so I opted for a completely different colour and left with a lime green folding table.  It folds flat for storage too, which means it'll easily fit in the shed over winter. I told you last week that I liked colour didn't I?

The folding table opened
The folding table folded for easy storage

There's been more shopping too. I've bought a new pannier bag for my bike. It's one of those lovely Orla Kiely ones, and is gorgeous. Originally I planned to go for the blue patterned version to match my new bell, seat cover and water bottle (a birthday present) but as they were out of stock I had a change of plan. 

My Orla Kiely leaf patterned pannier bag

Like MOH you might be wondering why I need this. Well it's different to the functional panniers we took on holiday.  They're slightly larger and very good for carrying lots of clothes and for keeping them dry, but it's hard to find anything in them as mine don't have any internal or external pockets.

My new pannier has lots of pockets, both on the inside and on the outside too. The bits that attach to the bike can also be covered up when the bag's off the bike, so that will make it easier to carry. And I've a definite plan for when I'll use them, which I hope to share more of soon.  So I absolutely needed this pannier.  MOH was left muttering "another bag" but hey ho!

And to complete the week, I plan to cook a pound cake based around a lemon drizzle recipe. I've a mixture of citrus fruit so it's most likely to be more of a orange and lemon drizzle cake.  It's ok, I'll save you a slice...

The Reading Residence

Post Comment Love 29-31 July 2016

Hello and welcome to another #PoCoLo and another Friday - yay! Welcome back if you've been here before and hello if it's your first time linking. I'm loving the variety of posts you link up each week and while I'm a bit behind on my reading - it's that nice weather again - I fully intend to get around to all of you, and catch up on myself.

I'm trying not to beat myself up too much about it - and hope you don't beat me up either - but when the weather is warm and the days are long, routine seems to fall by the wayside a bit. As usual I've been cramming in as much as I can and my posts this week have been inspired by a visit to Norfolk last weekend, it's been far too long since I was last there! 

My photo this week has links to Norfolk, but is of my dresser at home. I cut the lavender from the allotment earlier in the week and have hung it there to dry and to enjoy its scent. I'm quite proud of my little bit of lavender, I took the cuttings and nurtured them along to this.  And those cuttings came from a plant dad gave me - the Norfolk connection!

Newbie Showcase: Jade from The Parenting Jungle

I am Jade, creator of the The Parenting Jungle, a (somehow) multi-award nominated parent blogger (nanny??!), cake eater and Mummy to a five year old son, who is three foot of superhero-shaped excitement.

I trained in Primary education and Social work. Sadly neither of these courses educated me on how to get my own child to sleep, or eat anything but spaghetti hoops. I was a single parent until a few months ago. I am not sure what is more difficult, raising a child solo or trying to maintain a successful adult relationship when you have given up shaving your legs. I like loose routines, outdoor playing, positive reinforcement, dragon breathing (when you are cross & want to curse) and eating your kid’s leftovers.

The Parenting Jungle

I post about all things parent-hood. My blog is a colourful mishmash of photographs, personal experiences and heartfelt posts from the times where I wished I had another parent to hit me on the face with a soggy nappy and say, ‘you can get through this, it's ok if you are wearing yesterday’s pants’.  I try to always include tips and offer support to dispel that lingering grey feeling that we are not good enough as parents. When I give advice, I know that I am a novice and every parent is different. Diversity is good; look how successful skittles are. I also post family friendly recipes, have a Storytime vlog, lifestyle posts, offer product reviews, feature child friendly days out in the South West and whatever else tickles my mummy fancy. 

Five of my/my blogger buddies favourite Jungle posts are: 

  1. My mum-splanations. Three common questions parents are asked and how I answered.

  2. A note to a new mother. Mum to a mum. 

  3. Thinking of the dad I never had before father’s day and what a dad means to my son.

  4. The reality of separate parents and shared parenting: a Mummy’s feelings on weekends with Daddy.

  5. MUMMY. I am going to poo in my Spiderman onesie.” The power battles of a five year old.

Connect with Jade here

Blog  -  Twitter  -  Facebook  -  Instagram  -  YouTube  - G+  -  StumbleUpon

If your blog is under a year old and you'd like to be a future Newbie Showcase please get in touch with Morgan or I. And if you've been meaning to send over your content, we have a gap for next week if you're interested. Nudge, nudge.

The parenting jungle gang

It's all about the hollyhocks, roses and much more

Yes another Norfolk inspired post, I did warn you at the start of the week. Today we're taking a look around dad's garden because it's been a while since we last did that,  last Spring in fact, so we're well overdue a visit. And right now dad's garden is all about the hollyhocks, a flower I've not had much success with, yet. 

Dad's are in flower and edge most of his garden, like much of the rest of his garden there's whites, yellows and pinks and crimsons.

hollyhocks galore in dads garden right now - there's white ones
There's also crimson hollyhocks in dad's garden
And pretty in coral pink hollyhocks

I couldn't help but take a closer look at one of them. Makes for an interesting picture I think and really shows off their detail, something you don't see at first.  And I'm sure that's a star in the middle.

Inside a hollyhock

I'm always keen to see what's going on in dad's greenhouse, and to check to see if that ginormous geranium, or at least a relative of it is still going strong.  Yeap, tick.  But look at the size of the aloe vera next to it, I had a proud aloe vera mummy moment, as all of those in that tub came from my plant.

The aloe vera's I gave dad which are flourishing

Although none of mine are quite that large. I think the giant geranium is encouraging it!

The plant below is the parent of the yellow plant dad gave me, which I've planted in my new bed at the back of the garden. Mine's just starting to flower, and it's good to see what it'll look like soon. And isn't being able to swap plants one of the best bits about gardening?

That yellow bush that dad gave me in flower

Elsewhere in the garden there's roses galore.  These are clambering around an arch, well almost, there's so many flowers.

roses galore too

Dad's success with lupins trumps mine too.  I left with a pot of my own and I'm hoping the slugs and snails here don't look at them as dinner too soon.  But if mine don't survive, it looks like there'll be plenty of seeds to try again with.

Lupins in flower and with furry seed pods
A fuschia fit to burst

The fuschias look ready to burst and I can't believe it'll be long before the little ballerinas are dancing around again. The dahlias too are flowering, the outline of each petal on this one is stunning.

A dahlia from above
Or there's lillies too

In the front garden I spotted this delicately pink and yellow lily, and was pleased to see the yellow rose in flower too. I missed out on the pale yellow hollyhocks, but this more than made up for it.

And beautiful yellow roses

It's all go in his veg plot too, which is just outside the kitchen door.  His onions put mine to shame, although you might want to sort that bindweed out there dad...

ginormous onions - but you might want to sort out that bindweed dad

The apple tree is laden, and this is after it was thinned.  There's definitely something about the soil up there in Norfolk!

Plenty of apples

And it wouldn't be dad's garden without runner beans.

It wouldn't be dad's garden without runner beans

Or squashes. He has a whole bed full of leaves, flowers and fruit. It's a bit of a surprise bed as he's never sure quite what will come up. He found some seedlings growing in the greenhouse and moved them outside, they've turned out to be round yellow courgettes and a variety he hasn't purposefully grown for a couple of years.  Clearly the garden fancied growing some!

flowers on the squashes too

This year dad's been pleased with his foxgloves. In true Norfolk-style they're big. And almost as tall as a chimney. Well ok, the chimney is in the distance, but I do have photographic evidence look:

Dad with his giant - well very tall at least - foxgloves

You'll not be surprised to know I left with some foxgloves too!