Friday, 28 June 2013

Green fingers

A busy weekend approaches as we try and find our courtyard garden under all of the bindweed growing there after being abandoned for 5 weeks eek! And in planting out our money saving tip for this blog.
Yes we've been growing veg.
A seed swap with friends has made this an extremely cheap venture and also stops seeds from going stale between seasons as there aren't any left. Although a great tip from a friend on that one is to store your seeds in an airtight container in the fridge as that keeps them in hibernation.
I used old papers to make seedling pots which can easily be planted straight out as they are biodegradable,  and old yoghurt pots to make labels. Old tins make interesting and funky plant pots and our waterbutt and compost bin have really come in to their own.
We left our planting late this year to let our seedlings grow while we spent the month with family, but there is still time to get growing.
So if you fancy some green fingers why not try growing some 'cut and come again' salad? Only harvest the leaves of the plant and it will continue to grow, keeping you in salad for several weeks, and you stagger your planting you will have a constant supply.
So what are you waiting for?  Happy planting x

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Assurance from insurance

Hi Folks
The Hedges have had an IT disaster with both phones and laptops dying.However we have now recovered with a wonderful month spent at the grandparents.
If you have been pondering the merits of insurance this is an example of how it can work in your favour.
We have an upgraded bank account for which we pay a monthly fee - sounds superfluous,  but we have made our money back on this each year.
The key thing is to read the small print and think hard about what you really need it to do.
Also, make sure you are not already paying for any of the perks elsewhere.
So far I've had 2 phone disasters and a household boiler disaster. The boiler cover was part of an emergency call out service which meant that we had someone out fixing our boiler 11:30 pm on a chilly December night when lo was only 6 weeks old. Invaluable.
The phone disasters (one involving a toilet eek) meant collection, fixing and or replacing, and returning the phone. 
This coupled with the security of breakdown assistance (and many other features) has made the insurance provided by our extended bank account completely worth it.

But at the end of the day it's going to be different for everyone and it's only by reading that dratted small print that you will be able to guage it's worthiness to you.
Check out www.moneysavingexpert.co.uk for unbiased information on accounts and insurance suppliers and good luck.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Spring Cleaning

Hi folks it's been a while but we have good news. There is another Hedge in the oven so I'm afraid the blog took a back seat as I spent most of the first trimester with what is rather inappropriately named morning sickness. Good news is that seems to be over now so you can look out for regular postings again.
With another on the way there is even more pressure on our one income, but we've managed this far and intend to keep going. I would however like to take this opportunity to thank friends and family for their support.

Anyway, that's the Oscar speech over so let's get down to business - the business of spring cleaning that is.
Have you got the bug yet? I have to admit my motivation has been somewhat delayed this year, you see for me celebrating springs arrival requires the arrival of spring. However, as the last few days have been glorious I am feeling more awake so the time seems right to get started (or maybe that's just the baby hormones kicking in).

Here is a recipe for an all-purpose cleaning spray that is incredibly cheap once you do the initial stock up of ingredients, and natural, so perfect for those with little ones (or ones on the way). I have an old spray bottle that I keep this in. Please do remember to label your bottles and keep them out or reach of little hands - natural does not mean safe for consumption.

All-purpose cleaner

2tbsp white vinegar
2tsp laundry borax
2 teacups water
3 drops lavender oil
3 drops tea tree oil

I have been leaving out the tea tree recently as I am not sure about it's contraindications with pregnancy, but the lavender oil and borax are both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial so it should work fine without it. I also think it smells better.

The person who gave me this recipe also gave me the following great tip too:
If you lose a small item and need to find it, stick an old pair of tights over the nozzle of your hoover and have a good 'sook'. The item will be caught by the vacuum, but not lost as it will stick to the tights. Genius.

And last but not least here's a link to a great site with great ideas for upcycling and mending https://brightnest.com/posts/the-best-microwave-cleaning-trick-ever
This link explains how to clean your microwave easily and naturally by 'cooking' for 3-5 min a mug of water and lemons (or lemon juice). The steam generated softens any food 'explosions', allowing you to easily wipe it away.

So there you have it, my tips for a cheap green clean. I'm hoping that writing this post will inspire me to get started in the kitchen... Good luck!