DELICIOUS FRUITS AND VEGETABLES TO ENJOY DURING JULY…

AFTERNOON TEA 4 TWO - FOOD & LIFESTYLE BLOG...

Here is a list of some lovely fruit and vegetables in season for the month of July…

Vegetables to harvest or buy

  • Beetroot
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Courgettes and summer squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Fennel
  • French beans
  • Lettuce and other salad leaves

  • New potatoes
  • Peas and mangetout
  • Radish
  • Runner beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Spring onions
  • Shallots

Some delicious fruits to enjoy in July include…

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Currants

  • Gooseberries
  • Loganberries
  • Raspberries
  • Tayberries

If you head over the National Trust Website they have lots of interesting things to read including Talking About New potatoes from Jersey or further afield appear on supermarket shelves very early in the year, but most British new potatoes, especially those grown at home, only come into their own now. Planted in March or April, new potatoesdo best if they receive plenty of rain during May and June while their tubers are swelling.

They have some great gardening tips plus some amazing

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PANDEMIC EXTENSIONS, MOVE OR IMPROVE YOUR HOME?…

With property value going up throughout the UK and many people now working at least part time from home, the biggest decision to make is, ‘do your move or improve’ your home?

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant many of us have had time on our hands, including my son and his wife who moved close to us in January. They have both said after renting for so many years they want this to be their forever home so it is important they get it how they like.

They put a ‘to do’ list down and included in that list was either a loft extension or kitchen extension. Loft conversions are probably one of the most popular home improvement projects because they are cost affective and are a cheaper way of expanding the size of your home. An extension would be considerably more expensive than a Live in Lofts extension, but you are able to do a lot more with an extension than a loft conversion. Wiring and heating also costs more in an extension, so it’s worth thinking about all the extra costs before you decide how you want to create more space in your home. Kitchen extensions are renowned for going above your original budget so there is a lot to think about when deciding on any type of extension work.

It has been proven to help your mind body and soul that some of the smallest of corners in a quiet area of your home could easily be changed into a reading/relaxing area, so it doesn’t need to be a large extension to give you some yen in your life. This is where a good, local, experienced estate agent, AMS housing Group or chartered surveyor should be able to help. I am addicted to the BBC 2’s programme ‘Your Home Made Perfect’ which helps a couple decide how they want their home made perfect. The kitchen seems to be the big one they all do but some end up going right through the house.

A great book to buy is ‘Mad About The House Planner, Your Home, Your Story’ by Kate Watson-Smyth (Author).

Interiors expert Kate Watson-Smyth brings you the Mad About the House Planner for everything you need to know when renovating your home. With more and more of us working from home and spending more time in the house, it’s more important than ever that our homes are adaptable and welcoming. Packed with Kate’s knowledge and enthusiasm, this journal offers you ways to renovate your home room by room, with a focus on sustainability and money-saving tips. Also included in this handy planner are accounts pages to note down what you’re spending money on – and when – as you renovate, an address book for useful contacts and tradesmen, checklists for all the essentials in each room, grid pages to draw your own floorplans and space to jot down your favourite shops, inspiration and websites. Beautifully packaged with ribbon markers, this is a journal to treasure and keep a record of your home’s journey.

Chapters include:
First Things First
 – planning your home: who will be using the space, when, where and how? Plus tips for the big move-in day
The Entrance Hall – how to create the perfect hallway; stairs, carpets and storage solutions
The Kitchen – planning the space, kitchen appliance tips and how to upscale a cheap kitchen
The Bathroom – where to spend and where to save, carrying your style into the bathroom
The Living Room – making the best use of the space, tips for flooring and rugs; buying vintage and salvaging preloved furniture
The Main Bedroom – reflecting your sleeping habits in your colour scheme, ideal storage and lighting solutions
The Second Bedroom – how to create the perfect nursery or spare room, how to adapt the room as your family grows up
The Third Bedroom – how to create the ideal room for teenagers and guests
The Home Office – working from home is here to stay, so decorate to create the best working environment for you.
Your Home, Your Lists: packed with Kate’s tips for upscaling your home and go-to places, plus space to add your own favourites, make lists and budget sheets.

According to This Is Money a study by Nationwide found that adding an extra double bedroom and ensuite to a three-bedroom house via an extension or loft conversion increased its value by more than 20 per cent.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the average house price in the UK is £245,000 – so a 20 per cent value uplift of £49,000 would more than cover the cost of the average extension. A loft conversion or extension may add 10 to 15 per cent to its value.

Design For Me reminds us that in recent years the government have relaxed planning rules in regards to extensions. The changes have given homeowners more flexibility to improve and increase the value of their homes. Previously, without planning permission, you could add a single-storey extension of up to 3 meters in depth for an attached property and 4m to a detached house, these distances have been doubled.

Design For Me say it is impossible to put an exact figure on this as it varies depending on the type of extension, the house, the location of the property and remember that most statistics are averages and can vary considerably from project to project.

HOUSEHOLD ITEMS/FOODS YOU MAY NOT KNOW CONTAIN PLASTIC…

With us all paying much more attention on how we can save the planet and cut down on plastic it’s impossible to know which household items/foods do have plastic in them and which do not.

Life Before Plastic have a list of items they know contain plastic and which you probably use on a regular basis. If you want to find alternatives for the list below just head to the Life Before Plastic website.

Did you know Tea Bags contain plastic? I certainly did not, but Yes, that’s right. That means that when you are drinking tea, you are potentially drinking very small micro-plastics. And that tea bag you’ve just popped in the food waste? It will never fully compost!

Chewing Gun is another unusual one but it does contain plastic. The plastic used to make chewing gum is a polymer, it is this ingredient that helps the gum to be stretchy and sticky. Now think of all those times you swallowed your chewing gum, slightly scary to think about the impact that plastic may have had to your body.

Metal Jar Lids are not free of plastic and yet I pop mine in the recycle bin all the time. Typically a glass jar lid is made from steel with a polyethylene lining. The good news is that these lids can still be recycled. Phew !!

Plasters are not Compostable. Plasters are made from both the gauze for the wound and a sticky backing. It is this backing that contains plastic. You can see this more clearly when you look at water-proof bandaids. The shiny surface is often a good sign of something containing plastic. And it’s not just the plaster itself. Each plaster is packaged in its very own sterile plastic wrapper. None of these items being compostable. 

Country Living added Crisp Packets to the list of household items that you may not know contain plastic. Although the inside of the packet is shiny and looks like foil, it is in fact a metallised plastic film. This type of material is not currently recycled and should not be put in your recycling bin.

One that really shocked me as I have plenty of it in my craft room is Ribbon. A lot of ribbon that looks like it’s satin is actually made using polyester or plastic, so it’s important to check with the manufacturer.

Finally, for now anyway is Wrapping Paper which most of the time is not paper but if its shiny or sparkly wrapping paper is more than likely covered in plastic and cannot be fully recycled.