Posts Categorised: News

Speciality Orchid – Houseplant of the Month for November

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Did you know that for November – the Speciality Orchid is the Houseplant of the Month ?

I’ve been a fan of this type of plant for quite some time now now. Ever since I realised that there are so many different colours and types with such interesting histories. They add character to a room and some even offer health benefits.

At the moment I have four different types in our home that I would like to introduce you to. You may well know a lot more about them than me but I’ve tried to add a few facts too below in case you’re interested to know a little more about these fascinating houseplants …

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Cattleya.

This beauty is called Cattleya Hybrid. The petals are so silky. They make really striking houseplants with their thick leaves growing out of the tuber. I love the vibrancy of this magenta shade mixed with the yellow centre – they also come in white, orange, green and pastels and has the most varied appearance of all orchids. The deep and rich fragrance is amazing too – apparently has earned the Cattleya a rather special nickname – ‘ Queen of the Orchids ‘. As with many types of Speciality Orchids, the Cattleya prefers a light spot but not direct sunlight. The soil needs to almost dry out between waterings. It thrives best in high humidity  – and a handy tip is to keep them in their pot on an island of damp clay pebbles. My plant has a little way to go yet but they can reach up to 15 cm in height.

Did you know that the expression ‘ to cattleya ‘ is a euphemism for amorous encounters between Odette and Swann in Marcel Proust’s seven volumes novel ‘ Remembrance of Things Past ‘ ? True that !

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Brassia.

This is possibly my favourite Speciality Orchid with it’s starry bright petals and  burgundy spots and turned stems – almost other worldly ? It’s a Brassia Orange Delight and as with all from the Brassia family – is light and fine, so it moves a little when you walk past it. They tend to be good in light all year round ( this helps with flowering ) and prefer to stay a little moist.  They make lots of aerial roots which enjoyed being sprayed.

It is named after an illustrator called William Brass who was commissioned by Sir Joseph Banks at the end of the 18th century to collect unusual orchids. A job I would have quite liked myself but it was back in the 18th century …

This particular plant is in its early stages of flowering but it will eventually flower all along the stem – it has been nicknamed the the ‘s Spider Orchid ‘ for this reason. Out in the wild the Brassia uses it’s spidery shape to attract Spider Wasps which sting the lip and this then pollinates other Brassias. Isn’t nature amazing ?

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Dendobrium Noble.

Kind of like a mini tree this one. The stems look like bamboo with clusters of flowers growing out of the axil of each leaf. Like the Cattleya it has a lovely scent. In the wild, you will find it growing in the cool mountains of the Himalayas Jungle of New Guinea and all the desert of Australia. Interesting places to find them ? It means that they easily cope with a living room environment. They tend to flower for about 4 months and if you can wait another few months after they sometimes do again.

In total there are about 1,200 different species of Dendobrium. First discovered in 1799 by ‘ Olof Schwartz ‘. The name Dendobrium comes from from the Greek ‘ dendron’ ( tree ) and ‘ bios ‘ ( life ) and in the wild they grow harmlessly  on trees as an epiphyte to derive it’s moisture.  What is really cool about them is that they are known to be very good houseplants for removing toluene ( the most important ingredient in paint thinner ) and xylene ( a solvent for resins and fats ) from the air.

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Paphiopedilum

This Speciality Orchid is attractive with or without it’s flower because of its pretty leaves. Also ( and maybe more commonly ) known as ‘ Venus Slipper ‘ owing to the lip of the flower being in the shape of an elegant slipper. The name is derived from Paphos in Greece where the goddess Aphrodite arose from the sea and ‘ Pedalion ‘ which means ‘ slipper ‘ in Ancient Greece. Ironically though – you don’t find any wild Paphiopedilums anywhere in Greece ! It actually grows in South  – East Asia.

Being a shade Speciality Orchid so it can tolerate partial shade but not full sun. They love fresh air as long as it isn’t too cold. I tend to remove my Paphiopedilum from its pot when watering and let water run though the roots before putting it back once it has drained well.

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One bit of advice I would offer for this orchid and in fact all types  – is to add stones for draining to the bottom of your pots to stop them sitting in any pools of water.

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I always think that Speciality Orchids are too beautiful to play around with too much. It takes away from the star of the show – being the flower. But to add a little warmth, I’ve added some gold leaf to this pot and finished it with a rustic worn look. A  metallic enriches the flower shades even more and adds to their already eye catching opulence.

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I sprayed this old terracotta pot with glitter gold too. Just to enhance the pot and give it a little shimmer. What do you think ?

 

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Hopefully you have enjoyed my little Speciality Orchid post  – and have discovered something new about them ? You can also find out lots more about houseplants and see DIY projects at www.thejoyofplants.co.uk

Please do leave me a comment to let me know more about Speciality Orchids or if you have just enjoyed reading this ! Would love to hear from you.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with The Joy of Plants. All opinions are my own. 

How We do Autumn in Southwold …

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Would you believe me if I told you that this was Southwold yesterday ? Blue skies, sunshine and all the colour that you could wish for. All in one place. On a late October afternoon. Stuff dreams are made of ..

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It’s the time of year when we get the promenade pretty much to ourselves and we can wander around the town still enjoying the warm ( ish ) days while sharing fish and chips and checking out some of the interior shops. Squeezing in at least one trip here a week is always on my agenda, sometimes I pop over after school with the girls.

I’m starting out this season as I mean to go on – with more bright clothing. Considering how much I talk about strong colours and pastels here on my blog – you’d think all my clothes would be crazy bold but that hasn’t been the case recently. I’m putting that right though now and it feels much more ‘ me ‘ again.

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You might already know how much I love teal. It’s a really flattering colour, I think, on most people. This Jennie coat is a new staple favourite. It’s from Boden ( my whole outfit is here ) and it’s versatile being perfect for Autumn and the right shape to pop an extra layer under for winter. Kind of classic isn’t it ?

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One type of item that I wear all the time is a tunic. If it has a little stretch, then all the better. I like to layer them over skinny jeans. It’s just a nice relaxed look isn’t it ? This breton stripe kind of suits Southwold. Nautical ! Talking of jeans – what did we ever do without the skinny style ? I can totally recommend these ‘ Mayfair ‘ ones as they stay fitted.

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So you may wonder why I have a picture of the lighthouse here ? Well, we walked from the promenade up to Cafe Fifty One for a milkshake ( check out their cool pumpkins display – and do visit  – it’s really good ) and passed it on the way to the pier and I just thought how quirky Southwold is for having a lighthouse right in the middle of town. Kind of suits the place, really.

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Right under my feet here is the sea. But in all honestly I was admiring my new pumps and bag on this occasion. The shoes are called Patti and I love the contrast of black and navy. Do you like them too ? I have needed a drawstring bag big enough for my camera and everything else I need for the day ( kitchen sink, anyone ? ) and am very into the Beatnik Red. I honestly didn’t intend to coordinate with my surroundings but it worked out pretty well :)

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Before heading home  I stopped off at the local flower store to grab a bundle of sunflowers for the kitchen table.

Long may these blue sky days last …

I’d love to know your thoughts on my outfit ? Are you a fan of brights too ? Do leave me a comment under the post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog ..

Jennie Coat, Breton Tunic, Mayfair Jeans, Drawstring Bag and  Patti Shoes all c / o Boden.

Lucy x

Photography by Andy Henderson & Lucy Gleeson.

Loving Skincare Products By Liha – A Giveaway For My Readers

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Over the years I must have tried out dozens of skincare ranges, mainly natural as I like to know and understand what’s in each product. It’s important that it smells nice and most importantly does the job.

A little while ago I tried out Idan Oil by Liha when I was pottering around Liberty London. I rubbed in to my hands and then spent the rest of the day really enjoying the tuberose and coconut aroma – and also noticed that my hands were noticeably smoother. ‘ Idan ‘ means magic in Yoruba ( in Africa ) and I can see why it has been named this. It’s true.

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One tuberose flower has been immersed in the oil using a traditional African process called enfleurage. When the bottle of oil is placed under warm water, the coconut pressed coconut becomes fluid enabling you to use the combination as an indulgent body lotion,  leave in hair conditioner or even a perfume.

I’m a big fan of anything with coconut in, with all the health benefits it offers and if you’ve ever smelt tuberose – you might agree with me that it’s really feminine and gives a sense of warmth. The two fragrances together – heavenly. Now I have a full bottle here at home that I use every day on my hands and feet before bedtime and after baths.

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Also from their ranges I have Liha’s Shea Butter and Ose Gidi Soap. The Shea Butter is an intense hand crafted moisturiser that can be used neat or as a base to make up your own cream. It has naturally occurring content of vitamin A and E and is known as a ‘ cure all ‘ formula. It melts between your hands and can be applied like the oil, all over.

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I highly recommend the Ose Gidi soap – it is exfoliating and has deep cleansing properties.The formulation is vegan and contains hemp oil, coconut and shea butter and has healing and anti – inflammatory and anti –  oxidant qualities due to the Moringa powder and vitamin E.

Do have a look at Liha’s website to find out more about each product and all that they do. I’m so glad I have discovered them. Liha and Abi who are the founders have been friends for a very long time and created this brand after they’d had many rave reviews from friends and guests who had sampled out their trial pots when they were toying with the idea of starting up as a business. As well as having their own website they are now also stocking at many high profile stores. Amazing how a brand can take off so quickly when they get it just right.

liha-giveaway

Liha are offering one of my readers a bottle of Idan Oil, a tub of the Shea Butter and an Ose Gidi Soap in a little Liha canvas bag, all in all worth over £70 –  all you have to do is enter my raffflecopter giveaway to have the chance to win. It’s really quick and easy and the terms and conditions are just below. Leaving a comment is mandatory. If you’re not on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – no problem you are still eligible by just commenting.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

T’s & C’s

The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter straight ager the giveaway ends and contacted by email. If I do not hear back within 48 hours a new person will be chosen.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only.

Postage and packaging supplied by Liha. Lucy Loves Ya or Liha will not be held responsible for any loss or damage in the post.

No alternative prize or cash offered.

Good luck.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Liha – all opinions are my own.

A Little Pasta Sauce Recipe for You, Using My Dotcomgiftshop Happy Homeware

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This post is a chance to show you some lovely new interiors products from dotcomgiftshop and share a very simple recipe at the same time. It’s a pasta sauce instead of using basil, which is what I tend to add usually – I’ve used mint instead.

Before the recipe though as promised – I need to show you my new home additions –  this flamingo being one of them.

My love of flamingoes is a longstanding thing. I’m kind of fascinated by them. They’re so elegant yet quirky at the same time. So needless to say – any opportunity to add one here to our house – I’m in.

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This pretty pink lady is actually a little watering can. What a cool idea ? Kind of looks great just hanging around the house anyway but has a purpose too. She’s perfect for tending to the herbs in this arboretum / indoor herb garden.

It’s really useful to keep all the herbs I use in one place, but in a compact and stylish way.  The arboretum is metal, sturdy and I love the green colour. I’ve found it’s a good way for my girls to learn how to cultivate food.

dotcom-chives-pot Inside it has six plant pots with labels that you can chalk the names on to – and easily wipe off and change if you need to. Dotcomgiftshop always seem to come up with interesting new home goodies. They have variations on this style in different colours if you’re more of a blue or ivory kind of person.

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It’s really handy reaching over and grabbing a few herbs in the kitchen when I’m making a meal.

We use chives in loads of dishes but on a salad it’s particularly yum !

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The bowls as I mentioned are also from Dotcomgiftshop – they’re from their Japanese range of tableware. The striped ones are called  ‘Sunburst ‘ and the floral plates and bowls are from the ‘ Daisy ‘ collection. The ‘ Green Circles ‘ are a nice contrast  – they have lots of different colours and patterns. I do like a mix and match, eclectic look. I think it’s great for a relaxed feel for a dinner party. They’re good quality also.

They have side plates, dinner plates, small bowls for snacks, salad, main and dessert bowls mugs etc in this range – so a whole set that you can buy individually. The colours compliment each other and the prints look great against colourful meals.

Which leads me to the pasta sauce …

dotcom-plates

For this quick recipe you will need:

2 cans of chopped tinned tomatoes.

1/4 cup of olive oil.

few pinches of fresh mint.

1 onion finely chopped.

1 garlic clove – crushed. ( optional  – nice without but some people love garlic in any pastas sauce )

1/4 cup mozzarella.

black pepper.

Salt.

Pasta of your choice.

Method.

Add the oil to a saucepan and heat on a flame or hob. Put in the onion and garlic and gently fry until golden. Add the tinned tomatoes and mozzarella and mix in well. Stir until it is has thickened a bit and then add a pinch of salt and as much pepper as you personally like to use.

Let it cool for a few minutes and then add a little chopped mint and the mozzarella. Mix all together and then add a sprig of mint on top to finish it off.

Mix it in to cooked pasta and enjoy.

It’s quite refreshing and I eat this well in to the Autumn. That’s the handy thing about having the herb garden. You can keep them going for longer !

dotcomgiftshop-espresso

As you can see for dessert here, we had a few tasty florentines and an espresso with some shot cups. The espresso coffee pot is fantastic because you use it on a stove or electric hob with fresh coffee  beans. Maybe a widely known fact but news to me ! It smells amazing – I so wish you had the option scratch and sniff your screen.

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The coffee pot is a  good way to complete a meal with friends. Especially an Italian dinner.  Again dotcomgiftshop makes these in different colours and slightly different finishes.

If you’re inspired by my new home pieces or fancy having a look at their lovely colourful store – then you can do so here. I really want to get some of the other different designs now  – the ‘ Blossom ‘ print is really pretty.

Do you love trying out new recipes? I hope you like this one if you do give it a go ? Also – hope you like my new homeware ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with dotcomgiftshop  – all opinions are my own.

Win £100 of Goodies at Homeware Brand – Happy + Co

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Do you think it’s time for a  giveaway ? It’s been a while but when you have the opportunity to offer one of your lucky readers £100 worth of homeware of their choice at Happy + Co then you’re going to say yes. It’s a no brainer.

First things first though. I want to tell you about this brand Happy + Co. They are an online store who design affordable every day home essentials that are a joy to look at and a pleasure to use. I think their name kind of says it all really.

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The patterns are vibrant, strong and cheery. I don’t know about you but I love the contrasting shapes on their tableware, cushions and bedding and wouldn’t say no to one of their armchairs either ! It’s definitely a brand with a strong identity. If you look at my instagram page, you will see I have the Newport style cushion in blue and can 100% say that it’s excellent quality. They have a sea of different designs to choose from on their website, named and inspired by the brand’s travels over the years.

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Some of the cushions come in different coloured piping so if you’re wanting to go black and white but with a splash of colour then no problem – and you can also get them in striped too.

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What I also really like about Happy + Co is that they are extremely ethical and invest 10% off every purchase made in to their own farm, developed for the community in Siem Reap, Cambodia. it was developed by co – founder of Happy + Co; Gary Elton. The main aim of the farm is to create jobs for local people  – and after only two years  – it has had a really positive impact on peoples’ lives.

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160812_happyco__tableware_medium_1So now you know a little more about this lovely, inspiring company – I will tell you just how you can enter to win and pick £100 worth of goodies of your choice from Happy + Co here on Lucy Loves Ya….

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It’s so simple as I’m using RaffleCopter so you just need to follow the instructions in this little widget below. Literally a few clicks of a button and you’re done. It is mandatory for you to leave me a comment under the post, once you’ve entered to let me know which you have followed i.e Twitter / Instagram.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Terms and conditions

The winner will be able to choose items at Happy + Co up to the value of £100.

The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter and notified as soon as the giveaway ends.

This giveaway is open to readers worldwide.

Postage and packaging supplied by Happy + Co.

No cash alternative or other prize offered.

The winner will be notified as soon as the giveaway has ended – if I do not hear back within 48 hours, a new winner will be picked at random.

Good luck !

Lucy x

All photos are copyright of Happy + Co 2016.

NB: This is a collaboration with Happy + Co – all opinions are my own.