Although I love Halloween I am not the greatest fan of the scary decorations or some the the tacky things that the shops all sell! I like our celebration to reflect our homestyle and therefore flowers are always going to play a big role (oh and of course tea!!).
I have lusted over arrangements on Pinterest involving flowers and pumpkins and decided to have a go at creating a simple arrangement inside a little pumpkin. It was super easy and quick. All you need is a pumpkin, a small container such as a jam jar or yogurt pot and of course the flowers. I choose a selection of autumnal flowers which are all locally grown. You could use any combination… I might have a go at a grey pumpkin with a selection of white flowers and greenery later in the week.
The first step is to cut the top off of the pumpkin and scoop all the seeds and some flesh out; this needs to be enough so that you can pop the container inside the pumpkin.
Next add the container to the pumpkin and fill with some water.
Then its just a case of arranging your flowers.
And then your ready to enjoy your hard work!
A really simple but stunning autumn arrangement. Happy Autumn.
One of the things I love most about being a mum is leaving little surprises for my children to find. They have woken up to a floor full of glitter and cookies from Father Christmas, to heart confetti and lego boxes wrapped in red and pink valentine paper and have come downstairs to find an Elf has left us a very special breakfast! These little things take a bit of planning and a few hours of Pinterest searching but they actually don’t cost very much apart from time. And the response is always worth that!
During the week I started collecting items to create a Halloween Movie Night box; lots of the things I already had from previous years and then I added a few extra purchases.
Our box included
DVDs- We already had these but I saw Sainsburys had some fantastic ones for about £4 which is great. You could also pop a note or a voucher in for an On Demand film.
A Story- I love Room on the Broom so I included this but you could have Meg and Mog or Winnie the Witch. We snuggled on the sofa and read this after the film.
A snuggly blanket
Popcorn in special boxes- I got mine from Poundland last year but I did see they had some similar ones again this year. Lots of party shops have these containers too.
Halloween chocolates- I brought some super yummy Halloween Chocolates from Hotel Chocolate and some Smarties Pumpkins which I brought from Sainsburys.
Toffee/Chocolate coated apples
PJs- I didn’t buy special ones I just grabbed some from the drawers in their rooms!!
Some Halloween masks/headbands
Halloween decorations- some were new and some were ones that I had saved from previous years
The decorations really set the scene as I just used a wicker basket. I added some cobweb decorations from Tesco and my favourite paper fans, a honeycomb pumpkin and a hanging bat. I also had a witch on a stick that came in a bunch of flowers last year.
I left the box in the living room lit up with some fairy lights for R and H to find on Saturday after dinner. They were so excited to start unpacking the contents and change into their PJs! We then spent a lovely few hours snug on the sofa watching films and munching on lots of treats! Exactly what Saturdays nights are for!!
If you have a go at making a Halloween Movie Night in a Basket be sure to tag me in your photos! I would love to see them!
The thing I really wanted to do this Autumn was visit a Pumpkin Patch… I have wanted to visit one for years and have never heard of one close to where we live. Then this year I jumped for joy when I saw Foxes Farm Produce pop up on my Facebook feed! It was about 20 minutes away from our front door; meaning my pumpkin picking dreams would become a reality!
As we pulled into the car park there were squeals of delight (from R and H; not just me!!) and I could see a sea of orange! There were huge hay bales sprayed orange with pumpkin faces near the entrance and as we pulled further into the field we saw this trailer full of pumpkins and this little display.
As we entered the patch we were greeted by friendly staff who explained exactly what you could do; there is no entrance fee to get into the patch. You just pay for what you pick. So we grabbed a wheel barrow and headed off!
I have been lusting after little white pumpkins on pinterest for months so when I saw these little beauties I knew I had to have them. It seemed that the other members of our little gang had their own lust lists but choosing the perfect pumpkins is hard work when there is so much choice.
The wheel barrow was slowly filled as R and H whizzed around in the pouring rain searching for the perfect pumpkins to bring home. It was absolutely pouring down but no one was bothered!
As well as the Pumpkins; there were different kinds of sweetcorn to pick, a maize maze and pumpkin bowling (which was ace!). We had a little cake picnic and a flask of tea packed but the rain meant a feast on the hay bales was not going to be happening. There were so many little spots that would have been perfect as well.
We had the best time at the Pumpkin Patch despite the rain. We drove away to the chants of best day ever and a car boot full of pumpkins and munchkins. I think a visit to one of the two Foxes Farm Produce Patches (or even both!) should be top of all Autumn Bucket lists. I think I may even sneak another visit myself!!
So this week has whizzed by on the Autumn breeze! Although the sun has been shining there is a definite chill in the air now.
This week I have been loving-
I have been reading Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone to H every night for about two weeks now. Although its going to take us a while to get through it, he is absolutely loving it and I am enjoying reading it again.
I have also brought some Christmasy novels from The Works this week in their three books for £5.00 deal. I am going to save these until at least November!!
It was R and H Harvest Festival this week. It was lovely to see them together in it. H class recounted the story of the Little Red Hen together and R did a Harvest reading.
A start on Christmas shopping!!! I brought a couple of bits for the children this week and have hidden them in one of our wardrobes. I need to start making a list of what I get as last year I brought (and wrapped) the same my little pony toy twice for R. She thought Father Christmas had lost it!!
I have also been making our home super cosy with some autumnal candles and pumpkins. I love this little pumpkin from Home Sense and I got my first two little munchkins from Sainsbury’s this week.
My UGG slippers and my boots. It’s been so much cooler this week. I have been pleased to have my slippers out to slide my feet into in the morning (such an old lady!) . I have also been back in my Chelsea boots this week. These were last years from Next. I have a feeling I will be wearing them a lot over the next couple of months.
R has worn her hair in this super cute braid… I think I am getting better!!
For me this James Arthur song is a must on my Autumn playlist. The lyrics are just so lovely.
We have also been listening to James Blunt- Bonfire Heart. When H was about 2 this was his favourite song. He knew nearly all the words and would ask for it again and again.
We are off to the Pumpkin Patch tomorrow! If you follow me on Instagram expect Pumpkin Spam! Have a fab week everyone.
I really love Autumn! The colours are just to die for! And then there are the free home accessories- the pine cones, conkers, acorns, rose hips, leaves and sticks. All adding something special to the décor. I love changing my wax melts from summery scents to the homely smell of pumpkin pie or cinnamon sticks.
Our living space at home is currently a bit of a mess!! We have taken up all the carpet in the hall and living room adding some lovely oak flooring but we are still half way through decorating meaning that most of the contents of those spaces is in the kitchen and orangery!!
To bring a little peace and order to the home I decided to style the only clear space available… the dining table! I wanted Autumn to make its mark on my home and this is the first spot for it to hit!! I had these wood slices from one of H parties and I decided they would make the perfect starting point. I added this super cute pumpkin from Homesense (it is cinnamon scented!) and then these brushed gold like tealight holders (Sainsbury’s). In the bigger candle holder I added a jam jar and one of my favourite jam jar arrangements; some autumnal brights in oranges and yellows.
I then added some of natures treasures… a few conkers, pinecones and some very pretty leaves. I can’t wait to light the candles later this evening. I may even stock up on some Yankee tea lights for added scent!
This week I made some carrot cupcakes and a few people asked me to share the recipe. I use Frances Quinn’s Basic Carrot Cake recipe from her Quinntessential Baking book with a few adaptions. I would really recommend this book if you haven’t got it. Its a really good starting point for lots of cake recipes.
You will need:
150g Light Muscovado Sugar
150g SR Flour
3tsp Ground Cinnamon
150g grated carrot
100g sultanas (this is my extra addition!)
I am a throw everything in the mixer kind of cook; so I basically just creamed the butter and the sugar. Then gradually added the eggs. Then the flour and cinnamon (I didn’t even sift!). Then I finally folded in the grated carrot and sultanas. This mixture is enough for 12 muffins. Bake them at 180c for about 25/30 minutes. Once they are cool you can enjoy them as they are or add some cheats Betty Crocker Cream Cheese Frosting!
Then kettle on, feet up and enjoy!
Linking up with the lovely Caro and Jess for one of my favourite Linkies #HomeEtc
I can’t believe its been a whole month since #myhomeinaugust, it has just whizzed by… This month my home has changed from sunny yellow to beautiful brights as its been a birthday month! Something which I love to do for birthdays (well any occasion!) is to have a big special breakfast. This months #MyHomeIn post is all about The Birthday Breakfast.
Its been all about the polka dot napkins and the pompoms hanging on the notice board. There has been confetti in blues, oranges, yellows, pinks and greens sprinkled on every surface and the flowers have been vibrant oranges and happy yellows all adding cheer to the celebration.
You only turn five once so you must indulge in doughnuts for breakfast and then have a croissant for dessert!
Happy memories have been captured and celebrated this month and that’s why it is so important to me to document these so they will last a lifetime. Celebrating big and small is so very important to me and making these incredibly small but exciting moments R and H can cherish for ever are a must.
Next month will see the brightness fade and make way for some new styling and a new celebration! Our home will be beginning to see the first touches of Autumn and some special additions for Halloween.
A huge thanks to everyone who joined in with the hashtag on instagram this month. My favourites are below. I am really looking forward to seeing all the lovely Autumn posts next month.
I have completely missed the little loves community the last few weeks. I have also missed documenting those little things that have been happening and have been special in our lives. Its been a crazy month so far with H starting school, back to all the usual clubs and activities and weekends full of birthday parties, friends and family. The change from Summer to Autumn has set in and I for one am loving it.
This week my little loves are:
I am a bit late to the party with this one… but I have just started reading Me before You! I started it last weekend when I sneaked out to the hot tub early in the pretence of having to check the temperature!!! I am really enjoying it so far but I have a strong feeling I am going to be needing my tissues soon!
Last weekend we watched The Intern on Sky Cinema. I absolutely loved it. It had a lovely simple storyline and such a feel good film all about friendship.
We have also started watching Billions on Demand this week and seem to be ploughing through it. I am loving that whilst you are watching one episode Sky are automatically downloading the next one for you! I am so easily pleased!!
An Autumn Bucket list to get us out and about and enjoying the season. I love Autumn and this list is full of my favourite things to do as well as the children’s ideas!! I cant wait to complete this one and make a Christmas one!! You can read the full list here.
I am still clinging on to flipflops!! I need to start sorting our Autumn wardrobes! R has been sent some gorgeous new hair bows from Minkleberry Kiss in some fab autumnal shades! These have inspired me!!
H singing his harvest festival songs! I cant wait to see it! R and H are both in the festival together this year! H is loving sing the BIG RED COMBINE HARVESTER song to death!!
I have also been listening to Ellie Goulding- Still Falling For You. I love it!
Oh I am completely in love with Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Lattes! Its the same every year!! I think They are number 1 littlelove! Well until the red cups come out anyway!
I absolutely love Autumn… the chill in the air, the colours, the snuggly nights in watching TV, Pumpkin Spiced everything, Halloween, Bonfire Night and Sunday Roasts. There is so much to enjoy. I asked R and H what things they would like to do during Autumn and they have come up with quite a list!! I have added a couple of my own too!
Our Autumn Bucket List
Visit a Pumpkin Patch- I have wanted to do this for years and now we have one that’s opened about half an hour away from us!!!
Jump in a pile of leaves
Collect Conkers and Acorns
Make an Autumn wreath
Make apple crumble
Eat toffee apples
Light Autumn Scented candles
Have a leaf fight (You guessed it- H idea!!)
Decorate the house for Halloween
Make Halloween Crafts and Bakes
Have a Halloween Tea Party
Go for an Autumn Picnic
Bonfire Night at Nanny Bailey’s
Make Bonfire Cakes
Go in the hot tub in the dark
Make Halloween s’mores and hot chocolate
Go on the Halloween train at Audley End Railway
So we have quite a big list to get through before we start thinking about Mince Pies and decorations!! But I am looking forward to celebrating and capturing our Autumn Days this year!
What are your favourite things about Autumn? What would you have on your bucket list?
For H birthday this year I really wanted to have a festival style party in the park. We have a big family so I knew that park would have plenty of space for the children to run around and a vast supply of tea and coffee for the adults. I started pinning ideas for the party early in the summer and I knew I wanted a very bright carnival colour scheme. I decided to run with the Toot Toot Carnival range by Meri Meri. It had bright happy colours and a slight vintage feel which was just the look I was planning.
I wanted the party styling to be simple (it is just a cake picnic in the park!) but still look wow! I started with the idea of picnic baskets filled with lots of bakery treats on bright rugs with balloons floating in the breeze. With all my ideas and supplies organised I went to set the party up.
I filled the baskets with a selection of cupcakes, jam tarts, fresh fruit tartlets, caramel slices and mini doughnuts. All the cupcakes were vanilla and had simple fondant or sweetie decorations on top of a swirl of vanilla buttercream. I used the Toot Toot cupcake cases and cake picks and these were so sweet.
I used simple bright coloured bunting attached to the tree branches to mark out the party space and create a simple backdrop for the cake table. I used a fold up picnic table for the cake and created layering by using another wicker basket in front of the table. My favourite roll of gingham table cloth was used here (I think I have used every colour Party Pieces stock now!). On top of this I added the cake and a mini picnic hamper of biscuit stars. Which was just shortbread biscuits on lolly sticks, which I iced and stuck into polystyrene which I had wrapped in gift paper.
I added an upturned basket as a little table for paper cups full of sweets and the larger basket was filled with the Popcorn Party favours. I also dotted a few pin wheels around to add to the carnival festive style.
Finishing touches for the cake table were the ‘H’ letter which is from H room and the paper honeycomb garland which is from Party Pieces. I think this is one of the simplest cake or dessert tables I have created but I was really pleased with how it came together.
For the birthday cake I cheated a bit! I iced a fake bottom tier with white fondant and then cut lots of triangles to make the coloured bunting. For the top tier I make four vanilla sponge cakes which I added food colouring too. The middle two had a circle cut from the centre and they were then stacked using vanilla butter cream. I filled the circular hole with jelly beans and added the top sponge. Then after the crumb coat of buttercream, I piped rosettes using an open star nozzle.
Ribbon was added and then gumball sweets were iced around the edge, hundreds and thousands sprinkled on the top and then sweets and biscuits placed around with the cake picks. H absolutely loved his cake and it was lovely to have a few strangers in the park stop and say WOW! When I cut into the cake and the jelly beans fell out I could see H beaming!
There is something magical about hunting for fairies in the woods… about listening carefully to see if you can hear the sound of their wings or if they will drop a sprinkle of fairy dust as they glide by. R has always loved fairies and one of her favourite places to visit in the summer months is Audley End Miniature Railway for their fabulous fairy and Elf walk.
The whole place is a great day out with a variety of miniature trains, bouncy castles, a play ground and a lovely café… But for R (and Me!) the Enchanted Fairy Walk is truly special. When you arrive at the entrance to the walk you are greeted by real fairies and elves who will help you to make your very own fairy wand. R and H loved this and chatted away to the lovely fairy who helped them. Everything is beautifully styled and magical right from the start.
After the wand making (and copious photos!!) you walk under the floral arch and begin looking for fairies using your fairy and elf spotting book. The fairies are hidden all through the woodlands and have information boards telling you all about them. It was lovely to wonder through the trees and try to find as many little houses as possible.
My favourite part of the day (apart from the coffee cake in the tearoom) was the wishing wall. Every year it takes my breath away. So many wishes from big and small… R and H both had their wishing paper and used their wands to write their special wish. H wished for Lego and R for a Unicorn Fairy. How cute is this little wishing seating area!
We walked through finding more and more fairies, elves, trolls and little woodland animals. R and H loved running ahead and looking at the information signs about each fairy house.
We then enjoyed a play on the park and the little steam train ride through the woodland where we spotted rabbits, deer and a few teddy bears. We absolutely loved our day out and can’t wait to go back. Last year we visited at Halloween and the attention for detail for the Halloween train was amazing! I will share a blog post and some information about our trip at Halloween soon.
The Enchanted Fairy Walk is only open until the 9th October; so be quick to go and visit.