Sweet Potato, Carrot and Apple Soup

The other day we got ourselves an early pumpkin, which Daddy and Gray carved to make an excellent likeness of a Boo! from Super Mario Brothers, something of an obsession for Gray at the moment.

boo, pumpkin

I decided to use the seeds to make a tasty snack and even managed to save some of the flesh, which I roasted with a little maple syrup. It was delicious!

The lovely sweet and rich taste of the pumpkin put me in the mood for a Fall flavoured meal, which is when I realised I had a bunch of sweet potatoes I really needed to use up. An idea began to form…

soup

I also had some carrots I should probably find a use for and voila! I grabbed the sweet potatoes, carrots, an apple and an onion I had on hand and decided to make a lovely Fall inspired soup! This soup is creamy and rich but also a little different, with a lovely sweet hint and a warming, spicy aftertaste. The perfect blend!

ingredients

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Honey BBQ Pumpkin Seeds

Stop! Don’t throw away those pumpkin innards!

So much deliciousness goes to waste every year, it really is a terrible shame.

seeds

Pumpkin seeds are so good for you and make such a crunchy, tasty snack. They are pretty much a blank canvas you can flavour any way you wish, savoury, sweet, spicy, whatever!

Last year I tried a mix of flavours but I must say I prefer this combo!

They were such a perfectly balanced blend of sweet and savoury, which I somehow managed to cook to perfection! I loved the sweet honey taste you get when they first hit your tongue, followed by the savoury, salty tang which leaves you with a lovely spicy aftertaste. View Full Post

Interview: Pre-eclampsia, a Miracle Story

In September, my cousin’s little boy had his first birthday. This was an especially important birthday in my family because for a little while, it was uncertain if this beautiful boy would make it.

He was born extremely early, at just 29 weeks old, by emergency C-section due to severe Pre-eclampsia. My cousin was just 23 and this was her first child.

alfiejosie

Ever since, despite his early start and accompanying issues, this little man has been incredible. Smashing his milestones out the park closer to his actual age peers than his corrected age peers. (The system works on the basis that his actual age is, for example, 12 months but his corrected age due to his premature birth is actually closer to 9 months.)

The one thing that I’ve learnt from my cousin in this last year, aside from what an amazing person she really is, is how little society actually understands conditions like Pre-eclampsia and how a premature birth can affect a baby developmentally.

There were so many people who wouldn’t understand why they couldn’t visit this tiny baby with no immune system during peak flu season. So many who wouldn’t understand even now how his development will have to be treated differently from his peers for his first few years.

To help raise awareness of Pre-eclampsia and premature birth, I have asked my cousin a couple of questions, I hope you find them an interesting and educational read! View Full Post

Kids Craft – Easy Autumn Wreath

The Autumn is officially here, there are pumpkins all over Instagram, pumpkin spice lattes in all the coffee shops and not only Halloween but Christmas decorations in the shops! Woohoo!

I love Autumn.

While I make no secret of the fact I love the hot weather and warm sunny days of Summer, there is something about Autumn that is just magical. It is the changing colours all around, the sudden crispness in the air, the sense of anticipation as favourite holidays fast approach and something else, something I can never quite put my finger on.

My Pinterest feed lately has been filled with gorgeous ‘Fall’ inspired, well, everything. I see a lot of pictures of beautifully decorated homes. Homes where there are entire dedicated areas such as the mantelpiece in the living room, the bureau by the front door, or the entire entry way into the house that get elaborately decorated to celebrate each season and each holiday therein.

These pictures sometimes make me sad.

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A Day Not Being Mum

A Day Not Being Mum.

The other weekend I had the opportunity to see an old friend. She lives in Nottingham, I live in Kent, so we don’t often get the chance. However, we were both horrified and appalled to realise it had been two years since we’d met up in person. Two. Years.

This year marks our 13th year as friends. It’s funny, you wouldn’t expect a long distance relationship to survive so long with two people who have taken such different routes through life.

I am a part-time working Mum of two kids under four, married with a mortgage. I’m living the 3am wake up, Cbeebies all day kind of life.

She is a career driven Social Media Manager with a boyfriend and flat share in the city. She’s living the cocktails at five, invitation to the latest premier kind of high life.

Yet when we get together, we are still those two geeky teenagers who wrote Lord of the Rings fanfiction, shared bags of jelly beans watching Pirates of the Caribbean movies and talked about our dreams until the wee hours.

So you see, this weekend meet-up meant a great deal to me. Which is why I was so disappointed with myself when I realised half way through the day, I was wishing my kids were there. View Full Post

Borth Animalarium – a Seaside Town in September

My second post about our day trips in Wales today! This one is another review of a great day out, one that is a hidden gem of a place, for sure. The first post was about Hampton Court Castle, Leominster (not technically Wales, true) and is well worth a visit!

When we were staying at my Mums in mid-Wales, we visited a seaside town called Borth.

Yes, the Seaside in September! Surprisingly, apart from some strong wind the weather was pretty lovely! In fact, there wasn’t a drop of rain until we were getting back in the car ready to head home, the fates must have been on our side that day!

Borth is a beautiful seaside town. The proper kind with the huge caravan park, cafes and souvenir shops along the shore front, long lines of brightly coloured houses and a beach that is stony at the top, sandy at the water’s edge and stretches as far as the eye can see!

beach

When I was a child we would come to the caravan park here (It was a Haven holiday park then) every single summer. We would spend a week enjoying the kid’s clubs and evening entertainment, swimming in the giant pool, exploring the beach, rounding up crabs and eating ice-cream.

One memorable summer we had to flee the beach due to a swarm of ladybirds! Who would believe little ladybugs were vicious monsters who would bite when bolstered by superior numbers? That was unexpected! View Full Post

Creepy Halloween Jelly Recipe!

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jellies title

Our third Halloween themed post leading up to one of my favourite days of the year! Post number one saw us making easy spooky bunting, post number two was an awesome recipe for cute and sweet sugar ghosts and pumpkins!

I’m hoping I can post one more Halloween themed post before the big day, I think one a week through October is a good balance, right?

This post is another recipe! This one is great for a party and kids will love it! The ‘eewww’ factor directly appeals to their morbid little minds (let’s face it, kids are gross!) and they can easily help you put them together, making it a fun activity that results in a sweet treat, win! View Full Post

It’s the little things that get you.

Have you ever had one of those moments that took your breath away, from the sheer heartbreaking ordinariness of it when it is anything but?

Recently Husband lost his Grandmother. She was 94 and had been having health problems for a long time. She and his Grandad had been married 67 years. Can you imagine? It breaks my heart just thinking about it.

They both accepted me into the family with open arms and they absolutely adore the boys, their first (currently only) Great Grandchildren. At the wake, which Grandad-in-law request the boys attend, (for his sake more than anything, I imagine) I had several comments along the lines of ‘so these are the boys she was so proud of’.

I really have come to love them like an extra set of Grandparents of my own.

grandparents, us, our wedding

Something happened the day before the funeral that hit us both like a brick to the face. It seriously left us completely off our game. View Full Post

Our day at Hampton Court Castle

Our day at Hampton Court Castle.

On our recent visit to Wales and my half of the family, we stopped first at my Dads. His place is the closest, at just 3 hours without stopping. Near his place is the beautiful Hampton Court Castle, Leominster. (In case you were wondering, this one came first! Hampton Court Palace in London came a hundred years later!)

So on Sunday we headed to the castle. Gray is obsessed with castles right now, his favorite toy is a cardboard castle I found on Amazon (actually for pets!) for all his toys to play in.

The price of entry is pretty standard for these kinds of places, at about £60 for a family of 4 adults and one child (Baby didn’t count) for entry and a guided tour (pre-booked). It isn’t National Trust, rather a private family owned place. We rolled up at opening time on a Sunday which is 10.30am, and fond the carpark blissfully empty. When we left at mid-late afternoon, it was quite full!

The gift shop was lovely, with loads of different types of trinkets for both young and old to take away. Through the gift shop you enter into the walled ‘informal’ gardens, where we found bed after bed of lush herbs, fully loaded apple and pear trees, pumpkin patches, courgettes, marrows and plenty of other fruit and veg ready to harvest!

Gray loved running around the beds, making his way to the formal gardens. Here there was a gorgeous gazebo in the middle of a little man-made pond, which seemed to be the center of about four or five different water features which all joined it!  View Full Post

Sugar Ghosts and Sugar Pumpkins Halloween Recipe

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It’s Halloween this month! Halloween! All Hallows Eve! Woo!

As you may have noticed, I like Halloween!

I am hoping to feature at least one Halloween themed post a week leading up to the big day, either a craft or a recipe, most likely. Last week we had easy no-sew spooky bunting! Following this post we also had Creepy Halloween Jelly!

Today I wanted to share the cutest little sweet treat recipe. It is fun, easy and tastes fab! Perfect for a Halloween party buffet, or even in treat bags for handing out at the door!

sugar-halloween-sweets-collage

I don’t really like Gray having too much sugar, so I will be restricting how many of these he gets. But, the awesome thing is these sweet treats last a looooong time. (At least 4 weeks, in an airtight tub. I’ve been told they will actually keep for months but I don’t think they’d last that long without getting eaten here!) View Full Post