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Monday, 31 October 2016

Happy Halloween!

happy-halloween

Happy Halloween! 

I hope your week is off to good start, are you celebrating Halloween today? We had our festive fun at the weekend on Saturday night, my brother and our friend came up and we spend the evening watching Halloween films -the non-scary kind of course. We aren't doing anything today, it's back to normal, back to work, although...Paul has gone to work dressed as a Pirate today. And not just a hat and eye patch, full on pirate costume and make-up. If there's a competition I hope he wins! 

As we aren't doing anything today, I thought I'd share some of our snaps from over the weekend, everything from real pumpkins to cake pumpkins. I did also paint my face on Saturday to look like a broken doll, so I have managed to do a little bit of dressing up at least. 

Have you done anything for Halloween this year?


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happy-halloween
happy-halloween
happy-halloween
happy-halloween
happy-halloween
happy-halloween
happy-halloween
happy-halloween
happy-halloween
happy-halloween


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Friday, 28 October 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

Can you believe it's the last week in October, and, almost Halloween!? We're having our Halloween night this Saturday, we have movies, decorations and there will be lots of food and cake to enjoy -even though it'll only be the three or maybe four of us. I know it's said all the time, but I can't quite get my head around the fact that there isn't that long left of this year. The fact that it's almost 2017 is a scary thought, more so because it sometimes feels as if we have only just packed away the Christmas decorations from last time round. Do you remember when you were little and even an hour seemed to take forever to pass?

1. Baked potatoes for dinner. The fillings vary but they're always tasty.

2. The leaves. I can't explain how happy they make me when they blow around in the wind with all their pretty colours.

3. New socks.

4. Having more baths than showers now the weathers turned cold.

5. Evening coffee date with my favourite person.

6. Pizza and game night at my little brothers.

7.  Our last Bath and Body Works candle that's burning at the moment. We may have bought it in April but I think it's perfect for this time of year.

8. My mini Star Wars Lego set that Paul bought for me while he was out shopping, such a sweetie.
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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Non-Scary Halloween Films

non-scary-halloween-films

With Halloween fast approaching and the nights getting darker much earlier, it's that time of year when curling up with a good movie sounds just perfect.

As much as I love Halloween, I hate to be scared -if you hide and jump out at me we will no longer be friends! This is the time of year when if you suggest watching a film everyone thinks 'horror', but they aren't for me. I used to watch them when I was younger at Halloween parties and sleepovers, but I used to be so frightened afterwards that I'd have to sleep with my head tucked tight under the covers. As I got older I stopped watching them altogether, because in all honesty...I can't stand them! 

These are some of my favourite films for Halloween, ones that anyone can enjoy, and that aren't going to leave you hiding under the covers for the next week once the lights go out! We will be watching some of these this coming Saturday night while tucking into mac n cheese and treat size sweets.

Hocus Pocus has to be one of my very favourite films for this time of year, not just Halloween -I don't think I could let a year pass without watching it. It's such a funny film, and you cant help but love the witches. Young Frankenstein is a film that when I was little, I thought was really old because it's in black and white. I've of course since found out that it was made that way deliberately. It's one of those films I haven't seen too many times but it always brings back memories of me and my little brother, watching it with my mum when we were little. It wouldn't be Halloween for me without Ghostbusters or The Gremlins. They have been favourites for such a long time and need no explaining really...they're just classics!

So that's what we'll be watching this Halloween, what are your favourite non-scary films...or do you prefer horror?

non-scary-halloween-films



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Monday, 24 October 2016

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

spiced-pumpkin-bread
spiced-pumpkin-bread
spiced-pumpkin-bread

I've been so looking forward to sharing this recipe with you! Not only is it ridiculously easy to make, not only does it taste amazing, but it's also perfect for right now while we're all trying to have as much pumpkin in our lives as we possibly can. This recipe is slight variation to one I found on Pinterest, that I can't for the life of me find now to link for you...when I do I'll be sure to leave it.

I've already made this a couple of times this year -it's replaced banana bread for the moment, but just like banana bread, it's so good for breakfast toasted with butter! And equally as good with cream cheese frosting like I've done with this one. I also got a little creative with some left over icing and made a few tiny pumpkins for decoration. They have to be one of the easiest decorations to make, I have a very old post showing how to do so here if you'd like to see.

spiced-pumpkin-breadspiced-pumpkin-bread

Ingredients:
1 tin of pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil -240ml
3 cups plain flour -390g
1 1/2 cups caster sugar -300g
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 of salt
3 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger
1 heaped teaspoon ground mix spice
1/2 freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts -around 120g

spiced-pumpkin-bread
spiced-pumpkin-bread

Pre-heat your oven to 175°C and line two 9 inch loaf tins with grease proof paper, if you only have one, the mixture will be fine to sit out until you've finished the first one. 

In a large mixing bowl, beat together your oil and sugar then once combined mix in the eggs and pumpkin puree. 

Add the flour, salt, spices, baking power and baking soda and mix until everything is well combined. If you want to use them, add in your nuts or swap them for chocolate chips, fruit or leave them out all together...it's up to you. 

Bake your pumpkin loafs for 1 hour and then leave to cool completely if your're adding cream cheese frosting. If not, they taste great straight from the oven. 


spiced-pumpkin-bread

For the cream cheese frosting:
75g of butter -room temperature
125g of cream cheese -room temperature
425g of icing sugar

Cream the butter until smooth and lighter in colour, add in the cream cheese and mix together. Slowly keep adding the icing sugar until you have smooth soft frosting, but that is stiff enough to hold it's shape on your cake.

So there it is, tasty pumpkin bread to enjoy while it's cold outside and while the leaves blow off the trees. Autumn is wonderful...hope you're enjoying it!

spiced-pumpkin-bread



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Friday, 14 October 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

Can you believe we are pretty much half way through October? I don't think I can, I feel as if it's snuck up on me and I'm not at all organised for Halloween. And no where near as organised as I thought I was for everything that comes after. I'd planned so many things to bakes and we had talked about doing so many things this month, but I think some may have to be put to the side now. We might have to go on a pumpkin hunt this weekend, maybe to the farm we got them from last year. What ever we end up doing, I'm hoping we can stop by Starbucks. A few days ago, someone told me to try a pumpkin spiced hot chocolate and I think it has to be done.

1. Halloween mini chocolate bars. I would love to say our fridge is full of them for them for that purpose, but at this point I'm seriously wondering if they'll make it until the end of the month.

2. Adding glitter to my nails because I'm feeling very festive

3. My new silver pleated skirt from Zara...it's beautiful.

4.  25% off at River Island when you buy Elle magazine...yes please!

5. Millie's cookies at home!! Yes, you heard me right. Iceland (the supermarket, not country) are selling boxes of frozen Millie's cookie dough for you to bake at home. My mum picked a box up for me earlier, and I'm yet to try them but I hope they're as good as the ones you buy from the counters.

6. Finding a tasty new place for breakfast in Edinburgh, Paul had the french toast with bacon...it was huge!

7. Cinnamon spiced hand wash from Bath and Body Works that we've been saving to use since April.

8. Picking out some Halloween bits form Lush, I will be back for more soon!
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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Blueberry Muffins

blueberry-muffins
blueberry-muffins

Even though the shops are full of amazing flavours, I think blueberry muffins will always be a favourite of mine...and if they're fresh, hot and homemade then all the better! They're as good as a quick breakfast while you're running out the door, as they are with a cup of tea in the afternoon...even warmed up with ice-cream for dessert.

There's also something very American about them...or at least there is to me. When I think of blueberry muffins, pancakes or pie, I always think of America.

I've had this recipe for a long time, and we've tried it with different fruit over the years too. Blackberries and raspberries where good alternatives, and I think I'd quite like to give apple a go too while we still have some on the trees.

blueberry-muffins
blueberry-muffins
blueberry-muffins

Ingredients:
1/2 a cup of softened butter
1/4 cups of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 a cup of milk
2 cups of blueberries

For the topping:
1 teaspoon of oats
1 teaspoon of caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole muffin tray with cases.

-Cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in your eggs one at a time until well mixed.

- Sift your flour, nutmeg, salt and baking powder together to remove any lumps. Add this to your mixture a little at a time, alternating with the milk.

-Separate just under half of your blueberries into a bowl and start to crush them with a fork until they've all been burst. Mix them and your whole berries through your mixture.

-Start to fill your cases, and unlike cupcakes, when baking muffins you should fill your cases almost to the top -that always feels odd to me. 

-When you've filled your twelve cases, mix together your three ingredients for the topping and sprinkle over the muffins just before they go in the oven.

-Bake for 30 minutes until lovely and brown, then leave to cool before eating. Unless like us, you just can't wait, and have to have some while they're still warm too...no judgement here!

They're also just as tasty without the topping, so if you aren't a fan of cinnamon or just don't want to add it, they'll still taste amazing!

blueberry-muffins


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Friday, 7 October 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

This week has been full of food, or to be more precise...sweet food. A huge salted caramel cheesecake that was a test run for Christmas, a pumpkin pie mainly for my mum, and a pumpkin bread, like banana, but pumpkin. The pumpkin bread was a spur of the moment bake when I realised I had an extra tin of pumpkin, but it's such a good treat to have with tea, it'll definitely be made again before the seasons out. Paul and I are ending this week with a Friday out in Edinburgh, with lunch and a little shopping -and I'm hoping a pumpkin spiced latte (or two). Tomorrow we're having dinner with Paul's family, I've been told we're having Mexican food so that should be fun. Then on Sunday, I'm hoping we can pick up a few paint samples. What are your plans for the weekend?

1. Using up left over tea from Easter, Bluebird Co. honestly do the tastiest tea. I can't wait to get some more of their Christmas flavours this year.

2. How you can now really notice the drop in temperature when you leave the house, and how some nights you can even see your breath.

3. Mini Milky Ways straight from the fridge.

4. Cuddles on the sofa with a little dog who will steal as much of the throws as she possible can.

5. Paul's thoughtful nature, and the little things he does daily.

6. New piping nozzles.

7. Trying on new autumn boots and coats, there are so many to choose from just now!

8. Having a lovely catch up and walk around town with a friend I hadn't seen in a couple of weeks. It was lovely to have a proper catch up.
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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

An Autumn To-Do List

an-autumn-to-do-list

I feel sometimes, as if I'm waiting all year for October to arrive. For there to be a chill in the air, for there to be leaves on the ground and for there to be spiced pumpkin flavoured food everywhere. To say I'm happy it's finally here would be an understatement. When we do finally make it into what is by far my favourite month of the year, it really does feel as if Autumn has arrived and that makes me so unbelievably happy. I was thinking about all the things I'd like to do this October and through the rest of autumn, so here is my Autumn to-do list!

- To have a picnic by the beach on a sunny but chilly day. With a basket of treats that include hot chocolate for warming up those cold fingers.

- To make spiced pumpkin cake...not just more pumpkin pies. Even though, lets be honest -there will be a few more of them in there too!

- Carve pumpkins with Paul, the designs seem to get more elaborate by the year, however this time round I want to stick with the classic pumpkin face!

- Make the most of those beautiful October days and explore new places and areas of cities we already love.

- Have a Halloween night full of my favourite non-scary films.

- Make a huge batch of chilli and cornbread, we haven't done that in ages and it's perfect for this time of year. You can find my recipe here.

-Have duvet and movie days when it's cold and raining outside.

- Host our very first Thanks Giving dinner. It's something we talk about doing each year but never do, so this time it's happening. Any must have recipe suggestions would be much appreciated!

- Go to a Bonfires night fireworks show and eat hot dogs and baked potatoes.

- Make dark sticky ginger cake.

What are you looking forward to this Autumn?

an-autumn-to-do-list

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