pumpkin

Autumn To-Do List

Windows are closed, candles are on, blankets are out: cosy autumn has arrived! I'm a winter baby so love this seasonal transition into colder temperatures. To ensure this vibrant season doesn't pass me by too quickly, I've put together an autumn to-do list, which I'll be working my way through in between work and baby prepping.

Pinterest, as always, is a great inspiration for autumnal activities, decor and crafts. Take a look at my Halloween and Bonfire Night boards for some quick home ideas that really make the most of these seasonal events. 

Onto my top 10 to-dos this season:

1. Make Crumbles

I love these classic British puds because they use up any fruit that's starting to turn (or if you're harvesting the last innings of your garden / allotment). It requires only a few staples - simply purchase these and you'll always have an instant pudding at hand should you need it:

  • Golden caster sugar
  • Self-raising flour
  • Butter
  • Light brown muscovado sugar

My go-to recipe is this one - although I add in whatever fruit I have at the time. For example, the photos below followed a harvesting session at our allotment. This rhubarb, plum & blackberry crumble was a real winner. I didn't bother with the port or walnut in the recipe but I'm sure they'd make nice additions.

2. Buy a Fresh Batch of Slipper Socks

Nothing better than putting your feet into a new fluffy pair after a hard day.

3. Get Creative with Pumpkins

You might remember I had a LOT of fun last year getting crafty with pumpkins - I will be doing the same this year but maybe trialling some new trends.

4. Halloween Night In

With Baby L on the way, we're planning a cosy night in with one of our favourite retro movies: Hocus Pocus! But just because we're not dressing up (and drinking!) like we usually do this time of year, it doesn't mean we can't go all out with sweets and decorations. Take a look at my Hocus Pocus-themed party ideas

5. Leafy Walks

Sitting down for long periods of time isn't the most comfortable of experiences now I'm into my third trimester. Some easy strolls around our local park are a great way to get some exercise while taking in the changing colours.

6. Make Soup

Because that's what autumn's about, right? Why not use your leftover pumpkin from any carving crafts and turn it into this (seriously tasty) warming pumpkin soup.

7. Early Bird Christmas Shopping

Two reasons here: 1) Baby L is arriving early December so I don't anticipate having much time (or energy!) that month-! 2) It helps spread out the cost of gift buying by starting some shopping now with my September salary.

This  is on my stocking list this year.

This is on my stocking list this year.

8. Pumpkin Spice Latte

The only time I really go to Starbucks is during the autumn and winter for their seasonal coffees. This one's my particular favourite.

9. Dog Shopping

Is it me or are there suddenly loads more dog walkers about? Ok - so I walk home via a park so that's a given, but there's definitely more of them, I swear! Maybe it's because everyone's back from summer holidays and into the swing of their routines again? Either way, L and I have been enjoying seeing dogs of all shapes and sizes (from a pack of dachshunds to his & hers dalmatians!) as they enjoy their walks in this new brisk air. So much so, we're considering a canine addition to Maison Bailey. We've decided to see how baby goes first-! But that doesn't mean we can't start window shopping... we're currently loving cocker spaniels.

Via

10. Couple Time

Any parent friends/family all tell us to treasure this time just the two of us. Your world changes when you suddenly have a new addition to consider. We're so excited but completely get their point. Which is why we've booked an early shopping Christmas trip away to Guildford in October, followed by spa treatments. I absolutely can't WAIT.

Via

Do you have any autumnal traditions? Or crafts you're planning to try this year? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

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Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

pumpkin-designs

Drilled Halloween pumpkins are all over my Pinterest news feed at the moment. More stylish than spooky, they create a really beautiful lantern effect as the light escapes through the miniature holes. Gold and cookie cutter designs are also becoming popular pins.

So I grabbed my drill, spray can and hammer and gave it a go:

DRILLED PUMPKINS

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GOLD PUMPKINS

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COOKIE CUTTER PUMPKINS

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TIPS

  • Avoid using real candles inside as they're more worry than they're worth - especially when it comes to flammable children's Halloween costumes. I opted for glow sticks - you get the same effect, they come in different colours and you can keep the lid of your lantern on for optimum glow.
  • When hammering the cookie cutter into your pumpkin, don't use a plastic-coated one (like I did!) as it will ruin it. An idea L had after I'd battered my cutter was to put a piece of wood over it, so you're hammering the wood instead. Pliers will help get your cutter out of the pumpkin.
  • Before spraying gold, ensure you place the pumpkin/s onto a bin liner. Not only will it protect the majority of the ground you're spraying onto, but it will help you transport them when they're drying - helping avoid fingerprints. 

Safety shout-out: Carving and drilling a round object can be dangerous and should be approached with caution. Ensure you use any type of spray in a well ventilated area, keep away from eyes etc - always read the label. Avoid using real candles inside your lanterns - if you'd prefer a tealight effect, there's some fab fake flickering ones out there.

PUMPKIN SEEDS

Don't let a great pumpkin go to waste. Wash and dry your pumpkin seeds before mixing them with olive oil and salt. Place one layer on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes (or until golden). They make great snacks.

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roasted-pumpkin-seeds

WARMING PUMPKIN SOUP

This Waitrose recipe arrived in the post the weekend I was experimenting with pumpkin designs - so I took it as a sign and gave it a whirl. 

It's a great way to use up old pumpkins post-Halloween (keep your seeds when you initially carve it out). Great for lunch, the best bit has to be the chilli kick at the end, which will keep you warm until dinner. 

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For more Halloween decor and recipe ideas, check out my Pinterest board dedicated to all things spooky.