Weekly Highlights. #4

30 Nov 2013

L-R: Homemade Victoria Sponge, Breakfast Burritos with the boys, Winter Wonderland funfair rides, 100 followers milestone, Meeting the Bear and Hare, Hummingbird Bakery treat, SprinkleofGlitter's words about my blog, Churros!, Winter Wonderland, the best friend in a Santa Hat, Homemade Anzac Biscuits. 
Another week, another Weekly Highlights! :) With the opening of Winter Wonderland and the one month countdown to Christmas officially begun I've been getting increasingly festive this week. I also hit a blog milestone and had some very lovely words written about me in Sprinkle of Glitters Amazing Advertisers post which warmed my heart. Here's my three highlights:

1. Hitting 100 followers last weekend was ridiculously exciting for me!! I probably annoyed my boyfriend with my constant follower count updates. But, I'd like to say a massive thank you to all my old and new subscribers! It honestly means a lot that you've all stuck with me. :)

2. On Thursday I had one of the best job interviews I've had in a long while, and its filled me with hope that the new year will bring good things for me career wise. Since graduating Uni I've struggled with finding permanent roles so I'm really hopeful for the year to come.

3. Finally, I met up with my best friend on Friday for a fun festive day! She lives in Southampton now so I don't get to see her as much as I'd like, so I was really excited for our day together! We did a spot of Christmas shopping, had Christmas panini's and even met the Bear and the Hare in John Lewis. Highlight right there alone!! :)

I hope you've all had a wonderful week too! :)

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My (Never Gonna Happen!) Christmas Wishlist.

29 Nov 2013

I quite literally am always lusting over something and the thought of Christmas sends my brain into overdrive. My brain also seems to have ratherrr expensive taste, which sadly doesn't correspond with the reality of my bank account. So, instead of showing you the delightful things I've bought, I am instead showing you a wishlist of items that I can only hope to have in my dreams! And what a wonderful dream it would be!

My ultimate Designer handbag lust is the Micheal Kors Selma Satchel. However this above is quite literally the cutest thing ever as it is essentially a mini version! Entitled the Selma Studded Messenger Bag (1), it is firmly placed in my dream accessories drawer. I'm definitely a 'big' bag lover, so when it comes to evening bags I pretty much always use the same boring satchel so I'd absolutely loveeee to have this for the evenings! With such a neutral colour it'd look lovely with so many outfits and the studs give it a really good edge.

My laptop has been dead for a while and the past few months I've been borrowing stealing my Mum's. I so want my own laptop back, and I'd absolutely love a Macbook (2) to take its place! They are just the best in my eyes, and Windows just doesn't quite cut it anymore!

Any Made In Chelsea fans reading?? If so you might recognise the beautiful outfit as one of Sophie Hermann's creations. She's not a regular on MIC, but a firm friend of proper poshies Mark Francis and Victoria. She wore this outfit in a recent episode and I literally fell in love!! Its actually a bodysuit and skirt (3) together, but I think its beautiful. The structured neckline and padded statement shoulders pairs so well with the skater style skirt. The burgundy colour is so festive too!

One of my favourite designers ever ever is Rob Ryan. All his creations are so beautiful and whimsical, so when I saw that'd he collaborated with Tatty Devine I was seriously excited. I couldn't choose between these two rings as my favourite piece so I included them both. They're both 18-carot rose gold plated rings (4) with beautifully intricate designs. The Forever Love ring is such a lovely message and the Crown of Hearts ring reminds me of a fairytale crown. I absolutely adore them!!

Oh Laura Mercier. Be still my beating heart! What I would give to buy all of the things from the brand, but suffice to say its all a tadge too expensive at the moment! I've heard so much about the Body Souffles (5) that I couldn't not include them on my list! Just the word Souffle sounds invigorating and moisturising. I'd love to try the Créme de Pistache scent.

Lastly, the Nars At First Sight palette. One day I will own a Nars palette, but for now I shall just lust after them! The combination of shades in this palette is just so lovely, I know I'd get so much use out of it. Its also just so great for travelling, which is really handy as I spend a few nights a week at my boyfriends.

What 's on your 'never gonna happen' wishlist?? :)

read more " My (Never Gonna Happen!) Christmas Wishlist. "

Review: Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Apocoliptic

26 Nov 2013

The Rimmel Apocalips have been around for quite a while now, and although I have had two in my lip collection I've always struggled to wear them. The formula is like a lip gloss on application but dries matte giving it a lipstick-style finish. They are so so pigmented, which is part of the reason I struggled to wear it initially. Its definitely an 'out there' shade and one that I'd only wear on a night out.

Because of the formula the lacquer has seriously great staying power and sits really comfortably on the lips throughout the day. The shade is a beautiful bright magenta shade which is literally opaque with one swipe. The applicator has a small well in the tip which helps the product to collect making it so much easier to apply. Although, I do find that I prefer to blot it slightly so I don't have a crazy amount of product to spread. Though the texture of the lacquer is really creamy making it so easy to apply.

Although this is a pretty out there shade for me, I do think it looks great on a night out for a really statement lip. Rimmel really do have some great lip products out at the moment don't you thnink? I definitely want to try out Big Bang from the Apocalips collection! Have any of you tried it?

read more " Review: Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Apocoliptic "

DIY Christmas: Personalised Map Artwork

24 Nov 2013

Firstly, I do apologise for the awful quality of this photo!! I actually made this present last Christmas and this was the only photo I could find of it. That aside, I really wanted to share this idea with you as I think its a really easy but thoughtful gift.

I originally saw this idea on the treasure trove of a website 'Not on the High Street' which is full of personalised gits. You can look at the original idea here, which while lovely and professional looking is a whopping £85. Aside from the fact that I didn't have £85 to spend on the artwork, I also thought making it myself would be easier and a lot more thoughtful.

As I already had a piece of plain card all I needed to buy was a photo frame. I bought mine from Urban Outfitters as they always do really lovely frames and they're never too pricey either! They don't do this frame any longer, but realistically any frame you like will do. A bigger frame is an advantage however as the map hearts will look better. You could even buy a frame that has three different sections, its up to you, which is the beauty of this DIY.

Next you'll need to decide on three locations to use that are personal to whoever you're gifting. As I made this frame for my best friend, I chose London, Lancaster and Wollongong in Australia. I made London the biggest heart as that is where she was born, Lancaster was where she went to University and Wollongong was where she spent a year studying. I did want to have vintage looking maps for this but it was really hard to find maps that were clear enough to print. You can find the maps however you like, though obviously google is the easiest option.

Finally you are ready to assemble! You want to draw a heart on the map around the area that you want, then cut them out. Then stick these onto your backing card in any pattern you like, and voila! You're done!

This DIY really is so simple, but I think its a really sweet idea and will definitely show that you've put a lot of thought into the gift. I hope you liked it! I'll be back next Sunday with another Christmas DIY.

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Weekly Highlights. #3

23 Nov 2013

L-R: Costa Snowman Coffee, Homemade Chocolate Tart for a dinner party, Homemade Advent Calenders, Happy with Mulled Wine, Crafting fun with my sister Katie, Christmas Tree crumpets, Katie and a handmade Robin bauble, Bens Cookies treat, Covent Garden looking festive, Crafting with Katie, Lunch at Le Pain. 
To sum up the last week in one word? Festive! I spent a Christmas crafting weekend with my sister, had my first mulled wine and ate a Christmas tree shaped crumpet. Christmas is officially here and I couldn't be happier! But here are my three highlights:

1. My sister may only live around a 25minute drive away but spending quality time together can sometimes be few and far between. So last weekend I packed up a bag and spent a long weekend crafting for Christmas, eating far too many mince pies and watching copious Christmas films with her. Christmas jumpers were well and truly on and it was lovely. :)

2. On Thursday I met up with one of my best friends from University, Hannah. We hadn't seen each other since we went to Bestival together back in September so it was really great to catch up. We had Christmas Coffee and bought amazingly cosy scarfs. An evening well spent I say!

3. Finally, my last highlight is coming home from my sisters to find that my mum had been doing some Christmas 'crafting' of her own. She had made me and my sister giant advent calenders and filled it ready with different treats. It was such a lovely gesture and I've since found out that she began it back in September! Me and my sister are lucky daughters! :)

So that's been my week, how've your weeks been?

read more " Weekly Highlights. #3 "

Review: TIGI S-Factor Smoothing Shampoo & Conditioner (BEST set ever.)

22 Nov 2013

This is my favourite shampoo and conditioner set EVER. Seriously. My only wish is that I'd found it sooner! I'd never heard of TIGI's S-Factor range until I started reading a few blogs last year, since then I've begun a minor (read as: major) obsession with the range.

The bottles pictured above are actually my second purchase, as I quite literally couldn't live without them. I buy the 750ml salon size as I find that to be the best value. They are on the pricier side, but you can buy them cheaper on websites like All Beauty and Amazon. My first bottles lasted me 4 months too, so even though they are more expensive in the initial pay out it's definitely worth it. I hate constantly feeling like I need to buy shampoo/conditioner so this is perfect for me.

The pump applicator makes it so easy to dispense in the shower and you never waste any product. Both the products smell deliciously of strawberries and the scent stays in your hair all day. The Shampoo is pink and glittery in color and really feels like it gives your hair a deep clean. The Conditioner is white and thick, giving the effect of using a hair mask. I concentrate the conditioner on the ends of my hair which gives my hair a lovely smooth finish.

Since using this set my hair feels so much healthier and stronger and is so much more manageable. I really can't say enough good things about them! My only tiny bug bear is that it's tricky to get the last dregs of product out of the bottles. Nothing that will effect my love for the product though!

Have you tried anything from the S-Factor range?

read more " Review: TIGI S-Factor Smoothing Shampoo & Conditioner (BEST set ever.) "

Review: Topshop Blush in Primetime

19 Nov 2013

After 3-4 hours of wearing Primetime 
Considering Topshop is primarily a highstreet clothes shop I really think they excel in their make-up collection. Their lipsticks and nail polishes are such great quality and now I've delved into the world of their blushes I can safely say that it'll be a permanent fixture in my make-up bag.

I picked up Primetime which is a cream to powder blush in a gorgeous bright pink shade. The blending ability of this is insane. It blends out so flawlessly and gives you a lovely rosy glow. I struggled to take a picture that showed the blush to its best ability, so the above photo is from a recent day out with my boyfriend. I'd been wearing the blush for at least 3 or 4 hours by the time we took the picture and I think it still gives a lovely radiant glow.

The blush is really pigmented so a little goes a long way. When applying I use my fingers to dab a little on the apples of my cheeks before blending it out. I'm sure a Stippling Brush would give the blush a gorgeous look after applying, but for the moment my fingers work just as well.

I'm definitely going to invest in more Topshop blushes in the future. Are there any shades you'd recommend?

read more " Review: Topshop Blush in Primetime "

DIY Christmas: Christmas Pudding Bauble

17 Nov 2013

Me and my best friend have our own Christmas tradition that we've kept up for a few years now. We exchange a Christmas decoration and this year I decided to make mine from scratch! I did actually make the decoration last year too, but it was nothing on the scale of this DIY. I'm so happy with how it turned out, so I thought I'd share the process with you in time for any Christmas crafting of your own! :)

First up you'll need to cut a square out of the brown felt, big enough to make a make-shift parcel (1). Next, you'll need to find a capable crafting partner (2) who can then help you do the hard bits! ...well that is, if you struggle with crafting like I do! ;) The technique for moulding the brown felt to the polystyrene ball is essentially cutting off the pleats (3) and then a lot of smoothing upwards whilst pinning down with small-headed pins (4).

After a bit of maneuvering you'll be left with the bottom half of your Christmas pudding (5). Then you need to start making the 'icing' using the sheet of white felt. The shape that you make your 'icing' is all dependent on where the pleats are on the bottom half of your bauble. To create the nicest finish, you can create longer 'icing' drips to hide the bigger pleats. I found creating a template first from paper helped as you can work out which shape is best for you (6). Once you've found the best shape, cut it out of the white felt ready to use. For added decoration you can then sew the white beads onto the edges of the white felt in any pattern you like (7). I think randomly dotting them works well though, as it gives it more of a home-made feel.

So the bauble can hang, you will then need to attach some string, or ribbon if you want it to look extra pretty through the middle of the white felt (8). I attached it by making a knot in the ribbon, creating a small hole in the felt and then poking the ribbon through. I then super-glued this into place. The next step is the most time consuming, as you need to attach the white felt to the top of the polystyrene ball. I affixed the upper part of the white felt with super glue, and then sewed around the edges to make pleats in the felt (9).

Next you will need to cut out three leaves from the green felt, again I made a template first so they were all symmetrical (10). I then attached these to the top of the bauble with super glue (11), and finally added on the fuzzy red pom poms again with super glue.

Voila! One super cute handmade Christmas Pudding Bauble! I think these make such a lovely gift and are a lot cheaper than buying one ready made! Also, who doesn't enjoy receiving something handmade? :)

I hope you liked this Christmassy DIY tutorial! I'm going to be posting a different Christmas craft post every Sunday in the build up to Christmas. :)

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Weekly Highlights. #2

16 Nov 2013

L-R: Mexican moustaches at dinner, New matte Barry M nail polish, Green Park in the autumn light,  Myself and the boy, Yummy tea and cake break, Jerk Chicken and Rice and Peas, a PR gift 'Wonder 10' spray, Beautiful London, Essie Button replying to my tweet, FOTN
Another weeks past already and it's time for the second installment of my Weekly Highlights! I'm pretty sure the temperature has dropped drastically this week, but I've been rather enjoying the wintery feel in the air. I'm currently sat with my Christmas jumper on, feeling very snug! But more on that next week :) Here's my three highlights of the week:

1. Last Sunday I went to my little cousin Ellis' first birthday and it was a super cute affair! I can't believe he's already a year old, he's already growing into a little man. It was a lovely day spent with the family playing with all the kids :)

2. On Thursday my lovely boyfriend made Jerk Chicken from scratch for us both and two of our good friends. It was literally DELICIOUS! With amazing home cooked rice and peas as well, it topped off a lovely evening with friends. 

3. Finally, last night I met up with some old college friends and had a good catch up over cocktails and Mexican food! With one of us now engaged, its crazy how much we've grown up since college. Its always nice to see old friends though :)

What've been your highlights this week? :)

read more " Weekly Highlights. #2 "

FOTN | Pub Evening

15 Nov 2013

Another FOTN of the night for you today. A subtle eye look as I was focusing on my lips. I really am loving wearing a bright lip at the moment rather than big eyes. I was never really into lip products until a few months ago and now I can't stop wanting more! Especially now its in the midst of Autumn, red lips are definitely becoming a staple for me.

Here's what I had on my face:

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Light 2
Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in 52
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Translucent

Bourjois Délice de Soleil Bronzer in 12 Fair/Medium
Topshop Cream Blush in Prime Time
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle

MAC Naked Lunch Eyeshadow
MAC Soba Eyeshadow
Revlon ColourStay Eyeliner in Blackest Black 01
Maybelline The Falsies Mascara in Flared

Topshop Lipstick in Rio Rio

I hope you liked this FOTN post! What've you been reaching for most nights this Autumn? 

read more " FOTN | Pub Evening "

Review: Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in 16

12 Nov 2013

About a month ago when visiting my friend Charlotte in Hull I made a cheeky lipstick purchase in Boots! Rimmel really are producing great lip products at the moment and the Kate Moss collection has some amazing lipsticks. I'd never really heard anything about number 16 (I so wish they had real names!) in the collection but I was on the hunt for an everyday shade so I picked it up to swatch anyway and totally fell in love. It is more pink than I originally wanted as I was looking for more of a nude shade but I think it is still really flattering for everyday wear.

The formulation is lovely and creamy, and is kind of 'mediumly' pigmented if that makes any sense? One swipe will do you fine, but its definitely build-able to create a more intense colour. I find rubbing my lips together after applications gives a really nice smooth finish to the lipstick too.

Lasting power is pretty good, at least 3-4 hours or so. Although the lipstick does sometimes have a tendency to collect at the corners of your mouth, so its best to take it off completely and re-apply rather than just top up.

Generally I do really enjoy wearing this! The shade is really flattering and great if you like a more subtle shade in the evening. The packaging is also really lovely and at £5.49 its a pretty bargain!

Have you tried any other Kate Moss lipsticks? (Aside from 107 obviously...;)!)

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School of Grazia: Beauty Blogging

10 Nov 2013

Last Monday I attended the School of Grazia: Beauty Blogging talk which was hosted by Grazia Editor Angela Buttolph and featured Essie Button, Lily Pebbles and Fleur De Force. It was a free event at the Apple Store on Regent Street and was a really interesting evening! I only actually remembered about the event the day before, but I'm really glad I did!

The girls were interviewed about all aspects of blogging - how they begun, their posting schedules and how they've made it into a full-time career etc. Seeing all three girls in the flesh was really exciting, my inner fangirl may have gotten rather excited! And yes, they are all as beautiful in real life!

I thought I'd share with you a few tips that I gathered from the night! :)

Be yourself! Be honest in your opinions/reviews and your readers will thank you for it.

Don't set out to be 'successful' - let your blog grow naturally.

Don't feel that you always have to post 'exciting' content - more realistic everyday posts can interest readers too.

Don't start a blog for the free products! They are a perk, but not the goal.

Get on twitter! Make friends and network. 

Don't worry about fancy equipment/web designers - use what you can. Simpler tech can still give professional results. 

Finally, the most important advice in my eyes: Don't obsess over follower numbers! Lily said she only had 30 followers for her first year of blogging, and now its her career. Hard work does pay off. 

Being the first blogging event I'd ever gone to, I was a little apprehensive about going but it was so worth it! Seeing bloggers who've inspired me and meeting fellow bloggers in the audience was a really great experience. The only criticism I did have, was that there was quite a lot of talk about the girls Youtube channels, which wasn't particularly beneficial to me! It was still really interesting though and I'm sure helped some of the other girls at the event. :)

There is a Fashion blogging talk tomorrow and a Food blogging talk next Monday if you're interested in going! You can reserve a place here. I hope my little round-up of tips was helpful!

read more " School of Grazia: Beauty Blogging "

Weekly Highlights. #1

9 Nov 2013

L-R: Billy Elliot at the Theatre, my first Red Cup this year, Reindeer in Covent Garden, Katie with the Chocolate Cookies, my curled hair, Coq Au Vin, the School of Grazia talk, myself and Katie when we were children, Cloudy Lemonade at Jamie's Diner, amazing Chicken at Jamie's Diner
Now I'm not one for a public sob story, but for the past few months the 'job' aspect to my life has not been a happy one. Without going into details I've realised that because this side to my life has been dragging my mood down, its also been dampening my mood in all aspects of life. Now not to sound cliché, but life is brilliant! And I don't want to be negative, when realistically so many parts of my life are still wonderful at the moment.

So with that in mind, I wanted to recognise the good in my week so that when I'm feeling a little down I can look back and put things into perspective. I would say YOLO, but I'm not cool enough to make that sound ironic. So here are my three highlights of the week:

1. My Dad's Birthday last Saturday turned into a lovely baking day for me and my sister Katie (check out her blog here). We made English muffins, amazing chocolate cookies and Coq Au Vin for dinner. <3

2. Recently money has been quite tight, but my lovely boyfriend (check out his blog here) has treated me to far too many yummy dinners. We found the best Cloudy Lemonade in Jamie's Diner this week. <3

3. Lastly, I attended the School of Grazia Blogging talk on Monday with Essie Button, Lily Pebbles and Fleur De Force speaking. It was really interesting, and I managed to make a new blogging friend, check out her lovely blog InSamazement here

What've been your highlights this week? :)

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Cheeky Christmas Lush Haul!

8 Nov 2013

With all the beauty vloggers videos of Lush Hauls at the moment I think its an impressive feat that A. I only bought 3 bath bombs and B. I resisted this long!! I mean really, what are they trying to do to my bank balance?! So with that in mind I thought I'd tempt you lovely readers into breaking open the money bank like I did!

Lush does Christmas products SO well in my eyes. Who can resist a cute penguin? Or a present with an ACTUAL surprise inside?! Its beyond me!

So after much deliberation and smelling so many different products I struggled to differentiate anything at all! I settled on:

With its cute little face, and orange blossom and Sicilian lemon scent I think it would've been a crime to leave The Christmas Penguin on the shelf. The penguins are based on the 'little penguins' found on Philips Island, Australia which are the smallest in the world!! So cute. It is apparently a good bubble bar for fans of The Olive Branch shower gel, but as I've never used it I can't say if I agree. As a bubble bar you're guaranteed mountains of bubbles, as it is essentially a bubble bath in solid form! Now I've just got to pluck up the courage to crumble his little face up in my bath....wish me luck?

I am ratherrrrrr obsessed with my Mint Julips Lip Scrub. So when I saw that Santa's Christmas version was on the shelves I had to at least inspect it! And once inspected, the justification that I needed scrub for home and one for handbag seemed logical and obvious. Right? The fact that the scrub is red and has tiny hearts in it is a winner in my eyes! The only downside to it is that its Cola flavoured, although still nice I'd much rather it of been something more christmassy like cinnamon. But, the wonderous softening effects still work so I'm a happy camper!

Cinders may not be the most exciting of Bath Bombs, considering I didn't purchase the melting snowman! But, I love the smell of Cinnamon and it makes me feel so christmassy I couldn't pass it up! There is also a scattering of popping candle to evoke the 'by the fireside' feelings! This is the only bath bomb from my collection that I've used so far and it was so lovely. I felt super relaxed, and it made my skin feel so soft. The smell was amazing in my bathroom too!

Finally, is the ultimate in Christmas bath bombs, The Golden Wonder! A glittery present, with a turquoise present inside loaded with stars! I am SO excited to try this one out. I'm saving it for a special occasion, when a long bath is all that will soothe me. It smells of champagne, orange, lime and cognac oil and is apparently the scent of Snowshowers Shower Jelly. I'll definitely let you know how I get on with this particular bomb. :)

I'm sure I'll be back in Lush before the Christmas products are gone for another year, but for now these have definitely given me enough excitement for a while. Have you bought any of the Christmas range??

read more " Cheeky Christmas Lush Haul! "

My Top 5 Autumn Lip Products.

5 Nov 2013

Back in July I blogged about my top 3 summer lip products (HERE) and now with Autumn around us and my growing lip collection I thought it was time for a seasonal update! This time I have 5 favourites in various formulas!

First up will come as no surprise! Its a blogging favourite - the Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick in 107. I have actually always found it a tricky shade to wear, as it seems a lot darker on me than other people. But, in saying that I do realllyy love it now! Its so vampy and literally perfect for autumn. The formulation is lovely too, really creamy and easy to apply. I'm definitely going to try and get more use out of it!

Second up is an old favourite of mine, the Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Roomiest Rose. Its quite a subtle colour on me which is easily build-able making it perfect for everyday wear. I wrote a full review on this balm back in February, which you can read here.

Thirdly is a recent October Favourite, my Topshop Lipstick in Rio Rio. Super matte and highly pigmented this shade is a real statement lip. Its quite an orangey toned red, which gives it a really flattering finish. It also lasts really well through the day, which is great in colder weather when regular coffee and tea fixes are needed to warm up!

Fourth is a lipstick that I recently re-found after ignoring it for too long! Bourjois Lipstick in Sweet Kiss 56 is a really lovely bright red. Its really moisturising on the skin and leaves a beautiful satin like finish on the lips. Its tricky to portray in the photos but the shape of the lipstick is slightly flatter making it surprisingly easy to apply too!

Finally, we have the Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Apocoliptic taking up the rear. Like Kate Moss' 107 this is another product that I struggled to wear at first. I felt the colour was a little off on me, and wasn't sure on the texture. But after recent re-uses of it I've totally changed my opinion! The combination of a lip gloss applicator against a matte finish is really great! The lacquer also lasts hours on the lips too, always a winner in my eyes!

Do you ever find that after initially disliking a product you grow to love it?? Let me know! :) I hope you liked my Top 5 selection!

read more " My Top 5 Autumn Lip Products. "

Sunday Cook: Autumn Pumpkin Soup (and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Snack!)

3 Nov 2013

Autumn is most definitely one of the best seasons for food. Warming stews, soups and pies are some of my favourites to make (and obviously eat!). As it was Halloween this week I thought I'd share with you a super tasty Pumpkin Soup recipe that me and my boyfriend made. As well as a tasty way to use the leftover pumpkin seeds!

Pumpkin Soup:

Ingredients: 2 onions (or a handful of baby onions) * 1kg pumpkin * 700ml Vegetable Stock * Small pot of Double Cream * Bread to dip!

Home made soup is literally so easy to make but always seems rather impressive to serve I think! Firstly you need to chop the onions and peel, de-seed and chop the pumpkin. Saving the innards for the pumpkin seed snack if you want!

Heat some olive oil in a pan, then add the onions for around 5 minutes until they are soft. Next add the chopped pumpkin and cook for 8-10 minutes, until turning soft and golden. You then need to add the vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring the pan to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes until the squash is very soft.

Finally add the cream and bring back to the boil. Then purée the mixture with a hand blender. This can get messy so be careful! And voila! You've made soup! Bring out the bowls and bread and dig in!

For a little extra touch you can grate some nutmeg on top. We managed to get 5 portions out of this batch, but really it depends how big your bowls are!

To use up the leftover pumpkin seeds I found a recipe on A Beautiful Mess that looked yummy! Simply wash and strain the seeds to get rid of any residue pulp, add a tablespoon of oil and any spices that you like. We chose smoked paprika and tumeric! Then spread flat on a baking tray and bake in the oven at Gas Mark 6/200C for about 15 minutes or until they are golden in colour. Do watch them though in case your oven cooks quicker, as they will burn easily! They end up a bit like popcorn, but obviously a lot healthier! :)

I hope you enjoy both recipes! Do let me know if you try either of them :)

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