Seasonal

HALLOWEEN

Ok so I promised a Halloween blog post and here it is, in all its glorious ghoulishness!
halloween lettering copy
Halloween at our house is as big an occasion as Christmas, it is HUGE! We love the fact that we can do something special for all the neighbourhood children and scare a few of the grown-ups along the way!

We spend at least a day dressing the outside of the house with all manner or scary props and then on Hallows eve the floodgates open and the entire neighbourhood is filled with ghosts, ghouls, zombies, werewolves, spiders and everything equally scary!

Our exterior decorations have grown over the years, we started out with just a few bits like cobwebs and do not enter tape we bought at the likes of Wilkinsons etc but our first significant purchase was “Bones”.  He is our static life sized ghoul who holds a steaming goblet which changes colour. My partner bought an outfit to match and so the pair of them stand at the front of the house. One obviously isn’t going to move but the other will and my goodness he’s made some people jump over the years! We’ve added to Bones by way of a few floating ghosts which come to life when they hear a sound so again, when Bones and my partner are stood still they are silent but when the Trick or Treaters knock on the door they come to life and are quite terrifying! We have bubbling cauldrons, skeleton dogs and cats, bats and gravestones.   Another thing we tend to do is open the door VERY loudly and quickly, again this is something most people don’t expect, and even those returning year upon year don’t seem to remember and they jump!

Vampire Costume
Inflatable wings Vampire costume

My eldest has been a number of different devilish things for Halloween; A werewolf, the scream character, but my favourite was a vampire with inflatable wings! Super cute!  Now he’s nearly a teenager he’s gone off the idea of going out trick or treating (apparently it’s not cool!) so no doubt this year he’ll just be joining in the sweet eating at home!

My outfit is custom made by my fair hands! I created a corpse bride outfit made from a second hand wedding dress purchased from ebay! I absolutely LOVE it and have roamed the streets with my son on many a hallows eve! Face and body painted the lot!  I adore Tim Burtons the Corpse bride and I can’t wait till George is big enough so I can wear my outfit and do it all over again!!!

Our pumpkin carving is also a huge event in our house and generally involves the entire kitchen being taken over with carving tools, buckets and drills etc. My partner favours a more mechanical technique, a Dremel, for carving intricate designs, I prefer the more traditional approach but I must admit I was tempted last year to give the Dremel a try! We’ve done some lovely designs over the years, granted none of us will win a turner prize but I think they’re great.

We hand pick our Pumpkins from Maxeys Farm Shop Pumpkins, their pumpkin field is phenomenal! They make complete event of it with Pumpkin Bouncy castles, a BBQ, even a Halloween Shop.  Their Pumpkins are great, very reasonably priced and the fun really is in the picking!

All our carved pumpkins stand pride of place outside the front of the house cordoned off so no one can get burned by the candles. I also like to make a mean Pumpkin soup with the leftover carvings too!

Halloween is such a great night! Living on such a large estate I love that it starts off slowly with the really little ones who are just adorable in their cute Halloween outfits (We’ve already got George a few outfits including a Pumpkin, Ghostbuster and my favourite Harry Potter even though he won’t be going out this year!) We always try to be as friendly and inviting as we can with the little ones as we don’t want to absolutely terrify them BUT as the night goes on the mood generally gets scarier and scarier until all that’s left are the teenagers and in the end they usually poop their pants too!

We’ve hosted neighbourhood parties on Halloween which included apple bobbing contests and other games but after the marauding masses subside it’s our Halloween tradition that as a family we always have Hotdogs, cake and sweeties! It’s a tradition that I love and will continue to do with my children (and in lots of time hopefully grandchildren) as long as I am able!

When it comes to the Trick or Treats we always opt for treats and usually end up spending a small fortune on Sweet shop favourites such as Drumstick Lollies, Refreshers etc etc.

So when it comes to Halloween get your best scary outfit on, and have a great time!

Be safe, take a grown up and our main rule is ONLY knock on the houses with Pumpkins – Those are the ones who want to join in the fun!

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Health & Beauty

Indulge in some ME time – My 10 favourite ‘Pamper Mummy’ items

Ok so you’re working really hard being this amazing new mum and everything’s beginning to settle into a bit of a routine (or maybe not, but don’t worry!). Little one has everything they could possibly ever need; everyone is fed, watered and still alive! You’re doing a GREAT JOB!

Question is….How are YOU? Have YOU had 5 minutes peace today? The likelihood is you’re probably a little bit (or a lotta bit) knackered and you’ve forgotten what the word ‘peace’ means! Again, don’t worry you’re doing a GREAT JOB! This is completely normal and all part of the being a parent thing!

However sometimes, just sometimes, it’s nice to be nice to yourself! Even if it’s just a simple little 5 second thing that makes you feel good, DO IT! You DESERVE IT! You made a whole person!!!!!!!

There are a few things that I like to make me feel a little more human, a little less Mum, a little more ME, calmer and just a bit ahhhhh…….

Here’s my favourite ‘Pamper Mummy’ items;

Clarins Eau Ressourcante Bath & Shower Milk
1.Clarins Eau Ressourcante Bath and Shower Cream 150 ml This smells absolutely divine, it reminds me of a Spa day I had at Eden Hall, it instantly takes me back to sitting in my dressing gown, totally relaxed having my facial. I use this in the shower when I need a little ME time.
Elemis Sweet Orchid Body Cream
2. ELEMIS Sweet Orchid Body Cream – Exquisite Body Cream, 50mlAnother little luxury from the very same Spa day, lovely and light, gorgeous fragrance and after a nice soak (if you’re lucky) in the bath it’s a fab ME time thing!
Clarins Eau Ressourcante Spray
3. Clarins Eau Ressourcante Spray I use this at bedtime if I’m feeling a little tense or anxious for the very same reasons as the Bath & Shower Milk. Divine and helps me drift off to sleep which as a new mum is often the best ME time you can get!
Carolina Herrera 212 VIP Perfume
4. Carolina Herrera 212 VIP Eau de Parfum spray 80 ml Sometimes you just need a spritz of perfume to lift your spirits. This is one of my absolute favs and definitely a ME time staple.
Paul Smith Portrait Perfume
5. Paul Smith Portrait for Women Eau De Parfum Spray for Her 80 ml Another of my staple perfumes, harder to find this one nowadays but I love it and always feel great when wearing it, perfect as a treat for ME.
Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm
6. Clarins HydraQuench Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm, 15 ml A lovely way to take care of your lips in the colder weather to come, this is a staple item in my ME time box of tricks!
Baylis & Harding Jojoba, Silk & Almond Oil cream hand wash
7. Baylis & Harding Hand Wash, Jojoba, Silk and Almond Oil, 500 ml, Pack of 3 Ok so you might not have chance for a shower or a bath to make you feel good but you’re going to wash your hands at some point today right? Right! This totally luxurious, gorgeously scented hand wash is the answer! A waft of this and it never fails to put a smile on my face, it’s just so nice! A little bit of ME time every time you wash your hands! Perfect!
Drying your Hair
8. Drying my hair! So I hardly ever do this anymore. I’ll often wash it then scrape it back into the obligatory ‘messy bun’ or ponytail and that’s it. To actually take a few minutes to just dry your hair can be enough to give you that ME time you need! It feels like an absolute luxury!
Rimmel Rain Rain Go Away 60 Second Shine Nail Varnish
9. Rimmel London 60 Seconds Super Shine by Rita Ora Nail Polish, 498 Rain Rain Go Away, 8 ml Now although you may need to pick your moment to apply this, I have to say it’s a complete game changer! Dries quickly and I just LOVE this nude colour! My absolute Favourite, and having your nails done (even if you DIY) always makes me feel good! Perfect ME time equipment!
Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask
10.Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask, 75 mlnice to give yourself 5 minutes of ME time. Your face feels so soft and hydrated after using this lovely face mask, it’s my favourite part of my ME time skincare routine.