A trick for a tasty Halloween treat




If you have left the pumpkin decorating to the very last minute (like me, every year) here is the perfect Halloween treat idea – for you, not the trick & treaters…spiced roasted pumpkin seeds. Here’s how:

Once you have scooped the insides of the pumpkin just reserve the seeds. Then preheat the oven to 180C.

Scatter the pumpkin seeds onto a lined baking tray. Then add some warming spices to the seeds. I used smoked paprika, sea salt and brown sugar for a smoke-salt-sweet flavour that works really well. I have tried this with ras el hanout, garam masala and even soy sauce in the past; all work really well.

Once you have added your spices, just roast the seeds in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until slightly golden, and your house smells delicious.

Let the spiced pumpkin seeds cool a little before eating them slightly warm. They are good at room temperature too, and will store in a jar for a couple of days before losing some of their crunch. I am saving these for tonight, after the last of the trick & treaters have been, and I can sit down with a nice cold glass of wine!





Catching up with the 52 project






20141026_150926edA portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2014

A few weeks missed, and caught up with in some way by these recent portraits. The technology has not been going my way over the last few weeks…two broken laptop screens, one fixed, one still broken, an ancient and partly broken phone. Also the possibility that all of my photos (ever) pre-this-summer have been lost due to a broken hard drive. There is some hope they can be restored, probably at great expense, but I cannot lose them, particularly the baby photos. So, for now, I’m not dwelling on it, hoping that they can be saved.

Mia has also been unwell over the last few weeks. She has had an awful flu-type virus that she has really struggled to fight. I have been quite worried about her constant fever and lack of eating. Thank goodness she is now on the mend…getting back to her noisy, bossy, constantly snacking little self.

Mia & Joseph: enjoying autumn…leaves, fresh air, pigeon chasing, tree climbing, first shoes (he’s not so keen!) and quiet crafting time

Joining in with Jodi and the other lovely bloggers at Practising Simplicity for the 52 portraits project.

Pumpkin patch











A few photos from last weekend, when we visited the local pick your own pumpkin patch. After years of seeing beautiful photos on US blogs of pumpkin fields, I so wanted the pumpkin patch experience myself…yep, I’m kind of strange! Pumpkin picking at the farm seemed to be really popular, and in the gorgeous October sunshine, we spent a long time selecting the best pumpkins, choosing so many more than we really needed…or could carry! They are now displayed around the house…in the kitchen, on the mantelpiece, with the largest reserved for Halloween carving this week.

A festival of autumn


Last Sunday we visited the Earth Trust for a festival celebrating autumn, water, and all things pumpkiny. I have mentioned my love for the Earth Trust many times, including our trips to the lambing weekends here and here and to the wonderful Oxfordshire Goes Wild event.

As supporters of the Earth Trust there was no way we were missing the autumn festival! Their events are always so well planned for families, with outside activities, including crafts, storytelling and a usually some delicious local food at their Poem Tree cafe.

20141005_134451 There was a very popular mud pie kitchen…Joe was so so happy sitting in the middle of it all, with his spoons and leaves.

20141005_133957The beautiful Earth Trust chickens, surrounded by windfalls

20141005_134338Some of the pumpkins were incredibly well hidden in trees!

20141005_134650Cracking fresh walnuts with rocks! A pleasing amount of destruction, with shells going everywhere, and a tasty snack!


20141005_134113Water facts in the orchard

20141005_135005He refused to leave the mud pies

20141005_133248Gorgeous natural arrangements

20141005_132734edBaby sensory area with natural objects to explore

20141005_132204I fell in love with the classroom chairs…

20141005_135931and this, my favourite shed

A wonderful day, outdoors, celebrating the start of a new season.

forty / fifty two


20141005_132734edA portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2014

Mia: distracted from her pumpkin hunt for a few moments by some beautifully crafted fairy wands

Joseph: sensory play in the barn at the Earth Trust

Joining in with Jodi at Practising Simplicity for the 52 portraits project. Pop over and take a look at the wonderful portraits everyone has taken this week!