Outside of QVC
Can you believe I have made it to 38 years of age and have never been to a pumpkin patch? Never! I’ve done every other kind of ‘pick your own’ but not pumpkins. I guess it’s also a bit of an American thing that perhaps has only recently caught on here in a big way. Either way, we decided to mark the beginning of autumn and October with a trip to the Cat & Fiddle Pumpkin Patch in the New Forest.
It was a beautiful day and the girls were so excited to be able to run around and play in such a fabulous setting. They had a big play tractor to climb on and a cafe with ice cream so that was all they could possibly want. They helped with the wheel barrow and ran up and down the rows and rows of pumpkins trying to find the BIGGEST one. Which they did! Literally the biggest one in the field which they just had to have. It’s massive and we had to bring it back to the shop in the barrow as we wouldn’t have been able to carry it all the way.
I did try to convince them that it was too big to take home but they were having none of it. It’s going to take hours to carve when Halloween comes around. We also got a smaller one for me to turn into soup which I will tell you about later, but Ivy was devastated when she realised I had cooked it and so then spent the evening hugging the giant pumpkin by the fire place telling it ‘don’t worry, we won’t carve you up’. So it may have to just stay as it is! It was a really lovely family day and well worth the visit, I think it’s really important to go to pick your own farms to show the kids exactly where a lot of their food comes from.
Of course this week we celebrated our 25th Anniversary at QVC, what a milestone eh? Did you watch that day? There were a few surprises, particularly for Julia Roberts who was on air on the very first day of QVC 25 years ago. So they surprised her with flowers and a cake in the shape of the very first product that was on air, which was a clock in the shape of a car.
Thankfully we have come a long way since then and the brands that we have on offer are vast and brilliant. Like Bobbi Brown make-up for example, one of the biggest brands of make-up in the world. On Monday I filmed The Big Deal that is coming your way next week from this incredible brand, which has been one of my favourites since I was a teenager, granted most likely pinched from my mum.
It really is an amazing offer of both liquid skin foundation and a stick foundation and brush. It’s a great way of creating your own foundation wardrobe for different occasions when you want different levels of coverage. You can use them separately or together, so look out for that offer next week as you will get them at a great price. Meanwhile have a look at the rest of the range that we have to offer, Shimmer Bricks are a favourite of mine.
What I’m using
I know I mentioned Ecozone last week but I’ve just tried another one of their products and I’m really impressed so I had to share. It’s their Fabric Wrinkle Away. Now I know some people like to iron but I am not one of them. The number of times I pull something out of my wardrobe and then put it back because I will have to iron it is ridiculous. It’s also the big things like sheets, bedding, upholstery, blankets and cushion covers etc that just get left or it takes forever to do them. So I thought OK let’s give this a go and try it on something really tough, like crumpled denim.
So I took one of Tilda’s little dresses that was out of the wash but had been left in the laundry basket so had got really crumpled. I sprayed it all over and then smoothed out the fabric with my hands. I then left it for a few minutes and here is the result. No it’s not as pristine as if I had ironed it but it’s pretty darn good in my opinion, remember this is denim!! I will be using this on EVERYTHING, particularly my fitted sheets which I hate to iron. Pillowcases will be a dream. It’s also going to be good for those who travel. It did however fly out the door last time on air so you need to put yourself down on Waitlist as you just have to try this. This is going to be a game-changer in my house, school tunics that have been left crumpled on a chair, will no longer be a problem in the morning.
What I’m wearing
I have been living in my Baukjen Florries waffle jumper, it goes with everything as it’s neutral and is really rather flattering. It’s got a lovely wide V-neck to it which gives it a relaxed feel. I throw it on in the morning for the school run but then I can also style it up with my leopard print skirt for a dressier feel. It is also so easy at the weekend to wear out an about with jeans like I did for the pumpkin patch.
Some of you may have spotted a rather fabulous pair of shoes that I’ve been wearing a lot on air, I have had quite a few Tweets asking about them. They are the silver Vionic Wise Hadley Brogue and I am completely in love with them. They make any outfit so much more exciting and, like the jumper above, it’s neutral so goes with everything. I am really into flats nowadays, I still love a heel but my feet don’t, so flats are the way forward.
Being Vionic they have that arch support which my feet really appreciate but they are super fashionable and no one needs to know that they are actually Orthotic unless you want to tell them! I am however a believer in sharing the love. What is really cool about them is that they have an elastic under the tongue of the shoe so that you can wear them without laces, but if you want the traditional lace-up then they are also included.
In the Kitchen – Pumpkin Sage & Coconut Milk Soup
Well obviously I had to make something with the pumpkin didn’t I and I was spoilt for choice. Pumpkin pie, roast spiced pumpkin, pumpkin bread, it goes on. In the end I decided a big vat of soup was the answer to keep us stocked up in the freezer for lunches.
What I used:
1 whole smallish pumpkin carved into 8 boat-like slices
2 sweet potatoes
1 whole large white onion, chopped
1 can coconut milk
2 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
Large jug of chicken stock (or veg)
Firstly I laid the pumpkin on roasting trays and drizzled oil on them with a sprinkle of salt. I also lay a few leaves of sage across each piece. I popped them in the oven for about 40 minutes on 180 then left to cool.
I then fried the chopped onion with the garlic until it was starting to brown in my large casserole dish. I then peeled and diced the sweet potato and added it into the pan followed by the jug of stock. In retrospect I should have also roasted the sweet potato for ease, I will do that next time.
I then scooped out all the flesh from the pumpkin pieces with a spoon leaving the skin behind. I added this to the pan and let simmer with a large sprig of fresh sage added for extra flavour. Once the sweet potato was cooked through I then added the can of coconut milk and stirred. I left it to cool a little and then removed the sprig of sage and blended it using a stick blender (like this one from Morphy Richards).
Then serve with crusty bread or pop it in a flask to take out on a cold day. I think I will make this again for bonfire night!
That’s it from me for another week, what are you looking forward to about autumn? Will you be making your own soup? Let me know in the comments and as always keep up with me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks for reading,
Lots of love