Our Family at Halloween

Since the children were born, Halloween has always been a fun event that the children really look forward to.  Once the boy’s birthday is over mid October we start visiting local Halloween attractions.  We particularly love the National Trust trails, with one of our favourite being at Saltram House, our nearest, although others nearby that we would recommend are at Buckland Abbey and Cotehele which also offers pumpkin carving and is set by a river estuary with beautiful gardens.  All of them though are stunning on a sunny day and never let you down with the amazing plants throughout the gardens and always provide a peaceful, calm experience that is enjoyed by all the family!

The view above is of our walk around Saltram House gardens whilst doing the pumpkin trail.  I love the colour of the Autumn leaves and seeing them fallen to the ground across the lawn, the house is the perfect backdrop for this.

The trails at Saltram always keep the kids occupied whether they are inside or out.  The pumpkin trail was through the gardens and consisted of looking for letters of the alphabet in areas where there were pumpkins and then solving the anagram of letters to find a word.  The newly 8yr old Mister B exceeded in his word knowledge as usual and came up with the answer a mere 5 letters into the 8 letter word!!

One thing I love about National Trust properties is the appeal to both young and old.  Although my children don’t notice certain elements, I really appreciate things like this gorgeous Autumn wreath abundant with golden colours upon one of their doors.

As it gets closer to Halloween the children are keen to carve pumpkins so we always go pumpkin shopping together.  This year we’ve been particularly busy so ended up at our local supermarket and picked out some large pumpkins (this did require Miss M climbing over several giant boxes of them to uncover the best looking/shaped ones!).

Here are Mister B’s, Mummy’s and Miss M’s designs:

And in the dark:

Waste not want not!

As we carve our pumpkins we firstly scoop out the pulp which is filled with the seeds.  If you run this under cold water over a colander you’ll find the seeds separate really easily away from the pulp which is great if you wish to toast them.  After discarding the pulp, give the seeds a shake, allow them to dry for a while then lay them out on a baking tray.  Give them a good slug of olive oil, a generous sprinkle of salt and roast in the oven for half an hour or so until golden brown.  These make a delicious snack or a great addition to a bowl of soup.

Once the pulp and seeds are gone, we use an ice cream scoop to scrape out some of the flesh from around the edge.  We find quite a lot comes out and by making the pumpkin wall a little thinner it is easier to carve.  I then add the flesh to some fried onions, garlic and a few vegetable stock cubes and boil up in my extra large cooking pot until softened.  Then I use my hand blender to smooth into a thick, easy to eat, hearty soup. Serve with a good grinding of black pepper and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds.

Once our tummies are filled with a warming bowl of soup it’s time to get out in the neighbourhood trick or treating.  Mister B doesn’t like the scary look so opted for the cute skeleton dress up this year whilst Miss M preferred a Dracula style image.

Despite several heavy downpours, nothing deterred these two from their Trick or Treating.  With a bag in hand to carry any treats they received, I have to say they did pretty well.  As well as a mega haul of sweets, they came back with a chocolate doughnut, a plastic spider and a freshly made spider cake (although this got devoured on the way round!).

What did your family get up to for Halloween?  Did your kids go Trick or Treating?

Autumn Crafts with Baker Ross

Autumn crafts are so lovely with the pretty colours and really get the kids thinking about trees and leaves and encourages their desire to start collecting Autumnal items.  They’ve really enjoyed making some Autumn inspired kits from Baker Ross to use and hang up around the house.

wp_20161103_10_59_51_proThe children got stuck in straightaway, they love crafts and they love the ease and effectiveness of the Baker Ross kits.  They always look so impressive when finished and we love hanging them up around the house to enjoy.


Both children enjoyed colouring in the bookmarks while Miss M did the cross stitch for them both.  Meanwhile Mister B got creative with some Autumn themed foam stickers.  He made a wonderful picture which we have up on our kitchen wall and he loves telling people what each of the animals are doing in it.autumn-baker-ross-2 My favourite has to be these  Autumn leaves, in bright Autumnal colours.  The children loved creating these using coloured sand to pour onto sticky templates.  You simply peel off the section of leaf that you wish to colour in and then pour the sand on.  It really is that simple and the result is a stunning, brightly coloured leaf. I was keen to show these off so have tied the ribbons along a length of cord and have it hanging across my back doors to my garden and it always gets admired at by visitors.

Again the Baker Ross crafts have been a success and we look forward to showing you more in the future. These kits are really worthwhile and keep the kids occupied.  Seeing them happy with what they produce is great and they make some lovely themed decorations for our house throughout the year.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.






Autumn Crafts from Baker Ross

Baker Ross crafts have proved hugely popular with my children, I think partly because they are simple to do, and also because they are different to other craft sets therefore immediately engage my children’s interest.  We have been sent some Autumn crafts to try, so you can read below how we got on.

Baker Ross xWith the Rugby World Cup due to start on the 18th September (as I keep being reminded by the husband!), these cute little wooden trophy magnets, immediately caught the children’s eye.  They both eagerly sat down to decorate them, using some acrylic deco pens also from Baker Ross which are excellent for surfaces such as these.

baker ross 2Each trophy has a stick on magnet to apply to the back which the children added and then put their trophies on our fridge door.  They really enjoyed decorating these and I think they’d be a great craft for children to do and take home at birthday parties etc.

baker ross 3Next up is this rather fabulous hedgehog sewing kit.  At first glance I thought it may be a bit tricky, but it’s been cleverly designed to incorporate sewing and sticking, meaning children don’t get bored and get to see the finished result surprisingly quickly.

baker ross 4There are two pieces of felt that form the main body of the hedgehog that require sewing together for which a plastic needle is provided.  Miss M loved doing this, then she got to stuff the creature  with the wadding which was also fun.  To decorate the front, there are sticky backed felt pieces making it really simple to do and Miss M was thrilled with the finished result.  Hedgehog now goes to bed with her each night!

baker ross 6Miss M was keen to try the cross stitch kits which are a lovely selection of card animals with a selection of brightly coloured thread to stitch with.  We started with the hedgehog as Miss M wanted a friend for her sewn hedgehog above.  Although it’s was Miss M’s first attempt at cross stitch she did incredibly well.  The cardboard templates are strong and stay flat making it easy for young ones to stitch, there are also big needles included, perfect for little fingers.

baker ross 5I’m really pleased with these kits, they make sewing for children simple and it encourages them to practice and want to do more.  Miss M has started on the fox cross stitch next and I can’t wait to see them all finished.

If you want to see some more fun crafts, then we have some Halloween inspired crafts from Baker Ross coming up next week, so keep an eye out for the blog post.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the products in order to write the review.