Here’s To All Things Autumn
Autumn is definitely upon us, although it is still pretty mild! However, the darker mornings, dusk creeping in early and the clocks going back on Sunday 30th October leaves us in no doubt.
So, what good autumnal tips can we share with you and your family to help things go with an autumnal swing?!
Well, first we would encourage you to embrace all those gorgeous autumn colours of course and then take a look at these ideas…
If only our lovely pumpkin decorations would last that little bit longer! Well, there is a way and here’s how: mix very carefully together in a spray bottle 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Spray the solution on to your pumpkins (inside and out) as this prevents the bacteria from building up and destroying them so quickly. Please take great care with this and ensure adult supervision with children. Also make sure everyone knows there is a bleach solution on the pumpkin.
In a similar way, where you carve out the eyes and mouth on your pumpkin, you can stop them going brown. Simply apply petroleum jelly onto the exposed cuts and this will keep them looking fresher for longer!
And finally, for a really great way to clean out the inside of your pumpkins (you know, all the messy pith and pips!) attach a beater/whisk to a power drill and away you go!
In colder autumn weather many of us naturally turn towards certain comfort foods and for you that could mean potatoes!
If you find you are eating more potatoes than usual, you may also find yourself forever at the kitchen sink giving them a wash! Save yourself some washing time by filling your dishwasher with lots of potatoes and run them through the rinse cycle – no soap of course!
No More Chapped Lips …
For anyone who suffers dried, sore & cracked lips once the colder weather arrives, here’s a really great way to help prevent this by applying a nourishing oil such as olive or almond oil to your lips before you go to bed and let the oil work its’ magic overnight!
If you are entertaining this autumn, a really great idea and definitely an eye catching feature is making your own pumpkin drinks cooler.
Carve out one half of a large pumpkin, fill it with a little water and plenty of ice and then get your bottles and cans cooling!
In a similar way, an autumnal floral arrangement in a pumpkin half is also very eye catching. Halve a pumpkin, scoop out the contents, then place a piece of soaked oasis into the scooped out half so it fits snugly across the centre. Start arranging with beautiful autumn coloured flowers, berries and foliage. You won’t be disappointed with the effect!
The Smell of Autumn…
There is nothing better than a lovely natural homemade smell permeating your home and this is particularly true for this time of year.
This recipe will literally fill your home with the heady aroma of autumn: take a handful of cinnamon sticks plus the rind of one peeled orange, 2 tablespoons of whole cloves and 3-5 bay leaves. Fill a saucepan with water, add all the ingredients and simmer gently. We think you will love the wonderful aroma it releases!
Refresh Those Jumpers & Cardigans…
No doubt by now you are retrieving your winter wardrobe (from wherever you’ve been storing it!) and your cosy knits might be looking a bit tired and worn. It’s those damn bobbles of wool that spoil the look! So, here’s an idea that is so simple you will love it!
Take an old razor and just very lightly and delicately drag it across the surface of your jumper and watch those bobbles disappear!
It’s Hot Chocolate Time…
Autumn is a very good time to start the hot chocolate season (if you were actually waiting for a ‘hot chocolate’ season of course!).
Forget all those pre-mixed packet offerings and instead try warming up a mug of milk with a nice large dollop of Nutella…delicious!
It’s almost Halloween (31st October in case you’ve forgotten!) so how about an easy, spooky blood-red Halloween punch drink for everyone to enjoy…
- 500ml/18floz cranberry juice
- 5 litres/2½ pints lemonade
- 3 limes, juice only
- large handful of jelly worms or a similar spooky sweet treat
- Pour all of the above ingredients into a large glass/mixing bowl and mix until well combined
- Drape the jelly worms/spooky sweet over the edge of the bowl
This blood-red punch is perfect for any Halloween party and after the children have gone to bed, you can add gin or vodka for a grown-up version.
Also, for a really fun extra spook accessory, rinse out a rubber glove, turn it inside out and fill with water. Tie the top with an elastic band and freeze until solid. Turn the frozen ‘hand’ out into the punch bowl and serve!
You could also add another spooky touch, by making black ice cubes’:
colour water black with food dye and pour it into ice-cube trays to make hauntingly black ice cubes.