Fall in Love with Fall ♥

Did I mention that Fall is my favourite season? Yesterday was the first official day of autumn so it seems like a good time to celebrate some of the reasons why I love this time of year.

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{Never mind Sonia Rykiel, I am the Queen of Knitwear and I can’t wait to dig out those sweaters (old and new) hiding in the wardrobe and team them with my jeans, ankle boots and a long cosy scarf. Comfort dressing at its best!}

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{I’m also looking forward to going for long walks, marveling at nature’s shifting colours and breathing in the crisp autumn air.}

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{Autumn is the time to eat toffee apples, apple pie, apple crumble – in fact, pretty much apple anything.}

Hot chocolate

{Ideally with a cup of steaming hot chocolate with a generous dollop of whipped cream on top…}

Mulled Wine

{…Or a warming glass of mulled wine…}

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{…In front of a roaring log fire…}

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{…Wearing a pair of cosy sheepskin slippers}

Pumpkin

{Let’s not forget Halloween..}

Fireworks

{…and, of course, Bonfire Night and amazing fireworks displays.}

And then, when autumn and all of its wonders start to draw to a close, the countdown to Christmas begins in earnest.

Happy Autumn to you all ♥

 

 

Recipe – Apple Cake

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Autumn means apples are in abundance and, whether they’re from your own tree or from the greengrocer, it’s the perfect time to make apple pie and apple cake. This recipe is by children’s cookery writer Annabel Karmel but, as my husband can’t eat wheat, I substituted the flour for a gluten free alternative. Apart from how simple it is to prepare, the beauty of this truly delicious cake is that it will stay moist for at least a week, because it is made with sunflower oil rather than butter.

Ingredients:

5 Granny Smith (or other) apples

1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

450g (15oz) granulated sugar

375g (12oz) plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

4 eggs

1/2 tsp almond essence

2 tsp vanilla essence

250ml (8fl oz) sunflower oil

icing sugar for dusting

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
  • Peel and slice the apples thinly and place in a bowl. Toss with the cinnamon, orange juice and 100g (3 1/2 oz) of the sugar.
  • Ina separate bowl mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder and the remaining sugar). Add the eggs one at a time, then add the almond and vanilla essences along with the oil.
  • Grease a deep ring tin or other decorative moulded cake tin, such as a Cathedral mould. Pour in a third of the batter, then half the sliced apple mixture, then a third more of the batter, followed by the rest of the apple mixture. Finish with the remaining third of the batter.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. When mostly cool remove from the pan and cool further.
  • To serve, dust the top of the cake with sieved icing sugar.

apple cake

10 Reasons to Fall in ♥ with Fall

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Going for long walks and breathing in the crisp air and kicking up the colourful leaves

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Cups of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and mini marshmallows

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Homemade apple pie

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Roaring log fires

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Halloween

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Bonfire night

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Sheepskin slippers to keep your feet nice and toasty (these are from The White Company)

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Spicy mulled wine

Makeup

Dark berry shades for lips and nails. The Nars sheer lipstick in Vendanges is my go-to lip colour for both day and night while Chanel’s Rouge Noir nail polish is a modern classic.

Scarf & Mittens

Wrapping up warm in a cosy scarf and woolly mittens. (Scarf from Ester Elenora and mittens from H&M)

All pictures and more can be found on my Pinterest board Fall Inspiration

Autumn Resolutions

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Forget New Year, for me autumn is all about new beginnings. It must be a hangover from my schooldays when September signified the start of a new school year – new teacher, shiny new shoes and a sparkling pencil case bursting with freshly sharpened pencils and smelly erasers (remember those?). As I got older these new purchases would accompanied by a resolve to be more organised and punctual – sometimes with varying results.

Even though it is now my children (well two out of three of them) rather than me who go off to school at the end of the summer, I have made a list of resolutions for this autumn:

1. Be more adventurous in the way I dress. By this I don’t mean that I’ll slavishly follow trends that don’t suit me but just put a bit more thought into what I wear on a day-to-day basis. As a stay at home mum and occasional freelancer it is so easy to fall into the habit of just throwing on the school run uniform of jeans/T-shirt/flat shoes every morning. So it is time to delve a bit deeper into the wardrobe.

2. Accessorise more. Adding a few bangles or a scarf is such an effective way to update an outfit but often I wear no jewellery other than my engagement and wedding rings. Doing a few more OOTD posts should hopefully help keep both number 1 and 2 on track.

3. Exercise regularly. I am a stop-start exerciser and I’ll be really good for a few months and then I’ll do nothing for for another few months. Over the summer I haven’t done anything at apart from a couple of yoga classes so it’s time to start again and, this time, keep it up. I am a fully paid up member of my local gym so, come rain or shine, there can be no more excuses.

4. Be more organsied. I usually start off the new term pretty well with a weekly menu plan and the kids’ uniforms, PE bags etc laid out the night before. By mid October however they are scrambling around for clean shirts at 8.15am and, come tea time, I am improvising meals (fish fingers again?). This time I am determined to turn my good intentions into lasting habits.

5. Live in the moment. Multi-tasking can be a great thing, allowing you watch your favourite TV show while completing mundane jobs like ironing or folding the washing. But sometimes I find myself checking emails (or writing blog posts!) while helping my son with his homework or playing tea party with my daughter. I am acutely aware that since having children time seems to have sped up and before I know it they will all be teenagers so I am going to try harder to be fully present when I’m with them.

So there you have it, my five point plan to kick start the autumn. And the good thing about making resolutions in the autumn is that new year is less than four months away so if you fail to keep them you can always start afresh on New Years Day!