Picking Pumpkins at Foxes Farm

Ever since we spotted the sign at the side of a dirty road some weeks ago and discovered pumpkin patches exist in Essex, we were determined to go.

For some reason fate intervened week after week and for one reason or another, to my extreme dismay, we were unable to make the short trip. However, the sun shone this morning and nothing was stopping us so we finally drove down to Foxes Farm Produce, Basildon and the wonderfully exciting Pumpkin Patch.

We arrived at around 11 o’clock and the carpark was already full with families heaving giant pumpkins in to boots of cars and excited children clad in wellies. Shrieks of laughter hung on the air as families raced ahead with wheelbarrows to find the best pumpkins.

Entry to Foxes Farm Pumpkin Patch is free – you just pay for the pumpkins you take home- and you can take as many as your arms will allow.

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Upon entering the Pumpkin Patch we were greeted with stacked hay bales – which the children clumsily clambered on, and wooden containers holding hundreds of pumpkins in all shapes, sizes and shades. There was also a stall set up serving hot food and drinks. We gave this a miss as we’d already eaten.

Further on was a sprawling field absolutely heaving with pumpkins. These had all been pre-picked for ease of collection (and health and safety) and some sat precariously in huge piles. I was surprised to find white pumpkins (or corpse pumpkins as I called them) as I hadn’t seen these before and didn’t know pumpkins came in different colours! That seems funny to think of now but at the time I hadn’t considered the possibility.

There was also a field with corn in although we didn’t really explore this- we were much too excited racing around the field, finding the best pumpkins (the best pumpkin has a nice twisty stalk) and getting caught up in the excitement around us.

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The corpse pumpkins

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The atmosphere was fantastic. Lots of families, children and couples having fun selecting pumpkins and laughing with delight. If you have children, the Pumpkin Patch is an absolute must.  We easily spent around an hour there just looking around. We wanted to get one of everything we could find so in the end selected a munchkin pumpkin, a regular pumpkin, a corpse pumpkin, a small white pumpkin that looked like a garlic bulb, and a rounded red one that looks just like a giant onion! We also picked up a pumpkin for Gareth’s nephew and a tiny one for his baby niece! In total we spent £14 pound which was a complete bargain for the whole experience.

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Omelette models our haul of pumpkins

 

 

Christmas Lush Haul

Some people may have a problem with my using the ‘C’ word so soon in to October. We haven’t reached Halloween yet so it seems a little early to even be contemplating Christmas. But in the world of Lush (and retail in general) Christmas is pretty much already here. Soz Grinches!  Anyway, Lush released there Christmas goodies just a week after the Halloween stuff. Whilst this was very exciting for me, it did also leave a dent in my bank balance! I wasn’t able to get one of everything from this range but I did pick up a few pieces that I’m very happy with. (And I’m sure I’ll be back for the rest at some point.)

Before I launch in to what I got, I’d like to quickly apologise for the slightly dramatic lighting -it’s a really grey and rainy Sunday and I didn’t manage to catch the weak morning sunlight as I was busy knitting a winter scarf and catching up on Catfish.

The Magic of Christmas  Bubble Bar Wand £5.95

This is a new to me product and, whilst I haven’t actually tried it yet (I wanted to take photographs first) the smell is absolutely amazing and definitely my new favourite. It’s actually quite similar to Sparkly Pumpkin but with a punch cinnamon and almond scent.It smells beautiful – just like Christmas. Already I know I’m going to have to stock up on these!

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Peeping Santa Bubble Bar £3.95

The next thing I got was the Peeping Santa Bubble bar. I’d seen this around previously but I’ve never tried it. I hadn’t smelt it before either and when I bought it online, I wasn’t sure if I’d like the scent but I did know it was super-cute and Christmassy. I’m happy to report that it’s quite nice. I find it very subtle and less ‘perfumey’ than the other goodies. It has organic cocoa and shea butter in so I’m sure it will leave my skin feeling soft. My peeping Santa has slightly strange eyes – they look more like moustaches to me!

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The Christmas Penguin Bubble Bar £3.95

Yet another bubble bar in my order, I couldn’t resist the cute Christmas Penguin. This is a citrusy smelling bubble bar with Sicilian lemon and mandarin oils.  Not quite sure what that little yellow splodge is !

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Never Mind The Ballistics Bath Bomb £4.25

Also new to me is the Never Mind The Ballistics Bath Bomb. This bomb smells absolutely AMAZING. It features lime and orange scents – but it smells like pineapple and very much edible. The sweet scent is really strong and I can’t wait to try it out in the bath. The pink side of the bomb feels different in texture – really waxy. The bomb contains fair trade cocoa butter so I’m sure it will leave the skin super soft.

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Shoot For The Stars Bath Bomb £4.25

This is an absolutely beautiful bath bomb with a vibrant blue shade interspersed with glittering gold stars. It’s almost too beautiful to want to use. I say almost because the scent is so lovely. Again this is a new favourite for me. The scent is orange and bergamot but it smells more sweet than fruity. If you like sweet perfume type scents I think you will really appreciate this special bath bomb.

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Luxury Lush Pud Bath Bomb £4.25

Last but not least I picked up the Luxury Lush Pud. I love the design of this one as it’s just so fun and playful! This bomb is very sweet smelling and contains tonka (although I’m not really sure what this is!) and lavender. You can’t really smell the lavender so much though – it’s more of a cake kind of smell. This would be a great bath bomb for the evening though, just before bed and when you want to relax.

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So that’s what I picked up. My boyfriend also bought me a stash of Sparkly Pumpkins because I love them so much. But my Lush Lust List is as follows:

Snow Fairy Shower gel

Fairy Dust Dusting Powder

Candy Mountain Bubble Bar

Golden Wonder Bath Bomb

What is your favourite bath time treat from this range?

 

BKA Bird Fair – Some new friends!

Today we went to the Bird Keepers Association bird fair in St Augustin’s Hall, Thorpe Bay.

Sadly one of our Orange Cheeked Waxbills – Clementine- passed away a few short weeks ago, leaving her little pal Wotsit behind to live with the Owl finches. So our aim today was to get a hen Orange Cheeked Waxbill to befriend Wotsit as he was displaying some behaviours that suggested he might be lonely.

We were in luck! There were lots of absolutely beautiful birds at the fair, including three Orange Cheeks. We picked out a lovely little hen. We haven’t named her yet but we are very happy with her.

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After we purchased the hen we expected to go home. But rarely do we leave a bird fair with just one bird – and today was no exception.

When I spotted this tiny Chinese Painted Quail I just couldn’t help myself. I had to have him. He is much much smaller than our Japanese quail whom we love dearly. And has just spent some time out of his cage chasing them around! (Much to our amusement) We haven’t named him yet but will do shortly. We’re also hoping to buy him a little female friend in the week. I’m so excited – he’s so cute!

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EDIT:

A couple of days later we went to visit a man who kindly gave us two hens to keep our little guy happy (we named him Peep.)

This is Penny:

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And this is Thimble. She’s much whiter than Penny but does also have brown feathers:

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And here’s another shot of our little guy Peep!

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They are all settling in fantastically with Penny and Thimble already laying eggs. They get along perfectly with the Japanese quail so all in all we are very happy!

Lush Autumn/Halloween Haul

Halloween is a very special time of year for me – not least because it means that Lush will release all their special goodies! On the Saturday I headed for the Lakeside store to pick up all the new bits! Unfortunately they didn’t have everything I wanted -but the selection was still good and I managed to get the majority of what I was looking for. Here’s what I got:

Autumn Leaf Bath Bomb £3.75

The first thing I picked up was the Autumn Leaf bath bomb. A beautiful smelling, leaf shaped bomb in autumnal colours. I haven’t seen this before so I think it might be brand new for 2016 (correct me if I’m wrong!) The scent is quite sweet with citrus, bergamot and sandalwood.

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Monster’s Ball Bath Bomb £3.95

The Monster’s Ball bath bomb is, as you can see, a very fun addition to the line up! With its one eye and little horns I just couldn’t resist. It also smells just like sweets! It’s hard to put my thumb on the exact scent – and the website just says ‘perfume’ but it is very sweet smelling. This bomb contains Fair Trade Organic cocoa butter – so although I haven’t tried it yet I can imagine it will leave the skin feeling very soft.

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Lord Of Misrule Bath Bomb £3.95

This bath bomb has a faint glitter running through it (which doesn’t pick up in the photo.) It is described on the website as having a “spicy herbal blend of patchouli and black pepper oil” and a deep wine coloured centre. Out of all the scents this is probably my least favourite but it’s still pleasant and I’m looking forward to giving it a go!

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Pumpkin Bath Bomb £3.95

The Pumpkin bath bomb has to be one of my favourites in terms of design/appearance as I absolutely love the carved pumpkin face! This bath bomb smells very sweet with vanilla and cinnamon recreating the scent of home baking. It also turns your water a very satisfying orange!

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Boo Bath Melt £3.50

This spooky little bath melt has a very subtle smell with hints of ginger and cocoa butter to smooth your skin. Like most of the goodies in this post I haven’t had the chance to try it out yet so I don’t know if it will become a favourite but I couldn’t resist that little face!

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Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar £3.95

Last but not least I picked up the Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble bar. This is my all time favourite Lush product and last year I stocked up on as many of these as I could before the season ended. This time I picked up just two – but I know I will be back for more! The scent is my most favourite of all. It is incredibly sweet – it contains cinnamon, juniper berry, citrus and ‘perfume’. I think it’s the perfume that gives this one its scent but I honestly can’t describe what that is. It’s kind of fruity. Like a bag full of crushed sweets. This bubble bar creates a lot of lovely bubbles and turns the water (as you may have guessed) a bright orange. It has a lot of glitter too which swirls about in the water and sticks to your skin leaving you with a lovely shiny glow!

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All in all I was very happy with my haul and can’t wait to go back and pick up some bits and bobs! What are you loving in Lush right now?

An Autumn Walk (photographs)

You may have read my Autumn bucket list a couple of posts back. If so you’ll know that one of my entries was to take plenty of walks in the countryside, collect conkers and soak up the lovely atmosphere.

On this particular walk I collected up plenty of shiny conkers and met some beautiful deer. I hope you enjoy the photos and they get you in that Autumn mood!

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A Trip to RHS Garden Wisley

A few weekends ago we decided to make the 50 minute drive to RHS Garden Wisley. You may have read about our trip to RHS Hyde Hall recently (if not you can read about it here!) We were so impressed and had such a nice time that we thought we’d visit some more of the RHS gardens.

Entry to RHS Garden Wisley costs £11.70 per adult IF you buy in advance online. (We didn’t do this but I recommend it.)

Upon entering the gardens I was immediately very impressed with them. There’s some beautiful landscaping and the gardens are larger than those at Hyde Hall with separate areas for different shrubs/heather etc.

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My favourite part of the gardens were at the start. The gardens rise up in tiers with concrete steps leading up a hill to further levels and rock gardens. Amongst the rock gardens are some very pretty streams/ponds and waterfalls. At the top you get a magnificent view of the whole park including the greenhouse.

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One thing we really liked about the gardens were the variety of plants including all the pretty wildflowers which added splashes of colour to every walkway and path.

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RHS Wisley has a greenhouse (which I can liken to that of Kew Gardens.) Inside is an assortment of trees, ferns, cacti and succulents and a big waterfall at the heart. This area is set out very well enabling you to get around efficiently and see everything you’d want to.

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There are several lakes and ponds winding through Wisley and the added water features provide plenty of space for ducks and various water fowl.

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One area we found ourselves particularly attracted to was the heather garden which had a beautiful aroma and plenty of colour. At the end of these gardens is a wonderful bird lookout from which we spotted goldfinch. We didn’t get much time to spend in the hide so I’d like to go back again with my camera and see what I can snap!

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Both of us absolutely loved RHS Wisley and can’t recommend it enough. It’s a large garden but two hours should be sufficient enough to see the majority of it making it a great day out for families with younger children. It’s particularly interesting to those with a passion for ornithology or those who enjoy getting back to nature and spending time somewhere particularly beautiful.

Autumn Bucket List

With Autumn just around the corner (c’mon the 22nd September!) I thought it’d be fun to make a little bucket list for the season. Autumn is my most favourite time of year not least because of Halloween, pumpkin spiced lattes, snuggly duvet days reading books whilst it rains outside, piles of golden leaves, shiny conkers and bringing out my favourite knitted jumpers. So here’s what I’m hoping to get up to this season (I may even blog a few of these!)

  • Pumpkin picking
  • Halloween event (to be planned/confirmed)
  • Fireworks/bonfire night
  • Funfair
  • Long walks in the woods / countryside
  • Open the new seasonal Halloween Sonny Angels
  • Lush haul – shop all the new seasonal bath bombs (sparkly pumpkin I’m coming for you!)
  • Movie/book day whilst it rains
  • Collect conkers

and last but not least

  • Eat a toffee apple!

I can’t wait to have a fun and cosy season. I may add some more activities to the list if I think of anything. Let me know what you’re most looking forward to?