My Autumn Bucket List!

As the weather draws in I get a little bit excited about all the upcoming things I plan to do during the Autumn months, mainly brought on by the darker nights and chill in the air!  With that said here is a little list of the top 5 things I am SOOO looking forward to this Autumn!


  1. Dresses, woolly tights and boots!  Nothing screams Autumn like dressing the part and for me that is summed up with long sleeve dresses layered with thick woolly tights and knee high boots!  I am a sucker for hats too so whether its a fluffy pompom topped woollen hat or a slick felt wide brimmed dressier hat, you will catch me sporting something atop of my head in these colder months!!
  2. Hot chocolate with marshmallows, whipped cream and a candy cane stirring stick!  (Don’t forget the stirring stick!) There is just something uber comforting about sitting inside, wrapped up nice and warm (fluffy socks and a movie on TV) that brings out the hot chocolate lover in me!  I can give or take it at any other point in the year but bring on the cooler weather and a fully stacked hot chocolate is all I can think about!  Of course the calories don’t count if its home made either – bonus!
  3. Homemade Soups!  From potato and leek to butternut squash, I love making my own soups and I don’t mean in a one of these new fangled specially designed machines, I mean good old fashioned standing over the biggest pot you can find and making enough to last weeks!  Check out my recipes for both the leek and squash soups here!
  4. Halloween!  We don’t let the kids go trick or treating round the doors (personal preference, no issue with those who do!) so we always try to do something special for them at home.  Whether that be carving pumpkins and setting them outside with lights in and going round to see if any others are on display or holding our own party like we have in previous years.  We do insist on dressing up the house and have quite a collection of bits we have picked up over the years now, the kids love it and its all a bit of fun as long as no one gets too scared!  This will be the first Halloween Amelia is really old enough to understand so we will make a fuss again this year and I am so excited to do all the baking and making again!
  5. Long Autumn walks!  Nothing says Autumn like kicking a pile of fallen bronze leaves and this year I am determined to get some great shots of the kids playing with the leaves.  Each year I make this pledge and each year something comes up that means we don’t get them – this year we will!

What are you plans this Autumn?



Wildlife photography competition!

Hello all my fabulous comping  buddies, I have a cracker for you today what with the start of Autumn and all the wildlife that brings into the garden!  Grab your camera and head on over to the Rattan Direct website to enter their competition to win a set of garden furniture!

All you need to do is send them a picture of wildlife that you have spotted in your garden. It can be anything. (Birds, squirrels, foxes, etc.) When the competition closes on the 30/10/2016 – They will select the best pictures from those received and produce a poll to allow the public to choose which picture they think is best and should win the competition! They will run this poll on their blog and on their Facebook page. Once a winner has been picked, they will announce the winner over on the Rattan Direct website and through their social media channels.

The winner will receive a Rio (Armed) 4 Chairs And Open Leg Square Table Set. More information can be found on this link:-


I know in the past couple of weeks we have had hedgehogs and one of the kids said they saw a fox (I’m sure it was just our ginger cat though but you never know!) so I will be out there in stealth mode to grab some shots and enter too!




Do You Share A Communal Living or Workspace?

What with a new school year starting and many people heading back to work after the holidays there is an issue that raises its head time and time again.  Sharing a communal working space or student accommodation can be stressful at the best of times but when it comes to food I think it can get quite territorial…and apparently quite rightly so!

 Data Label have researched and found that almost a third of people have had food stolen from the office workplace or communal student living areas.   There is a write up about the statistics on the Start Your Business Mag website, pop over to read these shocking revelations!

The info-graph that prompted this research into the problems with communal fridges and shared space was The Art of Passive Aggressive Notes displayed below (I’m sure a lot of us can agree with a few points and have shared notes of this kind on many ocassions!) lol


Speaking about the results, Phillip Carlyn of Data Label, said:

“We were surprised to see that people think they can get away with taking other people’s food from a communal fridge without them noticing. You’ll find that a lot of a tension will arise from the situation making living or working together an uncomfortable experience – some people will resort to keeping their food under lock and key whereas others will confront the guilty party, neither an ideal situation!

“Perhaps for some people, it’s purely an accident. However we can recommend helping to avoid this issue entirely by labelling up your food as well as other belongings, whether in an office environment or student accommodation, so that you have more of a chance of keeping hold of your own stuff.”



Hire Fitness – Working out at home! *review*

As I don’t drive I have often used the excuse of not being able to get to the gym or sports complex as an excuse to not work out. (I’ve also used lots of other excuses too but lets not go in to that one!) 😉

I think at some point everyone has made some kind of excuse not to work out, whether it being afraid of looking a fool, too little time, too much to do or not knowing exactly what you’re doing, we have all  been there!   Which is why when I was offered the opportunity to work out from home with Hire Fitness I really couldn’t say no!

Working out from home gave me the chance to make myself a little fitter without having to worry about if my saggy bits were jiggling too much and that I looked a fool when I cranked the speed up a little too high and almost keeled over!


I had the treadmill for 12 weeks and have to say I used it more days than I didn’t use it and I think this was because we had it placed in the dining room which faces the living room TV and I had to walk past it numerous times a day – guilt complex or what!

The gentleman that delivered it explained how it worked and left a brochure which detailed all of the workouts that could be programmed into the treadmill depending on what kind of workout I wanted.  I was pleased to see that there was a valve to pull which folded the treadmill up as I was worried about little feet trying to have a go when not in use.  There was also a clip which you fasten to your top that is connected to the main machine with a magnet, if for any reason you pull away from the treadmill (fall or stumble etc) the machine cuts out.


I documented as I went how things were going and posted a couple of sweaty shots on Instagram too which I am sure was to the delight of my followers lol  Having also bought special NO EXCUSES leggings I really didn’t have any excuse as to not work out from home.


If you struggle with motivation or need an incentive to work out then hiring a piece of equipment from Hire Fitness is the thing for you.  You can work out at unsociable times, even in your pjs if need be and there is no need to feel pressure to complete a whole circut – you simply do as much or as little as you feel you can. The joys of working out at home!

I certainly feel a little fitter and think that if I had pushed myself more I would have lost more than I did.  However I am more than happy with a 6lb weight loss and overall 7 inches from my body!  YAY ME!


Hire Fitness gave me a code for any of my readers who would like to hire a piece of equipment for a minimum of 12 weeks – enter the code countryheartandhome  for 20% off the first 4 weeks hire price!