September Favourites

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Finally I’ve got round to doing another favourites post! I think this is one of the best times of the year for favourites posts as the transition from Summer to Autumn is perfect for trying new things, so I thought I’d do a round up of some of the things that have been changing my life for the past month.

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Thisworks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

Although I’m lucky that I’ve never suffered deeply from sleep problems, I’ve recently found it harder to wind down in the evenings since starting work full-time and this has been a life saver. A natural combination of Camomile, Lavender and Vetivert it smells incredibly comforting, and I’ve found that by spraying it on my pillow before I get ready for bed creates a really relaxing routine. Not to mention that by inhaling the scent as I go to sleep has left me having better quality of sleep and feeling a million times more refreshed in the morning.

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Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Cream

Not the most glamorous entry on the list this month but with my move to full-time work I’ve been enjoying any little pamper time I have. In true Burt’s Bees form it’s amazingly moisturising and unlike other foot creams I’ve used. It’s not sticky like others plus the coconut scent smells amazing and makes application feel incredibly indulgent.

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Cinnamon, Fig and Oak Candle

This is one I picked up in New York last year but it the flavours meant it just didn’t feel right burning it in Summer. It’s the perfect mix of Autumnal scents that combined provide a perfect warming, Wintery smell to any room, and it is one I’ve been burning regularly to get me into the seasonal mood.

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Paris Street Style

I received this as a thank you gift from the lovely girls at The Blogger’s Market but up till now I haven’t been able to put it to the use it deserves. In my attempt to create something resembling a capsule wardrobe for Winter this has been invaluable for providing inspiration and advice for classic pieces to buy that will work all season long. Plus did I mention the pictures are really preeeetty.

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Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Cherry

I’ve been really loving Burt’s Bees this month, can you tell? This lip shimmer is something that I was given as a gift, and considering I’ve never tried any of their coloured lip products before I was blown away! The pigment is amazing for a lip balm and its lasting power is really impressive, plus it does the Burt’s Bees name proud in providing a huge amount of moisture. It’s great Winter prep for those like me who need some moisture on their lips but also can’t live without a pop of colour. Now to collect the rest…

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Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation

I rediscovered this recently in my makeup stash and I’d forgotten just how much I loved it. Now Make Up For Ever is available in Debenhams I thought I’d make a repurchase as the range of colours available is brilliant, and it’s the perfect consistency for me in that it’s a medium to full coverage formula, which is buildable yet feels light on the skin. I’d definitely recommend a primer beforehand, but it’s got fantastic staying power so that I find myself needing minimal touch ups during the day. Basically it’s a win win!

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Travelling

Recently with day trips to places like Brighton and Lincoln I’ve been realising how much of the UK I haven’t seen, so I’ve been making plans to change that! I’ve never really been a fan of day trips before but I’ve realised that with a little planning they’re perfect for a kind of ‘best bits’ style holiday, so I’ve made the resolution to travel more in the next few months starting with Manchester for Halloween! So wish me luck and I’ll be sure to keep you updated with how it goes.

I hope you liked this collection of my favourites this month and it gave you some ideas of a few new things to try, and please share with me what you’ve been loving this month too!.

Autumnal Spiced Apple and Plum Pie

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There’s something about the change in the weather that immediately has me reaching for a cookery book. After  a bit of tinkering I came up with this, my spiced apple and plum pie which is to me epitomizes everything that’s good about Autumn.

This is the best season for plums and mixed with the apples and spices they combine to make a pie that’s perfect for a winter treat, and one that always proves a hit with my family and friends! Not  to mention that there’s something just so comforting about a slice of pie with custard of ice cream that makes it the food equivalent of a hug, and the perfect medicine to chase those winter blues away.

What You’re Going To Need

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For the Short Crust Pastry

255g plain flour

Pinch of salt

140g hard butter

6 tsp cold water

For the Filling

5 Cooking Apples

2 Sweet Apples (I used Braeburns but any sweet apple would be just as good)

6 Plums (You can add slightly more or less depending on taste)

2 1/2 Tbsp of Cornflour

175g of Sugar (I prefer golden caster as it gives it a caramely taste)

155g of Brown Sugar (I used Demerara which is also perfect for giving a caramel flavour)

2tsp of Cinnamon

1 tsp Nutmeg (About 2 good pinches)

Milk to glaze

Then it’s time to get down to business!

For the pastry I cheated and sifted my flour and salt into my food processor and added the butter until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor just use your fingers instead, they work just as well! Slowly add the water until the mixture is combined then tip the pastry out onto a floured surface and lightly knead. Then clingfilm it and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool and relax the dough.

Then it’s time to prepare the filling. After peeling the apples core them and the plums, then loosely chop them and throw them into a deep saucepan. Add the sugar, cornflour and spices until the fruit has softened and the juices have combined to form a caramely liquid. Once the liquid had thickened and the fruit has softened take the fruit off the heat.

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Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and remove a third for the topping. I prefer my pies to be open topped so I only removed about a quarter but feel free to decorate however you want! Roll out the pastry and line your tin (tip using the rolling pin to help you lift the pastry makes it much easier), then line it on top with greaseproof paper and baking beads, and pop it in the over for about 10 minutes. As you can see I didn’t have any baking beads so I improvised with linseed but rice works just as well.

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Once it’s slightly coloured, remove the beads and paper from the pastry and glaze it with your milk. Cook it for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is fully dried out.

Meanwhile you can roll out the lid or decoration for your pie, and once it’s out of the oven you can fill and top it! I like to use a slotted spoon as it’s great to remove the excess liquid that can make your pie soggy, then I add my lid or decoration and bake it for 40-45 minutes. But make sure if you’re using a lid you mark a hole in the top to let the steam escape.

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But then voila, an autumnal spiced pie, perfect for those cold winter evenings, all that’s left is to serve it up!Af.

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I hope you enjoyed this post as I’m really trying to get back to posting recipes as I really enjoy it and Winter recipes are some of my favourites to make. I would love to know if any of you give it a go and what you think, or even your favourite recipes as I’m always on the look out for new ones!

Music Musings

2121I know, I’ve finally got round to writing another music post! This past year seems to have been one of the best times for Pop music with so many great songs being released, so I thought I’d share with you again the songs that have been getting the most play on my Ipod right now!

Demi Lovato- Confident
I have been a hard-core Demi Lovato fan since her Camp Rock days and I am so happy to see her back on form looking happier and healthier than ever. Cool For The Summer was pretty much my Summer anthem and Confident is definitely going to take me through to Autumn. The perfect pre-party song guaranteed to make you feel like an absolute bad-ass, it’s another sultry, powerful song like her previous single and has left me counting down the days till the whole album is released.

Rachel Platten- Fight Song
I’m definitely on a bit of an anthem song hype at the minute which is largely down to this song. Rachel Platten has been trying for years to hit the big time and it’s so obvious by the raw emotion behind the lyrics which are so passionate and uplifting, it makes me smile everytime I hear it. As a recent graduate I’m definitely at one of the most uncertain times in my life and as cheesy as it is, this song makes me believe that it’ll all be okay in the end.

Ellie Goulding – On My Mind
This is the newest release on the list but from the first listen I have been absolutely hooked and had it on repeat ever since. Whether it’s about Ed Sheeran or not it’s the perfect revenge song, while the guitar melody and Ellie’s haunting voice perfectly combines with the r&b style beat to create a sexy, yet club ready anthem.

Selena Gomez- Same Old Love
Another example of my childhood as a Disney fan-girl here but I have been obsessed with Selena Gomez’s new mature, adult sound, which is evident in this song. Much like Good For You it’s a more understated melody focusing on her voice, and while I don’t think it’s the best song she’s ever done, the message is one everyone can relate to. Trust me after one play you’ll be singing it on repeat for days.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post as I realise pop music isn’t to everyone’s taste but I hope I’ve encouraged some of you to give something new a listen, and as always I would love to know what songs you’ve been loving this month!