Pumpkin Picking at Sopley Farm

Last weekend, I finally went pumpkin picking for the first time. As someone who loves autumn and considers it her favourite time of year, I'm surprised that I have yet to partake in this lovely seasonal activity. However, I feel like I've made up for lost time!

Along with his parents, sister, niece and nephews, Kieran and I paid a visit to Sopley Farm to seek out the best pumpkins that we could find. I have to say, it was super cute to see Kieran's niece and nephew, Olivia and Charlie, get so excited about choosing their very own pumpkins amongst a sea of orange. 

Isaac certainly looked at home in his very own pumpkin patch (and yes, this might just be one of my favourite photos that I've taken for my blog!)

After much deliberation, I finally chose my first pumpkin, which was slightly misshapen and not as round as the others. For some reason, this pumpkin felt like it belonged to me. I can just picture it with carved out stars and a crescent moon, or even a Virgo constellation, which would look lovely with a tea light in for added effect.

After a while, we spotted another pumpkin, which was slightly rounder, as well as a mini pumpkin that was tinged with green. I seem to be drawn to the more unusual, it seems!

After shamelessly posing for a few photos, we admired our haul and headed to the store to pay for our pumpkins, which were priced according to size. I can't wait to spend an autumnal evening carving pumpkins with candles and a Halloween film or two. Also, did someone say pumpkin soup?


The Body Shop Event with Bournemouth Bloggers

A couple of weekends ago, I was kindly invited to an event at The Body Shop, Bournemouth with Bournemouth Bloggers to browse their existing and new autumnal ranges. While there, we were also treated to mini makeovers, as well as skincare demonstrations and consultations… and a glass of prosecco or two! 

The products that immediately caught my (and many other bloggers!) eye was the Vanilla Pumpkin Hand Cream and body butter, which smelt incredible and like an autumnal dream. I’m not ashamed to say that the hand cream found it’s way into my basket as I wandered around the store, which will be perfect for keeping my hands moisturised during the looming colder months.

On the night, we were given a generous 30% off everything in store, which meant I felt less guilty about also treating myself to the Indian Night Jasmine fragrance mist, which I’ve had my eye on for quite some time. 

I also spied a beautiful berry matte lipstick in the shade Mauritius Dahlia which has become a strong contender for my favourite red. It’s not drying like many matte lipsticks I’ve used before. While it’s definitely a deeper shade than a traditional red, it’s not too dark, which is good for me, as I find a few berry lipsticks can wash me out. 

Last but not least, I picked up a Guarana and coffee Energising Moisturiser for Kieran to try, as he’s a self confessed coffee addict and has been using the same one for years, so I figured now was an ideal time to branch out a little. It definitely got the seal of approval, which was confirmed after he questioned it’s whereabouts one morning when I forgot to put it back after stealing it for a flatlay photo!

I had the loveliest evening catching up with a few familiar faces, as well as meeting some new bloggers from the area too. I also picked up a beauty points card for their Love Your Body Club, meaning that every time I make a purchase (which will be often, lets be honest), I'll earn 10 points for every £1 I spend. When I hit 500 points, I'll then have £5 to spend in store.

We were also kindly gifted to an absolutely amazing goodie bag, which included a full sized Tahitian Tiare Bath and Shower Oil-in-Gel body wash and samples of their Spa of the World range, as well as a beautiful makeup bag with their “Forever Against Animal Testing” slogan. That I can definitely get on board with!


An Overnight Stay at New Forest Glamping

A few weeks ago, as a birthday treat and way to celebrate finishing his Countryside Management course at Sparsholt College, Kieran and I decided to spend the night in our favourite place in a lovely little shepherd’s hut. New Forest Glamping, which is located in the beautiful village of Bransgore in the New Forest, offers visitors the chance to go off grid - but with a little luxury too. 

Upon arrival, host Darren greeted us at the gate and gave us an overview of the hut and its facilities, and gave us our keys. Offering guests stunning views of the grounds, which is home to an array of wonderful wildlife such as horses, rabbits and chickens, as well as a range of amenities such as a fully fitted bathroom, wood burner, bed and even expresso maker for Kieran’s much needed coffees, it didn’t take long for us to fall in love with it. 

The shepherd's hut also includes a fridge, cutlery, hob and oven, which doubles up as a microwave, as well as a barbecue for those summer evenings on the deck.

After settling in (and of course, making myself a cuppa!), we decided to make the most of our location by taking a short bike ride into Burley for dinner. While we drive into the forest on a regular basis, nothing quite beats taking in the views without a car window slightly obscuring the view and getting some fresh air at the same time too.

We deliberated for a while about whether to head to The White Buck, which is one of our favourite spots or give The Queens Head a try, which we regularly pass on our trips into Burley. I’m so glad we decided on The Queens Head pub, which is situated in the centre of town, as here I tried their vegan burger, which is without a doubt my favourite so far! The warm weather definitely called for a cold cider, with Kieran opting for his usual ale. Another lovely spot to add to our favourites!

After cycling back, we decided to set up the bed, which was relatively straightforward. The bed was incredibly comfy and was a welcome retreat after our bike ride. We decided to spend our evening relaxing with music on the included Bose mini sound system and researching some wedding entertainment ideas using the free wi-fi, and I'm excited that we managed to find a few options which are strong contenders!

The next morning, both Kieran and I woke up feeling refreshed and totally content in our surroundings. Check out was at 11am, so Kieran and I decided to head to The Cider Pantry for breakfast, where we discovered that they make the most amazing apple and ginger juice - perfect for a hot summer's day! They also did a hearty vegan breakfast, which was ideal fuel for our walk in nearby Rhinefield.

While we only stayed for the evening, we’re eager to head back soon. I can just imagine waking up on a crisp autumn or winter morning, starting up the wood burner and cosying up to take in the beautiful view!



DIY Natural and Cruelty-Free Beard Oil

A couple of years ago, Kieran and I decided that, to save money and add a more personal touch to Christmas, we'd make our own gifts. Being the handsome bearded man that he is, I figured I'd give making beard oil a go, as he was running low of his usual supplies. Since then, he's asked me to make two more batches, which is both reassuring and flattering to know my present went down so well! 

If you're struggling for ideas about what to get your fellow bearded partner, friend or relative, why not give it a go? It's oddly satisfying to know you've created something special and useful by hand, as well as skipping those nasty chemicals you sometimes find in shop bought products. All of the oils listed below are from Akoma Skincare, who are certified vegan and USDA organic.

What you'll need:

Amber Pipette Bottle (Amazon)
Organic Jojoba Oil
Vitamin E Oil
Cedarwood Essential Oil
Pine Essential Oil

Starting with your amber pipette bottle at the ready, pour your jojoba oil about 3/4 of the way to the top. Known for both its cleansing and nourishing properties, jojoba oil is non-comedogenic and non-allergenic, meaning it won't block pores, nor cause skin irritation. 

Next, pour in your vitamin E oil so that you're nearly at the top of your bottle. Make sure to leave enough room for your pipette! Vitamin E contains a variety of essential antioxidant properties that helps with both the repair and strengthening of the hair, therefore making it less prone to damage.

You'll want it so that your beard oil isn't too thin, or too thick either. I think the above ratio gives quite a nice consistency, which Kieran seems to have no issues with either! 

Now for the fun part. I usually start by adding the cedwarwood essential oil for a woodsy base. It's all dependant on how strong you like it, and it varies from time to time, but I usually add 20 drops. I'll then put the pipette topper back on and give the mixture a shake.

Pine can be particularly overwhelming, so you'll want to go easy with this. I usually add roughly about 10 drops, just to make sure I don't drown out the cedarwood. 
Give the bottle another good shake to combine the mixture. 

The final step? Give your freshly created oil to your bearded companion! Kieran usually applies it by squeezing some of the oil onto his hands, before rubbing them together and running it through his beard.

Do you make beard oil for yourself or a loved one? If so, what ingredients and essential oil combinations do you use?