Pumpkin Spice And All Things Nice

square autumn leaves

autumn leaves

This October we’re excited about pumpkin shortcakes from Costa Coffee, walks in the falling autumn leaves, home-cooked food and Halloween. Autumn is when the last of the summer fruits have been picked and we see apples falling from trees right into bobbing basins, mushrooms in the woods and the harvest (and carving) of pumpkins.

If you’ve been inspired by the London Marathon, we have tips for setting fitness goals – we recommend hitting the park for a run or bike ride. The beautiful colours make it even more exhilarating, so why not make the most of the mild weather before winter arrives?

And we know it feels as though the children have only just settled back at school but it’s almost half-term so let’s share Halloween ideas too!

Spooky Style This October

pumpkin craving

Set the scene for spooky celebrations this October. Whether you’re crafting kids costumes or getting creative with pumpkin carving, discover everything you need for fright night at Pavilions Shopping Centre. Get into the spirit of the spooky season with quirky decor and head to Claire’s for Halloween accessories for the kids.

  • Bobbing for apples is a Halloween tradition. All you need is a tub, water, and—you guessed it—apples.
  • Create a fun, ghostly atmosphere at home with lanterns, cobwebs and LED candles from Argos. Hang a wreath, string up lights, and display pumpkins.
  • Parents and older teens might love a horror movie night. Make it traditional with DVDs from CEX.

Goodbye BBQ, Hello Comfort Food

autumn seasonal fruits and vegetables

Out with the salads and in with soups, pies and crumbles. This layered potato pie is great for chilly nights. It’s ideal for a fish fan, meat-lover or make it vegetarian or vegan with your choice of fillings.

From Sainsbury’s you’ll need:

  • 1kg potatoes (4  to 6 people)
  • A large ovenproof dish
  • Any three of the following:
  • Ham or minced beef
  • Tuna or peeled cooked prawns
  • Carrots, peas, sweetcorn, leeks, baked beans or mixed beans

Here’s how to throw it all together:

  • Decide what fillings you would like (and if needed cook whilst potatoes are on)
  • Mash the potato (or cheat we won’t judge)
  • Put a layer of mash in the dish, add first filling
  • Add a layer of mash, add second filling
  • Add a layer of mash, add third filling plus a final layer of mash
  • Top with optional slices of peppers, tomato or chorizo
  • Sprinkle added extras on top – dried parsley, chilli flakes, breadcrumbs or grated cheese
  • Cook for 20 minutes at 220°C or until golden brown

Serve with French bread and butter, or depending on fillings add gravy or baked beans.

Fall In Love With Fitness

trainers on autumn leaves

How often have you set yourself a goal, been motivated on day one, then days later fallen off the bandwagon? Whatever your motivation, whether it was watching the London Marathon, or wanting to fit into the LBD for Christmas, follow these tips for maximum motivation.

Set realistic goals

Don’t throw yourself in at the deep end with your end goal. Losing five stone or running a marathon can take months to reach. Break your final goal down into smaller monthly goals. For example ‘lose 2lbs’ or ‘run 2km more this month.’

Understand motivation fluctuates

Accept that motivation will fluctuate and your new routine won’t always go to plan. Don’t beat yourself up, keep mainly consistent with your exercise and you will see results.

Be accountable to your goals

You can either be accountable to yourself or to someone else. If you’re not self-motivated, tell a friend your goal. Check-in with them regularly to keep yourself on track.

It’s important to celebrate success and reward yourself. You’ve made big changes so celebrate each kg you lose or every extra bit you run. A glass of wine every now and then never hurt anyone!