mum life, Mum time

Merry Ginmas!

While most of you are enjoying that lovely limbo in between Christmas and New Year, some of us have had to go back to work (boo!) but it has been made much more bearable by some of the great gifts I received for Christmas. As well as the usual bath sets, pyjamas and stationery, this year I unwrapped lots of gin!

As it’s the drink of the moment, I thought it only fair to give them a taste test and share the gin love. Here’s what I got:

 

Whitley Neil Rhubarb and Ginger Gin
Edinburgh Gin were the first I’d seen to tackle the different flavours like rhubarb, however most of their flavoured gins are in fact only gin liqueurs. This means they sit at around the 20% proof mark, rather than the typical 37-40% of the original clear spirit. However Whitley Neil have managed to perfect the distinct tart taste of rhubarb and ginger in a full-strength gin, sitting at 435 proof. It’s absolutely delicious with lemonade or a light tonic.

Boe Violet Gin
I’d originally tried this out one day, and quickly discovered it tastes like Parma Violets sweets. That may sway you one way or the other, but I loved those sweets as a child so it definitely gets a thumbs up from me. This one is best with lemonade, but will mainly suit sweeter tastes. You can’t beat a bit of Boe Violet gin to remind you of summer on these dark days.

Hortus Plum and Cinnamon Gin liqueur

I’d never heard of this gin let alone flavour until I unwrapped it on Christmas day. Turns out Hortus is Lidl’s brand of gin, and has actually beaten loads of more expensive gins in blind taste tests! So I’m looking forward to trying this gin liqueur and possibly adding it to a prosecco to ring in the bells!

 

Gin-themed Gifts

I also received some great gin-themed gifts, allowing me to transform my tipple, and even make my own!

Gin Mixers
In the absence of a flavoured gin, or just to switch things up a bit, these are the ideal replacement. I got a mixer set which I think is from Debenhams containing flavours including lime, raspberry, elderflower and rose water. Also perfect if you want to get in on the gin trend, but don’t actually like the traditional kind.

Make Your Own Gin Kit
This kit contains all the botanicals you need to make 8 batches of your own gin, using various berries and spices to make flavours you love. I only usually get through a couple of bottles of gin a year at home, so this gift could certainly last a while!

mum life

My Christmas Eve routine now I’m a mum

Ask me what my Christmas Eve routine consisted of just a couple of years ago and the answer would have been work up to the button, dash home to do last minute wrapping, get ready at the speed of light and head to the pub. While I can’t say much has changed in terms of rushing about, it has certainly changed dramatically in terms of what I get up to.

Here’s how Christmas Eve goes these days:

Work

If it’s a weekday it’s a work day! Hoping for the boss to get into the festive spirit and send us all home early, work on Christmas day is usually full of excited boys and girls who’s workload isn’t that full for some reason.
This year I baked some gingerbread cookies and Christmas cupcakes to share with everyone. My icing skills leave a lot to be desired – Mary Berry I am not – but it was good to try and make work a bit more festive!

Last minute visits
No matter the year, the day Christmas Eve falls or how far in advance I’ve bought gifts, there’s inevitably a dash to visit people and drop off presents at the last minute.

I also took a last minute trip to the shops (something I haven’t done since I worked I retail at Christmas) to buy a card for my other half as I’d shamelessly forgotten a card for my other half (shh, don’t tell him!)

Praying for a regular bedtime

As Travis is still so little, we don’t quite have the battle of wanting to stay up late for Santa, but by god I swear this child knows when something is going on in his parents life. Whether it’s wanting a bath post-bedtime, the chance to tidy up or just finish wrapping those presents, he has a sixth sense and either won’t go down to sleep or will wake-up frequently. This is why we’ll be going through our regular routine and praying for a normal bed time!

Present shifting
Before Travis, I could just wrap Christmas presents and leave them under the tree in the leas up to the big day.
Now we have to wait until Travis is in bed and shift everyone’s presents from the hiding place to the tree. I don’t envy Santa at all, that’s a shift in itself for one household never mind millions!

Bath time
Once everything has been done, finally a bit of mum time can resume. As any parent will tell you, much craved you-time must be used wisely, especially if your child is in bed! So this Christmas Eve I plan to cram absolutely everything into bath time; the usual routine (my legs will finally feel the chill of the cold Scottish winter), a cheeky gin, face mask, nail painting, blog reading and some catching up with friends.

Christmas specials
There are loads of Christmas specials on around this time of year and with a baby and a million other things to do, its not always possible to catch them live. The Last Leg, 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Would I Lie to You have all been on this week and I’d like to catch one or two to get into the Christmas spirit!

Early bed
In the pre-baby days I would have never gone to bed before midnight on Christmas, but now, every minute of sleep is precious so I’ll be in bed as early as all the other things on my list allow! I’ve always been an early riser on Christmas, notoriously annoying my brother even into our 20s when we would come home for festivities, but it’s different waking early on your own terms rather than someone else’s.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Lists, mum life

Birchbox advent calendar: week 2

Another week in December has flown by already, and with it I’ve had another great batch of Birchbox treats from my advent house. This week has seen another mix of practical and fun treats appear behind the drawers. Here’s what I uncovered in the second week of advent:

Birchbox-makeup-advent-calendar

Amika soulfood nourishing mask
If there’s one thing your hair needs as the temperatures drop to freezing and below, it’s some TLC to protect against the harsh conditions. This soulfood mask provides the nourishment hair often lacks with lots of heat damage at this time of year.

Beauty Pro black peel charcoal mask
If your hair feels more dry and damaged in the winter, imagine how your face feels! There’s nothing quite like a charcoal mask to draw out imperfections and provide some much needed deep cleansing.

Tangle Teezer brush
Tangle teezer products are so handy for anyone with long hair. They are perfect for popping in your bag if you know you’re going to be out braving the wind and all sorts of other hair-tugging weather. I also like to use mine on the shower to remove tangles and ensure conditioner spreads right through my hair properly.

Pixi skin treats glow tonic
A glow can often be lacking in skin at this time of year due to late night partying/wrapping presents, harsh weather, central heating and over indulging in food and drink. So a lovely skin tonic is just what the doctor ordered!

Sank and Sky Australian Pink Clay exfoliating treatment
Sand and Sky products have featured in Birchboxes before, so I have a rough idea of what to expect with this one. Exfoliators are always needed at this time of year to get rid of dead cells, and what better way to do so than in a powerful mask form. The mask takes just 5 minutes to work its magic, using macadamia seeds to exfoliate while the pink clay clears your pores and Australian finger lime adds a freshness and glow to leave your face completely refreshed.

Nuxe Paris beautifying scented body lotion
This body lotion has a smell like you wouldn’t believe. The “Prodigieuse” scent is a beautiful blend of orange blossom, magnolia and vanilla, and leaves the skin bright and moisturised with a satin finish. I think I’ll definitely look into the full size version of this once my advent sample has ran out.

Lord and Berry Couture Kohl Kajal Eyeliner
This eyeliner is exactly how I like them – black as my soul! Although I prefer a liquid liner for eyelids, you can’t beat a bit of kohl for a quick fix and for that bottom lash line.

*Disclaimer, this is not sponsored or paid in any way, just doing it to share the love!

Lists, mum life

Top 6 Food & Drink Christmas Gifts

There are far too many great food and drink Christmas gifts out there to choose from, with many long-standing brands bringing out various specials just for the season. However, I’ve come across a few that are sure to hit the right spot with almost anyone this Christmas. Well, almost anyone in my family at least!

Ellis Gin

I discovered this gem at Helensburgh Winter Festival earlier in the month. Ellis gin is handmade in Glasgow and in small batches, with only a couple of flavours currently available. I opted to buy the bramble gin in a bauble for a Christmas gift, though they had plenty of choice in terms of bottle size and gift packs, with the option of a small bottle and glass, or gin and mixer combos. I love trying new things and supporting local makers so this is a no brainer if you like to give unique gifts that are made with love.

Johnnie Walker White Walker Limited Edition

If you’ve any Game of Thrones fan friends or family (over 18) then this will be sure to warm up their winter. The show has partnered with Scottish whisky Johnnie Walker for this limited edition collectors bottle named White Walker. A homage to the White Walkers on the show, this brand new whisky is best served straight from the freezer.

Dean’s Glitter Shortbread

Dean’s Shortbread is a fabulous, melt-in-the-mouth shortbread brand from Huntly in Scotland. Their traditional shortbread rounds can be found in many supermarkets, and they offer a great festive flavour range. However, their glitter shortbread adds some much needed sparkle to Christmas, without steering away from the traditional flavour. This one is sure to go down well with nans and for those ever expanding gifts for teachers, coaches, lollipop men/women, and anyone else society has told us we should be gifting at this time of year! With a £2.99 price tag it’s a perfect add-on for a bigger gift too.

Peaky Blinders Rum/Whisky/Gin

 Well Sadler’s Ales have gone all in with a range of Peaky Blinders spirits. Fans of Sadler’s and of the TV show will appreciate that there are several different gift options on offer, with variations of their spiced gin, spiced rum and whisky available to purchase. If you want to pay homage to the show and Thomas Shelby himself, then the Peaky Blinders gin is the ideal choice.

Saltire CandySaltire-candy-christmas-gift-food

Another great discovery from Helensburgh Winter Festival was Saltire Candy. They make all of your old fashioned boiled sweet favourites, all beautifully packaged forany occasion. They also had some flavoured fudge which we tried (the Hebridean sea salted caramel fudge was my favourite) and a few varieties of the traditional tablet and macaroon which looked like the perfect stocking filler. They were only a couple of pounds for each little bag. Plus you’re able to personalise many of their gifts too, for that extra special touch.

Fry’s selection box

A great gift for any chocolate lover in your house. It’s a collection of the three Fry’s favourites – chocolate cream, peppermint cream and turkish delight. Obviously the latter isn’t to everyone’s taste but I think Fry’s creams are fondly remembered by some of the older generation in our family for sure. I first found this gift in B&M but have since seen it pop up in a few stores and supermarkets, and it’s pretty inexpensive as far as Christmas gifts go – around the £2-3 mark you’d expect to pay for a selection box.

mum life, Mum's finds

Birchbox advent calendar: week one

First week of Advent calendar goodies!

Now the first week of Advent calendar madness is over, we have a toddler that I think has gained about a stone (he has FOUR advent calendars. Much to my dismay!). But we also have a collection of great new beauty products, thanks to my Birchbox advent calendar.

I always have good things to say about Birchbox, and their advent calendar is no exception. I previously missed out on these as they always sell out so quickly, but I was well prepared this year! I can’t comment on previous years but this year’s has definitely impressed me so far. Here are the first week’s treats:

Benefit roller lash
One of the many reasons I love Birchbox is that they regularly send out Benefit products. I’m a big fan of their mascaras so was delighted to find roller lash behind drawer number 1. Not only this, birchbox also tucked a little discount card inside the drawer offering 10% off any full sized products found in the calendar.

Pure papayacare papaya lips
Who doesn’t need a good lip balm at this time of year? Birchbox have got it spot on with their product choice, as it’s something I’ll use all month, thanks to the change in weather. It’s a really good lip balm, totally nourishing, and of course comes with the added bonus of smelling like papaya. Good job papayacare!

Rituals – the ritual of ayurveda hand balm
Again, I couldn’t think of a better choice of product for the current climate. The skin on my hands had actually started to break and bleed in November with the minus temperatures (I have since located my gloves thank goodness!) so it’s fair to say I was in desperate need of a good hand cream. The fragrance is Indian rose and almond oil which means the scent into too in your face, and the ingredients are also actually really soothing.

Birchbox-advent-calendar-2018

LOC – creamy eyeshadow stick
Now we’re getting onto some of the more fun items (not that the others aren’t fun, they are just more practical!) The eyeshadow stick is great for a daytime look and is easy to top up throughout the day. The shadeitwelf is also pretty neutral so I can see it working with a lot of different skin tones.

Caudalie – SOS thirst quenching serum
I personally always rely on the same moisturiser all year round, but am always keen to know of any other products which can work for my skin, especially in winter. I’m not normally one for seems but this is just the treat my face needs in this weather.

Chella – ivory lace highlighter
Everybody loves a good highlighter, no more so than at Christmas when everything is shimmering and sparkling. This handy highlighter stick is perfect for popping in your bag and taking along on that Christmas party night out.

Jiinju- exfoliating face pad
And last but not least, week 1 was rounded off with this beauty. What is the one essential we all need, no matter the makeup we use? That’s right, cleanser and makeup remover! I’m all for reusable cleansers, exfoliators etc, so this exfoliating pad is right up my street. Grab this little Korean beauty miracle and take it in the shower if you’re short on time.

mum life, Unlikely mum makes

Unlikely mum makes: gift boxes

I love Christmas so much, so there’s really any excuse to make something festive in this house. All the more so if I make it, and can recycle/upcycle at the same time.

A couple of years ago, I decided to try and make use of my Birchboxes, which were just lying around gathering dust after I’d removed all the fab products. I didn’t want to throw them away as lots of them had lovely cute patterns on, and I felt they could be used for something else, I just wasn’t sure what… until Christmas came around!

My bright idea was to turn them into festive gift boxes which would hopefully look better than the badly wrapped parcels I give out, which tend to look more like fish suppers than gifts!

What I use them for:

  • Gift boxes for smaller items like makeup and cosmetics
  • Alternative selection boxes
  • Christmas eve boxes

How I do it:

There’s literally 2 steps in this! Though there’s probably a fancier way of doing it that would look super professional but I’m a – not super professional and b – a novice craftsperson, so this is my max talent at the moment!

All you need is:

  1. Wrapping paper
  2. Sellotape
  3. Scissors
  4. Label/nametag or similar

Part 1 – Wrap the gift box

All you have to do is wrap the outside of each part of the box, taking care on the edges and the inside to ensure the paper doesn’t bunch, preventing you from closing the box!

Handmade-christmas-gift-boxes

Part 2 – decide how to label and decorate the gift box

The first year I did this, I opted to use regular gift tags for my boxes. Last year, I used a sheer paper and simply wrote on it with a silver pen. This year, I’m opting to paint some wooden letters and stick them on to some boxes, and use bows and string to decorate others.

The beauty of this is that you can decorate the boxes however you like. In fact, you don’t even need to go for a festive theme, meaning they are the gift box that keeps on giving!

Baby M's firsts

November firsts

Now we’ve past a year old, so there’s no new days he hasn’t seen before. This means there are quite a bit less firsts than most other months. That being said, there are still a lot of things the wee man hasn’t experienced yet, some of which he tried out for the first time in November…

First bonfire night
Since Travis was one in October, he’s clearly already been around for one bonfire night. However he was so young and we were still getting used to the lack of sleep thing so we didn’t bother going to watch any fireworks or anything. This year we went to the local display in Dumbarton on the 5th itself. It was a relatively mild night (though had been raining earlier in the day so everywhere was a swamp!) So we were quite fortunate. Travis loved the light show it got a little confused as the bangs echoed behind us after the fireworks went off, looking behind us to see what else was going on!

First hot chocolate
It’s pretty much tradition at bonfire night to have hot chocolate right? I thought “why should Travis miss out on that?” and decided to share a much milkier version of my hot chocolate with him. It went down an absolute storm, and in place of his usual night time bottle, meaning we didn’t have to do a bottle when we got home either- result!

First trip to fruin farm
Fruin Farm is a farm/restaurant close by us on the way to Helensburgh. We had heard great things about the place so when friends had suggested brunch there we jumped at the chance. It was great for the adults, no doubt, but Travis had a ball playing with the toys in the dining area (launching them across the floor mostly!) And also pointing out all the (ornamental) parrots that were dotted around the room.

Though as the name suggests, it’s a farm so there are animals outside too! We got to go down and see the goats and llamas, and even some big black piggies on the way out. I’d definitely recommend Fruin Farm if you’re meeting up with friends with younger kids, as the food was fab and there’s lots to keep the wee ones entertained.

First toddler sense
I’d heard a lot about baby sensory classes and how great they were when Travis was only a couple of months old. I ended up not taking him along as he was already doing so much, like baby massage, baby yoga, bookbug, hartbeeps and swimming! I didn’t think we could fit it in or that he’d get the benefit if it at that time. Fast forward to over a year old and he’s now classed as a toddler, which I thought would rule him out of sensory classes. Not so – there are just different classes with different activities for the toddlers!
We went along to try it out on 12th November and it was great fun. But we joined in during the middle of a block so I think we will wait til the new year and see if we can join a block on a date and time that’s right for us!

First children in need
Children in Need always runs on the third Friday in November, and it’s something I’ve always traditionally watched, got involved in or fundraised for when I was growing up. So imagine my delight when nursery announced they were having a whole week of activities for children in need. They all involves dressing up and the like, and if you want to find out more you can read my post about it here.

First fat lip
Not a first I thought I’d have to share but one that was going to happen eventually with a boisterous little toddler. On the last day of November, I got a phonecall from the nursery telling me not to worry (well love, I am worried because you’re phoning me and you don’t normally do that!) That Travis was fine… but that he’d also just burst his lip. Ran towards another kid, tripped and headered one of the cots apparently. We were told to expect a fat lip but that they would keep an ice pack on it for us. Cue picking up a baby Mick Jagger, who wasn’t bothered in the slightest by the way, which resulted in mum guilt and upset for leaving him where he could get hurt.

mum life, Unlikely mum makes

Unlikely Mum Makes: Homemade Candles

This last week I’ve been particularly busy doing the big house clean in preparation for winter. You know, the big clean you do before the Christmas tree goes up?

So once the cleaning was done it was time to jump right into the Christmas spirit. This year I decided to start making some Christmas candles as I love nothing more than the smell of Christmas in the house! Plus they make great little stocking fillers (if made well!). After posting my attempts on Instagram, a few people were keen to see how I did it. Candles are surprisingly simple to make if you know how.

I chose to make some orange & cinnamon and mulled wine scented candles, but there are loads of Christmas and wintry scents you can make. Here’s how to make your own Christmas candles exactly like I did:

What you need

Homemade-candles-christmas

  • Soy wax
  • Tin can
  • A pot and some boiling water
  • Candle wicks
  • Blue tac
  • Coloured crayons
  • Glass jar, tumbler or similar

How to make your candles

1. The first thing to do is set up the pot and water to start heating. Then grab your tin can – I used a soup can, but I guess anything of a similar size and metal will do. Fill the can with wax as much as you can, then place into a water bath to start melting. I bought a big 2kg bag of soy wax, which does plenty. You can also use paraffin wax (I think this might be cheaper in some instances?) but soy wax is more natural. I found that a 1kg bag makes about 10 of the candles made below.

You’ll notice as the wax starts to melt that it evaporates slightly, and at this point it’s best to top up the tin a bit. I topped up my tin 2-3 times in order to get 3 candles from the one tin.

Important point: remember to keep stirring your wax!

2. Now it’s time to set up your candle(s). You can use a glass tumbler or dish from the likes of Ikea if you’d like, however I opted to recycle some dessert glasses. There’s a leading brand that makes said desserts, and the likes of Aldi and other supermarkets stock their own brand dessert pots and cheesecakes which come in similar glass containers.

Whatever you choose, you need to fix the candle wick to your candle jar/glass. I I found pre-fixed  candle wicks ones on Amazon which came with stickers and a wick holder, the ideal kit for beginners. Take one fixed wick, add some Blu tac to the underside of the fixing, and stick to the bottom of your jar. Repeat this for however many candles you choose to make.

3. While the wax is melting, chop up some bits of your chosen colour of crayon to add to the tin. It’s worth bearing in mind that the soy wax candles are really white, so if you’re going for a red candle for example, I’d recommend adding some red and some brown crayon in there to achieve the desired colour. You don’t have to add colour, the candles still look fab white, but it helps to distinguish the scents if you’re going to try a few different ones. I chose to make one batch red, and one batch orange. Although I could have definitely added more brown to the red one as it came out paler than I’d hoped!

4. Once your wax and colour has all melted, turn off the heat and remove the tin from the water bath. Now choose your scent and add around 2ml (not quite half a teaspoon) of it to the melted wax. I used fragranced oils, opting for mulled wine for my red candles and orange & cinnamon for my orange ones. If you’re keen on keeping things more natural you can use essential oils rather than fragrance oils. Stir in your chosen scents well, so the fragrance mixes evenly in the wax.

5. Now it’s time to pour the wax into the jar. Be careful to hold onto the wick so it doesn’t bend or float around in the wax. Once filled, tie your wick around a pencil or use a wick holder to keep the wick evenly in the middle of the candle.

Once all your candles are filled and wicks firmly in place, simply sit back and relax – you’ve got about 2 hours or more for your candles to set! I left mine for most of the day just to be sure. Once set, remove the wick holder/pencils and trim your wick to the desired length (no more than an inch above the wax).

6. For decoration, I simply used some Christmas ribbon (from Aldi, however you can get similar ribbon almost anywhere for around the same price) and glue dots to hold in place on the glass. If you’re feeling more adventurous, why not decorate with glitter and glue, snow spray and stencils or draw with a marker if you’re quite the artistic type.

Hey presto, you just made a Christmas candle!

Unlikely-mum-makes-festive-candles-homemade

 

children-in-need-fundraising-nursery
mum life, nursery, Parenting

Children in Need Week at Nursery

It’s that time of year again folks; the Children in Need Appeal takes place this Friday. It must be an age thing, but it feels like it really wasn’t a whole year since the last one.

For the uninitiated, Children in Need (CIN) is a UK charity which supports disadvantaged children and young people in the country. Their goal is to ensure every child feels happy, safe, and has the chance to reach their full potential, no matter their circumstances. Every year, an appeal show is held on the BBC on the third Friday of November, to encourage donations from across the UK. The appeal show usually starts around 7pm and lasts all evening, with special episodes of soaps and popular TV programmes, musical performances, and lots of short clips from some of the children who have benefitted from CIN, which are sure to make you cry.

Above this, many organisations of various sizes take part too, from retailers like Greggs and ASDA to schools, youth clubs, workplaces and more. As the charity focuses on children, it makes sense that Travis’ nursery would be involved, with a week of fundraising activities for him to take part in.

I never thought I’d be the type of mum that got excited at the prospect of all the different activities and things you have to do for your kids to be a part of something, but I actually bloody love it. I think part of me is genuinely excited because I loved those days myself as a child, and probably wish I could still join Travis at nursery with his dress up, parties, baking and so on. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when it feels like we have to remember to do something, wear something or bring something extra to nursery every other week, which gets hard to keep track of. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. Besides, how can you be upset at a whole week of fundraising activities for disadvantaged children when your son attends a private nursery and has all he ever needs (and more besides!) at home?

Here’s how our week of fundraising looks to be shaping up: (I hope to add photos from each day as we go!)

Pyjama Party

Travis doesn’t attend nursery on Mondays, so we missed the Teddy Bear’s Picnic day, but there are still 4 fun days for him to get involved in, starting with Tuesday’s Pyjama Party! Really though, could there be a more perfect fundraising activity for mums? Literally just send your child out in their jammies, meaning you don’t have to think about an outfit for the day.
Bonus for them: they get a comfy nap at that time of day
Bonus for mum and dad: slightly less laundry

Playroom Theme

I’ll be honest, I didn’t have a clue what this theme was meant to be to start with. I thought playroom themes were things you searched for on Pinterest, offering a world of dreams for kids, but something which you couldn’t actually afford to implement. Turns out in this instance it simply means dressing up like your favourite toys, teddy bears in particular as Pudsey the bear is the CIN mascot. We opted for some Pudsey ears, socks and top, though as you can imagine the ears lasted about 1.5 seconds!

Crazy Hair Day

I think this is is probably another ideal theme for parents. I mean, just don’t brush your kids hair in the morning, right? Travis is in desperate need of a haircut, as he is currently sporting some curls around his neck, despite still having about 4 strands of hair on the top of his head, so his hair already looks crazy enough on a daily basis. However I might get a bit creative with some of his dad’s hair wax or maybe some hair makeup which can easily wash out.

Superhero & Princess Party

This one we might have a little trouble with. Travis had a Thor outfit for Halloween, kindly bought for his birthday by his uncle. Said Thor outfit was made a little on the neat side, but it worked for a Halloween party we went to the weekend before Halloween. By the time actual Halloween rolled around (a whole 4 days later) Travis had outgrown the outfit, so much so we couldn’t even fasten the poppers around the crotch. Delightful. And unfortunately now since Halloween has passed and Christmas is a mere 6 weeks away (I can’t wait!), there doesn’t seem to be any glimpse of a superhero in sight in any of the shops! And the superhero clothing that does seem to be on offer is few and far between in Travis’ size. Stay tuned to find out how this one ends up!

food

Butternut Squash Soup

This is a variation on a soup recipe given to me by my mum. She had followed their recipe as part of the diet plan she was on (I never remember which popular chain it was so I’m not naming for fear I get it wrong!) But obviously diet recipes are limiting to fit in a particular calorie or nutritional value, whereas I’m just interested in flavour!

This soup is vegan and the below recipe makes about 4-6 portions.

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash
4-6 small potatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
Vegetable stock
1l water
Thyme

Method

  1. Firstly, finely chop the garlic and onion and fry over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Then add the diced squash for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Mix the stock with 900ml water and add everything to the one large pot.
  4. Peel and quarter the potatoes and add them to the pot.
  5. Leave to simmer for 30 mins, ensuring the soup does not boil over.
  6. Add the final 100ml of water and some thyme to taste. Summer for a further 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste if you wish.

I’ve found this method makes at least 4 adult sized portions of soup and at least 2 toddler sized portions for our family.

Butternut-squash-soup-recipe