PUMPKIN SOUP

Good morning my lovelies,

I know I’ve been a bit M.I.A. recently and I am sorry. I have missed blogging, but as I have mentioned before I am taking a more relaxed stance on blogging now. If I manage to write and upload something brilliant, if not it’s not the end of the world either as this is only a hobby for me which is supposed to be fun and not stress me out aha! So I apologise if I also haven’t read and commented on as many of your lovely blog posts recently either, I guess I’ve just been busy enjoying life and being ill aha! Anyway lets get into this blog post!

It’s that time of year again – time to lug those heavy pumpkins home (if you don’t have a car like myself) and get carving! Because, let’s be honest who doesn’t love a good pumpkin carving session whilst having your favourite Halloween movies playing in the background?! However, in the spirit of trying to live more sustainably and produce less waste I want to urge you all not to throw away the innards of your pumpkins but be creative instead!!! Pumpkins can be used in so many scrumptious recipes from sweet to savoury. I’ve already tried three delicious recipes this year with my first few pumpkins and can’t wait to experiment more in a couple of weeks when I carve out the last of the decorative pumpkins! For now I want to share one of my all time favourites with you though and I’ve spiced this recipe up a little from last year, soo see what you think – here’s my pumpkin soup!

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For 6 servings you will need:
1kg of pumkin – 200g of peeled carrots – 100g or peeled parsnips – 100g celery – 100g leek – 1 large red onion – 1l stock (made with 2 stock cubes and 1/2 tbsp of swiss bouillon) – 500ml of oat milk – pepper, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tbsp oregano, 1 tbsp basil, 1 tbsp parsley – 3 tbsp nutritional yeast – olive oil

Wash and peel the vegetables. Chop up the onions, leeks and celery. Heat the oil in a big soup pot. Add onions and saute for a few minutes. In the meantime, chop the carrots and parsnips and pumpkin. Boil 1l of water in the kettle. Now add the leeks, celery and pumpkin to saute for a few minutes too. Make your stock and pour into the pot before adding the parsnips and carrots. Stir well and then add all your herbs. Bring to boil and then reduce to a medium heat. Put lid on and let the vegetables cook for around 30 mins or until softened. Next add your nutritional yeast and oat milk before blending the soup; you can decide how coarse or smooth you want your soup. Last but not least, taste and add any extra seasoning if necessary.

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For the roasted pumpkin seeds:
Pumpkin seeds – pepper, salt, garlic powder, paprika

Save the pumpkin seeds when carving your pumpkin. Wash them and spread them out on a tray over baking paper. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Roast in the oven at ca.200 degrees centigrade for around 10 mins (make sure to shake em up after 5 mins) .

Serve soup in your favourite bowl, top fresh basil and roasted pumpkin seeds and voila -sit down and enjoy!

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DAY TRIPPING – DESTINATION ALNMOUTH

Good evening beautiful souls,

Last week I was luck enough to have 3 days off, which for me is very rare and thus meant that I actually had time to do something nice for myself once all the housework and various other tasks were completed. The weather was so nice and I was craving a beach trip, but not being able to drive made this wish a bit problematic. Sadly there aren’t many easily accessible by public transport beaches around, well not unless you want to sit on a bus for over an hour which for me is a big no no as I get serious travel anxiety when it comes to bus journeys that are longer then 20mins! After some research however I discovered that Alnmouth station was pretty easy to get to only being a 30min walk away from the beach and so I had my day trip destination.

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The walk to the beach is quite a pleasant and easy to follow as it’s just along the main road. From the station you firstly walk through a small housing estate and then it’s out in nature with wild fields on your left and glimpses of the sea on your right. After about 20 minutes you reach central Almnouth and walk through it’s floral hanging basket lined street until you reach the golf course and the beach.

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On my way down to the beach I came across these beautiful roses and I had to stop and give them a sniff – does anyone else do this whenever they see roses?! They smelt divine and I’m not going to lie, I was very tempted to snap one off and take it with me!

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The beach was relatively busy, the sun was out and there was a light breeze rippling through my hair as picked a little empty spot to put down my picnic blanket. Once settled I sat back with my feet in the sand just enjoying being in the present moment and watching the world around me; the grandparents sitting in their folding chair reading their papers, children hopping from stone to stone and family’s running around playing Frisbee and flying kites. It was a beautiful afternoon.

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It wasn’t long until I unpacked my picnic full of healthy vegan goodies and read a bit of my book whilst savouring my lunch. I had grapes, blueberries, pretzels, veg, hummus and crackers as well as a little can of G&T. It was the perfect picnic! Afterwards I lay down with my headphones on listening to my audiobook (The Count of Monte Cristo) and relishing the feeling of the sun warming my skin.

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Sadly the clouds came in not long after and they didn’t seem to want to budge meaning I got chilly quite quickly and ended up deciding to pack up and head on home again, but not before I took a stroll along the beach and dipped my toes in the chilly sea of course. Although I was only there for about 2 hours, it really was worth it and I enjoyed every minute of my mini excursion!

I hope you’ve all found the time recently to go out and do something nice for yourselves too! I know I need to make time for myself like this more often. I don’t do it enough and it did me the world of good!

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SOAP NUTS – A NATURAL DETERGENT

Good morning beautiful souls,

Today I thought I would tackle the next change on my plant based eco journey, namely switching to a low impact laundry detergent. As with many household items we are just so used to seeing them stacked in single use containers along the supermarket aisles that we don’t stop to consider the impact they have anymore or what less harmful & low impact alternatives might be out there. Most laundry detergents are packaged in plastic, tested on animals and of course contain many chemicals which especially for sensitive skins aren’t often great. However there are some great alternatives out there (for example my cousin washes her clothes with walnuts which contain a natural soap element – who knew!?!) all you need to do is set aside a little time to have a browse to see what works best for you. Now I can’t speak for all alternatives as I’ve personally only tried one so far, but I am so happy with the results of this swap that I had to share it with you.

I have swapped form the usual detergent culprits such as Persil to using Soapnuts – a natural, organic, biodegradable, vegan, ethical & sustainable laundry detergent (now you can’t get more eco-friendly than that can you!?!).

Soapnuts or Soapberries are dried fruit shells which contain real natural soap and are 100% completely natural. They are a vegan friendly, non-polluting, compostable, alternative to conventional laundry detergents and synthetic soaps. No fillers, foaming agents, bleach, phthalates, phosphates or parabens. The Soapberries contain a natural soap called saponin, which is released when they come into contact with water and thus they wash your laundry as good as any other conventional detergent.

There are a couple of ways to use the soap nuts; you can soak them in water to release the detergent and then pour the liquid into your washing machine as you would other laundry detergents, or you can pop a couple of soapnuts into the muslin bag provided and then pop that into the washing machine with your laundry. I use the latter method.

In our day and age we are so used to freshly washed clothes smelling “clean” because of all the chemical scents added to detergents. Soapnuts don’t really release a scent, so you won’t get that “clean” smell; however you can add a scent to your laundry by using an essential oil. One of my favourite oils to use is lavender; I put about 10 drops onto the muslin bag containing the soapnuts and then pop it into the wash – and voila out come your clothes with a fresh scent of lavender – the results are great!

I really cannot recommend this natural vegan biodegradable laundry detergent enough and urge you all to try it! They sell starter packs (a great way to give soapnuts a trial) which contain soapnuts, a stain remover bar, soda crystals and an essential oil. The small starter pack costs £14.70 which admittedly you might first think sounds expensive, but let me assure you, the sopanuts go a long way – one filled muslin bag can be used for about 3 washes until all the soap has been released.

(the starter pack pictured in my photos is a large)

The Living Naturally Soapnut Company also not only sell laundry detergent but have haircare and skincare products on offer too. I have yet to try these but if the laundry detergent is anything to go by, I know I’ll love these products too.

So I hope I have given you something to think about. Again, I can’t recommend these highly enough and would love to know – do you think this is a change/a swap you would be willing to try?! I’d love to hear some of you giving soapnuts a go! If you’d like to inform yourselves more on the products available and further benefits of soapnuts go have a look on their website here.

Until next time lovelies ❤

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FUNKY SOAP HAUL

Hey there beautiful souls,

After weeks of steeling my housemates Bodyshop ginger shampoo I finally remembered to restock on my shampoo bars from The Funky Soap Shop.

I love these shampoo bars because they’re 100% natural, vegan and I’m supporting an independent small business. They also last pretty long and can be used as bodywash as well, so they’re perfect for traveling!!

I don’t have any favourites and just tent to buy different ones each time. Here’s what I got this time round:

Now as I’ve mentioned in a previous post these work really well for my hair now that it’s short, but when it was long I didn’t get on well with the shampoo bars at all. However as they’re quite cheap and can be used for bodysoap too, I highly recommend you give this company a go and see what you think!

Love Carina xo