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Mini Egg Cookie Dough Bars

So the Easter Weekend is upon us and I’m sure lots of you will be spending your long weekend/last weekend of the school holidays celebrating with chocolate, entertaining and having some fun! So here is my second Easter baking blog for you to try – super easy, fast and will make everyone happy.

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You Will Need:

  • 275g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 115g butter/stork
  • 55g granulated sugar
  • 135g light brown sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 270g mini eggs
  • 100g chocolate chips

 

Method:

  1. Pre heat your oven to 170 fan and prepare your 9×9 square tin by lining it with some grease proof paper ready for use later. Smash up your mini eggs in a sandwich bag using a rolling-pin – do this on a chopping board! Make sure you save a handful of whole mini eggs for decoration later on.

2.  In a bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cornflour.

3. In a larger bowl melt the butter – I did this in a glass bowl over boiling water on the hob but you could use a large saucepan.

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4. Carefully remove from the heat and put onto a heat proof mat. Add in the granulated and brown sugar and which together until you form a smooth mixture.

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5. Now pop in the egg and vanilla extract and whisk again until smooth then mix in the dry ingredients, smashed up mini eggs and chocolate chips – use a spatula for this part as the cookie dough will form and it will be thick so a whisk would probably die a death!

6. Press the cookie dough mix into the tin and when evenly distributed, pop on the whole mini eggs that you saved to decorate.

7. Place the tin into the oven for around 20-25 minutes until the top on the bake is dry to touch.

8. Place the tin on a wire rack to cool, only remove from the tin after half an hour. Once fully cool, cut into bars the size of your choosing and then you’re good to go!

 

I hope you have a lovely Easter weekend with your loved ones and that my recipes help you to entertain the little ones, please the older ones and use up whatever chocolate you may have left over!

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#hairlesshannah

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Easter gift craft

With Easter just around the corner it’s time to start thinking about how you will celebrate and what gifts you may want to give to your friends and family. Easter eggs always tend to feature highly in most households at this time of year but it is so easy to just go to a shop, choose and buy an egg…it’s always nicer when there’s a little personal touch to things. So here’s a craft that children will love but for adults too – and once you have all the resources it’s super easy.

You Will Need:

  • Empty, clean jars of varying sizes
  • chalk paint
  • paintbrushes
  • ribbon
  • scissors
  • glue
  • Easter silhouette, vinyl, peelable glass/window stickers
  • various chocolate eggs

Method:

  1. Make sure your glass jars are clean and then choose the stickers you want to use.
  2. Put the stickers on the jars, move them around until you are happy with their position. 

    3. Now choose which colours you want to use; I went for pastel colours as I felt they were more Spring like. You will need a few coats, I started by going around the rims of the jar and then brushing down to cover the stickers and ensuring every part is coated evenly.

 

 

4. Leave to dry for around 10-15 between each coat.

5. Once dry, carefully peel off the vinyl stickers to reveal the silhouette on the jar!

 

 

6.  Fill each jar with your chosen chocolate eggs.

7. Then you can decorate as you please! I popped flowers on the lids and finished with some ribbon but you could do whatever you fancy really!

 

 

And there you have it, some beautiful little Easter jars to give as presents or use as a centrepiece for any Easter display.

Happy Friday!

#hairlesshannah

Guinness Chocolate Cake

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

So, I think we can safely say that many people tonight and over the weekend will be celebrating by both eating and drinking – namely having a pint of Guinness! So what better than combining the two to make a gloriously delicious Guinness cake?!

Two of my friends made this cake for me on my 30th and it was soooo good! Originally it’s a Nigella recipe so I’m sure some of you may have tried it already, but seeing as it’s St Paddy’s Day it just seemed the perfect thing to bake.

You Will Need:

For the cake:

  • 250ml Guinness
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 75g cocoa
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 1 x 142ml pot of sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 275g plain flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the icing:

  • 300g Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 125ml double or whipping cream

 

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Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 and grease and line a 23cm springform tin.
  2. Into a large, wide saucepan you need to put the Guinness and slowly add the butter which needs to be sliced thinly. Gently melt.
  3. Now whisk in the cocoa and sugar.
  4. Beat the sour cream with the 2 eggs and vanilla extract and pour into the Guinness mix.
  5. Finally whisk in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and take off the heat.
  6. Pop the cake batter into the tin and bake for 45 minutes – an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Place on a cooling rack and let it cool completely before removing the tin – it is a really damp cake so this will take a while.

 

 

While the cake is cooling you can prepare the icing.

  1. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth and the add the sieved icing sugar and combine.
  2. Now add the cream and beat once more until it’s smooth and spreadable. When iced the cake should resemble a pint of Guinness with a gorgeous frothy top!

 

Make sure you only ice the cake when it’s completely cooled and then serve and enjoy!

I really hope you’re having a fab day celebrating wherever you are and that this cake can form part of your celebrations for years to come!

Happy weekend.

#hairlesshannah

 

How to plan a hen night!

Welcome to February! This month the majority of my blogs will be linked to matters of the heart because after all this is the month for lurve! I’m starting with a little guide for how to plan a hen do for your friend. I have been lucky enough to help organise and plan three hen dos for my friends – all of them different but equally fun and memorable. To start with here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way!

Tip One:  Audience. You have to always bear in mind who you are planning the night/weekend for. It’s not your hen do so what you will enjoy may not be their idea of fun! This is for one of the people you care about most so make sure they are always at the front of your mind when planning.

Tip Two: Cost. Hen dos have become increasingly more expensive in recent years. Remember – you are planning a celebration for someone who is getting married. Weddings are expensive for the bride and groom but also for the hen party. If you’re going to the wedding you will often want a new outfit, will stay at the venue or need to pay for a taxi, you will want to buy a gift and pay for drinks at the bar SO adding into that an extortionately priced hen do just isn’t a great idea. You can execute a fab hen do with great planning so get your creative hats on! By having a pricey hen do it often mean that some people won’t be able to come so you have to weigh up money or memories with people the hen loves.

Tip Three: Include your hen in the planning. Ask them what they do and don’t want. The last thing you want is for them to feel embarrassed or hate the event. They don’t need to know the exact details if you want it to be a surprise but knowing a few preferences will help.

Tip Four: Games. Not everyone loves a game but they can make for fun times! Not all hen games have to include stereotypical items, wink wink, but again, you can be clever with it! Get the groom involved and organise a game or Mr and Mrs or a game of ‘which body part belongs to your man?’ These don’t include much money as they can be homemade.

Tip Five: Location. Do you want to get away, have a night out, start in one place and move onto somewhere else or does your hen just want a daytime activity? Some people may need to travel to get to the hen do so try and organise places for them to stay to make them feel like they are wanted.

Tip Six: Communication. Often it isn’t just one person organising the hen do. Sometimes bridesmaids don’t know each other that well and will have conflicting ideas and tensions can run high. Don’t do everything via WhatsApp group chats – things get misconstrued and it will only end in tears. Get to know each other face-to-face with one get together where you can hash it all out in one go and delegate jobs. That way you don’t need anymore back and forths, you will each have jobs to do and you can have a second catch up a week or so before to make sure nothing else is needed. Job done.

Tip Seven: Be prompt and fair. Hen dos will incur a cost at some point and that will mean that one person will often be the one paying and will then end up chasing people for what’s owing. Having been that person, it is so frustrating having to remind people to pay up or even the worst thing, having people pull out once they’ve agreed and you’ve paid for them! BE FAIR! If you’ve said yes and then you decide you can’t go, you still need to pay otherwise someone ends up out of pocket.

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I’ve helped plan three hen dos for friends and all have been different. Number one was a two part hen do, part one at Centre Parks for a weekend and part two in London for the evening at an Adonis night!  Number two was a roller disco hen do that started at mine for dinner and a few games and then up to London for a Roller Disco and number three was a Toy Story themed hen do which started at mine and ended up in London on a party boat going up and down the Thames.

Hen Do 1.

If you plan far enough in advance you can get good deals for places like Centre Parks. We had such a fun weekend, there are so many choices and you can pay as much or as little as you want when there. You do this by choosing as many extra activities as you want, by taking food with you for breakfasts etc and planning carefully. We ate out one evening, had a take away another and cooked for the third. We took games and accessories – it always helps to have creative friends who will be happy to make a penis pinata! It was a really fun weekend.

The part in London was something that wasn’t up my street but what the hen wanted. I have to say it really was a good laugh but a once in a lifetime experience for me. It was nice to have the food included and it turned into a club after so we could have a good dance. Afraid I can’t really post photos from this hen night!

Hen Do 2.

We knew that the hen wanted to go to a roller disco which solved the big debate of what to do and where to go! We didn’t book a mini bus, we just ordered taxis from my flat after comparing which would be cheapest. I had everyone round to mine first where we played some games, took photos in our neon outfits and had some food which again, lowered the price as we didn’t go to a restaurant. Then we headed to the roller disco and had an absolute blast! We skated, danced, sang, drank and made the best memories. It was affordable and the only real cost was sorting outfits! Perfect hen night.

 

Hen Do 3.

This hen do I have to say took a little bit more organising. It was organised in partnership with the other third of our little gang which made it so much easier! The three of us had met at uni so this was a special wedding and Sarah didn’t want a “normal” hen do as she isn’t one for being embarrassed or having penis straws everywhere (we did manage to get as far as pin the hose on the fireman though which she actually quite enjoyed!).

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The hen had absolutely no involvement what so ever in this hen do – some would say we possibly know each other too well! The morning of the hen do we took ourselves to her house and organised, just for the three of us to have a pamper morning. We bought light food and foot baths but also organised for a lady to come and do our nails etc. Deborah and I planned the rest of it in accordance to her favourite film – Toy Story. We decided again to start at my flat which I transformed into Andy’s Room – that was no mean feat I can tell you! But we knew the three of us were coming back for a sleepover after so we wanted Sarah to spend the night in the Tou Story room to finish the night off perfectly.

The invites were sent out asking people to choose a character from Toy Story they wanted to come as and let us know ASAP so that we didn’t end up with five Buzz Lightyears. Everyone was fab and we didn’t have any double ups, just the entire Toy Story Gang – we looked incredible even if I do say so myself! We roped the hens mum into making her outfit and as the hen arrived at my flat, we all stayed quiet whilst Deborah and I dressed a blindfolded hen in my room and led her to Andy’s Room for the big reveal! I think she really was surprised and loved it. We had themed the food around Toy Story too with Mr Potato Head jackets, cup cakes and snacks. We set up a photo booth in my spare room which was a real hit and played Mr and Mrs which revealed quite a lot too!

Although the hen wasn’t a real clubber, she does LOVE a dance and so we booked a party boat up in London on the Thames. We did almost miss boarding (!) but once we were on it we had such a fun time. Dancing, drinks and views made for a real giggle and the hen had a really fun time – even doing tequila shots! It was a hen do that the mother of the bride/groom could enjoy too and again, wasn’t too expensive because we did most of it ourselves. I will never forget walking through London and us all being asked for photos by tourists – everyone loves a bit of Toy Story! That was the hen do that made me think I’d love to go into events organising because I just loved setting it all up and seeing how happy the hen was.

 

Hen dos really don’t have to be expensive and hard to plan, if you do it right then it’s actually really good fun. Make your own props, do your own food, book in advance, find discounts and you’ll be fine and dandy.

I hope you’ve picked up some ideas, hints and tips for planning a hen do – I’d love to hear about any unusual hen dos you’ve planned so don’t forget to comment below.

Happy Friday loved up people!

#hairlesshannah

Christmas present haul

Christmas may be a few weeks ago now – I know, how did that happen? – but I wanted to have a go at doing my first ever haul blog! They are blogs and vlogs that I really enjoy reading and watching, probably because it satisfies the nosy parker in me but also because I like to get ideas for nice gifts for people when an occasion next comes up. I haven’t included every single gift I received but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t love and appreciate each and every one. So before I get started it’s disclosure time…this isn’t about me bragging about what I got, it’s just me having a go at writing a new type of blog.

As with every year, I was so lucky with the gifts I received, most of them being total surprises and I didn’t have one single gift that I needed to exchange or take back – score! The first gifts I want to show are some of the gorgeous LUSH bath bombs and bubble bars I got. I have taken them out of the beautiful gift boxes as I wanted to use them ASAP! Honestly, I know I go on about LUSH a lot and I will be doing a Blog in more detail about baths and relaxation, but seriously, if you haven’t ever shopped there – go. Yes, it is on the pricier side of bath and beauty products but I’d rather have fun baths than a run of the mill, boring, functional bath!

The first set I opened was called ‘Happy Daze.’ It included The Experimenter Bath Bomb, Fizzbanger Bath Bomb, Brightside Bubble Bar and The Comforter Bubble Bar. I was so thrilled with this set because out of the four, three are my favourites  and since trying the Fizzbanger, it’s safe to say this set will now feature on any future wish list!

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The second box was a seasonal Christmas selection box was called ‘Festive Friends.’ Inside were three gorgeous LUSH products: the Butterbear Bath Bomb, Father Christmas Bath Bomb and the Penguin Bubble Bar. You won’t see the Butterbear in the photos because I’ve already used him up! It was another product I’d never tried and again, LUSH didn’t let me down. I’ve always loved a musk scent (who remembers White Musk from The Body Shop?!) so this one suited me to a T.

Whilst on the theme of bath and beauty products, I want to mention the other skin care items I got. My skin has been even more sensitive than usual lately. On one of our many trips to Holland&Barrett, we discovered their skin care section. Mum has restocked my shelves with their Dr. Organic Aloe Vera skin lotion and the concentrated Aloe Vera cream which is the only thing (along with Clinique’s Moisture Surge) that my skin can handle at the moment and I LOVE them. They don’t have a scent as such but they aren’t greasy and dry on your skin quickly which is a positive for me. You don’t need to apply much of any of these Dr. Organic products, they are thick but they go a long way which means you don’t need to buy them frequently so are very cost effective. High Five!

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I also received a gift which will be really useful; it’s called, This Works, Super Sleep Dual Pillow Spray. The set contains two 20ml sprays, a sleep plus pillow spray which is a “fast acting, natural remedy to restore a healthy sleep pattern,” and deep sleep pillow spray which is “a best-selling natural sleep aid that inspires feelings of calm.” An absolutely spot on gift for me at the moment seeing as sleep is very important and can be a painful, disturbed experience.

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I haven’t been able to photograph my next gift because it was in use from Christmas Day! Mum and Dad got me the most amazing Dreamland Intelliheat Premium Fleece Dual Control Fitted Electric Underblanket. Now seriously, anything that’s name is that long and that detailed must be an out of this world product! And on top of that, it was a Which? best buy – wouldn’t expect anything less in terms of research from my Dad! It has two controls which means you can heat one side of the bed or both (I opt for both because I don’t have anyone else to warm up the other side for me!). When you are getting ready for bed you set the controls to ‘quick heat up’ for five minutes and then set the under sheet to your own personal preference once the time is up. You can set it to heat the bed for either one hour or nine. This is my only negative thing about the product – it would be good to have an in-between time setting, like four hours because at the moment, nine hours is too long but an hour is too short – first world problems or what?! Then there are five heating options, the last few nights when its been freezing I’ve gone for five but really, three is the optimal temperature and enables the perfect nights sleep. All old woman jokes aside, I really have found that it’s helped with my muscle pain during the night. Like with hot baths, heat does seem to ease pain and I haven’t felt as stiff when I wake up (!) Honestly, one of the best presents I have EVER recieved! I believe Mum and Dad got it from John Lewis but I’m sure there are other places it can be purchased from too.

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Next up are books. I got four this year and all serve a different purpose!

  • First up, Mum and Dad gave me a  Dorling Kindersley photography book aimed at helping beginners. It takes you through everything you will need to know as a beginner and uses step by step pointers and photos which is a real positive for me as I’m a visual learner. It teaches you about ISO, aperture and shutter speed as well as shooting in various locations, lights and photographing  different subjects. Photography is a hobby I want to learn more about this year so I was really chuffed with this book.
  • Then I opened my annual diary from WH Smith’s. It’s a beautiful, bright, butterfly themed, page a day diary which is what I have used since I was twelve! Spot on Mum – thanks.
  • Next I opened a hilarious book from a friend entitled, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight. I’ve heard so many people talk about this book, although the title is funny, having browsed over the first few pages, it seems like there will be lots of things to take from the book to implement into my life. I’m looking forward to reading it and will feed back once I’m finished!
  • Then finally I received, ‘The Christmasaurus’ by Tom Fletcher – yup, the guy from the band McFly! He is also the author of the series of children’s books, ‘The Dinosaur that Pooped…..’ series. As a teacher, I know that children adore these books and as an avid follower of Tom on YouTube, I’d followed his writing and publishing process, so was excited to get my hands on the finished product. The book has already been commissioned for a stage show next Christmas and is being made into an animated movie – amazing, what a talented guy.

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I have an inkling that people may have picked up on the fact that I am partial to a quote here and there! The plaques and shaped quote gifts I received were all so lovely, meaningful and ones that Dad is going to have to come and put up for me – I mean, what else is he going to do with all this time on his hands now?! I don’t know where they are from but if you like the look of them as gifts for people, all you need to do is search the internet and you will be bombarded by similar things. They may not be big or expensive gifts but personally, I think they are a perfect sentimental gift for someone you care about. The one Mum gave me about socks, is an example of one that isn’t soppy but one that I will read over and over and always have a little chuckle to myself because we all know it’s so true!

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You will also see that I received my own personalised recipe book – so cool! I already have one but it’s the one I was given when I went to Uni and it’s quite small and won’t fit in the recipes I find in magazines etc. So this one is perfect. I am going to transfer the recipes into the new book but also make sure I cut and stick in the recipes that Mum hand wrote because they hold a sentimental value to me. There’s something about keeping handwritten recipes that hold a bit of family history in my opinion.

Luckily my friends know me very well! I received three, yes three Mahogany Teakwood Bath and Body Works candles! One all the way from Chicago and two from Dubai – seriously, so happy! I also received one other beautiful candle and a gorgeous, stripped wood tea light holder with butterfly detailing. I don’t have a problem – promise.

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My brother treated me to a necklace that I have had my eye on for ages. It is designed by a lady called Anna Saccone who is part of the Saccone-Joly family who are vloggers on YouTube. Each necklace has a Zodiac design on which means you can buy in accordance to the recipients star sign. You can choose from silver, rose gold or silver gold plated and they come in L, M or S sizes which is a great feature. Mine has the Taurus sign and is in rose gold, it came in a beautiful display box and included the story behind the designs. Anna sells these pieces on stilnest.com and she also designs Zodiac style charms and bracelets. Beautiful gifts for all ages, I would highly recommend.

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I wanted to feature the gorgeous tree decorations I received. You may see a pattern occurring here – I may possibly like penguins! All three are from from three different friends and I love them all. One is a wood carved decoration with my named carved into one side and a Christmas penguin into the other. The next one is a glass Christmas penguin and the third is a glitter covered, more traditionally shaped bauble and I love him! Also along the penguin theme, a friend bought me a penguin pen which I will use to plan future blogs – another quirky, fun gift.

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Finally, I wanted to mention a gift that you won’t be able to find or buy anywhere but that I am in love with. When I went to Egypt I purchased some beautiful material from a market at such a cheap price and had the idea that I wanted to use it for a throw or some kind. I mentioned it to Mum and Dad when I brought it home but never noticed that it had disappeared! So when I opened up the most beautiful quilt/bed throw and pillow on Christmas morning, I was in total shock! It was beyond what I had imagined for the material and I will treasure it forever. It was made by one of mum’s friends from choir and I would highly recommend her if you need anything like this made, she has done such a great job.

So there you have it, my first haul!  I hope you enjoyed it and that you may have some gift ideas for the coming year, let me know what gifts you loved this Christmas…that way I can continue to indulge in my nosiness!

Happy weekend!

#hairlesshannah

 

Autumn leaves are brown

So I’ve just had a Peter Kay moment…I always thought the first line of ‘California Dreamin’ ‘ by The Mamas and Papas was “Autumn leaves are brown.” Turns out it’s, “All the leaves are brown.” Gutted. It was the perfect title for this blog but as you can see, I still went ahead and used it anyway!

You will probably notice that from now on my blog might not always relate to my ailments. I will of course use the blog to update as and when I feel I want to write about it but I also need to explore other avenues for my writing. I just hope you continue to read and enjoy the content; nearly a year on and I have had over 10,000 views which is an achievement I am thoroughly proud of so thank you for taking time to read about my life!

Autumn is here and I couldn’t be happier about it.  This time of year, leading up to Christmas is my favourite and I seem to be relishing it even more since I missed out on any seasons apart from Summer in Dubai. It’s a time of change. I learnt the seasons by watching the huge tree at the bottom of our garden change colour as the year ticked by.  I remember enjoying jumping in the hundreds of leaves that would float down and end up all over the place in Autumn and swinging on the swing set, gazing up at the green leaves in the Summer. It’s such a beautiful tree, that’s the only thing that’s slightly wrong this year because the tree owners had it pollarded  so it isn’t quite the spectacle I’ve grown to know and love. In a funny way, that tree and I have much in common. We both lost our ‘hair’ at similar times last year but as I lost more, the tree grew and went from strength to strength.  Eventually it will be back to its former glory, however, there is no knowing when or if my hair will grow and flourish like the leaves on the tree. Regardless of whether my hair returns or not, I won’t return to my former glory because I’ve changed too much in this year to ever be able to.

When I lived in Dubai, I adored the new landscape that I saw from my balcony but I did miss the seasons. I have always enjoyed taking photos and since being given a “proper” camera a few years ago, I have become even more interested in the skill. I never really understood why people would take photos that didn’t include people  – they were boring, yet I have now been let into the secret! It’s actually quite fun to try and capture moments in life that perhaps only you see the beauty in. Those moments don’t need to involve people, it could be the beauty of a sunset or the simplicity of a cloud formation. And although there are countless times throughout the year that warrant capturing, in my opinion, Autumn through to Winter is the most photogenic.

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Autumn signals the start of candle season for me. Mum has always been a candle enthusiast but I didn’t truly understand why until I discovered Bath & Body Works in Dubai! That shop opened up a whole new world for me and one I’m not sure I will ever be able to leave. I bought and burnt so many candles in Dubai but it never felt quite right because it was so flippin’ hot outside. When I was researching Dubai back in 2013, I read on one of the many forums that someone missed the Winter at home so much that they would increase their air con until it was freezing and emulated what was happening in their own town!  Only then did they feel it was right to do some baking with candles lit and Christmas music playing in the background…you’ll be pleased to know that I never went to that extreme! However, my poor dad was also privy to my slight candle obsession when he came to Dubai to help me pack up and leave. I think one entire shipping box could have been filled with candles; we don’t have Bath & Body Works here so what was I supposed to do?! Since being home, I have refrained from burning any apart from the half used one that I still brought back with me! But now that Autumn is here and the cold weather is setting in, the candles will slowly be brought out in their full glory and I can’t wait! **disclosure..if anyone ever visits Dubai or America or is coming home from Dubai, any Bath & Body Works deliveries are willingly accepted! Particularly Mahogany Teakwood!**

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Now I will broach thermostat wars. I am sure these arguments are happening all over the world let alone up and down the country and especially in our house! It becomes a little game with us – mum will sneak upstairs to turn it on and then when dad or Jack finally realise it’s on, they storm upstairs to switch it off. Then I will switch it back on as I head up to bed…and so on and so forth! For the majority of the time, girls win – we are a much better tag team! But then I am also a HUGE blanket snuggler! To me, there is literally nothing better than on a cold day, putting on your comfies, warm socks, grabbing a hot Ribena and snuggling down to watch TV or a film under a blanket. My point here is, if the heating is on too high, the blanket becomes like an incinerator and doesn’t bring the joys it should, so it’s all about balance, the right degree of heat so that the blankets purpose can be fully enjoyed. I tell you, it’s an art form that so many don’t appreciate! Most of my Autumnal love is based around an idyllic weather type – really cold but sunny. Inevitably though the rain comes and that shatters my idealism although I do love the sound of rain, it’s my go to sound for relaxation. Sleeping in the loft room is perfect on rainy nights when I can’t sleep, and if there’s a thunder storm the velux window provides an excellent viewing deck.

I have also come to be an advocate for Lush, in particular their bath products. When Autumn comes round, that means hot bubble bath season has begun and bathrooms must be stocked at all times with everything Lush. They also change their products with the seasons which pleases me greatly. At the moment the Autumnal/Halloween products are on sale but also, you can start to purchase the Winter/Christmas bits. Lush isn’t to everyones taste; I remember when I was at Uni, myself, Sarah and Deborah went to a Lush open night and after about half an hour I was aware the two of them were outside the shop, Deborah with her head between her knees (insert laughing emoji!) The fumes coming from the shop were too much for them and had made them all light headed and queasy – still to this day I don’t think they enjoy walking past the shop let alone going inside! I have already started working my way through some of the products and am in love. This bath process precedes the pyjama, socks, Ribena, blanket scenario – it’s a ritual! So far I have loved the Autumn Leaf Bath Bomb and the Golden Wonder Bath Bomb – which, incase you’re wondering, spits out  little golden stars as it fizzes away! Heaven. This is the part when most bloggers/vloggers state – this isn’t sponsored by Lush…but I blinking well wish it was!

And now I come onto clothes. The transition from Summer to Autumn/Winter wear is glorious. Personally, I believe there is nothing cuter than seeing little ones in knitted bobble hats, oversized coats and wellington boots trudging along to go and feed the ducks or ride their bikes in the park! But for us adults it brings the joys of oversized, warm, comfy jumpers, jeans and boots, scarves and hats – it’s just the best time of year. I have always adored wearing hats at this time, I hoard them almost to the extent that I hoard my shoe collection! Hats last year were even more important due to the lack of hair although I found that some of them looked ridiculous without hair flowing from them. This year I miss them already. The crazy sensitive, painful head scenario still rages on meaning having anything on, near or touching my head is a living hell. I have no idea how I am going to survive this year – I may hibernate, which doesn’t sound bad when I think about all of the for mentioned rituals I have! The other day I did however purchase some ear muffs. Yes, you heard right, ear muffs. I am well aware they probably look utterly ridiculous but as mum stated, if it keeps an ear infection away, who cares?! And to be fair, I’ve mastered the art of braving the bald in public so let’s see how a bald girl wearing ear muffs goes down – I  am always up for a challenge!

Halloween and Firework night also fall into this time slot that I so enjoy. We never really celebrated Halloween in our house although we did always carve a pumpkin and have sweets ready for Trick or Treat visitors. One year mum turned our house lights off and had a mask ready to open the door and scare the older teens that wanted to try their luck. It sort of backfired though as when she opened the door in her mask and let out a huge scream the kids ran off. She later had a phone call from a friend she hadn’t heard from in years to say that her son had returned home, petrified and with unfortunately, very wet trousers, yes, he’d wet himself because some woman had scared him half to death! We laughed so much at that story and continue to do so to this day!

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Bonfire Night was always something I looked forward to. Walking down to the Chislehurst Rec, when I was little I was always on dads shoulders, and spending time walking round the fun fair and eating my annual allowance of candy floss. Then standing, watching the stunning fireworks go off to music, watching the Catherine Wheel and giggling at the odd sounds people made as the fireworks display continued. Then we’d either get fish and chips on the way home or return to jacket potatoes and chilli – just such blissfully happy memories. We would also, without fail, always get sparklers and play with them on our patio trying to write our name and capture it in a photo but never succeeding – I think this could be an achievable target for this year Dad if you’re up for it?! We continued to go throughout our time at Uni but since being in Dubai and being ill last year, I haven’t been out on Fireworks night for years. This year, I am going to try to get to see some because it really is one of my favourite nights of the year.

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And then, for me, there is Greenwich Park. It is probably in my top three favourite places ever. It holds so many precious memories – dancing around on the bandstand pretending I was Mary Poppins, riding my bike in all seasons, being chased by squirrels, feeding the ducks, having pic-nics, going to the Sunday Market. I just love it. It’s a place to go when you need your faith restored in humanity. You go there and see that families are still doing the things you did when you were a child. They aren’t cooped up inside playing on their play stations or glued to a phone. There are families actually interacting with each other; playing football, roller skating, walking dogs, kicking up leaves and flying kites. It was the place I wanted mum to take me when I got back last year more than anywhere else. Although it is nearly always busy, it’s uniquely peaceful and I love it.

For those who know me, I’m not big on alcohol – like my mother, I don’t need it to have a good time! But, at this time of year, there is nothing better than being at Borough Market, having a mooch around with a hot apple cider or mulled wine – delish! My love for Borough Market isn’t specific to Autumn/Winter, that’s an all year round love of mine but when it comes to London, the best place at this time of year is Covent Garden. They have the most beautiful lights, the most festive live music and just the right amount of shops to start your Christmas shopping…or just treat yourself!

And that really sums up my love for this time of year and brings me to the end of yet another blog.  I wonder if you have any Autumnal rituals or places you like to go at this time of year? Let me know.

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Before I sign off, I would like to thank Jane for running the half marathon a few weeks ago and also thank those of you who so kindly sponsored her. She raised £383 which will help Alopecia UK greatly.

Have a wonderful week,

#hairlesshannah

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