Hot Spiced Apple

APPLEDRINK

Halloween and Bonfire Night are over for another year –  now it’s four more Sundays until December. What to fill them with? Warming drinks and River on iPlayer, we say.

And here’s a hot piece of toddy you might like to try for yourself. It contains spices that will fill your kitchen with autumnal/Christmassy smells and you can drink it ‘nice’ or ‘naughty’.

APPLEBIRDSEYE

Ingredients: 1 litre of apple juice (more if you’re sharing with more than 6 people); cinnamon stick; 3 star anise; 2 cloves; orange and lemon slices; something medicinal – we used dark rum for a fruity kick but whisky would work just as well

Method:

Slice an orange and lemon into wheels and gather together your spices

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Pour apple juice into pan and turn on hob to a moderate heat.

Plonk in your fruit and spices and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes

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If you’re going medicinal, pour a glug of your something naughty into a glass mug

– or just any old mug if you haven’t got the glass variety

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Now ladle in your spiced apple juice along with some of the fruit slices, for a grey-day take on sangria

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Remove mugs of hot spiced apple from kitchen, along with yourself. Position yourself on sofa, grab a throw and cover yourself with it. Find gritty yet poignant thriller on catch-up TV. Slurp hot spiced apple.

And continue until glass is finished. Then return to kitchen and repeat.

What are your favourite seasonal tipples? We’re thinking of trying a boozy take on a hot chocolate next. It may or may not involve Baileys. Watch this space…

Halloween your hearth

HAL NIGHT

Author: Sarah-Louise

With just a week to go until All Hallow’s Eve we’ve whipped out our pumpkins and Halloween’d up our hearth.

If, like us, you’re that way inclined (perhaps you too had your spooky button pushed by Scooby Doo as a nipper), then there’s no time to lose. Make a corner of your home look a little haunted with our 10-step how-to today.

Or cover it from head to toe in fake cobwebs from Sainsbury’s if you’d rather. Either or.

This how we Halloweened up the WMBL hearth. It’s understated but does the trick. Plus, it works on hearths and shelves alike. So if the fancy takes you but you don’t have a fireplace, you can simply Halloween up a spare shelf or cabinet.

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1.Clear your fireplace/shelf/cabinet so you have a blank canvas to work on (this canvas would be blank if you ignore the big stain on the hearth…)

2. Add fairy lights to your mantelpiece first, like you do with the Christmas tree. If you don’t have a working fire, add strings of LED lights to your grate to give the illusion of flickering flames.

3. Now for some cat bunting. Based on the same principles as our mini bunting, this one. We May Be Little’s Maria drew a 4 by 4-inch wiggly cat, based on templates she’d seen on the net and in her own imagination.

She pinned the template onto black felt and cut around it. She did 4x cats, as you can see. She glued two little silver sequins on as eyes. She then used thin black cord and threaded ’em on with a needle by their ear and tail.

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4. Now for some sunflowers. That perennial autumn fave. I’m always in two minds about buying these blighters as I feel sad that they’ll never turn to the sun in a big airy field again. But, it’s autumn and we made an exception. These are displayed in a glass pasta jar.

5. Now for the friendly mini pumpkin family to come out. The easiest how-to ever is here. Position so your pumpkins look a little nonchalant and cool.

6. Don’t forget the Scooby snacks (cupcakes, courtesy of the fabulous Dunns Bakery in Crouch End).

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HAL HEARTH PUMPHAL FINAL CLOSE UP

7. Now for a little macrame planter action. But instead of a plant, we’ve popped in a candle holder. The planter is a We May Be Little creation and will be in our shop soon.

7. Add more candle holders and more tea lights.

8. Free-carve a pumpkin. As you can see, the wonky house creation above ain’t going to win no carving competitions. However, low-key and understated is the name of the game here. And look how winning it looks with the addition of LED tea lights and the lights off. Plus, there’s something really satisfying about scooping out the seeds and pumpkin pulp with your bare hands.

9. Wait for night time to fall. Light your candles, switch on your lights. Go “Ahhhh”. Or “Aaargh”.

10. Watch something scary. Twin Peaks box set is our recommendation.

And there you have it. Something to make you feel a little cosy yet bone-chilled on these dark and nippy nights.

How will you be celebrating All Hallows? We’d love to hear from you x

Things we love this autumn

TREND BOARD

Brrr.

There’s no denying it. Summer is dead.

Fortunately, here follows the cosiest season of all. (Let’s not think about what happens after that.)

And here are just a few of the things that are putting a smile on our faces. Things we’ve fallen for. Fallen for.

1. Pumpkin Spice latte Whether you love Starbucks or want it removed from your neighbourhood, you’ve gotta admit there’s something about their Pumpkin Spice lattes – back in store now! – that make you feel all warm and toasty inside. How can anything bad happen when you’re sipping on this potent mix of sugar and dreams? From all the Starbucks in the world.

2. Kiko Glass Frame We’re loving these vintage-meets-modern glass picture frames with a choice of zinc, copper or brass frames. We’re liking them even more piled on the wall en masse. £19.95 Notonthehighstreet.com

3. Zara Jacquard Scarf Wind? Rain? Pah! None of you are a match for this big, thick rug-like scarf from Zara. Could also double as a blanket on the night bus home. £22.99, Zara.com

4. Atterley Road Kaleidoscope Asymmetric dress All the style mags are full of Atterley Road’s boho 70s-style midi dress. We prefer this non-nostalgic asymmetric number. £65, AtterleyRoad.com

5. Tinsel garland We’re going to be spending a lot of time indoors. Time to get a Confetti System-style glitzy garland above the bed. In autumnal golds and bronzes, naturally. We’ll be making our own soon and giving you a how-to on the blog.

6. Topshop Hijack fringe ankle boot Ticks all the trend boxes for the new seas’. Suede. Tassled. Chunky-heeled. Like. £69, Topshop.com

7. Cosy Camel Because a longline camel coat never goes out of style, like this one modelled by Atlantic Pacific, a fashion blogger we like.

8. Biker Sheepskin biker jacket? See above. (This one is from Fitzroy Boutique)

9. LSA International Tortoise Shell globe vase Leopard print vase? Give it. From £42, Johnlewis.com 

10. Blythe. Always We have a dirty secret. It’s a Blythe doll obsession. It’s the Diet Cokes ads that did it. Anyway, here she is styled up for autumn, courtesy of OhChiWaWa

11. Low-cut jumpsuit We’ll mock this cut-off culotte jumpsuit in years to come. Right now its awkwardness is where it’s at. And it’s under £30! £29.99, Zara.com

12. A messy Bardot ‘do It’s mingin’ out there. Time to let the summer top knots down and get a bit of warmth around the old lug holes. Photo courtesy of Anthropologie.com 

*NB: This trend board is pretty female-centric on the fashion front. We know. For those of a more masculine persuasion, never fear. Your time is coming.