Saturday, 25 October 2014

Steamed Pumpkin Soup Recipe From Hotpoint

With Halloween just around the corner, we are all getting ready for the big day by stocking up on pumpkins for making spooky creations in preparation for the terrifying trick or treaters. The worst part though, is after scooping out all of the insides of the pumpkin to be carved, all the goodness gets thrown away.

That's why Hotpoint have come up with a yummy Steamed Pumpkin Soup recipe to combat this and to help you get the most out of your pumpkins. Not only are there ghoulishly spooky creations, but they taste nice also.  

Once you have carved your masterpiece and scared the trick or treaters, use the leftovers to make a soup that really is to die for. 
The ultra stylish  Hotpoint Steam Blender is perfect for whipping up a delicious and nutritious Steamed Pumpkin Soup as it can all be steamed, cooked and blended from this one product, no fuss, no mess. 

If you want to make Hotpoint's Steamed Pumpkin Soup, then follow the instructions below. Note: this recipes uses the Hotpoint Steam Blender. 

2 finely chopped onions
1 kg peeled, deseeded and chop into chunks pumpkin
500mls hot vegetable stock
100mls double cream

1. Place the onions and pumpkin into the glass blender jug
2. Steam for 7 - 10 minutes until pumpkin is soft
3. Add the hot stock
4. Blend until smooth
5. Add the double cream and blitz for a few seconds
6. Serve in heated soup bowls

Image courtesy of tiramisustudio at
And that's it. Such a simple way to create a yummy, warming soup that will be a great way to warm yourself and your children after a long night trick or treating. I love that there is no messing around as the Hotpoint Steam Blender does everything for you. 

Friday, 24 October 2014

26 Weeks Pregnancy Update

Today I am 26 weeks pregnant. The past few month have flown by and I'm not under any illusion about how the rest will fair out. I know that after this stage, the rest of the pregnancy will drag. Whilst my little boy is inside, growing, I am out here getting impatient and wanting to meet him. 

Only another 14 weeks left (hopefully no longer than that like with my other 2 boys!)

My little boy seems to be getting stronger by the day now, constantly kicking me whilst I sleep and has a very strong kick I must admit. He is now around 2lb in weight and 14.5 inches in length so is starting to really grow now. 

For me though, I feel totally shattered. Even writing this now, I am struggling to sit at the laptop and type without and overwhelming feeling of being in discomfort. Sitting up straight is a major problem at the moment and I now find myself slouching to one side just to get into a more comfortable position, sometimes even resorting to lay down. 

Food wise, I have been craving chocolate a lot this week. I find this too horrible though as, at the moment, when I eat chocolate I get dizzy and feel ill and so it's been hard to have these cravings. I've told my husband that once this baby is born, he needs to buy me a huge hamper of chocolate to make up for the months of missing it. 

I next see my midwife in 2 weeks and so will probably update you all again after then. At that time she will be pinching more blood to make sure my levels are okay, I will get to hear my babies heartbeat and we'll be talking breastfeeding. 

How did you find you coped as your bump grew and the tiredness and aches set in?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Rosehips To The Rescue - Phytacol Giveaway

Nothing can take away the joy of a new born child, but pregnancy certainly has its challenges and stretchmarks is one of them, probably the main worry for new mums. I remember worrying so much when I was pregnant with my first child, but now I've kind of got used to the fact that they are there. 

If you want to combat them though, the 2 new products from Phytacol are for you. Phytacol comes in an oil (Phytaoil) and lotion (Phytalotion) format and has been specifically created by experts to help beat stretchmarks as they have utilised the anti-stretch mark properties in rosehip oil.  

Rosehip oil has recently become famed for its use as a moisturiser, but research shows there is more to the hedgerow fruit than simply beating dry skin and now, those who have been using rosehip oil have found that it has the ability to smooth scars and stretchmarks.

It is found to be particularly rich in essential fatty acids and contain a substance called bioflavonoids. Fatty acids are essential for healthy skin and bioflavonoids are known to be powerful anti-oxidants that have been shown to protect the body and skin against harmful substances that cause ageing skin.

During tests in the US, tretinoin, a Vitamin A derivative that is also contained in rosehips, was found to be helpful in combating wrinkles and helped smooth skin tones.

Phytacol utilises the active ingredients of the whole rosehip extract, and rosehip seed oil, with other goodies for the skin (including vitamins A and E, and natural oils of apricot kernel, lavender, lime and geranium) to create a product that really packs a punch when it comes to beating stretch marks. Both the lotion and oil are easily absorbed into the skin and contain no mineral oil, synthetic fragrances or colours.

Phytaoil is priced at £10.99 and Phytalotion £9.99, for further details please visit the Phytacol website. 

Now, how would you like to win both Phytaoil and Phytalotion to try out on your skin? Well, all you need to do is enter using the Rafflecopter form below to be in with a chance.

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends 16th November

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Yes I Have Stretch-marks, Who Cares?!

You know what I am sick of? People assuming that I am gutted about my stretchmarks, People thinking that it's okay to point them out and blame my children for ruining my body. People who seem to put others down for having them or love pointing out that they had 5 kids and never got any.

You do know that pregnancy, in fact, is not a competition!

I really don't care that I have stretchmarks. The same as I don't care if you have none. 

Every pregnancy is different, none are the same and I think that's a great thing. We will never know exactly how each of us feels as we go through it as everyone is different. It would be pretty boring if everything was the same for everyone. 

Being honest, I got loads of stretchmarks when I was pregnant with Thomas, with Charlie I got an extra one and so far no more in this pregnancy. Although, I can imagine I will do towards the end. And you know what? If I do then so be it. 

I didn't get pregnant thinking that everything would go smoothly. That I would have 9 months where I would be glowing and where my boobs would rocket to twice their size. That, within minutes of giving birth, I would go back down to a size 10. That I would be the perfect parent and my child would never cry. 

Because you know what, none of that is true. 

Pregnancy, for me, is horrendous. Morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum, heartburn, dizziness and braxton hicks are all but a few things I go through in pregnancy. Whereas my sisters, 2 of which are currently pregnant also, get none of this. Their pregnancies run smoothly and I don't mind. 

At the end of the day, I am just happy that I can conceive and that my baby is sticky this time round. 

You don't need to be in competition with each other. It's an amazing time, so savour it, as once it's over, you'll miss it.

Yes, I have stretchmarks, Who cares? I sure don't!