a way of life...

Month: October 2020

Pumpkin Soup Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 800g pumpkin, peeled and roughly diced
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • Half a teaspoon cumin powder
  • Half a teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 150ml double cream
  • Fresh bread to accompany


  1. Gently heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in thick-based saucepan.
  2. Once the oil is hot add the onion and garlic, frying them on a gentle heat until the onion softens.
  3. Add the diced pumpkin to the pan and cook until it starts to soften, about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour the vegetable stock into the pan and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is very tender.
  6. Add the cumin and curry powder and stir in.
  7. Pour the cream into the pan and bring back to the boil.
  8. Remove from the heat and purée with a hand blender.
  9. For an extra-velvety consistency pour the soup through a fine sieve.

This pumpkin soup makes a fabulous starter or a lovely warming snack. The whole process is even more rewarding when made from your home grown pumpkins. Click here to read about ours.

Navy Blue & White Interior Schemes

This past week I had the pleasure of constructing a navy blue and white mood board for my Instagram Grid and Reels post.

Blue mood board
Blue mood board

I ventured to explain how the use of these two hues can create totally contrasting schemes.

These first two images have a similarity inasmuch as both have added a rich mohogany brown to the otherwise blue and white scheme.

This adds a warmth and richness which is what I eluded to in my description of the mood board.


Here a squishy leather sofa and textured scatter cushions against the dark blue walls create a lush, cosy feel. Autumn ready?

Navy walls with white accessories; optional cat!


The white walls and light coloured furniture present a contemporary style that is enhanced by the use of the navy accessories and dark wood highlights. Scandi influence?

Modern Fall Living Room Decor
White walls with navy highlights


These two kitchens have a completely different look and feel despite the matching colour palette.

The one on the left is ultra modern with its high gloss work surface and navy blue scallop shaped tiles. By contrast the one on the right if far more rustic with its all navy blue cabinetry and brick style tiles.

All embracing

This monochromatic scheme is brought to life with the use of different textures and patterns. The continuity of paint colour across the book shelf, wall, window frame, and shutters makes it almost feel cocoon like. The patterned ceiling is an interesting feature.



The hallway below might be considered an odd mixture of styles. The artwork, however, pulls the whole scheme together which otherwise might look quite disjointed.


The addition of the red cabinet and zebra rug make a striking combination against the navy blue and white wallpaper and Japanese vases.

Sydney Armchair
Sydney Armchair

Ultimately, navy blue and white can look trés chic and ultra sophisticated. The clever use of patterns and textures is key to achieving a cohesive look.

For more ideas how to use blue in your home read about Pantone’s 2020 colour of the year here; Classic Blue

  • 📸 Pinterest
  • 📸Carolyn Hayter

Top Shops In Topsham

The Gallery Topsham
The Gallery Topsham

Have you discovered the top shops in Topsham?

If you like interior shops it is certainly worth a visit if you are in South Devon.

Strolling along the length of Fore Street you will find gem after gem of small independent boutiques and galleries.

Artenax stocks a fabulous range of original interior products. The shop is full of contemporary art, designer accessories, textiles, hand-painted lampshades by Sue Holman, furniture, and ceramics.

A little further along Cooks Aweigh sells a range of cookware, homeware, plants and gifts. The shop is deceptively large as it opens out into the back yard and links into a gift and plant room.

Carter Derrick Carpets
Carter Derrick Carpets

Long-established locally owned carpet shop, Carter-Derrick Carpets, specialises in quality wool carpets, natural flooring, and bespoke stair runners. They pride themselves on their courtesy, care, expertise, and on being eco-friendly.

This lovely little shop run by artist Charlotte Fleming stocks a wide selection of prints, stationery, and beautiful decorative products for the home or office.

Who can resist a lovely soft cushion and pastel coloured church candles? This is just a small selection of the gifts and homewares at Ebb and Flo in Topsham.

Nest Topsham
Nest Topsham

Nest Living’s window is full of French inspired homewares. Inside you will find many more plus a curated collection of pre-loved clothing.

And for all those artists amongst you a visit to Bargainarts is an absolute must. This store is a treasure trove of artists’ materials, some, as suggested by the name, at bargain prices. What’s not to like!

For more information about Topsham visit Love Topsham

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