24 February 2017

Easy Banana Loaf

I'm sure we aren't the only ones with brown bananas left in our fruit bowl each week. While they don't look particularly appetising they are banana loaf cake gold! This banana loaf recipe is super easy, all in one pan, ready to go in the oven in 10 minutes.

easy banana loaf recipe

Did you know that you can freeze bananas? No I didn't either until watching a programme recently  about reducing your food waste. Simply peel the over ripe bananas pop them in a tub and freeze, then get them out when you're ready to cook with them.  

I love the smell of banana bread, it drifts throughout the house making it feel warm and cosy. The little ladies like to eat it fresh out the oven still warm with a cup of milk and I often join them with a nice cup of tea. It will keep for a couple of days though if it lasts that long, but it's the kind of cake that gets a little bit sliced off each time someone goes into the kitchen particularly if you decide to jazz it up with optional chocolate chips :)



The Recipe

Ingredients
- 125g butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg, beaten
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 190g self raising flour
- 60ml milk
- optional handful or two of chocolate chips

Method 

- Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper

- Melt the butter, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over a medium heat

- Remove from the heat and add the mashed bananas, mix well

- Add the beaten egg, mix well

- Stir in the flour and the milk

- Add in chocolate chips if you are using them

- Pour into the tin and sprinkle the top with brown sugar

- Bake at 170 degrees C for 36 minutes or until as skewer comes out clean

Enjoy!

Me x

20 February 2017

Cosatto Supa Pushchair Giveaway!

We're absolutely delighted to have teamed up with our friends over at Cosatto to bring you a fantastic giveaway. We have an amazing Supa Pushchair to giveaway in the Unicorn Magic print to one lucky reader, read on for full details on how to enter...


cosatto supa pushchair magic unicorn giveaway


The little ladies are unicorn mad at the moment and would love to hop into this pushchair. Here's why we love it and what you can expect:
  • It's award winning with a great guarantee - Supa is the Winner of the 2015 Mother and Baby Gold Award for Best Lightweight Buggy/Stroller. It also comes with a free 4 year guarantee from Cosatto.
  • Grows with your child – The Supa is suitable from birth with 4 recline positions and adjustable calf support as your baby grows into a toddler. It comes with free chest pads and a head hugger for comfort and support.
  • Easy to use and practical -  Cosatto have thought of everything to make using this pushchair as simple as possible for parents. It has a compact umbrella fold with auto-lock, adjustable handle height, it's lightweight at just 9kg and has an integrated carry handle, lockable front swivel wheels and a good size storage basket underneath. It also has a freestanding feature when folded and comes with a cup holder which can be attached on either side of the frame.
  • It's whatever the weather proof  –  The Supa has an integral hood with UPF50+ sun protection for those sunny days, a 4-way reversible Cosy Toes for chilly days and comes with a rain cover for grey days! The seat covers are also easily removable for easy cleaning.
  • Keeps your little ones entertained - The Supa has an integrated multimedia gadget pocket with speaker so you can pop on some nursery rhymes while out for a stroll or keep your little one busy whilst they are in the pushchair - perfect for travelling!

How To Enter

This giveaway is running from the 20-28 February 2017 is open to UK entries only via the Rafflecopter widget within this post, please see the full terms and conditions below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Terms & Conditions
- This is a joint promotion by 3 little ladies and me and Cosatto
- One winner will receive a Cosatto Supa Pushchair in the Magic Unicorns Print with a current RRP of £219.95 
- The prize cannot be exchanged or transferred and there is no cash alternative
- UK entries only
- Entrants must be 18 or over
- Entrants must log in via the Rafflecopter widget and enter either by leaving a blog post comment, visiting 3 little ladies and me on Facebook, Visiting Cosatto on Facebook, Following 3 little ladies and me on Twitter, Following Cosatto on Twitter or tweeting a message. 
- Entrants may select as many options of entry as they like within the rafflecopter widget, the number of entries into the giveaway is dependent on which options are selected. These are clearly stated next to each option on the Rafflecopter widget with the opportunity of a total of 16 entries per person.
- All entries will be checked and verified 
- The giveaway will close on Monday 27th February at Midnight GMT
- The winner will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter from all correct entries
- The winner will be contacted by email within 24 hours of the giveaway ending and will have 48 hours to claim their prize
- In the event that the winner does not claim their prize the giveaway will be redrawn
- The winner's name will be announced on Facebook & Twitter upon accepting the prize
- The winner's contact details will be passed to Cosatto who will send out the prize directly to the winner.
- Winner's name available on request
- This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability
- By entering this giveaway you confirm you have agreed to the terms and conditions listed above.

18 February 2017

Top 10 Travel Must Haves with Mark Warner

Holidays are really important to us and we really look forward to them, wherever we might go there is nothing better than spending time together as a family making memories, just going with the flow and letting routine go out the window for a week or so while we share an adventure. In my mind holidays are the only thing you'll ever buy that makes your richer. But can you really have a holiday with a young family, as in an actual holiday? Yes, you absolutely can and it can be so much more than just a change of scene with my top 10 travel must haves and a holiday with Mark Warner.

The little ladies on the beach last summer
Holidays with young children can be a challenge, we have 3 aged 5 and under which means the days of long days sunbathing and drinking cocktails are currently on hold but we can still relax and have fun by choosing the right location, type of holiday and by packing smart - it's just a different kind of adventure. Mark Warner holidays offer a host of wonderful resorts with fantastic facilities and plenty to do in relaxing environments where family time is a focus which is why we're applying to be one of their Family Ambassadors this year by sharing our top tips when it comes to packing. If you're in need of a little summer holiday inspiration I've put together a Pinterest board of all the things that make a holiday for me including the essentials I won't travel without:



It's lovely to look at on those rainy, grey days after a long day at work when I'd far rather be paddling in the sea with the little ladies. I've also included my top 10 travel must haves below which might be useful if you're getting ready for your family summer holiday this year:

Top Right: 1. Out N' About Nipper, Top Left: 2. Travel Laundry Bag
Bottom Right: 3. Souk Basket Beach Bag, Bottom Left: 4. Aden & Anais muslins

1. Our Out N' About Pushchair
We adore our Out N' About Nipper, so much so that we have both the single and double version and one of them comes with us pretty much wherever we go. They can tackle many terrains including sand and cobbled streets and reclines back flat for beach naps with a large canopy for shade. It also folds down quickly and easily with a small footprint and is lightweight making it perfect for travelling with and practical at the airport.

2. Travel Laundry bag
One thing I don't want to think about on holiday is washing! I also don't want a pile of dirty clothes in the corner of our room so I love this canvas laundry bag which you can chuck all the ice-cream dripped on dresses and sandy shirts into and forget about until you get home.

3. Souk Basket Beach Bag
We love the beach and heading out for the day exploring. I love that I can just chuck everything in this bag and its easy to fill and empty at the beginning and end of the day, it also goes with everything and is really practical.

4. Giant Muslin Swaddle Blankets
Perfect for those warm nights when all you want is a sheet, the little ladies love sleeping under these giant muslin swaddle cloths from Aden & Anais whether its in their beds or in the pushchair to cover their little legs up while they nap.

Top Left: 5. Sunhat from Jojo Maman Bebe, Top Right: 6. Trunki Unicorn Case
Bottom Left: Scrunch Bucket, Bottom Right: Kids Activity Travel Pack

5. Sunhats, swimming costumes and suncream
Protecting the little ladies from the sun is super important so items like this kind of go without saying. However, as long as we have these with us we can have a fab day in the sunshine wherever we are. For me that's what holidays are are about - prioritising fun and being in the moment. I love these little floppy sunhats from Jojo Maman Bebe, they offer great shade to the face and neck and tie under the chin for those windier days meaning they don't get lost on the first day of your holiday.

6. Little Luggage 
With 5 of us to pack for I always pack as lightly as possible, taking as few cases as we can as there are only so many daddy can carry! The little ladies would LOVE these Unicorn Trunki's and would probably pull them along or scoot along on them themselves through the airport. I tend to only bring an outfit a day and one pair of shoes for everyone as on a summer holiday we'll spend pretty much the whole day in our swimsuits.

7. Scrunch Bucket
The girls were given one of these one summer and we have used it so much. It scrunches down and folds up meaning you can pop it in your suitcase and go straight to the beach or have fun. The little ladies will spend hours pouring water, making sandcastles and collecting pebbles and other beach treasure with them. Its really easy to clean and being made from silicone there's no risk of it cracking.

8. Kids Travel Pack
I always put together a little activity pack to keep the children happy and busy on flights, in restaurants in the evenings and when they might need a little down time. These usually include pens or crayons and colouring books, a little toy, a little treat and some stickers. You can always find cute and affordable things like this in Tiger or Paperchase.

Some of my favourite Summer captures from last year
6. My camera
Holidays are all about making memories there are so many moments to capture and first experiences to remember, it's really important to me to take lots of photographs for us to look back on in years to come and capture the little ladies childhoods. I'm really hoping to snap some of our very own #MWmoments (Mark Warner Moments) to share with you this year.

10. A sense of adventure and an open mind
I think holidays with a young family are all about being flexible and keeping an open mind. It's also about remembering that a family holiday is exactly that and there should be opportunities for everyone to do something they enjoy, whether it's relaxing, playing or learning something new. We go away with no expectations other than to be with each other and experience new places and the rest just comes together. The little ladies absolutely love an adventure and exploring so I asked them what they thought we would need to take on holiday to have fun, here's what they put in their case:



This post is our application to the 2017 Mark Warner Family Blogger Ambassador Programme. We would love to be a Mark Warner Family and take the girls on one of their fabulous summer holidays, I think I might do the packing though....

Me x

15 February 2017

Siblings Project - February 2017

Capturing my three little ladies together in one frame is one of my favourite things to do. I love the dynamics between them and the moments they share, they really are such company for each other and a real little team. Now Miss Dot is getting older they are starting to share adventures as a three rather than as the two older girls and the baby and I have to say I'm loving watching this change. Miss Dot doesn't want to be in the buggy or the sling any more and is so keen to get involved. I love this shot of our little family scooting adventure earlier in the month which epitomises this change:


Like all siblings there is of course sibling rivalry and this is captured perfectly in this picture of the girls in the bath with their 'pixie hair'. Miss Dot had serious hair envy and Miss Boo and Miss Tibs were squabbling over who had the highest pixie point. This photo aside they all thought this was so funny and laughed and giggled as their pixies flopped over. I don't know how much longer they will all want to bath together, to be fair there isn't much room with all the toys in and there are often complaints about the lack of space in the tub, so I'm pleased I have captured this as I'm sure they'll love it when they are older.


Already at 5,3 and 18 months there is such a sense of sisterhood between the girls. They protect each other and comfort each other and cuddle each other a lot. I took this photo one morning of them in their matching nighties whilst they were watching Teletubbies! They look terrified and to be fair I can see why. I love how Miss Tibs is holding onto Miss Dot. I can't work out of she's huddling her for warmth, hiding behind her or just offering a protective snuggle, either way it's a favourite:


No Siblings Project month is complete without a doorstep picture. This was taken on a particularly grey day and the girls were using the daffodils as wands. They were smelling them and chatting about how bright and happy the yellow colour was. I adore seeing the world from their point of view, they didn't see the cold, wet weather, just the beauty right in front of them:


We're so ready for Spring and I'm looking forward to capturing some more outdoor adventures of my three over the next month. Saying that the girls are also desperate for it to snow and I'm really hoping we at least get a little sprinkle of it that settles for them to experience. So next months line up may involve trips to visit the lambs and snowmen....

Me x

The Me and Mine Project

11 February 2017

Fresh Air - The Ordinary Moments 2017 #5

Last weekend I had the most lovely afternoon with the little ladies and it was all down to simple, fresh air. We spent a good couple of hours scooting to the shops and playing at the local park. Although we still had to wrap up it was so nice that the recent chill in the air wasn't there and as long as we kept moving we were nice and warm. The sun even felt warm on our faces and the blue skies were just beautiful, it was one of those days that just made you feel incredibly grateful for the beautiful world that we live in.


It had been such a long time since we had ventured to the park as it has just been too cold and when we have tried to go outside even just in the garden the girls have just got too cold too quickly and it's ended in tears. As a result the swings, slides and climbing frames felt like such  novelty to them and they didn't want to leave, so with nowhere else to be we stayed and just played. It was lovely. 


When the girls started flagging after burning off lots of energy we had a chocolate button break together on a bench which just felt wonderful, sitting there with my three little ladies, the sun on our faces and the sweet taste of chocolate. Perfectly ordinary but perfectly special.


We're looking forward to enjoying more days like these as Spring peeks at us from around the corner and i'm looking forward to saying goodbye to the cold days that require layer upon layer, although the little ladies would quite like a bit of snow first....

Me x


What to do with all your Children's artwork

The little ladies absolutely love art - painting, drawing, colouring, sticking, glittering, cutting, printing, you name it, they love it. I adore seeing their little creations and have real trouble 'recycling' their work after seeing the time, imagination and thought that have gone into them. I'm terribly sentimental and some of their drawings are just so cute and I want to keep them forever but there just isn't space for it all. We have pictures on the fridge, pictures on the kitchen wall, we send some to family and friends as happy post and then the rest culminates in a pile on my desk or in boxes in the loft....

we have so much artwork, what do you do with it all?
Our current artwork pile...
With play school, school and various toddler groups along with all the art we make at home I can't possibly physically keep it all. With a little help from Children's Art Galleries I can however keep a memory of their creations and store their pictures in a fabulous online gallery.



Children's Art Galleries was set up by fellow parent of 3 Dean Burnage and offers a solution to the piles of artwork that accumulate when you have little artists in your house. They have come up with a simple and clever way to keep your child's artwork by storing it in an online gallery, clearing the clutter but treasuring it and giving your child a sense of pride by having their own special gallery to showcase their work. For an annual subscription of just £3 per child you can upload and store unlimited amounts of artwork. We have a gallery for each of the little ladies to keep their creations separate with the pricing structure discounted for each extra child added, so for £7 a year I have a wonderful forum to store all their artwork. Here's how it works:

little artists
Miss Tibs and Miss Boo getting creative
1. Encourage your littles to get creative, use their imaginations and have fun whether its with pens, paint, chalk, cutting or sticking. For the pieces we created below we set the girls the challenge of creating art on how they were feeling that day, they loved having a project to work on and went on to create several other pieces afterwards.

Miss Tibs created a colourful painting using paint dabbers and said she felt excited, bouncy and happy, she was really proud and clearly enjoyed attaching an emotion to her picture.

Miss Tibs was really proud of how her painting turned out
Miss Boo also said she felt happy and chose to draw and colour with felt pens all the things that reminded her of being happy - a rainbow, a flower, sunshine, and a self portrait.

Miss Boo's interpretation of Happy
2. Create your account and then upload a photo of your child's art to their online gallery - both of these are incredibly easy to do. You can do this either by scanning it onto your computer and uploading it to the website or using your phone or tablet as I did below. I simply took a photo and uploaded it. The galleries are public to encourage enjoyment of others artwork or so you can share them with friends and family. All images are approved by Children's Art Galleries to ensure suitability of the content, mine was approved and visible within just a few hours of adding it. You can add a title and a description and set the date so you can remember when it was made.

It's so easy to upload your children's artwork to the online gallery
4. Enjoy collecting and viewing your children's art in their dedicated gallery! Very soon Children's Art Galleries are also going to be offering the option to purchase an album of your children's work to keep and treasure your favourite pieces in hard copy form which I think is a lovely touch.

I will still be displaying art on the fridge and walls in our kitchen as the girls really love seeing it up. The gallery will mean that as things come down I can take a picture of them and keep them forever electronically so are effectively an extension of the kitchen wall. I have decided to keep just one large box for special pictures that I want to keep hard copies of too, anything with little handprints and footprints on or pictures of themselves or our family I just can't 'recycle'.

I'm absolutely thrilled with our online galleries as they provides such a great solution for us and I'm sure in years to come they will be wonderful to look through and read the little notes attached to the artwork. You can take a look at the little ladies galleries here:

  


The little ladies can continue creating and bringing home as much art as they like now that I have such a fab place to store it all. For more information or to set up your own gallery for your mini artists visit the Children's Art Galleries Website.

Happy creating!

Me x

*This is a collaborative post*


5 February 2017

Me & Mine Project - January 2017

There's something about January and the beginning of the year which makes you take stock and think about the year ahead, it's really cliched but true. That coupled with the cold, grey, dark days inevitably means hiding in daydreams whether it's of sunnier, warmer days at home or abroad or new horizons.

This month we've been thinking about whether or not we want to move house or stay where we are and have even had the house valued and been to look at a couple of properties. After assessing the cost to move and what was out there in budget we have decided that we actually quite like our home... It is by no means perfect and has a few flaws but that is to be expected with an older property. The flaws can be corrected and there is definitely room for improvement but in honesty it's mostly nothing a lick of paint can't sort. We have plenty of space for now and it's our family home, the home we brought all 3 of our babies home to and that feels kind of special. Right now the girls don't mind sharing a bedroom and from my own memories of sharing with my sisters, they won't mind for a least another few! When the five of us are in our house it feels happy and full in the best kind of way - so we are staying put!

We've decided to renovate the kitchen later this year and fix some things in the garden so we can really enjoy both. We love to cook and be outdoors so these seem like good areas of focus for us. Both are spaces we spend a lot of time as a family in so everyone will benefit from the improvements and we'll enjoy being in our home even more than we do at the moment.

This is something January has also highlighted - the importance of slowing down and having slow, home days, doing not a lot. Life is busy and with working, 3 little ones to look after and an ever growing to do list we rarely stop. We have scheduled in some quiet weekends and it's been lovely just relaxing and pottering together and alongside each other. Being out the house a lot really makes me appreciate the things I love about our home and the wonderful feeling that I get as I come in the front door at the end of a long day or busy week. I'm now feeling really excited about the plans we have for our home and creating a space where we can enjoy even more time together as a family.

January's 'Me and Mine' photos were taken in the girl's play tent and we had loads of fun taking them, there were some pretty amusing outtakes of various children running back while the camera timer counted down and of other children trying to escape and so many facial expressions... It really feels like an achievement to get 5 of us in shot and looking at the camera smiling. So here it is our first family capture of the year and a couple of those outtakes...




Me x
The Me and Mine Project