29 March 2016

Easy Vegetable Soup Recipe

I love soup, it's so easy and quick to make and you can chuck almost anything in. This easy vegetable soup recipe is a go to recipe in our house for a warming winter lunch. The little ladies love it in mugs with with chunks of cheese and some crusty bread. Packed with veggies and so, so yummy it guarantees to warm you up on a chilly day.

easy vegetable soup recipe

  • 2 x white onions
  • 2 x sticks celery
  • 5 x carrots
  • 1 x baking potato
  • 1 x sweet potato
  • 1 x courgette
  • 2 x vegetable stock cubes (I use low salt ones for the girls)
  • 1.5 pints boiling water
It works just as well without celery and sweet potato, these were things I added to the original recipe as they needed using up and the more vegetables the merrier right? The original recipe was given to me by my mum and consists of 2 onions, 2 courgettes and 2 baking potatoes, 6 carrots plus the stock cubes and water. She used to make it for us in winter for after school. I can remember catching a smell of it when we got off the school bus and racing home for a bowl. I love that I now make it for my girls.


- Chop and soften the onions and celery in a pan with some butter whilst chopping the other vegetables.
- Add all the other vegetables and 'sweat' for 10 mins with the lid on, stirring regularly.
- Add your stock cubes and boiling water and simmer for 20-30 mins.
- Whizz up and serve with crusty bread.
- Season with salt and pepper as desired. 

It can be frozen or keeps in the fridge for a few days. Why not pin this recipe to Pinterest for later?


Me x

If you like this recipe you may also like my Easy Blackberry Turnover Recipe

25 March 2016

Easter activities with little ones

Easter is such a fun time for children and there is usually loads to do. You can make your own fun at home or get out and about. Here are our favourite things to do at Easter:

1. Easter egg hunting
Of course! It's an absolute given and the little ladies love it. Every year we have an annual family egg hunt, such fun and something we always look forward to. This year we are also going to take part in the Cadburys/National Trust Easter egg hunt. We are big fans of The National Trust , there are so many incredible sites to explore. Visitors to National Trust places across the Easter bank holiday weekend will be able to take part in a special Cadbury Easter Egg hunt with every child receiving a Cadbury Chocolate treat for getting involved. 271 properties are taking part throughout the UK. 

To celebrate the ninth year of the hunts, the National Trust has revealed a show stopping 8ft topiary Easter bunny at their Stourhead location with a further seven 4ft versions at Wimpole (a particular favourite of ours)  Stowe, Castle Ward, Fountains Abbey, Hardwick Hall and Tredegar House. You can find your nearest egg hunt here. The National Trust has so much to offer and is just great for families,  we have spent many a happy day exploring in the fresh air and eating cake in various tea rooms. I have a family weekend National Trust pass to giveaway - details at the end of the post :) 

2. Easter decorations and crafts 

There's loads to make and create around Easter from painting eggs to Easter hats or colouring in pictures of bunnies and chicks (you can find lots of free printables online). 

We really enjoy decorating our Easter tree, which is essentially just some twigs in a jug, but something the girls can get involved with. 

I've always had a thing about those little fluffy chicks so there are always plenty of those about! I've bought a lovely little felt chick garland (£2 from waitrose) to hang on the fireplace this year too. We also have some fun little cheeping chicks and hopping rabbits which seem to breed each year that I leave out in the playroom.

3. Easter baking 

The little ladies love a chocolate nest, why I only make these at Easter is beyond me... They are just the best and so easy and quick to do, especially if you have little helpers. All you need Is melted chocolate, rice crispies and mini eggs.  Hopefully we will find time over the weekend to rustle some up otherwise they are a great way to use up excess chocolate eggs. 

I'm also hoping to make some shortbread bunnies and egg shaped buscuits to take to our family Easter party on Sunday which the girls will no doubt decorate with far too many sprinkles but then that's half the fun of it!

4. Easter outfits

The little ladies love dressing up; we have a whole area in the living room dedicated to it. They are in their element with hats and bunny ears.

I always love the excuse to buy them a little Easter outfit too, usually bunny themed. This year I couldn't resist some little spring dresses and super cute bunny ears.

5. A trip to the farm

We are regular visitors to our local children's farm but this time of year is a particularly lovely time to visit with plenty of lambs, chicks and rabbits around to see, learn about and cuddle. There are usually Easter themed activities too. 


I hope that's given you a bit of inspiration if you are looking for something to do over the bank holiday, I'm off to pinch some of the chocolate that the little ladies have already been given, they'll be so inundated by Monday they won't miss it ;) don't forget to enter my giveaway for the National Trust family weekend pass, all the information on how to get involved is below.

Happy Easter

Me x

National Trust Weekend Pass Giveaway

- I have one National Trust family weekend pass to giveaway. 
- The pass cannot be used on bank holiday weekends but otherwise allows you to visit a site of your choice at a weekend. 
- To enter the giveaway, head over to my Facebook Page and comment with your favourite National Trust site or which one you would like to visit should you win the pass. 
- The giveaway will close at 8pm on Monday 28th March 2016 and a winner will be drawn at random and announced shortly after. 
- The winner will be announced on my Facebook page. (The giveaway is in no way affiliated or endorsed by Facebook.) 
- Good luck!

6 March 2016

Mother to Mother: A letter to my mum on Mother's Day

My mum and I on my 1st birthday
My lovely mum,

I wanted to write a few things down for you for Mother's Day yet I don't actually know where to begin, where on earth do I start? 

In recent years since becoming a mother myself I have developed a new appreciation of you, on a whole other level. After growing and bringing my own babies into the world I now understand just how much you love me and my siblings and quite how much we have to thank you for.

Thank you for growing me all those years ago and carrying me for 9 long months, I now know what great effort that takes and also that it's all way more than worth it. Thank you for nurturing me in every single way when I was tiny enough for just one of your fingers to fit in my whole hand and for still holding it now. Thank you for ferrying me here, there and everywhere, now I'm doing the ballet run myself I appreciate how much time you gave up to shape me into who I am today. Thank you for the countless bedtime stories which I now read to my own children, for tucking me in and making me feel loved and safe. Thank you for the memories of duck feeds and strawberry picking and playing for hours on sandy beaches. Thank you for all the roast dinners, and steak dinners and more recently the delivered dinners! Thank you for the 'just because' treats and thoughtful gestures. Thank you for making celebrations special and getting the family together. Thank you for insisting that I have time to myself and time with my Mr. Thank you for looking after my babies while I do that. Thank you for picking me up off the floor when I've fallen physically and emotionally as a little person and as a big person. Thank you for looking after me when I've been running on half empty or poorly. Thank you for listening, for understanding, for supporting me, for just 'getting it' and letting me know that you are never to old for a hug. Thank you for teaching me to be the best mama I can be to my three little ladies and giving me confidence that my best is more than enough. Thank you for being you and for being there, always, without question, I'm so grateful. 

Me x

3 March 2016

12 Children's Books You Need On Your Bookshelf

Books are so important to me, as is encouraging the girls to find a love for them too. I love cuddling up with them and finding a book with a story that captures their imagination with its words and magical illustrations. It's time well spent together and something all of us can enjoy and get something out of. We have a large collection of books and we also regularly visit the library. The girls excitedly choose their books and take them to the machine, it's an amazing service which is crazy not to use, they can have up to 20 books out. If we find a gem then we usually pop online and order it.

We always have a story or three at bedtime and it's really interesting to see what they pick. We have a dedicated reading corner in their room with shelving they can easily access and rotate the books from a larger book shelf to encourage variety. 

Here are 12 books you need on your children's bookshelf:

Why we love it: it's funny, it rhymes, it's wonderful to read aloud and the ending never fails to delight. This was sent through the post as a surprise for the girls from a good friend of ours and reminds us of them. 


Why we love it: it's magical and all about believing and imagination, the girls are desperate to find a bog baby which we look for when we visit the woods.


Why we love it: it's a classic and is picked time and time again, I've read it 15 times in a row to Phoebe before. Who wouldn't want a tiger to come for tea?


Why we love it: it's a really fun mixed up story with a repetitive verse. Ellie is really keen to learn to read at the moment and she can remember large sections of this book and will 'read' it to us.

Why we love it: it's from the brilliant author of 'Guess how much I love you?' And is about three baby bears who are wondering who their mummy and daddy love the most. The message is lovely and I pick it out if I ever feel a bit of sibling jealously about, because as the title suggests, they are all my favourites :)


Why we love it: it's another book with three babies in! The girls love the owls names and I think it covers the separation anxiety thing well.


Why we love it: It's funny and beautifully illustrated, the girls can't believe what the little boy throws up to free his kite from a tree. 


Why we love it: it's something we can imagine the girls doing one day! It's fun and silly and the girls laugh every time and cover their mouths with the suspense of whether or not daddy will like his sandwich.

Why we love it: this is the follow up to the brilliant prequel 'what the ladybird heard' and it doesn't disappoint. This time the theives are after the fat red hen... The girls love spotting the ladybird on each page, we love Julia Donaldson's lyrical words.

Why we love it: I picked this up in a charity shop for 30p and it's a great find. A cheeky read with a cheerful and heartwarming ending.


Why we love it: it has 3 foxes in, the girls really enjoy books with 3 characters in. The foxes are called fox 1,2 & 3 so I change their names to the girl's names which they adore. The story sees the foxes explore different animals homes so has an educational element and it holds their attention well.


Why we love it: this was one of my favourite books as a child and I now really enjoy reading it to my children. We got it for Phoebe for her birthday and she loves the simple adventure of a trip to the moon before bathtime in a box. The girls have on several occasions created their own rocket and picnic from play food and emulated the story.

We're always on the look out for new books to add to our collection so feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below. I hope you like our reccomendations - happy reading!

Me x

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If you liked this post you might like to read 'Creative Storytelling Whatever Next'