Easy Banana Bread | Cooking with Kids

So you want to make banana bread, or more you want to make banana bread with the kids, you need an easy banana bread recipe you can make quickly with minimum mess and lots of enjoyment? Then this is the recipe for you and your tot! From scooping to squishing this super easy banana bread recipe has it all!

3 Tips For A Long Lasting Relationship

When you meet the right person, there’s no doubt you’ll want to do what you can to ensure your relationship lasts. In this post, you’ll find three secrets that should help you to make sure your bond goes from strength to strength.
This is a collaborative post

How To Stop The Bleeding Gums | Corsodyl Ultra Clean Toothpaste Review

So you want to know how to stop bleeding gums? I have to admit to you that my gums and teeth are in an horrific condition, from not looking after them properly when I was younger and never really having a strict hygiene routine with them through teen and early adult hood, its easy for me to 'forget' to brush my teeth...just typing that makes me cringe...and actually that is a really hard thing to admit, and I'm not sure why because as gum disease affects approximately 50% of adults worldwide, so I can't be the only one right?

I remember going to the dentist. something I was already panicky about, when I was pregnant with Jenson and they started a procedure that hurt me so bad I cried so hard in the chair, the dentist had to stop,  he re-booked me an appointment, but of course I never returned. Still to this day the thought of putting myself through that again...just...

I literally have no words.

So when Corsodyl heard my story they got in touch and asked me if I wanted to try out the new Ultra Clean toothpaste, of course I agreed, here is my story...

Thrifty But Stylish Fashion Finds For Kids #3 | What My Kid Wore Wednesday

If you are a regular around her e you will know for the last few weeks I have been sharing some of my favourite thrifty outfits, you see I love a good old snoop at kids fashion hashtags on Instagram. Then one day whilst sat at my laptop, on my brand spanking new desk, with a new found love for all things blogging, I just sat and thought just because I shop second hand, and just because my kids wear thrifty finds and hand me downs, doesn't mean I cant share our outfits on the What My Kids Wore Wednesday linky.  In fact, I thought, I should embrace this and share our charity shop finds and hand me downs and show that thrifty shopping doesn't need to mean moth hole ridden throwbacks from 10 years ago! So every Wednesday I share with you some of our current faves. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel too, I share at least one pay day haul and charity shop haul a month.

I hope it will inspire you to take a peak next time you walk past the local charity shop...our first favorite this week is made up of hand me downs! Hand me down Converse (Evie's old shoes), leggings handed down from a (younger) cousin! And the hoodie used to be Jenson's, but Elsie absolutely loves clothe like this and its a really easy piece to wear, especially for these spring school runs when you aren't quite sure what the weather is going to do! 

Hoodie (originally M&S), hand me down | Leggings (originally F&F), hand me down | Converse, hand me down

Evie's fave this week has been this pink oversized pink jumper which cost just 50p in a charity shop! And I actually managed to get her into jeans...mainly because it was raining and we needed to go town and she had no clean tights! (Serious is anyone else's wash pile never ending!!) Note the matching Converse! (Evie's new ones were £5 from a Facebook selling page I think)

Jumper (originally Next), charity shop find | Jeans, Primark | Converse, Facebook bargain!

That's all I have to share this week (I am very behind with everything and just forgot to take any photos of Jenson and Ellie's clothes! Let me know in the comments below if you have found a bargain won't you!

This Mama Life

Sweet And Spicy Gammon & Pineapple Skewers with Green Vegetable Salad | Sunday Lunch Al Fresco Style

A few weeks ago range oven cooker brand, Leisure, got in touch and asked me if I fancied create a recipe based around one of this years 4  food trends as part of their ‘Tribes to Table’ campaign. Did you know that this years hot food trends include eating 'root to leaf' - cooking with all of the edible parts of that plant. For example, using cauliflower leaves, broccoli stalks, carrot greens or watermelon rinds in recipes The Middle East - Middle eastern flavours & cooking methods are becoming more & more popular and it's likely we will be using more spice mixes in our cooking. Oysters &razor clams are big this year for seafood lovers and for the bakers among us sugar free (or refined sugar free) baking is set to be as popular as ever! That trend, for now, is here to stay!

So, as part of my challenge, I set about thinking how I could update our favourite meal, the ever popular (in the UK at least) Sunday lunch. Its a meal that gets put on the back burner once spring and summer arrive and inevitably we eat outdoors more and of course the BBQ gets put to work!  Our favourite meat  is most definitely a nice honey glazed ham joint, it is always a hit around here as Dean isn't really a meat eater, I decided to make some spicy sticky gammon and turn the Sunday veg into a crunchy taste packed salad, served alongside a yoghurt dip and flatbreads. It makes the perfect al fresco Sunday lunch in half the time.

Healthy Lunchbox Ideas | Soreen Lunchbox Loaves

This isn't the first time I have written about healthy lunchbox ideas, I love finding new ideas to fill the mini monsters lunchboxes, I won't lie, it is probably the thing I search for most on Pinterest! I hate the idea that they might get bored of the same old thing. The same tuna sarnie, the same cheesey dipper...the same banana muffins, the same youghurt...so I love to mix it up, even if that means something as simple as swapping a tuna sandwich for a tuna filled pitta pocket!

So how can you provide a healthy and exciting lunchbox, without breaking the bank or spending a week in the kitchen making and baking? And making sure it is something that children will love? I had a chat with 2 of my mini monsters (4 and 5) and here is what would make their PERFECT lunch for school...

Thrifty But Stylish Fashion Finds For Kids | What My Kid Wore Wednesday

I love a good old snoop at kids fashion hashtags on Instagram and I have wanted to join in with This Mama Life's kids style linky for ages, but I was held back by the fact that my kids don't actually wear much stuff that is new, so will people actually want to even see it?

Then one day whilst sat at my laptop, on my brand spanking new desk, with a new found love for all things blogging, I just sat and thought just because I shop second hand, and just because my kids wear thrifty finds and hand me downs, doesn't mean they don't have style. In fact,I thought, I should embrace this and share our charity shop finds and hand me downs and show that thrifty shopping doesn't need to mean moth hole ridden throwbacks from 10 years ago! So every Wednesday I will share with you some of our current faves.

Will you be able to click through and buy them if you love them? Nope! BUT hopefully it will inspire you to take a peak next time you walk past the local charity shop...

Charity Shop Fashion Finds For Kids

Gousto Food Subscription Service Review

A few weeks ago Gousto got in touch and asked if I’d like to try out and review their meal subscription service, in the midst of the Easter half term break just and having 4 mini monsters at home it seemed like the perfect time to review, although most of the time me, Dean and the kids all eat together at least twice a week we will eat once the kids have gone to bed (usually on nights when it's been one of those days and the kids have a quick freezer tea or one of their faces, a picnic tea!).

The main appeal to me was the fact that everything comes ready prepared, ready weighed and measured and all you need to do is cook! Meal prep is one of the things that I really really despise after a hard day with the kids so this was the real draw for me! Prices start at £27.49 per week for two recipes for 2 people (what we have tried out here) and I won't lie, I have previously spoken about how I like to save money on our food shop, and the price of the boxes has put me off trying them myself, so what did I think? Was it worth the money and would I ever purchase them again?

After searching the Gousto website and choosing the recipes we would like to receive, we eventually decided on a couple and we were able to choose our delivery day (we did have to wait a little longer than you would usually as it was the Wednesday before Easter weekend so of course no deliveries over Easter bank holiday!) Easter weekend came and unfortunately for us me and Evie spend 4 days in hopsital and I totally forgot about our review boxes impending delivery when we finally got home on Tuesday night!

The next morning my phone pinged and a text came trough to remind me of my Gousto box arrival when the box arrived it was well packaged and very well insulated with lots of biodegradable packaging and cooling elements keeping the food fresh and chilled. After an anxiety ridden day changing Evie's dressings and administering her medicine myself for the first time, I was extra thankful for the box especially when I opened it to find everything was individually  labelled and even happier that, as I had expected, everything was measured out and ready to go! Seriously after the last few days we had had this box came at exactly the right time!

The recipes were written up on cards with a mouthwatering photo of the finished dish and easy to follow instructions as well as a photo ingredient list. That night, after the kids were settled in bed we got about making the first dish Sticky Chilli Beef Burritos with Lime Mayo. The recipe card was easy to follow and the recipe was very easy actually, I would be able to make it again without the recipe in front of me. Our meal took around 20(ish) minutes to cook and prepare and we were soon sat at the table enjoying our Mexican feast! Every last morsel was polished off and our bellies left very full indeed!

The next night Dean was ill and as the meat had quite short dates I was keen to get it used sooner rather than later and so Ellie grabbed her sous chef hat (not literally speaking!) and joined me in the kitchen to cook up an Indian delight, Curried Chicken and Sultana Rice,  It was really easy to make and the 2 chicken breasts were very generous in size. Again the recipe was easy to follow, so easy in fact that Ellie became head chef and I became her sous chef!! With it being half term and a rather busy night, what with being one parent down and half term so it was quite late by the time we ate on this night and unfortunately I didn't get any photos but I am hoping you all trust me enough to believe me when I tell you it was just as delicious as it sounds!

So would I recommend Gousto and would I buy them myself? The simple answer is Yes and Yes! The meals in our Gousto box made for a very a tasty treat and took the worry of meal planning and food shopping away, at a time when actually we really needed a little break from it, so if I knew we were about to have a bit of a week I would definitely order a Gousto box in advance! The only thing off putting for me is the price, to feed us all it would cost upward of £60 and that isn't even for a full week of meals, which would be pushing our food budget to the extreme. BUT saying that that £60 could be some families idea of a cheap week, its all relative isn't it? And the quality of the food was unlike anything I have ever eaten before, it has definitely made me think about maybe expanding our budget and trying out local food markets and our local butcher for better quality food when we can.

Fancy trying Gusto for yourself? You can get up to a whopping £25 off your first box just follow my referral link below.


Alternatively use code TORNADO to receive £40 of your first and second box.

*you can only use one of the above offers. 

Disclaimer: We were sent this box for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.

33(ish) Top Tips For A Good Nights Sleep (for parents by parents!)

Hands up if you love sleep?  Now hands up if you think you do not get enough sleep! According to research we sleep for 25 years of our life! WOW! But research also shows that new parents lose up to 44 days of sleep in the first year...let alone all the years that follow. Because, my friends, let me tell you Elsie is 3 and a half and I STILL don't sleep all night every night! And I know I am not alone!

Whether it be the kids or worry and stress that keep you up at night (51% of women), or maybe its something else, when the #SleepExperts at Adjustamatic Adjustable Beds UK send me an email with the video below it got me thinking about how us parents can help ourselves get a good night sleep. So I asked around, I asked Mum's everywhere so that I could bring you this round up of top tips for a good night sleep for Parents BY PARENTS...

Office Tour and Red Candy Review

I have been blogging 3 years now, and since about 1 year in I decided I wanted a desk area in my house. Well as usual it takes me years to do anything and last weekend I finally got around to getting it done! I couldn't let the occasion pass without a little office tour could I. The space I have is a small alcove at the side of the chimney breast,, so just a small space to fit everything in! So far its working for me and the kids have had fun using it for there homework too!!

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