Banana Breakfast Muffins

The boys weren’t eating well last week thanks to the teething demons and so I had a glut of bananas. I decided to make some banana breakfast muffins to use them up. They are are so quick and easy and are perfect for a weekend brekkie.  


Wet ingredients:

50g butter, melted
50g peanut butter, melted
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125ml milk
2 large ripe bananas, mashed

Dry ingredients:

250g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch salt
115g caster sugar

Topping:

Pine nuts, to decorate

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 Degrees Celsius

2. Place muffin cases in a 12 hole muffin try

3. Prepare all of the wet ingredients and mix together in one bowl

4. Sift the flour and mix all the dry ingredient in another bowl

5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients

6. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases

7. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with pine nuts

8. Pop in the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden

Perfect served with a steaming mug of coffee.

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I’m linking up with  #MarvMondays

Our Winter Wedding

Two years ago today, I said ‘I will.’

Not in fact ‘I do.’

It was a fantastic day. We celebrated our love and commitment with our best friends and family. The atmosphere was relaxed and being 3 days after Christmas, everyone was in the mood for a party.

Six months after we tied the knot, we headed off on a fabulous honeymoon to Singapore and Thailand and once we got home, we  discovered  I was expecting a baby. Then five months later we found out we were actually expecting two babies! It’s been a year with the highest highs and the lowest lows. The twins battled TTTS, spent months in neonatal and Harry underwent open heart surgery when he was 3 months old, weighing only 4lbs. Bringing them both home was fabulous and it’s been crazy, wonderful, tiring chaos since then!

So with all the craziness, two years later and we still haven’t got a wedding album put together or any of our wedding photos printed and framed!

So, if no-where else right now, here’s a little collection of my favourite snaps from a beautiful day.

Happy Anniversary Mr C.

S&S 247

Our winter wedding Our winter wedding Our winter wedding Our winter Wedding Our winter wedding

Christmas – The Baby Edit

It’s 10 days until the Big Day. We’re slap bang in the midst of the hustle and bustle that is the run up to Christmas. And I love it!

Normally at this point I would have:

• been to the Christmas Market for Gluhwein and Bratwurst at least 8 times

• inspected a minimum of 25 Christmas trees before finding the perfect shape

• consumed an eye watering amount of heroes / celebrations / quality street in the seemingly unending office stash

• been to a few carol services and as a result been humming Christmas carols pretty much constantly

• danced like an eejit in the middle of the afternoon at the office Christmas Party. Lunchtime bubbles are not my friend

• written Christmas cards to everyone I know

• bought a few new Christmas clothes for all the Yuletide socialising

• rushed round the city centre shops like a woman possessed buying all my presents in my lunch hours

• enjoyed too many evenings where after-work Christmas drinks turned into dinner, dancing and trying to drag myself into work the next morning

This year has been somewhat different to say the least. Its our first Christmas with the twins. They are now almost 11 months old and an absolute delight. My run up to Christmas as a newish Mum has looked more like this:

• Pure delight when the twins learned how to clap along to Jingle Bells! Cue social media update that no-one (save their Daddy) is in anyway interested in!

• The silly Christmas jumper and old jeans has replaced the new LBD as de rigueur

• Getting very excited about the mums and tots Christmas Party. It’s the pinnacle of my social life these days! And then missing it because the babies were sick

• Looking after two babies who have been very sick with bronchiolitis and enjoying lots of sleepy cuddles by the fire

• Making mince pies at 730am in between twin bottles and breakfast!

• Realising that I have absolutely no time to buy Christmas presents and vowing that next year, I will have them all bought and wrapped in September!

• Sleepless nights are as a result of teething twins and not partying!

• Dressing the boys in the most gorgeous Christmas suits as soon as it hit December. They are super cute..


• Reading lots of ‘elf on the shelf’ blog posts and looking forward to joining in the fun when the boys are old enough!

• Making my first ever Christmas Cake and continuing the age-old tradition where each member of the family stirs the cake and makes a secret wish. I can’t confirm if the cake has magical powers just yet…

• Ditched Christmas Card writing. Something’s gotta go and this is it

• Finding lovely little gifts for the boys and looking forward to reading them their new books!

• Recording ‘Carols at Kings’ in the knowledge that actually making it to the Church Carol Service is slim

• Looking forward to a couple of days at my Mum’s over Christmas and lots more arms to help out with the boys! The joys of a large family…

• Buying my first ever copy of the Christmas Radio Times to see what TV delights are in store for us!

The biggest change is realising that all I really want for Christmas, I already have.

If you enjoyed this / found it useful, please share this post and maybe even tweet me and let me know! You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

I’m linking up with  #MarvMondays and #TheList

The List
Review of the Uppababy Vista 2015

Twin Mum Review of the Uppababy Vista 2015

As soon as I found out that I was pregnant with twins (at 21 weeks!) I spent a lot of time researching the best twin pram on the market. There’s not a huge choice of prams that are suitable for twins so the search was narrowed down pretty quickly to:

• UppaBaby Vista 2015
• iCandy Peach Twin
• Bugaboo Donkey Twin
• BabyJogger City Mini Double
• Out and About Nipper Double

The first decision was whether to buy a ‘side by side’ or an ‘in-line’ pram. I tried out the 3 ‘side by side’ prams in-store and read lots of online reviews. I quickly decided that they were just too bulky and unmanageable. None of them would have fitted through our front door whilst assembled and we would have trouble getting around any of our local shops. That meant our choice was down to the Uppababy Vista or the iCandy Peach. Both of which are very popular prams for singleton babies but also have the ability to convert into a twin.

At the outset, the Uppababy Vista probably had a slight advantage as I had heard so many first hand positive views on this pram from friends and family that had bought one. When I thought I was only expecting one baby, I was definitely intending on buying it! So when I found out we were expecting twins (at 20 weeks!) I was really pleased to learn that Uppababy were releasing the new Vista in early 2015 which could be configured for twins.

I tried both prams out and I really loved them both, both looked fantastic and were nice to push, with really comfy looking carrycots and seats. It was a hard decision but I opted for the Uppababy Vista in the end, mainly for its comparative ease to put up and down.

  
 

Best Features of the Uppababy Vista 2015

After 10 months of use, I absolutely love this pram. Here’s some of the reasons why:
• The carrycots were fantastic when the babies were small. They napped in them all day and because of the breathable base, they could even sleep in them overnight if we went away.

  
• The inner lining of the carrycot is soft and cosy. Most importantly, it’s fully washable. The entire lining of the carrycot can be removed for washing. We had two refluxy babies that vomited a lot so this was very useful. They washed up really well each time and it was fairly straightforward to put the lining back in.

• The carrycots are larger than normal and the babies were in the cots until they were about 6 months old.

• The rain-covers for the carrycots are really easy to pop on and off and there are two handy pouches in the basket where you can store them.

• Really comfortable to push. I walk about 3 miles a day with the boys and have always found the Uppababy vista very comfortable to push. The wheels are very sturdy and easy to manoeuvre.

• Large basket for picking up daily essentials. The basket space is restricted by the second carrycot/seat but it’s still larger than most prams.

• My husband is very tall (6’5) so the extendable handle was a big selling point. It extends with one simple click and makes pushing the pram very comfortable for him too.

• Easy to manoeuvre around our local shops and coffee houses. I can even manage to get a twin pram on and off the bus when I want to ditch the car!

• The twins are now in the pram seats and they love them. The straps are easy to use and the seats are nice and deep.

  
The pram seats are so easy to change position – you can do it with one hand. They fully recline when you want your baby to sleep.

• The brake on the pram is very easy to operate, it’s even flip flop friendly!

• The car-seat adaptors are very useful indeed for short trips when you don’t went to haul two carrycots with you!

• After 10 months of heavy use, it still looks brand new with the exception of a few small scratches.

Niggles of the Uppababy Vista 2015
My one and only small gripe is that I don’t like the rain–covers for the pram seats. They go on and off easily but they are not great quality. Just a little too flimsy. My twins like to poke their fingers through the air holes in the rain-cover and I don’t think it’ll be long before there is a tear in the cover. This is in stark contrast to the rest of the pram which is evidently built to last with a sturdy frame and parts.

Uppababy Vista 2015 – Should you buy it?

Buying a twin pram is a big decision, requiring serious expenditure so make sure you know what features you want before you commit! After 10 months of constant use, I would whole heartedly recommend the UppaBaby Vista. I love it and am absolutely convinced I made the right purchase.

**Please note, I have not been asked to provide a review of the UppaBaby vista and I purchased this pram myself. All views are my own.**

If you enjoyed this / found it useful, please share this post and maybe even tweet me and let me know! You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

  

We're going on an adventure

12 Reasons Not to Bring Your Baby to a Wedding

Last weekend we played a game of babies vs. wedding.

It wasn’t a fun game.

And the babies definitely won.

This was our second attempt at wedding frivolity with the twins in toe. The first was semi successful. There were no major screaming/vomit/poo related incidents. But did we enjoy it? Not so much.

We did a lot of pre-wedding preparation, we packed a car very very full of stuff, we rushed to get bottle feeds and spoon feeds fitted in between the ceremony, the meal, the speeches etc. It was a lot of work. And there wasn’t much pay-off.

I was determined that this wedding would be fun.

My cousin was getting married and I’d been looking forward to the wedding for ages. It was in the most gorgeous location, all my family were going and we were all staying over. The ceremony was beautiful (I left the boys with their Daddy for this part), the bride was stunning, the venue was charming and the speeches were witty.

But for us, the wedding was a lesson in how our lives had changed irrevocably. Weddings will never be the same again!

Here’s 12 reasons you should never bring your baby / twin babies to a wedding:

1. Fantasies of fairy-tale days out with beautifully dressed babies that smile and coo all day are just that. Fantasy.

2. Every second of the ceremony will be spent on high alert. Waiting to grab the baby bag and run out as soon as the baby makes the slightest noise. If you don’t, you’ll get disapproving looks all day from at least 5 guests…

3. You will end up with vomit / snot / poo (delete as appropriate) on your favourite dress.

4. You won’t actually get that catch up with your long lost university friends. If you do, it’ll not be like the old days over a nice bottle of wine. It’ll be 2 minutes snatched here and there between bottle feeds / nappy changes / spoon feeds etc.etc.

5. The military planning required to get you all to the wedding on time, in clean clothes and with enough supplies for the day requires serious forethought, time and mental energy.

6. Unless you’ve booked to stay over, you can expect a heated debate / row with your other half about who’s driving home. If you’ve booked a room, add another day to the planning of the excursion!

7. Wedding venues do not provide baby entertainment. A day without a play gym, jumperoo and a baby walker = a very long day indeed.

8. Babies do not like schedules that are not built around their needs. Weddings are all about the schedule. You’ll spend the day trying to fit all the baby stuff around the ceremony, drinks reception, meal, reception, speeches, first dance etc.etc.

9. If you are not the designated driver, expect to lapse into baby babble and/or an attack of the yawns after a few sips of champagne!

10. You will get indigestion. As you try and shovel the lovely meal down as quickly as is humanly possible so you can pick the baby up so they stop disturbing the peace!

11. You will be the couple that you used to write off as party poopers. As you try (unsuccessfully) to slip out of the party at 9pm, when everyone else is just about to hit the dance floor!

12. You’ll feel really guilty when you get home and realise you hard about 100 photos from the wedding, all of which feature the babies looking cute; none of which feature a bride or groom.

I have learnt two main lessons from our babes at wedding experiences:

One: avoid bringing babies to weddings at all costs. My best friend is getting married in a few weeks time and Granny and Granda are well and truly booked In to babysit!

Two: social media is a liar. A big fat liar. Here’s some of the photos that Mr C posted on Facebook. He managed to capture some of the few moments that the boys were relaxed, happy and not vomiting. So everyone now thinks we are the model family, with model babies. Until they read this post.


I’m linking up with  #MarvMondays and #coolmumclub

Mummuddlingthrough

Zesty Lime and Coconut Drizzle Cake

I love a traditional lemon drizzle cake but this weekend I had a few limes that needed to be used up so I thought I’d try something a bit different. I decided to try a lime and coconut drizzle cake, using a recipe I spotted on the Sainsbury’s online magazine. The addition of coconut to the cake batter really appealed to me. I thought the sweet, creaminess of the coconut would complement the lime perfectly. And it does.
The result was truly delightful. Unfortunately, I can’t upload a sniffometer to this post! If you could smell it cooking, you’d be nipping out to buy the ingredients straight away.
5 days later and it’s all gone. I think the ‘cake baking’ flare went up and I’ve had quite a few friends popping in for a coffee this week! It’s gone down really well with everyone – even with Mr C who claims to hate coconut! My mum was a bit disappointed to have missed it, so I’ll have to get another one made pronto.


So here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

125g soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

250g caster sugar

zest of 3 limes

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

200g self-raising flour

50g desiccated coconut

150ml coconut milk

For the lime drizzle:

juice of 3 limes

100g caster sugar

How to:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C. Get the boring tin lining out of the way first – butter a 2lb/900g loaf tin that measures about 20cm x 9cm x 8cm deep, and line with a strip of baking paper to help remove the cake. ( If you are feeling lazy, I’ve just discovered you can buy packs of loaf tin liners that you simply set into the tin. I’ve bought some ready for the next bake!)

2. Using a hand held or stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and lime zest until it’s light and creamy.


3. Lightly beat the eggs and add to the butter and sugar mixture a little at a time, beating until fully combined before adding more.

4. Put the self raising flour and the desiccated coconut into a separate bowl and mix together. Add half of the flour and coconut mixture to the eggs and beat in well.

5. Then add the coconut milk and beat again until it is all combined. You can then fold in the remaining flour and coconut.

6. Put the cake mixture into the tin and pop into the oven. You’ll need to bake the loaf for approximately 45 mins or until golden on top. To check that it’s cooked through, you should insert a skewer into the cake and if cooked, it will come out clean.

7. To make the syrup for the top of the cake, put the lime juice and sugar in a saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved.

8. Make holes all over the top of the cake using a skewer and then brush the sugar syrup over the top of the cake, allowing it to soak in. It may feel like a lot of syrup but the cake will have a lovely ‘zing’ when the zesty syrups soaks through it.

9. I removed the cake from the tin very quickly after brushing it with the syrup. Let it cool completely on a wire rack.

10. Make yourself a coffee and enjoy a slice. It’s absolutely delicious.

11. Wrap the lime and coconut drizzle cake tightly in tinfoil and keep in an airtight tin to keep it as fresh as possible.

If you liked this recipe, let me know! Comment below, tweet me or post on my Facebook page.

I’m linking up with  #MarvMondays #FabFridayPost

Ethan & Evelyn