Banana & Peanut mini loafs

Banana bread and peanut butter are two of our favourite things in life (well peanut butter is one of Annie’s, Rachel cant stand it but she does love banana bread). We have already created a banana bread recipe which is so delicious and simple to make.

We recently received some ‘Peanut Hottie’ in the post and new straight away we had to create a recipe using the product. we love banana and peanut butter porridge so we thought it would be perfect to add the peanut hottie to our banana bread recipe and instead of making a big loaf we would make mini loafs!

You can purchase Peanut Hottie in all the leading supermarkets here in the UK including Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsburys. We cant wait to try the peanut hottie with chocolate drink as well!

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Ingredients
3 ripe bananas
200G oat flour (we just blend oats that we already have in the cupboard)
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
3tbsp peanut hottie powder
100ml milk of your choice
Peanut butter to drizzle

Method
Pre heat your oven to 180oc
Grease the mini loaf tin with some melted coconut oil
Blend the oats until they are fine and resemble flour
Mush 3 of the bananas in a mixing bowl
In a separate bowl mix your oat flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda & Peanut hottie
Once combined add the mashed banana and stir
Pour in the milk and stir
Pour the mixture into the loaf tins
Bake the banana loaf for 15-20 minutes until cooked throughout
Once cooled drizzle the mini loafs with peanut butter we used pip and nut!

Enjoy and as always send us your creations you can find us on Instagram and Twitter!

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April favourites 

April has been such a busy month for us and we have absolutely loved it! We both went away for the Easter weekend with our families, Rach went to Northern Ireland and Annie went to Suffolk. Rachel also celebrated her Birthday in Paris but most importantly the day was spent at Disneyland Paris how amazing! Rach also started a new job which she is loving and Annie ran a half marathon at the beginning of the month.

The summer months always get so busy and we have some exciting plans for May which we cannot wait to share with you over the next month. You can keep up with our whereabouts over on Instagram, Youtube and Twitter.

Assisted Squat Rack-  Recently we saw Tiffany Watson from MIC using the assisted squat rack in the gym to do a exercise we had never tried before. It inspired us to use the machine and as a result we ended up doing a full body workout on it! We have been loving it and boy could we feel the burn the next day. We will be posting the video on our Youtube channel soon!

Sugar free syrup in coffee shops– we have recently realised that Costa and Starbucks offer sugar free syrups! We don’t know how long they have been serving them but how did we not know about this before now? We are all for living a balanced lifestyle but we would much rather eat our calories than drink them and that is why we are opting for sugar free from now on.

London designer outlet- as you might have seen from our previous blog post or vlog we have been loving LDO! We spent the day there one Saturday and couldn’t wait to go back! We love to regularly update our active wear collection so the shops at LDO are perfect just for that!

Filming workout videos- we have had so much fun filming workout videos for our YouTube video recently! We meet up before work at the gym (6am are we mad?) to film videos especially for you guys! We have had a lot of fun mixing up our workouts and thinking of some fun and challenging exercises. So far we have posted; medicine ball workout, duo workout & full body workout.

The Good Guru- we have found a new favourite protein! We have sampled several of their proteins this month and they are so delicious. We especially love the individual packets as they are perfect to pack in your bag when going on holiday which as you know is something we love to do as often as possible. They also make vegan protein which is great for those that follow a vegan diet. We added the vanilla one to pancakes and also smoothie bowls. The Good Guru also make amazing porridge sachets with added protein and the berry one is a firm favourite that smells and tastes delicious.

Gato puddings- oh my gosh these puddings are DELICIOUS if you haven’t tried them already you need to! Rachel tasted them when she visited their stand at the Natural and Organic product show in London and she just had to introduce them to Annie. These puddings taste amazing served fresh from microwave and we loved all three flavours especially the chocolate and aubergine fondant & the orange and cardamon polenta sponge. They also have chocolate and coconut brownie too. Go check them out as they are perfect for dessert.

We cannot believe how quickly April has gone and that is is now so close to May! These months have been flying by and we guess its because we are working more and more on the blog and enjoying it more and more each day. We have mo specific plans for May apart from the fact that we have another bank holiday weekend which is always fab.
If you have any recommendations of places to go or things to do during May then let us know!

Cute Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla cupcakes are nice and easy to make and the kids can easily get involved too (licking the bowl as well of course!!). We decided to make our simple cupcake recipe and then decorate with red/pink coloured sugary treats. You can decorate them however you would like, the brighter the better!

Heart cupcakes

Cupcakes:
120g butter
120g sugar
2 eggs
120g flour
tsp baking powder
drop vanilla essence

Icing:
250g icing sugar
80g butter, softened
20ml milk

Method 

1) Preheat the over to 180 degrees and put 12 cupcake cases into a cupcake tray (we used red spotty cases from Tesco)
2) For the cake beat together the butter and sugar in a free standing mixer, beat until the mixture is fluffy.
3)Crack in the eggs, sift in the flour and add the baking powder and vanilla essence. Beat until the mixture is combined but do not over mix.
4) Spoon the mixture into the cases and then cook in the oven for 12 minutes. A skwewer should come out clean and they should look golden. Leave to cool
5) For the icing put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until fluffy. The longer you mix the fluffier and nicer the icing will be.
6) Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes when they are cool and have fun with your decorating!

Healthy eating on a budget

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Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to shop in Whole Foods and you certainly don’t have to spend more money. So many people think convenient fast foods are cheaper than fresh wholesome foods.  We want to put this myth to bed and help people maintain a healthy diet whilst eating on a budget.

If you have any other tips and tricks then please share them with us!

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Buy in Bulk- We would suggest purchasing your food in bulk for example buying bigger bags of rice, oats and pasta will be cheaper and these are as good go to staples to have in the cupboard.  You should also think about purchasing your meat in bulk there are several established websites that sell meat such as Muscle Foods.  Compare pre packed fruit and veg to loose fruit and veg. Check the price per kg some brands will make loose more expensive where as others will bump the prices up on pre packed goods as its more convenient.

Cook in bulk and from fresh- If you don’t enjoy cooking and it feels like a chore this is probably the last thing you are going to want to spend your evening doing. It will definitely be worth it and your bank balance will thank you for it. If you cook in bulk then you can freeze meals or eat them the next day for lunch or dinner, that way it will limit your cooking time in the long run.

Limit eating out/ ordering take away – Eating out can be expensive, why not eat out when you are celebrating something or as a treat when you want to catch up with family or friends. Don’t just eat out because you cannot be bothered to cook or wash up the dinner plates. Eating out is not only expensive it is likely you will end up eating a less nutritional meal.

Buy frozen fruit- We love purchasing frozen fruit and Tesco have recently introduced single fruit bags e.g. kiwi or mango. These are so much cheaper than fresh fruit and have a longer sell by date. We like having frozen fruit in our porridge for breakfast or enjoyed in the evening as a snack with some yoghurt.

Shop online/write a list- Ever been to the super market and ended up purchasing items you really don’t need? Yes we have all been there! When ordering food online it is unlikely you will purchase foods you do not need especially if you are following a shopping list.

A few other tips- purchase all nuts in the world food sections of the supermarket they are always half the price, Purchase produce when they are in season and don’t throw away leftovers eat them the next day or freeze them.

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Top 10 tips for solo travel

You never really travel alone, the world is full of friends waiting to get to know you

For most people the thought of going on a trip to another country on your own is extremely daunting and very scary. Well you are getting on a plane to possibly the other side of the world and visiting a country you have never been to before so of course it is going to be a scary thought.

However, solo travel is in my opinion the best way to see the world. When you are on your own you have to step outside your comfort zone, put yourself out there and meet new people, struggle to read a map on your own and decide what you want to do for the day or where to go next. The best thing about travelling on your own is you are complete control of your adventure, you decide where you want to go next or where you eat. The freedom is amazing and you are guaranteed to have the time of your life!

Below are some tips when travelling on your own

1) Just book it – You want to visit a country, no one to go with, once the flight is booked you kinda have to (well not really if you really chicken out!), get on the flight. Sometimes the scariest part is just making the plunge and booking the flight. Once you’ve booked it you will have completely mixed emotions; you will be so excited as you now have something to look forward to. However you will also have the feeling of OMG WHAT HAVE I JUST DONE! Don’t worry both is completely normal, and you’d be slightly worried if you didn’t feel just a teeny bit nervous. When booking a flight, make sure you shop around and find the best deal but also one that arrives as a decent time. You don’t really want to be arriving in a country by yourself late at night. Try to arrive in the morning or at lunch time, as this will give you plenty of time to find your way to your hotel or hostel. Make sure you also pre-book your firs nights accommodation. You don’t want to turn up to a place with nowhere to stay.

2) The sleepless nights or really weird dreams are normal – you are guaranteed to start over thinking things at night, just when you want to go to sleep. This may be on the run up to the trip or just the night before, it depends how much of a worrier of over thinker you are! The bizarre dreams are also expected, and even if you may not feel nervous or worried, your body weirdly knows! All of this is to be expected and it’s better to be prepared for this to happen.

3) Pack as little as possible – when you are on your own there may not be someone to help carry your bags for you so travel as light as possible. If you are travelling with a rucksack, you do NOT need a massive one, in fact the smaller the better because then you won’t be tempted to over pack. When travelling you are most likely to have to walk quite a lot carrying your bags, you basically are carrying your entire life with you. You may have to walk to the bus or run for the train, or the hostel may be a long walk away from the station, therefore you don’t want to feel like you are carrying the kitchen sink! Check out the post called ‘what’s in my rucksack’ for more information in regards to what to pack.

4) Unlock your phone – if you are travelling for a long time make sure you unblock your phone before you go. This way you can buy a sim card for the country and you will save yourself a fortune! I bought a sim card in both Australia and new Zealand and it was so handy. Quite often you need to call places to book trips or to confirm your place on a trip. In addition it means you have a number so you can keep in contact with the people you have met and arrange to meet up with them. It also means you can keep in contact with your friends and family at home, because you are going to want to message them every now and then. It also great to have a sim card with data as google maps will be your best friend if you get lost, or cannot find your hostel or bus station.

5) Smile – so you have arrived at your hostel and you are in a shared dorm with 12 other strangers. The best thing to do is the find your bed and smile at the people in your room or head to the communal area bringing your smile with you. When walking down the corridor, smile at people and say hello and they are most likely to want to talk to you.

6) Get advice/recommendations from other travellers – listen to what other travellers tell you, or ask people to recommend places to stay. When I was travelling Australia I was recommended hostels to stay at so I knew they would be good as people I had met loved them, and they were always right.

7) Communal areas are a must – try to book hostels with excellent communal areas or kitchens. I have stayed at a couple of hostels with no communal areas so it was harder to make friends and was much easier to feel lonely. Finding hostels with communal areas means everyone will hang out here so it’s the best place to meet other people. Quite a lot of hostels only have Wi-Fi in communal areas so it encourages people to chill out in these areas which is good!

8) SAY YES– when another traveller invites you somewhere, say yes! Mingling with other travellers is the best way to meet people. I had just arrived in Australia and no idea what I was doing and it was a girl in my rooms last night, she was going to the night market and invited me along. Of course I went with her and we got on so well that we are still friends now and regularly meet up for dinner and drinks. Even though I had severe jet lagged and was feeling very over whelmed I would’ve been silly to say no and had such a lovely first evening in Australia.

9) Take advantage of every opportunity– you only get the opportunity once so make the most of it. Face your fears and do that sky dive or jump out a plane. I have a fear of caves and small spaces but sucked it up and went inside the caves at Halong Bay, because I probably will never visit the caves at Halong Bay ever again! You do not want to look back and regret anything, so make the most of your time in that country.

10) Trust your instinct – always always trust your instinct because most times it is right. If you have a bad feeling about doing something don’t do it. Or if you think someone seems a bit dodgy, stop hanging out with them. If a situation doesn’t feel right then leave and walk away. In Hanoi I had booked into a nice hotel for my last night and on arriving I had a bad instinct about the place and the area I was in. I left the hotel and found a different one back in the centre of the city and it was the best decision I could’ve made.

Now go ahead and book your first or next solo trip and let us know where you are going? Trust us you won’t regret it!

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Why you should visit Wembley Park

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We decided to visit the designer outlet at Wembley Park one Saturday. As it was a super sunny day we thought we would make the day of it. The London Designer Outlet (LDO) in Wembley Park is so easy to get to via train, we both just hopped on the Metropolitan Line from our homes but you can also easily visit here from Central London and take the Metropolitan Line from Baker Street to Wembley Park Station. It was such a beautiful day when we stepped off the train, the sun was shining and it was warm enough to take our jackets off. We couldn’t wait to make the most of our day at LDO.

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LDO is a short walk from the station and you get to walk past the stadium giving you the chance to see the iconic arch up close. When we arrived at LDO we headed straight for a coffee at one of the many coffee shops LDO has to offer. This time though we opted for Neros as we noticed there was outside seating. There is also two Starbucks & Pret a manger. We both had an iced soya latte with a shot of sugar free vanilla syrup. We also decided to share a berry crumble slice and a piece of cappuccino cake both of which were delicious. We made our way outside and found a little table in the sunshine, it was amazing to be sat outside in the sunshine watching the world go by.

Once we had finished at Neros we headed straight to H&M as there were massive signs on the shop windows that said there was an extra 20% off all items. We both bought the same jumper for our Easter photo shoot as it was only £5 you can’t really complain! We also spotted a super cute grey hooded jumper that we both just had to buy again this was only £5.

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There are so many sports outlets in LDO that we decided to head to the sports shops straight after H&M. We were definitely not disappointed there was so much choice and it was all so cheap, if you love fitness activewear then this would be your idea of heaven. There is a Nike, adidas, New Balance and Aasics to name a few.

The first sports shop we went to was Nike and we were really happy with the collections they had on offer! We picked up a pair of black running shorts which cost us £19 which some might say is expensive for a pair of running shorts but trust us when we say it is worth spending the money as the materials they use are breathable which is great when training in the summer. We also purchased a red t-shirt from the kids section which was actually boys. You wouldn’t even know it wasn’t female and with it only costing £10 we couldn’t say no!

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Next up was Adidas which is one of our favourite sports brands! We didn’t know where to start looking when we entered the store, the collections on sale were beautiful and all the colours were incredibly vibrant it made us so excited to add some more vibrant colours to our active wear collection. We both spotted a lime green sports bra that we immediately fell in love with and was an absolute bargain as it only cost us £15. Our favourite purchase of the day was definitely some amazing atzec pattered shorts which only cost us £11! We will be shooting in when we go to Paris on the 29th April so keep an eye out for those photos!

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We were having so much fun shopping (it’s not often we spend a full day shopping) that time flew away and before we knew it it was 3oclock and we hadn’t eaten lunch. There are so many restaurants at LDO you will be spoilt for choice when deciding where to go. We opted for Nando’s as you can’t go wrong with chicken. There was a 20 minute wait, but we wanted to sit outside so we were seated straight away, It was so warm we wanted to make the most of the sunny weather. We started with humous and pitta and of course had bottomless drinks. Then for the main we went MEGA! We shared a whole chicken with four regular sides (spicy rice, chips, macho peas and super grains) we then also ordered sweet potato mash and halloumi! It was delicious and sadly we couldn’t squeeze in a pudding.

At 4:30pm we started to make our way back to the station, we were both grinning from ear to ear as we were so chuffed with our purchases. We had such a fun day at Wembley that the following week we decided to return and were fortunate enough to get tickets to Craig David concert at The SSE Arena, Wembley to re live our childhood! We had seen Craig David at the Summertime Ball last year at Wembley Stadium and he was amazing, so we knew we were in for a treat!

On the afternoon of the concert we arrived and headed to Pret a Manger for a fresh smoothie, it was such a hot Sunday we sat outside and watched the world go by, everyone was in high spirits drinking before the concert and enjoying the glorious weather.

We headed to TGI Fridays for some dinner before the concert, where we both enjoyed delicious meals and great atmosphere. After dinner we decided to quickly head to Treats which is a dessert bar. We love dessert so a place dedicated to desserts is amazing! We both got mango lassis, which tasted incredible. We also shared a apple & blackberry crumble with custard and a chocolate brownie sundae….. ooo naughty!

We then headed to The SSE Arena, Wembley to boogy the night away with Craig David,  sorry the photos below are not great quality its hard to get decent photos when its so dark inside!

We are so fortunate to live so close to Wembley Park to make the most of the amenities, however its so easy to get to by train that we would recommend a visit to the shops or restaurants, or see you can get tickets to an event at The SSE Arena Wembley  or Wembley Stadium. We are hoping the Summertime Ball is at the Stadium again this year because we definitely want to go again in the summer!

Don’t forget to watch our  vlog all about our day shopping too!

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Mocha Protein Pancakes

If you follow our Instagram you will see how much we love coffee, so it seemed the perfect idea to experiment and make mocha protein pancakes. Pancakes are so easy to make and once you have the base recipe you can just add flavour to them. We also made ‘nicecream’ for the first time, and it turned out really well. You basically blend frozen bananas and we decided to add a shot of espresso.

We hope you enjoy these as much as us, let us know if you decide to recreate these delcicious pancakes and also share a photo with us on twitter or instagram as we love to see!

mocha-pancakes

Makes 8 Pancakes
Note- that you have to prepare the nicecream the night before you make the pancakes. 

Ingredients
100g Oats Blended or oat flour or oatmeal flour
1 Scoop Unflavoured Protein
3 egg whites
1.5tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1.5tsp Baking Powder
2tbsp raw cacao
1tbsp coconut sugar
1 espresso
50ml Milk of your choice we used oat milk  (add a bit at a time as you may need more or less)

Toppings
1 bar melted dark chocolate
2tbsp maple syrup

Nicecream
2 bananas frozen
1 espresso shot

Method
1.roughly chop the banana and place in an air tight container before putting them in the freezer for at least 5 hours (we did it the night before)
2. Take the bananas out of the freezer and blend them until they form an ice cream like consistency (it will be quite runny). Add the shot of espresso to the mixture and pour into a container.
3. Place the banana mix back into the freezer for a couple of hours until solid.
4.Place the dry ingredient in a bowl
5. Add the egg whites and mix. Add the espresso and  then slowly add the milk until a batter forms.
6. Heat your pan (medium/high heat) and melt some coconut oil.
7. Add a table spoon of mixture to your pan and flip once bubbles appear on the surface.
8. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water and then add the maple syrup
9. Stack the pancakes, place a scoop of espresso nicecream ontop and drizzle with the chocolate sauce

Raspberry Pop Tarts

Who doesn’t LOVE pop tarts – they may be American but we love them even if they are super naughty! We decided to try and make our own pop tarts and didn’t realise how easy they are to make – think we will be making them again for sure!

We cannot wait to experiment with lots of different fillings both sweet and savory. We made these one Friday evening when we wanted to bake but didn’t have much time. These would be the perfect snack for a girlie movie night we will definitely be making them for our friends soon.

Poptarts

Ingredients
Pastry:
175g plain flour
100g cold butter
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 egg yolk

Filling:
Jar good quality raspberry jam

Icing:
icing sugar
sprinkles

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree and butter and line with grease proof paper a baking tray
2) Put all the ingredients for the pastry in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients come together (you make need to finish with your hands)
3) Pour onto a flour surface and roll out the dough until 1mm thick.
4) Cut our rectangular shapes and place on a a greased baking tray. Spoon a generous amount of jam on top of the pastry.
5)Put another rectangle of pastry on top of the jam and then press down with a fork all around the edge
6) Cook for 15-20 minutes until golden brown, do not worry if the jam leaks out slightly and then leave to cool
7) Make up some icing as instructed on the box and ice the top of the tarts and then cover with the sprinkles
8) ENJOY!

Of course you could experiment with other fillings we are certainly going to do, so make sure you check back here for more recipes soon!

Brunch Review Jackson and Rye

ifesWe had a day out in London so we had to try out a new spot for brunch and had been recommended to go to Jackson and Rye who serve brunch until 4.30 at weekends.

There are 6 Jackson and Rye’s and most of them are in London; Soho, City, Chiswick, Richmond, Kingston and then Guildford. We visited the one in Soho which was on Wardour Street, very close to China Town and an excellent location for all the London theatres.

According to their website their brunch is ‘legendary’ and to be fair we were really spoilt for choice and it took a long look at the menu to decide what to have. However true to form, we both went for the same thing AGAIN! This might start to become a problem, because then we don’t get to give you guys reviews of 2 dishes, however we can’t help that we have similar tastes buds and love pancakes!

Therefore we both went for the caramelised banana pancakes and were very intrigued by the maple cream. The pancakes arrived super super quick and looked very fluffy. We were given 3 pancakes each and half a caramelised banana and a pot of maple syrup creak, there was also extra syrup on the table.

The pancakes looked fluffy and tasted fluffy too and the banana complimented the pancakes perfectly as did the cream. We thoroughly enjoyed our pancakes however wish we had more banana, maybe a whole banana as it tasted so good!

The place was very dark and at first we didn’t like it but then it grew on us and we liked the dark atmosphere and the relaxing music. The menu was large with lots of choice and this place would cater for all needs.

We would definitely recommend this place at weekends for brunch and think it is great that you can enjoy brunch all the way until 4.30, who said you have to eat brunch at 11.30!!

Where shall we visit next? Please send us your recommendations!

Sticky toffee apple baked porridge

We have been experimenting a lot recently with our baked porridge so we opted for a sticky toffee apple baked porridge this time around. Sticking toffee pudding is a traditional pudding in the UK which we often reach for when choosing a pudding so we thought why not create our own healthy version that is suitable for breakfast.

Let us know if you decide to make it we love it when you recreate our recipes! Make sure you tag us in your photos on Twitter and Instagram!

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Ingredients for the porridge
50g porridge oats
1 small braeburn apple
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp Groung ginger
2 dates chopped
2tsp ground almonds
1tsp baking powder
50ml Almond milk

Ingredients for the topping
4 dates
20ml Almond milk
Left over apple cut into chunks
1tsp Cinnamon

Method
Pre heat the oven to 180oc
Finely grate the apple into a small mixing bowl but leave a small amount behind as you will need this for the topping
Add all the dry ingredints into the mixing bowl and stir until combined
Add the almond milk and stir
Place in the oven for 30 minutes until the oats are cooked
Whilst the oats are cooking place the chunks of apple and cinnamon into a sauncepan
Cook the apples on a low heat until soft
Place the dates and almond milk into a blender and blend until combine
Remove the oats from the oven and top with the apple chunks
Drizzle the toffee sauce on top