Today was what I would call the perfect Autumn day, warm, sunny and lots of beautiful colours. We’re lucky enough to have a stunning park literally on our doorstep and this afternoon we decided to go on a ‘conker hunt’ – after spending some time at the playground first (of course). The trees in the park were the picture of autumn and it was fun to be free, run around and play in our ‘extended’ back garden.

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The girls were very excited about collecting conkers, although I’m not sure if they knew exactly what they were or what we’d do with them, so dad had to explain a few things first…

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conckers66 conckers671Once we’d collected all those conkers, we had to think what we could do with them. After a quick look through Pinterest, we talked about painting them in the garden but the girls were too tired once we got back, so I made do with this little autumnal decoration idea…

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Maybe we can get our paint brushes out tomorrow? What do you do with your conkers?

 

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This is a cake I’ve been making for years and is an evolution of a Nigella Lawson recipe. I’ve taken away the nuts and soaked sultanas (that were included in Lawson’s version) and added chocolate chips. Lets face it you can’t beat the combination of chocolate and bananas! My daughters both love this cake and as you can see from the pictures, they also enjoy making it!

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Ingredients

175g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
125g unsalted butter (melted)
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
3 large, ripe bananas (mashed)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional: 100g chocolate chips

Method

Preheat the oven to 170ºC/ gas mark 3.

Put the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and chocolate chips (if using) in a medium-sized bowl and mix with a spoon.

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar until blended.

Beat the eggs into the butter mixture one at a time, then add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients a third at a time, stirring well each time.

Pour the mixture into a prepared cake tin and bake on the middle shelf for 1-1¼ hours.

When it’s ready, leave in the tin on a rack until cool.

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This cake is incredibly moist and full of flavour, it also stays fresh for a good few days. Not that it ever lasts for that long in our house!

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com
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On these cold winter days, I love looking back on summer pictures. They bring a little sunshine and warmth into these gloomy grey days. I know this one is black and white (so not so bright and sunny) but it’s one of my favourites. Wish I was there now!

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Last Sunday, the sun came out to play and we headed out to Box Hill, in Surrey with Miss Marnie from MamasVIB. Box Hill has long been one of our favourite nearby beauty spots but it now offers even more opportunities for outdoor fun with a new ‘Play Natural Trail’! This circular trail starts and ends at the top of the hill, close to the shop and café, where we managed to park and pick up a free trail map to help us find our way round.

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The fun trail includes a series of stop-off points, where the kids (big and small) can play in wooden shelters, climb bridges, jump across stepping stumps, swing on ropes and balance on logs. Everything on the trail has been made from natural materials and has been built to withstand some serious ‘hard play’. We really enjoyed the trail, the girls excitedly ran from one attraction to another and spent time climbing, stepping and playing at each stop. The trail took us (with all our playing) around 90mins. We then spent some time relaxing, playing and rolling on ‘the hill’.

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As you can see we had a fun day out! The trail and the views are free (although there is a charge of £4 for parking as it’s part of the National Trust), which means it was also a very cheap day out. We will be back soon to enjoy another day on the hill – looking down on the beautiful Surrey Downs.

What Katy Said
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Have you ever noticed that your dress sense/ style seems to change while you’re away on holiday? I realised this as I was looking through our recent holiday pictures. I have what I call my ‘holiday dresses’ that I only seem to wear when I’m away. I’m not sure why this is, as I really like these dresses but for some reason don’t have the confidence to wear them in the UK, as they’re slightly more revealing or loose.

My holiday style mainly consists of a sun hat (again… which I never wear in the UK, even on the hottest days), a pair of dark sun glasses, flat sandals (a must for running after my girls) and a cool, loose slip dress…

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Shop the look…

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1. Topshop dress £38

2. Monsoon hat £15

3. Ralph Lauren Glasses £111

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