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Date, Walnut, Coconut and Cocoa Protein Balls

These Date, Walnut, Coconut and Cocoa Protein Balls are the perfect healthy snack. They are full of good stuff, taste great and are really satisfying. Plus they are so easy to make!

Date Walnut Cocoa Protein Balls

Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 100g walnuts
  • 250g Forest Feast pitted dates
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp Chocolate protein powder
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • Pinch of salt


  • Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until completely blended.
  • Shape small handfuls into balls about the size of a walnut.

Date, Walnut, Coconut and Cocoa Protein Balls

The best thing about these little balls is their versatility; so you can change the ingredients depending on what you have in the cupboard. The dates and honey make them nice and sweet, but you could substitute the honey for coconut oil or peanut butter which would also taste great. If you don’t have protein powder, leave it out. Almonds or oats would be great instead of walnuts. The possibilities are endless!

I like the fact I can chuck one of these in my bag and know I have a healthy snack that tastes good and fills me up. Give them a go!

Love, Laurel

Dance your way to Fitness with Aurora Studios Belfast

This week I was invited to an event a little bit out of my comfort zone – a chance to try out Belfast’s newest ‘dance fitness’ classes at Aurora Dance Studio, Fountain Street, Belfast. As someone who does not find traditional exercise particularly enjoyable, I was interested in finding out more about alternative ways to burn some calories. I took my cousin Anna with me to see what it was all about!

Aurora dance studios belfast

After success with Aurora Dance Company, offering dance classes predominantly to children, Aurora Studios owner Erin Lyle saw a gap in the market for a City Centre dance studio. Aurora Studios offer adult fitness classes with inspiration from hip hop, Latin, ballet, and burlesque dancing. Also on offer are Rebounding classes (exercising on a mini trampoline), Yoga and Circuits.

Aurora dance studios belfast

We had a go at Rebounding, Ballet Fitness and ‘Burlexercise’. All three were great fun and totally different to anything fitness related I’ve done in the past, with the only comparison being the Zumba classes I used to go to. My favourite would have to be the Ballet Fitness. Not too intense and I really enjoyed the routine. I will definitely be back to try out the hour long version of this class!


The studio is bright and airy, and perfectly located right in the centre of Belfast. The timetable has early morning, straight after work, or evening classes, to suit everyone’s busy schedules. Essentially it is a non intimidating, fun place to keep fit and learn a few dance moves in the process! This type of exercise is so much more suited to me than pounding the treadmill or more straightforward, cardio based workouts.

Aurora dance studios belfast

Thanks Aurora for a great evening!

Love, Laurel

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fancy some chocolate chip cookies that are soft, chewy and easy to make, even with a toddler in tow? Then this recipe is for you.

Chocolate Chip Cookies recipeIngredients (makes approx. 15 medium sized cookies)

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 100g light brown soft sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g dark chocolate chips

little boy bakingMethod

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Cream together the butter and sugars, before adding in the egg and vanilla extract.
  • Sift in the flour and salt, then the chocolate chips. Mix together the mixture to form a cookie dough – I ended up using my hands for this part.
  • Roll into balls about the size of a golf ball. You could also roll out the dough and use cookie cutters!
  • Place on grease proof paper and bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • The longer you bake them the more crisp they will be. When they come out of the oven they will look raw, this is ok!
  • Leave them to harden for around 5 minutes before transferring them onto a cooling rack.

Chocolate chip cookies recipe

homemade chocolate chip cookiesOnce cooled, the cookies have that delicious soft and chewy texture. They were a huge hit with Harry (22 months) who loved helping me make them! They also didn’t take long to make which helps when you have an impatient toddler who doesn’t quite understand the baking process!

I chose to make the traditional ‘cookie shape’ this time. But when I’ve made these previously we have used cookie cutters and the dough works perfectly with either method.

You could also add in different combinations to the mixture; white chocolate chips, raspberries, Smarties, hazelnuts or pistachios would all work well.

In total these took less than 20 minutes to make and tasted so good. Helping out kept Harry happy so all in all it was a winner!

toddler eating cookieLove, Laurel

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