5.28.2013

Take it down to Chinatown!


It was my cousin Jenny's 21st Birthday a few weeks ago, hosted at my Aunt and Uncles gorgeous house on the River Thames in Berks. The theme was Chinatown which was dripping from every inch of the party and I was thrilled to get involved by making a cake for Jen. Unfortunately Chris was on Daddy duty so a (nervous cake laden) 5hr road trip ensued from the Toon with my brother, which actually flew by with help of Radio 1....cant tell I'm getting a night child free can you!
 
 
 
When we arrived I was blown away by the fabulous marquee and decor, there was an awkward moment when I announced the "cake was in the car"...without realising that it was a surprise for Jen! In my defence my Aunt thought that it was going to be a small cake she could carry in with candles on. Now I don't do anything by halves and she did say that over 100 people were coming....  
 
 
 
 
 
 
The invitation had a great picture of a dragon so straight away I knew I wanted to have a dragon as the centre piece. Sadly the dragon above who was supposed to be sticking up 3D from the top but had a run in with Archie my 3yr old when he picked up the dowel and it snapped, so I glued it back together and just placed it in front of the cake.
 
I then made a more sturdy dragon head from petal paste and edible gold dust. The cupcakes were a mixture of Vanilla Almond and Chocolate, I wasn't sure what to do for "Chinatown" but the week before I made stir fry for tea and I knew then I wanted to somehow make noodles and cop sticks. I also decorated some with handmade marzipan fortune cookies, fans and orchids.
 
I think my Aunt forgave me for the premature reveal when she saw the cake and said  "I think I'm going to cry", well I cant get better praise than that. Even funnier was when she was astonished that it matched the theme party colours...even though she had sent me an invitation and told me all the colours?! So I'm glad I didn't just make a Christmas cake ha ha....maybe baby brain never goes away...god I hope not!
 
 
 
 
 
 
After the cake was assembled...phew.. all that was left to do was have a Nana Nap and get ready. I had planned on buying a kimono or something in keeping with the theme but I just didn't get the chance. So I wore my favourite Coast Spotty Dress which I've worn a few times...oh look away fashionistas there's a recession on!
 
There was a champagne reception and an open bar with lots of yummy cocktails, it was to be my downfall but you never know it when your having such a good time. This was honestly better than most Weddings I have been to and one of the best nights Ive had in ages. My Aunt and Uncle were fantastic hosts, the birthday girl looked stunning as did all the guests. Jen and I had a giggle about the fact it was like "Geordie Shore meets Made in Chelsea".
 
 
 
 
 
 
The meal was delicious, a selection of dim sum to start, followed by a spicy noddle dish, mini pots of Hagen Daaz and my cupcakes of course. Then copious amounts of alcohol and slut drops ensued(watch Geordie Shore) and I honestly cant remember the above picture being taken so at 3am it was defiantly time to go to bed.
 
I am not ashamed to admit that I was HANGING the next morning but thankfully My Uncle was on the BBQ at the crack of dawn with Sausage sandwich's, croissant's and a lot of brews. Thankfully my brother was driving home so we said our farewells and hit the road; where I rudely went straight to sleep!
 
Fantastic Party, Thanks to my Aunt, Uncle and Jen...wish I could do it all again.
 
Ash x
 

5.27.2013

Baking My Way....


I really enjoy cooking and baking and have been doing so for as long as I can remember (I know, I sound like a dodgy X factor story but it’s true) and even tried to write my own recipe book when I was about 9! I haven’t had any professional training therefore I see something I want to bake and just make it up as I go along.  I call myself “Old School Amateur” for this and several reasons.

1.       I don’t have or use much fancy equipment, I mix all cake batter by hand or with my £5.99 electric whisk which I’ve had for 9yrs still going strong. I have a Kitchen Aid but find it can over beat cakes, it’s fantastic for butter cream though and well just to look at; but that’s it.

2.       I don’t sieve flour or icing sugar, I’ve never noticed any difference –Bite me Nigella.

3.       I much prefer things that taste good and look homemade than professional perfection.

4.       I avoid all complicated recipes...I just don’t see the point when you can make lush things without 30 steps, 2 days and organic unicorn dust.
 


 
 
People are always saying to me, I couldn’t make that but there’s no secret, well not in my book anyway and if you follow the recipe you can’t go far wrong. I’m a big fan of all these baking shows and I love that baking in particular is so trendy now as you can get great supplies even just at the supermarket. The only down side in my opinion of these shows that they can put people off being so complex and I often shout think “Its ONLY baking not heart surgery”.
 
 
 
 
My tips for baking are:
1.       Pick something simple but that you want to bake...I don’t want to know anyone who regularly makes their own hot cross buns.
2.       Read the recipe 1st and get everything ready, quite a few times I have poured something in only to read next step I should have waited till the end.
3.       Buy fresh ingredients, now I don’t mean organic, expensive or gluten free, I just mean if you haven’t baked in a while your baking powder etc probably won’t rise and congealed vanilla essence won’t be the same.
4.       Go for it, even chocolate crispie’s are so satisfying!
 
 
 
 
I hope to post some of my favourite and easy recipes over time so stay tuned, and feel free to ask me any questions, Good Luck!
 
Ashlie X
 

 

 


 
 
 
 

5.23.2013

About me



Hiiiii, I’m Ashlie, a Geordie girl born and bred. I like Tea, Posh candles, Nice Nails, Cake, Box set Marathons, Alcoholic drinks, Profanity, Designer Handbags, not shoes...it’s a sore spot, Peanut Butter, Quotes, a Selfie, Stationery, Beauty Products, Travelling, Sunny Days, Fresh Sheets and Instagram. 
    
I live with my husband Chris (a.k.a The husband or Alpha Male)he's social media phobic and sport obsessed so you might not see much of him. I met him when I was 15 though and we have we been married nearly 8yrs...wow how did that happen. We have 2 rambunctious (thats cute for naughty/hyper) hilarious boys Archie 5 and Oscar 3. Life is crazy at the moment and I can’t decide if it’s only until they get older or we just have to adjust and except our new life with kids! I started my blog in 2013 while on Maternity leave to stop my brain turning to mush...some you win some you lose. I suffer from dyslexia as you will see so don't expect much from the grammer but I do try and its not on purpose. I initially started for recipes but my husbands job got transferred to Texas soon after, so we lived over there for a bit and it turns out my unfiltered tone, crazy kids and adventures are way more popular. 

My Bestie once said “If you mixed Charlotte and Samantha from Sex and the City it’s you!” so there you go. I’m a reallly honest Mam/Housewife you won’t find me sugar coating parenthood, Fuck, kids are hard work! I’m also food obsessed, love to eat, make a canny cake and a mean poached egg sometimes. I love a night in and a night out in equal measure, which makes sense because I’m either glammed to the max inc false eyelashes or in my Pj’s looking homeless....there is no in between. I watch way too much American TV from the Walking Dead to Greys Anatomy and wine is a staple in my life. This is my corner of the world to share, laugh, vent and occasionally cook.

Thanks for stopping by I hope you like it!





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