Nutella Cupcakes. #foodporn

I know....Oh my god! Its no secret. I'm addicted to Nutella so I had to eventually make some cupcakes. I didn't want to make them toooo chocolatey because I wanted them to taste of Nutella. So I had a little look through my books but nothing caught my fancy as I have to like all the ingredients and if the method is too hard its not for me! Anyway I've adapted this one from a few and UHMAZING if I do say so myself! 


The Glamorous.....#Kates50th

Every time I think of the recent weekend away me and the Alpha Male have just had that song goes through my mind "The Glamorous, Glamourous..G.L.A.M..." you get the point. It truly was though. Far away from our world at the minute of "Has someone done a poo?!" and Who is more exhausted?...its always me just in case there is any doubt. Anywhoo the first second that the amazing invite for my Aunt Kates 50th birthday party came through the door and we haven't had a night away together in 18mths we knew we would have to be there no matter what. I wasn't messing around with that phrase because literally if it could have gone wrong it did, from colds, to a broken toe (me),to stress's on top of dramas that always happen with small children just as your'e about to have some time away it happens. Mainly though...small matter of who would watch the boys? My Aunt lives in Kent so that meant 7hr drive there and back from the Toon, meaning the boys needed to be watched all day from Saturday morning to Sunday night. If you keep up with the blog you know babysitters are like gold dust to us, their Grandparents couldn't help out but we managed to hatch a plan with our fabulous babysitter Lauren. She just happened to be Archie and Oscars key worker over the years at nursery so knows them really well and they love her. This combined with some help from my Grandparents aka the amazing GG and Hawk Eye made it a go go. I'm so pleased we have taken the leap of hiring a nanny overnight because now when we want or need (for business) to have a night away we can, its not a big hassle any more; worth every penny. 

As the dress code was Black Tie and Fur, that meant Chris was one dry clean away from completely sorted...not.jealous.at.all....but I needed something new as didn't have a dress I haven't worn to death or anything full length. GG to the rescue when she made the genius suggestion of ASOS tall range! It has its faults as you have to buy a few different sizes to be sure they fit and the sizes do varies wildly, but we had a field day ordering and then receiving the NEXT DAY a selection of gowns all long enough. I decided on my favourite...naturally the one I didn't even like on-line but ordered just for a selection then fell in love with it instantly, a black Jarlo gown so good quality, on sale for £39! I had to get it taken in at the bust because frankly it is slim pickings in that area after kids, so I nipped it into Gloria's a fab local seamstress. Ironically we agreed it had to be taken up a smidge too as it was a tiny bit too long, it was a complex job with the fabric being so nice and total for the alterrations was £40 so £1 more than the actual gown ha ha but honestly so worth it. Gloria is magic and made it fit amazingly, so total £79, not bad for a made to measure designer gown. I had a bit more of an issue with the fur element as I don't own anything like that and no one I knew did, I ordered a shawl off Amazon but it turned up like a dead Alsatian which molted worse so that went straight back. I had given up hope as I didnt want to spend a lot on somthing I would only use once, when I spied a scalf thing in a side shop to Wilkos. It literally couldn't have been anymore perfect and was £10! Its so soft and expensive looking I have not stopped wearing it even on the school run. Paired this with my fav DKNY clutch which I forgot also has fur on and we were good to go.  

As I said for some reason it was somehow a big stressful lead up, as us going anywhere is like a military operation, but on the morning at 8am when Lauren turned up and the boys asked us to leave! It all fell into place and we instantly started to enjoy ourselves. The mother bear, brother and sister in law were also coming along on the trip but we decided on 2 cars so me and the hubs could actually have some time together...we also have a dirty little secret...steady, like a pair of lil Nannas we love 'Talking Books' on car journeys. Many moons ago we travelled across the USA from New York to California over 5 weeks, in a soft top car and not a care in the world, it truly was amazing but we listened to loads of Audio books along the way so it brought fab memory's back from that too. We picked 'Girl on a Train' currently on the best sellers list if your'e interested and oh my werd I loved it, a real thriller. We met the rest of the gang at Wetherby for a bit breakfast and decided if we got a shuffle on we could meet the birthday girl and family for lunch in Folkstone at 2.30pm...I was seriously doubting this but if the M25 is clear anything is possible because we rocked up to the Resturaunt with 5 minutes to spare. Folkstone is a proper British seaside town exactly like a postcard and might I add drenched in glorius sunshine, considering we had left the boys in snow suits that morning for a trip to a Farm; It always amazes me how different the weather is down south though. We had a reservation at a fantatsic Resturant called RockSalt I'm already considering the journey again just for the Tankard of prawns. It is nestled right on the seafront with a panoramic bio fold door to make the most of the stunning ocean view, it really was like being on holiday the minute we stepped inside, with people supping wine on the deck catching some rays. A few glass's of Prosecco and some incredible food for us, we were fully in chill mode.... 

This is a face of someone getting a childfree night away!

Love these Tall Jeans from Topshop.

Couldnt be happier! 

Bag of treats and no children!

Mother bear and Sister in Law.

We tootled over to our hotel, the husband had booked as a surprise for us, we were supposed to be staying with my Aunts friends a few doors down but seeing as this was our first night "off "in over a year we fancied a bit of pampering. He cleverly had booked a place only 4 miles from my Aunts house in rural Kent, a hotel called Elvey Farm. It was literally in the middle of no where and we had a really cute stable room with fairy lights outside, but to be honest as long as there was a clean bed and no children it could have been a Caravan. We still had 3hrs until the party so the hubby immediately asked if there was a bar?

Hotel man: Yes but its closed.
Husband: When will it be open?
Hotel man: May. 

So that scuppered his plans of a few cheeky pints beforehand, but we were still deliriously happy having a chill out with a cuppa, chocolates and no one sticky for a couple hours; It was then time to preen. I was having a major argument with a stick on bra that I needed to keep the front of my dress inplace, there was nothing that could be done though it was not into me so the fur scalf I had planned on draping over my shoulder, now became a necklace to save me disgracing myself, now it was party time.

Worra lush couple.

When we pulled up...my werd the marquee its self looked like the Vanity Fair Oscars party, just amazing with draped fabrics and a star lit sky. If you wern't aware of the theme it was instantly obvious with snow covered piles of logs, stag heads, vintage skiing posters and of course fur throws. We kicked off with a couple glass's of fizz, it was nice to catch up with the family but I was just loving watching everyone arrive with their various fur attire, full length coats to hats. We were then asked to take our seats, the husband and I were split up but I like that gives me a chance to meet new people, as you can see me and my new table mate Tom were having a howl. The food was delicious but I only took a pic of the dessert, one of my favs Tart au Citron with the cutest K for Kate in raspberry coulis. 

My boy looking dapper.

Then the speeches....well first off Aunt Kate's two great friends did an amazing job of roasting her which had everyone in hysterics, She is one of the best people I know so the story's were amazing. My personal favourite being when she was late to drop off my cousin Will to the Harrow welcome ceremony last year and announced "I'm sorry I'm late we went to Eton first!"...I think that is why I am doing my hyena laugh in the pictures. Unbeknown to the birthday girl my Uncle, cousins and some of her friends had secretly organised an incredible sing song in her honor to the theme of 'Sound of Music'. I had been roped in too, weeks before the party and the look on my Aunts face was priceless when we all trouped upto the dance floor. My favourite bit was the chorus as its so true, she calls everyone "Mate" ....  

 When she calls….MATE
You know it’s Kate
And you feel so glad
She’s funny….she’s clever….we’ll love her forever
The best mate we’ve ever had

After a good sing along, the cheese course was brought out which was - Fondue. Seriously is there anyone who doesn't like melted cheese though...especially when you have had quite a lot of wine already. I resisted sticking my full face in. Well fed and watered we hit the dance floor and boogied the night away....it all becomes a blur then but I remember leaving at 3am. Thank you so much to my Aunt and Uncle for such a fantastic night and their amazing hospitality as always.

Birthday girl looking lovely.

This is so funny! 

Best bit, a solo from Uncle Hugo!

Drunk much?!

Waking up without children jumping on you seriously should be classed as one of life's luxury's like spa days and drinking in hot sunny beer gardens! Sooo nice and after a much needed lie in, the husband indulged in the Full English brekkie. For the first time in forever I could truly only manage a slice of toast, a strong cuppa and some painkillers #wineflu. We nipped over to my Aunt and Uncles house for an "After party" which is always very the funny to hash out the night, also finally I had a go on the ski machines they had hired! I was feeling extremely rough now though so the road and some grease was calling to get us back to our boys who had been having a blast too at a Farm and immediately asked when Lauren was coming back. When can we do it all again is what I want to know?

Cant let go of the fur...

Just what we needed!

Happy 50th Birthday Aunt Kate.
Ash xox

As you can see Photography quality varies vastly between my very old i phone 5 and a fantastic professional photographer Ernie Savarese so big shout out to him.

Ernie Savarese


Peanut Butter Brownies. #Recipe #Heaven

I love making these because it feeds my addiction to Peanut Butter but its seems everyone adores them too...the only danger is trying not to eat the full batch. Ideal with a cuppa, a bake sale or a pressie. Go go.....