&what | just call me, betty crocker.

Lately my love for Nutella and bananas runs a little too deep. Feeling a little fragile on the bank holiday Monday, a mission to the Co-op down the road seemed miles away. Post trekking it there, my eyes were set on one thing – comfort food. Don’t care what you say, cheese and cookies can cuddle you from the inside. As I scouted out the aisles for the perfect sweet and salty combo, a large glass jar of Nutella caught my eye. To my right were bananas in their perfect slight curve upwards, practically smiling at me. And this, is where the muffin story thickens.

Rosie Londoner (if you don’t follow her, stop what you’re doing right now  *reading &WHAT* and go do it! Then come back to &WHAT pretty please), anyways, she is a baking babe. It is from the lovely Rosie where this recipe originates. There is nothing better than the sweet tooth combination of banana Nutella muffins (maybe a little extra Nutella for me!). The recipe is super easy and done in only 45 minutes – finished these off during Made in Chelsea this week. Heaven.

Follow the instructions and get on it you fellow Betty Crockers of the world!

To make 12 of your own Banana and Nutella Muffins you’ll need:

230 grams (1 3/4 cups) self raising flour

150 grams (3/4 cup) granulated white sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 large free range eggs, lightly beaten

113 grams (1/2 cup) melted unsalted butter

3 large very ripe bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tbsp Nutella, at room temp

Pre-heat your oven to 180C or 350F. Line your muffin tins with paper liners,  I used polka dot ones. In one bowl combine your flour, sugar & salt. In another combine your eggs, butter, mashed bananas & vanilla. Tip one into the other and gently fold together. You want your batter to be thoroughly mixed, but still lumpy and utterly hideous. (A smooth batter makes horrible banana bread, trust Rosie on this one.) Divide your mixture between your cases, each one should be just about half full. Take a teaspoon of slightly warm Nutella and pop a blob onto the centre of each muffin. Use a cocktail stick or skewer to swirl the Nutella into the muffin without turning the whole thing chocolatey. Make sure you get some chocolate swirls in the bottom of the muffin too – still yummy if you don’t but I like chocolatey goodness all the way through.

Repeat with each muffin and then pop them all onto the middle shelf of your oven. Bake for 20-25 mins, when they’re done you should be able to stick a skewer into the centre and have it come out clean as a whistle. Leave to cool by the window and enjoy when still warm.

And, just so you know, Kanye may think sunglasses and advil cure a hangover but you guys need to get on the muffin batter. Promise it will make you feel human again.

-&what x

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&what | sunshine in my pocket.

When the sun is shining in London, everyone and everything gets out!

Last Sunday the classic grey London clouds went into hiding for just enough time to turn me into a tomato. The girls and I threw on our summer dresses, popped over to Tesco for some picnic food and strolled on over to Regent’s Park. The park felt like all of London had read our minds and decided to do exactly the same thing.

This is what our afternoon looked like. Books in the sunshine – Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty, seriously juicy novel. Playtime in the daisies and photo ops by the fountain. With the added touch of monkeys screeching in the background – Regent’s Park is right beside The London Zoo.

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So lovely to live in a city like London where you can escape the every day hustle and bustle with a hop, skip and jump to Regent’s Park (or any of the hundred other green spaces). Who needs to book a holiday when you have this? Hope you enjoyed your weekends too.

-&what x

&what | always remember.

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“I’d rather have a life of oh wells than what ifs” has always been one of my favourtie quotes. There’s something in the zest for life and fearlessness of not being attached to the outcome of your dreams and desires, but rather going forth and enjoying or brushing off what does or doesn’t happen.

Char recently shared Stephen’s Story with me. Like the other millions of people around the world, I was moved, saddened and slightly shocked, but by far, inspired by the human Stephen was and the story he had to tell. This teenager with bowel cancer, faced with a hardship that taught him one of life’s biggest lessons. His unfortunate situation made him want to live every moment to the fullest, taking advantage of every second, passing this along to others. I can’t tell his story for him, but honestly take the time to watch him tell it.

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Stephen was a very real reminder that you really do only have one life and chances do only come along so often. You need to live life to the fullest and make sure that every choice you make and chance you take is fulfilling what you want from your life. Stephen had a bucket list of things to do in life, he’s inspired me to create one of my own. I’m great at making lists and setting goals but some how always manage to leave the fun things like travel to India and wear a sari, volunteer with Girl Guides or eat cheese and drink Champagne with my love in Paris never make that list. There’s only so much time we have to live, don’t waste it.  Start now, don’t look back, make the most of what you have in the moment you have it.

R.I.P. Stephen.

&what x

&what | chilli chilli bang bang.

  On the hunt for something to do this weekend? Andwhat has a little spice up their sleeves for you. Head to Chilli Chilli Bang Bang in Dalston Yard, sip down some festival sized tequila cocktails and inhale all chilli everything!

The home of Street Feast, Night Tales and now this, Dalston Yard has made a name for itself as foodie/ hipster/ now spice central.

The torrential downpour meant we had to dodge mini floods while biting into chilli chicken burgers, but once we found shelter we could sit back and watch the rest of the Chilli Bang Bangers run for cover.

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Saturday afternoon called for catch ups over too many cocktails, more than 1 5-alarm chilli attack, and a reunion with the girls from uni (good old Cardiff days), stories of new jobs in Athens, boys, engagements and grown up things like buying a house with un-grown up things like the hardships of putting together Ikea furniture. Always love how even after 3 years and 3 different countries nothing changes and we’re still the same girls that stayed up and out all night making memories in The Diff. Swear I was getting a bit emosh catching up with them, although it may have been a chilli. Yeah, let’s blame it on the chilli.

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You have to buy tickets in advance or there are a limited number available on the door. For just over 15 you can get a free ginormous cocktails + a classic corona, 2 pounds off a Wahaca hot sauce and a free cocktail at Wahaca until June. Free(ish) dranks = happy girls and an awesome Saturday! Chilli Chilli Bang Bang is only on until the 10th May but hopefully they keep the flavour alive and bring it back. If not, the same guys that put this on have loads more events here.

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&what | les deux.

Last weekend Mr.X and I were excusing our French, because we were in Franceee. High up in the mountain tops at Les Deux Alpes. Mr. X was a brave soldier, strapping on his board and heading straight up to the highest glacier on the mountain. No big deal right? Forgot to mention that he a) does not know how to snowboard, b) did not intend to start learning anywhere near the peak and c) was viciously hungover from the massive bottle of vods we saw off during the 18 hour bus ride (roughing it is necessary when living in London).

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Well, I’m sure you could have guessed what happened next. Wipe out. After the next couple hundred ass and body plants, we got some beers and had a little nap. Day 1 done.

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After filling our bellies with the most delicious fondue we opted for an oldie but goldie night in, snuggling up in our onesies watching Fabric of the Cosmos (a nerdie show, but pure excellence when you make it past the ‘All American’ torture the host puts you through in the first episode). We were ready to conquer that mountain on Day 2.

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Hangover free and out on the slopes by 9AM, Mr. X nailed it. Turning down the hills only bum boarding down the black hill I ‘accidentally’ lead him to. Clearly my teaching techniques are more of the sink or swim approach. I quickly found out that wasn’t working and we were stuck on the black hill side of the mountain, less than ideal. The grand idea to take a quick shortcut to the other lift came over me. This quick little stroll back turned into an hour long trek across the side of a mountain, with no Francais person in sight.

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That mission called for some Pano bar action. The B E S T Apres Ski I have ever been to. Aside from good old Rusty’s and Kaytoo in Collingwood of course (gotta stay true to the roots!). A DJ blasting ridiculous tunes, mixed with alcoholic hot chocolate, confetti and crowd surfing, all while still in your snowboard gear just can’t be matched.

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Woke up to Day 3 with sore heads and sad hearts, saying good bye to Les Duex. Clearly it didn’t want us to leave either after our bus’ tires were slashed causing a 6 hour delay. Which meant more time in Le France! Spent this extra little bit in the Windsor Pub on the high street listening to London Grammar, stag stories from the Welsh boys we met and of course, football.

Already planning Snow Bombing for next year and looking into Summer Boarding. Yes, they have that on this side of the pond! +1 UK living.

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