Tag Archives: home

&WHAT | HOME.

Home is where the heart is and mine is right here in London.

The city has always felt like home. More homely a times than others but that feeling you get when you arrive in a city and you know everything has laddered up to bring you here and it’s all just right – that for me is home.

And, even luckier for me, this freshly IKEA decorated space is where I get to call home in this beautiful city. Pinterest worthy space, clearly inspired by just a few Scandi-Interior design boards. It also helps that we live with a designer.

However you see those big leaves there – all me. I carried the massive Monstera plants all the way from Columbia Road market last Sunday.

For someone that can barely take care of herself, I’m quite surprised that nearly a week and a half later they are still standing strong. That’s really where people should be getting their resilience inspiration from – Monstera leaves. So far, they are quite the survivors.

– &what x

no place like home.

&what | THE WILDERNESS.

Canada Day Canoe Trip

Oh Canada. Our home and native land.

True patriot love for this place. I mean how could you not?

I was lucky enough to be home this summer for my best friend’s wedding (more on that here). My birthday and Canada Day have always been the highlight of the summer and this year I spent it in none other than the Canadian Wilderness.

We drove to Mont Tremblant, Quebec for a long weekend of cottage life and escaping the city. Its the most relaxing thing being out of the chaos and in touch with nature.

We went on day long hikes through the woods to see incredible views, had bonfires, roasted marshmallows and went on a 5-hour canoe trip. Slightly longer than expected and a serious workout for the arm muscles but worth it in the end.

It’s the last weekend of the summer, time to say goodbye to cottage life and hello to cosy winter nights by the fireside. At least Mont Tremblant is amazing for snowboarding too, we’ll be back in December.

-&what x

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&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 | under the sea.

The last day of my last weekend in the Tdot was spent with the fishes! We trotted through the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada pretending we had glowing red hair, trousers that turned us into little mermaids with the most fitting tune running through our heads. I’ll give you a hint – it features a little crab named Sebastian. This post will definitely be more fun if you turn up the volume (Under the sea – The Little Mermaid.).

Gianni was supposed to be in Mexico, actually swimming with the fishes, but missed his flight. So we rescued him from boredom until he could catch his next one (hopefully!).

Here’s a little tip if you’re planning on going to the aquarium anytime soon – book in advance, unless of course you want to be waiting until you have grey hairs.

Once inside we were taken deep into the Canadian Great Lake waters where we saw giant octopuses, crazy coloured lobsters and a scary platipus fish with a giant mouth. Let’s just say that I won’t be taking a dip at the cottage anytime soon now that I know those sea monsters will be accompanying me. The Rainbow Reef was my favourite part. There were so many beautiful colours, with gorgeous varieties of fish and some not so gorgeous – like the sword nosed one smiling at us and the great white share showing his pearly whites. Already dreaming of a diving trip in Thailand or Oz. Now, anyone want to come with me?

Here’s a sneak peek at our Sunday Funday under the sea!

 -&what x.

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walking in a winter wonderland.

Oh yes, there’s no place like home! That’s what Dorothy said when she clicked her sparkly red heels and that’s exactly what I was thinking as I strutted my way onto the Air Canada flight across the ocean and off in the homeland.

Little did I know, the ice queen was preparing for my arrival. Let me tell you, she showed herself in full force when the plane pretty much did a hockey skate slide to a stop on the runway.

I always love coming home at Christmas time when the snow is falling, wind is blowing and I know that there will be a winter wonderland waiting for me!

This time, however, I didn’t come home to a ‘winter wonderland’ but rather the second ice age in full action. Canada froze over and for 4 days our city was out of power! We froze our butts off inside playing our 100th game of Scrabble and went to the pub (A LOT) to keep warm. TIP: if you are ever without heat in the winter, whisky and coke works just as well.

Luckily, on Christmas morning the power workers saved the day and brought us the best Christmas gift of all! Just in time for me to force my twin brother to snap some pictures of us enjoying the gorgeousness of the remnants of the what ice queen left behind.

Hope you’re enjoying your holidays! x

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&what | TDOT.

Sitting with a cuppa, made by my flatmate as I still haven’t mastered this British art form, reminiscing of summer days. Things on &what were quiet, things in the life of ashleymadeline were anything but.

After 8 amazing months in the London abyss, I returned to the homeland to be reunited with my loves.

It looked like this: lots of wine, lots of laughs, lots of love and lots of pictures of the CN Tower. Yes, Mr.X was mildly obsessed.

Toronto is a lovely city. Taking a holiday in the homeland is sometimes just what you need to be reminded of this.

-&what x