Giraffe brunch date 

Hi guys, so today I thought I would share with you a little bit of what I’ve been up to. It involves that thing I seem to do far too much of lately, indulge in coffee and eat. Whoops! No wonder I couldn’t get my jeans done up this morning. Not kidding! 

Any way slight over share done with, earlier in the week hubby and I had a little brunch date. He suggested a little trip to our local Giraffe restaurant. 

  
As you can see it was really quite quiet when we visited. This was handy for me as I could take some pictures without bothering anyone. Giraffe has a pretty cool loft type interior, I’m loving the grey brickwork. The outside seating area is pretty neat aswell, we had forgotten our sunnies  though so opted to sit inside.  

 

This is a lovely place to sit as it actually over looks the river that runs through the centre of our town. As there are lots of other bars, restaurants  and coffee shops surrounding the river this gives for a very bustling atmosphere. 

  The food available is of the healthier variety with a bit of a Mexican twist. Expect dishes with ingredients such as chipotle sauce, avocado and chorizo.

My husband opted for the breakfast burrito, whilst I had bacon and scrambles eggs, with sourdough toast.  

   

Both of these dishes are part of the £5 breakfast selection, which includes a hot drink of choice. We both opted for flat whites. We were very surprised when these arrived in chunky glasses. Though a bit tricky to start with as the side of the glass is hot, this really displayed the quality craftsmanship of the barista.  


I used to be a barista myself so am a nightmare when it comes to coffee, I have high standards.  

 This didn’t disappoint and I even ordered a second. I really was feeling naughty that day. 

The service we recieved was lovely, the waitresses were really friendly and welcoming.  With great food and service this is somewhere I shall visit again very soon. 

Have you been to a giraffe restaurant before? Where do you like to go for brunch? 

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

A consistently good chocolate cake 

Hi guys! 

Today I thought I would share with you  the receipe I use to create a super rich and moist chocolate cake. This is not one for everyday as it’s really very naughty, but is perfect for birthdays and other celebrations. As it was my sons birthday yesterday this was the perfect excuse to make one.  

 

I came across this recipie when searching for a moist chocolate cake recipie, the original can be found here on foodess.com. This is an American recipie so I had to do a bit of research to check certain ingredients and temperature settings, I don’t know about you but if you start talking celcius to me I haven’t got a clue. 

I thought it would be a good idea to share the adapted version for my British readers if like me you get a bit confused with Amercan terminology. I’ve stuck to the cup method though as it’s a huge time saver not having to worry about weighing ingredients. 

I have tried this recipie with both buttermilk and the milk and white wine vinegar substitute, I can confirm it works both ways equally well. 

Ingredients – 

1 3/4 cups plain flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

3/4 teaspoons table salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk or (1 cup milk and 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, allowed to stand for 5 minutes)

1/2 cup melted butter. 

1 cup hot coffee. 

Method – 

1. preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. In a bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla esscence, melted butter, buttermilk, and eggs to bowl. Mix well for approximately 3 minutes. 

3. Add the hot coffee and stir in, don’t be alarmed if you think it looks too runny, it’s supposed to be.

4. Pour mixture into  2 greased and lined cake tins. Bake in oven for approx 35 minutes. When done poke with a skewer, if it comes away clean your cake is ready, otherwise pop it back in the oven for a couple more minutes. If you feel top of cake is getting a bit brown cover with a sheet of tin foil for rest of cooking. 

5. Allow to cool in tin for ten minutes, then turn out into wired rack to finish cooling. Once completely cool decorate as you wish.  Jed wanted a Minecraft cake, and this is how it turned out. 

 

Let me know if you give this recipie ago. Feel free to share any baking tips in comments.

Bye for now, Katy 🙂 

A refreshing spring walk, inspiring pictures.

Hi guys, I have just returned from a walk with my husband chris, and our dog Izzie. It was rather chilly I have to admit but the fresh air felt great.

We had a slow walk through local woodland trying to spot a woodpecker we could hear. Alas it wasn’t to be, as it clearly didn’t want to be spotted today. We did see lots of other wildlife though, and there was plenty of evidence that spring is on it’s way. 

I took a few pictures whilst we were out, some where a bit meh, but there were some that I was pleased with. I thought it would be nice to share my favourites with you. 



The last one is probably my favourite, we spent ages trying to get a picture of a robin, it kept bobbing about though ha ha. I love the detailing of all the branches in this picture. 

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

My life lately – Birthday’s,Good Food & A Spa stay.

Hi guys!! Regular readers may have noticed that there has been an absense of posts on School Run Beauty this past week. Sorry guys I have had an extremely busy time full of birthdays and lots of fun. I’m not in the habit yet of scheduling posts, this is something I’m going to address though before I start my next OU module in April. I want to continue to post regularly during my busier study periods.  Any hoo I thought that it would be nice to share with you some of the things I’ve been up to in my absense.

Friday 6th March – 

Friday marked my step dads 60th birthday. My mum had arranged a party for him so being a good daughter I helped out with preparing the food. I also made the birthday cake which was quite a time consuming activity. I was so pleased with the results though. The cake itself was a very moist chocolate cake, it was designed to look like a stack of presents. 



We had a great evening, it was lovely catching up with family members, and a few surprise guests my step dad wasn’t expecting. 

Thursday 7th March – 

Today was another birthday celebration. This time the occasion was for one of my husbands old school friends. His fiancé had arranged a huge gathering of friends and family for a meal at a The Raj curry house in Brentwood. We actually filled the restaurant. Even the birthday boy was surprised that he knew that many people. 

The food itself was really tasty and thankfully the chefs didn’t use lots of artificial colouring like you can get in some Indian restaurants. After the meal we went to a popular music pub in Chelmsford to see my father in laws band ‘Break for Cover’ play. 



They are a great band and have quite a following locally. Check out their website Here.

Sunday 8th – 9th March

This marked my turn to celebrate my birthday, I turned 33 this year. Boy do I feel old! Instead of a physical present my husband took me to stay at Lifehouse spa resort in Thorpe-le-Soken. 

This has to be one of the best spas in my area. My favourite room has to be the salt inhalation room. My skin always feels amazing after a a session in there. The pool area is also quite special. After dark mood lighting is used to create a wonderful sensory experience. How amazing does that water look? 



We had a superb meal in the restaurant, the chefs take extra care to ensure they are using locally sourced ingredients where possible. I had a very light beetroot and goats cheese tart, followed by gressingham duck with dauphinoise potatoes and a creamy wild mushroom sauce. 



I was also surprised with a special birthday platter of truffles. This is the cutest thing ever, I was a good girl and shared this with the hubby. 



The next morning after breakfast (the best Frinton sausages ever!),  I had an extra surprise in the form of a beautiful bouquet of flowers being presented to me at our table. 







We then went to the spa where we had a quick swim before going our separate ways for our beauty treatments. I had an amazing Espa facial whilst Chris had a shoulder, back and neck massage. We were so relaxed afterwards that we promptly fell asleep beside the pool, whoops! 

Lifehouse Spa is such an amazing place to stay, we took advantage of one of their spa break offers available on their website Here. This included dinner, bed & breakfast, full use of the spa facilities and a 25 minute treatment. If you have the chance to visit do, the grounds provide beautiful walks, the food is great and the spa is just amazing. It’s also an adult only hotel so really peaceful. You will come away incredibly relaxed, if not a bit too relaxed like us. 

So there you go that’s is what I have been up to lately. Bye for now, Katy 🙂

OOTD – A Breakfast date

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This is a little bit late in posting, I actually took these pictures last week when it was much colder, check out that frost. This is what I wore for a breakfast date with my husband.

We have three kiddies, so it can be a bit of struggle to find a baby sitter whilst also juggling shift work. Consequently evening time dates are very rare. This is why we tend to have breakfast or coffee dates, when the kids are at school. It’s a good job I like breakfast.

On this occasion I wore high waisted mom jeans, ankles rolled up, paired with a chunky orange sweater. Despite the cold I was in the mood to wear my Leather biker jacket from French Connection. The leather is super soft and of such high quality. Regular readers will also spot my favourite biker boots and the snood I purchased last week from Primark. My bag was a Christmas gift from my mum, it’s by Floozie @ Debenhams.

After breakfast we went for a stroll around the shops, we were just window shopping on this occasion. Still it was nice to be out in the fresh air.

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I think he's enjoying that sausage a bit to much.

Jeans: River Island.
Sweater: Marks & Spencer.
Leather Jacket: French Connection.
Snood: Primark.
Boots: Very.co.uk.
Bag: Debenhams.

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

Family time – Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter

Family days out are something that I treasure, particularly when your partner is a shift worker, opportunities can be a bit scarce. Nether the less we try to make the most of the free time that we do have.

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Last Sunday we visited the Warner Bros studios in Watford. If you didn’t know already this is the home of ‘the making of Harry Potter’ tour.
This is a behind the scenes studio tour, which gives you the opportunity to see the actual sets, props and costumes used within the Harry Potter films.

Throughout the tour you are let in on some of the filming secrets that the filmmakers use to create the magic we see in the films most of us know and love. Some of the sets are huge, the attention to detail makes you feel like you are actually within the film. It’s very clear that a lot of love and care went into recreating J K Rowlings imagined world for film.

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At the start of the tour you find yourself stood at the very doors Harry himself stood at when he first arrived at Hogwarts. These towering doors are then opened and you find yourself entering the great hall, just like Harry did.

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From here you are left to make your way through the 2 studios (aptly named J and K), at your own leisure. Along the way there is the opportunity to fly a broomstick in your very own film, try the infamous Butter-beer, and have a go at casting spells. We took so many photos, that the rest of this post is very picture heavy, you have been warned.

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This is an expensive day out, so it’s worth planning and saving for it in advance. Die hard potter fans would be hard pushed not to part with a small fortune in the gift shop, it really is a potter fans heaven. We came home with three wands for the kids, and a very empty purse. I did manage to treat myself to a Griffindor notebook, I needed it, honest.

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Have you visited the Warner Bros studios? What did you think? We had a fantastic day.

Bye for now, Katy 🙂