Birthday girl

My 33rd Birthday was in May and it was one of the best birthdays ever.  One of my favourite parts was getting cards in the post.  It is so lovely knowing a lot of people are thinking of you. Not only was I spoiled with cards but also flowers! I was totally delighted with the lovely thoughtful gifts, spoiled with my beauty favourites, clothes and a lovely Michael Kors set.

As my Birthday was on a Friday ( Friday 13th no less! my lucky day!) I had a lovely Birthday lunch with my hubby and also had planned going out at the weekend with friends.

On the Friday Francis and I went to one of my favourite restaurants for lunch, Loch Fyne Seafood and Grill, St Albans.  It was outstanding. With mussels and oysters to start, Francis having the seafood ramen for main and I went for the teriyaki Salmon. It really was out of this world and would highly recommend the new additions to the menu.

On the Saturday we went to the Galleria in Hatfield for a spot of shopping.  I totally love the Gap outlet store and picked up some nice bits and new trainers in the Nike outlet. It was quite warm so we stopped at costa for a refreshing Italian lemonade.

Above: My hubby spoiled me

Above: Much love from family and friends

Sunday arrived and it was time for a nice Sunday lunch with friends! The Rose and Crown, Throrpe was booked for a birthday Sunday Lunch, because lets face it birthdays last all weekend lol! The Rose and Crown have that lovely tradition English pub feel with a warm and friendly atmosphere. It was lovely to start outside in the sun with a drink catching up with friends.  The pub inside was lovely and Sunday lunch didn't disappoint! The only complaint from the day was that there was too much food!!  We all really enjoyed and even squeezed in dessert! amazing!

I had such a good birthday weekend.  Totally spoiled and very thankful.

lots of love to all my family and friends xxx

Purple Poodle

Zsl Whipsnade zoo - Great day out for all

The Zsl Whipsndae zoo is such a good day out.  I have to say it was so lovely to see the animals so content with lots of space and in amazing condition. I ventured to the zoo a couple of times this year once in April with Francis , his sister Megan and Dad, William. In July we went with Francis Cousin David , his two sons David and Frankie, their mum Kiera and Francis' Cousin Sarah and fiancé Mat.  It was a convoy to the zoo and so much fun having the kids there. I have to say it was worth every penny.

Above: Trip to zoo in April

The zsl whipsnade zoo is quite big and open so on a cool day you defiantly need a decent coat, as you are up quite high and the zoo has vast open space that can be quite windy. The range of animals is fantastic and the layout is great.  You can choose to drive around the zoo (which we did) or you can park and take the free bus around.  There is even a steam train you can take around part of the zoo.  It is also very child friendly with an enclosed farm and huge playground area.

Above: Trip to zoo in July

One of the first Animals you view are the Lynx.  The are so beautiful and graceful. The Brown bears are one of my favourite animals and we were lucky they were up and awake to get a good picture. The Lemurs are such cute animals to watch running about with their offspring.  The penguin enclosure is amazing. They have a couple of varieties and the enclosure is situated quite high up, so not only is it great to see the penguins waddling about and swimming but the view is stunning.

If you are lucky enough to be at the penguin enclosure at the right time when you come out you might see the elephants out on their daily elephant walk.  The get walked from there enclosure right up to the top of the zoo to an huge open space and after a while get walked back.  It was an amazing experience to see these animal so close up and so relaxed.


The chimpanzee enclosure is great fun, they have indoor space with lots of play areas, and a huge outdoor space that has a waterfall with climbing frames. 

Of course the only way to picnic is with some amazing home made subs and some pinot!! (from April visit) I would really recommend this amazing zoo! Great for young and old with lots to see and I haven't even included photos of all the animals we seen. 

Lots of love

Purple Poodle

Belfast - Part 2 - Family time, birthdays, weddings and chill...

  Long awaited second part.... Hi everyone I know its been awhile since I last blogged and ALOT has happened in the last 6 months so here is what I have been up too the last 6 months starting with April and the second part of a trip home for family time, a fab wedding and general home chi!

In April it was great to get home for a long weekend to Belfast.  We had to travel home for a family wedding but it also coincided with my sisters birthday so it was to be a fun filled, busy trip.  In my previous post Travelling to Belfast Part 1 which including packing, prep and the journey, I thought it would be nice to have a separate post detailing what we got up too on our travels.

When we arrived home we had two days before the wedding and it happened to be my Sister, Annemarie's birthday on the Friday.  On the Thursday I went to see my folks for a catch up  and sleepover. Good to have some quality Mum and Dad time.  On the Friday I had a nice girlie day with my Sister , Mum, Aunt and Niece. We headed into Belfast for some shopping and Lunch.  (For anyone who reads this that isn't from Belfast.. I would Highly recommend it for a city break.  Belfast is a Vibrant City with great eateries, nightlife, culture and close to some of thee most breath-taking coastal scenery!)  We started our day going around the shops having a look see and then we went to the Queens Bar for a fantastic lunch an drinks! I would recommend the Queens Bar, Queens Arcade, Belfast for a quality lunch. The service is excellent and it was so nice having a booth reserved so it was nice and private and we had a good giggle as always.

Below: Me , my sister Annemarie and niece Kerry, My mum and Auntie Ethna and Me and Kerry

Friday night I went back with Francis to the In Laws for wedding prep! Always have to make sure everything is organised so the morning of the wedding isn't too hectic. I had dyed my hair my usual L'Oreal Feria Hot Chili Red, but the formula was different and I felt my hair wasn't as bright a red as it usually was.  So my Sister was a legend and found me a red toner when we were in Belfast so that night I did my hair .. standing at 10 o'clock the night before going to a wedding.. risky I hear you say?? I was freaking out as I had never used a toner after dying my hair before and I didn't know how strong it would be! Thankfully it did the job and just brightened it a little .. thank god! The morning of the wedding was pretty busy.  With Francis' parents, my sister in law Megan , Francis and myself all to get ready there was a buzz in the house.  My other Sister in Law Julie-Ann arranged a make-up artist to come to the house, so she came up as well.  The make-up artist was Christine Downey who actually was my makeup artist for my wedding so it was great to see her and have a catch up and get all glammed for the day!


Above : Glammed and ready to go and my outfit a Collectif Cherry dress

The wedding of Francis' Cousin Orla to David was beautiful.  The ceremony was very traditional. Lovely Irish style music at the chapel set the Tone and the service was lovely.  After the ceremony there was lots of excitement and lots of photos taken before leaving to go to the reception venue. After some photos and congratulating the happy couple we drove to the Dunadry Hotel, a beautiful venue.  A converted Fort it was very traditional and had lots of character, great for photographs.  We checked into our hotel room and then we down to the drinks reception.  It was lovely to catch up with family while the bridal party were getting their photos taken.  The meal was amazing, 5 courses and the room was stunning. Beautiful wedding décor, in keeping with the vintage theme, it was a really lovely setting. The speeches were excellent and the best speech came from Orla and David's son who even gave us all a song! too cute! That night we were entertained by The Breakfast Club band.  Great mix of tunes, old and new. Lots of dancing and fun to be had, with an evening snack of chicken and chips! yummy! Have to mention the Dunadry made one hell of a good Strawberry daiquiri cocktail.  It was a great day, and staying at the hotel made the occasion even more special, waking up the next morning and the buzz at breakfast.

Above: Bridal party and the Lovely Bride and Groom

Above: Stunning cake and a little selfie of my sister in law Megan and me

The Hubby and me x

After checking out of the hotel Francis and I grabbed some lunch and headed to one of our favourite spots, the loughshore at Jordanstown. It was so peaceful and got some nice pictures and watched some boats sailing into Belfast.

Above: Loughshore, Jordanstown and a wee cheeky selfie

Before heading back to London we had a little family gathering in my mum and dads to have a catch up and celebrate my sisters birthday with a good old cake! (had to be done!) It was great to catch up with my brothers and have some drinks, food and craic.  I have to say we really did fit in a lot this trip home and it was fantastic.. really good for the soul!

Below: My brother Gerard and me, Anna my sister and her cake,
Anna and Mum, My brother Kevin and Nephew Kevin, Me getting a go with the cake as I wouldn't be home for my birthday in May!

We headed home by boat to Liverpool and then drove down home here are some lovely pictures of us docking in Liverpool.

 Thanks to both our families for spoiling us as usual when we come home and thanks so the Webb family for an amazing day at Orla and David's wedding.  It was a truly lovely day and all the best to Orla and David.

Lots of Love

Purple Poodle

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