I keep telling myself that I will post these more often (at least every few weeks) but time always runs away with me.
This passed week alone we have been super busy and September looks like there will be no slowing down with a hen party to Barcelona threw in there too!
It’s only been very recently I feel I can confidently leave Annie for more than a few hours, I don’t know if returning to work has played a role in this but she is turning into an independent little lady and loving days away. For the first Colin and I went out for a night out on our own, it was my birthday and the girls stayed over with my mum. We stayed local and went to Fratellis at Galgorm, you could drive a lot further and find no where as beautiful, we are lucky it’s right on our doorstep.
Nights out are not a regular occurrence but recently Colin and I have stole a few hours or evenings to ourselves, after years of being dedicated 100% to being mum and dad and the passed 4 years now I have been either pregnant or feeding and with that now winding down we are enjoying this fresh feeling of us, Colin and Anna (even though our conversations are 80% Bella and Annie).
On Friday evening we were kindly invited to come along to a preview evening of the 2 new Pizza Express stores in Belfast, Ballyhackamore and St Anne’s square. We started off at Bedford street for a drinks reception and starters and Colin bumped into The Belfast Food Blogger Conor who he played football with back in the day and his lovely wife Lauren. I always have the up most respect for food bloggers as I don’t know if I would have the self control to take a picture before I eat.
After the drinks reception we jumped onto a bus to take us to the next shop, Ballyhackamore which I loved! If I am honest chain restaurants normally aren’t what I would pick for a meal out but this was very unique, based on C S Lewis (as he was from the area) ‘ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe the decor was very quirky with books and wardrobes on the walls, the roof like a path and the tiles around the cooking area resembling snow flakes. I really am a sucker for these little details.
At this stop we got to sample the main courses that will be on the menu with a favourite of mine being the Pesto pasta and Colin’s was the pulled pork pizza. More drinks were served and the Chiefs taught some pizza tossing before we jumped back on the bus to St Anne’s.
At St Anne’s we were greeted with champagne and strawberries, the Ulster Orchestra and my weakness, dessert. St Anne’s is located in the beautiful Cathedral Quarter which is where we would head to if going out for a night in Belfast and I would definitely return here for dinner.
I made sure to try every dessert and didn’t let one pass, my favourite was the salted caramel cheese cake and I would highly recommend it, can we take my total lack of dessert pics as a sign of how good they were? The best thing about Pizza Express is that it caters perfectly for group meals with friends, for romantic nights and also family meals as on entering Bedford street I watched a waiter chat and play with a toddler in a high chair, recognising children and distracting them for a moment means a lot to parents venturing out for meals. We really enjoyed our evening out and hope to be sampling Pizza Expresses delights again soon.
On Saturday after a 5am start and busy day at work I got the privilege to look after my 3 week old niece overnight. ‘Any word of number 3?’ Is something I hear daily atm and to be honest I definitely encourage it as I swoon over every newborn, as much as I know we really don’t fancy a number 3 (or at least anytime soon) I thought it would give us a good feel of a night with 3. Well little miss Jorgie was a little gem, she slept like a baby (up hourly with the longest being 1 hour 35 minutes consecutive sleep) she fed, she burped, she cuddled and she looked so unbelievable adorable curled up with her head snuggled into my neck. I also had Bella and Annie tearing the hair out of each other (I wish I was joking!) over the smallest of things, it was a nice reminder that these little babies grow up and right now two head strong girls are enough for me to referee. I totally loved a night with a little newborn and I will always look back fondly with my pair but recently I heard an elderly lady say… ‘At some stage you need to stop having babies and start raising children’ and this felt very fitting for me, for now anyway.
Today we visited Donegore farm. It’s somewhere that Colin has mentioned a few times and when my sister in law was in picking up little Jorgie with her twin boys (the same age as Bella) we decided we would all give it a go.
It was a fabulous day out for the kids (and adults too) far better than any open farm I have been to before as the animals were just walking around us, there was an area for all the animals that was indoors (perfect for our unpredictable weather), pony treking, quad rides, digger area, hay bale jumping and a (very hilly) walk that brings you to a natural park.
The coffee shop was beautiful and served home made tray bakes and hot food. We spent 3 hours at the farm and we could have easily spent longer. If you are from the area I would definitely recommend giving it a go.
Hope you all have a fab week!