May: The Best Of.

Hello everyone!

It’s so hard to believe that May is over. What a month! It’s been so busy hence the lack of blog posts however behind the scenes I have been busy working on some lovely blogs that I will be sharing with you all super duper soon! I’ve been working full time in my day job which obviously takes up most (if not all) of my time. I have also started back to personal training after my year off, I won’t go into detail as but if you are interested I am going to the lovely Shannon Reynolds at Scott McGarry Health and Fitness in Ahoghill.

So enough of the chat, on to the good stuff.

Best of the Noms

Okay, it’s no lie… I like my food! This month there were some eats that I just have to mention.

Our local coffee shop (Middletown) holds craft beer and supper night every so often and we were so incredibly lucky to bag some tickets for the latest one.

This time round it was a Thai themed cuisine with local craft beers paired with each course. Take a lookie at this for a menu!

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It reads well, but tasted even better.

Keep an eye out if you are from the local area for the next supper night… I might even see you there!

I had another lovely dinner on an evening out with our good friends Alison and Aidan (who have set a date for their wedding, all of the yays!). We went to The Barking Dog for dinner which was lovely but it was dessert and cocktails at Miel et Moi that really was the highlight of the evening!

Miel et Moi is a little licensed Patisserie on the Lisburn Road in Belfast that do yummy cocktails and even yummier patisserie. We got a little selection of goodies to share paired with a French Martini for me with everyone else opting for a G&T.

To be perfectly honest, I feel this the kind of place you would go with your girlfriends for a catch up and cake but the boys enjoyed it too (I think!).

Best of the Outfits

It hasn’t really been a month of dressing up really but I did love Alison’s and I’s outfits when we went out for dinner.

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Skirt: Miss Selfridge

Top: Topshop

Shoes Similar here

Bag: Christian Louboutin

Best of The Day Trips

Every May brings Balmoral Show and for those who aren’t familiar with Balmoral, it’s a huge agricultural show. I always look forward to it as I have been going to it with my Mum and Dad for as long as I can remember. When I was younger I participated in a number of Young Farmers competitions, mainly for floral art which is where my love of flowers sprung from I suppose!

It’s not all tractors and welly boots as I sense you drifting off… It’s jam packed full of local food, crafts, gardening ideas, entertainment and then some! In true noob form I didn’t take any photos, but take my word for it, it’s a great day out!

Best of the Pretty Things

As some of you may know I’m a brand rep for La De Da Living and I just cant get enough of their stuff. My favourite items this month are the hand stamped star and salad servers. You can get 15% off  on the La De Da Living website website with code ‘brandrep2’. Keep an eye out on my Instagram for more exciting pieces to come!

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I got a pretty print from Bill & Coo a while back but never got around to putting it into a frame. I did a little bit of shuffling about of prints and pictures this month and so here it is in all it’s glory! If you fancy a peep at Bill & Coo’s work work you can find it here!

Best of the Rest

I’m only going to mention this briefly as I spoken about it before but magazine in which my home was featured (eekkkk!) was published this month. If you fancy a look for yourself, it’s called Northern Ireland Homes and Lifestyle.

Thank you to everyone who tagged me in photos or sent me a snapchat with the mag and for all of the lovely comments I have received about it! Interiors are my passion so it was just lovely and humbling to be featured!

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That was May and so what has June in store I hear you ask? So far lots of plans with friends, hopefully some down time and no doubt a few surprises thrown in for good measure!

Have a great one you guys!

Much Love,

Judy xo

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April: The Best Of

April is normally a busy month for me with a number of family and friends birthdays but this year I had another birthday to add to the mix which was my Blog Birthday! I have to admit I didn’t make a big deal about it as I wasn’t sure how to make the occasion…giveaway in May anyone??

There were a number of nice things that happened in April but starting back to work full time unfortunately wasn’t one of them. It was and still is, a shock to the system, however I am grateful to be back to a normal routine.

I apologise for not doing a “Best of March” blog post but I think I covered the creme de la creme of the month in rounding up our holiday to NYC and I am pretty sure I brought you all up to speed in those posts!

Best Of The Memories

This April my Aunt hit a milestone Birthday and there was no better way to celebrate it than afternoon tea at the Merchant Hotel. The Merchant holds so many happy memories for me as we’ve had some lovely times there such as my Sister’s wedding, my own wedding,  Valentines Day spa breaks and birthday dinners and brunches in the Jazz Bar so it’s always exciting to  get to celebrate another special occasion there.

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After my Aunt’s birthday a couple of weeks flew past and then boom, it was my Birthday. I am heading rather swiftly towards my 30s (sometimes it feels a bit more swiftly than I would like).  Unfortunately, I had to work on my actual Birthday (Note to Self: Book it off next year) but we celebrated at the weekend instead with dinner and cocktails at Neptune & Prawn on the North Coast which is fast becoming one of my favourite spots.

Any birthday wouldn’t be complete without some prezzies. You know those occasions when hubby gets it right? Well, say hello to my new Christian Louboutin clutch. An instant classic and a bag I will reach for again and again, day or night.

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Isn’t it a beauty?

Although big presents are lovely, it’s the little things that really make the day special.

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Hubby surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of Sweet Avalanche roses delivered to me at the office. These were the flowers that I had on my wedding day and are forever my favourites.

Talking about weddings it was our 2 year wedding anniversary on the 24th April, I have already blogged about what we got up to. you can catch up  here.

Best Of The Outfits

I had a few outfits which I loved this month. My favourite purchase was a classic navy blazer, it’s my personal highlight from the range ‘Archive By Alexa at Marks & Spencer’. I have lusted after this blazer since I spotted it on a press release a few months a go and it hasn’t disappointed! You can purchase it online here.

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‘That coat again?’ I hear you ask… no joke I am in love with my blush pink Topshop truster. Its pastel hue just promises of fresh sunny spring days. It works great with my 9-5 or combined jeans and converse at the weekend and I just flipping love it. True story.

Best of The Rest

Every so often you come across a cupcake that rocks your world. How lucky am I that a friend of mine makes said cupcakes! Not only does she make them super fluffy and light but she’s also got a serious knack for decorating them too. You know who you are!

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I had the absolute joy of attending a Benefit make up master class in Moore’s of Coleraine. (please pardon how awful I look as I rolled in after a long day at work). We were shown a gorgeous make up look and how to recreate it at home. I picked up some amazing tips on how to use some of the products and even made a few sneaky purchases.

How glamorous is Amy Lou Faulkner btw?? I had to be a fan girl and get a photo.

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So what has May got to offer? Well there is the excitement of having my home getting featured in a local interiors magazine as well as a few dinner dates on the cards and maybe even a surprise or two. Until next month…

Much Love,

Judy xo

Irish Blogger | NI Bloggers | Belfast Bloggers | Blogger Northern Ireland

Two For Joy

Although I have been married to Mr S for two years it feels a lot longer.  People always say, ‘when you get older time speeds up’ which is true, but why? Is it because we are busier? Are we not living in the moment as much? I honestly feel someone has flipped a switch and put things in hyper speed!

How things have changed! I’m not just talking hairstyles 🙂

To mark the special occasion we had a mini break away to Killinchy in County Down Northern Ireland. Having had wonderful recommendations from family it seemed like the perfect chance to break away from ‘normal life’ for a night.

We started our day off on Saturday with a coffee and lunch at The Pocket in Belfast, just perfectly perched in front of Queens University, such a gorgeous little spot. I had the three mint tea which was super nice and Mr S was impressed with the coffee.

A perfect mix between quirky and cute with unbelievable toasties to boot.

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Sufficiently fed and watered for our road trip to Co. Down, off we embarked on the rest of our adventure and arrived at The Mill at Balloo which is nestled in a gorgeous little village which is on the way to Strangford lough and somewhere near Killinchy.

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The Mill is a family run B&B and the couple who own it are some of the  friendliest hosts I have ever met. Paul the owner showed us to the ‘River Room’ and after a friendly conversation left us to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. So after taking some photos for this blog we sat by the river, soaked up the sun and relaxed.

For dinner that evening we went to ‘Upstairs at The Balloo‘ which is a bit of a special treat and one I was thoroughly looking forward to.

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We had three courses including an amuse-bouche which was all so yummy that not a morsel was left. Unfortunately I was too busy enjoying my food and a few glasses of champagne to remember to take snaps. You will just have to visit and try it for yourself 🙂

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It was such a lovely relaxed atmosphere, the waiting staff were were chatty and after dinner we talked by the fire and finished off our drinks before heading to our home for the night. The B&B is within walking distance of the restaurant and takes about 5 minutes, maybe a bit longer if you decide to wear heels!

The next day we ate our hearty cooked breakfast, bid farewell to the lovely surroundings and hosts and off we went on our travels.

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The first on the itinerary was Scrabo Tower.

As you can see from the clouds, the rain was coming in fast so we were no sooner down before the heavens opened and our day of outdoor pursuits quickly changed to indoor ones so we went for a quick walk around St Georges Market in Belfast and then off to Established in Cathedral Quarter in Belfast for second breakfast 🙂

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These my friends are rice pudding pancakes with blueberry and rhubarb compote, candied almonds and lemon mascarpone. Wow, that was a sentence and a half! Needless to say they were polished off in minutes and washed down with a delicious coffee. I have to admit Established do a pretty awesome brunch.

Pondering about what to do next, we googled to see what was on in The Mac. A few exhibitions were closing that day so we dodged the rain showers on the short walk from Established and into one of my favourite places in the city.

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I just love the exhibitions they present and it is so lovely to get a little slice of culture in Belfast.

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Having filled our hearts with happiness and memories to cherish we made the trip home to our furry son Hugo and enter back into reality.

Until our next adventure..

Much Love, Judy

Irish Blogger | NI Bloggers | Belfast Bloggers | Blogger Northern Ireland

French Vintage Vie, Living the Vintage Dream.

For lovers of all things French, Vintage and Stylish this blog post is for you!

Happy Weekend Frenchies!

You all know by know by now, my love for all things French and stylish, so imagine my joy when I stumbled upon the most amazing shop! I was suggested French Vintage Vie on Twitter and knew that it was somewhere I had to plan a visit for a much needed trip out of the house!

Some of the beautiful items! I particularly love the blue vintage vase.
Some of the beautiful unique, one of a kind items! I particularly love the blue vintage jug, the linens, the Louis chairs, the shutters…who am I kidding I love it all!!

I had to be seriously restrained as there were so many unique antiques which Louise the owner hand picks from all over France. I could visualise so many of the items in my house, that is the best thing about French furniture it is so versatile it fits in perfectly to every decor!

If you are after a particular piece of furniture, or even a knick-knack Louise will do her best to source this from her trips, and by using her contacts in France. Her next trip is in September so if you have anything in mind you should get in touch!

Ok, so I wanted to share with you some of my favourites from the shop below:

This chair is just divine, how elegant would this look in a hall (my hall ;) ) as a centre piece. Also look at that box!!
This chair is just divine, how elegant would this look in a hall (my hall 😉 ) as a centre piece. Also look at that box, such a perfect size.
Mixing painted and wooden pieces is the best way to add interest and texture into your home. Over the past few years we have religiously painted everything in sight with chalk paint, mix and match is where its at!
Mixing painted and wooden pieces is the best way to add interest and texture into your home. Over the past few years we have religiously painted everything in sight with chalk paint, mix and match is where it’s at! This would work in any style of home.
What make me so excited about everything in French Vintage Vie is the story. Louise makes a little note of where everything was sourced and from where. I have proclaimed my love for this jug above, as you can see its from Toulouse!
What make me so excited about everything in French Vintage Vie is the story. Louise makes a little note of where everything was sourced and from which part of France. I have proclaimed my love for this jug above, as you can see it’s from Toulouse! Hmm, this belongs on my dresser!

Okay so I know you are wondering if I bought anything and of course the answer is…yes! Of course I didn’t leave empty handed 🙂 As I was limited to what I could carry, i opted for a piece which instantly spoke to me.

Tada! When I looked at this picture taken by Louise on her buying trips, the ornate, weathered and stylish charm spoke to me. It matches in with my modern/country/french home perfectly. I just need Mr S to hang it up for me!!
Tada! When I looked at this picture taken by Louise on one her buying trips, the ornate, weathered charm of these doors spoke to me. It matches in with my modern/country/french home perfectly. I just need Mr S to hang it up for me. This picture was taken in Normandy, sigh, take me there please!

I hope you enjoyed my favourite picks from French Vintage Vie! If you want to check them out you can find all the details on their website here. Their shop is just a flavour of what they do, and as mentioned previously if there is anything you are looking for, pop in to Louise and she will keep an eye out on her next trip, dream job right?

Much Love,

Judy xo

Belfast Photo Fringe: James Moreton

My brother in law James is currently displaying some of his photography in the Belfast Photo Fringe in the Titanic quarter as part of the Belfast photo festival which is running throughout the month of June.

His collection that’s currently on display is ‘288 Days’ which is a documentation of my sisters pregnancy. 

I love James’ eye for the more obscure photo and really captures the excitement, trials, the reality of pregnancy and the reflection on what fatherhood may entail. I personally think this is a lovely personal memento as well as an insight for the onlooker.

  
   For more of James work, his website and blog is:

http://www.jamesmoreton.photo

For more information on Belfast Photo Festival:

http://www.belfastphotofestival.com

Much love,

Judy xo

Sunday Vibes: St George’s Market.

Ah bank holiday weekends how I love you so! Knowing you have that extra day on Monday to chill, just makes the weekend so much sweeter!

Today Hubby and I went to Belfast for the Sunday market at St George’s Market. For those who aren’t familiar it’s the last covered Victorian market in Belfast, and also won best large indoor market 2014 in the UK! 

It runs Friday- Sunday and you can find art, crafts, farmers market, food stalls, traditional music and all of it is local to Northern Ireland! It also doubles as a music venue, I think over the years I’ve seen a few bands, the only one I can think of off the top of my head is Death Cab For Cutie.

 

(L-R) locally sourced fruit and veg, seafood (dulse is seaweed my fave!!), local artist and birds eye view of the market.
It’s fantastic for a walk and a look around the vintage stalls for little treasures, but I wasn’t so lucky today.

 So today’s food adventures…

Suki Tea (made in belfast), cupcakes from lilypink bakery and for brunch we had an ulster fry 😋
 

Ok, let’s get a few things straight, the Ulster fry is the best fry ever. I don’t have them very often but oh they are yummy! What’s different with an Ulster Fry is the potato bread (fadge in local language) vegetable roll, soda bread and black pudding. You won’t get all of this together anywhere else but Ulster!! 

Belfast is such a great city, and one I feel gets sidestepped a bit because of the history, but I have to say it’s one of the best cities I have been to!

 

Samson and Goliath the famous ship building cranes.
If anyone would like to know more about Belfast or where to go in Northern Ireland i would be happy to help! 

Much love,

Judy xo