Easter Tuesday Daytrip to Exploris Aquarium, Portaferry, Northern Ireland

 

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Spot the sea creature that looks like one of those darn Rainbow Loom, elastic band bracelets.

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I did a picture 

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So did my husband.

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Grumpy, hungry face

Grumpy, hungry face

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We then took the ferry across to Strangford to try to get fish & chips for lunch. Nowhere open. Drove to Killyleagh. Nowhere open. Now I realise everyone needs a holiday, but with dozens of families on day trips, an open chippy within the 30 mile radius of the ports could have made a killing. We tried Saintfield, nope, on to Comber, just a KFC style place with no seats. We eventually found a chip shop open in Ards, about ten miles from home. Poor show South Down!

We did go for a dander in Killyleagh to try and find somewhere open, and so our son could visit the castle which is used for the exterior shots in CBBC's Dani's Castle.

 

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Cadbury Easter Egg Trails All Over the UK this Weekend. We Took Up the Quest at Mount Stewart.

We are just back from a lovely day out at Mount Stewart, one of the National Trust's Northern Irish properties. This long weekend, all over the UK, Cadbury are holding Easter egg trails, and you can find your nearest trail here.

We had a lot of fun. The trail costs £1 on top of National Trust admission. Your child receives a special Cadbury Passport, a Safari hat, and on completion of the trail each child gets an egg. 

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Mini Hunter S Thompson

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This is a 'stop taking photos and get on with the trail' face.

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Michael with his egg

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We brought a picnic, but there is also a small restaurant/cafe at the property.

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On the way home to Bangor we cut across the peninsula and stopped in Donaghadee for a paddle and to share a parcel of chips. Perfect day.

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Cinnamon Waffle Chocolate & Free Personalisation of Easter Eggs from Thorntons

Thorntons are known for their luxury Continental selection, but in our household they are also known for the yearly chocolate bunny my Dad still buys my brother & I to this day, with our names decorating them. Thorntons Easter Eggs all include free personalisation in store, but you can also place an order online to receive some Easter treats this week.

These basic eggs are suitable for all the family and are only £3 online, with a further 20% off this weekend.  All can be personalised for free.

 

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If you desire something a little fancier, these toffee and fudge eggs are only £5 online.

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And how about a raspberry cheesecake egg? Or cookies & cream, or cinnamon waffle? Chocolate connoisseurs can also pick up a banofee flavoured egg, all with 20% off right now.

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If you have lots of family to buy for, the Thorntons site has special, money saving collections of eggs, one of which is down from £40 to £20 at the moment.

We Had a Picnic in the Middle of Ikea, Belfast

Last night Ikea Belfast invited local interiors' press and bloggers for a nosy round their new collections. We viewed their relaunched kitchen department which has been completely overhauled worldwide for the first time in ten years. Don't fret if you already have an Ikea kitchen however, your 25 year guarantee still stands.

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You know I love plant walls, and here is one I might be able to keep looking alive- because it's plastic!

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The PS collection is now in store and looks great.

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I really want one of these satiny fish cushions to complete a nautical bedroom.

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The Brakig collection is also still in stock and has proved very popular. It includes my favourite mint green.

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Our evening finished with a picnic in the newly launched Spring/Summer garden collection. We had milkshakes and pick n mix.

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Thanks to Jeff from Belfast Times for this photograph.

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Today We Went on the Strangford Sea Safari

The folks at NITB had asked me would we like to take part in one of the activities this Adventure Weekend. With me being unwell I couldn't see us canoeing, and with the little man being aged six we couldn't choose the Segways at Titanic, so we opted for the Sea Safari at Strangford, with it's promise of being suitable for ages 3 - 103!

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The Safari departs from a little pier to the left of the main ferry dock on the Strangford side. I would allow approx. an hour to drive there from Belfast, and although you book ahead and the guide waits as long as possible for late comers, there is a cut off point and we set off five minutes late after waiting for the other group to arrive. 

We left plenty of time to get there and arrived 45 mins early and had a picnic, so as we weren't in any rush. The town also has pubs and fish & chip shops should you want to tuck into something warm before your trip. 

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Little Michael was a bit nervous at first, but the guide made us all feel at ease and it's easy to see the boat isn't exactly a rickety rowing job, it's a safe speed boat and even going high speeds you feel completely safe.

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Fifteen minutes before departure you'll be given an extra coat and life jacket. I was just wearing a tshirt on the drive down, but I wore my cardigan, wool duffel coat AND the coat they provided and still felt the chill. Make sure you wrap up and wear decent footwear in case you get wet.

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The Safari takes you out seaward first, past birds and seals to a lighthouse where you have a view of the mountains of Mourne. I couldn't take many photos as I was holding tight to Michael, but if you are a photographer there are plenty of chances to get unique shots from the sea.

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You also witness these crazy whirlpools, formed by a cliff face below the lough. For Game of Thrones fans, you get to see some of the outdoor filming locations from the sea, pretty impressive photos to bring home to show your friends and make them jealous!

After 45 mins of zipping around the lough, the guide does some pretty impressive doughnuts with the boat (the boys seem to love this bit) and then it's back ashore.

The guys also do Belfast Sea Safaris, so for information on booking a trip for your family, or any other of the outdoor activities in the area, get in contact with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board at 

http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/

 

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Is This The Most Peculiar Theme for a Birthday Cake Ever?

Perhaps not. I can think of a few reasons why a pill themed cake could be apt. For a trainee doctor, Facebook withdrawal tablets for the addict in your life, or a blue Viagra cake for a cheeky joke on an older relative (a tad embarrassing if it's a family party though).

This post is also to check in with my PR friends and let you know I AM getting better, just slowly. I have lots of fun blog posts waiting to be put together such as Hot Wheels, a Water Bottle which tracks your consumption, a big Heatons' NI competition to win £75 to spend in store and some wonderful, hand-made fuzzy cards.

But for now: Cakes! 

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