Sunday, 31 March 2013

Silent Sunday

Friday, 29 March 2013

Photo of the Week

This week my photo of the week is The Great Pollet Arch, which is situated on the shores of the Fanad Peninsula not far from Portsalon.

We took our monthly day trip there on Saturday. 

I think it is one of our hidden treasures here in Donegal and my picture doesn't really do it the justice it deserves because it truly is a spectacular place!

We went here on Saturday on our family day trip. It was extremely hard to find and the weather was unbelievable.

This picture was taken on the side of a cliff as we could not make it onto the beach to get a proper shot.

I am petrified of heights and the only one of us to actually get down and take a picture so that in itself is a triumph and I'm very chuffed with myself!

This is a magnificent example of a sea arch, carved by the mighty force of the Atlantic Ocean.

Eventually through the passing of time and erosion the roof of this arch will collapse leaving a pair of gigantic sea stacks.

Fanad Day Out 2013 159 (2)

I'm joining in with Team Lloyd's Photo of the week, pop over and check it out here.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Day Trip to Fanad Head and Portsalon

In February I posted that this year one of the things we would be doing together as a family was to take a monthly day trip to spend time together and to play the tourist at home. I want to visit places that I have either never been to or simply haven't been to for ages.

On Saturday we braved the cold and blustery weather and set off on an adventure north of the County to Fanad Head and Portsalon. 

What prompted this was a recent TV advertisement featuring the beautiful Fanad Lighthouse. Having lived in Donegal all my life I have never been to the Lighthouse. We also decided to take in the Great Pollet Arch in Portsalon, which not only was somewhere I've never been to but I hadn't actually ever heard of it. I found it by chance when looking for directions to the Lighthouse!

I have to admit that the weather was atrocious, we had snow and gales on Friday and I didn't think that we would get away at all. It was snowing slightly when we set off and we were wrapped up like Eskimos.

We drove by the Harry Blaney Bridge and took in the views around us - snowy topped mountains and Mulroy Bay.

It took a while to find the actual Lighthouse itself but my God it was definitely worth the visit. I'm sure there was gale force winds at the top of Fanad Head but we didn't care the views were stunning.

The Little Fella was wrapped up in the car and slept most of the time, it wouldn't have been wise to take him out. Check out his not very impressed face below!

Fanad Lighthouse first lit up on March 17th 1817. Early in 1978 the Assistant Keeper was transferred making the station a Principal Keeper station. On the retirement of the Principal Keeper on 30th September 1983 the station was re-classified as an Attendant station.

It most certainly is wild and beautiful and if you ever visit Donegal I would say put this on your to do list for sure.

Next stop was Portsalon and a spot of lunch. We had some lovely food in Sally's Restaurant, the seafood chowder is the best I've had and the view from the restaurant overlooks the beautiful Portsalon beach, even on the day that was in it you could appreciate the beauty.

Then we set off to look for the Pollet Arch. Now, we had great fun looking for this, we drove round in circles and were told we were mad to even think about going near it.

Undeterred we pressed on and found it, to me words cannot really describe this place but breathtaking kinda sums it up. I must add that my Teen refused to get out of the car as we were basically on top of a cliff so whilst she took care of the Little Fella the rest of us took off with cameras at the ready.
All in all we had a great day out, plenty of fantastic photo opportunities - something I must get better at! We argued about directions, we laughed, we climbed over walls, through fields and down a cliff or two and The Little Fella could be heard giggling loads in the back of the car being entertained by his big brother and sister!

Totally weather beaten and exhausted we slept really well on Saturday night the effects of all that Atlantic Sea air and I'm really looking forward to our next day out.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Wednesday Fashion Spot

For this week's fashion spot I'm bringing you a few bits and pieces I picked up last week in New Look.

I love New Look and so does my daughter.

It's great to be able to head off, leave the boys at home and get some much needed girl time and retail therapy.

There are some lovely pieces in New Look at the minute and something to suit everyone, check them out here. 

I've wanted a denim shirt for ages but put off buying one when I was pregnant. I really like this dark denim one which can be dressed up or down easily.

I love scarves and this one will give my wardrobe a much needed springtime boost!

Lastly these are my favourite purchase - tan peep toe heels. I love the cut out design and they will be a great finishing touch to many outfits this spring!

 I haven't really worn heels so much since the Little Fella arrived so I'm going to change that over Easter!

View album

I did not receive any of the above items or any compensation for writing this post and all opinions are honest and my own.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Tuesdays Kitchen - Homemade Curry

This is a simple curry that can be used with chicken, lamb, beef, vegetables or prawns. Since I've been off on maternity I have more time to experiment with food and try out different recipes. I know there are great recipes out there for great curries but this is super easy and no fussing.

I don't think I would go out and buy a jar of curry sauce now that I've tried to make my own and it's not too shabby!! You can mix up different spices to find the ones that suit you best but this is my mix and is a firm family favourite.

If you haven't tried to do this before give it a go now, there's nothing like the glorious smell of spices throughout the kitchen - it's so comforting especially in this cold weather!


* 4 Chicken fillets (or whatever meat you are using)
* 1 onion
* 2 cloves garlic
* 2 teaspoons chilli powder
* 2 teaspoons garam masala
* 2 teaspoons curry powder
* 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
* 1 can coconut milk (300ml)
(you can add a can of chopped tomatoes with a small amount of water or chicken stock if you want to omit the coconut milk)

1.  Peel and slice the onion finely.
2.  Peel and crush the garlic.
3.  Cut the chicken into strips.
4.  Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy saucepan, add the chicken. Once this is browned off remove to a side plate.
5. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and fry for about 2/3 minutes.                                                       
6. Add the chicken back in along with the garam masala, chilli powder, tomato ketchup and stir for another minute.
7. Pour in the full can of coconut milk and bring to the boil.
8. Let this simmer for a further 20 minutes until the sauce is nice and creamy and season to taste.

Serve with boiled rice and freshly chopped coriander.
As with most curries this will be even nicer if left overnight to let all the flavours infuse.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Photo of the Week

This week's photo of the week is the Clocktower Building, Ebrington Barracks in the City of Derry. 

As Monday was a Bank Holiday here in Ireland we decided to take a drive and go out for dinner. We parked up at the Ebrington Barracks and walked from there over the Peace Bridge and along the Quay.

It was bitterly cold but still a beautiful evening with the family. I love strolling and just chatting away about anything and everything with the children.

Brief history: The Barracks was built in 1841 and the Foundation Stone was laid on 26th July. The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Viscount Ebrington named it Ebrington Barracks on Queen Victoria's birthday. It started out as a Naval base and was the main anti submarine training centre for the British Navy before being handed over to the British Army.

The Barracks has recently been renovated and transformed into a tourist attraction. It now connects to the city centre via the Peace Bridge and will host a number of events during the city's time as UK City of Culture 2013.  

It's steeped in history and a great place to visit and wander around. 

I'm joining in with Team Lloyd's Photo of the week, pop over and check it out here.

Celebrating a Half Birthday

On Monday our Little Fella was 6 months old and in another half year we will celebrate his first birthday. Time really does fly past us. 

We're not actually making a big deal of this but it's nice to be able to record it here on my blog. I think now I can stop counting how many weeks he is and move onto months.

Six months have passed so quickly, our Little Fella has brought so much happiness to our home and we cannot imagine life without him.

Beautiful smile, always giggling, big blue eyes that are full of sparkle, we love you xxx

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Easter Bonnet

It's so hard to believe that it's time to make the Easter Bonnet for the school parade this Friday. I'm really looking forward to this year's because I wasn't able to get off work last year to see it. 
Funny how when boys get a little bit older that the straw hat or the hat that you just make up yourself from cardboard or whatever to have about just doesn't cut it anymore. Girls are definitely easier to please on this matter, in my opinion.
This year, we didn't want something that looked like a girls bonnet, or something that a baby would wear, so my Inbetweener and myself went shopping last week to get what we needed. 
In the end it was much easier than I had thought because he chose a brown cowboy hat and was simply delighted with it, now all we had to do was make it into an Easter Bonnet!!
We finished it in record time last night, great bit of teamwork and a very happy boy - job well done!