Surprise 70th Birthday Party in Hugh McCann’s, Newcastle

Surprise birthday party Hugh McCanns - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

A few weeks ago we celebrated my mum’s 70th Birthday in Hugh McCann’s, Newcastle.  We worked so hard to make sure the party was kept a complete surprise, and the reaction of Retta on the day proved that all the hard work was worth it.  From early on I knew I wanted a vintage chic theme and I knew that the beautiful, boutique style interior of Hugh McCann’s would be perfect.  We booked an upstairs section of Hugh McCann’s that overlooks the stunning promenade and sea views in Newcastle.  This just added to the charm and character of the room and made the venue even more special as we sat down with family and friends to enjoy the 70th Birthday meal.

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8 Steps To Making A Terrarium

Making a Terrarium - Pikalily Food Travel Lifestyle Blog

Terrariums are really on trend at the minute, they seem to be everywhere, but often they come with a large price tag.  A more cost effective approach is to make your own, and better still it’s really easy to do, we created two terrariums in less than an hour.  Terrariums are great for anyone who is a little less green-fingered than the average person as they create their own little micro system and they are easy to maintain. Check out our video below on a step-by-step guide to making your own terrarium.

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A magical evening of Duvet Dining with TK Maxx

Duvet Dining TK Maxx - Pikalily Food Travel Lifestyle BlogLast week we were invited to a very quirky and magical event hosted by TK Maxx at The Treehouse in Belfast.  The invite was really intriguing with the hashtags #DuvetDining and #RidiculousPossibilities, along with the promise of a seven course dining experience created by Chef Gizzi Erskine, and we were hooked!

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Escaping the Euros with a Spa package at Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle

ESPA Slieve Donard Hotel Spa - Pikalily Food Travel Lifestyle Blog

As many of you know, Nial is football mad.  So as you can guess, with coverage of the Euros being everywhere at the minute, football is on the television in our house daily.  Sometimes even twice a day!  As I’m sure you have gathered from previous blog posts, I am not a fan, I can watch the odd game but there is a limit to how many minutes I can dedicate to football before I start to feel queasy…

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Designing Our Own Wedding Cake

Designing Our Wedding Cake - Pikalily Food Blog

For 10 years now I have been designing and creating cakes for friends and family. Having made several wedding cakes previously, I couldn’t wait for the day when I could actually sit down and design my own, although I already had a fair idea in my head of the style I wanted. In all honesty, I probably began sketching the cake design the day after we got engaged!

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Cute ways to re-use jar candles

Tips for reuse candles - Pikalily Lifestyle Blog

If you’re anything like me then you’ll love the atmospheric lighting that candles bring, not to mention the endless options of fragrance! Jar candles are hugely popular but so many people throw out the jars once the candles are finished. The jars are a really pretty shape and have so much potential. They are great for storing small things like hair bands, jewellery, buttons and cotton wool buds. They are also great for displaying little curios, sweets and dried flowers and take very little effort to achieve.

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Getting to know Broighter Gold

Broighter Gold Interview - Pikalily Food Blog

The latest of our NI Year of Food and Drink interviews is with Limavady family based rapeseed oil producers, Broighter Gold.  Broighter Gold is owned by Richard & Leona Kane, who discovered the rapeseed oil by accident one evening 10 years ago when they ran out of olive oil while making the evening tea.  Read on as Leona talks a little bit more about Broighter Gold below.

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Live LAGOM – A 3 Month Update

IKEA Live LAGOM Storage Containers - Pikalily Blog

We’re now 3 months into our Live Lagom project and it’s time for a little update. Our big focus during the project was to reduce the amount of food we waste on a weekly basis, and to also look at upcycling old furniture that we have stored in our shed. Over the last 3 months the biggest push for us has been on managing food waste. We’ve been trying to keep a closer eye on what we are buying (not always as successfully as we would like), and more importantly, what we are making for our daily meals. We discuss our progress a little further below.

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Easter Sunday DIY Chocolate Decorating Fun

Easter Chocolate Fun - Pikalily Food Blog

As we’ve grown older, the excitement of Easter has gone from counting eggs to counting days off work.  With many houses around the country coming down with chocolate and Easter eggs over the next few days, why not get a little bit creative in the kitchen and make your own Easter chocolate creation.  Like most Easter’s, we welcome family to our home in Newcastle, and this year is no exception.  With young kids running about the place, still high from the sugar rush of their Easter chocolate hunt, finding activities to do on Easter Sunday can sometimes be a bit of a challenge.  This year, we’ve got just the solution for you.

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6 Great Easter egg buys at M&S


Easter Eggs at M&S - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

We were recently invited along by Marks and Spencers to check out their fabulous range of Easter Eggs and it’s safe to say we were blown away by how exceptional these eggs looked.  With something for everyone, including limited edition eggs, M&S really have mastered the feel of luxurious chocolate eggs for the Easter season.  Read below to find out 6 of our favourites, and be sure to watch the video at the end to see just how much effort has gone into crafting these little marvels.

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