South Africa

I love travelling, a little too much! I’m already planning next years summer holidays, even though we said we’d take a year out!! I came across our itinerary for the South Africa trip we did a few years ago (with a 6 month old) and I thought someone might find it useful. The route was great – we went to Joburg first of all and then we did the Garden Route down to Cape Town. South Africa is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.. it’s absolutely amazing! Accommodation and food is so cheap, £7.00 for a three course meal and cocktails are £2.00! However, the closer you get to Cape Town the more expensive it gets! Below I have literally copied and pasted my planning from before we went, we didn’t end up doing all of the activities, so I have just ‘italics’ the ones we did actually do! We also did more activities once we got there, but of course I’ve forgotten some of the places. I, however, like having a basic plan and accommodation booked and then work around that! Just to note, we stayed in decent accommodation but definitely not fancy fancy places – apart from the safari!! I’ve also written a few comments down the side from what I can remember 🙂

Any questions feel free to get in touch!

Kate xxx




Things to do


11th Dec 2014

08:20 departure from Dublin

Get the lounge pass – as there is unlimited food/drink. Free wifi and a shower to freshen up in between flights.

12th Dec 2014

Arrive Joburg at 08:40



There’s no jet lag as there’s only 1/2 hours difference.

13th Dec 2014


Soweto and Apartheid Tour

This tour is definitely recommended – it took in the shanti towns and the Nelson Mandela Museum.

14th Dec 2014


Mangwanani Spa 

A really good/reasonably priced all day spa.

15th Dec 2014


Ivory Tree 

This place is a little more expensive but sooo amazing! Food is all inclusive – there is an outdoor shower (ha!) and the safaris are just out of this world! You also don’t need any vaccinations at this safari either.

16th Dec 2014

Ivory Tree

We also visited Sun City resort when we were here – it has a swimming pool, crocodile farm, rides etc.. 

17th Dec 2014

Fly to Port Elizabeth

Tsitsikamma Village Inn (£104)

Fifth Avenue Tours

Not the most amazing place to stay but central to everything.

18th Dec 2014

Tsitsikamma Village Inn


Storm River Suspension Bridge

Tsitsikamma National Park is so beautiful – and so nice to go and have a picnic at and a swim in the sea.

We also did the tree tops – which is zip lining through the forest.

19th Dec 2014


Candlewood Lodge

Robberg Nature Reserve for walks and scenery

This accommodation again was okay, clean and inexpensive, breakfast included. 

20th Dec 2014


Candlewood Lodge

Meerkat Adventures – de Zeekoe Reserve

Cango Caves

Bella Mia Pottery

Ostrich Farm

Rust & Vrede Waterfall

Cango Wildlife Ranch

Wilgewandel Hol Farm

From Knysa we travelled to Oudtshoorn and did the Cango Caves – worthwhile seeing, and the Cango Wildlife Ranch – we ate ostrich here! You can also ride an Ostrich at the Ostrich farm.. which we didn’t do.

Dinner at Olive Tree – YUM! However, all food is sooo good and sooo cheap! It’s honestly so, so fresh and every meal we had was delicious.

21st Dec 2014


Abalone £225


This is a beautiful hotel.. definitely recommend!!

22nd Dec 2014



Whale watching

White Shark Diving at Gaansbaii 

Depending on season you can watch the whales .. we didn’t see any!

23rd Dec 2014


Spier Hotel (£75)

This is an amazing hotel….. definitely recommend!! Lots of wine tours here and the scenery is fab!

24th Dec 2014

Cape Town

At V&A Waterfront

Cape Town is so beautiful, and I felt very at home! Christmas isn’t commercialised which is actually lovely, we barely saw a Christmas tree up and on Christmas Day everyone was outside eating and drinking and just loving life!

25th Dec 2014

Cape Town

City Lodge Pinelands

Table mountain

Aerial Cableway

Hop on hop off bus 


Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre

Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary

Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary

26th Dec 2014

Cape Town

Cape Point

Lions Head

Robyn Island

27th Dec 2014

Cape Town

Signal Hill

The castle of good hope

District 6 museum

Abseil Africa/Cape of Good Hope

28th Dec 2014

Fly to Joburg

It was cheaper for us to fly back to Joburg than to fly from Cape Town .. a bit of a pain but was grand, and I was just so excited to have seen SA!

29th Dec 2014

20:30 leave Joburg

30th December 2014

13:40 arrive in Dublin

Filled Under : Blog , General

A working mama – my life outside of the boutique

So I can 100% say I have settled into a working mum – I’ve got this! It’s only taken me 3 plus years, but here I am, I am loving work and loving having a work/life balance, something I’m so relieved/thankful that I have!

I have to get out of the house or it is a verrrrryyy long day, especially as my hubby works very long days and I’m usually up from 6! I have been trying to explore little old NI, so I decided to jot down a few of the places I have been, unfortunately some/a lot of them are weather permitting.. here’s praying for a few crisp dry Autumn days…

Pickie Park

Pickle Park is absolutely gorgeous in the summer months – it has a play park, a train ride, swans, a cafe (and Mauds!!) Also remember to bring your swimming cossie (for the summer months) as there are sprinklers for the kids to run in and out of.

The Gruffalo Trail 

This is some walk so be prepared, I haven’t invested in a double buggy pram as I keep thinking one will want to walk but in reality I end up carrying and pushing !! In my experience I didn’t feel completely comfortable as it’s quite covered and it was quiet when I went, so I would definitely recommend going with a friend in the day light – the book is also fab!

The Giants Lair 

My daughter is 3 and boy did she love this! She was mesmerised with the fairies and loved making up stories about what they were doing. There is also a play park and an ice cream van for the kids.

Streamvale Farm

We have visited lots of farms, and Streamvale really is hard to beat! Again, not a great time for this blog as Spring time is a great time to go (check out their opening times before heading). There’s so much to do though, whether that be playing shop, a go on the barrel ride, go karting, slides or feeding/petting the animals.

Castle Espie

This is one of the National Trusts little treasures. Castle Espie isn’t one place that is overly advertised but it is a great place for the kids. They love feeding the ducks, and watching the birds. There is also an in door play area – granted it is small but the kids will burn off some steam!


Newtownards kids paddling Pool

This is an 18″ pool with lots of toys for the kids to play with, it’s a small circle so you can sit around the side watching them (fully clothed) without worrying about their safety.


We have been to lots of play cafes but it’s hard to beat Funtastic, my husband thinks the food replicates that of a normal “adult restaurant” and I love that it is routinely cleaned (OCD alert)!! The activities are also perfectly sized for toddlers (I’ve been to some that the steps are too big for little people!)

Lisburn Leisure Plex

I have to be honest, it is more a Saturday morning activity with my hubby as he takes two toddlers swimming – rather him than me!! But the kids absolutely love it and they’re absolutely wrecked afterwards!

Mount Stewart 

Mount Stewart frequently have jazz events – in which the kids can run around, kick a ball, we can chill, then have a picnic and go for a walk afterwards.


Free childcare 3 years up – enough said.

Ulster Museum


There is much to do in Newcastle.. have a bbq, go to Tullymore Forest Park, have a Mauds, go on the Amusements, go on the swans…

Can’t beat a good old park .. Wallace Park // Lady Dixon Park // Delamont Park

For a coffee shop, Vic Ryn is hard to beat, there are lots of other kids (so you don’t need to worry if yours have a tantrum) and there is a dedicated play area with lots of toys for the children. It also has the most amazing scones and tray bakes, as well as lunch options!

Still on my list is:
Armagh Planetarium
C&Js Petting Farm
Steam train Downpatrick
Eden Pottery
Tayto Park
Slieve Donard / Titanic for visiting Santa

Also, keep an eye out on your local councils Facebook pages for specific events, we are going to:
Lisburn The Whispering wood in Hillsborough Forest 

If anyone has any others places, please let me know.. 

Next one will be wedding related.. I promise.

Love Kate

Filled Under : Blog , General


Real Bride Alert ➳ ➳ ➳

Can you tell that we are a little quieter this week? I am actually getting a chance to get caught up on paper work, and blogging… it’s a dream! When it comes to who we feature on our blog, it is literally down to right bride, right time, the lovely Rebecca sent me these images last week which was perfect timing as I have time this evening to do a blog! If you did buy your dress at Ivory & Pearl, we would ABSOLUTELY love to see it all come together! Ideally the professional photographs, send them to and we will keep adding real bride images here throughout the summer!

Back to Rebecca, she purchased the beautiful Eden by Claire Pettibone. However, unfortunately she had Breast Cancer, and had to go through nine surgeries in total, therefore she wanted to customise it a little to hide the scars on her back and side from her reconstruction! So…  she added sleeves, which look absolutely amazing, and is happy to say that she’s feeling fine and couldn’t be happier!!

Rebecca and her hubby married at Villa Cipressi, Varenna, Lake Como. You would never believe Rebecca looks 55, and she herself says especially considering what she’s been through, she doesn’t think she looks too bad. Well.. given what you have been through and at 55, we thinking you look blooming amazing!!! It also takes courage to wear a blue wedding dress on your wedding day, and we are so pleased you chose to push the boat out and wear a dress that was so different, you look absolutely gorgeous!

P.S. The headdress and Veil are from ‘ What Katy Did Next’ and the shoes were preloved ‘Emmy.’





Filled Under : Blog , Real Brides

Well look at us go, two blogs in one week! 

Today, we wanted to showcase one of our friends in the bridal industry, the lovely Sharon at Innocent Chaos! Before I opened Ivory & Pearl, I was in Avoca and they had this beautiful floral display above the shelves and I took a photograph and said to myself if I ever own a shop, I would like this kind of display! Roll on approx 2 years, and I had the shop but no display, but then at my third ever bridal fair.. who did I meet? Yes, Sharon. And what was her (then) job? Merchandising at Avoca. And yes you’ve guessed it she created the amazing floral display in Avoca, and a couple of months later I roped her into doing the floral display at Ivory & Pearl, and it is amazing!!! She is so talented, and sometimes I don’t think she realises how talented she actually is! I really enjoy chatting to her and seeing what else she has created. She can turn her hand to anything, so if you have big ideas, she’s one lady to go to! 

So here we go..

Who are you?

My name’s Sharon. I’m the creator of bridal accessories brand Innocent Chaos. I love flowers, cats (especially my fur baby Samuel George), reading, binge watching Netflix, eating pizza, travelling, pickles, yoga, dancing and festivals.

I can’t start my day without an earl grey tea. I drive a multi-coloured van covered in flowers, as you do! My guilty pleasure is Daniel O’Donnell (not his music; just him as a person).

I used to be a visual merchandiser so I have a constant urge to decorate my house and make it Pinterest-worthy. Current project; urban jungle bedroom.

I take a lot of my inspiration from my childhood growing up in the country, although I love the hustle and bustle of living in the city now. There’s nothing better than sitting in my garden with a glass of red (obviously), dreaming up new ideas and planning my next adventure.


What do you do and how did you end up there?

In such a competitive market, Innocent Chaos caters to brides that want something different, something they can keep long after their special day and something that really expresses their bridal style. We’ve been designing and creating luxury bridal accessories, festival headwear and bespoke jewellery in our cosy Belfast studio for nine years now.

After graduating with a First Class Honours in Fine and Applied Art with Textiles from the University of Ulster, I took the vision of being my own boss, working my own hours and having free creative reign to design a collection I could be proud of. In 2009, Innocent Chaos was selling in one shop in Belfast but decided to hit the road for the global market. Exhibiting at international trade fair, Top Drawer, Innocent Chaos quickly evolved overnight and all of a sudden, was selling to 65 shops worldwide including a boutique in Tokyo, the USA and many retailers across the UK. At the time they specialised in high street fashion jewellery, but now Innocent Chaos designs focus on the luxury bridal market.

What do you love most about your job?

I love waking up in the morning knowing that my day is going to be spent making beautiful accessories and creating a special part of someone’s wedding. Being my own boss has always been my dream so working at my own pace in my design studio is the perfect balance of creativity and freedom.

Would you recommend anywhere for brides to look for inspiration?

Pinterest is always number one for bridal inspiration; however, it can be an overwhelming platform for a newly engaged bride to venture onto. So why not check out Inspire magazine and Rock N Roll Bride for up-to-date trends.

What’s the best piece of advice you could give for brides on their wedding day?

Keep your wedding your own unique style and try not to mould yourself into other people’s traditional expectations. Stand your ground, remember it’s yours and your partners big day. Do what’s right for you! And don’t forget to have fun. Planning your wedding should be a special experience!

For top tips on not taking it all too seriously, check out Confetti Girls Youtube channel!

How can brides get in touch?

You can contact us via Facebook, Pinterest, or even through our Etsy store.



ivory & pearl interior 2.

Filled Under : Blog , Guest Bloggers

Real Bride Alert

Well it would appear we have been in hibernation! I need to get back into blogging, especially of our gorgeous brides! Believe it or not, in about 4 weeks time we get a little quieter, as all of our summer brides will have collected and may be even had their wedding day, so fingers crossed I will have more time to blog! 

Today we are kicking off our end of hibernation with Kate, who was an absolute delight to deal with! She had spied this Claire Pettibone dress before, and as soon as she put it on it looked amazing! Of course, we tried on other Claire Pettibone, to make sure it was the one but nothing compared! 

Kate brought her son and daughter to the fittings, and I have to say they were an absolute credit to her, they were so mannerly and just so delighted and happy for their mum that she was having her dream day! When Kate collected I had just had my baby boy, Jack and she bought me a beautiful framed poem “if” for him as her son had it too!

It’s been so nice looking through Kate’s photographs and seeing the little touches, the venue is Orange Tree which is one of my all time favourite venues as well! Thank you Kate for buying your dress at Ivory & Pearl, and telling your family and friends about us 🙂 

Kate’s hubby also owns Fresh Graphics, who I am getting some cards printed with at the moment, so if you need anything printed, check him out here: Fresh Graphics

I’ll be back … in the not too distant future!

Love Kate

Claire Pettibone Bride










Filled Under : Blog , Real Brides


1st Floor, The Georgian House, 14 The Square, Comber, Co. Down, BT23 5DT, N. Ireland