Friday, 19 September 2014

4 Days with the Doctor

So, it's been 2 episodes since my last look at the new Doctor, and honestly I still have no opinion on him at all - that seems to be the most apt description of my feelings towards him so far.



Robot of Sherwood:

This episode had me say one thing afterwards that I never thought I would about a TV show - it was FUN. I've always loved Robin Hood as a character, so seeing him played as a small screen equivalent of Cary Elwes' Men In Tights Robin was brilliant.

I was a bit eh coming into this due to it being the stereotypical Doctor Who filler episode like that cowboy one that are usually bad, but way too quick for my liking I found myself laughing at everything and hoping for more Robin and Doctor scenes. The arguments between the two were hilarious and for once I got a true Doctor feeling from Capaldi.

The story has some ridiculous points and the Doctor's doubt grated on me a bit, but that's how he is and it felt well performed. Some scenes were brilliant, and the script is pretty great making it truly fun, exciting and a little cheesy - what I really miss from the Russell T. Davies era.

Even for it being the second episode in four to feature robots for some reason, this has by far been my favourite episode since the Day of the Moon or A Good Man Goes To War  episodes of Season 6.




Listen:

Following up the brilliance that was Robot of Sherwood would be a big act, and Listen did pretty damn well considering. Now, while it didn't interest me much, it did have a bit more of an insight into Danny Pink's life and the way it was written felt really Timey-Wimey Travelly-Wavelly - even if the TARDIS can be powered by anyone's thoughts now..

I felt the story is a bit too slow to start to really drag you in, but the implications could be HUGE! The episode begins with a monologue about the thing listening to you when you talk alone that you only see in the corner of your eye - remind you of any certain The Scream lookalikes eh? And thank GOD for once this story actually completes itself in a neat little loop - it felt pretty fantastic!

I feel Capaldi took a step back from his performance in Robot of Sherwood with this, he wasn't particularly funny or interesting, more of the attempt at menacing he's been trying since Enter the Dalek. However, Carla was pretty sassy (for want of a better word), recalling why I loved later Amy - taking no messing from anyone INCLUDING the Doctor.


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Things That Rustle My Jimmies


Deeep breaths, post the gifs, chuckle at the gifs, feel the sweet release. Screw you, jimmie rustlers, screw you!

1. Getting the Lift With Someone 
Just Off Their Smoke Break


2. When Someone Suddenly Decides 
to Make a Toast


3. Parents That Drive Able Bodied 
Teenagers to School 


4. The Blue Screen of Death


5. Not Knowing Where The Loos Are At Events


See? Instant unrustling, instant calm.

Tell us, what's been rustling your jimmies this week then? 


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Things I'm Trialling ft Charlotte Tilbury, Clarins, CND, Essie, Garnier, L'Occitane & Urban Decay


1. Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray: €25.40 Here

For the longest time the only setting spray I'd ever use was Thermal Spring Water and even then that was a rarity. You see if I've a full day or evening ahead, I'll use a primer (another rarity) and think no more about it. This All Nighter setting spray from Urban Decay has changed my mind about that entirely. 

The fine mist contains Temperature Control Technology, so not only does it hold my full face in place but I manage to avoid the unavoidable sweats in this hoomid indian summer. I don't use it every day but when I do, it does exactly what it says on the buidéal. 

2. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow: €65 Here


Can we just take a minute? Just. One. Minute. I know we're reaching peak saturation on Charlotte Tilbury blog posts but if I were to tell you that this Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette has actually overtaken my obsesh with the Hourglass Ambient Light would you allow it? 

Forget Lion King scary contour lines and Kim K attempts at shading warpaint, this, THIS is what will give you that effortless contoured look with just a couple of sweeps. The matte Sculpt shade is my perfect shading colour and the champagne Highlight is the buildable highlighter of my dreams. Truly, I've worn BB cream, this and mascara and been told I've never looked better twice this week alone. It. Is. Love. 

3. L'Occitane Whipped Body Cream: €22 Launches Oct


This whipped shea body cream reminds me of exactly that, whipped cream. Whipped cream with a comforting scent of some seriously spendy Sudocrem. Don't for an instant think I mean that as a bad thing, this sumptuous whipped shea butter melts into the skin like no other butter I've used but the scent is unmistakably Sudo.  

For 25 years, L'Occitane have used shea butter from the women's co-operatives of Burkina Faso. The inspiration for this mousse like body cream came from the ladies themselves in their production of the butter. Deceptively rich, despite its light weight appearance, this has been playing a blinder in cocooning my skin before bed this week. A luxurious delight. 

4. CND Vinylux: Open Road Collection: €11.95 Each from Selected Salons 

One of the original gel effect polishes, without the need for lamps, CND have captured transitional autumnal shades beautifully with their Open Road collection. Always my choice of polish when it comes to holidays, because even I don't want to be fickle when sunning myself, it's a long lasting beaut. 

CND promise 7 days chip free once you skip the basecoat and use the topcoat correctly but truth be told I can never get more than 5 from my mani. Then again I am notoriously hard on my nails. Of Open Road, Clay Canyon HERE and Sage Scarf are by far the standouts to me. There just aren't polish shades like them in the nail varnish world right now. Love. 

5. Essie Fall '14: €9.99 Selected Irish Pharmacies


We know I love my Essie, right? It takes a serious collection to make me leave Summer shades behind without a backward glance and Essie Fall '14 is exactly that to me. 

These rich cream shades are pretty unassuming when you line them up but once you get them on the nail KABLAMMO instant autumnal fabulousness. Expect to see a hell of a lot more nail shots in the coming weeks. That's a promise. 

6. Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette: €41 Here

Clarins Ladylike collection for AW '14 is exactly that, subtle, effortlessly chic and ladylike. I had already fallen head over heels with the dewy True Radiance foundation, this mineral palette has just reinforced my love for the back to basics look for this season. 

All colours can be worn wet or dry, I find I prefer dry for the day time, as each shade is soft and blendable regardless. Of an evening though, with a dampened shadow brush, you can kick the intensity right up with these shadows. I'll have a full low down but do please stop by the Clarins counter and swatch these babies for yourself. Stunners. 

7. Garnier BB+Blur: £8.66 Here



When asked for my BB recommendations I will invariably go back to the original Garnier BB cream. No muss, no fuss, just a genuinely decent BB that gives a soft, semi sheer finish. Fast forward 2 years and past the introduction of Garniers show stopping 5 Second Perfect Blur primer and you have a hybrid many will want to rush out and buy. 

This BB iteration is everything the original was and then some, a big some, a Perfect Blur some. The addition of the blurring product sends this BB right to the top of my recommendation list. Even skin tone and blurred out fine lines for the entire day, without ever feeling heavy or mask like on the skin make Garnier BB+Blur a stonking great hit for me. 

8. Clarins Rouge Eclat in Pink Magnolia: €23 Here


Another winner from the Ladylike collection is the Rouge Eclat lippies. 5 new flattering shades provide soft, shiny colour with hydration not seen in other lipsticks that last quite this long. 

From delicate peaches right through to a rich red, there's something in this collection for everyone. Formulated with 100% plant waxes, such as jojoba and sunflower, you'll feel the hydration on your lips, without the need to reapply every hour. I'm a firm believer that everyone should own a Clarins lippie, just to see what €23 really should buy you when it comes to quality. This seems like the perfect collection to test your toe if you haven't yet. 

9. Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon: Bronzed Garnet - Colour Morphing Eye Shadow Pencil: €25 Here

We finish up with another Charlotte Tilbury product, the Colour Chameleon in Bronzed Garnet. I can't tell you how thrilled I was to receive this, I mean the swatch had me drooling for dayyyz. I love the idea of shadow sticks, the notion that one swipe and 30 seconds later you're out the door with multi faceted lids makes me very giddy indeed. You can imagine then the sadsies when Bronzed Garnet just didn't work for me as a shadow in that way. 

I don't have particularly greasy lids, in fact it's a rarity that I ever use lid primer, unless I'm looking to change a shadows depth or spend a night on the tiles but Bronzed Garnet just refused to stay put on its own. When used over primer I had better luck but, to me, using this as a base for the shadow palettes is where this stick comes into its own. 

The multi dimensional look I can achieve with this as a base for Golden Goddess had me double taking at myself! All that and this kicks actual ass as a liner, think Smashbox Shadow Liner level awesomeness and you're about right. I am bereft that Bronzed Garnet wasn't what I expected but given its deft at other uses, I'll definitely be picking up a shade or two more. 


Tell us, have you tried any of these products? Agree? Disagree? Wanna hear more? 


The Wednesday Chattery - Beauty Products You Can't Wait For?


Something is coming, something that has me stupidly excited like only a beauty product can - IT'S AN ILLNESS, OK?!

That something is this: 


The Hourglass Ambient Lighting BLUSH palette! Just look at at, no look, you're not looking!! I get a leeedle bit manic about products like this, my love for the Ambient Lighting powder palette knows no bounds so you can see why this is making my wanty hand itch, right? She's set to land in late October and that's just not soon enough for me! 

Today my question is thus: what's coming that has you just as peachy keen? The new Lorac Mega palette? The Urban Decay Vice palette? Do tell, we can obsess together...

Let's chat!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A City Break Within a City Break That Still Won't Break The Bank - Milan, Italy & St. Moritz, Switzerland



I’m a firm believer that if you're going to travel you might as well make the most of it! Most places we go, I try to see if we can do a day trip to another city or country close by, just as we did at the Christmas markets. Oh how I envy those mainland Europeans with their ridiculously close neighbours and their affordable public transport. 


Duomo – Milan Cathedral

I was cooped up in hospital for 4 weeks while pregnant, the consultant eventually told me I could do with a change of scenery for a few days, he may have meant for me to go home, but I took him quite literally and jumped straight onto AerLingus.com

I booked return flights to Milan Linate airport for a 5 day relaxing break. The price was surprisingly good that close to travel time, only €110pp.  From Linate Airport we got the Urban Line bus 73 to Milan city centre, journey time is 10 minutes & costs €1.50pp.


Milan City Centre

The Best Western Astoria Hotel had a great deal on at the time. We paid a total of €440 for 5 nights B&B for a double room. It’s a lovely hotel with really friendly staff located 15 minutes on tram 16 from Milan City Centre & a couple of stops further out is San Siro stadium. The rooms were fairly small but the huge array of fresh foods at breakfast more than made up for that.

There are fabulous affordable restaurants surrounding the hotel & one in particular right across the road. When they saw I was pregnant they couldn’t have been nicer. Everything that was cooked in the kitchen they brought me a little side plate to taste! We paid €24 for our meal including a carafe of house wine for my Husband. We returned most nights as the food, hospitality and prices were unbeatable.


Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Shopping Centre

We got a hop on hop off bus the first day we were in Milan so we could familiarise ourselves with the city. We spent €24pp for a 24 hour ticket with a further 24 hours free. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the world’s oldest shopping centres, construction started in 1865. Today it houses some of the most expensive designer shops in Milan, so great for window shopping! 

Here you’ll also find Duomo Cathedral, a stunning building that took 579 years to complete. We simply had to pay a visit as you can walk around the rooftop terraces & take in the amazing views over Milan. €12pp to gain access via lift & €7pp to use the stairs, you know we got the lift!

Just around the corner is the museum of Natural History and entry is free so we took a stroll around for a look & we weren't disappointed. They have every animal you can think of on display. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon. 

While on a ramble back to the main square we stopped off for loo break & a cold drink. BIG mistake, the loo was a hole in the ground, it was impossible for me to go as I couldn’t bend that much without toppling over! Also they charged €6 yes €6 for a can of coke!


Terraces on Duomo

I regularly use Viator.com to see what’s to see & do in a city before I travel & it gives me great info on that can be done or where you can visit in the surrounding area on a day trip. Then I google the details to see if I can get it cheaper using public transport. 

As this particular day trip was to a different country I just went ahead & booked it through Viator, we paid €120pp for a 12 hour day trip to St. Moritz in Switzerland through the Swiss Alps on the Bernina Express train.


“Little Red Train” Bernina Rail Tour

Pick up is from central Milan - Sforza Castle at 7am, we just jumped on the tram outside our hotel & got to the Castle in less than 15 minutes. (You do need to bring your passport with you & if you are not a citizen of the E.U. a visa.) 

From here you are transported to the train station at the foothills of the Alps in a coach with an English speaking guide who points out places of interest along the way.


We couldn’t believe the colour of this glacial lake.

Due to traffic on the day, our coach missed the express train. We later found out that this was very lucky for us as the express has a glass roof which means the windows can’t be lowered. imagine the swelterings!? Just 10 minutes later we were boarded on an older train & on our merry way. 

The 2.5 hour journey took us through some stunning scenery the likes of which I’ve never seen before or since. We passed through the UNESCO World Heritage listed route of the Bernina Pass.

Stunning Alpine Valleys and Lakes - (Yodeling Optional)

After the 7,330ft climb onboard the Little Red Train you have an hour and a half to explore the gorgeous village of St. Moritz. It’s the highest peak of the eastern Alps & described as one of the world’s most famous, elegant & exclusive holiday resorts.
St. Moritz - Switzerland

After a leisurely ramble around the village we bought gifts (for me!) in one of the artisan chocolate shops. We took advantage of the “Champagne Climate” as the sun shines on average 322 days a year & stopped for lunch alfresco. 

I was pleasantly surprised when the bill came as it wasn’t as expensive as I would have thought for such a chic & stylish restaurant. We paid €50 for our lunch which is on par with a decent restaurant in Dublin. 

Unfortunately we didn’t get the train back down as the day trip includes a 3.5 hour, sometimes heart stopping, coach ride back to Milan on the twists & turns of the Alps.


Glacial Lake in Engadin

It was straight back to hospital for me after we landed for a further 2 week stay, with only my Alpine dreams to comfort me. Hell, it was better than spending my weeks reprieve watching daytime TV, eating a Toblerone, right? 

Have you been to Milan or St. Moritz? Please share any hints or tips you have, we'll definitely be going back. 

Or, have you ever been on holliers in one place and skirted off somewhere else while there?