Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Five Mid-Term Deals for Teachers! (Lawd knows you deserve a break)

Spurred on by a message I received from a reader, who happens to be a school teacher, looking for recommendations for budget midterm breaks for couples, I gathered up 5 fantastic deals for 2 nights for 2 people for less than €100 in total.

5. County Arms Hotel, Birr, Offaly

Escapes.ie has an amazing deal on at the moment, €99 for 2 people for 2 nights B&B including a complimentary bottle of wine if you dine in their restaurant and full access to their leisure club. This beautiful family run Georgian country house hotel is set on 9 acres of landscaped gardens. 

There’s lots to do in the area should you choose to leave the stunning surroundings of the hotel such as a visit to Tullamore Dew, Birr Castle, a walk through Lough Borra Parklands or a hike up the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Whatever you decide to do you can rest assured you’ve gotten a real bargain!

See the deal HERE. 

4. The Wyatt Hotel, Westport, Mayo

Head over to pigsback.com to grab this deal while it’s still available, €89 for 2 nights B&B for 2 people sharing. Included in the offer is a host of extras such as a 2 for 1 deal on a future hotel stay at any Select Hotels of Ireland hotel, discounts in local shops, full access to Westport Leisure Park and late checkout. The Wyatt Hotel has recently undergone extensive refurbishment and upgrades so you‘ll be in the lap of luxury complete with a Nespresso machine in your room. 

The list of things to do in and around Westport is long and varied; you can cycle the Great Western Greenway, go on a cruise in Killary Harbour, hike up Craogh Patrick and visit Kylemore Abbey. Whether you choose to island hop in Clew Bay, visit the Céide Fields or do none of the above one thing is certain, you’ll fall in love with the scenery and come back relaxed and refreshed ready for the new school term.
3. Self-Catered Apartment, County Leitrim

Livingsocial.com currently has a great deal for a self-catering break to Carrick-on-Shannon, €89 for 2 people for 2 nights with an option to add up to 3 more people as these apartments sleep 5. Relax and unwind in one of the many coffee shops and bars in the area or if you’re more adventurous you could go sailing on the Shannon or take a ramble along the local nature trails.

Treat yo'self HERE.

2. Auburn Lodge, Ennis, Co Clare

Now this is what I call a deal from escapes.ie, 2 nights B&B for 2 people including a main course evening meal, full access to the leisure centre and late checkout all for the amazing price of just €99. You can spend your day chilling in the sauna, steam room, Jaccuzzi & pool or brush up on your history and visit the Burren a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

There are oodles of things to do in County Clare such as a trip to The Cliffs of Moher, visit the Ailwee Caves or a road trip to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park.

1. Benners Hotel, Tralee, Co Kerry

This 200 year old family run hotel is located in the heart of a medieval town. Benners is famous for its quality food and impeccable service. Groupon.ie has an offer of just €89 for 2 nights B&B for 2 people sharing with late checkout included. If you’re new to Groupon sign up and use code SAVE10 to save a further €10 on this already superb offer. 

Fans of Star Wars would particularly like this deal as it affords you the chance to visit Skellig Michael where the last movie was filmed. One of my favourite scenic road trips in Ireland is the Ring of Kerry which is easily accessible from Tralee.

Awaken your Force HERE.

These are travel bargains that
I have personally sourced on 
foot of a reader's request with 
neither input nor sponsorship from 
any of the hotels or agencies featured. 
All imagery sourced from official links provided. 

Friday, 23 September 2016

Imperium - Movie Review!

Who's In It?

Tracy Letts, Toni Collette, Sam Trammell,and Daniel Radcliffe

What's It About?

Nate Foster is an FBI agent sent undercover to infiltrate a skinhead gang and find info on missing nuclear material. As the tension amps up lines become blurred and loyalties are questioned. 

Any Good?

While watching this I got the feeling that the director had a change of vision halfway through shooting; for the first 40 minutes there's lots of KKK imagery, then, after he meets the gang leader, it just cuts to a normal movie.

What was more surprising to me was that the tension didn't come from Daniel Radcliffe with the other characters - almost to the point where they could have cut the FBI scenes entirely and put more undercover scenes in, only for the FBI to be a twist and it'd still work. The tension came from the fighting between the different white supremacist groups, and the supporting cast made the film shine.

Daniel Radcliffe himself was decent, but he kept doing the Radcliffe thing where he gets flustered, looks down and swings his arms which just reminded me too much of Harry Potter that it got weird. I will say though, what seemed to be his quick thinking when he was almost called out by people really felt genuine and was well done.

The stars for me were Chris Blackwell as the Aryan Brotherhood leader and Sam Trammell as a seemingly normal father who just, oh yeno, HAPPENS TO BE A RACIST TERRORIST. The scenes when the skinheads face off against the Aryan Brotherhood were fantastic, almost like they were about to start warring with each other at any moment.

There are absolutely no punches pulled in this, but I think my biggest complaint about the film was that there are some characters left unresolved. These could have been sorted with just one or two scenes where Nate speaks to them - the scenes with the kids however were very bizarre and incredibly well done; they go from talking about a tree house to 'hiding from the mud people' in a breath and really make you wonder if people are really like this (spoiler: of course they are).

I'd say that the film's ability to make you see these characters as people and not just scum is a testament to it's writing, and so is when you step back and find yourself thinking 'I didn't realise how bad it was while watching it'; and that terrorism isn't just ISIS or whatever middle-eastern group like most news reports recently.

One of my favourites of the year so far (if not just for some of the sweet jackets and docs featured).


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Lapland is the Trip of a Lifetime ~ Here's How to Do It on a Budget!


I’m so excited to even be writing this post as I’ve always wanted to take my kids to the North Pole but with 5 little ones it’s always been way out of budget; until now that is! Since I’ve upped my game in travel bargain hunting, I thought I’d go all out and price the ultimate trip. So, is it possible to visit Lapland on a budget? YES it is. I’ve been scouting around online for a while now looking for prices.

The best price I can find with a travel agent is €578pp for a DAY trip to Lapland, leaving Dublin at 7 am returning at 9 pm. Total cost for my family of 2 adults and 5 children would be €4,046. If I booked it all myself I got it down to €1,308 for 4 nights for the 7 of us including a trip to Helsinki to visit the Christmas Markets.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Monday's Moments ~ 19/09/16

Monday's Moments posts have been a scarcity of late, what with worry over Heidi & filling every hour sent with work but, you know what? I need to reset with a little gratitude. Here's what's chasing my Monday blues away today: 

1. THIS weekend interview with me RSVP Magazine online. 

2. Being caught out with the Dublin Bus strikes last week meaning I'd plenty of time to pop into The Woolen Mills on Liffey St to pick up a couple of Repeal the 8th tote bags for €5 each. 

Won't be without it now. 

3. Being appointed as the new Brand Ambassador for The Loop Duty Free! It couldn't be a better fit & I couldn't be more excited to get cracking. 

(To say thank you though, I'm paying the good luck forward & giving a little back - I've a luxury hamper up for grabs to celebrate HERE. Thanks, lads <3)

4. The new medication meaning Wagatha Christie is coming on leaps & bounds!!

5. The overwhelming support I've received on Snapchat this past fortnight; first when poor Heidi didn't look too good then when I lost a close work colleague this weekend. 

I had messages from people that hadn't been to mass in years but went to church to light a candle for Heidi, a young mum send on a greeting card her daughter had drawn & a huge number of  heartfelt & considered condolences this past weekend. 

Sometimes we take social media for granted but, hand on heart, each and every one of these messages was like a salve, like warm hugs from good friends when I needed them most. Yep, welling up typing this but if you were one of those kind messengers please know you've helped me through. Thank you. 

Tell me, what Moments mean you've no Monday Blues this week? 

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Things That Rustle My Jimmies

It's no secret the last couple of weeks have been pretty full on with Heidi Peep putting years on us. She could never rustle one of my jimmies though, not a single one - these shysters though?........

1. When PR companies forget to BCC press releases with a bajillion recipients. 

2. When inexperienced, HUGELY ENTITLED bloggers accidentally hit 'Reply All' with their demands...

3. Going to the wrong Dublin hotel because TOO MANY OF THEM start with D or M...

4. Taxi drivers that whinge about taking a short fare...

5. Casually ambling back down the docks on a summers evening, moseying into the Donut shop, ambling into the pizza place for takeaway then sauntering to the bus stop by 9.06 - 

Tell me, can you relate? What's been rustling your jimmies this week?