Friday, 5 February 2016

Goosebumps - Movie Review

Who's In It?


What's It About?
Zach believes his new neighbour is abusing his daughter and sneaks into their house to rescue her. After accidentally opening a locked book, he discovers his Neighbour is R.L. Stine and his locked Goosebumps manuscripts release the monsters into the real world.

Any Good?

I remember growing up with Goosebumps, reading the books in primary school then watching the show because Are You Afraid of the Dark was too scary for me. I'm delighted to say that the film really captured the feel of the (pretty bad looking back) tv show with a bit more comedy.

The movie is pure cheese (as was the show, which is on Netflix!), but the monsters themselves looked great - in a B movie way. It's not that the monsters were bad, they were actually fantastically animated in both design and movement; but they were obviously designed for 3D in some scenes and it gives them a weird look.

I'd mentally blocked out Slappy for YEARS

The cast actually is made up of younger people which surprised me, because the main character who's my age (20) looks about 30. The younger characters were just the usual teenage movie actors, but I really liked Jack Black as R.L. Stine and Slappy. He was mostly himself as R.L. Stine, but as Slappy he did his best Joker impression to remind me how much that doll freaked me out.

I'd been cautiously optimistic when I first read about this movie a few years back, but I really enjoyed it. It opens as a bit like Fright Night, but becomes it's own as the film goes on. It's a great B-style movie which I had a lot of fun with, I'd recommend it for new kids and people who grew up with the series. 


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Revealing the Secrets of Secret Hotels!

I’ve been booking loads of hotels around Ireland lately as my husband’s new job requires a lot of travel. While using the usual booking sites to find the best rates and I’ve come across “Secret Hotels” on They’ll give you a description of the secret hotel and tell you it’s at a better rate, sometimes up to 45% off regular rates. But you won’t know the exact hotel until after you’ve booked. Well I’ve figured out the secret about secret hotels. Thus taking the mystery out of it before I click “book” so I can make an informed decision as to whether I’m making a great saving or not; I'm all about calling out travel 'bargains' that aren't bargains at all.

With a little detective work you’ll most likely find the name of the hotel. First thing to do is keep an eye on the url as sometimes the hotel name will pop up there. If it doesn’t Google is your friend, simply copy the description of the hotel and do a general google search. This either gives you the name of the hotel or narrows down your search significantly.

Ssssh.... it's a secret locaysh!

If you still have a couple of possibilities you can then use the description to triangulate using Google maps, for instance, they’ll usually tell you if it’s within walking distance of a landmark or near a certain restaurant. 

Eeeee - it's a mysteryyyyy

I was searching for a hotel in Belfast last week when I was offered a “Top Secret Hotel” Modern 4-Star Hotel In Belfast City Centre**** I Googled the description and came up with a handful of hotels so by method of deduction, I worked out that it’s the Clayton Hotel as they have a pool. There was only a Euro or so price difference between and (UK site). I’d say this was just due to currency conversion.

Which hotel were we staying in here? WHO KNOWS?!

By going direct with the hotel getting their “best available rate room only” it was €223.39(£169.32) as a secret hotel room only it was £135 (€178.11) so I made a saving of €45.28. My only reason for using the UK site to book was that I also Google searched for a promo code for lastminute.comand found one giving me a further £5 (€6.60) off but it would only work on the UK site and not the Irish site. I made a total saving of €51.88 for my husband’s 2 night stay.

I have to laugh though as I made the saving for my husband’s company not for us as it’s all on expenses. This budgeting and bargain hunting obsession I have is an illness!

Ahoo, where could this be?

Stone Travel Detective Work REVEALS...

Here are a few more hotels I have worked out using the steps above:

Trendy 4-Star City Centre Hotel with a Plush Spa**** Malmaison Birmingham

Historic 4-Star Hotel, with Contemporary Style, in the Centre of Belfast**** Malmaison Belfast

Iconic 5-Star Hotel in Southern Amsterdam***** Hilton Amsterdam

Modern 4-Star Hotel Near 3Arena**** Clayton Hotel, Cardiff Lane

Centrally Located 3-Star Hotel near Trinity College Dublin*** O’Callaghan Mont Clare

Great Hotel in the Heart of Dublin*** Maldron Hotel Pearse Street

Wonderful and Convenient 4-star Hotel near the River Liffey**** The Ashling Hotel

Lively Hotel Right in the Heart of Temple Bar*** Temple Bar Hotel

Have you ever booked a Secret Hotel? How was it?

Monday, 1 February 2016

Monday's Moments ~ 01/02/16

I've just about calmed down enough to get our Monday's Moments post back on track and back in their rightful home. If you're not familiar with the concept, and I'm guessing with the new influx of peeps (*waves maniacally*) some of you might not be - these are Monday's Moments. Where I give a nod, a wink and many, many thanks for little and LARGE things that have happened the week before - meaning there's no such thing as Monday blues 'round these parts. It's so cathartic and you should definitely try it!

Anywho, in no particular order of deadliness this week, we have: 

1. Being interviewed by the Sunday Business Post as one of the country's leading bloggers on the clarifications from the ASAI about non declaring of sponsored posts. I'm so thrilled that they got the tone just right too. In every answer I reiterated that we are one of the most influential and vocal online communities there are, there's a real strength in that and when we recognise and utilise it we're pretty unstoppable. 

2. My baby boy reaching 20 years of age. Two decades. I can no longer say I have teenage sons because, well, I don't. It's all very weird and very exciting, just like every single year of the past twenty have been. We're definitely lying about our age from here on in though, just FYIsies. 

3. Getting the call from Debenhams on Friday evening to ask what I'd be wearing on the tellybox on Monday! When I replied that I hadn't a notion they promptly invited me in to see the wardrobe WIZARD that is Mairead! I can't tell you how grateful I am to be treated with such kindness & generosity; I CAN tell you that Mairead is the same Mairead that got me into a two piece when I hadn't worn a two piece since I was 9 years of age. Let's face it, I needed the help!

4. My debut on the TV3 Midday panel! I'm currently pinching myself that I've been given the opportunity and trying not to well up, while scrolling through the most supportive texts, tweets, facebook posts and Snaps. The girls made me feel so at home from the minute I arrived so it's quite literally a blur. This is deadly. You're all deadly. Just deadly.  

5. Our beloved Pops getting the final all clear from his Oncologist last week! It's been a long road and I know many others aren't half as lucky but the universe has given us something incredible. The universe and the hard work & dedication of every single health care worker, nurse, doctor & surgeon that Dad had the good fortune to be cared for by. Thanks will never be enough for every one of them. 

So tell us, what's going on in your world? 

What Moments mean you're forgoing Monday blues altogether? 

Friday, 29 January 2016

Things That Rustle My Jimmies

Oh hello, Friday, the temporary home of unrustling of the jimmies! I was full sure I could manage a week without using the magic salve of gifs to reduce the feelings of stabbiness - I was full sure wrong. 

In no particular order of gickness, the things that are rustling my jimmies this week: 

1. 4 rolls of sellotape being used on every lipstick in Boots. I know the alternative is multi-coloured CARNAGE on the shelves 
but there has to be a better way!

2. The fact that the more water I drink, the thirstier I get. What's that about? 
It's not like I don't have the humps for storage!

3. That in 2016 Tampax wrappers still sound like you're wrestling open a bag of share size Maltesers in a silent cinema WITH BOXING GLOVES ON!

4. Pulling out the charger of your phone in the morning and realising it wasn't plugged into the wall AT ALL!

5. Having photos taken for the newspaper and not being able to shake the Chandler Bing smile...


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

Point Break - Movie Review

Who's In It?

Luke BraceyEdgar Ramirez and Ray Winstone

What's It About?
Johnny Utah is an ex-motocross star turned FBI agent who infiltrates a group of extreme sports criminals committing stunts to avoid arrest.

Any Good?
The film opens on an overly-long dirtbike scene (I was late to my seat and it still dragged on a few minutes too long) and it was from there I realised this remake was 15 years too late.

The premise of the original was Johnny Utah joins a group of surfers in the early 90's - perfect time for a surfing movie because extreme sports were a thing then. It seems no-one told the writers of the remake that extreme sports all but died in the early 2000's, because the entire film feels like a "Hey Teens! Look at us be hip!" board meeting.

She looks like a heroin addict!

The criminals remind me of Homer Simpson when he decided he was a hippy, made up to look dirty all the time - even when getting out of water for some reason. Their mission is to "give back" for the waves they surf and other radical things, but it just comes off as ridiculous when they're partying on giant boats and buildings carved into mountains.

The film isn't necessarily awful, it's just so out of touch with the demographic at which it's aimed that it just comes off as awkward. The criminals are also idiots and their daring heists look like hair brained schemes when they sky the contents. The scenery could have wowed if not for the omnipresent grey filter, but there was some genuinely unnerving shots involving huge mountains that just about pull back some credit. It's ridiculous, but not a bad time killer movie.