Friday, August 29, 2014

If I Stay - Movie Review

Warning - DON'T watch the full trailers, they spoil EVERYTHING!

Who's in it?


What's it about?

On a snowy day trip to her grandparents, Mia Hall and her family are involved in a serious car crash which leaves Mia's 'soul' wandering the hospital and her memories trying to find a reason to wake up from the coma she was left in.

Disregard the cruel comment from USA Today

Any Good?

For the first 10-20 minutes you'll be convinced this is just The Lovely Bones mixed with a bad teen romance novel, but stick around and you get some truly great scenes.

I went to see this with my good friend (and music journalist) Ally, and one thing we could agree on was that it was pretty generic until certain parts - namely the Grandfather scenes. We both were dry-eyed most of the film until that incredibly well acted character comes on screen, then the flood gates let loose and she bawwled, while I gurned like Lt. Aldo Raine - totally manly.


                           Yep, just like this

Aside from the totally BAWLsome grandfather, the rest of the characters in the film really grow on you. Chloë Grace Moretz does her part dutifully - that's about all I can really say there. Her boyfriend Adam (Blackley) however, is something pretty special. Listening to him just sounds like generic boyband douche boyfriend, but if you watch his face you'll see some incredible acting just from facial expressions alone - quite odd yet impressive. Mia's best friend Kim also has a scene with the most natural looking emotion I've ever seen - you'll know it when you see it, it's unmissable.

While it may look like just another teen romance, there are some truly brilliant scenes that are both beautiful and heart-wrenching. One point I brought up to Ally is that Adam's band is hyped up to be The Sex Pistols but when they play it's The Kooks - all the way to Adam basically becoming Jack Johnson. Seriously though, if you feel bored by it, just hang on - If I Stay has some pretty lofty high points as opposed to it's mainly just average bulk.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Things That Rustles My Jimmies

You came here for rustled jimmies - here they be: 

1. People That Wield Brollies Like Weapons

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2. Realising My Water Bottle Has Been 
Open In My Bag All Along

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3. Now Having To Switch On The Lights 
In The Morning

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4. Leaving the Pub Just In Time To See 
The Last Bus Bloster By
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5. Cursing Toddlers
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C'est ca! My jimmies are once again ready for the week ahead. 
Tell us, what's been rustling yours? It's cathartic. Swear. 

The Thursday Chattery - Wholesome Food Blog Recommendations Please?

I've mentioned that I took a serious look at the way I've been eating a couple of months back. Not only has taking the time to consider my food choices meant changes in my weight and shape but my health, both mental and physical is unrecognisable from just a few months ago. 

In the pursuit of healthier, more wholesome food options I've been visiting a couple of sites and I'd love your suggestions to add to that list. My top five right now are: 


1. Deliciously Ella Ella Woodward has literally fed herself back to health with delicious, natural foods. Her site, instagram and youtube are things of inspirational foodie beauty. Not a day goes by that I don't have a potter through her recipes. 


2. Nom Nom Paleo With a New York Times best selling cookbook and a passion for wholesome, nutritious food, Michelle Tam is a gal I'd very much like to be pals with. Hell anyone with their own action figure is on that list. Her site is a work of art and her knowledge of good food a joy to behold. 


3. The Nourishing Gourmet  Kimi Harris is a published author, a young mum and a serious lover of nutritious whole foods to feed your body and soul. Her site focuses on eating well on a budget, an ideal choice for those starting out (me) and those feeding a family (also me). 


4. The Pioneer Woman Meanwhile back on the ranch, literally, there aren't enough superlatives to communicate my love for Ree Drummond. Her site, her humour, her awesome photo skillz and her passionate embrace of hearty, healthy food. Scoot over there and fall in love with her, her food and her life.

5. Donal Skehan  Our cheeky chappy Donal's site is always one I'll pop by when I'm in need of a little dinner inspo. I love that his recipes include bright and simple to follow youtube vids. Nope, it's not strictly healthy eating but the majority of his food is natural, wholesome and easy peasy to put together. Those that aren't can be tinkered with. Isn't that half the fun? All that and his photography is tuh die fuh!

See any of your faves? Got any to add? I'd especially love some recs for Irish blogs? 

Let's Chat!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Wednesday Chattery: Does Being Blonde Make a Difference?

I had the opportunity, as I often do, to catch up with a fellow blogging pal, Laura Kennedy, at a beauty event yesterday evening. We had a really interesting mini chat about how your hair affects the way people perceive/treat you. 

Our conversation was based on her having her glorious flowing extensions removed (initial post here) (follow up post here) and how she felt people perceived her with much longer hair. I empathised entirely as I had knee length blonde hair until I was 22. It does strange things to people. Seriously. 

It draws exponentially more attention. People want to touch your hair and almost feel they have a right to run their fingers through it or want you to wear it down so they can see it. It's the oddest thing. I absolutely noticed a difference in interactions with friends, family (AND strangers) once I had shorter hair and Laura did too. We can't both be crazy. 

Funny timing had this vid pop up from Buzzfeed at the same time, not so much about longer hair but about blonde versus dark and it's very interesting: 

My question is thus: Do people act differently towards you when your hair is different? Have you switched from light to dark and noticed a change? Long to short? 
Perhaps you've lightened up your locks and saw a difference? 

Let's Chat!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

**WIN** €100 To Splurge On The New Look Cloud 10 Beauty!

The gorgeous peeps over at Irish site Cloud 10 Beauty, home of the lightening fast delivery and kick ass customer service, have had a swanky new makeover and we've teamed up with 'em to celebrate that fact. 

How would you fancy ONE HUNDRED large ones to spend as you see fit? Peruse the shiny new virtual aisles, pick and choose your indulgence and check out guilt free? Or maybe take advantage of the great deals on site and start your seasonal shopping early? - with this voucher the world is your lobster. 

As ever entry is easy peasy, just input your info into the widget below and you're in. 
T&C's included.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Michael Collins Unofficial Trail In The Unofficial Capital - Cork

Our 6 year old son Seamus is Michael Collins mad, he simply loves him & is eager for any & all information about the man that he can get. Last Christmas while trying to explain to him about people not believing in the same God nor believing in Christmas he piped up that he only believes in three: Michael Collins, God & Johnny Cash are his Holy Trinity!!

I met my husband while we were both serving in the 7th Field Artillery Regiment in McKee Barracks way back in 1997. We are both interested in Irish military history, especially the 1916 Rising so that might explain where he first got to learn of Michael Collins.

Earlier this year we watched a documentary on RTE, aired as part of the Great Irish Journeys series. John Creedon retraced the Big Fella’s last 24 hours in Cork. Seamus was so wowed by this that we decided we had to do it ourselves to show him first hand.

Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery West Cork

We stayed in a fabulous family run 3* hotel in West Cork on the Wild Atlantic Way. This was an ideal base for visiting Clonakilty & further afield. We found out that Michael Collins’ parents are buried in the graveyard that’s just behind the hotel, so our trail started earlier than we had expected. 

My daughters decided that we should visit & bring some flowers. The Celtic Ross is brilliant for children as they have a pool & kids club to keep the little ones entertained. Druid’s restaurant serves fresh local produce, specialising in seafood, you can dine overlooking Rosscarbery bay. They offer rates from as little as €31.50pp B&B off season. Children (4-12 yrs) are €12 each B&B.
Our Little Fella with the Big Fella, Clonakilty, West Cork

Michael Collins attended school in & lived in Clonakilty for a couple of years. The house is currently undergoing renovations so you can’t get in at the moment but there is a large statue of Collins in the town centre. 

Tim & Dolores Crowley opened a heritage centre dedicated to Collins on their farm in 2000. They now run trails from the Michael Collins Centre in Castleview Clonakilty. Unfortunately it was not open when we were passing so we will be back for that! We have heard that it’s well worth a visit. For bookings or inquiries call 023 8846107.

Woodfield, Sam’s Cross, West Cork

Woodfield is the birthplace of Michael Collins, it’s hard to find but we managed! Coming from Clonakilty out to Lisavaird go through the village & take the first right heading south & you’ll see a brown tourist signpost directing you. 

The house itself is no longer standing as it was burned by the British Crown Forces in 1921. Although you can still see its footprint & the chimney tops. The barns at the back, into which family moved when the house was burned down, are still standing. It’s such a peaceful & tranquil place I can see why he loved it so much.

Blackcurrant & Tayto all round! Four All's, Sam’s Cross, West Cork

On that faithful day August 22nd 1922 Michael Collins & his men met with his family in the Four All’s, which was owned by his uncle Jeremiah Collins.  It’s a stones throw from his birthplace. 

If you make it to Woodfield be sure to pop into the Four All's as you are always assured of a warm welcome. While we were there Seamus wanted to see the old sign that hung over the door when Michael last visited as he had seen John Creedon with it. The barman was lovely & brought us out to the back of the bar to show us.

On the way back to our hotel that evening we took a trek out to Beál na mBláth but there was torrential rain so we couldn't get out for any pictures. 

It was difficult to find but the best way is to head there from the Macroom – Cork road. There is a monument at the side of the road & it’s a plenty big road to pull in.

The Imperial Hotel, South Mall, Cork City

Michael Collins spent his last night in the Imperial Hotel in Cork, it’s very sad to see that the only reminder is a painting & small plaque on the wall in the lobby. The suite that he slept in has since been remodelled into three bedrooms so you can’t see where he slept. 

We had stayed in the Imperial Hotel without the children previously & once you can find your room it’s lovely! The thermal suite is amazing & we spent hours there.

Arthur Mayne’s, Pembroke Street, Cork

If you happen to find yourself in Cork City I can’t recommend enough the food (especially the spiced beef sandwich) in Arthur Mayne’s just beside the Imperial Hotel. 

It’s a gorgeous wine bar with a huge suntrap of a beer garden out the back. Oh & they are one of only a handful of places in Cork that open for Sunday brunch (!). They have recently opened a sister bar in Donnybrook, Dublin. We haven’t had a chance to visit yet but the food will be every bit as tasty their Chef has relocated to Dublin.

Collins Barracks, Cork City

didn't know this but there is a museum in Collins Barracks with a room dedicated to Michael Collins. Guess it’s handy having a hubby in the know! They have a lot of Michael Collins’ personal belongings such as his leather overcoat, his pistols & his medal from the War of Independence. 

Also the first makeshift cross that was erected at the ambush site in Beál na mBláth. The Big Fella’s writing bureau is also there, I can only imagine the letters he would be writing today, if he was still with us. The curator Jim Horgan keeps everything in pristine condition. The museum is open to the public 10am- 1pm Monday, Wednesday & Friday, entry is free of charge

Munster Arms Hotel (formerly Lees Hotel) Bandon, Co Cork

Last stop on our Michael Collins trail is the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon, this was also Michael Collins’ last stop as he came here to attend a meeting & rally the local Free State Troops before heading back to Cork City via Beál na mBláth. At this stage most of the bridges & roads in the area were either blown or blocked by the IRA. 

It’s here, in the lobby that hangs the last known photograph of General Michael Collins. Yes, Seamus gives the thumbs up in every photo!

Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

We recently attended a commemoration in Glasnevin Cemetery for Arthur Griffith & Michael Collins. The only reason I include this is that Sliabh na mBan, the 1920 Rolls Royce armoured car, was also in attendance. 

It was part of Michael Collins’ motorcade while visiting Cork in 1922 & was used to transport his wounded body after the ambush at Beál na mBláth on August 22nd

Sliabh na mBan has been lovingly restored inside & out including the .303 Vickers water cooled machine gun by the skilled craftsmen in the Irish Defence Forces Cavalry Corps. 

Seamus loves visiting Sliabh na mBan in her home at the military museum in the Curragh, Co Kildare. Opening hours Mon- Wed 10am-1pm & 3pm-5pm Thurs 2pm-8pm Sun 2pm-5pm admission is free of charge as is parking.

Tell us, have you been to any of the Michael Collins spots in Cork? Got a little one that's as interested in history as our Seamus? 

The Tuesday Chattery - Would You Call The Cops On Your Teen If You Caught Them Sexting?

Parents of a 13 year old US girl this week turned her in to the police when they found naked pictures of her and others on her mobile phone (full story here). 

Today I'm asking: Would you do the same? I can see the thought process behind wanting to protect her from the older teens mentioned but surely she shouldn't have had that much freedom on a tablet in the first place at her age? How often were they checking up on her? 

There is now a chance that she will face charges herself for the distribution of child pornography, as she had pictures of friends on her phone too. That's not something that ever goes away and can never be undone once it happens, no matter how righteous the intention.

So tell me this, do you think they did the right thing? Would you do the same? 

Let's Chat!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Things I'm Trialling - 25/08/14

Hey, welcome along to the second in the Things I'm Trialling series. Last weeks post here was one of the most read posts of 2014 so far so ha-YOOGE thanks for that. Let's see how this weeks batch got on, shall we? 

1. La Roche-Posay's Physiological Cleansing Gel: €15.25 Here

You only need to do the most cursory of seaches on this blog to see I have a serious grá for French skin saviours La Roche-Posay. Surprisingly enough I had yet to try this Physiological Cleansing Gel but when it came through a press drop as an ideal cleansing tool partner, I knew I had to give it a go. 

With zero soap, alcohol, colourants or parabens, this clear cleansing gel is ideal for those with sensitive skin. Applying it directly to the Clinique brush head it only foamed slightly as I cleansed but did a great job of removing all makeup (apart from my eyes, natch) grease & grime. I had heard that others found this gel under performed when used alone, as far as I can see the pairing with your facial brush is a a match made in cleansing heaven. 

2. Nails Inc Eaton Exfoliator: €13 Here

I picked up this sugar based exfoliator from the Nails Inc counter in BTs. While I've been loving it as a hand exfoliator, it's with arms and feet that this beautifully scented scrub really comes into its own. The sugar granules exfoliate gently, while Geranium essential oil softens and hydrates the skin, leaving a soft sheen behind. In terms of scent and softening results, this genuinely feels like a mini spa treatment in your own home. Love. 

3. Escada Cherry In The Air: €55 Here

It goes without saying that I have an affinity to anything cherry, right? RIGHT? I have waited a long time to get my mitts on this Escada scent but have never justified the splurge when I have so many other perfumes to be getting on with. Cue press drop. Cue delirium. 

With the unmistakable scent of cherry blossom brightened by red fruits and rounded by gourmand notes, this really is a beaut of a fresh summer scent. Here's the snag though, I have been utterly and completely spoiled for all cherry scents by L'Occitane's Red Cherry Intense. While I love this from Escada, it falls on the synthetic spectrum for me and doesn't hold a candle to its L'Occitane counterpart. I'd urge you to smell both and prove me wrong, yesh? 

4. The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Body Butter: €18.95 Here 

I've loved The Body Shop body butters for as long as The Body Shop have made body butters but this Wild Argan Oil is a different animal entirely. Easily the most luxurious edit yet and that's saying something. I genuinely can't get enough of it. 

We're talking Hawaiian Tropics levels of incredible scent (seriously) that lasts the whole day long. Subtle but enough for people to ask just what you're wearing. Between the Nails Inc scrub and this show stopping body butter my limbs haven't been in this good a shape in many, many moons. I'll be picking up the entire Wild Argan Oil range, including a back up or two of this. Just one whiff and you'll do the same. I guarantee it. 

5. Lancome Colour Design Infinité 503 
Electrifying Sparkle

Part of the limited edition Colour Design Infinté range, Electrifying Sparkle is both of those things, electrifying and sparkly. An olive metallic/steely taupe shade that, had it legs, would jump up and bite you.

The breathtaking sparkle wears evenly throughout the evening leaving the most beautiful, crease free taupe lid colour imaginable. It's stunning, absolutely and completely stunning. The end.  

6. Lancome Renergie Lift Volumetry Nuit: 

The blurb says 'Formulated with a unique GF-Volumetry TM complex to support cellular communication after just one night' meaning my visage cells should have been telling each other to sort themselves out all week long. The soft, comforting cream has been a real treat post cleanse at bed time but I'm unsure yet as to any skin changes. 

My face does feel a lot softer and perhaps more supple but truth be told Imma need at least another month or so to give this baby a proper test. I and my chastised cells will keep ye posted. 

7. Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils: €6.79 

I posted these beauts last week, the instant they landed on my desk - full review here- suffice to say it was immediate and unequivocal love. Since posting I've gifted the coral shade to a good pal in work (Hi Therese!) and she can't stop gushing either.

When it comes to lippie application these soft, mid sheen pencils are child's play to apply and wear evenly throughout the day. As soon as I see the other 7 shades in the siopa, they're mine!

8. Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Shadow in 04: Launches Sept. 

One of the ten stunning Pure Color Envy Sculpting shadow palettes to land this September, number 04 (Rebel Metal) is a neutral shadow lovers dream. Encased in the new look navy & gold packaging, that weighty luxe feel is still there with aerated brush storage, a rounded finish and a decent size mirror included. 

Each palette has a mix of shadow finishes that can be worn wet or dry. I've been using this one daily with a dampened brush to use the darkest colour as liner. I can't tell you how many compliments I've had. These palettes will set you back €52 and having played with it for the week, that's a luxury barg! I'll have a run down on the entire Lauder launch coming up so stay tuned & start saving your sheckles - NOW!

Make sure to check out this week's Insta pic on Things I'm Trialling This Week & be sure to let me know what you think of the series so far! 

Monday's Moments - 25/08/2014

It's Monday. I'm still not dressed. If that weren't enough to chase away my Monday blues how's about these apples: 

1. Suddenly Realising I Carried Over 
4 Days Leave From Last Year!  

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2. Receiving A Surprise Breville Blend Active in the Post With No Press Release Attached!

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3. A Gal in Slimming World Class Last Week:
'I always try to encourage people on Facebook, 
I can't spell 'positive'
so I saved it to my dictionary to use' 

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4. Aaron Brilliantly Acting As Our Roving Reporter Last Week When I Was Caught Up

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5. Momma Getting The All Clear 
After a Hospital Scare

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So tell me, people, what are your happy haps today? Share your Moments why don't you!