Friday, 18 December 2015

Last Minute Stocking Fillers from Life Style Sports!



Buying Christmas for teenage man children is not always an easy task. Firstly they refuse to answer the question 'What do you want off Santy' with anything other than a bewildered stare and secondly they work, so throughout the year if there's anything they really, really want, they buy it. Yep, that's a first world problem but it's a very real one too when you're a busy Mama and haven't the time to invent a telepathic machine to scan their brains for answers! 

The Importance of an Infant Car Seat ~ Road Safety Series.



Being a first time mam can be pretty daunting in and of itself. There’s just so much to take in- advice by the bucket load and so. much. stuff. to buy. The very first decision we make for our little one’s safety is their car seat. Most Irish maternity hospitals now ensure you have a seat before they allow you to leave the ward, so I thought we’d talk a little about your options when it comes to your first purchase. To save money down the line it can seem ideal to buy a convertible seat (one that rear faces while baby is new born then converts as baby grows) but we’ll take a look today at why it’s a much safer option to start out with a car seat specifically designed for infants.

Why Do I Need an Infant Child Seat?

There are two distinct advantages to a specially designed infant car seat over the convertible option. First being far and away the most important- safety. Babies by their very nature are top-heavy, their little heads making up the majority of their body weight when born. A rear-facing child seat reduces the risk of injury in a head-on collision by more than 80%* when compared to a conventional forward-facing seat, as infant car seats are specifically cushioned with this weight difference in mind. This means that the force of an impact is distributed evenly over a large area.

The second advantage is convenience. Compact, easy to install infant car seats are now sold as part of newborn travel systems. The detachable seat can be transferred to pushchairs with ease. When the last thing you want to do is wake up a baby who hasn't slept for more than two hours at a time, then you best believe it's convenient to lift them from the car without disturbing their slumber.

The Difference between Infant Seats and Others


What Differentiates an Infant Car Seat?

· Usually smaller than their convertible counterparts. Most will have a carry handle, especially if they are bought as part of a travel system.

· The 3 or 5 point harness means baby will be as secure as possible in the seat. Some models recline, though you may pay more for that feature.

· ISOFIX bases are by far the most convenient part of Infant Car Seats. The base is easily clicked into place and you can be secure in the knowledge that they are fitted correctly. The base also remains in the car at all times, so you have the convenience of one click safety. You can buy more than one base for the same seat should you be using more than one vehicle in the family. 

These seats are used for infants up to 22 to 40 pounds, depending on the model. 
Should be used only for travel (not for sleeping, feeding, or other uses outside the vehicle). 

The most important feature of whichever car seat you opt for is fitting. As Infant car seats will mostly have carry handles, it’s important to note that the carry handle position can sometimes be critical in fitting as this acts as a rebound bar in the event of sudden braking or a collision.





Why Choose Extended Rear Facing Over Forward Facing?

It can be tempting to urge our children toward the next milestone in age and forward facing in the car is one of those perceived milestones. While laws are being gradually introduced to make extended rear facing the norm in Ireland and the UK, we really do need to consider just how much safer it is to extend rear facing travel. As mentioned above, if a baby travels in the car facing forwards, their relatively heavy head is unrestrained in a forward collision. Rear facing group 1 seats are 5 times safer in a frontal collision. They protect the neck and head by distributing the force along the back of the seat and are much more effective at protecting internal organs.*

We mentioned in our first post (HERE) the large percentage of car seats seen by the Check It Fits teams that are incorrectly fitted. However, another common issue they encountered was newborns in the wrong seat e.g. a seat that is designed for a much older child.

There are several ways of ensuring your chosen seat is fitted correctly but if you are ever in doubt, a visit to the Check It Fits service will put your mind at ease. This can be done before baby is even born to ensure you’re ready for your new arrival. Check your nearest Check It Fits team stop HERE. We'll be visiting the Check It Fits service on site in January to show you exactly what's involved and just how easy it is to ensure your little ones are as safe as possible, while in the car. 



Tell us: are you about to purchase your first infant car seat? 
Do you have any hints or tips to add on this topic?

Be sure to join in the Road Safety conversation & get in touch via Twitter, Facebook or right here below with any questions or comments you might have.




Disclaimer: 
This is a paid for social media 
safety collaboration with the RSA. 

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Things That Rustle My Jimmies


Shout out to those that messaged about an absence of Jimmies being unrustled last week & for those that unrustled their own in that absence. Truthfully, I was up more stressed than I've been in a century and thought it better not to have digital Hiroshima up in here. 

This week though? This week we're back! In no particular order of pissiness: 



1. Complaints about the unseasonable warmth




2. 'Hey, I know I said we don't have budget for that sponsored post but could you retweet 
our next three tweets?'




3. Trying to post actual post in a post office 
at Christmas time. 


4. 'In a world of Kardashians be an Audrey' - 
Eh how about you be 
WHOEVER THE HELL YOU WANT TO BE?! 
CHRIST!





5. 'Too [Youtube] Famous to Serve Brunch'
The assumption by some that online 'fame' automatically equates to dollars in the bank 
rustles ALL THE JIMMIES!




I'll be popping up a Snapchat Q&A about Jimmie #5 this evening over on ItsCherrySue but tell me, can you relate to any or all of the above? 

What's been rustling your jimmies this week? 


WIN ~ No7 Ultimate Collection Set with Boots! #CherryChristmas


Helloooo, Nurse! Day 17 of #CherryChristmas has arrived thanks entirely to everyone's leading health & beauty retailer, Boots! It's their Star Prize for this week, no less, the No7 Ultimate Collection Set. This amazing product is the star gift of the week and is available in store from today ooooor it could be winging it's way to you for nathin'!

Should you want to pick up this beauty bounty with 9 full sized, much raved about No7 products, it's half price at €52.50, down from €105 . Like all of Boot’s Star Gifts, this is going to be in sky high demand, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.

Should you want to avoid the stampede though, alls you need to do is pop a comment below and tell us 'Do you prefer to shop online or in store with Boots & why?'. 

For postage reasons this one is ROI only & usual T&Cs apply. 

Good Luck!








(for more info on our #CherryChristmas extravaganza & to see how you can transform one prize into a GRAND PRIZE see HERE)

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

WIN: Your Choice of Sparkle & Stationary from The Dotty Lemon! #CherryChristmas Day 16



It's Day 16 of #CherryChristmas and in the spirit of the season we're celebrating home grown business once again. Aisling is the brains and the brawn behind your newest favourite gifts n' pieces website, The Dotty Lemon. We're all for women kicking ass and taking names and if they curate a site as beautiful as The Dotty Lemon, while they're doing it then more's the better. 

We've teamed up today to give you an exclusive all access choice of Aisling's outstanding selection of necklaces and notebooks. That's right, you pick your own prize! Ideal as a gift for an sparkle loving friend, or perhaps you've finished your Christmas list and deserve a little self treat instead? 

Simply choose the necklace that most tickles your magpie-alike pickle HERE and the notebook in which you'd most like to document your nefarious deeds big plans for 2016 HERE and pop them in a comment below today! (be prepared to be transfixed for a while, it's happened to me, more than once!)

Open to UK & Ireland this time with usual T&Cs applying. 

Good Luck!



Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Disney at Christmas ~ Watch the Magic Happen Live!



You might remember we told you about The Art of Saying Yes when it comes to travel when Corrina shared THIS incredible Disney bargain a couple of weeks ago. Well the elves on the shelves of the Stone household have spent the past fortnight building up to the big reveal ~ those cheesy grins above are the exact moment our mini travel reporters discovered they'd be flying out to Disney Land Paris!

We've shown you how to make your Disney dreams come true without breaking the bank in THIS POST, staying true to Corrina's Prada Travel on a Primark Purse tag line, but should you want to see the magical Parisian goings on as they happen from the comfort of your own couch then simply take a peek at her Snapchat over at @StoneTravel where she'll be updating daily.

Not gonna lie. I'm GREEN with the jealousy!

Have you been to Disney at this time of the year before? Any hints or tips you'd like to share? 


#CherryChristmas Day 15 ~ WIN The Blank Canvas Master Series Palette!



Day 15 of #CherryChristmas is upon us and this time we've teamed up with one of our favourite Irish beauty meccas Cloud 10 Beauty for our fabulous prize du jour; the much coveted and already sold out Blank Canvas Master Series Palette!

Containing 11 velvet matte flattering shades and one champagne shimmer, there's not an eyeball in the land that wouldn't look effortlessly made up using the Master Series palette. 

To nab this smokey beauty by this evening simply leave a comment below to tell us what you like about shopping with Cloud 10 Beauty! Their lightning fast shipping maybe? Their expansive range of exclusive products? Maybe their second to none customer service? Or perhaps their never ending support of Bloggers? 

Of course if you haven't had the pleasure yet you could just pop across to their site and tell us how you like the cut of their jib in general. It's all gravy. 

Hey Happybubble Gal, send us on your details tout de suite ~ Adam has chosen you as our#CherryChristmas  Winner today!! <3








Disclaimer: Neither this, nor any
of the #CherryChristmas
Giveaways are paid placements. 
Products sponsored perhaps
but, as ever, the words are 
my own. 

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Drayton’s Magical Christmas in Thomas Land!




We were invited to Drayton Manor Theme Park home of Thomas Land for Drayton’s Magical Christmas and boy was it magical! Thomas Land is located in Staffordshire a stone’s throw from Birmingham. We have been a few times over the years, read all about that HERE; but not since their recent expansion. I assure you Thomas Land is not just for boys; our 9 year old twin daughters loved just as much as our three boys.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

*Win* Skechers from PurpleTag ~ #CherryChristmas Day 3


How do, Thursday & Day 3 of our #CherryChristmas extravaganza. Today we have a cracking prize thanks to our Pals at PurpleTag.ie. 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

**Announcing** ~ A Very #CherryChristmas ~ A Giveaway A Day In December!



Some of you may have heard me mention this on Snapchat last night (I'm @ItsCherrySue there too) but this year's festive frivolities are going to be a little different. 

As mentioned above I'm wishing every one of you a Very Cherry Christmas with a Giveaway a Day in December. I will announce each prize on one of my platforms each day with simple entry requirements & choose a winner that evening with the prize popped in the post that very night! 

Once you receive your prize, if you post a picture on any of your social platforms with #CherryChristmas & Tag me, your name will be entered into a draw for a Grand Prize on December 24th ~ And by GOOGLY is it grand! 

Prizes will all be something I use and love and something I have no doubt you'll use and love too. Some will be sponsored by brands, others not. I won't be paid for any of them. This is my way of giving back to you lovely lot once a year to thank you sincerely for the life changing support you've given my boys and I and I relish every minute of it. 

You can enter any or all days. Entry restrictions will depend on postage restrictions but every prize that can be sent internationally will be open internationally ~ I'll clarify on each post. 

My standard T&Cs apply for each of the 25 prizes, as do the standard T&Cs of the platform on which each appears. Pop by daily to find the prize & enter and it really is that simple!

You'll find all of my links below so do get to following (if you don't already) 
 & let's get this snowball rolling!



ItsCherrySue

ItsCherrySue

   : ItsCherrySue

: CherrySue Doin' the Do



Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Don't be a Voucher Slouch ~ Give the Gift of Travel this Christmas!




Let's admit it, some people are a nightmare to buy for at Christmas as they have everything they need and try as you might they won't give you an inkling . Well I haven’t met a person yet that didn’t like a break away from the stresses and strains of everyday life to recharge the batteries. 

When that last minute panic sets in as you realise you still haven’t found the perfect gift, I’ve got you covered as I’ve scoured the internet to come up with 5 top hotel deals that are not only a bargain but also hassle free as you can print them from the comfort of your own home no trudging around shops in the rain required! My best finds in no particular order of deadliness are:

5. Flynn Hotels


There are four hotels in the Flynn Hotel Group, Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny, The Park Hotel in Dungarvan and The Imperial Hotel in Cork. We have stayed in the Imperial and loved it especially the escape spa, that and the fact that the English market is only around the corner. One of my favourite bar’s in Cork, Arthur Mayne’s is just across the road, it’s a great spot for Sunday Brunch. 

Flynn Hotels are running an amazing “our gift to you” promotion at the moment, if you buy €250 of gift vouchers they’ll also give you a complimentary break of a two night stay at any Flynn hotel to be taken in January, February or March 2016. How good is that?! You also get a great self gift. Buy vouchers online with Flynn Hotels at www.flynnhotels.com offer available until 31st December 2015.

4. Cabra Castle, Co Cavan



In case you didn’t see our post last week about the stunning Cabra Castle catch up here. If you did see it I’m sure you’d love to stay there, this is a wonderful gift but I have to say I’d be going along with whomever I bought it for. luxurybreaks.ie has a fantastic deal at the moment, one night B&B for two people including €25 dining credit for just €99, valid for stays until Friday 8th April. Unfortunately they don’t have any Saturday availability but believe me, it’s worth taking a day or two off work for. BOOK HERE

3. Arklow Bay Hotel & Leisure Centre, Wicklow


How about a two night break in Ireland’s Garden County for just €119? Dealrush have a great deal but you have to hurry as it’s only bookable for the next 3 days. The highlights of this offer are two nights for two people B&B you’ll also get a glass of prosecco each on arrival and late check out. 

If that’s not enough they’ll also throw in €9 dining credit too, so a three course meal will only cost €20 per person. You’ll also have full access to the leisure centre and spa where you can avail of €10 off any €50 treatment. Children under 12 can stay for a small supplement of €10 per child B&B. Grab this bargain here!

2. Ferrycarrig Hotel, Wexford


I found a great bargain with Living Social for Ferrycarrig Hotel in Wexford, a mere €69 for one night B&B for two people in a room overlooking the River Slaney. Also included in the offer is a complimentary bottle of wine if you dine in Reeds Restaurant and a box of chocolates in your room. You can also avail of complimentary parking, Wi-Fi and full use of the leisure centre. There is a two night option for €109. Book before 17th December here! 

1. Rome, Italy 


Groupon have an awesome offer of two nights B&B in Rome with flights included for just €99 per person sharing. There is also a 4 night option available for €149pp. I have previously written about one of our many trips to Rome without blowing the budget here if you’d like to see how we got on. This deal must be booked before December 6th 2015 HERE. But again, you could grab a bargain on any of the low fare airlines for an EU city. If you're in need of any inspo, you can always click the Travel link above!


So don't be one of those loved ones to proffer a One for All voucher on Christmas morning, you know, I know & your loved one knows there was little or no effort involved; isn't the entire point of giving a gift to show your love and appreciation for that person?... And if you're going on the trip with them, sure mores the better! 

Let us know, have you bought Travel for a loved one for Christmas before? Would you be tempted now?


Friday, 27 November 2015

Black Mass - Movie Review



Who's In It?

, and 


What's It About?

Johnny Depp plays real Boston crime lord Whitey Bulger, who turned FBI informant under the impression it would take down the mafia closing in on his turf.





Any Good?

Johnny Depp is brilliant as Whitey Bulger, he's totally convincing and bizarre looking with the blue eyes/yellow teeth combo, it's a HUGE step from his usual quirky same characters. While he is incredibly well acted, the film does the same thing every other crime media does and has the scene where the main boss says something insane calmly and then laughs and says they were joking. It also does the Al Capone everyone-loves-him angle that The Departed had, it just reduced him to a normal, samey villain.

The real Whitey Bulger

While Johnny Depp was amazing, he was outdone in my opinion by Joel Edgerton as the FBI agent he was informing. The transformation was brilliant - if predictable -, he goes from slightly cautious and nervous new guy to acting as if he's a crime lord himself; going as far as to try commanding his boss' boss around and threatening his wife .

Brilliant acting, great action scenes and just as good character development are dragged down by the fact this is nearly EVERY crime story you've ever heard. While I did enjoy the film, it was just that fact in the back of my mind that really took off the edge of all the intense scenes and reminded me that I know what's going to happen at every turn.


Rating:  



Thursday, 26 November 2015

Things That Rustle My Jimmies


I'll preface this week's Jimmies with the fact that there's a full moon and I'm basically a walking hormone this past week, but Sweet Baby CHEESUS if I haven't had to bite my tongue one time too many. In no particular order of buffoonery:

1. Anyone that adds me to a Closed Facebook Group to hock Aloe/Yonique/Body Wraps/Any other Ponzi Scheme they might have gotten caught up in... 
ESPECIALLY when they re-add me after I leave!



2. 'Have you met her? She's SO NICE!!'


3. Sharing 'Black Friday' Deals but not Mentioning that You've Added Your Own Affiliate Links...



4. 'Hey, Sue, LOVE what you do! I'm just getting started but would really appreciate if you'd 
pop over your contacts for...'


5. Christmas Trees in November. 



It's just as well I'm away this weekend for some R'n'R, isn't it? 
ISN'T IT?!?

Tell us, what's been rustling your jimmies this week? Any or ALL of the above? 


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Cabra Castle Fit for a Queen in Kingscourt, Co Cavan!




At the start of the year I was very lucky to be given a luxury weekend break with Chill.ie and Irish Country Hotels. We chose the stunning 4* Cabra Castle Hotel in Kingscourt, Co Cavan for our break. Seeing as we have 5 children we never get any offers to babysit which is understandable really. We decided to split the children between their two Grannies so we could have our first child free break in years to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary.

We didn’t get off to a good start as Storm Barney paid Ireland a visit so it rained nonstop all the way from Kildare to Dublin & traffic was chaotic, we were halfway up the M7 when I realised I’d left the baby’s nappy bag at home. As there are no convenient shops en route it was going to waste precious time to purchase what we needed but Sue came to my rescue with one of her #randomactsofhappy. She saved us a shed load of time, thanks Sue!



We safely deposited half our children in Glasnevin & half of them in Blanchardstown and left Dublin for the hour long drive to Cavan, still in the lashings of rain. From the second we arrived at Cabra castle I was in love with the place and every minute of panic was forgotten in an instant. They had their Christmas decorations up outside complete with tiny twinkling white lights, the castle looked stunning. Check in was efficient and friendly we also booked a table for dinner for later that night. Our room was located around the back of the Castle in the courtyard; we hopped in the car and drove around. (yes the castle is that big!)

We were in room 67 which is one of the top floor courtyard suites. The decor of the room was in perfect keeping with the Castle, expensive carpets and curtains with bare stone walls and varnished wooden ceiling beams. The bathroom was tiled floor to ceiling; in one corner was a gorgeous replica antique bathing stand in the other there was large Jacuzzi bath. Having read reviews on TripAdvisor I believe the courtyard rooms are better than the rooms in the Castle, many people advise asking for a courtyard room.




Every member of staff we encountered was so warm and friendly, which to be honest really makes a hotel stand out for me. Dinner is served in the Courtroom Restaurant on the first floor and books out fast so booking is advised. I could easily see how they book out as the prices are amazing for an award winning restaurant. A four course dinner starts at just €35.50 per person. The fact that the Castle and restaurant are always full is a testament to the owners; by keeping it affordable they are ensuring the Castle will remain open for years to come, employing local people.


The atmosphere in the restaurant was fabulous; a really relaxing and welcoming environment. We asked for a table down the back as it’s a smaller area making it more romantic. We couldn’t fault any one of the dishes served to us, all were made with local fresh ingredients cooked to perfection. If you do go I’d highly recommend the Caesar salad, it’s the best I’ve tasted in years. 


They make their own dressing which has won a gold medal and it’s divine. The wines were also surprisingly affordable; we opted for a delicious Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon priced at just €25 a bottle. We loved everything about the meal so much so that before we left we booked a table for the following night. 

Truly the only niggle I had with the restaurant was that when requesting (my fave) Eggs Benedict for breakfast, they didn't serve it. Now, I'm not mentioning this to be picky but it's not that they just didn't serve it, the waitress had never heard of it! I'm guessing she was new and what with the entirety of our stay being sensational, I'm not going to hold it against them. 



On Saturday we took a short drive into Carrickmacross for a spot of shopping and then on to Drogheda for lunch. It didn’t stop raining all day so we returned to the Castle early so I could have a Jaccuzzi to warm my bones before dinner. If they had a pool at the castle we would have spent the day at the hotel rather than braving the Irish weather. There were weddings on the Friday and on the Saturday at the castle so it was very busy but that didn’t impact us at all as there was always a friendly staff member available. 

They currently have a fantastic special offer on their website starting at €220 for 2 people for 2 night’s bed and breakfast. The only weekend date available is 1st & 2nd January it’d be a perfect Christmas gift for that someone special and yourself of course!



Trying to squeeze every last moment out of our weekend we spent Sunday morning sitting reading the Sunday papers at a large open fire just off the reception area, it was while here that we noticed the Proclamation framed and hanging on the wall. Also on the first floor there is one of the original Tricolours on display, I loved that they have an appreciation of our history and heritage.



It’s easy to see Cabra Castle is a family run hotel as everything is impeccable and the staff really seem to enjoy working there. The Corscadden family also own Ballyseede Castle in Co Kerry, which is now on our list of places to stay and Bellingham Castle in Co Louth which is a 19 bedroom Castle available for private hire for weddings, parties and corporate events. I recently learned that the family also bought Markree Castle in Co Sligo which is currently undergoing renovations, scheduled for opening in spring 2017; having stayed there a few years ago I can’t wait to return when it’s complete to see the Corscadden touch.

Have you ever stayed in Cabra Castle? How did you get on? Are there any other Castle hotels in Ireland we should visit?





Disclaimer:
As mentioned our break
was courtesy of Chill.ie
but not on condition of review.
We weren't paid or sponsored 
for this feature and, as ever, it 
wouldn't sway our opinion even
if we were.