Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Chattery ~ Is Clean Eating the New Eating Disorder?

There's been something weighing on my mind for a little while now that has inspired an impromptu Chattery - this Quartz feature titled 'Eating Well May Be the New Eating Disorder' puts into words just what I've been thinking and opens a debate I think is well worth having. 

If you're an Instagram lover, or even a social media user for that matter, you will have seen a huge influx of 'clean eating', 'paleo' 'raw food' & 'vegan' posts popping up, books printed and careers being launched, within the past 2 years especially. I doubt there's one among us that doesn't have a pal that's on a bandwagon of sorts, some even having changed their lives and their health 180 degrees for the better. 

Truth be told I've taken to the 'Whole Food' way of eating with gusto too. I initially joined Slimming World, to shed some poundage but found their predilection for snacking on processed food too much for me. I've since adapted my diet to include a majority of whole foods and worked up my daily lunchtime walking to 6k. I'm a new person for it, having shed 3 stone, annihilated my chronic IBS and improved my dodgy back exponentially. 

Here's the thing, I still occasionally slip, I have the odd tipple, the odd takeaway and I'm in no way dogged about what I'm doing but I can't say the same for a lot of people I know. We were only chatting about a pal yesterday who's Sister in Law has taken the zero sugar way of life so much to heart that she's fallen out with her parents and in laws for the want of 'educating' them too. There's something very wrong about a situation that damages relationships, regardless of how well intentioned she might be. 

There's no denying a move toward whole foods and away from the crippling use of refined sugar is a good one but has it gone too far? Is 'Clean Eating' the new eating disorder? 

Let's Chat!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday's Moments - 30/03/15

Monday, Monday, so good to meeeee - so nail biting match aside, that was a pretty great weekend, right? And the fact that it's darker an hour later in evening? It's almost as if I don't need to remind myself of cracking Moments to cheer myself up today.. ALMOST: 

1. Getting All of My Freelance Features Finished With Time to Spare

2. My Bandy Back & I Cracking The 15 Minute Mile - FINALLY

3. Having a Free House Two Days Running

4. Edvard & Pink Opening Their Salon After Hours to Give Me a Much Needed Mani!

5. That Grand Stretch of an Evening!

Tell me, what's been your Monday's Moment of the week just gone? 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Things That Rustle My Jimmies

This week has been a doozy alright. Things that have rustled my jimmies this week, in no particular order of pissiness: 

1. Brands Posting Their Press Releases 
By Registered Mail

2. Cyclists Ringing Their Bells When Cycling 

3. Ordering a Mother's Day Photo Surprise for My Sis & Some Spanish Dude's 
Mug on a Mug Showing Up!

4. Kids in Their School Uniform Sitting Outside Starbucks, Sipping Their Coffee & Smoking

5. The Abject Disappointment That is 
House of Cards Season 3

Tell me, can you relate? What's been rustling yours? 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Stella EDT - A New Rose. A Lighter Touch.

Stella eau de toilette, Stella edt, stella mcCartney edt, summer 2015

It's hard to believe that the original Stella fragrance is now 12 years old, it's even harder to chat to a group of pals and not find one that is head over heels in love with it. A signature fragrance of many women, this lighter EDT version is sure to top the list of Summer time scents this year. 

Once more we're looking at rose as the pivotal floral note, this time Bulgarian rose essence giving the unmistakable Stella signature. Sparkling green notes, however, make this a much brighter affair altogether and leave a freshness on the skin and a warmth on dry down that I never had with the original. 

 Truthfully Stella never really made it onto my radar of scents, there wasn't much room but having worn this sparkling beaut for several weeks now and reaching for it above all others I'm beginning to rethink that decision. 

As a side note, how cute is that bottle? Micro pastel pink polka dots - could NOT be cuter. 
Should you be looking for a scent for a loved one as a special gift, I can pretty much guarantee this would go down a storm. 

Prices range from €52 - €95 and are available at Debenhams, Shaws, Lloyds, Sam McCauleys & selected pharmacies nationwide. I'd highly recommend a little sniff as you pass by counter for this one. 

Are you a Stella fan? Reckon you'll check this fresher EDT out? 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

City Centre Luxury in the Dylan Hotel

If you are heading to Dublin & really want to push the boat out, I’d recommend a night in the 5 star boutique Dylan Hotel, Eastmoreland Place, Dublin 4. The hotel is located a stone’s throw from Baggot Street, so everywhere is within walking distance for a night on the tiles. We had the pleasure of a stay last year & we paid €211 for a twin room for one night B&B.

If it’s style & sophistication you are after the Dylan Hotel is the one for you. From the moment I set foot in reception I was taken with the understated elegance & pure luxury of the Hotel. On the way to our room there is an almost burlesque feel with colours of the decor topped off with sparkling chandeliers.

We stayed in room 301, which is a Dylan Style room. Our room came complete with a balcony so we had a bird’s eye view over the rooftops of Dublin. Oh yeah & one of the walls is floor to ceiling mirrors, I frightened the life out of myself walking into the room! 

The amenities of the room are befitting of a 5 star hotel, memory foam topped beds, high count cotton linens, Air conditioning, iPod with Bose docking station, mini bar, flat screen TV, robes & slippers to name a few. They even have hair straighteners & curling tongs available on request.

Breakfast is served in the Tavern Restaurant, where they have everything & anything you could possibly want, all freshly prepared. The only difficulty I had was it was so hard to choose what to have! Sue has regularly commented that The Dylan have the best brekkie she's ever had (and she's had a few). 

I went for the Eggs Benedict & was not disappointed with my choice. It was undeniably the best Eggs Benedict I’ve had in any hotel across the Country. I have a feeling the next time we are celebrating something & heading to Dublin for the night we just might be booking a room in the Dylan again.

Tell us, have you stayed in this 5 star gem of a hotel before? Let us know!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Insurgent - Movie Review

Who's In It?


What's It About? 

On the run from Janine's military forces after their attack on Abnegation at the end of Divergent, Triss plans how to reach the woman herself and kill her - while Janine hunts Triss to open a mystery box from the original founders.

Any Good? 

What I really liked about Divergent (the first in this series) were the scenes where they were under the stims, and there is a lot more diversity in scenes like that in Insurgent. There's also more stims used - such as a truth serum that has a pretty cool visual effect on the subject.

Without reading the books, Shailene Woodley is pretty good as Triss, whos only functions seem to be breaking teeth and crying about it afterward. Theo James is total cheese as Four, Triss' boyfriend, but it seemed to just fit with both characters and the film.

Miles Teller was actually better than expected as the coward, even during the scenes where he's a total dbag he still managed to make me and the whole cinema laugh. Kate Winslet was certainly the best acted, she was totally cool in both person and demeanour as Janine and was just a really good villain. 

Insurgent is the follow-up to last years fairly alright Divergent (see that review here), and it certainly opens like it. You're immediately thrown into Triss and her friends' life on the run without any real explanation - you definitely need to see the first to understand what's going on. I actually quite liked this, much prefer it to the Hunger Games franchise AND it had some of the best CGI I've seen in a long while - looking at YOU Hobbit 3.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Run All Night - Movie Review

Who's In It?


What's It About? 

When ex-gang hitman Jimmy Conlon has to kill his old boss/friend Shaun's son who threatens to kill his own estranged son, Jimmy must kill his way through the whole gang in one night to save his son and his family.

Any Good? 

For a film that opens with Liam Neeson's character losing sleep over his killing days, it seems quick to abandon the idea that killing is wrong and effects people as soon as Neeson gets a gun. The closest thing we have to remind us that he does regret his murders is that he refuses to let his son shoot a gun - other than that it's just another shooter.

For a film that seemed to abandon it's whole opening concept - it seems a bit more close to what would really happen to an aging hitman having to go on a murder spree. Neeson's character is pretty slow in fights and gets a bating several times, he reloads his six shot revolver fairly frequently, and he even can barely run - but this is probably the only believable part.

Liam Neeson is pretty good as Jimmy Conlon, he plays the awkward reappearing father well in the scenes where he can just talk to Mike (his son), asking questions about family and work only to be shot down immediately by Joel Kinnaman, who acted equally as well as the son. 

Ed Harris was great as the mob boss, giving a stern warning to his gangster son about allowing heroin into his part of the city through a story about how he watched his friends rot away to cocaine, and is menacing when he learns of his sons death and warns Jimmy that he will kill Mike to even the scores.

I thought Run All Night was a mess. It didn't know what it wanted to be - a narrative showing the effects killing have on a person, or just another film Liam Neeson can kill people in. Really, really odd direction choices plague it too, you can go from an actors face to a top down moving view of the city to a shot of a cars wheel from beside it - and that's one of the opening and not-so-weird-shots.
I don't know if I've been spoiled by John Wick, but I really don't recommend seeing this, Taken is a lot better for more the same thing.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Things That Rustle My Jimmies

Oh you know what time it is. Time for some catharsis through the medium of gif. 

In no particular order of gickiness, here's what's been rustling my jimmies this week: 

1. Smokers Standing in Shop Doorways

2. New Colleagues That Tap Their Pen INCESSANTLY

3. Proud Crows Cawing Their Balls Off 
Over Their New Nest 

4. Being Too Full to Finish DELICIOUS Food

5. The #BringBackClarkson Petition

Tell us, can you relate to any or all? 

What's been rustling your jimmies this week? 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Last Minute Mother's Day Breaks that Won't Break the Bank!

I get that March has crept up on most of us, even that Mother's Day was even more stealthy this year but fear not, you're not too late for getting a special Mother’s day surprise for your Mam. How about a few days away that won’t break the bank? You might even take the trip with her. Who said anything about a bowling ball gift? Not me!

I've come up with some belters for Mothering Sunday that will ensure you hold on to top sibling spot in your Mammy's affections:
Shop till you drop in Birmingham

You can bag flights with Aer Lingus for just €81.98pp, flying out Monday March 16th returning Wednesday March 18th. Then it’s just a short hop on the train into Birmingham New Street from the Airport. The Bull Ring has over 160 shops to choose from, so you’re bound to find something you want/need! 

If you want to stay right across the road from the Bull Ring so you don’t have to lug your shopping around with you, then I recommend the cheap as chips Travelodge Central Birmingham prices start at just €118 for 2 nights B&B for 2 people on amoma.com. That’s flights & 2 nights B&B for less than €300 for you & your Mam. Or you could push the boat out & book the Radisson Blu in Birmingham for €312 for 2 nights B&B.

London, West End Show

How about 3 nights in London with your Momma dearest so you can take in a West End show? Aer Lingus have flights to London Heathrow for €127.97pp Saturday 14th March to Tuesday 17th March.

I found a great centrally located Apartment to rent through ebookers.ie, just a 10 minute walk to Earls Court tube station. Go Native- Earls Court London has a rate of €261.78 for a one bedroom apartment for 3 nights for 2 people.

If you wait till after 6pm, go to the TKTS booth in Leicester Square where you’ll get discounted tickets for West End shows that night. You could also have a look at a previous post I wrote about London with info on some swanky bars, to treat your Mam to a cocktail or two! 

Dublin's Fair City

If funds can’t stretch that far or you’d prefer just to do one night away (I know with my Mam 1 night is sometimes more than enough!), The Castleknock Hotel & Country Club is the one for you. They have a fantastic Spring Evening Package at the moment which includes 1 night B&B for 2 people, a 4 course meal in their Brasserie Restaurant, full use of the leisure centre and 10% off spa treatments. All this for just €69pp, bargain, I think I might just book this one for myself!

Tell us, are you up to owt exciting this weekend? Will you be printing this and sticking it to the fridge in plain view of your kids/hubbie? Not that we'd condone that type of behaviour but DO IT! 

Friday, March 06, 2015

Suite Française - Movie Review

Who's In It?


What's It About? 

After France's surrender to the Germans, a German officer is moved into wealthy Madame Angellier and her step-daughter's house. The madame refuses to even look at the officer, while Lucille (step-daughter) falls in love with him.

Any Good? 

One thing I didn't expect to see from Suite Francaise was the Nazis to be portrayed as just soldiers and not monsters - kind of goes against every film/game/history lesson I've ever been in - it makes the movie stand out in the rip-off Romeus and Juliet (INCLUDING Shakespeare's) genre that is romance.

The film opens with a scene where Madame Angellier and Lucille are collecting rent from tenants on their land, Madame Angellier is cruel and bleeds the farmers dry(the usual), then out of NOWHERE a German bombing party hits the road full of Parisian migrants that the pair are travelling on - it was so sudden that I just looked at Ally like "what the?..".

Putin was a Nazi?

The random bombing kind of set the scene for the film - a lot of the usual romance crap with occasional breaks for pretty heavy stuff like manhunts and executions - but for some reason it seemed to fit well into the story. 

A lot of the romantic sections are odd too, like going from being disgusted with neighbours cavorting with the Nazis and then doing it yourself immediately- I get the feeling a lot of the book was cut out of the film.

While a lot better than the usual romantic crap myself and Ally masochistically put ourselves through, Suite Francais was actually not bad. While predominantly a romance movie, it does a 180 around three quarters of the way through and becomes a suspenseful murder/people smuggling film, and all the better for it. I'd certainly watch it for the Nazi scenes, or even just for their beautiful Hugo Boss uniforms.

Also, much like the Irish and Scottish, the French share their beloved England's accent, like all nationalities did pre-2000.

We'd be remiss not to include a link to the back story of Author Irène Némirovsky, read her stunning story and how these Novellas came to be HERE

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Things That Rustle My Jimmies

It's been a looooooooong week - time for some unrustling - yes? 

1. People That List Their Occupation on Facebook as 'Full Time Wifey to...'

2. Stealth Photographers at Events

3. 'Call Me' Texts

4. 'Hey, Hun, Will You Retweet My Tweets 
About My New Business?'

5. 'Waist Trainers'

WOWeee that feels better!

Tell me, can you relate to any or all? 

What's been rustling your personal jimmies this week?