Friday, July 31, 2015

Pixels - Movie Review

Who's In It?


What's It About?

Aliens using video game characters to attack Earth, leaving President Kevin James to bring arcade greats Adam Sandler, discount Jonah Hill and Peter Dinklage in to fight them off.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Things That Rustle My Jimmies

Sweet baby CHEESES Thursday couldn't come quick enough this week ~ here lie five JUST FIVE of the things that have been rustling my jimmies this week:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Where to Stay in Dublin ~ Save Versus Splurge

As an Irish Travel writer one of the questions I'm asked most often is 'Which is the best hotel in Dublin?'. Truthfully, the answer depends on so many factors so I thought a Save -v- Splurge post was best. Let me know what you think!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday's Moments ~ 27/07/15

Afternoon, All! How was that for a weekend? Rain aside, it was grand, right? 

As ever there's a lot I'm grateful for this week and again there was competition for the top five spots but in no particular order of deadliness: 

1. I was delighted this week again to be invited into our Fingal community gardens to pick fresh fruit and veg being grown there. I left with a bountiful crop and spent the following week making the most delicious wholesome, fresher than fresh dinners for the lads & I. It's given me a huge respect for ladies like Catriona from Wholesome Ireland that has literally reaped the rewards of her own plot to plate initiative. 
I'm definitely organising my garden this year!

2. The plan was to tell you last week that MY INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT had topped 4k. The thing is it's closer to 4.5k this week! As with most extra curricular social media channels I was late to the Instagram game but it's fast become one of my favourite platforms. I'm working on a 'What's Worked For Me' post right now with some tips on upping your double taps, if there's anything you'd like to see included sure just holler at me. Onward to 5k!

3. I mentioned last week that my baby turned 18. Well that same baby surprised me on Thursday by bringing home a bottle of wine after work for his Mama. Of course I immediately thought 'HOW THE?!' but then it dawned on me. Both boys being adults now might not be so difficult after all!

4. This week Aaron has decided he's going to launch his very own blog. I've caught a glimpse at the inner workings and it looks fantastic. We'll have more info coming up but I couldn't be prouder ~ if not a little green that creativity comes so easily to him. I've created a monster! (and I couldn't be prouder of that fact). 

5. Last week I was asked to sit on Bobby Kerr's Down to Business panel about columns/blogging and being paid for your opinion. Of course, despite the nerves and the sleepless night that goes with national radio I said YES! You can listen back HERE. Hopefully you'll find it helpful. I'd love to hear any questions or comments you have but in principle my Moment comes from feeling the fear and doing it anyway, the rush of achievement is incomparable when you tackle something that scares you. 
I can't recommend it enough!

Tell me, what's keeping your blues at bay this week? 

What Moments are making your Monday? 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Cherry Pick of the Week: John Newman ~ Come and Get It

John Newman of Love Me Again fame is back with a belter! 

I'll forgive him for making me feel old by being so damn talented for someone that was born in 1990!! Doesn't that make him like 10?!

Come and Get It has been on constant repeat in my ear holes this week. CHOON. 

Tell me, what's on repeat in your world this week? 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ted 2 - Movie Review

Who's In It?

, and Giovanni Ribisi

What's It About?

A year and six months after the first film, Ted finds out he's not counted as a person by the state and hires Samantha to represent him in his case to become a human.

Any Good?

I absolutely loved Ted 1, it may have been just been a bunch of Seth McFarlane jokes he uses for most things, but I really did like it and Ted 2 is similar.

This movie felt like it only came about because of the opportunistic events going on while it was being made - it referenced heavily on the equal marriage case in America by having the film seem to center mainly on Ted trying to prove that just because he isn't a man his marriage is still valid, but the whole deeper meaning that seemed to come from this was not really expanded on. 

How to watch Ted 2

I love Mark Wahlberg, his parts in Entourage were brilliant and I found him (albeit unintentionally) hilarious in The Happening - and he seems to just work really well with Seth McFarlane. Amanda Seyfried made a good character to counteract the 80s pop-culture references which always drew a reaction from Ted himself. Patrick Warburton and Michael Dorn were great too, playing a gay couple gone to Comic-Con to mess with nerds while dressed as The Tick and Commander Worf.

Although not as good and without the rewatchability of the original, Ted 2 wasn't too bad of a movie to just switch off and watch. While it did have a few recycled Family Guy jokes that went on for too long as the usually do, Liam Neeson's scenes more than make up for that and show that for being a 60+ action star, the man has some serious comedy chops - like in this clip.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Things That Rustle My Jimmies

Thursday couldn't come quick enough this week ~ 
Things that have rustled my jimmies thusfar: 

1. Buffoons that avoid eye contact with elderly passengers standing on public transport. 

2. Snapchat DECIMATING data in a week!

3. The cat scratching at the bathroom door every time I close it - 

4. Teenagers drinking 3 litres of milk 

5. Taylor Swift making Nicki Minaj's (completely justified) observations all about her ~ I love you, Tay Tay but if you're not speaking up when you need to then you need to hush!

Tell us, can you relate? 

What's been rustling your jimmies this week? 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Our Cork Adventures ~ The Conclusion in Fabulous Clonakilty & Castletownbere!

To conclude Our Cork Adventures I’ll tell you about four other great places to visit on a budget while in West Cork. After a run around playing with the kids that lived in the field beside our holiday home in Clonakilty we set off for the day to Kinsale. I say kids as they were literally kids, baby goats! They tried their best to eat my daughters top, much to her disgust but uproarious laughter from the her brothers and sister. 

Charles Fort ~ Kinsale

It’s a relatively short drive of 45 minutes to the harbour town of Kinsale from Clonakilty. We decided to visit Charles Fort as my husband is a military history nut. Charles Fort is located in Summer Cove, Kinsale. Construction began in 1677 & took 5 years to complete during the reign of King Charles II. The Fort was designed in a star shape by Sir William Robinson to resist attack by cannon; he also designed the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Charles Fort remained occupied by the British Forces until 1921 when it was signed over to the Irish during the Anglo-Irish Treaty but before they left they ensured they burnt nearly every building within the Fort. 

It is now operated by the OPW; they have done great work in reconstructing parts of the buildings. There are lots of grassed areas for children to run about & have fun; we spent ages exploring the old buildings. The views are amazing from all around the Fort but it can get quite windy even on a summer’s day, we were glad to warm up with a hot chocolate in the onsite cafe. Admission is Adult €4, Child €2, Family €10 or if you go on the first Wednesday of the month admission is free as with all OPW run heritage sites with the only exception of Muckross.  

Glenview Gardens ~ Enniskean

When we are staying in Ireland, I sometimes like to take a drive just to see what we’ll find by following the brown tourism signs; it was on one of these meanders around Cork that we found a hidden gem. Glenview Gardens in Enniskean, a 20 minute drive from Clonakilty, home to Irelands only Hobbit House. It’s a 3 acre garden lovingly grown over 25 years by David & Mary Tanner on West Cork’s Garden Trail. There are lots of mini gardens within Glenview such as a Japanese garden, bog garden & white garden there’s even a canal & pond. 

Our children loved the birds in the aviary; they have about 40 birds of differing breeds. We spent over an hour having a ramble around. I didn’t tell the children about the Hobbit house, I just let them stumble across it themselves. They were delighted with it, even more so when they realised you could go inside to explore the little two bedroom house. Tea rooms are located at the back of the garden with an honesty box to pay, very quaint & very Irish! Admission is Adults €5 & Children €2 with no discounted family tickets available.  

Castletownbere ~ West Cork

We’ve family in Castletown-Bearhaven so a visit is a must every time we’re in Cork. If you haven’t been I’d highly recommend a trip to Castletownbere, it’s a beautiful fishing town waaaay out West Cork. Pop into MacCarthy’s Bar on Main Street for a lemonade in the snug. If you haven’t read Pete McCarthy’s hilarious bestseller McCarthy’s Bar you can purchase it here for €10. You can also purchase A Doctor’s War detailing the amazing true life story of Air Commodore Joseph Aiden MacCarthy OBE GM, an Irish Doctor serving in the Royal Air Force who was captured & interred in a Japanese POW camp. 

His daughter Adrienne still owns MacCarthy’s Bar, be sure to say Hi! Bere Island is one of the few Islands that can be accessed via car ferry, so you can bring your car over for the day to explore the Island with the stunning backdrop of the mountains of the Beara Peninsula. Just a little warning though so you won’t be caught short, there are no ATM’S or petrol stations on the Island.

Waterfall Alpaca Farm ~ Drimoleague (Alpaca my bag!)

On the hour & a half drive out to Castletownbere from Clonakilty we decided to drop into Drimoleague to visit Waterfall Alpaca Farm. You can see Alpacas, sheep, hens, donkeys & giant rabbits. Get this you can even walk an Alpaca on a leash around part of the Drimoleague Heritage Walkway! Unfortunately when we visited the Alpacas were still being trained but we most definitely will be back to bring some on a walk.

Be sure to catch up on our previous Cork escapades HERE but tell us ~ 

Have you been to West Cork? Did we miss anywhere?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday's Moments ~ 20/07/15

It's Monday, Lord knows there's Moments I'm grateful for ~ one of which has been coming for a very long time: 

1. The lovely folks at Kazumi inviting Aaron in to sort out his undercut! We’ll have a full post about his new hair and possibly a Jimmie Rustler that he got to be pampered while I slaved in the office but he hasn't stopped talking about it or swishing his layered purple tresses since!

2. Drinks with one of my favourite people in the world, Vivi! We met on Friday for the very serious business of upcoming L’Occitane products (they’re GORGE by the way) but spent the evening setting the world to rights. I know without this blog I never would have met Vivi, our relationship is just one of the things that makes me pinch myself about starting up this little corner of the internet.

3. Discovering Ray Donovan! Granted Rob told me to watch it 2 years ago and I never listened but procrastination makes you do funny things. For those that haven’t watched it yet, Ray Donovan is a Hollywood fixer, he makes problems disappear. Played by Liv Schreiber, I can’t help but see him as angry Wolverine and that too is a very good thing. I’ve been immersed in season one all weekend, so much so that when the tragic news broke of a body being found in Demi Moore’s pool I legit thought for a second ‘She should’ve hired Ray’. Watch. It!

4. Despite my new Ray Donovan obsesh , I managed to get ALL of my freelance work written AND FILED! Anyone that writes for a living (or part thereof) will tell you that it literally feels like homework hanging over your head. I absolutely LOVE what I write about but still suffer that dreaded first lineitis. I’ve been known to wash skirting boards and even the dog to avoid it but I shook it off, completed and sent everything in. Blahhdy love that feeling!

5. My baby turned 18!! See? Even writing this I get emotional. I don’t feel old enough to be a Mama to two grown men, hell I’m NOT old enough to be Mama to two grown men but that’s what I am now and that’s what they are. Adam in particular has been responsible for 97% of my fine lines and wrinkles with his Evil Kenevil antics.

He’s broken almost every bone in his body and after one devastating accident when he was just 5 years old we very nearly lost him. I know I jest about HASHTAG BLESSED but that’s exactly how I’ve felt for a long time now and more so than ever this week. It’s not easy being a single working Mama, the juggling can be torturous at times but we’ve made it to my baby’s 18th year in better position than I ever dreamed we would. We've quite literally grown up together. We did it!

Tell me, what Moments are making your Monday? 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cherry Pick of the Week: Years & Years ~ Shine

You'll recognise this UK Electronica trio from their Summer STORMER King but their second single, Shine is set to take the radio waves by storm. A more sedate offering but still including a killer hook, it seems everything these lads produce is gold. 

I have their album, Communion,  on my phone ready for walking tomorrow ~ you know the music's good when it's Sunday and you're looking forward to Monday just to hear it!

Do you love these guys too? Tell us, what's been on repeat in your world this week? 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ant-Man - Movie Review

Who's In It?


What's It About?

Original Ant-Man Hank Pimm needs someone to take over the suit and destroy evil business man Darren Cross' replication - he chooses burgler Scott Lang, much to the protests of his daughter Hope.

Any Good?

I had pretty low expectations for Ant-Man going in - Paul Rudd didn't seem to be the type to play a superhero and all of the walkouts, it just seemed doomed. But it more than pleasantly surprised me with how funny and well done it was.

The suits themselves were fantastic, all of the costumes were incredibly well done and left my little cousins asking their Mam if she could get them bike helmets made from them - I'm not too old am I?.. The small scenes were well done too, armies of CGI ants making bridges from themselves looked good, as well as Ant-Man himself. 

I really liked Michael Douglas as Hank Pimm, he gave the character a great voice and gravitas - perfect for a retired super hero. Paul Rudd was just himself, the same facial expressions and everything since his time in Friends, but I thought he did well and could be a great addition to the Avengers.

A really surprisingly good film, I enjoyed it from start to finish. The only off part about it is the forced jokes and one liners that seem to be Marvel's thing as of late - it's just worn off on me. There is some good hints in this though, especially to a certain Avenger himself that was left out of the lineup for the two films. There is also a mid credit scene and after credit one - definitely stay for both!


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Things That Rustle My Jimmies

It's that time of the week again, Thankfully!

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

1. People That Leave Bags & Boxes of Recycling Outside the Recycling Centre...


3. Brands/People that auto DM when you follow them on Twitter to tell you about their 5 other platforms - Suddenly..

4. The Word 'Addicting'. 

5. Instagram Banning #Curvy!

Tell me I'm not alone? Can you relate? Can you bring yourself to share what's been rustling yours?

Sharing is proven to reduce feelings of stabbiness by at least 82% - True story!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

*WIN* A Stunning Pippa Palette for You AND Your Pal!

There is nothing, NOTHING I like more than seeing blogging throwing open doors and helping people realise their dreams. That's why I did an involuntary warm & fuzzies shoulder scrunch when I saw Pippa O Connor of announce her first beauty product, the Pippa Palette for Blank Canvas Cosmetics. 

The palette contains 6 shadows, a blush, a highlight & a contour shade. Each named after a special person (or madra) in Pippa's life. We're talking flattering mattes, semi-mattes, a gorgeous champagne highlighter, a super flattering coral blush and a warm matte blendable brown as contour. 

It's no surprise, given our grá for Pippa that the pre-sale palettes were all but snapped up in days. The official launch isn't until July 20th but having spoken to our good beauty pals over at Cloud10Beauty we've teamed up to bring you the second in our dazzling giveaways. Not only will you win an Exclusive Pippa palette for your good self but you can nab one for your pal too!! (the first is for A YEAR'S SUPPLY OF THE TAN enter below)

Entry for this one couldn't be simpler, you know me. Just pop your details in the widget of wonder below. 

Entries are open to both the UK & Ireland but if you happen to be under 18 do please get permission from your parent or guardian - Maybe don't mention it's for the Pippa palette - I can see a LOT of Mamas wanting this versatile beauty too !

Good Luck!! <3

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter our Stunning
Giveaway for A YEAR's
SUPPLY OF TAN here too!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Our Cork Adventures – The Stunning Sherkin Island!

Welcome back to Cork, one of our favourite counties in Ireland. I last told you about our venture to Cobh & the Titanic Experience. This week it’s time for something completely different. We didn’t have a set plan of where we wanted to visit, more of an idea of things we’d like to do on our budget friendly break in Cork a few weeks ago. My husband Colin knew that you can get a boat out to some of the islands from Baltimore harbour so we hopped in the car & headed there to see what we could do for the day.

Sherkin Island - The Boat from Baltimore Harbour

There are a couple of ferry companies operating out of Baltimore providing passage to Cape Clear, Heir Island , Sherkin Island & even out to Fastnet Rock. As we arrived we saw some people heading down the pier to a boat so we tagged along not knowing which Island they were going to. Sure isn’t that what holidays are for a bit of spontaneity every now & then, you never know what gem you might discover. Turns out we were on the Sherkin Island ferry, it only cost us €20 return for the SEVEN of us for the 10 minute crossing.

Sherkin Island ~ Family Fun

As Wi-Fi was pretty sketchy in the wilds of West Cork I didn't have a chance to research Sherkin Island so we didn't really know what to expect. As we docked, I caught sight of some ruins, which was our first port of call. It’s an ancient Franciscan friary built in the mid 1400’s, closing in 1796 when the last remaining Friar passed away. The gate is open & you are free to roam around inside or go up to the roof for amazing views. You’ll find photos inside with lots of information on the friary.

Sherkin Island ~ The Franciscan Friary

As we were walking up the road a van pulled in beside us, it was the Island rural transport scheme, now that’s service. The lady advised us that it was a 30 minute walk to the beach but there was a nicer strand just a little further on again. She offered to take us for just €2 per adult & €1 per child, before she could finish we were safely ensconced in the back of the bus. Thank God she had the forethought to give us her mobile number so we could call her to be brought back, I never would have thought of it.

Sherkin Island ~ Silver Strand

We spent a wonderful afternoon in blissful isolation on Silver Strand, the children could run to their hearts content, even having a paddle in the sea to cool off as it was a scorcher of a day. After a phone call to be picked up we started to ramble back the way we came, it’s so peaceful out there you can’t help but relax. 

Our destination was the Islander’s Rest, a 21 bedroom hotel about a 10 minute walk from the harbour. We had lunch in the bar; Colin & I ordered fish & chips while the children had a homemade pizza between them. The prices were great with our bill totalling just over €40 for drinks & lunch.
Sherkin Island ~ Islander's Rest

Our sojourn to Sherkin turned out to be one of the best days of our holiday in Cork, and perhaps one of our most peaceful in all of our family adventures so far. Next time we’re in Cork we have Cape Clear on the list. 

Have you been to Sherkin or any of the other Islands? Tell us how you got on!

Catch up on our past 
travels & find some Irish
holiday inspo HERE!