Friday, January 29, 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.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Thank You 2015 - Our Year in Review!

I know I say this often but, 2015 was one of the quickest in my living memory. Not only that but 2016 is already off to a flyer as we're already one month in! I couldn't allow the year end go unmarked and in the spirit of my Monday's Moments posts give a little, scratch that, a LOT of thanks for the changes 2015 brought to our lives. 

Gorgebags Gonna Gorgebag

  • 2015 was the year that saw Adam turn 18, both of my babies, no longer babies. His birthday was just one of the Moments of the year that I mentally popped a pin in the memory. I'm sure all parents feel it, a seismic shift in your life, a lucid moment where you realise you've actually managed not to kill, maim or otherwise break the little ones in your charge. I think I may have felt it keenly because I'm a single Mam. The fact that we survived it together. They're men now, taller than their Mam, funnier than their Mam but still unable to beat their Mam in a wrestling match. Let's not be silly. 
  • Speaking of the youngest Gorgebag, he had several huge Moments of his own. He aced his Leaving (as in got exactly the points he needed), won the college place he'd been dreaming about for 2 years previous and only went and won Debutantes of the Year with his gorgeous girlfriend, Lauryn (above). 
  • Aaron, not to be outdone hopped, skipped and jumped through his Multimedia & Computing Diploma and is now putting it to perfect use with his very own blog Die Hard Dublin! Just one look at his blog (only soft launched) will show you this lad has blogging in his blood. 
  • Progressing from his Diploma, he's now turned his hand and his studies to Graphic Design. Can I get a HELL YEAH for in house blog tech assistance?! 
2015 has been, without doubt the biggest of both lads' lives so far, ipso facto, it's been mine too. 

Bloggers Gonna Blog

This pic was taken from THIS interview I did with the hilarious (she just gets it) Roisin over at How to Be an Adult
  • Last year was one of the most successful I've had with this little ol' blog to date. Not only did engagement on site and every one of my platforms continue to rise at an impressive rate (to me obvs) - having the chats daily tends to do that, but the opportunities I was afforded as a result have been quite simply mind blowing. 
  • I spoke at several conferences and networking events, the most enjoyable of all was, of course the Irish Bloggers Conference in Cork. Do you know why? Because it was the first time my incredible little sister got up to speak too. The room were, quite literally enthralled as she told them her story; you'll know Corrina from writing our Travel posts every single Tuesday; that room got the full shebang. I'm not exaggerating when I say she was just shy of a standing ovation, nor when I tell you I blubbed with pride for the duration. She wowed every single person there, just as she wows me every single day.  You have to hear this girl talk. 
  • I was thrilled to be featured on pretty much every medium of press there is, guest appearances on Newstalk, managing to get Pat Kenny to say 'greasy residue' on our national radio waves. Being interviewed by Exposé as a Blogger that Means Business and featuring in Stellar (FAVE), The Times and the Sunday Business Post as one of our country's leading digital influencers. It's pinchable, every single moment of it; pinchable. 
  • Probably the one campaign that I am most proud to have made my own was the Toyota #HappyinHybrid week. The deal was simple, you get the keys to a brand new Toyota Hybrid for a week in return for 3 social posts using that hashtag. Sure, a brand spanky car with a tank of petrol for 3 posts seemed like a sweet deal but I wanted to make it sweeter ~ I decided, in-keeping with everything we're about, to pay it forward and came up with a campaign ~ to spend the week performing #RandomActsofHappy and allow strangers feel some of that happiness ~ do please check out just how well it went HERE.
  • Probably the most life affirming move of the year for me, I began to offer social media consultancy sessions. They tie in nicely with the public speaking and networking events I've been accustomed to and allow me to channel the experience and education I've been building for years . I only started by request but, once I did, something clicked. It feels right, it feels like it's what I should be doing, there's nothing quite so grounding as finding something that works on every level. I get to talk passionately about blogging and branding, I get to help bloggers, businesses and brands alike and I get to float away from every single session with overwhelmingly positive feedback. 2016 is going to see HELLA more of that, on several levels.  
  • Finally, work wise, and the one that brought the most squeals of excitement, was the invitation to draw on those TV snapshots and join the TV3 Midday panel!! Set your tellyboxes to record on the 1st of February because you're about to see a whole lot more of yours truly. I love that they feature strong women with their heads screwed on, not one of them shy about speaking up for themselves. It's handy that I have an opinion or two, innit?

Full Circle in NYC

THE Moment of 2015, the Moment of my life so far and probably the one that will stay with me until my last breath was this very one. With the loves of my life in a very emotional place for me. 20 years, almost to the day, before this was taken I had my picture taken at the same exact spot in Central Park. I was 17, 8 months pregnant, unbeknownst to anyone but me and in the darkest place I've ever known.

Cut to this, two decades, two lifetimes later and I'm happier than I ever imagined I could be. The darkest of my days was just the dawn of our incredible life together. We were in New York for our first holiday, just the three of us together. Adam, the outrageously generous son that he is brought us there! Aaron worked his guts out on the run up and treated us while there! I try not to do #blessed, I really do but that resonates deep down inside me. They're the men I've raised. Those hearts and those minds are what every single sleepless night and endless worry were for.

Nothing will ever compare to that feeling and I'll never forget that Moment in time. I know people talk about 'closure' and seeing the full picture, this was it for me. I know, my boys know and you should know too that no matter how dark the day, brighter ones are coming. 

This is and always will be the life event that gave me my sense of perspective, allows me to drown out the white noise and face anything, any single thing that this funny old life can throw at me. My one wish for every one of you reading this is that you get to feel that too. 

A heartfelt Thank YOU for reading, clicking & interacting with everything we do, making all of this possible and 
Thank You to 2015 for being our best year yet. 
Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016 for every single one of us. 
The world is very much our lobster. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How to Get Into Central London from 'London' Airports ~ Stansted, Gatwick, Luton, Heathrow & London City!

There’s nothing quite like that feeling you get when you click “book” on a rock bottom priced flight that you’ve found after hours of trawling the internet; by the same token there is nothing as bad as that sinking feeling when you arrive at your destination airport to realise to get to the city centre will cost you the same price as your flight and in some cases double the price again. Today I’m going to give you the low down on exactly how much it’ll cost you to get to central London from London’s 5 major airports.

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Big Short - Movie Review

Who's In It?


What's It About?

When a hedge fund manager realises the housing market in the US is a bubble, he decides to invest in the chance of it failing; which in turn attracts more managers to do the same.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Things That Rustle My Jimmies

Suffice to say my reaction to the majority of this week has been 'I put on a bra for this?!'; well actually that's not suffice because we're here to unrustle specific jimmies. Here they be:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Snapchat Backhanders ~ Why They're Not OK!

I spoke last night about Snapchat backhanders but would love to hear your tuppence too. I far from begrudge anyone making a living through their digital influence, I'm known for exactly the opposite in fact, the thing is, if you’re accepting payment for product placement without ever saying as much, that’s a backhander. There are several reasons why that’s just not okay:

1. There’s a huge respect for knowing your digital worth and not settling for less, so own that. Contrary to popular belief, if your audience trust you, they’ll know that your opinion can’t be bought so whether you’re earning hundreds or thousands for a mere mention of a product or place OWN IT!

2. When money changes hands, whether you requested payment or the brand offered it, the product or service then becomes product placement. Product placement is advertising. Advertising should be clearly shown as such. Every. Single. Time.

3. Not all of your followers know how blogging/vlogging/digital influence works. Many are young men and women, sure that their online favourites suddenly fawning over a product or service, manufacturing hype, means it must be worth their money. That’s not always the case (granted it occasionally is). Not only does that lead to people wasting their money on mediocre product but pressuring their parents to do so too. That’s not cool. On any level.

4. You’re being illegal. The ASAI may not be showing their teeth right now but advertising without declaring is illegal and you will eventually be bitten.

5. You’re giving the entire community a bad name. I’m a firm advocate for unfollowing people when I don’t like their content and will always do so if I spot subliminal selling; especially if I’ve turned down an offer of remuneration but see it pop up, undeclared, on someone else’s feed. Not everyone can spot that though. The backlash from backhanders is only getting stronger. Digital influencers only ever came to the fore because consumers were tired of paid for opinions in print media. You’re literally undoing all of the Trojan work that has gone before you. Integrity doesn't cost a penny.

So tell us, what do you make of undeclared product placement? 

It happens on every platform but seems especially prolific on Snapchat of late. 

I should probably clarify that he fact that I'm a blogger writing this negates me using #notallbloggers in the vein of  #notallmen, right?

Do you agree with the points above? Maybe you think it’s not that big of a deal? 

It’s a conversation that needs to happen so let’s chat!

If you want to hear the Snaps that meant my phone was exploding with messages of agreement this morning then pop over to my Snapchat: ItsCherrySue. I chat about beauty, motherhood, life, women in business, blogging/branding tips and even bring you along to exciting press events but I always, ALWAYS tell it like it is. Come on over & say Howdy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Spreading Valentine's Love without Breaking the Bank - 5 Deadly Deals!

With Valentine’s Day less than a month away it’s time to start thinking about what you're going to get that special someone in your life. Having spent 18 years with my husband, I can say from experience, it’s not worth spending a fortune to go out for a meal and stay in a hotel on Valentine’s Day. We’ve had mediocre food, time limited tables, harassed waiting staff and highly inflated bills so we decided a long time ago to spend Valentine’s night at home with a candlelit meal after the children have gone to bed. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Creed - Movie Review

Who's In It?
Tessa ThompsonMichael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone

What's It About?

After being adopted out of Juvie by Apollo Creed's wife, Adonis Creed becomes a boxer and persuades Rocky Balboa to train him when no one else will.

creedpostersmall (1).jpg
Any Good?

Right from the start I could see how similar Creed is to its Rocky predecessors. You've seen the same story over and over - kid with no parents in a detention centre starts fighting, then takes up boxing. The story isn't what makes the film though, that's all down to the incredible performances.

Michael B. Jordan is a stand out, he brings out the absolute best in an alright script and knocks it out of the park in every emotional scene. The real star of the show though is Stallone, he is PHENOMENAL as old Rocky. 

Thinking of films like The Expendables and Judge Dredd, this performance was totally out of the blue; he IS Rocky but doesn't play him as an underdog boxer character, but as an old man who's making up time with a friend he lost. After winning the Golden Globe for supporting actor, I honestly think he'll go all the way and get the Oscar to go with it.


Ryan Coogler was also great directing this, the fight scenes are some of the best I've ever seen - definitely the best boxing specific scenes. The film is shot so that you see every punch, and it doesn't make a big drama of every tap the boxers get; I wish the film was in a higher framerate for the fights because they were so quick.

Incredible acting and well choreographed fight scenes bring Creed to life, but it's not all about the fights. The emotional scenes pull no punches (sorrynotsorry)and really brought the feels - especially a certain two that you'll know immediately if you watch it. Which I really recommend you do.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Things That Rustle My Jimmies

Hello, Thursday my old friend, I've come to unrustle on you again. It's been an eventful week in many ways, many great, some good, some truly awful. In an effort to restore some personal balance though, what say we unrustle those jimmies? Yeah? Great. 

1. Media outlets posting click-bait headlines about a long awaited Friends reunion, knowing full well it's not a reunion at all but a documentary that will happen to include all of the actors from the cast. They don't tell you that until you click though. SWEINHUNDS. 

2. Booking a bargain flight with EDreams but the flight confirmation revealing you're flying to an entirely different city an hour away, with the expectation that you'll 'Hop on a train'! 
That's not a bargain...

3. The 'Lady Ball' fiasco online this week. I refuse to link it but it's a pink football with huge media fanfare - 'It's never been easier to kick straight, while looking great'. 
Even IF this isn't an ostentatious, outrageously sexist pish take and is an actual thing: 

4. The fact that Adele is not a pal of mine that I can't just call up for pints, even more upsetting having watched this week's Carpool Karaoke (HERE). Hello, Adele, it's me. 

5. The self appointed grief police on social media following two celebrity deaths this week. Telling people what to feel, how to feel and when...

 Tell us, what's been rustling your jimmies this week?
 Release that Kraken in the comments!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

5 Simple Steps to Bag a Travel Bargain

Go on admit it, how many times over the last fortnight has your finger hovered over the 'Book Now' button for a holiday?! At this time of the year everyone and their mother is trying to sell you a holiday and to be fair some of them are fantastic bargains, others, not so much. There’s an art to hunting down that bargain holiday; the holiday that you want that is, not just going anywhere because it’s cheap but to be honest that’s perfectly fine too, I’ve done it and had great experiences. But if there is a particular destination you’re after read on as I’ve a few tips that might help you save yourself some cash that would be better spent enjoying your holiday than on an overpriced flight, ridiculous flight times or a so so hotel stay. My top 5 tips for bagging a travel bargain:

1. Book it Yourself

That’s my motto and it hasn’t let me down yet. By booking it yourself you are effectively cutting out the middle man who would otherwise be taking a cut of your holiday price. Sometimes however it can work out slightly cheaper to go on a package holiday as they might put on a bus from the airport to hotel or they can get a cheaper rate as they are booking hotel rooms in bulk, I’ve found this mainly applies to sunshine holidays. So my advice would be that before you book anything get a quote with a travel agency and then price it yourself. 9 times out of 10 you can find it cheaper yourself.

2. Sign up to Airlines Newsletters

Seems straight forward really but with the current price war between Ryanair and Aer Lingus now is the time that you want to have your finger on the pulse. It’ll give you a better chance of bagging that flight in a flash sale before they’re gone. I know you tend to see it all over social media when there is a sale but even an hour can make all the difference so it’s wise and be the first in the know.

3. Fly Midweek

If you’re off for a week or two try to fly midweek not only will the airport and flight be less crowded especially if you’re travelling with children but you’ll also save yourself some serious money. Last December we went to Disneyland Paris and flew out on a Tuesday morning and home late on a Friday night. I halved the price of the flights by opting to go Tuesday rather than Saturday morning. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to check in and navigate our way through the airport and security in December with 5 little ones under 9, no rushing, no queuing, no panic.

4. Open Skyscanner Searches

You’ve more than likely heard of Skyscanner before now but did you know that you can select “anywhere” as a destination? It might inspire you to go to somewhere you hadn’t even thought of. If you already have your destination in mind but just don’t know when is the cheapest time to go you can select “whole month” or “cheapest month”, clever eh!

That’s not all, you can sign up with your flight requirements and they’ll send you free daily price alerts. This option will pop up as you are searching for flights. Test out Skyscanner searches HERE.

5. Mix it up

Don’t be afraid to book separate flights with two different airlines for your outward and return journeys. I used to think, it was a bit weird to book different airlines. Would I be drawing attention to myself? Did I look like I was up to something untoward? The simple answer is no, not at all, many savvy travellers do this as not only are you saving a packet you’ll also have a greater range of flight times to choose from. 

A couple of years ago I called my sister Susan on a Wednesday to ask could she get the following Friday off work, luckily she could. I booked us return flights to London for under €10 each including taxes and charges. We even flew into and out of different airports. Granted we left with the lark on Friday morning and returned on a lunchtime flight Sunday but we still had enough time in London to let our hair down. Not bad for less than half the price it costs me for a return train to Dublin. 

Don’t forget the ferry! Sometimes it’s cheaper to go by ferry as a foot passenger, so it’s worth checking out if it’s an option for your chosen destination. As an aside, with the ferry there doesn't even have to be another destination, it can be a trip in itself; see how we got on on a one day jaunt HERE. Travelling without the little ones? There's nothing quite as footloose and fancy free as an impromptu booze cruise to catch up with friends (once the weather forecast is in your favour).  

Tell us, what's your best tip for bagging a travel bargain? 

Have you booked a trip for 2016 yet? 

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Things That Rustle My Jimmies

Hellloooo, 2016! Are we ready for the first unrustling of the year? I KNOW I AM!! In no particular order of idiocy: 

1. Post Christmas Insomnia

2. 'Have you tried this Teatox? 
It detoxes your body!'

3. Midweek Hangovers

4. Lipstick Marks on the neck of 
the Office Milk Carton...

5. Following the sexual assault of dozens of women in Cologne by hundreds of men, the Mayor of the City has urged 'A Code of Conduct for Women'. 
In Germany. 
In 2016. 

Now that feels better! Well maybe not the last one. 
I may be incensed by the last one for a very long time, if not forever. 

Tell us, how was your Christmas? Bring forth your jimmies for the great unrustling!