Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday's Moments ~ 27/06/16

Can you believe it's the end of June already? Summer Solstice has been & gone but aren't these bright nights literally mood altering? Long may they continue. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Now You See Me 2 - Movie Review!

Who's In It?

Jesse EisenbergMark RuffaloWoody Harrelson and Daniel Radcliffe

What's It About?

When the Horsemen 'escape' from a failed heist in America and find themselves in China, they are forced to do a tech genius' bidding to regain their lives.

Any Good?

The first Now You See Me was a clever film with great tricks that was let down by a stupid ending, but the sequel cleared that up from the beginning and sets up the rest nicely.
I thought the story in this was clever, especially with the tricks and explanations, but it was totally predictable from the start - but, that's not exactly a bad thing. It handled the break-ins and tricks so well by giving away details of them in the scenes, but saving the key parts for their big reveals (almost like real magicians!). The bigger break-ins were smart and really were exciting, while the down scenes between Mark Ruffalo and Morgan Freeman were great.

Speaking of Ruffalo and Freeman, when those two were alone it was like a different film. They played the characters really well and the chemistry was there between them, which was jarring from the rest of the actors.
I didn't mind the cheesy acting from most of the characters and even liked the OTT Woody Harrelson characters, but I feel bad for Lizzy Caplan as Lula. She was written horribly - I guess she was to be the comic relief/relateable one? - but she went from great prospective illusionist into an annoyance who only asked stupid questions and batted her eyelids at Dave Franco.

Honestly, I believe this film is the definition of fine. It's not meant to be a masterpiece and it has some really interesting parts, but nothing stuck out to make it memorable. The break-in and escape scenes were really good, but there wasn't much motive or reason to do these things other than 'he said do it' or 'it's what the Horsemen do' which left a feeling of 'oh, they're doing that now'.

While I did enjoy it enough, I'd say wait till it's Netflix or other streaming services.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How to Save a Packet on Dublin Airport Parking!

The major key in our ability to travel so much is that I actively root out bargains, all the time. Airport parking is one of those things that you really don’t need to spend a fortune on as they’re all secured and monitored. We’ll show you how to save a packet on airport parking and there’s even some promo codes too that’ll rack up those discounts.

No matter what airport you’re using I highly recommend booking online before you go to achieve maximum savings. Today I’m using Dublin Airport as an example and the screenshots below are quotes for two weeks parking.

For Belfast, Knock, Shannon & Cork Airports you can use or to compare rates however as you can see in the screenshots below seems to be the cheaper option as they quote €84 while quote €90 for the same car park. But which is my favourite & why? Read on to find out!

DAA Airport Parking

I understand you’re paying for convenience by parking in the short term car park at Dublin Airport but to me these astronomical prices just aren’t worth it. Considering the last flight I booked for our family of 7 cost just €90 paying €135.95 for parking seems ludicrous. However if you really must be close to the airport I have a great option for you below, saving you over €40 on DAA rates.

This is a great comparison website that can be used for all airports in Ireland. Here you can get quotes for eXpress park meet & greet at Dublin Airport, as I mentioned above if you really need your car near this is an ideal option as it’s  valet car parking. They’ll meet you kerbside at Dublin Airport so you can transfer your luggage from your boot directly onto a trolley and take the hassle out of travelling with children as no shuttle bus is required. 

Upon your return they aim to have your car back at the Airport within 10 minutes of your call, this service costs €94 for two weeks a saving of over €40 on DAA short term parking. They are fully insured to drive your car and they’ll make sure you don’t have a flat tyre or flat battery on your return.

This is also a comparison site for all airports in Ireland but just take note of the price discrepancies as they seem to charge more for some car parks.

Quickpark is my favourite car park and we’ve been using them for years with no issues. It’s the most hassle free parking I’ve found in Dublin Airport. Book online before you go, scan the QR code from your phone at the barrier to enter and exit. No printing required, no remembering tickets, no queuing at a pay machine and the icing on the cake is that they have promotional codes.

In the screenshot below I’ve used promo code WOOF for €10 off parking over 7 days duration. If you’re parking for a shorter period use codes NOVA or CINEMA for a 10% discount.

As ever, our main aim is to get you on that plane with as many sheckles in your pocket as possible, hopefully this helps!

Tell us, do you have any hints or tips for saving spends on airport stays? 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday's Moments ~ 20/06/16

Let's be honest, I could write every single Moment about the arrival of Heidi to Casa Cherry this week but I'll try not to... OK, there's a couple...

1. Finally getting to bring her nibs home! If you haven't been following along, Heidi is our new pupper, she's an American Bulldog we rescued from Dog's Trust last week. To be fair we could rename her Rhonda Rousey because she be SWOLE but Heidi is her name & we're smitten. 

2. Secondly, both the Gorgebags and I agreed to take part in the filming of a TV3 series for Dog's Trust to follow our adoption story & the importance of adoption over 'shopping' for dogs. 

The lads did brilliantly, though there were a few tears when we spoke about poor old Diesel. It'll air in September and we'll be sure to tell you when to watch out. 

3. Only bemoaning having to go back to the office after a glam morning of meetings & events, when I was presented with a Cornetto by a new colleague. We were having office ice creams just because. That's a thing now. 

4. Adam sailing through his college first year exams. CHUFFED!

5. Making a habit now of Snapchatting Corrina's little ones when there's new filters available. We were in creases sending ever wilder ones back & forward. Forget Skype, lads!

Tell me, what's been making your Monday so far? What one Moment has mean there's no Monday Blues for you? 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Gods of Egypt - Movie Review!

Who's In It?

Brenton ThwaitsNikolaj Coster-WaldauElodie Yung, and Gerard Butler

What's It About?

After Set crashed Horus' coronation and killed his father Osiris to take his kingdom, human Bek teams up with Horus to defeat Set and save his dead girlfriend.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Things That Rustle My Jimmies

Granted it's been one of the best weeks in past history around our way with the arrival of our new pupper but there are jimmies to be unrustled - they're are always jimmies to be unrustled...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Baggage Charges & How to Use Your Kids to Avoid Them!

You may have seen in the media over the last couple of weeks that Ryanair have increased their baggage charges. But what does that really mean for you and is there a way to avoid hefty baggage charges? Well the short answer is that if you’re travelling with children, yes there is and you’ll save yourself a few Euro, which I bet will come in handy as spending money.

Ryanair previously had 108 different baggage charges but they've streamlined it down to just 6. While Ryanair had announced a baggage charge reduction was in the pipeline a couple of months ago and recently the media reported a baggage charge increase it’s a little confusing until you dig a little deeper. It all depends on the destination of your flight whether prices have increased or decreased, a look at the costs below should clear up the confusion.

Domestic Flights Less than 2 hours (Within the same Country)

Bags up to 15kg ~ €15 per flight (Previously €20 off-peak/€30 peak)
Bags up to 20kg ~ €25 per flight (Previously €30 off-peak/€40 peak)

Flights less than 3 hours 

Bags up to 15kg ~ €25 per flight (Previously €20 off-peak/€30 peak)
Bags up to 20kg ~ €35 per flight  (Previously €30 off-peak/€40 peak )

Flights Over 3 Hours

Bags up to 15Kg ~ €40 per flight (Previously €25 off-peak/€40 peak) 
Bags up to 20Kg ~ €50 per flight (Previously €35 off-peak/€50 peak)

Now for the way around it to try and save you some much needed spends: In 2014 Ryanair launched their Family Extra Scheme where they aimed to make family travel less stressful and budget friendly for families. The features of this scheme include,20% off your third family flight in a calendar year, 2 items of baby equipment per baby/child carried free of charge, 50% off kids priority boarding, on-board bottle warming facilities, a 5kg carry-on baggage allowance for babies and a 50% discount on checked baggage for all children.

That last one is the one that’s saved us a tidy sum over the last two years. The reason being is that you don’t have to book a full price adults check in bag to avail of the children’s half price option. Unfortunately they have closed this loophole on their website when they updated their systems last week to reflect the new baggage charges. I realised this when I was booking flights a couple of days ago. When I attempted to book a check in bag for my daughter a popup error message appeared to advise I must first book a full price adult bag.

However all is not lost. If you have a mobile device, which I’m sure you all do, simply download the Ryanair app. You can still avail of half price children’s bags through the app without first booking one under an adult’s name. If you’re not comfortable booking flights through the app that’s perfectly fine just book using your PC then use the ‘Manage Booking’ function on the app to add bags at a later date. I did for our flight to Birmingham later this year and I saved €25 for a 15kg bag by booking it under my daughter’s name.

Cabin Baggage

Hand luggage is still free up to 10kg, a maximum size of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Since 2014 you can now take a second small item of carry-on baggage, a handbag/ laptop or a shopping bag (up to 35cm x 20cm x 20cm). All children over 2 years of age in their own seats have the same cabin bag allowance as adults. Babies under 2 years old that sit on an adults lap during the flight have a 5kg cabin bag allowance.

What I’ve found really helpful is that when travelling with children and we have a check-in bag, when we get to the check-in desk at the airport they always ask can they check-in any of our carry-on bags free of charge. It’s great to free up our hands so we can glide through security with our five little ones.

So tell us, how do you manage when travelling with baggage? Have you been stung before? 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday's Moments ~ 13/06/16

Hello & Happy Monday to you! The sun has come back to join us, our boys in Green are about to take to the pitch and our world, in Casa Cherry, is quite possibly about to change - you best believe this Monday has its Moments...

1. I mentioned a couple of weeks back that I've been doing well in the weight loss fitness stakes - well this past week was spent trying on clothes that haven't fit in YEARS. 

Not only is that the stuff of elation for me but these clothes aren't even in the shops anymore - it's like Win/Win!

2. The legend that is Aaron finding my lost voucher! I can rest easy that I wasn't unintentionally overly generous after all. 
The Primark sports socks are on me! 

3. Starting in my new Department of the IRL job. Not only are the people some of the soundest I've met, the work is genuinely interesting AND I FOUND AN EVEN BETTER HIDEY HOLE!!

4. Realising that I've full on turned into my Dad. When he came in from a pint or two he'd sit us down to regale us with music vids of all the greats, ABBA/Marty Robbins/The Cars/Bonnie Tyler... 

It dawned on me as I squiffily Chrome casted Spotify Club Classics from upstairs to the living room where Aaron was sitting that the transformation is complete - #jesuismyowndad 

5. We took the step to go to Dogs Trust on Saturday to see if they had a Rottie in need of rescue. Well... we couldn't pass Heidi... She's an American Bulldog, she's had a difficult start and she melted our hearts instantly. 

She came to meet us at home & be introduced to Boo today - have a look HERE and see if you think she felt at home in any way - I can't stop smiling! Cross your fingers as we head into the next step in the adoption process!

Tell me, what Moment has been chasing your Monday blues away? What's good with you? 

Friday, June 10, 2016

When Marnie Was There - (Dubbed) Movie Review!

Who's In It?

Geena Davis, and 

What's It About?

When introverted schoolgirl, Anna is sent to live with family in the country she becomes obsessed with an old mansion and a girl who lives there. 

Any Good?

This is ALLEGEDLY Studio Ghibli's last film after Hayao Miyazaki retired, and you can really tell he's missing when compared to the likes of cult favourite, My Neighbour Totoro.

A lot of characters are really weirdly written here, bordering on distracting. Anna is a total dick for like 85% of the movie - I think they were trying to play into the shy teen girl thing but she just comes across as ignorant/rude and unlikable. Marnie on the other hand, is a total Manic Pixie Dreamgirl from EVERY teen romance movie of the 2000's. When I noticed the similarities to said girls, it just removed any intrigue of her character and my thought process switched to 'oh look, Zooey Dechanel is gonna reject poor Anna'.

While I didn't much like the main characters, I LOVED the Oiwa couple. The English dub voice actors for them (ESPECIALLY the wife) are so sincere and the characters so kind that they remind me a lot of a good friend's family and I loved every scene they were in.

Oiwa couple and Anna

The story was straightforward enough at the start and you really feel for Anna in some scenes, but it starts to fall apart when it plays mystery. It begins as girl explores mansion and meets a friend; then devolves into 'who/what is this friend?' and drops SO MANY hints to about 5 different endings. It stilts awkwardly from a childhood adventure to a Tumblr-esque fanfic of a (following link is kinda spoilers, click if you dare!) psychological thriller, to a would be ghost story?.. I watch Doctor Who and even I was left saying "What?" multiple times.

While I found some of the story convoluted, there were a lot of Ghibli-esque feels throughout, which suited the location and general gist of the story so much more in my opinion. The ending really ramped up the classic Ghibli feels train and it was emotional, I was just left wondering why did it not stick to this theme for the duration?

The animation is BE-A-UTIFUL. The settings are like old oil/water colour paintings from westerns and even move with the newer style anime character models which look incredible. 

I found that the old environment style anime next to the new character style was like handing off a torch; but I don't really like the mix they went for of new body animation while keeping oldschool face animation. It's distracting to say the least, when you splice that with disjointed character arcs, this just felt a little unkempt to me. 

While I'm aware that Studio Ghibli is usually kids, anime, a lot of themes in the movie were more teenage focused but done so childishly, it left me wondering who the studio had in mind for market? 

I believe that reviews err on the side of too kind for When Marnie Was There thanks to the association of Ghibli; but it was genuinely stunning on screen. I definitely will be going back to watch it just for the surroundings, and I'd 100% recommend it for anyone with even a passing interest in Anime/Ghibli style of animation too.

Tell me, are you an anime fan? You'll catch When Marnie Was There in the Lighthouse in Smithfield (one of my fave theatres) now. 


Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Take the Sting Out of the Summer Holiday Cost ~ Kids Stay Free!

'Kids Stay Free', now there’s a phrase that's music to my ears! You know I'm all about taking the stress out of family travel so I’ve scoured the deal sites and gathered five of the best ‘Kids Stay Free’ bargain breaks around Ireland. So if you’re looking for a getaway break with your family look no further than the list below, hopefully you’ll find something you fancy and at a great price to boot.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 6 - Review!

Sam and Gilly are finally off the boat and on the way to Sam's old home, which we learn is headed by his wildling HATING father. After the obvious 'you're not a wildling okay??' talk, they meet Sam's mother and sister who may be the only truly kind people in the series.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Things That Rustle My Jimmies

Oh Thursday, praise JEBUS, it's Thursday. To say jimmies have been rustled this week would be a wojus understatement - to share ALL of those jimmies would be career suicide - instead, here's the wittled down version....