Friday, 27 May 2016

Warcraft - Movie Review!



Who's In It?

Paula PattonBen Schnetzer, and Toby Kebbell


What's It About?

When the Orc world of Draenor is dying, mage Gul'dan uses "the fell" (death magic) to open a portal to human/dwarf/night elf world of Azeroth. He allows a war band through to capture lives to reopen the portal to allow the entire Orc Horde through.




Any Good?

I grew up playing Warcraft 3 and I still LOVE it, but even from the set release date I was extremely skeptical. At the start of the film I was in the mindset of it will be a feature length Blizz cutscene, which are always amazing. Then the 'actors' opened their mouths.

The human actors are AWFUL. They're wooden and emotionless, and for some reason the people drift between a half English accent and the worst American one you'll ever hear. While the King is wooden and the Defender cheesy, the mage Kadgar is quite possibly the worst performance I've seen in years.

When Kadgar speaks it's like he's reading it out loud in 4th class, which I'm fairly sure he actually was because he was always looking off centre. On the other end of the spectrum the voices for the Orcs were done really well. Gul'dan sounds ancient and dangerous, while Durotan sounded truly conflicted.


Orgrim

Speaking of the Orcs, their CGI/props were fantastic. Apart from the woman painted green with small fake fangs, they were huge muscly monsters that looked like they'd be terrifying. I loved Gul'dan, even past the crap magic effects he was old and green (some orc ancestors drank fell blood and that turned them green) and had huge spines out his back. 

The rest was like the Hobbit, but much worse. It really pushed the shiny human cities thing which made them pure white shine. The film itself was wayyy too bright even under 3D glasses, it was all glare and no reality behind it. The worst though was definitely the Orc baby, the babies in Shrek looked better.

After watching Warcraft I couldn't decide if it was bad, just that it was in no way good enough. In an industry with Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and the way the Hobbit was received, this was incredibly sub-par. Now that I've thought about it, yes it really is bad. Looking back on the Hobbit movies they're not good, but Warcraft is like the cheap imitation of those films.

Honestly I'd say see it yourself and decide, people seemed to like it as we were leaving. But as a LotR, Warcraft, and fantasy fan in general it was just not good enough.

Rating: 



Thursday, 26 May 2016

Things That Rustle My Jimmies


How do, Thursday, How do? Ready for some unrustling? Yeah you are: 

1. Having ZERO clue what my app sign ins are for my new phone...



2. Losing a substantial gift card... I think I accidentally put it in a gift bag for someone... 
As well as their gift...



3. Wondering why my alarm was waking me on a Sunday, nestling back into the pillow & realising it was Tuesday...



4. Spanish Students. Grafton Street. 



5. Niamh Horan



Tell me, what's been rustling your jimmies this week? It's good to share...


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Makeup Forever Ultra HD ~ Real Life Photo Shop for Your Face!



What better way to inject a little beauty back onto the blog than with a GLOWING review for a cracking product range. You'll remember I was freaking out just a touch about the new TV3 HD cameras for Midday? Well one of the most on the ball PRs I know saw my panic and introduced me to one of the most impressive makeup lines I've ever used,  
Makeup Forever Ultra HD.

This entire range are basically real life photoshop for your face. The lightweight formula of the foundation buffs in effortlessly with a stippling brush or can be applied in outward strokes with a flat foundation brush and can be built to a fuller coverage than the medium level of a standard application. The beauty of it? It takes little or no time to perfect this foundation when applied correctly. 

My normal/ occasionally dry skin adores it. The inclusion of hyaluronic acid & 'luminosity spheres' means this satin finish foundation sits weightlessly on my visage. Though those inclusions also give me an inkling that oilier gals might not be as enamoured. If that's you and you didn't get on with this formulation, definitely let me know. 

The real beauty with the formulation of every product in this line is that they work effortlessly with each other. Particularly impressive is the fact that even once your full face is set with the HD Powder, you can still use the HD blush and it will sit beautifully on the skin; unheard of to do so successfully with any other line.  

MUFE Primer for Fair Skin Tones: €33

The combined finish for me is glowing rather than greasy & never settles into my fine lines, no matter the wear time (which is seriously impressive on camera & off). Though primer is essential to ensure MUFE Ultra HD products can work their magic effectively, they truly are just that for me. There's a whopping 40 shades to choose from so I reckon they could be just that for you too. I've have a serious WANT on me for the MUFE yellow toned primer (for fair skin) but right now both my Cargo HD primer and the Max Factor Facefinity are both getting the job done. 

Price wise the Ultra HD line is high end and priced as such at €43 for the foundation, the concealer (which contains Silica to glide over fine lines) is €25 & the powder €33.50. You know I'd never steer you astray in a recommendation when it comes to dropping serious change on products but I can tell you, hand on heart, these are worth every cent to me. 

You can buy Make Up Forever products online HERE, very soon from Debenhams or, my recommendation, with a visit to the Clarendon Street store in Dublin. The gals in store are some of the most approachable and knowledgeable I've ever had the pleasure to chat with and I'll definitely be popping back in for a full face when needed next. 

Tell me, have you been converted to the Ultra HD ways yet? 

Wanna see more Beauty reviews around these parts and not primarily on Instagram once more? 

Perhaps most importantly,*in Ron Burgundy's voice* 
have you SEEN how good this makes me look on Midday? 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Our Taste of Coppinger Row as #AAFoodies



Last month CherrySue and I were invited into Coppinger Row to join the AA for one of their famous AA Foodie events. This 2 AA Rosette winning Mediterranean restaurant is located just off South William Street, nestled in the heart of the creative quarter in Dublin’s city centre. General manager Erica Drum was on hand to greet us when we arrived, she was so lovely and welcoming. Erica introduced us to the bar manager Tommy Vivian who expertly imparted some of his vast knowledge of Gin, boy does he know his stuff! 

Monday, 23 May 2016

Monday's Moments ~ 23/05/16


It's been a little while since we've celebrated some Monday's Moments but you know what? I need 'em to give me a little perspective on what's been going on of late. So I'm giving thanks for the little things & the big things once more and chasing off my Monday blues with some Moments that make it all worth while, I'd love to hear yours too!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Game of Thrones: Season 6 Episode 4 Review!



FINALLY things happened in this series without killing everyone possible!! Only some important people though, can't disappoint the Michael Bay type on the board.

Of course, that means that Daenarys has done her requisite cool thing for the season. She now will fade to boring nothingness despite setting up a possibly really interesting storyline (even if the ending of the episode was a bit over the top.)

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Things That Rustle My Jimmies


You might have noticed that I haven't been online a lot this week.... There are reasons RUSTLED JIMMIES to explain that...


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Carefree Cork ~ A Wonderful Weekend Family Escape




This past weekend saw us pack up Mammy Van for another road trip, this time to Cork, arguably the most relaxed and carefree County in Ireland. We’ve been many times over the years (a simple word search on the left there will show you that) It’s a place that I’m sure we’ll be visiting for many more years to come as there’s simply so much to see and do in the Rebel County.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Alice Through the Looking Glass - Movie Review!




Who's In It?

Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp & Sacha Baron Cohen


What's It About?

After sailing the world and exploring China, Alice returns to Wonderland to save the Mad Hatter. Rather than reboot, we're talking next chapter. 

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Things That Rustle My Jimmies


Six times so far this week I've repeated 'Not my circus, not my monkeys' - it's saved lives. In terms of rustled jimmies, there's been a few, here's the top (bottom) five: 

1.  The Dublin Bus driver changing the LCD display as we turned on to the quays so that he'd no longer have to drive to UCD & turfing us all off on D'Olier St...



2. Using the Micro-Nail buffer just once and it OBLITERATING my poor thumb nail bed...


3. Dropping a nail polish onto the office tiles not even 12 hours after I'd bought it....


4. Being so erratically hormonal this week that I cussed out a chip that wouldn't stay on my fork....


5. The screen on my beloved Sony Xperia coming unstuck after just 6 months, turns out 'it happens'...


Tell me, can you relate? What's been rustling your jimmies this week? 


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Plane Sailing in Enniscrone ~ One Man & His Quirky Glamping Plan ~ One Mam & Her Mammy Van!





If you’ve been listening to Today FM’s Anton Savage Show over the last few weeks you’d have heard all about David McGowan, an Undertaker in Enniscrone, Co Sligo and his madcap plan to bring a Boeing 767 he’d bought, from Shannon Airport to Enniscrone to use as accommodation in his Quirky Glamping Village. It definitely wasn’t all “plane sailing” for David and his massive team of volunteers. 


Blogging Help ~ The Top Ten Questions Answered!



If you've been following along on Snapchat HERE you'll know that the way I do things has been evolving. That's always a good thing. For the past several weeks I've been offering up #AskCherrySue sessions where I give a Tip of the Day that I think others might find helpful. To say the response has been overwhelming is an understatement. Every platform now has messages daily to say women, real women, are implementing my tips and seeing real change. I'm ecstatic. The catalyst for this was the stupidly popular Snapchat Blogging Q&A so I thought the first actual blog post should be in honour of that: The Top Ten Blogging Questions Answered. 

I'll set out the top ten (of the hundreds of) questions that were asked for that Q&A. Basic answers that I've learned throughout my blogging career. If you know me you'll know I don't mince my words. Were we to have a coffee, this is what I'd tell you (to start with) (and with less swearing)...

Friday, 6 May 2016

Game of Thrones - Season 6 Episode 1 Review!

(THIS WAS WRITTEN FOR THE 29TH BUT WAS DELAYED DUE TO FAMILY ISSUES!)



So it's back again (x6!), the show that every season I put off watching until halfway through then get REALLY INTO IT and watch it all at once. I've decided this time to keep up, and I'm not disappointed gladly!

Game of Thrones: Season 6 Episode 2 Review!



I was going to start out this review with something along the lines of 'WHAT HAPPENED?!', but I think I know exactly what happened. I believe this episode might be the last of the book content used (I've only read the first!).

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Things That Rustle My Jimmies


It's been one of the toughest weeks in living memory for us. We had to say goodbye to our beloved Diesel suddenly last week and to say we're devastated doesn't do the emotions justice. You may have noticed that posts have been a little sporadic as a result and I can't promise this week will be better but I can promise we're getting there & I do want to thank every single one of you that have gotten in touch to send well wishes. It's overwhelming in every sense of the word. Thank you. 

For now, jimmies MUST be unrustled for the good of all mankind and me: 

1. Instagram kicking my ass this week. Their algorithim has changed and I'm determined to beat it but my account engagement has plummeted. Several peeps have mailed directly to say they're just not seeing my pics anymore. Several of my favourite accounts are missing from my feed too. 

It's just not a fun platform for me to use right now. So bloody frustrating!



2. The Irish weather this week meaning I leave for a walk in sunshine & get as far as the park in Armageddon!


3. People screaming into their phones on the bus, in the office, in any place that isn't their own living room...


4. Our toothpaste resembling Davy Jones beard within 2 days of opening a new one... 



5Anti-aging skincare reviews from 20 year old reviewers... Ditto skincare reviews from anyone reviewing skincare not designed for their skin type - it's unfair to the brand, unfair to the product & wholly unfair to the reader...


 
Tell me, can you relate? Any ideas on how to sort out Instagram? What's been rustling your jimmies this week? I'M ALL EARS!!







Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Lavish London for Very Little Lolly!

=


Before I tell you all about our UK shenanigans I want to take a minute to thank every single one of you that nominated me for the Bloggers' Choice Awards this weekend. I was blown away to bring home Travel Blogger of the Year (!!) & honestly can't thank everyone enough. I've been travelling for years both luxury trips with Sue & budget adventures with our little ones and I only ever began blogging because I wanted to share our stories in the hope that some of you could do exactly the same - to be recognised for a labour of love is beyond humbling. You're all bloody legends. Thank you xx

Now - To London!


If you’ve been watching our Snapchat stories (@StoneTravel for me & @ItsCherrSue for herself) you’d have seen that we were recently in London as my birthday gift for Sue. As you know by now, we don't do things by halves when it comes to experiences but we certainly do things by halves, if not better when it comes to living it up without breaking the bank. Today I’m going to tell you how you too can enjoy a lavish weekend in London for very little lolly.

Flights:


First up were the flights, I’ve written a post about the 5 major airports in London and the amount of time and cash it takes to get to central London from each of them; you'll find that HERE. For these reasons I’ll always choose Heathrow when I can as it’s on the tube line.

The only stumbling block is that flights from Dublin to Heathrow can be very expensive. The best way to ensure you’re getting a great deal is to use Skyscanner. In January I set up an alert with Skyscanner for flights from Dublin to Heathrow (you can do the same for any destination). Nine weeks before we wanted to fly I was sent an e-mail to advise me the price of our flights had dropped to just €101.50 per person including all taxes and charges with British Airways.

As it was our first flight with British Airways I didn’t realise you receive complimentary drinks and snacks on board. Not only are they complimentary they are also very generous to boot. The air hosts & hostesses were some of the most pleasant we've ever flown with, our journey was entirely effortless, start to finish. A short 45 minute flight and a couple of rounds later we arrived in Heathrow relaxed and ready for the weekend.

Getting Around:


The cheapest and easiest way to travel in London is on the Tube using an Oyster Card. You can buy an Oyster card before you go HERE and have it delivered to your house costing £3 plus postage and the amount you wish to top it up by. Alternatively you can buy one in most tube stations at a cost of £5 deposit. Credit on an Oyster Card never expires so you can keep it for your next trip to London. 

You can also buy a Day Travelcard but they work out much more expensive at £12.10 per day whereas with an Oyster Card travel is capped at £6.50 per day between zones 1& 2. Using a paper ticket Heathrow to London City Centre costs £6pp each way, using an Oyster Card costs £5.10 during peak times and £3.10 off peak.

Hotel:


I find London the same as New York, insofar as trying to find the elusive decent hotel in the City at a decent price but I think we’ve finally cracked London! While searching expedia.ie I found the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington. It’s part of the Millennium Hotels Group consisting of over 100 hotels worldwide. The Copthorne Tara is located just a short stroll from High Street Kensington Tube station. It’s literally right behind the station itself, though you can barely make out the sound of the trains.

This 4* hotel is exactly what we’ve been looking for as it has everything on our checklist; location, price and amenities including two restaurants, two bars, a café and even a gift shop. We paid €298.47 through Expedia for a superior room with free Wi
Fi, room only, 2 nights for 2 adults sharing. The option was available to book the room on a B&B basis but it was priced at €664.10, that’d be some breakfast! Breakfast in the hotel is priced at £17pp they also have a takeout breakfast in the café with a great array of choice, priced at £4.95.

Where to Eat:


On a previous visit to London we had found a Whole Foods in Kensington, we really wanted to return so we decided we’d buy breakfast there on Saturday morning. It’s amazing the sheer amount of fresh wholesome food available, it’s actually too much when you’re hungry as we couldn’t decide what we wanted for breakfast! We opted for smoothies and fresh fruit salads; while we were looking for somewhere to sit and eat we stumbled upon Roadster California Burger in Kensington. The lure of American pancakes was too much for us so with our healthy food on the seat beside us we tucked into a scrumptious breakfast. CherrySue had a pancake stack with sausages and bacon while I had an egg white omelette with cheese, bacon and tomato. Our bill came to a very reasonable total of £17.50, including our drinks. 

Garlic Bites & Spiked Lemonades in Bella Italia
Bella Italia on Leicester Square was where we had dinner on Saturday night, one starter, two pasta dishes and two cocktails cost just under £45 not bad for central London. The service was incredibly slow, with other guests leaving mid-meal but our waiter explained that they were in the middle of an entire revamp. I'm guessing give them a week or so and they'll be top notch. 

Jamie's Empire Chicken ~ You HAVE to try this!

Lunch on Sunday was Jamie’s Union Jacks in Covent Garden, I’d forgotten just how unbelievably tasty his Empire Chicken with Bombay Potatoes was. It’s a dish I’ll definitely be making again soon; his recipe is available online HERE. We paid just under £50 for a spread of two portions of Empire Chicken, sides of bread & coleslaw topped off with a couple of beers. Jamie’s Secret Basement Bar looks fantastic; unfortunately the bar wasn’t open when we visited but we'll definitely pop back.

Where to Drink:


Sue had a couple of meet ups planned for us while we were in London, for one of those we chose Chiquito Leicester Square. Cocktails start at £6.95 but are reduced to £5 during happy hour. We had a couple of pitchers of cocktails and paid £20.95 per pitcher. Chiquito has a lovely al fresco dining area where it’s great to sit and people watch over Leicester square.

The Zoo Bar & Club on Leicester Square is a lively bar that gets packed to the rafters during happy hour 5pm – 9pm where all drinks are half price including pitchers of cocktails. Be warned though it’s very dark inside, it’s one of those places that I don’t think I’d like to see it with the full lights on. Having said that they have a seating area outside where we enjoyed a pitcher of Sex on the Beach for the bargain price of £9.25.


I didn’t say anything to Sue (world’s biggest gin lover!) as I wanted to surprise her with a trip to Holborn Dining Room located in the 5* Rosewood London Hotel just beside Holborn Tube station. With over 14 thousand Gin and Tonic combinations Holborn Dining Room is London’s largest Gin bar. As we were seated we were given a menu containing their Gin Specials while we were having a look and deciding the barman came over and presented us with their full Gin menu, or rather a book (or bible according to Sue) that’d take you all day to read! 


He was so friendly and helpful giving us lots of advice and recommendations, he even set up a Gin tasting for us. Sue decided to choose his recommendation of Bloom Gin with cardamom, chamomile and lemon, while I opted for a Jinzu; a British Gin with a Japanese twist finished off with a shiso leaf and cherry blossom. Our bill totalled £27.50, which was very reasonable for a 5* experience.

What to see:

The view from the Sky Garden

My top tip for visiting London would be to book a free one hour visit to Sky Garden so you can enjoy uninterrupted 360° views across the City of London taking in the Thames, Tower Bridge, The Shard, The London Eye and everything else London has to offer. There are two restaurants and two bars in Sky Garden if you wish to have a drink, snack or something more substantial; pre booking is advised for the restaurants.

The Shard also has amazing views of London from a higher vantage point on the other side of the Thames but you’ll pay £30.95pp for the privilege. Tickets for Sky Garden are dated and timed; you must also produce photographic ID to gain entry. We were late arriving but luckily we were still granted admission, to be honest we didn’t need the full hour but the views really are spectacular. We booked our free visit HERE.

West End Shows:

We always try to take in a West End show when in London, this time was no different. On Saturday afternoon we found ourselves in a tickets booth just off Leicester Square asking for recommendations for a matinee show. Sue really wanted to see The Book of Mormon but unfortunately tickets were priced at £170 each also they were nearly sold out meaning they didn’t have two seats sitting together. We eventually decided to take in two shows as we couldn’t decide which to choose.

Being Fancy AF at Kinky Boots
Kinky Boots, a six time Tony award winning show was the matinee we chose and it was fantastic; a real feel good musical with toe tapping tunes by Cyndi Lauper. The musical tells the story of Charlie Price who inherits his father’s ailing shoe factory in Northampton, he tries everything he can to save the factory for his employees. Charlie meets Lola a drag queen and they hit upon the idea to make boots for drag queens as there is a gap in the market for that demographic. Based on a true story, Kinky Boots takes you through highs and lows but leaves you wanting more as you leave the theatre. If you get to see just one show this year make it Kinky Boots, we paid £41 each for our tickets (& £6.50 each for our posh lollies). 


Based on recommendations we decided to see Showboat on Saturday night. Showboat is set in 1887 and spans 40 years telling the stories of performers, stagehands and dock workers of the Cotton Blossom, a show boat that sailed on the Mississippi River. This musical was originally written in 1927 and gave us classic songs such as “Ol, Man River” and “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man”. The stage was impressive and very well planned out. I loved the caramel bass tones of Joe singing “Ol, Man River”. 
I could have listened to him all night. 

No matter your tickets you'll get a great view of the stage for Showboat!
Unfortunately the ending just didn’t ring true for me & I've a feeling it may be rewritten. Still, as an evening out it was really enjoyable. We paid £21 each for our tickets as it's still in preview stages.


As ever, we had an absolute ball in London town. We're over very often so will definitely be visiting a couple of these spots again & no doubt staying in the Copthorne Tara again but tell us, anywhere we missed?