Sunday, 23 July 2017

Cherry Pick of the Week: Jo Malone's Exfoliating Shower Gel!

Brand new & badly needed this month are Jo Malone's Exfoliating Shower Washes.
If you're a Jo Malone lover you'll know that everything about this brand is luxe, these fancy ablutions are no different. I've been getting better as using the good stuff, I have long had a very strange habit of saving products or nice things for good but no more. Whether it's a quick shower after a long day in the office or an uninterrupted bath at the weekend, I've been using this and loving it. 

The exfoliating shower wash I was gifted by the brand, Lime Basil & Mandarin is an unmitigated WETSER. Bright, citrussy and ideal for the clement weather we've been enjoying. Soft Jojoba beads, finely crushed orange peel and bamboo stem work brilliantly to gently scrub off SPF & false tan alike & prep your skin for the next round. It's literally a full body primer. 

My skin, aprés shower or bath is softer than it's been for quite a while, which in turn means I'm making a more concerted effort to moisturise too - something I often skip. It's win/win for my skin. 

There's 3 variations of these exfoliating washes available: Tantaslising Lime Basil & Mandarin (my fave by far), Enigmatic Pomegranate Noir (which I can't use as it reminds me of my favourite candle) & Vibrant Geranium and Walnut (of the three, this definitely appeals to both sexes). 

All three are available in The Loop HERE for €28, or on BT counters now 💦

What's your go to shower fave in the summer months? 

Friday, 21 July 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes - Movie Review

Who's In It?

Amiah MillerSteve ZahnWoody Harrelson, and Andy Serkis

What's It About?

When the American remnants army led by The Colonel attack the apes at their home, Cesar sets out for revenge in a western style posse - joined by the most blatant boardroom characters ever created.

Any Good?

It opens on a Vietnam-like attack on a monkey fort, which looks fantastic and transitions absolutely perfectly into an almost horror sneak invasion on the main fort by the humans and it looks incredible - all throughout the film. 

The movie handles the characters of the main apes so well it's easy to see them as the humans (that's the point, but they pull it off REALLY well) - that is, until the shove the offending boardroom characters in. 

The movie gets extremely heavy at points, touching on things like crucifixion, euthanasia and concentration camps - but even in incredible scenes like these they focus is instantly ripped away to what a child who has no reason to be there beyond her first scene (and somehow always fixes everything)and a monkey that tried way too hard to be funny at the worst possible times.

These characters are a slap in the face of what this movie tried and  still somehow mostly succeeded to be - a great dark western redemption meets Schindler's List. They just pull any power a scene has and kills the atmosphere to keep the studio execs biggest fear away - a non-child friendly summer blockbuster.  

I was so disappointed by the addition of the cliche deus ex machina child and comic relief - they were very clearly jammed in to appease someone because both of their entire reasons to be are explained anyway and render them pointless. 

With all that said, the rest of the characters are fantastic and so is the story - a testament to how good the film is and could have been.


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Epic England Road Trip ~ Part 6 ~ Stonehenge!

Welcome back to our Epic England road trip across the south of England, last week I gave you all of our tips to help make your visit to Chessington as enjoyable as ours. So far we’ve brought you from Pembroke down through Devon & Somerset as far across as Hastings and this week we’ll bring you from Chessington to (our ancestral home) Stonehenge in Salisbury, just outside London.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Cherry Pick of the Week: The Velvetizer from Urban Decay!

When the brand new Irish Urban Decay flagship store opened on Dublin's Grafton Street last month, one of the most exciting elements was that we would have exclusive access to certain products. One of those products, The Velevetizer Translucent Mix-In Medium is worth the trip to the city alone. A new take on Makeup Artists' old trick of using translucent powder to alter foundation finishes in a pinch, The Velvetizer is about to be a go to makeup product, rather than a last resort. I was thrilled when UD Ireland popped a sample my way. 

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Cherry Pick of the Week ~ The Body Shop Banana Shampoo & Conditioner!

Let's try a little something different, shall we? A return of Cherry Pick of the Week (this time with a product or service that's seriously impressed that week). While I will continue to micro blog beauty news & reviews on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat & Twitter, I feel a dedicated return of beauty to the blog might be worthwhile too, and what better product to kick us off than another return? This time it's The Body Shop Banana Shampoo & Conditioner!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The ULTIMATE list of Chessington Tips!

Welcome back to our Epic England road trip across the South of England, over the last few weeks I’ve told you about DEVON, SOMERSET, THE NEW FOREST
This week we’re going to share all of our tips for visiting Chessington World of Adventures on a budget, strap yourselves in! 

Monday, 26 June 2017

Monday's Moments ~ 26/06/17

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Oh it's been a while, right? But we got some celebrating, some thanksgiving & some reflection on just how sweet life is right now to do. 

Be sure to tell me what's great in your life right now, even highlighting the smallest thing can turn your day 180 - suck it and see - or ya'know - comment below...

In no particular order of deadliness, my five Monday's Moments this week are: 

1. Home Girl has only gone and made the FINALS in the Irish Beauty Blog Awards in the Senior category! 

2. Bringing Bax to pick out a new harness & collar on his 9 month 'birthday' and having him weighed. HE'S 6.7 STONE! There may be grizzly bear in there, never mind Great Dane. 

3. Storming into week 3 of my second month on the Centra Challenge, I'm feeling fantastic, certainly more energised from consciously making better decisions each week and now another 
dress size down! 

There aren't many collabs that have had such an impact on my day to day, I'm delighted I said yes to this one. 

4. Joining in the first ever Feminist Ire podcast on Consent! There will 100% be more on this to come but I'm not only grateful for the inclusion in something so powerful but excited for everyone to hear it too. 
Empathetic and empowering, this group of women are awesome in the very real sense of the word.

5. Introducing Monday's Moments Snap Giveaways! To share a little love & say a little thanks, I've introduced these beauties on Snapchat. Open internationally, with no other T&Cs other than answering a simple question. 

I've been thrilled with the response & the goodwill it seems to create of a Monday. Today's is live for a gorgeous prize - be sure to enter HERE

Tell us, what's great with you? 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Things That Rustle My Jimmies ~ 24/06/17

What a fabulous week it's been in Ireland, the weather, the end of exams - THE CONSTANT BUFFOONERY!

In no particular order, (some of) the things that have rustled my jimmies this week:

1. 'Sure she brought her little one to the playground but did you see her on her phone the whole time'

2. Related to 1: Clawing Sancti-Mammys policing other women's parenting in FB Groups, 
usually co-sleepers, often helicopter parents, 
always sleep deprived MELTS!

3. The staggering disappointment that was 
OITNB Season 5... 

4. People that rock into clusterf*ck threads, 700 Comments Deep to say 'What's this girls? 
What I miss?'

5. 'That'll be it for our summer now'

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

Friday, 23 June 2017

The House - Movie Review!

Who's In It?

Jason MantzoukasAmy Poehler, and Will Ferrell

What's It About?

When the town mayor rescinds the scholarship for Scott and Kate's daughter, they start an illegal casino with their gambling addict best friend.

Any Good?

I sort of got the feeling they were going for an Old School look for this movie, but it turned into f****ed up scenes with f***ing boring ones in f***ing between. Did I say f**k too much? Yeah, they f***ing do that too.

I honestly don't really get this movie, it feels like it was written as a bad Epic Movie style parody of casino movies but the film producer made them put in a family trouble to be 'relateable'. They shoved in the family motive, but left the rest of the really messed up stuff in.

I was surprised that they put a character that gets PTSD in it and the scenes are clever, but they just go back to doing seriously f'd up things the next day, and being proud of it. There also are (sort of) consequences, but they again disappear over night and it just takes away any of the point to a lot of the scenes.

A lot of f***s, bloody over-the-top scenes and cliche characters really do make this feel like the Casino Movie that they (thankfully) never made. It wasn't really interesting, or funny, but I can't really say I feel disappointed cause I was pretty WTF through a lot of it. 


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Epic England Road Trip ~ Part 4 ~ Fort Nelson & Brighton!

Welcome back to our Epic England road trip across the south of England. This week I’ll tell you about our drive from the New Forest to Hastings stopping off along the way at Fort Nelson & Brighton sea front.
During the 50 minute drive from New Forest to Fort Nelson in Hampshire our daughter Orla let out a squeal as we drove past a huge Porsche dealership in Portsmouth (she loves everything about Porsche) so my husband drove round the roundabout and brought her in for to her to see the luxury cars. 
Each member of staff was really lovely to her giving her a tour of the forecourt and letting her see the vintage Porsches out back before sending her on her way with an arm load of posters. Thanks very much guys, you made her week!
What is Fort Nelson?

Fort Nelson is a fully restored Victorian Fort dating back to the 1860’s, it’s one of 5 defensive forts built along a 10km stretch of Portsdown Hill, the forts were built to prevent a land attack by the French on the dockyard of Portsmouth. Today it is part of the Royal Armouries and it houses the national collection of artillery. There’s 19 acres of ammunition bunkers, ramparts, outer fortifications, barrack rooms complete with a hospital, a kitchen where you can learn all about what life was like for a Victorian garrison. 
We particularly liked exploring the secret tunnels and learning from the interactive exhibitions. Like Edinburgh Castle Fort Nelson have a live fire demonstration everyday at 1pm. Our kids couldn’t believe it when we told them that both my husband & I used to be gun commanders on the 25pdr field gun that was used for the demo during our time served in the reserve defence forces.
How much is admission into Fort Nelson?

Admission is completely free of charge all year round except for special event days. Have you ever wanted to fire a historic artillery piece? Well now you can as Fort Nelson sell vouchers for Gun Firing Experiences, starting from £50 you can be the person who gets to fire the One O’clock gun! For further information click HERE.
Where to eat in Brighton:

After our visit to Fort Nelson we jumped back in the van for a 40 minute drive to Brighton for lunch and some sea air. When I was planning this trip I knew we’d want to eat in Brighton and I immediately decided on JB’s Diner as the kids love rockabilly and all things 1950’s Americana. We luckily got on street parking a block or two behind the diner as it is located right on the seafront overlooking Brighton Pier. Kid’s meals are £5.95/€6.75, consisting of a main, a milkshake & ice cream, perfect to fill little bellies. 

I had hot wings & a cold beer which was divine while my husband had a burger & a shake. The food was delicious & the kids took their time eating as they loved the atmosphere of the diner & listening to Elvis & Johnny Cash on the duke box.  
We had time for a walk along the shingle beach before we headed for Hastings where we were staying overnight.
Where to stay in Hastings:
Travelodge! Would it be anywhere else on this budget trip?! Travelodge Hastings is located just up the road from Hastings castle unfortunately we got there too late to visit as last admission is 4pm and we were leaving fist thing to drive an hour and a half to Chessington. 

The hotel is very well maintained & one of the nicer Travelodge’s we’ve stayed in. At check out I mentioned that the light wasn’t working in the bathroom; the guy behind the desk immediately got up and headed to our room with a bulb. We filled up on the full spread of fresh continental and tasty hot breakfast buffet in the restaurant before we set off for a full day of theme park fun. 
We paid £67.50/€76.63 for 1 night B&B for 2 adults & 2 kids.

Check back next week to see what Chessington has to offer!

*** Disclaimer: 
There is nothing 
to disclose! ***

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Epic England Road Trip ~ Part 3 ~ Beaulieu!

So far on our Epic England Road Trip we’ve visited The Big Sheep in Devon & the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovil, this week we visit Beaulieu home to the National Motor Museum in New Forest National Park, Hampshire.

What is Beaulieu?

Beaulieu (pronounced bewley) is so much more than just a motor museum, there’s so much to see and do we just about got it all done in one day. Whether you’re into cars, history, architecture, the Army, Top Gear or just roaming stunning gardens Beaulieu has it all and if you can’t fit it all into one day you can return free of charge within the following 6 days.

What is there to see/do in Beaulieu?

Our first stop on our visit had to be the Top Gear challenge cars, my son Séamus (9) made a beeline for the Dampervan as that was his favourite episode of Top Gear and he was over the moon to get to see it up close. Unfortunately the Enormodrome was closed for filming so we didn’t get to feel what it would be like to be in the BBC’s famous studio.

Unlimited rides on the monorail are included in the entrance fee so we took a ride on it down to Beaulieu Abbey where we learned about the monks that lived there over 800 years ago via various audio visual displays. Then we strolled through the stunning flower gardens as we made our way to the Secret Army Exhibition where Orla (10) was thrilled to learn that during WWII Beaulieu was a secret finishing school for British special agents.

Next we paid a visit to Palace House the Montagu family home since 1538. Aoife (10) was delighted to see the guides dressed in Victorian era costumes, they were so welcoming and every one of them took the time to chat to us. Our two youngest lads Cillian (5) & Lorcan (2) loved getting a go on the open top veteran bus. 

The highlight of the tour for Orla was getting to see the screen cars; she particularly loved Elvis Presley’s Cadillac & the flying Anglia from Harry Potter. The National Motor Museum houses over 250 cars, they’ve everything from F1 cars to a car shaped like an Orange! There are some brilliant interactive displays and we even got to go on the retro pod-ride where we learned about the history of motoring in the UK.

Our visit was complimentary. Avail of a discount on door prices by buying tickets online priced at £19.50/€22.43 for adults & £9.50/€10.93 children over 5 years old, admission is free for children under 5. Discounted family tickets are also available. For further information visit HERE

Where to stay for Beaulieu:

The night before we visited Beaulieu we stayed just under a 50 minute drive away in Bournemouth Seafront Travelodge so we could bring the children for a walk along the pier. We paid £65.50/€73.35 for 1 night B&B for 2 adults & 2 children. The family rooms are very spacious and the breakfast was delicious, that coupled with the lovely staff & perfect location it’s the ideal spot to rest your head if you find yourself in Bournemouth.

When I was planning this holiday I knew we’d need as much time as possible to spend at Beaulieu so I chose a Travelodge quite close to stay after our visit. Travelodge Stoney Cross Lyndhurst cost us £57/€65.57 for 1 night room only for 2 adults & 2 kids. The hotel is located facing a dual carriageway but we didn’t hear a peep as the rooms have two sets of double glazed windows to block out the noise however the hotel could do with a revamp as it’s a bit shabby and run down in places.

Where to eat near New Forest National Park:

Luckily I had asked for recommendations of places to eat from the receptionist as I was checking into Travelodge Stoney Cross as that’s how we found out about The Swan Inn, Emery Down. It’s a traditional countryside pub located in the heart of the New forest. It was a bit on the spendy side with dinner and drinks’ costing us £110 /€126.54 for the seven of us but it was totally worth it as we all thoroughly enjoyed our meals.

Have you been to Beaulieu? Did you like it? Is there anywhere in New Forest you’d recommend we visit next time?

Check back next week where we take to the road again to visit Fort Nelson, Brighton and Hastings!

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*** Disclaimer: As advised above we received complimentary admission to Beaulieu. As usual all thoughts are my own, I was not asked to write this review. As ever neither free services nor payment would ever sway my opinion. ***

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Things That Rustle My Jimmies ~ 8/06/17

I'm typing this with my shades on indoors such is the glare from my monitor and wondering if poor aul Bono was misunderstood all along. It may be the Black Lung that's gotten me but I could have easily had 20 jimmies this week - EASILY - you? 

1. Completing the mini marathon 10k with ease only to be TORRENTIALLY rained upon for the 10 minute walk FROM HELL to the pub afterward  

2. The sudden lurgy that's stricken me down, it's quite likely related to those 10 minutes (& possibly that 10k too)

3. Mothers that tell other mothers 'Forget about your needs for now, they're only small for such a short time, you'll regret not spending every second with them so soon' somehow suggesting your children suddenly hate you when they reach 10 years of age. 

Tbf I already hate these people and I'm not even related to them...

4. 'Hi Guys, sooooo many people have asked me where I got this...' 

5. When it's two days into the Leaving Cert & we STILL don't have Leaving Cert weather!

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

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Epic England Road Trip ~ Part 2 ~ Somerset!

Welcome back to our Epic England road trip across the south of England. Last time I told you about getting the ferry from Rosslare to Pembroke and driving down to Devon to visit The Big Sheep, you can catch up on all the fun HERE. This week I’m going to fill you in on our trip to Yeovil in Somerset.

What to see/do in Yeovil:

Yeovil is the centre for aircraft and defence industries in England which is why we chose to go there as my husband and kids wanted to visit the Fleet Air Arm Museum. The museum tells the story of British naval aviation through the years spread over four large halls filled with military and civilian aircraft. My kids loved the viewing area where we could watch military aircraft take-off and land.

My 8 year old son, Séamus and 9 year old daughter Orla were in awe at the simulated helicopter ride from Hall 2 to Hall 3 where we landed on the flight deck of HMS Ark Royal. I have to say I was blown away by how real the whole experience was especially the part where we were guided around the aircraft carrier by nothing more than lights and recorded spoken commentary.

Séamus was fascinated at the history of the Supermarine Walrus on display as it’s one of only 4 left in the world today; it was flown by the Irish Air Corps during WWII. In 1942 it was hijacked by 4 Irish lads who wanted to fly to France to join the Luftwaffe but they were intercepted by the RAF and returned to Ireland; where the Walrus was transferred to Aer Lingus after the war however they never flew it and sold it on to a Wing Commander in the RAF in 1946 where it was used by the RAF for recreational flights until 1949. In 1963 it was discovered in a dump at an airfield and presented to the Fleet Air Museum who took two years to restore it to its former glory.

We spent about 3 hours in the museum and I have to say it’s one of the best aviation museums we’ve been to; they’ve lots of hands on educational displays for children to understand things such as speed, height & distance in relation to ships & aircraft.

Our visit was complimentary. Avail of a 20% discount on door prices by buying tickets online priced at £11.20/€12.92 for adults & £8.40/€9.69 children over 5 years old, admission is free for children under 5. Discounted family tickets are also available. For further information visit HERE.

Where to Stay in Yeovil:

The Premier Inn - Yeovil

As we were on a budget we chose to stay in Travelodge’s or Premier Inns for the duration of our road trip. After spending the day at The Big Sheep we hit the road to drive just over 1 ½ hours to Yeovil where we stayed in the Premier Inn Yeovil Town Centre. We stopped off along the way to meet with one of my husband’s colleagues so we arrived quite late. 

The car park for the hotel consists of a handful of spaces which were all occupied when we arrived so it took us a bit of time to find on street parking at that hour. Our room was on the second floor of the hotel with a view out over the town. It was clean and comfortable; we couldn’t have gotten better for just £48/€55.36 per night B&B for 2 adults & 2 children. 

However check in was quite a slow process and the breakfast in the Beefeater restaurant wasn’t great, I wouldn’t avail of the cooked breakfast again as it tasted like the ingredients used were of poor quality. I’d just stick with the continental breakfast on offer.

All Aboard the HMS Ark Royal

Where to eat in Yeovil:

We didn’t want a restaurant dinner as it was late in the evening so my husband went out to try to find a pizza place for dinner; he struck gold mere steps from the Premier Inn. He stumbled upon Munchies a pizza, kebab & burger takeaway on Main Street. Their pepperoni pizza was absolutely delicious & was wolfed down by 5 hungry children! Even though it wasn’t deep pan it reminded me of the pizzas we used to get at the Chicago Pizza Pie Factory on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin.

Special Mention: The Grove Inn, King's Nymton

Earlier I said we stopped off to meet one of my husband’s colleagues but I have to give a special mention to where we met him. His local, The Grove Inn a wonderful 17th century thatched pub nestled in a picturesque village in North Devon. It’s easy to see why they’ve won numerous awards and been listed in guide books the world over. 

The low beamed ceilings, crooked stone walls and open log fire give it that welcoming homely feel. Unfortunately we didn’t get to sample their menu as they weren’t serving food the evening we visited but there’s always next time!

We could have also visited the Tank Museum in Bovington but we simply didn’t have enough time so we chose the Fleet Air Arm Museum instead as my husband had already visited Bovington. Check back next week where we continue our road trip and stop off in Bournemouth and the National Motor Museum.

Have you visited either museum? What did you think? Have you any recommendations of places to eat/drink or things to see/do in Devon or Somerset?

*** Disclaimer: As advised above we received complimentary admission to The Fleet Air Arm Museum. As usual all thoughts are my own, I was not asked to write this review. As ever neither free services nor payment would ever sway my opinion. ***

Image result for signature Corrina cherrysue