Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Family Road Trip ~ North West UK ~ Part 3 Blackpool Pleasure Beach!

We’re onto our third destination of our road trip across the North West of the UK, we’ve already covered Llandudno & Liverpool, this week it’s the turn of Blackpool. Located 55 miles north of Liverpool it took us just under an hour and a half to drive to Blackpool Pleasure Beach.






Where to stay in Blackpool:



Most of the accommodation in Blackpool books up really fast months in advance so we didn’t get our first choice instead we stayed slightly further out in Premier Inn Preston West, 12 miles away from Blackpool Pleasure Beach. We arrived very late after staying to watch the fireworks at 10pm at the Pleasure Beach but there were no issues checking in. Our room was perfectly clean & right beside the entrance so I didn’t have far to carry a sleeping baby! Breakfast was delicious with lots of hot and cold items available to choose from, served in The Lea Gate pub/restaurant next door. We paid £92.98/€105.08 for 1 night B&B for 2 adults & 2 kids. There’s ample free parking and a playground in front of the hotel.


Blackpool Pleasure Beach Tickets:




We thought we’d save time queuing by buying our tickets online in advance but unfortunately you still have to join the main queue, it took us an hour to get to the ticket desk to collect our wrist bands. We paid £112.50/€127.15 for a family of 5 ticket for my husband and 4 of our children, as I’m pregnant I didn’t go on any rides so I bought a non rider day pass for £6/€6.78  and our 2 year old was admitted free of charge.


Top Tips for Blackpool Pleasure Beach:

Parking: Rather than pay for parking we were lucky to get a free parking spot outside Bodens Cycles on Station Terrace less than 5 minutes walk from pleasure beach.

Lunch: There are a couple of budget options for lunch inside the park such as Burger King & The Big Pizza Kitchen but we decided to do our usual picnic lunch from a local Tesco which we purchased before we arrived. It costs £3/€3.39 for a sandwich, snack & a drink so we stocked up and stored it in a locker on the way into Blackpool Pleasure Beach as they do not allow picnics to be brought into the park.


·         Luck of the draw I suppose but we were a bit disappointed when we arrived as we queued for 25 minutes for the ghost train before they shut the ride as it broke down the very same thing happened when the kids queued for the Wallace & Gromit ride, thankfully both reopened later in the day.

·         We arrived late to the park at 12pm to avoid the queue at the entrance as we knew we’d be staying late with the kids for the fireworks at 10pm but there were still queues anyway so go early to get in extra rides.

·         Like all theme parks make sure to measure your children before you go so you know what rides they can go on, my 5 year old was disappointed when he wasn’t allowed onto the bumper cars as he was exactly on the height line & not over it.

·         It’s worth while looking at the website before you go and choosing what rides you really want to do so you can head straight to those first thing.




·         My 10 year old daughters LOVED the top thrill rides especially Big Dipper & Big One.

·         If you like Vimto as much as my 9 year old Seamus you’ll have to visit the Vimto shop where everything is Vimto flavoured you can even buy ice cream or fresh donuts sprinkled with Vimto sherbet and prices aren’t bad either.

·          If you’ve a Paw Patrol fan make sure to head to Nickelodeon land to see what times they have meet & greets.



·         There’s also Wallace & Gromit meet & greets beside one of my kids favourite rides the Thrill–O-Matic and a themed gift shop.

·         The one thing that really put me off visiting again was the fact that there were hen and stag parties walking around the park drinking pints. Fair enough have a drink but it should be kept to the bars in theme parks as it doesn’t make for a very welcoming family friendly environment.

·         I really thought my kids would love Nickelodeon Land especially my 5 year old but when he saw it he only wanted to go on one ride there.




·         The Chinese Puzzle was a nice little maze my 5 & 2 year olds really liked it.

·         I couldn’t get my 5 year old off the Eddie Stobart Convoy ride, it was his favourite ride of the day and he went on it 6 times while we were waiting for the older kids on the big thrill rides!

·         We had to queue longer for the Grand Prix than we did for the big thrill rides as there were lots of drunken adults in the queue for the kids ride with no kids.

·         Even though we were in the park 10 hours we only got to do 11 rides between us.

·         The fireworks at closing were fantastic.
There you have it our experience at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, as I mentioned we won’t be returning & I’d recommend anyone going to Blackpool just for the Pleasure Beach to consider one of the other fantastic theme parks in the UK instead. Next week it’s the opposite end of the scale as I’ll fill you in on one of the best theme parks we’ve ever visited. My 2 year old asks every day since when are we going back to Diggerland?!
*** Disclaimer: 
There is nothing to disclose!***

Monday, 18 September 2017

Cherry Pick of the Week ~ Wet n' Wild Liquid Catsuit in Coral Corruption!


It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of a matte lip, I'm an even huge fan of a matte lip that will stay put, pigmented and comfortable. That's why this week's Pick has to go to budget liquid lipstick super find, Coral Corruption from Wet n' Wild. 


Thursday, 14 September 2017

Things That Rustle My Jimmies ~ 14/09/17


Thursday couldn't have come quick enough this week. Let's crack on, shall we? ...



1. Losing my Dash Charger plug for the One Plus so having to wait more than 20 minutes to charge, like some kind of CAVE WOMAN!




2. Finally getting my hands on the MUCH anticipapted Gordon's Pink Gin to find it's a huge sickly sweet disappointment!



3. Back pain so bad that I've spent the week perched on a hot water bottle, involuntarily twerking. 




4. My LOVE for fluffy socks only being surpassed by Baxter's love for ATING my fluffy socks!




5. When Irish journos only take a break from using Blogger names to harvest clicks or sell copy to insult the very same Bloggers en masse! 


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


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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Cherry Pick of the Week ~ Penneys Individual Lashes ~ Killer Peepers for Pence!


In the beauty world there are things that I usually shy away from. Think hair extensions, overdrawn lips & false lashes. It's not that there's anything wrong with any of the above, they've just never been for me. As far as lashes go that may have something to do with one unfortunate encounter with a Groupon. My pal and I went in to the opening of a lash bar and I opted to go first, while she ran to the loo. Her eyes widening to saucers when she saw me reincarnated as Daisy the blinking cow were enough to put me off for life. Enter Penneys Individual Lashes. 

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Family Road Trip ~ North West UK ~ Part 2 Liverpool!





Welcome back to our family road trip across the North West UK. Last week I told you about Llandudno in North Wales, after we whooshed down the side of a mountain on a toboggan we buckled our 5 little ones back into Mammy Van for the 1 hour and 20 minute drive to Liverpool.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Baby on Board - 10 Things You Need to Know About Flying with Babies!




By now many of you will know that I’m a Mammy of 5 little people and we travel a LOT. The youngest I’ve taken them on a flight is about 3 months old so I’ve oodles of experience with the logistics involved with taking babies & toddlers on-board a flight. So in answer to first time family fliers I’ve decided to dedicate this post to the in’s & out’s of family flights. We have a post on Tips for Flying with Tots that you can read HERE but this is more concentrated on the basics of first time flights.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Things That Rustle my Jimmies ~ 01/09/17


What better way to head into the weekend than with freshly unrustled jimmies? It's self care at it's finest. This week, while getting some cracking news blog wise for Corrina & I, there were, as there always are, shams. How do they rustle my jimmies? Let me count the ways: 



Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Family Road Trip ~ North West UK ~ Part 1 Llandudno!




Today I’m going to kick off our road trip across North Wales & into the North West of England. As usual I’ll tell you where we went, how long it took to drive there, where we stayed, what we did & exactly how much we paid so you can work out how much it’ll cost you to do the same trip. Barod? (that's Ready? in Welsh *blows knuckles*)

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Things That Rustle My Jimmies ~ 24/08/17


I mentioned on Twitter today my new found struggle against biting people on the daily. I find myself irrationally angry of late so, in the name of public safety, let's unrustle some jimmies, shall we? 

Be sure to tell me, on your platform of choice what's grinding your gears this week, what's driving you demented, what's rustling your jimmies - here's mine: 


1. 'I really shouldn't be eating this, it's so bold'.


2. Waiting for Irish invoices 


3. Wating at pedestrian lights and someone stands between you and it to press the, already pressed, button. 


4. 'Oh my GOD, I've made the Blog Awards Long List!!!!' 
(the list you had to physically put yourself onto)

(Which also quotes exactly what you said about yourself at the time of entering if you click 'View Blog') 



5. The 2017 Rose of Tralee, a Doctor specialising in women's health, when asked about the 8th Amendment: 
'I'm not ready to talk about anything like that'


Ok, release the Kraken, what's been rustling your jimmies this week? 

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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Living the Dream on Lough Derg!





It’s been a dream of mine to stay in a real thatched cottage with the kids so I couldn’t believe it when I saw a deal HERE for Lough Derg Thatched Cottages in Tipperary for just €149 for a 3 night stay for up to 6 people (!). I had brought the kids to the Co Clare side of Lough Derg during the mid-term break but we had to cut the trip short due to illness, so I promised the kids we’d go back. You can catch up on that trip HERE.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Bobbi Brown Remedies Skin Wrinkle Treatment No 25 ~ Cherry Pick of the Week!



While Bobbi Brown is not a brand I've featured heavily before, it's always been one that's been floating around my makeup drawers. Aside from Charlotte Tilbury's Bronze & Glow, Bobbi's Shimmer Brick is the only luxe highlighter I've ever parted with hard earned cash for. I got to meet the PR Gals this Summer and you better believe I was intrigued by Bobbi Brown Remedies collection. They're targeted solutions for any skin issues, this week's Pick of the Week is the one (of seven) I've been trialling for several weeks now, the new Skin Wrinkle Treatment, No 25. 


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Killarney Family Fun ~ The Perfect Staycation Spot!



Killarney is one of those places you’ll return to time and again, whether it’s for the stunning views out over the Killarney lakes, the sound of the water crashing over Torc waterfall after a downpour or the clean fresh air that embraces you at the Gap of Dunloe, there’s no end to the reasons you’ll return. Oh and the shopping, how could I ever forget the shopping?! 


If you're looking for a last minute staycation that won't break the bank, let me tell you why Killarney is the ideal spot!


Sunday, 13 August 2017

Cherry Pick of the Week ~ Rimmel #Insta Fix & Matte Powder!


Cherry Pick of the Week this time out is a budget translucent powder that works as effectively as a product five times its price. The #Insta range from Rimmel haven't been making huge waves online, to the point that until I picked this up in Boots a fortnight ago I didn't even know there was a #Insta range from Rimmel, but this lightly scented mattifying dream has piqued my interest in trying the rest. 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Things That Rustle My Jimmies ~ 10/08/17


Hello Thursday! It's been a long seven days since our last unrustling, to the point that I want to list TEN things, I'll refrain for now. Things that have rustled my jimmies the most this week: 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The Ultimate List of Oakwood Tips! ( Oakwood? Oakwouldn't!)



Welcome back to our Epic England Road Trip, this is the final instalment as we’re now over the border back in Wales. When I was planning this adventure I thought a trip to Oakwood Theme Park would be a great way end our trip but boy was I wrong. 

There were some good points but unfortunately not enough to outweigh the bad. If you’re one of the many families who follow our footsteps all is not lost as I’d recommend you go to one of the many castles, gardens, beaches or take a day trip to Folly Farm, the Secret Owl Garden or Manor Wildlife Park instead.

Monday, 7 August 2017

How to Hugely Boost Your Facebook Reach For Free! *Updated August 2017*


There's not a day goes by that I don't receive a message bemoaning Facebook changes or chat to a fellow blogger who has decided to toss in the towel on that social media platform altogether. Many blame Facebook algorithms and, to be fair, they are unfairly biased against those that don't shell out a fortune for sponsored ad placements. Well what if I told you that you could multiply your Facebook reach exponentially in just 3 simple steps without paying a penny?

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Things That Rustle My Jimmies ~ 02/08/17



I've tried to be calm and rational this week but 3 days into a sick pup, with no sleep & less patience - LET'S DO THIS!!

Things that have been rustling my jimmies this week: 


1. Selfish MELTS that try on clothes & put them back with an inch of foundation on the neck!



2. New shoes making their very best attempt to hobble me, despite sizing up!



3. Dudebros on threads about female reproductive health giving their 2 cents



4. THIS children's book about obesity!



5. The never ending threads & interviews about 'influencers', disclosure when it concerns maybe 2% of creators & NOTHING WILL BE DONE ANYWAY!


Can you relate? What's at you? 

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Monday, 31 July 2017

Epic England Road Trip ~ Part 7 ~ Bath!



Hi & welcome back to our Epic England road trip from Pembroke Wales across the South of England and back again. We’ve covered oodles of fantastic spots over the last few weeks but now we’re on the home stretch.

Bath:

One of my biggest regrets of this whole trip was not spending more time in Bath. It’s easy to see why the city is a designated UNESCO world heritage site, the architecture is beautiful and intricate so take time to stop and look up at buildings. 

We had to visit The Circus, a circle of Grade l listed townhouses dating back to the mid 1700’s. The view from the centre is magnificent; I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Bath is a relatively small city and can easily be toured on foot. Download one of the free walking tours from the app store or join one of the daily free walking tours, further information can be found HERE. 


How to get to Bath:

Using Skyscanner to find the best priced flights, I found weekends in September flying from Dublin to Bristol with Ryanair for just €39pp return. I then used Rome2rio to find the best way to get from Bristol airport to Bath. You’ve multiple options, bus, bus & train, taxi or hire car to take you the 20 miles to Bath.


Roman Baths:

A spring was discovered on this spot in 836BC, a temple was constructed between 60-70AD & over the next 300 years the bathing facilities were gradually built. Throughout the ages it has fallen into disrepair but with the stellar work of the council restoring and re-developing the complex it has been brought back to its former glory. My girls, aged 10 were learning about the Romans in school recently so it seemed a perfect time to visit.

The Roman Baths has four sections consisting of the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House & a display of artefacts that were excavated at the site. The natural hot spring at Bath was used by the Romans as a centre of a medical bathing complex. Sick people from all over the UK came to bathe in the waters and pray to the Celtic Goddess Sulis. 

While it’s not recommended to touch the water in the baths there is a spring at the end of the tour where you can drink spa water. We had an amazing time soaking in the history and the children especially loved the kids’ version of the audio guide.

Our visit was complimentary. It’s recommended to buy your tickets online HERE as you can skip the queue by bringing the print out of your purchase to the entrance desk where you’ll receive your tickets. Adult tickets are priced at £17/€19.37 with children aged 6-16 costing £9.80/€11.16. 

Children under age 6 gain free admission. There are also discounted family tickets available and museum saver tickets where for a couple of pound more you can also visit the Fashion Museum and the Victoria Art Gallery however if you’re visiting during summer months I’d advise you wait to visit until after 5pm as The Roman Baths are open till 9pm and they are usually much quieter in the evenings also the torches are lit at dusk creating an amazing atmosphere. 

Included in your ticket price is the use of an audio guide and a guided tour that starts every hour. Unfortunately buggies are not allowed into the museum but you can swap them at the entrance for a baby carrier.


Fashion Museum:

Our complimentary ticket included the Fashion Museum but our time in Bath was running out so my husband took 3 of our kids to go shopping while I took the short stroll from the Roman Baths to the museum with my daughter Aoife (10) & son Seamus (9). As we walked through the museum we saw some exquisite pieces dating as far back as the 1600’s, over 400 years of fashion is represented in just 100 objects on show in the current exhibition which will be displayed until January 2019. 

Our favourite part was where we got to dress up in Victorian and Georgian clothes, there’s a full range of hats, bonnets, dresses, coats etc for young & old to try on and take a picture against the backdrop of the Royal Crescent, we had so much fun!


 


Baths:

You cannot bathe in the Roman Baths but there are two other baths in Bath where you can enjoy a thermal spa experience. Next time we return without the children we’re definitely visiting the Thermae Bath Spa at dusk!

A two hour session at Thermae Bath Spa costs £38/€43.29 at weekends and slightly cheaper during the week. Use of towel, robe & slippers are also included in that price. Children under the age of 16 are not permitted in the New Royal Bath. You’ll have full access to the open air naturally warm mineral rich rooftop pool and the Minerva bath; you can also use the multi sensory wellness suite. An extra hour can be added to your session for £10/€11.39 HERE

It’s slightly cheaper to use the smaller Cross Bath, an open air thermal bath with its own changing facilities. A 1½ hour session with the use of towel, robe & slippers costs £20/€22.78pp at weekends. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted and children aged between 12 -16 are only allowed if there is an adult present for each individual child. See HERE.


So there you have it that’s Bath in a nutshell, I’m sure there are lots more amazing places that I haven’t included. If you’ve any recommendations for our next visit we’d love to hear them!

*** Disclaimer: As advised above we received a complimentary family Museums Saver ticket. 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. ***


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Cherry Pick of the Week: L'Oreal Elnett Strong Hold Volume Crème De Mousse!



I figured if Cherry Picks of the Weeks were to have real value I should show you a cracker of a product that, although started out as a Press sample, has since been repurchased several times over because it's feckin' marvellous. L'Oreal's Elnett Strong Hold Volume Crème De Mousse is unlike any hair care product I've used and, much like Elnett hairspray is a staple hair product that really should be in your arsenal. 

We all know I'm a lover of product but Elnett Satin mousse is one of those every day work horses, a given, regardless of fads, phases or press drops because it works beautifully, reliably and effortlessly every time. I apply it to damp, towel dried hair and it soaks in immediately. It's weightless, non sticky & gives my hair lift & hold like products five times its price. 



Unlike the Elnett lacquer, this mousse doesn't brush out, it doubles its efforts ~ exactly what you need if you, like me, turn into a greasy swamp rat if you wash your hair every day. For regular use, this mousse has actually replaced my use of lacquer entirely. Good news for the earth, my bank balance and my boys not having to leave through a fug of hairspray in the morning (We do our hair by the front door, I have no idea why). 


Just Elnett Stong Hold Volume Mousse blow dried - that's it. (same for me!)
There's 4 iterations of Crème De Mousse available, Stong Curl, Extra Stong, Glam Waves Supreme Hold & this Volume and Stong Hold. if truth be told I haven't tried the others yet as I shared the love with my original press pack and gifted my Mam the others. I may need to rectify that now my hair is shorter and curls are back on my radar. 

You'll pick each of the above up in Boots for €6.99 (there's usually an offer available), though it's sold out online, pretty much always or you can order online from Superdrug for £5.99 (2 for £9) HERE. Your grúaig will thank you for it. 

I wrote about other unsung beauty heroes many moons ago, funnily enough Elnett featured THERE too! 

Tell me, have you tried L'Oreal Elnett Strong Hold Volume Crème De Mousse? What's your go to, everyday Joe hair care product that you use almost without thinking about? 
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