Monday, December 18, 2017

Give the Gift that Keeps on Giving (Without Leaving the Comfort of your Home!)

It's December 18th so I'll concede that from this point in we can call Christmas gifts 'last minute'. If you, like me, have been stricken by the dreaded lurgy this year then what follows might just be the saviour you need. I've collated a few ideas for gifts that keep on giving, the gift of a subscription (with the added bonus that you neither need to get dressed, nor sharpen your elbows to get them). Shall we begin? 

1. 3fe Coffee Subscription 

Arguably the best coffee in Dublin, subscriptions to 3fe game changing java start as low as €9 per delivery, or €65 for 6 months HERE

Imagine going about your day safe in the knowledge that a loved one is less likely to commit GBH because she's had her fix. That's money well spent in my humble opinion. 

2. Blooming Lovely ~ Bouquet Box Subscription


You might have seen this past fortnight that the very generous Gal, Amy, at Bouquet Box sent me a perfectly packaged box of flowers. It's for that reason that I can confirm, this is one of the most delightful gifts you could possibly gift. 

At €16 per bouquet HERE, you can choose to have hand cut, expertly sourced, INCREDIBLY scented flowers sent weekly, monthly or fortnightly. Truthfully, having seen just how well these bouquets are presented and having had the entire floor compliment their scent for over a week, Bouquet Box is a doozy of a self gift too. (I'm choosing fortnightly to line up with my Pay Day, natch). 

3. Magazine Subscription  


Granted we're all fiends for the online world but, on occasion it's still rather lovely to put your feet up and not be distracted by digital notifications while you read. That's where a subscription to a mag of your pal's preference comes in. I can still remember having the Story Teller books and tapes delivered as a child, such joy. 

Stuck for ideas on which magazine they might like? Stellar is Irish and always a safe bet, chock full of deadly features, fashion and fun. You'll get a whole year AND a nifty beauty gift for just €23 HERE

Another all-star publication is my subscription of choice, Psychologies. I'm not exxagerating when I say this magazine has changed the way I think about a lot of issues, and certainly the way I feel about myself. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving. I use Parcel Motel to keep my costs to a minimum for delivery HERE but even so, it's worth every cent. 

4. Odeon Limitless Cinema Card


At this stage of the game I'm guessing our grá for cinema is pretty clear. To be fair, that's almost a universal trait. Regardless of pyjama clad Netflix binges or virus clad illegal streaming people LOVE the big screen. 

An Unlimited Card from Odeon cinemas (or the closest picture house to your lucky recipient) will always be a very welcome gift. Prices start at €19.99pm and include discounted treats (such as popcorn at just €48 per kernel as opposed to €50)

5. The Gift of Giving ~ Charity Donations

iStock Source

There are few among us that don't feel the overwhelming grip of capitalism, especially at Christmas time. If your loved one is of the giving disposition then a charitable donation (or subscription) on their behalf will be brilliantly received and an endless source of warm and fuzzies for you too. 

The key is to choose a charity close to their heart. Were I to receive a gift so thoughtful I'd happily nominate one of my three go tos: 
  • Childline very gratefully receive donations HERE (having volunteered with them for a year I still donate AND fundraise for them, that says a lot). 
  • Give 8 Repeal 8 would be thrilled with a pledge of €8 per month HERE until the 8th is repealed. I don't know many young women that wouldn't be delighted to put their name to this hugely valuable cause. 
  • Pieta House do both life saving and life changing work, of which over 85% is made up by charitable donations. Your help, in your loved ones name could literally save a life HERE

Tell me, anything here you think might fit the bill for that last minute gift? 

If you tell me you've finished your shopping since July though you will be blocked, just FYI xo

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Mums on the Run ~ Your New Favourite, NO BS Groups!

That's us, literally being Mums on the Run on our US fly drive with thanks to WOW Air last month. There'll be a WHOLE lot more about that imminently but I'm here today to chat to you about our newest loves, probably the most rewarding thing we've done online to date, our Mums on the Run Facebook groups! 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Santa's Cove at Liffey Valley ~ Magical Enough for the Price Tag?

Last night we were invited to Santa's Cove in Liffey Valley for their preview, it would have cost us €137.50 for 1 adult & 5 kids, which is an exceptional amount of money to spend on the run up to Christmas, so did we think it was worth it? Unfortunately no and here's why...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Family Road Trip ~ North West UK ~ Part 4 Diggerland!

So far on our road trip in North West UK we’ve been to Llandudno, Liverpool and Blackpool. This week I’ll tell you about the highlight of our holiday, a trip to Diggerland in Yorkshire! It’s billed as ‘The Ultimate Adventure Park Experience’ and they’re not wrong.

Where is Diggerland?

Diggerland has four locations across the UK, Durham, Devon, Kent and the one we visited in Yorkshire.

What is Diggerland?

It’s only the best theme park we’ve visited so far in the UK and we’ve been to a lot over the past couple of years. Imagine waving bye to your little 5 year old as he takes off down a super muddy track driving a JCB Robot (JCB Skid Steer Loader) on his OWN! 

Well I did and he had such great fun that he immediately jumped back on the end of the small queue to do it again (and again). Kids get to drive and operate full sized construction vehicles, whilst there are restrictions on speed rotation etc it doesn’t take away from the thrill of operating a real digger. 

I don’t know who had more fun the kids or my husband. It’s not just for boys either my 10 year old twin daughters absolutely loved it and have decided it should be top of the list of places to go in the UK with kids.

Are there any height restrictions?

Yes there are restrictions on some rides so your smallest child should be over 80cm in height so they can go on rides and drives with an adult. There are also a few £1 coin operated rides for younger children but they have to be over 2 years of age to ride them. 

Diggerland is aimed at children aged between 4 - 14 years of age. We went with our 10 year old twins, our 9 year old, our 5 year old and our 2 1/2 year old and they all got to go on almost everything there. They didn’t feel like they missed out on anything. There’s a full list if height restrictions on their website

Would you need a full day at Diggerland?

You could do it in a half day if the park isn’t busy but you’d be rushing around, we took a full day to make the most of our visit. Our 5 little ones got to ride nearly all of the rides, the ones they liked they got to go on twice and the rides they loved 4 or 5 times! 

Diggerland also has an indoor soft play centre, a Little Tikes wheelz play zone, café and shop. I was very impressed with the prices in the shop as they had Diggerland branded kids t-shirts from just £4.95 & lots of pocket money priced bits and pieces for kids such as pencils & rubbers, they even had Diggerland medals for 99p! Needless to say we left with a few bags of clothes, toys and souvenirs for our 5 that cost a lot less than I thought it would.

How much is admission to Diggerland?

On the day prices: £19.95/€22.37 per adult/child over 90cm tall, over 65’s £9.95/€11.16 however you can avail of discounted tickets by booking online in advance of your visit. Adults & children over 90cm tall are £16.99/€19.05 while over 65’s are £7.99/€8.96. Children under 90cm are admitted to the Diggerland free of charge, there’s also ample free car parking. Sign up to Diggerland’s newsletter as they occasionally send out special offers. For our visit we received a complimentary family of 4 pass so we paid for 3 of our children.

Stone Travel Tip:

If you’re planning on going with a couple of friends you should look into booking a birthday party to make it extra special and save a few pound too. Parties are priced at just £16.99/€19.05 per child with a minimum booking of 10 children. 

For that price you receive, personalised party invitations, unlimited rides and drives, free entry for 4 adults per 10 children, party food for all children including free Diggerland lunch bags to take home, Diggerland balloons & a certificate for each child. Or you could book standard admission and avail of a group rate (minimum 10 people) by booking online at least 14 days in advance of your trip for £13.99/€16.69 per person.

Where to stay?

We visited Diggerland as part of our UK road trip so we had our Mammy van. We stayed in Holiday Inn Express Leeds East paying £46/€51.59 per room for 2 adults & 2 kids B&B. The hotel suited us just fine; it was clean with friendly staff and free parking. While the breakfast had limited options cereal, toast and tea did the job nicely. 

We made the mistake of going to the Toby Carvery that’s right beside the hotel; it was way overpriced for what it was. We should have gone to Leeds city centre for dinner instead. Diggerland is located just 5 miles away from the hotel so it was less than a 10 minute drive. If you like Haribo there’s a Haribo factory nearby where they sell large bags at a discounted price.

How do I get to Diggerland?

Diggerland Durham: Newcastle airport would be the closest airport at 26 miles distance.

Diggerland Yorkshire: The closest airport is Leeds Bradford 24 miles away from Diggerland.

Diggerland Devon: is located just 14 miles from Exeter airport, Flybe regularly fly this route from Dublin airport.

Diggerland Kent: You could fly into any London airport and get the train to Kent or hire a car however Gatwick is the closest airport at a distance of 40 miles.

Have you been to Diggerland? What did you think?

Check back next time when we conclude our UK road trip with a visit to Leeds Royal Armouries and the medieval city of Chester!

*** Disclaimer: 
As advised above
we received 4 complimentary tickets 
to Diggerland. 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.***

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

The Advent of a Little Luxury Every Day with the Launch of L'Occitane's 2017 Advent Calendars!

L'Occitane will always be synonymous with luxury skincare & beauty so what if I told you you could have a little luxury every single day in the run up to Christmas? Well that's exactly what my fave French brand have asked me to do. Enter two of the most covetable beauty advent calendars on the market as L'Occitane release both their classic and luxurious versions this week, you have to see them to believe them. You also have to be quick to get 'em!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Spike Island Wins Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction 2017 - Peek Inside 1300 Years of History on “Ireland’s Alcatraz”

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Spike Island is prison, as it is said to be “Ireland’s Alcatraz” but peel back the layers of history and you’ll be surprised lies beneath. So impressive is the attraction that it has just been named Europe’s leading tourist attraction at the 2017 World Travel Awards! The former prison was up against some of the world’s most well-known attractions including the Eiffel Tower, Roman Colosseum and Buckingham Palace.

We’ve been to Cobh many times as Cork is one of our favourite counties to visit in Ireland. Every time we go though I am drawn in by the Titanic Museum or the Titanic Bar & Grill or some of the other superb things to see & do in Cobh. This time however we left Kildare in Mammy Van with our sights firmly set on the mysterious Spike Island.

Tuesday, September 19, 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.

Monday, September 18, 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, September 14, 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, September 13, 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, September 12, 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, September 05, 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, September 01, 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, August 29, 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, August 24, 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, August 22, 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, August 20, 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, August 15, 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, August 13, 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, August 10, 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, August 08, 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.

Wednesday, August 02, 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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