Like magazine, January 2016

Page 1

Like JANUARY 2016


Find the fitness plan that’s right for you. We have the motivation, the information, and the fabulous fitness fashion


Annmarie O’Connor on ditching the emotional skeletons hanging in your closet


Eco-architect Paul McNally on retro-fitting your home


A new you for the new year with Educogym’s 12 Day Programme worth €189

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MEET YOUR NEW CLOSET THERAPIST. Annmarie O’Connor shares an excerpt from her guide to having a Happy Closet.


09 ����������������������������������������������������������������������� Like it? Love it! 10 ����������������������������������������������������������������������������� Style Notes 15 ���������������������������������������������������������������������� Fitness Fashion 27 �������������������������������������������������������������������������� Beauty Notes 43 ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Homes 57 ����������������������������������������������������������������������� Food and Drink 60 ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Family 67 �������������������������������������������������������������������� What’s the plan? 68 ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ Culture 69 ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Motoring 73 ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Social 74 �������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Giveaway


Daisy Ridley, the unknown actress chosen to be the face of The Force.


OUR FITSPO HEROES. The Cork women motivating us to be our fittest, healthiest selves in 2016.



Pixie McKenna’s top notch advice on the joys of weaning your baby.

62 GOING SOUTH. Make a South American adventure your big ticket trip for 2016.




don’t generally subscribe to the whole concept of “new year, new you”, but there’s no doubt that from a psychological point of view January 1st is a clean slate. The first empty box of 366 (it’s a leap year this year) empty boxes on your 2016 calendar, it can make you feel like the world is your oyster and the new year is yours for the taking. The problem is that January itself is not a month that’s conducive to turning your life around. We enter it in a fog of post-Christmas excess, having spent the previous weeks eating too much, drinking too much, and perhaps getting ourselves into debt; it’s cold, wet, dark and dreary, so the danger is – when you don’t bounce out of bed at 7am on New Year’s day to enjoy the first run of your new regimen (or the second, or the third) – you succumb to feelings of failure and resolve to make 2017 the year you overhaul your life. So this issue is not about creating a “new you”, after all, who are we to say the old you isn’t worth keeping and enjoying? But we all have things we’d like to change in our lives: kicking bad habits to the curb, eating cleaner, getting more exercise, travelling more, working less, being more organised… the list goes on and on, and if January is the right time for you to start achieving some personal goals, then this issue of Like is here to help. The most common resolution of all, setting and achieving new fitness goals tops the list for many of us, and whether that, for you, means losing weight or gaining strength; increasing your endurance or making time for taking care of you, in this issue we’ve profiled several fitness programmes to help you find the one that’s right for you. Fashion guru Annmarie O’Connor is here to help you unpack the emotional baggage you’re unwittingly storing in your closet, making your wardrobe a clean slate too; and if you’ve resolved to go green for 2016, we have tips on making your home more energy efficient. We have an exclusive interview with Dr Pixie McKenna, here to take care of your weaning woes; and if this is your year to take on the adventure of a lifetime we have travel tips for exploring South America.

SAY HELLO f  T @likemagazine_ie Like Magazine Team: Editor: Carolyn Moore

Photographed by Miki Barlok

Deputy Editor: Maria Tracey

Makeup by Laura Dorgan for New Minds Beauty Academy Styled by Carolyn Moore Jess wears reflective padded jacket by Stella McCartney for Adidas, €395, Samui, Drawbridge St, Cork; Nike Pro Warm Dri-fit leggings, €62, Nike Pro Classic crop top, €38, and Adidas Galaxy Elite trainers, €50, all Cummins Sports. Also in shot Adidas team bag, €21, and Nike water bottle, €7, Cummins Sports. Shot at Educogym, Glanmire, with thanks to all the team there.

Contributors: Annmarie O’Connor Cian O’Flynn Aisling Ozdemir Marc Murphy Graphic Design: Inspire, Skibbereen Advertising Manager: Niamh Keane Ph. 087 6839589

Circulation/distribution: Carey Media Like Magazine is published by: LIKE Magazines Ltd., 4 Carey’s Lane, Cork Tel: 021 4252256 • Company Registration number: 550302 The entire contents of the magazine are copyright LIKE Magazines Ltd., and may not be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publishers.

Happy New Year!


Cover: Model: Jess Hayes, Lockdown

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7 9 8 1. FABULOUS FRECKLES We Irish know a thing or two about freckles, and now those little facial sprinkles have been hailed as a trend (yes, TREND!) for 2016. Forecast by J Walter Thompson Intelligence, freckles are the new “must-have”! 2. PERFECT PIRELLI We’ve all seen ‘that’ image of Amy Schumer, but now we actually can use the 2016 Pirelli calendar. A big departure from previous years… and we love it! Only thing wrong? It’s 12 months to Schumer’s December pic. 3. VILLAGERS’ ALBUM The title of which asks exactly the right question - Where Have You Been All My Life? Released on January 8th, it’s a collection of songs that distils five years and three albums into one flowing narrative. 4. BRAND BECKHAM It’s a long time since Victoria Beckham put a foot wrong in the style stakes,

6 and this asymmetric bow shirt from her latest collection is perfect — a masculine staple with a feminine twist. Brown Thomas, €395. 5. GET JUICING Does your new year’s resolution involve healthier eating? Then the Nutri Juicer from Sage by Heston Blumenthal could be the answer as, unlike regular juicers, it extracts up to 70% of the fruits’ nutrients! €195, Debenhams. 6. MISS JONES Superheroes generally come with baggage, but seldom are their backstories as emotionally engaging as that of Jessica Jones, the Marvel character brought to life by Netflix and Krysten Ritter. Streaming now, we’re addicted. 7. HEAVEN SCENT Our favourite new additions to the Cien range at LIDL are the sophisticated aroma blends and redesigned bottles of their handwashes. As subtle and delicious as

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Molton Brown, our pick is Pomegranate & Ginger, €1.49. 8. HOMELAND HANGOVER After a few rocky years, season 5 marked a return to form for the CIA thriller, revitalised by a move to Berlin and a prescient take on world events. 12 weeks on the edge of our seats has left us reeling… and wanting more. 9. WAKE UP What began as a rallying cry to the Abbey Theatre to include more women in their centenary celebrations has snowballed into a demand for gender equality to take centre stage in Irish society, taking #WakingTheFeminists into 2016. 10. SAOIRSE FTW Awards season is upon us, and it’s always nice to have an Irish horse in the race, but it’s her captivating performance that has us rooting for Soairse Ronan to win a best actress Golden Globe for Brooklyn on January 10th.




BLANKET BAN The blanket scarf is everywhere this winter, but not everyone has the styling chops of an Olivia Palermo. Mere mortals can quickly discover there’s a fine line between rocking this like a street style star and looking like you left the house wrapped in your living room throw. Well, eternal wardrobe saviours Zara have the answer. Their draped blanket wrap (€39.95) can be thrown over a coat for extra warmth or worn belted over jeans and a roll neck, and with its essential shaping on the shoulders and neckline, it won’t look like you just rolled out of bed in it.

The trouser of the season has to be the wide legged, ultra long line palazzo pant. Harking back to 1940s power dressing, with their front pleats and pockets, the palazzo pant has come to embody a feminine take on masculine tailoring. It’s not a look for everyone though, so if you’ve found yourself in Zara’s fitting room with six inches of wool crepe pooling over your feet you might want to consider an alternative silhouette to inject some all-important androgynous cool into your winter look. Enter the peg leg pant. Less Katharine Hepburn and more Audrey, this shape is tailored with those essential masculine details, is roomy and flattering on the hips, but tapers into a chic slim leg, cropped at the ankle. If you need something smarter than a skinny jean, warmer than a skirt, and the palazzo just doesn’t work for you, give these fabulous wool blend peg trousers from Warehouse a go. In classic black, cool grey, and heritage check, they’re reduced from €72 to €39.

ROLL WITH IT With fickle fashionistas keen to embrace increasingly impractical trends (sleeveless coats in winter anyone? Didn’t think so.), it’s always a welcome development when a season delivers something that feels, well… seasonal. This winter it’s all about the roll neck – and the bigger and cosier the better. We love this chunky knit, oversize sweater from COS, with a generous roll neck that’s like a built in scarf, its 80% wool content will keep you toasty and totally on trend. It’s a winter win win. €89,

LEOPARD LUXE Whether your go-to tones this winter are classic camel or basic black, nothing adds a chic accent to a neutral palette like a little pop of leopard. A perennial favourite, leopard is a print always worth investing in, as a few quality pieces in timeless shapes can be returned to season after season. We put Sam Edelman’s gorgeous Dea leopard print pumps on our Santa list last month - instant classics that we know we’ll still be wearing years from now (€175, Samui, Drawbridge Street); Zara’s slim cut, long line leopard blazer (€59.95) will take us into spring and beyond; and the cute Felicity chain strap clutch from Oasis (€37) will lend rock chick vibes to our favourite LBD.


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BUCKLE UP It’s a word that has the power to fill fashion fans with dread and 80s kids with memories of technicolour children’s TV presenters, but… dungarees are back. Earmarked, along with the pinafore, as THE denim trend for Spring Summer ’16, fashion’s new take on the dungaree is less Phillip from Bosco and more Charlene from Neighbours – think tomboy cool in distressed denim; boyfriend jeans with straps. Get ahead of the curve with this perfect pair from Penneys, at a perfect price of €21.





RESULTS WITH EDUCOGYM Get inspired to try Educogym with the amazing weight loss success stories of Bríd-Anne Dolan and Jeremy O’Driscoll.


hen you’re stuck in a rut with weight gain and an acute fear of the gym, it’s hard to envision an escape. However, that didn’t stop Sallybrook’s Bríd-Anne Dolan, who’s dropped 4st in 12 weeks — a stone of which was lost in the first 12 days — with the help of Educogym. Dropping from size 22 to size 14, the mother–of–one has transformed herself — both physically and mentally — and is now on a mission to continue her success. “My weight has always been a battle,” explains Bríd-Anne, revealing that after having physiotherapy on her back, she had “another knock” in 2014 when she needed surgery on her shoulder and elbow. “I lost interest in walking, and didn’t want to join a gym as I feared further injuries. Also being a mum, I was looking after my daughter’s needs and forgot about myself,” she admits. The turning point for Bríd-Anne was July last year, after she saw photographs of herself at a work barbecue. “My heart sank,” she states. The next day she happened upon Educogym’s website, popped in for a talk on how to best deal with her injuries, and since then, this bubbly Cork woman has never looked back. “It was the making of me — a life changer,” she smiles. Bríd-Anne started with the University Research 12–Day Programme, the secret weapon of many actors and fitness models who need stunning transformations in a short space of time. It involved 12 personal training sessions over 12 consecutive days, lasting just 20 minutes each. The famed Educogym Time Machine — so called because of its transformation and rejuvenating possibilities — allows more exercise in less time. As one of the key elements to achieving results is training with intensity, rest periods with the unique machine are minimised in–between exercises. The 12–Day Programme also


includes two consultations, providing nutritional advice, full body analysis including body fat calculation, measurements and progress pictures. “Michelle created a nutrition plan that suited me,” says Bríd-Anne. “It’s regular food — all fresh, so your body is not craving anything because it’s all there. “With the Time Machine, you start off with legs, and on the second day, it’s the back and chest, and the third is arms. Then it’s back to legs and so on. The trainers are great motivators and tell you exactly what do, and how to hold your posture. It’s like a five–star gym.” After losing 13 lbs with the 12–Day Programme, Bríd-Anne signed up for the three–month package, attending the state–of–the–art Glanmire gym three times a week for 20–minute supervised training sessions. Both Penrose Wharf and Glanmire are also exceptionally convenient for those time–strapped as they open from

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6am–9pm on weekdays and 8am– 2pm on weekends. With the aid of Mike, her personal trainer in Glanmire, Bríd-Anne soon developed the confidence to set a goal for herself — to lose four stone. Slight changes were made to her programme, and over the three months, she achieved her objective. Bríd-Anne is also physiotherapy–free, has more energy to spend time with her daughter, and has gained confidence. “I’m in shock,” she laughs. “I didn’t think I’d achieve results like that and be able to maintain it.” Now signed up for a full year, Bríd-Anne says the next 12 months is about toning and strengthening her core, back and shoulders, along with keeping fit and healthy. “I’m loving my new lifestyle thanks to Educogym,” she says with a smile. “Absolutely loving it.” For Jeremy O’Driscoll, a painter and decorator by trade, he turned to Educogym to help him slim down and

PROFILE He outlines the 12–Day Programme was “intense”, but it was something he thoroughly enjoyed. “It’s worked for me because of the combination of diet and training and the help they give you,” explains Jeremy. “Every step of the way they are there. If you have problem with the diet you can talk to them and they’ll change something. Nothing is an issue forthem.” If you’re looking for an atmosphere like nothing you’ve experienced before, then try Educogym. Using goal setting, personalised exercise and nutrition, one–to–one consultations, supervised training, appointment sessions, and, of course, the famed Time Machine, it can completely transform both your health and your shape.


flatten his stomach. Now after six months, he has dropped from 14 st to 11st 7lbs, and is maintaining and toning. “I started putting on weight in my 20s and had this stomach, this big gut,” says Jeremy. “It was only when I started eating clean, I realised it was all down to what I was eating and the way I was eating.” Having tried different health centres but never sticking to them, Educogym in Glanmire was the first gym where he saw results. In the initial University Research 12–Day Programme, he lost a stone, and then having joined up for a three months programme, followed by a further three months, he dropped down to his target 11st 7lbs weight. The convenient opening hours of Educogym were also hugely beneficial, with Jeremy attending at 6am three mornings a week, after which his “mind is clear” and he’s “ready for the day”. “I saw results in a very short space of time,” states Jeremy. “I found with other gyms, I never had the incentive to go to them but with Educogym you are booked in, you have to turn up, and it’s one–to–one. The instructors are there for you. They are motivating. They push you if you want to be pushed. It’s brilliant.”

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WORK IT Get fashionably fit for 2016

Layered top, €24.99, H&M; Nike Tempo shorts, €25, O’Neills 3 bar youth football socks, €9, Nike Kaishi print trainers, €75, Nike training gloves, €27, and Adidas towel, €14, all Cummins Sports.

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Run Fit perforated tee, €90, Run leggings, €75, and Adizero XT trainers, €185, all by Stella McCartney for Adidas, available at Samui, Drawbridge Street.


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Run sweatshirt, €145, Techfit leggings, €120, and Adizero XT trainers, €185, all by Stella McCartney for Adidas, available at Samui, Drawbridge Street.

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Perforated tee, €14.99, and mesh insert legging (under shorts), €24.99, H&M; sports bra (not seen), €8, Penneys; ESS knit short, €60, by Stella McCartney for Adidas, Samui, Drawbridge Street; Nike Swoosh wristbands, €7, and Rucanor skipping rope, €6, Cummins Sports.


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Cowl top with built in sports bra, €24.99, H&M; Adidas Climalite Illusion leggings, €45, Adidas Galaxy Elite trainers, €50, Nike thermal arm warmers, €20, and Nike water bottle, €7, all Cummins Sports.

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Trespass Hi-Viz jacket, €30, and Trespass water bottle, €4, Cummins Sports; shorts, €5, Penneys

Photographer: Miki Barlok Stylist: Carolyn Moore Model: Jess Hayes at Lockdown Makeup: Laura Dorgan for New Minds Beauty Academy Shot at Educogym, Glanmire, using the Time Machine, a unique piece of equipment that allows users to maintain a high level of intensity, moving quickly between exercises and training for 20 minutes without rest, leading to spectacular fitness results.

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THE WORLD’S MOST ADVANCED PROGRAMME 5. Are you more than 10% above your ideal weight? 6. Do you sometimes have uncontrollable food cravings? 7. Do you feel deprived when you are on a diet? 8. Do you tend to be obsessed by the scales? 9. In some ways, do you dread reaching your desired weight? If you have answered ‘yes’ to even one of the above questions, you have a problem with your Mental Weight. Once we have identified the triggers and root causes that are causing you to over eat or make poor food choices, we have all the necessary tips, tools and techniques to help you to change these thought patterns around food.

Forget everything you have experienced before. At Motivation there are no group meetings, no fad diets and no empty promises. We tell you the truth about weight loss and why you have not succeeded in the past. How our programme will help you Unlike other programmes, Motivation helps you to tackle your unwanted weight by identifying and addressing the habits, emotions and behaviours that are the root causes of your overeating and other unhealthy behaviours. In this way you can reach your desired weight and, more importantly, maintain it for life. Developed by world-renowned expert Dr. Maurice Larocque, the programme is based on the latest scientific findings by the world’s leading weight management experts and is the result of over 40 years of research and clinical practice in the fields of nutrition, weight loss and weight maintenance. He discovered that simply following a diet without addressing the underlying causes of the problem would only achieve short-term results because such an approach merely treated the symptom, not the cause. As Dr. Larocque puts it, “trying to lose weight by dieting is just like taking an aspirin for a toothache – you will only get short-term results. You can only change your physical weight when you change you “Mental Weight.”

The figures are on your side Clinical studies* show 82% of clients weight loss was maintained for more than 4 years. This is a phenomenal success rate compared with conventional diets, which have a maximum of 5 to 6% of people maintaining their weight loss after just one year.

Why Motivation is different At Motivation, we say it’s okay to have the occasional slip – it’s called being normal! We understand that on your journey you will encounter some bumps along the road to your weight loss destination. As Dr Larocque says, “It’s okay to cheat, but not to quit. Slips are marvellous opportunities to improve.”We are here to help and support you, not to find fault or criticise you!Losing weight and keeping it off is not a question of willpower – it’s about motivation. With our unique approach, you can remain motivated and focused right through your programme and beyond.

What is the Mental Weight concept? At the heart of our approach is Dr. Larocque’s groundbreaking discovery that each person’s habits, motivations, emotions, stress levels and self-image all make up their “mental weight”. This is the weight that you could potentially reach if you continue with your current habits and behaviours. At Motivation, we can help you to identify and reduce your mental weight so that it matches your desired weight, enabling you to easily maintain your weight in the long-term without having to continually struggle with your willpower. When you look after your habits, the scales will look after themselves.

Do you want to know Your Mental Weight? For a quick and easy way to evaluate if you have a challenge with your Mental Weight, take this simple quiz. Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the following questions: 1. Do you eat when you are disappointed with someone or something? 2. Is eating an important source of pleasure in your life? 3. Do you have a tendency to eat when you are disappointed with your own behaviour? 4. Do you sometimes hide to eat or hide what you eat from others?


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Is eating making you hungry? Protein - All of our food plans are protein based – low in carbohydrate and low in fat: this is to avoid any increase in your cholesterol – and ensure that as you lose weight it is only fat that you lose and not lean muscle tissue. When you follow a low calorie weight loss programme the body’s need for protein dramatically increases. If you lose lean muscle tissue your metabolism slows down and you can end up looking gaunt and develop loose skin (flab). This is the danger when people go only by the scales – it doesn’t give you an accurate representation of your body composition. You will eat 3 meals per day from all the food groups plus snacks in between meals. A fantastic bonus on the motivation programme is that energy levels increase and when you reach your weight loss goal you will have a healthy toned appearance. Sugar - The most common physical cause of cravings and over indulging is hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels). This is usually caused by not eating enough, inadequate protein intake or eating too much sugar or carbohydrate rich foods. When experiencing hypoglycaemia, common symptoms include cravings, tiredness, mood swings, palpitations and sweating to name just a few. This can easily be rectified with the correct dietary information. Taking the first step... Your Assessment Consultation At your assessment consultation we: 1. Listen to why you are here and what YOU want to achieve from our programme. 2. Discuss your weight loss goals and what may be stopping you from achieving them. 3. Look at your history and what other programmes you may have tried. 4. Explain how we are different and show you the tools we have available to help you get the results you are looking for. 5. Complete your full Body Composition Analysis, where we measure your fat, water and muscle percentages. 6. Assess your measurements, calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) and we check your heart rate and blood pressure. 7. Determine if our approach is right for you. Your assessment consultation takes approximately 30 minutes in total. *Clinical study published in The Journal of Bariatric Medicine


€25 Dr. Maurice Larocque



HAPPY Prepping a new year wardrobe detox? Meet your new closet therapist. In this extract from her new book, The Happy Closet, Annmarie O’Connor shares how to uncover the emotional hang-ups and unconscious habits that underpin closet happiness.


y name is Annmarie O’Connor. I’m a fashion journalist and stylist by trade. I’m also a reformed hoarder by habit. That’s why I’ve written my book, The Happy Closet. For years, I lived with the ironic dilemma of having a wardobe full of clothes and nothing to wear. Much like a magpie, my brain seemed wired towards amassing the shiny and showy, with little regard for how it fit into my lifestyle. Dressing became a chore, not least due to the vast volume of clothing I had accumulated. Sure, my closet was colourful (so is an acid trip), but it lacked synergy and flow. The only thread keeping it all together was the question ‘Why?’, which, if tugged at even slightly, would cause a drag-queen pile-up of sequins, glitter and studs. So I kept a wide berth of that frayed emotional hem, donned my military epaulettes and soldiered on. That’s the thing about hoarding. It’s by nature self-perpetuating and rarely results in a cull. In fact, any decluttering I attempted just served to reinforce the prospect of loss and emotional vulnerability, which led me to procrastinate and over-rationalise why I ‘needed’ so much. Until I got real. What started as a simple act of tidying soon exposed a full-length mirror of emotional triggers. Like any clearing exercise, things had to get messier before they got better. Not only did the process shed a harsh glare on the person I was pretending to be (hot-shot influencer), but the naked bulb hanging over my shopping habits wasn’t exactly flattering (shabby impostor). I was a classic impulse buyer and I had the receipts to prove it – lots of them. Once I got clear about my personal pitfalls (the need to impress, the desire to be accepted), I was better positioned to confront my inner hoarder and reframe the persistent patterns that were creating war within my wardrobe. This epiphany did more than just declutter my closet; it inspired me to create a system to identify the emotional

habits never disappear. Ever. What’s more, the brain can’t distinguish between a good and a bad one. hang-ups and habits that underpin our closet happiness. This is what I want to share with you – the secret to achieving closet zen. By combining mindfulness exercises with awareness therapy, The Happy Closet aims to help release the unconscious inclinations behind the nine core closet types: Impulse Buyer, Secret Shopper, Doomsday Prepper, Tired & Emotional, Black Widow, Split Personality, Martyr Mom, Sale Sniper and Perfect 9. By figuring out which you are, you’ll discover how to overcome your

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personal trip-wires, reframe shopping patterns and, more important, dress the person you are – today. Let’s be clear: this isn’t a run-ofthe-mill wardrobe clear-out. It’s about sifting beneath the layers of confusion and finding out what’s really driving our collective primal impulses – that hunter-gatherer DNA that insists on colonising every square inch of space. It’s only in understanding what makes us tick that we can evolve from collecting to curating. Let the inside match the outside and watch the magic happen. If you’ve ever wanted to have more with less, then it’s time to discover how happy your closet can be.

How do you feel when you open your closet? More to the point how does your closet feel? Buried beneath those forgettable fads, questionable trends and ‘oh dear, what was I thinking?’ is a pile of useless emotional baggage. Bet you didn’t see it. Well, guess what? You’re not alone. The closet is more than just a collection of clothes. It’s a deeply vulnerable space containing layers of old energy which, when coupled with an evolutionary gathering instinct, can create chaos. If you feel dread and indecision each time you get dressed, then some closet therapy is in order. That’s where I come in. Call it a closet intervention, but I’m here to help you confront your inner hoarder and address the behaviours that have led to your not-so-uncommon case of sartorial overwhelm. Granted, mindfulness and fashion aren’t the most obvious twosome: one commits to the soul’s urge while the other commits to a pair of Charlotte Olympia calf hair wedges


when the rent is due. That said, their paradoxical pairing can help even the most seasoned stockpiler distinguish between keepsakes and keeping something for the sake of it. Old attachments, a fear of change, regret and compulsion are the most common psychological blocks that keep us locked into repetitive routines – the majority of which play out in how we shop and why we hoard. In fact, our habits are so unconscious, they tend to happen without our permission. You can blame it on the basal ganglia – a small bit of tissue in the brain that dates back to our cave people days. Responsible for forming and storing habits, this little fella acts much like a zip file in that it helps our brain’s hard drive function more efficiently. Once, we’ve mastered a habit, be it walking or driving (or shopping), it becomes ingrained or ‘automatic’ so that our minds are free to focus on other more immediate concerns. A bit of bad news: habits never disappear. Ever. What’s more, the brain can’t distinguish between a good and a bad one. In other words, your penchant for green tea and designer t-shirts receive equal billing. That basal ganglia is a nondenominational, equal opportunities employer, bless it. All it takes is a trigger to access the habit from our memory – which explains why we went shopping instead of to our mother’s after work last Thursday (late night shopping, anyone?), and why even the sight of a shoe sale requires blinkers and/or heavy sedation. Over time and with repetition, habits detonate with even the smallest persuasion and, in turn, disable our ability to make careful and considered choices. Before you know it you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, taken advice from a caterpillar smoking a

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hookah and are experiencing one hell of an identity crisis. You could blame it on some questionable tea or get your butt out of wonderland before you totally lose your head. Feeling a bit exposed? Of course. Closets are the seat of our deepest, darkest shopping secrets. By opening the doors you are effectively revealing your biggest weaknesses and your self-esteem at a given moment. Is everything folded, orderly, neat? Hidden in boxes with the tags still intact? Balled in a corner, mismanaged, badly in need of repair? Or are you operating more of a floordrobe style operation – bags of swag strewn carelessly in a Lyndsay Lohan-meets-Tracey Emin homage? Before launching into ambush mode, we need to get an insight into your closet personality – the hidden behaviour that got you here in the first place. In The Happy Closet you’ll find those nine closet types, each with their own traits to help you identify the common tics feeding your inner pack rat. It’s only by identifying these hang-ups that we can successfully modify the pesky practices that have your closet in a pickle. Prepare to get honest. Once you’ve admitted to going off the rails, that’s when you can start cleaning up your act – one skeleton at a time. Bye bye dread and indecision; hello thoughtful dresser. Prepare for some straight talking. Every closet has a story to tell. It’s time to discover what yours has to say about you.

The Happy Closet will be published by Gill & Macmillan on Friday January 8th, priced €16.99. For more see

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BEAUTY LET IT GLOW You might be feeling the post–Christmas blues, but that doesn’t mean your skin has to. For iridescent shades and glossy lips, Clarins’ Spring 2016 make–up collection, Instant Glow, is all about bathing the face in a whole new radiance. There are subtle shimmering eyeshadows like this divine silver plum Ombre Iridescente shade (€22.50) — an easy–to–apply

COLOUR ME BEAUTIFUL Hello 2016, and hello two (yes, TWO!) new Pantone colours of the year. While last year the gorgeous terracotta red shade of Marsala spanned fashion, beauty and interiors, now it’s the turn of pale pink and blue — Rose Quartz and Serenity — as chosen by the experts at the Pantone Colour Institute. To nail the shades in your beauty look try the beautiful periwinkle icy blue of MAC’s Moon’s Reflection eye shadow (€16.50, Brown Thomas) and the sheer pink Dior Addict Lip Maximizer - Collagen Active Lip-Gloss (€36, Debenhams). It’s a double dose of pretty!

GOT THE CREAM When it comes to makeup we all have specific needs depending on our skin tone. Flormar’s Magical Colour Effect Correcting Cream is the next generation of multi– tasking beauty, with colour and tone correction in one multi–action foundation — transforming your skin from drab to fab. Illuminating the skin with reflecting particles, its unique formula turns into a foundation that evens out and perfects the skin. It’s available in four shades, and we love this one to brighten tired looking skin by balancing yellow–green tones. It’s priced €11.95 and available in Aghada Pharmacy.

new generation texture between cream and powder, needing no applicator. The totally irresistible Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in toffee pink shimmer (€19), which moisturises for four hours, nourishes and plumps up the lips, is also a must–have. The collection is available at Clarins stockists on January 10th so 3, 2, 1... Glow!

TAKE MATTE For those who prefer classic glamour to all–out flash, matte reigns supreme. That’s why we’re loving MAC so much, as the cosmetic brand has created an innovation on this classic texture with 15 robustly saturated shades. The Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour collection has everything from this intense fire truck red of Fashion Legacy to the vivid fuchsia of Tailored to Tease. It’a big splash of colour in a liquid–suede finish, that transforms the lips instantly. They are priced €28 and available from January exclusive to Brown Thomas.

CREATIVE CONTOURING Love them or hate them, you have to acknowledge that the Kardashians did introduce us to the glorious world of contouring. For an affordable option to highlight and shadow yourself to perfection, the spring/summer ‘16 collection from Catrice Cosmetics has

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an all–round Contouring Palette. The two darker colours are used to shade the hollows of the face for visible reduction, while the two lighter nuances highlight the features. We love it, and it’s priced just €4.50 at selected pharmacies and Penneys stores.


BEAUTY THE PRIYA BROW First came Cara Delevingne and now we’ve brow envy all over again with the gorgeous Miss Universe Ireland, Joanna Cooper. Her ultra–shapely bold brows have us yearning for a new look in 2016, and our resolution is to keep them in check. We love the brow magic that Priya on French Church Street is conjuring up with its dedicated Brow Bar to cater for all eyebrow needs. Their signature eyebrow treatment is €30 for a consultation, a custom brow tint, and threading and tweezing (no waxing) and they’ve a range of products to help maintain your brows at home, like the Priya Brow Treatment Oil (€10) and the Beautiful Brows Eyebrow Kit (€45). What can we say, we like big brows and we cannot lie!

FACE FACTS Partied out? Purge your pores with a good cleanser. It’ll smooth skin’s texture, and give the appearance of a fresh glow... perfect for banishing those January blues. We love the Image Skincare Ageless Total Facial Cleanser (€32.50, Advanced Laser Light on Princes Street), which exfoliates, gently removes makeup, and tones for ultimate skin balance. Advanced Laser Light also provides Clinical Couture Designer Peels from Image, with a current ‘buy three get four’ offer.

CLEVER CLARINS Surveys show that our golden years really are our happiest… and now adding to that joy is two new super restorative skin care products from Clarins. The Hand Cream (€46) and Décolleté and Neck Concentrate (€76.50) are dedicated to two specific areas particularly exposed to external aggressions, often neglected in women’s daily skin care routine. Both contain a plant duo with anti–ageing and age spot correcting action, helping to improve skin density, reduce wrinkles and promote a more even skin tone. On counters from January 10th at all Clarins stockists, this pair is dedicated to those who want to keep loving the age they are at. MAN UP Right, listen up fellas. While for some males, skincare tends not to exist apart from the odd slathering of moisturiser, keeping a routine for the skin is essential, especially to fight the effects of ageing. Stress and fatigue can leave visible signs, while shaving also aggravates the skin. Then there are the day–to–day aggressors, such as pollution, tobacco, climate variations and sun exposure, which alter skin cells’ mitochondrial DNA. To help, Nuxe is bringing out Youth and Energy Revealing Anti-Aging Fluid, a new anti-ageing skincare product especially for men. It’s priced €38, and available at Lloyds Pharmacies from January 11th and nationwide from January 24th.


THE MANE EVENT From central heating to festive styling; harsh winds to plummeting temperatures; winter can have a huge effect on your hair. To regain some lustre, a seasonal grooming routine is called for to leave hair looking and feeling healthier and shinier. We love L’Oréal Professionnel Pro Fiber collection (shampoo, €15.99 and conditioner, €17.99), the brand’s first recharging and longest lasting treatment programme to combat multi–levels of damage across all hair types. It starts in the salon, based on what level is needed — revive, restore or recover — and is maintained and re-charged at home, wash after wash.

RENEW YOURSELF When you’re younger, skin ageing prevention isn’t top of the priority list. Early signs of photoaging — premature ageing of the skin due to exposure of skin to UV light — results in dullness, blotchiness, wrinkles, and loss of natural elasticity. However, there’s a new little miracle in a bottle — SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 — that’s designed to strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier, help stimulate surface skin cell renewal, reduce discolouration, and reduce fine lines. Perfect for all those in their 30s who have vowed to look after their skin in 2016! The RRP is €110, and it’s available at Kathryn Revell Cosmetic Clinic on Oliver Plunkett St.

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From unknown actress to the face of the biggest movie blockbuster of all time, 2015 was a very strange year for Daisy Ridley. Carolyn Moore on why Hollywood’s new star is a force to be reckoned with. A star is born. Daisy beams on the red carpet at the Star Wars world premiere. Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney


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ne of the most impressive stunt sequences in last summer’s blockbusting Avengers: Age of Ultron showed Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow dropped from the underbelly of a jet in flight, on a motorcycle, onto the streets of Seoul. The bike lands with a thud, and Black Widow adeptly weaves through traffic at speed, fearlessly rushing to Captain America’s aid as he battles with the evil Ultron. So impressive was it that manufacturers including Hasbro and Lego rushed to make the package available as a toy. The Quinjet was there, the motorcycle was there, but one thing was missing. In the toy version, Black Widow herself had been replaced by Captain America. While it was certainly the most galling omission of Black Widow/ Natasha Romanoff from the movie’s merchandise, it was sadly just the icing on a Black Widow-free Avengers cake. Prompting the hashtag #WheresNatasha to trend on twitter, more and more Avengers fans noted her conspicuous absence from everything from backpacks to pyjamas, and even one of the movie’s stars, Marc Ruffalo, felt compelled to tweet “@marvel We need more #BlackWidow merchandise for my daughters and nieces. Pretty Please.” And this was not an isolated incident. In the wake of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the

I think Rey is wonderful, so if people look up to her then I’m very happy with that.” hashtag #WheresGamora was born when Marvel also sidelined Zoe Saldana’s character in their extensive merchandising efforts, working on the assumption that girls are too busy shopping in the princess aisle to be concerned with action figures, and that boys are somehow unable to, or shouldn’t be expected to look up to women as heroes. The talking raccoon they could relate to, but the woman was a stretch too far. This tokenistic inclusion of lone females in major movie franchises is exposed as exactly that when they are later airbrushed out of the action, and we do a huge disservice to children of both genders when we rob them of opportunities to view female characters as strong, capable and self sufficient, and to represent them in this way when they engage with them in play. This is why many millions of fists were pumped when Disney finally revealed the official poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and there,

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front and centre, was the movie’s hero… and the hero was a heroine. It was immediately evident that there would be no sidelining this girl, and though details of the character were shrouded in secrecy, it was obvious that – just as the original trilogy had tracked the journey of Luke Skywalker – this new chapter of Star Wars would tell the story of Rey. As the lead character in what has undoubtedly been the most anticipated movie release of this century, the role of Rey was the most coveted among young Hollywood actresses since the casting of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. But while that part went to the then upand-coming Jennifer Lawrence, Star Wars director J.J. Abrams held open castings for a “twentysomething athletic girl”, determined to cast an unknown in this role of a lifetime. Enter Daisy Ridley, who had, aged 9, won a scholarship to an elite, fee-paying performing arts school in Hertfordshire, before going to university to study classical civilisation. She dropped out as her acting career began to show promise, but prior to starring in the biggest blockbuster of all time she had just a few bit parts in the likes of Casualty and Mr. Selfridge to her name. But over five auditions, Ridley convinced the producers she was indeed the girl they were looking for, and so began her transformation into the


F E AT U R E mysterious Rey. Training five hours a day, five days a week for three months, Daisy began preparing for a role that would place huge demands on her, both physically and emotionally. The experience was “a rollercoaster,” she admitted on the eve of the movie’s release. “I started auditioning over two years ago, and so obviously, within two years, many, many things have happened. I’ve hit every emotion possible!” she laughs. “Rey’s journey begins in Jakku, and that’s where we began filming,” she reveals, with the desert of Abu Dhabi providing the backdrop for this desolate location. “Abu Dhabi, for me, was a real baptism of fire. I was incredibly nervous, I really was!” But of her transition from nervous newbie to feeling “part of the Star Wars family”, she says “I learned that even though I was terrified a lot of the time, and even though I didn’t know what I was doing, with the right support and the right people around, you can break through boundaries you might put on yourself – restrictions you might think that you have – and do some really cool stuff!” It’s a realisation that mirrors the experience of Rey, who Ridley describes as “just an ordinary girl


in extraordinary circumstances.” “She’s a young girl, very much alone, and she meets Finn, they go on a crazy adventure, and her life reaches unexpected heights,” she smiles, perhaps aware of the obvious parallels. Like Princess Leia before her, Rey is a character that girls can look up to and admire. “They’re both women trying to make their way in the world, and they’re both pretty kick ass,” she acknowledges, adding “JJ is an incredible writer, especially of females, and to be able to play a part like that was amazing. I think Rey is wonderful, so if people look up to her then I’m very happy with that.” While she loved playing a strong, heroic female character, Ridley “also enjoyed that she’s not just those things.” “Rey is kind of a simple young woman and she just gets swept into this incredible journey. To play a role that was so nuanced, and such an emotional role, was thrilling, because it wasn’t what I expected. I don’t think it’s what people are going to be expecting either, and that’s incredibly exciting.” As the story unfolds – filled with the refreshingly familiar spirit, thrilla-minute pace, and throwaway wit

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of the original trilogy, after three disappointingly joyless prequels – what emerges is a fantastically fun, emotionally engaging, family friendly film. Not one for dad to take the boys to, mind, but a film for the whole family, with a central female character who is more than just a cog in a machine or a competent team player in the fight against the dark side. Strong, confident, capable, and supremely self-reliant, Rey is everything we should teach our girls to be and everything we should teach our boys to respect. So what does Daisy hope girls will take away from The Force Awakens? “I would love firstly for girls to enjoy it as a whole, and secondly, from Rey, I hope they feel uplifted, and hopeful, and perhaps see themselves in her, somewhere.” And with every box office record now smashed into oblivion; fans overjoyed by the movie; and critics almost universally heaping praise on all involved, Ridley can at last afford to take a deep breath and reflect on the experience. “I’ve had the most incredible time, I’ve met the most incredible people, and I am very, very happy,” she beams.

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33 23/10/2015 13:13

Alison Hennessy Photo by Kestutis Anuzis

FITSPIRATION It’s a new year and that fitness goal for 2016 calls for some top notch motivation. These badass Cork Instagrammers are offering a dollop of #fitspiration for those planning on hitting the gym. 34

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Diana Kelleher Photo by Shaun Barry

From rock hard abs to sculpted legs; it’s hard not to be inspired by the impressive fitness feats on Instagram. Whether it’s bendy poses or deadlifting feats, the snaps of Fitstagrammers can definitely motivate you in dreary January to grab the runners, don the lycra and get exercising. Donoughmore–based Diana Kelleher (@diana_kelleher), who’s an IFBB bikini athlete, states it’s “empowering for a girl to feel strong and be able to lift weights”. “I’m all for promoting lifting weights and eating to be strong and healthy,” she says. “Weight lifting has completely changed my body shape and all for the better.” For Diana, her love of fitness started when living in Australia in 2012. A year later she started blogging her fitness journey. “I love what I do, and when you love what you do it makes doing it that bit easier,” enthuses the 24–year–old. “I look up to loads of fitness stars. But I always like to look to myself for my own motivation. I look back at how far I’ve come since starting weight training to keep me inspired. I also have my goals for 2016 stuck up on my wall next to my computer at work. I see these every day and read them over and over again throughout my day.” For Alison Hennessy (@alison_ hennessy), her fitness journey started just two years ago, and, the

Youghal gym lover reveals, once she started “there was no going back”. “I completely feel in love with all things health and fitness,” she laughs. She states that promoting #strongnotskinny is “hugely important”. “Ladies are slow to weight–train as they think it’d make them ‘bulky’ but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” she exclaims. “When I started I’d have been ‘skinny’ and a bit shapeless. Weight training has really helped give me more of a feminine, curvy body.” Alison adds that you don’t need to be a confident person to put yourself out there on Instagram. “I’m proof of that,” she smiles. “The gym and weight lifting have given me more confidence but I still wouldn’t be a hugely confident person. Posting on Instagram just takes some getting used to. I remember feeling a little uncomfortable at first but now it’s become part of my everyday life. It helps keep me motivated as well as motivating my followers.” It was 12 months ago that Rochestown’s Emma Power set up a dedicated Instagram page to document her progress, originally called @emma_fitdiary before changing to @barbellbarbie_ie June last year. With over 6,500 followers, she’s all about “fitness with a touch of beauty”. The 25–year–

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old fitstagrammer who trains at Dennehy’s Health & Fitness Douglas, takes on four resistance sessions a week and, while she admits she’s not a “big fan of cardio”, she also does two High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions. However, it’s leg day — specifically glutes — that’s her favourite. “Squats, lunges, donkey kicks, leg curls, cable kick-backs — the list goes on and the burn is real but worth it,” she enthuses. She adds that anyone looking to get fit in 2016 should invest in a personal trainer if starting out. “Learning how to do things properly from the beginning will set you up to continue on your own, and having someone to hold you accountable helps,” explains Emma. “Make goals — short term and achievable — and write them down. Even as small as four gym sessions this week and to eat healthier. Progress doesn’t happen overnight but having small goals to reach will keep you motivated. “The best thing I ever did was take before pictures from all angles. They were horrible but were my best way to track progress and still keep me motivated.” A firm believer that fitness improves overall mental health is Cork’s Alma Clohessy (@fitdentalmom). “After all it’s mind over matter,” she says. Joining Instagram in



Sarah Kiely

Jenny O’Leary

Emma Power

2012, the 27–year–old had “no intentions” of blogging her fitness journey. However, later that year she discovered Insanity and decided to post her progress. Being a registered dental hygienist working across the country and a mother, Alma outlines that with her page she’s showing “no matter how busy your life is you can accomplish anything with the right mindset”. Alma, who’s working with her coach Rob Lipsett for her first bikini competition, states that starting the fitness journey is the “hardest part”. “Finding that support system is key,” she says. “if you’ve started going to the gym, don’t be afraid to approach people — we’re all reaching for the same goals, which is to better ourselves.” For those who love boxing, Sarah Kiely (@sarah_fatass_kiely) has become to one to follow, as the 22–year–old shows why she has won a Munster title and two silver All–Ireland medals. Originally from Waterford but currently studying and training in Cork city, she outlines she’s a “really determined and motivated person by nature”. “I love a challenge but most importantly I don’t allow failure to become part of who I am,” she says. Sarah smiles and adds that boxing is a perfect mixture of being “calm, cool and collected while also being an aggressive brut”. However, she admits that she’ll probably find


Leah Aftab

Alma Clohessy

another “love” in the future. “My heart and head scream ‘try MMA Sarah’... and some powerlifting too. I want it all,” she laughs. “I feel at some stage in everyone’s life they need to find fitness. I don’t care what it is. If you want to hill walk, run a marathon, snowboard or cage fight. Find something that captures you and give yourself to it. You will never know anything more de–stressing and positive in your life.” Mastering the balance of training, healthy eating… and having fun, Jenny O’Leary (@jennysmunch) outlines she was inspired to start documenting her fitness journey after gaining weight while on Erasmus two years ago in Vienna. “When I got back to Ireland, I realised I needed to change my diet and get back into being healthy and fit,” she says. Signing up for a six– week personal training package in Dennehy’s Ballincollig, she started posting her progress. Jenny, who’s studying marketing at CIT and has over 8,600 followers, outlines there’s “no easy option out there with losing weight or toning up”. “Before I started lifting weights I ran on the treadmill for hours thinking it’d help me achieve the body I was looking for,” she says. “Lifting weights changed my body. I became strong, much leaner and the pounds fell off.” The 22–year–old powerlifter trains twice a week with her college team

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and three nights by herself. “I get inspiration for the girls I train with, the dedication that’s put in day in and out. When I feel like I don’t want to train or have a bad day with eating unhealthy, I look at them and I’m focused,” concludes Jenny. Pole instructor Leah Aftab (@ leahmonkeyaftab) outlines that with pole being such a “niche sport in Ireland”, she uses Instagram more to learn about new moves and track her own fitness journey. “Instagram is also a great place to connect with like–minded people,” she says. “In the last year I’ve become more involved in the sport, and found people have gained a bit more interest in the sport. As such, I update regularly with moves I’m working on, or gym progress pictures. It may seem like egotistical behaviour but I like seeing my progress when I look at older videos and pictures and am proud of where I am now.” Recently placed second in the amateur All Ireland Pole Dance Championships, Leah, who work–outs at MiFitness in Ballincollig, trains pole five times a week, weights four times and cardio twice. “I couldn’t imagine my life without fitness, it’s truly developed me as a young woman,” she says. “I’ve become more confident in my body and no longer feel the need to criticise it — which is often seen in the media-culture crazed world we live in.”





Personal trainer at Women’s Fitness Plus Cian O’Flynn on how to keep those New Year’s fitness resolutions.

unlimited single membership


here has definitely been a change in women’s fitness goals over the last few years, and in 2016 they will range from weight loss to toning and increasing strength. I personally think our Kickstart programme is an ideal way to start a health and fitness journey. Our six–week plan includes personal training, nutritional consultation, weekly weigh–ins, fitness classes, unlimited gym, a personalised gym programme and all the support and motivation you need to succeed. For €199 this is incredible value. There is a growing trend with women who not only want to lose weight and tone up but also want to be strong. This is fantastic to see and here at Women’s Fitness Plus we offer a range of personal training packages to suit goals and needs. When it comes to personal training we can focus entirely on what you want to achieve and our quality and standard of training here is second to none. We offer a huge range of classes, both cardio and conditioning, including Spinning, Boxercise, Kettlebells, HIIT and the very popular Les Mills Bodypump and Bodycombat. And don’t worry if you’re a complete beginner, we’ve classes for all levels from Easy Spin, beginners Kettlebells, and Zumba — these are perfect choices to ease yourself into fitness. With over 100 classes every week — delivering a big workout in a fun atmosphere — there’s something to suit everyone. We’ve all got busy lives and we all have different opportunities to fit the gym into our schedule. That’s why we design options around what members want. So whether you’re new to fitness or returning, we’ve got packages and memberships to suit you.” Women’s Fitness Plus is located at South Ring Business Park, Kinsale Road. For further information phone 021 4966904 or see

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Nothing looks as good as HEALTHY FEELS



Relaxation and revitalisation are at the core of what the Spa offers. Members of the spa benefit from a host of amenities and facilities available on the resort, including the spa’s own hydrotherapy & thermal suites.

At The Health Club at The Kingsley your fitness is our focus, whether you are preparing for a marathon, need assistance losing weight, or simply want to tone up for that special occasion, The Health Club team has the expertise and passion to design a personalised fitness programme for your exact needs. The Health Club offers a wide range of classes for both our adult & child users, ranging from swimming lessons to Strength and power circuits to indoor group cycling and personal training.

New Year, New You

Focus on Your Health

Health & Fitness are a passion at the Fota Island Spa; our fitness team offer a wide range of complimentary classes for members. Our comprehensive fitness timetable includes Spinning, Bootcamp, Circuit Training and much more. Members also receive reduced rates on Personal Training, swimming classes and free membership to Fota Island Running Club, who make full use of the extensive forest trails on the island.

Membership is available from €220, enquiries are welcome. E:

T: +353 (0) 21 467 3131

The Kingsley Exclusive Offer for ‘Like Magazine’ readers: 3 Month Gold Membership for only €175.00 Valid for January 2016 only.

E: T: +353 (0) 21 4800570


FOTA Collection Fota Island, Cork, Ireland. T +353 (0)21 488 3700 F +353 (0)21 488 3871 E 38

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anuary brings with it an appetite for change. However, while the month starts with good intentions, sometimes resolutions to make positive lifestyle changes can fall by the wayside as the initial fitness buzz wears off or life’s busy commitments — work, family and friends — take over. Helping to overcome any obstacles to meeting new year health and fitness goals is The Health Club at The Kingsley, complete with committed professionals, the latest high–tech equipment and a dedicated support system. At the superb state–of–the–art centre, fitness is their focus. Whether the new year’s pledge is to take on the Cork City Marathon in June, lose weight, gain muscle, or simply to tone up for that special occasion in 2016, the friendly team at The Health

January is a great time to get fit and shed some extra pounds. To stay motivated look no further than The Health Club at The Kingsley.

Club have the expertise, passion and knowledge to design a personalised and achievable fitness programme for the client’s exact needs. The aim at the Victoria Cross health centre, located on the banks of the River Lee, is to provide a genuine Club atmosphere, rather than a large scale commercial feel. It means members feel like a valued individual, and not just a number. The fully–equipped, bright and spacious gym comes complete with revolutionary cardiovascular and strength machines from Technogym, global leaders in wellness. The interactive equipment which include treadmills, elliptical cross trainers, wave machines, steppers, rowing machines, and upright and recumbent bikes, help members achieve the results that they deserve.

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A unique aspect of The Health Club is their Kinesis studio, which offers zero–impact exercises for all levels of fitness and ability. Addressing the needs of users who are recovering from injuries, surgery, or have limited mobility, the revolutionary machine allows for free movement that’s easy, natural and without restrictions. It’s ideal for those working on their balance, strength or flexibility and certified for medical use and rehabilitation. For those looking to tone and build muscle, the modern gym floor also provides a wide range of strength and free weights equipment. The benefits of resistance training are multiple, as it can increase the amount of calories you burn daily, improve bone density, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and is the perfect tool to a strong, firm,


COMPANY PROFILE toned body — exactly what most women yearn for. At The Health Club, highly– skilled and experienced personal trainers supervise personal training programmes, specifically customised to cater for needs and personal goals. This is the perfect incentive for those with well intentioned gym–going resolutions, which too often flag as the first weeks of the year tick by. The team will also provide weekly analysis and nutritional advice to ensure that clients get the results they are looking for. The extremely motivating and effective one–to–one personal training option is available in either a block of six 60–minutes sessions or the very popular Active 8, which consists of eight 45–minutes training sessions. Clients can choose a schedule that will best suit their daily routine, and with the expertly qualified trainers and dedicated sports massage therapists at The Kingsley, the tailored sessions can focus on a multiple of goals from weight loss to lean muscle gain; injury rehabilitation to toning; sports specific or recovery aiding therapies. Weight management and nutritional advice are also included, and, as a bonus, for every personal training programme purchased, the client receives six complimentary fitness class passes. The Health Club also has a popular class schedule, with a wide range of choices for both adults and children. The classes, focused on challenging the body’s muscles through strengthening and endurance, while increasing flexibility and boosting energy, feature options like Bootcamp which can help with cardiovascular fitness, increased lean muscle endurance, decreased body mass index, slimmer waistline and

The Health Club have the expertise, passion and knowledge to design a personalised and achievable fitness programme for the client’s exact needs. improved physique. Another popular class is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), an enhanced form of interval training that alters periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods. This improves athletic capacity and condition, along with improving the metabolism and fat burning. Circuits,

indoor group cycling, total tone and yoga also feature on The Kingsley’s fitness schedule and members go free for most classes. For non–members it’s just €5 for 30 minutes and €8 for 45 minutes. The Kingsley also boasts a large 18– metre heated indoor swimming pool, with lane swimming facilities, along with a relaxation area and children’s pool. And if your goal is to learn to swim in 2016, then look no further than The Health Centre. Private one– to–one lessons for both children and adults are available, all taught by experienced professional swimming instructors. Spa and fitness memberships are open to individuals, couples, families and corporations, while there is also a Platinum membership that allows unrestricted access to the luxurious thermal suite. So whatever your fitness resolution is for 2016, choosing The Health Club at The Kingsley is the ideal way to achieve your goals and pursue that healthily lifestyle. It’ll improve the way you exercise. Forever.

To contact The Health Club at The Kingsley, Victoria Cross, phone 021 480 0570, email, or see


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THROW BACK Now that we’re in the depths of winter, it’s time to batten down the hatches and get cosy at home. For snug nights in with a box set and a glass of Pinot, you can’t beat enveloping yourself in the comfort of a soft woollen throw, and right here in Ireland we make some of the world’s finest. Foxford rugs and throws are woven in one of our last working woollen mills, in Foxford, Co. Mayo, and their classic weaves like the lambswool grey spot and merino Dublin check, are the perfect neutral addition to any room. Their light weight means they also work well atop a duvet for that extra layer of warmth. Check throw, €89.95, Kilkenny, and spot throw, €85, The Ballymaloe Shop.

GO FOR GOLD Metallic tones have evolved into this year’s on–trend shade. Dulux are hailing the warm, subtle Cherished Gold for 2016, an evolution from last year’s Copper Blush. Pairing equally well with fresh pastels and rich jewel tones alike, the shade’s earthy quality means it’s a great choice for any type of space. Rebecca Williamson, senior colour design & content manager at Dulux explains: “Gold and tones of gold are being used everywhere in the design world. It’s a recurring colour and material at design fairs and in graphic design as well as in architecture, fashion, beauty and interior decorating. For 2016 Cherished Gold is a beautiful next step.” To capture the hue in a piece of furniture, there’s the Capa counter stool from Meadows & Byrne, priced €198.

MIGHTY MINERALS Had a fascination with rocks when you were younger? Well, it looks like that childhood hobby could be coming around again. Minerals are a big trend for 2016, and will be popping up throughout the home, from quartz on the kitchen countertops to a polished stone basin in the bathroom. Go for contrast with the earthy materials, allowing for a touchable tactile texture in each room. An easy way to add a touch of mineral life to a space is with simple accessories, like this Jamie Oliver granite pestle and mortar for the kitchen, priced €45 from Debenhams.

STYLISH STORAGE Post December, homes tends to be crammed with clutter. If you can’t bear to be parted with your possessions, then some stylish but clever storage options could be the option. Think outside the box and consider this stunning Habitat Jessie black wide leaning bookcase (€146, Argos), which would provide valuable shelf space for anything from books and ornaments to toys and paperwork. Old suitcases are also the perfect storage solution — beautiful to look at, they also hide magnitude of sins! Pick one up at the Cork Vintage Quarter on Henry Street. PRETTY PENDANTS Forget chandeliers, the latest trend lighting up our interior design lives are stunning statement pendants with a contemporary edge. Perfect over a dining table, a shiny modern fixture is functional and serves as a visual focal point. Go for modern metallics — once again, they’re here to stay — with the semi– spherical Calligaris Volans (€516, Casey’s Furniture), which adds just the right amount of bling to a space. We’ve taken quite a ‘shine’ to it!

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While you can’t beat inexpensive little home style updates – a new throw here or some cushion covers there – many of us put off investing in things that would really make an impact. The January sales are the perfect opportunity to splash out on those big ticket items, and here’s our pick of the best…


Richardsons Ceramics B3 Fota Retail Park, Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork.

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Richardson’s tiles and wood your home 44

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ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY? If the answer is no, then what are you waiting for? Whatever your interior style, there’s a sofa out there that was made for you. Fans of classic, country manor style will love the elegant lines of the Elton large sofa, now €850, down from €1525 at Finline Furniture, St Patricks Woollen Mills; while modernists will find the Natuzzi Marcello two-seater, now €999, down from €1399 at Casey’s Furniture, Oliver Plunkett Street, completely irresistible. And if you’ve been meaning to trade up for the luxury of a corner sofa, now’s your chance – also at Casey’s, the Turandot corner sofa is now €1499, down from €2499.


S AL E LIGHT UP Never underestimate the impact that great lighting can have on a space, and when it comes to pendant lights, not only are they a vital and central source of light, they’re also a focal point of your room. Don’t let your décor down by having the eye drawn to any old shabby shade; invest in something sleek and modern like the metallic globe Discovery 20cm lamp, now €50, down from €115, or go for a retro pop of colour with the curvy Zeno Pendant, now €50 down from €108, both available from Lightplan, Kinsale Road Industrial Estate.

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AND RELAX… Whether you picture Marie Antoinette reclining on one while a handmaid drops bon bons into her mouth, or you’ve rested your shopper’s legs on one in an impossibly chic boutique, the chaise longue has come to epitomise interior elegance. Indulge yourself and take advantage of the great reduction on this quirky patchwork chaise, now €699, down from €1119 at House of McGregor, Lissarda. It will brighten up an entryway, divide an open plan space, or look simply stunning at the end of a bed.

TILE STYLE You don’t need to undertake a complete refurb to rejuvenate a bathroom or kitchen, as redoing your tiles can give the space a fresh new look and feel. Nothing dates a room like tired old tiles, so splash out during the sales. With minerals trending for 2016, we love the marbled effect of the Tofane tile by Monocibec, from the Italian porcelain tile range at Richardsons Ceramics, Fota Retail Park. Prices start at just €25.

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ECO–TECT Instead of just settling for hybrid cars or reducing waste, many homeowners are deciding that energy–efficient homes are the way of the future. Maria Tracey talks to RIAI award–winning architect PAUL MCNALLY about the ins and outs of transforming a draughty space into an eco–dream.


ave you done a double take when opening your gas bill or thought twice before turning on the heating? With energy costs rising and increasing concern over climate change if left unchecked, more and more of us are deciding to go green. But it’s not just about turning off lights and cutting down on washing machine spins — many are choosing to renovate, or build, low-energy, comfortable homes. “It’s all about comfort,” enthuses Bishopstown– based ecological architect Paul McNally of The PassivHaus Architecture Company. “We all grew up in leaky old buildings that had damp running down the windows, and you’d need the jumper on, fires blazing and to not to forget to turn off the immersion. But there’s no need for it to be that way anymore.”


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As we look to 2016, eco–renovations and builds are set to rise due to increased awareness and a drop in costs, and one such eco- overhaul can be seen in a stunning project designed by Paul and built by Grouville Developments in Sunday’s Well. With spectacular views over the city and a beautiful garden, it was, he reveals, an “architect’s dream”. The old house was originally two separate buildings that had been amalgamated, the oldest being 1832 and the other half from the early 20th century. There was also a small extension dating from the 60s/ 70s. “We did a lot of knocking through,” explains Paul, “creating a whole new open plan. It was about space and it was also about the connection of the views with the city. It’s up on an elevated site with a fantastic south– facing garden with great views across to UCC.” With the house being single–sided, as the back windows look directly out onto a public street, the end result is uninterrupted city views from each room, buckets of light, and, of course, that all important energy efficiency. “The house was big enough, so it wasn’t about an extension,” states Paul. “We knew there were a couple of rooms to knock together, but the final solution had a far more extensive amalgamation than was originally in the brief. “That idea only evolved three or four months down the planning process. We did the survey of the building, our cost projections and had specifications of all the renovation work. We were almost getting to the stage of doing the detailed design and we had a ‘hold on a minute’ moment. We had a fixed budget — it wasn’t unlimited — but we saw there was an opportunity to knock some walls out that were structural and quite complicated, but the benefit would be exponential.” He adds that meant “scaling back” somewhat, and the long-term plan will see the building insulated externally on the south elevation facing the garden. For the energy upgrade works that were undertaken, first the energy efficiency of the clients’ existing home was evaluated. “It was terrible. They’d have the

heating on throughout the winter and it’d still be cold and there would still be draughts. “It was about addressing that, getting some insulation in there, looking at air tightness and replacing all the windows with triple glazing. The critical thing from an environmental point of view in an old building is knowing what types of insulation to use where, and in that building, because of its situation on the street, we couldn’t do external insulation, which is the best default solution.” Such external work in this case would have involved planning permission, but one of the objectives was to do everything exempt of development. So instead internal insulation was used, and as the building is masonry, wood fibre insulation was chosen. Lime plastering was used for its breathability, while the various airtightness measures, including around the triple glazed windows, demanded attention to controlled ventilation. As central ventilation systems are not particularly easy to retrofit, the alternative standalone unit was put into place, extracting water vapour from the kitchen and bathrooms. “The fans are constantly on a very low speed and they’re humidity sensitive so if you’ve a shower, boil the kettle or wash up, and you produce a lot of water vapour, the fans detect it and they go into a boost mode. You get a lot of water vapour out before it

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It’s all about comfort. We all grew up in leaky old buildings that had damp running down the windows, and you’d need the jumper on, fires blazing and to not to forget to turn off the immersion. But there’s no need for it to be that way anymore. 47




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HOMES condenses in the cold spots. It means you’ve very good air quality instead of having a hole in a wall subject to the vagaries of where the wind is blowing and air pressure.” Paul adds that there’s “little point” in doing an air-tight, low energy building and having poor air quality. “You just end up with mould or other more serious risks. It’s not that hard to get the air quality right and if you go to the trouble of air tightness and insulation, you might as well get the ventilation right as well so you end up with a space that feels fresh,” he says. While the Sunday’s Well project was a large scale renovation, Paul insists there are easier ways of insulating homes and making them more comfortable. “When clients ring me up, the first thing I get them to do is a feasibility study to look at the building and prescribe a sort of ‘wish list’ to be costed. “I’d always put attic insulation top of the list because it’s the cheapest thing you can do and heat wants to rise. If you’ve an attic that’s uninsulated you should be putting 400ml of Rockwool insulation, and that’s about €900 for a standard semi–d. That would dramatically improve insulation — if you do nothing else, do that.” Paul adds that for buildings with cavities in the walls, getting them filled is something “you can only do

once, as you only have one cavity, so get the best quality bead. That will cost you around €1,000,” he says. “If you only have a budget of €2000 those are the first two things to deal with. I wouldn’t start off looking at solar panels or windows as they are going to cost you €15,000 or more depending on the size of your house. For a few grand you can hit the first 30% of savings and then progressively invest more to get another 10, 15, and 20% improvement.” Looking to the future, Paul, who has a Master of Science degree in Advanced Energy and Environmental studies in Architecture, adds that from an environmental and technological viewpoint, there’s “no doubt” that all new housing should be built to the PassivHaus — ultra–low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling — standard. One local authority in Dublin, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown, has even had the foresight to make the passive house standard mandatory for new buildings. “One of the arguments against making all builds passive is that it costs too much. But if we all agree to do it, there’s no additional cost. In the first year or two there might be a cost inertia but very quickly that’ll fade away when everyone gets up to speed and multiple units are rolled out. It’s interesting to see forward– thinking local authorities making their own judgement and saying ‘this is the right way to go. If you can’t do it on a national level, we’ll do it on a local level’. It’s a brave move by them.” “There’s no real cost disincentive to passive housing, we just need political will,” states Paul, who won a Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) award last year for Best Sustainable after his passive build pharmacy project in Clonmel won plaudits. “The benefit is that you always have a building that’s comfortable and has good air quality,





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as opposed to being sometimes cold or hot. They are cheap to heat, so you don’t have the situation where the elderly or those on low incomes have to choose whether to light a fire or eat that day. “Ten years ago, these builds were expensive because you had to import ventilation systems from Germany and wood fibre and hemp insulation, but with so many people now using the materials, and ventilation systems being made in Ireland, and triple glazing, costs are coming down.” So perhaps we should all consider pledging in 2016 to do our bit? By making small green–friendly changes or investing in eco-retrofits, the benefits are plain to see: cosier homes, better air quality, more money in the pocket in the longterm. And most importantly for the future, the low– environmental impact too.



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HOMES As we kick off 2016, designers are once again hailing geometric shapes as their home-style heroes. Whether minimal and monochrome or crazy and colourful, it’s a trend that adds great visual interest to a space, and a motif that looks set to continue to grow in popularity. Set of three geo vases, €35,


So if you’re looking to revamp an interior space for 2016, go geometric! Renew a room with a contemporary twist and make a stylish statement by going for geometric shapes in tiles, prints and patterns. It’s all about finding that right angle! Have fun. Geometrics don’t have to be serious. Play with colours and patterns to create a look that’s all your own. All furniture from the Debenhams spring/ summer ‘16 range.

Woodstock rug, assorted sizes priced from €149, Casey’s Furniture

Maison coffee table, €232, Next

Radiant wall mirror, €239,

Building Triptych, €645, Casey’s Furniture

Small grey patterned cushion, €17, EZ Living


Ben de Lisi Home Designer orange wire large bowl, €22.50, Debenhams

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Waterford Crystal Fleurology Tina 12” vase, €325, Kilkenny stores


Vintage cage, €85, Lightplan, Kinsale Road Industrial Estate Be inspired - Beautiful Geometry by Eli Maor, €29.50, Eason With its sharp diagonals cutting through clean lines, invest in the directional Maryjane chair — a stackable hand–made dining chair in solid oak by Tramore Road– based Horizon Furniture. See

Blanket box by Ballingeary furniture designer Denis Cotter. See or Cork Craft and Design at Douglas Village SC

Rafael rectangular gold frame, €15, EZ Living Loft geometric print mug, €7, Marks & Spencer Geometry is all about those clean lines, so go beyond print and make linear statement pieces your angle. Brass–effect bookcase, €939, and selected accessories from Marks & Spencer

Give your home an easy geometric makeover with an abstract print. Geo Vibe canvas, €59, Harvey Norman

Kilo blue and yellow nest of three tables by Habitat, €115, Argos

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SEEKING SERENITY As Pantone took the unprecedented step last month of announcing not one, but two colours of the year, it’s time to say goodbye to the rich, earthy Marsala that dominated 2015, and say hello to Rose Quartz and Serenity. Worldwide colour authority Pantone has once again made its influential Colour of the Year prediction for 2016, and for the first time ever has opted to declare not one, but two complimentary tones as their favoured shades for the year ahead. Soft and subtle, Rose Quartz and Serenity have been deemed the colours consumers will welcome as “a contrast to the current restless and hectic lives people are living right now.” Evoking a sense of calmness, fluidity and balance, the fusion of these shades provides the perfect antidote to busy modern life.

Stamford sofa in pale pink, paired with baby blue walls. Sofa and rug from a selection at Next

And as with 2015’s choice, Marsala, it won’t be long before we see the impact of this announcement hanging in our wardrobes, adorning our homes, and influencing our beauty choices. According to Pantone, used together “Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.”

So to make your home your respite from the stresses of the outside world, take your cue from the colour experts and use these tones to create your own serene space.

Colourmatch Bentwood chairs in Jellybean Blue and Bubblegum Pink, €38.49 each, Argos

Wire nest tables available in blue and coral, €105, Marks & Spencer

Hay rug, €1034,, St. Patrick’s Woolen Mills, Douglas

Dinton kitchen chairs, €235 for set of two, Marks & Spencer


Rose LED, €1.50, Penneys

Glass jar, €4, Penneys

Angled desk lamp in pink, €40, Marks & Spencer Block stripe throw, €79, Marks & Spencer

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Most of us started the new year pledging a healthier lifestyle. So if your resolution for 2016 is to forget recent splurges and instead make sensible lunchtime choices, then try these exciting healthy options...

Maybe you’re feeling all wined out after Christmas, but we can’t wait to get our lips round something new. Bubble Brothers’ Julian Alubaidy has some new year wine recommendations to pop your cork!




It’s all evolved for Crunch Food Company since they started in a little vintage Citroen H van going to various Cork gyms to fuel the health conscious. They now operate out of a container kitchen in Carrigaline, and do daily meals from their store and corporate lunch deliveries, with delicious healthy meals and treats ranging from raw juices to gluten free meals. See

Everything about Loving Salads on Academy Street screams “fresh”. The colourful array of salads are piled high in terracotta bowls — recipes created by chef Jason Carroll from a lifetime spent travelling the world. Our fav is the curried chickpea with coconut sambal and mango. Delicious. Just follow this mantra when choosing — If it looks good, go for it! There are no rules. See

The South African grape harvest happens during our spring, so the 2016 vintage is already beginning to take shape. While you’re waiting for nature to do its thing, chill out with last year’s fantastic Sauvignon, packed with zesty passion fruit and gooseberry flavours — but there’s much more Old World sophistication than you might expect in one so young. €13.00

CHÂTEAU JOUCLARY, ‘LES AMANDIERS’ AOC CABARDÈS Pascal Gianesini makes terrific reds year after year at Château Jouclary, just north of Carcassonne, and we’re looking forward to the latest delivery of this spicy, plummy, oak-aged blend of Merlot, Grenache and Syrah grapes. There’s plenty in it to interest the wine buffs, but a corkscrew and a glass are all you need to appreciate its rich, succulent style. €17.00




Now in their 11th years trading on Carey’s Lane, Dukes is one of the forerunners in the city’s thriving caffeine revolution. However, it’s not just about fulfilling the daily culinary coffee ritual here as their fresh deli has freshly made panini, wraps, sandwiches, and jacket potatoes, along with delicious daily specials. Their Mahon cafe at City Gate is also a great spot for a healthy lunch. See

For fresh and vibrant dishes look no further than Orso. One of our favourite things at this sleek Pembroke Street restaurant is their salad of wild rice, lava beans, carrot shavings and fresh coriander. And in keeping with the “fresh and healthy” theme, Orso do free deliveries to city centre offices… all on a cargo bike. It’s even got its own hashtag — #KeepGavinFit! Love it! See

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Whatever you’re celebrating in 2016, champagne never goes out of style when there’s a special occasion. Raise a fresh and fruity toast with this applescented, luxuriously smooth bubbly from the Aube region and enjoy a taste of artisan luxury at a very democratic price. €40.00

All wines available from Bubble Brothers stores, Centre Park Road and the English Market, or to order at


Launching NEW Afternoon Tea from early January

Charming teas and tempting seasonal specialties served in the Garden Room will delight you.

Intimate afternoon tea for 2 to special occasion Celebrations, The Maryborough Afternoon Tea is an ideal treat served in elegant surrounds with impeccable service. Savour 14 types of tea, finely cut sandwiches with classic fillings, freshly backed scones with homemade preserves, and a delectable selection of fancies and pastries.

Bookings essential

on 021 4918316 or email 58

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Beetroot curry with chickpeas and cardamom rice Get your new year off to a great start with this hearty, healthy curry from chef Jason Carroll at LovingSalads. “I came across this great curry dish working in Sydney with Peter Kuruvita, a Sir Lankan chef who opened my eyes to spices and flavours. This was the first curry I put on the menu at LovingSalads and it was a hit from day one. It’s packed with flavour, and can be enjoyed with condiments like mint coconut sambal or aubergine bringal. It’s easy to make, tastes even better the next day, and can be made vegan friendly by replacing the ghee with some rapeseed oil.”




For the curry powder base:

For the curry:

•  35g coriander seeds

1.  In a heavy based pot, melt your ghee or heat your rapeseed oil; add in the onions and garlic and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until translucent.

•  2 tablespoons fennel seeds •  2½ tablespoons cumin seeds •  1½ tablespoons fenugreek seeds •  A large pinch of ground turmeric •  1 teaspoon of chilli flakes Place all the ingredients except the turmeric in a heavy-based frying pan and dry roast over a low heat for 7 to 10 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from the heat, stir in the turmeric and cool. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the spices until a fine powder forms. This is then ready for use.

2.  Add your spices and the diced beets and cook for a further 5 minutes over a medium heat. 3.  Add in the coconut milk and coconut water and simmer for 20 minutes or until the beetroots are tender. Add in the chickpeas. Try the curry and season to taste.

For the rice:

•  250ml coconut milk

1.  Rinse the rice under cold water only once (rice is so highly polished these days that you will wash away the goodness if you rinse it too much), and for one cup of rice use 1½ cups of water and cook in the rice cooker or according to the instructions, adding 1 cardamom pod and a little ghee before cooking.

•  100ml fresh coconut water

2.  Fluff the cooked rice before serving.

For the beetroot curry: •  1kg diced fresh beetroots •  50g Ghee or some rapeseed oil •  1 large onion finely chopped •  2 cloves of garlic finely sliced

•  2 tablespoons of the curry powder base •  150g fresh cooked chickpeas •  Sea salt

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never thought I would breastfeed my kids. Like many of my generation, I was not breastfed or brought up in a culture that deemed it the “done thing”. A few months after meeting my now husband, we were having those deep conversations that the young, clueless and in love have. The subject of breastfeeding came up, and I wrinkled my nose in disgust and said “you won’t catch me doing that!” He looked genuinely shocked and asked what I thought the purpose of breasts were. I sniggered and gave a few reasons I shouldn’t repeat here, then, realising I was losing the argument, I bristled and tried what I thought was the feminist viewpoint: my body would not be my own for nine months; was I to suffer beyond that too? Unable to take Solpadeine on a whim, or drink, or have the odd fag? He gave up in the face of my ridiculous indignation (or possibly because he had scared himself by talking too soon about having kids with an unstable, Irish female). From the moment I planned my pregnancy though, I became an insane nurturer, guzzling folic acid and prenatal vitamins. I gave up smoking, didn’t touch alcohol, and read baby books voraciously. And when my baby was put in my arms and the midwife asked how I was planning on feeding him, I said “breast, of course!” So I put him to my nipple and… nothing. I tried every position, football hold and all, and… nothing. An expert was


sent to me from the upper echelons of Holles Street and even she gave up. I took him home, and when the public health nurse came daily to weigh him she would shake her head and tell me he’d lost more weight. I was frantic. I asked if I should give him a top-up and almost before she could answer I had my husband in Tesco buying Aptamil. But it turned out Conall wasn’t great at taking a bottle either, and then I got myself in a panic reading about nipple confusion! I continued trying even though my nipples were cracked and bleeding. I pumped to keep the flow going and often it resembled a strawberry milkshake. I was also fighting a bad kidney infection; I was bedridden and broken. Once I was feeling better though, I decided to give breast-feeding another try. I gently guided Conall to my nipple and… he sucked! I cried and cried happy tears! I had spent my life giving up when things got hard, and for once I persevered and it paid off. The feeling is incomparable, him suckling sleepily, every so often maintaining eye-contact, and sometimes massaging my boob with his tiny fingers as if to increase the flow. I continued combine-feeding him and it made weaning so much easier. I was lucky to have the full support of my partner, though my mother would roll her eyes and seize on any sickness Conall had to say “look, look he’s not immune”. It’s ok

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Mum, I know it came from a place of guilt, and I don’t blame you for not breastfeeding me - I blame formula companies for normalising bottles. My second son latched beautifully, as did my third. I breastfed both of them exclusively for 9-10 months, and became a pro at feeding in public. If my “modesty cloth” dropped I couldn’t care less. My only concern was my baby’s well-being. When you feel the time is right to move on from breast milk (teeth were my indication), there can be a lot of emotion and guilt. It’s awful trying to give your baby a bottle as they nuzzle for your breast, but there comes a time when you need that Solpadeine, or a night out, or are sick of waking up with a sodden breast pad in your armpit. Some women of course can’t feed for medical reasons, and that’s cool, I’m just asking the others to give it a go. Breast-feeding your first requires perseverance; your baby is learning along with you, so cut each other some slack! If you put in the effort, you’ll do great. It’s an experience I am so glad to have shared with my three little demons… and who knows, maybe I’ve raised an astrophysicist with a super-human immune system! My eldest did ask for a telescope for Christmas after all!

Aisling blogs at and is a contributor at

PURE PILATES With the likes of Kate Hudson and Rosanna Davison crediting their sculpted physiques to it, the growing popularity of Pilates as a method of getting and staying fit comes as no surprise. If you fancy stepping up to the barre or hopping onto the reformer, look no further than Elite Pilates, where the focus is bringing Pilates to everyBody!


he new year brings with it a desire for change, and the resolve to lose weight, tone up and get fit. The perfect pick for those embarking on a new fitness journey has to be Pilates, the go–to exercise for a healthy body and mind. Long advocated by celebrities and athletes for its amazing benefits — strengthening the core, managing back pain over the long term, lengthening and stretching major muscle groups in the body in a balanced fashion, improving sports performance and preventing injuries — it’s something that truly works. However, it’s not just for the body beautiful as regardless of age, gender, fitness level or body– type, the beauty of Pilates is that it’s open to everybody. Created by German–born Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s, the man himself said it best with: “In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body”. Sharing their passion for Pilates in Cork is Elite Pilates, offering small group workouts in state–of– the–art studios, that are both fun and effective. Bringing a personal touch to Pilates, classes at their three studios — Donnybrook, Kinsale and The Kingsley Hotel — are small so they can focus attention on each



€ 99*

and every client, while one–to–one personal training is also offered seven days a week. Their mantra is simple: their members can be the best if they expect the best. Elite Pilates offers three types of classes — Pilates Mat, Reformer and Barre, all form–focused, full–body workouts led by highly trained and qualified instructors.

carriage with adjustable springs, cables and pulleys that provides both resistance and support, allowing core–strength, balance and flexibility to be developed. The Reformer’s resistance — changed depending on the exercise and the individual using the machine — allows it to be set up to suit the body perfectly, meaning it’s incredibly effective and efficient.



Ready to rock your core is Pilates Barre, the workout that improves overall strength, stamina, posture and flexibility. The innovative, fun and full–body workout reaches a new level of intensity, as in addition to the isometric work done in traditional barre classes, Elite Barre incorporates a full range of motion moves and interval training to keep the heart rate elevated. Set to high energy music, this unique Barre workout incorporates the precision of Pilates, with the positions, moves and techniques of ballet, the alignment of yoga, and strength from sports conditioning.

Roll out the mat and experience Pilates in its purest form. Pilates mat–work can be done anywhere, anytime and with modifications, it can be done by anyone. The full–body workout is fantastic for developing core strength, increasing strength in back muscles, strengthening the abdominals, increasing flexibility and improving posture. The extensive repertoire of exercises also allows the body to rediscover movement patterns and restore the mind–body connection. Full of variety, those who choose mat are constantly challenged.

ELITE REFORMER The world famous Reformer is the most effective piece of kit in the Pilates repertoire and can lead to dramatic changes in the body. The piece of equipment involves a sliding

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Elite Pilates studios are located at Donnybrook Commercial Centre, Kinsale Commercial Park and The Kingsley Hotel. For more information phone 021 4369097, email, or see (*Terms: New clients only. 30 day expiry. T&C apply)



LET’S GET MUSHY Weaning is a wondrous new adventure in your little one’s development, but it can also be an area filled with confusion. Dr Pixie McKenna talks to Maria Tracey about her new book, which aims to help parents understand what to expect from the next stage of their baby’s development.


he world of weaning is a bit of a minefield. On one hand the World Health Organisation recommends starting your baby on solid foods when they are around six months old, as well as breast or formula milk, while some health experts say four months, and many parents start even earlier. For something so seemingly natural as the introduction of solid food into a baby’s diet, there’s an unrelenting emotive discussion surrounding it — from what age it should begin at to the types of food that should be used. Practising GP, TV presenter and mother–of–one, Dr Pixie McKenna insists that weaning should be an exciting and important stage in a baby’s life, even if it’s not always easy to know where to start. The Glasheen native, who shot to fame on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies, and was recently seen in the RTÉ series You Should Really See a Doctor, has launched a brand new parenting guide with Igloo Books, entitled First Foods. The book is the debut title in an ongoing series — also to include potty training, toddler behaviour and sleep — all drawing from lessons the charismatic Cork woman has learned from her time curing a nation on Embarrassing Bodies, and working in her Harley Street clinic, all whilst meeting


the demands of modern parenting. Based on her personal and professional experience, the guide includes practical tips on which weaning method to use and how to prepare purées, as well as information on how to approach food allergies among young children. Dr Pixie, who lives in Cambridge with her husband, John ‘Mitch’ Mitchell and their three–year–old daughter, Darcy, outlines being a parent is one of the most “rewarding yet nerve–wracking roles in life”. “There isn’t a day goes by that you don’t question what you are doing for your children. It’s completely normal. It may sound clichéd but it really is a roller coaster,” she says. She adds that she went into motherhood “completely blissfully unaware of regular child maintenance”. “In terms of the normal things — weaning, feeding, sleeping, teething… all that, sure I knew nothing about those,” she laughs. “I was the youngest in my family and most of my friends either had their babies years ago or haven’t had any, so I’m unusual in my social circle — I’m the only one with a small child. “I was learning on the job really. Show me a sick child no problem, but a healthy and well child who needs just a normal sort of child ‘maintenance’, I had no idea.”

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FA M I LY Being her ever honest and upfront self, Dr Pixie states that weaning was something she “never really thought about and never really saw as a milestone in terms of development”. She admits with a smile that when weaning came up she was “very unprepared”. “I’m unprepared for most things in my life,” she jokes, “but I was very unprepared for weaning and I did start before the recommended six months. I thought ‘my God, my child is starving, she’s going to keel over… better give her some baby rice’. Which of course is incorrect, but I didn’t know that at the time. I was just going on my own advice.” Dr Pixie highlights that ideally the guideline is six months and states that six months don’t mean 24 weeks, and instead means 26 weeks. “There are all these little niggly things that you don’t even think about at the time, but that’s quite important,” she says. “Also, if you are going to start early, and decide to go it alone and against advice, then certainly don’t start before 16 weeks. You should not really introduce any forms of solids before then.” Indeed, according to the Health Service Executive, introducing

spoon feeds before 17 weeks is not recommended as a baby’s gut is still developing. Early introduction of spoon feeds, highlights the HSE, can increase the chance of a baby becoming overweight in later life and the risk of food intolerance. On the other hand, starting spoon feeds later than 26 weeks can lead to fussy eating and possible food intolerances. It also

Located in Shandon Street, Togher and Mayfield


increases the risk of iron deficiency. The signs that a baby is ready for solid food states the HSE include good head control; showing interest in foods; being able to sit up with support; and starting to look for milk feeds more frequently over more than a week. Dr Pixie points out that in general the transition to solid foods should be a simple and fun process, and parents

With a young family, I love that Irwins are open ’til midnight when we need them. We’ve always gotten excellent advice and they have a huge range of medicines always in stock. Kate, Doughcloyne

Please enquire in-store for details

OPEN ’TIL MIDNIGHT Irwins – Shandon Street 77 Shandon Street, Cork

Tel: 021 4304165 OPENING HOURS:

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FA M I LY should follow their own instincts. As the saying goes, “Parents know best.” She adds there are a “few salient points that absolutely categorically you shouldn’t do, like giving your child salt before the age of 12 months”. “The rest of it… you learn as you go along,” she says. “You make some atrocious mistakes, but every parent makes mistakes — you’re not the only one. But most of those mistakes aren’t catastrophic and either involve a horrendous nappy, you getting puked on, or dinner being thrown in your face. They don’t involve anything terrible so in that respect, it’s very much follow your own instinct because you’re the best qualified person for the job.” While First Foods contains the most up–to–date advice on the different stages of weaning, and a large selection of specially–written recipes to introduce babies to solid foods, in Dr Pixie’s own experience with her daughter Darcy, it was puréed mango that was the winner. “She loved it but my mother would say, ‘don’t be giving her mango that’s a terrible thing to be giving her’,” laughs Dr Pixie. “Now could I get her to eat a mango now? Not in a fit. No chance. “She also loved carrots, and kids

I was very unprepared for weaning and I did start before the recommended six months. I thought ‘my God, my child is starving, she’s going to keel over… better give her some baby rice’. Which of course is incorrect. do favour sweet foods. If you start in terms of savoury things, always start with something like a carrot, sweet potatoes, and turnips, that sort of thing. You wouldn’t start for example on something like broccoli. And don’t be tempted to throw in a whole load of butter and salt. Kids’ food is bland. They don’t know any different, and keep them fooled until it’s safe.” Dr Pixie is emphatic that she’s “definitely not saying that ‘this is what you have to do’”. “It’s not at

all ‘I did it like this because I’m a fantastic parent’. I am the same as everyone else, I don’t have a clue! If it works it works. The book is very much written in that tone as well,” she says. Aware of the pressure and emotional issues surrounding parenting, Dr Pixie reassures parents that if they give a child a jar of food or something sweet, “they aren’t going to turn out to be a juvenile delinquent”. “We have to stop looking at others. Essentially, it’s a marathon and not a sprint. You don’t have to be first out of the blocks, and if you’re last across the line, you are least across the line. You just have to complete the mission really.” Fundamentally, says Dr Pixie, both parent and baby should enjoy that transition from milk to solids. “The mashing, freezing and batch cooking, and all this nonsense that you have to do, you might be thinking ‘argh this is brutal and my clothes are destroyed and the kitchen is a mess’. But take as many photographs and as many videos you can and enjoy and embrace it. This time will pass and honestly, you’ll want it back.”

Dr Pixie’s First Foods is out January 15th, part of the Dr Pixie McKenna series by IglooBooks.

Prenatal Yoga Hot Yoga Beginners Yoga Pilates Yogalates Yoga Flow Yin Yoga Restorative Yoga East Village, Douglas, Cork

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Stop fussing While it can be tempting to give in to the demands of a fussy eater, with time and patience you can encourage your child to stop fussing and start eating.

by Marc Murphy for Which Vit Nutrition


amily mealtimes are supposed to be an enjoyable experience right? Quality time where everybody chats about their day, swaps stories, and you can sit back and enjoy the gentle nom nom noises as a delicious, nutritious meal is gratefully eaten. Well, in my personal and professional experience, the reality in most homes falls far short of this idyllic scenario. Dinnertime for many families can be a frustrating and time consuming affair, where the cook of the house finds themselves juggling two to three different combinations of family meals, all in an effort to accommodate the fussy eater in the house – which, in families who visit me for consultation, is often one of the children. Being a parent certainly has its challenges, and the worry that your child is getting the right nutrition is one of them. For parents of fussy eaters, this is an ongoing concern that often begins at the start of the day with breakfast, as attempts to get something substantial into them before school (and keep them away from sugary cereals) are rebuffed. Then the packed lunch box will return home after school with its carefully prepared contents untouched, or some days the soggy sandwich might have just a bite or two gone. In this scenario, the main family meal is where you feel you can provide that sustenance which


might be lacking during the day. But increasing frustrations and worry around mealtimes can often dictate what you choose to prepare for your family, as attempts to accommodate the fussy eater take precedence. So how do you turn this around and encourage kids to stop fussing and start eating? With the following practices, I have experienced some success and some failure, but when it comes to combating fussy eating, I believe that persistence is the key.   Involve them in the cooking. Children love to get in there and help. I have found that children who help prepare the food are more likely to taste it. •  Have a “new food day”. As a family, choose a new food, and then cook and present it at dinner. Make it a rule that all family members have to have a taste. •  Talk about how food works in the body, and do some research. Children love knowledge and are fascinated by how food is linked to what they do. If your Jack loves football, let him know that sweet potato, brown rice or brown pasta provide him with more energy and speed on the football pitch and he’s more likely to score. •  Have a reward system and place a healthy snack challenge on the fridge to be filled in by them each day, Monday to Friday. Pick

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five snacks, for example a piece of fruit one day; oatcakes with hummus another. If they try the healthy snack they get to sign the sheet. A completed sheet on a Friday results in a reward, like a trip to the cinema or a visit to the swimming pool. Invite their friends for dinner. Very often if a child sees a friend eating something they normally won’t, it can spark a desire to give it a try. While this is advice that has, for the most part, worked for me, I have also discovered that finding that balance and catering to different taste buds and personalities at the dinner table takes time and patience. As a father myself, I totally understand the challenges involved in trying to provide healthy, nutritious meals. Currently I am dealing with a teenager who uses the combined skills of Sherlock Holmes and a surgeon to extract any foreign substances on her dinner plate – namely vegetables. But while it has taken time, effort and patience to introduce different flavours and textures to my kids’ palates, hopefully in doing so I have laid a good nutritional foundation for their future.

Marc Murphy a nutritional therapist from Glanmire, Co. Cork, specialising in individual and family consultations and cookery classes. For more see Which Vit Nutrition on Facebook.


What’s the

GET LOST In recent years The Lost Brothers have proven themselves to be one of the finest bands around. With four highly acclaimed albums under their belt they’ve worked alongside and been championed by the likes of Richard Hawley, Brendan Benson, Lee Mavers and Glen Hansard. Since the release of their Portland recorded debut in 2007, they’ve performed at Glastonbury, on the BBC Electric Proms, and have toured extensively. Now catch them at Coughlan’s on Sunday, January 31st for something that will be truly memorable. Doors are at 8.30pm and tickets are €12 from


Fancy a night out? Stuck for ideas? Here’s your guide to what’s going on…

COMEDY GOLD The DOD is back. Comedian, author and mini keyboard lover David O’Doherty is to wow a Cork audience once again at the Everyman Theatre on Saturday, January 23rd. His recent television appearances include 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Would I Lie To You? and The Alternative Comedy Experience, and when live, this bearded, slightly shaggy looking Dublin man is even funnier, with his hilarious jokes, odd but side–splitting songs and of course his now famed 1986 Casio keyboard. Doors for his show are at 8pm and tickets are €22 from

IT’S MENTAL Prepare to be amazed by one of the leading international TV mentalists. After a spell in Hollywood working on Now You See Me 2 starring Daniel Radcliffe, Morgan Freeman and Woody Harrelson; the legendary Keith Barry will perform at the Everyman Theatre on Friday, January 15th through to Sunday, January 17th in his brand new show Out of Control. The three night run is set to deliver buckets of outrageous, controversial and downright hilarious entertainment. We’re intrigued…. very intrigued! Doors are at 8pm and tickets are €30 from

BOND TO BARD We’re a little bit (well ok, a lot) in love with Judi Dench. The acting legend who won an Oscar for eight minutes of screen time is also a genuinely funny person, as seen in her Graham Norton appearances. For devotees of the dame there’s a screening of The Winters Tale from The Garrick Theatre in London on Friday, January 22nd at the Opera House. Presented by Kenneth Branagh Theatre, Shakespeare’s tragic comedy of obsession and redemption is re–imagined, starring Dench as Paulina. Doors are at 7pm and tickets are €15 from



From acclaimed Irish director Lenny Abrahamson comes the profoundly moving adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel, Room. With powerful central performances from Brie Larson as Ma and then seven-year-old Jacob Tremblay as son Jack, Room tells the story of the pair’s confinement to a windowless 10ft x 10ft space, and Ma’s attempts to give her son a fulfilling life in these impossible circumstances. With Larson leading the race for a best actress Oscar, this is a must–see movie tipped for awards season glory. Opens January 15th, Element Pictures.

This gripping drama brings to the big screen the true story of how a dedicated team of investigative journalists at the Boston Globe meticulously uncovered scandalous child abuse by Catholic priests in Massachusetts, and an on-going cover-up of the abuse by the Botson Archdiocese. Their efforts eventually earned them the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for public service, and this tale – starring Marc Ruffolo, Rachel McAdams and Michael Keaton - will resonate with Irish cinema-goers for heartbreakingly obvious reasons. Opens January 29th, Entertainment One.

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TV TIMES It’s January, it’s cold, and you’re still in the throes of an epic Christmas hangover. What could be more appealing than curling up on the couch and binge watching your way through some of the great TV you might have missed? Here are some of our favourites to binge on…

FOR DRAMA QUEENS Proving that slow and steady wins the race, The Affair (the spoiler is in the title) is a tense but slow moving family drama that traces the wider emotional fallout of a summer fling between the married but restless Noah and the married but broken Alison. Nuanced performances from the exceptional cast keep you emotionally engaged, the self destructive behaviour of the two adulterers foreshadows their demise, while flash forwards hint at an unavoidable tragedy looming. Commitment level: 2 seasons, 22 episodes, manageable.

FOR FRIVOLOUS FUN The premise of Jane the Virgin might sound preposterous, but this dizzying, relentlessly entertaining show will have you reaching for the next episode faster than a virgin can be artificially inseminated in a routine smear test gone horribly wrong. As outlandish as the plot becomes, you have to love how the show simply revels in its own silliness, but crucially you will be swept away by Gina Rodriguez, whose grounded performance as Jane lends so much heart to the proceedings. Commitment level: 1 season, 22 episodes, moderate.

FOR GUARANTEED NIGHTMARES Requiring major suspension of disbelief, Penny Dreadful brings together witches, vampires, warewolves, the undead, Victor Frankenstein and Dorian Gray, among others, to fight an epic battle of good versus evil in Victorian London. While


that might sound like a recipe for disaster, it’s a beautifully filmed, stylishly crafted production, made entirely in Ireland, and you don’t have to be a fan of the supernatural to enjoy it. Cork actress Sarah Greene electrified season two when she joined the stellar cast who skillfully keep this fantastical tale feeling frighteningly real. Commitment level: 2 seasons, 18 episodes, doable.

FOR CRY BABIES Following the trials and tribulations of the extended Braverman clan, Parenthood – inspired by the Steve Martin film of the same name – is one of those ultra-American big family dramas that depicts adult siblings routinely meeting for breakfast before work and 26 people regularly eating dinner together for no particular reason. And yet, it is so compelling and so successful at manipulating your emotions that you’ll find yourself clicking next episode as you mop up the tears from your fourth cry of the day. Commitment level: 6 seasons, 103 episodes, off the chart.

FOR TECH NERDS In Silicon Valley, the geeks have inherited the earth, and in this small pocket of California everyone is out to be the next tech billionaire. But the beauty of Silicon Valley, the TV show, is that you don’t have to be a nerd to appreciate the skewering of this vast and ever growing industry. From the nauseating corporate culture at Hooli (modeled on Google) to the dorky in-fighting between the coders

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trying to make their music app, Pied Piper, the next big thing, this is sharply observed, witheringly funny, compulsive comedy viewing. Commitment level: 2 seasons, 18 episodes, a breeze.

FOR POLITICAL JUNKIES We know you love House of Cards, but have you tried Veep? Delivering scathing political satire from the pen of Armando Iannucci, who proves just as adept at skewering the American political system as the British one, Veep follows the career of a reluctant American vice president, resigned to being overshadowed by a POTUS who has no real use for her, and struggling to make her mark in an administration indifferent to her efforts. Commitment level: 4 seasons, 38 episodes, tough.

FOR PEOPLE WITH SAD: The most uplifting comedy of the year, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is like an actual ray of sunshine beaming from your TV screen. And when you consider it’s the story of a girl who takes on the big city after years spent locked in an underground bunker by a crazy reverend with a doomsday cult, that’s no mean feat. With spectacular cameo appearances (no spoilers) and the inimitable Jane Krakowski in her best turn since 30 Rock’s Jenna, the one liners come so thick and fast you might have to press pause just to give yourself time to laugh. Commitment level: 1 season, 13 episodes, basic.



Thinking about buying a new car for 2016? Get your engines revving with our top picks…



It’s time to reinvent urban driving with the Peugeot 208. The former Irish Small Car of the Year has a new look, boasting a new face, sportier styling, more equipment, new personalisation options and brand new body colours, including textured paint options. The range is also expanded with an upmarket GT Line model and new GTi from Peugeot Sport. Winner of the the UK’s MPG Marathon 2015 event, when driven in real-world driving conditions, over 385 miles the new Peugeot 208 achieved an average fuel economy of 104.5mpg (2.7 litres/100km). It also has Peugeot’s revolutionary i-Cockpit interior, small steering wheel, and is available with three or five-doors. Available from €14,845 plus delivery.

For a piece of motoring craft, you can’t top the Volvo XC90. Kitted out in the the finest materials, like soft leather, and grainy wood, it’s also achieved top ratings in its 2015 Euro NCAP tests. It comes with a no compromise equation of power and low fuel consumption, coupled with world class low emissions, and all in a seven–seat luxury SUV. It features a centre console with touch screen capabilities similar to the Apple iPad, and now also offers Apple Car Play — a feature that mirrors the apps on your phone to the centre console on the car. The technology allows you to control the functions of your iPhone either through the car’s touch screen, steering wheel controls, or voice function Siri. Available from €74,450.

For these cars and more visit Johnson & Perrott Motor Dealerships in Mahon Point Retail Park. Phone 021 4615220 or see



Now with four–wheel drive and six–speed DSG, the Škoda Octavia RS uniquely combines a dynamic driving experience with all the characteristics of a practical family vehicle. It’s perfect for him; perfect for her; its modern design is backed up with a sporty chassis and an engine to match, as the high performance petrol and diesel engines give the RS highly agile characteristics. Advanced technologies put the driver in complete control, even during the most demanding of driving conditions, and it also has unbeatable spaciousness. It’s the perfect combination of a sports car and a family vehicle rolled into one. The Octavia is available from €34,095.

Whether it’s the city, with its changing architecture and vibrant pace, or the countryside, where the road is less travelled, the new Škoda Yeti is the perfect fit. In two distinctive versions: the Yeti and the Yeti Outdoor, you can shape the character of your car with a selection of engines, front–wheel or four–wheel drive, plus a range of accessories. As a member of the Škoda fleet, the Yeti model also offers numerous Simply Clever details and solutions, with storage compartments that significantly increase the practicality of the car; a reflective vest tucked under the driver’s seat; and a handy torch in the luggage compartment! Small details but, just as in life, it’s the little things that count. Available from €24,595 for the Yeti, and €26,295 for the Yeti Outdoors.

For these cars and more visit Noel Deasy Cars, New Mallow Road, Blackpool. Phone 021 4395024 or see

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WISH LIST South America is spectacular, offering up a huge diversity of experiences. If you plan on making 2016 your year of adventure, consider taking the trip of a lifetime, journeying deep into this engaging continent.


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rom the Amazonian rainforest to dramatic waterfalls; idyllic island getaways to Inca cities, there is no greater adventure for intrepid travellers than what South America has in–store. Home to an abundance of experiences, this continent steeped in culture and heritage is just waiting to be discovered. ARGENTINE ADVENTURE Think of Argentina and you think of fútbol, the tango, and steaks. However, this magnificent country has so much more. In the north there’s the stunning natural wonder of the magnificent Iguazú Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that borders Argentina and Brazil. Made up of many cascades, it’s one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. Moving to the border with Chile you’ll find one of the most important tourist attractions in the Argentinian Patagonia, Los Glaciares National Park and the famed Perito Moreno glacier. The imposing mass of ice is often considered the eighth wonder of the world, and hikes across the glacier are available for adventure seekers. However, for something altogether more leisurely, a visit to the wine country of Mendoza - the region responsible for the deep and velvety Malbec - is a must. As of course is a trip to Buenos Aires. Its unmissable attractions including La Recoleta Cemetery, where you can lose yourself for hours in a labyrinthine city of the dead; a Superclásico between Buenos Aires rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate; and a Sunday visit to the bustling San Telmo Market.

BEAUTIFUL BRAZIL Copacabana, carnival and caipirinhas… colourful and vibrant Brazil is the ultimate experience. Its coastline stretches for 7491 kilometres, dotted with warm water paradises from the famed Ipanema and Copacabana beaches of Rio de Janeiro (just don’t leave valuables unattended) to the idyllic haven of Búzios, with beaches like Forno and its thick sands in reddish tones and clear waters. For culture, visit the impressive Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado in Rio, and for a panoramic and breathtaking view of Rio’s surrounding beaches, mountains and forests, there’s the Sugar Loaf Mountain, so called because its shape resembles a loaf of sugar. Hop on the cable-car to get to the top, and bear in mind the best time to visit is at sunset. Visitors can also head to Santa Teresa, where they can take a tram ride, visit Parque das Ruinas and

behold the legendary colourful Selarón Staircase. For a touch of nature, head north to the Pantana, the largest wetland in the world. It’s home to a variety of wildlife, including the world’s largest rodents, the capybaras; piranha; and caiman — unmissable for all David Attenborough wannabes.

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T R AV E L Desert, beaches, volcanoes, lakes, rivers, and snow–capped mountains… Chile is a country with contrasting and overwhelming landscapes. Sports and adventure holidays are big here, with trekking trails in the Andes; climbing circuits at the worldrenowned Torres del Paine National Park in southern Patagonia; horse riding on the Salar de Atacama, the largest salt flat in Chile; rafting in northern Patagonia; and fantastic ski slopes just 40 km east of Santiago. The country is also oozing with character, and in northern Chile’s Altiplano there are small towns where traditions of native peoples like the Aymara are still practiced, while the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Easter Island offers a chance to see the iconic Moai statues.

in Crucita. For history and culture, take a visit to Riobamba and step inside the beautiful Museo de Arte Religioso or head to the charming colonial city of Cuenca. The adventurous can also stay in an Ecuadorian jungle lodge, a great way to explore the Amazon rainforest. However, one of the most popular reasons for visiting Ecuador is that it’s the starting point for a visit to the natural paradise of the Galápagos Islands, with daily flights ferrying visitors to the archipelago. One of the world’s most unique habitats, the islands are a treasure trove of endemic species, including the Galápagos Giant Tortoise, Galápagos Penguin, Darwin’s Finches, Marine Iguana — filtering salt from the water and expelling it from the nostrils — and the Flightless Cormorant.



If you’re looking for vibrancy then look no further than Ecuador. For the sporty, there’s mountain biking along the crater of Pululahua; a trip to the stunning Paílón del Diablo waterfall, meaning Cauldron of the Devil; bathing in the watery paradise of the Termas de Papallacta’s Hot Springs; surfing in Montañita; climbing to the summit of Chimborazo; or paragliding

For a rich and ancient past along with a vibrant present, there’s Peru. The land of the Incas, traces of this ancient civilisation still remain in every village and major city throughout the country. Number one on the wish list of many is the historic and jaw–dropping sanctuary of Machu Picchu, an Incan citadel of cut stone set high in the Andes



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Mountains. Climbing Huayna Picchu, which only allows 400 people up daily, is a must, and offers up a bird’s–eye view of Machu Picchu. In the city of Cusco, more stunning architecture is revealed with the Cusco Plaza de Armas housing the beautiful Cusco Cathedral. The preferred place to stay is the San Blas neighbourhood, known as the artisan’s neighbourhood, with lovely colonial–style houses. No visit to Peru would be complete without a trip to Lake Titicaca, the world’s largest high-altitude lake, where boat–trips from Puno bring you to The Uros — floating man-made islands of reeds and home to the descendants of the ancient Uros culture. Other highlights include the Nazca Lines in Ica and Peru’s bustling capital, Lima.

For trips to South America visit Shandon Travel on Grand Parade and Wilton Shopping Centre, or phone 021 4277094. For more see

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