Like Magazine

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Style / Beauty / Celebrity / Health / Food / Home


HigH Street HeroeS: The best new season finds for an instant fashion fix

Sienna Miller:

Rebirth of an It Girl

operation Motivation:

Meet the Cork leaders who’ve helped transform the nation


Spoil your mum with a four star Girl’s Night In

Cork's FREE lifestyle monthly

March 2015


€29.77 PER WEEK



Sales Parts Service Forge Hill, Kinsale Road, Co. Cork



Tel: 021 432 0266

CONTENTS Colour me fabulous. Get the Lupita look with our beauty guide to the season’s best brights.


Oh Sienna! Transformed by motherhood and back for act two, Carolyn Moore profiles actress Sienna Miller, and finds the It Girl is all grown up.


07...................... Like it? Love it! 09 ����������������������������������������������� Gifts 19 ������������������������������������������������Style 34 �������������������������������������������Health 39 �����������������������������������������Homes 48 �������������������������������������������Family 50 ��������������������������������������� Careers 54 ���������������������������������������������� Food 57 �����������������������������������������Culture 60 �������������������������������������������Travel 65 ��������������������������������������������Books 66..........................Life Changer

A nation transformed. As the popular series draws to a close, we meet Operation Transformation’s Cork leaders and get expert tips for carrying on.

34 Havana Nights. It’s destination Cuba in our travel pages, where Maria Tracey discovers a country on the cusp of change.


Catherine Fulvio shares a delicious recipe for an easy, no-fuss dish that will wow for a casual dinner party or Mother’s Day lunch.




Keeping Mum W

hen we sat down to plan this issue of Like, at the forefront of our minds was the double celebration of women that this month brings. On March 8th we’ll have International Women’s Day, followed the next week by Mother’s day. We’re all about celebrating women, but this month in particular we felt we needed to pick one of these events to focus on, and we were torn. But then we realised we didn’t actually have to make a choice, because who are the most amazing women each of us know if not our mothers? While every woman can chose whether or not motherhood is for her, the fact is, none of us would be here without our own mums, so for the month that’s in it we wanted to celebrate the first and most important relationship that any of us have. Our mums are the women we’ve learned from, idolised, rebelled against, and then become friends with – probably in that order –and if we’re extremely lucky, they’re still in our lives today helping us to become better women ourselves. Sometimes they’re also pointing out our mistakes, questioning our choices, and telling us our hair looks terrible, but like any good female friend, deep down we know they only want the best for us. For ten years I ran a fashion business, and my own mum has dropped everything so many times to help me when I’ve been overwhelmed with work, turned up with breakfast when I’ve had to pull an all-nighter, and literally travelled half way around the world with me – partly to help with work, and partly just for kicks. How she’s managed to bite her tongue when she’s been on the receiving end of a stress rant on the streets of Hong Kong is beyond me, but I guess it’s just another example of how often she knows exactly what I need and will just do whatever she can to make things better for me. So let’s hear it for the mums – all of them. Stayat-home or working, with a house full of toddlers or a tidy but empty nest. As the author Jane Sellman once said “The phrase ‘working mother’ is redundant”, because all mothers are working, and it’s a job that never quits.



Cover: Photographed by Miki Barlok Model: Ellen O’Shea Upfront PR & Model Management Make-up by Jessica Barry for Lancôme, using Lancôme products

Creative contributors: Miki Barlok – Photographer Rob Lambe – Photographer Jessica Barry – Make-up artist Carol Hogan – Hairstylist Editorial contributors: Catherine Fulvio Aisling Ozdemir Like Magazine Team:

Hair by Carol Hogan for Darcy’s Paul Street, Cork and Town Centre, Ballincollig Ph. 021 4277216

Editor: Carolyn Moore

Ellen wears print tunic dress by COS, €99 Brown Thomas or

Graphic Design: Bob O’Connor

Deputy Editor: Maria Tracey

T @likemagazine_ie

Advertising Manager: Louise Fitzgerald Tel 087 2943527 Advertising Account Manager: Niamh Keane Tel 087 6839589 Circulation/Distibution: Media Distribution Solutions 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. Like Magazine circulates 20,000* copies. *Publisher’s Statement.

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Like it? Love it! 1. Ear candy: Aliquo’s spring collection is bursting with candy coloured charm. Enameled accents and opalescent cabochons perfectly complement the delicate art deco inspiration in these antiqued brass stud earrings, €32, 2. Miraculous make-up: Another product inspired by Asian innovation, Lancôme’s Miracle Cushion is a gamechanger. With the lightness of a fluid, the practicality of a compact and the blurring effect of a BB cream, we’re sold. 3. Jimmy McGill: Better known to Breaking Bad fans as Saul Goodman, Better Call Saul is the eagerly anticipated spin-off that tells the back-story of Walter White’s shady lawyer. New episodes every Tuesday on Netflix. 4. Tasty treats: Not yet ready to invest in spring fashion? Splurge on accessories

instead. With bold blocks of super on-trend colour, this soft leather Marc Jacobs purse will be ours! €135, Brown Thomas. 5. Savage Beauty: Bad finances kept us from seeing McQueen at the Met in New York, but wild horses won’t keep us from seeing it at the V&A in London. An absolute must for fashion fans. Opens March 14th.

8. Counting down: To the July release of 88-year-old Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird follow up. Go Set a Watchman will be the Pulitzer Prize winner’s second novel, and to say we are excited would be an understatement!

6. Eternal youth: Launched in Ireland in 2014 but well on its way to cult status, Pestle & Mortar’s pure hyaluronic serum offers such incredible moisturisation that beauty nerds call it “botox in a bottle”. €43,

9. Binge watch: “We’re not bad people, but we did a bad thing.” Bloodline is Netflix’s latest original drama, uncovering the demons in a normal American family. We’d watch Kyle Chandler watch paint dry, so we’re already hooked!

7. Her Madgesty: Only getting better with age, Madonna’s Rebel Heart – which was, ahem, “unofficially” released last year – comes out officially on March 10th and explores the two sides of her personality — the rebel and the romantic.

10. Instant updates: It might be a tad too soon to ditch your winter coat, but you can lighten your load and your look with an injection of colour. Switch out your heavy scarf for this light, patterned braided wool scarf, €49, Cos.


Full Lunch

€30pp Kid's €12.50

To book call 021-4918316

Maryborough Hotel, Maryborough Hill, Douglas, Cork. Tel: 021-4365555 Email: 8


For mothers’ day

1. Living Leather Tote, pink, by Paul Costelloe, €130, Dunnes Stores

2. Eve Lom cleanser (100ml), €75, and pack of two muslin cloths, €20, Therapie Clinic, Opera Lane

3. Limited Edition Garden Palette by Clarins, €41, Boots

4. Alpaca and silk-mix Opera scarf by McKernan Scarves, €80, Glenaran, Kinsale and The Ballymaloe Shop

5. Large daisy print wash-bag by Orla Kiely, €44.95, Kilkenny Shop, Emmet Place and Douglas Court

6. Kobo Glo e-reader, €129, Easons

7. Croi Alainn pendant by Enibas, €88, Enibas Schull and Kinsale

8. Pinstripe picture frame, €21.99, Meadows and Byrne

9. Marc Jacobs makeup bag, €75, Brown Thomas

10. Luxe Swirl Brooch, €45, Azure jewellery, Carey’s Lane

11. Pink and Ink Tulip print by Belinda Northcote, from €35, Belinda’s Studio, Shanagarry

12. Claire navy leather wallet by Tommy Hilfiger, €89, Tommy Hilfiger, Patrick’s Street


uestions with… Lilly Higgins 6) If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be? My partner Colm. I’d love to spend a relaxing afternoon and evening in Arthur Maynes wine bar or The Black Pig in Kinsale trying out all the gorgeous wines! 7) What’s your happiest memory? When my two little boys arrived safely in the world. It’s an incredible feeling of elation mixed with relief. 8) Who or what always makes you laugh? My two little boys! They’re very funny, most of the time unintentionally.

1) What do you do? I’m a food writer, photographer and chef. 2) Why do you do it? I always think ‘do what makes you happy and makes you want to get out of bed in the morning’. I love everything to do with food, so it’s perfect for me! 3) Where do you call home? Our house in Cobh. 4) Where are you right now? In the siting room, with my laptop in front of the fire. 5) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Iceland or Denmark.

9) Who’s the last person you texted? My brother Oliver, he’s in Dubai and I texted to ask if he wanted to Skype. As usual I forgot about the time difference! 10) What’s the last book you read? A cookbook! Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. 11) What was the last thing that made you cry? Hearing from my sister Ettie, who works for UNICEF in South Sudan. She comes across incredibly sad stories every day. It makes me realise just how lucky we are. 12) What would you save if your house was on fire? Apart from my kids and dog I’d grab my laptop, car keys and engagement ring! And some of my cookbooks, depending on how smoky it was getting!

13) What’s your spirit animal? I can be quite like our dog Bo. She’s a Doberman mix- loyal, affectionate and always hungry. 14) What’s been your proudest moment? Passing my driving test and having my kids. 15) What’s your favourite thing about Cork? There are some great food producers and farmers’ markets all around Cork. 16) Dinner or dessert? Definitely dinner. 17) Tea or coffee? Tea. I’m obsessed with organic teas lately. 18) Twitter or Facebook? Twitter. I’m not on Facebook. 19) Chocolate or wine? Wine. I really love good wine. 20) Can I ask you one more question? Yes! 21) What’s the best thing ever? Weekends. Pancakes, lie-ins and no need to watch the clock. Lilly Higgins is a food writer, photographer and blogger from Cobh. Her cookbooks, Make, Bake, Love and Dream Deli, are published by Gill & Macmillan. Follow: T @lillyhiggins

Double duty dressing Formerly the co-designer of Irish label Kate & Ava, there’s no doubt that Ava Cassidy knows a great dress when she sees one, but spotting room in the market for a little bit of pragmatism has inspired her new venture, Up and Dressed. “I love an item of clothing that can be worn for a special occasion and look a million dollars,” she explains “but I expect that garment to work for everyday wear too.” It’s an attitude shared by many women learning to shop smarter and invest in hard-working wardrobe essentials, but as Ava rightly points out, that doesn’t mean


abandoning great style. With classic, streamlined shapes differentiated by pops of colour or unique details, Up and Dressed is as stylish as it is wearable, and features wardrobe staples like little black dresses alongside more trend-led floral prints, soft pastels and strong blues. Combining great design with the convenience of on-line shopping and the practicality of versatile, wearable, classic pieces, this is a range that is designed to earn its keep. Buy Ava’s collection at Follow: T @upanddressed


The Smart Woman’s Secret to Success in 2015: A Stunning Smile Do you want to be able to light up a room? To get the best out of people? To get what you want…right now? At the start of 2015 every woman vowed to make changes for the better. To join a gym, take care of their skin, be more clever with their finances. By the end of February, gym bags sit in the corner; a mountain of pricey moisturisers haven’t made much difference, and all those fervent resolutions have come to naught. Want to see a real change? Put your money where your mouth is — literally! Invest in a perfect smile; it will be your biggest asset and will pay you major dividends forever.

A Stunning Smile wins every time A stunning smile — straightforward, simple and sincere — will open doors for you. It attracts admiring glances, seduces, convinces and radiates confidence. It tells people you’re outgoing, open and worth getting to know. It can totally change your life. “I work in a highly competitive business and meet a lot of clients”, says Veronica. “Perception is important, as people are more likely to give you their business if they feel a connection with you. A genuine smile is key to establishing a rapport, but I actually felt quite self– conscious about my teeth”. “One of the front teeth was grey and a bit chipped after an accident a few years back, and the rest were discoloured from a lifetime of staining. I would have loved to be on one of those makeover shows where they reveal a Hollywood smile at the end, but thought it was unrealistic — until I found Smile Store! I got a metal–free crown and porcelain veneers on the upper front teeth, and had the rest whitened. The difference is phenomenal! I’ve had new clients tell me it was my gorgeous smile that sealed the deal, as it made them feel instantly at ease. I’ve racked up several new accounts, so it was money well spent — and it’s proving to be a real winner in my personal life too!”

Smile Store – The Dental Specialists are experts in hi-tech Cosmetic Dentistry Smile Store – The Dental Specialists have established a well–earned reputation for excellence in the most complex dental work, but they are also experts in spectacular aesthetic and cosmetic dentistry. “We can give you a really beautiful smile”, explains Tamas Kirchknopf, Director at Smile Store. “We offer everything from metal–free crowns, translucent enough to mimic tooth enamel perfectly, to fine porcelain veneers for the most natural look. Brightening up your smile may be something as simple as a quick Prophyjet session (blasting away plaque) with our hygienist, but for those who need additional help, we’ll ensure you look amazing.”

Immediate Results – Call now and change your life A smile conveys cheerfulness and professionalism. It makes you look competent, confident and attractive. It’s irresistible…and affordable. Smile Store – The Dental Specialists offer metal–free crowns for €595; exquisite porcelain veneers for €450 per tooth; whitening for €295 and Prophyjet sessions for €95.

Change your life for the better; you’ll get immediate results. Why wait? You deserve it. Call Smile Store – The Dental Specialists today on 021 432 0004 or see

The Village Centre, Tramore Road Junction, Togher Road, Cork. T: 021 432 0004 W: E: 25


FORTUNATO BENAVOLI Elite Make-Up Artist “I am inspired by the beauty of women, and believe that everyone can express themselves through make-up and enhance their confidence." LANCÔME Elite Team Make-Up

Masterclass Event

MARCH 25TH Join Fortunato, one of Lancôme’s team of Elite Make-Up Artists and he will be holding an exclusive Make-Up Masterclass in our Witon Shopping Centre Store including one-to-one appointments sharing his expert advice, tips and techniques.

For appointments call: 021 434 1800 Wilton Shopping Centre 12

Ballinlough South Douglas Rd Elmwood Medical Centre, Frankfield Supervalu Complex, Grange Bishopstown


Bright Eyes Think of spring and instantly pretty pastels will come to mind, but 2015 is all about shaking things up, with flashes of rainbow bright colours destined for both your wardrobe and your eyes. Channel your inner Lupita Nyong’o, the style-setter leading the trend on the red carpet, and go big, bright and bold this season.

With all eyes on your eyes, apply Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener to immediately waken and brighten skin. Before concealer, dab on under the eyes and blend out using fingers. €22, Boots

Like a ray of sunshine on your face, try lifting your look with the season’s hottest accent colour. We like Dior’s Diorshow Mono in It-Yellow, €32, Brown Thomas

Line Benefit Eye Bright on the inner and outer corners of the eye to look instantly wideawake. It’s like a coffee break in a stick! €21.50, Debenhams

Abandon all memories of the dreaded ‘80s “blue eye shadow” look and use a modern, clean sweep of MAC’s eye shadow in Atlantic Blue across the lids. €16.50, Brown Thomas The spring summer catwalks were a purple haze, with every shade from lilac to violet making an appearance. We love the drama of Clinique’s All About Shadow Single in Purple Pumps, €20, Brown Thomas

The most covetable colour palette of the season is Yves Saint Laurent’s Couture Palette in Lumières Majorelle, €53, Boots

Switch your classic black winged eyeliner for a painterly pop of colour with Inglot’s AMC Eyeliner Gel in number 79, €15, Inglot, Mahon Point



Brand new bag Reboot your make-up bag for the new season and make way for the latest products hitting the beauty counters. 1. New cream: You’ve tried BB and CC creams, so now make your way to the next letter in the alphabet with NUXE’s DD Crème Prodigieuse. Standing for “Daily Defense”, it offers triple protection from skin oxidative stress, pollution and UVA/UVB. The rrp is €21 and it’s available from Thursday, March 19th. 2. New foundation: Clarins’ long hold Everlasting Foundation is being relaunched, and this time it promises flawless coverage for 18 hours and boasts an SPF 15. On shelves from Monday, March 2nd, priced €32.50. 3. New bronzer: This golden bronzing trio from bareMinerals is designed to achieve sun-kissed radiance. The California Bronze kit has three flattering shades offering natural, multi-dimensional warmth. It’s out now, priced €30.


4. New lipstick: Go for an intense plum for your lips this season, like this bold number from Chanel’s new Rouge Coco collection. It’s N°454 Jean, and launches Friday, March 13th, priced €32.50. 5. New eye shadow: Giorgio Armani’s new Eye Tints, available in 12 shades including copper, jade and gold, are pure, intense and provide 16-hour staying power. They’re €32 from Brown Thomas, out this month. 6. New fragrance: Jo Malone launches a new limited edition fragrance collection called ‘Rock the Ages’, which includes the rather fabulous spicy Birch and Black Pepper. It’s out in March and available from Brown Thomas, priced €52. 7. New nail colour: If you’re embracing this season’s no makeup make-up trend, pick up Nude Purism by Catrice in Taupe-less and work the nude look from head-to-toe. It’s out in March and is available in pharmacies and Penneys, priced €2.99.







Unit 1, Brooklodge Business Park, (Left at O’ Connell Transport) Glanmire, Co. Cork. Tel: 021 486 6920 E:

Unit 22, Penrose Wharf, Penrose Quay, Cork. Tel: 021 450 5355 E: Fully insured & qualifi ed Personal Trainers & Nutritionists

T&C's: By entering texting you are opting-in to receive a call and SMS updates from Educogym. If you wish to opt out of SMS updates, please include the word stop eg: STOP TIMEMACHINE to 50100.



Harley St Doctor reviews Revive Active Joint complex Dr. Wendy Denning, Harley Street, London. “I personally am very excited with this product because most of the ingredients in Revive Active Joint Complex I have been giving to my patients for a long time.”

Most of us will suffer with intermittent pain, stiffness, and lack of flexibility in our joints as we age and this will have many running to the doctor to get painkillers, anti-inflammatory and even antidepressants to deal with this. The problem is that this may provide a temporarily fix but it will not cure the problem. However a new joint supplement Revive Active Joint Complex -has come on the market that contains “high levels of building block ingredients’ that has been clinically proven to reduce pain, increase mobility, repair cartilage as well as reduce inflammation and even help with bone density. I personally am very excited with this product because most of the ingredients in this supplement I have been giving to my patients for a long


FREE Box of Revive Active Krill Oil with every Revive Active Joint Complex purchased during the month of March

Available at Here’s Health

time, alongside lifestyle changes, with good results.- MSM, Glucosamine, Boron, Vit C, Manganese, However we now have an ‘all in one’ supplement which is high dose (many are not high dose enough to effect a change) and it also has a new ingredient Peptan – a readily absorbable form of collagen which can be absorbed into the joints to help with cartilage repair and this along with the hyaluronic acid has been shown to reduce pain and increase joint function. Not surprisingly there are some good personal testimonies for this product and I shall look forward to hearing many more as more people try it for themselves. Dr. Wendy Denning is a Harley Street GP, who has been named 3 years in a row, in Tatler’s top 150 private doctors. “I have been taking the Joint Complex 2 weeks now and can honestly say that my pain scale, even after this short period is between 3-4 on the scale of 10, improving every day. My quality of life has also improved and my wife says the pain has gone from my face. My sleeping patterns have improved so much that’s it’s hard getting out of the bed. I am so pleased with this product.”

“I am overjoyed with this product and will have no hesitation in recommending Revive Active Joint Complex to others. As a retired aromatherapist I have a wide circle of contacts and am in touch with other therapists all of whom will hear the good news. Thanks your so very much for all the great work you are doing… at last there is a product available that really works.”

James Tobin (55)

Wendy Wisdom (75)

51 ST PATRICK STREET Cork City. TEL: 021 4278101 DOUGLAS COURT SHOPPING CNTR. Douglas, Cork. Tel: 021-4361737 WILTON SHOPPING CNTR Wilton, Cork. Tel: 021-4348545


Exclusive to Skechers Store in Mahon Point SC and Wilton SC


STYLE Deliver Unto Me As famed street-photographer Bill Cunningham put it “fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life”, and it doesn’t come much prettier than Irish jewellery brand My Shining Armour. Inspired by an adventurous mother and an entrepreneurial father to “be her own hero”, Nicki Hoyne aims to cater to style savvy ladies who enjoy the ease of online shopping and the thrill of finding something that’s not available on the high street.

With power dressing for women now less about dressing like a man and more about embracing the power of femininity, you’ll feel fearlessly fashionable going into everyday battles armed with these covetable and affordable statement pieces. Antiqued brass Sophie bracelet, €28, and gold Una pave link bracelet with crystals, €66,

Brand new classics Each collection from Aideen Bodkin is inspired by the designer’s love of vintage glamour, and spring/summer 2015 is no exception. Incorporating styling details reminiscent of a Hitchcock heroine, but embracing a bold, modern colour palette, the collection blends exotic floral prints with bright block colours; classic tailoring with contemporary cuts. The result is an elegantly feminine collection full of instant classics. Designed to “make the women who wear them feel special”, every garment is finished to a standard that any Hitchcock ice princess would approve of. Available now at Kilkenny, Emmet Place and Douglas Court. Navy jacquard belted dress by Aideen Bodkin, €299, Kilkenny Sock it to me The quirkiest styling trend to emerge for spring is the cute ankle sock. For maximum ironic-cool points, make like your nana (or Katy Perry) and dare to wear them with the season’s pool slides, but we recommend teaming them with brogues and ankle baring trousers. Polka dot socks, €3, Tiger. Assorted patterned socks, €8, The Edit at Dunnes.

Digital Age The trend for digital prints shows no signs of abating, and Peter Pilotto were at the forefront of this emerging technology when they showed their first collection in 2007. Now using over-printing and dying techniques to achieve a multitude of visual effects, their computer-engineered prints have been tempered with the organic touch of abstracted florals and torn edges. The clean, collarless silhouette of the SK coat is the perfect canvas for this incredible artistry, and is available exclusively from Samui boutique, Drawbridge Street. Silk twill SK coat by Peter Pilotto, €1450, Samui

Potter about The season’s unlikeliest style icon, Harry Potter, will appreciate the round black frames that were ubiquitous on the catwalks this season. Lend an essential ‘70s vibe to the look with these uber cool Lolita shades, €22, Topshop.



for that something different?

Look no further than

Blush Boutique Unit 13 Douglas Village Shopping Centre, Douglas, Cork Ph 021-4368630 | Mon-Sat 10am-6pm Sun 1pm-5pm


A Bold Move The softest blush pink is this season’s new neutral – an essential ingredient in Spring’s bold patterns, off-kilter colour combos and strong ‘70s styling.

Dress, €49.99, H&M. Shoes, €34.99, New Look. Set of layered necklaces, €21, Warehouse.



Linen shirt, €49, Autograph, and ribbed skinny-knit sweater, €49, Limited Edition at Marks and Spencer. Shoes, €34.99, New Look. Rose gold “Funderina” necklace by Dyrberg/Kern, €95, Azure, Carey’s Lane. Chain strap rose gold watch by Bisset, €155, Chic The World of Jewellery, Oliver Plunkett Street.


Linen shirt, €49, Autograph at Marks and Spencer. Chunky knit cardigan, €39.99, H&M. Como “Nora” distressed skinny jeans, €139, Tommy Hilfiger, Opera Lane. Belt, €3.99, New Look. Leather punch brogues, €89, The Edit at Dunnes. Rose gold “Funderina” bracelet by Dyrberg/Kern, €95, Azure, Carey’s Lane.


STYLE Crane print kimono-style jacket, €39.99, H&M. Yellow stretch peplum top, €25.95, Trafaluc at Zara. Faux-leather A-line skirt, €29.95, Zara Basics. Tie-back suede shoes, €69.95, Zara. Necklace, €18, Warehouse.


style Embroidered sweatshirt, €59.99, Cos at Brown Thomas. Como “Nora” distressed skinny jeans, €139, Tommy Hilfiger, Opera Lane. Hamble Oak leather brogues, €75, Clarks. Coral cocktail ring, €2, Penneys.



Textured weave jacket, €97, and dress, €55, Warehouse. Blue and gold multi-strand necklace, €14, Dunnes.



Faux-leather A-line skirt, €29.95, Zara Basics. Tropical print top, €40, and turquoise pendant necklace, €18, Warehouse. Photographer: Miki Barlok Styling: Carolyn Moore Model: Ellen O’Shea, Upfront Model Management Hair: Carol Hogan for Darcy’s Paul Street, Cork and Town Centre, Ballincollig. Ph. 021 4277216 Make-up: Jessica Barry for Lancôme, Debenhams, Mahon Point.




Beauty Brief Make your own Bold Move with the products used to create this month’s beauty look. Prime your skin for a glowing, flawless finish with La Base Pro Hydra Glow, €36, Lancôme.

ur hair stylist, Carol Hogan, balanced out the femininity of the soft pink tones with sleek and structured looks for Ellen’s hair. “The clothes were quite girly and feminine,” she explained, “so the sleek hair works as a contrast to that.” The hair was prepped with Redken Pillow Proof blow-dry extender (€20.30) and to capture the 70s vibe perfectly, the low-fuss, centre-parted ponytail was given slight volume at the crown and a high shine finish with Redken Shine Flash (€17.75). The architectural top-knot was held in place with Kerastase Laque Couture (€19), and the slicked-back wet-look – perfect for summer – was achieved with Kerastase Lift Verige (€25) and Mousse Bouffante (€23), then smoothed with Redken Glass Look (€28.50). All products from Darcy’s Hairdressing, Cork city and Ballincollig. Define your eyes with the earthy tones of the Hypnôse Star palette in Terre D’Ivoire, €49, Lancôme.

Achieve the level of coverage you like for perfect, natural looking skin with Teint Idole Ultra 24H, €38, Lancôme.



For lashings of lashes, Grandiôse mascara creates a spectacular fan effect, €30, Lancôme.


Add a flush to your cheeks with the Blush Subtil Palette, €39.50, Lancôme.

Redken Pillow Proof, €20.30, and Shine Flash, €17.75. Kerastase Lift Vertige, €25. All products from Darcy’s Hairdressing, Cork city and Ballincollig.



COMPETITION Take time out with the girls’, whether it’s to catch up with your friends, hang out with your sisters, or treat your mum for Mother’s Day, you can spoil yourself and them - with a fabulous Girls’ Night In package at the luxury, four star Brehon Hotel and Spa.


Relax with overnight accommodation in a deluxe room. Unwind in the Vitality Suite* of the Angsana Spa. Enjoy your choice of one of the following 30 minute treatments* for each person: • De-stressing Back Energy Massage or • Indian Head Massage or • Skin Brightening Body Scrub or • Mini Radiance Facial Catch up with a pre-dinner cocktail in The Brehon Bar and dine in splendour at our Danu Restaurant, enjoying a


sumptuous four course meal with a bottle of Prosecco.Chill out afterwards with an in-house movie in your room. Awake to a full Irish breakfast the following morning in Danu Restaurant. *The Vitality Suite is for guests over 18 years only. Treatments not available to be taken on a Saturday. Treatments must be booked in advance - please call Angsana Spa on 064 6623917 or email


Answer the question below and email your entry to Q: What is the name of the Brehon Hotel’s restuarant? A. Dana B. Dane C. Danu Terms and conditions apply. This competition will close on Friday 27th of March.


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Second Coming She was the noughties It Girl who found herself at the centre of the world’s attention. But when the tabloids’ focus on her style and her love life began to overshadow her career, Sienna Miller took time to regroup, give birth, and reemerge as 2015’s It Woman. by Carolyn Moore.

hen Vanity Fair declared that its February cover star, Rosamund Pike, had gone “From Bond Girl to Gone Girl to 2015’s It Girl”, it seemed like something of a backward progression. The Oscar nominated actress had beaten off stiff competition to win the coveted lead in Gone Girl, and she appears more self-assured, composed and intelligent than anything the flighty notion of an “It Girl” might imply. If you want to know how vacuous a title “It Girl” is, look no further than Sienna Miller, who for a time in the mid-noughties, reigned supreme in that particular arena of hot-young-things. Thrust into the spotlight by her 2004 engagement to Jude Law, like every good It Girl, she put in her time on the party circuit. While she should have been establishing herself as an actress, she was instead gaining a reputation as a stylish good time girl, and when people spoke of her as a “drama queen”, they weren’t implying that she was the next Judi Dench. Becoming a paparazzi target at the tender age of 22 would be a shock to anyone’s system, and as Miller explains it: “One day I was anonymous, the next day people were outside my flat!” Her initial brush with fame found her carefree and in love, showcasing her effortless “boho chic” style and kick-starting the most regrettable fashion trend of that decade. She relished the spotlight then, but the darker side of the media’s attention was just around the corner. In the summer of 2005, Jude Law admitted


to an affair with his children’s nanny, and Miller became the paparazzi’s number one target. As she would later testify to the Leveson Inquiry into the News of the World’s phone hacking scandal “I would find myself, at 21, running down a dark street on my own with 10 big men chasing me. If you take away the cameras, you’ve got a pack of men chasing a woman, and obviously that’s a very intimidating situation to be in.” She describes that time as “a place of chaos”, and the Inquiry also revealed she had retaliated against Law by having an affair with their mutual friend, Daniel Craig. That would be the first in a number of high profile, ill-advised trysts – Anyone for P Diddy? Didn’t think so — that would keep her in the tabloids for years to come, despite a career that seemed to be losing momentum. She was propelled to international notoriety when she embarked on an affair with the married actor (and father of four) Balthazar Getty, and thanks to the disapproving glare of the media, they would both pay a heavy price for their indiscretions. Getty’s wife was extremely well connected in Hollywood. When the affair made headlines for the second time in 2009, Miller was about to begin a press tour for her first big budget movie, G.I. Joe, and the studio heads were not impressed. “People don’t want to see films with people they disapprove of in them,” she would later explain to Esquire magazine. Getty was fired from his TV show, Brothers and Sisters, and Miller would not find herself


Wearing Oscar at the Oscars – but more importantly, there on her own merit



What were we thinking? With the benefit of hindsight, “boho chic” doesn’t look so chic.

in front of a movie camera again until 2012. Having rekindled her romance with Jude Law in 2009, they split for good two years later, and with no work on the horizon, Miller realised it was time to reassess both her life and her career. While she paints it as a conscious choice, saying “I felt like I had no control over any aspect of my life, professionally or personally. So I deliberately disappeared”, she nonetheless accepts that, because of her party girl reputation, “it had become difficult for me to get the work I wanted. I sabotaged things. I burnt a lot of bridges”. Cut to 2015, where Miller was a presenter at last month’s Oscars. With no sign of her trademark boho style, she appeared grown-up and pulledtogether in a refined and elegant Oscar de la Renta gown, and the invitation to Hollywood’s biggest night proved that she has more than succeeded in rebuilding those bridges. While she attended the Oscars on the arm of Jude Law over ten years ago, this time she was there on her own merit. And with her supporting roles in two nominated movies — Foxcatcher, and the box office smash American Sniper — having surprised both critics and her peers


A very stylish pair. Immortalised by Mario Testino for Burberry’s A/W 13 campaign, Sienna and fiancé Tom Sturridge.

alike, it was clear the Academy saw her as more than just a ratings-grabbing It Girl. The chance to prove herself without the

When people spoke of her as a “drama queen”, they weren’t implying that she was the next Judi Dench distracting glare of the media spotlight has been hard won for Sienna. She fought back against the press and sued the News of the World for hacking into her phone and leaving her so paranoid that she accused her mother of tipping off the press as to her whereabouts. She also secured an injunction against the paparazzi, giving her space to live a life that was a little more normal. And normal is what she enjoys these days, because the biggest change in Miller’s life has been the birth of her daughter, Marlowe. “I was overwhelmed by how normal it felt,” she said of motherhood earlier this year, describing it to Vogue as “grounding in a way you can’t describe”. And that’s a word she also uses to describe her fiancé, and Marlowe’s father, Tom Sturridge. He’s

“amazing to be around”, she has said. “There’s no drama.” Ironically, it was in a HBO movie called The Girl that she made her tentative move towards a comeback in, and it earned her not just BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations, but the chance to be seen by directors who would previously have dismissed her as Lohan-esque tabloid fodder. As Foxcatcher director Bennet Miller put it, he had misgivings, but when he saw her audition tape “She really opened my eyes to the fact that she’s a very solid and serious actress.” In Hollywood, when one door opens, more will follow, and Sienna credits Bennet Miller with “opening the door to a world of filmmakers I didn’t have access to before”. Now that she’s in a better place, personally, to capitalise on these opportunities second time round, there’s been no more self-sabotaging from Sienna. We’ll see her in four major releases in 2015, including Black Mass with Johnny Depp and Live by Night with Ben Affleck. It seems the It Girl Keira Knightley described as “the most colourful butterfly in any room she’s in” hasn’t so much had her wings clipped as grown into an It Woman, who realises she doesn’t have to be constantly in flight.




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operation Continue After a journey of ups and downs, Operation Transformation has drawn to a close for another year. Which now begs the question, is it possible to maintain your healthier lifestyle after the show has ended? Maria Tracey asks the Cork leaders who have inspired thousands to overhaul their health, appearance and personal fitness in the eight–week transformation programme. BEFORE


A vision in white, Deirdre Hosford, leader from Operation Transformation in 2013, has lost four stone since she first appeared on the show.


or eight weeks every year, RTÉ’s Operation Transformation rallies the nation. Walking groups pop up across Cork, encouraging people to tie up their laces and pound the pavement; while ‘healthy eating’ become buzzwords around the office canteen. Season–after–season, the show’s leaders continue to inspire the viewers, who tune in habitually on Wednesday and Thursday nights for their OT fix. But once the cameras are packed away for another year, can this life-style overhaul become a permanent change for those both on and following the show? That tentative return to the reality of normal life is something that Deirdre Hosford knows all too well, as she began her weight loss challenge on the show in 2013. Dropping from 14st 6lbs to 12st 10lbs during the course of Operation Transformation, the Whitechurch mother–of–two carried on with her lifestyle changes, and has since lost a total of four stone. She reveals there was initial “shock” coming off Operation Transformation, having been immersed in the programme for so long. “It’s such a bubble and then all of a sudden, it all goes away and you’re left thinking ‘yep, it’s up to me now’,” admits Deirdre. “I took a week to regroup and get myself together. I knew I didn’t know enough to keep going, so I joined a gym, spoke to a trainer and they gave me a programme. I won’t lie, after the show I had a couple of take–aways and some chocolate, things I dearly missed, but I knew I needed to get myself back on track straight away. Hence the gym.” Confessing her surprise at discovering she “really liked it”, Deirdre subsequently undertook a personal training course to learn more about her body and how to keep weight off. “I didn’t want a career out of it, but after two weeks on the course, I thought ‘this is it, this is

HFEO AO LTDH programme. It’s not always possible to what I want to do’ and now, it’s my spend two hours in the gym, so I do rely job,” she exclaims. “It is a full 360 on exercising at home.” for me, as when I started the show, I The weight loss path and philosophy didn’t exercise, never exercised, and that Deirdre has followed for the hated exercising! I hadn’t a clue about past two years is now something that my body or about my diet. That is 24–year–old Veronica Horgan will be something you need to do afterwards, learning to embrace. After eight weeks become a little bit more aware of your as a leader on this year’s show, she has body and nutrition. It’s not as simple dropped from 17 to 14 stone 12 lbs. as ‘eat less, move more’, the whole “The exercise was the part I struggled Katie Hopkins type of scenario. While that may be the basic premise, there is still so much more to it than that. Knowledge is key.” Deirdre also takes the firm stance that those who’ve followed the Operation Transformation leaders and now find themselves without a support network need to have self–belief. “Nobody can do this for you, you have to do it for yourself,” she says. “Give yourself BEFORE credit for any achievements, whether most with. When it came to you’ve lost 2lbs or 2st so far. the food, I eat anything — “Operation Transformation was a part of my problem — so major life-changer for me. I am fitter there were no issues with and healthier now than I’ve ever been in any of the dinners and my whole life, I have a new career, and snacks laid out on the show. a new understanding of myself and my However, with exercise, I’m own capabilities. Before this I always trying to motivate myself. underestimated myself, thinking I “In the second week, couldn’t do a Spinning or TRX Karl said I wasn’t class. Now I try them, and embracing it sometimes it works, and and that’s the sometimes it doesn’t, but I problem. have enough self–belief to Some people give it a bash anyway.” thought he Deirdre adds that was being finding the right tough on workout is also integral me but it to moving forward was the post Operation kick I Transformation. needed. “The gym isn’t for Now I’m everyone, as each actually person is different. For enjoying me, cardio is not my it.” Veronica friend, it’s just not my has since thing. I do it because I rediscovered have to but I wouldn’t her love of be running out the door Taekwondo, to go for a jog. However, along with leave me loose in the extolling the gym and I’ll be there virtues of jogging. for four or five hours. So “My partner Eoin I’d encourage everyone to try loves running so everything - Spinning, Zumba, the fact we can go walking, or cycling - and keep running together trying until you find something is a massive plus you enjoy, because when you do, now… our romantic it’s not a chore to do it.” runs around However, Deirdre admits that with Clonakilty,” she two young sons — two–year–old laughs. Cian and four–year–old Jack — it She states that with can be hard to find the “balance of this support from work, family, and life”. “I might Eoin, along with get to the gym one morning and backing from her not again until five days later, but family, friends, and the the evenings when I’m not working, public — there are and the kids are in bed, I take the newly established exercise bike out, plonk it in front walking groups both in of the TV and throw on a recorded

I am fitter and healthier now than I’ve ever been in my whole life

her native home town of Dunmanway and her new residence of Clonakilty — she now has the confidence to transition back to normal life while also eating healthfully and working out. “At the start I was wondering how I was ever going to do this without the show,” admits Veronica. “But now I’ve set a goal that by my birthday in April I’ll have lost three and a half stone, and by August I want to have lost another stone. I’m setting these little targets for myself.” However, Veronica says that, as with any challenge, she knows the path to success won’t be easy. “None of the leaders said ‘oh we’ll just do this show and you’ll be perfect’,” she says, before adding with a smile, “Now, is the start of a long journey.”


Veronica Horgan lost an amazing 30 lbs in RTÉ’s Operation Transformation.



Tips from the experts… Dr Eddie Murphy, Clinical Psychologist 1) Focus: Vary your goals and focus on the nearest one, such as 1lb per week, one inch off the waistline, one dress size, 1 BMI unit. 2) Build a support network: As the show proves, people who have support are more likely to succeed. 3) Strong vision: See your future as a healthy person who has vitality and is passionate about their body and what you put in it. 4) Develop a mental ‘choice point’: Each time you make a decision regarding your health — eating, drinking and exercise — make it the healthy choice that gets you closer to your desired vision. 5) Know your weaknesses: Whether it’s portion control, or emotional eating, work out a plan to beat your weaknesses. Keep a food/ mood diary, and don’t bulk buy foods like chocolate or crisps that are triggers for you.

Aoife Hearne, Dietician 1) Take time to reflect: Think about why you made the changes you did and ensure your reasons for leading a healthy life are truly important to you. 2) Keep a food diary: Whether it’s pen and paper or using a smartphone, research shows that people who track what they eat lose twice as much weight as those who don’t. More importantly, they keep it off. 3) Plan, plan and plan: It’s so important to plan the meals you want to cook for the week, and make a shopping list to ensure you get everything in the supermarket you need. It’s something that people often forget to do.


Dr Ciara Kelly, General Physician 1) Continue the programme. It might not be on TV anymore, but if you want to keep going, just do it. 2) Exercise. It’s really important as it lowers your resting heart rate and improves your cardiovascular health. 3) Cut down on fat, sugar and salt: It’s bad both in terms of weight gain, and blocking your arteries. 4) See your GP: If you are unfit or overweight, you should visit your doctor before starting a new programme. They can advise you on the best course of action, and you’ll need to get your blood pressure checked. 5) Quit the habits: One myth that the programme challenges is that you’ll gain weight if you quit smoking. We have two leaders on this year’s show that proved that isn’t so.

Karl Henry, Fitness Expert 1) Set goals: Big or small, they’ll keep you focused and determined, give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning and a sense of elation when you reach them. Make them visual, putting them on the fridge or in your diary. 2) Make exercise part of your day: Getting as much of it into your day as possible by hopping off the train a stop earlier, going out on your lunch break, or using stairs as opposed to lifts. 3) Quality not quantity: Don’t just aim to clock up miles, try to get benefits from a run rather than running for the sake of it. If your body is tired, get some rest.

4) Never skip meals: Hunger is the enemy of healthy eating. Aim to have three meals and two snacks every day. Never skip meals, especially breakfast.

4) Dri-Fit clothing: An athlete’s best friend. Works to eliminate sweat, keeping you dry and comfortable. Avoid cotton, which holds onto water, becomes heavy and uncomfortable, and can increase chaffing and blisters.

5) Build treats into your plan: A healthy life has to be sustainable, and you must be allowed to enjoy treats in moderation. Pick a day of the week that is treat day, and enjoy it.

5) Downtime: Enjoy at least one day a week of rest and relaxation, doing no exercise or work, just letting your mind unwind. Indulge yourself in something that you enjoy.


Veronica Horgan!

We’d like to congratulate our colleague Veronica Horgan on her amazing performance on RTE’s Operation Transformation. A real-life example of SouthWestern’s “Can-Do” spirit! Clonakilty | Bandon | Little Island | Milton Keynes, UK | Lodz, Poland



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HOMES Colour of the year 2015, Copper Blush. Photo Dulux.

Copper tones To those in the know it was no surprise to hear that Dulux had declared “Copper Blush” its colour of the year for 2015. With the ever-increasing popularity of rose gold in accessories and jewellery, it was only a matter of time before this feminine favourite made its way off our wrists and onto our sideboards. While copper has long been

relied upon as a durable and attractive component in kitchen wares, this season copper and rose burnished metals are replacing silver and gold and adorning everything from elegant lighting fixtures to cutlery. From high shine to rough, textured finishes, everything’s coming up rose gold.

1. Merle votive bowls, €89, Casey’s Furniture, Oliver Plunkett St. 2. Rippled edge glass frame, €20, Marks and Spencer 3. Twin bell alarm clock, €27, Marks and Spencer 4. Bronze faceted candle holder, €14, Next 5. Corsica rose gold table lamp, €135, Marks and Spencer 6. Liberty cutlery set in copper, €110, Marks and Spencer 7. Copper soap dispenser , €20, Marks and Spencer 8. Copper vanity mirror, €34, Next 9. Chevron beaded velvet cushion, €40, and sequined rose cushion, €20, Marks and Spencer




4. 8.






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Waterford green ombré crystal Mixology tumblers, €130 for set of two, Kilkenny

Tuck pleat knit cushions in grey and lime, €44.95 each, Meadows and Byrne

Green Living

T Easterly blanket by Eleanor Pritchard, €305,

his season’s home accessories are all about bringing the outdoors in. Lush, crisp greens are springing up everywhere, and accented with bright aquas and vibrant citrus shades, it’s a colour scheme that really pops. At a time of year when we instinctively crave brightness and colour, this trend injects instant life into your living space, and works so well against calming grey tones and rich walnuts. Geometric patterns and a sleek, mid-century inspiration keep the look clean and fresh. From deep moss to bright apple, there’s never been a better time to go green.

Moss and accent stripe stitched cushion, in lime and aqua, €39.95, Meadows and Byrne

Loftus circular walnut nightstand, €299, Casey’s Furniture, Oliver Plunkett St.



Olive Green Pluto Ceiling Pendant, €29.95, Meadows and Byrne Beautiful botanicals - Items from Marks and Spencer’s Verdi dining range. Individual items from €5.50, 12 piece dining set, €67.

Moss and slate French Footrest, €598, Casey’s Furniture, Oliver Plunkett St.

Textured knit pod, €105, Next

Draper upholstered bench in apple green with solid wood tapered feet, €398, Meadows and Byrne

100% cotton, hand woven Stockholm rug, €19.95, Meadows and Byrne

Gorgeous geometrics - Items from Next’s Geo print range in lime, aqua and grey. Curtains from €34, cushions from €16, knit throw from €48. Alma side table in green, €90. Velvet accent cushion, €19.

Eat Your Greens - Botanical print tea towel, €7, Cast Iron casserole dishes from €67, Marks and Spencer.

Solid and veneered walnut wall unit with lacquered olive and cream MDF panels by Orla Kiely, €2,500, Kilkenny



A family affair Interior designer Carolann Deasy is not one to shy away from colour, but as Maria Tracey discovers, her own home is a neutral haven. Photographs by Rob Lambe

One of Carolann’s most treasured pieces is this artwork created by her children.


uilt in 1999, in the countryside of Kilcully — on the outskirts of the city — Carolann Deasy’s beautiful home doesn’t have bold accents or eccentric brights, but instead is decorated in muted tones of gorgeous greys. “I love calm,” she explains. “I work with colour every day so I wanted my own home to be simple. What’s great about grey is that it works well with colours like cerise pink, duck egg, and orange. Some people say that with our weather it’s not a suitable colour for Irish homes, but it does work.” Where the subtle neutral palette is perhaps most evident in Carolann’s home — which she shares with her husband, Dave O’Flynn; their two


Cara (6) and Chloe (9) bounce on their parents’ bed.

daughters Chloe (9) and Cara (6); and their Old English Sheepdog Buster — is her calm bedroom, decorated in grey and white floral Cole & Son’s wallpaper from the Cornelia collection, while the headboard’s fabric is Linara by Romo and the curtains are 100% linen from Casamance. “I didn’t want a huge amount of colour in the space, because that’s my zone. I love its simplicity. The kids have the run of the house, so I need someplace to just disappear,” she says. However, while the house may be a busy family home, Carolann insists that doesn’t mean forsaking style and design. The dwelling, designed by Carolann’s brother and built by her

father, has an open layout that’s both family–focused and entertaining– friendly. The focal point is the bright kitchen, with a breakfast bar for meals and homework. “I would love a new kitchen though,” admits Carolann. “And I’d go quite modern, with concrete floors and white tops.” As for soft furnishings, Carolann laughs and outlines that with two young girls in the house, along with their steady stream of friends, it’s all about careful consideration. “You’re not going to have nice scatter cushions, because they’re only going to be thrown on the floor,” she says. “But you can have lovely pieces by choosing fabrics wisely. Go for leather, and washable fabrics.

HOMES Family life: Carolann with her husband, Dave, their daughters Chloe and Cara; and their Old English Sheepdog Buster.

Fresh flowers, adding instant colour, sit on the piano.

Cara’s Dior christening shoes have been framed.


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HOMES Instead of flowing curtains on the floors, which can be trampled on, have shorter ones. We can’t have a museum home, as the kids have to be able to jump on the sofa, make dens on the stairs, or ride their bikes around.” A prized possession is a framed inspirational quote about joy, laughter and love, that was drawn by her kids and hangs proudly in the kitchen. “My husband and I were watching TV, and some pop-star spoke those words,” smiles Carolann. “I wrote them down on

a yellow sticky, thinking I’d use it later for this idea I had to put inspirational words on a wall. “I thought no more of it, and didn’t even know where that yellow sticky went, until one Christmas morning I got this framed piece of art. It was the nicest present.” The neutral aesthetic in the home is the perfect back–drop to such a treasured piece, along with complementing other artwork. “I love paintings, and if I had a big budget, I’d have lots of them,” says

Carolann. “In our small breakfast room there’s one I did with the kids of the sea, while in the living room is one that was given to my dad. Again it’s the sea… I love the beach. I also love structures in pictures — buildings and bridges.” Also adorning the walls are pencil drawings of the couple’s children created from photographs by a friend in Thailand. Other carefully considered touches include fresh flowers, which add an instant injection of colour. “I’m very neutral, but love to introduce a bit of

The ensuite bathroom is a calming haven.

Quirky wallpaper is one of the treasures found in Carolann’s studio.

Door tassels add an extra design element to a room.


It’s all about your style

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Grey and white is the theme of the bedroom, with the wallpaper from Cole & Son’s Cornelia collection, while the headboard’s fabric is Linara by Romo.

The stairs are American–inspired, mixing white with dark wood.

colour with flowers and then change it again the next week,” enthuses Carolann. Along with these brightening pops of colour from paintings and flowers, there’s an eclectic array of objects gathered from across the globe. And one of those collectibles is actually a giant globe; shipped from Thailand by Carolann’s brother for her 30th birthday. “He said ‘he wanted to give me the world’,” she smiles. Her living room curtains also hail from Thailand, made from silk bought at a factory visited in Hua Hin; while their staircase, with its striking contrast of dark wood and white, is inspired from time spent living in the United States. And their aluminium and brass framed fireplaces were shipped from San Francisco 15 years ago. Their dining room, off the family kitchen, is also a little gem, mixing Hamptons–chic and French–style to perfection. The room is one of many in the house to feature white shutters, which are a seamless addition. “We had both Venetian blinds and curtains but we wanted to simplify it,” explains Carolann. “The shutters are timeless. I also love them because you can throw them open, and let the light wash in.” Her keen eye for design is something

that Carolann credits to her late parents. “Mum was full of ideas, making curtains and bringing old pieces found in antique stores back to life,” explains Carolann. “And my dad used to say ‘my work is my hobby’, so I try to follow those words.” Having studied desktop publishing in the Regional Technical College, now Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), Carolann decided that interior design was where her true passion lay, and she went on to study the art form and work at CE Hall, before moving to Weir Interiors on McCurtain Street, where she remained for nine years. She then decided to set up her own consultancy firm, CDC Interiors, at her home, converting the garage into a studio. Her husband Dave is project manager of the business. The move strikes a perfect balance for Carolann between work and family. And that balance, along with the creation of a calm abode that still serves the practicalities of active family life, has meant she’s captured something that’s much talked about but seldom achieved in design circles... harmony. For more on CDC Interiors, see


F A M I LY Stories from the front line: by Aisling Ozdemir

In case you haven’t guessed, my mother has some control issues. She’s the Don Corleone of the family. Still from The Godfather, Paramount Pictures, 1972


s Mother’s Day is almost upon us, I’m going to dedicate this article to whinging about my mother rather than my kids. For those of you who are uncertain of my skill set, I am perfect in every way (I have been compared to that paragon of virtue and domesticity, Martha Stewart), and am therefore well qualified to slate everyone around me. A verbal sniper if you will. I am currently recuperating at my mum and dad’s house following an operation. I had a pelvic floor and vaginal wall repair, to be discussed at a later date when healed and fabulous. I’ve only been here three days, but I’ve regressed 20 years. I’m sullen, weepy, irritable, and I’ve put on about a stone. I’m on a diet of white bread sandwiches and Deal or no Deal, and I’ve just sobbed through Long Lost Family with my Mum while my Dad roared laughing at us. My Mum has me ensconced on the couch with a pillow under my legs and snacks on tap, but I suspect her well of sympathy is drying up; she’s tucking the blanket in a bit too heavy handed. I do like the predictability of life here: TV shows (with ads!) at scheduled times; chipper on a Monday; the 9 o’clock cup of tea. But even while I’m a guest at her


majesty’s pleasure, my irritation-o-meter is humming. The TV is far too loud. I’ve suggested hearing aids but apparently they’re too expensive, so it’s better to have the ornaments wobble as they break the sound barrier. I can’t put anything on the table without my Mum frantically shouting COASTER! I barely take two sips of my tea before the cup is washed and put away. In case you haven’t guessed, my mother has some control issues. She’s the Don Corleone of the family. If she doesn’t like you, she’ll tell you, and she starts most sentences with “you know what you should do?”. She’s a formidable figure, and comes from a long line of them (most of whom don’t talk to each other - too many alphas). But underneath her brash exterior she is the first person I call in a crisis. She still offers to ring in sick to work for me, or “have a word with” someone who’s upset me. She’s got my back, and if I had to be stuck in prison with anyone (I just watched 26 episodes of Orange is the New Black in four days), it would be her. She doesn’t hand out compliments easily and would prefer to point out a blemish or a bit of extra weight, but if she says something nice I treasure it like Gollum and his precious. In times of great stress in my own home,

when I feel literally weighed down with adult responsibility and kids, I remember my own childhood, and being cosseted at home, footloose and fancy-free. Why am I antsy here then? I think I feel I’ve lost my identity, my place in the world. I’m the don of my own home, free to make and break the rules as I see fit, but here I’m powerless, and I’m not sure I like it. It’s easy to lose yourself in the daily routine, but it’s not your routine. They say we eventually morph into our mothers. I do have Deal or no Deal on in the background when I make dinner, and I enjoy my 9 o’clock glass of wine, but to my husband’s relief I’m more my father than my mother. Still, when I read this aloud to her we both bawled crying at the backhanded compliment I gave her. My Dad looked up from his newspaper to say, “tell them you both cry ALL THE TIME!” And maybe I am more like my mum than I’d like to admit. I don’t want to get all American about it, but she is the best and I wouldn’t swap her for the world (unless Brad and Angelina are looking for an Irish adoptee). Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve five seasons of Breaking Bad to get through before normal life resumes.

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Getting organised — Michelle prepares the shelves before doors open to the Kilkenny store.

Photographs by Rob Lambe

Michelle O’Gorman, Area and Retail Operations Manager at the Kilkenny Group by Maria Tracey


here is a widely regarded belief that business and family do not, and should not, mix. However, Michelle O’Gorman and her clan have proved that’s not always the case, as through the Kilkenny Group they have carved out a firm place in the market, with the name now synonymous with their support for homegrown designers. Michelle admits that working within a family business means that “there’s always that element of going the extra mile”. “And Marian always expects that little bit more from us,” she smiles. The “us” are Michelle’s brother Greg, who is marketing director and her sister Melissa, the area store manager in Dublin, with the siblings representing new blood coming up through the company, of which their mother, Marian O’Gorman, is CEO. It was Marian’s late father,


Christy Kelleher, who founded Blarney Woollen Mills, and the Kilkenny Group came about after the Irish government sold Kilkenny Design on Nassau Street —

throughout the recession, opening eight stores between 2008 and 2012. Michelle, who is area and retail operations manager at the Kilkenny Group,

My mum always says that the customer is number one and that everything we do is for the customer. set up to support the Irish craft industry at the time – to the Blarney company in 1988. The original name was kept, and in 1999, Marian took over as CEO of the Kilkenny Group, heading up one of Ireland’s greatest retail success stories and expanding the company over the 16 years that ensued. In fact, Kilkenny went against the retail grain by expanding its nationwide store presence

reveals that both her mother and her grandfather had a strong influence on her work philosophy, as they always set the highest standards for themselves and their staff. “They always led by example with a phenomenal work ethic,” she says, outlining that they both had — and have in the case of Marian — a genuine interest in and passion for what they do. “I saw this growing up and

it encouraged me to have the same attitude to my work,” explains Michelle. “My mum always says that the customer is number one and that everything we do is for the customer — this is something her father taught her so it has certainly been passed down through the generations in our family.” Working in the family business at weekends at the age of 15, in the Aran department selling sweaters and knits to busloads of tourists, is where Michelle developed her love of retail. However, she reveals that she hadn’t intended on working in Kilkenny as a career. “I didn’t study retail or business at university — I like to call it the college of life,” she laughs. “I am actually a qualified beauty and body therapist and fitness instructor! My career in Kilkenny began at 23 when I started working part-time in our Killarney store, as I

careers Kilkenny’s “best customer”, Michelle is a walking ambassador for the fashion forward store.



Michelle with staff from the Kilkenny Shop on Emmet Place. “Above all else, I love the people I work with”.

was saving to go travelling. From there, I worked my way up to store manager and then after that progressed into my current role as group area and retail operations manager. “With my other qualifications, I had wanted to do my own thing outside of the family business. But once I started working in the company, I fell in love with retail and had an instant passion for it.” Michelle now manages 11 of the company’s 13 stores nationwide — including four shops in Cork — delivering the best of Irish design. This focus on supporting Irish is, and always has been, at the core of what Kilkenny stands for, with brands like Orla Kiely — who got her design ‘big break’ courtesy of Kilkenny — Newbridge Silverware and designers such as Irish favourites Fee G, Aideen Bodkin, and Luke Lovely, as well as top international labels like Oui, Inwear, White Stuff and Eva Kayan. “Where we can, we try to support local craftspeople and our buyers are fantastic mentors to all our suppliers, particularly those who are


new to the industry,” says Michelle. “We have such a fabulous range of Irish designed and made products in our stores, from fashion to jewellery to craft; there is amazing talent in the Irish

wardrobe staples. Two seasons in a row I have bought a little black jacket from Eva Kayan, and those have been my go-to jackets, winter or summer.” Michelle adds unequivocally

Each season, I will always invest in a few key pieces that I know will be my wardrobe staples. design sphere and it’s so important that we support our home-grown designers.” She adds with a laugh that she is “genuinely” Kilkenny’s “best customer”, and indeed, Michelle is a walking ambassador for the quite fashion–forward Group. “I love our Irish fashion brands,” she enthuses, “from Fee G to Luke Lovely, and I also have a particular soft spot for one of our international labels, Oui — their designs are very wearable, affordable and ontrend, just what I want in my wardrobe. “Each season, I will always invest in a few key pieces that I know will be my

that it is important for Kilkenny to be ahead of the curve, to source new designers and see what retail trends are happening internationally. “We have a great team of buyers who travel to shows abroad so we’re always up–to–date with new trends in the market,” she states. “I tend to do some research trips throughout the year to places like London and Belfast, but I’m always keeping my eyes open for fresh ideas when I’m out and about, be it in Kenmare, Dublin or outside of Ireland.” Indeed, there seems to be no “typical day” for the busy Cork woman, who

reveals that her work day could involve anything from travelling to meet with the various store managers, from Leeside to Trim, to management and executive meetings, to motivating staff, to briefing her teams on any upcoming campaigns or marketing initiatives. And it’s these teams that feed her passion. “Above all else, I love the people I work with,” she smiles. “The passion throughout the Group is amazing! Our teams treat the stores like their own and I genuinely don’t know if you would find the same level of passion and commitment in any other company — we are very lucky.” She laughs, and adds that this passion and motivation can however intrude on family occasions and dinners. “No matter how hard we try, we always end up talking about work,” she exclaims. “But someone will pipe up and put a stop to the ‘shop talk’… and if someone starts it again, we say ‘that’s a euro please!’. “We are all very motivated and passionate about our jobs so it’s inevitable that we’ll start talking about it again.”

“How to Get Pregnant”



A great dish to share with friends, invite them over for a casual lunch or relaxed dinner party filled with great seafood from our Irish coast. An easy, no fuss dish that will wow them, get it into the oven and you can chat and relax with everyone.

Catherine Fulvio Prawn, Salmon and Courgette Lasagne Serves 4-6

Ingredients • 1 large courgette, thinly sliced in ribbons extra virgin olive oil • 90g butter • 2 medium onions, finely • chopped • 3 tbsp plain flour • 300ml milk • 100ml cream • 100ml white wine • 1 lemon, zest only • 1 tbsp chopped chives • 1 tbsp chopped fennel fronds (or dill) • Salt and freshly ground black pepper • ' 400g prawns, shelled removed and deveined • 400g salmon, diced into 2cm pieces • 75g Irish smoked salmon, sliced into strips


• 6 to 8 sheets Barilla Lasagne all’ Uovo For the topping: • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped • Fennel fronds (or dill) • A few chargrilled courgette ribbons, to garnish.


1) Heat a chargrill pan over a medium heat, brush the courgette ribbons with olive oil and chargrill the courgette ribbons and set them aside. 2) Preheat the oven to 180°C/ fan 160°C/gas 4. Brush a 18cm x 25cm gratin or shallow casserole dish with olive oil. 3) To make the sauce, heat the butter in a medium size sauce pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes until softened but not brown. Stir in the flour and cook

for 2 minutes, stirring all the time. 4) Add the milk, cream and white wine and stir well / whisk until the sauce begins to thicken. Stir in the lemon zest, chives and fennel fronds. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary. 5) Spoon in a little sauce on the base of the dish and add a layer of diced salmon, prawns and smoked salmon strips. Arrange some courgette ribbons over the salmon. Layer the sheets of Barilla Lasagne all’ Uovo on top and spoon over more sauce. 6) Arrange some of the

courgette ribbons on top. Place more prawns and salmon over the top. Layer more lasagne sheets over the top and finally end with sauce. 7) Sprinkle a layer of breadcrumbs of the top and some parsley. Bake for about 20 minutes until cooked through and the breadcrumbs are golden. 8) Arrange twists of chargrilled courgette ribbons and fennel fronds on top and serve. Tip: To make it easier to serve up, leave the lasagne to settle for 5 minutes before serving.





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IT’S GENUIS! Three of Frank O’Connor’s funniest stories — My Oedipus Complex, The Genius, and First Confession — have been brought together within a single full-length play. God Bless the Child, set to be performed at the Ballymaloe Grainstore in Shanagarry on March 4th and 5th, stars Ciaran Bermingham (Game of Thrones, The Tudors), Shane Casey (Republic of Telly, The Wind That Shakes the Barley) and Gary Murphy (Love/Hate, Moone Boy, The Vikings). Tickets are €23, ph. 021 465 1555 or see

Fancy a night out? Stuck on ideas? Here’s your guide of what’s going on...

BROADWAY IN CORK You don’t even have to leave Cork to catch the smash hit Broadway show that secured comedian Chris O’Dowd a Tony nomination! Of Mice and Men will be screened at the Opera House on Thursday, March 12th, and O’Dowd stars alongside Golden Globe winner James Franco and Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester. This landmark revival of Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck’s play is a powerful portrait of the American spirit and a heartbreaking testament to the bonds of friendship. Tickets are €10, see

A FILM TREAT Natural Resistance, a documentary that follows a group of winemakers dedicated to resisting the prevalent use of chemicals, is screening at the Grainstore, Ballymaloe, on Friday March 6th. Former sommelier Jonathan Nossiter previously documented the globalisation of the wine industry with his 2004 film Mondovino, and didn’t foresee returning to the topic. But when he found himself amongst Italian winemakers in Tuscany, he instinctively turned on his camera, following his subjects against the sun-kissed backdrop of their vineyards. Tickets, including a rustic Italianinspired supper, are €45, or €10 for the screening alone. Part of the French film festival, which runs until Sunday, March 8th. See for more.

GOSS RETURNS If his songs have made him a star, his live shows have made him a legend, as on stage is where Kieran Goss really shines. The singer- songwriter is returning to the Triskel Arts Centre on Saturday, March 21st after a sellout show there in 2013. Special guest on the night is his wife, singer Annie Kinsella, and doors are at 8pm. Tickets are €24, see

March Films Still Alice Catch Julianne Moore’s Oscar winning performance in the compelling but heart-breaking story of Alice, a college professor diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s. With a strong supporting cast including Alec Baldwin and Kristen Stewart, the film examines the impact on her family - most poignantly her daughters, who know the disease is hereditary. Directed by Richard Glatzer and his husband Wash Westmoreland, it mirrors their own journey with Glatzer’s Motor Neurone disease. Opens March 6th, Curzon Film World.

X+Y A warm and charming Britcom, X+Y sees a socially awkward teenage maths prodigy (the incredible Asa Butterfield from Hugo) find confidence and friendship when he joins the British squad at the International Mathematics Olympiad, while his widowed mum (Blue Jasmine’s Sally Hawkins) tentatively finds love with his maths teacher (Rafe Spall). An uplifting tear-jerker that was a firm favourite when it debuted at the Toronto Film Festival. Opens March 13th, directed by Morgan Matthews, Eclipse Pictures.



Song & Dance As award-winning Bantry filmmaker Claire Dix begins work on her latest documentary, the project sees her return to Cork to look at the cultural impact of legendary dance teacher Joan Denise Moriarty.

laire Dix is no stranger to awards, as her films, from shorts to feature documentaries, have garnered prizes and accolades at film festivals from Cork and Dublin to Hamburg and Boston. Having cut her teeth in television, as both a writer and director, the charming short film Free Chips Forever was her first foray into independent film making. Winning Best Irish Short Film at the Cork International Film Festival in 2009, the film set her apart as one to watch, but it was 2011’s gorgeous and atmospheric short Downpour that really marked her as a burgeoning talent, and the success of that film at festivals around the world enabled Claire to start to consider more ambitious projects. It was while researching a TV programme on community arts practice that a chance encounter with some members of Dublin’s hiphop community led to an idea for a documentary, and as she developed the concept she realised that the Arts Council’s Reel Art scheme would afford her the opportunity to make her unique vision for the project a reality. The scheme - designed to provide film artists with funding to make creative, imaginative and experimental documentaries about art - was perfect for her, and the Arts Council agreed. In 2011 they awarded her the money to make Broken Song, a beautiful and intimate study of the lives of three young hip hop artists who use poetry and music as a form of self-expression to take them out of their challenging circumstances. It went on to win both the Discovery and Audience Awards when it debuted at the Jameson Dublin International

Film Festival in 2013, before being nominated for a Best Documentary IFTA in 2014. For her second feature documentary, Dix will turn her camera on the arts scene in Cork, looking at the life and work of the formidable ballet teacher Joan Denise Moriarty. “This documentary will have similar themes to Broken Song,” she explains. “In Broken Song the artists were very concerned with spreading positivity through hip hop and reaching out to local kids, getting them off the streets and into something more worthwhile. Joan Denise Moriarty had a similar desire, and that was to introduce dance all over Ireland. “She brought ballet to some rural areas in Ireland that would never have seen it before. And like the hip-hop artists in Broken Song, her art was everything. Her dancers were her family.” Having studied ballet herself growing up in Bantry, Claire had always wanted to make a film about dance in Ireland, and along with the visual potential of exploring “this high art form in a rural setting” it was the strength of character of Joan Denise Moriarty that appealed to her. “She had to fight constantly to keep her companies going,” says Claire. “She never had enough money, and when she started in the late ‘40s there was no state support for the arts, especially not dance. There was little understanding of this art form, she was laughed off the stage, denounced from the pulpit, but she kept going.” With this new documentary also being funded by the Reel Art scheme, Dix becomes the first director to receive that award twice, a testament to both the originality of her ideas and the strength of her vision – characteristics she undoubtedly shares with Moriarty herself.

Do you remember the Cork Ballet Company? Claire and Roads Entertainment would love to hear from anyone who remembers the Cork Ballet Company or saw the professional company on tour around Ireland in their early days in the 50s and 60s. They would also love to speak to any of the boys who were involved with the Cork Ballet Company at this time. If you have a story to share, please contact or call her on 085-1662183



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Cuba Cuba may be many things, but conventional it is not. Colourful but crumbling; hectic yet laid–back; retro but modern – Maria Tracey finds it’s a host of alluring contradictions.


s Cuba becomes a growing tourist destination, Irish people - particularly loved–up honeymooners - are going the distance to sample the country’s chilled daiquiris, smoke their cigars, dance salsa to the Buena Vista Social Club, and catch a ride in a ‘50s Chevy. But Cuba is on the cusp of change. There’s talk of the US opening up trade and tourism channels with the embargoed island, and thanks to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s much-publicised visit back in 2013 it’s set to become a hip holiday destination when that happens.


The controversy surrounding the couple’s visit reflects Cuba’s strained relationship with the US since Fidel Castro’s armed revolt in the 50s saw the ruling government replaced with a communist regime. The subsequent trade embargo imposed by the United States in 1962 has led to a “time–capsule” effect on the country, and with change afoot now is a perfect time to visit. The rich history and vivid culture of Cuba won’t be going anywhere, but the famed landscape of weathered buildings and old classic cars could be set to change dramatically.


WHAT TO DO Arriving into the capital Havana, the liveliness of the city lures you in. There’s no downtime here, just Cuba time. A tour in a ‘50s American car is the perfect introduction to Havana, as you witness the crumbling splendour of Havana’s colonial architecture and whizz along El Malecón, the sea-front boulevard that stretches for 8km. Take in Cuba’s answer to Pere LaChaise - the famed Cementerio Cristóbal Colón - and the Plaza de la Revolución, emblazoned with the faces of revolutionaries Che

Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos. While a classic car is an exciting and convenient way to see the vibrant city, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Havana is best explored on foot. Meandering through narrow lanes, you’ll comes across the spectacular Catedral de San Cristobal, Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta, and Museo de la Ciudad. Stop for coffee at Plaza Vieja and barter with book vendors at the Plaza de Armas. When evening falls, it’s time to Salsa. The Buena Vista Social Club, though a

tourist trap, is still an enjoyable night out, and there’s also the popular jazz club Gato Tuerto and the cabaret show at Tropicana. Wherever you go, have your tips at the ready — you’ll encounter an endless stream of musicians filtering through the bars and you’re guaranteed to be humming Guantanamera at the end of the night. WHERE TO EAT Is such a thing as too much lobster? The crustacean looms large on menus across the country. Cuba is not known



as a foodie’s destination, but good meals can be found in private restaurants known as “paladares”, and culinary highlights include Dona Eutimia at the Plaza de la Catedral (the fish croquettes are delicious) and the old world splendour of San Cristobal Paladar. Enjoying a daiquiri at El Floridita, where author Ernest Hemingway drank, is a must, as are the mojitos at La Bodeguita del Medio. WHERE TO STAY If it’s good enough for Beyoncé and Jay-Z… Enact your own celebrity moment at the Cuba’s coolest hotel – the elegant and eclectic Hotel Saratoga - and wave to the crowds from the balcony with Cuban cigar in hand. Rooms from €160 per night.


The luxurious 5-star Iberostar Parque Central is an excellent option, with a gorgeous rooftop swimming pool that’s perfect for cooling off. Rooms from €150 per person, including breakfast. For something a bit more authentic, there’s Casas Tamara & Chen in Diez de Octubre, a B&B that won Travellers’ Choice 2015 from Tripadvisor. Double rooms from €44. casatamarachen. WANT MORE? Beyond Havana, a six–hour bus journey will take you to Trinidad, aptly named the “City Museum of Cuba”. Off the charming Plaza Mayor in the town centre, is the largest church in Cuba, Iglesia Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad; the luxurious Palacio Brunet;

the unmistakable blue House of the Sánchez Iznaga and the stunning Casa de Aldemán Ortiz. For breathtaking 360–degree views, climb the town’s iconic bell tower in the old San Francisco Convent — now the Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos. Even the restaurants are gems here – the beautifully furnished paladar Sol Ananda has delectable food and a quirky interior of antique beds and china. Try the Grand Hotel Trinidad (iberostar. com), or have a real Cuban experience in a casa like the Hostal of Dr Amaro y Dra Yamiran ( Cork travel agents such as Heffernan’s Travel (, Lee Travel (, J Barter (, Shandon Travel (, Travel Agent ( and Trailfinders ( all offer packages to Cuba.

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APR%* ȷ[HG



MORE POWER TO YA! To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, Heather Forrest recommends taking a leaf out of these books - biographies and memoirs from women who have forged their own paths, made their own rules, and who just might inspire you to do the same.

BAD FEMINIST, ESSAYS BY ROXANE GAY Roxane says it best: “I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers… I am just trying to support what I believe in, do some good in this world, make some noise with my writing, while also being myself.” This collection of essays will make you think, make you laugh, and probably make you cry. Using pop culture references like The Hunger Games and Sweet Valley High as a gateway to discuss difficult topics like abuse, racism and body image, her writing is both smart and compelling. It forces you to take a critical look at your most deeply held beliefs, and I can’t ask for more from a great, thought-provoking read. Corsair, €19.40, Eason. GIRLS LIKE US: CAROLE KING, JONI MITCHELL, CARLY SIMON & THE JOURNEY OF A GENERATION, BY SHEILA WELLER As the subtitle explains, this is the story of three of the most successful female artists to emerge from the decade of free love, the 1960s. Defining a generation, the stories of their lives, in and out of the music business, are interwoven throughout the book, creating a fascinating portrait of their successes, creative processes, love stories (with James Taylor, David Crosby and Graham Nash among others) and heartaches. Carole had one of the best selling albums of all time with ‘Tapestry’, which to-date has sold over 25 million copies; Joni was the cool beauty whose album ‘Blue’ is often listed as one of the best of all time; and Carly’s enduring classic ‘You’re So Vain’ has been the subject of endless speculation. Only she (and the man who paid $50,000 at a charity auction) knows for sure who it’s really about. Washington Square Press, €16.70, I’LL DRINK TO THAT: A LIFE IN STYLE, WITH A TWIST, BY BETTY HALBREICH “There are two things nobody wants to face: their closet and their mirror.” Words of wisdom from Betty, a true broad who, at 86, is telling the tales of her almost 40 years as the first personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman. A young bride, she split from her husband after 20 years of his infidelities, hit rock bottom, and then picked herself up and started life over. Along the way she became a fashion legend, helping stars and socialites to find the perfect outfits, and dispensing witheringly honest life advice along the way. She stole the show in the documentary Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorfs, and look at that cover - I only hope I can rock a turtleneck cape like a boss when I’m 86! Virago, €20.85, Eason.

HOW TO BE A WOMAN, BY CAITLIN MORAN Read this book when you are alone, unless you’re prepared to deal with the stares of others as you cackle with glee at Caitlin’s stories. When Caitlin saw that only 29% of American women and 42% of British women identified as feminists, she knew it was time to reclaim the term, so in this book she spells it out plainly, asking “A) Do you have a vagina? And B) Do you want to be in charge of it? If you said “yes” to both, then congratulations! You’re a feminist.” In an incredibly entertaining way, she opens up about anything and everything to do with being a woman - from menstruation, body issues, motherhood and abortion, and she does it all from her unapologetic feminist stance. Ebury Press, €13.40, Eason.


LIFE changer

Ann Dowley Spillane, founder of cancer support centre The Girls’ Club, tells Like about the cancer diagnosis that changed her life five years ago, and how she’s now living for those who have passed away.


remember the date — April 31st 2010 — and the time — 7.20pm — when my life changed. That was the day of my diagnosis, when my gynecologist sat me down and told me I had cervical cancer, and that it was inoperable. In a way I was ready for it, as I’d previously been told I had cancer, and then told I didn’t, so by then I was at a stage where I just wanted to know what was going on. But really you are never “ready” for something like that, and hearing the word ‘inoperable’ does shake you. It certainly shook me! The bitch was inside me, and its removal was going to be solely dependent on treatment. My husband was with me for the diagnosis, but I decided not to tell my family for a few days. We had a family wedding the next day, and I didn’t want to spoil Trevor and Mirella’s big day. Everyone was asking how

In May last year I was given the all–clear, and in September I climbed Kilimanjaro. I got on and I told them there was nothing there, just a cyst. I had to lie. I remember sitting down on the bed thinking, ‘today is a sad day, but tomorrow is a happy one’. Little did I know that Mirella would later be the one administering my chemo at the Dunmanway Day Unit up in Cork University Hospital. After the wedding I told my family about the cancer, started my treatment of chemotherapy, radium and brachytherapy with blood transfusions, and then went on to start up the cancer support centre The Girls’ Club. I put all my energy into that for my fight against cancer. What got me through everything is that I always believed losing a child is 100 times worse than getting cancer. It was always in my head that someone else was worse off than me, and that I could do it, I could beat it. We wanted The Girls’ Club to empower women and to nurture them, to give them that same confidence and self-belief. You have to believe you’re a survivor from the day of diagnosis. We wanted to show women that it’s okay to laugh when you have cancer. It’s alright to have fun. It’s fine to get your make–up done, go flower–arranging, and just be in a room with other people who are going through the exact same


things as you, knowing there is no need to talk about it. You need a space like that, because when you have cancer, your family do treat you differently. They only want the best for you, but they’re walking on eggshells. You could be on death’s door and they will still say ‘you’re looking great’. I had one friend say to me, ‘you don’t have the look of cancer’… but what’s the look of cancer? In May last year I was given the all– clear, and in September I climbed Kilimanjaro. It’s a mountaineer’s dream to do that trek, and I hadn’t even gone up Patrick’s Hill before I decided to do it! I should have given up on the third day, as I couldn’t take the altitude sickness tablets because of the medication I was on. I was on morphine patches but was taking them off because I thought they

were making me sick; I had broken my baby toe before I went on the climb, and I lost the nail off my big toe because a boulder fell on it! But when you’re 5,000m off the ground, you’re nearer to heaven and our girls who have passed away pulled me on. There were times on that climb that I was angry with cancer, because it’s a disease that takes your confidence. I kept doubting myself going up the mountain, wondering ‘can I do this?’ Sadly I did have to stop before the summit, and it broke me to do so. However, if I hadn’t, I would have to have been air lifted out of there. I am going to do it though, I’m going to finish it, and I’ll be tackling Everest Base Camp this year too. That’s meant to be easier. I sound like a pro, Bear Grylls’ sister! I do it to show cancer it will not wreck my life anymore, and for all the girls that got their wings far too early. I live for them. The Girls’ Club is located at 26 St Paul’s Avenue, off Lavitts Quay. For more information see or phone 021 4949090.

The Brehon • Killarney

The Brehon • Killarney

The Brehon • Killarney



To The Real Me

“ Being pregnant at a young age is hard but even harder when you gain so much weight, you feel very low in yourself and give up on hope that you will ever lose the weight. After a few weeks I went to Women's Fitness Plus for advice and from the second I walked in they were so helpful. There were tears and moments I wanted to give up but everyone made sure I got the results I wanted. Knowing that I can go into a clothes shop and not worry if their clothes will fit me is amazing. The gym and healthy eating are now my lifestyle and I don't think I could be happier.”

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