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Spring/ Summer‘14 Style £2.50/€3.95

MARCH 2014


Fully Exposed



The Hunger Games


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Contents MARCH 2014

66 Mum’s the Word


15 Colour Story

NW takes a look at colourful pieces in the high street and in your favourite boutiques

50 What’s in your Wardrobe? NW takes a peak in art consultant Carrie Neely’s wardrobe

Spoil your mum rotten this Mother’s Day!

98 A Day in the Life NW chats to Mags Connolly about life as a freelance journalist Regulars


62 Ask the Experts Our experts tackle a range of issues from how to wear loose trousers to running a marathon

54 The Hunger Games

70 Feel the Love Celebrate the season of love with these interior items

52 Pretty in Pink Get the feminine look with a hint of pink NW takes a closer look at eating disorders which are becoming more and more prevelant

56 Bald Spot Caroline Perry looks at the phenomenon of thinning hair and hair loss in women 60 Say No to sugar

Sugar is linked to long-term health problems but we often consume too much without realising it



74 My Brilliant Career

With Anne Matthews, owner of the Belfast Chiropractic Clinic

93 Motoring NW brings you the latest motoring news 96 Northern Woman congratulates... Fiona and Barry Kirkpatrick who enjoyed a beautiful wedding in Rathmullan TRAVEL

4 Fully Xposed!

Margaret Connolly chats to Lisa Cannon, a presenter on TV3’s entertainment show, Exposé

82 Winter sun in Lanzarote Lynda Bryans tries out a brand new holiday villa in southern Lanzarote

33 Working 9-5

84 It’s all about travel ‘app’titude

In this 18 page supplement on working women, we chat to local high fliers, look at financial advice and childcare options and sort out a capsule working wardrobe


Try NW’s favourite travel apps to help you plan that summer holiday now


58 Win…a relaxing two-night midweek break in Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa

PUBLISHER: Gladys Greer advertising & promotion: Eileen Wilson CONTRIBUTORS: Mags Connolly, Lynda Bryans, Katie Wilson EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Caroline Perry Art Editor: Karen Donnelly PRODUCTION MANAGER: Stuart Gray Accounts: Gerardine Carson Design & Production: Greer Publications Design Tel: 028 9078 3200 email us at: DISTRIBUTION: WNS Newspread, Belfast PRINT: GPS Manuscripts submitted for publication must be accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope. however northern woman cannot be responsible for unsolicited material


Greer Publications Ltd, 5B Edgewater Business Park, Belfast Harbour Estate, Belfast, BT3 9JQ Tel: 028 9078 3200 NorthernWomanMagazine







Recently engaged to Welsh rugby player Richard Keatley, Lisa is one of the presenters on TV3’ s primetime entertainment show, Xposé. Margaret Connolly chats to her about her recent engagement and rubbing shoulders with celebrities.



isa hails from Dublin and graduated from Trinity College with a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies and a Master’s Degree in Film. While at Trinity she trained on film and television sets in Ireland and in the USA, namely Sex and the City for HBO, Jerry Bruckheimer’s King Arthur and RTE’s Bachelor’s Walk. ‘I started my career behind the camera working in production. In 2005 I co-produced the acclaimed and controversial documentary for Channel 4 and NBC for the 25th anniversary of the death of John Lennon, aptly titled I Shot John Lennon, however, when I got the chance of turning my hand to TV and radio presenting I knew this was where I really wanted to be. ‘I produced and presented a weekly entertainment slot for RTE’s Nationwide and when Mary Kennedy took a career break from the show I was fortunate to be asked to step in during this time. I also did some radio presenting on FM104 and Q102. ‘Then the job came up with Xposé. It was my dream job and I was lucky enough to get it. As the show’s showbiz reporter I get to go to the most exclusive red carpet events, movie premieres and awards, concerts and all of the backstage parties. I am also the chief movie critic for Ireland AM.’ Over the years, Lisa has been fortunate to interview hundreds of the world’s most famous faces, including Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé, Bob Geldof, Jerry Seinfeld, Bradley Cooper and Tom Cruise, to name but a few! ‘As red carpet season kicks off I’ll be back on my travels again bringing viewers coverage for Xposé. There is a lot of travel with the job and you are your own producer and director when you are away. Plus there’s the need to be camera ready with make-up on and a stylish outfit. ‘Every so often I moan and groan about my job like everyone else, but I wouldn’t change a thing – well, not unless I was offered Giuliana Rancic’s job on E!. ‘I do look up to top female presenters like Giuliana and Oprah. When I see Giuliana on the red carpet, I can’t help but aspire to the whole, slick package – everything from the clothes to the make-up touchups between takes to her sway with the celebrities on the red carpet. It really is something to see and while not a million and one miles away from my own job, it can feel like it when you are there doing your own make-up and amongst all of the other showbiz reporters trying to get the attention of celebrities you have met previously.’ Speaking of the celebrities that Lisa has

INTERVIEWLISACANNON encountered, it is probably easier to ask Lisa who is left that she would like to interview? ‘Well I have to say Brad Pitt, but I’d love to meet Jack Nicholson and Martin Scorsese whose films I am a huge fan off. I was fortunate to interview Steven Spielberg, but I would still like to meet Martin Scorsese. ‘Meeting and interviewing Tom Cruise at the Oblivion premiere in Dublin has to be one of my career highlights to date. We all know about his Scientology beliefs, and yes he does come with a entourage including ex-Navy Seal bodyguards, gym instructors etc – all in 16 limos no less, but he was a genuinely nice guy. The last time he was in Ireland was during filming for Far and Away and he was enjoying being back, chatting freely and we had a great laugh – especially when I broke the ice with my ‘you complete me’ line from Jerry Maguire! ‘The worst experience of my career was with Welsh actor Rhys Ifans. I interviewed him ironically for Mr Nice and he was completely and utterly drunk. He was rude and suggestive and even my cameraman was horrified. Now I would just walk out of this kind of situation but at the time I was concerned that we needed the interview. In the end we didn’t even air what we got because of his appalling behaviour. ‘Another actress whom I sat on the fence with for a time is Cameron Diaz. I always found her very austere and she would be so nice when the cameras where rolling but when they were off she wouldn’t give you the time of day. So, I was surprised when I interviewed her for her film Bad Teacher where she stars alongside her ex Justin Timberlake and I had just come out of an eight year relationship at the time and the two of us ended up taking about love and relationships. I was surprised by how genuine and nice she was on this occasion and now I have a bit of a soft spot for her. ‘I have got to meet some truly inspirational women in my time, including Beyoncé who is kind, charismatic and razor sharp when it comes to business. I feel strongly that every women needs to support the other, but here in Ireland I think there are too many women who are quick to put you down rather than praise you for achievements.’ Lisa, like all TV personalities is in a vulnerable position when it comes to being criticised by viewers – male and female – for her work and also her appearance. ‘There isn’t pressure to look a certain way from my producers, directors and colleagues, but I think I do naturally put pressure on myself. When I’m in front of the camera I always want to make sure I look my best, so I can often be found in the hairdressers and beauticians making sure I’m camera ready at all times! However, when

Lisa with Richard Keatley

Lisa wearing pieces from Mexx while reporting from the red carpet

I’m not working I like to let my skin breathe and wear no make-up. I am not afraid to be seen dressed down when I’m off duty, and there are days when I slob about in my onesie, but there is a certain expectation when I go in front of the camera. I’m always looking back on interviews I’ve done and analysing how I looked and what I was wearing, did it work or not? I see this as part of my job and I’m always aspiring to do better. ‘Recently, at the age of 35, I got a bout of adult acne, which is hard for anyone to deal with, but when you have to go on TV you’ve nowhere to hide. I had to work out if it was my diet or make-up that was causing it, so I approached dermatologist Dr. Lisa Fay at the Slievemore Clinic. Lisa recommended Zo Skin Health by Zein Obagi and it cleared up instantly. It is amazing how looking good and feeling good makes us all feel more confident.

Tom Cruise is one of many famous faces that Lisa has interviewed

‘For this reason I’m also very aware of what I am wearing and I am currently a brand ambassador for Mexx. Their clothes were perfect for outdoors and everyday and I felt that they had some really great pieces for me to wear on TV. It was Mexx that I wore to interview Jennifer Lawrence for The Hunger Games and Orlando Bloom for The Hobbit.  Lisa was not so aware of what she was wearing when it came to her recent engagement! ‘I was wearing an awful outfit when Richard proposed in Paris!’, laughs Lisa. ‘I have been with Richard for the last couple of years and he surprised me with his proposal during a casual walk in the gardens of the Palais Royal, if I had realised what was going to happen I would have made more of an effort! ‘The proposal was amazing and cleverly orchestrated by Richard, who had organised a musician to play Snow Patrol’s Just Say Yes as he proposed. What can I say – I did! ‘We then had a wonderful week in France together on our own to enjoy our engagement before coming home and telling the rest of our families.  A few weeks later, Richard then re-proposed to Lisa at Marlfield House in Co. Wexford with an engagement ring he specially designed with the help of Michael Haniken from Haniken Jewellers in New York.  ‘How lucky was I to get two engagements! My ring is stunning and Hanikens were so accommodating and helpful working to all of Richard’s specifications.  ‘We’ve yet to set a definite date for the wedding but it will more than likely be sometime in 2015. I want to continue to enjoy my engagement over the next couple of months before I start planning the wedding, plus I’ll be busy on the red carpets until March, but there’s certainly lots for me to look forward too this year and next.




Models pictured at launch wearing the latest designs from Mexx, Nor Lisa, The Outlet Banbridge, Nor Lisa and Julia Sokele





est Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK returns with its spring summer show from 19-23 March, with an extra special schedule as the event celebrates its tenth year! Fabulous catwalk shows, an artistic make up show, delicious fashion teas, the return of the iconic COVERGIRL competition and a charity shop challenge are just some of the fab features in store. However, we have only one thing on our minds – what’s hot and what’s not for our spring/summer wardrobe? Speaking at the launch of the event, director Cathy Martin revealed the bright and colourful campaign and told us that the key trends to watch out for are floral prints, pleats, sports luxe and summer furs to name but a few. To make sure you stay ahead of the game in the fashion stakes, we’ve compiled a simple guide to our favourite trends which will be hitting the shops in the coming weeks. Remember, don’t be afraid to mix and match these trends to suit your own personal style.

• Floral:

Come spring time, it won’t just be your garden coming up roses as the staple spring/ summer trend of floral print will once again return. Florals are pretty and feminine and this year many of the pieces are embroidered and bejewelled in a display of spectacular fun and flirty summer fashion.

• Metallic:

If you’re looking for a bit of bling for your spring/summer wardrobe then you’re in luck as the metallic trend is back. Metallic finishes and embellishments will feature heavily on the high street ensuring your outfit stands out from the crowd. When choosing a metallic piece think high shine, shimmer and sequins. If you’re not feeling too brave with this particular trend and don’t want to go all out, then why not ease into it with a statement clutch or shoes keeping you on trend but playing it safe at the same time.

• Pleats:

Before you think stiff, dull and matronly, pleats are back with a modern, feminine and sexy twist. Combining neutral, fondant

colours with sheer fabrics and delicate pleats, these skirts and dresses will create an easy, breezy and effortless summer look.

• Abstract Prints:

Be big, bold and bright this spring/summer with daring graphic prints motivated by everything from electric circuits to the swinging 60s. These vivid colours and vibrant prints are perfect to evoke the optimism and enthusiasm that we all feel throughout the coming seasons. With a large variety of themes running through the range of pieces available, whether it be a tropical printed dressed or a blouse inspired by pop art, there’s something to suit every style, shape and personality.

• Neutrals and Fondant Colours:

Pastels have returned and we couldn’t be happier! Fresh spring fondant colours were rocking the catwalks including mint greens, candyfloss pinks and bubble-gum blues. These subtle, muted colours help to create an elegant, softer look for the (hopefully) hot summer months and these delicate colours in pleats or florals can help us to embrace our girly, playful sides this season.

• Transparency, Sheerness, Lace and Meshing:

This season flashing a bit of flesh doesn’t mean you have to crash diet, it’s simple and easy to look and feel sexy without really showing any skin at all with sheer fabrics, lace and mesh making the everyday dress, top or blouse super sexy while remaining modest and elegant. It’s always better to leave a little to the imagination and remember that less isn’t always more.

you can never go wrong by adding a black leather jacket over a floral dress, a leather skirt paired with a sheer blouse or leather leggings worn with an oversized graphic print jumper. Leather will always be in style so invest in a statement piece to rock any season.

• Monochrome:

Another time enduring trend that never seems to go out of fashion. Monochrome is sleek, straightforward and effective. A monochrome outfit cuts out the stress of finding shoes that match your top or a bag that goes perfectly with your skirt, it goes with practically everything whether you want to style it with red lipstick and accessories or keep it simple and minimalistic with more black and white.

• Summer Fur:

Let’s face it, spring/summer in Ireland isn’t exactly all shorts and sundresses so don’t pack away your winter woollies just yet as they might come in handy. Fur in AW13 was big in coats, jackets and jumpers and spring/summer will be no different. Think bright and bold colours in lighter fur and fluffy jumpers for a more summery look. The full show schedule is available online at along with details of this season’s trends plus links to all participant retailers and sponsors. Catwalk tickets, which cost £20 (or £25 for a limited number of exclusive front row seats), are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 9024 6609 or via the website.

• Sportsluxe:

This modern take on fuss free, effortless sportsluxe has taken a more feminine turn this season with minimal silhouettes and simple patterns. Again this look can be combined with other trends of the season with metallic jackets and sheer tees being a frequent sight on the catwalks.

• Leather:

A timeless look for all seasons, leather is here to stay. A touch of leather can add a grungy, punk– rock edge to any outfit and



Outfit s for all occasions


For that special event, see the selection of the best pieces from local boutiques across the province...

Fran & Jane Dress, £205, Logans Fashions

Aria Dress, £120, available from Storey Womenswear

Rhinestone Headpiece, £245, Grainne Maher Millinery

Carla Ruiz Dress, available from Magowans, Ballynahinch

Ariana Dress, £135, available from Little Boutique at Alana Interiors, Lurgan




Dress, available from Evelin Brandt

Dress, £95, Cuba Clothing

Almatrichi Dress, available from Saretta Boutique

Dress, POR, Shauna Fay

Planet Ice Blue Shift Dress, £129, Moores of Coleraine

Dress, 54.99, Vanilla Boutique




A Bit of

Palace Skirt, £179, Hobbs

TopShop Unique S/S'14


Full swooshy skirts carry over from 2013 and it looks like this voluminous, ladylike silhouette is here to stay - well, for next season anyway! Pair these tea-length skirts with feminine court shoes, a white blouse (or on trend crop top if you dare to bare your midriff!) and a cute clutch!

Yellow Skirt, £35, River Island House of Holland S/S'14

John Rocha S/S'14

Mae Striped Skirt, £110, Coast Full Skirt, £45, J By Jasper Conran @ Debenhams

Roksanda Ilincic S/S'14

Pleated Silk-Faille Skirt, £475, Tibi @ net-

Eva Chen, Editorin-Chief, Lucky Magazine wears Tibi's Paint Splatter Skirt, £659,

Metallic Skirt, £55, Autograph @ M&S



Lace Full Skirt, £39.50, Limited Edition @ M&S

Textured Skirt with Deep Waistband, £40,

Live Love Real Life


Shop the new S/S 2014 collection at Londonderry, Belfast, Newry, Enniskillen, Lisburn, Rushmere, Dublin, Dundrum and Blanchardstown.

Ireland-MothersDay-225x280.indd 1

1/17/14 4:31 PM


This February embrace t he colour of love...

Red Skort, £10, Primark

Red Dress, £130, Gerry Weber

Red Dress, £50, The Kardashian Kollection @ Lipsy Ashley Madekwe wears TopShop Unique Jacket, £475; TopShop Boutique Jumper, £68; TopShop Unique Trousers, £170 and TopShop Shoes, £62

Top, £239, Marc Cain

John Rocha S/S14

Roberta Red Dress, £185, Phase Eight

Betty Jackson Black Trousers, £44, Debenhams

Savida Compact Cotton Jacket, £38, Dunnes Stores

Samantha Barks wears TopShop Unique Skirt, £225; TopShop Top, £36; TopShop Biker Jacket, £55 and TopShop Boots, £88

Ribbon Tie Bra, £10 and Ribbon Thong, £3.50, Dunnes Stores

Red Rose Bouquetta, £15, M&S

Red Leather Studded Satchel, £49, Accessorize



J'taime Red Shoe, £55, Office

Ruby Red Cocktail Ring, £55, Chen Fuchs Jewelry @


COLOUR STORY While white featured heavily on the S/S'14 runways there was also plenty of colour which has now made its way into your favourite local boutiques and high street stores.

Simone Rocha S/S'14





Collection Coats, £95; Collection Top, £22.50; Collection Skirt, £35 and Shoe, £19.50, all M&S

Violent Open Backed Statement Earring, £14, Accessorize

Sugary sweet shades are chic and feminine for spring/summer.

City Short, £32, Limited Edition @ M&S

House of Holland S/S'14

Pink Pullover, £65, Taifun by Gerry Weber

Maxi Dress, £130, Butterfly By Matthew Williamson @ Debenhams

Coat, £149; Top, £69 and Bag, £129, all Per Una Speziale @ M&S

Trouser, £70.90; Top, £61.90; Scarf, £31.90, all Sandwich @ Evelin Brandt

Cropped Leather Jacket, £229, Mint Velvet @ Menarys Mulberry S/S'14

White Jeans, £59.95, Mexx

Bag from a selection @ Zara




April Dress, £160, Fenn Wright Manson


Marc Cain

Why not mix shades of blue and wear head-to-toe this season. Lace Up Boot, £49.99, Zara Stone Wash Bandini Stole, £20, Accessorize

House of Holland S/S'14

Denim Tee, £59, Mint Velvet @ Menarys Mulberry S/S'14

The Tails Shirt, £220, MiH

Navy Top, £129.90 and Skirt, £105.90, both Evelin Brandt

Jacket, £199, Twiggy For M&S Collection Sleeveless Top, £29.99, Zara






Yellow adds instant sunshine to your summer wardrobe.

Yellow Python Blouse, £69, Biba @ House of Fraser

Roksanda Ilincic S/S'14 Leather Skirt, £149, Autograph @ M&S

Bangle, £17.50, Limited Edition @ M&S

Roksanda Ilincic S/S'14

J.W. Anderson S/S'14

Hard Clutch Bag with Speckled Effect, £35, Sandwich @ Evelin Brandt

Yellow Pullover with Print, £75, Gerry Weber

Yellow Jacket, £176.90 and Dress, £90.90, both Sandwich @ Evelin Brandt

Yellow Jacket, £129.95, Mexx

Yellow Bag, £39.50, M&S Collection




Garda Fit and Flare Dress, £140, Phase Eight


Mary Katrantzou S/S'14

Pink and orange is a hot colour combination this season.

Hallie Heeled Sandal, £79, Dune

House of Holland S/S'14

House of Holland S/S'14

Pink T-Shirt, £115, Marc Cain

Top, £169; Trouser, £59; Braclets, £12.50 each and Shoe, £29.50, all Per Una Speziale @ M&S

Magenta Satchel, £299, Best of British @ M&S

Coral Top, £69.95, Mexx

Neon Coral Skirt, £80, Dickins & Jones @ House of Fraser

Coral Backpack, £420, See by Chloe @ House of Fraser

J.W. Anderson S/S'14











Making A Fashion Splash: West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK Celebrates its Tenth Year


he launch of Spring/Summer’s West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK can always be relied upon to bring a touch of style, glamour and colour to dreary old January, and the S/S14 lively and vibrant launch for 2014 was no exception. Ireland’s leading fashion event will not only return for another season, but this year it celebrates a remarkable milestone with 2014 marking its tenth year. Needless to say, hoards of die-hard fashion fans and media gathered to hear the exciting schedule including celebratory events to mark the tenth year. 4






1. Belfast Fashion Week Model 2. Brenda Shankey, Marcus Hunter Neill & Pamela Ballantine 3. Karen Anderson & Leigh Morrow 4. Aislinn Hagan 5. Meagan Green 6. Katie Larmour 7. Nicola Bryce Ward


Lady of the Manor Make a statement with luxe prints and longer hemlines this season. Mix a tailored jacket with bold floral prints for a smart daytime look but give a nod to the seventies in the evening by playing around with loose silhouettes and long hemlines.

DVF Kimono Dress, ÂŁ254, Cruise; Clutch Bag, ÂŁ30, Accessorize; Necklace, stylist's own

This page: Sequinned Dress, £145, Coast; Earrings, stylist's own Opposite: Gucci Maxi Dress, £1,500, Cruise; Pearl Necklace (worn as bracelet) £6.99, H&M

This page: Skirt, £90; Coat, £160; Belt, £25, Bag, £95, all Ted Baker Opposite: Floral Cropped Top, £40, and Floral Midi Skirt, £55, both at Warehouse; Earrings, £15, River Island

Cobalt Coat, £259, Ted Baker; Neon Top, £36, and Floral Trousers, £42, both at Warehouse; Necklace, stylist's own

Stylist: Rebecca McKinney 0772 9848822 Make Up: Ellen Lunney @ Make-up Pro Store 028 9043 4007 Hair: Ciaran Green @ Toni & Guy 028 9068 2323 Photography: Khara Pringle 0797 9218456 Model: Phoebe @ CMPR Models Location: Montalto Estate, Co. Down

Northern Ireland

Martin Rafferty, Beef Farmer, Co. Armagh

All of our fresh beef is 100%

Farm Quality Assured and fully traceable from farm to fork. ADV-1401-001_M&P_Wk05_Northern Woman_225 x280mm.indd 1

15/01/2014 15:13



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Working 9-5 From this year’s winners at the Women in Business Awards to those who are at the top of their respective fields, in this special 18-page supplement we chat to a number of local high fliers about their achievements and what spurs them on. As well as financial advice and childcare options for working mums, we also look at your capsule working wardrobe ensuring you exude confidence and look the part from 9-5




Securing a Top Spot At the end of last year, Patricia O’Hagan MBE, CEO of Core Systems, won the accolade of Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year Award at the Women in Business Awards NI. Here we find out more about this successful working woman.





ore Systems develops software for been done before which is really exciting. prisons, high security facilities and That’s one of the reasons we keep people, government buildings, and is investing because they are constantly challenged,” she £700,000 in a new expansion and R&D says. project to access new opportunities in the “At the moment we’re also working on US market – creating eight new jobs in the an exciting project called Transforming process. Rehabilitation. The UK government are The Belfast-based company already sells planning to privatise 70% of the probation to the US and recently established a business service and we’re looking at what sort of relationship with a leading provider of technology solutions we could offer to the inmate services to correctional facilities in people who are successful in that.” America - giving the company a direct route The MD also expects further progress this to over 50 per cent of the US corrections year with new market opportunities in the market. It is, by some way, the largest UK, Europe and Canada. prison market in the world. Of the eight “We’re currently working on our million people in custody in prisons around European go to market strategy. We hope the world, 2.2 million of them are in the to have at least pilots kicking off next year United States. in Europe. It is very localised and in a way  ‘The US lock people up at a higher rate Europe is like the US. It’s another big step than anywhere else – their rate is about 1 for us but also very exciting.” per 100 per head of population compared While overseeing and developing this to about 1 in 1000 in European countries,’ thriving business, Patricia is also mother to explains Patricia. ‘It’s a very competitive 14-year-old son, Aaron. market and the only reason we’ve been ‘Every working mum has to juggle time successful is the innovation in our products.’ at work and time with the children. When  Patricia joined I had Aaron I had Core Systems in learn to organise "As CEO my peers do listen to me, to 1999 when it was a myself on a whole but I am aware of other working team of four people different level and and became its learn to depend on colleagues that do struggle to Managing Director other people too. be heard in male dominated in 2005. Today the When all goes to company has 32 in plan it is fine but as industries." its Crumlin Road every working mum headquarters as knows if routine’s are well as staff and advisers outside Northern unsettled due to holidays or illness - chaos Ireland. Yet she plays down her own role in can erupt! driving its growth, saying: ‘I think what I ‘Fortunately, my husband, Tommy, works do is look for opportunities and where the for Core Systems as well, and we share the market is going and bring that back into the parenting to ensure that one of us is always team so we can come up with solutions. I’m at home for Aaron. Over the last 14-years it a facilitator to help people’s creativity.’ has been very rare that both Tommy and I Her list of personal achievements suggests are both away with work at the same time. Patricia is being modest. As well as her ‘I did have a big run of travelling when recent award, she was awarded her MBE Aaron was aged eight to 13. I was on in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list longhaul flights back and forth to America last year for her services to the Northern for a week at a time but Tommy was at Ireland economy and serves on the home with Aaron and I’m informed that Economic Advisory Group, is a member Aaron is better behaved when I’m not there!  of the American Correction Technology ‘Tommy and I work on very separate Committee, and was recently appointed things within the business and we try not to Chair of ADS NI Defence and Security let our working life encroach on our home Special Interest Group.  life. Everyone needs time to switch off. Yes,  With a background in electronic and there are times when we want to bounce a design engineering and qualifications in few things off each other, but we recognise construction and software development, the signs when one or the other of us needs Patricia started her career as an analyst to leave work behind and relax for a few programmer in the shipyards. She was IT hours at home. Having Aaron also helps to manager at Stockport College and worked discipline us when it comes to talking shop briefly at CEM Systems before joining Core. at home because he is our focus when we It’s a company she says people want are at home. to work for because it invests heavily in ‘As for being a woman in business, I think product development and allows them to I am fortunate in the position I am. As CEO create bespoke products such as hosted my peers do listen to me, but I am aware of software solutions for prison services who other working colleagues that do struggle to control multiple facilities. be heard in male dominated industries.  “We’re working on things that haven’t ‘Also spending so much time in America



WORKINGWOMAN I have to say it is different over there. In the US they don’t care if you are a man or a woman and they are more familiar with women holding down important, high level managerial positions. ‘I always dress smartly at work and tend to opt for dresses and skirts rather than trousers because I want to look like a woman. I stick to muted shades and maybe add some colour with a scarf or handbag. I’m only 5'4" and choose good fitting pieces that don’t swamp my small frame. I am not label led when it comes to buying for work. ‘My hair is longer at the moment, but I need an easy to manage hairstyle. My make-up is the same - fuss-free. I might be getting up at 4.30am to catch a flight after 6am so clothes are laid out the night before and hair and make-up can’t be time consuming. ‘Downtime is spent doing yoga, which I can do anywhere even when travelling. I like to read and I always make sure I am learning something new. Recently, I have learnt Shiatsu massage, I’m brushing up on my European languages, and Aaron and I are learning to play the guitar together. ‘I obviously travel a lot with work and Tommy, Aaron and I tend to head to America in the summer. I can mix business and pleasure and we get to visit some amazing locations and see some fantastic sights that we may not otherwise.

Patricia O’Hagan MBE, CEO of Core Systems, won the accolade of Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year Award at the Women in Business Awards 2013.

Succeed in 2014 with Women in Business NI


re you planning to succeed in 2014? Each year we all begin with resolutions that can so easily be broken in the space of the first few weeks in January. By now some of us are overwhelmed by the task in hand but before giving up on the desire to succeed maybe you should consider joining Women in Business Northern Ireland. Women in Business NI was established just over 10 years ago to assist business women in nurturing, growing and developing the businesses they own or are employed in through sustained networking and making lasting business connections. It is the only networking organisation of its kind in Northern Ireland offering members a cost effective way of reaching potential new contacts and its members aspire to creating a new economy. More than 1,000 women are members of Women in Business NI, from the sole trader working from home juggling the school run with managing the working day, the middle manager who manages her team as well as her day to day workload, the business owner with whom the buck stops and the entrepreneur working in a global environment. There is a packed schedule of monthly networking events for members and



non-members which are held in venues including Parliament Buildings, Hillsborough Castle and hotels across the Province. Topics range from across the business spectrum and include the opportunity to come face to face with our politicians, business leaders and those whose success we all aspire to achieve. They say every day is a school day and subjects addressed by Women in Business NI events include finance, marketing, leadership and entrepreneurship, making that perfect pitch, developing your business and even addressing the best way to present yourself – there is certainly something for everyone to learn from! Exclusive lunches with inspirational speakers provide a unique opportunity to hear from local business successes - Martin Naughton of Glen Dimplex will speak to Women in Business NI members in March in Newry, sharing the secrets of how he has developed his business to reach a 2bn Euro turnover with 10,000 employees worldwide. There are also opportunities to attend masterclasses and workshops on areas such as public relations, sales strategies, leading change and gearing for growth. This year Women in Business NI will undertake its most ambitious event to date. From 12-15 May they will host the inaugural International Business Women’s Conference

in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall and Titanic Belfast. Pioneering business people from across the globe will explore universal issues and create lasting business partnerships under the conference theme of ‘Creating a New Economy’. The hard hitting business conference will be complimented by a social calendar of activities throughout the three day event. And, when you’ve enjoyed the assistance from Women in Business NI in helping you plan to succeed in 2014 you can enter your business for an award at the annual glittering awards ceremony in late autumn, where past speakers have included Ruby Wax, Michelle Mone OBE and Hilary Devey CBE. The membership is a diverse one with business leaders, sole traders, business start ups, small businesses, large corporate organisations and female managers all enjoying opportunities to innovate and be motivated by creating real business connections with other members. To join Women in Business NI, log onto To keep up to date with the latest events, masterclasses and workshops, follow Women in Business NI on twitter @wibni and like the facebook page – To book a place at this year’s conference, log onto and follow @ IBWC2014 on twitter.


WOMEN IN BUSINESS NORTHERN IRELAND AWARD WINNERS 2013 Best Small Business Sponsored by Belfast City Council Winner: Shelly Taylor, Taylored Workwear Ltd Taylored Workwear Ltd provide uniforms and workwear to small and large companies throughout Northern Ireland and the UK. From the local ice cream man to multimillion pound companies, we pride ourselves on bespoke custom and never turn anyone away.

Outstanding Management/Leadership sponsored by Dept. for Employment and Learning Winner: Darina Armstrong, Progressive Building Society As the first female Chief Executive in its 100 year history, I feel privileged to be the current guardian of the Progressive Building Society.  I also am on the Council of the Building Societies Association which represents all the building societies in the UK.

Excellence in IT sponsored by The Irish News Winner: Jacqueline McGonigle, I launched  www. whatsonni. com in 2009 after identifying a gap online for a user generated content portal for events and tourism in NI. I became self employed to enable me to work around my young family. It’s very important that I am not an absent mum, which is why I decided to work from home.

Entrepreneurship / Innovation sponsored by NYSE Euronext Winner: Anne Murphy, Delegate International Recruitment Ltd Delegate International Recruitment sources full time, permanent skilled linguists for companies in more than 12 countries across Europe. Employing eight people, achieving 70 per cent export and growing by more than 100 per cent year on year since launching four years ago.

Best New Start Up sponsored by Ulster Bank Winner: Tori Higginson & Andrea Martin, Stamp Promotions We supply quality printed promotional products, corporate gifts and branded clothing to businesses throughout the UK and Ireland. No two days are the same, and sometimes it’s hard to fit everything in, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! Stamp Promotions has grown rapidly in its first two years of trading, and we are excited about what the future holds.  

Best Young Business Woman of the Year sponsored by Progressive Building Society Winner: Catherine O’Neill, Amelio

I started the company two years ago when I was studying for a Masters degree in Civil Engineering at Queen’s University. My ambition for Amelio Utilities Ltd is to become the most advanced, customer focused and successful drainage Utilities Company in the UK and Ireland

Best Exporter sponsored by Business Travel Solutions Joint Winner: Grace Weir, Stealth, Translations Ltd; Ruth Wilson, Beaufort Interiors

Best in Professional Service sponsored by University of Ulster – Ulster Business School Winner: Johann Muldoon, Manor Architects

Advancing Diversity in the Work Place sponsored by Equality Commission for NI Winner: Lynda Gordon, Southern Health and Social Care Trust

Interior Designer Ruth Wilson founded Beaufort Interiors in 1982 and it’s now the premier interiors company in the country. In addition to the Women in Business NI: Exporter of the Year, and the Belfast Lifestyle: Best Showrooms (2003), Ruth has been awarded Ulster Tatler: Interior Designer of the Year twice (2008 & 2013).

Since being awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year by Sir Richard Branson at the age of 16, Johann has continued to win awards, including best student and all accolades for postgraduate/ undergraduate levels at Queens University, Belfast. Whilst at the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow, Johann received the City of Glasgow architecture medal, the Scottish architecture medal, Royal Scottish Academy’s architecture prize and went on to become the youngest tutor at the Mackintosh School, working in practice at the same time. Johann became a Director at Manor Architects in 2007.

I have worked for the Southern Trust for the past 37 years 24 of which have been in my current role – as Head of the Equality Assurance Unit for one of the biggest employers in NI. My current role is to advance diversity in a large organisation and includes advancing both employment equality and the promotion of equality within service provision.

Stealth Translations Limited was founded in 2004 by Stephen and Grace Weir as a website development company. Through expertise in IT and marketing, the core services gradually changed to translation as the company secured great success in its non-English marketing activities. Grace is the Director of Sales and Marketing




Take Four Business Women We speak to four local women at the helm of four successful businesses in Northern Ireland.

Michelle Jackson

Centre Manager, Victoria Square, Belfast How long have you been Centre Manager at Victoria Square and what does your job entail?

I have been Centre Manager since the beginning of October. I feel very privileged to have been afforded this opportunity to manage the 800,000 sq. ft Victoria Square. I am responsible for engaging all the brands within the scheme, supporting them in helping deliver a world class customer experience at all times. We have an iconic building with many exclusive brands, and we want the service proposition to reflect this.

What was your career background leading up to this position?

I had spent my entire career previously working for House of Fraser, 16 years in England and then six years managing the Belfast store. This afforded me the great opportunity to experience differing roles and cities, preparing me for launching the highly successful Belfast store.

What advice would you have for others wanting to forge a career in retail? Be prepared to experience as many varying roles as you can. It helps develop your management skills, dealing with different teams and product groups. Mobility also helps as it offers you more opportunities, especially living in Northern Ireland,where the number of stores may be limited.

As a woman in business do you feel that you have more to prove than your male counterparts? I can honestly say that I never experienced this. I have found that my progression has always been based on ability. It is essential to always focus on the goals that will help your development, being the best you can be and never being too proud to ask for guidance.

How important is your overall image as a professional working woman and what clothes do you tend to choose to wear?

I feel this is essential generally, irrelevant of being female. First impressions definitely count, you must always be well presented. I think it is best to always look professional, classic dresses or suits work best, maybe accessorised with a little bit of fashion, for example, a red shoe or an animal print cardigan.

"It essential to always focus on the goals that will help your development, being the best you can be and never being too proud to ask for guidance."




Michele Harpur

Proprietor of Lisburn Road boutique, Evelin Brandt When did you realise that fashion retailing was the career path for you?

I’ve been involved in fashion retailing for over 25 years. I’ve always loved clothes and the creativity of fashion, in fact I even used to do a bit of dressmaking. However, rather than designing and making, I followed the path of fashion retailing, which still allows me to indulge in my creative side, mixing and matching my collections each season and passing this on to my customers.

When did you open your first boutique and how has the business evolved over the years?

I opened my first boutique, La Femme, on the Cregagh Road in Belfast, before moving to the Ormeau Road, where La Femme and Evelin Brandt traded side-byside for years. Eighteen months ago, I moved the business to the Lisburn Road, which is now just branded as Evelin Brandt. I chose to step away from occasionwear to focus on the core Evelin Brandt range and complementary collections, such as Sandwich, Cristina Gavioli and Charli which are now merchandised in a new contemporary, modern boutique.

You are also the Irish agent for Evelin Brandt, what made you take this on as well?

I established a rapport with Evelin and the rest of her team over the years buying and selling the brand in my boutique, so it made sense for me to take over the agency when it became available in Ireland. I love selling to and meeting with other fashion retailers, it keeps me up-to-date with the wider Irish fashion industry. It keeps me extremely busy, but I am not one for resting on my laurels!

What other doors has the business opened for you?

This year I got the opportunity to meet Nick Hewer from BBC1’s The Apprentice fame, and local Leicester long wool sheep (an endangered breed which total 500 in the whole of the UK) farmer and knitwear designer Siobhan Holloway for BBC1 NI programme ‘Farm Fixers’. It’s not every day you get asked to do something like this and anyone who knows me knows that I usually shy away from the camera, but I have to say I really enjoyed the chance to get involved in the programme which was filmed last summer. I also enjoy getting involved with various fashion events taking place throughout the province and bringing our fashions to life on the catwalk.

What keeps you focused after 25 years in fashion retailing?

Continuing to bring stylish, fashionable clothing brands to women of all shapes and sizes and helping our customers to look and feel great in what they are wearing whatever the occasion!

Grainne Maher

Milliner & Jewellery Designer How long have you been a milliner and jewellery designer?

I have been working full time as a milliner since 2009, and the jewellery range emerged during 2011, so I’m entering my fifth year in business.

How hard has it been establishing yourself in the fashion industry?

The fashion industry is notoriously difficult to break into. At the time I was first setting up my business, there weren’t too many couture milliners available in Northern Ireland, so that definitely helped me make my own mark locally. The step from servicing a local market, to an international market is a huge one though, and that’s the stage I’m at at the moment. Having shown ON schedule at London Fashion Week last September for the first time, I’m confident that the label ‘Gráinne Maher’ will continue to grow.

What have been your career highs and lows to date?

My first major high was when US actress and singer Selena Gomez wore two separate pieces of my jewellery whilst hosting the MTV EMA’s in Belfast in November 2011. It was really after that, that I had the confidence to approach a major retailer like House of Fraser. The MTV thing was invaluable publicity and exposure for my work, and I haven’t looked back! Since then, 2013 was



WORKINGWOMAN an amazing year for me. In June I was asked to design a mask for the Animal Ball which was held in Clarence and Lancaster House in the presence of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. The brief was to choose an endangered species as the inspiration and I chose the Coral Reef. I made two masks which were sold for £1,000 each to attendees of the glamorous Masked Ball. The ultimate high though was being asked by Welsh womenswear designer Jayne Pierson to make headwear for her SS14 collection, also to be included in her fashion film ‘The Veil’. This meant my work was showcased at an ON schedule event at the Wella Studios for the film screening, whilst my pieces were also on display for the entire week in the emerging designers room at Somerset House. This was an invaluable platform for me to meet press and buyers, and as a result I now have a fashion PR representing me in London for next season, and possibly Paris! As for the lows....? Well, I try not to focus on those days... onwards and upwards!

"My advice is simple. Work hard, plan hard and take all the help you can get!" What advice would you have for others wanting to follow this career path?

My advice is simple. Work hard, plan hard and take all the help you can get! Never be afraid to ask questions and learn something new everyday where possible. Look at the full fashion industry to see where your strengths and talents lie, and consider the kind of lifestyle you want. The life of a couture designer is physically demanding and very, very time consuming with a lot of cash flow needed to service the collections. It’s not for everyone.

What are your future plans for your hats and Pluck & Devour jewellery? We are currently consolidating all my accessory work to be listed under the name Gráinne Maher, and we are doing the final work on the new e-commerce site I’m producing new stock which is based on the LFW SS14 ‘The Veil’ pieces, which will be available to purchase from the start of February. And I’m also finishing off the AW14 designs to be used in our next fashion film and launched at London Fashion Week next September. Busy, busy!



Petra Wolsey

Group Marketing Director, Beannchor Group How long have you been working with the Beannchor Group? It has been fourteen years now.

What has been your biggest and proudest business achievement to date?

The Beannchor Group has evolved so much during the time that I have worked in the company. Every time we have opened a new bar, restaurant, club or indeed hotel I have felt immensely proud and thoroughly delighted when people come and experience and enjoy that new venue. I think my proudest experience to date has been the opening and continued success of The Merchant Hotel. It was so important to get everything just right. More than anything we had opened previously, we were conscious that we had to quickly cement the idea of The Merchant Hotel exemplifying five star luxury, complemented by a wonderful sense of being welcomed and cosseted. Bill (Wolsey) had a crystal clear vision of what he wanted the hotel to look like and we both had an equally clear idea of what the logo and branding should look like. We auditioned quite a few names before we settled on The Merchant Hotel too. The Merchant was Bill's name and was a natural choice given the fact that the Cathedral Quarter was historically the commercial heart of the city. It has become somewhat of a superstition for us that Bill always comes up with the name for all our properties - all the way back to the days of TaTu Bar and Grill and indeed before!

As a woman do you feel you have more to prove than your male counterparts in the hospitality industry?

I am very fortunate to be able to say that I have never had that experience in my career. I have a couple of friends that haven’t been so lucky in that respect. The Beannchor Group genuinely operates as a meritocracy and I have never had any sense that I was being undermined or passed over (or indeed had more to prove) by virtue of my gender. In fact, as it happens, there are more women than men working at a senior managerial or directorial level within The Beannchor Group.

How important is image in business and how would you describe your own?

I believe image is very important. I think it’s easier for people to take you seriously if it is evident that you have taken care of your appearance. I’m not talking about vanity; I really think it’s about self-respect. Given how much of my role is involved with The Merchant Hotel, I always feel I should reflect the high standards that we expect of everyone involved. We have strict uniform policies for all our staff and it’s only fair that managers and directors don’t let the side down by looking scruffy. I don’t think looking businesssmart should come at the expense of losing your own sense of style. Amongst my favourite wardrobe staples I have a couple of really nice suits by Vivienne Westwood, which I feel really reflect my style and personality. I have worn them to death over the years and they still look very smart and not in the least boring!

From a career point of view what are your future ambitions?

I have a couple of pet projects that I’ll keep under my hat for now. Furthermore, history will show that my husband has not been known to ‘rest on his laurels’ for any length of time, so in the main, my ambition is to ensure I can continue to enthusiastically support his vision for the future of The Beannchor Group. As Group Marketing Director my job (ably supported by my fantastic marketing team, a terrific graphic designer and our excellent PR company) is to strengthen the group with really well executed, bespoke marketing solutions for each and every new venture that arises, whilst still managing to keep all the current ‘plates in the air’.

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Day Care


For working mums the issue of childcare is daunting and expensive. We speak to working mother Michelle Rea, proprietor of Little Rays day nursery, to discuss the benefits of this childcare option.

ichelle Rea opened Queensway Creche 20 years ago in Lambeg. Over the years the business has expanded with two more day nurseries located in Ballymena (2004) and Moira (2006), and all were brought under the name of Little Rays. Although her own children are now adults, Michelle knows what it’s like to be a working mother and with 20 years experience in the child care industry is well placed to offer advice on selecting the right day nursery for you and your child. ‘Personally, I would recommend a day nursery option to working mums because there is greater reliability. If your childminder is sick, then you have to find alternative arrangements, often at very short notice, and this may mean that you have to take time off work, which isn’t always viable for some. In a day nursery if a carer falls sick there are enough staff to cover and your child is looked after without interruption,’ advises Michelle. ‘At Little Rays we take children from two months old until the age of 12 and we’re open from 7.30am to 6.30pm (except Lambeg which is 6pm). These hours seem to suit the vast majority of parents and we



are the only nursery in Moira open until 6.30pm. ‘Socially, day nurseries offer a great experience for your child. everything from playing, sitting and eating is enjoyed in the company of others. The children develop great relationships with one another and while they usually all find a particular friend they always have plenty of others to play with. ‘When it come to playtime the children are always entertained. With a childminder they will have to accompany them on school pick-up or trips to the supermarket, whereas in a day nursery the children are continually entertained with a programme that can include play with water and sand trays, painting and craft or reading a story. ‘At Little Rays we also like to make sure that the children get outside everyday, even if it is just for ten minutes. If it’s wet we’ll get their raincoats on and make sure they enjoy some fresh air. We’ve actually just invested over £20,000 creating covered outdoor play areas in each of the nurseries.’ As well as asking to see the latest social services inspection report, Michelle also recommends that you see for yourself what activities your child will enjoy during the

day. Other points to consider is what your child will be eating. ‘We’re proud to be able to say that all of our food is freshly prepared everyday,’ says Michelle. ‘We are currently developing new menus with the help of Derek Patterson from The Plough in Hillsborough.’ All of the staff at Little Rays are fully qualified, however, current guidelines state that 50 per cent of staff need to be qualified in a day nursery. ‘Pay attention to how the staff are interacting with the children on the day of your visit and how the staff interact with each other. Many visitors comment on the atmosphere within all of our nurseries and this comes from 20 years of experience and long serving, fully qualified staff, some who have been with us since we opened back in 1993.' ‘Cost is a driving factor when it comes to choosing your child care. Without compromising on our offering, we have managed to help parents over the last three years by keeping our fees the same.’ Finally, as Michelle says, ‘Make sure you go and see a variety of nurseries in your area.


Access to Finance Thinking of setting up your own business? Here are some top tips for business finance plans by Shauna Burns, Ulster Bank. with women in business we can better understand and meet their banking needs. One of the areas that is of paramount importance for female entrepreneurs to get right is to have a credible plan for their business which outlines their case when they approach a lender for money. Once you have established your funding requirement, it is important to identify the funding source that best meets your needs. Usually venture capitalists or angel investors will provide equity funding for the general operation of the business in return for a share of future profits (and losses). Commercial banks will typically support requests for specific purposes, for example term loans for asset purchase such as motor vehicles/plant and machinery, or overdrafts and invoice discounting, facilities to manage short term cash-flow shortfalls. Now that you have identified the appropriate channel for finance, it’s time to prepare your business case. When reviewing a business plan, there are generally three areas that most financers will consider – People, Project and Payment.


he 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), carried out by the London Business School and Babson College, found that there are 126 million women starting or running businesses, and 98 million operating established (over three and a half years) businesses. That’s 224 million female entrepreneurs - and the survey counts only 67 of the 188 countries recognised by the World Bank. Yet women are very much under represented when it comes to enterprise, with only 18 per cent of all established business entrepreneurs being female led. At Ulster Bank we know that women can be just as successful as their male counterparts in business. That’s why we support the Women in Business organisation and run our own Business Women Can initiative. For us, Business Women Can is about building a network of like-minded individuals, who in turn can help and support female business owners in the marketplace. We want to become the banking partner for women in business and through active engagement

"At Ulster Bank we know that women can be just as successful as their male counterparts in business. That’s why we support the Women in Business organisation and run our own Business Women Can initiative."


• How will the business pay the bank back? • What are the cashflows (sales and expenses)? • Can the business continue to meets its existing commitments in addition to a new debt? Considering all the above will shape a credible business plan for presentation to your bank and ensure you are prepared for an open discussion about the project with the bank’s business manager. Further help and advice on drafting a business plan is available through, a free online resource which provides support and networking opportunities for SMEs, and which is supported by Ulster Bank. If you are thinking about applying for finance or interested in learning more about the support available from Ulster Bank for women in business, contact Shauna Burns on 028 8675 8026 or the Business Women Can website: business-women-can/


• What is their track record? • What experience have they got? • What ability do they have? • Can these people manage a business through the highs and the lows?


• What is the nature of the business? • Where is the business in its life cycle? • What is the market for the business or product? • What is the competition? • Do the numbers add up? • Does the case underpinning the numbers add up?




The Future’s Bright The pupils of St. Dominic’s are certainly excelling and no doubt there will be businesswomen making their mark in Northern Ireland in the future hailing from this award winning school. We talk to principal Carol McCann about the school’s success. St. Dominic's principal Karen McCann with some of her pupils


aving recently won the accolade of the Sunday Times Secondary School of the Year in NI 2013, St Dominic’s Grammar School for girls in West Belfast is the highest performing school in Northern Ireland with an outstanding 97per cent of its students achieving three A Levels at grades A*-C. These results are all the more remarkable for the fact that less than a third of the girls were A-grade students when they arrived at the school seven years previously. GCSE results were also impressive, with 58.5per cent of exams gaining the two highest grades. ‘I am extremely proud of all of the girls at St. Dominic’s,’ says Carol proudly. ‘We have high expectations and provide our students with the necessary support through our excellent pastoral care system to help build their confidence and enable them to achieve their potential. ‘A few years ago extra supervised study was introduced, including evening sessions



for pupils from the fourth year upwards to ensure all pupils could have a quiet place to work, and to encourage scholarly behaviour. During the exam period we also open the school for study at the weekend. There is no doubt that this extra support and the improved application of students has paid off.’ Carol goes on the say, ‘While teaching the girls the importance of hard work, commitment and integrity we also look beyond the classroom and encourage and motivate the students through sport, music and public speaking for example. We want all of our girls to recognise their own uniqueness and discover their own giftedness. ‘We invite past pupils who have excelled in their chosen careers and others of standing in the wider community to speak at our annual awards ceremonies and other events. Her Honour Judge Patricia Smyth, a past pupil was the guest speaker

at our 2013 Senior Awards Ceremony in December. ‘We focus on leadership with the girls and have more than one head girl every year representing different aspects of the school. This year two year 13 Government and Politics students Aine Crossan and Jennifer Devine have been chosen by the Rotary Club of Belfast to participate alongside four other students from schools in Northern Ireland to attend a ten day leadership programme in Chicago this Easter. For St. Dominic’s students to have two of the six available places is a real achievement and reflects the excellence of our students. ‘However, while we actively encourage leadership and success, we also want our girls to be happy and fulfilled in what they do and hopefully here at St. Dominic’s we help to instill a social conscience and values that they will take with them whatever they do in life.’


Inspired & Motivated Photographer Khara Pringle has learnt a lot from creative director Steve Blair who has become something of an unintentional mentor and helped her to gain greater confidence in her work over the years. Khara:

‘Steve is cool, calm and quiet, but he commands your attention and everyone listens to him. Creatives have a tendency to be all over the place, but he is very methodical. I can remember the first time I worked with him, he was like a breath of fresh air. ‘Steve is an amazing art director and having worked in North America with high profile clients over the years he has so much experience, and in turn, confidence in what he does. This comes across to the rest of the team working with him and for myself as a photographer he affords me the creative freedom to really do the job that I am capable of as well. ‘As the art director, Steve is very aware of what his client’s expectations are and we meet before the shoot so that he can brief me and talk me through what he is wanting to achieve on the day of the shoot. The two of us will bounce ideas off

"The more you try to control another creative the more you’re locking gates to their creativity and you end up doing yourself a disservice" Steve Blair each other and he listens to what I have to bring to the job with ideas on lighting and so forth. ‘On the day of the shoot, Steve always shows complete faith in me. When we start shooting he is very good at allowing us to try a few different things if it feels natural at the time. Steve isn’t afraid to deviate from our original plan to see what can be achieved on the day. ‘Also, once I have the shot, that’s it. I could shoot only 20 frames and if I have got what Steve is looking for then there’s no shooting for the sake of it. Again, I suppose this is just an indication of his refreshing confidence which stems from his experience over the years. ‘I like people who make me push myself and get more out of me and Steve consistently does this. In my opinion, he is such a great talent who has a lot to offer here in Northern Ireland.


‘When I first worked with Khara I found a kindred spirit. She’s a terrific person to work with because she brings so much energy and enthusiasm to her work. I put her right up there when it comes to her skills of keeping all involved in the shoot motivated. In this respect, her style and approach reminds me of some of the best North American photographers I’ve worked with. ‘I like to use Khara when shooting people and I need a photographer who can work with them and bring out their personalities to get the best from them on the day of the shoot. Once, when we were working with a very young child on a campaign, Khara effortlessly kept things going even when the child started to flag and we got what we needed. ‘For me the most important thing before

going into a campaign shoot is the preparation. When I choose the photographer I’m aware of their capabilities and what they will bring to the shoot. Then we discuss what I need for my client and in turn, I like to listen to what they bring to the table. Once we’ve had these discussions and everybody has the brief, then, in my opinion, I have got to let go a bit and let everybody use their creative talent on the day. ‘The more you try to control another creative the more you’re locking gates to their creativity and you end up doing yourself a disservice - you have hired someone for the natural talent they can bring to the job so you don’t want to stifle it. When I’m working with Khara we discuss the job upfront and then I have the confidence in her understanding of what I am looking for and I let her do her job.’




Working Wardrobe Don’t be afraid to add some flair to your working wardrobe. Here we take one classic white shirt and give it four different twists.

Grey Oversized Clutch from a selection @ Zara

Light Blue Jacket, £160, Gerry Weber

Beige Trench Coat, £169, Biba @ House of Fraser Limited Edition Waistcoat, £59, M&S Collection White Shirt, £22.50, M&S Leather Trouser with High Waist in Super Soft Leather, £120,

Creative Chic! Cherry Blossom Silk Digital Square Scarf, £25, Accessorize

‘Dita’, £79, Dune ‘Dolphin’ Ankle Strap Court Shoe, £75, Dune

Collection Trouser, £29.50, M&S

Stylish, hard working essentials... Mulberry Adjustable iPad Sleeve in Chocolate Natural Leather, £350

Bella Coat, £649, Hobbs

11” MacBook Air, From £849, Apple

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, £399, John Lewis

Saffiano Pink Document Case, £70, DKNY @ House of Fraser Black Opulence Croc Wheel Duffle, £114.99 & Laptop Bag, £59.99, Jasper Conran @ Tripp



Blackerry Z10, £499.95, Argos


Fashionably Famous



Smarten Up! Trench Coat, £90, Principles By Ben De Lisi @ Debenhams

es, both Jenna Lyons and Victoria Beckham work within the fashion industry, but they are forces to be reckoned with and very successful working women for whom looking the part is key. Even though they have more freedom with how they dress due to their creative industry, essentially all working women can learn from their use of sharp tailoring and minimal, but stylish accessorising.

Jenna Lyons, Creative Director & President, J.Crew

Jacket, £150, Gerry Weber Skirt, £150 Gerry Weber

Sadie Leather Court, £99, Phase Eight

Red Leather Turnlock Handbag, £95, Cath Kidston

Navy blazer, £150, Crew Clothing


Jenna Lyons has been mass-fashion's darling since she took the creative reins at J. Crew in 2008. In a recent Harper’s Bazaar interview Jenna commented: ‘I do my make-up in five minutes and I get dressed in about three minutes. I definitely don’t have a work uniform.’ Get her look... 1. A classic white shirt and jeans combo has been livened up with some playful accessories. For those who need to wear more tailored pieces to work, this would be perfect for a dress down day at the office. 2. Jenna wears muted colours and slick, sophisticated tailoring with minimal accessories. 3. A printed blouse adds interest to your overall look. Teamed with 1 a blazer and skirt or trousers this is a way of bringing a bit of your personality into your work attire.


Victoria Beckham, Fashion Designer

Checked Trouser, £39.99, Zara Navy Quilted Bag, £69, Dune

Aqua Square Stone Stacking Ring Set, £8, Accessorize

‘Latter’, £85, Bertie

In June 2007, Victoria Beckham won two British Glamour Magazine Awards, one for ‘Woman of the Year’ and another for ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, which celebrated her fashion achievements. Her now much sought after fashion label debuted during the 2008 New York Week. In November 2011, she was awarded the ‘Designer of the Year’ gong at the annual British Fashion Awards. Get her look... 1. Looking sophisticated is key. Muted, earthy tones as worn by Victoria are less harsh than head to toe black. 2. The sleeveless coat/waistcoat is huge this season and will give your working wardrobe a stylish twist. 3. Don’t be afraid of colour. While you don’t want to stand out for all the wrong reasons at work a hint of colour adds a feminine touch.






Hardworking Hair & Beauty Finding the right hair and make-up to complement your working wardrobe will add to your overall confidence and exude an air of professionalism.


Martine Broggy from The Natural Hair Company in Lisburn highlights some great on-trend looks for working girls who need to tame longer locks during the working day. Top Knots: To perfect this look, start by pulling your hair up into a high ponytail and secure with a band. Once your hair is secure, twist the hair until it turns itself into a knot and secure with another band and grips to hold in place. Spritz with a super strong hairspray like OSiS+ Session Label Strong hold hairspray. The beauty of this look is that it’s easy to achieve on dry or wet hair, making it a quick fix for any bad hair day to stand up in a meeting. Fishtail Plaits: When hair is damp spray with a texturising spray like OSiS+ Session Label Salt Spray from Schwarzkopf Professional and allow your hair to dry naturally. Do this the night before as it will make for faster work in the morning. The result should be lovely, tousled hair which is easier to work with. Pull your hair over to one side and split it into two pieces. The trick to creating a good fishtail plait is to take a small section from the outside of each half that you have created and cross it over and gather it to join the other side. Repeat this step right the way down to the end and secure your hair with a snag band. Low Bun or Chignon: Part your hair over to one side and smooth your hair into a side ponytail on the opposite side and secure it with a band, not quite pulling the hair all of the way through. Now use the half-pony that you have created, pinning the hair back on itself in small sections to hide the band and create the perfect texture. Once you have created the perfect look, messy or neat, the design is completely up to you, spray into place using OSiS+ Session Label Strong hold hairspray to hold in place.




Cover up any skin issues that might make you selfconscious. Many people have eczema or other skin problems they just can’t avoid. Let your best image and personality shine through, rather than creating an opportunity for people to judge.

properly colour matched and you really shouldn’t have to extend you base makeup down your neck. One of my favorite quick fix make-up wonder products is the Embryolisse BB cream. Finally, if you have any blemishes use a little concealer where needed. Bright eyeshadows are a no-no. You can apply some eyeshadow should you feel the need to, but avoid bold colours and stick to a more neutral palette. If you don’t have confidence in eyeshadow application then simply apply some eye primer to create an even base removing any unwanted redness across the eyelid area. Try Senna eyeshadow primer in medium - the shade suits everyone and won’t crease all day.

Cover those under eye circles. If you’ve got dark circles, it will make you look sleepy. To show that you are wide awake and on the job at hand, try some Make Up Studio yellow concealer to really brighten the eye area. TOP TIP: less is more! You don’t want to cake too much product under the eyes as it can crease in any fine lines you may have.   Make sure your skin tone is even, i.e. grab that foundation! Or BB cream or CC cream or tinted moisturizer or whatever face makeup you prefer. Remember, to make sure the complexion doesn’t look patchy it’s very important to make sure you have been

No falsies. Ever. Unless you work on Hollyoaks then keep the luscious lashes for the weekend!    Mascara is a must. Adding a little bit of mascara will help you look more awake, plus it makes your overall make-up look more polished. If you want to build a few layers of mascara without clumping all your lashes together try Make Up Studio 4D mascara.   Don’t get lippy! Finish your look off with some long-wear lipstick that doesn’t require constant application throughout the day. Keep colours natural for work.

Make the right impression at work with the help of these make-up tips from professional make-up artist, Paddy McGurgan at MakeUp Pro Store, Belfast and Newry. Moisturise! Nobody wants to see dry, flaky skin. Hydrated skin will look more awake and fresh.Try Embryolisse hero product Lait Cream. Not only can it be used as a cream cleanser to remove make-up it also works as your moisturiser and foundation primer.


What' s in your wardrobe? Art consultant Carrie Neely is known for her sartorial creativity and flair for finding unusual pieces. She talks NW through her wardrobe, her favourite items and what she’s eyeing up for the new season. How would you describe your style?

Eclectic. Anything goes as long as I like it that day, even if it does not all go together. I love interesting bold prints and fabrics, and I often buy things that just catch my eye. I’m very casual on a day to day basis and I never wear heels during the day as I’m running around with three kids and my own business.

What is your wardrobe essential?

Skinny jeans. As I work in the creative world, I can get away with wearing denim to meetings. I dress them up or down or change the colour or fabric depending on my mood. I also have a few pairs of Prada flip-flops that I live in all year round.

What pieces are you eyeing up for your spring/summer wardrobe?

I love that Chanel and Prada are channelling art through their new collections – right up my street! I have just bought a dress inspired by John Kingerlee from Belfast-based Art on Fashion. I will also be snapping up a few more of local stylist Sara O’Neill’s silk scarves printed with her beautiful illustrations. I have always intended to purchase a grown up sharp tailored suit which I’m sure I will get round to at some point.



FASHIONWHAT'SINYOURWARDROBE What has been your most extravagant purchase to date?

Quick Fire

My Christian Laboutins. They cost the same as my wedding dress (I figured I would get more wear out of them). I need to justify spending big money on clothes but don’t mind investing in a design classic that will last every now and then (I like Marc Jacobs, Mui Mui, Prada and Lulu Guinness).

Complete the sentence: Every girl should own... Red lipstick.

High Street or Boutique?

High street with a Boutique flick.

What would you wear for a big night out?

It depends on my mood and the occasion. I go to a lot of balls and charity functions so I have lots of evening dresses. Generally if I’m going for dinner or to the pub I wear skinny black jeans with a great pair of heels, a buttoned up shirt or lux t-shirt and a jacket, teamed with a statement clutch. I love jewellery and accessories; a chunky necklace, dress-ring, scarf or belt can change the drabbest of outfits.

If you could have any celebrity’s wardrobe, whose would it be and why?

Alexa Chung. That girl oozes style from every inch of her body.

What fashion items will you keep forever?

Who or what are your style influences and why?

If I was younger and skinnier I would dress like Alexa Chung! I also love Chloë Sevigny’s style. With my short hair, I suit an androgynous look and have lots of brogues, Chelsea boots and high-tops. For a really special occasion, I go for the fifties starlet, always with a red lip. Audrey Hepburn is my ultimate style icon.

Where do you like to shop?

My favourite shop is TK Maxx. I once picked up a Ralph Lauren Mac there for

£45. Locally, I get all my jewellery from Karen in Coppermoon in Belfast or Grainne Maher at Pluck & Devour and I love Yoke as they buy very individually. I love Very. and I’m happy picking up bits from Tesco when I’m doing the food shopping and I love Primark.

What has been your biggest fashion disaster?

I wore a colour block dress to an exhibition whilst I was heavily pregnant and in photos I just looked like a big Satsuma! I also once wore a denim mini skirt with heels to a music festival in Hyde Park about ten years ago. Luckily I was backstage so it was mostly carpeted but an embarrassing experience I would not like to re-live.

What is the best piece of fashion advice you’ve ever been given?

Coco Chanel said “The most courageous thing is to still think for yourself. Aloud.” To me, confidence is style. I think fashion is something that changes constantly but style is something you just can’t buy. Wear whatever makes you feel fabulous on the inside and it will show on the outside.

My black skinny Gucci Belt and Lacroix dress which were my first major purchases when I moved to London nearly 20 years ago. I lived on beans and toast for months to buy them! Also a vintage Liberty dress which I have loved for fifteen years and I can’t bear to part with it. And finally, my fifties wedding dress and shoes which are red and sparkly with big bows on them.

What make-up essential could you not live without? Rimmel black liquid liner. Great nails also make me feel like a new woman.

What is your signature scent?

I have been wearing Agent Provocateur Maitresse for seven years and can’t seem to let go of it although I love Tom Ford’s new scents.

Are you a bag or shoes girl?

Shoes. I can always remember every occasion by the shoes I wore.

What are your essential accessories?

Accessories make my wardrobe and heart tick... Statement necklaces and large cocktail rings mixed with timeless earrings, chunky bracelets, bold printed scarves and beautiful leather gloves for winter. I also like a great clutch for a night out and a sturdy yet fabulous satchel for work.




Pretty in Pink

Every woman feels feminine with a hint of pink! Here's a few of our favourites... Benefit Lillitint Lip and Cheek Stain, £24, House of Fraser

Clarins Limited Edition Eye Quartet Mineral Palette, £31

Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture Rose Sacbiosa, £18 Bobbi Brown Nail Polishes, £11 each

Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupte Terriblement Fuchsia, £21




Crabtree and Evelyn Hand Therapy Rosewater, £14

Revlon Colour Laquer Balms, £7.99 each, Superdrug

Mac Marvellous Moxie Lip Liner in Jazzed, £13, Debenhams

M&S Alice & Eliza Cosmetic Bag, £7.50

Clinique Cheek Pop Icon Berry, £16.50

DKNY Fresh Blossom Skin, Roof Top Peony EDT, £37




The Hunger Games Food forms a huge part of everyone’s lives, whether you’re a food lover or a fussy eater. But what happens when your relationship with food becomes distorted and obsessive? otherwise specified) in which a sufferer may have some but not all of the symptoms. For example, an anorexia sufferer may have undergone significant weight loss even though their BMI is still considered ‘normal’ or she is still getting her periods. The difficulty in these cases is that many sufferers don’t get the help they need because they don’t meet all of the criteria or symptoms doctors look for.

Why do people suffer from eating disorders?


n a society obsessed with youthful looks and the ‘perfect’ body, eating disorders are on the rise. Half of those diagnosed will never make a full recovery, and it causes more deaths in the UK than alcohol, drug addiction and depression combined. The general assumption is that teenage girls are most badly affected and in one sense this is true. The majority of female sufferers do fall into the teenage/early adult bracket. Anorexia is most likely to develop when sufferers are in their mid-teens and bulimia when they are, on average, eighteen or nineteen years old. However, focusing on this group alone is ignoring many others who suffer. Binge eating is most likely to develop when the sufferer is in their thirties or forties. There are increasing numbers of adults in their thirties, forties and older being diagnosed with eating disorders. More worryingly still, increasing numbers of children are being diagnosed in the UK. 6500 children



and teens were treated in 2010/2011 in comparison to 1718 in 2007/2008. Of these, seventy nine were under the age of ten and fifty six under the age of five. Jacqui King from the Eating Disorder Association of Northern Ireland (EDANI) has seen increasing numbers of children aged twelve and under coming to them in recent years. Eating disorders aren’t always immediately noticeable. The ‘obvious’ sign, namely a painfully emaciated frame, is only found in anorexia. Bulimia is five times more common and 90% of sufferers are women. It is harder to detect because a sufferer’s weight will fluctuate or remain about average. People also forget that having an eating disorder doesn’t just involve limiting your food intake. Binge eating is more common than anorexia or bulimia and brings a different set of health problems like obesity. There are also those with EDNOS (Eating Disorder not

As Jacqui from EDANI explains, eating disorders are a deep-rooted mental illness which manifests itself through physical effect. Emotional and psychological factors are the biggest reasons why eating disorders develop, often beginning as a coping mechanism. Triggers include low self esteem, personal trauma, the death of a loved one or being bullied for their body shape or weight. It can even develop as a way of coping with stress at work, school or university. Other societal factors, such as feeling pressure to be slim for a job, can lead to unhealthy attitudes to food. Sufferers are often perfectionists and high achievers using the illness as a way of coping with difficulties in life, as Jacqui explains. The illness is exacerbated, and perhaps even caused by, the distorted perception of female beauty by the media. Unobtainable, often airbrushed, images of skinny models and celebrities are everywhere which has a negative effect on a young person’s perception of themselves if they can’t achieve the ‘look’. The pressure can even become too much for celebrities as singer Kesha’s recent rehab visit to treat an eating disorder shows. Doctors have debated whether genetics play a part. You are more likely to have an eating disorder if there is a history of eating disorders, depression or substance misuse in the family. Local woman Naomi Steed has battled bulimia and anorexia for years and she isn’t the only family member to have suffered. Her sister has eating problems and their great-grandfather suffered from bulimia from his forties until his death.

What can you do?

It is a very heart-wrenching and difficult


position to be in when you suspect someone you love may be suffering from an eating disorder. What can you do? It’s important to go about discussing the issue in the right way. Sufferers aren’t going to open up if they feel ambushed, threatened or criticised. If handled badly, they may go to further lengths to hide their illness. Choose a time when you are all as relaxed as possible (often mealtimes are extremely stressful) and try to approach it in a non-threatening manner. Remember, communication needs to run both ways so don’t lecture them and let them respond to your concerns. It can be helpful to rehearse what you want to say beforehand and stay calm if they get angry or defensive. Jacqui

also recommends asking them to look through information on the subject. It may take several attempts before you get any acknowledgement, response or thanks. If one approach doesn’t work, try something else like writing a letter letting them know how much you care about them. Ultimately the sufferer has to want to get better if any progress is to be made. If you’ve tried your best the only thing you can do is remind them you are there for them. You never know what it will be that may trigger them to get help and, in many cases, words are remembered and stored by sufferers who may find comfort and help from it at a later stage, even if the attempts were rebuffed at the time. If this time comes, a sufferer will need a lot of support and help from everyone around them. Talking to an eating disorder charity can really help, whether you are an eating disorder sufferer or you are caring for someone who is, as they will offer support and crucially will understand what you are going through. Eating disorder sufferer Naomi believes that quicker intervention is crucial. Many sufferers only get referrals to mental health centres if they are in an extremely critical condition. A low BMI is one indicator and Jacqui has seen many sufferers saying they need to lose more weight before they can get the necessary referral. This sends a dangerous message to those who already have a distorted body image that they need to be thinner to ‘deserve’ help. Extremely low weight requirements also rules out help for bulimia or binge eating sufferers.

The Male Factor

Think it’s only women who suffer from eating disorders? Think again. Men make up about 10% of all diagnosed cases and, to be frank, there are likely to be many more that haven’t been diagnosed. It can manifest itself through a variety of symptoms but over-exercising is common which can put stress on joints and lead to heart and lung strain.

There needs to be greater access to the right facilities for sufferers in Northern Ireland. Eating Disorder Association of Northern Ireland (EDANI) –; 02890 235959 Beat (beat eating disorders) –; Adult helpline – 0845 6341414; Youth helpline – 0845 634 7650

Naomi Steed, 25, opens up about her battle with eating disorders Naomi developed bulimia when she was just twelve years old. Enrolled in a ballet school in London, many older girls were doing it which left an impression. “It seemed to make sense for us (younger pupils) to do it. I don’t think I really understood what I was doing and gradually you almost get a rush from it.” When she was fourteen she realised her eating disorder had become a way of coping with pressures to remain thin at ballet school. She developed anorexia and began self-harming to cope with feelings of guilt about her eating habits. Her behaviour became out of control and she was eventually suspended. Back in Northern Ireland, her behaviour deteriorated. Alongside battling bulimia and anorexia, she self-harmed and abused alcohol and pills. To date, she has been hospitalised four times. As she lived away from home it was only after her second hospital admittance that her parents discovered what was going on. “I felt ashamed and I didn’t want to let them down. At the time I felt that they, particularly my mum, has placed so much hope in me and when I left the dance world, I already felt I’d let her down.” Her behaviour worsened once everyone knew. “Once the secret was out, I think I’d had enough and parts of me just wanted to die and not do it anymore. Another part wanted to destroy myself more to justify what was going on. You think people would be better off without you and that you’re a burden

because you’ve caused more problems. ” It was her former boss who first called the EDANI about her concerns and although Naomi was reluctant to go initially, she is glad she did. “It became a real haven. I knew I could go and somebody would listen and I wouldn’t be the only person they knew going through it. There’s never any judgement which is the best thing.” It is hard for non-sufferers to understand what goes through a sufferer’s head but Naomi gives us some insight. “A million people could have lined up and told me I had a problem but I would have ignored them all. It wouldn’t have mattered what relationship they had with me, I didn’t see what they saw and I didn’t believe I had a major problem.” The illness “consumes everything. Every thought is about food and what you’re eating or not eating.” There is hope however. Three months after doctors told Naomi her chances of having children were slim, she discovered she was pregnant and her baby is due this year. It has given her a push to try and get better. “I now have a more normalised eating pattern although it doesn’t always sit well with me.” Although she has concerns about relapsing after she has given birth, she hopes that after nine months of regular eating, she can continue on the right track for herself and her child.






Women often pride themselves on their luscious locks, but what happens if you are suffering from thinning hair or hair loss? Caroline Perry finds out more about the impact it can have.


head of hair can be a source of pride for many women. From long locks to blunt bobs, our hair reflects our style. It isn’t just about making you look good though; it’s about the way it makes you feel. Like a great outfit, the right haircut can bring real confidence and goes beyond mere vanity. Before anyone dismisses caring about your hair as silly or vain, remember that hair has been tied up (excuse the pun) with human identity for centuries. The flowing locks of Greek women reflected their vitality and health, elaborate up-styles of Marie Antoinette and her courtiers at Versailles showed off their wealth and privileged position whilst shorter bobs that became fashionable during and after WWI reflected women’s rejection of traditional styles. As hair is so identifiable, it can be traumatic for anyone experiencing hair thinning or hair loss. Male pattern baldness is widespread yet many men still find it a very difficult adjustment. It is even worse for women where hair loss is seen to be a much bigger problem and far less aesthetically accepted by society. It can have a serious psychological and emotional impact. Many women no longer feel



feminine and worry their partners will no longer be attracted to them. Some going through chemotherapy admit that losing their hair is one of the most traumatic parts of the process. The truth is that it is far more common than you’d think. Around 40% of people experiencing thinning hair or hair loss are women and around eight million women in the UK suffer from hair loss. It doesn’t look the same as male pattern baldness though. Men tend to suffer from a receding hairline and bald spot whereas in women there is normally visible thinning all over the crown. Initial signs include a widening centre parting and a shorter ponytail. Frighteningly, these are only evident when almost half of your hair is already lost!

Why does hair loss occur?

In 90% of cases, hair loss is caused by genetic factors. Certain forms of alopecia, particularly androgenetic alopecia, run in families from both parent’s sides. Nigel Black from Battisti Hairdressing points out that genetic issues affect 10% of all women between the ages of eighteen and forty, 25% by the age of fifty and 60% by the seventy years of age! However, there are a multitude of reasons

why hair thinning or loss happens. It can be an indicator of issues like hormonal imbalances, vitamin deficiencies, poor nutrition or stress. In these situations your body will concentrate on more important functions than giving you a full head of hair. Don’t fear because, in the majority of cases, hair will return to normal once the issue has been resolved.

Nutrient imbalance

Deficiencies in vitamin D, iron or protein can impact hair growth and inhibit hair follicle growth cycles. Studies suggest a correlation between hair loss and vitamin D deficiency. Iron and protein have important functions. Iron helps to make red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. Insufficient oxygen slows hair growth (and other processes) down. Iron deficiency occurs particularly in pre-menopausal women as it is lost through heavy periods. As for protein, your hair is made up of it so it will suffer if you don’t get enough. Your body will use any available protein for more important functions and your hair will be pushed into the resting phase. In all three, the easiest way to rectify the situation is to adjust your diet to eat foods rich in each of these nutrients, or take

HEALTHHAIRLOSS supplements. In the cases of vitamin D and iron, only make up levels you are lacking because too much of it in the body can be detrimental. If deficiencies in these nutrients are the problem, it is likely that hair loss won’t be the only symptom.

Hormonal imbalance

Hormonal imbalance is a big cause of hair loss in women. DHT, a derivative of testosterone, attacks hair follicles and kills them. Testosterone is converted into DHT in men and women, although the latter have minute levels in their system. If women get hyperandrogenism their body will produce too many male hormones leading to symptoms including hair loss on the head and hair on the face or body. If women’s hair loss follows the same pattern as male baldness this is a clear indication that hormonal imbalance is the problem. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome have higher levels of testosterone meaning conversion to DHT will happen more frequently leading to hair loss. Other symptoms include acne, weight gain and ovulation problems. Thyroid problems (underactive and overactive) can also lead to hair loss. The thyroid is responsible for your metabolism and every body part is dependent on it functioning properly. Even pregnancy affects your hair. High levels of hormones mean that resting hairs don’t fall out leaving mothers-to-be with a head of glossy hair during pregnancy. Sadly this doesn’t last forever. After labour, levels return to normal and resting hairs fall out quickly leading to a surprising amount of hair loss. This will happen anywhere between one and five months after delivery and affects between forty and fifty percent of women.

What can you do?

Act fast! Once you realise there is a problem, go and visit your GP straightaway. There’s always a chance of saving damaged hair follicles but if they are beyond repair, this won’t be possible. Medication can stimulate hair growth. Minoxidil (or Rogaine)

is particularly common. It can be taken orally or applied directly to the scalp in 2% or 5% concentrations although the latter is for men only. There are a range of products out there which will thicken hair strands and add volume. Nigel Black from Battisti Hairdressing reminds us that a build up of collagen around the root bulb (under the scalp) and sebum on the scalp can lead to thin hair because collagen strangles the bulb preventing hairs growing strong and healthy. Although the number of hairs on the head will be the same, they will be thinner. He recommends Aveda’s groundbreaking Invati system which has been clinically proven to reduce hair loss due to breakage by feeding the root bulb and cleaning the scalp. The three step programme includes an exfoliating shampoo, thickening conditioner and an energising scalp revitaliser. Paul Stafford from Stafford Hair recommends Bumble & bumble’s thickening range which is specifically designed to thicken each individual hair strand. Use the thickening night lotion for about a month to six weeks. As Stafford says, the more you use it, the stronger your hair becomes. Follow up with the thickening shampoo and conditioner. Many women with thin hair choose strong products that will hold the hair in place whereas Nigel recommends using lighter products after shampooing and conditioning. Wigs and hairpieces are a great way

to give women back their confidence. Therese Hughes, proprietor of Tresses Hair Boutique, offers a valuable service fitting wigs and hairpieces. In order to make sure people get something that suits, she takes into account hair density, eyebrow colour, complexion and shape of the face along with a hairstyle the client will like. “Sometimes you can spend two or three hours with a client choosing a wig, dying it and styling it but it is worth it when you see that they feel happy with the way they look.” Prices for wigs range from £90 into the thousands, although the NHS provides financial support in certain circumstances. Synthetic and human hair wigs are available, the latter of which can have heat applied to it bringing more versatility in terms of styling. Although it can seem daunting, Therese stresses that there is a wig or hairpiece to suit everyone.

The fact sheet


e all lose between fifty to one hundred strands of hair every day, but when has it gone beyond the norm? • Telogen effluvium involves general shedding and thinning of the hair. It usually occurs a few months after a trauma to the system such as extreme stress, fever, childbirth, sudden weight loss, an operation or a reaction to medication and is normally temporary. • Alopecia areata mostly affects teenagers and young adults. Hair loss is patchy (often in circular patches or hair breaks off in short stubs) and it is an autoimmune disease where the body mistakenly attacks hair follicles. They are not permanently damaged, and in many cases hair grows back within a few months. • Androgenetic alopecia is a genetic condition that affects men and women (known as male/female pattern baldness). Hair gradually thins, often from the top of the head. In women, it usually gets more noticeable after the menopause when oestrogen levels drop. • Alopecia totalis is the complete loss of hair on the head. Re-growth is unlikely. • Alopecia universalis is the total loss of head and body hair. 




Rejuvenate yourself this Valentines - a whole new you


alentines is a time to indulge on making your inner beauty shine throughout. Show the loved one in your life that you still have that special sparkle that connected you in the first instance. Its everyone women’s desire to look into the mirror and feel good about what they see. Believe me ladies you aren’t alone in thinking like this. Its hard to find a solution to this problem but I can advise you on somewhere that can help you to look and feel your best. Hebe Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Clinic can help create a whole new you! “Our award-winning clinic offers lots of treatments, from non surgical face lifts to relaxing massages and lots of skincare products to revitalise and brighten your skins complexion. Our team prides itself in the care we offer all our clients and how we cater to their individual needs. Not only are the treatments we provide an important part of what we offer, but we also feel our clinic itself is something else which makes our clients happy. The clinic is a place where our clients can escape their busy everyday lives and enjoy a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere in a private location. Having recently started beauty treatments the clinic is currently undergoing a refurbishment to facilitate more rooms in order for us to offer the best service possible. With cream elegant walls and stylish purple accessories throughout the clinic is sure to make our clients feel comfortable and right at home. Our friendly team are highly motivated and managed by the innovative Dr Gabriela Mercik who ensures we always provide the best service possible.” The clinic is easy accessible to clients coming from a number of directions and has on-site car parking available. “All consultations are free, with no obligation. We offer a wide range of aesthetic non surgical treatments and beauty treatments.”

Aesthetic Treatments

Anti-Aging Anti-wrinkle injections using Botulinum Toxin (Botox).



Dermal Fillers – Hyaluronic acid fillers • Radiesse volumising fillers (cheeks). • Lips volumising fillers. Skin Rejuvenation: Biomimetic Mesotherapy • NEFRETETE – Package of 6. • Biomimetic mesotherapy – package of 6 with skin peels and anti-aging face masks. • Strechmarks from. • Skin brightening – Package of 6. • Dermaroller. • With hyaluronic acid. • With serum for dilated capilars (“red face”). Fat Reduction Injection Double Chin / Arms / Above the knees / Above the elbows / Cellulite. Lipo Laser Treatment – No needles no pain • Lipoca-&-RF: Lipo-laser, Cavitation, Endomassage, Radiofrequency. • Legs. • Above the knees. • Arms. • Bananas folds. • Lovehandles. • Double Neck. • Lipo Laser with Injection & Slimming Cream. PDO Threads Lift Jaw line from / Crows feet / Cheeks from / Forehead from / Smokers lines / Bunny lines / Neck / Décolletage / Above elbows / Hands. Hair Loss/Hair Regrowth • Biomimetic mesotherapy injection. • Micro pictures, shampoos conditioners for time of treatments. • Scalp skin peel. • Conditioner / Shampoo. • Hair spray anti-hair loss.

Book your appointment today and let us help create that new you! Contact: Omagh Enterprise, Great Northern Road, Omagh BT78 5LU Tel: 028 8224 9494; extension 261. 079 5514 7413 E-mail: FREE consultation by appointment only. Hebe Aesthetic and Anti-Aging Clinic were recently nominated for and won the prestigious My Face My Body Awards, London, 2013 for Best Anti-Aging treatment.


New beauty products in Lidl Ireland


ttention all beauty lovers! Make sure to head to your local Lidl store to get your hands on their new range of Osiris Avisé beauty products. With great items to choose from, you’ll be sure to find something you love. The Osiris Avisé CC cream is a multi-tasting make-up that covers like a foundation, blending seamlessly into the skin and giving flawless coverage that lasts all day long. It has an SPF 15 and is available in two shades. The Osiris Avisé BB Cream has an 8-in-1 formula that works to even skin tone, blur imperfections and hide redness. Wear it alone or underneath foundation to provide sheer coverage that minimises flaws and maximises the skin’s natural radiance. Also available in

• All Aspects of Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery • Only Accredited Surgeons Registered with the General Medical Council and who are on the Plastic Surgery Specialist Register • Registered Operating Theatres • All General Anaesthetics Administered by Fully Accredited Consultant Anaesthetics on Specialist Register

two shades, with SPF 15. To fight the signs of ageing, try the Osiris Avisé Vitamin E day cream and Osiris Avisé Anti-wrinkle Night Cream, which have been specially formulated to keep skin hydrated and fight the first signs of ageing, like dullness and fine, dry lines. Use these as part of a daily beauty regime to keep skin looking healthy, smooth and refreshed! Great products at even better prices, all products will be available in Lidl stores nationwide while stocks last.


We also cater for other specialities such as: • orthopaedics • general surgery • gynaecology • urology • neurology • cardiology • ophthalmology • ENT • Pain Management

• Physiotherapy • Paediatric surgery • Gastroenterology • Rheumatology • Podiatry

North West Independent Hospital Church Hill House, Ballykelly BT49 9HS Tel: 028 777 63090 • Fax: 028 777 68306 NW



Say No To Sugar Each week on average we consume 238 teaspoonfuls of a potentially toxic substance linked to long-term health problems – often without knowing it. Are you addicted to sugar?





ike it or lump it, few of us get through the day without adding sugar to our daily diet. We are drawn to the taste of sweetness like bees to honey and food companies know it, with the majority of our food today being full of sugar to make it taste better and therefore encourage us to want more. So if you feel like you are craving a chocolatey treat, that craving is more than just a figure of speech. You may be one of the world’s most common dependents: a sugar addict. French scientists in Bordeaux reported that in animal trials, rats chose sugar over cocaine (even when they were addicted to cocaine), and speculated that no mammals’ sweet receptors are naturally adapted to the high concentrations of sweet tastes on offer in modern times. Sugar has recently been branded the new tobacco, and according to a recent documentary, just as tobacco has seen more stringent health warnings and restrictions over the years, so too will sugar in the future. Ironically, even if you think you are making healthy choices you are still often eating large amounts of this additive sweetener. For example, your cereal bar, low-fat yogurt and smoothie can have as much sugar as a chocolate bar and a fizzy drink. They may seem healthier, but the very substance that is leading to many health problems is still present. Part of the problem is that sugar isn’t easy to recognise on food labels. As well as looking out for sugar in your ingredients you also need to be aware of agave, brown rice syrup, brown sugar, cane sugar, caramel, corn sweetener, corn syrup, fructose, malt syrup, rice syrup, turbinado, molasses, high fructose corn sweetener, and the list goes on and on. No matter what kind, sugar is sugar, so you want to be aware of how much and how often the foods you are eating have any of the above. Excessive amounts of sugar in your diet can contribute to a variety of health problems from premature ageing, tooth decay to diabetes, there is even some emerging evidence that excess sugar can be damaging to our brains. When sugar enters the body, it causes insulin to be alerted. When insulin is present, the body goes into fat storage mode. Once extra fat gets stored, triglycerides increase, making you more prone to heart disease-related issues. Sugar is also inflammatory, and inflammation in the body is associated with an elevated risk of heart disease, cancer, and more. When we spike our blood sugar over and over, our body eventually becomes less effective at lowering it. This can lead

to a problem called insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. Insulin resistance makes our body slower to process sugar, and prevents the cells from using the glucose, which means that sugar hangs around longer in the blood stream. So, the cells are not getting the energy they need, the sugar gets stored as fat, and heart attack risk goes up. There’s also a link to decreasing your ability to fight off disease. Excess insulin also inhibits the release of human growth hormone, so eating sugar depresses the immune system, making us less equipped to fight off infections and viruses. Sugar is also a cancer cell’s favorite food. Recent research shows that high insulin levels increase the proliferation of cancer cells, while malignant cells die when starved of glucose. As for artificial sweetners, while they may cut the calorie count significantly, they don't solve your sugar addiction. Artificial sweeteners still trigger your body to think that sugar is being consumed, starting the cycle that will lead to weight gain, obesity, diabetes and more. Even worse, artificial sweeteners are so overly sweet that they confuse your palate, causing you to no longer be able to identify what a healthy dose of regular sweetness tastes like. Some natural alternative sweeteners such as Stevia are recommended by many but further research into its effect on the body over time still needs to be done.

Some experts say almost completely cutting all sugars out of your diet is the way to go. Whether it's from organic sources like natural honey, or the simple granulated table variety, sugar can have a negative effect on your health. The body reacts to sugar the same way regardless of the kind, so in truth, there really isn't a better option of sugar to prevent health problems - other than simply reducing the amount of sugar you consume. When it comes to the natural sugars in fruit, opt for lower sugar fruits over higher ones like pineapple and banana. Your better bets are apples, berries, and citrus fruits. Often we get stuck on the sugar roller coaster because we are not eating enough fat, fibre, or protein to keep our blood sugar more level. Make sure to include one of the above at each meal or snack to help get rid of cravings. Chia seeds added to a morning smoothie are perfect and contain all of the above. Chia seeds help to keep people hydrated, but also slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, keeping blood sugar more stable. In conclusion, sugar isn’t doing anyone any favours. So, if cutting it out completely as advocated by Australian personality Sarah Wilson in her book ‘I Quit Sugar’ (£8, Asda) isn’t for you, then look to eat processed sugar (like sweets and ice cream) in moderation and reach for a healthy amount of fruits throughout the day that aren’t all super-sweet.

Are you Sugar Dependent?

You may be one of the world’s most common dependants: a sugar addict. If you answer 'yes’ to one of the questions below, you are addicted! 1. Do you struggle to walk past a sugary treat without taking 'just one’? 2. Do you have routines around sugar consumption – for example, always having pudding, or needing a piece of chocolate to relax in front of the television? 3. Are there times when you feel as if you cannot go on without a sugar hit? 4. If you are forced to go without sugar for 24 hours, do you develop headaches and mood swings?




Our panel of experts this month are:



Sara O’Neill Stylist

Mara Yamauchi Two-time Olympian, Asics Ambassador, coach and speaker

Ask the Experts... Q: I have read that trousers are getting looser for S/S14. I like would like to buy a pair but as I’m big on the hips and bottom I’m not sure they would be flattering. Can you please advice? Sara says... Wide leg trousers are indeed a key trend for S/ S14, seen on the catwalks at Stella McCartney, Paul Smith and Narciso Rodriguez. It’s a great look, a grown-up elegant androgyny, synonymous with 70’s icons like Bianca Jagger, or harking right back to the 30s with the superstylish Katharine Hepburn. It’s incredibly versatile being office-appropriate, but can be dressed up, disco-style. This style of trouser is actually very flattering, especially for those with a pear-shaped figure, like yourself. Opt for a high-waisted, tailored style in a dark colour, which will emphasise your waist and create the illusion of an hourglass figure. The width of the trouser right the way down to the ankle will balance wider hips and if you team the trouser with the highest heel or wedge that you can, your legs will look amazingly long (make sure that the hem of the trouser goes over the shoe). Right now I would pair the trousers with a fitted tuxedo jacket, a la Rachel Zoe, and as we move towards the warmer weather tuck in a relaxed vest or tee. For really clever balancing opt for something with a bit of shoulder detail and a low neckline. Asos have a great range of wide-legged trousers at the moment.



Q: I run each day for about 45 minutes and would like to tackle the marathon but lack motivation. Do you have any tips? Mara says... Running a full marathon is a tough challenge to take on, so you could try a few shorter races first, such as 10km and half-marathon. Although the marathon has a unique appeal, there are many positive reasons to start with some shorter races eg you can complete them with less training than the marathon requires; finishing a race will give you confidence to tackle longer races; and there is plenty of choice of races all-year round. You could try a few shorter races and then aim for a marathon in say a year from now. Motivation is a crucial ingredient for running, so if you feel you are lacking motivation, try and figure out what types of running you enjoy, and then include them more in your training. For example, running with friends, varying the time/distance/speed you are running each day, or running in beautiful natural environments, can all lift your motivation.


Health & Nutrition



Rachel Wright Registered Dietitian

Paul Stafford Paul Stafford Hairdressing Belfast

Angela Mullan Make-up Training Manager Clarins NI

Q: I’ve been colouring my own hair for many years and I’m now faced with a major dilemma, my 12-year-old daughter now wants me to colour her hair. She’d like “dip-dye”. I have no idea what this is and it sounds expensive, I’m a single mother and can’t afford expensive salon prices. Can this look be achieved at home? If not how much is it likely to cost in a salon? Paul says... First of all, I would strongly discourage from attempting any type of colour process on your daughter, as colour correction (and the likelihood is there will be some needed) is time consuming and more expensive than the process itself. Secondly “dip-dyeing” (or Balayage as it’s professionally known) is an extremely technical and complicated process. This technique can be a beautiful look but be warned, at its most extreme, harsh and quite ugly depending on tone and application. Anyway my advice is consult a specialist and ask every question; how much, how subtle and how often? The upkeep of this look will depend on how extreme she wants it to be, remembering schools are very strict about hair colour. The next question the cost? It varies but I would suggest two things, go to the best you can afford and either get student discount (if they don’t offer ask anyway) or ask if there are model nights. This is an extremely cheap and safe way of getting teenagers’ hair cut and coloured in an environment they’ll enjoy overseen by experts and industry educators. You might even convert to salon colouring yourself!

Q: Everyone knows how important breakfast is, but in the mornings I just can’t face food, what can you suggest? Rachel says... You are not alone, but do not fear you can and will eat in the mornings! The key is to take tiny steps. Try first of all a small snack mid morning, such as a slice of toast, even half a slice to get started and stick with this for several days and start to build on it. I would suggest adding a banana in, or trying a small bowl of cereal. Ideally you want to move the time you are eating earlier and earlier to fit in with breakfast time. However it’s not just about having breakfast but having a healthy one that’s important, so aim for a high fibre breakfast, such as porridge, muesli or Weetabix and also try to include a portion of fruit. You can do it!

Q: My skin isn’t at its best at the moment. My forehead and around the sides of my nose are very dry but my chin is very greasy therefore I find it difficult to apply my makeup. Can you give me any advice as to how I can rectify this? Angela says... Most women experience varied changes in their skin during winter months. Harsh elements outdoors with the drying effects of central heating indoors. Combine that with the lack of sunlight and your skin can feel very uncomfortable and lack radiance. This will most definitely affect the performance of your make-up. When your skin changes, It’s generally not a bad idea to reassess what skincare you are using to ensure you are getting the very best results. Sometimes it can be as easy as introducing an exfoliator to brighten, smooth and renew the skin. Changing to a slightly richer textured day or night cream to see you through the winter months can also make a huge difference. Serums are also a great way to boost your skin. Their concentrated formula gives immediate results and works effectively to treat specific concerns, excess oil, lines, dehydration etc. Clarins Double Serum is the UK’s number one anti-aging serum, and the only 2-in-1 serum to boost all of the skin’s vital functions. It’s a great way to improve all skin concerns throughout the year, or use as a daily treatment when required. As many make-up concerns can be directly linked to skincare concerns, once your skin improves you should see an improvement in your make-up.

If you have any questions you would like to have answered by our experts please e-mail your questions to NW



(light) Bites Go out for those lunch dates without feeling guilty with the launch of The Potted Hen’s new lunch menu

Poached Chicken & Quinoa Super Salad What you need – makes 4 For the salad 500g Quinoa 4 x skinless chicken breast (180g each) 4 x Globe artichokes (cut into 1/8’s) 20 x Cherry tomatoes (cut into ¼’s) 100g watercress ½ Broccoli (shaved raw) 3 tablespoons of parsley Chervil, Dill, Basil (all chopped) 100g spinach 100g black olives (chopped) 1 x lemon (peel only) 1 x bay leaf Dressing 250g Clandeboye yoghurt 2 x lime (juice & zest) 1 x red chilli (dice & deseeded) 4 tablespoons honey

Method: • First make the dressing Put all dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl mix, mix well and pop in the fridge until needed. • Prepare the vegetables (For later). Mix the artichokes, tomatoes, olives, spinach, broccoli, watercress and herbs in a salad bowl and set aside, cook the quinoa according to instructions on the pack and cool to room temperature. • Poach the chicken Put the chicken breast in a pan with just enough water to cover, add the lemon peel and bay leaf. Poach the chicken on a medium heat. (usually takes 10-12 minutes.) • To finish Dress the quinoa and vegetables with the citrus yoghurt dressing (you will not need it all) mix well and divide between 4 bowls • Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and slice length wise Place on top of the quinoa salad and top with a little more dressing ENJOY!

Restaurant news



Out to lunch with new Potted Hen menu

The Potted Hen Bistro in St Anne’s Square has started off the year in style with the launch of its delicious new menu of Lunch Bites and Superfood Salads. Owner Dermot Regan, who devised the menu with head chef, James Neilly, said the concept was to provide a range of freshly prepared dishes that won’t break the bank. He said: “The days of the two hour business lunches are over. Most people want quick, healthy lunches prepared with the best of ingredients and our new express lunch menu fits the bill.” Customers can choose any number of dishes from a wide range of lunch bites including the oxtail linguini with tomato ragu, potted pork rillettes or delicious saffron marinated fillet of cod with homemade tagliatelle nero. The superfood salads are a great healthy option for those on a health kick and are bursting with anti-oxidants and vitamins. Those who love the Potted Hen’s traditional lunch menu will not be left out as they have retained some lunch time staples such as fish and chips For more information about the new menu, visit the menu section in the Potted Hen website at To book a table phone 02890 234554.

LIFESTYLEFOOD Method: • Make the pasta Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend to make a smooth dough, shape into a square and rest in the fridge. • Make the pasta sauce Put the egg yolks, cream, squid ink and salt in a dressing bottle, shake well. Put into the fridge until needed. • Prepare the cod Trim the belly of the cod fillet (this is to ensure you have a square portion that cooks evenly). Cut into x4 portions 180-200g approx. • Make the gremolata oil In a mixing bowl, rub together the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, capers and anchovies. Season with a little lemon juice and leave at room temperature until needed. • Tagliatelle of vegetables Cut the white from the bottom of the leek, approx. 6cm in length, cut in ½ length wise and cut into 4ml strips. Cut the carrot & courgette into 4 strips lengthwise, cut these in ½ again length wise. Now using the Chinese mandolin, slice these vegetables

length wise 1mm and 4 mm wide & set aside until needed • Bringing it all together Grill the cod on a medium heat. Using a pasta machine roll the pasta to tagliatelle and cook for 1 minute in boiling water, add the strips of vegetables, remove from the heat & drain, put back in the hot pot and add the pasta sauce, mix briefly then divide between four bowls, top with the cod and garnish with a little of the vegetables, now dress with the gremolata oil.

Saffron Marinated Cod, Pasta Nero, Tagliatelle of Vegetables and Gremolata Oil

Enjoy! Saffron Cod 1 side cod (skin off 800g approx) 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar ½ tablespoon (good pinch) fresh saffron strands ½ tablespoon rapeseed oil (we use Brioghter gold) Gremolata oil 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley (chopped) 1 lemon zest1/2 tablespoon chopped capers 1 anchovy chopped 1 clove garlic (grated) 4 tablespoons rapeseed oil

Ingredients – makes 4 Pasta Nero 250g “oo” pasta flour 2 eggs 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 teaspoon squid ink ½ teaspoon salt

Marble 500g dark chocolate 250g white chocolate Cherry gel 185g black cherry puree 10g orange juice 2g Agar Agar Liquer for poaching 250ml wine 250ml port 1 Orange peel 250g sugar 1 cinnamon stick 1 vanilla pod 250ml water 200g fresh cherries

Squid Ink Pasta Sauce (liaison) 4 egg yolks 4 tablespoons cream 1 teaspoon squid ink Pinch of salt

Potted Hen Black Forest

What you need – makes 4 Cherry Sorbet 90ml water (and a little left over) 90g sugar Pannacotta 1 tablespoon glucose 750g double cream 500g black cherry puree 2 vanilla pod 4 ½ gelatine leaves 1 x 450g tin condensed milk 1 pint buttermilk

Tagliatelle of Vegetables 1 large carrot 1 leek 1 courgette

Method: • First make the pannacotta Soak gelatine in cold water, bring cream and vanilla to the boil & remove from heat. Remove gelatine from water and add to the cream, also add the condensed milk & mix well. Cool for ten minutes and add the buttermilk, sieve the mix and pour into moulds, set in the fridge for 3 hours. • Cherry sorbet Put all ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer, remove from the heat, cool to room temperature and churn in an ice cream machine until it is light and fluffy. Keep in the freezer until needed • Marble chocolate Melt chocolate separately and

temper, marble together and pour onto the bench. Cut 4cm tall triangles and 2 1/2 cm bottom, store in a cold place • Poached cherries Put all poaching liquer ingredients in a pot and boil until volume is reduced to half, then add cherries and poach for 2 minutes, remove from heat allow to cool in syrup. • Prepare the cherry fluid gel Cook the cherry puree, orange juice and agar agar in a pot for 2 minutes and put on a tray in the fridge, when set blitz into a gel, pass through a sieve and bottle. • To finish As you can see from the photo we paint our plate with some cherry gel and carefully arrange the ingredients so you can see them all at your first glance, but it is totally up to you, use your imagination to impress your guests and most of all. ENJOY!




Mum's the Word

Mother's Day is almost upon us so get some gift inspiration from NW and Necklace and bracelet, POR, spoil her rotten! Ellisons Brothers, Belfast; Cahoons, Cookstown

Just like Sunday candle collection, £39 for 200g, Jo Malone

Girardi ‘Pleasure’ tights, £29, Storey Womenswear

Butterfly iphone 5 case, £12, Paperchase

Jane Iredale starter kit, £39.95, Beauty Secrets Hillsborough

Tranquil Touch Indulgent Bath Elixir, £21, Elemis

Emma Bridgewater mug, £19.95, CFC Interiors

Medium Butlers Ballotin, £9, Butlers Chocolates

Personalised Small Wooden Planter, £22.95,

Lise Charmel bra and pant, £95; £65, The Lingerie Room Dungannon; Orchid Lingerie, Belfast

Bog Standard Candles, £9.99, Menarys Slumber Slumber’s The Gift of Sleep, £34.99, London Rain Collection, £82 100ml, Jo Malone




Dreaming of

Holywood A

stunning home in beautiful surroundings, this Holywood house certainly catches the eye. With lots of space including three reception rooms, four bedrooms, two cloakrooms, and a double garage, this is an ideal home for any house hunter. This beautiful home fires the imagination even before you even go inside. Travelling up the sweeping driveway past the timber gate you are immediately taken in by the striking architecture of the house, completed with grey outer walls and a curved ‘arched’ wall at the entrance. It combines the distinct style of the ‘Arts and Crafts’ movement (which architect Charles Voysey embraced)

with the functionality of modern living. Inside the interior of the house certainly doesn’t disappoint, matching the charm of the exterior. Visitors are greeted in the reception hall with a marble castle patterned tiled floor and a cornice ceiling. The house immediately feels bright as light floods in from large windows throughout the house. Neutral creams, whites and greys dominate the décor creating an elegant and timeless look. Even the family bathroom is decorated in white with a free-standing bath. The owners have created a truly beautiful home with a classic design will stand the test of time. With three reception rooms, entertaining

guests certainly isn’t a problem. In the drawing room, the large feature mahogany carved fireplace takes centre stage and is perfect for sitting around on a stormy night. The beautiful leather stool and cream furniture, complete with striped armchairs, are perfect additions and the large floor to ceiling windows brings in light as a contrast to the dark fireplace. The open plan kitchen and living space is the heart of the family home. The stunning contemporary kitchen, complete with white quartz worktops and a stainless steel double oven, is complemented by an oak wooden plank effect tiled floor. The living room, just off the kitchen, has another feature



LIFESTYLEHOUSE fireplace, although this is more modern and set in a raised marble plinth. The sliding double doors with a great view into the garden give access to the patio and back garden. Four bedrooms means this home has bundles of space for the family or guests. The master bedroom has a dressing room with built-in wardrobes and an ensuite shower room. The walls are decorated with beautiful printed paper making a statement. The four poster bed, luxe soft-furnished chairs and floor-to-ceiling window adds to the overall luxurious impression. Another bedroom also has an ensuite bathroom and with all the bedrooms having built-in wardrobes, there’s no excuse not to fill them! The house is surrounded by scenic mature gardens filled with shrubbery, bushes, flowerbeds and quaint pebble paths. The owners can enjoy bright summer days and spring evenings on their Indian sandstone patio or on their raised gazebo in their sunny and private garden. Even better, the Royal Belfast Golf Club is nearby and it is only a pleasant stroll to reach the Lough shore. This Holywood home is currently for sale. Contact Rodgers and Browne for more details on 02890 421414






LIFESTYLEINTERIORS Artisan Bath Melt Box, £10, Maven Lisburn Road

J18 sign, £3.49, CFC Interiors

Feel the


Celebrate the season of love with romantic reds and heart-shaped goodies. It’s guaranteed to melt your heart and (hopefully) your Valentine’s as well.

Ornament, £8, Debenhams

Wooden Love sign, £4, Heatons



Unscented block candle, £4, IKEA Belfast

Heart print, £35, (

Eddington’s Sweetheart Cookie Cutters, £6.99, Moores of Coleraine


Junction 18 Heart Lantern, £21.99, CFC Interiors

Print and frame, £22, Debenhams

Hearts Champagne glasses (set of 2), £15, (

Vintage metal hanging sign, £5.95, (

Le Creuset Stoneware Heart Ramekin Minis, £23 for set of 3, Moores of Coleraine

Roses are red toilet roll, £1 ( Heart cake stand, £22.50, Grisela Graham

Churchill Made with Love Measuring Cups, £17, Moores of Coleraine








ourism Minister Arlene Foster and Dame Mary Peters were among the many guests at the recent launch of Fermanagh Chef Noel McMeel’s book, Irish Pantry, held on the twelfth floor of Belfast’s Europa Hotel.



1. Noel McMeel and Arlene Foster MLA 2. Shane Smith, Gary McDowell and Jilly Dougan 3. Angela Moore, Dame Mary Peters, Diane Toner and Maebeth Martin 4. Gemma and Celine McMeel 5. Shweta Reihill and Adrian McNally

Ramada Plaza, Shaws Bridge - The ideal getaway


he Ramada Plaza, Shaw’s Bridge is ideally placed for a getaway break, being located within the picturesque Lagan Valley Regional Park yet only 10 minutes from Belfast’s cosmopolitan city centre. Whether it’s a romantic break, a girl’s pamper weekend or a family getaway, the Ramada Plaza can fulfill every requirement with its extensive health club and spa, childrens’ facilities and gourmet dining options. The three on-site restaurants mean you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining. The Green Room offers an extensive menu using locally sourced produce and fine wine list, while the Spice Club offers an innovative, healthy and fresh approach to Indian cuisine. Suburbia Bar and Lounge provides a more informal atmosphere, with a superb menu and serves beverages until late for residents. If you are looking for a family break then look no further than the Ramada Plaza Shaw’s Bridge with family bedrooms, extensive child-friendly facilities and lots to do within the hotel and in the surrounding area. All families staying at Ramada Plaza enjoy complimentary access to our LA Fitness Health Club, including swimming pool and bubble pool, and a sauna and steam room for mum and dad. Kids will love our new children’s play room, fully equipped with toys, books and games for children up to eight years. The Ramada Plaza lies within the Lagan Valley Regional Park with miles of beautiful riverside walks, extensive parkland, canoe hire and a children’s play park all on the doorstep of the hotel. During a break in Belfast you’ll be spoilt for choice of attractions



to visit, and Ramada Plaza is pleased to be able to offer exclusive packages and discounts for residents. In particular, the hotel now offers Titanic Packages, which include entrance to the Titanic Belfast attraction. Ramada Plaza Belfast hosts a range of services to provide you with the complete pamper package. From the Champagne Nail Bar and Philip Turner Hairdressing to LA Fitness centre we truly have all you need to make the most of your time here with us at our Belfast Health Club. With so much on offer the Ramada Plaza offers a great experience for every visitor. As an exclusive offer to Northern Women readers, Ramada Plaza Shaw’s Bridge is offering 10% off every rate and package. Simply go on-line or phone the hotel and use promo code NW2014 to receive an exclusive 10% discount. But hurry, you’ll need to book before 1st April 2014 to avail of this offer!

Lets live a little! Ramada Plaza Belfast is the perfect getaway for a spa weekend, a romantic getaway or a family fun-filled break. Nestled within the beautiful Lagan Valley Regional and just 10 minutes from Belfast’s cosmopolitan City Centre, we are ideally located and easy to reach.

Our extensive facilities include

• • • • • • • •

Health club and beauty salon Swimming pool, steam room and sauna Nail Bar and Hairdressing Salon The Green Room restaurant and Spice Club Indian cuisine Suburbia Bar and Lounge Children’s Play room Cycle Hire Adjacent country walks and parks

As an exclusive offer to Northern Woman readers, Ramada Plaza Shaw’s Bridge is offering a 10% discount on every rate! To avail of this exclusive offer quote promo code NW2014 on-line or by telephone. Hurry, this offer must be used by 1st April 2014. Ramada Plaza Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast 028 90923500 117 Milltown Road Belfast BT8 7XP


My Brilliant Career

Anne Matthews Anne Matthews, owner of the Belfast Chiropractic Clinic, has been a practicing chiropractor since 1986. As her career developed, she has focused on working with pregnant women and children, helping many families through difficult times. Did you always know you wanted to work in your chosen field? From a very early age I had a strong sense that I wanted to work in a caring profession but I was not aware of the chiropractic profession until my mid twenties.  

Can you give us a brief description of what your job entails and what a typical day is like?

As the owner and principal chiropractor at the Belfast Chiropractic Clinic, I have two main roles. Firstly, I oversee the management and leadership of the clinical team of chiropractors; massage, craniosacral and occupational therapists; a nutritionist and a hypnotherapist. Secondly, I provide my professional services as a chiropractor who specialises in the treatment and management of children and pregnant women. My working day is very varied in regard to both the patients and the conditions (physical, emotional, neuro-developmental) that I treat and manage.  

Can you talk us through the various stages of your career and how you have ended up where you are today? I thoroughly enjoyed the four years of study for my Physiotherapy Degree at Ulster Polytechnic, Jordanstown and upon graduating in 1982 I gained invaluable hospital experience working as a physiotherapist. However, I was particularly intrigued by the ‘hands-on’ therapeutic skills of a Chiropractor which motivated me to embark on another four year full time course (self funded) in Chiropractic at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic, Bournemouth. I



graduated as a Chiropractor in 1986, having been awarded the top clinical student award in my final year. I returned home as the second chiropractor in the province at that time and set up my practice from scratch from my parent’s home in south Belfast.  I worked long hours and promoted and developed myself rapidly within the first twelve months. Eventually, I purchased our current property in the summer of 1987 and opened the doors of the Belfast Chiropractic Clinic.  As a keen sportswoman, my Chiropractic practice in the early days was biomechanically based as I was particularly interested in treating sports injuries. In 1995 I completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Biomechanics at Strathclyde University. With time, my emphasis changed to a more pro-active and preventative chiropractic management style.  To this end, in the 1990s at the Belfast Chiropractic Clinic we offered 1:1 rehabilitation exercise programmes by our Rehab Trainers at our clinic gym.  As my practice developed I managed many women through their pregnancies and it also became more apparent that my skills lay very much in treating and managing children. 

You were one of the first female chiropractors working in Belfast. How did it feel working in such a male-dominated profession and how has it changed?

While being aware of the gender imbalance I chose not to let it influence me as I had confidence in my diagnostic and clinical skills both as a chiropractor and experienced physiotherapist. Over the past two decades there has been

a significant shift with the chiropractic profession towards a 50:50 gender balance.  

How have you found setting up and developing the Belfast Chiropractic Clinic over the years?

In my first year I benefitted greatly by attending a part-time ‘small business start-up’ course at the Northern Ireland Small Business Institute at the University of Ulster. I learnt to create and write a business plan together with learning skills in book keeping/accounting, marketing and promotion of a business.  The most difficult part in the first year was trying to secure a mortgage once I had identified the Ormeau Road property as a suitable clinic. I applied and was interviewed by over fifteen financial lending institutions but a single female setting up a new business without three years’ business accounts (in a profession the bankers were ignorant of) was obviously not a good bet in their eyes!    Over the years I have been double jobbing, offering chiropractic consultations during the day and attending to administrative, promotional and marketing aspects of the business in the evenings and at weekends which, of course, would be typical of a self employed professional.  

Your patient base is predominantly made up of pregnant women and children. Did this develop over time? In the past I had been inspired by the work of the obstetricians, Michel Odent and Frederick Leboyer, to the extent that I was the first mother in the province to use a birthing pool for active labour for my firstborn in 1992. Further influence in my desire to treat children was from my own


Anne and her staff outside the Belfast Chiropractic Clinic

personal loss of having delivered a stillborn baby boy at twenty seven weeks and the impact that experience had on future pregnancies and deliveries.     The work that I currently do with children was greatly influenced by the Cranio-sacral techniques that I used and adapted to assist my own son who had severe speech and language delay. Over the past fifteen years I have completed hundreds of hours of continuing professional development (CPD) study in order to work with parents and babies/children in resolving physical tension and emotional restriction patterns held in the body as a result of, for example, foetal/newborn issues during pregnancy and delivery. These patterns can leave a baby/child in unresolved shock and can contribute towards developmental delay which in turn can have an impact on all of the family.  

effort offered by my three young teenagers/ adults Jacinta, Michael and Tim Hamley.

What have been the biggest challenges of your career?

Running a business and my chiropractic practice full time as a single mother over the past seven years has been very challenging

How do you balance your work and personal life?

I am a fairly organised person and I tend to do things in the moment rather than leave tasks to pile up. As a self-employed professional I organise my workload and personal time around my children’s needs and commitments. None of this would have been possible without the team support and

but with the support of my children, family, staff and friends I have navigated the stormy waters and I look forward to a period of plain sailing... hopefully in the near future!  

What has been the biggest highlight to date?

My biggest highlight is the fact that after twenty seven years of practicing as a Chiropractor, I am passionate and enthusiastic about my professional work and I am fortunate to have tremendous job satisfaction. Recently we celebrated twenty five years of serving chiropractic and complementary therapies to the wider community at the Belfast Chiropractic Clinic.   Personally, I feel extremely privileged to be part of the lives of so many families who have sought my professional help and allowed me to help them move through vulnerable and difficult times. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch children grow and develop into very capable individuals despite their early challenges.   

What advice would you give to anyone who would like to follow in your footsteps? Anne and BBC NI news presenter Jo Scott open the Belfast Chiropractic Clinic

My advice would be to believe in yourself, challenge yourself and get involved in what you truly enjoy and feel passionate about.




LA Jewellery designer Glynneth B

rocks Belfast A

chance meeting between fashion stylist Cindy McCendry and LA based jewellery designer "Glynneth B" at The MTV awards led to this stunning collection shot in the back streets of Belfast on a typically dark damp day. This couture collection of Jewels is more normally at home on the wrists, fingers and necks of Beyonce, Rihanna and Michelle Obama. It is only available in the UK from Harvey Nicholls but with a little persuasion and a lot of charm Cindy secured the exclusive use of the much sought after jewels . Cindy's vision was to dig deep into the roots of Belfast's Punk Rock past

to highlight the edgier side of the range, enlisting the help of hairstylist Paul Stafford, photographer Catherine McKenzie , makeup artist Tippy Longronio and fashion designers Shauna Fay and Emma Gilles of Crafty Couture. Taking inspiration from punk icons Debbie Harry, Patti Smith, Joey Ramone and Iggy Pop, the shoot centred around models Rebekah and Caroline taking on new personas to re-enact fictional punk heroines in a dark moody city-scape setting. Using the everyday surroundings gave the shoot a sense of reality and grittiness whilst still retaining a feeling of urban fashion cool.

Styling and Concept: Cindy McCendry Photography: Catherine McKenzie Make Up: Tippy Longronio Hair: Paul Stafford @ Stafford Hair Hair Assistants: Amy Cartright, Lena McNally and Jimmy Beech Models: Rebekah and Caroline Fashion: Shauna Fay and Emma Gilles Shot in Crafty Design Dublin Rd, Belfast






Clarins Double Serum Roadshows


larins would like to offer women across the province the opportunity to experience Clarins Skintime, plus unlock the secrets of antiaging with the UK’s No1 serum: Clarins Double Serum. Clients are invited to book a one-to-one Skintime appointment at the roadshow where they will receive a bespoke routine and personalised advice on how to get the best from their skincare. Clarins experts will introduce them to the UK’s Number 1 Serum - Clarins Double Serum using their specific expertise during a 30 minute Skintime rendezvous.

Venues & Dates

Debenhams Castle Court Belfast – 13th, 14th & 15th February Debenhams the Quays Newry – 20th, 21st & 22nd February Debenhams Foyleside Centre – 27th, 28th & 1st February Debenhams Fairhill Centre Ballymena – 6th, 7th & 8th March An exclusive Gift with Purchase will be available throughout the duration of the roadshow.

Magherafelt leading the way with new technologies


agherafelt District Council has set the way for other towns in Northern Ireland in terms of embracing new technologies. Recently the Never Better app was launched in Magherafelt, this app is an “Augmented Reality”, which means that the app will feed information given the users location. Presently the app has three layers. Firstly, it provides a platform for local businesses to promote special offers and latest news. The app also has a library of old photos of Magherafelt ranging from 1905 – 1993. These can be accessed by standing at certain locations in Magherafelt town and holding up your smart devices. Lastly, the app also provides a platform for organisations to provide information, such as the PSNI and the Council. Recently, the Never Better app was featured on UTV live where was held up by the in-studio experts as one way in which small towns should be driving commercial footfall back into town centres. The app was the brainchild of the development department at Magherafelt. Mrs Anne Marie Campbell, Director of Development & Policy for Magherafelt said “We wanted to develop a non-static app with depth that is innovative and progressive. We are



The Magherafelt App Development team. L-R: Davina McCartney Economic Development Michael Browne Head of Development Services & Regeneration Manager Jason Curran ICT Support, reviewing the latest release of the Never Better app which will be released on 3rd February for iOS and Android.

very proud of this project and feel we are leading the way with new technologies that will give Magherafelt businesses a new competitive edge”. The Council are looking to the future with this project and have worked very closely with one of the top app developers in Ireland, Belfast based i3. The app uses technology that utilises geo targeted advertising by accessing Google and Apple map technology. The Council feels that this will be used more and more in the next

few years, with the introduction of Google Glasses and Head up Display (HUD) in cars. The app has been embraced by many local businesses, and to date 93 businesses in Magherafelt are using the app with 823 users have downloaded the app since it went live at the end of 2013. Mr Sean Burns of Burns and Co, Estate Agents said that “this really shows both the traders and the Council to be progressive in their thinking, and its real positive partnership working that will separate Magherafelt from other towns in Northern Ireland, making it a better place to shop and invest.” To ensure that connectivity is not an issue the Council has also installed free Wi Fi in the commercial centre of Magherafelt, including the Meadowlane Shopping Centre. Whether out for a day’s shopping or looking to relax and unwind, Magherafelt has it all and now so do you via the new Never Better App! To download the app you can find it both for Android and iOS platforms by searching for the never better app or go to the following website www.neverbetteronline. com or call 028 79397979 and ask for Michael Browne or Davina McCartney.

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1. Paula McIntyre and Lindsay Curran 2. Robert Irwin and Mark Gowdy 3. Pete Snodden, James Mathers and Pamela Ballantine 4. Karen Graham, Nuala McKeever and Alyson Magee 5. Caroline Perry, Danielle McBride and Inga Norvilyte 6. Ruth Maguire, Mark Gowdy and Grainne McGarvey




hite’s, Northern Ireland’s porridge and oat cereal producer is celebrating after Speedicook Porridge Oats was named Northern Ireland’s favourite porridge following a recent blind taste test from among four leading brands. The results were announced recently at a breakfast morning to mark the return of Farmhouse Breakfast Week, the annual celebration championing the importance of breakfast which is run by the Home-Grown Cereals Authority.








Start the New Year the ‘White’s’ way! O ats are widely acclaimed as a superfood boasting numerous health benefits including their high fibre content which eases digestion and helps keep us fuller for longer – so less snacking! In fact compared with other whole grains, oats have one of the highest concentrations

of fibre, protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin E. The oat effect extends beyond the physical – oats help to keep us mentally alert too! The good news is oats don’t just have to be enjoyed at breakfast! They are so versatile and can be incorporated into

breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas, not to mention nutritious snacks in between. Local cereal producer White’s Oats has teamed up with popular Ulster chef Paula McIntyre to create a range of delicious recipes using Speedicook Oats which can be enjoyed at home or on the go.

Oaty Wheaten Cob with Treacle

Blackberry and Raspberry Granola Bars Ingredients: 100g butter 3 tablespoons Agave syrup (or substitute honey) 200g White’s Speedicook Porridge Oats 100g Demerara sugar 100g mixed seeds (pumpkin, linseed and sunflower) 100g chopped mixed nuts 75g frozen raspberries 75g frozen blackberries Method: • Line a rectangular baking tray with parchment paper and set oven to 140oC. • Melt the butter. Fold in the syrup, oats, nuts, sugar and seeds. Break up the fruit and mix in well. • Press into the tin, leavening off the top. • Bake for 40 minutes. • Cool in the tin for ten minutes then cut into bar shapes. • Can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

Ingredients: 75g White’s Speedicook Porridge Oats 225g wholemeal flour 35g Demerara sugar Good pinch salt 75g self raising flour 1 and a half teaspoons baking soda 40g butter 1 tablespoon treacle 250ml buttermilk Method: • Set oven to 220oC. • Place the oats, wholemeal flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. • Sift in the baking soda and self raising flour. • Melt the treacle and butter together and cool to room temperature. • Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and add the treacle mixture and buttermilk. • Mix to a loose dough. • Turn onto a floured surface. • Knead lightly into a ball and transfer to a floured baking tray. • Flatten slightly and make a cross in the centre with a knife. • Bake at 220oC for ten minutes then lower the heat to 140oC for a further 40 minutes or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. • Cool on a wire rack. Great served warm with soup or just with butter and jam.




Winter sun in


It’s been a long winter - far too long - so when NW got the invitation to check out a brand new collection of holiday villas in the sunny climes of Southern Lanzarote, well – it would have been rude to decline. Lynda Bryans drew the short straw...


t’s always a risky business renting a villa or apartment away from home. Photographs can be deceiving: the bedroom mightn’t be as big as it looked in the brochure, the kitchen could use a makeover or the lounge carpet’s looking shabby. Natural Retreats though, is something else. The blurb said “taking selfcatering to a whole new level” and it didn’t disappoint. 



Nestled in its own little hillside complex in Playa Blanca, Natural Retreats offers a collection of luxury self-catering accommodation – chic four bedroom villas, each one sleeping eight people, and each with its own private pool and built in patio BBQ for alfresco dining. (Five bedroom villas are available from Spring 2014). Indoors, décor is white and minimalist but not stark. There’s a flat screen TV, a

DVD player, radio/CD player and full air conditioning throughout. Bedrooms are on two levels and the impressively wellequipped compact kitchens include washer/ dryers and dishwasher with little extras thrown in – the Nespresso style coffee maker is a lovely touch along with the welcome pack of local produce, including wine, to get you started. Linen and towels are provided and if you don’t fancy using the kitchen, there’s a good selection of restaurants and bars within walking distance. If you can bear to tear yourself away from the sun lounger and pool sofas at the villa, Playa Blanca’s beaches are, as the name suggests, beautiful. One of the best known in the resort is Papagayo, not so much one long beach as a collection of small sheltered bays and inlets. The area is protected so there’s a charge to use the road but worth driving a little way along if you want to get away from the usual sun lounger beach crowd, though bring a picnic and drinks as there are few shops or bars – a small sacrifice for the peace and tranquillity this cluster of beaches offers.   If you’re the sort of person who can’t lie for long in the sun, then the island itself is


truly worth seeing around. Start early in the day and travel north to Mirador Del Rio, just over an hour away by car on the main road. It’s a stunning vista point nearly half a kilometre above sea level and if you love views, this one will blow your mind – breath taking and panoramic scenery across the Strait of Rio and towards the archaic island of La Graciosa. Truly worth making the 90 minute journey by main road to get there, or you can indulge your eyes further and travel the scenic route through the town of Haira, known on the island as “The Valley of 1000 Palms”.  Here, the locals have planted a palm tree marking the birth of every local child (two if it was a boy) giving the town a far greener look than the rest of the volcanic terrain this place is famed for.  In the 18th century, a huge eruption buried several villages and created the almost lunar landscape that is now Timanfaya National Park where you’ll be treated to stunning displays of what 400 degrees Celsius of hot earth looks like when you pour water on to it. The result is a geyser of hot water, spitting up several metres into the air. An impressive sight, particularly for young children. At the

attraction’s Ristorante Del Diablo, all the meat is cooked on the heat of the volcano itself. In the 1960’s the artist César Manrique began fusing the natural volcanic landscape of his native Lanzarote with art. The result was Jameos Del Agua – a fascinating place which is home to the tiny blind albino crab, found only on this island. Take a walk through the subterranean pathways through the cave to the auditorium and step out into the bright sun again to the sight of the most amazing blue lagoon.    Not far away from there, and for me, the highlight of this natural landscape has to be La Cueva de los Verdes, or the Green Caves, an incredible hour-long tour below ground through a series of tunnels that stretches  for more than 6km, formed by the Corona Volcano. Think Marble Arch Caves but enormous enough to host concerts and other performances. Rather like the famous play, The Mousetrap, these caves hold a fascinating secret that no one can divulge – you have to go and see it for yourself. All I will say is that you will be wowed by this

unique experience. If holiday nightlife is your thing, Playa Blanca is not found wanting. The main marina and harbour areas have dozens of eateries and bars – we ate at La Casa Roja which serves interesting fusion food – Canarian and Mediterranean with an updated twist. Or try El Argentino Restaurant which specialises in steak and traditional sangria and is a good mix of local family friendliness and great service. All of which had me looking forward to slipping under that soft white duvet back at my en suite bedroom at the villa for a restful night’s sleep, ready for those rays of sunshine in the morning. After all, living in Northern Ireland it could be months before I get my next dose of Vitamin D. Natural Retreats Villas are available from €197 per person per week. For reservations and information call 0844 384 3166 or go to Jet2 offers regular flights all year round from Belfast International Airport to Lanzarote. For details visit:




It’s all about travel a‘ pp’ titude T

he leftover turkey is long gone, and you’ve just about recovered from New Year’s Eve celebrations. The heat of summer may still be a long way off but planning your summer getaway makes it feel that little bit closer. We look at the latest smartphone apps to help you plan your trip whist saving you time, and money. When planning your holiday a great place to start is working out how you are going to reach your destination. Of course, if you go through a travel agent this is all done for you but if you are taking a DIY approach there are a few tips and tricks that will help you out. One in five people worldwide own a smartphone, and despite what you may be used to they can come in very useful for more than just emails and Facebook. Here are just a few of our favourite travel apps to help your January dreams come true.


This free Apple and Android app is the go-to place for booking flights. It will save you hours of trawling different airlines’ websites, and if you sort by price, will ensure you get the best deal. Just enter your departure and arrival airports and the app will search 1,000 airlines to find you the cheapest flight, at the most convenient time. It will even mix and match airlines for return journeys to ensure the best deal. There is also an ‘Explore’ function, which shows a spinning globe pointing out the cheapest flights worldwide at a glimpse.

XE Currency

Budgeting on holiday can sometimes be difficult when working in a currency you’re not used to. This app is no frills, which can sometimes be best. It is simple and quick to use converting



from and to any currency you can think of! It’s free for Apple and Android, making one less cost to worry about.

Packing Pro

If you’re as organised (or unorganised) as I am, this app will be your new best friend. It may not look very pretty with its brown colour scheme, but its functionality certainly makes up for it. Just tell it where you’re going, for how long and who with and it will generate a suggested packing list split into useful categories such as essentials (passport, currency, etc) clothes and accessories as well as a pre trip to-do list. Essentially, it does all of the organisation so you can worry about which of your 25 bikinis to pack! Available on the App Store £1.99.


This app is the closest most of us will get to a personal assistant. Sign up and forward your various confirmation emails for flights, hotels and restaurants etc to the app and it will magically create a real time itinerary for your trip, including up to date travel alerts. There are also booking and planning functions through which you can book your hotel and car rental etc. It also offers helpful info on the local weather and suggested tipping rates. A great app for keeping on top of arrangements. Free for Apple and Android.

Apps for WiFi

With WiFi available in most hotels as well as the adoption of city wide WiFi in many popular tourist spots, your phone can be just as useful once you get to your

destination, without having to worry about dreaded roaming charges.

Snout Travel Guides

Gone are the days of carting around books full of outdated information on the best restaurants from ten years ago. These Snout guides cover popular city break destinations and provide everything you need to know, all in the palm of your hand. The apps include travel guide info such as the best restaurants, useful local info and tips on getting around as well as photo galleries and audio guides giving you a whistlestop tour of the city. All of the hard work has been done for you by suggesting the best City Passes to get to ensure queue jumping and savings on attraction entrance fees. All of this info is downloaded over WiFi, so you can use this app whist exploring without having to worry about roaming charges. This app is a great companion for your travels. Available 69p on Apple and Android.

Trip Journal

Memories of your holiday don’t have to just live on in your head. Trip Journal is a great app to have with you on your travels, and for remembering them when you come home. The app has the appearance of a luxury leather jotter and lets you take photos and videos, as well as writing notes about where you’ve been and what you’ve seen. It uses GPS to track where you are, so you won’t have to work out which of the six beaches you visited that the blurry photo is from! What’s more, you can make everyone at home jealous by sharing any or all parts of your holiday via email or social media. Best app for holiday memories. Available £1.99 on Apple and Android.

Win... a relaxing two-night midweek break in Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa


in a relaxing two night midweek break in Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa, nestled in 21 acres of lush Meath countryside, just 18 km from Dublin city centre. Long celebrated as an area rich in ancient history, Meath is steeped in myth and legend and in keeping with its historic location, Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa has its own story to tell. A sleekly stylish blend of restored Georgian house and new contemporary wings in a sophisticated modern style, Dunboyne Castle Hotel is also home to the gorgeous Seoid Spa, with its thermal suite, hydrotherapy and bubbling outdoor hot tub. The prize is for two nights for two people, with dinner on one evening in Dunboyne Castle Hotel’s Ivy Restaurant, where chef John Nagle creates innovative, seasonal menus based on ingredients from the abundance of local producers and the coastline on the doorstep. Dunboyne Castle Hotel - contemporary comfort and sleek style in the historic heart of Meath. For more information, see

QUESTION To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question:

What is the name of the spa situated in Dunboyne Castle?

To enter, email: with your answer plus your name, address and daytime number. Closing date: Friday 28th March 2014. Subject to availability, voucher valid for 6 months, dinner on one night, no cash alternative, non transferable.




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Miranda Hart Live!

Blind since infancy, Molly Sweeney is persuaded to have an operation to restore her sight. Her husband Frank is convinced she has nothing to lose; her ophthalmologist Mr Rice is not so sure. The play charts their expectations and fantasies of how the operation will change everything, not just for Molly, but for all three of them. Brian Friel’s rarely performed poetic tale weaves together all three characters’ perspectives. Through a journey of memory, hope and despair, the play begs us to not only see, but also understand other people’s points of view. This is a Lyric production in association with the Print Room London.

The award-winning Queen of Comedy is on stage doing stand-up for the first time since her hit series Miranda aired on the BBC. Grab a chance to see Miranda’s laugh out loud genius live. Expect galloping, attempts at song and dance, and simply – such fun!

(21 March, Ardhowen Theatre)

(27-28 March, Odyssey Arena)

What's On! February-March 2014 It’s time to look ahead in 2014 and see what great events are happening across the province! From plays to festivals and local and national talent being spotted on our stages, there’s a lot going on. Tickle your funny bones with Miranda Hart’s infectious humour, try a screening at the innovative Belfast Film Festival and be mesmerised as a piece of the British Museum comes to the Ulster Museum with the ‘Curious Beasts’ exhibition. Curious Beasts Animal Prints from the British Museum (28 February-25 May, Ulster Museum)

Explore the enduring curiosity of the animal world through the beautiful and bizarre imagery found in the rich print collections of the British Museum. The exhibition features works by a range of artists including Albrecht Dürer, Francisco de Goya and George Stubbs. Organised by Compton Verney in partnership with the British Museum, the exhibition is supported by the generosity of the Dorset Foundation and demonstrates the important role printmaking has played in our understanding of the natural world.



Belfast Children’s Festival 2014 (7-14 March, various locations)

A treat for families on cold March days, a range of venues across Belfast will once again play host to some outstanding international and local productions for young audiences in the annual Belfast Children’s Festival. Now in it’s 16th year the programme will include theatre, dance, music, visual and the digital, sonic arts. This year’s festival programme is as diverse, varied and interesting as ever with a range of performances, exhibitions and interactive events for children of all ages.

LIFESTYLEWHAT'SON Belfast Film Festival

(27 March-5 April) The Belfast Film Festival’s activities are entertaining and provocative, and in many instances provide an important platform for debate across the religious, social and cultural divides in Northern Ireland. The presentation of innovative ways to screen film is one of the festival’s specialities; films have been screened on a boat in the River Lagan; in beautiful historic buildings like St Anne’s Cathedral with live piano accompaniment; in unique audio visual collaborations with local talent such as Duke Special and David Holmes; alongside unique architectural and heritage sites such as a screening of A Night To Remember by the famous Thompson dry dock which was the Titanic’s last point on dry land before it’s maiden voyage. The Festival promotes film education and practical filmmaking skills and has attracted a variety of film industry guests such as Martin Sheen, Ciaran Hinds and Julie Christie. This year our Industry Days sees the expansion of specialist industry events in partnership with Northern Ireland Screen and Creative Skillset.

Shane Filan

(9-10 March, Waterfront Hall) Shane Filan has confirmed he will embark on his first ever solo tour in 2014 including a date at Belfast Waterfront with an additional date on 10 March added due to popular demand. Shane’s solo album release followed the success of his debut single Everything To Me. Shane co-wrote a handful of Westlife songs, but his solo album sees him emerge as a pop writer to be reckoned with. While Shane’s financial problems have been well documented, the album is an extremely positive collection of songs. He says: “People don’t want to hear about your problems, everyone has problems. I’m so lucky to have three healthy kids, a healthy marriage and an amazing wife.”

Other events Theatre

Fiddler on the Roof (11-14 February, Grand Opera House) Brendan Cole: Licence to Thrill (1 March, Waterfront Hall) Dancing at Lughnasa (29 March, Ardhowen Theatre)


William Caulfield: The ‘Them and Me’ Tour (8 February, Ardhowen Theatre) Neil Delamere ‘Smartbomb’ (February-March, various locations across the province)


The Overtones (19 February, Ulster Hall) Ellie Goulding (2 March, Odyssey Arena) A Night at the Oscars – Ulster Orchestra (7 March, Ulster Hall)

St Patrick’s Festival

(10-17 March, Downpatrick) Downpatrick, the ancient and historic town which takes its name from Ireland’s Patron Saint and which is reputedly his last resting place, will host celebratory events over an extended week running from 10-17 March 2014. It is expected that more than 30,000 spectators will gather to see the highlight event, the traditional Cross Community Carnival Parade through the town on Monday 17 March, with themed concerts exhibitions, cultural, social and sporting events adding to the excitement and reinforcing the town’s unique associations with arguably the world’s most celebrated Saint.

To be included in the NW's What's On please send event details to


Derren Brown: Infamous (17-22 March, Grand Opera House)


Woo at the Zoo (14-15 February, Belfast Zoo)


Endangered (17–21 February, Castle Espie Wetland Centre) Come and spend February half term with us and discover the world of endangered animals through games, crafts, trails and stories.





The Invisible Woman

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Tom Hollander, Kristen Scott Thomas Nelly is haunted by her past. Her memories, provoked by remorse and guilt, take us back in time to her relationship with Charles Dickens with whom she discovered an exciting but fragile complicity. Dickens - famous, controlling and emotionally isolated - falls for Nelly, who comes from a family of actors. The theatre is a vital arena for Dickens - a brilliant amateur actor - a man more emotionally coherent in his work, or on stage, than in life. As Nelly becomes the focus of Dickens’ passion and his muse, for both of them secrecy is the price, and for Nelly a life of ‘invisibility’.

Labor Day


The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells

The Girl with a Clock for a Heart

Starring: Josh Brolin, Kate Winslet, Tobey Maguire Jason Reitman’s Labor Day, adapted from the novel of the same name by Joyce Maynard, stars Kate Winslet as Adele, an emotionally shaky single mom to Henry (Gattlin Griffith). As the twosome shop for clothes Henry will wear when he begins seventh grade after the long Labor Day weekend, the boy is accosted by Frank (Josh Brolin), an escaped convict with a bleeding wound on his stomach. Frank manipulates Adele into letting him hide out at their house, and soon the seemingly scary man shows a strong domestic side and, in just a few days, develops a deep bond with both Adele and Frank.

Starring: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Kiefer Sunderland Set in 79 A.D. Pompeii follows Milo (Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington), a slave-turnedinvincible gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Flavia (Emily Browning), a wealthy merchant’s daughter who unwillingly has been betrothed to a corrupt Roman general.

Shelf Life The Midnight Rose

by Lucinda Riley In the heyday of the British Raj, eleven-yearold Anahita, forms a lifelong friendship with Princess Indira, the daughter of rich Indian royalty. Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the Great War where she meets Donald Astbury – reluctant heir to the magnificent Astbury Estate – and his scheming mother. Eighty years later, Rebecca Bradley, an American film star is relieved when her latest role takes her to Dartmoor, England when her turbulent relationship with her famous boyfriend takes an unexpected turn. Shortly after filming begins at the Astbury Hall, Ari Malik, Anahita’s great-grandson, arrives on a quest for his family’s past. What he and Rebecca discover unravels the secrets that haunt the Astbury dynasty.



by Andrew Sean Greer One Woman. Three Lives. Which will she choose? It is 1985, and Greta Wells wishes she lived in any time but this one: she has lost her twin brother to AIDS, her lover Nathan to another woman, and cannot go on alone. To ease her sadness, her doctor suggests an unusual procedure, one that opens doors of insight into the relationships in her life, her conflicting affections, and the limitations put on a woman’s life. Throughout, Greta glimpses versions of war, history, herself, and the people she loves, and as procedures come to an end, she realises she must make a choice: one that will close every door but one, forever.

by Peter Swanson George Foss never thought he’d see her again, but on a late-August night in Boston, there she is, in his local bar, Jack’s Tavern When George first met her, she was an eighteen-year-old college freshman from Florida. She and George became inseparable in their first fall semester, so George was devastated when he found out she had committed suicide over Christmas. But, as he stood in the living room of the girl’s grieving parents, the girl in the photo on their mantelpiece – the one who had committed suicide – was not his girlfriend. Later, he discovered the true identity of the girl he had loved – and of the things she may have done to escape her past. Now twenty years later, she’s back and telling George he’s the only one who can help her….


The Monument’s Men

Winter’s Tale

Muppets Most Wanted

The Engagements

Mums on Strike

Irish Pantry: Traditional Breads, Preserves and Goodies to Feed the Ones you Love

Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett Based on a true story The Monuments Men focuses on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves. It would be an impossible mission: with the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything, how could these guys - seven museum directors, curators, and art historians, possibly hope to succeed? But as the Monuments Men found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind’s greatest achievements.

by J Courtney Sullivan 1947: Mary Frances Gerety, a young copywriter in an eminent advertising agency, has to convince the world of that marriage means a diamond ring on every woman’s finger, and that she is as good at her job as any man. In one moment of brilliant inspiration, Mary Frances writes down four words which will achieve both her aims…. Moving from a Harvard swim-meet in 1927 to the three-martini lunches of 1940s advertising, from the back streets of 1980s Boston to an exquisite Parisian music shop in 2003, ‘The Engagements’ is a novel about love, marriage, commitment and betrayal; it is as sharp, as fiery, and as beautiful as the stone we have taken to represent our dreams.

Starring: Will Smith, Jennifer Connolly, Matt Bomer, Colin Farrell Set in a mythic New York City and spanning more than a century, Winter's Tale is a story of miracles, crossed destinies and the age-old battle between good and evil. One night in winter, Peter Lake, orphan and master-mechanic, attempts to rob a fortresslike mansion on the Upper West Side. Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the love between Peter, a middle-aged Irish burglar, and Beverly Penn, a young girl, who is dying.

by Laura Kemp It was just a squashed grape on the kitchen floor. Hardly a reason to get upset, right? But six years of motherhood has left Lisa Stratton feeling like a skivvy. Every morning before she’s opened her eyes, she starts her mental inventory of jobs to do. And just like yesterday, the day before and every day since she became a mum, she’s woken up knackered. So when her husband deliberately steps over the grape because it’s ‘her responsibility’ to run the house, it tips her over the edge. He wasn’t always like this – they used to share everything. This time things are going to change. Lisa has made a decision. She’s going on strike…

Starring: Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Ray Liotta Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine - the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit - and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais. The film stars Tina Fey as Nadya, a feisty prison guard, and Ty Burrell as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon.

by Noel McMeel From one of Ireland’s leading chefs comes a cookbook celebrating traditional hospitality with a modern twist. Noel McMeel is Executive Head Chef at Lough Erne Resort and having grown up on a farm in County Antrim he is steeped in the food culture of Ireland and Ulster in particular. There is a wealth of possibilities in Irish Pantry. From jams and jellies to cakes, breads, condiments, drinks and cured meats, this traditional look at feelgood foods bursting with nostalgia will satisfy your longing for something special.



Prized Poetry


et’s hear it for the girls! 2014 got off to a great start with news that local poet Sinead Morrissey was crowned winner of the TS Eliot Prize for Parallax, her fifth collection of poems. Morrissey beat stiff competition to nab the prize although Ian Duhig, chair of the judging panel, admits that the judges were unanimous in choosing her work. Shortlisted for the award on four other occasions, she is the first female and the fifth poet in general from Northern Ireland to have won the prestigious poetry prize (which comes with a £15,000 cheque for the winner) and, having been chosen last year to be Belfast’s first Poet Laureate, she certainly has a lot to smile about. Keep an eye out for her work – we’re sure there’ll be many more great things from this distinguished poet in the future.

Waterfront Extension Revealed


nother piece of exciting news for Northern Ireland’s culture sector comes with the announcement of the Waterfront Hall’s plans for a £29.5 million extension for new conference and exhibition facilities. The extended building will stretch out to the edge of the Lagan and it is estimated that the expansion will generation an additional £39 million income for the city every year and will create around 370 new jobs.




Megane gets a facelift R

enault’s Megane range which includes Coupe, Hatch and Sport Tourer have all received a facelift and some price reductions. For 2014, the Mégane Coupé, Hatch and Sport Tourer all adopt the brand’s new identity. The more contemporary design includes a prominent, bold Renault logo set against a gloss black background, new bumper, sculpted bonnet and vent grilles, on top of new elliptical headlights and daytime running lights that stretch along the outer edges of the bumper. The facelifted range sports four trim levels, Expression+, Knight Edition,

Dynamique TomTom and GT-Line TomTom. Priced aggressively from £16,745, up to £1,200 has been sliced off selected versions As well as the new look, equipment levels have also been heightened. Automatic dual zone climate control is now standard on Dynamique TomTom, LED daytime running lights appear on Expression+ and lastly, R-Link is now optional on GT-Line TomTom. The revised powertrain line-up sees five engines in total, newly branded Energy in line with this season’s Renault F1-2014 engine. The 1.2 TCe 115 is added to

Expression+ and EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) versions of the 1.2 TCe 130 and dCi 110 are added to the GT Line TomTom across every bodystyle. Other option combinations are Parking Pack – rear parking sensors, electrically folding door mirrors, a Look Pack – 17-inch ‘Plenum’ alloy wheels, extra tinted windows and tailgate and Smart Pack – smart loading fold flat passenger seat and rear 1/3 seats and compartmentalised boot. The Leather Pack stays available in four variations. The new Mégane range is priced from £16,745.




Spaceback a Rapid success


koda has launched a new Rapid Spaceback that offers a great combination of style and space. It is big enough to carry everything a family could need without looking like a van, while it offers Skoda’s renowned reliability and high

specification as standard. The new line-up is available in three generously-appointed trim levels: S, SE and Elegance, with prices starting from just ÂŁ14,340 on the road. With its striking exterior design, practical

interior and advanced engine range, the new Rapid Spaceback sets sector standards for interior space and offers exceptional practicality thanks to its 415-litre boot. The Rapid Spaceback also comes with an array of options that allow buyers to tailor the car to their own tastes. Among the styling options are a large panoramic glass roof and extended tailgate glass, both of which give the Rapid Spaceback a unique appearance. The engine range comprises of three petrol and two diesel units. Power outputs range from 86PS to 122PS, with customers able to choose between manual and advanced DSG automatic transmissions. The line-up will also include a GreenLine version with CO2 emissions of just 99g/km. Specification levels across the range are generous, with airconditioning as standard across the line-up, along with curtain airbags, front electric windows and a height and reach adjustable steering column. SE models feature alloy wheels, acoustic rear parking sensors, cruise control and a Bluetooth telephone connection, while Elegance models add, among other items, climate control, heightadjustable passenger seat and cornering front fog lights.

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Campsie John Mulholland Motors Ltd Unit 7 Campsie Business Park McLean Road, Eglinton L/Derry, BT47 3XX 028 7181 1199 Randalstown John Mulholland Motors Ltd 211A Castle Road Randalstown Co Antrim BT41 2EB 028 9447 3903 94



Citroen C3 Picasso

Picasso receives a touch-up


itroën’s ever-popular supermini MPV, the C3 Picasso, has been upgraded and restyled. The award-winning model has been updated with new design features, fresh body colours and additional

optional technology. The newly restyled C3 Picasso is priced from £12,995. New exterior styling features include a revised front bumper and the latest Citroën chevrons on all versions; together

with the addition of LED daytime running lights for a fresh new look on VTR+ and Exclusive models. Two striking new body colours are also introduced; Ink Blue and Pearlescent White. Inside, the flexible, airy and spacious cabin is updated with a sophisticated new trim called Mistral ‘Mixou’ cloth, which is specified as standard on all VTR+ models. There’s also the option of a new ‘Claudia Mistral’ full black leather upholstery on Exclusive models. Citroën’s new eMyWay satellite navigation system is added to the option list, with extra functionality over the previous MyWay system, but at no extra cost. eMyWay can also be specified with a reversing camera and rear parking sensors for easier manoeuvres. An electro-chrome rear view mirror is now included in C3 Picasso’s Automatic Pack option at no extra charge and the new-look C3 Picasso comes with new 15-inch ‘Asterodea’ wheel covers as standard on VT versions. Citroën has also uprated the power output of the HDi 110 engine on the C3 Picasso Exclusive, renaming it HDi 115. The slight increase in power from 82PS to 84PS has no effect on the model’s fuel economy or CO2 emissions which remain the same as before.




Northern Woman Congratulates… Fiona and Barry Kirkpatrick had their ceremony in St Joseph's Church in Rathmullan before enjoying a reception at Rathmullan House, overlooking Lough Swilly. They honeymooned in Thailand, relaxing and exploring the north of the Island.


arry and Fiona met at Cairndhu rowing club and are keen members of the RNLI in Larne station so a nautical blue and white theme was chosen, seen in the royal blue bridesmaids’ dresses and striped ties of the groomsmen. The traditional guestbook was eschewed in favour of messages in a glass bottle which will be opened on the couple’s first anniversary. The table plan was shown in a boat made by Barry’s father and even the cake toppers had RNLI lifejackets and helmets on! Other personal touches included Fiona’s mum organising flowers in the church and table centrepieces and the 1975 MG Midget car which was the same one used by Fiona’s parents on their wedding day!




Finishing Touches

Fiona looked stunning in a beautiful lace wedding gown and a long single tier veil created by local designer Geraldine Connon. Her platinum marquise diamond ring with a wave-like curl detail and the wedding bands were from local family jewellers Steensons. Cupcakes were made by friend Liz from Sprinkle Soft cupcakes whilst great music from high energy live band the Hootenannys followed by acoustic guitarist Damien Sheridan rounded off the day. Hair: Fusion Salon in Ramelton Make-up: Looking Glass in Rathmullan Photography: Graham Crichton, Photography, Belfast



ONELASTTHING I try to do the school pick-up at least a couple of times a week. Even though I’m doing homework or taxiing to and from after-school clubs work doesn’t stop and I will still be taking calls, sending emails – something my kids are persistently giving off about! Then I will spend quality time with them between 6pm-9pm and then once they are in bed I will be back at the laptop working until about midnight. Sometimes it feels like you could be out at press events every night of the week, but between pending deadlines and the children I can only go to so many.

What’s the most enjoyable aspect of your job?

I love meeting people and finding out more about them. Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to meet some really inspirational people from so many different walks of life and I love hearing their stories. When I’m editing a title I also love seeing the issue come together and see everyone’s hard work pay off – before starting all over again on the next one!

Are there any boring bits that we don’t know about?

A day in the Life... Ever wondered what life is like as a freelance journalist? Mags Connolly, well-known journalist and NW contributor, gives us some insight into her hectic, but enjoyable, career! What’s it like being a successful freelance journalist?

I like how you’ve used the word successful, I would consider it luck! I have been working across various Irish titles for the last 15 years and have fluctuated between in-house and freelance work. I never take anything for granted though, I’ve learnt only too well that you can be riding high one minute and back to pounding the pavement looking for work the next. Luckily, I have never been out of work, but there is always that fear.

Can you describe a typical day?

In one word – hectic! I’m a single mum of



two kids, Kristen (9) and Aaron (7), so I’m up early to get myself and them ready for the day ahead. Once they are safely deposited at school I can either be heading to an office for a few hours (some clients like me to be on-site), back home to begin working on commissioned features or to a meeting. The days when I am at home, and it’s just me and the computer, I never really feel like I miss out on the company of others because I’m constantly interacting with people via phone and email calling in imagery or setting up interviews. Part of the reason for freelancing is to allow me time to be with my children, therefore

Yes, of course there are boring bits. Some of the work is more exciting than others and some may consider the working hours a bit boring because it is 24/7, plus things can crop up last minute and invariably at the most inconvenient time. I have worked with many interns over the years and I always try and make them aware that magazines might look glossy but what goes into pulling them together demands a lot of hard work and commitment. That said, don’t get me wrong, when compared to many other jobs it’s far from boring.

Who has been your favourite interviewee to date?

Oh, that’s hard, purely because there have been so many. Some have been more famous than others, but all interesting in their own way. A story many of my friends know about was when I had to do a phone interview with fashion designer John Rocha and my three-week old son decided to cry the whole time! It was so stressful, but John was so nice on the other end of the phone and when I did meet him weeks later it was a good ice-breaker! Plus, I got fab second row seats at his LFW show too!

What has been the most memorable day of your career so far?

The day MODO launched! I was part of a trio who published this all-Ireland title. Although we only lasted two years, I am still immensely proud of all we achieved.

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