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MARCH 2015






Official fuel consumption figures for Maserati Ghibli range in mpg (l/100km): Urban 18.0 (15.7) – 37.2 (7.6), Extra Urban 38.7 (7.3) – 56.5 (5.0), Combined 27.2 (10.4) – 47.9 (5.9). CO2 emissions 242 – 158 g/km. Fuel consumption and CO2 figures are based on standard EU tests for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. Model shown is a Maserati Ghibli S at £70,598 On The Road including optional pearlescent paint at £1,776, 21” Titano design alloy wheels at £3,670 and Red brake callipers at £432.

CHARLES HURST LTD 62 BOUCHER ROAD BELFAST, BT12 6LR Phone: 028 9038 5755 www.charleshurstgroup.co.uk/maserati


Beaufort is open to the public Monday-Saturday

102 – 106 Main Street Moira



Studio B, The Carnegie Building, 121 Donegall Road, Belfast, BT12 5JL T. 028 9024 0040 or online at www.porcellanatilestudio.com

It is the best thing that I ever did, I have never been a size 10 in my adult life. New Year New You. Make 2015 Your Year to get slim and healthy. Tasty meal plans delivered. Online support groups. Phone support. Order online or call us. Order today. Start tomorrow!

thenewyouplan.com 028 38 330 720 facebook.com/newyouplan

UL Welcome to the March issue of Ulster Life Magazine. Northern Ireland’s Interactive lifestyle monthly. The month of March, much like this issue is packed full of events from Belfast’s Spring/Summer fashionweek kicking off on the 19th with the Cover girl show at BFW HQ on Bruce Street. St Paddys days pops up mid-way through so we can all drown our shamrock and breathe a little easier after a long winter period and then we all get to relax and spoil our wee Mummy’s for a day on Mothering Sunday. We’ve a few hints and tips inside this issue on how you can look your absolute best at all of these events and more. This issue also showcases some amazing boutiques and designers from across NI in association with West Coast Cooler and we also have an informative piece on female fertility as Laura Dunlop speaks to GCRM Belfast about the Fertility Ticking Time Bomb.

Enjoy! Barry Cover image: Belfast Fashionweek in association with Castle Court & New Look Fashion.



Fiat 500



Fiat 500L






028 9084 2000

028 8772 7888

028 6632 4712

028 7181 3038






Fuel consumption in mpg (l/100km) and CO2 emissions for 500L range: Urban 34.0 (8.3) - 62.8 (4.5) Extra Urban 56.5 (5.0) - 76.3 (3.7), and Combined 45.6 (6.2) - 70.6 (4.0). CO2 emissions 145 - 105g/km.

Terms and conditions apply. Finance is available to people aged 18 years or over, subject to status. Written quotations available on request. Indemnities may be required. This offer is not available in conjunction with any other offers and is correct at time of going to press. While stocks last. Retail sales only. Model shown for illustration purposes only.


Fratelli review, p46

Oonagh Bowman, pg11

Hello America, pg8

Beauty, pg30

Vital Nutrition, pg42

Fashion, pg 14

Weddings, pg48

Ulster Life Magazine 180 Gortgole Road Portglenone Co. Antrim BT44 8AP

Publisher: JDO DIgital Media Ltd Feature Contributors: Eve Brannon, Laura Dunlop, Aideen McCanny & Jane McClenaghan

All rights reserved. For editorial requests, please contact the editor. All views expressed in Ulster Life, whether that of a contributor, interviewee or advertiser do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Ulster Life (www.myulsterlife.co.uk) or the publisher personally. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of articles within Ulster Life and www. myulsterlife.co.uk we the publishers cannot be held responsible for the use of the information it publishes. If you would like any copies of pictures or articles within Ulster Life or www.myulsterlife.co.uk please contact us directly. If we discover our work being used by a third party without permission, legal action may be taken if not resolved within 5 working days to our satisfaction. In some cases we will require royalty fees if use is for commercial purpose. The use of www.myulsterlife.co.uk is restricted to general interest purposes only. The user accepts a charge of ÂŁ9,950 if it is proven they are using the site to solicit our clients for advertising purposes.

T: +44 777 2002 777 E: info@myulsterlife.com www.myulsterlife.co.uk



Linzi Rooney

David Rooney, Linzi Rooney and father

Emilie Vose

Studio Souk

Popular Studio Souk, the non-profit makers and merchandise store and studio for artists and creatives in the craft and clothing sector has moved to a new home. Studio owner Linzi Rooney said she was very excited to be opening a brand


new studio in the heart of the city. ‘We’re not just popping up, we’re planting roots, with a new, bigger and here to stay store at Castle Lane Belfast. When asked about what to expect at the new studio, Linzi replied: ‘Expect to see a fabulous new

space with a warm and friendly atmosphere for existing and new customers of the Souk, who will be able to create and sell their products, giving them a unique and memorable experience!’ For more details about the souk, log onto www.studiosouk.com


Chloe Dougan

Emma Singery

Cathy Martin & Linzi Rooney

Donna & Michael Murphy

Rebecca Maguire

Eve Brannon



Alan Thompson, Lisa Morrow and Scot Goldblatt from Charles Hurst Nissan

Eamon McCrory and Amy McDowell

Hello America..!

Leanne Johnston from Holywood won Northern Ireland’s biggest ever Radio prize giveaway at Victoria Square recently. The 27 year old Civil Servant scooped an amazing prize of a holiday with American Holiday to the five star Lowes Miami Beach Hotel in Florida, a Nissan Note from Charles Hurst and £25,000 cash from Cool FM, as part of their 25th Anniversary Celebrations.



Collette McCabe and Mark Mahaffy

Cool FM Social - Gavin Campbell and Emma

Chloe Alarap and Roshanna Bright


Contemporary German kitchens

ÂŁ9,500, including fitting & Smeg appliances

Traditional handmade kitchens

Creative Living 4 Falcon Road, Boucher Road Belfast, BT12 6RD Tel: 02890 312083 www.creativelivingni.co.uk


Domina owners Sonia Dal Sasso and Debora Dal Sasso with Oonagh Boman

Oonagh Boman goes all Italian

Gladys and Hanna Greer

Northern Ireland’s leading makeup artist and entrepreneur Oonagh Boman unveiled an exciting Italian skincare range, Domina, to her already impressive beauty portfolio under her company SNOB Distribution Ltd. Owners of Domina Debora and Sonia Dal Sasso and their marketing and communications manager Valentina Vetrano flew over from Italy to attend the classic event at The Cabaret Supper Club. Guests were treated to an aweinspiring fashion show by local designer Geraldine Connon, with makeup done to perfection by the team at Oonagh Boman School of Makeup and hair by Jenny Dalzell at Platinum Hair Salon.



Skye Boman with local models

Leslie Graham and Oonagh Boman

Local Designer Geraldine Connon with models showcasing her designs and Production Manager Robert Blake


Maggi Gibson and Michelle McTernan

POWER AND LUXURY, IN PERFECT HARMONY THE NEW 2015 RAPIDE S Born of a unique ambition, created with the finest materials, Rapide S possesses searing sports car performance combined with sumptuous luxury. Its signature breadth of ability is enhanced by the new 8-speed Touchtronic III automatic gearbox, which provides supreme refinement, enhanced acceleration and a top speed of over 200mph. Ground-breaking and yet possessed of timeless beauty, Rapide S is sublime, thrilling and every inch an Aston Martin.

FIND OUT MORE AT Charles Hurst Aston Martin 62 Boucher Road, Belfast BT12 6LR Tel: 0844 659 3498 www.charleshurst.com/astonmartin Official government fuel consumption figures in mpg (litres per 100km) for the Aston Martin Rapide S: urban 13.2 (21.4); extra-urban 28.0 (10.1); combined 19.9 (14.3). CO2 emissions 332 g/km. The mpg/fuel economy figures quoted are sourced from official regulated test results obtained through laboratory testing. They are for comparability purposes only and may not reflect your real driving experience, which may vary depending on factors including road conditions, weather, vehicle load, and driving style.

ULfashion Diane Von Furstenberg SS’15

MatchyMatchy A leading stylist in Northern Ireland, Eve has a wealth of experience in the industry Each month she offers a fashion focus into the most coveted designers, trends and styles of the season.


Ark Clothing

Attention all lazy style-seekers! This season we let two become one as the easiest, go-to trend is big news this season. That’s right, the matching separates trend made an appearance last season and the good news is it’s back for another glory this spring/summer. Ever struggle to pick an outfit of an early morning? Well this matchy-matchy easy option is the one for you, as printed or colour block separates pave the way for a peaceful approach this spring. The notion of buying a matching set of clothes isn’t a new one (hence trouser and skirt suits) but this time the separates are cute, cropped, fun and flattering. To make this fad even easier to achieve, many online retailers already have a ‘co-ords’ section, so finding your perfect pair couldn’t be easier to select. Furthermore, there has never been a bigger range to choose from. Aside from taking the pressure off creating a daily fresh


Spirograph Print

boohoo.com ÂŁ20



Effortless Combos ensemble, matching coordinates incorporate various other trends in one fell swoop – stripes, pastels, prints, colour blocking, florals… the list goes on! Across the high street there is a broad selection: from slick structured separates, to casual cropped styles. Whether you want to freshen up your street styling or sharpen up your work wardrobe, there are coordinating outfits to suit everyone’s taste and comfort zones. To ease yourself subtly into the coordinates trend, opt for a boxfit top with matching tailored


Milan Fashion Week

trousers in muted tones. Once mastered, experiment with bold patterns and prints, such as animal prints or stripes. Take the opportunity to play with proportions – try a crop top with wide-leg trousers, or chanel-esque jacket with high-waisted shorts. Once you’ve rocked the co-ords look, get restyling and mix the separates with other pieces in your wardrobe to provide you with various outfit choices to choose from. Whichever way you work it this season ensure to enjoy this fuss-free fabulous fashion cheat!

ULfashion Retro Patterns

Asos ÂŁ105

CONTACT: W: evebrannonfashionstyling.com E: info@evebrannonfashionstyling.com T: + 44 (0) 7817 597067 17

Catwalk tickets £20 £25 To purchase call 028 9024 6609 or visit www.belfastfashionweek.com /westcoastcoolerni /belfastfashionweek #wccfw


With only one more week to go until the 19th season of Belfast FASHIONWEEK kicks off, excitement has reached boiling point amongst the boutiques, designers, models, make-up artists and hair stylists, but more importantly – among the myriads of fashion lovers who have snapped up their tickets for the four day event sponsored by West Coast Cooler The opening event kicks off at BFW HQ in Belfast’s Bruce Street (Thursday 19th) and will see a host of hot spring summer looks from retail giant Castlecourt. The three finalists in the Sunday Life Covergirl Live competition will also be unveiled to those lucky enough to get tickets. Friday night’s show brings Northern Ireland’s best couturiers together for a designer and boutique extravaganza and there is already a buzz around the offerings from Catrina O'Prey, Chloe Dougan, Diana Mukushii, Gillian Leavy, Grainne Maher, John Gerard O'Neill and Neil Coogan, L'Or Dome, Nor Lisa and Sara O'Neill. Boutiques like Belfast’s Blush and Jourdan, Banbridge’s Diamond Dolls and Dungannon’s Velvet Rose show how our little province is up there with the best of them alongside Lisburn’s Style Retreat, Mimi’s Roadtrip and Spoilt Belle are causing quite the curious stir! If last season’s designer show was anything to go by, there will cutting edge trends and off the wall creations with flair, pizzazz and the that all important ‘wow’

factor, so this is not to be missed. The excitement of Saturday brings with it the best of affordable fashion from our beloved high street with chic ensembles showcased from the likes of M&S, Next, Oasis, The Outlet, Excel, Warehouse, Castlecourt and Remus Uomo. Once again, style supremo and the powerhouse behind Belfast FASHIONWEEK Cathy Martin has

whipped up a frenzy of excitement amongst the local fashion world and promises great things for the hotly anticipated festival of fashion. In association with West Coast Cooler we’ve showcased a selection of the best NI boutiques and designers over the next few pages. Please feel free to click the available links and follow all of these amazing businesses and designers across their social media channels.



17 Linen Green, Moygashel, Dungannon, BT71 7HB 028 8772 9770 www.storeywomenswear.co.uk www.fb.com/StoreyWomenswear www.twitter.com/Storeywoman Sophisticated, timeless, chic – these are just some of the adjectives that spring to mind when describing the unique offering at Storey Womenswear. Amid modern surroundings, visitors can browse an outstanding range that encompasses every aspect of the modern woman’s lifestyle, from timeless daywear through to beautifully tailored work wear and of course refined occasion wear designed to reflect your unique personality and style. Over the last decade Sylvia has built an impressive portfolio of brands that today boasts some of fashions best-known names. Sylvia and her team pride themselves on giving every customer their undivided attention and expert advice to ensure that they find exactly what they are looking for, no matter what the occasion. 



1 Broad Street Magherafelt BT45 6EB 028 7930 1515 www.sarah-jane-boutique.com www.fb.com/sarahjaneboutique www.twitter.com/SJBoutique

Located in bustling Magherafelt, the store’s gorgeous window display draws you inside where modern interiors and a spacious layout boast rails of gorgeous designs, just waiting to be discovered. Established in 2010 by proprietor Sarah Jane, the boutique has gone from strength to strength and it is certainly easy to see why. Housing top luxury brands at affordable prices, Sarah Jane has sourced far and wide to bring the discerning shopper something that little bit different.



24 church street Dromore BT25 1AA 028 9269 8602 www.fb.com/Velvetroseboutiquedromore



166 Lisburn Road Belfast BT9 6AJ 028 9066 1101 www.blushboutique.co.uk www.fb.com/blush.belfast Blush Boutique is the couture bridal and occasional-wear destination. We specialise in ready to wear fashion for glamorous days and glittering nights. We house a great many designer lines in our Boutique, some are Blush classics & others are new. Many of our dresses & outfits are only available in store, so why not pay us a visit to find your perfect outfit & make the party, formal or wedding a day to remember.


9 Lisburn Square Lisburn BT28 1TS T: 028 9209 3652 E: hello@thestyleretreat.com

OPENING HOURS: Tues - Wed: 10:00–17:30 Thurs: 10:00–20:00 Fri - Sat: 10:00–17:30


4 Ravenhill Road Belfast BT6 0BA 07813 775164 www.grainnemaher.com www.fb.com/grainnemahermillinery www.twitter.com/grainnemaher Belfast Based Milliner and Jewellery designer Grainne Maher brings an array of experience to her collections, since graduating from Darlington College of Arts with a Music Degree, she pursued her career as a performance artist while researching a PHD based on voice and corsetry and other body manipulating costume. Her overall love of fashion and design ultimetly let her to a career in Millinery. Grainne’s SS15 collection entitled ‘Bláthanna’ (Irish for flowers) includes a range of statement Perspex millinery, jewellery and limited edition bags. Combining traditional materials with Perspex and Swarovski, her work is sultry, sculptural and perfectly balances form with function.



3A Broad Street, Magherafelt. BT45 6EB 028 79 300775 www.spoiltbelle.co.uk www.fb.com/spoiltbelleboutique www.twitter.com/spoiltBTQ

Spoilt Belle Boutique is a trendy clothing store aimed at fashion forward women situated in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland. At ‘SBB’ we devote our time to finding the newest and exciting labels for our customers to feel amazing in whether it be for a night out, exciting event, day in the office or casual wear - we love finding the best fashion labels that fit all occasions. We hope you love browsing through Spoilt Belle Online as much as we do creating it.



50 Bridge Street Banbridge BT32 3JU 028 4066 9133 www.diamonddollsfashion.com www.fb.com/diamonddollsfashion With the ethos of making girls feel good and look their best Diamond Dolls mantra is “Turn Heads Be Fabulous”. The brand new Diamond Dolls boutique in Banbridge will delight anyone who visits. The grand neo classical interior will captivate the imagination. Set in an old bank building owner Brenda has redesigned the interior to a very high standard of elegance and charm. The fully stocked boutique has customers spoilt for choice and many fabulous labels including BDBA, Custo Barcelona and Kate Fearnley. Customers are amazed at the versatility of good quality affordable labels to suit every pocket from £35-£500 catering for teenagers to 60+.



5 Granges Street Ballyclare BT39 9ZJ 028 9334 5015 www.joliclothing.com www.fb.com/JoliDesignerClothing www.twitter.com/JoliClothing Joli Clothing is a Designer Clothing Boutique for Ladies and Gentleman situated in Ballyclare. Joli Clothing was opened on 15th October 2007 by Lorraine McConnell who runs the shop during the week. Joli Clothing was opened as Lorraine had a desire to work in fashion and wanted to bring fresh new brands to Ballyclare. Brands include Sandwich, Superdry, French Connection, Great Plains, Joules, InWear, A Postcard from Brighton, Raging Bull, Claudio Lugli, Sence Copenhagen & many more! We also have an online shop which has all clothing available to purchase (excludes Superdry). We hope you enjoy our store and have a happy shopping experience



Shades of Saint Patrick’s Day NYX Single Eyeshadow, £5, www.nyxcosmetics.co.uk

WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILING With a twinkle in your eye and some effervescent green on your lids, you can give someone the eye with confidence...


NYX Jumbo Eye Liner in Lime, £5, Superdrug

MAC Pressed Pigments Eye Shadow in Lime Ice, £17, MAC counters nationwide

ULbeauty Illamasqua Powder Eye Shadow in Fledgling, £15.50, Debenhams

COMPLETE THE LOOK Green Glitter Hairspray, £4, Claire's Accessories


Left-Right: Barry M Nail Polish in Spring Green, £2.99, barrym. com; Toma Green Goddess, £7.25, madbeauty.com; OPI Nail Polish in Green-Wich Village, £11.95, Debenhams



It’s a NEW me! 32

UL Maria has lost 3 stone since she started The New You Plan. Maria mentions that she lost an impressive 9 lbs of this in her first week on the diet! She goes on to mention that as a result her first and second weeks results combined meant that she lost 1 stone of her 3 stone goal. Overall the 3 stone weight loss has seen her drop from a dress size 16/18 right down to a size 12. Why did she choose The New You Plan? Maria picked us because of the resounding success one of her friends also had on our plan. Maria having tried many other diets without success previously was drawn to The New You Plan based on its simplicity and the very structured regime that she felt would help to keep her on track. She does mention periodically throughout the interview that these factors meant that this diet was far easier than she had ever expected. Maria’s reasons for starting the diet: Maria states that she once thought that she did not like shopping for clothes just because it was not something that appealed to her. However when she started to lose the weight she found that it was more because it was sometimes hard to find the fashions that she wanted. It was also a case of the clothes she tried on did not feel comfortable in regards to their fit. The next reason was that she

comfortable in the clothing expected of the occasion. Has this changed for Maria? The best thing about a VLCD is the quick results and from an early stage we saw the confidence in Maria grow. In the interview she talks about how much she loves shopping now, she loves the fact that she can walk into most shops and literally pick anything she wants. Maria also mentions that she now looks forward to the work nights out. The fact that this is raised in the interview hits home just how much of a person’s life is affected by selfperception. Maria did not just lose 3 stone she gained a life that had existed in parallel with her the whole time, she merely changed lanes to get into it.

was finding that there was a vicious cycle in her life that she had to stop. The cycle was not going out due to not feeling comfortable about herself – this in turn lead to her staying in and often eating and snacking. A cycle which anyone who is uncomfortable about their weight will relate to. Maria also mentions that she had never been on a sun holiday as she would not have felt

Maria’s top tips to staying focused on a VLCD: 1) Know what you want and why you want it! 2) Take pictures to help you keep a visual track of your progress 3) Exercise 4) Use the Secret Slimmers group for support 5) Focus on your achievements and make the promises to yourself that you intend to keep about not going back!







4 1 1 £ W




Whisk yourself off on the most direct route to central Scotland on our Express Service between Larne and Troon. Or choose the shortest, fastest route across the Irish Sea to Scotland and you’ll be in Cairnryan in just 2 hours, from £84. So you can spend less time getting there and more time doing the things you love.

Book direct at poferries.com or call 08716 64 80 07 Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras. Calls from mobiles will be higher.

Terms and Conditions: *Web fare including all taxes. The Express Service runs from Larne – Troon from 31st March to 30th September 2015. Phone bookings are subject to a booking fee of £5. Fare applies to restricted space, sailings and dates. Full terms and conditions apply, available at poferries.com


Is it possible to freeze time? No? OK then, but before you hot foot it to your nearest clinic for injectables, check out these little anti-wrinkle warriors... Skeyndor’s Global Lift Elixir (£80) is the winner of two prestigious awards and has been named ‘Best Professional Anti Aging Product.’ Never heard of it? Granted it’s not well known but it is amongst the beauty experts and this one is special as it’s inspired by avant-garde research in ProGEN-in and Glycobiology; it boasts Vitamin C, Anti Wrinkle Lipopeptide, ProGEN-in and tightening glycofluid substances. Boots new Time Delay Wrinkle Reduce Facial Oil (£13.99) improves the appearance of ageing skin that is lacking in lustre even from the first application, leaving skin looking and feeling smoother, softer and more radiant.

Oh Mummmy!

Skeyndor’s Global Lift Elixir, £80, nutriSkeyndor.co.uk

It’s Mother’s Day on March 15 so in homage to our marvellous mamas, here is a matriarchal mash up of beauty treats and trends for the first lady in our lives... Boots Time Delay Wrinkle Reduce Facial Oil, £13.99

LEIGHTON DENNY’S FIRST SCENT SHE’S THE MOST IMPORTANT WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE FROM THE DAY YOU ARE BORN, SO WHY NOT SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION WITH THE PERFECT GIFT? Renowned for his exquisite range of nail polishes, Leighton Denny fans can rejoice as he has just brought out his first ever scent Light & Dark and it smells divine. Leighton Denny Light & Dark, £43.50, leightondenny.com



Get some skin elasticity back with Inner Soul Circulation Boost Oil £13 (30ml).This body oil blend has been created with five oils chosen to soften and promote elasticity, offering a natural and organic approach to reducing cellulite, dryness and general sluggishness. Fresh Geranium and Rosemary essential oils will impact blood flow and focus the mind - great for use after a morning shower and for a massage! If you’re looking for a good scrub to boost circulation, try Balance Me Super Toning Body Polish, (£18); this invigorating, exhilarating, anti-oxidant toning body polish is made with walnut shells and designed firm and plump the skin.

Inner Soul Circulation Boost Oil £13, inner-soul.co.uk

Balance Me Super Toning Body Polish, £18, balanceme.co.uk

Clarins UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF40, £31, chemists nationwide


Known as the cream you can wear under or over make-up, Clarins UV protective day cream just got better thanks to the humble cantaloupe melon. Clarins UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF40 (£31) now boasts the super effective encapsulated antioxidant which makes it an even more effective summer anti-ager!


BB Creams and CC Creams are sooo passé, it’s all about the DD creams now and this one from Nuxe is perfection. It is multi-purpose giving skin a flawless complexion whilst simultaneously protecting it from the environment and the sun.


NUXE Cream Prodigieuse DD Cream, £17.50, chemists nationwide


The Fertility Ticking Time Bomb Tick, Tock, Body Clock; as the clocks go forward on March 29 it can sometimes feel like time is whizzing by and when it comes to your fertility it truly is. We ask the worrying question, is time running out to get pregnant?


ULlifestyle Us career women certainly don’t have it easy; in our teenage years we strived to do well in our exams whilst simultaneously juggling boys, hair straightening skills and the ups and downs of our menstrual cycles. What’s ironic too is that if we were sexually active, we done our damnedest to avoid getting pregnant, when in fact, we were in our fertility prime. We then graduated or landed our dream jobs through sheer grit and determination and that career ladder was often a lonely one with no time for boyfriends or settling down; we told ourselves, ‘we’ll do it as soon as I get that promotion’, or, ‘as soon as my department hits that target.’ The reality is that by the time we reach 35, our egg quality and quantity is significantly poorer and lower than our baby making dreams would like. A little female embryo in her mother’s womb proudly boasts around seven million eggs and by the time a girl is starting her period, she only has around 300,000 left! We continue to lose our eggs throughout life and this deterioration speeds up once we hit the big 3.0. After this, egg quality and quantity greatly diminishes. According to Dr Ishola Agbaje, Fertility Specialist at GCRM-BELFASTBelfast, female age is probably the single most important factor determining a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant. He said: “The monthly chances of conceiving are around 20 per cent per month aged 30 and reduce to five per cent per month aged 40. In addition,


miscarriage is increasingly common as a woman gets older further reducing the odds of a pregnancy resulting in a live birth. A woman’s fertility reduces more dramatically after the age of 35.” An Egg-sellent Idea So how do you like your eggs? Ummm, unfertilised please as I’ve several board meetings lined up over the next few months and a company conference in Japan I can’t miss! OK, so your job is

vitally important to you, that’s understandable and why should you sacrifice all you have worked hard for to be the good little woman? If the career comes first for now, the first step is to get your AMH levels assessed with a simple blood test. AMH stands for Anti-Mullerian Hormone and it’s these levels that give a good indication of a woman’s egg reserve i.e. if, at 28, you get tested only to find out that your egg stock is very low, it might be an idea to either have some

ULlifestyle eggs frozen or get down to baby making business. Egg freezing is available at GCRM-BELFAST and Dr Agbaje says: “Not everyone will meet ‘Mr Right’ at the right time. More recently, improvement in freezing technologies have allowed the development of egg freezing. This is now an established method of preserving female fertility in patients undergoing cancer treatments. The first birth from a frozen egg was as far back as 1986 but the efficiency of this technique has improved enormously. More recently fertility clinics have

seen a demand from women (so called the ‘Bridget Jones generation’) who wish to store eggs as a ‘back up’ for the future, so called ‘social egg freezing’. Like spontaneous pregnancy rates it is certainly true that the younger you store your eggs (and therefore the better the quality) the more likely you are to achieve a pregnancy using them in the future. Once frozen, eggs don’t age.” ‘Freezing Can Be Risky’ The problem is though, at the tender age of 28 you still think you have loads of time

and your Prince Charming is still out there just waiting to sweep you off your Louboutins. There are other problems associated with freezing your eggs too. Dr Agbaje continued: “Social egg freezing is new and as yet unproven. There are no studies comparing a policy of social egg freezing and delayed motherhood with encouraging early motherhood and facilitating this alongside careers, etc. There are also a number of important points to consider before embarking along these lines; just because eggs are stored there is no guarantee that a pregnancy (Livebirth) will result in the future. This is more of an ‘insurance’ than an ‘assurance’ policy. There are small but inherent risks in the process of retrieving eggs. Patients undergo the first part of a normal IVF cycle and although the risks are small



there can be complications which could potentially affect future fertility. However, data from European egg donor programmes is reassuring. Costs - two or three cycles may be required. Generating and freezing eggs in one cycle costs around £3,000 plus long term storage costs and then the costs of using the eggs in the future (around £2,000) can therefore amount to approximately £4,500 - £5,000 per cycle! Patients may never use the eggs if they have spontaneous pregnancies. Although studies suggest that this technology is safe in terms of the babies it is relatively new and we have no long-term safety data yet.” Not-So-Fertile-Myrtle So what’s the bottom line for professional women out there who think their fertility is a safe bet? Dr Agbaje said: “Often


people defer having children until they have reached a point in their career where they can afford to take time off or change working patterns and feel economically they are in a position to afford either childcare or a loss of earnings. Unfortunately, there is no sure fire way of beating the ‘biological clock’ and not delaying starting a family is probably the best strategy. In my experience, many people underestimate the effect their age may have. There may never be a ‘perfect’ time to start a family but having this sort

of awareness will help people make more informed decisions.” Some women might think, ‘no worries – I’ll just opt for some good, old IVF but the success of this is also age dependent. After 35, your chances of undergoing successful fertility treatment is also at a disadvantage. Dr Agbaje adds: “There is never a right time to have a baby and careers are (of course) important. However, what can be so difficult for many women is the realisation that although they have been able to achieve everything that they have set out to do in terms of their career this has been at the expense of time and suddenly they have absolutely no control of what becomes the most important thing in their life...having a family. At that stage both suffer. More efforts need to be directed in the workplace to allow women and couples to effectively balance careers and progression with family life.” So, is the quest for successful careers hindering Northern Irish women’s chances of a successful pregnancy? The answer is a resounding, ‘yes’, so if it’s a family you want you need to put those eggs on ice or request a visit from the stork pronto as nature waits for no deadline, workload or job opportunity.

Anyone wishing to discuss either egg freezing or simply worried about their fertility should contact GCRM-BELFAST-Belfast on: (028) 90781 335 and make an appointment with one of the fertility specialists.

& Northern Ireland’s first IVF money-back plan now available at GCRM-Belfast

GCRM-Belfast and Access Fertility are Partnering to help patients: M  ake substantial savings on the cost of treatment  Fix the cost of treatment  70% refund if you don’t have a baby

Get in touch GCRM-BELFAST Ltd Edgewater House, Edgewater Road GCRM-BELFAST Belfast, BT3 9 JQ Ltd Edgewater House, Edgewater Road Belfast, BT3 9JQ Telephone: 028 9078 1335 Fax: 028 9037 0947 Telephone: 028 9078 1335 Email: info@gcrmbelfast.com Fax: 028 9037 0947 www.gcrmbelfast.com e-mail: info@gcrmbelfast.com www.gcrmbelfast.com


Nutritious and Delicious for Little Rays! Little Rays Nursery have teamed up with local award winning nutritionist, Jane McClenaghan of Vital Nutrition to bring the 400 children in their care an exciting new menu plan specially designed to encourage them to try and enjoy healthy new foods. The plan consists of a range of snack, lunch and dessert recipes expertly created to provide the children with a balanced, varied and nutritious diet. Jane has worked with the team of in-house chef ’s to develop the menus based on the children’s


like and dislikes, and has even adapted some of the most loved recipes to make them healthier and more nutritious. Michelle Rea, Owner at Little Rays Nursery has been delighted with the introduction of the new menu plan; “We put the health and wellbeing of the children in our care as our highest priority so it’s important that we are constantly looking for new ways to improve our offering. By bringing Vital Nutrition in to work with our chef ’s we feel we have really come up with

a menu plan that the children will not only love, but that will introduce healthy tasty new foods and encourage them to be a bit more adventurous in their dining experience. Snack time and lunch time are good fun times for the children and when we see them together enjoying their food, trying new things and interacting with one another we feel that we are doing something right. We will also be providing parents some of the children’s favourite recipes so that they can try them at home.” The menu plan takes into

ULlifestyle consideration seasonal choices which is a great way to help manage budgets, has introduced a greater variety of sources of protein, constantly rotating red meat, fish and chicken, has included a collection of one pot wonders making it easier for the chef ’s and provides a wonderful selection of healthier desserts and treats – because there is nothing wrong with a little something sweet! Throughout the development process Jane worked closely not only with the in-house team at Little Rays, but also with a mini focus group of kids aged between 4 and 10! “Creating a meal for a child can be hard work, fussy eaters will often have decided at first glance whether or not they are even going to try something which can make meal times extremely stressful for a busy Mum who just wants her child to get the right nutrients. I’ve created this collection with that in mind and provided lots of choice, bright colours and fun! Quite often children will eat well at nursery surrounded by their peers, but when it comes to eating at home they become picky and mush less adventurous. We hope that by dining on a feast of nutritious tasty snacks and lunches that they will become more willing to try at home also, or at the very least have stocked up on plenty of yummy goodness while at Nursery!” Little Rays Nursery provide day care for approximately 400 children aged 2 months – 12 years at three locations across Northern Ireland, Moira, Lisburn

and Ballymena. They introduced the Happy Healthy Smart Initiative last year which sees them ensure the health and well-being of each child in their care benefits from a series of new projects and initiatives which to date has included Prep Fit classes, Drama Classes, Spanish Classes and now this new nutritious menu plan. Banana Muffins (Makes 24 muffins) Ingredients 1 medium egg ½ tsp vanilla extract 55g soft light brown sugar 1 large, very ripe banana, well mashed 55ml sunflower oil 85g wholemeal flour ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp bicarbonate soda ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Method • Preheat oven to 180c/160c fan. Line 2 mini muffin tins with mini muffin liners. • Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick, stir in the banana and oil. • Sift on the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt (if using). Then add the vanilla extract and bran left in the sieve, to the bowl too. • Stir together until just combined. • Spoon into muffin cases (around 2/3 full) and bake 12-14 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch. Remove and cool. • Store in an airtight box for up to 3 days or freeze (defrost at room temp approx. 1 hour). Health Benefits for the kids: Bananas are an amazing go-to


UL Easy fish pie Ingredients 1kg potatoes, peeled and halved Knob of butter Splash of milk 25g butter 25g flour 4 spring onions, finely sliced 400ml milk 1 x pack fish pie mix (cod, salmon, smoked haddock etc., weight around 320g-400g depending on pack size) 1 tsp Dijon or English mustard ½ a 25g pack or a small bunch chives, finely snipped Handful frozen sweetcorn Handful frozen petits pois Handful grated cheddar

on-the-go fruit every parent should have in their bag, but we can also use them in some delicious treats too, bananas help to regulate bowel movements, increase brain power, they are great for the heart, aid healthy strong bones, help protect eyesight and even while curbing a sweet craving they are helping to regulate blood sugar levels. Pink Beetroot Hummus Ingredients (serves 4) 1 tin chickpeas 2 cooked beetroot 2 garlic cloves Juice of 1 lemon 2 tblsp olive or rapeseed oil


Generous pinch of sea salt ½ tsp smoked paprika Method Drain and rinse the chickpeas, roughly chop the beetroot and then throw everything into your blender or food processor and blitz. Serve with carrot or celery sticks for an easy colourful and nutritious snack any time of the day! Simple as that! Health Benefits: Beetroot is a wonderfully tasty and versatile food is simply jam-packed with nutrients, in particularly, beetroot is excellent for aiding circulation and blood production – especially when eaten raw!

Method • Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180 fan/ gas mark 6. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and pour over enough water to cover them. Bring to the boil and then simmer until tender. When cooked, drain thoroughly and mash with a splash of milk and some butter. Season with ground black pepper. • Meanwhile, put the butter, flour and spring onions in another pan and heat gently until the butter has melted, stirring regularly. Cook for 1 -2 mins. Gradually whisk in the milk using a balloon whisk if you have one. Bring to the boil, stirring to avoid any lumps and sticking at the bottom of the pan. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes until thickened. • Take off the heat and stir in the cheese (if using), fish, mustard, chives, sweetcorn and peas. Spoon into an ovenproof dish or 6- 8 ramekins.


• Spoon the potato on top and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Pop in the oven for 20 - 25 mins or until golden and bubbling at the edges. Alternatively, cover and freeze the pie or mini pies for another time. Health Benefits for kids: Fish is rich in protein, the nutrient the body needs to build strong healthy muscles and bones as well as to help repair the scrapes and scratches that are part and parcel of growing up. Protein is needed by every part of the body – skin, hair, nails, heart, lungs as well as muscles and it is a vital nutrient for healthy development. Children need to eat a protein food at lunch and dinner and fish can be a very healthy choice. Open Beef & Butter Bean Pie Ingredients 450g pack diced lean casserole beef steak 1 tbsp cornflour 1 tsp smoked paprika 1 tbsp olive oil 2 red onions, roughly chopped 390g carton chopped tomatoes

400ml beef stock, made with 1⁄2 beef stock cube 400g tin butter beans, drained and rinsed 375g pack ready rolled lighter puff pastry 1 medium British free-range egg, beaten, to glaze 450g broccoli florets Method • Preheat the oven to 170°C, fan 150°C, gas 3. Put the beef, cornflour and paprika in a bowl and toss to coat the beef. • Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat and fry the beef in batches for 2-3 minutes until browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. • Add the onions to the casserole and fry for 5 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil. Return the beef to the pot and add the beans. Cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, then increase the oven temperature to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6 for the final 15 minutes of cooking time. • After the beef has been

cooking for 1 hour, unroll the pastry. Using 12cm and 6cm starshaped cookie cutters, stamp out 4 large and 8 small pastry stars. Put on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and brush with the egg. Bake the pastry stars on a shelf above the casserole for the final 15 minutes of the casserole cooking time. • Just before the end of the beef cooking time, cook the broccoli in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain. Spoon the casserole into bowls, top with the pastry stars and serve with the broccoli on the side. Health benefits for kids: We all know it’s not advisable to eat too much red meat, but in moderation, the lean variety is more than acceptable and provides young children with much needed zinc, iron and protein. All beans are full of plant proteins and have beneficial fibre, are cholesterol free and low in fat meaning beans provide extensive health benefits, including; helping to aid digestion and control blood sugar levels which can even help eliminate the want for sweets! Berry Compote & Rice Pudding (makes 12 portions) Ingredients 1/2 bag frozen berries 1 cinnamon stick 1 dsp honey 50g (2 oz) pudding rice 600 ml (1 pint) milk

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A taste of Italy Ulster Life’s Aideen McCanny visits the newly opened Fratelli Restaurant and experiences rustic Italian charm with a contemporary edge! Fratelli Restaurant at Galgorm Resort has long been a favourite of mine so when I’d learned that the Fratelli name was arriving in Belfast, I couldn’t wait to pay the restaurant a visit. I was expecting the same level of fantastic food and exceptional service offered at the Galgorm venue and was pleased to find that this restaurant was no different. Upon arrival, my husband and I were escorted to our table. On a bustling Friday night, the restaurant was a hive of activity with family celebrations, friends’


reunions and couple’s dates. The restaurant’s stunning interiors immediately draws you in. Exposed brickwork and neutral shades combine with bold pops of colour from the restaurant’s artwork and soft furnishings to give the place a true homely, yet contemporary feel. The open plan kitchen allows the diner an insight into the hub of the restaurant and truly makes you feel like you are a part of the entire experience. With an extensive selection of rustic Italian dishes, the menu at Fratelli certainly caters for

all tastes. When it comes to starters, the menu affords the diner the opportunity to have as little or as much as they like! For a true taste of Italy, I would highly recommend ordering Cicchetti, which are tapas style dishes, typically served in Italian taverns. We shared the chicken and chorizo stew, garlic prawns with lemon and herb butter and feta and sun dried tomato arancini with truffled honey dressing. Each dish offers a delicious combination of flavours and textures and


were cooked to perfection! In particular, I thoroughly enjoyed the chicken and chorizo stew which had just a little kick and was a perfect winter warmer, on a dreary February evening. Onto the main course and again, the selection is exceptional. From pasta dishes, to Romana pizzas, seafood and steak, the menu is a diner’s delight! With a craving for pizza, the Diavolo was the order of the day, topped with Italian pepperoni, chorizo, red peppers, spicy jalapenos and fresh shaved garlic. My partner

opted for the half roast duck with an aged balsamic glaze, served with dressed rocket salad and chilli pesto fries. The presentation of both dishes was simply superb and we both thoroughly enjoyed our selection. With a sweet tooth to satisfy, I couldn’t refuse dessert. The menu includes an extensive range of miniature handcrafted desserts and ice cream, perfect for indecisive people like myself who can’t decide on just one. We choose to share the rich milk chocolate and raspberry cup,

Amaretto panna cotta topped with crushed pistachio nuts and the original Glastry Farm ice cream, served with tea, which was the perfect end to a perfect meal! Fratelli offers a true taste of Italy in stunning surroundings. With superb attention to detail and a fabulous combination of flavours, we left with the vow to return again soon. 60 Great Victoria Street, Belfast, BT2 7BB Tel: 028 90 310862 www.fratellibelfast.com


ULwedding NATALIE THOMPSPN & MARTIN CONNOLLY St Eungines Catherdral Derry & Lusty Beg island Co Fermanagh - 18th July 2014


ULwedding PAULA MCGEE & KEITH RAINEY St Michaels church, Mulleek, Fermanagh & Harveys Point Lodge Co.Donegal – 24th May 2014



Perfect Day

88 William Street, lurgan 88 William Street, lurgan tel: (028) 3832 1607. tel: (028) 3832 1607. WWW.perfectdayni.com WWW.perfectdayni.com Find us on Facebook Find us on Facebook


Martin Freestal and Hornby

Gill Stewart and Leticia Alvarez

Gemma-Louise Bond and Chris Hughes

Lucky Number 13 Recently the special celebration event of Hop House 13 Lager, the latest beer from The Brewers Project took place in South Studios, Dublin 8. Guests enjoyed a sensory Hop House 13 experience with exploratory food pairings and a live set by Irish music act All Tvvins on the night. Hop House 13 is a double-hopped lager made with Irish barley and aromatic hops and continues the 256 years of heritage and brewing excellence at St. James’s Gate. Enjoy Hop House 13 Sensibly. Visit www.drinkaware.co.uk



Leticia Alvarez and Keith Burch

Martin Breen and Pete Snodden

Martin Breen and Gary McDonald



She LIFTS! By Eve Brannon Sponsored by Peak Physique Lisburn Road

This issue I have some exciting news‌ UL FITNESS has a brand new shiny sponsor, my new training partner PEAK PHYSIQUE. Sadly Body Vibes gym has now closed its doors, but I continue to share my passion for exercise with Ulster Life readers and I look forward to new challenges ahead in the world of fitness 56

ULfitness This month I discuss a hotly debated topic – weightlifting. To many, the term ‘weightlifting’ evokes the image of huge musclebound men in sweaty gyms pumping iron. The question is, as a female, should I lift weights? The answer to which, in short, is yes. To all females and males out there that want to lose body fat and/or gain muscle mass, introducing weights to your training programme is key. This doesn’t have to mean bodybuilding or high intensity lifting it can be as simple as the use of kettle bells, free weights, weights machines or body weight exercises. A common myth amongst females is that resistance training will make them manly or bulky – this is not the case. Women should never be scared to introduce weights into their exercise regime; you will never grow as large or be as bulky as a man because genetically our bodies just aren’t designed that way. Testosterone is the muscle-building hormone, of which women have a considerably lower amount than men. In fact, building large muscles as a female is notoriously difficult, if that is the goal. I began using weights, of various methods, within my training around a year and a half ago and have never looked back. From a personal viewpoint, I have not ‘bulked’ at all; I have found that weightlifting has, if anything, the capability of increasing a female’s natural feminine shape in conditioning the body. Such as defining the waste and sculpting the limbs. Above all, lifting provides great core strength and stability,

addressing muscular strength and endurance. However, the benefits are much more far-reaching. I

encourage you to consider adding resistance to your programme today and reap the rewards.

The benefits of incorporating weight training into your workouts are as follows: • Lifting weights will reduce body fat and speed up your metabolic rate (the rate our body converts calories to energy) •A  dded muscle mass requires more calories to maintain itself, therefore making the body more efficient at using calories for energy instead of storing them as fat •W  eight training increases bone density. Studies have shown that the risk of osteoporosis is lower for people who do load-bearing, or weight-bearing activities •L  ifting weights improves the strength of your muscles, tendons and ligaments – decreasing the possibility of injury in exercise •E  nergy. A study published by the National Institute of Health suggests that energy levels increase hours after you train with resistance. Even if you do the minimum of resistance training, it will improve fat oxidation and your energy balance

721 Lisburn Road, Belfast, Antrim BT9 7GU T: 028 9066 7887 www.peakphysiquelisburnroad.com Under New Ownership


Profile for UL Magazine

Ulster Life Magazine. March 2015  

Irelands Interactive Fashion and Lifestyle Monthly

Ulster Life Magazine. March 2015  

Irelands Interactive Fashion and Lifestyle Monthly