This Friday, January 14, is known as “Quitters Friday”, the day that most of us will give up on our New Year resolutions. There are however ways to deal with the dip in motivation and general lacklustre mood that the January blues bring. Here are some ideas …
Buy a bird box
Forget outdoor pizza ovens and fire pits. This winter it’s all about the bird box. A recent survey by The World Economic Forum has revealed the happiest Europeans are those who see the most bird species in their day-to-day life. Patrick Croke, of Connecting to Nature, an Irish-based organisation supporting nature therapy, says “Feeding birds, especially during the so-called “hungry gap” from until the start of spring is a very good way of feeling closer to nature and bringing wildlife closer to you.” www.connectingtonature.ie
Book this feelgood show
Who doesn’t love Disney’s The Lion King (I still cry, in a good way, every time I watch it). The multi-award-winning musical is currently on at The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and runs until February 7. Meeting a friend for a pre-theatre drink? The Marker Hotel’s Tiki cocktails (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) will start the evening in style with three blends named after the Lion King’s characters including The Rafiki, The Mufasa and The Simba. Alternatively there is “The Lion King Stay & Dine” package from €172 per person sharing. This includes a pre-theatre dinner for two guests, followed by an overnight stay with breakfast the next morning. Complimentary use of the spa and wellness centre which includes 23-meter infinity pool, sauna, stream room and jacuzzi is included (and should not be missed!). To make a booking or enquiry, visit www.themarkerhotel.guestreservations.com.
Order this delicious home delivery
If you are looking for a treat, Winedown’s new “Home Dinner Boxes” won’t disappoint. I love the restaurant and if you haven’t been, the three tasting boxes comprise the restaurant’s most loved dishes. Think great breads, impeccable cheese, croquettes and modern tapas (Asian marinated bavette steak skewers, slow braised pork belly, chocolate marquis, caramel budino with chocolate soil …). Available every Thursday to Saturday in January, they cost €55. The Classic Box and The Vegetarian Box each include six dishes to be shared between two (if you are not doing dry January, it’s €75 with a wine pairing). There’s also a Cheese and Charcuterie box from €25. Boxes can be collected from Winedown, Montague street at no additional cost or delivery within Dublin city (12-7pm). Orders must be processed by midnight the night before. Solo orders can be arranged by calling the shop directly; www.meltdown.ie.
Try the 20-20-20 rule
With partial working from home set to continue in 2022, it’s important to take timeout from screens. Kerril Hickey, Specsavers Ireland Chairman, explains: “Our eyes are not designed to be fixated on a single object for a long period of time which is why they can often become strained when we sit at a computer all day. However, the ‘20-20-20 rule’ where you look at something 20ft away, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes, can help.” www.specsavers.ie
Read something uplifting
Two new self-help books published this month include How To Focus on Your Goals and Create a Life You Love, Adrienne Herbert, Penguin, £9.99, which is based on the hit podcast Power Hour, and Connecting the Dots – the Art and Science of Creating Good Luck, Dr Christian Busch, which is published by Penguin, on January 20 and recommended by Arianna Huffington no less.
Try this home son et lumière
For an interesting scent and sound experience, try the new limited edition Citronella candle, €20, a collaboration between two Irish brands Potty Mouth and The Home Moment. The scent combines notes of eucalyptus, spices, clove, musk, cedarwood and nutmeg designed to transport you to more exotic (mosquito-free) places. There is a seed card included in each candle box that has a scannable QR code to natural soundscape recordings. Light your candle while you’re in the bath or when meditating and listen to an original recording from The Home Movement’s in-house artist “Darkscapes”. What’s more, the QR code to this soundscape experience is printed on a biodegradable seeded paper card, so when your candle has burnt out you can put the seed card in the amber glass jar with a handful of soil and let flowers grow out of it; www.pottymouth.ie.
If you have read our January issue of THE GLOSS (available on newsstands), then you know we are taking a more mindful approach to life in general and endorsing pre-loved fashion. There are lots of ways to shop, swap and rent. Also of interest: Thriftify, the Irish online charity website, is launching its sale on January 14 with discounts of up to 70 per cent on books, kid’s clothing, handbags and so much more. Having recently released its impact shopping report, Thriftify acknowledged during 2021, the total number of items sold via the site prevented 167.84 tonnes of CO2 emissions and saved 59,906,398 litres of water being used, simply by consumers opting to buy second hand items; www.thriftify.ie.
Book this wellness event
On Wednesday January 19, Harvey Nichols at Dundrum Town Centre is the location for a wellness event hosted by Advanced Nutrition Programme. Taking place from 11am – 12.30pm, the event starts with a 45-minute Pilates class led by instructor Jennifer Hickey, followed by an introduction to the supplement range formulated to support healthy skin and wellbeing in a sustainable way. Participants will take home a yoga mat, water bottle and mini discovery supplement supply to try at home (value over €35). Tickets are €50 redeemable on purchases made during the morning on Advanced Nutrition Programme products. Customers can book their ticket by calling 01-2910424 or they can visit Beyond Beauty in store; www.harveynichols.com.
Try these conversation starters
Tony’s Chocolonely has launched three new “Conversation Bars” designed to provoke real talk around serious issues impacting the chocolate industry and beyond. The wrappers put three important topics front and centre, asking “What does equality/human/justice mean to you?”. Jo Lane, chief marketing officer at Tony’s Chocolonely comments: “By increasing empathy and understanding around these issues, on a societal level and in the context of the chocolate industry, we hope to drive more support for our mission to eradicate modern slavery and illegal child labour. Because it’s only together that we can make all chocolate 100 per cent slave free.” As for the chocolate, having received a sample I can honestly say they are delicious especially the white chocolate raspberry biscuit sprinkles. Other flavours include the milk chocolate caramel almond nougat pretzel sea salt and the new vegan dark chocolate lemony caramel cocoa biscuit. The limited edition Conversation Bars (€3.98) are available from Brown Thomas, Fresh, Fallon & Byrne and online reuzi.ie and EarthMother.ie.
Get a massage
Only two weeks into a new year and you’re as stiff as a board? The “Winter Wonder” package at The Shelbourne Spa should sort things out! This pampering treatment includes a 60-minute wellbeing full body massage, a pressure point hand and foot massage and a signature spa drink enjoyed in the relaxation room afterwards. It’s €135, available until end February; www.TheShelbourne.com.
“We want our customers to feel great in three different ways: feel great when they see the clothes; feel great when they wear them and feel great for buying it as they will be donating to three different charities,” says activist Conor Buckley founder of the Human Collective – a new urban fashion with a range of sustainable crew neck sweatshirts and beanie hats. Its logo, an equals sign, is a clue to the brand’s ethos of equality and social inclusion. €3 from the sale of each sweatshirt is donated to the brand’s charity partners – Sports Against Racism Ireland, LGBT Ireland and the Irish Youth Foundation; www.wearehumancollective.com.
Investigate Moon Medicine
The Trailblazery is hosting an online Moon Medicine gathering on Monday, January 17 at 7pm. The theme of this gathering is “The Art of Mothering” with Layla O’Mara. She is founder of the online platform NuaNua which runs courses for mothers, helping them to navigate the rite of passage known as matrescence and to explore how mothers can have a catalysing role to play in the axis shift our planet is going through. Hosted by Kathy Scott, founder of The Trailblazery, special online event will also feature music from Layla’s husband, Brian Crosby, pianist, producer and film score composer; www.thetrailblazery.com.
Book ahead for this midwinter festival
Music for Galway’s Midwinter Festival, which takes place from January 21 – 23, explores the work, influences and legacy of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, one of Ireland’s greatest Romantic composers of the 20th century. If you can’t make it to the four live concerts, they will be streamed online in addition to two documentary films and two talks on the composer. In addition to music by Stanford, the programme include works by those who influenced him, such as Brahms and Schumann, and by those who studied with him like Vaughan Williams, Frank Bridge, Rebecca Clarke, Muriel Herbert, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and others. The cast of performers includes John Finucan on clarinet, Sharon Carty mezzo soprano, pianist and RIAM Student Quartet. To find out more and buy tickets – ranging from €6 to €20 – visit www.musicforgalway.ie.
On days when you can’t be bothered to make an effort with make-up or clothes, one guaranteed mood booster is a bright lip. In addition to launching her new game-changing new Beautiful Skin foundation, Charlotte Tilbury’s “Electric Poppy” lipstick is a lovely cerise/red from her “Hot Lips” collection which was created for the charity Women for Women International. Available at Brown Thomas, it’s also part of Charlotte Tilbury’s sustainable edit; €27.52; www.brownthomas.com.
Book this weight loss retreat
Nourish and Thrive is a bespoke weight loss and wellness retreat, located outside the town of Westport. Ruth O’Malley, founder, explains: “Our holistic approach embodies all aspects of weight loss. Most weight loss retreats involve boot camps with intense exercise, calorie counting and meal substitutes. These are beneficial, but often result in short term weight loss. We focus on long term change and provide participants with a toolbox to practically manage their weight. Our goal is to create an experience where clients leave feeling relaxed, renewed and ready to integrate what they have learnt back into their daily lives.” O’Malley runs ongoing three or five day retreats. There’s a three-day retreat on January 28 – 30 which is fully residential and includes all meals, cookery demonstrations and workshops. Rates start from €450 for a twin or double room to €600 for a single supplement. Participants receive a goodie bag and can enjoy relaxing dinners, cookery demonstations, a walk to Tourmakedy Waterfall, a sound bath experience, guided meditation and workshop on the principles of healthy nutrition. To find out more visit www.nourishandthriveireland.com.
Get some visual inspiration
Visit the National Gallery of Ireland’s exhibition to view the bequest of 31 watercolours and drawings by JMW Turner from collector Henry Vaughan who stipulated in his will that the watercolours be exhibited every year in January when the light is weakest. The jewel-like colours and experimental effects in Turner’s luminous watercolours are captivating. Also uplifting, is the open air digital gallery Living Canvas found at Wilton Park off Baggott Street and at the Tropical Fruit Warehouse on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. These huge custom digital installations in these locations (the largest in Europe) take water as the theme connecting them between the Liffey and the Grand Canal.
Say thank you
Have you written your post-Christmas thank you notes? I love nothing better than filling my ink pen, getting out some nice stationery and setting aside some time for this purpose. Apparently I’m not alone. Posh stationers Papier expect to sell over €500k in correspondence stationery during January and February. They have some lovely monogrammed notecards – some by Fiona Leahy, Mother of Pearl and Matilda Goad among others; www.papier.com.
Sign up to our MAILING LIST now for a roundup of the latest fashion, beauty, interiors and entertaining news from THE GLOSS MAGAZINE’s daily dispatches.