If you're an Irish Country Magazine reader, you are probably the type of woman who: wants clever and beautiful gadgets that actually work; needs to fill the house with delicious wine and cheese by the time Friday arrives; and loves all things Irish, from great plays to new designers. If so, read on and thank us later.
#InformInspireIndulge is a new series on our website full of the latest things going on in culture, events, wellbeing, interiors, travel, food, fashion and of course, inspiring women. From great lifestyle tips to leave you feeling your best, where we have been window shopping to the gorgeous wedding venue/yoga pop-up we've just discovered and much more, here’s a handful of our favourite bits from this week. For more, click here.
INFORM: Things We Love | Hot Topics | Diary
THINGS WE LOVE
SODA AT BROWN THOMAS
SODA is the lifestyle technology brand we never knew we needed, handpicking the most effective, clever and beautiful tech gadgets that will add joy and ease to your day. Headphones getting grubby and tangled? Happy-Nes headphones (€72.50) have cables wrapped in vibrant cord inspired by tropical islands in Africa and Asia, and won’t get knotted up in your handbag. The Pilo Fabric Shaver (€40) will debobble your clothes without damaging them, and the Cirrus Streamer (€113) is a small, portable steamer you can take on holidays, or for when you can’t be bothered to take out the ironing board (so, all the time then). If you fancy taking your digital detox up a notch, check out the Light Phone €136 , a calls-only phone that guarantees notification and text-free escapism, whether you don’t want to be disturbed in meetings, on holidays or for a whole weekend. Bliss! Find all this and more clever buys (including period underwear THINX — bye bye, tampons) online at SODA and www.brownthomas.com or check out the permanent pop-up shop at Brown Thomas Grafton Street, where new stock will be added fortnightly.
FOR YOUR DIARY
RODDY DOYLE'S TWO PINTS and THE SNAPPER
After last year’s sell out tour, The Abbey Theatre’s production of Two Pints by Roddy Doyle will revisit pubs around Ireland and the UK this summer. This gem of a show is directed by Caitríona McLaughlin and is based on two typical Irish fellas chatting in a pub over a pint. They talk about everything from their da’s, death, Nigella, North Korea to the afterlife. The tour kicks off at the Flowing Tide on Lower Abbey Street in Dublin, before performances in Carlow, Louth, Longford, Derry, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland. Directors of the Abbey Theatre Graham McLaren and Neil Murray said, “We want the Abbey Theatre, our national theatre, and its audience to be reflective of Ireland. To us, this means presenting work all over Ireland, and not necessarily in conventional spaces. Roddy’s funny, touching and provocative Two Pints seemed the perfect piece to do this with last year. We’re delighted to bring it back for another Dublin run, to Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland and we’re especially proud to be presenting it in Carlow, Louth, Longford and Derry – four Irish counties that we didn’t get to last time.”
And if you haven't booked tickets to the stage adaptation of The Snapper at The Gate, you absolutely need to get on it! Team ICM went to see it and it is literally a laugh a minute. Simon Delaney is phenomenal and really makes the role his own. Hazel Clifford is absolutely gas as Sharon, and it really is just as enjoyable as the movie and book. Running until 15 September.
WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK
If you are able to do it, breastfeeding is a brilliant way to provide your babies with the best start in life. And you avoid the hassle of sterilising bottles, which is definitely a win when you’re sleep deprived! The aim of World Breastfeeding Week is to promote breastfeeding as a way to improve global health, sustainability and food security, particularly as a solution for mothers in developing countries, but in general to provide all babies with the essential nutrients and antibodies they need in the first six months. So it's important to be encouraging and supportive of new mums, and to ensure they feel comfortable to feed their babies as and when they need to.
INSPIRE: Be Inspired | Interviews | Health & Wellbeing
SINÉAD BURKE ON EMBRACING HER DIFFERENCES
Sinéad Burke’s first column as a Contributing Editor for British Vogue was released this week.
I’m very, very proud to be a new Contributing Editor to @britishvogue. Thank you so much to @edward_enninful for his extraordinary leadership and to @gileshattersley and @alcaselyhayford for taking a chance on me. My first piece (which is online now) is about my body, disability and our response to difference. . . “We are embarrassed by what we do not know, and we are often aggressive towards anyone who reminds us of our ignorance, or is different to us. Yet, from children’s innocent inquisitiveness we could learn to cultivate an empathy and respect for otherness.” . . [Image description: Sitting and wearing a rather fantastic @burberry blouse - it has a polka dot collar, pussy-bow and cuffs, whilst the remainder is vertical stripes, I’m posing with one hand on my hip and the other on my lap. I’m smiling and my bob is suspiciously like that of another Vogue team-member.... this photo was taken at @scaddotedu.]
IRISH WOMEN TURNING HEADS IN FASHION
We interviewed two of this year's Future Makers award winners, Raychel Murphy and Pearl Reddington, about their quirky designs (Neon knitwear? Embroidery that mentions Maniac 2000? We're sold!) and making it as a young Irish designer. We also chatted to the wonderful beauty expert Pamela Laird about what it was like to work on Saoirse Ronan's cover shoot in US Vogue. Yes, Irish women are really doing something right to be turning Vogue editor's heads in the US and the UK!
KNITWEAR BY PEARL REDDINGTON
EMBROIDERY BY RAYCHEL MURPHY
SAOIRSE RONAN IN US VOGUE
HEALTH & WELLBEING
Anxiety is no longer something people feel they have to keep quiet about, so thankfully there is a lot of talk about strategies that can help. Studies have shown that what is going on in your gut affects your brain function and vice versa. This relationship means that taking steps to ease your mind and support your tummy will both help you feel better in the long run. Looking after your gut, eating healthy and using products that reduce inflammation are the best ways to reduce symptoms of anxiety naturally, according to Irish supplement brand Scope Healthcare’s in-house nutritionist Eva Hill-Hamilton. Here are some of her top tips:
1. Avoid sugar, stimulants and additives that aggravate anxiety and disturb sleep.
2. Swap your coffee/tea for green tea. The antioxidant and L-theanine content in green tea can help to improve mood, while its low caffeine content helps the withdrawal symptoms.
3. Eat in regular intervals and include protein and essential fats in every meal. The more balanced your blood sugar levels are, the more you can regulate stress hormone production.
4. Take a multi-strain probiotic that supports the gut-brain axis. Certain strains have been identified to be able to reduce anxiety, such as Bifidobacterium longum, breve, infantis and Lactobacilli plantarum, helveticus and rhamnosus. All these strains are in the Bio-Kult Advanced multi-strain formula (€10.99 for 30 capsules), designed by neurologist Dr Natasha Campbell McBride.
5. Practice relaxation techniques such as controlled breathing, meditation and prayer to quiet a racing mind and reduce stress hormone levels.
6. Exercise, especially in nature. Amongst its many documented physiological benefits, regular exercise elevates the mood and helps to combat anxiety disorder.
7. Try herbal remedies to help you cope with stress and sleep problems and reduce anxiety. Lemon balm, passion flower, chamomile, holy basil, and Schisandra are but a few examples. Always check for contraindications if taking any prescription medications.
INDULGE: Interiors & Travel | Fashion & Beauty | Food & Drink
INTERIORS & TRAVEL
Firmount House in Kildare is a gorgeous wedding venue with a fascinating past. The house was once a secret Cold War nuclear bunker, a safe house for De Valera and a WWI military hospital. As well as weddings they host pop up events and gatherings, so it could be a great option if you’re planning a party or event or fancy popping along to one of their yoga sessions.
11th August at 19.30pm. Come join us for a long table supper hosted by Ballymaloe trained @kinneaghkitchen. Using locally sourced and organic where possible ingredients, your taste buds will thank you! Come on your own (best way to meet new people) or come together. Only 40 mins from Dublin City centre. Booking essential. Tickets available via Info@firmounthouse.com or via the website ( link in bio) #kildare #thingstodokildare #longtablesupper #popuprestaurant #popupdublin #kildare #firmount #firmounthouse #eatorganic #comeonyourown #sharingfood #sharingtableswithstrangers #sharingtables #doerupper #interiors #realhomesofinstagram #restorationproject
SISTERS BY CK
Caroline Kilkenny has teamed up with her sister Nicola to create a new range to appeal to younger women. The accessible luxury collection is experimental and full of bold colour and interesting details. Check out the full collection here and you nearest stockist here.
FOOD & DRINK
Have you checked out Loose Canon yet? From the team behind coffee hub Meet Me In The Morning, Loose Canon is a wine and cheese shop focusing on natural beverages and exceptional cheese. The gorgeous shop, which features bespoke mahogany and marble counters handmade by co-owner Brian O’Caoimh, is located on 29 Drury Street with another entrance into George’s Street Arcade, so it is a handy place to visit on a trip to Dublin. They are passionate about supporting homegrown produce, with least 60% of their cheese selection is Irish, and the shop will be a go-to for anyone who appreciates natural wines and who wants to experiment with interesting vintages. Loose Canon Cheese & Wine, 29 Drury Street, Dublin 2
INFORM | INSPIRE | INDULGE