Striking street art, cozy cotton pajamas and female heroes


Goldsmith Janice Byrne and designer Nadia Cruikshanks, founder of Fauna Kids, have been friends since they were teenagers in school. The two creatives have now come together to create a beautiful collaboration just in time for Christmas. The result is the Stargazer jewelry collection which consists of two styles of necklaces – Lunar Eclipse and Solar Eclipse. The sterling silver pendants are handcrafted by Byrne in his Dublin workshop and are double sided. The Lunar Eclipse features a lunar landscape on one side with oxidized details and a choice of zodiac signs on the reverse (€125). The Solar Eclipse is adorned with a vermeil detail in the lunar landscape and the signs of the zodiac (€135). A smooth, polished back necklace is also available (€120 / €130). The pendants are presented in beautiful presentation pouches designed by Fauna Kids and a Stargazer gift box is also available, consisting of a necklace, a printed tote bag and a printed organic cotton sweatshirt (160 €/€170).

Affordable fitness app for healthy body and mind

Lesley Giltinan, founder of Lean With Lesley (LWL)

Lesley Giltinan, the founder of Lean With Lesley (LWL), has been educating women in Cork and beyond for 10 years, helping them to become fitter, stronger and more confident. Giltinan launched the LeanWithLesley app in September 2018 to empower anyone to train anywhere. Each course is like an individual training session with her coaching and motivating her clients throughout. The LWL app includes three new live workouts every week (all available on demand), a weekly workout planner, a healthy recipe bank for daily meals and snacks, workouts for all fitness levels and more . It offers a seven-day free trial, so why not give it a try and see how you feel? Annual subscription: €109. Monthly subscription: €9.99.

Optimize Design’s New Color Concierge Service

Optimize Home has just launched its Color Concierge service
Optimize Home has just launched its Color Concierge service

Architect, interior designer and managing director of Optimize Home and Optimize Design, Denise O’Connor is well known for contributing to the media on all manner of home-related topics and advising on everything from home builds to paint lines, including the Signature collection. for Dulux and new Irish paint brand Alchemist Paint in collaboration with the Carlow Paint Hub. Optimize Home has just launched its Color Concierge service – an easy way to choose paint colors while leaving it all up to the experts. Perfect for home renovations, updating existing rooms or even commercial business owners who need professional advice, the service includes a consultation to help you choose the perfect colors and paint finishes from the MOOD range by Alchemist. They’ll even send you self-adhesive color swatches, deliver the paint to your door, and give you advice on reliable tradespeople to get the job done. The service costs either €200 + VAT and €350 + VAT depending on whether it is a virtual or in-person consultation.

Look for Ardú in Cork City

Ardu selected artist Jolien Kitsune at work on her mural in Pope's Quay Cork.  Photo: Clare Keogh
Ardu selected artist Jolien Kitsune at work on her mural in Pope’s Quay Cork. Photo: Clare Keogh

Born during lockdown, Cork’s street art project, Ardú, began organically with works by some of Ireland’s most renowned street artists including Maser, James Earley, Aches and Deirdre Breen. Returning in 2021, the event featured more incredible street art from artists Asbestos, Friz, Shane O’Malley and Conor Harrington. Thanks to the engagement and positive feedback from the public, Ardú returns this year with breathtaking works on an epic scale by Claire Prouvost whose work in Shandon Street is inspired by the nearby Firkin Crane dance centre; Kitsune Jolene at Sullivan’s Quay whose mural is a variation on the story of the Celtic goddess Danu, and Vents137 whose work on South Terrace is inspired by Cork stories old and new and the graffiti heritage of the car park of the White Street in the city. Watch the next time you’re in the area and admire the work of some of Ireland’s most talented artists – on a massive scale.

Daring Stories of Ireland’s Forgotten Goddesses – Old Heroes for a Modern Era

Ellen Ryan's new children's book, Girls Who Slay Monsters
Ellen Ryan’s new children’s book, Girls Who Slay Monsters

Speaking of Danu, in ancient times the mythical goddesses of Ireland were revered for their powers, bravery and connection to nature. Over time, these stories have been lost, rewritten, or replaced with those of male warriors, gods, and heroes. Now author and journalist Ellen Ryan has brought these female heroes back to life in her new children’s book Girls Who Slay Monsters, illustrated by Scottish Waterford Shona artist Shirley Macdonald. Ryan’s book features Éire – Ireland’s fierce namesake, Bé Binn – a giant who defeated his bullies, and Bé Mannair – a smooth spy who defied an entire army. Featuring powerful goddesses of many shapes, skin colors and sizes, this is a story of ancient heroes for modern audiences. HarperCollins Ireland. UK£20. In all good bookstores and online now.

Get cozy for winter in matching organic cotton pajamas

It's the perfect time to invest in cozy organic cotton pajamas by Mimi & Bow
It’s the perfect time to invest in cozy organic cotton pajamas by Mimi & Bowe

With darker nights on the way, it’s the perfect time to invest in some comfy organic cotton pajamas from Mimi & Bowe. Stylish, comfortable and better for the environment, they wash better and last longer than cheaper alternatives. Designed in Ireland and made in Europe, the range is adorned with stripes and polka dots on the pajamas (€39) and sleepers (€32) and has just been awarded a silver medal at the Junior Design Awards UK for the best collection of children’s sleepwear. Faced with demand, the founder of the brand Olwen McAuliffe has also just offered adult-size pajamas (€55).


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