Warm up for winter

Posted on: 13th November, 2017

Category: Image

Contributor: Louise O'Dwyer

Cool, dry days are my absolute favourite. No need for coats, just fabulous woolies, capes, wraps or ponchos. There is an elegant feel to them that I’ll never tire of. My friend called by the other day; she was wearing a chunky knit rainbow poncho and she looked amazing, the strong bright colours were exactly what a dull grey day needed. She looked vibrant and cheerful. Isn’t it amazing the difference a bright colour can make? We can all get ‘oh so comfortable’ in convenient black…yes, it’s a wardrobe staple but clothes are meant to do so very much more than just cover you or perhaps help you to hide away! So many women repeatedly hide out in black. It’s slimming, it’s safe, it’s practical and it can also be sensational, seductive and elegant…but you lose the fun in fashion if you wear black all of the time. If I’m describing you, then it’s time to add a sprinkle of colour to your wardrobe.

Next time you’re in a clothes shop, I forbid you to even look at anything black. If you ask me we all have a default switch, we revert back to what makes us feel comfortable, what we know is safe rather than taking on the challenge of wearing something even a little different. Challenge yourself, but do so within your limits. In other words, if you never wear skirts and then you buy a really short one or one with a high slit, ask yourself if you are really going to wear it. Of course you won’t, but if you buy a gorgeous, slightly below the knee, straight dark blue skirt, the chances of you wearing it increase dramatically. Set yourself a little challenge next time you go shopping, otherwise, you may end up looking the same day in, day out!

Culottes are very definitely a big topic of conversation this season. I love them but would I wear them? This is the question that we’re all asking ourselves. I know of so many who have bought them, but unfortunately, no matter how many times they have tried them on or what they have paired with them, they have taken them back off again. So how do we wear them? I love how Gigi Hadid wore a stunning winter white pair…with gorgeous chunky heeled dirty cream boots and bag, a cream turtleneck and a sheepskin gilet. Striking and chic. Some style influencers are wearing them with black lace-up leather shoes and a ruffle shirt. This is a strong confident look, perhaps not for everybody. If you are thinking about buying a pair, think long and hard about when and how you would wear them – just because they look lovely on your friend does not mean that they will suit you. The bottom line is that you need to have shapely legs to wear them and if you have wide hips, avoid them like the plague, as they will only add to your width.

I am somewhat obsessed with the pretty layers and layers of ruffles. The look is airy yet sophisticated and is one of the key trends this season. Flouncy frills are aplenty everywhere you look. If you are used to a streamline silhouette, take note – a well-placed ruffle can do the job of statement jewelry, a good handbag or major shoes. Whether you opt for a bold ruffle-front dress worn with jeans, a frilled off-the-shoulder top, or a delicately layered, very feminine dress, there is a ruffle look out there for everyone. The dresses look sensational with over-the-knee boots.

Check coats can look amazing. The key to buying a great one is all about the colour mix. I found a stunning mix – grey, red, navy, black and cream – this you can wear over anything. Add luxury and warmth by searching for a tweed check coat.

Printed velvet has crept into all of the shops and while it’s not for everyone, it can and does look wonderfully glamorous. You need to love velvet to feel comfortable enough to wear it with a print.

You can bet your bottom dollar that there is plenty of shiny, glitzy, glam, sparkly, sequined bits out there. This year ‘sparkle’ is going into overdrive. How fabulous! Of course, you will not wear shiny sequined pieces all the time but there is nothing nicer than adding a bit of sparkle for an extra special look on a night out. A great sparkly top, a tux-style jacket with the sleeves rolled up, snug jeans and heels and you will give any episode of Sex and the City a run for its money!

The golden rule is to always choose clothes that make you feel something – that’s why some women always look fantastic and very often they don’t have to spend a fortune. They choose clothes that have an effect – they flatter, the colour makes them come alive, the cut enhances their assets. They think about what they are going to wear. They know their limitations and only ever take small risks and best of all, these are the women who will have the same clothes for years and years and still be able to wear them and look fabulous. The best tip that I can give you is to find a celebrity who is similar to your shape and colouring…internet stalk every picture of them…this is the best way to judge what works, what doesn’t and will give you amazing ideas that you can copy for a fraction of the cost.

Have a ball shopping this season, I am. I’m finding lots of ‘fun’ clothes and unusual pieces to add to my wardrobe basics. The shoes and boots on trend are sensational; in fact I have to hold myself back from splurging again and again. But you deserve to do a little splurging, go on!

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.

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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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