After 18 months of closures, Ballet Ireland is going on tour in time for Christmas with a new production entitled Nutcracker Sweeties. With a cast of world-class dancers, the ballet will visit 13 Irish venues countrywide including the Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick and Siamsa Tíre, Tralee. Set in a department store in Dublin, Ciara and her brother Fionn wander away from their parents and the magic of The Nutcracker begins. The pair are rescued by the Nutcracker Doll who transports them to the magical Kingdom of The Sweets where they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy. Perfect for audiences of all ages with fairytale music and beautiful costumes. Nutcracker Sweeties runs until December 23. Tickets from €12 to €38.50 (plus booking fee).
balletireland.ie for a full list of venues. Instagram @balletireland
Designer Debbie Millington may be better known for her luxurious silk scarves and accessories, but now fans of her bold and colourful designs can enjoy her aesthetic in their homes too with her new range of cushions and lampshades. There are several different designs in various colourways to choose from - think abstract patterns alongside bold animal and botanical prints in vibrant greens, pinks and blues. Pictured here is the ‘Butterfly Blue’ silk lampshade which is handmade in Co. Wicklow using 100% natural silk with a fire-resistant lining (€120)
Available from the Design Loft, Powerscourt Centre, Dublin 2 and debbiemillington.com
Those seeking a more eco-friendly approach to their Christmas tree should look to the brilliant pot-grown Christmas trees available at Colm Crowley’s Cork-based business, established in 1998. With regular cut trees and pot grown trees available to purchase, Christmastree.ie is branching out (groan) with a new Christmas tree rental service allowing customers to rent a live, pot grown tree which can then be collected after the Christmas period. Rental costs range from €25 for a 3ft tree to €40 for a 5ft tree — the service is perfect for those who don’t drive or who want the tree to live on into the new year.
Visit the Christmastree.ie shop at Blackrock Hurling Club in Cork from November 20 or go to christmastree.ie
The work of artist Cathal Manning is a powerful and positive reminder of the best of country life - deals on a handshake, friendship and connection with the land and the landscape. In an age when connection with each other and with the earth has become more timely, these beautiful colourful paintings are more appealing than ever. Currently exhibiting at The Kildare Gallery at Carton House, Manning’s oil paintings are created using a palette knife and this textural quality adds to their vibrancy while hinting at the lushness and physicality of nature itself. Deal Struck. 70cm x 60cm. €2,200
A recent brush with Rimmel’s brilliant Lasting Finish 25HR Foundation got us recalling just why the iconic British brand was always our go-to for affordable cosmetics that keep up with the latest trends and technologies. Rimmel’s new Wonder’Extension mascara is perfect for party nights. It’s an ultra-lengthening mascara that promises to deliver a full lash extension look without the trip to the salon thanks to an hourglass brush and Rimmel’s patented FullStretch™ technology. It's smudge-proof and easy to remove too.
€12.99 in independent pharmacies and retailers nationwide.
With nearly 20 years in the creative advertising industry, Vanessa Murtagh launched her concept jewellery business, Vanessa Ree, in early 2020 just as the pandemic kicked off. She designs statement, meaningful jewellery including pendants, earrings and rings, in sterling silver and gold. She has now designed a number of collections including one inspired by adversity and one inspired by the language of the digital age — her 3D Hashtag collection. Pictured here is the Irish Horse pendant in sterling silver from her Irish Animals collection. €225