Life Style

Sarah Quain: Overcoming Hurdles

This year has been one that many of us would like to forget. Granted, we had a few glorious summer months during which we appeared to be on the right track. Unfortunately, it did not last. However, despite the doom and gloom of the pandemic, many entrepreneurs and business leaders were enthusiastic about sharing their personal stories. The positive feedback I have received both from interviewees and readers has greatly touched me. It is evident that our community needed little persuasion to support local businesses.

Meet Sarah Quain, a horsie fanatic from Drum, Athlone, who returned home 5000 km after quitting her dream job last year. In the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York, she ran a horseback riding business which was adversely affected by Covid-19, which in turn prevented her from obtaining permanent US residency. Despite the disappointing turn of events, she and her boyfriend Luke returned to Athlone to live with her parents, Willie and Angela. Within a few months, she started her own small business, Craic Galore Prints, and reinvented herself by making some quirky prints and greeting cards.

Read more

Unwind: Sleepless to settle

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. We all experience insomnia from time to time. It can be acute – lasting one to several nights – or chronic – lasting months or years. In the United States, about 30-40% of adults sleep poorly, according to the National Centre for Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health. Most adults say they suffer from some form of insomnia each year, and about 15-20 per cent of adults say they have chronic insomnia.

Read more

Cathriona Hodgins: Nutrition Is For Life

When you’re young, it’s more likely that you’ll be involved in a regular sporting activity, or have a pastime that’ll give you plenty of exercise throughout the week. So, though you’ll eat lots of convenient, tasty and cheap junk food; your body will still burn more calories than you take in. Unfortunately, this type of fast food when combined with other white, starchy [and delicious] processed foods begin to take their toll on your body and overall health, the older you get.

But when we get older, everything everyone ever said about eating healthily comes true. If the number of your daily steps is less than 10,000; if your diet is influenced by the first printed menu you find in the drawer, or you have regular digestive problems and can’t lose any weight – then maybe it’s the time to get help.

Read more

Joe is inspiring to Aspire

Staying motivated enough to do even the smallest bit of physical exercise has been a major challenge for lots of people. Those few extra ounces became pounds, and in some cases, even stones. When your mood is low, you feel sluggish and your energy levels hit rock bottom — the last thing you want to do is think about your weight. We all often need to be reminded that life is not simply about the number on the scale, but it’s always there at the back of our minds. You tell yourself that your daily calorie intake is trivial when compared to the bigger picture: avoiding the latest Covid-19 variant. Then you have one sugary treat, followed by another.

So, if you can’t motivate yourself to move from the couch in front of the TV, and feel that you have lost your way on a fitness journey, then head along to your local gym where you’ll find a knowledgeable and dedicated expert. Someone who can help you get back on track. Someone who can lift your spirits in the way that Fifth Dimension’s song ‘Up, up and away’ will.

Read more

Linda Moran Harte: The Waxy Wonders-Woman

The Marvel superhero Daredevil lost one of his five basic human senses – sight, in an accident when he was younger. However, his remaining senses: touch, hearing, taste and smell have all enhanced to superhuman levels. Daredevil uses these super senses, to fight the bad guys and is pretty good at it when you throw in his martial arts ability. But when it comes to superhuman sensory powers, there does appear to be some fact behind the comic book fiction.

Scientists tell us that the average human nose has roughly 400 types of scent receptors that are capable of detecting one trillion different odours. This superhero-like power means that we can notice within seconds when someone is wearing our favourite perfume. We can distinguish instantly between the smell of baby powder from the smell of bleach. But there are also times when you want to reawaken childhood memories with the smell of sweet candy from your favourite shop from yesteryear. Maybe turn your living room into an evergreen forest full of cedar pines or your bedroom into a 5-star hotel suite with sumptuous fresh linen.

Read more

P.J. McCormack: Photographing Perfection

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ is a famous phrase that many of us will have heard at some point in our lives. It means it’s easier to show something in a picture, than to try and describe it in words. So, imagine trying to describe in words, how a particular tree in the middle of a South American rainforest looks like at sunrise? Or describe the view that you see from the top of a mountain that overlooks a river at sunset? Not easy is it.

Yes, you could draw or paint a picture if you are talented enough and until photography was invented, that’s exactly what people did.

Read more

The Refill Mill – Our Planet in Your Hands

For almost 70 years, we have been soothed and enlightened as a tv audience, by the voice of legendary broadcaster Sir David Attenborough presenting natural history documentaries. Now, aged 94, his distinctive oration gives a sombre warning to reverse a devastating trajectory the planet is headed on. Or, as he eloquently puts it, ‘The human race will regret it if we don’t act on plastic now.’

Read more