Hot list: What we want to see, do and buy this weekend
Cashmere is always a wise investment and if you're thinking about stocking up on it for January, check out Sian Jacob's offerings. Her sustainable and socially responsible business is conducted with a Nepalese husband and wife team and the workforce is made up mainly of women whose skills give them an independence to make a living.
A percentage of the profit is donated to Irish-based charity Foundation Nepal, which works with women and low caste families. There are reductions of up to 50pc on the website this month and watch for her new collection of sweaters, cardigans and scarves which will be landing late January.
BUY: Scarf, €245; sianjacobs.com
Visitors have another two weeks to catch a very interesting exhibition at the Crawford Gallery, Cork. What's the story: history, memory and myth in an age of alternative facts asks us to question accepted truths and different versions of history in the post-truth age. Visitors are asked to explore history paintings and allegories, landscapes and scenes of everyday life to discover what the story actually is.
DETAILS: Runs until January 20; crawfordartgallery.ie
As part of First Fortnight, the arts festival challenging mental health stigma taking place in Dublin and 17 counties nationwide, The Big Gig takes place in Tramline, on Dublin's Hawkins Street, next Saturday, and tickets are €12. Limerick hip hop band, Rusangano Family and winners of this year's Choice Prize are headliners, and they're joined by folk singer Ailbhe Reddy; electronic pop-duo Le Boom and the former frontman of Vann Music, A. Smyth. Other events include #InOurHourOfNeed, a panel debate on Ireland's current mental health policy chaired by DJ Nikki Hayes in the Wood Quay Venue on January 11. DETAILS: See firstfortnight.ie
Best in class
Dublin's RDS is the place to be for anyone with interested in STEM next weekend for the annual BT Young Scientist & Technology exhibition. Some 550 students, 60pc of whom are female, will be showcasing their projects over the four day event, with 'the world's most famous hacker', Kevin Mitnick, the keynote speaker. There's also a live Q & A with astronaut-in-training Norah Patten, who is set to become the first Irish person to travel into space, as well as appearances by mentalist David Meade and the World of Robots. DETAILS: See btyoungscientist.com for more information.
This Wednesday, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda is inviting guests to indulge all of their senses. Historians Dr Roisin Kennedy and Brendan Matthews are leading two tours of the most loved work in the Drogheda Municipal Art Collection, 'Drogheda through the centuries' and 'Women artists in the Collection' followed by an informal supper and performances from traditional Irish musicians. DETAILS: €25; highlanes.ie
Now that Pantone has declared 'Ultra Violet' the colour of the year, you can expect to see a lot more purple on your radar. Pantone says this shade communicated originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking and historically it has always been associated with royalty. According to jewellery designer Ali Nash, her lilac jade drops with vermeil gold petals encourage compassion and serenity, so that's a whole lot of positivity associated with just one colour.
BUY: €65; alinash.com
The story of Carole King, the songwriter who wrote Locomotion and You've got a Friend comes to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre this Tuesday and runs for 10 days. The Olivier award-wining musical Beautiful, in its first ever Ireland and UK tour, delves into her background of how she left Brooklyn to take on Manhattan and become a star, meeting the lyricist Gerry Goffin in the process.
BOOK: Tickets from €26. bordgaisenergytheatre.ie
January is not a month that lends itself to fresh blooms and greenery so it's a case of trying to bring the outdoors inside. It's also a time for nesting and surrounding yourself with all that is comfortable and cosy, which is why we're giving a huge thumbs up to this palm fringe cushion cover. If you can't afford a Caribbean holiday, this is kind of the next best thing.
BUY: €19.99; available at Homesense, Dublin and Cork; homesense.ie
Ease your way into the New Year gently with a break at Cavan's Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort. The hotel is having a Big Room Sale, with up to 20pc off best available rates from now until March 29, available only when you book directly. As well as a Jeff Howes designed golf course and an incredible spa, the hotel also has a heated infinity pool, were you can swim from in- to outdoors - even in January! Afternoon tea is also an essential rite of passage here.