If your good intentions to become the fittest human on the planet have fallen away - and they do tend to around this time of the month - does your current, tatty workout gear have anything to do with that? Investing in some sports clothes that you like often has effect of making you want to get up and at it. Also, the current crop of sportswear available on the high street right now looks good enough for stylishly lazy weekend lounging as it does for a trip to the gym. Dunnes Stores has really gotten in on the sporting act this season - even just looking at it will make you feel more energised.
BUY: Hooded jacket, €35, pattern vest, €12, base layer leggings, €20, and sports shoes, €20; all available from Dunnes Stores and online at dunnesstores.com
Ceramic designer Siobhan Steele's new 'Message in a Bottle' range is a brilliant gift idea, especially for loved ones living abroad. She herself emigrated during the last recession and remembers how important it was to get a letter from home. The gift box containing a ceramic bottle, inspired by lines and patterns from the Irish landscape, comes with scroll paper which you can inscribe your own personal message. They're suitable for myriad occasions including weddings, engagements, birthdays, births, and bereavement and of course as a special hello to those far away from home.
BUY: €39, For a list of stockists and to purchase online visit: siobhainsteeleceramics.com
Our obsession with juicing shows no signs of going away anytime soon and now Irish company Pure Green has introduced a new product to their range of cold-pressed cleansing green juices, to whet healthy appetites. Marine Green contains spinach, broccoli, cucumber, ginger, avocado, apple, celery and lemon but also marine phytoplankton. The latter is its main ingredient, taken from the sea, and is a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants, including essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Marine phytoplankton has been linked to lower risk of developing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, so it's certainly a good thing to make part of your diet. As with all the Pure Green juices, Marine Green is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan friendly too.
BUY: €5.50, visit puregreen.ie for stockists
Buzzy and charming, Nelly's Café in Dublin's Portobello has established itself as a wonderful little eaterie. Now they're expanding into the northside, with a new Nelly's in Drumcondra, located in an old school building with a courtyard out the front. Open seven days a week, offering breakfast, brunch and lunch at the weekends, the calibre of everything here is superb: the coffee comes from a small local company called Imbib, all the cakes, brown bread, jams, pickles and relishes are homemade, and they try and keep the suppliers as local as possible. Don't leave without trying the raspberry and coconut cake.
VISIT: 40 Drumcondra Road Lower, Dublin 9; nellysdublin.com
Not to alarm anyone but if you want to organise a special Valentine's Day treat and not just grab some last-minute chocs and flowers, now is the time to do so. The five-star Glenlo Abbey Hotel, just two miles from Galway city centre, has a two-night package to wow your beloved. Set on 138 acres overlooking Lough Corrib, there's old-school charm and luxury aplenty here. The weekend starts with chocolate-dipped strawberries and a bottle of Prosecco in your bedroom and then there's a candle-light dinner in the hotel's River Room restaurant. Also included is breakfast on both mornings and if you arrive by train, they'll organise transfer from the station with their compliments.
BOOK: The package costs €229 per person, valid from Friday, Feb 13 and departure on Sunday, Feb 15. glenloabbeyhotel.com, (091) 519 600
The best way to get through January is by making exciting, life-affirming plans whether that's self-improvement or the holiday of a lifetime. The Holiday World Show taking place at the RDS this weekend will certainly inspire you to start saving and dig out the bikini, or even book your holiday there and then if you so desire. There are money-saving ideas and you can get the inside track on where to book and when, as well as deals that are only available when you visit the show. You can also enter a competition to win a holiday for free and there's a travel photography exhibition, all of which will have you dreaming of sunnier climes.
BOOK: Adults €7, senior citizens €4, family price of two adults and up to four children €14, holidayworldshow.com
Giselle, one of the greatest ballets of all time, is coming to the Bord Gáis Energy theatre for two nights this week. Presented by Moscow City Ballet, this is the story of young peasant girl Giselle, who falls in love with a man who she thinks is a commoner, but who is actually a nobleman. First performed in Paris in 1841, Giselle still continues to entrance audiences, and Moscow City Ballet's production promises to be mesmerising.
BOOK: tickets from €30, bordgaisenergytheatre.ie