Category / Collaborations

Collaborations Places

Dreaming in Orlagh

Supper Club Orlagh

We often speak about how important it is for us to connect with like-minded women, both on here and on our Instagram. We thrive on being part of a community of supportive, honest and courageous women. Our Supper Clubs are an excuse to sit around a table and really listen to people’s stories – to hear what drives them, excites them or upsets them. Each Supper Club is centred around an open and honest conversation. Working alongside our friend Aoife of Pomco PR, we recently brought together a very special group of women for a very memorable night in Dublin. For this beautiful event at Orlagh House, we asked Ellie Balfe to tell us her story about finding the courage to make big choices and changes to do what makes her happy. Ellie spoke about creative bravery and about feeling in control of our own paths. We listened intently to her by candlelight whilst eating the best food and drinking lots of wine.

Supper Club Dreaming Always Guests

Griffin and Grey Events

Supper Club Speaker Ellie Balfe

Supper Club Sophie White

Dreaming Always Events

Guests Orlagh House

Dreaming Always Supper Club

Orlagh House

Dreaming Always Guests

Event Stylist Sharon Griffin

Orlagh House

Dublin Event Venue

Event Caterers Jack Rabbit

Drawing Room Orlagh House

Confetti Editor Laura Cunningham

Orlagh House Bedrooms

Events at Orlagh House

Jack Rabbit Eats

The Honest Project

Menu at Orlagh House

Leona Style

Table Styling

Guests at Orlagh

Event Details

Jen Mother of Pod

Style at Orlagh

Supper Club Speaker

Orlagh Country House Events

DA Nessa and Leona

Let us tell you a little about the dreamy venue… a Georgian mansion built in 1790, and set on 75 acres in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains, Orlagh House is a seriously gorgeous event venue. The house and grounds are available for private hire from weddings to birthday celebrations. We loved the place from the moment we drove up the driveway. We felt like we had truly escaped. What a place to even celebrate a 40th birthday or an engagement event!

The incredible food was prepared by Ian Marconi and his team from Jack Rabbit. It was honestly one of the nicest meals we have experienced. We are both still dreaming of the BBQ shrimp corn chowder. Sharon Griffin of Griffin & Grey and Frog Prince Weddings styled the most perfect table setting for us. She literally couldn’t have gotten it more perfect for us – dark and moody with pink velvet, wild flowers and gold details. The photos were taken by our talented friend Gillian Horgan who captured the night so perfectly. We feel so lucky to have had Sharon and Gill as guests at our table.

These events don’t just come together overnight… they take planning and they take passion. We are so lucky to have met Aoife from Pomco PR who is both a great friend and business partner that we just love to work with. We are so proud of the two events we have now created with Aoife (see the other one here) and we know that there are a lot more incredible projects to come to life with her.

If we were to never create a Dreaming Always Supper Club again, we can look back at this one and know that it was everything we would want from a great event – an incredible venue hosting the most inspirational of guests around a beautifully styled table of delicious food. Our idea of heaven.

Here’s to many more great events in the future,

L&Nx

Images | Gillian Horgan

Venue | Orlagh Country House

Food | Jack Rabbit

Styling | Griffin & Grey

 

Collaborations Mamahood Places Style

Winter Brunch

What a year it has been… not just for us but for lots of people around us. We will both look back on this year and wonder how the hell we did it! It’s time to take a breather over the Christmas break and look forward to an exciting new year ahead where there is a lot more change to come for us both.

This year we found our feet with Dreaming Always. It took us a while to define ourselves and to figure out the direction we wanted to go with our features and events.  We are surrounded by the most inspiring group of women who support us and encourage us in the most incredible way. We have created a little community of women who look out for each other, who celebrate each other’s wins as if they are their own, who keep each other motivated when the going gets tough and who have created opportunities for each other and that’s exactly what we set out to achieve.

A few weekends ago we had our last Meet-Up of 2017. It was our third event that we have done in collaboration with our friends Julie and Natasha from Opera Lane. It was a beautiful morning… it almost felt like the first real winter’s morning we have had in Cork. The sun shone brightly but the cold was certainly there and as our guests arrived into the newly opened Dockland Restaurant, you could see that everyone had taken the cold weather opportunity to take out their faux fur and chunky knits.

Everyone seemed to get the festive memo and it almost felt like the first Christmas party of the season… even though it was only 10.30am – perhaps the mimosas had something to do with that!

 

Everyone tucked into a delicious brunch while Natasha, the Personal Stylist for Opera Lane, shared some festive looks she had styled from Opera Lane stores. Natasha offers a free personal shopping/styling service at Opera Lane and seriously as soon as you finish reading this, go and immediately book this service. We have both had personal styling sessions with Natasha in the past and loved them!

We have mentioned before that we started hosting our Meet-Ups as we wanted to bring an element of self-care to our events. Women taking time out of their busy lifestyles for themselves. It was such a treat to take a couple of hours out on a Saturday morning to enjoy the company of some amazing women, eat delicious food and soak up all the style advice. At the event, Leona spoke briefly about how we are huge advocates for self-care and how sometimes women are guilty of putting themselves last on the list. We believe it’s so important to take some guilt-free time out for you even if it is a quiet coffee on your own, a nice massage or meeting up with some friends for brunch. This is not ground-breaking information but we know that we are better mothers, partners, friends, daughters when we invest quality time in ourselves. The problem is that life, jobs, kids all get in the way and make it harder to prioritise ourselves over everyone else. The practice of self-care has almost become a skill and it is a skill we are determined to improve in 2018.

We harp on about our love-hate relationship with social media a lot. Depending on our moods it can really lift us or really annoy us. Social media has been the catalyst for these Meet-Ups we host but you just cannot beat meeting and connecting with people in the real-world. We truly believe that nothing beats human contact and the emotional connections you make with people when you can look them in the eye and listen to their story. We always joke that our meetups can sometimes be like a giant blind date with people coming for the first time and essentially meeting a room full of strangers. At the same time there is a comfort there and you know you are going to be ok because you’ve already bonded over Instagram.

Our Meet-Ups have really taken off this year. It has kind of surprised us a bit, to be honest, but the connections we have made and feedback we have gotten has blown us away and really has spurned on to do a lot more of them in 2018.

It seems we have found a sweet spot with these meetups – they allow people to network in a casual way, everyone is welcome and there will ALWAYS be an element of self-care to them.

We are so excited for 2018. We have big plans. We were supposed to launch our own brand of products in 2017 but we just didn’t get a chance so 2018 is hopefully our year. We want to meet more amazing women and work with more brands that we love.

We really just want to keep doing what we love and we hope to meet you along the way,

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you,

Thank you for being here,

Love,

L&Nx

Images by Gillian Horgan

Venue | Dockland

 

 

 

 

Collaborations Style

Magda Lukas

I believe that there are very special people put on this earth to create beauty for everyone else around them to enjoy. From the moment I met my beautiful friend Magda, I knew that there was something special, if not almost otherworldly, about her. She is a rare gem, she has a raw talent, she is the definition of creativity and she is a true beauty. She is my friend, she is a photographer, she is an artist and she is an inspiration. She has captured some of the biggest moments in my life and I have always admired her photography style. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that she is also a talented artist and I have been simply blown away. 

Dreaming Always ArtMagda Lukas Art

A water bath, Irish seaweed extract, pastel colours and some watercolour paper is what it takes for Magda to create her magic. Magda is an artist who loves to explore colour and patterns. She is fascinated by traditional craft or marbling. She believes, as do Leona and I, that our homes are so much more that just a roof over our heads. The places in which we live should be enjoyed, provide protection, respite, peace, inspiration and warmth to all who enter.

Colourful artwork can dramatically alter any space within a home. Colour is powerful – it can cleanse and revive a tired area in any home, and can change a mood & lift the spirits. My work is light and fresh and the compositions are a delicate balance of winding layers of colour. My vision is to create the finest quality, happy and colourful art work which graces the homes of my clients.

There is just something so unbelievably refreshing about Magda. One of those people that do not have a clue about how unbelievably amazing they are.

It’s that heart of gold & stardust soul that make you beautiful,

N&ERx

Images by Magda Lukas

Art | Magda Lukas Art

You can buy Magda’s art here.

Collaborations Places

Together

Interiosity with Leona and Nessa

There was a very special atmosphere. Is it that we are all becoming closer or that we just really want the best for each other. Whatever it is, it felt magic.

We have been hosting our Dreaming  Always events for over a year now. Our first one, which you can see here, took place in Leona’s home. It was small, intimate and chaotic with our small babies. Last Friday night we stood in the most magical interiors store surrounded by incredible women feeling very proud. This feeling of being proud had nothing to do with what we had achieved but everything to do with the women that stood there with us. Incredible humans gathered together in a beautiful setting enjoying each other’s company and just being themselves. Our aim is always to create small events that are relaxed and allow each of our guests to actually chat to each other, to get to know the women they have chatted to for months online in person, to talk about what they love and to come up with some of the best business ideas and projects together. We love to see all of this happening right in front of us – it gives us such a good feeling. Women supporting women. Women just simply having fun.

This event was held at Interiosity in our home city of Cork. We celebrated the launch of their Christmas collection… in October. We couldn’t believe how perfect a collaboration it was when Aoife from Pomco PR approached us about doing an event with Nicole & Caroline from this amazing store. We both love interiors and we are absolutely inspired by their story behind the store-opening. Nessa decided to come home from Dubai and we were both so thrilled that we got to experience this one together. This just felt so perfect for us.

Dreaming of Interiosity CorkPomco PR & InteriosityTable StylingEvent StylingDreaming AlwaysGoody Bags InteriosityMagda Lukas PhotographerChristmas Magic at InteriosityDreaming Always Style EditOur GirlsNicole from Interiosity StoreGorgeous NatashaNessa Hurley (Dreaming Always), Natasha Crowley, stylist, Caryn Pick (Naturally Caryn), Magda Lukas, photographer, Rachel Hobbs and Sarah Greene-Salm (Salingers Little) Christmas LaunchEvents by Dreaming AlwaysNessa H Dreaming AlwaysEvents with Dreaming AlwaysPebble and SashEvents by DA

We are always so grateful when people come to our events. We appreciate every single person who takes the time to be there to support us and the businesses we are working with. We absolutely love seeing exciting things happening between our guests afterwards.

You can tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building each other up, instead of tearing each other down.

Looking forward to our next one already,

Love,

L&Nx

Images by Brid O’Donovan

Location – Interiosity Home Boutique

Collaborations Style

Enough

Home for the Summer

You are some kind of wonderful.

So many of us are driving ourselves crazy each and every day and we don’t even really know it. Striving for perfection. The perfect job. The perfect home. The perfect figure. The perfect child. The perfect family. The perfect life. Those perfect people that we follow every day on social media. Yes, you know them – the ones that just seem to constantly have their sh** together. The ones that never have a bad day. The ones who make life look so easy… so effortless… so candid… so happy… and there you are wondering if you can even get out of bed to face the day. It is 7am. Your toddler is jumping up and down on the bed and keeps hitting you accidentally in the head. Your thumb is obsessively scrolling, scrolling, scrolling… watching these people who have feeds filled with perfection. There is always perfectly fresh, perfectly crumpled bed linen and morning walks to the organic farmer’s markets completed before you have even managed to dish out the cold lumpy porridge. There is always new shoes and clean kids in beautiful organic brands featured. There is always healthy snacks for the kids that eat everything. There is always glowing skin, big bright smiles and perfectly manicured nails and lots of perky bottoms. There is always “perfection.” Some days you just love seeing these beautiful images and inspirational captions. There are days when our own minds can drive us mad wondering how other people just seem to have it all. Nobody is as perfect as their Instagram feed makes them look. Nobody.

dreaming alwaysLeona and Nessaleona and nessadreaming always leonadreaming always homeLeona and NessaLeona and Nessa

Not everyone is posting the perfect images to make us feel crap. Sometimes the perfectly thought-out, curated and styled images are posted to make people feel better… to allow them to escape. Capturing these moments takes us away from the everyday norm to a place where we can hide from floors covered in spaghetti bolognese and bed sheets encrusted with dried baby formula. More often that not there is a very frazzled, very un-glamorous woman standing behind that iPhone lens.

Be who you are unapologetically. You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.

Dreaming…

L&Nx

Images by Anna Groniecka

Nessa – Dress (ON SALE – here) | Shirt (here & similar here) | Trainers

Leona: Dress (Similar – here) | Jacket (Similar – here) | Trainers

 

Collaborations Mamahood Style

Celebrating Summer

DA X SL

We haven’t done a Mama Meet-Up together in ages, not since this one in London & so we really wanted to do one before Nessa heads back to the desert. We were beyond excited to team up with the gorgeous Sarah and her husband Wayne for a dreamy Sunday afternoon at their store, Salingers Bespoke, in Cork City. They are seriously the most amazing couple to plan an event with… even at such short notice! Salingers Little have just launched their AW17 kids clothing collections and we were so happy to have been a part of the celebrations.

We met some familiar faces and also some new gorgeous mamas that we connected with on our Instagram. Our love for Instagram grows stronger after each Mama Meet-Up for introducing us to some of the best people.

DA X SLSalingers Little Mama Meet UpDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDreaming AlwaysDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLSalingers Littleda x slDA X SL DA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SL

Sarah launched her online childhood store, Salingers Little in April of this year and we are huge fans of her and her dreamy brand. Sarah is a mama to two incredibly adorable girls, Lulu & Heidi. She is the kind of woman that we just want to be around and who makes us want to just do more… plus she is absolutely gorgeous – inside and out.

These events are just something that we do for fun or as we say always… to escape. We don’t charge for tickets and we usually just keep them small and intimate so our guests can have proper chats and get to know each other. This time around we made it an open invite as we wanted to make sure lots of people got a glimpse of the gorgeous stock that Salingers Little have to offer. We wanted so much of the stock for our own kids! Leona bought this dress, these socks and this bib & Nessa bought this print and this dotey gift set. We were also introduced to a gorgeous skin-care brand called Rain who gave us goody bags filled with 100% natural, organically-certified Mama & Baby skin-care samples.

DA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SL

Thank you so much to those of you that came and to those of you that sent us the sweetest messages about the event. We are so appreciative of people taking time to support what we do.

THANK YOU!

The end of our Summer is here. Yesterday was our last day together… for a while… we were totally heartbroken saying our goodbyes but we have had THE most incredible summer filled with the best memories and collected some crazy beautiful moments. We have so many plans for Dreaming Always, both together and apart so please stick around for lots more to come.

Do not cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,

L&Nx

Images by Brid O’Donovan

 

 

Collaborations Places

Dreaming in Lisbon

Dreaming Always Lisbon

What now seems like a very long time ago, two very sleep-deprived mamas decided that they needed to plan an escape. Something to keep them going through the endless nights and long days of working and motherhood. They had once said that they would love to go to Lisbon together and so they decided to make this dream a reality.

Planning a trip away for two adults isn’t as easy as one might think. We had a lot going on at the time and so we decided to hand over the responsibility to Travel Counsellors – a travel company that we think are exceptional at what they do… incredibly personal customer service. What we loved was the attention to detail from our Travel Counsellor, as she arranged absolutely everything for us – we didn’t even have to check in for our flight ourselves. She also text us to see if we were happy with everything during the trip and sent us a sweet “Welcome Home” card in the post on Monday evening. Seriously, they were a dream to book with and if you fancy your own Travel Counsellor, you can find them here.

We both want the same thing from our travels – a sense of escape & freedom. We wanted to get lost exploring gorgeous architecture and trying local food, to be immersed in the culture and to just completely unwind. We spent most of our weekend between two gorgeous areas of Lisbon – Chiado & Alfama. We had planned to take the train to Sintra which is the most dreamy village ever but we got so caught up in exploring that we didn’t make it out there. The perfect excuse to go back to visit this gorgeous city.

Dreaming Always 28 TramDreaming Always LisbonDreaming Always Dreaming AlwaysDreaming Always Dreaming Always LisbonDreaming Always LisbonLisbon Dreaming Always

Alfama:

We got up super early… like 7am early… and jumped on the number 28 tram which luckily for us stopped right outside our hotel in the city centre – Hotel Mundial. You have to do this tram ride if you visit Lisbon but do attempt to get up early to avoid crazy queues – it is worth it!

We headed up to Lisbon’s oldest but most colourful and charming neighbourhood. Alfama is the historic soul of Lisbon and we are absolutely in love with the area. It was a tiled walls, cobbled streets and beautiful doorways kind of heaven for us. There was just so much character to the place with lots of gorgeous little cafes to stop off in along the way for our favourite local custard tarts called Pasteis de Nata. We headed back to our hotel for a little break in a tuk tuk, which are perfect for navigating the narrow streets and such a fun way to experience the city.

We headed back up to Alfama again in the afternoon by tuk tuk to have some food and sample some local wine… lots of local wine. We ate dinner at a gorgeous little spot – Esperanca da Se – right by the Se Cathedral. We also loved the interiors here and our pizza and prawn linguini nero were delish. The two of us were delighted with ourselves sitting outside watching the world go by with some chilled rose wine.

Chiado:

We also loved the area of Chiado, which was more modern and stylish than Alfama. There was lots of beautiful architecture, theatres, charming old bookshops and big international shopping brands and just so much people-watching to be done. The women were beautifully dressed and we sat in a square in the sunshine just taking it all in.

We drank pink gins and ate french fries in a really cool burger place – Honorato. For once, we just could not fit in the most delicious looking burgers after just eating lunch somewhere else but the interiors here were absolutely amazing and we had a great window seat.

We spent Sunday evening in a totally gorgeous bar overlooking the Luís de Camões Square called Le Consulat talking about just how lucky we both felt right at that very moment. The drinks were reasonably priced for somewhere that looked so high-end and the staff were so friendly.

Dreaming Always LisbonDreaming Always LisbonDreaming Always Dreaming AlwaysDreaming Always Dreaming Always Dreaming Always Dreaming AlwaysDreaming AlwaysDreaming Always Dreaming Always Dreaming Always Dreaming Always

As mamas, we are both guilty of forgetting about ourselves in all of this motherhood malarkey. We decided that this weekend was all about us. We would do exactly what we wanted to do and not feel guilty for one moment of the trip. It takes a village to try and go away for a weekend. There was so much organising to be done at home. The trip to Lisbon made us realise that you do need to escape every so often from the normal every day chores and routine. It is not about escaping your children. You do not have to be a mama to need to escape.

We all need to escape every now and then… so as to not forget about you.

Already dreaming of our next trip,

L&Nx

Images by Joao Nogueira

Collaborations Mamahood

Supporting Each Other

Mamas

Everything that you can imagine is real…

Every now and then we have to stop and think about what made us want to create this little love of ours – Dreaming Always – and sometimes we find ourselves questioning why we do what we do. From time to time, we also question if it’s all even worth our time and head-space and then a little bit of magic happens and we remember why it all started – for like-minded mamas which inspire us to come together and make us remember why it is that we do exactly what we love to do.

Cork Mama Meet UpMama Meet Up CorkDreaming Always Cork

Our most recent Mama Meet-Up was an evening affair which involved no little people and prosecco and it was our second collaboration with Opera Lane – a gorgeous shopping destination in our home city of Cork. We chose The Montenotte Hotel again for this event and hosted the meet up in the stunning Presidential Suite which is perfect for an intimate gathering and has the most amazing views of the city. Similarly to our last meet-up, our friend Natasha, Opera Lane’s personal stylist, presented some gorgeous summer evening outfits to our guests. We both love hanging around Opera Lane browsing some of our favourite stores like H&M, Topshop & Office and plan on booking Natasha for a (free) personal shopping trip over the summer. We were thrilled to be working with them once again.

Mama Meet UpEvent in CorkIrish Meet UpView from Montenotte HotelOpera Lane Stylist

We are currently planning some more Mama Meet-Ups in both Ireland & Dubai. Nessa is planning on hosting some in Dubai once the weather cools down and everyone returns to the desert after their summers back home. In other news, we are so excited to be back together for almost two months in Ireland very soon. We find it hard to do our events without each other but it is just so incredible being surrounded by so many interesting women at each one that we always end up inspired and motivated to plan some more! Our dream is to have much more regular Mama Meet-Ups where we meet more and more gorgeous mamas and we are constantly thinking about venues that suit our style and brands that just get us. Our Mama Meet-Ups are usually casual and relaxed affairs… but we do welcome high heels and sometimes our kids!

Dreaming AlwaysLeona O'Sullivan BreenOpera Lane DetailsDreaming AlwaysEvent DetailsDreaming Always Mamas

Day after day we are reminded that neither life nor motherhood is plain sailing and after each Mama Meet-Up, we are genuinely so chuffed and flattered that people actually show up and even more so that our favourite mamas come to support us and each other. With fabulous people like Natasha and Julie from Opera Lane added to the mix, we are reminded that everything that you can imagine is real.

So thank you. Thank you for being a support to us and for being a support to each other.

Dreams, Dreams, Dreams,

L&Nx

 

Collaborations Lifestyle Mamahood Uncategorized

A Room fit for a Superhero

I believe there is a hero in all of us that keeps us honest, gives us strength makes us noble…

Designing Archie’s room with Cathy from Flamingo Interior Design was so much fun! I love interior design and when we lived in an apartment I did everything from start to finish myself, alas that was a previous life before I had two kids and a full time job. As much as I wanted to get stuck into doing Archies room myself I am just time poor and had frustratingly been putting it on the long finger. That’s why using Flamingo Interior Design was a no-brainer for me. It allowed me the creative input I love but Cathy ran the entire project from start to finish including putting the whole room together one rainy Saturday.

 The fact we are good friends was a huge bonus as there is nobody’s opinion and advice on interior décor I trust more than Cathy. She has an incredible talent. You would have to be an interiors genius to create a room like she did from the random Pinterest boards I sent her and the images I would often WhatsApp her  inappropriately late at night. Honestly it was the best money I have ever spent and I am looking forward to working with her again on more projects in our home.

  

Cathy’s services begin with a thorough consultation. She comes to your home and asks you questions about the room and what your vision is. She then measures up the room and a week or so later there is another meeting where she presents a design file back to you based on all the conversations, ideas and images that have been discussed. This part of the process is so impressive. Cathy’s illustration skills are excellent so much so I feel I want to frame the sketches she did of the room. She goes through everything at this meeting from where she will source materials through to budget and is open to suggestions and input at every stage.

The room had become somewhat of a dumping ground for plastic toys since we moved in almost two years ago. My pain-points were mainly storage related and the fact that Archie was sleeping in the spare room in a double bed. He needed his own room. A space dedicated to him, his 117 Imaginex men, which I stand on a daily basis, and his books.

Cathy nailed it – plain and simple. She asked Archie things like who his favourite superhero was and what his favourite color was and she took a genuine interest in what we both wanted. She ended up creating a room that was functional, beautiful and above all, really fun. She did a Superhero theme in a subtle way from the geometric wall decals to designing and hand-making the Superhero dress-up clothing rail and adding little touches like the Avengers bed spread and wall-prints. I’m not the biggest Avengers fan but one look at this room and you don’t have to be a 4 year old boy to love it.

The backdrop colours for the room are monochromatic and she added hints of buttery yellow and the comic colour blues and reds of his toys really pop against it. The bed we chose is from Ikea.

The reading nook is my favourite feature in the room. Archie is lucky to have some really beautiful books and I wanted to have them displayed rather than hidden away. Creating such an inviting space to read alone or with us was really important to me. The book shelves are from Ikea and the bean bag was the perfect colour and an Etsy find.

The room really needed additional storage and to address this Cathy designed the most beautiful storage boxes made from birch plywood. They are free standing compact storage boxes with fabric inserts. I love how they give the room a Scandi feel! She also had a trolley version made on wheels too which is perfect for hiding all the toys once Archie is finished playing. I love how these look in the room and the fact that they double up as storage and seating is an added plus.

Cathy is all personality and she puts her heart and soul into everything she does and this gorgeous room makeover was no different. The little touches like sourcing a retro bedside locker and painting it the exact shade of yellow, finding the perfect Spider-Man quote, Archie’s favourite Superhero, and framing it and choosing beautiful shelving from Sostrene Grene because she knows I love a good #shelfie.  These thoughtful details made all the difference for me.

If you have a home or a room that needs a makeover and you don’t know where to start or haven’t the time to tackle it yourself, then Cathy from Flamingo Interior Design is the woman for you!

Up next for a makeover is little Mabel’s room so watch this space for more interiors…

Lx

Collaborations Mamahood Places Style

A Mama Meet-Up with Opera Lane

Every person is a new door to a different world…

The reason we started to do these Mama Meet-Ups was simple. We have connected online with so many wonderful women. We have had conversations with them under their beautiful posts on Instagram. We have liked their baby pictures and we have supported them virtually when they have had bad days and they have done the same for us. So the idea was that from time to time we would take those virtual friendships offline and into the real world. Small intimate gatherings of people who have never met but who share so many similarities like style, design, business, blogging and parenting. You might think it was a little crazy, awkward even to invite virtual strangers to come together for a few hours on a sunny Saturday morning… in reality it was anything but!

Most people were coming on their own, not knowing anyone else which is totally daunting when you think about it… kind of like a giant blind date! Sure there were a few funny moments, like when you see someone and you recognise them from their feed so naturally you go to call them by their Instagram handle & remember “oh no wait she has an actual name!” Manolo Mummy aka Lindsay gets this all the time. The refreshing thing was that everyone was so honest about feeling a bit nervy coming on their own. Of course there was the panic about what one wears to brunch. For some it was their first outing after having a baby and for all it was a much needed few hours of “me time” – queue snorts of laughter all round when we all admitted that we hadn’t a clue what to wear and the gorgeous Sarah from Salingers Little entertained us all saying she actually googled “what to wear to brunch?”

It was a dream collaboration with Opera Lane which is Cork’s destination for all things style & beauty. We were flattered when they admired what we do and completely ecstatic when they asked us if we would join forces with them to host some of their PR events this year. After our first meeting it was decided that brunch in the newly refurbished Montenotte Hotel would be the setting for our first meet up collaboration with Opera Lane. A relaxed gathering of women who love Instagram, to blog, run their own business and/or are mothers. We were treated to a delicious brunch and Natasha Crowley – Opera Lane’s Personal Stylist – talked us through some gorgeous spring summer looks for us mamas and our little ones from a selection of the stores on Opera Lane. You can book Natasha for a free personal styling session via the Opera Lane website. The styled set up & place settings were perfectly Instagramable and were designed by our friend Dee from Chapter who is an incredible Graphic and Interior Designer.

Do you ever meet someone and think… yep you are my kind of people. Well I had that x 20 with this bunch of women. It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning surrounded by such a positive group of supportive and, not to mention, drop dead gorgeous women. The feedback we have received has given us a real lift and reminded us why we started Dreaming Always in the first place.

We believe it is so important to carve out time for you and to put yourself out there to push yourself, connect and meet with people who could very well become your support system both on and offline. You will feel the benefit of it afterwards, and you never know what opportunities it might lead to and at a minimum you will make some lovely like-minded friends. I know I came away from Saturday’s meet-up completely uplifted and inspired to do more events.

Plans are already in motion for our next one… Cocktails on the terrace of The Montenotte Hotel anyone?

L x

Images by Anna Groniecka