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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

Collaborations Lifestyle Mamahood Style

Mabel Turns One

Even though I am unsure about most things in life, I am certain I love you and will continue to love you forever…

Who else is guilty of binging on Pinterest the week before their kids birthday? Well that was me last week. Our baby girl Mabel turned one and we decided to celebrate it at home with her brother, grandparents and cousins. After posting some images on our Instagram stories, we received lots of messages asking where all the bits were from so we thought a post outlining where to get them would be helpful.

It started with a dress… I spotted this absolutely gorgeous linen dress on our friend Lyndsey’s online store – Nouvella Baba – and although pricey I felt Mabel would get loads of wear out of it over the next few months… so it was worth it. Seriously, Lyndsey has an amazing eye for brands and pieces and has curated a selection of stunning children’s wear brands. She runs this business while also taking care of her three children – legend! Mabel’s rose gold t-bar shoes are from Hubble and Duke – an Australian brand and arrived just in time.

My styling experience has taught me that all beautiful styled events start with choosing a colour which sets the tone for everything else. As much as it surprised me that colour turned out to be pink! I’ve never been a huge fan of pink and when I found out I was a having a girl I was excited to dress her in all the earthy and grey tones I was seeing everywhere. However, slowly but surely the pink creeps in and now I find myself drawn to it… so pink was the colour of the day with hints of gold and green.

It was a small gathering so I decided to focus the styling around a retro bar cart that was left in our house after we bought it. The cake, cake pops and mini cupcakes were all made by the insanely talented Ramune from Ms Cupcake Cork.We are huge fans of Ramune work and her Instagram.You might remember the beautiful cake she did for Emie Rose’s first birthday. You’d be hard pushed to find more beautifully designed & delicious cakes than the ones Ramune makes. The detail she goes into is very impressive and her creations are real show stoppers.  I chose a lemon and blueberry flavour & it was so good we even had it for breakfast the following day.

As if we didn’t have enough sugar to keep us suitably high Huckleberry Doughnuts kindly gifted us some mouth-watering doughnuts for the party. Each one was nicer than the next and I should know… I tasted most of them! They’ve recently opened in Cork City with people queuing around the block to get their hands on some of their tasty doughnuts.

After searching Etsy and Instagram for a cake topper I came across a cute party website called Project Party and was delighted to see that firstly it was Irish and secondly it is owned by Alana who is a mama to three gorgeous girls.

Seriously all these amazing mamas with the most beautiful online stores is so inspiring to see… there is a whole online world of them out there. Alana hooked me up with the perfect gold glittery cake topper, candle and the cutest party hat for Mabel which I couldn’t believe she left on!

 As for all the other little details I visited some of the go to party/craft stores on the high street in the weeks before like Tiger (the paper fans on the wall were from here) TK Maxx (balloons) and our new obsession Sostrene Grene (happy birthday banner, napkins, straws, balloons all from here)

We had the loveliest day… & the only things missing were our besties, Nessa & Emie Rose. Hopefully the gang will all be back together for her 2nd birthday party.

*Not pictured – the absolute state of the place afterwards, not very Pinterest worthy…

Lx

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Images by Brid O’Donovan

 

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Collaborations Style

Afternoon Tea with Otterbox

Otterbox

One thing we have learned since having children is to never compare yourself to other mothers. We are all doing it our own way. Some days just won’t go our way and other days we get it right. Some days we couldn’t be bothered with the hassle to leave the house and then there comes a day when we are given the opportunity to get all dolled up (we may have overdone it but we don’t get out as often anymore…), shoot some photos for an amazing brand and have afternoon-tea with one of our beautiful friends Cliona who always makes us laugh so much. We worked around child-minders, husbands, school runs and we got a few hours child-free to discuss anything but our children. Next Wednesday has a lot to live up to. We might just get dolled up and lie on the couch drinking tea pretending we are back in Hayfield Manor with Otterbox.

Otterbox Mamas Otterbox CaseNessa Hurley and OtterboxOtterbox and Leona O'Sullivan BreenLean Mean Momma and Dreaming Always for OtterboxOtterbox and Dreaming Always DetailsFolio Case OtterboxStyle Details Dreaming AlwaysDreaming Always Nessa and Leona and Cliona

We are just going to go ahead and admit that we are both pretty obsessed with our iPhone. They are almost permanently attached to our hands. However, we might have passed the obsession on to the girls who now want to constantly hold them, throw the phones across the room or drop them on marble or concrete floors. Luckily we have discovered Otterbox phone cases. They make us feel a whole lot more at ease when our beloved iPhone’s are being clasped by those sticky little fingers. The phone cases not only protect our phones but they also allow us to carry around a stylish accessory which doesn’t happen too often either anymore. You can see some of our favourite cases, two of which are featured in this shoot, here, here and here.

Comparison is the thief of joy… make your own joy,

L&Nx

Images by Brid O’Donovan

Clothes | Topshop Opera Lane Cork

Phone Cases | Otterbox