Category / Style

Mamahood Style

Mama Treats

Mamas Dreaming Always

We are not huge believers in celebrations like Mother’s Day which is coming up very soon but we do believe there’s always an excuse to celebrate yourself. As human beings, every day brings small new victories our way. If anything we just need to celebrate life a little bit more. Nothing beats treating yourself. So go on, treat yourself right now. Whilst your baby is hanging off you. Whilst your boss is looking over your shoulder. Whilst you are waiting in the queue for the ATM. No matter what you are doing right now… besides obviously reading this post… go onto your favourite online store and treat yourself.

Dreaming Gift Guide

  1. We just love personalised jewellery. These ones look pretty from Posh Totty Design.
  2. We may have found a new favourite Irish brand – 31 Chapel Lane.

  1. Our dehydrated, scaly skin needs a new lease of life. Pestle & Mortar is Irish and owned by a mama of five!
  2. Seriously, these little slippers/mules/Arabian Princess shoes from Free People are gorge.

 

Mother's Day Guide

  1. Slinky, soft, silky pj’s from Free People
  2. We are both obsessed with cushions & Anthropologie has some of the best ones
  3. Holiday planning requires Rose-Gold Sunglasses
  4. How gorgeous are these wall hangings from Etsy?
  5. You’ve got this Mama – Mug from Scandiborn
  6. Satin blush trainers from Anthropologie

 

These are some bits we would really love to treat ourselves to right now. Time to hunt out our hidden credit cards…

Happy Shopping,

L&Nx

 

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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Style

London Style

London Style

The best kind of friendships are fierce lady friendships where you aggressively believe in each other, defend each other, and think the other deserves the world.

You might have seen in our last post that we visited London right before Nessa moved to Dubai. It was seriously one of the best weekends and so special right before the move. We might also have mentioned (a few times!) before that we are really uncomfortable having our photo taken but we never found it half as daunting when the two of us were in it together. Obviously now that one of us is in Ireland and one of us is in Dubai we will be shooting our style posts individually but we will always try to do the “same but different” angle for each of our style features. One of us may have slightly more clothes on than the other but we do have some fun shoots planned for the next few weeks.

Dreaming Always Shoot LondonNessa & Leona StyleL&N LondonSoho Style Dreaming Always

Although we tend to live in our jeans, we both love wearing dresses. The problem is they tend to be a little more high maintenance that our boyfriend jeans but for a trip to London we both got slinky little slip dresses. Nothing feels better than a loose fitting dress. You can find a black version of Nessa’s dress here and Leona’s dress here.

London Style DetailsStyle Details Dreaming AlwaysStyle Shoot London SohoLondon Shoot

Never underestimate the power of a good outfit on a bad day,

L&Nx

Leona – Dress | Jacket | Boots | Bag

Nessa – Similar Dress here | Similar Jacket here) | Boots | Choker | Lace Top | Bag

Images by Victoria Metaxas

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Mamahood Places Style

A Stroll Around Soho

be with those who help your being…

You may have noticed smoke coming from our Instagram Stories when we were in London a few weekends back. We went a bit mad documenting every step of our trip. We thought we might have been wrecking everyone’s heads but we had lots of lovely comments from people saying that they’d enjoyed watching what we got up to.

We were absolutely determined to make the most of our time in London. We had two full days and one night baby free and we weren’t going to waste it. It was also the last trip we would do before Nessa moves to Dubai so we wanted to make it a memorable one.

Our friend Sarah from Young Hearts had invited us to join her for Dot to Dot London. It’s an amazing independent kidswear exhibition held twice a year for industry and press. Most of the people we met are hardworking mothers who’ve set up their own businesses while raising their babies. It was a fantastic experience and we connected with some incredible new up-and-coming kidswear brands… so watch this space for some pretty gorge collaborations!

Before heading to Dot to Dot we had some time so we decided to have a mini Mama Meet-Up in the heart of Soho with some of our favourite pals, Sarah, Sooby & Lisa who were attending the exhibition too. We actually became friends with Sarah & Sooby via Instagram since we set up Dreaming Always. The power of social media connections. We met at an authentic Italian delicatessen – Lina Stores and grabbed a coffee before strolling around Soho freezing our bottoms off but laughing non-stop. Having admired her work for ages we arranged to meet the wonderful Victoria Metaxas to take some shots for us. She is a talented photographer, fashion and travel blogger with whom we immediately clicked.

What we love about our meet ups is that there is no one size fits all.

Since launching Dreaming Always last summer we’ve hosted meet ups in the shape of dinner and cocktails (sans enfants) and we have had fancier events that involved brand collaborations and we have had big ‘ol crazy play dates where no one gets to drink their tea or finish their sentences. It doesn’t matter when, where or how many people we can round up, we just love getting together with other mamas to chat, laugh, cry, eat or drink – or all of the above. Having said that this little get-away and meet-up felt a bit special because it was the last one Nessa and I would be hosting together for a while.

Life can be hectic and some weeks fly by in haze of school runs, laundry and sleepless nights.  As much as we love our babies and men we think it is essential to escape on our own every now and then with friends who also need to escape. Where better to go to than one of our most loved cities – London.

Thank you to this incredibly supportive and gorgeous girl gang for making our first Dreaming Always trip to London so memorable.

We are already planning the next one… who’s in?!

L&Nx

You can check out the girl’s gorge Instagrams here:

Sarah | Young Hearts

Sooby | Mutiny Kids

Lisa | Eliza Lily

Images by Victoria Metaxas

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Mamahood Places Style

Changes

DA Plans

You get a strange feeling when you are leaving a place. You will not only miss the people you love but you will miss the person you are at this very time and place because you know you will never be this way ever again.

You might have seen on Nessa’s Instagram that she is moving to Dubai with her little family. Yes… she is moving there in the next few weeks. We have been getting the sweetest messages from people asking us if this is the end for Dreaming Always and we can happily say that we really and truly think it is just the beginning.

Are you still going to continue with Dreaming Always when Nessa moves to Dubai?

Absolutely. Dreaming Always is going global! We will both be working on it from our own locations – Cork & Dubai. This means more diverse content, more travel and it offers our readers something a little unique. This platform we have created, both offline and online, is something that we are just so passionate about. We have created a place for sleep-deprived mamas to dream. Whether that mama is in Ireland or Dubai or somewhere in between, we want to help other mamas to realise that it is absolutely ok for them to feel overwhelmed and it is totally normal to want to run away and escape some days. We want to create a network of women who love being a mother but also love to be their own person too. As well as writing honest posts about motherhood and life in general and letting you know about our favourite (not always child-friendly!) places, we will continue to create beautiful photo stories for the website. Yes, a lot of them will now involve us posing alone and/or with the kids but as soon as we are on the same soil we will be doing them together.

2. Will you still host your Mama Meet-Ups?

Yes! We are already in the middle of planning some in both locations. We plan to host them regularly in Ireland and Dubai. Nessa visited Dubai recently and arranged to meet up with three gorgeous women who she met on Instagram – Helen, Irene, Simone and she just loved them. The power of social media is just incredible. Being able to host our Mama Meet-Ups in dual locations means that we can really reach out to a whole new network of amazing women. Of course Leona will have to go to Dubai for our first one out there.

3. What are your plans for 2017?

Nessa – To persuade Leona to move to Dubai…

Leona – To make Nessa stay in Ireland…

We cannot believe the support we have received since we started Dreaming Always last year. It has been so incredible to meet so many fantastic women and we want to meet so many more. We know it is going to be really tough for both of us over the next few months juggling everything but we are crazy excited for what is in store for us personally and for Dreaming Always. We are working on our own line of baby bonnets, Mabel Rose and we will be launching the first design soon. We have lots of travel planned starting with a trip to Dot to Dot London next weekend with two amazing mamas we have met since we launched Dreaming Always – Sarah & Sooby. We are also meeting with some of our favourite kids wear brands there. We are going to make it our mission to travel around Ireland also (and not just Cork & Dublin) to host our Mama Meet-Ups. We cannot actually believe it ourselves so we don’t mind if you don’t believe us either but we are now represented by an Irish agency. We are excited to bring things up another notch and to work with some great brands on collaborations. Phew, that sounds like a lot. Some days we can barely get ourselves out of bed and then other days we surprise ourselves with what we can achieve. We are going to take it all one day at a time but we really do hope that we get to do at least some of the things that we have planned. Nessa needs to leave the country first and at the rate she is packing and saying goodbye to all her beloved clothes she might never get out of here.

Coffee Date with Dreaming AlwaysDreaming Always in CorkDubai & Dreaming AlwaysDay Dreamers CorkNessa Hurley DreamerLeona DreamerDreaming Always of CoffeeDreaming Always Dubai and Cork

There are friendships imprinted in our hearts that will never be diminished by time and distance. Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things will always work out.

Time to turn the page,

L&Nx

Images by Brid O’Donovan

Place | Filter Coffee, Cork

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Style

Feeling Fancy

We both used to be very dressy people by nature. Both of us were that friend in the group who got overdressed for every occasion. Actually we kind of originally bonded over our love for really unique pieces, particularly from our favourite vintage store in Cork, Miss Daisy Blue. As we mentioned before we end up buying the same thing a lot, completely unknown to each other, and turn up wearing it at the same time. Like recently when we both picked up the matching bags in this post separately from TK Maxx and turned up for drinks over Christmas with them.

Since becoming mamas we don’t get to dress up half as much as we would like to. Dressy occasions involve major planning these days. We tend to wear the same few knits and jeans day to day. Our lack of opportunity to get dolled up doesn’t stop us from scrolling through our favourite stylish Instagram accounts where we are inspired to just buy the sequinned skirts and lace slips or whatever it may be that makes us feel fancy again.

NYE StyleStyle 2016Dreaming Always 2016 Leona and Nessa DreamersMama Style

There is always an opportunity to pull out something that makes you feel fancy and if that opportunity is just meeting friends for lunch, coffee or drinks, we say go for it, be the overdressed one in the group.

Go play dress up,

L&Nx

Leona – Skirt Jacket & Shoes

Nessa – Jacket & Shoes & Dress – Zara – (Similar here)

Images by Sarah Blake

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Fashion Style

Christmas 2016 Gift Guide

Dreaming Always Christmas

We are constantly screen-shotting and saving things we see and fall in love with online, particularly on Instagram, which you may have noticed we are slightly obsessed with. With all of our screenshots adding up, we decided to put together a mini gift guide for you guys. Basically to pass along our obsessions to someone else. We do hope that you find something nice for yourself or a loved one from these gorgeous online stores and brands.

Dreaming Always Gift Guide home

For Your Home:

  1. Luxury Irish Candles by Clean Slate
  2. Gorgeous Irish Homeware by Concrete Forest Studio
  3. Gold Mirror Name Sign (Mabel has one of these!) by Arlo & Co.
  4. We both want a Luggy and so much more from Dublin based store Mira Mira
  5. We want to fill our nostrils with Room Spray & Soap from Clean Slate
  6. Give us all the coffee in this gorgeous cup from Irish lifestyle brand Dar Sol

 

Dreaming Always Gift Guide Mama

Mama Treats:

  1. We want the Tiba & Marl Changing Bag and these pyjamas and this jumper and the list goes on from Young Hearts
  2. Gorgeous luxury watch that Nessa also owns from Told&Co.

 

Dreaming Always Gift Guide Kids

For the Little Ones:

  1. This is one of our favourite quotes printed from Irish company The Smiley Bunny
  2. Where would any child (or adult!) be without a sparkly crown from Fable Heart?
  3. We adore these booties from Irish online store Nouvelle Baba – Emie-Rose is the proud owner of a pair!
  4. Yes, we all need a fancy personalised sippy cup in our lives from Chaos + Harmony
  5. We do love a gorgeous brand with an amazing story behind it like Scamp & Dude
  6. We want every single one of Vanessa Byrne’s creations from Ilka
  7. Our three little ones are official owners of Lottie Dolls and we LOVE them

 

Dreaming Always Gift Guide Faves

Our Faves:

  1. Looking for really unique interiors gifts? Irish lifestyle brand Dar Sol has you covered.
  2. We are obsessed with Amy & Ivor moccasin designs – hello, yeti delights!

 

Christmas Gift Guide Dreaming Always Love

Dreaming of You:

  1. Add a little sparkle to someone’s home with this gorgeous handmade stocking from Fable Heart
  2. We just adore every gorgeous clothing collection from Australian brand Heart Me
  3. Gluten and dairy free Irish marshmallowy goodness by The Marsh Sisters
  4. We love so many things from UK based online concept store – Rue des Petits
  5. It can be so hard to find a gorge soother holder & we love these from Rue Des Petits
  6. One of our dream brands – we want everything from Shirley Bredal

It’s so important to keep some of your Christmas purchases for gorgeous independent stores and brands.

Happy Shopping to you all,

L&Nx

All images used are from each brand’s website/social media

 

 

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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

Style

Some Days

da2

” In a world where everyone is over-exposed, the coolest thing is to maintain your mystery…”

Some days you peer into the screen if your iPhone, iPad or laptop and all you can see are other people’s perfect lives. Life has become about the story you sell of yourself on the Internet. Whilst we think we are connecting through social media, sometime we are actually disconnecting from our own sense of self.

Some days we are more concerned with how our lives look than how we actually feel. Some days we are too busy documenting our lives to really enjoy things. The very best things in life cannot be captured by status updates.

Social media has pretty much changed our lives. One of us works in digital marketing. We have met some of our closest friends and favourite people via social media. It has given us so much inspiration for so many aspects of our lives. We spend hours on our phones everyday. We complain about feeling stressed and anxious because we don’t have time. We don’t have time to do this and to do that but we do have time to trawl through Instagram a few times every single day. It’s actually hilarious when you think about it properly.

Both of us are obsessed with Instagram. We adore how visual it is. We love meeting the coolest people on there. Instagram for us is a modern day photo album. Yes, we put ourselves out there, we over-expose ourselves and make it too curated. We treat it like a little photo diary and want to be able to look back at the pictures we have taken of our babies and our little adventures. We are always glad to have stopped and taken a moment to photograph a special memory. We also know it feels so good to put down the phones and just be.

Nessa HurleyLeona and Nessa Knitssocial media 2H&M KnitsFriends 2Style Shoot Knits 2Grey and Peach KnitsLeona and Nessa ShoesLeonaNessa
In short, we love being online but sometimes offline is where we find the greatest peace of mind. We just need to remember that more often and disconnect. If only for a few hours…
L&Nx
Knits – H&M | Jeans – Zara & Stradivarius | Boots & Shoes – Zara

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Places Style

Coffee Date

Brid O'Donovan

Some souls just understand each other upon meeting.

Sometimes you meet a person and you just click – you’re immediately as comfortable with them as if they were family. You don’t have to pretend to be anyone or anything. We have both learned a lot this year. We have learned that things don’t always turn out the way you planned. We have learned that there are things that go wrong and don’t always get put back together the way they were before. We have learned about the value of friendship and the importance of having people around you that just get you. We have learned that you can get through hard times as long as you have people that love you.  The people that love the imperfect you. The forgetful you. The busy you. The cranky you. The stressed you. The crazy you. We all go a little crazy at times.

Leona and Nessa GreenesGreenes Cork CityStyle 2Greenes Cork

We found the most perfect place for coffee last week in our own city. A place that has been in our city for years and years and we have only just discovered it as a coffee destination – Greenes Restaurant. We probably stumbled across it a few months too late as it’s the outdoor seating area that appealed to us. It’s right next to a gorgeous waterfall feature (where there’s water obviously) so it’s definitely not the place for babies on the move but it would have been the perfect spot in the city centre for coffee with Emie-Rose & Mabel this summer. We also had a little road-trip to Clonakilty the same week to visit a gorgeous store called Whitefawn Boutique.

Coffee Date4Whitefawn 2Whitefawn BoutiqueBootsFreepeople and Mango

We have set up our Places section of the website to share some of our favourite places with you – whether it’s where we like to shop, go to have coffee, where we like to go on holidays or our favourite place to drink gin.

L&Nx

Dress, Skirt, Jumper & Necklaces | Whitefawn Boutique

Images by Brid O’Donovan Photography