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,
Images by Gillian Horgan
Venue | Dockland
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.
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,
Images by Magda Lukas
Art | Magda Lukas Art
You can buy Magda’s art here.
Surround yourself with people who make you hungry for life, touch your heart and nourish your soul…
As some of you might have seen on our Instagram recently, Leona went Stateside to Austin for the Spredfast Social Summit. This social media conference brings together over seven hundred social media leaders from every industry. It was a crazy cool experience for her hanging out with her fave person, Michelle Obama… well, admiring her from afar… in a room full of people… but AMAZING all the same.
A few days after she came home she did a video chat on our Instagram Stories that proved really popular with you guys about what she learned about the future of social media. One thing that really stood out to us and affected us was that there is going to be a huge move towards the idea of social good. Companies have a responsibility to take positive stands on the mega powerful tool that we know as social media. Basically brands and “influencers” are going to be swayed to focus more on how they can be a force for good. Rather than simply pushing your brand’s product or agenda, how can you positively impact someone’s life through your social media channels? Michelle told the Summit that, “real, good leaders operate from a place of truth.” We really couldn’t agree more Michelle. Social media seems to be flooded with insincerity and a lack of truth these days. She also told people not to be afraid of their unique voice. Don’t use it in a way that hurts or puts people down but find a way to have a voice. There are certain people on social media that we adore. We check their accounts every single day. They don’t all have big followings and they aren’t all extremely stylish individuals with great lives. They are the ones that speak passionately about a cause that is close to their heart, the ones that are not afraid to have an opinion, the ones that just make us want to do more and the ones that have more to offer than constantly unwrapping designer purchases. The ones that actually positively impact people’s lives through their social media channels.
Speaking of being honest… we have to say it again that we always feel really ridiculous doing style posts. They just don’t come naturally to us AT ALL! We have definitely said before though that we do like to do them as a total escape from our everyday lives, especially with our pal Brid who just makes us laugh the whole way through. We won’t win any modelling contracts any time soon but if you like anything about the looks, you can find some of the items of similar versions below.
Who do you really admire on social media? Send some good people our way!
Images by Brid O’Donovan
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.
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,
Images by Brid O’Donovan
Location – Interiosity Home Boutique
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.
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.
Images by Anna Groniecka