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Dubai

Time to talk about the bubble that is Dubai. A place that is flashy & fast-paced. A place of glamour, wealth and opportunities. It is a place where many people put more importance on what you earn than what kind of person you are. A place where women walk ahead of their nannies with their hands hanging whilst the nanny carries their kids and their shopping. It is a place that makes you feel as if you are on a different planet. A place where the richest and the poorest of people live. A place where the buildings are made of gold. A place where you spend a painful amount of money each week on your grocery shopping. A place where setting up your basic household bills requires selling a kidney. A place where you can get a carton of milk hand-delivered to your door but where it is almost impossible to get your huge rental deposit back. A place where the people that take care of your children and look after your home won’t ever call you by your first name. It is a place that made me feel terribly uncomfortable. It is a place that gave us incredible memories. It is a place that introduced us to life-long friends. It is a place that made us stronger. It is a place that made me weaker. It is a place that made us more aware of what we wanted for ourselves. A place that made us appreciate what we had at home. A place that made us angry. It is the place where Emie-Rose became a little girl. It is a place where we laughed and we cried. It is a place where we sweated profusely. It is a place that is hot as f**k. It is a place that has non-stop sunshine. It is a place where Emie-Rose needed to use inhalers. It is a place where people skip queues a lot. It is a place where you do not have to fill your own petrol. It is a place where you can believe anything is possible. It is a place of beauty. It is the place where Emie-Rose learned how to swim. It is a place where we opened our minds. It is a place where I felt like I never belonged. It is just that… a place. We are home now. Will we stay at home? Who knows… but for now, we are home & we are happy. We are all over the place but we are home. We have lots to do to get ourselves set up again. For once, I’m not stressed that everything isn’t perfect. It is far from perfect but it works for us right now. Somehow.

Nessa Hurley DubaiFamily CoffeeEmie Rose Tribe DubaiNessa & EmieRoseBaby Girl CoffeeBoston Lane DubaiBaby GirlBoston Lane CoffeeWater BabyTribe DubaiGirl OutdoorsGirly Coffee DateBack from Dubai

Do I have regrets? Yes & No. We both needed to do it. We needed to try something different. It has complicated things but it was a great adventure. We decided that there was no point in staying any longer than we did. It was not making us happy. It felt good to come home.

Do what you have to do for you. Do what makes you happy. If you have to go, just go. If you have to come home, then come home. Wherever “home” is for you…

We all have a place that feels like home,

Nessa xoxo

If you are in Ireland, please please please check the register and have your say on 25th May….

Images by Augustine – Come in Waves

Places | Tribe DubaiBoston Lane

Lifestyle Mamahood

Two

EmieRose 2nd Birthday

From the day that you were born, life changed. I changed. I discovered that sometimes our lives need to be completely shaken-up and changed for us to find out where we are truly meant to be. Life is about change. Sometimes it is scary, sometimes it is beautiful, but most of the time it is both.

I don’t remember you being born as I was unconscious. After waking up from my general anaesthetic, you were placed in my arms and I cried and shouted hysterically that you were not my baby. Once the effects of the drugs wore off, I was terrified. The most scared I had felt in my life until that point I think. Two days after you came into my world, on Christmas Eve, you almost left my world. I will never ever forget that day. That was a whole new level of fear. It also opened up my eyes to just how incredibly precious you are. Leaving the hospital with you for the first time was not what I imagined it to be. I refused to have any photos taken of us together and your Dada had to carry you and all of our bags. I just shuffled along and cried. I wanted to get out of that hospital so bad because hospitals are the scariest place for me to be but I was also so scared leaving the safe haven of that maternity ward where they could fix you if anything bad was to happen you again. The outfits I had meticulously planned for us to wear going home were vastly different from the ones we both actually wore. I certainly didn’t expect to be wearing an adult nappy or flip flops in December and you were smaller than anticipated so all the things we had for you were too big. Once I got home to my own bed with you, things started to feel better and for the first time I was able to enjoy being your Mama but I was just so worried about you all the time. I would not leave you out of my sight. I started to learn what other women were talking about when they said you feel a crazy kind of love for your children. I felt crazy and I was in love.

ER TwoEmie Rose Turns Two2nd Birthday GirlER 2

Spontiphoria Birthday Cake2nd Birthday CelebrationsER Birthday GirlBirthday Celebrations

People say that motherhood is hard. People also tell you that motherhood is one of the best things that you can experience. It is the most intensely terrifyingly beautiful thing that has happened in my life. I literally cannot do anything without thinking about you, worrying about you, wondering about you. I love you more than you will ever know. The same way I now understand that my mother loves me. In fact, I love you so much that I cannot sleep. I haven’t slept soundly since the day that you were born. It is not because you are awake at night. You love to nap and you love to sleep all night. I just cannot sleep soundly because my mind never stops thinking about you, worrying about you, wondering about you. Some days I am so tired and so worn out that people ask me if I was out partying the night before. I dream about running away to sleep for days… but if I ever get the chance to go away and ‘catch up on sleep’ – I just want to be right back with you… listening to your big belly laugh and feeling your soft baby skin. When you were a younger baby I didn’t feel this way quite so strongly but it gets more intense the older you get and the longer I have spent with you. Yes, I am tired all the time and spending my days with you makes me even more tired because you have so much energy and we spend a lot of time running after you and alongside of you. You hate to sit still and you absolutely love to run. You almost ran before you walked. You love for us to ‘have a cosy’ together. Your little warm body pressed against me with your little hand wrapped up in mine. You spent the first year of your life in Ireland and the second year of your life in Dubai. You have experienced so much in your short life so far and I hope that we have so many more years together.

If I had to choose one person to be with forever, it would be you. You are my little pal… my sidekick. We go most places together. You are hilarious. You have the strongest character. Everyone tells me that you are wild. Some say it as if it’s a bad thing. You are wild – wild and free. People often think that you are older than you are and you get treated a bit unfairly because you look older than you are. My baby girl. Just two years old. You are the boss of our home. You are just incredible. You are the one that has made me softer, kinder and more loving towards everyone. I am not the same person that gave birth to you. I am a better person because of you. I hope that you always know that you have made so many people happy by just being in their presence. You make strangers smile. I would love you to grow up to be kind yet strong, with a heart full of love but a mind of your own.

Roses

2nd Birthday PartyER Details2nd Birthday

Thank you for changing my life. Thank you for being mine and for making me this person that I am today as I write this for you.

Happy 2nd Birthday my sweet little rose,

Mama

xxx

Images by Sarah Sargent

Tutu by Fable Heart

Cake by Spontiphoria

Mamahood Places

Home for the Holidays

Dreaming Always Home

“and then she knew… that you could become homesick for people too…”

Emie-Rose & I are home from the desert for a few weeks and this cool fresh air sure feels good. If you happen to follow our Instagram Stories you might have noticed that I sweat a great deal and I don’t cope very well in hot climates… and I chose to live in the desert. You cannot deny that I love a good challenge, eh?

Reconnecting with family and friends has been incredible. It is like we never left. We haven’t been away that long but it has been so nice to catch up with people who I have really missed. There are certain relationships that will never be affected by time and distance. It has been so lovely to be back with Leona and to see our kids actually playing with each other now. The difference a few months makes is just insane. Emie-Rose has actually fallen in love with Archie. It melts my heart to see them all together.

Little FriendsAlways TogetherDreaming Always MabelMama and BabaArchie DreamingDA Emie-RoseMabel and Leona ER & Nessa

Now that I have stopped sweating and obsessing over the chronic heat, I have been able to take a moment to think about life in the Middle East. Everybody I have met since returning home has asked me if I am loving life in Dubai and if I have settled in. At least once a week since I moved I also get an email or a message from someone who is considering a move to Dubai. As you may have noticed by now I am very honest and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am also very realistic and I would never sell something to anyone that I didn’t have 100% belief in myself so I have been honest with people along the way.

Do I love life in Dubai?

I do not love living there yet and yes, I have experienced several moments of “what the f**k are we doing here?!” but as I said before it is not forever. We are on an adventure which has provided us with some of the most absurd moments of our lives to date but my family and I are on this crazy adventure together and we are creating some of the most amazing memories.

I was pretty miserable (and a major pain in my husband’s ass!) before I came home two weeks ago. It was just way too hot to entertain a toddler. I never thought I would miss the wet grey country I could not wait to leave behind so much. When you live away from home you actually miss the most simple of things most. As a mama to a very busy and very determined toddler I really miss the safety net of family to help me out. I miss being able to call on my mother or father or brother or sister to get me out of a sticky situation. I miss the familiarity. I promise you that living in Dubai is not all glamour, Friday brunches and huge savings. Saying that, I am sure if it was my pre-baby days I would happily spend all of my free time doing all of the glamorous things that Dubai has to offer. I would be much more carefree and much less anxious about every little thing. Since coming home to Ireland I have noticed something… I am still anxious and worry about every little thing. I don’t need to be living away from home to be stressed. This revelation has been a eye-opener for me. My plan now is to go back after a very memorable summer in Ireland with a much more open mind and a lot less heavy heart.

Dreaming Always NHOur Little GangDreaming Always VansLittle BabesOur little onesOur GangThe Girls in Cork CityStyle DetailsDreaming Always PlacesOur Mabel B

We get asked a lot about the future of Dreaming Always. We also get asked a lot how we are surviving being apart. That question always makes us laugh. We definitely work best when we are together but we both adore Dreaming Always and all that it stands for and plan to keep going with this little love of ours. We are currently in the midst of planning two Mama-Meet-Ups whilst I am home in Ireland and one in Dubai on my return. It is going to be a busy but fun few weeks which are just going to fly by…

It is true that you have to go on adventures to find out where you really belong,

Nx

 

Images by Brid O’Donovan

Emie-Rose – Jacket | Shorts | Runners

Nessa – Shirt Dress | Shoes

Leona (and Archie) – Shoes | Similar Skirt here & here

Mabel – Shoes

*Leona discovered this little hidden gem for coffee in Cork City where we had these photos taken called The Garden Cafe.

 

Mamahood Places

Uncertainty

Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible.

I got pretty mixed reactions from people when I told them quite suddenly that we were moving to Dubai. Looking back I definitely got way more shocked and perplexed expressions than anything else. A few people said I was really brave, others said I was inspiring. I just thought it would be a new adventure for us as a trio. I don’t think I really ever let myself think too hard about the move. In the end it all happened really quickly and we found ourselves landing into Dubai Airport with our little girl homeless. I will never forget the stress of the last two weeks before we left Ireland. It was absolute chaos. Emie-Rose had just started walking. She was constantly hurting herself – falling, walking into walls, hitting her head off tables, falling down stairs – and she needed a crazy amount of attention. We left our packing too late. We had to organise so many things. In the midst of packing our house up and running after a hyperactive baby who had just found her feet, I dropped a glass container on my foot in the most awkward place possible and I was told I would have to keep my foot elevated for two weeks. Four days before we were due to fly to Dubai. Everything was just so chaotic and it hasn’t stopped being chaotic since we got here. Nobody said it was going to be easy but I never expected it to be this hard.

Dubai 1

I started working two weeks after we arrived. I have never felt so nervous starting a job. I was terrified. I was worried about working in a new market that I wasn’t familiar with. I was traumatised at the thought of leaving Emie-Rose all day. I was lucky enough to work my own hours in Ireland since she was born. I was totally in control of how I managed my day and how much time we spent together. You definitely don’t appreciate what you have until you face a new challenge. So many women all over the world have been through it but you always feel like you are the only person going through your own issues. Whilst I didn’t feel homesick, I felt lonely. I felt like no-one could possibly understand how I was feeling. I had a fair few of those awkward teary-eyed moments in public when you know people can see that you are randomly about to burst out crying and you pretend you have something in your eye. People have been so kind. When you’re feeling vulnerable, people being kind can make you even more emotional. We are so lucky to be staying with family whilst we find our feet and organize everything out here in the desert. We have been living out of suitcases for the last five weeks and we will be doing so for many more weeks to come. Are we settled? No. Do I dream of sitting in my favourite local cafe back in Cork chatting to my girls? Yes. Do I miss the cold weather? No. I definitely miss knitwear though.

Don’t get me wrong. Our move hasn’t been a totally negative experience. First world problems and all that. We chose to make the move. We were lucky enough to be able to up and leave with no ties. We craved a new kind of adventure. There are lots of amazing places to visit here and so many new things to discover. I love the huge diversity of cultures here. I find it so interesting learning about different ways of life. My eyes have already been opened to a whole new world of possibilities. I have had so many interesting conversations with new people since I got here. People really look out for you here. Dubai is the most child-friendly place I have ever been. Saying that perhaps it’s a little too child-friendly here at times with strangers asking me if they can take a picture with my baby girl or randomly picking her up without asking me first. We wake up to sunshine. We have spent more time at the beach in the last five weeks as we have all year at home. We are together.

We haven’t put a date on when we might return home. It might be tomorrow, it might be in six months, it might be in two years or even ten years. The two most important things in life for me are family and happiness.

If we aren’t happy, we fix it. If we need to be with our family, we go to where our family is.

Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later,

Nx

Images by Claire Stafford

Dress & Sandals | Zara Kids

Playsuit & Sandals | Zara

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Mamahood

Listen To Your Heart

New Years Eve

At least once a week we have a very serious discussion which involves us promising to stop eating so many croissants, doughnuts, toast, chips, pizza and crisps. We also swear that we will help each other to stick to a healthier lifestyle and that we will start working out together. To date, none of this has happened. We do like to think that we are constantly working towards self-improvement – definitely more mentally than physically. We have a lot of big plans for 2017 and in order to take on the year with gusto, we know we need to be ready and prepared. We are ready to take on a few lifestyle changes.

We promise to drink 8 litres of water every single day. Okay, who are we kidding… how about we really try to stop drinking so much coffee and keep gin to Friday nights only.

We will work out together three times per week. We do like to use the excuse that we don’t have time with needy children and jobs (unfortunately we don’t get to take pretty photos of our babies for a living) so let’s be honest, we would be doing pretty well for ourselves with just walking more and eating less doughnuts whilst out walking.

We are going to live more in the moment, try to put down our phones more often and try really hard not to abruptly stop listening to each other mid-conversation because the other has unknowingly created an “Instagram-moment” and we just have to capture it. We need to start taking more social media breaks. It’s imperative for our sanity.

Dreaming Always 2017Dreaming Always NYEDreaming Always GirlsMabel and LeonaNYE Mamas Little Ladies Dreaming AlwaysDreaming Always GirlsBabas Dreaming Our Little Ladiesmabel breenDA Family

2016 has been a year to remember for so many reasons. It has also been a year filled with moments that we would rather forget. 2016 has been life-changing, magical, hard, happy, sad and filled with surprises. We are wrecked but we are so ready for what 2017 will bring our way. We are designing and working on our very own product line which we will be launching in the next few months. We are crazy excited. Without sounding too cliched and “blogger-like,” it is actually amazing what you can achieve once you get an idea in your head and just go for it. We are very aware that things don’t always work out but we like to follow our hearts. We tend to live by George Michael’s mantra that if you really want peace of mind, you have to listen to your heart.

We want to thank you so much for reading our posts. We really do love what we do & we are really looking forward to letting you know exactly what’s in store for us in the next few weeks.

2017, let’s go…

L&Nx

Images by Brid O’Donovan

Dolls | Lottie Dolls

 

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Mamahood

On Angel’s Wings

Dreaming Always Angel Wings

Christmas magic is silent. You don’t hear it – you feel it. You know it. You believe it. At Christmas, all roads lead home. From our little angels to yours… have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Dreaming Always baby AngelsDreaming Always Angels Mabel BreenDreaming Always baby AngelsDreaming Always AngelDreaming Always Angel Baby WingsAngel Wings Dreaming AlwaysDreaming Always

See you all in the New Year for lots more dreaming.

Thank you so much for being here,

Love,

L&Nx

Images by Brid O’Donovan

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Mamahood

Notes to our daughters

Christmas with Dreaming Always

We are all just given one life. One life to live exactly how we want to live. So do it. Decide. Is this the life I want to live? Is this the best you can be? Could you be kinder, more compassionate, more tolerant, more patient? Every level of your life will demand a different you. Life is full of set-backs, disappointment and failures. None of those things can permanently stop you. You have the power in you to overcome anything that life throws at you. No one is you and that is your power. You can do and be anything you set your heart to. You just have to believe that you can do it all. Everything you can imagine is real. Surround yourself with people that remind you that you matter, and support you in the ways that matter most to you. You will always be too much for some people. Those aren’t your people. Be good to people. In reality very little is needed to make a happy life. Life was made for making mistakes and taking chances. Enjoy yourself & celebrate every tiny victory. Stay soft. It looks beautiful on you.

Christmas Time with Mabel RoseMamas and Babas at ChristmasChristmas with Mabel & EmieRoseMamas & Babas Mabel RoseThe Dreaming Always GirlsOur Dreaming Always Girls

Whatever you are looking for in life is looking for you too.

You got this.

Mama

 

Images by Brid O’Donovan Photography

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