Tag / Mama Style

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

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 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

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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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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Style

Field of Dreams

Dreaming Always 2

Some days we surprise ourselves and we feel like we can handle anything that is thrown at us and we are on top of the world and then there are weeks like this week when both of us feel that everything is just hard-going and we wanted to constantly run away and hide in our sanctuary – the toilet. We feel stressed. The never-ending daily demands. The constant and over-whelming mama guilt about every little thing imaginable. The explosive teething poos at the supermarket. The pureé-ing of sweet potato that gets spat back at you. The mountains of washing. The empty fridge despite feeling like you are at the supermarket all the time. Small every day things that most days wouldn’t bother us but at times can make us so bothered and cranky. The simplest of things can make life feel over-whelming whether you’re working or not, a mama or not, a business owner or not but simply a human-being.

Dreaming Always 2Dreaming Always 2Dreaming Always 2Dreaming Always 2Dreaming Always 2Dreaming Always 2Dreaming Always 2Dreaming Always 2

We had a good laugh today when we thought back to this shoot with Magda Lukas. We scaled a fence, flashed our Spanx at some cows and pretended that frolicking in the tall grass dressed as twins is a daily occurrence for us. It wasn’t our finest moment but it was a bit of escapism and today it made us laugh out loud – something we both needed… and really isn’t that what it’s all about? Finding the time to laugh with someone… even better if you can laugh at yourself.
Always find a reason to laugh,
L&Nx
Playsuit & Dress | H&M
Shoes | Stradivarius

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