Tag / mamahood

Mamahood Places


Emie Rose Someday

One day you came into my life and everything changed. On that day you made me a different person. Some days I feel like I can not cope and other days I feel like I was put on this Earth just to be your Mama.

Someday I will tell you how much you changed my life. Someday you will understand just how much you mean to me. Some days I feel so out of my depth and other days I feel like I am doing perfectly ok. Some days I feel insanely lonely and other days I feel like all I need in the world is you.

Someday I will tell you stories about your life. The kind of childhood that you had. The summer days spent outside with great people. The days spent jumping in big puddles and you with your head back laughing. I will also tell you about the winter days spent curled up inside with those that love you so much. The days filled with laughter and hugs and me not wanting to ever let you go.

Someday you will grow up. One day you will not need me the way you need me now anymore and on that day I know I will shed a tear. Some days I wish for you to be more grown up and other days I want you to be my baby forever. Some days I worry because you do certain things and other days I just want you to be you. Wild & wonderful you.

Someday you might have children of your own and on that day you too will learn that us Mamas would do anything for our babies. Just about anything. I love you today and every day and I will love you even a bit more tomorrow.

Emie Rose Someday 2Dreaming AlwaysSomedayDreaming Always KidsEmie RoseAlfieEmie RoseDreaming Always Rachel and RoccoMama and Emie RoseDreaming Always KidsChildhood

Someday I hope that you will look back and remember the days spent playing in muddy puddles, wild and free, with me.

Mama x


Images by Gillian Horgan

Fota House & Gardens



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…


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Images by Brid O’Donovan




Him & I


 The days are long but the years are short…

Has there ever been such a bitter sweet statement for us mamas? No one ever told us that the biggest heartbreak of being a parent was that your kids would grow up and leave you. I mean we are a good few years off that stage yet but still… Archie says he wants to marry me when he grows up – I wonder how long that will last! The thought of them leaving to fend for themselves is pretty hard to fathom seeing as at the moment they don’t allow me any personal space and they need their bums & noses wiped pretty much on the hour, every hour. It does seem like light years away… those college years, but everyone I know with grown up children tells me it’s gone like a flash. One minute you are bringing them home from hospital… the next you are helping them choose college courses.

Time with my boy

I read an article before in which the author fondly remembered how his mother used to randomly surprise him and his siblings with little mini adventures. They would wake up get dressed for school, have their breakfast, brush their teeth and she would trundle them all into the car as if it was any normal run of the mill day. Once in the car she would shout “Mamas Holidays!!” and they would all squeal in delight. There would be no school or work and the day would be spent together eating ice cream or going to their favourite park/cafe. I absolutely loved the idea and it has stuck with me ever since.

Life gets so busy. We are all rushing heads down flying to work then leaving work in a panic to collect kids/babies and once home facing into the dinner bath/bed time routines. It is like we never stop.

What harm does it do every now and then just to stop and to not do what is expected of the day? None. It does no harm, so why don’t we do it more often? I’m not talking every week or even every month but now and then when it occurs to you to do it or when you just feel just need to stop.

outside the station

I knew I was in need of some alone time with Archie when he watched me intently one evening bathing his baby sister and afterwards as I wrapped her up tightly in a fluffy towel, he asked with a hint of sadness “remember when I was your first baby, mom?” Talk about a punch to my gut! Mom-guilt set in in a big way… was he feeling neglected? Was I too absorbed with the baby to even notice?

We were invited by our friends Sooby & Lili from Mutiny Kids to an event in Primark recently and I thought this is the perfect chance for us to do something fun and spontaneous together. It was in Dublin on a Monday in the middle of the day. Normally I would have declined as it would require too much re-organisation of our already busy week. I was also crazy in work and I’d have to rearrange the baby’s routine etc.

Lots of reasons to say no and one reason to say yes – time with my boy. TIME. Precious time. Days like these are important for both of us. He needs to feel like my baby and I need to focus solely on him even if it is just for a few hours.

I told him the night before that instead of going to Montessori in the morning we were catching a train to Dublin and we’d get a tram into the big city and the best bit for him… it was just going to be the two of us. Don’t get me wrong he adores his baby sister (we were only on the train to Dublin about 10 minutes when said he missed her) but the thought of it just being him and I on this adventure together for one day filled him with excitement.

Archie and LeonaLuas with Archie and Leona

In actual fact all we did was go from the station to the event and back again. The train journey was almost enough for him but it wasn’t really about what we did or where we went. What he (and I) loved were all the little moments. Like holding hands walking through a busy train station him wide eyed taking it all in, or buying our Luas ticket from the machine and holding on to it for dear life, or when we caught sight of the spire in the distance.

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All these small perfect innocent moments. I tried to soak them in, because he is not a baby anymore… he’s a little boy and soon he will be in school and then a teenager who won’t want to be seen dead with me. So I’m going to take these days with him while I can, holding hands just him and I… he was after all my first baby.


All images by Ivana Patarcic





Mamahood Places Style


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.

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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,


Images by Brid O’Donovan

Place | Filter Coffee, Cork







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.

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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…


Images by Brid O’Donovan

Dolls | Lottie Dolls












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,



Images by Brid O’Donovan



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.



Images by Brid O’Donovan Photography






Happy Halloween, Witches

Dreaming Always Halloween Party

The only thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live only as you can.

We might have mentioned on Instagram before how much we love Halloween. We love playing dress up and we jump at any chance to style a fun table and so we thought who better to plan a kid’s Halloween party with but the Queen of Halloween herself – our pal Cathy. There was something just so magical about meeting up on an ordinary Tuesday afternoon, dressing the kids up, eating some doughnuts, squeezing some babies and letting the 4 year olds dose up on sugar. We just instantly felt a weight lift from our shoulders and any stresses that we might have had on route to the party were forgotten about for those few hours. How important is it to have a day every now and then where you just throw routine to one side and the chores of everyday life out the window. We don’t just think it’s important, we think it’s essential. Yes, the kids got really hyper and the noise levels got a bit loud but Nancy and Archie happily entertained themselves and Emie-Rose and Mabel were fascinated watching them and us mamas got to relax and chat in Cathy’s beautiful home, which by the way she has done up herself with her partner. It’s gorgeous. She has glitter-speckled concrete floors of dreams. She’s one seriously talented mama.

Speaking of her being one seriously talented mama, Cathy also runs two businesses – an online vintage store called Turquoise Flamingo and divine DIY workshops called Oh Me, Oh My DIY! Cathy is a self-proclaimed maximalist and her instagram account is probably one of our all time favourites, particularly her captures of her little cherub, Nancy.


HalloweenHalloween Party with Dreaming AlwaysMabel A Dreaming Always Halloween Our Little PeopleHalloween with Dreaming AlwaysDreaming AlwaysEvent StylingNessa Halloween StyleKid's Halloween PartyMama Meet UpLittle Nancy Cathy InteriorsTurquoise FlamingoDreaming Always for MamasTiny PeopleDreaming AlwaysTable SettingLeona and MabelDreaming Always Emie-RoseHalloween Party

We love being around people like Cathy. People who are just themselves. Real, raw, quirky, inspiring, hard-working, beautiful and honest. We have learned so much this past year. We have learned that you cannot rush something that you want to last forever. We have learned about friendship and love and passion. We have learned from amazing people that we have known for a long time and from people that we have only just met.

Life is tricky, but it can be so sweet,



Images by Naomi Kamat Photography





I got it from my mama

dreaming always

“Balancing work and family life is easier said than done. It’s hard adjusting to the reality that my time is no longer completely my own. Even in the chaos of a full on work schedule over the last few years I knew I would always be guaranteed some down time each day to unwind…even it was only to sleep!”

We understand that not all mamas want to sit around discussing nappy rash and the like. We have started hosting mama meet-ups to bring like-minded mothers together to laugh about the struggles and beauty of motherhood, to talk business, to network and to share our dreams openly, honestly and with a sense of humour.

We shared pastries and coffee recently with three amazing ladies and their little ones in Leona’s home.

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Ciara O’Halloran | stylist & musician

Ciara is the sweetest mama to the most gorgeous little blue eyed girl called Ailbhe. She is also an amazing freelance wedding, interiors, food and lifestyle stylist AND musician. The talent simply oozes out of her.

“It’s very important for me to show Ailbhe that pursuing what you love is a worthy and admirable goal, even if it means I have to spend time away from her. I hope it will inspire her to seek out her own adventures and do what it takes to live a happy and fulfilled life when she’s older, whatever that might entail…”


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Cliona O’Connor | lifestyle blogger

Cliona makes us want to be a better version of ourselves. She is super healthy, super gorgeous & a super mama to four incredible kids. She makes us laugh out loud and we love her lifestyle blog where she discusses the reality of mamahood.

“There is the constant struggle between being the “old” you and doing the things pre-buba that you loved and being a mama. You gotta’ keep the show on the road…even when you feel like curling up in a ball and crying/sleeping/bawling”


dreaming alwaysdreaming always

Cathy O’Donoghue | vintage boutique owner, stylist & lifestyle blogger

Cathy has the cutest threenager called Nancy who helps her out with her gorgeous online vintage store, Turquoise Flamingo. Cathy also runs dreamy styling & wedding workshops and blogs about everything from interiors to vintage fashion. Her Instagram is also one of our all-time favourite accounts.

“I could sum mamahood up as: sleepless nights when all you want to do is sleep and the nights they’re deep in dreamland, all you want to do is wake them up! Being a mama also means loving someone so much that even their farts seem cute”


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We are constantly being inspired and learning so much from other women every day,



Images | Naomi Kamat Photography