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Mamahood Places Style

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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

Places Style

Hot Pink

Dreaming Always Cork

When we ask our family and friends if they could look after the kids/cannot make a play-date because we have a “style shoot for the website” planned, we are convinced they picture us being very glamorous surrounded by hair and makeup artists in a fancy hotel suite sipping champagne. We would like to tell you that we always leave the house in our perfect not-baby-food-stained #samebutdifferent outfits but we would be telling you a lie. A massive lie.

Dreaming Always Leona Dreaming AlwaysLeona and Nessa Style Style Details

We don’t generally enjoy loitering around random walls dressed similarly but on this occasion we met with our photographer, Anna, and we had our fair share of fun posing in hot pink.

But let us set the scene for you…

On a wet and rainy Sunday morning, we both rushed late as usual to meet each other at the only hair salon that we could find opened on a Sunday. Yes, we were both planning on having blow-dries done for this very, erm, natural shoot. After being refused a blow-dry for wearing hair extensions, one of us had to dash to boots to panic-buy dry shampoo because who goes to the hair salon with fresh, non-greasy hair?! We then proceeded to change into our bit of hot pink in the glamorous surroundings of the shopping centre bathrooms. Mortified, we sped through said shopping centre looking like we were handing out flyers for a marketing promotion in matching outfits and hopped in to our cars to go and meet our photographer. In between shots, sitting in our cars side by side to avoid being completely drenched with our windscreen wipers on full, we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the ridiculousness of the situation… but then we laughed and laughed and laughed.

Always DreamingOur Dreaming Always Style

Why the hell do we do this? For those laughs. For the time out from being just our kid’s mamas. For the few hours of escapism. For the love of dreaming.

The two not-so-very-natural-style-bloggers,


These outfits are one of the looks we chose during a personal styling session with our friend and stylist Natasha Crowley at Opera Lane in Cork. See all the details about the service here.

Nessa: Skirt | Jacket | Tee | Shoes

Leona: Trousers | Jacket | Similar Tee | Shoes


Images by Anna Groniecka

Shot at Goldbergs Cork


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,


Leona – Dress | Jacket | Boots | Bag

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

Images by Victoria Metaxas






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.

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,


Images by Brid O’Donovan

Place | Filter Coffee, Cork






Collaborations Style

Afternoon Tea with 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,


Images by Brid O’Donovan

Clothes | Topshop Opera Lane Cork

Phone Cases | Otterbox


Some Days


” 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…
Knits – H&M | Jeans – Zara & Stradivarius | Boots & Shoes – Zara







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.


Dress, Skirt, Jumper & Necklaces | Whitefawn Boutique

Images by Brid O’Donovan Photography


Mamahood Style


dreaming always

Be picky with your clothes, friends & time.

Friendship isn’t about who you’ve know the longest. It’s about who walked into your life, said “I’m here for you,” and proved it. We shot these images ages ago with two of our girls – Dee & Sabrina. We were both pregnant & both thought we would hate how we looked in them but we love them. We just look happy.

dreaming always 4dreaming always 9dreaming always 6dreaming always 7dreaming always - Nessadreaming always 3

Dee is creative director at chapter. Seriously, we have never met anyone with a creative eye like Dee. She is incredible & we love her style – personal, graphics & interiors.

Sabrina is owner & chief hair stylist at kopper hair studio & she inspires us with her energy and passion for her work. Her love for life is infectious.

We are all dreamers.

Find your tribe & love them hard.



Images | Magda Lukas Photography