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Mamahood Places Style

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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

Mamahood Places Style

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Family Holiday

It was probably a good thing that I waited a few weeks since we got back from Sri Lanka before I wrote this post. I arrived back to Dubai from our week away exhausted and vowing I would never travel again! Yes I know…totally dramatic…. but I was a bit shook. Our journey to the airport involved a crash on the Sri Lankan highway that left us stranded at 6am at the side of the road with our toddler and no idea how we would get to the airport in time for our flight home. I have always said I would travel as much as I can with Emie-Rose but I have to say our trip to Sri Lanka made me a little more wary of the situations you can find yourself in when travelling. Whilst it is amazing to explore new places and to mix with different cultures, it can also be a little daunting to be away from home comforts, especially with kids. It’s nice to know where the nearest hospital is should you need it and it is comforting to know that you can ask someone for a bit of help and that they will understand you should you require it. Becoming a parent has made me very sensible. I have had my share of bad luck with travelling in the past and as a result I can be quite anxious. After calming down and almost forgetting about the lack of relaxation we had for the week there, I can say that I am really happy that we did experience the beauty of Sri Lanka.

Holiday in Sri LankaSri Lankan HotelTravels to Sri LankaSri Lanka BeachSri LankaArabella BreakfastBeach in GintotaGintota BeachSri Lanka InteriorsFather Daughter Sri LankaFort Printers Sri LankaSri Lanka Family Travel

Most people travel the length and breadth of Sri Lanka… we stayed around one tiny area of the country. We travelled for about 2 and a half hours down south once we landed into Colombo Airport. Our gorgeous hotel, Arabella on Boosa, was in Gintota which was about 15 minutes in the local transportation choice – a tuk tuk – from the gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Site, Galle Fort. We spent two days pottering around this pretty little town where the streets are lined with colonial villas and hotels. The weather was really bad when we were there – major rain showers – so we spent a lot of time ducking into boutiques and coffee shops. Everywhere in Galle Fort is really gorgeous. I was seriously impressed. We visited the most beautiful boutique hotel here – an 18th century mansion called The Fort Printers. In my pre-Emie-Rose life, it is where I would have dreamed of staying! We stayed for 6 nights in a beach-front hotel called Arabella on Boosa, which was incredibly Instagram-perfect – monochrome with splashes of green everywhere. We stayed in two different rooms – a garden view room and the suite. Obviously the suite was so much better with a toddler as we had way more space and it also had a couch so it meant we could actually chill out in privacy there during the witching hour/when the toddler tantrums reached a peak. The decor was just gorgeous and the staff were really friendly. The food at our hotel was so good – everything was so fresh and so tasty! I loved the Sri Lankan food in general. It is worth visiting for the food alone! There is such a relaxing boho vibe going on there… signs for yoga classes and small boutique guest houses and hotels with ‘secret gardens’ everywhere.

Hotel in Sri LankaWijaya BeachMelissa Odabash Mel Dress

We visited another gorgeous stretch of beach recommended by our hotel – Wijaya Beach in Dalawella for some wood oven pizzas on the beach. We really got to relax for a few hours here as the water was less choppy than by our own hotel. The beaches in Sri Lanka are beautiful but from what we experienced the water is pretty rough and dangerous, particularly for kids. It is also worth noting that everyone gets around Sri Lanka in tuk tuks – teeny little vans with no seat belts so if like me you are terrified of travelling with your child not in a car seat then it is probably worth renting your own car and bringing your own car seat. The roads are crazy there. Our hotel offered a car seat in their transfer van from the airport which was just so handy. These little things make travelling with kids that bit easier.

I didn’t really know what to pack to wear in Sri Lanka as I was told it would be really sticky and humid. Whilst it was definitely warm, we were totally not prepared for the rain we had there. I packed lots of light and airy maxi dresses which worked well there. It’s definitely not a place for high heels so make sure to bring lots of flats. I was totally chuffed to collaborate with Melissa Odabash for my trip to Sri Lanka and I was so happy to wear one of their new Apres Beach dresses, which you can see here. I loved the long sleeves and the best thing is it didn’t need to be ironed which is amazing when travelling. We haven’t done a giveaway on Dreaming Always yet but we will be doing a giveaway for one of these gorgeous Melissa Odabash dresses – their off the shoulder Faith dress which you can see here – over on our Instagram over the weekend.

Will I be travelling with my 2 year old again soon? I am already planning our next trip… in my head for now.

What are your experiences of travelling with kids? Have you been to Sri Lanka?

It is good to be back posting on here,

Nessa x

Where we stayed: Arabella on Boosa

Who we flew with: Emirates

What I wore: Dresses from Zara & Melissa Odabash

 

 

 

Style

Social Good

Style with Interiosity

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.

Winter StyleLeona and NessaLeona Dreaming AlwaysDA Style Interiosity CorkStyle Nessa HurleyStyle by Dreaming Always

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!

L&Nx

Leona – Jeans | Tee | Shoes | Coat

Nessa – Skirt | Similar Jacket | Similar Boots | Similar Top

 

Images by Brid O’Donovan

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 Style

Celebrating Summer

DA X SL

We haven’t done a Mama Meet-Up together in ages, not since this one in London & so we really wanted to do one before Nessa heads back to the desert. We were beyond excited to team up with the gorgeous Sarah and her husband Wayne for a dreamy Sunday afternoon at their store, Salingers Bespoke, in Cork City. They are seriously the most amazing couple to plan an event with… even at such short notice! Salingers Little have just launched their AW17 kids clothing collections and we were so happy to have been a part of the celebrations.

We met some familiar faces and also some new gorgeous mamas that we connected with on our Instagram. Our love for Instagram grows stronger after each Mama Meet-Up for introducing us to some of the best people.

DA X SLSalingers Little Mama Meet UpDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDreaming AlwaysDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLSalingers Littleda x slDA X SL DA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SL

Sarah launched her online childhood store, Salingers Little in April of this year and we are huge fans of her and her dreamy brand. Sarah is a mama to two incredibly adorable girls, Lulu & Heidi. She is the kind of woman that we just want to be around and who makes us want to just do more… plus she is absolutely gorgeous – inside and out.

These events are just something that we do for fun or as we say always… to escape. We don’t charge for tickets and we usually just keep them small and intimate so our guests can have proper chats and get to know each other. This time around we made it an open invite as we wanted to make sure lots of people got a glimpse of the gorgeous stock that Salingers Little have to offer. We wanted so much of the stock for our own kids! Leona bought this dress, these socks and this bib & Nessa bought this print and this dotey gift set. We were also introduced to a gorgeous skin-care brand called Rain who gave us goody bags filled with 100% natural, organically-certified Mama & Baby skin-care samples.

DA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SLDA X SL

Thank you so much to those of you that came and to those of you that sent us the sweetest messages about the event. We are so appreciative of people taking time to support what we do.

THANK YOU!

The end of our Summer is here. Yesterday was our last day together… for a while… we were totally heartbroken saying our goodbyes but we have had THE most incredible summer filled with the best memories and collected some crazy beautiful moments. We have so many plans for Dreaming Always, both together and apart so please stick around for lots more to come.

Do not cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,

L&Nx

Images by Brid O’Donovan

 

 

Places Style

Lisbon Style

Dreaming Always Style

Despite what people may think, us “bloggers’ do not all shop all of the time or get sent lots of free stuff but when the opportunity comes, we embrace it and spend all of our money on matching accessories and coordinating outfits… as all normal thirty-something-year-olds do, right? Our recent trip to Lisbon was our opportunity to shop guilt-free for ourselves and not for the tiny people that dominate our shopping sprees 99% of the time. Our bank accounts basically do not allow us to do designer shopping so most of what we wore is from our usual stores  – ASOS, H&M, Topshop, Zara, Parfois, New Look and Penneys.

Dreaming Always Style Dreaming Always Style LeonaDreaming Always Style ParfoisNessa Dreaming Always StyleDreaming Always OtterboxDreaming Always Style

Leona | Similar Skirt here & here, Similar Top, Sunglasses (Penneys), Bracelets here & here, Phone Case, Bag

Nessa | Dress, Shoes, Sunglasses (Penneys), Bracelet, Necklace, Bag

Dreaming Always StyleDreaming Always StyleDreaming Always StyleDreaming Always StyleDreaming Always Style

Leona | Dress, Bag – Parfois, Bracelets here & here, Hat

Nessa – Similar Top, Shoes – Penneys, Sunglasses, Bag – Parfois, Choker, Bracelet, Hat – Parfois

Dreaming Always StyleDreaming Always Style Dreaming Always StyleDreaming Always Style Dreaming Always StyleDreaming Always Style Dreaming Always Style

Leona | Dress, Hat – Parfois, Sunglasses, Earrings & Bracelet here, Necklace

Nessa | Top, Shorts, Hat – Parfois, Sunglasses – Penneys, Earrings

Our Lisbon trip now feels like a distant memory but we are already planning our next trip… in our heads for now… but we always say that it is so important to dream… & dreams do become reality… New York, here we come!

It seems that lots of you are heading to Lisbon in the next few months. You can see where we visited in our last blog post here and make sure to mail us if you want any recommendations or suggestions. We always love to hear from you.

Forever Dreaming,

L&Nx

Images by Joao Nogueira

 

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,

L&Nx

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

Collaborations Mamahood

Supporting Each Other

Mamas

Everything that you can imagine is real…

Every now and then we have to stop and think about what made us want to create this little love of ours – Dreaming Always – and sometimes we find ourselves questioning why we do what we do. From time to time, we also question if it’s all even worth our time and head-space and then a little bit of magic happens and we remember why it all started – for like-minded mamas which inspire us to come together and make us remember why it is that we do exactly what we love to do.

Cork Mama Meet UpMama Meet Up CorkDreaming Always Cork

Our most recent Mama Meet-Up was an evening affair which involved no little people and prosecco and it was our second collaboration with Opera Lane – a gorgeous shopping destination in our home city of Cork. We chose The Montenotte Hotel again for this event and hosted the meet up in the stunning Presidential Suite which is perfect for an intimate gathering and has the most amazing views of the city. Similarly to our last meet-up, our friend Natasha, Opera Lane’s personal stylist, presented some gorgeous summer evening outfits to our guests. We both love hanging around Opera Lane browsing some of our favourite stores like H&M, Topshop & Office and plan on booking Natasha for a (free) personal shopping trip over the summer. We were thrilled to be working with them once again.

Mama Meet UpEvent in CorkIrish Meet UpView from Montenotte HotelOpera Lane Stylist

We are currently planning some more Mama Meet-Ups in both Ireland & Dubai. Nessa is planning on hosting some in Dubai once the weather cools down and everyone returns to the desert after their summers back home. In other news, we are so excited to be back together for almost two months in Ireland very soon. We find it hard to do our events without each other but it is just so incredible being surrounded by so many interesting women at each one that we always end up inspired and motivated to plan some more! Our dream is to have much more regular Mama Meet-Ups where we meet more and more gorgeous mamas and we are constantly thinking about venues that suit our style and brands that just get us. Our Mama Meet-Ups are usually casual and relaxed affairs… but we do welcome high heels and sometimes our kids!

Dreaming AlwaysLeona O'Sullivan BreenOpera Lane DetailsDreaming AlwaysEvent DetailsDreaming Always Mamas

Day after day we are reminded that neither life nor motherhood is plain sailing and after each Mama Meet-Up, we are genuinely so chuffed and flattered that people actually show up and even more so that our favourite mamas come to support us and each other. With fabulous people like Natasha and Julie from Opera Lane added to the mix, we are reminded that everything that you can imagine is real.

So thank you. Thank you for being a support to us and for being a support to each other.

Dreams, Dreams, Dreams,

L&Nx

 

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

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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