Tag / Travel

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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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

 

Collaborations Places

Dreaming in Lisbon

Dreaming Always Lisbon

What now seems like a very long time ago, two very sleep-deprived mamas decided that they needed to plan an escape. Something to keep them going through the endless nights and long days of working and motherhood. They had once said that they would love to go to Lisbon together and so they decided to make this dream a reality.

Planning a trip away for two adults isn’t as easy as one might think. We had a lot going on at the time and so we decided to hand over the responsibility to Travel Counsellors – a travel company that we think are exceptional at what they do… incredibly personal customer service. What we loved was the attention to detail from our Travel Counsellor, as she arranged absolutely everything for us – we didn’t even have to check in for our flight ourselves. She also text us to see if we were happy with everything during the trip and sent us a sweet “Welcome Home” card in the post on Monday evening. Seriously, they were a dream to book with and if you fancy your own Travel Counsellor, you can find them here.

We both want the same thing from our travels – a sense of escape & freedom. We wanted to get lost exploring gorgeous architecture and trying local food, to be immersed in the culture and to just completely unwind. We spent most of our weekend between two gorgeous areas of Lisbon – Chiado & Alfama. We had planned to take the train to Sintra which is the most dreamy village ever but we got so caught up in exploring that we didn’t make it out there. The perfect excuse to go back to visit this gorgeous city.

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Alfama:

We got up super early… like 7am early… and jumped on the number 28 tram which luckily for us stopped right outside our hotel in the city centre – Hotel Mundial. You have to do this tram ride if you visit Lisbon but do attempt to get up early to avoid crazy queues – it is worth it!

We headed up to Lisbon’s oldest but most colourful and charming neighbourhood. Alfama is the historic soul of Lisbon and we are absolutely in love with the area. It was a tiled walls, cobbled streets and beautiful doorways kind of heaven for us. There was just so much character to the place with lots of gorgeous little cafes to stop off in along the way for our favourite local custard tarts called Pasteis de Nata. We headed back to our hotel for a little break in a tuk tuk, which are perfect for navigating the narrow streets and such a fun way to experience the city.

We headed back up to Alfama again in the afternoon by tuk tuk to have some food and sample some local wine… lots of local wine. We ate dinner at a gorgeous little spot – Esperanca da Se – right by the Se Cathedral. We also loved the interiors here and our pizza and prawn linguini nero were delish. The two of us were delighted with ourselves sitting outside watching the world go by with some chilled rose wine.

Chiado:

We also loved the area of Chiado, which was more modern and stylish than Alfama. There was lots of beautiful architecture, theatres, charming old bookshops and big international shopping brands and just so much people-watching to be done. The women were beautifully dressed and we sat in a square in the sunshine just taking it all in.

We drank pink gins and ate french fries in a really cool burger place – Honorato. For once, we just could not fit in the most delicious looking burgers after just eating lunch somewhere else but the interiors here were absolutely amazing and we had a great window seat.

We spent Sunday evening in a totally gorgeous bar overlooking the Luís de Camões Square called Le Consulat talking about just how lucky we both felt right at that very moment. The drinks were reasonably priced for somewhere that looked so high-end and the staff were so friendly.

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As mamas, we are both guilty of forgetting about ourselves in all of this motherhood malarkey. We decided that this weekend was all about us. We would do exactly what we wanted to do and not feel guilty for one moment of the trip. It takes a village to try and go away for a weekend. There was so much organising to be done at home. The trip to Lisbon made us realise that you do need to escape every so often from the normal every day chores and routine. It is not about escaping your children. You do not have to be a mama to need to escape.

We all need to escape every now and then… so as to not forget about you.

Already dreaming of our next trip,

L&Nx

Images by Joao Nogueira

Places

A long weekend in The Surrey Hills

The best thing about memories is making them…

“An area of outstanding natural beauty” – That is what the sign said as we drove into the Surrey Hills on a recent long weekend break. There was never a more apt description of a place – everywhere you turned was picture perfect. Gorgeous green landscapes, rolling hills, dreamy villages and best of all… no WiFi.

We had been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. Life has been hectic lately and the idea of some quality time with family in a beautiful 19th century home with no TV, phones, iPad or any other digital distractions was just what we all needed.

This was our second time staying in a Landmark Trust property and as with our first experience in Scotland when we stayed in Gargunnock House, it didn’t disappoint. The name of the property we stayed in this time was Goddards and it was nothing short of stunning. It was built by architect Edwin Lutyens from 1898–1900 and is considered one of his most important early houses, designed in the traditional Surrey style and with a garden laid out in collaboration with the celebrated garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll. The house sleeps 12 people comfortably and like all Landmark trust properties it has been restored to the very highest standard.

The Landmark Trust are a charity that take on historic places  in danger and restore them beautifully making them available to rent to the general public for holidays. They are all well-equipped self-catering buildings and the idea is to encourage and foster quality time with friends and family away from everyday busy modern lives.  The Landmark Trust properties are quite different from the mainstream rentals – none of the properties have a television, radio or telephone and given their mainly remote locations, they rarely provide WiFi.

For someone who loves being online, this is actually a great thing in my eyes as it brings you back to having real connections with the people you are away with and forces you to open your eyes  and soak up all the lovely moments together. Instead of staring into a phone when you have some time to yourself, you are more inclined to run a bath or actually read the book you’ve been trying to finish for the last few months.

The list of types of properties you can rent on the Landmark Trust site include picturesque pavilions, medieval long-houses, artillery forts, Gothic follies, clan chiefs’ castles, cotton weavers’ cottages, the homes of great writers and the creations of great architects – seriously how cool to hide away in some remote location in one of these amazing proprieties full of history and character!? Goddards has a 1920’s style skittle alley!

 

It helped immensely that when we stepped off the plane from Ireland a blast of Mediterranean-esque heat hit us. London was experiencing a mini heat wave and that was OK by us.

Our kids and their cousins played until past 10pm every night in the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen and the adults sat around the table catching up and drinking tea and wine. It was all kinds of perfect. Something happens when you and your siblings have kids – you just want them to spend as much time as possible together creating memories and developing those special cousin bonds.

You want them to look back and have the kind of carefree memories you had yourself growing up surrounded by cousins… it is very special weekends like these that create those beautiful, lasting memories.

L x

Style

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.

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Never underestimate the power of a good outfit on a bad day,

L&Nx

Leona – Dress | Jacket | Boots | Bag

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

Images by Victoria Metaxas

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Places

Italian Moments

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Maybe it’s because we are getting older, maybe it’s because we have kids but going on holidays has become a little less about where we are and more about who we are with.

We both love to travel and this summer we were both lucky enough to enjoy holidays abroad with our parents… and both came home vowing to do it again next year.

There is just something so special about watching the relationship between your children and their grandparents grow. We feel so grateful that we have the opportunity to experience this endless love. Splashing in the pool, sunrise beach walks, dinners at sunset, bike rides, taking endless pictures and eating plates of pasta – memories that will always stay with us and ones that we can pass on to our children. Spending time with loved-ones. It’s just what life is all about.

The extra help when there’s someone to take the baby for an hour whilst you enjoy a midday tipple reading a book by the pool is also a serious treat. We really didn’t appreciate the eight hours we used to spend baking on the sun-loungers enough in our pre-kids life. Holidaying with small babies can be quite stressful from the packing to trying to source milk formula aboard once you unexpectedly run out but we figure if you are going to be stressed anyway, why not be stressed in a beautiful sunny country?

Leona spent a week with her husband, Archie and Mabel and the rest of her family recently in Riccione on the Adriatic Coast of Italy for her father’s birthday.

Riccione is a beautiful historic town in Northern Italy. It’s incredibly family-friendly – you can even wheel your buggy on the handiest purpose-built wooden paths right to the edge of the sea. No getting stuck in the sand. It also has the cutest playgrounds and bicycle tracks at every turn. I adored the seaside promenade which stretches for miles dotted with the cutest coloured beach huts, cafes and bars where cheap but delicious prosecco and Aperol Spritz flows freely and the pink skies at sunset are just perfect.

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How cute is little Mabel on her holidays? We love the quote “Happiness is only real when shared” and that’s really been proved to us this summer,

L&Nx

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