Monday, October 20, 2014

How to travel with newborns without looking like one of 'those parents'

This post brought to you by Atlantic Luggage. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Fashion For Real People.

ATLANTIC LUGGAGE SWEEPSTAKES (Read this post on how to win a trip for your whole family):

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When I was just 6 months old I was on a plane from Italy to Jamaica where I lived for few years on and off. My brother at 20 days old was flying from Jordan where he was born to Italy. So it seems natural that I would be planning a trip to Italy with my new baby between age 6-10 months.

I am already planning where I would go (Paris, Athens and Sicily) and how I will pack. I would say the second part is more important for new moms because we all have seen the dreadfully and horrific picture of family dragging their entire house with them when traveling with kids. I have seen in with friends and family who came visit us in Florida - you can't see from the windows of their cars because it is packed with diapers, suitcases, hello kitty blankets, pillows, floaty objects, and pink toys that I have not idea existed before. I have seen parents at airports with backbags that are nothing compared to young hippies that travel Europe just with their backbag and sleeping bag. Move apart young and free spirit college students because traveling parents are tough and in need of a better traveling system.

I don't want to be that parent (I say this with hope). I hate traveling heavy. I always travel with one bag. I actually end up traveling so light that I have to buy clothes wherever I go to. When I lived in Europe I came with one suitcase and a carry on. I was there for 6 months and did not wear half of what I brought because it was packed with Florida clothes and well Europe was just so cold....

Anyway, now that I am a mom, I need to be a little more conscious of what to pack and how. So I started looking at suitcases that are durable and have multiple functions. For example Kohl's sell Atlantic Luggage, which offers a variety of innovative ways to travel in comfort. One of their cool features, the Link2Go system, allows you to connect multiple pieces of luggage for easy one handed rolling. I think this can come handy when you need to have many bags (one for the baby, one for the parents, one for diapers or emergency baby items, etc). If you can't just travel with one bag make sure the system you buy is easy to use and won't require heavy lifting or you will be that parent who runs to catch a flight while his/her entire bags are falling everywhere in the airport.

The best invention ever for any bags (and I actually have this carry-on when I travel for business too) is the 360-degree-4-wheel spinner, which allows for easy guiding and steering through busy terminals. What does it mean? Have you ever had one of those carry-ons with wheels and you got stuck trying to orient the wheels in the direction you are walking and you found yourself punching your carry-on bag  and sweating from the frustration? Well, you don't have to be that person anymore. Get yourself an Atlantic Luggage 360 bag. You will thank me later for two reasons: 1. you can give the carry on to your children because it's that easy to maneuver and it is lightweight; and 2. you won't fight with your luggage anymore when you are about to lose your flight.


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Now that you have chosen your luggage and your destination (whether it is in your state or abroad) here few tips for traveling lightweight with your family without having to leave your kids at home. :)

HOW TO EFFICIENTLY PACK:

1. Buy those plastic bags that suck the air out so you will have more room in your suitcase. Be aware that you have a limit weight for baggage if you fly. With Delta is about 50 pounds or 23KG. I won't talk today about the option to send an extra baggage and fees, but you should definitely consider it. I do it when I return from Italy and had bought all kind of goodies. You can also ship and sometimes that is cheaper that adding an extra luggage to your trip via plane.

2. Put your sucks inside your shoes to save space.

3. You don't need to put in your suitcase an entire bottle of shampoo, conditioner, etc. I usually just carry sample products for skincare (from face lotions, to mascara, to shampoo, etc.) and then buy a big bottle of shampoo or conditioner when I get to destination and I leave them there. Think about it. It is cheaper to buy big items versus smaller or traveler format. What I do is that I either put some shampoo in traveling containers or I just use sample sizes that were given to me free. Then I get to destination and go to a CVS pharmacy to buy a regular size. It is worth my time, space, and money.

4. Your carry on should have  a lot of pockets and have easy access for emergency items for your children. Your documents should be in the front pocket or at least a pocket easy to reach. You should only have documents. Do not start adding items. Next to it I like to have my cell phones or ipads (electronics). Big important items like diapers will be placed inside the bag. Because I like containers and bags within bags I use my custom-made zipper bags to place items within my carry on bag. So, all my diapers will be in one place, pacifier and small items for the baby will be all in one bag, and so on. I am a lover of shoulder bags, like the Atlantic Ultra Lite 2 shoulder bag. I either carry it on my shoulder using the straps or I just place it on top of the 360 wheels carry on so I only drag one luggage through the airport. For me it's much easier to organize and access items is I use the shoulder bag. I don't know I just don't like the idea of taking the traditional carry on with wheels and set it on the floor and unzip it all the way and start digging in for items. Remember if you have an emergency like a blow out, you need to act fast. And I feel I can only do that with a shoulder bag.

Those are just few tips I found very helpful as I have been traveling both with my family and myself through the many years. If you are looking to try any of these tips Atlantic Luggage is currently running an amazing sweepstakes where you have the opportunity to win a family trip for four to your choice of New York or San Diego! To register for your chance to win a trip for the whole family visit their site at http://www.atlanticluggage.com/fall-sweepstakes-2014/.

How To Enter and Details:
  • Go to the included link and fill out the sweepstakes form.
  • Sweepstakes runs October 15 through November 15
  • Winner will be chosen within 7-10 days following the close of the sweepstakes.
  • Grand Prize trip must be booked by 9/30/15 and travel must be completed by 10/31/15.
Prizes and rules:
  • Win a family trip for four to New York or San Diego, courtesy of Atlantic Luggage and Delta Vacations!
  • Grand Prize package trip certificate is valid for: (a) round-trip economy air transportation valued at up to $450 per ticket for the Grand Prize winner and three (3) guests from a major U.S. airport serviced by Delta Air Lines near to the Grand Prize winner’s home (as determined by Sponsor), to a major U.S. airport serviced by Delta Air Lines near New York City or San Diego, CA (as chosen by winner and determined by Sponsor); (b) hotel accommodations at a participating Delta Vacations hotel in New York City or San Diego, C; (c) four (4) Atlantic® carry-on sized suitcases; and (d) $300 allowance to spend on their choice of Delta Vacations Tour or Activity packages.
  • Trip is to last three days and two nights
  • Total prize value of $3,700

Here my entry - Now I really want to win since I have not been to New York since 2001 and I have never been to San Diego.






Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, October 18, 2014

What to wear when breastfeeding: mom outfit

There is something I have been wanting to write about in regards to post pregnancy - what to wear when breastfeeding.
I have found myself in need of clothes that are easy to take off for breastfeeding whether I am out or in the house. I also been wanting clothes that are not noticeable if your breasts discharge milk at the most inconvenient times and also that hide the extra pounds you put on during pregnancy.

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN YOU BREASTFEED:

1. Easy access - Buttoned up Clothes:
 - Dresses and shirts that are buttoned up in the front with wide scooped neck. These are the best type of clothes if you are breastfeeding and are hard to find. I found a floral dress at Marshalls for just $16 that is not only perfect for breastfeeding but also in line with what's trendy in the fall. I paired it with black stockings and ankle boots and I am ready to go. This dress is perfect if you are at a friend's house and you need to breastfeed your child because you can unbutton few buttons without exposing your entire body. It has not been easy finding shirts or dresses with buttons in the front. I found buttoned up shirts at H&M, but they were sheer and white. With huge and leaking breasts that was not ideal, although I bought one shirt because it was super cute.

When you buy buttoned up shirts or dresses for breastfeeding make sure you have enough room in the shoulders. You might need to take the sleeves off if you don't have enough room to pop your breast out. This depends on how big your chest is and how the dress/shirt fits.

The flower dress above is exactly what I bought at Marshalls but with short sleeves and only for $16. I'll add a picture later.


2. Stretchy Clothes:
-Preferable dark colors. We all know if we breastfeed our breast leak and we stain our clothes. How embarrassing if you are out and suddenly you have round wet spots around your areola. I know they make pads, but I personally have not found some that really work and stay in place. I tried the Lansinoh's brand, and while I love their nipple lotion these pads suck. If you found a brand that works for you let me know.

My solution to avoid or minimize leaking of nipples from breastfeeding is to wear black clothes. So when you shop for breastfeeding clothes go for stretchy material because you want to be able to take undress from the top only and choose dark colors. I found many dresses with lose stretchy tops at TJmaxx or Marshalls for a really reasonable price. Target also has a maternity line with cute dresses like the picture below. I never had any problems breastfeeding with these type of dresses. I have them with long sleeves or short. .Just again make sure the top part has enough room to get your arms out and in the dress easy.  Check out for more ideas Milk friendly blog. 
mom outfit




You probably wonder why I put stiletto shoes as part of breastfeeding. Just because you become a mom and you are breastfeeding and you are at home most of the time does not mean you need to look like a homeless person or let yourself go. I went to a breastfeeding support group wearing heels and a dress. I was the only one not wearing yoga pants. While I wear yoga pants when I need to clean or work out I refuse to let my femininity go. I already feel like crap because my body is a mess. It makes me feel good if I do something nice for myself. You give your life to this little one, you deserve to do something small for you. You deserve it!!

3. So you gained weight and you are fat. You still look like you are 5 months pregnant, your belly is out of proportion and you have no muscles left. You need something to hide and hide well.

- Wear black. Black slims down. That's a fact.
- Wear shapes that do not make you baggy. Prefer shapes that accentuate your waist (yes you have a waist now) and that are floaty at the bottom.


I have found #1 and #2 at Marshalls. I wore these dresses when I was pregnant and now that I am breastfeeding. You can see they are perfect to take off when breastfeeding and also to look good. If you wear one of those tummy slim belt you will look even better. You can find a tummy slim belt at Target. I wore the belt few times and it did worked. The only problem is that within one week I needed a smaller size but because the belt is pretty expensive I did not buy two. So I wish the belt was more flexible and adjustable for multiple sizes. Now I just do abs work outs.

                 
I am wearing a simple black dress with a wide scooped neck for easy access. I paired it with black hosiery and ankle boots by Calvin Klein. The bag is from Armani. You can see I am wearing underneath the dress a slim post baby belt for my tummy. I don't like the fact that you can see it but with black dresses it is not that that that noticeable.

Thank you for all my friends who gave me tips on how to dress fro breastfeeding on Facebook. If you like follow my fashion page on Facebook to keep up with my tips on a daily basis. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pixi Beauty eyeshadows: review for Fall eyeshadows

Pixi Beauty Eyeshadows Review:


I have been testing this line of beauty products called Pixi Beauty which is sold at Target. I have written a review for their crayon combo pencil, which I have been super impressed and have been using every day. 

Today, I tried their eyeshadow palette in plum, given that it is Fall season. I love the fact that they give you very light colors as well as dark. I use the light colors during the day for work and then in the evening I add the darker colors for smoky eyes.

Wearing the eyeshadow from Pixi:
I used the two lighter colors on the top and all over the eye. I then gradually added the plum and very dark brown color on the bottom eye. I am wearing Revlon nude lipstick and crayon combo under my eyes from Pixi. For Foundation refer to my older posts on beauty. I use Skinceutical and L'Oreal products. So what do you think? Worth buying?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Post Baby Plan: Week 1

As I started writing about this week post baby plan to get back in shape and also about challenges of new parents, my little one started screaming so I dropped everything and deleted this post accidentantly. This happens all the times.


Olly is one month old- she is doing great but won't really sleep much due to gas in her stomach. The other day she fell asleep at 6AM- imagine my face by then- she was awake again at 8AM. My husband told me: 'you finally have bags under your eyes' - I usually don't suffer from baggy eyes until becoming a parent!!! For this reason I bought a new product at Target from Pixi. It is a beauty line I have been wanting to try but it is kind of expensive compared to Neutrogena or other brands like in that price range. I don't like to spend too much money on new products I don't really know. That is why I love samples. I was lucky because the Crayon Combo pencil was on sale- 

pixi crayon combo

It is amazing. One side is a typical concealer to help reduce discoloration under your eyes. But it is better than concealers because it is not heavy and it is very smooth and natural. Also the color matches perfectly with my skin color, which is usually rare. I have a really hard problem finding concealers for my skin tone. They are never too light. 
The other side has a shimmering/highlighting effect which is great to place be the corner of your eyes and nose to get that effect of fresh and awaken. It works! This product will definitely make it to my favorite beauty items for new moms!!!

For more tips on how to use this product check out the Pixi website. I love how they help you optimizing their products with tutorials. 



Lunch at Food Glorious Food in Tallahassee- I highly recommend their gigantic Cobb salad- it was so fresh and if you are on a diet you will feel satisfied 100%. 

One week review post baby plan: diet and fitness

Following a plan for diet and fitness has been quite impossible- everytime I take my mat out and sit on it, Olly will cry, poop, or we realize we need to get more diapers. Sunday I managed to go back to do hot yoga at Journeys in Yoga - it is my favorite place- I have been going there since it once opened. I still remember going with my parents and in-laws when it first opened - my dad could hardly breath because he has never experienced yoga before or moving his body in odd positions. It was so funny. They hated it- I loved it- even during pregnancy I kept going (doing intro or prenatal yoga) and I swear it made my delivery much much easier. 

I must say that I thought I would not be able to do the entire hot class but I did- the only problem is that I wore pre-prego pants that really did not fit me: I could not even bend my legs - yeah I am dillusional about my body ok?

I also started using the Nike Training Club apps. It's an app that has a variety of work outs (abs, legs, lean, strength) for 3 levels (beginner, intermediate, advance). You can choose or even create a one week program including weight training, jogging, and yoga. The works out last between 15-45 minutes and they will kick your ass. This is great if you can't get to the gym. It allows you to build tone in the comfort of your home. Invest in some weights, a dumbbell ball, and a mat.


Pounds Lost so Far: 3 -

Friday, October 3, 2014

Post Baby Fitness and Diet Plan: It's that time again

Today Olly is almost a full 3 weeks old, which means it is time to slowly get back in shape for me! Ah! Just the idea makes me want to quit. I mentioned in my previous post on Fall trends that I will be writing each week about getting back in shape after having a baby, discussing the challenges, frustration or maybe joy?


Right now I am just reading a lot of books and articles about what one should or should not do when trying to lose post partum fat while also breastfeeding. Usually it is suggested to wait to go back with normal activities (aerobics, kick boxing, etc.) after 6 weeks or after your visit with your OB. That is because 'things' need to go back where they belong to, including your uterus that was up your chest (yep) and your abs that are nowhere to be found (also known as diastasis).  After conducting my research I want to come up with a somewhat flexible plan that can suit my lifestyle now. In the end I am still super weak and my body is still recovering so I can't jump back on it like a pro, even thought I was never a pro. Actually it's pretty pathetic my body is super rigid, I can hardly lift my arms above my head without feeling my back cracking..... Yes, pretty pathetic.

There are plenty of so called 'post partum' diets that other mothers have tried before. One that is very popular can be found on the Diary of a Fit Mommy where you can see images of the before and after. The diet is pretty standard including lean protein, no carbs, etc. The diet is somewhat similar to the New York diet, popular when Heidi Klum came back to Victoria's Secret after 8 weeks with a 'to die' body. However, the diet is super strict and  not worth in my opinion if you are breastfeeding, you are sleep deprived, and you don't have help around the house. I am sure you can adjust the diet though.

Actually that is what I plan to do, adjusting diets to my needs, craving, and lifestyle because I know I won't be able to follow a diet to the Z. It's just not me and not now.

My food pyramid consists of plenty of veggies, lean proteins, fruits, and selected carbs. I am cutting on processed carbs and cutting back on portions for bread and desserts replacing them with quinoa or wheat. I am still having ice-cream (not ready to let go yet). The idea is to slowly decreasing portions (since I am still eating for two) and to cut out obviosuly desserts, bread, gorgonzola cheese, cookies, etc. This is actually in line with what the doctor told me at the hospital after having the baby: cut on carbs, eat lean protein and veggies. Same thing we always read about, right? I can tell you that it has been very helpful for the baby and myself. Th either day I pigged out with chocolate, coffee, and cookies and the baby got really bad colic and did not sleep the entire night. So now I am back to 'no coffee' and controlled amount of chocolate. ahhaahah Apparently, even if you are done with pregnancy, you still need to control what you eat when breastfeeding.

The doctor also suggested to switch from whole milk to skim milk due to the higher content of fat. Because I am breastfeeding and the baby will suck all my calcium out of me he said to drink 3 glasses of skin milk a day. Also because I am breastfeeding it is not recommended to go on any drastic low calories diet. That would be just stupid and detrimental to your baby and your body. So keeping all this in mind so far this is what I am eating. 

POST BABY DIET and WORK OUT 

Breakfast 
Milk with organic pumpkin and flax seed cereal.  
One banana
Water
OR omelette with veggies or peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Snack
A glass of milk
fruit

Lunch (varies)
Meat with veggies, fruit and bread
Pasta with fresh tomato sauce and fruit
omelette stuffed with veggies and cheese, and fruit

Snack
Ice-cream or
Fruit
A glass of milk

Dinner
Chicken and pulled pork and salad with bread and fruit OR
risotto or pasta with fresh sauce OR
Fish with boiled potatoes or other veggies
Always fruit, a not alcoholic beer and some bread

I change the dishes quite often and sometimes I eat more (I need to work on portion) but this is what I am following. 

Exercise
20-40 minutes walk with baby Olly (about 100 calories)

3X 12 reps of light weight (3 pounds) focusing only on arms- 

Kegel exercises

PLEASE WISH ME LUCK!! I WILL POST PICTURES OF MY PROGRESS SOON.

Not happy Olly

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chocolate Rum Coffee Banana Bread

Chocolate Rum Coffee Banana Bread

One of my favorite food blogs is the Smitten Kitchen. It's one of those blogs that really gets me to cook and try new recipes. Today, I adapted one of the recipes from the Smitten Kitchen to my craving for coffee, rum, chocolate, coconut and banana. The original recipe for a double chocolate banana bread can be found here. This was my base for measurements. What I added is coconut milk, coffee rum, and shredded coconut. I added about one full teaspoon for each ingredients but you can try to add more. Just be careful because the dough should not be running. I also added a chocolate glazed with about 50 -100 grams of dark chocolate bar melt with a tablespoon of heavy cream. Melt it over boiling water. When it's ready sprinkle each slice with the glaze, cover with coconut and you are ready to serve. Rather than making a plumcake shape I made it into a cake shape. 

double chocolate rum coffee bread
double chocolate rum coffee bread
double chocolate rum coffee bread

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall trends: Fall items on my list

Fall Fashion Trends 2014: I Must Have

Here we go again, Fall is approaching and even thought in Florida we don't really get changes in season I can't resist looking through the Fall fashion collections of many designers and making a wish list for myself. 

I must say that now that I gave birth (it has been around 12 days) I am in shopping mode. The first thing I did after 4 days from giving birth is going shopping. Ok, I just bought casual and comfortable clothes for breastfeeding (I will write an article about breastfeeding fashion items) but the idea that I was not feeling lil a blueberry muffin really got me pumped and in a good mood. Don't get me wrong, I still have to lose 30 pounds but I feel already great. And yes, I will devote time to talk about my fitness and health diet regime to drop these pounds in 3 months (hopefully) and still breastfeeding. 
Anyway, I am all about nude colors so I definitely want to invest in getting some long-term items that will not go out of style. I have been trying to find some of these items or similar on Ebay but so far I only nailed a pair of nude Valentino pumps for under $100. I hope they arrive and that they are real!!!

So here what's in my Fall Fashion Trend's list. What is in yours? And were you able to recycle any last year items? 

Fall items on my list


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