September 30, 2013

San Francisco through the eyes of Instagram

We are in San Francisco right now. The opportunity presented itself, and I could not resist packing everyone up with me, even on a one second notice. My mom has never seen California and the timing could not be more perfect. 

California had always been loved by us, but San Francisco ( the NY of the West for me) has stolen my heart forever. It is one thing to see places when you're touring with a company and are single, and it is a completely different story when you bring a family with you. I will tell you more later, as we are trying to pack as much as we possibly can in the few short days we have here, but here are a few pictures for you to enjoy until then...

^^ utah can be beautiful. the beginning of the salt flats on our way north ^^

^^ looks like snow, but it is all salt. stunning ^^

^^ sunsets on the road are gorgeous ^^

^^ no road trip without some sort of a long lecture these days. too independent for their own trouble. mom's all seeing eye is always there ( iphone in this case. those selfies can come in really useful ^^

^^ my heart is going to stay here forever ^^ 

^^ nothing like heading out to breakfast in style. we've met a few stokke lovers on the way too! xplory didn't get her name for nothing : small footprint, secured shopping basket ensures that nothing falls out, and highseat-turn-highchair possibilities take you everywhere, seriously. plus it's fashionable and stylish - it always gives me a boost of confidence if a new place tumbles with my own, you know... ^^ 

^^ and my little rider. just scoot-ing along. fyi: ease of public transportation perfection + full stroller features = dream come true for city moms. SF approved too^^

^^ best disney store visit yet. the magic mirror made a lot of great impressions. and fulfilled some wishes along the way too^^

^^ the beach. the gorgeous ocean. people i love. i am tearing up looking at this picture. in a few short days we will have to say good-buys until next time^^

 ^^ beach bums. literally ^^

^^ far from the best angle, technically imperfect, but absolute the best picture to my eyes. all the ones i love. in the city we love. by the ocean. with all of us in it. i will cherish this moment forever^^

^^ a sail from a fairy-tale. make a wish, it will come true, i promise ^^

Wishing you a wonderful start of the week. As always. 
Much love from all of us. 

September 25, 2013


The world has changed when Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss invented jeans in 1873. Everyone knows historic brands like Levi's, Lee and Wrangler and terminology such as "skinny", "slim", "boyfriend", "tapered", "bootcut", "flare", etc is a part of a daily vocabulary of any fashionista. It is nearly to impossible to imagine a style conscious individual without a denim staple, and let's be honest : jeans are great - they save the day ( or night) when nothing else seems to work. These new series will be dedicated to answering the very question every woman has - how to find the best fitting jeans for your wants, needs and style.

Skinny jeans are all over the place. Some love them, some hate them, some don't care about them. And though it may sound surprising, but almost everyone can wear skinny jeans.

Just because you tried a pair of skinny jeans that you didn't like does not mean that skinnies are not for you. Nearly every modern designer - big or small - offers some sort of a version of slim fitting jeans. And here are a few things to remember when on a quest for a new pair of your faithful denims.

* don't settle for a one-time/one-pair fitting. there are as many skinny styles today as there are trees in the forest. if you didn't like fit "a" from a store/designer "n", go try a fit "b" from a place "c". in other, simpler words - go to a different place and/or try another pair. a subtle difference in the cut can make all the difference. 

* try a size up - going a little looser will make you look 10 lbs thinner. long, lean and slim is something we are all going after, right? 

* don't sacrifice quality over quantity. a pair of a good designer jeans will fit you better, last you longer and boost your confidence like there is no tomorrow. 

* don't be sold on just a "big name" : some lesser known designers often can offer an amazing fit and a better price then big well-known names. smaller brands competing with larger names often some up with some genius ideas. after all , it is all about how it looks, fits and wears, and not about who makes it. 

* stretch can be a double sided sword - it can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. look for thicker denim and two way stretch : it will allow your jeans to keep the original shape and boost your silhouette.

* try different washes. going graphite or gray can be a nice alternative to a typical blue, although a great shade of blues will aways be a classic. if choosing grays, go for medium or dark shades - deeper colors with the right fading are very flattering on and universally will take you from day to night with minute adjustments. 

* rise matters. long gone the days of the extra low-rise jeans ( and thanks heaven for that!)  mid to higher rises generally create the appearance of longer legs and smaller waist, slim the silhouette while eliminating the possibility of never desirable wardrobe malfunctions.

* experiment with lengths. from cropped to ankle to all the way long extra skinny, different lengths have different effects on the look achieved. remember, when going to all the way below the ankle bone skinny, choose a the length a little longer then typical and the ultra skinny cut: a bit of bunched up material between the calf and the ankle will balance out the hip nicely and create the illusion of an extra long leg. 

* don't underestimate the power of shoes. the right shoe will make the outfit, no secret here, but shoes are twice as important when choosing a skinny jean. pointed toe slim shoe will look beautiful with slightly cropped or ankle length jeans, while slightly rounded ballet flats add certain charm to full length ultra skinnies. Mind the height of the cropped boots - ones that fall just above the ankle bone but cut before the calf are most elongating. And a little heel will always add a dash of necessary sexy for the night out. 

The truth is that , most likely, one pair won't cover all your "skinny" needs. here are a few of my current favorites : one, two, three, four, five, six, seven  - simple, basic, but won't fail you whether you need a little confidence boost or a proven go-to for a cozy weekend. 

Are you a skinny jean person? 

*images via madewell

September 20, 2013

Life lately through Instagram and IPhone

^^ this cute button nose has stolen my heart forever ^^ 

Last couple of weeks have flown by like nothing else. The land of baby-hood ( the newborn-hood, I should say) that taken it's usual front and center place has swallowed me up a bit , though I will say that , considering the amount of new ( and some unexpected ) happenings around, we've done quite well at juggling it all and dropping nothing. Though I may just be about 5600+ photos behind on editing , more then 100 ( literally ) important emails to send out, and about 20+ posts still in my PDF files, it is all worth the late night catch-up work in exchange for every daytime minute with my mom. After a five year long break between the visits, much paperwork and schedule adjusting, she is finally here, and this time is treasured beyond anything there is.

^^ taking off from the minute one like best friends. thanks heavens for skype and technology"

^^ priceless time with newest baby. higher is better for many reasons. this is one of them ^^

^^ sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to get an extra game of mini-cricket for grandma ^^

^^ mini-person and mini-bowling. and the best partner to cheer one up ^^

^^ having an extra set of eyes and hands is amazing. concentrating on work while mom is near after 5 years of not seeing each other - impossible ^^

^^ play-grounded out ^^

^^ dady + business trip = endless love to see him back . even if he didn't realize that t-shirts have sizes ^^

^^ scooting around in comfort and style with polka-dots and stripes ^^

^^ you've most likely seen it already, but we are so over-the-moon excited, and the new releases are so gorgeous, it's worth another mention.^^

^^ see what i mean?!^^

^^ and this classic beauty?! makes me want to keep the baby stage forever ^^

^^ red carpet worthy and ready to stroll...^^

^^... right into the arms of the hollywoods' bests^^

^^ do you think the kids love it too?! ^^

^^ this has touched my heart so much. children's love is unconditional, always ^^

^^ good words to remember...^^

^^...and the words to live by^^

^^ these blue eyes have stolen my heart . what wouldn't i do to see the happiness in them. even if it means i live on 2 hours of sleep. constantly ^^

^^ some fresh hair-do and a little red lip ... ^^

^^...and i am as good as new doing what i love best : making memories (photo credit to my mini-photographer. #caughtinaction ^^

sps: strollers seen in pictures are the  Stokke Connection line: Stokke Crusi, Stokke Xplory and Stokke Scoot with Soft Bag.

September 19, 2013


FASHION MUST: urban blue


Fall is in the air, and after the latest news releases, getting ready to go out and about has become even more fun and fashionable. It seems that we've been non-intentionaly matching clothes to the stroller, and I love it, because a)  my stroller is my biggest accessory,  b) stokke unique designs and colors spark up my imagination to create something new, and c) everyone involved loves it and is having fun, which is a key to a happy family, right? 

Would you match your baby's or your clothes to your stroller? 

September 12, 2013


It was almost 10 years ago when , pregnant with my first baby, I came across the terms "attachment parenting" and "babywearing" while diligently researching the best parenting techniques and preparing for our, already very loved, little bundle.

Parenting is beautiful, but it is not easy in more ways then just one. If you are a parent, you know that very questions "am I doing things right? is my baby the happiest he/she can be?" that often keeps you up at night. The happiness of your child defines your personal state of being in ways more then just one. As a new mom, you feel a need, imbedded by nature, to be close to your baby just as much as the baby has a need to be close to you. Where he/she is , how he/she is doing, a "must see", "must check on the baby" is not something new to the motherhood (that is why i absolutely love the connection strollers, as even when i physically not able to carry the baby, he or she is always close by me). Having a baby with you when you go somewhere seems is an un-objectionable "of course, naturally", when that is what is going to make the baby happiest. We, as parents, always seek the best of the best for our children, but there are times when life seems too overwhelming for an adult, and especially, a new mother.

In my 10 years of thoughtful and filled with on-going research parenting, I have come across many baby products. We have tried many, loved some more then the others. In my all honesty I can 100% sincerely say that I am yet to come across the baby gear better then what Stokke provides. Our story is long ( and you can see many posts on my thoughts and reviews of Stokke products by simply searching "stokke" in Living Notes search bar), but the longer time passes, the more assurance I see through daily life and usage that my original thought was correct - we found what is BEST. That thought and a statement is constantly supported by continuously growing product selection from Stokke that is designed with "best for the baby" motto and with parent's feedback in mind.

Whether new or old to babywearing, you know about different types of carriers on the market, and you also know the concern many health professionals may have in regards to structured carriers and particularly young babies in them. When Stokke created MyCarrier, they revolutionized the whole concept of what a structured carrier can be - not only MyCarrier offered an incredibly safe, secure and supported placement of a child, and especially and particularly a newborn baby, but they also made certain of the proper physical development of a newborn baby by creating a "happy hips" pouch, to ensure that the ball of the hip is correctly positioned in the hip socket which is very important for the development of the hip joint in infancy, placing Stokke MyCarrier in a completely different category and making it be one and only. And the BEST.

A quote from Paediatric Physiotherapist Vibeke Smith Aulie in regards to Stokke MyCarrier:

"Stokke® MyCarrier was developed to ensure that your baby is carried in the best possible way. It provides good support for the back and neck. In addition, the design ensures optimal positioning for the hips with support under the thighs so that the hips assume a «human position». The thighs are raised and bent at an angle of 80-100° (flexion) and turn outwards at an angle of 40-60° (abduction) . Being carried in a flexed position, with the legs turn outwards at the hips (flexion/abduction) to ensure that the ball of the hip is correctly positioned in the hip socket, is really good for the development of the hip joint in infancy.iv 

From birth, the baby is carried facing its parents so that there is good interaction between the parents and the baby. In this position, there is optimal support for the infant’s back and hips. The head is also well supported in this position.

Babies really enjoy the close contact they have with their parents when they are in the Stokke® MyCarrier®. They are tucked safely into the harness, can feel your heart beating and they are being moved, which makes it easier for them to settle. Stimulation of equilibrium (vestibular stimulation), is an effective way of calming your baby . When parents who carry their baby are moving about, they are stimulating postural control in their baby’s body, ie. the baby’s posture/position in relation to the surroundings, stability and orientation.

Carrying babies is becoming increasingly popular in the western urbanized world, but this can become static for the baby over time as opposed to other cultures where mothers carry the baby all day while doing physical work. For optimal motor development, babies require a variation in position. It is important, therefore, to let the baby change position from being carried to lying on a mat, in the pram or the cot. When awake, babies should spend a lot of time lying on their stomachs to stimulate and strengthen their arm, back and neck muscles." (read full article here)

The Stokke MyCarrier Cool has the same unique design as the Stokke MyCarrier, but is made with breathable mesh textiles. This reduces heat and moisture to keep both you and baby cool and dry for outdoor, active or warm weather use. With temperatures hitting regularly into high 90's and often above 100F , light mesh fabric kept both - me and the baby - cool and comfortable day in and day out. 

The Stokke MyCarrier Cool has two-way front and one back carrying position. Most importantly, all positions maintain optimal ergonomic positioning for both you and baby. 

Let's talk a little more about MyCarrier Cool

The Stokke MyCarrier Cool uses the same breathable mesh technology used for many types of sportswear. Breathable textiles allow better airflow for cooling and transporting moisture away from the body. This helps both you and your baby to stay dry. Additionally, mesh is water and wind resistant, perfectly suited for warmer climates and/or active or extended use.

The Stokke MyCarrier Cool uses only those textiles that are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 approved and certified free of harmful substances. This means that Stokke the textiles do not contain chemicals that are known to be unhealthy and are safe to touch baby's delicate skin.
This fact is another example of Stokke true care for babies and parents  ( ps Stokke MyCarrier uses organic textiles that are butter-soft. tried and loved by all our babies) .

Stokke MyCarrier Cool has a signature design which ensures your baby is seated in the "happy hips" position while in the baby carrier ( just the same as original MyCarrier). This wide leg position provides optimal ergonomic support for the buttocks and thighs which is important for the proper growth and development of baby's hips. As someone who was born with double hip dispasia, I cannot emphasize this concept enough.

* excellent unisex fit for adults
* easily adjustable for all sizes and body types ( fits my petite frame just as perfect as the strong one of my husband. grandma loves using it too)
* intuitive adjustments for multiple users
* ensures great back and neck support for all baby and parent ( i secretly named it a "back-spa" carried)

* adjustments for baby are within easy reach for any of the 3 positions: front out, front in and back
* width adjustments enable solid back support for your child
* thoughtful touches throughout

And here are a few more pictures from our Mother Nature wanderings:
^^ gorgeous meadow in the woods. we had to stop and play a little ^^

^^ snoozing away, happy and content. these moments are so worth living for...^^

^^ energy bunny. that's all ^^

^^ making our way back to civilization ^^

^^ the man behind the camera ^^

Wishing a fabulous day to you and yours, as always.
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