Search: maternity

blogger bash

I firmly believe in women supporting other women and had this vision of gathering mommy bloggers who cover fashion in NYC together for an inspiring networking session.  The vision came to life last week when these beautiful women came dressed in black and white to match the event’s theme.

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Upon arrival, guests delved deep into meaningful conversations with the icebreaking opening question, ‘what is your blog’s greatest highlight and challenge these days.”  We mixed and mingled and got to one another’s businesses.  I find that asking the right questions sparks the most interesting conversations.

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nyc mom bloggers

All the food and decor was black and white which was easy for me because this is a favored theme of mine and I happen to own a ton of it already.  So I simply used old damask curtains as linens, lined my party platters with damask papers, bought black and white beverages and placed all the salads and light bites into black/white containers that I already owned.

nyc bloggers

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Here’s a closer look at the f&b table.  The custom cake pops and #fab_mom cookies are by Angela from Sweet Fix, a NY based, fellow mompreneur. You’ll see that the sushi, black and white desserts and drinks continued the black and white theme.

Plus we had VROU, our water sponsor offering tastings of all their enriched water flavors.

VROU

vrou waterI couldn’t have set this all up without the help of my friend and special speaker of the night, Hope McGrath who came in a couple hours early to help setup and greet guests.

event production

The two of us have started working side by side, once a week on similar business strategies and in doing so have worked out an in-trade partnership where we trade hours working and helping one another on each other’s special events.  It is this sort of creative collaboration that I’m hoping would inspire others to do the same at this event and beyond.

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hope mcgrath

Hope, who is now a transformational life coach, (doesn’t her name sound like she was born to do this??)  led a helpful exercise which required everyone to reconsider and practice their elevator pitch.

nyc event

The goody bags had further information on how to follow-up and further refine that pitch.

cosabella

Throughout the event, new connections and friends were made, requests on how we could support each other were verbalized, and we all left feeling a little more rejuvenated and motivated.

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And thanks to Tricia from Roden + Fields we received some pampering and oohed and ahhed at all the amazing before/after photos of people who have used her products.

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At the end of the event, Hope randomly pulled 5 winning names for the raffles.  A special thanks goes out to the following raffle sponsors:  Cosabella, Roden + Fields, Soul Cycle, and Kidville Fidi.

cosabella

NY stock exchange

Special thanks to goody bag sponsors:

And thanks to all my #fab_mom friends!  Remember to tag #fab_mom on your mommy and me pics on Instagram, follow @fab_kids and @fabgabblog and enter for your chance at a feature!

http://bronxmama.com/
http://thebigapplemama.com
ilovemykidsblog.net
http://mystrangefamily.wordpress.com
http://randizinn.com
http://www.mama411.com
http://www.gothamlove.com

http://inarukundo.com

Congrats to Delilah who won the deluxe NYFW goody bag for being our very first guest to arrive!

goody bag

And special thanks goes out to the event photographer for the night, Regi Brown!

Go check him out for his photography and videography services!

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pink dress

Most pregnancy fashion posts center around what to wear while pregnant.  Well here is your guide to what to wear POST-pregnancy.  Because we all know ladies, that the belly bump does not magically disappear as quick as we’d all like!  Surprisingly, all my friends and I have gone down to our pre-pregnancy weight with little to no workout plan but I for one still do not recognize my body.  I may be the same weight as I was before but my belly still looks like it did when I was 2 months pregnant – and my baby is now 13months old so I am out of excuses!

I am however skilled at hiding my post-baby bump until I find the time and motivation to hit the gym.  Since I get asked about this a lot, here are some tips on how to hide the no-baby bump.  Secret – it’s all in the fashion!  Here is a list on what to shop for in and out of your closet:

  • Loose / blousy tops and tunics
  • flowy sweaters and cardigans
  • Layer a Furry vest over one of the above
  • big bows/scarves/statement necklaces to create a focal point around your face and slender neck/shoulders/arms
  • boxier shift dresses
  • A-line skirts
  • peplum tops

Here are some great pictorial examples!

maternity fashion neutral 2 neutral 3lbdpregnancy fashion PicMonkey Collag3e PicMonkey Collageolivia palermo fashion

Show off your still-skinny parts too!  Simply revealing your slimmer body parts such as your arms, legs and/or decolletage will give the illusion that the rest of you is just as slender.  For more inspiration and/or to see where each image came from, visit and follow my Pinterest board here!

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The first year birthday for a first child in the family marks a significant milestone not just for the child transitioning from infant to toddler stage but quite notably for the parents.  It’s a time for reflection on how fast the baby grew, how quickly the year passed, and how your whole life has changed.  Parenthood changes you.  It changes your lifestyle, your priorities, and who you know yourself to be.  And it challenges you to become more selfless than you have ever been before.  It has been a whirlwind year for us with the new baby, new home and the constant moves for baby and me trying to avoid the renovation hazards.  And we’ve come a long way, baby!

nyc baby

I knew I wanted to celebrate the first year birthday in a big way.  We opted out of having a baby shower so this was a a celebration long overdue.  Also, it is in Korean tradition that the first year is celebrated in a big fashion, akin to how we Americans might celebrate a sweet 16 or bar mitzvah.  Plus, I’m a party planner at heart and by trade so planning this party was a creative outlet that I much looked forward to and enjoyed during the process.

It all started with the dress.  Being obsessed with fashion, I wanted to find the cutest birthday dress for Juliet and actually started looking for it around month 5 or 6.  After scouring the web and browsing literally hundreds of options online, I came across this adorable set from Mudpie. I loved the fun mix of polka dots and stripes and fell in love with the matching hat.  Adorable, isn’t it??

one year old birthday dress

And since I felt a birthday girl’s dress shouldn’t clash her party decor, the dress determined the party color theme and decor.  If step 1 was finding the dress.  Step 2 was finding an invite and party paper set to match.  Between you and me, this search for birthday invites and countless, shameful hours of Pinterest “research” ignited the long-lost thrill of party planning that I feared was over now that I had left my event marketing/PR job post maternity leave.  I giggled recalling how my event planning girlfriend and I once lamented the end of our weddings as we both experienced withdrawal because I felt I was now getting to re-live that sort of planning fun all over again.  And indeed, we have not seen some of these invited guests since 2011 when I got married.  So the first birthday was all that more exciting knowing I’d reunite with some family and friends after yet another life-changing milestone.

Onto the party paper.  That Party Chick on Etsy sold the below invite and I knew it had so much potential to match the birthday dress and become the starting point for the entire event’s look and feel.  birthday party invite

The colors were right, and it gave the graphic stripes and polka dot details on her dress an added complimentary floral pattern.  Michelle Wise from That Party Chick was awesome at creating the requested matching custom: thank you cards, chocolate wrappers, signage, water bottle and favor stickers etc.  I’d highly recommend her as she was quick to respond, and up for all challenges.  Here is a sampling of items I had customized and designed with her help.

Mudpie birthday dress

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As a new mom without full-time help, you can imagine I was strapped for time and had to make sacrifices in order to finish all the DIY projects that I had on my party planning list.  And there was a lot to be done if I wanted this party to look as professionally detailed as I wanted (but on a budget).  Here is a sampling of my DIY todos and keep in mind I had to also set aside time to research best prices for supplies, buy them, print/cut them before creating any of the below:

  • Wrap 100 water bottles
  • Wrap 100 mini chocolates
  • Cut and create toothpick flags for sandwiches
  • Make (2) tulle table skirts
  • Make matching party hats for the little guests
  • Cut and place papers on platters for customized look
  • Make paper garlands for backdrop banner
  • Make tissue paper fringe for table borders, party hats and balloons
  • Create matching risers and presents

party hats

party planning

So out went any hopes of shedding the remaining pounds before this party.  Work out?  WHEN?!  I was going to be lucky if I could sneak in a shower during my sparse free time.  Also on hold was the preschool research that I had started.  6weeks before the party date, I had a one-woman crafting sweatshop to run!  Thank you to the couple people who volunteered time to help me in my crafting craze!  I couldn’t have finished the party hats or toothpicks without you!  And thanks to my husband who let me take over the countertop pictured below to store and assemble!  And thanks for letting me do my thing, even though you did wonder out loud how all this “junk” was going to turn into decor.  Oh ye of little faith!

party diy

Possibly the most time consuming project of all though was the party’s guestbook.  Since the day she was born, I had already recorded her rapid growth using the same Ugly Doll in each photo every week and only changing Juliet’s elaborately styled outfits.  It wasn’t until after I had reviewed others’ Korean first birthday parties that I noted how people displayed (monthly) growth photos at a welcome table.  They were usually in the form of framed photos or hung as a garland.  As an event planner who has pretty much seen it all, I like to find creative ways of doing traditional things.  So I added a twist to the usual and used my weekly growth photos which I already planned to turn into a book for Juliet and got double use out of it by turning it into a party guestbook.  That way, guests could view the weekly fashion photo shoots I styled , enjoy the silly captions I made and record their presence for her with a personal party message.  Shutterfly actually has a great template for guestbooks where you can add in pages that allow people to write their messages, predictions and sign-in.

guestbook

party guestbook

It became a fun, interactive element to the party and gave guests something to talk about and do (there were 52 weeks of photos to browse after all!)

weekly growth

Other interactive elements that I incorporated into the party included:

  • coloring stations for the kids (easels and markers for the older ones, birthday templates and crayons for the younger ones)
  • enter to win -raffle associated with the Korean doljabi ceremony (more on that in my follow-up post)
  • roaming photographer took family photos and candids (photos will be emailed to all guests post party)

I believe in the importance of thinking of your guests’ experience.  Here are some general party tips when planning your own party:

  • Ensure the atmosphere is welcoming and comfortable (enough seats for elderly, space to move between aisles/chairs, extra coat racks and hangers, specific directional information and reminders pre-party)
  • Consider the kids (have child-friendly drinks and snacks available, age-appropriate toys and activities)
  • Delight and surprise.  Don’t give away all the details of what to expect and incorporate fun, creative elements whenever possible.  For instance, I posted humorous developmental update signs throughout the party for guests to discover along the way (see below).  And I played gangnam style when hosting the Korean traditional doljabi ceremony (also added Psy as one of the items Juliet could pick up and choose).

welcome

baby convertible

easel

one year old

1st birthday party

first birthday party

one year old birthday

For more party pics, follow me on Instagram @FabGabBlog and click here for part 2 of this fab fete post!  Part 2 includes:

  • Dessert bar
  • Snack / beverage bar
  • Korean Doljabi ceremony
  • What went wrong (but nobody noticed)

Let me know what you think!

 

 

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I’m not too fab for a nice hand me down.  My husband once freaked thinking I might be bringing home lice when I brought home amazing goodies at a kids consignment store.  But really, once you wash them there should be nothing to worry about.  I’ve happily welcomed hand me downs from friends too and have added to Juliet’s wardrobe on the cheap in this way.

So when I heard about this NYC event where it’s basically a giant mommy trading event, I had to check it out.  Little Swappies granted me a press pass (thank you!) and today I excitedly trekked over there in hopes of a good scavenger hunt.  The anticipation of a good deal and the adventure of heading out on my own for once, without baby and without husband was like adrenaline in this shopaholic’s body.

 

little swappies

 Photo credit:  Sofia Lynn Photography

Here’s how it works.  You bring in a minimum of 5 pieces of like-new, clean baby items 0-6years old or maternity clothes, kids toys or books.  ( I went way over the minimum and brought in an entire shopping bag full of stuff and the other moms that I noticed did too).   Pay a non-refundable $20 in advance or $25 at the door, check out the sponsor booths and enter raffles while they organize the drop-offs by size, then browse the selection and take whatever you need (they give you a tote bag to collect items and bring them home with you).  Reception and organization is 10-11:15 and the doors to “shop” open until 12 noon.

Before attending, I worried that it would be like one of those infamous Filene’s Basement bridal sample sale rushes where you get stampeded in the process.  It is NY after all.  Much to my surprise though, the crowd was civilized … and this was basically a free for all.  I’ve been to NY sample sales where the women clawed and jumped over their own kids to pay hundreds of dollars on the last designer item. I even have a sample sale battle wound as a result of the vulture-like craze near freebies can engender.

Perhaps it was the speech right before opening the doors that reminded us how the partner charity was benefiting from the event.  Perhaps it was too early in the morning to get that feisty.  Or perhaps it was because it was a holy Sunday.  Nobody tripped anyone else, no one ran, and no one stole anything out of my hands.  People were shockingly courteous from what I saw.  Here’s a snapshot of one table area.

 

little swappies event in nyc

little swappies

Here is the raffle table (everyone gets one raffle ticket and can enter to win a raffle of their choice).  I entered to win a free baby photo shoot but there was really no chance in winning that since I didn’t stay til the end.  I started feeling guilty for being out and leaving the babysitting duties to my hubby so I took off early.  little swappies

They also offered free babysitting and stroller parking as well as a coat hanging area (leave all of the above at your own risk).

little swappies nyc

And then for those who really love freebies, there are sponsor tables that you can browse to pick up more items (as if the goody bag weren’t enough).

Here is what I came home with.

little swappies new yorkbaby clothes

I was most excited about the items that were apparently never  used and brand new.  The blue summer smocked outfit, the red heart long sleeved shirt, the elephant toy and smaller blocks all had tags and or were in their original packaging.  Score!!

So here are some of my Little Swappies tips:

  • Know before you go.  Review your child’s closet to see what she has and what she needs.  Make a mental list. I for instance, knew I needed outfits in the 18month -2 year range but would also take any cute shoes in the 12month+ range.   Having also done  my research on age-appropriate toys, I knew what the next developmental toys in Juliet’s collection should be.  Search for blocks and see if there are any interesting board books to add to her collection.  She loves to turn pages and I need them to be sturdy enough for her little hands not to rip.
  • Leave the kid(s) at home unless you are OK with leaving them with the free babysitting service.  It’s too much hassle to lug around the extra weight for the two hours you are there or navigate narrow aisles with a stroller.  And you don’t want anything to slow you down.  The tables 6 months and up empty out pretty quickly so you have to look and act fast.
  • Skip the Starbucks stop on the way there, save yourself the money and just show up because they have free Starbucks waiting for you there!  There are most likely also going to be some edible samples from the different companies that are trying to promote themselves too.
  • Leave the hubby behind.  It isn’t fun to be surrounded by so much estrogen.  Plus there aren’t many chairs in the waiting lounge area so he’ll either have to stand around wishing  he was instead home in front of the TV or follow you around like a sad puppy.  Give yourself some me time and relish in the girly hunt!
  • Enjoy the sponsor tables but make sure to head to the entrance doors around 20-30minutes before they open otherwise, you’ll be in a panic at the end of the line wondering if your sizes will have run out by the time you make it through the doors.
  • Most moms live in them already but just in case, wear comfy shoes.  Standing on your 4′ heels is no fun when in line.   And hello, this is a mommy swapping event.  There is no need to dress to impress.  Who are you kidding?  We all know you live in leggings and flats everyday anyways!

 

 

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Stretchy dresses rock!  My non-maternity wrap dresses and dresses with a little spandex have made getting dressed at 36 weeks pregnant a little more bearable.  First dress is by Cynthia Steffe and second dress is by Theory.

 

I did find it hard to zip up my leather brown boots in the picture above though!

  • Lbs gained in the past 2 weeks:  3!
  • Lbs gained during pregnancy:  23
  • est. baby’s weight at this stage:  6lbs

 

I’m in the home stretch and can hardly believe that I’m about to really have a family!  No  more free-spirited newlywed life!  We’re about to be tied down real soon.  And I can hardly wait!

The Fashionista Momma

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I’m so glad I limited my maternity fashion spending spree because I’ve found that a lot of my regular wardrobe could stretch enough to fit the added 11″ to my waistline.  Take for example this Forever 21 bow cardigan.  It’s both long enough and stretchy enough to wear at 35 weeks with my pregnancy jeans.

These days, I’m enjoying all the pre-NYFW work, as grueling as the hours may sometimes be, I’ m reminded of why I love my job.

The other day when my hubby took me out to see the symphony at Lincoln Center, I couldn’t help but let out a huge smile at the sight of the NY Fashion Week Mercedes Benz sign.  The Lincoln Center temporary NYFW site is up!  And the countdown begins!

 

The Fashionista Momma

 

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By the time I started showing, I had to wear coats.  And so for months, I rarely succeeded at scoring a subway seat.  Finally though at 31 weeks, I think I’ve learned the trick.  Open coat, stick out belly, stand in front of seated men and look exasperated as possible while holding belly. Usually works!

Here are 3 outfit posts of what I wore to work, all worn with my Ann Taylor leopard coat.

Tahari dress, Express cardigan, Bruno Magli boots, Fur stole from Saks Fifth Avenue, Guess purse

Cynthia Steffe dress bought at TJMaxx, Bruno Magli boots, necklace from Thailand

Calvin Klein dress, necklace bought at TJMaxx, Cynthia Rowley cashmere cardigan

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I refuse to pay much for maternity fashion.  On one of my maternity fashion hunts, I found this Old Navy non-maternity dress in the clearance rack for around $10 and knew I could rock it with my growing belly.  $10 can go a long way as you can see below and this dress will still look cute post-pregnancy!

In the above 24 week pregnant shot, I wore it with textured navy tights and a red velvet clutch purse.

I replaced the pearl necklace from the first outfit with a scarf, added a cardigan and a matching tote/boot set for a completely different look here.

Change out the cardigan and add springier white accessories, and I have a totally new nautical look!  What’s your favorite?

 

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I’m 30 weeks pregnant here and wearing my Vince non-maternity, stretchy LBD with some fun polka-dot tights and a necklace from Saks.

I couldn’t resist posing with my daughter’s, very first pair of shoes.  If she’s anything like her mom, she will love these and the fact that she is starting her own shoe collection so soon and from the womb.

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 Cut 25 blazer with leather elbow patches, maternity leggings from Target, Bruno Magli boots, velvety tank from TJMaxx, accessories from Thailand

 Forever 21 top, maternity skirt from Target, Zara infinity scarf, Guy Laroche belt

W118 shirt, Charter Club cashmere cardigan, Prada purse, Target maternity leggings

I’m now officially in the 3rd trimester and can’t believe how fast it all went by! I’m frightened to think that I still have another 11 weeks of belly growth though.  I already feel like there is no room to breathe or eat with the baby taking up all this room and my skin not stretching fast enough.  help!

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