Baby Shower Candy-Bar GOALS!!!

As you know, on Sunday we had a small baby shower party to celebrate the fact that a little princess is coming our way shortly. We partied (not so hard) with only a few close friends and I have to tell you that we felt amazing. Don’t really know about our guests, but we really enjoyed ourselves… (hope you guys had a lovely time as well!)

img_6506

That said, I really wanted to talk a bit about the amazing candy-bar we had as, in my opinion that was the main focus of the party – seriously, nobody is really interested on how a steak looks! The candy-bar was fully home-made and decorated by HomeMade Candy Bar. If you need a candy-bar or just sweets anytime, anyplace give them a try as the desserts were perfection and the way it looked was simply stunning. It seriously was way over my expectations (we did have a candy-bar that was twice as expensive at our wedding and it did not look anything like this one). This was a 20 persons candy-bar and it had everything a dessert freak could wish for: cupcakes, gingerbread, cake pops, marsh mellows, macarons etc. Keep in mind that you can customise it any way you like as they are very flexible on that department and that was one of the things that made me choose them. Also, they have loads of decorating pieces that really make the brandy-bar stand out and you can opt for any colour-theme you’d like. Notice that I really did not want to use the classic pink and blue theme and opted instead for a purple and turquoise theme which posed no problems for the talented duo (did I mention this is a family business: mother and daughter?).

Overall, everyone seems really impressed with the candy-bar and so were we therefore I really felt the need to talk a bit about them here. All worth mentioning is the very reasonable price (about 150 E for the entire thing) which is amazing considering the high quality of the sweets and the fact that the location of the event was at home (no extra transport fee!) on the outskirts of Bucharest.

img_6526

L.

Hair greatness – L’Oreal Pro Fiber

You know how when you are pregnant you are supposed to have dream hair, skin and nails? But you are also supposed to feel nauseated 90% of the time and your rings are not supposed to fit you anymore and nor are your shoes? Well none of that happened to me thus far… nor the good or the bad! The jury is still out on whether I should be happy or not about all that, but I guess that feeling normal is a good thing, and by normal I mean brassy hair, a few zits, weak nails but topped by an overall good feeling about myself with rings and shoes that still fit despite being 32 weeks pregnant.That said, during my pregnancy I did not feel the need to ignore all my hair treatments and even tried a few new ones. You know how hair treatments work: you feel a slight improvement but not really that much – and right now I am talking about the really expensive ones as the ones that are mid-ranged from a price point of view do no more than a quick fix of your issues that usually lasts five minutes into the late autumn humidity. Well, not the one I am going to talk about in this post! This one, despite being a medium priced salon treatment was very impressive and three days later it still is very impressive despite the humidity levels hitting 85% in the past few days!

I am talking about the L’Oreal Professionel Pro Fiber Reconstruct treatment. While I always avoided L’Oreal because of the high silicone content, I thought I’d give this one a try because it is receiving quite the rave online. As I stated this one is a reasonably priced salon treatment (about 35 $) but it promises big results. And it does just that! Now, I have no idea if the other treatments in the line work, I can say that this one did miracles on my blonde-damaged hair despite me being quite the skeptic at first and hence not thinking about taking any before of after pics of my hair. You are just going to have to take my word for it and go ahead and try it yourself. My hair before the actual treatment was a mess. By mess I mean 90% of my top crown was brassy and it lacked shine, especially when it was not styled properly – yes, throughout the years I learned a few tips and tricks on how to style it so that it does not look like a hay stack. Going in with the mindset that I should not expect much, I totally skipped the photo/video phase of the treatment but did take a few snaps of the actual products, mainly so that I know what to buy for home if I thought the products were ok-ish (I recently ran out of shampoo and hair mask) – so this post will have to work solely on those pics.

The procedure in itself is very easy and quick and right now, given my current situation I was happy with that because I can not sit in one place for more than two hours and I dreaded the thought of having a long and complicated treatment done. Basically, the stylist washed my hair twice with the shampoo, applied a full vial of the treatment (I currently have a lot of hair with my extensions and all – otherwise you only need half) and on top of the vial applied the activation mask and all I had to do was wait 15 minutes before she gave me a good rinse and the treatment was over – all in all, about 20-25 minutes. This is so easy to do at home and the thing that impressed me the most thus far is the smell – this is perfect for the winter months – spiced vanilla, but a very intense and comforting spiced vanilla! That alone helped me decide on my next at-home haircare!Then it was off to drying but not before applying the line’s serum on wet hair (no pic unfortunately!). This is when I really started to believe that this treatment actually works wonders as you know when your hair is in a bad place it’s always complicated to style it because the brush keeps getting tangled in the damaged parts of the hair no matter how much oil or serums you put into it? Well that never happened during the drying part after this treatment and by the end my hair looked and felt healthier and stronger than ever. I was hooked! especially since, even today, three days later my hair feel amazing, looks amazing despite wearing a beanie twice a day – for the dog walks – and still smells divine!

Obviously that made me buy the at-home products instantly and I even bought the vials just to see if I can fully re-create the results at home. I will keep you posted on that in a later post as I really feel that this new treatment line deserves all the praising it can get especially since it is on the cheaper side and actually delivers the promised results. I really hope that all you ladies out there that, like me, have damaged hair and a skeptical approach to hair treatment will be convinced to give this treatment a try as it really and unexpectedly delivers great results for half the price compared to other ‘luxury’ in-salon treatments.

L.

Keeping promises…

As you know we promised to shoot these lovely velvet boots in the clear light of day so that you can fully comprehend their amazing colour. We were lucky enough to get just a few minutes of sunshine this week and we took full advantage of them as I really did want to keep my promise. UGG season is right around the corner so I’m desperately trying to wear over the knee boots as often as possible these days before the temps decide to go negative.

img_6417

For this photoshoot we both agreed on red – and various shades – and black as we do love this combo, especially since the Christmas spirit is starting grow in both of us – just think about gingerbread and cinnamon everything! Now, as you are well aware, tomorrow is our baby shower so this will not be a long post, but rather on the short side, but I will make up on that next week when we’ll talk about what the party was like and the nursery for our baby princess.

img_6390

img_6421

On me:

Dress – ZARA; Coat – H&M; Boots – ZARA; Bag – Atelier Lemnia; Bling – Pandora, Swarovski and Tous; Watch – Apple

As stated, I mostly chose red for these photos and yes, this is yet again a non-maternity XS ZARA dress that feels just amazing on. The fabric is so soft and nice and the cut is just perfect for an 8th month pregnant woman. It does provide a lot of room for the bump and I will probably try and wear it a few more times throughout December – naturally with red UGG boots. I also love the frilly details, I mean, how cool are those sleeves??? And do not even get me started on the print, because I’m all hormonal and everything childish impresses me – this dress is no exception. Naturally, when I bought this dress, I could only think about how lovely it will work with my ZARA velvet burgundy long boots and seeing these pics convinced me of that.

img_6405

img_6409

On D:

T-shirt – Funky Buddha; Jeans – Review; Sweater – ZARA; Shoes – Converse x John Varvatos; Bling – Fossil and Tous; Sunglasses – Ray-Ban; Watch – Longines

To be honest with you, I can’t wait to wear this exact outfit next year, this time with a flat stomach and a few kgs less. Because the temps are quite low these days I decided to top everything with my red-oxblood trench that I bought at the beginning of autumn from H&M. Despite this being a complicated colour to match, all you really need is either a bag or a pair of boots to pull it off as the colour underneath doesn’t really matter because you can’t really see it when it it closed, so be brave, buy the red coat! As for the bag, I opted for my Atelier Lemnia red bag simply because there is nothing else better than this bag for autumn – the shade, the shape, everything  is just perfect!

D embraced my red theme but went for a more masculine burgundy shade and a bit more black than I did. He wore his Funky Buddha t-shirt – remember I talked a bit about this new brand here. They are just lovely and have amazing fabrics and prints – just take a look at this t-shirt. He also wore a ripped sweater that he found at ZARA that did not really help him with the chilly temps but looked cool af! To match the distressed feel of the sweater he wore his ripped Review jeans. Yes, the ones I love so much! He finished his look with his grey Converse x John Varvatos sneakers and in my opinion he looks perfect!

As for the accessories… I wore the Pandora bracelet that D filled completely with different charms before we got married. I love this bracelet so much and I can pin point the exact moment he gave me each and every one of the charms on it – this is one of the amazing things about Pandora. I also wore my Swarovski Crystaldust bracelet and my Tous ring. D wore both his Fossil and Tous bracelet alongside his Longines watch while I opted for my Apple Watch – no surprise there!

img_6415

Here I go, I promised you a short post and ended up writing a full post. I can’t wait to show you the nursery and let you know how the baby-shower went, what caterers we used and whether or not we recommend them. Until then, have a lovely weekend!

L.

 

 

Dottie!!!

Recently I have started loving dresses, especially since they are a huge confidence boost for me right now as they all are non-maternity and my size (XS) and still fit me nicely. The only real issue is the fact that finding small sized maternity hosiery turns out to be harder and harder every day. Aside from the basic black – which I only found two pairs of – all the other nice autumnal colours are either size L or XL. That is the only frustrating part about shopping right now, but that too is a confidence booster as I feel that I’ve reached the eighth month of pregnancy without much damage to my figure despite the cravings and the fact that I wasn’t able to go to the gym.

img_6337

Another great thing thus far about my pregnancy is the fact that I felt great throughout this period and hope this will stay the same for the remaining two (almost) months. It is rather true that recently I have been starting to really feel the fact that I am pregnant with all sorts of uncomfortable sensations mainly in my back but that is nothing like the actual pain I’ve been told/read about, more like an inconvenience so there is nothing to whine about. I have been loosing my breath more often than before and switching from one side to another during the night turns out to be more difficult than anticipated (just ask D who had the pleasure of meeting my pregnancy pillow face first one night – I swear it was not intentional), but aside from that everything has been going smoothly.

img_6320

img_6313

On me:

Dress – ZARA; Vest – H&M; Boots – Rachel Zoe; Bag – Chloe; Hat – ZARA; Bling – Pandora, Swarovski and Tous; Watch – Apple

So after a quick recap on how I am feeling thus far, it is time to talk a bit about the outfits we are wearing in these photos. Yes, again, I wore a pair of over the knee boots, but like I said a million times, I just love them! This time I chose my black Rachel Zoe boots because I like to keep a balanced rotation where my boots/shoes are concerned and realised that I haven’t worn them in quite a while. I paired them with a new dress from ZARA that D bought for me while I was having my hair done  – yes, I did not try it on upon buying, but it is a size xs and fits me perfectly. As you know, I am trying as much as possible to buy as few maternity clothes as possible because I really want to make sure that I spend my money right and that I will be able to wear the stuff I buy for as long as possible. For example, there is absolutely no reason why I will not wear this dress over and over again after the little princess comes and I get back into my pre-pregnancy shape. Had I invested in a maternity dress I would’ve ended up with a loose, long and shapeless dress after springing back into my usual shape – so to all mamas-to-be out there, try to buy as few maternity clothes as possible.

img_6324

img_6325

On D:

T-shirt – G-Star Raw; Cardigan – ZARA; Jeans – ZARA; Shoes – Replay; Bling – Fossil and Tous; Watch – Longines

Since this was turning out to be yet another black and white outfit, I decided to finish it with my Chloe black bag – yes, I still haven’t bought another black bag so this will have to do for now. I also started really enjoying hats recently and therefore I just had to wear this black fluffy one from ZARA. In order to keep myself rather on the warm side (although it wasn’t a particularly cold day) I opted for my long black vest from H&M that I bought at the beginning of this autumn.

D really wanted to do more colour than me and opted for a light pink t-shirt form G-Star Raw that I can’t seem to find online despite him buying it a week ago (I’ve linked and alternative). He matched his t-shirt and my dots with his socks (Happy Socks I think) which made me very happy the moment I noticed – when I took the photos. He also wore his black ZARA jeans and a grey cardigan also from ZARA. I just love the big chunky cardigan look for men during autumn as I feel it looks infinitely better then a jacket. He finished the whole outfit with a pair of Replay sneaks that were actually a much-needed splash of colour in our photoshoot.

We both wore quite a lot of accessories… I went for my Pandora bracelet that was filled by my family and friends (I have one that was filled solely by D) and the Crystaldust bracelet from Swarovski. I also could not leave my Tous ring at home especially since I feel it works wonderfully with the Pandora bracelet. As per usual I wore my Apple watch while D wore his Longines watch. He also decided to wear both his Fossil bracelet as well as his new Tous bracelet and I have to say that I really love it when he puts this much effort into choosing his accessories.

img_6336

Hopefully everything will go smoothly from now on and by this time next week I will be able to show you both the completed nursery as well as some pics from the upcoming Baby-Shower this weekend.

L.

 

 

 

Purple Mash…

Back in the potato-cravings-zone, but this time on a more healthy note than before… Never did I ever liked mashed potatoes of any kind until I tried this recipe. For some reason, in my opinion, mashed potatoes were always done by those that are too lazy to actually fry them or bake them in the oven – the way potatoes are meant to be eaten – I mean, all you have to do is boil them and mash them and you end up with one of the most boring options to cook potatoes. In my opinion, no matter how much milk or butter you added to them they always ended up tasting like paper.

img_6372

Since being pregnant means that you literally go a bit insane, this weekend I was craving mashed potatoes. But not any type of mashed potatoes, blue mashed potatoes because I thought they must taste great solely based on their colour and the fact that I decided to add some of my favourite ingredients plus skipping the unhealthy butter. Obviously, blue potatoes are only called ‘blue’ to confuse the shit out of you, because in fact they are purple. Like really purple! And you do need to use gloves when you handle them raw otherwise you’ll end up with purple-stained palms for a few days – trust me, not the greatest look! While blue potatoes are a bit more expensive than plain white potatoes, they do not taste any different or make a big difference from a nutritional stand point, therefore unless you do not want to a)get your hands dirty and b)eat something a bit different in colour, you can easily swap them for plain potatoes for this recipe.

img_6343

Moving on to the recipe. Here’s what I used:

  • 1 kg blue potatoes
  • 400 gr greek yoghurt (instead of all the milk and butter – for a very creamy result)
  • 20 gr of fresh dill
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 150 gr shredded mozzarella (or any other shredded cheese you like – I picked mozzarella because it is lighter and has less salt)

img_6347

While making this takes about an hour, there are only a few simple steps to follow:

  1. Take pics of the lovely coloured ingredients and then start chopping everything. Peel the potatoes and cut them, chop the dill and mince the garlic.
  2. Boil the potatoes for about 40 minutes, drain them and mash them with a hand blender.
  3. Add the greek yoghurt and blend some more.
  4. The garlic and the dill are next into the blending pot.
  5. In comes the shredded mozzarella which must not be blended but mixed really well with a spoon.
  6. That’s it! All you have to do now is serve the purple mash in cups!

Besides it looking very interesting, it is very tasty thanks to the dill and the garlic while still being very satisfying to cheese lovers like me thanks to the mozzarella. This can be a side to any dish or you could consume it the way I did, on its own as it is really filling. It is a grade A food which means it is a healthy dish and it does not pack a lot of calories (only 211 per serving) while giving you a good amount of protein. All the nutritional info is courtesy of MyNetDiary app and I’ve uploaded both the serving info as well as for the whole thing. I divided the whole quantity to 8 servings. I hope you’ll enjoy my purple mash!

L.

Red Wine At Dawn…

You know I am more of a ‘white wine’ kinda gal, but, to be honest, I am craving a glass good red wine like crazy – might that be an actual pregnancy craving? I have no idea, but since I can’t drink any alcohol for the time being I will have to suffice with wearing wine coloured clothes. Yes, I am aware that wearing bordeaux during the autumn is a cliché, but hey, I’m doing what I can.

img_6170

As for the ‘dawn’ photos, I confess that we arrived at our location at dawn but the days the actual sunset lasts for 30 seconds and by the time we got the camera out it was night already so we had to take our first night photoshoot hence the questionable lightning. The street lights did not help us much either as most of Bucharest has this terrific yellow lightning and not much can be done about it no matter what editing programme you use. Overall I am quite happy with the way these pics turned out and that is why we decided that they are blog worthy. Fear not, as these amazing boots will have their photoshoot in the sun and you will be able to fully see the marvellous colour and texture they have.

img_6150

img_6146

On me:

Dress – Tom Tailor; Boots – ZARA; Poncho – H&M; Bag – Michael Kors; Bling – Swarovski (ring and bracelet); Watch – Apple

Talking about the boots…they fully comply to my current velvet-over-the-knee obsession and they come in this amazing oxblood shade. Mind you, I think these are the most gorgeous boots I have bought this season and because they are not as tall as the others (9cm heel) I will wear them to death this autumn. They are from ZARA which is really no surprise as they keep releasing new and amazing pieces each week. I am telling you, I have fallen in love with every singe item they have this season, but unfortunately I can’t go on a shopping spree, but I did get a few things in my pre-pregnancy size that fit just wonderfully the only difference being the cut – I currently need A-line or loose fitted dresses which (THANK GOD!) are both very fashionable cuts right now.

img_6159

img_6174

On D:

Sweater – Funky Buddha; Jeans – ZARA; Shoes – Converse x John Varvatos; Bling – Fossil and Tous; Watch – Longines

Because I love wine shades, a deep purple dress was absolutely needed because we all know where great red wines come from! This dress is yet another oldie from my closet that fits nicely over my bump and feels amazing. It is from Tom Tailor and I got it a few years ago and I must’ve worn it a hundred times at the office. While it does seem short right now, that is only due to the growing bump as it is knee length on a non-pregnant body. I finally got to wear the poncho I got early this autumn from H&M as the temps decided to be very forgiving the other day when we shot these photos (15 degrees C). Obviously, my outfit would not have been complete without my bordeaux Michael Kors tote. This is one great tote that is worth the investment as it is kind of a neutral colour and the shape and size of it allows you to carry all you need on a workday – I have been known to carry my laptop, iPad, phone, keys and all the other miscellaneous and completely useless stuff a woman carries in her bag.

Another topic I really wanted to talk about in this post is the new mens brand that recently opened a shop in Romania : Funky Buddha! They have these amazing pieces for men both fashionable and amazing quality and they are a bit under the ZARA price point, but have more punk to them. D‘s sweater is from Funky Buddha and, as you can see, the colour and the texture are great as well as the way it fits him. If you want to explore something different from ZARA and H&M give this place a try as it is really worth it! His jeans are form ZARA and they are D‘s current obsession – to be honest I do not blame him as he does look amazing in them. His shoes are Converse x John Varvatos and by the looks of it I will have to sit down and have a talk with him as he has a hundred more autumn shoes but because he is lazy he only wears the ones that are already at the door.

Bling wise I rediscovered this lovely ring form Swarovski that D got for me a few years ago and that I absolutely love. I also wore the Crystaldust bracelet and my Apple watch and called it a day. D wore both his Fossil and Tous bracelets and he decided to wear his Longines watch. So there was not much bling-ing going on this time around.

I am really hoping that these days we will have the time take a couple more pics of these gorgeous boots in the sun, but it would appear that we do have to get a move on that as the temps will probably drop really fast and I have a feeling that the sun will be a very rare gem on the Bucharest sky. If you are bored by the whole velvet/ over-the-knee obsession that I have, you will have to start checking our posts out in about a few weeks as that’s probably when the Ugg obsession will start, until then, it’s all bout the over-the knee boots!

L.

 

Blue Velvet!!!

Well this is becoming a repetitive post this autumn… D already sees a pattern: it’s either over the knee boots or UGGs, but what can I do? I just love them both and I am trying to take advantage of the still ‘not snow-y’ weather and wear velvet over the knee boots as often as possible. Truth be told, they are very comfortable with their chunky heel and I feel like I need a bit of hight these days just to balance to my proportions (read: big, big belly). And, did I mention how much I simply adore velvet??? I think I did a couple of times, but I can’t help myself, I am over-the-top happy that this amazing fabric is trendy again.

img_6118

Another repetitive item is the chunky knit sweater/dress and that has nothing to do with my belly – though it helps to minimise it – as I enjoyed wearing chunky knits even before being pregnant. It’s just something that looks so amazing in the cold-weather-big-knits combo don’t you agree? Obviously, the best combo for short knitted items is those amazing long boots with a heel to match thus making your legs seem supermodel-long. I do have to confess that as autumn progresses and the temps keep lowering it is harder and harder to wear only a sweater and long boots and I will have to get creative with my coats, or at least the ones that still cover my belly, as despite the heat-waves that pregnant women get, let’s be honest, we had a few days of one digit temps and it was COLD!

img_6092

img_6093

On me:

Knit – ZARA; Boots – Public Desire; Bag – Michael Kors; Bling – Swarovski (ring and bracelet); Watch – Apple

No, this is not D‘s sweater that I am wearing – I still fit into my own clothes, thank you very much! This is a size S (the smallest size) oversized sweater that I got from ZARA a few weeks back and that is currently sold out, but they do have lots of similar items online. Really, I just love this deep blue and what better match for it than my velvet Public Desire Annie boots? Yes, we are a bit blue in this post, but we are loving it, plus it’s a nice change from our usual black and grey. Obviously, since I could not ruin the whole-blue theme I opted for my navy Michael Kors mini Hamilton bag and an old-school velvet blue hair scrunchie (yes, I was amazed to find it in my 90s accessories box).

img_6107

img_6111

On D:

Sweater – Massimo Dutti; Jeans – Tommy Hilfiger; Shoes – Condor; Bling – Tous; Watch – Longines

D just wore his office outfit as he came home late (someone has to earn the $$$ in this household), but luckily we matched in the colour theme department. Plus, I strongly feel that he is always better dressed for the office than for our photoshoots. I’m annoyed that you can not see the lovely Massimo Dutti shirt he had underneath his sweater, but it was way to cold to even attempt at trying to convince him to get the sweater off for a few shots… Maybe next time… Anyway, his lovely blue sweater is also from Massimo Dutti (despite it being from this autumn, you can only find an alternative online) and his jeans are a classic slim fit dark blue pair from Tommy Hilfiger. His shoes are custom made by Condor Shoes and that is a great place to get your office-shoes from as they are affordable, great quality and you can make them in hundreds of leather combos.

Since we were really trying to catch the last minutes of light, we did not bother much with accessorising our outfits. I do however want to thank the gene-goddess as I am two moths and a week away from giving birth and all my rings still fit – keeping my fingers crossed to be able to wear them for Christmas and New Years. So, I opted for my Crystaldust bracelet and Nirvana ring both from Swarovski, while D wore his new gift from your truly – the black leather bracelet from Tous – told you they are my new favourite jewellery brand! I, as per usual, wore my Apple Watch while D payed more attention to details and wore his lovely Longines Hydroconquest watch (also from yours truly).

img_6115

Despite the blue ensemble, we are still expecting a baby girl, but that has nothing to do with our choice of clothes. As a matter of fact, I must confess that we haven’t yet bought one single pink thing for our little bundle of joy and by the way she kicks and moves all day long, she will probably prefer less-feminine colours. I am really excited to show you all the stuff we chose for her, but I want to show you the complete nursery first and thus far the furniture hasn’t arrived. Keeping our fingers crossed that we will have it by next week when we will have a small baby-shower.

L.

 

 

Healthy Berry-Banana Bread

Truth be told, I am craving all Christmas-y treats – mostly sweets – if I really want to be honest… But, since it is not even December yet I have to contain my cravings and go for healthier versions of sweets therefore I give you the healthiest berry banana bread! This actually tastes better than it looks and I must say that it tastes better than those healthy berry muffins I baked a while ago (see recipe here). The thing with the colder months is that we all tend to crave hot and filling dishes, but that does not mean that they have to be calorie packed and filled with all sorts of unhealthy sugars.

A while back we both decided to try and eliminate sugar from our diet, at least when it comes to our home-made meals (no, we are not avoiding sugar at all costs and actually we do indulge in traditional desserts once a week). That made us look for ingredients that will still give our treats that lovely sweet taste without compromising on the health factor. This is why we chose raw honey, fruits and spices. With honey, a little goes a long way, while with fruits and spices, it’s more of an ‘all-you-can-add’ thing. Yesterday I was seriously craving something sweet and Christmas-y, and what better substitute to the classic Panettone than a cinnamon infused banana bread. The thing with this banana-bread is that I have never ever done one before and had no idea how it will turn out. I confess that I went a bit overboard with the frozen berries and therefore the bread was a bit more moist that I expected but it is really filling and does satisfy the sweet-tooth in a very healthy way.After all that rambling I think it is time to move along to the actual recipe.

img_6015

Ingredients:

  • 240 g whole grain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter (melted) – this again will give you a bit of sweetness and flavour
  • 2 egg-whites
  • 2 medium over-ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 cup of plain yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp raw honey (we used a variety that has a bit of cinnamon in it and therefore gave it even more flavour)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder – for that Christmas feeling
  • 60 ml coconut-almond milk (full of aroma)
  • 200 g frozen berry mix

img_6018

Steps to follow for this healthy goodness:

  1. First of all preheat your oven at 175 degrees C and carefully arrange all the ingredients so that you can take loads of pictures.
  2. Mix together the baking powder, the baking soda and the cinnamon powder in a small bowl and then put the mixture all over the flour and stir well.
  3. Whip the egg-whites with the vanilla extract and the coconut oil and pour the mixture over the banana mash alongside the yoghurt and the honey, Make sure you mix everything really well.
  4. Now for the tricky part… You will have to incorporate the flour and the milk into the mixture carefully, just like you did for the berry muffins (see here). I did it in three parts.
  5. Carefully mix in the frozen berries and pour everything into a bread tray.
  6. Off into the oven it all goes and 50 minutes later you will indulge in the best and healthiest berry banana bread! No guilt whatsoever!

While this takes a bit more time to bake than the muffins, it is more filling and it is healthier than the muffins. If you are hungry, you can always use smaller trays or even pour the mixture in a muffin tray which will probably cut your baking time in half. I have attached the nutritional info both for a serving (one 1,5 cm thick loaf) as well as for the whole thing (10 loaves) and as you can see this is a grade A food and therefore it is very healthy. All the nutritional data is courtesy of the MyNetDiary app. I hope you will enjoy this banana bread and soon we sill start baking heathy versions of all the Christmas sweet treats (apple pie, gingerbread etc)!

L.

 

Apple Watch

(Note: All Screen-shots are from my iPhone in regards to the Apple Watch. If you would like to see screen-shots of the UP App see the full post on Jawbone UP3 here)

It has been more than three weeks since I’ve switched from my Jawbone Up3 to Apple Watch and I think a review is needed as there are a lot of things to say and weight-in when a change like this emerges. I do not want to influence your fit band/smartwatch choices, but I do want to talk a bit about the advantages and disadvantages of having one or the other as well as show you how I use mine and truthfully what I think a smartwatch is most used for – let’s be honest, while it is nice to see who’s calling you on your watch, we’re not the FBI talking to our wrists therefore people talking on the ‘phone’ on their watch look stupid (to say the least) in my humble opinion. But hey, who am I to judge?

First I’ll start off by saying that I got the Apple Watch Series 1 in pink (obviously!). I did not get the Series 2 because besides it being waterproof – which in my case is completely useless as I am afraid of water and therefore stay clear of it as much as I can (daily shower not included in this category) all it has as an extra is a better (better illuminated) display and as D puts it, soon we will have white displays to look at. Since I got it right after the launch of the second series, I found it at a special price and it made no sense to me to miss the opportunity. That said, D will get the series 2 as he is the type that is mostly in the water whenever we are on vacation and waterproofing is something that he and anyone that is not afraid of the water needs in a smartwatch. Therefore, I do feel that this feature is needed for normal people and it definitely is worth the money.

Since most of our stuff is from Apple, I did not even look at other smartwatches as the OCD side in me likes everything to match and thinks that everything works better if it’s from the same brand, so no, I did not even show a bit of interest in other smartwatches. As with any Apple product, the installation is easy and fast and, unless you did not came in contact with another Apple product before, you’ll find the menu to be intuitive and very easy to use. Getting started was fairly easy, my iPhone detected the watch immediately and I was set.

Jawbone UP3 vs Apple Watch experience – health tracker

Activity Log

For the first few days, I kept both my Jawbone and my Apple Watch on just to compare the two. The nice thing about the watch is that you can see all your notifications on your watch so, if you are like me and always leave your phone somewhere in the house, you will not miss any notifications/phone calls/messages/Instagram or Facebook notifications ever again so this is a big plus on my Jawbone band. Also the screen helps a lot in keeping up with your activity. However, let’s not forget that the Apple Watch costs double than the Jawbone UP3 but it also does a lot more than track your activity. As step trackers they have the same accuracy, however the Jawbone band detects when you are exercising more easily than the Apple Watch and that is a big plus especially if you do not want to constantly log every walk you take beforehand so that the Apple Watch can measure it (both in time and length). This is one thing that I did not like as much about the Apple Watch – it fails to detect exercise on its own while the Jawbone UP3 does that impeccably.

 

Sleep Log

Another feature that the Jawbone UP3 has and the Apple Watch does not have is the ability to track your sleep on its own. Again, for the Apple Watch you have to manually log in when you go to bed and set an alarm to wake up – I hate alarms, but that is the only way I can track my sleep. I suspect this is because the Apple Watch uses a third party app, called Pillow to do that. Do not get me wrong, I think that the sleep tracking on the Apple Watch is a million times better than the analysis I used to get from my Jawbone UP3 and therefore, alarm or no alarm and as much as it bugs me to manually log when I am getting into bed, I think that in this category the Apple Watch is by far better. Now it all depends on how much you value a good sleep analysis. For me this is very important and that’s why  I started loving the Apple Watch quickly.

Nutrition

This, in my opinion is where the Apple Watch won me over for good. Again we are talking about using a third party app and to my best knowledge the best one out there so far is MyNetDiary. This app is so complete and so easy to use! I just love it. As opposed to the Up App, I can find most of my daily food choices without having to add them myself (I hated having to add all the nutritional info to most of my food), so one can say that the database is way larger and that makes the whole logging experience a lot better. Another cool feature that this app has is the ability for the user to make their own recipe and divide it either by serving or weight. This is very helpful when you want to cook stuff and also keep things as healthy as possible. I also love the fact that this app is easy to use but I hate the fact that it does not sync with the activity tracker on my watch and therefore it does not give me a throughly ready-calculated calorie count and I have to do that by myself. It does however sync with the step-numbers on my watch and it makes no sense to me why they didn’t manage to sync it to the Activity app.

Mindfulness

This is a feature that the Jawbone UP3 does not have, or at least not to this level. The Apple Watch can track your heartbeat live and when it gets too high it usually makes you take a 1 minute break. The Jawbone UP3 only tracked your resting heart rate which, again might or might not be important to you. It is to me, especially during my pregnancy and it will probably be important post-pregnancy when I will restart going to the gym regularly.

 

All this data is nicely stored in the Health App that the iPhone has pre-intalled and that most people do not use until they get an Apple Watch – or at least that was my case. This is a very good nutrition analyst in my opinion and not much else. I mean, yeah, it does put everything together and all but it does not tell you anything. It does however do a great (and I mean GREAT) job at analysing your food (vitamins, minerals, etc), which no other app does. This again is very important to me right now, and to be honest it always was important, but the Up App did not provide that. This is something that I loved from the very beginning and really made me change my mind and go from the Jawbone UP3 to the Apple Watch.

This is where the comparison between the Jawbone Up3 and the Apple Watch stops as the Jawbone is just a fitness tracker while the Apple Watch does so much more. If you are only interested in a fitness tracker, then go for any of the tracking bracelets out there (I loved the Jawbone UP3) and save your money. However if you want more than that, keep on reading.

Like I said earlier, this watch is like your mini iPhone on your wrist. It basically has every app on your phone and it has most of the abilities you phone has. That being said, you must keep it connected to your phone for it to actually work and having your phone in the near vicinity usually makes you use it as opposed to using the watch. There are a few situations where I used the watch to answer and talk on the phone – when I was too lazy to actually get off the couch or when my phone battery was almost over –  but overall, I use my phone. Also, it is nice to have the ability to reply to messages but scribbling every single letter on your watch tends to be time-consuming but helps in the earlier mentions situations.You can also check Instagram, use Shazam and lot more apps that are compatible with the watch. The interface, as I said at the beginning of the post, is very user-friendly, and, especially at the beginning, you are tempted to over-use it.

The Watch app on your phone allows you to customise virtually anything about your watch (see the print-screens) and also gives you a full insight on your device (apps, notifications, setting, font size, sounds, app layout, etc). The battery life is decent, and because I want to wear it all day and night, I usually charge it before I go to sleep for about 20 minutes and again in the morning for about 20 minutes, but if you do not want to wear it during the night you could get away with only charging it once.

Overall I am very happy with my watch and I have been using it non-stop for the past three weeks which means that I have been ignoring my other beloved watches, but I did also keep my Jawbone bracelet at arm’s reach as whenever I want to wear another watch I need something to track my activity (yes, I am crazy like that and that craziness only got worse one the doctor forbade me to got to the gym during the pregnancy). So, is the watch worth the money? Hell yeah! Not saying the same thing about the watch bracelets that Apple are selling and are waaaay overpriced – if you know a good third party bracelet seller for my watch please leave a comment below as I am really bored by my Sport band that the watch came with.

L.

 

 

 

(NOT) Another Make-up Tutorial!!!

Nope, this is not a make-up tutorial as I know almost nothing on the subject… I do however want to share with you some amazing newly discovered make-up products as I feel that a bit of a review is always nice. As always, I am doing this review with only praise in mind as I hate the negative energy I get after writing a bad review. On that note… these are the best products I found this autumn! Naturally they are not all newly launched products as I am not a beauty blogger, but they are my most recent finds as I had to overhaul my make-up bag.

img_6910

I always like to buy new stuff at the beginning of the season as I feel that both my skin colour and my texture tend to go through some changes – and I do not want to even start on the changes my skin went through during this pregnancy! This post comes after a long period of hits and misses in the make-up department simply because my skin is chaotic these days and finding something that works well with it is rather hard. Most of these products here were tried for at least two weeks just to be sure that they work well with my skin and, to be honest, not being the make-up expert that some people are, it always takes me a while to learn how to apply each one depending on the texture.

Here are this autumn’s heroes:

  1. Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Make-up in shade 5.5
  2. Giorgio Armani Liquid Sheer in shade 2
  3. Chanel Eclat Lumiere in shade 20
  4. Dior Diorblush Light & Contour in shade 002
  5. Benefit They’re Real Mascara in Black
  6. Chanel Rouge Allure Ink in shade 140 Amoureaux
  7. My besties – BeautyBlender The Original and the Micro

How I apply them:

  • First, I would like to clear the air on one thing: I do not use any primer! Yes, I know that is a make-up felony, but I just hate the way most (or at leat the ones I’ve tried) of them feel on my skin. Therefore I just apply my foundation on bare moisturised skin. This Giorgio Armani fluid foundation was a bit tricky at first given that it has a very runny texture and it wasn’t tricky from a skin application point to view but rather because it took me a while to figure out how to get it onto my skin. In my opinion, the best way to go about it is to put small drops of the products on your fingers and pat it in key areas of the face. While I do love my BeutyBlender, this foundation works best for my skin when I apply it wth my fingers – no, a brush did not work as well either!
  • Then it is off to correcting whatever spots and dark areas I have on my face (mostly dark under-eyes). For this I use the Chanel Eclat Lumiere. I have used this product for a few years now and I love the way it seamlessly blend with any foundation. Yes, I know, it is about time to try the YSL Touche Eclat, but somehow I always end up buying this one.I just brush the product in the areas that I feel I need some extra coverage and pat it with my BeautyBlender Micro.
  • Now for a bit of contour. I must confess that mastering this step took me quite a while…And I always needed up looking like I had dark spots, but with the new Dior stick this has become quite easy. No, I am not yet a ‘strobing specialist’ and honestly I have no idea what that is. For this step I just put on my ‘war lines’  – as D calls them – and blend them really well with my BeautyBlender.
  • A bit of highlighting is always much needed after the contour step and I do not use the lighter part of my Dior stick simply because I feel that it contains a bit of glitter as opposed to the pearly texture that captures the light perfectly that I found in Giorgio Armani’s Fluid Sheer. I have tried applying this miracle worker both underneath my foundation as well as mixing it into the foundation, but I feel that it looks best when applied in key ares over the foundation. So I apply it on my upper cheekbones, my upper eyelids and on top of my upper lip.
  • What’s left? A generous layer of jet black mascara. I am currently using They’re Real from Benefit and I have to say that I am quite happy with it. I confess that it is not as good as the G by Guerlain but hey, it is less than half the price and it does the job nicely!
  • As for the newest favourite in my make-up bag, the Chanel Rouge Allure Ink, I only have great things to say! First of all, I am that annoying person that only wears nudes or very light pinks and hates matte lipsticks. I bought this because a good friend that actually nows make-up secrets at a way more advanced level than me recommended it and naturally I bought the lighter shade available (which is darker than what I normally wear). I love everything about it! Yes, even the colour as I feel it perfectly mimics my natural lip colour! The texture is to die for, you do not really feel like you are wearing a matte lip as your lips do not get dehydrated for one minute and it lasts for about 5-6 hours which is amazing! I seriously think this is the best beauty product of this autumn and I feel that it is rather hard to be topped by anyone else when it comes to matte lipsticks.

That’s it! That is my autumn no-make-up make-up routine! I hope it has been helpful, not from a make-up point of view necessarily, but rather from a review standpoint. Keep in mind that these are all products that work very well for my pregnant skin, but I have a feeling they are great for any skin. Again, I would like to add that all the products here are bought by me, so this is not a promotional post!

L.