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Note: The pics are taken from week six until yesterday. For the first six weeks of the potato- looking princess click here.

103 days since our lives changed… 103 days since our priority list got an overhaul… 103 days since we started a new chapter… 103 days since our lives got meaning – it feels now that before baby Leia entered our lives we were living without a purpose… 103 days since everything got better! Way better!

No we are not celebrating her anniversary every day, but we are celebrating this new and amazing new life every single day AND I have an app on my phone that lets me know how much time has passed since Leia came into our lives (thank God for smartphones!). Truth be told, I missed the 3 months mark on posting this because a) I was lazy and b) I wanted to relax for a bit… Yes, when we passed the six weeks mark, everything started to be absolutely amazing… Leia got a break from those nasty colics and our household got a break from her inconsolable cries from 7-9 p.m. Once that episode was over, she turned into this amazingly happy and eager to learn child so we needed to up our game a bit. The good thing about her passing to the next stage (non-colic era, as we call it) is the fact that she started sleeping the entire night from 10 p.m. until 9 a.m. with only a short and sleepy feeding at 6 a.m. Now this was the best change we got so far from her as we are currently getting about 6 full hour of sleep every night. Sure, there are some nights when she fusses around in bed and we do need to go to her, but usually this gets resolved in about 2 minutes thanks to the wonderful invention called a pacifier. Seriously, pacifiers are LIFE! The person that invented it deserves a statue! 

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So, the current situation with Leia is:

  • She sleeps all night long
  • She eats every four hours during the day
  • She naps twice per day in the morning and in the evening (40 minute naps)
  • She sleeps for 2 hours during lunch
  • She plays a lot
  • She smiles almost all day long
  • She started trying to turn around on her belly
  • She can hold her own head
  • She grown according to plan (height and weight)
  • She swims every day
  • She started grabbing toys on her own
  • She poops every day at the same time – once you become a parent, pooping becomes very important

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The current situation with us is:

  • We sleep every night
  • We play every day
  • We are back to our habit of drinking a glass of wine every evening (YES, there is life after having a baby and this usually starts after two months)
  • We take long walks every day which ultimately helps our health a bit
  • We realistically plan for future vacations

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Overall, we are back to normal living, the only things that I have to start doing more often are posting on the blog and restarting my gym membership.

What I’ve learned so far:

  • There is no way in hell I can be on a diet while breastfeeding (pumping) which is at times frustrating because I still have about 5 kg to shed, but that’s not too dramatic…
  • Dr. Google is something to avoid at all costs because a) every baby is different and b) dr. Google does not have a medical degree and virtually any retard can write shit online
  • The award for the most stupid advice I’ve received/read is ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps’. I mean, am I supposed to eat when the baby eats, do laundry when the baby does her laundry, walk the dog when Leia walks the dog? I am telling you, that is the shittiest advice ever! Mainly because Leia is not big enough to do the laundry! (We are planning on teaching her that asap!) Like I said, the internet is full of crap!
  • If you are new parents (up until one month old baby) than let me tell you something: Hold on because the best times are soon coming! Yes, the first month is very hard, but as soon as that passes, your baby will start sleeping during the  night, you will be able to enjoy a two-hour movie, you will start to relax while drinking a glass of wine knowing that the little one will not wake up and overall, your life will start to get back to normal, a more beautiful and satisfying normal than ever!
  • You will experience new levels of love for someone every single day! Just when you thought that you can’t love your kid more, a new day comes and you discover that you can… this is one of the best feeling ever!
  • Always, and I mean ALWAYS listen to the one in the house that managed to get more rest! I can’t tell you how many bad decisions one can make when they are tired. Just make sure that one of you is rested at all times as your baby needs you rested – after about two and a half months, you will both be rested all the time as life gets back to normal!
  • There is this rumor that if you eat certain types of food your breastmilk will not give your baby colics and also it will increase the amount of milk you have… for me, that was a pile of crap as Leia was colicky while I was on this crazy diet that involved me eating everything fully coocked, with no sugar or salt and basically tasteless… both me and Leia were feeling horrible, so, for me, that advice goes under the ‘stupid advice’ column!

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Obviously, I wanted to post this at ‘100 days of baby Leia’, since I missed the 3-months mark, but as it turnes out, in the past seven weeks we took more than 1000 pics of her and choosing the best ones took me two days, not to mention writing this, which took me three more days… so here you finally have it, an update on how parenthood is going for us, as well as more than 100 pics of our little princess. Notice how she turned from potato to an actually cute baby?

We are still way behind on all the reviews I have in mind for baby stuff, but what I can say right now is that Huggies diapers rule! So there you have it, an update as well as a review on baby stuff! This motherhood phase makes me so good at multitasking (NOT!).

L.

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A year ago…

A year ago, today, we started this blog with a review on one of our travel experiences in Romania. That was the first blog post and our first attempt at putting together a blog/diary of our life. This blog has become so much more than that for us in this past year, it is our go-to place when we want to look back on our experiences, on the way we (gracefully) age and it is a good reminder that life is wonderful, especially in those ‘down’ moments – everyone has those. It also motivates us to stay in shape, eat healthy and it forces us to actively review places and write down memories from our trips while also pinpointing some of our best experiences both abroad as well as in Romania.

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Nowadays, looking back on our old posts, I realized that if we did not have this blog, there was no chance in hell we would’ve took so many photos throughout the pregnancy, nor would I have written down in such detail my personal feelings that I experienced during this amazing time.
Today we decided to celebrate by not putting together a slideshow of our past year, but by sharing with you (and also marking on our calendar) the first swimming experience (in our bath tub) baby-Leia had this Friday (the 17th of March). Since I am on active mommy watch, I will not spend more time writing about it but I will just let you enjoy our home-made video of Leia.


Yes, life changes a lot during one year, this blog helped us fully appreciate just how much, and we have come to the conclusion that our lives really evolved for the better and there is only going up from this point on. I truly hope that you enjoyed this past year with us and we hope that there will be many more years to come for our little blog!
Happy Birthday evenlymatched.eu!!!
L.

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Stroll, stroll, stroll in the park – Anex Sport

Wow! Two blog posts in one week…we are really getting the hang of this baby/us balance! It is about time to start reviewing all the baby stuff we bought pre-Leia and give you some insight on what was important for both of us upon buying everything. Today I want to talk about our stroller, the Anex Sport. Naturally, since the lovely spring weather started, we have been testing this stroller every day and on Sunday we actually decided to take some photos for old times sake. Nope, this will not be a review where we show you all the ways this stroller pulls apart and all the very practical gizmos it has. For those types of reviews I suggest you do as we did and watch some YouTube videos. Nope, we did not do a video either mainly because I find video editing to be some sort of alien activity for me right now. This review covers our own personal experience with the Anex Sport stroller and why we chose it as we both had some pretty strong boxes to tick and if you’ll continue reading you’ll soon realize just how different we are when it comes to this matter. Of course, none of us wanted to compromise on quality and safety, but other than that we both went in totally different directions when it came to making a list of our ‘musts’. I have to also mention that this stroller ticked all the boxes on the below lists and that it was actually the only one that managed to do that, or at least that was the situation last autumn when we bought it.

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We both wanted the following things from the stroller:
– Coconut mattress
– Height adjusting mattress as we noticed baby-Leia likes her head a bit higher than the rest of her body-though we did not know that at the time, but we thought that it was a great feature.
– UV resistant materials.
– Waterproof bag in the lower part of the stroller – this allows us to safely store stuff without having to carry an extra bag everywhere. It is unbelievable how few strollers have this amazing feature as most of them just have a basket and in my opinion everything you store down there gets covered with a thick layer of dust – MAJOR NO-NO!
– Antibacterial and non-allergic materials all over.
– Light and easy folding system.
– Waterproofing all over.
What I wanted in a stroller:
– No velcro anywhere – I think that velcro is the worst for hands and nails as it just scratches everything. Again, you have no idea how many companies use this type of material for their stroller. On top of it all, I dread the thought of baby-Leia’s skin coming into contact with velcro.
– A comfortable breaking system – for most strollers, in order to unbreak the damn thing, you have to put your foot underneath the break which usually means that your shoes get dirty and scratched and I love my shoes too much to put them through that.
– Big, easy to push buttons for all the pieces that come apart – I have to think about my manicure because with a small baby there is virtually no time to fix chipped nails!
– Light and small frame as it has to be able to fit into my Mini – this was actually the only one we found that matched this criteria, but this was not mandatory as I have a lot of space to walk around our apartment complex without having to actually drive anywhere with the stroller, but it is nice to know that it fits.
– Detachable bedding for obvious sanitary reasons.

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On me:

Jeans – Replay (yup, pre-pregnancy); Sweater – ZARA; Boots – Ugg; Jacket – Mango; Scarf – Hermes; Bag – Furla; Hat – Mango; Sunglasses – Dior; Watch – Apple

What D wanted:
– Big, rubber wheels because a) they look cool and b) for those moments when we want to go off-road.
– Great suspension because his little princess can’t be disturbed while we walk on the horrible pavements of Bucharest
– Easy access to the front wheels blocking system – with most strolles you have a button in the middle of the wheel which means that your hands get really dirty when you need to block the wheels while this stroller has this button on top of the wheels and far away from the growd or the dirty parts.
– Light aluminum frame.

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On D:

Jeans – ZARA; Sweater – O’Neill; Vest – ZARA; Shoes – ZARA; Sunglasses – Ray-Ban; Bling – Fossil; Watch – Apple

The Anex Sport stroller was the only one that ticked all the boxes, but there was no way of saying that we will love it or that baby-Leia was going to love it until we tried it-though I did try to convince D that we can test it with our dog inside but he just thought that I was under the influence of pregnancy hormones and ignored me. Come warmer weather, we couldn’t wait to actually get the little pincess and go out to test it! After a few weeks of testing it, we decided to take some photos and post this review here. This stroller is just great!!!! It is very easy to fold and unfold, easy to assemble and great for long walks thanks to those suspensions and the big wheels. I find the bag underneath it especially great since, being spring, there is no actual way of knowing how warm or cold it will be in 15 minutes and I can just toss a blanket there knowing that it will not get dirty and nor do I need an extra bag to protect it. It ‘drives’ wonderfully both in a straight line as well as on a curvy alley. All the usual bumps and kerbs are virtually non-existent for the sleeping baby-Leia so those suspensions really serve their purpose. She seems to enjoy her walks quite a lot and we have actually used the stroller inside our apartment to help her ease those horrible colic episodes. We both love the zip closing system as well as the way all the exterior materials feel. We are beyond happy with our choice and we sincerely recommend this stroller! As a price point, this is not the cheapest, nor is it the most expensive option out there, but it does feel and look like those really expensive strollers that you can find, but as we have discovered, it is more practical that most of them!

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Stroller – Anex Sport

When it came to buying baby stuff we approached things with a ‘divide and conquer’ state of mind meaning that D took it upon himself to buy most of the tech-y stuff (stroller included) while I chose everything else (feeding stuff, matress, furniture, carpet etc). This does not in any way mean that we did not talk about each option and we always took the other ones wishes very serious. Since he was the one that had to watch/read 1000 reviews on strolles he got to choose the colour and he decided on this lovely elegant brown and black combo. Obviously for this photoshoot we had to match with it. With the new 2017 collection, Anex offers a very wide variety of new and exciting colours, so if you are in the stroller-buying stage check them out!

That about covers the princess’s means of transport and our first baby stuff review. We will try and post as many reviews as possible, but time is something we don’t really have so bear with us until we really get into a routine with baby-Leia.
L.

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The first six weeks…

Note : I tried to post the photos in chronological order so that you can notice Leia’s transformation over time…

We made it! We survived the first six weeks on our own! But boy, were they hard… Nobody really prepares you for this first few weeks with a newborn and no matter what everyone tells you, you can not imagine the amount of work, sleep deprivation and worrying you will experience. I honestly have a feeling that we will not sleep soundly again for the next 18 years at least… Baby Leia is the most important being in the house right now, this meaning that we are both very tired, because a baby needs constant attention and care and for the first part, we both wanted to be 100% involved in all the duper changes, feedings and everything else, but this is NOT the way to go!


Starting from the beginning…when we first got home with baby Leia we had our first shock – she just would not stop crying and we even thought that we got the wrong baby from the maternity as she seemed quite the little angel in her first four days of life, but now she was slowly changing into a small devil. We had no idea if she was hungry (but she had just eaten right before we left the hospital), if she needed her diaper changed (no) or what was bordering her. After desperate calls to our friends with kids (it is extremely important to have a support system consisting of friends that had recently gone through what you are going through now) we concluded that her fussiness was due to the fact that she changed the scenery once again in only a few days. Needless to say that we were clueless when it came to using the steriliser for the bottles and to actually making a bottle of formula milk – there was no way of nursing her in the amount of distress she was in. Quite frankly, for the first time in our lives we were both completely clueless and desperate which did not help baby Leia at all, as a matter of fact it made her more and more fussy as time went by. At some point, when we were at the edge of our patience, she just fell asleep on a big pillow and apparently that was the only thing that calmed her. Because I was just released from the hospital and needed to heal, D sent me to bed while he decided to sleep on the floor fearing that the little princess will suffocate on the big pillow, but not really wanting to take our chances and move her. This in short was the first day and night at home with the little one.


From that point on, things only got better, we got better at doing stuff for her, we did get a visit form a maternity consultant in the next few days that eased our worries and helped us learn how to care for her needs – this was included in the birth plan – that helped us tremendously, but things weren’t just right yet as our schedule was chaotic both when it came to feeding as well as sleeping. As I said earlier, we both wanted to be 100% involved in everything which meant that a week later we were both so sleep deprived that we couldn’t walk straight. Things had to change at that point otherwise we both would’ve grown extremely frustrated extremely quick. D decided that we should take turns, especially at night so that we both got at least 4 hours of sleep straight. This was a very hard and frustrating decision to make as the meant that each night one of us would sleep on the couch so that the other could get a sound sleep without any worries or baby monitors in the bedroom. This lasted for about two weeks and for me that was very hard as I was so used to sleeping next to him and I honestly missed him and at some point I was thinking that this is exactly how couples grow apart after having a baby. There was no way I was letting that happen!


This got resolved during the third week, when our paediatrician suggested we get her on a schedule of feeding her every three hours, no sooner nor later. Did I mention that baby Leia suffers from a condition called tongue-tie which prevents her from latching to my breast thus making it impossible for me to nurse her. At first I was affected by this, but later on I realised that this was a blessing in disguise, because it meant that I knew exactly how much milk she was getting and this allowed us to really put her on a feeding schedule and most importantly, it allowed D to feed her and really connect with her while I got some time to myself. So yes, I am pumping and I am loving it (I am using the Philips Avent pump and thus far I had no problems and as a matter of fact I love it but that is to be discussed in another post) and no, I do not think that I am missing out on anything!
There have been some adjustments needed because apparently baby Leia needs to be fed at four hours instead of three and with a larger quantity of milk, but that only means that we have more time between feeding and that our nights are much more manageable – she has a meal at 1 a.m and another one at 6 a.m. and thus far it worked wonderfully, but I have to say that I can’t wait for that moment when she will not need to be fed at night. Other than that, another issue that I can’t wait for her to outgrow it are colics. It is heartbreaking when we see her little face in so much pain and there is literally not much we can do about it. We were lucky enough thus far to not have such episodes during the night, apparently she prefers to have them between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and that is ok-ish or at least as ok-ish as colics can be.


D stayed at home for most of the first five weeks and that helped a lot and right now we have found the most amazing nanny, which allowed us to go about our lives (hence this blog post) and really focus on the important things about having a baby – education, learning through play, talking to her, taking care of ourselves etc. I am telling you – help is extremely important with a newborn it’s like we actually have a life again since we found her. She was recommended to us by the nanny agency called Synchronize Family. They are amazing as the managed to find her for us from the first try – she was our first interview!
Other than that, things have really been going perfectly and we couldn’t be happier despite the sleep deprivation (our nanny is not here 24 hours per day thus we still have to get up at night) and the fact that we still haven’t gone out with our friends yet, but I have a feeling that soon we will get there as well, it is just a matter of time. Being a parent is the hardest and the most beautiful job in the world and I think that we have never been happier in our lives. Baby Leia simply completes our little family and I have to be honest, I didn’t really understand the energy that children give us until I had one. She just fills our heart with joy and love every single second of every single day, despite the non-stop hard work we have to do.
L.

P.S: Even our dog gets involved as often as she can (she even woke me up one night because baby Leia was having a tantrum and we both were soundly sleeping) and yes, she is also sleep deprived and snores every time she gets the chance to take a nap!

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Baby Preparations: Going BRONDE!

With about five weeks to go until the bundle of joy will join our household, I decided to make a change in my appearance that hopefully will make both my life and D‘s life easier in terms of leaving the house. I strongly believe that everyone on this planet has a soft spot for long blonde locks and I make no exception from that rule. That said, having blonde hair – even though mine is not the lightest shade, I’m more of a 9A lover – is a pain in the ass as you need to re-do your roots every four weeks tops otherwise you just look terrible no matter what your natural hair colour is. Yes, I am well aware of the fact that today dark roots are ok, however, not grown-in dark roots but rather perfectly calculated darker roots.

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My hair before the colour process

With a new baby on the way, I’ve come to the conclusion that going religiously to the salon every four weeks for root touch-ups will be impossible in the beginning at least until we get into a routine, so I decided to try the much-coveted bronde-colour melt hair colour. This is kinda the compromise between having long blonde locks, bun not really having to go to the salon quicker than six-eight weeks (for me at least). My good friend and colour-guru, Maria and I decided on 7A roots because that matches my natural colour almost perfectly and that means that if I manage to squeeze in another colour appointment until the baby comes, the colour will actually catch on nicely – note: on chemically processed blonde, darker colours tend to require more than one try for the shade to actually last.

Tools used in the process

This whole bronde trend is quite lovely in a sense that it allows blonde-lovers like myself to still have lovely light locks while also having naturally coloured roots and therefore if you are a low-maintainance kinda gal and hate going to the salon monthly for about two-three hours for you colour service this is the way to go! I must admit that at first I was very skeptical as I am a blonde-all-the-way kinda gal and I was afraid that going darker plus being hormonal will result in a catastrophe, but, to be completely honest with you, I have never left Maria’s Hair Studio sad or unsatisfied. Plus, I do love a change from time to time! Here’s what my colour-master used to get this amazing, natural, trendy colour:

Technique

Now, do not ask me how much of each she put into the magic mix that got me this amazing colour, all I can say is that she used nothing on the tips and only blended the colouring cream for about a minute before rinsing it all out. Not really touching the tips is one of my obsessions as I try and protect them as much as possible. And no, pregnancy has not helped with my hair nor with my skin and as I’ve stated in an earlier post I am not complaining as I have not experimented the bad side of pregnancy either. The process has a bit out of the box in my opinion as she knew she did not necessarily need to colour my tips in order to get this perfect bronde shade so she used foil for this natural sun kissed-highlights effect which I must confess I had serious doubts at the beginning.

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The result

I now regret all those moments of doubt as I am way beyond in love with my new hair colour and if you really want to try this or any other colour trend with minimal damage to your hair you have to visit Maria’s Hair Studio as Maria’s first concern always is for the health of your natural hair and trying to do as little damage as possible while still giving you the desired result. The reason I am writing about this is because I was simply stunned yet again at how she managed to protect my natural fine hair while still giving me the desired result that most hairstylists give you with a full-length chemical colour. She amazes me and my hair with every single visit! I hope you love the end-result as much as I do!

L.

 

Nursery…

Finally we have arrived to the nursery-reveal post! I couldn’t wait to share these photos with you as we have put our heart and soul into making this room perfect for our little princess. FYI – the name tag on the door – handmade by Atelier Funky Fresh – is not the little bundle’s name but the way we are referring to her and probably will for a long time to come. I am not one for stamping the name of our baby everywhere in the room as that might influence her into being very selfish with her stuff and we do not want that. So no name revealing thus far, but we promise we will have a special name-revealing post in the near future. We need to do a lot of baby-oriented posts in the near future as she is actually coming in about 6-7 weeks from now, and lots of things need to be covered here (stroller of choice, baby monitor, baby bath sleeping snuggles and other clothing pieces we bought for her etc) as there is no telling when we will have the time to actually post stuff once she is here.

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First things first, obviously, like the rest of the house, this room is decorated in yellow and grey as despite us knowing that we were having a little girl, I hate pink as a main colour theme for a room. I would’ve gone for turquoise but I thought that was too boyish and yellow seemed to be the right choice especially since I do love a colour-coordinated home. Grey was the next obvious choice as nothing looks better with yellow than grey, especially where home-decor is involved. I must confess that once we set our colour-themes there is no flexibility around it and we absolutely need to find everything in those colours – note the bedding. Well actually I’m more of a nazi than D but he likes to play along.

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Door-decor : Handmade by Atelier Funky Fresh

Furniture : Pinio I’Ga sold by fleximo.ro

A bit on the actual room…The bed and the changing table along with the three-drawer chest are produced by Pinio and sold in Romania by Fleximo. The furniture line is called I’ga and it’s their newest one, hence the long waiting time to actually get it – about two months. We loved the quality of the materials, especially the fact that we could opt for grey-dotted textile elements and the fact that the bed can be used quite a while form now since it is 140 cm long and has three stages of transformation. Yes, it is a bit on the pricier side, but the fact that we can add different pieces of furniture as the little one grows and therefore we will not need to change the entire bedroom is something that made us splurge. Obviously I needed a bedding that perfectly matched the furniture and therefore we had to custom make it at MC Ana Concept. The quality of the cotton is fantastic and you get everything you need – two bed bumpers, a bed sheet, infant-pillow, comforter, nursery pillow, changing mattress and a very useful bed-pocket for about 100E. If you are like me and need to have everything colour co-ordinated and high-quality cotton this is the best I could find.

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Bedding : MC Ana Concept

For the nursery chair, we chose the one from Tutti Bambini which you can find at bebebrands.ro. I honestly wanted a chair like this one ever since I was a teenager but since this is a classic nursery chair it is only now that I found the logic in actually buying one. Yes, it bugs me that this one doesn’t have a grey cover, but to be honest, the moment I sit in it everything just fades away. The reality is that I edit all the blog photos sitting in this chair and I just love, love, love it and was worth every cent (it was about 200 E). Naturally our little sweetheart (dog) needed a crib of her own in the nursery as she usually follows me around everywhere and we really wanted her to be comfortable so we just had to find the perfect grey one for her. Now, before yo start objecting on her coming into contact with a newborn, let me tell you that she is well bathed and vaccinated and all her blood-work is to date, not to mention that animal-viruses do not pass on to humans. The most important aspect is that I really want our little girls to get along and love each other.

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Nursery chair : Tutti Bambini sold by bebebrands.ro

Carpet : vivre.ro

3-D Butterflies and Changing Mat both from vivre.ro

We bought the toy-box, basket, laundry-basket and wall pocket from bonami.ro as we just could not resist. They are produced by 3sprouts and you can find lots of colour combos online. They are exceptional quality and we think that our bundle of joy will use them for a long time. If I recall correctly we got them all for about 120 E because bonami.ro has lots of discounts every single day. Or changing mat is from NafNaf and we got it for about 15 E on vivre.ro. Also from vivre.ro we bought the lovely butterflies that completely changed the way the entire room looks as well as the carpet which is so fluffy that we literally just want to sit on it all day long. The moonlight and melody projections mobile is from Skip Hop and we just loved the fact the it works well with the animal theme as well as the fact that it is remote controlled. All the blankets and the cloths are from Jollein but we will shortly stack up on other brands as well as we heard that we will need loads of cloths if we do not want to do laundry every single day. As a diper garbage bin, the best option I could find in Romania is the Angelcare Captiva Deluxe which I honestly hope is efficient but I will keep you updated on that.

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Laundry bag, toy box, toy basket, wall storage : 3Sprouts sold by bonami.ro

Baby cloths: Jollein sold by fleximo.ro

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Moonlight and melody projections mobile : Skip Hop sold by fleximo.ro

We are extremely proud of our nursery and we actually do spend quite a lot of time there and I think that by the time the bundle of joy will enter our lives we will be sick and tired of this room, but love it none-the-less. As you can see, the little one has already started to receive toys and I have a feeling that soon the whole room will be filled with lovely plush toys. But let’s be clear, the huge penguin is mine and D won it for me at a fair in Dubai almost two years ago. Scratee is also mine and D bought it for me for St. Nicholas exactly 6 years ago. If the little one will not take good care of those toys, I will have to take them away from her as I really love them.

L.

 

 

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!)

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.