Miu Miu 2015

As Meryl Streep as editor in Devil Wear's Prada comments (almost every Spring collection everywhere): "Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking!". Why don't you give a try to beautiful bird print this Spring?

For a while now I got my eyes on a number of brands carrying fabulous bird print button up shirts, dresses and sweatshirts or if you want to go more 'couturish' feather skirts, dresses, hats (or just like Carrie from S&TC the whole bird) and shoes, pieces which you can wear with t-shirt and not necessarily only for celebratory occasions like New Years or as part of an evening look.

My personal favorite bird print is certainly swan and swallow print. Both prints, especially swan print was ultra popular last Summer but I plan to rock it this Spring as well, especially in pastel blue and pink colors.

SWALLOW PRINT


Christian Wijnants SS 2015.


Shop more swallow print items:




SWAN PRINT


When it comes to swan print last season we could see many celebs wearing swan print t-shirts and sun bathing on gold or white blow up swans. My favorite swan pieces are certainly dresses with swan collars and mini swan print maxi dresses and skirts.

This Summer I'll look for swan print outfits for my baby girl Anabela as well. :)



Valentino Swan Print Collar Shirt

Valentino Swan Collar Dress


Shop more swan print items:



What is your bird of choice lovelies? :)
XoXo

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Startas Sneakers

Personally I will always be an advocate of slow fashion then mass produced poor quality items made by children or workers in third world countries who work in inhumane conditions and are paid peanuts for their hard work. 

I honestly believe you get this bad karma with mass produced products along with let's face it - poor quality which rarely lasts for more then one season which is not only bad for your valet but also for your style and the nature.  

For the past few years whenever I can I try to shop for clothes and accessory from small local designers or those who produce in their own countries and pay fair wages to their workers.

RICH HISTORY & BRAND HERITAGE.


Unlike Keds, Vans and Superga which produce their sneakers in third world countries, Startas are made in the same factory in Vukovar, Croatia where they were born almost 40 years ago (1976). Over the years Startas became a cult phenomenon and an iconic symbol of Croatian culture. Startas were more than just sneakers, they represented a way of life. 

BALLERINA

Photo: Marko Mihaljevic




BOROSANA




BOROMINA




Sadly, during the 1990s much of Vukovar and the Startas factory were destroyed during Croatia’s war for independence. Startas production was put on hold for years until the city and the factory could rebuild. It has taken some time, but Startas are back stronger then ever representing the resilience of Vukovar and Croatian unique cultural heritage.


HANDMADE WITH LOVE IN CROATIA.


Startas are a throwback to a time when sneakers, like most things, were made by people who mastered the subtleties of their craft. It still takes one hour— from start to finish—to create each pair of Startas, using only traditional techniques and vintage, manually operated equipment.




RENEWABLE NATURAL MATERIALS.


Startas were originally designed for table tennis players with flexibility, grip, and comfort in mind. Natural materials were purposely chosen because they did the job better and simpler. We continue to use premium natural, renewable materials, like canvas and natural gum rubber (yes, the kind of rubber that comes from a tree and not a lab) for our sneakers. 


Young designer who is accredited with fresh, young and chic print behind Startas sneakers and Boromina design sandals (which are another cool product of Borovo) is Iva Curkovic. Iva draws the print herself on the paper or on the computer for each new Startas design and finds her inspiration in nature in film and all that surrounds her.

Startas sneakers can now be purchased in more then 90 stores in Croatia, Singapore and Australia but also thanks to Robert and Michelle Grgurev on US market via Startas-USA webshop.



Pink Startas high top sneakers with unicorn print have been recently featured and recommended by Vogue US and are now available for preorder here.

Last Summer I also purchased my favorite Borovo shoes - Borosana's in pink & black lace.

A photo posted by Katarina Stimac (@lakatwalk) on


I am really hoping that the Borovo company will continue to grow and significantly improve their marketing, PR efforts and online shop in Europe as currently they are doing much better job with promoting the Startas brand in US then they are in Croatia or Europe in general.

Which model of Borovo shoes is your favorite?

XoXo


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Before I share the best pregnancy tips I got from my doctor and my girlfriends I want to share some background on what is and what it was my approach and my feelings towards pregnancy from conception planning until today when I am in my third trimester or 8th month (or more precisely 32 weeks and 3 days).

I started drinking folic acid and prenatal vitamins 3 months before we tried to conceive and I keep drinking them throughout the pregnancy. I read a lot about the pregnancy before hand just to see what to expect and I now I feel like media overwhelmingly glamorizes it. 

So far, I concluded the following to be most likely true: 'every pregnancy is different' and 'every women reacts differently to pregnancy'. The way you react to pregnancy will depend on how mature you are, what are your expectations and what kind of support you have from your loved ones.

I didn't 'enjoy' most of my pregnancy but I tried to adapt to it, stay positive, not let it take over my life, act and do all things normally and take it as something I need to go through to have my fabulous baby. 

PREPARING FOR PARENTHOOD - TALK TO YOUR PARTNER. 


My boyfriend and I talked about having kids, going through pregnancy together, discussed our general views and expectations about parenting, politics, religion, dad role, mum role, family finances, raising our kids in multinational/multilingual environment moving our family around from country to country and settling at the end of his career in one country (he is a professional athlete) etc. long before we tried for a baby. 

Source: www.sassymags.com

I think having these conversations is super important, because these topics might not be something that will come up during morning coffee or dinner with friends but are topics which might create a lot of issues and disappointments later on if expectations are not met. However, with the excitement, stress, lack of sleep, pains and fears you experience in first months of your first baby's life you might not find an appropriate time, enough poise and patience to discuss these topics alongside of a crying baby and sleep deprived partner.

Of course, there is no perfect life, perfect relationship and a perfect family but it is also not comfortable to realize that you and your partner have complete opposite views and expectations from parenting once you already get pregnant and deliver a baby. Compromises are definitely possible and very needed in any relationship (with or without a baby) but you cannot change a person in their 20's or 30's anymore.

FIRST TRIMESTER.


My first trimester was the hardest, I had morning (better say evening) sickness up to week 12, mostly during late afternoon up until 2am at night, so it was hard to fall asleep. Although I am a big coffee drinker I couldn't even smell coffee, it was harder for me to concentrate on work and I didn't feel like dressing nicely and wearing make up. 

Morning Sickness Remedies.

1. Light exercise. Walking on a thread mill (with incline for 30min) and light weights training for legs and arms which I did 3-4x/week when I didn't feel to nauseous. 

2. Sea-band. I also got sea-band bracelets which helped me to fall asleep and go through the day while feeling nauseous.

3. Proper nutrition. I really made sure I ear lots of fruits and veggies (steamed) and I didn't feel like eating meat but I forced myself to have some well done grilled chicken 2-3x/week. 

I mostly avoided sweets or any food which will not help baby grow and develop and occasionally made Coffee Rice Pudding which helped me feel less nauseous. 

Also, I always kept sugar free (probiotic) yogurt and multigrain croissant in the kitchen in case I can't fall asleep or eat anything else during the day from nausea, I had some and it really helped.


4. Pregnancy + App. I started using mobile app Pregnancy+ from the first day of pregnancy, it helped me with many useful daily tips, kept me focused on the goal (the baby) and counting down the days until first trimester is over. I kept using it. It's free to download and then after certain week it prompts you to pay $3.99 to continue to use it, do it, it's worth of it.

5. Cosmetics. Start using cream to prepare your nipples for breast-feeding and against stretch-marks! I used Trofolastin Elasticity brand and/or Croatian eco-brand Biobaza for both. My doctor compliments me on the soft belly skin on every check up LOL! :)

SECOND TRIMESTER.


My second trimester was the easiest physically and emotionally, I had lots more energy and my stomach started growing. We already found out the gender of the baby and got results from NIPT test so we could relax knowing the baby has no fetal chromosomal abnormalities. We agreed on the name - Anabela. :) and started painting and decorating her room.

In second trimester I started feeling baby moving (flutters: feels like you have a fish swimming through your stomach and then gentle kicks around 5 month). My doctor recommended to take more vitamins in this trimester so on top of folic acid and prenatal vitamins in the morning I started taking iron supplement after lunch and calcium with dinner.


I started walking more fast pace and stretching (3x/day with my dog) vs. going to the gym. 

The challenge of second trimester is finding a comfortable but chic clothing to wear. There is no point in crying over 'normal' clothes you can't wear anymore so I washed, folded and stored them all away. I investigated and ordered some very chic pregnancy basics (which I could wear again if I ever have another baby) and built a fairly fabulous maternity closet. 

Read more in bellow two posts:
Glama Mama -  The Chicest Maternity Holiday Dresses.
The Best Maternity Clothing Stores Online.

Both my boyfriend and I started reading about pregnancy and I got some great books to recommend! Even though I  babysat for years kids of all ages I learned some really great things from these books which helped me feel more prepared.

For Croatian readers: "Godine Prve Zasto su Vazne" by Milivoj Jovančević and "Mama zna najbolje (i tata)" by Marina Knežević Bariša. My boyfriend read: "Knjiga za Tate: Za Tatu koji je najbolji u svemiru" by Michael Heatley.

For English readers: "Shit no one tells you" by Dawn Dais, "Mayo Clinic Guide to Healthy Pregnancy", "Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby's First Year".

THIRD TRIMESTER.


Third trimester is similar to second but with a larger belly and more kicking! :) Here again you are anxiously looking at the count down on your Pregnancy + app and can't wait to meet the baby!

From the week 32 you will start having ultrasound checkups every 2 weeks.


If you are finished with setting up your nursery, you got all the baby essentials: car seat, stroller, crib and basic clothing and cosmetics now it's the time for final touches on decorating. We added some of our favorite Disney character illustrations to the wall and got some toys and decorative blankets for the room.

Now is the time to prepare a hospital bag for your baby and for yourself. I posted the video on all things I packed in PacaPod fabulous pregnancy bag HERE and will soon post a video with all the things I packed in a hospital bag for myself.

My boyfriend and I decided to store baby's cord blood and tissue and since we live in Europe we went with UK company Future Health BioBank which has a contract with private hospital we are having our baby in. We got a kit to take to hospital with us within a day from signing contract. With one payment of about 1900 Euro you are covered for 30 years of storage.

EXTRA TIP! 


Try to enjoy your pregnancy and embrace good and bad things it brings. 
You will not be always smiley, happy pregnant women but try to take pregnancy as a different new experience in your life without to much drama. 

Try not to buy into all of the stereotypes about pregnancy and try not to push it to much on your partner and your friends, be respectful of their needs and their lives even when your pregnancy is at the center of your interest.
________

I hope some of these tips will help you navigate through your pregnancy easier! 
Please do share additional tips which can help new mum's in comment bellow.

XoXo

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Those who know me personally will tell you that I am equal part fashionista and a geek. I love, love technology and how it helps us connect, look more chic and makes our everyday lives easier.

Wearable technology is buzz word in fashion now and it's here to stay! The craze goes beyond pricy connected eyewear like Google Glass and smart timepieces such as Apple's iWatch.

Designers are now designing or better say engineering smart apparel, accessories and fitness wear that can do everything from monitor your heart rate to charge your smartphone.


Iris Apfel known by her signature look and chunky bracelet layering is an ideal fashionista choice to be a celebrity ambassador of this brand. Iris collaborated on WiseWear luxurious bracelet designs for Spring 2016 Socialite collection. 

WHAT DOES IT DO?


Wise Wear are smart, chic and fashionable metal bracelets which help you stay connected - get real-time texts, emails, calendar reminders with gentle vibration of bracelet and more with custom alert settings, safe - with a simple tap, send a distress signal to your emergency contacts in seconds where it sends your geo location, sound and/or video recording to pre-approved emergency contacts and healthy - tracks your activity via biometrics data (step count, calories burned, distance traveled, time active/inactive) and more throughout the day.


THE SOCIALITE APPLICATION.


The Socialite app will be available for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, as soon as the collection is officially released.


The Socialite app allows you to set up a network of pre-approved contacts who will be notified when you need help. In the event of an urgent situation, tap your bracelet three times to alert your network. You can customize your touch patterns through the Socialite app. Once you tap your bracelet, your contacts will receive a text message, with a drop pin to your location via Google or Apple maps.


QUALITY & PRICE.


The bracelets are water resistant, they are made out of nonporous materials (brass and plated in precious metals such as gold and palladium) which guarantees longevity while single battery charge can last for up to 3 days. All bracelets are designed with an inner circumference of 6.7 inches.


I am sooo putting this gold Calder model on my 'want' list!


WiseWear bracelet comes in 3 elegant and luxurious models: the Kingston, the Calder and the Duchess and each is available in 2 colors: silver and gold and it's now available for preorder for $299.95. Socialite will be ready for shipping in early 2016.

What is your view on wearable tech? 
Are you excited to give it a try or you think it's a bit much?
I would love to hear your point of view, leave it in a comment bellow.

XoXo


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Original recipe from here.


I made a soup with red lentil (anything actually with red lentil) for the first time today and I choose a recipe for creme Moroccan red lentil & carrot soup as I tried similar recipe in one of the Barcelona restaurants and loved it.

This soup (if spicy peppers are not used) is perfect meal to warm you up on a cold Winter day! It's a very healthy choice for pregnant women like me and athletes like my boyfriend as it is packed with protein, vitamin A, beta carotene and fiber which helps pregnant women with digestion among other things. 

Since I like my cream soups a bit thicker I just made a meal out of it and ate it with small bowl of salad and whole wheat toast covered with olive oil salt & pepper. 

INGREDIENTS


2 soup spoons of olive oil
1 sweet onion (I used regular white onion)
3 cloves of garlic 
7 carrots
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric (I didn't use it)
2 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups red lentils (rinse it very well, until water runs clear)
1-15 oz/ 1 small can of diced tomatoes
6 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish: fresh cilantro & lemon juice.
Use crushed red pepper seeds to garnish or spicy ones to add a kick to your soup.

DIRECTIONS

Chop onions and mince garlic and sauté until soft. Add spices (cumin, turmeric, coriander, paprika and cinnamon) and sauté for few minutes and add chopped carrots for 8-10 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, vegetable broth and lentils and cook for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft. Add some vegetable broth or warm water if to thick. Use blender to mix and make a cream soup. Add a teaspoon of sour cream, fresh cilantro and lemon juice to garnish.

I made a lot of this soup so I froze a few portions to use for dinners when I don't feel like cooking. 
Let me know how you liked it if you try it! :)

Bon appetite! :) 

XoXo


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As cliche or as ordinary as it might be to set new goals for yourself at the beginning of the new calendar year I say any day is a good day to start making plan's to improve your life and grow as a person so why not do it on or a bit before January 1st of new 2016? 

New year indeed does mark a fresh new start which is somewhat a motivation on it's own, it just feels like a fresh, new,clean page to start writing on. What is your stand on making new years resolutions and plans? Are you more of a skeptic, a dreamer or a doer? 

There is nothing wrong with being either of the three if you are really, truly happy and there is nothing you would like to change about your life. If you feel like there are things you would like to work on and change read on to see how you can progress from being a skeptic or a dreamer to becoming a doer. 

SKEPTICS vs. DREAMERS vs. DOERS 


SKEPTICS


Let's be honest, there are always skeptics, people who spend last days of old year sharing facebook posts and mimes on how ridiculous it is to set new years goals and resolutions and who make fun of those people who attempt to make a change in their life for the better. The skeptics are most often those who get little done and are left with excuses at the end. Those who continue to live their daily routine with which they are not happy with but don't have strenght and will power to change it so they spend their time on bashing and making fun of those who do. Not really productive right? :)

DREAMERS

Dreamers or how I like to call them artists or procrastinators (this was me when I was younger) have big and beautiful, colorful, usually really creative and innovative dreams which they keep in their heads but never really put on the paper, sometimes because they are doubting themselves a little bit and sometimes they say they will just 'do it tomorrow' so time goes by and new year comes and they just kind of remain as wishes but never turn into actual plans.

DOOERS


Doers are those people who put their wishes and dreams on the paper no matter how crazy they might be, rework them into actionable plan and get to work TODAY with no excuses. These are people who get stuff done. They might narrow down their goals to most 'safe' ones and sometimes cut themselves short on creativity maybe but they get stuff done and improve step by step every year.

WHAT DO DOERS DO?

Some of the tips which might ensure that your wishes are turned into goals which are then set and organized into an actionable plan with higher success rate are bellow. These have worked for me through the years like a charm and I keep trying to make them more focused and keep learning something new about myself every year when I review how I did in previous year.




1. Take an hour of quite alone time this weekend to brainstorm and self-reflect. Turn your mobile and your laptop off.  Close the door. Sit in silence. Breathe. Relax. Think.

2. Write all of your wishes & dreams on a big piece of paper no matter how many there are or how ridiculous they might seem to achieve today. Do it slowly, keep writing. What are all the roles you have in life? What are your family, work, fitness, health or self improvement goals?

*****Ok, so far, easy peasy, I promise you this will work!****

3. Group your goals into up to 5 categories (family goals, relationship goals, self improvement etc.) and erase those which are repetitive. Read one more time through all goals and see if there are some which are really not that important for you if there are such, just erase them.



4. Consider (and be honest with yourself) which of these goals are realistically achievable in 366 days? Separate those goals which are long term goals (more then 1 year needed to achieve them) and those achievable in one year. 

5. Check if your short term goals (those achievable within a year) are feeding into and contributing to achieving your long term goals. If they are not, maybe you want to re-consider the long term goals.

6. Try to have up to  5 goals set for this year. Rewrite each and start with a verb and then add an action to it or "How I will achieve it" (example. Loose weight - exercise 3x /week,  Save money - set direct deposit to savings account from paycheck). 

7. How are you going to measure your goal achievement progress at the end of each month? Write a measure next to each goal (example. Loose weight - exercise 3x/week - loose 1.5 kg/month, Save money - set direct deposit to savings account from paycheck - 100 Euro).

8. Set a start date and schedule a time in your planner to review your progress weekly or monthly.(example. Loose weight - exercise 3x/week - loose 1.5 kg/month - start January 1st - Monday - Wednesday - Friday, Save money - set direct deposit to savings account from paycheck - 100 Euro - review the amount saved last Sunday of each month).

Lastly, don't be to hard on yourself if you fail here and there, just get right back on it. We can all have a bad day! Award yourself, encourage yourself! Positive self talk is very important. 


If you are using a notebook planner or an agenda consider  LaKatWalk limited edition 2016. planner  which is made exclusively for women, fits perfectly into any purse (even those small ones) and contains special categories and accessory (small mirror inside of front cover to check make up) which women need to organize their daily life. The price is 14.99 Euro and you can buy it   HERE.



If you are interesting to read more about this topic also consider my previous two similar articles:

5 tips for setting achievable new years resolutions.
Resolutions: Why we make them and why we break them?


Year 2016 has 366 days so you have one extra day to make your dreams and wishes come true! :)


What are some of your goals for 2016?
Share them bellow in comments!

XoXo


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