This might not be your typical maternity outfit but it really works in so many ways. Other that is not so typical for pregnant women to wear head to toe white or cream as, well, all the curves are showing already in the second trimester, there are ways to wear it in combination with print and black to bread the head to toe one tone and to emphasize the waist and break the body curve.


MATERNITY WEAR OR REGULAR CLOTHES SIZE BIGGER?

For me this wasn't the question when I was pregnant with Anabela, I literally got all black maternity essentials and then combined them with floaty dresses and tunics I already had in my regular size closet. 

What I do not feel at all comfortable wearing are pants and skirts so in this pregnancy as with my first I invested in Mamalicious over the bump leggings in basic black, navy and grey colors. These are suppppper comfortable to wear casual, for a workout or dressy with the wool sweater and over the knee boots. 



Another thing I am getting in large quantity is pregnancy, over the belly tights in tan and black color as I do wear a lot of dresses during pregnancy. The last thing you want or need at this challenging life period is having pants or tights cutting into the middle of your belly, so do not save on comfortable bottoms during pregnancy.

ANIMAL PRINT ACCESSORY

Those of you who read my blog for a while know I am not shy to wear animal print or any other print or color for that matter. For this #ootd post, I was inspired by Mango's last collection with beautiful chunky knitted wool and cashmere pieces in nude. 


Mango is where I got this super soft and comfortable knitted maxi strap dress (I got it in size bigger than usual not to feel super tight over my belly) which I then styled with organic cotton black t-shirt from H&M, I used my black eco-leather jacket from Free People to break the all beige silhouette and snake-skin boots from Mango to add a pop of print to the look.


These boots are not made for walking and I also got them in size bigger i.e. my prego swelling feet as these do not have a zipper closure but are rather pull on kind of knee-high boots.


I do hope you enjoyed my take on maternity clothing in this post, of course, this is not the outfit I would wear to park with Anabela, I would just switch the boots for black leather sneakers and pray to God my toddler doesn't spill anything on the nude dress 😂, because let's face it, wearing light colors for a mother is really living on the edge.


Shop this look & some super comfy maternity pieces:

         





Most of us parents to get more interested and start refreshing our basic school knowledge on pregnancy, delivery and baby development when we first become pregnant.

When I was pregnant with Anabela we did cord blood and cord tissue collection and it was truly quick and easy process, I talked about it a bit in my blog post The Best Pregnancy Tips By Trimester.

To provide you with accurate and trusted information about this important topic which often comes with some controversy, I interviewed the doctor Ann Smith from Smart Cells team and also enriched this post with useful information provided from their press release.

WHAT IS THE CORD BLOOD AND THE CORD TISSUE?

We do know that the umbilical cord (basically, a tube which connects the fetus with the placenta) is responsible for providing oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the growing embryo.

After the baby is born, umbilical cord is cut. But even after the birth of the baby, there will be some amount of blood remaining in the umbilical cord and in the placenta. This blood is called cord blood (CB) or placental blood. Around 180 ml of cord blood can be collected right after the birth of the baby.

"Not just the cord blood, but the cord tissue also contains Mesenchymal stem cells."

"Umbilical cord blood and tissue are both a rich source of, particularly potent stem cells. A cord blood stem cell transplant can be used to replace diseased cells with healthy new cells and rebuild an individual’s blood and immune system."; said, Dr. Smith.

WHAT ARE THE STEM CELLS?

Mesenchymal stem cells are multipotent stromal cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types, including bone cells (osteoblasts), cartilage cells (chondrocytes), muscle cells (myocytes) and fat cells (adipocytes).

"Cord blood contains hematopoietic stem cells and cord tissue is rich in mesenchymal stem cells which means they have varying clinical uses." Dr. Ann Smith continued.

WHAT MAKES THE UMBILICAL CORD BLOOD SO VALUABLE?

 The presence of blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells that offer a life-saving status to the cord blood.

WHAT IS THE CHANCE OF A MATCH FOR YOUR CHILD OR HER SIBLING? 

The sample is a 100% match for the baby and can also potentially be used for a sibling transplant. Siblings have a 1 in 4 chance of matching and it can potentially match other family members too.

HOW IS THE PROCESS DONE AND WHEN SHOULD PARENTS GET THE COLLECTION SET?

It is ideal to book the service 4-6 weeks before the baby’s due date. The process is very straightforward and once you have made your decision and confirmed your booking, the Smart Cells team will organize and send a stem cell collection kit to your home.

The sample is collected straight after the birth and is performed by a trained and licensed healthcare professional. This could be a private obstetrician or midwife or an assigned phlebotomist depending on your hospital.

Once the sample is collected it will be picked up by a courier and brought to our laboratory ready for processing and storage.

WHAT ARE THE AVERAGE COSTS OF COLLECTION AND STORAGE?

The average cost of the umbilical cord blood and cord tissue service is £2545 with annual fees applied as required. I hope you got enough information in this post to make an educated decision on the cord blood and cord tissue collection. 

           If you do not choose to collect it, it gets thrown into the trash and it can possibly be life-saving for your children or family members. We all think serious illness will not happen to our family but unfortunately, it can happen to anyone. 

The medicine is progressing very fast, stem cells are already used to treat most serious illnesses with great results, the price you pay for 20-30 year storage is very cheap in comparison to the pain and suffering of having a seriously ill child.

I found this recipe when searching for a cookie recipe I can make using essential oils, more specifically peppermint oil. I absolutely love chocolate and peppermint mixture, my favorite holiday drink is Starbucks peppermint mocha, my daughter seems like also enjoys the mix of the cool and sweet so this recipe will I see already, become our family's holiday staple.

Another positive thing is that it is ridiculously easy to make and quite quick. It takes about 15 minutes to mix the dry ingredients together, separately wet ingredients and then combine the two.
I made 24 cookies in two batches of 12 cookies out of this mixture and it was baked on 190C or 375F for 12 minutes each batch.

The cookies will be soft when you take them off the oven, that is ok. Let them rest for a few minutes before placing them on a plate. They are deliciously fudgy, not too sweet, a perfect treat with morning coffee or tea. Store them in this box for up to a week. They can also be frozen and defrosted.

Important note, do not put more than 3 drops of edible essential peppermint oil, three drops are more than enough for the whole dough mixture. Measure the essential oil in the small spoon and then add it to liquid ingredient mixture.

INGREDIENTS 

Dry ingredients:
1 cup (236 g) of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of organic cacao powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp of baking soda

Wet ingredients:
1 flax egg (vegan version) or regular egg for non-vegan
1/2 cup of vegan butter or regular butter for non-vegan
3 drops of peppermint edible essential oil (I used Dottera oil)
3/4 cup of dark chocolate chopped in small chunks (I used 70% dark organic chocolate with pollen)
1 cup of organic coconut sugar (brown sugar or other substitutes you are using)
1/2 tsp of white vinegar (important to react with baking soda)


DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 190C / 375F.
2. Mix with a spoon dry ingredients together in medium size bowl.
3. In a separate, medium-size bowl beat together butter with coconut sugar (or sugar of your choice) until well combined. Add egg and mix well for 2 minutes until you get a thick batter. Add vinegar and peppermint essential oil, mix to combine.
4. Spoon together with wooden spatula dry and wet ingredients until completely combined in the compact mass. Add dark chocolate chips/chunks and mix to combine.
5. Prepare a baking dish covered with parchment paper.
6. Form little balls out of the batter using your hands and place them without pressing on them with 1-2 cm in between on a baking dish.
7. Bake for 12 minutes on 190C / 275 F.

Let cookies cool on a drying rack for 2-4 minutes before moving them or eating them, although our first batch didn't last that long! :)

Enjoy and if you make these, please let me know how you liked them in comment bellow! :)

Our little family is growing, we are soon to be five. Several years after our first, furry child Papi, we welcomed our very active toddler daughter Anabela who is now (most of the days) very excited to become a little baby sister.

BABY'S GENDER

I am due beginning of April 2019 with another very active baby-girl, meaning, I am now in 19th week but judging by my first pregnancy with Bela and this new babygirl's activity in the belly (read: kicking me and moving like crazy already :)) I might give birth early again. We found out gender quite early as we opted to do NIPT blood test which detects several illnesses like Down Syndrom, Edwards etc. early and also detect gender with above 98% accuracy.

Both Ante and I wondered how it would be to have a boy and we wanted to have kids both genders, but I have to also be honest and say I was a bit relieved to find out it is another girl. Ante said the same. We kind of know what to do and feel semi-ready. Both of us are now refreshing our newborn care knowledge.

When we started talking about it we realized that we suppressed a whole lot of Anabela's first 6 months in our memory probably due to chronic lack of sleep, new parent fears and well... otherwise I am not sure we would be courageous enough to go for another one! 😀

Books in Croatian: 'Godine Prve Zasto su Vazne' by Milivoj Ivancevic.
Books in English: 'The Whole Brain Child' and 'No Drama Discipline' by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.

These are some great books I am currently reading, planning to read or re-reading to prepare for the new baby girl:

         


ALL THE MOMMY FEELS 

Most of my friends and family know I am not what one would call a picture perfect pregnant women. I am sure most would say I seem grumpy or acting a bit in denial, doing everything as usual, as I am not pregnant. This is probably because I hate to use pregnancy as an excuse not to do something so I try to really do everything as usual with more attention on getting enough sleep (not really happening with Anabela around), on eating healthier and exercising regularly.

Pregnancy is truly a gift and a blessing, you realize that once you learn about all the families, some of my friends included, who have a very hard time getting pregnant. With this second pregnancy we were trying for several months mostly due to the fact that my boyfriend travels a lot, finally, we managed to get pregnant during this past Summer when we were on vacation, relaxed and away from stress, work, and frequent traveling.


On the other hand, I definitely am not the type to romanticize this 9-month experience which although it is truly remarkable and highly emotional it is not easy on women body, mind, emotions or life in general.

FIRST TRIMESTER

The first trimester I had plenty of nausea, less vomiting then what I had with Anabela but I was very tired and super sensitive to smell. After week 12 (3 months) my energy level went up again and this is when I resumed with my weekly workouts (which I suspended in the first trimester) and I started to work more hours more productively.



My belly has shown much earlier with this second pregnancy and I also gained a couple of kilos more than with Anabela during the same period.

MOMMY CLOTHES

As sometimes with pregnancy in general, I was particularly in denial to finally start wearing more comfortable pregnancy underwear and clothes which although it has improved in style over the last years there still aren't as many options as with regular clothing.

My favorite pregnancy clothing items to invest in are definitely prego, over the belly tights and denim by Mamalicious, wrap dresses by Seraphine and sweaters by Hatch. The tartan print fanny pack on the photo is from Topshop and sweater is from Mango.

Asos, H&M and New Look on the more economic side also have great choices of maternity and nursing clothes. Since recently Zara and Mango have introduced maternity items as well.

Mommy clothes:

         

The classic piece, every closet staple - the all mighty classic trench coat is one of those pieces you are recommended to invest in and wear over and over again as it never gets out of style. It is a perfect transitional piece which will take you from early Spring to late Fall or in the warmer climate like Spain's, it might be warm enough to wear all Winter long.

This investment piece also makes a fabulous holiday gift for your loved one, male or female. It is easy to style and so versatile it can be worn in a dressy and casual way, from morning park run with kids to evening night out in town.

HOW TO STYLE CLASSIC TRENCH?

 Depending on the occasion, I like to style classic caramel trench with accessory in pop colors like bright red, orange, pink and prints like leopard print, navy stripes as well as neutral pastel hues (beige, light pink, baby blue) or classic black and white for an everyday casual look.

The knee length trench is probably the most flattering as it fits perfectly when worn over cigarette trousers, skinny jeans, and booties, or for a more formal look a knee-length dress or a pencil skirt and a pair of classic stiletto heels.


On a casual day when I take my daughter to the park and to run errands, I wear a classic trench with my New Jersey Nets navy baseball hat, striped long sleeve t-shirt or a hoody, skinny jeans or cashmere sweats and the most often with a pair of classic white Converse sneakers.

WHAT TO ACCESSORIZE CLASSIC TRENCH WITH?

As you probably know by now if you read my posts frequently I always find a way to add some leopard print to any outfit! 😃 In fact, other than navy stripes, leopard print is my second favorite pattern to accessorize classic trench with. For this posts #OOTD, I added a touch of leopard with Zara red and leopard print neck scarf. For a color pop, I like to add classic Chanel red lipstick.


Other then silk scarf worn around the neck, you can braid it in your hair, tie it around your wrist or ankle or around the belt of your purse.


On top, I like to add a wool hat in one shade darker caramel which not only protects you from cold Fall wind but it also rounds up your outfit beautifully into a complete look. Black, navy or military green hats work equally well.


When it comes to a strong print like leopard print I like to keep it contained and wear it in touches like as a heel detail on suede booties or as simple pointy-toe bow flats.

How do you style your classic trench?

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