Monthly Archives

August 2015

Favorite Finds, Sabina's Life

Top knot + favorite find

Half top-knot, half bun, half up half down, half updo…whatever you call it, I’m crazy excited that my hair is finally long enough to do it!  I used to live in top knots when my hair was long, so this feels sort of like coming home after a very long trip – easy, familiar, comfortable…yes!  And so nice to finally have a quick dirty-hair solution ( don’t judge 😉 and don’t judge the roots ;))  Speaking of excited, I’m super thrilled about my new necklace from Chrissy and the lovely gals at Layered + Long.  I’m not much of a jewelry kind-of-girl, but I wanted to something to wear, something close to my heart, to show my love for my little ones.

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I’ve been searching for something delicate for ages, but haven’t come across anything that spoke to me, that is, until one day when I was browsing Etsy and stumbled upon Layered + Long.  I found myself oohing and aahing over all the beautiful, delicate pieces.  I was (barely) able to narrow it down to two – a personalized Extra Small Skinny Bar Necklace and a Tiny Gold Triangle Necklace

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I wear the pieces 24/7, and am absolutely in love.  And, fyi, they are the perfect gifts for baby showers!  Want to snag one for yourself?  Of course you do!  And you’re in luck, because they have so generously offered a coupon code for all BLANQI girls!  Just use BLANQI10 upon checkout for your special discount, and enjoy your own piece of Layered and Long.

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About the mama behind Layered +  Long:

“My name is Chrissy Lavdovsky, and I’m the designer of the jewelry brand Layered + Long. I live on a cliff overlooking the ocean in the historical town of La Conner, Washington. My jewelry line focuses on delicate, minimal necklaces that look elegant on their own or layered with other pieces. I like to play with the juxtaposition of feminine and edgy and combine strong geometric forms and clean lines with touches of sparkle and color.  I’ve always had a strong need to create; my primary inspiration is making things that people love. I was that kid who would make the teacher some crazy over-achieving present (that she had no idea what to do with, I’m sure). I graduated with a degree in art history, then ended up at Goldman Sachs selling bonds in Chicago. It didn’t take me long to realize I should be pursuing a more creative path…It all began on my living room floor with my 2-year-old and dog beside me. I found selling on Etsy to be the perfect outlet for me, and Layered + Long quickly grew into what is now: my dream come true.”

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Image:  Chrissy Lavdovsky

BLANQI City Spotlight

San francisco. los angeles. palo alto
the team behind mom’s the word gives us the must-see, must-do scoop

 

What – Mom’s The Word – fashion for the fashionable girl, bump and beyond

We love the team at Mom’s The Word, and just had to stop by for a visit on our last trip to LA!  They carry the most beautiful, transitional maternity pieces ( including BLANQI, of course ;)) and are the sweetest team around!  Pregnant?  Head into their store for the best personal styling in the most laid-back, comfortable environment.  Austin will charm you with his Southern roots, and if you’re lucky, you may catch Sarah and Emily who normally head up the San Francisco and Palo Alto locations – funny and sweet as can be, they’ll make you feel as though you’ve been friends for life!

We took the opportunity to ask them for the inside scoop on San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Palo Alto – where to go, what to see – read more below!

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Sarah, Austin, and Emily

First off – the team behind mom’s the word –

  • Sara is the founder of Mom’s the Word – Sarah loves getting dressed every morning  loved getting dressed when she was pregnant.  It was a challenge some days, but she’s a girl who likes a fashion challenge.  Her girlfriends?  Not so much. They dreaded it. She would say “Let’s go maternity shopping! You’re so cute! You’re a size 4,why are you wearing a size 14?!”  Why? Because the maternity clothes were, for the most part, terrifying.  And she knew that this did not have to be the case, and she knew how insanely important it was to feel good-from that awkward in-between time to that “I feel like a house, please I don’t want to look like one” time.  She knew that bringing life into the world did not have to mean the death of fashion, in fact, she loved watching friends who maybe weren’t so into fashion say “I look better than I did before I was pregnant!” She wanted a place where women could come and have a great time, and feel good about how they looked.
  • Austin is not only is a phenomenal stylist, he is a major fashion history buff! Ask him anything, he’ll give you the low-down (and a brief, colorful history of West Hollywood while he’s at it). His dapper, vintage style only accentuates his charm! Ask him about his vintage tie collection…we think it’s pretty awesome  – And, yes, who doesn’t love Austin?  The celebs call on him regularly.  Again.  No names.  He hates the paparazzi on behalf of his girls.)
  • Emily loves her designers and wears prints well. (Tory, Trina and Marc might want to consider sending her a personal thank you card:) She always looks chic, fresh and put together-like, always-when out to dinner or when leaving the gym, she always looks good.

 

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Austin, Emily, Sarah, Sabina of BLANQI, and Odelle of BLANQI

THE MUST-SEE, MUST-DO SCOOP FROM THE TEAM BEHIND MOM’S THE WORD

 

Best Reading Nook

SF:  We are totally enamored with our local library. It is a beautifully remodeled old library with a great children’s section, complete with great librarians, and they have a nice big lawn area for the kids to run around and around and around and around in. http://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=0100002801

LA:  Okay is not just a book store-but is more than okay-with books and so many other good things, that we can’t stay away from Okay.

 

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Image:  Okay

PA:  Coupa Café is a fave. Books, Inc. is just around the corner, is awesome, and is the oldest independent bookstore in the west. They have a location near us in SF too, they are a neighbor that we like being around.

Favorite Eats 

SF:  Oh man, really?!? This is SF. Only one? Almost an impossible task. I’m gonna pick Gardenia’s, which I haven’t actually been to yet, but it is a new place, soft opening tonight, being opened by the same women who owned an old favorite, Woodward’s Garden, where we celebrated many a holiday party. The food is sublime, and I’m guessing that they couldn’t do a place that isn’t charming and warm. Good food, wine and atmosphere. Now closer to our SF store. We’ll, be there a lot no doubt. Can’t wait!

LA:  Almost as hard as SF, and that’s just on West 3rd Street! Our go to for dinner, since we can’t dash off to Italy every night, is Pistola , although Little Next Door is equally yummy and kid friendly.

 

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Image:  Little Next Door

PA:  Mayfield restaurant and bakery and yum. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. What more could you want?!

Coolest Kids’ Spot

SF:  Golden Gate Park Children’s Playground and Carousel, The Exploratorium (for the over 5 crowd), The bay Area Discovery Museum (Under 6 crowd) Done, done and done. Love them all. Can’t pick just one.

 

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LA:  Griffith Park: Shane’s Inspiration playground, the train, the ponies, the observatory where James Dean went in some movie or other. It’s the spot.

PA:  Happy Hollow Park and Zoo –  They pretty much do it all.

 

Caffeine Boost 

SF:  Philz. Local boy does very good-13 outlets and the official coffee of Virgin America. Great coffee, plus they gave a job to my teenager (after like 4 interviews!), so, yeah….

LA:  Joan’s on 3rd does coffee and sooo much more so well.

PA:  They have two Philz, but, we head back to Mayfield for coffee…and their hot chocolate is scrumptious.

 

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Image:  Mayfield Bakery & Cafe

Local Haunt 

SF:  Smuggler’s Cove and Madrone(Motown Mondays-oh yeah)

LA:  Upper Franklin Canyon Park

PA:  Nola and The Old Pro

 

Girl’s night out:

SF:  Redford

 

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Image:  Redford

LA:  Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

 

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Image:  The Hollywood Roosevelt

PA:  Santana Row-Sino

 

Must-see Market

SF: Ferry Building Farmer’s Market on Saturday

LA: The Farmers Market, which isn’t really a farmer’s market, but must be seen and done. Since 1934.

PA: Farmer’s Market on California Street….but, that’s all we can think of.

 

Thank you to the team at Mom’s the Word!

xx Sabina & Valerie

 

Before Pregnancy, During and Forever After, BLANQI girl

BLANQI girl of the week

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Gianna steals the show wrapped in her Solly Baby wrap – too sweet!  Mama Jessen looking gorgeous in her BLANQI high-waist postpartum leggings that she wears while nursing – “Soo it’s been over a year since I had a baby…but I still wear my BLANQI leggings daily! #blanqigirl #leggingsforlife ”  See more of Jessen here – @ms.jschulman

Share your BLANQI photos on instagram and tag us for a chance to be featured!

xx Sabina & Valerie

Before Pregnancy, During and Forever After, Eats

Dos and don’ts of pregnancy nutrition
What you need to know

Congratulations, you’re pregnant, and you’re providing nutrients for someone else!  Kind of changes your perspective on food, right?  There are a million pieces of advice out there on what you can and cannot eat, and it can definitely be overwhelming!  So, to get some clarity on what you need to know about pregnancy nutrition,  we consulted with our friend Frances Largeman-Roth,  national best-selling author, chef, and recognized health expert. She is the author of Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom’s Healthy Eating Guide and her latest cookbook Eating in Color: Delicious, Healthy Recipes for You and Your Family

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“First off, mazel tov! Pregnancy is such an amazing, wonderful time in your life. But as thrilled as you are about that new life inside you, you’re probably also a little freaked out about what exactly you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to your health.

Pregnancy increases your need for several nutrients. Eating a diet that’s rich in whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and lean meats will help make sure you’re covered. Here are the biggies you need and where to find them. And check out the list of what to avoid—a few may surprise you.

 Do

1. Folic acid-rich foods, such as fortified cereal, lentils, edamame, spinach, asparagus, and citrus fruits.

2. Iron-packed foods, such as beef, bison, chicken, eggs, salmon, Swiss chard, kale, dried apricots, and tofu.

3. Protein, which can be found in lean meat, poultry, seafood, beans, nuts, low-fat dairy products, and quinoa

4. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are plentiful in salmon, tuna, enriched eggs, walnuts, and flax seeds.

5. Choline, a nutrient important for baby’s brain health, which you’ll get in eggs, soy foods, pork chops, cauliflower, and liver.

6. Calcium to build strong bones and teeth, found in milk, yogurt, cheese, spinach, almonds and broccoli.

7. Vitamin B12, a vitamin found in cooked clams, beef liver, fortified cereal, trout, salmon, and beef.

8. Vitamin D, a critical vitamin that’s abundant in eggs, salmon, sardines, fortified milk, and good old sunshine.

9. Vitamin C, which you’ll get in strawberries, red bell peppers, mango and citrus fruits.

10. Zinc, a mineral that you can get in fortified cereal, beef, pork, chicken, yogurt, beans, and cashews.

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Photo:  Rivkha 

Bonus Do: Keep Moving!

If you were exercising before you were pregnant, you can keep it up with your doctor’s OK. If you weren’t exercising and don’t have any complications, you can start a walking program. Exercise during pregnancy has a ton of benefits:

Staying physically active now will help you feel better and manage your stress and anxiety levels

Reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes

Lower your risk of mild to moderate depression, which can creep up during pregnancy

Keeps you regular (constipation can be a real issue during pregnancy)

Can help you have an easier and shorter labor, with fewer complications

It’ll help you get back in shape faster post pregnancy!

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 Don’t

1. Booze. Drinking alcohol while pregnant can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome. No amount of alcohol has been shown to be safe during pregnancy.

2. Tobacco and all other drugs. Smoking while pregnant doubles your risk of having a low-birth weight baby because it slows fetal growth. It also increases the risk of preterm delivery and can cause problems with the placenta.

3. Caffeine; It’s tough—I know! Just when you’re most tired, you need to cut back on your morning Joe. Limit it as much as possible. If you can’t go totally caffeine-free, ask the barista for half caff. And don’t forget that caffeine is found in energy drinks that contain natural forms of caffeine, like guarana, yerba mate, or ginseng.

4. Unpasteurized (raw) milk, juice, and other beverages. These products may contain listeria and other bacteria, which pose a serious risk to your baby.

5. Unpasteurized soft cheeses, such as Brie, Camembert, blue cheese, feta, and queso fresco.

6. Processed meats, such as lunch meat, hot dogs (unless they’re steaming hot), lox, meat spreads, and pâté. These foods can carry listeria, which can cause miscarriage in early pregnancy.

7. Raw foods, including meat, fish (sushi), shellfish, eggs

(that includes raw cookie dough too), and sprouts (including alfalfa, mung, clover, and radish).

8. Fish that are high in mercury (cooked or uncooked), such as swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, and shark.

9. Herbal supplements. These aren’t tested for safety in pregnant women, so steer clear.

10. Artificial sweeteners (unless you’re diabetic). While many artificial sweeteners are deemed safe to use by the FDA, my opinion is that you should avoid them as much as possible. Why add more chemicals to your system? Of course, it’s important to keep the real sweets in check too.

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Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, is a nationally recognized health expert and has helped thousands of women across America lose weight and feel incredible with her healthy recipes and smart diet and nutrition advice. She is the author of Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom’s Healthy Eating Guide and co-author of the bestselling The CarbLovers Diet. Her latest cookbook is Eating in Color: Delicious, Healthy Recipes for You and Your Family. Frances lives in Brooklyn with her husband and three kids. Get her healthy recipes and nutrition advice at www.franceslargemanroth.com and on Twitter/Instagram @FrancesLRothRD.

 

 

Sabina's Life

I named my daughter after the dog

No, no, I did not name my daughter after the dog, but I came close.  You see, in my early twenties I didn’t have a reserve of baby names.  I just had my favorite name, and I was going to give it to my firstborn daughter.  As it so happens, my “firstborn” was of the furry variety.  Word of the wise – don’t give  your favorite name to your dog – they live a long time, and trying to explain to your daughter why she was named after the dog, not to mention explaining it to strangers…well, you get the point.  So, my dog is Mila, and my daughter is Sienna. I had a few other names in there as well, like Mia, Nina, and Simone, but my husband had some sort of aversion to all of those ( damn all those exes! ;))  In the case of Sienna, I happened to love the way it sounded, and with Sabina being her middle name, it had a nice flow to it – as simple as that.

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Fast forward a few years, and Sienna starts to read.  What an amazing feeling to have a reading child!  She reads everything, and a favorite activity on the way to school is to read the backs of cars.  She and her brother Kai start with the make – Audi, Chevrolet, Honda, and so on, gradually moving on to the model.  Toyota – what a marvelous car, with such cool and exotic names!  Prius, Sequoia, Tundra…Sienna???  “No!  I’m not prepared for this” I think to myself.  Cringing in the driver’s seat, I slowly turn to face the wrath of my wee-one, mentally preparing my long speech about how I had no idea there was a car with her name and so on and so forth. I’m picturing her coming home crying after school, telling me everyone made fun of her for being named after, of all things, a minivan.   Sienna’s eyes are locked in mine, penetrating my soul with that “what the…?” look as I prepare my speech of  “it’s not that bad, you could’ve been named after the dog” when she suddenly  bursts out with glee – “I’m famous mamma, I’m famous!”

Yes you are my dear, yes you are!  *Phew*

 True story

 xx Sabina

p.s. fast forward 13 years and Mila is still going strong 😉

Favorite Finds

Etsy love

Current mood:  Indigo

Obsessed with the following art pieces we found on Etsy.  Be sure to check out their shops to show them some love!

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1.  Baby Girl birth announcement by inhauspress

2.  Dark blue silk dress by Lennyfashion

3.  Vintage illustration wallpaper by anewalldecor

4.  Concrete Icosahedron Planter and Sculpture by Pasinga

5.  Knitted badger head taxidermy by sincerelylouise

6.  Think twice fabric money wallet by AIYshop

xx Sabina & Valerie

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Before Pregnancy, During and Forever After

Amazing Pantyhose for Flight Attendants

The airlines want their female flight attendants wearing pantyhose. They want them to look ‘perfect’. Everything from shiny shoes, always pressed clothing, and award winning smiles.

According to Flight Attendant Central, it has been shown that 55% of a person’s opinion is driven by physical appearance.

Flight attendants on the other hand want to look beautiful, feel amazing, and be super comfortable, all day – doesn’t every girl want this? The days tending to the needs of passengers are long and the last thing you want are the same old pantyhose from your grandmother’s era.  Not much has changed in the realm of pantyhose for years…. until now.

These pantyhose could have been made exclusively to fill the needs of flight attendants. Both fashionable and functional, the hosiery from BLANQI is a miracle.

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Smooths and firms with the innovative lower belly support band.

For a flexible wardrobe while traveling they go perfect with anything.

Breathable comfort with special moisture-wicking finish.

Effortless styling with the lowrise hipster band.

They don’t cling to your clothing.

Driven by our passion for the perfect support tight, these are your wear-with-everything wardrobe essential.

Definitely an addition to your closet that you’ll never regret.

 

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A flight attendant of Southwest Airlines enjoying her BLANQI supportwear pantyhose!
“I love these pantyhose!”

Co Founders Valerie Darragh and Sabina Melarti at the Delta Sky Magazine Launch Event. Both were featured in the magazine in 2014.

Co Founders Valerie Darragh and Sabina Melarti at the Delta Sky Magazine Launch Event. Both were featured in the magazine in 2014.

Shop Popular Flight Attendant Styles:

 Take 25% Off with Coupon Code: Flight

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