Monthly Archives

November 2015

Before Pregnancy, During and Forever After

Inspiration: last-minute family & maternity christmas photos

It’s that time again!  Well, it’s probably a little late in the game to take your photos now, but if you’re like us, that’s how you roll – last-minute!  Here is some inspiration for you to create some amazing family and maternity photos & impress the family 😉

Canadian Christmas tree farm family photos by Rita Steenssens of Studio 1079 – can’t tell you how much we love this family portrait!  Love the bump, love the plaid throw, love the dirt on little one’s knees – such sweet, sincere moments.  We’re definitely preferring the more authentic photojournalistic style over the traditional, perfectionist portrait.  I would rather remember the crazy moments in-between the perfect image – how life REALLY was ( check out the whole series here, and the wee-one rolling in the dirt – perfection! haha! ).  This look can also be recreated by anyone, no matter what part of the country you happen to be in.  Scarcity of evergreens in your hood?  Check out the nearest Christmas tree lot.  Scroll down to learn how you can add some snow to the mix to create a sure-fire hit!

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The Milky Way – A great website for photo inspiration as well as tutorials – this blog post gives you all the details on the below image – props, lighting, everything, and is the perfect tool for creating your own, amazing holiday photos.  The lovely and talented Lisa and Erin show you the ropes in an easy-to-understand, laid back environment.  Be sure to check them out!

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Erin Wallis Photography – a sweet walk in the woods and a memory for life.

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Newlywed Christmas by Haylee Sheffield – Does it get any sweeter than this?  True love + great props = amazing shots! Super easy to recreate using Christmas lighting, potato flakes or other artificial snow, and a chalk board to jot down your message.  This can even be done in your backyard!  Easy-peasy and oh-so-cute!

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Wildflowers Photography – Although not your traditional holiday image, there’s something so immensely joyful about this photograph.  Also easy to recreate.  You can find feathers at your local craft or sewing supply store, or better yet, rather than throwing away those old pillows, cut them open and let the little ones shake them around!  Feel free to join in the fun 😉  Everybody will be instantly relaxed, which is what usually makes for the most precious moments.  You will forget that the photographer is there, you will be in the moment, and you will remember what life is all about.

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The Fox Family by Connection Photography – love the combination of utilitarian Hunter, glitter, and flannel ( do you see those mini Hunters on the little girl?  Adorable!)

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Flurries by Andrea Gnad of Photobox studios – adorable holiday shot utilizing depth-of-field and snow props for a more emotional, top-of-the-mantle kind of portrait.  How to recreate that snow?  Well, we were curious as well, so we checked out a few places.  Turns out that the following makes for excellent snow flakes when fake-it-til-you-make-it is in order – Instant Potato Flakes .  I know!  I couldn’t believe it either, but it’s true!  Also used in the image above by Haylee Sheffield.  So skip the mashed potatoes and create a memory for life.

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xx Sabina & Valerie

Before Pregnancy, During and Forever After, From bump to baby, Support

12 Ways to wear highwaist support leggings

Say hello to our coveted highwaist support leggings, here for your cool weather styling needs. Perfect from studio to play date, gym to dinner date.

We’ve all heard of nursing tanks, but make breastfeeding even easier on yourself with these must-haves. We designed them to smooth and conceal a postpartum belly, allowing you to comfortably wear your favorite bra and pre-pregnancy top, just lift up to nurse. Plus, feel skinnier with its fitted, but not too snug fit, and without a tight waistband giving you muffin top or aggravating c-section scars as you recover.

Check out how these lovely ladies style their BLANQI maternity leggings, proving that versatility is king 😉

Emily of The Freckled Fox:

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“I get questions about items that will work weather you’re pregnant or not (probably since I’ve been pregnant four times in the last four years.haha ), and these leggings my friends are in the top items on all those lists.  These babies are great for every season, they work for just about any occasion, they’re extremely easy to style, and they’re comfortable enough that you’ll find yourself living in them all the time.haha I love to pair them with short dresses and heels for date nights, with baggy t-shirts for lounging around the house, with my knee boots and a cardigan for running errands, and with my favorite tank-top for working out! So so versatile.

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Little Blonde Book:

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Beautiful BLANQI girl Aubrey Kinch wears our ‘Motherhood Is My Muse’ longer length white tunic tee and Highwaist Maternity/Postpartum Support Leggings in Deepest Black “for the days when a topknot and baby watching is all that gets done, and that’s okay… Take it from a legging lover, these are built to perfection. I’m so sick of the styles that are too thin and are sheer if bending over but I also don’t want something heavy and bulky since I’m all about comfort and these are just right.”

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Sydney of Zack & Sydney – “I wanna stock up on all of their soft pieces! You will not regret it! I absolutely love everything about this brand/company!”

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Makelle Ahlin of The Native Love – “thank you so much @blanqigirls my postpartum belly loves you guys!”

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Caroline of Sew Caroline – “leggings from @blanqigirls ( ah-mazing, gives great support for my c-section)…Will probably be my go to outfit for a while”12093669_900616189974650_1290860804_n10818074_1472913409682384_518197418_n

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Babes + Beauty:  “These leggings completely change the game in my eyes. They have so many features that others do not and I basically want to live in them. The greatest feature of these leggings in my opinion is the hight waist support band. I am able to wear any shirt, and simply lift it up to breastfed littly Huxxy man. It eliminates the need to always have an undershirt to avoid showing your postpartum belly to the entire world while feeding. Its simply genius! Plus it slims everything and makes everything feel super held together which I love with no bulky seams! hallelujah!!

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Jen Anderson of Little Wife Powerhouse – “Dressing after the bump: I’m wearing the best shape wear leggings from BLANQI that keeps my belly looking tighter! This shirt from Nordstrom I wore my whole pregnancy and now it’s loose + super comfy. Everybody’s bodies are so different and it’s all about finding what makes YOU feel good. Love all of you beautiful mamas!”

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From the weekend to the weekday, Mrs Coco Wyse looks effortless chic postpartum wearing BLANQI high-waist support leggings. 10732025_354196428094407_283519699_n

 

Eats

Thanksgiving sweets – pumpkin recipe roundup + useful facts

Fan of the orange puree or not, these delectable pumpkin recipes are sure to get your tastebuds watering.  Whether you’re an after-dinner-dessert or dessert-for-breakfast kind of person, we’ve found something to fit the bill.  Check out the amazing recipes by these cool girls, and if you try them out, let us know!  And be sure to scroll down to the bottom for some useful Thanksgiving facts to impress the in-laws 😉

LOVE AND LEMONS – Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Ice Cream

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Image:  Love and Lemons

HEATHER CRISTO – Baked pumpkin doughnuts with coconut maple caramel glaze 

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Image:  Heather Cristo

MINIMALIST BAKER – Vegan pumpkin cheesecake

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Image:  The Minimalist Baker

LAUREN’S LATEST – Pumpkin pecan cobbler

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Here is some interesting history and pumpkin facts courtesy of History.com and author Nate Barksdale for you to share  😉 –

  • What were “former Pumpkin Pies” like? At the time, pumpkin pie existed in many forms, only a few of which would be familiar to us today. A 1653 French cookbook instructed chefs to boil the pumpkin in milk and strain it before putting it in a crust. English writer Hannah Woolley’s 1670 “Gentlewoman’s Companion” advocated a pie filled with alternating layers of pumpkin and apple, spiced rosemary, sweet marjoram and handful of thyme. Sometimes a crust was unnecessary; an early New England recipe involved filling a hollowed-out pumpkin with spiced, sweetened milk and cooking it directly in a fire
  • Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and New York are the major pumpkin growing states, together they produced 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkin in 2010. Total U.S. production was over 1.5 billion pounds.
  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long. It was baked on October 8, 2005 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, and included 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon, 2 pounds of pumpkin spice and 250 pounds of crust.

Happy  baking!  xx Sabina & Valerie

 

 

BLANQI girl

Four inspiring blogs to follow

If you are looking for lovely girls with inspiring blogs, look no further.  These ladies do it all – motherhood, decor, fashion, and beauty.  Inspirational, yet approachable, these are the kind of girls you want as your best friend.  We’ve rounded up four of our favorites to add to your daily perusing:

Anna – In Honor of Design

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“This blog started as a place for me to exercise my active creative mind, and has grown and changed with me over the years. My goal is to keep this place in the big wide web as an authentic extension of the things I value deeply – tackling each day one adventure at a time with as much heart as I can muster. Currently my husband Gabe and I have three little ones with one on the way!” (Anna just had her fourth little one, a baby boy named Rocco Samuel)

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We love Anna’s impeccable sense of style – both fashion and otherwise. While we’re, in a good way,  super jealous that she is so amazing at everything she does, haha, we love her, her kind heart, and her laid-back approach to living authentically.  While others try hard, Anna truly is as easy going and natural as she appears on the blog – she’s pretty perfect to us! 😉  Be sure to follow her on Instagram as well for a daily dose of style and design.

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Image: Chelsea Heidorn

Anna is often featured as a style and beauty expert on other prominent companies and sites such as Clinique, eHow, and you can find her hosting events at West Elm and Madewell, among others.

Natalie –  At Home With Natalie (Previously thebusybudgetingmama.com)
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“My blog is called ‘At Home with Natalie’ because I want my posts and style of writing to make my readers feel like they are my neighborhood girl friends, coming over with their kids, drinking coffee or sweet tea with me in the kitchen while we talk about all the things! #ittakesavillage. Some of my most Popular Posts can be found HERE!  I keep busy making our house a home, raising babies, doing DIY projects and cooking my family yummy food. I will use any excuse to throw a party. I’m probably posting during nap time instead of cleaning. I love dance parties in the kitchen. I do not like sharks, laundry or snakes. In that order.”

Natalie At Home with Natalie family portrait four inspiring blogs to followWe love Natalie’s down-to-earth approach to motherhood, life, and friendship.  You’re just as likely to see her without makeup and in sweats as you are dressed to the nines.  She’s your all-American girl next door, trying her best to do it all with four little ones by her side.  Her tutorials and DIY’s are actually doable, and she provides lovely graphic printables to go along with them.  She’s as sweet as can be, and one not to be missed!

Aubrey Kinch – AUBREY KINCH the blog

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Aubrey is a 26 year-old Arizona native, married and beautifully blessed by her husband Andrew, stepson Drake, and daughter Emery.  Aubrey’s an Instagram addict and loves connecting and meeting new people.  She also never says no to a day of lounging with her family or a manicure date!  She’s notorious for sending Christmas cards out the day after Thanksgiving, and is shamelessly a daddy’s girl.

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The blog was started in 2011 as an outlet for newlywed ramblings, but has turned into a space of inspiration, mamahood stories, tuturials, and much more.  (Aubrey Kinch)

We are obsessed with her light-filled photography, her adorable family, and gorgeous hair.  Oh, and did we mention she’s the sweetest?  For sure one to follow!  (Don’t miss her Instagram account )

Irina – Bond Girl Glam

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“Why the name Bond Girl Glam?  I sure want to be more like a Bond Girl, and I believe many other women do too.  And, honestly, I just love a good play on words — it’s only fitting with my last name!…We all know the Bond Girl character from the movies, but we want real-life applications of her undeniable magnetism.  She knows what she wants and how to get it.  She’s as mysterious as she is witty.  She’s edgy, contemporary, classic, stunning, feminine, and elegant — all in one package.  There’s an effortless allure about her that we all want to adopt into our lives.  Every woman can be a Bond Girl, and I’m here to hopefully inspire that inner vixen to come out and play.”

Irina is our go-to for everyday glitz and glam.  She doesn’t save the dress for that special occasion – she wears it, and she wears it well.  We love her style, beauty tips and tutorials, and could only wish to do it all as effortlessly as she does.  If you’re looking for glam-girl inspiration, Irina’s your gal!

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xx Sabina & Valerie

Before Pregnancy, During and Forever After

Pregnancy glow – fact or fiction?
the truth behind the myth

“You’re glowing!” is one of those comments we love to hear as pregnant women ( trust me, we get plenty of other, less desirable comments, so this one – truth or not – is definitely one to take to heart ;))  Personally, I felt like my “glow” was more of a by-product of my sweaty, overheated and exhausted state, however, there is actually some truth behind this etherial, mythical glow.  Turns out that ….

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it isn’t just sweat! 😉  According to Dr. Roger W. Harms of the Mayo Clinic, “increased blood volume and increased production of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) work together to create a pregnancy glow. Greater blood volume brings more blood to vessels, resulting in skin that looks slightly flushed and plump. The hormones HCG and progesterone, which cause the skin glands on the face to secrete more oil, also help make skin look smoother and slightly shinier.”  But don’t get too excited about this glow – while the additional oil secretion may create a flawless, reflective skin surface, it may also cause pregnancy acne…and your surge in hormones will leave your vulnerable to melasma and sun damage…

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So how do you protect your “glowy” skin as much as possible? American Pregnancy suggests the following:

Melasma – Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF factor of 15.  Sun exposure increases the chances of the blotchy dark spots showing up, so don’t use it sparingly!  Spending some extended time in the sun?  We love Blue Lizard.  Top yourself off with a hat for maximum protection – Obsessed with any and all headgear by Brixton, especially this moss colored Leonard II hat HO15-Cat-Header-W-Hats

Pregnancy Acne – Wash your face morning and night with a gentle cleanser (stay away from any cleansers or products with acne-fighting medication as some kinds may not be safe during pregnancy.)  Use an oil-free moisturizer as using one with oil may take your “glow” to “grease”.  This Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash is a must-have, and we are die-hard fans!

Although our bodies sometime have minds of their own, with a little care, we can definitely do our own part to try to preserver our effervescent glows! 😉

xx Sabina & Valerie

 

Image 1, 2 – Valerie of BLANQI by Rivkah

Image 3 – Brixton

 

Before Pregnancy, During and Forever After

22 ways to wear maternity support leggings

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We’ve rounded up some of our favorite BLANQI girls to show you 22 different ways to wear BLANQI’s maternity support leggings.   With styles as unique as their beautiful personalities, these ladies show us that comfortable is most definitely the new chic!

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Valerie on her leggings – “I used to be a heels only girl, but then motherhood hit me!  I love that my leggings can be easily dressed up for a lunch meeting, and then back into sneakers for carpool.  I’m only wearing my favorites, so I definitely need versatile basics!”

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A Spoonful of Style Jade on herBLANQI maternity support leggings:
“I could live in a plaid shirt, leggings and over the knee boots. So this really is my uniform. I love these maternity leggings from Blanqi so much. They are so comfortable.”

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Though Sarah of Indianapoluxe. is a natural in front of the camera, she spend her days behind the camera, capturing beautiful moments for her clients. She’s stunning inside and out!  Here she is, combining the BLANQI maternity support leggings with a pop of wild and country, for a comfy, supported look.

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Instagram gal @ceresbr1 shares her bump style in her BLANQI leggings // Built-in belly support + snug and smooth everywhere but on your belly

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Jessica Garvin of Little Baby Garvin 

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Emily of Zee + Three layers her BLANQI maternity support leggings with one of our tanks for extra support while pregnant with triplets.

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Alyssa dazzles in her BLANQI maternity support leggings! Check out more of Alyssa on lifealawife.com

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Gaelyn of My Corner View

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Sydney of Zack & Sydney:  “I have been so uncomfortable and annoyed with my wardrobe choice that getting cute and going out hasn’t seemed that fun nor easy. Tonight I wore my BLANQI maternity leggings out to dinner with some boots and a giant sweater and I felt so comfortable! I felt like I was wearing pajamas. I was in such a good mood. These leggings are miracle workers. They don’t tug, the don’t squish and they don’t cut off breathing supply, who knew maternity leggings could be so comfy and breathable!!!  I don’t think I have ever been in such a good mood this entire pregnancy until I put these clothes on. Clothes that fit your body right make a huge difference.”

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“Take it from a legging lover, these are built to perfection…BLANQI has done it right!” – says Aubrey Kinch .

 

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Leggings and a tee were Emily of The Freckled Fox ‘s go-to mama outfit after the birth of her child – ” I wake up in a t-shirt and my leggings(always with the blanqi leggings.haha)”

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Our girl Ananda of Super Fashionable getting ready for the arrival of her little one. What better way to do it than by wearing our BLANQI maternity support tank and bumped tee?

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Jade of A Spoonful of Style rocks her BLANQI leggings as part of her comfy go-to maternity style. “I really love my BLANQI leggings. These are a must-have if you are pregnant!” She mixes neutrals with a pop of black for contrast and comfort. With heels like that, BLANQI support is a must!  Throw on a cozy cardigan for an easy, dash-out-the-door look.

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Aubrey Kinch wearing her BLANQI High-Performance Maternity support leggings that, according to Aubrey, she’s “rightfully obsessed with.”

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Dana Gualco layers her leggings with a feminine tank and tank for an easy, yet girly look ( props for wearing flip-flops!  We’re all familiar with pregnancy swelling, and what better way to combat it than by letting your feet free! 😉

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Loving the layers – Throwback to beautiful new mama @makelleahlin sporting our Maternity High Performance Belly Lift & Support leggings.

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It’s finally beanie weather! How incredibly cute is Brittany of The Lily Field in her cold-weather essentials, bump supported by herBLANQI leggings.

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Pretty in pink! Discovery Street Ruthy glows in herBLANQI maternity support leggings.  Who said comfy couldn’t be chic?  Ruthy on her leggings:  “The BLANQI leggings have built in support around your belly that really helps make a difference with aches and pains in your lower back–but they aren’t super tight or restricting.  Another plus is they are made of moisture wicking material, which is really helpful for the summer months.  I have unfortunately developed horrible varicose veins in my legs with this pregnancy and don’t want to scare small children by exposing my legs in shorts.  These leggings are lightweight enough (yet provide full coverage) to wear when the temperature heats up.”

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Ashley of The Vanilla Tulip

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Jen of Jen Loves Kev has nailed comfy airplane style even with a babybump! 😉  Jen on her leggings:  “WORLD’S GREATEST LEGGINGS!! I’ve tried a few of the more expensive maternity leggings this time around and I have to say without a doubt that the Blanqi Maternity leggings are by far the BEST. Like seriously! THE BEST. Don’t even mess around trying out different brands. Spend the money- you won’t regret it! While you are at it… love their support tank as well!”

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Boho florals with black leggings – Tnee of Tnees Tpees makes the contrasting styles look effortlessly laid-back.