Posts in Fashion
Diaper Bags, Selecting the Ultimate Style for Your Lifestyle

Like most ladies, I LOVE handbags. So how on Earth am I supposed to choose just one diaper bag? Well, I didn't! LOL I chose two. But for very different occasions of course. :-) Both bags have several compartments and are backpack style so I can go hands free when need be.

Since moving to Australia I have learned a lot of Aussie slang and Aussie synonyms. Throughout this post you will notice Aussies call these functional accessories, 'nappy bags'.... while Americans refer to them as 'diaper bags.' I love all the cultural nuances!!

I knew I wanted a casual bag and a dressier bag. I also knew I didn't want an old school diaper bag that looks like a baby quilt. As a southern girl from the USA, I've had my fair share of Vera Bradley bags in my day, so I'm not doggin on that style, I just knew it wasn't for me, for this purpose. I also knew there was no way in hell my husband would carry a bag like that if it came down to it!

The casual bag I selected is by Uashmama, an Italian brand that has a gorgeous store in my neighborhood at Bondi Beach. I joke that I have seen a few 'yummy mummies' strolling around Bondi with this bag and it looks so chic and well suited for the area. The straps come off and on - and are easily attached to the pram/stroller. I actually have the bag in gold and have used it as a travel bag all over Asia, Italy, and Switzerland recently. But again, I thought a more gender neutral carbon color would be more suited for days my husband is on diaper duty. Here is the Uashmama link.

The dressier bag I selected is by Il Tutto, an Aussie brand designed in Melbourne. I love the black leather and gold detailing. This nappy/diaper bag is seriously, the ultimate! I can't wait to use the included accessories.  Here is the Il Tutto link

Before making my final decisions, I asked the Il Tutto owner and designer, Leanne Boyd, several questions about how to select the ultimate nappy/diaper bag for individualized needs. New mamas... I hope the information serves you well!

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Tips to Style Your Bump from 'Ripe Maternity' and Yours Truly

Now that I'm in my 9th month of pregnancy, I feel like I finally have maternity fashion figured out! Ha! But I have to say in the first few months, there was a lot of trial and error. It's a funny spot for all of us first time mommies to be in. First we notice that we just look a little thick, bloated, or chubby and we don't know how to keep looking and feeling great in the fashion realm. We also don't know what we need to buy and what we can skip in order to save some cash.

Then once the big bump actually comes in, we enjoy feeling our bub kick, twist, and turn in our tummies... and also enjoy people knowing we are pregnant and not just packing on the pounds!  We are then left to figure out what we can wear that will accentuate our cute baby belly, and conceal some of the less flattering body changes that come along with pregnancy. We are also again left wondering what maternity fashion pieces to invest in and which ones to pass on to save time, money, and precious closet space!

So what has worked for me? I have found the two pairs of maternity jeans I invested in early on have each been worn about 1,000 times. I have a few body con dresses that I have worn for television gigs, parties, or nice dinners. Long flowy dresses with empire waists have also been a staple - particularly as I have been getting bigger and more uncomfortable! In fact, as I creep toward due day, my fashion has really been heading in this direction! ! When I'm not in activewear, I am almost 100% of the time in a long dress and Birkenstocks. This combo covers up my fluid filled legs and ankles - and supports my aching feet! I have also found BIG accessories work wonders with a simple black dress.

As you will notice from my social media posts, I have had a lot of luck at Ripe Maternity. The clothing is good quality, on trend, and many pieces can double as nursing attire once baby arrives.

Below you will find a Q and A with the co-founder and creative director of Ripe Maternity, Lisa Balakas.

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How to Choose the Perfect Nursing Chair

I am starting to pull everything together for my nursery and I've heard from so many friends, "Make sure you get a good chair! Your booty will glued to it for the foreseeable future!" LOL

At my parents' house in North Carolina, we have a beautiful wooden rocking chair that helped hush my brother and me to sleep when we were babies. I've been envisioning something similar for my own baby boy on the way, but also wanted something a little more cushy for the 'tushy!'

I looked all over and found a beautiful chair from an Aussie company called Life of Style. It is a French inspired rocking chair, made of grey linen blend fabric, solid oak legs, and bronze stud detailing. It is a substational chair but will also fit in our limited space. My husband and I live at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. It is one of the best locations in the world, but we definitely sacrifice space in a big way in order to live here. I also wanted to make sure the there would be enough space for an ottoman to go with the rocker. Going into my 8th month of pregnancy, I've already been nursing sore feet. I'm guessing these puppies will want some elevating post delivery too! This Life of Style rocking chair and tufted ottoman are going to be perfect! 

Below is an interview with Life of Style founder, Melissa Cannizzaro about how to choose the perfect nursing chair.

ANNA: New mothers spend a large amount of time in the nursing chairs, particularly in the early months. What are the main types of nursing chairs you recommend? (Ex. Rocking, gliding, stationary, reclining, etc)

MELISSA: A rocking chair would be the best option, especially in those first few months when your days are consumed with the feeding and sleeping routine of a new baby. A comfortable rocking chair will offer respite to a weary body whilst giving you the chance to rock your baby gently to sleep if you need to. I didn't have a rocking chair when I had my girls and I found that when nursing them I would find myself patting, bouncing or swaying them in a stationary chair to soothe them – not ideal! 

ANNA: New mom’s often get sore backs, is there a particular angle, height, cushion, armrest, etc to look for?

MELISSA: There are definitely a lot of aspects to look for in a nursing chair. You want the right height armrests to allow room to move or to place a pillow under your arm if need be, you want the right seat padding so that your toosh is comfy, the right density in foam in the backrest to allow back support yet comfort and the right amount of rocking motion so that you don’t feel like you about to launch off the floor. I have a lot of customers comment that some other rocking chairs/arm chairs backrest only go as high as their shoulders. I think it’s pretty important to be able to rest your head back and relax so this is definitely something to look for. A lumbar pillow is also something that can provide extra lower back support for those long nursing nights. All these factors have been considered in Life of Style’s range which is why our products have a top layer of duck feather in the seat cushion, a higher backrest and a come with a complimentary lumbar pillow.

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Sporty Preggo Spice! Comfy Kicks and Jackets

Sporty Preggo Spice!?! I'm in my final trimester and have never wanted to wear comfier clothes. But I still want to look cute! If you happen to be pregnant, I imagine you get where I'm coming from. I was drawn to this reversible jacket from Cupcakes and Cashmere instantaneously. You can wear it to the gym or even dress down your favorite stretchy LBD. These fuschia ADIDAS Originals have been some faves for a while now. They put the FUN in funky and keep me feeling fresh for long walks around New York City! I love this jumping picture. Still not peeing myself when I jump! LOL But I hear that's coming soon! ;-/

This week I've been showing off a few ways to style the bump while wearing non-maternity clothes. It can get a bit pricey to purchase a whole new wardrobe... particularly when you're only going to be wearing it for a few months. So for my moms-to-be.... I hope these posts give you some ideas to pinch some pennies!

 I just got back some New York City snaps from a few weeks ago (I was about 26 weeks pregnant. I'm now 31!). The photoshoot was with Anton Lombardi in collaboration with KK Bloom Boutique.

About this look, KK Bloom Boutique owner, Kendrick Allen, says, "The sporty look is a great trend that has taken the fashion world by storm. It's comfy and cute, while seeming effortless. Pairing a LBD or really anything basic under an oversized varsity jacket and sneakers will allow you to be comfortable during a very uncomfortable time." Kendrick adds, "The perfect little black dress is essential in every woman's wardrobe, especially when you're pregnant. You can dress it up or dress it down depending how you accessorize it or layer it. Look for something form fitting and a lot of stretch (to show off that beautiful bump). Susana Monaco is a perfect brand because her dresses are made with a stretchy, high quality, supplex fabric. Susana is great pregnancy and post pregnancy." If you like this look... Scroll up and down this post for the sporty jacket, funky purple ADIDAS, and a few great Susana Monaco little black dresses I've handpicked from Shop Style.

Friends! Don't forget to find me on social media and leave me some comment love! Also, share with a friend if she is expecting!

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Turning a JUMPsuit into BUMPsuit

If you follow me on Instagram you've probably realized I don't mind a good jumpsuit! Ha! I love them! But is it okay to make a JUMPsuit into a BUMPsuit?!

This week, I'm collaborating with an American stylist showing off a few ways to style the bump while wearing non-maternity clothes. It can get a bit pricey to purchase a whole new wardrobe... particularly when you're only going to be wearing it for a few months. So for my moms-to-be.... I hope the next few posts give you some ideas to pinch some pennies!

 I just got back some New York City snaps from a few weeks ago (I was about 26 weeks pregnant). The photoshoot was with Anton Lombardi in collaboration with KK Bloom Boutique. About this look, owner, Kendrick Allen, says, "The jumpsuit is a great way to chic up your wardrobe during pregnancy. Be sure to find one that has a lower inseam to give room for the baby bump. A lot of people are scared of florals, but if you add a touch, you can spice up your outfit taking it to the next level." Merlot and florals are both huge this season. Kendrick says they make one of her favorite combos! 

Scroll down to get a few looks I've handpicked from Shop Style.

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Preggo LBD Wins in 3 Ways: Floral Kimono, Blush Velvet Blazer, & Mango Leather Jacket

Preggo!? Here's a way a great Little Black Dress can win in three ways! Floral kimono! Velvet blush blazer! Mango leather jacket! 

Over the next few days I'll be showing off a few ways to style the bump while wearing non-maternity clothes. It can get a bit pricey to purchase a whole new wardrobe... particularly when you're only going to be wearing it for a few months. So for my moms-to-be.... I hope the next few posts give you some ideas to pinch some pennies!

 I just got back some New York City snaps from a few weeks ago (I was about 26 weeks pregnant). The photoshoot was with Anton Lombardi in collaboration with KK Bloom Boutique. About this look, owner, Kendrick Allen, says, "The perfect little black dress is essential in every woman's wardrobe, especially when you're pregnant. You can dress it up or dress it down depending how you accessorize it or layer it. Look for something form fitting and a lot of stretch (to show off that beautiful bump). Susanna Monaco is a perfect brand because her dresses are made with a stretchy, high quality, supplex fabric. Susana is great pregnancy and post pregnancy."

Friends! Don't forget to find me on social media and leave me some comment love! Also, share with a friend if she is expecting!

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Preggo Go To: Long Sweater and Maternity Leggings

Over the next few days I'll be showing off a few ways to style the bump while wearing non-maternity clothes. It can get a bit pricey to purchase a whole new wardrobe... particularly when you're only going to be wearing it for a few months. So for my moms-to-be.... I hope the next few posts give you some ideas to pinch some pennies!

 I just got back some New York City snaps from a few weeks ago (I was about 26 weeks pregnant). The photoshoot was with Anton Lombardi in collaboration with KK Bloom Boutique. About this particular look, owner, Kendrick Allen says, "Adding length and a little cold shoulder is super cozy and extra flattering."  For me, it's pretty basic. Leggings and a long, loose top is a no brainer. Unfortunately it's not just our bellies that get bigger... our bums too! The longer top is great on days we aren't feeling like attracting echoes of Sir Mix a Lot!

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Baby Blue Dress for Baby Boy on the Way

I had the pleasure of filling in on Studio Ten today for their entertainment hosts/reporters. We chatted Janet Jackson, Star Wars, Christian Bale, Harrison Ford, and more! It was fun spending some time in the hair and makeup chair for this flirty and feminine look! I was never allowed to wear my hair up in the past... so this was an extra special look to go along with my extra special addition.... the bump! I will be 21 weeks along this Friday. 

Scroll down to watch the behind the scenes video and also a couple clips from the show today! The dress is by Eliza J. I got it from a little boutique here in the Double Bay neighborhood of Sydney. I found the same dress for you linked below... but only in a deeper blue and black. I love the scallop detailing and off the shoulder sleeves. I decided to wear the sleeves up this time to cover a little more in the chest region! LOL The funky earrings and white link bracelet are from JCrew in the US. The shoes feature a feminine ruffle, stiletto heel, and lace up back. They are by an Aussie designer, Tony Bianco. I think he is my new favorite! Look him up!

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Anna Kooiman Announces Pregnancy on Aussie Morning Chat TV Show

I'm pregnant! My husband and I are expecting a baby boy. He is due on January 26, 2018.... which is Australia Day! How about that!?! All the scans/ultrasounds have gone great so far and I am crossing my fingers for a healthy, non-dramatic pregnancy. The first 13 or so weeks I was incredibly exhausted and off and on nauseous... but I am feeling great now! Happy to have my usual energy back!

I had the privilege of sharing my news on my favorite Aussie morning chat show, Studio 10. They were so sweet! And the reveal was kinda funny! I had been concealing it for almost 20 weeks! The hosts were initially asking me if I was hiding something in all my social media pictures I had been posting recently. The photos from my Asia trip were quite funny... hiding behind friends, a hat I was holding in front of my belly, even standing behind a sumo wrestler in Tokyo! hahahaha Then when I made the big announcement the producers gave the crew the go ahead to blow gold confetti all over the set. It was quite spectacular and 100% a surprise to me! This show has been so good to me since moving to Australia. I regularly appear as a guest host on the show. Also, when I'm lucky I get to fill in for their entertainment hosts/reporters are on assignment or vacation. They have really made me feel at home. Tim and I plan to have the baby in Sydney. It's nice to be getting to know a new TV family along with Tim's incredible extended family and friends here in Oz.

Scroll down to watch the TV clip and also to #getthelook If you like the off shoulder black dress. earrings and shoes... they are from Kookai (a store I recently discovered here in Australia). The white link bracelet is from JCrew in the US.

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