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The Reigning Most Stylish pregnant woman Ever gave birth (PHOTOS)

Can we pause and bid a hearty congratulations to the most fabulously styled woman on Instagram, Up Close and Stylish on the birth of her baby girl over the Christmas Holidays?
“She completes me,” the anonymous fashion “blogger” writes on her IG page with a following of over 700,000. “What an amazing year 2013 has been! Thank you all for your wish me wells, likes and cheer ons. XOXO #Cartier ‘Love’ bracelets, #Gelish nails (white and rose gold) and onesie from #RalphLauren.”
Beautiful. Congrats, mama!
And while we’re at it, can we just do a quick recap on this head fashionista-in-charge’s last few looks of her pregginista days? Yes we can!
And if anyone tells you that you can’t be pregnant and fly, show them these photos, please.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But er um…how did she look like this on New Year’s Eve after just giving birth weeks prior tho?

Yassss! Gawgeous!

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REVIEW: FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ Travel System offers bang for your buck

We asked elite runner and new mom Mary Beth Chosak of the blog SlowFoodFastPace.com to test out for us Graco’s latest jogging stroller, the Fast Action Jogger Travel System. ($319.99) 
(For a very thorough assessment of the stroller including comparisons to another jogger she already owns, check out the full and comprehensive review on her blog HERE.)
We’ve got the soup and nuts summary below:
OVERALL PERFORMANCE If you’re in the market for a stroller that you can jog with from the time your little one is a newborn well into toddlerhood, the Graco FastAction Jogger Travel System is a fair value that will give you some bang for your buck.
VALUE On paper, the Graco FastAction Jogger Travel System has a lot going for it.  It retails for about one hundred less than the BOB Revolution SE, yet it comes with a car seat, a base, a child tray, and a parent handlebar console.  If you buy all those things a la carte and trick out a higher end jogger until it has all the same features as the FastAction Travel System, you would have spent roughly twice as much as you would have in opting for the Graco.
APPEARANCE Aesthetically, the Graco is a snazzy ride (I tested the chili red model).  It’s gender neutral and looks to be made of durable material that would stay looking fresh after years of use.  Taking a closer inspection of the features of the stroller, some of the parts are plastic and not as durable as first thought. 
SMOOTHNESS OF RIDE The tires are large and inflatable and the decent suspension provides a comfortable ride on a level and paved surface.  I tried it on a paved exercise trail with our 15 pound five-month old in the SnugRide infant seat as well as with our 30 pound two-year old without the infant seat.  The ride was plenty smooth enough for both children on the trail, though it felt somewhat rickety on the sidewalk.
ANCILLARY FEATURES The stroller has some snazzy little features that add comfort, safety, and convenience.  The handlebar console has two cup holders and a place for your smartphone that will come in handy if your tot, like mine, appreciates some tunes on your runs.  The storage basket under the seat is fairly large and accessible.  The stroller has a tether, which I consider a valuable safety feature, though the placement of the tether near the basket of the stroller is curious; it could easily attach to the handlebars instead and I don’t know why the manufacturer would unnecessarily use a long strap on any children’s product.  The locks on the rear wheels are well-placed and effective, though it would be handy to be able to fully lock and unlock the stroller in one place instead of on both the left and right wheels.  The stroller includes safety reflectors on the rear tires.
EASE OF FOLDING The stroller does fold up easily. The one-second, one-hand fold is nice, though I’ve found that once any stroller is yours, folding it up becomes second nature in no time.  The FastAction has a kickstand, which can get in the way when you’re collapsing the stroller.
SNUGRIDE INFANT SEAT The infant seat is fine.  The harness secures easily and my baby seemed very comfortable in it. However, the SnugRide is a popular car seat that’s been around for a while.  This is one of Graco’s bread and butter products, and it has had plenty of iterations on it to get it right.  So it was surprising to me that the handle bar and the canopy get in each other’s way.  This is annoying and not a big deal, although to boot, the canopy is neither taut nor sturdy-feeling.  The levers that secure the base of the car seat to the car’s latch system do not have the push-button feature that some car seats do; I consider this a nice feature, even though it is just a frill that you’ll hardly ever appreciate unless you take the infant seat base in and out of your car regularly.


SHORTCOMINGS An important reason the Graco disappoints as a jogger is the poorly-designed front wheel lock.  This isn’t obvious until you get a jogger out on a downhill (with precious cargo inside), or even just get moving at a steady clip, but the front wheel really should lock to give you maximum stability.  When you’re walking with a stroller, a swivel feature in the front wheel is convenient.  When you’re running, a sudden swivel caused by a pebble or bump on the trail can mean you wobble or lose control.  
The other place where the FastAction Jogger strikes out is the canopy.  It’s not large enough to completely shade your child.  While somewhat useful, I wouldn’t consider it sufficient protection from UV exposure.  If heading out on a sunny day with this stroller, slather on the sunscreen or have your babe don a hat and long sleeves.  The mesh window that’s designed to let you peer in and check on your passenger is too small to be useful, and I found myself simply pulling back the canopy to check on my toddler.  
Also, short folks like myself (5’ 1’’) may find the handlebar placement on this stroller a little too high.  
SUMMARY The Graco FastAction Jogger Travel System is a good jogging stroller, but in this mama’s view, not the best. If you’ll be using the stroller extensively for running, you’re bound to notice some of the Graco’s shortcomings. And like all joggers, it’s big and heavy. If you want something you can use to jog a mile or two once in a while on smooth and even terrain, and you don’t mind the small and flimsy canopy, then the Graco may be just fine.  And given that a jogger would be one of many, many pieces of baby gear you’ll ever buy, it’s nice to have an option by a reputable manufacturer at this price point.  
If you’re thinking of getting this stroller, consider getting it from our partners Amazon.com at a discount for $269.99.

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Eva Marcille’s Girls Weekend in Caribbean: THIS is how to Maximize a large Instagram Following

America’s Next Top Model  Cycle 3 winner and actress Eva Marcille has shown how to use Instagram to market an event.  The mom-to-be and TV hostess offered some of the young women among her nearly half a million people who follow her on Instagram and nearly quarter million on Twitter a chance to hang out with her in the Caribbean this May.
We suppose this will be a post baby trip as the former reality TV star and her beau music producer Kevin McCall are expecting their daughter pretty soon. 
Starcast

It took less than 3 days for the 20 spots to fill up in each of the countries/properties on her tour: Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, Cayman Islands, Barbados and Anguilla. For packages starting at $800, the All Girls Caribbean Weekend includes hanging with Eva, professional photo shoots, make overs, fashion and beauty tips, relationship talks and more.  Those who pay the $2,000 each for the 5 Platinum spots on each stop get a shoot with Eva and their photos published in a non-specified magazine. 

That’s not a bad deal if you can afford it and have the time off from work and/or flexibility. And it is also for social good as a portion of the proceeds from the weekends will go to a group called The Right to Rights Foundation, which appears to promote awareness of Human Rights abuse and violations.
And who knows, if she gets consent from participants, she could partner with a production company to  film parts of the adventure to sell as a short-run docu series to a cable network. 
NBCUniversal
She previously starred with her girlfriends in the 2012 Oxygen channel reality TV show she produced called Girlfriend Confidential: LA   which got a pretty good review as a mostly positive show about the importance of strong female friendships from Common Sense Media.  It didn’t get picked up for a second season, meanwhile BadGirls Club is on Season 17. (hmmm. Marinate on that for a bit)
Anywhoo….each day, we see in Instagram and social media, fashion bloggers wearing clothes provided to them by brands who pay the most popular ones upwards to thousands of dollars in promotional funds to do so.  It’s great to see these partnerships between influentials and companies take off. 
Some people just love social media for its ability to connect with friends, old and new. Others for just clowning around, sharing, news links and memes and getting a distraction from their daily day and life. 
And then there are others who use it fully to maximize entrepreneurial and brand promotional opportunities.
Kudos to Eva for using her celeb status and ample following to connect with her fans and followers.

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7 Practical Tips for teaching Financial Literacy to Children



January has been designated National Financial Wellness month in the U.S.  It’s a good time for parents to make  resolutions that are achievable for themselves but it can also serve as teachable moments for children. The average adult will make thousands of financial decisions during the next year, including many which will be made with kids watching or listening. 
“Parents need to do something totally different when it comes to their children learning the basic principles surrounding personal finance. I believe we are way beyond the point when stressing the use of piggy banks
and comic books as the tools to learn about managing money is a good idea. We live in a world which uses terms like ‘Bitcoin’ and ‘Cashless Society’, yet as parents we expect our children to fend for themselves or learn with antiquated methods using nickles, dimes and bills stuffed in a plastic pig!” says Greg Murset, CEO of MyJobChart.com  a free, easy to use, online and mobile job chart and reward system designed to teach, organize and motivate kids to earn, save, share and spend responsibly. “Help your child be financially smart by teaching them in more relevant ways and reinforcing working for what they want, saving for the future, spending wisely and donating money when they can to help others.”
To help move your children in the right direction in 2014, Murset offer the following out of the box suggestions:
1. No More Hand Outs. Start the year off right by deciding that you are not going to just shell out money to your kids anymore.  When they come to looking for money, let them know that they will have to work for it.  The bank is now closed unless they start pulling their weight a little more around the house. Tying work and reward together in some meaningful ways will help them understand responsibility and accountability. It will also help them understand that in real life, no one ever gets money for doing nothing.
2. Smash The Piggy Bank. Piggy Banks are a bad way to teach kids about money.  That’s right, take that piggy bank and smash it or throw it away.  Long gone are the days when we should be teaching our kids about money by dropping coins into a bank that looks like a pig, jar or favorite sport team mascot.  Using banks like these only teach children about money in a manner that isn’t as relevant anymore.  Get them a real bank account and teach them how to manage their money though online services.  It is far more useful to learn to manage money in a bank rather than a pig. 


3. Make Kids Pay… For The Cell Phone, That Is. According to Consumer Reports the average mobile phone user spends about $600 a year.  If you do the math, you’re going to be shocked at how much you are going to be shelling out over the years so that your kids can send hundreds of meaningless texts each month to their friends!  Kids should pay some, or all of their phone bill each month. This is a perfect opportunity for you to sit down and teach your children about how much things cost, especially things that they seem to think they are entitled to for some reason.  This is also a great time to discuss the things that they can do around the house to earn the money to help pay that bill.
4. Play The Match Game. Set up a matching program for your kids.  They save a dollar and you match that dollar.  Yes, 100% return.  Sit down and determine what they would like to save for and then set out to accomplish it together.  This is a great opportunity to talk about short term, mid-term and long term goals. When a child learns the power of savings like this at an early age, what do you think will happen when they get their first job and they learn about the 401(k) program that is available? 
5. Comic Books To Teach Kids About Money?  Now That’s Just Dumb. Last year Visa teamed up with Marvel to put a comic book together to teach kids about personal banking practices.  Talk about a square peg in a round hole.  They supposedly were going to distribute 150,000 of these square pegs in eight different languages.  Why does something as important as personal finance have to be jammed into little white blurbs above super heroes heads in a comic book? Parents should be fighting to get personal finance taught in our schools, this way, comic books can remain fun. 
6. Make Them Better Givers. No matter how your children earn their money, make sure they plan to donate a portion of it to a charity of their choice. The average American gives away about 4% of their annual income to charity and perhaps that percentage would increase if the next generation made giving a common practice as soon as they learned how to throw coins into a bucket.  


7. Set Goals That Are Meaningful. A start of a new year is a great time to sit down with children and talk goals.  Meaningful goals. Help your children put together a plan on working toward and saving for something significant. It could be a bike, musical instrument, laptop computer or go-kart. The more meaningful the item, the harder our kids will work to earn it and they will take care of it.
With these suggestions, hopefully our children will be well equipped to avoid useless spending and learn great habits for the future. 

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Happy 2nd Birthday, Blue Ivy (“Blue” VIDEO & STILLS)

 
After Suri Cruise came Blue Ivy to top the reign as the most famous baby in Show biz.  The super cute curly-haired daughter to pop singer Beyonce Knowles Carter and her husband Shawn “Jay Z” Carter turns 2 today. 
Happy Birthday!

And appropriately, here are stills and a 30 seconds snippet from of the video to a tribute song, aptly titled “Blue”  to her by her mama from her latest album “Beyonce.”

And another thing, when will someone blog a Blue version of Suri’s Burn Book?  Call us so we can collaborate! We’ll host it here! Thanks!





Enjoy!











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Record Cold Temps: Stay warm with BIG Scarves

Brrrrrrr! All across the United States, many regions are feeling the chill of blistering arctic like cold and winds.  In some areas and cities, like Minnesota, officials are even warning residents to remain indoors and avoid going outside.

Frostbite is real, peeps.

If you must venture out this winter, and are preggers or not, an absolutely fly and chic way to accentuate your winter outerwear is thick chunky sweater scarves. They serve a dual purpose of keeping you warm and adding style and trendy function to your look. If you find a comfy scarves in a style and material you like, splurge, if you can, and get one in at least one other color.

Stay Fab! Shop Fab Scarves!

– Maria

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New Year New You: 4 Health Tips for Moms-to-be

While many people are dieting and changing their exercise and eating habits for the New Year, pregnant woman too can adjust theirs as well, not for losing weight, but for maintaining and elevating their health while carrying their babies.

Below are 4 tips from Veria.com, an online extension of the national health and wellness TV network Veria Living, to ensure a happy and healthy pregnancy.

1     
Stay hydrated
Drink 8-10 cups of water each day. Even slight dehydration can dramatically reduce energy level. Avoid reaching for caffeinated beverages – anything more than two cups of tea or coffee a day can reduce your body’s levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin
2      
Think of lean proteins, including eggs and poultry,
 as your friend
Remember to include some in each meal. Lean protein is super rich in B vitamins, which help convert food into energy.

3      
Eat every 3-4 hours,  3 meals and 2 snacks
Not going more than 3-4 hours without food helps to stabilize your blood sugar. When blood sugar drops from lack of food you feel tired and cranky.
4  
    
Take fish oil supplements

2,000 mg fish oil daily during pregnancy was found to reduce the incidence of Postpartum depression following delivery. If you didn’t take fish oil while pregnant, it is never too late to start. Other studies have found a higher intake of Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil will decrease depressive symptoms in non-pregnant individuals as well.
It’s Important to differentiate between the typical “new mom blues” and Postpartum depression. Some common symptoms of Postpartum depression are depressed mood, sleep problems, loss of appetite and trouble caring for your infant.
If you suspect you have Postpartum depression contact your healthcare provider to discuss treatment options.
Be well!

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Idris Elba confirms girlfriend pregnancy rumors, latest tweets trigger massive panties dropping

Instagram

And in stalking gorgeous men whose significant others’ are expecting news….

Idris Elba created Twitter mayhem this Saturday when he sent out a provocative tweet that referenced his manhood. See, it’s not just the female celebs who get off on attention. That tweet got retweeted over 7,500 times and faved about 8,600+ times and counting.

AND he kept at it with a follow up saucy Tweet about “releasing the beast” and acknowledgment of the furor and the fact he’s gotten a massive amount of new followers since it.

Well played, handsome Afro-Brit God, well played.

Expect to see men in big bow ties and other celebs hopping on the peen tweet bandwagon soon.

And it was only last December that he was finally admitting to the public that he and his girlfriend, make up artist girlfriend  Naiyana Garth  are expecting.

Lucky woman! Blessed couple!

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9-year old girl helps mom deliver her baby sister (VIDEO)

A 9-year old Chicago girl helped deliver her own baby sister last week when her mom went into labor at home.
Rather than panicking when her mom Monique Meza went into rapid and active labor last week, Alyssa Meza used knowledge she acquired watching medical shows on TV to help her mom  give birth to her sister, and even unwrapped the umbilical cord from the baby’s neck after delivery.
“She said she felt the baby coming out, and I told her to push the baby out and I’ll catch the baby,” Alyssa told ABC Chicago.  “She got scared. I (caught) the baby, grabbed the towel and wrapped her around.” 
 Alyssa realized the baby was discolored and sprung into action again.
“The umbilical cord was actually around the baby. It was like two around. So I had to unwrap it a little and I ran next door to grab my neighbor because the baby was a little purple,” she added.
A neighbor called emergency services which transported mom and baby to the hospital. Mom and baby are doing fine after being monitored and released before New Year’s Day.
Brave and very smart girl as not too many kids would be able to take charge like that and save their sibling’s life.
“I expected it from her, but as much maturity that she has shown me, at her age, very mature,” mom Monique Meza told ABC Chicago.
Check out the full video to the story:

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Donald Faison and Cacee Cobb’s son Rocco wins fave Hollywood baby name contest

Instagram

We asked Bellyitch Readers to pick among the bevy of unique names celebrities who gave birth this year gave their babies and to select the rock star/Hollywood name they liked best.

Readers loved the name ROCCO best!

That is the name comedic actor Donald Faison and wife CaCee Cobb gave their son, born August 15, 2013.

His name beat out the one Cacee’s best friend Jessica Simpson and her husband NFL‘s Eric Johnson named their kid Ace Knute. Rocco also bested North West, daughter to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West; Axl  Jack, Fergie and Josh Duhamel‘s son, and even actress Kate Winslet’s  son Bear.

With a dad whose last name is RockNRoll, we were just certain he’d win!

Oh well.

We get it. It’s cute but has to grow on folks.

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