Coffee, to the next level


“I don’t get the same vibe when I walk into a Starbucks.” The words I uttered to myself when approaching the Nespresso Boutique store for the Nespresso Holiday Cocktail event. The stylish coffee boutique on Lincoln Road is always a favorite of ours after dinner or before a movie so naturally I was excited to attend this event and try out a plethora of coffee cocktails. In typical South Beach fashion, I arrived to velvet ropes inside which separated guests of the event from customers of the store. Immediately I was drawn to the center of the store where a mixologist/barista was whipping up interesting concoctions of Nespresso coffee mixed with vodka, rum, gin, you name the alcohol, it was used.
The beauty of Nespresso machines are not only how aesthetically beautiful they are, but also the amount of coffee drinks they can produce mixed with the quality of espresso you are getting is unparalleled to any of the competition. 

I sampled the drinks and asked questions about their 8 different machines. They range from small yet powerful to the Gran Maestria (my personal favorite) that looks like you have an entire espresso bar at your house, albeit, not that big of a footprint on your counter space either.

The kind folks at Nespresso sent me a Gran Maestria and soon enough I’ll be showing it off and making the best coffee drinks for the family.  With only 21 boutiques in the U.S. and 4 of them calling South Florida home, take advantage and try out their fabulous coffee and machines. I'd also like to add that our double stroller fits inside this coffee haven and they were quite kid-friendly when we stopped by for a drink afterwards!

For more info, click here.


Baby Clothes - always go bigger

It's hard to imagine that G+O used to be so tiny, that they would fit into preemie-sized clothes. Thirteen pounds later and 5 months into life - and they're easily fitting into 6-9 month clothing! 

It's a shame how quickly they've outgrown some of my favorite outfits. Not to mention how much money we're spending on clothes for two little girls… Then again, we have healthy, growing babies so can't complain. 

If I could give mommies some advice, I would tell them not to spend a ton of money buying newborn clothes. When in doubt, buy the bigger size - you'll be able to enjoy the outfits longer and its okay if they fit a little big in the beginning. 

Certain stores sell sizes that run true to size or actually run a little bigger. The Children's Place and GAP are two stores I love because the clothes seem to last longer and the sizes run true to size or bigger. 

Here's a snapshot of the sparkly skirts I purchased for the girls to wear on NYE…






Top 10 Must-Haves for New Mommies

As I've embarked on this journey called motherhood (of twins), I've come across certain items that have helped make my life easier.

To help those mommies-in-training or mommies-to-be, I've compiled a list of my top 10 favorite items that have helped make my life easier the past few months.

Here goes the list in no particular order:

My Little Sweetie Deluxe Rock 'n Play™ Sleeper Bouncer - This rocker was a lifesaver when my girls first came home and refused to fall asleep in their cribs! They would take naps here and we could transfer them from room to room and have a place for them to sit/lay after feedings.





2 Bumbleride Indie Twin - This double stroller was our top choice after doing tons of research on double strollers! It's flexible, pretty and functional all-in-one. Might I add, it's also very affordable compared to some other brands and it fits through standard-sized doors.

3 PUJ tub: Because my babies were born tiny, this bath tub helped me bathe the babies in the sink and it's much more practical than having to bathe them in the bathtub. Thanks to my friend Melo for introducing me to this!

4 BABYBJORN® Baby Carrier - It doesn't necessarily have to be this carrier, but any carrier or sling will help you walk around with your baby (hands-free) and will allow you to do more things without having to always hold your baby up with your hands. 


5 Skip Hop diaper bag (double) -  Because I have to carry around two of everything, this bag is perfect for all my necessities. 

6 Skip Hop Mobiles - Although I didn't purchase these right away, my Skip Hop mobiles for the cribs have been amazing and my girls love to look up and stare at them. 

7 3 Sprouts Laundry Hamper - My 3 sprouts laundry hamper has come in handy as I tend to do a lot of laundry and this helps me keep things organized and it looks really cute inside the nursery!

8 Avent 4- in -1 Electric Steam Sterilizer - This helps to keep bottles, pacifiers and everything else sterile and its easy to use.

9 Easy Expression Bustier Pumping Bra - If you're planning on breast-feeding and pumping, this hands-free bra will allow you to use your hands while pumping at the same time. It's called multitasking!
                                                    

10. Avent Soothie Pacifier - Last but not least these pacifiers are a most! They are the same ones that the hospital uses and my girls can't get enough of them! There are a lifesaver when we're having temper tantrums..
G enjoying her "chupo" 
*Honorable mention goes to the aden® by aden + anais® 4-Pack Muslin Swaddle Blankets. These are made from a beautiful material that is soft and prefect for swaddling!
Let me know what are some of your favorite, must-have products!




Knuckle Rings, Arm Candy and More

With the arrivals of my twinsies it's been a little difficult to go out and shop for myself (obvi), however, thanks to my good friend, I've been turned on to a new jewelry designer I'm obsessed with. A few weeks after G+O came home, I received a package in the mail from my NYC girlfriend, Irit, who sent me the cutest pair of initial rings.

She came to visit me in Miami a few weeks before the girls were born and I was obsessed with a necklace she had on and she ended up getting me these rings from the same designer, Alexandra Beth Designs. Naturally, I went online and got myself a couple more items because I couldn't resist.

Check out these cool "knuckle rings"! I hadn't seen them before and I think they are adorable to wear stacked.
I also got this beautiful vintage key cuff which I plan on wearing paired with gold bangles and my double wrap leather bracelet from Stella and Dot.

Check out Alexandra Beth Designs here for more jewelry finds!

Help Fight Paralysis

At age 26, my husband's cousin was diagnosed with a lipoma tumor surrounding her spine. Although the tumor was successfully removed, the tumor left her paralyzed. As you can imagine, its been an uphill battle for her and our entire family as we've witnessed her fight to walk and dance again. She is a fighter in all sense of the word and is fighting to have a better quality of life.

With her determination and love and support from everyone, we know she will walk again and live a normal life.

This weekend, there's a fundraiser taking place in her honor alongside professional boxer and Middleweight Champion, Danny Jacobs, who was paralyzed by a cancerous spinal tumor and was told he would never box again. Since then, he's made a miraculous recovery and against all odds has overcome his paralysis.

For a chance to get in the ring with Danny and support a wonderful cause, please join us this Saturday at Strike Gym in Coconut Creek to enjoy some professional boxing, live music and meet wonderful people.

Date: Saturday, October 12
Location: Strike Gym 6814 North State Road 7
Time: 2:00pm - 5:00pm

Our Twins’ Early Arrival


It had been an ordinary day for me. Work, during the day, then attend a breastfeeding class (oh, the irony), take a baptism seminar at our church and then home for a nice warm bath before bed. 

(1:30am)

KICK. POP. GUSH.

“Did I really just pee myself? “ I thought as I got up to the bathroom. That’s when it hit me, my water had broken. I quickly calculated in my head and realized I had just turned 30 weeks, that day. Thirty weeks, that’s too soon, I thought to myself with a pang of fear crossing my heart. I had little time to linger on that thought as I yelled to JG to call the doctor.

Doctor: What happened?
Me: I think my water broke.
Doctor: How many weeks are you?
Me: 30
Doctor: What position are the girls in?
Me: Same position as your wife’s twins were when she gave birth (incredible how I remembered this tidbit in the midst of trying to refrain from freaking out.)
Doctor: Oh, right. I see… Okay, you’re going to go to the ER and I’ll meet you at the hospital. Let’s make sure your water did really break and we’ll take it from there.
ME: Okay, see you soon.

As I stood in my bathtub (I didn’t want to leak all over the place) JG frantically threw a bunch of things into my LeSportsac bag and all I could do was stand there and think a million things…

*Damnit, why didn’t I pack my bags sooner?
*God, I’m 30 weeks, is this normal?
*Why won’t the water stop gushing out?
*What am I going to wear to the hospital?
*Should I call my mom?
*Are the girls really coming this soon?
*Keep it together, Stephanie, Keep it together!!

As we ran out of the apartment and made our way across 195 to our hospital, all I could think was God, please protect my girls and let this go smoothly. JG dropped me off at the ER entrance and as he went to go park, I stood there again trying not to panic while holding a towel around me (admittedly I felt a little embarrassed as water continued to leak, but then again I figured these people have seen it all).

Once I got wheeled into the nursery things started to unravel quickly. I was admitted and then sent into triage where the nurses began to set me up with IVs, take blood pressure, check me down there, etc.

Sure enough, my water had broken. Okay, so now what?

The nurses proceeded to tell me that I had dilated 2cm and that the doctor had ordered to try and stop my contractions, which at this point started to feel like mild period cramps.

By 7am, my contractions had not stalled at all and in fact, had proceeded to get worse and worse (ladies, think period cramps times a thousand). My doctor(s) came in and informed me that I would indeed deliver today and to prepare for a “vag” delivery (which we had determined previously I would try since both girls were head down).

At this point, I went ahead and received the epidural which was heaven sent and by 1:20pm, “Gabs” had been born, followed by “Via” who was born 7 minutes later. It was definitely top three experiences of my life with JG right be my side coaching me the entire way.

The girls were immediately transferred to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) where they spent a total of 6 very long weeks. To say this was one of the hardest experiences of my life is an understatement, but luckily our dolls did excellent and had minimal complications.

Over the past few weeks we've seen the girls grow and improve more and more each day. They went from needing assistance with breathing and antibiotics inside the NICU, to breathing on their own and feeding just like full term babies.  They have since passed all of their tests including hearing, vision and head trauma.

Daddy holding hands with Via for the first time.
Mami holding Gabs 




















While they still have the occasional BradyCardia from time to time (newborns sometimes get lazy and forget to breathe… but this is normal and they recover quickly although it gives mom and dad heart attacks every time) we are ecstatic to finally have them home. Sure 16 bottles every 24 hours is exhausting, but just to have them home, we feel like the luckiest people alive.

As far as personalities, we already know that Via is a sweetie pie who is very "tranquila" and loves to sleep and sleep! She loves to have her head rubbed and sucks on her pacifier just like Maggie Simpson.  Gabriela is a feisty one with a big personality. She even earned herself a couple of nicknames from the NICU nurses including "Diva" and “JalepeƱo Pepper”. She also likes to sleep in various yoga poses with her hands extended above her head and legs crossed. They both love to stare at us with their big beautiful eyes!

At this point there is no denying they look like daddy but only time will tell if there's more of mommy in there. :) Our babies are a true blessing and we’re so excited for this new phase in our lives. Thanks to all for your continued prayers and support.
 
We're home finally!

Side note: If you’re a “NICU mom” then I applaud you for your courage and strength. It takes something special to be a good NICU mom and I know how difficult this process can be. All I can tell you is hang in there, babies are wonderful and resilient and grow quickly.

  
A special shout out to the NICU moms I met @ Mt. Sinai and all of our NICU nurses. You all have our hearts!


Back to School @ the Children's Place

I was recently invited to a special 2013 Back to School Fall Collection Shop Day at The Children's Place in the Miami International Mall. Although my twins are years away from entering the wonderful world of education, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to look into the new Fall fashions that the Children's Place had for the new school year. After all, I do have a nephew that I could pick some cute outfits for.

I was absolutely impressed with the selection of clothes and the styles which included everything from daytime dresses for girls to boy’s faded denim jeans and checkered shirt’s. Besides fashionable and affordable, they had discounts of 30% off in many sections throughout the store. You could literally walk out of there with 6-7 outfits for your son, daughter, nephew, niece, friend's kids; well you get the point, for under $100.

With a great variety in styles for Back to School, kids won't have any issues with Mom about how they're going dressed to school. I assure you.

Be sure to check out The Children's Place new 'Back to School' Fall collection at a store near you.


Future outfits for the twins!

The Makeup Date - This Saturday at Bloomies Aventura

This Saturday, July 27, Bloomingdale's Aventura will host the biggest beauty event EVER and they are the only Bloomie's in Florida to host! It's called The Makeup Date.

NBC6's Trina Robinson will emcee this major beauty trend show featuring the best beauty products and tips - all presented by national beauty experts! I've been asked to participate as a model to showcase some of the latest cosmetic products available. Nine of their cosmetic vendors will each get 4 minutes to speak about their one must-have product of the season focusing on skincare, complexion and color. Shoppers can also expect tons of giveaways, modeling, and DJ beats.


Bloomies is opening up the store early at 7:30am for breakfast and the trend show will take place from 8:30am-9:30am. The reservation fee is $25 and completely redeemable for product - it also guarantees you a limited-edition travel bag packed with deluxe samples!


Space is limited since they're expecting more than 300 people! To reserve your spot, please call 305-792-1033 or email anjali.hasija@bloomingdales.com. The event will take place at the Cosmetics Entrance. Entry will be permitted through the East Entrance by Fashion Accessories and Women's Shoes.


Following the trend show, the fun with continue throughout the day with activities at each and every beauty counter along with additional beauty presentations by national makeup artists, giveaways, DJ beats and gifts with purchase.

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Hey guys and welcome to my blog! I'm here to help you navigate your way through South Florida and pick up some fun, quirky tips along the way. I'll be covering the latest in trends, venues, bars, pets, fashion, beauty and music... for your personal enjoyment. From midtown to midtown, exploring what's best...

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