Category Archives: Health

MamaDances: Newborn Dance Class Through A Mother’s Eyes

Good morning, darlings!

This post is so long overdue! Sofia and I did the Mother and Baby dance class from October to December last year. We started it just a couple of weeks later after a baby yoga class. *Read more about it here.* Needless to say, it was a blast!

Surprisingly, I had never heard about this kind of class before. And I am eternally grateful to a friend of mine who simply sent me a message to see if I would be interested to check it out. It didn’t take much convincing. I watched a video online and I was sold. This is the exact reason why I wanted to dedicate a post to this baby class. I wanted other moms to be aware of it. Not only it’s a great way for new moms and their babies to bond, but also have fun, relax, while socializing with others.

My instructor, Eryn Dace Trudell, was absolutely amazing. And even though I can’t call myself a great dancer, I felt right where I belong!

MamaDances 1Source

Sofia was only 10 weeks old when we started the class. She was really responsive to everything that was happening around her, especially at the beginning of the class when we snapped fingers and clapped to create our own ‘music’. In addition, she enjoyed being in my arms as we danced around and moved past other babies in a class. In the second part of the class, we put our babies in carriers. Sofia was asleep within the first few minutes, while I focused on learning new dancing styles and techniques.

I asked Eryn if she would do an interview with me because I wanted you, my dear readers, to get the most information out of it. And she kindly agreed.

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Here it is, without a further ado.

First things first.

Go-to music: For classes I use: Snatam Kaur, Oka, John Hughes, Ali Farka
Favourite dance style: Contact Improvisation, Skinner Release Technique (of which I am a certified facilitator)
Dancing tip: Breathe and let go

Eryn, could you tell us more about yourself and your fitness background?

I have a BFA from The Juilliard School, and so my original training is in classical ballet and modern dance. Since studying these classical forms, I began exploring new dance and post-modern dance techniques. I love the somatic approaches such as Alexander Technique, Body Mind Centering , Feldenkrais and all their developments. I am a certified facilitator of Skinner Releasing Technique and a practitioner of Contact Improvisation.

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How did you come up with the idea of a Mother and Baby dance class?

I had the privilege of witnessing a professional dancer trying to present at a choreographic workshop while her child tried to upstage her. It was the most beautifully authentic dance I ever saw. She eventually brought the child on stage with her to continue the presentation.

As necessity is the mother of invention, when I became a single mother in 2006, MamaDances was the solution to finding a way to support my little family by applying my skills and experience. Sensitive to competition I wanted to create work for myself that would offer a complementary revenue source and demographic to the profession of dance.

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Could you walk my readers through your everyday class? What can people who attend it expect?

We begin with rhythm and socialization studies to loosen up the intimidation factor and get to know each other. Next we do a floor warm-up including lower back release and abdominal strengthening. On the first day we move with our babies in our arms within a study called “ Soft feet”. Technically, we are learning to let go of holding patterns in the knees and the feet to allow fluidity to come into the body through the contact and dialogue from the floor through the skeletal structure to the head. The principal being taught is the idea of letting go into the direction of movement. This creates availability and a state of readiness to respond with suppleness. This exercise seems very simple but there is a lot going on.

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What impact does music and dance have on a child’s development?

I am not specialized in this area of knowledge. I have no academic background in child development. In fact I am only beginning to embark on this area of research now. I only know from experience that the babies enjoy it. My own children who have been exposed to a musical and movement environment are very tuned in musically. My oldest daughter now plays several instruments and my younger daughter has an amazing ability to replicate a tone and sing musical phrases.

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Sofia and I really enjoyed dancing with you! Can you tell us more about the philosophy behind dance classes for babies and moms? What sets you apart from other baby classes out there?

When I began MamaDances in 2007, there were very few activities for mothers and babies. I had heard about Salsa Babies, but there was only one class being offered in Montreal that I could see. Mom and Baby Yoga was just beginning. Cardio-Pousette [cardio with a stroller] was happening at Parc Lafontaine. Since, then many activities have been introduced to the market, particularly things like Music classes.

MamaDances merges many of the concepts you will find in other classes, such as music and rhythm awareness, and stimulation for the babies. Plus , stretching and strengthening like in yoga and pilates. And then the fitness comes in, when we realize we have been moving non-stop for 60-80 minutes without even noticing. The material is integrated in a way that the movement of the moms and the babies becomes a synergy of expression and connection.

MamaDances 7Source

Can moms with no previous dance experience still have fun in your class?

Yes. All the material is prepared to be equally beneficial for those with or without experience. That is one of the biggest challenges of creating material for a class. There is a huge range of ability and experience in a class.

Do you teach any other classes apart from Mother-Baby class?

I teach Contact Improvisation and Skinner Releasing Technique. I also have a Parent and Child Program which is a development of the Mom and Baby program.

What are your goals for this coming year?

I have a lot of inquiries about this method from people in other parts of the world. I am hoping to create an online teachers training program and to begin sharing and expanding MamaDances globally.

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Source

Finally, any fun stories you’d be able to share with us? I am sure you had quite a few laughs with your members during the class.

The obvious is that we are putting one of the most aesthetic practices, dance, together with the most fundamental, maternity. The dance of eternity. I love it when a mother finds something that her baby really loves and the babies start laughing and so Mama starts laughing and then it’s all quite funny. We can’t take ourselves too seriously, yet here we are now responsible for another human being in the world. It’s a wonderful dichotomy.

Thank you very much for your time and an incredible, one of a kind, dancing experience with my daughter!

Mama Dances Class

If you are a new mom in Montreal area, definitely check out MamaDances website to register or to get additional information: www.mamadances.com. If not, see if you have similar classes where you live. You’ll have the time of your life with your little plus one!

*You can read more about my postpartum fitness journey here.*

Have you tried a dance class with your baby? What was your experience?

Have you followed my TwitterFacebook and Instagram page for most recent updates? You can also subscribe to receive emails to always keep in touch in the little window to the right.

xoxo
Olena

 

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Baby & Mommy Yoga

Good morning, beautiful people!

As promised, today I will tell you about Sofia’s baby yoga classes.

Those of you who have followed or have known me for a while are well aware of my love for yoga. What you may now know is how it all started.

My first encounter with yoga happened when I was still in elementary school. I remember my dad pulling out this book with pictures of strange looking people. *Not to discount this guy’s talent, it’s actually quite impressive what he’s doing here… but, c’mon, you  we all know what I’m talking about! Haha!* 

old fashioned yoga

Source

Anyhow, let’s move on. I remember being very intrigued, but at the same time being super confused. Breathing through the pain? Moving slowly? Breathing on counts? To add to my confusion, it went pretty much against my rhythmic gymnastics training and I didn’t see the point of standing in a pose where nothing was pulling. *I was flexible, remember?*

I never read that book *No colorful beautiful pictures, remember?*; nonetheless, I my fascination never faded away and I kept on leafing through the pages every now  and then. Fast forward to my early twenties, curiosity was still there. What was different is that now I wanted to learn. I’m turning 30 later this year *gasp* and I’m addicted to yoga. I love how practicing yoga makes me feel and don’t plan on quitting. Those stretches feel way too good! *It’s crazy how our bodies change, don’t you think?*

yoga

 

I actually wanted to attend prenatal yoga in addition to my prenatal aqua class. Unfortunately, both class were held at the same time, so I improvised.

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Sofia’s first yoga class happened when she was almost 2 months old. I was thrilled to have that experience with her, yet I had no idea as to what to expect.

Well… It was interesting! Definitely not what I expected, but there is nothing wrong with it! I guess going into it I was thinking yoga flows… deep stretches… What I forgot to account for is BABIES! *Duh?!* Also, generally baby classes are great for socializing; thus, majority of moms were beginners and we had to go at their speed. *Once again, there is nothing wrong with it. Just regular overambitious self! Haha!*

2nd baby yoga class

Babies LOVE Savasana

All jokes aside, there is a big deal I learnt at baby yoga classes!

Probably, the coolest part was learning various stretches for babies. Sofia still enjoys them!

First, we would warm up babies’ various muscle groups, just like we do for ourselves, starting with upper body.

Exercise #1

Lay baby on her back on the floor. Hold on to her wrist. Lift baby’s arms up and then bring them down. Repeat 5 times.

Exercise #2

Begin in the same position as before, but alternate sides: Right arm – up, left arm – down, switch sides. Repeat 5 times.

Exercise #3

Still on the floor, spread baby’s arm out to the sides, bring them on across her chest, and spread them out again. Repeat 5 times.

The next stage is a lower body warm up.

Exercise #1

With baby lying on her back, hold her feet or lower legs. Gently push one leg up toward her chest while extending the other. Switch sides. Repeat 3 times on each side.

Exercise #2

Now do the same, but with both legs simultaneously. First push both  knees to the stomach, then extend to the floor. Repeat 3 times.

Exercise #3

It’s time to do a bicycle! Guide your baby’s legs in a circular motion as if pedaling a bike. Do the movement 10 times, then reverse the direction.

Exercise #4

With the baby on her back, lift her legs perpendicular to the floor. Gently stretch them to the sides, like a mini split, then bring legs back in the Buddha pose while crossing legs one over another. Repeat 3 times while alternating the leg on top.

Exercise #5

While on the back, bring baby’s knees to the stomach. Move the legs in a clockwise circle, then reverse in a counterclockwise motion. Repeat 3 times in each direction.

At this point, the baby is warmed up for full body stretches.

*In this video Sofia is 4 months old. I was simply playing around with her while doing some of these stretches.*

Exercise #1

Lay baby on her back. Hold baby’s right wrist with your right hand and baby’s left foot with your left hand. Gently pull baby’s left foot to her right shoulder while bringing her right hand across to her left hip (baby’s leg should be above her arm). Repeat 3 times, then switch sides.

Exercise #2

With baby’s feet in your hands, gently bring them to your baby’s nose. Don’t force it. Repeat 3 times.

Exercise #3

Beginning with your baby on the floor on her back, grasp her forearms (if your baby still doesn’t hold her neck properly, you can hold your baby under her arms while still supporting your baby’s neck with your fingers). Gently bring your baby to a sitting position, then to standing. Then in reverse: back to a seated position and, finally,  on the back. Repeat 3 times.

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I may have forgotten a move or two, but you get the gist of it. Sofia absolutely loves these exercises. Believe me, you will be rewarded with multiple smiles while bonding with your baby at the same time!!!

You may also be curious as to how YOU can practice yoga with a baby by your side. No worries, mama! You can still do it!

First of all, the baby can be cooing right NEXT TO you.

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Your baby can be ON you.

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You can also hold your baby in your ARMS. Most importantly, make sure that you are stable in any given pose. If needed, stand by the wall or hold on to a chair for extra stability; but if you’re still in doubt, just put your baby down. It’s better to be safer than sorry.

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Don’t forget to make it a fun activity for both of you. Babies love interaction!

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Have you done yoga with your baby? How do you engage your baby?

xoxo
Olena

 

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My Postpartum Fitness Journey

Salut, mes amis!

How have you been?!

Spring is almost here! Even though it is still very cold here in Montreal, I am full of excitement. Spring is my favourite season. I love it because everything around starts to bud and blossom, coming back to life. I can’t wait to go for long walks again and finally start training for my first half marathon. I bet Sofia will have a blast in her stroller accompanying me!

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Throwback to fall

 

Many of you have asked about my fitness journey since giving birth in July. The truth is I had to, as they say, proceed with caution. Surprisingly, I was given very little guidelines at the hospital in regards to how to recover from having a cesarean. Naturally, I did have a few hiccups here and there when I would ‘push’myself too much without even knowing it and I would end up in a lot of pain that would prevent me from moving completely. I had to be cautious and patient, which, as you can only imagine, is not very easy for an active person like myself.

I started by taking short stroller walks around the block, then slowly increased the distance to 3 and eventually 5 km.

At about 8 weeks postpartum, I began a baby yoga class *read more here* with Sofia, 4 weeks later – a mama dance class. *More on that here.*

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Heading to our first baby yoga class

In October, the incision sight didn’t bother me as much. I thought it would be a perfect time to jump back into it by incorporating 30-day challenges into my daily routine *read more here*: I started with a squat challenge in October, then embarked on an ab challenge in November, and finally ended up with an  upper body challenge, which I found on Pinterest, in December.*Please, let me know if you have a good link for proper credit*.

30 day upper body challenge

In the beginning of January I knew I was ready for more, so I signed myself up not for one but for two challenges, both were totally free and could be done from the comfort of home.

One of them was a 30-day Yoga Camp by Adriene.

I’ve been following Adriene for close to 2 years now. I’m honestly in love with her videos! I totally think we could be best friends if I ever got to meet her. I love Adriene’s approach to yoga: Find What Feels Good. What was different about this yoga camp is that Adriene focused on mental well-being as well. I thoroughly enjoyed daily mantras and emails to go with it.

yoga challenge

If you wish, you can start Yoga Camp at any time by signing up here. *You will thank me later!*

Another challenge that I embarked on was an 8-week challenge by Tone It Up.

I admire Karena and Katerina so much. They are best friends in real life, great fitness role models and entrepreneurs. They were able to build a great online community, which I’ve been a part of for over a year now.You can opt in to get their nutritional plan and buy extra video workouts (which I did), but it is not necessary as there is always a free option available. I love their energy and continuous support through social media and emails.

resistance band

It never occurred to me that there is a big Tone It up community in Canada, including Montreal! To my surprise, I was recently ‘found’ through one of my hashtags I used on Instagram by one of the girls from Montreal community, so I am really looking forward to meeting them at the next meet up!

The next 8-week challenge starts within a few days. To hold myself accountable, I’d like to show you my progress from the previous challenge. There are no drastic changes as I haven’t made any changes to my diet. It is more important for me to be able to nurse my baby for as long as I can rather to lose an extra pound or two. That being said, I love how much stronger I have become in such a short period of time. It’s awesome to be in control of my body again!

progress

What was your fitness journey after having a baby?

*Haven’t read my birth story? Head over here!*

xoxo
Olena

 

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Rock-a-Bye Baby: The Science of Sleep With Or Without a Baby

Good morning, darlings!

I hope you’re all rested and ready to rock your day. It’s hump day, so there is hope!

As a mom of a little baby I often get asked a question, “Do you get any sleep at all?!” Usually, this question is accompanied with a somber or concerned expression. Luckily, I’m one of those moms who is not sleep deprived and normally get at least 8 hours of sleep because Sofia started sleeping through the night when she was only 5 weeks old.

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Sofia on the day she was born

My mom keeps on telling me,”I can’t believe how lucky you are! Unfortunately, I don’t think you can be THIS lucky twice in a row…” My response to that? “I’ll take advantage of this while I can and will deal with whatever comes my way when the baby number two arrives.” *No, I’m not pregnant. Haha!*

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One of Sofia’s first mornings waking up in her room

Once again, I am not by any means a baby sleep expert. That being said, I’d like to explore this topic and share some tricks that helped me in my quest. *I may be lucky, but hopefully I’ve been doing something right as well!*

When Sofia was born, I came across a book written by Pamela Druckerman called Bringing Up Bébé. She is an American journalist who relocated to Paris and became fascinated by the way French were raising their kids. Her theory is: “If you believe that little babies can learn things, then you can teach them things. And one of the things you can teach them, early on, is how to sleep.”

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Sleeping in a booster seat (almost 4 months old)

What’s important to understand is that we all sleep in cycles. As adults, we don’t even realize that we wake up in the middle of the night. However, babies need to learn not only to sleep for longer stretches of time but also how to connect these cycles. Thus, it is very important not to pick your baby up the very moment he or she starts making noises at night. Babies are noisy sleepers, and if you pick them up in between these cycles, they’ll wake up instead of falling back asleep. Obviously, don’t let your baby cry it out, just give yourself a few minutes to figure out if it’s simply the ‘in-between’ stage or the baby actually needs something from you.

after vaccines

Sleeping after vaccines

It is equally important to establish a daily routine to get the baby in the mood to sleep. Justin and I do the following for Sofia:

  • Always get ready to go to sleep at the same time,
  • Give her a bath, followed by a quick massage,
  • Nurse her to sleep. *Before and even sometimes now, if this doesn’t work, I simply walk around with her to get her to fall asleep. At first, it took me much longer, but now Sofia is settled in her routine and it’s pretty quick.*

Surprisingly, I started to sleep better with Sofia’s arrival, too! I definitely think that her routine became mine. Additionally, there’s nothing more relaxing and calming than nursing your baby!

I also have to give credit to my awesome neighbour who let me try out her daughter’s swaddler. Even though Sofia protested it at first, it definitely helped her sleep better. The first time around she started sleeping in 3 to 4 hour stretches, within about a week she started sleeping through the night.

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3 weeks old

By the way, did you know that not only newborns have difficulty sleeping? According to an exclusive Women’s Health survey, “nearly 80% of women have problems sleeping at least a few times a month, and 23% have issues almost every night.” 

I already shared this infographic here, but have a look at it again. There are so many dangers when you don’t sleep enough!

The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

Not only is it more enjoyable to have a good night sleep, who actually wants to have to deal with any of the above problems?! No one has time for that!

I recently read an interesting article by Malia Jacobson Improve Your Sleep Posture. Apparently, sleeping in the wrong position can cause all kinds of problems, including ‘muscle cramping, impair circulation, and leave you hurting come the a.m.’ Here are some of her recommendations if you have:

  • Heartburn: ‘Lie on your left side with you arms resting comfortably in front of you. Bend your knees and curl your legs slightly toward your body in a semi-fetal position. If you have really bad heartburn, roll onto your back and use a few pillows to prop pup your chest and head.’
  • Back Pain: ‘Lie on your side and put a slight bend in your knees… Place a firm pillow in between them so that your legs are propped about hip-width apart.’
  • Sinus Pain: ‘Lie on your with an extra pillow under your head and let the gravity help with drainage. Your arms will need an extra support, so hug a pillow.’
  • Shoulder Pain: ‘Lie on your pain-free side with your legs slightly bent. Extend your bottom arm straight out in front of you, then bring it in, using both arms to hug a pillow to your chest.’
  • PMS: ‘Lie on your back and place a pillow under your knees.’
  • Sore Hips: ‘Lie on your back. If it feels good, prop a pillow under your knees for added support.’
  • An Achy Jaw: ‘Lie on your back, face-up with lips closed but teeth open. Try to keep your arms straight at your side.’
  • Stiff Neck: ‘Lie on your back with your neck in neutral position.’

Here are some additional tips provided to me by Casper, the sleep and mattress experts, on how to sleep better.

SleepComfortMonth

How about you? Do you sleep well? What works for you and your baby?

sleeping on my lap Nov. 14, 2015

Sleeping on my lap

xoxo
Olena

 

 

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Snacking Doesn’t Have To Be Boring! #SeasonEatings

Hi friends!

How have you been?!

There is sooo much happening in our household! Sofia is growing so fast and I’m full of conflicting emotions: I want to see her grow but at the same time I just want to stay in this moment.

It was a big month for us with Sofia’s baptism.

Sofia's Baptism

She also just turned 4 months old.

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Since I’m breastfeeding exclusively, it does take a lot of energy. It doesn’t come as a surprise that I find myself looking in the fridge for a snack more often then usual. However, just like during pregnancy, I want to make sure to opt for healthier options. First of all, everything I eat gets passed on to my baby girl. And with the holidays just around the corner, I want to look my absolute best! *Is it too much to ask for? Haha!*

These past couple of weeks I was experimenting with healthy snacks that not only satisfy my sweet pre-holiday cravings, but also provide me and my baby with nutrients.

Probably one of the best recipes I came across is these No Bake Peanut Butter Bites. They are super delicious and fast & easy to make.

no bake peanut butter bites

First, soak 1 cup of raisins in warm water for 10 minutes. Then, add 2/3 cups of oats, 2 tbs peanut butter, 1 tbs chia seeds and 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Blend together until well mixed. Make 1 inch balls and put in fridge to set for 15 minutes. *Try not to eat them all at once because it’s not snacking at that point, more like pigging out. Haha!*

Another scrumptious snack I made recently is these Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chickpea Cookie Bars. They definitely take a little longer to make, but they are definitely worth it.

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While preheating the oven to 350 F, rinse and dry 2 cups of chickpeas. In a blender, mix chickpeas, 3/4 cups of maple syrup, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp baking soda until smooth. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and poor batter into it. Lightly press 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips. Bake for at least 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and then transfer to a rack for another 30 minutes to set. Cut in bars or squares and enjoy!

If you don’t have time or desire to make anything, you can always resort to the following ideas:

  1. Fresh fruits: I personally love snacking on apple slices with peanut butter!
  2. Vegetables: how about a few slices of tomato sprinkled with feta cheese and olive oil or baby carrots & celery with tangy hummus?
  3. Nuts: toss together your favorite trail mix and pre-measure it in serving sized ziplocks.
    By the way, if you are not aware, Nuts.com  has entire page dedicated to various healthy snack ideas.
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  4. Holiday flavored teas to satisfy sweet tooth: I’m addicted to David’s teas! Check out a set I bought for myself this week. I have tried mulled wine, hot chocolate and Alpine punch flavors and I’m in love!
    12 teas of christmas
  5. It’s not really a snack, but try fooling your stomach by lighting some candles at home. At the moment, I’m in love with Vanilla Snow Flake from Bath & Body works. *I bought it last year, so I’m not sure if they still have it to be honest with you.*

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What are your favorite holiday snacks? Please, do share, it’s always fun to try something new!

xoxo
Olena

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The Health Benefits of A High Protein Diet

Hello lovelies!

Can you believe it’s November?!

Sofia’s first Halloween has come and gone, but I will cherish this memory forever. *Look at how cute she was!!!*

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Even though it is still technically fall, once we have our car tires changed for winter ones and start seeing Christmas decorations lighting up outside, I inevitably think of winter coming. And I am not sure if it is purely psychological or temperature related, but I tend to gravitate towards comforting food around this time of the year. *I don’t regret the majority of those decisions YET! Haha!* 

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I see nothing wrong with indulging ourselves from time to time, but I also believe in renewing focus to eat healthy. The problem with junk food is that once you’ve had too much, you start feeling crappy about yourself. And what could be worse than having low self-esteem when everything around you screams joy?!

One of the proven ways to fool your stomach is to give preference to foods that fill you up faster such as food rich in fiber and protein.

Bodybuilding Warehouse, one of the UK’s leading supplement companies, provided me with the following infographic highlighting the health benefits of a high protein diet.

health benefits of a high protein diet

According to Bodybuilding Warehouse, “In a world filled with junk and processed food it’s now vital to make sure you understand what you’re consuming. Over the last 10 years studies have shown again and again that a high protein diet is highly effective in not only helping you feel curb hunger but also improves brain function, strength and aids in muscular hypertrophy. Before we look into the what benefits a high protein diet offers it’s important to note what we mean by “high protein”. High protein to a bodybuilder could mean 400 g of protein a day, we don’t recommend that. Our data is based on the 1-1.5 g of protein per pound of body-weight approach. Some people many find it difficult to consume higher amounts of protein but it’s perfectly safe to consume bodybuilding supplements like whey protein to help aid you reach your target protein per day.”

What are your thoughts? How do you incorporate protein in your diet?

xoxo
Olena

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Pregnancy & Positive Body Image: Celebrating Femininity & All Body Types

Hello 3rd trimester!!! I can’t believe it’s been already 28 weeks that I have a little miracle growing inside of my belly. It is, hands down, the best experience of my life! So before I was wondering about the purpose of life, having children (own or adopted) just might be it!

bump 27 weeks

I won’t say that it’s just sunshine and roses all the time, but it’s definitely worth the end result!

You may or may not recall, but last year I wrote a post about my struggle with my body image in the past. And even though I do have some off days here and there like everybody else, I do my absolute best to welcome and celebrate the changes my body goes through during pregnancy. Creating life is the most beautiful thing on Earth and we as women should embrace it.

This being said, there are so many people who are out there who feel entitled to make comments to future mothers like ‘Gosh! You are so small! Is it normal?’ or ‘Are you sure you don’t have twins in there?’. To me, each pregnancy is unique and as long as the baby is growing normally and you make healthy choices for the both of you, you are a great mother: Your size says absolutely nothing about your baby’s health or development.

What some individuals don’t realize is that those comments may be hurtful, especially if you catch a mommy-to-be on a day when she is not feeling that great about herself.

Recently, Cassey Ho from Blogilates, whom I greatly admire, did a social experiment on her Instagram account. What was the reason? She got really fed up with all negativity and cyber-bullying. Let’s be fair, famous or not, pregnant or not, we all have days when our self-esteem is not at its highest. So what she did is posted a photoshoped picture of herself with the ‘perfect’ body, but she didn’t mention anything to anyone.

Cassey Ho - the perfect body experiment Finally got my perfect body. Watch my new video where I share with you all my body slimming secrets www.youtube.com/blogilates (link in profile)

A photo posted by Cassey Ho (@blogilates) on Apr 16, 2015 at 9:21pm PDT

I remember scrolling through that picture. I was surprised by a drastic change in her body and thought to myself that something was off. I won’t lie, I was confused because those who follow Blogilates know that it’s just not the way she is. But as usual, there were plenty comments from both haters and admirers.

A day later, Cassey posted the following video on Youtube:

I was instantly relieved and reminded why I like her so much! What is the perfect body, anyway? Who is it that decides?

I remembered about a video on BuzzFeed posted a few months back about women’s ideal body types throughout history. Check it out for youself:

Lesson learned? EVERY SINGLE BODY IS BEAUTIFUL in its own and unique way. There is no such thing as a perfect or ideal body. We should all celebrate our beauty and uniqueness! This is why I was absolutely thrilled when a few weeks ago I was contacted by a company called eShakti to review their product.

eShakti.com is the only online women’s fashion apparel company offering sizes 0-36W and custom clothing. What I loved about it from the get go is that the company believes that all women have the right to wear affordable fashion that is made for them and makes them look their absolute best. *FINALLY!*

I was offered a choice of an outfit, and even though it was gifted to me, all opinions are my own.

Let me start by saying that normally I do not feel comfortable buying clothes online because I always have the fear ‘What if it doesn’t fit right?’, so I normally limit myself to buying books from Amazon. *What? A girl HAS GOT to shop! Haha!* The process, surprisingly was extremely straight forward.

Step 1: Choose the style

I went for a flowy maxi dress because I wanted to be able to wear it ASAP and for as long as I can, obviously! *Haha!*

Step 1

Step 2: Customizing 

This is the step that I normally fear.

I really loved that they have both standard and custom size option; especially that my baby bump is constantly growing! I can’t emphasize enough how happy I was to be able to put in extra comments to make sure that the inside lining wasn’t too tight to accommodate my growing baby girl. I also made sure to specify my height and ask to make the dress shorter (just enough to go all the way to the ground) because I plan on wearing flats and not high heels. *I’m all about comfort!*

There were also options to remove embroidery and/or pockets, but I really liked the dress the way it was and decided not to use them.

Step 2

Step 3: Ordering

Ordering was as simple as it gets! But I’ll be honest, I was still very much apprehensive about the quality of the dress and whether it would look like it did in the picture. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome!

The dress fit really well: All of my instructions were followed to the T. Even the length was perfect! The color and quality were also great. After all was said done, I might reconsider shopping for clothing online! *Sorry, my dear wallet! Hehe!* 

And, of course, I was all for modeling it for you… AND CELEBRATING MY BEAUTIFUL BABY BUMP!

eShakti 1

eShakti 2

eShakti 3

By the way, the last picture is my favorite! I look like an air balloon and I’m absolutely loving it!!!!

You can check out eShakti for yourself through the following media channels:

Website: www.eShakti.com
Facebook: eShakti
Twitter: @eShakti
Pinterest: eshakti

Finally, the company was kind enough to provide my readers with a discount of 10% until May 17, 2015.  You can take advantage of it by entering code candiesandcrunches in ‘the promotional code’ box. *Please, be advised that I do not benefit from any of your purchases.*

A few other pointers:

  • It is not case-sensitive.
  • Code can be used any number of times until the validity period.
  • It can be combined with any other promotional offer, gift coupon or gift card in the same order unless explicitly specified otherwise in the offer conditions.
  • This discount code is not applicable on clearance / sale, gift cards & overstock categories.
  • Not applicable on previous purchases.

Finally, I’d like to finish off this post by saying the following:

EMBRACE YOUR BODY AND FEMININITY REGARDLESS YOUR AGE, SIZE OR BODY SHAPE! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

celebrating all body shapesSource

How do you celebrate your body?

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Fashion, Health, Motivation, Reviews