Newborn Life on Cloud Nine

Savvy Spice hot air balloon print

I can only describe the past few days with baby Wilhelmina as ‘floating on cloud nine.’ Well, I guess it’s not really floating, but more like strategic hovering with my husband as we watch, hold, feed, burp, change and smile at her. We did a ‘can we go out in public with a baby?‘ practice run on the 4th of July at an expat BBQ in Zurich and it went surprisingly well! She even perked up when the band sang the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ and we lasted a whole 90 minutes before she started crying for her preferred beverage of choice, so we decided to call it a night. There’s been a heat wave sweeping Europe which made for a weekend mostly cooped up indoors with a portable air conditioner we move room by room. I won’t pretend taking care of a newborn is easy and thankfully, my in-laws have been here to help.

Life is on her schedule now which I realized in the hospital two days after she was born. The nurses had taken her for a weigh-in and to check her temperature so I thought, ‘Yay, I have 20 minutes to get ready.’ Just as I started blow drying my hair, I heard the nurses tap on the door. ‘Frau Schroeter, your baby is here.’ They gave me a look like ‘Are you really going to keep blow drying your hair?’ and I realized then and there, my daily ‘getting ready time‘ is over. So hello air-dried hair! Here’s my top 5 low-maintenance style tips (especially for any adjusting new moms) on a quick AM day trip with the family yesterday to Meggen, Switzerland…

Switzerland Savvy Spice hot air balloon shirt

1. Your Pre-Pregnancy Wardrobe that Won’t ‘Fit’ – I learned this the hard way trying to put on a few dresses I thought were roomy enough over the weekend and none fit. One simple idea I recommend is a button down blouse which is easy access if you need to feed. I tied a little knot in front to conceal my belly and paired it with a high-waisted skirt (that actually didn’t zip all the way to the top), but it was good enough.

White nails new mom style Savvy Spice

2. Will You Have Time to Paint Your Nails? – Newborns sleep A LOT so there was a few free moments for mini-pampering, but I recommend quick drying nail polish like Sally Hansen Quick Dry formulas to be on the safe side.

Hot Air balloon print Savvy Spice

3. Error on the Side of Busy Patterns ~ Babies are messy so I recommend wearing darker shades or busy patterns to conceal any issues. I LOVED this hot air-balloon print top I found at Zara a few months ago and I found other brands that have it too (see below).

Steve Madden flats Savvy Spice Dale Janee

4. Heels Aren’t Happening – I spent the weekend in these Steve Madden mustard flats, Converse and flip flops. I’ll still wear heels again, but not while I’m running around taking care of a baby.

Savvy Spice Switzerland new mom style

5. Go with your Natural Hair – If you are used to blow drying your hair, I recommend nixing that idea and finding a hairstyle that works for it naturally. I found pulling my hair back in a messy 60’s style twist works well by using 5 bobby pins (half-back first) then twisting the bottom layers and adding bit of hairspray for fly-aways.

Mixing prints Savvy Spice new mom style

<DETAILS by Dale> black leather handbag c/o – Adora / top (old) – Zara (dresses & top in the same print below) / Skirt (old) – JCrew / sandals – Steve Madden / sunglasses – Chloe / nails – OPI Alpine Snow>

Hope you had a great 4th of July weekend! Any tips you have for new moms are definitely welcome…

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Welcoming Wilhelmina! Our Baby Story

Savvy Spice Wilhelmina fashion blog

Now I get what everyone meant when they said, ‘once you have a baby, everything changes.’ I’m happy to announce we welcomed our little girl, Wilhelmina Janée, over the weekend on Saturday night in Switzerland – and it’s been quite an experience.

First of all, the Swiss really know how to welcome new mothers! They have spent the last 3 days in the hospital training me around-the-clock how to be a mom from feeding, to pain, to Pampers. They even have a staff photographer come a couple days after birth to snap a professional pic for hospital records – so I got one over her shoulder above. It’s been a truly amazing week on many levels and although every mom has her ‘birth story,’ I’ll try to keep mine as tame as possible. Let’s just say the day started with fresh croissants and ended with a sweet little bundle of joy in my arms…

Zug Switzerland Savvy Spice

Saturday morning, two days past my due date, started out like any other weekend with warm Swiss croissants from the gas station, raspberry jelly, and orange juice with my husband. After breakfast, we decided to go for a walk and stopped by this organic Swiss farm, before venturing back home to avoid an afternoon storm.

Around 6 pm, I felt something I was pretty sure was a contraction, but ignored it. Then I felt it again 30 minutes later. By 8 pm, I was feeling the pain every 10 minutes, but thought I was just being a baby since this was my first pregnancy. By 9 pm, I was tracking contractions at 5 minutes apart, thanks to an app my husband downloaded on his iphone. I was in a lot of pain so he called our neighbor, a doctor, and she came by and said ‘go to the hospital now,’ which thankfully was just a few miles away.

I barely walked in, doubled over, and the midwife immediately took me into a room to check and I was already 8 cm dilated! Apparently it was go-time as they rushed me over to the delivery room where I learned it was too late for any real painkiller except inhaling laughing gas during contractions which didn’t help.

I’ll spare the details of the next 2.5 hours, but it was the most.painful.experience ever! While it’s a blur now (a traumatic blur I’ll never forget), after the first 20 minutes of panting, begging for painkiller, and screaming, I ordered my husband out of the room. I couldn’t stand to have him see such craziness and unless he had an epidural up his sleeve, there was nothing he could do for me anyway.

The pain level rose by the second and the Dr. and midwife spoke German to each other while pleading with me, ‘Breath Frau Schroeter, breath!…Push Frau Schroeter, push more!‘ Finally, minutes before Swiss clocks throughout the hospital struck midnight, out she came.

Savvy Spice baby Wilhelmina Janee

You have a GIRL,’ the Dr. said holding her up and I started crying tears of relief the labor was over and seeing a real baby. Then I asked a nurse to run and get Jakob who was on the brink of a nervous breakdown waiting in the hallway. When he walked in, our eyes met, and he knew I was okay and then he saw our little baby in my arms and snapped the pic above with her crying red eyes. We were both beyond happy to have our healthy little baby finally arrive.

<Sidenote> Although this pic above was one of the only pics right after delivery because we were both so emotionally and physically exhausted, my sister teased me for wearing fake eyelashes, which I was already wearing earlier in the day. The point is I want to give a MAJOR shout-out to Ardell Lashes and Prestige Liquid Eyeliner. Drugstore makeup brands that can withstand the conditions of childbirth deserve the highest rating possible!

Wilhelmina Savvy Spice fashion blog Dale Janee

Wilhelmina was born at 11:57 pm on June 27th weighing in at 8 pounds, 5 oz and 20 inches long. Why the name Wilhelmina? Sure, it’s not popular and got a few looks like ‘huh‘ when we told people that was our ‘girl name.’ According to the US popularity on Nameberry.com, ‘it was as high as Number 215 in the 1880s, but has been off the list completely since 1955.’

The truth is that a week after our 2013 honeymoon, my husband and I were on a hike in Switzerland. ‘So if we have kids, what should we call them?’ he asked. ‘Let’s come up with a boy name and girl name,‘ I said. He googled, ‘Royal Baby Names from Europe‘ (here’s an updated list) as I rolled my eyes. But as he came to the end of the list, he said, What about Wilhelmina?‘ 

Wilhelmina Janee Savvy Spice

It’s a German name by origin and there were a few ‘Wilhemina’s’ way back in my husband’s family history. I thought about it for a few seconds and loved how it was old-fashioned and ultra-feminine with plenty of nick name options if she wants later. It also reminded me of Willkommen (which means ‘Welcome’ in German). Willkommen was the first German word I knew and always found it comforting to see or hear as I ventured around Zurich as a new nervous expat.

Baby Wilhelmina Nails 1

Lastly, as I hold her little hand each night (I can’t believe she was born with the natural manicure I’ve always wanted), the name ‘Wilhelmina‘ means ‘resolute protector‘ which I hope she will be if she has a younger sibling in the future. Although, the thought of siblings hasn’t popped into my head yet since Saturday night.

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By the end of that honeymoon hike a couple years ago, we’d settled on our first ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ name and never thought about it again. And today we’re finally back home and that is the story of how we welcomed little Wilhelmina into our lives. Thank you for all the well wishes – we truly appreciate it! Now I need to try and get 3 hours of sleep before the next wake-up call.

~xo,

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Do’s & Don’ts of Pregnancy Pampering

LABO SPA Zurich Pregnancy massage

When I first found out I was pregnant, I signed up for a weekly newsletter by TheBabyCenter, which sent a weekly update what to expect week by week and the size of my baby (which is due any day now). It was the only newsletter in Gmail’s kelly green ‘promotion tab‘ I actually looked forward to! You can literally search any question on ‘The Baby Center‘ and get sucked into forums of helpful advice and horror stories from real moms.

In the first trimester I searched, ‘what happens when you’re in labor?’ – one mom wrote something about how she ‘wished she had gotten a pedicure because her nails looked so bad during her 20 hours of labor staring at her feet.’ I made a mental note then to have a bit of pampering toward the end of my pregnancy since I figure I’d have NO time after the baby arrives. Here’s what I learned after a visit to LABO Spa in Zurich, Switzerland and some dangers with pregnancy pampering…

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The Scene – LABO Spa in Zurich, Switzerland. I first learned about this spa a couple years ago from MyGirlfriendGuidetoZurich and after visiting a couple times in the past, the service is top notch and the staff is so friendly, helpful and speak both German and English. Here’s my review after they offered me the Mother-to-Be massage and pedicure.

Savvy Spice LABO spa OPI nails

1. The Nails – At some point in pregnancy it got SO difficult to paint my toes, which is why I recommend a ‘pedicure‘ as a great gift for any expecting mom (especially in Switzerland where baby showers are not a tradition like in the US). LABO had the Infinite Shine collection by OPI which is described as drying quickly and giving off a shiny, thick vibe similar to gel, but this can be removed at home. But remember…

swollen feet pregnancy Savvy Spice fashion blog

2. Is it safe to get a Pedicure while Pregnant?According to TheBabyCenter the answer is, ‘Yes, if the salon follows recommended practices for hygiene and sterilization of tools.’ LABO was very clean and had individual sink like soak baths for my feet which were swollen and marked up from ankle socks. The treatment felt SO good on my aching feet. Now moving onto your body…

Coconut sugar scrub Labo Spa Switzerland

Is Getting a Massage Safe? – (Sidenote) I loved this coconut body scrub at LABO, it looked good enough to eat! I was able to have LABO’s specialized ‘Mother-to-Be‘ massage. It was so relaxing, especially after having back pain during my 8th month. The therapist was SUPER gentle massaging my back and feet at certain pressure points, which can cause early labor.

LABO Spa Aromatherapy

What about the Aromatherapy oils? She offered only a couple selections as some essential oils like lavender or jasmine can induce labor. (Sidenote – one of the best parts was the pregnancy pillow they have because you lay on your side! I asked and LABO can order it for clients, which I wish I knew in the 2nd trimester when sleeping starts getting uncomfortable)

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While there are some spa activities that are a definite no-no, I highly recommend pregnancy massages and I did get my hair highlighted and eyebrows done in the past week before everything changes. Although it hasn’t been too tough to manage, I’m not sure how easy it would be to squeeze in ‘pampering‘ if you have other kids at home while you’re expecting. Any tips?

If you live in Zurich, check out LABO Spa here and they have a new location opening in Locarno.

~xo

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Life & Bump Style at Art Basel

Art Basel Savvy Spice 2015

Rain, rain, go away…unless Art Basel is in town! On our ‘Swiss Weekend Staycation – part III,’ we met up with my in-laws at Art Basel and escaped the showers at the world famous art show. Art Basel is like the ultimate mix of art, style, and people-watching. As CNN describes the annual event, ‘Think of it as the ultimate superstore of the art market with its endless aisles and swarms of shoppers. It features 300 or so international exhibiting galleries and reportedly $3.4 billion worth of art.’ PS – Art Basel Miami Beach is coming up again in December.

Basel is Switzerland’s third most populous city (with only about 195K people) and Art Basel expects 92K+ visitors from around the world including the celeb with the hottest dad bod (aka Leonardo Dicaprio) who visited last week. He was rumored to have bought a $16 million dollar Picasso! While I didn’t spot Leo, here’s a peak inside this year’s impressive Art Basel as I wisely opted for Adidas sneakers and stretchy blue dress walking floor to floor…

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<We arrived early to grab breakfast before the crowds starting lining up to enter the show>

Art Basel art gallery Savvy Spice

<There are multiple floors and nearly 10 sectors of types of art. My favorite is the ‘Unlimited‘ which include ‘out-sized sculpture and paintings, video projections, large-scale installations, and live performances.’ Here’s some examples…>

Art Basel Savvy Senior Switzerland Unlimited The Yearbook Unlimited Gallery

<Unlimited Gallery – ‘The Yearbook’ by artist Ryan McGinley>

Art Basel Unlimited gallery

<‘Egocentric System’ – One of the most popular was by this Berlin-based artist. It’s ‘a giant concrete saucer spinning on an axis with the artist—who is tall, always in a designer suit jacket and rocking a ZZ Top-worthy beard—constantly inside.’ If you get sea sick easily, this is not the art for you. Read more about it here>

Unlimited Savvy Senior plastic bag art

<I didn’t get the official name, but I call it ‘Trashbags in Trees‘…>

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<We were invited by Ruinart Champagne which had a special gallery by artist, le Gall, in the lounge>

Savvy Spice Art Basel Sculpture Dale Janee

<We walked up on this art piece which had a creepy vibe…>

Savvy Spice girl sculpure wig Art Basel Switzerland

<Art piece by Valérie Blass using ‘Forton, a wig, mirror, modeling clay, and plinth.’

Mattress art Art Basel Savvy Spice

<This was a city landscape printed on a mattress which I thought was creative and looked extra comfy 2 hours into the show. As I just entered Week 40 of Pregnancy, I find myself taking daily cat naps>

Never Argue with a police officer Art Basel

<More art…>

pregnancy style art basel Dale Janee

<Art Basel Style – Last year I made the mistake of wearing heels to Art Basel which killed my feet. This year I wore a stretchy H&M blue dress (same as from my Kardashian post last Friday), Stan Smith sneakers and a cropped white denim H&M jacket>

Gold balloons Art Basel

<You could spend hours and hours on all the floors. But I was ready to head home by early afternoon>

Car demonstration Art Basel

<As we walked out to leave there was an abandoned spray painted car in the plaza and cops started surrounding it. It was definitely not planned for Art Basel and the scene seemed chaotic for Switzerland with more police officers coming every few minutes…>

Car demonstration Art Basel Switzerland 2015

<We decided to pass by quickly and I was surprised so many people were getting so close to the car. After 20 minutes, on the right, the car had been taped off as police investigated. We read on the news that night it was parked by a 35-year-old man who threatened to have a bomb – but it turned out to be a hoax. Uh, not funny>

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<Thanks for coming along to Art Basel, Switzerland. Here’s the official Art Basel site for upcoming dates in Hong Kong & Miami Beach. Photo credit thanks to @SavvySenior>

~xo,

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Kim Kardashian Stole My Pregnancy Style

NEW Cover photo Savvy SPice Kim Kardashian grey dress

Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but can’t a post be a bit over-the-top when I’m 9 months pregnant and it involves a Kardashian? Unlike last year, it has really felt like summer in Switzerland lately! There have been consecutive weeks with warm, humid days and most buildings in Zurich, including our apartment, do not have air conditioning. If pregnant women were superheros, I’d say humidity would be their Kryptonite.

Maternity style and the heat usually end in an evening of swollen legs and feet. The last thing you want to wear on hot days are compression socks or maternity jeans, so the past month I’ve rotated a few looks over and over including one simple grey jersey knit dress. I woke up Sunday to throw it on again for brunch, when I spotted Kim Kardashian, a few months pregnant, in the Daily Mail squeezed into the same look…

Kim Kardashian pregnancy style tight grey cotton dress

Kim, who was slammed for her pregnancy style with North West, wore this skin tight American Apparel dress shopping over the weekend – although she doesn’t seem to be showing yet. (Kim K. pics via)

Grey dress Savvy Spice fashion blog Dale Janee Kim Kardashian look for less

Maybe she’s the last person’s style you’d emulate, but I decided to copy her nude heel idea anyway.

Grey dress stretchy pregnancy style Kim Kardashian

39 Weeks! If there’s one thing I’ve learned about pregnancy style, it’s that at some point, it’s easier to just sport your bump! If you try to hide it in an over-sized dress or top, it can feel like you’re wearing a tent, so why not show your curves? And speaking of curves…

Pregnancy Style Kim Kardashian grey dress

Kurve Alert! While I won’t say you’ll get Kardashian kurvy during pregnancy, you will definitely have more than you’re used to. Kim has said she wears two pairs of Spanx to hold her in these dresses, which I don’t recommend – although I’ve found ‘Power Mama’ pregnancy Spanx are comfortable and ultra-stretchy on the stomach part if you need them now and then.

Savvy Spice fashion blog pregnancy style Dale Janee

Anti-Maternity Style Secret – You don’t have to only shop ‘maternity.’ The bigger your bump grows, simply look for longer styles. Old tops or tunics I thought were long look like crop-tops now and dresses that went to my knees are WAY too short. The H&M grey jersey dress I’m wearing isn’t a maternity, but it’s super long, easy to layer and stretchy so it works.

Savvy Spice fashion blog tight grey pregnancy dress Kim Kardashian look for less

<DETAILS by Dale> Sleeveless Jersey Dress – H&M runs big (Size Sm) / heels – Nine West (last seen here) / sunglasses (old) – Prada

 I know it’s a bad habit, but I still watch every season of The Kardashian’s (and I’ll definitely be watching ‘I Am Cait’) even in Switzerland thanks to Apple TV. Do you think Kim will step up her pregnancy style this time?

~xo,

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2015 Father’s Day Gift Guide

Savvy Spice Fashion Blog Dale Janee Steliga Fathers Day Post

When I first started blogging a few years ago, I wrote this ‘Father’s Day‘ post from above with  childhood flashbacks and 5 Reasons to Mail a Letter to a Loved One. While I haven’t always appreciated my dads gifts like ‘Household Helpers‘ as a toddler or random pieces of trivia he loved to share, especially on car trips, I’m looking forward to him doing it all over again with our baby on the way – the first grandchild for my parents.

With Father’s Day 2015 coming up this Sunday, if you’re running late shopping for dad like me, I have a few last minute gift ideas. First, I recommend Amazon Prime if you don’t have it, which I can only describe as ‘life changing.’ You can get anything you want within 2 days! Here’s my top picks for Father’s Day this year including a Corkcicle Beer Chiller, luxury loafers, a Nespresso Machine, Frankline Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto,  a classic tie in a bright shade, or a razor that my husband has been loving. Shop below…

~xo,

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