Get a Head Start on Spring: What’s Trending NOW

Written By: Erica Jay of http://www.youngroyalcouture.com

Spring is around the corner and after this horrid weather, aren’t we all ready to get cute for spring?? Here’s a few trends that are a must have NOW!

1. Babydoll Dresses. Babydoll dresses were big in the 90’s and are making a comeback this spring/summer. I thought the style never left lol!  The latest crop kicked the empire waist to the curb and is a more free-flowing, sophisticated kind of style. Pair it with gladiator sandals (in heel or flat form). Here are a few to pick up.

Splurge-Jen’s Pirate Booty Cotton Baby Doll Dress $158 www.revolveclothing.com

Steal-Volcom Ur a Pistol Baby Doll Dress $49.50 www.swell.com

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2. Mid Finger Rings. This by far is the hottest trend in accessories right now. As fashion trends grow and evolve and boundaries are pushed, no part of the body is off-limits for dressing up and accessorizing. So how do you wear them? Anyway you like, stacked, one on each finger, the options are endless. I stumbled across this hot new designer and grabbed a few pieces myself. Queen B. Jewels at http://queenbejewels.bigcartel.com/

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3. Overalls. This is a favorite comeback for me as well. I remember wearing them as a teenager. The new style is more sleek and form fitting. This spring you’ll see them reinvented in all sorts of shapes, sizes and fabrics. Keep them chic by sticking to the tailored style and pairing them with wedges or heels.

Splurge-Black Orchard Skinny Overalls $174 www.revolveclothing.com

Steal-Denim Overalls $34.80 www.forever21.com

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4. Clutches. Neon colored clutches are popping up everywhere. A pop of color is always fun, flirty and fresh! They add a little sizzle to an everyday outfit or a bang to an already awesome summer look.

Splurge-$995 YSL Yellow Clutch http://www.niemanmarcus.com

Steal-$128 Henri Bendel Wristlet Clutch http://www.henribendel.com

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The Reality of Motherhood: Help ME!!!!!

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Written by: Erica Jay of Young Royal Couture www.youngroyalcouture.com

 

Motherhood is not all roses and birds signing! I thought I was ready. I waited until I was in my early thirties to have a child. I thought I dotted my I’s and crossed all of my t’s so to speak.  I read countless pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding books. I attended prenatal classes, and I had loads of experience with babies and children, I mean sheesh I was an early childhood teacher, one baby would be easy, right?  Right! I was hopelessly unprepared. As I’ve shared with you previously, my daughter was born prematurely. Nothing I had read described the helplessness I felt when my baby wouldn’t stop crying or wouldn’t sleep. Or how desperately sleep deprived I was. Nobody told me how guilty I would sometimes feel (often about things out of my control), or how fragile my emotions would become. I, like most expectant mothers, was prepared for labor and delivery, and even for breastfeeding, but not for life postpartum.

One reason is that nobody talks about the reality of motherhood, which often doesn’t match the naïve ideal many of us have. Consequently, as expectant mothers, we often underestimate just how much our lives will change when our babies are born. We may believe our babies will sleep peacefully for hours while we work or complete projects. Then our babies are born, and that “perfect” picture of a quiet, peaceful, sleeping infant is quickly shattered by a very real, screaming, hungry baby lol. The reality of the constant care and attention needed by an infant is something many parents are unprepared for. It can sometimes strain even the best relationship. Some mothers find they are so consumed with caring for their babies that they neglect their spouses. Others resent their spouses’ apparent freedom, because life for them doesn’t appear to be changed. This can be an unhealthy continuous cycle, but it can be broken.

Psychotherapist and Life Coach, Alisha Bradley helps individuals and families heal and transform their lives. Using a holistic approach, she takes into consideration the mind, body, spirit, and how these elements respond to the external environment. She works with you to improve harmony among these components in order to increase positive and healthy daily functioning. She also works to assist you in identifying your fears, negative beliefs, and how those have caused dysfunctional patterns in your current life as a new mom. Motherhood is stressful and can completely overwhelm you. I totally understand this first hand. Beginning March 19th at 10am, Young Royal Couture and Alisha Bradley are creating a dynamic support group for moms entitled Moms Supporting Moms. This group will meet every Wednesday for a support in regards to your well-being and feelings. You can discuss anything that comes across your mind in a private supportive setting. We hope to see you there!!! RSVP here http://bit.ly/1oI0zuC.

 

Make Valentine’s Day special for your kids

Written by Erica Jay of Young Royal Couture Children’s Clothing Boutique www.youngroyalcouture.com

Show Your Kids How Much You Love Them!

This Valentine’s Day, show your children how much they mean to you with more than just a hug, kiss and a ton of candy (actually candy will make them feel loved)! Here’s a few family oriented activities and ideas that are sure to make your children feel loved on Valentine’s Day!

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A Little Breakfast Love

 

If you want to serve something heartier than just toast, pair bread with an egg for this recipe for heart-shaped eggs in a basket from Juneberry Lane. Make sure to have a heart-shaped cookie cutter on hand and the rest is really easy!

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A Pink Drink

 

Swap the kiddo’s morning juice for a glass of my all-natural strawberry milk posted
on One Hungry Mama. This pink milk is made by mixing milk with an easy
to whip up strawberry simple syrup. You can make just the syrup or the
whole thing ahead of time. Just add a cute straw. 

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I Love You Book

This Valentine’s Day I Love You book can be made ahead of time as a gift for your child or on Valentine’s Day as an activity with your child.

Supplies:

  • 1 piece of card stock paper (8 x 11 inches)
  • 6 pieces of blank paper (8 x 11 inches)
  • Stapler
  • Markers
  • Stickers
  • Photographs
  • Photo tape

Directions:

  1. Fold the card stock paper in half, then crease the fold.
  2. Fold each individual piece of blank paper in half, then crease the fold.
  3. Open all the folded pieces of paper and stack them on top of each other, with the card stock on the bottom and the creases lining up and folded in the same direction.
  4. Carefully re-fold the papers to create a book, staple the binding 3 to 4 times, 1/4 inch away from the folded edge.
  5. Decorate the cover and pages with drawings, notes, pictures and stickers.

 

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Lunch Box Surprises

What lunch box treats can travel with your child to school on Valentine’s Day? Think heart-shaped PB&J, berry yogurt, strawberries, chocolate kisses or a heart-shaped note. As mortified as your teenage son might be — or claim to be to save face with his peers — your feelings for your sometimes challenging adolescent will be clear with a Valentine’s-themed lunch.

Top 10 Things I wished someone would have told me about having a baby!

crying baby

Written by Erica Jay of Young Royal Couture Children’s Clothing Boutique www.youngroyalcouture.com

When you finally get over the shock of actually conceiving that bundle of joy, there are numerous eventful situations you won’t be prepared for!! Here’s my list of things that I wish someone, heck anyone, would have told me about having a baby and becoming a parent!

1. Childbirth is gross. Plain and simple. Seeing your goods bent out of shape and out there for the entire room to see is gross. Keep your significant other on the opposite side of the birth canal. Your love life will thank me later!

2. After you deliver, your first trip to the bathroom will be an all out event, literally. Don’t be embarrassed to let someone help you there.

3. Breastfeeding is the pits! Yes, breast milk is best for your baby, and the benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition. In addition to containing all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of life, breast milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect your baby from illness. Blah, blah, blah……no one tells who that your most prized possession that you hold in that Very Sexy Victoria Secret push up bra will start to drop after this nutritious journey ends. Not to mention the fact that pumping simply hurts. I never thought I’d love Vaseline as much I did while breast feeding!

4. After the first blissful week when that “I’m a new mom” adrenaline rush dies down, you will most likely cry. A lot.

5. If at all possible, do not put on real clothes for at least two weeks, and don’t worry about losing the “baby weight”. Things will happen in due time.

6. Babies don’t always sleep and sometimes they cry, uncontrollably. This the most dreadful event of all. You and your little one won’t be on the same sleep schedule for a while, it takes practice. You have to learn to make yourself sleep when he/she is sleep. Don’t try to do chores, or anything extra, just sleep! They also cry as if they’re trying to reach someone in the Appalachian Mountains, seriously……………just breathe

7. After you get over the infant hump, there’s the toddler hump………….which lasts much longer. Toddlers are notorious for tantrums, it’s their claim to fame, they will do it anywhere at anytime, for any reason. Keep your pantry stocked with wine to deal with these mishaps!!! You’ll need a wine iv to deal on some days lol (no seriously).

8. Sex with your mate takes a back seat. This is really pivotal, your sex drive will diminish or damn right disappear for a while but you must remember that your significant other will suffer, so remember to think of “alternatives” to keep everything going smooth!

9. You’re not super woman, it’s ok to ask for help.

10. Take lots of pictures, even create a scrap book because you won’t remember much of this later. Trust me. There’s also a cool app out there called Grove Book, you can download 100 pictures of your kid and they’ll make it into an awesome book and mail it you every month for $2.99. http://www.groovebook.com/

I’m sure I omitted a few things!

What do you wish someone would have told you about having a baby?

Too Cold to Play Outside? 5 Fun Indoor Activities for Kids

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Written By: Erica Jay of Young Royal Couture Children’s Boutique  www.youngroyalcouture.com

Baby, it’s cold outside!!!…..Ideas to keep your kids entertained this week during the cold weather!

I have a very energetic kid that needs to be kept busy at all times! During the summer and fall months we’re always out taking walks, enjoying patio dining or hanging out at the zoo, but of course all of that comes to a halt when the extreme cold temperatures hit. In Chicago, we’re experiencing the coldest winter since 1967. We’re also approaching another set of below -10C days. Ooh baby, its cold outside! We do enjoy a bit of sledding and goofing around in the snow, but when it’s really cold out like today, there’s no way we’re doing anything outside! Besides the usual activities of watching movies, baking cookies and driving me crazy lol, it can be quite a challenge to keep your kids entertained on days like this. So here’s my list of fun things to do when old man winter is winning the weather battle!

1. Instead of regular hot chocolate try this special recipe from Hersheys!!! It has several variations, it’s like a party in your mouth!!

https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=5265&name=Hot-Cocoa

2. Throw boiling water outside. Yup, sounds crazy right? We first tried this the first below zero day a few weeks back. We opened the door and heaved water into the air. And it was pretty awesome. First, we did room temperature water. That was pretty unremarkable. It stayed liquid and plopped into the snow. Then we threw boiling water into the -30 degree air. That was awesome. It turned to snow, you have to try this! It makes for an awesome video you can tweet and post on Facebook if your into social media!

Here’s a few videos from people who were fun enough to try it!

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=throw%20hot%20water%20into%20cold%20air&sm=1

3. Build a Fort. Build the indoor clubhouse of your child’s dreams using a range of everyday items from couch cushions to blankets and cardboard boxes. Help choose a safe location, away any radiators or large groups of electrical wires. Let them take the lead on construction, but offer assistance if they need help keeping blankets taunt between two points or they want to move a chair that’s too large. When they finish construction, enjoy a snack together inside the fort or tell stories. This can also double as play date with a neighbor!

4. Have a Youtube dance party. If you know Kelly and I, then you already know this is our favorite!!! We select our favorite song at the time (the instrumental version) and stand in the mirror and dance until our legs hurt. This is really fun, we use props and dress up too. Kelly’s favorite song is Royal by Lorde, she dresses up like a princess and uses her wand for a mic. This activity is priceless and full of laughs if you like to dance, not to mention after an hour or two of this, a nap isn’t far behind!!!

5. Bathtub Fishing. Here’s what you need to do this activity: fishing pole and/or a net (you can make a fishing pole with string, a magnet and a plastic pole or anything similar), magnetic letters/numbers
food coloring or color changing bath tablets (optional).

Directions:

1. Fill your bathtub with water. Add a couple of drops of blue food coloring (or the colored bath tablets if you have them) if you want your water to resemble ocean water.

2. Toss in you magnetic numbers/letters and any other bath toys you think they’d like to catch.

3. You’re all ready to start fishing! You will likely have to demonstrate a few times how to release the line and then reel it back in, but they’ll get the hang of it in no time.

4. If you have a toddler, after he/she catches a letter, you can practice letter sounds to create and educational twist to it!!! Make sure to dress your child appropriately during this activity, because they’re clothes will be soaking wet, have fun!!!

Or you can mimic the pictures in my collage…..just beware a few of them may be a tad bit questionable in the safety department!!!

Have you had you Batter and Berries Fix yet?

PicMonkey Collage

 

Written By: Erica Jay of Young Royal Couture Children’s Boutique http://www.youngroyalcouture.com

This past Sunday I was privileged to take a day off!!! Whoooaaaaa!!! I had the pleasure of eating brunch at Batter and Berries (located 2748 N. Lincoln, Chicago, IL). A friend recently recommended this place, I must mention that she drove over 35 miles to get there! Luckily, I’m only minutes away lol. At first sight, there were around 11 people waiting outside in the cold, it was around 15 degrees so I knew the food had to be good. No one is waiting outside in that weather for nothing! The wait for a table for was around an hour and a half, but it was well worth the wait. The inside of Batter and Berries was bustling and fast paced. Waiters were taking orders on ipads, and double the amount of people were waiting inside than outside. The inside is designed with a communal table in the middle and smaller tables surrounding it giving the atmosphere a relaxed community feel. One of the owners, Craig walks around with coffee chatting with customers making sure they’re enjoying their food. Now, let’s get to the good part! I was surprised by the prices, which are extremely reasonable. I ordered the lobster omelet for $13. It was absolutely amazing. The lobster was tender and juicy with the omelet seasoned perfectly. It was also accompanied by cheesy hash browns that were hot and fresh. My guest and I shared the Sunday French toast special, which was peach cobbler French toast. At first, I wasn’t quite thrilled on ordering such a sweet breakfast dish, it seemed like sweet overload. What a surprise it was!!! Delicious! It was a perfect balance of sautéed peaches and crisp French toast with syrup and honey butter. Batter and Berries is a definite must! I recommend that you go during the week to avoid the long wait. It’s a great place for a fulfilling breakfast or brunch, you will leave stuffed to capacity (or least I did)! I had the pleasure of meeting a woman who was 9 months pregnant scheduled for a C-section the same day. She said she wanted Batter and Berries to be her last meal before the long haul of giving birth.  Chef Raylon makes his rounds around the spot to check with the patrons as well. The owners of Batter and Berries are extremely warm and inviting, they really make you feel like you’re at home.  This is one of those spots that you really want to tell your friends about. Check out snippets from the menu below, enjoy and tell them Young Royal Couture sent you!!!

-Lobster Omelet with egg white omelet stuffed with smoked gouda and topped with lobster and tomatoes sautéed in white wine

-Crab Cakes Benedict with house made Maryland style crab cakes topped with poached eggs and house made hollandaise sauce

– Grand Marnier French Toast

-Rylon Salad: a fried spinach tortilla shell filled with romaine lettuce, sautéed shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, basil & tossed in a white wine scampi sauce

-The French Toast Flight: blueberry, lemon, caramel, strawberry, and blackberry cheesecake flavored French toast

https://www.facebook.com/BatterandBerries

Luxury Strollers: The New Mom “Status Symbol”

Post by Erica J. of Young Royal Couture Children’s Clothing Boutique http://www.youngroyalcouture.com

What’s the big deal? It’s just a stroller right? As long as it’s safe, secure and can carry a few items in the under carriage, a basic Graco stroller should do right??? WRONG!!! Enter the take over of luxury baby strollers. Over the past several years, there has been a huge surge in the skyrocketing land of baby strollers. I remember strolling the aisles of a big baby depot chain store and being totally unsatisfied with the look of traditional strollers.  I thought to myself that I couldn’t be caught dead pushing some bulky brown over sized contraption down the street and still be a Haute Moma!!! There was no way!!! I ventured off to what is now one of my favorite baby gear store’s in Chicago called Galt baby. I fell in love!!! There it was, my new best friend. I felt as if the heavens opened and angels appeared!!! Ok, maybe it didn’t happen exactly like that, but you get the point! It was sleek, elegant and not to mention black (which is my favorite color). It was the Uppababy Vista. It was the Mercedes Benz of strollers. It had all the bells and whistles.  It came with a bassinet that had a ventilated canopy, aerated mattress, extendable sunshade and toddler seat. They didn’t hold back on this one! It was the most amazing pieces of baby gear I had ever laid my eyes on…….until I saw the price!! Yikes $729.99!!!! The price was quite steep, but looking back, I must admit, I’d do it again. I really got my monies worth. It has lasted over 3 years, and that’s a long time in kids years. It has withstood traveling, zoo trips, heavy rain, lugging in and out of the car, jogging, and anything you can think of (my daughter even sleep in the bassinet as a newborn, but we won’t go there lol) . Not to mention my daughter is pretty rough on things! Strollers are indeed the new status symbol. Posh moms are spending big bucks to be trendy and set themselves apart from the regular stroller world. Pull up to a park in the Gold Coast and I’m sure your find strollers well off into the $1600 range, easily. In a sense, these luxury strollers are somewhat of the new handbag era. The more your strollers cost, the higher your status. I wonder if this trend will fade……never the less, not of all us are privileged to afford such luxuries, and that doesn’t make you less then anyone else. Here’s my top 5 luxury baby strollers for 2014 for under $900.

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Uppababy Vista $729.99 http://www.uppababy.com

Bugaboo Bee

Bugaboo Bee $649 http://www.bugaboo.com

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Stokke Xplory $1099 http://www.stokke.com

Orbit-Baby-G2-Stroller-Ruby-Red

Orbit Baby G3 $900.00

origami-bassinet

Origami $849.99 http://www.amazon.com

Post by Erica J. of Young Royal Couture Children’s Clothing Boutique http://www.youngroyalcouture.com