Natalie Portman: A gorgeous bump it up work in progress

Natalie Portman was glowing and gorge at last night’s SAG awards. In my book, the divine Ms N wins in the “most improved” category making up for her Vicktor & Rolf Golden Globes fashion fiasco. Still, there is room to bump it up and really make a statement for the Oscars. With her belly busting triumphantly from restraining waistbands, Natalie needs to think about how to use accessories as tools to both glammify her look and leanify her silhouette.

Natalie Portman SAG Awards 2011
 Natalie Portman in Azzaro at 2011 SAG Awards

Natalie Portman Golden Globes 2011
Natalie Portman in Viktor & Rolf at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards

First up? The 2 million dollar Tiffany earrings were pretty but had zero va-va voom factor.

  

EARRINGS

 
Nat should wear longer drop statement earrings to put the focus upon her gazelle-like neck. Why? A few resons:

  • Longer earrings draw the eye downcreating a sense of verticality that elongates her shape making her look longer and leaner
  •  Pregnancy weight does not manifest on the graceful curve from neck to shoulder so it is an excellent body part to emphasize
  • Neck grazing baubles will draw attention to her face and away from her bugeoning butt, bust and thighs
  • Oversized drop earrings are super sexy. They proclaim to the world “I am and will remain a HOT MAMA for years to come!” 

Kara Ross New York Earrings

Flat Drop Rock Crystal Earrings, Kara Ross 
 

 

 
Geometric Amethyst Drop Earrings, Kara Ross

 

CUFFS

Proportion is key to pregnancy style. Translation? A Huge belly requires huge jewelry. Again, Natalie’s bracelets were ok. But a pair of dramatic cuffs would have been explosively stylish. Next month, when her bump is more watermelon than honeydew, she should wear an impressive cuff on one or both wrists to balance out her look and amplify the glam quotient.
 


Kara Ross CuffWhite Jade Cuff, Kara Ross 

Kara Ross Cuff

Rock Crystal Cuff, Kara Ross

CLUTCH BAG


Finally, an eye catching evening bag is a key ingredient to high red carpet style. To me, the bag must be elegant, exotic and unexpected. A python pochette or structured gem encrusted wood bag would fill the bill to a tee.

Hand Painted Python Clutch, Devi Kroell

 

Small Crystal Wooden Clutch, Devi Kroell
 

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CHICCO, C’EST CHIC: PREMIER BABY BRAND INVITES KIDS TO APPEAR IN TIMES SQUARE BILLBOARD

Is your kid ready for his/her close up? Upload a 10 second video of your kid saying CHICCO (pronounced     KEE-KO) and win the opportunity to have your child’s image splashed across New York City’s Times Square mid February. Participating parents will also be entered to win CHICCO products and receive a keepsake photo of this special moment. The videos can be from families anywhere in the country.

Chicco Video Times Square

Please RSVP to saychicco@pmkbnc.com

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FIVE MINUTE FIXES TO GLAMMIFY THE HARRIED MOM

I like to think of myself as the reigning queen of five (Ok, maybe 10) minute fixes. Many women tell me “I’m too busy for makeup” or” “I just didn’t have the time to change out of my sweats.”  Being busy is not an excuse to look like a slob. The trick? Having an arsenal of five minute fixes at your disposal will help you get yourself together in a snap. If you acknowledge your issues and anticipate them each morning, the inherent stress of getting the family-and yourself- out the door  (with a semblance of style) in the morning will be dramatically diminished.

YOUR TOOLBOX:

A BODY SHAPER: Donna Karan Waist Embrace to compress bumps and lumps

Donna Karan waist embrace

Donna Karan waist embrace, $39.00

SLIMMING JEANS: Miracle Body Jeans made with premium Lycra and Miratex fabric will make you look 10 pounds thinner

mircalebody jeans

Miracle Body Jeans, $110

A HYDRATING MASK: Sk-II’s  mask filled with with vitamins, amino acids and PITERA (a yeast derivative) renews dehydrated skin. Just slap on before makeup to hydrate, plump dry skin and decrease fine lines and wrinkles

SK-II Facial treatment mask, $90 (pack of 6)

OXYGEN TREATMENT: An oxygen mask increases circulation brightening a dull, exhausted complexion

Bliss oxygen mask, $52

CREAMY CONCEALER:  Camouflages dark circles and makes you look  more radiant than you probably feel

Laura Mercier Undercover eye concealer, $34

BRONZER: Insta Luminescence is achieved with a dash of bronzer everywhere the sun would naturally hit the face: forehead, tip of nose, cheeks, décolletage

Physician formula bronzer, $12.95

MINERAL FOUNDATION: Evens out skin tone and adds a subtle shimmer to a blah complexion


Bare escentuals mineral foundation, $25

HAIR MASK: Used at night before shampooing, this mask crafted of nine exotic oils and butters including Ojon oil  hydrates and adds volume to lackluster tresses

Ojon hair mask, $34

FRIZZ FIGHTER: Philip Kingsley’s genius hair cream with UV protection tames flyaways and smoothes coarse, dry hair

Philip Kingsley Smooth Cream

Philip Kingsley smooth cream, $20 (100mL)

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Fertile & Fit: Best Prenatal workouts tools

Fudge, not fitness, is usually top of mind when you are pregnant.
 
But, let me tell you from experience, exercise makes a huge impact on how you gain the baby weight.  I hardly exercised in my first pregnancy and the 42 preggo pounds were scattered generously from my rump to my chipmunk cheeks. But, by the time #2 came around, I was a Pilates addict. Pre-natal pilates kept my metabolism firing and my body toned. I gained the exact same amount but—drumroll—only in the bottom part of my bod (see pic). Can’t get to the gym? Here are a spate of excellent apps and DVDS to help you stay fit whilst fertile.

Amy Tara Koch Pregnant Pilates

Amy eight months pregnant!

 

PRENATAL YOGA
$0.99
For iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
For Blackberry ($2.99)
“The benefits of practicing prenatal yoga for pregnant women are endless. Yoga increases strength, flexibility and promotes relaxation. Prenatal Yoga is a great way to prepare for the birthing process as well as enjoy pregnancy term.  Pregnancy yoga is divided into trimesters lasting three months each.”

PILATES FOR PREGNANCY—COMPLETE
$9.99
For iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
” The Pilates for Pregnancy application is broken into 3 different workouts that have been modified to meet the needs and limitations of each trimester. This application is a tremendous value, giving you all 3 workouts in 1 app! You will be asked to enter your due date. Pilates and Pregnancy – Complete opens up the appropriate workout, notes and to do lists for your trimester of pregnancy. You will go from a more rigorous workout in your 1st trimester, to modifying the exercises with an easy to build incline in your 2nd trimester, to focusing on relaxation, leg, butt and arm strength in your 3rd trimester.”

Prenatal Pilates iPhone app screen shot

WHAT TO EXPECT-PREGNANCY TRACKER
Free
For iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
“Track your pregnancy week-by-week, and more, with this free app companion to What to Expect When You’re Expecting and WhatToExpect.com. It’s all here – everything you need, right now, at your fingertips:
* Due date calculator
* Week-by-week details on your baby’s amazing growth and development
* Weekly baby illustrations
* Updates on your changing body
* Slideshow of your belly pictures
* Countdown to your due date!”

What to Expect Pregnancy phone app screen shot

 

GABBY REECE: THE COMPLETE FIT AND HEALTHY PREGNANCY
$60 (price varies)
“This DVD covers all 3 trimesters consisting of nine 15 minute exercises that are safe for women during their pregnancy as well as a warm up and cool down As a bonus, three- 15 minute exercises for women post- pregnancy complete with warm up and cool down have been included.”

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NEW YEAR, NEW YOU! Twitter Party Giveaway-January 19

Since the Holiday twitter party was so successful, I am partnering with Moms Fashion File once again tomorrow night at 10 EST for a night of style and over $1000 worth of fab giveaways. Here’s what we will be tweeting about:
 
 “New Year, New You!” Style tips and tricks to have you looking and feeling your best in 2011
– Getting YOU organized so you can spend more time doing things that YOU enjoy
– Creating OF THE MOMENT LOOKS with existing staples and au courant accessories
– LOOKING YOUNG, FRESHER and more radiant with NEW beauty products and OLD home remedies
– Tips and tricks TO REDUCE STRESS and live in the moment
– BUTT & THIGH BUSTERS: How to BOOST METABOLISM and look longer and leaner without going to the gym

RSVP at MOMS FASHION FILE (click here)

Kara Ross: Pocket Watch Necklace, $260

Philosophy: The Microdelivery Peel, $65

Duracell: myGrid USB Charger, $34.99

Footpetals: Stiletto Stylist Kit for Moms, $44.95

CARGO: Smokey Eyes Kit, $43

Laura Mercier: Bonne Mine Healthy Glow Palette, $48

Tide to Go Mini, $3

Ann Taylor: Swarvoski Crystal Bracelet, $69

COACH: Colette Hobo Purse, $298

High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking, $14

Bubby’s Brunch Cookbook, $20

Now Eat This! by Rocco Dispirito, $14

 

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Easy, Breezy Family Travel Tips

PREP SCHOOL: WINTER TRAVEL TIPS
Family travel sparks anxiety in the most unflappable parent. The trick to keeping it all together? Patience, preparation and packing like a pro. Here are some of my key tips:
KEEP IT AT THE READY: MOM MUST HAVES
The name of the travel game is to be prepared for every situation: delays, congestion, stains and bad behavior. These products are genius to stave off  to stave of mid-air crises. For babies, always have multiuse pads, pacifier for the trip.

Reality: Kids always spill. TIDE TO GO ($4.99) minis are mama’s little helper. The size of a lipstick, (but with the force of a washing machine) Tide To Go instantly removes stains like food and drink stains from clothing. The $35 Duracell myGrid USB Charger ($34.99) is that extra power source for for emergency charging of devices like smartphones, e-readers, MP3 players and electronic games. Travel means bending the rules. Always have Bribery/forbidden foods to squelch explosive situations (gummies, Chocolate, Lollipops) . Your seat mates will thank you! Munchkin Multi-Use Disposable Pads (Pack of 20, $5.99)

Tide to go, Duracell, Munckin Multi use pads

KEEP IT HEALTHY: MEDICINE CHEST IN THE SKY
Anticipation will nip most high in the sky dramas in the bud. Have Band aids, Air Pressure Discomfort Ear Plugs, Benadryl, Infant pain reliever drops packed and ready

KEEP THEM FED: SNACKS/MEALS ON THE GO
Unless you want to fall victim to lousy airport food and high priced hotel breakfasts, stock your carry on and suitcase with snacks and breakfast options like granola bars, trail mix and instant cereal. Prepare for two hours’ worth of delays! One of my favorite easy-to –transport items is Cream of Wheat Cinnabon ($6) single serve packets. It has miraculously fused the big flavor of junk food with high nutritional value. The 100-calorie packets  contain no fat and are excellent source of Vitamin D, calcium and iron.  They have a coupon online!

Cream of Wheat Cinnabon

KEEP THEM BUSY: BEST TOYS/GADGETS
Sitting quietly for hours is tough. Even for adults. Engaged kids are well behaved kids so I recommend Interactive games—Vtech Princess Magical Learn and go ($16.99), a portable dvd player, Leap Frog Leapster Explorer ($74.99, pictured below) to keep everyone occupied. When batteries run out—and they always do-have extra juice (power, that is!) Duracell’s myGrid USB Charger offers 100 hours of backup power to anything that can be connected with a USB cable.

Leapster Explorer

KEEP IT ORGANIZED
A mom’s bag is likened to a black hole. We reach in and anything can come out. Except what you are looking for. To stay organized,a moms BFF are snack holder for The Bumble Collection, Pish Posh mom carry alls ($44.99, pictured below), Munchkin snack holders,  and, of course, ziplocks.

Pish Posh Mommy Carry All Organizer

KEEP IT CLEAN: COOTIE PATROL
To defend your family from the brazen germs lurking on every surface, build your anti-cootie arsenal with Wet Ones Hands and Face Antibacterial Wipes ($2) and Bug Off chair covers.

Wet Ones

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Extreme parenting, a disservice to children

Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother is alarming.  To see extreme parenting spelled out –unabashadley and at times poetically -by a Yale Law Professor saddens me deeply. Every parent wants success for their child. But at what cost? CHUA offers up the idea that hijacking a childhood and breeding intense competition at age 4 is beneficial for both parent and child.

Amy Chua with her daughters, Louisa and Sophia, at their home in New Haven, Conn. (Photo Credit: Wall Street Journal)

“Western parents try to respect their children’s individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions, supporting their choices, and providing positive reinforcement and a nurturing environment. By contrast, the Chinese believe that the best way to protect their children is by preparing them for the future, letting them see what they’re capable of, and arming them with skills, work habits and inner confidence that no one can ever take away.”

Below are the guidelines that the author sets out to breed the best and brightest child.
• NEVER attend a sleepover
• NOT have a playdate
• NOT be in a school play
• NEVER complain about not being in a school play
• NEVER watch TV or play computer games
• NEVER choose their own extracurricular activities
• NOT get any grade less than an A
• NOT be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama
• NOT play any instrument other than the piano or violin
• play the piano or violin.

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NEW YEAR, NEW YOU: KNOW THY LUXURY PRODUCTS

For 2011, bid adieu to fashion bungles and material mishaps by committing yourself to leveling your wallet only on garb that adheres the definition of “investment piece”.

The trick? Recognizing the difference between trendy accent the fabulosity of a true fashion find. Investment pieces –an Hermes Birkin, a Loro Piano cashmere cloak, a Lanvin LBD, a Verdura cuff, Manolo sling backs, a Chanel anything– have sustained fashion relevance. They are high quality “keepers” (generally offering an unexpected twist on a classic) that will add cache to your wardrobe for years to come.

TRENDY ACCENTS 

New Year, New You. Amy Tara Koch. Bump it up Style.

(think peacock feather earrings, mod vests, super glitzy tote bags, pink shoes) are whimsical fashion items with a short shelf life that are replaced with the next “it trend” the following season. Luckily, we are living in an age of “fast fashion” where runway trends are interpreted by inexpensive retailers like H&M, Zara and Top Shop almost as soon as the last model jumps off the catwalk. Offering directional pieces at bargain basement prices, these shops are manna for the materialistic minded who are dedicated to injecting of the moment elan into their looks.

New Year New You. Amy Tara Koch. Bump it up style.

 Gumball sized pearls wrapped in mesh, a groovy faux fur trimmed vest ,a neon clutch bag, a wide zebra belt and a basketful of glitzy gold jewelry will give you major look for a minor investment. So, when you grow tired of these items by March, you will not be riddled with anger for wasting your hard earned cash on fashion with a six month shelf life. The trick is to know thy luxury products and invest with confidence if your purchase is a keeper.

 

POP QUIZ: TO LEVEL OR NOT TO LEVEL YOUR WALLET
When you are considering dropping a lot of cash on a garment or accessory, the following five criteria must be met:
1. I am in love. I am weak in the knees and will pass out of I don’t own this trinket.
2. It is classic. It is very high quality and can be passed down to my daughter or niece.
3. I promise that I will not be sick of this item by FALL 2011
4. A knock off version of this item is not available at Urban Outfitters, H&M or BeBe
5. I am not in desperation mode. My love is real!

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PREGNANT PARTY CLOTHES! Amy Tara Koch is interviewed by iVillage on how to use one’s bump as the ultimate accessory for New Year’s Eve

Check out the full story at iVillage.com

Amy Tara Koch featured on ivillage.com

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