Pregnant woman on hospital bedrest gets a surprise maternity photo shoot – Featured in today.com

When it became clear that Francesca Page, then 27 weeks pregnant, was not leaving the hospital before she delivered her baby, she felt sad that she was missing out on some of the traditional mom-to-be experiences. But that sadness didn’t last long. A week into her stay, her sister, Georgina, threw Page a maternity photo shoot in the hospital. See full article here!

When it became clear that Francesca Page would spend the rest of her pregnancy in the hospital, her sister, Georgina, arranged a surprise maternity photo shoot.
When it became clear that Francesca Page would spend the rest of her pregnancy in the hospital, her sister, Georgina, arranged a surprise maternity photo shoot. 

Discover LA this summer

Spot Hollywood stars and top athletes, enjoy a stroll on the long strands of beach, or fine food all in one of California’s top destinations. Lifestyle and Travel Expert Francesca Page shows off Malibu, which is more affordable than you think.

The Hospital Bag

Those who are expecting might just find that the most important trip they eventually make is – to the hospital. Whether your delivery is planned or your baby comes when you least expect, it’s wise to have that bag ready to go. So what kinds of items should it include?

The bag itself – You can use just any old bag, but it needs to be compact, light and easy to grab when your rushing out that door to the hospital. Dange Dover does a range of really cushy, easy to pack bags with mini pouches and compartments inside that can keep all your goodies organized. Size wise, a good option is their London Carryall which does just that – carry all – oh and look good too.

Hospital Gown and Nursing PJs – I love the look and feel of Kindred Bravely’s Nursing and Maternity Lingerie Gown  – fun, fresh, flattering and feminine, it features a flattering empire waist, which allows room and conceals, easy clip down cups and a built-in bra offer light support for nighttime baby feedings. The same brand also does a Labor & Delivery Gown for $29.99 that comes in a variety of colors, so you can bring your own flare to the hospital.

Water Bottle – styrofoam cups aren’t the best for you or the environment but they are still the ‘go to’ for most water you get in hospitals. Opt instead to bring your own aluminum or bamboo bottle. Keeping cool and hydrated during delivery is key, so for something that insulates well consider Cornickle’s line of water bottles that are both nice to look at and a dream to drink out of.

Treats – Your’e having a baby so you should be allowed to treat yourself. However, choose options that will either aid in your delivery (think candy you can suck on) or snacks that pack some nutrition or energy. I love Hail Merry’s Bites made with shredded coconut, organic virgin coconut oil and heart-healthy fats from nuts.

Slippers/Slipper Socks – You will want these when walking around the hospital or even your room. Kindred Bravely does some super cute ones with fun inspirational quotes to make you smile and feel like a strong mama!

Cremes and Calming Oils – I am a big fan of aromatherapy during pregnancy. Hatch’s Pocket Spa Trio for $68 is a great way to carry a mini spa of ‘mama to be’ blended oils (ginger, eucalyptus and lavender) that do everything from energize to relax or aid sickness.

TRAVEL TRENDS FOR 2019

TRAVEL TRENDS FOR 2019
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The rise of the ‘mini trip

Maybe it’s because people are working more hours but it seems travelers are reporting that they plan to take more weekend trips in 2019! Thanks to improvements in flight routes and flight tracking apps – ‘micro trips’ will become increasingly more popular and varied. Go-to tracking apps like Hopper have made it easy for people to book hotels or flights based on notifications and predictions on when and how prices will rise and fall and when the best time to book is. Tools like this are also a great way to explore different destinations and see when and where price wise the best place to go for you is!

The Caribbean and FL Keys continue to bounce back in a big way

Many of the Caribbean islands and the keys hit by Hurricane Irma and Maria are well on way on their way to recovery by now. There are also more flights to these destinations than ever before (from smaller cities like Boston and Denver.) They Keys are a particularly good bet for accessible paradise with something for everyone; take Key West’s Havana Cabana Resort – rich in charm and character where guest can relax and unwind with a midday mojito by the pool, conquer an array of watersports or just explore the colorful, buzzing town on a bicycle or vintage Vespa.

Conscious travel

2019 Should likely see a rise in people’s desire to learn something new while on vacation. Destinations like on the west coast like the City of Los Angeles should be a popular choice offering that California ‘all round vibe’ that includes a variety of experiences for a conscious traveler to experience from sustainable, farm-to-table cuisine to scenic hiking and surfing. Meditation gardens like Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardensprovide incredible spiritual retreat, while Bikes and Hikes L.A. offers hikes throughout the day until sunset, to discover some of the City’s most picturesque views. And between Santa Monica, Redondo and Manhattan Beach, travelers will find an array of surf camps to choose from!

Customization and Personalization

Especially technology that can help you keep track of & benefit from airline loyalty programs and offer solid travel hacks from a well travelled community, are on the rise. Apps like App in the Air is personal flying assistant that not only does that but also keeps you up-to-date with your flight: real time status, provides airport tips and in-airport navigation maps, flight profile with all your flights logged. The app works offline (gate changes and flight status updates are delivered via SMS which requires no data roaming).

The rise in the ‘vacation home’

According to a recent survey by Wyndham Destinations, more than half of millennials surveyed said have vacationed in a timeshare and a whopping three quarter said they actually liked it. Nearly half of Americans in general travel as a family and tend to like comfort when they travel like spacious accommodations, consistent service and brand names — all things that timeshares offer. In fact, the number one thing (34%) consumers say make their vacation less enjoyable is a lack of amenities like laundry, a fitness room or pool.  Homes away from home seem to be the future…

Surviving Flight Delays

Surviving Flight Delays

This holiday season I found myself subject to the mass delays surrounding the bad weather front that hit the northeast a few short days before Christmas. Even as a travel expert, I know that no amount of planning can control the weather,. However, there are ways to be prepared for the worst. So with the extra time due to my flight delay/cancellation, I used this as an opportunity to share some a few of my own tips with all the hardworking news networks on site!

Have ‘plan B’ ready to roll

I always keep a list of apps that come in handy in case of delays, especially when it comes to needing to rebook flights due to cancellation. You can’t always rely on the airline to get you on the next available flight, or predict when that will be, so you may need to do your own research – and FAST. Apps like hopper are great to have handy on your smartphone, as they will not only be able to compare what airlines are flying and at what prices, but also track these and can let you know when they go up and down and price and when to book them. Predicting future prices for flights and accommodations with 95% recommendation accuracy sure comes in handy when you have to think (and rebook) fast on your feet.

The Hopper App

Get Travel Insurance

While most travel insurance policies cover overnight stays, medical expenses, delayed or lost baggage, trip cancellations and airline change fees, most people still opt out of the added travel insurance. However, it can come in handy, especially if you find yourself booking a trip close to any major holidays like Christmas. The trip-focused plans are pretty affordable, but if you travel frequently you want to look into getting an annual travel insurance plan so it’s always there.

Pack prepared

If you are delayed for more than a few hours, airlines tend to hand out food vouchers, and sometimes nearby accommodation, but not always – so it is best to come prepared. Some essentials I suggest include granola bars, a water bottle, wet wipes, a blanket, a neck pillow, medicine, chargers, headphones, earplugs, an eye mask, some basic toiletries, and maybe a clean t-shirt rolled up in your bag! I personally love my Dagne Dover – it has a compartment for every item I travel with!

Keep yourself charged up and have offline options handy

There are some great portable chargers out (unless of course you have a ‘smart’ suitcase) so it’s worth carrying at least one power source in case you don’t find yourself near a pug for a while. You may also find yourself subject to slow airport wifi with hours to kill. Download movies and your favorite sitcoms from Netflix and Amazon Play (which are free if you have a subscription) so you can watch them offline during delays and on long trips. 

Stay CALM

This is probably the hardest thing to do – even I still get stressed when it comes to delays and cancellations. If you experience a delay and need to speak with the airline, stay composed and be polite, as remember, they are going to be the ones to get you on the next flight out. After that, find somewhere sit down, call anyone you need to, and wait it out. If you have lounge access, this is where it comes in handy. Remember, if your not flying, there’s often a good reason for it – which can include your safety in the air!

‘Momma’s to be’ On The Go – tips and tools to aid expectant mothers

As many of you may not know, I am expecting!
Five months into pregnancy, all the comforts become important, especially if you are like me, and always on the go. Many women work and travel right up until they are not medically allowed to, which can start to get tough as you stomach swells and your body changes. There are of course, tips and tools you can use to make any travel experience more comfortable, from your daily commute to jetting off on your ‘baby-moon.’ Below I share a few:

Give yourself time  – It’s not so bad being at the airport early anymore because they’re basically like big malls. Just do a little bit of shopping and go grab a light meal. Then (if you can) plan to take a nap on the flight, which is when comfort is key. GoTravel’s Ultimate Memory Pillow ($34.95) is well worth it and far cheaper than a flight upgrade. 

Create a spa experience – Whether you are arriving home after a long commute or arriving at your travel destination, creating a calm environment is essential when you are pregnant. Scent is particularly important so I suggest taking along some naturally scented travel candles. GoodLight makes a gorgeous range of natural travel size candle Apothecary Jars that you can light by your bedside, starting at just $8.99. Hatch’s Pocket Spa Trio for $68 is also a great way to carry a mini spa of ‘mama to be’ blended oils (ginger, eucalyptus and lavender) that do everything from energize to relax or aid morning sickness.

Bring a book/ download an app – Take along a book or download a meditation app that helps you zone out a little. There are a magnitude of books, e-book and apps on the market for expectant moms but you don’t want anything that causes you any more ‘expectant anxiety’ while you are in transit. One of my favorite books is Deepak Chopra’s Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives, which takes a soothing approach to pregnancy, focusing on the wondrous process of bringing new life into the world, as derived from the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda – with an emphasis on body, mind, and spirit.

Comfort wear – Wanting to be stylish and yet comfortable when you travel is tough for the average person, never-mind pregnant. Luckily Hatch is well ahead of the curve with their maternity wear. One of my favorite travel essentials is their Slouch Dress which not only looks gorgeous but also weighs less than nothing, and takes up no suitcase space. Maybe get one in every color?!

Hydrate your skin – This is super key when you are traveling. The skin around your breasts and belly are especially susceptible as they stretch so be sure to keep these areas supple and hydrated. I love the $12 Belly Mask by Hatch – an all-natural hydrating sheet mask, made to help minimize stretch marks during pregnancy and help soften inflamed scar tissue postpartum. I am also now obsessed with coming home to the the Jua Essentials line of washes and cremes, which not only smell incredible but are free from harsh chemicals, petroleum, parabens, damaging sulfates.

Foot care – All this new baby weight is standing on one thing…. your feet. Aside of getting that regular pedicures and foot rubs there are other ways to make sure your tootsies are cared for. Compression socks are key for pregnant women traveling to prevent blood clots and aid circulation, and luckily Dr Motion makes a gorgeous range to choose from. I am also a big fan of  Down Girl Soothing Leg and Foot Relief $42 by Hatch – an anti-inflammatory gel-based cream that helps reduce swelling and invigorate tired feet and legs (perfect after a long journey or day on your feet.)

Take care of ‘down there’ – Over your pregnancy there is a lot going on ‘down there’ which can be more than uncomfortable, especially when on the go. Love Wellness does PH balancing, perfectly packaged ‘Do It All Wipes’  that fit right in your purse to keep you feeling feeling fresh and healthy wherever you are.

Record Breaking Holiday Travel – tips to survive!

I probably say it every year, but this year holiday travel is actually set to break some records!

Numbers released last week by AAA show that 112.5 million people are expected to be traveling in the air and on the roads; that’ s a  4.4 percent increase over last year’s number. Broken down by transport, 102.1 million people are expected to travel by car, 6.7 million people will travel by air and 3.7 million will travel by trains, buses and cruise ships.

So what’s the best way to beat the madness?

Timing is everything; the earlier you leave the better. That goes for every kind of transport. If your flying be sure to get to the airport at least two hours ahead of time. Drivers should note that data released by AAA shows that Thursday, Dec. 20 from 9:30 – 10:30 p.m. will be the worst time for travel in New York City. 

Get some handy apps stocked up on your phone, like WAZE, that use real time traffic data and also show alternate routes for you to consider based on traffic and time. 

3  Consider traveling on the actual holiday itself when there is usually the least amount of traffic and (for the risk takers who haven’t booked already) flights, trains and such can have price drops. Re flights in particular, be sure to download tracking apps like Hopper which will let you know when those deals strike.

4 Drivers, never hit the road with less than a full tank of gas, especially if you’re driving an extended distance. Its also smart to pack a driving kit with blankets and gloves, drinking water and flashlight with extra batteries, and healthy snacks for the journey. 

5  Keep update on weather reports, as this time of year weather can cause mayhem to travel plans. If you are driving, make sure you check weather conditions, have a working radio and your vehicle is prepared for any circumstances that may arise. If flying, be sure to keep an eye out for ‘winter storm warnings’ or severe delays,. This is particularly important if you have a connection somewhere that may be subject to temperamental weather you would not otherwise be. 

6  Stay calm, as he holidays can be stressful enough. Try and make the best of  journey ahead, no matter what it may bring (and know that a little extra preparation goes a long way.)

Bleisure’ Travel – Adding Leisure to Business Travel

‘Bleisure’ Travel – Adding Leisure to Business Travel
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Business travel can be a nightmare for many. Blurring lines between leisure and business travel — often referred to as ‘bleisure’ travel — has become more popular over the past few years. As long as it’s not forbidden by your company, fly to a desired destination to spend the weekend, and then head to your business meeting. 

Francesca so why ‘bleisure’? 

Many destinations are too expensive to go to otherwise so as long as your company allows, it makes sense to combine the two and get some site-seeing in.

Traveling to a destination ahead of time will give international businesspeople a window to adjust to a time change before their workweek starts.

Get to the meetings refreshed and with a positive attitide – making them them more successful in their business meetings.

Tips 

GET TSA PRE-CHECK OR GLOBAL ENTRY

For frequent travelers, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry is essential for expediting the security check. You don’t need to remove your shoes or belt, and you can keep your 3.4-ounce liquids in your bag and your computer safely in its case. TSA PreCheck costs $85 for five years and Global Entry is $100 for five years.PACK SMART AND CHOOSE QUALITY LUGGAGE

If your a regular business traveler/frequent flyer quality and space economic luggage is KEY (especially if you plan on extending your trip.) TRS Ballistic Luggage for example uniquely allows one to connect and roll multiple luggage pieces with one finger (think briefcases to suitcases) and has four wheels so no airport cart needed – making it time and space economic. See here.

REACH ELITE STATUS IN AN AIRLINE’S LOYALTY PROGRAM

If you don’t have status on an airline, get that first. Elite status in a frequent flyer program gives you airport lounge access, priority boarding, complimentary upgrades and more. When you’re on long-haul flights or visiting multiple cities, these luxuries can make travel a better experience.

I need a vacation from my vacation’ – Self-restoration and travel

‘I need a vacation from my vacation’ – Self-restoration and travel

We’ve all been there. Long trip, maybe a delay, jet lag, dehydration….travel can be glamorous but it can also take a toll on your body. Ever heard of vthe phrase ‘I need a vacation after this vacation?’ Its a thing. So what can we do the other side of our trip or even in preparation for our journey to aid the above? Whether preventative or restorative here are some great options to aid your travel aches, pains and fatigues. 

HEAL YOUR BODY:

Hours in any position, never mind in an uncomfortable or unusual position can cause our bodies to cramp and muscles to pinch. Aside of hydration (mentioned below) a GREAT way to end your journey is with a massage. This will help relieve toxins, re-energize you and prep you for whatever lies ahead on your trip away or on returning home from your trip. A great option in NYC is Exhale Spa. Try a deep tissue which focuses on those overworked muscles living well below the surface with this intensely therapeutic massage. Designed to relieve pain associated with muscle knots, heavy physical activity, and everyday stress, this therapy is deliberate and customized, targeting specific areas in need of relief. Starting at $120 and WELL WORTH IT See exhalespa.com/

FIX YOUR LOOK:

You can do everything but no amount of makeup can hide a post travel-groggy feeling. However, there is one part of your look that can really change everything – your hair. Scrap the foundation and trying to put makeup on in an airplane toilet. Instead, buy some great sunglasses and get a blowout before your journey or on arrival the other end. It might sound crazy, but it will completely change how you feel about yourself traveling, and no matter what anything else looks like, your hair will be stellar and ready to go! A great NYC option is DreamDry where for as little as $45 and in 30 minutes you can choose from a selection of easy breezy blowouts. See dreamdry.com/


HYDRATE YOURSELF AND YOUR SKIN:

It goes without saying – hydrate hydrate hydrate. It will completely change how your feel the other side of your journey. Air travel in particular causes havoc on skin as it dries it out faster. Drink plenty of water throughout your journey, limit alcohol, or don’t drink at all, and carry some cleansing wipes to freshen up on arrival at your destination. A good, natural all-in-one cream for your hands, face or body is a great tool to carry along. Essentiel by Adele, is a new all-in-one moisturizer that can help you stay fresh-faced, radiant, and completely hydrated with essential oils to tone, balance, relax, cleanse and invigorate the skin, even at 32,000 feet. TSA approved travel  bottles starting at just $13 can be purchased at EssentielByAdele.com

All natural beauty bargains under $50 for the holiday traveler

All natural beauty bargains under $50 for the holiday traveler

As we sink into to the thick of the holiday season, our lifestyle becomes one ‘on the go’ from parties to gift shopping and travel plans. Keeping up our beauty routine in the mayhem can be taxing – never mind lugging around products in purses, travel bags and desk drawers (we’ve all done that work-to-drinks party fix in an office toilet.) When it comes to traveling we also have an additional problem with baggage and liquid allowances. So how do we keep our holiday look clean, convenient and stress free? Below I list some of my favorite natural beauty products that fit perfectly into any ‘on the go’ lifestyle.

RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer – $38: This little pot of organic goodness is your holiday glow in a perfectly sized jar, that is both portable and compact. The Luminizer is the ultimate illuminator for creating a sensuous, sheer glow that enhances the skin’s natural youthfulness without being sticky, greasy or glittery. With a translucent, satin-pearl finish, this highlighter works great on all skin tones, making this a must have beauty product for the holiday season.


Captain Blackenship’s Dry Shampoo
 – $24.00
: There’s nothing worse than trying to revamp day old hair for a night out or maintain your locks after traveling. A miracle worker, this chemical free, talc-free dry shampoo (made with organic arrowroot, white clay and scented with essential oils) is the perfect solution to lifeless, unwashed hair. A powerful combination of powders absorbs oil, adds volume and gives life to your hair, plus it smells like the beach. Sprinkle a little in whenever your hair needs an instant pick me up. The best part is, because its powder form, this dry shampoo is both light in weight and safe to travel with…bring on fresh hair – without the wash!

Meow Meow Tweet’s Migrator Kit – $48: An all-in-one kind of deal this natural and organic travel size kit comes with everything you need this season, including a complete facial and body care regime to cleanse, moisturize and nourish your skin. Available in Citrus and Lavender, indulge in products from the geranium palmarosa toner to the lavender and lemongrass body oil or bergamont deodorant stick. Complete with a little exfoliator pack and a whole lot of natural aroma, this travel pack is the perfect mini spa for you or a loved one (if you can bare to gift it away.)

Vapour Beauty’s Atmosphere Luminous Foundation $49 and Aura Multi Use Classic Stick $36: Vapour’s luxury natural and organic makeup line produces some of the best pocket friendly products around. Their Atmosphere Foundation’s Luminous formula in a compact precision stick is an Allure Best of Beauty Award winner – it perfects texture, smooths the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and delivers moisture. Made with organic and wildcrafted antioxidant-rich ingredients (including Frankincense, Tulsi and Lotus) this liquid free, no hassle, foundation is the perfect travel companion. Finish your look off with Vapour’s Aura tool to create fresh pop of color anywhere from you cheeks to your lips, and you’re ready to rock your holiday look.