HOLIDAY COOKIES

Holiday Cookies Holiday Cookies Holiday Cookies

Now that I’m a wife and mom the holidays are even more fun because I get to share the spirit of the season with my husband and little one! We’ve been busy planning, playing (look for an upcoming post on our trip to The Polar Express), decorating and baking this month! Growing up I took comfort and found so much joy in the family traditions we shared. I’m sure you, like me, have holiday traditions that you remember fondly. My friend Melissa remembers the excitement of opening a special gift for every night of Hanukkah. My husband’s family gave toys to needy children in their community. My twin brother Tom and I decorated the tree every Christmas Eve with our parents. The fun of the holidays is in continuing the traditions we loved from our childhood, but also starting new ones.

Coming from a large Italian-American family, spending time with aunts, uncles, and neighbors was the best part! And of course there was fabulous food that always overflowed in our home during this time.  I looked forward to baking cookies with my mom and aunts, because it gave us a chance to be together, share stories, but also eat! We’d bake all day and all varieties of cookies, from traditional Italian recipes from my grandfather’s family like pizzelles, to classic chocolate chip, lace and spritz (the S cookies!) for a “dash of color.”

The ladies in my family are such good bakers that they’d always share these lovelies with their friends and neighbors. We’d gift out pretty spreads of them on simple dishes wrapped in cellophane, and then tie them up with a bow. It’s such a great gift, especially for those who aren’t bakers, because then they get to enjoy homemade sweets during the holidays! I’m excited to continue this tradition with my own son! At least I’d love for him to see the spectacle of a fun day of holiday baking in his own home. And I also wanted to share this fun and simple gift idea with you and yours. Enjoy and Happy Holidays! xoxo Olivia

Pizzelles:
Yield: 2dozen
Ingredients
3 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Directions
In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Sift together the flour and baking powder, and blend into the batter until smooth.
Heat the pizzelle iron, and brush with oil. Drop about one tablespoon of batter onto each circle on the iron. You may need to experiment with the amount of batter and baking time depending on the iron. Bake for 20 to 45 seconds, or until steam is no longer coming out of the iron. Carefully remove cookies from the iron. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Italian Wedding Cookies:
Yield: 6 dozen
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 1/3 cup, for rolling
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups finely ground blanched almonds
5 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cream butter in a bowl. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add almonds and vanilla. Blend in flour gradually and mix well. Shape into crescents using about 1 teaspoon for each cookie. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not brown. Cool slightly, then roll in the extra confectioners’ sugar.

Lace Cookies:

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

pinch of salt

1/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

Directions

Heat oven to 375° F.
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, sugars, corn syrup, and salt over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat and mix in the flour and almonds just until incorporated.
Drop level teaspoons of the batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 4 inches apart. Bake until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
Cool on the baking sheets until firm, 8 to 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

MATERNITY DENIM: BLOGGER STYLE

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Here’s the latest round-up of some of my favorites expecting bloggers. This season it’s all about dark denim with cool coating or leather-like finishes and these ladies all rock the look perfectly with their bumps.

Bloggers Irina Bond of Bond Girl Glam, Ananda Saba of Super Fashionable and Andee Layne of The Honeybee all have such great style that it’s no surprise they continue to look completely chic throughout their pregnancies. Both Irina and Andee are sporting DL1961’s coated Secret Fit Belly® skinny jeans. I love that Irina totally tones them down with an easy tee and our chunky maternity cardi, and Andee goes rocker glam in an all-black ensemble with chic heels and a red felt hat. It goes to show that these jeans are versatile, especially since they can even be worn after baby too.

Another fashion-forward dark skinny look I love is on Ananda, who is wearing our Secret Fit Belly® AG black skinny maternity jeans. Here she styles them with a pretty pair of flats and chic leather jacket, totally nailing the desk to dinner look. Plus, her accessories are always on point with a fabulous red lip and cat eye shades.

Take a tip from the pros and get mileage out of your maternity jeans! Also make sure to check back soon for the next blogger style post! -Olivia

Well Rounded

Well Rounded New YorkWell Rounded New York

I’m excited to share a piece that Well Rounded NY featured today called “A Day in the Life” of yours truly! It follows me through a typical work day. Well Rounded NY helps women come to “terms” with their pregnancy and then of course being a new mom! This awesome online destination for expecting women features topics on maternity style, beauty, wellness and baby. We talked about the daily struggle to find balance and what inspires my design strategy. I’m sure you can relate to finding daily solutions for a hectic schedule! Check out the article and the rest of the site for some great ideas! -Olivia

HOLIDAY PARTY STYLING TIPS PART II

I excitedly bring you part two of my video series with Lucky Magazine and Style Expert Jackie Miranne. In this clip we show you how to get two different holiday maternity looks that are both polished and bump friendly!  Whether you are having dinner with family or visiting friends during the holidays, finding the right balance between not-too-casual and not-too-dressy can be tricky. I love the tuxedo jacket with novel skinny jeans and I hope that you’ll love working these pieces into your own maternity style this season. Take a peek at the video and be sure to check out the full holiday collection at www.destinationmaternity.com. -Olivia

Are you following us on Bloglovin? Click here to start!

HOLIDAY PARTY STYLING TIPS

I’m excited to finally bring you a project that I worked on with Lucky Magazine! Along with one of Lucky’s resident style experts, Jackie Miranne, we present the first video in a series featuring fabulous holiday party maternity outfits and the tricks to getting them right for a long, lean look!

It was fun to work with Jackie who is a host, model and amazing stylist! She is so energetic and was really excited to help show you how the hottest holiday looks translate into maternity style this season. Take a peek at the video and you’ll see how you can go totally glam or ultra-feminine in pieces from our Rebecca Minkoff, A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity lines. Hope you love the fashions and tips! Look for part 2 of the series, featuring more casual holiday pregnancy options on the blog soon! -Olivia

All of the pieces are available online and in stores at www.destinationmaternity.com
For more on Lucky Style Expert visit Jackie at www.jackiemiranne.com

Destination Maternity In The Press

InThePress-1_608x225InThePress-2_608x925InThePress-3_608x825InThePress-4_608x443InThePress-5_608x920

It has been a busy few months here at Destination Maternity! We’ve had a lot of great new collaborations and exciting events. We launched our Wendy Bellissimo Maternity Line, followed by a fabulous party at our Destination Maternity store in September. Dita Von Teese joined our team and partnered with our brand to bring an amazing assortment of lingerie for new moms called Von Follies. And just this past month, we also brought Rebecca Minkoff’s Maternity Collection to our stores as well. Magazines and style-based websites like People, Pop Sugar, InSTYLE, Fit Pregnancy and prominent fashion bloggers took notice. I am happy that our vast assortments of pregnancy clothing and maternity collections have gotten such great reviews. Take a look for yourself and visit back to the blog each month for more exciting maternity news. -Olivia

BABY SHOWER DECOR


Baby Shower DecorBaby Shower DecorBaby Shower Decor

One of the prettiest new themes I’ve been seeing in party and baby shower decor is a take on Parisian-Chic. I actually just threw a wedding shower for my girlfriend and we used hints of French flair with lots of black and white accessories, macarons and beautiful blooms. What’s great about this theme is that it translates for a baby shower so well, since you can choose any accent color you like. We chose pink for her shower, which is traditional, but I am also seeing soft blues, gold and mint green as upcoming color trends in party decor. You only need to focus on a few essentials when decorating for a party, whether that be for a birthday, shower or even wedding.

Flowers, linens and baked goods are always the foundation of a party, so I suggest starting there. For my friend’s shower, we had tons of pink floral arrangements, pink macarons, plus black and white linens. Just those simple elements had a huge effect in bringing the Parisian-Chic theme to life. We also added in paper tassels, which are another fun decor trend hot on Pinterest right now. They make for a great table display. Last, but not least, don’t forget to dress the part for the shower! A manicure, pretty maternity dress, comfortable maternity innerwear and cute accessories will complete your party look. -Olivia

1 Butter London Nail Polish/ 2 Necklace/ 3 Maternity Dress/ 4 Nursing Bra/ 5 YSL Tote

 

MATERNITY STYLING TIPS

Maternity Styling Tips

Thought I’d share some of my secret maternity styling tips today. I can never talk enough about the pros of investing in maternity wear during your pregnancy, but it’s also important to know how to actually make all of the pieces work for you to create the right looks that highlight your new figure. Getting proportion correct in an outfit is key, no matter your shape. Whether you have a degree in fashion design or not, I’m sure you’ve figured out how to accentuate your best features and minimize others. As for me, I have a longer waist with shorter legs. I try to create the illusion of height by wearing tops and jackets that sit slightly higher than my hips to create a longer leg line. My bestie is super petite, so she always looks for dresses and skirts that fall a few inches above her knee to give her that length. When you become pregnant, your proportion changes and you lose your natural waistline. But, by following a few simple tricks, you can balance out your bump and get a nice long and lean silhouette that actually flatters your new curves.

First, layers are a must! When I became pregnant with my son, I realized that I didn’t feel put-together unless I was wearing a few pieces to finish my look. A jacket, cardigan or blazer works to make you look polished. When left open or unzipped, layers also help create a nice vertical line from your chin to the floor. In essence, it makes you look slimmer and taller… which is win-win in my book.Another trick to creating a lean look is opting for a long necklace. One that falls just above your bump without hitting it is another way to create that vertical long and lean line. Side ruching, whether on a tee or dress, can also enhance your bump and is especially form flattering since it hugs your back and gives a nice shape from behind. Don’t forget the beauty of the Secret Fit Belly® panel, which not only smooths and supports, but also allows you to wear fitted tops with no “bump lines.”

Another great lesson I learned dressing so many pregnant women over the years is the importance of choosing the right shoe. At a certain point many women are not opting for heels, and neither did I the last few weeks. But I did find that shoes with a little support and a tiny heel were not only easy on my feet, but also gave me a little lift that I loved. Try a mid- heel bootie for fall. Accessories can really help to complete a maternity style! A scarf gives a pop of color which I always suggest; plus, it similarly creates that nice long line like a necklace. And a midsize bag is the way to go with your new figure as well. An oversized bag seems too clunky when you are pregnant and a tiny bag too small, so look for a medium structured bag.

Lastly, I know it may be hard to believe, but prints and patterns can be your friend, even when you are sporting a bump! In a small dose like from an accessory or even in a dress, go with a print that is not too large and not too abstract. Just like a midsize bag, a medium scale print in only 2 or 3 colors can conceal and enhance your figure at the same time. It’s really magic! Hope some of these tips come in handy when you are dressing your fabulous new baby bump! – Happy styling, Olivia

1 Maternity Cardigan/ 2 Long Necklace/ 3 Maternity Ruched Tee/ 4 Secret Fit Belly® Maternity Jeans/ 5 Booties/ 6 Maternity Scarf/ 7 Maternity Belt/ 8 Cute Tote

FALL FAMILY FUN: PUMPKIN PICKING

Fall Fun- Pumpkin PickingHalloween FunHalloween Fun

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year! It’s the perfect jacket weather, best for being outdoors with my boys and taking weekend day trips. It seems like everyone heads over to their local farmer’s market or pumpkin patch for a hayride and some family fun as soon as the first leaf changes. It always makes for a perfect family photo-op too, right? So, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share our family photos with you! (Share yours with us on our Instagram pages!)

My husband and I have a great routine of switching and taking turns snapping photos of each other with our son to capture our memories. A great tip he actually taught me was to takes lots of shots, and to keep them candid. We always take photos when the other is in motion and try not to set up every shot with us mugging in the camera. Capturing more candid photos make for more natural pictures, many times really capturing the true expression of the moment as opposed to a forced smile. Now don’t get me wrong, we always get some nice portraits, but more natural photos usually make for better images, especially if you want to hang them in your home.

Knowing that we would get some great photos during our trip to the pumpkin patch, I had to wear something befitting. In my usual style, I opted for a cool jacket, destructed jean, (yes, these are still maternity jeans! Just fold over the Secret Fit Belly® panel) pullover sweater, and dark shades – simple pieces that offer mucho style- perfect for our fall family day! -Olivia

Secret Fit Belly® Maternity Jeans/ 2 Cute Sunglasses/ 3 Maternity Sweater/ 4 Leather Maternity Jacket

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram & share with us your adorable family photos: @apeainthepodmaternity@destination_maternity & @motherhoodmaternity

NEW MOM MUSTS

Olivia_NewMom-1_608x654New Mom MustsNew Mom Musts

So I’ve been talking a lot lately about being a new mom and some of the pieces that are essential in the days and months after you bring baby home. Check out the post I did earlier this month: What to Wear: New Mom Edition, where I gave my picks for some great new mom pieces. All this new mom talk got me reminiscing to when Grey was just an infant. I’ve been going through all of the photos from those first few days home from the hospital up until today. I am in awe at how big my little boy is getting and how time flies!

I will always cherish those moments, and they definitely reminded me that I have to get on top of that scrap-book I’ve been meaning to put together for Greyson. Flipping through those photos made me think about you guys, so I thought I’d share some photos and some of my personal favorite maternity pieces and pregnancy products I needed as a new mom! All of these items I still use today, almost 17 months after bringing my little man home- so that’s proof that you’ll get mileage out of these!

For Greyson, his two favorites were and still are his swaddles and Sophie the Giraffe. These super soft cotton swaddles do triple duty. They act as a swaddle, burp cloth, and nursing cover. I love them!  Sophie is a teether that Grey used as an infant and still does. This adorable giraffe also acts as a sense stimulator for babies, due to its soft texture, contrasting spots, the smell of the natural made rubber, the distinct light squeak it makes and of course its ability to be chewed!

As for me, a quintessential leather maternity jacket, diaper bag or tote, and maternity or post pregnancy tee are essential in my wardrobe! And please, please, please, do not store away or GIVE away your Secret Fit Belly® maternity jeans. They make for a great postpartum pant…you know I still wear mine! Another easy style tip for moms on the go looking for that cool-factor: opt for a sneaker since they have great support for when you are on your feet with the kiddos all day. Choose a slip on or high-top. I live in Converse and Vans on the weekend, as opposed to my running kicks, since they add a little life and coolness to a denim look.  For my night time routine I keep my skin soft and hydrated (check out our beauty products, featuring high end brands, naturally made skincare and amazingly moisturizing ingredients); I also try my best to get some zzz’s when I can. Who am I kidding? I may never have a good night sleep again, but I’m not complaining!  Being a new mom means more to me. -Olivia

1 Olivia & Greyson/ 2 Aden + Anais Swaddle/ 3 Sophie the Giraffe/ 4 Olivia & Greyson/ 5 Maternity Sweater/ 6 Maternity Leather Jacket/ 7 Nursing Bra/ 8 Secret Fit Belly® maternity jeans/ 9 Naturopathica Beauty Products/ 10 Simple Sugars/ 11 Cute Diaper Bag/ 12 High top sneakers/ 13 Chanel Sleep Mask

  • I'm OLIVE CAPONE MAYERS, Style Director for Destination Maternity and lover of all things simple yet stylish!
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