HOSPITAL BAG ESSENTIALS

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Are you ready for baby? Well, it may be time to start thinking about packing up that hospital bag now.  I have come up with some essentials that I think you’ll want with you. I over-packed my hospital bag, thinking I would use my straightening iron and leave in my normal clothes. The truth is, I craved comfort. So, with that in mind, I made sure to include lots of cozy and stretchy options for both you and baby.

Start with a really large bag; we have really amazing Wendy Bellissimo ones. They are stylish, so they look like a chic purse. You can load this up now with all your baby needs. Throw in one of our super soft blankies and a going home outfit for baby too. Don’t forget Sophie the Giraffe- it’s safe for teething and small hands. (My son loved this toy so much!) You may as well throw in a soft pair of slippers you for too. It’s all about comfort!

Stock up on comfortable base layers, like the perfect panties, our seamless support bras and shapers. There is a new line to look for that is already being sold in our Motherhood Maternity stores called Bounce Back, featuring patent pending technology. It is made for new moms, post-partum, who are thinking about helping their skin rebound to pre-pregnancy. It features a tummy transformer that helps with refining and reduction.

Think about your going home outfit too. You are going to want casual and practical, trust me. Our yoga pants are perfect because they have a fold-over top that transitions from pregnancy to motherhood. You can wear them down for under the bump comfort, or up, after pregnancy, for some smoothing and a little support. Finish with an active-leisure top and a cozy cardi. Don’t forget nursing bras, which are so cute and obviously made in many styles: clip down, pull down, etc.

Finish off your packing with a camera to capture those first few moments and days, because they will fly by. Keep yourself healthy and nourished with some protein and fast, yet efficient fuel, like nuts from Kind Bars. This is such a magical time for you. It is definitely important to be prepared. Happy packing! –Olivia

1 Hospital Bag / 2 Camera/ 3 Nursing Bra/ 4 Maternity Cami/ 5 Panties/ 6 Snacks/ 7 Graphic Tee/ 8 Yoga Pants/ 9 Slippers/ 10 Bra/ 11 Maternity Shapewear/ 12 Seamless Cami/ 13 Pictures/ 14 Baby Outfit/ 15 Blankie/ 16 Sophie The Giraffe

CULINARY CRAVINGS

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I know so many women who are excited when pregnant, because they feel like they can eat whatever they want. The truth is that you need to eat healthy, especially when you’re expecting! I mean, of course, the occasional treat is okay… that is why they call them pregnancy cravings! My family and I try to eat the best we can. I always tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but definitely when I was expecting my son Greyson. It seems that the hardest part for women, especially pregnant women who are always on-the-go, is finding the time to eat healthy. Fortunately fruit and veggie smoothies are simple, super healthy and filled with amazing nutrients, but only take a couple minutes to make.

Our Graphic Designer, Klaudia, who has a two year old daughter, swears by this creamy avocado, berry and spinach smoothie. It’s so delicious, even her toddler enjoys it! All you need to do is stock up on some power-food produce and take out your blender, bullet, Ninja or whatever mixer you have.

If even this seems like too much to handle, Bundle Organics makes amazing juices for mommies-to-be. They are prenatal blends, perfect for the development of that growing baby in your belly! Whatever way you want, try to get your daily intake of fruits and veggies. Your skin, body, bump and baby will thank you. – Olivia

Recipe:

Half of an avocado

1.5 cup strawberries/blueberries/raspberries

A Handful of spinach leaves

1 pear or apple

Mix in a Bullet and Voila!

TREND ALERT: SPORT STYLE

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Active apparel is a big trend right now that is inspiring both ready-to-wear and designer style alike.  In maternity, the trend is giving a fresh take to work-out wear with comfort crafted right in. Active separates are designed in supportive and soft fabrics that are not only perfect for the gym, but cool enough for an everyday maternity look.

Whether you are a pilates guru, runner or spinning lover, layering maternity tanks, jackets, leggings and yoga pants is a maternity must. I always had a few black yoga pants in different leg shapes in my closet when I was pregnant; I would layer up with an array of tops and sweatshirts. As a yoga lover, I wish we carried our Beyond the Bump by Beyond Yoga line when I was pregnant. Available on-line and in-stores at Destination Maternity and A Pea in the Pod, this yoga collection is crafted from great fabrics and made in a multitude of colors that can be worn before and after baby.

I also suggest adding in pops of brightness to your maternity fitness wardrobe too; it makes working out more fun when you look good, thus feel good. In our Motherhood Maternity collection, the soft neon palette is totally of-the-moment! AND remember to start with the right foundations. A seamless maternity sports bra and panty offer added support and comfort. Complete your sporty look with a pair of Nike trainers and you are working out in style. -Olivia

NURSING TOPS YOU NEED

Nursing Tops You Need Nursing Tops You Need Nursing Tops You Need

After I brought my son home from the hospital, there were so many things I wasn’t prepared for. I was a first time new mom experiencing pure joy mixed with a flood of emotions and sleepless nights. And really, you can’t truly prepare or predict how having a baby will change you. But, having girlfriends and family to help prepare you for the what-ifs, as well as having your arsenal of baby products and apparel on-the-ready, is obviously a great place to start.

If you choose to breastfeed, as I did, I think it’s also important to do some research beforehand. While the web is a great place and there are so many informative books to choose, I went right to my local online La Leche League. Knowing information can help ease your mind, although again, nothing prepares you like being thrown into the fire… with a hungry newborn! Nursing bras, pads and a great lanolin cream for soreness are no-brainers. I also found that having my favorite nursing tops in multiples was clutch!

I thought I’d spend some time talking about the various nursing top styles that I love, so you can also get an idea of what may work for you. First and foremost, you need to be comfortable while nursing. Choose soft, stretchy styles. Also look for tops that offer some modesty with a clip down feature or a secret panel as a second layer designed right into the top. The nursing tops our team designs here at Destination Maternity are specifically crafted with these special features; they are also cut in flattering silhouettes that are forgiving over your new mom midsection.

Wearing a second layer is also a nice option when you are nursing on the go. I wore a chic knit cardigan over our clip down nursing camisole, making pumping at work easier. I always suggest stocking up on the clip-down camisole in a few colors to have, ready to go. So many of my girlfriends and clients love these because the clips easily unlock with one hand, freeing the other up for baby. If you’ve nursed before, I know you GET IT! Being able to work your wardrobe one-handed is important.

It’s was also so important to me to be able to maintain a chic look while nursing. I mean, looking cute is a must, right? That’s why I love a double drape nursing top or lightweight poncho. Both silhouettes are pretty sophisticated and can be paired with a legging or jean for a completely polished look. Remember, you want your own personal style to shine through. That’s what’s great about each of these pieces. You can incorporate them into your own wardrobe and look like the fabulous new mom that you are! Enjoy your babes -Olivia

1 Nursing Top & Maternity Yoga Pants/ 2 Clip Down Nursing CamiStriped Maternity Sleep Pant/ 3 Maternity Cardigan, Clip Down Nursing Cami & Maternity Yoga Pants/ 4 Clip Down Maternity Cami/
Nursing Poncho/ 6 Swaddle/ 7 Nursing Bra/ 8 Medela Tender Care Lotion/ 9 Lily Padz Nursing Pads/ 10 Teddy Bear

WINTER SKIN TIPS FOR PREGNANCY

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The cold winter weather can really take its toll on your beauty routine. As an expectant mama you have specific beauty challenges, like dry and itchy skin, that need special care. Dry skin, cracked heels and elbows, a washed-out complexion and an itchy scalp (all things I dealt with during my pregnancy) can be combatted with the right products.

 

 It’s important to look and feel good during your pregnancy. Your current beauty routine may need some tweaks now that you are expecting. Not only does the texture of your skin change during pregnancy with your hormones working over-time, but that baby bump is growing and stretching your skin every day. I want to talk about some of the latest products that I love for new and expecting mothers. These keep you soft and moisturized during a cold spell, plus many of them are designed with pregnant women in mind. They are gentle on your skin, made without harsh chemicals AND still give great results.

 

Finding some pampering time during pregnancy and as a new mom is vital. I try to take some “me time” once a week… (Ok- maybe every two weeks.) I spend a Friday night or Saturday morning alone with my beauty routine. For me that can be as simple as a nice bath, exfoliation, face mask or a mini-mani and pedi.  I throw on my soft robe, slippers and spend an hour alone to decompress and take care of myself. When you have kids, it’s obviously hard to find that alone time. Sometimes, that means taking an hour after my son has gone to bed on a Friday night, or letting my husband do Saturday morning breakfast while I do-ME. It’s worth it!

 

A great place to start is with a nice body scrub. BASQ skincare has a fabulous Citrus Sugar Body Polish that I swear by! It’s great for before and after baby to slough off and smooth dry skin. I use it every other day. A gentle facial cleanser and moisturizer are also key! JUICE BEAUTY, makes a great cleansing milk and super silky moisturizer that are not only effective, but also organic. Another essential mom-to-be product is body oil. BASQ skincare’s calming oils are great for protection against stretching and are packed with natural oils and omegas. Use it after the shower or even at night before bed. I love the lavender oil because it’s calming, which helps with headaches in the evenings.

 

If you are like me, then a little additional glow always seems to help during the fall and winter. I extend my tan with ST. TROPEZ NATURALS SELF RADIANCE TAN. This self-tanner is 100% natural with vegan ingredients and gives a nice real-looking glow. Lastly, I think it’s important to take care of your hands and feet when you are pregnant, especially in this dryer season. A pumice stone for a little at-home pedicure does the trick. Butter London Hardwear offers a nice topcoat, without harmful chemicals. I hope you can find a little time for yourself to try some of these fabulous beauty products! -Olivia

 

1 Motherhood Maternity Cable Knit Pom Pom Slippers / 2 Hardwear by Butter London / 3 Basq Skincare Citrus Body Polish / 4 Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk / 5 Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer / 6 St Tropez Naturals Self Radiance Tan / 7 Pumice Stone / 8 Maternity Robe / 9 Share Body and Massage Oil by Basq 

Running Errands – Fueling With Food

snackonthegoBeing a mom of a 17-month old I learn something new every day. We are in the throes of toddler-hood and I am enjoying every minute. It’s been amazing to watch my little boy grow so quickly from an infant into a toddler! Greyson is a fun-loving active kid, who is a ball of energy! That said, this is also a stage where his attention span hits a wall and being a working mother, it’s important for me to get errands and chores done quickly and efficiently. One of the things that have made life a little easier is having healthy and easy to pack snacks on hand at all times for Grey when we are out. I need to choose snacks that he loves, but that also keep his little hands and mouth busy while I get done shopping or running back and forth.

My husband and I are conscious when it comes to our son’s snacks being as healthy as possible. I usually throw an apple or tangerine in my bag, but one of our favorite snacks is Bitsy’s Brainfood Smart Cookies. They are alphabet shaped cookies baked with real fruits and veggies. The best part? They come in handy individual packs. Grey loves the Sweet Potato, Oatmeal and Raisin flavors. Having a sippy cup on hand is great too, since it can keep him busy for a few minutes. Yes- just minutes! If you are already a mom, you’ll know that’s a few golden moments! If you are expecting, I hope that you remember these tips in your near future. I try to always have a Kind Bar in my Buffalo Carry-All bag as well, in order to stave off mommy hunger! Handy on-the-go wipes and a chic (not-obvious) baby bag round out my arsenal of running-errand must haves. Happy outings! -Olivia

Checkout Bitsy’s Brainfood website for great games and kids activities

BODY AFTER BABY

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I recently had the chance to meet with Elizabeth Tomkins, Lithe Fitness instructor and new mom.  I love talking to other new moms about their journey through motherhood. These opportunities allow me to share ideas, time saving tips and even new fitness routines with you.  After I gave birth, I was on a search to find a new fitness routine. I loved hearing about the Lithe Method from Elizabeth. Since I am still trying to find the balance between working, spending time with Grey and time on myself, I am always eager to hear about new ways to keep in shape. Right now I am in to yoga and taking walks with Greyson around our neighborhood, because luckily it has tons of lakes and trails to keep it interesting. I’ll even sneak in some yoga stretches at home with Grey and since it’s a game for him, he plays along. This also works as an introduction into body awareness, plus it gives me a few minutes of exercise too.

My routine has definitely changed since bringing Grey into my life, as has Elizabeth’s, and I know that it will continue to evolve. What makes the transition easier is certainly having the right work-out gear, whether you’re getting fit at the gym or jogging at home. Transitioning maternity sports bras, maternity camisoles and maternity yoga pants through to an after birth wardrobe is essential for new moms trying to keep in shape. For me and Elizabeth, since we both nursed, functional nursing apparel is important as well. Elizabeth is wearing our Motherhood Maternity nursing bra and maternity camisole in these photos. She not only looks great, but she also told me how supported and comfortable she felt. Take a peek into our conversation below to learn a little about her fitness routine as a new mom. And keep in mind that whatever and however you decide to keep your mind and body healthy as a new mom, you are doing a great thing for you and your family. Just remember not to stress yourself out about getting back a rigid routine. Working with the time and assets you have available is truly the best thing to do. After reading this, though, you may fall in love with lithe! -Olivia

O Myers: Tell us a little bit about the Lithe Method and how you got involved in this regimen.
E Tomkins: I began taking classes at Lithe Method because I was so sick of dragging myself to the gym. I missed the team component of playing sports and I wanted an effective workout that would help my flexibility, balance, stamina, coordination, core strength, and cardiovascular endurance. Lithe does it all. I loved it so much that our founder and CEO, Lauren Boggi and I talked about my training to become an instructor. I took my first class about 4 years ago and I have been teaching for 3 years.

Lithe is Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting® (CCS). CCS utilizes precise cheerleading-based movements to load muscles, produce a high cardio burn, and reduce fat zones.  It targets all three zones of the body — the core, the lower body, and the upper body — so that you achieve a complete total body workout in just one hour.  Most people burn anywhere from 500-1000 calories per class, depending on the workout.  Lithe really does burn fat and sculpt muscle, yielding strong, lean bodies that still have curves.

Our classes are both cardiovascular and sculpting, with a concentration on a strong core. We have over 40 Lithe workouts that are total body, but each one also focuses on a particular area of the body.  Some workouts produce a higher cardio burn, and some emphasize sculpting more, so you can really tailor the kind of program you want, according to your goals.  But you’ll always sweat and the classes are constantly evolving with new additions, props and routines so you won’t get bored or plateau.

Most workouts incorporate our Higher Power Band System® which increases resistance to the core and decreases the impact load on the joints.  We also work on the floor, at a barre and with 3-16 lb free weights, among other wearable props. You can see some of the props on our website,www.lithemethod.com.

O Myers: As a nursing mom, what are you looking for in your postpartum activewear?
E Tomkins: I look for support, comfort and style. Actually, your Hannah clip down nursing bra is one of my favorite pieces. It allows me to seamlessly transition from breastfeeding my son at home, to teaching in the studio without an outfit change.  I can get in front of class confident that everything will, ahem, stay in place while feeling that I look good. The cut of the nursing bra is so supportive and flattering, plus it comes in bright colors and a stellar stripe. I’ve even had clients who aren’t moms come and ask me where they can get that bra!

O Myers: How has your daily fitness routine changed since becoming a mom?
E Tomkins: I quickly learned (as I’m sure most moms do) once the baby came that my time was no longer my own. The biggest thing for me is to remember to have patience with myself; some days, the workout just doesn’t happen. I believe it is important to make time for yourself, but occasionally, that means taking a nap or reading or doing something else you find fulfilling. Actually, this has made me really enjoy my time in the studio more and find joy in feeling my strength return and just getting my body moving. I used do a little bit of ab work next to my son while he was in the ExerSaucer©, but now he is too big for that and he wants to climb all over me. Looks like I need a new plan…

1 Nursing Sports Bra/ 2 Maternity Sweatshirt/ 3 Maternity Tank Top/ 4 Fiji Water/ 5 Maternity Yoga Pants/ 6 Kind Bars/ 7 Mustela Skin Care

NEW MOM MUSTS

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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

CULINARY CRAVINGS: APPLE CIDER DONUTS

Apple Cider Doughnut Recip

What comes to mind when you think of fall? It’s a sensory season filled with good food, crunchy leaves, rich colors, the sounds of nature… right down to the smell of fruits, nuts and spices! One of my fall favorite memories growing up was indulging in fresh, hot Apple Cider Donuts from the local farmer’s market. Now I get to introduce my little boy to this experience, hopefully making it a family tradition for seasons to come.

My family has been getting the same donuts and cider from the same market for generations. I can taste them now as I write this and while I wish I could share these scrumptious goodies with you, I did find a great recipe that will get you in the seasonal mood. Hopefully you and your children (or children-to-be!) can create a fall family tradition out of making them together. And I’m sure all of you expecting mamas could use a donut to curb your pregnancy cravings. With some cinnamon kisses – enjoy! Olivia

BEST BEAUTY PRODUCTS FOR PREGNANCY

When I became pregnant with my son it became super important for me to watch what I put into and onto my body. Things I had never even considered before, like harsh chemicals and certain anti-aging products, were now all off limits. I began looking for products that were carcinogen, paraben, phthalate and formaldehyde free. My beauty routine didn’t change much, but the products I used did. In fact, I still continue to use most of them.

I highly suggest being aware of what is in the beauty products you use, especially when you’re pregnant in order to make smarter decisions for you and your baby. The products I recommend are all some of my favorites because they are more natural, gentle and effective.

Brands like Naturopathica, Burt’s Bees and Mustela not only give great results, but are perfect for sensitive skin that expecting and new moms may begin to get. Another important factor for me was and still is protecting not only my own, but also my son’s skin. During pregnancy and even now, we use sunscreen every day and when I’m looking for a little glow I go to Naturals St. Tropez Self Tanner.

 

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1. Naturals St. Tropez Self Tanner / 2. Cosmetic Bag / 3. Butter London Top Coat / 4. Naturopathica Vitamin K Brightening Eye Serum / 5. Naturopathica Aloe Cleansing Gel / 6. Chanel Pressed Powder / 7. Burts Bees Tinted Lip Balm / 8. Badger Sunscreen / 9. Mustela Stretch Mark Cream

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