GLOWING THANKSGIVING DECOR

Thanksgiving DecorThanksgiving DecorThanksgiving DecorThanksgiving DecorThanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year! I love the change in the weather, harvest colors, and that it becomes the official start of the holiday season. I also love to entertain (as you may have read.)  I always make my home decor and table settings match the mood of the season. For me it’s all about the little things, whether it’s a great personal accessory or a small accent; the little touches bring big results.

This year I am all about white and gold since they flow so seamlessly from Halloween, to Thanksgiving, past Christmas and into New Years. White pumpkins are so easy to find this time of year and make such an elegant and easy centerpiece or accent for Thanksgiving. I put some mini-pumpkins in a metallic bowl on my dining room table and filled them in vases around my home. It’s super simple, but people always compliment me on them.

I also love the idea of using gold paint to create an even more chic table-scape. Add some mercury glass votives and you have a simple way to decorate your holiday table. Flowers or even pinecones can also complete the look. You don’t have to go far for these items; they are at the grocery store this time of year.

Gold and metallic touches are also everywhere right now, even in our maternity collections at A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity. Metallic polish, blush, and pretty undergarments will get you in the [very pretty] holiday spirit.  You’ll find some great metallic tops too that are about to make your holidays glow.  Happy Thanksgiving! – Olivia

1 Maternity Sweater / 2 Long Sleeve Scoop Neck Maternity Tee & Short Sleeve V-neck Maternity T Shirt / 3 Butter London Nail Polish / 4 Cute Clutch / 5 Nars Pencil / 6 Maternity Nursing Bra / 7 Mug / 8 Loafers    

CHIC HOLIDAY ACCESSORIES

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I am an accessory lover! I am constantly looking to add the latest it-items and jewelry pieces into my style cache! This obsession really took its hold on me when I was pregnant, because a fun accessory truly completes a mom-to-be look. One of the things I am currently craving is anything shiny and gold for the holidays! Check out one of my latest posts featuring gold in home decor (link to nurseries to crave). Metal embellishments, chunky gold jewelry and matte gold nail polish are my go-to accents for this party season. I suggest wearing gold with black basics, maybe a novel sweater, and a pop of red for a stand-out yet sophisticated look.

Butter London’s nail lacquers are a great way to introduce a pop of color or to get a metallic finish. Did you know that Butter London’s polishes are carcinogen and formaldehyde free? It’s a product line that is perfect for expecting and new moms. I love that the nail foundation keeps your nails smooth and chip-free too! The signature lotion and hand balm by Butter London are extremely useful for moms on the go (like me!) I always keep the hydrating hand balm in my diaper bag. -Olivia

1 Butter London Nail Lacquer / 2 AG Secret Fit Belly Jeans / 3 Rayban Clubmasters / 4 Gold Chain Cuff / 5 Butter London Nail Lacquer / 6 Butter London Hand Balm / 7 Maternity Sweater / 8 Maternity Scarf / 9 Butter London Nail Foundation / 10 Butter London Signature Lotion

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

BABY SHOWER DECOR


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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

 

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

10 MOM-TO-BE ESSENTIALS

Lucky for me, during my pregnancy I had the fashion maternity world at my fingertips. I had the opportunity to try a lot of products, apparel and remedies for everything from stretch marks, to evening dresses. Although for many of us pregnancy has its downsides like nausea, aching back and swollen feet, it was a wonderful time for me, in part, because of some essential products that made my life easier. These are the things I couldn’t live without during those 9 months of pregnancy.

First, I absolutely adored the patented Secret Fit Belly® panel, with its seamless and comfy support. So, I lived in skinny jeans and ponte leggings! I also noticed that my skin became excessively dry during my pregnancy, and with normally very “dewy” skin, I needed hydration stat!  Mustela’s Ultimate Hydration moisturizer worked wonders for me. I also religiously used Mustela’s Stretch Mark cream.

I snacked on Kind Bars at work throughout the day, and could only wear super soft and stretchy bras and camis since my skin was so sensitive. I wanted that soft supportive layer under everything I wore! At the office, a little knit dress was my go-to since I could style it so many ways. I always suggest these pieces for any first time mom-to-be!

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1. Secret Fit Belly Maternity Leggings / 2. Mustela Stretch Mark Cream / 3. Mustela Ultimate Hydration Moisturizer / 4. Secret Fit Belly Skinny Jean / 5. Layering Tanks / 6. Jersey Knit Maternity Dress /  7. From The Hips / 8. Seamless Bra / 9. Kind Bars / 10. Seamless Cami

HOSPITAL BAG ESSENTIALS

I always get asked from women, especially first time mamas-to-be, what are the hospital bag must haves. I need to admit that I had a huge hospital bag fail when I had my son- I majorly over packed! My mom still jokes with me that not only did I think I would be blowing out my hair the day after having a C-section, but I also thought I’d be using my straightening iron as well. However, as clueless I was, I did hear from my nurses that I had the cutest hospital ensemble, plus I was totally prepared with the right bras, layering clothes and beauty products! With that, I give you my edited version of the essentials you’ll need to get you through your hospital or birth center stay:

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1. Hospital Bag / 2. Nursing Cami / 3. Maternity Hoodie / 4. Chapstick / 5. DSL Camera / 6. Naturopathica Moisturizer / 7. Naturopathica Mist  / 8. Cell / 9. Luna Bar / 10. Nursing Seamless Bra / 11+12. Baby Outfit / 13. Maternity Slippers / 14. Baby Beanie / 15. Swaddles

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