SWEET SLEEP IS THE NEW ROARING 20s

MH Sleep 2019 v1

I am not in my twenties; let’s get that out of the way. I am in – gasp, my thirties. Early thirties, whatever leave me alone. My twenties were reserved for staying up too late and watching too much television. I used to start a show and follow through to the very end. And because there were no real streaming services until my late twenties, I began a lot of series, because I had to wait a whole week for the next episode. A whole week.

But then at 27 I got pregnant and three days after I freshly turned 28, I gave birth to my first child. The end of my twenties was not roaring, not jazzy, but exhausting. However, the cruel joke is that since then, I have not had one proper night of sleep. I wish I were being dramatic or hyperbolic about this. I am not. Val entered this world in May 2016 with her own flair for the dramatic and has not slept since. She, like me, can hang all night watching episode upon episode of Bubble Guppies, or her new and strange favorite, Peter Pan. If an image of Elsa or Anna comes on the screen, we are in for a long one.

She never once made it through the night in her crib. Again, I wish I was exaggerating. By age two and a half, I finally said enough is enough. Nighttime is the most exhausting time, let’s get her a princess bed. So, Santa got her the most enviable princess bed, with a beautiful pink canopy that my younger [and early thirties self] me was so jealous of. The first few nights she was skeptical. Then, sweet sleep came for roughly two months. Of course, the universe is nothing if not hilarious. When I gave birth last February, the oldest was down in her princess dream bed, but the new one was up and thus the fight for crib domination began again.

I have spent the greater part of 2019 mastering the crib and I will let you know, most battles I have won. The war may need to be ended with a treaty, but I think Roni likes the crib and that’s more than Val can ever say. Val has since decided she hates the princess bed. “It scares me.” I think the canopy creates shadows. She spent two very long months only sleeping if the chandelier in her room was on. This is her ceiling light, like the one we use to light her entire room. It was rough. Then progressively we got her down to one lamp, which is where we stand today. This has been going on since last summer.

She then decided she was going to sleep on this very hard “couch” in her room. When I say “couch” I mean the thing you use at the end of big fancy beds as a seat of some sort. Her little body can fit on it and that’s where she slept for three full months until she fell off, because it’s the width of half a yoga mat. My husband and I, we did what any parents without sleep would do. We gave her the full-size mattress that was in her sister’s room where we slept when guests came over, because we don’t have a guest room. We added some pink sheets, got her a large Minnie Mouse body pillow and now she and our dog have the best bed in the house! She has slept through the night – mostly every night. (Granted it’s been a week).

2020, I see you clearly now. For you mamas, if this is your first time being pregnant or you are a seasoned professional, you know sleep is crucial, fleeting, temporary and oh so craved. In the meantime, all you can do is throw on something comfy to lure sweet sleep your way and hope it stays with you all night.

Sweet dreams. Happy napping. Here’s to 40 winks for 40 weeks.

-Daina

RESOLUTIONS: ONE WEEK IN

2020This year I went for the long game resolution. Now I am only human, so of course, I have to lose those last five to seven pounds and go to the gym more… but that aside my resolution is to get my older daughter into a preschool by September 2020.

Why is this task harder than losing weight? Because I am not in control of the result! All-day preschool is what I am looking for, because I work all day. The town has one, but it’s only for three hours a day and they pick ten kids from the whole town. I have never been known for my luck, so we’ll be number eleven, which won’t ironically be because it’s my favorite number. I will still try though. I have until February, a mere month to get this application into the school’s registrar office. They want a birth certificate, a down payment, some blood, an arm and my leg too.

If that doesn’t work, and if the odds are not in my favor, then I will have until the summer to find Val a preschool that is all day, at least twice a week, while still allowing her to go to the babysitter’s so I can keep my spot with her, not lose our relationship, and allow her to still be with her friends and sister some days during the week. Phew. I haven’t even began working on this resolution and I am drained.

Mom life, amiright?

As for the other resolutions, I must be careful since I do have two daughters. I can’t just not eat and call it a night. I also try my hardest to never say I look or feel fat in front of them, especially the [almost] four-year-old. Instead, I say it to everyone all day at work, while I bring healthy food and desperately wait for others to bring in free treats, that would simply be rude to not eat. Maybe next year’s resolution can be to just be happy in the weight I am. I can call it “the weight is over” but until then – mission preschool.

What resolutions have you set or did you forget already? Show & share @motherhoodmaternity.com

TRYING OUT TRADITIONS

TRADITIONS

Will I ever feel like an adult? This is the question I find myself pondering every day. As the third child in my family, the perpetual baby of the group, I don’t think feeling like the lead responsible human is in my DNA. That is not to say I am not responsible. I may not like rules [my inner-child resists] but I follow them [also perpetual people pleaser]. When coming up with how to rule my own roost, so to speak, I always overcompensate on making memories. My kids are young, so I refer to these as trial traditions. They have not become tried and true just yet, but that’s why you do them every year, to improve them.

For starters, last year we began making cookies on Christmas Eve with my in-laws. My mother was not the baker. She can cook her way out of any situation but would burn the slice and bake roll of cookies. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. This is a tradition loved by many people, because the big guy in the red suit likes fresh cookies on the morning of December 25th. I will keep this tradition alive, since not coincidentally, Santa also resembles an under five-foot, curly haired woman who isn’t going to bake her own cookies in the wee hours of the morn’.

I get an advent calendar every year from the woman who babysat me when I was young. She stopped “working” so to speak when I was like seven, but my relationship with her got stronger and she is now my “grandmother” and my kids’ great grandmother because family sometimes is brought to you in different ways.  My Carole, as she is lovingly referred, still gets me an advent calendar, but now I need to share the daily experience with my daughters. The 3-year-old understands, so she is now included on this tradition.

For my last tradition, which I am starting now, I will put an ornament in each of my daughter’s stockings. If I am doomed with a tree that looks like the nineties with kid-made crap, I mean art, and personalized balls from my mom… I may as well add to the madness. And if I hate it, then this one is a trial tradition and it just didn’t work out.

Below are some of my co-workers’ family traditions, in case you also were trying some on for size.

“My husband reads the kids ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on the night before Christmas and we have the stupid elf. Ours is named Al, pretty sure Harper was trying to say elf, but Al just stuck.” – Chrystal Morgante, Senior E-commerce Merchant

“Our tradition is probably singing That Time of Year from Olaf’s Frozen Adventure

on repeat. [Editor’s Note: for all the readers who may be a first-time expecting mom, brace yourself for Frozen fever. If you have kids, then I do not need to explain Stacy’s reference here.] We also make a big brunch for Christmas with our in-laws and everyone is in charge of a plate.  My daughter Siti made strawberry reindeer last year.  I’m excited to see what she wants to do this year – she said she wants cheese.  No complaints.” ­– Stacy Lyons, Visual Merchandising Manager

“We tell our kids if they are good all year that this fat guy in a big red suit breaks into our house on Christmas Eve and leaves presents.” – Matt Green, Manager of Digital Retouching

“My husband Salty and I always go to Midnight Mass. This year we will celebrate Christmas in NJ and for the first time, I won’t be singing solo or as part of a choir, which is weird. When in Wisconsin, I love driving home in the wee hours after Midnight Mass when there are barely any cars on the road and the magic of Christmas morning, particularly in that snow-covered landscape, descends upon me.  As an Aussie, for most of my life I celebrated Christmas in 110-degree heat, where we persist in keeping cold climate European traditions. I never thought it was odd (insane) until moving here in 2009 and having my first white Christmas – where suddenly all those Christmassy things like plum pudding, roast turkey, eggnog, mulled wine and snow made perfect sense.” – Lily Bragge, Director of Copy

“We celebrate St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6th) where we put out our stockings. St. Nick brings us a new tree ornament, Christmas pajamas, traditional nuts and fruits, our fave candy and a note. If you had a bad year, St. Nick only brings you coal. And, everyone gets their favorite breakfast on Christmas morning.” – Kara Stickley, Visual Merchandising Manager

“We celebrate Wigilia on Christmas Eve, which is a Polish tradition. Our family waits for the first star to appear in the night sky, so we could share our Oplatek, which is a holy wafer, then we break it and designate wishes to each other. We then sit down and eat a traditional supper consisting of 12 dishes that all have symbolic meaning [too long to explain, but you get the gist.] We account for an extra plate in hopes to welcome someone less fortunate that may stumble upon us on Christmas Eve. My Italian husband wants to do the 7 fishes, but these traditions win. He does get to feast on Christmas Day…” – Klaudia Vitale, Senior Art Director

Merry ChristmasHappy Hanukkah
See you in 2020. Daina  

THE SEASON OF THE SWEATER – WHEN I DIP, YOU DIP, WE DIP

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This season has so many names: the holiday season, cuffing season, steal your boyfriend’s [or significant other’s] sweatshirt season. It may be a little harder this year for some, ahem, because of the bump. Fear not mamas, there is no need to steal anyone’s anything. Throughout the month I will be highlighting the best-selling side-ruched maternity sweater, accompanied with a unique recipe to take with you to all your meetings and greetings.

The sweater is a throw on and go piece, because it’s perfect enough on its own with jeans, or easy enough to dress up with some sparkle or a skirt. The stretch and softness are a bonus, finished with the side-ruching so it keeps you styled month one through nine, and then some. The style shown is in our new colorway Ivy Green. It’s a deep, earthy sage tone, which is why we paired it with the vibrant budding artichoke, which is considered a flower, but accepted as a vegetable. We accept it too. I am going to start giving people a bouquet of artichokes from here on out.

You have your look and your dish; you’re a real fashion plate, haha! Who doesn’t love a dip? When I dip, you dip, we dip. [Sorry, I was a kid of the 90s.] As always, this recipe was provided by our chef turned copywriter, Ray Ray.

Cheddar Artichoke Dip with Spinach & Sage 

Ingredients:  

·         kosher salt 

·         freshly ground black pepper 

·         10-12 fresh sage leaves, finely shopped  

·         2 6oz cans of artichoke hearts in water, drained, sliced & patted dry 

·         1 10oz package of frozen spinach, thawed, chopped and wrung dry in a clean kitchen towel or pressed between paper towels to remove excess moisture 

·         3/4 cup grated fresh parmesan 

·         1 8oz block of cream cheese (left at room temp for an hour to soften)  

·         3/4 cup sour cream 

·         1/2 cup lightly toasted and chopped walnuts 

·         1 cup aged sharp cheddar cheese  

·         zest of 1 lemon 

·         1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 

·         1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed 

Directions: 

1.       Pre-heat the oven to 425 fahrenheit 

2.       In a mixing bowl, stir together the artichoke hearts, spinach, cream cheese, sour cream, lemon zest and juice, the pine nuts, black pepper, salt, and 1/2 cup of the parmigiana cheese. 

3.       Butter or lightly spray the inside of a baking dish. Pour the mixture into the dish and spread top to an even thickness, sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup of parmigiana then top with the sharp cheddar. 

4.       Place baking dish on top of a sheet pan lined with foil to avoid any bubbling over and bake until the top browns and the dip heats through, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving with thick pita chips.  

Happy dipping. ❤ Dai & Ray

COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS

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I read a meme that said, “November is the Thursday of the year”, and it really somehow makes sense. But, then again, I like Thursday. Sure, Friday is flashier, as is December, but Thursday has always been fun. Remember in college, thirsty Thursdays? Sorry mamas keep them in your memories for now. But the thing about November that keeps it a top month for most is of course today, Thanksgiving Day.

There is not as much pressure on it as Christmas gets, unless you’re hosting, but even then, once the bird is in… it’s all gravy. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist). This year I asked my co-workers to tell me what they’re grateful for. I feel like between the anxiety of adulting, the emerging holidays, and every other day-to-day stressors, it is heartening to stop and think about the really important things in life – the things that keep everything else in perspective.

I am forever thankful for the rocks in my life, the ones that won’t budge, who stick around and keep me grounded all the same. I am thankful to my husband who has the tireless task of putting up with me since we were EIGHTEEN, my daughters who have made a new and improved form of me, my dog Diesel because he is the hairiest living angel, my family, my friends, my house and my health – may that last one continue to keep its status quo.

So, go ahead and digest these praises of thanks while you digest everything else. Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. “I’m so thankful for a family that believes in and nurtures togetherness. I’m also grateful that I have the privilege to be a Mom to an amazing girl. Our family is thankful for our community of friends & family too.” – Kara Stickley, Visual Communications Manager
  2. “I am thankful for my daughter & that she gets to experience so many firsts this year. We are so excited to head into her first holiday season!” – Brandy Leinhauser, Paid Search Manager
  3. I’m thankful to work with so many wonderful people, who are great at what they do. – Oksana Yarychkivska, CRM Manager
  4. “I am thankful for my friends & family & working with such wonderful people.” – Anita Aub, Email Marketing Coordinator
  5. “I am thankful for the health & well-being of my family this year after going through some tough times.” – Dave Vanyo, Senior Manager of Visual Merchandising
  6. “I’m thankful for my little V who is my pot of gold, my husband who is always by my side, my family who are there for me through thick & thin, my friends who are like family, my 2 pups & all the pups I’m fortunate to foster, that show such unconditional love. This is what makes my life pure magic & I couldn’t be more thankful for that.” – Klaudia Vitale, Senior Art Director
  7. I’m most thankful that my 7-year-old dog, Gray, kicked cancer’s butt this year! – Jacqueline Hamel, Visual Merchandise Manager
  8. “Every year my daughter gets more into the spirit of the holidays.  This year she’s four & a half and I’m so thankful to get caught up in her excitement.” – Stacy Lyons, Manager of In-store Experience
  9. “I am grateful for small moments shared with friends & loved ones; for belly laughs & elbow taps; for acoustic guitars & firepits on late fall evenings; for that feeling of knowing that everyone around you is having a good time & it’s only the beginning of the festivities.” – Kathryn Breish. E-Comm Retoucher
  10. “I’m thankful to have friends in my life who have stood by me when times were bad, who have walked in when others have walked out & whose conversations, counsel & company continue to enrich my life.” – Ray Peraino, Copywriter
  11. “I am thankful for my family and friends and being able to spend the Holiday season together creating new memories.” – Kim Sharrah, Senior eCommerce Merchandiser
  12. “I am thankful for being knocked up for the third time.” – Jackie Daniele, Creative Services Project Manager

With that, I ask you… what are you thankful for? Tell us @motherhoodmaternity.com

 

THANKFUL – EMPHASIS ON FULL

thanksgiving

Last Thanksgiving was a magical time in my life. I was pregnant, and knew I was having another daughter. I was hosting. The air was crisp, cool and I was allowing myself to eat turkey, even though I was primarily vegetarian prior to getting pregnant again. And above all else, I had no food guilt. You know the way you feel around the holidays, when everywhere you look someone made a baked item that smells like heaven and sugar? I like to think because we are animals we need to bulk up in the winter. There has to be something innately inside of us that still feels like hibernation is needed and filling up is preservation. Or… I just like to eat.

This year, I may have to be a hypocrite. I have not had meat since giving birth in February, however, once again, I am hosting, and a chef needs to taste the food. How else does she know if its good enough to serve? When commiserating loudly for my coworkers to hear, Ray stepped in with some facts. You remember Ray? He likes food. He gives us Mocktail Mondays. He also likes the hard, cold facts.

So, let’s talk turkey. Mamas out there who may be nervous about eating turkey, it is not the same as lunchmeat, which always seems to top the no-go list of pregnancy foods. The Thanksgiving turkey is actually pretty healthy for you, because it’s lean and full of protein – what I wish my nickname was.

Then we got to talking about other Thanksgiving foods and Ray told me to, “couch the potatoes”. He laughed.  I laughed. Then I got mad because nobody puts Baby in the corner and nobody tells Baby to not eat potatoes on Thanksgiving!  He said that starch should be eaten in moderation, but I really don’t need that kind of negativity in my life, so I have chosen to say that we women, especially those currently creating a life, need the extra carbs.

On the upside, Ray did say that sweet potatoes are amazing and healthy, referring to them a, “silence of the yams.”  In true Ray nature, he gave a little tip to sweetening these babies up without the extra granulated sugar. “My most coveted secret for mashed sweet potatoes is the addition of a single, small, butter roasted banana before the mashing begins.” Duly noted Ray.

Vegetables are good for you. Eat your veggies. But… there is always room for dessert. Ray did not mention dessert, because he has never been pregnant! What do you expect from a guy who warned me about potatoes? Those cravings kick in and all of sudden, you’ll die without pie. I did a little digging and discovered that apple pie, pumpkin pie and pecan pie are good for you. I use the term good loosely. Please note that I am not a doctor, but I play one in my own head.

Pumpkins are filled with beta carotene, which is what carrots have, and what claims them to be good for your eyesight. They are filled with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. So, go ahead and grab a slice. Add whipped cream if you want; that one is on you! Apples are fruits. Need I say more? Their natural sweetness is only heightened with help from the brown ooey-gooey sugar and buttery double crust. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life people.

And now for the pecan pie – the most decadent of the bunch. You can literally heart pecans, because they are known for lowering the risk of heart disease. Nuts are also amazing for digestion, so it seems only right you end your meal with this pie.

Now, because we are a clothing company, I do feel compelled to help you out. Most people at your Thanksgiving table will unbutton their pants; they will be popping out. But not you. The Secret Fit Belly® pants will stretch, comfort and grow, no matter how hard you have at that turkey and pie.

Remember when Joey wore his Thanksgiving pants on Friends? Think those pants but made for you. You’re welcome. This is the time of giving, after all.

Happy eats & sweets mamas.   – Daina (or, as you probably prefer to call me by now) LAFOP

FA LA LA LA LA LA FA FA FA FAIR ISLE

 

I like festive fashion. The holidays are about getting cozy. Maybe it’s my northern east coastiness, but winter holidays are cold and there needs be snuggly style to outfit the season. It’s not just me actually; watch any Hallmark movie.

Autumn gets plaid, but winter gets fair isle. This very specific print gets updated every year, but yet it is still distinct enough to be holiday. This year’s version features touches of red, blue and pink, but also reindeer – YAY!

What is Fair Isle? It’s a specific knitting/pattern technique that gets its name from – wait for it – an island! The Fair Isle is a really small, remote island just north of Scotland. Scottish people love their patterns and so do we, apparently! Move over tartan; you had your season. Anyway, back to the history and geography lesson.

This type of pattern making is specific on the person who is creating the original design. Of course, we borrow the original artwork and make it our own, so you can enjoy it here. Usually you will see stars in the design, but for us, we prefer hearts. Hearts and reindeer on your pajamas? Prepare to sleep like a baby, because it’s an actual dream.

Want to shop the shoot?

You will see Abby, her husband and her daughter all snug in bed and Andrea and her son making memories. Both of our ladies are wearing the nursing nightgown. Abby is actually pregnant and the smooth, soft, stretchy material is made to be worn and loved with bump and then baby. Andrea was able to nurse her son on set with help from the clip-down straps.

You will also see Andrea in the pajama pants, which is part of a full set. They are below-bump bottoms and part of our wear now/ love later capsule. The top features a button-down front, so it can be worn for nursing and pumping. This look comes in plus size too!

What’s underneath counts and Abby is modeling our pregnancy panties, which help when the heat kicks on and the pants come off, am I right?

You feeling fair isle? You should be. Show us your fine print @motherhoodmaternity – can’t wait!

– Daina

WHAT’S IN STORE? 11.11 MAKE A WISH LIST

wishlist1

Eleven is my favorite number because it’s ten and one for good luck! So, when eleven/eleven rolls around, I damn near lose it! This year I thought it would be cute to head over to our local store and snap some shots of wish-worthy gifts for the holiday season. No matter what you celebrate, making a list of the gifts you want is fun, so go ahead and get to typing or texting.

Let’s start from the first layer and work our way out. The seamless bra is the perfect gift; it will lift more than just your spirits, haha! Our newest colorways are a rich burgundy and a maroon, as well as a deep forest green. We love this bra so much we did a whole campaign about it!  It’s award-winning, best-selling, and five-star rated because every single pregnant and nursing woman I know owns one. Fun fact, I wore mine to yoga the other day as a top now that I am postpartum. Soft and stretchy as I get my vinyasa on.

Sleepwear is really the perfect gift you get yourself or someone who you know that is expecting. It’s a personal gift, without being too personal. Like it isn’t easy to get someone a pair of jeans, but a pair of pajama pants is totally acceptable. We took some shots of our fluffy robe too. You can almost feel how soft it is through the screen! The robe is also a forever gift, because it doesn’t judge how big your belly gets and there is nothing about it that reads pregnancy. I still have mine. It’s more my daughter’s now when she thinks she’s Elsa and that is her snow gown…

The graphic tees are always momma-musts because they play well on social media. We love to see your #GraphicTeeTuesday posts. For the cooler months we have long sleeve tees and sweatshirts. [That’s me creeping behind the mannequin. And I hate mannequins ever since one fell on my head when I was two in the mall and my head split open and I had to be taken to the hospital because they thought I was dead. Fun times.]

Need a stocking stuffer? Safe skin for the win. Need a little gift for your little gift? We have milestone markers, baby toys, pacis and pop drops. We have a wubbanub in every room of the house. My baby and every baby doll are decked out with one, so they’re a purchase that’s worth it. I also thought it would be a cute idea to get a shot of our pregnancy stockings. I remember I only wanted to be a dresses girl last pregnancy, but I was due in the winter. I also didn’t feel like shaving my legs. OKAY I couldn’t reach them; leave me alone! So, stockings that fit over a belly were needed.  Or don’t be a dresses girl and just throw on the leggings. Choices are endless. This is your wish list.

wishlist 2

Speaking of dresses, we tried to create a little Pietro Brunelli story, as well as a green with envy color story in our sister store, A Pea in the Pod®. Red screams Christmas, but green is my favorite color and it’s my blog post so Erin, our social media specialist, just let me be weird. To finish off our trip, we snapped some socks. That’s me gold toed and stocked with socks.

In honor of the best sounding day of the year – go ahead and make a wish list. Send it to us @motherhoodmaternity or whoever is taking on the role of Santa this year!

Here’s to the one for good luck! -Daina

SWEATER TEXTURES – I’M FEELING IT!

What’s the difference between summer style and winter style? Besides there being more of it in winter? Texture baby! Summer clothes are all about breeziness – keeping it light. But when late fall comes, the door opens to so many types of must-need knit.

Chunky knit is my favorite kind of chunky – well, aside from my baby girl’s still very cottage-cheese like chunky butt, or as we New Jersey Italians say – coolie. Then there’s waffle knit and ribbed knit and cable knit and hacci and cotton and terry and wool!

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Let me break down the stitching a little. The baby blue sweater has a shaker stitch, which is known for its extra soft ribbing and natural stretch. It’s perfect for snuggling. It’s made to grow with your belly… all winter long!

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We’ve got a honeycomb sweater selection that is sweet! (I truly cannot resist a pun.) The honeycomb is known for its dimension, which makes it super textured, and a standout. We’ve got this one in the grey shown, as well as a coral and cream – a sweet cream. Haha!

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I am a sweater – as in I sweat a lot. Whatever, but I run hot. For me, I don’t always want to do a daytime sweater, so when I think about getting cozy, I think over-the-top luxury. I think spa. I think a perfectly plush robe. That’s the texture I like: fluffy, cotton-candy-dream-inducing soft. Nighttime is when I get tactile.

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Moving on to our nursing mamas. After having given birth, skin is still super sensitive, so tread softly when picking out clothing for a postpartum winter. The striped knit top is a best-seller because it isn’t too thick. It’s breathable, but still warm – and of course, it has a hidden-zipper design element that lets you get back to you.

Feeding your baby or pumping is not something we take for granted here. I have personally done it twice and there is nothing like the hot sweat panic that comes over you when you’re forced to lift your shirt up in public to breastfeed. Society is not always on board – yet – but in the meantime we are here to help.

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And for the mamas-to-be and the mamas-that-just-became, there’s a new hacci knit sleep top with button down nursing function, so it can be worn during pregnancy and well into parenthood.

Hacci is made from large loop knitting, so the end result is really soft, but also airy, so that there is no overheating at night! This is important for women experiencing all those pre-to-post baby hormones! Get the sleep top and sleep bottom for a complete set.

You feeling these winter wonders? Send us your sweater weather snaps @motherhoodmaternity – Can’t wait to see you there!

-Daina

MOCKTAIL MONDAY – AN APPLE A DAY

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I can use a drink and today calls for our favorite bombastic writer, Ray! Without further ado I bring you November’s Mocktail Monday via Mr. Peraino.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, we’ll all soon be attending parties with friends and family. I don’t know about your family and friends, but with mine, this time of year calls for a drink … or three.

We’re going to mix up some incredible mocktails, real ones, good ones – mocktails that are rewarding and enjoyable. The best part, all of these will rely heavily on that seasonally available sparkling apple cider — you know the one I’m talking about, with its italicized scripted label over an emerald green bottle, ubiquitously available at every supermarket this time of year.

Got it? Great, let’s jazz that up into something so Gatsbyesque that it’ll feel like you’re gulping down the gilded age by the glass. It is almost the 20s again.

Here are three recipes that I think are perfect for this time of year. They’re familiar enough flavors to complement your holiday meals, but unique enough to be enjoyed on their own or with friends.

 

Apple & Sage Fizz

 

Ingredients

(4 servings)

1 tbsp honey

2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

16 oz sparkling apple cider

6 leaves sage

freshly grated nutmeg to taste

ice

 

Directions

  • In a cocktail shaker muddle the sage leaves. Next grate in some fresh nutmeg (note: fresh nutmeg is potent stuff) add the honey and lemon juice.
  • Add a few ice cubes and add a little bit of the sparkling apple cider (approx. 2oz) and stir it all together very well with a cocktail spoon.
  • Fill highball glasses with ice and strain your delightful mixture over the ice cubes distributing evenly among glasses
  • Top off with the remaining chilled apple cider

 

 

 

The Sweet Apple Sparkle

(Sparkling Cider w/ Rosemary & Thyme Mocktail)

Makes: about 2 quarts

 

Ingredients

4 cups apple cider

2 cups Sparkling cider

1 cup club soda

4 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

4 oz raw sugar

4 oz filtered water

12-16 Fresh thyme sprigs

1-2 Fresh rosemary springs

Apple slices for garnish

 

Instructions

  • First, make a simple syrup: combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat stirring until all sugar had dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and add sprigs of thyme & rosemary. Let cool. You can transfer this to a container
  • In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir well. Add simple syrup to taste. Pour over ice and garnish with apple slices and thyme sprigs.

 

The Honey Lemon Sparkler

Makes 2 servings

 

Ingredients

2 teaspoons honey

2 teaspoons filtered water

1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 cups Sparkling Cider

2 lemon wheel (garnish)

 

Instructions

  • Combine the honey and water in a small bowl or ramekin and heat it in microwave for 20 -30 seconds to make a quick simple syrup. remove from microwave and let cool in the refrigerator.
  • While syrup is cooling, split lemon juice evenly between two champagne flutes.
  • Pour equal amounts of honey simple syrup into each champagne flute atop lemon juice.
  • Top off each glass with sparkling cider, garnish with lemon wheel & serve.

 

 

This guy and his lemon wheels, am I right?  No alcohol, no problem.

Mix it. Post it. Tag it. Drink it. Like it. Share it. @motherhoodmaternity #mocktailmonday

 

Bottoms up!

–          Dai & Ray

 

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