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

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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.

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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

 

WELCOME A PEA IN THE POD!

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You have a sister? I do. We are six years apart and I would call her the A Pea in the Pod to my Motherhood. She is older, taller – all the things that make her enviable to a little sister. We used to have epic fights. We shared a room and she would write times on the door when I was able to enter. It usually was just sleeping hours. One time she threw a hot pocket at my face after it was microwaved. [We’re nineties kids.]

We were not compatible, related, but not in sync. But then something happens as sisters age. That rivalry makes way for a new relationship, one where prior enemies become lifelong besties. We have the same DNA after all. This is the case for our sister brand. For years A Pea in the Pod® has been dressing bumps in the most crave-worthy couture and we have been admiring their style from afar. But now, we open our homes to our sister – welcome Pea! We can’t wait to shop you on Motherhood.com

A little about our sister site: Not only do they have their exclusive designs chosen and selected here in our corporate headquarters, they house the most maternity name brands in one place including designer denim like AG, DL1961, 7 For All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity and Articles of Society to name a few. The coolest part is that for most of these jeans, they are the EXACT pairs from the label and then our designers customize each pair with our signature Secret Fit Belly®, ensuring the fit is the same, but the belly will continue to provide growth and comfort for pregnancy.   

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Pea provides you with posh from across the pond with brands like Isabella Oliver and Seraphine – you know those royal styles, if you catch my drift. Our sister brand also houses a curated closet from down under, with Ripe Maternity pieces, something super fancy from France like the looks from Envie de Fraise. And of course, there are the fashions for all the bella bellies out there, made in Milan, sent to us from Pietro Brunelli.

Our Italian designer is super sweet and I actually had the chance to do an interview with the Pietro Brunelli for Pea’s 40weeksofchic.com – click here to read more. [Going forward, I will be covering Pea’s topics on this blog, because what are sisters for?] Our conversation started to sway toward talking about his best-selling Salisburgo dress, which continues to be our Pea mamas’ favorite fashion from the overseas brand. He says about his dress, “This dress does have something special – it’s a combination of elegance, romantic details and the fact that when I dress a woman, I do not only want her to look beautiful, but I also want her to feel comfortable.” We totally hear you Pietro, which is why we offer this amazing piece with short and long sleeves, as well as in an array of colors.

Don’t get your sleeves all in a ruffle, you can shop this look on Motherhood’s site right now!

We want to see you in it – show us how & where you wear the Salisburgo style @motherhoodmaternity or @peainthepodmaternity #40weeksofchic

BELLY LAUGHS

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Going “on set” sounds very serious, and sometimes it is. However, we have been working with real pregnant women and their real families, so silly is going to supersede serious at times. Companies like to show their prettiest shot, the ones where the light is just right, and the clothes drape to perfection… which we like to do too, because it makes sense. But again, sometimes it’s what the camera captures that doesn’t always make the final cut that matters most. It’s hard to tell the difference between candid and staged, but that is not the case for these moments. I take you with us to Wisconsin…

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Apparently Cedar, the little one, refused to take off these boots. This was her own pair, and she was hellbent to make them work with everything. They are her ruby red slippers boots. She made it work!

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That’s the face of a mom who is done for the day. I like to call this face, “I don’t want to mom anymore tonight.” I have a toddler and an infant – I get it girl!

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You know when you’re pregnant and pose on a large hay barrel it may be difficult and scary to come down? No worries… Abby’s actual husband was there to give her and his unborn child a helping hand!

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Day 2 on set was Cedar’s actual 4th birthday!

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That’s my boss giving her a birthday gift!

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And there’s the cake to prove it!

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Everybody on set is really professional – really, really professional!

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You see what I mean? No time to joke. Time is money.

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Abby is serving up the same “I am done momming” face as the day before! Models give good face.

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I leave you with this picture. The dog days of summer October are coming to an end.

See ya in November!

          Daina

DIY FYI – HALLOWEEN EDITION

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Two years ago, in a little studio in Florence, NJ, the social media team got crafty. All of these costumes were made by our social media specialist, Erin, who you can see here in a pink wig. Oh, and hey look Ma, I made it! That first picture is your girl rocking a homemade disco ball bump, and the blonde in the glasses is our art director extraordinaire, Klaudia, who I referenced in the wicked good reveal post!

All of these last-minute DIY pregnancy costumes can be done on our side-ruched tee, because it allows stretch and growth for you, but also for the additional glued on pieces. In other words, it gives… give! [There’s a long sleeve version too!]

We took a trip to our local craft store to purchase all the pieces, as well as the fabric glue. The disco ball was made by taking the mirrored squares and creating a spherical shape. I am not sure how Erin did this so perfectly, but she did! She created the circle on a piece of paper first, then one by one glued them on to her canvas, our black maternity shirt.

Utilizing that same technique, Erin glued on colorful pompoms onto a white maternity shirt. This one she did on the tee, then lifted each one to glue, so that she didn’t lose the shape!

The heart eyes emoji costume is notably the easiest and quickest of the looks. All you need is felt, some fabric or craft glue, and a scissor. Know what’s even quicker? One of our Halloween graphic tees – head to your store NOW to get it mama, because you’re cutting it close to the big day!

Happy Halloween
🧡  Daina

National Pasta Day – Mangia, Mangia!

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October is Italian Heritage Month and this little jersey tomato is stoked for this very special holiday.  Another fellow writer and Italian-American, Raymond Peraino, is back with words, pasta and some gravy or is it sauce? Let the celebration commence!

Words of the day from Ray:

Dating as far back as the first century and later introduced to Italy in the XIII Century by Marco Polo, pasta is now made and enjoyed the world over. Being of Italian descent, I’m here for all things pasta related.

Pappardelle is my personal favorite fresh pasta. The soft, silky ribbons are what dreams are made of. I’m going to let Andrew Rea from Binging with Babish explain to you with his richly colored and calming voice just how easy it is to make fresh pasta should you choose to do so. Check him out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdSLKZ6LN94&t=375s

Ready? Let’s roll! (Pasta jokes!)

Pappardelle with Wild Mushrooms

Before getting started:

If you have trouble sourcing any of these mushrooms you can use whatever you can find fresh — button mushrooms, crimini (baby portobello), whatever you like will all work just fine.

-and-

If you’re pressed for time, you can skip the making of the fresh pasta and buy another wide fresh or dry pasta like dry pappardelle, fettuccine, mafaldine, tripoline, etc. just be sure to closely follow the cooking time provided for the pasta you purchase.

You’ll Need:

16 ounces Pasta (500 grams)

12 ounces chanterelle mushrooms (350 grams)

12 ounces king oyster mushrooms (350 grams)

6 ounces Hen of the Woods mushrooms (175 grams)

2 shallots, peeled and sliced (sub 1/2 medium onion)

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter (50 grams)

1/2 cup white wine (or vegetable stock) (120ml)

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (15 grams)

1 handful of Italian parsley leaves, picked (reserve some to garnish)

½ cup aged Gruyère cheese (or more to taste) (110 grams) (sub. Aged Gouda)

a good squeeze of lemon juice

high temp oil as needed (grapeseed, safflower, sunflower, avocado, etc.)

kosher salt, as needed

black pepper, as needed

You’ll Do:

1.       Fill a large pot with water, salt it generously and let it come to a vigorous boil while you prep

2.       Cut the mushrooms into large chunks. (They’ll shrink when cooking.)

3.       Heat a thin coat of oil in a large, wide, flat bottom pan over medium heat. When it begins to simmer, add a single layer of mushrooms cut side down and sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt. Cook until deeply golden, then flip and cook on all sides until tender. This will take a few minutes on each side. Remove to a bowl and continue with the rest of the mushrooms.

4.       When all the mushrooms are cooked, add the butter to the empty pan. When melted, add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the shallots are tender, then add the thyme, white wine, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let simmer to reduce liquid and intensify the flavors. After a few minutes of simmering fold in the mushrooms. Turn heat to low stirring to make sure there is no scorching until pasta is ready.

5.       Once your salted water has come to a rolling boil float the into the water.  Give it a gentle stir to keep it from clumping and cook until slightly tender. Heads up, if you’re using fresh pasta, it cooks FAST —about 2-4 minutes depending on noodle thickness.

6.       Once pasta is just beginning to become tender, use tongs to transfer the pasta directly into the pan with your mushrooms and sauce. Turn the heat up and gently fold the pasta into the mushroom sauce. Add reserved pasta water to the sauce as needed and toss together so that everything is well incorporated. This should look glossy and amazing by now.

7.       Take off the heat and sprinkle in parsley and aged Gruyère.

8.       Place the pasta is a family style platter and top with all the sauce or divide into individual bowls and top with an optional drizzle of olive oil, a little black pepper, and some parsley leaves. Serve immediately.

Buon Appetito,
Dai & Ray

 

 

MOCKTAIL MONDAY: FEEL THE BLUE…BERRIES

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Has it really been a month since Ray graced us with a Mocktail Monday?

You are in luck today – get the glasses ready, Ray is here to fill your day with his wordy ramblings and a recipe for something seasonably sweet.

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As written by Ray:

This post-season potable has a goodbye whisper from summer in the form of blueberry and a gentle gesture to your taste buds that fall flavors are on the way. It may sound strange, but blueberry and rosemary play well together.

I love this transitional mocktail. It’s got a little bit of summer and a little bit of fall all in one glass, it’s easy to put together whether you’re serving two or twelve, and it feels like a treat.  Do yourself the favor and screenshot this one, download it, print it out… just make sure you can find it again because I’m sure it’ll be a drink you’ll want to make more than just on a Monday.

Rosemary Blueberry Fizz

(serving: one 12 oz glass)

Ingredients:

8-12 blueberries

1 rosemary sprig, stripped

1/2 oz honey (roughly a tablespoon)

1 oz fresh lime and/or strawberries

4 oz sparkling water

Ice

Instructions:

Thoroughly muddle the blueberries, rosemary leaves, and honey in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add a squeeze of lime juice and top off with ice.  Cover and shake vigorously for a few seconds. Strain through a mesh strainer into a tall glass with fresh ice. Top with sparkling water and stir. If you want to get fancy and impress guests, garnish it with a sprig of rosemary and a lime wheel.

A sprig of rosemary and a lime wheel?  Well give me a minute as I get my fancy fascinator on. Hats off to you Ray. For all the readers, make sure you make it, post it, tag it, because we want to see it. @motherhoodmaternity #mocktailmonday

–          Dai & Ray

 

DON’T SCREAM – WE HAVE YOUR COSTUME RIGHT HERE!

 

Too tired to put on a costume? Too big to care? No problem – we got you BOO. [My puns are frighteningly good!] October is here and if you thought I loved September, that love is only surpassed by my adoration for Halloween. As I have gotten older, and Santa has brought me less and less for Christmas, Halloween has taken the prize for favorite holiday. Any chance I get to dress up, I am there. I really hope that just because you are pregnant, you’re not thinking about forgoing a costume.

Let us dress you.

Look how cute our “model” is with her ACTUAL daughter. You may remember Abby and Cedar from our real mom shoot last month. Carved in cuteness, Abby is wearing our pumpkin outfit, which comes with both the maternity tee and striped pants. It’s super stretchy and really soft, made from jersey knit, so you can eat as much candy as baby-in-the-belly can handle.

BUT WAIT… THERE’S MORE! [Brace yourself for some truly horrible wordplay]

We’ve got a bone-chilling skeleton costume, a pawsitively adorable mama bear look, a cunningly cozy fox 2-piece outfit, a “Something’s Brewing” witchy look that’s bubbling over with cuteness, a super hero outfit that SAVES you time looking for a costume, a mummy look to wrap you up in something snuggly, a one of a kind unicorn outfit, and a purrfectly easy cat costume. Most of these costumes come in plus too, sizes 1X-3X!

These outfits are super soft. I mean sugar crash on the couch and sleep all night soft. How are you dressing your bump this Halloween? Show & share @motherhoodmaternity  

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