Crackle!  Boom!  Pop!

Are you ready for the 4th of July?!  Make sure your maternity wardrobe is ready, too.  For this U.S.A.-inspired outfit, we decided to dress it down a little bit.  And what says American more than a comfy t-shirt and some jean shorts?  Add a Preggers Maternity Support Band to help support your growing bump.  Finish it off with a pair of cute and comfortable flip flops and some American Flag jewelry and accessories.  You’ll be ready for backyard barbecues and fireworks, galore!

Born in the U.S.A.

Sweet Summer Baby Blues

Keep it cool this summer with a light and airy cotton maternity blouse.  It pairs sweetly with a simple jean skirt.  A pair of Preggers Leggings will help keep your legs feeling energized without adding a lot of extra hot material.  A pair of flat sandals and some matching accessories – in baby blue . . . or pink – will round out your outfit nicely.

Baby Blues

Dressing it Up, But Keeping it Cool

Need to dress it up for all those summer weddings and graduations? You can stay comfortable and cool in a casual summer dress.  The right accessories will add all the “dress” you’ll need.  A black and white striped dress with an adorable black sunhat and black and white bag will make a perfect statement at any summer celebration.  Don’t forget to add a pair of Preggers leggings to keep your legs healthy and feeling great.

Incognito

 

As both a Mom and a Daughter, I completely believe in homemade Mother’s Day gifts.  I love getting these sweet gifts from my kiddos and I totally love giving them to my mom and my mother-in-law.  Sometimes the creativity is just not flowing, though, and I look all around for new ideas.  This year the Knit-Rite/Therafirm team got some inspiration from our own products.  The best part is, we were able to use products from several of our brands to create these adorable sock bouquets.  They’re cute and easy enough for the kiddos to do, too.  Watch our demonstration video below!

List of Supplies Needed:

• Socks of multiple colors, shapes and sizes
• A pair of tights, pantyhose or a piece of fabric of similar size and length
• Rubber bands
• Safety pins
• Your favorite vase

We used some discontinued colors of our Preggers and Therafirm brands, as well as current colors of TheraSport, SmartKnitKIDS, SmartKnit and Therafirm.  Happy bouquet making!

Pregnancy naturally can add a lot of stress to your everyday life.  For each person it’s different, but stresses can include anything from trying to make healthy decisions to worrying about the health of your baby.  Maybe you’re deciding if you’ll go back to work after the baby is born.  Or maybe it is selecting the right daycare.  Should you breast or bottle feed?  Which hospital is the right choice?  What makes a good pediatrician or car seat or crib?

You are truly turning your life upside down, so it’s easy to feel an increase of stress.  Most doctors say a little stress is okay, but that you should try to avoid chronic stress as it can have developmental effects on the baby.  Easier said than done, though, right?  How about a few ideas to help alleviate some of the stress.  Try one of these on for size!

 

  1. Eat Well – Don’t let the idea of it stress you out more, but eating well can truly help to alleviate some stress. The Boy Scouts have a motto that works well here: “Do your best!”  So, try to add healthy food to your diet, but don’t sweat it if you do eat some unhealthy items or if you don’t get all the good stuff you need.  Just do your best.  Omega-3 fatty acids can help you to reduce depression.  If you’re craving sweets, try some fresh fruit or make a fruit smoothie.  It’ll satisfy that sweet craving, as well as give you some important vitamins.Bagel w/ Fruit
  2. Exercise – When you’re lugging around that baby belly, it’s the last thing you want to do, right? Well, it can actually make you feel better and alleviate some stress.  Swimming is a really great choice, as it doesn’t put extra stress on your joints.  Plus, the weightlessness feels great!  And if you’re experiencing your third trimester during July and August, that cool water feels amazing.
  3. Watch a Funny Movie – You heard that right! Take an afternoon off and enjoy a good belly-laughing comedy!  Laughter is so good for the body and soul!  It releases your natural “feel-good” body chemicals – endorphins – which promote a sense of well-being and can temporarily relieve pain.  Laughter decreases stress hormones and it can increase immune cells and antibodies.  Write yourself a prescription for Funny Movie Night every week!
  4. Cut Back on the Unnecessary – We know how much you have a need to make everything perfect for your new arrival. That’s natural.  But, decide what must be done and what can wait.  There’s no need to give yourself extra stress by trying to complete things that will wait.  For example, it is okay to wait to put together the high chair – it will be several months before you need it anyway.  Or, the nursey pictures don’t have to be hung before baby gets here.  He or she won’t see them right away anyway.
  5. Have a Good Support Network – Ask a few friends or family members for help in completing tasks both before and after the baby arrives. They can help complete things that have become too difficult in your final months.  But, also talk to them about things you anticipate needing afterwards.  Knowing that you have a few trusted companions that you can rely on for things you need will help relieve some stress.
  6. Relax – Okay, what we really mean is try some relaxation techniques such as prenatal yoga or even meditation. Prenatal yoga can help you prepare your body for labor by stretching and toning muscles and regulating breathing.  Meditation is an easy way relieve some stress.  And it doesn’t take much time, either.  Just 10 minutes each day can help to control the day’s stresses, but it also decreases anxiety, improves cardiovascular health and helps you to achieve greater relaxation.yoga
  7. Sing or Play Music – It’s okay, you don’t have to be good at it. Singing and music helps to control cortisol (the stress hormone) levels.  So, sing to yourself, to your family or if you’re feeling brave plan a karaoke night with your partner and some friends!ID-100138497
    Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  8. Take a Childbirth Class – Nothing makes your feel better than being prepared. And the best way to be prepared for a new baby is to take childbirth classes to help you become familiar with what to expect.  Classes can help you practice breathing and relaxation techniques.  You can learn about pain management options and when it is appropriate to ask for what type of relief.  And, you can even learn about some of the basic things that might surprise you after birth or once you leave the hospital with your new little sweetheart.  Being prepared has a way of relieving a little bit of stress, too.

 

We hope that one of a few of these tips will help to relieve some of your pregnancy stresses.  Welcome to motherhood!

 

 

picmonkey-collage2In a few days, March 8, 2017, women around the world will celebrate International Women’s Day.  According to their website, the day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  And the day marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

In 2017, the achievements our gender has made in society are more visible than ever. We can vote, true, and we’re nearing on the 100th anniversary of suffrage. And the strides have been even greater than that. We’ve seen women holding high office.  Madeleine Albright became the first woman to hold the office of Secretary of State in 1997, and since then 3 of the last 6 have been women.  We’ve seen a female Attorney General, four different women on the U.S. Supreme Court, and many other cabinet positions.  The first woman elected to the U.S. House happened in 1917 and the first U.S. Senator a handful of years later in 1932.  And most recently, we’ve seen the first woman to run for President for a major political party.  We see women owning companies and heading corporations.  They are doctors, lawyers, scientists, astronauts.  Our gender has cracked the glass ceiling, but there is still work to do.

Attention for women’s achievements ebbs and flows in news cycles, but seems to be at the forefront of late.  Women, as a whole, are still not paid equally to their male counterparts.  Women are still not present in equal numbers in business and politics.  And globally, many improvements are still needed for women’s education and health, as well as the disproportionate numbers of violence against women.

The 2017 theme for International Women’s Day is #BeBoldForChange.  Change is still needed.  At our current rate of speed, the gender gap won’t close entirely until the year 2186, according to the World Economic Forum.  But, if we are bold for change, we can make that happen faster.

Change can be big or small.  What kinds of things can we, as women, change as individuals?  Below are 5 things we can work on to better ourselves and to help leave our mark on the world.

Perspective

Have you ever heard of the phrase “mind over matter”?  I’ll bet you have.  That’s what I mean by perspective.  The first step to making change in our lives is changing our perspective of things.  I hate getting groceries every week or doing laundry.  But, since they are necessary chores to the well-being of my family, I do them.  I can look at them with dread, or I can be thankful that I have the funds to buy food for my family.  I can clothe my children and keep their clothes clean.  Maybe, I have a family member or co-worker that is difficult to be around.  I can choose to avoid them or be unkind to them.  Or, I can change my perception and look at things from their perspective.  Looking at things from their perspective will give me a better understanding of why they are difficult, and possibly I can help them.  Changing perspective can apply to almost anything in our lives.

Career

I think this is area that is most reflective of the #BeBoldForChange theme. Most of us spend 8 – 10 of our waking hours per day at our jobs.  This is time not spent with family or friends or doing things we love.  With so many hours spent doing a job, it had better be something you enjoy doing.  If not, make a change.  Get a new job or go back to school.  But, be happy in your career.  Maybe you love your job, but feel that a raise or promotion is overdue.  It’s time to make a change.  Be bold and ask for what you feel you deserve.  You may not get it, but as long as you are courteous and professional, you’ll go a long way in making cracks in that glass ceiling.

Relationships

This is such a tough one for us women, but is an area of such importance.  Evaluate your relationships, including friendships and family relationships.  Nurture the good relationships – the ones that are good for your well-being; the ones that bring you joy; the ones you learn from and who show you kindness.  Repair the fragile ones that are worth saving.  And cut ties with the toxic ones.  Life is too short to let others bring you down.

Health

There are so many things we can do to change the state of our health.  The obvious one is diet and exercise, but be careful in that.  There are so many harmful ones out there.  If you diet, choose one that includes healthy foods and doesn’t make you feel bad or lacking.  Choose an active lifestyle, but know your limitations.  Don’t participate in exercise that is harmful to any condition you are living with. Chose exercise that makes you feel good and something you like to do.  You’re more apt to keep up with it if you do.  Other things you can do to become healthier or to maintain good health include brushing and flossing your teeth, getting plenty of good sleep and avoiding or limiting things like tobacco, caffeine or alcohol.  Drink plenty of water.  Most doctors and nutritionists recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.  Finally, follow your doctor’s suggestions to improve your health.  This includes wearing your compression! 😉

Legacy

Most people want to leave a legacy on this world, but your legacy can be whatever you want it to be.  Many women leave their legacy with meaningful careers – doctors, teachers, politicians, businesswomen, police officers, etc.  Or your legacy may be motherhood.  Parents are the first teachers of every child and raising well-adjusted and contributing members of society is such a huge legacy in itself.  Or perhaps your legacy is the mark you leave on the world in other ways – volunteering with veterans or the homeless, fostering a child, cleaning up a local park, or even just spreading simple kindnesses to strangers.

Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to make changes happen in your life.  Have faith and courage and be bold.  And from all of us at Knit-Rite/Therafirm, Happy International Women’s Day!

 

 

 

Hey Preggers Mamas!  It’s time for Valentine’s Day, which probably means it’s time to dress up your bump for a romantic night out with your Valentine.  And if this little bundle-to-be is your first baby, it may be awhile before you have this kind of alone time. (Veteran mamas know what I’m talking about!) So, you’ll want to pull out all the stops for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day babymoon date.

You’re probably up-to-date in the latest nursery trends and the coolest baby gadgets, but you might have fallen away from reading about what looks are gracing the faces of fashion these days.  We get you!  Being a mama, and even a mama-to-be, has a way redirecting your attention.  But, leave it to Preggers, to help you choose the perfect makeup style for your last Valentine’s Day before motherhood increases your family size.  We think these trends would look beautiful on our Preggers mamas!

Lips

According to Elle.com, gloss is back for lips!  Matte lips had been the trend over the past few years, but beautiful shine is the new look for 2017.  Make sure you have some new beautiful glossy shades, or add a clear gloss over your current colors.

Liners

The latest liners for 2017 don’t extend the full length of the eye lid.  Only the center part of the lid is lined leaving an unfinished look.  Fully-lined eye lids are so 2016!

Another liner trend for 2017 carries over from lips – shine! Use a liquid liner for a gleaming, shiny look.

Mascara

I think I must be a boring mama when it comes to makeup because I’ve never thought of using anything but black mascara.  But, elle.com suggests that 2017 is the year for burgundy.  The key to using this red hue on your lashes, though, is to use a dark enough burgundy color that it only shows when it catches the light.

Shadows

Again with the glossy. Harpers Bazaar says that along with glossy lips and liners, glossy eye shadows are being seen on the lids of this year’s fashionistas.  Several brands actually make glossy shadows, but Harpers suggests you can get the same effect by sweeping some clear lip gloss over your normal shadows. Better make sure you have plenty of that lip gloss this year!

Blush

Gone are the days of a subtle blush.  In 2017, blush is meant to be seen.  So, load up your brushes and apply, apply, apply!  Whether you opt for a more obvious look or you’re not ready to dive all the way in and hold to a little subtle blending, choose colors that defiantly show up and accent your cheeks.

Nails

And for your nails, try painting on metallic colors, furthering that “things that shine” trend.

Color Trends

Are you ready for this?  Welcome back to the 1980s with blue eye shadow and colorful shades of blush.  Did anyone else think those colors would never make a reappearance?

Glitter

Yep.  Glitter is still here, so layer up your eyes, lips, cheeks and nails in glitter dust.

And don’t forget to throw on some Preggers legwear on your way out the door.  You’ll want your legs feeling great for your night on the town!

Goodness!  I can’t wait to try a few of these 2017 trends.  It’s a huge upgrade from the lovely look of baby spitup. 😉  Happy Valentine’s Day, Preggers mamas!

**Fashion photos from the following sources: amuser; glamour; harpers bazaar; nicades; temptalia; glitterbugcosmetics; marieclaire; elle; makeupand beautyblog; pinterest; wikihow; gcastd; yves-saint-laurent; cuded; and jamienelson.

Are there any football fans among the Preggers mamas out there?  Rumor has it that there is a big football game this weekend.  They say it will be pretty super! 😉

Football party food is usually not the healthiest, and many mamas may opt to pass on the chicken wings, and definitely the beer.  But with a few healthy twists on these classic recipes, you can enjoy some munchies, too, while you cheer on the Falcons or Patriots.  Or maybe you’re more of a commercial fan.  Either way, give these delicious treats a whirl!

Traditional Buffalo Chicken Wings

buffalowings-image-w6il77-clipart

Ingredients:
2 lbs. of chicken wings or drumsticks
¼ cup of Frank’s Hot Sauce
Low fat blue cheese dressing
Celery sticks

Directions:
1. Rinse and pat chicken dry and trim off any visible fat.
2. Put chicken in a pot of cold water. (Make sure chicken is covered by 2 inches of water.)
3. Bring to boil and boil for 10 minutes.
4. Set broiler to high and place rack 6 inches from flame.
5. Remove chicken from water and place on baking sheet.
6. Broil for 6 minutes on each side until crisp.
7. Cover chicken with Frank’s Hot Sauce in a large bowl.
8. Serve with blue cheese and celery.

Or for an even healthier version, try Buffalo Chicken Cauliflower!

Buffalo Chicken Cauliflower

img_3213-1024x683

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
¾ flour
1 cup of water
½ tsp. garlic powder
2 heads of cauliflower cut into chunks
2 tbsp. of butter
½ cup of Frank’s Hot Sauce
1 tsp. of honey
salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450° and spray baking sheet.
2. Mix flour, water, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
3. Add cauliflower and mix until coated.
4. Spread on baking sheet and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
5. While cauliflower is cooking, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
6. Remove from heat and stir in hot sauce and honey.
7. Brush on each cauliflower piece.
8. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
Healthy Potato Skins with Broccoli

irish-isles-broccoli-and-cheese-potato-skins

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
8 small Idaho potatoes
4 tsp. vegetable oil
¼ tsp. salt
4 cups of chopped broccoli florets
3 pieces of cooked turkey bacon, finely chopped
¾ cups of grated cheddar cheese
1 tub of Greek yogurt
1 jar of your favorite salsa
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Pierce each potato several times with a fork.
3. Wrap in paper towel and microwave for 15 minutes or until potatoes and cooked through.
4. Let potatoes cools.
5. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the insides. Leave skin intact and a little bit (approximately 1/8 inch) so that you have 16 little “boats”. (The scooped out potato won’t be used, but it will make great mashed potatoes for the kiddos!)
6. Brush potato boats both inside and out with vegetable oil and then sprinkle with salt.
7. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
8. While skins are cooking, steam broccoli for 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
9. When potatoes are done, divide broccoli and cheese evenly among them.
10. Lower oven temperature to 400° and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
11. Top with turkey bacon.
12. Serve with Greek yogurt (in place of sour cream), salsa or eat plain.

Healthy 6 Layer (Instead of 7) Dip

fnmslimsixlayerdip_s3x4-jpg-rend-snigalleryslide

Ingredients:
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. chili paste
2 cup shredded cheddar (you can use low-fat)
2 ripe avacados
salt
2 tsp. lemon juice
4 scallions, thinly sliced (use white and green parts)
¾ cup fresh cilantro
1 ½ cups of Greek yogurt (you can use non-fat)
2 cups of shredded lettuce
3 medium tomatoes, diced

Directions:
1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
2. Add garlic, beans and chili paste and heat for about 3 minutes.
3. Mash the beans and remove from heat.
4. Add 2 tbsp. of water and continue mashing until smooth.
5. Spread in bottom of 2 quart casserole dish.
6. Sprinkle cheese over beans.
7. Mash avocado flesh and mix with 1 tsp. of salt the lemon juice.
8. Spread mixture over cheese.
9. In a food processor or blender, pulse yogurt, scallions, and cilantro.
10. Spread over avocado.
11. Sprinkle top with lettuce and then tomato.
12. Serve with healthy tortilla chips or pita chips.

Ginger Beer Mocktail

ginger-beer-4

Ingredients:
1 lemon
1 orange
1/3 cup of lemon juice
3/4 cup of rough chopped ginger
3/4 cup of honey
3/4 cup of sugar
1 1/4 cup of orange juice
4 cups of sparkling mineral water
2 cups of boiling water
2 tbsp. each of lemon and orange zest (can use from fruit above)

Directions:
1. Combine ginger, honey and sugar in food processor.
2. Add orange juice and lemon juice and process again.
3. Pour mixture into lidded container.
4. Add orange and lemon zest and boiling water.
5. Stir until sugar dissolves and cool to room temperature.
6. Secure lid and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
7. To serve, strain base into a pitcher.
8. Slice lemon and orange and add to pitcher along with mineral water.
9. Serve over ice.

 

 


2017-january

Brand new Patterned Core-Spun Compression Socks by Therafirm (makers of Preggers) are featured in the January 2017 issue of Pregnancy & Newborn.  Sweet and feminine Thin Line socks are super cute and super comfortable. Be fashionable AND healthy in the New Year!  Thanks P&N for introducing your readers to benefits of Preggers and Therafirm legwear!

Read more about Preggers legwear benefits here!