Maternity Wear, pregnancy

Autumn Maternity Wear Update

I’ve written before about how I’m handling maternity wear as my pregnant progresses, and I thought I’d share some of my thoughts about transitioning from summer to autumn weather with my maternity wardrobe. Because I’m going to go from autumn maternity wear into winter postpartum wear, I’ve chosen to create somewhat of a capsule wardrobe of clothing that will work for my largely-casual winter postpartum wardrobe, and transition my autumn professional maternity wear as easily as I can, using layers.

For casual wear, my wardrobe is transitioning from largely based around maxi skirts and dresses to being based around the standard formula of leggings paired with an oversized sweater. I love the H&M Mama leggings. The regular leggings are a bit thin, and occasionally get a tiny bit sheer, but not badly (and I think I’m the only one who notices). But they’re soft and stretchy. And for a thicker pair of leggings, I like H&M’s fleece maternity leggings. I also have a pair of cozy leggings from the Target brand A New Day that are stretchy enough to fit over my bump, but will transition seamlessly to postpartum as my bump goes away. My favorite oversized sweaters are these tunics from Amazon. They’re long enough to cover my butt and not make me feel like I’m not wearing trousers, and large enough to go over my belly without being sloppy. And because they’re not specifically maternity sweaters, they’ll also work postpartum. I have them in four different colors and wear them almost every day I don’t go into the office.

For the office, I mostly dress the way I have through most of my pregnancy, with the exception of keeping my cardigan on when it’s chilly outside, and adding tights. I love the H&M Mama tights, particularly the 200 denier ones. They’re nice and stretchy and a nice texture that doesn’t feel binding as the day goes on. And they go over the bump, which is my preferred maternity style. But on very chilly days, my other go-to outfit is a sweater dress and tights (it’s basically the office-appropriate version of an oversized sweater and leggings). I’ve found that the Uniqlo sweater dresses, which were already in my wardrobe from a couple years ago, are forgiving enough to fit over my 34-week bump, and are very cozy and comfy.

The one thing I haven’t sprung for is a maternity-specific coat or jacket. I’ve mostly been using shawls as a forgivingly-sized warm layer, over a sweater, but I have determined that my winter coat from last year will fit over my belly, at least mostly. It was a little unpleasant to have to walk to work in the rain two days this week without a rain jacket that closed, but it wasn’t horrible. I’m waiting until after I have the baby to get a new coat so I can look at coats that pair well with baby carriers.

So that’s how I’ve made a few adjustments to my wardrobe as I roll into the home stretch of my pregnancy during cooler weather, without needing to buy too many more maternity-specific pieces. At some point, I’ll go through and figure out exactly how much actual maternity clothing I bought and go over what was necessary vs. extraneous for me.

Photo courtesy of Patti Barker 

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Recipes

Pregnancy Cravings: Tea and Cake

This weekend I had my in-laws and my mother over for tea after a lunch to make up for the fact that they couldn’t come to my baby shower. I wanted to do something a little special, and I’ve been craving an autumn-spiced cake, so I thought I’d make a cake. No sooner had I had this thought, than I received an email from the Nourished Kitchen with this beautiful recipe for a maple-sweetened harvest cake with a maple frosting. Unfortunately, I don’t have an electric mixer, so making a Swiss meringue buttercream was out of the question. I discussed it a bit with Jenny on social media and decided that the best course would be to make a whipped maple cream cheese frosting.

Because my mother-in-law and my mother are both careful about caffeine intake, and my mother-in-law loves the spices from masala chai, I thought I’d make a home-blended spice tea to go with the cake. The afternoon was lovely and everyone enjoyed the cake. In fact, as soon as my in-laws left, my mother-in-law text me asking for the recipes for both the tea and the cake. While I gave her a general idea of how I made both, I thought I’d post the official recipes, with my substitutions and alterations for the Nourished Kitchen recipe, for posterity.

Harvest Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

(based on this recipe from the Nourished Kitchen)

For the cake:

1-1/4 cup of einkorn all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. ground Ceylon cinnamon

2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs

2 Tbsp. melted butter or ghee

3/4 cup maple sugar (or 1/2 cup maple sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar, if you run out of maple sugar like I did)

6 oz. container of plain yogurt

4 oz. grated butternut squash

2 oz. grated apple

2 oz. grated pear

For the frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 oz. unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup of dark maple syrup

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8″ square pan and line it with parchment.
  2. Whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and maple sugar until light and fluffy, then stream in the melted butter slowly, whisking constantly to emulsify.
  4. Add the flour mixture in thirds and the yogurt in halves, alternating and stirring after each addition. Fold in the grated fruit and veggie.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a cake test comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely, and then frost.
  7. To prepare the frosting, beat together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy, then add the maple syrup a little at a time, beating until combined and fluffy. If you aren’t using it right away, store in a covered container in the fridge, and let stand at room temperature for half an hour and beat again until fluffy before using.

Masala Spice Tea:

2 Ceylon cinnamon sticks

6-8 cardamom pods, crushed

8-12 allspice berries, crushed

1.5″ piece of fresh ginger, sliced

3-4 pieces of fresh orange peel

Instructions:

  1. Crush the cardamom and allspice, just until cracked and the pods inside the cardamom are exposed. Break up the cinnamon.
  2. Add spices and peel to a saucepan and add 4 cups of water.
  3. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then cover and steep for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Strain into a teapot and serve with honey.