Back-to-School Fall Favorite Recipes (Open Thread)

back to school recipes for working momsWith many families already in back-to-school mode — which means a return to a regular routine, more time spent prepping for school and after-school activities, and cravings for fall flavors and comfort foods — we’ve rounded up several back-to-school recipes for working moms. Most of them take less than 60 minutes, and the leftovers will make good lunches you can take to work throughout the week. What are your tried-and-true back-to-school recipes? What have you recently discovered that you’ve been wanting to try as the season changes from summer to fall?

Psst: We’ve also talked about favorite fall recipes, super-slow and super-fast recipes for long work days, slow cooker recipes for working women, and the best cookware and kitchen appliances — and Kat’s shared some of her easy weeknight dinners.

back to school recipes for working moms - fall favoritesPictured at top, clockwise: Harvest Chipotle Chili: Midwest Living / Rosemary-Garlic Pork Chops with Chickpeas: Food Network / Pumpkin Marinara Pasta: Cookie and Kate / Healthy Chicken Casserole: Delish.

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Evernote Tips for Moms

evernote tips for momsKate and I were talking recently about how we keep track of kid-related paperwork and information, and I mentioned I was using Evernote for a lot of stuff. I really love it for my mom-related research, so I thought I’d write something up. A couple of years ago over at Corporette, we shared the busy woman’s guide to using Evernote and other note-keeping apps, but we haven’t specifically offered suggestions for how working moms can use Evernote for all sorts of family-related things. On this site, we’ve discussed a lot of tech for working moms, including meal-planning apps for working moms, the best smartwatch apps for parents, and apps that help working moms connect to school or daycare.

Here are a few quick Evernote tips for moms:

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Week in the Life of a Working Mom: An Engineer in Texas

engineer work-life balanceFor this week’s installment of our Week in the Life of a Working Mom series, I’m happy to introduce CorporetteMoms reader Jeffiner, who lives in Texas with her husband and daughter and works as an engineer. Our usual caveat applies: Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! – Kat

If you’d like to be featured (anonymously or otherwise), please fill out this form! You can see all posts in this series here.

First, Some Basics About This Working Mom…

Name: Jeffiner
Location: Texas
Job: Engineer
Age: 37
Home Situation:  

I live in a 1,700-square-foot house with a large yard. My husband is 36 and is an engineer at the same company where I work. We have one daughter who is 2.5, and I’m expecting baby number two in March. We have one indoor cat, three outdoor cats, and a couple of chickens in the backyard. (Here’s an update from Jeffiner: “Since writing up my week, I unfortunately suffered a miscarriage. My husband and I are currently TTC again.”) 

Childcare Situation:

Full-time daycare, at a national chain — $206.10 per week, including a 10% company work-life balance in Texas working mom

A Week in My Life

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How Working Moms Can Get Into Good Health and Fitness Routines

Today on Corporette we’re talking about what our health and fitness routines are, and I thought it might be a great distinct discussion to have over here, as well, since at least I know that having kids has really affected my health and fitness routines. So let’s discuss — what WERE your health and fitness routines, pre-kids? What are they now? What do you see as the biggest stumbling blocks to getting into good health and fitness routines as a working mom? What are your best tips on how working moms can get into good health and fitness routines? 

I’ve described my own routines over on Corporette, but I have some additional thoughts on how being a working mom affects my heath and fitness routines:

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The Best Maternity Suits for Professional Women

maternity suits for professional womenHave you found maternity suits to be essential at your office, conservative or otherwise? Not really necessary, no matter what your company’s dress code? Hard to find, either way — and when you do, not exactly … stylish? Did you wear maternity suits, or did you avoid them entirely by layering a blazer over a maternity dress (or otherwise wearing separates), or getting a regular-sized suit that was too large and then having it tailored? Unfortunately, when we’ve previously talked about maternity suits, both here and at Corporette, there just hasn’t been much to recommend (especially regarding plus-size maternity suits, not surprisingly). Still, it’s time for an update to share what’s out there if you’re hunting for maternity suits for professional women!

For some reason, this time around, the maternity-suits situation seems worse than usual. Sadly, the British brand Eva Alexander is no more (Nordstrom does have one jacket, but without coordinating pants); brand Maternal America seems to have zero suiting options at the moment, and its site says, “We are Under Construction,” which doesn’t bode well; all of A Pea in the Pod’s options currently only have very limited sizes in stock (both at their own site and at Macy’s), and so on. It doesn’t help that some brands that offer maternity workwear in addition to their regular offerings — like Loft and ASOS — just don’t make maternity suits. (If this is your second or third pregnancy and you’re yet again searching for maternity suits, have you found it tougher to find a good one this time around?) By the way, if you’re looking for something from a brand that’s gone out of business or is just hard to find (for example, Theory maternity suits, which we and readers have mentioned in the past), try sites like Poshmark, ThredUp, and eBay.

Readers, do tell: Where have you found maternity suits you’ve liked? What do you think are the best maternity suits for professional women? Have you decided to buy a few relatively inexpensive maternity suits or buy a single higher-end maternity suit? At what point in your pregnancy did you have to stop wearing your regular suits to the office? Or, if you’re not on Team Maternity Suit, what are your favorite alternatives? 

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Were You Prepared for the Changes a New Mom’s Brain Undergoes?

mom brainWe recently came across the story, “Motherhood brings the most dramatic brain changes of a woman’s life — So why does prenatal care ignore the topic altogether?” in The Boston Globe Magazine. We made a note to link to it in this week’s News Roundup but we also thought it was worth its own post. The writer, Chelsea Conaboy, shares her own experience with around-the-clock anxiety as a new mom and asks, “Shouldn’t we be better preparing mothers about well-documented brain changes they could expect, before baby is born?” The brain changes that moms undergo have surprised researchers with their magnitude, and studies haven’t found comparable developments in fathers’ brains. (Here’s another little-known occurrence: Did you know that DNA from your baby’s cells can transfer to your own body? The fetal material can get into your bloodstream and enter your organs, bringing both positive and negative effects. That sounds a bit creepy, doesn’t it?)

Several experts Conaboy interviewed don’t think it’s wise to make pregnant women aware of the significant ways their brains will change as they become mothers, surprisingly — or perhaps not so surprisingly, considering that the health of mothers isn’t always prioritized when compared to their babies’ well-being and that moms-to-be aren’t always educated about the changes their bodies can go through, from childbirth injuries to diastasis recti. (In fact, infant mortality in the U.S. is at its lowest ever, while maternal mortality is “by many measures, the worst in the developed world” [source].)

So let’s have a discussion today: Were you prepared for the emotional and cognitive changes you underwent during pregnancy and the postpartum period? Did you experience anxiety and/or depression after having a baby and find yourself, say, compelled to keep checking at night that your baby was breathing? Did you encounter “pregnancy brain” or “mom brain”? (Eight years after having my son, I feel like “mom brain” is here to stay. Sigh.) Did you feel like your brain quickly adapted to the challenges of bonding with and taking care of a baby? What did you wish you had known about these things before becoming a mom? Do you wish these huge neurological changes were more commonly known and accepted as fact — or do you think that would make things harder for working mothers and working women who want to get pregnant?

Note: The Boston Globe appears to only let non-subscribers access an article more than once without blocking access (and using Incognito Mode doesn’t work).  

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