Let the Nesting Commence During Get Organized Month

Whether you’re a natural-born Martha Stewart or you’re still trying to figure out how to fold a fitted sheet, pregnancy is often accompanied by an instinct common to many parents-to-be: nesting. Unfortunately, when the inclination strikes, it can be equal parts exciting and overwhelming. After all, how do you even know where to begin? Luckily, January’s “Get Organized Month” offers the perfect opportunity to examine the phenomenon, and count down a few simple ways to make the most of your nesting efforts.

Nesting

1. Keep a Record

While “pregnancy brain” may or may not be an actual affliction, one thing is certain: you’re guaranteed to have many things on your mind as you await your baby’s arrival. One way to keep track of everything you have to do? Write it down. Not only can this help you get mentally organized, but it is also an effective retention tool.

One additional perk of committing your to-do list to paper? You’ll gain a sense of satisfaction every time you complete and cross off an item.

2. Get Laundering

Doing laundry is never as exciting as when you’re washing for your newest future family member. Because babies have sensitive skin, it’s important to launder all of their clothing and bedding using a gentle, hypoallergenic detergent.

While you’re at it, wash your towels, bed linens, and throw rugs, too. You’ll love the feeling of bringing baby home to a sparkling clean house.

3. Stock Up

The last thing you’ll want to do once baby arrives is spend time running errands to the supermarket or pharmacy. Stock up on all essentials now — from baby-related must-haves like diapers, bottles and cotton pads to snack staples for other members of the family.

Remember: healthy eating will not only see you through late nights, but can also ensure that your baby is getting adequate nutrition if you are breastfeeding. Skip the sugary, processed snacks and instead seek out nutrient-dense options, such as fruits, nuts, quinoa, and whole grain crackers.

4. Get Cooking

Plenty of new parents end up with the local pizza delivery place on speed dial. While we all love an extra cheese slice or two every now and then, having a supply of healthy, home-cooked meals in your freezer can help you eat right even when time is tight. Pack all items in single meal containers, mark, and freeze. You’ll be extra-grateful for these rations after a couple days of hospital food!

Nesting

5. Clothing Matters

Odds are, your baby has enough outfits for multiple clothing changes a day. But what about you? If you’re planning to nurse, make sure to invest in an ample supply of nursing bras and shirts. Many women also find that full-back underwear are preferable to other styles in the weeks immediately following labor.

As far as clothing, it will take time before you’ll fit back into your pre-pregnancy wardrobe. Comfy maternity yoga pants and layering tanks and tees offer a chic yet comfortable go-to wardrobe for many mamas in the days, weeks, and months postpartum. These will also come in handy when the doctor clears your post-maternity workout.

6. Delegate

We’ve all heard the expression, “It takes a village,” but nothing says you have to wait until your baby’s birth to start enlisting the help of family members and friends. Need a hand assembling the crib? Researching jogging strollers? Laundering all of those brand-new baby clothes? Plenty of people will love to pitch in but will benefit from direction from you.

Nesting

By the time next year’s “Get Organized Month” rolls around, you’ll have a brand new member of your household. Following these six nesting tips can ensure that you’re as prepared as possible to welcome him/her home. For more useful information on all things maternity, baby and motherhood, be sure to
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Five Best Exercises for Mamas-To-Be

You’ve been given the go-ahead to continue working out as usual by your doctor, but are some exercises better than others when it comes to helping you reap all of the benefits of working out while pregnant? Let’s take a closer look at why staying active is so important, along with counting down the five best exercises for pregnant women, as identified by Medical News Today.

Best exercises

Why Is Maternity Fitness So Important?

We’d need way more than a single blog entry to cover the multitude of reasons why fitness is critical during pregnancy. From helping with weight maintenance and building muscle strength to boosting mood and promoting sleep, the benefits of exercise for moms-to-be go on and on.

But the benefits don’t end with mothers. Unborn babies of fitness-minded moms also reap plentiful rewards, including everything from enhanced brain function to better heart health.

What Types of Exercise Are Best?

While most doctors agree that women who are enjoying healthy pregnancies can continue with their pre-pregnancy workout routines, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning how to make the most of your workout routine.

The most beneficial forms of pregnancy exercise get your heart rate pumping, focus on strength and flexibility, burn calories, and help prep your body for birth. They also include warming up and cooling down, along with an element of restraint as pushing your body too hard during pregnancy can be detrimental to your health.

Exercises to avoid, meanwhile, include those that involve lying flat on the back or stomach, heavy weight lifting, exposure to extreme changes in air pressure, and those that cause extreme fatigue or persistent pain.

Counting Down the Top Five

Medical News Today recently highlighted the five best forms of pregnancy exercise, including the following:

1. Brisk Walking

Perfect for moms-to-be who are starting out with lower levels of fitness, walking delivers a cardiovascular workout without stressing the knees or ankles, and can be continued throughout your whole pregnancy.

Just remember that the right footwear is critical — not only because you’ll need extra support as your center of gravity changes, but also because your foot size is likely to change over the next nine months.

Want to try walking during your pregnancy?  Sport our new Walking For Two tank.

2. Swimming

Thanks to the small risk of injury and full range of motion water-based exercises such as swimming, aqua Zumba, and other forms of water exercise deliver a cardio workout that’s not only effective, but fun, too!

3. Stationary Cycling

Even if you’re starting from a relatively sedentary base point, a stationary bike can help you boost your heart rate without straining or stressing joints.

Plus, there’s a significantly reduced chance of falling on a stationary bike compared to a regular bicycle.

4. Yoga

Yoga supports physical and emotional health and provides a range of benefits, such as increased flexibility and improved blood pressure management.

An added benefit? The calming techniques learned during yoga translate to the delivery room.

Best exercises

5. Low-Impact Aerobics

While the up and down bouncing of high-impact aerobics can put pressure on your pelvic floor, low-impact aerobic limits stress by allowing participants to keep one foot on the floor at all times.

Not only does low-impact aerobics offer many of the same benefits as high-impact aerobics, but it’s also an ideal way to work on balance which can suffer as your pregnancy progresses.

With so many beneficial forms of exercise out there, and so many reasons to move your body during pregnancy, what are you waiting for? Shop tops, bottoms, and other chic, comfortable ForTwoFitness maternity activewear to get started today.

Four Top Workout Trends Anticipated in 2016

Whether you’re thinking about becoming pregnant or ready and waiting to welcome your new baby into the world, fitness is probably part of your plans. Will the year ahead find you cycling, swimming, running and yoga-ing your way to fitness, or will you try one of the hot new trends predicted to be all the rage in 2016?

Workout

1. Child’s Play

Kids are onto something. After all, recess — and the running, jumping, swinging, hopping, skipping and leaping that goes along with it — is the highlight of the day for most elementary schoolers. Why should we lose that liberated feeling just because we’ve rounded the corner into adulthood?

Workout

There are several different ways to exercise like kids play. The proactive can rally a few family members or friends and head to the local park for a game of tag or pickup kickball. Less motivated types can look into fitness classes designed to replicate childhood games — described by one news outlet as “the backlash against boring exercise.”

Another reason to workout like a kid? Soon enough you’ll have a brand-new playmate to keep occupied. Are your hide-and-seek skills where they need to be?

2. Surfing

While heading to the ocean for a day at the beach sounds pretty perfect to us, it’s not always possible. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still “hang 10.” The mechanical surfboard craze is making its way to fitness studios, bringing with it the opportunity for a completely different and yet remarkable core-building exercise. Squats, jumps, and other surf-simulation movements strengthen your body while building balance skills.

3. Trampoline

Think about it: when was the last time you stopped everything and just bounced? Jumping up and down on a trampoline is one of life’s most exhilarating activities, and yet it’s an activity almost entirely reserved for kids. Until now, that is.

Also known as rebounding, trampoline fitness classes, which take place on individual mini trampolines, put participants through a series of movements aimed at building muscle tone and strengthening bones. The best part? It’s low impact so it’s perfect for all ages and abilities.

And while your doctor is unlikely to approve trampoline classes when your baby is still in your belly, wouldn’t you love to bounce your way back into shape following your baby’s birth? (On that note, if you are pregnant, be sure to talk with your doctor about your plans to start any of these or another new fitness activity.)

4. Cardio Tennis

Sure you could grab a tennis racquet and a friend and take to the courts, but the latest cardio tennis trend takes things to a whole new level. These instructor-led classes are set to music for a calorie-burning, full-body form of exercise.

Workout

While cardio tennis is still in its infancy compared to other forms of exercise, its popularity is predicted to skyrocket in the months ahead. You don’t have to be a Williams sister to enjoy this very social workout — it’s appropriate for people of all skill levels.

Just make sure to wear the right maternity activewear. There’s nothing worse than having to fuss with your clothing to stay comfortable during a workout.

While body weight training, HIIT, yoga, zumba, and other popular forms of fitness aren’t going away anytime soon — in fact, they each claimed a spot on the American College of Sports Medicine’s forecast of 2016 fitness trends — we can also expect to see some other new and exciting ways to workout. And while you may not be catching a wave anytime over the next nine months, wouldn’t surfing be a terrific line item on your bucket list? For more great content on the latest fitness trends, as well as discounts on your favorite maternity activewear, sign up for the For Two Fitness newsletter today.

Ambassador Spotlight – Leah Vernon

We are so, so proud to bring to you another amazing addition to our Fit Mom Ambassador Family, Leah Vernon.  Read more to learn all about Leah’s journey of health and fitness and her tips for maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

 

My name is Leah, and I am extremely excited and honored to be a part of the For Two Fitness Ohana.

April 5th Yoga Kai Paddle Yoga27I am a mommy of one amazing two year old boy named Ambrose, and the owner of my other baby, Yoga Kai, a Stand Up Paddle board Yoga business that operates out of Honolulu, Hawai’i.

My husband and I had been talking about adding to our ohana, and received the news in April that we were expecting. I had not been into SUP yoga when I was pregnant with my son, so this time around I have more to balance. Sharing yoga and fitness is my passion and profession, and I wanted my pregnancy to contribute to my teachings, which it definitely has. The benefits of staying active are endless and I find that it helps ease the many symptoms that come along with pregnancy.  We all have our off days, but during pregnancy it is especially important to listen to your body. Kick those feet up and relax when needed and drink lots and lots of water. I also find it very helpful to pay attention to your heart rate. Keeping your heart rate in a safe zone and slowing things down is important during pregnancy.

11182187_1582729215335606_3426468827652836818_n My pregnancy activities include Stand Up Paddle Yoga, Beach Yoga, running, and functional intense training for women at Kaia Fit Oahu where I also get to coach like minded women striving to live happy and healthy lives. Follow my fit pregnancy and lifestyle on instagram @yogakaihawaii and feel free to check out my blog at yogakaipaddleyoga.com where I share other healthy lifestyle tips. Aloha friends!

Ambassador Spotlight: Carlee Brandom

We are pleased to introduce you to Carlee Brandom, one of the newest For Two Fitness Fit Mom Ambassadors.  Read more to learn all about Carlee.

I’m Carlee and I started my fitness journey as a swimmer.  However, once college ended, and I didn’t have a team to train with, swimming felt more like work than fitness ever had.  I decided to take up running.  Since then I’ve run 10 marathons and countless other races.  I qualified for Boston this last May and there is no way I could not run it this year.  Therefore, I’ll be running it pregnant…like 8 months pregnant.  I have no doubt that this will be more of a waddle, but unless it becomes a danger to me or the baby, I’m going to finish and earn that jacket! Fit Mom Ambassador Carlee BrandomMy son, Gregory is 3 and he joins me for many of my runs.  He’s actually completed 7 half marathons with me and still loves racing.  When I was pregnant, with him I ran up until 2 days before he was born.  I also teach spin classes and love being outside doing things like hiking.  I still swim from time to time and think it’s one of the best sports out there.  I think being a mom athlete is so important to my son, as he doesn’t seem to be too competitive.  I don’t want him to think that if he isn’t into football he can’t be an athlete.  Before I found swimming, I thought that because I couldn’t catch, I couldn’t be an athlete.  Now I can’t imagine my life without being active.Fit Mom Ambassador Carlee Brandom

You can read more about Carlee on her blog, Tiny Purple Runner.

Holiday Stress Setting In? Try Tai Chi During Pregnancy

Tai chi isn’t just a form of exercise, it’s a terrific way to help your mind and body relax — particularly during the hectic holiday season. Let’s take a closer look at the ancient art of tai chi, along with how it can help you enjoy a healthier, happier pregnancy.

Tai Chi during pregnancy

About Tai Chi

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.”

Originally a form of self-defense also known as tai-chi chuan, the practice has evolved from its ancient martial arts origins into a modern-day form of gentle exercise enjoyed by millions for everything from reducing anxiety to stretching and strengthening.

While all forms of exercise are linked with stress reduction, tai chi — often called “moving meditation” — is guided by the concept of the life energy “chi,” a central tenet of Chinese medicine. Many tai chi enthusiasts find that it’s deep breathing techniques, meditation, and focus adds up to a uniquely relaxing and restorative form of exercise.

The Benefits of Tai Chi

In addition to stress reduction, tai chi offers a number of additional benefits, according to the Mayo Clinic. These include:

  • boosted mood
  • enhanced aerobic capacity
  • improved stamina and energy
  • increased balance, agility, and flexibility
  • increased muscle strength and tone

While research into the advantages of tai chi is still underway, further evidence suggests that tai chi may also promote better sleep, boost immune function, lower blood pressure, relieve joint pain, alleviate congestive heart failure symptoms, and reduce the risk of trips and falls in seniors. The result? Improved overall well-being for tai chi practitioners.

Tai Chi and Your Pregnancy

While tai chi is low impact and generally regarded as safe for people of all ages and abilities, be sure to talk with your doctor first before beginning a program. Also, keep in mind that there are many different kinds of tai chi based on varying principles. Is your goal to maintain or improve your health, or to learn martial arts skill? Asking these questions can help you find the tai chi class that’s right for you.

When it comes to your pregnancy, most experts agree that tai chi offers particular health and wellness benefits. In addition to strengthening your body to prepare for labor and delivery, it can also help reduce painful or uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms, including back pain and swelling.

Need another reason to try tai chi? How about that it’s relatively inexpensive, can be practiced anywhere, and requires no specialized equipment? While it’s possible to practice along, many people enjoy the company and socialization found in group tai chi classes. If you do opt for a class, let the instructor know about your pregnancy prior to its start.

Tai chi during pregnancy

Also, be sure to don appropriate maternity activewear for your tai chi sessions. After all, nothing can interfere with your focus quite like an ill-fitting or uncomfortable outfit.

There’s a reason why tai chi continues to gain popularity among the world’s moms-to be. Whether you’re a hardcore fitness devotee or just trying to incorporate more activity into your pregnancy, this fluid form of exercise offers a proven way to improve both your physical and mental wellbeing during pregnancy. For more great content or to receive information on all things For Two Fitness, sign up for our newsletter.

Maternity Wellness #healthypregnancy Holiday Giveaway

We are very excited to bring to you another wonderful giveaway for the fit mom-to-be.  This prize pack features everything you need to keep yourself feeling great inside and out.

maternity wellness prize pack giveaway

First is a 15-serving pouch of Mommi 3-in-1 Prenatal Protein Powder in a delicious Vanilla flavor and an essential Mommi Water Shaker Bottle.  Mommi products are designed to simplify and improve nutrition for all women before, during and post pregnancy!

mommi prenatal protein powder

Mommi 3-in-1 is a prenatal protein shake formulated by an OB/GYN and top nutritionists, that conveniently delivers 15 grams of pregnancy safe whey protein, 100%DV of 14 essential prenatal vitamins and 200mg of DHA!  The Mommi Shaker & Water Bottle is great for on-the-go Moms. It has a dual opening cap, holds 24oz of liquid and is BPA free.

 

Next up, is a DVD bundle from fitness celebrity, and personal trainer to the stars, Sara Haley.

Sarah Haley DVDs Giveaway

Stay fit, healthy and motivated through pregnancy and beyond with pre and postnatal fitness specialist, Sara Haley’s, award-winning workout programs. Both are safe and effective for all moms. Expecting MORE will guide you through your prenatal fitness journey and Expecting MORE: The 4th Trimester Workout will guide you through postnatal recovery to be a MORE fit and stronger mom.

 

To round out the prize pack, to keep you looking good throughout your pregnancy, is a $150 workout wardrobe from For Two Fitness.  Discover maternity workout clothes from For Two Fitness – the most raved about, world-class apparel for every prenatal workout.

for two fitness maternity workout clothes

For Two Fitness offers the best maternity workout clothes for any sweat session.  Feel cute and confident as you keep in shape during pregnancy. You’ll get tons of compliments as you share your happy news in our unique designs– the perfect way to announce your pregnancy to family and friends!

 

Good luck!  Enter now for your chance to win this amazing maternity wellness prize pack.

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Ambassador Spotlight: Heather Winchell

We are so excited to introduce you to one of our latest additions to the Fit Mom Ambassador family, Heather Winchell.  Please read through to learn more about Heather and her fitness and pregnancy journey.  Show her some love in the comments section below. – Congratulations Heather on the birth birth to your beautiful baby girl!

My name is Heather and I blog at HeatherRunsFast. As my blog title suggests, I love running! I got into running almost 8 years ago doing a 5k and never turned back. I thrive off of the race atmosphere and runner’s high. I wanted to get faster and go farther! I’ve done 9 marathons, including Boston and too many races of shorter distances to count.Heather Winchell Fit Mom Ambassador

I’m married to a wonderful man who supports me 100%. We are a great team! After scaling back the running and some infertility struggles, I finally got pregnant in March of this year, bringing us a Christmas baby! I’ve always been a health nut and love to eat and make nutritious food, but I’m all about the 80/20 and definitely love my indulgences!

Heather Winchell Fit Mom AmbassadorI love everything pumpkin (so cliche) and am so excited for fall! My hope is to be active up until the end of pregnancy and am lifting weights (Body Pump is my fave!), ellipticalling (that’s what I call it at least) and walking.IMG_20150802_153242970

Sadly, I’m afraid my running days are coming to an end, but I know I need to do what’s right for my body now and that there will be plenty of time post pregnancy to run… at least I hope :) It’s all about the bigger picture- our precious baby girl!
Please visit Heather at heatherrunsfast.com to follow her on her journey towards achieving her Olympic Marathon goal.

Baby’s First Christmas: Seven Ways to Celebrate

The days leading up to Christmas are an exciting and event-filled time for babies and new parents alike. And while the hustle and bustle of the holidays can make time a particularly tight commodity, your baby’s first Christmas is worth stopping to savor. Let’s count down seven simple yet significant ways to celebrate this particularly festive occasion.

Baby's first christmas

1. Go Big With Your Cards

Christmas cards offer the perfect opportunity to embrace your favorite pastime en masse: showing off your adorable tiny human. The latest photo card services make it easier than ever by not only printing the cards but also mailing them on your behalf — a handy option for the less craftily-inclined.

Of course, green is a color of Christmas, so if you’re thinking of saving a few dollars while being kind to the environment, consider going with an e-card this year instead.

Haven’t gotten around to that birth announcement project yet? Here’s your chance for a convenient and cost-saving two-in-one.

2. Schedule a Photo Shoot

Which brings us to our next point: the traditional holiday photo shoot. In some cases, you’ll already have a favorite photo perfect for adorning your holiday card. In other cases, you’ll need something new. Whether you go old-school and take a trip to the North Pole (AKA “the mall”) for a picture with Santa or explore other options such as a photo shoot with a photographer whose work you love, there’s no better time or way to capture this moment in time than with a holiday-themed photo shoot.

3. Spring For the Christmas Jammies

Christmas pajamas are a holiday tradition in many households, and with good reason: they’re seriously cute! If you’re really feeling it, look for matching pairs for the whole family.

4. Select Baby’s Stocking

“The stockings are hung by the chimney with care” every year so make sure to choose one that you really love. Many families select a coordinating theme and buy a few extras in case of future additions. Others prefer a more whimsical collection designed to embrace each new member of the family as they arrive.

If you’re an ornament collector, meanwhile, don’t forget to pick a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament for your tree.

5. Think Traditions

Perhaps growing up as child you always went Christmas caroling or attended Midnight Mass every Christmas Eve? Or maybe every Christmas morning you played board games and enjoyed a mouthwatering monkey bread breakfast? Whether you choose to continue your favorite traditions or to start new ones of your own, planning ahead can help ensure that Christmases past, present and future are filled with Christmas cheer.

Baby's first Christmas

6. Step Back

Sure it’s easy to get caught up in the Christmas shopping, cooking and party craziness, but it’s important to give yourself the chance to take a breather. This can be as simple as slipping into your favorite maternity activewear and taking a “Mommy and Me” yoga class or reading your favorite holiday book together. Not only are these terrific ways to de-stress and recharge, but they’re also invaluable opportunities to connect with your baby.

7. Give Back

It’s never too soon to start teaching kids about the reason for the season. Call around to local senior centers to ask about visiting programs. After all, nothing brightens the day of an isolated or lonely senior than time spent with wonder-filled wee ones.

Christmas will be here and gone before you know it, but these seven memory-making ideas can help you capture the feeling while creating a legacy that will live on for posterity’s sake. For more great content on all things maternity, babies and motherhood, visit the For Two Fitness blog regularly.

Five Holiday Management Tips for Mamas-To-Be

‘Tis approaching the season to be jolly, and certainly pregnant women have plenty of reasons to celebrate during this time of year. However, the holidays can also be overwhelming — particularly for women who may be suffering from morning sickness, exhaustion, and other pregnancy-related struggles. However, there are some things mothers-to-be can do to maximize enjoyment and minimize stress during the hectic days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Let’s count down our five favorite holiday management tips for mamas-to-be.

Holiday management tips for moms to be

1. Breathe In, Breathe Out

We recently highlighted the reasons to try belly breathing and meditation during pregnancy. These benefits come in extra-handy during times of holiday-related stress and anxiety.

When you start to feel that it’s all too much, take a moment to check in with yourself through abdominal breathing. In just a few minutes, you can not only calm yourself but also your unborn baby, who feels stress when you do.

2. Squeeze in That Maternity Workout

You may sometimes feel like you need a 48-hour day to fit in everything on your to-do list, but the fact is that you only have 24. One activity which is non-negotiable? Your daily workout. The Mayo Clinic cites 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily as the recommended amount, although be sure to check in with your doctor first — particularly if you’re carrying multiples and/or high risk.

While you might not be able to make it to the gym, there are plenty of other ways to stay fit, such as taking a brisk, well-bundled walk with a coworker at lunchtime or doing a workout video at home.

Just make sure you’re dressed properly for the occasion as pregnant bodies can have trouble regulating temperatures. Choose breathable, moisture-wicking maternity activewear and dress in layers for optimal comfort.

3. Eat Right

Choosing nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole grains can help you power through even the most demanding days. Choosing the wrong foods, however, can lead to low energy levels and feelings of sluggishness.

You’re not alone if you “eat your stress.” Make a concerted effort to avoid this pitfall by prioritizing healthy food choices. Planning meals in advance helps. Also, be sure to avoid snacks which are high in sugar and carbs, take your prenatal vitamins, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

4. Accept That You Can’t Please Everyone

If you’re like most people, you probably have a mile-long list of demands on your time and energy at this time of year. Define your limitations, set boundaries, and don’t be afraid to say “no.” Allowing yourself to become overcommitted and exhausted is good for neither you nor your baby.

Many people get so swept up in their own holiday planning and preparation that they forget about the needs of others. By opting out of any activities and commitments which are beyond your capabilities at this point, you offer a gentle reminder.

5. Enlist Help

Accepting that you can’t do it all is only part of the equation. The other part? Asking for help when you need it. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover how many people would be delighted to pitch in.

The key to getting that help lies in one small act: asking for it. After all, no one will know that you need help if you don’t speak up. In addition to lightening your load, open lines of communication can also prevent feelings of guilt and resentment from rearing their ugly heads.

Holiday management tips

From listening to music to sharing a quiet moment alone with your partner, there are plenty of other ways to keep holiday stress at bay during pregnancy. When all else fails, we recommend the ultimate cure-all: visualizing the new little person you’ll have at the top of your shopping list by this time next year. Feeling the chill this holiday season? Make sure to check out For Two Fitness’s collection of maternity outerwear.