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  • The Best Valentine's Day Gifts for Mom

    Love is in the air! As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s time to think about the mothers in your life. Whether you’re treating your own mother, or another favorite mom you know, shower her with gifts that will make her heart skip a beat. We’ve come up with a selection of the most swoon-worthy Valentine’s Day gifts to show the mothers out there just how much you adore and appreciate them.

    Give her a heart to wear on her sleeve. A single heart-shaped accessory adds just the right amout of festivity to a Valentine’s Day outfit, and you’ll get extra points for an item that holds up beyond a single holiday. Go for a scarf with a delicate heart pattern or striking heart-shaped drop earrings. We love the Rebecca Minkoff Chain Heart Crossbody Bag from Nordstrom in flattering, feminine rose. 

    Think of her, and her little ones, for the most ideal gift. Whether you’re shopping for a mom-to-be, a new mother, or a veteran mom, self-care items are always on her mind. But since she’s a mom, she’s doubtlessly thinking about her kids, too, and is hyper-aware of the ingredients in what she’s bringing home. That’s why Nine Naturals hair care and body care products are so essential: you’re giving her a gift she needs, while also thinking of her kids. What could make her happier? Try the Nine Naturals Bath Bundle for a complete bath and body set. 

    The best gifts include her friends, too. You want to celebrate a mother you love on Valentine’s Day, but remember that for moms, the biggest treat of all is time spent with other adults. Find a present that encourages her to invite her friends over for an all girl’s get-together, while still making the gift fun and not purely functional. Wine glasses, funky food trays, or adorable dessert plates will help your favorite mom remember to throw a party for herself once in awhile, not just for the kids. Try the SNOW Rose Party set (and don’t forget to include a fancy bottle of wine) from goop. 

    Lingerie may seem cliche, but don’t rule it out. Lingerie is all the rage for bridal gifts, but once that bride has a baby, it’s “goodbye, frilly underthings” and “hello, nursing bras and granny panties.” Gifting a mother some sexy lingerie isn’t necessarily “for” her partner, but for her! Remind her that she’s still gorgeous and desirable, with or without stretch marks, by giving her a daring lingerie set. We’re partial to the Journelle Charlotte Camisole in black.

    Bring out her glamorous side with bold accessories. What better time is there than Valentine’s Day to up the glam? Mothers often need a little push to go full-on glitz, so help the mom you love most go over the dazzling edge. Find glittery body art, a pair of glamourpuss sunglasses, or a set of audacious earrings to gift your favorite mother. We’re fans of Tom Ford’s Julianne sunglasses.

    Give her pamper products to put the focus on her. It’s no secret that moms spend most of their days devoting themselves to other people. So giving a mother gifts that help her focus on herself are always a home-run choice. Find a luxurious bath set, soothing soaks, moisturizers, or full at-home spa day packages. A stellar makeup item is a great way to cap off a pampering gift set. Try the sweet Posh Pink Citron Spa set paired with the sassy Trust Fund Beauty Liquid Lipstick in Unapologetic

    For the perfect gift, think classic. For Valentine’s Day, standbys like champagne and chocolate covered strawberries are always a lovely choice, and can be made more thoughtful with a heartfelt note or some other sort of personalization. For a stunning and absolutely delectable selection, go for the Golden Edible chocolate covered strawberries from Saks Fifth Avenue. 

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  • What I Learned on Pregnancy Bedrest

    How sitting still for 2 months helped prepare me for motherhood.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    At 12 weeks pregnant I started bleeding. The doctors at the emergency room discovered a large oozing blood clot in my uterus and told me I was now a high-risk pregnancy. I went home and stayed there, on medically required bedrest, for the next two months.

    Life as I knew it screeched to a halt that day. Work, school and activities like grocery shopping and walking the dog all stopped. Rushing and busyness did too, as well as the importance of a clock, a calendar and all these props that have always kept me on track. I was off track now, uncomfortable. All that structure kept me humming and safe. With abundant tasks, a full schedule and a race for time, I felt purposeful, and my identity was all worked out: I was what I did.

    “You’re grounded!,” my baby stated resolutely. “If you want me, I need to be your priority. Figure it out”. He may have been less curt than that, but I admit to feeling conflicted and angry at him for abruptly inserting himself and his needs into my life in such a way that derailed everything I had going on. But anger soon gave way to fear, and fear entered as my primary companion. No one could tell me that my baby would be ok. Everyone just looked at me with upraised crinkled foreheads and could say nothing conclusive.

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  • 9 Engaging Activities for Baby

    Enhance baby’s growth with these fun, development-boosting activities.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Babies are born scientists. From the moment they come into being, they are observing and absorbing the world around them. Countless studies tout the incredible growth and development of a child’s first 3 years. More specifically, experiences and interactions within the very first year of life have lasting impacts on a child’s foundation for thought, feeling and overall well-being. Here’s a list of engaging activities that stimulate development, nurture curiosity and foster happiness in children under one:

    During Reading Time. Everyone knows the importance of reading. Beyond simply reading a book, there are so many easy activities to incorporate into reading time to maximize the experience and impact.

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  • Gift Ideas for Expecting Moms!

    Being pregnant during the holiday season is special, and if you know someone who’s expecting, you want to help make this time of year sparkle and shine with a rocking present. But you’re savvy enough to realize that mothers-to-be are still their own individual people, so you don’t want to replace a gift for your expecting friend or family member with baby gifts. Save baby presents for the baby, and celebrate the mom-to-be during this magical time. But what can you get an expecting mother, when most gifts are directed at the baby? Here are some suggestions for how to make a mom-to-be feel loved.

    A tablet is indispensable for reading on the go. Moms-to-be spend a good chunk of their time in doctor’s waiting rooms, and once the baby arrives, they’re likely to be glued to one spot during round-the-clock feedings and newborn cuddle sessions. A tablet is a fantastic present pick, so she can load it up with her favorite reads, whether it’s the latest novel or a collection of maternity books. We would be lost without our Kindle Fire for late night reading. 

    A movie or TV gift certificate will be cherished when baby is here. Soon, the expectant mother will be sleeping on an entirely new schedule, if she’s sleeping at all. She’ll cherish the chance to catch a new movie or binge watch a favorite TV show through naps and late-night feedings. Or, she’ll enjoy the chance to put up her feet and catch up on entertainment before the baby comes, which will make the gift all the more welcome now. Get an Amazon gift card or a yearlong Netflix membership for the mother-to-be.  , 

    New parents can never have enough picture frames. Once the baby arrives, there will be an endless supply of new family photos to display around the house. Search for two or three gorgeous picture frames that the new mother will keep and display for years. Get a few different sizes, and opt for one larger frame to showcase a truly special family shot. We love the Jonathan Adler picture frames, especially the enamel frames with soft colors - perfect for baby photos.

    Jewelry is a fantastic gift that’s just for her. Go for necklaces, earrings or bracelets as a fashionable accessory for the holiday season (expectant mothers sometimes have swollen fingers, so rings aren’t always a sure bet). She can take advantage of the gift right away, unlike other fun mom-to-be gifts like new postpartum clothes or alcohol. Whatever you choose, it’ll surely have weighted meaning, as a symbol of her pregnancy. We recommend something stylish and classic, like the Jennifer Meyer heart necklace on Goop.

    Indulge a mom-to-be with massage. Every pregnant woman could use a massage (whether or not she admits it!). With so much physical change and an abundance of stress, an hour to relax will be a welcome treat. Find a local place that offers prenatal and postpartum massage, and surprise her with a gift card that doesn’t expire for awhile. If she doesn’t have time during the busy holiday season, she can use it when her schedule calms down, and hopefully before baby arrives. Consider a gift card for a BlissSpa massage

    Get her anything that pampers. Whether or not you opt for a massage gift for the mom-to-be, consider other presents that are soothing and rejuvenating. Put together a basket of spa goods, like moisturizers, balms, haircare and other beauty products. Check out the Nine Naturals line of safe, spa-quality products like the Citrus+Geranium Soothing Body Wash and the Repairing Body Balm for excellent, and pregnancy-safe, picks. 

    Cozy, wintery mugs will come in handy during pregnancy and beyond. Whether the mom-to-be is drinking pregnancy-safe tea to calm her nerves, or she’s enjoying her first postpartum cup of coffee, a heavy mug is a thoughtful gift she’ll use daily. Stuff the mug with a box Bundle Organics Tea, which can found in the Nine Naturals Covet Shop. We adore the unique earthenware at Barneys, like The Simple Life Marbled Mug. 

    Go for a gorgeous blanket that’s not for the baby. Chances are, the expectant mother is collecting adorable baby blankets as gifts from friends. Find a throw that’s adult-sized, for her, in trendy prints or bold colors so she has something to cuddle up with before baby comes. For the coziest pick, we love the Simple Things Double Face Alpaca Throw from Bloomingdale's

    Comfortable, elegant sleepwear will get her through cold winter nights. Chances are, the expectant mother you know is growing out of her usual winter jammies, and might not splurge for specialized maternity nightwear. Help her sleep snugly during pregnancy by treating her to luxurious maternity pajamas, a fluffy robe, or extra-warm slippers. Check out the Pajama Sleeper Set from Hatch!

    Get colored pencils and a coloring book for a creative gift. For something different, find a clever adult coloring book and pair it with a set of brand new colored pencils. It’ll be a fun, creative activity for her while she rests after a long day of growing a baby. Find a book that matches her interests, or get a simple mandala coloring book. The Magical Jungle coloring book is one that we’ve made our way through, cover to cover. 

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  • Gift Ideas for New Moms!

    It’s baby’s first holiday season! Undoubtedly, there will be loads of celebration around the new arrival and her family during the holidays. As you spoil the newborn with gifts and affection, don’t forget the new mother! While it’s always the thought that counts, there are some things that a new mom particularly covets, and believe us, it’s not diapers, pacifiers, and baby socks. Here are our suggestions for holiday gifts specifically for the new mom.

    Get her a fashionable new accessory. As a new mother, fashion (or even showering) often comes last. Treat a new mother with a stylish accessory that she can enjoy now, and in the months to come. Clothing is fun, but a new mom’s body is still changing, so an accessory will have staying power. Check out scarves, jewelry, or hair accessories for a perfect gift. We love the From the Road Siva Hand Stitched Scarf, found at Goop. 

    Let her splurge on pregnancy no-no’s. The new mom has most likely eschewed caffeine, alcohol, soft cheese and more during the nine long months when she was pregnant. End her deprivation with a stellar wine, craft coffee, or a sampling of cheese and crackers, and she will be endlessly grateful. We can’t get enough of the cheese collection from Dean & Deluca, available in 3, 6, or 12 month subscriptions. 

    Don’t underestimate the essentials. It can be hard for a new mom to get out of the house to stay stocked in everyday toiletries and essentials. Giving the gift of all natural bath products, like the Nine Naturals Bath Bundle, will let her relax knowing that she’s using the finest products, without worrying that mommy-brain will make her forget to stock up. 

    Help her out! You can make up cutesy DIY coupons, or outsource these presents with gift cards, but consider giving a new mom what she really needs: a helping hand. Get childcare set up or offer a few evenings out of the house, taking care of the new baby. Or schedule a month of house cleanings for her place. You can also subscribe her to a week of meals, which will lighten her heavy load of chores. If you want to crowdsource meals, we like Meal Train for setting up a schedule of dinners delivered to the new mother. 

    Stuff a stocking with brand new cosmetics. Put together a small basket or stocking of new makeup for the new mom. She’ll appreciate the notion of getting dressed up and put together, even if she’s just going out for a morning walk. As most new mothers know, it’s easy to forget to do anything for ourselves, but a swipe of mascara or painted nails can be the small indulgence that’s needed. Check out the Nine Naturals Covet Shop for our favorite nail polish from Trust Fund in a variety of shades.

    Trust us: new mothers need a spa day. Find a favorite local spa and give the new mama in your life a day of comfort and relaxation. Bonus points if you throw in a service like hot stone massage or a facial, and don’t forget to arrange childcare for the day. New moms are overwhelmed with worry about their little ones, so give her the all-important gift of Peace of Mind.

    Find a fragrance other than Eau de Diaper Genie. It’s no secret that the most looming scent in a newborn home isn’t the most desirable one. Give a new mother a nice perfume that she can wear out of the house, like doesn’t make her smell like formula and over-exhaustion. We love the selection at Diptyque, especially the Philosykos Eau de Parfum.  

    Give her a trendy tote for her new mommy belongings. As a new mother, there’s always more to bring along than we can carry. Diaper bags are usually taken care of in the baby gift registry, but consider giving a tote bag that’s more stylish than a diaper bag, which she can use to store a few extra diapers, or her own belongings. You can find several chic options, no matter the mom’s style, at Neiman Marcus. We especially like the Saint Laurent Medium North-South Shopping Tote Bag.

    Gift a new mother with warm weather gear. New mothers may find themselves pushing strollers around the block at the strangest, and coldest times of day and night, in hopes of getting in a walk or putting their baby to sleep. Keep her warm as she braves the icy weather with baby in tow. For a trendy and luxurious pick, we like these Pom-Pom Embellished Cashmere Beanies.

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  • Asking for Help Doesn’t Make You Less of a Parent

    A mom of twins explains why she said yes to every offer.

    Article courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    I was 40 years old when I got pregnant with my twins. Because of my age, I would have been happy to have one baby. Having two was icing on the cake. I was really excited to be a mom. I would daydream about all the fun I was going to have with my babies — what we would do, where we would go. Only joyful thoughts. It never occurred to me to be nervous or that having twins was going to be incredibly hard. I just assumed that I was going to be able to do it. The plan was for my husband to go to work while I stayed home (alone) with the babies and took care of them. Naive? Crazy? Maybe. I like to think I was blissfully unaware.

    When I came home from the hospital with my babies (my little guy came home the same day as me, my little girl spent a few days in the NICU and then came home) I was so happy to take care of them. I was happy to feed them, bathe them, hold them and so on. I was running on pure adrenaline.

    Within a few days, the adrenaline wore off. I was tired. I was doing all of the feedings (both day and night) and taking care of them for the most part by myself. I thought I could do it all and actually believed that it was my job to do so. I was wrong...

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