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  • RackedNY Beauty Diary: Nine Naturals’ Grace Lee On a Week’s Worth Of Non-Toxic Beauty

    Nine Naturals Founder Grace was honored to be included in a special beauty feature by one of the top style and fashion news sites in New York City, RackedNY. In Grace’s Beauty Diary, RackedNY followed 7 days of Grace’s non-toxic beauty and lifestyle routine. (Spoiler alert: It includes amazing hair using Nine Naturals Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner, gorgeous stretchmark-free pregnant women who are devoted to Nine Naturals Replenishing Belly Butter and adorable pics of Grace’s 2-year old daughter, Charlotte.)

    From RackedNY: Grace Lee doesn’t want you to poison your baby. When she learned how chemicals in beauty products can impact unborn tots, Grace left her job as VP on Wall Street to dedicate her life to creating chemical-free, high-performing beauty products for expecting women. Enter Nine Naturals: Grace’s answer to the dilemma of staying beautiful during pregnancy (and beyond), without accidentally hurting your little-one-to-be.

    In her week of documented beauty, Grace shares the app that brings a blowout to her apartment, her DIY skin hydrating routine, and a sunblock that’s safe for the whole family (oh yeah, her week ends in Mexico—lucky girl). Click through for seven days of non-toxic beauty with Grace Lee.

    Read More on Racked NY…

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  • Tips & Essentials for Creating Your Baby Registry!

    Thanks to Allyson Downey, CEO and Founder of weeSpring, for lending her expertise on baby registries! weeSpring is a platform that helps you share advice with your friends about baby essentials, like bottles, strollers, and diapers. Expecting parents use weeSpring to ask their friends about the things they couldn’t live without, and find out what they wish they’d never bought. 

    Walking into a baby store is enough to turn even the sanest expecting mom into a hot mess. From shelves of bottles to aisles of strollers and an entire wing devoted to swings, it’s tempting to register for one of everything and call it a day. But narrowing down your list doesn’t have to be stressful. It’s actually really fun. Check out these simple tips on how to register for the right stuff.

    1. Do your research. Before you go click-crazy or step foot into that store, talk to other parents about their tried and true must-haves. Expecting moms and dads use weeSpring to get the scoop from their friends about the things they couldn’t live without, and find out what they wish they’d never bought. Log-in with your Facebook account to instantly see your friends’ favorite products. Then click “want” and add items to your registry weeList. Being organized makes the whole process much less daunting.
    2. Be realistic. Don’t go overboard (especially if you live in a small space). If your registry is insanely large, you may not get some of the things you actually need. It’s not necessary to register for 3 different bouncy seats (thanks to tip 1, you won’t need to!). You don’t need 20 swaddle blankets. And those adorable hoods with animal ears? Get a couple, not the entire collection. Make sure your focus is on the functional products.
    3. Think Ahead. Don’t forget to register for bit ticket items beyond the newborn phase, like a highchair, mat, carrier, monitor, activity center, interactive toys, and lots of great books. Your friends and family can join forces and go in on an expensive gift together. So, don’t shy away from including them.
    4. Go neutral. If you know the sex of your baby, don’t go into pink or blue overload. You can use these items for baby #2, so choosing neutral colors is smart.

    So what are the newborn necessities for a new parent?

    • Seventh Generation Diapers: I didn’t want to have any artificial fragrances, and I like that these are just plain diapers.
    • Seventh Generation Wipes: Ditto on artificial fragrances.
    • A+D Ointment: When Logan was born, we just used Eucerin, but this has since replaced it for us.
    • Phil and Ted’s Nest: Logan slept in this at home for the first few months, but it is also amazing for travel because it fits in a duffel where you can pack everything for baby.
    • aden + anais Swaddle Blankets: More than just a swaddle! Used this as a burp cloth, a blanket so I could lay him on the floor, a nursing cover, a shade for the stroller… and so on.
    • Happiest Baby on the Block DVD: There’s nothing more reassuring than a laid back Californian pediatrician telling you that a) it’s normal for your baby to cry and b) how to get your baby to stop crying.
    • Chicco Keyfit Infant Car Seat: Can’t leave the hospital without it.
    • Fisher Price Bathtub with Sling: We started with one of those European pod tubs, and it was impossible. The sling on this made it much less scary to bath a newborn.
    • Elle Macpherson Maternelle Nursing Bra: Buy one or two at nine months pregnant, but don’t stock up until your milk comes in and you know what size you are.
    • My Brest Friend Pillow: Using this pillow was the only way I could nurse… and let’s face it, you’re gonna spend 10+ hours a day nursing.
    • Carter’s Side Snap Shirts: Putting a onesie over a newborn’s head is absolutely terrifying for a first time parent. This is all Logan wore for the first month.
    • Booginhead Paci Grip: They’ll give you a paci in the hospital (usually the Soothie), and this is the only strap that fits it.

    Remember, a registry is a work in progress. You can always add, remove, and return if you have second thoughts!

    Ally Downey was inspired to create weeSpring after having a meltdown in a Babies R Us. Her entrepreneurial spirit dates back to elementary school, when she had a face-painting business for birthday parties, and it’s carried her through roles in publishing, politics, the non-profit world, and Wall Street. As you’d probably guess, she’s pretty Type A and is dogged in pursuit of the safest and best products for her toddler. You can follow her on Twitter at @allysondowney and @wee_spring.

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  • Slow & Sweet

    Article & Photo Courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Nourish your new mama self with these 3 slow cooker specialties from Petit Organics founder Michelle Marinis.

    There is something incredibly wholesome and healthy about feeding your family with homemade soups, stews and oatmeal. The idea of tossing a handful of ingredients into your slow cooker and a few hours later you have a restaurant-quality meal is just… well, awesome! Especially when there’s a new baby in the picture.

    Slow cookers should become the new “it” item on baby registries. These bad boys can save you an incredible amount of time when your new bundle of joy arrives. Completing a task as simple as taking a shower will become a major success during those first few weeks. Anything you can do to simplify your life is a welcome strategy. So be sure to buy a slow-cooker if you don’t already have one — maybe it’s still in the box from your wedding registry? Time to bring it out!

    TOP FIVE TIPS AND TECHNIQUES:
    1. High vs. Low: Remember that one hour on the high setting is the equivalent to two hours on the low setting. A benefit to using the low setting is that the food can cook a little longer than the recipe advises without the risk of being overcooked.
    2. Layer in order: Unless the recipe specifies otherwise, you should always layer the ingredients in the order they are given – no need to stir!
    3. No extra liquid: Pour liquids (water, stock, etc.) over vegetables and meats, and only use the liquids specified in the recipe with roasts and stews. Extra juices cook out of the ingredients, and less evaporation occurs than in traditional cooking methods.
    4. No peeking! It might be challenging, but don’t open the slow cooker before the cooking time is complete. It takes 20-30 minutes for the heat to build back up to the previous temperature each and every time you remove the lid.

    Now that we have covered the basics, I will share my three favorite slow cooker recipes. Just give yourself 15-20 minutes of prep time, and 4-8 hours later you have a delicious, flavorful meal to feed your entire family. Can’t beat that!

    TORTILLA SOUP

    Ingredients:

    · 1 pound shredded, cooked chicken (optional – this recipe is vegetarian without the chicken)
    · 6 Roma tomatoes, skin on and quartered
    · 4 tomatillos, leaves/stems removed and diced
    · 1 medium onion, chopped
    · 1 orange bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
    · 2 cloves garlic, minced
    · 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
    · 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
    · 1 teaspoon cumin
    · 1 teaspoon chili powder
    · 1 teaspoon salt
    · ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (about 5-6 turns)
    · 1 bay leaf
    · 2 cups black beans (or one can, drained and rinsed)
    · 1 ½ cups corn kernels (or one bag frozen kernels)
    · 2 cups water
    · 2 cups (or one container) low-sodium vegetable broth
    · 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)
    · 7 non-GMO corn tortillas
    · Extra-virgin olive oil

    Preparation: Place the first 18 ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours (or on high for 3-4 hours). 30 minutes prior to serving, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly brush both sides of the tortillas with oil. Cut the tortillas into strips and spread on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until crisp (approximately 10-15 minutes). Spoon servings of soup into individual bowls, sprinkle chips on top and serve.

    PUMPKIN & BLACK BEAN CHILI

    Ingredients:
    · 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    · 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
    · 1 clove garlic, minced
    · 1 medium sweet onion, diced
    · 3 cups black beans (or two cans), rinsed and drained
    · 1 sugar pumpkin, rinsed, stem removed and cut into 1” cubes
    · 6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
    · 3 cups vegetable broth (or water)
    · 2 teaspoons fresh parsley
    · 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
    · 2 teaspoons cumin
    · 1 teaspoon dried oregano (be sure to roll it in your hand to release the oils)
    · ½ teaspoon salt
    · 3 grinds freshly cracked black pepper
    · Cubed avocado (optional)

    Preparation:
    Place the first 14 ingredients into your slow cooker. Cook on high for 1 hour, then drop the temperature to low and cook 5-6 hours. Spoon into individual bowls and top with avocado (if desired) and serve.

    OVERNIGHT OATMEAL

    Ingredients:
    · 1 teaspoon coconut oil
    · 8 ½ cups water
    · 2 cups steel-cut oats
    · 1 ¾ cups unsweetened coconut milk
    · ¼ cup coconut sugar
    · ½ teaspoon sea salt
    · 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    · Optional toppings: Banana, berries, nuts, coconut flakes, chia seeds, maple syrup, etc

    Preparation: Coat the inside of the slow cooker with the coconut oil. Add the water, oats, coconut milk, coconut sugar and salt into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low heat until the oats are cooked through and creamy (approximately 7-8 hours). Stir in the vanilla and spoon into individual serving bowls. Add any desired toppings and serve warm.

    Bon appetit to you and your bébés!

    This article is by Michelle Marinis courtesy of Well Rounded NY.   Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

    Raised in Texas with a down home Southern upbringing, Michelle Muller-Marinis grew up with a passion for food and cooking. After moving to NYC and beginning a family of her own, Michelle realized the importance of fresh, healthy baby food – she discovered her little ones were always happiest with a spoonful of homemade food in their mouths!  She is the founder of Petit Organics and an NYC mom of three boys, Pearce, Rylan and Brandt. You can find Michelle on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Petit Organics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

    Tags: Nutrition

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  • Things We’ve Read: Week of Jan. 6th, 2014

    3 Under 3: (New Yorker): Whatever your expectations of your unborn child … raise them.

    Higher vitamin D levels in pregnancy could help babies become stronger: (University of Southhampton): Children are likely to have stronger muscles if their mothers had a higher level of vitamin D in their body during pregnancy

    New Mom’s Uncensored Photos Reveal The Beautiful, Messy Reality Of Home Birth (HuffPo): A must-read. Not just for the photos. For the thorough and honest narration.

    Copying Other Cultures: A Questionable Parenting Strategy (NY Magazine):Great article about about taking parenting trends from other cultures, particularly the problems citing of more “authentic” cultures as automatically more knowledgeable about babies.

    Experts recommend universal diabetes testing for pregnant women at first prenatal visit (The Amalgest): As many as one in five women may develop gestational diabetes – a form of diabetes that has its onset during pregnancy. Experts say the test should be done before 13 weeks’ gestation or as soon as possible thereafter.

    EWG’s 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in  (EWG): The Environmental Working Group makes it easy for you to eat fruits and vegetables. Fearelessly. This report outlines the foods you should buy organic and the foods that are aok to buy conventionally grown.

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  • What have YOU been doing during the freezing temperatures?

    This just about sums it up.

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    (Thanks, Wild 96.3!)

    Tags: Fun

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  • Top 10 Pregnancy Mobile Apps!

    When it comes to information, the experience of pregnancy, especially your first pregnancy, is like drinking water from a firehose. You’re seeking information, you’re filtering information and you’re deciding whose information is useful or not.

    Pregnancy apps are a blessing for the modern pregnant woman! But which pregnancy mobile apps are helpful and informative? Which pregnancy apps meet your needs and interests?

    We at Nine Naturals have some experience with pregnancy and some pretty serious experience with being tethered to our smartphones. So we decided to assemble a list of the best pregnancy apps for moms-on-the-go who want the best, most current information about their pregnancy at their fingertips.

    1. Baby Time. Wondering if you’re in labor? Created by doctors and nurses at Vanderbilt University, Baby Time tracks the intervals between your contractions, while also measuring their intensity. Doing this legwork for you makes preparing for delivery much easier. The app can make excellent predictions as to the stage of labor you are in at any  moment.
    2. 50,000 Baby Names. For every expecting couple, deciding on a name for baby is an exciting and sometime-fun / often-difficult item on the baby prep checklist. This app simplifies the name search with its extensive range of search options, including origin, meaning, and popularity ranking.
    3. I’m Expecting. This might be the most essential app to download once your pregnancy has been confirmed. It populates a helpful list of tasks for you that you’ll appreciate, from monitoring your symptoms to managing your birth announcements.
    4. Pilates for Pregnancy. Mindful of your need to keep fit when pregnant, but short on time for the gym? This app comes to the rescue, with several Pilates-based workouts adapted to each trimester of pregnancy.
    5. mPregnancy. A great app for your male partner in pregnancy! mPregnancy is the best mobile app for  dads-to-be in everything they need to know about the baby on the way, in more masculine terminology that they’ll appreciate.
    6. Prenatal Smart. What foods should you avoid when pregnant? Which dishes are safe for a developing baby? Questions like these are answered with ease by this nutritionally helpful app.
    7. My Pregnancy Today. Turn to this app for informative and detail updates on your baby’s development from day to day. It employs great graphics and videos to not only monitor baby and your pregnancy symptoms, but also to connect you with other expecting mothers due when you are.
    8. CineMama. This is a fabulous mobile app for moms interested in capturing cute pictures of their baby bump as it grows each day. The app tracks your bump and stores movies and pictures of your pregnant loveliness for each calendar day.
    9. What to Expect. From one of the most renowned pregnancy brands, the What to Expect app provides personalized daily updates on the development of your baby and recommendations on how to take care of yourself during pregnancy. This app was our founder’s top go-to apps during her pregnancy.
    10. iPregnancy. This is the ideal app for meticulous tracking about anything and everything related to being pregnant. A good catchall app that addresses the gamut of pregnancy topics, it can even create 2D and 3D images of your baby as she develops.

     

    Which is your favorite app? Did we forget to include your favorite one? Let us know in the comments!

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