Nine Naturals: Plant-Based Body Care and a Giveaway!

If you’ve ever been pregnant you know how absolutely nerve-wracking it can be trying to figure out what products are safe to use. Not only are you worried about what you eat and drink, but you start to also wonder about the products you use on your skin and hair. Enter Nine Naturals. A Brooklyn, NY based company that makes beauty products that are safe for pregnant and nursing moms. All of their ingredients are pre-screened for health and safety during pregnancy and while nursing!

NN_Partnership-Logos_030313-01I’m very excited to be partnering with a wonderful group of bloggers to give away toxic-free goodies from this wonderful company – including a GIANT grand prize group of products worth $280! Forward-thinking Nine Naturals makes personal products which are smart and safe for moms and moms-to-be. They craft their products using only natural and organic ingredients, which include shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, deodorant, body wash, sunscreen and lip balm.

Mother Beware!Nine-Naturals-Citrus-+-Mint-Nourishing-Shampoo_final_5_3_cap

For a health conscious mother or mother-to-be, most of us are well aware of the dangers of eating genetically modified foods and foods sprayed with pesticides. We are aware of the dangers of drinking coffee, consuming alcohol, or smoking during pregnancy, and so many other things. However, not a lot of attention is spent on the dangers of slathering disease-causing chemicals and endocrine disruptors on our bodies, which are found in most mainstream personal products. Especially, as these are used on a daily basis!

The skin is the largest organ, and it absorbs whatever is put on it very quickly, traveling into the blood stream, moving around the body, and of course this can affect a fragile fetus growing inside.

So What is Available and Safe to use during pregnancy?

New-Belly-ButtersmallNine Naturals are 100% plant-based products, which are free of all the nasties one wants to avoid like, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances and artificial preservatives.

All Nine Naturals products are derived from nature, there is absolutely nothing artificial in their formulas. Additionally, all the ingredients have been pre-screened to make sure that they are safe for Mom and Baby, which is very assuring. Nine Naturals also happily discloses all additives that they uses!

I appreciate that Nine Naturals offers an unscented body butter, as speaking from experience, for most of my pregnancy I could not handle anything with a fragrance! Other essential oil based fragrances that are used in Nine Natural products have been formulated to ease common pregnancy complaints like morning sickness and fatigue – so thoughtful!

screen_shot_2014-10-06_at_12.07.25_pmThe Nine Naturals website is also filled to the brim with information like their handy explanation of all ingredients used in their products which you can see HERE.

You can order Nine Naturals from their website easily. Free shipping is included on all USA orders of $50+, a 10% off coupon is emailed to you if you sign up for their email list, and they offer a $5 sample set to try their shampoo and conditioner (just in case you want to try it first).

Nine Naturals is caring small company, who are focused on making a mother’s pregnancy that little bit less stressful but don’t take my word for it, visit their website and check them out for yourself!

Giveaway Time!!!

IMG_8700Thanks to Nine Naturals for offering this very generous prize.

One grand prize winner will win the full line of products from Nine Naturals valued at $280, including;

5 additional winners will win a body balm, valued at $15.

If you are (fingers crossed!) one of the winners, Nine Naturals will send out the prize to you direct from their warehouse. This giveaway starts at midnight on Wednesday November the 26th, ending on Tuesday December the 2nd at midnight EST. It is open to the USA and Canada only.

Good Luck!

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Disclaimer: The participating blogs, and Willy B Mum are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prizes.

 

Yellow Friday is Here : Shop 20 Awesome Deals All Weekend Long

I’m excited to share one of the best shopping events of the season: 


Yellow Friday, hosted by The Chirping Moms! 
Yellow Friday is a weekend long shopping event FULL of great deals. The Chirping Moms got together some fabulous places to shop online & all of them are offering big discounts for their event. A lot of the stores are also offering items in a GIANT giveaway. That’s happening over on their site, so be sure to go enter! 

Why wait for Black Friday when you can shop all of these wonderful small businesses now? This is a chance to sit back, relax & get your holiday shopping done from the comfort of your own home. It’s easy to shop the deals, because all 35 stores are using the same coupon code: chirpholiday (unless otherwise noted)

Below you will find each company/ Etsy shop participating, an idea of what they sell & what their Yellow Friday deal is. Just click on the store name & it will take you right over to their site to shop. ALL of the stores are using code: chirpholiday (unless a different code is noted).  Please email thechirpingmoms (at) gmail dot com if you have any questions!

Happy shopping everyone!

Yellow Friday Deals 2014

COUPON CODE: CHIRPHOLIDAY 
unless otherwise noted


1.  Pop Pop’s Children’s Furniture Company : Unique wooden’s children furniture

All stools are 25% off and have free shipping (domestic only) with code chirpholiday2014


2.  Zoe & Piper:  Jewelry with a conscience

25% off with code TCM25.  Free shipping for orders over $25.


3.  Designed to Shine:  Custom Jewelry And Accessories

25% off with code chirpholiday2014.  Last day for holiday orders is December 1st.


4.  I See Me:  Personalized Books & Gifts for Children

20% off


5.  Sila Boutique:  Online Shopping Boutique Catering to Moms & Children

15% off.


6.  Tickled Peach Studio:  Personalized Kids’ Gifts, Invitations, & Stationary

20% off and Free shipping for orders over $50.


7.  Brown Eyed Boutique:  Hairbows & Headbands

25% off

8.  Words to Live By:  Decorative Wood Signs
25% off


9.  Festive Home Decor:  Decorative Throw Pillow Covers

20% off


10.  Project Cottage Ink:  Personalized Prints, Canvas, Invitations, & Wall Art

25% off


11.  Project Cottage Textile Co.:  Pillows, Poufs, Duvet Covers, & More

25% off

 

12.  Our Sweet Home Alabama:  Handcrafted Treasures with a Southern Touch 

20% off orders over $15.


13.  Simply Made Greetings: Custom & Personalized Mugs

20% off

14.  Paper Etiquette:  Fine Paper Goods

 20% off

 

15.  E Ogden Ave : Picture Words Images. 

25% off any picture words.

 

16.  Babychelle : Online shop for children’s shoes. 

15% off with coupon code YELLOWCHIRPS


17.  Ooh Baby Infinity : Infinity Scarves, Tote Bags, & Table Runners 

10% off

18.  Opposite of Far : Unique & High Quality Felt Masks and Tails 

Buy 2 Masks & Get A Surprise Mask for Free AND Free Shipping with coupon code SURPRISEME

19.  Bloomz : Felt Flower Headbands & Clips 

15% off purchase $15 or more.
Anyone who shops Bloomz during Yellow Friday with coupon code chirpholiday and “likes” Bloomz on Facebook is automatically entered to win a $50 shop credit from Bloomz.  Shop owner will contact a winner. 

20.  Style Smaller : Online Children’s Boutique Shop 

15% off

9 Ways to Pet a Cat (or a Dog if You Must): By Morris the Cat (9Lives)

This guest post was sponsored by 9 Lives who had Morris (yes, THE Morris) send over a box of goodies for our own resident diva, Miss Bea. No other payment was received and all words and opinions belong to Morris 😉

Morris 9 lives approved nycjennyAlthough every cat is different and has a unique set of purr-worthy zones, us felines usually have some common petting preferences. So put down your smart phone. Fasten your seat belt. Make sure your seatbacks and tray tables are in their fully upright and locked positions. It’s time to learn some life skills, people!

To bond with your cat — and receive a happy purr or friendly head butt, if you do it right — follow my specific steps for these 9 must-learn and must-do cat petting techniques:

 

1. The Chin Chillin’


Purpose: Activate scent glands, assist with grooming
Popularized by: Jay Leno, Marlon Brando

Step 1: Locate the underside of the chin where the jawbone connects to the skull.
Step 2: Take one hand and scratch rapidly like your fingers are doing “The Riverdance.”
Step 3: Listen for a Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. (Congratulations, you’re doing it right!)

2. The Swedish Earmuffs

Purpose: Stimulate glands, release tension
Popularized by: Abba, Vince Vaughn

Step 1: Place your thumb and forefinger behind our ears.
Step 2: Rub them back and forth like Johnny Manziel after scoring a touchdown.
Step 3: Watch us melt into a purring ball of cuddles. (Hint: Drool is good!)

3. The Bum-O-Vator

Purpose: Therapeutic relaxation, triggering kitten memories
Popularized by: Jennifer Lopez, Sir Mix-a-Lot

Step 1: Locate your cat’s rear muscles, right above the tail.
Step 2: Squeeze your hands in and out like you’re kneading dough.
Step 3: Go slow and steady… this isn’t the latest Vin Diesel movie.

NOTE: When we position our rear towards you, it is an offer of camaraderie—much like a posterior Facebook “friend request.”

4. The Neckasaurus Rex

Benefits: Stress relief, cat-human bonding
Popularized by: Keira Knightley, Gweneth Paltrow

Step 1: Feel the spot at the base of your cat’s skull where the head meets the neck.
Step 2: Use your finger and thumb to create a circular motion for 1 to 2 minutes.
Step 3: Watch your cat rub his face against you like a little furry windshield wiper.

5. The Brain Hurricane

Benefits: Stimulates creativity, tends to end in napping
Popularized by: Natalie Portman, Danica McKellar

Step 1: Put your thumb and index finger on the top of your cat’s head.
Step 2: Pretend you are a large lobster and gently pinch your thumb and index finger back and forth.
Step 3: Your cat will likely blink and nod in approval (and lucky you for having opposable thumbs!).

6. The Smooth Operator

Benefits: Muscle relaxation, back alignment
Popularized by: Marvin Gaye, Boyz II Men

Step 1: Place one hand in a flat position on the upper portion of your cat’s back.
Step 2: Swoop your hand down the entire length of your cat’s back saying “smooooth” as you do it.
Step 3: You may feel us stretch out our limbs and paws in kitty delight.

7. The Lumbardi Party

Benefits: Helps release toxins and chemicals, relieves the stress of chasing red laser dots
Popularized by: Rihanna, Vince Lombardi

Step 1: Put down your smartphone and place two hands on our lower back and sides.
Step 2: Position your fingers to form a cat-ready fine-tooth comb.
Step 3: Move your hands to and fro, pausing every so often to let us ask for more.

NOTE: I highly recommend pairing this petting experience with a follow-up nap in a nice sunny spot.

8. The Get Cheeky

Benefits: Social bonding, marks you with our scent glands
Popularized by: Angelina Jolie, Gisele Bundchen

Step 1: Locate your cat’s temporal gland on the upper cheek between the eye and ear.
Step 2: Keep your fingers relaxed but firm and give your cat a nice scratch.
Step 3: Much like an NFL football player, you may become the recipient of a friendly head butt.

9. The Shoulderific

Benefits: Therapeutic massage
Popularized by: Michelle Obama, Ashley Greene

Step 1: Place two hands on your cat’s back, one on each shoulder blade.
Step 2: Press inward with your palms and use soft circular movements (but don’t press on the spine).
Step 3: Feel great about your rapid accumulation of positive kitty points and good cat karma.

Wanna know exactly what a cat sees?  Check out my first ‘catventure’ where I am outfitted with cutting-edge wearable technology straight from Silicon Valley:  The ‘Cat’s Eye View’ Experience  http://www.9lives.com/catseyeview/

 (Take two minutes to try “Cat’s Eye View” … you’ll be laughing like crazy.)

9 Lives Morris NYCJenny

And guess what? I’m now on social media. That’s right, I can tweet and hashtag like the best of them (#YOL9 !!). So what are you waiting for, follow me back!

An Island Christmas by Nancy Thayer – Book Review

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to read. Those who REALLY know me, know that I love a good romance from time to time. I confess – I love a little escapist literature every now and then. When Spa Week Daily asked if I would like to review a new Christmas romance by Nancy Thayer for their book club, I didn’t hesitate to say yes!

An Island Christmas Thayer NycjennyWhat is it about Christmas and romance novels? The market is flooded with new holiday themed romances every year – I am clearly not the only woman alive who wants to curl up and lose herself in a sweet, happy ending novel every December. It’s definitely a ritual with me, I like to pick a new one each year and will also pull out an old favorite or two to relax with. Call me crazy, but reading about love and joy all set to the tune of Christmas carols just puts me in a good mood. Bonus points if it has a snowy setting.

Nancy Thayer’s latest Nantucket novel, An Island Christmas, has all the elements that get me in the holiday spirit. Is Nantucket at Christmas really as adorable as she paints it? Because if so I would like to know where I can sign up to go right now. I want Christmas lights, carolers, decorations, and a snowfall as soon as possible please!

The setting is gorgeous and the characters are fun to meet too. There’s the loving, slightly over-bearing mom, the perfect sister with her perfect husband, a Manly Man of a fiancé, and a crazy cat. You know I love a book with a good cat involved. In An Island Christmas a wedding has been planned for Christmas Day and the bride’s mother and sister intend for it to be perfect. Of course they do! I found myself identifying most with the mother in this story because don’t we all want the holidays to be perfect for our family? I gave a little cheer inside each time she managed to sit down and let go of the idea of perfection. Being with family is what really matters and if the cat destroys the Christmas tree while dinner burns in the oven…oh well!

There are lots of little plot twists and unexpected surprises along the way to keep you turning the pages. The characters are all likable and fun to get to know. Thayer does a marvelous job of drawing her readers into the family dynamic and makes us feel every moment of the craziness that is family at holiday time. Make that double crazy because there’s also a wedding involved! I loved being along for the ride as they were all reminded what the holiday season is truly about.

I highly recommend taking some moments in your own hectic holiday schedule to enjoy some time for yourself. Make a cup of hot cocoa, coffee or tea, and curl up with a sweet Christmas story to get yourself in the spirit. An Island Christmas certainly did it for me!

Many thanks to Spa Week Daily and Ballantine Books for providing me with a finished hard copy of An Island Christmas in exchange for my honest review.

Uncle Milton Big Red Rocket In My Room Review

We are HUGE fans of Uncle Milton around here. If you’ve never seen their “In My Room” line, you’re missing out! For his third birthday Jack requested their “Moon in My Room” after having seen it at Barnes & Noble. It instantly became a key part of our bedtime routine. It’s an incredibly detailed model of the moon that lets you choose which cycle of the moon you want on. He always wants a full moon while I try to bargain down to more sedate crescent moon… He always wins. Earth in My Room joined us a couple of months later and honestly I’d put the whole solar system in his room if I could figure out how to hang it in our rental apartment!

When I saw the latest offering from Uncle Milton this summer at an event, I literally spilled a glass of wine on their poor PR rep in my excitement. It’s called Big Red Rocket, and you guys, IT’S A LIGHT UP ROCKET SHIP!!! Bless their hearts, the Uncle Milton folks forgave me for the wine incident and sent over a rocket for us to review.

Uncle Milton Big Red Rocket NYCjenny

It’s part of Uncle Milton’s “In My Room Jr.” series and they call them “infant room lights”. There’s definitely a smaller kid vibe to this line, but it certainly shouldn’t be limited to infants!

At three years old my son is a full on space geek. Our home is littered with space toys of all types. Imagination or reality based – it makes no difference. If it goes to space it is simply the most amazing thing ever according to Jack. I knew he’d love the Big Red Rocket and I couldn’t wait to show it to him! Well let me tell you, when Jack opened the box he flipped his lid. We had to immediately get out the stepladder and tools and add it to our collection.

uncle milton big red rocket nycjenny

It fast became a part of our bedtime routine and weeks later remains firmly a part of the evening ritual. Moon phase is selected, the Earth turns on, and then Big Red Rocket is fired up. Only then can the door to the bedroom be closed and lights go off.  It’s adorable. All three are controlled by remote control and he keeps the remotes lined up on his bookcase in very particular order.

I took a little video of the three different modes of the rocket. The modes are sound and light, light only, or sound only. The sound is a white noise version of a rocket flying at full power – at least that’s my best description of it. The light pulses a bit as a rocket burning fuel would. You can set the brightness to be low or high depending on your needs, and the whole thing shuts off automatically either 15 or 20 minutes after you start it. (15 for lights and sound, 20 for sound or light alone)

We do keep a fan running in Jack’s room for white noise already, but I really appreciate the extra boost of white noise during the time he’s actively trying to fall asleep. White noise is king in the land of sleep. The light is perfect too – I actually find myself grabbing the remote if I have to come in to his room in the middle of the night. It adds enough light to the room so that I can see what I need to see, but it’s still not bright enough to wake Jack up. Super handy and a totally unexpected bonus of the product.

We are all so in love with our Uncle Milton “In My Rooms”. They are a very sweet part of our nighttime routine. I’d recommend any of them to you if you’re looking for something a little different and special for the space fanatic in your life this holiday season. Check out the rest of the Uncle Milton catalog – they have something for every kid whether they love rainbows, tractors, sports, space, Disney, nature exploration or dinosaurs. We’ve had Uncle Milton lighting up bedtime for almost a year now and remain just as charmed as we were the first night.

Disclosure: Uncle Milton sent us a free ‘Big Red Rocket’ for the purposes of writing this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Behind the Scenes of That Picture Perfect Family

This summer we had new family pictures taken by professional photographer, Eva Qin. The afternoon session produced some beautiful images like this:

perfect family watermarked nycjenny

 

Look at how adorable we are. We are just having so much fun lying on this picnic blanket, laughing in the afternoon sun!

Actually I think Roger was simultaneously pinning Jack down while tickling him to get a smile of any sort. I was utilizing that pricey Tisch School of the Arts degree and summoning up a sense memory of sunny days in Paris, child-free, and sipping rosé. You know, you do what you gotta do to get the shot.

Tis the season for smiling family photo shoots, folks. It’s countdown to Christmastime and our mailboxes are about to be stuffed with cards featuring picture perfect families and happy siblings who aren’t trying to kill each other. If we can all find the time to get those cards printed. AND YOU KNOW WE WILL. Come hell or high water, we are going to get it done. I could go into a rant here about how we’ve all got to knock it off, and I almost did on Facebook while reading this NY Times piece on Our ‘Mommy’ Problem. I agree with a lot of what the author feels and I try my hardest to not let my online postings give a false view of our family. I am so NOT all in. That’s just not my style.

However.

Once in a while we all need the illusion. Or we need to at least take a moment to stop, breathe deep and celebrate those moments when we do get it right. It happens more than we remember I bet. It’s just that it’s awfully hard to remember when the house needs cleaning, the children aren’t listening, the cat keeps barfing in unfortunate locations, and your partner is working another 13 hour day…  So let’s cut each other a break and let our perfection shine. You stay up all night, chugging a latte to get those Holiday cards ready. You go girl. I’m going to love getting it in the mail and will try to quash my feelings of jealousy that you apparently had the wherewithal to get them done before Thanksgiving.

I had my moment on Facebook already – I had a little free time and I made an album to share our family photos. Four months after we had them taken, but WHATEVER…  My friends were so sweet with their comments and likes. Bless your hearts for letting me be proud of my little family. I’m going to pay you back by letting you behind the scenes now. I bet this is what happens on 99% of family photo shoots anyway.

“Are we really doing this today?” Yes, dear. We booked the session two months ago. It’s on the calendar in your phone, and on the one hanging on the wall. Two males whining about having to wear a shirt with buttons. SUCK IT UP, you two! Now sit still and pretend you’re happy about it.

1408031_PT-0269

Oh look, I forgot to iron that dress… Sitting still wasn’t going so well (nice face, honey) so we let the boy go crazy for a bit. Literally.

eva qin photos nycjenny

Then we let him break out his favorite toys. The space shuttle almost fell off that ledge for a 30 foot plunge.

eva qin collage nycjenny

HUGE mistake with the baseball bat. He just wanted to play baseball and couldn’t care less that the adults wanted to get a perfect family picture. Tears.

Kisses worked for a bit.

eva qin picture nycjenny

Then someone (me) gave the boy a water bottle and he acted like a 3-year-old with a strong dislike of how this Sunday afternoon was going down. Yeah.

eva qin water nycjenny

By the way…that’s him spitting the water. I had to walk away.

Roger came to hold my hand because that’s how life goes. The photographer asked if she could take a picture of just us. Why not? We’ve never had a single professional photo taken of just us two. Our story isn’t so traditional so there weren’t a lot of the photo ops along the way. Our City Hall wedding was documented via iPhone. But now we have one!

roger clark jenny gill nycjenny

I like that photo. Parenting is hard and it ain’t always pretty. I’m glad we get to do it together. Even if I should have ironed.

Jack was watching us from a bench all cute like.

eva qin photos nycjenny

Silly grown-ups tried again…he wouldn’t face the camera or sit still. Fooled you, Mom!

eva qin family pictures nycjenny

C’est la vie.

We left the park completely stressed out and muttering “never again…never again”. It’s months later and yeah, I’d do it again. Out of the mess came some pretty moments and my Lord that kid loves baseball and space shuttles.

I can’t wait to see your beautiful faces in all your family photo glory come holiday card season. At least once a year we should all celebrate the perfect moments, no matter what happened behind the scenes. We deserve it. YOU deserve it. Just don’t make a habit of it, ok? I know your house isn’t always photo shoot ready!

All photos in this post were taken by Eva Qin of Eva Qin Photography.  We won a photo session and one print with her because I dropped my business card in a box at the local creperie where Eva was advertising. See? Someone DOES win those things! We bought the additional images with our own funds though. Thanks, Eva! 

10 Ways Entertaining Babies Is Different From Entertaining Grownups

This guest post is from David Jacobson. When I saw him tweet last week that he was looking to do some guest posts – I jumped on that because you guys should meet David. Trivia master, husband, and a parent with his sense of humor still intact! He’s good people…

I’m the owner of a professional trivia event production company, meaning it’s my job to entertain people – either through employee team building, holiday party and corporate entertainment events in NYC & beyond, or via the city’s biggest public trivia nights hosted by NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan at The Bell House in Brooklyn.

I’m also the parent of two children under age three, meaning I’m completely screwed.

You see, entertaining young kids is nothing like entertaining adults; they’re two completely different animals, and I should know – I live it every day. How do they differ? Here’s a brief explanatory chart:

10 ways entertain babies nycjenny

I’d like to point out this tweet from our local news station NY1 from Halloween night – look at those cuties up far too late and hyped up on sugar! I think they’re hitting number 8 on that chart? David clearly knows how to entertain those babies 😉

NY1.TrivWorks.Interns

 

David Jacobson Trivworks NYCJenny David Jacobson is the founder of @TrivWorks, a professional trivia event production company based in Brooklyn. He is the father of two extremely cute kids who drive him crazy, but he still loves them.

 

 

 

 

Natracare Giveaway!

Welcome to our Natracare giveaway, hosted by 16 awesome Mom Bloggers across the United States! We moms are very excited to be giving away green-inspired hygiene products to one lucky lady out there – look at what our lucky winner will receive!

Natracare organic personal care

Have you heard of Natracare? If you haven’t, let me introduce you! Natracare is a forward-thinking mompreneur company, offering women organic & natural solutions for personal health, which leave a soft footprint on our precious Planet Earth.

And, we love that!

We Live in a Toxic World

One’s health can be affected by a variety of factors that we are unable to control, like genetics, income, where we live, relationships, mental well-being etc. However, there are some things that we can control, like the products we use, which are in direct contact with our bodies.

Our skin, besides being the largest organ in our body, absorbs what we put on it very quickly. Think about it, if you sit in the bath too long, you will soon see your skin become wrinkly as a reaction to the water, right? So what happens to our bodies if we put chemicals on them? Something to think about.

Let’s talk tampons for a minute

Digital-Tampons-Regular-20-3D

Natracare tampons are rayon-free, biodegradable and compostable, and plastic-free. Additionally they are 100% certified organic cotton and guaranteed to be GMO-free. This is noteworthy, as you have to consider the pesticides that are sprayed on cotton crops otherwise.

On the other hand, most tampons on the market are made of rayon, which is an abrasive fiber. When this kind of product absorbs inside a female body it can push around the cervical area, causing tiny cuts and imbedding pieces inside our human tissue. Additionally, rayon dries out the natural protective mucous lining of the vagina. Other ingredients found in mainstream tampons may include fragrance, alcohol, aluminum, and hydrocarbons. On top of all of this, when a tampon of this nature is bleached with chlorine, it leaves behind the carcinogenic dioxin, which is one of most dangerous and deadliest chemicals known to humankind. It also wreaks havoc on our Earth in the form of pollution.

So how does Natracare bleach their products and make them so white if they do not use the mainstream dioxin way? I wondered the same thing, so I asked. The answer? Natracare only uses TCF processes for all of its products. Totally Chlorine-Free (TCF) is the only 100% chlorine-free bleaching process, which uses oxygen from hydrogen peroxide. Oxygen bleaching is the safest process for the environment as it does not release toxins into the environment. This water and oxygen process is used to destroy any bacteria in the cotton or pulp, resulting in the purification and whitening of the raw material. You can read more about this HERE.

Natracare makes wipes, maternity products, pads, tampons and panty liners which are available in 54 countries. As the Natracare tampons are a safer alternative, so are all of their products across the board. You can find a stockist near you by using store locator HERE

Giveaway Time

IMG_8094

Want to win a $60 goody bag from Natracare including the following?

  • 1 Natracare Sisters t-shirt
  • 1 Makeup Removal Wipes
  • 1 Intimate Wipes
  • 1 Ultra Extra-Normal Pads
  • 1 Wrapped Panty Liners-Normal
  • 1 Regular Applicator Tampons
  • 1 by 10 count Super Non-Applicator Tampons

Or, as added incentive, what about a second prize, worth $40 from start-up Wythe and Berry Apothecary, including 1 organic facial steam mixture and a decadent handcrafted body cream?

You’ve got to be in it, to win it and maybe today is your lucky day, especially with 2 different prizes being given away!

If you are the winner, Natracare will send out the prize to you direct from their warehouse. Wythe and Berry Apothecary will send out their prize directly to the 2nd place winner.

This giveaway starts at midnight on Saturday night, November the 1st, ending Monday night, November 3rd at midnight EST. It is open to the USA only.

Good Luck, and thanks for stopping by!

Peace, Love and Natural Products make a girl’s world go around!

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Why I Make My Kid What HE Wants For Dinner

I have a picky eater on my hands. The baby who would eat a wide variety of things has given way to a preschooler who thinks sweet potatoes were sent by the devil. So you know what? When it comes to dinner, I let Jack choose what he wants to eat. I don’t play with dinnertime. I want his butt on his chair, eating a good dinner. If he rejects what is placed in front of him, I will talk with him and come up with a solution. I do not ever say things like, “this is what is for dinner, eat it or not”. Now in case you’re new the parenting game, this is the part where everyone chimes in with “unless you want to be a short order cook you need to stop that!”.  Yes, this was just said to me in a parenting forum last night. Oh. Joy.

With all due respect, that doesn’t work in my house, and I’m comfortable with that. I don’t feel like a short order cook – I feel like a mom making sure my kid has something nutritious to eat before bed.

How did this all start? Why on Earth would I let a three-year old decide what he’ll eat for dinner? I’d say this all started back when Jack was a baby and we were desperate for sleep. When the universe sends you the world’s crappiest sleeper, you try a lot of things to get more sleep. Making sure the child has a good evening meal is one of those things. So we got in the habit of serving his favorite foods that we knew were both healthy and filling for dinner. Call us crazy, but we just wanted another hour of sleep. It never really made a difference, but it remains a habit. “Oh my GOD please just eat your dinner so you won’t wake up at 2 a.m. asking me for a sandwich!!!”

I’m also in the habit of asking my husband if he has any requests for dinner so I usually just ask Jack what he would like too. Why not? He often has to go to the store with me, he might as well be part of the process. You’d be amazed how fast a kid can pick up what are good dinner choices if you involve them in the planning and shopping. Yes, it lengthens the process, but he feels important when he’s involved and isn’t that worth it?

I’ve realized though that this whole feeding Jack what he wants for dinner thing goes way back to before Jack even existed. Back to before I even dreamt of having a Jack. My issues with Jack’s dinner go back to when I myself was a child sitting at the dinner table not wanting to eat green beans. Truth is I didn’t want to eat much of anything.

I was a picky eater.

Ask my mother about Jack being a picky eater and she’ll laugh her head off. Jack is easy – Jack will eat peas with glee. Me? The only vegetable I ate for years was carrots. Raw carrots please – cook them and I wouldn’t touch them. I am sure my mother looks at Jack’s pickiness and feels a certain satisfaction that justice has been served. I know I would. I surely made her life miserable as she tried to ensure I was properly nourished. Let me tell you though, my mother rarely made me suffer for my pickiness.

She respected my food choices. Yes, we had our moments – I still vividly remember the night I sat at the dinner table long into the dark evening all because I would not eat some green beans. I wish I could explain to you how gross green beans tasted to me back then. If your kid thinks green beans taste like that, you wouldn’t force the issue either. My mother quit forcing the issue, and I am forever grateful. She had little things she would do while making a meal to customize it for me. She’d set aside a portion of meat before adding a sauce or spice the other family members liked. She’d set aside raw vegetables for me instead of steaming them or adding to a mixed salad. I appreciated this – 30 years later I still remember it. Thank you, Mom for caring about how I felt about my food.

Please know that my three siblings just ate whatever she put in front of them. My sister would clap for joy when artichokes were on the menu. I just couldn’t. It wasn’t that I wouldn’t – I COULDN’T. That stuff tasted vile to me. So when Jack tells me he doesn’t like something I thank him for trying it and move on to something I know he will eat. It is far more important to me that he sits at the table with us and puts something wholesome in his belly for a (hopefully) long night of sleep. Knock on wood, he has a long life of trying new foods ahead of him – it doesn’t all have to happen in the early years. I learned to love asparagus at age 23. Not 3.

If you’ve got a kid who is adventurous with food and loves whatever you serve for dinner, keep on rocking out with that. Count your blessings and make some sauteed kale tonight. Those of you with picky eaters, I say let it go. You are NOT a short order cook, you are a mom helping your kid navigate the world. Sometimes in this house that means getting up from the table and heating up a plate of plain leftover pasta.

Here’s what I do if I’m making something I know he doesn’t like or has never tried: I put some on his plate and pretend nothing unusual is going on. When he refuses it, I ask him to please just try it and we’ll go from there. If it’s a good day, he’ll take a bite – if it’s a bad day I prefer to just cut my losses and move on. For me the key part of dinnertime in our house is that we all sit down together at the table and talk. The television is turned off and no distractions are allowed. I can push broccoli another time – dinnertime is time for us to be together and share our day. Eating dinner together is often the only time we three get to be together all day, it’s important.

When complaints about meatloaf or weird green things in the pasta sauce begin I try to remember that he is only three. It’s the end of the day and he is tired. I myself did not appreciate green things in my pasta sauce for years, and despite that I have grown into a healthy, fairly normal woman who likes a variety of foods. Green things in my pasta sauce make it extra delicious now. Picky eating is a phase. It might last for years yes, but we will get through it together.

I was a picky eater, and I remember my mom listening to me. I remember how that made me feel. I felt like my opinion and tastes mattered. I felt loved. My kid needs that more than he needs broccoli. I’ll just serve peas instead, thank you very much.

 

Victoria’s Secret Makes Sports Bras!

I assume that by now every living person in the Western Hemisphere is familiar with Victoria’s Secret, correct? How many of you knew that in addition to their sexy little things (and wonderful cotton staples, thank you very much) they make sports bras? I confess that I had no idea, at least I didn’t until Influenster selected me to test out their new line of sports bras and bottoms. You can imagine I was pretty excited when one of their signature pink boxes arrived on my doorstep.

Influenster victoria's secret package nycjenny

Inside was the Incredible bra and Knockout tight and several 25% off coupons that I shared with my best girlfriends. I tried these on immediately and was excited at the thought of having new workout wear to keep me moving with my back to school goal of actually WORKING OUT again.

If you’re looking for a maximum support bra that will hold you in place – no wiggle jiggle room at all? The Incredible is your new best friend. It’s a bit tricky to get on though and that did give me pause. I liked the support, but didn’t love having to pull it on over my head. So I kept going back to this paragraph on the literature sent with the gear: “No one fits you like Victoria’s Secret Sport…wearing the right size is essential to getting the support you need…stop in a Victoria’s Secret store anytime for a free bra fitting or to exchange your sport bra!”

I felt I had to give it another try. So without a receipt and only my word I went to my local Victoria’s Secret in search of the perfect sports bra for me. The staff was super helpful, measured me and listened to my fitting dilemma. Was it hard to put on because it was the wrong size, I wondered. A new size was selected and a completely different style – after all, they make so many different styles of sports bras, why settle for something you’re not in love with?

victorias-secret=store

I was fitted and fell in love with the Knockout bra. It too is a maximum support bra, but the big difference for me is the front closure. you click together the inner underwire bra and then zip up a smooth outer layer. It looks more like a crop top and is so cute in addition to being super supportive. I always end up taking off my tee in yoga so a cute bra is necessary! I love how comfortable this bra is – I wore it for hours after my morning long walk around Central Park one day and never got uncomfortable.

knockout bra victorias secret nycjenny

The Knockout tight is pretty fabulous. The fabric is nice and thick and I believe will provide nice warmth as the weather starts to get colder. I’ve loved wearing these for school drop-off as well as walking around the reservoir or taking a yoga class. They are just so comfortable and flattering too. Let me put it this way, I’m not afraid to wear a shorter top with these, if you know what I mean.

VS Sport bra and tights nycjenny

While I was at Victoria’s Secret getting fitted I also tried on the Angel Bra and really loved it – it’s beyond cute with its criss-cross straps. This will probably be my next purchase if I really, truly get back in the yoga habit and not just a random class here and there. If I make a commitment and stick to it, I’ll reward myself with this in pink!

victorias secret angel sports bra nycjenny

If you’re on the lookout for a new sports bra, give Victoria’s Secret a shot. I am loving their new sports line and think you will too!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored blog post. Influenster provided me with complimentary Victoria’s Secret products to test and review as part of a contest.