Dec
10

5 Tips for Navigating Pregnancy

Posted in Small Discoveries

Small Discoveries Saturdays is a series of journal entries on SCOUT’s site where we shine a light on the little tips and treats that we have found help make pregnancy and parenting go a bit smoother.

Music City DoulasWe’re excited to introduce you to this month’s guest contributor, Arielle Fears, co-owner of Music City Doulas. In addition to being a Labor Doula, Postpartum Doula and Postpartum Placenta Specialist, Arielle is also a Childbirth Educator and a Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Instructor.

This month: 5 Tips for Navigating Pregnancy by Music City Doulas

My favorite thing about working with new and expecting parents is seeing their confidence build as they begin to find their rhythm. They’re going through some transitions that are both exciting and scary at the same time. They are folding in a new layer to their identities. Many don’t know where to start, and I am often asked for some guidance. Here are my top five tips for navigating your best pregnancy:

1. Create a self-care routine. This doesn’t have to be something elaborate, but a
small item added to your normal process of getting ready. Buy the luxurious balm and use a body brush and coconut oil. This can make all the difference in how you feel starting your day. Also, treat yourself to more lavish acts. Take a bubble bath, or better yet, gift yourself a float session to ease physical tension. You’re worth it.

2. Begin exploring what is important to you about your child’s birth. Talk with your doctor about your preferences for labor and delivery, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and communicate your desires. Collaborative care during pregnancy can make all the difference for a more connected birth team. Your doula is familiar with the procedures and policies of all area birthing facilities and can help you navigate the choices you will have in any given scenario.

3. Invest in clothing that makes you feel beautiful. Many of us experience self-conscious thoughts and fixations on a regular basis, and it can intensify during pregnancy with all the changes our bodies go through. Celebrate the changes and your incredible power. It may feel silly to buy quality maternity clothing you think you won’t wear that long, but what’s silly about giving yourself a boost of confidence? Sometimes part of feeling good is looking good. And here’s a tip: Maternity fashion rental.

4. Strike a balance between activity and rest. Walking is widely recommended as one of the safest activities you can take up while pregnant. This is something you can do every day alone or with a friend or loved one to get fresh air and clear your head. If you would additionally like activities that build stamina and resilience as you prepare for birth and parenthood, prenatal yoga and barre are wonderful options. Always speak with your doctor before commencing a new workout regimen.

5. As you get closer to meeting your baby, take any unsolicited advice or even judgments with a grain of salt. In short, keep being you. Give yourself lots of grace, and do your best to enjoy this last bit of time with your family as it is before you welcome your new love. Do your favorite relaxing activities together. Go out to eat. Curl up and watch movies. Connect with other parents in the same season of life. Speak your truth, and move self-assuredly into parenthood!

Arielle Fears is a Labor Doula, Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator, Postpartum Placenta Specialist, Prenatal Yoga Instructor and owner of Music City Doulas, Middle Tennessee’s premier full service doula agency.  As a trusted expert on babies, early parenting, and pregnancy, Arielle fosters safe and nonjudgmental relationships with her clients and students, honoring the needs of the individual and celebrating the diversity found within the realm of parenthood.

Jun
11

A Gift Guide for (New) Dads

Posted in Small Discoveries

We’ve rounded up some boss gift ideas for the new dads out there who “can’t stop, won’t stop.” Some he’ll love to share with his mini, and a few are just for him!

a gift guide for new dads - father's day 2016

1. Jonas Claesson’s The Surfing Animals Alphabet book: Teach the ABCs while dreaming about sun, sand, and swells—we love it more and more with each read.

2. Tosan’s POP + TOT tees: Coordinated tees to wear the love out loud. Go team!

3. SoYoung Charlie bag: A rugged and super stylish bag that dad won’t mind shouldering. So versatile my husband refers to ours as the BIZ bag. Gets it done. Efficiently equipped with a changing pad, insulated pockets, and an overall smart design.

4. Eli Mason Old Fashioned Cocktail Mixer: Daddy needs a drink, but no time to fuss over multi-ingredient cocktails? Eli Mason saves you the hassle without sacrificing quality or flavor. Just add your favorite spirit! We’ve chosen the old fashioned—because it’s Father’s Day :-) —but you can’t go wrong with any of these small batch mixers made in Nashville, Tennessee.

5. Love Virginia Ruth’s handkerchief: Naturally dyed and sure to become a wardrobe staple. A dapper pocket square for date night or useful handkerchief for clean ups and to wipe away baby’s tears.

6.* William Tyler’s Modern Country: A non-lullaby gorgeous instrumental album that’s perfect for winding down for a nap or bedtime. Also, the expansive orchestration gives dad a mental break when necessary.

7. Jittery Joe’s x Drive-By Truckers Trucker Speed coffee blend: Drive-By Truckers fan? Either way, if dad is sleep deprived and appreciates good coffee (and kickass illustration), then order a can or two from Athens, Georgia’s beloved coffee house and roaster JIttery Joe’s. Enjoy and then use the can for the baddest pencil holder in the office or a mini snare drum for your little rocker.

8.* Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth: If you’ve been living in the fog of new parenthood and haven’t heard already, Sturgill’s album is full of sweet and wise fatherly reflections. This one, as the album jacket advises, is to be played at maximum volume. Get rhythm, baby!

*Support your local record stores! Special shout-out to Oxford, Mississippi’s The End of All Music‘s Record of the Month Club that will keep dad in the loop and jamming all year long.

Dads, we love you. Happy Father’s Day!

 

Apr
16

Chubby Bunny Baby Food

Posted in Small Discoveries

Small Discoveries Saturdays is a series of journal entries on SCOUT’s site where we shine a light on the little tips and treats that we have found help make pregnancy and parenting go a bit smoother.

We’re excited to introduce you to this month’s guest contributor, Jemina Boyd, owner of Chubby Bunny fresh frozen baby food. A local pioneer in the farm to high chair movement, Jem provides parents and caregivers healthy time-saving meal options for little ones and has been delighting tiny tastebuds all across the Nashville area since 2013.

This month: spring market madness + easy first foods that will make your baby squeal!

Jemina Boyd, owner of Nashville-based Chubby Bunny Baby Food

There’s something about a tiny flower in bloom and a tease of warm weather that can spur a frenzy of vacation and wardrobe planning and some slightly irresponsible sandal purchasing. All the sandals!

One more thing that’s sure to trigger spring fever: farmers’ markets! They’re sprouting up everywhere and in one location you can get fresh produce, local, allergy-fighting honey, ethically raised meat, eggs, fresh loaves of bread, and more, all from local businesses, wherever you may be. By shopping at farmers’ markets, you’re not only ensuring that your family is getting seasonal and fresh produce, you’re also sustaining the local economy. Your dollars make a yuuge difference to these vendors. It’s wonderful to see families going to markets together and learning about the fresh produce that they’re going to cook for dinner that night. Want your kid to love veggies? Get them to pick out their own—a proven mama Jedi mind trick.

If you’re just starting out making your own baby food, try orange veggies like carrots, butternut squash, and sweet potato, which have a similar sweetness to breast milk or formula, and very low incidences of allergic reactions. Steam veggies until soft (when they’re easily pierced with a fork), then puree them with breast milk, formula, or the water they were steamed with until smooth and creamy. Sit back and enjoy your baby’s expressions of amazement when they try something so fresh and delicious for the first time!

Chubby Bunny also got its start at farmers’ markets, and remains committed to buying as much of our produce locally as possible. We wouldn’t have our premium and delicious organic baby food pouches (to toot our own horn!) without farms like Beaverdam Creek, Bloomsbury, or Delvin FarmsWe fresh-freeze our pouches to truly give you what is on the label and nothing else. No preservatives, acids. Nada. When our products are pouched and frozen, the nutrients and flavor of those organic fruits and veggies stay fresh for up to a year. Simply take it out of the freezer and let it thaw by lunchtime, or place them under warm running water if you’re short on time. Easy peasy.

If you make your own baby food, high five! We have always said fresh is best. The products and services we provide could just serve as a supplement for parents who don’t have the time or inclination to make their own fresh food and now provide options.  And aren’t new options one of the best parts about being an adult?  But, seriously, all the sandals.

xoxo,
Jem

p.s.
For more great tips on introducing new foods, click here.

If you’d like to try the Chubby Bunny subscription delivery program, enter code: ChubbyBunny20 for 20% off your first month!

Chubby Bunny Baby Food | Nashville, TennesseePhotographs by Dottie Beasley Photography

Oct
17

Music to the Rescue

Posted in Small Discoveries

Small Discoveries Saturdays is a series of journal entries on SCOUT’s site where we shine a light on the little tips and treats that we have found help make pregnancy and parenting go a bit smoother.

This month: A mesmerizing album you and babe will both love

In the months leading up to the birth of our daughter, we found that planning an introduction to music—seeding a vinyl collection and mapping out playlists—helped counter all the various pre-baby yips and anxieties. Emmylou, Allison, and Gillian, of course. Willie then Waylon, right? Would more Stones than Beatles affect SAT scores, but ultimately result in greater strut and grit? Jazz…is jazz irresponsible? What will be the very first song this infant hears!? We need more Sam Cooke. Sounds of Silence too sad? Big decisions, but we relished the responsibility. It’s something controllable and beats daycare comparison spreadsheets. In the haze and ultimate elation after a long labor, we’re fairly certain it was a Bob Marley deep cut, hours into a shuffle that first introduced our baby G to song. Unscripted and perfect.

The Watson Twins | Pioneer LanePersonalities show early, and we had ourselves a spirited lassie from day one who’s often too excited about the world to sleep. During those first weeks of walking endless circles around our house trying to soothe her, we did most of the singing, a mix of our own made-up lullabies and my husband’s mysterious draw to an obscure antebellum spiritual and Pearl Jam’s “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town.” When we’d turn it over to the stereo, we happily discovered that The Watson Twins’ album Pioneer Lane was a mesmerizing jewel. No matter the discomfort G is up against, she willingly submits to the enchanting and warm lulling powers of the twin sisters’ songs. It’s become a crucial element in our sleep routine and a lifesaver on the road when she’s had it with the car seat. We’ve uploaded the CD to every device we own so we’re always armed. There’s probably a book or pediatrician out there that would advise against creating such a dependency, but, you know,
it works.

Fortunately, we enjoy the songs as much as she does. There’s plenty of “kindie” mush out there that’s marketed as kid music that parents won’t hate, but much of it doesn’t pass the smell test. Pioneer Lane rings true for the whole family (including pets!) and is like the Peanuts comic strip of music. The poetic imagery touches on simple yet profound themes like changing seasons and friendship, and the mostly acoustic instrumentation and melodies are tinged with nostalgia without going saccharine. They’re mostly happy tunes, but never silly. Content. The sisters’ harmonies, well, they’re twins! Kentucky-born and now residing in Nashville, they have an impressive catalogue and resumé that includes collaborating with the likes of My Morning Jacket, The Shins, Jenny Lewis, Jessie Baylin, and a whole bunch of other great artists.

One day we’ll take G to one of their shows though she’ll probably get rowdy and demand More Pioneer Lane! We just snagged a couple more copies as gifts from Nashville’s beloved Grimey’s. Do The Watson Twins and your local record store a solid by purchasing a physical copy of this album—and get (a little) sleep!

Sep
26

Prenatal Yoga / Bellyrama

Posted in Small Discoveries

Small Discoveries Saturdays is a series of journal entries on SCOUT’s site where we shine a light on the little tips and treats that we have found help make pregnancy and parenting go a bit smoother.

We’re continuing our prenatal yoga routine with this month’s guest contributor, Jenni Derryberry Mann, owner of Blooma Nashville. Jenni is a trusted authority on all things Yoga and specializes in prenatal and Mama-Baby practices. She is an all around calming voice and trustworthy guide through pregnancy and early motherhood, and she’s put together a wonderfully energizing routine for expectant mothers. SCOUT will be joining Blooma Nashville on Sunday, October 4 for the first annual Bellyrama, a family festival celebrating birth and babies at Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park amphitheater.

This month: Prenatal Yoga routine, part 2 of 2, with Jenni Derryberry Mann of Blooma Nashville

Jennifer Derryberry Mann, owner of Blooma Nashville

You know that sense of community that comes from sharing an experience with someone? That’s the hallmark of prenatal yoga at Blooma Nashville. Mamas with beautifully round bellies sharing a practice, preparing for birth—it’s a sweet, reassuring moment. You can create that connected feeling with baby-to-be at home, too.

Here are a few poses to help you connect mind, heart, and breath to your perfectly pregnant body. Enjoy a single pose if you have just a few spare moments, or try them all together as a short sequence:

A Powerful Squat to Build Strength for Birth

3. Goddess Pose is a high squat with a wide stance. Step your feet about 4 feet apart, and turn your toes out slightly. Bend your knees so your thighs are nearly at a right angle to your torso. Raise your arms into a V shape overhead, then bend your arms until your elbows are about shoulder-height. You can move your arms a few inches forward to bring some ease into the shoulders. Lengthen your low back and gently hug belly button toward baby for support. For more support, do this pose against a wall. A few other details to refine: Knees track lightly back toward your pinky toes. Slightly lift your breastbone to open your chest. Keep your shoulders, neck, jaw, and face relaxed. Isometrically squeeze your feet toward each other to help engage your inner legs and hamstrings. To work deeply here, you might put on a favorite song, breathe in ujjayi, and after holding steady for 6 to 8 breaths, begin to dance. Stay in the pose and let your hips sway and arms move freely. Enjoy the feeling of movement through your strong legs.

To end, straighten your legs, bring your arms down, and heel-toe your feet to about hip-distance apart. Soften your knees. Some figure 8s with your hips may feel fabulous right about now!

This pose strengthens the legs, opens the hips, and tones the shoulders. Most importantly, it lets you apprentice with intensity that lasts about as long as a contraction. You feel yourself strong and capable. You practice breathing and moving through challenging moments. You can also use this pose as a place to practice the vocalizations—long, low moans as you exhale—that can be useful in later, active labor.

Rest Easy, Mama!

4. Side-lying Savasana. The classic yoga resting pose is relaxing for pregnancy, too. From a seated position, roll to one side and ease down to the floor. Rest your head on a pillow or your arm, tuck another pillow between your knees, and cover up with a blanket if you like. Rest your other hand on your belly. Breathe deeply and sweetly. Enjoy 8 to 15 minutes of easy rest to connect with your beautiful belly and your sweet bebe growing inside. Bliss!

When you feel complete, take your time sitting up. Use the strength of your arms to bring yourself up, and keep your neck relaxed. Rub your hands together, and then place one hand at your heart, and one at your belly as you breathe. Then give your belly a squeeze and send some love to baby. In just that short practice, you’ll feel lighter and more connected than you have all day. Enjoy, mama!

To learn more about Blooma Nashville, visit their Nashville studio at 4107 Charlotte Avenue, or you can check them out online.

About Jennifer Derryberry Mann

Jenni Derryberry Mann opened the doors to Blooma Nashville in 2014, believing that women deserve a beautiful, warm welcome into pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. A mama, prenatal/postnatal yoga teacher, life coach, and women’s circle facilitator, Jenni also incorporates training as a doula, a rebozo instructor, and yoga nidra meditation guide into her work with women as they make their sacred journey into motherhood. Jenni has been part of the Blooma Inc. family from the very beginning, when she helped create the first Blooma studio in Minneapolis in 2007. At Blooma Nashville, Jenni teaches Prenatal Yoga, BYOBaby Mama-Baby Yoga, Little Crawlers & Movers Yoga, the Blooma Birth Intensive class, Blooma Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training, and she leads seasonal circles for women and mothers.

Sep
19

Prenatal Yoga with Blooma Nashville

Posted in Small Discoveries

Small Discoveries Saturdays is a series of journal entries on SCOUT’s site where we shine a light on the little tips and treats that we have found help make pregnancy and parenting go a bit smoother.

It’s our pleasure to introduce you to this month’s guest contributor, Jenni Derryberry Mann, owner of Blooma Nashville. Jenni is a trusted authority on all things Yoga and specializes in prenatal and Mama-Baby practices. She is an all around calming voice and trustworthy guide through pregnancy and early motherhood, and she’s put together a wonderfully energizing routine for expectant mothers. SCOUT will be joining Blooma Nashville on Sunday, October 4 for the first annual Bellyrama, a family festival celebrating birth and babies at Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park amphitheater.

This month: Prenatal Yoga routine, part 1 of 2, with Jenni Derryberry Mann of Blooma Nashville

 

Jennifer Derryberry Mann, owner of Blooma Nashville

You know that sense of community that comes from sharing an experience with someone? That’s the hallmark of prenatal yoga at Blooma Nashville. Mamas with beautifully round bellies sharing a practice, preparing for birth—it’s a sweet, reassuring moment. You can create that connected feeling with baby-to-be at home, too.

Here are a few poses to help you connect mind, heart, and breath to your perfectly pregnant body. Enjoy a single pose if you have just a few spare moments, or try them all together as a short sequence:

Breathing and Hip Circles in Baddha Konasana

1. Baddha Konasana is a comfortable seated pose, where you bring the soles of your feet together, and press through your heels and the ball mounds of your toes. (If your hips or low back feel cranky, sit on a folded towel or blanket). Let your knees open with ease, stretching inner thighs. Lengthen your spine.

Breathe smoothly. Inhales and exhales last a little longer than your usual breath. Feel your breath moving in through your ribs, and down and out along the length of your spine. After a few breaths of becoming more aware of your body, deepen the breath into Ujjayi breathing: Breathe in through your nose, gently tightening the back of your throat so you hear and feel the whisper of breath. Exhale the same way: through the nose, slight tightening in the throat. Notice your breath as it moves through your body, becoming more aware of your body softening, and your baby nestled in your pelvis.

Continue breathing, and begin to circle the torso from the hips. Gently hold your shins, and circle around. Keep your jaw soft. Relax neck. Move freely, letting your breath direct the movement. After several circles in one direction, change directions.

Hands + Knees for the Pregnant Mama 

2. Dancing Mama is a gentle chest opener and hip opener. On your hands and knees, place shoulders over wrists, hips over knees, and let the back of your neck feel long and relaxed. Extend your left leg to your left, from the hip, foot on the floor, toes facing forward. Inhale and extend your left arm to the left, reaching it up and open toward the sky. Breathe into your ribs. As you exhale, reverse the arc of your arm, bringing it out wide and down. Then scoop your hand in toward your heart, and stretch your arm out in front of you. Reach your hips back a bit so you feel long through the spine, from your tailbone to your fingertips.

Continue, following the pace of your own breath: Inhale, reach the arm out to the side and up to open the chest. Exhale, scoop your hand in toward your heart and stretch your arm long in front of you.

Repeat 5 to 7 times, then return to hands and knees. Let your hips circle freely, a few times to the left, then a few times to the right. If you don’t love the full hip circles, try swaying your hips in a soft arc, from the left to the right, and then the right to the left. Let your body move in a way that feels enjoyable. Let your body practice feeling good about itself.

Then repeat on the right side: Right leg to the right, right arm reaching out wide and up, then scooping into the heart before stretching long in front of you on exhale. Enjoy 5 to 7 breaths on this side, before returning your hand to the floor and circle the hips a few more times.

Check back next week for the completion of the sequence!

To learn more about Blooma Nashville, visit their Nashville studio at 4107 Charlotte Avenue, or you can check them out online.

About Jennifer Derryberry Mann

Jenni Derryberry Mann opened the doors to Blooma Nashville in 2014, believing that women deserve a beautiful, warm welcome into pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. A mama, prenatal/postnatal yoga teacher, life coach, and women’s circle facilitator, Jenni also incorporates training as a doula, a rebozo instructor, and yoga nidra meditation guide into her work with women as they make their sacred journey into motherhood. Jenni has been part of the Blooma Inc. family from the very beginning, when she helped create the first Blooma studio in Minneapolis in 2007. At Blooma Nashville, Jenni teaches Prenatal Yoga, BYOBaby Mama-Baby Yoga, Little Crawlers & Movers Yoga, the Blooma Birth Intensive class, Blooma Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training, and she leads seasonal circles for women and mothers.

 

Aug
08

Newborn Challenges + Solutions

Posted in Small Discoveries

Small Discoveries Saturdays is a series of journal entries on SCOUT’s site where we shine a light on the little tips and treats that we have found help make pregnancy and parenting go a bit smoother.

This month: Challenges and Solutions During the First Weeks

Challenges and Solutions During the First Few Weeks with a Newborn

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

The inevitable sleep deprivation and fog of early parenthood can make everyday problem solving seem overwhelming. I went back and forth on adding one more “baby gear essentials” list to the interverse, but our gratitude for these smartly designed, stress- and time-saving items won out.

Challenge: Diaper rash
Solution: Zoe Organics Diaper Balm. It’s an effective blend without harsh chemicals or strong odor that quickly eliminates any signs of redness.

Challenge: Velcro in the dryer
Solution: aden+anais easy swaddle. Since adults tend to have Velcro-free wardrobes, some of us learn about its destructive properties the hard way. Delicate fabrics like muslin swaddles were eaten alive in our dryer when washed with a sleep sack swaddle that had Velcro. The aden+anais easy swaddle has snaps instead of the sticky stuff and keeps baby snug and asleep through the night.

Challenge: Congested baby nostrils
Solution: FridaBaby NoseFrida the Snotsucker. Not the most graceful of child rearing tasks, but modesty takes a back seat when babe has a hard time breathing! It’s an odd looking contraption, but an upgrade from the old school bulb syringe.

Challenge: Dressing a squirmy baby
Solution: oeuf kimono onesie. The bottom snaps allow for quick diaper changes, and the front snaps allow for easy dressing. Plus, it’s made of a super soft organic pima cotton that is GOTS-certified.

Challenge: Wimpy burp cloths
Solution: aden+anais burpy bib. They’re large, absorbent, and cut to fit and stay on your shoulder. Added bonus: a set of snaps quickly converts it into a bib.

Challenge: What to do about a changing table?
Solution: Keekaroo Peanut® Diaper Changer + Dresser. We decided early on to pass on the changing table and opt for a piece of furniture that we could use post-diaper changing days. The Keekaroo Peanut Diaper Changer is slip resistant, so it sits (and stays!) perfectly on a standard dresser. No changing pad covers means less laundry. Just wipe clean!

Challenge: Cold feet
Solution: Etiquette Clothiers sock bundle. Babies’ extremities get cold easily. Etiquette Clothiers socks stay on and still fit at four months. Stash a couple of pairs in your diaper bag and keep the rest at home.

Challenge: Where do I put my baby when I need to brush my teeth!?
Solution: Skip Hop Activity Toy Gym. We started our girl on this play mat around three weeks. She was fascinated from day one and it still keeps her engaged, challenged, and provides us with some breaks to knock out quick chores.

Jul
04

The Gift of Dinner + a Recipe

Posted in Small Discoveries

Small Discoveries Saturdays is a new series of journal entries on SCOUT’s site where we shine a light on the little tips and treats that we have found help make pregnancy and parenting go a bit smoother.

This month: The Gift of Dinner + a Recipe

Bringing a meal to new parents during the first few weeks after baby arrives is a tremendous gift. If you’re expecting, set yourself up a meal calendar on a site like Meal Train and when someone offers to bring food, you can just send them the link to pick a day. We were spoiled big time with some delightful meals that really took the edge off of the inevitable sleep deprivation.

One night a friend included some meringue-like chocolate cookies from Whole Foods as a dessert. One bite and I was hooked. They’re light and flakey, but gooey inside with bits of solid chocolate chips. When our babe was napping a bit more regularly and I could sneak some time in the kitchen, I searched and found a recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cookies on The Crepes of Wrath blog.

Flourless Chocolate Cookies (adapted from this recipe via The Crepes of Wrath)

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa 100% Natural Unsweetened (or something similar)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups Ghirardelli Chocolate Premium Baking Chips 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate
  • sea salt (for sprinkling on top)

Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. The cookies can be a bit sticky when they come out of the oven, but you can sprinkle a little flour on the parchment paper prior to baking to help remove the cookies once they’ve cooled off. Either way, you’ll want to lift them with a spatula.

In a large bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt. Beat in the egg whites until well combined. Mix in the vanilla then fold in the chocolate chips. The dough will be gooey.

Scoop about 2 teaspoons worth of dough onto the tray. You’ll want to space the scoops of dough about two inches apart (the cookies will spread as they bake). This is optional, but if you want to add a little sea salt, sprinkle on top before you put the cookie sheets in the oven.

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the surfaces are set and slightly cracked. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheets before using a spatula to remove them. The cookies will keep well in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature, but who are we kidding—they won’t last a week! If you’ve had an extra long day, warm them up and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Bon appétit!

Jun
06

Seven Pregnancy Essentials

Posted in Small Discoveries

Small Discoveries Saturdays is a new series of journal entries on SCOUT’s site where we shine a light on the little tips and treats that we have found help make pregnancy and parenting go a bit smoother.

This month: Pregnancy Essentials

SCOUT's Seven Pregnancy Essentials

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

1 & 2: Once I knew the grooming and beauty products I was using would have an effect on another life besides my own, I got serious, (hardcore, according to my husband), about finding products that were free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, DEA, synthetic fragrances, and other big, strange words, but still effective. I felt relieved to find NINE NATURALS on the Oh Joy! blog, ordered a bottle of their 100% plant-based shampoo and conditioner, and have been a satisfied customer since. Bonus: The all-natural fragrances help combat morning sickness and fatigue.

3: The question every pregnant woman gets right after “Boy or Girl?” is usually, “Any cravings?” This is, of course, highly subjective, uncontrollable, and cravings don’t take recommendations, but for me, it was fortunately all about APPLESAUCE. And okay, coconut cake. Constantly. But after hours when our go-to coconut cake spots around town were closed, applesauce was perfect for 3 a.m. hunger spikes: immediately consumable, nutritious, filling, and no dirty dishes or funky aftertastes lingering rest of night. It’s cool and refreshing, so also palatable when feeling gross, but needing to eat something. It couldn’t be just any applesauce though. I recommend SANTA CRUZ Organic Apple Sauce, original flavor.

4 & 5: I had success with ZOE ORGANICS Belly Butter and Belly Oil to prevent stretch marks. Apply the oil followed by the butter at bedtime. The belly oil was also very useful in the first few weeks after delivery for dry, cracking skin. Once I began using the oil, my hands softened within a few days. Another all-natural line using 100% certified organic ingredients.

6: The Pregnancy Body Pillow from BUMP NEST kept me comfortable throughout all three trimesters. It does swallow up valuable mattress real estate, so be sure to keep reminding your partner and any lucky four-legged bedmates about all the benefits of getting quality sleep during pregnancy.

7: If your doctor gives you the green light to exercise, it’s important to find a routine that can be adjusted to your growing belly and changing equilibrium. I loved TRACY ANDERSON’s “The Pregnancy Project” DVD series. The 9-disc DVD set is broken down by month and each DVD begins with an intro about how you might be feeling at that point in your pregnancy. Tracy is pregnant in the series, so there’s added assurance that it’s safe and doable. The arm workouts have paid off carrying around our car seat these first couple of months.

Bonus: To follow baby’s development and get a heads up on the fun (and not so fun) stages of your pregnancy, download the free GLOW NURTURE – Pregnancy Health Tracker app. Keep track of doctor appointments, log daily health activity, browse pregnancy articles, and receive daily health tips. We especially loved the cute fruit and vegetable size tracker, e.g., Today, your baby is the size of a sweet potato.