XO, Noelle

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book | The Power of the Heart by Baptiste de Pape - Review

XO, Noelle Tuesday, September 30, 2014
1 Comment
This book couldn't have come at a better time. I'm a new mommy and there's nothing like having a new little one to completely question everything about yourself. I don't usually read self-help books (I'm more of a "The Devil Wears Prada" type of girl) but I love broadening my literary horizons so I decided to check this book out.

"The Power of the Heart by Baptiste de Pape explains how to listen to your heart's voice and hear its wisdom. It also explains ways to to develop your intuition, create synchronicity, clarify your intentions and exercise the power of gratitude. All of those are powers of the heart."

The book contains life lessons in courage, forgiveness and more from eighteen iconic world teachers including:
- Maya Angelou
- Neale Donald Walsch
- Michael Beckwith
- Marianne Williamson
- Ruediger Schache
- Gary Zukav
and more!

Throughout the book, they have little exercises you can do to get in touch with your heart. My absolute favorite chapter is 5. Coherence: Living in the Now which has an exercise called "The Inner-ease Exercise or Love Response". The chapter talks about how to sync up your heart with your emotions to create a stable coherence with both and how to feel calm and positive by doing so. I love living in the "now" but it's definitely easier said than done. I'm constantly going over my day with things I could've said, things I could've done and can sometimes beat myself up over it and get lost in "what ifs". With the "Inner-ease Exercise", not only am I taking a few minutes to myself but I'm connecting with my heart and being content with my day instead of questioning it. My favorite quote from the book is, "Every moment is unique, unknown, completely fresh." said by Pema Chodron because it's a new way to look at the day.

The Power of the Heart will be published in hardcover, ebook, Spanish and audio on October 7th. Make sure to pre-order your copy today at ThePoweroftheHeart.com! Also, keep up-to-date with new info:

* This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/The Power of The Heart. |  #poweroftheheart

Monday, September 22, 2014

Baby | What's In My Hospital Bag

XO, Noelle Monday, September 22, 2014
3 Comments
Hey little babes! I finally finished packing my hospital bag. For about two months now, I've been "packing" it, adding a few little things to it, taking a few out. I like to have all the bases covered but I hate overpacking. So after reading and re-reading a million packing lists from other bloggers, I've come up with my own. I think when you get down to it, it's more or less what makes you comfortable. Some are cool with hospital towels, some aren't. Some don't mind giving birth naked while others want to get their own gown. Whether you overpack or underpack, the hospital will always have your ultimate must-haves so don't worry, lovebug.

(As you can see, I wrote this before I had my baby! Baby boy came a few days early so I couldn't get this up in time. I decided to leave the post the way it is but edit in what I actually used and what I didn't.)

Before packing your bag, definitely check with your hospital beforehand and see what they provide for you and your baby.

My Hospital Bag:

- Bag | Forever 21 - Love how spacious this is yet it's not humongous. I also really like that I could probably rock this afterward as a nice bag or weekend bag.

- Soft Black Robe | Target - When I went on the hospital tour, I couldn't help but notice how freakin' cold it was. I'm sure when I'm in labor this robe will be the last thing on my mind but afterward, I think I'll be thankful I have it. It'll be nice to just cover up with when there's visitors as well. Oh, and it's incredibly soft. Like, "mmmmm" soft. I actually didn't end up using this :( I was insanely HOT the entire time (go figure) I was in the hospital. It's still nice to have if you want to cover up when guests come.

- Night Gown | Target - I also really wanted something to change into when visitors come that first day that's still cute, dark and has easy access for nurses to check me out and for skin-to-skin/breastfeeding with baby. The one I bought is pretty long which is what I wanted and has a buttons that button all the way down to the belly. Loved having this! I actually wore it two nights in a row. Super soft and comfy and it was just nice to wear something that wasn't a hospital gown.

- Cute Socks/Slippers | Target - I've heard that so many moms wish they brought socks because it's so cold. For $1.50 a pair, I couldn't help but snag these. They serve the purpose and they're adorable! Slippers are also really nice to have if you want (or better yet can) walk around the hospital. Thick socks also work instead of slippers. I loved having the socks but I didn't end up using the slippers. I wore the flip flops I walked in with when I needed to walk around. The socks kind of acted like slippers so I guess you don't need both.

- Nursing Tank + Comfy Pants | Target & TJ Maxx - Basically my outfit for day two (my hospital has you stay for two nights). I figure the nursing tank is still cute to rock for pictures and I'll probably want to put some pants on by this point. I'm a total pants kinda girl. They're comfy and baggy so I can still slide them down if the nurses need to check me out or anything. I ended up wearing the night gown both nights I was at the hospital but I loved having these there as an option. 

Going Home Outfit | Target - I'm just keeping it simple. Stretchy leggings and a cute tank. Can't go wrong! I've heard sometimes after you deliver, you can retain a lot of fluid between the IV's pumpin' and water retention so they say to bring clothes that would fit you if you were six months pregnant. The stretchy leggings and tank top were perfect! 

- Towel + Flip Flops | I'm definitely going to want to take a shower if I have the option but I've heard hospital towels suck so I'm bringing my own. Plus nothing makes someone happier than a little piece of home when you're in the hospital. I'm also bringing flip flops to use in the shower. Definitely was a good idea bringing my own towel! The hospital's were very small and rough. 

- Nursing Pads + Large Underwear | TJ Maxx & Target - Usually, your milk doesn't come in until about 2-3 days after giving birth but I like to be better safe than sorry plus I'm already leaking as it is so this might come in handy. They're small so even if you don't use them, they're not really taking up much space. I also bought some soft underwear in about two sizes larger than I normally am to keep comfy while I'm wearing pads the size of Texas. I didn't need the nursing pads but the large underwear was great. I also used the mesh underwear they had as well. So I guess you don't need your own, but it's always comfier.

- Nursing Bras | Target - First off, I highly recommend checking out the Gilligan & O'Malley nursing bras at Target. They're so comfy but are still incredibly supportive. I plan on bringing two of these in place of bras. Thank goodness I had these. They were great for feeding baby in the hospital. They were super comfy and had easy access :)

My Make Up / Toiletries Bag

- Bag | Breakups to Makeup - I absolutely love this bag! You can see my review (and just how much you can fit in it!) here

- Hair Ties + Bobby Pins | These are always in my bag anyways but I threw a few more in just in case.  I think I'll probably want my hair up when I'm delivering. 

- Batiste Dry Shampoo | Ulta - My absolute favorite dry shampoo and the only one that works with my hair. Definitely good to have if I can't take that shower to make me look at least a little presentable.

- Deodorant | Walmart - I think this goes without saying.

- Make Up | Just some good ol' faithfuls. It Cosmetics CC+ Cream - The CC cream is just the right amount of coverage without overdoing it and can be applied with my fingers, if I need to. MAC ProLongWear Concealer - The concealer is a must because after pushing, I'm sure I'll have some lovely little broken blood vessels all over my face. I swear, I get them so easily. Maybelline One By One Mascara - My absolute favorite mascara right now. It delivers just the right amount of length, volume and lift to make me feel like I'm wearing falsies.

I actually didn't use anything from my makeup bag! I liked knowing I had it there but we had visitors almost immediately after delivery and I just didn't care how I looked after. I was WAY too tired.

Baby's Diaper Bag

- Diaper Bag | Betsey Johnson - I don't know what made me buy this as a diaper bag but I'm so happy I did! It has a bunch of pockets inside and out for bottles, pacifiers, diapers, etc. I absolutely love it! 

- Two Sleeper Onesies | Carter's - How cute are these? Ugh. So adorable. I figure one for each night we're there. To be honest, I think he'll probably be just swaddled in a diaper most of the time but bringing these along just in case doesn't hurt. Didn't use.

- Going Home Outfit | Carter's + Freshly-Picked.com - As soon as I saw this online, I knew this would be his going home outfit. It's camo which makes his dad happy and it has little elbow patches on the hoodie which makes me happy. I have no clue if these Freshly Picked moccasins will fit him but they match the outfit and they're so freakin' adorable.

- aden+anais Swaddling Blankets | Buy Buy Baby - I'm bringing two even though I know that they give you ones at the hospital. It's more just blankets to swaddle him in for pictures and bring him home in. I ended up using one for covering him when we left.

- Mitts + Hats + Socks | Babies R Us - They're just SO tiny! Mitts are great to have so the baby doesn't scratch his face up. Hats are also awesome (although I think they offer them at most hospitals) to keep your baby warm. I'm just bringing my own because they're cuter ;) Socks are also great to have to keep your babe warm as well.  These were great to have! The hospital supplied a hat but my son came out with shanks for nails so we put mitts on him ASAP so he wouldn't scratch his face.

- Dr. Brown's Gia Angled Breastfeeding PillowDr. Brown's - I'm SO excited to bring this with me and will definitely be doing a review on it afterward. I've read a lot of moms that are breastfeeding wished they brought their breastfeeding pillow with them. I think it's more a comfort thing than a huge necessity, but I'm happy to bring this with me! The Dr. Brown's Gia Breastfeeding Pillow was designed by a lactation consultant and is angled to help digestion and reduce reflux. It's super soft and is made to sit taller and wider for different positions while breastfeeding the baby. Definitely can't wait to try this! If there's one thing I could recommend bringing it would definitely be this - and this one in particular! This makes breastfeeding SO much easier. I plan on doing a full review because I'm so in love with this pillow. It brings your baby up to a perfect height to feed. Ahhh, it's just so amazing!

Friday, September 19, 2014

#BeTheGood

XO, Noelle Friday, September 19, 2014
2 Comments
Hi loves! SO much has happened these past few weeks. First off, guess who's a mommy?! This chickie! I promise a real introduction post/birth story so y'all can officially meet Mr. Baby XO (I swear, he has a real name!) but I wanted to share with you a really cool movement going on right now that you can be a part of!

Recently, I was challenged by Jane.com & Cents of Style to #BeTheGood - a campaign focused on simply being nice and spreading kindness. I believe there's an opportunity for kindness every single day. Whether it's holding a door open, footing the bill at lunch time, donating clothes to a charity or a simple compliment to someone - nothing is too big or too small. 

I believe there's always an opportunity to be nice. A few days ago, a little boy was in front of me at Dunkin Donuts, ordering a Coolatta. Just as he took out some cash to pay, the cashier told him that they were only taking card (DON'T YOU HATE WHEN THEY DO THAT!?). The kid looked totally crestfallen. I stepped up and told him I'd get it for him and paid for his drink. It was a win/win: The kid got his Coolatta and I felt amazing the rest of the day. There's no better feeling than helping someone out! :)

How can you participate? I'm challenging ALL of my readers to:

  • Choose a good deed! It can be anything from donating to your fave charity to buying a coffee for a friend. No goodness is too little!
  • Share the good! Pick your favorite social channel (Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, etc.) but first, make sure to take a selfie (or something appropriate to your story), and share your story, big or small. Be sure to use these hashtags to help this campaign spread: #BeTheGood #JaneCares and #CentsofStyle. You’ll see your story featured at Jane.com!
  • Tag your friends! Challenge them to participate in the campaign within 24 hours.
  • Buy a shirt! Jane.com and Cents of Style are selling SUPER CUTE #BeTheGood shirts for only $11.95. All profits are donated to Girls Inc., an organization that inspires girls to be strong, bold and smart.
|| #bethegood #janecares #centsofstyle

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer + System - Review

XO, Noelle Tuesday, September 9, 2014
1 Comment
My recent hair color change has been a long, long, long time coming. I'd been rockin' an unintentional ombre look for quite some time now (ahem, like a year). Last year, I was this awesome mahogany shade, right? Ugh. I loved it. But naturally, I forgot to save shade it was and then I just keep procrastinating trying to match it and then decided to let it grow out instead, etc. It was a mess. It ended up going from this gorgeous red to my natural brunette roots on top and a weird, brassy red/blonde/I don't even know on the bottom. It might've looked okay in pictures but sweet JAY-SUS it looked crazy in person.

Nexxus Color Assure System - How pretty is the packaging? 
Fast forward to early last month when I had it up to here with my weirdo hair colors and decided to just dye it all one color - my natural hair color - for the sake of looking somewhat put together when I have a newborn.
 
Before: Excuse the bushy eyebrows and my piercing popping out || After: Ahhh. Nice, healthy color! #shamlessselfie

One of my biggest fears since dying my hair back to it's natural color is that those weird brassy ends will pop up through. Cue: Conde Nast and Nexxus who were so sweet and sent me their new Nexxus Color Assure System to try out with  my freshly dyed hair.

The Nexxus Color Assure System is the first oil-infused color care system that locks in your new hair color by keeping water out (wait-what?). Okay. Obviously it doesn't really keep the water out, if that makes sense. You still wash your hair and all that stuff like normal but I think what they mean is that it keeps out the harshness that comes with washing your hair and protects your color. The line is sulfate-free and features White Orchid extract that seals and protects each hair strand to help repel water and prevent it from entering the core. Also included in the mix is almond, coconut and argan oils to nurture and keep color-treated hair vibrant and looking fresh for up to 2x longer!

I used the whole system but if I had to choose one main star from this collection, I'd have to say it's the Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer. I didn't even know they made "primers" for your hair but it's so easy to use. Right before you shower, on dry hair, apply two-seven pumps concentrating more at the ends and then working your way up. I used four pumps on my shoulder-length hair and it was no bueno. Even after washing my hair, it felt greasy and gross which they warn you will happen if you obviously use too much. I used two less pumps the next time and it made all the difference. My hair was super soft and healthy looking. After about two weeks in, I noticed that even with as often as I wash my hair (about every other day) my color had yet to fade! Talk about this primer being a total game-changer. I also noticed that my hair didn't feel dry like it sometimes can after dying it and especially with the crazy weather changes going on. 

Like I said, I used the whole system which includes the Color Assure Vibrancy Retention Shampoo and Conditioner (talk about smelling amazing!) and then finished off on dry hair with the Color Assure Glossing Tonic for extra shine. I noticed that if I used all four products together on my thin hair, it would sometimes feel a little weighed down so I'd choose to either just use the shampoo one day and then use both the shampoo and conditioner the other.

A month later... my hair is still all one color and still feels soft and manageable - not dry and straw-like. Whoop whoop! I'm still using the shampoo, primer and glossing tonic. I don't really use conditioner on a daily basis anyway but found that the shampoo was conditioning enough for my thin hair. I recommend using this system 

For more info on the Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer as well as the entire system:
Nexxus | Twitter

* Sponsored post by Nexxus for the #ColorAssure campaign but naturally all opinions are 100% mine!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

NCLA So LA! - Review

XO, Noelle Wednesday, September 3, 2014
17 Comments
Rockin' these NCLA So LA! nail wraps is my pathetic attempt at keeping summer around just a little bit longer. As I'm checking out tickets for The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze (anyone ever been?). And totally drooling over the MAC x Rocky Horror Picture Show collection (available September 29th). And wondering if I have enough stuff to make these Pumpkin Pie Truffles.

So LA! is a fun sunset ombre design with shadows of palm trees printed on them. This set right here is actually what first got me into NCLA nail wraps. I can't remember who's Instagram I saw them on but someone was rockin' them, found out they were NCLA and the rest is gorgeous lookin' nails history. The collection comes with 26 ultra-thin adhesives and a cute NCLA nail file. The wrap sizes range from wide to small so they fit just about any nail bed.

How to apply NCLA nail wraps:

  • Start off with fresh, clean nails and than apply a coat of basecoat (I used NCLA Gloss It!) and let it dry.
  • Find the size that best fits your nail and peel from the sheet by the flap. 
  • Apply the most round part to your cuticle and stretch down until it fits perfectly. I know some are afraid to stretch it because they think it might break, but I promise you it won't. This is the most crucial part to get a nice, flat, flawless nail. 
  • Once you've fit it to your nail, firmly flatten it down starting from the cuticle and pressing your way down to the tip. 
  • Use the nail file in a downward motion to remove any excess wrap left over. Apply another coat of Gloss It! and you're all set! I really like using a coat for Gloss It! over it because it softens the nail wrap (as well as adds a shine to it) so you can go in one last time and press down anything you missed or smooth out any mistakes.

NCLA So LA! Buy - Price: $16
* Press Sample

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lust List | Fall Edition

XO, Noelle Tuesday, September 2, 2014
2 Comments
I haven't even had my first Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte but I can feel that fall is definitely in the air. I'm not sure where exactly because it's currently about 1000 degrees here in Connecticut but according to recent fall-themed posts from other bloggers, PSL's debut and the fact that it's September 1st, I'm assuming autumn is somewhere around here.

SO, I've put together my first fall lust list! I love doing these. Here's some of my favorite things I'm currently dying over for those crisp autumn nights:

Sosie Vital Tribal Cardigan | $50 - Ever since I saw this on Pink Peonies, I knew I had to have it. And then it sold out. Old Navy Jersey Tank | $8 - Can't even go wrong with this baby! So comfy and perfect for expecting mamas as well! Refuge Boyfriend Medium Wash Jeans | $34 - I'm such a sucker for cute, ripped jeans. Expecting mom's can switch these out for H&M Mama Jeans! Steve Madden Broyale | $108 - Hello beautiful! Cognac colored bags are SO cute for fall. Modern Double Halo Engagement Ring | Okay. How gorgeous is this? Anjolee.com has everything from gorgeous engagement rings to insanely blinged out bracelets. Kiel James Patrick "Southern Swift" Bracelet | $40 - I've wanted a KJP bracelet for the longest time. I mean, how adorable is this bow bracelet? Smashbox Master Class 3 Palette | $68 - Come to mama you, big beautiful thing, you! Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Motorhead | $18 - I can't help but want to wear this all the time. It just looks SO badass. 


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