Hey there!

Hey friend! I'm Noelle, your virtual beauty-lovin' bestie, here to share makeup tutorials, product reviews, motherhood stories and everything in between! XO, Noelle is all about being the best version of yourself - inside and out.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Baby | What's In My Diaper Bag to the Hospital

Guess who's still pregnant?! This chick. I'll be 41 weeks tomorrow! I went to the doctor's yesterday and she scheduled an induction for Tuesday. I'm a little bummed about that decision as I'm SO nervous about being induced but here's hoping that Baby B comes this weekend instead which is still a possibility. Send lots of labor dust my way, guys!

Anywho, I thought I'd share with you what's inside my diaper bag to the hospital! I'm keeping it pretty minimal because our hospital supplies diapers, wipes, etc. so I don't need to bring much - thank God! PS. If you guys would like to see what my normal, everyday diaper bag will probably be like for a newborn and a toddler, let me know! I can definitely share that with y'all if you'd like to see it.

  • Olivia + Joy Zoom Tote ($41) - So let's talk about the bag first! I originally had it planned that I'd be using this gorgeous Violet Ray bag I had my eye on for forever for a diaper bag but a trip to TJ Maxx totally changed my mind. This Olivia + Joy tote is basically the most perfect diaper bag in disguise. It's nylon so it's extremely easy to clean. It has two large interior pockets (one side will be for Baby B and the other for Hunter). It also has three exterior zipper pockets (one the length of the bag and two smaller ones) PLUS four exterior pockets that don't zipper. Basically, there's zippers everywhere which is perfect for me.

  • Carter's Neutral Little Lamb Coveralls ($12.98) - Guys, I wanted these for forever and kept telling myself, "Yeah, I'll buy them when I get closer to my due date." and by that time, the newborn size was totally sold out at Carter's online and in stores! I was so, so bummed. My mom to the rescue because she found them on Macy's and surprised me with them! SO cute and so soft. Thanks, mommy!
  • Mittens, Socks + Hat - First off, mittens are a must! Hunter came out with some serious claws and I was so thankful I brought some with me so he didn't scratch up his face so I'll be bringing them with me again. Also, my mom got Baby B this hat that says "Born To Be Loved" and I think it's so precious that I had to pack it in the bag! Lastly, socks because why not? I mean, it'll be the end of August so I'm assuming pretty darn hot but I like to plan ahead and thought that maybe with the AC in the car, it'd be cold so he'll need socks? 
  • aden + anais Brave Little One Swaddles - How adorable are these!? I swear by these babies as the more you wash them, the softer they get. Hunter has his own four pack with a giraffe theme so I figured we'd get foxes for Baby B. I'm bringing three (mostly for pictures) but these also come in great for covering the carseat (they're lightweight and still breathable).
  • Awesome Brother Shirt - Who knows what frame of mind I'll be the day of induction/when I go into labor so I packed this shirt for Hunter to wear for pictures. Is it not the cutest thing ever?
So that's it for my diaper bag! Again, I'm keeping it pretty minimal as I already know what the hospital provides!
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Osmosis Colour Mineral Cosmetics Age-Defying Treatment Concealer in Fair | Swatches + Review

"Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know - but now they knowwww-" that I am dead ass tired and need a good concealer lately to cover these circles, y'all. I am e-to-the-x-hausted but with this new treatment concealer from Osmosis, at least I don't have to look like it!

The Osmosis Colour Mineral Age-Defying Treatment Concealer ($38) is actually a built-in duo - with the concealing treatment on one side and a super-hydrating balm that twists up on the other. The concealer is pretty pigmented but it's really the balm that makes this - well, the bomb! I apply the balm first under my eyes (and actually around my nose as well since it's super dry there) and then dot it in until it's blended out. Then I apply the concealer over it and blend out with a damp BeautyBlender (or honestly, your fingers would work fine too).

The balm is chock full of Argan Oil, Apricot Oil, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E and Shea Butter to really bring that hydration to where ever you apply this. The concealer has a non-comedogenic formula which means that this won't clog your pores or break you out.

The biggest "issue" I have with this concealer (and I say that lightly) is that the shade "fair", which is the lightest shade they offer out of four, pulls a little yellow which you can see above. For me, when I apply this over foundation and set with powder, it works fine and brightens the area but just thought it was something worth noting for my paler babes.

Shop | Buy ($38)
*Product sent for review.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Makeup Revolution The One Sculpt Contour, Blush & Highlighter Sticks | Review + Swatches

As a beauty blogger, I'm almost ashamed to admit that this is actually my first real go with contouring, highlighting and blush sticks! I'm not really sure why I never ventured out to cream sticks as they seem like they'd be easy enough to use, right? So, here we go! What better time than now with the Makeup Revolution The One Sculpt Contour, Highlighter and Blush Sticks!

The Makeup Revolution The One Contour, Blush and Highlighter Sticks ($9) are super pigmented sticks of cream for contouring, highlighting or applying blush. They can be applied straight out of the tube for an intense look or applied with water for a more natural look. As of right now, they only have one universal shade for contouring, two for blush and one for highlighting.

  • The One Sculpt Contour - a matte dark brown with yellow undertones.
  • The One Blush in Matte Malibu - a matte brown with reddish undertones.
  • The One Blush in Matte Rush - a gorgeous matte coral.
  • The One Highlighter - a shimmery light golden champagne.
So here is my dilemma with these: I love Makeup Revolution and I really like the idea, consistency and pay-off from these cream sticks but I'm not loving the shade range and I feel like that's a deal breaker right now. 

The contour shade is way too dark for my pale babes, even diffused to the high heavens with a damp BeautyBlender which is a bummer since it's the only contouring shade available right now. Both blushes, in my opinion, aren't flattering for any skintone. Rush is a bright coral but even diffused with water, it's just too bright. I couldn't even try Malibu as a blush as it's just too brown to work for a blush for me. BUT! The highlighter stick, on the other hand, is killer! It's very reminiscent of the Marc Jacobs Glow Stick Illuminator as far as consistency. It's almost a balm consistency which I love for a more natural, glow-y highlighter look. I'm so in love with it. For a more "pow!", you can apply a powder highlighter over this.

Shop Buy ($9)
* Products sent for review.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

GLOSSYBOX | August 2016 Box

Hi guys! It's officially two days past my due date and still super pregnant over here! Honestly, it feels like nothing is going to happen any time soon. So frustrating so I'm distracting myself by going through my drafts and finishing up loose ends to get some reviews and posts out! 

Anywho, can I just say I love summer-themed subscription boxes? They're the best ones. Actually, those and the fall ones, for sure. This month's GLOSSYBOX theme is Sun Kissed with a curated box that compliments all of our weekend getaways (wait - is a getaway in the box too? I kid, I kid!). Make sure to read until the end to learn more about how to enter GLOSSYBOX's sunset selfie contest!

What's in the box?

  • Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Smoothing Oil ($20) - While I've never heard of Wella Professionals, this light-reflecting oil hair sprays must be all the rage right now because I think this is the second or third one I've received in a box! I love the idea behind them - that they make your hair seem brighter and glistening-y and appreciate that it's lightweight enough for thin hair. This one contains macadamia seed oil, avocado oil and vitamin e to keep your hair soft.
  • De Bruyere After Sun Lotion Monoi ($12) - Everyone needs something like this in their life! It's a calming, nourishing and protecting milky lotion that helps hydrate your skin after a day in the sun. Did you know that Monoi is Tiare flower petals that have been soaked in coconut oil? I had no clue!
  • Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil Waterproof Mascara Dissolver ($17) - Probably the most intriguing product in the box! Basically, it's a cleansing oil for waterproof and regular mascara, conveniently in a mascara tube to be used like you're applying your mascara. It contains both rice lipids and green tea extract for a gentle removal. Apply like you're applying mascara and then wait about a minute (maybe a teeny bit longer if it's a waterproof mascara). Then wipe away for mascara-free lashes! I actually really like this and will probably by a full-size when I run out!
  • Invisibobble Traceless Hair Ring ($8) - I have yet to try this thing out because it kind of freaks me out. Like, HOW does this not get tangled in your hair? Somehow it doesn't, ladies and gents. One day, I promise, I'll try it out and get back to you.
  • Trifle Cosmetics Lip Parfait Buttery Lip Cream ($19) - I don't even want to use this; that's how cute this is! The packaging is A+! The lipstick is a great shade of dusty mauve-y pink but doesn't have the color payoff I like. So if you're in a more sheer look, this is perfect for you!
  • Borghese Active Body Mud ($37) - Borghese is a brand I'm already familiar with but I've never tried their body mud before. It's enriched with Acqua di Vita Complex (a formula mixed with Tuscany water - ooooh la la!) to polish your bod and make it feel nice and soft.
So what do you think of this month's GLOSSYBOX? I can honestly say I've yet to be disappointed by them. Almost every box has something I've wanted to always try or something super fun in it. My faves from this box are the De Bruyere After Sun Lotion Monoi and the Too Faced Cleansing Oil Mascara Dissolver. Which ones are your faves?

PS. For a chance to win a year long subscription, send GLOSSYBOX a photo of your fave sunset spot with a GLOSSYBOX using the tags #GLOSSYSunkiss and #GLOSSYBOX!

Friday, August 19, 2016

BITE Beauty MultiSticks in Macaroon, Cocoa + Blondie | Swatches + Review

Who doesn't love an e-mail from Influenster letting them know they're getting the BITE Beauty VoxBox!? Actually, any e-mails from Influenster are pretty awesome. If you don't know what Influenster is, it's a free program where you can sign up and take little surveys and earn badges in order to qualify to receive a themed VoxBox of FREE samples (sometimes they're even full size!). I actually wrote a whole post about Influenster a few years ago here if you wanted more information. 

I was lucky enough to get sent three of the new BITE Beauty Multsticks in the shades Macaroon, Cocoa and Blondie! The Multistick is an all-purpose cream-to-powder stick that you can use on your lips, cheeks, eyes, etc. basically wherever you want to use them. They can be used with a BeautyBlender, a brush - heck, even your fingers!

  • Cocoa - a deep chocolate brown with a satin finish.
  • Blondie - a nude beige with a satin finish.
  • Macaroon - a cool pink with a satin finish.

  • The consistency of these sticks are very creamy. They're also super pigmented so beware when applying if you only want a light flush of a color. They do blend out nicely though but I like to start light and then work up the opacity, if need be.

    For use on the face, I like to use Blondie as a light bronzer by dabbing the stick onto a damp BeautyBlender. I find this diffuses it and applies the product evenly onto my face. Cocoa is too dark for contouring on my pale babes BUT it's a stunning lipstick (I love brown lips!) and lid color. The issue I have with using any of these as eyeshadows is that they never really set. I'm not sure if it's because the eyelid is naturally oilier but they constantly crease no matter if there's primer underneath or set with a shadow. That's kind of a bummer as they're gorgeous colors. Lastly, I love using Blondie as a lipstick or blush. Again, I like to apply these on the face with a damp BeautyBlender.

    Shop | Buy ($24)
    *Products sent from qualifying for an Influenster VoxBox but all opinions are my own!

    Thursday, August 18, 2016

    #FOTD | Summer Sunrise

    Today I'm throwin' it back to this little look I did and then just had sit in my drafts for forever. This look in particular is just a fun wash of color on the lids mixed with the world's worst messy bun.

    I also tried out a few products back from my Sephora sale haul - the tarte Tarteist Clay Paint Liner, the tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara, Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter in Sin (!!!!) and the Urban Decay Summer Bronzer in Bronzed.

    • FACE: I started off with the Smashbox Primer Oil which I have been lovinnnnnnn'! It leaves my skin so, so soft afterwards. Then I applied the tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation (in light neutral). I completely forgot concealer and went straight to bronzing with the UD Summer Bronzer in Bronzed and then highlighted with the UD Afterglow Highlighter in Sin which is amazing! No blush.
    • BROWS: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer in Medium Brown. I'm still kind of "meh" about this because I feel like it's not the same as "Ash Brown" if though they say it is. Haha.
    • EYES: MAC Paint Pot in Painterly as a base. Kat Von D Esperanza Palette on the eyes - Dog Roses in the crease, Galore on the inner lid and Placebo on the outer corner. Dog Roses on the lower lid. I'm pretty sure the lashes are just cheapy ones from Wish.
    • LIPS: Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick in Requiem

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016

    Play! by Sephora | July 2016: Effortless

    Helllllllllllllllo everyone! I swear, I meant to have this review out before the end of July but #fail. Fail so hard. I actually just found out my subscription to this was cancelled for next month because my credit card expired and I never put the new number in. I'm seriously on a roll, guys. So unfortunately, this will be my last review of the Play! by Sephora box as who knows how long it'll take to get back through the waitlist.

    July's theme was Effortless - "Calling all warm weather essentials and sunny standouts: this month we're taking on the long days and haute nights with a sultry selection that will keep you chic all summer long."

    What's in the box?

    • Blotterazzi by BeautyBlender ($20) - I'm a huge fan of the original BeautyBlender (who isn't?) so this was really cool to see in the bag.  I've read that this is supposed to blot without disturbing your makeup underneath. Unfortunately, I'm not really an oily person so I'm not sure how much usage I'll get out of it but hey, it's summer time, so there's always sweat!
    • Ouai Wave Spray ($26) - I've heard great things about Ouai before - especially this spray - so I was excited to see this as well. It's a super lightweight texturizing spray scented with the Ouai No. 2 fragrance of Italian lemon, amber and white musk. It's also infused with rice protein which is super moisturizing!
    • Nest Fragrances Citrine ($25-$68) - I love that there's always a new fragrance every month because that's pretty much how often I change mine lately. This scent is so on-trend for summer as it has notes of fresh lotus flower and freesia with citrus and precious woods (what is that?).
    • Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer ($16-$39) - This is such a cult-classic primer in the beauty blogger world. This silicone-based primer mattifies your skin, minimizes the sizes of your pores and keeps your makeup looking fresh for up to 8 hours.
    • First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay ($24) - I have quite a few FAB products already but not this one. It's a foaming gel cleanser that uses botanicals and red clay to cleanse your skin. I love clay cleansers and will probably buy this in full size!
    • Benefit Dew The Hoola Soft Matte Liquid Bronzer ($27) - Not quite sure why I had this in my bag as it doesn't show on the site that it's supposed to be but I'm assuming maybe it was a Too Faced Soleil Chocolate Bronzer substitution? Who knows. I already tried this and wasn't too thrilled with the results. This goes on very sheer, and granted I'm as pale as they come, and it just didn't seem to bronze my face the way it should. It gave a very, very light wash of a bronzer. Maybe this is meant for people more pale than I?
    What are your thoughts on the Play! by Sephora box?

    Monday, August 15, 2016

    #FOTD | Mermaid Vibes

    I feel like these last few weeks have just been a great week for finding things that I can consistently go back to and have some "good old favorites" again. It's been awhile, guys. I'm not sure if it's because pregnancy does some funky things to your skin and hair or what but it's nice to rely on some products.

    But before I share those, let's hop into this make up really quick. Apparently, I was channeling my inner mermaid because I went into today's face with literally no direction and came up with this.

    • FACE: I started out with Mojo Spa High Society Moisturizer (I just reviewed this here!) and have been OBSESSED with how nice my face feels before and after my makeup is on. Sometimes with other moisturizers, either my skin sucks the moisture in too fast or not fast enough leaving my makeup looking either too dry or sliding off my face. There's legit no in between. Except now! I'm SO impressed with this moisturizer. But anywho. Next, I used Urban Decay's One & Done Skin Perfector in Light. Another absolute favorite and my go-to lately! With the hot weather, I'm so impressed with how well this "skin perfector" (basically a balm or lightweight foundation) has been holding up. I can put this on in the morning and it hasn't budged by the end of the day. Two thumbs up, for sure! For concealer, I used It Cosmetics CC+ Concealer in Fair and set it with Vanilla from the ABH Contour Palette. For bronzer, I used Benefit Hoola and for blush I used Benefit Coralista.
    • EYES: I started with MAC Paint Pot in Painterly as a base and then patted Makeup Geek Vanilla Bean all over the lid to set it. This also helps the shadows on top, transition and blend into each other easier. In the crease, I took Makeup Geek Time Travel (swoon!) and blended it in. Then I went back in with MAC Painterly and "cleaned up" any Time Travel that got onto the lid - almost creating a cut-crease. Next, I patted Makeup Geek Confection on the lid and very lightly blended upward. Bottom lid is Time Travel blended out. Inner corner is Makeup Geek Shimma Shimma. Lashes are House of Lashes Iconic (still on the fence about these!). Brows are just Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer in Brunette.
    • LIPS: Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lovesick
    Not my normal "every day" look but I love, love, love playing with color! Would you rock something like this?

    Sunday, August 14, 2016

    PopSugar Must Have Box | July 2016

    Happy Sunday, everyone! It is sweltering here in Connecticut (or maybe it's just me) but this summer-themed box from PopSugar Must Have couldn't have come at a better time!

    If you haven't heard of the PopSugar Must Have Box, it's a monthly subscription box delivered straight to your door filled with full-sized home, beauty, food, fashion products (legit, one of my favorite subscription boxes!). They also have a "mini" option that contains a smaller amount of products for a lesser price per month. The full-size box will run you $39.95 a month, $109.85 for three (saving you $10) or $214.70 for six months (saving you $25). The mini box will run you $18.95 per month. PopSugar was sweet enough to give my readers the code SHOP5 (never expires) to give you $5 off your first box!

    What's in the box?

    • Sachajuan Hair In The Sun ($32) - The Hair In The Sun cream is basically a super lightweight, styling serum that protects your hair with a UVQ protectant. The difference between UVQ vs. UVA is that this does not penetrate the skin like a sunscreen does (knowledge is power!) so it literally just lays on the hair and protects it. It will not come off unless you use shampoo which is really nice if you're taking a dip in the pool!
    • House of Pom Emoji Cocktail Napkins ($25) - These adorable cocktail napkins are exclusive to PopSugar and are perfect to create that summer-feel with every drink served.
    • Michael Stars Porcelain Skinny Scarf in White ($30) - My mom loves looking through the boxes I receive and this immediately caught her eye (and somehow ended up in her purse!). The scarf is incredibly lightweight and thin for multi-use. You can wrap it around your neck, in your hair or even just drape it. It's super soft as well!
    • Pintrill Pineapple Pin ($12) - Okay. like, how adorable is this? I'm not even into pins that much but I absolutely fell in love with this cutie. While I don't normally rock them on my clothes, I do like pinning them on scarves or even my handbags! 
    • Sunnylife Inflatable Swan Drink Holder ($18) - Who knew that this would be the item I (as well as my son) loved the most? I like to put my drinks in it, he likes to ride it. Multi-use, right? It comes with four pockets for drinks or the what-not so you can lounge in the pool with a beverage floating beside you at all times.
    • European Wax Center Oh My Brow! Brow Highlighter in Pearl ($19) - Who doesn't love a good highlighter/illuminator right now? The Oh My Brow! Brow Highlighter in Pearl is a gorgeous white pearl that is super flattering in the inner corner, under the brow, above the cupid's bow or along the cheekbones.
    • Joe Chips Classic Sea Salt Retro Potato Chips ($1.49) - Oh, PopSugar. You know the way to a pregnant woman's heart. This chips were all that and - er, a bag of chips! Keepin' it classic with sea salt, made these perfect for everyone to snack on!
    • Trove Gift Card - This was hiding underneath all the papers in the box so I missed it in the picture! Trove has customizable jewelry that I can't wait to check out!
    Shop | Buy

    Friday, August 12, 2016

    Baby | What's In My Bag: After Becoming A Mom Edition

    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpeakFreelyCarefree#CollectiveBias

    Morning everyone! I was warned that things would change once you become a mom. Your priorities, your opinions on different things, your overall outlook on life - and what's in your purse! I'm not even talking about trading out your lipsticks for some diapers and wipes. I'm talking about super random things that you never, ever thought you'd have in there but are total life necessities now.

    I've compiled a list (simply by pouring out my purse-turned-diaper-bag) and thought I'd share with you what I keep in my bag to keep life's little surprises at bay (some are pictured below, some are hidden so far under a layer of crumbs - but I promise they're there):
    • Mints - Seems harmless enough, right? Except these are more for those days when you are running out of the house, are already halfway to your destination and remember you forgot to brush your teeth. Nothing says a toothbrush replacement like a yummy, vanilla mint.
    • Deodorant - Another precautionary item in my bag! Have I emphasized how often it is that I run out of the house, sometimes still in my pajama shirt and yogas? Keeping a travel-sized deodorant in my purse is great for those kind of days where I just forget everything and need to pull myself together in the car. Also, since having a child, I sweat - like, a lot so having this is convenient for those times as well.
    • CAREFREE Acti-Fresh Thin Liners - These liners are an absolute necessity for so many different reasons! Analogy time: a diaper to my son, are these liners to me. Remember when I was talking about "life's little surprises" earlier? These total cover that! I wasn't joking when I said lots of things change when you become a mom. Like, how terrifying it is to have horrible allergies after having a child. Or just sneezing in general. Or being pregnant and having your unborn child give a nice, sweet hug to your bladder. It happens to the best of us but now I don't need to worry (and don't have to pack extra underwear) with these babies in my bag. Thanks to their cotton-like fibers bonded together, they move with me and keep me feeling fresh. I also really like the Carefree Acti-Fresh Original Regulars which are slightly bigger but still thin enough that it feels like I'm not wearing anything. They, too, have a unique odor control system so there's no worries throughout the day. *Right now, CAREFREE liners are 10% off on Target's Cartwheel app (LOVE this app!). Runs 6/27 - 8/7.
    • Hair Ties / Bobby Pins - These are staples in my life! With a toddler, getting into the shower is a mission in and of itself. When those days just don't happen, hair ties and bobby pins help me throw my hair into a messy mom bun and get stuff done.
    • Toy cars - Guys, I have a parking lot in my purse. Like, I could never imagine having this many toy cars in my bag ever. My toddler is obsessed with them! There's nothing more fun than fumbling for your wallet at a checkout and pulling out a miniature souped up ambulance and a bright pink Evo.
    • Breast Pads - These might not be necessary for everyone but for a mommy due in a few weeks (or a mommy that has just had a baby), these are fabulous to have on hand. And lots of them! If you find yourself without breast pads, you can cut a CAREFREE liner in half and stick them into your bra to absorb any milk leakage.

    I, like many moms, do lots of my shopping at Target! Since we've moved, it's been so convenient being about ten minutes away. They have this amazing Cartwheel app that has different percentage off offers every week - only for Cartwheel users! All you do is download the offers you want onto your phone, scan the barcode and enjoy! Right now, they have CAREFREE liners 10% off on the app - runs 6/27 - 8/7.

     What are your absolute necessities kept in your handbag, especially now that you've had children?

    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpeakFreelyCarefree#CollectiveBias

    Baby | DockATot Grand Dock - Review

    * Product sent for review but all opinions are my own. Thank you, DockATot!

    Warning: This post is super text and picture-heavy but I feel like when you're talking about sleeping and children, there's always a lot to cover! :)

    As a first time mom and since the night we brought him home from the hospital, I wanted to hold Hunter all the time and I personally didn't like putting him in the bassinet next to our bed (because breastfeeding + laziness + totally worry-wart) so I ended up safely co-sleeping with him until he was about 11 months old and then we moved him into a crib when it seemed like he really wasn't into co-sleeping anymore. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to really make a difference.

    Months turned into a year and then more and we started getting exhausted AF. At almost a year and a half, Hunter still wasn't even close to sleeping through the night (getting up about two to three times a night to nurse) but being pregnant, I was EXTRA tired, so I started looking up gentle sleeping methods, night weaning - even different stuffed animals that played white noise - you name it and we've probably tried it (minus crying it out) and nothing has really worked. 

    I was honestly about to just suck it up (and take up a huge stock in Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts) when I came across The DockATot! I had read about the company quite a few times through different bloggers with amazing, glowing reviews and always kept in the back of my mind if we ever had the money for it, I would totally get one! Eventually, with baby #2 on the way, I reached out to DockATot and was so incredibly lucky to have them send me a DockATot Grand Dock to try out with Hunter.

    DockATot offers two different stage docks:
    • the Deluxe Dock ($165-$185) which is for newborns to eight months old. The length is 18 inches wide x 29 inches long with the clasps at the end closed (clasps are recommended to not be closed while in use). This size is perfect for co-sleeping, tummy time, playing, cuddling, changing or just hanging out. This is also great for vacations as it keeps everything sleeping-wise consistent when you're in a different place which helps babies sleep better.
    • the Grand Dock ($260-$290) which is for nine months - 36 months old. Length is 24 inches wide x 39 inches with the clasps at the end closed (clasps are recommended to not be closed while in use). This size is great for bed transitioning (the sides are basically breathable bed rails), hanging out on or just resting. We actually brought this with us on vacation the first week we had it and it helped tremendously but I'll get more into that below.

    Each dock for both stages have the following certifications: 

    • Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Class 1 certified (EU)
    • All components are Intertek tested and proven free from harmful substances
    • US CPSIA 2008 compliant
    • 16 CRF 1632 flammability test compliant
    • Free from phthalates and heavy metals
    • 16 CFR 1500.50 small parts and use & abuse test compliant
    • ASTM F-963-11 compliant
    • California Bulletins 116 and 117 flammability test compliant
    • California Proposition 65 compliant
    • Resistant to ignition according to BS5852 (UK)
    • Both mattress pad and bumper have great air-permeability and comply with BS4578.
    • All materials are removeable and washable.
    • Materials are non-toxic.
    So like I mentioned above, naturally, the first week we received this, we were heading on vacation to the Poconos but brought the DockATot with us. That would also be the first time that Hunter would be trying it out since we didn't get a chance to try it at home so it was really up in the air if it would make a difference or not. The DockATot (seen above) comes with a traveling case which was amazing for traveling so we didn't have to worry about it getting dirty. We also kept all of his sleeping stuff (his stuffed wolf, blankets, pillow) in there so nothing got lost and stayed together.

    Honestly, that weekend was so tough to test the DockATot out. Him even sleeping longer than three hours at a time was a blessing as our A/C in the hotel room broke the first night so it was ridiculously hot in our room. Still, Hunter slept better than l thought he would in the DockATot but he did wake up a few times. The next night at the hotel was MUCH better and but he still woke up a few times. Nothing amazing really happened and I was starting to think I put all in my eggs into a very expensive basket for nothing.

    Once we headed back home and got back into the swing of things, we ended up placing the DockATot in his toddler bed one night and hoped for the best. The first night, he slept for six hours straight (longest like, ever!) but honestly, ever since that night, it hasn't really happened again. Kind of a bummer, I know but it's only been a month. We still have high hopes! But there is a silver lining for us because...

    HIS NAPS HAVE BECOME AMAZING! His naps have significantly lengthened from maybe 45 minutes to almost three hours! We've had the DockATot for about a month now and this longer-nap-thang started almost immediately when we came home from vacation. Even though he still doesn't sleep through the night, I did notice his sleep, in general, seems to be better. Does that make sense? Haha. While the quantity of sleep hasn't changed much, the quality definitely has. Even putting him down in it is much, much easier!

    I personally like the DockATot because of how soft and truly cozy it is. Heck, I've laid around in it and it's pretty amazing. I've also put my face into the corners to see just how well you can breathe it (am I the only one who does that?) and am proud to say that it seems fine and breathable to me. Another great feature is that everything is removable, washable and replaceable (if need be). They also have the cutest covers ever!

    All of that being said, would I recommend the DockATot to my readers? Actually, yes. Surprised? While we didn't have those "glowing" results (yet!) per say and Hunter's still not miraculously sleeping through the night, I feel like the DockATot has changed his sleep in a way I don't think myself and fiance could've changed by ourselves in a month. Like I said, nap time has become an absolute dream. The quality of his sleep has definitely changed too, for the better. He doesn't seem so grumpy when he wakes up and I've even caught him in there, just hanging out on it.

    Is it worth the price? I think when you're just this tired, anything is worth a certain price if it helps you out. I do think that if we had this when Hunter was first born, things would probably be completely different (but what do I know?)! The DockATot mimics a "womb-like" effect and I definitely think that helps in the sleeping process - kind of like me and my Snoogle right now!

    Bottom line: While our toddler still doesn't sleep through the night, the quality of sleep has changed for the better. Putting him down is easier and his naps have lengthened significantly from the DockATot! I highly recommend, especially if you're co-sleeping!

    ShopBuy ($165-$290)
    * Product sent for review but all opinions are my own. Thank you, DockATot!
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    Wednesday, August 10, 2016

    Baby | What's In My Hospital Bag (2nd Time Around)

    Well guys. It's official. I'm 38 weeks and four days pregnant today (this post has been sitting here for so long that I've edited how pregnant I am four different times already!) - and just now started on my hospital bag.

    I realize I'm probably more "seasoned" this time because I already know what I want/need to bring versus what I thought I needed. So as an almost-second time mommy, I'm here to hopefully calm your nerves if you're doing this for the first time and share what exactly you need and don't need.

    Before even packing your bag. I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend finding out what exactly your hospital will supply you and your baby with while you're there (also ask if they have pull out beds for your S/O) because that will save on bag space. For example, our hospital provided diapers, wipes, diaper cream, formula, breast pumps, Lansinoh Lanolin for your nipples, mesh underwear, Dermoplast, Tucks, a peri bottle, swaddles, hats and a water jug (basically, everything). For laboring, they also provided a yoga ball to bounce on and I'm pretty sure there were other options that I can't remember.

    All of this (minus the breast pump) was allowed to go home with us as well and we could ask for seconds, thirds and fourths. I repeat, do not hesitate to take these things! If you're planning on breastfeeding/pumping, your insurance may cover a pump and send you one within a few days of your due date without any issues. Obviously, you'll have to schedule this before you give birth and then update them once you get out and they usually overnight to you.

    Okay. Now for what's in the bag? Keep in mind, this is what I need/ed. Maybe you want music to labor to, prefer wearing slippers or want to give birth naked. I suggest you really think about what would makes you the comfiest and most relaxed and kind of go with that. Also, there's nothing wrong with overpacking. That being said, better to have than not and wish you did, y'know?

    What's in my hospital bag?

    • Nightgown - I'll be delivering at the same hospital I had Hunter again. I actually remember when I went for my hospital tour, that it was insanely cold and noted to bring warm clothes. SIKE! I had packed a nightgown, robe, etc. and ended up living in just my nightgown for the two days we were there because I was actually so hot after giving birth. The nightgown was nursing friendly, easy access so the nurses could check me out and dark colored. I will definitely be bringing something like this again with me this time around as it worked out fabulously and suggest bringing something like this at least for the first night (the nurses do a lot of checking).
    • A Comfy Outfit - Even though it wasn't needed for me last time,  I'm still throwing an extra outfit in, just in case. Just a baggy t-shirt and yogas will do!There's no harm in bringing in an extra outfit in case something happens to the first.
    • Going Home Outfit - While mine will be yogas and a baggy shirt, other great options are: maxi dresses, nursing tanks, tees - basically anything that stretches and doesn't cling. Most of the time, you'll retain some water and fluids after birth so the rule of thumb is to bring something that fits you as if you were six months pregnant still. If you end up having a c-section, I can only imagine there'd be nothing worse than restricting clothing that rubs on my cut. Ouch! Baggy clothes, it is.
    • Nursing Bras + Large Underwear - YES, YES, YES. Even though my milk didn't come in until three to four days after birth and they gave me mesh underwear with the works, I recommend bringing these with you. The large underwear is a great option if you're not comfy in the mesh underwear offered (just use a large pad with your underwear instead). I personally like boy shorts for extra comfort. The nursing bra was great for easy access when feeding the baby in the hospital so I'll be bringing both this time around again. I've also heard Depends Silhouettes are the bee's knees and while I won't be bringing them, I'll have them for me when I get home.
    • Your Own Towel + Flip Flops - After I gave birth to my son last time, I was able to take a shower! Thank God for bringing my own towel and flip flops! Let's be real, the showers have seen things, man, and I was ever grateful to have these with me. Unless your hospital freelances as a fancy hotel on the side, their towels probably aren't going to be that great. I ended up bringing my own towel last time but didn't grab one for my hair and ended up having to use theirs. It was SO scratchy, small and didn't really dry me off. Having my own comfy towel was the best decision like, ever. Having my own flip flops also came in handy while walking around laboring and was even part of my super fancy leaving-the-hospital-outfit because I was SO swollen from giving birth and the fluids given to you afterward, that they were all I could wear. Totally blessing.
    • Phone/Phone Charger + Camera/Camera Charger - I didn't bring my camera last time and really wished I had. Granted, my phone's camera was fine and got the job done but I'll definitely be bringing my camera this time around for better pictures. Plus, I think I'm just more into photography this time and have a new lens I want to try out ;)
    • Makeup Bag - I wasn't going to but this is one of those "better safe than sorry" things. I'll be bringing a makeup bag again (even though I didn't use it last time), just in case! I'm just going to bring the bare necessities though - Urban Decay One & Done Skin Perfector (my absolute favorite super lightweight foundation that can be applied with your fingers if need be), a concealer, mascara, brow pencil, bronzer and blush. I'll probably also throw in my Batiste Dry Shampoo (fabulous for if you've been sweating and need something to soak up all the oil), deodorant, hair ties and sanitizer. 
    • Snacks - I didn't bring any snacks with my first son two years ago because I feel like everything happened so fast that I didn't even have time to think about being hungry but I'll bring some mints and light snacks for my fiance, at the very least.
    • Other suggestions: I thought I add them into my list in case others might want to even though I won't - iPod or iPad/tablet, magazines/book, tennis balls (to roll and massage your back), a comfy pillow from home, a Boppy/My Breast Friend for breastfeeding, lip balm, robe, slippers and/or candies/thank you's for the nurses.
    Make sure your S/O packs a bag as well and to bring any insurance information, ID's, things like that. As for the baby, I usually pack a diaper bag for them. If you guys would like to see an updated post on that, let me know! If not (or you need it now), I have a list here of what I brought with my first son.

    What is something you wished you brought to the hospital? What's one thing you didn't need? Let me know in the comments!
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    Thursday, August 4, 2016

    Mojo Spa High Society Moisturizer, Illuminata Illuminating Face Cream & Beach Bum Styling Cream | Review

    Reason #23230034 I know I'm tired: When I think I've already posted all about these products already, took pictures and edited them, end up searching my blog like a freak looking for the review, just to find that I deleted the pictures and a post was never done.

    Someone send help in the form of three straight days of uninterrupted sleep.

    Anyway, onto the official, real, totally here post all about Mojo Spa - a company from Chicago that prides themselves on totally awesome, handmade products "where beauty meets comfort". They've really cornered the market with products ranging from skincare to haircare to cosmetics to nails and just about everything in between. Seriously. Mojo Spa is a one-stop-shop!

    I was so, so incredibly lucky enough to be approached by Kaylyn from Mojo Spa to try out a few products so I picked out a few of their most popular ones to share with you guys. Let's hop in!

    Mojo Spa Beach Bum Texturizing Styling Cream ($15) - A bestseller from Mojo Spa, this lightweight texturizing cream is made with hazelnut oil (nourishes without leaving behind a greasy residue), castor oil (protects against moisture loss), sea salt and light reflecting crystals for that "just back from the beach" look - without all the sand in weird places and awkward sunburns. I'm always leary of "cream" hair products because my hair is so thin and even the lightest cream can send my hair to Slick City. Thankfully, the Beam Bum cream does not weigh my hair down. I apply a small amount (I'm talking dime-sized) to my roots and work my way up, but not really getting to the root area. I then flip my head down and scrunch my hair together. I've applied this on both dry and wet hair and have absolutely loved both results!

    High Society Purifying Luxury Moisturizer ($35) - Another bestseller from Mojo Spa, this moisturizer is made with Truffle Oil (contains high levels of Vitamin B Complex), Lavender and Neroli water and Honey Powder. The Lavender water is actually made fresh by infusing lavender flowers into the water which then goes into the cream and then is mixed with Lavender oil to tighten and maintain your skin. This is, hands down, my absolute favorite moisturizer right now. I've been wearing this by itself and under foundation and have never had my skin feel smoother and more moisturized.

    Illuminata Illuminating Herbal Face Cream ($30) - Lastly, we have a 20-different-herb-fruit-and-flower blended face cream that acts as a primer, moisturizer and luminizer - all in one! I really liked this but the scent is insanely strong. I can't pinpoint what the scent is, exactly, but I just know it's somewhat overwhelming when you apply it to your face but it does fade away eventually. I used this as a primer the other day and loved how well it performed underneath my makeup. There is some type of illuminating situation going on but again, I can't pinpoint it. It's not glitter or shimmer. It's just this amazing glow! I love it but I do wish the scent was toned down a little.

    The Beach Bum Texturizing Styling Cream has a smooth, balm-type consistency while the High Society Moisturizer is a very light cream moisturizer that your skin just drinks up without leaving behind any residue.

    Overall: If you haven't heard of Mojo Spa, or maybe you've been on the fence about ordering from them, let this review totally sway you to the "you gotta get it!" side! I'm so thrilled with the results from these three products. If I had to choose just one product to totally sell you on, it would be the High Society Moisturizer. It pretty quickly turned into my holy grail moisturizer and I haven't looked back since! They actually have a whole "High Society" line that I need to check out. If you're looking for a lightweight texturizing balm for that sexy beach hair look, the Beach Bum cream is for you! Lastly, if you're in the market for a glow-from-within luminizing face cream (and can wait a few minutes for the scent to fade), the Illuminata Illuminating Face Cream is perfect for you! 

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    * Products were sent for consideration.
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