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Hilary

    Lifestyle, Pregnancy & Baby

    Nolan’s Birth Story

    Nolan's Birth Story

    I am very happy to introduce my baby boy Nolan to you!

    He was born on February 15, at 9:32 AM weighing 8 pounds 9.5 oz and was 21 inches long.


    On February 7, I had my 40 week OB appointment which I honestly, and my doctor too, didn’t think I would hit. At my appointment, I found out that I wasn’t dilated and clearly baby boy was very comfortable staying where he was. Since I wasn’t dilated and hit the 40-week mark, my doctor scheduled me for induction a week later and to be honest I was a bit sad as I really wanted to go into labour naturally. Still, there was hope that it may happen before my induction date but Valentine’s Day finally came and still no signs of labour. I was now 41 weeks and it certainly felt like it too and was ready to meet my son. I was told that the hospital would call me on my induction take and tell me when to come in and if I didn’t hear from them by 3:00 that I was to call them. I got no sleep the night before because I was so anxious, nervous and excited. I had my phone by me the entire morning waiting for it to ring, but 3:00 came and I gave them a call to see if there was any updates. I was told that there weren’t any available beds at the moment and to check back at 8 pm that evening. 15 minutes before 8, I get a call from the hospital saying that they were ready for me to come in and get the show on the road. It was finally happening!

    My fiance and I were sitting on the couch when we got the call, and we just sat there for a moment soaking it all in. It was time! We quickly put on our coats, packed our hospital bags in the car and off we went to the hospital. We arrived just before 8:30 and were checked into the Labour & Assessment unit and I was then hooked up to monitors so they could track babies heart rate. After that, a doctor came in and explained that they would be using Cervidil, a cervical gel that ripens the cervix, to try and get labour started. However, when they checked me it turned out that I was 2 cm dilated so they were going to put me into a birthing suite and go straight into breaking my water.

    Nolan's Birth Story

    Since there were so many ladies that went into labour that day, hence the late arrival at the hospital, I didn’t get into my birthing suite until after midnight. I was running off only a few hours sleep from the night before and I was very tired at this point. The room was extremely nice and I was then hooked up again to some monitors while I was waiting. At 1:20, the doctor came in and it was finally time for them to break my water. It was honestly the most awkward feeling ever and something I’ll never forget. About an hour later I was started on Pitocin, which is something that I was not looking forward to in the slightest, and my contractions picked up very quickly. It started off as light period-like cramps, very manageable, to excruciating pain in the span of 2 hours. My contractions were starting to come on top of each other and I didn’t even have a chance to relax.

    When the pain got to be too much I asked for an epidural and had the most amazing anesthesiologist and nurse anyone could ask for. I was told to lean forward while hugging a pillow, and to be extremely still while they were doing the procedure. My nurse held onto my shoulders and was extremely supportive, telling me that I was doing amazing and I can’t thank her enough for that. They talked me through the entire procedure, explaining what they were doing, and it honestly was not painful in the slightest. Almost instantly I felt the pain from the contractions subside drastically and I was finally able to catch my breath and relax.

    Nolan's Birth Story

    The epidural numbed me pretty well, mostly on my right hand side, but I could still feel a bit on my left which apparently is common, but this turned out to be an advantage in the end. If the pain picked up too much, I was able to push a button and give myself an extra dose which was really helpful and I was then left to try and get some sleep. I only got about an hour or so of sleep as I had nurses coming in from time to time, checking in on me and checking my dilation. I went from 3 cm dilated to 9 1/2 cm in just the span of a few hours and before I knew it I was told that it was time for me to start pushing. At this point I was feeling very ill from the drugs that I threw up quite a few times which wasn’t pleasant.

    I did a few rounds of pushing before my doctor came in and found that baby’s body was transverse and that he’d need to be turned. This was the most painful part of my entire delivery and caused me to bleed quite a bit. Once he was turned he was finally starting to progress down, but with every contraction I was having his heart rate was dropping. After about 20-30 minutes of pushing they said that they were going to get the vacuum ready because he needed to come out as soon as possible because of his heart rate, but luckily after three more pushes he finally came out without any intervention which was such a relief.

    When he was placed on my chest it was truly the most remarkable thing I have ever experienced in my life and I felt so complete. I couldn’t believe that he was finally here and I was holding him, staring at his beautiful face and him looking back up at me with his beautiful blue eyes. I couldn’t help but cry because he was the most adorable thing that I had ever seen, and I had never seen my fiance so happy. I unfortunately during delivery developed a tear (ouch) so recovery has been difficult for me, but I am working through it. It’s all been worth it now that Nolan is finally here!


    I want to thank all of you that have sent me such lovely messages on Twitter and Instagram wishing us well. I am so extremely excited to be starting this new chapter in my life and sharing it with you here!

    Thank you so much for reading!

     

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    Beauty

    MAC Blush Collection

    MAC Blush Collection

    My first introduction to MAC, and makeup in general, was when I was around 8 or 9 and my cousins used to put makeup on me for fun when I would visit. They’d go all out and it was truly a sight to see – I wish I had pictures. I remember them dipping their brush into MAC blushes and eyeshadows and it was always such a fun time that I’ll never forget.

    When I first started experimenting with more higher end products, MAC was the first store that I went to. Since then, I now have an unhealthy obsession with their lipsticks and always enjoy adding new products to my collection. Now while I don’t have the largest MAC blush stash, I thought I’d share the ones that I do have as they are truly beautiful.


    Pink Swoon is a great option for my pale girls out there, as it’s a very cool-toned baby pink shade. This was the first MAC blush I purchased and I still love it, especially during the Spring. It’s a sheertone formula so it blends out very easily onto the cheeks but can be built up with multiple layers.

    Speaking of shades that are perfect for Spring, What I Fancy is one of my top picks. It came out with their Flamingo Park collection last year, and it’s a bright peachy pink blush that really livens up the face. It is a satin finish and too can be worn sheer, or built up for more colour.

    Next is Ripe For Love, which is a beautiful coral shade with a hint of peach. This blush takes a bit of building up to get true colour pay off, but I am a fan of more sheer blushes on me personally. I find some coral blushes can be a bit harsh against my fair skin, especially if they lean way into the warm/orange spectrum, but this one still works nicely. This is also a satin blush, but it does have the tiniest amount of golden shimmers throughout.

    When I think of MAC blushes, I instantly think of their mineralize line. The gorgeous marbled pattern and stunning sheen that they give to the cheeks is undeniably beautiful. Dainty is a shade that you need to have in your collection as it’s such a flattering shade of pink. It does have some gold shimmer in it which I think adds that little bit of something extra to the cheeks.

    Lastly, Gentle is another mineralize blush and is a medium rosy pink. I think you can tell by now that I love my pink and peach blushes. This too has some golden shimmer throughout, but I find that it blends away when applying it to the cheeks and only leaves that beautiful sheen behind. I find that MAC’s mineralizes blushes look the most natural on the skin which I love.

    MAC Blush Collection Swatches


    I am really wanting to expand my blush collection and currently have Margin, Harmony, Peachtwist and Love Joy on my wishlist. It’s safe to say that MAC is one of my favourite makeup brands and never disappoints!

    What are your favourite MAC blushes?

     

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    Beauty, Lifestyle

    Easy Ways To Pamper Yourself This Valentine’s Day

    Valentine's Day is the perfect time to give yourself some much needed pampering!

    Valentine's Day is the perfect time to give yourself some much needed pampering!

    Now while I won’t be having your typical Valentine’s Day (my induction date is scheduled for the 14th!), I wanted to share some ways that you can pamper yourself on Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re going out for a romantic night on the town, or chilling with your partner in your pj’s with Netflix and takeout, there’s nothing wrong with a little pamper session.


    Set the mood

    This could be anything from lighting your favourite candles, putting on your favourite Spotify playlist, painting your nails or even cooking that killer dish you mastered. Doing things that you love, I mean what better day to do so than Valentine’s, can really help set the tone for the day or evening.

    Take a soak

    Not surprising, but taking a bath can really help to get you in that special V-day mood. I always feel so pampered when I get into a steaming hot bath, bubbles included, and just have time to relax. Bring in a good book, turn on some tunes or maybe even invite your honey (no shame!) and you will step out feeling like brand new. Self-love and self-care are so incredibly important and we all need to schedule time in for ourselves even when we feel there isn’t any.

    Valentine's Day is the perfect time to give yourself some much needed pampering!

    Valentine's Day is the perfect time to give yourself some much needed pampering!

    Treat your skin

    I am a huge lover of serums and face masks and like to take the time to pamper my skin. If you’re planning on wearing makeup then you’re going to need a good base to work with. Pop on a face mask, my favourite is Oatifix from LUSH, and a serum like the SkinFix Moisture Boost. In Canada it’s quite cold and dry, so hydration is key for me. If you’re in a pinch for time, then apply it while you’re in the bath. It’ll truly make it feel like a spa experience!

    Perfect your pout

    Get your pout in tip-top shape by treating your lips to a little pampering as well. Slough away any dryness with a lip scrub to smooth out the lips, and follow up with a lip repair balm. Finish off by applying your favourite lipstick and you’re all set.


    Those are just a few ways that you can give yourself some much needed “me time” this Valentine’s Day (or any day really) and I’d love to know what your favourite ways to unwind and destress are. Is it settling in with a good book? Going out for a long walk? Let me know!

    What are your Valentine’s Day plans?

     

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    Battle Of The Brow Gels

    Battle Of The Brow Gels

    Battle Of The Brow Gels

    It’s no surprise that I am a lover of brows as I talk about them all the time on my blog, and I have managed to accumulate quite the selection of brow products. I was going through my collection and thought that I would be a great idea to put some of my brow gels to the test and see which ones are true holy grails and which ones are just average. Let’s jump right in.

    Benefit Gimme Brow ($30)

    I bet you aren’t shocked to see this on the list, are you? This product is on it’s last few uses and definitely due for a repurchase soon. I absolutely love the tiny brush that this comes with because I do not have the thickest of brows and really like to be precise with my application. In terms of formula, it’s not too wet or too dry, it lands somewhere in between. This product boasts about having volumizing fibers, and you can build up the volume with a few coats, but I find that this gel just smooths over your brows without adding too much. It’s a nice no fuss option gel that will work for anyone.

    Clinique Just Browsing Brush-On Styling Mousse ($21)

    This product feels like nothing when it’s applied to the brows and really fills them in nicely and don’t leave your brows looking flat. It gives the most volume and definition, but I do find that there can be a bit of flaking with this gel as it is on the dry side. Once applied, your brows will not budge or move throughout the day and it too is also water resistant. As for the wand and the packaging, it is nearly identical to Benefit’s and is a few dollars cheaper. If you want a product that is really going to give you those thick, Instagram-worthy brows with just a few strokes, this is one to try out and truly takes the cake for me.

    Mirabella Brow Shaper ($25)

    I have been using the Mirabella brow pencils on and off for over well a year now, and have really enjoyed them. This product is one that I don’t reach for as often because this gel has a huge brush, the size of your standard mascara wand, and can be quite difficult to work with. The drier formula, which I prefer, adds nice volume to your brows, fills in gaps and makes them look very polished over and uniform. A big downside is that the brow shaper only comes in one shade, so it won’t be an option for everyone. If Mirabella added more shades to the range and changed the wand that would be fantastic.

    Eyeko Brow Gel ($25)

    This is a brow gel that Shannon from Shaaanxo used to rave about on her Youtube channel all the time and out of the four brow gels I’m mentioning, this one is the most basic. It comes with a small brush which makes application easy, but I find that it has a very wet formula that leaves a sheen on the brows and can tend to rub off any product placed underneath if you’re not careful. This does have a cool-toned tint to it which I like, and I this gel defined my naturals hairs more rather than adding volume to them with fibers like the previous ones. If you’re looking for a brow setter that will just set your hairs in place with a tint of colour and no other frills, then this is for you.

    What are your favourite brow gels?

     

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    Bite Beauty The Lip Pencil Review

    Bite Beauty The Lip Pencil Review + Swatches

    Bite Beauty The Lip Pencil Review + Swatches

    Bite Beauty, a lip brand that’s known and adored by many, recently launched a line of covetable lip pencils. They make the most amazing lipsticks so it was only time before they expanded their line to include pencils as well. I got to test these out courtesy of Influenster so that I could share my thoughts on this new release with you!

    Bite’s The Lip Pencil ($20 CAD) was inspired by many different lip-tone shades, 22 to be exact, and were designed to provide an effortlessly natural look. These pencils have a very creamy and lightweight formula that glides on the lips easily with no tugging. Even with their creamier formula, these pencils aren’t too soft where they are hard to work with, easily break off or slide around the lip line. These are highly pigmented pencils, as you would expect from Bite Beauty, and can even be worn on their own they are so comfortable.

    These pencils come in traditional wooden barrels, which I personally prefer as I like to sharpen my pencils to get a very precise point, though some might see this as a drawback. Bite have kept in theme with the rest of their collection by packaging these pencils in their signature matte gray aesthetic. To make finding your desired shade easier, the lip pencils also have a color indicator at the end of them which is always appreciated.

    The two lip pencils I received are in the shades Beige Nude and Rich Mahogany. I was even provided with two mini Amuse Bouche lipsticks to compliment the liner shades in Honeycomb and Whiskey. Nude Beige and Honeycomb create that signature 90’s nude brown lip look that many love, but with just a hint of pink. Rich Mahogany and Whiskey create, you guessed it, a dark mahogany shade with a red undertone. It’s definitely not a colour that suits my skin tone by any means, but it was fun to experiment with nonetheless.

    I am really impressed, though not surprised, by how amazing these lip pencils are. The texture and formula is right on point, they don’t budge or smudge around the lip line and improve the wear time of your lipstick. As if that wasn’t all, the wide range of natural colours that also compliment their Amuse Bouche lipsticks make it easy to create your perfect lip combination. What more could you want?

    Will you be picking up these lip pencils from Bite Beauty?

     

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    5 Beauty Tools That Can Make Your Beauty Routine Easier

    5 Beauty Tools Designed To Make Your Beauty Routine Easier

    Different beauty tools are always popping up on the market with the promises of making your routine just that little bit easier. I am always intrigued to see new gadgets that companies come out with and I’ve rounded up some different items, some you may have already seen and maybe some you haven’t, as I thought it would make for an interesting post. You’ll definitely want to add some of these beauty tools to your wishlist!

    SpongeDry

    This product was created to keep your beauty sponges in one place, and also provide a place for them to dry after use. You don’t want to be leaving your used sponges on your vanity table, so placing your beauty blender in a holder like this seems like a pretty ingenious idea. It’s also travel friendly and can be taken with you on the go. Pretty cool, right? I think I may have to pick one of these up!

    Color Switch

    I have been wanting to get my hands on this product for a while, and have since added it to my Sephora cart. The concept of this product is that you can switch different eyeshadows (or any other powder product) without having to change to a different brush just by swirling it over the dry sponge. This would work particularly well if you don’t have a lot of makeup brushes in your collection and need to spot clean a brush so you can use it again.

    Brush Cleaning Mat

    Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly look forward to cleaning my makeup brushes on the weekly. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing better than having all your makeup brushes fresh and clean, but the time it takes to do so can be daunting. Sigma has come out with a few different brush cleaning devices that really speed up the process by providing a textured surface to swirl your eye and face brushes on to remove all the makeup and give your brushes the deep clean they deserve.

    Dry N Shape Tower

    While we are on the topic of makeup brushes, this product goes hand in hand with the brush cleaning mat I mentioned above. Storing your brushes upside down to dry is the best way to prolong their life. Water that gets stuck in the barrel of your brush loosens the glue that holds the hairs in place, and subsequently cause your brush to fall apart. Trust me, it’s happened to me before. This tower allows your brushes to be stored upside down and also helps keep their shape so the hairs don’t become splayed.

    HiMirror

    I saw an article for this product last month and was completely blown away by it. The HiMirror assesses the condition of your skin and helps you monitor it’s progress when using different skin care products based on the areas you are targeting. So if you were ever wondering if a product was truly working for you, this mirror will give you all the deets in the skin summary section. This is definitely an innovative product that I can see myself investing in!


    Have you tried any of these beauty tools?

     

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    Tips To Keep Your Fragrance Lasting Longer

    Tips To Keep Your Fragrance Lasting Longer

    I am one of those people that love perusing the perfume aisles at Sephora, testing anything that catches my eye. I love collecting different fragrances and switching up my scent up depending on the time of day, my mood – you name it. I always find myself falling in love with new perfumes because there are just so many lovely ones out there to choose from. We spend so much time trying to find our perfect signature scent and of course, we want it to last all day long, right? I’ve put together a list of really easy tips to help prolong the wear of your fragrances!

    Apply your scent after your shower

    After a nice hot shower, the steam and moisture help to open up the pores on your skin. Spraying your perfume onto damp skin after hopping out of the shower will help keep your scent in place.

    Apply your scent after you moisturize

    Use a corresponding moisturizer that accompanies your fragrance, or one that is unscented before spritzing. The fragrance will stick to the lotion and be absorbed into the skin making it last longer.

    Choose a scent with stronger notes

    Lighter smelling fragrances typically don’t perform as well as those with stronger, bolder notes. Base notes are the final and longest lasting notes in a fragrance, so choosing a scent with vanilla, musk (any many others) are known to linger longer on the skin.

    Use FragranceLock spray

    One of the easiest ways to keep your fragrance lasting all day long is using a fragrance locking spray. FragranceLock* ($30 USD | $39 CAD) is a product recently launched and has already taken the beauty world by storm for its innovative and easy to use concept. You spray your fragrance of choice onto your skin or clothes, let it dry and then finish off with a spritz of this spray over top and it locks it into place. Simple, right? I’ve been testing it for a few weeks and have honestly seen a difference in the longevity of my fragrances, it’s incredible! Available on The Shopping Channel.

     

    Do you have any tips for prolonging the wear of your fragrances?

     

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    4 Tips To Keep Your Fragrance Lasting Longer

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