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    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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    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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    Goodbye 2016!

    Goodbye, 2016 | The Beauty Collective

    At the beginning of 2016, I said to myself that this was going to be my year and what a year it has been. It’s been a whirlwind with so many ups, downs, and unexpected surprises. While many things have changed, many things have still stayed the same and I believe each New Year is a time to reflect on the year that has passed and set up good intentions for the year ahead. I am so grateful to have had many great opportunities come my way and I can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring. But for now, here are some of the highlights from my year!

    We're Engaged!In February, I got engaged to my boyfriend and best friend of 9 years. It was just a typical Saturday morning and we didn’t have much planned for the day. I woke up to be told that there was something hidden for me in the house and I had to find it. With a little help from one of my cats (of course) I came across a beautiful customized box. When I opened it, there was a video playing on a tiny screen on the inside and after watching it he got down on one knee and popped the question. It was the most special moment in my entire life – I was crying so hard I could barely say “YES!”.

    ultrasoundA few months later, my fiance and I decided that we wanted to expand our family from just him and myself, and our two furbabies of course, and started thinking about trying for a baby. At the beginning of June, I took a test and found out that I was pregnant! We were expecting our first child! We sat there on the couch looking at the test and just began to cry tears of happiness and have been so overjoyed ever since.

    It's A Baby Boy! | The Beauty CollectiveA few ultrasounds and doctors appointments later, we finally found out the sex of our child – the wait was killer! We are expecting a baby boy that is due the first week of February! I am now 35 weeks pregnant and am in the final stretch and couldn’t be happier. It’s definitely been a rough ride for me healthwise, but I can’t wait for him to finally arrive so I can have him in my arms.

    In November I had my baby shower which every momma looks forward to. It was so great to get together with my friends and family and celebrate this new life that’s about to come into the world and I had such a great time. Knowing that others are just as excited as my fiance and I are for our son to arrive is such an amazing feeling – little man, you are loved!

    Though I have had to slow down on my postings this year, I still had the opportunity to work with some amazing brands which I am so grateful for. I hope to expand and grow my blog even further in 2017 and include some new and fresh content to the mix. I have added a pregnancy and baby section which I will be posting to every so often with baby updates as well as mom-related content. My focus will still be about beauty and makeup as it is a huge passion of mine and I can’t see myself steering away from that!

    I really hope that you all had a great year, and although it brought struggles, we made it through! I want to wish you lovelies all the best in the New Year and appreciate your support of my little space on the internet.

    Thank you!

     

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    Lust Worthy Products For Autumn

    Lust Worthy Products For Autumn | Read more on TheBeautyCollective.com

    Autumn has finally arrived, and with that means cozy sweaters, hot drinks and a sprinkle of pumpkin flavoured and scented everything – not that I’m complaining! After perusing the internet, I came across some really lovely items that would be perfect little additions to get you into the Autumn spirit.

    There are so many reasons to fall in love with this season. Fall fairs, oversized scarves, crisp leaves under your feet, dark vampy lipsticks, rainy days in, apple crisp.. the list goes on. It’s such a cozy time of the year, and one I have really come to appreciate. I have been enjoying cuddling up on the couch with a blanket, my Kindle and a cup of tea as it’s just so relaxing and the perfect way to spend an evening, don’t you think?

    What are some of your favourite things about Autumn?

     

    H&M Cream Blush ‘Autumn Rust’ ($9.99) | Pumpkin Enzyme Mask ($58) | White & Gold Pumpkin ($19.99)

    Hurricane Candle Holder ($22-32) | NEST ‘Pumpkin Chai’ Candle ($40) | Faux Fur Pillow ($59)

     

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    Home Decor Wishlist

    Home Decor Wishlist

    Recently I tweeted that my fiancé and I got accepted for our new home and we are so overjoyed to say the least. The whole process hasn’t been without it’s challenges though, but we are happy that everything is now finalized and we move in only 10 days. We are leaving our high-rise condo and relocating to a house in a quieter area. As much as we are going to miss the conveniences of being right in the middle of the city, we are excited to be starting this new chapter which will be better for our family in the long run.

    I am looking forward to featuring some home related posts here on The Beauty Collective and thought I’d share some of these awesome home decor finds that I came across recently. I have been on a copper/rose gold kick and hope to pick up some of these pieces to spruce up our new place. I am most excited to start working on my office so expect some posts on that coming up soon!

     

    Pineapple Cushion Cover ($12.99) | Small Metal Tray ($14.99) | Large Metal Wire Basket ($29.99)

    Scented Candle ($19.99) | Metal Tealight Holder ($7.99) | Soft Grey Blanket ($39.99)

    Kate Spade Deco Dot Bath Towels ($26.99) | Printed Cushion Cover ($12.99)

     

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    Afternoon Tea

    Afternoon Tea

    Afternoon Tea

    Sunday afternoon made for a fun little adventure as my fiance and I visited a lovely tea room not far from the hustle and bustle of the city. As we walked up the stone walkway towards the gorgeous historic house built in the 1800’s we were followed the entire way by music (speakers were nestled into pillars) which we thought was a very interesting touch. When we stepped inside, the house-turned-tearoom was very inviting and had this automatic sense of cosiness which we really enjoyed. We were sat at a lovely table which overlooked the street and went to work looking over their menus.

    Afternoon Tea

    They had a great selection of loose leaf teas to choose from and we decided to try the Queen Elizabeth Tea on our servers recommendation. It was a special tea they offered to commemorate her recent 90th birthday and was a blend of Nilgiri, Assam, Darjeeling and Orange Pekoe. We were then greeted by a lovely three tiered tray filled with cucumber cream cheese, egg salad, and chicken cranberry sandwiches along with coconut shortbread cookies, chocolate squares, dacquoise (our favourite) as well as scones with devon cream and preserves. Everything was absolutely delicious and had us both wishing that we had of visited there sooner.

    Afternoon Tea

    In the front rooms of the house, there was a cute little gift shop where you could find all sorts of jewelry, tea hats, decor and other odds and ends. They also had a large wall dedicated to the loose leaf teas they offered on their menu along with gorgeous tea sets to pair with them. It was hard to leave there without a handful of cute, one-of-a-kind treasures.

    I really hope that you enjoyed this lifestyle post as I don’t write them as often as I would like. The tea room was an absolute treat and has made me want to discover other hidden gems like this around the city and share them with you.

    Have you been to Afternoon Tea?

     

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    Here & Now Botanicals

    Here & Now Botanicals Aromatherapy | TheBeautyCollective.com

    Here & Now Botanicals Aromatherapy | TheBeautyCollective.com
    As I haven’t dabbled much into aromatherapy, though I’ve heard many great things about it, I was very excited to have the opportunity to try out some products from a lovely company based right here in Canada. Here & Now Botanicals specializes in aromatherapy products that will pamper you from head to toe. From skin and body care to mists and oils, each product is handcrafted in small batches out of Vancouver, BC.

    The first product that I chose was the Sweet Sassafras Aromatherapy Mist ($15). It has a very light scent, kind of reminiscent of root beer actually, and is said to relieve tension, ease nerves and can also help with symptoms of depression. Recently I have been a bit stressed so I thought this would be the perfect product to try out. It comes in a gorgeous glass bottle (their packaging is amazing) and you just mist it onto your face, into your palms or onto your pillow. I have been using it as a pillow spray before bed and it has really helped to relax my mind before I turn in for the night. My fiance is in love with this as well as he has been working very late nights (sometimes he doesn’t arrive home until 4 am) and said that it really helped relieve any nervous tension and stress that he has been having. This has been a nightly staple for the both of us and as soon as this runs out I’m hopping online to grab another.

    The next product is just as lovely as the last, and it is the Uplift Aromatherapy Oil ($15). This too comes in a lovely glass bottle with a rollerball applicator which you just rub on your temples and wrists and it gets to work right away. This product too will help to calm you with it’s beautiful citrus and neroli scent that I have fallen in love with. It can also aid in helping digestion, depression – the list goes on. I love to apply this on my wrists and it really helps to calm down any anxiousness that I am feeling. The packaging is even small enough that you could throw it in your bag and have it with you on the go. I have used up around a quarter of this oil already I enjoy it so much. It gets two thumbs up from the fiance as well.

    I am really happy with these two products and can’t wait to explore what else the brand has to offer. I have my eye on the Dream aromatherapy oil as well as some of their other sprays. I am very thankful to have finally had a true aromatherapy experience, and you can check out the full lineup of products on the Here & Now Botanicals website. You won’t be disappointed!

    Have you tried aromatherapy products?

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