Memorial Day Sales: Summer Favorites Try-On

Okay ladies! I went into the Loft this week in preparation for the big sale and holy moly-- everything is soooo good right now! I did have a pile of "no's" but it wasn't huge ;) I'm going to tell you about my MOST favorite pieces with some style notes. I'm linking to each item under each photo and then at the end is a round up all of the items I'm wearing in one place.

Everything is 40% off right now!! 

Size reference:
Height: 5'5"
Chest: 30B
Usual sizes: XS, S, 0, 2, 25

This stripe tee is softer than soft. I love how subtle the stripe is because it pairs SO well with the floral shorts. These shorts are too big on me, but didn't have the size down, so I couldn't show you my right size. They have a lot of stretch in the waist and tie with a drawstring. I definitely needed the XS in them! I could have done a small in the top for a lose fit like this, but sized down for more fitted.

I've been loving all the button details recently! This skirt is so sweet. Lots of stretch in the waist again, and tie it tight with the bow. It is lined! The top is such a fun simple tee but with the sleeve detail, it takes it to another level. This skirt was too big for me in my normal size (pictured) so I would have needed to size down.

This easy breezy kimono is perfect for summer! I have the cutest pineapple shirt on under it but I forgot to take a picture of it. 

This was an adorable button up top and I should have showed you the look with a front tuck or a tie in the front (both are adorable!) but these pants were SO big on me it looked ridiculous ;) This top would be great with white jeans, dark jeans, or tucked into a skirt. Definitely size down in this top.

Cute back, too!

I loved this look for an easy summer day of errands. I'm in LOVE with the linen shorts. Definitely on my list (come in another color, too!) and then I paired it with a more feminine pink stripe tank. The shorts were true to size for me and for the tank, I needed to size up.

THIS ROMPER. It's so cute!! You can totally dress it up or down. One thing I need to warn you of is it is a thin material so nude undergarments are a must, but I'd still feel comfortable in it. The back is also a "V" shape! I'm wearing my normal XS.

This is super out of my comfort zone, but wanted to show you since it's cute and might be more someone else's style! It's very breezy with the wide legs, so I'd definitely size down. Adorable tie around the waist.

If you're a bride-to-be, these next two are for you! This was one of the cutest white dresses I've tried on in a while. One caution is you might want to wear a slip under it. It IS lined, but it's still thin. However, makes for a great summer dress.

This shift style dress is equally cute. I would 100% need to size down in this! But you know me, I love everything and anything eyelet.

I mean.... LOVE.

This is my favorite dress of the bunch!! The buttons are a super cute tortoise shell and the top shape is really sweet. It has pockets, is a nice thick chambray and is fitted on the top. Don't be scared by the reviews on the site-- my review is actually different than those! I have a size B chest and I found I had room to spare in the top portion. If you have a bigger chest, size up. But if you have a B or under, your normal size should be good. The one word of caution is for taller ladies-- if you're over 5'6", you may not want to try this one. At 5'5", it was bordering on the shortest I'd go.

This stripe number is the same cut as the chambray one above, except the length. It's a midi. If you want it to the knee, just get the petite size! This was a 2 and was way too big on me, but they didn't have the size down. I would probably order the petite 0 so it's a little shorter and more fitted. But this is ADORABLE and I can totally see it with sandals, wedges, a sun hat....ahh, come on summer! I could see it for an engagement shoot, shower guest, Sunday best...pretty much for any occasion ;)
blue and white stripe dress with buttons


Others I didn't get to try on, but love on the site:

Let me know if you try any of these! I'm definitely pulling the trigger on a few of these myself!

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Memorial Day Sale Outdoor + Bedding Favorites

I cannot believe we're already a couple days out from Memorial Day! And you know what that means?! SALES! With summer days right around the corner, this is the perfect time to get some pieces for your patio, deck, or even the inside of your house for a summer refresh. I love switching out a couple things for the seasons. Usually for the summer I try to go more light and airy. I put away our gingham couch pillows in favor of a pretty, light, floral print. I also like sprucing up our bedroom linens!

One of my favorite brands, Serena & Lily, has the most dreamy bedding, sheets, pillows, and everything you could need for a bedroom spruce up and luckily they're having 20% off site wide with code SUMMERPREP. Our new bedding just arrived and I'm so excited to get it washed and on our bed to show you soon! I always, always spec S&L sheets to my design clients because there is NOTHING like them. Just trust me-- I've been sleeping on them for over 5 years now and I'll never go back ;) Here's our previous bedding and pillows:

I'm sharing some of my favorite bedding options below for you, all on sale! One reason I love Serena & Lily is because everything is so classic and feels so fresh, a little coastal and oh-so-beautiful. Their pieces aren't overdone and always leave a room feeling so effortless. I can totally get behind Serena & Lily's mission and belief that living well begins at home. Ain't that the truth?! 

SHOP: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15

Now for those of you who want to bring the insides out (see what I did there?!) here are some of my favorite pieces for your patio, screened porch, deck, or terrace to make it feel more homey. I can see a lot of summer nights on a patio like this!

: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15

I think I'm going to get those gold candlesticks for my new builtin bookshelves in our living room. I just love them! And you've got to feel the softness of this Capri beach towel

It looks like a turkish towel, but it's real beach towel material, extremely EXTREMELY soft! If you get one thing, make it this towel (or the set of two!) I seriously think it's a must-have beach accessory for summer days ahead. I got one for myself and for my mom for Mother's Day. Don't forget to use the code SUMMERPREP for 20% off everything. 
Did anything catch your eye? I'll be back this week with more fun sales, including a try-on session. Happy Memorial Day Shopping!
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* This post is sponsored by Serena & Lily. All thoughts and opinions are my own (as always!) I only work with brands that I truly love and use in my own home. Thank you for supporting brands that keep Michaela Noelle Designs doors' open!

Baby Girl Shower Inspiration

I cannot even tell you how excited I am that I'm throwing one of my best friend's baby showers in June! I can hardly wait for the day to arrive-- you'd think it was my own shower ;) Ha! I have a couple friends helping out and together, we're creating something really lovely, girly (it's a girl!!) and sweet for our friend who loves everything dainty and feminine. 

I created an inspiration board for the shower (because, have you met me?! hehe) so I thought I'd show you some of our ideas!

1. Balloon Garland: I mean, it's just so fun!! My friend Tara at One Stylish Party is my go-to for things like this. I'm so excited to get our custom garland in the mail. Gonna be honest, I'm nervous to create it (never done it before!) but hopefully I can master it. My plan is to do it quite a few days before the shower.

2. Bubbly Bar: For the drinks, we're thinking of doing a mimosa bar with different juices, then of course the mama-to-be can just drink juice without the champagne. We'll have fruit garnishes and then also have infused water as another option.

3. Flower Bar: Nothing makes me more excited than creating this!! We're going to let guests make and take a small bouquet of posies home for the favor. Our friend LOVES flowers (she even has a cut flower garden in her yard!) so this shower wouldn't be complete without one of these.

4. Custom Sugar Cookies: I get these made for almost every special occasion around here. Madri is the best, if you're local!

5. Glass Goblets: these will be part of our bubbly bar. I promise you things taste better in a fancy goblet!
6. Bows: The theme of the shower is Bows & Blooms, so we asked each guest to bring a bow to start the little lady a bow collection! It can be a bow, headband-- whatever they want! One of my friends helping with the shower might be making something similar to thing bow wreath that guests can clip their bow onto when they arrive.

7. Treats: We're doing an afternoon shower, so the food will be fruits, cheese & crackers (think charcuterie board), and small bite desserts that are easy to pick up.
We're doing something pretty sweet and actually having a bit of time for a couple activities instead of games. We didn't want to do anything cheesy ;) (but if you have any non-cheesy baby shower games please tell!!) so we're going to be writing the new mama some notes to open after the baby is born, painting some baby blocks, creating our flower arrangements, and a couple of other special things. Can't say more in case my friend is reading ;)
Since I've never had a baby shower, tell me what your most favorite thing you did at YOUR shower was in the comments! Or if you've been to a shower and seen something fun, do tell!
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6 Tips on How to Choose a Sunscreen

In Monday's post I shared lots of  facts about sunscreen including what to avoid in the ingredient list and what to look for instead. Today I'm giving you 6 steps to choosing a safer sunscreen for you and your family! Hopefully this will make it a little easier. 

1. CHOOSE MINERAL SUNSCREEN. Opt for products whose main ingredients are either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Chemical sunscreens are more popular because one of the complaints many people have regarding mineral (also known as "physical") sunscreens is the white, chalky-like residue they can and often do leave on the skin. However, Beautycounter's mineral sunscreens are formulated to blend easily onto skin with hardly any white residue. This is why I love Beautycounter.

Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, sit on the surface of the skin and physically bounce or reflect sun’s rays away from the skin. Mineral sunscreens are great for people with sensitive skin as well as babies and kids.

2. BROAD SPECTRUM PROTECTION. Opt for sunscreens that protect against UVA (the rays that age) and UVB (the rays that burn).  Beautycounter's newly reformulated mineral sunscreens protect against UVA, UVB and Blue Light, all things we want to avoid to keep healthy skin.

3. NO RETINYL PALMITATE. Some sunscreens contain Retinol or Retinyl Palmitate (as many facial moisturizers with SPF often do). Studies have shown that this vitamin A derivative may trigger the development of skin tumors and lesions when used on the skin in the presence of sunlight. Yikes! It's best to avoid this ingredient! It is never found in any Beautycounter products as it's one of many products on The Never List.

4.  NON-AEROSOL SPRAY. If you prefer the ease of a sunscreen spray choose a non-aerosol option, as the propellant chemicals of aerosol cans can be harmful. Beautycounter's sunscreen spray is air-powered, delivering convenience without harsh chemicals. (They really do think of everything!)
5.  AVOID FRAGRANCES. Synthetic fragrances can have any number of harmful chemicals because they are considered "trade secrets" and they aren't legally obligated to report their ingredients. Isn't that crazy?! This is one of my favorite things about Beautycounter. All the ingredients are listed and everything has such a wonderful scent, usually made up of essential oils.

6. DON'T BE FOOLED BY CLEVER MARKETING: A lot of companies will claim they are paraben-free, gluten-free, vegan, cruelty-free. And while all these things are good, it still doesn't make the product SAFE. If a product is all of those things, but has fragrance or contains a couple other potentially harmful ingredients, the claims they make for marketing don't really matter, right?! We used to use a very well-known brand of sunscreen that said it was paraben and gluten free, so I thought I was in the clear. Come to find out, it has the two most harmful chemicals sunscreen can have! I felt a little lied to, not going to lie. This was about the time I joined Beautycounter, so I thankfully found our sunscreen as an amazing alternative.

If you need a couple different price point options, let me help! 

Beautycounter is obviously my first choice with the lotion, stick and spray, but SuntegrityGoddess Garden, and Alba Botanica are some other good choices! This is the lip balm I use when I'm in the sun to protect my lips.

And guess what? This week Beautycounter is launching a couple new sun products! We already have the Countersun Sunscreen Mist, but soon there will be two more options in tinted versions! This will give you a little glowy boost while also protecting you.

How could I resist rounding up some favorite summer pieces?! I rarely buy myself swim suits, but I did snag this one this year and I'm super excited about it! 

Hopefully these tips in picking out a safer sunscreen are helpful to you!

Here's to the SUN!

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Here Comes the SUN! Get the 411 on Safe Sunscreen

It's common knowledge that protecting your skin from UV rays can prevent premature aging like fine lines, hyper pigmentation, and most importantly, it can prevent skin cancer. However, more recently we've been hearing how sunscreens can effect marine life and coral reef. In July of 2018 Hawaii became the first U.S. state to ban the sale of sunscreens containing two common sunscreen chemicals, oxybenzone and octinoxate, which many researchers worldwide have deemed potentially harmful to aquatic life.

February 21 of this year, the Food and Drug Administration announced a new proposal on sunscreen safety intended to overhaul the entire sunscreen industry. (Hooray!) Of the 16 different active ingredients in sunscreens currently on the market, the FDA deemed only 2 as being safe to use: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

While all of these strides forward is great news, until the sunscreen industry is completely overhauled, figuring out which sunscreens are both protective for us to use and gentler on the environment isn't always easy. It definitely requires some label-reading skills, so that's what I'm helping you with today.

Let's Get the Facts Straight:

* Did you know that 5 sunburns at any age increase your chance of skin cancer by 50%? That was enough to wake up this California-sun-loving-girl!

*90% of signs of aging are because of the exposure to sun.

* No need to get any SPF over 50, as the benefits max out.
SPF = Sun Protection Factor SPF is the measurement for defense from UVB rays • SPF 15 = blocks 93% of UVB rays • SPF 30 = blocks 97% of UVB rays • SPF 50 = blocks 98% of UVB rays

are the rays that lead to sunburn. On average, five sunburns at any age doubles one’s risk for melanoma.* *Skin Cancer Foundation

* UVA: UVA = Aging sun rays. While UVA is almost undetectable because these rays do not change the color of the skin, they do penetrate deeper into the dermis of the skin, where they can potentially cause free-radical damage that leads to skin aging. UVA rays are equally intense no matter the season, AND they penetrate clouds and glass.

* BLUE LIGHT: One ray that is becoming top of mind as we spend more and more time in front of computers, 
smart phones and tablets is Blue Light. Blue Light is a trendy topic in the technology realm, but, Blue Light is actually everywhere. When outside, light from the sun travels through the atmosphere. The shorter, high energy blue wavelengths that make up Blue Light, collide with the air molecules, causing blue light to scatter. This is in fact what makes the sky look blue.

* EFFECTS OF BLUE LIGHT: Its skin-aging effects can potentially be as much of a concern as those caused by UVA & UVB. The latest research suggests it may damage skin proteins and lipids. When these are damaged, signs of age like loss of skin elasticity, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation are possible.

* The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is very helpful tool to find what's safe and what's not the best. Their database is full of thousands upon thousands of products and they rate them from 1-10 on their safety (1 being safe and 10 being considered toxic/not the safest option). You can literally scan the barcode of a product on their app and it'll give you a rating if it's in the database. They also have this helpful chart to keep on hand when searching for sunscreen and finding out about the ingredients in what you use. You want to stay in the green zone, but it's really the bottom two that are your safest bets. 

What Ingredients to Avoid:

Retinyl Palmitate (a derivative of vitamin A), Parabens & Synthetic Fragranceare three other common ingredients you'll see included in conventional sunscreens and all three raise some red flags.  

Note: Retinyl palmitate is an antioxidant that is well known for anti-aging, but studies by federal government scientists indicate that it may trigger development of skin tumors and lesions when used on skin in the presence of sunlight. No thank you! In addition, other governments warn that cosmetic products that include retinol (and other derivatives of vitamin A) may contribute to unsafe amounts of vitamin A, and recommend against using vitamin A-laden cosmetics on the lips and over large portions of the body. 

I share this because safer alternatives exist, and educating and advocating for safer products is what prompts positive change in both industry and government. I never share to scare you or get all obsessed about being toxin-free. The truth is, there are safer options and with all the research on what these more harmful ingredients to do our bodies, I think we can definitely do better than those! Because while our laws are still lagging, there are companies like Beautycounter (and others!) that are trailblazing the way.

Beautycounter's Countersun Mineral Sunscreen is a water-resistant sunscreen that protects against damaging UVA, UVB and Blue Light. It's formulated with non-nano zinc and antioxidant-rich California Poppy, and its physical formulation provides an effective shield from skin-aging rays, while being gentle and pleasant feeling on the skin. This smooth, nourishing formula blends evenly onto skin with limited white residue. I also love the hint of citrus scent!

Why is it Safer? 

Beautycounter prohibits chemical SPF filters due to their high potential for skin irritation, opting instead for physical sunscreens, more commonly known as mineral sunscreen. Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, sit on the surface of the skin and physically bounce or reflect sun’s rays away from the skin. Mineral sunscreens are great for people with sensitive skin, as well as babies and kids. 
Beautycounter never uses Octinoxate, Oxybenzone (or any other chemical sunscreen), parabens, retinol, retinyl palmitate or synthetic fragrance. 
You can check out our Never List of over 1500 ingredients we never put into products, because Beautycounter feels there are much safer options.

Be sure to come back tomorrow when I'll be sharing tips on how to pick a safer sunscreen, sharing some other (non-beautycounter) safer brands, and more!

Here's to more sunny days!
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Client Reveal: Peachy Pink Girl's Room with a Window Bench

I'm so excited to finally be showing you the little girl's room of my fall 2018 Parade of Homes house. It turned out SO sweet and I can't wait for you to see it! If you missed the last reveal of the boy's nursery and bathroom, you can find it here

Before the tour, you have to know that this 5 year old little girl is all sorts of spunky, sweet, creative, artistic, and...opinionated! ;) She knew exactly what she wanted for her room, so we let her tell us her vision then her mom and I tweaked it. She requested "coral walls", so we went with a peachy pink color on the top portion of the board and batten. The color is Peach Cloud by BM. 

They already had this cute bedding, which fit right into the design and was perfect for drawing a lot of colors for the room. The gold wreath above the bed was actually a placeholder (it's mine ;)) because on photoshoot day the mirror that was supposed to go over the bed hadn't arrived yet. Bummer, but this worked ;) If you're wondering, this is the mirror that sits over the bed now and it's precious.

I just love that a window bench was included in the plans of the house (it was new construction). It's especially fitting for a little girl who loves to read, dream, color and be creative in her room. It added so much character and function to the room!

We also carved out this little nook as a desk for her. Ou trim carpenter added two shelves above the desk for her things and I think they're perfect!

Let me tell you something, this girl is one talented artist for being 5 years old! While we were on our design appointments choosing selections for the house, she'd sit down and just draw people, princesses, was so cute to watch! She even made me a piece of original art when we were done with the project :) This spot will be great for her to clip her own art.

I love that we decided to add these little shelves on either side of the window bench. Such a cute spot for displaying more trinkets and decor.

The custom bench cushion turned out SO beautiful. Justine of JD Designs Workroom did an amazing job! It's velcroed to the bench so it doesn't slip off. The cupboards underneath the bench make for some much needed storage.

This is one of my favorite areas of the room because of this beautiful art! My friend Jessica, of Simply Jessica Marie, did these gorgeous watercolors and they pick up the colors of the room so nicely. The little girl who lives here has red hair, so the middle painting is extra special!

We added pops of turquoise in the bed and the desk chair and I'm so happy we did this. The homeowner spray painted them both and I think they turned out great. Just the pop we needed!

One of the little girl's wishes was also a chandelier, because she saw one in her friend's room and the little girl's house down the street that I designed last spring. She got her wish! ;)
SHOP: pink stripe bench pillow / custom bench cushion / chandelier / art above dresser / gold frames / sequin bed pillow (on sale) / 

CREDITS: Steve Visser Builder  / Roller Shades / Photos & Design: Michaela Noelle Designs / Bench Cushion: JD Designs Workroom

Other Rooms in this House:
Kitchen & Dining Room
Living Room
Master Bedroom & Bathroom
Boy's Nursery & Jack + Jill Bath

Isn't it a sweet space?! I know I would have loved it growing up :)

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