Thursday, February 26, 2015

a more confident smile: review and giveaway with SmileBrilliant!

When I got an email from SmileBrilliant asking if I'd like to review their product, my first thought was "That's really random..." I mean, a teeth whitening system? But then I thought about all the times I've gone to post outfit photos and have chosen a different one because my teeth were too yellow in this shot, or I honestly just ended up edited the heck out of it. And I thought about the times I've looked in the mirror and thought, "Ugh, I really ought to do something about my teeth..."

So here's that something. As women (which most of you are...), there are often so many things about our appearances that we can do nothing about. Sometimes I'd prefer my nose to be more dainty, and my eyelashes are quite short, and my face shape seems to be getting more round with each babe. But I'm never gonna get a nose job, I don't really have an interest in getting fuller lashes at the moment, and well, ya know, the effects of child-bearing and aging are inevitable, so there ya go.

Teeth whitening though-- that's something I can do. A few minutes during the week to help me feel more confident about my smile? That seems worth it to me. If you feel the same way, keep reading for my some of my do's and don'ts for using the Smile Brilliant whitening system or scroll to the bottom for the giveaway!


...have reasonable expectations. 

Teeth whitening (any system) will only return your teeth to their natural shade, which is unique for every person. I already knew that I was not born with blindingly white teeth, so I wasn't expecting that. Despite the fact that my teeth are not perfectly white, I'm really pleased with how they've brightened up, and even more so, evened out. One of the things that was most noticeable to me before I started whitening was that each of my teeth was a different shade of dull yellow. Ick. Now my smile is bright, and even and I'm more confident in it than I've been since my wedding almost 6 years ago. 

... feel free to whiten anywhere! 

My favorite time to use my teeth whitening trays is in the shower, or after breakfast when I know I won't be eating for awhile. I've also used my trays during a 30 minute FaceTime conversation with my parents and chatting in person with Chris, and no one could tell I had them in. I also think a trip to Target would be the perfect time to use them (unless you're planning on a Starbucks treat, of course), or during a road trip. You can have them in for up to 3 hours, but I'd usual just have them in for about 20 minutes at a time, twice per week.


... fear the process of creating trays. 

In order to make custom-fitted whitening trays that are molded to your teeth, the first step of the process is to make molds of your teeth, using putty-like impression material. I was expecting it to be a messy, gross, complicated process, but it was actually pretty fun and fascinating. SmileBrilliant makes it incredibly easy, even providing extra impression material for mess-ups (which I ended up having to use, but it turned out fine!). I mailed in my impressions (they include a pre-paid, addressed package just for this purpose), and within a week, my custom-fitted whitening trays were on my doorstep. The process was simple and quick.

... be afraid of over-sensitive teeth.

In my past experiences with teeth whitening systems, my teeth have been super sensitive afterwards. Even drinking water was painful. SmileBrilliant provides desensitizing gel that you use after each treatment and it prevents the teeth whitening gel from reaching the nerves inside each tooth. I was really impressed with how it kept me from having any sensitivity at all, and I even went straight to eating ice cream after one teeth whitening session without any problems at all!

Okay, so I'm really excited that I get to give away a teeth whitening kit to one of you this week! I'm stoked that one of you will get the chance to grow more confident in your smile, within just a few weeks. Enter below! Giveaway ends in one week, and the winner will be displayed on the Rafflecopter widgit below, as well as emailed notification.

I was provided a teeth whitening kit from SmileBrilliant in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

snow days.

I think our snowfall total has reached over 7 feet, which is inching us closer and closer to the snowiest winter in Boston history. Because of the record snowfalls, public transportation closed down, and Chris wasn't able to get in to Cambridge for over two weeks. So, we savored an unexpected abundance of time with him as he worked from home.

When I think about the past month, I think about all the fun memories we've made, and I get a little sad thinking that Silas most likely won't remember the snowiest winter of his life. So, I'm remembering for him here. 

When I tell Si about this winter, I'll recount...

... how Daddy spent hours and hours perfecting the sled course that ran from the back of our house, around the corner of the front porch, and across the front yard. How he got so excited every time he took you out to sled, almost like he was a kid himself. 

... how you asked for "hot choclick" the minute your cold, red cheeks appeared at the back door. And I'd sit you down in the your booster seat for some warm milk with a little bit of chocolate in your special red and white striped mug. 

... how some of the piles of snow were five feet above your head. 

... the adorable way you looked when you had your snow bibs on, and how you finally perfected getting your thumb into your red mittens by the 12,000 time we put them on. 

... the way we'd look for the patterns of frost on the windows each morning, and stare amazed at the tiny bursts of ice painted across each pane. 

... how we'd sleep soundly in our warm beds as Daddy was outside morning after morning shoveling yet another foot of snow from the driveway and sidewalks in front of our house.

... how Mommy and Daddy would just laugh and shake our heads every time we'd read predictions of yet another foot of snow coming our way. And we'd laugh as we watch the snow swirling down, knowing it would total well over a foot... again. 

... how Mommy would hold Delia in her little red and white polka-dot footie pajamas and walk from window to window watching you and Daddy play outside.

... the pile of snow in the backyard that you called "the mountain", and climbed up like a champ, only to tumble down it in a fit of giggles. It was as tall as the garage roof.

... how you watched probably too much Little Bear and Backyardigans, but we balanced it with getting you exhausted outside, so I don't feel too bad about that.

I physically ache for the warmth of spring and summertime, but thinking back on this month makes me thankful for the chance to slow down and savor the season with this little family of mine, even if it's not my most favorite season ever.