Showing posts with label Beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beauty. Show all posts

5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth

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

5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth | Through Clouded Glass

As a dental hygienist, I am asked quite often about whitening.  And that is totally understandable - who doesn't want whiter teeth? There are a lot of professional-grade treatments that are available, but the truth is, there is no such thing as a one-time whitening treatment.  Most likely you are going to have to repeat any whitening treatment within 6-12 months, and treatments have the potential to be quite expensive.  

I think a lot of times my patients are wondering if there are any easier things they can do to keep their teeth looking whiter.  And I have good news - there are a few daily habits you can create to maintain whiter teeth and a more beautiful smile!  Here are my tips.

1. Brush and floss.  And I'm not just mentioning this because I am a hygienist and it is hard for me to talk about anything dental-related without recommending more brushing and flossing!  Cleaning your teeth properly helps prevent staining.  If you want a more beautiful smile, brushing and flossing daily is the foundation. Even super-white teeth aren't pretty if they are surrounded by puffy, red, bleeding gums.  And whitening won't do you much good if periodontal disease (inflammation of the tissues surrounding your teeth) puts you at a higher risk for losing your teeth.  It's important to keep your teeth's foundation healthy first, and that means regular and proper brushing and flossing.

5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth | Through Clouded Glass

2. Avoid staining foods and drinks.  Some foods are going to cause staining and yellowing of your teeth more than others.  A few of the big ones are coffee, tea, red wine, and blueberries.  If you want to keep your teeth whiter, you might limit how much of these staining foods and drinks you take in.  

3.  Rinse after staining foods and drinks.  Even though avoiding foods and drinks that stain your teeth is your best bet, let's be realistic here - you can't avoid these foods completely.  As a young mom, I know that personally I can't live without my coffee! So what do you do if you do consume something that might stain your teeth?  If it's a drink, see if you can use a straw to avoid contact with your front teeth - then after eating or drinking a staining food, rinse your mouth out with water or a fluoride rinse.  

4.  Use an electric toothbrush.  As a personal observation, I notice my teeth look whiter when I am using my electric toothbrush (as opposed to when I am just using a manual toothbrush).  Not only that, but electric toothbrushes are also great for your gum tissue, so it is definitely something to check out.

5. Use Colgate® Optic White® Express White toothpaste.  This toothpaste has twice the amount of whitening ingredient (vs. Optic White Sparkling Min toothpaste), and can even give you results in three days*!  Just with brushing.  That sounded like a winner to me!

5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth | Through Clouded Glass

I went on a hunt at Walmart for the toothpaste, and the box looks really similar to the seven day version - so make sure it says "Express White", and "Results in three days*".

5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth | Through Clouded Glass

I'm excited to keep using Colgate® Optic White® Express White to see what kind of difference it makes in the whiteness of my teeth!  Derek recently stole it from me to give it a try too.  It's nice because I haven't had the extra cash or time to use any sort of professional whitening treatment in a while, and this is a great option for maintaining and hopefully improving the color of my teeth.

If you are interested, I know that there is going to be a store demo in Walmarts, and representatives will be handing out coupons, so that might be something to check out!  You can see this store list to see if there is going to be a demo near you.

What do you guys think?  Have you ever whitened your teeth?  What do you do on a day-to-day basis to keep your teeth whiter?

*For best results, use as directed for 4 weeks.

The Need To Vent

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This last Sunday my pastor spoke on the tongue.  This is not a new sermon or message to me - I've read through James many times, and it speaks pretty clearly about what kind of damage the tongue can do.
But unfortunately this is something that is all too easy to forget.

My pastor said something that stood out to me - he said the best indicator of spiritual maturity is the level of control a Christian has over their tongue.


I know I too often use my tongue to complain.  I too often use it to say negative comments about others.  

Something that I feel like the Lord was trying to tell me is that letting loose and "venting" is not a good thing (contrary to popular belief).  My perceived need to vent is not an excuse to tear others down with my words, but it's all too easy to excuse it - because don't we all just need to get our frustration out sometimes?

I know I'm not alone in this. How often do we say whatever we want and then justify it because we "just needed to vent"?  And it's not okay.  Nowhere in the Bible are we given a pass to say whatever we want when we are frustrated.

My next thought was that I'm not so bad, because I don't go venting to just anyone - I only vent to Derek or occasionally my mom, and I know they aren't going to repeat anything I say.  No harm done, right?

But that's not how God views it.  

In Numbers, an exchange between Miriam and Aaron is recorded, in which they complain about Moses.  They weren't complaining to the people or undermining his authority in a public way.  It was a private conversation.  They were just talking to each other about their frustrations.  They "just needed to vent".

But Someone was listening.  And He didn't like what He heard.

It doesn't matter if I'm only complaining to one person - that's enough for God.  And He hears everything.

I think it would be a much better thing to control my supposed need to vent, and take my frustrations with people or situations to the Lord.  When I vent to other people, I usually leave feeling justified in my frustration.  Speaking the word out loud to others somehow makes my feelings seem more valid in my own mind.  But when I take my frustrations and "vent" to God?  He usually shows me where my attitude is wrong and helps me to change it.

The end result of taking it to God is much better, and encourages me to grow spiritually (1) because I'm spending time with the Lord, and (2) because it is good practice at controlling my flesh and taming my tongue.

It is true that hearing someone vent doesn't exactly make you think "Wow, this person is really mature in their faith".  And that's because my pastor's words are true.  If you are spiritually mature, you will learn to hold your tongue.  More positive words will leave your lips than negative, even when the situation is frustrating.

I don't expect to ever be perfect at this.  But by God's grace, I hope to get better.  I needed that reminder on Sunday.


And on a completely frivolous note, here are more pictures of my new 'do!

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Happy Weekend!

Hints, Nail Polish, Etc.


Okay, so I have to know . . .

The week before I announced I was pregnant I was writing for the blog and I decided to sneak a little hint about expecting baby #2 into the post.

So . . . who caught it?

I’m not going to tell you which post it was, or how I incorporated my hint, because I’m going to do a giveaway next week.  Whoever can tell me which post has the hint and what it was will get major-extra-giveaway points!  I’m giving you a head start by mentioning it now.  It will be in one of these five posts:

What We’ve Been Up To (Catch Up)

Making Conversation

Goodbye, Miss Quince

First Birthday Parties

Mascara Crisis

So send me an e-mail telling me what you think and I’ll tell you if you’re right!  And I’ll give you extra entries next week.


Speaking of the First Birthday Parties post, let’s look at the poll, shall we?

How much would you/did you spend on your child’s first birthday party (including decorations, presents, birthday outfit, food, and any other details)?

We didn't do a 1st birthday "party", per se - 4 (13%)

-Under $100 - 11 (36%)

-$100-200 - 12 (40%)

-$200-300 - 2 (6%)

-$300-500 - 3 (10%)

-Over $500 dollars - 0 (0%)

-I can't really put a price tag/price limit on it - 0 (0%)

Votes: 30

You all are so thrifty!  Most of you thought $0-200 was a good amount to spend, and 16% would spend somewhere from $200-500.  But nobody wanted to spend more than $500 dollars (at least not anyone that voted). 


I told you all I would tell you how much I spent on Wyatt’s cowboy birthday party . . . I spent right around $100, give or take five bucks.  Which I’m pretty happy with, considering that included everything, including presents and food!  Plus I gathered all my decorations over a six month period, so it didn’t hit my wallet too hard anyway.


And finally, in case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t had any Moms and Babies features for a while – and that’s because I officially put the feature on break for the summer (I’m just finally getting around to telling you now). 

However, I will be starting it up again in the fall, so if you are interested in being featured, shoot me an e-mail!  I do ask that you are at least a follower of mine in order to be featured, and that you are familiar with my blog, because that’s only fair.  I’ll review your blog and get back to you with the questions to answer!

See this page to check out previous features.

Once I get a few moms to feature I’ll send out a schedule and let you all know the start date.  I’m looking for moms to feature from September until the beginning of December (because after that I’ll be taking a break again – you know, having a newborn and all!).  Anyway, the point is that I have a limited number of weeks to fill, so it’s first come, first serve

I’m looking forward to getting the feature going again when Autumn arrives!


Okay, that’s all.  Except I wanted to say that I found a new nail polish I like:


It’s called “Sinful Color Professionals”.  Kind of a weird name, but dare I say I almost like it better than Essie?  Because I do.  It goes on just as smooth and it seems to last just as long.  And it’s way cheaper – $2 a bottle at Target!

The colors are a little more wild, but sometimes I like a bold color.  So I’ll be buying more of this in the future I think!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Mascara Crisis


I’m having a mascara crisis!

Okay, that’s putting it rather dramatically, but really, I’m about done with my current brand of mascara.



I could swear they have done something to it to make it dry out quicker over the last half a year.  Either that or I’m slathering it on way thicker than before, but I don’t think so.  Usually I can make a tube of mascara last a while, but I have to buy a new one every couple of months lately because it’s either running out or drying out.

That combined with the fact that I’ve been getting mascara flakes under my eyes for the last week and a half (which usually doesn’t happen), and I’m ready to try a new brand.

So.  What mascara do you use?  I’m buying some new stuff today and I need recommendations!

Nail Trends . . .

Now participating in the gray/taupe nail color craze . . .

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Life Lately Letter

I got a comment recently asking how day-to-day life is going for me, and I realized I haven't done a plain 'ole, casual life post in a while! This is pretty much what I'd write if I was writing you a letter, so feel free to kick back and pretend you're getting this as a letter through the mail.

Dear {Your Name},

Life lately has been pretty quiet, non-stressful, and relaxing. It's probably because I just got back from vacation, but even before that things seemed to have slowed down some.

The weather is most certainly turning cooler, and I'm loving it. The leaves haven't turned yet, but they just sound like fall. I think the rustling of fall leaves sounds so much different than the rustling of summer leaves.

I've been getting the itch to sew something again. I got some really pretty fabric that I'm going to make into a quilt for our spare bedroom. I would have started on it long before now, but the last time I tried to sew, the sound of my sewing machine scared Wyatt. But I think I need to give it another try and see if the noise still scares him.

Another thing that's holding me up is that I"m waiting for this book to become available at the library. I'm about ready to just go out and buy it, for goodness' sake. I've rented it before, and I think there's a design in it that I want to use for my quilt, but apparently it's a pretty popular book.

Football season has started, and Derek has season tickets for his favorite college football team! I think we're going to try to go to a couple games this fall. I think Derek and Wyatt will look so cute together wearing their team t-shirts.

I no longer have to give myself those blood thinner shots (yay!). I talked to another hematologist, and he said that my blood clot is so tiny they can't even see it anymore, and since it was clearly a provoked blood clot, I'm okay to go off the shots. I just have to give myself the blood thinner before I fly, and they'll check my clot again whenever we have another baby to make sure it's gone (if it's not, I might have to be on it during the first trimester). So that's good news! I really don't relish the thought of giving myself shots in a pregnant belly though, so now I'm just praying it will finish dissolving before then.

I'm really enjoying work lately. Have I mentioned that my sister works in the same office that I do? My sister and I are best friends, so it makes it so much more fun to go to work when she's there. And have I also mentioned that I love my boss and coworker's? If I have to be away from my baby, at least I can be with people I like all day.

We're doing a walking contest at work. We're all wearing pedometers, and whoever has the most steps at the end of the month will win a spa treatment, or something else fun like that. My original goal was 10,000 steps a day, but I've been wearing my pedometer for a couple weeks, and I haven't reached that number once. I even spent a good portion of one day walking around a huge battleship museum, and I still only reached 8500. It's really hard to get that many steps in one day.

Regardless though, I think my sister or I have a good chance of winning, because apparently we're the only ones who are remembering to wear our pedometers every day. Still, I think I need to go walking up and down my road a few times a day to ensure a victory. I'll let you know how it goes.

So a quick story - about a month ago, I received a package in the mail from a company called Birch Box. Inside were alot of makeup samples. I thought they must have gotten my name from one of the magazines I get or something, and they must be trying to get me to buy something from them - I thought it was a pretty brilliant marketing strategy, actually. There are a couple products I want to buy now.

But then a few weeks ago I got another box, and when I looked on their website it said that for ten bucks a month you could get monthly boxes of makeup samples. My first thought was that someone must have signed me up for it, but then I started worrying that I'd get five boxes and then get a bill in the mail. So I called the company to make sure that wouldn't happen, and I found out my sister-in-law (the one we just visited), had signed me up for these monthly boxes of makeup samples! I thought that was so sweet of her - I have the best in-laws! You know I love my makeup and beauty products, and I've been enjoying testing them out.

And have I mentioned that my hair is falling out? I know they say after you have a baby, all the hair that you gained while pregnant can fall out all at once - but isn't seven months after I had my baby a little late for this to happen? And I didn't feel like my hair thickened much during pregnancy in the first place.

Wyatt has been growing like crazy - he's almost 17 pounds now! And I think he's going to be a lefty. Whenever he sucks his them, it's always his left thumb. He's tried to suck his right thumb a couple times, and it just looks awkward - he can't figure out how to make the right thumb work. I think he'll play sports right-handed though, if his "practice kicking" is any indication - he always kicks his right foot.

He's also doing this thing where he scrunches his nose and smiles at people - it's the cutest thing! I must try to get a picture of it, but for now, I'll give you one of him in his first real "fall" outfit. He wouldn't sit still for a picture, so this is the least blurry picture I have.

I'm reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp right now. I had been hearing alot about it online, and I thought I'd get it for our trip. It's a book about giving thanks for all God's gifts in life, including the little gifts that might be easy to miss if you aren't looking for them. She writes in such a poetic way though, and it's inspiring - I'm enjoying it.

I could go on, but I'll stop here. I tend to write really long letters. And if this were a real letter, I'd ask you all kinds of questions about how you are, how your family is, how's the weather, what have you been up to, etc.

Feel free to write me a "letter" blog post back! Talk to you soon!


How To Apply Crackle Nail Polish

I recently read a post on this blog about Opi Shatter nail polish.

I had never heard of it before, but it's basically a nail polish that dries into a design on your finger nails.

It looked really cool, and I knew I wanted to try some. So I called my local beauty supply store.

I learned that Shatter nail polish sold out so fast that Opi ran completely out, and they're now waiting to see if they will make more (which they most likely will). But there were a couple other brands with similar products, so I thought I'd give one a try.

I ended up getting China Glaze Crackle nail polish in white.

Here's how it looks on my fingernails:

I think it looks pretty cool! It reminds me of snake skin. Or crocodile scales. Derek thinks I should copyright the Crocodile Scales name for this look, so if you see it used somewhere else, just know I came up with it first.

Here's the step-by-step:

When using Crackle nail polish, you need to apply a base color first. I used Jade Jump Sally Hansen nail polish for my base.

Next you sweep on the Crackle nail polish. It just looks like regular nail polish when you first put it on, but as it dries it "cracks", and the base color shows through. Make sure that the Crackle layer is a thin layer, or it won't crackle properly.

I would recommend applying a top coat of polish as well. The polish I used was clear with some glitter in it - it gave it some extra sparkle. I don't usually apply a top coat when painting my nails, but I felt like using a clear top coat helped to seal it and make the design last longer. It lasted until day four before it started chipping, which is really good for me! I tend to be hard on my nail polish.

And that's all there is to it! Have any of you used Shatter or Crackle nail polish?

First Mom's Day

My first Mother's Day as a mom was wonderful!

Derek decided we would celebrate our Mother's day on Saturday, so Saturday morning I opened a letter from Wyatt (Derek really wrote it - it was cute), and found out my Mother's Day gift was a trip to the salon to get my hair done!

Off we went. I decided that I was going to get some highlights in my hair. This is a huge deal to me, because I've never colored my hair before. Not once.

Before . . .


It was a little scary, but I really like the way it turned out! It looks pretty natural, like it's from the sun. It'll be fun to have a fresh look for the summertime!

After that Derek let me buy some new makeup and we went shopping for books, and we went out to lunch at a mexican restaurant.

Then we came home and spent a lovely afternoon just hanging around the house. It was a fun and relaxing Mother's Day celebration for me - thanks for planning such a special day for us, Derek (and Baby Wyatt)! My two guys are the sweetest.

On Sunday we went out to breakfast with my wonderful mom and grandma and the rest of the family.

My mom and dad gave me a Mother's Day card too for my first Mother's Day as a mom, and my brother (the one in the hat next to Derek) surprised me and gave me some roses, which I thought was thoughtful!


After breakfast we went to church, then we went home and Wyatt and I took an afternoon nap (which was absolutely lovely).

Derek's mom came to our house for dinner, and we played Triple Yatzee. I won.

It was a wonderful first Mother's Day, and I'm so glad I got to spend it with my husband and sweet baby boy!

This time last year, I wasn't pregnant, and I had no idea when or if I would be. Within the next month the Lord answered our prayers, and I got pregnant with our sweet baby Wyatt.

The Lord's plans really are the best, and I am so grateful that He decided to entrust us with our boy. He is a precious gift, and I never want to forget what the Lord has done for us.


Three and a half more weeks.

I'm stuck on this stupid couch for three and a half more weeks.

I'm only two and half weeks in, and I'm already bored out of my mind.

I want the time to go by quickly. I find myself wishing away the next few weeks, but then I catch myself. Because once the next three weeks are over, so is my maternity leave.

Some way to spend maternity leave. There are only so many things you can do on the couch. It's very frustrating not being able to walk and carry things at the same time. And not being able to drive. Not being able to take my boy on walks. Not being able to go grocery shopping. Not being able to straighten up my own house, for goodness sake!

In summary, I'm feeling depressed.

I'm trying to be cheerful about it all, but sometimes you just need a little pity party. This is mine.

That being said, yesterday I was feeling so down that I decided a little sunshine was in order. So . . .

I grabbed my Sunshine Yellow nail polish and painted my toes! Looking at them makes me happy.

Sometimes a little nail polish can work wonders for your mood.

That and a sunny smile from this sweet guy. I may be temporarily handicapped and bored to death, but at least I have some super-cute company.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. . ." Romans 12:12

Baby's Day Out (With Me - His Mother)

Yesterday Wyatt and I took our first real shopping trip together!

It started out a little rough. I had to pull over to the side of the road for an emergency diaper change on the way to town. Then Wyatt got hungry a good half hour before I expected he would and cried up and down the aisles of Walmart.

A nice lady in the checkout line offered to help me put my items on the counter while I comforted him. You know how people are extra nice to you when you're pregnant? They're also extra nice to you when you have a new baby. I'm going to soak up the niceness as long as it lasts.

We went out to the car and I fed him - it went quite well, and it wasn't nearly so scary as I thought it would be.

After that he slept like a rock through the rest of our trip, and all the way home. I guess the shopping just wore him out.

I spilled my Starbucks drink all over the car. I only got to consume about 40% of it before the tragic incident occurred. It was kind of sad, because I had bought it as a special treat for our first trip to town together.

But I had a Diet Coke stashed away in the bottle bag, so I just enjoyed that instead! Not quite the same, but still satisfying.

I got this asymmetrical shirt at Gap, only in grey. It's a workout shirt. Fabulous, no?

Usually I work out in old, sweaty t-shirts, but I was so excited about my new purchase that I went home, fed Wyatt, then tried it out with the Shred.

Dare I say I actually felt cute while working out? I did. Gracious, with workout clothes that cute, I would almost consider taking up a more public method of burning calories, like running or something.

Notice I said almost. I'm sorry my marathoning friends, I'm just not a runner.

But I discovered I enjoy working out much more when I'm wearing some decent clothes.

And I can use all the motivation I can get. By some miracle the pregnancy weight came off within the first week, but that doesn't mean my stomach looks anything like it used to. I need to tone, tone, tone!

I topped off the afternoon by taking a shower and using my new coconut body scrub and honeysuckle and orange peel body wash that I bought at the store. I usually don't buy body washes, because I have far too many bath things as it is, but I saw these on the shelf and couldn't resist.

After my shower I felt quite pampered. Wyatt took a nice nap, giving me a chance to compose this post.

And to top it off we watched Biggest Loser together that night. I am in calorie-burning mode, I tell you!

Unfortunately, I'm also in calorie-consuming mode, but that's a whole other story.

P.S. I wanted to say a big congratulations to my dear blogging friend Jenene, who just welcomed her baby girl into the world early yesterday morning! She was like a labor rock star - I talked to her on Facebook Monday night, and three hours later she had her baby with no problems at all! And little Sohpia Grace is a cutie, I tell you . . . here's to many shopping trips and good times with your sweet baby, Jenene!

For Christmas I'd Like . . .

I wrote out my Christmas wish-list for Derek several weeks ago, but somewhere along the way it got lost. So now I have to write it out again, and I've been trying to remember everything I put on it, because it's mostly a bunch of little things.

Then I thought, why not post it on the blog? It won't get lost here, and I can refer Derek to it when he needs it (yes, we're both slacking on our Christmas shopping this year).

My Christmas List

1. Sparkly scarf from Walmart. I saw a sequined black scarf at Walmart earlier this year, and it's just so me. I'm all about the sparkle. I hope it's still there, because I couldn't find a picture of it for the life of me.

2. Taylor Swift CD. I'm a big fan.

3. Straight Sexy Hair Spray. When I had my hair done earlier this year, the stylist used some of this when he was straightening my hair, and it was fabulous. It made my hair so smooth and shiny. So I want some now.

4. These gray suede wedges from Target. They are the perfect height, and I can totally do a wedge even when I'm 40 weeks pregnant.

5. The Crossroad by Beverly Lewis. I read The Postcard earlier this year, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so now I want to read the sequel.

6. A pound of Starbuck's Decaf Christmas Blend. Derek won the Christmas Blend last year at his work party, and gave it to me since he knows I'm a coffee lover - and can I say that Starbuck's Christmas Blend is seriously the best blend of coffee I've ever tasted? I've been wanting more ever since I ran out. I hope the Decaf is just as good, considering I'm trying to avoid as much caffeine as possible for Little D's sake.

That's the main list, but if someone in the family is reading this and wants to get me a bigger gift . . .

Singer Simple 23-Stitch Sewing Machine

Hint, hint!

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