A Smile That’s Electric!

My teeth are something that I have been extra into over the last year. I didn’t have bad oral hygiene habits before, but I would say it was just average. I really didn’t floss that much and would mainly focus on making sure I brushed my teeth before bed and in the morning. After I got braces about a year ago, my teeth are on my mind literally all the time. I brush after every meal and even after some snacks depending on what it was. It is my worst fear for these braces, which are the clear brackets, to look gross. When Smile Brilliant reached out to me and asked if I wanted to work with them again, I felt like it was meant to be! I worked with them a couple years ago for their teeth whitening kit and they are so amazing and so nice. This time around I got the chance to try their new electric tooth brush, the CariPRO Ultrasonic, and let me tell you that it did not disappoint.

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I haven’t used an electric toothbrush since I was young, and I can’t even remember what kind it was. All I remember was that my parents bought it for my siblings and I and it didn’t really excite me to brush my teeth. It was just basic and had one setting. When I received the CariPRO I was so excited to get started. It has five different settings so the first time I started off on the first setting “Clean”. I was so surprised at how much it tickled! That passed after a few uses but it was still funny. The CariPRO is timed which is awesome. Your whole brush session is two minutes, four increments of thirty seconds separated by short pauses. At the pause you know it is time to move to a different area of your teeth. I love this feature! This way I know that I am brushing my teeth long enough and well enough every time.

The second mode is “White”. This one sounds a bit more intense, you can hear the bristles moving faster and see the longer ones on the top and bottom are going back and forth very quickly. This mode is exciting because who doesn’t want help whitening their teeth? Especially if you’re trying to keep your braces white like me, or you are a coffee drinker… also like me. Using this toothbrush daily is supposed to help remove more surface stains and get your teeth up to two times whiter, um YES PLEASE!

The third mode is “Massage”. This mode has a significantly different sound, you can hear and feel it pulsing. Now the fourth mode, “Gum Care” has my favorite sound. I don’t even know if I can describe it, it is almost like it goes up and down kind of like an alarm. My six year old niece described it like an alien spaceship! Regardless of the sounds, both of these modes feel great on your teeth and gums. The last mode is “Sensitive”. I probably like this mode the most as I have really sensitive teeth and always have. This mode feels more gentle yet I know my teeth are still getting a good clean.

This brush is super easy to use. It has a power button and you can either use the arrow button below it to pick your mode before turning it on or you can switch through the modes while you have it on, that’s it, so simple. The charger is small, the brush just sits right on top and get this, it stays charged for thirty days! That is so awesome! This way if you go on vacation you don’t have to pack the charger with you. The basic, or “individual”, package also comes with an extra brush head so you and someone else in your house can both benefit, but you can also order additional heads or replacement heads without buying a whole new toothbrush (check out info on the brush heads here). I HIGHLY recommend this toothbrush. I feel like it has totally changed my teeth game and I am even more excited to use it when these braces are off. The feel of clean teeth is already amazing but they feel SO CLEAN after using this brush. I used my normal toothbrush the other night and it just wasn’t the same, I only want to use my CariPRO now.

I have two exciting announcements. One is that you can use promo code theblawtb20 to get 20% off your own CariPRO Ultrasonic electric toothbrush, and two is that WE ARE GIVING ONE AWAY! You heard that right! Click the giveaway link below and enter (super easy, just your first name and email) for a chance to win your own individual set (so one base and two brush heads). I promise you will love it and your teeth will too. Thank me later when you’re sporting your pearly whites!

Giveaway link here!

(I am also linking the frequently asked questions here in case you want to learn more!)

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More VIICode Skin Care!

I got the opportunity to work with VIICode again, and just like last time, I loved it! You can catch up on my previous review of their T2 Oxygen Eye Cream 3.0 here, but this time around I got the chance to test their O2M Oxygen Eye Masks and the O2.0 Oxygen Hydrating Eye Spray and both products work great!

I have never used eye masks before but I have been so curious. I did not know that these were an overnight treatment so I was a little hesitant at first. Something about leaving a product on for that long under your eyes had me worried because 1. I need my eyes so please don’t fall out, and 2. The skin around the eyes is so sensitive. Once I applied the masks under each eye though I was pleasantly surprised. They felt so cool and comforting. I was still able to fall asleep easily, I wasn’t hyper aware they were on my face. The first night I tested them was ideal because it was a late one. In the morning, after being surprised that they didn’t fall off, and again being surprised they did not hurt to peel off, the skin under my eyes looked great! I did not look as sleep deprived as I felt which was exciting. No bags and my eyes looked bright and awake. I was excited to use them again.

They key ingredients in these masks are sodium hyaluronate which boosts skins moisture and reduces inflammation, sodium PCS which helps retain moisture and prevents skin from aging, vitamin E, allantoin which soothes, softens, and protects skin, and aloe barbadensis, algin, which also helps hydrate your skin. Together these ingredients work to make you feel instantly refreshed, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and make your skin bright and moisturized.

The eye spray I liked because application is so quick and easy. A few sprays followed by a few dabs and I was done. This is perfect for me as I prefer a quick routine that will be effective. My one hesitation with the spray was worrying it was going to burn my eyes. I applied as directed (be sure to keep both eyes closed when you spray one eye! This should be obvious but for a split second, I almost kept one open so I could aim and then thought, wait…) and noticed my skin did seem less dry and definitely more bright.

The active ingredients in this are water, nitrogen, active marine ingredient from the Mediterranean Sea, red algae extract, glycerinum, propylene glycol, oligosaccharides, hyaluronic acid, phenoxyethanol, and ethylhexylglycerin. All of which are very big words but the gist is this spray revitalizes the skin around the eyes, and helps to tighten your skin and maintain moisture.

I totally recommend both products. They not only feel great but they work great. Eyes are such an important part of us, it is what people are looking at constantly. We want to make sure we take care of them and the surrounding skin so we look bright and awake. This is also where signs of aging come so any help in that department is definitely a plus! Check out VIICode here!

Statistically Speaking, I Could Die Alone

I had a thought the other day. It wasn’t a new thought, I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t passed through my head before. But this time I had a new argument behind it, so I had to consult Tab.

Now I know this isn’t true (hopefully), but my thought before was what if I am never meant to get married. This time around however, I was thinking how we have 5 kids in our family. What are the chances that all 5 of our parents’ kids get married off and have babies?! If there was a statistic for this I would think 4 out of 5 is a pretty good outcome. “Not too shabby, we almost did it,” or “Can’t win them all,” are possible phrases that may pass around. I know the score so far is only 2 out of 5, but the other 2 are behind them, and then there is me, bringing up the rear as a single almost 30 year old. While everyone is sporting wedding rings, I will be sporting a participation award, “THANKS FOR PLAYING!”

Now Tab thought I was crazy, but she said she had similar thoughts when she was single, minus my not backed up statistical facts (maybe I should make a graph or pie chart of some sort for back up to be more convincing next time… noted). Maybe it is something everyone goes through when you have been single over a year and have absolutely no idea how to date or meet a decent human being. She told me though that once she accepted the fact that IF she never got married she WOULD BE okay, it was very liberating to her. THE F*CK?! Was that supposed to make me feel better? I just paused then let out a riiiight.

I told her my new life plan will to just be the family nanny, to which she thought I said fanny. But hey, Family + Nanny = FANNY! The kids can call me Fanny, and I will just watch all the kiddos of my siblings while they work. Instead of a crazy cat lady, I will be a crazy niece and nephew lady. If you talk to me in the grocery story I will bust out my wallet and let the accordion of school photos repel down and continue to tell you all of their names, ages, and grades (like you care) and be sure to not mention at least three times that I never got married and had my own kids which is why I watch all of my nieces and nephews. Despite the fact that I will only be 36, I will be wearing a crocheted shall that I made myself while watching the sweet angels destroy my home. I think it is a solid life plan.

Now again, I don’t REALLY think I will end up alone, but I was legit getting worried considering the fact that I honestly do not know how to meet someone. I feel like it is all fun to talk about going out and trying to talk to people, but when you actually get to that moment, I don’t know, it is scary. There is so much pressure. WHY CAN’T SOME GREAT GUY JUST COME UP TO ME? I think I will do a whole other post on that later. Until then, I will just be perfecting my plans of being the Fanny. Going forward all future birthday and Christmas gifts can be various balls of yarn and scrapbook supplies. Kay thanks! -Fanny

Dear Micaela

I am not quite sure why, but so often when I think of you, the image of you with crimped hair and your metallic silver Britney Spears and/or Christina Aguilera costume pops in my head. Just a fun fact 😉

I wanted to let you know how much I have been enjoying hanging out with you. I keep thinking about the one night we confessed to each other that we both thought neither one of us wanted to hang out with the other. I always thought I was too lame for you, and you thought you were too wild for me. Maybe we are actually just the perfect balance we both need.

I don’t think we really think about how much younger siblings can teach us. We as older sibs think it is all on us, but these last couple months, I am learning from you and I want you to know that. You have showed me that it is okay to get messy and let loose and I mean this in the best possible way. I have spent so much of my time striving for perfection. It gets to the point where I feel like I cannot do anything “out of line” without someone making it into some kind of deal. But these last couple months where we have just let loose, acted goofy, and have had fun, have been AMAZING! You are one of the few people I can be fully myself with with absolutely no judgements. I can tell you my craziest thoughts and you are there for it.

You are teaching me to stop apologizing because I am an overly apologetic person with no real reason to be. Multiple times you have told me, “don’t say sorry, you have done nothing wrong”. The pressure we can put on ourselves of right and wrong can be so overbearing, but you are reminding me to not be so judgmental of myself and my actions.

You are also teaching me to not care so much what others think, although I believe this is something we all struggle with. When we are together though, I think we are good at reminding each other that WHO CARES?

I want you to know how amazing you are. It is still weird to think I can go out and drink with you, but here we are, both adults. Know you have this confidence around you that I envy and I can feel when I am with you. It radiates around you and is infectious. I strive to be even an ounce as confident as you are when we are together. You walk proudly up, are not afraid to talk to people, or to take chances. I hope to be like you one day.

Also know you have grown into such a beautiful woman. I often look at our current photos together and am just amazed. Not amazed that you are beautiful, we all knew you would grow into a breathtaking woman, but to have that memory of your cute crimped hair to you now it’s just like damn, look at her.

Last thing to know, you are so loving. I can see all the love you have to give. From your selflessness you give to your friends, to the love for your family, your special bond with me and the sisters, and the love you have for your man. I can see the way you look at him, yearn for him, and take care of him. You’re so full of love, don’t ever lose that, and know you are deserving of the exact same love from everyone you give it to.

None of us are perfect. We strive to be, but we are only human. It is okay to make mistakes and to also give ourselves a break from the tiresome journey to be constantly put together. I love being “messy” with you. I say messy in quotes because we are not messy, but when we let loose, it is some of my favorite times. To be genuinely us. To quote Spongebob Squarepants in a bar, even if dad scolds me that I will never find a man doing that. To drinking in the parking lot at the bar and then walking a mile to the other bar just to save a few bucks. To dishing out bean and cheese burritos at 3 in the morning and then crying into them because of how hungry we were and the thankful thoughts that these burritos may actually save our lives. To being hyperaware of where we both were at all times at Stagecoach because we can’t stand the thought of something happening to one of us. You are still my baby sister and I have this mama bear urge to protect you always.

You are one of my best friends and I love you so much, and I am so sorry for ever making you feel like I didn’t want to be around you. I will always be here for you, remember that. Just as you don’t judge me, I am not here to judge you. I will always listen and try to give advice when I can, admit when I can’t, or even just be there to be silent with. I’ve got you always. Everything happens for a reason and in God’s time, and there has to be one for why He wanted us close now. All I know is I never want to let this go.

Love,

Brittany

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RV Having Fun Yet?!

Formulate

I got the opportunity to try Formulate, a company that makes shampoos and conditioners unique for your personal hair needs and goals, and to be honest I was a little hesitant at first. My sister does my hair, so for the past I don’t even know how many years, I have been using the products from her salon to help keep my color, hydration, all of that. Trying something new was scary to me, but I decided to give it a shot (check out my Formulate highlight on my Instagram here!)

You start this journey off with a quiz. All simple questions pertaining to your hair and your goals. These answers will determine your specific formula. My hair goals I expressed were color protection (obviously), mend split ends because I style my hair a lot, lengthen, and strengthen. The quiz didn’t take long at all, I was even surprised I got to pick my preferred fragrance and even the strength of it! I loved that because I am picky with scents so obviously I went with the more floral smell, called Verdant which smells like grass, lilies, and eucalyptus, and OBVIOUSLY I wanted it strong. 

That was it! I filled out my quiz and information and the next step was to wait for my personal shampoo and conditoner to be shipped. They didn’t take very long and I was surprised at the size of the bottles for the fact that they were full size AND came with pumps! I loved that. The first thing I did was open them and smell them, OH MY GOSH they smelled amazing! 

After the first time I gave them a try my hair felt different, which I was warned of. I was advised due to the fact that they were sulfate free (also paraben free, cruelty-free, and made in the USA, just an FYI) my hair might seem greasy super fast. My hair did feel softer for sure, but a tad oily. After the first day I was already dry shampooing for work. The other thing I noticed was my scalp looked a little dry. 

I assumed I would need some getting used to so a couple days later I used it again. Before my hair was even dry I could see the dryness of my scalp. It was getting so bad and flakey I immediately emailed my contact at Formulate. I remembered them saying that sometimes formulas need to be adjusted a few times to fine tune them and get them right. They were so nice, I told them my issues of the dryness and they immediately put in for a new formal. 

About a week or so after I received my new batch and tried it again. My formal now had the goal “Deep Conditioning” added. Even after the first use of the new formula things seemed better. I was worried if they added ingredients to moisturize my scalp that is was going to make the rest of my hair oily. I was still a little oily after the first new wash, but with each coming wash my hair felt better and better. Not to mention you can smell the amazing scent even the day after washing it! 

I am loving how my hair is feeling and looking after using Formulate. It is shinier, less frizzy, I can actually brush it wet without it being super tangly, and let me tell you, I can usually NEVER do that! It also did not strip my color at all, which I (and my sister) were very happy about. I can safely say all my reserves about trying this new shampoo and conditioner are gone. I felt very taken care of when Formulate immediately helped me to get the right formula when the one I had wasn’t working. They didn’t make any excuses like try it again and see what happens, I could tell they wanted to get it right. They were also SO NICE! I loved working with them. I took before and after photos of my hair. I know the difference may not look huge in the photo but you can still see it. The difference is totally in person and to the touch, it is just sooo soft all the time! The below or during a two month period which includes both my formulas:

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Before! (my 6 year old niece totally took this for me, she is the cutest!)
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After!

Now for something fun! I get the chance to give away one free custom set from Formulate! Click on the link below to enter, I promise you won’t be sorry. How cool is it to know that a haircare system is being formulated just for your hair?! We are all unique so sometimes we need unique products just for us! Enter below 🙂

https://www.formulate.co/u/theblaw

Long Time No Talk!

Well hello there! It has been so long. I know I am late, I was supposed to do my first post on my birthday last week buuuuuut we still don’t have internet in the new house. So here is just a quick little life update!

If you don’t remember, when I last logged off we were packing and getting ready to move. We are all in the new house BUT unpacking is almost as bad as packing so there is stuff EVERYWHERE! It doesn’t help when you are super busy either. Slowly but surely we will get everything away.

So here we go:

  • My reason for taking a month-ish off from the blog was to finish some studying I am working on. I wanted to finish my first section by the end of January and let me tell you, I almost didn’t make it. I was just about to give myself a one day grace period (that I was really upset about) but I somehow pushed through and got A TON done on the 31st so I was really happy with myself. I even got a 98% on my first section. Now I am a little behind on my second but it is okay. I am taking a 5 day weekend this weekend to visit Tabitha in Vegas so I will do some catch-up out here.
  • I turned 29 last week and I do not know how I feel about it haha. It feels kind of old but not so different. I am excited to see where it takes me. Last year around the sun as a twenty-something.
  • I have hit my year mark of being single. It isn’t a bad thing, I made it through. I was actually surprised at how fast it went. I feel like I only really felt left out last month when we had a surprise party for Heather. It wasn’t anything bad and it was a super quick moment (I almost feel silly for writing about it), but when we got to dinner I obviously wanted to sit by Heather, as did everyone else, but everyone was coupled off so if I sat with her, someone’s significant other wouldn’t be at the table. So I ended up at the very end of the whole party with my two sisters, WHICH WAS FINE, but still there was a moment of me being like dang.
  • Blog stuff:
    • I have been working on having fun and trying new styles. Although I haven’t been blogging I have been active on Instagram so make sure you are following along! I just want it to be more fun. Not more of this stand and pose. I am generally a silly person and I want my feed to portray that.
    • I am revamping the Style Panel and I am excited to get started! I got my girls recommitted and am trying to do things a little different. Stay tuned, the first post should be coming next month!

I think that is all the updates I have, I know not too exciting right now, but some fun things are coming up I hope! Next month Heather and I are volunteering at the El Paseo Fashion week and I am so excited. We are still planning on some fun local adventures too. Just trying to go with the flow here and have some fun.

I miss you all! Back to studying I go -_-

XOXO- B

PS – this was the cute af coffee shop we went to last night called Gäbi Coffee

 

2019 Goals!

This year, I think I will just use “goals” in place of “resolutions”. After all they are goals, plus my resolutions the last couple years have not been completed so maybe they need some new juju.

So here we are, my goals for 2019:

  1. Finish my course (which I will tell you about after I finish it)! This is my number one. It is so important I am even giving myself a time frame! End of March I need to have all three books read. HOLD ME TO IT!
  2. Buy new car in maybe the summer?? Since my commute has tripled I have over 120k miles on my barely five year old car. There is nothing wrong with it, but I want to trade it in before it is literally worth nothing. Plus I would rather have a new car with a warranty than worry about a car with a million miles start to break down. Personal preference here. Plus I have had a car payment for forever so why not keep it going right? lol (also now I get to work local two days a week and I carpool at least once so I would be putting less miles on a new car)
  3. Move out in the fall/winter. This is a huge goal which will totally depend on current circumstances at the time. If all goes as planned I will move out. I trust God will guide me to what I am meant to do and where I am meant to be. If it is not time for me yet, then that is okay. (You guys I literally daydream about decorating my own apartment all the time. It is going to be the cutest!)
  4. Okay these next few aren’t giant goals like above but still important to me. I want to create more and better content for my blog and Instagram. I don’t want it to just be for cute outfits (don’t worry, there will ALWAYS be cute outfits), but I want this to be my space to be creative and be me. I think I have already started to tap into that this year with more personal posts, but I want to continue and grow with that. Also Tab and I have a ton of fun ideas for content.
  5. This is basically the second part of goal 4. Not necessarily trying to put a number and pressure on it, but I want to get to 5k Instagram followers by the end of the year. For some of you that is chump change, but that will be almost double my current following and I think that is a good number to grow to (obviously the more the merrier).
  6. Kind of another branch off of 4. I really want to go to places, like travel to places, but I am not in the position to do that right now which is okay. I decided I want to try and do as many “local” travels as I can. Places I can drive to if anything. I have already started a list with Tab. Some places include: Venice Beach (BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER BEEN), Joshua Tree (which us girls BETTA BE GOIN TO in March), the sand dunes in Death Valley, the Neon Museum in Vegas, and more! I know some of these might seem silly to some, but I am super excited about it! I would love to plan at least one “travel” a month but we will see how it goes. Please let me know any suggestions!
  7. Aside from the blog, I have had a book idea for a few years now. I have planned some and have even started a chapter. It has now developed into a series and I am so excited!! My goal this year is to fully plan out the three books (using notecards as suggested by Tab who’s friend does it).
  8. Second part of goal 7, I want to write ten chapters of the series. These can be chapters from any book, I just need to finish ten. The reason I can write from any book is because each chapter is a different story and as long as I plan it all first I will have the chronological order.
  9. Pay off debt, obviously.
  10. Get fit, OBVIOUSLY (already started!)!