Custom Teeth Whitening for my Complicated Smile

DISCLOSURE: I partnered with Smile Brilliant and received a complimentary whitening kit in exchange for this review. As always, my thoughts are my own. Please be sure to enter the giveaway (details at the bottom of this post)! ~halitrax

I have a complicated relationship with my smile. Firstly, because it’s taken some real work to get it as straight and sparkling as it is now. I was that awkward pre-teen with braces, retainer, and -yes- even headgear. Puberty was rough, friends. Toss in a sprinkling of other orthodontia-related issues, extractions, and whatnot, I’ve put in the hard time to straighten out my chompers.

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12 years old with a mouth full of metal.

Secondly, though, is the psychological relationship I have with my smile. My smile is my favourite feature. I love it and I love to share it freely. For years and years, it was my go-to expression (and, honestly, it still is). I have a smile for every emotion; I have a pleasant smile, a friendly smile, an awkward nervous smile, a sad smile, and even a RAGE smile. (My dearest friends can attest to this and have learned to decipher which smiles are which.)

It wasn’t until my 20s when I started to get more protective of my smile, and with whom I would share it. I’ll admit it: I lost some of my happy naivety as I aged. Like so many women, we begin to open our eyes a bit more to social injustices, to recognize how we’re socialized to be pleasant and amenable – to smile and obey and not ask questions. Enter feminism.

I learned, and am continuing to learn, that it’s okay to vocalize my opinions – even when they’re unpopular. I’m allowed to take up space and don’t have to step aside for a man in a “hurry.” I can say “no thank you” without accompanying it with an apology.

Most importantly, I learned that I don’t have to smile and be happy if it’s inauthentic.

My smile is for me.

And you know what? Knowing that makes me a happier person.

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Photo Michelle Doucette Photography.

Now when I share my smile, it’s not out of perceived obligation to be friendly, it’s because I want to and, mostly, I want to share it with everyone. (Feminists are happy, smiley, friendly people too you know!)

Because you’re never fully dressed without a smile…

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When Smile Brilliant approached me to partner for a product trial and giveaway, I was more than excited to embrace the opportunity. I’m so precious about my smile and love knowing that it’s shining bright when I flash my pearly whites.

Of course, after years of dental work the first thing I did before I started the Smile Brilliant kit was talk to my dentist and hygienist. They took a close look at the ingredients in the kit and then gave me the green light to start the whitening process. I was reassured that the Smile Brilliant teeth whitening trays use the exact same ingredients that my dentist would use for a professional whitening – except that Smile Brilliant allows us to whiten from the comfort of our homes and for a fraction of the cost.

The Selfie Smile Scale

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These pictures show how the Smile Brilliant process can have as subtle or as dramatic a change as you would like, depending on how many sessions you choose. From left to right these show my smile before I started to whiten, during the whitening process, and at the end. The picture on the right was taken last week when I was in Manitoba.

My second concern was about my sensitive teeth. Fortunately, Smile Brilliant also has an option just for folks like me, to pair with sensitive teeth!

Check out this video to watch how easy the process is:

So, do you want to try Smile Brilliant out for yourself? 

Click here to enter a DRAW to WIN $139 store credit for Smile Brilliant whitening trays.

The contest will be open until June 7th, 2017 and is open to Canada, USA, UK, and Australia. In the meantime, you can also get 5% off your Smile Brilliant purchase with the coupon code HALITRAX5.

#Smile Fearlessly

A Clean Home is a Clear Mind with Maritime Cleaners + A Giveaway!

I’m not what you would call a minimalist. I love maximalist decor and I always have way too many projects on the go. Try as I might to keep things organized, my life always seems to pile up around me. I like to tell myself that my creativity emerges from chaos but, realistically, the cleaner my home is, the more I can focus on creative tasks.

I do try to stay on top of a semi-regular cleaning schedule. I vacuum the pet fur, scrub the bathroom, that sort of thing. Still, I definitely welcome some relief from those tedious tasks.

The time I could save if I didn’t have to clean adds up fast! It’s precious time that can be used for actually tackling all those half-started projects. When my space is clean, my head is clear. Cleaning is a distraction from what I really love and want to do.

I partnered with local Halifax cleaning company Maritime Cleaners and, in addition to having a great team take cleaning off my hands, I was also given the gift of a clear mind and a weekend free from worrying about the mop and bucket.

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Raise your hand if your first instinct when people are coming over is to CLEAN! Well, that’s me! Thankfully I was reassured that all I needed to do was a basic tidy so that Maritime Cleaners could tackle the deep cleaning.

Maria and Khaled arrived armed with all the supplies they needed and wonderful friendly attitudes that assuaged my guilt for how long I had let some of my chores go. (Yeah, I’ll show you…)

The Results

I cannot describe the sparkle that was left in my home by Maria and Kahled. Not only did they successfully tackle the really grimy stuff, but they were so thorough.

One of the downsides of having 2 cats and a dog is that fur is EVERYWHERE. Somehow it even ends up on ledges behind rarely-opened curtains. Tucked behind my bed this spot is, truthfully, very easy to overlook. Well, Maritime Cleaners found and de-furrified those pesky fur traps.

Window Before

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Window After

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If you still need some convincing, here’s where I really bare my sins. Okay. Please don’t judge me.

Promise?

Cross your heart and hope to cry?

Okay, here’s what my tub was in all its scummy glory. (Sorry, Mom.)

Bathtub Before

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Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m a monster.

Enter Maritime Cleaners.

Bathtub After

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SPARKLING CLEAN. Jones will not get out of it. He’s a picky fella and, apparently, is revelling in the new cleanliness of the bathroom.

Seriously. It’s his new favourite hangout.

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Not only did they conquer all the worst cleaning chores, but Maria and Kahled also did a very thorough sweep and mop on the floors before they wrapped up.

Talk about commitment to a job well done!

There is something so serene about putting your feet up at the end of a long week and knowing that your weekend chores are already taken care off. Total clear mind.

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Think you could benefit from a clean home and a clear mind? Do it. Maritime Cleaners has generously offered a great deal for Halitrax readers. Just follow this link and use the discount code HALITRAX to get 15% off a clean!

Readers can also ENTER HERE to win a FREE standard clean and a luxury box from Made By Collection. The contest for a Maritime Cleaners clean runs until March 27th, 2017 and includes multiple chances to win. I’m crossing my fingers for you!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO KAREN D!

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A Period Piece

So, what does it REALLY feel like?

I love the momentum I see gaining in the movement to normalize periods. Of course they shouldn’t be taboo or mysterious – they’re a shared experience we all have as women! The one point that I, personally, would like to make is that, while they’re a regular occurrence for every gal, they are still a pretty big deal. I mean, not just in the sense that they’re an element of a working reproductive system which allows a female to actually grow a human being inside her body…but also in the sense that they can be heavy, and painful, and long!

After nearly two decades of experiencing completely terrible periods, I’m still finding myself trying to explain to the men in my life what cramps feel like, why I have moments of cold sweats, why spots just appeared in my vision, and why I spend entire nights trying various yoga poses to try to stretch through the pain.

Did you know that an average woman has 450 (!!!) periods in her lifetime?

That’s a lot of periods. That’s a LOT of pain.
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Knowing how many more cycles I’ve got ahead of me, and wanting to stay informed, I jumped at the opportunity to do a post about a new line of menstrual products, Asana. (And CanCon bonus: Asana products were engineered by a female chemical and environmental engineer out of University of British Columbia!

As a gal with an atypically heavy flow, I often need a little extra protection guarantee. Especially on the first few nights of my cycle, having a good pad or liner helps me sleep soundly without worrying about inevitable leakage ruining my pyjamas or sheets.

Asana Biowave Advantage™ is antibacterial (designated by Health Canada Class 1) and helps assuage my leaky fears and also gains some great bonus points:

  • while being one of the thinnest on the market, Asana still offers the most absorbency, fastest rate of absorbency and best assurance of leak protection
  • Asana’s products use the technology of tourmaline and silver, which act to reduce menstrual discomfort, dispel odour, increase air circulation, balance the body’s pH and enhance metabolism

These factors go a long way with me when it comes to taking the edge off the period misery.

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I also love hearing about how others deal with their cycles and how they share their experiences with others. Click here to read my post on the Our Bodies Our Blood show that took place in Halifax.

So while I’m dragging my partner to period-inspired art shows and working away at explaining to my guy pals what it REALLY feels like, at least I can take comfort in the fact that there are so many women who’ve got my back on this one. Shared experiences FTW.

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