Love this Town with Fujifilm

**Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Fujifilm who generously provided me with X-A3 camera to facilitate capturing why I love Halifax. The opinions, pictures, hopes, and dreams shared in this post are my own.**

Halifax.

When I was back home in Halifax for BlogJam last month, I stayed with friends who just happened to live one street away from where I had – so it really felt like I was home!

While I spent most of the time running around, filling Jam Bags and boxing up prize packs like the Instax Mini 9, provided by our generous sponsor, Fujifilm, I also made sure to take a few moments to look around and absorb some of my favourite Halifax vistas, like the iconic “candy cane” smokestacks.

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The North End was more than just my home and favourite neighbourhood but, and I may be biased, it also features some of the coolest examples of public art in Halifax. In particular, the murals at Mulgrave Park are just incredible.

I was able to capture two of my favourites at dusk on my final night in town before heading back to Baltimore.

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That night, as I packed up my suitcase and enjoyed some final moments of the trip with my dearest friends, we noticed some strange light in the sky over the Halifax harbour.

Upon inspection we saw that someone had released a cloud of paper lanterns into the sky.

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Watching the twinkling lights dance across the night horizon was pure magic and another reason that I love this town.

Design

 

Chasing Rainbows with Fujifilm

**Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Fujifilm who generously provided me with X-A3 camera to facilitate my chasing of rainbows. The opinions, pictures, hopes, and dreams shared in this post are my own.**

Is there anything better than a sunny park on an autumn day?

Now that the worst of the summer heat has burned off, I’ve really started to enjoy taking the dog on daily strolls through our neighbourhood park. Patterson Park in Baltimore is not only sizeable but also contains so many amazing fun features. There are sports fields, a pool, a duck pond, a dog park, a charming fountain, and a lovely pagoda.

Last Sunday, the promise of fall was carried through the air on the first of the dropping leaves and I sensed a bit of magic at the park.

It was my first time oot and aboot with my new Fujifilm X-A3 camera and, though I’m still learning how to make the most of all the amazing features, I was so happy to be able to capture a few moments of that lovely autumnal alchemy.

Like this rainbow in the fountain.

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The Patterson Park Pagoda is only open to the public on Sunday afternoons – and only until mid-October – so I was delighted to finally be able to catch a peek inside, where I was greeted with more flashes of colour.

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The Pagoda is home to gorgeous stained glass that casts the most enchanting reflections all around its interior.

Catching the colour in unusual places made me feel, for the first time since moving to Maryland, like there is going to be plenty of beauty to discover here.

I mean, we all know I left my heart in Halifax and surrounded by the nautical charm of Nova Scotia, so it’s nice to see that I’ll be able to capture some equally unique and lovely moments while I’m here.

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In the meantime, I’ll keep my eyes open and keep searching for more rainbows. 

Stay tuned for more posts as I continue to chase beauty with Fujifilm.

Design

 

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