simply love

at-home teeth whitening for the busy mom

this post was sponsored by Smile Brilliant. all opinions are completely my own
lately i have been striving for simple. i have been purging, organizing, re-evaluating, reading more, and trying to enjoy the simple inspirations of life a little bit more. as a result, i have found that i am calmer, happier, and more productive. it's been a good month. as a mom, blogger, small business owner, and wife... sometimes i run out of time and there are not enough hours in a day. in addition, coffee and wine are almost aways part of my day. as a result, i started to notice that my teeth were not as white as they once were and my confidence was being affected. life is all about self-love and our teeth + smile are one of the first things people notice. enter smile brilliant (a company out of st. louis, missouri) they offer the absolute best value for your money. the kit works for both very sensitive and deeply stained teeth (it's even suitable for people who have stains from childhood or from tobacco). the process was smooth, easy, and i loved, loved my results. i feel like this also makes the perfect gift for a loved one. 
want to be a good mom? take care of yourself 
you can do this while you put the kids down for a nap, clean the house, mow the lawn, etc. 

the process |

1. creating the dental trays: the first thing i had to do was create custom trays that would hold my whitening gel. the instructions were very easy and quick (it comes with detailed instructions) and then you ship them back in a pre-addressed mailer. within two weeks, the trays arrived and i was ready to begin...

2. application of whitening gel: smile brilliant provides the gel in plastic syringes and the process is very easy. i love that the molds allow for every part of your teeth to get whitened at the same time and they don't slide around like whitening stripes (plus, this kit blows away those results!) you simply apply a thin strand of gel along each tray and affix both trays to your mouth. the only issue i had was applying (way) too much the first time and the taste and sensation on my gums wasn't pleasant. however, by the second time, i was good-to-go. if you experience this, here is some more information about tooth sensitivity. 

3. application of desensitizing gel: the last step is to apply this gel, which is done the same was as the whitening gel. i did not experience any sensitivity from this gel and felt like it made my teeth feel clean. 

top nordstrom anniversary sale picks

the 2017 nordstrom anniversary sale is here! thanks to my mom and sister, i am a big fan. i used to love more (less quality) things but have moved over to their side of the world in many ways. the customer service at nordstrom is the best of the best and i love to browse and shop with them. i recently fell in love with their zella workout line (amazing.) and bp (so soft) tees. today is the first day for early access so i thought i would share some of my favorite picks with you all. 

my fifteen favorites |

-what are your favorites-
if you score anything, i would love to hear! 
let me know in the comments below

baby beach gear

as we get ready for our annual beach trip next week, i wanted to share some of my favorite pieces for toddler girls + boys this season. last summer, i shared ten tips for the beach with a baby. sometimes i think that once you figure out how to pack, it can make all the difference. mom tip: i read once that a mom of five recommends building a large hole right when you get there... then the kids can play in it for hours while she can read (fingers crossed) or at least relax. what a great idea!! 

on my shelf | five books for mom + baby

"when you were too small to tell me hello, i knew you were someone i wanted to know." emily winfield martin, the wonderful things you will be 

for mom |

+ no-drama discipline by daniel siegel 
+ the morning miracle by hal elrod 
+ the handmaid's tale by margaret atwood 
+ podcast: parenting great kids with dr. meg meeker (any podcasts you love lately?)

starting to look into more podcasts options + just starting to get discipline advice for our (almost) eighteen month old... please let me know if there are any you love. 
for baby | 
+ the wonderful things you will be, emily winfield martin (the most beautiful illustrations and message) 
+ pat the bunny by dorothy kunhardt (his favorite + i love the vintage feel and he loves to do each page; patting the bunny is his very favorite though) 
+ bare and hare - where's hare? by emily gravett (fun, perfect for counting and he thinks it's funny) 
+ pantone color book by pantone (colorful, creative, and parks looks at it over and over again) 
+ if i could keep you little by marianne richmond (cute photos and will make any momma tear up) 

i think all of these are great picks to bring to the home of a new baby or a shower in lieu of a card

a 'kids memory' journal + tacos

"the snow is only meant, created, commanded to fall. the rain is only meant, created, commanded to pour down. you were only meant, created, commanded to be who you are, weird, wonderful, imperfect, messy and lovely. :: shauna niequist | present over perfect 

last week i was talking to a woman who has three grown kids and she said something to me that was so profound that i wanted to share with you all. we talked about her children and the struggles of raising them- the bullying (my greatest fear- besides health), the hardships, the overcoming, and the achievements. she saw parks and mentioned how much she misses them being little (i am going to have a very hard time with this... i know this.) then she mentioned her biggest regret. she said she wishes that she would not have been caught up in buying the perfect journal or having the perfect prompts to write... she wishes that she would have written a few simple things at the end of every day. 

creating a memory journal:
1. a simple notebook (any journal!) 
2. complete a few lines every day: the date, a few things that your kids did that made you happy, a few things they did/said that were funny
3. i think i am going to add a few things that i am grateful for 
4. i plan to keep this in the nightstand next to our bed 

i am so grateful for our conversation 
anyone want to join me?

speaking of joining... anyone else love tacos?
'let's taco bout it' {romper: amazon}
charlotte locals: you can get it at kid to kid huntersville (new) for $8.99