7 Dentist-Approved Hacks for Pearly Whites On Your Wedding Day

The following post is a collaboration with Gipsy Lane Advanced Dental Care to promote natural, sustainable and low-maintenance oral health initiatives. Plus, if you’re getting married this summeror within the next few months, like methese chemical-free alternatives edge out those “quick fix” whitening strips you’ll find on a mainstream cosmetic aisle.  

Smiling Bride

Newsflash: summer’s not over yet which means wedding season is still underway! During these next several months, lovebirds will be “a-flutter” planning their special day—from venues and entertainment to decor and photography.

But speaking of those all-important wedding photos, what newlywed couple doesn’t want to dazzle on-camera? Shouldn’t your smile reflect the brilliance of this momentous occasion?

For teeth that match the bride’s pristine designer gown or the groom’s crisp collared shirt,  dentists recommend a whitening regimen about 3–4 weeks before your nuptials take place. So, from professional treatments to holistic techniques, these strategies will make your smile sparkle—even after the “I Do’s.”

1.   Opt for DIY Whitening with Turmeric.

Containing high levels of the potent antioxidant curcumin, this superfood spice reduces oral inflammation and flushes out plaque deposits. Whisk together baking soda, coconut oil and  turmeric until a paste forms, apply onto your teeth, then wash after five minutes.

2.   Abstain from Dark Colored Beverages.

Drinking coffee, red wine and black tea will cause stain residue to permeate the grooves within your enamel. Gradually, this discoloration could spread or even become permanent, so refrain from consuming these liquids at least one month before the wedding.

3.   Break-Up with Your Overused Toothbrush.

Scrubbing with the same tattered toothbrush for extended periods of time is a wasted effort, according to the American Dental Association. So, replace your toothbrush every three monthsor when the bristles appear worn-out—to mitigate tartar buildup.

4.   Enlist Help from Oral Health Experts.

Spending just one hour at the dentist’s office can transform dullness into radiance, giving you visible confidence and irresistible allure on your special day. Cosmetic whitening procedures are both safe and painless, without risk of oral infection or long-term damage.

5.   Use Apple Cider Vinegar as Mouthwash.

Incorporating this natural elixir into your tooth care regimen can prevent gum disease and alkalize pH balance with a concentration of minerals, acids, enzymes and pectins. Every morning, just rinse your mouth with organic apple cider vinegar, diluted in water.  

6.   Resist those “Sweet Tooth” Cravings.

Pulling into the Krispy Kreme drive-through is not just detrimental for your waistline—it’s also hazardous to that smile. When these refined sugars latch onto your teeth, bacteria begins multiplying which creates an environment for cavity-inducing plaque to grow.

7.   Choose Plant-Based Snacks Instead.

Sinking those choppers into raw fruits, veggies and nuts is a healthy alternative to mindless munching—not to mention, an effective shield against bacteria. The crisp texture offers abrasive benefits that eradicate surface stains and lubricate salivary function.

Alright. So, here’s the takeaway message: by combining the professional expertise of your dentist with nutritious eating habits and homeopathic remedies, you’ll achieve a photo-ready smile to last your entire nuptials—plus, all those honeymoon selfies! 

honeymoon selfie

PSA: For even more healthy hacks worth smiling about, Gipsy Lane’s blog has you covered.  

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Thirty Things to Do Before I Turn Thirty (Well…Here’s Hoping, Anyway!)

Two weeks ago, I turned 25. Cue the quarter life crisis. I’m supposed to be adulting now, but instead I’m just over here binging Netflix.

Turns out, “halfway to 30” doesn’t mean “existential questions answered.” Shocker. Guess I’m still the clueless human I was at 24.

Alright…so, my twenty-something years are numbered. So, I’m nowhere close to nailing down my purpose—outside of moscato and HIMYM. So, life hasn’t taken the course I once assumed it would. So what?

Age doesn’t have an expiration date, and 30 isn’t even that old. Besides, five whole years stand between me and the Big Three-0. Five years of adventures, opportunities, aspirations and undertakings. Five years to define (and re-define) my goals. Five years to make. it. happen. 

On that note, you obviously know what’s coming:

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Drumroll, please…

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Phew…that was one monster post. If you stuck it out, thanks for being a trooper! Now, what’s on your “30 Before 30” bucket list? Promise I won’t steal your brilliant ideas—unless I need more inspiration when I turn 40!

10 Turmeric Hacks to “Spice” Up Your Daily Wellness Ritual

Turmeric. It’s basically the kale of 2016. This close relative of the ginger root has been initiated into the “superfood” clique—sorry, avocado…we had a vote—and everyone, from  Ayurvedic healers to that cashier at Whole Foods, now swears by its anti-inflammatory benefits.

But turns out, turmeric is worth the hype. Containing high levels of antioxidants—more specifically, curcumin—this exotic orange-yellow-ish powder has been found to protect against cancer, stroke, arthritisliver disease and even Alzheimer’s.

So, yeah. “Superfood” indeed.

If you’re like me though, you’ve got this internal dialogue playing on-loop right about now: Ummm…medicinal properties are cool, but how am I supposed to actually use this stuff? Well, aside from being a wellness wonder, turmeric also earns versatility points. Consider it your spice rack’s answer to coconut oil.

Whether ingested or applied topically, the following hacks will transform turmeric into a health and beauty must-have:

turmeric hacks

Whiten Your Teeth

Douse a toothbrush in water then dip the bristles in 1/8 teaspoon turmeric. Scrub your teeth with the turmeric and leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse your mouth then brush again with regular toothpaste.

Minimize Dandruff

Whisk 1/2 teaspoon turmeric with 1 tablespoon coconut oil until both ingredients are combined. Massage this mixture into your scalp and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse your hair then shampoo normally.

Heal Inflamed Skin

Mix 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon water until these ingredients form a paste. Spread this mask across your face—paying close attention to acne-prone areas—then leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse your skin with cold water.

Sooth Joint Swelling

Combine 2 tablespoons turmeric, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon water until these ingredients form a poultice. Apply this mixture directly onto the injured body part then wrap in a cloth bandage. Leave on for 20 minutes, at minimum.

Blend Into Smoothies

Include a few dashes of turmeric in your favorite beverage concoctions, along with other superfood enhancements like chia seeds, hemp hearts, cacao nibs or spirulina.

Make “Longevi-Tea” 

Add 1 teaspoon turmeric to 1 cup boiling water then simmer for 10 minutes. Strain any leftover turmeric grounds from the water then stir in ginger or honey, to taste.

Make “Golden Milk”

Mix together 1 teaspoon turmeric and 1/4 cup water on low heat until both ingredients form a paste. Add 1 cup unsweetened almond milk and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon coconut oil or ghee, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Toss With Salads

Whisk 1/4 teaspoon turmeric with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Pour this mixture over fresh veggies and use salad tongs to distribute the liquid evenly.

Spice Up Bone Broth

Infuse 1 teaspoon turmeric into a healthy homemade stock—like this recipe from Wellness Mama—for extra flavor, zest and color.

Kickstart Your Morning

Sprinkle a few dashes of turmeric over scrambled eggs, oatmeal, avocado toast, plain Greek yogurt or sliced apples with almond butter.

Sporty, Stylish & Sustainable: The PrAna Trifecta

Lately, I’ve been inspired to start dabbling in yoga after a 5-year hiatus. During college, I considered myself an avid yogi. Not a particularly skilled yogi…but consistent and dedicated nonetheless.

But once I graduated and began “adulting”—to quote my people, the oh-so-illustrious Millennials—yoga’s restorative influence was replaced by financial stressors, professional demands and household responsibilities. Sure, I still exercised like a mad woman, but gone was that calming mind-body connection I’d once achieved from yoga.   

So, here’s the goal for this spring: make yoga an integral part of my fitness regimen. Which means going back to basics. Embracing “newbie” status, relearning foundational postures, and accepting that my form is…ahem…a work-in-progress.

Despite being a clueless noob on the actual mat though, at least I can look the “rockstar yogi” part in everyday life. Thanks to PrAna anyway!

prana logo

image courtesy of prana.com

Named after a Sanskrit phrase, meaning energy force, this active lifestyle brand combines fashion and functionality to move unrestricted through various yoga sequences—while snagging a Best Dressed award in the process! Well, maybe not. But point taken, right?

PrAna recently launched its Spring 2016 collection, and not gonna lie, I’m obsessed. From figure flattering tanks to vividly patterned capris, this athleisure line is studio-to-street chic.

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Each garment features stretch compression for maximum flexibility, moisture wicking for decreased perspiration, and bluesign verified textiles for eco-friendly design. PrAna takes environmental consciousness super seriously—in fact, all products are made with these sustainable materials:

Plus, even if yoga isn’t exactly your forte, you’ll look legit regardless! Proof’s in the pictures (I guess that’s debatable, but let’s just go with my not-so-humble opinion)…

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Since I’m a PrAna fan—and clearly think you should be too—enjoy this discount code for 15% off your next order: PSS16HBAH.

So, happy yoga-ing (or whatever the correct Sanskrit expression is). Namaste maybe…?

 

A Groom’s Take on “Sweating for the Wedding”

If you follow me on social media, you might’ve noticed my not-so-subtle references to recently getting engaged. BUT, if you follow almost any engaged woman on social media, you’ll be hard pressed to escape #SweatingForTheWedding posts.

In fact, this Instagram search yields 171,277 results—talk about a staggering number of body conscious brides-to-be! Yet, with all the emphasis placed on that “feminine ideal,” who could blame them?!

Since I’ve been tempted to dabble in said fitness fad (hellllooooo…this girl’s gotta fit into an Alfred Angelo dress 8 months from now!), I enlisted my future hubby for his stance on the subject. Thus, our discussion became a blog post.

Check it out, bridal beauties, straight from a guy’s POV:

Sweating for the Wedding

image courtesy of CNDY via Flickr Creative Commons  (changes have been made)

I’m fairly new to this whole “Sweating for the Wedding” thing. In fact, I didn’t even know it existed until my fiancé brought me up to speed once I put a ring on her finger.

Now, after Googling the phrase, I can attest that “Sweating for the Wedding” has indeed gone viral. Brides can get dri-fit shirts with this hashtag printed across the front. There are even water bottles, car decals, sweat bands and more, urging women to jump on the bandwagon.

Listen, I’m all about exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but I also feel this trend could send a harmful message to some women—especially those who struggle with insecurities surrounding weight or body image.

Not to mention, if these insecurities are triggered by stress, they’ll escalate into overdrive once those wedding plans get underway. I’ve only been engaged for about a month, yet I can already vouch for all the time, energy and craziness that goes into this process. So, with the added pressure of sculpting that “perfect bod”…well, you’re eventually gonna crack.

While there’s nothing wrong with prioritizing fitness, “Sweating for the Wedding” is not a prerequisite for marriage. Your future husband already finds you sexy. He wouldn’t have pursued you in the first place if he wasn’t sexually attracted, right? Exactly. You’ve got nothing to prove.

Men are visual creatures. I am a man, so I’ll freely admit this. But I can also assure you that any guy, who kneels down and proposes, thinks the girl standing in front of him is drop-dead gorgeous. She’s the only woman he sees—guaranteed.

Anyone, who’s anxiously anticipating their wedding day, wants to turn their spouse’s head. However, when this goal manifests itself through extreme workout regimens, it could result in serious physical damage.

I hope my fiancé knows that her appearance and physique will never disappoint me. From my—okay, biased—viewpoint, she’s the most beautiful woman alive, and my jaw will drop when I see her walk down the aisle. She doesn’t need to impress me…or anyone else, for that matter.  

Same goes for you other brides out there. Imagine how your husband will perceive you that day. After all, his devotion isn’t only surface-deep.

And, if you opt to workout beforehand, make it a bonding activity for both of you. Be each other’s accountability partner, so—rather than just “Sweating for the Wedding”—you’ll discover positive motivation for long-term health.  No hashtag needed.

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Can you see why I’m marrying him, ladies? The dude’s a keeper (and my self-esteem levels concur)!

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I’m painfully awkward sometimes.

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But at least we clean up good.

 

Beauty Hack of the Moment: Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar beauty hack

Apple Cider Vinegar — or ACV, as it shall henceforth be known — is both multi-functional and a proven crowd pleaser among natural health enthusiasts.

I applaud this popularity and versatility for the simple fact that ACV delivers the goods, from alternative remedies to organic beauty treatments. If it’s not already a staple in your pantry…

Well, it should be.

Nutrient Profile:

  • Vitamin B for elevated energy levels and cognitive function
  • Vitamin C — for increased immunity and cardiovascular support
  • Phosphorus — for optimal nerve impulses and kidney excretion
  • Potassium — for regulated blood pressure and metabolic boost
  • Magnesium — for reduced inflammation and steady heart rhythm
  • Calcium — for strong bone density and lean muscle development
  • Iron — for oxygenated red blood cells and decreased fatigue
  • Pectin — for healthy cholesterol levels and digestive regularity
  • Citric Acid — for disease-fighting antioxidants and kidney stone relief
  • Folic Acid — for stable cell production and DNA mutation resistance
  • Acetic Acid — for counteraction of glucose and insulin sensitivity

Impressive ingredient line-up, huh? But, now for the REAL reason I stock up on ACV — it works wonders for my self-image.

This holistic beauty elixir enhances the appearance of hair, skin, teeth and nails sans the price tag of those fancy-schmancy cosmetic brands (Example: 16 oz. Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar = $2.95).

Here’s just a sampling of my personal favorite ACV uses…

1.   For a Frizz-Free Mane:

Dilute 1/3 cup ACV with 4 cups Water then rinse your hair with this solution after shampooing in order to restore natural smoothness and shine, as well as maintain the scalp’s targeted pH balance.

2.   For an Even-Toned Complexion:

Combine 2 tbsp. ACV with equal parts Water then rub this solution on your skin using a cotton ball in order to reduce discoloration, improve elasticity and fight break-outs (remember to refrigerate beforehand).

3.   For Dazzling Pearly Whites:

Dilute 2 tbsp. ACV with 1/4 cup Water then swish this solution around your mouth for 1 minute before brushing your teeth in order to kill bacteria and diminish stains, as well as eliminate bad breath.

4.   For Salon-Worthy Nails:

Dilute 1 cup ACV with 3 cups Water then pour this solution into a large bowl and soak your hands and/or feet for several minutes over a 2-3 month period in order to provide anti-fungal healing benefits.

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Up the ante on this everyday household item — pamper yourself with an inexpensive yet oh-so-invigorating DIY spa day! And, hey…got any more Apple Cider Vinegar hacks to share? Well, by all means, let’s hear ’em! Sound off in the comments section, por favor.

15 Empowering Mantras to Repeat Every. Single. Day.

The moment you wake up each morning…Before you’re tempted to peek in that mirror and proceed with the dreaded once-over…Before those negative voices begin their unwelcome chorus of self-doubt…

Tune out societal pressures and inner angst by embracing your own version of the so-called “Feminine Ideal.”

What’s that, you say? Easier said than done?

Oh, I hear you, sista! And that’s why the following quotes are a fabulous place to start:

These wise words come straight from the mouths of regular girls-next-door. Women just like you and me.

Alright, so they’re *famous* girls-next-door. But even they’re not immune to body-shaming insecurities or unattainable beauty standards. Besides, their remarks ring undeniable truth that’s worth taking to heart.


  “This is a call to arms. A call to be gentle, to be forgiving, to be generous with yourself. Try to let go of the story line that says you’re too fat or too sallow, too ashy or too old, your eyes are too small or your nose too big. Just look into the mirror and see your face. When the criticism drops away, what you will see then is just you without judgment. That is the first step toward transforming your experience of the world.”

~ Oprah Winfrey

image courtesy of Pinterest


“People often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But I say the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder.”

Selma Hayek

image courtesy of Pinterest

image courtesy of Pinterest


“If we’re regulating cigarettes and sex and cuss words  because of the effect they have on our younger generations, then why aren’t we regulating things like calling people ‘Fat’?”

~ Jennifer Lawrence

image courtesy of Pinterest

image courtesy of Pinterest


“To all the girls who think you’re ugly because you’re not a size 0, you are the beautiful ones. It’s society who’s ugly.”

Marilyn Monroe

image courtesy of Pinterest

image courtesy of Pinterest


“Girls of all kinds can be beautiful — from thin to plus-sized, short to tall, ebony to porcelain-skinned, quirky, clumsy, shy, outgoing and everything in between. It’s not easy because many people still put beauty into a confining, narrow box. But think outside that box, pledge to look in the mirror and find the unique beauty in you.”

~ Tyra Banks

Tyra

image courtesy of Pinterest


“I think about my body as a tool to do the stuff I need to do, but not the be all and end all of my existence.”

~ Lena Dunham

image courtesy of Pinterest

image courtesy of Pinterest


“My great hope is for us to start being kinder to ourselves so that we can start being kinder to each other, to stop shaming ourselves and other people: ‘too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall, too anything.’ There’s a sense that we’re all ‘too’ something, and we’re all not enough. But this is life. Our bodies change. Our minds change. Our hearts change.”

~ Emma Stone

Emma

image courtesy of Pinterest


“Nobody is perfect. I just don’t believe in perfection. But I do believe in saying, ‘This is who I am, look at me not being perfect!'”

~ Kate Winslet

image courtesy of Pinterest

image courtesy of Pinterest


“A rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose. All flowers are beautiful in their own way, and that’s the same with women too. I want to encourage women to embrace their own uniqueness.”

Miranda Kerr

image courtesy of Pinterest

image courtesy of Pinterest


“You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. But you won’t discover this until you are willing to stop banging your head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself.”

Geneen Roth

image courtesy of Pinterest

image courtesy of Pinterest


“Dwelling on the negative merely lowers your vibration and creates sickness in the mind and body. Use your internal strength and willpower to rise above the thoughts pulling you down. And watch your world rise alongside you, continuing to meet you exactly where you are.”

~ Victoria Erickson

image courtesy of Facebook

image courtesy of Facebook


“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate.”

~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth

image courtesy of Pinterest


“There’s no magic bullet. There’s no pill you can take that makes everything great or makes you feel happy all the time. I’m letting go of those expectations, and that’s opening me up to moments of transcendent bliss.

~ Anne Hathaway

image courtesy of Pinterest

image courtesy of Pinterest


“Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than vindictive, jealous, shallow, vain, boring, evil or cruel? Not to me.”

~ J.K. Rowling

image courtesy of Pinterest

image courtesy of Pinterest


“If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty, which is: ‘Who cares?'” 

~ Tina Fey

image courtesy of Pinterest

image courtesy of Pinterest