Smile Fearlessly

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening
This post is sponsored by Smile Brilliant but all thoughts are my own.
Ahhhhh it’s officially time to embrace the Christmas season. Even as busy as the season gets, it’s still easily my favorite time of the year. The Christmas lights, the family time, the carols. I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season!
I have some pretty exciting news! In partnership with Smile Brilliant we are giving away one free teeth whitening kit! What a better way to get that smile pearly white for all of the holiday photos, a special upcoming occasion, or simply to just feel more confident about your smile! As a mama who pretty much lives off of coffee, I’ve always been a little self-conscious about my teeth. It’s a no brainer that coffee stains so I try hard to stay on top of brushing as often as possible and throwing in some whitening toothpaste. But nothing was working quite well enough and even the whitening strips on the market didn’t seem to give lasting results.
When Smile Brilliant reached out I was so excited! I was excited to try a product that had promising reviews and could give me a whiter brighter smile for all those photos during the holidays! Best yet, I could do it during Matthew’s naptime!
When you first receive your kit they have you create your custom molds right at home. I’ll be honest, at first I was super intimidated…what if I messed it up? But rest assured, it was super easy. Honest to goodness I created them in the kitchen after I’d put Matt down for his nap. It took very little time and the instructions were very easy to follow. After your create your impressions, you send them back to Smile Brilliant with a signed waiver and about a week later you receive your custom fitted whitening trays! Super quick turn around which was awesome.
Once you get your trays, you start by putting an even strip of the teeth whitening gel in your top and bottom trays, popping them in your mouth, and doing your thing. I loved that I could wear them so easily while I continued to do laundry, clean, take care of Matthew, and even run! Yes, you read that right, I even whitened on my run!
They recommend that you whiten anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. I typically whitened every other day for about an hour. After you whiten, you brush with toothpaste and wash out your trays. Dry them and then put an even layer of the desensitizing gel in both trays. You’ll wear the desensitizing gel for 15-20 minutes. I don’t typically have tooth sensitivity but this gel is intended to prevent any possible sensitivity/irritation. It worked great as I never had a problem throughout my teeth whitening process.
And without further ado…the results!
 
 
***Drumroll please ***
Here is my before:
And here is my after:
I am so happy with my results and hope to continue using Smile Brilliant’s teeth whitening kit!
The best part of this post though? One lucky reader has the chance to win their very own Smile Brilliant whitening kit! A $139 value!! You can CLICK HERE to enter!
For those who are not selected for the free kit you can still purchase your own with an awesome discount! You can use the code shelovesalatte for 10% off of your very own kit!
Looking forward to hearing how much you all love your Smile Brilliant kit!!
Xoxo
Shelovesalatte 

What to get for that person who has everything! JORD- Authentic Wood Watches

This post is sponsored by JORD, but all opinions are my own.

Being the mom of a one year old is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given. It comes with a lot of responsibility though! Recently we’ve been really trying to be intentional about not having our phones out as much around Littleman. We want him to see the world around him and be able to have conversations with people verbally. I know he’s only one but the time to start setting examples is now. I’m so used to checking my phone all the time for the time though. So being more intentional about not having it out all the time has been a little challenging. I’ve never been a huge jewelry person and to me, watches always kind of seemed manly. I’d started wearing my grandma’s old watch  but realized that the more “traditional” looking watches didn’t really fit my style. So I’ve been on the hunt for something feminine, but also functional. Needless to say, when JORD reached out to me about their women’s line I was over the moon. I’ve been eyeing these beauties for a while and was so excited to be able to have a beautiful piece that would help me keep track of the time and complete my outfit!

Seriously though, I mean, even the packaging is pretty!

 

After receiving my watch, I thought to myself, with the holidays coming up (only about 9 more weeks until Christmas…what?!) , what a wonderful gift idea am I right?! Handcrafted and made out of such beautiful wood makes it such a unique and special piece to gift that special someone in your life. And don’t worry ladies-if you’re shopping for your man they’ve got a gorgeous men’s line too!

I’m super excited to let you guys in on a secret! I have partnered with JORD to give YOU 25% off of your order (Click HERE)! Why not start some Christmas shopping a little early and get a good bargain?!  Ya’ll know I love a good deal. If you click the links below you can view the selection of women’s watches (including the one I’m wearing now!) and their men’s collection!

Men’s shop : https://www.woodwatches.com/shop/men/#shelovesalatte

 

Women’s shop : https://www.woodwatches.com/shop/women/#shelovesalatte

 

My watch: https://www.woodwatches.com/series/frankie-35/zebrawood-and-navy/#shelovesalatte

 

I’d love to know, what are some gifts that you’re super excited about giving this year? Or even hoping to receive?

Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see how I wear my JORD!

Have an absolutely wonderful day!

Xoxo Shelovesalatte

Wooden Wrist Watch


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Welcome to the World Littlehan

I realized last week after a rousing #ThursdayCoffeeChat on Instagram that I’d never really shared my birth story. A story where my world was drastically changed for the better and the story that shares my journey of entering into motherhood. What an exciting few days it was. Does anyone else seem to block out the “traumatic” moments from that day or is it just me? I mean I remember them, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t seem quite so bad now. The pain isn’t there and I came home with one of the best little dudes God could’ve blessed us with. So in advance, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy 🙂

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Thursday afternoon I went in for a weekly check up. I was one day past due and had had issues with pregnancy induced hypertension for a few months leading up to my due date. They hooked me up to do a stress test that Matthew didn’t pass so they quickly sent me to the hospital to do some routine check ups. I called Tim frantic but he talked me off of my ledge and headed to the hospital from work. When we were admitted my blood pressure was 200/100 -needless to say not good and not safe for Matthew or I. They got us into a labor and delivery room and I think it finally hit me then that when we left this place we were leaving with a baby! Fun fact: We didn’t know what we were going to name Matthew when we were admitted. We’d gone back and forth on so many names and much to my protest pretty much decided to not really decide until we had to. When they admit you they fill out the whiteboard in your room with the birth plan, parents names and baby’s name. Then came the moment. The moment they asked for the baby’s name. Tim said Matthew. MATTHEW! I for that moment forgot all of my fears and worries and just celebrated in the joy that we were going to have a Matthew ❤

The first step was to give me an IV and start me on magnesium which would prevent seizures and blood poisoning. Shortly after they started me on pitocin. That stuff is NO joke. 😶 My OBGYN came in on Friday morning and broke my water- she was pretty certain he was coming that evening. C-section kept getting tossed around but by the grace of God we were able to have him naturally. After my water was broken and the pitocin dosage upped, the contractions really started. Tim and I made a pact that I’d go as long as possible without an epidural but with my blood pressure rising and no baby in sight we got an epidural later Friday afternoon (probably a little sooner than I’d hoped for). Y’all this was a live saver and I wholeheartedly believe it provided me with the resting I needed to be able to push.

Saturday morning at midnight it was finally time to push. At 3:11 AM our beautiful boy entered the world at 7lbs 7.6oz and 19 inches long.

This is literally our first photo of him. He’s clearly not stoked to be out lol. We’ve also been told he looked like the Pokemon Machop.

Above is Auntie Carly ^

Below is Auntie Kathleen

Below this is Auntie Ellis and Unkie Johnny:

Here he is all nice and clean 🙂

I remember just crying and saying thank you over and over again. God was so good- we made it out alive and we were so blessed to have our boy in our arms.

After a few hours and some lab results later, Matt had to be transferred to the NICU for monitoring and to start antibiotics for what was a possible infection due to him being in broken water for too long. While I needed the rest, I longed to be up with my boy. I was still on bed rest due to the magnesium but my husband (who so quickly became such an amazing father) spent hours with Matt: running pumped milk, snuggling him, talking to nurses, staying so involved in his care.

Form a short time we had to feed Matt formula in addition to the breast milk so we could keep his weight up.

For a bit he was also under the UV light for a mild case of jaundice. It looks like a mini baby rave.

Here’s daddy having some fun :p

Ya’ll we shared a twin bed for almost a week. I don’t even know how.

Here was our first hearing test! He failed the first round. We had to go back three months later for a retest which he passed. Praise Jesus!

How was he ever this tiny?! Look at that little hand <3

After a week long stay in the NICU & pediatrics we were given the clear to go HOME! Another fun fact: our families pretty much camped out in the family waiting area from Thursday to Saturday (and even made up a song that we still sing) and during our stay in pediatrics blessed us immensely with food, coffee, and so much love and support.

So after a long week, we packed up  Littleman in his car seat and our tiny family of three drove ever so slowly to our home 🚗

 

Our Day Adventure in Portland

I’m back! It’s been such a crazy season. I realized today I haven’t been on since March…maybe some of it is business maybe some of it “writer’s block” but regardless I’m happy to be posting again.

This past week I went on quite the day adventure with my sweet friend Angelica. Angelica’s a flight attendant and a really good one at that. Her go with the flow attitude and ability to adapt to her surroundings has always amazed me. I’d mentioned to her a while ago that if we ever got the chance I’d love to adventure with her in Portland. It’s always been on my travel bucket list and they’ve got the best donuts I’ve ever had. No guys I’m not exaggerating they’re literally the best donuts I’ve ever had. And I want to fly back for more. Or just move in right next door. That could work too. Although… maybe a block or two away would be better for my waistline…

ANYWAYS, we decided we’d make a day trip of it. On Monday morning at 4:30 AM we went to LAX to head off on our adventure. We flew standby which is something I’d never had the fun of doing before. It’s kind of an adrenaline rush! You just wait and stare at the screen and wait some more. And pray that someone slept through their alarm lol. We lucked out and got seats. When they called our names I almost squealed with excitement. Angelica and her son each got their own seat a few rows back. Because Littleman is a lap child my seat possibilities are pretty so somehow I lucked out and got premium seating! WHOOP! I walked to my seat and I think the poor man in the isle and woman at the window winced when they noticed a baby coming towards them. However, they were extremely gracious and I probably should’ve bought them shots because sitting by a kid is no joke.

Overall I want to say Little did pretty darn good. The only crying he did was when we were descending. I think his ears were plugged or popping…how do you even try to help a baby with that? I tried nursing but he refused so we bounce and crinkled paper for 30 minutes…we made it. But speaking of nursing, do ya’ll know how hard it is to do that in the middle seat? I learned that next time, to be prepared I’ll either have a bottle or enough snacks to make up for him skipping a feeding. I think I was a little overconfident in my public feeding skills.

When we landed I let him wiggle for a bit by the windows while he watched the airplanes come and go. A few minutes later I packed him into the Lillebaby and we were off! We took their version of the Metro so I wore little and just sat on the edge of a seat. I really honestly could’ve sat and people watched all day on their Metro. People are fascinating.

Our first stop was my dream donut stop, Voodoo Donuts. Ya’ll this place did not disappoint. I’d say it’s easily my favorite spot so far but Sidecar is still a VERY close second. Angelica doesn’t like donuts but being the lovely giving selfless friend she is she made the trek with me and even tried a vegan donut. Her consensus was good but a little too sweet. I got a maple bacon bar that was AMAZING. I also got their little voodoo doll one that was amazing until you got to the filling…I don’t like fruit filling it just doesn’t belong in a donut. I got Tim a plain glazed that he ate that night when we got home and he said it was “good but thicker in a good way”. We got Angelica’s husband this chocolatey peanut buttery one that looked and smelled pretty darn good so hopefully he liked it… I really should follow up. I also probably should’ve gotten more…I guess this is just my excuse to go back.

Our next stop was Stumptown Coffee. They’ve got one in LA that I’ve ventured too but it was still fun to stop at this one. Their coffee is REALLY good. I wish they had one closer to my actual home. Actually…I don’t. I’d be broke if they were closer.

After donuts and coffee we traveled to Powell’s Bookstore and wandered around the floors of books. This is another place I could’ve easily spent all day in. It was just incredible how many books were under one roof. When you first walk in they’ve got a fun little Oregon section with a lot of novelty items and souvenirs. So many stories and so little time. I’d highly recommend checking it out if you’re in Portland.

Next we went to their local Whole Foods, grabbed some food for lunch, and headed to Washington Park to see the Rose Garden. It was BEAUTIFUL. So many different colors of roses EVERYWHERE! There was also this really cool fountain structure that was near the entry of the main rose level that caught Jojo’s eye so we spent some time walking on it every way we could. One of the coolest parts to me about this place was their playground a little further into the park. It was surrounded by big lush trees and had an amazing structure for the kids to play on and get out some energy. Jojo loved it and Littleman LOVED watching Jojo and swinging on the swings. If you’re in Portland with kids definitely make a stop here. It’s also right by the zoo so you can hit that up too if you have the time.

We ended our day by heading back onto the Metro and heading back to the airport. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and waited to see if enough seats were cleared on this evening flight that we could hop on and head home. Man were we lucky this day! Not only did we get seats but a nice man switched spots with me so Angelica, Jojo, Little and I could all sit together. Little slept a majority of the flight so it was pretty easy for us on the way home.

I think the one thing I really learned is that I should’ve packed more. I know people usually want to pack less so having this in mind when I prepped our diaper bag I left a lot of toys and extra snacks home thinking we wouldn’t really need them. I wish I’d have packed more quiet toys like his rubber ducky, a book or two, his rubber teething balls, etcetera. I probably could’ve packed extra applesauce packets and teething biscuits too. But now I know for the next time we fly. It was one of the most amazing adventures and I am so grateful we got to experience Portland. A huge thank you to my sweet friend Angelica for taking us with her and for having such an adventurous spirit!!

I’ll see you again Portland, you were weird and wonderful and I love ya <3

So tell me friends, what are some things YOU have learned from flying with baby?