My At-home Teeth Whitening Routine

Hey y’all!

As you may know, being in college comes with a lot of stress, late nights studying, and, most importantly, coffee. Coffee every morning (and sometimes throughout the day too) makes it pretty easy for my teeth to get stained. I’ve tried all the whitening strips you can imagine, DIY treatments (aka gross-tasting baking soda), and many tubes of whitening toothpaste, and still, hadn’t gotten the results that I wanted. I was so excited when Smile Brilliant reached out to me for this collaboration! I was skeptical at first, but after using my Smile Brilliant system for the first time, I was in looooove. It was like the perfect happy medium between at-home whitening systems and professional whitening systems. With this system, I can talk, study, AND whiten my teeth at the same time. It’s kinda a win-win if you ask me. 

Keep reading to see my full review, results, AND get the details on another GIVEAWAY!

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After getting my system in the mail, I created molds for the custom-fitting whitening trays. These trays are what the whitening gel goes in, and make it so that I can even talk while whitening my teeth! Getting my smile Brilliant trays was easier than expected: once I made the dental impressions, I sent them back to the Smile Brilliant labs so they could create my trays. About a week later, my custom trays arrived in the mail! After that, you simply add the gel to the trays and wear them for up to 3 hours at a time. After a few minutes, I usually forget I’m even wearing them! I usually keep my trays in for 45 mins – 1.5 hours, and this is when I might finish up a blog post or catch up on a tv show before bed.

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Once the timer is up, I just take them out, rinse them out, then brush my teeth as normal. Then I’ll apply a small amount of the desensitizing gel in the trays and put them back in for about 20/30 mins while I wash my face and complete my nightly skincare routine. Smile Brilliant systems are able to whiten your teeth so well because the gel is able to spread evenly and really coat your teeth since the trays fit your teeth perfectly. The best part about it is that it doesn’t have that gross whitening flavor that so many other methods have so that 1-3 hrs of whitening is even easier.  It’s super easy and SO convenient. 

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Before (right) and after (left) using my Smile Brilliant System

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I’ve been using the Smile Brilliant T3 sensitive kit to whiten my teeth for the past few weeks and it has really made a difference in the way my teeth look. Now my teeth are always ready for a photoshoot, formal, or just daily life!

GIVEAWAY

I’m so excited to offer y’all the chance to win your very own T3 whitening system from Smile Brilliant! These kits normally cost upwards of $150, but you can have the chance to get one for F R E E. Click the link *here* to enter to win one free Smile Brilliant T3 sensitive whitening kit

Much love,

Chloe

I was provided a complimentary teeth whitening system from Smile Brilliant in exchange for this review. As always, all opinions are my own! Thank you Smile Brilliant for sponsoring this post! 

Tooth Whitening Gel

We Are Called to be More

Hey Y’all!

Today’s blog post is just me spilling my heart into semi-coherent words. Here are some of my thoughts that I felt the need to share! 

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Going with the world will never lead you to peace.

I’ve kinda found this out the hard way multiple times in my life, and each time I’ve thought “ maybe this time.” Maybe this time I’ll be pretty enough. Maybe this time I’ll wear the right clothes. Maybe this time I’ll write the perfect blog post and get lots of views. I tried to find a better way to describe it, but I only came up with two words: “less than.” This is a feeling that I have struggled with since I-don’t-even-remember-when. Less pretty than my friends. Less perfect than the people you see on social media. Less popular. Less known. Less wanted.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, good! I hope you never feel this way. But if you have, and if these words seem familiar, you are not alone. you are not broken. you are more than. You are worth more than all of the priceless things on this earth because of the one who created you made you perfect! Not perfect to society, but perfect in his eyes. We are in this world, but not of this world, so why should we try to conform to the norms of a world in which we don’t belong to?

You are more than your past. You are more than your emotions. You are more than what people may say you are. You are more precious in His eyes than anything this world has to offer: you are more than!

Living a life of doubt is not how God wants us to live. I have come to realize that no matter how hard I try to be a part of this world, I am made for something more. We are all made for something more as followers of Christ.  This is a little reminder to take a step back and ask yourself “is this who I want to be? Is this who I really, truly, deep down-no-matter-how-hard-I-try-to-get-perfect-winged-eyeliner am meant to be?” My answer to that question was a hard no. And maybe yours is too, or maybe you are exactly who you are called to be. But we are all called to be more, called to love one another, and called to be who God creates us to be.  Go out there and be you!!!! You are loved.

Much love & go be a light,

Chloe♥

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Photography by Madison Martin Photography

 

 

5 Ways to Beat the Cold Weather Blues

Hey yall!

The holiday season has come to an end, which means cold, cloudy, rainy weather with ZERO holiday cheer. I don’t know about yall, but January and February I tend to fall into a kind of slump. I want to stay inside, I don’t get things done, and honestly, I just want some sunshine. In this blog post, I’m going to give yall 5 things that I do to get out of my slump and feel good about life!

ONE.

Get to the gym. Or do an at-home workout. or do some yoga, go to a barre class, whatever. Just get moving! I always feel so rejuvenated and happy after I workout (and sore), so make some time in your day to get those endorphins pumping. Because “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t!” (name that movie!)

TWO.

Find some yummy seasonal fruits and veggies and try out a new recipe! Cooking is such a stress reliever for me, and I love finding new ways to incorporate seasonal fruits and veggies into my meals. Make a smoothie for breakfast, try a new recipe for lunch and dinner, and you’ve got a refreshed, healthy day set out for you!

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THREE.

Go shopping! (but do I really have to tell you to?) I always find it fun to buy myself something cute when I’m feeling down, whether its a new shirt, on-clearance shoes, or even a new $1 face mask or chapstick. Having a new little something to wear out makes my day so much fun, and I always like to incorporate something summery into my buys.  Floral tops, coconut scented lip balms, cute sandals to get me excited for the warmer weather, you name it. 

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FOUR.

Listen to new music! I’m loving songs by Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, and John Mayer right now. Jason Mraz’s music is so happy and reminds me of warm weather, so its the perfect thing to listen to when I’m not in the mood for the inevitable cold weather.

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FIVE.

Be content with where you are! I know it can be so easy to get caught up in the dreams of tomorrow (and warmer weather), but take each day as it comes and live in the moment! So many wonderful things happen in these colder months, so live it, love it, and know that you are so loved!

Much love,

Chloe

Holiday Kickoff + Family Traditions

Hey yall!

It’s the holiday season and I couldn’t be more excited. From Christmas music and holiday foods to winter fashion and family traditions, it all seems so magical! Since the holidays are upon us and family traditions are at large, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things that my family does every winter!

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1. Holiday kickoff brunch

Although this isn’t a very “traditional” tradition, it’s still one of my favorites. The week before Thanksgiving, my mom and I go get brunch at a local cafe, then go shop for Christmas gifts for the rest of our family. This year I got a blueberry quinoa bowl with granola and fruit and it was so yummy! My mom got a goat cheese omelet, and although I’m not a huge egg fan, I gotta say it looked pretty tasty. I love this time that my mom and I spend together because it’s such a nice time to catch up on life and breathe for a while. Since I’m either in classes or working for most of the day, we usually don’t have time to just sit and chat, so I love the times that we have together. 

2. Christmas tree chopping

Every year since I can remember, my family has gone to a Christmas tree farm about an hour away to pick out the *perfect* tree. It’s usually freezing cold, and walking around a Christmas tree farm for an hour or so may not seem like the most fun thing, but it’s always so fun and memorable! After chopping down the tree, we tie it to the roof of the car and drive the hour back to our house, where we put lights, ornaments, and LOTS of silver sparkly tinsel on it. There is always lots of Christmas music, hot chocolate, and LOTS of pine needles stuck in my hair, without fail. every time. 

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3. Baking one of my Great-grandmother’s chocolate pies

As a little girl, I always loved my great grandmother’s chocolate pie, which my grandmother would make every Christmas. Now, I have the chocolate pie recipe and it’s always so special to make that pie on Christmas morning! I absolutely love to cook, and so making something that’s so special and close to my heart makes Christmas morning even more amazing. 

4. Christmas Shopping

Umm… shopping. Need I say more? 🙂 But really, I absolutely love finding gifts for my friends and family to give to them on Christmas. Christmas shopping is always so fun and festive in my family, as it usually involves early mornings, peppermint mochas, and lots of laughs with my sister. 

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5. Midnight mass on Christmas Eve 

Time to share my FAVORITE thing about the holiday season: Midnight mass! Every Christmas Eve, after my family has dinner at my grandparent’s house, we go to Mass around midnight. Mass is always a great addition to any day, but there is something so special about going to mass with my family on Christmas eve. 

I’d love to know: what are your favorite traditions in your family? I love hearing other traditions and fun things that other families do during the holidays!

Much love,

Chloe

Have you entered my JORD wooden watch giveaway? If not, click here!

 

My Thoughts on Change

Hey y’all!

Grab your hot chocolate and get comfy, because this post is going to be deep. I’ll start off by saying that a few times in my life, I have had people tell me “you’ve changed”…maybe they’ve told me directly, maybe they’ve told someone that I’m close to. But y’all, I’d sure hope that I’ve changed. Don’t ever apologize for changing, growing as a person, weeding negativity out of your life, etc. As long as you’re not changing for the worse, don’t ever be apologetic for it. Change is good and the people who are worth your time and energy will grow with you and accept the change!

I remember the first time someone ever told me “you’ve changed”. I honestly didn’t know how to feel. Was it an insult? Was changing as a person a bad thing? I’m here to tell you that it’s not. Like I said earlier, as long as you’re not changing for the worse, and are growing as an individual, don’t ever be apologetic for it. Change can be so good! The people who are truly worth your time and energy will accept your growth and grow with you and accept the fact that people change!

Another thing you should never be apologetic for: weeding negative people out of your life. You should surround yourself with people who inspire you, build you up, make you happy, and help you grow into the person God created you to be. God will send people into your life that you never knew could have such a positive impact on the way you see yourself and the world. As soon as you find the strength to leave the negative behind, accept change, and move forward with complete trust that God has a plan for your life…you will find so much happiness. (I speak from experience). 

The funny thing is, I don’t like change. At all. I am 100% the type of person that likes to plan out every aspect of everything and will completely freak out if something even goes slightly off plan. This is kinda where the whole “Trusting God” thing comes into play… and I will be completely honest in telling you that sometimes, (or more times than not), it can be really hard to put all of your trust in Him. But here’s the thing that i have to tell myself multiple times a day… God has a plan for me. And He has a plan for you. Maybe you’re reading this and can’t relate one bit to what I’m saying, maybe trusting God comes easily to you. But maybe you’re like me, and need that little constant reminder of “God’s got you”. 

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Friends, whatever changes you may be going through right now, pray for the grace to be at peace with the present. Be grateful for the blessings that you have today instead of being constantly preoccupied with what’s around the corner. Honestly, I am 100% guilty of focusing too much on the future and paying no attention to the people and blessing that I have in the moment. Go to God with a patient and trusting spirit. He’s got you

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

“Do not fear, beloved. Peace! Take courage, and be strong.

-Daniel 10:19

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” -Psalm 18:2

Much love,

Chloe

Simple Joy Of GIVING: FOCUS Missions

Hey yall!

It’s time again to launch The Simple Joy Of Giving! This is the second month of t-shirts & charity donations, and I’m so excited to see what we can accomplish this month!

Order your shirt here!

The Simple Joy Of Giving is a not-for-profit campaign that directly benefits the less fortunate worldwide and in local communities. Every few months, I will be selling newly-designed t-shirts to raise money for a different cause or organization! One-hundred percent of the proceeds will go directly to that month’s selected cause. In April, my readers raised over $200 for a soup kitchen in my hometown!

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I started The Simple Joy Of Giving as a way to give back to my local community. My initial thought was to just raise money to fund a future mission trip, but then I realized that I could do so much more with this project! I came to the realization that, since I have this platform of my blog, I could expand this campaign into an ongoing fundraiser for my local community, and will hopefully one day grow to spread the Word of God and to help struggling communities worldwide. I also hope to one day go on a mission trip, and hopefully, this little project can help me reach that goal!

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In my hometown alone, 18.2% of the population lives in poverty. That’s almost a fifth of the population of Huntsville, Alabama, but it’s a small percentage compared to the worldwide statistics: approximately 80% of the world population lives on less than $10 a day. Nearly 50% of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day.   1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. Researching these statistics and seeing the widespread, but little known, disaster of poverty in this world has helped me realize that people are in need everywhere, every day. I have volunteered at this local soup kitchen many times, and it filled me with so much joy that so many people were willing to help me raise money to purchase meals for the less fortunate in my hometown. 

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Before I started this campaign, I prayed that the Lord would fill me with compassion and patience and wisdom to help me with the whole process of this campaign. after the first month passed, I finally realized that so many prayers had been answered! Not only my prayers but maybe even other people’s prayers that I don’t know about. It has definitely shown me that prayers DO get answered, even if not the ways we initially imagine them. 

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This Month’s Cause

For the month of August, the proceeds will be donated to a FOCUS mission trip. FOCUS, The Fellowship of Catholic University Students, is a group of people passionate about changing the world and helping college students live a life of purpose through Christ. FOCUS Missions believes that we have a unique opportunity to reach the world and be forces of good, both in uncharted territory and in our own familiar homelands. I’m so excited to help fund someone’s mission trip through focus, and I hope that others are as excited about this as I am! Click here to order your shirt and make a difference in this world!

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And to the person who wants to start something similar for the glory of God:

GO FOR IT! It’s definitely a long process of waiting, praying, and waiting some more, but the results can be so beautiful. Even if you don’t raise as much money as you wanted, or if it doesn’t go quite as planned, Trust in God’s timing and in His will and everything will go the way He planned it to. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the people around you, and don’t be afraid of any problems/struggles you may encounter. You are doing good for the world and your community and spreading the Love of God; that is such a beautiful thing! 

Order your shirt here!

Much love,

Chloe

Our deepest hungers are not for food and drink, not for amusements and recreations, not for property and wardrobes, not for notoriety and gossip. We hunger for truth, we thirst to drink beauty, we yearn to celebrate, we stretch out to love and be loved. This is why anything less than everything is not enough.

– Father Thomas Dubay

 

I Choose The Sky

Hey yall!

I have collaborated with one of the sweetest bloggers I know to bring you a few books that have influenced our faith as Catholic women. Read about more books and check out Maddy’s blog here! I am so blessed to be able to collaborate with such a faith-filled young woman and I hope you all take the time to go check out her blog! 

The book that I chose to write about is a small but impactful devotional by Emily Wilson. In this post I’m going to be telling y’all a little about how this book has influenced my faith journey, and I invite you all to go read the full post (linked at the end of this post) on No Greater Love!

I Choose The Sky by Emily Wilson has immensely influenced my faith journey,  and I cannot stress enough how much I believe each and every young woman should read this book! This book focuses on 17 women mentioned in the Bible who chose to lift their eyes towards heaven by living lives of great faith. Reflecting on women such as Tabitha, the crippled woman, Mary, and Martha has shown me that no matter what situation I may be in, Jesus still has an immense love for me. This book can help women of all ages to grow their faith and has changed the way I look at myself and the world. It was so powerful to re-read the stories of those women. Emily’s reflections on who these women are and what we as Catholic women can learn from them truly touched my heart. This book really helped to deepen my understanding of my identity in Christ as a woman, and I hope everyone who reads it can find a new light and a new understanding of these often-overlooked women in the Bible. e1ff6e80-a404-4296-9956-face80be0062Something that stood out to me the most in this book is Emily’s reflection on the story of the crippled woman in the Bible. After reading the story of the crippled woman, the book reflects on our perspectives in life, and how we can choose our perspective. I found this part of the book to be so inspirational; I, too, can often be like the crippled woman, constantly looking down and not having the spiritual strength to raise my eyes to heaven. Choosing to focus on the sky, not just physically, but spiritually, has opened up my world in a new light. Although I still find it hard to “choose the sky” sometimes, I have that conscious effort pushing me to focus on the good. Here’s an excerpt from this section of Emily’s book that I love:

“Our perspective and our outlook have an amazing impact on our day-to-day lives. Our perspective dictates how our days seem to go, how we treat others, how we treat ourselves, and how we see the world. We have the power to choose whether we approach life with positivity or negativity. We make the decision to be cheerful, loving, and kind, even when life is challenging…or to give in to envy, self-loathing, or despair when we just wish things were different, or better, or easier. We get to decide which outlook we have: Are you looking at the ground, or are you looking up at the sky?

“If given the choice between the ground and the sky, I choose the sky”

-Emily Wilson

I hope you all are inspired to “choose the sky”, and I hope you all have the opportunity to read this book. I’ll link Emily Wilson’s website below so you can take a look! 

Much love,

Chloe♥

Emily Wilson: http://emwilsonmusic.com 

No Greater Love Blog: nogreaterloveblog.com

Read about more books that have inspired our faith: Books Of Greatness

“God indeed is my salvation, I am confident and unafraid. For the Lord is my strength and my might and he has been my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2