Category: Series

If I had a dime for every time someone told me I had really white teeth, I’d have a solid $1.60. That might not seem like a lot, but thats at least 16 people that have told me I have really white teeth. 7 years ago, I was getting ready for my wedding, and I decided I wanted white teeth. Like Ross Gellar in that one episode of Friends where he ends up with glow in the dark teeth he gets them so white. So I went to my dentist and got the trays made. Did they whiten my teeth? Yup. They did. I did have to make an appointment with my dentist, go in and get the trays made, wait a few weeks to have them sent back to my dentist, then go back to to make sure they fit, then start the process. So it took awhile. Also, I didn’t tell my soon to be husband how much I was helping my dentist out financially.

Smile brilliant does all that for you from the comfort of your own couch while you watch Friends reruns (“So no one told you life was gonna be this way, your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A!” Admit it. You started singing it too). They send you a package with the instructions to make your teeth whitening trays. They have a envelope all pre labelled for you so all you do is mail it in. Once your teeth whitening trays are made you get them within 3-5 business days, and then BadaBoom BadaBing! You start your teeth whitening process. Its been 7 years since I last whitened my teeth, so when Smile Brilliant reached out and asked if I’d be willing to try their product, I figured it would be the perfect way to make another $1.60. Every time some one tells me I have white teeth I’ll just ask they make a small contribution of .10 cents.

I want white teeth, I think most people can say they do as well. Smile Brilliant offers so many options to fit your needs. If you have sensitive teeth but are heavily stained, theirs a package for you. Or if your teeth aren’t sensitive at all, but you have decent teeth already and just want to enhance your smile, theirs a package for you. Smile Brilliant makes it easy for you to have that white smile you want. So keep enjoying your starbucks, or Tim Horton’s, or your second cup (but don’t keep smoking… you should quit that), Smile Brilliant has got your back covered. Technically they’ve got your teeth covered, but you guys know what I mean.

Here are some other teeth whitening reviews about the whole process if you still need more convincing. I don’t know why you would though. A Ross Gellar smile and $1.60 sounds pretty good to me. Also, check out this helpful article on 7 things to know before buying teeth whitening. Might help you out with your decision.

 

 

 

Giveaway

Enter to win an amazing giveaway of $139 credit to your own whitening system. If you don’t win, you can still get $20 off any kit of your choice using the code olivebell20. And on top of that, use the code olivebell5 for and additional 5% off your order. This contest ends two weeks from today.

 

 

This post is sponsored by Smile Brilliant, all thoughts and expressions are my own. Thank you for supporting companies that make my teeth white and my smile brighter. My teeth thank you.

 

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How Much Is Teeth Whitening

I turned 30 today. That’s kinda of a big number. I remember freaking out about turning 25, and to think that was five years ago is insane. I know 30 isn’t old. It’s not. I hopefully haven’t even lived half of my life yet. But saying bye to your 20’s is what’s kinda throwing me off. Whatever. My boobs aren’t hitting the floor yet, and that’s nothing a push up bra can’t fix. Cheers to 30, push up bras, and saying goodbye to the girl in her 20’s. *CLINK*  Here are some things I’ve learned in 30 years of living, and some things about me you might not know.

Things You Might Not Know About Me:

1). I’m a homebody. I may have a passport with a few stamps here and there… but my favourite place to be is at home.

2). I hate crowds, busy places, parties, bars, pubs, social events. You know… where there’s people. Ariel had it all wrong. Sebastian knew what was up. (ps- if you don’t get my Little Mermaid reference…. you are younger than 30).

3). I’ve never been to a bar. Which I suppose would make #2 wrong. Because technically I can’ hate somewhere i’ve never been. But I’m pretty sure I would still hate it. And this is my list so bugger off.

4). I can imitate people pretty good. I can’t do accents (I literally can’t even do a Mexican accent. No joke). But I can imitate you. Do not ask me to imitate you.

5). I love weddings. I love the details. The dress. The decorations. Heck, I even like the speeches. My dream job would be for you to pay me lots of money and I plan your wedding. And then you tip me. A very generous tip.

6). I love old people. I really do. I could talk to them all day. Listen to their stories, their life, their opinions. I love old people. However, I do not want to be old quite yet.

Things I Have Learned In 30 Years:

7). People want to be validated. They want to feel useful, needed. They want to feel like they helped you and you’re thankful for what they did. So remember that. Tell someone that you appreciate them.

8). People also want to be offended by something. It’s 2017. If you wanna transform yourself into a unicorn, or a flamingo, or flip, even a beaver (if you’re thinking about it- go for the unicorn), have at er. Just don’t shove it down my throat or get offended because I don’t agree with it. Last time I checked, you didn’t need my approval to feel validated did you?

9). Click bait. If you came from Instagram, I needed you to come read my blog. I get more traffic that way. Thanks for the support and coming to read my blog. Also, sorry you thought you were getting something juicy.

10). Admitting you’re wrong is one of the hardest things to do. It like…. very RARELY happens to me, but when I am wrong, I hate to admit it. We should work on that together. *Fist bump*

11). Your hairdresser will NEVER, I repeat NEVER get your hair to look like the picture your bring her. When I was 21, I took a picture of Jessica Simpson (she’s the “dumb” blonde with a couple mil in the bank who thought tuna, AKA “chicken of the sea” was chicken that…. lived in the ocean? She was a singer in the early 2000’s… you know, if you’re younger than 30). I came out looking like Dora the Explorer. Wanna know how I know I looked like her? A). I’m brown and speak Spanish, and B). because when Dane saw me he literally said “You look like Dora the explorer.” Literally his exact words.

12). Here’s the last thing I’m going to share. It’s probably the biggest thing I’ve learned over the years. Ready? You can’t change and you will not change someone who doesn’t want to change. That person can be a millimetre away from the edge of a 100 ft cliff. You can be telling them they’re going to fall if they don’t move. You can be screaming, kicking, crying, they will not move. Unless you start making the move away from that cliff yourself, that person will not budge. Be the change you want to see, the rest will follow. You don’t tell people they need to change. That will just piss them off. They need to see you make the first move. So make that first move.

If you take anything from this, it is this. Don’t set the standard to Jessica Tuna Simpson. Set the bar to Dora. That way you won’t come out disappointed.

I’m 30 today. My heart has not stopped beating in 30 years. I hope that when I die, someone will say “that girl was happy. She lived a happy life.” (Notice how I said someone? Can’t say “people”, as in plural. Can’t set the bar too high). I’m happy. Not everyday. But most days. Last night, at 11:00 pm my whole family decided to go for an almost midnight swim. So we did. We swam outside in a 30 degree pool underneath stormy skies and patio lights. We raced, we laughed, and we were happy. My heart was happy. I am a happy 30 year old. I hope you are too. And if you aren’t, I truly hope you can find it. That is my birthday wish. For you to be truly happy. That, and the dyson hand held vacuum. Happy Birthday to me, happy day to you.

 

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She turns 1 today. Am I emotional? No. I’m happy. I literally kept a human alive for a year, and thats a huge deal because I could barely keep my nano baby alive (does anyone remember those?) I’m not that mom that will cry and say “she’s not my baby anymore” or “she’ll always be my baby.” Either one. No. I know what the passing of time entails, and it entails your newborn becoming a month old, and then a 4 month old, and then pretty soon you have a 1 year old. And before I know it I’ll have a toddler. I’m not sad because if I’m being totally honest, which I tend to be, it’s that the baby phase was tough and I did not enjoy it as much as maybe most moms. I got mastitis twice, which then resulted in needing antibiotics, which then resulted in thrush twice. Second round lasting a solid three months. My milk flow sucked, so breastfeeding was torture (again, thrush with that was even worse). Olive was a tough baby. She only wanted me, she woke up every 2 hours though the night, and she was loud. Like, REALLY loud. But now she’s at the age where her giggle is the best sound I hear, her toothy grin is the cutest, and her personality is the funniest. She is a little turd, and everyone agrees. She has more personality than I thought a baby could have. She’s got attitude, spunk, she’s funny and she knows it. She can charm any watch off your wrist and slobber on it like nobody’s business. Enough about Olive, lets talk about me. Here’s a few things, tips and tricks I’ve learned in the past year as a new mom. A new less “ish” selfish human being.

  1. I can take a stain out of almost anything. Poop stains are my specialty.
  2. I have more patience I knew I had. Except with Dane. I think I have less patience with him now.
  3. I am totally fine with going to Costco with greasy hair, no make up, and socks I took out of the dirty clothes pile. (It was ONE time, and in my defence, my feet never stink…. so basically they were clean).
  4. I have learned to not longingly stare at people eating before me because I have to eat last due to a child that is whining and crying and is attached to me like an octopus (octopus sounded better than leech in my head).
  5. 3 minute showers, including shaving. Just buy bandaids. You’ll be fine.
  6. Take extra clothes everywhere you go. Even if you’re just going out for 20 mins. That’s when nature (nature is a poop explosion in case you’re wondering. Just thought I’d help you out) will decide is an opportune time to yell “TOLD YOU SO.” Just take the extra clothes.
  7. Take a plastic bag with you. For poop clothes. I once had to walk around the mall with poop clothes in the bottom of the stroller basket. People probably though I had crapped my pants. Also, shout out to GAP who refused to give me a bag because I hadn’t bought something. Clearly the $100,000,000,000 I have spent there on baby clothes doesn’t count as “something.”
  8. You can never have too many diapers.
  9. Baby food is disgusting.
  10. If you put something in your basket online and do the whole checkout process, but then don’t actually checkout, the company will email you within a few days with a coupon code. (This isn’t really baby related, but a very good life tip. You’re welcome.
  11. Baby Gap usually has a “One Day Only sale” every day. Just wait for the 40% off coupon codes. And its free shipping when you spend over $50.
  12. Buy sleepers for the first 3-6 months. So many sleepers. Your baby doesn’t wanna look fashionable. It wants to be warm and cosy.
  13. Buy yourself comfy clothes. You don’t wanna be fashionable. You want to be warm and cosy.
  14. NEVER underestimate how many wipes you will need. take wipes everywhere you go. Lot’s.
  15. Go with the flow. Roll with the punches. “You do you boo.” Flipping SURVIVE. That’s my last piece of advice. If that means crying until snot is rolling down your face, do it. If it means getting up before your baby to get stuff done, do it. If it means having a messy house because you are held prisoner by a baby, do it. No one should judge you. Unless they’ve walked a mile in your shoes… which why would they? That would be weird if a stranger just asked to borrow your shoes and walk a mile and then return them.

Story of the day: today we went to Calgary with my friend. I wore a white shirt with a white lace kimono. Olive wore her baby jeans with white lace and the cutest white lace top. We were adorbs. I got hoison sauce on my right boob at lunch from my lettuce wraps. Just under that was a black tire stain from trying to fold out the most possessed stroller of all time. My left side had something green on it. She then decided to hurl her glass bottle in the middle of the mall, have the bottle shatter and have milk go everywhere. Right smack in the middle of where people walk. Olive then decided to have “nature” (refer to #6) happen on the QE2, which resulted in having “nature” up her back, in her arms (like HOWWWW??) in her hair, all over her car seat. Afton was of wonderful help. You know, with the gagging and commentary: “that is foul.” “Oh man, that is rank.” Thank goodness for wipes and extra clothes (not this day nature, NOT this day). When washing her clothes in the sink in a dingy bathroom on the side of the road, I got my left side of my shirt soaking wet. SO I had a disgusting dirty, white shirt with a soaking wet left boob. Attached to my hip was a child that was not wearing the same clothes she left with, along with a slight smell of “nature.” Just go with the flow. Roll with the punches.

 

Olive Rose, today you are one. Olive Rose, today I celebrate you. I celebrate your 5 teeth, your perfect fingers and toes. I celebrate your grin and your dark eyes and dark eyelashes. I celebrate your tiny ears, chubby cheeks, your infectious scent. I celebrate your round belly, pouty lips, your dark hair. I celebrate your dimply bum, your stork bite on your lower back. I celebrate your laughter, your sweet kisses, your eyes that smile at me with love, your arms that always are held open for mine. I celebrate the way your breath still smells of sweetness and of innocence. I celebrate how you only see me as your protector, not as the flawed human that I am. I celebrate the gift I was given one year ago today, the gift I take for granted, the gift that changed the course of my life. The gift that will never let me be the same as I once was. I celebrate you little one, my little love, my little bug. I love you. I love you. And I love you. I will love you until I can no longer. Happiest of birthdays Olive Rose. You literally have no clue what today is, but I will still celebrate you and your first year of life on this earth.

 

You’re 9 months old today Olive, and I can hardly believe that soon you will have been in my life for a whole year. You cut two teeth, your bottom two middle ones. You’ve started to crawl (mostly face plant). You have learned to give kisses (getting you to do it is another story). You like to tense your arms like you’re flexing, and do this deep growl, and it might be my favourite thing you do. You let me know when you don’t like a toy (you glare at me and bat at my hand and grunt). You can laugh hard now, and it’s this tiny, deep cackle, and hearing you is the best sound. You like strawberry cereal puffs, you can eat almost a whole banana, you like mashed potatoes, and you love to drink cold water. You hate socks on your feet, you hate getting a shirt pulled over your head, or put on. When you’re angry or frustrated you chuck yourself back as hard as you can and wail (I’m waiting for the day you do this on something other than a bed. That’ll be fun). You despise having your nose picked, but love having the inside of your ears rubbed. You have discovered your lungs, and sometimes you just let out the loudest screech and then smile at me, clearly pleased with yourself.

You are the reason to my frustrations, my tired eyes, my long nights, my early mornings. You are why I have poo on my face, barf on my clothes. You are the months and months it took me to finish a book, you are the reason why my diaper bag has everything except the kitchen sink in there. You are shoulder pain from carrying that bag around, you are why my left arm could probably beat Dwayne Johnson in an arm wrestle. You are 20 lbs and something ounces of Olive Rose.

Olive Rose, you are my light. You are why I wake up in the morning (literally). You are my joy, my best gift I’ve ever received, my happiness. You are the reason why my eyes stung with tears when you leaned in ever so gently to give me your first ever kiss on the lips (a lot of slobber, but I’ll take it). You are the reason I open my eyes in the middle of the night and kiss your cheeks over and over again, risking my sanity in case I wake you up. You are the smell I crave, your scent is my comfort (and your dads cologne). Your toes and your stubby thumb are the cutest things. Your eyes and eyelashes are enough to make me cry when you look up at me with the sweetest, most humble look. Your smile lights up a person’s day. Your life Olive, has so much meaning, so much value. You are, without a doubt, my blessing. And I love you. More than you might ever know. Thank you growing in my belly, and thank you for being mine.


I dunno what to do. I wanna cry, I wanna yell at Dane for telling me having a baby was good idea, I wanna tell Tara to stop being so nice because it’s making it hard to be a cow, which is all I wanna do. I wanna tell the nurse that came to hang out that she should have been an anesthesiologist instead of a nurse, I wanna tell my mom to stop rubbing my leg, I wanna scream and tell Olive that she’s being a real brat and she needs to come out NOW. I wanna be doing anything but feeling pain. Which is crazy right? Cuz who doesn’t like feeling pain?

Tara suggests maybe jumping into the shower while we wait for Mr. “emergency C-section” to get his little behind in with the drugs. So I waddle over to the shower. I can’t stand anymore because the contractions are too strong and I wanna puke. So I lay down in the tub. Tara sits on the edge of the tub and with the shower handle pouring hot water over my belly, and It kinda helps. KINDA. Like a really big KINDA. But it helps. Then I get this brilliant idea that I’m gonna start pushing, but I know Tara won’t let me and tell me it’s a bad idea. So I tell her that I really want Dane in here for support. He comes in all not sure of what to do, and he sits where Tara was. Then I start pushing down and making who knows what kind of face. He looks at me like I’m insane and says “what are you doing?! I don’t think you’re supposed to be pushing until you’re completely dilated….”  I give him my wife look, which basically every wife has (you know the look!) Basically means do NOT tell me what to do right now. I’m getting this baby outta me. So I try that for awhile, but no baby comes flying out. Tara comes into the bathroom around 11:30 pm and tells me that the anesthesiologist is going to be here soon, so I need to be ready, on the bed with my sports bra off. Having to get up and out of the tub, honestly, was one of the hardest things I had to do that day. And that’s not really an exaggeration. I have been in labour for almost 2 days, I’m exhausted, I’m scared, and I just want to sleep. But I get up. I go to the bed, and trying to take off a soaking wet sports bra, well flip, I might as well be having twins. Dane has to help me wiggle out of that thing, and if I wasn’t exhausted, and in pain, I might have almost cared. Because a 9 month old woman wiggling out of a wet sports bra very well could be the most unattractive thing you might ever see. Picture a hippo trying to do up a belt with only his teeth. Thats about as graceful as one can look.

The anesthesiologist waltzes in at 11:45 pm, all chill and I wanna punch him in the face. I’m sarcastic, I know I am. But my sarcasm got to a whole new level that night. He asks how I’m doing and I look at him and go “buddy, how does it look like I’m doing? What the heck took you so long?”  He thought I was funny cuz he chuckled. My mom was horrified, because young, polite ladies don’t talk like that. I ain’t no lady today Momma. (Did she not see the hippo trying to do up the belt?) He tells me that I have to be extremely still while getting the epidural.  Because if I move and he hits somewhere else I could be paralyzed, die, my husband would divorce me, my dog would probably get run over, and I could possibly lose all my possessions, blah blah blah, with some other side effects. So I tell him he better know what he’s doing, and he laughs at me again and says he’s done at least a couple before (Mr. emergency c- section is trying to be funny now). So I sit as still as possible, and then I feel the needle go in, and of course that’s when I get a contraction. So he pulls the needle out and tells me I need to be still. Dude, my contractions are less that 90 seconds apart, and you’re being slower than a turtle trekking through molasses, what the flip do you want me to do? He goes in again and it works. But then I see Dane’s face and I get scared. Because he looks like he’s about to pass out. (He told me afterwards that the guys hands were covered in my blood).

They tell me to lay down and relax, I’m hooked up to an IV now pushing fluids through me, and I can almost handle the pain. My contractions slow down and get further apart. It’s close to 1:00 in the morning now. Tara tells my mom and dad and brother to go home, get some rest, because I’m not having this baby till the morning, at least 7:00 am she tells them. So they say their goodbyes and leave. As soon as they go, my contractions start to feel super strong again, basically just like before. And I start to FREAK. OUT. “Tara, this feels just like before. I don’t think the epidural did anything.” She tells me I need another dosage because the first one wasn’t enough. She goes to the front desk to see if Mr. emergency c-section can come back. He comes back pretty quick- probably because he doesn’t anymore lip from me. He tops me up and leaves, and I start to relax in like 15 mins. And then in like 20 mins I tell her I’m ready to push. My parents have literally just left maybe half an hour before, and Dane is trying to get sleep because “I’m not having this baby till the morning…” At least we thought. Tara is knitting, and she doesn’t really think I could have dilated to the full 10 cm in that short of time. So she tells me to relax and get some sleep. So I grab the hand rails of the bed and start pushing like I have never pushed before. Not really the sleeping Tara had suggested. She rushes over and checks me, and her eyes go big. “Your mother is going to KILL me. I sent her home. You’re ready to push. Holy crap. Dane, call her mom, tell her to come fast.” Dane calls my family, they were just getting home. He tells them I’m ready to have this kid and they better come fast. They all jump in the bugatti (we’re loaded like that), and drive all the way back. My brother and my dad wait in the waiting room (for obvious reasons), and my mom comes stands at the end of the bed. Not even Dane ventures that way.

I feel every contraction. I knew when I had to push, I knew when the contraction was over. It was brutal. I swear that that epidural wore off, even though I’m sure it eased the pain. Tara coaches me on how hard I need to be pushing, when to ease off, when to go hard, all to prevent from tearing. It takes everything I have to not just bear down and give it all I have. I keep yelling at her that I feel like I’m taking the biggest poop, and she tells me I kinda am. It’s just a baby this time. Now is not the time for jokes Tara. I remember my mom saying she can see the babies head, and in my mind that means her head is out. I ask how much of her head they can see and Tara says “like the size of a toonie!” I wanna cry. A TOONIE?? I thought her head was out! I almost lose it there. I feel like crying, and I hear myself ask “can’t you guys just like…. pull her out??” The nurse, Tara, my mom, and Dane all laugh at me. I wasn’t trying to be funny. I legit was asking if they could pull her out.

I can go on about the pain, and the pushing, and I can get graphic, but here is the short, pretty version. I closed my eyes, put a damp cloth over my face because I knew my face about to do things that might possibly give Dane nightmares. I felt this strange wave of strength come over me. I knew that this was it. I knew that this next push was going to make me a mother. No more Dane and me. No more of just him and me doing whatever we pleased. This next push was going to be the most life changing push, and I closed my eyes and asked for a little help from above and I pushed. I pushed when I could feel myself getting light headed. I kept pushing when I wanted to stop. I kept pushing, and I kept pushing. I could hear Tara “she’s almost here. c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, you can do it, she’s almost out! You got this.” I pushed until I felt relief and I knew it was my baby, my daughter whose head I had just brought into this world. Tara tells me to reach down and touch her head, and I do. It’s soft an squishy, and slimy and warm. I close my eyes once more and I bear down and there it is. This swoosh of relief, of warmth, of adrenaline. I just brought a life into this world. I fall back and I wanna sleep. You thought I was gonna say I cried didn’t you? No. I closed my eyes, and the exhaustion is like not other feeling I’ve ever felt.  They put her on my chest and she cries. Her first gasp of air that this child has ever taken, and it was on my body. That is something that sticks with you for a long time.

I don’t feel much of anything, other than relief and tiredness. Olive is sleeping on my chest, and she feels slimy and warm and like a baby bird that’s all skinny and dangly. I ask Dane for juice box after juice box. I chug 3 juice boxes in less than 2 minutes. They leave her on me for about an hour and half, and it still hasn’t hit me yet, that this life is my child. We lay there, Olive and me, and she starts to root looking for milk. How is it possible that this baby, only and hour and some old, already knows where she will get her nourishment from? I suppose the same way I know when I see them golden arches.

My labour plans didn’t go according to plan. I should’t be surprised, my plans usually suck. But she’s here, and she’s eight months old, and she’s the cutest kid I’ve ever had. If you’re expecting, do yourself a favour? Don’t be too hard on yourself if your plan doesn’t work out. And thank you for reading this if you read the whole thing. That’s pretty crazy. I conclude this very long post with “On May 24, 2016, after forty-four hours of labour, Miss Olive Rose Redel came into my life.”

Thank you for everything Olive. Your Momma,

Me.

Blurry picture, but still one of my faves.

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