Smile Brilliant: Best At Home Whitening System

A couple months back Smile Brilliant reached out to me and asked me if I would test out their whitening system and share it with y’all on my blog. Um hello, white teeth are a dream come true. I said yes almost instantly because I was going to be able to try a new whitening system and share my honest opinion about it with you ANNNND do a giveaway with them so one of you can have pearly whites too!

Let me tell y’all how blown away I was when I received my teeth whitening kit. It is the coolest teeth whitening system ever because of how personal their system is for your teeth. I was doing a lot of white strips before I got married, which work well but unfortunately those whiteners are a “one size fits all” type of strip and left my teeth sensitive to cold things like ice cream/frozen fruit. Smile Brilliant sends you a box with different putties so you can make a custom mold for your teeth trays. Then you send the mold back to them so they can make your custom trays for your top and bottom teeth. Smile Brilliant includes the packaging that is needed to send it back to them with a prepaid postal sticker so it’s a simple process. Once you ship the mold they ask for a couple of business days to create your custom trays.

Then they send your custom trays back with a few of the 2 different types of syringes for your whitening process. They send you a how-to step by step for the process to make it easier to understand. The card tells you exactly how to go about the process in case you have any questions. It couldn’t be more simple. So, the first syringe is the teeth whitening gel. You line your tray with the whitening gel and leave them in your mouth from about 15 minutes to an hour, whatever works best for your teeth. I worked my way up gradually within the month. It totally wasn’t necessary for me to “work my way up” in time since the second syringe is a desensitizing gel. If you’re familiar with teeth whitening systems, you know that they tend to leave your teeth very sensitive especially if you leave the product on for a long time. Thankfully the desensitizing gel counteracts the sensitivity that may be caused from the whitening gel. Literally, what a dream. Finally a teeth whitening system that doesn’t leave your teeth feeling wrecked after.

The best part is, with all of these amazing accomodations from Smile Brilliant, the product is still remarkable in what it is meant to do, which is whiten your teeth. The results I’ve gotten from using Smile Brilliant is impressive. My teeth are whiter without having caused any sensitivity at all. The results look natural and my teeth do not look bleached white. My stains are gone and I couldn’t be happier with sharing this product with y’all.

The part you all have been waiting for…THE GIVEAWAY!

One lucky winner will win $149 in credit to use for their own personal Smile Brilliant kit. All you have to do is submit your name and email address on the giveaway page in order to be entered! This giveaway is open internationally. The winner will be selected and contacted via email by 9/16!

If you are interested in ordering your own kit, I have a discount code for you.

Use code champagneandacarryon at checkout for 15% off!

Best of luck!

https://www.smilebrilliant.com/g/champagneandacarryon

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My First Season Traveling With My Husband (baseball)

This baseball season was my first season traveling with Justin. It was unreal. I don’t even know where to begin. I had never traveled with him for the whole season before. I usually just took trips during season to see him for a weekend or so when we were dating and when we were engaged. I wish I would’ve done it sooner because I didn’t know what I was missing out on.

The reason I didn’t travel before was because we weren’t married and we were both pretty traditional still in the sense of the idea of not living together before marriage. But that’s just us! So when we got married in January I was still on the fence about traveling with him because of, well a lot of things. I would 1. Be leaving to the world of the unknown 2. I had a great job that I LOVED 3. Moving meant I’d be SO far from my friends and family.

After weighing out the pros and cons on me traveling with him we decided that traveling with him would be the best thing for us and our marriage (especially since we were newly married!).  Like I said, we have never lived together before so this would give us the “real” feel of marriage and being together all the time. You know, yelling at him for never remembering to put the toilet seat down. Or him getting mad at me for all the hair strands left around the house because of me. The fun stuff 😉 I wasn’t ready to have a marriage that was based on FT dates and texts because I was tired of distance and I couldn’t do it anymore after dating through distance. Some women do distance through dating and marriage and I am amazed by those gals because it’s HARD to be apart from each other. So kudos to those strong women.

Of course I was judged for any decision I made regarding traveling with him or not. Whether it was me being “foolish to leave the comfortable job I was at to follow my husband around playing baseball.” And then there were the people who said, I’m “foolish for letting him leave for 6 months out of the year without following him like a wife should.” I heard it ALL. But the deciding factor wasn’t about anyone else. It was about us and what we wanted. He wanted me to go and I knew I had to do what was right for us, not just me.

It was one of the best experiences we’ve ever shared together. Seeing new places and living on our own was amazing, especially on the other side of the country. Baseball brings some pretty great experiences, so it was nice to be there for all the fun places baseball took us and of course to be able to see him do what he loves to do every single day. The ballpark began to feel like more of a home than my apartment did, and it was in a good way. It was a totally different lifestyle than I was used to and I loved every bit of it, for the most part.

When I say, for the most part, I say it to be transparent. As some of you may know, when you travel with your guy there are still some times where you can’t travel with them. I would stay behind for a few road trips that were too far to drive or when we couldn’t afford the hotel stay since he has to pay for our room if I go but if I don’t go he is able to room with another guy for free on the road. So, those trips I would stay back for became REALLY lonely for me. Like really lonely. I wrote a post about how my first few weeks went and it was one of the most challenging times for me being a part of this baseball life. I wasn’t quite ready to be independent enough to roam the streets of a new town with confidence. My anxiety was the worst it had ever been. I was away from everyone in a town I wasn’t too familiar with. It was hard to adjust to (I never adjusted to that honestly.) but it was worth being with him 3/4 of the month most months. We do what we can for our guys to support them and to be able to enjoy this ride with them.

Luckily, I met some of the greatest people this season. Some of the girls I met became my bffs. There was one host family that I became particularly close with. They ended up being my family for the summer and made me feel right at home with their true southern hospitality. I don’t know what I would’ve done without the friends I made and the families I met. That is another reason I’m thankful I traveled this year since usually I didn’t get the opportunity to make good friends or become acquainted with people well enough in the two weekends I would go see Justin before I traveled with him. I’m so lucky that baseball allowed me to cross paths with some genuine people who are so sweet. But that is just another perk of the baseball life that weighs out the not so great parts we come across.

Overall, we were both so happy with the decision we made for me to travel. It was the absolute best thing for us. I’ve never been as close to my husband as I am now. I was able to be there to comfort him on his bad days and to celebrate with him on his good days. We learned so much more about each other since we had more time together than just the usual 6 months the off season allows. We didn’t have as many distractions like we normally do when we’re home. We didn’t have to worry about other people since we were away from everyone. It was a great thing for our marriage and I’m so glad we made the decision together to do so. This has definitely been one of my favorite summers, ever.

So, cheers to my first entire season traveling in the books! And cheers to the seasons to come!

Our Life Plan & God’s Timing

This has been heavy on my heart for a while now and I knew I needed to share on this topic. Lana Harrison (@Lanaelizabethharrison) and I worked on this piece together and we pray that it helps someone, even if it’s just a little.

We’ve all been through those seasons of waiting or have been completely impatient with how our lives are playing out. Trust me, you are not alone. Whether it be waiting for the next boyfriend/girlfriend to come along, an engagement to finally happen, that moment you find out you’re pregnant after trying for months, making that advance in your career, or seeing improvement in an area of your life, we’ve all been there at one point or another. And the season of waiting isn’t always fun.

I’ve been there. I’ll be there again. But next time I’m there it won’t be as anxious of a time for me because I have been able to realize that God’s plan for me is far beyond my own plan for myself. Every time I have wanted something and been put on hold I was frustrated and upset because I didn’t trust His plan. But I came to realize that there was always something better waiting for me. Because often times we have our plan figured up in our heads expecting to get that exact thing from God when we ask Him for it. We pray for His will to be done while deep down hoping that it lines up with what we have mapped out.

There have been times where I didn’t get the position I wanted in my career and I had to wait for another opportunity to come along but when it did I realized why God made me wait and why I wasn’t given the original position even after hundreds of prayers. What He had in store for me exceeded what I wanted for myself. And that is always the case. Never has God made me wait or put things I wanted on hold and not delivered or given me better. Our waiting periods are not always “no’s” from God. Waiting seasons are designed to prepare you for the upcoming promise God has in store for you. It simply means that you are not ready yet. Waiting is protection, not God withholding something from you.

God loves us far beyond anything we could ever fathom. Why would he not want the best for us? Think about it. God Himself created you in His own likeness. His OWN image. That itself is a promise that God wants the absolute best for you and His plan is not flawed. But He isn’t going to force you to follow it. He’s going to offer it, and then He’s going to give you the option to choose it. You will either trust Him and step out in faith, or think He is withholding something from you and fall back into your comfortable state. He isn’t going to let you settle and throw anything remarkably decent your way. He’s going to offer you the best thing possible for you, and guess what, it isn’t always going to line up with what you think it should be. God is God and we are merely human beings, and Satan would like nothing more than for you to fall back into your pit of comfort because you think you know more about you than God does. Satan’s best work starts in the heart of an uncommitted Christian. Someone who not only dwells in a specific mindset because its comfortable but refuses to let God move because they feel as if He is withholding something from them. And trust me, if Satan tempted Adam and Eve with that mindset, he won’t stop from doing it to you either.

God has purpose for the seasons you are in. In our seasons of waiting we become disciplined and learn to trust in Him and His plan. When we realize that He has it all under control, it makes the seasons of waiting a lot easier to push through and sometimes it doesn’t even feel like we have to push through because we understand that He has a purpose for everything. When we come to the realization that He knows far more about us than we ever will is when true faith begins. But faith isn’t necessary when we know everything that is going to happen in our lives. He is a good God but He only gives us what we need for the day. And when we become grateful for what God has given to us RIGHT NOW, then we can trust Him with what He plans to give us in the future.

If you’re currently in a season of waiting or God’s timing doesn’t align with yours, be patient and have faith. Both patience and faith are things that cannot be inherited or learned, but they are supernatural thing that only an all-powerful God could ever give. It beings with trust. It begins with knowing that He is the Creator and we are just the created being. We are on journey after God’s own heart and His ways are higher than ours. Walk in freedom, friends. He wants nothing but the best for you and it’s His offering, and all He wants is your patience and your trust. Let Him do a work in you today and watch Him do the supernatural in your life.

By: Lana Harrison & Victoria Garza

My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

It’s the best time of the year! Not actually, but it feels just like Christmas with this #Nsale going on.

If you’re a Nordstrom card holder you have access to the sale online and in store right now until July 19th. If you’re not a card holder do not fear, you have access to the sale on July 20th.

This is going to be short and sweet. Below are the items I’ve placed in my shopping bag for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. As crazy as I could have gone with this, I chose items and pieces that I know I am getting an absolutely amazing deal on since most of these items don’t ever lose their value. There are a lot of items in the sale that have significantly lower prices, so I could not let them pass me by.

Happy shopping, friends!

Nixon The Arrow Milanese Mesh Strap Watch 38mm

$200.00 $132.90

T3 White & Chrome Cura Hair Dryer

$200.00 $134.00

Chenille Robe

$98.00 $64.90

Capri Blue Signature Jar Candle

$30.00 $19.90

The North Face Gotham II Down Parka

$249.00 $185.90

Patagonia Nano Puff Water Resistant Jacket

$199.00 $148.90

DRYBAR The Most Wonderful Waves Set

$240.00 $165.00

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Skin Care Set

$118.00 $72.00

Philosophy Purity Trio Set

$87.00 $55.00

Herschel Supply Co. Strand Flight Satin Duffel Bag

$80.00 $52.90

Adidas Edge Lux Clima Running Shoe

$85.00 $63.90

Charlotte Tilbury The Pretty Pink Lipstick Set

$90.00 $60.00

Tory Burch Marsden Leather Wallet Crossbody

$228.00 $151.90

rag & bone/ JEAN High Waist Skinny Ankle Jeans

$198.00 $132.90

Gentle Souls Charlene Peep Toe Sandal

$194.95 $129.90

Rebecca Minkoff Galyn Mule

$164.95 $99.90

Vince Camuto Kochelda Over The Knee Boot

$239.95$159.90

Zella Live In High Waist Leggings

$54.00$35.90

Nike Indy Sports Bra

$35.00 $25.90

Zella Mira Tank

$39.00$24.90

Kylie Jenner’s Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

Kylie Jenner has been poppin’ with her recipes lately. I know she posts most of them on her Snapchat. They seem pretty unhealthy for the most part but not this one! So when I saw her chicken noodle soup recipe I knew I had to try it since I’m a big soup lover. Whether it’s hot or cold, I can always go for some soup. So, obviously I had to try this recipe. Chicken noodle soup is such a staple and this recipe is a keeper.

Kylie didn’t put the measurements for the recipe on her story so I’m going to tell y’all what I measured out for this because it turned out perfect. It made enough for 6 bowls of soup.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1/4 stick of butter

2 sticks of celery

2 carrots

1/2 of an onion

2 cups of egg noodles

1 1/2 carton of chicken broth

2 1/2 table spoons chicken bouillon

1 cup cooked chicken (shredded)

Salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)

Garlic powder (to taste)

So I followed Kylie’s steps from her Instagram story and the first thing she did was put butter and chopped celery in a pot over the stove and let it simmer. Once the celery and butter melt together add the chopped carrots. I added some more butter once I put the carrots in.

Cook those for a little bit till they get softer.

Season the veggies with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Then add the chopped onion.

I let the onion cook for about 1 minute and then I added the chicken broth.

After that I added the chicken bouillon to the broth and veggies.

I let that cook for a about 8 minutes on low before adding the noddles so that the veggies could get a bit softer.

So once they were soft enough (not too soft because they’ll cook a little longer with the noodles) I added the egg noodles to the soup.

I let the noodles cook for about 8/10 minutes and then added some shredded chicken because it was already cooked, and all the chicken needed was to blend with the soup and warm up.

Easy right?!

Yes. And it was soooo good.

Happy cooking!

Q+A

SOOOO, being a twenty-something year old gal, I realized that I have so many questions for the people I follow on Instagram, WordPress and even Youtube. I LOVE when influencers do Q+A’s because you get to know the person a little better with each question answered. Being that I am a newbie blogger I thought I might as well share more about me through the questions y’all might have for me about me or my life!

Here we goooooo…

Marriage

Q: Whats your favorite part about being a wife?

A: I don’t have one particular thing that I love about being a wife. I think my favorite part is overall being Justin’s wife. I love knowing I’m in this with my best friend. I can admit that I love the duties I’ve taken on since being married. I enjoy taking care of Justin and our “home”. I love knowing it is us against the world and that we both hold that so close to our hearts. 

Q: How long have you been married?

A: Justin and I have been married for 6 months TOMORROW. We got married on January 14, 2018. I am a new wife, still learning!

Q: How did you and your husband meet?

A: We actually met in middle school, in 7th grade. I’m pretty sure we started our friendship on Myspace and it makes us feel that #tbt feeling every time we talk about it (hahah). We haven’t been dating since then though. Although, we did date in middle school. We reconnected a year after high school and started dating serious then and now we’re here! But, we have known each other since middle school so that’s how we originally met. 

Q: What is your husbands favorite meal that you make for him?

A: I make some tasty enchiladas with chicken and green sauce and also my sister’s turkey tacos that I’ve posted about before. Since I am a new wife I haven’t mastered my kitchen skills but we’re making progress. As long as I can make those two things, he’s happy! The enchiladas and the tacos are def his favorites out of the meals I have learned to cook.

Baseball

Q: Do you like being a baseball wife?

A: I do. I WILL NOT sugar coat anything though because I had such a hard time adjusting to it when I first moved to Virginia. It isn’t the most ideal lifestyle and you aren’t given the best circumstances a lot of the time but I wouldn’t trade this for the world. As long as my husband is happy and chasing his dreams and I’m able to be right by his side rooting him on, I’m happy.

Q: Would you move with him again next year? Why/Why not?

A: I would. Like I said, it isn’t an easy lifestyle and we come across a lot of difficulties that we wouldn’t if we weren’t in the baseball scene but I don’t think I could do distance again after seeing what it’s like together for so long. I love sharing life with him, especially during baseball season!!

Q: What is the toughest part about being married to a baseball player?

A: Not knowing what’s next. So hard. I am such a planner and I love getting comfortable and we cannot do that in this lifestyle. We have to move at least every 6 months. We don’t know what circumstances tomorrow will bring, whether it be the fact that he can be switched to another team any moment, brought up or down and sent to Ohio, or that scary possibility that baseball could end for us any day. We cannot ever plan anything too far ahead with baseball. ALSO, being so far from my family and friends just sucks.

Q: How do you handle life as a baseball wife?

A: I go with the flow I guess? You just learn to deal with the circumstances you are given. I will always play with the cards we are dealt because we are so blessed to be where we are.

Beauty

Q: What hair products do you use? Washing and styling.

A: For washing my hair I just pick up the dove shampoo! I love the Costco shampoo and conditioner though! (I know some hairstylist is going to tell me how bad it is, idc enough though.)

For styling I either curl my hair or straighten it and I don’t even know the brand of the tools I use because they’re faded off, but I’m pretty sure they’re both from target. Nothing fancy!

The products I use in my hair are mostly Drybar products because I don’t use much. I use their Prep Rally spray when I get out of the shower because it detangles AND is a heat protector. THRIVIN. And then I use their Triple Sec spray which gives my hair texture and doubles as a dry shampoo!

Q: What is your everyday go-to lip?

A: I don’t wear lipstick very much anymore but I love me some nude gloss these days. I always keep Caramelized by Bite in my bag and throw that on when needed!

Q: What are your favorite everyday lashes?

A: My favorite everyday lashes are the Ardell Wispies. I cannot get enough of those and they’re very affordable. I love the way they look everyday because they’re natural enough to get away with all the time.

Q: What is your current favorite mascara?

A: I have always preferred drugstore mascara over high end. Right now I am obsessed with Maybelline’s Total Temptation mascara. Works wonders for my little lashes!

Q: Holy Grail skincare products?

Drunk Elephant for the gold. Almost everything Drunk Elephant. Their line is incredible. Although, I do prefer Origins Checks and Balances cleanser because it leaves my skin feeling clean and minty! Other than that, DE has a great moisturizer, mask, serum and creams.

LIFE

Q: What does a perfect weekend look like to you?

A: The perfect weekend would be totally different if I were back at home so I’m gonna imagine my perfect weekend in CA. I would say a Friday night dinner out with my best girlfriends and we would end up at my house drinking wine and laughing way too hard. Saturday morning would mean Justin and I sleeping in and grabbing coffee at our favorite local coffee shop and probably going shopping right after that or on some type of walk/hike. We’d end Saturday night having dinner at our favorite restaurant and come home and fall asleep way too late watching some documentary or Law and Order. Sunday would look like brunch at our favorite spot in HB, then heading to the beach to lay out and nap, sticking around until the sun starts to set. Then go home BBQ with my family and fall asleep watching a movie. I’m simple but that sounds like THE BEST weekend ever to me. 

Q: What is your go-to Starbucks drink?

A: SO BASIC. I always get an iced coffee with soy milk and cinnamon powder, no classic syrup. 

If it’s later in the day I like iced green tea with no classic syrup.

Q: Favorite TV Shows?

A: Law and Order SVU and Friends. DUH.

Blogging

Q: Do brands send you free stuff all the time?

A: No, it doesn’t happen that often. More often lately because my blog is growing but it isn’t a lot. When they do send me stuff I have to agree to post pictures/write about the products I’m sent to help them get their name out there.

Q: What is the most difficult thing about being a blogger?

A: Being consistent and putting out content my followers enjoy, sooo difficult.

Q: Do you think it is too late to start a blog?

A: Nope. The internet is soooo big, there is always space for another blog and more reviews/posts. You can connect to someone out there! If you feel passionate about it, it’s never too late.

Q: Was it hard starting your blog?

A: Yes! I researched a lot about it because I hadn’t met anyone with a blog to reach out to when I started. I watched a lot of videos and read a lot about starting one. The hardest thing for me was getting over the fear of failure. So actually getting myself to put my stuff out there in the beginning was the most difficult thing.

Wallpics Changed My Decor Game

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while or know me in real life, you are probably aware of the situation that Justin and I are in because of baseball. We have to pack up and move at the beginning and the end of every baseball season and sometimes during the season (we haven’t been in that situation yet). Anyways, moving is hard enough and when you have to do it multiple times a year, you need to stick to the necessities only. So, we skip out on a lot of the things people would usually have in an apartment, like decorative lamps, cute night stands, pictures hanging on the wall, pretty much anything that makes a place feel like home. We currently live in an apartment and you know how crazy apartments are with damaging the walls, so we haven’t even been able to hang pictures up and we’ve held off printing our wedding pictures because we can’t do much with them if we do print them.

Luckily, a friend of mine told me about this app called Wallpics. Wallpics is an app that allows you to create self-adhesive photo boards using any of your favorite photos to place on your wall as simple and unique wall decor in whatever space with no damage at all.

When I heard about Wallpics, I knew it was just what I needed for our little Virginia apartment since it would make our space a little homier and we wouldn’t have to worry about any damage.

I downloaded the app and chose the photos I wanted to print on the photo boards. I was able to adjust the photos by centering them if they weren’t already centered on their own. Then when I was finished, I placed my order and waited for my Wallpics.

I swear this entire process was so easy. I received my package from Wallpics about 3 business days after I placed my order which was impressive considering the quality of the pictures.

My pictures came in one shipment which was nice because we put them up immediately. Justin and I laid all of the photo boards out and kind of played around with how we wanted to set them up before we stuck them on the wall.

Then we just took the sticker peel off of all the boards and began placing the pictures.

We stuck them on the wall and weren’t happy with how our original placement came out so we took the pictures off the wall and stuck them on again and they held up great. We did this a few times and I thought maybe the sticky part would wear out after taking the pictures on and off a few times, but it didn’t.

I’m so confident that these boards will last us a few moves and even when the sticky patches lose their stick, they are easily replaceable.

The entire process from start to finish was so easy and it has made the biggest difference in our apartment. The picture quality is nothing short of satisfactory. Our pictures came out so clear. Wallpics are just what we needed for our apartment and they are perfect for anyone who moves constantly or for anyone who wants to have pictures up around their place without having to damage their walls. I knew I needed to share with y’all because especially for the WAGS out there, this is a game changer!

Use code “wallpics” at checkout for 10% off your purchase.

And don’t worry, there is always free shipping within the US. International shipping prices may vary.