Up your Selfie Game with Whiter Teeth

I never thought I’d be a selfie taker.  I mean who looks good that close? I’ve learned a few tips to make mine a little less scary.  Angles and lighting are important but so are white teeth!

I’ve tried whitening strips before but it’s been years since I’ve used them.  They definitely worked but I could only use them once in awhile because they made my teeth super sensitive.  I wouldn’t say I normally have sensitive teeth.

I don’t smoke or drink pop/soda but I do drink a cup of coffee everyday.  As a result I didn’t think my teeth were terribly discolored but they definitely had a little yellowing especially between my bottom teeth.  Full disclosure, my toothpaste claims to be “whitening” which probably helps a tad.  But, given all of the photos I take, I thought it was time to give another whitening system a try and see if I could brighten my smile a little more.

My before photo:

I decided to try the TruWhite Advanced Plus 3 Whitening System.  It’s a three part system that requires 24 minutes to work it’s magic.

The first step requires uncapping the first pen and twisting until you see the blue gel, a pre whitening non peroxide whitener, out of the brush.  Next, apply by brushing a thin layer onto each individual tooth.

Next insert the LED device provided into your mouth, press the power button (requires 2 AA batteries – not included), and set your timer for 8 minutes.

Step 2 is pretty much the same as step one but uses the appropriate pen that includes the peroxide whitener.  The directions indicated that you could feel a tingling sensation during this step which is normal and is the product doing its job.  I didn’t really feel much of anything even though I anticipated I might given my history with other teeth whitening products.

Use the last pen for step 3 which contains an enamel booster.

These are my results after one treatment.  They seemed a little brighter but still had a slight yellowing.

The directions state that for maximum results to repeat the procedure.  I gave it another try.  There was a heads up that the tingling sensation that could be felt in step 2 could be more intense the second time around.  I still didn’t really experience sensitivity the second go.  My teeth were definitely whiter after.

To achieve maximum whitening it’s recommended to repeat the procedure on consecutive days or when it’s convenient.  I’m pretty happy with the results and will probably just repeat as needed.

Truewhite products are available HERE for an amazing savings!

I know I shouldn’t be surprised but it still blows my mind that my lip color (2x Goddess and 1x Pink Champagne LipSense) doesn’t budge even after doing something like this teeth whitening treatment!  Look not even a smudge on the mouthpiece!

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*  This post was sponsored by Florence Ave.  The opinions stated are completely my own.

Rose Gold Booties / North American International Auto Show / A Girls Guide to Cars

Zara Top, similar HERE, HERE, HERE / Mossimo Joggers, similar HERE and HERE / TopShop Booties/ Purple Reign LipSense

Whether you are in the market for a new car or if you just want to do some “window shopping” for your dream car, you are not going to want to miss the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)! (Be sure to read to the bottom for a GIVEAWAY!!)

I was thrilled to see the luxury line up included this year.  It may be the closest I ever get to a Rolls Royce but a girl can dream right?!

The luxury section that included cars like Maserati, Bugati, Aston Martin, Porsche, and Bentley is only accessible for media week.  However, everyone deserves luxury and just about every automaker agrees.  Whether it is a luxury company or not, car companies are recognizing the value in incorporating luxury elements to their mainstream cars and that was quite evident while visiting each automaker.

I don’t know about you but, aside from luxury, safety, durability, and cost are important to me when considering a car purchase.  One thing I’ve learned is that the materials used to make your car make a big difference in all of those categories.   Steel offers the largest range of strength levels compared to other materials giving it significant advantages including performance, strength and sustainability.

Combining advanced high-strength steel with new evolving manufacturing processes will enable engineers to apply thinner steels to produce lighter-weight parts, while maintaining or improving structural performance.

Aluminum is two to three times more expensive than steel.  Most luxury vehicles use a high amount of aluminum and carbon fiber which, unfortunately, is why they have such a high price tag.  The cost of ownership, including purchase price, insurance and repair are lower for steel-intensive vehicles. In addition, steel has the lowest production phase greenhouse gas emissions compared to alternative materials making it the environmentally sound choice.

There are many things to consider when making a car purchase.  If steel wasn’t on your radar it may be something you want to consider.

I don’t know where to begin choosing my dream car.  There are so many!  My dream SUV, though, hands down is the Mercedes-Benz “G-Wagen”!  I’m not sure I’ll ever own one but I did get to ride in one via virtual reality – just one of the many interactive experiences offered at the Auto Show this year.

The Detroit NAIAS is open to the public Jan. 20-28.  Enter below to get in for FREE courtesy of A Girls Guide to Cars!  Grand prize is $100 Gift Card and 2 tickets to the show. 9 Other winners will get a pair of tickets.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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*  This post was sponsored by A Girls Guide to Cars.  The opinions stated are completely my own.

*Contest rules: Entries must be completed by midnight January 19, 2018. No purchase necessary; contest open only to US residents and subject to the laws of Michigan. Winners will be notified by email by January 20, 2018. Winners MUST pick up tickets in person at the North American International  Auto Show, Cobo Center at 1 Washington Blvd. ,Detroit, MI 48226 between January 20, 2018 and January 28, 2018. Winners may be asked to provide identification to receive their prize. Prize value $30 per prize, not exchangeable for cash or other items. Grand prize value is $130. A total of 10 pairs of tickets will be awarded and a total of 1 grand prize will be awarded.

Gifts for Her

If you are gift buying challenged like me then you’ll take all the ideas you can get!  Here are some suggestions that I either own and love or have my eye on.  Mom, sister, aunt, grandma, babysitter, teacher, daughter, niece, cousin, or friend is sure to be a fit for at least one of these I’m currently coveting!

  1. Plush Throw – I’m definitely on a blush kick.  It’s been a part of my wardrobe for some time now but I’m slowly adding into my home decor.  I had to have this plush tassel throw when I saw it at the Nordstrom event I was at recently.  It’s SO cozy AND it comes in 16 other colors so you’re sure to find one to match your family and friend’s decor!  This one is actually called Pink Peony.

2. Kendra Scott Elisa Pendant Necklace – I’m a huge Kendra Scott fan.  This necklace is a gorgeous piece that comes in a variety of colors, stones, and metals.  I have one I was given for my birthday that is an iridescent purple drusy with silver chain but would take several more in other colors!  It also has matching earrings and bracelets if you want to make it a set.

3. Jo Malone Bath Oil – I’ve been wanting to try Jo Malone perfume.  I decided to try out some scents on a recent visit and was blown away by how many choices there are.  I decided that my favorite in Peony & Blush Suede but there were several others I liked.  The most classic scent is Lime Basil & Mandarin which would make it a good choice for a gift.  All of the scents are also unisex.  If you are looking to spend a little less, the bath oil would make a fantastic gift at only $25!

4. LipSense Starter Kit – It is the perfect gift for the lipstick loving ladies in your life!  This is the BEST long wear lip color out there!  It stays put for up to 18 hours!  Smudge proof, kiss proof, waterproof.  There are 50 colors to choose from with everything from neutral to red to pinks and plums.  The color is applied in 3 thin layers and must be sealed with the moisturizing gloss.  A starter kit, which includes a remover and a full size color and gloss, is a perfect gift at just $55.  The color not only lasts on lips but the tube lasts too since you only apply once per day or wear.  The glosses are also fantastic on their own and would make a great stocking stuffer at just $20!  Available in clear glossy, matte, glitters, opal, and other tints and shimmers.  See pinned post for colors and check photo albums for glosses.  Comment on the photos you would like to purchase.

5. One Two Cosmetics Lashes – I’ve been meaning to tell you about these for awhile.  I’m all about lash enhancing serums and still use one but, if you really want to up your lash game, you need these magnetic lashes.  I have the original half lash and the original full coverage lash.  Both come with two pairs.  You apply by setting a strip on top of your lashes and then taking another to sandwich below your lashes.  There is a tiny magnet on each strip that connects on contact!  Sometimes it takes me a couple tries to get them on but the more you use them the easier and quicker it is.  No messy glue to deal with!  Do the gals in your life a favor and make this their gift from you this year.  If you don’t get a set for them, at least get some for yourself….or both!

6. Swell Bottle – Think Yeti but in a bottle shape and cuter!  These stainless steel bottles claim to keep beverages hot and cold for hours on end.  I haven’t personally tried one but I have to say I love the variety of designs especially this gold marble.  I have something similar that I picked up from Homegoods and it is amazing how hot and cold it keeps your drink.  This is perfect for college kids and anyone on the go.  I bring mine with water to Pilates.  I’m making an effort to eliminate plastic when I can it this is a great way to do it!

7. J. Crew Pompom Beanie – Tis the season for hats and my personal favorite is a knit fur pompom beanie.  Here is a great one that is currently on sale for $15.50 and available in three other colors.

8. H&M Off the Shoulder Sweater – Perfect for the….anyone!  What I love about the off the shoulder look is that it looks good on everyone.  Really who doesn’t have flattering shoulders?!  The beauty is that you can wear it slightly on your shoulders if you really want to.  I recently picked up this roomy number and I couldn’t be happier.  It will be a staple in my winter wardrobe for sure!  Also available in three other colors.

Good luck with your shopping!  Luckily I’m pretty much done.  For me, every excursion ends up with an item or two for me too!  The deals are just too good to pass up this time of year.  I just have one more gift to run out for but I know exactly what I need.

Lace Blazer / Velvet Crossbody

Cupcakes & Cashmere Blazer / Rag & Bone Denim, similar HERE / Studio 908 Tee, similar HERE / Nine West Booties, similar HERE and HERE / Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody / Gucci Belt / Missguided Coat / Kiss Me Kate LipSense with Diamond Kiss Gloss

Looking for a fun look for a girls night out that’s dressy yet comfortable?  This is it! I found this amazing eyelash lace blazer at TJ Maxx last week for less than $30!  If I was still in a job that required suits and jackets I would totally rock this over a work appropriate dress or with some slacks and a cami or blouse.

The tee is also from TJ’s but I found a similar one HERE.  My Rag & Bone jeans are my most comfortable.  HERE is a similar style.

I can’t believe I even hesitated to buy these sparkle sock booties.  A friend convinced me that they would be good for the holidays but I have already worn them quite a bit and with skirts, dresses, and jeans since I bought them in early October.  Mine are Nine West and HERE and HERE are similar styles.

This velvet crossbody, however, was a no brainer!  I found it at Nordstrom Rack for less than $60 in store!  This will be my go to for the next several months.

I’ve got most of our Christmas decor up now.  We just need to get our real tree for the great room this weekend.  Hopefully we remember to water it everyday this time.  Last year we went 3 days without remembering and you can guess how that story ended!

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Midi Skirt / Camo Jacket / Glitter Vans / Versailles

H&M Beanie, similar HERE / H&M Skirt / Express Jacket / Vans Sneakers / Similar Scarf

On our last full day in Paris, my husband finally had a free day.  He’s been to Paris before and had a couple excursions still on his wish list.  One was to visit the Palace of Versaille.  Versaille is only about a half hour train ride so I got online and booked a guided tour.  It was only about $46 per person and well worth it.

We met our english speaking guide with our group across the street from the train station and walked over the palace together.  The 75 minute tour was the perfect length.  We felt like we got to see and learn enough without it being too much.  It’s so surreal to hear the stories of how the palace came to exist, who lived there and what went on!  I highly recommend this tour.

Unfortunately it was the only day that rained on our trip.  Even thought the tour is inside you are free to tour the gardens after which we would have done more of if it had been nicer.

I picked up this beanie while in Paris at an H&M.  It’s sold out online but you may be able to find it in store.  HERE is a similar option.  Between the cold and the rain, I definitely needed a hat that day!

This lace midi skirt was comfortable for walking around.  I dressed it down with my camo jacket and glitter Vans.  I’m thankful I had broken them in before the trip.  Just a warning that they are very stiff at first but it only takes a few wears to break them in.  Size down a half size.

Oh and we didn’t have lunch that day so by the time we got back to Paris around 4:00 pm we were STARVING!  Our train stop was by the Musée d’Orsay so I did a Yelp search for the closest restaurant to that.  We walked a few blocks to Les Antiquares.  It was so cutely decorated in there and we had the best burgers!  I had definitely indulged in amazing French cuisine all week but at that moment a burger was what we needed.

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Long Sleeve Maxi Dress / Teddy Bear Coat / Paris: Where to shop and dine

Free People Dress, similar HERE / Charles David Booties, similar HERE / Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody / Kendra Scott Necklace / BB Dakota Coat, similar HERE

One of the things I love about a maxi dress is how it can be dressed up or down.  I’m especially fond of the long sleeve type.  I found this one from Free People for $29.99 at a Marshall’s in Denver on a trip there this past spring.  I put it away for the fall and I have gotten so much wear out of it already.  Not only did I wear it on my birthday this October but I also wore it on a day of exploring Paris earlier this month.  I tracked 11.5 miles on my FitBit that day and I was as comfortable as could be!  HERE it is in another print and HERE is a similar style.

I started the day by visiting Galeries Lafayette which is one of the most beautiful and biggest department stores I’ve ever seen.  The top floor even has an outdoor cafe with panoramic views of the city.

Next I walked to the area of La Marais based on a recommendation from my sister inlaw.  It’s filled with boutiques and restaurants.  She had actually recommended a fallafel restaurant, L’as du Fallafel, not for the ambience, but for the best fallafel.  The did have some inside seating but majority of people wait in a fast moving line to order from a window and take it with you which is what I did.  So glad I went.  It was delish!!

As I made my way back to my hotel (the Westin Vendome), I did a little shopping back near the Galeries Lafayette.  In addition to checking out a few boutiques, I always make it a point to check out the local Zaras and H&Ms.  Even though we have them at home and can order online, the inventory is alway slightly different so I feel like I have to investigate!

My hotel was just a few blocks from Rue Saint Honore, a prestigious shopping area.  It’s worth it just to take a stroll through the area to see the beautiful stores.  Trust me that I was strictly window shopping except for the one very small Zara oddly placed among the row of high end stores!

After my husband finished work we cabbed over for dinner with the most amazing view of the Eiffel Tower, Cafe de l’Homme.  On our drive it was sparkling with twinkling lights and we learned that it did that for five minutes every hour on the hour.  So magical!  We requested to sit on the patio for the view.  It was a little cool that night and, while I was surprised they didn’t have outdoor heaters, they did offer blankets which was a nice touch.  Between that and my teddy bear coat I was totally comfortable!  (HERE is a similar style).

We not only enjoyed the view, but the food was delicious and we had great service.  The restaurant was busy but shockingly not packed.  We had a reservation but really didn’t need it.  The restaurant was recommended to us from some good friends of ours.  It could be a hidden gem but I don’t know how!  Definitely put this place on your list of restaurants to visit if you find yourself in Paris….and make a reservation just in case word spreads!

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Cyber Monday / Chenille Dress / Over the Knee Boots / Blanket Scarf / Champagne Region

Xhilaration Dress / Catherine Malandrino boots, similar HERE and HERE / Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody / Similar Blanket Scarf / Spanx Tights / Sheer Berry LipSense

How is your Cyber Monday going so far?  The deals are said to be some of the best ever.  Some stores are offering up to 50% off, like one of my favorites, Express (AND FREE SHIPPING!)  I’ve knocked a few gifts off my list and am trying so hard not to buy for myself.  The struggle is real!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, let’s focus on this look.  The dress is one of the hottest textures right now, chenille!  I had some major 90’s flashbacks when I started seeing it everywhere in stores.  It took me a minute but I finally caved  when I saw this chenille dress.  I love the cutout in the back and the subtle balloon sleeves.  It’s not on sale but even at full price it’s a total steal!  It’s available in one other color.  I’m wearing an XS for reference.

I wore this on a recent trip to Paris.  My husband was there for business and I had the amazing opportunity to go with him.  Like most of his business trips that I tag along for, he usually has at least one day where he is gone early in the morning into the night.  I’ve started a tradition of taking a wine tour on those days.  My first one was in Melbourne last year and the second in Tuscany last spring.  I chose a small tour to the Champagne region this time.

The weather was supposed to be in the high 50’s that day so I paired my chenille dress with some Spanx tights which are 20% off today.  I also chose my Catherine Malandrino over the knee boots which were perfect for any walking we did.  Mine are no longer available and while the wedge is nice you’ll be much more relevant in THESE (Cyber Monday special plus free shipping) and THESE (low price with FREE SHIPPING today) with a chunky heel.

A friend of mine bought me this scarf from an Etsy seller last year.  It’s one of my faves!  HERE is a similar one (currently 10% off plus FREE SHIPPING).

One of my favorite recent scores is this Rebecca Minkoff Mini Moto SatchelHERE is one marked down 20%!  It’s the perfect size for traveling when you only want to carry a small wallet, your phone, and a lip gloss!

I highly recommend this tour!  I met a group of 8 people including our driver at a Paris cafe where we were taken to visit the chapel with Dom Perignon’s grave.

We then went to a small champagne producer, Pierre Domi, who’s owner gave us a tour and education on how champagne is made (in french with english translation by our driver).  We ended in his tasting room where we were served 3 full glasses of different champagnes they make.  I brought a bottle of their Rose and Blanc de Blanc back with me but they were all good!

We were then dropped off in the town of Epernay for lunch on our own.  From there we walked to Moet & Chandon which is the largest producer of champagne in the world!  Again, we toured and got more education about production.  Before we left we were served a glass of one of their champagnes that left a few of us wanting more!

On our way back to Paris we stopped at the Cathedral of Reims which was beyond gorgeous!  It was a long day but so worth it and nice to see more of the country.

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Leather Vest / Pompom Beanie / Teddy Bear Coat / Paris / Black Friday

Free People Sweater / Skies are Blue Vest / J Brand Pants / BB Dakota Coat, similar HERE / Charles David Booties, similar HERE / F21 Beanie, similar HERE / Ray-Ban Sunglasses / LipSense in Goddess

You might be surprised to hear this but…wait for it….I’m not a huge Black Friday shopper!  Gasp!  I know.  I’m on the hunt year round for deals but battling crowds is just not my thing.  The good news is if you’re like me there are still plenty of deals to be had online and you don’t have to wait until Cyber Monday to find them.  I can’t think of a retailer that isn’t running some sort of sale online right now.

Just about everything I’m wearing in these photos is on sale!  Let’s start with the things that are.  I found this Free People sweater on a recent trip to NYC at Saks Off 5th.  It’s a lightweight sweater that will go with just about anything.  I love the ruffle balloon sleeves.  It’s not necessarily meant to be an off the shoulder sweater but it is roomy enough to pull it over your shoulders if you want to.  I’m wearing an XS but would size up if I really wanted to go for the OTS look.

I’m so glad I could still find these pants for you after owning them for a few years.  They are J Brand and they are one of my favorite pairs of pants.  The length is perfect for wearing with booties.

I found this snuggly BB Dakota teddy bear coat last year.  I’m still seeing them around and found this one on major sale HERE!

Pompom beanies are my current obsession.  I’ve had this one for a few years but HERE is a similar style….on sale of course!

My all time favorite Ray-Ban aviators are on sale today for Black Friday HERE!  I try out different styles here and there but these never go out of style and tend to be my go tos.

My red vegan leather vest isn’t on sale but it’s still a great price.  It’s great quality and the perfect layering piece.

I’m wearing Goddess by LipSense which is my current favorite color of the 50 available!  I’m running some great Black Friday deals HERE!  Check them out.  It’s a great time to stock up on LipSense in addition to the other Senegence products including skincare and other makeup.

I want to spend some more time telling you about my trip to Paris soon but want to leave you with this to start.  It was my first trip and I certainly hope it won’t be my last.  There is so much to see and do.  The people I encountered were friendly (contrary to what I’ve heard), the food was delicious, and the shopping was endless!  These photos were taken on a walk through the Champs de Elysee (a street lined with retail and boutique shops) on the way to the Arche de Triomphe.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with loved ones!

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Zara Opening / Velvet Top / Distressed Jeans

Free People Top / Betsey Johnson Vest / Express Jeans / Hunter Boots / Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody / LipSense in Heartbreaker

When your friend texts you on a Monday and asks if you want to meet her at the mall to check out the Zara store that just opened over the weekend, you throw on something quick, whip your hair in a pony, slap on a pink lip, and jump in the car as fast as you can.  Well at least that’s what I did!

Zara opening at our local mall is kind of a big deal because it’s the first to open in Michigan!  While Zara does have an online store, it’s nice to have the option to go in person and even more than that, to be able to return online purchases there if needed.

I had just been to a Zara in NYC the week before.  Whenever I’m traveling I have to hit at least one if the city I’m visiting has Zara.  That didn’t stop me from wanting to go again.  Every store has a slightly different set up and merchandise can vary from store to store.

What I love about Zara is that you can find something for work or play that is on trend and affordable.  Zara is based in Barcelona and uses European sizing which tends to be a little smaller especially in bottoms. (When I was there I was in Barcelona a few years ago I was in Zara heaven with stores on what seemed like every corner!)  So if you find yourself going up a size there, don’t worry it’s totally normal!

Zara at the Somerset Collection is a two story welcome addition!  In addition to women’s apparel they have men’s and some adorable clothes for children.

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Holiday Style

Bring on the plaid and all the cozy knits! The holidays are fast approaching. Do you know what you are going to wear? I had the opportunity to attend the Sofi Stella Holiday Fashion Show to get the first look at some of this boutique’s newest items for the season.

For your fancier events they have some gorgeous dresses and I really loved this striped midi skirt.  It’s a nice weight and has a slight sheen to it.

Maybe I’m just in hibernation preparation but I was so drawn to many of the cozier items like these plaid leggings, plaid scarf, and the plaid wrap.  I definitely have a thing for plaid all the time but especially during the Christmas season.  I have a similar scarf that is one of my favorites.  Trust me, I was not leaving that place without the leggings and wrap!

Early in the show they featured this red vegan leather vest that I also knew would be mine.  It’s such a versatile piece that can be dressed up or down with blouses, tees, and tanks.  It has a removable tie belt that the model has tied behind her back but can also be tied in front.

I’m a total sucker for hats right now and especially if they are knit.  I’m partial to a big fluffy pom pom on top but I’m dying to try out the one without.  Why?  Because it has a hole in the top for you to pull a ponytail or bun through!!  How genius is that?  They have both in stock but they usually sell out quick so hurry if you want one!

I was totally drooling over this olive leather knit draped jacket!  I mean how fabulous is that?

My favorite part of the show was probably the little girl models.  They were absolutely adorable and so were their outfits.  If you have a young daughter in need of dressy or casual holiday clothes, be sure to check out Sofi Stella online.

Many of the items are pictured on their website but if you don’t see something please give them a call (734.457.2392) to check if it’s in stock.  Sometimes items sell so quick they never make it to the website.

F21 Dress / Nine West Booties, similar HERE and HERE

My friend and fellow blogger, Nicole, joined me for this fantastic holiday preview.  Thank you to Josephine (owner of Sofi Stella) for having us and congrats on a well done show!  Cheers to a successful holiday season!

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