7 Holiday Outfit Ideas

December 7, 2018
Yesterday I had the chance to run to the mall all by myself (thanks for watching Caroline, Mom and Dad!) so I did a little holiday outfit try-on at H&M.  All outfits are linked on LIKEtoKNOW.it  and below.  Ignore the shoes I have on in these photos, they were old Old Navy ones I wore to the store.  They do kind of go with some of the outfits though!

tartan plaid paints

These pants are stretchy and comfy and super flattering.  And they're high rise too which is pretty much the only kind of pants I'll wear after having kids.  H&M runs small so I'm wearing a 6 (normally a 2 or 4 at J.Crew).  I bought this whole outfit I liked it so much!  The top has functional buttons down the back and it's super cute, and the neck is kind of a faux cowl neck which made me like it a lot.  I'm wearing a small in the shirt.

floral wrap dress

I'm not typically into cold-shoulder sleeves but I loved this wrap dress.  The floral print is Christmasy but it's subtle enough to work all year.  I'm wearing a size 6.  It's $49.99.

holiday style

I think paper bag pants and shorts are so fun.  They accentuate your waist and are comfy to wear.  And you can easily pair a simple t-shirt with them (this one is only $4.99 and I'm wearing a small).  I'd wear this outfit with a bold necklace or earrings and some pointy black heels.  The pants are $24.99 and I'm wearing a size 6.

holiday style

This green dress is perfection and under $25!  I'm wearing the size 2 here but it was a bit tight up top and a little short.  I ended up bringing the size 4 home with me.  It's more of a true green in real life, the lighting at H&M is a little deceptive.  The floral cutouts on the sleeve are a fun detail.  It would look great with tights too!

holiday style

This sweater is so fun and has little pearls all over it!  I'm wearing a size small here but would probably size up to a medium for an oversized fit.  It also comes in gray, cream and black and is only $19.99.  The jeans are only $9.99 (marked down to $7.99 online) and were really great.  I was wearing the size 27 here and they fit but I think the size 28 pair would have been more comfortable.  I didn't have time to try them on but may go back and get them. 

tartan plaid pants

red tartan pants | shirt

These are the same pants as the top photo, just a different color.  The fabric isn't quite as stretchy but they're still comfortable.  I thought these were so festive and it would be fun to add some pops of sparkle or glitter and a sleek pair of black heels!  They're $34.99 and I'm wearing a size 6.  I'm wearing the same shirt I had on in the top photo.

striped paper bag shorts

paper bag striped shorts | t-shirt

These fun shorts came home with me!  Perfect if you're celebrating Christmas in a warm climate, like I am.  Pair with a simple tucked in t-shirt and you're good to go!  I think these would also look great paired with a button down white shirt or a chambray shirt too.

I also snagged this cute headband and a pair of black tassel earrings.  You never know what you'll find at H&M and I always love browsing the store.  Oh and I got this plaid dress for Caroline and this plaid shirt for Jack.

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How to Prep the Week of Your Marathon

December 6, 2018

It's marathon week, so that means this whole week all I'm pretty much thinking about is the big race.  There are lots of things to do to prepare, so today I thought I'd share some of those things with you!  (these are in no particular order)

1.  Drink lots of water.  It's important to hydrate well throughout the week, so keep your water intake up!

2.  Carbo-load smartly.  Ideally, carbo-loading starts 2-3 days prior to your race, so don't wait until the night before the race to try to shovel down a bunch of pasta.  This article from Runner's World is a great guide on how to carbo load properly.

3.  Finalize your playlist.  The last thing you want to do is waste time messing around on your phone, so if you run with music make sure you have your running playlist all set!  (I still need to do this...)

4.  Charge your GPS watch, bluetooth headphones, and phone.  Nothing worse than waking up the morning of your race and realizing your watch is low on batteries.  Make sure to charge everything overnight!  (I use the 5 year old version of this watch and love it, and use these wireless headphones and LOVE them.  I recently bought this Koala Clip pouch to carry my phone on my back tucked under my bra straps.  I really like it and it's a great alternative to race belts which I hate.)

5.  Prep your fuel for the race.  It's important to already know what works for you on a run, so be sure to have all the tried and true fuel you'll need during the race.  Which reminds me...I need to go to the store and grab some Swedish Fish (a candy I only eat on runs)!

6.  Cut your toenails.  It's really important to cut your toenails before your race so that they're not too long.  I've forgotten before and my big toenails were too long and it made my toes hurt.  Sometimes your smaller toenails can rub on the sides of your other toes too, so freshly cut toenails are the way to go.

7.  Plan your pre-race breakfast.  It's important that you've practiced your pre-race breakfast on some of your longer training runs so that you know how it will affect your stomach.  Peanut butter or almond butter on a waffle or bagel is my go-to, plus coffee and water.  And it's especially important to think about this if you're staying in a hotel because often the race will start before hotels start serving breakfast.  (Note to self, go buy some bagels.)

8.  Pick up your race packet.  Race expos are always big events so it's important to plan ahead.  If you're not able to pick your packet up in person make sure you read the fine print and/or contact the race team by email.  We just realized that my brother won't be arriving from Atlanta until the expo is over, and the website specifically states that you must pick up your own packet.  He emailed the race team to let them know of his situation and they said for him to forward their correspondence to me so that I can show it at the expo so that I can pick up his packet for him.  It's so important to read the fine print and plan ahead!  

9.  Plan your outfit. If it's chilly, wear your least favorite clothes on top and drop them at donation points.  Most races will take donated clothes to charity, since you normally end up shedding layers once you warm up.  Make sure you're wearing items you've worn before.  You don't want to wear a brand new pair of shorts and then realize at mile 1 that they chafe.  Wear tried and true pieces that you know work for your body.  If you use an anti-chafing stick make sure you have it set out with your clothes so you don't forget to use it.  Oh and don't wear the race shirt if they hand them out early at the expo...you haven't earned it yet!  I plan on wearing these sneakers, high rise lululemon speed shorts (they only come out once a year so snag some if you can next time they're available...I'm just linking here so you can see what they look like), either this tank or this tank (my two favorites and I own 4 of each!), this sports bra that has pockets for the fuel I'll need along the way, running socks from lululemon, a running hat (Adidas and Nike hats are my favorite, though I have an awesome off-brand one from TJ Maxx), and my favorite Ray-Ban sunglasses.  

10.  Bring toilet paper.  Inevitably, porta-potties will run out of toilet paper, so make sure to bring your own for your final pre-run bathroom break.  

11.  Think about the sun.  Most likely you'll start your race in the dark but it'll be sunny by the time you finish.  I always run with a hat on with sunglasses perched on top of my head so that I can pull them down once the sun rises.  I also always wear sunscreen, even when I start running when it's dark outside because I know the sun will be up soon enough!

12.  Put your race number on your shirt the night before.  Make sure you use 4 safety pins (one in each corner) to prevent it from flipping up when you run, and make sure it's on the FRONT of your shirt.  Sometimes I see newby runners with their bibs on their backs, which is such a no no!  It makes you look like a race bandit (someone who is running without paying) and it also prevents you from being able to find your race photos online once the race is over!  (You normally search by race number but if the photography company doesn't know your number they won't be able to tag you!)

13.  Find the GPS satellite early.  Sometimes it can take a while for your watch to find the satellite, especially when thousands of others are trying to do the same thing.  Cloud cover can also affect it too, so be sure to find that satellite early and then keep an eye on your watch and don't let it turn off automatically.

14.  Discuss a link-up plan.  If you're meeting up with friends or family be sure to discuss where you plan on linking up.  The crowds can be pretty crazy so it can be difficult to find each other sometimes, especially if you don't run with a phone.

15.  Plan post-race transportation.  Many races start and end in different places.  Make sure you have a plan for getting back to your car, hotel room or home.  Most races provide buses but sometimes you have to wait a long time to get on one.  If you're riding something like a subway or a bus, make sure you run with a token or a metro card that is already loaded so you don't have to deal with buying one on your way into the station.  

Here is a blog post I wrote on a similar topic four years ago, if you're looking for a few more ideas for race running in general.  Happy running!

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Preppy with a Nautical Flair

November 29, 2018

classic style

monogrammed sandals | monogrammed bag | bandana (similar.  I wear this in my hair all the time and it's my favorite way to jazz up an outfit!) | bracelets (c/o SailorMade) | denim shorts (favorite shorts ever) | ruffled sweatshirt (Best J.Crew Factory purchase in a while.  I also have the gray version with chambray ruffles and it now comes in black tartan for the holidays!) | large pearl earrings (c/o Julie Vos)

I may be an Army officer but nautical accessories and the color navy have my heart.  (My mom's best friend jokes that I should have gone to the Naval Academy instead of West Point every time I mention nautical stuff on Instagram, and she's probably right haha.  Two of her sons went there at the same time I was a cadet so the rivalry is pretty strong between our families!)

classic style

Anyway, navy blue is the quintessential preppy color in my book, and you can probably find me wearing a little of it every single day.  It can do no wrong!  I shared this sweatshirt a few months ago in my "Timeless Fall Wardrobe" post and it was by far the most popular item I included.  It's comfy like a sweatshirt but has the cutest striped ruffle detail on the neck and wrists.  I also bought the gray version with chambray ruffles because I couldn't decide which one I liked better.  An impulse purchase I definitely don't regret!  Unfortunately the gray one is sold out now and sizes are limited on the navy one, but there is now a black and tartan version for the holidays and it is amaaaaaazing.

classic style

I paired this sweatshirt with a few other preppy pieces I'm into right now: two beautiful Sailormade bracelets that add the perfect nautical nod, my monogrammed Jack Rogers (these were actually my wedding reception shoes!), and the most adorable weekender bag that every existed.  I'm also wearing my favorite denim shorts ever that I basically live in, and my large pearl earrings from Julie Vos that I also included in my Timeless Fall Wardrobe post.  They're nice and preppy but not boring because they gold detail behind the pearl makes them really fun!  Now I just need some place to go :)

preppy style

Sailormade sent me the bracelets and I love that all of their items have a true tie to the sea, since the family that owns the company has been making sailing hardware for four generations.  The rope bracelet I'm wearing is the Endeavour Single Rope Bracelet and I'm wearing a Small.  I'd probably size up to a Medium though because it runs a bit small in my opinion.  The other bracelet I'm wearing is the Fid Cuff in Raw Brass, which is inspired by a nautical tool that is used to splice rope.  The Reef Cuff is another favorite of mine because it's made of solid brass and it looks like coral.  I think if I added that to the mix I'd have to perfect bracelet stack! 

preppy style


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Marathon Training Update, 11/26/18

November 26, 2018
Hawaii running

sneakers | new favorite tank top (comes in 21 colors!) | old lululemon speed shorts

Less than 2 weeks to go before race day, so I figured it was time for another training update post!  Things have been going incredibly well and truthfully I'm pretty shocked at how well I've been able to stick to my plan.  Sometimes as the weekly mileage increases I will often start skipping runs, but so far the only reason I've missed a few runs is because the kids or I have been sick.  By sticking with my plan almost to a T I've been able to condition my body to handle the physical demands and I really don't have any nagging issues or soreness at all.  knock on wood.  

Today I wanted to talk about a couple things that have affected my running, all in good ways!  

Food as Fuel.  Fueling your body smartly is incredibly important all the time, but even more so when you're training for something.  I normally eat whole grain bread with peanut butter on it before my early runs but for the past few weeks I've been eating Van's organic whole grain waffles with almond butter and it really does a great job of keeping me going.  (We buy them in bulk at Costco and all four of us love them.)  

When it comes to fueling on runs I only do it on runs that are longer than 10 miles.  On those longer runs I start fueling around mile 4, even though I don't really feel like I need anything yet.  I think it's important to fuel early before you start getting weak so that you're proactively replenishing the calories and don't have to eat a bunch at one time (and thus causing a stomach ache).  I've been experimenting with different items and so far I love bringing a Honey Stinger wafer, dried dates, Swedish Fish and a mix of Bolt Organic Energy Chews and Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews with me.  I used to use gels but have realized chewing food rather than gagging down a gel is more my style.  I just place all the food/chews in a plastic baggie and put it in my pocket and pull it out every few miles when I need a pick me up.  I also like that I don't necessarily have to have water when I eat them.

New Workout Clothes.  


I recently bought a new pair of pants from Athleta and even though they're yoga pants I really like them.  They're called the Elation 7/8 Tight and they're very similar to the Align crop from lululemon but they seem a bit thicker.  I wear these sometimes when I run on the treadmill and stick to my lulu speed shorts when I run outside.  They're also great for school drop off and errands and I'd live in them if we didn't live in Hawaii.  They're true to size and I'm wearing a small.  I also got 2 new tanks from Athleta and I love the sheer stripes on them.  (Just ordered 2 more on Black Friday, actually.)  They're a tad long since they're made to cover your bum in yoga pants but they work well for running too and I'm wearing the Small Regular size.  Oh and they're 20% off today for Cyber Monday too!  Athleta rarely goes on sale so stock up, y'all.  This tank is the best!  Oh and if you're looking for a good bra with pockets in it (the only kid I wear when I run) then get the lululemon Stash n Run Bra.   I've had 3 for years and just added a pretty gray/white striped one to my collection.  They're comfy and practical and cute too.

Cross Training.  Cross training is a game changer when training for a marathon.  Your body needs a break from all the pounding and it's good to switch things up once or twice a week.  I swim the day after my long run (typically a mile, mostly freestyle with a little breaststroke thrown in, and only take 1 or 2 15 second breaks).  It's so therapeutic and I've come to really enjoy it.  It works all my muscles, builds cardiovascular endurance and it's nice to give my joints a break.  I also try to strength training once or twice a week, typically on the day I swim or on one of the mid-week shorter run days.  Having a strong core and arms helps you keep from slumping as the miles click by and working muscles other than your quads is really important to keep your legs balanced and prevent injury.

Foam Rolling.  I mentioned my foot pain in this previous post and I have completely eliminated it by diligently using a foam roller!  I also made an IGTV video all about how I use a foam roller so here is the link to that if you're interested in learning how to use one.

Have any running/fitness topics you'd like to me discuss next time?  Let me know in the comments!  Also be sure to check out the Running Q&A I did a week ago and it's saved here in my Instagram Highlights.

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Holiday Gift Guide for Women

November 21, 2018
timeless classic gifts
Thanksgiving will be here tomorrow, which means it's time to start thinking about Christmas and shopping for the ones you love!  When I create a gift guide I only include items I'd personally love to receive.  It takes me forever going through all the different websites but I think it's important to stay true to my timeless and classic style because I think that's why you guys like to follow along!  So, here are 14 holiday gifts for all the ladies in your life.  They range in price from $15.99 (the candle) to $129.99 (the dish set), but most hover around $50.  I hope this helps you with your shopping and if you have requests for any other gift guides please let me know!  I'm planning on making one for young kids and also one for men too, so make sure to check back later for more :)   

1.  This Turkish towel is so pretty and can be used as a throw or as a towel.  Lots and lots of color options but I'm partial to the blue and white one.

2.  I love living in Hawaii but this monogrammed faux fur hat makes we wish we lived some place with seasons...at least for a day or two.  Nothing beats a personalized gift and any girl who loves classic style is sure to love this hat!

3.  I have the raffia version of these earrings and would love to add the navy dreamcatcher earrings to my collection.  They're pretty lightweight and make a fun statement without being over the top.

4.  This candle smells exactly like Anthropologie's signature scent, but at a fraction of the cost.  Plus you can save the bowl once the candle is gone and use it as a cereal bowl or an accent bowl around your house.  

5.  If I could give everyone this Best of Beautycounter set I would.  It's a great introduction to the skincare company, and it includes four safe yet highly effective products.  I use the Brightening Facial Oil every other night, I use the Countermatch Adaptive Moisturize Lotion every morning, I just used the Balancing Charcoal Mask last night for the first time and looooved it, and I don't have the Cleansing Balm yet but have heard it's an incredible and versatile product.  Oh and the best part is that Beautycounter is offering an incredible 15% off and free shipping on orders over $50 through Monday, November 26th so now is the time to try these products yourself and to buy them for the ones you love!  (I'm a Beautycounter consultant so if you have any questions or would like recommendations please let me know.  If you'd like to know which skincare products I use you can read my post about my thoughts on Beautycounter and here is my post on the Beautycounter makeup I've tried!)

6.  These scallop tortoise shell earrings are so fun and would go with everything.  Tortoise shell is the best because it's so versatile!

7.  I had a similar pair of faux fur earmuffs back when I lived in DC and I wore them on the way to work every single day in the winter.  I love that they don't mess up your hair and they're super cute!  This pair comes in 3 different colors.

8.  I have this monogrammed weekender bag and I'm crazy about it.  It's the perfect size for a weekend getaway and I love the preppy monogram and blue and white color scheme.

9.  This is the most versatile scarf ever and I've owned mine for 7 years.  You can wear it as a normal scarf, snap it and wear it as an infinity scarf, and it's super soft and stretchy so I also bring it on flights because it can double as a travel blanket.  I also used it as a carseat cover and nursing cover.  Seriously, best scarf ever and it goes with athletic clothes and regular clothes!

10.  I have a vintage set of blue willow dishes (that I found at a thrift store) but my mom has had this Churchill blue willow dinner set for 25 years and they're just as good as a more expensive set.  I use ours every single day and never tire of them.  Blue and white can do no wrong and I mix my blue willow dishes with other blue and white patterns as well as plain white dishes.  This is such a timeless pattern (my grandmother had an antique set of blue willow dishes too) and it's the perfect gift for the blue and white lover in your life.  Only $129 for 20 pieces (4 place settings)!

11.  I'm a sucker for pajama sets and this one is timeless and stylish.  Here is a cheaper option that I also love.  I have 2 pairs and they're so comfy.

12.  This woven vase is nice and simple and would work with any kind of decor!

13.  Y'all know I love my stripes, and I think the sleeves give this classic striped shirt a fun little twist.  This shirt comes in many different color options and there is even a stripe/leopard print combo!

14.  I have one of these Healthy Human Tumblers and love it.  Keeps cold drinks cold for ages (I use it for smoothies) and also keeps hot drinks hot (I keep a full mug of hot coffee in my gym locker when I run and drink it afterwards).  You can use the code KCASTIL10 for 10% off of Healthy Human products on Amazon!  It comes in so many different colors and 3 different sizes, and also included a metal straw.  Oh and the water bottles are incredible too and keep water icy cold even here in Hawaii.

As always, I appreciate it so much when you use my links!  Shopping through them helps make the time commitment worth it because I receive a small commission from your purchase and it doesn't cost you any extra.  Your support means the world and it helps me contribute to my little family!

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Beautycounter Black Friday and All of My Favorites

November 20, 2018
Beautycounter's Black Friday sale starts today!  As you all know, I'm a huge believer in the company because these safer products actually work.  I became a consultant after falling in love with three life-changing products (the peel, eye cream and night cream listed below) and my skin has never been better and I've never been happier.  Plus the fact that I'm not using any potentially dangerous chemicals is a nice cherry on top.  So, since Beautycounter is offering 15% off plus free shipping on orders over $50 until November 25th at 11:59 PM PST, I wanted to share the absolute favorite products of mine now that I've tried many different things.  Any of these items would be a nice treat for yourself but they'd also make a really thoughtful gift for any woman in your life.  Beautycounter is on the pricier side but the results truly speak for themselves and it's nice to know you're taking care of your entire body both inside and out.  And as always, feel free to shoot me an email at katie@lifewithadashofwhimsy.com if you have any specific skin concerns you'd like to discuss.  I've helped quite a few women decide what products would be best for them and would be happy to do the same for you.  

(And if you do decide to shop please make sure it says "You're shopping with Katie Vail" in the top right corner so that I'll be your designated consultant and can help you if you have any future concerns!  Thanks y'all!)

1.  If you're only going to buy one product make it the Overnight Resurfacing Peel.  This item sold me on Beautycounter so much that I decided to be a consultant (speaking of, if you want to become one too shoot me a note and I'd be happy to chat about it with you).  It makes my skin glow and helps reduce any discoloration I have.  I use it every other night before applying my eye and night creams and I can't say enough good things about it!

2.  The Classic Velvet Eyeshadow Palette might be my most favorite eyeshadow palette I've ever owned.  It is seriously gorgeous.  It comes with 9 natural and nude colors anyone could pull off.  And the gold sparkly colors look like that gold eyeshadow instagram filter everyone likes to use when they look tired in real life!

3.  Sheer Lipstick is for the girl who thinks she doesn't like lipstick.  It goes on smoothly, smells like vanilla and has the prettiest sheer colors that are perfect for a natural look.  I have Lily, Orchid and Rose and they're all beautiful.

4.  This Charcoal Cleansing Bar is for anyone with oily skin.  I use it morning and night and it helps absorb some of the oil my face likes to constantly produce.  It makes your skin a little tight in the beginning but I kind of like the feeling because it lets me know it's working.  I've heard it can be a bit drying if you experience a harsh winter and get dry skin during this time of year, but it's working great for me in the land of endless summer.

5.  The Rejuvenating Eye Cream is light yet effective.  I also put a dab on my forehead (in between my eyes) to help keep from getting those two lines that so desperately want to show up now that I'm in my mid-30s.

6.  The Beautycounter Facial Oils are incredible.  I thought that they wouldn't work for me since I have oily skin, but that is not the case.  I've been using the No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil every other night (I alternate nights with the Peel) and just bought the set of 3 mini oils so that I can try out the Plumping Oil and the Balancing Oil too.  So far I like them all.  (This would be a great set to buy and then divide up and give to individual friends.)

7.  I wear my Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage most days and don't even bother with foundation.  It's a great tinted moisturizer with SPF 20 in it.  I wear shade no. 3 but could probably use no. 2 as well.

8.  When I want to create a smooth base for my makeup or when I feel like wearing absolutely nothing at all I'll put on some Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion.  It goes on unlike any moisturizer I've ever used and feels really satiny on your face.  This stuff adapts to your skin's moisture needs throughout the day so that you get exactly what you need.

9.  The Volumizing Mascara works really well and doesn't flake at all.  2 coats is all you need for nice, full-looking lashes.

10.  I have oily skin and recently purchased the Mattifying Powder.  It's great for applying over top of moisturizer or foundation to help keep oil at bay during the day.

11.  If you're interested in anti-aging then the Rejuvenating Night Cream is a must.  It feels like a luxurious little treat every night as I put it on before bed.

12.  The No. 3 Balancing Facial Mask is a newer purchase of mine and I'm already a big fan.  It smells like peppermint and the charcoal is great for balancing and absorbing impurities.  Just be sure to use an old wash cloth when you rinse it off because it seems to have to potential to stain.

13.  I hadn't worn a true lip gloss in years but am a big fan of Beautycounter's Lip Gloss.  They're really moisturizing and come in lots of pretty colors.  I have Bare Shimmer and Dahlia and like both of them a lot.

14.  The Hydration Body Lotion in Citrus Mimosa came as a free sample when I made a purchase a while ago and I use it every day.  It smells so nice and is nice and light.

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A Simple Swap that Made me More Confident

November 16, 2018
smile brilliant

high-rise denim shorts | tie-waist shirt | bandana | Smile Brilliant electric toothbrush (c/o) 

Let's talk about smiles.  Sure, the topic is a little random, but I would guess that everyone has a story about theirs.  And that story likely resulted in some insecurities or made you feel really confident.  My story is a bit of a roller coaster, so here it is:

I got braces when I was in 7th grade and had them for two years.  I loved choosing colors and always had crazy color combinations, which I thought brightened my face.  I wore headgear at night because I had an overbite, and then wore elastics during the day.  It was a pretty painful two years but it was absolutely worth it.  I finally got my braces off right before I started high school and I felt really confident about my smile.  But then one night at swim team practice in 10th grade someone needed to hand me something but my car keys were in my hand so I put them in my mouth for a second...and chipped my front tooth.  I got it fixed by the dentist but my smile was never the same.  Over the next 16 years I chipped it and had it fixed somewhere around 10 times (it's currently chipped now).  And what else did I chip it on?  A ring pop, a fork, opening a package of chips with my mouth on the bus with my soccer team, a kiss gone wrong, and most recently, an errant piece of bone in a hamburger patty.  All were flukes, and every event made my heart sink.  You see, each time you get a chip fixed your tooth has to get filed a bit and it ends up a little shorter than it was before.  If you look closely in photos from 2002 to now my front teeth get shorter and shorter as time progresses because each time one tooth gets fixed the other gets filed down to match it.  (Thank goodness I started out with some pretty giant front teeth.)  I've always been confident about my smile, but a chipped front tooth really knocks me down a notch.  (Have you noticed that I normally smile with the bottoms of my front teeth tucked behind my bottom lip?  The chip is the reason why.)  

classic style

Continuing my smile journey, I've always thought it was really important to have bright teeth.  I made a habit of using whitening strips from time to time to keep my teeth nice and white.  And then I got pregnant with Jack, and then I nursed him for 14 months, and then I got pregnant with Caroline before weaning Jack, and now I've been nursing her for over 14 months and have no clue when I'll wean her.  (When you're nursing or pregnant it's not recommended to whiten your teeth, so at this point I have teeth that haven't been whitened in 4 years and a chipped front tooth to boot.)  Needless to say my mouth has seen better days.

classic style

Then I got an email from the company Smile Brilliant asking if I wanted to try one of their electric toothbrushes.  I quickly jumped on the opportunity because I had never used an electric toothbrush before and had heard that they clean your teeth better than a traditional toothbrush and can also help whiten your teeth.  And guess what?  The Smile Brilliant cariPRO electric toothbrush did just that!  Truthfully, I wasn't sure how an electric toothbrush could clean better than a standard toothbrush, but my teeth now feel incredibly clean after each brushing and I don't feel any signs of plaque on my molars...something that used to drive me nuts.

classic style

Using this electric toothbrush also made me realized that I have never brushed my teeth for as long as I should have.  Thankfully this toothbrush makes sure that I'll never cut it short again!  Each brushing session is broken into four 30 second intervals (with a tiny pause in between each interval) so that you know how long to brush each quadrant of your mouth.  The toothbrush also comes with 5 different settings including: clean, white, massage, gum care and sensitive.  I've tried all 5 settings but use clean most of the time and use the white setting a few times a week to help keep coffee (and wine) stains at bay.  My smile truly looked whiter within 1 week and I'm so crazy about the results that I even upgraded Jack to a cheap kid's electric toothbrush.  He thinks it's pretty fun and it has his favorite cartoon character on it, so it's a win-win situation.  

classic style

I'm still dealing with the whole chipped tooth issue, but my teeth are brighter and cleaner than they were just a few weeks ago and I'm so happy I decided to give this toothbrush a shot.  My confidence is much higher now and I'm so thankful I found a way to enhance my smile without using chemicals that could potentially transfer to Caroline through my breastmilk.

If you'd like to try out the Smile Brilliant cariPRO Electric Toothbrush for yourself you can use the code lifewithadashofwhimsy20 to get 20% off your order!  You also have the chance to win your own electric toothbrush by entering the giveaway here.  It takes about 5 seconds to enter so don't miss your shot!

Thanks to Smile Brilliant for gifting me this electric toothbrush!

electric toothbrush

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