Monday, April 14, 2014

Whiten teeth with Colgate

One of the things that my dentist mentions to me every time I visit is how I have “great” teeth and they are white. I suppose that is relative because I admit that I am quite envious of the various actor and actresses I see with gleaming white teeth. I have always considered whitening my teeth but found the pricing to be cost prohibitive or alternatively the process was unwieldy and I didn’t want to sit around with something in my mouth for hours for whiter teeth.  However, when I was introduced to Colgate Optic White toothbrush and built in whitening pen by Walmart, tooth whitening became both affordable ($12.96) and easy!

The beauty of the Colgate Optic white toothbrush is having the pen. After brushing with the bristles that are specially designed to remove stains, I simply remove the whiting pen, twist and apply the gel to my teeth. I replace the pen in my toothbrush and I am all ready to go. I don’t have to rinse, or sit and wait. Simple and convenient, I love it. I was also sent  Optic White toothpaste and Whiteseal mouthwash which helps to keep new stains from forming on my teeth. With all three of these products I am pretty sure my teeth will look whiter! The thing that I noticed immediately when using the products is that hydrogen peroxide is an ingredient. I enjoy the foaming in my mouth when I brush and swish, it is almost like I can feel the products working.

Speaking of working, Colgate says you will see whiter teeth in 2 days by using the product. I know for sure my teeth were visibly whiter within a week of using the toothbrush and pen. Just keep in mind that my teeth are pretty white (as noted by my dentist) so I’m sure that is why it took a little longer for me to see a difference. But quite frankly, I am extraordinarily happy with the results and will continue to use the entire product line to keep my teeth white and prevent new stains.

Currently, Colgate is running a style makeover contest and you can win the grand prize trip to Los Angeles for a makeover with Jeannie Mai or one of hundreds of first and second prizes. But hurry! The contest ends on April 19th. All entrants receive a coupon for $3.00 which will bring the cost of the Colgate Optic White toothbrush and whitening pen to under $10.00! Visit to enter.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dyeing Easter Eggs - Faux!

Decorated plastic Easter eggs

Is is just me or does this year seem to be zooming by? Well, on second thought, this winter wreaked havoc all over the country and I think I’m having selective amnesia about that! But winter weather aside, I really am amazed that Easter is just a few weeks away. Preparation for Easter is pretty minimal in my home. We attend a very laid back church so no brand spanking new attire is needed. The one thing that we do on an annual basis is color Easter eggs. As a child this is something I enjoyed doing and I love sharing this particular tradition with my child. The only downside about decorating Easter eggs is the eggs! After Easter we have at least a dozen eggs that inevitably don’t get eaten. And yes, I guess I could make egg salad but quite frankly it never occurred to me. That is why I was ecstatic when I visited Walmart in February and there were plastic decorating eggs! It was still very early so I left the eggs on the shelf but when I was given the option of doing an Easter craft as part of the Walmart moms program, I immediately said yes!

These plastic decorating eggs are the coolest thing ever. No fuss with boiling eggs, no breaking eggs that can spoil and most importantly no wasting of food! I purchased two dozen plastic decorating eggs and two coloring kits so that we could do the decorating over my son’s Spring break.  Today was the big day. My son and nephew were so excited. I too was excited to try out the kits because they were not classic egg dyeing kits. 

WIth these we were able to hand paint our eggs. Because we painted our eggs, I cannot speak to the efficacy of tradition dye on the imitation eggs. I can say that overall we were pleased with the results, the paint dried fairly quickly and my son and my nephew were able to paint designs that they were happy with.

I was most pleased with Dudley's Speckling kit because it behaved exactly as expected. Stippling appeared when we used the sponge, I just had to remind my son not to use too much of the paint or the stippling would not be apparent. I was disappointed with the candy apple kit on these eggs because even after drying the glossy enamel appearance did not happen. As purely a painting kit it was fine but I was expecting gloss.

From a practical and pricing point ($1.99/dz) of view, I really like these eggs. I can use them year after year for Easter egg hunts and even make new ones. I think this is a great idea, especially for families with small households, egg allergies or people who simply don’t want to make tons of boiled eggs that ultimately will be wasted. I highly recommend buying these eggs and using them for Easter!

Friday, April 4, 2014

How to choose Vitamins

On my journey to the best body ever I am making more and more healthy eating choices. I mean I have always done so but I am being even more vigilent about adding protein and many veggies consciously. I can say that I am seeing results, I am no longer anemic and am so happy about that. I do however think it is important for me to take vitamins and this is something that I am not always on top of. I think the main problem is trying to figure out what vitamins I actually need to take. I know a women’s multivitamin is important but beyond that I am clueless. When Walmart asked me to try out the VitaSelect tool on I was interested because I want to know what vitamins I should be taking based on my lifestyle.

VitaSelect asks questions about your lifestyle, what type (if any) of conditions you have, even if you get outside and absorb some good ole vitamin D from the sun 15 minutes a day. Based on your answers, VitaSelect makes suggestions about the vitamins that would be beneficial for you. In addition to providing suggestions, you can also have the information sent to your email so that you have it for future reference. If you are anything like me and always wondering the best vitamins for you, I highly recommend using VitaSelect, it is free and great information!

After I received my feedback, I ventured to Walmart to make my selections. I have to tell you, vitamins and I ONLY get along if gummies are involved. Call me a big kid but if I don’t have gummy vitamins I am very slack about taking them. I was thrilled to find both a women’s multi and vitamin B complex (this will help with my metabolism and overall energy level) in gummy form! I have been taking my vitamins religiously and actually take my other supplements too because I have the gummies to keep me on track!

One of the best things about my experience was that the vitamins at Walmart were at a great price! I was able to purchase a month’s supply of both of my vitamins for under $15.00! If you know anything about vitamins, you are aware that they can get pricey! So the combination of VitaSelect and price point make shopping at Walmart for my vitamin needs a must!  

Monday, March 31, 2014

My first mammogram

A Selfie before the mammogram

Everyone who knows me is aware that I am an advocate for healthy living. Does that mean I always make healthy choices? Absolutely not! What it does mean is that even when I make poor or unwise decisions, I don’t let it keep me down and I keep trekking forward. I truly believe everything in moderation and this helps me maintain my lifestyle. There is one area of my life that I have been negligent about and that is my breast health. Yes, I know better and quite frankly there is no logical reason but I have put off getting a mammogram for the last nine or ten years.

I’ve made up various reasons for not having a mammogram like “My insurance might not cover it.” This is a lie, insurance will cover it because it is preventative and a baseline mammogram is extraordinarily important if there ever is a problem.  “Going to have my mammogram is out of my way and I just can’t find the time” Another lie. I travel miles and miles to do things on a daily basis. I simply did not make this aspect of my health a priority. My doctor gave me an order last year and although I saw him several times while I recovered from surgery and could have scheduled my mammogram which takes place in his office building, I never did. And finally, “I don’t have insurance” This was true for about a year or so but there are so many options for free and low cost mammograms, I truly had no excuse.

When I think hard about it, I believe that ultimately because breast cancer has impacted so many people I know, just thinking about the possibility for myself, however remote, kept me from having a mammogram.  This type of thinking is silly and I know better. I’ve personally advocated for the necessity of mammograms, I am a member of the American Cancer Society Bloggers Council and I’ve raised money running and walking for research and prevention. But, I put it off. Despite watching my roommate in South Africa battle and win the fight against breast cancer over a year ago. Despite the mother of one of my closest friends battling and winning the same fight. Despite one of my good friends battling and winning as well. And despite the deaths of a friend who died before she left her 20s and my “auntie” who died without being treated because it was too far gone.

My stories are not unusual.  I know I am not alone. I know the importance of early detection and having a baseline. But I put it off. Many women, especially black women fall into the same trap. According to the CDC, breast cancer is the leading cause of death for black women 45-64 in the United States. I know I don’t want to be a part of that statistic and having my baseline will help in the event that I have any problems in the future.

Quite frankly, I didn’t feel any trepidation about it when I arrived. The technician was excellent, she talked to me the entire time and explained everything that happened during the procedure. My breasts did get smashed and likely looked like pancakes but I didn’t bother to peek and since it wasn’t painful I was fine. I’d say there was some discomfort because it is quite rare to have your boobs smooshed in varying angles but it was quick and easy.

Overall, I am happy I took this step to safeguard my health and if you are a woman of a certain age, I encourage you to do so too!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Blossom Street Brides

Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author and I had never read any of her work until her latest, Blossom Street Brides. It is currently available at Walmart for $17.97 (31% off the list price of $26.00) As part of the Walmart Moms book club I was given the opportunity to read it. After reading Blossom Street Brides, I understand why she is so popular. Debbie Macomber’s Blossom Street books are among are set around a knitting shop on Blossom Street where women come together to knit, converse and build relationships. At the start of each chapter is a quote from a knitter that ties the story together. Although I am not a knitter, I can certainly see how relationships can develop among women who have a love of knitting. The times I have done work with my hands, I’ve found it to be therapeutic and cathartic, and imagine in a group or meeting a person with the same interest it could be even more healing.

In Blossom Street Brides, there are three brides who are connected to the shop and although their stores are all different, they are interconnected through relationships that develop on Blossom Street. I found Debbie Macomber’s book to be a very easy book to read and I went through it quite quickly because I wanted to find out the outcome of the stories which were far from linear. I enjoyed meeting all of the characters, learning about their struggles with relationships, making job decisions and children. All topics which I found very relatable.

I am truly a fan of reading about friendships that are newly acquired and long-standing. Blossom Street Brides has a little of both. And although the characters were at various stages in their life, wisdom was shared both from the oldest to the youngest and the reverse. Oftentimes people say that wisdom comes with age, which can be true but we also are able to learn some things from young people and this book illustrates both perfectly.

If you are looking for a heartwarming book, I highly recommend Blossom Street Brides. It is a book that I didn’t want to put down until I read the very last work. I felt like I knew all of the characters and they were personal friends.

Currently a contest is being held to win a $3,000 Walmart Gift Card. The contest is being run from now until May 25th and a winner will be chosen on June 1st. To enter simply visit Good luck!

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