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Nightstand Reading Pt. 1

Remember in my Valentines Day Post when I mentioned that I started the tradition of buying myself books for Valentines Day? Well, I thought I would share those books with you all in case you want to check them out for yourself! Truth be told, I haven't read them yet but I have started the first one "To All The Boy's I've Loved Before." 

Just Haven't Met You Yet

Skirt: Hannah Everly
Sweater: Goodwill (Talbots)
Shoes: Cato's
Necklace: James Avery 
Bow: DIY
Purse: Charming Charlie's 
**Shout out to one of my besties for snapping these pictures for me this weekend**

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!.....it's that time of the year filled with flowers, chick flicks, every shade of red and pink as far as the eye can see, chocolate everything, and special notes to the ones you love. For so many people they hate this time of the year because they don't have someone "special" to spend it with and they are surrounded by so many happy couples that are in love.
 Nevertheless, while I don't have a special someone to spend the day with, I have always loved Valentines Day, and over the years I have embraced this day for celebrating my singleness and being happy with where I am at in life. 
To often we get so caught up in what we don't have, that we forget the incredible things we do have, like time to ourselves, free weekends, hours to read books, and so much more. Sure, we can all admit that we wish we could make memories with someone else, but for the time being making memories with ourselves is so very important, and we should cherish it! Speaking of books, I started the tradition last year of buying myself books for Valentines Day, because what better way to celebrate yourself and happiness than increase your library.....am I RIGHT, or am I RIGHT!!!
With that being said, for those of you who have a special someone, give them an extra kiss and write them a sweet note to show them how much they mean to you. And for those of you who don't have a "special someone" (like me),  I hope that you don't spend the day sad for what you don't yet have, but instead appreciate the incredible things you do have in your season of singleness.

___________________________________________________________

I thought this special day called for all the ladylike and classic details, so I pulled out my favorite Hannah Everly polka dot skirt and paired it with a blush pink cashmere Talbot's sweater. I added the feminine details of a black velvet bow and sued flats and packed my Cat clutch with all the necessities (because what better accessory for a blogger on Valentines day, than to carry a cat clutch). Of course no Valentines Day look is complete without a bunch of flowers and read lipstick:)

Now, I am off to eat chocolate ice cream, read one of the books I gifted myself, and probably watch my traditional Valentines Day movie "The Lost Valentine." 

xoxoxoxoxoxo

How do you celebrate Valentines Day?
What is your favorite part of today?
Do you have a special someone you are celebrating with?

-Madison

Blown Away

Skirt: Thrifted
Shirt: Old Navy
Sweater: Thrifted
Belt: Vintage
Jacket: Thrifted (Forever 21)
Scarf: Old Navy
Tights: old
Socks: old
Shoes: Thrifted
**Pictures by me**

As I start the official third week of my spring semester I have to stop for a moment and reflect back on all of the things that have happened just within these first few weeks. It never ceases to amaze me at the plans God has that I don't even know about, but then again it is on the days that I ask and allow God to write my agenda that he opens up the door of possibilities.
Considering this is my last semester on campus, living, working, and taking classes (I start student teaching in the fall), one of my goals for the semester was to make the most of every opportunity! While I have been at college for the past two years, I don't think I fully grasped the reach of opportunities life on campus and working for the university holds. I am surrounded by a wonderful group of coworkers in which there are a host of opportunities to be the light of Christ around those who don't know him. I also am in the classroom with high school students two days a week and see first hand what it is like to love students even when they are trying my patience.
 Coming into this semester I have learned that when I ask God for opportunities he leads me to the doors and gives me the courage to knock on them and walk through......the most amazing part is that he keeps those doors open for me to come back to, because God is a God of crazy plans and has endless opportunities before us if we only have the faith and courage to open our eyes and recognize them for what they are!
Even though only 20 days have gone by since the first day of class, God has already opened more doors of opportunity than I could ever imagine! I have been blown away not only by the things he has done in my own life, but also in the life of those around me! With that being said, and considering my goal for this semester I seek to wake up every morning and ask God to give me the courage to recognize and seize the opportunities before me, to write my agenda for the day, to give me the ability to love others just as he loves them, and to equip me with the words to say when he opens up the conversation!
Therefore, I challenge you to go out into the world and ask God for opportunities, and if you don't know where to start just look at Matthew 7:7-8:

 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened unto you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."

Has God given you opportunities in this season? 

-Madison

Pearly Whites With Smile Brilliant (+Giveaway)

I am so EXCITED to be sharing my review of Smile Brilliant with you all today. This review is perfectly timed considering I had been seeing a number of bloggers and people on Instagram talking about Smile Brilliant and always wondered for myself what it was all about, if it worked, and how it affected your teeth. 
Here's the thing....as an AVID coffee and tea drinker I have dealt with teeth staining and yellowing for years! I have tried multiple different remedies such as crest whitening strips, toothpaste, mouth wash, hydrogen peroxide, etc. and nothing seemed to give me decent results. The hard thing about it is that I LOVE coffee and tea to MUCH to give them up, so truth be told I would sometimes feel slightly self concious about my teeth when I smiled (and I love to smile) because I knew they were not as bright as I wanted them to be. Therefore, I wanted something to bring my teeth back to their natural white color. With that being said, I was fortunate enough as to be contacted by Smile Brilliant  to do a collaboration and try out their product. With that being said, I am so excited to be sharing a review today of my experience with Smile Brilliant and giving you the opportunity to try it for yourself
 (so keep on reading till the end for an exclusive giveaway). 

A few quick facts about Smile Brilliant before we get started: 
  • First off, all of their products are produced in the USA (super great right!).  
  • Their teeth whitening process actually opens up the pores in your teeth to remove years of stains and then allows them to naturally reminaralize & rehydrate so it is TOTALLY 100% safe and healthy for your teeth (you can checkout this video). 
  • The custom fitted whitening trays make sure that the whitening gel stays within every angle of your teeth and that they are receiving equal coverage and whitening.
  • DOUBLE BONUS is that Smile Brilliant is basically a private dental lab without the dentist and allows you to whiten your teeth professionally on your own time and you can save up to 70% off the normal price to whiten your teeth. 


The Kit
First off, before you can even start your teeth whitening process, Smile Brilliant sends you the kit with everything you will need, including trays and putty to take impressions of your teeth. One of the biggest things I love about Smile Brilliant is that they make custom teeth whitening trays that fit your mouth and teeth perfectly in order to get an even whitening change, and because they are fitted specifically to your teeth they are comfortable to wear and you can even talk in them if need be:)
Impressions
Once you receive your kit you must make an impression of your top and bottom teeth. This is one of the most important (and kind of fun) steps as it will affect the equal coverage of the whitening gel. The instructions explain all of the important steps, but overall each impression takes 5-10 minutes to take and let sit. 
After you have taken your impressions you then fill out the return slip that was included in the kit and place your trays along with the slip in the return package that Smile Brilliant included. Next up is to drop off the package at the post office and wait for your custom trays to arrive!

I started my Smile Brilliant process towards the middle of December and would use the treatment 2-3 times a week. Typically the average person only needs 7-14 treatments to get accurate results, so by the time I was ready to share my review I had completed 14 treatments and went through 3 syringes of the whitening gel. 

After just 3 applications I began to notice a difference in the color of my teeth, and every time I would complete a treatment I noticed them gradually loosing their yellow color and stains (cue inward happy dance). I was quite impressed by the results I saw after only a week of using Smile Brilliant, as well as how it made my teeth feel. 

In the past whenever I would use a whitening toothpaste or mouth wash I would experience some sensitivity, and therefore have always assumed that I had sensitive teeth. Therefore, I was a bit apprehensive as to how my teeth would react to the Smile Brilliant system. However, the great thing about Smile Brilliant is that they actually take teeth sensitivity into account and include a Desensitizing Gel as part of the treatment. Therefore, throughout the course of using Smile Brilliant I never experienced any sensitivity in my teeth which completely shocked me! 

When I would do the treatments I liked to do them 1-2 hours before I went to bed. This worked out well because I wouldn't be tempted to eat anything (which you are supposed to avoid for at least 1-2 hours). Also, when it came to the length of each Whitening Treatment I started off with a shorter time and would use the whitening trays for 45 minutes followed by 15 minutes of desensitizing gel. However, after two weeks I bumped up the  time to 1-1.5 hours followed by the desensitizing gel. The great thing about the Desensitizing Gel, is that it rehydrates the pours in your teeth and builds up the minerals. 

The only thing I did run into while using Smile Brilliant, was that at one point I experience a bit of sensitivity in my gums (not my teeth), but I realized that was because I had used the Whitening Gel every other day that week and because of that I switched to making sure I always had a minimum of two days in between applications. After that I didn't experience the problem again. 

Overall I was HIGHLY impressed with my Smile Brilliant experience and loved working with their helpful team. I can now personally say that Smile Brilliant really does work and is great for people (like me) who have experienced sensitivity to teeth whitening products in the past. While Smile Brilliant might be a bit of an investment their products will last you until you get the achieved results and are definitely your best choice for getting a professional teeth whitening experience from the comfort of your own home, have custom fitted whitening trays made just for you, and at the same time keep your teeth as healthy as possible. 

Now it's your turn! Follow THIS LINK to enter an exclusive Giveaway with Smile Brilliant for a change to win a $139 credit towards your very own custom whitening treatment. The giveaway is open for two weeks for all USA, UK, Canada, and Australia residents

However, in the meantime you can use my code: minniemuseblog5 to receive a 5% discount on your purchase. 

Have you heard of Smile Brilliant before?
Have you tried other whitening products that didn't work?
Would you consider using Smile Brilliant?

-Madison



Whitening Teeth At Home

Blanket Scarf 4 Ways

If there is one fall/winter accessory that is a great versatility piece it would have to be the blanket scarf! This cozy and flowy scarf is the perfect piece to grab as you run out the door. It can be used as a scarf, shawl, or blanket when it gets a bit chilly. With it's versatility there are an endless amount of ways you can style a blanket scarf, so keep on reading for my top 4 ways you can style yours:

Square Fold:
This style is achieved by folding the square scarf in half two times or more for a boxy style. 



The Swag:
This style is achieved by folding the scarf corner to corner and then draping it around your 
shoulders for an elegant "swag".


Modern Prep:
If there is one blanket scarf style we are familiar with it is this one! This style is achieved by folding the scarf corner to corner, draping it in front of you (with the point facing down) and then crossing the ends behind your neck and draping them back to the front sides.


Twist & Turn:
I actually created this style while taking pictures and LOVE how it turned out! This style is achieved by folding the scarf corner to corner and then twisting it into a long snake shape. Drape around you neck leaving one side longer in the front, then take that longer side and cross it in front of the other side, pull behind and bring it back down to the front. Lastly pull the back end up and over the front cross piece, and then pulling it down and to the side.  

Sweater: Thrifted (Croft & Barrow)
Scarf: Target

Now it's your turn! Grab your blanket scarf or use this as an excuse to finally buy one and try out theses styles for yourself. 

Are you a fan of blanket scarfs?
Which style is your favorite?

-Madison