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Giveaway :: Smile Brilliant

Thursday, November 20, 2014  ::  Written by:

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I used to be so confident about my smile. It was the one thing I was complimented on the most and I truly felt as though my genuine smile was contagious. Over the years, however, I have become so much more conscious about my teeth. The years have taken their toll and I notice that I don’t smile quite as brightly as I used to. This sounds like an infomercial, doesn’t it? Regardless, it’s the truth: my smile is not the bright light it used to be and that bothers me. I’ve always wanted to get my teeth professionally whitened but the cost just seems too much considering it’s not a “necessity.”

Smile Brilliant has answered my prayers. They have created an at-home system you order online that rivals the best whitening trays available at your dentist, without the heft price tag. Also without leaving your home! Using the same high-quality products you would find at your dentist’s office, Smile Brilliant brings the benefits of having whiter, brighter teeth without any hassle. Just order, get your materials to make your impressions, send them away and soon you will have customized trays that fit your teeth perfectly. Seriously, friends, with simplicity like this, I feel as though my smile can finally live up to its potential again. There is nothing vain about wanting clean, white teeth. After all, we wear our smile every day. Why not keep it in its prime?

Smile Brilliant is giving away one Tray Creation Kit plus 3 whitening and 3 desensitizing gel syringes to one lucky winner! Giveaway is open internationally although anyone outside of the US must pay for shipping. To enter to win, please answer the following question no later than Wednesday, November 26th.
*For an extra entry, please click on the following link and follow the directions to get your entry code and leave a second comment here with the generated code! http://www.smilebrilliant.com/giveaway/signup#knott Yay! Extra entries!*
Please visit Smile Brilliant and tell us: In the list of your best attributes, where does your smile fall — near the top or the bottom?
Start checking the winner’s box on Tuesday, December 2nd, to see if you’ve won!
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Category: Beauty

Pinterest Roundup :: All the Cranberries

Tuesday, November 18, 2014  ::  Written by:

Friends, I have a serious obsession with cranberries. In fact, on my bucket list is a trip to a cranberry bog. No idea why, but there you have it. Needless to say, this time of year is one that brings me great joy as far as cranberries go. Here’s a little roundup of some cranberry inspiration for you. Enjoy!

 

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Category: Inspired by

The Lemonade Stand :: Living with Gratitude

Monday, November 17, 2014  ::  Written by:

lemonadestand

 

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The Lemonade Stand is where we meet to share from our hearts, inspire each other to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, and gather as a community to celebrate the bright side of life.

After last week’s Gratitude Garland went up in the house, I realized something. Gratitude is something that can be manifested and nurtured. Sure, this might have been obvious to most of you. But, to be perfectly honest, this was a concept that was vague and murky idea that sounded easy. However, having this visual reminder has been much like implementing a new habit into our lives. Every day, I pass my it multiple times and it triggers something: a reminder to be thankful for the little things. I will find myself taking note of other things in my life worth being grateful for and it helps keep me focused on the bright, the positive.

Not a bad way to go through to the week. Maybe this gratitude garland is a new fixture.

Let’s start off this Monday by taking the few moments you are here, reading this, and writing down three things you are grateful for right this very moment. (I am a firm believer that the act of writing something adds something. Trust me.) I’ll start:

  • the health of my family members returning to normal
  • green iced tea
  • the early dark of fall (I realize I’m in a minority for this one, but there it is.)

What about you? What are you grateful for right this very moment?

 

 

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Category: The Lemonade Stand

Fresh Squeezed Friday :: Maya Angelou

Friday, November 14, 2014  ::  Written by:

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Happy Friday, friends! We hope you had a lovely week and we so look forward to enjoying this fall weekend!

Today, just because I needed to read them again, I’m sharing some of my favorite words with you. It’s Maya Angelou again, with her letter to her younger self.

Dear Marguerite,

You’re itching to be on your own. You don’t want anybody telling you what time you have to be in at night or how to raise your baby. You’re going to leave your mother’s big comfortable house and she won’t stop you, because she knows you too well.

But listen to what she says:

When you walk out of my door, don’t let anybody raise you—you’ve been raised.

You know right from wrong.

In every relationship you make, you’ll have to show readiness to adjust and make adaptations.

Remember, you can always come home.

You will go home again when the world knocks you down—or when you fall down in full view of the world. But only for two or three weeks at a time. Your mother will pamper you and feed you your favorite meal of red beans and rice. You’ll make a practice of going home so she can liberate you again—one of the greatest gifts along with nurturing your courage, that she will give you.

Be courageous, but not foolhardy.

Walk proud as you are,

Maya

 

This letter can be found in the book What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self. Enjoy.

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Category: Fresh Squeezed Friday

DIY :: Gratitude Garland

Thursday, November 13, 2014  ::  Written by:

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Now that the Halloween decorations are down, I’m not quite ready to get the Christmas stuff out yet. I generally wait until right after Thanksgiving to get that all done. To be honest, Thanksgiving decorations aren’t really my cup of tea. Occasionally, I will pick up something harvest-like or gourd related, but I haven’t found many that get me excited. Besides, I want my kids to grow up with the understanding that gratitude is a muscle and must be exercised regularly. So I came up with a simple, quick Gratitude Garland to help us focus on that this season.

I grabbed an old branch from the backyard, tied some branches and lavender from the yard to it with twine and used some tags I had stashed away in a drawer to write down the things we are grateful for. This is going to be an ongoing display. I have a bowl of tags out with a pen and whenever the fancy strikes us, we’ll add another tag. I’m looking forward to reading all of them at the end of the month.

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(Some dear friends of ours just had a baby and my daughter made her a gratitude tag. Oh, my heart.)

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Category: DIY

Giveaway :: once upon a CHO

Wednesday, November 12, 2014  ::  Written by:

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(shop :: Facebook)

One thing I believe there can never be too much of in the world is beauty. We aren’t just talking about “pretty” but something deeper. An abundance of beauty means we feel the goodness and reflect it back into the world. After all, you can’t recognize beauty unless you feel it. Also, the simpler the better. Beauty in its simplest form speaks to a lifestyle that begets beauty. What better way to honor this month’s theme than by introducing you to an artist that brings this idea to life?

Wendy Cho, of once upon a CHO, creates beautiful handcrafted jewelry that honors simplicity. Cho’s work is delicate and strong, balanced and easy. The pieces showcased up above (both the Love Birdie earrings and the Crescent Moon necklace) highlight one of the defining characteristics of a piece from once upon a CHO: abundant beauty. I’m also a huge fan of the Reversible Bar Necklace and feel like its simplicity is a talisman, a reminder to honor the beauty around me. Abundantly.

once upon a CHO is giving away three (3!) $20 gift certificates to three lucky winners (one each)! To enter to win, please answer the following question no later than Wednesday, November 19th.
Please visit once upon a CHO and tell us: When was the first time you realized your own beauty?
Start checking the winner’s box on Tuesday, November 25th, to see if you’ve won!
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Category: Fashion

Sunshine Post :: once upon a CHO

Wednesday, November 12, 2014  ::  Written by:

Today we are honored to introduce you to Wendy from once upon a CHO.

 

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Please introduce yourself to our readers and explain a little bit about your business.

My background is in illustration but the love of bling has brought me to jewellery.

 

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We believe that one of the ways to achieve happiness is to “Do what you love, love what you do.” How does this philosophy apply to your life?

I truly believe you must love what you do. I am the most happiest when I can create something beautiful and be able to make others happy when they wear my jewellery.

 

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Our mission here at The Bright Side Project is to spread sunshine on a daily basis because we firmly believe that life is (still) beautiful. Where do you find beauty and inspiration?

My inspiration comes from my “babies” at home (3 cats, birds, a thousand fish and a snail named herman). Also, from my travels around the world.

 

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On a dreary day, what do you do to infuse your life with a little bit of sunshine?

I turn on a bunch of lights and focus on creating…this keeps me from realizing it’s dark, cold or a down day outside.

 

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What are you most grateful for?

I am most grateful for everything and everyone around me, whether they impact me my entire life or just a few seconds.

 

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Check back later today for an amazing giveaway from once upon a CHO!

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Category: Sunshine Posts

Pinterest Roundup :: Advent

Tuesday, November 11, 2014  ::  Written by:

It’s that time of year, friends. I first noticed it when I recently walked through Target and found holiday decorations had taken over. See, I’m one of those people who doesn’t really mind when November begins the Christmas decorations. Because, honestly, if I waited until December to attempt any kind of DIY project, nothing would happen. I’m a fan of having enough time to enjoy the craft, to plan, to be inspired.

The first thing I noticed as I went through was the new selection of advent calendars out there. I’m not really interested in wrapping up 25 presents or candy for my kids to open all the way through Christmas. Because, seriously, I’m not crazy. Normally, we wrap up 24 holiday books and unwrap one each night to read in December, ending with “The Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve. Last year, we started incorporating Hannukah and Kwanzaa books as well and I’m excited to begin this tradition again. However, I started noticing that there were quite a few advent activity calendars out there and thought….Yes! Something I can make! So I did what most people like myself do at a time like this and I immediately spent the evening on Pinterest when I got home. Here are a few ideas that have me inspired:

 

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What about you? Do you celebrate with any kind of advent calendar?

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Category: Inspired by Rays of Sunshine

The Lemonade Stand :: The Village

Monday, November 10, 2014  ::  Written by:

lemonadestand

The Lemonade Stand is where we meet to share from our hearts, inspire each other to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, and gather as a community to celebrate the bright side of life.

 

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They say it takes a village. They are right.

In the past two weeks, I became sick and came pretty close to developing pneumonia. I was ordered to rest and stay home. Easier said than done. My husband works afternoon/evenings so the morning routine fell solely on him. I had to take time off and my village rallied. The parents of my daughter’s best friend from school (people that we have grown to become quite close to) took my daughter each day after school and helped her with homework and fed her dinner. My three year old son went to the neighbor’s across the street (close friends of ours who have a son the same age) came and picked up my boy and kept him for the afternoon/evening and fed him dinner and brought him home at bedtime, bathed and pajama’d. Throughout all of this, I had friends dropping off homemade soup, pasta, fresh juices, smoothies. It was humbling and inspiring. Good thing, too, the stomach flu also decided to drop by and visit both my children so I I had the energy to deal with that because my village fueled me. (Truth is we are still dealing with it. Oh, friends.)

This is the village. The calls on social media asking if I need anything from people who really mean it. The texts, the food, the quick drop offs. I realized something incredibly important this week. I realized that the smallest bit of kindness creates a ripple that translates into something tangible. I am unable to adequately express how much those gestures have meant to me. The thought that my village will care for my children when I am sick…it is something I do not take for granted. And my compassion is awakened and strengthened. I am abundant.

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Category: The Lemonade Stand

Sick Days

Tuesday, November 4, 2014  ::  Written by:

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Hello, friends. We want to wish you a wonderful week and let you know that we will be radio silent for a few days so that our Managing Editor, Miss Krista, can recover from a nasty bronchial infection. Please take care of yourselves and stay healthy! We will see you soon!

 

xoxo

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Category: Uncategorized