How I Whiten My Teeth (easy and affordable)

For as long as I can remember my teeth have been the one part of my body that I've always been very self-conscious of. You might look at me and think but how is that even possible!

I've recently been asked how do I have such white teeth and my answer is simple, I don't smoke, I drink everything through a straw and I whiten them myself. My teeth have a story all of their own though, so let's start there!


Many many MANY years ago I had teeth pulled because my mouth was too crowded. I had a big mouth (I loveddd to talk) but physically I didn't have room for all those teeth. I remember being about 9 years old and thinking how crazy my adult teeth looked coming in. I know most kids go through that awkward stage but I was a mess.

At one point I had tried dying my hair blonde (with SUN-IN, lord help me and WHY my mother didn't stop me was beyond me), I had an at home perm ON top of the sun in with large circle 90's style rimmed glasses. Then to add the fuel to the ugly fire I was told I needed 4 teeth pulled and I would be getting braces with the possibility of headgear.


If you need a minute to re-read that paragraph and to get a picture in your head by all means I'll give you a minute. I don't even have pictures of myself looking like this because well, DUH!

SO, enter 5th grade. I left school one day with blonde orange frizzy hair and glasses and came back with orange frizzy hair, glasses AND a mouth fulllll of metal. If my mom was trying to get me to stop talking in school it worked. But only for a week or so.

I was told I would have them on for 2 years and needed head gear "at some point." I'm not sure what happen but thankfully I never needed the headgear, I did however have braces till I was in 10th grade. Yes, I had braces from 10 years old till I was almost 16.

Yet somehow I still managed to have a couple "boyfriends" in middle school and high school during these years. I'm convinced it was because I also started my period in 5th grade and grew boobs overnight.

When I tell you Jerek has seen me through it all I mean it. He met me when I was 12, in that full on braceface, orange haired mess and still wanted to be friends with me.

Fast forwarded to 10th grade and ALL I cared about was NOT having my braces on for my driver's license picture. I know, REAL important things here people! The day I got my braces off I was terrified. You would think I would have been excited but I was scared my teeth would be either yellow or have speckles all over it from not being able to brush my teeth well these last 5 years.

From the day I got my braces off I wore my retainers and started whitening my teeth. I STILL wear the same retainers I got back in 10th grade and use the same whitening products that my ortho recommended me to use. I've never had them professionally whitened and I probably won't ever!

I owe everything to Crest and I mean it. Let me preface this by saying this post is NOT sponsored by Crest either, I'm just a die-hard customer that is sharing her secrets to whiter teeth with the world!

So how do I do it you ask, well I use whitening strips about once a year and I usually get the Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrips Professional Effects (it is the most expensive kind but it has the highest % of whitening products in them that you would get in a professional whitening session at your dentist.) I also either buy them on Amazon or at CVS with coupons and extra bucks making them even more affordable!

You can't just whiten your teeth once a year and think they will stay that way though, that is not how it works. Throughout the year I use whitening tooth paste and mouth wash for daily maintenance, both products also by Crest and extremely affordable! I've also become obsessed with flossing my teeth! I was THE worst flosser and my dentist use to tell me that at every visit until recently that is! The dental hygienist asked if I had a long commute to work and I laughed and said do you follow me on snapchat!? She was confused but she told me that she buys those flosser and does it every day on her way to and from work! I literally went and grabbed a big bag and keep them in my purse with me and if you pull up next to me at a stop light you will probably find me flossing my teeth. To say it's been life changing might be an understatement. Yes I'm talking about how flossing my teeth can be life changing here!

It doesn't stop there though, you have to actually take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing them regularly so build up doesn't occur and dull all your hard work. If you follow me on Instagram (@eastwillowgrove) or watch my vlogs you will ALWAYS see me drinking coffee through a straw, even when it's hot coffee. I am a major diva when it comes to my coffee and even Jer or my girlfriends know to snag me a straw. I have put YEARS of hard work into keeping up with my teeth and my parents put a TON of money into them as well, so I make sure I take care of them!

How To Curl Your Hair With A Straightener

If the title didn't give it away than I don't know what will! 




I often RAVE on and on about the NUME curling wands but today I'm going to show you how I use the NUME straightener to get a more beachy wave look. With our wedding coming up and the amount airlines charge for luggage fees I want to maximize the stuff we are bringing to a minimum. I decided for the last few months I was going to learn how to curl/wave my hair with my straightener that I've heard so much about. This way I'm not lugging my straightener and curling wands all to Mexico!

The straighteners are on sale right now for $38 with the code LOOKIE at check out. This is NOT a sponsored post, I just really love NUME products and sharing with others how I do my hair, makeup, etc.

To see a step-by-step tutorial on how I achieve this look you can watch it here or you can just click below!

30 Before 30: Update

It's been awhile since my 30 before 30 post (here in case you missed it) and I figured I'd do a little check in, in case you were wondering how it's going that is! 5 months from today I turn 30, but who's counting anyway!

[Recap of the last post]

1. Get married (T-minus 2 months!)
2. Go to the beach in the winter
3. Take a hot air balloon ride
4. Read 10 books (MAJOR EFFING FAIL!)
5. Go to Lollapalooza in Chicago 
6. Make a baby blanket for someone
7. Go to NYC (Have been stalking KAYAK!)
8. Sky dive
9. Run a half marathon
10. Visit sleeping bear sand dunes (DONE!)
11. See a Broadway show (Hoping the stalking KAYAK might payoff?)
12. Camp {in a tent, under the stars...and not complain} (Happening Fathers day weekend, lord help me! No, help my family who we're going with!)
13. Meet Mary Kate and Ashley (hopefully someone sent them an invite to Mexico)
14. Drive a 2 seater car
15. Go to Disney/Book a trip to Disney
16. Rent a house/cottage for a week in the summer
17. Wear a bikini {mom goals guys, mom goals} (T minus 2 months!)
18. Take boys to Niagara Falls
19. Buy a DSLR camera (DONE! Have been shooting with it for awhile now)
20. Ski/snowboard & not cry (maybe if there was snow in Michigan-kidding, I love this weather!)
21. Go to a Oprah live show 
22. Pay credit cards off {and not use them!} (this might not happen till after the wedding)
23. Visit a winery (End of April for Christina's bachlorette party!)
24. Take a photography class
25. Volunteer at a shelter 
26. Fly first class 
27. Go to a Lions game
28. Transfer Blog over to Wordpress
29. Audition for a reality show {Amazing race, I need you in my life!} (watch this weeks vlog convo)
30. Start a garden {try to keep alive!} (DONE! More like a jungle!)

The list is moving, slowly but surely. I've only done some of these but do have some booked/planned this far. While I'm wishing I had more checked off my list some of these will happen in the upcoming months and even well into the year after I turn 30. Some of these I don't really care to do anymore or even do before I'm 30 but that's okay, they will stay for now. That is, until my 40 before 40 list comes out in July!

The point is is that things are happening and it's been amazing to document them as I check them off! I encourage you all to make a list of things you want to do in a time frame to try and achieve them. It helps with saving money, taking a better look at your priorities and planning. Cheers to the next 5 months of adventures!

January Favorites

January is in the past and 2016 is on a roll! We have exactly 2 months till our wedding day from today and I'm getting more excited by the minute! Our flights are booked, passports for the boys have been sent in and are working on our fitness, especially after that last wedding dress fitting, oui fucking vey!

At the end of the month I always love watching monthly favorite videos on YouTube, usually my wallet doesn't. Rounding up some of my own favorites that include makeup, food and randomness. Here are my most loved products, favorite people and social media accounts I've been loving in the month of January.

Lets start with beauty products! I've been trying to use up products in my collection that I've forgotten about or are nearing expiration and while doing so I rediscovered my Maybelline Age rewind concealer in the brightening shade. I just finished that baby up and while I've repurchased it many times I'm excited to try another concealer I've been jonesing for, the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer. I've talked about this many times before but my go to foundation for these past few months has been the Too Faced Born This Way foundation. I did an entire post on it here if you care to read and I can say that 99% of the time if I post a selfie on Instagram and my face is looking flawless it's because of that baby! It's worth the money, no drugstore foundation has EVER made me look as fabulous as I feel when I have that base on!

With the winter months in Michigan my skin is dryer then normal so using my face makeup brushes doesn't work well for me. To get the most out of my makeup I use my real techniques beauty blender. It's a fraction of the price of the real beauty blender and works just as well! Speaking of dry skin, my beloved Nivea moisturizer is the last beauty product in the round up. This stuff is in the men's isle and is THE best moisturizer and foundation primer and crazy affordable. The second listed ingredient is glycerin and in the beauty world that is key. This is the stuff that helps keep your makeup in place, it's found in primers that can cost you a pretty penny but this stuff is found in any drugstore. I promise you won't smell like a man either!

If you follow me on Snapchat (@eastwillowgrove) you will see me from time to time lathered up with the Mario Badescu drying lotion at night. I never understood the hype from other beauty bloggers but figured with Ulta's amazing return policy it can't hurt to try out and if I don't see results, back to the store it went. Let me tell you something, IT'S AMAZING. I've been having some bad breakouts lately all over my chin and it ain't cute. What is cute though is that I can plop that stuff onto my face and within two days there's no sign of those pesky little fellas anywhere in sight! 

With the wedding coming up I haven't changed my hair much, just brightened it up thanks to Jamie but have kept the length where it's at. I have a look I'm going for so I don't want to be all crazy like I was before our pre-ception and chop 7 inches off. I always talk about my NUME wands and how amazing there are, and I still love them but I've been dabbling in the realm of curling my hair with my NUME straightener lately! I've owned many straighteners before, anywhere from a Target brand to an expensive Chi and my NUME straightener is still the best I've had. You can usually score them for 70% off most days. I have a video that will be up next week on how I use my straightener to curl/wave my hair because it's become my favorite this past month! The silhouette straightener that I use is on sale till 2/29 for $38 with the code LOOKIE at checkout.
My favorite piece of clothing this month is hands down my olive green sweatshirt I snagged at Forever 21 a few months back. I like to call it a fashion sweatshirt though since it's not a grungy, do housework type of sweatshirt that you bum around in. If you watched my Capsule Wardrobe video you would have seen it in there. I love to throw a big statement necklace on with a bright lip and rock it out on Friday's, it's pretty much my go to. Speaking of capsule wardrobe it's been one month and I'm still very happy with the pieces I picked. 

Moving on to the randomness! With the wedding approaching I've been trying to eat much better and get to the gym more every week. A big downfall of mine is snacking. I love snacks, I love candy, I love chips, I love food. When 2 pm rolls around at work I get antsy, I'm ready to leave work but more so I'm ready for a snack! My go to lately is the Skinny Girl popcorn in sea salt and lime with a cup of Trader Joes vanilla and cinnamon black tea.

The other week I told you how I was obsessed with Casey Neistat's vlogs but there are tonsss of other YouTubers and bloggers that I follow and love just as much. I love discovering new creators online whether on YouTube, Instagram or a new blog. Lately I've been binge watching Jenn from Clothes Encounters, I love the way she films, her style and her overall chillness. A blog and Instagram I can't stop reading is True Lane. The blogger behind True Lane is Chelsea, and I don't just love her for her name, I love her clothing style the most, her coffee posts on Snap and her overall aesthetic on Instagram.
There are two shows I've really enjoyed watching this past month and that is the Chelsea Does series on Netflix and Parenthood! Chelsea Does puts a funny spin on topics often hard to talk about, I really hope that more episodes come out soon! I recently started watching Parenthood while I do cardio at the gym. Since I upped my running to 45 minutes a day watching a show helps me power through it! It's almost like watching Gilmore Girls

I think that about sums it up for favorites from this past month, a little bit of this, a little bit of that!