Monday, March 26, 2018

writing | closure

i used to laugh with you
now i laugh just because
we used to be an us
now we're just an us that was

but it doesn't hurt anymore
if i accidentally think of you
though you left me and my heart broken
now we're healed and just like new

and i could never dislike you
not like i originally thought
see, you helped me become who i am
you actually taught me quite a lot

so i hope you still find a reason
to smile each and every day
and i hope all your tomorrows
are better than your yesterdays

to see other writing posts, click here!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

recent reads | volume 1

I don't often do book reviews on the blog, but I wanted to give it a try. I've been reading a lot lately to help myself fall asleep at night, and I've been able to get through a good many books in the past few months. I tried to do a good mix of fiction and non-fiction for this post. if you've read any of these books, let me know in the comments what your thoughts are!

Matched, Crossed, Reached - Ally Condie (4.5/5)
I read the whole series back to back because I can't resist a dystopian series! I've read that a lot of people didn't like this series, but I did! granted, it was not as action packed as other dystopian series and Crossed definitely moved very slowly. but I loved all of the poetry and metaphors in this series, they spoke to my poetry loving heart! there were definitely parallels between other popular dystopian series, but I did enjoy the story. I felt like I could picture the society, and I was intrigued by the fact that they weren't supposed to know how to write! words are so powerful, and this series showed that very well! 

Prayers for Every Occassion - Ellen Banks Elwell (4/5)
I liked this book because it is handy to keep around and pull out when I want to read a prayer and meditate on it. There is an index so you can find a specific topic and go straight to it. I enjoyed reading the prayers and getting inspiration on certain topics. There were a few times I read a prayer for a specific situation that I wanted to pray about and it helped me to think more deeply about what I was praying for. I found myself reading over the wedding prayer for a friend who just got married, and then I prayed it for my own marriage as well. I found that so many of the prayers were like that - I could pray them over other people and over myself as well. Overall, I really enjoyed reading through the prayers, but some of them were really short and I wished they were longer. It is a great resource to have or a gift to give someone, especially a new Christian who may not know how to pray yet.

Now I'll Tell You Everything - Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (3.5/5)
I got connected with the Alice series from randomly picking up the first book in her high school years at a thrift shop. I honestly started reading it because it seemed like a fun and easy read while I was in grad school. I loved the Alice series because there was always something going on with Alice that you could connect to. the same is true for this last book, especially as I am transitioning out of school yet again, and into the rest of my life. the book was very fast paced, as Alice began the book as a college freshman and ended the book as an elderly woman. but it really encompassed the title... and Alice told everything else there was to tell about her life. it is different from the previous Alice books, but in a way it should be since Alice is growing up and moving on! but the book really did seem super fast paced which made me give it a 3.5 rating.

God in the Dark - Sarah Van Diest (4.5/5)
I love devotional books that have short devotions that I can supplement with my quiet time. Sarah starts each devotion with a scripture, which I love because I can read over it and set the tone in my heart before beginning the devotion. I wanted to go through this devotional because although this grad school journey has been great, there have also been some darker times along the way. there has been doubt and overwhelming demands, and just life things that have hit in the midst of making this big change... and this devotional reminded me that I never face the struggles alone because God is always with me and leading me, if I listen. Sarah has a way of writing that hits right to the heart of things, but also are laced with hope and encouragement. this devotional is great for anyone, no matter what circumstances you are facing. maybe you have just come out of a dark time, a dark time is around the corner, or you are facing one right now... but no matter what we all go through dark times in life, and we can use the hope and encouragement found in this devotional!

Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty (2.5/5)
I really loved What Alice Forgot, and I enjoyed The Husband's Secret enough... but I really didn't like Big Little Lies that much. the funny input from the parents, and the school mom drama, was pretty funny... but I just felt like nothing much happened. yes, the connection between the three ladies was made, but I just thought there would be more. I guess the book and the tv series is talked up so much maybe I had too high of expectations. I mean it was a good read, and it touched on domestic violence... but I'm honestly not sure I like the way it did touch on domestic violence. the book didn't really explore good solutions for it, but I do think it was portrayed pretty truthfully. I just have mixed feelings about this book!

what books are you loving lately?

I received Prayers for Every Occassion and God in the Dark complementary in exchange for a review. however, the review is honest and all opinions are 100% mine. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

teeth whitening for sensitive teeth & a giveaway!

I have used whitening products before, but I have always gotten them from the store and they were in white strips form. I was not a fan of the strips because they move around so easily and gel would invariably get on the permanent retainer I have on my back teeth and make them super sensitive! so I was thinking about finding a different kind of whitening treatment when Smile Brilliant contacted me about trying out their product! 

their product is really cool because they have you create impressions of your teeth and send them in to get custom fitted trays. then you put the whitening gel in the trays and simply stick them on your teeth while you whiten! I love the trays because it makes the process super quick and simple! I have been so swamped with grad school and studying for my licensure exam, so I appreciated the quickness of the process! I tend to do my studying at night because that's when my brain works the best, so I just put in my trays and let my teeth get white while I studied away! ;) it made me feel like I was getting so many things accomplished at one time!

this was an interesting process, but the instructions they provide are very helpful! it was pretty easy to get the paste mixed and my teeth impressed into it. the hardest part was holding the tray in my mouth for 3 minutes for the paste to set! but the impressions came out great & it was super simple to just mail them in so my trays could be made! the company keeps you informed by email on the entire production process! they email you to let you know the impressions made it, and when they are being shipped out so you can keep track of when to expect them! and they arrive in a handy case that you can store them in!

the whitening process was super simple! I have used white strips before, where you have to get the strips placed evenly on your teeth and they are not always so easy. but these customs fit trays fit on my teeth perfectly and never moved during the whitening process which helped me to feel confident that the gel was staying evenly distributed! and I wasn't worried about adjusting anything while I was trying to study! I also have a permanent retainer on the back of my bottom teeth, so I loved that the trays made it easy to just put the whitening gel on the front of my teeth! I also liked the desensitizing gel that they give you because my teeth can be pretty sensitive sometimes and it helped them not to hurt during the whitening process!

I love how you can see the progress made in the before and after photos of my teeth! I didn't have too many stains beforehand, but they were definitely a more yellow tint and now they have a white tint!  and they look super bright in photos! Smile Brilliant sent four syringes of whitening gel & each syringe gave me enough gel for 4-5 applications, so overall I was able to whiten for about three weeks! I love my whiter teeth and I feel like they are finally back to the color they were before I had braces all those years ago!

I love that I was able to whiten my teeth while doing my everyday activities at night & that the process was super simple. this is definitely the whitening treatment you want to use during those busy seasons in your life because it doesn't take much time at all but gives you awesome results!

Smile Brilliant is generously offering one lucky reader a free whitening set of your own! the giveaway is for $149 in Smile Brilliant credit, which is enough to buy your own T3 kit for light stains! or you could put the $149 towards the T6 for average stains or T9 for heavy stains! the giveaway is open to the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK!

the giveaway will be open for one week, so hurry and enter ---> CLICK HERE! make sure to enter your email address to be entered and may the odds be ever in your favor! if you don't win the giveaway, you can still get 15% off of your order by using coupon code robynsnest15 when you order!

have you used a whitening system on your teeth before?
Tooth Whitening Gel

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

currently | march

currently, I am...

planning our trip next week! we actually got some taxes back this year because the government feels bad that I make no money for my internship and have to pay for graduate school... so we decided to spend a little bit of that money to get out of town for a few days during my last ever spring break. I'm glad we decided to do that because I need a few days of a break right about now!

making up for the beginning of this semester when I had 4 classes and couldn't begin studying for the exam. now I am studying 4-6 hours a day because I actually have an exam date set and know when I have to be ready to take the exam by! it is nerve wracking! all I've been blogging about lately is grad school and this exam but it's because that is what my life is right now. but I can actually have a life again in two months! woo!

seeing all of the green coming back for the spring! there is just so much color coming out now that the weather is warm again and it makes the world seem more fun! give me all the color!

pretending that I have already taken my licensure exam, passed, and no longer have to stress about it anymore! also pretending that I have graduated and gotten a job so the pressure is off! ;) pretending is really fun!

wearing all the stretchy pants, whenever I can. if I am not in class or at my internship, I am most likely at home doing school work or out hiking/walking with Thomas. both of which are way more comfortable in stretchy pants! 

what have you been up to this month?

linking up with Anne