Showing posts with label giveaway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label giveaway. Show all posts

March 30, 2018

At-Home Teeth Whitening for a Coffee Drinker

Disclosure: Smile Brilliant sent me a complimentary whitening kit to use. My before & after photos are not retouched or filtered. As always all thoughts & opinions are my own.


Something that I haven’t really shared with anyone is that I’m self-conscious of my teeth. They are nice and straight after many years and lots of money as a child/teenager with top & bottom palate expanders and then braces (thanks Mom & Dad). However as someone who loves coffee and tea and other staining foods (like beets and red wine!) my teeth are kinda yellowed. This has come more apparent in the age of selfies and posting photos online. Also the increase in coffee consumption with graduate school and studying for my board exam did not help! Who doesn’t want whiter teeth when showing of those big happy smiles? Don’t worry coffee, I still love you.


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I was really happy to recently try out Smile Brilliant, an easy custom fitted whitening system. This post is obviously sponsored because Smile Brilliant was nice enough to send me complimentary product, but I also truly did have a good experience. At first I was skeptical about the product, but then I actually saw fellow pal and running blogger Hollie’s results and knew I needed to take advantage of this opportunity to help my smile. 


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How does Smile Brilliant compare to other teeth whitening systems?  

Smile Brilliant is a custom whitening treatment for your teeth that you can do at home. Many of the options out there are largely temporary-like the whitening strips I used in high school & college. Unlike strips, charcoal is not ADA-approved and can be abrasive for teeth while also being temporary.  The Smile Brilliant method uses custom molded trays which is similar to the treatment at a dentist but way less expensive. It’s more expensive and a longer process than say whitening strips, but it is better at removing stains more permanently.



How does Smile Brilliant work?

First Smile Brilliant sends you a kit with your whitening gels along with base and catalyst paste and supplies to make your impressions. You pretty much follow the instructions to mix the pastes together and press into trays which you then put in your mouth and bite into for 2+ minutes. Unlike the anxiety attacks I would have at the orthodontist during impressions when my mouth was full of a giant tray, this was a bit more pleasant. I was worried I would really eff this part up, but it was easy!


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After mailing the impressions off in the prepaid envelope, it took just over a week for my custom molds to be mailed back to me.  These molds fit perfectly and were super comfortable. They were flexible and soft so it was easy to keep them in with the whitening gel for 1-2 hours at night before bed (Smile Brilliant recommends using whitening trays for 1-3 hours).  Basically there was gel in a little syringe that held 3-4 applications and I just squeezed some into the molds and popped them in.


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With the strips or other systems I tried I felt like I was constantly trying to keep them in place and not bump them around with tongue.

There was also a desensitizing gel to use after the whitening gel for 15-2 minutes. I could feel some sensitivity for the first 3 applications, but it was minimal.


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Did it actually work?

I tried to be good and avoid consuming staining foods or drinks for 24 hours after a teeth whitening session. I couldn’t give up my coffee so I was drinking it with a straw!


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Taking and posting photos of your mouth is weird. 
 I have spent some time staring at my teeth this week, and I definitely see some results. It looks subtle in the photos, but I'm hoping to do a few more treatments since I did about 6 applications between these photos. My boyfriend even commented that he thought they looked whiter. I’m going to continue to use up my gel and get this pearly whites looking sharp. I don't plan on drinking any less coffee soon so I'm happy I can do a little whitening maintenance on my teeth.  Smile Brilliant recommends after the initial use (daily applications, 7-10x) to use it once or twice every 2-3 months for maintenance.  

I totally recommend Smile Brilliant for an easy way to give your smile some self-care!


Giveaway & Coupon  

Click on the link to enter to win your own Smile Brilliant kit here
Giveaway open to USA, UK, Austrailia, and Canadian Residents. It is open for 1 week and ends on April 6, 2018. 

You can also save 15% on your own Smile Brilliant purchase with code: breathedeeplyandsmile15


Have you ever tried a whitening treatment for your teeth?
Are you a big coffee or tea drinker like me?

October 31, 2017

10 Favorite Things from the Runner's World Half Festival 2017

So I've been stalling writing any blog posts about the Runner's World Half Festival because I had such an amazing time and there is so much to say. It was an absolute honor and pleasure to be invited as part of the RW Half Run Crew. I left with sore legs, sweet bling, and new running friends! Since I love lists, I figured I'd start out my post-race weekend recap the way I blogged about what I was most excited about pre-RW Half Festival! Spoiler alert: some of the things I was excited about beforehand DID turn out to be amazing.

10 Favorite Things from the Runner's World Half Festival 2017

My Top 10 Favorite Things from the RW Half Festival Weekend (not in order!) 

1.  The people: The RW Half Run Crew and all the Runner's World employees I met were so nice (Oh and RUNNING WITH RYAN HALL WAS PRETTY FREAKING COOL TOO). We had a such a great group of people in the RW Half Run Crew. 


RW Half Run Crew with Ryan Hall

2. Meeting Ryan Hall: See above re:running with Ryan Hall. It was great to hear him talk about his kids and biggest tip about marathoning is to relax! He said he races best when he is relaxed. 

RW Half 2017 Ryan Hall photo

3. Meeting Bart Yasso and hearing him talk: So apparently everyone likes Bart Yasso because he is actually an awesome and super nice guy! He gave a little talk after our lunch with him that brought me to tears as he read letters from young kids who were inspired by him and "wanted to be Bart Yasso, without all that running crap". Runner's World isn't going to be the same without him when he retires! 

He also said something was really inspired me-"you never know who you're connecting with or influencing, so keep doing it". This relates to me on a professional, personal, and social media level!

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4. The dog "race": It was just as amazing as I imagined and the best run of the weekend. I spectated and then got to pet SO MANY DOGS after the race. A few people were serious and ran the 1 mile race with their dogs. Some weren't born for racing. 

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Some decided that 1 loop or 0.5 miles was enough and needed a break. 

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5. The half marathon on Sunday: Doing the grand slam (4 races in 3 days) I was kinda dreading how I'd feel on Sunday for the half marathon and last race of the weekend. I started out slowly and was going to use it as a marathon training pace run but ended up running around 8 minute miles. I was so happy and full of gratitude running. I had so much fun stopping for a couple photos, stopping for some beer from spectators, and taking in all the beautiful scenery.  Running along the tree-lined streets of Bethlehem with perfect weather was absolutely beautiful. 

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Photo on the run

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Post-half marathon happiness

 6. Free race photos:
Because all races should have them. Seriously though I got a few nice photos during and after the races like this one below after the 10K on Saturday. 



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7. Exploring the city of Bethlehem (on foot!): As I mentioned before, Bethlehem is a beautiful city. I had only visited once before so seeing a lot of the city on foot via the races. 


I mean look at this sunrise on Friday morning:  
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Having all of the races start and finish at the SteelStacks was really cool too. They are really stunning and massive. It's a cool part of history of the town. 

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Running over this bridge over the Lehigh River multiple times over the weekend was a highlight as well. 
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 8. Learning about Altra Running company and shoes from founder Golden Harper: Golden Harper, the founder of Altra Running gave a whole talk about how the company was founded and how the idea of zero drop shoes came about (you can read a little bit of the story here).  He then gave a very informative seminar about efficient running form (information also available on their website-check it out!). I love trying out the Altra Running HIIT XT shoes we were given before participating in a tough HIIT workout as well as a trying pair of the Escalantes that I ended up running the half marathon in them!   


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 9. Pizza at the end of the trail run: A beautiful site to see after the 3.6 mile trail run on Friday afternoon-that was super fun! 


I repeat, finishing a trail run and seeing all of these boxes of pizza: 
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This is the look of true happiness on my face right here. I couldn't even wait to take a photo before taking a few bites. Shout-out to Lehigh Pizza! 
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Oh, and this view after the race was nice too. 
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10.The Bling & Swag: The Grand Slam was my first running challenge of doing multiple races as part of the same event. It was definitely exhausting but was a really fun experience. All of the medals were cool and SteelStacks-themed. It was EVEN COOLER that the Grand Slam runners received a larger half-marathon medal that 

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As part of the RW Half Run Crew, Runner's World hooked us up with an awesome bag of goodies from the vendors including The Stick, Janji, Balega, MoJo Socks, and Altra Running

I also like the long-sleeve Altra race shirt we got as well as the blue backpack I received for registering for the Grand Slam. 
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So the Runner's World Half Festival gets two big thumbs up from me. Running the Grand Slam was a blast, and I loved the other challenge options for doing multiple races. Everything was well-organized and the race courses were fun. 

Thanks to Runner's World you have the chance to win a sweet RW Tote full of running goodies too. Just enter using the Rafflecopter below. U.S. residents only. Giveaway open until 11/7/2017 12 AM. 
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February 20, 2017

4 Reasons Why I'm Using Collagen Peptides {Vital Proteins Review & Giveaway}

Disclosure: I was 2 complimentary tubs of Vital Proteins for review. The giveaway is fulfilled by Vital Proteins. As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own. 

Like me, you may have read or heard of people (particularly in the paleo crowd) taking gelatin for health benefits such as a drinking bone broth. However, you may be wondering what do gelatin or collagen peptides actually do? Gelatin, like that JELL-O stuff?  

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and collagen peptides have the same amino acids as gelatin, however they are just processed differently.
Collagen peptides are hydrolyzed a.k.a. broken down into smaller amino acid chains so they are more easily digestible (I will forever be a chemistry nerd so I LOVE learning about food science). 

I had heard of Vital Proteins from reading about them on various blogs, and then had the chance to talk to the lovely people at the Vital Proteins booth and snag some samples at Natural Products Expo East 2016. Vital Proteins was nice enough to send me a tub of their collagen peptides and collagen beauty greens to try out. 

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The Collagen Peptides powder in the blue container come from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides so they are not vegetarian. At first I thought it was a little weird that it was powder from cows, but after that initial moment of weirdness now I love how they are a natural and sustainable source of protein.

The green container of Collagen Beauty Greens contains marine collagen peptides along with greens, probiotics and skin healthy helpers like hyaluronic acid, all in a yummy coconut vanilla flavored powder. 

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Because collagen is a protein in our own hair, skin, nails, bones, cartilage, and joints, the powder will help all of these parts of our body. Besides containing protein, studies show that collagen peptides can improve gut health, skin health, bone and joint health, and hormonal balance. There is a lot of research out there on the use of collagen for hair and skin health, which I found from just doing a quick search of a research database.

I've been taking the collagen peptides about 4x a week (mostly because there are always a few crazy days where I am rushing out the door), and the collagen beauty greens more sporadically. It's hard to tell from only a month, but I think my hair and nails look healthier and less brittle. 

So now that you know a little bit about collagen peptides, why have I been using them? 

4-reasons-why-im-using-collagen-peptides

1. They are easy to take every day.

The collagen peptides are dissolvable and unflavored (no, they do not at all taste beefy). I most often easily mix a scoop in with my coffee or tea in the morning-I can’t even taste that it was added. I have also mixed collage peptides into smoothies, juices, yogurt, and oatmeal. I’m not a huge protein powder person lately so I love that these can dissolve in both hot and cold beverages easily and add a nice protein boost to whatever I'm drinking. 

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2. Collagen peptides are great for my bone health.

After my stress fracture I was interested in focusing on my bone and joint health. While the DEXA scan I had showed normal bone density, I figured supplementing and ensuring strong bones and joints couldn’t hurt. Basically bones are made up of minerals and collagen fibers. Collagen makes up 90% of our bones so ingesting collagen peptides may help bone metabolism and help increase bone density. You can read more research claims here. This is one of the bigger reasons why I started using collagen peptides. 

3. Vital Protein products are natural and not full of junk. 

Literally the only ingredient in Vital Proteins collagen peptides is collagen peptides, so I know exactly what I am ingesting. You can read on their website about how they exclusively produce their collagen peptides in Brazil because their cows don’t have hormones too. 


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4. Skin health is important to me.

No matter how young I look or feel, I am getting older every year (and quickly approaching 30, eek). My body will continue to change and dreaded wrinkles (or what I will call my happy lines) will one day in the future start to appear. I have always been conscious of my skin health after having to go to a dermatologist and have some suspect moles removed starting at a young age, but making sure my skin looks great as I age is important too. If I can supplement with collagen and get the added bonus of helping out my skin, that is a win-win for me. 



So if you are interested in adding collagen or collagen peptides to your diet check out Vital Proteins. They offer all different sizes of products including travel-sized pouches and free shipping in the U.S. 


Vital Proteins was nice enough to offer (1) 10 oz. tub of their Collagen Peptides to giveaway to one reader. Enter the Rafflecopter below (U.S. residents only, sorry!) before the giveaway ends on March 6 at 12 AM EST.


Have you ever taken a collagen supplement? Have you read about gelatin or collagen supplements before? 

December 7, 2016

5 Winter Workout Items to Put On Your Wish List {and Athleta Giveaway from one of the best gyms in Pittsburgh}

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by XShadyside. The giveaway gift card is provided by and will be delivered by XShadyside for my readers.

 I'm currently still recovering from my injury, but I can't wait for the day soon that I get to start running again. I'm going to start adding in some workouts this week after not having gotten my sweat on in over a month. That means I'm definitely adding some fun winter running and workout clothes to my Christmas Wish List. Who am I kidding, I rock tights and running clothes as part of my regular wardrobe even if I'm not working out. Here are five items I have my eye on from my favorite brands. 


Also thanks to one of the best gyms in Pittsburgh, there's a giveaway below for a $25 Athleta gift card so you can treat yourself before the holidays! 


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5 Winter Workout Apparel Items to Put On Your Wish List 

1. Women's Distance Long Sleeve Running Shirt from Brooks Running ($44)
This is my favorite color and the shirt looks SO comfortable for working out or lounging around. 

2. Spandos Jane Bra from Oiselle ($64)
I LOVE all of the Spandos line which sells out fast. This bra offers nice coverage and is super cute. 

November 16, 2016

My 4th Blogiversary {Prize Pack Fit Giveaway}

Disclaimer: I was sent complimentary flowers by ProFlowers. I mean, who doesn't like being sent flowers? 

Okay so my 4th blogiversary happened to fall on the day of the Chicago Marathon so it was overshadowed by all that fun and now the subsequent craziness of school and #bootlife afterward.  Thanks so much to ProFlowers for reaching out and sending me a lovely congratulatory blog birthday bouquet, which totally sparked me actually celebrating my blog's birthday. I love having fresh flowers in the apartment-they totally brighten my day. 


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Beautiful Autumn Birthday Wishes bouquet
I've grown a lot blog-wise and personally in the past 4 years. Plus I've run like a LOT more races. As I stated in my very first post, I'm still trying to find peace and balance in my life. I think I get a little bit closer every day. I'm full of gratitude to have my little corner of the Internet to share my thoughts, cool product finds, race recaps, struggles, and accomplishments. I'm mostly grateful for all of the wonderful adventures and people I've met through this blog and places it's lead me. 


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I'm still not a super fancy blogger and despite pretending to be a food blogger, fitness model, fashion blogger, or professional runner some days, I still have plenty of work to do. However I like to laugh at how far I've come. A few phone upgrades also helped a lot! There's many rambling blog posts, terrible dark photos, and messy early posts. I've thought about cleaning some up and maybe I'll refurbish them into new posts, but I like leaving those behind. It's authentic, it's me, and it's something to look back on! 

Here's a couple photos from 2013 that are too bright, dark, and have that lovely chipped nail polish. 


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But for real, I'll cherish my first marathon medal forever. 

In contrast, I've learned a thing or two in 2016 and have a long way to go! 


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Can I just go back to Seawheeze and Vancouver? 

Here's to a even better 5th year of blogging with more running, adventures, and FRIENDS! 


To celebrate and thank all of my fabulous readers I decided to throw together a little fitness prize pack giveaway with not one but TWO winners.  Each winner will receive a prize pack including some of the following: Bondiband headbands, Vibrant Health protein powder packets, Momentum Jewelry, Nuun Hydration electrolyte tablets, Sweat Pink shoelaces, Run10Feed10 bracelets, and a few more goodies. Enter using the Rafflecopter below! 



4th-blogiversary-giveaway


a Rafflecopter giveaway This giveaway ends November 23rd, 2016, 12 AM EST. The winner will be notified via email right away. If I don’t hear back from the winner within 24 hours I’ll have to pick a new winner. Prize and delivery of prize is from me and is not associated with any of the brands included in the prize pack.  

What is your favorite topic to read about on blogs? What do you like to see on my blog? 

August 23, 2016

#WeirdWorkout Campaign with Prana and Organic Valley & Grouse Grind-ing.

This post is sponsored by prAna and Organic Valley through my partnership with FitApproach. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
I wanted to let you all know about this awesome giveaway hosted by prAna and Organic Valley that is happening because who doesn’t love winning things. Especially when the giveaway is offering 10 winners the chance to earn $300 in credit to use at prAna.com, a 2-month supply of Organic Valley, and lots of free swag. To keep it short and sweet, you can go right ahead now and find out more details and enter here
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The contest runs from August 15th through the 31st , 2016  so hurry up and 
If you aren’t familiar with both brands, they are great. I haven’t had the opportunity to own any prAna gear yet although I’ve tried some on at my local yoga studio. PrAna’s mission is to inspire healthy, active, free-spirited living (which is right up my alley) and create versatile, stylish, and sustainable clothing and accessories to wear during every adventure. 
 Organic Valley’s Organic Fuel shakes are made with only 9 ingredients with protein coming from real organic milk made by pasture-raised cows on Organic Valley family farms. Their product is lactose-free, gluten-free, and free from GMO’s and hormones too which I love.
You can also SAVE 15% on prAna.com purchase right away with my code PFS16BDAS, valid through October 31, 2016.

July 22, 2016

#FuelYourAwesomeness this Summer with Bob's Red Mill Protein {Giveaway}

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill as part of a campaign through my partnership with SweatPink and Fit Approach. As always all thoughts & opinions are my own!

While the fact that summer is flying by makes me sad, I have been trying to pack my summer with as much awesomeness as I can. I haven’t even been able to keep up blogging but if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know I’ve been having some fun this month in Boston and at November Project Summit 4.0 in Canada last weekend (posts to come!).  Lots of travelling and eating out or on-the-go for sure! 


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Let’s be honest though, travelling and having fun are exhausting so that’s why I was glad to get some new Bob’s Red Mill Protein and Nutritional Boosters in the mail packed with 20g of protein to stay #summerstrong. I received 4 varieties including Vanilla, Chocolate, Chai, and Protein & Fiber Booster. 

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Even if my eating has been full of more treats and less greens, having a post-workout smoothie with some protein and fruit or veggies is an easy way to refuel this summer. 

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If your local store carries Bob’s Red Mill products, you can get a discount on Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Boosters with this coupon!

GIVEAWAY! ::woop woop::

One lucky reader will win a 16 oz. package ($30 value!) of Bob’s Red Mill Protein Powder NutritionalBooster to fuel their own awesomeness! Enter via Rafflecopter below!

This giveaway ends July 30th, 2016, 12 AM EST. The winner will be notified via email right away. If I don’t hear back from the winner within 24 hours I’ll have to pick a new winner. Delivery of the prize is by Bob’s Red Mill.

How are do you #fuelyourawesomeness this summer?

This post was linked up with my fave Friday Linkup ladies CourtneyMar, and Cynthia  as well as NicoleJilland Amanda .