Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts

June 15, 2018

Last-Minute Father's Day Baltimore Gift Guide

Disclosure: I was invited to visit Hammer & Nails and received a complimentary service for my boyfriend as well as a gift card. As always all thoughts & opinions are my own. 

Just a heads up, Father's Day is this Sunday. Yes, we are already in the middle of June (HOW?!). Sometimes I have trouble figuring out what to get for my father but know that local Baltimore eats, spirits, or golf balls are always a great option. Have no fear, if you still have not picked up a gift for your dad, here's a list of 5 great options that are all available in the Baltimore area. 

Last-Minute Father's Day Baltimore Gift Guide

1. Sagamore Rye, Sagamore Spirit ($45)

If the father in your life enjoys whiskey, pick up a bottle of local Sagamore Rye from the Sagamore Spirit Distillery. It's a smooth rye that is super drinkable. I gave a bottle to my dad for Christmas, and he loved it! You can find it in many local stores-check out their locator for the retailer closest to you. 

2. The John duffle, Treason Toting Co. ($100)

Treason Toting Co. is a Baltimore company that makes durable and classic bags for "the travelling craftsman." Their The John duffle bag is made from water-resistant canvas with brass hardware for a classic look perfect for any adventure. Let's also put a Treason Toting Co. bag on a list of gifts people can give to me as well. 

3. Coffee beans, Ceremony Coffee (prices varies,$15-24)  

When in doubt grab some local food and drink goodies from the local farmers market or your favorite coffeeshop- a mug and a bag of beans from your local Ceremony Coffee shop such as their Summer 18 Annuals blend ($17) makes for a delicious gift. While you are there, grab yourself a coffee or one of their delicious coffee drinks too. 

4. Hammer & Nails gift certificate, (price varies) 

If you know a dad that needs some self-care, Hammer & Nails in Owings Mill is the perfect place for him to treat himself. It's a grooming shop for guys that has a man cave with oversized leather chairs, personal HD televisions, and complimentary beverages that make basic manicures and pedicures feel extra luxurious. The shop also offers haircuts and beard trims-check out their full list of services here. I had the opportunity to visit the shop a few weeks ago and think it's the perfect place for men to pamper themselves. My boyfriend really enjoyed his complimentary manicure. Hammer & Nails is offering a $125 gift card for only $99 for Father's Day as well as a great package that includes a manicure, pedicure, and haircut for $100. 

5. Brooks Running Ghost 10, Brooks Running and available at Charm City Run ($99.95-$120)

It is the perfect time to grab your dad a new pair of running shoes like the Ghost from Brooks Running or pop into Charm City Run and find something else he'd like. A gift certificate is always a great way to go so he can come in and get fitted for shoes or pick up any gear or nutrition he needs.  

I spent some time with my dad last weekend. The weather looks too great to not be out and about in Baltimore this weekend. Follow along in Instagram @breathedeeplyandsmile to see where the weekend takes me. 

What's your go-to gift for the dad in your life? Any other gift ideas? 

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.


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. 


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!


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.


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.


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!

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?

May 1, 2017

Adult-ish Things #1: Dry Cleaning {ZIPS Dry Cleaners giveaway}

Disclosure: I have received promotional consideration from ZIPS. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

This week I'm turning 29 which has me thinking a lot about adulthood. It's weird to be turning the age that I will say I am for the next 10 years (haha).  I mean I don't know how I got to be almost 29, when I feel like I just turned 25 (what did happen in years 25-28 besides running a few marathons?!). Alas, in the past few couple of years I've figured out the big secret to life is that no one ever feels like they know what they are doing. No one ever "feels like an adult". I just find myself doing (or trying to figure out) adult things. 

Ya know, like setting up a retirement fund. Doing your taxes.  Attending weddings and bridal/baby showers. Going to get your car's oil changed. Calling the dentist to make an appointment voluntarily. Getting excited about finding sheets on sale at Target. Also getting excited about a Sunday involving going to Home Depot, a crockpot dinner, and laundry. 

One other adult-ish thing is having clothes that actually need to be dry-cleaned. My wardrobe does involve a lot of spandex. Years dressing casual as a researcher in a lab didn't require much professional clothing. Now I have multiple wool sweaters, shirts, and dresses that are supposed to be dry-clean only. And honestly it's been years since I've dropped something off at a dry cleaners.  

Literally this is what my laundry bin consists of: 
#runnerproblems #fitgirlproblems

So I was really excited when ZIPS Dry Cleaners reached out to me about checking them out. I had recently seen their new TV spot that launched in March. ZIPS helped me dry clean some dresses I've worn to a couple weddings, a couple winter sweaters, and my bed comforter (which REALLY needed to be cleaned because yikes, I don't think I ever washed it). 

ZIPS started with 8 dry-cleaners in the Baltimore-Washington area in 1996 and now is the largest chain of retai dry cleaners in the Mid-Atlantic. I had no idea it had such local ties.  They provide affordable services for their communities and operate on premise with a "in by 9, out by 5" promise. ZIPS Dry Cleaners even uses 100% biodegradable plastic bags and donates thousands of unclaimed garments annually to charitable organizations. 

I dropped my items off at the new ZIPS Dry Cleaners location in Harbor East right on the corner at 1325 Eastern Ave. There is metered parking right outside which was convenient, but honestly I was literally in and out. 


I dropped my clothes and comforter off around 10 AM on a weekday, and no one else was in the store. I was quickly helped with friendly customer service at the kiosk. The store was clean and efficient. The two sweaters and dress only cost $2.29 each and the comforter costs $19.99 to dry-clean. The garments would be ready the next day and the comforter would be ready in about 5 days so I waited to pick everything up all together. 


I received email notifications (which I opted in  for) to notify me that my garments were ready and again picked up my things in the afternoon. I was in and out of the ZIPs with no problems and no complaints about my clothes. 


Some things an adult should do can be easy! You can find the ZIPS Dry Cleaners nearest you and check them out for affordable, quality dry cleaning. 


ZIPS Dry Cleaners was nice enough to help out my readers and giveaway (4) $25 giftcards to ZIPS Dry Cleaners. Giveaway ends 5/8/2017 12 AM EST-enter using Rafflecopter below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

When is the last time you had something dry cleaned?