this post is sponsored by Bayer. to make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

the last handful of year, i haven’t been one for new year’s resolutions. just because the calendar turns, doesn’t mean i automatically need to change everything about me – which, let’s face it, is exactly what those Jan 1 goals are all about.

instead, i try to incorporate healthy habits throughout the year, picking things up and letting things go as it seems fitting. spring always seems to be a time where i pick up a few more good intentions.

as the snow melts, and the sun shines, here are a few healthy habits i want to instate this spring that you can consider:

It’s not summer, but there’s still sun.

we often think of sunscreen on hot summer days before we hit the beach or hiking trail, but we don’t consider it enough year-round. the amount of sunburn instagram posts i saw this weekend is proof of that! after i fell victim to a spring burn in San Francisco last year, i’ll never make that mistake again.

people sometimes shy away from applying sunscreen daily because it can take too long to absorb, or leaves an unwanted residue. that’s why Coppertone has developed ClearlySheer Whipped and WaterBabies Whipped. both absorb quickly, leave skin hydrated and provide SPF 50 protection from UVA/UVB rays so you and your littles can stay protected all year round.

both my parents go south for the winter; they’ve been snowbirds for years. like the good baby boomers they are, they don’t really understand the importance of sunscreen – or maybe they do, but i preach it to the high heavens to anyone that will listen, and they’ve just stopped listening to me. for christmas, sister and i made sure to put two types of sunscreen in both of their stockings. one for the body, and one for face. fingers crossed that they used them.

Take time to meditate.

this may sound daunting, but it only takes a few minutes a day to practice meditation and focus your mind. there are many kinds of meditation and apps you can use to get started. meditation can help centre you before the day begins, or after a long day.

meditation has played some sort of role in my mindfulness practice since 2009, and it’s something i want to get better at again. in stressful situations, when i’m trying to get to sleep, even when it’s been a good day, it’s always a good time to sit in gratitude and meditate.

Let’s get physical.

as it gets nicer outside, it tends to become easier to keep (or restart) your goal to be more active. working out does not always have to be in a gym or be a strenuous activity. walk around your neighbourhood, or go on a hike – two of my favourite activities.

it’s also a great time to start a new activity. recently, i’ve got into boxing and have even decided to take on a “20 classes in 30 days challenge” for May. it’s been great for my mind and body – except for the muscle pain it can cause. if you do strain your muscles, treat your pain with ALEVE Back & Body Pain. one pill gives you up to 12 hours of relief from muscle pain, body pain and headaches.

Pay attention to your body.

life seems so hectic, and we often ignore obvious symptoms of our body telling us something is off. many ailments can be treated early and at home so when your body is trying to tell you something, listen up! a common example for women is bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV affects so many women, but it’s easy to ignore symptoms like abnormal discharge or an unpleasant odour when life gets busy. CanesBalance is an easy and effective at-home treatment that can relieve unwanted symptoms and prevent future recurrences.

spring has sprung, and i hope you’ll join me in adopting new healthy habits as the weather warms and days get longer.

tell me what habit you’d like to add to your routine.

this post is sponsored by Bayer. to make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

sadly, as we’re getting older – and my friends are getting married and having babies – it usually takes an event for us to all get together. gone are the days where we would instinctively meet at Brent and Geoff’s every saturday night, drink in hand, getting ready to take on the dance floor.

now we have family events (weddings, baby showers, etc.) and holidays.

oh, and don’t forget the birthdays!

Brent’s birthday is the first of the year, but when it comes to the ladies, Alyson takes that title.

nine of us got together Sunday to celebrate her being one year older over afternoon tea at Brasserie Kensington.

i hadn’t been to Brasserie before this, but it’s in one of my favourite neighbourhoods in the city and is known for local ingredients and their simple, hearty, comfort food.

all morning my grandma-self was craving camomile tea and they had a lavender-camomile blend that made my old soul super happy.

here’s what we ate:

prosciutto & housemade pickle crostini
bacon & egg deviled egg
duck rillette banh mi
herb marinated & chilled prawn
salmon gravlax & cream cheese pinwheel with pickled onion

classic brasserie biscuit
cinnamon scone
housemade preserves
devonshire cream

passion fruit gelee
coconut macaroon
cocoa nib sponge toffee
chocolate brownie
lemon meringue tart

my favourite bites were the scone – smothered in devonshire cream and strawberry preserves – and the coconut macaroon. i liked the savoury bites, too, and if i had to just choose one, i’d go with the duck rillette banh mi.

most importantly, i loved getting dressed up to catch up with my girlfriends.

have you ever gone to a high tea?

i wouldn’t consider myself too concerned with vanity. i have been known not to look in the mirror before i leave the house – resulting in later realizing my bun is an absolute mess, or i may have smudged my eye makeup (left over from the night before). oops! i’m not super gross, i promise. i will occasionally do my hair, makeup and put on unwrinkled clothing.

though, when it comes to appearance, one thing i’m constantly concerned about is my teeth. are they straight? are they white? could they be even brighter? what’s the best product to use to enhance them?

i’ve used whitening strips in the past. the results were very temporary and i found that more than anything i was left with sensitivity.

lately, the thought of using photoshop to whiten my teeth in photos has crossed my mind. instead of fakery, i decided to look into fixing the actual root of the problem.

there are so many at-home teeth whitening products on the market. what are the pros and cons of each?

that’s where the research started.


pros: widely available, many are ADA approved, noticeable results after many uses

cons: strips do not stay in place long enough for results, one size fits all, creates significant sensitivity


pros: inexpensive, widely available, noticeable whitening of teeth surface

cons: results impermanent, abrasive and can erode enamel, harmful to both teeth and gums, not ADA approved


pros: inexpensive, widely available, does not create tooth sensitivity

cons: at-home light is not the same frequency as a dentist; therefore, it is insufficient to speed up active ingredients in whitening gel.


pros:  custom-fitted to your teeth for complete coverage, safe for both enamel and gums, same method provided by dentists, can be used with those with sensitive teeth, noticeable whitening of teeth

cons: longer process, more likely to cause sensitivity due to deep stain removal, more expensive

recently i had the opportunity to try Smile Brilliant – basically, professional teeth whitening at home.

knowing my past experience left me with pain, i was delighted to find out that Smile Brilliant has a specific desensitizing gel as the second step of their regular whitening routine.

the process is simple:

  1. order the complete package and make your dental impressions in less than 15 minutes. mail your impressions back to the company.
  2. the lab receives your dental impressions, crafts an exact model of your teeth, and hand finishes your custom-fitted tray.
  3. simply add professional teeth whitening gel to your trays, wear them, and relax! let Smile Brilliant do the work.

each step includes detailed instructions – both in writing and diagram since everyone learns differently – as well as contact information in case you have more questions.

once my custom-fitted trays arrived, i started with a few days of just the desensitizing gel to prep myself for whitening. i continued this every few days while whitening to make sure i wouldn’t experience any pain.

the process of whitening my teeth also created a nighttime routine. around 8 p.m. i would put in my trays with whitening gel and let them work their magic for an hour or two. during this time i would cleanse, tone and moisturize my face, dry brush my skin, sometimes paint my nails or just relax on the couch. at 10 p.m. i would remove the trays, brush my teeth, and use the desensitizing gel in the trays for another half an hour. during this time, i would apply a face oil, get in my pjs, fill up my humidifier and take my medication. the trays would come out and i’d hop into bed, letting the residual gel left on my teeth do its work overnight.

my results? well, look for yourself.

as you can see, my teeth were a bit yellowed to begin with. there is definitely a noticeable improvement. i’m getting compliments on my bright smile, and my confidence to laugh with my mouth wide open and smile my toothy grin has jumped through the roof. if you’re with me, i’m showing off my teeth any chance i get.


want to try it yourself? i’ve partnered with Smile Brilliant to give one s&s reader a complete, customized at-home teeth whitening package. open to readers in Canada, US, UK, & Australia.

*enter here*

if you want to buy right away, use my code: scribblesandsass15  to receive 15% off any tray system.

post in partnership with Smile Brilliant. white teeth courtesy of them, all teeth whitening opinions are my own.
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