Vent Sesh

TAGG Talk: Power of a Smile

October 20, 2014

Have you ever stopped to think about the importance and power of a smile? 

It’s really remarkable. When you see someone, tell a funny joke, look at your little kids, flirt with someone, or anything else, a smile is like art — it says a million words, without saying anything. Is it a smirk or a full-out grin? Seeing smiles are contagious, and infectious. Have you ever been in a tense or crappy situation and then someone… smiled? While I can naturally be short tempered (I think it’s my desire to accomplish 16 things in 4 minutes!), I try my best to always smile, particularly at those who are working — I can imagine they don’t get many smiles coming their way.


I remember when I didn’t always feel confident to give that big smile.

When I was young I had a space between my two front teeth. I hated it. I wasn’t cool like the iconic model, Lauren Hutton; I was chubby, moved around a bunch, and not at all self confident. I felt so awkward and that certainly didn’t help. Braces worked in the long run but who ever felt like showing off a mouth full of metal? Not this girl. If only you could see those mid-1990s Glamour Shots that I pray have been burned!

More recently, I had an frustrating smile moment that did more than impact my smile.

Without getting into too many dental details, I had the most agonizing few months in order to re-do a crown on a top molar I just had done last year. Ugh. Pain and time aside, my temporary crown would not stay in. I mean, nothing worked (and accidental sour gummies were only to blame once! :) ).  Before the permanent one went in, my dentist and I decided to just keep the temporary out so for nearly a week and a half, despite it being toward the back of my mouth, I felt so uncomfortable giving a big smile or laugh. And, it was crazy how it really impacted my whole self confidence. I didn’t want to smile as big to fam or friends, give a big chuckle, and didn’t want to be photographed for the blog. I felt restricted.

Have you had something, your smile or anything else, that you felt has held you back?

When Invisalign® approached me last month about their confidence campaign based on giving women (and men) the opportunity to perfect their smile so they’d feel more self confidence, I was immediately on board because I was at-that-moment completely got the impact of dealing with that every single day. Mine was short term so I couldn’t imagine how self confidence would feel for more long-term challenges I know my husband has considered Invisalign with our dentist for his bottom teeth because since they’re a little crooked again since his braces days. He like that they’re way more discreet than braces — no wires or brackets needed, hello scary teenage years flashback! — and they now has more advanced technology to fix everything from underbite to overbite, crowding or widely spaced teeth, in addition to minor issues.

Is your smile holding you back? If it is, take theInvisalign Smile Assessment to find out if Invisalign is right for you as you take steps to increase your confidence. And, if you’re someone lucky enough to have a killer set of teeth, don’t be shy about showing them off. I love the quote above that I found on Pinterest; it’s so true. Radiate your smile and create some extra happiness today.


Disclosure: this post is brought to you by invisalign. All opinions are 100 percent my own. 

Be sure to check out the Invisalign Countdown to Confidence Sweepstakes, which gives entrants the chance to win a free Invisalign treatment as well as daily prizes. The Invisalign Countdown to Confidence Sweepstakes is awarding one winner $100 each day for 60 days plus a chance to win the grand prize: free Invisalign treatment and $1,000.


wednesday words: so busy

October 15, 2014

so busy

Saw this on Instagram and is so resonated; what’s with the “so busy” response all the time? I’m guilty. Yeah, sure, I’m insanely busy and it’s crazier than usual but wow, I have a million better ways I could probably answer this question… including all of the ones mentioned above! #someonepourmeaglass

Going to make it a personal mission NOT to say “so busy” in response to the “how are you?” question and see how it goes. I could mention work, my kiddies, cool blog chat, an upcoming volunteer event, anything. Any other answer, even needing wine STAT, likely will create a much more fun and engaging dialogue with the person asking, too. What do you say… want to join me in the banning the “so busy” talk?



My little girl has leg hair.

She climbed into my lap last week, long after she should have been sleeping.  After holding my  phone while half paying attention to her, I put the phone down and soaked her in. Her sweet smell clean from the shower. Her adorable little voice asking to type words on my computer as I was trying to complete a blog post. I normally stop her and shoo her to bed but that time I didn’t.  I cuddled with her, let her type, and enjoyed that moment — completely present and aware of this little lady she’s quickly becoming — and then, rubbing her legs, I really saw it. Leg hair. Those gorgeously long legs that where what feels like seconds ago little chunksters are the strong legs of a nearly five-year old. My baby is transforming.

I now shop for her mostly in the big girl zone.  You know, the one with the too short shorts, and the too tiny tops. Despite walking by that area for a long time thinking, wow, so many cute things, it now nearly made me tear up thinking my baby girl wearing tutus, letting me pick her outfits, or wanting all things elmo, minnie mouse and princess might be soon fading. She’s not really even a 5T; I’m holding on to that baby/toddler sizing but it’s not working. There’s no turning back.

I love her more each day than the day before. This next line might sound awful, especially since we also have the most amazing, cutest little 11-month old boy, but I’ve realized I’m not such a baby person. I love mine but each age just seems better than the last. Watching their personalities, facial expressions — even the “your crazy mom” ones — and interests emerge each day is fascinating and inspiring. Her passion for building, arts, and gymnastics are beautiful, her smart response to just about anything impressers  her cuddles when we read books make my nights, and her love for our son is, I can’t even put it into words. It just radiates in such a powerful way, and her reciprocates with smiles and laughters bigger than anyone else gets. I just feel blessed to witness it.

Even as our girl has become the tallest in her class, with her long legs dangling from me when she’s half asleep, sometimes I love to grab her in my arms, holding her like a baby, and tell her that no matter how big she gets she’ll always be my baby.

We joke that one of my favorite parts of her is that cute tush of hers. Don’t these little ones just have the cutest tushes? Ah! Love. But what age is it not appropriate anymore to grab her cute little baby tush? 25? :) I hope it’s not for a while. I’m getting my squeezes and tickles in now.

It’s hard to believe how this mother/daughter dynamic is only just emerging, thinking how my mom must have felt years ago and wondering how I’ll feel when I’m her age now and Sarah is in her 30s. I’m lucky that my mom is close by. Can I imagine Sarah and our little man going to college and working beyond Florida? I know they’re still so young but these subtle reminders how they’re growing up — I mean, next year is Kindergarten! — is scary, exciting and a range of other emotions. Being honest, I’m scared enough just thinking about leaving my house by 7:30 am with both kids ready to roll, let alone the actual act of starting elementary school, homework, bigger kids and everything else (editor’s note: I am not a morning person!).

While I’m quite confident that two is this family’s magic number when it comes to kids, I can see how women can get the urge to start the process again. I even see little, little babies and think, wow, our baby boy is nearly 1 (their birthdays are both in November), and realizing that soon he’ll be walking, talking and everything else. There is no teeny tiny baby stages happening again here.

More aware every day that it’s the unexpected moments that resonate for long after that time ends. Here’s to being present so we can be mindful enough to soak them in, before we miss our opportunity.

photo: our girl one year ago, age 4.


I have too much stuff. Way too much freaking stuff. It’s overwhelming. I’m that borderline sentimental/hoarder who recently realized we live in this amazing home with plenty of room for four people and yet I’m shockingly running out of room. Let’s be honest: it’s not that we don’t have enough space, it’s that we have too much stuff. I think too many of us are guilty of the same. Over the weekend I did a big purge, which not only made me abundantly happy, it got me thinking that we all have at least five pieces we can instantly toss.. now.

Six Places to Purge

Here’s a few tips where to start:

1. Closet: start with the obvious. Get rid of old tees that are in your pajamas section yet you never wear. Throw out older underwear and bras and ill fitting sweatshirts. Donate anything you haven’t worn in at least a year, and be honest with yourself if you’re ever going to wear it again. Donate or sell old purses, shoes and other items gathering dust that aren’t able you to see the gems you really do have. Accessories? I mean why does this Florida girl own at least 15 scarves? Hiding anything at the top or bottom of your closet? I hoard shoe boxes and packaging; time to say goodbye.

2. Bathroom: what’s lurking in that medicine cabinet or under the sink? Toss prescriptions past the expiration date, nail polishes that you haven’t worn in years and any hair tools that you never picture touching your head again. Have towels you never use? Donate, or put them in the garage to use as extras. What about dated make-up? Throw it out.

3. Refrigerator and pantry: sadly, I can imagine there are plentiful studies about the amount of food we waste as a society. Personally, we try really hard to buy based on what we need that week but plans change. Go through your cabinets, read expiration dates, and even check cans. You’ll probably be shocked how long a few of them have been sitting there. Take stock of what you’re tossing so you don’t keep buying.

4. Kitchen Cabinets: this was the source of much purging joy this weekend. The fondue maker still in its original packaging (with notecard!) from our wedding… err, 10 years ago? Considered vintage? What about the beer mugs, odd-shaped serving platters with weird prints, an old-school plastic timer and more cooking utensils than I can count? Did I mention my — not my children’s, mine — awful painted pottery from tipsy girl’s nights out never once used? Garbage.

5. Kid’s spaces: prime purging ground! Get your kids in on the action — my daughter amazingly went through and narrowed down her stuffed animal collection — or do it when they’re in school. Promise, promise, promise you they won’t miss it, or know it’s gone. This also goes for kid’s artwork. We have a wall to showcase recent art, and I recently went through 3 years of art and recycled 100+ pieces. Hurts, but not really: it enables me to focus on the pieces I love. And, did I mention the at least dozen shoe boxes stored in her closet, for let’s pretend, some science project five years from now? Clearly, I’m enabling shoe-box hoarding throughout my home.

6. Random drawers and closets: do you have pens from 1997? Random gross candles with more dust than burned wax? Birthday cards from your 24th birthday…. and you’re 32? Assignments from your college days? Papers and pamphlets, and dated coupons? An old aero bed that likely won’t stay inflated the whole night? What about old decorative pillows you’ve since swapped out? Feel pretty confident that you won’t need these things again. Even if you have the shelf or closet space, toss.


What did I leave off? Books, odd knick-knacks, clipped recipes, your broken iPhone 4 (or your flip phone), boxes from all those techie devices, and things stored in those few random drawers. We know it’s there. I’ll validate that some things are worth saving — my daughter’s first pair of sneaks, my size 12 american eagle jeans from my pre-weight watcher days in  2002, anniversary cards with beautiful messages from my husband, a ‘contract’ my papa made when I was in middle school for us to help around the house, a model airplane my other grandpa made, and a handful more pieces that bring back incredible memories.

Yet everything else? Toss the crap out. It clogs your space, your brain, and you from living a life where you can fully see and soak in the world around you. Special pieces will become undoubtedly even more special when you can display them, see them clearly and focus on what matters. Right now you’re clogging your world. It’s not easy to unclog overnight but take a trash bag and a donation bag and hit one space at a time. A month from now you’ll be glad you did.

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