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Tuesday 29 July 2014

My Braces Experience & Having my Braces Off

a picture of me with my study models

This post is actually incredibly overdue seeing as I had my braces removed September 2013! Saying that it has given me time (plenty) to reflect on my experience of wearing braces, having them off and how I feel about my teeth now.

a photo of study models pre treatment

a photo of study models pre treatment

The models above are of my teeth pre treatment second time around, (I'll get to that). As you can see I had quite crowded teeth, with one of my front teeth crossing over the other and a narrow arch. As my front teeth are quite large, I was very conscious and aware of the fact one crossed over the other. It made me shy to smile and I would laugh with my hand over my mouth to try and hide my teeth. My teeth definitely had a large impact on my confidence and feeling self concious. 

As I say these models are from the second time around as I had braces when I was around 14, 15. Back then my teeth were severely overcrowded and I had to have teeth removed, surgery etc before I actually had my braces fitted. I was even more self conscious back then, being a teenager and shy at school. After all the pain and hassle of wearing braces the first time around, you'd think I would have been smarter and stuck to wearing my retainers but being young I naively thought they wouldn't move... Evidently they did!

After my teeth moved, they didn't go back to as bad as they were but I was still ever so conscious of them and this took it's toll, never being happy to smile or laugh properly so I took the plunge and had braces fitted once again, this time at age 22!

a photo of teeth with braces during orthodontic treatment

a photo of teeth with braces during orthodontic treatment

a photo of teeth with braces

a photo of teeth with braces during orthodontic treatment

These are a few photos I took during my treatment. It took two years of wearing braces before my treatment ended and in that time I needed my centre line shifting round, as it wasn't matching up to the centre of my top lip (most evident in the first treatment photo). This required an implant to be placed in the bone in my upper jaw, with an elastic coming from it onto the brace which forced my teeth to move round. Having the implant fitted wasn't the nicest experience but once it was in, it didn't hurt and I hardly noticed it was there!

When having my braces fitted the first time they felt very strange. Bulky, sore and rough are just some words I'd associate with having them put on but it's surprising how quickly you get used to it. By the end of the week they felt pretty much normal after the initial soreness and pain of having wires inflicting force on your teeth. Eating was a bit of a pain at first and I'd end up with food left in the braces but you soon train your tongue to fish out the debris and have a drink to help wash food away. I would always head to the bathroom after eating anyway just to check there wasn't anything there and brush my teeth if I needed to. 

Each time I went for an adjustment of the wire my teeth would feel sore and almost bruised after the appointment a few hours later but with the help of ibuprofen and a soft diet for my dinner that night, I coped pretty well and got used to it over time. Having adjustments never left my teeth feeling as painful as they felt a few hours after having my braces first fitted. When I say painful I mean tender, throbbing and sore- a bit like what I imagine teething to feel like? It was never anything like a sharp pain and by the next day it was no more than a dull ache and I could chew food normally again. 

a photo of teeth with braces during orthodontic treatment

a photo of teeth with braces during orthodontic treatment

After two years I was so used to wearing them, they felt a part of me. When I met people they would admittedly look at my braces but after that initial greeting I never found people to stare at them which is what made me anxious about having them put back on in the first place. I even had boyfriends through my treatment which looking back sounds silly but I was convinced no one would be interested in a 22 year old with braces. Regardless I was happy to be single if need be in order to get lovely looking teeth and I weirdly felt more confident wearing the braces than I did with my teeth before they were put on.

a photo of study models post treatment

a photo of study models post treatment

The day finally came for me to have them off and although it sounds weird, I was a tiny bit sad to see them go! I'd grown rather attached to them, especially as they appeared to make me look younger! I got I.D'ed all the time haha!

Having them off was in my opinion worse than having them put on as they had to remove all the glue with a hand piece which made me cringe. The sensation put my hairs on end and I can only describe it as nails on a black board and your teeth are the blackboard but I was so excited to see my teeth "naked" it didn't matter so much. 

a photo of orthodontic essix retainers

I was SO pleased with the result once the braces were off but christ did my teeth feel thin! After having so much bulky metal in your gob for two years my teeth felt paper thin. Luckily I had retainers to wear which made my teeth feel more secure and I had to wear them full time other than when I was eating and cleaning my teeth for 4 weeks after. I then got to wear them 12 hours a day for a few weeks, then 8 hours which I'm still doing now but come September 2014 I can wear my lower retainer every other night which will be nice!

a photo of study models pre and post treatment

Despite wearing my upper retainer religiously, my two front teeth were very persistent during the day with trying to move across each other again... I went back to my orthodontist who attached a small piece of wire across the back of my two front teeth so that they physically can't move. Since having that put on in June 2014 they haven't moved and I'm so pleased! I still have to wear my upper retainer every night until my review appointment in December 2014 but its so worth it.

I honestly cannot stress just how important it is to wear your retainer unless you are prepared for your teeth to move and all the hard work of wearing a brace be undone. I will never make that mistake again and I'm quite prepared to wear retainers the rest of my life!

a photo of study models pre and post treatment

a photo of me smiling

a photo of me smiling

a photo of me smiling

As you can see I can smile with confidence now and I LOVE smiling in photos with my friends and family now! Granted in outfit posts I'm a pouty madam but that's really for effect. In my day to day life I am a happy smiling 25 year old with a lot more confidence than I started out with. You can even see the difference in my two YouTube Videos I did on braces below! Having orthodontic treatment really changed my life in the sense of being happier in my own skin and giving me more confidence, not to mention the fact my teeth look so much nicer. For that, my treatment was 100% worth it and I would strongly recommend it to anyone else who has felt the same about their teeth as I do.

My first Video

My Second Video

Have you had braces? What was your experience?

Sunday 27 July 2014

How I spend my weekends: The Little Lunch

So I'm actually in the UK right now, partying my heart out at Secret Garden Party! However I couldn't leave you high and dry so I've been saving this post until now. How considerate of me? Haha!

balcony lunch cyprus

sandwiches, tomatoes and fake rose in vase

Cath Kidston Beaker

Cath Kidston plate, knife and fork

English sandwiches on Emma Bridgewater tray

We have a little balcony at the front of our house which we never used...until now! It's a lovely little shady spot, perfect for when the heat gets a bit too much for us so I decided to do a little lunch up there for Chris and I. He works outside all day so when he comes home he likes to retreat into shady spots, making this the perfect area for him. He's also been missing home recently hence the little sandwiches (of course some contained cucumber!) and my little Cath Kidston plates and beakers which are actually from my picnic hamper but I thought they'd look cute and quintessentially English. I also used my Emma Bridgewater tray to serve the sandwiches as I love it and Chris thought it was a pointless buy when I got it- how wrong was he!? It was a modest lunch but in this heat you don't really fancy much more! 

tomatoes in olive oil and basil

balcony lunch cyprus

We then gots a thinking about how to utilise this space. We have a hammock which someone gave us and had a thought to try rig it up here and thankfully it worked! It is so peaceful laying in the cool shade in the hammock, even Harry likes it!

Man in a hammock and springer spaniel dog

Man in a hammock and springer spaniel dog

Since I took these shots we have added to the balcony with home made candle holders, a home made chalk board and even a little futon cushion/mattress so we can both sit up there. It really is our little escape! It's even perfect of  night time with a glass of wine and some music. Bliss.

DIY chalk board and DIY candle holders

How are you spending these lovely summer nights?

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Wedding Edition: My Rustic Wedding DIYs and first Wedding VLOG!

I can reveal some more wedding stuff now that I am MARRIED!!!!!!!! Our big day was Saturday and I can honestly say it was the best day of my life. Christopher makes me so happy and I am s lucky to be spending the rest of my life with him. Now onto the post!

Whilst in the UK at the beginning of June, I went about finishing off the remainder of the wedding decor. I didn't do DIY tutorials on these bits as I thought they were pretty self explanatory or didn't require much DIYing. I've left this post until now to show you as I didn't want to spoil too many surprises of the wedding for our guests. I hope you enjoy!

The Table Plan

I'm a bit in love with the table plan I created. I wanted to incorporate something rustic into it and after browsing the wonder that is Pinterest, I came across this idea and adapted it to suit our wedding. The crate is actually borrowed from a real farm local to the area which to me gives it an extra special touch. The miniature pegs I picked up at The Range and I picked the photo frame up at a charity shop. I cut card to fit the box with the table numbers I needed and the guests names were added to the table cards a few days before when the table plan had been finalised. As with all my wedding stationary I added the lace effect paper doilies to the card and used the same font as before and twine.  I really love the way this turned out!

Keeping with the rustic theme we have incorporated corn into a lot of our wedding decor, one of those being this old suitcase which I picked up in the charity shop for next to nothing, along with the photo frame. The jug is from QD and the bunting I made from card and twine! 

How cute is this type writer? Like seriously!? I found this in my Grandad's shed where he hauded lots of stuff but in this instance it was pretty handy! Granted it doesn't actually work but it's a great prop and we typed the rhyme out in type font on word. We think the retro theme really lnds itself to the wedding also and basically just had to have it as a prop- LOOK AT IT!! 

The cards suitcase is again another inspiration from Pinterest. I picked the suitcase up at a boot sale fr #5, total bargain and the woman whom I bought it off insisted I take the lace material for free when she realised it as for a wedding. How sweet is that!? Again I made the bunting and hot glued it into the case. It is the perfect place for guests to place cards, gifts etc and be carried away in the case after the wedding. I love old fashioned suitcases, again I think they look perfect in a rustic wedding setting and think this is such a cute display.

And finally these last two items are linked and an idea we thought up all by ourselves. A Rayment original! We bought a Fujifilm instax camera and film for people to snap their picture and stick into our self adhesive photo album which is actually our guest book. Then write us a note and stick in and voila there;s our guest book sorted. The  camera and film we picked up on eBay, the self adhesive photo album is from Paperchase and the props are from the pound shop. A cheaper alternative to a photo booth and more fun than a bunch of disposable cameras which we'll probably never get developed... Oh and the label on the guest book I of course made and stuck on, again following our stationary theme! 

And below we have our wonderful Snap & Chat chalk board which alerts people to our guest book and tells the how to use it in a fun and quirky way. My mum's partner very kindly made the sign and I designed it. Chris can take the credit for the idea, he's actually pretty creative when he puts his mind to things!

So that is some of the bits we made and created for the wedding but if you want to see more, check out my wedding vlog below! 


Friday 18 July 2014

Beauty review: No7 instant radiance concealer

It's not often I do reviews on my blog as unless I really love something I don't think it's worth you reading. That and I wouldn't know how to be enthusiastic about mediocre products!

No7 instant radiance concealer

On this occasion I'm reviewing the No7 instant radiance concealer because it is quite frankly the tits!! Recently I went to Boots to find a concealer specifically for my dark under eye circles which wind me up something chronic! I'd been using concealers which were far too heavy for my delicate under eye area and the effect was a tired cakey under eye- not the look I'm going for unless I want to look aged..

No7 instant radiance concealer

No7 instant radiance concealer

No7 instant radiance concealer

No7 instant radiance concealer

I was on a bit of a budget, with the wedding fast approaching and didn't want to waste my pennies on a product that wouldn't work so I headed to the trusty No7 counter and had a lovely lady try out this concealer on me and instant my mind was blown! My eyes were shouting "hello, I'm awake now!" The effect truly was instant! And for that I was sold. £13 isn't a cheap concealer but for use purely under my eyes and not requiring a lot of product to do the job, I saw it as an investment.

No7 instant radiance concealer
Concealer is on the left side (as you're looking at the photo). The right side is make-up free

The sales assistant advised me that you can apply it before your foundation and then again after application if up feel you need a bit of extra coverage. In these photos I have no other make up on to show you just how amazing it is. I'd feel confident to wear this with a touch of mascara and go out, it's that good. The consistency is so light and glides on with ease, only requiring a small amount to do an excellent job. It didn't crease and has great staying power. It's the perfect under eye concealer! It has light reflective particles which disperse dark areas leaving my dark eye area looking light and refreshed. I bought shade III as it's the darkest and matches best with my tan (although it doesn't match my hand I am aware!)

I really can't praise this product enough. No7 have really hit the nail on te head with this one and created an excellent product.

What are your favourite concealers to combat those pesky under we circles?

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