How I Whiten My Teeth + Whitening Kit Giveaway!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I am a teeth person. There is no doubt that the first thing I am looking at when I meet you is your teeth. I've always whitened my teeth with those strips that everyone uses. They've always got the job done, but it wasn't until I used Smile Brilliant that I realized how the strips really didn't whiten all the way into each crevice. Another thing I noticed was how ALL my teeth got whiter with the use of Smile Brilliant, not just the front few teeth. 

Ever since having Graham, I'm a habitual coffee drinker, so when I got the chance to try out Smile Brilliant, I was really excited. This was my first experience with teeth whitening trays. When you order the teeth whitening kit, you will be instructed on how to create your molds. The process was super easy and I was able to quickly do it one night after putting Graham to bed. You send your molds off in a prepaid envelope and they will return to you your custom fit trays.

Once your custom fit trays arrive, the real fun begins. I was given three whitening gel syringes and three desensitizing gel syringes. You are instructed to keep the trays in anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. I only ever kept them in for 45 minutes and I noticed a significant difference in only four applications. I did used the desensitizing gel after the last two sessions because I have sensitive teeth, but I've always had that issue.

After four applications, I hadn't even used a whole whitening gel syringe, so you are definitely getting enough gel for many, many sessions.

The trays fit really comfortably. I was able to talk and go about my business while the trays were in. I always whitened right before bed (which is suggested) and never felt like I was drooling (yuck!) when I talked.

Here are my results after four treatments:

I can definitely see how the yellow in between my teeth is gone! I never thought about that area getting whiter, but the whitening trays allowed the gel to really get in all the nooks and crannies of my teeth.

Now it is time for YOU to get started on a brighter smile!

Smile Brilliant has graciously offered to give away a credit to their store valued at $139! All you need to do is click HERE and enter your name and email! 

You can also get 5% off all items in their store with the code: tuckerup5 and $15 off your tray with the code: tuckerup15. 

You can see in the video below the specifics of the whole process. It really is as easy as it looks!

How do you whiten your teeth? I'd love to hear!

*This post was created in collaboration with Smile Brilliant. All opinions are my own!

Professional Teeth Whitening

Family Update

Friday, February 24, 2017

Happy Friday!

I swear I have the best readers. This blogging community is something special!

So many of you have been asking for an update on my dad and brother and sister in law. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read about my dad's assault here and my brother and sister in law's car accident here.

We will start with my dad. He is doing well. He had a surgery, unrelated to his attack, two weeks ago and he is recovering well. He has restless leg syndrome and has been experiencing severe leg pain for years now, so the doctor now wants to do an MRI and get to the root of what is causing his leg problems. Other than that, he is doing well!

My brother and sister in law are on the road to recovery as well! My brother is doing good. My sister in law, unfortunately, has to have shoulder surgery on the 3rd to repair her separated shoulder. She could use the prayers for a safe procedure and a speedy recovery.

Once again, I'm so blessed by ALL the texts, calls, and emails regarding the events that my family has gone through. I'm truly so thankful!!

WIWW: White Jeans/Bulky Sweater + Link Up

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Thanks to Graham's mimi (my mom) for taking these pictures! If your parents don't know up from down on an iphone and aren't sure what button to push on a DSLR, then you can appreciate these pictures just as much as I do! I had to give a few reminders to not cut off my hear or feet, and the fixed lens was a bit tricky, but we managed!

Onto the fashion part of this post. This Tory Burch purse has quickly become my most carried purse. I have a Louis Vuitton, but you can't beat a cross body. I've been carrying this purse daily because I never have time to switch to another one, but I'm not mad about it.

Also, can we touch on the fact that anywhere I go there are at least 95% of the women I see wearing white jeans. I think we are all dying for spring to get here.

This post has been so positive that I don't want to mention the fact that this sweater was given to me as a maternity sweater and has several giant holes. It is a size large from H&M and I will probably never get rid of it. It's amazing and I'm so thankful for the large, bulky sweater trend. 

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday Favorites

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Monday! Even though I have to go to school today, we don't have any kids, so that's a day off in my book! Things have been pretty quiet around here, but I am loving a few things lately.

1. All the nursery signs I'm making for expectant mommas. Seeing other mom's visions for their baby's nurseries is so fun! This special momma couldn't be cuter!

2. Graham is starting to get curls in the back and I'm smitten. Chris is ready to chop his hair off, but I'm demanding we wait until he is one. 

3. Seriously, my favorite things right in this picture. I swear I was born to be a boy mom, so if one day God gives us a girl, I can't imagine how these two boys will react. They are so precious!

4. Thanks for all the prayers for my dad. He is not able to work or drive for two weeks, so him and my mom decided to come up and visit us. We are all pretty excited they are here!

5. This B.B. cream is still my favorite. 

6. This manicure kit is worth itself in gold. It is amazing!

Happy Monday! 

WIWW: Birthday Dress + Link Up

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

blazer // shoes // hair tie bangles
I'm a little late to the WIWW game, but I made it! I thought I was getting sick, again, for the fourth week in a row, so I went to bed last night (Valentine's Day) at 8:20pm. Graham gave us the best V-day gift and didn't make a peep all night. And all the mom and dad hearts sanggggg hallelujah!

Anyways, last week was my birthday and Chris surprised me with a night out to a fancy steakhouse. I got home and my MIL was there to watch G and I was told to dress 'business casual'. 

I opted for this fun dress (no source because it was a random TJ Maxx find!) and paired it with my favorite KUT blazer. Even though it is February in Texas, we've been having some really warm days. This was one of those days, so I didn't feel like wearing pants. 

Speaking of weather. I don't care if it is hot or cold, I just need Texas to choose one!!

Hope you've had a wonderful Wednesday!

Chris's Bachelor Commentary

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

If I were the bachelorette, this would be me bossing all the men around. Come back tomorrow to get the details on this outfit!!
First off, did you hear the news?! I'm so excited!! It is a semi spoiler alert that I just happened to run into, but it is VERY public, so I don't think I'm spoiling it for many...anyways, click here if you're like me and can't resist temptation. No, it does not tell you who the winner is!

When Vanessa says that she loves Nick - What?! It's been three weeks!

Babe, no offense, if that was me and she was you, I'd make you wipe off your lipstick before I shuged you. You know that I don't like lipstick!

After Nick basically told Vanessa he wasn't going to tell her he loved her - She did not like to hear that...

Awwwweee, you're breakin' mi corazon....

Would you fight for me? Or would you be like, "Whatever girls."

Babe, you're not writing my quotes down, are you?

There's no way he ends up with Kristina. 

Gosh, these girls are brainwashed. They act so flubby-dubby (?)

When Corinne is talking to Nick on the 3 on1 - You think her emotions are real, bear?

When Corinne and Kristina are left sitting on the couch after Raven and Nick leave - Haaaa haaaaaa, silly girls! 

When Nick and Danielle play basketball - You wouldn't have to worry about me playing some basketball because I'd crush some kids in some HORSE. 

Asking me what kind of drink I think Nick and Danielle are drinking - Babe, if I was the bachelor doing all of this, I'd always order a Coke!

2017 Life Goal

Sunday, February 12, 2017

I've never really set goals or resolutions for myself. Okay, I lied. One year I did not shop for the entire year, but other than that, I usually a no goal gal.

This year my only goal is to slow down and say no. 

If I don't want to go to the _______ party, I decline. If I don't want to bring homemade cookies, I bring store bought. If I don't want to throw my 1-year a huge birthday party, I'm not (because he won't even remember). If I don't want to leave the house all weekend, I won't.

The last three weekends we have been at home and done whatever we wanted. And, it has been SO nice. For the first time in a LONG time I don't feel like I'm running on fumes, or that I'm having to shuffle from one event to the next. We are able to be at home and play with G and watch him grow. It's been so nice.

Now that doesn't mean we will decline everything, but Chris and I are both being very picky about how we spend our free time.

Graham is only little for so long and in order to enjoy him, slowing down is a must.

What's your 2017 goal?

Gifts For Your Guy Under $50

Thursday, February 9, 2017

I'd by lying if I said I like Valentine's day. To me, you should love people every single day of the year! Why all of a sudden buy expensive flowers and go out of your way?

Chris and I have a rule that if we are going to buy one another a gift, it better have a purpose. No more just buying stuff to buy stuff! We have enough c-r-a-p floating around.

Here are 7 gifts that are actually useful:

- Floral Tie: Every man needs a good tie. And this one has a fun floral pattern that is so trendy right now. C'mon ladies, make your man trendy! (I actually showed Chris this and he said it looks like his grandma's old couch...looks like he won't be getting this from me!)

- All-Over-Wash: We all know men like ease and this all-over-wash has raving reviews!

- V-Neck Sweater: If your man is like mine then you are the one buying all their clothes. V-Necks are casual and comfy and most men would actually wear this.

- Lounge Pants: Do I need to explain why these are a must-gift? Who doesn't like to be comfy?

- Amazon Echo: THIS IS A MUST BUY! Seriously, if you haven't gotten your man one of these, it is the best $50 you will ever spend. Not only will it keep them occupied and out of your hair, but Alexa is actually really helpful!

- Travel Kit: Most guys have one of these, but they never change them out. That's a problem because they become gross, because men are gross. Check yo' man's travel kit. If it needs to be refreshed, this one is perfect.

- Vineyard Vines Tee: Need I say more? You're gifting your man a tee shirt that he has permission to wear in public. No holes. No pit stains. He should love you forever for this gift.

- Facial Fuel: First off, Kiehl's is the best. Secondly, Chris is always slapping hand lotion onto his face wondering why it is always dry. I try to explain that your face needs different moisturizer, so guess who is getting some facial fuel? Mr. Tucker himself! It has great reviews, so I'm guessing he'll love it!

27 Things You Didn't Know About Me + WIWW Link Up

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Today is my birthday! I had jury duty, but I got dismissed, so I'm celebrating with my kiddos at school!

In honor of my 27th birthday, here are 27 things you might not know about me.

1. I always dreamed of being a neonatologist, but then in high school I realized I hated science, so that wasn't going to work.

2. My braces got ripped off my a blanket a month before I was supposed to get them taken off. Long story short, my friend ripped a blanket away from me and as it was being pulled, somehow the blanket caught onto one of my brackets and ripped them all off. And, no, it didn't hurt.

3. Every year at summer camp we would have to swim a mile in the lake. Yes, it is as hard as it sounds. But, it was the best. camp. ever.

4. I eat cereal for dinner at least three nights a week.

5. I can't drink V8 because it looks like blood.

6. Going to the beach is probably my least favorite type of vacation. I need to be doing something!

7. My first car got totaled by my guy friend who was borrowing it to take a girl on a date. My dad wasn't mad at all. I think his exact words were, "Well, kids are stupid. As long as everyone is okay, the car can be replaced."

8. I once had the dog named Tommy that I got for my (maybe?) 8th birthday. And, on that same day, my friend and I were in the bed of the truck (we lived in the country) when my dad ran Tommy over. It was traumatizing.

9. In 1st grade I got blamed for putting gum in a girl's hair and I truly didn't do it. I was a goodie-goodie, so it devastated me.

10. In 8th grade my teacher would give us Gobstoppers when we got questions right. There were only five girls in the whole class, so we'd always sneak them when she'd leave the room. One day I choked on them because I had shoved so many in my mouth and we all got caught.

11. I cannot stand the sound of people chewing their nails. It is THE worst.

12. If I was a millionaire, I'd have a personal masseuse follow me around and give me massages on demand.

13. Black coffee is the worst. Give me all the creamer.

14. I always try to eat healthier, but salads are just the worst.

15. Chips are something that I can't live without.

16. Shy is not how people describe me.

17. I'm 5'3".

18. I'm the least germaphobic person, ever. I married the biggest germaphobe ever.

19. I'd rather drink a Coke than any form of alcohol any day.

20. My pet peeve is people who think they're fat when they're not. Live and be happy. No complaining about how you look. If you don't like it, change it!

21. Reality tv is the best.

22. Broccoli is my favorite vegetable.

23. Sometimes I'm too honest; brutally honest.

24. Pranks are my favorite. I'm convinced that I'm a 27 year child.

25. New York City is my most favorite place on earth.

26. I want 4 kids. Chris says we will talk after 3.

27. This year I'm trying to slow down and say 'no' more. The end of last year was exhaustingly busy and I'm looking forward to what this year brings!

Happy Wednesday!

DIY Shiplap for Under $50

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Okay, so if you haven't heard of Fixer Upper, or Chip and Joanna Gaines, then you must be living under a rock. Joanna is America's sweetheart and every husband wants to be Chip.

Including us. We want to be Chip and JoJo, so we were...for a weekend.

I've wanted shiplap ever since we first started watching Fixer Upper and my Chip Chris made it happen!

We went to Home Depot and bought the reallyyyy thin plywood called underlayment for $11.99 a sheet. We bought several sheets because we (Chris doesn't know it yet!) plan to do shiplap behind our bed as well, but we only needed about one and a half sheets for the fireplace wall. We had Home Depot rip the wood into 6 inch sections.

When we got home, I sanded down the edges because they are pretty splintery.

After that, it was all measuring and cutting! Chris did an amazing job working around the mantle. We used our brad nailer and nailed the boards into the studs.

Once all the boards were up, I slapped on one coat of paint and called it a day! The paint is not full coverage, but I like that it looks slightly distressed.

Now I am addicted and want it everywhere. Good thing we bought plenty of wood and paint:)

We have big plans for this room. Mount the tv, add scones, new coffee table, add wall decor, and finish that stinkin' tv cabinet. I will keep you all updated as we progress.

What do you think? Do you have shiplap?

PS: don't mind the crooked sign, off centered wicker chest, or the fact that we still  haven't attached the doors to our tv cabinet. Shiplap was a priority, people!

Life's Tragic Events

Monday, February 6, 2017

I can't even begin to write this post. I've started and stopped 30 times now. I'm not sure how to put into words the emotions you feel when you find out your little brother and his BRAND new wife got it a terrible car accident.

You see, my family has always flown pretty far under the radar. Neither my brother or I ever experienced severe illness or broken bones, my parents are still married after almost 30 years, growing up was relatively normal, and now into my adult life, nothing major has happened.

Until October when, as most of you know, my dad was brutally attacked in which the case that has yet to be resolved. It was an incident that rocked our whole family. And when I say rocked, I mean rocked. 

It was one of those things that you hear about happening to other families and you think, "Why them? Why did God choose them to go through that rift?" Every since my dad's accident I am continually reminded of how strong he was during that incident. How blessed we are that he is still alive. And how God chose him to be the victim so that he could live on and continue to make a difference in the world.

Even though my dad's case hasn't been resolved (don't even get me started on the Memphis PD), we've been living a pretty uneventful life. Other than G getting RSV, and one of us being sick every week since Christmas, life has been fairly uneventful.

Until this weekend.

Saturday afternoon my brother and his new wife were in a terrible car accident. My brother hydroplaned as he was accelerating from a yield and his truck spun around into oncoming traffic. They were hit head on and my sister in law took the brunt of the blow when their truck flipped over. My brother was able to walk away, but my sister in law had to be cut out of the car with the jaws of life. You can imagine the pain my brother was suffering watching his new wife (love of his life since 8th grade) trapped in their truck. She was transported to the hospital and once there, my brother started vomiting and had pain in his ribs, hand, and foot, so he was admitted as well. As the evening progressed, my brother was scanned and cleared of any broken bones. He was released Saturday evening and my sister in law was released early Sunday morning. She will have to meet with an orthopedic surgeon about her shoulder, and her ankle is badly sprained, but after seeing their truck, we can't help but know that God was watching over them.

All of this to say: I've always thought, "Wow, why did God choose that family/person to _______?" Whether it be cancer, lose a loved one, not be able to have kids, be unemployed, homeless, etc. it is SO easy to ask God, "WHY ME? WHY US?" I was asking him that after my dad's accident. And now, four months later, I'm asking him, "Why them? Two young, near perfect individuals. Why?" And all I keep hearing back is, "Just have faith and trust me."

It is so, so hard sometimes to think that you are being punished or ganged up on by God, but that's not the case. My sweet friend Amie and I were texting briefly and she reminded me that God only puts his strongest soldiers through the toughest battles. Sometimes I think I'm not strong enough.

As I'm sobbing on the phone with my mom as she is tell me about my little brother apologizing to his wife for getting in a wreck, all the while his wife is incoherent, I can't help but think that I'm not strong enough. Then my mom reminds me that we are strong. We are strong and it will all be okay. And, crying is okay.

So, no matter what you're going through, YOU are strong and YOU will get through it and it WILL be okay. It may not be okay on our time, but keeping the faith is the only way to persevere.

Lastly, if you would, please pray for my brother and his wife. Also, my dad (ironically) is having surgery Thursday and if you'd pray for him, too, that'd be great. Oh, and pray for my mom as she is staying strong for everyone. She is a rockstar.

Hope your Monday is awesome and bright!

I Quit Breastfeeding, And I Don't Even Feel Bad

Thursday, February 2, 2017

This whole mom thing can really do things to you, mentally and physically, that I never thought were possible. Crying at the thought of how happy your child makes you, crying while looking at your child's chubby hands and praying they never change, getting scared with every bite they take because choking is your biggest fear, etc. Motherhood is the best, most life changing thing and I wouldn't change any of it for the world.

You know what else is life changing: breastfeeding. I wrote alllll my thoughts about it here, but I now have an update for you; I quit, and I don't even feel bad. I should really say I quit pumping because I haven't actually breastfed Graham for about 5 months now. So, I quit pumping and I don't even feel bad.

You see, this is how my days were going:

5:15am - wake up

5:20 - 5:50am - get ready for work

5:50 - 6:15am - pump

Pray Graham doesn't wake if Chris has left for the gym.

6:15 - 6:25am - put away pumped milk, clean parts, pack pumping bag for school.

6:25-6:35am - make breakfast, pack G's bags, pack lunch

6:40am - wake G up, if he isn't already awake

6:40 - 6:55am - get G ready, load the car, head to school

7:20am - drop G off

7:35am (late for school) arrive at school

7:35am - 9:30am - teach

9:30am - leave class to go pump

9:50am - rush back to class

9:50 - 11:15am - teach

11:15 - 11:45am - lunch duty

11:45 - 12:15pm - my lunch break...where I would revert back to a small office to pump while eating my cold lunch because I don't have time to warm it up

12:15 - 1:00pm - my time to plan with my team, meet with parents, meetings for kids, etc.

1:00 - 3:00pm - teach then sends kids on their merry way

3:00pm - pump

3:30pm - rush to make sure I didn't miss anything from an after school meeting then pack up for the day. I usually have a TON to do, but since having G, I know it can all wait.

3:40 - 4:00pm - pick up G

4:00 - 4:30pm - drive home

4:30 - 5:30pm - play with G and run any errands we have

5:30pm - G eats dinner

6:00pm - daddy gets home!

6:30 - 6:50pm - G gets a bath

7:00pm - G's bedtime

Chris gives G a bottle while I, you guessed it, pump!

7:30pm - the FIRST time all day I've got to sit and relax, but nope! Time to make dinner, find dinner, microwave dinner, pack G's bags, and start on my sign orders.

7:30 - 10:00pm - eat while standing, work on signs, do laundry, shower, wash bottles, pack G's bags for the next day, work on lessons for class, etc.

10:00pm - shower

10:15pm - pump for the last time

10:30pm - bedtime

Every single day I felt exhausted. Because of the exhaustion, my job as a wife and mom were taking a hit, and I blame it all on having to be a human cow.

Around Christmas I decided that I wanted to try and stop pumping. At that time I had several hundred bags of stored milk, but more than that, I wanted to be able to wear a dress and not have to worry about how to pump in it. I wanted to be able to go somewhere and not have to worry about packing my pump. I wanted to go somewhere and not have to plan my whole trip around my boobs.

So, I decided I'd slowly start decreasing my pumping sessions.

Three weeks after starting the process, I was officially done pumping/milking/being a human cow!! AND, I don't feel one bit of sadness or guilt! You know why? Because my child is happy, healthy and will continue to be happy and healthy no matter what he is drinking: formula or breastmilk. You know what's even better? I AM THE HAPPIEST I'VE BEEN IN MONTHS! Literally, the day after I quit I felt less emotional and angry at the fact that I was having to sacrifice my time, my body, for my child. Why doesn't Chris have to go in a tiny room a trillion times a day and hook up to a machine that pulls on his utters? Why doesn't he have to wake up in the middle of the night to sacrifice for our child? The hormones are no joke, people. Chris is an angel because it was almost daily that I'd be mad at him simply because he didn't have boobs.

I know, I know. Some of you think I'm selfish because I shouldn't be thinking about me because once you have a child is isn't about you anymore. But, you know what? I am thinking about me because without me, this family doesn't function.

I can now confidently say that I am a month into not pumping and I am happier, less tired, less stressed, and a better wife and mom because of it. We have almost used up all my frozen milk and so G will have to start formula soon and I seriously have zero guilt. I was one of the fortunate ones where I had good milk and breastfeeding wasn't that hard for us, but mentally, it was the worst thing ever. I'd have another baby tomorrow if boobs weren't involved :)

So, if you are on the fence about this subject, or just need some encouragement, please let me know! I encourage you to do what is best for YOU because, like I said, without a fully functioning mommy, nothing gets done!

PS: You can read about traveling while pumping here. (I actually pumped across the Golden Gate Bridge...)

WIWW: Little Boy Favorites + Link Up

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

First off, Gap is having a 50% off EVERYTHING online sale. AND, Old Navy is having a 40% off all kids and baby items! Go, go, go!

I buy 99% of Graham's clothes from Gap and Old Navy, so I will be finally purchasing all my items that have been in my cart for long enough. Chris, if you're reading, I am not buying anything :)

Since I'm over here looking like a rag-doll, today will be all about G. Not only because he is a stylishly adorable kid, but today he turns 10 months old and there isn't enough makeup in the world to cover my crying eyes! (All outfits are completely from Old Navy or Gap except the second picture.)