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Ding Dong……I do!

For many women, our wedding day is the most important day of our lives, the day we have dreamed of since we were little girls. When I married, I wanted everything to be perfect, I wanted the wedding day that everyone would be talking about for years to come – and I was lucky enough to have it. But that was 10 years ago……fast forward to 2019 and the measures that couples go to in order to have the perfect day kick everything that we did to the curb.

Weddings increasingly seem to be more than just a celebration of the love between two people. It can too often become premeditated glitz and glamour that is used to impress, and the actual meaning of marriage can get lost in all the craziness. I blame the ever-increasing pressures on society for this, but they aren’t going away anytime soon.

Fast forward the clock 10 years from when I married, and you see how much bigger and crazier all this wedding malarkey has become. The venues are bigger, the dresses are even more beautiful, forget flowers as table arrangements, why not put a tree on them! And then there are the measures we take prior to our weddings in order to look our best.

10 years ago, when I married my husband microblading, Botox, Gel nails, fillers, airbrush makeup hair extensions and Invisalign (to list a few) were not a thing – or if they were, I didn’t research very well. Tooth whitening was only just becoming a wedding thing back then – I’m making it sound like I’m a dinosaur who married 40 years ago but it’s a sign of how quickly times change, especially in the world of weddings.

We all know that women face daily pressures to look good but then a woman decides to get married and we know what comes with getting married…. photographs, videos, social media and scrutinization by guests. It’s not a surprise that all the little insecurities rear their heads and the desire to look the best version of yourself commences.

As wedding season approaches another crop of brides are currently immersed in a torturous process of self-improvement.

From the outside it seems like madness, but the pressures are almost impossible to resist especially today in this selfie and social media obsessed world – and we get that.

In Practice we see both brides and grooms ahead of their big days on a regular basis wanting that perfect smile for their wedding days and we help them to achieve their goals. We understand the importance of wanting that perfect smile for your wedding day because you’ll be wearing it not just for your wedding day but in the photos that are going to last a lifetime.

Seeing overjoyed brides and grooms ahead of their day gives us a great sense of achievement and is a massive part of why we love what we do.

If you are a budding bride or groom looking to improve your smile before your big day then look no further and pop in to see us so that we can help you to become the most beautiful version of yourself – be it Invisalign, a smile makeover or some tooth whitening – we are here to help.

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

I’m not a big fan of the cold weather that winter brings and those miserable gloomy days make me feel glum, however there is a reason why winter is the most wonderful time of the year – yes you guessed it! Christmas!
Its not about the presents, at the age of 33, the thrill of writing a Christmas list left me many years ago.
Perhaps for me, it’s the fact that I have children, so the Christmas magic is still there but I was just as excited about Christmas prior to having kids. I think the only year I haven’t been excited is when I was pregnant with the twins, my due date was late January but due to some complications in the pregnancy the doctors had prepared me for having them ‘any day’. I manged to hold out until 28th.
Perhaps it’s that I have Christmas week off – the practice is open over Christmas (excluding the public holidays) but I always book Christmas off from a childcare point of view and because of the twins’ birthday. The prospect of a chance to recharge my batteries is always appealing although my husband still works so its not a nice family break and the alarm still goes off at 6am – not that you need an alarm with young children!
Perhaps it’s the excitement I get the first time I walk into a shop and see the Christmas decorations but after that few seconds of delight I then moan that ‘it’s far too early’.
Perhaps it’s the Christmas decorations in the house that get me excited but I have OCD so the idea of glitter and tinsel spread around the house fill me with dread.
Maybe it’s the works Christmas party, or maybe not as the lead up is stressful with the ‘What dress’ dilemma!
Maybe it’s the food, I am a self-confessed foody and Christmas is the perfect excuse to eat, but it’s always overshadowed by the number on the scales.
Maybe it’s that I love to listen to the ‘proper’ Christmas music on Classic FM, but the kids don’t appreciate it and want to listen to their Christmas music – which isn’t the music you come across on Classic FM!
It’s not that everyone is that bit kinder this time of year – because they aren’t, Christmas time for some is miserable. If its miserable for you because you have toothache, or because your dentures fill you with Christmas dinner dread or because all you want for Christmas is your two front teeth then we can help improve your Christmas.
Perhaps it’s the Carol service at the church that we attend every year without fail but surely its not just that, why has the love of Christmas not left me yet?
I believe it’s the little things and the traditions that keep me excited for this time of year, a combination of all the above and more – the smell of Christmas, the party games, the Christmas eve excitement, the traditions from my childhood that I am now repeating for my children and they will do the same with theirs. I believe it’s the honest escapism back to my childhood where life was much simpler and innocent, where I believed in the magic of Santa.
As an adult I know how lucky me, and my family are if we are all here this time again next year, as life is fickle and I’m eternally grateful for another year with all my family and friends celebrating the ‘most wonderful time of the year!’

I’m not buying it!

It’s that time of year again and my inbox is filling up with ‘BLACK FRIDAY EVENT’ emails!

I won’t be setting my alarm early to hit the shops and I have a few good reasons why…

1. I don’t enjoy shopping, I used to love it before I had kids but now it’s a chore that I just don’t have time for.

2. Busy shops are my worst nightmare, long queues and people pushing and shoving to get the last [ever so slightly discounted] thing off the shelve. It reminds me of Car Boot sales – people pushing and shoving to get my second-hand junk and that’s if they haven’t already pulled it out of the boot of my car for me!

3. It doesn’t actually do anything for businesses, most of the larger discounted items are outdated items that are at least a year old and need to be cleared from warehouses.

I would rather spend a bit more this weekend and support my smaller local businesses that don’t have the budget to spare on marketing for black Friday or the flexibility to drop prices.
If you hadn’t guessed already – I’m not a fan. I’m not sucked in that easily. The whole point of black Friday is to get you to consume when you wouldn’t normally.
As I am sat here writing this, I get another email notification ‘Black Friday Bonanza Begins’. I’ve even had an email off our compliance company titled ‘Black Friday Special Offers’…. I opened that one as I was intrigued by what they could possibly have on sale!

But just because I’m not sucked in, it doesn’t mean we all aren’t, Black Friday is the biggest shopping event of the year.

For me, the only black thing this Friday will be my mood. I’m already sitting here beating myself up for not taking the time to opt out when GDPR came in – fortunately it’s never too late so later this evening I’m going to have a culling session. Black Friday you have at last been of use to me! May cyber Monday be a more peaceful day for my inbox.

Smile – It will make you happier

I’m a self-confessed people watcher, it’s a bit of a game, guessing what each person’s story is.

My chosen times to people watch are in the car on the way to work, in a coffee shop and on the train.

Some people may think people watching is a bit creepy, but I believe we all do it to an extent and I find it gives me inspiration.

But what is the main trend I find – lack of smiling faces. Most of us are guilty of not smiling enough and we all need to smile a bit more because smiling is contagious, no truer words were ever spoken.

But what other super powers does a smile have?

Smiling elevates your mood and sense of wellbeing. Each time you smile the movements in our muscles send signals to our brain and these signals release endorphins and serotonin which are ‘feel good’ chemicals for the brain. These chemicals make us feel happy and reduce perceptions of pain when they are released.

Smiling is good for your immune system; your body is more relaxed when you smile which contributes to good health and a stronger immune system.

It is said (and I agree) that you are better looking when you smile, people treat you differently you are viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere, its is even said that smiling makes you look younger.

Smiling apparently induces more pleasure in the brain than chocolate. It is said that smiling can generate the same level of brain stimulation as 2000 bars of chocolate. I have no idea how this study was conducted but think about the party your brain would be having if you were eating 2000 bars of chocolate whilst smiling!

I would love the entire population to read this blog so that when I travel into work on Monday morning everyone will be wearing their happy faces and my people watching stories will all be positive ones.

Sadly though, not everyone on Monday morning will be smiling – mainly because my blog isn’t going to go global but also because we aren’t always going to be happy at the same time. Some people will be travelling into work on Monday after having argument with their partner, some people will be grieving after the loss of a loved one, some people will be feeling under the weather, some people may be stuck in a job that they don’t enjoy so Monday mornings are tough for them.

And then there’s the person who doesn’t like their smile, so they do everything in their power to hide it. Improving your smile can be a beneficial investment as making the most of your smile is good for you and those around you.

Sometimes there’s no reason to smile but I’ll smile anyway because guess what?

Smiling is free and if it makes one person’s day that bit better – I’ve achieved something.

Smiling your way out of those back to work blues

It’s time of year again, the nights are drawing in and the prospect of autumn is looming.

My car was reading 6⁰C on the way into work this morning, the kids’ school coats are out and I’m back in tights for the first time in months.

I work pretty much full time, so September doesn’t fill me with as much dread as it did in my younger years. I chanted the words ‘I hate school’ throughout most of my school years – I don’t think I really hated it, but I hated thought of it as having fun over the holidays was much more appealing. I remember my mum regularly saying, ‘you don’t know how lucky you are, school is the best years of your life’ and, as always, she was right, being an adult, I now realise, mum is always right!

Going back to school after a break was a chance to catch up with friends that I hadn’t seen for weeks, and compare all the fun I’d been having, plus I got to see that cute guy in the year above that I had a crush on. School was pretty much carefree.

I love my job. I had a couple of weeks off over the summer – which I needed, working a 30.75-hour week, building a house and being the mother to 6-year-old twins had well-earned me a break. We spent much of our time off moving into the new house and had some days out here and there with the kids. I had time to relax and recharge and I didn’t dread the thought of returning to work, I embraced it and came back fully charged and raring to go. However, even the most satisfied employees get the back to work blues – and without a positive mental attitude I could have been one of them. September isn’t the greatest month to return to work as those evenings do start drawing in and the colder mornings make getting out of bed in the morning that bit harder – the list of excuses is endless but ultimately, it is what you make it.

My advice is Smile. If you look on the bright side of life, there is always a reason to smile. The only reason not to smile is if you’re hiding it because you don’t like it – and that is something that we can help you with.

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