Thursday, July 31, 2014

Invisalign FAQ

(click the picture for full size)

Now that I’m on my sixth set of Invisalign® aligners, I figured it was time to answer some frequently asked questions about the treatment process! For those of you who missed my last posts (read those posts here), I'm currently receiving complimentary Invisalign treatment in exchange for sharing my experience, once a month. Talking to friends who already went through / are currently going through the process has helped me and kept me enthusiastic, so I’m hoping that I can do the same for anyone else who is interested in learning about it. If you have any additional questions, please let me know.

How much does Invisalign cost?
This is one of the questions I get asked most frequently, but since it varies according to the provider and individual treatment plan, it’s also the most difficult one to answer. According to Invisalign’s official FAQ page, it ranges from $3,500 to $8,000 in the US, with a national average of $5,000. I also found out that dental insurance typically treats Invisalign just like traditional braces (up to 50% of the cost may be covered) and Flexible Spending Health Savings Accounts can also be used.

Do aligners cut up your cheeks/gum/tongue? 
So far, I have only had one set of aligners (I’m currently on my sixth) that had a sharper edge in the back. It wasn’t enough to merit exchanging them for a new set, but a reader recommended putting a little bit of that minty dental wax on the offending edge. Worked like a charm! Otherwise, I’ve found that mine fit really well, and except for the first couple of days when I was constantly pushing at the edges with my tongue, I haven’t had any soreness or irritation.

Does Invisalign work on both minor and complex teeth issues?
I have friends who have gotten Invisalign to correct incredibly minor issues, requiring a much shorter treatment length, and I know others who have made drastic changes with the very same treatment. I used to think that Invisalign was only meant to correct slight imperfections, but that’s simply not true! I’ve seen smiles that were completely transformed by the treatment. It’s best to meet with an Invisalign dentist or orthodontist and find out if it will work for you.

How long will it be before you notice a difference in your teeth?
My orthodontist, Dr. Jenny Zhu at Manhattan Bridge Orthodontics, told me that I would start to notice a difference within a couple of months, but I would say that I noticed a minor change within a couple of weeks. My teeth still have a long way to go (I’m wearing them for about a year), but the first thing I noticed was a positive change in my bite. Ever since I got the attachments put on, I’ve been noticing more of a shift in my front teeth. I was really excited (but played it cool) when my friend Christine said my teeth are already looking straighter! If you’d like to see the intended progress of your teeth, I would recommend that you ask your doctor to see the computer simulation, which shows how each set of aligner trays will shift your teeth.

How do you clean your aligners?
You can just use some lukewarm water and a toothbrush (my doctor suggested adding regular soap), but I have had the best results with Fresh Guard soak (for nights and mornings) and the wipes (for on the go). So far, they have kept them as clear as possible. Note: don’t use hot water, or you might warp your aligners!

Do you wear them for the full 22 hours, as suggested? What happens if you leave them out for too long?
I wear them as much as possible, and actually prefer having them in, now that I have the attachments. But the truth is, there are days when it’s more like 18-20 and not 22 - and there have been a couple of times when I left them out for longer than intended. If you leave them out for an extended time, they might feel a little tighter when you put them back in, and there’s a chance you’ll have to wear them longer if you keep slacking. It’s important to wear them as much as possible, in order to let them do their work! It also pays to go for your regular checkups, so your doctor can make sure everything is on schedule. So far, mine are right on track.

Can I eat/drink with them in?
You can drink as much water as you want, but eating and drinking anything other than that is a no-no while wearing your aligners. But that’s not a problem, because they’re easy to remove. I carry along Wisps (those tiny toothbrushes) and floss to clean my teeth before putting my aligners back in, and always rinse the trays themselves. If you’re unable to give them a proper cleaning, the aforementioned wipes are very handy.

Do the aligners hurt?
They don’t hurt but there’s a bit of pressure whenever I start a new tray, so my doctor recommended putting the new ones in at night, before I go to sleep. By morning, the tightness has usually subsided. Dr. Zhu also said my first set with the attachments would be the most uncomfortable, but they didn’t bother me. My second set (pre-attachments) was the only one to give me any grief, because my jaw was adjusting to my new bite.

What are the “attachments” and why are they necessary?
Attachments are tooth colored enamel bumps that are fixed to specific teeth, in order to help the aligners fully grip the teeth and help them in their movement. It seems like most of my friends didn’t need any attachments, because their teeth required less movement, but mine required a total of 12. They’re mostly on the sides, but I have one right in the front. Click the photograph to see it full size, so you can get a better idea of what it looks like. When my aligners are out, they’re less visible (they’re in, in the photo). I have to admit that I was really worried about the attachments - and I was prepared to go home and cry in the dark when I got them - but they aren’t as noticeable as I thought they would be. Immediately after my appointment, we went to the Jazz Age Lawn Party - and as you can tell by my smile, I wasn’t very self conscious about them! Talk to your doctor and find out if and where you will need them, because it completely depends on the individual.

What do I do with my old sets?
My doctor recommended that I always keep the previous set of aligners, just in case I lose my current ones or need to backtrack in my treatment. So, I have two cases: blue for current and red for previous. I should also note that you need to keep them away from your animals, because they love to chew them up. Luckily, Miku has zero interest in them, but I’ve heard and read about dogs getting ahold of them. But if that happens, wear your previous set until you get a replacement.

p.s. If you are interested in Invisalign® treatment, you can request more info, here

I am an Invisalign Spokesperson and am receiving complimentary Invisalign treatment. All opinions expressed are my own. Full disclosure: spokespersondisclosure

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Starlette Crown

Outfit Details: vintage dress, a gift from my friend Angie
Giant Dwarf Starlette crown
Timberland sandals

I first happened across Giant Dwarf several years ago, when our booths were catty-corner at a BUST Holiday Craftacular. I never formally met Sue, the creative behind this beautiful star crown I'm wearing, but I remember timidly perusing her lovely felt cloche creations and wishing I had more than a couple hundred dollars in my account, so I could even consider buying one. Back then, I practically lived hand-to-mouth, putting every dollar back into materials and bills, and I was counting on that craft fair's sales to pay my rent (thankfully, it did). Anyway, though I also ended up being in the same row as her at the Renegade Craft Fair, I was still completely broke and once again missed out on her creations. But Sue herself was so lovely and talented, I began following her online from that day forward. Eventually, my bank account became stable enough to buy a few of her handmade accessories, and I still treasure each one. This starlette crown was my most recent purchase; it was from her last run of these glass glitter beauties. 
Shortly after I bought this, Sue was diagnosed with cancer and began treatment while continuing to fulfill her orders. I've been following along, as she's been sharing her inspiring journey through Team Sue Loves You and photos on her instagram - and am continually in awe of her resilience and sunny disposition through it all. I think the internet let out a collective sigh of relief when she recently announced that her chemotherapy was complete, and we're all waiting for the day she gets her clean bill of health. Go, Sue!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Makeup Monday: Sweltering Summer Essentials

I recently featured some of my favorite beauty (and accessory!) essentials for outdoor adventures on Westfield Style, but what I realized is that they double as my road-trip essentials, too. Or casual travel, for that matter. Case in point: Bobby and I are in Florida for the week, and all of these are safely packed in my bag. Give me a headscarf, some sunscreen, and pinch of color to trick people into thinking I'm thriving and not dying in this overwhelming heat, and I'm good to go. Hop on over to the full post to see the full breakdown, and let me know what your essentials are!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Happy Sunday!

Photo from my instagram. ModCloth watermelon dress (on sale) and Ray-Ban glasses. Find my watermelon nail tutorial, here.

This summer has been flying by, and since I've been on the go, I feel like I've barely taken advantage of it and all it has to offer. In order to make up for lost time, or maybe just because we had a little visitor in town, we condensed many of our favorite summer activities into the past week: picnics and bike rides on Governor's Island, exploring Prospect Park, activities (and ice cream!) at the Brooklyn Piers, a trip to Coney Island. We're taking Roxy back to Florida, tomorrow - but in the meantime, I rounded up some links I'd like to share. Happy Sunday!

- Bobby and I are taking Roxy Mae to see Cinderella, today, and I'm wishing I had this dress from Chicwish to wear. But I have plenty of tulle and lace in my closet, so I'm sure I'll figure it out.

- A unique take on the monogram: kaleidoscope letter necklaces.

- This shark sleeping bag is the second best sleeping bag in all of history. Second only to my Care Bear sleeping bag that rolled up into an actual stuffed Care Bear, which I had when I was little. It was awesome.

- File this Alice and Olivia unicorn bag under "things I desperately want but do not need."

- Bobby was featured on Blake Lively's new site, Preserve. Check it out!

- The visual spacing between Harry and Sally. Now I want to watch the movie all over again, and maybe go to Katz's.

- My mom sent me this video and I've watched it at least five times, since then. I'm so inspired by Tim's accomplishments and his outlook on life, and hope to one day visit his establishment for some breakfast and hugs. Please watch this - and then, let's all do a dance of magic in the morning. It will make mornings so much better!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Slipshod Alterations and Vintage Mod Minis

Outfit details:
Ray-Ban #5226 glasses
modified vintage dress
Cole Haan "Pinch Penny" loafers (c/o Cole Haan) 
perfect Miku (c/o unicorns and rainbow magic)

I got this vintage housecoat the day before we went on our road trip, and in my utter lack of patience I decided to bring it with me. That wouldn't be much of an issue, except it required quite a bit of reworking - it was much longer and wider than I wanted. I wanted it to be less of an oversized housecoat and more of a mod mini, but I also wanted to get more than a couple of hours of sleep. So, I did a slipshod alteration job in a matter of ten or fifteen minutes, ripping seams and sewing hems without bothering to pin or measure. Despite the fact that it looks like the hem doesn't line up, it actually (and surprisingly) does, at least more so than the pictures let on. It's far from perfect but until I feel like pulling out the seam ripper and redoing it, it will work! Now, I just have to finish the rest of my "to mend" pile, which grew from one basket to two. I'll get around to it, one of these days...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Five Things About Me

It's time for another five random things about me (see the last post here). Please share some random things about yourselves, in the comments! I would love to know more about you all.

1) There is no food I hate more than water chestnuts. I've always disliked them, but I have a really bad memory related to them that makes them even worse.

2) When I was little, I had three names picked out for any future horses I would get: Aurora, Maleficent, and Merrylegs. Aurora and Maleficent would have preferably been Arabian mares, Saddlebreds, or National Show Horses (a mix of the two) - light and dark, respectively. Merrylegs would have been a Shetland pony, because they're adorable. Clearly I wasn't too creative, because those names come from Sleeping Beauty and Black Beauty. It didn't matter, because all of our horses already had names when we got them. And they were none of the breeds I mentioned (though Spanky was Anglo-Arab), but I couldn't possibly have loved any other horses quite as much as I loved them.

3) Much to my mom's chagrin, I used to refuse to get pedicures. The idea of anyone touching my feet kind of freaked me out; it wasn't because of being ticklish (I'm not ticklish, at all) but because I'm prone to ingrown toenails and also because I just have weird anxiety issues about new, unknown territory. I was forced to get one because of a shoot (about four years ago), and realized that they're the best thing in the world. What was I thinking?

4) I used to ride my purple Huffy bike around my block and play "Maneater" by Hall and Oates on my walkman, over and over. Keep in mind that this was a tape, so it required me to stop and rewind it whenever the song ended. I thought I was so cool...and I totally was. I wasn't allowed to go past my block, so I basically lived my life in a small, continuous loop.

5) One of my cats, Kitty Boos, sleeps on my shoulder with his face resting on mine. He wakes me up by purring very loudly, burying his head under my neck, and licking my face. It's really cute, and also really difficult to breathe, sometimes. Thanks for the smothering love, Boobear!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Makeup Monday: Watermelon Nail Tutorial

(click image to enlarge)

(I used Kiss Nail Art Paints for the details)

It seems as though lately, I've been having a bit of a fruit obsession. From my strawberry nail tutorial to my new watermelon dress and watermelon clutch, I've got a bit of a theme going - so I figured I would top it off with another nail tutorial. It all started when I got a manicure, with my niece. Less than 24 hours later, the tips were already starting to chip, so I decided to give them a little makeover and make them into watermelons. Here's how to do it:

1) Start with red nails.

2) Paint the tips white.

3) Paint a skinnier stripe of green at the very tips.

4) Use black polish to paint the seeds. That's it!

It doesn't have to be perfect (clearly, mine aren't) but if you're a perfectionist or don't have a very steady hand, try using these french manicure guides for the green and white tips, and a nail dotting tool for the seeds. Have fun!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Happy Weekend!

(photo from my instagram)

Happy weekend! We just got back from our road trip, and brought little Roxy Mae (my niece) back with us. I'm excited to show her around NYC, since she hasn't been here since she was a baby. What are your plans for the weekend? I wasn't online too much this week, since we were with family. But here are a few of the links I've been clicking on:
- This is how I know I'm an adult: I'm dreaming about this pastel mint SMEG fridge.

- Have you downloaded #partypartyapp, yet? The ladies of A Beautiful Mess have a new app, and it's so much fun!

- The cutest outfit.

- It's time for the Nordstrom anniversary sale. I'm trying not to look.

- The curious case of designers leaving (or being pushed out of) their namesake labels.

- Audrey Tatou is always a stunner. Insert heart eyes emoji.

- 20 inspiring before and after renovation photos. Because lately, all I've been doing is looking at houses I dream of fixing up and living in.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Shapeless dresses

Outfit Details:
thrifted dress - old, but this one from ASOS is very similar
Miu Miu sunglasses

I know, this dress makes me look like I’m pregnant (I’m not). But even if it does, I really like it, which is why it's stayed in my closet for so many years. If you’ve been following my blog for more than just this post, you probably know that I often-slash-always wear flowy or shapeless dresses that could probably fit a few of me in them, so I’m a little surprised when someone assumes that me wearing a flowy or shapeless dress automatically means I must be pregnant. I can only make my own assumption that it’s merely what I’m wearing, which makes one draw that conclusion - but somehow, it still gets under my skin. I’m human, and I have my own hangups and insecurities. Aspirationally body positive or not, there are only so many times I can be asked that question without getting self conscious. Regardless of how well-meaning an inquiry may be (though I’ve had plenty of mean-spirited ones to completely quash those), it stings. The worst part is, I get so many lovely comments from all of you - and yet, here I am, focusing on the baby bump speculation. I hate that. 

So can we make a pact, right now? Can we please promise one another that we will never again ask a lady if she’s pregnant, ever ever ever? Maybe I’ll let it slide if she’s wearing a shirt that says, “As me about my bun in the oven!” But only maybe, because I have been known to wear a “Greatest Dad On Earth” shirt from time to time - and I am not a father, just a fan of silly thrift store shirts. I’m also a fan of shapeless dresses or ones with an empire waist that show no curves, but not to disguise a bump or even hide my body in an act of shame. It’s because that’s my personal style. It’s because I don’t believe "dress my body type" magazine articles should dictate my wardrobe choices. It's because I don't believe I have to wear clothing which clings to my body in order to prove that I have one. 

But more than anything, it's just the way I like to dress.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Carnival Colors

Outfit Details:
Imogene + Willie hat
Miu Miu sunglasses
Topshop ribbed crop top
Clover Canyon skirt (last seen here)
Nine West "Tasha" sandals (c/o)
thrifted belt
Comptoir des Cotonniers bag (c/o)
NARS "Schiap" lipstick 

After a mere week or so of being home, I'm already back on the road. As I type this post, Bobby is snoring by my side and Miku is dreaming her little puppy dreams, from the comfort of a sketchy roadside motel. And may I note that it's a particularly overpriced motel, considering it looks like your standard horror movie setting? I don't mind staying in Bates Motel, as long as it's reasonably priced. That's how they get you: you're exhausted and it's there. But anyway, enough of that tangent. The point is that it's very late, and if I'm going to enjoy tomorrow's leg of our road trip, I should probably try and shut my eyes. Hopefully my decision to watch The Shining the other night doesn't come back to haunt me in my sleep. Also, nothing I typed has anything to do with the photos they accompany. These were from when we were in Atlantic City, but it's the middle of the night and I feel like talking about the weird motel I'm in.

p.s. Follow our road trip, here.
p.p.s. This was written last night, but the wifi wasn't working.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Governor's Island Jazz Age Lawn Party

(Sorry for the bad quality of the video...I took it from my instagram)

Outfit Details:
Anthropologie hat (old)
Amour Vert shirt
Karen Walker dress (old)
UGG oxfords (from last winter)

The Jazz Age Lawn Party is one of my favorite events of the year, and always a highlight of my summer. With the exception of last year, my little sister Tessa has always attended with us, so it makes it even more of a special day for me. This year, she brought her boyfriend Diego, and the four of us had such a wonderful time. If you're in the NYC area and missed the event, make sure to mark your calendars for August 16th and 17th, the second and final event for the year. If we're in town, we'll surely be there!

p.s. You can see my past posts about the Jazz Age Lawn Party, here.