Review: Oral B Genius 9000 with Pure Smiles

Tooth care is something I was never forced to think about until a couple of years ago. I was lucky enough to escape with no fillings until I was in my late twenties and apart from giving my teeth a good brush twice a day I didn’t stop to consider the toothbrush I chose, or whether my toothpaste was adequate for my needs.

These days it seems like every routine trip to the dentist reveals yet another major piece of work to be done- I’m a pro at grimacing through root canals now and it’s really forced me to stop and think about not only how often I clean my teeth but what tools I use for the job. My teeth have always been a hinderance in my self confidence, they stick out and nothing short of drastic dental surgery can fix that. They are also quite discoloured after years of an eating disorder, and whilst I finally accept I won’t ever have a Hollywood smile I am determined to do the best for what I have left.

I was recently contacted by Pure Smiles who asked if I’d be interested in testing out the Oral B Genius 9000 toothbrush- whilst I might not be able to participate in any cosmetic dentistry procedures, no matter how much I’d like to, trying out a shiny new and very fancy toothbrush is well within my remit!

At over £120 this isn’t a cheap toothbrush and it’s something I’d ordinarily not be able to afford. Having tried it out for over a week now I would definitely say it’s worth it though- it’s the number one dentist recommended toothbrush of the moment and makes my mouth feel cleaner and more cared for than any other I’ve tried.

So, what makes it so special? Well, firstly the round head is designed to remove up to 100% more plaque than a standard toothbrush- I might not have the means to measure this in a scientific manner but my teeth and gums certainly feel like they’ve had a more thorough clean than I could ever manage myself. The brush also gently removes stains, with effects noticeable from day one. I can’t vouch for this particular feature due to my own dental quirks but I don’t find it a hard claim to believe.

This is a multi-mode toothbrush with 6 different functions to ensure your mouth stays in top condition. My favourite feature is the one that alerts you if you’re brushing too hard as this is something I’m definitely guilty of and a habit that can do more harm than good. Unlike many electric toothbrushes this also has a good battery life, around 12 days on a single charge. If that’s wasn’t enough, the brush also comes with a USB travel case meaning you’ll never be caught short, and the whole package just looks and feels…well, sleek, fresh and clean. Everything you could want from a toothbrush and more.

As someone who was once sceptical of buying anything other than a cheap £1 disposable toothbrush and whatever toothpaste was on offer, I’m a convert to investing in a quality cleaning tool. I’ve also given in and starting using a prescription toothpaste and since I upped my game with taking care of my teeth the dentist trips, whilst still revealing ongoing problems have become a little less traumatic. It may not have been poor dental hygiene that caused my problems, but making it the best it can possibly be certainly has helped to reduce them.

Do you have any top tips for squeaky clean teeth?

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The 6 Secrets To Bringing The Outside In This Winter *

According to the author Florence Williams just 15 minutes outside in nature can make you happier. While it’s easier to picture yourself walking outside and enjoying a gentle breeze in the park at the peak of the summer holidays, you may not feel quite the same way about a stroll in the forest in the middle of winter when it’s blowing a gale. It might be a fantastic occasion to test how waterproof your wellington boots really are, but let’s be honest,even 15 minutes in the great outdoors is not an easy task during the colder months and there’s no guarantee that getting drenched in the rain and slapped by the cold wind will actually make you feel happier about your life. No, you have to admit that while Ms Williams might speak the truth, the theory will have to wait until Spring 2018 to be tested. However are ways and means to cheat the system, if you can’t spend time outside in nature how about letting the outside in? No, that doesn’t mean taking down the wall or losing a few roof tiles! Check out these 6 safe and foolproof tips to spend 15 minutes in nature at home.

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1. Get more plants!
Beautiful plants don’t only belong in the garden, there are plenty of elegant houseplants that can completely change your interior decor. It’s important to remember that when you decide to keep indoor plants you need to pay attention to a variety of features such as how much sunlight, moisture and fresh soil they need. Indeed, while houseplants can revive your interior dead ones don’t quite have the same effect (trust me, I know!) So be sure you know how to maintain them- or pick easy to maintain plants such as a spider plant or a dracaena plant as these are not only easy to manage but they can also clean the air of its toxins.

2. Showcase windows and balconies
Natural sunlight is vital for your health, you’ve probably heard of SAD syndrome that touches people during the colder months of the year. Lack of sunlight can affect your mood and even cause mild cases of winter depression. While this is most common in regions like in the Shetlands or in Norway where daylight becomes extremely scarce in winter it can also happen in urban areas in the main UK regions. It’s important to keep a free access to the sources of sunlight in your home, from keeping your blinds open to choosing the right balustrade system to maximise your balcony. It doesn’t cure SAD, but it reduces its effects significantly!

3. Fresh herbs are a must
You can’t beat a comforting stew in the Winter, whether it’s a rich chicken and tomato stew or an Irish cabbage and potatoes dish. Whatever it is, if you’re thinking of using dried herbs in your dish you’re missing out on the real taste of fresh herbs. It doesn’t take much effort to introduce a fresh herb garden in your kitchen and it can completely change your experience of cooking in winter. When growing your plants indoors light is key so the windowsill in the kitchen is a good place to start- unless it’s just above the heater — in that case it will dry out your plants. Select easy herbs to grow such as basil, coriander or even sage which are beautiful additions to your winter dishes.

4. Bring the shine back to your window panes
When was the last time you cleaned your windows? They may not seem dirty, but small particles accumulate and gradually block out the sunlight. So if your living room looks a little dull and grey it’s time to get your bottle of vinegar and your brown paper out to refresh your window panes. Make a note to wash your window with a mixture of vinegar and warm water to remove dirt and grease at least twice a year.

5. Paint it green
If you can’t bring nature inside your home you can at least imitate it as best you can. Painting your walls in yellow, sky blue or green can add the touch of happiness that you need to make it through the winter. Make sure though to pick soft pastel colours- if you use bright-coloured paint the result might feel a little too aggressive on the eye and have the opposite effect.

6. Eco-friendly craft at home
Maybe you can’t bring all of nature inside but what about little decorative elements? From creating a shoe tray out of pebbles for your muddy boots to using empty seashells in your decor, you can add natural materials to your home easily and elegantly. Pine cones make a great festive decoration when spray painted and dipped in glitter- make the most of the dry days and get collecting!

How are you going to follow the advice of Florence Williams this winter and get your 15 minutes of nature time? We’re doing it at home with houseplants, natural craft and plenty of sunlight. Make your home a nature catalyst to enjoy winter with a smile!

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Gift Guides: Paddywax Candles at Rooi

There seems to be differing opinions as to whether a candle makes a good gift. Some might say it’s generic or a cop out, but I love to receive them and I also love to give them, especially when you stumble across the recipients favourite scent or some seriously luxe style on a budget.

I was recently introduced to Paddywax candles thanks to interiors retailer Rooi and was seriously impressed by their aesthetically pleasing style and intriguing sounding scents. I was lucky enough to be able to pick out one of the candles for myself- testing out their gift-ability if you will…read on for my thoughts and whether I’ll be hoping that Santa delivers me more from this brand.

I picked out the wild fig and cedar scented candle from the brand’s Hygge range which costs £27.95. This might seem expensive for a candle, but when you stop and think about what you pay for a large Yankee candle, or splurge on a Jo Malone one it’s really quite reasonable.

The candle itself is beautifully presented in a duck egg blue matte ceramic pot with a very on trend copper lid. This is a large candle weighing in at 425g and promises plenty of gorgeously scented burn time.

It’s always a bit of gamble ordering a candle online when you’ve not smelt any of their scents before but somehow I just knew this would be good- and it is. Whilst some candles have a highly artificial aroma to them this one smells fresh and natural, and once lit cannot help but make it’s surroundings feel cosy.

I’d be delighted to receive any of the Paddywax Hygge range as a gift, and will certainly be gifting them myself. If you’re on more of a budget or fancy a little treat for yourself then you can pick up smaller but equally easy on the eye candles on Rooi- next on my list is the delightful sounding “sunset sherbet” candle from the prism range.

Have you tried Paddywax candles before? If so, which scents would you recommend? You can find the entire range on the Rooi website, along with plenty of other gift ideas from brands such as Kate Spade and Emma Bridgwater. Definitely somewhere to be checking out when writing your Christmas list.

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All things Vape*

Vaping and e-cigarettes have become big business over recent years, I’ve had several experiences with them myself as I have tried, and admittedly failed to kick my cigarette habit. Recently Aquavape, an online supplier of vaping products ran a survey to find out people’s thoughts on everything and anything to do with vaping- from finding out people’s preferred flavours through to how many people feel like it’s a healthier alternative to cigarettes. The findings have been put in to a (rather snazzy) infographic, and in my humble opinion make for an interesting read.
As well as sharing the infographic I thought I’d pitch in with my thoughts on the questions asked and whether I agree with the majority.

When it comes to flavour I’m with the 16% who prefer the sweet flavours. I don’t think it’s uncommon as a smoker to dislike the taste of cigarettes, and for me half of the appeal of using an e-cigarette or vape was the ability to pick and choose a flavour to suit your palette.

As for using an e-cigarette as a means to quit smoking, for me personally it wasn’t a viable option. It didn’t matter what strength liquid I used, I still went back to the traditional form. It’s very much at the forefront of my mind that I want to quit smoking for good- and I will. It’s next on my “get my health sorted” list after I finish the weight restoration part of eating disorder recovery- I was advised to pick one battle at a time, but as my smoking strongly correlates with how well, or how badly I’m doing with my food struggles I think that once I’m in a healthier place both physically and mentally I stand a good chance of kicking this habit too. I certainly want to, I’m actually ashamed that I am still a smoker (it’s certainly taboo these days) and really don’t enjoy it anymore- and let us not get started on the expense!

If anyone has anything to add to this, or just wants to kick me up the arse or send inspiration and positive stories on quitting smoking then please do leave those thoughts in the comments below. I’m hoping that next time I write this kind of blog post I can be doing so as a proud (but never preachy) ex-smoker.

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Debunking the myths about car warranties*

Car warranties provide motorists with a lot of reassurance, after all they are insurance products for a vehicle which can (and inevitably will) go wrong. They protect you from footing the bill of a surprise and often expensive repair costs as well as occasions when your car simply needs some TLC due to general wear and tear.

However there are some grey areas to be aware of regarding car warranties. Here, stockists of car radiators Advanced Radiators debunk the most common myths to ensure you don’t trip up when looking into these policies:

Photo by Pravin Narsing on Unsplash

1. You must have a car warranty: Whilst common, is not compulsory to have a car warranty. Usually new cars come with a standard warranty which lasts for three years and up to 60,000 miles. After this it is your decision whether you would like to purchase an additional car warranty, or if you are prepared to accept the risk of an unexpected repair bill.

2. You need car warranty to obtain finance for a vehicle:
This is untrue- you can obtain finance for a vehicle if you do not have car warranty, although some salesmen will try to convince you otherwise and sell you a warranty alongside your car as they often receive commision for doing so. Don’t get drawn in by sales pitches like this as having a car warranty is not mandatory.

3. There’s no need to do research because all car warranties are the same:
There are many car warranties out there and they all offer different things. Some warranties are more comprehensive than others so read the small print to find out what you’re actually covered for. When deciding what to go for consider things like the make and value of your car as well as how much driving you’re likely to be doing.

4. Car warranties can only be bought from the dealership where you bought your car:
There are many companies out there that offer car warranties at different prices and with different incentives. It is possible that the dealership from which you purchased your car may offer you a good deal, however you should still shop around and do your research to find a car warranty that will benefit you and your vehicle.

5. A full-service history is required to obtain warranty:
This isn’t true, you do not need to provide a full-service history to purchase a warranty, however you should ensure that your car is in good condition and has been looked after in accordance with the manufacturers schedule.

6. You don’t need to maintain your car if you have car warranty:
You are still responsible for the maintenance of your car even if it is covered by a car warranty. To keep on top of routine maintenance you should follow advice outlined in your driver’s manual.

7. Every problem with a car is covered by the warranty:
With a manufacturer warranty, or some comprehensive aftermarket warranties this is almost true, but there are always exceptions and exclusions – you should check the terms and conditions to know where you stand and make sure you read the small print before signing up.

8. Car warranty for wear and tear breakdowns and warranty for mechanical breakdowns fall under the same category:
Wear and tear refers to the normal degeneration of a car whereas mechanical breakdown is an issue that occurs due to a manufacturing error. Bear in mind that breakdown cover is not the same as a car warranty- breakdown cover will simply take your car to the garage – it will not pay for the bill you’ll be handed when the work is done.

9. It’s OK to take out warranty and then get a car fixed which had a fault beforehand:
You cannot claim for repairs on faults which occurred before you took the warranty out- your car should be in the best condition possible before taking out a warranty. You will find that many providers will not pay out on claims made within 90 days to avoid drivers taking out a warranty on a car that had existing problems.

10.There’s an age limit on cars to receive warranty:
It is true that if your car is over 10 years-old and has more than 100,000 miles on the clock you may struggle to find a warranty to cover it. There are a few companies out there that will offer car warranties to vehicles up to 12-years old but you will be faced with a higher cost and if your car is older than this then you may well find it impossible.

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