Prepping for Spring

by Hampton Ivy, 3/14/2017

We're half way through March already, so it's time to starting prepping for spring! As I'm writing this there is a snow storm covering absolutely everything, with winds that would probably swoop me away if I dared step outside. But a few days ago it was all sunshine, and the warmer weather and all of the fun that comes with it is almost upon us, so it's time to get ready for it!

Top: United Tees / Jeans: J. Crew / Shoes: Sperry / Sunglasses: Kate Spade 
Necklace: Hampton Ivy / Bracelet: Hampton Ivy / Earrings: Hampton Ivy

"The American Dream
A Lifestyle; a way of life
Boating on a sunny day
Bonfires on the beach
Sunsets on the lake
Loving America
Drinking till the sun rises
Enjoying the simple things

Prepping for spring (pun intended) means a few things to me..

⁕ It means switching my cozy and spicy scented candles for floral and citrus scents. 
⁕ It means transitioning from neutrals and dark colors to lighter and brighter colors, in both my wardrobe and my lipsticks! 
⁕ It means country music! I always love country music, but there is something about the warm weather that makes it even better. 
⁕ It means spring and summer movie marathons. My favorite? The Jaws franchise. 
⁕ And it means pulling out the first pieces of spring clothing that can still be worn when it's a little chilly outside. 

For me, white jeans can be worn all year round, but I do tend to wear them more in the warmer months. Now that it's almost spring, it's time to put them to use! 

As with long sleeve t-shirts. You can wear them all year round too, but there is something I love about wearing them in spring and summer, especially with shorts. But since it's too cold for shorts still, the white jeans and the long sleeve t-shirt go together perfectly!

The quote on the back makes me so excited for spring and summer and it is absolutely adorable and comfortable. It's from the brand United Tees; a preppy lifestyle brand based in Charleston, South Carolina. They were kind enough to send it to me and also give you friends a discount code for 15% off any purchase you make from them: melanie_15
Their prices are already fantastic, but of course a discount makes them even better! Here are my favorite picks if you buy something:

How do you prep for spring? Let me know in the comments below!
Have a wonderful week everyone!

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Q&A : Get To Know Me Better!

by Hampton Ivy, 3/05/2017

Hi everyone! This blog post I thought I would do something different, be a little more personal, and let you friends know more about me! I've put together a few different questions, 24 to be exact, that I've found online from other Q&As and answered them. Hopefully it'll give you some insight into my life and help you all know me better. So here we go!

1. What is your middle name? Grace.

2. What is your favorite color? Blue, both baby and navy!

3. How many countries have you visited? One, and that was Italy. I'd love to go back, but Greece is my next vacation goal.

(2012..throwing a wishing penny over my shoulder, & this is my natural wavy/curly/frizzy hair)

4. Are you in/gone to college? Yes! Currently in my last semester at FIT.

5. What is your favorite perfume? No matter which perfume I'm loving now, Burberry Brit has always been and always will be my absolute favorite.

6. Tea or Coffee? I love both, but there's nothing like a good latte.

7. What would you (or have you) name your children? I'm always on the fence about names. I really love Hunter for a boy and Winter for a girl, but I also love Melania and Giovanna for a girl and Matteo and Giovanni for a boy. I'm not sure!

8. What is your favorite book? Of all time, I really loved The Outsiders, but I also really loved The Husband's Secret.

9. Who are some of your favorite YouTubers? Now this is hard. I watch YouTube beauty vloggers all the time. Some of my favorites would be.. Tati Westbrook, she always has really fun videos with the newest releases. Casey Holmes, she seems so kind and down to earth but with a little sass too, which I love. Then I love Alex and Michael, who vlog their daily lives and are adorable. There are a lot of YouTubers I love watching, but those are my current top 3 favorites. 

10. What is your favorite movie? This is impossible because I always think of a different one every time I'm asked. So here are a few I could watch 100 times and never get tired of: Something's Gotta Give, Under the Tuscan SunPractical Magic, The Help, Dead Poets Society, Grease, Jaws, and Signs.

11. Are you Single or Taken? Single.

12. Whats your idea of an ideal first date? I personally like early dinner or lunch dates. Something casual, but nice, in town where you can walk around afterwards. 

13. Favorite memory from childhood? When I was very young, my grandpa and grandma were visiting and we went out to eat at a local spot. I remember ordering way too many Shirley Temples and getting sick like a typical little kid. But what I cherish about that day was everyone in the living room later that night, music playing, and dancing with my grandpa, standing on his feet. It was a simple day, but it's always stood out in my memory.

14. Do you speak any different languages and how well? I speak very little Italian. I mentioned it in my New Year, New Goals! post that my 2017 goal is to become fluent. So far, I still need a lot of practice.

15. How would you describe your fashion sense? I describe my style as classic and preppy, both old school and new. I gravitate towards simple, modest pieces that I know I can wear for years and never have to worry about being out of style. But I also love fun, bold patterns and prints. My closet is kind of a happy balance between Ralph Lauren and Lilly Pulitzer if that makes sense.

16. What are some of your favorite tv shows? I don't really watch too many TV shows anymore. Currently I'm watching Big Little Lies, of course. But past favorites have been The Good WifeDexter, Sons of Anarchy, Friends, That 70's Show, and my all-time favorite, The Sopranos. 

17. What is your favorite drink? Non-alcoholic: Iced Tea. Alcoholic: Jack & Ginger.

18. What is your favorite song at the moment? "Humble and Kind" by Tim McGraw, "Simple Man" by Shinedown, and "Salvation Works" by Jennifer Knettles, but those are always my favorites.

19. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas! I love the shopping, the parties, the decorations, the music, the spirit, everything. I never want it to be over!

20. What is your favorite restaurant? The American Hotel in Sag Habor is always at the top of my list.

21. What is your favorite store? Well if it's a brand store, it'd be J.Crew. They always have beautiful pieces for the classic and preppy girl. But my other favorite store would be a thrift store, any of them/all of them, because I'm a bargain hunter at heart!

22. How tall are you? I am 5'1".

23. Do you have any pets? I do! My family has three fur babies; Sierra, our Labrador Retriever, who's not so much a baby anymore at 15 years old, Levi, our Yorkie, who is 4 years old, and Gia, our Pomeranian, who is almost 2 years old.

24. Do you have any siblings? I do! I have two older brothers, Kyle who's 4 years older than me and Ryan who's 10 years older than me.

And there you have it! I hope you all enjoyed getting to know me a little better. If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask! You can always comment down below anything you want to know and I'll do another Q&A sometime.

I hope you've all had a wonderful week and that you have another wonderful week to come!

Professional Teeth Whitening, At Home!

by Hampton Ivy, 3/01/2017

"Beauty is power; a smile is its sword." - John Ray .
Today I am excited to share with you all my current secret weapon to pearly white teeth.. Smile Brilliant! You're never fully dressed without a smile- it's your most important accessory! So it's a must to take care of it. This at-home teeth whitening kit provides professional teeth whitening, at a fraction of the cost, to keep your smile bright and beautiful! Keep on reading to see the process and my personal experience.

This kit is the T3 Sensitive System for light stains. It includes 3 whitening syringes, 3 desensitizing syringes, and everything you need to create the molds that Smile Brilliant will use to create your custom teeth whitening trays. It also includes instructions for every part of the process.

In order to get your custom teeth whitening trays, you need to mix one of the catalyst pastes and one of the base pastes to create the final putty you put into these trays. After you spread it out evenly on the tray, you press one evenly up to your upper teeth, hold it there for two and half minutes, remove it, and then repeat with the other tray to your lower teeth. After both are made, you let them sit for 30 minutes, rinse them, let them dry completely, and then ship them back to Smile Brilliant so they can make your final custom trays!

Say hello to your final custom teeth whitening trays! They perfectly fit your teeth, and the best part is that they reach all of them. Unlike strips, you'll be whitening your entire smile, not just the 6 or 8 front teeth. And unlike generic trays, that look like mouth guards, they're fit to your teeth so they whiten every nook and cranny evenly.

Now that you have your custom trays, it's time to whiten! Smile Brilliant says there are about 3 applications per syringe, but I've gotten 6 treatments so far out of only one syringe. I use it sparingly and just enough so that it covers my teeth, but not too much where it gets onto my gums. 

After brushing your teeth with just water on your toothbrush, no toothpaste, you then put a thin line of the whitening gel inside your trays along the front, dry your teeth, and put them on. When I first put them on they felt a little tight, but they stretched to fit comfortably after two or three more uses (like a nice pair of shoes would!). Then set your timer for however long you want to whiten, Smile Brilliant recommends between 45 minutes to 3 hours depending on your sensitivity, and go on with your day. 

While you're whitening, you can go ahead and apply your makeup.. I'm applying my current favorite mascara you can find here by Too Faced Cosmetics. If you're getting ready to go out, whitening while getting ready is the perfect time!

You can pick out your outfit for the day.. If you're like me, you can spend the whole 45 minutes/hour whitening doing just this!

Or you could read a good book!
You can do whatever you like while whitening and the time will fly by before you know it.

After the time is up, you rinse your mouth and the trays, brush your teeth, this time with toothpaste, dry your trays, and put the desensitizing gel into them now. You dry your teeth again, which is to help the product really grab onto your teeth to work its best, and put on the trays. The desensitizing treatment only has to be worn for 15 to 20 minutes. 

My whitening routine:
When I whitened, I would do it before bed so I could go hours before eating or drinking anything again that could restain my teeth. I also started off whitening for 45 minutes, went to 1 hour, and then finally to 2 hours. For the desensitizing, I usually went the full 20 minutes.

After 6 days of whitening, these are my results!
As you can see, my teeth weren't too badly stained originally. I drink coffee every single day, and whiten with drugstore whiteners once every year, so they were only slightly yellow but definitely dull. After using this whitening kit, they're bright, pearly, and beautiful! 

Now for the pros and sort-of con..

No sensitivity! I've used whitening treatments in the past that left my really teeth sensitive for a while after finishing them. The only sensitivity I've experienced from this treatment was the first two days with my gums, which could have been from over brushing, not the treatment. And the other sensitivity was once while I was using the treatment for 2 hours and my teeth were a little sensitive to cold the next day. After that though, nothing! That is a huge plus in my opinion! You can read more about tooth sensitivity: causes, solutions, and prevention on Smile Brilliant's website.

Results! My teeth are a beautiful, natural white. I prefer my smile to be bright, but not too bright white. I'm sure they could be even whiter though if I continued using these treatments. If you want to see some serious bright white beautiful results from this kit, I recommend checking out this video on YouTube: "How I Whiten My Teeth at Home | Danielle Mansutti"

Price.. The price for my kit is $139. The price may seem steep, compared to drugstore teeth whitening kits, which is why it is sort-of a con. It is only sort-of a con though because when you compare the beautiful results, the amount of treatments you can get, the custom trays (which dentists' recommend for the best whitening), and the no sensitivity to those whitening kits, and the price compared to dentist whitening, it's definitely affordable teeth whitening! So while it may seem steep at first, it's a great deal in the end.

& That's the brand and the process I currently use to whiten my teeth!
If you're ever searching "how to remove stains from teeth", I recommend searching Smile Brilliant instead. The results beat all the past whitening kits I've tried, making this one honestly the best at home whitening kit, in my humble opinion.

Plus, a GIVEAWAY!!
Smile Brilliant was kind enough to collaborate with me on this post and host a giveaway for all of you amazing friends! One lucky winner will receive a T3 Sensitive kit for yourself!
All you have to do to enter is fill out the entry form here!
But if you want your teeth whitening kit right now, you can always use the coupon code "hamptonivy5" for 5% off any Smile Brilliant purchase.

Also be sure to follow both Smile Brilliant (@smilebrilliant) and me (@hamptonivy) on Instagram and tag/share with your friends who would also love a chance to win!
Giveaway ends March 15th.

Good luck everyone!!

Do you friends whiten your teeth? Would you ever try Smile Brilliant? 
Let me know in the comments below!
Teeth Whitening