Easy Home Teeth Whitening for a Busy Mom

Those who know me personally would say I’ve grown up dressing a little bit like a Barbie. Luckily as I’ve gotten older, my fashion sense has matured somewhat, but I still have to add some glam to every outfit I wear. I have always loved the color pink. Growing up it was a rarity to find me wearing any other color. Although I still love the color pink, I have simmered down my use of it in my outfits. Meaning, I have cut back to wearing one pink item rather than a pink shirt, pink pants, and pink sparkly shoes. So, when the trend of wearing pink lipstick started, you can imagine my excitement! I immediately purchased LipSense’s Party Pink shade and thought, I am going to rock this- no shame, no shame. Well, I put it on the next morning and loved the color- until I smiled… my teeth had never looked so yellow! My excitement and confidence in wearing bright pink lipstick was immediately deflated and I wasn’t feeling so confident anymore. This drove me to have the desire to whiten my teeth.

To be honest, I have tried numerous whitening trends and haven’t been thrilled with any.  I think I drool more than most and having whitening strips or trays in my mouth takes my drooling to a whole new level- gross!  Smile Brilliant reached out to Shalese and I about trying their custom teeth whitening system.  I was hesitant because I feel like I have no spare time between teaching school, doing hair, being pregnant and now caring for a newborn and toddler, fitting a workout in, and trying to be a decent wife. I wasn’t sure how excited I was about going through the process of creating and using whitening trays for several weeks! Not only that, but I was worried about whitening while pregnant. Despite my hesitations, I decided to give it a try because I got it approved by my doctor and I decided there is nothing wrong with taking a little time to make myself feel more confident- especially being pregnant and needing an extra confidence boost.


My experience using Smile Brilliant was very positive.  Once I submitted my order I quickly received my kit to create my trays.  Creating the tray impressions intimidated me (I am no dentist!) but I was thrilled to find that it was quite simple and didn’t take much time.  I sent in my impressions and received my customized whitening trays very promptly.  Whitening was very simple and I didn’t experience much sensitivity at all, which was a plus for me.  For a step-by-step guide on how to use these trays, check out Shalese’s review here. These trays were very easy to use and were quite comfortable to wear. I was very pleased with how much I could get done while whitening!

10 things I have done while whitening my teeth:


  1. Coloring Clients Hair (I may have talked a little funny!)
  2. Cleaning My House
  3. Putting on Makeup
  4. Doing My Hair
  5. Taking a Bath
  6. Grading School Work
  7. Playing with My Little Boys
  8. Breast Feeding My Baby (my doctor approved the product for me, talk to your doctor before use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding)
  9. Doing Dishes
  10. Reading a Book

So, for the big reveal! Once I completed my whitening process, I compared the difference wearing this hot pink lipstick I have such a desire to wear… here are my results! Needless to say, I will be wearing this, and many other fun colors of lipstick with confidence. I had my baby a week ago and I could use a little confidence boost at the moment.





We have partnered with Smile Brilliant to give one of our followers a free customized whitening kit! Be sure to enter our giveaway. One lucky winner will receive one free whitening kit! To enter, click HERE

Also, use code thepolishedpearls15 for $15 off a custom whitening tray set!

**These trays were given to me but these opinions are my own**

How Much Is Teeth Whitening

Stretch Marks No More

When I got pregnant with my first little boy I was beyond excited. We had tried for quite a while and finding out I was finally going to be a mom was one of the best days of my life. Pregnancy brings on a lot of changes in a woman’s body, many of these changes are not fun (morning sickness, exhaustion, weight gain, muscle pains, etc.) but they are all worth it when that precious little creature makes their appearance in the world. One of the things I was a bit nervous about when I got pregnant was stretch marks. It sounds extremely vain, and probably is, but I wanted to do whatever I could to avoid getting these. I had already gotten some from my hips growing so quickly in junior high so I assumed I was destined to get a bunch. They say there is nothing you can do to avoid getting stretch marks, it is in your genetics. Seeing my sisters and my mom get them I assumed it was no use but I was going to try what I could to avoid it.  My friend had told me about this oil that she used and it worked for her, so I figured I would try it. I bought this oil at Good Earth for about $19.00, it’s called Mother’s Special Blend and it is an all natural oil, consisting of almond oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and vitamin E. I actually found it cheaper on Amazon HERE for $13.29. I rubbed this oil on my belly my entire pregnancy both morning and night and only got a couple tiny stretch marks under my belly button. These went lighter after giving birth and you can hardly see them.

This pregnancy I have used the oil again and am 36 weeks along and don’t yet have any new stretch marks! If I get them, they are totally worth it and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I have to be pregnant a second time. But if I don’t, I think that’s a bonus! So, whether stretch marks are genetic or not, I truly think this oil has helped me avoid getting them. This post is in no way sponsored, I just found a product that worked for me and I wanted to share it with all my friends who are, will be, or ever have been pregnant. Shalese has been using it post-pregnancy and says she’s noticed a bit of a difference with her stretch marks too! So, if you are looking for an inexpensive way to help nourish your skin during pregnancy, and maybe avoid a few stretch marks, try it out!

Happy weekend loves!


10 Steps to Whiter Teeth with Smile Brilliant

It is back to school for Whit and I!  As teachers, we like to start our year off with a white smile.  We want to look and feel confident in front of our co-workers, students, and their parents and whitening our teeth helps us feel our best.  

Let’s be honest, no one gets overly excited about the teeth-whitening process, but SMILE BRILLIANT made this process pretty smooth and easy for me.  I’m giving you the 4-1-1 on my experience with teeth-whitening.  Of course I will include some tips I learned along the way to make your experience even smoother than my own.  

10 Steps to Whiter Teeth:

  1. Use the molding clay to create molds to match your teeth exactly and send them in the prepaid envelope.
  2. Get excited to see your customized, personalized Smile Brilliant teeth trays come in the mail!
  3. Brush your teeth with only water.
  4. Squirt a small ribbon of whitening gel inside the bottom of your teeth molds (both top and bottom).
  5. Insert the molds into your mouth and wait 45 minutes (to start).  You can increase the time after the first couple of treatments.
  6. Take out the molds and rinse them with cool water.
  7. Brush your teeth with toothpaste.
  8. Squirt a small ribbon of the desensitizing gel inside the bottom of your teeth molds (both top and bottom).
  9. Insert the molds into your mouth and wait 20-30 minutes.
  10. Take out molds and rinse them with cool water.  Do NOT rinse out your mouth, let the gel sit on your teeth and gums (all night if possible).

7 Tips for Successful Whitening:

  • Do your whitening at nights after eating and drinking.  This gives the desensitizing gel time to sit on your teeth and gums to prevent tooth sensitivity.
  • Avoid food and drink after whitening (just go to bed and sleep afterward).
  • Try to be as consistent as possible with whitening.  It usually takes people 7-11 treatments to get their desired results… aka a bright white smile! 
  • If your gums get sensitive (like mine), rub coconut oil or Vaseline on gums before inserting the whitening trays.
  • Make sure the trays are dried out before putting the desensitizing gel into them (I used a blow dryer and the coolest setting to help speed up this process).
  • Set a timer on your phone to make sure you take out the whitening trays at the correct time.
  • Read a book, work on the computer, watch a movie, do some cleaning, laundry, etc. to help the time go by quickly.

I hope this helps with your future whitening adventures!  Comment below for tips and tricks you find that help with the whitening process


The Polished Pearls Sister– Shalese

*This product was given to me at no charge to try. These opinions and tips are from my own experience.

How Much Is Teeth Whitening

Comfy Kimono Style

Happy Wednesday Friends!  I can’t believe that summer is coming to an end.  Shalese and I go back to work in two weeks and we are trying to soak up every minute of summer before it’s over.  I am so grateful I have a job that allows me to have summers off, it has been so fun spending this summer with Camden.  Going through summer pregnant while chasing a toddler around has been a fun and exhausting experience.  I have found that I am rummaging through my closet daily to try to find something that is comfortable, covering, fashionable, and not too hot.  This has been quite the task, but I have found that Kimonos are a perfect way to help me feel a bit more covered without adding too much heat.  This Kimono that I found at Kohls has been perfect for my pregnancy.  I wear it over simple t-shirts (as shown below) and I have also worn it over my swimsuit to add a little extra coverage (as shown below).  Whether you are pregnant and want to cover up a little or want to add a fun twist to an outfit, a Kimono is a fun way to do so!  I have included a few of my favorite Kimonos below, all of which are currently under $25!

Kimono Over a Swimsuit

A few of my favorite Kimonos (all under $25):

Love ya’ll, have a great week!

Trendy Ruffle Top

Good Morning Loves,

I don’t know about you but I feel like this summer has been overflowing with trips and fun galore!  My family and I have been able to go on many vacations creating some precious memories with our two sweet girls we will look back on and treasure.  Our cuties are now at the age where vacationing with them is super fun because they want to be out and about doing things with us.  With that being said, time flies when you are having fun and this means that fall fashion trends are around the corner!  I love transitioning from summer fashion to fall.  I’m starting to clean my closet out now, donating outdated clothing so that I can justify (to myself and hubby) buying new fall items to cram into my closet.

My first new addition is this darling ruffle sweetheart applique top from Glowing Gold Boutique.  The first time I wore this out and about I received two compliments from different strangers within twenty minutes (that is when you know your purchase was well worth the hours spent de-junking for extra closet space).  This rust-colored top is perfect for any occasion.  I love the feeling of the material and the fit!  I’m super into ruffles right now and I love the fact that I can have a fall look with some ruffle applique to top it off!  I hope after reading this, you feel inspired to donate some of your old closet items and start adding some fresh new fall pieces to your wardrobe!  To get started, checkout Glowing Gold and enter the code: polishedpearls at checkout for 25% off your purchase!  Not going to lie, I will be using this code for some more fall pieces myself because they have some darling items that are just waiting for a home:)!!!  I better go and do some closet cleaning for some more justification.

Happy Tuesday Polished Pearls!



Featured Top:

Ruffle Top

What to Pair with Ruffle Top:

–Mixture of gold and silver bangles and pearl bracelets–

–Large gold earrings–

–Distressed Jeggings or Jeans–

–Platform Sandals or Booties–

The Polished Pearls- Featuring My Sister’s Closet Boutique

The Polished Pearls:


Growing up together we always felt like we had similar styles and similar body types.  Sharing clothes with each other was a love/hate relationship.  We loved having double the wardrobe, but our sister instincts would take over when new clothes arrived and were ready to wear.  Of course, we constantly fought over who wore what and when.  It was like playing a game of tug-of-war, trying to figure out whose event was most important because this was always the deciding factor on which one of us got to wear the new item first. 

Starting this blog has given us an opportunity to explore our styles and body types more, and we have found that we both share some similarities but a lot of differences.  For example, Whitney has an hourglass figure and her style is more classy with some glam.  Whereas, Shalese has a rectangular figure and her style is more edgy/casual.  Who knew?  My Sister’s Closet has been one of our favorite boutiques and websites ever since it opened because we feel like they really focus on providing trendy clothing for various styles, body types, and ages of women.  

Our looks we created using these darling dresses found on My Sister’s Closet’s website were inspired by what we have personally learned about our body types and styles.  Just like a polished pearl takes time to be created in a clam, we have taken time to figure out what clothing works for our uniqueness and individuality.  Every “pearl” is unique in different shapes and sizes but all are beautiful.  Take time to find your personal style!  


Rectangle body types look great with flowing dresses, so she picked My Sister’s Closet’s Oatmeal Crotchet Detail Dress ($34.00 before discount code).  Her style is a bit more casual so she paired it with this amazing turquoise, red and gold necklace and these fabulous platforms!



Hourglass body types work great with a well-defined waist.  Although Whit is prego, and is growing a darling baby bump, defining the waist still looks best with her body type.  She picked My Sister’s Closet’s Ivory Lace Fit Flare Dress ($42.00 before discount).  Because her style is a bit more classy, she paired it with floral heels and gold jewelry, then completed it with a tan Prada hand bag.


**We strongly suggest exploring My Sister’s Closet’s new arrivals because they have some amazing pieces worthy of adding to any wardrobe!  We were as excited as an eager kid in a candy store as we explored all the different pieces on their website.  Right now, My Sister’s Closet is offering our followers 10% off their entire purchase by using code POLISHEDPEARLS at checkout.  We hope all you pearls enjoy!


Shalese and Whitney

–The Polished Pearls Sisters– 

Trendy Summer Romper

Hey Lovelies, 

Just the other day I was rushing out the door like a mad woman, trying to go swimming with my girls before nap time (a must) and I realized I had nothing trendy to wear over my suit. There are those times you have a closet full of clothing but somehow have “nothing” to wear, but this was not one of those times. I literally had NOTHING to wear! I ended up having to scrounge it up with some old jean shorts and a much loved softball tournament t-shirt. Talk about feeling frumpy! At that frantic moment, one thought came to mind… search for some fashionable items to wear to the pool ASAP!

On sizzlin summer days my girls and I love to get our splash on, have some fun in the sun, and then run daily errands. With this colorful romper I am able to do all of the above! The best part about wearing this trendy outfit is not having to stop back at home to change.

I’ve always longed for a romper, but have never found one that doesn’t make me look like a five year old girl. I want to feel comfortable in anything and everything I wear. Luckily, I came by a website called CUDDY STUDIOS and was able to add this precious pearl to my summer collection! 

Now I can feel trendy and stylish no matter where our summer takes us!

Because you all are such amazing loyal Polished Pearl followers, we wanted to partner up with CUDDY STUDIOS to show our appreciation! CUDDY STUDIOS is offering all of us 50% off our order at checkout using code: SHOP50

Featured Romper: Zoe– Coastal Print

Love Always,


The Gift of Time for my Graduate

Reflecting on my own life having to do with time I can’t help but think of the times that stood still, verses the times that flashed before my very eyes.  

Stillness in Time 

Bright lights blinding me as I peak open my eyes to see the most beautiful sight imaginable. Tiny fingers and toes curled up in a soft blanket. Chubby scrunched up cheeks and eyes so calm and trusting, waiting for cuddles galore. Hands gently touching the untamed wispy hairs on the top of her head. At that moment, time stood still.

Flashing Moment in Time:

Looking back on the nine years shared with my spouse floods my memory with a bouquet of emotions.  Moments where I felt as free as a kite soaring through the sky.  Other times where tears could not be contained in my soaking-wet covered pillow.  Phases a blur, as foggy as a dust storm from sleep deprivation; triple jobs trying to get each other through college.  Caring for tiny ones throughout the night because we love them to an extreme.  Exciting times filled with warm love, laughter and light.  Times of adventure, exploration and relaxation.  Learning like a babe on how each one of us ticks.  Cherishing the ongoing memories being made and visualizing through a looking glass on what the future may hold. Time flashes by like lighting in a storm.  

How can we live out every moment every day? My Jord watch helps me check my time peacefully because of its serene, natural wood design.  Just like a new wedding ring, I notice myself peering down to check the time frequently throughout the day.   I want to cherish my time on this earth.  The longer I live the more I feel this way.  I want to wear time well and my Jord watch does this for me.  I feel modern, stylish, and trendy when I wear my wood watch and it is a constant reminder to make every moment note worthy.

If you are in search for a thoughtful, memorable graduation gift for someone special in your life that has sacrificed countless hours of time for the moment in their life where time will stand still; a Jord watch would be the perfect gift for them.  Jord watches are perfect for any special occasion.  They even have engraving options for your watch or box.  This makes your gift personalized and sentimental!

Shop my look and many others: 

Watch Featured: Dark Sandal Wood and Mint

Jord Women’s Watches

Jord Men’s Watches


We have some exciting news, we have partnered with JORD Wood Watches and they are sponsoring a GIVEAWAY for our followers!  Stay tuned to our Instagram for the giveaway announcement! (To enter the giveaway click on the link in our Instagram bio or here)!

Interesting Watch History

Some history about watches that I found fascinating dates back to 1714.  Because navigation at sea had to be precise, the British Parliament was offering a cash reward to anyone who could invent an accurate watch.  A result from inaccurate watches at sea was the death of thousands of sailors because in order for them to find their position, they used time to track longitude. For every minute the clock was off, sailors were off course by 15 miles.  This caused them to wreck into giant rocks, sharp-edged cliffs, and who knows what else they would collide into while blindly following the off course route.

Love you guys, Happy Thursday!


Work Cited:



*This watch was given to me but these opinions are my own.

Luxury Wooden Watch