Finding the Best Electric Toothbrush to Achieve that Perfect Smile

Braun Electric Toothbrush ReviewsA lot of people love to achieve that perfect and healthy looking smile. While the best electric toothbrush won’t guarantee you the perfect smile, if you combine its use with other things then you’ll achieve what you want to achieve in no time at all. But again, you need to take a lot of different things into account in order to be able to get strong gums and teeth.

I definitely think it is definitely a good idea to buy a decent electric toothbrush to help you get started. But the real question is which one should you get? I have tested a lot of different models in the last few years and here are my picks through the electric toothbrush reviews below.

I am recommending these based on my experience with these toothbrushes but at the same time, I have also taken into account what people say about these products. This means that things like the design, battery, efficiency and price are of huge importance when you are trying to find the best electric toothbrush.

Philips Electric ToothbrushThe DiamondClean electric toothbrush by Philips is probably the best one that I have ever used. In fact, despite the expensive cost, I still use it to this day because I think when it comes to your teeth and gums, you need to go all out. This toothbrush is certainly a very popular one on the UK market and you can see that by reading some of the amazing reviews it has received. When you’re looking at the pros, I must admit there are quite a few things to talk about. I think it has a terrific design that will make it easier and a lot more effective for you to brush your teeth. The user interface is pretty good and this is probably the best electric toothbrush as far as the power and the overall quality is concerned.

The major function of a rechargeable toothbrush is that it operates with great power and great speed so that it can clean your teeth highly efficiently. This particular toothbrush ranks the highest when it comes to this factor. This is the reason that I went for this as my personal electric toothbrush.

Oral-B ToothbrushAnother toothbrush that is associated with extremely high quality is an Oral B electric toothbrush and this is the Pro 6000 CrossAction. This has Bluetooth technology within it and it would be a perfect alternative for the DiamondClean model that was my first choice. The Smart technology makes it a truly unique toothbrush and it will certainly make everything easy for you. However, the functionality aspect is the most important thing here and you’re looking at another model that is speedy and extremely powerful. There are definitely some features that you’re not going to need. However, if you’re looking for something that is the ultimate luxury, this is the one to go for according to a lot of electric toothbrush reviews. This is because you can change the speed and setting according to your own requirements and especially if you’ve got sensitive teeth. On top of that, there are some amazing features and the battery is quite good too.

I’ll be honest by saying that keeping my teeth clean is extremely important to me and that’s why I’ve always gone for the best electric toothbrush. I’ve had success with both of these and currently use the Philips DiamondClean toothbrush.

How to season a cast iron skillet

Cast iron skilletSo I was flipping through my February issue of Good Housekeeping magazine when I came across this article on page 39 and thought that picture looks exactly like the current state of my own cast iron skillet.

You see the thing is, my mother always cooked with cast iron; she had all kinds of cast iron pots and pans, I knew it was an excellent thing to use in the kitchen, but she never told me anything about it.

One day weeks ago during lunch, my coworkers were talking about how they love their cast iron pans, how they are so non-stick, they give such an even heat and can easily be transferred from the stovetop to the oven. I was blown away – I said:

I have a cast iron skillet, it always sticks, and sometimes it gets this brown thin rust coating – I hate using it, it is currently at the bottom of my pots and pans drawer. I did however use it when making this cheese sauce and the result wasn’t too bad.

They were mortified! They explained to me a little about cast iron, how to care for cast iron and how to cook with it, I realised then that I had no clue in terms of cooking with cast iron.

Okay, I’m about to make a Kitchen Confession that is going to make you cringe so get ready.

I had no idea that you weren’t supposed to put cast iron in the dishwasher and have done so many times. I had no idea it was a mortal kitchen sin, and all you really needed to clean a cast iron skillet was a little coarse salt and some paper towel.

When I came across this article in Good Housekeeping today it reminded me of this lunch time enlightenment and I concluded it was time to season my cast iron skillet.

I scoured the skillet down using a little hot water, dish soap, coarse salt and a scouring pad. Because the cast iron skillet had been so badly misused and mistreated I had to go at it for quite a while.

After drying the pan, I seasoned it. I put a thin coat of oil on the pan. This part is very important! The first time I tried seasoning the skillet I use too much oil and after the skillet was seasoned I had a sticky, gummy layer of goo or gunk in the skillet.

I discovered that this was because I had too much oil applied to the cast iron skillet in the seasoning process. So I scraped off the goo, using the scouring pad and more coarse salt, applied a thinner layer of oil and re-seasoned it. I successfully seasoned it the second time by adding a little oil to the pan and using a paper towel to spread it finely and evenly over my skillet.

I turned my skillet over onto a piece of foil and seasoned the outside too using the paper towel and oil technique.

I successfully seasoned my skillet at 400 degrees for 1 hour. After the hour, I turned off the oven, but let the skillet cool in the oven with the door closed for 2 hours afterwards.

Loving Food: Cheese Sauce

Cheese SauceMy mother was not the most domestically inclined, but she did teach me one thing about the kitchen… the consumption of Cheez Whiz is a crime.

I know, I know… sometimes you need a little something extra to dress up that broccoli, asparagus or even brussels sprouts, and I will agree cheese does make EVERYTHING better, but why ruin a beautiful green vegetable – a perfect product of nature with something as synthetic as CHEEZ WHIZ!

Making your own cheese sauce is so simple and quick that it’s easy to avoid committing this culinary misdemeanour against all food-kind!

Here’s an easy cheese sauce recipe that will do your food justice. Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil,

Garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup of whatever other cheese you have in the fridge (parmesan, mozzarella, monterey jack, havarti or just more cheddar will do) Directions:

  1. Pre-heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to saucepan, let oil heat up for about 2 minutes
  3. Sprinkle in the flour and continue to cook for another minute
  4. Add the broth, stir
  5. Let the liquids reduce until a slightly thickened sauce forms, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add in cheese gradually, stirring constantly in a figure eight like fashion
  7. Season with garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  8. Once the cheese has melted and the sauce has combined, turn the heat to low and simmer until ready to serve.

Kitchen Confessions:

Cheese sauce is that easy – even easier than short soup!

You can easily substitute the stock for milk if preferred. Milk doesn’t always agree with my husband’s tummy so, we opt for stock. Also, I find that the stock adds a well rounded but substantial flavour to this simple cheese sauce recipe.

This sauce also reheats well in the microwave; I often take it with leftovers to work for lunch the next day.

So this sauce could easily be made in a big batch and reheated as needed.

This cheese sauce is perfect to adorn your broccoli with, the ideal compliment to your cauliflower and it was simply made to accompany your brussel sprouts.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

How I created my own problem acne in my twenties

Acne ProblemsSome time after I turned 26 my skin changed.  It was the strangest thing, all the sudden I had pimples, one here, one there and then all at once I had 5 pimples pop up. I know what you’re thinking it’s the same question everyone asked me, what did you do differently? The answer is nothing, I hadn’t changed any of my beauty products (cleansers, moistures, masks or facial scrubs), I didn’t eat differently and I hadn’t changed my beauty routine.

It’s this simple: MY SKIN JUST CHANGED! I don’t know how or why it just did. I’ve never had problems with pimples or acne, not even in adolescence. Prior to this acne attack I had never had more than a pimple at time.

So I went to my tried and true method of clearing up a pimple; toothpaste. Yes, toothpaste. I know it’s an old wives tale but it always worked for me. I would just put on the toothpaste (the paste part is important, it has to be a white paste like Colgate Total, not a toothpaste with a gel consistency) before I went to bed at night and in the morning the pimple would have dried up and would heal in another day or two.

I was horrified to find in the morning that it didn’t work, and there were suddenly more. I panicked I googled problem pimples, problem acne, how to clear up pimples and everything else I could think of.  As I’m very fair, and tend to have dry skin, I opted to go for something natural. So I read about all the benefits of tea tree oil, and went out and spent $70 on every tea tree oil product I could find; spot treatments, cleansers, masks, tea tree oil itself. I put it on religiously every single day.

Each night as we went to bed my conversation with my husband went like this:

Hubby: What is that smell?

Me: The tea tree oil.

Hubby: It’s really strong

Me: I know, but it’s supposed to get rid of these pimples

Hubby: Is it working?

Me: I’m not sure yet.

And he was right, it WAS strong, I could barely stand the smell of myself.

Now I know your thinking, did it work? The answer is no, I really saw no change and the only thing that changed was my skin started peeling, and hurting. It didn’t look like just pimples anymore my face was a complete mess of redness dry spots and PIMPLES.

Next, I thought I need medical advice. So I stopped at the pharmacy and walked up to the pharmacist and said in one breath, “I’m having a problem with pimples, and I’ve never had a problem with pimples, not even when I was a teenager, this has now lasted for months and it’s not getting better, and now my face is dry and red and it hurts”. I almost bust into tears, the pharmacist must have thought I was crazy!

This is the pivotal point in my story, this is the point where in retrospect I can look back and say; You see, THIS is what I do, my Dad calls it’s ‘detail oriented and focused’ my husband calls it ‘relentless’.   I pick something and I focus on it, I research, I talk about it, I think about it, I come up with a strategy and I attack.

So the pharmacist explains that cleansers I am using are probably blocking my pores and I needed to try changing to something that will unblock my pores and is very mild like Spectrogel. He took me over to the acne section, as I stood there looking at all the products I felt like a 35 year old at the prom, what is a 26 year old women doing in the acne isle?

He then explained to me that I should use the Spectrogel twice a day morning and night on my face, and if I felt necessary (I think he could smell my level of desperateness) I could use cleansing pads. He said that he could tell I had very sensitive skin, to use something with no more than 1% salicylic acid on the problem areas.

After spending another $40 on acne products, I drove home feeling relieved. This was it, I have found someone to help me, my skin problems ARE SOLVED!

I went home and started another religious beauty routine of cleansing morning and night with the Spectrogel. I tried the cleansing pads (I bought two different brands Clearasil and Oxy) both brands made my face feel as though it was on fire, and dried out my skin so badly it literally began to fall off so I discontinued them very quickly.

Weeks went by, although the adolescent like big prominent protruding looking pimples lessened my face started to get these different looking pimples, little tiny red ones that looked like a cross between a pimple and a sore. These little pimples THEY WERE MULTIPLYING, multiplying like cluster flies on an Ontario summer day and my face it still hurt, it REALLY HURT.

Although I felt as though I had made some progress, it was minimal. So off to The Body Shop I went, there had to be someone there that could help me. It was this day in December that I met the lovely Grace.

I told her my story and she quickly took me over to the Aloe section, the section for sensitive skin, Grace then explained I needed something moisturising and calming. I protested, but I need something to clear up these pimples, didn’t they sell something for sensitive skin that would clear up acne? She explained to me that she thought all the products I was using were drying out my skin, and the dryness was causing my pimples. She had used Spectrogel previously and it had dried out her skin, Grace thought I needed something mild, moisturising and calming. I bought the Aloe Cleanser, Aloe Toner, and Aloe Moisturiser.

I used them only once a day, after two days I saw a difference, EUREKA Grace was right! Yes my skin did probably change therefore causing the initial pimples. However, it was my own personal obsession that turned my face into a mess.

“What you focus on increases”. –Rob Estes

A month later my skin is almost completely clear, free of redness, sores and those adolescent protruding pimples.

Thank God for Grace.

Thank God for my husband for his patients with my jibber jabber about pimples and acne, hours spent on google researching,  acne products strewn throughout the house, and hundreds of dollars spent on beauty products, and above all tolerating the smell of the tea tree oil all those nights.

Last night we had the following conversation

Me: Hey Babe, look at how my skin has cleared up, isn’t it beautiful now?

Hubby: Sunshine, your face was always beautiful.

That, THAT right there is why I love that guy.

Short Soup – the last soup of the seasons

Wonton SoupThe past two weeks have been crazy! Between working full-time (something I haven’t done for over six months and only have to do for two weeks – thank goodness!), organising my daughter’s third birthday party, tending to sick kids and trying to keep on top of housework (failing!) I have had no time left to blog – super sad face! I am happy to say that I am back online and planning some delicious spring recipes for September including a pumpkin and ginger cheesecake (thank you Cardamom Pod) and a strawberry mocktail – yippee – it’s strawberry season!

With a touch of winter still lingering in the evening air I felt that this week may present the last opportunity to indulge in a bowl of steamy, hot soup for some time. One of my all-time favourite soups is Short Soup (aka Wonton Soup). This delicious soup is traditionally made with pork mince seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and green onions and you can find it on the entrée menu at any authentic Chinese restaurant. My version with soft, skinned wontons, flavourful piping hot broth, and cubes of soft tofu is just as tasty, and better for you. Wonton’s are ridiculously easy to make – don’t be afraid! I have included step by step photographs/instructions in this post for the non-adventurous.

Short Soup:

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Wontons:

20 wonton wrappers

Water (to seal wontons)

100 grams firm tofu

Small bunch green onions

1 carrot – peeled & chopped

2 stalks celery

½ cup shredded cabbage

1cm slice ginger – peeled

1 clove garlic – crushed

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon miso paste

Broth:

5 cups vegetable stock

¼ cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon miso paste

1 slice ginger – peeled

100 grams tofu, cut into small cubes

To make wontons:

Pop chopped celery, carrots, ginger, green onions, cabbage, tofu, and ginger into a food processor and pulse slowly until the mixture is well combined, don’t over pulse or you will end up with a sloppy mess. Place the mixture into a blow and add miso paste and soy sauce and gently mix through. To make the wontons, work on baking paper so that they don’t stick to the bench.

Spoon a teaspoon of the mixture into the centre of each wonton wrapper, then wetting the edges slightly to help them stick together, fold in half to form a triangle, ensure there is no air trapped inside.

Fold one corner under the other, and press together gently to hold in place, use a little more water if needed. Rest on baking paper while you prepare the broth.

To make the broth:

Place the vegetable stock, ginger slices, soy sauce, miso paste and sesame oil into a saucepan and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove ginger pieces and turn the heat back up, when the broth is boiling drop in the wontons and tofu cubes. The wontons are ready when they float to the surface, this should take between 1-2 minutes.

Use a slit spoon to scoop wontons out of the broth and divide evenly between bowls. Ladle over the broth and tofu pieces and garnish with pickled ginger and green onions.

Raw Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberry Cream

Chocolate Mousse CakeMy beautiful husband celebrated his 34th birthday yesterday and I made him this delicious raw chocolate mousse cake with raspberry cream. This was my first attempt at an original raw dessert and I was super excited with the result. I have a newfound love for raw food following my 30-day raw food detox in early 2015, which I didn’t complete, lasting only 10 days (still a pretty good effort for a first timer).

Since then I have educated myself and started experimenting more with raw food recipes – primarily, sweet ones! I am amazed at the flavours and textures that can be achieved with raw ingredients and I have been stocking my pantry with super healthy ingredients like coconut oil, agave nectar (an ingredient I have always been afraid of), dried fruits, nuts and seeds. This week I have made Raw Chocolate Dipped Caramel Cookies, Raw Energy Bars and this scrumptious cake – raw foodie heaven.

On a different note it has been quiet a stressful week in my house (for a variety of reasons) and I have been working very hard to keep my focus on all of the positives. I am a Piscean and am somewhat emotional, nevertheless I have always considered myself an optimist, seeing the light in the darkest of situations.

Thursday’s full moon knocked me for six and I ended up an emotional mess, sobbing uncontrollably on my lounge room floor overcome with feelings of hopelessness (thank you to my beautiful sister for your support during this awful time). I have been through tough times before throughout my life and have never really felt as terrible as I did earlier this week, upon reflection I could only tie my emotional breakdown with the power of the full moon.

For me, this experience reinforced the importance of daily spiritual practice as a means of staying grounded, I believe as living beings we are connected to all of the energy in the universe and beyond. I meditate on almost a daily basis and attend Yoga classes regularly – I could not function without either. I think everyone should practice meditation, even if only for ten minutes a day – it can help reduce stress and anxiety, heighten spiritual awareness and increase our ability to control and banish negative thoughts.

Raw Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberry Cream:

Base:

¾ cup walnuts

¾ cup almonds

½ cup dried, shredded coconut

10 Medjool dates, pitted

1 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup cacao powder

Chocolate Mousse:

4 avocados

½ cup agave nectar

1 ½ cup cashews

½ cup cacao powder

Raspberry Cream Filling:

1 ½ cup frozen raspberries (thawed)

1 cup almond meal

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract

¼ cup coconut oil

Plus 1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries to garnish.

To make base: Place nuts into a food processor and process until fine (don’t over process or you will get nut butter!). Add coconut, dates, sea salt and cacao powder and process until well combined. Press the mixture into a 20cm spring form tin.

Chocolate mousse: Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, use a spatula to spread half of the mixture over the base.

Raspberry cream: Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and process until combined, spread evenly over the first layer of chocolate mousse.

To finish, gently spread the remaining chocolate mousse mixture over the raspberry cream and top with fresh/frozen raspberries. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to set.