Tuesday, February 25, 2014


The day I got my braces off

When: November 2013 they came off- July 2012 I got my braces

Cost: The whole cost of my treatment was $5,500

Why this is on my list: They put em on...they had to come off!

The day they came on...
The day they came off...

Will I do it again? Getting my braces off was such a horrifying experience, in fact had I known what it was going to be like I may have reconsidered having them put on, though looking at the before and after pics above IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT! For 3 solid hours, they yanked, scraped, sanded, pulled, cranked, jabbed, and burned my teeth...no numbing, no Novocain, no suggestion to kick back 4 shots of tequila first. It was an experience I would never wish to repeat. The reason that it was MORE difficult to get my braces off is because I had the clear ones which are made of porcelain and adhere differently to the glue making them more of a challenge to remove. Which I was in the torture chamber I kept having flashbacks of them cautioning me about this....it's not their fault, I only have myself and my vanity to blame.

I know I was so excited back in November to get them off and posted a blog that day about how elated and nervous I was...and then nothing...I never said another word, I was traumatized. It's taken 4 months to bounce back from the whole thing. It also took a while to get used to the retainer, in the beginning I just gagged constantly, I never thought I'd get used to it but now, surprisingly, I am- it doesn't bother me at all.
This is my retainer

The braces are off but there are still a few areas that need to be fixed by my orthodontist and then I have a little cosmetic work that has to be done by my regular dentist before I can say that I'm a happy camper. So right now I have invisalign and once a month I have to go in to get new molds and a new retainer to wear, they suspect that i'll need at least 3 more retainers.
Also, I have one tooth that my 3 year old calls 'LELLOW' and will not bleach because there is a bond on it so it is the color it is and cannot be altered. What my dentist is going to do is put a lamenent over the tooth-another 'process' which will involve sanding the enamel off my tooth but before this all can happen, my orthodontist has to finish straightening my teeth (about 2 more months) then I have to bleach my teeth to the color I want them all to be then I will go in and have the lamenent put on. Also I have 5 silver fillings on the top that I will have taken out and filled in with porcelain. Years ago I had 5 replaced on the lower teeth, it's basically getting a new filling so they have to re drill and numb you and all that. It was not a fun but it looks so much better.

I am happy to have the braces off, I do have to wear a retainer most of the time which is a pain and was hard to get used to. My teeth are in a current state of being 'good enough' right now....but I'm not really a 'good enough' type of person.
Just a few small areas to fix up

A few weeks ago a dream of mine came true. I have always wanted someone to tell me I had great teeth. Of course, all my friends and family keep telling me how nice my teeth look now but they know the before after and middle. What I've always dreamed of is a random person who didn't know that I had braces or very crooked teeth in the past to pay this compliment unprompted and randomly...and it happened. About 2 weeks ago, a customer of mine and I were talking and she changed the subject and said to me "You have beautiful teeth, do you get that a lot?" I about fell over...uh, no ma'am, I do NOT get that a lot! That woman made my day and I will never forget that, it made all the effort, time, money and painful moments totally worth it to me.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014


Where: The Hyatt At The Arch Hotel in St Louis Missouri is directly across from the Gateway Arch. In fact it is the closest building to the Arch.

The view from the $99 room.
When: June 2013 on my big 30th Birthday trip!

The first night was just my daughter and me.

Cost: I stayed in 2 different rooms at this fabulous hotel- the standard room was $99 and the suite was $180. The reason was because the first night it was just me and my daughter so we didn't need the larger room and I was trying to keep the cost of our very last minute trip down. The $99 room was so nice with a decent view that I almost cancelled the suite, how much nicer could it be? I was already quite pleased with my room. Luckily I did not cancel and we stayed in the corner suite which was much larger than the studio apartment we lived in a few years ago....actually now that I think about it, the standard room was also much larger than our studio apartment.
It was the coolest way to wake up on my 30th birthday in an awesome suite, with large picture windows looking over the Mississippi River and a front row view of the Gateway Arch, and my husband had decorated the room in the middle of the night with balloons and signs-absolutely the best birthday ever. St Louis quickly became one of my favorite cities in the U.S.

Why this is on my list: While doing research for my trip to St Louis there was no doubt that this was the best hotel choice. I always like to pick a unique hotel and what was unique about the Hyatt at the Arch one was the spectacular view. I am still amazed by the extremely reasonably priced room for what I got, which was a view unlike I've ever had at any other hotel (well, expect for that one time I went to Hawaii and stayed on the ocean) impeccable service, 2 very large, flawlessly clean rooms. And there's a Starbucks inside the hotel, they recycle, delivered a newpaper to my room each morning, a nice gym that I would have liked to use but appreciated that it was there, when I needed a few supplies they sent them up to my room free of charge...on top of all that the location is sublime. It was so awesome to just walk across the street and be at the Gateway Arch. If there's one thing I truly have a knack for, it's choosing the most magnificent hotels to stay in.

Will I stay there again? There was a bellman in the lobby who asked me this question and after I replied "of course! Why would I stay anywhere else?" he said "Good, cuz if you do I'm gonna find out about it, I'm gonna go to the hotel where you staying and start acting crazy until they kick us both out, then I'll bring you back here!" This guy was hilarious, I absolutely loved the staff here, they were so friendly and helpful, there were 3 that really stood out, Keith, Zack and Brad, they were a delight to talk to and made this trip even more special.

The Lobby
 Something I'd recommend? If you stay anywhere else in St Louis, you'd be doing a disservice to yourself, and you can't beat the price. Essentially there's no reason t stay elsewhere. 

the standard room
Large spacious walk in closet w/safe
$99/night room-bigger than my old apartment

My only complaint...I've never stayed somewhere you had to pay for internet access. But It's worth it to get the low room rate.

the corner suite 

This bathroom/closet was huge.

The view from the corner suite only $180/night.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Where: Arthur Bryant's Barbeque in Kansas City Missouri

When: Father's Day, June 16th 2013

Cost: About $10/plate

Why this is on my list? My husband spends a lot of time in Kansas City and he always goes to this restaurant, he had heard about it from the Food Network- I think it was 'Diners, Drive ins and Dives', I was floored that my husband had done something 'life listy' that I hadn't! When I found out we'd be in KC on Father's Day I thought this would be the perfect dinner for a man on Father's Day- a giant plate of down home BBQ.

Something I'd recommend? I am not gonna lie...this diner is in a very sketchy part of town, it is no frills inside, and the food was good but certainly not the greatest meal I've ever had. Had my husband not been with us and had this place NOT been featured on television there's no way I would have eaten here. I like to visit restaurants that I see on the Travel Channel and Food Network but this was kind of a 'been there, done that' situation. If it was in a nicer area I'd probably go back, but as it stands now...once was plenty. I am glad we went and it was a cool way to celebrate Father's Day.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014


When: August 2013

Where: Cinderella's Castle inside the Magic Kingdom, Disney World Florida

Cost: Since we had the 'deluxe dining plan' it did NOT cost extra 'money', it was however 2 meal vouchers instead of 1 like everywhere else we ate. Which was fine because it included a lot; Your child gets a special photo opportunity with Cinderella along with a 8 x 10 printed photo (included), a magic wand and wishing star from Cinderella, a full meal including desert. And we got to visit with Snow White, Ariel, Jasmine and Beauty. Each of the princesses come right to your table and you are able to take as many photos as you'd like. The 'character dining' in Disney World was absolutely the best aspect of our time in Disney World, particularly for our young daughter, 2, who adores all the Disney Princesses. If you do not take advantage of the character dining you are really missing out.

*reservations must be made in advance, for best results 6 months in advance.

Why this is on my list: I remember eating there when I was about 10 years old with my Aunt, I know I liked it and knew that if I ever went back I wanted to experience it again and it did not disappoint. It was a joy to be able to take my daughter to Cinderellas Castle, she got to meet Cinderella herself and all the other princesses...needless to say she was in heaven.

Will I do it again? Already planning our next trip, though this time I will use my own advice and make the reservations as early in advance as possible to arrange better timing.

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Monday, February 17, 2014


"I've been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library." F. Scott Fitzgerald

When: June 2013

Where: Kansas City Public Library  Kansas City, Missouri

Cost: Free

Why this is on my list? I have a long list of things I look for when traveling and unique buildings is one of them. And obviously I couldn't pass on the opportunity to see a building painted like a book shelf.

Will I go again? Unlikely. Aesthetically, this is the best thing to see in Kansas City Missouri so if you are in the area you must not miss it.

Related Posts:
T Rex Cafe
Kansas City Botanic Garden
Budweiser Brewery 
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Go to the top of the Gateway Arch 
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The Ultimate Life List is now on Facebook click here to like it!

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