My Invisalign/Braces Journey

On Instagram I shared that I recently got Invisalign and braces. In case you are looking into it or about to start your own journey I wanted to share my experience. First off, I didn’t think at 30 I would have braces again, even though I always wanted to fix my bite and smile. I was having a lot of problems with my underbite, causing sores because I would constantly bite myself, headaches and chewing issues. I thought I just had to live with it, but since my teeth have shifted a lot since middle school I decided I no longer wanted to live like this. I have also always been self conscious about my smile, even though I believe everyone is beautiful in their own way, I just didn’t feel comfortable.

Here’s a (very unflattering) video of my reasons behind getting braces/background and you can also see how crocked my teeth are. You can also get to know me a little bit more! I’m rambling in this video but the braces talk starts at 1:33.

Okay that was the background, now the first thing I did knowing I wanted to get Invisalign or braces sometime in the next year is I signed up for a good Dental Plan through my job that would pay the max amount toward orthodontics. My insurance paid 2,000 toward the cost, and that was the most I saw out of all my options. Secondly, I started researching orthodontists in my area that were in network, had great reviews and offered Invisalign (in case I was a candidate, I also really didn’t want braces). I was planning on using the free consultation to meet with different orthodontists but ultimately went with my first choice because he was so great and really understood what I needed. I also thought the price was comparable to prices in my area so I knew I wasn’t overpaying for my treatment. Yes, I researched extensively before I made any decision. If I can recommend something, especially if you are an adult getting braces and paying for it yourself, it is to do your research! I watched countless YouTube videos, researched orthos and prices. I also recommend to save some money for a down payment and make sure your ortho offers a payment plan (most do). If you make a big down payment, you can lower your monthly cost and it will be good in the long run because you will have less of a financial burden. Lastly, I went in prepared to pay, so that my treatment could start as soon as possible. I also had a lot of dental work that needed to be done because I hadn’t been to the dentist in a few years (I know!). My ortho thankfully recommended me to a local dentist and I was able to get all my dental work done including extractions within a month, just in time to get my braces in and my Invisalign trays. As soon as I left the consultation I called the dentist and booked my first appointment. If you know you need to get wisdom teeth removed or dental work I recommend you get that out of the way or book as soon as possible because it can delay your treatment. I’m 30 so I was more than ready to get started (insert laughing emoji!).

Here’s a brief video where I talk about my treatment plan and invisalign/braces consultation

I just began my journey but I wanted to share how I got started, my recommendations and overall experience. I have only had my braces and Invisalign for less than a month but I plan on sharing more updates as I go along. If you have questions or have any tips let me know!

Why I drink Matcha

There has been a Matcha craze lately and maybe you are tired of hearing about it or maybe you still have no idea why everyone is crazy about it. Below I want to share with you my matcha journey and why I love it so much. Hopefully this will shed some light on the Matcha bandwagon or introduce you to a new drink that can energize your day.

Green Tea Background: I have been drinking green tea since I can remember. The best conversations I had were with my abuelita and mom over a cup of tea. So naturally I have always felt a connection with green tea but I also felt good after drinking it because of all its benefits. Green tea is full of antioxidants and helps reduce the risk of cancer such as: breast, bladder and colon (Read Harvard article here). Green tea also helps reduce the incidence of heart disease. Because green tea is full of antioxidants, specifically an anti aging antioxidant, it can help with signs of aging (Read Huffpost article here). To reap the most benefits experts say to drink at least 3 cups a day and freshly brewed is best. Warning: bottled green tea contains extra calories and sugar that will probably outweigh the benefits. I also recommend drinking green tea with lemon, I used to add it only for the flavor but now I know that it actually helps with iron absorption (green tea has the opposite effect). So now that you know why I love green tea so much now you can see why it's only natural that I would give the famed Matcha drink a try.

Matcha: Matcha is formulated from baby tea leaves that are grown in the shade. Growing the tea plant in the shade makes the plant go into shock and boost its production of Chlorophyll (detoxifies) and  L-theanine (helps with concentration and alertness). After my mom (who has all the best self help and wellness tips) insisted on me trying Matcha for months, yes months! I finally decided to give matcha a try after reading article after article of the benefits of drinking matcha. I was also endlessly drinking Red Bulls and coffee for energy to no avail, and decided that I needed to kick my bad habits once and for all. I needed, however, an alternative to coffee (for the taste) and Red Bull (for the energy) and Matcha seemed like the perfect fit. Matcha can be made with just water (much like green tea) or with almond milk/coconut milk, etc. as a latte, as well as many other ways to consume it: have you heard of matcha pancakes? yes! I instantly fell in love, not only is drinking my Matcha latte feel therapeutic but it gives me the sustained energy that I needed to get through the day (I stand all day at work, except for 30 minutes of lunch!). So if you are like me, and are ready to switch out unhealthy habits for more beneficial ones, I highly recommend Matcha or green tea if you are not ready to take the plunge or believe the hype.

Bonus: I have a step by step video on how I make my matcha latte up on Instagram Highlights! You can find the whisk I use to make my matcha here and some matcha I love here and here. I use unsweetened almond milk to make my matcha lattes but you can also use coconut milk. I also use locally grown honey to add sweetness to my latte.

Have you tried matcha? Do you swear by green tea? Or are you an avid coffee drinker? Let me know!

I'm Engaged!

I wanted to share this story now that it is still fresh in my mind. If you knew me and my boyfriend, you would know how unconventional, not traditional, play by our rules type of couple we are. Still, the idea of marriage, a higher commitment, a sign of forever love never left my mind, after all every one deserves their own happily ever after.

We went on a much needed vacation that my boyfriend gifted us for Christmas, I was ecstatic, we get to go on a beach vacation, I was ready to go! Of course we had to plan it out and get tickets, find a resort, etc., so April it was. We chose Cancun as our beach destination, we both are Mexican, we love Mexico and it was the first place we went on vacation together. The second day we arrived, my bf nonchalantly suggested a stroll on the beach and of course I was up for it. We kept strolling down the beach but I noticed my bf kept lagging behind me, I kept looking back because we weren't walking together like normal couples do, it was strange but I shrugged it off. We got far along on the beach, there was no one around and he called my name out. I turned around, thinking something was wrong, and there he was on one knee, I was speechless. He said "Vanessa, will you marry me?" The first words out of my mouth were, "are you serious?" not in a hypocritical tone but more in disbelief. I nodded yes and put out both my hands because at this point I couldn't even remember my name. In the spirit of us, I loved the whole thing, I was awkwardly excited, he was nervous, all in the most beautiful and surprisingly private backdrop of the ocean. I couldn't have planned it better myself.

I love how my fiance gifted me this moment, he thought enough of me and us to make this already special place that is Cancun even more special. At 29, could it have happened sooner? No, everyone is different and all couples take that step in their own time. I'm a big believer that everything happens for a reason and things fall into place when they are supposed to. I believe our relationship is strong enough, mature enough now to handle what comes ahead. I am so happy and excited for this journey growing old with my best friend, my love, my everything.

Do you have an engagement story? or what would be your dream engagement? Let me know!