The Benefits of Collagen

A few months ago I started supplementing collagen into my diet.  Collagen is one of the most important structural proteins in our bodies, but as we age we slowly start losing it.  I was curious to see if all of the amazing potential health benefits I had been hearing could actually be true. I have to say I am really pleased with the results I have been noticing.  My hair feels thicker and shinier, my nails seem to be growing stronger and I swear my skin has more of a glow to it.

the Benefits of collagen

The Benefits of Collagen:

(Information is quoted directly from the Vital Proteins website which is where I get my collagen)

“Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and helps give structure to our hair, skin, nails, bones, ligaments and tendons in our body. Thanks to collagen, we’re better able to move, bend and stretch. Collagen is also behind helping hair shine, skin glow and nails stay strong.

As we age, and the more stress we put on our body, the greater the impact on collagen production. Getting collagen in a balanced diet can help our bodies regenerate what’s been lost of broken down.

Collagen is a protein made up of amino-acids: glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine, all of which help our body’s connective tissue, skin, hair, nails, as well as gut health stay as healthy as possible.

Collagen protein is different than whey and casein protein because of these high levels of amino acids. Muscular growth, joint health and an overall glowing appearance can be partially attributed to the amino acid blend in collagen that can’t be found anywhere else.”

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

How to Take Collagen:

I have been using the Vital Proteins unflavored Collagen Peptides above.  I add a scoop into my regular coffee every morning and another one into my afternoon smoothie.  The serving suggestion is 1-2 scoops a day.  It completely blends in and you can’t even notice anything has been added.  There are also recipes on the Vital Proteins website if you are looking for additional ways to add collagen into your daily diet.  Not only does collagen have amazing benefits for your hair, skin, nails and bones, but it is also an easily digested source of protein.

collagen peptides

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Along with the majority of the general public I am sure, one of the goals I set for myself in 2019 was to try to maintain a healthier lifestyle.  I injured myself last January and am currently waiting for knee surgery for a torn meniscus.  Due to this injury I have been letting my fitness slide a bit and of course I completely overindulged in all things decadent over the holidays!  I am slowly beginning to introduce low impact exercise back into my daily routine and eat cleaner.  These Collagen Peptides are gluten free, dairy free, sugar-free, Whole30 approved, and paleo friendly so they fall right into line with what I am trying to stick to. I have also heard that an additional benefit of collagen is increased muscle recovery and joint health.  As I am just starting to slowly workout again, I will have to wait and see if I notice any improvement in these regards.

benefits of collagen

Collagen benefits

I feel like it is important to mention I am in no way a dietician or health expert!  I am simply sharing my personal experience and how pleased I have been with the results.  I would love to hear about your experience with collagen if you are also supplementing with it!

 

Shop this post:

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides // Initial Necklace // Turquoise Sweater 

 

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

Whitening Sensitive teeth at home!

I was so excited when Smile Brilliant reached out to ask me if I would like to try their at home teeth whitening kit.  A person’s smile is one of the first things I notice when I meet them. I personally went through 3+ years of orthodontics and previous whitening treatment for my own smile!  This being said, if you know me at all, you will also know that I am a HUGE coffee lover. Well, coffee and sparkling white teeth do not necessarily go hand in hand! I have whitened my teeth in the past but my smile was definitely in need of a bit of a pick me up 😉

best at home teeth whitening Kit

The Smile Brilliant whitening system allows you to make custom whitening trays from home with professional results.  My kit included the materials to make the mold for my custom whitening tray, along with three tubes of 22% whitening gel and three tubes of Desensitizing gel. I ordered the T3 Sensitive System for light stains as I have previously whitened and noticed tooth sensitivity in the past.  Each syringe of whitening gel allowed me four applications of whitening.  I only used two tubes to whiten both my upper and lower teeth so I have ample left for touch ups in the future.  You just use enough to cover your teeth with a thin layer and not too much or it just squeezes out of the tray and is wasted.

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I was actually pleasantly surprised as I was preparing myself for crazy sensitive teeth.  I definitely noticed a little bit but not so much that I had to take a break in between whitening sessions.

How to make your impressions:

To fabricate your custom teeth whitening trays, all you have to do is mix one of the catalyst pastes with one of the base pastes to create a solid coloured putty which you then place into the blue impression tray. The kit includes 3 of each (1 extra in case you make an error!)

Place the blue tray in your mouth making sure you are pushing your teeth evenly into the putty and it is covering all of your teeth and flows over your gum line. Leave the tray in your mouth for 3 minutes. (I have a pretty strong gag reflex and I was absolutely OK taking my impressions!) Use the from tab and carefully remove the tray from your mouth without wiggling. Check to make sure you can clearly see the impression of your teeth in the material.

Let your impression set for 30 minutes and then rinse them under cold water.  One they have hardened, simply place them in the included pre-paid envelope and mail them back!

After the lab fabricates them, Smile Brilliant will mail you back your custom whitening trays and you can start brightening your smile! The trays are so easy to use because they are thin and fit snug to your teeth. I personally have three children and not a lot of down time to sit around beautifying myself… LOL! After breakfast in the morning I threw the whitening trays in while I dropped my kids off at school and daycare. I am all about convenience!! You are not supposed to eat or drink for an hour after so Smile Brilliant also suggests whitening before you go to bed.

at home teeth whitening kit

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How to whiten with your trays:

Brush your teeth with only water first. Place a thin layer of the whitening solution in your tray (1 syringe should last 3-4 applications). Plan the trays in your mouth for 45 minutes to 3 hours depending on the level of staining and how sensitive your teeth are. Rinse the trays out with water after.

Desensitize for 20 minutes if your teeth are feeling sensitive. After you remove your trays you can leave a think layer of the desensitizing gel on your teeth if needed.

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custom whitening tray

I only ended up whitening for four days until I was happy with my results.  I will not be giving up coffee or red wine anytime soon, so I am thrilled to have found an affordable whitening solution to keep my smile sparking 🙂

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Before & After:

Before & After Teeth Whitening

Im teaming up with Smile Brilliant to give one of you lucky readers your own custom whitening kit for FREE! ($149 value).

You can enter to win by clicking the link below:

www.smilebrilliant.com/g/suburbanstylefiles

They have also been so kind to offer me a 15% off code if any of you, my fabulous followers would like to try Smile Brilliant for yourself! Use code: suburbanstylefiles15

 

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

Professional Teeth Whitening

Dressy Floral Jogger Pants!

I have always been first and foremost a dress lover! Lately though, I have been loving all of the cute dressy joggers and paper bag pants that I am seeing everywhere.  I was immediately drawn to these floral print ones.  They are the softest material and so easy to wear.  Two of my coworkers actually went out and bought them the evening I wore them to work! I find that to be the biggest complement 🙂 The reason I started my blog was because I wanted to share things that I love and amazing deals that I find.  These prints pants are definitely fall into that category!

Floral Tie-Waist Pants

Cutest Office Outfit

Floral Joggers

White Sleeveless Blouse & Floral Pants

The Best Floral Joggers/ Pants

Sleeveless Blouse // Floral Tie Waist Pants // Light Pink Suede Heels 

They are the perfect pant for both Summer and Fall.  I plan to wear them in cooler temperatures with a cute slide or ankle boot paired with a sweater or blazer. I am seriously obsessed with these pants.  The best part is, they are under $50.00!  I found them so flattering that I also picked up a few other styles and prints which I will link below:

Blue High-Rise Pant // Mauve High Rise Jogger // Striped Olive Jogger // Red Cigarette Pant

 

What do you think? Are you loving this dressy jogger trend?

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

Best Friends Style Series: Amanda!

This is the third segment of my Best Friends Style Series.  My first post was about my gorgeous best friend Amber, which you can read HERE if you missed it.  A couple weeks ago, I wrote about my beautiful best friend Christine.  You can read about here style HERE.

Today I am featuring my amazing bestie Amanda.  Amanda is so naturally stunning, she could throw a belt on overtop of a garbage bag and we would all be running out to buy one!  Seriously, look at those cheekbones.  Not only is she beautiful, but she is one of the nicest and most hilarious people you will ever meet.  So even if you wanted to dislike her, because it seems so unfair for one person to be so perfect… you just can’t!  She is actually super modest and doesn’t even realize how lovely she always looks.  Her sense of style is understated and effortless!

Amanda’s Style Staples:

Pretty, printed pants

Flowy tops, nothing skin tight

Delicate, classic accessories

Well fitted clothes for her small frame

Gladiators, low wedges, sneakers

Best Friend Style Series

Floral Pants & Gladiator Sandals

Cutest Floral Joggers

Amanda’s Favourite Stores:

Dynamite

Macy’s

Banana Republic

Old Navy

Gap

Black Lace Shirt

My Bff

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Amanda is our natural beauty with no-fuss, effortless and simple style!  I like to refer to her style as “Everyday Envy” (she likes to refer to it as “Mom Style”…LOL!)  She never wears anything that is too loud or gets wrapped up in fleeting trends.  Her style is more classic with clean lines, a touch of fun and delicate details.  She is always perfectly dressed for every occasion.

I have rounded up a bunch of Amanda-style pieces below if you love her look and are wanting some inspiration:

 

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One. Druzy Drop Earrings // Two. Dress with Lace Back // Three. Suspended-Neck Swing Top // Four. Top With Lace Yoke // Five. Dark Blue Floral Shorts // Six. Suede Zip Crossbody Bag // Seven. Alpha Layered Necklace // Eight. Tie-Waist Floral Pants // Nine. Stripe Knot Strap Jumpsuit // Ten. Fit & Flare Cami Dress // Eleven. Botanical Dress with Ties // Twelve. Black Floral Shorts // Thirteen. Native Open Sided Flats // Fourteen. Braided T-Strap Sandals // Fifteen. Multicolour Ribbed Knit Tank // Sixteen. Eyelet Ruffle T-Shirt // Seventeen. Stripe Asymmetrical Peplum Tank // Eighteen. Jersey Top with Lace// Nineteen. Chuck Taylor Low Top

 

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

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One year….

I cannot believe it, but my little blog turns ONE today!  This past year has flown by… It feels like just yesterday I was swallowing all of my nerves and pushing the “Publish” button for my very first Suburban Style Files post!!

Rose Gold Mylar Balloon

I have always loved reading blogs and when a girlfriend suggested I start my own, I just shrugged it off with a “who would want to read what I have to say?! There are already so many blogs.”  Then I got to thinking, why not? I had become so wrapped up in my world of being a wife and mama and caught up with work that it didn’t even occur to me that it could be something fun to do just for myself.  Well, I am so glad I have because it has become such a great creative outlet for me.  I have always been obsessed with fashion, travel, photography, food etc.  This blog has been such an awesome way for me to share all of this with anyone who wants to read along.

Blush Pink Dress

Pink Linen Dress

Ruffle Sleeved Dress

I love the friendships I have found in this little online community.  I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has supported me from the beginning and to the others of you who have joined in along the way 🙂  I am super appreciative to my husband for letting me drag him along to photograph whatever vision or idea I have come up with… or letting me ditch him and our kids for a trip to the wineries with my girlfriends… “Honey, it’s for the blog”…. LOL! And also to my sweet friends (and sometimes even my mama!) who have stepped in to be photographers/ models for me as well whenever I have needed you!  This blogging thing is WAY more work and time-consuming than I ever imagined it could be, but it is also incredibly rewarding.  If you are someone who has ever considered starting a blog, but keep talking yourself out of it, I say take the plunge and go for it! The more, the merrier!! Everyone is unique and has their own story to tell 🙂  I am so grateful for all of the support and love I have received.  So from the bottom of my heart on my blog’s 1st birthday, a giant THANK YOU to all of you!

Studded Heels

One Year blogging

Pink Ruffle Strapped Dress

Also… if you have never tried to take a picture with a giant mylar balloon on a day with any sort of breeze… it is WAY harder than it looks… LOL!

Pink Ruffled Dress

Pink Ruffle Trim Dress // Studded Heels // Tassel Earrings // “1” Mylar Balloon

 

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

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Canada Day Outfit Ideas!

Red & White Striped dress
Celebrating Canada last year in Fort Langley, B.C.

Canada’s birthday is less than two weeks away!  We will be on the island camping for the long weekend, so unfortunately in my case, the cute party dresses are going to have to stay behind! I am so grateful to be Canadian and absolutely adore this beautiful country that we are blessed to live in.  I cannot wait to celebrate with my sweet little family and our friends next weekend 🙂

I have rounded up some fun red & white pieces if you are looking for a little inspiration. I hope that you are all having a wonderful week so far 🙂

 

Canada Day outfits

One. Bow Espadrille Sandals // Two. Denim Shorts // Three. Camisole Top with Flounces // Four. Tie Front Linen Top // Five. Polka Dot Top // Six. Checkered Bandeau Bathing Suit // Seven. Twist Front Fit & Flare Dress // Eight. Ruffle Trim Midi Dress // Nine. Wrapover Jumpsuit // Ten. Striped Sleeveless Romper // Eleven. Lace-Up Sweatshirt // Twelve. Tie V-Neck Bodysuit // Thirteen. Striped Tie-Waist Shorts // Fourteen. Ruffle Sleeve Bodysuit // Fifteen. Flower Post Tassel Earrings // Sixteen. Bandeau Scarf

 

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

Best Friends Style Series: Christine!

I started a new series on my blog a couple weeks ago called ‘My Best Friends Style Series’. If you missed reading about my gorgeous bestie Amber you can do so here.

My best friend Christine is literally one of the most hilarious people I have ever met! People naturally gravitate towards her.  It is actually super annoying as I am constantly trying to defend my title as her bff… there is always someone who wants to take my place… LOL! Her sense of style completely matches her personality… classy and FUN!  Her wardrobe is a mix of classic and trendy pieces and she is always dressed completely on point for whatever the occassion.

Christine’s Style Staples:

Great Denim

Lots of stripes

Dresses that can transition from day to-night

Accessories: Fun Sunglasses, Delicate Jewelry

Trendy Tops: off the shoulder, tie sleeves, cold shoulder

off the shoulder striped blouse

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Christine’s Favourite Stores:

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Christine is our boss babe. She works in human resources by day, so her classy and professional style always carries over to her outside of work looks.  She is seriously the life of the party.  So a huge component of her personal style is work wear that can transition from the office to going out for dinner with a group of friends afterwards, with a quick shoe or accessory change.

I have rounded up a bunch of Christine-style pieces below if you love her look and are wanting some inspiration:

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One. Off-the-Shoulder Gingham Romper // Two. Bow Neck Floral Dress // Three. Tie Sleeve Blue Striped Dress // Four. Slide Sandals // Five. Denim Miniskirt // Six. Ruffle Sleeve Striped Top // Seven. Scalloped Block Heel // Eight. Asymmetrical Peplum Tank // Nine. Distressed Jeans // Ten. Moonstone Trillium Studs // Eleven. Stripe Tie Front Jumpsuit // Twelve. Floral Lavender Dress // Thirteen. Round Metal Sunglasses // Fourteen. Hexagonal Sunglasses // Fifteen. Seersucker Tie Waist Top // Sixteen. Shorts with Tie Belt // Seventeen. Two-Tone Cat Eye Sunglasses // Eighteen. Floppy Straw Hat

 

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

 

Best Friends Style Series: Amber!

I started this blog because I wanted to be able to share what I love.  One of the things I hold nearest and dearest to my heart is my girlfriends! I am blessed to have a phenomenal group of women in my life.  They each have an amazing and very defined sense of style.  I thought it would be fun to start a new blog series featuring each of my girlfriends and their particular sense of fashion.  Talk about where they each love to shop, trends they like and share looks they are loving for Spring and Summer.  I pride myself on being completely authentic and hopefully very relatable to the every girl (like myself!)  I try to keep the clothing and items I link very reasonably priced… things that are actually affordable.  I figured what is more genuine then sharing my real friends and their everyday style.  I’m starting off this series with my gorgeous best friend Amber.  She is one of the absolute gems in my life.  She is as kind as she is beautiful and without a doubt, absolutely fabulous!

Amber’s Style Staples:

  • Coloured/ textured skinny pants & jeans
  • Fitted pencil skirts
  • Heels. Always
  • Blousy, flowy tanks & tops
  • Colours, patterns but absolutely no floral (trust me, I have tried!)
  • Accessories: Fabulous hats, earrings, rings the works.  This girl is always accessorized!

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Amber’s Favourite Stores:

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Amber is our colour queen. She is not afraid to dress brightly or stand out.  She knows what works for her and rarely strays from her trademark style.  I have rounded up a bunch of Amber-style pieces below if you love her look and need some inspiration!

 

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One. Short Sleeve Blouse // Two. Belted Drapy Trench // Three. Long Blazer // Four. Drop Stone Earrings // Five. Leopard Block Heel Sandal // Six. Striped Fitted Shorts // Seven. Straw Hat // Eight. Pencil Skirt // Flounce Sleeved Blouse // Nine. Ruffle Trim Pencil Dress // Ten. Boatneck Dress // Eleven. Twelve. Gold Openwork Drop Earrings // Thirteen. Blue Skinny Jeans // Fourteen. Open-Shoulder Blouse // Fifteen. Swing Tank // Sixteen. Knot Front Bodycon Ankle Dress // Seventeen. Platform Wedge // Eighteen. Tie Waist Trousers

 

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

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Protecting my skin with Neutrogena

I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend! The weather here was absolutely beautiful and we pretty much spent the entire time outside 🙂 The kids had a blast having a giant water fight with their friends in our neighbourhood and we spent the rest of the time playing at the beach! It was the perfect opportunity to put the new Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen with SPF 50 I was given by Neutrogena Canada to the test.

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Sun protection has always been on my radar, but recently I underwent fraxel laser treatment on my face for fine lines, wrinkles, scarring and the removal of sun spots.  Protecting my skin has become a huge priority! I was naive in not realizing that even on overcast days I should be diligent in applying my sunscreen, not just the super sunny ones.

Neutrogena at the beach

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I absolutely love this Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen with SPF 50! I found it to be lovely and lightweight, yet completely hydrating, without leaving my skin feeling greasy underneath my everyday makeup. The coverage was excellent and I cannot say enough good things about it.  If you are looking for superior sun protection, I would highly encourage you to give this product a try 🙂 I am grateful I had the opportunity to try this new Neutrogena Sunscreen as it will definitely be my go to for incredible broad spectrum UVA/ UVB protection!

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I hope you all got a chance to get out there and safely soak up some sunshine!!

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

* This was a sponsored post by Neutrogena Canada, but as always all opinions are my own!

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My Experience with Laser Eye Surgery

Office fashion
Twenty five years of glasses!

I have been wanting laser eye surgery for what seems like forever.  For the last twenty-five years I have been wearing glasses and contact lenses.  After almost losing my contacts in the ocean during our last trip to Maui, I decided perhaps I could muster up the courage to finally have it done! My husband had a handful of coworkers who had all had the procedure done and were super happy with their results.  I booked a complimentary consult at the London Eye Centre in New Westminster, B.C.  This is where his friends had all had their surgeries performed. I don’t know about you, but I always feel more comfortable choosing a place to go based on referrals from people who I know. At my consult they explained the procedure to me and determined that I would be a candidate.  I appreciated that there was absolutely no pressure to book after my consult.

I took all of the information home and decided that I would go for the no touch PRK surgery.  “PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a method of refractive laser surgery to correct myopia(nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism to eliminate dependency on glasses or contact lenses.” (Explanation courtesy of the London Eye Centre website.)  To be honest, the though of anything actually cutting or touching my eye was too much for me to stomach, so I knew this no touch method would be the one for me, even though they explained the recovery would take a few more days.  Being as I already have light-sensitive eyes, I decided to wait until the Fall when the days were a bit darker to have my surgery done, as it was explained to me that I would have increased light sensitivity while my eyes healed.  For three days before the procedure I was not allowed to wear my contacts… thankfully I have been collecting cute glasses over the years… LOL!

Tortise shell glassess
Am I the only one who sometimes planned my outfits around my frames?!
Black jeans, black tank, turquoise glasses
These turquoise frames were a favourite!

The morning of my surgery I was super nervous… it is my eyes after all! It didn’t really matter how many people told me what an easy procedure it was and that I had nothing to worry about, I was a basket of nerves!  It was also ended up being one of the sunniest day in November of course…

Morning of my laser eye surgery
Arriving at the appointment for my laser eye surgery!

My entire appointment was just over an hour.  Once I was taken into the operatory, my eyes were numbed with eye drops.  A tiny ring was placed around my eye and they explained not to force my eyes closed or the machine would shut itself off.  The procedure itself was honestly less than two minutes each eye.  It actually felt very quick and was not nearly as scary as I had built it up in my mind.  I felt nothing and just stared at a flashing light and listened to a clapping sound.  After the surgery, a bandage contact lens was placed on my eye.  This was actually the most irritating part for me personally, as the opening of my eyes are tiny.  They then gave me a super stylish pair of wrap around sunglasses (haha!) and sent me on my way!

My parents were kind enough to take my babies for a sleepover that first night so that I could just come home to rest and let my husband take care of me for a couple of days.  When they initially offered, I was trying to be super mom and kept arguing that I would be ok to look after them. I am SO GLAD I took them up on their offer! I am not going to lie, the first two days of recovery were not fun. I had been sent home with numbing drops for my eyes and a prescription for pain medication.  I like to think my pain tolerance is pretty decent (I have had babies after all!) but I definitely needed both of these for the first few days.  I basically slept the first 24 hours away.  I stayed in a dark room as my eyes were crazy light-sensitive, woke up to use my antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops and then went back to sleep as it hurt too much to have my eyes open.  I also felt like the front of my forehead was going to split open from pain… but thankfully that only lasted the first day!  The next day I was able to get out of bed to move around my dimly lit house and I was amazed that I could already see!

I had to go for a 24 hour, 3 day and 5 day surgery post op. After my 5 day post op I was cleared to drive and returned to work.  I hadn’t realized that after this procedure your eyes actually overcorrect initially. I was unable to read my computer screen clearly and had to buy myself a pair of “cheater” glasses.  This is opposite to what my vision used to be.  I was always nearsighted and it was objects in the distance I had a problem seeing clearly.  I wore the cheaters at work for a couple of weeks post surgery and haven’t needed them since.

It has now almost been five months since my laser eye surgery and I am amazed how perfectly I can see!  It still feels funny climbing into bed at night without taking my contacts out first. We are heading back to Maui in a week and I cannot wait to go swimming in the ocean and actually put my face under the water and see!!!

Lastly, this is not a sponsored post in any way. I simply wanted to share my experience for anyone who has been considering having laser eye surgery performed.  I am so thrilled that I decided to have my vision corrected and now I only wish I hadn’t waited so long 🙂 Please feel free to directly message me or comment below if you have any questions regarding this procedure. It is honestly one of the best things I have ever done for myself!

 

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

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