Tips to ease your fear of the dentist

Posted by Carole

Can you feel your jaws tightening when you hear the word “dentist”? Like most people the thought of visiting your dentist is making you nervous to a point you only go when it’s absolutely necessary – read when it bloody hurts and you have no choice but to go!

That’s what happened to me recently as I kept saying to myself that strange feeling I had in my tooth was nothing more that gum sensitivity and would go away on its own. Of course it didn’t and I ended up needing a root canal treatment, which got me to endure three long sessions with my dentist to date and dread the next two appointments that the helpful assistant has scheduled in for me.

The funny thing is that I had never been that afraid of the dentist and had always been quite good at getting regular check-ups and – I admit it – I didn’t understand people who were too scared to even book an appointment but I now realize it is because I’d never had any invasive work done to my teeth and I now fully sympathize with those terrified by the idea of setting a foot in a dental surgery.

And even though my dentist is very competent and doing her best to treat my tooth as painlessly as possible, I shiver every time I sit on the dental chair and could even cry a little if I wasn’t afraid to be judged… so today I wanted to go through a few tips that I tried to ease my fear of the dentist and the pain associated with the treatment, that might be useful for you too!

1. Take a painkiller just before your dentist appointment as it will diminish the pain you will feel during and right after the treatment HOWEVER do not take aspirin or any medicines containing aspirin as it will prevent clotting in case of bleeding. It might seem like an obvious thing to do but I never thought about it until one day, I saw my dad swallow paracetamol tablets prior to his dentist appointment and asked him if he was in pain. He matter-of-factly answered to me that he wasn’t yet but that he would certainly be later on so this was prevention. I thought it was smart and now never fail to take a painkiller before a dental appointment.

2. If your dentist doesn’t offer, don’t be afraid to ask for numbing gel or even bring your own and apply it, with clean fingers, to your gums before the treatment starts. Numbing gel can be bought in any pharmacy where it’s generally sold to appease gum irritations or small wounds in the mouth. My dentist seems to think I don’t need numbing before she injects my gum with anaesthetic, I truly disagree and always bring numbing gel with me.

3. Natural plant-based relaxing remedies such as infusions, drops or pastilles can help you relax your mind and body and endure your dental treatment with more serenity. The more relaxed you are, the less traumatizing the experience will be, plus relaxed jaws will help prevent muscle tensions and aches post-treatment. Rescue Remedy from Bach Flower is a great option as it offers a wide range of products including spray, drops, pastilles that are relatively efficient and easy to carry and ingest, wherever you are.

4. Listen to music before your appointment, especially in the waiting room. Be discreet and make sure to keep the volume down not to disturb other patients but this will help you to keep your mind focused on something else than dental surgery noises (thinking about that horrible drilling sound…). You can also ask your dentist if you can keep one earphone in during the treatment so you can still hear his/her instructions while being distracted and relaxed by your favourite music. I’ve only tried music so far but I’ve heard of many people listening to funny podcasts or audio books and it seems to work wonder!

5. Close your eyes or wear dark sunglasses during your treatment so you won’t have to see everything that is going on. I personally like to close my eyes as I know that I’m more likely to anticipate the pain of a needle when I see one. Sometimes ignorance is bliss! On the other hand, some people find re-assuring to see and be aware of everything that is happening and if it’s your case, you should ask your dentist to tell you what he/she is doing step-by-step.

6. Before the treatment starts, it’s important to ask your dentist to explain to you what he/she is going to do and roughly how long it will take. You don’t need to know about the gritty – and gory – details but understanding why you’re going through that ordeal will help you to consider the benefits and cope with the stress and pain better.

One last yet very obvious tip is to get checked-up regularly but also to consult your dentist as soon as you feel pain in your teeth/gums or even some kind of sensitivity. The earlier you go, the less invasive the treatment will be. A filling is much quicker and painless than a root canal or, worse, a tooth extraction and I wish I had addressed the issue I had with my tooth a lot earlier than I did as my problem would have been resolved in one appointment by a simple filling.

I hope these few tips will help a little if you’re planning a visit to the dentist soon, there is no miracle solution but every little help is welcome when it comes to anything dentist related. Stay strong!

Thank you for reading! Like and leave a comment below if you enjoyed this article, although I know no one enjoys reading about drilling and dentist pain 😉

Leaving London… ?!

Posted by Corine.

It is so hard to leave something or someone you love behind even when you know it is for the best… isn’t it? Well this is exactly how I feel about leaving London! I love this city  to bits and I am so proud that it has been my home for almost 10 years, plus there are many people here that I love just as much and who make this place even more special… but I have come to a stage in my life where I am trying to listen to that little voice in my head that is begging for less stress and a life closer to nature. London is such a fantastic place to live, especially in your twenties, but there comes a time where the rat race gets a bit too much as, let’s be honest, this city likes to throw many obstacles at you and everyone here is as driven and ambitious as you are so it sometimes feels like a constant fight to come out on top! Also you can’t really buy, you can’t really have a car, you can’t really have kids, you can’t really have a pet, you can’t really this, you can’t really that… so why just not move out to a smaller town or go crazy and settle down in the beautiful British countryside?! Well, it is not that easy but I think that I am getting there and I have come up with a few tips to make the right decision…

  • I am talking about my plans to as many people as possible! Some friends and colleagues actually have had similar thoughts and they have done their own research so why not take advantage of that!?
  • It is also important to talk to family, friends or acquaintances who have already taken the plunge. These people survived leaving the city so why not ask them how they are coping with their new life? It helps me get a better picture of how life is going to be like and have real expectations.
  • My husband and I now have a shorlist of some possible cities so the next step for us is to book ourselves train/plane tickets and spend some time in those places. It goes without saying but visiting and spending some time in your potential future city is a must! I know Google Earth is cool and all that but there is nothing like seeing a new place with your own eyes!
  • Also I believe it is primordial to research the job opportunities. Sadly it all comes down to surviving and making a living so I don’t want to fool myself by thinking that I will have as many job opportunities as I do in London so research is key here to avoid bad surprises…
  • In light of the above we made sure to save some money before even considering mooving! Having savings to live on for a little while will definitely make the transition into our new life easier and lower the stress levels!
  • Not rushing! I have accepted that it is a long process and that it is OK to come back on some of my initial decisions. I have drafted my list of pros and cons a while ago and I come back to it now and then… and it is really interesting to see how my views have changed over time!

Following my own advice, the hubby, our doggy and I will be visiting Chester, a lovely city in Cheshire, at the weekend and I will let you know all about it next week… Everyone keep your fingers crossed that we will like it!

Thank you for reading! Like the post and leave a comment if you feel like it ; )


My Invisalign Journey (6 months on)

Posted by Corine. 

After undergoing orthodontic treatment by wearing dreadful clear braces for over a year as a teenager, my upper front teeth started moving again during my twenties which was, let me tell you, a real bother and disappointment! I was given a retainer to wear every other night to make sure my teeth would remain aligned but the technology behind it was terrible and it was just too uncomfortable and painful to wear so I very quickly gave up on it…  and I , of course, ended up with twisted front teeth by the time I was 25! It took me another couple of years to decide to seek orthodontic treatment (once again!) and I decided to go ahead with it when I realised how much the technology had progressed the past 10 years or so and, to my relief, braces were not the only option on the market anymore!

Invisalign is a type of orthodontic treatment that helps to straighten teeth by wearing a series of custom-made clear plastic aligners that move your teeth through a series of carefully controlled movements. The aligners are replaced every two weeks. It was a perfect fit for me and the biggest selling point was that the the aligners could be removed at anytime giving me the possibility to enjoy a romantic evening or an important business meeting without an (embarrassing) orthodontic appliance! I am now half way through my treatment (6 months done and another 6 months to go) and I feel that I can give you an honest opinion on Invisalign!

Is it expensive?  The technology behind Invisalign is impressive so it is pricey! Depending on where you get your treatment, you are looking at £2,500 to £5,000 for the most complex cases. I was charged ££3,000 for the Invisalign Lite that also included a second round of treatment if the result  was not entirely satisfactory after the first six months (which is usually the case so I am glad that I went for this option!).

How long does it take? If you want to obtain satisfying results, you need to be strong-willed! Your orthodontist will advise you to wear your retainer trays for at least 22 hours a day. I personally wear mine between 18 to 20 hours a day (sometimes less!) and I have not been behind schedule so far. Having said that I have not spent one night without my retainer since I started my treatment as missing on a full night of treatment would really put me behind schedule. It is great to be able to take it out and have a little break but do not overdo it or your treatment will suffer and take way longer than expected! 

Is it really invisible? Honestly, it is pretty much invisible! Only a few people have noticed my retainers since the start of my treatment. Plus most of the time they will simply notice that your teeth are a bit too shiny but they won’t figure out that you are actually undergoing orthodontic treatment!

Is it painful? I consider myself really lucky as my treatment has been pain free for the most part… of course everyone is different and some of you may strongly disagree! You do feel quite a lot of pressure when you put on a fresh aligner tray and some are worse than others and can cause pain when being removed (it feels like your teeth are being pulled out!) and some trays also cause headaches but the pain is manageable with painkillers if need be.

Is it comfortable? The first few hours are tough and you feel like you have a big piece of plastic in your mouth which is not pleasant at all! I kind of freaked out a bit at first and I remember wondering how on earth would I manage to keep the tray in my mouth for more than 10 minutes?! It takes a few days to get used to and you will probably get a sore tongue and sore gums at first but you will quickly adjust to it. Six months on and I actually feel ‘naked’ and not quite right when I am not wearing my aligner tray… who would have thought!

Is that it? Well, not quite… Some additional procedures may be required to perfect your treatment. I personally had to have attachments (or buttons) fixed on four of my side teeth which are made of tooth-colored filling material. They help the aligner trays grip individual teeth, which helps move them to their correct position. They are, of course, removed once the treatment is completed. My orthodontist also had to slenderise some of my teeth by taking off a tenth of a millimetre out of them. It sounds scary but the result is not visible to the naked eye and the procedure is pain free but, let’s be honest, a bit uncomfortable as it feels like someone is drilling a hole in your head! Having had a tooth removed during my first orthodontic treatment (that left me traumatised!), I was more than happy for him to shave my teeth and not have to go through the ordeal of tooth extraction once again!


What about hygiene? Let’s be honest here… having a piece of plastic inside your mouth for a long period of time is a bit yucky and your aligner tray stinks when you take it out after a long night sleep… it is gross and don’t even think about putting it back into your mouth before giving it a good wash! Warm soapy water and your toothbrush may not be enough so make sure to invest in some effervescent cleaning tablets – the best ones are the Retainer Brite Cleaning Tablets – your orthodontist should provide you with a box at the beginning of your treatment. If not or if you simply need a refill, they are available on Amazon for around £12 for a box of 96 tablets. I use one tablet every morning.

Drinking and eating? Water is the only thing you can put in your mouth while wearing your aligner tray… anything else will stain it and, trust me, keeping you tray clean and stain free will become an obsession! As you are supposed to brush your teeth after every meal, Invisalign will be your best friend if you are planning on shedding a few pounds.  Snacking between meal is not worth the hassle of removing your retainer, cleaning it, brushing your teeth, etc… this will help you diet greatly!

Is it worth it? As far as I am concerned it is a Big Bold Yes! My treatment is not finished yet but I am already loving my new smile and I feel much more confident with myself. So if you are not happy with your smile and you are serious about fixing it (and you are also willing to use a good chunk of your savings for it!), it is good to know that there are some discreet options out there. Invisalign has been great for me and so much more comfortable (physically and mentally) than my previous experience with braces.

Please give this post a thumbs-up if you found it helpful and leave a comment below if you have any questions or comments. xx
For more information, please visit the Invisalign website

Twins Q&A!

Our birthday month is fast approaching so why not do a fun twins Q&A?! As identical twins we get asked many questions since a very young age and let’s say some of them are funny and sweet and some others are plain weird and, quite frankly, a bit silly! So if you are a twin yourself, you are expecting some little twinnies (congratulations!) or if you are just curious… keep on reading!

Who is the oldest/who came out first? This is the number one question!  The answer is one of us was born at 00:10 and the other at 00:20. No C-section, all natural… sorry Mum!

Do twins run in your family? Yes they do! We have a few set of twins on the maternal side of the family (both boy/girl and girl/girl). So I guess we have a good chance to have twins ourselves!

Can you read each other’s minds? Nope, sadly being born a twin does not give you superpowers (too bad as it would have been pretty handy during our school years!). Growing up so close to someone from day one and living the same experiences at similar moments in life makes you think and react pretty much the same way… that’s all it is! We know what the other one thinks just by staring at each other!

Have you ever swapped boyfriends? Ew… of course not, what kind of a sick question is that?! Many people ask but it is just not our thing! And we were not kind to the boys who wanted to date both of us or any of us for that matter!

Do you feel each other’s pain? No, thanks god for that! Having said that there was that one time when one of us had a (minor) car accident and the other one who was at home at the time could feel that her twin was in distress and needed rescuing even before she called for help! It was probably just a coincidence but the feeling was really strong and we are still amazed when we think about it!

Do you know who you are when you look at yourselves in the mirror? You probably think who the hell asked such a stupid question right?! Well our German teacher in High School asked us exactly that… and she was dead serious about it… we kind of lost faith in her teaching abilities after that!

Do twins have a special bond? Yes definitely! Nothing mystical or related to some strange superpowers but knowing someone else so well since birth creates a deep bond that is much stronger than brotherhood/sisterhood and most friendship. We do consider ourselves very lucky to experience it!

Who is the good twin and who is the evil twin? Ok, the person who asked that question definitely watches too much crapy TV series… or should we blame bad horror movies?! Anyway the answer is that we are, of course, both lovely girls!

What is it like to grow up with a twin? Having a twin is a lot of fun during childhood, you basically have your confident and playing buddy with you at all times! Growing up you always have someone to rely on and it made us more mature and daring to travel on our own and try new experiences and that also made our parents more trusting to let us do our own things. We can honestly say that you feel like you can conquer the world with your twin by your side!

Would you like to have twins yourselves? Hell no, it is way too much work!

What is the best part about having a twin? There are many… but the best one is probably the crazy giggling… if something is very funny to one of us, it will be very funny to the other and all it takes is one glance before we start giggling about it… and there is no stopping us!

Please like this post if you enjoyed reading about us twinnies and leave a comment if you have any questions in mind… even a silly one (we don’t mind really)! X



A trailing spouse story…

Posted by Carole

Have you ever made a life changing decision meaning you had to start all over again and change your habits from A to Z? That’s what happened to me when I decided to leave my flat, my job and my sweet Parisian routine to follow my boyfriend in Switzerland, where he got a job.

It was very sudden and all went so fast I have to admit I didn’t think too much about it. I just followed my heart and six months in I truly don’t regret my decision… despite the ups and downs! Because yes, let’s face it, it’s not all pinky and easy to follow a partner abroad and become what some refer to as a “trailing spouse”. Many obstacles await on the road to settling down and despite being one very thrilling and exciting adventure, it’s also a time of great challenges, doubts and uncertainty… as I’m learning every day since I started my new life in Switzerland.

So today I wanted to share a few thoughts and tips on this unsettling yet very rewarding experience in the hope that it might help some other trailing spouses out there!


  1. Own your life and stay confident

If you’ve made the decision to leave it all behind and start afresh, there is a good reason for it! Whether it’s to follow a loved-one, because you needed a change or both, your decision was justified by what you felt was best for you so never feel like you have to justify yourself or apologize to those around you, who might be questioning your choices.

I mean it’s normal that your family or friends worry about you, especially if your big change will leave you unemployed for a while and that is exactly what happened to me. I remember my mother being pretty upset about my decision at first but after I took the time to explain to her why I made this decision, she instantly understood and became incredibly supportive.

No one better than you knows what makes you happy so stand your ground and face raised-eyebrows with confidence but do take the time to explain your projects to your loved ones, those who truly care about you will understand and accept your decision. And simply ignore those who don’t!

  1. Stay positive and persevere

Starting afresh means there is lots of challenges you will have to face and one of those might be looking for a job! I always found that finding a new position was a relatively easy task in London, probably because I work in advertising and the market is flourishing there but things are different in Switzerland for multiple reasons I won’t bore you with, but let’s say I was told to expect an eight months hunting period to get a job! Believe me it was a shock and one that first left me distraught but then I digested the news and admitted that I had to deal with things the way they were and instead of pulling my hear and worrying sick, I decided to keep a clear mind and persevere.

Easier said than done but here are a few tips that help:

  • Don’t spend your entire day job hunting! If you’ve spent a few hours looking for offers and are not making any progress anymore, leave it there for the day as there is no point desperately scrolling through job boards apart from making you distressed and miserable (been there, done that!) If you’re registered to key job boards and recruitment agencies, you will be aware when a potential match comes through so relax and use the free time you have to do something you love or, this brings me to my next point, learn something new.
  • Being off work means you have time to learn new things and this can be a huge advantage for your career. For instance, throughout my researches I’ve noticed most employers are requiring knowledge of online monitoring and analytic tools so I decided to take advantage of the free time I have on my hands to broaden my skills and take the Google Analytics course and exam. It keeps me busy, in the game, it’s a great investment in my career and most importantly it gives me a sense of achievement, which is crucially needed when one is unemployed!
  • Don’t doubt or question yourself too much when you receive a negative answer from HR departments or are being ignored altogether. While making sure you apply to the right positions and your CV is flawless, there are many reasons why your candidature could have been rejected and it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem with you or your experience. Plus, there is not much you can do about a company’s decision not to hire you so just move on and persevere.
  • Mobilise your professional network as they might introduce you to potential employers. Also keep in touch with former bosses, colleagues and clients. Most employers will request references and recommendations at some point and it will be a lot easier to ask someone you’re still talking to than asking for the favour out of the blue!
  1. Embrace the opportunity

Embrace the free time you have to do things that you felt you didn’t have enough time for when you were working including learning or trying out new things but also indulgent activities such as reading, going for a walk or simply sunbathing.

Also use this free time and mind space to acknowledge this special moment in your life as a turning point giving you the opportunity to think about what makes you really happy and adjust your life accordingly. Not many people have the time or mental availability to do it so embrace it as a once-in-a-lifetime gift!

  1. Stick to a daily-routine

Moving to a city where you don’t know anyone can be a bit lonely especially if you don’t have a job to keep you socially active during the day so until you’ve found a new position and make new friends, try to stick to a healthy daily routine to keep your mind and body active and prevent you from slipping into a vegetative mode!

  • Of course you should enjoy sleeping a bit later in the morning as (I think) it’s one of the main benefit of not working, however it’s important not to spend half your day in bed! So set up your alarm clock to a reasonable time so you have enough pre-lunch hours to enjoy!
  • Echoing what I said earlier, I feel it’s important to define a schedule for your day otherwise you can easily get absorbed in counter-productive activities such as endless job hunting that will consume your day without any results. I usually focus on job searches in the morning when I’m fresh and the most positive and keep the afternoon for yoga, blogging, walks and any other activities a bit more fun. That way I feel like I work part-time and have accomplished my daily task by 1pm, which helps me enjoy my afternoon even more!
  • Try to leave job hunting or other learning activities behind when the evening comes so you can take a break from it all and most importantly enjoy some quality time with your partner without rehashing the same doubts or complaints and risk spoiling the moment you have. Also keep in mind that, just like you, your partner is going through a changing phase and is probably as stressed up as you are by his/her new life and responsibilities at work so go easy on him/her!
  1. Enjoy the small things

Don’t forget to enjoy the benefits, how small they seem, that come with your new situation. There are a lot more than you may realize…

Take the time to sit down and reflect on things, sleep longer in the morning, try that crazy recipe you’ve seen on TV, indulge in a daily yoga session, meditate in the middle of the afternoon, take a nap in the park, go swimming when the public pool is empty etc…

The list is long so relax and enjoy the freedom while it lasts!

Thank you for reading! Like and leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and would like to share your experience with us!

A fun night out in London!

Posted by Corine

We are so spoiled for choice with cool and quirky bars and restaurants in London that it sometimes is a bit overwhelming to plan a night out that suits everyone’s tastes and we  end-up staying at home with a Deliveroo followed by a few drinks in our local pub… Although there is nothing wrong with that, challenging yourself to try new places and break the routine is always a good thing. So if you are looking for a night filled with good food, fun and a relaxed atmosphere all in one place, keep on reading!

Just off the hustle and bustle of Regent Street in London, and a few minutes’ walk from Piccadilly Circus, Heddon Street is a small U shaped alley which offers a great choice of restaurants and bars. I recently spent a night out there and loved every minute of it!

tibits 2
The night started with an early dinner at Tibits, a vegetarian and vegan restaurant concept from Switzerland. Even if you are a meat eater you will enjoy some very tasty, colourful and satisfying food there. It is served buffet-style on what resembles a boat displaying salads, mains, sides and deserts. The food is charged by weight at the till and I think you get two bread rolls for free. The choice of dishes is huge and it is very tempting to add a little bit of everything onto your plate, plus it is a real feast for the eyes!  The cost of your meal will of course depend on the quantity of food you eat which seems pretty fair in a way! A full plate of different salads and mains accompanied by a large glass of red wine was around £18… adding a small plate of desserts and another (large!) glass of red, I ended up with a bill of £30-ish which is not cheap for a buffet meal but the food is really great and of good quality.  Will I be back? Yes definitely as I really enjoyed the modern feel and concept of Tibits which is the perfect place for a relaxed catch-up with friends or a date! The food is quite heavily seasoned though, which makes it lovely taste wise, but I ended up with a bit of an upset tummy that night… something you should keep in mind if you have a sensitive stomach like mine and can’t handle your onions and spices! Check their website for menus and recipes.

We then headed out for a ‘chilled’ drink at the IceBar next door. Well the name speaks for itself so I do not need to explain the concept here! It is a very cool experience and great fun to do with a bunch of friends as I remember having to wait 15-20 minutes for our slot to get inside so it was good to have a laugh and a chat while waiting. The staff will provide you with a thermal cloak and gloves and you will be extremely grateful for it as it is cold in there… it basically feels like hanging out in a giant deep freezer for a drink or two! The walls, bar, glasses and furniture are all made of ice and are beautifully sculpted. Overall I really enjoyed the experience and I would definitely do it again as it is a bit of a laugh when everyone loses sensation in their hands and feet and the only remedy left is to have as much drinks as possible to keep warm! So make sure to dress for the occasion by wearing warm clothes and shoes. The only downside is the price of the drinks on top of your entrance ticket (£16.50 per head) but again you kind of need the drinks to keep warm so there is no way out!


We ended the night in the best way possible by warming up our frozen bodies just a few meters away at MoCafe. The atmosphere is truly amazing at night and we ended up dancing to the rhythm of Maghrebi music (probably still buzzing from all the shots we had at the IceBar…). Make sure to relax and soak in the exotic atmosphere with a mint tea, some sweet baklavas and a shisha. And if you love the items displayed on the walls and the hanging lamps in the café,  they are all for sale!

ziggy-stardust-heddon-street-1Plus if any of your mates are fans of David Bowie (who isn’t?!) it will be pretty cool for them to take a picture in the Ziggy Stardust Street… Well the K. West sign is long gone and Heddon Street looks really different from the artwork these days but there is a plaque just outside the MoCafe stating “This marks the location of the cover photograph for the iconic David Bowie album ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ – Ziggy Stardust 1972” … so it is pretty cool and worth a picture!

Please leave a comment if you have any questions or want to share your favourite places to dine out and drink in London.