6 Unexpected Benefits Of Smiling: Enhance Your Face Value

benefits of smiling

Even when the occasional Lyme-induced brain fog causes me to forget what I was thinking two seconds before I’ll not soon forget what happened one wintery day when we lived in Mt Vernon. Our two middle kiddos, both redheads, lost teeth at school the same day.

The nurse gave them one of those little plastic tooth necklaces to keep their teeth safe until they got home and could show me before placing them under their pillow for the Tooth Fairy to collect that night before leaving a little treasure behind.

Cooper and Maddie are originals (as you can probably see in the photo below).

You know how twins have their own language (cryptophasia)?

Well I’ve often said these two speak their own middle child language. And they do.

They have such a rapport with each other and they’ll say things to each other no one else

health benefits of smiling
Toothy smiles, turtlenecks and ginger love.

seems to understand. And then they’ll bust out laughing. Yes, they’re hilarious. And so much fun.

I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the red hair. 🙂

Anyway, I’ll never forget those giant toothy (yet, partially toothless) grins, the turtlenecks they were wearing because it was so cold that day and the tooth necklaces around their necks.


Smiling and laughing come naturally to children, but as we get older do we get more serious? Or do we still remember how to laugh with the reckless abandon of a child?

Even though adult life changes as we have bills to pay, bosses to please and families to support don’t forget…you’re only as old as you feel.

Smiling and laughing on a daily basis is not only acceptable, but it might be just what the doctor ordered.

6 Unexpected Benefits Of Smiling

1. Reduces Stress And Anxiety

When you smile the pituitary gland releases chemical endorphins throughout the body. These neurotransmitters naturally lower our stress and cause us to feel happier…and who doesn’t love that?!

2. Stimulate The Immune System

Smiling causes your body to make white blood cells which fight off illness. A 2015 study showed laughter therapy boosted the immune response in women who had just given birth to babies. (1)

3. Makes You Appear More Approachable

Smiling makes you more confidant and attractive to others.

A smile is welcoming and shows other people you’re open to interacting.

4. Increased Longevity

A 2010 study found that positive emotions, such as smiling are directly linked to an increased life span. (2)

5. A Better Mood

When you’re feeling down in the dumps, try smiling because it just might help. Findings of a 2010 study reported that when you make yourself smile when you’re feeling sad emotions it improves your state of mind and helps you view life more positively. (3)

6. Improved Relationships

benefits of smiling
Our Drew (who is now 20) smiling as a little guy.

People who smile a lot are often likable, and this can positively impact your relationships. Positive emotions are associated with more successful interactions and happiness in marriage.

The Takeaway

Whether young or old, the benefits of smiling for your health and relationships are too many to count.

The simple act of putting a smile on your face can boost your mood and positively affect your day. People will find you even more likable when you show off those pearly whites and flash them a smile. 🙂

What benefits have you experienced from smiling? Any funny stories to tell?

Please share in the comment section below…I love hearing from you!

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Disappointment Hack: When You Want A Swimming Pool But Get A Dirt Road

disappointment hack

disappointment hack
The obligatory back to school photo… So maybe summer break could have been a little longer?

This was the first day of school. The boys are heading back to college soon, and now with David and the girls at school every day it’s just me and our Boston Terrier, Max.

So after getting the kids to school this morning Max and I headed out for a walk around the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, we barely made it out of the driveway because Max was having trouble walking on our new road.

So our neighborhood recently got a chip and seal road and it was hurting Max’s feet to walk. This little dog who normally lives for his walks had the most distressed expression on his face.

Sad, right!? Poor puppy. So we headed back inside.

Now some of you may be thinking Max should toughen up, or perhaps he’s too delicate, and maybe you’re right. (He is our baby after all.) But I’ve never seen him pass up a walk. He’s usually pulling me because he’s so excited.

We live in a sprawling neighborhood in the country, made complete with beautiful rolling hills and fields of wildflowers.

Every dog’s dream.

Until now.

How It All Happeneddisappointment hack

Let me preface this next part by saying we love our neighborhood and our neighbors. We simply have different opinions about how our money should be spent.

So here is what happened with the road situation: Over a year ago a few members of our neighborhood decided we needed to repair the road due to a few minor cracks. Overall the asphalt road was in good repair and was smooth to drive on.

So we all voted whether we agreed that the repairs were necessary. Needless to say, we along with others didn’t vote for it, but we were (apparently) outnumbered.

When you have two kids in college and two on the way let’s just say your financial priorities are a bit different from someone who is retired.

We were given an estimate of the repairs and everyone was to pay their part (even those who didn’t think it necessary).

Because that’s how a Homeowner’s Association works.

Which was a bummer because, to us and our kids, a neighborhood swimming pool would have been a much better use of the money.

The benefits of a neighborhood pool include

  • health and fitness
  • a great place to socialize and get to know the neighbors better
  • a fun place for the kids to spend time (and stay out of trouble)

But those in charge of the project decided they wanted a chip and seal road. (In other parts of the country you might say “tar and chip“). It’s basically a low-cost alternative to asphalt. It’s made by spreading a layer of toxic, messy tar then covering that with rough gravel.

I believe the hope was because it’s summer that we would have blazing hot weather that would bake the gravel into the tar, but that hasn’t happened, at least not yet. Since they did the road we haven’t had the hot August weather that’s typical for Missouri.

So it’s dusty and the gravel is loose, like a dirt road. When you drive on it the gravel goes flying. It’s a far cry from the smooth blacktop road we used to enjoy.

But, it would make for a good movie scene.

Like a no holds barred sort of Thelma and Louise we’re bustin’ outa’ this town sorta’ scene. The rebels (without a cause) roar down the dusty dirt road, car top down, hair flyin’ everywhere, tunes cranked up.

You get the picture.

Needless to say the asphalt road we had before had a few minor bumps and cracks but was much better than this, but you can’t win them all, right?!

Disappointment Hack 101

We teach our kids how to deal with disappointment and roll with the punches. But when things don’t turn out how we’d hoped do we take our own advice? (I’m asking myself here too.)

Here are some tips that can help you cope when things don’t go the way you’d hoped.

  1. Deal with emotions. Allow yourself to feel your feelings (like Maddie is doing in the back to school photo above) and don’t stuff them down. Once you’ve processed them it is easier to move forward.
  2. See the big picture. Consider that people are unique and have differing perspectives and opinions. Keep an open mind and allow them to have space. Don’t try to control others.
  3. Don’t expect perfection. People are not perfect so don’t expect them to be. When you are flexible with others and don’t get uptight about your schedule it takes the pressure off and encourages a more relaxed vibe and atmosphere.
  4. Move forward. Accept that disappointment and frustration are part of life. But they are also opportunities for growth. Learn to accept things you cannot change and address the aspects you can.
  5. Write a blog post about it. Do you see what I did there? 🙂

The Takeaway

Disappointment is a part of life. Whether you want a swimming pool and get a dirt road or you’re dealing with something bigger and more life-changing, learning to deal with life’s frustrations is essential. Practicing the tips I shared above will help build resilience and strength through life’s struggles.

How do you deal with frustration and disappointment?

Please share your thoughts and tips below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

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Stevia Health Benefits, Safety And Inside Information

stevia health benefits
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When I was little girl I loved going to my beloved Nanny’s house to make and eat baked goods with her. People admired her for her kindness, for teaching home economics for over 30 years and baking the best desserts west of the Mississippi. Just ask her favorite (okay, only) granddaughter.

Baking is definitely an art and she was an artist.

She taught me how to bake cookies and cakes, pies and fudge, all so deliciously rich and delightfully sweet.

However, eating the sweet treats truly did not compare to the time we spent smiling, laughing and playing the occasional practical joke on my unsuspecting Papaw. She made me feel special and I treasured our times together.

What About Sugar?

In the 80’s people weren’t concerned with sugar.

Back then fat was (erroneously) considered the dietary evil. I’m glad the horrible myths about fat have been cleared up, because (grass-fed) butter does make everything better. 😉

Processed sugar may end up being the worst culprit to the American diet despite earlier beliefs of its innocence.

But why?

Because sugar:

  • is full of empty calories
  • causes tooth decay
  • is highly addictive (1)
  • raises your cholesterol and risk for heart disease (2)
  • causes cancer (3)
  • causes insulin resistance (4)
  • can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (5)

(For more about the harmful impact of sugar you may want to check out 20 Reasons Why Refined Sugar Is Bad For Your Health.)

Now that we know the dangers sugar presents to our health we can look to a healthy alternative for the sweetness we crave.

What Is Stevia?

Stevia is an all-natural sugar substitute belonging to the Asteraceae family. This herb is an extract taken from a plant originally grown in South America. It is super sweet, 100 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. So, as you might have guessed, a little goes a long way.

Based on a 1 gram serving, it has zero calories and does not raise blood glucose levels, something that could be an issue for those with diabetes.

You can use it in baking. It is also stable in a freezer and heat. But because it is so sweet you’ll have to make some

stevia health benefits
Natural, minimally processed stevia is an excellent substitute for sugar, without all the dangerous side effects.


Here are some basic conversions to help you when baking: 

  • 1 teaspoon sugar = 1/2 packet, or 1/8 teaspoon powdered stevia or 5 drops liquid
  • one tablespoon sugar = 1 .5 packets, or 1/3 teaspoon powdered stevia or 15 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 cup sugar = 24 packets, or 2 tablespoons powdered stevia or 2 teaspoons liquid stevia

Two compounds in stevia make the leaves sweet:

  1. stevioside
  2. rebaudioside

You may have also heard of Truvia, which is a highly processed form of stevia.

Is Stevia Safe To Use?

Generally speaking, most people do fine consuming stevia, especially in its purest form. But, it is essential to understand the different forms of stevia because some are more processed than others. Also as we know, the more processed foods are, the less healthy, and more harmful our health they are.

  1. The green leaf stevia is the all-natural plant form you can grow. The leaves can be dried and ground to a powder. This is the healthiest form.
  2. Stevia extracts
  3. Highly processed stevia (such as Truvia) is not recommended. It runs through 42 different processes, including the addition of harmful chemical solvents and GMO corn products. Consequently, at the end of all this processing it barely resembles natural stevia at all. (You can read more about Truvia here.)

Stevia Health Benefits

  1. May lower blood sugar (6)
  2. Reduces the growth of breast cancer cells (7)
  3. Lowers blood pressure (8)
  4. Improves overall cholesterol (9)

Please check out this video I made about natural stevia:

The Takeaway

Stevia is an excellent all-natural alternative to sugar, as long as you use the more natural forms and avoid the highly processed ones, such as Truvia. Not only can stevia sweeten your morning coffee or tea, but it can also offer some pretty impressive health benefits.

The quality and purity levels of different stevia brands can vary drastically. It’s essential to do a little investigating before purchasing stevia to make sure you get a quality product.

We use NuNaturals Pure Liquid Clear Stevia and are pleased with the high quality and purity level.

Do you use stevia? What did you think?

Please share below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

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Oil Pulling For a Radiant Smile And Better Oral Health

oil pulling
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Oil pulling is an excellent, natural practice to upgrade your oral health. I only wish I had known about it sooner!

After years of searching for the best teeth whitener, enduring tooth pain associated with typical whitestrips, whitening lamps, gels and abrasive toothpastes (not to mention the cost of buying all these products) I’m happy to find a simple cost-effective solution.

One of my favorite things about oil pulling is that it gets my teeth whiter than any of these products ever did! Not to mention the other amazing health benefits oil pulling provides.

The process is simple.

And painless.

And economical.

So, if you’ve ever wondered if there’s a better option keep reading and I’ll share a tip I’ve learned that’s simplified and improved my oral health in many ways.

To start, here is a short video I made describing 8 Healthy Benefits of Oil Pulling:

(Please subscribe to my (new) channel on YouTube at LoriGeurin.  Thanks so much!)

 Health Benefits Of Oil Pulling

  • teeth whitening
  • detoxifies the body
  • improves skin conditions
  • heals bleeding gums
  • helps reverse gingivitis
  • freshens breath
  • kills bacteria
  • reduces plaque
  • prevents, and even reverses, tooth decay (amazing, right?!)

How To Do Oil Pulling

oil pulling
Coconut oil is an excellent choice for oil pulling.
  • Put 1 to 2 teaspoons (or up to 1 tablespoon) of oil in your mouth. If you’re using coconut oil you may need to chew it a little at first to help it dissolve because it is solid at room temperature.
  • Swish the oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. Make sure your swishing is hard enough to pull the oil through your teeth, but not so hard to cause stress or jaw pain. A gentle swishing movement is perfect. 🙂 When you’re swishing make sure you do not gargle or swallow any of the oil! This would put the harmful toxins back into your body.
  • Spit the oil out in the trash. Do not spit in the sink. This could clog up your plumbing.
  • Rinse your mouth with water, swishing well. Repeat until all the oil is gone.
  • Brush your teeth as you normally would.
  • Check out your clean white smile!

Here is our favorite coconut oil.

The Takeaway

I hope you enjoyed the video and learning more about the health benefits of oil pulling! If you decide to try it, please share your experience below. Once you get in the habit of doing it, it becomes a habit, like anything else. I usually do it when I’m getting ready in the morning so it’s part of my routine.

I hope you’re able to try this natural practice that’s been around for ages. When you experience whiter teeth, fresher breath, reduced plaque and cavities (as well as the many other benefits) it truly does compel you to continue.

Have you tried oil pulling? What changes have you noticed?

Please share below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

If you liked this and want to learn more about oil pulling, you may want to check out:

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