My toothless adventure (and what I did about it)

If you’re the observant type, you’ll notice something unfortunate about my photos from the past year - I NEVER show my teeth when I smile.

In fact my lips are pressed so tightly together, you’d be forgiven for wondering if I have any teeth at all.

(I promise I do.)

It’s not that I’m a grouch, but I’ve been hiding a missing tooth for the last seven months (one of my front-ish side teeth...I believe it’s called a “first premolar”).

Last summer I tried surfing for the first (and last) time at a health retreat with my friends (J looked after the little ones...bless him). Never again. It was a disaster. The ocean tossed me around like a toy and a particularly vengeful wave sent the board flying into my mouth.

Not only was this humiliating (the spunky instructor actually laughed at me, I kid you not) but it must have loosened my tooth somewhat.

Nothing “zen” about that.

Fast forward to a week later, there I am eating an olive (perhaps a little too enthusiastically). I accidently chomp down on the pit, and BAM….my poor tooth is hanging on for death life. I had no choice but to yank it out - instantly transported to my childhood, but with no gift from the tooth fairy to look forward to!

Anyway, you probably don’t want to read my entire life story. The point of this post is to brag that I now have a smile that rivals even the flashiest models in those toothpaste ads. My confidence has been restored with a full set of teeth, and I have Dr Alistair Graham from Mona Vale Dental to thank for that (thank you, thank you, thank you!).  

  (not me...but this is how I now feel)

“Dental implant” sounds like a daunting procedure to me - which is why I delayed getting one for so long. Dr Graham put me at ease straight away. He explained everything and patiently answered my long list of questions (I like to be prepared). Dr Graham held my hand (figuratively speaking) through every step of the process - from the consultation, x-rays and scans to the actual procedure and recovery.

A dental implant is basically an artificial root that’s surgically inserted into your mouth to replace the root of your natural tooth. This attaches to an artificial tooth that looks and feels every bit as real as an organic tooth (I can’t tell the difference, neither can any of my loved ones...and they’re painfully honest about these things).

The surgery itself went really well and I’m booked in for another appointment in a few days (not dreading this one).

Why didn’t I have this procedure sooner? I could have spared the world so many grimacing “half-smile” photos and avoided looking like a camel when chewing food disproportionately on one side of my mouth.

If you’re in a similar situation but feeling anxious about getting a dental implant, don’t procrastinate like I did. The sooner you get it done, the better (so you can stop hiding your smile and chewing like a camel too).

Trying Costa Rican Coffee for the First Time

Did you know that in TarrazĂș (pronounced “Tar-ah-zoo”), CostaRica it rains 7 months out of the year? The climate of TarrazĂș is split into two well-defined seasons, wet and dry. This climate pattern is ideal for growing coffee, which the region is famous for!

After learning of this vital coffee information, I decided to give Costa Rican coffee a try. A friend of mine wouldn't stop raving about after their trip through Central & South America

I found a few options online, but figured I should start with one of the most well known brands out there, Cafe Britt.

I learned of Cafe Britt after coming across this article. The reason why I decided to order from them is that 1) the beans are sourced ethically and 2) it seemed like the most "direct" way to acquire these magical coffee beans from the other side of the world.

So how did it taste?


I went straight for the instense variety from Tarrazu. I'd highly recommend it to any coffee drinker who loves their a strong, bold pick-me-up.

Researching Flooring: 11 Different Flooring Options (UPDATED)

I've talked a bit about flooring on my blog here before, but lately I've been doing a lot more research as I'm helping a friend narrow down their choices with the purchase of their new home.

Here's the culmination of the research so far:

Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Luxury vinyl plank floors this is a type of flooring that replicates the look and texture of high-end floors such as timber hardwood and tile, but are more affordable, easier to install, and come with added durability.

Sustainable flooring (bamboo and cork)

Major advantages of cork flooring
  • For designing purpose, it resembles the traditional plank wood flooring
  • For installing it, glues nails and floating method can be used
  • It is available in different colors which are both natural and stained
  • It is hard in texture and is much durable 
Major advantages of cork flooring
  • It has tiles that be installed with glue and has planks that can be fixed with floating method
  • It has variety of colors that are both natural and stained
  • It has a noise reduction property

Spend less and get more with Vinyl tiles 

Major advantages of cork flooring
  • vinyl tiles are quite durable and will last you a very long time
  • they are quite easy to clean
  • healthier and more hygienic option

All you need to know about luxury vinyl planks

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) floors are beautifully designed natural looking floors.
  • Easy installation
  • More affordable than timber
  • Durable; will not lose that new shine and crisp for a very long time.

Get the real look from vinyl sheet flooring 

Looks better than I expected!
  • available in a large variety of colors 
  • can go with almost all sorts of themes
  • resistant to moisture, good for wet areas

 Save your money, laminate your floors

Fact I didn't know about laminate flooring:
Made of several layers of composite products fused together. The layers are divided into four portions to be exact. The lowest layer is of melamine resin. This is there to add moisture resistance and stability. Then the layer above that is made of fiberboard of high density. This is the thickest layer. The second last layer is basically a photographic 3D layer which is also decorative. The last one is transparent white and is there to protect it from liquids, scratches or any other damages. 

Reasons Why You Need Laminate Flooring

  • Looks just like hardwood floors but laminate floors are affordable
  • Burn resistant
  • Resistant to liquids
  • Easy to clean

  • More affordable option that hardwood
  • Different types of boards (different ways to install)
  • Can be cleaned with regular floor cleaners
  • Low maintenance flooring
  • Looks great with the type of blinds and shutters we want to use

Learn more about engineered timber

It's a good idea to check the manufacturing process of engineered timber, as it can differ as seen below:
The composite wood or engineered timber is built by binding together wood with several adhesives. Their thickness varies between 21mm, 20mm and the minimum is 18mm. they have two layers to give them extra amount of stability and strength.  The layers are of different materials and each layer represents each different material. The top layer which is 6mm thick is made of real wood.  The bottom layer which is also the last layer is produced of heavy duty and good quality ply wood.

Installation of laminate flooring

The installation required for laminate is fast and hurdle free. It is the most convenient flooring option to be installed. No dust or garbage is created during its installation. It brings minimum disruption to your home when being installed.