Less Stuff… More Happiness…..Really?

When I blogged six months ago “Who knows what the next chapter will bring…” I  had no idea that I was about to embark on an exciting adventure in downsizing.  4000 square feet on 1.2 acres to 1750 square feet with NO yard to be exact.

Fast forward to March 2015… a brief synopsis:

  • Youngest child off to college (That makes 2 kids in college now.)
  • Fixed up and sold our Poway home within 2 weeks of listing it.
  • Went on an emotional roller coaster ride of excitement, anxiety, uncertainty along with many sleepless nights.
  • Purchased a very cool urban multi-level townhouse in Mission Valley less than a mile from the office! (3 minute commute!)
  • Purged, donated and discarded half of our belongings. (And still kept too much)
  • Made all of this happen in just 3.5 months!
We decided last August to take the empty-nester, downsize plunge and went from suburban to urban in one fell swoop!!  The reactions from family and friends were mixed… some thought we were being hasty, others thought we were making a brilliant move.
There were times I questioned our decision and my husband  had me watch a TED talk titled
“Less Stuff, More Happiness” by Graham HIll.  The message was clear… drastically “editing” my life could lead to a more fulfilling existence.  Once we were at the point of no return, I prayed that Graham Hill was right.
Today I can say with confidence that my life feels “richer” in so many ways.  I discovered great joy in giving away things that most people hang on to for a lifetime.  Leaving the big house in the country for a small one in the city and getting rid of half of our “stuff” was a bold move with a large payoff.  I now have more time and more freedom with less distractions.  Reducing our commute from 30 minutes down to 3 minutes has been amazing!
There is now space in my life… both mentally, physically and financially to let new things unfold.  I have more time to focus on my health, my marriage, my career, my relationships, being of service and living my soul purpose.  What I am inspired to do is constantly evolving… I love that part.
Whether or not you are in a position to downsize, I ask you to consider the benefits of simplifying, donating, and purging your life of some excess “stuff”.  Giving things away is liberating and it feels good.  Create some space in your life and see what shows up!

61718-Less-Stuff-More-HappinessLeslie Strommer, DDS

New Image Dental

7510 Hazard Center Drive, SD, CA 92108



A New Chapter Begins…




This has been my THEME as we head towards the end of summer.  By the end of August, Scott and I will join “Club Empty Nesters” as we send our oldest back to college and deliver our youngest to Gonzaga University for his freshman year.  This “New Chapter” brings up a lot of emotions: excitement, sadness, fear, and joy all at the same time and I wonder how I can experience those emotions all at once!  This is a monumental time in a parent’s life… when we have done all that we can (or at least gave it our very best) and we send our kids off into the world and pray that we have given them enough love and guidance to keep them moving forward… no matter what life brings their way.

As I begin to write my “New Chapter”, so many ideas and thoughts start to flood the pages.  “What will I focus on at New Image Dental? Will I work more?  Will I learn to ballroom dance?  Will I be able to cook for just 2? Will I get my vision of Dentistry for Humanity off the ground?  How will I manage all these opportunities?  How will I manage my new found free time? Will my children miss me and call me?”

What I do know is that this next chapter will be fulfilling and I will embrace this time in my life because just like when we became new parents and brought beautiful sweet children into the world… life was full of possibility.  This next chapter is the same…. full of possibility.  Whatever I choose to focus on, learn, grow and do has the potential to be as wonderful as it has been raising two amazing young men.

Life brings change… sometimes it is welcome and sometimes we are not ready, but it is happens nonetheless.

My question to you is….  what possibility do you see for your “New Chapter”?

Share your thoughts with someone you love!!

Pura Vida!!

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Leslie Strommer, DDS

New Image Dental

7510 Hazard Center Drive, SD, CA 92108


Live to Learn!



                          “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

                                                                                                       ― Mahatma Gandhi

Earning my DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree in 1991 was quite an accomplishment.  After 4.5 years of undergraduate at UC Davis, 4 years at UCLA Dental School, California state board exam, the idea of “education” did not sound appealing.  I remember taking my last written board exam and singing “Hallelujah…  may I NEVER  take another exam for the rest of my life!”

A new DDS soon discovers that there is a “continuing education (CE) requirement “ to renew our license.  What??  50 hours of (CE) every 2 years?  You’ve got to be kidding me!  I just spent my last 9 years in school and I thought I was done! … I do not want to go back to school!!!

Fast forward 22.5 years and what I have realized is that I didn’t want to go back to school, however… I LOVE TO LEARN!!  I love learning new things… new technology, new business strategies, new procedures, new marketing skills.  My husband and I consider ourselves “continuing education junkies”, and we really look forward to our continuing education courses that typically include air travel to a cool city, a nice hotel and venue.  CE has honestly been our couples retreat… Mom would come babysit our boys when they were young while Scott and I traveled to SF or Seattle, Chicago, Scottsdale to name a few.  Our romantic getaways usually included long days of lecturing, rooms full of other dentists and we would spend our days learning new techniques and philosophies that would  aloow us to improve how we serve our patients.  Not too sexy for most couples… but perfect for a couple of dental nerds.

Scott recently posted on our FB page some photos from the Kois Center in Seattle where we have trained extensively and where he continues to mentor other doctors.  He says it beautifully…”It’s about CHANGING LIVES. Ours, and the patients we serve.”

Here is a partial list of what I have studied over the course of my dental career that I did NOT learn in dental school:

  • Extensive Hands on Training in Cosmetic Dentistry and Veneers
  • Invisalign – orthodontics
  • CEREC Cad/Cam technology
  • 3D Imaging/Radiography
  • Kois Center Graduate Training (www.Koiscenter.com)
  • Landmark Education – Life coaching
  • Freedom FastTrack – Financial/ Business Coaching
  • Next Level Practice – Team Coaching
  • Chopra Center – Meditation and Yoga
  • Facial Esthetics – Botox for TMJ therapy and cosmetic enhancement

My philosophy about learning has extended to every day of my life.  I subscribe to the belief that every person, situation and circumstance in our life is here to teach us something if we stay present enough to look for the lesson.  Learning for me is a way of living and it has allowed my life to be fun, exciting, inspirational, creative and full of possibility.

Ask yourself… what will YOU commit to learning today?


Leslie Strommer, DDS

New Image Dental

7510 Hazard Center Drive, SD, CA 92108


Giving Back Feels So Good!

Dentistry for Humanity final

I never considered myself a “charitable” person.  I wasn’t highly involved in volunteer activities, whether it be for my children’s school, sports, or church.  I often felt guilty seeing the other parents and people so much more involved and giving of their time.  I justified my actions and told myself… “that’s just not me”.

Fast forward to 2014, I am currently serving on the board of the San Diego Dental Health Foundation for the next 3 years.   I am one of the founders of “Dentistry for Humanity”, a newly formed organization that is committed to inspiring SD CEREC dentists to utilize our technology to improve access to dental care to those in need within our community through service and contribution.  I have been behind the scenes bringing this project to life for the last 9 months and the end result will be the opportunity serve the dental needs of our local Veterans who are in dire need of the dentistry that will allow them to integrate back into society.

So, what happened to me?  The one who felt guilty not signing up for the volunteer activities for school and church is now taking on “giving back” in a whole new way!!  Rather than going into a long detailed description, I am going to summarize what I believe has caused my “philanthropic” transformation.

  • Maturity… age, years on the planet.  Turning 50 later this year really has made me reflect on what is important.  After the awesome marriage, wonderful career and raising two wonderful young men… “What can I give?”  and “How can I serve?”, have become so much more relevant.
  • Personal growth and development – Landmark Education and Deepak Chopra… the perfect combination of spiritual and personal transformation through self awareness and meditation.  Way too much to describe in a few sentences, but trust me when I say my life has never been more joyful and peaceful.
  • Sharing my vision – Amazing things start to happen when you share your vision with the world. Doors open up that you wouldn’t have been able to orchestrate on your own.  Inspiration comes and the project takes on a life of it’s own.  It’s truly miraculous.
  • Blind Faith – In taking on these projects, I have learned to have an intention for what I want to create, however, I am unattached to the outcome.  This approach allows me to let go of control and allow things to unfold naturally.
  • A commitment to have FUN in the process – FUN in the form of laughter, light heartedness and joy are requirements of this transformation. Although I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone and will continue to do so…. I am committed to having FUN no matter what.

What I have learned is that giving back is a mindset.  It isn’t so much what you do, what matters is that you are doing things for others and looking to contribute in a way that works for you.  The real truth is that giving back feels so good!!  The rewards are beyond what material possessions and money can give.  It is a heartfelt satisfaction, quiet and purposeful that makes me feel like I matter in this world and I alone can make a difference.

What can you give of yourself to this world?  Don’t underestimate yourself!


Dr. Leslie Strommer


New Year’s Inspiration!


Every new year brings what feels like a fresh start, an opportunity, a chance to do that “thing” that we have been thinking about for quite some time.  As my 17 year old son says to me, “You do you”  and “I’m gonna do me”.  My interpretation is that we should focus on what works for us and not be concerned with what everyone else is doing.  I like how that sounds and feels.

I love the quote  “A year from now I will wish I had started today.”  It reminds me that there is no other time like the present and there won’t be a better time than now.

Things I want to start now:

  • Seeing the launch of the philanthropic/charitable organization that I created the possibility for in 2013 – Dentistry for Humanity.
  • Following through with the training and implementing the use of Botox in my dental practice. (Migraines, TMJ, Facial pain)
  • Yoga/pilates/stretching  – good things for soon to be 50 year old body.

What things do you want to start now?

If any of those “things” revolve around your dental health, like getting your teeth straightened, whitened, or finally getting that missing tooth replaced, or getting those old silver fillings out… we are here to help.

Year after year we help our patients achieve dental health, create new smiles, restore old ones and give back the ability to chew food with confidence!!

Let us know if we can help you in 2014!!

new years quote

Leslie Strommer, DDS



Why in the world would a dentist blog??

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To blog or not to blog…. that has been the question.

After over a year of considering whether or not to create a blog for New Image Dental, the time has finally come for me to jump into the deep end.

I’ve been told there are so many great reasons to create a blog…. for marketing and improve website searches, attract new patients, etc.  To be honest… those reasons were not enough to inspire me to start.  I am a big fan of Seth Godin, author, marketer and entrepreneur.  I have been reading his book “The Dip”,  and realized that I should not start a blog unless I was sure I could get through the dip of the excitement wearing off and struggling to write blog posts consistently.

I decided to create a reason to blog that moved, touched and inspired me to write… this is is what I came up with…

Intention for my blog

to inspire
to connect
to make a difference
to let our patients get to know us
to educate (about teeth and gums of course)
to let people know what we do
to be original and authentic and unique
to be different and unlike other dental blogs….
to be of service

to change the way you see your dentist forever.

So this is what you can count on me for…. enjoy!!