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PRODUCT REVIEW: Resistance Bands by The Body Shop

Dare I say that one of the hardest habits to create is a workout regimine. It's one of those lifelong habits that you start, stop, and start again so many times that you lose count. And of course, then there comes along all of the most  new and innovative tools that are supposed to help make everything easier, quicker, and produce ore results.

I must say that I have tried a lot of workout tools in my day. Everything from various balls, weights, ropes, bands, and whatever else you can think of.

However, one thing that I had been wanting to try for months were resistance bands! But where do I start. Do I get the open bands or the loop bands? Do I get the log bands or short bands? And what's the difference in resistance levels of the bands. Ultimately, how do I use these things in order to maximize their effectiveness as a part of my overall fitness goals.

Then I tried The Body Factory set of 5 Resistance Body Bands for Fitness/Abs/Physical Therapy/Stretching. Additionally, this product came with 2 Dual Sided Core Sliders, which I had absolutely no idea how to use but it was stated that it was for Core Strengthening, Glutes, and Fat Burning.

So of course like all smart people (including myself, LOL) I headed over to YouTube to see if I could find someone who knew how to use these bands and fell in love with what I saw. It appeared that the exercises that people do with these small look resistance bands are simple, yet effective. Now, that's my type of exercise!
I'll leave the links at the bottom of this blog with my favorite examples of  how to use these products. But in the mean time, let's get right into my personal review!! I was so excited when my bands arrived in the mail!!

THE ORDERING PROCESS: The ordering process was simple, you're typical amazon experience. The item was priced right at about $15 bucks and the all of the band perks were spelled out in plain language and understandable. The description was thorough and detailed.

VALUE: The price was perfect! I've typically paid a lot more for exercise equipment hoping for amazing results and this purchase made me feel like I'd bought multiple items for the cost of lunch.

CUSTOMER SERVICE: The products came packed in protective bubble-wrap envelop and a convenient carrying case. It also came with a nice little card inviting me to review the product on Amazon and contact them if I am not completely satisfied. It included contact information.

QUALITY: The quality of the product was great. The bands were well made with high quality color and material and withstood the toughest wear and tear that I put on it.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, the product did exactly what it indicated that it would do!! I love these bands!!

And one of my favorite things about them is that they are portable, pack easy in their little carry case, and I am able to travel with them without them taking up a little of space. As you can see in the attached photos, I took these on vacation with me and their photo shoot happened right there in my hotel room.

Check back later in the week for my new YouTube video and a demonstration on my favorite ways to use the resistance bands.

Here's a good demonstration of using the Core Sliders: https://greatist.com/move/sliders-workout

Ready to grab your bands? Here ya go!!

Here are some of my favorite YouTube Videos using Loop Bands:

  • PERFECT FIT FOR EVERYBODY –The Body Factory resistance bands works for every kind of exercise like yoga, stretching and it is perfect for everyone. Using resistance bands as a workout tool enables you to work multiple muscles at once. You don’t have to be a pro athlete to use resistance bands, they’re suitable for all fitness levels – including beginners! With each band having a different resistance level, you can start off slowly and build up to the larger resistance levels.
  • PREMIUM QUALITY RESISTANCE BANDS – 5 Premium resistance bands are of different sizes, all are of different color and for a different level of exercises. For each exercise you can choose 1 of our 5 color coded Bands for different stretch levels: 1 Green (X-Light) Band, 1 Blue (Light) Band, 1 Yellow (Medium) Band, 1 Red (Heavy) Band, and 1 Black (X-Heavy) Band.
  • COMPATIBLE WITH EVERY KIND OF SURFACE – The dual sided core sliders, non-scratch design features plastic on one side and foam on the other for safe and easy use on hard wood and tile surfaces, carpet, and gym floors. Ideal for exercises like mountain climbers, sliders, squats, and lunges
  • PORTABLE AND EASY –The Body Factory resistance bands and core sliders offer a number of advantages over other weights. They are much more lighter and portable than free weights so you can take them anywhere you go and continue your trainings no matter where you are. The resistance bands and core sliders are lightweight so the risk of injury associated with heavy weights is eliminated. For your convenience, it comes with a FREE carry bag so you can take them with you anywhere.
  • 100% GUARANTEE –The Body Factory's mission is to develop premium & safe home exercise equipment to help you lead a healthier & better lifestyle with 100% customer satisfaction, therefore we offer lifetime guarantee because we are confident with the excellence of our Sliders and Resistant loops. We also provide UNLIMITED online consulting - how to use - which comes together with a lot of fun while training. ORDER NOW so you can be the lucky user of all these benefits.

Disclaimer: I received this product at a discounted price from The Body Factory in exchange for my honest and unbiased review and opinion. If you have any questions, please feel free to complete the "Contact Me" form. #Sponsored #Ad

PRODUCT REVIEW: BIC® Soleil® Balance™ Disposable Razor

Say bye-bye to shaving cream, and hello to BIC® Soleil® Balance™ Disposable Razor's built-in moisture bars infused with Shea Butter.

BIC® Soleil® Balance™ Disposable Razor
6.99 / 2-Pack
5 Blades

GET 10% OFF* - USE CODE BICSHAVE by clicking the link above.

  • No need for shaving cream!
  • 5 flexible blades adjust to contours of your body
  • Moisture bars infused with Shea Butter replace shaving cream
  • 2-in-1 razor simplifies your shaving routine
  • When not using, store away from water

*Offer ends 6/9/18 at midnight EST

You can also receive a $2 off coupon on their website by clicking here!!


THE GOOD: Obviously the best part about this razor is that it comes with the 2 moisture bands on the top and bottom of the razor blades. The moisture bands are activated by water and feel so silky smooth on my legs. This also eliminates the need for shaving gel which is costly and bulky to carry while traveling or going to the pool/beach. In my opinion, that means it does what it is advertised to do.

The price is also a perk with this product! Since you are cutting out the cost of shaving gel, you are already saving there. Additionally, you get 2 razors that last quite a while for only $6.99 (which is only $4.99 if you use the coupon.) I have paid way more for crappy razors in my life. I was pleased with the price and product!

THE BAD: There is no pivot built into this razor so using it on our face or around our knees could be challenging. If you want to try a BIC razor with a little bit more of a flexible neck, try the Bic Simply Soleil Click - Disposable Razor For Women.

THE UGLY: This razor doesn't seem to provide a very close shave when used on any other areas outside of a straight leg shave. This means that you'll have to shave more frequently and honestly, who wants to do that. I guess this wouldn't bother some people who already shave daily on their legs. But if you're trying to use it on your armpits, face, knees, or other areas where there's not a lot of hair and you are hoping to shave only once or twice a week, this is not the product for you.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, I enjoyed trying out my complimentary sample of the BIC® Soleil® Balance™ Disposable Razor from Smiley360 and will continue to keep on in my travel bag to ensure that my legs are nice and smooth at the pool during all of my summer travel!!


*****DISCLAIMER: My opinions reflected here are solely my own. I received all products shown complimentary, in exchange for my honest opinion and unbiased feedback. To get your FREE products from Smiley 360, click here: http://h5.sml360.com/-/32r6a******

HOTEL REVIEW: Our Stop in Cotulla, TX - Comfort Suites Cotulla

Comfort Suites
617 Las Palmas, Cotulla, TX, 78014, US

Cotulla, TX sits right in the middle of San Antonio, TX and Laredo, TX on Interstate 35. There's lots of traffic going up and down 35, as it is a major hub into Mexico, but there are some stretches where you don't see anything for about 20-30 miles or so. If you've ever been to Laredo a few times from San Antonio, I can guarantee that you've probably stopped in Cotulla to fuel up, grab a bite to eat, use the bathroom, or just take a stretch break. It's about an hour away from each city so it's a great midway point.

Cotulla is a city in and the county seat of La Salle County, Texas, United States.[4] The population was 3,614 at the 2000 census. Polish immigrant Joseph Cotulla, who was reared in Silesia, then a part of Prussia, migrated to the United States in the 1850s. He joined the Union Army in Brownsville, Texas. He lived in Atascosa County but arrived in La Salle County in 1868[7] to establish what became a large ranching operation. After learning that the International-Great Northern Railroad intended to lay tracks in La Salle County, he worked to establish the town which bears his name. In 1881, Cotulla donated 120 acres of his land to the railroad, and in 1882, a depot was constructed there. In 1883, the town was granted a post office. The same year, Cotulla became the county seat by special election. On June 28, 2013, the Texas Historical Commission, the United States Department of the Interior, and the National Register of Historic Places designated downtown Cotulla as a significant part of Texas history with the unveiling of an historic marker. In 2006, Cotulla had been designated as a Texas Main Street community.

The have a ton of restaurants (local and commercial) in Cotulla, as well as a few truck stops and gas stations...... including a Loves for the truckers. Most of the lodging and restaurants are right there near the highway and in close proximity to one another.

On this particular day, we choose to stop at the Comfort Suites in Cotulla for our layover and we had an amazing time!! Check out my review below:

PARKING:There was plenty of available parking at this property and we were here on a weekend and a holiday. You can easily see all of the spaces if you choose a room facing the front of the property. Additionally, even though the front of the property faces the interstate, you are far enough off of the highway ramp that the noise can not be heard inside the room and doesn't disturb your sleep. That's always a plus and a usual concern when facing the front of the building. We like being able to watch our car but hate facing the side against the highway. This property gets a gold star from me for that aspect alone.

There are also beautiful palm tree in the parking lot that provides some shade for your vehicle in the hot Texas sun. Lastly, it is easy to get in and out of the parking lot because there are 2 entrances/exits and traffic flows both ways.

Above you see a picture taken from the room that we were in. While I was glad that our room faced the front parking lot, I did not like being over the awning. It was a bit noisy and we heard the wind howling all night long.

EASE OF CHECK IN/CHECK OUT: Check In/Out was a breeze. Both of the agents were extremely informative, professional, and friendly. The process was quick and seamless. Additionally, the entryway is absolutely beautiful. You can tell that a lot of care and thought was taken to design and welcoming and breathtaking entry way so of course, that makes for a memorable Check in/out process. There is also a ton of seating if you have to wait (which we didn't), a television to kill time, room to mingle with other guest or visitors, if you so choose, easy access to the business center in the lobby, and ice cold lemon water to welcome you.

CUSTOMER SERVICE:The customer service was superb!! Whenever we would pass housekeeping in the hallway, they were always friendly and welcoming, the receptionist recommended a great Mexican Restaurant in the area and told us all about the pool/gym hours without us having to ask. We were granted the late checkout upon request (Elite Member perk) and they ensured that we had everything that we needed!!

REWARDS STATUS PERKS: As most of you know, I am a Diamond Member with Choice properties so with many of their locations you get to choose a welcome gift or extra reward points with our stay. In this picture, you will see that this property had a well stocked pantry (if your choice was the welcome gift) and lots of choices no matter your preference of snacks and drinks. As always, we also received our digital copy of USA today the next  morning. Hard copies were also available at the front desk. Speaking of rewards, I also used my ebates when booking the room and received an additional 1.5% cash back. Those coins add up!! :-) Lastly, on both occasions, we received an extended late check out due to my Diamond Status.

THE ROOM: The bed was really comfortable and spacious. The layout of the room was open and provided a lot of space. There was a nice sitting area with two separate pieces of furniture (not the normal one piece). The shower area with interesting as it did not have a shower door that moved. There was an opening to the shower that you couldn't close. It didn't bother me much but the mom in me and my subconscious keep thinking, "I hope that I don't get any water on the floor." LOL One of the best things about the room with how well the air conditioner worked for it to have been nearing 100 degrees in Texas on that day. The air conditioner kicked in within a few minutes of turning it on and it cooled down the room almost instantly.

CLEANLINESS: The room was well cleaned. There was a small spot on the sofa but we all know how hard it is to get spots out of furniture so it wasn't a deal breaker for me. We stayed in this property twice in the same week (as we were going in and out of Laredo) and on both occasions, our room was very clean and well maintained. The other common areas were clean as well, including the gym, laundry room, and pool.

DECOR:I know that this may not be relevant to some people who are just looking for a safe, comfortable road side bed to sleep in but I was pleasantly surprised and extremely impressed with the level of attention put into the decor of this property. While mos of that impression was made in the entry way and the common areas, the decor in the rooms was nice too. They have these beautiful lamps in the waiting area, along with lovely wall art. I felt comfortable and serene being surrounded by such aesthetic beauty.

LOCATION: The location of this property was perfect for it's purpose. It's only a little over an hour from 2 major cities in each direction. It's easy to get to located among a cluster of other hotels and off of a service drive. It is within walking distance of a few restaurants, a market, and gas stations. There's also a dollar general store and an amazing Mexican Restaurant near the hotel. There is even a lounge right inside the hotel.

BREAKFAST:Breakfast was good. There were lots of options and plenty of seating by a huge, beautiful window that allows for viewing of the morning sun. This property serves the traditional hot breakfast and has a waffle maker, which is standard. Some items included dry cereal, yogurt, sausage, bacon, eggs, a selection of breads, oatmeal, and fruit.

WI-FI & TECHNOLOGY: One of my favorite things about Comfort Suites is that many of them offer Wireless Printing from your room or mobile device. Additionally, this property offers a business center with business supplies available from the front desk. Lastly, they had some f the best wifi I've encountered at a property. In both rooms that we stayed-in, as well as the common areas, the wifi worked perfectly well and I never had any problems logging on.

EXTRAS: (Pictures below) Some of my favorite things about this hotel included the comfortable pool next to the outdoor picnic area with a barbecue grill, onsite. I also enjoyed the gym, as it had plenty of equipment for usage and was equipped with towels and water for the guests convenience. This property also features a laundry room for guest use and ice machines on every floor.

VALUE: The value of this property was good. For it to be in a remote location, you might have expected it to be a tad bit less expensive. However, for such an amazing property, and to be among so many other major brands, the price was great being well under the $100 mark. All of the amenities and Hot Breakfast made the value that much greater. As always, I created my booking using Ebates and received 2.5% cash back.

All in all, I would have to say that this has become one of my absolute favorite Choice properties.  They have all that you need for a perfect stay. It was quiet, relaxing, and comfortable.

What's your favorite Texas City?

Have you ever experienced Cotulla? Any recommendations on "must try" things to do while there?

Also, let me know if you've ever been to this Comfort Suites (or another Comfort Suites property) and your thoughts!

Where are you in your corner of the world today?

HOTEL REVIEW: Our Stop in Baton Rouge, LA - Quality Inn Baton Rouge

Quality Inn - Baton Rouge
1755 O'Neal Ln., Baton Rouge, LA, 70816, US

Baton Rouge is a beautiful city in the culture-filled state of Louisiana. It's about an hour and a half  drive from one of my favorite cities in the US, New Orleans!! Have you ever been to New Orleans to experience Essence Music Festival? Bayou Classic? A NFL Saints game? or just to experience the fantastic fresh seafood and authentic sounds of a local brass band? Well, if not, I would highly suggest you pay New Orleans a visit. But back to the topic at hand, since this particular post is not about New Orleans, but about its' neighboring sister city, Baton Rouge.

Baton Rouge is easily accessible from two convenient interstates. It sits right at the west intersection of Interstate 10 and Interstate 12 and the Mississippi River. Baton Rouge is also the capital of Louisiana. Antebellum landmarks include the castle-like Old Louisiana State Capitol, now a museum, and Magnolia Mound Plantation, with its French Creole house. Baton Rouge is also the home of Louisiana State University and the LSU Rural Life Museum, which is a complex of refurbished buildings illustrating 18th- and 19th-century life. Additionally, the USS Kidd sits on the river and is a retired WWII destroyer that is now a museum.

PARKING: Getting to the parking lot was a little tricky. There is no direct entrance from the street. Although the hotel is right off of the highway ramp, you must drive up the street a little ways into the Hobby Lobby and Storage facility drive way. Upon arrival, the parking lot seemed small for the amount of room in the building but surprisingly, the parking lot never filled up completely. Therefore, everyone was able to easily find parking and everything seemed to be fine.

EASE OF CHECK IN/CHECK OUT: Check in was probably the best part of the entire experience. The agent was extremely friendly and efficient. Check in was quick, and before you knew it, we were comfortably in our room. The agent asked if we had a room/floor preference and then gave us all of the pertinent information needed to enjoy our stay. He accommodated every request.

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Customer Service is most likely the reason why this property has a four star rating on TripAdvisor. Each request was met with an emphatic "absolutely." We weren't here long enough to need a lot in the way of customer service but everyone was helpful and displayed positive attitudes.

REWARDS STATUS PERKS: Being that we are Diamond Elite Members with Choice Properties, upon arrival we received a welcome gift bag that contained some of our favorite snacks, Cheetos and Bottle Water. :-) We were treated like we were priority guest and I immediately received my Choice Privileges Midweek Extras in my email inbox. After check-out, I received my 50% elite point bonus along with my regular points. We also received our digital copy of USA today the next  morning. Hard copies were also available at the front desk. As I always say, Choice Properties has one of my most favorite Lodging Rewards Programs!!

CLEANLINESS: The cleanliness was good. We saw no major issues with cleanliness. The main areas of the room were good, including the bathroom, counter top sink area, and linens.The air conditioner could stand to have a thorough annual deep clean but it was not bad. Additionally, the windows could stand to be cleaned more frequently.

DECOR:Our room was a little outdated in terms of carpet, decor and furniture style. However, the bed and lazy chair still felt extremely comfortable even though it looked a little "old style" in my opinion. I must also add that the sitting area that is directly in the center of the hotel is extremely up-to-date with contemporary furniture and decor. The breakfast area is also very modern and comfortable.

LOCATION: The location of the hotel was ideal for the business that I needed to handle while in Baton Rouge. It provides super-easy access to both interstates and there was limited congestion when leaving the following morning during rush hour.

One of the downfalls was that there were not any restaurants or fast food places on the street with the hotel, that we could tell. However, there is a gas station within walking distance of the property, which was nice.

BREAKFAST: This particular property provides a hot breakfast that consisted of sausage and egg omelets. They also had the traditional fare including pastries and yogurt. There was an attendant available to replenish so the items never ran out. They also have a waffle iron to make waffles. There was plenty of room for every patron to sit and enjoy their meal.

WI-FI & TECHNOLOGY: Although we did not use the Wi-Fi much, it worked fine in our room. There were no glitches or hangups while trying to access it.

EXTRAS: It was nice that each room comes with a fridge and microwave. Additionally, they have an outdoor pool, fitness room, and laundry room on-site. They also have conference rooms available.

VALUE: This property was a good value for the budget. While there are plenty of other budget friendly hotels in the area, we didn't want to take a risk because they all seemed to have bad reviews. (I am so into reading reviews and the other hotels in the area seemed to be "you get what you pay for" types). I was pleasantly surprised with our experience here and glad we choose to spend a little more than the others were charging (in the same class range) to get a more premium experience. Speaking of value, as always, by creating our booking using Ebates, we received 2.5% cash back.

What's your favorite Louisiana City?

Have you ever experienced Baton Rouge? Any recommendations on "must try" things to do while there?

Also, let me know if you've ever been to this Quality Inn or other choice property and your thoughts!

Where are you in your corner of the world today?