Nalu Float Review

Friends, amidst the feverish pace of holiday preparations, I was able to hit pause on all of it last evening. A profound opportunity allowing me to return to inner peace, I left completely recharged. Does this sound like heaven? Well I assure you, it came as close as I think I’ve ever been.

Jon, owner and operator of Nalu Float in Rochester, MN generously provided me with a 90 minute complimentary float in the hope I’d share my experience with readers.

If you’ve never heard of floating, this is an experience like no other. Nalu operates two float tanks that each hold 800 lbs of epsom and water at a depth of 10″. The water is heated to 93.5 degrees to duplicate skin temperature. You can read more about floating at Nalu Float here.

I’ve floated at other establishments before, but what sets Nalu appart from others is the warm, welcoming atmosphere. I felt right at home, probably because this business is nestled within a cozy home.

The waiting area, bathroom and float room are decorated with serenity in mind; they are spotless too! All the little extras like the pre-float meditation, luxury toiletries, robe, slippers, piles of plush towels and post-float cup of tea make this a truly exquisite experience. It’s plain to see Jon pays meticulous attention to every detail of his operation to leave a lasting impression on his customers.

As I mentioned, I’ve floated in the past, so I could hardly wait to climb into that tank!

 

But I’ve never taken the opportunity to float 90 minutes. I was astounded at the results. From the moment I stepped in, all sense of time ceased to exist. I felt as though this were an out-of-body experience until I realized it was much more of a melting inward, into my inner-most being. With the simulation of deprivation of all senses, it seemed impossible to discern where my body ended and the water began. Nearly right away, I felt weightless and quite suddenly noticed all pain left my body.

The boyancy produced from the high salt concentration allowed every last inch of my body to be suspended, supported, cradled. There was zero pressure on any of my angry parts. Although I’d been to sports med, the chiropractor and physical therapy this week, this was the modality that provided the most relief. I felt all of it…my muscles, tendons, ligaments…everything relax and release…just subtly let go.

This release allowed me a complete awareness of breath. The longer I was in the tank, the more I noticed how my breathing slowed…almost as if it were no longer necessary. I was just that gone…heavy meditated! My soul was lulled by the gentle rhythm of my heartbeat. I would have to describe this sensation as tranquil solitude. A state of blissful euphoria deeper than any I’ve experienced in the outside world.

Friends, I can’t think of a better way to treat your loved ones this holiday season. If you need a last-minute gift idea…look no further! Stop by Nalu’s Facebook page here for details on their current gift package offerings. And while you’re there, don’t forget about treating yourself too. Don’t forget to tell them Carla sent you!

This floating phenomenon is one more healing way to put our Best Foot Forward!

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truewhite Advanced Review

Friends, a while back I was noticing some yellowing of my teeth…although I’m smiling in this picture, it was not something I was too excited about.

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Around the same time, coincidentally, Jerome from True Company reached out asking if I’d be interested in trying their truewhite whitening system…I love how things work out like that!

I quickly agreed, because you readers know how much I enjoy those little me-time endeavors, so I had nothing to lose!

True Company generously provided me with a complimentary Advanced Plus whitening system for two people. I was excited that my husband and I would both give this product a whirl.

Here’s a look at half of the whitening system we received…there were two of everything included, except the shared activating LED light device.

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We thoroughly read through the directions and began molding our mouth trays.

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Eric and I had no problems with the lower trays, but we both left our upper trays in the boiled water for a moment or two too long, causing some accidental folding over and fusing of those trays…oops! Operator error stinks! But this company was so wonderful in shipping out some replacements and we were back in business right away.

What happened next was a bummer for Eric. As I began using the whitening kit, I had a pretty raging upper respiratory thing going on, so he chose not to proceed, as we would be sharing the LED light device. There was no reason to share the illness too, so I continued on without him.

The directions were very straightforward. I was able to form my trays relatively well this time. I placed the gel in the trays as directed, made very easy thanks to the syringe. I placed the trays over my teeth, inserted the little light, closed my lips over it and relaxed for the recommended 12-15 minutes. It looked something like this…

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I used this time to catch up on emails and before I knew it, I was already finished with that first application. Cleanup was quick…just removed the trays, rinsed my mouth and rinsed the remaining gel off the trays. That was it. I was excited to do it all again the next day, because who doesn’t want another opportunity to relax?

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And so it went for the remaining three days. Although this is a very simple, straightforward process, I urge a person to avoid whitening while plagued with a cough. At one point during one of my whitening sessions, I had a persistent need to cough that couldn’t be stifled. I made it to the sink just in time to forcefully eject all contents from my mouth…not pretty!

So after the whitening process, I have to say I really appreciate that I could do this in the comfort of my own home at my convenience. The process was simple, and despite some expected tingling from the gel, totally painless. I also appreciate there is enough gel for a few more touch-up applications. And when I clean the LED light with some antibacterial soap, Eric will be all set to take his turn.

I confess, I was a bit fearful my teeth would glow in the dark like Ross’ on that episode of Friends. I admit, I did not notice a major significance of change.  I did, however, notice my teeth appeared a few shades whiter. I wonder if I played with the molding of the trays and got an even more precise fit, I might get a more noticeable effect. With a couple more subsequent sessions with the leftover gel, I expect even better results.

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Friends, I give this convenient whitening system a thumbs up! But don’t take my word for it, you can experience this fun me-time project for yourself at a significant savings. Simply click here to the True-Company’s link, offering a very low discounted price for FITBFFs readers! Perhaps this is just the thing you’ve been looking for to fill your own Christmas stocking!

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Rollga Review

Fellow FIT BFFs, I have something I need to share with you because keeping it to myself would be downright selfish! I attended an expo recently where I met Tim, the co-owner of something that would soon change my life. Am I being dramatic? Not. One. Bit!!!

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Tim is the co-creator of Rollga, an ingenious recovery tool I have grown to crave after a long run or cycling session. When I first laid eyes on it, I had no idea how I’d come to need it! Actually, I had no idea what it even was lol! Luckily, Tim was at the expo demonstrating this invention and after spending a short time getting some pointers, I knew it would soon be one of my favorite pieces of at-home equipment!

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Tim generously provided me with a complimentary Rollga to test drive and review for all of you. I have used foam rollers at home and in the gym for over a year now to relieve tight muscles after tough workouts. I looked at those recovery sessions with fear because, frankly, it hurt; I sometimes wondered if people could hear my IT band screaming from across the gym! Those of you who foam roll know what I’m talking about!

This is where the Rollga is different! Rollga’s unique design boasts the first connective tissue therapy roller that was created to better target problem areas in less time with more stability…its shape is key and this is what Rollga has to say…

“By avoiding muskuloskeletal bone structure, Rollga Rollers penetrate muscle tissues that lie below the elevations of the skeletal structure. Because of this patented design, you will certainly feel Rollga’s natural ability to release trigger points that you have never been able to touch in the past with traditional foam rollers.”

The Rollga is offered in three different foam resistances…softer, firm and extra firm. And as their website states, “At 18 inches, Rollga is big enough to treat your whole body and small enough to fit in your backpack.”

I appreciate that Rollga has a durable surface that’s easy to clean. I’m also excited to share that Rollga’s headquarters are right here in St. Cloud, MN…I LOVE that!

Because the website offers an easy to follow, downloadable user guide it’s a snap to get started right away here: rollga.com

With several running events and a long-distance bike tour this summer, my quads will be doing lots of rockin’ and rolling on that Rollga. I have a feeling it will make a significant difference in my training, performance and recovery.

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Thanks, Tim of Rollga, for the fantastic opportunity to get acquainted with your awesome product; I give Rollga two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Cozy Phones Review

Friends, recently I received a snazzy CozyPhones headphones headband generously provided by Halo Acoustic Wear for a test drive and review.

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I chose the lycra version to best fit my active lifestyle needs. I have to say right off, I don’t wear headbands, hats or visors when I run because I don’t care for the feel of anything on my head except in the winter when it becomes a necessity. In that case, these would be great! And, they also come in a fleece version which would tame the cold even more!

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I chose to wear the CozyPhones headband on a recent kayak excursion. Although it was a bit loose-fitting for me, the headphones were adjustable. With some quick and simple placement of the headphones, I was all set. I really liked that the cord is a durable woven material rather than flimsy rubber. The headband itself is made of very nice quality fabrics too. I pulled it on, plugged it in and was ready to take off. Because the headphones are contained within the headband, my hands are not necessary as they are with earbuds that need frequent adjustment. And when kayaking, that’s a very good thing!

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The headband stayed put throughout my entire trek. The sound quality was good and I liked how my ears were protected from the wind. That brought me to my next thought…these would be great for biking too! My ears are sensitive to wind, and on a bike there is always wind! The headband would fit well under my helmet.

The more I read about the company, the more I liked…it is a US based, veteran-owned family business. They have a great line of kids novelty fleece headband headphones too. Stop by the website to check out all their great products at cozyphones.com.

The Work(in) Review

Hey Friends, I recently received a package in the mail that I couldn’t be more excited about! The fitness equipment contained in this package was generously provided to me in exchange for a blog review. Although I was packing for a family vacation at the time, I decided to toss it in my suitcase and take it along so I could try it out at soon as possible. Here’s what arrived:

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Two very convenient-sized pouches…

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One pouch contained a core ball ready for simple inflation with the included straw and plug. The other contained three resistance loop bands of varying levels of resistance. I appreciate the ball can be easily deflated and everything fits right back into the pouches for travel convenience…it’s like a portable strength training gym right there in my suitcase!

I’ve used both types of equipment before with my trainers for various strength training exercises, so I was eager to put them to the test. I noticed right away the core ball was very durable and of commercial gym-grade quality. I know this is an item that will be with me for a long time; and that’s great because I have some pretty important uses for it. I love that I will have it available for both at-home and on-the-go use.

The resistance loop bands (although not as thick as the bands I’m accustomed to at the gym) are a nice weight quality that will be very useful too. And great news, both the core ball and set of resistance loop bands retail for $14.99 each…in my opinion, that’s really affordable equipment!

Both items are designed to improve balance, core strength, posture and flexibility. Both are great for all fitness levels. Having used similar items in the gym, I was familiar with some exercises, but I decided to stop by The Work(in)’s website to check things out further at theworkinmovement.com

The website includes several video examples of uses. Once I’d taken a look, I decided to play around on the pier of the resort I was staying at…I can’t think of a more perfect place to work out! Here’s the glute bridge I’ve done a million of haha!

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And then, something a little more advanced.

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And judging from the videos on the website, I have many more challenging things to try, moving forward!

I had a great time trying out the resistance loop bands as well…here’s a little plank variation that had me breathing heavy haha!

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Then a little hip abductor action.

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And finally a fun little squat-stepping action…boy did I feel that one as I worked my way up and down that pier!

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I give both of these products two enthusiastic thumbs up, fellow FIT BFFs! If this is something you might find useful in your quest for fitness, stop by the website to find out how you can get yours, and what to do with them here.

The Work(in) core ball and resistance loop bands…convenient gym equipment for your home or travel…one more way we can all put our Best Foot Forward!

Thunderbird Real Food Bars Review

Friends, you know healthful eating is very important to me as I strive for a healthy lifestyle. I’m also constantly on the lookout for that next great food item. That’s why I was excited when John at Thunderbird contacted me. He generously offered to provide me with a complimentary sample of all nine varieties of Thunderbird Real Food Bars in exchange for a review. I was not only intrigued by the creative food combinations, I respect that these bars are 100% all natural, gluten-free, zero sugar added and non GMO.

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I lead a very active lifestyle, so I thought I’d put these food bars to the test in a variety of active ways. My first Thunderbird Bar adventure was a cycling trip on the Root River Trail. Eric and I each chose bars to fuel our ride.

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Half-way through our 38 mile ride, we took a snack break. I couldn’t wait to try the Hazelnut Coffee Maca bar…it was great! Eric chose the Almond Apricot Vanilla bar; that one was good too, I know because I might have taken a bite of his haha! Reading through the list of ingredients for both bars, we noticed it was short and all words that we could pronounce. Each bar is a combination of fruits, nuts, seeds, and spices; and that’s it! The bars were a satisfying snack that fueled us well for the remaining 19 miles.

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On vacation, I packed another bar for a mid-workout snack while kayaking the perimeter of beautiful Lake Aaron in central Minnesota. Mid-way through my 1:39 paddle, I took a Lemon Cashew Apricot bar break. It was a fantastic recharge for the paddle ahead. I found the ingredient combination to be unique and delicious. That bar kept my energy level high to complete my 4.78 mile journey.

Although I would have loved to keep them all for myself, I still had several more bars to sample and thought it was time I should share with others. So I gathered some family to sample some for themselves.

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These volunteers took time from fishing, boating, gaming, reading, walking, movie-watching and relaxing to taste-test a few. I chunked the bars up and passed the plates. Everyone enjoyed sampling the various ingredient combinations of each bar. The Pecans Goji Pistachios came out the favorite of that bunch.

I saved the last bar for myself to energize my workout. The Hemp Sunflower Pumpkin Seed bar was satisfying fuel for some running and strength training.

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I don’t think there is an activity these bars wouldn’t handle. I plan to pack them for upcoming camp-outs and hikes.

Thunderbird Real Food Bars are real food, for real energy, for real people…energy for today, health for tomorrow. Thank you, Thunderbird for the opportunity to put these bars to the test. FIT BFFs gives them two enthusiastic thumbs up! This fitness finatic has an amazing product to add to the grocery list…one more way to put my Best Foot Forward. And so can you, Friends!

Aurorae Yoga Review–Namaste!

Remember the box I received a couple weeks ago? I asked if you could guess what was inside. I was so excited the day it showed up because I knew it contained some pretty fantastic items!

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Aurorae very kindly sent me a complimentary yoga mat, yoga tote bag and microfiber beach towel to test and review for all of you. I can honestly tell you, the moment I opened the box was love at first sight. I removed the items, one at a time, appreciating the warmly rich colors and durably constructed materials. They had me at looks and feel, but it was time to test the functionality!

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This Aurorae premium printed yoga mat instantly drew me in. Many of you know I adore the sun, and how awesome to take an illuminating reminder of that energy with me to yoga class? If this one doesn’t suit your fancy, they have several other prints and solids to choose from. I was thrilled to see how thick this mat is. My previous mat was a mere 3mm thick, but Aurorae’s mat is a comfortable thickness of 5mm…that’s 1/4 inch of cushiony protection for knees, joints and muscles!

My previous mat was smaller too…this one measures a generous 72″ by 24″ more area for bigger poses! I like the density of this mat compared to my less-expensive, flimsier model. The surface really seems to grip the floor well and I’m stable too, unlike how the stretch and give of my previous mat made me feel less than confident in my practice. This mat is lightweight, toxin-free and eco-friendly…it has my complete approval!

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Aurorae’s navy pattern yoga tote bag is quite roomy for a yoga mat tote. I immediately adored its vibrant colors, but if this combination doesn’t appeal to you, they have several others to choose from. I like the large zip pocket on the outside and another on the inside to securely hold valuables. The bag also has a couple more sleeve-type pockets for other belongings within the fully-lined interior. I appreciate that I can easily fit my mat, towel and a change of clothes within this bag…a big plus for me, as I’d otherwise be carrying my gym bag separately. The large, reinforced straps make transport comfortable no matter how much I pack in there. What an organized, stylish way to travel between yoga class and home! If you haven’t already guessed, I give this bag two enthusiastic thumbs up!

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Last, but not least, Aurorae’s microfiber beach towel. I’m really excited summer has begun because I have the perfect go-to towel, Friends! This towel is over-sized, which means it will fit across the entire surface of the lounger at the pool. I am a huge fan of this Tahiti Tides tie-dye print, but if you’d rather, they have several lovely solid shades to choose from. The towel is made of microfiber which allows it to be super absorbent, lightweight, compact to fold and quick-drying…perfect for summertime fun!

I can’t wait to use these again and again, fellow FIT BFFs, and I will because with the durability and sound construction of these items, I have no doubt they will be with me for a long time! Check out where I plan to practice this summer…could there be a more perfect place?!?

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Stop by Aurorae’s website to check out their full line of intriguing products, from aromatherapy and meditation accessories to yoga apparel, footwear, accessories and beyond.

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Aurorae is a family business that truly believes in what they do. The satisfaction of their customers is 100% guaranteed! Many tips and videos are available right there on their website to assure your confident use and care of their products. Another aspect of this company I truly embrace is that they partner with charitable organizations throughout the United States and the world to bring the love of yoga to those who would otherwise go without. They believe that love and yoga illuminate your life, and is a practice everyone should be able to participate in.

FIT BFFs, now you know why I was so excited about that box sitting outside my front door! And, if you know anything about this blog, you know I love to share great products with my readers. Aurorae has graciously agreed to a lucky reader giveaway you can look forward to later this month…stay tuned!

As Aurorae says, “May the long time sun shine upon you, All love surround you, And the pure light within you…Guide your way on –Namaste”

Win-It Wednesday OOahhs!

Happy Win-It Wednesday, just in time for summer, fellow FIT BFFs! You are not going to want to miss out on the opportunity to win a great pair of recovery OOahhs by OOFOS. You can read the review I posted earlier this week here.

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True North Brand Companies provided me with a complimentary pair to test-drive and review. They have also generously agreed to award THREE lucky (randomly drawn) readers with a pair as well…these retail for $59.95/pair.

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OOFOS makes OOahhs for both men and women, so EVERYONE should enter!!!

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To read more about this amazing product or to order your own because you can’t wait to see if you won, check them out here.

To enter, simply leave a comment below between now and midnight on Tuesday, May 31st/central daylight time stating your shoe size (whole sizes only).

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Giveaway open to US residents only. Winners will be drawn and announced here on Win-It Wednesday, June 1st…Good luck!

 

OOfos Review…OOahh Sport

Hey, fellow FIT BFFs, back in March I was on my way to San Diego to continue working toward my goal of a half marathon each month in 2016. I escaped the frozen, snow-covered tundra of Minnesota with my sights set on surf, sand, sun and a little run. It was time for me to leave my favorite winter recovery footwear, my OOcloogs at home. I contacted my friends at OOfos to let them know I’d love to test out their OOahh Sports and that I would give them plenty of opportunity for race recovery review. Those generous folks provided me with a pair that arrived just in time for my new adventures!

Knowing my feet are sensitive to new footwear, it may have been a great idea for me to wear socks within my OOahhs the first day out. Instead, I slipped them on and took off on foot to cover miles of San Diego sightseeing. Truth be told, I developed a blister underneath one of the bands. I should have considered waiting until after my race to break them in. But no worries, the blister caused no ill effects on my run and I had those OOahhs back on immediately after the race. Why?

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Because I craved the impact-absorption and arch support of these OOahhs. They share the utmost in after-sport recovery comfort with my previous favorites the OOlalas and OOcloogs. You can read my past reviews of those two here and here.

Honestly, I don’t know how they do it, but OOfos technology seems to miraculously support all the parts of my feet in exactly the right places.

Slipping into these OOahhs with my weary, road-worn feet was like stepping onto heavenly pillows. Really, Friends, they felt that good! To further prove my point, check out my well-loved OOahhs following my recent monthly races…the Beginner’s Luck Half trail run in Henderson, NV.

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The La Jolla Half in La Jolla, CA.

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And the Rockin’ Robin Half in my hometown of Rochester, MN.

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I’ve put many miles on my feet so far this year, but happily report they continue to hunger for more. I attribute this to the excellent comfort provided by those fantastic OOahhs! With the right recovery support, my feet are ready to go the distance again and again. Runners, walkers, hikers and more, if you can’t say this about your recovery footwear, allow me to recommend it’s time you check out the amazing products at oofos.com.

I’ve got several events coming up and because I have OOfos with me, I’m all set!

 

 

Reclaiming My Youth!

Fellow FIT BFFs, I’ve been working hard for the past four years on living a healthier lifestyle. Something which has helped me feel much younger! I have focused my efforts primarily on the intricate balance of nutrition, fitness and mindfulness. Throughout this time I’ve made small changes in other areas of my life too. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and strategies to help slow the aging process. This is becoming increasingly important to me now that I’m middle-aged.

Earlier this year I began glancing in the mirror at my maturing face, noticing a new crease here and another laugh line there…lines I didn’t find funny at all. Coincidentally, as I looked into options for combating these little proofs-of-age, the folks at Timeless Skin Care reached out to me. Their timing was impeccable!

They generously offered me two of their anti-aging products in exchange for an honest review. When I stopped by their website to select the serums, I was happy to find that Timeless Skin Care’s products are formulated with simple, all-natural, pure ingredients. I was even happier to read their products are never tested on animals. You can check out their full line of serums right here. When this showed up in my mailbox, I was like a kid on Christmas morning!

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I began using these serums immediately…after all, there was no time to spare! I applied one in the morning; it easily spread evenly over my face and left a nicely conditioned palette ready for moisturizer and make-up. I applied the other serum before bed. This was a simple process that quickly became habit. I was glad to notice neither of these products caused breakouts or dry skin…just left smooth surfaces behind.

Through continued use for three months, I saw some nice changes. Although I didn’t take a before picture, I’m very satisfied with the results and appreciate how my skin glows.

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Even better proof for me than the photo was something one of my husband’s co-workers said to me last week. She told me I look younger every time she sees me! BOOM!!!

If you are ready to turn back signs of aging, stop by Timeless Skin Care’s website here to view their full line and read more great company/product information.

Thanks, Timeless Skin Care for the privilege to try your anti-aging serums…I’m SOLD!