Candacetravels

The Travel Diary

Month: September 2016

Smile Brilliantly…While On the Go!

Welcome fellow travel aficionados! Today we’re going to discuss how to maintain a million dollar smile, while on the go. If you’re a tea or coffee drinker, or even a smoker, I’m sure you’ll appreciate this information. Even if the aforementioned don’t apply to you, I’m sure you’ve hoped for a brighter smile at some point in life. If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in a hotel (room) bathroom, fumbling with those over-the-counter whitening strips or gels- just a few days prior to an important meeting, then this post is most definitely for you. Since a great smile is equivalent to the perfect accessory, I have the perfect solution for you. Here’s how you can get your pearly whites to stand out in your meetings, as well as on your Instagram photos!

Today we’ll take an in depth look at Smile Brilliant, a professional grade teeth whitening kit that will amaze you by how fast it works. I recently became acquainted with this incredible product, which provided me with high quality results in record time, a short while ago. This one is most certainly a suitcase keeper!

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How It Works

My Smile Brilliant kit arrived in a square box, complete with everything I needed for a brighter smile. I must confess that I didn’t have layers of stains beforehand, but I am an avid tea, and very rare (on occasion) coffee drinker, so I wanted to lift my smile a shade or two for personal and professional purposes. I meet with a number of clients in different places, and I’m sometimes asked to be in pictures, so I like to look my best.

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The Kit– Inside I found instructions, molding putty, two trays; one for my upper teeth and a second for my bottom teeth, and 3 ml gel whitening syringes. Included was even an extra set of the modeling putty in case I had a misstep with the other, during the application. Fortunately, I didn’t have to use it, because I had my Iphone handy, to time the molding process – to ensure accurate results.

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I followed the card inside, which instructed me to mix the white and blue putty together until I could no longer see any white. Once it was ready, I spread the mixture in the upper tray and bit down to create the mold. I repeated the process for the lower tray and let them both sit for the recommended length of time. When ready, I dropped both of the trays with molds inside the envelope provided and mailed them back to Smile Brilliant, for the creation of my custom teeth whitening trays. In just a few days, my custom trays arrived, and they fit perfectly! I was eager to test them out. A short time after, I took a syringe from the Smile Brilliant kit and lined each tray with the whitening gel. I placed each inside my mouth and made sure the gel covered my teeth completely. I kept them in for approximately 20 mins the first time, and couldn’t believe the results I witnessed. Each syringe has enough gel inside for about 4-5 whitening sessions.

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Teeth Whitening Results

I could see a difference after just one use. Since then, I repeated the whitening process 6 more times to achieve my brightest, whitest smile yet. I found the entire Smile Brilliant process quite easy from beginning to end. The whitening kit provided such great results- that I would compare it to what you’d expect to find at a dental office, just minus the hefty price tag. Aside from being easy to use, the trays and gel-filled syringes are also easy to transport in any luggage. The tray container is the size of the case that houses my retainers from 15 years ago, post my braces days. It also fits effortlessly into any carry-on, tote bag or purse, making it simple to carry, if you need to lift your smile a few shades while on the run.

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Fits easily into a makeup bag!

For those with sensitive teeth, there is also a desensitizing gel that’s available for use to serve as a barrier.

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Smile Brilliant offers a high quality teeth whitening product that is sure to not only boost your confidence while talking to others at home or on the road, but it will also aid in the success of your magnificent social media selfies- one photo at a time.

GIVEAWAY!!!! One winner will receive $139.95 credit, which is 1 tray creation kit, plus 6 gel syringes of your choice (3 whitening and 3 desensitizing or 6 whitening.) Click here to enter your name and email address for a chance to win!

*Stay tuned for pics of me and my new pearly whites!! Part II coming this week~

 

 

18 Hotel Keys

I was recently packing when I discovered a number of hotel keys floating about in various pieces of luggage. I typically rotate between my duffle bag, roller bag or backpack/weekender, depending upon the length of each trip. To my surprise, I counted 18 stays, reflecting 18 keys for this year alone. In case you’re wondering, I do usually turn in at least one key, considering the hotel or resort generally provides you with two. In some rare cases, I have even received three keys, when there were room, door issues. In any case, upon making this discovery, I thought to myself – “This is a lot of hotel keys for 2016, Candace.” While most are from the Hilton family (I’m a HH member ) i.e. DoubleTree, Hilton Garden Inn or Hampton (work related,) there are some others that hold extra special memories this year. I must confess that I don’t always post on social media where I am each day, and that is partially because, sometimes…. I’d rather not be found. Forgive me. I mix and mingle when needed, but the introvert in me has to have time to work in peace alone, and other times, I simply need to refuel- and that is best accomplished solo for me.

While strolling back down memory lane, I was instantly drawn to three keys in particular out of the bunch. They naturally stood out because they looked so different from the scores of replicas from the brands noted above. Immediately, I cracked a smile. I closed my eyes and thought back to when I used each of them this year, and the fun times that I had during my stays. From boating on the Caribbean Sea in Bonaire, to snapping photos of the low-flying aircraft on Maho Beach in St. Maarten, I had a blast! Then there was the day I ventured across to the French side- of St. Martin, to nosh out at Cynthia’s with a buddy, and the day I set out to view the thousands of gorgeous cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin in Washington D. C.  While all 18 experiences were not nearly as refreshing as these, I must say that each of them still left a lasting impression upon me. I’ve met so many cool people, engaged in countless deep conversations with individuals from all across the globe, joked with hotel staff….and complained in some cases, dined alongside some really interesting individuals, and overall just had a really good time. Life is meant to be lived, so I try my best to do just that. Although, it’s actually a pretty grueling job, despite what most people may think. Everyone sees the glitz and the glam online, but forgets about the backside of it. The flip side… is the challenging part. There are issues with business clients, unclean hotel rooms, hotel keys that don’t work after you’ve lugged tons of bags up to your door and have to go back to the front desk, those days where less than obedient children splash water on everyone outside of the pool while their parents sunbathe quietly, the nights of broken bathroom shower heads, lack of towels in the room, broken microwaves when it’s late and you want to warm up that delicious soup at 10:30pm, hard beds, hallway construction noise, loud neighbors and the telephones that don’t get a dial tone in the rooms, too. Yep, it’s not always an Instagram dream, but it’s part of the journey! Considering I’m a bit of a road warrior, a.k.a consultant, content writer, business coach and of course…travel and inspirational blogger, I’ve come up with a few things to consider before you book your next hotel/resort stay.

Hotel/Resort Tips from My Personal Experience

Remember: Not all hotel rooms are created equal. Thus, it’s important to look for certain amenities: Here is my go-to list, regardless of business or pleasure.

Driving vs. walking– If I have a rental car, which I often do, then proximity to the airport is not a major factor. However, in those instances when I don’t get a car, then accommodations near the airport and client are a real plus, since most have free shuttle service to and fro the airport, as well as within a 3 mile radius. I also consider if the property offers (free or not) breakfast, has on site restaurants, or if there are a plethora of food choices in both walking and driving distance. If I’ve had a long day, the last thing I want to do on my way back in, is to have to drive far to pick up dinner. Onsite restaurants are a winner, especially if the food is yummy. Free parking is also a plus when choosing.

Must- Haves–  I look for hotels with a business center in case I have to fax or scan items and a pleasant lounge area. If they don’t have a business center, then I need to confirm that they will fax or scan items if I need them to. I enjoy working in different atmospheres so when I’m not in the room, at a coffee shop, or in an office, I like to work from the lobby or lounge area. Change of scenery for me- is good. I also appreciate onsite laundry rooms and/or service and if it is a resort, then access to tours, beaches and other outdoor activities. Additionally, I look for onsite spa services, indoor or outdoor whirlpools, swimming pools, ocean room views (if it’s a water location) or city or garden scape views.

Also, be sure to select a property in the area of your activities. Map out to-do’s; restaurants, museums, train stations (if needed,) beaches, etc. If you have a strict diet (look for eateries that can accommodate,) walking restrictions and enjoy things like-morning jogs or strolls, your hotel location is important.

Travel Memberships & Apps

My preference for vacation is luxe! For business I’m generally in a moderately priced location. Thus, it really just depends on the trip, the client, whether it’s a vacation or business and the time of travel. I am a rewards member with Hilton and Wyndham (though not a huge fan of their brand, but I have stayed in a couple newly remodeled Wingates and Wyndhams that I liked.) Some of my favorite go-to apps for hotels include: Hotels.com, AgodaHotel Tonight, Travelpirates – primarily for flights and Hipmunk. The benefit of being a member or having an account with these companies is that you earn valuable points. Many travel-related credit cards (i.e. airline or hotel brands) work the same way. Each stay and even some purchases (credit cards,) allow you to amass points that can be applied toward “free” stays. Sign-up to take advantage of these benefits today! 

Well, 18 hotel keys later, and all I can say is that it’s been a wild ride already this year. Prayerfully, several more incredible travel experiences are on the way. In the meantime, happy and safe travels to you, and stay tuned to learn about more adventures, tips, products and services.

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